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.

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Most Wonderful Treat

Hi Everybody,
Mom says I have to give the blog back to her, so I decided to write one more post before she locks the office door and covers the keyboard. 

First before I tell you the treat news, I want to tell you about an old friend of ours who isn't feeling well. Maybe you can all stop by and say hi. That would cheer him up. Zeus is one of the Lapdogs and we've been friends for a long time. 
Over the past year he's been having some health problems but he's a big tough guy and he kept rolling. Now though he has a bad thing, he has vestibular syndrome. It means he feels dizzy every time he moves and that makes him feel sick in his tummy. The doctor gave him some medicine and says he has to rest. We've known several Water Dogs that have had this syndrome and it isn't any fun for them or their peeps but they have all gotten better.

Now about that wonderful treat. Noah and I are both on special diets because of our sick tummies. Mom makes Noah's food and I eat a special kibble made of duck and sweet potatoes. We both like our new food a lot and Noah has even gained two more pounds. The problem is that we can only have sweet potato chips for treats. Don't get me wrong, they taste great and we like them, but we always get sweet potato chips while all the other dogs get a whole medley of good treats that Mom keeps up high on the shelf. That's so that Bailey can't reach them and help herself.

Last week Mr Andrew notified Mom of this months selection of treats for our review. One of them was  Smooches made by The Honest Kitchen. We laughed about this because we wondered if there's a company called The Dishonest Kitchen. That's a little dog humor there.

Mom wasn't familiar with Smooches, at least the biscuit kind. We all give her smooches all the time. She did some online research and found out that Smooches were made in the USA of good ingredients like chicken and cranberries. We like chicken and cranberries but that meant that Noah and I couldn't try them.

But then something else caught her eye. The same Honest Kitchen company makes treats called Nuzzles and they're made from duck and cherries. Mom told Mr Andrew about our tummy problems and asked if he could substitute Nuzzles for Smooches.

Here comes the good part of the story. The big truck man came a couple days ago and handed Mom a package. Inside was a box of Nuzzles. We could hardly wait for Dad to open them. Mom said we could each have one to try but the rest of the box is for just Noah and me. Believe me, Nuzzles are delicious and make a great change from our chips.

Here's Sebastian demonstrating how we all have our paws crossed for Zeus to get better soon. Being ditzy is fun but being dizzy is awful.
Your pal, Fudge

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Water Safety

Hi Everybody,

Today we're going to talk about water safety. Because we're Water Dogs, we spend lots of time in and around water. Playing in water can be so much fun, but there are some things you and your peeps can do to make sure that you're safe while you enjoy the wet stuff.
Ok, let's say you're going to the pond or lake or the ocean and let's start with getting there. If you're lucky enough to get to ride on a boat and feel the wind in your furs, be sure you sit or stand nice and still. Your peeps will be busy watching where they're going and you need to stay put so you don't fall overboard.
That brings me to the proper water safety attire. Yeah, I know it feels best to go skinny dipping, but sometimes you need to put safety first. Some of us wear vests. They're bright colors making it easy to spot us in the water. They also give some floating support to inexperienced swimmers.
Morgan wears one because she's old and gets tired easily. The vest helps her swim so she doesn't have to exert so much energy.
Those of us who are experienced swimmers wear water harnesses. They're made for water competition so they fit nicely and give our legs freedom in the water. The most important thing about both vests and harnesses is that they have handles on the backs. So if you fall off the boat, your peep can grab the handle and haul you back in. Believe me, it works. Dad has had to pull some of us out of the water by the handle.
Next thing, if you're swimming at a place where people fish, you might find some great smelling fish parts on the beach. I know you'll be tempted to roll in them or eat them but DON'T DO IT. Those wonderful smelling fishy parts can contain one of these, a hook. These things can cut and rip your skin and if you swallow one, you'll soon be at the vet's office getting cut open. So, DON'T DO IT!

When you're swimming and especially if you're retrieving toys, it's easy to drink lots of extra water. Remember, all that extra water has to come out again later, so try not to gulp down lots of it.

If you're swimming in a pool, be sure you take time to see where the stairs or ramps are. When you're done swimming, you'll want to get out of the pool and if you haven't checked ahead of time, you won't know where to go to get out. Never swim in a pool, or anywhere for that matter, without your peeps around. Then if you get in trouble they can help you.

After swimming in a pool or at the ocean, have your peeps rinse you off with clean water. Chlorine can hurt your furs and salt can hurt your skin, so you need to rinse them off.

Drinking salt water can make you barf. Try to limit the amount of salt you take in. If you swim in a pond or someplace where the water doesn't move much and is in the sun, have you peeps check for 'blue green algae'. It grows in hot weather in still water and it can kill a dog if he swallows it. If you see blue green algae, don't go in the water.
If you can't get to a beach or a pool, you can still enjoy water play.  A wading pool can be lots of fun. You can splash water all over everyone standing close by.
 If there's no wading pool available, ask your person to turn on the hose or better yet hook up a sprinkler. It's great fun to run thru a sprinkler and try to catch the water drops. It's pretty safe, too. 
 You and your peeps can have a great time playing in and with water if you just just think about safety and follow a few rules.  Here for your viewing pleasure is a little film featuring some of our Portuguese cousins having some water fun. Grab some popcorn and enjoy!
Your pal, Fudge

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Hi Everybody,
As most every dog in Blogville knows, there is an ongoing contest waged between dogs and squirrels. Those squirrels can be really cheeky like when they nap on the windowsill, so close with just a piece of glass between us and them. Or when they sit in the trees yelling at us and throwing acorns at us. They think just because they can climb trees and we can't, they're so smart. WRONG!
Sometimes when Dad sees them raiding the bird feeders on the deck, he opens the door and lets us chase them away. It isn't really fair because we're stuck on the deck and they can run away or climb a tree. But when they come out of the trees into our yard, that's a whole other story.
In our yard, we rule. If a squirrel is so dumb that he comes into the yard, we can't guarantee his safety.

That's what happened last night. About 7 Mom let us out. There was a dumb squirrel in the cherry tree and for some reason he thought it was a good idea to come down to the ground with all ten of us there watching him.
So the score now is Dogs 3 -  Squirrels 0.  About six years ago Samba caught a squirrel. Then 3 years ago Bailey caught one. Last night it was Tess who scored for our side. Unfortunately, Mom won't let us pass it around and do our victory dance. She called us all inside and made Dad come toss the squirrel over the fence.
Take this as a warning, squirrels. We're a tough team and we play to win.

Your pal, Fudge

Monday, August 11, 2014

Blogville Safety Week

Hi everybody,
Are you all ready to learn all about staying safe? This is the week, all the activities start today and I'm going to show you just where to find the information that will keep you safe and healthy and happy.

Ready to get started?

August 11: Opening ceremony - Sidebite
                  Opening speech - Madi

                  Parade  - Sarge 

August 12:  Poop bags/Flashlights - Lassie & Benji

                  Plant dangers - Reilly and Denny

                  Wild animal encounters - Lee and Phod

                   Travel safety - Oz

                   Traffic safety - Frank 

August 13: HGE illness -  Sidebite 

                   Food safety - Sasha 

                   Stranger danger - Angus 

                   Tree rat Hunting safety - Ruby

                   Water safety - Fudge   (This is me and I'm right here)

                    There's an app for that - Duncan

August 14:  Pet fire safety - Five Sibes 

                   First aid tips - Goose

                   Hot weather safety - Idaho Pugs  

                    Pet insurance - Bunk 

                    Microchipping - Wallace and Samuel

                     School supply dangers - Bentley and Pierre

August 15:  Search and rescue - Bert 

                     Zoomie safety - Millie and Walter 

                      Stormy weather safety - Casey and Cinderella 

                      Water safety - Lily and Edward

                      Pickpocket protection - Easy  

August 16: Picnic - Sasha and Ruby 

                        DJ Rockin' Wills music set - Sweet William

                         Bad Dawg Agency concert - Bad Dawg Agency 

                         Surf Jammers concert  - Surf Jammers

                        ADTR Fundraiser Kissing Booth - Mona and Prissy

                       Bounce House - Frankie and Ernie

                        Sand Box / So You Think You Can Dig - Daisy 

So there you are, that's the whole list of events. We're going to cover some really important subjects that could save a life or at least keep you happy and healthy. Be sure to check out as many as you can. There will also be a blog hop to make it easy to get around.
Have a wonderful time everybody and be sure to come back here on Wednesday for my water safety post.

Your pal, Fudge

Thursday, August 7, 2014

For Your Dining Pleasure

Dinner is the favorite time of the day for my dogs. I can't always say the same. For example this is tonight's offering.

One turkey and veggie stew
One duck, sweet potato and assorted fruits
One kibble and turkey veggie stew over rice
One kibble with sides of rice and beans
Two diet plates of kibble with rice and beans
Four seafood dinners of kibble with shrimp and rice

After preparing these assortments and serving them I have trouble deciding what I want for dinner.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Safety First

Hi Everybody,
 Next week is a big important week here in Blogville. It's Blogville Safety Information Week.
All week long you can read important and fascinating safety posts on various blogs. They'll cover lots of topics such as plant dangers, travel safety, food safety hot weather safety, first aid tips and much much more.
And guess what!!! We here at the Portie Blog are participating. On Wednesday, August 13th, I, Fudge will be telling you all about water safety. Who better than a Water Dog to talk about water?
On Monday I'll be posting the schedule so you won't miss out on any life saving tips. Tell all your friends to watch for all the great safety blogs that are coming up, becuase you know safety is a really big deal.
Your pal, Fudge

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Most of you probably remember the struggle we had two years ago with Cryptosperidium. The whole pack got sick and it lasted for months. Noah was the first to get sick, then Fudge, then Samba. Sebastian and the girls all had it but got better fairly quickly. Samba and Sky lost the battle to the infection. Noah and Fudge were both pretty sick and then they both tested positive for Corona Virus just a few months later. Ever since that time Noah and Fudge have been having some intestinal issues.
Noah was having both vomiting and diarrhea and his weight kept dropping. He got down to 38 pounds but his blood work was good and his thyroid was under control so a few months ago I started cooking for him. Now he eats only his special home cooked diet and has slowly been gaining back some of his weight. Our goal was 50 pounds and at times I thought we'd never get there. Yesterday at his weigh in my little guy weighed 52 pounds. We were so happy. Dr B ran his hands over him and said he was pleased with his current condition. Well done, Noah!
Fudge is another story. He too has been having diarrhea off and on for months. Lately he hasn't wanted to eat and I have to stand beside him and coax him to eat. His coat is thin and he doesn't have his pep and sass that we expect from Fudge. He drags around as if he doesn't feel well.
Yesterday he had a complete checkup. He's at a good weight and has good muscle. The urinalysis was normal and Dr B took blood for a special study. The blood report will be back on Monday, but unless it shows something remarkable, the doctor feels we're dealing with a condition with the rather ugly name of "leaky gut".  It can produce really bad stomach cramps as well as lots of other problems. Both Noah and Fudge's conditions are probably from the inflammation caused by the Crypto.
We have started Fudge on a special diet of duck and sweet potato with only sweet potato chips for treats. After three weeks of only that food, we'll re-evaluate his condition. So far Fudge has been eating his duck food without complaint and we're hoping that his gut will heal and the cramps he's been feeling will go away.

My boys could use the Power Of The Paw while we try to get this under control.