Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mystery Dog

Yesterday was a busy day. I sorted out a persistent problem with our cable television, and I took Ruby to her (and our) first vet appointment in the UK.

We get our TV from Sky, and we've had problems with the picture and sound breaking up -- particularly on certain channels. There's nothing more maddening than looking forward to a show and then trying to watch it, live or recorded, only to have the picture break into a billion pixels and the sound stutter.

At Sky's suggestion, we'd already tried one fix that didn't work. Yesterday I contacted Sky and chatted online with one of their service reps, and we tried a few more solutions, each increasingly drastic. Finally he had me reinstall all the software in the cable box. This erased all our recorded shows (but a lot of them were unwatchable anyway, so I didn't care!) but seems to have solved the problem. We're keeping our fingers crossed.

Yesterday afternoon, Ruby and I walked to the vet, about three blocks away. I was a little worried that even the walk would be too much for her, but she handled it with aplomb. The vet is very puzzled by her condition -- the huge accumulation of abdominal fluid paired with her relatively good overall health and demeanor. She said Ruby doesn't behave like a dog in heart failure, and that her heart sounds good. She wants to see the vet records from New Jersey, which I'm now trying to obtain. (Why didn't I think to bring them when we moved?) She said Ruby is a very interesting, mysterious case, and advanced various treatment possibilities -- even surgery, which sounds like a terrible idea to me.

For now we've got Ruby on diuretics to reduce the fluid and antibiotics for a persistent sore on her hip. We've got a followup appointment on Friday, but I'm going to postpone it unless I can get the records from New Jersey. The vet needs to see those before we do anything else.

(Photo: An alley in the St. James Park area near Pall Mall, Oct. 6.)


  1. Watching TV used to be so much simpler when we just adjusted the rabbit ears!

    I guess that's potentially good news for Ruby. Who knows? It might be a curable condition and she might live to a riper old age. Good idea to get the records. Can they just fax them to you or must you use snail mail?

  2. It's wonderful that you're getting a new perspective on Ruby's condition, though I agree, surgery sounds kind of drastic!

    Love the alien eyes.

  3. Ruby doesn't seem to be suffering, which is good and I'm glad you're approaching any surgery with caution. As to television, I tried the coupon from the government which was supposed to convert analog signals to digital and it never worked in this flat no matter what I tried and how many engineers I spoke with about the reception. That was when I got rid of the box and television entirely. I've never looked back. Hopefully, your problems are more easily corrected.