January 21, 2020

White Dog leaned against me, "Think of it as kind of a graduation day," she told me as we got things set up for Lyndzy's visit. Lyndzy is the nurse assigned by my Complete Care program to be my weekly "Check-in" nurse.

She was assigned when I became bedridden, sort of a step above palliative care. It was she who rode the waves of my recovery and complications and improvement and the White Dog Army loved her for her care and attitude (she even could draw my blood without leaving bruises).

After months and months, the insurance company deemed me well enough to no longer warrant those services. I will continue in the Complete Care program but nurse-practitioner visits are spaced every 6-8 weeks unless I call with an issue. And that fits with my current needs; I am to a point where Steve and my White Dog Army coaches keep me going with physical therapy and redeveloping my skills. My health is stable.

But Lyndzy will be missed. SHE was the one who was my advocate to even get a start on PT; so we decided she deserved to see the fruits of her labor in all of its glory. She has never seen me outside my bedroom, and most visits involved me on the edge of the bed and her on a folding chair next to me (with a pup or two in attendance).

(Cue Rocky theme). So when she arrived today, Steve escorted her to the bedroom where the WDA and I waited with the wheelchair set up. "Watch this" Bella barked to her as I smoothly transferred over, unlocked the wheels and navigated (with Steve's help) to the living room. Once there, I locked down, grabbed the walker handles and let Zsofia lead me across the room to the momma chair. Lyndzy's eyes glistened. "Look at you! Oh Sue!" Bailey jumped up with kisses to remind her I did not do it alone.

The group hug of humans and White Dog Army was a happy dance that STILL has me smiling.


January 20, 2020

White Dog stood at the end of the Coffee Club line next to Roman. Every pup tried to act nonchalant at seeing their coffee-hating leader patiently waiting for a turn but Roman's food aggression got the better of him and he snarled at her. We have a zero tolerance policy about that and he was sent to his crate to recalibrate his attitude.

Jaws dropped as WD daintily put her nose in the creamy cup and sipped. Then she took a second drink before climbing into my arms.

"Mmm," she said. "You know it was just one of those mornings when coffee seemed SO necessary. It is actually not so bad; I can understand the appeal."

It was only 10am and she was already returned from her visit with Dr. Julia. The appointment was fortunately our healer's first of the day and when Steve and White Dog finished, the waiting room was swamped with pets and people.

My suspicion that The Little White Dog of My Heart was suffering from a bout of pancreatitis was close but not entirely accurate. Blood work showed no infection and good enzyme numbers but there WAS inflammation around the pancreas. WD humpy walk was from the pain.

X-rays also showed some increased arthritis pain in the back end but no further deterioration. Steve's arthritis has been acting up with our weird wet weather so he could commiserate. Dr. Julia prescribed and anti-inflammatory for the pancreas area and a stronger pain relief for use during those times of increased back end sensitivity. She cupped WD's face in her hands. "And don't jump or run when you feel like this. Even I have to move a little slower some days." To Steve she added, "The medication may make her sleepy which is ok. Let me know if things persist or get worse. Otherwise your girl does not need a followup."


January 19, 2020

White Dog panics less now that she is older; she has also learned that the White Dog Army is NEVER forgotten in this house.

Some of the younger members, in contrast, look at the clock, notice things are slightly behind schedule, and go into a full-throttle swoon.
"Dad, you can see my brother and sister are already too weak to stand. I am their last hope that dinner will arrive before it won't matter. PLEASE, for the love of all that is sacred, FEED US!"

"Zsofia!" I interjected. "It is eleven minutes after seven. That means dinner is less than a quarter of an hour after the seven gong. You don't carry on like this when dad is early."

January 18, 2020

White Dog watched Steve snap the photo and said, "We are all so angelic and beautiful when we sleep, aren't we dad?"
"I was just thinking, 'how can anyone sleep in that position'," Steve laughed. "But yes, the White Dog Army sleeping always makes me smile."


January 17, 2020

White Dog looked over my shoulder then rested her head against me. "Remember when I used to sleep on the bed?" she asked. "I still miss those nights," I told her. "You know you are welcome any time to reclaim your place, no one sleeps with dad and I. Zso stays long enough to watch a bit of television and then she heads back to her bed."

She shook her head. "I have grown to like my own little bedroom in dad's closet. The special mattress is good on my bad back. There is lots of space to stretch and besides Tizenegy would get very lonely in the office by himself. But this photo makes me happy, for both you and Opal," she said.

I  smiled. "This is such a big step for my Sparkling Girl to jump up without prompting and just curl next to me. I know she loves me dearly but is sometimes painfully shy; this was an active of bravery to be so comfortable as to actually fall asleep next to me...WOW! And yes, it felt wonderful feeling that weight and body heat against my leg; made ME feel comfortable enough to fall back asleep."

"It may never happen again," White Dog said carefully. "Or it may become Opal's new routine to cuddle post Army breakfast before I get up," I countered. "Opal will follow her own plan and schedule. But THIS moment was very special."


January 16, 2020

White Dog tried to talk Steve out of going into the office. "It is snowing, dad. You will have to clean off the van. The roads may be slick and you know how crazy drivers get..." He reassured her that it was only a very short drive and that he would be extra careful, but, he finished, there were things he had to go in to get accomplished.

As he put on his jacket and gloves, Tizenegy warned him that the community college was cancelling evening classes and many businesses were letting workers go home early. "Sweet Boy, look outside, the snow is not even covering the street. I will go and be back before you know it."

At the front window, Pearl turned to him and raised an eyebrow. "Are you sure, dad? It is STILL snowing and if it keeps up we could get an accumulation." He caressed her faced and smiled. He looked into the faces staring as he left and blew a kiss.

But where was Zsofia? Watching her sister, Bailey, romping in the yard. "No, momma, she is on a frozen poop hunt!," Zso corrected me. "Kind of looks like fun, doesn't it?" And out she went to join her.

January 15, 2020

White Dog tapped Steve's leg. He was bundled up and readying to do bedtime walks. "Dad, Bella is excused from walks tonight," she told him. "Oh no, why? Is she not feeling well? I hope the entire WDA does not get the tummy bug you had."

"It is nothing that needs worry you. The tiny dancer is just exhausted from tonight's hosting duties of the meeting. She is fast asleep and I don't think you should wake her."
Not only did Bella sleep through walks but also nite-nite treats and lights out. I heard her get up in the wee hours for a 30 second trip out to the yard and quickly back in to settle in her usual bed.


January 14, 2020

White Dog stopped on her way out of the dog door. She looked up at Bella, sitting next to me on the bed, and said, "I cannot help but smile whenever I see you so confident and comfortable, Little Sister. I know momma appreciates your company."
I turned my gaze to my right and agreed. "I love when you spend time watching me exercise." And then to White Dog, "But there are rules. If I reach to pet Bella, she will jump down.If I pause too long between repetitions, she chirps at me. And I am positive she counts along just to make sure I am not short-changing things. After, she allows herself a little sip of my water before leaving the bed."


January 13, 2020

White Dog called her sister six times before Zsofia finally lifted her head. "What?" she responded with a tone to her voice. White Dog kept calm and said, "Nothing. I was just going to tell you that I would share my duck jerky with you but since you are not interested..."
"...maybe Opal might like this little bit I cannot finish. My tummy is still not back to fully normal and I am trying not to overdo."


Janauary 12, 2020

White Dog called her sister, Pearl, to dinner but like every night Pearl would not leave her position until Steve walked over and closed the blind. "She is so dedicated," White Dog complimented.

"I am beginning to tell that the days are getting longer," said our "Watcher," "But I can't wait until it is light enough after dinner to watch the birds settle down for the night."