Tomorrow will be two weeks since the horrible accident that took Bogie’s earthly life from us. And in so doing left our hearts shattered yet again. But we are thankful to have had this goofy, sweet, loving boy in our lives for the short time he was here.
We’re thankful for a merciful God who didn’t allow our boy to suffer the pain of insurmountable internal injuries.
We’re thankful for all the love, kind words, and emotional support we have received from family and friends, both offline and online, many of whom we have never met face-to-face. And I’m thankful for the sweet, thoughtful gifts from two of my fellow bloggers – you know who you are.
We’re thankful for the strangers who DID stop to try to help Bogie and us. Good samaritans with caring souls.
We’re thankful for our wonderful vets and staff at Haywood Road Animal Hospital who so lovingly and compassionately comforted us and handled all the final details of making sure Bogie would be coming home to be with us forever.
We’re thankful for the St. Francis Pet Crematorium staff who made sure Bogie’s earthly form was treated with the dignity and compassion he deserved. And his cremains returned to us with heartfelt expression of sympathy for our loss.
And, of course, we are thankful for Ducky. Our sweet girl. Our angel with paws instead of wings. Our precious furry companion who does her best every day to make us smile and laugh through our tears. Our sugar-snout who misses her favorite pest as much as we do and continues to look for him at times.
I can’t believe it’s been more than three months since my last post. Still, considering all that’s been going on, I’m surprised it’s only three months.
Where to start? Well, August was fairly normal – crazy busy trying to keep Bogie from being too much of a pest to Ducky. Bogie is an absolute love bug…sweet, loving, gentle…but still very much a puppy. And his youthful exuberance makes Ducky nervous at times. Frequently, to be totally honest.
Then came September. Things were changing rapidly at our long-time vet’s office. Staff members that I had worked with while doing my vet assistant course externship had started leaving over the course of 2018, 2019 and 2020, but by the beginning of September only two remained. I knew from one of the last to leave that things had turned toxic. It was breaking my heart as well as my friends’ hearts.
Ducky had her annual wellness visit on September 23rd, and I could feel the tension just walking in the door. While the techs ran the various tests in the treatment area, hubby and I spoke with Dr. Simpson about Ducky’s hip dysplasia, discomfort, and frequent avoidance of Bogie. Dr. Simpson and I shared an unstated understanding of the sadness we felt over the changes. I told him I would stand by him, and I sealed it with a hug. And then the tech brought Ducky back into the exam room. A week later Dr. Simpson was gone as well. 😥 But we remain in touch. We’re like family to each other. He’s been Ducky’s primary vet for most of the last five years. And he’d been Bogie’s vet, too, since we first brought him home.
Over the last couple of months, I’ve been busy managing hubby’s dementia issues, Ducky’s and Bogie’s relationship, Ducky’s hip issues, and Bogie’s “growing pains”. At times I’ve felt like running away from home, but the adult in me kept me from it.
Meanwhile, Dr. Simpson has been working on a project that he asked my help with, and I’m delighted to be a part of it. I feel so strongly about it that I offered to publish a blog post and ask for feedback from you, my pet blogging buddies.
After suffering the heartbreak of losing his beloved chocolate Lab, Nestle (Ness), he started thinking/wondering why he was expending so much energy on mediocre pet owners. He wants to help pet parents who love and treat their pets like beloved family members. And help protect them from the bad, sometimes dangerous misinformation they might find on “Dr. Google”.
The project involves building a community of likeminded pet parents; and eventually building a by-referral-only clinic to serve them and their beloved pets. One where he and the pet parents would work together to help the pets lead their best possible lives. One where mutual respect and trust is what drives the partnership between vet and pet parent.
For my part in this project, I agreed to reach out to my fellow bloggers for help. So, I have two questions for you:
1) As true pet parents, what is your biggest fear?
2) What makes you turn to Dr. Google for answers to your pets’ health issues? What are you searching for?
We all know there is a lot of misleading, sometimes dangerous information out there in cyberspace. Dr. Simpson would like to make a difference in pets’ lives by helping their humans find real, safe information when they need it.
I realize the holidays are right around the corner and that you’re probably already busy with preparations. So, if you could take take a few minutes to answer those questions for me I would greatly appreciate it. So would Dr. Simpson.
Finally, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in the USA, so to all who celebrate it, I hope you have a safe, wonderful holiday!
So much to be thankful for today, and every day. I’m just going to list a few….
I’m thankful for supportive family and friends.
I’m thankful for our very supportive primary care doctor. She is wonderful beyond measure, and we both love her.
I’m thankful for both of our two vets, and their caring staff, at Sunrise Animal Hospital just a little over a mile from the house. The vets both know and love Ducky, and are getting to know and love little Bogie.
With respect to the vets, I’m thankful for our excellent rapport. They both know that I have complete faith and trust in them to do and suggest what’s right for all my pups – past, present and future – and that if something they suggest doesn’t work, I won’t blame them – especially if I don’t follow their instructions to the letter.
I’m thankful that while hubby’s dementia has changed, at least he is still fully aware of himself, his surroundings, and his family. He knows something isn’t quite right with him, and it frustrates him; but he trusts me to do what’s best for him, to love him unconditionally, and to help him in any way I can.
And I’m thankful that Ducky is becoming more accepting of her baby brother. When she’s hurting from the effects of the hip dysplasia and arthritis, she gets snarky with him like she used to with Shadow, especially inside where she doesn’t have much room to get away from him
So, with all that said, we are joining the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop hosted by the humans and kitties of Brian’s Home.
I’m having trouble adding the blog hop links, so for now I’ll just publish and link my own post. To all of you who are frustrated with the WordPress block editor vs. classic editor, I feel your pain at the moment!!
It’s hard to believe you’ve been with us for eight years! I remember that first day like it was yesterday.
You were so darn cute! Even though you were – as Dr. Steve named you a week later – a “little wild child”, you had stolen our hearts that weekend we fostered you.
Callie and – especially – Shadow didn’t know what to make of you. You had turned their calm, quiet lives upside down and inside out that weekend. And it took them a few days to figure out you were here to stay this time.
You drove us all to distraction at times. As far as Shadow was concerned, your first day at A Dog’s Day Out was the best birthday present I could ever have given her. 🤣 You came home too tired to be a pest.
Fast forward less than three years, and you helped Shadow, Daddy, and me through our grief over losing Callie to the lymphoma. And three and a half years later, you helped us through saying goodbye to Shadow as she reunited with Callie.
You were thrilled to have a friend again when we added Radar to our little family. He became your best friend and brother almost overnight. You two had a blast together every day.
Losing Radar to the heartworm disease just a few days after his third month with us had begun was devastating. All three of us were in a fog of disbelief, of confusion, and of heartache. I still get leaky-eyed sometimes when I think of our Golden Angel Boy. But you came to our rescue again. You helped us lift that fog.
These last several months you’ve been dealing with those hind-end issues. You poor girl. You are so stoical. Thanks to the Your End of the Lead course (YEL 2.0) that I’ve been taking – especially the community of likeminded folks who helped me pick up on your clues – I was able to realize you needed veterinary attention. Dr. Steve, Dr. Simpson, and the entire staff at Sunrise Animal Hospital has been wonderful – no surprise! – in their care of you and teamwork with me to get you feeling better. Your issues have decreased substantially and continue to improve daily.
A few months ago, I wrote a post where I called you my little earth angel. And that proves to be true every minute of every day. I don’t know what I would do without you, Ducky. I don’t want to know. You – like your sisters before you – have become my canine soulmate. I (and Daddy) love you to the ends of the universe and back.
So, here’s to you Miss Ducky! My sometime wild child and always loving baby girl. ❤️🐾❤️🐾❤️🐾
First of all, let me assure you that we are all well and as safe as anyone can be during this pandemic.
A lot and almost nothing has been going on around here since our last post. Ducky’s been going back to daycare a couple or three times a month since the middle of May, depending on her mobility issues. And we’ve pretty much become homebodies to a greater extent than we ever were in the past.
Hubby’s dementia-induced alternate persona – who I named Poindexter – has been here off and on since the pandemic caused a short-lived shutdown here in South Carolina, causing a great deal of anxiety for poor Ducky. As if that weren’t enough……
At the end of May / beginning of June Ducky had an allergic reaction to something which caused a secondary skin infection. Poor girl. To top it off, the vet felt she might have some arthritis starting up in her left hind leg. We had put her on Carprofen for a couple of weeks, which helped a bit; but once we took her off of it (because of the antibiotic she was on for the skin infection), the slight, intermittent limp started again. So back on the Carprofen for another week, along with her then-current joint supplement.
In July we had to have a new commode and sink installed in our only bathroom, causing a great deal of anxiety for poor Ducky on a day when she couldn’t be at daycare because of her mobility issues.
It was also in July, while I was doing ACE Free Work with Ducky – a topic worthy of its own future post – that I noticed she was leaning forward and favoring her hind left leg quite a bit while eating her breakfast every morning. When it only seemed to get worse as the week wore on, I sent the vet a video. I was afraid she may have some cruciate disease, in addition to the presumed arthritis. He was concerned enough after watching the video to suggest taking some X-rays.
Thankfully, the “rads” showed no sign of cruciate disease in either hind leg. They did, however, show that the left side of her pelvis had not completely formed as she was growing from puppyhood to adulthood. As a result, her left hip has some dysplasia. Thankfully, there is very little arthritis in the joint at this point. With a new course of Carprofen, some Gabapentin, and continued use of joint support supplements she started doing better. I had to change supplements, though, because I noticed – once she finished the Carprofen and Gabapentin – that the ones I’d been giving her weren’t working as well any more. So, back on the Gabapentin until she moves from the initial dosage to the maintenance dosage of the new supplement. I *think* that it’s starting to work already; but I won’t know for sure until we stop the Gabapentin.
So there you have it – our last 4 or 5 months in a few paragraphs. I’m working on the free work post, but I need some input from friends (in the UK) who know more about it than I do. Trust me, though, it’s a great way to have fun with your dog and learn more about her/him in the process!
Hubby, Ducky, and I have so much to be thankful for that I’m glad Brian of Brian’s home has set up (and maintains) the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.
We are thankful to all our friends and family for all the love and moral support you gave us these last several weeks while we dealt with Shadow’s heartbreaking decline and the decision to let her join her sister, Callie, in Heaven.
We are thankful for our wonderful vets, Dr. Steve Coluqhoun and Dr. Tyler Simpson and the wonderful staff at Sunrise Animal Hospital who gave our sweet Shadow the best care anywhere. In fact, Dr. Steve has been caring for all our furry and feathered family members for a long time.
We are thankful for the love and devotion of all our dogs – Kissy, Callie, Shadow, and Ducky – over the years we’ve been together. And right now especially for Ducky who has been helping us deal with the loss of her beloved sister. She misses Shadow, too, and still looks for her. I try to limit her time alone in the house to an hour these days. Just like I did with Shadow when Callie first got her angel wings.
So, that’s a part of what we’re thankful for. Click on the links below and see what other bloggers are thankful for this week.
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These last several weeks I’ve been watching Shadow closely. At times she seemed in great shape – playing with Ducky, chasing her favorite ball, almost running up the three steps to the main part of the house – and other times she stumbles or misjudges her footing on the steps. Those tough times have really been breaking my heart these last few weeks.
Ten days ago she stopped eating her food. And this is food she has loved from day one. She was taking her pills – wrapped in pieces of pill pocket – and treats. She especially loves the treats I bought from Jan at Wag-n-Woof Pets. And on Wednesday of the week before last, when she was so hesitant to go down the steps to the back door, I immediately called the vet and made an appointment. Meanwhile, with hubby’s help, I got her outside and walking around. She did well.
On Friday morning, we went to see the vet. After a hands-on body exam, the vet said that my poor girl had somehow pulled the groin muscle in her right rear leg. And sure enough even I could feel how tight it was. It will take 10-14 days to heal. And her appetite should follow suit. We decided to treat her with muscle relaxants. On Day Five I was only starting to see slight improvement. She slept most of the day. And she balked at going down the steps to the back door.
Saturday last week was hubby’s birthday and we had the pet sitter take care of the dogs so we could go up to Charlotte (NC) to spend the day with his son and his family. I felt a little guilty leaving Shadow; but I knew Susan loves my girls and would take good care of both of them, so I didn’t worry too much. On Sunday afternoon, I pulled out the Carelift lifting harness I had bought for Shadow a couple of years ago. (I got the idea from our friends, Joy and her Emma at My GBGV Life when their Katie was a senior and needed assistance on her walks.)
This past Wednesday was Shadow’s biannual senior exam. The muscle relaxant was already doing its job on the groin muscle; but it was also suppressing Shadow’s appetite and making her seem almost lethargic at times. Getting her up on her feet and outside for bathroom breaks – even with hubby’s help – was difficult at best. Anyway, her labs came back pretty close to normal. Once she’s been off the muscle relaxant and the week’s worth of NSAIDs to help strengthen her joints for two weeks, we’ll do the labs again to make sure everything is back on track.
It’s now Day Nine of the muscle relaxants and Day Three of the Meloxicam for her joints, and I’m finally seeing promising improvements in Shadow’s overall mobility. Her appetite is still mostly suppressed, but after a few days of not even wanting treats, she’s back to taking them from me again. It’s not great, but it’s a start that makes this dog mom feel better.
Knowing my sweet girl’s age is catching up with her breaks my heart. She’s had some tough times in the three and a half years since her older sister – and best friend – got her angel wings; but Callie has stayed with her in spirit and helped me get her through it all. This past week in particular I was beginning to wonder if Callie was trying to tell me Shadow’s time to join her was coming soon. I know it will eventually; but I don’t think Shadow’s ready quite yet. Her eyes are still bright, and she’s back to fighting for her independence. I know she misses Callie, but Ducky’s been keeping her company and mostly been a sweet little sister. Especially this past week.
With all the rain in our forecast today it seems a good one to think “out loud”.
First of all, I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and had a safe and happy New Year’s Eve/Day!
We enjoyed the company of my only sibling – my older brother – from the 19th to the 28th of December. Poor Ducky was stressed-out a good part of the time. She just doesn’t like “strangers” in her house, especially men who are taller than me. All in all though, she did okay. Our house does not lend itself to containment at all, so we kept her harnessed and leashed.
The day after Christmas we left the dogs on their own in the house for a few hours while we spent time meeting up with hubby’s brother and sister-in-law. I made the mistake of not getting a pet sitter to let the girls outside for a break….
When we arrived home, I immediately leashed Ducky and took the dogs out to the backyard while hubby and bro put up their jackets. It was then that hubby found the consequence of Ducky’s boredom….
Several of our Christmas packages had been chewed on, and the contents of one was totally gone. Nine tiny pieces of dark-chocolate candy that bro had brought home from his trip to Costa Rica. I felt like such a jerk! Lesson learned the expensive way….
Hubby, the dogs, and I spent the next two hours at the vet’s. First Ducky, and then Shadow, were treated to prevent chocolate poisoning. I won’t go into detail, so suffice it to say all is well.
Now, I know that before Christmas I had promised y’all a “Part 2” post about the change in the dogs’ food. Well, it’s not even in the draft stage yet; but I’ll get it done eventually. For now, though, it’s time to get some lunch and finish reading the book I started right after Thanksgiving.
The dogs are enjoying a nap and allowing me some much-needed peace and quiet.
I’ve never taken to change well. My motto is usually similar to Scarlett O’Hara’s: “after all, tomorrow is another day!”
No, I’m not making changes to the blog again.
This time it’s a change in the dogs’ diet. Both dogs. At the same time. YIKES! For someone who doesn’t like change, this is drastic! But our vet approved the change once I told him why I feel it’s necessary, so I’m okay with it.
Anyway, the new food is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday. Wish us luck with the transition. We’ll be back in two or three weeks to let you know how it went – or is still going – and then we’ll tell you more about why we had to change. And we’ll reveal the name of the new food.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, whether you live in the USA or not. It’s a day of giving thanks, so count your blessings and SMILE. 😊
If you are one of our “regular” readers, you know that my hubby is a dementia patient (in the early-middle stages). If not, you can read about it here, if you want to.
The past week (since a week-ago yesterday) has literally been hell on earth here at our house – and in the truck or car. For the last eight days, I’ve felt like I’m walking on egg shells. And the poor dogs have been stressed-out way more than I can deal with emotionally. Yesterday, I asked our vet – via text – if Xanax was safe enough for Shadow. That’s how bad it was on Friday night. He responded affirmatively and with the suggested dosage. Bless that man!!!
So far – since late yesterday afternoon – things have been fairly calm and peaceful. I’m praying they stay that way. And I’m trying hard to live in the moment. Last night – just before bedtime – I gave both girls a dose of the Xanax in case things went downhill again. They slept through the night. And, so did I once I turned the tv off.
Living with a dementia patient is NOT for wimps, I can tell you for sure! Especially if you also live with animals who are as sensitive and tuned into your own moods as mine are. And they react to it in different ways. (Shadow runs away to hide; Ducky barks almost incessantly.)
The dogs and I are in the back yard, getting away from the tv news and getting some fresh air. I’m praying that when we go back inside, peace and calm will still prevail. And I will try to keep living in the moment.
Have a great week! And please send us energy and light for a peaceful week; or say a prayer, light a candle, whatever. Thank you for being there for us as we travel this road. Peace and Love!! 💓