Friday, August 30, 2013

Building Update # 10

When we last met with our Super Hero (aka "The New Building"), she was in the process of electrical wiring, HVAC installation and exterior paint. The process of exterior paint quickly led to roofing. The transformation with paint and roof was quite dramatic, and also fun to watch. As the look of the building began to change, so did the feel. It was so easy to
think of the building as
something unreal, a bit
of a fantasy. When it's just a slab of cement and a skeleton it just doesn't feel real. This was something that was going to happen far off into the future, and nothing to really worry about right now. It was fun to walk through the skeleton and take pictures. We talked about what equipment would live where, randomly throwing out ideas-whatever came to our minds, we were going to make it happen. Let's just tell Bruce (the contractor) what we want and he would magically make it happen! Oh yes, this would be really cool, and that would be really cool. What if we did this and that and the other, etc. etc. It's all fantasy, right? No walls, no real feel for the heart of the place. As exciting as it was, it was still "just a building" and all of our grand ideas were just grand ideas. Some would see fruition, and some would not.
Over a period of a few weeks the exterior was beginning to take on new life form, while the interior was experiencing it's own transformation. The skeleton was now taking shape with insulation. Whereas before all you saw was wood and wiring, now we had pink stuff being stuffed into every wall!

Soon after the insulation began taking over, large quantities of sheetrock were delivered.  This place was about to become filthy with sheetrock dust!

Little did I know that very soon "the building" was going to become real.

Within the span of less than 2 weeks, we now had walls. No longer could we walk wherever we wanted, with no regard for the layout of the structure. It was no longer just a skeleton. Although with walls up, it was much less confusing. You could now clearly see what was what. Now we had to start respecting the space by using hallways and doorways.

With walls up, again the feeling began to change. "The building" was now becoming "our new hospital". We started to hear a heartbeat, and this place was crashing into our reality in a major way. Wow, this is real...and a huge project! How are we going to accomplish this move? If we ignore it will it just go away? No...It didn't go away, it just kept going!

After the initial panic quieted, and reality began to set in, excitement once again began to take over. The kind of excitement we felt on the very first day of this project.

The exterior was beginning to look pretty. The rock was now going up on the exterior walls and gravel was down for the sidewalks. This place is really going to be beautiful!

After the rock work was complete, it was time to pour cement for the sidewalks. This was the day we had been waiting for! We were to bring our dogs and have them put their paw prints into the pavement along the front of the hospital.
We brought 2 large dogs who were ready, willing and able to walk across semi-wet cement. When we arrived, the cement was still too wet, so we waited, and waited, and waited. Finally the time came...Our dogs paw prints would live in infamy! Luckily the contractor and the cement crew were willing to humor us. First up was yellow lab Pete. He is very well trained in obedience. Too well trained. Meaning when we are walking and we stop, he sits. He did exactly what I wanted him to do-walk at an even pace on the edge of the cement. Half way through I stopped him so we could check the results....and he sat. Oh no! Like I said, luckily everyone was willing to humor us. So we had to smooth out the cement and try again. This time no sitting! The paw prints looked pretty ok. Then came the stamping. They were going stamp that part of the cement? How on earth would the paw prints survive that? Well, they didn't. Now it was Mastiff Tsunami's turn. She is probably 15 pounds heavier than Pete, maybe her prints would make a deeper indentation and survive the stamping. The cement is getting harder by the minute!

We are almost at the point of no return-If we screw this up, we probably won't be able to fix it. Nami calmly walked across the edge of the cement. Her heavier weight didn't make a huge difference in the depth of the paw prints we got from her. Once again, the paw prints did not survive the stamping. Our pets paw prints were not going to live in infamy after all. We were bummed! To add insult to injury, there are no pictures of this attempt at paw prints in the cement. We were so focused on our dogs making paw prints that we were just too busy for pictures. Nonetheless we now have a sidewalk for our new hospital! 

What is going to happen next? Rumor has it that interior paint has been chosen and asphalt will be coming soon!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Building Update- Entry # 9

July 16, 2013
This update will be right on schedule! Today is Friday, July 19, 2013. There are only a few pictures from this week, and posting them today will get us all caught up. From here, I will be more diligent about the updates <laughing>. I have enjoyed writing the Blog more than I'll admit to, and it's a nice break from the mess on my desk. I tend to put the inventory invoices (that I should be updating in the computer) aside more often than I should. Hopefully my boss doesn't read that part. The Blog has been nice because it's a real excuse for not updating the inventory in the computer in a timely manner. Sounds good anyway, right?

The building is moving along very fast. This week Ski Air continued
the HVAC installations, and we finalized the inside wiring and electrical details. The electrician has been great, and this week he has been working on the details of accommodating the requirements for our surgery and treatment lights. I am feeling pretty good about things in that department, because I know that if something comes up, he will make it happen.

On the exterior, they spent the week preparing for paint.
July 16, 2013
July 16, 2013

Let there be paint!
July 19, 2013
That is pretty much it for this week...I know, it's disappointing. We were busy this week, and I didn't have a chance to get the usual amount of pictures. Next week will be different! STAY TUNED....

Building Update- Entry # 8

I really hate to do the "then and now" pictures for you again, but since I haven't posted an update since June 28th, I feel that I should. It was not from a lack of wanting to post an update, or even a lack of thinking about posting an update, it was just simply a lack of time. If I fully accomplish nothing else this week, I will accomplish a Blog post!
July 2, 2013
July 12, 2013

Rear of building-July 2, 2013
So what's happened between now and then? Going back to the first week of July, they had a short week because of the holiday. They mostly worked on the siding, and continued interior framing. 

The following week dawned at full speed ahead. They finished the interior framing, finished the siding, the windows were delivered and installed and we met with the 
Window Installation
cabinet people, the electricians and the plumber. It was a week of decision making as Dr. Jackett chose the exterior paint colors, and the specifics of the interior cabinets and counters. I met with the inside wiring person for phone, data and audio wiring locations. Ski Air came in to begin the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) work. Although the appearance from the outside did not change a whole lot, the interior appearance is finally taking shape. Along with all this decision making comes all the anxieties. Is there going to be enough counter space in the lab? Do we need to add a sink here? If we put drawers and cabinets here, will there be enough work space? Will there be enough room along this wall for the charts? Are we going to want a phone in this location in the future? What is the work
Completion of the siding
flow going to be like in this area, and will it be workable? What if we decide in 6 months that we don't like the location of that work station in the pharmacy? We can't have a counter here, it makes the space too small.....and on and on! As we work through it, we continue to make changes. It's all about thinking ahead and planning the work flow. What will work, and what won't. In the end, you hope you figured it out correctly!

On the other hand, we are also seeing all the possibilities. For example, the cat boarding. What if we made hamster tube like cat

walks that ran throughout the front of the reception area? We could also use that when we have kittens available for adoption! They could run around through the enclosed cat walk while everyone oooohed and ahhhed at them. Have I gone too far? Probably. But the cat boarding area is really neat. It is in the reception area against an outside window so the cats can look out. It will be a nice addition to the reception area.

The picture to the left shows the front view while the picture below is from the inside, where the cat condos will be placed. Not into cats? We'll have space in the back to board dogs, too!

The reception desk went through some growing pains last week as well. Meaning there wasn't enough space so we did a little rearranging!
Hopefully someday all the paper records will be trimmed way down as we transition over to being what is called "paper light". Meaning the medical records will be computerized. We've wanted to do that for a long time but the wiring in our current space just wouldn't support the newer technology. I am really excited for the wiring to not only be up to date, but capable enough for technology upgrades.

Rear of the building- July 12, 2013

So there you have it- Your building update through the week ending July 12, and I have completed my "to do" list-sort of. I still have this weeks pictures and updates, but that is another posting. STAY TUNED.....

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How do I know if my pet is in pain?

Pain in Animals.....excerpts from "Managing Canine Pain"

For the purposes of this article pain can be divided into 2 types:
Acute vs. Chronic.
This is an example of a cat in acute pain resulting from a declaw
  • Acute pain can be described as incapacitating, moderate to severe. In general, acute pain resolves when the underlying cause or injury resolves. Many animals experience acute pain after surgery, or as a result of sudden injury or illness.

  • Chronic pain can be described as prolonged, continuous, or intermittent. Chronic pain occurs for 3 to 6 months, but can last for years. This type of pain serves no useful purpose and is associated with disturbances of physiology, potential increase of other diseases such as cancer,
    A limping dog could be an example of chronic pain
    worsening of osteoarthritis, decreased activity, changes in behavior such as aggression, depression or anxiety. When chronic pain builds slowly the animal may learn to tolerate and live with it. In these instances, the goal is to treat he cause whenever possible, as well as relieving the pain.

It is important to recognize that chronic pain in animals may be a result of underlying medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, inflammatory disorders such as ear infections, orthopedic  problems such as disc disease, soft tissue injury such as phantom limb pain, dental disease and tumors which are themselves chronic.

Domesticated dogs and cats are genetically programmed not to show pain....a characteristic exhibited in the wild to protect animals from predators. The way individual animals respond to pain can vary depending on age, health status, species and age.
Note: It is important to recognize departures from the animals normal behavior and appearance.
  • Changes in attitude or personality
  • Abnormal Vocalization
  • Licking, biting, scratching or shaking of a painful area.  
  • Limping
  • Changes in hair coat.
  • Changes in posture or ambulation
  • Changes in activity level
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in facial expression
  • Changes in elimination habits
  • Other signs can include: Hiding, seeking more affection, protecting the injured area, and aggressive or defensive reactions to touch.
It is important to mention that the above noted symptoms point to different causes, and the animal will not exhibit all of these symptoms. This is just a guideline to assist you in understanding how your pet may exhibit pain. In the next article, we will address pain diagnosis and treatment.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Building Update- Entry # 7

Want to see something cool?
These pictures were taken exactly one week apart-

Neat, huh? I just thought it was an interesting comparison, Especially since it rained both Monday and Tuesday. However, they did work in the rain. On Monday they continued the roof sheating. On Tuesday they continued fascia (we talked about that last week, remember?) and nailed the roof on. 

On Wednesday they began interior pickup, meaning knee walls went up to the 3/12 cathedral ceiling to block off the attic. If you really want to know what that means, stop by the job site and ask Paul. He explained it to me, and I took notes, but relaying that back to you would be like Paul trying to read an X-Ray.

I have no idea how much lumber is being utilized for this project, but I have seen the bill for the lumber and I am thinking it's a
whole lot of boards! These pictures are taken from the reception area, which has the most light coming in from the large window openings. I tried to get other pictures from the back of the structure but it is too dark.

I am happy about 3 things - Other than there being ALOT of windows in this building, there is also a window in what will be my office, a window in what will be Dr. Jackett's office, and a window in what will be the break room. Wait, we are getting a break room. That makes 4 things I am really happy about.
We just don't have the room in our current space
for a break area/room. It will be so nice after all these years for the staff to have their own space, and not have to eat lunch in the same room where a cat abscess is being treated!

These pictures show the North side of the building. You can see the dog kennel area in the back corner. The cat ward and the isolation ward are also located along this wall, as well as the staff bathroom, a storage room, and my office. The public bathroom is located in the corner at the front of the building, which will be in the reception area.

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week they ran the eves and the venting, and on Friday they added plywood and trim to the porches. I love the wrap around porches!

The photo below is how it looked today at 2:30 in the afternoon. Seeing the comparison between the photos above (again, cool!) I can't wait to see what it looks like next Friday!

June 28, 2013




Monday, June 24, 2013

Building Update- Entry # 6

Letting the world know this new building is ours
Is there any better way to spend a rainy day at home than catching up on some work? Since I am a week behind with the building updates, I decided to spend my day off on getting caught up. The original plan for today was to do some kayaking at Wright's Lake, but Mother Nature has blessed us
with some rain. So I sit at home on the couch, in front of the TV with my laptop actually on my lap, while surrounded by my pets and enjoying a steady rain. What a great morning!

Now on with the building update...these pictures are from last week, June 18th-21st.

On Tuesday the Trusses were delivered.

It was pretty exciting to see the big truck with the crane show up. Now we are ready for the next phase of this project!

June 19, 2013

June 18, 2013

It is really amazing to see the changes in the building as construction progresses. It is fun to walk around inside the structure, envisioning the finished product room by room. We picture the equipment already in place, the cat boarding condos in the reception area, what colors the walls will be. We are also excited to have our own bathroom! We have shared the public bathrooms in the shopping center for many years, and it will be a luxury to have our own!

A glance at the inside

Most of this week was spent rolling the trusses. They finished plating and detailing the frame and completed the upstairs storage room. By Thursday they started the porch trusses.

By Friday they finished the porch
trusses and started "Fascia".

Google describes "Fascia" as:
1. A wooden board or other flat piece of material coverning the ends of rafters or other fittings.

They also "Sheated" 3/4 of the roof. describes "Sheathing" as:
sheath·ing (shng) n.
1. A layer of boards or of other wood or fiber materials applied to the outer studs, joists, and rafters of a building to strengthen the structure and serve as a base for an exterior weatherproof cladding.  

Which is a good thing because now it is raining!
I hope everyone is enjoying these updates. It has been fun for me to do this Blog, chronicling the process of the new building. This is how the building looked on Friday afternoon:

June 21, 2013- This is a view of the front entrance.
June 21, 2013- This is the view from the rear of the building.