I had an enjoyable birthday on Tuesday. It started out on a fun note: When I took Emme outside first thing in the morning, there was a well-muscled and fuzzy-chested guy hanging out shirtless on the steps of the building next door. I then noticed the woman taking photos of him. By the time Emme was done taking care of her business, they had moved into the street right in front of my building. When I got back upstairs, I grabbed my iPhone so I could take a picture of him. And I grabbed Rudy, so he could take care of his business.
When Rudy and I got back downstairs, I didn't see the model or photographer right away. Then I saw them in the public garden across the street. He had a jacket on but still no shirt, and I took this not-so-great photo through the fence:
Mostly, I thought it was cool that this photo shoot was being done right near my apartment building on my birthday. It's not uncommon to see stuff like this going on in my neighborhood, but it's more often a woman being photographed. Happy birthday to me! :-)
Work was pretty hectic all of this past week, but my workday on Tuesday was brightened by Jeff, who brought in a Key Lime Pie he'd made to celebrate my birthday. Jeff started learning to bake and cook more for himself a couple of months or so ago. Key Lime Pie is one of his favorite desserts, and he'd made it enough times to feel confident to share it with others. It was very good, and KLP is one of my favorites, too.
That evening, Tony gave me a shirt in a funky print, just like I like, and a cute card with a dog wearing sunglasses on it. And he took me to Bell, Book & Candle for dinner. I have no photos because Tony said he wasn't going to bother taking his phone to the restaurant, and so I figured I wouldn't either. I didn't think that—duh!—if I didn't have my phone on me, I wouldn't be able to take pictures with it. *sigh*
We shared a bottle of the Bealieu Vineyard rosé that was unavailable on our previous visit. It was very light on the tongue with a nice aroma of strawberries. We dug it. Tony got the Asparagus & Roasted Pistachio Soup he had liked so much last month and the "Gin & Tonic" Wild Salmon I had enjoyed on my visit with the 'phews back in July, only with the sauce modified to be gluten free. He said it was the best piece of salmon he'd had in a long time. I started with Heirloom Peach Salad, hold the blue cheese, and for my entree, I got the Amish Roasted Half Chicken With Bread Salad, Rooftop Arugula, Heirloom Tomato, Cucumber, and Herbs. That was all quite good. And I got the brownie for dessert like I did the last time, which was too predictable and I should have gotten something else or just skipped dessert because I didn't really need it.
Before dinner, when I'd taken Rudy out for his walk, we'd encountered a wonderful gal named Cathy, who lives on the first floor, when we'd gotten off the elevator. She had previously met Emme and she knew of Rudy's existence but she hadn't yet seen him face to face. Holy cow. It was love at first sight. She even said so. She told Rudy, "I'm your Aunt Cathy and I love you." :-)
Cathy lost her dog, Miss Thing, a little while ago, and she is, like me, a 100%, certified dog nut. :-) She insisted that we come to her apartment so she could get some snacks for E&R. She looked around and couldn't find whatever she was expecting to find. Then she said she knew what she could give them and reached into her fridge for some cheese. I told her I appreciated the thought but said I really would rather she not give Rudy cheese because he was used to dry dogfood and I was frightened at what might happen when he ate a big hunk of dairy product. She then remembered that she had some rawhide chews that Miss Thing had already started working on. I said I would take those to give to the woofers.
Let me tell you, Rudy's world has not been the same since. When I gave him one of the chews after our walk, he picked it up and threw it across the terrace before running over to it, picking it up, and throwing it again. He did that several times, until I decided I needed to get my camera so I could record his craziness on (digital) film. Tony and I got a good laugh because as soon as I got the camera and switched the setting to video, Rudy decided it was time to settle down and start chewing in earnest.
Rudy made short work of both rawhide chews that night. I had always been leery of giving the kids rawhide because I'd heard that it can get stuck in their intestines, or something. But Tony looked online and found that it's generally safe, especially if you take it away once it's been devoured down to small bits. On Saturday, I took Rudy over to Beasty Feast to get a couple more rawhide chews. He went to town on both of them for a while before I gave Emme one to see what she would do. She had fun chewing on it too, even though it was pretty big for her little mouth.
Two days after my birthday, on the 15th, I took into work a container of my Spearmint Stracciatella Ice Cream for Jeff's birthday. A sweet young woman who works for the in-house catering company stored it in a freezer for me until we were ready to eat it that afternoon.
Tony and I had made plans on Saturday, which would be yesterday, to meet Hal and Stacy to catch the ferry to Governors Island. Their friends Bernadette and Matt were also going to go to GI to catch the Mark di Suvero exhibit. And I wanted us all to play the miniature golf course, like the 'phews and I did two years ago. This year, the theme is "Bugs and Features."
I got a pretty early start on my farmers market–ing that morning. I was ready to head back home when I noticed Tony had sent me a text saying that Emme had had a seizure. "I'm with her on the couch," he added. "She looks better."
Emme had had a rough night the night before. She had been making distressed-sounding noises and had woken Tony up a few times. I slept through it all.
My girl hasn't been top-notch lately. She's been a bit shaky at times. And she's often unable to hold herself upright for very long. And she sometimes scratches aggressively at the floor while lying on her side.
My vet let us bring her in. At Tony's urging, I had made an appointment to take her to the vet on Sunday morning to see if he could explain why she was acting strangely, but the seizure brought a sense of urgency, of course.
The vet said seizures can be caused by many things and often don't recur. He said that all of Emme's recent symptoms could have been lead-ins to the seizure itself. He listened to her heart and said she had a pronounced murmur, and because he said seizures can be attributed to cardiac-related issues, I've convinced myself that that's the most likely explanation. I told him that Emme's cousin, my dear Cody, had had a seizure that resulted from a brain tumor that had spread throughout his body. But the doc said he doubted Emme had a brain tumor because she seemed too alert.
I'm going to call the office tomorrow to see what the blood test results show. I've been telling myself that I'll probably have to have my sweet little girl put down next month, after a couple of particularly busy weeks at work are done. Tony said old dogs can rally and get past difficult times, but I'm not optimistic about Emme's prognosis. And she's had some accidents in the apartment, both No. 1 and No. 2, and I always had told myself that if she lost control of her bowels and bladder, I'd "put her to sleep." She's had 16 years, which is more than most dogs get.
Tony tells me I'll make the right decision when the time comes. I only know that I was so thrilled to be able to bring her home yesterday from the vet's office. I want my girl around a little longer, at least.
When I'd called Hal to tell him that Tony and I wouldn't be able to meet them for the GI trip, I'd said I hoped we'd be able to get together for dinner at least. And we did. Hal, Stacy, Bernadette, and Matt came over about 5 o'clock to see the apartment and to give Emme some loving. And Rudy too. I had meant to take some pictures of my friends and their friends out on the terrace, but I totally fell down on the job. After I showed them around the apartment, I realized I had only a short amount of time to take the dogs out for a bathroom break before we needed to head over to Gobo to meet up with Tony (who'd gone into the office for a little while) for our 6 o'clock reservation. Thankfully, Stacy posted this adorable picture Hal took of her with Rudy on Facebook, and I grabbed it to post here:
We all enjoyed our meals at Gobo. Neither Tony nor I have ever had a dish there that wasn't worthwhile. For my entree, I got the Swiss Chard and Sun-Dried Tomato Rice Lasagna, and it was terrific. And for dessert, I got the Mango, Coconut, and Tapioca Pudding, which really hit the spot, after a mixed bag of a birthday week.