We’re home. Rolled into the garage late last evening, did light grocery shopping, had dinner, went to bed. Kansas is beautiful in fall, btw, and I’d have liked to have more time to spend poking around Kansas City (both sides) and Wichita. Oklahoma is just as ugly as ever, and apparently no one ever has to pee there, because of the seven rest stops we passed only ONE had a bathroom.

We picked up the dogs about ninety minutes ago. Miss Cleo behaved well, and Zorro was in a tizzy, but the tech said, “Don’t leave, the vet needs to talk to you.” I had a moment of panic, wondering if Miss Cleo had bitten someone’s hand off (literally), and then they said, “About Zorro…” and my brain went to mush.

For those of you who aren’t well versed in MissMeliss-iana, Zorro Dog is an approximately 10-year-old chihuahua mix we adopted as a stray in 1998. He went through several years of ideopathic epilepsy, with cluster seizures (grand mal seizures that would come and go many many times over a 24-hour period) at the worst of it. Many dogs are put down for this. Others are doomed to a life of phenobarbitol dependence. We opted for a combination of Western and Eastern practices, and used pheno as well as accupuncture and a B.A.R.F (biologically appropriate raw foods) diet, and he’s been seizure-free for more than four years now.

In spite of that, he’s the most laid back dog ever – he went through everything the vet through at him, and just whined a little – but in the process we’ve bonded deeply, and he’s my special boy dog.

“He has a stage three heart murmur,” the vet said. “On a scale of six.” She went on to explain that at stage three it may be treatable with heart meds but he has to have a cardiac/senior dog workup, and that it could be serious, as a dog who develops a murmur can have actual heart disease. I’ve asked some vet-friends and trainer-friends for more info, so that I’ll be more prepared when we go to that appointment, but in the meantime, I’m pretty worried.

Still, it’s good to be home, with the dogs curled next to me, and a shower with real water pressure and water that isn’t rusty, or so hard that my hands turn white from the minerals.

And I have tons of IDEAS to write about.