Wednesday, May 27, 2009

...And a sweet Shih Tzu Puppy that Loves you above all else

Day 3 since Fredi's operation and she's definitely starting to feel better. She still seems to have some trouble getting comfortable if she's lying down, but she's walking around more and Shelley's determined to discontinue hand feeding her (she's getting spoiled). We were told to leave the prevent-chew-collar on for 7 days and it will be a red letter day for poor Fredi when it comes off as it's really annoying. She appreciates us scratching her neck these days with a sensual pleasure. Having had a few casts, on you've got to understand the itch factor when you can't get at something doubles and then triples. Ever see people scratching an arm with a cast on it with a knitting needle or a ruler? We were told to feed her the pain pills for 4 days, but have determined to try her without them tomorrow. She gets so groggy, that in itself is probably feeding her invalidism.

It was a perfect Cuenca day and we took Fredi out for her first real walk since the operation. We've all been more or less cooped up in the apartment and were very happy to be out and about. Shelley told Brian Fredi must have been going through smell withdrawal. We only did about half of our usual walk, but Fredi trotted along like a trooper and we were forced to remove 3 tissues from her mouth. The sun is shining, there are clouds in the sky but they're big, white fluffy ones. There's a gentle breeze to take the edge off and all's right with the world. We've invited people over for dinner this evening, and Fredi's just about her old self, except for the pink prevent-chew collar.

Two couples came for dinner, one set from Canada, one from the U.S. We had a special semi-low cal meal (lomo fino, salad & fruit for dessert). Semi-low cal because there was bread for those not on a diet and carmel chocolate squares to go with the dessert if one was so inclined. Brian did up a mushroom/wine dish to go with the lomo fino (cheating on a diet theme) using a recipe he got from the net and it was wonderful too. We talked about the frustration dealing with the Ecuadorian banking system, different things that are hard to obtain in the grocery store here, possible trips and past trips to the Galapagos and the size and variety of beetles and spiders one can see from time to time. It was a pleasant evening. Everyone was very solicitous of Fredi. When the time came that Shelley kicked everyone out (as she's wont to do) we Spanish hugged and it all felt pretty good.

Founded in 1557, Cuenca is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities of Ecuador. It's in a valley surrounded by low hills and crossed by 4 rivers. The city maintains historical colonial buildings and architecture and has been a UNESCO site since 1999. After living here for some time you forget (as we do) just how wonderful the surroundings & architecture is. Cobble streets become a norm and colonial architecture not something out of a magazine but just part of your day to day life. We came from one of the most beautiful cities in the world (Vancouver, British Columbia) and ended up in smaller piece of paradise.

The pictures on this blog of the bugs were taken by our Canadian friend. Cuenca is not a "buggy" place. We've been told that in certain areas there are mosquitoes but personally haven't seen any. From time to time you come across these huge beetles and they're very impressive the first few times you see them. They have pincers that are best stayed away from. Our Canadian friend lives in a house towards the top of a hill and this may explain why they see more bugs than we do. On the coast, there are mosquitos & bugs (especially at night) and of course in the jungle there are bugs and snakes. The worst we have to contend with in our apartment are the occasional small spiders. When we had a cat in Vancouver we'd sic her on spiders and she'd eat them up; Fredi doesn't seem to have the same instinct.

We're gradually introducing Fredi to her walks, taking longer ones each day. We took her for a free walk to her second favourite place in the whole world and she gamboled and frolicked almost like she didn't have a pink-prevent-chew-collar on and a 2 1/2 inch scar on her belly. She's still not eating well, but we figure that'll change once the collar is removed. After her free walk, she really looked like she needed a nap, however. She's getting there though.

It's a joke, "I've had decades that haven't gone well." It was read or heard somewhere else; not an original thought, but Shelley said it to one our guests the other night. Both Brian & Shelley can attest to the truth of it in the broad sense; most can. The point being that it does end or at least there are breaks... It doesn't seem like it; when the kids are driving you crazy & the bills are stacking up & health issues are weighing you down & job contentions are keeping you awake at night...then one day, you find yourself in Ecuador ~ the sun almost always shines, your bills are paid, you've got a couple of dollars in the bank & a sweet Shih Tzu puppy that loves you above all else.

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