Cautiously Optimistic

Since Shadow’s visit to the emergency vet back on Labor Day weekend, she has been a very picky eater again.

Even though in the past she has gotten used to the nasty taste left in her mouth by Metronidazole, this time has been different. Getting her to eat her food was a frustrating, sometimes unsuccessful experience for the week she was taking it and the week since she’s been off it.

BUT…. 

This morning – with a little coaxing – she ate her breakfast. And about three hours later she ate her lunch with less coaxing than this morning.

(I don’t really worry too much if she doesn’t finish her breakfast – or if I have to coax her a bit – because I know the Denamarin she’s on for her liver makes her tummy feel “weird” for a few hours after she takes it.)

So, with her having eaten her meals today without much coaxing, I’m thinking (hopeful) that maybe the nasty taste of the Metronidazole is finally gone.


And by the way, the Treatibles 10-mg. CBD oil gel caps I’ve been giving her with breakfast are definitely helping manage her arthritis discomfort/pain. It also seems to have reduced some of the weakness in her back legs. She hasn’t stumbled on the steps in over a week! (Until just two minutes ago. I jinxed her. 😢)

Back to The Ducky Diary

My brother spent most of this past week with us and Ducky was not happy about it.

I met Doug at the airport on Saturday afternoon (8/19) and from the time we got back here to the house until he left on Wednesday afternoon to visit with a friend in Asheville, Ducky was in snark mode. At least toward her uncle. So much so that we had to keep her on a leash the whole time she was in the house. (Well, except during the night while she slept in her crate.)

Thank goodness for doggie daycare! She spent most of the day there on Monday and Tuesday. At least she was able to relax and enjoy the company of her doggie and other human friends for a while each day. 

Since Doug was going home yesterday (Friday) after returning from Asheville, I felt Ducky would be better off at daycare (again) for even just the few hours her uncle was in the house. 

It worked out nicely, actually, because her daycare facility is not that much out of the way coming home from the airport.

I chuckled a bit on Wednesday afternoon because as soon as Doug left for Asheville, Ducky spent a good 10 minutes running around the house looking for him. She knew his scent but couldn’t find him. She finally gave up and went back to nap on her bed. 

When I picked her up at daycare yesterday, she sniffed the air in the car for a moment. Satisfied that Uncle Doug wasn’t hiding anywhere, she laid down on the back seat and slept all the way home. By the time we arrived at the house, she seemed satisfied that the tall stranger wasn’t here any more. She played out in the yard with Shadow for a bit and then took a nap in her bed.

Doug’s dog isn’t comfortable with strangers, either, so he understands what it’s like to have a human-reactive dog. I’m grateful for that understanding. Especially when I’m feeling ready to wring Ducky’s neck for being such a noisy brat.

Having said all that, I know what I need to do. Sort of. First step is writing it all down, like an outline. (Maybe in The Ducky Diary. Better yet in the Training Notebook that I haven’t started using yet.) When I get that done, I’ll figure out Step Two: Implementation.

Have a great weekend, dear readers. And those of you threatened by Harvey, please stay safe. We’re sending out positive energy and thoughts to all of you.

Still Missing Callie

Our sweet Callie took her final journey two years ago this morning. Some days it feels like yesterday.

I miss waking up to this sweet face

And witnessing the loving bond she shared with Shadow…

And the insanity that erupted in the house when Ducky invited her to play

After I read the first draft of this post, I went back and read the posts I wrote last year around the time of Callie’s first “anniversary” in Heaven. Everything I wrote in those earlier posts holds true now. I miss my sweet girl more every day. 

But Shadow and Ducky fill my hours with unconditional love and moments of hilarious entertainment that take the edge off my heartache. For that I am eternally grateful. And knowing that their older sister’s spirit is always with us, watching over us, gives me great comfort.

We’re Still Here

The girls and I are still here. We’ve been busy. Well, their daddy and I have been busy. I won’t go into details, but my mind has been focused on more pressing things.

I’ve been on FB, Twitter, and Instagram sporadically trying to keep up with everyone. But writing and reading blog posts has gone by the wayside. And it looks like it’ll be at least another month or two before I can get back to the blog. Other than this post that is.

I will tell you this much: Ducky’s snarky attitude toward Shadow continues to diminish. She has her moments, but they’ve been fewer and further between. And, Shadow’s arthritis is an on again/off again issue. It’s not too bad this week, despite the cooler, wetter days. But that could change just like my own arthritis.

So I’ll leave you with these photos of the girls and say “til then…”

Shadow Update

Happy to say I have GOOD news to report!


Shadow had her follow-up ultrasound two weeks ago. The abscesses in her liver that I told you about last month are gone. The nodule on her spleen remains the same, unchanged. 

So, the vet said we’re going to leave Shadow on the Denamarin long term. The Denamarin makes her tummy feel “weird” for a few hours, so she eats very little – if any – breakfast.  I’ve had to resign myself to that fact and just give her lunch instead of breakfast. 

Unrelated, she’s been shaking her head off and on for the past couple of weeks. Her right ear seems to have an excessive wax buildup on the inner flap and close to the canal. I clean it up with a warm, wet gauze pad every few days. Tomorrow morning I’m taking her to see Doc, just to be sure there’s no infection causing that waxy mess. I don’t think there is – it doesn’t smell bad, just “waxy” – but want to be sure. Shadow’s ears have always been clean, and free of infection since she was a puppy. I want to keep it that way as she gets older.  

Time Flies…

…when you’re having fun!

Friday is the last day of my externship for my Veterinary Assistant course. And I’m torn between remaining as a volunteer and getting back to my former life as a retired person. 

I have truly enjoyed the hands-on experience I’ve had throughout my time behind the scenes at our vet’s hospital. I know there are many things I need more practice with to become an even better vet assistant. But I also know it takes time to hone one’s skills. All the “girls” and both Dr. Steve and Dr. Simpson have been super-patient with my more-than-occasional lapses in concentration. And I appreciate it more than they could possibly know.  

From the start, my heart has cried for the pet parents whose furry “kids” have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses or been aided in their journeys to the Rainbow Bridge. And rejoiced with the pet parents who received good news.

Something I was afraid would “turn my stomach” – watching surgery on an animal – actually ended up fascinating me. I wouldn’t want to HAVE TO be the vet/surgeon performing the surgery. And I don’t know that I could handle watching surgery on my own dogs; but the surgery itself and the vet’s skill and devotion to his patients just blew me away.  So did the skill of the techs assisting with the surgeries. These gals are fantastic! 

While I am definitely looking forward to getting my former life back – to some degree at least – my life has been irrevocably changed by this experience. 

I am truly grateful to Dr. Steve for having agreed to let me do my externship under his tutelage. And I am grateful to Dr. Steve, Dr. Simpson, and the entire staff at Sunrise Animal Hospital for their mentoring, assistance, guidance, and unending patience as I watched, participated, fumbled, and learned my way through my externship.

 Revisiting The Ducky Diary


The times that I have to make an entry in The Ducky Diary are dwindling down to about once a month. Sometimes twice, but the last entry was only a single page. And it was mostly about how proud I am of Ducky these days.

Yes, she still has her moments. Sometimes she reminds me of a small child who wants all of Mommy’s attention to herself and has a hissy fit when a sibling tries to butt in. Yet, unlike the days before I started keeping track of her snarky moments, I’m highly tuned into the energy …

I can literally see her start to tense up. And I can cup her little chin in the palm of my one hand (while holding her collar with the other hand), look into her eyes, and calmly tell her “No. There’s no need for that. Settle down.” And she does. I can see the hairs on her scruff soften, her gaze soften, and the rest of her body relax …

Then I can let go of her collar without worrying if she’ll go after Shadow.  She won’t. She either walks right past Shadow without acknowledging her presence; or, she’ll stop and give her older sister a few puppy kisses on top of her snout or forehead. So sweet! Tension defused.

Serene Saturday

It has been such a beautiful weekend so far … sunshine, blue skies, puffy white clouds … 

In between games with the ball or Bounzer, the girls have been like this …


Or wanting to run the fence line with the neighbors’ bulldog, Jupiter. A quick hello is all they need, in my opinion.

There’s a nice breeze out here right now. Ducky is looking around her – nose twitching and ears moving to catch every sound. Shadow just changes position a little to get comfortable.


TGIF 

It has been a busy week around here and I’m glad it’s about over.

As I started writing the draft of this post on Tuesday morning, my sweet, loving Golden Shadow was in a kennel at the vet’s office. 

She was awaiting her turn with Dr. Steve, and for me to return for her.

Last Friday, we did a re-check of her liver enzyme levels after 30 days on the Denosyl.

The Denosyl did not work. Those enzyme levels which were elevated 36 days ago were even more elevated this time. And other levels were also elevated that had been in the normal range. 

So, on Tuesday afternoon – at the vet’s recommendation – we did an ultrasound on her liver and abdominal region.  

Turns out she has some old-age abscesses in her liver which we will be treating with Ampicillin and Denamarin for a month. She also has a small nodule in her spleen that does NOT appear to have any worrisome characteristics. But just to be on the safe side we will do another ultrasound in a month to check on it.

Meanwhile, Ducky had the first of two CIV (Canine Influenza Virus) vaccinations on Tuesday morning as well. It doesn’t reach its full efficacy until two weeks after the second “shot”. So, our little girl will not be going back to daycare until some time in July. I’m not taking any unnecessary chances of her being infected and passing it on to Shadow. Especially now. She seems happy enough to stay home…

So today – as always – I am thankful that we have a great relationship with a wonderful vet. And, by the way, his hospital/practice is now accredited by the #AAHA.

I’m also thankful for – among so many other blessings – our wonderful pet-loving community. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without y’all!  (I meant to join the Thankful Thursday blog hop but didn’t have time.)