Friday, October 30, 2015

The Blues Chased Away

We rounded the end of the month with a mix of fall weather
and out of town company.
The dogs of course love having someone new around and love showing off.
 Because they just know that anyone that visits is here just for them. Okay, they're partly right.
Todd never even questions that thought.  He just knows that the shoe of our guest is a new toy.
As was the sock.
And the off-limits guest bedroom is for him to enjoy as well.  Or maybe it just provided a moment to escape and get a moment to himself.  I'm not sure which.  Both maybe?
At the end of the week, I'm really tired from working and the late nights.  But, it has been a really good visit.  We've eaten out, I've cooked and baked, and we've had a great time.  It's really given me a much needed lift and chased away the blues I've been feeling.  I hope you've had a good week too!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

We Are Okay!

~Taken on the scenic route home today~
To start, I want to thank you all for your kind words you left on the loss of our boy Buddy.  It means a lot that you took a moment and left your thoughts here (and on facebook) and have shared his loss with us.

Our week ended on a good note.  The beautiful weather really helped that.
~Dusty, is feeling pretty good these days!~
We all enjoyed being outside yesterday, 
~Todd and Sheba, who do you think is on the wrong side of the fence?~
Charlie loved rolling in the grass. 
And George?  Well, he was just happy.
Today the shop where I buy the food for our dogs was celebrating 10 years in business.  The manager of the store knows a few of us that volunteer for the rescue and he asked if we would come and support their anniversary event.  Of course we agreed.  I took Bella with me.  I was hesitant to bring her because of  her "diva moments" that she has at home -- I was ready to put her back in my van if she didn't behave.    
Well, Bella totally surprised me by acting very much like a lady and was a perfect advocate for the rescue! She happily greeted people of all ages, their dogs and in return she managed to get a few dollars slipped into her vest for donations.   I was really proud of her!
These dogs really do have a way of surprising us, don't they?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Good-Bye to Our Boy Buddy

~The day we met Buddy, November 9, 2014~
Today, I woke up with a heaviness in my heart because it was a day that came much too quickly.  It was the day to say good-bye (for now) to Buddy.  Even knowing the reality of the situation, I wasn't fully prepared to accept it.  This was because I'd hoped that Buddy would get better.  But it was not meant to be. It has been a heart-wrenching week watching Buddy not get any better, as we continued to hold onto that thread of hope that the medications and the fluids we were giving him, would somehow work and that his appetite would maybe return.  But it never did.
Buddy didn't seem to be in any pain, just uncomfortable.  There were moments when I'd see a glimpse of the dog we knew, and he would bark, wag his tail, and walk in happy-circles.  Sadly those moments passed too quickly, and the last couple of days, all I saw was a dog that was not feeling well and slipping away.  I knew that letting him go would be the kind thing to do.
As I drove to the vet this morning, I listened to music on my iPod and from Les Miserables, "I Dreamed a Dream," played.  The line from it that says  "there are dreams that cannot be, and storms we cannot weather" are truly the perfect words for Buddy.  I had a dream for him that he would find the perfect forever home and have a family all to himself. But it was a dream that was not to be.  And the cancer, or the storm, was something that sadly he could not weather.
Tonight, even though the other dogs are here, it seems quieter.  I will miss seeing him roll in the yard and always following me into the kitchen, watching me with those hopeful eyes that just knew there was going to be a nibble of something for him and playfully woo-wooing at me and wagging his tail if I was considering not giving him something.
In the children's story book, "Dog Heaven" by Cynthia Rylant,  she writes; "that in Dog Heaven, there are Biscuits and biscuits, as far as the eye can see.  ...There are kitty-cat biscuits and squirrel biscuits, Ice-cream biscuits and ham-sandwich biscuits."   Buddy was a dog that loved and lived to eat. Not being able to eat anything this past week I know had to be hard for him, I could see that at times he really wanted too.  More than anything, I hope that as he arrives at the Rainbow Bridge, free from what kept him from enjoying his meals, he's enjoying those biscuits.  I hope he will not forget us.  I hope that one day we'll see him again.
God speed "my handsome Air-Bud"... as you are met at the Rainbow Bridge by all those who have gone before you, know that  like them, you will be missed and the story of your year with us will not be forgotten.  We will always be grateful that we got to know you Buddy, and had you as part of our lives.   

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Diagnosis and Advice

The results of Buddy's biopsy were returned today.  He has gastric carcinoma. The Internist said that this type of cancer is typically very aggressive and metastasizes quickly unless it is caught in the early stages and the mass is completely removed. When asked if there was anything we might be able to do for Buddy at this stage, he said that we certainly could go for a consult with oncology, but he felt that there wouldn’t be much they could do for him at this point. He felt we were at the stage for providing palliative care.  Tomorrow I'll talk to my vet and see what she recommends.
 A patient in the office where I work was telling me not that long ago about a diagnosis she'd been given nearly two years ago that she was probably not  going to live through the year. But her doctor told her to "take his words and throw them out the window because he wasn’t in charge!   Her doctor said to "live life with joy, laughter and hope instead of under a cloud of fear and doom."  He also said to her that "We all live in the ‘Circle of Life’.  Don’t waste the ‘Life’ part!"  

I remembered that advice this afternoon when I was out in the yard with Buddy and the other dogs.
Watching Buddy roll in the warm grass and soak up the afternoon sun, it occurred to me that dogs are perfect examples of that advice, aren't they?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Buddy's Unconfirmed Diagnosis

It has been a long day not just for me, but especially for Buddy.  First up on our agenda this morning was his ultrasound.  I will fast-forward and spare you the side-story about the mix-up with the appointment time (their fault), and my insistence that Buddy be seen today or tomorrow and not next week some time.  What matters, is that the ultrasound was done.  The Internist felt that what he saw on the ultrasound indicates that it is probably Gastrointestinal lymphoma.  To confirm that diagnosis, a biopsy was done, and we should have the results in 2-3 days.

Yes, I know I've gotten bad news before about our dogs.  But trust me, it never, ever for a single moment gets easier to hear. Buddy has been through so much in dealing with his allergies, and we finally had them sorted out.  And today, to add a proverbial insult to injury, I was reminded by someone that exactly one year ago today, Buddy came into the rescue.  That just added a whole other range of emotions and sadness over the hopes that I had for him.
Tonight Buddy is still refusing food, and hasn't eaten hardly anything since Sunday.  I am hoping that along with a good nights sleep and the two new medications on board to help with nausea, he'll feel better and feel like eating. Paws and fingers crossed that he will, and that the days until we get the results of the biopsy will pass uneventfully and quickly.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Happy With Himself!

The weather and the weekend could not have been better.  I think Cissy (below) agreed! 
I went to a "tag sale" at a nearby town with two friends. My friends found a few more things to buy than I did.  I only bought a bag of clothes pins....But with lunch afterwards at a favorite restaurant and great company, I felt like I did pretty well. 
Back at home, Todd continued his landscaping and excavating in the yard, making-dead, not one, but two moles.  It was easy to see that he was pretty happy with himself.  
And I've a feeling that Todd thinks he had a better weekend than I did. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Clouds, heavy rain and fog followed me almost the whole way to Kentucky last Friday.
I made good time despite the weather and arrived on time at the place I was staying.  As you know, my family home has been sold.  And since my brother's apartment is too small, instead of staying at a hotel, I opted to try something different, and used Airbnb at the recommendation of some friends. (Airbnb is a website for people to list, find, and rent lodging in something like 190 countries.)  In my reading about it, I found there are a lot of pros and cons to the whole thing, but it worked perfectly for me. I really felt like I was staying at the home of friends -- The homeowners, a retired dentist and school teacher, were people I had a lot in common with and I could not have felt more welcome!  I felt so lucky to have found such a lovely place to stay and hope to stay there again on my next trip to Kentucky.
-My room, with a sitting area and kitchenette was more like a small apartment-
My visit with my brother was a good and productive one. It included a stop by our family home.  It's now for sale by the investor who bought it in April.  He has totally refurbished it, inside and out. It's good to see it looking all brand-new, but it seems a bit lonely, if a house can be that way.
Before going home, there is always a visit to the cemetery. 
On my return trip to Virginia the sun followed me the whole way. I've driven the same way for more than 20 years, and I am not sure what possessed me, boredom maybe, to try another route home.  The other route is about the exact same distance, with less traffic, so what did I have to lose?  The answer is "plenty!"  The other way had its moments of great scenery, but was boring, and seemed to go on forever.  Suffice it to say, lesson learned that sometimes it's better to not take the road less traveled.
I was so glad to get home!  All the dogs had done well while I was gone, thanks to Carl's great care!  I know he was helped in part, by Todd who kept an eye on everything outside.
Buddy is no better or worse, and is scheduled for an ultrasound on Tuesday morning.
Dusty is doing well and I'm happy that he's up and around as much as he is, and seems to feel well.
It is great to be home!  

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Scottish Weather

It's foggy, chilly and raining here today and Todd thinks that it's perfect Scottish weather and he wants to be outside. I've called him several times to come inside, but he's content to stay right where he is.
The rain is expected to last for the next several days as we await for the effects of Hurricane Joaquin to work its way up the coast.  The latest forecast predicts that it will stay out at sea -- Only time will tell if that prediction is right.
Buddy is still the same.  He feels "okay" for the most part, and is eating some, but is still really picky about what he wants. He was at the vet again yesterday.  Now that we've done x-rays and tried several medications, it's time to go to the next level, and take him for an ultrasound.  I'm hopeful I'll get the approval from the rescue, and be able to take him next week.  Until then, he's on an appetite stimulant, and we're feeding him whatever he wants.
On a positive note, Dusty is much better.  His appetite is fully returned, and he's up and around.  The tumor on his leg isn't feeling warm like it was previously, and the ulceration seems to be healing nicely too.
I'm grateful for your good vibes for both Buddy and Dusty.  I am still worried about them, and I'm hopeful they'll both be okay. On Friday I'm off on a quick dog-less trip to Kentucky.  I'll be back in a few days and just hope all goes well while I'm away.  Paws and fingers crossed that it will be.  See you soon!