Messages From This Side of the Bridge

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A long day...

January 21st 2013 9:18 pm
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Mom was petting me last night, and my collar almost came off. She felt my neck and she couldn't believe how small it felt. She asked her kids, "Does Zane look skinnier to you, I think I can see ribs more?" "Yes," the girl replied, "you can see his spine." Mom looked worried, so I moved my face closer to her face. "And he's been more vocal, too. I guess I should take him and weigh him tomorrow." This was not good, going to work with mom is never good. I have been talking alot more: whining, groaning, above average doberman banter. I compulsively lick my feet, self soothing they call it. I fall over quite often, getting weak from the protein loss. But, still happy. I went to work today, and got weighed. Mom looked down, I don't think she liked the numbers that came up. The doctor smiled at me. Mom said I was getting weaker. "Well, we got him a little more time, didn't we?" he said. I wore my birthday coat because it was snowing and I felt proud . When it was time for a potty break, I didn't want to walk in the snow but mom made me. Another urine collection. It showed numbers that Mom did not expect. In 3 weeks, my urine protein level jumped to an unheard of 680. This is devastating news. Mom feels helpless because there is nothing that can be done. She just has to wait until I need help to the Bridge. But, tonight, I'm chewing on my squeeky birthday ball. And, this time, Bridgit can't have it.

 

A very special birthday

January 11th 2013 12:39 pm
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Today is my birthday, I am 8 years old this very day. Mom wanted me to thank all of my special friends that sent me birthday gifts today. Thank you all! Mom thought I wasn't going to make it to my birthday, but here I am. I spent 2 weeks at the veterinary hospital last month, and I have a form of kidney disease where I am losing protein through my urine. Although things aren't looking good on my tests, I feel very happy. Mom worries everyday, but I keep telling her that I'm not ready to go to the Bridge yet. I still have flowers to sniff and berries to nibble as soon as the sun comes back. Mom has been giving me vitamin B-12, and she is thinking about starting to cook for me. She's very worried about changing the food I eat because I'm on prescription food, but wants me to be as healthy as possible. I keep telling her I'm so happy with her and she shouldn't worry so much. She gave me scratches on my ears and I'm laying by the warm fire enjoying my birthday. Tomorrow she is going to the pet store to buy me a new collar and some goodies. I can't wait to see, but today, I just want to spend my day with her. Thanks everyone, for spending time with me on my birthday!

 

Two weeks after the hospital

December 29th 2012 9:26 pm
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I went back to the doctor's office two weeks after my long stay at the hospital. I was terrified when Mom called my name with her car keys in hand. I tried not to move, I didn't want to go back there. Mom grabbed the leash, and for the first time I darted away from her. I danced back and forth, trying to avoid the leash, but she hooked my collar. Dread filled my entire being, I was scared that I might not come home with Mom again. I laid down in the back seat, quietly, expecting the worst. When we got to the clinic, I nervously circled Mom. She weighed me, and I went into the lab with her as she turned on all the equipment. The doctor came in and stopped to greet me. I wagged my tail nub and pointed my nose toward him so he would pet me. He did, he scratched my head and ears, and asked me how I was doing. Mom said I wasn't having any accidents in the house and was acting normal, and I felt very proud of myself. The doctor was anxious to see my lab results, so off I went into a kennel until I surrendered blood and urine for the humans. My mom looked over my results and her heart sank. The doctor glimpsed the results and let out a sinking whistle. "Boy, he is sure losing a ton of protein," he said. My albumin and total protein are both low and my cholesterol is creeping up. The amount of protein is astonishingly high in my urine. I am losing protein in my pee, my kidneys aren't filtering it. Everything points to glomerular disease. This is not the greatest of news and Mom seemed sad. But, I was so happy I got to come home that I forgot all about it.

 

Homecoming

December 7th 2012 7:51 am
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I finally came home from the hospital last night. I couldn't believe it. On the ride home in the car, I kept putting my head on mom's shoulder and licking her face as I stood behind her in the back seat. I couldn't contain my happiness. When we finally got home, I ran around the yard freshening up my marking. I bolted into the house, and there was a tree with twinkling lights all over it, and strands of lights all around the room. Bridgit was so happy to see me, she jumped on top of me. She stayed next to me all night. And the best part was that I got to sleep with mom! She said she needed to watch me, but I know she missed me. I'm so happy to be home.

 

A letter from Zane's mom

November 28th 2012 8:26 pm
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Zane was hospitalized on Monday and I'm hoping he will get to come home tomorrow. I work at the vet clinic, so luckily, I can be with him throughout the day. On Monday, Zane endured a water deprivation test. He cannot concentrate his urine. The doctor decided to limit his water intake, so he gets a set amount of water 3 times a day. His urine concentration is tested with every sample he provides. On Tuesday, he endured 4 x-rays, 2 ultrasounds, a cystocentesis, and a prostate exam. He never growled, never tried to bite, never showed any aversion to handling. When we were looking at his x-rays, he slipped his head under my hand, lovingly. His bravery and stoicism broke my heart. He looked at me for comfort during his ultrasound, and it almost killed me. They found a mid-grade heart murmur, and it was difficult to find his right kidney, which is why it took 2 ultrasounds. They found it but it appears abnormal. I came home after a stressful day, and cried. The thought of his strength and bravery made me want to keep trying. After an exhausted sleep, I felt refreshed and strong. Wednesday (today), Zane seemed in good spirits and stronger, which made me happy and relieved. His urine was monitored and still not concentrating. I'm planning on bringing him home over the weekend, and I know he's dying to come home. Thank you all for your gifts, prayers, and support. I will keep you posted.

-Zane's Mom

 

Maybe a farewell

November 25th 2012 8:38 am
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Mom is faced with the worst decision a human parent can make. I'm not getting any better. I'm having accidents in the house all the time. I went outside, and then 5 minutes later peed in front of the door. I am getting older, I have arthritis, and I have some lumps on my body. Mom knows that I should cross to the Bridge, but is very sad. I am very happy, which makes the decision more difficult. I may be going to the Bridge very shortly, friends. Please pray for my mom, that she will be strong enough to let me go without feeling guilty. Guilt is a strong emotion to wrestle with when a life is terminated. And pray that my journey will be easy. Thank you.

 

Blood tests are no fun

November 16th 2012 10:31 am
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I have been at the vet this week. It has not been fun. All the other dogs love to go to work with mom, but I avoid it like the plague. I have been drinking and peeing like a racehorse. Mom thought maybe it was a bladder infection again. She took in a urine sample and I did not have an infection. Worse. My pee was so dilute that the specific gravity was almost like water. This means my kidneys can't concentrate the urine. I have kidney damage, my friends. Mom took me with her to work, even though I layed low, and they did blood tests. They did a test for cushings disease, but thankfully I passed that one. The vet wants me to do a water deprivation test to see if I can concentrate urine, so no water all night long. Keep your paws crossed for me, my friends.

 

It's Autumn

September 29th 2012 5:26 pm
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The days are getting shorter. Mom told me repeatedly she is not happy about this. She is not a fan of the cold, nor the dark. Especially the dark. I, myself, have extremely short hair and am required to sleep in a fleece coat during the winter months. I hate this with a passion. But, there are still a few warm days left. Mom is preparing for the hibernation. She moved her desk and sewing machine into her room. She is planning on working on her quilts all winter. To accomodate this work space, she had to rearrange her bedroom furniture. She had her door open and I got to come in. She even let me lay on her bed! I was completely exhilerated, as I got to be in the middle of all the action. I felt really important, and she even sat by me and gave me hugs and kisses. I think I'm gonna like this quilting thing.

 

My hips don't lie

July 2nd 2012 8:44 pm
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I had to get a rabies shot. This put me into a conundrum of sorts. It meant I had to go to work with mom. Although being with mom is one of the few exciting activities I look forward to on a daily basis, going to the clinic to stay in a kennel all day is something I would rather do without. She jiggled her keys and called my name. I remained frozen. Maybe she wouldn't see me, get distracted, and forget what she was doing. She would be driving to work thinking to herself, "I feel like I'm forgetting something..." All the wishful thinking was in vain, she grabbed my collar and pulled me to my enormous feet. I was trapped, there was no escape. We arrived at the clinic, greeted the others, I received compliments and petting, and I had to get weighed on the big silver scale. I was happy enough but Mom suddenly looked perplexed. This is not a good look. She said I had lost 5 pounds, which is not good. When she rescued me last year, I was skeletal. She worked hard to put every pound on me. I'm a very lean boy. I stood up, wagging my knub of a tail, and she gawked at my hip. Apparently, the bloody hole I had chewed in my hip had just been discovered. There was no turning back now. She moved her finger along my self-induced scab, and I felt her frustration and sadness, and I knew I was in trouble. She worried about my spondylosis, she worried that the puppy was too much for me. All this worry caused not only a needle with rabies, but needles that took blood from underneath my skin. She said that my blood turned out okay, but she took my pee and said that I had an infection. Maybe that was why I was licking my hip, she thought. Of course I was licking, it hurts and I wanted it to feel better. I was never more happy to be home than now. Talk about a tough day at the office.

 

Unconditional disappointment

June 3rd 2012 10:00 am
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My family has known for some time now that I am somewhat challenging. As a doberman, I am genetically predisposed to emotional sensitivity, prolonged childhood, and the ability to vocalize. These special qualities have endeared me to my family, but lately I have tested my mom's patience. I nearly put her into an exorcist-like head spin when I obsessively lick my foot and bite my toenails. I've created a lick granuloma on my foot, but she says it is the sound of my large licks and nailbiting that puts her over the edge. But, last night, I topped the cake! They were out all day grocery shopping, and when they got home I rushed outside and gobbled up mouthfuls of grass. They just thought I had indigestion. Yet, when it was quiet and all were laying down around the t.v., I threw up. But the disappointment could not have been stronger when mom found the dish sponge among the contents of my vomit. Why is she so upset? Doesn't she know I feel better now? I just don't understand humans.

 
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