March 4th 2008 2:43 pm
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Yesterday was a fun day! Mom and I went out for a LOOoooong walk yesterday, just me and her. I don't think she planned it that way, but we were out for two and a half hours! We left the house and I got scared because we were like two steps away from the gate and mom stopped and tried to make me go BACK IN! I was like, "MOM! It's the first nice day we've had in a while! You're TAKING ME OUT!" She left me by the gate, went back inside, and came out with poop bags. *whew*
We walked up to the hill where it was VERY windy. Luckily I was wearing my cool skull hoodie so I was fine. Mom had her camera and kept making me stop sniffing stuff so she could take my picture. I know I'm a good lookin' dog, but COME ON! We decided to go down the stairs to the river and walked along the path. I took the opportunity to pee on EVERYTHING! When we got to the bridge I thought we'd probably head home, but mom said, "Let's keep going!". We crossed the bridge, which is kinda weird because it's made out of bendy coated metal with small gaps, but I'm not a scardey-cat baby so it doesn't bother me. I like to look down at the river as I walk along, and it makes for an interesting smell experience!
We turned up the path on the opposite side of the river from where we were before and I got to stalk Canada geese, then we walked to the Stampede grounds and walked thru the Saddledome parking lot to the Roundup center where there were a bunch of trucks and commotion. I guess mom was looking for my dad who was there helping pick up his company's display from the home and garden show, but it turns out he was on the other side of the building, so we missed him. It would have been cool to see my dad, but we had fun walking around there anyway. Mom took my picture on the wagon-wheel benches.
We went to one of the empty parking lots across the street by where they're building the casino and mom took more pictures of me. By then the sun was coming out from behind the clouds and it even felt like it warmed up a bit! Mom stopped and asked this lady something and she said, "It's ten after two". I don't know what that means, but it meant that instead of turning and heading home we got to go even further! Mom said something about walking on pavement to wear my nails down. She cut them before we left, so I don't know why they needed to be worn down, but mom says they're supposed to be short and all this sitting around the house in the cold weather and her hating to clip them has let them grow too long. I say, "Eh, whatever".
We crossed the lot and headed towards downtown, the opposite direction of home! There were LOTS of trucks and loud noises and turned up dirt and other crazy chaotic things going on, but I was happy to be out, so I just kept walking. At a cross walk a group of teenagers petted me and commented on my cool skull hoodie. I bet they were jealous! We walked up another block, then finally started heading back in the direction of home. At that intersection I saw across the street that there were all these guys going in and out of a construction site. They all looked and smelled like my friend Ryan when he comes over and drinks a beer with my dad in the afternoon. I forgot my manners for a second and tried to pull over to them, but mom reminded me that just because they look and smell like my friends they aren't necessarily my friends! She did say that I get extra points for wanting to say hi to those particular construction workers because that was Ryan's job site! He wasn't there, though.
We walked up 11th Ave. and mom peeked in the windows of the building where I remember I used to walking with dad and Meridian and Natty to meet up with her in the evenings sometimes. There was no stuff in that building anymore. At the corner by a really tall building I saw a black cat sitting on a fence post of one of the first houses. I swear there was no building there before! I stopped and looked, then decided to get it! It arched it's back and mom hauled back on my leash and made me go around it. She said something about that cat standing it's ground and probably being capable of kicking my a**.
We kept going and before you know it we were at home again! That was a nice walk and I was very tired afterwards. I laid in the sun on the porch by the gate and waited for dad to come home. Meridian and Natty didn't get to go on our long walk so they still had lots of energy and they were kind of annoying me, but I try not to dwell on that sort of thing. I hope we can go on another walk like that soon!
Mom took LOTS of photos of me and there are a couple in my photo album now, but she said she'll put more in soon.
February 5th 2007 1:43 pm
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The U of C says my spleen problem was a hematoma. That means no cancer! We don't know WHAT the exact cause of the hematoma was, and we likely never will. Could have been anything from physical trauma to just some "thing" gone wrong in her insides. Got the stitches out -- she's gonna have one brutal scar! The tech couldn't believe the stitch job, but when I explained that a 4.5 pound spleen came out of the hole she said "Oooohhh".
Storm's on two Chinese herbs and is going to be eating a LOT of food to try and get her weight and strength back up. We expect a full recovery!
January 30th 2007 10:11 am
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We had some unexpected and unwanted excitement this weekend. We've been moving into the house next door for the last two weeks-ish, and seemingly coinciding with this Storm was kinda lethargic and just plain seeming "down" and depressed. With so many things going on and the fact that it's winter (Storm hates winter) we didn't really think it was anything serious and that she'd probably snap out of it once things got back to normal.
Well, Saturday morning she was REALLY not looking so hot, so we decided it was time to see a vet. Turns out our regular vet (well, we've been to her once!) here was in an accident the night before, so there was no vet at the office. They recommended we take her to one of the few emergency vets here in Calgary, so we jumped in the truck and it was off to the vet.
When the vet saw her, he felt her abdomen and said her spleen was REALLY enlarged. He said he would run some tests, but most likely her spleen was going to have to come out and QUICK. Sure enough, he recommended that it come out after looking at the X-rays and blood tests. It appeared that besides being really big, it had ruptured and was bleeding out into her abdomen. She was given a blood transfusion and went into surgery.
The vet prepared us for the fact that it might very well be a certain type of cancer that is malignant and really aggressive. He told us that it was likely that it had spread to her liver, and that there really wasn't going to be any helping her if it had. This came as a total shock. I'm not ready to lose any of my girls, but when it comes at you that unexpectedly and that fast it's pretty scary.
Well, we waited at home while the vet did the operation, and that evening he called to say that it had gone well, but had taken a lot longer than expected because her spleen had swollen to the size of a volley-ball and weighed 2KG (4.4 pounds)!!!! Not only that, but it had twisted. The good news was that he couldn't find any cancerous masses in it, or any of her other organs. He said besides her spleen she looked great inside! He sounded shocked and amazed. That's my girl!!!
Initially they said that Storm was going to have to stay at the hospital for 3 or 4 days. The morning after the surgery the vet called to say that she was recovering really fast and that we could come get her that afternoon! (He actually said "you will NEED to come get her this afternoon").
She's at home now and hopefully it will be a speedy recovery and we'll have our normal Storm back in no time. She's still kinda groggy and has a prescription for some pain pills which make her googley-eyed and maybe dizzy, but she's eating and drinking and pooping like normal. This morning she really wanted to go chase squirrels in the yard with Meridian and Natty, but settled for trotting around the yard at a slower pace instead.
Her spleen was sliced and diced and a portion sent to the University of Colorado for pathology. We should hear what they think about this whole thing later this week. I can hardly stand it. There is still a chance that it's cancer that caused this to happen, but it could be something else entirely.
Just wanted to let y'all know what was going on.
For any of you who in Calgary, I also wanted to mention that Animal Care Emergency of Calgary on 10th Ave. SW is an EXCELLENT place. I was talking to my friend who said that this place sounds a hell of a lot better than the other emergency vet in the area.
Also, for any of you with dogs, I urge you to look into canine blood donating in your area. Dogs have to be within a certain age and weight, but the units of blood that Storm received helped save her life. Without it I don't know that she would have made it. This sounds like a cheesy public service announcement, but thru this experience I learned how important having blood available is. I totally plan on turning Natty into a doggie pin-cushion after this.