December 13, 2017

White Dog calls it "vulturing." It is where one or more of the dogs lurks over another and tries to intimidate him or her into giving up a treat or into walking away from an unfinished bowl. Technically the Vultures follow the rules of no barking or growling...and certainly they know better than to just push their way into having their way.

They instead, hover over, looming, watching intently, getting as close to possible without touching, and making it VERY clear that they would be "GLAD" to help with the food consumption.

Bella,  Pearly and Tizenegy are bold about defining their personal space and deliver their message plainly and clearly. Nilla tries ignoring then diplomacy before just taking the harmonious route of abandoning her claim. Sometimes, I move her bowl next to where I am seated just to provide a counter intimidation.

It was after Zso and Bailey vultured Nilla into dropping her post walk treat that White Dog announced that such behavior was unacceptable and that she would work on revising the White Dog Army Rules of Behavior to include more about respect and boundaries...and that she would decide the "price" of being a vulture.

When I left my girl to go to bed, White Dog was busily writing in her notebook but promised to not stay up all night with her new legislation. As I kissed her goodnight she grunted, "We just cannot allow meanness. There is too much in the world already."

Have I mentioned that the Little White Dog of My Heart embodies all that is good in the world?


December 12, 2017

White Dog suggested it was time to move CA Stormer from the backup vet to the care of Dr. Julia. "He needs her insight and healing skills," she argued. "Stormer's mobility issues have gotten serious and he is in pain, SHE will have some ideas and know how to provide comfort if not healing."

Stormer has hip dyplasia and arthritis. He is an old man of 17 and his body suffers the wearing of age. The backup vet was adequate for maintaining his quality of life with the usual approaches but now Stormer needs more intuition and help to control pain. We need someone to guide us in developing a plan that helps Stormer to keep moving, to be able to rise and lie down without wincing, to be able to enjoy interacting with the rest of the Army.

So today CA Stormer met Dr. Julia.

We were handcuffed because the records sent were incomplete. As her staff recalled and begged for the information, Dr. Julia ran bloodwork and physically examined her newest White Dog Army patient.

Stormer was his usual stoic self...meaning crying and whining and whimpering. To his credit he did not try nipping but I suggested we muzzle him just in case. He can be anxious and reactive. Stormer gave me a look but let Steve slide on the muzzle.

Dr. Julia could feel the areas of concern with his deterioration and agreed that even without seeing xrays, his body was aching. But she was pleased with the story of his weight loss and advised that he was now at an ideal mass.

His blood work showed liver enzymes were elevated which is not uncommon in the elderly but which would be important as we developed a pain protocol. We did not want to aggravate the issue and that ruled out a couple of pain options.

The pre-kidney disease indicators that seemed meaningful to his old vet made Dr. Julia shrug. "It is more like pre- pre-KD. Not even enough to consider." He had been on Benson's restricted diet. I asked if he could go back to enjoying the meals that the rest of the WDA eat. "Heck yes, we are going to be watching him so if we see things moving up we will change that but for now let an old man enjoy life."

She put her hand on my shoulder. "His hematocrit number is low," she said. "Geez, no!" "It could be a result of the liver values let's bring him back in a week and retest. Then we WILL have the entire file and xrays. I might want to do additional views once I see what we have. And I know, but do not let your mind go tumbling."

Stormer bunny hopped into the blizzard of waiting siblings when we got home. They moved with him to get a long drink of water and settled around him as he sank onto his bed. "Just rest, brother," Opal told him, "Dad is going to make dinner." These were the perfect words as Stormer wagged and then rested his head on paws for a quick pre-dinner nap.


December 11, 2017

White Dog rushed past and out through the dog door. Zso poked her head inside, took one look and withdrew herself back into the yard. Nilla was poised to make a run for it.

"How about it Old Man?" Steve cajoled CA Stormer. "Your toenails are looking a little long. A nice trim will help you walk better."

Surprisingly Stormer is quite patient with grooming things, well except for ear cleaning but NO pup likes that. He LOVES being bathed and subsequently being swaddled in towels to be dried off. Often he dozes all wrapped up, especially if there is a sunpuddle shining on the bed. We can handle his footies, check his gums, massage all over looking for lumps and bumps.

And so he was nominated unanimously by his siblings to have his nails trimmed using the new Dremel tool we recently added to our grooming kit.

In college Steve worked in an Architectural model shop and is adept with these kinds of gadgets. Tina, a groomer friend, advised that the instrument helps "finish" the clipper trim with a smoother edge that did not split the nails. Plus Steve figured it would be harder to nick a quick.

Stormer's calm actually balmed Steve's moment of nervousness as the tool whirred to life. Fortunately, Stormer is a bit deaf and noise was not an issue.

In just a very few minutes CA's nails were short and smooth. He kicked over to his side and appreciated the soothing aloe vera that we rubbed onto his pads and between his toes. And in the spa tradition he received a treat as he "cooled down."

"Sure" Steve told the others who magically appeared at the sound of a treat bag opening, "NOW you are all here...expecting a fee for supervising, I presume?"
Wow, Dad! Stormer's nails ARE so much better. And NO thank you I do NOT want you to do me next!


December 10, 2017

White Dog laughed at Tizenegy. He was trying to lick a molecule of maple syrup off of his nose.

Steve made buckwheat pancakes and bacon for breakfast this morning...a White Dog Army favorite. This was Teez's first opportunity since arriving to share in this breakfast.

"OMD!" he proclaimed. "These are the best thing ever! Can I have twenty more, dad?" He nosed my knee and wanted to know if I planned on eating all of mine. He was a smitten boy in food bliss.

When all had finished and gone out to the yard, Steve called our Lucky Number to the kitchen. "Don't tell the others," Steve whispered and put the not yet washed breakfast plate down for him to enjoy.

He had to strongarm the plate back after it had been licked to sparkling as Tiezenegy argued that he wasn't yet done...there was still a slight aroma that lingered.


December 9cont., 2017

White Dog continued sharing special moments of YoYoMa's life. "Momma there are so many wonderful moments here...and I am not even choosing ALL of the ones I want to..."

December 9, 2017

White Dog remembers her Number One, her brother, YoYoMa as "kind of like a goofy frat boy when he first arrived" but over the six years he shared with us, Yo matured into a quiet leader with folksy common sense, even tempered and tolerant. He laughed easily and was the White Dog Army anchor to stay balanced and to always find the humor in any situation.

Please leave a favorite joke as a comment today in tribute. We have heard that Our Boy is already scheduled to headline a special comedy show on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge so be assured that he IS going to steal the best posted.

Here are some of our favorite memories of YoYoMa, Yet Another White Dog. One of the Originals.
Continued. blogger will not let me add more photos.

December 8, 2017

White Dog said, "You know Bailey spent the night sleeping in the living room, waiting for YoYoMa?" She normally sleeps in the bedroom. I know that because I went out to check a couple of times myself.

When we turned the lights off last night to end the horrible surrealistic day, I think we all hoped to discover Yo snoring softly on the fireplace tiles this morning; that Yo's sudden loss was somehow a communal bad dream.

Today counting breakfast bowls reminded us. Handing out meds reminded us. Before Steve left trips to the yard and post breakfast naps in usual spots reminded us. treat time reminded us. Everything reminded us.

"And I wasn't even even fully accepting of Benson's death yet," Steve confessed as he laid his head on my shoulder. "Our routine was so changed when he left. We still have not refound our rhythm...and now we must change again with our new loss. Seems we suddenly have so much empty time."

The blog after sharing something like YoYoMa's death is almost impossible to put together. There are really no words to be added but yet it is too soon for My Boy to become a forgotten footnote and to remove his photo from the header. But life does go on, especially for the rest of the world. I could simply not post, but I am compelled. The promise I made to White Dog when we started this project nearly 5000 posts ago was that if we were going to start that we would be committed to writing every day and... with the exception of being in the hospital once...we have kept that promise. As a result of that promise, you have had to endure the journey, the successes, the failures, the incredible joy, the pain...and the emptiness with us.

White Dog knows we will grieve and have lost a part of ourselves but she is wise enough to share a conversation she had with YoYoMa when he was first diagnosed with IMHA months ago.

"He knew this was a monster disease and that it would one day drain him of the ability to fight on. Yo asked us to walk with him as far as we could and to understand that he was not quitting. He knew momma, that you would be shattered and he asked me to make sure we all took care of you.

"He wanted a celebration that captured the feasting and joy of what the White Dog Army is at it heart. YoYoMa wanted to be remembered with smiles and laughter. Can we do that, momma? I know it will be hard."

"But we have had such a tremendous outpouring from all of our heart family, friends, and WDA followers. So many took the time to paw kind thoughts and share our pain. Maybe we can ask them to help."

I thought about what my amazing Little White Dog had to say. And I know Yo would truly want a sendoff filled with love and laughs. So can you help?

Saturday's post will be a photo journey of My Boy's life. You know how he loved silly jokes and was the WDA comic. We ask that you leave as a comment the silliest joke you can find...a joke, a pun, a funny that my boy will steal for his Rainbow Bridge routine and will giggle about for hours.

And Saturday night, the WDA will gather over YoYoMa's favorite foods and carrot cake to read your jokes, to listen to cello music from his favorite performer, and remember that love is forever.

Thank you for helping us begin this very difficult transition.


December 7, 2017

White Dog was pressed against my chest. If she could have embraced my heart with her paws she would have. Every single one of the others surrounded me forming a protective ring. They were there for me because they understand the needs of humans at times like these.

I held YoYoMa’s collar, wet from my tears and wept.

Twenty minutes, half an hour max, the time needed to topple an era. It is still too raw to understand but the WD also knows that I process best when I write.

YoYoMa was the last of the original White Dog Army that changed Siku’s, and our lives forever. The Little White Dog of My Heart began a special mission when she called Quinn, then Nuka, then Puff, then YoYoMa to us all within a matter of months. Yo, almost entirely blind, and from a horribly abusive situation became WD quiet Number One.  He was her exact age (now 13).

They have all crossed the Bridge as of today. The thought made me fill with fear and clutch White Dog to ward off my thoughts.

In the end my Warrior, my amazing tough, determined boy who loved silly jokes, coffee with heavy cream, and kisses on the nose, was brought down not directly by his IMHA. Rather, it was the ravages of the constant fight that wore his body down…his heart gave out.

As usual, he joined Steve and the others in the very early morning light in the yard for a bit of exercise and taking care of business. He was energetic and fine. Then he started to pant and fell down. Steve rushed him in and laid him next to me on the bed. I checked him over and gave him oxygen as he rested beside me. He was alert and attentive to his surroundings.  I called Dr. Julia’s office to tell them we would be bringing him in posthaste.

In the meanwhile Steve offered water and food. Yo refused both. Steve ran to dress.

“Don’t worry Baby Boy,” I told him. “We are going to see Dr. Julia. I kiss your nose. I will be with you.” I turned to also dress.

When I sat back on the bed to put on shoes, YoYoMa had flown away.

Now I look at the collar I am still holding. Yo has made his final car trip. The Original White Dog Army is now a legend, a legacy, a standard for all future recruits.

“I kiss your nose, YoYoMa.”
Taken in 2013 after Oso, also crossed, joined the WDA


December 6, 2017

White Dog: The things they will do for jerky! Now could you break off a tiny bite for me and place it gently on my lips as I lie here like a Queen and watch the spectacle?


December 5, 2017

White Dog and the others stopped in their greeting to move aside when Tizenegy returned from Dr. Julia's. He rushed in the door and zoomed to check his food bowl. She laughed, "I guess it is a good report."

Steve went out to the kitchen to point to the clock and explain that dinner was still half an hour away.

"Teeth and gums are just about healed and all well. He does not have an ear infection but she pulled out a bit of deep gunk from the one he has been itching. She told him she would see him next November!"

Teez trotted over and wagged happily. "Good job, brother," White Dog commended. "Now stay healthy so you truly do not have to see Dr. Julia until next year."