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Tuesday, April 9th, 2013...9:47 PM

An appetite like a French transit worker.

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A couple of years ago, Pat and I were in Nice, France, staying in a great apartment we had rented in the heart of Old Town. For some odd reason, there seemed to be a parade going on through town–bands, music, people marching and singing and laughing. Huge crowds, and, oddly enough police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, and…taxis and busses (?) were all gathered–but off duty, and bearing signs that said “en greve.” It was like a party at two o’ clock in the afternoon on a Tuesday or some such.

No, it’s not a party. It’s a strike. That’s also a party. And a complaint. With a party. It’s very French.

As it turns out, it was a strike–this particular strike was for the transit workers. And also some types of teachers. And one other group, too, completely unrelated that I can’t recall now but was something non-sequitur seeming, like butchers or haberdashers or somesuch.  But it was all so very jovial and festive. Like we were all on a grand holiday.

Later, talking (stiltedly) with our apartment’s owner, he told us that “August, in France, that is the vacation month. September, that is the month where we have the strikes (en greve!). We want to do eating, sleeping, and fu*king. When they say ‘you cannot retire until 60′? That gets in the way of this! So we strike. Or some of us do. Some others will strike later. We have all month.”

The long and the short of it is, apparently, the French save up their grievances all year, and the have frequent, random airings of them in September–meaning someone is always on strike for some reason, and it’s hard to know who, or why, until, say…you can’t get home from Cannes or Monaco because the bus drivers stopped working in the middle of the day to go on parade and play the maracas in protest and so you assume “Oh, today is clearly the transit workers’ (and middle-school geography teachers…and haberdashers) day to be EN GREVE!.”

Pat channels his inner haberdasher.

So, why am I telling you this? Basically, to set up the very long-winded metaphor which is this: Sampson has an appetite like a French transit worker (or milliner cum educator). You never know when or why he’ll stop eating, but you can count on it being frequent and frustrating.

We stopped with the PT on Friday, as you’ll recall. And while he seems to be more inclined to move…his appetite was still off. He had a few slurps of ice cream Friday night. Some Fancy Feast, but only at random times, and only certain flavors. And wanted nothing to do with hamburger, or chicken, or potatoes. Aside from taking a few bites, and then throwing them up later, in some place I was sure to step in them while making my way down the steps at o’ dark thirty in the morning.

Of course, the PT thinks it’s phantom limb pain and wants to get us on Gabepentin. And our regular vet thinks…nothing, b/c the cheeky monkey is doing a professional development workshop/mountain biking trip in Moab (<—why don’t I find workshops like that???). Eventually, I track down the other vet in the office, and she (like me) thinks NO on the Gabepentin. We decide it is a combo of sore legs, stress over the weather (Sam hates storms…and of course, it’s STILL WINTER STORMING HERE >:/), and stomach upset. So, she puts him on Sucralfate and gives him some prescription food to try.

Last night, he decided to eat some Fancy Feast and chicken (no on the expensive prescription crap, though). And seemed perkier. But then threw up in the middle of the night. This AM, he ate more fancy feast, some cheap canned dog food, and a bit of hamburger. And didn’t APPEAR to throw up (it may be hiding somewhere, though, lurking. He could have put it in the silverware drawer or something, so I squelch into it when I least expect it). And this evening, he ate one can of the scrip food, a Fancy Feast Spinach Florentiene (<—I won’t say what this looks like, but it’s obscene)., and some hamburger. And again, seems to be okay. But he’s been panting and restless…so I don’t know if it’s the storm or what. But at least he ate. And he’s going up and down and up and down and up and down the stairs, so I don’t think he’s hurting too bad.

Tomorrow, my vet’s giving me a call to see what’s up. We’re supposed to go to PT at 5, but I will reserve judgement on that until after I talk with the vet.

Ah, life with an exceptionally stubborn, slightly neurotic dog. He manages to find new ways to confound me, daily 😉



  • Awww you silly Sam, what’s up with the appetite thing? You look so darn good on the outside, I’m really curious to find out what’s bugging you on the inside. Please let us know what the experts tell you tomorrow OK?

    I love the analogy to the French transit workers strike, it’s very appropos.

  • Very nice story you dad is tellng on your behalf Sam. I know he’s worried though because you aren’t eating. You definitely could still be having some pain still and that zaps your energy as well as appetite. It AlSO sounds like the PT may be just a little much right now. Maybe your regular vet will suggest you rest a little more before you start back on PT. It is a major surgery—even though you at doing very, very well—especially mastering the “pee situation”,

    You are a very loved boy and you need to remain calm during those storms! You are a strong boy and continue to recover and feel better……..and you will, you’ll see!

    Sending you healing support and looking forward t more good reports on you!!

    Sally and Happy Hannah

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