Thursday, June 13, 2019

Life Goes On

We're still here. We just needed some time to grieve. Norma Jean is doing pretty well.
  Lola is clingy. She wants to have Rob or me petting her most of the time.
 Tess had an upset tummy for about a week. I know they're confused and wondering where the boys went. Sebastian, Noah and Tess were good friends who would play tag in the back yard.
About a week ago the girls started sleeping together at night. They haven't done that since they were puppies. My heart hurts for them.

It's been raining here almost every day and Rob has been trying to keep up with the rapidly growing grass. It grows faster than he can mow it down. Other things have been growing that are easier to live with, like the wild roses on the fence.




We have a demanding family of hummingbirds that empty the feeder almost daily. They buzz us and yell at us when we get near the feeder. Silly birds, who do they think fills the feeder for them?
Last night I saw this and immediately thought of my boys on the other side.

We're trying to get used to our new normal and I want to get back into blogging to keep my mind busy. I've been knitting to keep my hands busy and soon I'll show off some of my creations.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Dark Days In Portieville

Twelve years ago when we decided to keep six puppies from a litter of eight, it was fun. It was a lot of work and loss of sleep, but it was fun. I learned so much about pack dynamics from them but mostly it was laughter and games and lots of clean up.

When you're holding several warm wiggly puppies it's easy to focus on the present and not think about how it will all end. At the time Dr B warned me that the time would come when they were all old dogs and we'd start losing them, possibly close together. We were all aware of the future but we went ahead and enjoyed our  pack of littermates.

The future is here. In August we lost Bailey, in January we lost Fudge and last week we lost Sebastian and Noah. It's so hard but it's the deal we made.

Unfortunately we're not finished. We have three girls left and they each have some health issues that we're aware of and trying to deal with.

Two weeks ago Norma Jean had a serious accident that left her unable to walk for several days. We discussed letting her go, but Norma Jean is a tough girl and though she's pretty wobbly, she's getting around on her own. She has a neurological problem that has our vet stumped and she takes pain meds daily but we're taking it day by day.

This morning Lola collapsed on the stairs on her way to breakfast. We carried her upstairs and gave her something for pain. She was unable to stand for awhile but now after several hours of rest she's telling me that she's hungry and looking forward to her dinner. She's walking on her own again but she also has some other problems. She has masticatory muscle myositis so that she needs soft food. She also has pretty severe arthritis so that she moves stiffly.

Finally there's Tess who has arthritis in her deformed front legs.

We trying to spend as much quality time as possible with the girls because we know our time together is short. I knew going into this how it would end. That doesn't make it any less painful, but I would make the same choice all over again.

Friday, May 24, 2019

My Little Peanut

He was so little. His littermates ranged from eight to ten ounces. He was just over five ounces. He fit in my hand.
He was a beautiful boy with his white collar and leg.
He was a little behind his siblings developmentally. When they were running up and down the stairs, his little legs wouldn't reach. The others loved playing on the rocks and jumping off. He would follow them onto the rocks but was afraid to climb down. We'd have to rescue him.
He got along well with the other dogs but Fudge liked to tease him. In fairness, Fudge liked to tease all the pups but Noah had a quick temper and overreacted to Fudge's actions. There was always tension between the two and I kept a close eye on them.
Noah was a mama's boy. He followed every step I took. He watched me constantly. I miss him being beside me. When I took him outside, just the two of us, he would dance and frolic like a puppy. It's hard for me to accept that he was actually an old dog. He was my puppy.
Noah was the first to get sick with cryptosperidium in 2012. He was very sick. He recovered but was left with colitis and suffered with it the rest of his life. He had a reaction to an antibiotic that left him with dry eye syndrome. Though we put ointment in his eyes daily, he lost most of the vision in one eye. His life wasn't easy.
At a checkup a couple months ago Dr B noticed a problem with his back legs. He told me he suspected a neurological issue in his spine and to keep an eye on it. Since then his back legs have gotten weaker and he would occasionally stumble.
Last week Noah didn't want to use the stairs so we started feeding him in the kitchen and walking him on leash. His back feet didn't seem to be working very well.
Monday evening Noah fell and couldn't get up. Rob would lift him while I slipped a towel under his hips to help him walk. He couldn't stand or walk on his own. He also refused to eat. Tuesday was the same. We knew it was time.
On Wednesday morning we carried him into the exam room. Dr B came in and discussed Noah's condition. He said we were doing the right thing.
I was there when Noah was conceived. I was there when he was born and I held him as he took his last breath.
He was my little peanut and I loved him.

Norris




 Norris
March 2012 - May 24, 2019

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Noah

Noah

Legacy's Adrift In The Dark
October 26, 2006 -May 22, 2019

Monday, May 20, 2019

A Special Boy

You all remember that Sebastian found us shortly after we lost Tsar. He fit seamlessly into the pack and become an important part of the family.
Sebastian was calm and sweet tempered. He never got into trouble and never had an accident in the house. When Rob brought the little hound puppies home, Sebastian accepted them immediately and was a huge help in raising them. They both adored him.
For some time we've known that he was in some pain but we couldn't pinpoint the source. I thought it was headaches because he would keep his head lowered, eyes squinted and sleep in a corner with his head pressed against the wall.
Last month we had a cyst removed from his eyelid and his teeth and gums cleaned. We hoped that would relieve his pain.
After his surgery Sebastian didn't want to chew and would walk away from his kibble and biscuits. I started feeding him soft and wet food and giving him animal crackers instead of biscuits. But then last week he started refusing the soft food too.
He spent all the time sleeping in a corner and had to be coaxed to eat or go outside. We knew he was very sick but didn't know why.

On Thursday evening Sebastian put his head in my lap and I started rubbing his ears. I noticed a hard lump at his jawline under his ear.  On Friday morning we took him to the vet. Dr B wasn't sure what the lump was. It could be an infected saliva gland or a lymph node. All his other lymph nodes were ok and he had no fever so the doc was stymied. He also noted that Sebastian had  lost about eight pounds since his surgery six weeks earlier. He took some blood and gave us some antibiotics.
On Saturday morning Dr B called. He said the lab report was back and it was bad news. Sebastian had advanced kidney disease. There was nothing we could do. We might buy ourselves a few weeks with a special diet, but I didn't think that was fair for a good boy like Sebastian. He was suffering and we couldn't let that continue.
We took Sebastian for a walk on his favorite trail, then headed for the hospital where Dr B was waiting. We all said goodbye and ended his pain.
I'll always be glad that he found us and we took him in. We had him for much too short a time.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Sebastian

Sebastian

Legacy's Dom Sebastian deSejado
January 5, 2011 - May 18, 2019