Thursday, September 17, 2015

Little Things

Last week when Morgan visited the vet, I mentioned that she needed her nails clipped and her pads shaved. Morgan grows hair between her pads and it gets longs and mats. She doesn't want us to touch her feet and fights us when we try to trim. She tries to tuck her feet under her, then if we persist, she starts to nip at our hands.  I  don't like stressing her, so we let it go. The vet thought he might be able to distract her while a tech trimmed, but Morgan wouldn't be distracted.
 He came up with another idea that was easier on all of us. Last Friday Morgan went to the clinic bright and early. Dr B gave her an injection of a very nice little concoction that he has used on her in the past. It doesn't knock her out, but makes her drowsy and happy. He has even operated on her in the past while in this relaxed state. This time they trimmed all her nails, shaved between her pads and at first they thought they would remove some of the mats on her legs that she doesn't want touched. However, once they got started Dr B said to shave her down to the skin. Then he documented all her many lumps and bumps.
I was surprised when we arrived to bring her home to find a naked Morgan with no hair on her body. I was also dismayed to find that she has lumps and bumps everywhere, body, legs, feet, neck and head. Dr B assured me that although some of them are large and nasty looking, he didn't find any that have him concerned. She's just a lumpy old dog. Ok, I can accept that.
Now that she was home with us, Rob and I decided to start going thru her bucket list with her. On Saturday, in the early evening, we put all the other dogs indoors and walked Morgan very slowly to the back yard. She hasn't been in the back yard in months and she seemed very happy to be there. She only walked around a very little on the top of the hill, sniffing and checking out favorite places. Then we walked her back to the house. The little trip had tired her out and she went right to sleep.
On Sunday evening I noticed that Morgan was looking at the quilt that I keep on the couch. I like to pull it over my legs while I'm reading or stitching and if I'm not using it, Fudge likes to sleep on it. Morgan used to enjoy napping on the couch but hasn't been able to climb up there for a long time. I lifted her ont the couch hoping she wouldn't try to jump down right away. She settled down on the quilt and slept there for a couple hours.Then she waited for me to help her down. We'll do that again soon.

Yesterday I saw her looking at the toy box so I pulled out a small soft toy that was mostly destuffed already. She didn't take it from me so I put it on her blanket and she walked over and laid down beside it. This morning when I got up she was asleep with her head resting on the toy.

I notice that she stares off into space a lot lately. I know her brain isn't working well and she's confused, but I like to think that she's thinking about her best friend Samba and the good times they shared. I hope she feels messages from Samba and that they help her adjust to this new experience she's having.
We're sharing our final days with Morgan and I hope that these old memories are helping her. It's very hard to watch her responses but it's all we can offer her beside lots and lots of love.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Something New From Chewy

Most of the time when the Chewy review selections come along, I pick something I'm familiar with and have been meaning to try or else something that we've tried before and absolutely love. This month was very different. We've been having trouble feeding Morgan because in her little old dog confusion she never wants to eat the same thing two days in a row. Even if she decides she loves her dinner and cleans the bowl, if we try to give it to her the next day, she'll sniff it and walk away.

This month one of the selections was a dog food I'd never heard of before, Weruva. Of course I had to google it and read as much as I could about it before ordering. Here's what I learned. The name is a combination of the names of the owner's pets.  My red flags went up when I read that they make their food in Thailand. I read lots of reviews and they were good. They have very strict manufacturing guides and lots of oversight. The food is made in a human food facility. They have never had a recall.
What to do?? Thailand was the thing that was holding me back, but I decided to go for it. Then I eliminated all the varieties made with chicken, because I don't trust chicken from that part of the world. I love feeding my pups fish but I also eliminated the fish varieties because of irradiation from the waters around Japan. That left me with Steak Frites with Beef, Pumpkin and Sweet Potatoes in Gravy.

When I opened the first can I was surprised. Of all the many dog foods I've served over the years, this looked the most appealing. It looked like stew and had huge chunks of beef. It smelled good and I was eager to see what Morgan thought about it.
 Morgan loves it. She's been eating it every day since it arrived. She actually eats a whole can each day, sometimes mixed with kibble and sometimes from the spoon.
Now the problem is that it's too expensive to serve daily and I'm hoping I can interest Morgan in another food before my supply runs out. Morgan and I highly recommend Weruva Steak Frites.

Friday, September 11, 2015

September 11, 2001

The day the world changed forever.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pass the B-12 Please

On Sunday we decided to have Morgan put down. On Monday she was better and we were undecided. On Tuesday we put the decision in the hands of Dr B. He said she wasn't ready yet and that the physical problems she was having weren't really physical, but mental. He gave her an injection of B-12, enough for a 100 pound dog. Morgan is 37 pounds.

Tuesday evening Morgan was up and alert and demanding. She ate her dinner and demanded more. She went outside and did the steps by herself. At bedtime after a hearty snack, she beat me to the steps and into the bedroom.

The next morning after sleeping thru till 10, she ate a good breakfast and went for her little walk. She was awake all day, ate like a horse and managed the steps all by herself.

 Today, she's napping more, but still doing well. Rob and I watched her, shook our heads and decided that we would start taking B-12.
Now, here's where you're going to shake your heads and think I'm starting to lose it, but I'll share anyway. I really, truly am convinced that Morgan thinks visiting Dr B will make her better. Many times in the last 16 years she's been sick, sometimes life threateningly sick, and after a visit to Dr B, she perks up and starts acting as if she feels better. Sometimes she's on meds that make her feel better, but sometimes he has just examined her and hugged her and she walks out knowing she'll feel better. I know, you're all saying dogs can't think like that, but I'm sure that Morgan does.
So whether it's the vitamin shot or just the visit with someone she trusts to make her better, she feels better, and that's all that matters.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Bumpy Weekend

Why do the serious dog problems happen on holidays and or long weekends? Have you found that to be true with your dogs?

The weekend started out well. Saturday everyone seemed fine and the day passed quietly. Then Sunday rolled along and Miss Morgan had a crisis. It was one of those horrible days that you just feel helpless and try to do the best you can and nothing seems to work. She slept late Sunday morning, then seems a little groggier than usual in the afternoon.

Then in the late afternoon her right rear leg stopped working. She couldn't walk on it and started falling down. At first she'd struggle up by herself but she started getting more and more agitated. Soon she couldn't walk or even stand up by herself. She was very agitated by then and was thrashing around. I gave her some valium to try and calm her and Rob sat on the floor and held her, but she fought him and kept struggling.

Finally I called an early bedtime, gave her a little more valium and took her upstairs to bed. She calmed down and went to sleep. I don't think she moved all night. I got up several times to see if she was breathing. Neither Rob nor I got much sleep. I told him that I thought it was time to let her go and that I'd call the vet on Tuesday morning and arrange it. He agreed.

Monday morning came and Morgan popped up bright and happy and hungry. She went outside and came back in and ate a good breakfast. All day she was alert and happy and had no more trouble walking than usual. We helped her on the stairs but other than that she did fine. She even insisted on going for her little walk. She ate well last night and seemed happy. Rob and I were perplexed. I decided to have Dr B look at her and advise us.

This morning I set up an appointment for Morgan and Fudge. Morgan had a good morning and walked into the exam room by herself. She greeted the doctor and seemed quite relaxed. I explained the problem and he examined her. He doesn't think there's anything wrong with the leg except her arthritis. He thinks the problem is in the brain. Her heart sounds like a young dog and he said not to expect her to die in her sleep. He gave her a big injection of B12 and wants her to go up on her B complex vitamins and add extra B12 daily. He says she will most likely continue to deteriorate until the bad days are more frequent and we'll have to make a decision on quality of life, but for now she's going strong, if a little slow.

Then it was Fudge's turn. Fudge has been irritable and short tempered since his stroke. I thought it might be caused by pain. Dr B examined his legs and they seemed fine, but he thinks there may be a little pain in his spine, either from the stroke or just from arthritis. We're starting him on some pain meds to see if we notice a difference. Unfortunately the doc detected a problem with one testicle. He couldn't tell if it was anything to be concerned with so we'll just watch it for a bit. Don't tell Fudge, but he may be losing those parts since his career is over.

So for now we try to keep Morgan safe and happy and calm and try to encourage Fudge to chill out. It turned out to be a much better day than we had anticipated.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Saturday Nite Dinner

Hi Everybody,

Mom says this is a holiday weekend, whatever that means. She says lots of people have cook-outs, but we don't get invited many places because there are so many of us. No problem, Mom made us a special dinner tonight.
She couldn't remember exactly when she bought the eggs that were in the fridge, so she sent Dad for some new ones. Then she took the older ones and beat them up in a bowl. 
She added some chopped spinach that she had in the freezer.
She cooked it all up in a pan and when is was almost done, she added a big bunch of cheese.
She garnished our spinach cheese omelets with chopped sweet potato. 
 Then it was ready to eat.
When this stuff is mixed in with some kibble it turns a regular meal into something special..
Everybody had some and there wasn't a single complaint. Even Miss Morgan thought it was good and she's pretty hard to please.

Mom says nothing goes to waste around here and we're only too happy to help clean out the fridge or pantry. Are you all enjoying the holiday weekend too?

Your pal, Fudge

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

How I Spent My Summer

Hi Everbody, I'm back!!
I wasn't really gone, I've been here everyday but Mom was too frazzled to help me with the blog. When I try to type, my paws are too big and I hit a bunch of keys at the same time. Mom says you can't read it when that happens. I don't know why computers don't have bigger keys so we dogs can type without help.

Anyway, it was kind of a boring summer. We didn't get to go to the lake because Mom was afraid to leave Miss Morgan home alone and she was too ditzy to go swimming. Sometimes one of us was feeling sick so we all just stayed here.

We didn't go to the drive up ice cream store because Mom has us boys on some kind of crazy diet where we can't have dairy and she says ice cream is dairy. She even switched us from yogurt to applesauce at bedtime. That's OK, applesauce is yummy. Besides Mom has lost a bunch of pounds and doesn't want to regain any of them so she doesn't eat much ice cream or anything else that tastes good. Noah and I  had tummy troubles but we're so much better that now we eat duck kibble with this great stuff mixed in. Only Sebastian eats the special home cooked food now.
So we all did a bunch of this....sleep. Except Morgan, of course, who wandered around the house all night waking everybody up. Mom has finally got that straightened out and Morgan sleeps at night now, just like the rest of us.
 Most of us got haircuts this summer. Dad did it. Lola Tess and Bailey all look really good. Noah got one too but you can't really tell from his before and after pics because he's a hairy fellow. I got some of my hairs trimmed but I'm a work in progress. So is Norma Jean who doesn't like to stand still. Miss Morgan is getting a few hairs cut each day because she can't stand for very long without falling down and even Sebastian got trimmed around the ears and feet.
 Don't get me wrong, the summer wasn't bad. We got several deliveries like this one. 
Dad had a birthday during the summer and Mom made him a cake. We couldn't have any but look what she put on top. Sprinkles!! And she gave me some when nobody was looking.
It rained a lot this summer but on dry days we played with our water squirting toy and jumped in the wading pool. We chased squirrels a lot too because Mom says we have a bumper crop of squirrels this year and they won't stay out of the bird feeders. When she sees one get in the feeder, she opens the door and we race outside barking and make them go back up in the trees.
So you see, it was a pretty good summer and I'm feeling good again after my stroke so now we can look forward to fall and then the best season of all, winter. This year we're all wishing for lots of snow.

Your pal, Fudge

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


The summer is almost over. It's been a tough one for me, but I'm trying to get back to what passes for normal around here. Fudge reminded me that our blog has been very neglected, so we're going to change that. Although a number of unhappy events took place during the summer, I didn't have a chance to sit and fret. There were too many things happening in too short a time.

In July I lost a sweet friend, a cousin, and one of Samba's pups, all in a couple days. Then Sebastian got sick and four days later Fudge had his stroke. During all this Bailey started limping and Morgan started acting crazy. I felt like I was in a dark place and needed color in my life. To solve that problem, I went thru my stitching patterns and came up with the most colorful piece I could find.
See, it's colorful. About half way thru, I lost interest but forced myself to go on and finally finished it. Even though I wasn't terribly interested in this piece, it got me stitching again and I then did this piece. Again I picked it mostly for the colors. Though not as bold as the other one, I liked the soothing colors and it was fun to work on.

By this time we had solved Sebastian's vomiting issues. He's eating homecooked food and taking pills for nausea. The vet and I are both pleased with his response and we'll keep him on this routine for the foreseeable future. Fudge has recovered better than any of us expected. He does have a slight limp and he gets a little irritable at times, but he's able to run and jump and do all the things he enjoys.

Bailey has been taking Rimadyl for her sore leg. It seems to be a chronic thing resulting from an old injury, probably a bit of arthritis. She's feeling fine now and limp free. Morgan is doing quite well most days. She's sleeping thru the night and managing the stairs pretty well with just a little help. Eating is still an issue between us. She doesn't like to eat the same thing two days in a row. I have to plan ahead to please her, but so far we're managing.

A couple weeks ago I started stitching a piece that I've been thinking about for several months. This was my inspiration.
I was hoping my hands would hold up since this was a very intense piece and I really wanted to finish it. Last night I put the last stitch in just before bedtime. I'm happy with it and think it turned out pretty well.
I've promised Fudge that he can borrow the blog tomorrow to tell you about the summer from his perspective. This should be good!