It’s Been a While!!

It’s been several years since I’ve added a post to this blog.  So much has happened over these years!  Andrew is 14 years old now!  Joe is 16 and getting ready to get his driver’s permit.  Justin has gotten married and added a wonderful and beautiful girl to our family!  And so much more!!  I plan to post the updates and catch up on the latest, but there is much too much to do all at once. So stay tuned as I try to re-learn how to blog and share our experiences.  Believe you can and you're halfway there

Meet Reagan…our new “baby girl”!

february-09-011This is our new dog Reagan!  She’s a 9 month old black lab and she’s the sweetest thing!  We found her on  She was in a “high kill” shelter in Kentucky.  The women who brought her up last saturday drove a van up here loaded with about 30 dogs!!  They volunteer their time to try to find good homes or foster homes for these dogs so that they are not destroyed.  They loaded as many as they could fit to save their lives.  Certainly a tremendous thing to do.

Reagan’s story is that her owners had to move and couldn’t take her with them.  She had been in the shelter for about 2 months or more before we adopted her.  Considering where she had been living, she is absolutely awesome!  She’s just a big lap dog, and as you can see, she’s very good with kids.  Andrew has tried very hard to get a rise out of her, but she is just so happy to be here, she doesn’t care what he does. 


Shfebruary-09-018e loves to chase a stick or a frisbee and is working on actually bringing it back to us.  I’ve started “clicker training”, which she seems to be responding to very well.  She is learning very quickly and can already sit on command, come when called, lay down, and Joe is teaching her to roll over.  She is so lovey and loves all the attention she can get.  I know, I know….she looks VERY similar to our last dog.  That’s just one of the things we love about her.  I don’t know how we got so lucky, but she is really a sweetheart! 

Joe cried when we picked her up.  He had no idea we were going for a dog.  He was so happy and they are best friends already.

We’ve been trying hard to keep her off of the furniture.  But she looks soooooo comfortable when she’s snuggled on the sofa.  We did compromise and allowed her to use the seat at the end of our bed as her sleeping place.  I have no idea why she would want to lay there!  It’s so narrow and there’s a perfectly good fluffy pillow on the floor.  But no!  She wants the bench.  Okay, okay.  (How long do you think before she’s ac tually in the bed???)True Love....Puppy Love

True Love….Puppy Love

Wordless Wednesday

There must be something to this ripping paper thing. Maybe it's a good stress reliever???  I should try it myself.  :)

There must be something to this ripping paper thing. Maybe it's a good stress reliever??? I should try it myself. 🙂

Special Exposure / Wordless Wednesday

Bubbles in Vermont

Bubbles in Vermont

One of my favorite pictures.  Big brother entertaining little brother with bubbles by the pond.

Our Dog

Paul & Money when she was just a puppy.

Paul & Money when she was just a puppy.

While I was waiting for my mom to come out of recovery at the hospital on Friday (see “Mom’s Knee Replacement” post) I received a call from our veterinarian to discuss the blood work from my dog’s appointment the day before.  My dog is 13 years old.  She is a black lab/dalmation mix and she is such an important part of our family.  She has had two knee replacements a couple of years ago or so and has done really well!  My husband took her to the vet because she just hasn’t been eating right and has started losing weight.  The vet did not have good news. 

Her blood levels were “alarming” and they believed she was experiencing kidney failure.  I was horrified and still am!  She seems like she is doing so well!  She’s happy and playful at times and is perky and affectionate.  She is a little more tired, and doesn’t eat or drink as much as she had been, but I figured she was just getting older.  Kidney failure is not at all what we expected to hear.



I left the hospital with my mom still in recovery.  Thank God for my Aunt Jeanne who had just gotten back to the hospital.  She would tend to my mom while I found my husband so we could figure out what to do next.  They said she needed “intensive care” treatment as soon as possible and we should take her to the hospital.  When my husband finally got home I was a mess.  I had been crying for some time and sitting on the floor with my girl (her name is “Money” by the way.  I didn’t get a vote on the name, but it fits her after all this time.).  He was stunned as I was but held it together and took her to the hospital.

He brought her home that night with a treatment regimen.  She’s on Pepcid to help reduce acid, she’s on antibiotics for a UTI, and then there’s the “fluid” treatment.  We actually have to “push” 1000 cc’s of saline into the scruff of her neck.  Yes, I said one thousand!  We poke her with a rather large needle and squeeze the IV bag to get the fluid in.  I guess this is the canine version of dialisys.  When we’re done she has a lump on her neck about the size of a cantelope filled with saline.  Not a pleasant experience for any of us. 

Money & Cash watch the birds.

Money & Cash watch the birds.

Yesterday was our first attempt to do this.  It was going well at first, but then she jumped up and the needle popped out.  It was devastating because now we’d have to stick her again to finish the treatment.  My husband did it but she was so upset by then that we couldn’t finish.  For the rest of the night she wouldn’t go anywhere near Paul.  Even this morning she isn’t trusting him completely.  It breaks my heart to see her act like this.  Paul is the one person she has trusted completely for all of her life, and to see that relationship suffer now, at this point of her life is just sad.

I called the vet to see if there were any other options.  “No.”  We have to do it!  I feel so bad about this.  If we don’t give her all of this fluid then the toxins will fill her body and she will feel very ill.  They don’t know if this will prolong her life any, but it will make her feel better.  I sure hope this goes better tonight.  It’s killing my husband to have to do this, but he knows we have to.   I’m going to try to be the one to stick her tonight so he can be the good guy.  I’m actually pretty weak when it comes to needles, but I have to try. 

Money with her baby ducks.  She was such a good mom!

Money with her baby ducks. She was such a good mom!

We can’t bear the thought of losing our girl.  I know it’s inevitable but she doesn’t even seem sick right now.  We’re certainly thankful for that.  This is not going to be easy.

My "baby girl".

My "baby girl".

A few words from Joe

Following is a post from my 9 year old son.  He typed this all by himself.  I didn’t know that he could type so well!  :

Hi! I’m Joe. Andrew and I always have fun together and Justin and I have fun too. the best part about CDLS is donating money to them. Also every 2 years we have a confrence and it’s VERY fun. you get to meet new friends there and stay at a hotel. (There like the best hotels ever!) I love my family and donating to CdlS very much. To all friends (Including Dr’s and people who donate) GOOD LUCK!