Saturday, December 31, 2005

thank you, thank you...and let's toast to 2006

Thank you all...I'm sorry I've been so late in my response--there have been so many kind responses and genuine expressions of concern sent my way. Your comments have been so uplifting...I'm watching Sadie unstuff a toy as we speak...happily. She's still feeling ok and hanging in there. My big activity during the past few days has been making homemade doggie biscuits from recipes I found at Good Dog Express (and boy do they love them!). I've been baking the oatmeal and wheat germ cookies and the peanut butter treats which I can cut out with my dog bone-shaped cookie cutters. I don't know what kind of ride we'll be in for, but for now she's being pampered like the princess she is and enjoying every minute of it...

Healing from surgery is going great and I'm moving right along without any complications. I could write a lot more about that whole experience but not today.

Again, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you ALL for your support and kindness. Here's to a better year...Happy 2006!

P.S. Have you guys seen the Dogs 24/7 custom covers? I ordered one with Sadie's picture. It will be such a wonderful keepsake in the years to come.

Friday, December 23, 2005

to all who celebrate...

Monday, December 12, 2005

more news...

Well, unfortunately it looks like Sadie does have hemangiosarcoma and that's why she's bleeding out into the sac around her heart. It was bad news. And it also looks like there's a tumor behind her right eye as well. We couldn't understand why her eye was also pushed outward a little and apparently that's why. She is not in pain and she is still able to give kisses and enjoy pets, so we are going to let her live out the rest of her days at home until she is either uncomfortable or the sac bursts because of the tumor. The vet says if this does happen she will probably faint and pass away rather painlessly. If instead she shows respiratory distress again from pressure in her chest we will do the proper thing and get her to the vet and say our goodbyes.

With me having surgery tomorrow, we asked the vet to keep her in the ICU or, if no ICU cages are available, in the hospital so she can be tended to while I'm in the hospital. Then papa can pick her up and we can watch her more closely.

I don't know if we will have her for two days, two weeks or two months, but she will be well-loved all of those days she has left with us.

Thanks again for all the kind messages. I wish I had time to respond to them all, but I need to get my little bag packed...I have to be at the hospital by 5:30 am.

I am thankful we get to bring little boo-boo home, if only for a little while. It is a bittersweet blessing.

Take care will be a while before I post again. Take stock of your blessings and gifts this life has given you. xo

update on boo-boo...

Sadie has a mass on her heart. They just took a needle biopsy of it a little while ago and we'll know what kind of tumor we're dealing with. I hope it is not a hemangiosarcoma because that will be lethal. Even treatment wouldn't prolong her life by much if the story Smooch sent me is typical. They should call me in a couple of hours...probably before I leave work. I don't know what to hope for--pray for the path of least suffering I suppose. I really hate this...really, really, really hate it.

Not too long ago we found a hotbed of cheap fleece toys for Sadie and piled them in the "junk drawer" in the kitchen. It is a lower drawer, so we started calling Sadie to it and saying "you want a toy?" She learned quickly, dipped her little noggin into the toys and picked one out. Up the stairs she'd trot and mangle the toy all over the bed, frantically pulling out every last piece of stuffing. I used to worry about her doing this because of the possibility of swallowing pieces, but she is only interested in dismantling. She has a method: she chews a hole open with her molars, then at the first sight of stuffing, she goes nuts pulling and spitting it out. When she gets to the squeaker she's quite content with herself. What is left is a flat piece of material, wet and slobbery stuffing everywhere and a squeaker that no longer squeaks. I have to say the fervor with which she does this makes it one of the most entertaining things I have ever seen an animal do. The last time the drawer was opened for her she started taking out ALL the toys. "Sorry Sadie, only one at a time." She's a stinker, she is.

Sadie has always been very particular about how she goes about things. We have been so lucky to have had her--even with all her little quirks, demanding to be treated as a person and not a dog, getting the unlimited tongue baths, burying her bones in the couch and stuffing the pillows down in the cracks to secure the hiding place, prancing on the floor when she's excited to see you, playing hide-and-go-seek with daddy, stealing my underwear from the laundry and leaving it strewn all over the backyard, yowling at the top of her lungs when she hears a siren go by, "fake" barking to lure Pickles away from her treat so she can steal it, adoring every human who has two hands to pet her, sticking her head out the window and sniffing the air as much as possible while her jowls catch the air and puff out--her ears snapping like little velvety flags, running into her leash harness like a poodle jumping through a hoop, honking like a goose because she is yanking on her leash when she first heads out the door, running around the house with her butt in a hunch because she's so excited, following her nose and refusing to mind until the fifth (or more) command has been given and the insatiable desire for food... She is really a hilarious dog who has taught me A LOT about dog ownership--she made me work for it and it was worth every minute. I hope we have a little more time together.

Ugh, I had to put Baxter to sleep last year on December 10. I am afraid I'm looking at going through that again. I will update later today; then surgery tomorrow.

thank you...

Thank you all for your kind comments. I got to the vet hospital early this morning on the way to work to see my girl. She was perkier than she was last night and gave me lots of kisses. When I walked into the ICU a student was petting her through the access door in her oxygen cage. I found out she has already wrapped everyone around her little paw...she has a way of doing that.

I read the article Smooch sent me and I have to say this sounds exactly like hemangiosarcoma. In fact it is so specific to the symptoms I have seen so far (except for the seizures) that I will be shocked if they tell me something else. But we'll wait to see what the tests say. Since Sadie has Cushing's Disease as well, they are unsure about what condition is causing what symptom.

We will see her again this afternoon or this evening before surgery tomorrow--which I haven't had very much time to even deal with that. I hope I get some good news, but my husband and I are in agreement that we won't prolong suffering for her if that's going to be the case.

Thanks again for all the comments of support and concern. They really do make a difference. I hate that all I have to report these days are disasters and broken hearts, but this, too, shall pass...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

another day...

Sadie is now in the ICU at the Univ. of TN Veterinary Hospital. She's in an oxygen cage and they've drained a good bit of fluid off of both her heart and abdomen. The strange thing is the fluid in her chest is blood and the fluid in her abdomen is some other sort of fluid. That's highly unusual and they can't figure out why that's happening. The goal over the weekend has been to stabilize her and keep her breathing until all the specialists come back in Monday. Tomorrow she'll have an echocardiogram and some repeat x-rays. I hope we get lot of info tomorrow because I have surgery first thing Tuesday morning. We've made several visits to the ICU to talk to her and pet her. She seems weak but more comfortable than she was. Her tummy is not distended where they gave her Lasix and manually drew off fluids. She is hanging in there and gives us sweet little licks and wags her tail.

Of course my fear is something will happen while I'm stuck in the hospital for two or three days. My guess is that they will want to do surgery on her on Tuesday if there's something to repair, then my poor husband will be running from human hospital to animal hospital petting us both on the heads. I also fear that I won't get to be with there if she has to be put to sleep and I won't see her again. It's all very bad timing, but I suppose it would have been worse if it had all happened on the day I had surgery. At least she is in the best hands possible. She's just pitiful.

For all you folks who love your critters, please pray for Sadie. It sure would be nice to bring miss boo-boo home for Christmas.

I'll try to write again before surgery.

Friday, December 09, 2005

cut me some slack, man...

Well, Sadie is back in the hospital today and she is looking really bad. Her chest is full of fluid, her heart is enlarged and she's having trouble moving and breathing. Her tummy is very distended as well. I'm just about to lose it folks. I'm waiting to hear back from the vet...they're doing more x-rays and blood tests. WTF? Seeing a sick beagle looking up into your eyes pleading for help is a crusher. The prospect of more loss feels..................not good. If Sadie survives the weekend, I'm terrified I can't get her well enough to be stable while I have surgery and am in the hospital. I suppose I could pay for her to be watched in the hospital...I don't know if they'll do that. My head is spinning and my heart is breaking. And I can't do a fucking thing about it.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

one hairy mess...

Well, today was my last day of fieldwork (internship) until I return after surgery. Surgery is next Tuesday and I'm getting a little more tense than I thought I would. I think it's mostly because I've been in such a rush and things are falling apart faster than I can put them back together. Our heat has gone out twice in the past two weeks and Sadie, my beagle mix dog, is very sick. We had to rush her to the vet yesterday. She either has pancreatitis or a blockage. She's not showing any interest in food so I'm getting wary about whether or not she's swallowed something that has her intestines blocked. She's very uncomfortable and is on meds and a high-fiber, bland diet to see if she gets better. If she's not a good bit better by this evening I'm going to get her back to the vet tomorrow...not that I have anything ELSE to do. But she comes first, so...sheesh. Not to mention a good friend's mom just died of cancer and I feel terrible that I missed the funeral...I was cleaning out Daddy's house that day. Perhaps it was best to stay away from the funeral home. It's getting harder, not easier, to remove things from his house because the house and property could sell while I'm recovering. Not being able to go back is going to kill me. Shit, I'm not going to get off on that today. I don't have enough battery left to start that discussion.

I did get to transport a rescue dog last weekend, but I haven't had time to post anything about it. Her name was Vandy and I wanted to take her home! She was such a sweetheart. I'll try to eventually get a pic up.

I have A LOT to get done at work before surgery, but I swear I've got the "deer-in-the-headlights" syndrome. I need to do some deep breathing and just tackle the list.

Deep breath. It. will. be. ok.

Sorry I haven't been to anyone's blogs or even had much time to respond to such supportive and sweet comments. They have definitely all lifted me up on the worst of days. It will probably be after surgery before I write again. Wish me luck.

Friday, December 02, 2005

the dullness is blinding...

I. am. so. dull. I will be very happy to say good-bye to 2005. It ground me up and turned me into a slobbery pate. In the last year I came very close to bankruptcy, lost a beautiful pet, turned 40, lost my dad, struggled through executorshit--oh, I mean executorship--went through serious illness with two more pets (who, thankfully, are still hanging on) added 224 internship hours to my full-time job over the course of three months, found out a dear loved one has heart problems...and I'm going to end the year with a bang--major surgery.

So I've become dull with fatigue. But I found out I was stronger than I thought I was. I found out that grief, in all its agony, can leave small gifts behind to help you grow. I found out that art is my steadfast friend. I found out that my superficial list of goals didn't mean as much as just trying to be a good person.

So the blog has suffered. There aren't a lot of jokes or silly life observations. I don't have time to take funny pictures of the cats and dogs and complain about things that don't really matter.

My poor little sitemeter doesn't have any reason to meter because it's not shiny and silly here anymore. But that's not what the blog is about. I don't know what the blog is about. It's just part of this constellation of moments that have some connection to me. I've thought about closing it altogether, but for some reason I haven't. I'm just another patched up soul trying to gather my thoughts and continue the journey.

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