More Freeway News
Bushnell, FL - Events of Thursday, March 8 to Monday, March 12, 2012
A couple of weeks ago, Freeway developed a condition known as "cherry eye." Some reptiles, fish and birds have a third, semi-transparent eyelid that is used to protect the eye while maintaining visibility. Dogs only have the vestige of a third eyelid, but it contains a gland that can become inflamed and pop out into the corner of the eye. The inflamed gland looks somewhat like a cherry, thus the name. The condition usually isn't serious, although it can sometimes be uncomfortable for the dog, and it can block the dog's vision if it becomes large enough. It can also lead to dry eye later on.
Cherry eye is a congenital defect that occurs most often in breeds that have saggy eyelids such as such as Bull Dogs, Cockers, Beagles and Bassets. It also occurs in dogs with short muzzles and/or rounded, protruding eyes like Pekinese and Chihuahuas. We didn't see either of Freeway's parents' breeds listed as commonly having cherry eye, but both the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bichon Frise do have short muzzles and round, somewhat protruding eyes. As in Freeway's case, cherry eye usually shows up when the dogs are puppies.
We took Freeway to the vet, who gave us some antibiotic ointment to prevent infection and to sooth the inflammation. The vet said cherry eye sometimes goes away by itself, but often requires surgery. He recommended contacting a canine ophthalmologist if we would decide on surgery.
After several days of using the ointment, we saw no reduction in Freeway's cherry eye so we decided we should have an ophthalmologist check it out. Margery did some online research and found Tampa Bay Veterinary Clinic in Largo, FL (near Tampa) that had an ophthalmologist on their staff. When she called, we were able to get an appointment within a couple of days.
Dr. Miller, the ophthalmologist, was able to pop the gland back into place. This sometimes provides a permanent cure; but unfortunately for us, Freeway's only stayed in place a couple of days before it popped back out again over the following weekend.
The cherry eye doesn't seem to bother Freeway, but we want to get it corrected so he doesn't have a problem with dry eye in the future, especially since the surgery is a relatively simple procedure that consists of suturing the gland into place. Recovery is quick, and in most cases, a followup appointment is not even necessary. By the time the sutures dissolve, the hope is the swelling of the gland will have gone down sufficiently so it will stay in place on its own.
On the Monday after Freeway's gland popped back out, we called the Tampa Bay Veterinary Clinic and were able to get his surgery scheduled for the middle of the following week. We'll post an update a day or two after the surgery to let everyone know how it went.
In the meantime, the veterinary clinic was located a short distance from Bahama Breeze in Tampa. We had a coupon for $10 off any $20 purchase, so decided we wanted to stop again even though we were just there a couple of weeks ago after visiting Ybor City with Pat and Mike. The only problem was it was too early for lunch, so we decided to drive a short distance to the west to check out some of the nearby Gulf beaches.
There is a causeway to Indian Rock Beach due west of the clinic. We were greeted by some very impressive private homes located right along the Gulf.
A little farther to the south, the private homes gave way to small condos. There were roads between the condos that had free parking and public access to the beach. We turned down one of the roads, parked, and walked the short boardwalk over the dune to the beach.
It was a nice, warm morning, so there were a few of people sitting and walking on the beach.
After our walk on the beach, we drove toward the north to Clearwater Beach. Clearwater Beach seems to be a bit more commercial with large condos, hotels, marinas and beach-front shops. It reminded us of Myrtle Beach and is definitely a vacation destination.
By the time we drove through Clearwater Beach, it was around noon, so we headed east across another causeway over the Intracoastal Waterway then across Gulf to Bay Causeway over the northern part of Tampa Bay to Bahama Breeze.
Since it was the height of lunch hour, the parking lot was fairly full, and we had to drive around twice before we found a shady spot for Freeway. We thought about eating outside, but all the shady tables on the deck were taken, and it was pretty breezy anyway. Fortunately, there were still plenty of tables available inside.
After we had a delicious appetizer of Firecracker Shrimp, Margery had her favorite - almond encrusted talapia. Paul had fish tacos. The talapia was delicious as always; but this was the first time either of us had the fish tacos at Bahama Breeze, and Paul was a little disappointed. The piece of fish on each taco was pretty small, and the tacos were served with plain lettuce, a small amount of mashed avocado and pico de gallo. Fish tacos that we have had at other restaurants and the fish tacos Margery makes are topped with sweet-sour cabbage. The sweet-sour flavor provides an interesting contrast to the fried fish, and the cabbage provides a nice crunch to the soft taco shell. Unfortunately, the pico de gallo lacked the zing that the sweet-sour cabbage provides, and the lettuce didn't provide any crunch.
It seems like we can't get out of Bahama Breeze without having a Chocolate Island for dessert. A Chocolate Island is a tower of rich chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream sitting on a fudge brownie base. The island is floating in a swirling ocean of chocolate sauce and vanilla anglaise. Candied, roasted almonds are sprinkled over everything.
Later that evening back at Blueberry Hill, we were treated to a beautiful sunset as we settled in for an evening of TV.
We don't have anything newsworthy scheduled for the near future except for Freeway's surgery. As we said, we'll have an update on that next week, and we'll let you know if anything else pops up.