Archive for April, 2010

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New on Etsy

April 26, 2010

As I’ve been sitting next to Whitey the past couple days, I’ve spent some time making some new necklaces to list on Etsy. Please take a look — all proceeds benefit the rescue.

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This kind of thing happens around here as well.

April 26, 2010

Article on coyote hunting.

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Waiting

April 25, 2010

Somebody on GT a couple weeks ago said that when you adopt a dog, it’s like waiting to be hit in the gut with a baseball bat. You know that the blow is going to come. You can’t do anything to stop it. All you can do is wait for it. That sounds just about right to me. And then you put your name on the list to do it all over again. What comes before the blow makes it all worthwhile.

I know my Little White is dying. I know that at this point, the cancer is everywhere in his little body. The other front leg, his spine, and his lungs, and probably other places too. His spirit is still strong but his body can’t keep up with him anymore.

It’s awful and amazing to watch him. Two weeks ago today, we thought we would be saying goodbye to him the next day. But he bounced back, the little trooper. He spent most of the past 2 weeks behaving as though nothing was wrong with him. I laughed and cried each time he would come running in from the yard, sometimes faster than our young 4-leggeds. I watched him stand in the sun, ears up and alert, surveying everything that only recently became his. I love his attitude, his spunk, his toughness, his will. And I hate the cancer that is taking that life from him and from me.

His determination makes it hard to know when to let him go. Any other dog (let alone any person) would have quit by now, but not Whitey. Sometimes I wonder whether I am letting him go a day too long (and if you’ve ever let a loved one go a day to late, you know that the day haunts you). But each time I’ve been convinced that he’s just got to be too sick to go on, then he rallies and perks up and goes about his business.

This time, though, I think we are almost there. He’s been coughing the past few days, and everyone touched by osteo knows just what that means. And I think it is making him tired. He has lost some weight. On the other hand, his appetite is still there; he is still alert; he still gets up and hops around outside for potty time; still bops things with his nose and checks out the other dogs. He just kills me.

I’m waiting for him to tell me that he is too tired. I don’t want to take away any days when he clearly wants all the days he can get. So I keep waiting to see if tomorrow will bring a better day, or if tomorrow will bring the day he wants to tell me goodbye.

He’s resting comfortably now on his bed, not coughing, twitching his little front foot and puffing his cheeks out a bit as he breathes. And I’m sitting here by him listening.

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Hannah has been found!

April 23, 2010

Thanks to anyone who helped in the search for her! She is on her way to the vet but seems fine, although covered in ticks.

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Lost Dog

April 20, 2010

If anyone can help, Hannah needs you. Right click on the image to save and print the flyer, or drive around the area to search. She has been out a long time, but we are still getting sightings so she is alive. Just need to bring the poor girl in.

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Day by day

April 17, 2010

I haven’t updated in a while….I’ve just been focusing on Whitey. It has been really up and down. Last week he was great – running and digging as you saw in the photos. He seemed FINE, like there was nothing at all wrong with him except the missing leg.

Then on Sunday he crashed. He felt crappy all day Sunday, barely got out of bed but couldn’t get comfortable. Kept whining and crying, and his eyes were watering – it was breaking my heart. We called Dr M at home and she told us to bring him in right away in the morning. His front leg was swollen and I was afraid he had fractured it. By late in the evening he could hardly stand up on his own. He was up most of the night on Sunday, and I was up with him worrying. I honestly thought we were bringing him in on Monday to say goodbye to him. As morning got closer, I told him how much I loved him and asked him what he wanted me to do.

And on Monday, he was a little better. He gave a little tail wag to go in the car, and was able to jump in by himself. We took him (and Apollo) to see Dr M, and she made a “van call” so he wouldn’t have to get out of his bed in the van. But when he saw her, he perked up his ears and waited to be let out. And Dr M said that she didn’t think it was time.

So we added another pain med that I had previously been reluctant to try (Tramadol) because of some of my other hounds’ reactions to it. We had previously been using only Deramaxx and Gabapentin. We added naltrexone, a somewhat experimental off-label use for it, but decided to give it a go. And she gave me some DMSO gel to use for the swelling on his front leg, which was also starting to show up on his rear legs. With him feeling as alert and responsive as he was, we wanted to see whether he could bounce back again.

I talked to someone else on Greytalk that night, and they mentioned giving their own greyhound Lasix for the leg swelling, so I had Dr M call me in some of that as well, and added it to the pile. In case anyone is keeping count, this is his list of meds: The metronomic protocol (doxycycline, cyclophosphamide, alendronate, and deramaxx), artemisinin, gabapentin, naltrexone, lasix, a multivitamin, and DMSO (the topical anti-inflammatory). I think that’s everything…

He was tired after the vet trip on Monday, and I worried that we had made the wrong choice for him. Worried that we were pushing him a day too long. But I still didn’t feel from him that he was ready to go. By Monday night the swelling in his legs – all 3 – looked really bad, and I was convinced that he actually had hypertrophic osteoarthropathy (even though no lung metastasis has been visible so far). I thought we’d be losing him any day, even though the new medication cocktail was enabling him to rest comfortably by then.

And then, he started to get a little better. We had another vet appointment on Thursday (yesterday) for Apollo to have his incision rechecked, so Whitey came along. Dr M noticed immediately that the swelling in his rear legs was down, and even his front leg looked a little better. His attitude was good. But she thought he was starting to show some neurological effects from the spinal tumor, and moving one of his rear legs strangely when he walked. She warned me that we don’t have much time, which I know, and told me to make the most of this coming weekend with him.

Today, Friday, Whitey had the best day he has had in the past week. He popped up this morning and did his trademarked head-toss/tail-wag/bark routine to go outside. He trotted around, ran a short ways, explored the yard before he was done. He seemed happy, lots of wags.

The girls wanted to eat dinner outside in the back yard tonight, so Whitey and Apollo came out with us to the “big yard” where dogs don’t normally go. Whitey took off for the far corner of the yard. I didn’t have my video camera, but I had my regular camera which can shoot a little video, and I got this blurry video (shot from far away on zoom) that I will post below of him bopping around. I’ll also post the video of Apollo going bananas – he loves the “big yard.”

I took a bunch of photos today, since I never know if this is our last really good day. But I hope it’s not. He amazes me. I’ve seen the rads. I know how much pain he just has to be in, but his attitude is unbelievable. He’s just not ready to leave yet. I’m pretty sure he’ll tell me when he is. But right now we are taking it day by day and I am glad for today. He ate a good dinner tonight and then moved on to finish off Apollo’s (I think Apollo was too exhausted from playing to be very interested). He’s just such a good boy.

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Pretty Boys

April 8, 2010