<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Home > Category: Henry, the Pricey and Priceless Hound

Viewing the 'Henry, the Pricey and Priceless Hound' Category

Kitties and Net Worth

April 1st, 2018 at 10:27 am

My last blog post was about my cat, Bridget, who has lost some weight and hair. (see https://www.flickr.com/photos/elissaw/41121285262/in/dateposted-public/; I can't remember how to insert images here). The home vet visit was traumatic (long leather gloves, a muzzle, and kitty screams were involved, sigh), but it revealed that her bloodwork is, to my great relief, completely normal. The vet thinks the hair loss is behavioral, so she is going on transdermal Prozac this week, and I've changed her diet to a hypoallergenic prescription diet. We'll give it two months and re-assess.

My other kitty is scheduled for a dental on 4/18 as her teeth are in bad shape. It hasn't prevented her from eating, though; she gained another .75 pound :^(. At least her diabetes continues to be very well controlled by her diet change--totally normal glucose.

On another note, I decided to change one of my annual goals from increasing my net worth to decreasing my debt. With the markets being so volatile so far this year, it seemed better to focus on the debt reduction, which is more in my control, than the net worth, which is out of my control.

If you count HSA contributions and employer matches, I am currently saving 24% of my salary, which is as much as I can reasonably afford while also paying off the debt.

This is offset by the fact that I have to take RMDs (required minimum distributions) from the two IRAs I inherited from my mom, but so far it looks as though this year I may be able to limit myself to just taking the RMDs and nothing else, and the accounts generate more in income than I take in RMDs, so there should be some small growth in those accounts.

Overall, for Q1, my assets are down 1.43%, mostly because the losses in my retirement savings are greater than the contributions YTD. My debts are down 7.12% because at the beginning of the year, I took the RMDs and applied them to debt reduction.

Overall, my networth is down $2,225 from 12/31, or .42%.

In other news, I spent $450 to have a landscaper clear out and re-mulch my very overgrown yard and place weed barriers to reduce the weeds along the fence.

Something that I would like eventually to do is to hire someone to build me some raised beds to do a little bit of vegetable and herb gardening. I was fantasizing about that yesterday, but am not sure if I will do it this year or next. I think my next outlay of money for the house will be to hire some home organizing help. I went to a presentation by an organizer last week and actually made some progress on my own this weekend, but there are certain areas of my house where I need a coach and some assistance to inspire me to get through in the very limited amount of time I have to deal with this. She charges $235 for a 3-hour session and I will be scheduling this for May, I think.

After putting that goal of "creating a peaceful and inviting home environment" in my sidebar year after year, I think I may actually make some progress towards that goal this year!!

Six month balance sheet review & Remembering Henry

May 31st, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Just looking at my balance sheet today compared to six months ago (11/30/2014). Overall I have a nearly 25K net increase, of which half is in retirement savings (and that increase is pretty evenly divided between new contributions and capital appreciation).

Of the other half, 5,000 is a net decrease in debt (which has been transferred from credit card balance transfers to a personal consolidation loan) and the rest is an increase in savings (some ready cash and the rest in my HSA).

Nice to see progress and especially to feel like it is progress that will continue, rather than a few steps forward and a few steps back. Of course, we'll see if there is any big market correction this year, but at least for the factors under my control, I am feeling positive.

Also, for those of you who have seen me on here for a long time, yesterday was the five year anniversary of Henry's passing. Hard to believe it has been five years. I always told him his middle name was "Retirement," since during the 4 years I had him I ended up putting the amount that I otherwise would have put towards retirement towards medical expenses for him--but he was well worth it for the love and purpose he gave me during some pretty tough years.

Catch-Up Post

July 27th, 2010 at 08:51 pm

I haven't blogged here in ages, but I thought I'd update.

Those of you who know me from my earlier posts (most active about 3 years ago) know that I have spent a lot of time and money on behalf of my beloved basset hound, Henry. Henry developed cancer just about a year ago, and during the past year I got myself back into debt trying to save him. It didn't work--I had to have my beloved baby put to sleep on May 30--but I bought him about six months, during four of which he felt really good, acting years younger. I have no regrets about the debt. But it will be a while before I adopt another dog. I'll do some fostering and other work for basset hound rescue in the meantime, though.

My mother has also been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness this year. She spent five months in a nursing home and only just returned home, where she needs a home health aide much of the time. I've had two visits out to see her and that has also cost some money, time and grief.

On the positive front, I'm making good progress on my career goals. I've now passed all four CPA exams and have completed about 20% of the experience requirement (one year of full-time work) working at a CPA firm. I still need a full-time permanent job, but I'm happy with where I am. Good thing, too--I turn 50 in a month, and making the career change successfully was a goal I set for myself when I turned 40. I'm not 100% to where I wanted to be, but I'm 90% there and feel fairly confident that I'll be where I wanted to be (full-time regular staff accountant position) during the year that I am 50.

I had also set some health goals this year, and could make better progress on those. The triple whammy stress of two family illnesses and being unemployed for much of the year definitely worked against me here! But I've lost a couple of pounds and maintained my walking schedule up until the last month of Henry's life, and am getting ready to get back to more of a focus on fitness now.

Every "decade" year of my adult life (20, 30, 40, 50) has had a major life crisis, but in each case, the crisis has been over by my actual birthday. I'm hoping that I'm done with crises for the year and can go back to focusing on more ordinary life goals--getting the full-time job I want, keeping fit and happy, and getting out of debt yet again.

Crossing the Line into Debt

October 21st, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Around 20 years ago, I got myself seriously in debt--about $13,000 worth. To some, that may not sound like much, but my income at the time was about $16,000 and my assets were nonexistent, so percentage-wise, it was serious. It took a few years to get myself out of that debt--about 4 years to wake up to my poor money-management habits and about 3 years after that to nix the debt. Since that time, I have remained debt-free--other than acquiring a mortgage, which at least comes along with a substantial asset.

I'm getting dangerously close to crossing the line right now, however. The amount of my total cash balance is close to the amount of my credit card bills, and for the first time in years, I will be carrying a balance on a credit card that isn't paid off within a month or so.

I hate that I've had to put so much on credit cards, but $3500 worth of car repairs on a car that is generally in good shape and $5000 worth of vet bills for the hound who gives me a reason to wake up in the morning were non-negotiable expenses. (I'm afraid Henry will be my last dog for a while, though--this is his second costly medical crisis in the 3.5 years I've had him, and odds being what they are, he'll have at least one more costly crisis before he goes.) I paid much of that out of savings, but now I am getting to the point where I am reluctant to completely empty the coffers in order to pay the bills.

At least at this point, I am much more financially aware, and I have a positive net worth. But I am unemployed, the job market is tight; I am looking for entry-level work in a career field new to me that will mean that my first year's income will be relatively low (although the potential for growth in income is
much greater once I am established).

This is a real tipping point, and it scares me.

Home Repair Decision

June 5th, 2008 at 07:00 am

Now that I've been a homeowner for 2.5 years, I have my first major home repair to make--the gutters on my front and back porches have rusted through (they're old steel half-rounds).

So I've been getting estimates--I contacted 5 contractors; 4 have been by so far, and I have 3 estimates in hand.

In any case, I'm going to get seamless aluminum "K" gutters--no need to worry about rust again.

The choice seems to come down to either spending about $600 for .027 gauge "industry standard" gutters, or spending about $1200 for .032 gauge gutters--he showed me a piece of one and it really does look much more sturdy than the typical gutter. The .032 gutters come with a 10 year warranty on workmanship and 20 years on the parts.
I need to call back the contractors for the .027 gauge gutters and ask about a warranty, since neither contractor whose estimate was in this range spontaneously mentioned one.

As I'm writing this, I'm convincing myself to go for the $1200 gauge gutters, at least in the front. The front porch has a roof that still is under warranty for another 10 years and is in good condition. I'm not sure about the condition of the "soffit" or section underneath. The back porch has a stationary aluminum awning which the gutter hangs off of--it's attached to wood strips that are screwed to the awning supports. The awning supports are beginning to rust a bit, and one contractor (the one who hasn't gotten back to me yet) said that he recommended replacing the awning instead, and said he'd give me the name of the contractor. He tried to scare me that during an ice storm it could collapse on my dog. While it might need some new supports on the far side of the porch, the awning itself is perfectly good, and it is firmly attached to the house, so I just vowed for the moment to get a roof rake before next winter. I'm hoping to have that awning last another 10 or so years--if I'm still in this house (and the only reason I wouldn't be is if DBF & I get married), I'm hoping to renovate the kitchen and expand the house by about 3 feet into the patio, which would entail redoing the concrete patio as well.

Also this summer I need to have the roof silvercoated, the furnace serviced, and I desperately need new glasses (it's been 4 years and I'm reading thru scratches). That's at least $1000 in additional expenses there--and, to be prepared, I should probably expect about another $500 in unexpected expenses, either a big car repair or a big vet bill. Praying neither comes to pass, but I can't ignore history, and I haven't had either of those since a $500 vet bill in February, and I usually experience about 3 major "unanticipated expense" events a year. (Hopefully the laws of probability will work in my favor--if things work out to average, I'm still way ahead in expenses paid on based on the $8000 I spent on Henry the year I adopted him!)

Also I really should travel to L.A. and visit my mother this summer--another $500 expense.

Summers always end up being pricey, and this summer my income is low, which means that some of these expenses will get paid for out of savings. I have one more year on my job and then need to make the big career change, so I hate going into savings to do this--which is the one temptation to go for the $600 gutters. They might not last as long or look as pretty, but that's about what I had originally planned to spend (based on the first estimate that I got way back in March when a contractor was working on a neighbor's roof).

March roundup

March 29th, 2008 at 02:08 pm

Well, March was a spendy month; I spent about double what I spent in February (gulp). Much of the addtional spending was justified but still I hate to see so much variability--and I *really* hate it when my spending for the month surpasses my income for the month, even with the tax refund.

Extra spending was as follows:

$600 another expensive vet trip for Henry and his allergies
$165 getting a broken tooth fixed at the dentist
$500 buying the beginnings of a new professional wardrobe as I prepare to transition from academia into the corporate world
$200 in professional expenses (books, software)
$100 stocking up on wine, beer, sodas and extra food for a party
another $200 in extra food expenses--not that the food was wasted, but that it was eaten out or bought prepared, thus unnecessarily expensive
$82 to buy 200 "forever" stamps before the price increases on May 12
$132 prepaying an extra month early on my home gas bill--they changed the date the bill was due and refused to change it back, and I really like to pay my bill immediately after my monthly paycheck arrives and not a week before it arrives, so I decided to get a month ahead to avoid any late fees.
$90 extra prepayment on the mortgage to get it down to 89K.

As so often happens, financial and weight control go together--I slacked off a lot on exercise during March, and gained back 2 pounds. Still down about 7 from the end of last year, but I can feel those two pounds.

So the goal for April is another personal "challenge" month to see how close I can keep my monthly total spending to about $2000. No "extras" this month (unless I get a job interview, in which case I still need a professional pair of shoes), and I need to start back shopping more at Aldi's and Giant, much as I hate them, rather than at my beloved Wegmans. And I pulled out the pricebook I put together two years ago--time to update it since the last time I used it was in 2006. Should be interesting to see how food prices have changed in that time.

And it's a challenge month for health, too--I've joined an online "April Boot Camp" challenge on Leslie Sansone's walk club board, the goal of which is to lose 8 pounds during April. So I'll tighten up and refocus on fitness, too. I just started another round of "First Strides," the local women's walking/running program (that was another $40 out the door); those two workouts a week with other people (in addition to the two mornings a week I walk with my friend Anne) should help keep me from slacking off).

Grocery & other weekly spending

February 16th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

After spending $130 at the grocery store last week, I was going to try not to spend anything there this week.

No go on that. All the things that I use the most--soymilk, sliced turkey breast, cereal, fruit, salad fixings, frozen burritos--were used up, so I did replace those. That "basic grocery shop" used to cost me about $35/week if that was all I bought. Now the same basket of goods costs $40/week. Inflation.

Only 1 no-spend-day during the week, but 2 more this weekend, for 8 days out of 17 so far this month total. The kitties ran out of litter and I ran out of feminine protection. Both are items that I order in bulk online, saving money over the long term but requiring an inital outlay, so that was about $100 out the door, but now I'm stocked up on both for 6 months.

I also ordered tickets to a play on-campus for my sweetie & I to attend as a late Valentine's celebration. That wasn't too bad--community members pay $15 per ticket, but as a member of the campus community, I can go for $5/person, so that was $10 out the door.

Total spending so far this month $732, still on track to bring the month in at about $2000 total, barring any household/car repair or medical emergencies. I *thought* I was going to have a big vet bill for Henry, but we managed to avoid it. He has a wart on his nose and scratched it so that it began bleeding intensely--I look up and there's blood EVERYWHERE and it's still pouring down his face. Fortunately applying pressure (and hydrogen peroxide) to the spot managed to stem the bleed. Darn wart's still there, though.

First Month Assessment

January 27th, 2008 at 07:14 pm

I'll do this now, since I get busy during the week. Also, I started my fitness and diet plan on Dec 27, so it really IS a month.

So far: 7 pounds down (about 3% of my weight). I've exercised all but 5 days since starting. Food spending was about 10% lower than last year's monthly average; I should do even better in February, when I won't have out-of-town company coming to buy for. I ended up buying food [bagels & cream cheese, tortilla chips] that the visitor didn't eat and which I just gave away to my boyfriend because it's not on my health plan right now.

In terms of savings goals, I haven't saved *anything* so far--in fact, I overspent in January--$220 on exercise DVDs and equipment and new walking shoes, an unexpeced $500 vet bill (well, not totally unexpected, as Henry ends up with about 4 of these per year; just not expected this month); over $200 in textbooks for the school term, and $116 for a new 3 handset phone system when my old cordless phone died. Some months are like that. Everything was put on the credit card, which I pay off in full each month. My goal for the next month, however, is to limit expenditures to basic bills, food, gasoline, and any emergency medical/vet bills that arise--in other words, I'll eliminate discretionary spending other than that which I routinely get billed for (the $19/month gym fee; the minimum $5.23 most basic Netflix subscription) and see if I can thereby catch up on my planned savings.

The other big goal for the month is working towards the career change. I've got a big hurdle in the next 2.5 weeks: I finished last semester with an incomplete in a critical course, and now have just 2.5 weeks left to complete two exams and the papers. I wasn't able to focus on working on this last month when I found my job unexpectedly up in the air, and the past week, I've been feeling on the verge of a cold and end up going to bed early each night rather than studying. I'm going to be pretty frantic until my Feb 16th deadline.

My, but it's been a spendy month!

January 12th, 2008 at 04:44 pm

My almost month-long vacation (college school break) ends on Monday. Something I've found as I've been tracking my expenses for the past few years is that I typically end up spending a lot more on my time off. It's the only time I have to devote to thinking about household purchases, so that's always a big category when I'm on break.

Here are the "extras" I've been buying:

Replacements for broken items where the cost of replacement beats the cost of repair

-new phone system (3 handset Dect 6.0)
-new shop-vac (which I use for my general purpose vacuum cleaner)

New items to make life more organized
-shoe rack for where I end up tossing my shoes in a corner of the living room. Now they take up less space.
-kitchen trash can--old one was too small and I'd have to empty it too frequently so I converted it to hold my birdseed supply outside since the lid has a nice tight fit. For the past year & a half, I've been putting trash in a bag in half of the kitchen sink--it needs to be kept out of the dog's reach (he's a basset and can't reach that high). But I got tired of having the trash be the first thing I see walking into the kitchen. Now I have a nice shiny stainless steel can that the dog won't knock over or be able to get into.
-a few plastic storage boxes for the accumulation of books and notes from the past semester.
-breadbox--to put in bread and my dog's assortment of treats and meds which have been scattered out on top of the counter or on top of the refrigerator. Hiding the mess.

New things generally related to self-improvement or self-care
-New walking shoes. I buy expensive ones because I've had foot problems in the past and it's worth it to me to pay for the quality & support. I'm re-inaugurating my walking program that I was lax on last year.
-Two textbooks for classes I'm auditing this term.
-A portable CD-player. I've had bad luck with MP3 players and wanted something to play podcasts and audiobooks on, so I got a CD player that plays MP3 format to entertain me while I walk.
-Half a dozen fitness DVDs/videos--bought used or as overstock so I didn't pay full price.
-I also got a heart rate monitor & blood pressure measuring device but those were paid for by my credit card rewards, so didn't take any additional cash out of my wallet.

other large expense
A $140 vet bill for Henry's skin infection, and another $150 for a 6-month supply for one of his meds

On the positive side, my gas (heat) bill was actually really LOW this month because I pay on the budget plan and January is when they rebalance and set it to zero. I'd previously overpaid so this month's bill was only 20% of the usual bill. Also I've mostly been avoiding eating out and am focusing on healthy eating, so the food bill will come in (as planned) lower than it has been.

Once I go back to work, the "extras" spending will stop, and I think I'll make February a no-extras spending month and limit expenditures to food, fuel for the car, and the usually monthly mortgage and utility bills.

Birthday & a new School Year

August 27th, 2007 at 03:02 pm

Friday was my birthday. I had planned to to take myself out to breakfast, then go in to work, and in the evening, get taken out to dinner by my boyfriend, but my plans were changed when my beloved basset, Henry, started the day by throwing up and refusing his food. The food refusal was alarming, as this dog is nicknamed "Henry the Hungry" and "Henry the Ate and ate and ate." He didn't seem otherwise actively distressed (as he did during his gastric woes of last summer), but he was quieter than usual. When we were sitting on the porch and a neighbor greeted him, he just lay there--no tail wag. Then he had an episode of diarhhea. So I called the vet and they had an appointment open right away. An exam revealed that his vitals were normal, and bloodwork showed all values in normal range for blood, kidney, liver, etc (which was reassuring to know in any case since he has been on prednisone for nearly a year). No parasites, either. However, while we were there, he had another bout of diarhhea--and this one was almost pure blood and mucous. The vet suggested that his IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) had re-emerged, though this time with lower GI tract symptoms rather than upper GI tract ones. A call was made to his internal medicine specialist, who prescribed an antibiotic. I cancelled almost all my plans and (since classes hadn't started yet and I thus had the luxury to do so) stayed home with him all day. Tom picked up Chinese takeout and a video and came over for a quiet evening in. Henry was lethargic most of the day, but, after a long nap, felt well enough to take his afternoon walk, and his tail was wagging when he saw the neighbor kids. It took another 24 hours, during which he fasted without complaint, before the occasional bouts of throwing up stopped and before his appetite reemerged.

Since my attention was preoccupied with Henry all day Friday and Saturday, I had to spend Sunday frantically working on syllabi for the start of the school year--a chore which I will finish as soon as I finish this entry.

Classes started this morning and we're off on another school year. It's scary knowing that it's possible that this is my last year of full-time teaching, but who knows what the year will bring?

A present for myself (and a bath for Henry)

December 29th, 2006 at 05:46 pm

My Christmas present arrived today--a (7-cup) Cuisinart, along with an extra "thick slicing" blade for soft veggies, and also an OXO salad spinner. When I first put everything in my cart, the total was about $170, but I'm actually only paying $40 for all of this!

First got free shipping--that took about $26 off.

Then used my $50 amazon.com gift certicate (which I received for being a "community leader" at a discussion board on another online website).

Then I noticed that Amazon.com was having a promotion in Kitchen & Housewares, where if you bought $125 worth of goods, you'd received $25 off. Hence the extra blade and the salad spinner--that brought the "goods total" to $145, more than the $125, but they were both goods that I truly wanted.

Finally, I gave in and opened an Amazon.com VISA for an additional $30 off. My other credit card bill is down to $355, which means that I should be able to pay it off in full in January (barring any more emergencies). The new card is a "rewards card," where I get back 1% for general purchases and 3% for purchases made on Amazon.com, payment being in the form of a $25 amazon.com gift certificate that gets issued automatically when I've spent $2500 on the credit card. I'm planning to pay this card off in full every month and will transfer money from my savings into my checking account to make sure I can do this. I won't be using it for emergencies, except maybe during the first 6 months when the card has a 0% rate.

Total bill after all the deductions: $40.06.

The Cuisinart, by the way, replaces an identical one I sold at a garage sale 10 years ago. I sold it because I was moving and didn't use it much. I've regretted the decision since. I might not use it *much* but it is indispensible for some things. I've probably bought $50 worth of cheap slicinng and chopping gadgets during the intervening 10 years which I can now purge from my kitchen because they not only take up space but never worked as well as the food processor.


I also splurged and paid for Henry to have a bath. He needed one and I need a pro to cut his nails. He's doing pretty well these days (and he looks quite dapper in the scarf they tied around his neck after the bath). The Prednisone is generally working, although an initial attempt to lower his dosage failed and we're back up to the inital dose. He's handling it better this time around, though--no more peeing on the rugs like he was doing the first month on the drug. The drug makes him hungry and lethargic, so he's gained 12 pounds and takes shorter walks, but the digestive woes are under control and he should be off the Prednisone by April or May and we can work thn on getting the extra pounds off and the walking mileage back up.

A couple of small victories

December 28th, 2006 at 07:25 pm

Since Henry fell ill this summer, my wallet has had a hole in it that has been immune to being patched. I'd expected that a fairly young dog would cost me about $80 a month to feed, supply, and provide veterinary care for. Henry has been diagnosed with 3 chronic condittions that require 3 monthly medications for life, plus an expensive veterinary diet that I expect him to be on for life since the other conditions apparently derive from his food allergies. Even buying his medications online 6 months at a time, his monthly maintenance cost is now about $250 just for meds and food. Hopefully with the diagnosis and treatment, the outrageous vet bills will go down. Between the startup costs of getting the dog (whom I DID have checked out by a vet first...he had no problems until I'd had him for five months), the vet expenses, and the maintenance, he's cost me about 15% of my salary for the year (in other words, my retirement contribution and my emergency fund.) My baby is well worth it but it's frustrating nonetheless--and I worry terribly about what happens when the contract job I am on ends in August. My income could take a significant hit.

So any savings is good. I have two small victories to report, one pet-related, one not. The pet-related one relates to the weekly urinalysis the vet has been charging me $30/week for. I bought some pH strips (which cost about 10 cents each) and will start doing the weekly reports myself most of the time. I paid for one last urinalysis today just to calibrate my strips against their reports--mine were .25 off, which is close enough (given the scale of these measurements) to accept most of the time.

The other savings has to do with a personal purchase. I've spent a good deal of time the past couple of weeks evaluating various software packages for doing mindmapping, which I've decided will help me be more productive in my teaching and other work. The first time I'd tried to download a freeware program, I'd had no luck, and I gave up and instead became enamoured of a commercial program that would cost me about $100. But I was motivated to try and download the freeware program again, and this time I got it working and am quite happy with it, thus saving myself that $100. (Now I can buy that new pair of walking shoes--the old ones are a year old and I put about 600 miles/year on them, so they are in need of replacement. A good pair of shoes is less costly than podiatrist care!)


November 12th, 2006 at 04:03 pm

Yesterday was sunny, so I spent about 3 hours putting the garden away for the winter and lugging 8 leaf bags full of trimmings over to the local compost center. Then in the evening, my sweetie took me out to dinner--the first time we've seen each other in a month, since he's been so busy with web design jobs and I've been hovering over Henry.

Today it was gray and drizzly, so I've been doing indoor jobs--mostly preparing for the week ahead at work, plus doing a little cleaning. I'm having an overnight house guest on Tuesday, so I've got to make sure to do at least 2 more hours of cleaning before she arrives. Somehow it's easier to clean even inside when it's sunny.

I looked around online and found a place where I'll be able to get Henry's medications that he'll be on for life for $43/month (plus shipping & handling). That compares to $73 if bought at the local vet. I'll purchase a 6 month supply with my next paycheck.

Henry's also been put on prescription food, and that's expensive too. Looks like that will cost over $100/month. There aren't as many places that sell pet prescription food online as places that sell the prescription meds, and the places that I could find that carry his prescription food are out on the west coast, meaning the shipping cost will be high. So I don't think I'll be able to cut the cost below that. I spent about 10 days home-cooking for him and that was costing about $5/day, so the vet food is less expensive than that.

I'm greatly looking forward to getting Henry off of Prednisone--or at least, to decreasing the dose, since he's slated for a 6 month course to fully get the inflammation under control. But two more weeks and I get to cut his initial dose in half. Hopefully that will cut down on his incredible raging hunger. Unless he gets about 3000 calories a day (for a 72 pound dog--that's twice what he needs) right now, he starts whining and within half an hour builds up to outright howls, and when I'm not home, he starts pulling stuff off of the shelves...not at ALL his typical behavior. Mon-Wed-Fri I can limit myself to 4.5 hours away from the house at work, but Tues-Thurs are full days, so I've had to hire someone to come in and feed him and let him out mid-day.

I'm really praying that once I can cut the dose in half the 'roid-rage hunger and execessive drinking/peeing will subside to a reasonable level, since it will be another 5 months until he's off the prednisone altogether.

Geez, if not, he'll probably be a 92 pound rather than a 72 pound basset hound.