November 26, 2020

White Dog and the entire White Dog Army was up and waiting for breakfast. Even Tizenegy joined us for our Thanksgiving morning tradition of pumpkin pancakes and duck sausage. Of course there would be coffee rich with cream after. 

We listened to Native American flute music as we drank deeply our blessings and gave words of thanks for all of the bounty that is ours. This year, one filled with the plight of so many without, demanded a special prayer to the Universe that the vulnerable and hungry and sick and homeless...those hurting inside and those struggling to embrace hope...be touched with special grace, a future vision of improved conditions, and the warmth of a thoughtfulness that brings peace. 

May your feast always have room at the table; not literally this year but in some way that shares your bounty. It is our hope that you and yours always have enough to share, physically, and within your heart. 

As we shelter at home in safety we recognize that so many do not have that option nor will they be surrounded by the heady smells of the yearly meal that most means love, family and togetherness. It is in their name that we look forward and work to make the next celebration one that brightly overflows.

Know that across today and EVERY day when we count our blessings, each of you tow- and four-legged friends are at the top of our list. 

The question the WDA is asking right now is this: "What is wrong with dessert after breakfast?" The pumpkin custard weighs heavily on their minds.

Happy Thanksgiving! 


Novmber 25, 2020

 White Dog came to me right before dinner. "I know we are having a non-traditional Thanksgiving meal," she said, "but PLEASE, if I help you, can we make my favorite pumpkin custard? I've already checked with dad and we have everything needed. PLEASE? We could do it now and they could bake while we eat dinner."

If you could not tell from the magical appearance of bowls and spices and muffin cups, Bella's pronghorn leaping all over the living shouting "YES! YES! YES!" would have told you the outcome even before the house began to smell of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and allspice.

Now where to keep them safe from "sampling" before tomorrow's meal.

November 24, 2020

 White Dog listened. She does that for me...sits quietly and lets me ramble, cry, work it out. WD does not interrupt with suggestions or soothing reassurances because my daemon knows that is not what I need. So after listening to me lay out my fears and concerns about Tizenegy and doing the right thing by him she quietly asked, "Why don't you ask HIM how he feels and what course he wants to follow?"

She was absolutely right. 

Steve helped Tiz up onto our bed and arranged him so that he could comfortably rest next to me as we rested together and spoke of what he was feeling and how HE wanted to proceed. His eyes were bright with life and he responded in a connected, alert way. 

"Momma," he said in my response to how he was feeling with the new medication cocktail, "I am very hungry all of the time but inside my head is not so scary and jumbled anymore. I feel like there is more to life than just not feeling well. I hate not being able to walk, you know how that feels, but I am learning how to wiggle and twist myself to get around on my bed to reach the water and reposition myself. And of course, dad helps me a lot. And my sisters and brother have been so kind in lying with me and sitting guard over me. OK, sometimes I think they are just hoping to snag an extra treat.

"I know you are worried about how far to take treatment, especially if there is a chance that I won't ever walk again or might not be cured, but for now I think we should let Dr. Julia guide us and try what she suggests. I am not ready to give up. I am stronger than you think and you are my inspiration, momma, when it comes to fighting to embrace life. I am blessed, finally in my life, with an incredible family and comfortable home and am sure not ready to leave all of that. " He laughed. "All I REALLY need right now is a hug...and maybe a handful of treats."

I wrapped an arm around my Lucky Number and reached for the treat jar on the headboard. As I fed him cookies I explained that the steroid would make his appetite monstrous but the with mobility issues we had to be cautious that he not gain weight. "Heavier is harder," I told him. "You do not need additional challenges." The keppra seems to be the element we can thank for the clearing of brain fog, I explained. "I am so glad that drug has lifted your depression and that it helps you sleep all night." 

Then I choked up for a second. Tiz looked up at me. "I want you to understand, Baby Boy. YOU drive this bus. I won't play god and neither will Dr. Julia. We will fight alongside of you as long as you are willing to push on but if you each the point when it is too much or you are too tired or..." "He rested his head on my knee. "I know, momma, I know your heart and dad's. Thank you. For now let's do what we do best...Warrior On!"


November 23, 2020

White Dog was laying with her head in my lap. "So which do we hope it is, momma?" All of the White Dog Army looked up waiting for my response. "A brain tumor or encephalitis?"
We had just talked with Dr. Julia, who reviewed Tizenegy's tests the clinic had been run this morning. He registered no nerve impulses in his front right leg. His back legs showed some response. The liver is enlarged and enzymes up which can be the result of either condition. And he has colitis, an add on to the major disruption of his system.
"Let's slow things down a bit and give ourselves some room to process and get the outside test results. I do not have a sense of whether it is one or the other. Did you know encephalitis is one of the most common causes of neurological disease in dogs? So there is information out there. And fortunately the treatment is the same for both possibilities. Keppra, Prednisone, and Metronidazole...an anti-seizure, a steroid, and an antibiotic. So let's get Tiz started on these, wait for the other tests, and let's see him again next Monday."
Questions started flowing: "Diet change?" "Low-fat, but you already feed that." "Exercise and walks?" "Standing only for thirty seconds to a minute at most...and of course, help taking care of business." "Things to watch for?" "Cluster tumors, a high spike-y fever, expect he will be loose for a few days possibly and there might be a bit of blood in stool; that is the colitis. You have plenty of experience in knowing what needs immediate attention versus waiting and calling me." "Pain management and anxiety relief?" "He is on galliprant now, let's leave it at that and I will check out our best options. Let's talk tomorrow." "What am I forgetting?" "To breathe. Not panic. And to talk to and love your boy."
After I hung up, White Dog looked around the room, "One more thing, believe in the power of White Dog healing energies. Now, dad go bring our brother home."


November 22, 2020

White Dog said, "You made that appointment on Friday thinking that by Monday things would have pretty much resolved itself, right momma?" 

On Friday when Tizenegy floundered and lost his ability to stand or walk we did all of the usual checking and documenting stuff before calling Dr. Julia's office. Our boy was immobile but he was alert and he ate and with help tended to business. He was not in pain. 

Cindy, our vet's #1. told me Dr. Julia was out of the office until Monday. We made an appointment for 10:30 that day. Meanwhile, I went over options for pain management if needed or signs that would indicate immediate action was needed at the Vet ER.

The renewed restrictions in Albuquerque means that Steve will wait in the car and speak to Dr. Julia by phone. To help facilitate communication, we have kept a log of observations, concerns, and data. I fully expected an entry somewhere across the past two days that would read: "Tiz was wobbly but stood on his own and then walked normally." 

Unfortunately, Tizenegy still is not standing or walking. After some lethargy earlier today, Our Boy ate rice and eggs for dinner and enjoyed a LONG drink of water. He joined us for awhile in the living room and ate at his usual spot, only in a resting position. Tiz will be seeing our healer tomorrow morning and our hope is that diagnosis will be decisive and a "fix" achievable. I haven't the heart to tell my boy who enjoys breakfast that tomorrow's must be skipped.  I think I heard Steve promise a post-vet stop at Sonic if Tiz is good.


November 21, 2020

 White Dog smiled at her sister. "You have been busy. An early morning romp in the yard.

"Playing in the toy box. 
"AND sharing coffee time 
"Before the White Dog Army and Dad could finish your special oatmeal and cream breakfast! It is ready now...and so are we! Happy Thirteenth Birthday, Bella Bee! We are going to celebrate all day!"

Bella lapped up every bit of her oatmeal then turned to White Dog. "That was wonderful! I hope you have built post breakfast naps in sun puddles into the plans for the day."


November 20, 2020

 White Dog surveyed the line that stretched waiting for me to chop something more palatable than onions for dinner....broccoli would be nice, they agreed; or maybe brussles sprouts. 

"Ahem," she said to the waiting horde. "Is this spacing proper social distancing?"

November 19, 2020

 White Dog wagged in delight. "It is like one of those Where's Waldo pictures," she said to Steve. "Only our version is Where's Roman? Find the Eskie."


November 18, 2020

 White Dog looked doubtful when Steve came into the office and stretched the "new gizmo" as she called it next to Tizenegy. She did not see the time spent in the bedroom using my arm as Tiz's body as we deciphered the instructions and Steve got comfortable locking it on and adjusting the straps. 

Tizenegy was very patient as Steve fitted the device and refitted the straps but went limp when Steve stood him on his feet while wearing it. It took a couple of trials of being helped upright and just standing still before Our Boy realized that his new accessory provided better balance and confidence that he would not fall.

They walked around the house a bit. "Ready for the BIG test?" Steve asked him. "Don't worry, I will fly you up and down the stairs but I want you to walk once we get outside. Ready?"


November 17, 2020

White Dog moved to make space for Steve who dropped to the floor next to Tizenegy. Tiz has been having a difficult time with his back legs and walking has become increasingly difficult. His hip dysplasia and arthritis present mobility issues. 

He had, moments before lost his balance and sprawled belly flopped on the kitchen floor. Everyone was milling about and he could not struggle to his feet. Steve hoisted him up by this harness and carried him to the front room, pushing the others out of the way as he moved. Tiz began to panic at being in midair and having the pack swirling around him.

He began to have a seizure. 

Steve and I are well acquainted with the protocols, our Quinn was an Epi-dog. Steve immediately ran for a bag of frozen veggies to cool his belly and I talked to Tiz in soothing tones to keep him grounded. With the peas on his belly and Steve stroking Tiz's side and forehead, we continued to call his name and tell him he was going to be fine. 

The White Dog Army wanted to close ranks around him and were not happy being told to sit and stay. 

In just a matter of minutes it was over. As we had been taught by Dr. Julia, Steve recorded the time, date and circumstances so we could relay the facts when I spoke with her tomorrow. Since it was a one time event, I suspect she will advise close observation and to come in if it happens again. She has seen Tizenegy pretty regularly for his adequan treatment so she has a good health baseline. 

Steve carried our boy into the office and laid him on his bed. Then Tiz got an herbal calming tablet tucked inside a bit of frozen custard. "You wait here and I will come get you when dinner is ready," Steve promised him. 

To me, "thank dog his new harness with front and back supports is coming tomorrow; it will give me better control when he needs help." "I will call Dr. Julia first thing, just to fill her in," I said.