Its seems as if Disneyland is now a family tradition, because we have been going there every year on Haru’s birthdaysince Haru was 2 years old. We really wanted to do something different this year, like go to the new Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studio in Osaka. Unfortunately, we decided against it for two reasons: #1. Waaaaay too crowded. The attraction just opened last summer, so it’s insanely crowded and hardly worth the trip. #2. The dogs (especially Princess) can’t make the trip in their conditions, and they are too old to get a dog sitter to watch them. So again, we settle for Disneyland.
But even with Disneyland, it was a bit of a challenge in strategizing on how to go about the day. First of all, we needed to figure out how to deal with Princess’s hypoglycemia. At most, she can only go 6 to 8 hours without eating something, or without a dose of glucose. We estimated that we would be away from the house at least 13 to 14 hours, which meant that Princess would probably have a hypoglycemic seizure sometime in the middle of the day and possibly again in the evening. This wasn’t good!
The biggest problem was that both Princess and Jenna will eat all of the food that is placed in front of them, so we couldn’t just give them a whole lot of food and and expect them to self-ration throughout the day. Chances were very high, they would have eaten their whole meat within the first few minutes.
I tried to think of ways of putting together some kind of device that would pull a lid off of their food bowls at a certain time. I experimented by tying a plastic lid to the hour hand of an old to see if it had enough power to pull the lid off after a certain time, but of course it didn’t work. The dogs would probably just knock the lid once they figured out what was underneath.
I searched online for a solution and found exactly what I was looking for on Amazon.com. Basically, it was a food bowl with a lid that is connected to timer. When the timer reached a certain time, the lid pops up exposing the food underneath. The timer can be set up to 12 hours ahead of time. The best part is that there are two bowls and two different timer, so I can set one to open in the afternoon, and one late in the evening. It was the perfect solution and didn’t cost much, so I ordered one.
The timer/doggy bowl thingy arrived the next day, and it worked well, but it brought up a new concern. Even if the timer worked perfectly and the bowls open like they should, how do we know which dog will their food, assuming that they would even wake up and eat at all. There was a strong probably that Jenna would both servings. I struggled all day to think of way to make sure that Princess did eat at least one of the servings, but aside from separating the dogs into separate rooms, there was no way to make sure she would eat when the timer went off. It was a risk we had to take.
As precaution, I set up the webcam we used as a baby monitor when Haru was a baby. I pointed the camera to the dog bowls and set up our iphones so that we could monitor the dogs while were away for the day.
The next day was Disneyland day. Still concerns of whether Princess will wake up and eat before Jenna does was brewing in my head. I tested the web camera and the iphones again to make sure that they worked, and they did. We were able to see the dog bowls and the bed where both Princess slept using our iphones. If by chance, we could see that Princess wasn’t eating, or that there was evidence of her having had a seizure, we would have to cut the day a bit short and come home early. I was really hoping it wouldn’t come to this, but we all realized this is something we would have to prepare.
Disneyland was more crowded than ever. We left the house at around 7AM, expecting to get to get there a little after 8AM. As we got closer and closer to Urayasu, traffic got slower and slower until we were at complete stand still. We realized that the jam we were stuck in was the line to exit to Disneyland, and we were still a quite a distance away. Overall, we must have been stuck in traffic for over an hour, and we eventually arrived at Disneyland at just before 10AM. The park was already packed, and lines were already very long by the time we got in. We decided that we wouldn’t make getting on the rides such a high priority, but rather just take it easy and just enjoy the park itself.
At about noon, I checked my iPhone to see if the first timer had opened the dog dish. However, when I checked my phone, all I could see was what looked like a closeup of a wooden floor. No matter how I tried to move the camera remotely, I couldn’t get a clear picture of anything. When we got home that evening, I discovered that one of the dogs must have knocked over the camera and it was facing face down towards the floor.
I was very concerned that, since I couldn’t see anything through the camera and I couldn’t tell if Princess had woken up or not, that Princess would not wake up to eat her food. I was debating on whether to leave Haru and my wife at Disneyland while I rushed home to check on them (potentially a 3 hour round trip), or to just risk Princess having a hypoglycemic seizure.
We decided to have lunch at the Alice in Wonderland restaurant. While we were taking our break from the activities at the park, I checked my phone again. This time I noticed that there was light being reflected off of the floor into the camera lens. I quickly realized that this was the bathroom light. The bathroom light is hooked up to a motion sensor, so if it detect movement in the hallway, the light will automatically turn on. We got this a few years ago because Haru was still too short to reach the wall switch. So this meant that one of the two dogs must have walked towards the dog dish within the last 5 minutes or so. I decided to just risk it and not bother going home. Even if wasn’t Princess who woke up, she would have another change in another few hours when the timer on the second dog dish goes off.
We didn’t really have the opportunity ride on too many rides. We spent most of the day taking pictures and doing other activities like participating in a How to Draw Mickey Mouse class. I think Haru enjoyed that class the most. Overall, it wasn’t a bad day, and everyone had fun.
On the way home, I was dreading the worst. I could see three possible scenarios: 1. Princess sleeping through the entire day and nothing happened. 2. Princess had one or two seizures and she is laying on the floor probably drenched in her own urine (which of course I hoped did not happen). Or 3. Princess woke up and ate her food as planned and she is perfectly okay.
When we got home, amazingly Princess was awake and waiting for us by the door. Both dog dishes were empty and there were no signs that Princess had a seizure, so everything worked according to plan. Overall, it was a big win for all of us.