It’s official…

Fall is here.  This morning when I woke up, there was that early morning fog that we often get in the fall here in the Puget Sound.  I think we got down into the 40’s last night, and my feet haven’t been warm all day.  Another telltale sign:  Tosca is blowing her coat again.  I’m not sure why, but she’s got an odd schedule for losing all that hair.  It seems like when the temperature drops, she starts dumping the coat in mammoth-sized clumps.

It’s a sad thing to see the end of summer….  but I do have a few reasons to look forward to the cooler seasons:

  1. No more guilt about how bad my yard looks.
  2. When I stay inside all day making “shinies,” I don’t have to feel like I’m missing the sunshine.
  3. Halloween — my absolute favorite holiday.
  4. Fires in the fireplace.
  5. Hot toddies.
  6. Snuggling on the couch with my girls.
  7. ‘Tis the season for pumpkin pie!
  8. No more shorts for a whole 6 months.
  9. Bogs!  My favorite shoes are now back in play.
  10. Snow????  Here’s hoping.

And to cap it all off (with whipped cream), Rio is doing fabulous!  She’s energetic and silly and playful.  She’s unstoppable!  She is engaging the Monkeytroops with ear nips, head butts and her signature “wwooo wwooo wwooo!”  I haven’t seen her feel this good in I don’t know how long.

I read back through some of my posts today, and was remembering how difficult the first few months were — her amp, her recovery, her Cushings, her UTIs.  She (and me, too) was definitely riding the roller coaster.  All that worrying was so exhausting.  But I also got to see just how much progress we’ve made, too, and that was the cool part of this blogging exercise.  Not just the progress as far as her health is concerned, but also the progress I’VE made in how I look at things.  For example, the list above!  Normally, the first sign of fall makes me seriously depressed.  The shorter days, the days without any noticeable daylight, the endless drizzle.  And let’s not even get into my aversion to the “holiday season.”  And yet, I’ve managed to find something worthy of looking forward to, instead of just putting on my bah-humbug pants and hiding.

So it must be true, from adversity arises strength.  Or as Washington Irving wrote in The Sketch Book,

“There is in every true woman’s heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.” 

Yes, this year has had plenty of dark hours.  And not just due to Rio’s health.  I’ve got a long list of what’s been wrong with this year, but I’ve also learned that perspective is a good thing.  If I just look at all the stuff that has blind-sided us this year, I forget to look down and notice that my wiggly-butt little Woo-friend is smiling up at me asking me to play.  And I don’t want to miss a single second of that!!!


My favorite Woo

Wheels don’t fail me…

We took our first real road test with the girls this evening.  Rio was in her “Ride” and although mom threatened to harness the Monkey twins and use them to pull Cinderella’s coach, she didn’t.  It was just a walk.  The Woo did really well, wasn’t too nervous, (specially cuz momma gives her yummy treats every time we get into the Ride).  She popped her head through the sunroof a few times, and we got lots of (what I’m sure were) admiring glances from cars going by.

We got home from our little jaunt, and at the top of the driveway, I let Rio out to walk the remainder of the distance to the house.  Zephyr took that opportunity to hijack Rio’s Ride.  She jumped in and immediately curled up.  She happily rode down the driveway in luxury.  Trouble is, she’s a Monkeydog, and as such, is just a little clueless.  Dippy Zippy’s tail was hanging out the back of the Ride the whole way down the driveway, and she was thump, thump, thumping her tail in the gravel the whole time we were rolling down the driveway.  She’s a special girl!!!!  I wish I had video….


Rio’s Got a Brand-New Ride

So I wanted to surprise Rio with some new wheels, and SURPRISE!!!…  they arrived while we were at the vet!  We’re doing short stints to get her used to her new wheels, and lots and lots of cookies and praise, and already she’s starting to relax a bit.  Of course, Monkeybrains Zephyr was ever so helpful while I was assembling it.  She does love a good crate.  She crawled in and curled up and I couldn’t get her out to put the tires on!  Thanks Zeff!

Anyhoooo!  Here’s the pics of Rio in her new ride — she does look good in red!

7 Months

I totally forgot that yesterday was Rio’s 7 month ampuversary.  I feel kinda bad that I keep forgetting to celebrate the milestones!

In my defense, though, Wednesday we had a Rio and Mom Day.  I took her to Petco and she was treated like visiting royalty.  No reasonable girl would say no to that!  Every time I take her someplace like that, though, the next time we go someplace and she has to stay in the car, she gets a little peeved.  It’s as if she thinks all stores harbor within them toys and cookies and food beyond any dog’s imagination and I’m the one denying her access to it!

On the way home, I decided to take her to the beach that’s just down the road from our house.  It was super busy there — lots of kids playing in the sand and moms taking in the sun.  She gets lots of compliments on how she gets around, and nearly everywhere I take her someone tells us the story of another three-legged dog.  I love how the kids especially respond to Rio.  The grown ups, I think are worried about asking to many questions or maybe they just don’t want to know the answer to the questions.  But the kids think she’s a rock star!  Before her amputation, most of them didn’t really pay too much attention to her.  Occasionally one would ask if they could pet her, and she’d search them for the treats they should be giving to her.  Now, they pepper me with questions about her.  One little boy asked if she’d grown up that way (meaning tripawd), and I explained that it had been fairly recent.  Then he wanted the full story.  A little girl asked about her skin — try explaining Cushing’s and calcinosis cutis to a child in a really brief conversation.   Anyhow, Rio loved all the attention, but did wonder when were these small people going to feed her.  After all, they gave her cookies at the last place she visited!!!

I found a little stick and asked Rio if she wanted to go get it.  She swam after the stick a few times and then we walked up to the grass to sit and dry before jumping back in the truck.  Just sitting there, with my girl, with the world going on around us…  Those moments —  those are the ones to be cherished and banked for later.

We’re doing another Rio and Mom thing today, although it won’t be nearly as fun.  Rio has a dr. appointment later this morning.  Nothing big, we are just getting baseline CBC, protein/creatinine ratio before we start her on the masitinib.  (Paws crossed that the medicine works and that it doesn’t have any of the potential adverse reactions.)  We’ll keep ya posted!

Farmer T

I thought you all might enjoy a little Monkeybutt-dog fun!

This is the first year we’ve had a veggie garden.  In the past, I’ve grown tomatoes and cucumbers in containers because nothing tastes better in the summer than fresh tomatoes and cukes, but in the past, if it didn’t have pretty flowers, I didn’t grow it.  This year, we decided we’ve got the space, and produce is expensive and dog-only-knows what sorts of chemicals, etc. end up on our food, so why not grow our own.  And, as you might imagine, with the new garden comes a learning curve, right?  I would expect this.  However, I did not expect THIS to be part of the learning curve: Continue reading

A quick update…

Hi all,

First off, I wanted to let you all know how much the outpouring of support has meant to us.  It’s been a rough couple of days (for me), and I really have been buoyed up by the “Tripawds Cheer Squad.”  It’s one thing to have support from friends, but its another to have the support from people who’ve “been there” or are currently experiencing a lot of the same things we’re going through.

Secondly, I wanted to give a quick update…  Rio’s cytology came back yesterday, and there were no big surprises.  It was simply a confirmation of what we already suspected.  After two nights of Google-mania, I have decided that we will give the Kinivet (masitinib) a try.  We’ll monitor CBC and some protein-urine thing and recheck her ultrasound in 3-4 weeks.  If at that time there doesn’t seem to be a significant reason to continue the meds, then we will stop.  Fortunately, Rio has a wonderful dog-ter friend who has offered to get me the meds at cost, since they are newly approved and quite expensive.

Rio will also need to take benedryl and pepcid everyday from now on.  There is a significant risk of degranulation, in which the Mast Cells basically explode and send histamines rampaging through the body.  The risk at this stage is pretty high for stomach ulcers, bleeding, and anaphylactic shock, so the meds are precautionary. The benedryl makes her pretty sleepy, but I think the extra naps are good for her.  (Gayle said so!)

When Rio started this journey at the beginning of this year, I told my husband I wanted to do a road trip with Rio.  I’ve always wanted to see the Grand Canyon, and I want her to be there with me when I do.  This summer has been pretty busy, and it’s been easy to make excuses for why it wasn’t possible to do this trip — who would take care of my clients, water my garden, where’s the gas money coming from, etc.  I want you all to know, we are going!  We are making the final plans and arrangements, but we are going.  We’ll probably leave in a couple of weeks, stop and see some family and friends along the way, but Grand Canyon or Bust!!!!  Those squirrels better look out!!!

The Wooooo!