Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ziggy the Cardigan Corgi IVDD: Week 16 - The Great Scootini

Ziggy has a new nickname at house - The Great Scootini - or Scootini - or Scoots.

No, Ziggy isn't walking yet.  We're well into week 16 after surgery, and he's still scooting himself around.  He's getting quite good at scooting, and can move surprisingly quickly.  Thus, the nickname...  (I apologize to Pat Conroy for co-opting his book title.  I love his books, and calling Ziggy the Great Scootini makes me smile.)

So what's been happening w/ Z since I posted a month ago?
  • He spent another week at ISU.  They were not as happy with his progress as they had been on previous visits.  Sigh.
  • He continues to get acupuncture nearly every week.  This really seems to help him, and we notice a good deal of progress after the sessions.
  • He has been getting a bit of chiro work, too.  NOT anywhere near the area that was injured - but on the pelvis and neck.  These are out of whack thanks to all of the scooting.
  • We continue with daily physical therapy (same exercises) and weekly swimming in the tub downstairs.
  • It has been slower going, but progress continues along.
  • He is now trying to push himself up on his hind legs - and even succeeds from time to time!  He doesn't have the strength or balance to stand, but at least he's trying!
  • He is able to take some steps with his hind legs in his weekly sessions w/ the rehab vet who does his acupuncture.  These are very careful steps - controlled in the front by me and supported gently behind by the vet.
We have ordered Ziggy a set of wheels.  Initially we were advised not to do this by the vets (surgical & rehab).  While at ISU, however, they put him in a cart from time to time to just cruise around the vet school.  This helps with his attitude by giving him some freedom.

On the last visit the noticed something interesting.  While he started to go fast in the cart, he started to drive with his hind legs - using them like he uses them in the treadmill.  Here's a video they took:

This led the ISU rehab woman to recommend we get a cart for Ziggy and use it 10-15 minutes a day as part of his rehab.  Ideally this will help him remember how to use his legs properly, and will help him build muscle.  She also suggests we take him on walks with the other dogs (Maggie only, I think to minimize the mayhem) to give him some "competition" and encourage him to walk.  

I'll let you know how it goes...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Site prep begins

After the house was gone, the excavation contractor wasted no time in getting started.  Two days after the fire, they demolished the remaining structure.

They also did me a favor (for a few bucks extra) - and took out my nemesis the juniper bushes.  You might remember from a previous post that I spent hours trying to hack my way through overgrown junipers in front of the house.  I finally gave up, and the bushes got the better of me.  Since the contractor had an excavator on site, he tore up the bushes (as well as a spinney of small locust trees), threw them into rubble of the house, and burned them along with the still-unburned decks.

The junipers.  Goodbye bushes.


They're gone!  Still a bit of brush and debris to clear, but no junipers!
Note the large rhododendron in the distance -- the junipers were trying to choke it out.
But now it's free!

This picture makes me feel good.  Burn, junipers, burn!

And then they demolished the foundation and the chimney.

And finally all of the debris was hauled away.

Next it was on to permitting so work can start in earnest.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bye Bye House Part 2: Burnin' Down the House

In my last post, I shared the beginning of the house burn day.  After all of the fire departments went through their practice stations, the order was given to let the fire go.  This is when things got really exciting! 

 The fire first overtook the front room.  Easy to see why they wanted the windows boarded up.

Then the front window (which wasn't boarded) blew out, and the boards started to come down on the other windows.

Then the fire started to spread down the hall to other rooms. 
Note the fire coming out of the roof vents...

A picture of the front of the house - fire fighters looking on. 

Within a frighteningly short time the front room was gone.

This cracked me up. 
Many of the fire fighters posed for pictures in front of the house.
I guess it's the only time they can be proud that a house is burning to the ground on their watch!

One of the fire fighters rescued the smoke detector for us. Funny.

The last to go was the carport. 
All of the pallets came in handy to build enough of a fire to take it down.

Once the carport was down, all of the fire fighters left.
The house was still burning, but due to the wet ground they weren't worried.
They promised to come by every hour or two to make sure everything was ok.

Since they weren't worried enough to stay, we decided to follow their lead and go to lunch.


Here's a view from the front of the property.
Looking at the smoking pile of rubble where the house used to be.


When we returned from lunch the house was still burning.

Note the blasted, melted grass stuck into the ground.
A testament to the power of the fire.

After watching the fire for a while longer, we decided to call it a day.

When we returned the next day, the fire was out, but one of the decks was still smoldering.
This deck was attached to the house, but was so wet from all of the rain that it never really burned.
Gotta love the Pacific NW.

Here's how the rest of the house looked the day after.
This is the same side/room that was in the first picture.
Only the chimney remained.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bye Bye House Part 1: Train the Fire Academy Graduates

When we last chatted about Wagmore, The Husband and I were working with the local fire district to demolish the old house on the property.  I promised photos, and I know I've been quite remiss in delivering on that promise.  But here - a mere 2 months after the burn date - are some of the promised pictures.  I've got lots of pics, so I've broken them up into 2 blog posts.

Today we'll start at the beginning.

The day before the burn.

The fire dept. brought in pallets and mattresses so the carport would burn.  The also added junk to various rooms.  We found some junk in the rafters of barn, and added it the back room (the fire dept said this was ok, and encouraged it, even) - much easier than hauling it to the landfill!

We had to board up the windows so the fire fighters could better control the burn.  
You'll see why this is important in some later photos.

The day of the burn.

We arrived about 1 hour after the fire departments.
The house was smoldering and the driveway was FULL of fire trucks.

A total of six local fire departments participated.
This was a training exercise for recent graduates of the academy.
This was required training so the graduates could become fully certified to fight real (not planned) fires.

Fire fighters everywhere!
At this station they were doing something in the family room (not sure what) and practicing using the fire hose.  In about 2 minutes I had to move from this spot or get blasted with water.

In the back bedroom they worked on putting out a fire in a pile of stuff (technical term).
All the junk we hauled in from the barn came in handy!

The fire chief told me to get closer (standing on the little deck you see in the above pic) so that I could really see the action.
The fact that they let me get so close made me realize how well planned all of this was.
Either that or they figured if I was crazy enough to get so close I'd get what I deserve...

They cut holes in the roof.

They cut holes in the side of the house.
I asked the fire chief what they were doing (he was very willing to share what was happening).
Apparently this is to save someone if they're trapped.

Over the course of the morning, each of the six departments rotated through each of the 6 (or was it 7?) stations - working on specific scenarios.  I found the whole thing fascinating (which I did not expect) and it made me very impressed with the skill, talent, and science (e.g., machines to measure the temperature of the burn, understanding of  how air flow will impact the burn) involved with fighting fires.  It was very cool!

Well, it was very cool until it wasn't very cool (literally) - when they let the whole house burn.  But that's in the next post...

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