October 14, 2018

White Dog Dad and Me Time to run errands on a grey Autumn day.
Off to Boofy's, our favorite pet store...night-night treats are needed.

October 13, 2018

White Dog smiled. "I like the addition of cinnamon, pumpkin spice for the WDA. Well, our meals always include pumpkin so it works. I bet most of our followers will guess what today is."


October 12, 2018

White Dog led the praise for how brave Tizenegy had been. "That was such a brave and good boy," she cooed as we plied him with treats and gentle strokes.

This was before pedicure including fur trim and nail dremmel. The click-click of Tiz's nails on the floor DID help us know where he was but the nails were long enough to affect his gait. He was not a willing participant but muzzled and pressed tightly against momma on the bed, he endured Steve's cleanup work. Let us say he was not ungrateful to be released so that he could scurry back to his bed and lick his paws.

This was after, when Steve brought in an extra treat and once again told Tiz how brave he was. "You know, Buddy, your have very long toes AND nails. I worked very hard to make sure we did not make you bleed and that we trimmed furry owl feet so your paws do not slip. Thankfully, we will not have to do this again for a couple of months...but I am sure momma will be glad to cuddle with you next to her ANY time you would like."


October 11, 2018

White Dog and Nilla agreed it was time to clean the ducts and fire up the furnace; it is getting cold at night. Zsofia, Bailey and Roman argued it was perfectly fine and sleeping in a bit of a chill is good for the soul. "Sorry, guys," I sided with the White Girls, "it goes on the weekend to do list. Momma does not like the cold so much anymore."

Bella laughed, "We are not huddling together for warmth...YET!"


October 10, 2018

White Dog lifted her head and feigned indifference as the rest of the White Dog Army came charging into the office from all corners of White Dog Ranch. It was the lunchtime ritual where I lift the plate to remove the plastic from my lunch which is a Universal signal to come in and expect to share. And like everyday I said, "No, this is momma's lunch. You will have afternoon duck jerky treats in a little while." And just like every day, I pat each White Dog on the head lovingly.

Zsofia always sits right at the edge of my desk on the right side in perfect "I am a good girl" form; I take an extra moment to compliment her on her good manners. Today I started as I focused on My Itty Bitty Baby Girl. Her mouth was smudged with blood.

I pulled her closer and immediately began the hunt for injury. When you live with a reactive dog you tend to be edgy about bloody pups. She had no areas that indicated damage; the blood was limited to her mouth and chin.

"Roman!" I called. "Come see momma!" Maybe Zso had fought with our boy; she is no wimp and not above throwing attitude. He was still wearing his muzzle. He was not happy to have me twisting and turning him looking for red or wet spots but he was unmarked.

I sighed. I was not up for a mystery but I called each member of the Army to me (with the exceptions of White Dog and Nilla, both counted as safe) and did exams. Everyone was unharmed.

Zso still lurked in the hallway. "Did you kill a birdie?" I asked her. "Or a mouse? Come talk to me." Instead she headed through the dog door. I wasn't sure what the next step was in the Perfect Momma Book.

A few minutes later Zso trotted in and settled with her back to me on Stormer's old couch. She checked to make sure I was typing before quietly trying to chew something. This is what I had waited for.

I quickly rolled my chair to her side and grabbed her collar. "Sorry, Zso, I have to see what you have in your mouth." I feared I was about to pry a wriggling rodent or delicate bird parts from her stubborn jaws.

It was plastic. One of those multilayer "diapers" that line butcher trays and become saturated with the blood and juices of grocery meats. Only a small section remained. A soft sigh escaped me...relief...before I started to wonder where my girl had found such a thing.

October 9, 2018

White Dog guided Nilla to the door where Steve picked her up in his arms. The elecro-magnetic storms, weather change, and off routine road trip left our girl a bit confused and more wobbly than usual. We were heading out to meet with Dr. Julia to review OurGirl's chart and decide on a course of action.

Nils has been off antibiotics and on a high potency adrenal support supplement for two weeks and this was to check progress and make some choices.

While her skin is still a mottled mess and she is still losing hair, there is less loss and her furs seem less oily. "That is better than it was," Dr. Julia noted. "I want to keep her off of antibiotics if we can but I am going to give you a medicated shampoo and an oatmeal aloe conditioner for bathing. We want to stop the loss but I do not think she will regrow the hair lost already." I had been thinking the same as the place on her leg shaved weeks ago for the tumor removal is still bare skin without even a hint of fuzz.

Steve mentioned that she is having a harder time rising to standing and that her right rear leg sometimes trembles. Dr. Julia felt and rotated and pushed both legs. "There is some muscle loss happening on the right," she confirmed. "Not as much on the left. Let's use carprofen as needed to see if that helps. I don't want to add on a bunch of new stuff until we get a better idea of the big issues."

"I have a bunch of notes because Nilla has been on my mind and I have done some research," our vet shared. "Sue, I know you and I talked about testing for Cushing's disease at this point but I want to consider a different course." I tilted my head and listened and Steve moved forward in his seat. "Selegiline is a drug used to treat pituitary-dependent Cushings AND is also used for canine cognitive disorder. Since Nilla certainly is dealing with dementia and fits the profile for PDC, I suggest we put her on this drug, check things in two weeks and in a month do bloodwork. I am seeing some slight improvement with just the adrenal boost and would like to give the cocktail a chance to show us what it can do. AND it will help with some of Nilla's confusion."

Steve said, "I think this is the drug Puff was on so long ago. She developed a really thin coat at 19 but we never had quite the dementia issues that Nilla is experiencing. If selegiline might help on both fronts, I think we should give it a trial run." I nuzzled Nilla whose face was against my cheek. "What do you think, Nils? Should we try thins?" My Girl looked trustingly around the room; "Let's do it." I agreed.

Poor Sweetheart was exhausted from the trip and being in the spotlight. Steve carried her into the house, half asleep and settled her on her bed. As an afterthought he draped a small lap blanket over her haunches. "She might get cold easier with the missing furs," he explained and White Dog agreed.


October 8, 2018

White Dog sat waiting for my attention when I stumbled out of the bedroom this morning for coffee. I am not a morning person and all know that I am challenged until midmorning, post-coffee but it was a work day and WD and Steve needed my focus.

We have reached the place in the year where Autumn is settling in and mornings are brisk and often a bit overcast until the sun burns off the clouds. It makes for some moody mornings and contemplation.

White Dog began, "Dad and I put this together for you, Momma. Sort of a 'just because' gift. But I know with news of so many friends crossing and the state of the world pressing heavy you have been feeling a bit bittersweet. Dad said it was all right to give this to your this morning."

With that she hopped off of the sofa and carried over a slim book of photographs. Tears rolled before I even opened the cover. My loving Girl and Steve had assembled their favorite photos of WD into a beautiful black and white collection that traveled across our days til present.

Steve smiled. "To use ALL of our favorite photos and to truly capture the bond of the Little White Dog of Your Heart, would have taken an encyclopediac set. We worked hard to choose each that appear. This is 'pocket' version to give you a smile when you have lost yours."


October 7, 2018

White Dog cued the song as Beth walked in. "Welcome! We are glad to see you! Come in and..."

The song stopped mid chorus when the White Dog Army noticed Beth was carrying BOTH a shopping bag AND a cake box.

Tomorrow Beth flies back to Virginia and on her last night we threw a sendoff party White Dog Army style. The music reflected the hits of the 1980s, when she and Steve first met and worked together.  The food was what Opal cleverly described as "Middle Eastern Tapas," a sampling of our favorites in nosh sizes. Conversation ranged all over the board but centered a LOT on dogs...white and otherwise. Beth kept testing herself to make sure each of the Army was remembered by the correct name (she did VERY well).

As the last bits of humus were scooped up with pita wedges the buzz began..."She brought us a carrot cake!" "Really?" "A carrot cake with special words."

Hi Beth.You can sit right here.

It IS CARROT CAKE and look at what it says!
It is delicious!

Look! Beth is becoming an honorary White Dog...
Safe travels home. We will miss you. Hurry back soon.

October 6, 2018

White Dog checked on Nilla. The benedryl had kicked in and she was finally sleeping. "My poor sister, she is so wheezy and her eyes are SO gunky. It is good to see her resting without being tortured by her allergies."


October 5, 2018

White Dog was sorting the mail with me; she read the label on the box and looked up at me with a raised eyebrow. "Tizenegy!" I called him. "You have mail."

He came out only after WD went into the office to promise it was not a joke and that HE really DID have mail. Steve helped him open the box and reveal two pretty wrapped tubes. Tiz sniffed; nope it was not food.

Opening the first tube revealed a sturdy handsome bib custom made for him by our friend, Nancy from her Chicy BowWow store.

Long ago, right after Tiz came to us, Nancy and I had a discussion about our handsome boy's problem with getting his full floofy ruff soiled like an old man with a long beard. Because Tizenegy is missing many teeth, a result of his neglect before he came to us, he drools...and food slips out when he hurries through meals.

He is not yet comfortable with regular grooming and HATES being brushed. His sensitivity makes cleanup stressful for both our boy and usually Steve who tries to removed the bits and untangle the furs.

Nancy suggested a bib and had some ideas about how it could keep him tidy and not fall into his food bowl.  She promised to produce a prototype.

The easy-clean vinyl was charming but not "cute;" Tiz is a bit macho in his tastes. She made one bib with brown trim and a second with green. Both simply and quickly velcro behind his head with a single closure.

Steve clipped the bib around his neck, not sure what Tiz's reaction would be. He was not phased. And at dinnertime, Our boy put the pieces together and realized this new clothing=time to eat. "Let's see how it works, dad!" he barked.

Like a dream. Thanks, Nancy!