October 25, 2016

White Dog has been pretty strict on the White Dog Army these past few days as the upset tummy bug has run through our ranks. She watches to make sure all are eating and digesting normally. Earlier she stood on the deck surveying the Army at play...was each pup active and moving around? Who was sluggish? Any White Ones crabbier than usual? Anyone complain of aches and pains?

My Girl s a very observant Queen and strives to make sure all are healthy and happy. She was glad to report that it seems that the sickies that began with YoYoMa last week seem to be down to Benson and Zsofia, both a bit more clingy than normal and overly mellow. Hopefully by tomorrow, we will be sickies free.

Even Yo's bigger issues seem to be improving. We won't know for certain until Friday's blood test whether for sure his numbers are becoming more balanced. But he seems like his energy is better...and a momma just KNOWS these things.

White Dog took off her nurses cap and slid her bag back into the closet. "I think we are OK to set this aside again," she said and let out a contented relieved sigh. "Close enough if needed for now let's just believe that all is on the mend and the power of love can take it from here."

"Love most certainly, Little White Dog of My Heart, but also Dr. Julia's skill and meds...and the Army's fitness. I, too, feel a balance returning."


October 24, 2016

White Dog drew in a deep breath. "I wouldn't want Dr. Julia mad at ME," she said. "I bet the Emergency Hospital has learned that lesson."

This morning YoYoMa saw Dr. Julia. He has been gradually showing signs of coming back from the very bad place he was in on Friday. She had her techs draw blood to immediately do a CBC update. He was holding at 25% but his white cell count was still high. "I read over the notes they faxed but they are pretty skimpy," she said and asked us to share what we had experienced.

She began to frown when we told her that a fine set of XRays had been taken. "Wonder where those are," she rhetorically asked. And then she asked about the note concerning their thought that the blood loss was a result of a GI bleed.

"You said the XRays were clear and showed no blood or tumors." "Nope, clear and beautiful." "In order for Yo to have lost 3/4 of his blood by bleed there would have been LOTS of blood." "That was our thought as well but they seemed stuck on that." She sighed.

"What meds did they give you?" Steve responded "sucralfate and omeprazole." Those are both stomach coatings. "What did they give you for the infection?" Steve shook his head.  "That was all they gave?!" Her tone was starting to get an edge. "Was his white count high?" "A little less that the ones you just got."

"They were running some kind of special test on an extended CBC they had to send out; you probably do not have that either." "For what?" "Something about looking for viruses attaching to blood cells themselves. I am not sure. I brought our bill if it is not in their notes, maybe you could figure it our from the charges?" It was a CBC with a pathology and it was not even mentioned in the notes. "I am going to put Shana on getting the Xrays and information we are missing. They should have blood panel back."

"So I am thinking we are going to start YoYoMa on a steroidal antibiotic, metronidazole, to get the white count down. I think he is making red blood cells because he is holding his numbers but they are not rising probably because his body is fighting itself. I will look over the rest of the ER Hospital stuff and call you if we need to adjust or change anything. Bring Yo in on Friday to draw blood as a check."

We nodded and asked a few questions about the direction we were potentially heading, an auto immune disease. Satisfied we, Yo and all of us, could tame this, we headed back home.

This evening YoYoMa is already seeming more lively. Enough so to bark and twirl in the kitchen demanding Steve speed up dinner prep. Poor manners that they were, Steve was actually glad to have to say, "Yo! Calm! It is coming!"

October 23, 2016

White Dog did not even have to think about my slight nod toward the door. She was across the room and out the door Steve held open before any of the Army even knew we were planning to go run errands. It was the break and "me" time she needed.

"OK, my loves. We need to run and get dog food and pick up some cream or we won't have coffee tomorrow. We will be right back after that."

True to our word, we rushed home to resume the important Sunday plan that had been temporarily disrupted...Helping YoYoMa heal...in other words,..easy Sunday napping.


October 22, 2016

White Dog looked at the clock and then burst into wags to welcome YoYoMa's entrance into the house. It was 9:23pm.

"We have been waiting ALL day for you!" Bella yipped excitedly. "You look wonderful, Bro!" Stormer said as he sniffed to make sure everything was good.

Everything WAS good. YoYoMa has taken the transfusion well and his numbers were stable all day. In fact by late afternoon, they had increased slightly which was a VERY good sign.

Monday we go to see Dr. Julia to begin the exploration of the possible cause. And to make sure that levels are being maintained. But for tonight we are all together, safely. And while it was too late for the big feast planned (which will wait until tomorrow), there WAS a round of ducky jerky for all!

Free at last!
Open the door, Dad! I am HOME!
Welcome home, Brother!
Sure, I would love White Dog's leftovers. The food there was not as good as dad's.
Well, Army, the pink? They never COULD seem to get it straight that I was a boy! Go figure, them being vets and all. But hey, real men can wear pink with pride.
Momma? Yes, Yo? It is true. There IS no place like home.


October 21, 2016

White Dog pressed against me. "How did you know, momma?" I could not explain my reasons yesterday for deciding to call Dr. Julia and make an appointment for YoYoMa. He was still under the weather but was eating and drinking and had no fever. But SOMETHING said things weren't right. I suspected a middle ear infection when I made the call.

Today we went to see our beloved vet. Yo was more lethargic than he had been but still ate breakfast, drank water and had treats. I wrote up a quick list of our observations since Tuesday when our boy first exhibited sickies.

Dr. Julia checked him over and asked for blood to be drawn. She was a little puzzled that he had no fever and that his gums were whitish (new since we had looked him over this morning). "It will take about 20 minutes to run the panel," she told us. "Then, depending on what we see, we might run an xray or two because I am hearing some wheezing."

They ushered us back into the exam room. Yo was in my arms. Dr. Julia came in, lips pursed. "Not good, huh?" I said immediately tightening my mental control so as not to upset the baby in my arms.

"He needs a blood transfusion. Stat. His red blood count is at 13%. We're calling a referral over to the specialty hospital because they are the only place in town right now that has blood."

Then she showed us the blood panel. His red blood was off the charts low. His white count elevated. His proteins were off. She added that his heart rate was too fast and that the wheezing was most likely a result of having to work so hard to circulate too little blood. "I would take xrays, but they will just redo them at the hospital, so do them there and be sure they send them to me."

To the shocked questions in my eyes. She said, "the blood does not indicate it is a cancer but of course we can't tell for sure but my instincts tell me that it is most likely an auto-immune disease. They come up without warning out of nowhere sometimes. But lets get some good blood in him and get him stabilized. Monday come in and we will look over everything and start to tackle the infection or white blood count issues. One step at a time. Yo is healthy normally and a strong boy. He is amazing that he is eating, drinking and walking with these numbers."

With that we loaded YoYoMa into the car and drove the 10 minutes to the hospital. We walked in the door and were greeted by a tech. "Is this YoYoMa?" she asked.

He was taken from my arms into the back area and we were escorted to an exam room and told the vet on duty would be with us as soon as she did triage.

Chest and stomach xrays showed clear, mass-free and fluid-free areas...quite pretty actually. "Of course with his full bowels we cannot see that area very well," she said, "So we are not contending with a huge tumor or obstruction.

YoYoMa will spend the night receiving his transfusion and being monitored. If his numbers bounce back up and he is stable, we can bring him home in the late morning. Before leaving we insisted on going back to say "goodnight" and "I love you," to my boy.

I kissed his nose. Like every night. I thanked him for being my partner, my good boy, a wonderful brother, my best friend. Like every night. I kissed him again and ended with "Thank you for being you." Just like every night.

But unlike every night I left him listening to the sound of Steve and I leaving him behind.

"Be well," I whispered. "I will bring you home tomorrow and remember momma ALWAYS keeps her promises."

October 20, 2016

White Dog said, "This is one of my favorite photos of you and YoYoMa. Let's share it for Throwback Thursday."


October 19, 2016

White Dog smiled and nodded toward the middle of the room. "Poor Zso is having an impossible time convincing anyone to play." I petted her side, "Maybe Little White Dog of My Heart, she will understand how Sachi feels WITHOUT having to come down with the sickies that seem to be traveling through the Army."


October 18, 2016

White Dog gently nuzzled her brother's head and turned to me. "YoYoMa NEVER gets sickies," she said, "I hope he is going to be all right."

My big boy, MY defender was a collapsed rag at my side. He had just vomited dinner and then rushed outside (followed by Steve) for an explosive moment at the other end. His eye was puffy, nearly closed, and his nose was running.

No doubt about it, Yo was hit with sickies.

Gently we cleaned him up and rinsed his mouth. He was grateful for the help and for the concerns of the White Dog Army, but he really just wanted to be left alone to sleep.

I kissed his face. "Just a few things, Sweet Boy," I whispered, feeling my boy's discomfort. "Then you can just sleep. It will be the best thing." Steve applied eye cream to the puffy eye. We gave him a pepcid to calm his tummy and a benedryl to counteract what looked like an allergy attack.

Yo kissed my hand and went to his nighttime sleep spot.

"I think we have two things happening," I told Steve and White Dog. "The eye and runny nose seem like allergies but I think he also has a tummy bug...a flu kind of thing. Let us watch him and see but I do not think he needs a trip to the vet." Steve agreed. "I just hate seeing him so miserable. I know how he must feel; it is like I was a couple of days ago."

White Dog gathered the WDA and quietly assigned check in duties to monitor Yo and make sure he did not need anything. "I think Yo should be excused from walks tonight, Dad," she advised. "Let's just let him rest. He can have treats if he wants but I wouldn't force him."

YoYoMa did timidly take his treats at bedtime but some time during the night hurried out to expunge them. All of the WDA shook their heads, "he REALLY isn't feeling well."


October 17, 2016

White Dog and the rest of the White Dog Army are not comfortable when Steve climbs the ladder to the roof. They cluster around below, necks craned upward and pace nervously...especially when they cannot see him or what he is doing.

Although it always guarantees a late spurt of summer heat, Steve had gone up to shutdown our evaporative cooler for the season. It involves draining and removing the water line, closing the vents into the house and making the unit wind and cold-proof.

While he is up there Steve usually takes a few extra minutes to hose down the solar panels to remove dust and nature leavings.

The two procedures require Steve to go up and down the ladder to bring the hose and the cooler cover and needed tools. And then he carefully carries things back to ground level; things that dogless families might just toss over the parapet for convenience and collect later. With Steve's method, he is enthusiastically greeted each time his feet hit terra firma. It is almost a Welcome Home. And of course each Army member must sniff anything being transported in either direction.

And when a trip UP is compounded with a trip DOWN...to the closed off basement...the WDA is beside itself trying to find where Steve has vanished. Often they can hear sounds in the normally silent downstairs and dash from heater vent to heater vent trying to decipher the noises. They bark at the gate blocking access to the steep stairs that lead to the hand dug basement. They call and howl seeking a missing vital pack member.

Again when he returns to view, a Welcome Home Celebration is held.

Steve has estimated that the tasks, were he able to do it alone and without any pup noticing or supervising, would take about 45 minutes. With an Army to aid and assist, the morning was just about over when everyone came in for long drinks of water and requests for extra duty snack pay.

I was about to suggest that it was too soon after breakfast when Steve nodded his agreement. "Yes! That was grueling! Let's all have some cookies!" No one said no.


October 16, 2016

White Dog Ode to Autumn and Park Time.