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 petfinders.com.  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

Goodbye “Baby Girl”

"Money", my "baby girl"

My "baby girl" Money

My “baby girl” is gone.  She was diagnosed with renal failure on the 18th of July.  We tried some treatments, but nothing worked.  We took her on vacation with us during the first week in August.  She did really well and seemed to be hanging in.  She started losing her appetite and wasn’t drinking enough.  After we came home from vacation she got weaker and weaker.  On the 14th the vet came to the house to rescue her from her misery.  It’s up there among the saddest and hardest things I’ve ever experienced.  It’s hard to get past that day, but I’m trying to focus on the 13 great years we had with her.  What a big hole there is in our hearts and in our home.  My 9 year old son has been so supportive.  When he sees my husband or me get really sad he puts his arm around us and tells us that we “did the right thing” and it’ll be okay.  (Aren’t we supposed to be doing that for him??)  What a great kid!  And what a great dog! 

We love you Money!  And miss you terribly.

Updates: Mom, Money, Andrew’s pain

Picked my mom up today and brought her here.  She is currently using a walker and hopes to graduate to a cane by next week.  The knee is doing well, but the foot drop has not changed.  I’ve heard it could be up to 4 months for that to return to normal, if it returns at all.  We’re trying to remain optimistic.  She’ll have therapy 3 times a week and will have to do blood work 2 times a week since she is on coumedin (sp?) to prevent blood clots which is a big risk after knee surgery.  Overall though, after a rocky start I think she is doing very well right now.

Money, our dog is hanging in pretty well too!  The subcutaneous fluids we were supplying for 3 days did not help.  Paul took her to the vet 3 days in a row where she stayed all day and received IV fluids.  Unfortunately, that didn’t help either.  Her levels are still very high and we’ve been told there is really nothing else that can be done.  So we wait.  And love her all we can.  The good news is that she is still feeling pretty good.  She’s enjoyed a walk every night, though they’re much shorter than they used to be and she’s still pretty peppy at times.  She seems happy and of course we’re hoping she’ll stay that way for a while.  We’re going on vacation next week and she is going with us.  Can’t ask for more right now and I’m very happy that she’s still feeling so well. 

Andrew has not had a major pain episode since I posted about it.  That’s certainly good news.  Unfortunately he slept till almost noon that morning and now his sleep schedule is all messed up.  Last night he was in his room for hours just screaming (for fun).  I was ready to go sleep outside!  This afternoon he was asleep by 4pm.  Wonder what time he’ll wake up.  I should get to sleep soon so I can have a few hours in before he wakes.  There’s a small chance he’ll sleep till morning.  Wouldn’t that be nice! 

Thanks to everyone for your kind words of support for all that is happening here right now.  It really does help lessen that feeling of being overwhelmed.

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.

Money

Money

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".