Friday, March 9, 2007

Saturday night and Sunday morning

   Dawn has been lamenting my lack of posting any what I call "soccer mom" entries here recently. I haven't said much about events in my life or about my family, or worse, my dog, lately. In my own defense, I don't do a lot of that anyway, but this past weekend was somewhat eventful for me, so I thought I would indulge the Princess a little. Get it? A Little? I slay me.

   Saturday, March 3rd was the date of an annual curling bonspiel called The Sinners' Brier that I make a habit of participating in every year. Brier because it takes place on the first day of the Canadian Curling Championships every year, traditionally called "The Brier," and Sinners, because it it is hosted by the "Sinners Section" of our club, so named because we get together and curl on Sunday mornings, when we should be in church (the fact that we tend to drink too much and tell off-colour jokes has nothing to do with it).
   My regular men's team was all set to enter the Sinners' Brier for the third straight year together when that schedule was changed. Remember that picture I posted a couple of weeks ago of the new patch I got? That was for winning what is called an OCA (
Ontario Curling Association) Zone competition. The province is subdivided into 16 zones, and we won ours (I was throwing second rock on a team of guys I don't usually curl with in the Intermediate division - over forty).
   Having won our zone, we were eligible to compete in the Regional Playdowns, the winners of which would go on to compete in the Provincial championships. And when do you think the regional playdowns were scheduled to take place? You guessed it, the same weekend as the Sinners' Brier. I was going to have to find a spare to take my place.
   Now, the spare (which my vice - our friend bpslider - ended up tracking down) was for the Sinners' Brier, not the regionals. See, the Brier is a big drunk up, as opposed to a serious competition, so there was never any doubt which I was going to curl in.
   OK, that's enough from the cheap seats. I was going to curl in the regional playdowns, because I had never curled at that level of competition before, and likely would never again, and damn it, the Sinners' Brier will still be a big drunk up next year.

   Which brings us to Saturday night. We drove home from the
Port Perry curling club that evening feeling pretty good about ourselves. We had won two games that day, and were scheduled to play in the 'A' side final on Sunday. My ride (hi John) dropped me off at the curling club in Richmond Hill, where I had left my car. Before I headed home for the night, I decided to drop in and see how my guys had done in the bonspiel.
   Now, I've been curling in this thing for years, always hoping to do well, and never quite managing to crack the top five spots or so. My vice - that bpslider guy (hi Brent) - was even more avid about doing well than I, and understandably, more disappointed each year when we failed to play as well as we believed we were able.
   As I walked in the front door of the club, I was greeted by a chorus of, "hey, Little, looks like you're out of a job," from the first row of seats clustered around the TV watching the actual Brier competition.
   "Why's that?" I asked. I shouldn't have asked. My team without me...had won the whole freaking bonspiel. Number one with a bullet! First four to the prize table. Big trophy with their name on it. Holy freaking cow!
   I was mildly jealous. Only mildly jealous, mind you, because I was well on my way to a berth in the Ontario Provincial Intermediate Men's Championship. And then they'd all be jealous of me. You see where this is going, right?

   Which brings us to Sunday morning. After having gone to bed relatively early so as to be well rested for our game Sunday afternoon, I was awakened shortly after one A.M. by a commotion in the living room of the house. I thought the cats were chasing each other around, or being themselves chased around by Shadow (
you remember Shadow, right, my 1/3 Border Collie, 1/3 Aussie Shepherd, 1/3 Wooly Mammoth cross?). I cursed, swept aside the blankets, and jumped out of bed, imprecacious maledictions spewing from my mouth. I stomped down the stairs, slapped on the light, to find my 88 pound behemoth of a dog lying on his side on the living room floor, and convulsing.

Full stop.

My heart, lungs, brain, the whole package. I went completely blank.

   Then I was on my knees beside him, one hand holding his head, the other frantically feeling for a heartbeat, breath movements, anything to tell me my dog was not dying. I had no idea if his convulsions were due to him choking on something, or a seizure from some other cause. I tried to open his mouth and look to see if there was anything in his throat. That was a mistake. His jaws were convulsing along with the rest of him, and he bit down on my finger, drawing blood.
   After what seemed to be several minutes, but was more likely only thirty seconds or so, his involuntary movements began to slow, which only made me more frantic. As far as I could tell, he was dying. I desperately clung to him, shook him, leaned in close to his nose listening for breath, moved my hand around his chest feeling for a heartbeat. My wife, who had been scouring the telephone book looking for an after hours emergency veterinary clinic began shouting at me, "Paul? Paul?"
   I wasn't listening. I was busy shouting, "Shadow? Shadow?" His heartbeat and breathing were slowing, but were they returning to normal, or were they on their way to stopping? I had no idea. Finally he lay still. "Paul?" my wife whispered. I didn't say anything for a moment. Waited. Then saw it. His chest moving up and down. "He's breathing," I said. At which point, we both started doing so once more.
   He lay totally still for several tens of seconds, and then, in a sudden surge, he lifted his head, and looked around. He scrambled to his feet, and began running all around the house, sniffing at every surface, peeking into every corner. He seemed aware that something was amiss, but couldn't quite put his finger paw on what, exactly, it was.

   Pat had found the address of the local emergency animal clinic. I got dressed, a wad of bloody paper towel clutched around my finger, pulled on my coat and boots, grabbed the leash, and loaded Shadow into the car. He was eager to go. Loves car rides, he does.
   The vet checked him over, tip to tail, and found nary a thing. Later in the week, we would take him for a follow up with our vet, where he would be checked over thoroughly again, and a full blood workup done. Nothing out of the ordinary would be found. The conclusion? He might have another seizure that night, or the next day, or week, or month...or never. No way to tell.
   So we spent the remainder of the night trying to sleep, but in reality just lying in bed listening for him. Shadow? Yeah, he got more sleep than we did. For some reason, he was plum tuckered out. Eventually, I fell asleep.

   The real Sunday morning - not the wee hours - was a sleep in occasion. Go figure. Luckily, the curling team's excellent performance of the day before meant we played at 1:30P.M., rather than 9:00A.M., so a morning of catch-up was possible. I headed out to meet my skip (hi John) at about 11:30 feeling refreshed and optimistic. After all, we were in the 'A' side final. Even if we lost the first game, we would have a second chance in the 'B' side final later that afternoon. Two games. Win one. Go to the provincials. Seemed like a pretty good equation.
   You see where this is going, right?

   We lost both games. Should have been able to beat both teams, but we just weren't as hot, as "clicking" as we had been up to that point. I blame the curling Gods. They allowed me to get my hopes up that I would actually compete at a high level in this game I have loved all my life, and then cruelly crushed them. And then they added the painful irony of the fact that "my" team, the team I should have been playing with that weekend, won a bonspiel I have been competing in for years with little success. Yeah, they're good, those curling Gods.

   At least we won our Monday night men's league game. Things are looking up.

   I'm sorry I don't have a more up to date picture of Shadow to show you. I'll have to take one this weekend. In the interim, here is a picture of an evil alien robot devil cat sitting on our neighbour's roof that my wife took through the kitchen window. "
Ooh, scary."



luddie343 said...

O you had me holding my breath for Shadow - thank God he seems alright!  I remember when I saw my 1st curling competition, I thought anyone describing this would think it silly, yet to watch it you see the precision and skill needed to play.  Nice post!  xoxo CATHY

artloner said...

I have so many comments to this it would turn into my own here it is in short form:

  1. I always knew you were a jealous biotch.

  2.  "curling gods"?  ::sigh::

  3.  "Hi, My name is Andi, and my friend is a Curling Geek".

  4.  Don't you hate it when they[beloved pets] have the equivalent to a grand maal seizure, then be-bop on out to the car like nothing happened? ( I know ya'll must have been terrified while it was going on, and I hope he never has another!!!)

   5.  Sorry about your finger.  Can you lay some of the curling loss blame off on that?

   6.  I'm with Dawn...I'd like to see more soccer mom entries from you, Nanook.

   7.  I LOVE that shot of The Demon Kitty...your wife has a good eye.  You'd better keep her. Well there's that, and the putting up with you deal.  Poor woman.

  With tongue-in-cheek,
Your Demented Southern Friend.   ;)

aleclynch said...

Geez!  Very intense story.  You did quite a job of stringing us along before hitting us with the dog situation, with no clue of what was going to happen..which I suppose is fraction of what you were feeling yourself.  Glad to hear Shadow seems ok. I'm not sure my heart could take these entries too regularly...I'm going to go look at some nice and happy quizzes, I think.


p.s.: will sacrifice to the curling gods on your behalf, capricious beings that they are (they're likely deaf to all prayer though, given how much yelling they've had to hear).

princesssaurora said...

Now THAT is what I am talking about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG, my heart was in my throat!!!!!!  Poor Shadow!!! Please give him kisses and hugs from NJ and a biscuit!!! Let us know if the blood work shows anything!!!

Did your son sleep thru the whole dog emergency?

Poor you... I am so sorry about what happened with your curling competitions!!!  How awful... the irony... well, yeah it is funny!  Someday you will laugh.... maybe in a few years or so!

be well,

astaryth said...

Poor Shadow! You all must have been terrified. I had a friend who had a border collie who would occasionally have seizures. They never knew why, but the dog always seemed fine after having one. Want to hear a scary one? There is a gene that causes horses (it follows one particular line of Quarter Horses--all traced back to one stud who probably had a genetic mutation) yes, -horses- to have seizures. I saw one once... it was scary and afterward the horse just sat up on his chest and looked at us like wondering what -we- were looking at. Thank goodness they have a test for it now!

As for the curling gods.... maybe your sacrifice wasn't acceptable? I'm just sayin' <LOL>

simianfarmer said...

All I can hear in my head right now is that disgustingly popular Kaos song: "Every day is Saturyda night, but I can't wait for Sunday morning!"

And hell, if these are soccer mom entries, I'd better sign myself up for a sex change and go out to buy a Volvo.


tenyearnap said...

You stopped my heart with that one. The curling gods may not be smiling upon you, but the ones that count are. Good to still have the Shadow. (I like the photo of him looking through the basement window.) I hope his convulsing days are over. That's scary.--Cin

justaname4me2 said...

This was a Soccer Mom entry with spice~
I'm glad Shadow was all right. I imagine a seizure in a dog isn't all that different from us human ones, so I can tell you that after I have a seizure I am bone tired and will sleep for a very long time. It takes alot of energy to have every muscle in your body seize up and hold like cement.
Sorry about the Curling Gods, I shall curse them with one fist balled up for you :o)

justaname4me2 said...

That is one wicked looking cat~~

princesssaurora said...

That cat is freaky... lol  Hey, these are so not 'mom' ish entries and see... EVERYONE loves them...

you must do more...

be well,

bpslider45 said...

Thank you for mentioning my moment in the sun!
Even if you did bury it under a bunch of "feel sorry for Paul stuff" and the dawg story.
I mean really... who's going to remember ME once the read about Shadow and his travails.
Why does it always have to be about Paul and his stuff?
I mean REALLY!?!?

acoverforty said...

Hope the dog is better .. my bosses hunting lab had seizures, after a lot of tests it's on medication now.  Congrats on the curling.

plittle said...

  Yes, they have mediactions for dogs who exhibit idiopathic epileptic seizures - that is, seizures for which no other underlying cause can be found. However, they are used only when a dog has regular seizures of at least a frequency greater than one every ninety days or so. They are basically sedatives, and make the dog dopey, inattentive, and less active. I sincerely hope we do not have to go that route.
  Thanks for the comment.

gehi6 said...

This was almost a mini-novel. I like that kind in journals.  And a horror cat, too.  I am still wondering what is wrong with that poor dog.  And as for your curling.  I am going to have to re-read this part of the story first of all to try to understand what curling is.  I always wondered.   Gerry

saandmaanta said...

I know how upsetting that can be. My sweet kitty, Meryl ( had a similar incident a couple of monts ago.
My wife was handing down the bowl of morning wetfood when Mere went over all funny for a second, then fell down and started convulsing. The seizure lasted about two mintues, and I was there within seconds because my wife was in a pretty bad panic. When it was over, Mere got up and seemed confused. Her back legs didn't work right for a few minutes, then she was somewhat dazed and tired, but seemingly fine.
We hauled her off to the vet's, of course, and after a day of observation and two courses of bloodwork, they basically came up with the same answer you were given - keep an eye on her, tell them if it happens again, it might or might not, and they have no idea why it happened to begin with.
Luckily it's been several months and she hasn't had another.

rebuketheworld said...

Oh, that would have been very scary. Seizures? hmmm,,,,You would think they would have something for him in case it happens again.

Well, I am very glad he is OK. ~Raven

lurkynat said...

awesome entry, you wild Canadian devil!
Go team! Go cat! uh.... (looks around for Dan..)

klconard1 said...

I enjoyed the read!  The cat looks an awful lot like one of our Antique Cats named the Empress of the Universe lol.  She has passed on to her reward but we still miss her.  I am glad Shadow pulled out of the seizure.  Those are horrifying scary moments to witness.
loving you

sunnyside46 said...

scary tale.
Best wishes to Shadow