Vegetarian Finger Painter Mummy (and other things my dogs call me)


155Here I am- blogging.

It kind of feels like writing in my journal but this won’t get the juicy bits that ‘dear Diary’ gets. This will, however, deliver the gist of what goes on in my sometimes-silly mind.

Much of what goes on in there is based on my early years as a competitive figure skater. YOU go through puberty in spandex and see what it does to you.

Some of what goes on in there is based on an overactive imagination- one that led me to write mystery novels and plays in grade 3 (the play even had a choreographed disco-dance section in the middle- do the Hustle!), spend most of my non-classroom time on stage at school and produce newspapers for my classmates in professional school.

Which is also what frames my thoughts- I am a practicing veterinarian in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. I started my own clinic a few years ago and it thrived, briefly. I just closed it for various reasons (many of which will come out in my blogs, I’m sure) and that certainly colors my world.

A large part of what will find its way through my fingers & keyboard onto the blog is courtesy of my animal companions. I’m with them more than anyone as my devoted hubby lives and works in North Dakota for 2 weeks of every month. Then he’s here for the next 2 weeks. It sucks but it pays the bills and allows us our lovely home here. Which is in the middle of nowhere, Montana.

These animals are insane. They run this house. I’m merely their care-taker but at times I do believe they love me. Somehow they have all developed personalities, voices, issues…. some are veterinary issues (Boomer, the cat, is on meds for her thyroid and I worry about her renal disease; Casey, the lab, has unilateral laryngeal paralysis on top of his aging bionic body; Loki, my grand-step-dog, is blind with mature cataracts- the silver eyes compliment her harelip quite nicely; Frankie, the paint horse, who tore ‘something’ in his chest last summer and was 3 legged lame for awhile; Cadbury, the guinea pig, has one eye thanks to Calypso, the ferret, who somehow recovered from a fractured pelvis) and some are more mental health issues (Cooper, the cat, chattering away behind my chair, is on the far side of a mental health crisis after losing the feline love of her life, Oscar, back in January; we also have a Phantom Piddler among the feline population that didn’t cease when we lost poor Oscar- you can imagine what damage a PP’s pee pee does to a house & the relationships within it). I could go on but that’s what the blog is for.

I realized, in December, when I was losing dear Oscar, a grey and white fuzzball who’d been a well-loved Fyfe for 18 years, that I was a bad patient. Maybe a good veterinarian, but a bad patient. You have to understand, some people would come to visit us just to hang out with Oscar. He was that kind of a cat/spirit.

I didn’t want him to go. I didn’t want to rub his back one final time and say one last “I love you”. I didn’t want to wake up in a house without Oscar. I didn’t want to look in the various cat beds where he would lay with any combination of his 3 girlfriends, knowing he wouldn’t be there. I didn’t know if I would be able to hold his paw and inject what I had to while holding it together for his sake. I wanted to blog about the feelings I had as his ‘Mummy’ and his doctor but I wasn’t strong enough to do it then. I think there is a place for these thoughts, though. So here I am.

I’ll share my love of animals and red wine & my new found enjoyment of the game of golf. We would have taken this game up years ago had I known there was so much accessorizing involved! I also love makeup and sparkly things. And figure skating. And my husband, who is just as bad at bringing more animals into the house as I am.

Incidentally, it was our springer spaniel, Cleopatra, with her southern drawl and slight lisp, sharing outrageous stories of her supposed past (who can verify them- she was a stray) who dubbed me the vegetarian finger painter. Which is what the new ferret, Luigi, assumed I was. Until he saw me cook. He was confused but he’s young and the most recent addition so lots of things confuse him right now.

Feel free to share my tales- I’m hoping some of my veterinary insight will be helpful in situations you all may face from time to time. And ask anything about the world of figure skating. I’m still connected. I just don’t do much spandex anymore.


11 thoughts on “Vegetarian Finger Painter Mummy (and other things my dogs call me)

  1. Wendy

    Love your blog intro and look fwd to your colorful stories memories and funny antedotes with the animals..too bad we”‘re not close enough for a game of golf….maybe we’ll be able to work in a foursome some hot sunny day. Steve and I miss you :)….W

    • Thanks, Wendy! Didn’t know you guys were into golf. It wasn’t a part of my vocabulary until Sept, when Lynn and Miki P. joined us in a fund raiser here. Officially hooked!

  2. Okay, Tanya, second try at leaving a comment. This time I’ve activated my Google+ account and hope it makes all the difference. Congratulations on having your own blog. I’ve been blogging since 2011 and, although for the most part, it’s primarily about crafting, it is exciting to see the numbers of followers creep up and to realize you have an audience. I think you’re a natural. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    BTW I know that way back when, on an episode of “All Creatures Great and Small”, they were able to operate on a dog’s cataracts (the dog was nearly blind) and things worked out well. Is there any reason the same couldn’t be done for Loki, Dr. Fyfe?

    • Thanks, Heidi. Loki has been seen by specialists and unfortunately, its her breed keeping her from having surgery. Boston Terriers love having complications after surgery, like glaucoma, which is very painful. Right now she isn’t in any pain and we just make sure we don’t move furniture around! 🙂

  3. Sandy Jameson

    I gread way for you to share, Tanya. I will have to follow- I miss the newletters:)
    Today you made me cry- some good Oscar memmories:)

  4. Oh my Oh my!! Its like hearing your voice in California. I could hear every silly critter in my head while you where writing about them. Great idea lady!!! Can’t wait to hear more and you forgot your sparkly makeup is organized by shades! Looking forward to reading more. Miss all of you four legged and not! Have to admit reading your thoughts on Oscar made me cry again. I am a silly sap.

  5. Linda Schmidt

    Tanya, you’re a great writer and your blog is a great idea for you – others should get the opportunity to hear your interesting and hilarious stories!
    But I just want to tell you how sorry I am about your dear Oscar – I had no idea that one of your kitties had passed away. I understand totally how you feel, once upon a time I was strictly a cat-lover, no dogs for me…but after my Tuffy, a huge gray-striped tabby, was so sick once again from feline urological disease (he had had several surgeries over the years for it – he had ball bearings inside of him for cryin’ out loud!)…I never wanted another cat, I loved him so much – he was a one of a kind special tuff cat…the kind that chases big dogs out of your yard, leaves you little bird and rabbit gifts on your doorstep, talks to you in different meows to communicate…it’s like they’re children, and most of all, they are our friends and companions. Hope I didn’t make you cry – I almost did, hearing about you and Oscar. Hope it’s a bit easier now for you…

  6. Tanya,
    Reading and enjoying your blog, not sure if I can keep all the animals straight but given time perhaps…. I miss you being our vet terribly, it is harder than you would think to find some one you trust and have a good relationship with. Plus finding one that trusts you back and realizes you are trying to take the best possible of your animals. I am ranting I know but … still miss you that way. I am reading your book outloud to my kids, we are all enjoying it.Kudos there. Never played golf before, don’t imagine the game is missing much not knowing You do have me curious though with pictures and all, are you still in Montana? Don’t know why you would not be except I thought your husband was in the Dakotas? I too have a blog but its not up at the moment, hopefully will get to it again this winter. Sorry about your freezer full of pets, I know a bit about all that. Keep writing and being happy.
    Kelly weaver

    • Hi, Kelly! Thanks so much for the sweet note. I miss my little veterinary world, too, and so many of the great clients. I will never forget your kids’ expressions looking through the microscope at the kitty ear mites! Great science class that day! I am in Seeley Lake (Kozy Korner) still. We love our home and the outdoor activities so much. Alistair continues to work 2 weeks in Bismarck, ND and then comes here for 2 weeks. When he is here now we completely enjoy our time together and do so many different things. I hope you get your blog up & running again; would love to read it. Hope to see you tomorrow in Missoula if you can make it. I will be at Fact & Fiction from 11:30 until 1pm!

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