Friends, friends, friends. I am so sorry that I have not kept you up to date. Not only have I never finished telling you about my winter vacation — now some four months ago — but I haven’t told you the harrowing tales that have followed.
First, the months of March and April were absolutely slammed. As we prepared to move, we found ourselves having to spend far more money than we thought. What we believed to be a “done deal” in terms of our new home, was still under negotiation. We ended up paying more (albeit, not a lot more) in rent and ended up moving in to a house that had many unforeseen problems.
The first issue involved the gas. Being in the city center, the house had originally had natural gas, which we were able to contract for and paid for the set up and installation. When they came to install the meter, however, they discovered that no natural gas was running through the pipes. And here I was thinking I had done such a great job getting everything arranged!
The upshot was that we had to buy a Liquid Propane tank and totally redo the existing gas lines to accommodate this hiccup. Of course, all of our new appliance scheduled to be delivered were ordered with natural gas hook-ups.
Changing that wasn’t so bad. Just an annoyance, really.
The next glitch came when we removed our air conditioner from our old house. The hole it left behind was enormous! Of course, this was on the Friday we were expecting to move out. The following day the landlords were coming to get the keys and do an inspection. Shit!
Thankfully, our realtor, Mauricio, was a great help. I texted him and he not only found someone to fix the hole, he came with the person and oversaw that it was done well and completely.
So, Saturday morning, we packed up the last of our stuff and headed over to the new house, which, at that time, still had no gas, among other things. Our landlord had promised the house would be “clean” when we moved in. Well, it was clean, if you are talking about the floors and freshly painted walls. But the old, nasty fixtures in the bathroom and the kitchen were anything but. They were old and nasty, to say the least.
Lyn and I had prepared ourselves for this possibility, as our prior landlords were very hands-off as well. If something broke, we fixed it. Their entire role was to collect the rent. Yet, despite our foresight, we had hoped our new landlords would at least replace the kitchen and bathroom sinks. After all, we had requested it earlier in our negotiations and were told “don’t worry.”
Once we had the gas hooked up, we found out that the water heater did not work. So, off we went to Home Depot to buy a new one, one of those fancy instant ones, which we arranged with the plumber to install later that week. (More about that later.)
The first couple of days were very much like camping — you didn’t really want to use the facilities, but it was all there was. Even before the move, the dogs were getting agitated. They can always sense when things are about to change. For them, the change was much more dramatic — from a suburban setting with lots of green spaces to an urban brick jungle. Considering all that we were struggling to accomplish, we didn’t pay enough attention to getting them acclimated. A big mistake, which became very evident on our first day back to work.
Monday, both of us when to our prospective jobs. When I got back at 7:30 that evening, the plumber was at the house. He had come to complete some repairs (we didn’t know he was coming or that he had a key). That part was fine with me, until he told me that he accidentally let Izzy out. Even then I didn’t grasp the whole picture. Not only had he let Izzy out, but he was unable to get her back and she had been gone by that time for about 2 hours.
You can imagine my horror. I was dumbstruck. I immediately grabbed Sophie and started walking the streets calling for her and asking everyone I saw. Of course, the plumber felt terrible and accompanied me to look for her, which was helpful given my Spanish language skills.
The plumber and I searched for hours to no avail. When Lyn got home, he and I searched some more, but we couldn’t find her. It was horrible.
The next week was filled with tears and anxiety. We did everything possible to find Izzy. All of my students looked for her, posted her picture on their websites, encouraged their friends to do the same, and sent me pictures of every possible found dog they came across. I put up posters around town, as well as following up on every possible siting. Every day that I didn’t see her little body dead in the road gave me hope, although it was dwindling.
After a week, I really didn’t think we’d ever see her again.
Miracles do happen.
But then… a Miracle! Apparently, Izzy was so desperate — sick, hungry, injured — that she approached a woman in a parking lot who spotted her collar and tag and took her in, knowing that someone, somewhere must be looking for her.
It didn’t take long for the message and photo to reach me. It was late at night, though, and we weren’t able to pick her up until the following day.
Poor Izzy! When I picked her up, she was clearly very ill, listless and depressed. Lyn and I took her immediately to the vet, where they kept her for 5 or 6 hours to rehydrate her, take x-rays and blood, and start her on antibiotics. By the time we got her home that night, the poor thing was exhausted. Those who know her, know that she doesn’t like riding in the car. She hates it so much that she literally screams at the top of her lungs with her small-dog high-pitched whiny voice. On this day, however, there was not a peep out of her. She just curled up in the seat and went to sleep.
The following week was difficult, but she eventually began to rebound. That’s when other problems showed up. For example she had worn her toe pads down till they were bloody. She also had an enormous deep hole on her neck. And, when the lab work came back, her liver enzymes were through the roof! The vet suspected her liver might never improve. Thankfully, though, Izzy is one tough little girl and she has totally recovered. Until, that is, we realized she was limping still. Turns out, after yet another vet visit, that she has a broken toe. The poor child has been house bound for weeks except for visits to the vet. She has no interest in going anywhere near the front door, thank goodness, but it would be nice to get her outside so she can have a good sniff around.