Saturday, June 10, 2017

I'm Back! Updates and MORE roller coasters.

Hello Dog Lovers!  It has been a long while since I have blogged, over four years.  Lots has happened.  LOTS.

About the time I stopped blogging, I closed down my pet sitting business and went to work at a Veterinary Teaching Hospital.  I guess the free time my brain had to put thoughts down on paper were sucked up by working 40 hours a week.  Going to work there has allowed me to keep my love of business and animals alive!  The downsides have been working with the drama that us people bring to the table, but, overall, I love it.

I wrote a lot about Gracy and our trials and tribulations with cancer, which I now call the devil.  Gracy fought through three rounds of lymphoma.  Each time giving it all she had.  It came back in September of 2013.  Although we started chemo again, nothing could keep it away.  Due to her medication schedule, Gracy went to work with me every day.  She became well known in the hospital, and quite frankly, well loved.  Her doctors fought hard for her.  Very hard.  There was no option not tried.  Sadly, on February 16, 2014, Gracy passed away, at home.

There is still a hole in my heart for her.  She was my soul dog.  I still miss her every day.

Keys didn't do well with her loss.  I had hoped to get us through the summer and give us a break from the roller coaster and to let our hearts heal.  My sadness was too much and Keys just fed off of that.  We were both a mess.  So in early March, I started looking and found a pup I fell in love with.  I fed all of my energy in to getting her.  However, by the time I got all my ducks in a row, she was gone and I was devastated again.  A few weeks later, we were slow at work, and I started looking again.  A few co-workers joined in and after a couple of days of looking, we found Kinzy.  I was hoping to get a puppy, but once I, we, saw Kinzy, we all knew she was the one.  She was a year and a half old and and been relinquished by the family that had had her since she was a baby.  They were moving and couldn't keep both dogs, so they took her back to the shelter they got her from.  Kinzy was a perfect fit for Keys and I and the striking resemblance to Gracy won my heart.  After getting her home, I found with each day, that they were very similar and my heart needed that!

Life was pretty good for a couple of years until last May.  One of the many lumps I had found in Keys over the previous few years turned seriously scary.  I knew when the doctor looked at me.  She couldn't hide it. At first I chose not to treat.  Mostly because of money and her age.  She was 10 and a Golden Retriever, so, odds were not on her side to begin with.  After lots of tears, I found a few organizations that donated some money and we were able to do some single agent treatment on her.  We started that around August last summer.  She went into remission, but, it didn't last long.  By November it was back and nothing we could try, worked.  My hope was to get her another Christmas and a good snow.  She loved both and got them!  She put up a good fight, but, in early January, I had to make the decision to let her go.   She was a great dog, and I miss her smile and hugs every day.  I know her and Gracy, and Pooh, are up there playing and taking good care of us.  Kinzy has had a hard time, even to this day.

I got Keys just a couple of months after losing Pooh and Kinzy about six weeks after losing Gracy.  My heart definitely wasn't ready, but, I knew I needed to let love in to help me start to heal.  I needed a distraction.  I had a lot of time to prepare for the loss of Keys.  However, I told myself I wanted some time with Kinzy and wanted to wait a while before getting another pup.  Kinzy is kind of high strung and I wanted some time with her.  Even though we were sad, I needed some time off the roller coaster.  I need some time to just have a dog.  A dog that wasn't sick.  A dog that didn't need medical care.  A dog that wasn't dying.  I wasn't ready and wouldn't be for a while.

Guess what?  That didn't last long!  Stay tuned for our next chapter!  You don't want to miss it!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Roller Coasters.....continued

It seems like just yesterday that I last wrote, but, it was a while ago.  For those of you who are new, and maybe haven't read the first couple of blogs, I started this blog to write about Gracy, my little princess, who has been battling lymphoma, and Keys, my big girl, who fights a daily battle with allergies. 

When I last posted, Gracy had just finished up with her second round of chemo at the beginning of December.  I am happy to say that she is still in remission!  YAY!!!!  Each checkup brings worries and fears, and this week was no exception.  Gracy has had intermittent vomiting for over a year.  It got so bad last summer, I really thought I was going to lose her.  Many tests were done, and no real answers as to why were given, although we did eliminate A LOT of things.  What finally started her on a path to living a "normal" life was the treatment for visceral epilepsy and food allergies.  Even though things are much better, she still continues to vomit on occasion, or, a lot.  In December, we started weaning her off the phenobarbital and we were at a place where we knew it wasn't helping.  So, back to the drawing board we went.  A couple of weeks ago, we brought in a Dr. who hadn't looked at her case yet, and he gave us a new game plan.  The first of which was to treat her again for a stomach worm.  The dose we had previously done was no where near the dose that he believed would even be effective.  So, that is where we are.  She finished her last dose this past Monday and we have to give it another week to see how it works.  That would be tomorrow!

You might think that things sound like they are headed in the right direction, but, there is always something!  She had a major vomiting fit last Sunday, which spurred more testing on Monday and Tuesday this week.  During this, they found a spot in her lung, which for a couple of very long hours, they thought it was lymphoma.....UGH!  Once her blood work was done (high white blood cells) and another Dr. saying that he just thought it was pneumonia, we jumped on the pneumonia band wagon.  She spent a night in ICU and is now on antibiotics.  It just never ends with this kid!  Follow up rads on Thursday showed much improvement and she continues to improve!

I continue to be humbled by this girl.  She has been such a light in my life and has helped guide me to who I am today.  My career path changed, for the better, because of this dog.  She has taught me that life is short, to fight for what I want and it truly is the little things in life that do mean the most.  She might not be the most special dog in the world, but she is in my world!  I am so honored that she waited to be really cute in that kennel until I was able to come rescue her.  We are a great team!  We continue to rescue each other, every day!  Never forget, it is not just a dog!