Mystery solved, plus a Woo status check

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Yesterday, we found out what was causing Zephyr’s (and to some degree, Tosca’s) incessant chewing and scratching…  Yeah, my favorite:  fleas.  So, I dropped everything and bathed three dogs, washed several loads of bedding (both doggie and people) and vacuumed the entire house.  The ironic part of the story is that I didn’t find a single flea on either Tosca or Zephyr, even though I looked and looked, both before, during and after their baths.  When they both started scratching and chewing on themselves after we got home from Oregon, that was the first thing I did — look for fleas.  Nothing.  Absolutely not a single flea, no flea dirt, no sign, no nothing.  Instead, I was sitting next to my sweet Rio on the couch and all of a sudden one crawled out of her fur at her amp incision scar and onto her naked belly, just as brazen as could be, followed by a complete mom freak-out. (About the only thing in the insect world that grosses me out more than fleas are ticks.  Ugghh!!!)  I don’t want to give Rio any unnecessary meds right now, so I will be rubbing her down daily with a few drops of eucalyptus oil in hopes that it will discourage any more nibbling by the stinking fleas.  I did, however, douse the Monkey-doofuses post-bath with flea-killing chemicals (of which I am not proud)….

Speaking of the Woo, her fan club has been clamoring for an update on how she’s doing.  Let’s just say, she’s battle-scarred and tired, but still fighting.  I would love it if she makes it to her 1-year milestone (and then some), but I am fully aware that it might not happen.  The swelling in her belly has gotten worse, and has moved down into the knee and ankle of her remaining back leg.  Her mobility hasn’t been that great lately, either.  She’s unsteady and frequently loses her balance and has to catch herself.  I’m not sure if it’s due to the swelling in the leg, or if her floppy belly-skin is making her lose her balance.  Regardless, she still has flashes of a younger, healthier Woo — especially with the snow of the last couple of days.  She’s always loved snow, and my heart is happy to see her boing-boinging around in it.  She got all silly after her bath yesterday, too, racing down the hall, tossing her head and snorting, grabbing her toys and flipping them into the air.  And when I was giving Tosca a much-needed brushing, Rio was being “the Sheriff.”  (She always polices certain activities such as brushing and toenail clipping, in case I need some protection.)

So, here’s hoping for a hoppy 1-year, but if we don’t make it that far, we’re gonna go out fighting…..

Tripawd Warrior Pink Sky

Snow Babies

 


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Hoppy Woo Year!

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I, for one, am not sorry to see 2011 fade into the blurry past.  As a year, it got the dubious distinction of being The Absolute Worst Year Ever.  (Although, now that I think about it, our run of crappy luck started clear back in the summer of 2010.)  Digressions aside, though, I think I would rather focus on what remains now that the year is over.

First off, I honestly didn’t think I would still have Rio with me this far (4 years and 7 months) into the cancer drama.  When we were facing the amputation this past January, our oncologist told us that Rio would have probably just a few weeks to a couple of months without the surgery.  When the doctor discovered the metastasis in August, we were given a similar time frame for her survival.   We are now looking at our 11 month ampuversary — despite the mets in her spleen and her lymph nodes.  With the added “bonus” of Cushings Disease, there is an average of a two-year survival rate post-diagnosis.  With all of this, Rio continues to buck the odds, and although I can see that her health is definitely on the wane, she continues to be the happy, beautiful girl she’s always been (although a lot less energetic).

Despite the difficulties of this past year, I still feel like it has also been a gift.  I have had the time I needed to come to terms with the inevitability of life and the swiftness of it’s passing.  I have also been given the opportunity (and the urgency) to make some treasured memories with my precious girl.  Living with the clock ticking has given me the impetus to do things now rather than pretending I have all the time in the world.  I have battled my own inner demons through this experience, and although the war is not yet won, I feel as if I have made some definite inroads.  So far, I have survived this blasted rollercoaster, and despite all the times I’ve begged to be let off this ride, I’m still not quite ready for it to end.

For now, we still have today, and dammit, it’s gonna be a great day!  And if we get tomorrow, then we’ve won the lottery!  (And if we do win the lottery, color me delirious!)

HOPPY WOO YEAR!!!

Hoppy howlidaze, my Tripawds pals!

 

 

Ruff days….

The last few days have been pretty stressful here at Casa de Perro.  Rio’s cough has gotten more prolific over the past few weeks, and her Dr say that she’s hearing a lot more “noise” in the lungs.  To make matters worse, Rio’s been vomiting almost daily for the last week. I’ve struggled to maintain a positive outlook, but have mentally bounced back and forth between “she must have gotten into something in the yard (since Zeffy barfed on one of those days too)” to “we are winding down to the end………….”

Today things are a little better.  Rio hasn’t thrown up for more than 24 hours, and you have no idea how much relief this brings.  I spoke with her vet this evening.  Her chem panel actually was pretty good.  Her red counts are a teensy elevated, and the Dr thinks its because Rio’s a little dehydrated.  Makes sense cuz of the throwing up…..  So, we’re gonna “spike” her water with broth (she LOVES this) and we’re going to put her on a really bland diet for a few days until her tummy feels better.  Her Dr also recommeded upping her Pepcid to twice a day.

Right now, she’s asleep on the couch, and aside from the kicking and twitching, she’s sleeping peacfully.  Me, on the other hand, I f*$%ing hate this roller coaster…  I’m taking deep breaths, and trying to live in the moment.  I’m trying so hard to focus on her quality of life.  But all this worrying is gonna give me an ulcer (and let’s not even talk about how many new grey hairs)….  I wish I knew for certain if this was just a bump in the road or something worse.  I wish I could forget all this nonsense and just look at my Rio as if she were invincible and immortal — the way I look at the Monkeygirls.   I wish I wasn’t thinking in this vein, but this has been a really long journey for us….  And we’re both tired.

In the meantime, anybody got a good recipe for carpet cleaner????