Run Free Sweet Bogie ðŸ’”

Our precious baby boy is in Heaven/at the Rainbow Bridge with his sisters, Callie and Shadow, and brother, Radar. Hubby and I are devastated, our hearts shattered. My brother’s heart is shattered, too.

It hurts so much to write this post so I’m not going to say much now. Bogie got away from hubby at the gate between the back and front yards, and the next thing we knew Bogie had his angel wings. The coward who hit our boy was going so fast that Bogie was gone in an instant. But he didn’t bother to stop to see if he could help. There’s a special place in Hades for people like that. Thankfully, there were compassionate people who did stop. And two young men who saw it happen apologized for not being able to get the license tag number. They also picked up Bogie’s lifeless body and carried it across the road and put him down gently on our driveway by the front door. Hubby and I thanked them and the other folks who stopped, and shared hugs with one lady who was almost as shaken up as us. And one of our sweet neighbors came out to try to console us.

Then my brother, hubby, and I lifted Bogie into the trunk and drove down the road to our new vet. I had called the clinic to tell them what had happened, and to ask if they could take care of things for us. “Of course we can. Just call us when you get here and we’ll take care of everything.” They absolutely took care of everything, including hugs all around. Bogie should be coming home early next week.

So Much Going On Update on Thankful Thursday.

If you’ve been with us for a while, you might remember that we had been without a local vet for several weeks. I wrote about it in our last post, here. I’ve allowed the sadness to ebb and flow and moved on.

Before all the sad stuff hit home, I had wanted to have Dr. Simpson set up a stem cell infusion for Ducky (like we had done for Shadow 3-1/2 years ago) to help with the pain from her arthritis/hip dysplasia, but COVID made that impossible. So, I started thinking about other options, particularly veterinary acupuncture.

Dr. Simpson came to the rescue again with the name of a vet nearby who practices TCVM (traditional Chinese veterinary medicine). One of the techs at the animal hospital where he now works had worked with the TCVM vet previously and recommended Dr. Barr highly. So, I made an appointment with her; and Dr. Simpson filled in as our regular vet until I could establish a relationship with a new local vet. I am so glad I did! Dr. Barr is wonderful with Ducky!

After learning that my first choice for a new regular vet would not be willing to work with an “alternative medicine” vet, I had to find someone who would work with her. I knew from Dr. Simpson of an excellent vet not too far from home so I called them with my fingers crossed.

I lucked out! Not only are they willing to do so, but one of the vets there – now our new vet – is friends with Dr. Barr since having worked with her elsewhere a few years ago. Dr. Moskowitz is wonderful, too! And two of the techs there used to work with Dr. Simpson at our former vet hospital so they both knew Ducky (and one even knew Bogie).

So, we now have two wonderful local veterinarians as well as our beloved friend, Dr. Simpson….

So, on Thankful Thursday we have a great deal to be thankful for. We have two new vets who are working together and with us to help Ducky feel better and keep Bogie healthy as well.

So Much Going On

I can’t believe it’s been more than three months since my last post. Still, considering all that’s been going on, I’m surprised it’s only three months.

Where to start? Well, August was fairly normal – crazy busy trying to keep Bogie from being too much of a pest to Ducky. Bogie is an absolute love bug…sweet, loving, gentle…but still very much a puppy. And his youthful exuberance makes Ducky nervous at times. Frequently, to be totally honest.

Unfair Advantage

Then came September. Things were changing rapidly at our long-time vet’s office. Staff members that I had worked with while doing my vet assistant course externship had started leaving over the course of 2018, 2019 and 2020, but by the beginning of September only two remained. I knew from one of the last to leave that things had turned toxic. It was breaking my heart as well as my friends’ hearts.

Ducky had her annual wellness visit on September 23rd, and I could feel the tension just walking in the door. While the techs ran the various tests in the treatment area, hubby and I spoke with Dr. Simpson about Ducky’s hip dysplasia, discomfort, and frequent avoidance of Bogie. Dr. Simpson and I shared an unstated understanding of the sadness we felt over the changes. I told him I would stand by him, and I sealed it with a hug. And then the tech brought Ducky back into the exam room. A week later Dr. Simpson was gone as well. 😥 But we remain in touch. We’re like family to each other. He’s been Ducky’s primary vet for most of the last five years. And he’d been Bogie’s vet, too, since we first brought him home.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been busy managing hubby’s dementia issues, Ducky’s and Bogie’s relationship, Ducky’s hip issues, and Bogie’s “growing pains”. At times I’ve felt like running away from home, but the adult in me kept me from it.

Meanwhile, Dr. Simpson has been working on a project that he asked my help with, and I’m delighted to be a part of it. I feel so strongly about it that I offered to publish a blog post and ask for feedback from you, my pet blogging buddies.

After suffering the heartbreak of losing his beloved chocolate Lab, Nestle (Ness), he started thinking/wondering why he was expending so much energy on mediocre pet owners. He wants to help pet parents who love and treat their pets like beloved family members. And help protect them from the bad, sometimes dangerous misinformation they might find on “Dr. Google”.

The project involves building a community of likeminded pet parents; and eventually building a by-referral-only clinic to serve them and their beloved pets. One where he and the pet parents would work together to help the pets lead their best possible lives. One where mutual respect and trust is what drives the partnership between vet and pet parent.

For my part in this project, I agreed to reach out to my fellow bloggers for help. So, I have two questions for you:

1) As true pet parents, what is your biggest fear?

2) What makes you turn to Dr. Google for answers to your pets’ health issues? What are you searching for?

We all know there is a lot of misleading, sometimes dangerous information out there in cyberspace. Dr. Simpson would like to make a difference in pets’ lives by helping their humans find real, safe information when they need it.

I realize the holidays are right around the corner and that you’re probably already busy with preparations. So, if you could take take a few minutes to answer those questions for me I would greatly appreciate it. So would Dr. Simpson.

Finally, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in the USA, so to all who celebrate it, I hope you have a safe, wonderful holiday!

Thankful Thursday

So much to be thankful for today, and every day. I’m just going to list a few….

I’m thankful for supportive family and friends.

I’m thankful for our very supportive primary care doctor. She is wonderful beyond measure, and we both love her.

I’m thankful for both of our two vets, and their caring staff, at Sunrise Animal Hospital just a little over a mile from the house. The vets both know and love Ducky, and are getting to know and love little Bogie.

With respect to the vets, I’m thankful for our excellent rapport. They both know that I have complete faith and trust in them to do and suggest what’s right for all my pups – past, present and future – and that if something they suggest doesn’t work, I won’t blame them – especially if I don’t follow their instructions to the letter.

I’m thankful that while hubby’s dementia has changed, at least he is still fully aware of himself, his surroundings, and his family. He knows something isn’t quite right with him, and it frustrates him; but he trusts me to do what’s best for him, to love him unconditionally, and to help him in any way I can.

And I’m thankful that Ducky is becoming more accepting of her baby brother. When she’s hurting from the effects of the hip dysplasia and arthritis, she gets snarky with him like she used to with Shadow, especially inside where she doesn’t have much room to get away from him

Precious Moment Captured

So, with all that said, we are joining the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop hosted by the humans and kitties of Brian’s Home.

I’m having trouble adding the blog hop links, so for now I’ll just publish and link my own post. To all of you who are frustrated with the WordPress block editor vs. classic editor, I feel your pain at the moment!!

Happy 8th Gotcha Day Ducky!!

It’s hard to believe you’ve been with us for eight years! I remember that first day like it was yesterday.

Ducky on Adoption Day

You were so darn cute! Even though you were – as Dr. Steve named you a week later – a “little wild child”, you had stolen our hearts that weekend we fostered you.

Callie and – especially – Shadow didn’t know what to make of you. You had turned their calm, quiet lives upside down and inside out that weekend. And it took them a few days to figure out you were here to stay this time.

You drove us all to distraction at times. As far as Shadow was concerned, your first day at A Dog’s Day Out was the best birthday present I could ever have given her. 🤣 You came home too tired to be a pest.

After Daycare

Fast forward less than three years, and you helped Shadow, Daddy, and me through our grief over losing Callie to the lymphoma. And three and a half years later, you helped us through saying goodbye to Shadow as she reunited with Callie.

You were thrilled to have a friend again when we added Radar to our little family. He became your best friend and brother almost overnight. You two had a blast together every day.

Losing Radar to the heartworm disease just a few days after his third month with us had begun was devastating. All three of us were in a fog of disbelief, of confusion, and of heartache. I still get leaky-eyed sometimes when I think of our Golden Angel Boy. But you came to our rescue again. You helped us lift that fog.

These last several months you’ve been dealing with those hind-end issues. You poor girl. You are so stoical. Thanks to the Your End of the Lead course (YEL 2.0) that I’ve been taking – especially the community of likeminded folks who helped me pick up on your clues – I was able to realize you needed veterinary attention. Dr. Steve, Dr. Simpson, and the entire staff at Sunrise Animal Hospital has been wonderful – no surprise! – in their care of you and teamwork with me to get you feeling better. Your issues have decreased substantially and continue to improve daily.

A few months ago, I wrote a post where I called you my little earth angel. And that proves to be true every minute of every day. I don’t know what I would do without you, Ducky. I don’t want to know. You – like your sisters before you – have become my canine soulmate. I (and Daddy) love you to the ends of the universe and back.

Our Sweet Baby Girl

So, here’s to you Miss Ducky! My sometime wild child and always loving baby girl. ❤️🐾❤️🐾❤️🐾

We’re Homebound (Mostly) But Not Quarantined

First of all, let me assure you that we are all well and as safe as anyone can be during this pandemic.

A lot and almost nothing has been going on around here since our last post. Ducky’s been going back to daycare a couple or three times a month since the middle of May, depending on her mobility issues. And we’ve pretty much become homebodies to a greater extent than we ever were in the past.

Hubby’s dementia-induced alternate persona – who I named Poindexter – has been here off and on since the pandemic caused a short-lived shutdown here in South Carolina, causing a great deal of anxiety for poor Ducky. As if that weren’t enough……

At the end of May / beginning of June Ducky had an allergic reaction to something which caused a secondary skin infection. Poor girl. To top it off, the vet felt she might have some arthritis starting up in her left hind leg. We had put her on Carprofen for a couple of weeks, which helped a bit; but once we took her off of it (because of the antibiotic she was on for the skin infection), the slight, intermittent limp started again. So back on the Carprofen for another week, along with her then-current joint supplement.

In July we had to have a new commode and sink installed in our only bathroom, causing a great deal of anxiety for poor Ducky on a day when she couldn’t be at daycare because of her mobility issues.

It was also in July, while I was doing ACE Free Work with Ducky – a topic worthy of its own future post – that I noticed she was leaning forward and favoring her hind left leg quite a bit while eating her breakfast every morning. When it only seemed to get worse as the week wore on, I sent the vet a video. I was afraid she may have some cruciate disease, in addition to the presumed arthritis. He was concerned enough after watching the video to suggest taking some X-rays.

Thankfully, the “rads” showed no sign of cruciate disease in either hind leg. They did, however, show that the left side of her pelvis had not completely formed as she was growing from puppyhood to adulthood. As a result, her left hip has some dysplasia. Thankfully, there is very little arthritis in the joint at this point. With a new course of Carprofen, some Gabapentin, and continued use of joint support supplements she started doing better. I had to change supplements, though, because I noticed – once she finished the Carprofen and Gabapentin – that the ones I’d been giving her weren’t working as well any more. So, back on the Gabapentin until she moves from the initial dosage to the maintenance dosage of the new supplement. I *think* that it’s starting to work already; but I won’t know for sure until we stop the Gabapentin.

So there you have it – our last 4 or 5 months in a few paragraphs. I’m working on the free work post, but I need some input from friends (in the UK) who know more about it than I do. Trust me, though, it’s a great way to have fun with your dog and learn more about her/him in the process!

Home from the Vet

Radar is home from the vet after his first heartworm treatment.

The discharge instructions say “Dion #1507* needs to be confined and as quiet as possible to avoid post-treatment complications.”

(* this is the rescue’s name and number for our boy.)

I think our boy is following doctor’s orders pretty well. Don’t you?

Radar and Ducky have both been asleep for most of the time since Radar and I arrived home. Once they wake up, I’m sure they’ll need to go outside but for now I’m enjoying the peace and quiet. 😊

The post-treatment complications referred to above include coughing, lethargy, coughing up blood, fever, and breathing difficulty. These complications arise when the dog is not well confined and has too much activity (running, playing, etc.) leading to clots “thrown into” the lungs from the dying adult worms.

I don’t think I have to worry about Radar’s activity level today….

The vet said that Radar did very well for his first heartworm treatment. We will make sure that he continues to do “very well” so that he can have the second (double dose) treatment in one month, and eventually test negative for evidence of any remaining heartworm infection.

Progress reports will appear here as time goes by.

Not-So-Lucky Ducky

Well, it’s Sunday again; and the beginning of a brand-new week. And time for a new post about #thisdog who keeps us on our toes constantly.

Remember on Friday last when I wrote about the charmed life that Ducky leads? As a reminder, you can read that post here.

Well, she wasn’t so lucky yesterday. As is our normal routine, after Ducky had her breakfast, she and I came out to the yard for a while. After we’d been out here for about an hour, I noticed she was making faces 🤪 and pawing at her nose. She looked like a pup who had just sampled a spoonful of vinegar. And then she started hacking – like she had something caught in her throat – so I opened her mouth but couldn’t see anything.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but the hacking was what the vet world calls a “reverse sneeze”.

Anyway, it was time for me to get our roast started for dinner, so I brought Ducky inside and put hubby in charge of watching her. She seemed okay, so I took care of a few other things and went to check on her myself. And she started hacking again. So, I decided to take her to the emergency vet to see what was going on. She obviously wasn’t feeling up to par.

We got to the emergency vet, checked in, and I put Ducky in my lap. I turned her to face me and that’s when I saw it. Her upper left lip was swollen to where it was drooping over the lower lip even while she was panting. So I tied her leash to the bench and walked over to the receptionist to tell her what I’d just discovered. I went back to get Ducky so I could put her on the scale.

The receptionist and I put 2 and 2 together and decided Miss Ducky was having an allergic reaction to something. So one of the techs brought her to the back, the vet gave her a shot of Benadryl, and then they put her in one of the kennels so they could observe her for a little while. And I kept busy texting with two of my friends.

About half an hour later, the same tech came out to get me and we walked back to one of the exam rooms. We talked about what had been going on the last couple of days with this crazy dog. Then the vet brought Ducky into the room. In her attempts to make the itch go away, she had rubbed a small spot on her nose raw. And she had pooped in the kennel, so it was time to let her be with me. I noticed the swelling on her lip had gone down considerably already.

The vet, tech, and I talked a little bit and decided that Ducky had probably air snapped at a bee 🐝 buzzing near her earlier in the day and got stung in the lip in the process. Ouchie!!

While the tech printed out the discharge instructions back in the treatment area, Ducky and I waited in the exam room. I could tell Ducky was already starting to feel better: she started whining and pawing at the door. “Let’s go home, Mom! I wanna get outta here!”

She slept on the couch most of the rest of the afternoon and evening and went right back to sleep in her crate at bedtime. 😴

She awoke this morning, “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed” as usual, and in full-on, turbo-charged mode. Ready to beg hubby for some of his cinnamon roll.

I wonder if this will be one of those life’s lessons learned for Ducky? I hope so!! If not, I at least have more Benadryl in the house now to treat her with. My crazy, lovable, challenging dog! I don’t know about her sometimes, but I love her to the moon and back! ❤️❤️

I Almost Gave In

As hubby and a few of my local friends are aware, I’ve spent the last week or two considering adding a new Golden Retriever puppy to our little family.

I checked local GR rescue groups’ websites, tried reaching out to two breeders I knew of on FB Messenger, asked local friends – some of whom work for our vet – if they know of other breeders, etc.

Yesterday, I found the phone number of Callie’s breeder. And I called her. She has a litter, and one puppy left from that litter. A little female. I felt my heart skip a beat. I had had my heart set on a male; but hubby said the gender didn’t matter to him. And he’s the reason I was even considering getting another dog to begin with.

The price Debbie was asking nearly floored me. I mean, I know it’s been 15 years since we brought Callie home; but good grief! Anyway, I was willing to pay it if hubby really wanted another Golden puppy.

Then reality “hit” me square in the face: I’m. just. not. ready. I’m still too emotionally raw after “losing” Shadow four months ago. And I don’t believe Ducky’s quite ready for a younger sibling. And then there’s the long-term commitment: food, vet care, training, enrichment, time, etcetera.

So, I called Debbie back and thanked her for offering to lower her price “just because I know you and know you’re a good pet parent”; but I had to decline. She understands. I knew she would.

Some day, maybe, the time and circumstances will be right. I hope so, at least. I do sooooo want another Golden. I’m thankful that hubby understands that this is not the right time. And I’m thankful to my friends for their support on both sides of the decision.

There’s so much to be thankful for, but friends and family sums it all up pretty well. I love you all! ❤️

I’m joining Brian’s Home Blog in the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop! Visit some other blogs to see what they are thankful for.

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Falling Down on the Job

Ducky must be sick. Or hurting. Or something.

If you look closely, you’ll see a squirrel on the ground to the right of the bird feeder. He’s eating the sunflower seeds that he – or one of his buddies – scooped out of the feeder.

The whole time he was there, Ducky was laying in the grass, not far from the carport where I’ve been sitting and drinking my coffee. Laying there, just watching and at times even completely ignoring the li’l critter.

In the video you can barely see the critter to the left of the feeder, picking at more sunflower seeds.

My friend Jan at Wag n Woof Pets said “we all have off days…” Maybe she’s right, but for Ducky, this is one for the record books!! 🤣

Maybe I should schedule full-body x-rays for Ducky at the vet’s and even a brain scan?!