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.


March 2012 - May 24, 2019

Wednesday, May 22, 2019



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



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

Friday, May 10, 2019

Home Improvements

When Rob first built the dog castle it was a tall tower with no roof. On hot days we would put the hose on top and the dogs could run thru and get showered with nice cool water. The Water Dogs loved it.
 After a couple years we decided to turn it into a place where they could get out of the hot sun and rest while playing. Rob took it down to a shorter height and added a roof. Tess especially liked it as she likes to get into small places to nap.
Then Sebastian came along and adopted the castle. He made some improvements of his own. He dug an enormous hole inside the castle. It took him months to finish his hole but now he goes in and sleeps on the cool earthen floor of his doghouse/castle and has to be coaxed out. Tess still likes to visit now and then but the others have lost interest.
 Sydney and Mackey do use the roof as a lookout. From the roof they can see over the fence and watch the neighbors all the way up the street. They also know that lizards sun themselves on the warm roof.
Sebastian is a sun lover. As soon as he gets outside on sunny days he likes to stretch out on a warm surface and cook himself. When he gets too hot, he retreats to the castle to cool off. Then he repeats the process.
This week Sebastian's contractor, Rob, surprised him with his very own brick patio just behind the castle.
The area where the fish pond was going to be has been filled in and little block steps lead down to it.
Sebastian watched the construction and was very pleased when it was ready.
Now Sebastian can be found either in his castle or lounging on his patio.
 Of course!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

May Day

Woof Bloggers,
Wow, last night was scary. It got really dark in the afternoon and the weather dude kept coming on TV to talk about storms. Then in the evening Mom was watching her hockey game when suddenly the tornado sirens started screaming. We don't like those sirens at all. We were barking and whining and pacing so Mom and Dad took us all downstairs to our safe room. The big TV is down there so Mom could watch her game and still keep track of the weather dudes.
 Then she turned the game off and just listened to the weather dude because he said there was a tornado about two blocks away heading toward us. We stayed downstairs for a couple hours till the storms were past. Then Mom and Dad gave us our bedtime yogurt and rushed us outside. It was dark and windy and raining so we hurried to pee, then came right back inside to get toweled off.

It was kind of hard to get to sleep but the thunder and wind quieted down finally and we got some sleep. I slept right beside Mom so that she'd keep me safe. 

This morning came and the sun was shining. It's really wet outside but there's no storm damage in our yard. It's May Day today so we're sending some pretty flowers your way. Here's our Bleeding Heart plant. Mom has been trying to kill this plant for twelve years and it still keeps coming back bigger and better each year. 
These pretty white flowers were planted by our bird friends and are popping up all over the yard. Dad tries to mow around them because they're so happy looking. 

Here's the first rosebud of the year. It won't be long before the rose bush is covered with red flowers.
 The Hostas are up but they won't have flowers till later in the summer.
Mom was playing with her sticks and strings. What do you think she's making?
 If you guessed a little me, then you were right.
 I don't think it looks much like me, do you?
Keep Wagging, Mackey