February 25th 2009 7:24 pm
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One year ago, today, Mom and Dad went through on the most difficult decision they have ever made, to send me to the bridge. It was the only decision they could make, given my recent history.
They talk about me almost every day, remembering the happiest times and yes, the bad ones as well. But. in the last year there has been much more laughter than sadness.
I will wait patiently to see them again, and won't they be happy to see me with 4 legs again!
Until then, I will run and jump and enjoy all the other angels.
Thank you for all the support you have given all of us over this past year.
Lucky (Mom and Dad, too)
February 22nd 2009 5:05 pm
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I just found out (a little while ago) that I am this weeks Rainbow Bridge Angel Baby's "Angel of the Week".
I thank them for this great honor, and for recognizing me on the anniversary week of my trip to the bridge.
Mom and Dad are grateful for this group bringing a little sunshine into their lives during this difficult week.
Forunately, they now have Pepsi in their lives. She's a lot like me, and that's what mom and dad wanted. If fact, mom believes I sent Pepsi to them (I ain't telling-- tee-hee)
March 8th 2008 6:06 pm
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Saturday, March 1, 2008, we laid our sweet angel Lucky to rest in a pet cemetery not too far from where we live. It's so hard to lose a furbaby, especially when they have been so sick and you've tried so hard for them. Lucky fought a brave fight and we felt that we owed it to her to send her to the Bridge with dignity. The director coordinated the flowers with the blanket that we covered her with and we put a few special toys in with her. Right now she is probably "ribbiting" her frog, making her gorilla scream and squeaking her Jewish bone. We also gave her a compressed rawhide and some homemade treats. It was a beautiful service and, along with us, was attended by Grandma, Grandpa, her human brother and some friends of the family. That was really special to us because they had only known Lucky for a couple of months. Lucky was buried next to her sister, Sandy, and a bunch of silk jonquils were placed at her head. In the spring, we'll plant some annual flowers and in the fall we'll plant jonquils to come up next year. We could not have asked for a better day. The sun was shining and it was about 70 degrees (that's very unusual for a March day around here). We could just envision Lucky laying out on the grass in our backyard. She loved days like that.
We know that Lucky is wagging her tail and smiling down on all of us from the Bridge and running on all four legs with all the other Bridge pups, young and pain free once more. She and her sister, Sandy, have totally spoiled us, so we know that we will get another dog eventually. The house is too empty and too quiet without a cold nose and wagging tail to great us every day. We now have very happy memories of our sweetie and we will be posting those in her diary as we remember them.
We want to thank everyone for all the support, prayers, rosettes, special gifts, candles, etc., etc. that were sent our way. Without our Dogster pals we never could have gotten through any of this. We've said it before and it is truer than ever--the Dogster community is amazing!
Deb and Bill (Mom and Dad)
February 26th 2008 8:52 pm
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As many of you know, Lucky lost her battle with cancer on Monday. She put up one heck of a fight during this past year and we are truly amazed at her tenacity. We can only hope that when our time comes, many years from now, that we will show the same spirit that she did. She went to the Bridge with grace and dignity and the sweet taste of Hershey's Dark Chocolate still on her tongue. True to form, she was a "foodie" right up till the end. We know that she is watching us from the Bridge with her sister, Sandy, and playing with all the other Bridge pups, many of whom she met here on Dogster.
We are going to have a funeral service for Lucky here at home on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. CST. There is a pet cemetary called Friends of Imperial Crown not too far from where we live. Sandy is also buried there. It's a very old cemetery that dates back to at least the 1930's. The director is a very nice lady who conducts a beautiful eulogy. We've spoken to her two times since we called her Friday to let her know what was going on. She has stayed on the phone with us for a good half hour each time just letting us talk about Lucky. We know that the service will be every bit as beautiful (and gut wrenching) as Sandy's was.
We cannot even begin to express our thanks for all the p-mails, rosettes, stars, special gifts, candle pages, memorial and "angel wing" pictures that everyone has sent. It is truly mindboggling. It may take us a while, but we promise to get back to each and every one of you. Please be patient. The Dogster community never ceases to amaze us with the kindness and support of all it's members. Please know that in this family, you are all very much loved.
Deb and Bill
February 23rd 2008 9:02 pm
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Yesterday morning, Lucky got up and could barely walk. She didn't want to eat or drink anything until a couple of hours later when I got her to drink some water. Mostly it was the wobbly back legs that really concerned me. I called the vet at Mizzou, who I'd been communicating with for the last couple of days, and she felt that I should take her to the vet here. It sounded as though Lucky might be dehydrated, which had crossed my mind. When we got to the vet, she said that she could hardly hear Lucky's heart on the right side, but she could hear it very well on the left side. We took x-rays and couldn't believe what we saw. The tumor has grown so large that we could not see Lucky's heart in the x-rays and she has a very limited breathing capacity. It's also pressing her trachea up towards her spine. That's why she spends most of her time laying on her side taking short deep breaths and extending her neck out as far as she can. We know what we have to do for her, but we couldn't bring ourselves to do it then. So we left her at the vet for a few hours to get intravenous fluids. She seemed much better when we picked her up and we went home with a bag of fluids to give to her subcutaneously twice a day for the weekend. Our goal is to keep her as comfortable as possible to get her through till Monday so that we can take her to the specialist (who is closed on the weekend). They have to do a cosmetic autopsy and send the results to Mizzou as part of the study that she has been in. It breaks our hearts to see her gasping for breath but we can't bear the thought of transporting her from one vet to another, so that's why we are trying to hold out til Monday. We keep checking on her all day and keeping our fingers crossed that she holds on just a little longer. Trooper that she is, her eyes are still bright, she still looks up when we put a coat on and her ears still stand up straight when she is interested in something. If we didn't know the truth we would swear that she was just fooling us again. She has shown such amazing strength her whole life, what with all the health issues she has had. I think most people would have given up long ago, but she has been truly tenacious. She has taught us so much. Please pray for our little girl.
February 20th 2008 8:44 pm
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As I mentioned in my last entry, I'm not quite feeling up to snuff. Monday, I really felt crummy. The only thing I felt like eating was Hill's Prescription A/D and treats. Drinking water, maybe. Mom was really frustrated. She called Dr. H. and he said that the only pain options I have left are gabapentin and the Fentinol patch. Mom's heard weird stuff about the patch and it turns out that it's really expensive. It also has to be changed every 3 days. The worst part is that it's only used for post surgery pain and for cancer patients who are at the end. Wait a minute, I'm not there yet!!!! Don't rush me!! Mom was a little freaked out by that. Just as she was looking it up on the computer, the dogter from Mizzou called. Mom told her what was going on and she said that it sounded like I was in the nausea phase and that there were other options open. She said that she would call Mom the next day when the results of my CBC came back and see where to go from there.
The next day I got my CBC (stood up in the car for half the trip there, hehehe). We filled a prescription for gabapentin (more pills!), refilled the Tramadol, and got more A/D (yay). Later on, Dr. O. from Mizzou called and she said that the blood-work was "beautiful". Yeah, so why do I feel crummy? She said that if all I wanted to eat was the A/D and treats that was ok. At least I was eating something. She said to keep on giving me the Pepto Bismol for my stomach and keep her posted.
I slept really well last night. Mom found me in the same position this morning as I fell asleep in last night. That's very unusual. Breakfast was a can of A/D and a couple of Mom's homemade cookies. They're really yummy, made with banana's, peanut butter, oatmeal and cinnamon. Later on I went out and, it's official, I've got the trots. Not just loose, really loose!! So, Mom, being the mom she is, called Dr. O. at Mizzou again. The upshot is, now Mom is cooking boiled chicken livers with rice! She pureed them together and added some chicken stock to smooth it out. Mmmmmmmm. I could eat that a few times, no problem. I also now have a new list of meds. Here goes......
7:30 a.m. - 1 Remeron (anti-nausea) (15 mg)
8:00 a.m. - 2 Tramadol (50 mg each), 135 mg Previcox (1/2 tablet),
1 Imodium (replaces the Pepto), .3mg Soloxin, 1/4 of a 25 mg
1o:30 a.m. - 1 Gabapentin (300 mg)
4:00 p.m. - 2 Tramadol, 1 Imodium
8:00 p.m. - 1/4 Proin tablet, .3 mg Soloxin
10:30 p.m. - 1 Gabapentin
12:00 a.m. - 2 Tramadol, 1 Imodium
Bedtime - 1 Macrodantin (100 mg)
I also get a 1 mg capsule of DES every 5 days (was every other day). Mind you, I'm not even counting the vitamins that Mom adds to my food every day. She's not adding all of them until I start eating again. I don't have any trouble taking them as long as Mom wraps them up in A/D. I'll eat darn near anything if it's wrapped in that stuff.
Whew, sorry this is so long. I guess I've had a lot of stuff going on. I would just like to offer one bit of advice in conclusion......
DON'T GET SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's really no fun.
February 14th 2008 7:11 pm
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Well, I just finished the second round of chemo a few days ago and I'm feeling a little blech. I'm back on the anti nausea pills and Mom's adding the A/D to my food again. I don't feel like standing to eat and I'm being partly spoon-fed again. Oh, well, I'll get over it. I did last time. Sheesh, I've got two more rounds to go! I feel that some slight nausea is a small price to pay for science. It really is only slight. I'm not losing my breakfast or anything, thank dog. I just sleep through it all. Oh wait, I do that anyway! BOL!!!! Today she only added 1/4 of a can of A/D to my food because she had run out of it. Of course, I turned up my nose at it. There wasn't enough of it in my food. I can't be expected to eat it that way! So, after a few more attempts to get me to eat ( treats, of course, are no problem, hehehe), she went to the vet and got me 5 more cans. When she got home, she added 1/2 a can to my food and guess what. I ate the whole bowl. Spoon fed in bed of course. That ought to show her who runs things around here. I am the queen!
A couple of days ago Mom noticed that I have formed a rather large lump right around my sternum. That's where a metastasis showed up in the x rays. We thought about getting an x ray to see exactly what it was, but we think we know. There's really nothing to be done about it. I can't exactly do much without a sternum! I do get x rays at the end of the study to see if the mass in my lung has shrunk. That's one of the things that the study is for. The chemo drug doesn't do anything for osteosarcoma except for metastasis in the lungs. In the meantime, I'm hanging in there. I don't do any running around, go outside occasionally, sleep all day and sometimes get up when someone is at the door. I still don't want to miss anything. I should be feeling a little better next week when the effects of the chemo wear off, though. Just in time to start round 3!
February 14th 2008 6:55 pm
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I want to wish everypup, and every kitty, everywhere a Happy Valentine's Day today and everyday! May your worlds be filled with happy homes, soft beds, good food, lots of toys, and many treats. May you always have gentle words spoken to you and lots of belly rubs. May you have soft grass to roll in, fun places to walk, and interesting things to sniff. Mostly, I wish you the love of a wonderful family.
February 12th 2008 4:30 pm
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I've been Valentine Tagged by my new little cutie patootie pal Lola
So I'll make five Valentine's Day wishes, then tag five more of my pals. The five of them will each do the same thing over again. Here goes!
1) I wish all pups had a happy home to live in.
2) I wish warm beds, good food and lots of love for all pups.
3) I wish the weather would warm up!!!!!!
4) I wish good health for everypup.
5) I wish a Happy Valentine's Day for every pup everywhere!
Here's a tag for some special pals.
1) My very special pal Gibbon
2) My Greyhound pal Lucky
3) Brave Shea
4) My dog park pal, cute little Georgie
5) My other dog park pal, the very handsome Scotsman Duffy
January 29th 2008 9:30 pm
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Well, this has certainly been an interesting couple of weeks! I had to be at the Mizzou School of Veterinary Medicine at 2:00 pm on Thursday, Jan. 17 to start the study. It's a 2 hour drive to get there. I stood up in the back for a lot of the drive. The scenery was pretty boring, so I did lay down, but when Dad turned on his signal to change lanes I would stand up again. Well, I didn't want to miss anything important. You just never know.
When we got to the school we were taken to an examining room. That's where we got to meet Dr. Owen, who Mom and Dad had been talking to the week before, Dr. Selting who heads up the study, and Tony, who's a student. I liked them all right away. After Dr. Selting and Tony looked me over and talked to Mom and Dad about what was going to go on I got checked in. Mom turned in a paper telling my story and explaining why I was an important member of the family. It was 2 pages long, had the recipe for my diet and the vitamins that I'm taking stapled to the back, and a picture of me from my 10th birthday, walking after my surgery, and a big one of me and my nephew Tyler stapled to the front. It was to qualify for a fund that is provided to study patients. Otherwise, Mom and Dad would have to pay for the radiology and blood tests. Dr. Owen told Mom to keep it short, but milk it and boy did she ever. We would find out the following week if we got the funding.
Mom and Dad went back home and I stayed at the clinic. It really wasn't so bad. I had to have a lot of blood tests done because of the drug I was going to be taking. It's a blind study, so I was either going to get the drug or a placebo and nobody would know which it was, but they had to do all the testing as if I was definitely getting the drug. It's called Satroplatin which is given as a pill instead of intravenously with a lot of fluids the way Carboplatin and Adriamycin are. That's what I had after my surgery. It's in third stage trials for humans with lung cancer. This is a study being done on dogs to find out how effective it is and what our tolerance levels are. I feel really lucky to be in it because I will be helping other dogs with lung cancer, especially osteosarcoma that has metastasized in the lungs like mine has. Anyway, since I was getting all these blood tests, they put in a shunt in my neck so that they wouldn't have to stick me a bunch of times. I'm very thankful for that. I even got to hang out in Dr. Owen's office during the day. People came in all day long and petted me, gave me their leftover chicken from lunch, and generally loved on me. What's not to love? I was treated like a princess.
Mom and Dad came back on Saturday about noon to pick me up. I was looking a little rough by then and had to be supported at the hips on the tiled floors. Before I started the study, I had stopped taking Previcox because there is a possibility of it affecting the liver, something to be avoided if at all possible. By Saturday, my ankles were bothering me, hence the support harness. I slept all the way home. No standing up that trip!
At home, Mom had to give me the pills and keep a log of how my appetite was, how I was acting, and anything else that seemed different from normal behaviour. Well, guess what. We were pretty convinced that I was getting the real thing. My appetite dwindled down to nothing. I had to be spoon fed in bed. By Tuesday, when we went back to Mizzou, I was even turning down peanut butter. That's really serious! Peanut butter is the best food in the world, and I didn't want it. My ankles were so bad that I couldn't go up or down the stairs. Dad had to carry me. We had to leave the house at 6 am to get to Mizzou at 8 am. It was freezing cold and Dad had to carry me down the steps to the sidewalk and then down a few more steps to the driveway to put me in the car. Mom and Dad were so worried about me that they stopped at the first rest stop they came to to look in on me. When they opened up the hatch of the Liberty I looked up as if to say, "I'm ok, I'm just sleepin'!" Boy, were they relieved! The funny thing was, it was dark outside when they stopped to check on me. We were only at the rest stop a minute, but when we started on the road again the sky was lighter. Weird, huh. Mom said that it symbolized just how she felt. When we got to the clinic, Dad carried me in and set me down on the rug in front of the door in the lobby. That's as far as I was going. No way was I walking on that tiled floor. Tony came and picked my up and carried me into the examining room. He got lots of practice carrying me around, hehehe. I did walk on the grass when I went outside. I had traction on that. He had good news for us! I got the "scholarship"!!!! The funding was approved, everything is being paid for!!! Yay!!!!!!!! Mom told him what had been going on with me and when he saw my ankles he said that they would xray them to make sure that the osteo hadn't set in there, too. Guess what. I've got arthritis......in all 3 ankles! Even my toes got puffy. You know how hard it is to walk when all your ankles are hurting? I was running sideways!
While I was at the clinic I got to hang out in Dr. Owen's office again and was spoiled again. I sure wasn't feeling very good, though. They had to give me anti nausea medicine and mix some A/D food in with my food to get me to eat. That stuff is pretty good, by the way. I still only ate about half what I usually eat. They also had to start giving me the Previcox again because the Tramadol and Tylenol weren't doing it for the arthritis. By the time Mom and Dad picked me up on Friday the arthritis was a little better and I was eating a little better as long as I had the anti nausea medicine and the A/D. I'd also gained a pound. Now I weighed about 43 pounds. I started out at 53.8 pounds. That's right, I've got a dinosaur back and a bony butt now.
I've been back home for a few days now and I'm happy to report that my appetite is back to normal, although I still prefer being fed in bed, and I'm getting around a lot better. I still have to be carried up and down the steps. I tried going up once and down once, neither of which worked out very well. I got the last dose of the Satroplatin on Friday ( we know that it's the real deal because of the blood tests and the way it's affected me), so I'm starting to feel like me again. Just in time for my immune system to go down. Then I'll start feeling better again. I have to get some blood draws tomorrow and Friday, then again in a couple of weeks when my immune system gets back up to speed. Then I'll get to start the next round. I stay home for that. Mom will give me the pills. I think I get two or three rounds all together. I can't remember. I just know that I don't have to go back to Mizzou for about a month. I like everybody there, but it's good to be home. I am totally being spoiled, I get treats whenever I ask for them, I'm served my food and water in bed and I'm carried up and down the stairs (there's only 4 leading outside). I'm gonna milk this for all it's worth. >:-)
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