March 17th 2011 4:36 pm
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Hello dear readers! I know, it has been a long time. I've been a busy girl, with things to do and places to go. Not a lot of time for diary writing, but I thought I'd oblige you all and give you an update on, well, being me.
Lets see...where to start. I guess my story here is a follow up on my last diary entry. The whole "Luna has a heart murmur, blah blah blah" story. Yeah, I get it. Meh, I am not too impressed with it.
Mom and Dad, see they love me lots. And are they nervous nellies? Well, you could say that. So Mom has been watching me like a hawk ever since my diagnosis, even though the cardiologist said that my mitral valve disease was minor and that I'd be around for a lot longer. She knows all that, but still can't help but worry if I start to show even the slightest of symptoms.
So a couple of weeks ago, I had a little tickle in my throat. Nothing major, just an itch. I cleared it, and since I was laying on my sleeping mother at that moment, she felt me cough that little cough, as I am 70 lbs. I heard her explain to Dad the next morning as she dialed the Vet on her speed dial that coughing is one of the first symptoms of heart failure. They got me in that day.
Well, the nice Vet listened to my lungs, said they were clear, and said there was no reason to worry. She knew it was just a throat tickle, with her medical degree and all. But, she had a great idea. Since I had never had chest x-rays, and only an echocardiogram, why not schedule me for them just to get a baseline for the future? Ya know, since my lungs sounded so good and all, something to compare to down the line?
Come to find out, this place schedules x-rays like a surgery day! I had to get pre-anesthesia blood work, have Mom not feed me the morning of, yada yada. Well, I went in all normal and happy, and proved to the Vet how amazing I am. She said, "this dog is so sweet, she is laying down calmly for an x-ray. we don't need to give her anesthesia!" So all that work for nada. I was in and out in five minutes.
However, the Vet called Mom at work with some shocking new. She said my lungs had what appeared to be fluid in them. She said she couldn't believe it, and even brought in the head of the practice for his opinion. Both Docs were shocked that my lungs could sound so clear, and that I wasn't hacking constantly, why there would be this fluid.
The Vet emailed my x-rays right away to my Cardiologist. We had to wait until today to get his opinion.
Ever since this news, Mom has been a crying mess. I keep looking at her like she's an idiot, because I thought she knew by now that I defy all odds and do my thing the way I want to do it. Even still, she got choked up each time she looked at me, thinking the end was near or something. Psha. I don't think so.
Over this past weekend, Mom and I hung out with my first Mom. She was also very upset about my prognosis, even though I tried to tell them both that they were acting like weirdos for being so worried. My first Mom did have some interesting news to share though-when I was a puppy, I had very bad kennel cough, and it turned into pneumonia. It was so bad, that I wasn't expected to survive. When Mom heard this, a light bulb went off...maybe...just maybe...could it be?
It was the case! The Cardiologist confirmed that my lung damage is NOT heart related, and rather resulted from some long past trauma. They said I must have coughed so hard, I actually caused my heart to sit off to one side! Even though that isn't really a bad thing, they said, they couldn't figure it out since most times that happens with dogs who have severe lung trauma, like being hit by a car. But when Mom shared the news that she just found out about my puppy hood, they said that was the exact cause.
So, the verdict is, I was once again correct and Mom is a blubbering mess. I am no worse off than I have been in the last five years since coming to live with Mom and Dad.
This last week did get me a lot of extra love and attention though. I might have to rile the humans up more often!
December 30th 2010 4:37 pm
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...hold on, let me put my new chew toy down to type better. Excuse the drool on the keyboard.
Hello friends! As you probably guessed, I have a new toy. Or ten. See, the humans celebrated this Christmas thing again this year, and once again, I made out like a bandit. The weekend before, Mom and Dad took me for a three hour car ride to the great state of New Jersey to see my Dad's sister and her husband. What fun I had! They bestowed upon me some new toys, some new treats, and a bath set. That I could have done without, but I am hoping Mom forgets about it. It is my gift, I should be able to say when it is used, right? Is, um, NEVER too soon?
After only a couple of days home, Mom and Dad packed up the car again, and lo and behold we set off for a much longer drive-to Florida! I knew exactly where we were going, and of course remembered my Grandma's dog Muffin from before. Would you believe it, she got another dog? Katie is her name, and she is a rescue. She is scared of other dogs, men, toys, etc. but guess what? She loved me. I mean, can you blame her? She would get up on her hind legs and lick my face whenever she saw me. Mom took the two of us to a local dog park when there was nobody else there, and I played with her nice and gentle. She had so much fun, and as I understand it, she is sad now that I am gone. Sorry people, there is only one of me. Not enough to always go around.
On the way home, a bad snow storm hit the east coast. Mom and Dad decided to drive half way and spend the night at my favorite hotel again. I am convinced that this ECONOLODGE is really a mecca of hotels. They have the most comfortable beds in the world, I think. At least for a tired dog who can barely walk from all the playing and love I had received for the previous week.
Now, I am home and back to normal. Well, as normal as I'll ever be.
I also have some other news to share. A couple of months ago, Mom took me into the Vet to get my updated shots when the Vet heard something called a murmur when she listened to my heart. She classified it as a "strong 3", which is 3 out of 6 on the severity level. The Vet was concerned because six months earlier, I had been there and didn't have the murmur.
Mom was so scared, she started shaking and crying. The next day, Mom called a cardiologist and got me an appointment. Would you believe that we are lucky enough to have the largest cardiology practice in the WORLD right near us? The nice man who saw me even does cardiology for the National Zoo and Baltimore Aquarium. Anyway, I had this thing called an echocardiogram done. It really wasn't so bad, and everyone said how good I was. The nice Doctor saw a the reason for the murmur...I have valve regurgitation on both sides of the top portion of my heart. Basically, blood is flowing backwards through both valves on either side, due to the valve "flaps" not closing all the way as my heart beats.
The Doctor said that so far, it is mild, and that I could live for a few years if it doesn't progress quickly. He recommended a low sodium diet, and six month checkups. Mom immediately put me on a really low sodium diet-raw! She had tried feeding me raw before, but I decided that I didn't like chicken, so I refused to eat it. Since she couldn't afford to feed me filet mignon that I would have liked, she switched to premixed raw instead. I love it! She also has me on a daily regiment of fish oil, which I don't mind at all.
Mom is bound and determined to keep me around as long as possible, and healthy for as much time as possible.
I think I'll oblige her.
June 19th 2010 3:29 pm
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Well fellow dogster pals, it has been a long time for me. Despite the fact that I haven't written in a while, I am still around. And having lots of fun.
My Mom often wonders if I am really a dog. I sleep like a human, don't really follow my nose, don't bark, and give incredulous looks to my parents when they try and go anywhere without me.
Besides assuring my Mother that indeed, I am a dog, I have recently decided to also let her in on a little secret...shhhh...I am of the retrieving persuasion.
I kind of think that she might have known, but up until a few weeks ago, I had her fooled. I liked to make her guess, ya know, keep her on her toes. Because each time we'd get around water, I'd run through it some, maybe swim a little, maybe even bring a stick back here and there. But it didn't seem to occur to me that I was supposed to be bred for this kind of stuff.
Then, two weeks ago, that changed. Mom took me to a dog beach that we had never visited. I was the only dog there initially, and wasn't really interested in doing anything other than exploring the reeds and swamps, ignorning the crashing waves altogether. Then, like a flash of lightning, a streak of red hair came flying past me and dove into the water. His name was Cody, and he was a handsome Golden Retriever. RETRIEVER. Get where this is going?
Anyway, Cody wanted no part of me or anything really, other than swimming after and retrieving a toy his owner had brought. I watched cautiously, letting him do his thing. The nice man that owned him asked Mom if I wanted to play, and Mom assured him that I wasn't really interested in being a dog, no less a retriever. Then the nice man picked up a stick, said "Here Bruno" (he was nice but dumb), and threw it a few feet into the water. I started to walk out, even though my name is not Bruno, then left it alone. He tried a few more times, and while I'd show a little interest, I wasn't really into the whole thing. He gave up.
But then something happened. Mom tried, and since I noticed that the only other dog there was ignoring me, I figured I'd join his antics. I began bringing the stick back.
Mom began throwing the stick further and further away, and I got more excited with each grab. Once timid in the water, I'd crash through the waves, looking for the piece of wood bobbing up and down in the water. Sometimes I'd lose it and swim around looking for it, but then Mom would throw a rock near it to make a splash. That would get my attention. Each time I'd bring the stick back, I'd drop it for Mom and look at her expectantly. Mom was so stinking proud of me, she couldn't keep the smile off her face.
Today, she tried to get me to go two for two. We returned to the same beach, and found lots of dogs and owners. Some were playing in the sand, some wrestling, and a few just walking through the surf. Mom found a nice piece of driftwood, and walked down to the far end of the beach. Guess what I did? Followed her. I ignored all other humans and dogs and followed Mom and what I knew to be my stick. For about fifty throws, Mom and I hung out, her tossing, me retrieving.
Several humans were trying to get their dogs to do like me, and were pointing me out, saying "watch how she does it". Who knew that I could not only be a retriever, but also a role model? Certainly not Mom.
Keeping her on her toes is fun. I wonder what she'd think if I meowed at her.