Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Too Funny For Woofs

Hi Everybody,
I have to share something totally ridiculous with you. Today Mom told us that yesterday was National Dog Day. She even said it with a straight face. Can you believe it?
We thought she was kidding but she showed us the headline on Facebook. How silly can these humans get?

National Dog Day????
We've been rolling on the ground with laughter ever since she said the words.
Don't you think it's time we clued these crazy peeps in?
Every day of the year is National Dog Day. And that goes for Leap year day, too.
Excuse me while I try to stop laughing.
Your pal, Fudge

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Little Things

Morgan is better!

Her temperature has stayed down and was 100.6 yesterday afternoon. She'll finish her antibiotics tomorrow and Dr B wants me to continue checking her temp daily for five days to be sure it doesn't creep back up. He feels she picked up a respiratory infection and because of her age and various health issues, it hit her extra hard, but thinks she'll be OK.
She's eating well, even better than well. She's being quite demanding about wanting to eat and what she wants to eat and we're letting her have her way, for now. She's going outside and wandering around the yard and leaving good deposits behind. She's sleeping well with no more nitemares.

There are somethings that only a Mom notices, though. They're small signs that things are returning to normal. Every morning after breakfast, Morgan heads for the living room where she finds a blanket and rolls on her back, kicking her legs in the air. She does this for quite a while each day. Last week she started her aerobics again. That's a good sign.

Most of the time when we take Morgan outside, she walks to the corner of the deck to look around before she goes down the steps. Last week she went directly down the steps or sometimes needed help with the steps. Yesterday, she went to the corner to scope out the yard. That's a good sign.

Morgan is very vocal. She has a deep annoying bark, but she also likes to talk to me. She'll stand in front of me and make all sorts of little noises, especially if she wants a treat or to take a walk. If I don't respond quickly enough, she gets a louder and more demanding tone to her voice. Last week Morgan was silent, but yesterday we had quite a lengthy conversation about her dinner. That's a good sign.

Usually when I go upstairs to the library or to the office in the basement, all the dogs follow and find spots to snooze till I'm ready to leave the room. Since she got sick Morgan has stayed on one floor except for bedtime.  I'm currently at the computer in the basement office and Morgan followed me and is sleeping under the desk. That's a good sign.

Every night at bedtime Morgan takes about 15 to 20 minutes to rearrange her blanket, pillow and toys. Rob and I try not to disturb these items during the day, but they're never in the right place at bedtime. It's quite a production that she goes thru, pulling and pushing and moving things around. Sometimes she gets them just right, flops down on them, then has to go thru the whole process again because they aren't perfect. Since she got sick last week, Morgan has been walking into her sleep area and just lying down and sleeping. I'll know she's really better when she starts rearranging the furniture again.

Moms notice these things.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Morgan Update

I'm really tired, so this is just a quick update. Thanks to everyone who has sent good wishes and asked how she's doing today.

Last night was rocky. During the evening she vomited but she ate a little yogurt at bedtime. Around
1 AM she vomited again.  She has also had nightmares the past two nights. Since she hasn't had one in almost 3 weeks, I feel they were caused by the fever.

My instructions from the doctor were to take her temperature at 3 this afternoon and call in. Anything under 102.5 would be considered normal. Anything higher and we'd have to discuss the next steps. Then she was to get her next dose of antibiotics after checking the temp.

This morning she refused breakfast, but she did do her usual morning roll on her back, kicking her legs in the air. We call it her aerobic exercise and she does it every morning after breakfast. She went out and in by herself and I just thought she looked a little better.

I couldn't stand to wait, so I took her temp at 10:30. It was 102.6. Wow, that's pretty close to 102.5 which we were going to consider normal. I called it in and also told them about the vomiting. The doc said she might be able to have something for nausea after we saw what the afternoon temperature was.

I had a can of dog food that I keep for emergencies, so I made a couple small bite size meatballs and offered them to her. At first she just sniffed them, but then she ate them both. We waited a couple hours but she kept them down, so I offered her a sweet potato chip and she ate that, too.

Finally 3:00 arrived and I took her temp again. It was 101.5. That's right, it was well within the normal range. She had also kept her small lunch down, so I rewarded her with two more meatballs. A few minutes ago she had two more and at bedtime we'll try just a teeny bit of yogurt.

She's very tired and pretty shaky on her feet but she wants to move by herself. We also have to watch her water consumption. She's very thirsty from the fever and wants to drink large amounts of water. I think that contributed to the vomiting, so we control the water bowl carefully, much to Fudge's dismay. He likes to splash around in the water bowl and is bothered by the small amounts I'm putting in.

The Power Of The Paw is a wonderful thing. We've relied on it a number of times and it looks like it's working for us again. Morgan isn't out of the woods yet, but we're much more optimistic than we were at this time yesterday. Thanks everybody.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Progress Report

It's been a long 24 hours. Last evening I took Mac outside and when I came in Morgan was standing at the door. It was the first time she'd managed to stand by herself. I carried her down the steps, she wandered around a little, then I carried her back in. She settled down in the living room, but soon got up and walked to the water bowl. Then she slept till bedtime when I again carried her out and back in. She slept quietly all night.

This morning she needed a little help getting up, but walked to the door and managed the steps by herself. She had a drink and seemed a little interested in breakfast. I offered her some beef and rice mixed with some of Noah's special diet. She only ate about two spoons full, then went to sleep.
A couple times during the day she's wanted to go out to pee and has managed the steps by herself. At one point I offered her half a cookie and after a little hesitation, she ate it.

Finally it was time to head for the vet's office. The moment of truth had come, had the fever gone down? She seemed very tired but managed to walk into the office by herself to applause from the techs. Her temp was 104. OK we had dropped a degree, not what I had hoped for, but acceptable. After some discussion we agreed that it was probably better than that. Her arthritis meds she had yesterday probably knocked it down a little yesterday and after 24 hours the antibiotics were probably wearing off a bit and the fever was starting to rise again.

We decided to continue the antibiotics for six more days, then reassess her condition. She's to be encouraged to eat anything she wants at this point, until she's feeling better.  When we got home she had about half a cup of food and half a cookie. I'll be taking her temp each day around 3PM and we're hoping to see a steady decline.

I didn't get much sleep last night. I woke every hour to check on Morgan and today I'm feeling very emotional, on the edge of tears all day. We had planned to go out for a bite, but I don't want to leave her yet, so I may just go have a good cry and get it out of my system.

Meanwhile, here's Noah's incision and a shot of him in his spiffy shirt.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dog Days

It's been a crazy and stressful couple of days here at Portieville. Yesterday Noah had a growth removed from his leg and while he was out he had his teeth cleaned. The surgery went well and he came home last night tired and hungry. Today he traded his hat for a tee shirt and is doing well. Fudge is jealous, so I'll probably put a shirt on him too, just to keep the peace.
After a quiet night Morgan refused her breakfast this morning. That isn't too unusual, she sometimes prefers to eat a little later in the morning. I took her outside and she had a messy stool. On the way back to the house, she collapsed. I carried her up the steps and inside. I put her on the living room floor and she laid there refusing food or water. She tried to get up, but couldn't.

After a while, Rob lifted her to her feet and she took a few wobbly steps, then went down again. I called the vet and told him we might be at the end. He wanted to see her immediately and thought she might have vestibular disorder, an inner ear problem that causes dizziness. We rushed her right in.
She doesn't have vestibular, but she does have a raging infection with a fever of 105. Dr B did a blood test and except for a very high white count, nothing terrible showed up. He started her on two strong antibiotics and wants to see her in 24 hours. If the fever has dropped even one degree, we'll treat her with antibiotics for a week. If she's worse in 24 hours, we'll have to discuss the hard choices.

Please keep your paws crossed that the fever breaks tonight.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Depression Kills

As many of you know I have dealt with depression for most of my life. I know many of you struggle with it, too. When Robin Williams died last week many were shocked. How could he do it? He had so much. He was so successful. Yes, those things are true but he also had the other side, the side that was sad and dark and lonely. I've heard so many of the people who knew him and considered him a friend say that they had no idea he was in so much pain.

That's pretty typical. Those of us with depression hide it well. When someone asks how we are, we answer "fine". We don't want to bring others down. We don't want to let anyone know how it really feels inside. Until I started blogging, I only let a few people inside my depression and even then I only let them in a little. I never admitted the dark side to any of my coworkers or casual friends.

 The blog gave me a certain buffer. I could say things here that I couldn't say aloud to people I knew. I was amazed the first time I wrote about depression that I received so many supportive comments and that so many others were going thru a similar situation. Your responses have helped enormously.

I've thought a lot about response to depression, not only because I feel it myself, but because someone I love also deals with it daily. How do we respond to someone who is in so much internal pain? Most of the time we try to avoid it. That seems most natural. Try to make them laugh and get over it, but we all know that doesn't work and doesn't help.

In the awful aftermath of Robin Williams death, I've decided that the only answer is to face it head on. If he only knew that there were millions of people who would have tried to help him... If only.....

I've decided to talk to people about their and my depression, even though it's painful to do so. I need to get comfortable using the words depression and suicide. I need to let go of the anger that comes along with those words. I need to ask people who I suspect may be struggling with it how they really feel and how I can help. I need to let them know I'll listen and sit with them and do whatever it takes to help them get thru the worst times.

It's hard and it hurts, but it's necessary, because depression kills.

Monday, August 18, 2014

What's Happening?

Thanks Fudge, for keeping the keyboard warm for me. You did a great job, but I'll take it from here. It's been relatively quiet around here lately. This summer has been more pleasant weatherwise than most. The temperatures have been lower, so we've been spending more time in the yard. We've had some visitors, too. This fellow stopped by for a rest on his way to wherever.
We've had a lot of these around the deck lately.
There have been an abundance of rabbits this year, too.

I 've been busy with my stitching. Between holiday gift items I managed to stitch some more birds. This is in memory of Buddy and Holly.
It's quite a large piece, so here are the parts.
Several of my knitting needles have snapped while working on projects lately and it occurred to me that some of my needles are older than I am. They belonged to my mother and grandmother. When it happened again last week I ordered a set of new Turbo needles and though I didn't expect to notice a difference, I sure did. The new needles are light and smooth and I can knit even faster with less hand and arm pain.
In dog news, Morgan had a few bad days a couple weeks ago. She got sick really fast on Saturday afternoon and was up all night going in and out with vomiting and diarrhea. On Sunday she slept so soundly that I kept nudging her to make sure she was breathing. I went two nights with only a couple hours sleep. On Monday she woke up as good as new and refreshed from her long nap. I was a wreck. Apparently she had a 48 hour bug and now she's fine.
On Thursday morning I noticed Noah chewing on his leg. On closer inspection, I found a growth that I could swear wasn't there the day before. Dr B wasn't in but his sub took a look at it and said it was a skin tag that had gotten inflamed from him messing with it. He's been wearing the cone of shame all weekend and tomorrow he'll spend the day with Dr B having the growth removed and his teeth cleaned.
Noah's tummy seems to be much better and I'm adding some duck kibble to his homemade food to try and ease him back to normal food once again. So far,  so good. He's also gained another two pounds and is 54 now.

Fudge seems to be a little better, too. He likes his food and eats without coaxing. He's acting more like his old silly self again, so that's a good sign that he feels better.
Everyone has been splashing in the pool and enjoying the nice weather, though they all look forward to cold and snow. So that's what we've been up to.