Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Easy Come, Easy Go

The State Of Alaska has this great thing called the Permanent Fund. The fund is currently about $30 Billion which is invested in companies outside of the state so that we’ll have a couple of sheckels to rub together once the oil is gone. The earnings of the fund are used partly by state government, partly reinvested back into the fund, and partly distributed as a dividend to the citizens. Getting at the principle requires a vote of the people, not just an act of the state legislature. It’s pretty stinking brilliant really.

There is a personal connection to the fund: My grandfather was a member of the board of trustees of the fund (he may have chaired the board briefly).

Anyway, what you folks from the Outside probably know of the fund is that each year Alaskans (currently defined as someone who has lived in Alaska for at least one year) get that dividend check each October. No one wants to lose that “free money” so I’m fairly certain the Permanent Fund is safe from a big spending spree of the state for some time to come.

The amount varies but this year each Alaskan got a check for $845. That’s $1690 for Kelli and I. Usually this means I pay off some credit card bills and Kelli gets the dogs’ teeth cleaned and checked, etc. This leaves us a couple of bucks to get myself a new MP3 player or whatever, Kelli gets herself some Fiestaware or whatever, and it makes Christmas shopping more fun and less stressful.

Yet each year something comes up. Last year it was $3000 of vet bills for Sugar Baby.

This year we got to take Bailey to the vet on Halloween. She threw up her dinner. For most dogs one would just say “ewww,” clean it up and move on. For Bailey it’s a little different. She’s an insulin dependent diabetic and so we had loaded her up with insulin as she was eating. By throwing up her food that means she was fully loaded with insulin but with no food. Bad juju.

Two days in the animal hospital and $985 later, she’s back and good as new. Sure we will have to keep an eye on her for a couple of days to make sure she doesn’t throw up. Oh and we need to make sure the poop is of proper poop-like consistency: not too runny but not so firm that she’s straining.

It’s a delicate balance.

I’m not complaining. Luckily the state paid for the vet bill (by way of the dividend) and both the babies are happy and back home.

While my friends are enjoying their new iPods and Fiestaware, we are reaping the benefits of two healthy dogs.

Until next year about this time.


smussyolay said...

dude. it's called 'easy come, easy go,' and then there's a picture of a snouter. i was so worried. yay that the baby is okay. what a cute smusser.

okay. if you read my next post. DO.NOT.BE.MAD. okay? really. it's just so coincidental. and i'm just so happy the smusser is okay.

love, J

Rhoda IV said...

Oh, poor Bailey. You really hit the jackpot when it came to your animals, damn I can't even afford to go to the doctor. Luckily when my cats sick they get treated for free by my Aunt's, which is good because until a couple of months ago they were getting sick about twice a year. Give Bailey a ear scratch from me.

Eric said...

J - I NEVER GET MAD. Even if it was personal, I'd probably get some sick ego boost out of it anyway :-) And yeah, I didn't mean to indicate something *final* happened to poor Boo. I'd have a much more somber headline for that, but even Kelli wondered where I was going with "Easy Come, Easy go."

R - Scritching away. And we are lucky to have good insurance for us. Our dogs have no such insurance (and Bailey has so many pre-existing conditions... it just wouldnt be worth it).

J-bro said...

The records don't say he chaired the board, but I suspect you are right. Grampa Clyde was on the board from 08/1983 to 03/1987.

You can see all the board members at

Good luck with the dogs, I feel your pain, and still spend lots of money on my dog, even without a PFDC.

Happy Holidaze

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