Wednesday, May 27, 2009

two slices of meatloaf

It is a bad fighter who telegraphs his punches.

It is a worse writer who telegraphs his punch lines.

But Tuesday was truly a Meatloaf type of day. You know: "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad."

Theresa of
¿What do I do all day? set a benchmark for expatriates in Mexico. In "Tempting Fate by attempting too much in one day...," she set out to accomplish three major projects in one day.

We, dear friends who we are, counseled caution. Try too many, and you will fail at all.

But, she showed us all up. In one day, she did all three.

I knew, on Tuesday, I could not best her, not even tie her. After all, I only had two tasks. But I set out with the same optimism.

I arrived at the Immigration office in Manzanillo right at 9. When I walked inside, I took #3; they were serving #1.

I have learned enough when taking on one of these tasks to bring reading material and refreshments. Just as I was ready to crack my book -- and the top of my water bottle -- two windows opened. It was 9:05, and a live person was talking with me.

I handed over my temporary FM3, and the woman behind the window disappeared. I could see her occasionally helping the two other clerks with copies.

I stood there patiently expecting to hear that I would need to bring a note from my First Grade teacher before my FM3 could be registered.

Instead, around 9:17, she handed me an official-looking document, and asked me to sign it. I did. She then gave me my FM3 booklet and reminded me to return in just under a year to renew my visa.

In less than 20 minutes, I was done. I was stunned.

If I had it to do over, I think I would still go through the initial process in the States. There was something comforting when I crossed the border knowing that I was entering on something other than a tourist card.

It is true that I had to do almost everything twice -- once in Portland, and then in Manzanillo, with the exception that Manzanillo did not ask for a police clearance letter nor did Manzanillo need to re-verify my income.

The income verification issues will arise next year when I will undoubtedly not have whatever records I will need to show that I am not on the verge of becoming a ward of the state. But, I will most likely be living in a different part of Mexico then.

Pushing my luck, I decided to slip in an additional task. I have not been getting my magazines at the Melaque address -- even though I changed my subscriptions address over a month ago.

Because they are about an $800 investment, I decided to get a mailbox at Mailboxes, Etc. I had visited the office twice. So, I knew what I needed: money and a piece of identification. Being satisfied with what I gave him, the fellow at the store set me up with a mailbox. My magazines should now be heading this way -- very soon.

Two tasks successfully completed -- even though one was an improvisation.

The next step was to talk with the veterinarian about Jiggs's tumor, and to take Jiggs home.

I picked up the sainted
New Beginnings in Manzanillo. She had already seen Jiggs, and was impressed with his haircut (it made him look younger, she said) and his ability to get around.

My first impression was not as sanguine. To me, he looked what he is: a tired, old dog -- a dog that I thoroughly love. But I will leave the conclusions to you.

His Mexico buzz cut is very short, and shows all of his physical flaws. But it is certainly much cooler than his full Oregon coat.

The veterinarian carefully went through each of the steps he took to bring Jiggs's fever down. He is now taking Jiggs off cortisone and his thyroid medicine.

He asked if he could keep Jiggs for two more nights -- in an attempt to reduce the fat around the hard tumor on Jiggs's abdomen. He will then take three x-rays on Thursday morning. I will consult with the veterinarian on Thursday afternoon.

No matter what course of treatment we decide on, I will bring Jiggs home on Thursday. He is obviously enjoying his stay with the veterinarian and his family. He even fell asleep with a cockatiel between his paws -- the dog who has historically disliked birds in his yard.

When I left, he made no effort to come with me. That did not hurt my feelings because it proved he feels comfortable staying at the clinic.

So, there it is. Two out of three. And it ain't bad.

Because the third task will soon be complete.

And I ain't no Meatloaf.


Calypso said...

Good job(s) hombre! You might want to get a CURP card and a INAPAM card. There are some good things to getting old ;-)

What are they?

Mic said...

What a GREAT picture!! He may not look quite as pretty (he had such beautiful long red hair) but he looks very much more comfortable. I'm so glad you gave him the MX cut. Wearing a fur coat in that heat would just be too much. Maybe in time, when he becomes acclimatized to the temps, he will be able to wear more hair in the winter months.

But it sure is good to hear he is feeling so much better and will be home with you on Thursday.

Thumbs Up to you.

Anonymous said...

oh steve, jiggs looks so cute. as i told you, i took jack to get his summer cut yesterday and he looks like a puppy instead of the 14 year old jack russell that he is. i told the groomer i thought he looked younger and she said it took years off him. so i agree with manzanillo. ah, if only that could be said about me when i get a haircut-maybe if i colored my gray. naaah-i'm growing old graysfully ;-)

i'm glad jiggs is doing so well with the vet's family. asleep with a cockatiel, wow! maybe the prof has decided to expand his horizons when it comes to friends.

enjoy your day and thanks for posting that picture.

hasta manana amigo,

norm said...

Good job on the hair cut, he looks like a happy camper in the photo.

Islagringo said...

Yuk. Never thought I would be eating crow for breakfast today! I think you may have set a new land record for obtaining your FM3! Glad to here Jiggs is doing better and he does look like a Lab now!

Chrissy and Keith said...

I like his new do. It goes make him look younger and more like a Lab. I am thrilled that he is fine being at the Vet for a few more days. Gordy our long hair cat is a month over due for his annual lion cut.

Carole said...

Jiggs looks like he's in Zen mode, in his own little world. He looks more comfortable than tired :-)

BoBo's Mom said...

He looks much more comfortable. I agree he looks like a yellow lab now :-)

Darrel said...

Jiggs does look younger if you ignore the grey muzzle. His feet look huge like a puppy that needs to grow into them. You on the other hand look like you have aged 30 years in your profile photo. I wish I was still down there where I only had two or three things to accomplish each day. It has been a little hectic playing catch up from being gone a month.

Cynthia Johnson and Mike Nickell said...'s good to see the Professor looking cool! I wish you had a pic w/him and the bird. And ya-hoo on completing the FM3 registration!

peachland said...

Steve it is such good news that Jiggs is feeling so much better now and I can see it,compare his pic in Hospital Hospitality,look at his eyes,his eyes this morning are bright again!Yeah Jiggs!Could Jiggs have a child pool in his yard when he comes home,would he like that?

glorv1 said...

Actually Mr. Jiggs looks so much better in his new cut. I love him with all his hair but this haircut is probably refreshing to him. He looks happy or he wouldn't be smiling as he is. Way to go Jiggs, I knew you could do it. I hope that he can just come home and not have to have any operations and just enjoy the rest of his life peacefully. Tell Jiggs I'm happy for him. Thanks for the picture, it's a great one.

Anonymous said...

This youthful Jiggs looks so comfortable and content! I was wondering what the vet is doing in place of the cortisone and thyroid meds. And, the news that Jiggs is able to walk for a couple of km at a time is encouraging. I hope that you have many more walks together. Enjoy your day!

lavachickie said...

Well drat. My boy Winston needs his summer cut as well (more like his once-every-three-month trim). I was dragging my feet because he really hates to go to the groomer. I know she loves him and treats him well, but of course he thinks/hopes every car ride ends at the park (or the drive-up window) and is sorely disappointed when we end up at the groomers.

This is a sign. I'm picking up the phone.

Babs said...

Hey Steve - The FIRST thing I did when I got back to the "world of electronics" yesterday was to check on you and Jiggs. Glad all is well. Will blog in the next day or so, after I've recouped from all my fun.......ha.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on getting the FM3 registered, remade all of us jaded folks into believers in the spirit of positive thinking...and I love Jiggs' haircut....he looks dashing...KK

Constantino said...

Nice to hear that Jiggs is getting back to normalcy at least for his new location.

You know you are setting yourself up for failure when you set goals and fill out "to do" lists.
Once you start you will be a slave to them. What's the hurry? If you do too much you will have too much idle time....wait, isn't that the idea?
How many books have you already read down there? So many more to read....
Don't forget the home cooked meal for Jiggs tomorrow!

Steve Cotton said...

It is too bad all of you cannot be here to greet Jiggs when I bring him home tomorrow. He would love the attention.

Calypso -- I need to figure out where I can get a CURP card and an INAPAM card. I suspect I will need to go to Manzanillo. Then the question will be where I can use them.

Mic -- I am not sorry that I got the cut for Jiggs. He really does feel a lot better. Haircuts do make a real difference in appearance, though.

Teresa -- You and New Beginnings may be correct. He may look more like a puppy waiting to grow into his paws. Even if he looks older, he is able to breathe a lot easier now.

Norm -- Tired, but happy.

Islandgringo -- The FM3 turned out to be one of the easiest things I have done in my life.

Chrissy -- I suspect his pride was hurt a bit by losing his "feathers," but he is far bette off without them. He is too old to try to impress the other dogs. Of course, there are always models to impress.

Carole -- A Zen dog he is not.

BoBo's Mom -- There is no doubt that he is fgar more comfortable now.

Darrel -- You are welcome to return any time. Of course, that will not make the chores in Bend disappear -- just postpone them.

Cynthia -- I wish I had a picture of hm with his bird friend, as well. He has not touched one of his stuffed toys since we left Salem.

Peachland -- I hope he keeps that brightness in his eyes for a bit longer. Every day with him is a blessing -- even when he merely sleeps next to my desk.

Gloria -- I will pass along your greetings to Jiggs when I bring him home tomorrow.

Anonymous -- As part of my consultation with the vet tomorrow, I will find out what he is recommending for Jiggs's future treatment.

Lavachickie -- Jiggs loves being a role model. Tell Winston that Jiggs made you do it.

Babs -- Good to have you back amongst the electronics.

KK -- The FM3 and the mail box were easy. But the joy will come from getting Jiggs back in the house. He will have been gone almost a full week by Thursday.

Constantino -- Strangely enough, I have read only one novel. Usually, I would have been through at least four of them. Of course, other matters have intervened.

Jonna said...

awwww... he looks so cute and comfortable and he now looks like a summer dog in Mexico. Tell him all the dogs do it when it gets hot, well all the dogs with resources anyway.

Sounds like Manzanillo is a good place to take care of business, good for you for getting it done too.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, the photo of Jiggs has pulled me out of lurking your posts to actually making a comment. He reminds me of our precious "boy" that we have left with the grand parents in Australia whilst we expat in Mexico for a few years. He certainly looks content to me. Bless him, and you!!
Len x
Ps..on a recent trip back home the "boy" also made little effort to greet us.

Steve Cotton said...

Jonna -- Great to hear from you -- especially, on the perro issue. I was waiting to hear if you had any additional advice. I am a bit leery about taking Jiggs off of his cortisone and thyroid. But I will see what the vet has to say tomorrow. I have no doubt that he cares deeply for his patients -- and for Jiggs, in particular.

Jonna said...

Steve, my main concern about taking him off the steroids is that it is done slowly. They have a rebound effect that is dangerous if you stop suddenly. It may be that he wants to use a different anti-inflammatory. The thyroid issue could be related to the tumor, depending on where it is, the thyroid could cause it to grow faster. All stuff that may or may not be involved but hopefully stuff that the vet can explain.

You are doing the best that can be done. Dogs are wonderful in that they don't look around corners. He looks like he feels pretty good right now and that is what matters. He doesn't compare it with how he felt 10 years ago or how he may feel tomorrow. Very zen, dogs are.

Beth said...

I can't believe the goomer was even able to shave his toes. When Gracie's leg was shaved for surgery, they left the hair on her foot. Looks like she has a sock on.

From one recoverying dog to another -- all our best.

Brenda said...

Jiggs looks happy. Glad things are going well. Congrats. on the FM3.

Steve Cotton said...

Jonna -- I think he wants to put him on a non-sterod anti-inflammatory. If so, enough time has probably psased from the last cortisone shot. I will find out tomorrow when we talk about the x-ray results. And thanks for the reminder about how dogs relate to their environments. Jiggs is very good about living the moment. In that sense, he is a dog's dog. I keep imposing all of the human planning nonsense.

Beth -- I was more amazed at the tail. Jiggs would never allow me to touch it to groom out tangles.

Brenda -- I think Jonna raises an important point. Now that he is out of his distress from the heat, he is happy.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy for both of you. Jiggs looks a bit cooler (though in the photo he still looks like he's panting), and I'm sure you're happy to have found such a caring vet. And congrats on clearing this particular bureaucratic hurdle. There will be others that aren't so quickly surmounted. Just be patient.

Drug traffickers? Street crime? No. Bureaucracy is my biggest fear about living in Mexico.

Buena suerte,

Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we are currently dealing with feline health issues. Fortunately, less severe.

Steve Cotton said...

Kim -- I am certain he was panting. After all, the temperature was still in the upper 80s. No air-conditioned big banker's office for this dog.

1st Mate said...

I think he looks great! And I bet he feels better. I'm struck by the fact that he's allowed to hang out with the vet, sprawl on the nice cool tile, unlike how it would be in the States, where he'd be in a cage.

Steve Cotton said...

1st Mate -- I hope he is feeling a lot better when I pick him up today. When saw him on Tuesday, he seemed to be just a shell of himself. But he seemed very content to be part of the vet's family -- and business.