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Friday, August 30th, 2013...6:06 PM

Bad blogger, bad! Naughty!

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I admit, I’ve been somewhat remiss in my chronicling the adventures of the Big, Bald, and Beautiful, and that tales of the heroic and wise  er, lazy and decently intelligent, Sam-dog have been a bit sporadic lately.

The funny thing is, in my HEAD I’ve written like 30 blog posts over the last month. When I’m out running or on a ride. When I’m doing boring chores. As I’m falling asleep. When I’m driving home from work. And so on and so forth. So they’re WRITTEN…they just aren’t TRANSCRIBED.

Rest assured, I am actually quite good at keeping everyone up to date. You all are just bad mind readers–and I can’t be held accountable for that. :p

Where are we, then? Well, when we last left our hero, he was celebrating his 13th birthday (with much aplomb, and a lovely little cowboy hat and bandanna. If only I had had assless chaps in his size. Nothing REALLY says “Happy Birthday to Me” like assless chaps. I mean, Momo has some (Momo has an outfit for every occasion), but while he is a…stout…fellow at 16 lbs, he’s not quite big enough to share crotchless legwear with Sam.)

Following the birthday festivities, we made a road trip to my parents…Sam still seemed a bit “off”, but he definitely perked up getting to hang out with my mom and dad, and my brother–none of whom had seen him since Christmas.

Sometimes I forget the difference the amp made for Sam–I mean, it was obvious right off the bat, but then, as the weeks go by and you adjust (and as other things pop up and he slows down), you kind of don’t think about it anymore, except maybe in the abstract.

Sam hadn’t been diagnosed at Christmas, but in looking at photos, the tumour is obviously there–and it goes back quite awhile. And we had noticed his slowing–chalking it up to normal old age and arthritis pain. Which, when I am tempted to feel guilty about, I remind myself that when you see your dog every day…sometimes things like that are gradual enough to seem “normal.” In my mom’s mind, when she saw him then, he had aged dramatically in the few months since her last visit with him the previous summer. But again, we all assumed old age, and it was what it was.

Fast forward to July, 20 weeks post amp–when *I* am thinking he looks a bit painful, slow, and ragged… and my parents cannot stop crowing about how much perkier and friskier he is and how “Oh, look at him really try and hump Sadie! He hasn’t put THAT much energy into his air-humps in YEARS. You go, dirty old man! You go!”

They were blown away at the improvement in his mobility, enthusiasm for life, and just general demeanor (well, they were also impressed with how the lack of a front limb was actually a boon in the case of his air-humping hobbies–since it allowed him to get just that much closer in without some pesky leg getting in the way)…and so that was a nice reminder for ME, as well.

Of course, nothing is ever totally EASY with Sampson the Truculent, though…and when we got home from my parents, he became more and more listless. And was vomiting. A lot. In 24-36 hours, he threw up seven or eight times, including several bloody clots.

He looked so lethargic that PAT suggested I call the vet. This was a virtually unheard of move–Pat is NOT a “let’s spend more on pet care” kind of guy. I mean, he is supportive of me, and loves me, but the animals are absolutely my thing, and, in general, his attitude toward vet care is the “Rub some dirt on it and get back in the game, you’ll be fine…that’s how we did it in my day when we all walked two miles uphill though the snow both ways to school” sort.

So we went in the next AM, fearing the worst–even our vet seemed a bit upset. But he said, “Well, it could be Bad Things…or it could be bleeding ulcers. Bad Things would be bad, ulcers less so…but markedly uncomfortable.” And so we talked about it for a bit.

Way back in March, we made the decision that our care was going to be palliative, and geared toward pain relief–quality of life, not necessarily quantity. This is such a case-by-case, dog-by-dog decision, but we decided that given his advanced age and his temperament, and a host of other things, chemo or the like wasn’t the course for us.  And you know, when I say case-by-case, I really mean that–the year prior, when we had our lymphoma scare, then we WOULD have done chemo. Different disease, prognosis/path, etc.  But anyway…that’s another post for another time (and, at the rate I am going that time is probably later today, when I go for my run…written entirely in my head :D).

So…like I said, we had made the decision to treat palliatively. And part of that decision was no routine blood draws or chest films, no unnecessary tests, that sort of thing. Meaning that we didn’t KNOW if this was from lung mets yet, b/c we weren’t doing regular films/bloodwork like we would be if we were on chemo.

We could, Dr. C. said, take some xrays and see if he Bad Thing was the cause of our problems…but then, what would our course of action be? To treat the symptoms/manifestation of the mets. Which is the same as we would do if it were bleeding ulcers. In the end, we decided that we’d treat for ulcers–since that was the best case scenario. Give him some sucralfate and pepcid, some bland, easily digestable foods and wait a couple days. If he improved, GREAT! YAY FOR BLEEDING ULCERS! If not…THEN we’d investigate other options.

And wouldn’t you know it? Within a couple days, he was back to his (new) normal self. So bullet dodged, there.

Of course, again, nothing can ever be simple in our house, so as soon as Sam stop hurling snotty blood balls and barfing up dark bile, Sadie began doing her best Stand-By-Me-era Jerry McConnell impersonation and vomiting copiously. At night. In her crate. When she should be sleeping. She horked. I got up and cleaned it out. Put her back. More horkage. Wash, rinse, repeat. In two days or so, she must have puked 10-plus times. All of it chunky and disgusting. And usually somewhere terribly inconvenient or difficult to clean or somewhere either one of the dogs or one of the cats would inevitably walk through and track to ANOTHER, different terribly inconvenient and difficult to clean area.

But wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles (sing with me, why don’t you?), as soon as I decided that if she puked again we were going back to the vet, she stopped. 😀

Aside from that, things have been relatively uneventful. The clinic we were going to aupuncture at decided to discontinue that service, which sucked…our vet there was WONDERFUL, truly one of those vets who you would follow to the ends of the earth, and I really feel like Sam was benefitting from the treatments.

We did get in to a new place last week, but I about had a stroke when I got the bill–at our previous clinic, we paid $65-75 a visit, depending on which package we bought. The new place was $100/visit, and no volume or package deals. So…while she was very good, and came highly recommended, I’m going to have to think long and hard (hehehhehehhehehehehehe…I am such a 12-year-old :p) about whether we want to continue there at all, or if we want to go on a less frequent basis, or what.

Anyhooooooo…I have more to say, but seeing as it has taken me eight days to even finish writing this, I’ll come back to it later. A while later, considering we’re headed to the Boundary Waters for almost 10 days and will be out of contact (a source of anxiety, and another post altogether…), but it is what it is. (I’m writing this in the car, actually.)

So, while we’re gone, give a hip-hip-hooray for Sam-Dog, since next Thursday marks 26 weeks, also known as six months, also known as a half of a year, since our amp. Again with the post-for-another-day sentiment, but in the meantime, if you think about it…when Thirsty Thursday rolls around next week, have a beer (or wine or ice cream cone or buddig-lunch-meat-and-tripe sushi ball or meat slurry cocktail) in honor of the world’s largest Chinese Crested 😉


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7 Comments

  • Oh Sam-Dog! I’m glad you are doing good you goofy boy and back to being quite the humper (really? you’re a humper?).

  • He is an incorrigible Humperdinck. It is simultaneously amusing and horrifying. Oh, who am I kidding? It is almost always amusing 😀

  •   fetchon3
    August 30th, 2013 at 7:41 PM    Reply

    Hey now, Sam! You’re tails never stop entertaining me! I’m glad you got your puking under control, but it’s too bad you let it spread to your peers. Naughty. Behave while your mom is away, ok? And celebrate like crazy when it’s your 6 month! That’ll be huge! Hiphip HOORAY!
    ~ Katy & Jackson

  •   fourminipups
    August 30th, 2013 at 9:13 PM    Reply

    Thanks for the laughs – this blog will help push August out the door. Keep showing us how it’s done Sam!

    Luanne and Spirit Shooter

  • Wow Sam! You DO look like a big ol’ Chinese Crested, but I think you may be some kind of cat instead. How many lives have you run through?

    Sadie barfed out of peevishness, you know. She was just being jealous of the attention you got. However, if she had to take the sucralfate, she would have stopped pronto. Nothing makes you all better than that crap!

    As for air humping, I gotta tell ya, D-Dog wore the crown. Remember the old song-and-dance, the Hippy-Hippy Shake? He invented it. He used the old hips and sure did the shake bit. He would be pleased as punch that another is carrying on in the grand tradition of pervy dogs.

    Next week, we will lift a glass of something to you (not sucralfate, though) and toast your 26 weeks, half a year, 182.5 days. And when your family get home from their mosquito vacation, tell the old lady she owes you a party. Big time.

    Congrats, big guy. You are my kind of dog.

    Shari

  • Wow thanks for filling us in. Keep up the entertaining work Sam. (and kicking the ugly “c” butt). We will celebrate for you Sam dog.

    Hugs
    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  • “Aside from that, things have been relatively uneventful.”

    Holy moly! All of it is pretty eventful you guys, no wonder you need to go out there and unplug on the waters.

    HOOORAAAY FOR BLEEDING ULCERS!!!! Thanks for explaining that one, you had mentioned it in the Forums the other day but we appreciate the details here. Next time someone’s dog hurls up bloody bits we’re going to point them here first.

    And it’s awesome that Sadie is fine too. What was that all about? Sympathy horkage? Hmmm.

    Anyhoo, meat slurries for everyone! YIPEE SAMMERZ!!!!!

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