While I Was Gone…

Have you been wondering where we’ve been the last few months? Well, I promise we hadn’t forgotten about you all. It’s just that our living arrangements were a bit skewed.

I spent the last few months helping my brother take care of some household work that’s more easily handled by two (or more) persons. And making sure his dog, Boozy, got the love and attention he deserves throughout. And look at this face. Isn’t he precious?!

I admit that although I was happy to be able to help my brother, I left home with some anxiety about leaving Shadow and Ducky alone with their dog-daddy. Thankfully, Angel Callie, God, and the universe were watching over them all and things were pretty peaceful.

Some of the good news is that Ducky was – in hubby’s words – “really, really good” and got along fine with Shadow.

While I was gone, hubby decided to allow Ducky the freedom to roam the house with Shadow whenever he had to go out somewhere. I wasn’t very happy about it at first. I know how snarky Ducky can be toward Shadow at times. But there was never any sign of even the slightest “argument” between them, so I relaxed. Angel Callie was watching over her sisters for me.

Then there’s Ducky’s rather vociferous way of saying “I have to go out.” I was a bit concerned that the ever-impatient dog-daddy would make her forever afraid of him with his grumpy responses. Thankfully, hubby kept his cool more often than not.

Long-time readers of our blog know that Shadow has caused me some rather stressful hours, days, and even weeks with her eating habits over the last few years.

In February – before I left to go to my brother’s home – I was still splitting her breakfast into two meals. And getting stressed when she wouldn’t eat. And hubby continued the “schedule” for the first two weeks. And he started getting stressed-out about her not eating. And he’d call me and get me stressed-out.

Then I “decided” our stress was getting to Shadow and making it worse for her. So, I instructed him to just pick up and cover her bowl when she wouldn’t eat and stick it in the fridge. “Just give it to her for dinner.” Some mornings she ate all her food, some mornings only some of it, and some mornings she wouldn’t touch it. But by dinner time she was hungry enough to eat a full meal.

I came home for a week while my brother’s best buddy visited with him. Shadow’s follow-up blood work and abdominal ultrasound came due that week. More good news: her liver enzyme levels were back to normal and the nodule on her spleen was still unchanged (after a year’s time). The vet said to keep her on the Denamarin long-term “and keep up the good work” with her exercise.

So, while she still refuses to eat some mornings, my girl is doing really well for her age. And I no longer worry if she doesn’t eat breakfast, as long as she eats dinner and otherwise acts “normal” during the day.

As the weeks stretched into months, I grew more and more concerned about hubby’s stress levels. He’s not meant to be a “bachelor”. It was past time to come home. I’ve been here a week now. I miss my brother and Boozy – and they miss me – but I’m back where I belong. And it feels good.

I Love Our Vet!

Yes, I know I’ve said before that I love our vet, but I’m saying it again. I Love Our Vet! 

Not just because he has always taken good care of our pets; but also because he has always been honest and forthright on all fronts.

Not just because he let me do my externship (for my vet assistant course) at his hospital; but also because he has always been there for us (just a call or text away) from the time Ducky started presenting IBD symptoms, throughout Callie’s lymphoma journey, and every day since.

You might recall in my last post, Happy 13th Birthday, Shadow, I mentioned that thanks to her little sister Shadow had taken a tumble a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to the hemp oil gel caps and elixir drops and daily walks on the treadmill, the tumble didn’t seem to bother her then.

Still, over the last 10 days, she seemed to be struggling more to stand up and stay up. And she hasn’t been eating as well or as much, plus her reflux seems to bother her more often again. So, I brought Shadow back to Dr. Steve for his professional opinion on Tuesday morning. I mentioned that with her increased struggling of late I was worried that maybe she was in more pain than she let on. He put my mind at ease. “No injury. Just her arthritis flaring a little.”

I sent Doc a video of Shadow walking on the treadmill yesterday morning; and when he called in the afternoon with the lab results he commented on the video. “She looks great. She walks like an older dog with some arthritis. Her range of motion isn’t what it used to be, but it’s pretty good for an old lady.” As for the blood work and urinalysis, everything is close to or at normal levels, which means the Denamarin is working. We talked about some other minor concerns; but all’s well. The Gabapentin, hemp oil, and treadmill – and outdoor playtime – is keeping her arthritis manageable. So, we’re sticking with what works.

Now it’s time to get back to working on my final exam. It’s due back to my program manager on the 30th, so I probably won’t publish another post before Halloween.

Happy Thankful Thursday!!!

Back To Normal?

Back to normal? What IS “normal” anyway? For us, it’s Ducky spending only two days a week at daycare, not six. For us, it’s Ducky being a little loud and demanding at times but not stressed out. And it’s Shadow being mellow, except when hubby yells at Ducky. (There’s no getting through to some people at times.)

And for Shadow, Ducky, and me, normal is spending sunny days out in the back yard. Hubby prefers to spend his days watching the news or reading while music is playing so loud that it gives me a headache. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

Not much was normal around here while my brother was visiting. Ducky was stressed out because there was a “stranger” in her house. And Shadow was stressed out because Ducky was stressed out.

Daycare was a blessing for Ducky – it gave her several hours during six of the seven days her Uncle Doug was here to relax and play with her doggie friends. And it was a blessing for Shadow and us uprights. The rest of the time she was fine as long as Doug was sitting quietly somewhere in the house.


But I had to keep her on her leash except when she was in her crate.

On the way home from daycare the night before Doug was going back home, we had a terrifying hail storm during the last mile plus of our ride home. The hail was smaller than a quarter, but it was coming down fast and furious. And there was no place to pull over. I had no choice but to keep going. So I kept going. About five miles an hour with about ten car lengths between me and the car in front of me. And behind me. Ducky hunkered down in the back seat and curled up into a little black ball. We pulled into the driveway; and as I turned off the engine, I looked up at the sky and thanked God and the universe for getting us home safely. I coaxed Ducky into my lap and we sat there – both of us shaking – until the hail stopped. Hubby opened the front door and I carried Ducky into the house. My insides finally stopped shaking a few days later. Ducky is finally past her uncertainty about the car.

Anyway, around the house things are back to normal. Ducky is our little “wild child” again. And Shadow is back to eating her normal amount of food. And, as long as it’s not too cold and windy, the girls and I spend our days in the yard. Thankfully, Spring has sprung around here.

Thanks to our hosts of the Thursday Barks and Bytes Blog Hop, Jodi of Heart Like A Dog and Linda of 2 Brown Dawgs!

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