Monthly Archives: April 2010
We went to a family reunion last week . . . .
For Rocky . . .
This is Gabby. She’s Rocky’s Mommy. The Rescue Group where were found Rocky named her Mother of The Year at their annual meeting. The Rescue Group wanted to surprise Gabby with a reunion of as many of her puppies that could attend. You see, a very pregnant Gabby was dropped off at the local Humane Society. Her sweet and loving personality won over the staff at the Humane Society and they called the Rescue Group (a no-kill shelter) to see if they could take Gabby (and the soon-to-be puppies) and find loving homes for all of them. Gabby moved into the shelter at the Rescue Group and had 13 puppies the very next day.
When we went to the shelter 11 weeks later, Gabby and several puppies were still waiting for homes. We had just lost Blacky and I wasn’t too keen on the idea of getting a new puppy, but something about Gabby’s made me fall in love with her. When Hubby picked Rocky out of the group of puppies, I hoped that this little guy would have some of his Mommy’s personality. Oh, boy, does he ever!
So, there were about a half-dozen or so of Rocky’s siblings there for the party.
This is Sassy. She’s a very well loved girl. See the pink bows in her hair? There’s even one one on her tail. And she had pink toenails!
This is Geraldine. She’s Rocky’s twin sister. Rocky’s name at the shelter was Gerald.
This is a picture of Geraldine and Rocky. Her fur is a little longer than his, but basicially they have the same markings. And the same temperment.
Yes, the little brown dog is one of Rocky’s siblings. His name is Winston and he was the runt of the litter. He was not playing well with others. Even though Rocky is much bigger than Winston, Winston decided that he was going to boss Rocky around. Poor Rocky had no clue why this dog didn’t like him and decided he wanted nothing to do with Winston for the rest of the night.
This is a picture of Rocky and his Mommy. Turns out that Rocky is the biggest dog of the litter. Guess that would make him the pick of the litter . . . but then I already knew that.
Sassy’s owners had a DNA test done and you would not believe the mixture in these dogs . . . Boxer, Weimeraner, American Eskimo Dog, Brittany Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, and Bischon Frise. Okay, not exactly the mixture I was expecting but if that’s what the test says . . .
Rocky had a wonderful time meeting his siblings . . . except for Winston . . . and we are hoping to have another reunion later this summer.
In the meantime, though, Rocky has back-up in case Winston shows up unexpectedly . . . .
We can’t find anybody to buy MIL’s house . . . so we’re renting it out starting May 1. We never dreamed we’d be landlords.
Hubby’s got some health issues . . . nothing serious but stuff we need to keep an eye on. He’s had to face some hard truths about what he’s physically able to do these days. But letting go of some old stuff makes room in his life for other new stuff.
Millie’s adjusting nicely to life at the Big Dog Family House. She enjoys having a family, a full food bowl, her very own little space. Rocky loves having a little sister to fuss over. They’re both really close in age so they have a lot of puppy energy to burn. Rocky’s helping Millie learn the household routines and now I have two of them reminding me it’s time for walks or treats or cuddles . . .
April’s been a rough month but as long as I can keep finding the silver lining I think I’ll be okay . . .
Saw a commercial for the new ESPN3 channel tonight and I swear I heard this as the background song. Very creative, I must admit but now I have this stuck in my head.
All together now . . . 3, 6, 9 . . 12, 15, 18 . . 21, 24, 27 . . 30!!
From the Big Dog Family House . . . . the Top 10 Millie Moments of the Week . . .
10. "Millie, stop chewing on Rocky’s neck." She always goes for the extra skin on the scruff of his neck when she really wants to get his attention.
9. "Millie, this is Fluff. He’s a cat. He lives here, too. You have to be nice to him. No, he’s not a chew toy." The first time Millie saw Fluff she ran across the room as fast as she could so she could investigate. Fluff arched his back, hissed at her, and left the room.
8. "Sorry, Fluff, but there’s a new dog in the house. I promise she’ll leave you alone if you show her you the guy in charge. Yea, I know you’re tired of breaking in new dogs." Poor Fluff has initiated three dogs in four years. He’s not happy with us right now and lets us know it at every opportunity.
7. "Millie, you have the same food in your bowl that Rocky has in his." She checks out both food bowls before she starts to eat.
6. "Yes, there’s more food where that came from. I promise you’l never be hungry again." This is after she’s scarfed down all the food in her bowl and trying to push Rocky away from his dish. It took a few days, but she finally got the concept and doesn’t wolf her food down anymore.
5. "Millie, get off your brother." She likes to sit on Rocky when he’s asleep.
4. "Way to go, Millie!" Hubby and I both said this to her when she finally figured out how to go up the stairs. It took about a week and a half before she was comfortable coming all the way upstairs. It was funny to watch her go up a few, turn around and go back down, then try to come back up again. Almost like she had to work up steam to get all the way to the top.
3. "Good girl, Millie!" We have had NO problems getting her crate trained. She’ll go in the crate without a fuss when we leave the house and when it’s time for bed. She’ll even go into the crate on her own when she’s tired.
2. "Millie, I’m not a sheep." She’s trying to "herd" me and make me go where she wants me to go.
1. "Millie, get back here!" Millie was the ring leader of an unaccompanied excursion through the neighborhood this week. The gate was accidently left open and Millie and Rocky went on a trip through the neighborhood. Hubby and I had to chase them down and bring them back home. Luckily we had a neighbor to help us round up the runaways. I’m thankful for the neighbor that helped. I’m thankful that they stuck together. I’m thankful that they listened to Mommy! Yes, they’re getting some intensive obedience training this weekend!
I had to make a trip to the vet today to get flea stuff for Millie and Rocky. Trust me, if it weren’t for the fact that I needed to get something for the dogs, I would not have gone back there. But I put on my big girl pants and did what I had to do.
It was a little odd being in the waiting room and I was praying that none of the girls behind the desk would do the whole "I’m sorry for your loss." thing. I got the flea stuff, paid for it and thought I was home free . . .
I started to walk toward the door to leave and walked into a beautiful black lab that was standing right in front of me. I should have just walked past the dog and gone on my way. But nooooo . . . I have to be polite! OMG she was beautiful dog. I could tell that she was just a young thing and I just had to ask how old she was. Lab Mommy said she was 18 months old. Oh dear do I remember those days! I reached down to pet the pretty girl and I asked her name. Lab Mommy said her name was Lucy. (gasp!) I immediately wrapped Lucy in a big hug and kissed the top of her head. I was a little teary-eyed when I asked Lab Mommy if she was a handful. Lab Mommy said "Oh, yes, she’s into everything. I call her Lucifer because she’s evil." I just looked at Lab Mommy with tears streaming down my face. Poor Lab Mommy must have thought I’d lost my mind. I explained that I had a black lab girl named Lucifer and she passed away two weeks ago. Poor Lab Mommy didn’t know what to think. Heck, I didn’t know what to think. What are the odds that somebody else named their black lab girl Lucifer? It’s not a common name for a girl dog. I hugged Lucy one last time and left.
I had to sit in the car for a few minutes before I could drive home.
I have to keep reminding myself that it’s only been two weeks . . . it’s gonna get better . . . right?
You knew it was going to happen . . . you probably just didn’t expect it so soon . . .
Everybody, this is Millie . . . . Millie, this is everybody
Yes, I know it’s not the best picture, but it’s the best I can do right now. She’s a bit of a whirling dervish. So very excited to have a new home and a new family that she’s on the go . . . all the time. . . kind of like the Energizer Bunny.
She’s wearing me out. She’s wearing Hubby out . . . which is funny because he’s the one that was so gung ho to get her . . .
She’s wearing Rocky out, too!
We adopted her from the same rescue group that we adopted Rocky from last year. Her name was Melvene . . . which we hated, so we changed it to Melanie . . . but then we couldn’t remember her name so it ended up being Millie . . . which suits her somehow.
She looks like Blacky but acts like Luci. I think God’s sense of humor has a lot to do with Millie joining the family. Since Blacky died, I’ve said a hundred times that I don’t know what to do with myself since I don’t have Blacky’s hair to clean up. When Luci was sick, I prayed for my rambunctious evil Luci to come back. Mom always said be careful what you wish for, you might end up with it. Boy did I ever.
From what we can tell, Millie’s about a year old – just slightly younger than Rocky. She’s still got a lot of puppy energy so we think she might be slightly less than a year old. Her previous family didn’t pay much attention to her and she ran off alot. Luckily, we don’t seem to have that problem with her. She’s a very smart girl and knows some basic obedience commands. However, her curiousity gets the better of her and she has to investigate everything. Boy, does that sound familiar! She has a fascination with shoes and has been dragging them all over the place when she finds them. Makes for some very interesting games of hide and seek!
I have to admit that I was very upset with Hubby when he suggested that we take Rocky and go look at doggies to add to the family. I knew that "look" meant "adopt" and I didn’t want any part of that. I wasn’t ready. I wanted to grieve. I wanted to be angry. I wanted to be sad and sit on the couch and cry. I thought it would be mean to bring a new dog into the house so soon after losing Luci. What would Rocky think? Poor Rocky had known that Luci was sick and I think he had a better idea of how bad it was than I did. He’s such a gentle loving dog and I couldn’t tell if he was grieving over Luci or just being his normal wonderful self. My wonderful boy took to Millie like a duck to water and Millie loved us. I got initiated less than 1 minute after meeting her. Muddy paw prints on my shirt. Broken purse strap. Nice bruise on my chin when I bent down to pet her and she head-butted me in the chin.
She torments Rocky the same way that he tormented Luci just one short year ago! Hubby and I have been telling him all week that it’s payback for how he tormented Luci last year. He seems to understand. He’s very happy that he’s got someone to play with although he’s not so sure about the fact that he’s no longer the baby in the family.
I kept saying I wasn’t ready and that Hubby was the one to have to deal with her. Hubby said that was fine. I kept saying I wasn’t getting up in the middle of the night and I’m not going to be the one training her. He said that was fine, too. I thought yea, right. Well, Hubby is the one getting up with her in the middle of the night, but since I’m the one doing the walks, I’m the one doing most of the training. Not a bad trade-off, I suppose. Yes, I’m warming up to her . . . yes, I find myself calling her Luci and then crying when I realize that it’s not Luci . . . yes, I see that Hubby had my best interests at heart . . .
It’s still been a very bad week, but Millie has given me hope . . . .
P.S. Millie’s middle name is Lucifer . . . in honor of Luci . . .
I’m putting one foot in front of the other and getting through the day.
I miss Luci.
Rocky misses Luci.
Hubby misses Luci a lot more than he cares to admit.
One minute I’m fine and the next minute I’m a blubbering mess.
Of all the four legged babies I’ve lost over the years, Luci’s death is the hardest to deal with.
I’ve spent more time on the phone today that I care to think about talking to the specialist and the local vet. They have test results but nothing is jumping up and shouting "THIS IS THE PROBLEM". We can do more tests and we can try different treatments but the bottom line is that they have no idea what it wrong with Luci. They have no idea if there are serious irreversable complications from whatever it is that they can’t diagnose. They can’t explain why a 4 year old dog that was perfectly fine two weeks ago is suddenly not eating, not drinking, and not getting any better no matter what they try.
She’s my baby and she’s in pain. I don’t like that. They don’t have any answers. I don’t like that either. They want to use her as a guinea pig while they test different theories and treatment options. Well, that just ain’t happening.
I can’t ask her to continue to fight if there is no hope that she will get better.
We made a very difficult decision to end her suffering.
Luci passed away today at 5:45 p.m.
It’s been a very very bad day.
I am not a happy woman. Actually, I’m a Mommy on the War Path . . .
Trip to the specialist was very informative. Once again I learned that I should listen to my gut. I knew all along that the local vet was missing something with Luci and I was right. Turns out that she doesn’t have CHF. Probably never had CHF. All the problems she’s having are probably a result of the original colitis attack she had two weeks ago. That original colitis attack was more than likely a pancreatitis attack and the not eating, labored breathing, and "shivers" are all from the discomfort of the pancreatitis and not CHF.
There were things that didn’t add up and didn’t make sense to me. But I’m not a vet and I’m paying them ALOT of money to tell me what’s wrong with my dog. Here we are two weeks later and Luci’s still not any better – she’s still a very sick girl – and there is a possibility that there might be long term complications from the delay in getting the right diagnosis.
Other than the discomfort, her main problem is being dehydrated from the water pills that she didn’t need to be on in the first place. We have to try to hydrate her without resorting to a hospital stay at the fancy animal hospital with around the clock care to deliver IV fluids. She’s not eating, she’s not drinking much and we have to get 1 cup of fluids down her ever two hours. Yea, it’s been a fun night. I’m being creative and it’s working so far.
We switched to this local vet after Blacky passed away because the animal shelter that gave us Rocky used this vet. I was completely happy with the vet we had before but it was a 30 minute trip one way to the vet office and I thought it might be nice to have a vet closer to the house in case of an emergency. Man that decision is haunting me now.
There may be long term complications from this. Luci suffered for two weeks when she didn’t need to. I’m beside myself with anger. With guilt. With fear.