Living in an Old People’s Home

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I feel like I'm living in an old people's home.

Beethoven

Beethoven is kid #3. He chose us rather than us choosing him.

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Four of our kids are on medication twice a day. We wrap the medication up in small strips of cheese so that we don't need to shove the medication down their throats and nobody gets defensive although the healthy guys do tend to look on despondently; "where's my treat?".

Him Him has mild arthritis in one of her front knees and gets anti-inflammatories twice a day.

Charlie has a skin ailment on his front left leg which he incessantly licks hence a secondary bacterial infection. He's now on antibiotics and something else (a blue tablet) twice a day to fight the infection from inside, in addition to cleaning with hibiscrub and the application of a cream to fight the infection from the outside.

Beethoven has a slight skin infection so he's on antibiotics twice a day and getting a medicated bath twice a week. In addition, he sprained a joint during a scuffle on the weekend and is on anti-inflammatories for a few days to keep the swelling and pain down.

And then there's Batty. A few weeks ago, we thought he had hip-dysplasia but the xrays didn't show it. We were referred to another vet on Peace Avenue who suspected Cauda Equina. The subsequent MRI seemed to show narrowing of the spinal tunnel but the analysis of the MRI by an overseas professional, and a further hands-on investigation of Batty's joints and muscles seemed to contradict this. We are once again left with the suspicion that he has Tying Up. To put our suspicions to rest once and for all, Batty was put under full anesthesia and samples were taken from several of his hind section muscles to be sent to a lab in Canada. He is now recovering from that ordeal, and getting pain relief tablets, anti-inflammatories and something else.

Batty

Batty is kid #4, rescued as a pup the size of my palm from the R.S.P.C.A. (now the S.P.C.A.) who were going to put him to sleep because he was so young that he would need to be hand-fed. Lucky for both of us, I just happened to be there when the Caucasian lady who had discovered him brought him in.

For a 750x500 version, click here.

I insist on being with our kids whenever they need to go under full anesthesia. I want them to be as comfortable as possible. 45 minutes before they go under, they are given a relaxant. Yesterday after getting the relaxant injection, Batty and I walked around the block at a very casual pace. Ten minutes later, we were in the car and Batty was totally out of it. I carried him into the vet's surgical area at 2.30pm and watched as they gave him the full anesthesia injection.

I hate watching them go under because it so closely resembles dying. It reminds me that one day, they will leave us and that's not something I want to dwell on. Nonetheless, I insist on being there whenever they need to be sedated.

Upon returning home yesterday, Batty cried as I tried to lift him out of the car. He was in too much pain. I had to sit down beside him for a few seconds and then coach him out of the car. Once on the ground, he was able to walk for a little but the pain of the biopsy cuts and the drowsy effect of the anesthesia was too much for him. As he stood there unable to move, I bent down, picked him up in my arms and brought him home. He's feeling better now but is still in pain. It will probably be a few days before the pain subsides. If we can find the source of his problem, the pain and cost will be worth it.

Batty's muscle biopsy reports should be available in two weeks. Hopefully, they'll find something, and hopefully, it'll be something treatable. Today, the Typing Up problem evident in horses and dogs is not well understood and no one knows how to treat it, only how to lessen it's affects on the animal.

Batty loves to run. I hope his problem is treatable.

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10 Responses to “Living in an Old People’s Home”
  1. Julie says:

    Hello Greg, I hope everything turns out ok for Batty and that he forgets the terrible ordeal of the little op that he had soon. Both kids on the pix are very nice looking under your care, they are so lucky to be living under your roof.

    Hey Greg, I noticed on the 9.30 night TVB programme that you were playing a kidnapperr. I found it hilarious as I don't think I've ever seen you playing baddies before, always the diplomats/gwai lo police heads/office workers..... so, it was nice to see the wild side of you for a change! But if you asked me whether your role was convincing enough.... ah, well, I'm not sure, particularly because I've been reading you blog for so long and you seem such a nice guy....... hee hee

    All the best!

  2. 河國榮 says:

    hi Julie.

    our kids are lucky, and so are we. it's wonderful to have them here.

    thank you for the comment about the kidnapper. I'll have to work harder on looking meaner ;-)

  3. Alison says:

    Dear Greg, I still admire ur respect and unconditional love to animals. I agree with Julie, ur kids are very fortunate to have u and Bonnie. Hope there will be more and more people like u. Yes, I saw the part where u acted as a kidnapper on the TVB drama too. (I don't normally watch TVB's drama...) It is definitely a very different role than the ones u played before. I think I might have missed part of the story and cldn't understand the bad brother wld want to collaborate with u in the first place. My friend also commented that who one earth wld line up with a gwei lo as the key contact person who can be easily recognized with his accent?! Agree, not very convincing. Do u know y they have chosen u in that role? Anyways, looking fwd to seeing u in live shows/plays soon! :-)

  4. cathryn says:

    Hi Greg,
    Hi and how are you; as well as how are the kids? I wonder how you manage ten kids? I have two and there is enough works; but they are adorable. Nice to read...again...

  5. Gordon says:

    I love animals. I have 4 baby lobsters, a cat and a turtle.

  6. yinyin says:

    HEY,Julie could u tel me wat show was it? Currently our tv is still showin the ultimate crime fighter. Its so sad to read this blog entry. i have a dog too, and she is getting older and older each day. Luckily she is still in good condition now, but after i read this entry i sort of started to get anxious. I guess one thing good about pet esp dog they r like your friends , and an inevitable member of the family. N unfortunately their life span is alot lesser den us, so sooner or latter we have to face its leaving. N dats wat i really dont want to c.
    Anyway, hehe it must cost HEAPS to keep does doggies in healthy condition. but once u c their happy face its all worth it. Last time our dog stupidly n its our mistake as wel, she ate some rat poison. She felt so sick den we had to take her to the vet n she stay there for like 3days.But den she became all happy again! ^_^ Best WIshes for ur Doggies~

  7. Furkids in Hong Kong says:

    It's our first time visiting and commenting on your blog. Hope that's ok!

    I can totally feel your anxiety and stress over the health of your kids. My wife and I can hardly sleep at night whenever our kids are ill, no matter how trivial the illness is!

    We will think of them and hope for their speedy recovery. Wishing you and your family an early Happy X'mas.

    Take care!

  8. sapphire says:

    Glad to see your posting and the doggies again. I miss 'Him Him', the Harsh puppy.
    I believe your kids are some of the luckiest ones in the world b/c they have such a great owner like you.

    Take care!

  9. 3rd time visitor says:

    The other day I saw a dog following its' owner who went out into the sea for a swim. The dog wanted to follow but was afraid of the sea. So it just dipped its' four legs into the shallow part of the sea and just sat there, looking forlorn and cute at the same time.

  10. Belinda says:

    You are doing good, Support you all the time.

    one of your fans ^_^