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Monday, September 16th, 2013

It Was a Good Day

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I wanted to post a few pictures from our last day together. Like I have said before, it was A Good Day. Filled with simple things. Filled with nothing, really…We didn’t have the stamina to go on a walk or a car trip. Sam has never been really so in to food that he had a favorite last meal like six cheeseburgers and a DQ cone or anything. And again, he hated the fussing and loving and fawning, so there was only limited amounts of that–despite my trying to sneak in more. 😉

There were sticks to tiny-teeth at. Dead (?) things to investigate. Neighbors to sniff. Compost piles to dig in. A sister to follow around, even if we couldn’t do the whole trip. Jelly beans and freezy pops to nibble. So it was nothing…but in a sense, it was everything. It was normal, and it was beautiful.

Tiny-teething some sticks:
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Chillin’ with my homie:
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I AM a handsome, handsome man…
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Even simple days can wear you out sometimes.  (I would be remiss if I didn’t point out, that Sam said this is NAPPING, BTW, not smushing, snuggling, cuddling, mollycoddling, or oversentimentalizing.)
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On the trail of Peter CottonTail (Link if it won’t embed: http://youtu.be/h7LlXCoVhyE )

 

Sampson, Sammy, Sam-Dog, Sammy Psoriasis, Big Dog-Pig-Dog, Budgers…My stoic gentleman; my goofy dipshit. My ever-patient/ever-neurotic, philodendron with fur. You’re on the A-team, Piggers.

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Monday, September 16th, 2013

“I am old, but still a child”*

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Again with the thank yous to everyone here. I cannot begin to adequately explain how much your words helped, especially in that difficult time beforehand. Never, ever underestimate the power of heartfelt words–even if you aren’t sure what to say, or whether it’s the right thing.

You know, the night before last, when I had come home and was left with nothing but those agonizing, interminable minutes between the deciding and the doing, I received an e-mail from our acupuncture vet (you’ll recall we haven’t seen her in a month or so, as the clinic discontinued that service). I had sent her and our PT a short note, just to say thank you and let them know what tomorrow would bring. She responded to me:

“Oh Megan- I’m so sorry… I couldn’t stop thinking of Sam this week, and just had a nagging feeling that something was up. I respect you so much for knowing and deciding that it’s his time. It is such an agonizing decision. Giving him a peaceful and dignified passing (among friends) is such a gift, even though it hurts. You gave him a wonderful family and life and cherished (in such a reasonable manner) the final six months you had with him more than any owner I’ve met. You and Sam are in my thoughts and prayers. If I can do anything to help you, please let me know. –Abby”

Her words, all of your words, and the words of everyone else who chimed in, made SUCH a difference. Nothing makes that twilight hour any easier, but things like that can certainly give you strength.

And now, in the light of day again–in fact, even just hours later–I am happy that we did things the way we did. There has not been a second of this journey that I have regretted. There have been difficult moments, frustrating moments, and incredibly sad moments…but no regrets at all.

Sampson was the first in my pack–preceding even Pat (actually, that same week I got Sam, I joined the UW Running Club, which is where Pat and I met–although we didn’t start dating for another 18 months or so). He (Sam, not Pat…although P. might beg to differ ;-) ) was a birthday present to myself: I was in a new town, didn’t know anyone, and was in a grad program in a field I knew nothing about. I figured at least this way I’d have someone on my side rasberry

Sam was stoic and sometimes standoffish; he was companionable but never clingy. He never demanded attention, and he hated fawning and fussing. He loved a good humping, a snack of cat crap (any crap, really), and he ALWAYS got excited to wear pants. rasberry

Despite his very “non-smushy” nature, and even when he began losing his fur from autoimmune disorder several years ago and started to take on a pretty odd, haggard appearance, people were always drawn to him. I could never for the life of me figure out why–if you read his description on paper, you’d think “What a curmudgeonly old fart.” Yet he had some inexplicable affability, some look in his eyes, some…something that resonated with people.

In March, when we got our diagnosis, we did not elect chemo, but made the decision to amputate his left front leg for palliative pain control only. I know some folks wrestle with that choice to amputate, but for us…it was, like so many things were with Sam, one of the easiest decisions I ever made. Sam was particular, and Sam was stubborn…sometimes downright truculent–but he was always an easy guy. He learned quickly, asked for little, and made no demands, aside from he be in the room with you.

I was hoping to get eight weeks with him. Instead, we got more than six good months. Six GOOD months–right up until the end.

The decision to say goodbye–or, rather the time in between the decision and the doing–was quite possibly the hardest, strangest, most inexplicable stretch of time I have ever had. It was a set of emotions unique unto themselves.

His passing, though, was quiet, peaceful, and very quick. Again, like much of his life, very easy.

Pat told me that Sam’s personality was as much his as it was mine; that maybe the reason people were drawn to Sam was because they felt like the knew him by knowing me. Maybe so (and IF so, then bless Pat for being doubly cursed with the both of us ;-) ).  Regardless, there is a hole in my life that will for sure always be there…but in return I gained far, far more than I ever would have without him. It was a worthy tradeoff, in every possible way.

Sam-bernadino, you finicky, truculent, smelly old man…you were not the dog for everyone, but you were always, always the dog for me.

 

 

*The name comes from one of my all-time favorite Queen songs, “All Dead”…which is not nearly as morbid as it sounds. It is a beautiful elegy about life, love, and losing a pet.

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Guess I’m not the only one…

I guess I’m not the only one who is missing the Big Dog…

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Thursday, September 12th, 2013

The Pig Dog Has Left the Building

At 5:40 p.m. today, September 12, we said goodbye. Sam and I spent the day together…the whole time, he kept looking at me slightly askance, like “WTF, lady? What’s with all the hugging and shit??” :D As my vet said when he called before he came over and was asking how we spent our day, “So…basically you spent 8 hours torturing him” :p

Kidding.

But Sam has NEVER been a hugger. In the same room, hanging out with you? Yes. Always. But a lap dog/affection hound…no. The look on his face in this picture from a few years ago (which, BTW, is one of my favorites–and very akin to erica/Jill’s smushes ;-) ) pretty much sums it up:

DON’T TOUCH ME! :p

I am sure I will say more later, but it was a Good Day. If you have to go out, spend it doing all the lazy things a philodendron with fur would do. Have some hot dogs, some Popsicles, and jelly beans. Follow mom around as she picks up poop in the yard. Make friends with the construction worker next door. Eat some bird feathers that may or may not have had dessicated bird parts in them. Take a nap while your mom and dad sit annoyingly close to you and cry (WTF?). Then, greet your friend Dr. C. and naughty nurse Jacqie when they come over to hang out, chill in the living room for awhile, and just drift off.

Piggers, we were two of a kind. My life is so much richer for having you in it. Safe travels.

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

I had to write this down…

…I have a million things I probably be doing in these last hours, but I had to get this out.

I wanted to thank you all, again. I cannot believe how hard last night was–and this day will probably be just as bad. How do you spend these final moments? I’m not even sure. Routine? Sitting and staring? Fussing over someone who would prefer to not be fussed over? Sitting on the internet? :p It’s such a surreal series of moments. “Well, I guess I should go pick up poop in case we want to go sit in the yard later…” and “I can’t have Dr. Clinch seeing how scrungy my sink is…” and “Gee, I need to scoop the cat boxes before People come over this afternoon.” WTF?

Later, there will just be grief…and emptiness…and…that strange sense of “gone.” But right now, there’s this maelstrom of sadness, doubt, disbelief, confusion, guilt, anger, relief, guilt, uncertainty, and possibly more guilt (Wait, hey, did I mention guilt?) sitting in my stomach.

I KNOW it is the right thing. I know in my head that even if it is “two weeks too early”–which it isn’t, but even if it were…that that is far better than even one day, one minute, too late. That making that mistake would leave us with a final memory that is irrevocable, tragic, and needlessly horrible.

But even so, even though the head knows this…sometimes the heart’s a little slow to get the memo. (Note to GI JOE: Yo, Joe…knowing may be half the battle, but apparently the other half is considerably more shitty and difficult to reconcile.)

There is a difference between slowing down, between dealing with infirmities and working them into the course of our lives, than there is from that final time when the disease, or age, or whatever it is takes over a life. At some point in the last week, I realized that maybe Sam wasn’t living with cancer any more, he was dying with it.

Life should be long–not death. We have, as humans, that beautifully horrible ability to let them go when death is imminent, but hasn’t yet robbed them of the final graces of life. It is an awesomely powerful responsibility, and I don’t think I’ve ever before experienced an emotion like this–no matter how many animals I have said goodbye to.

Sam isn’t just slowing down. We have lived with and adapted to that for awhile now. And everything before he has bounced back from–and even on his “bad days” there were still moments of good; he was still Sampson.

The breathing issues have been there for awhile now, but in the last five days, they have gotten worse. It’s clear he is very uncomfortable, if not in searing pain (being slowly suffocated is not as bad as having your bones explode, but it really isn’t the best way to spend your time, either). At night, I can hear his wheezy/panty (hehehehehehe, I said “panty” :p) breathing as he tries to get comfortable. He lies on one side until it escalates, struggles up, wanders restlessly, and then slides down into a sphinx position until he gets to tired, then lies down on his other side. Wash, rinse, repeat.

He no longer has the energy to really patrol the yard, and when he does go out, he goes potty right by the door, and then spends most of his time doing the Sphinx again (we are clearly choosing to channel The Bangles in our dotage).

But again, that, we could live with, adjust to. And have done just that.

But now? While there have been moments this week where he seems like Sam and does all that stupid shit that Sam has always done (see: exhuming/consuming dead rabbits, eating cat poop, humping whatever moves–or sometimes doesn’t), a lot of the time he just isn’t there. I mean, he’s in the room, he’s cognizant and not disoriented. But the look in his eye is at best dispassionate and disengaged, and at worst, wild-eyed and stressed (we call that crazy eye, or storm eye, or… “You’ve got that crazy look in your eye again, Har.” <—bonus points for movie reference!).

Mostly, though, it’s tired. I don’t know how else to explain it. And possibly, esp. given his philodendron with fur state, no one else would even notice it. But I have. And it’s gone from intermittent to most of the time. Instead of his normal irritation at being fawned over, it’s active disengagement.

And so we did those xrays, hoping we’d see something we could treat with acupuncture or antidepressants or antacids or some other medication that probably doesn’t start with “A”…but this time, not so much. His lungs are full. He has lost much of his capacity, and from the progression in the last two weeks, it is probably rapidly diminishing.

Our vet said days, maybe a couple of weeks. There is a rare chance we’d go until October. But things would not get better–the good moments would continue to ebb away, become fewer and fewer. Those days or weeks we would have? They would be for me, and me alone. And each moment between then and now there would a very real chance that something awful could happen.

Fact of life: Dying sucks balls–at least for those left behind. Yeah, death sucks…but it doesn’t have to be horrible.

We leave Friday night for Wisconsin, as I have a mountain bike race. We will be gone over the weekend, and while I know Jacqie (our wonderful housesitter) is totally capable, and I know that our vet would come over here, day or night, while we are gone should she call…I don’t want her to have to deal with that. (Nor would I want to be gone if something DID happen.) And next week Pat will be traveling, and as lame and pathetic and selfish as this is, I couldn’t do this alone…and god forbid if something tragic happened, I wouldn’t want to do that alone, either.

And so we will say goodbye on a beautiful September day. We will say goodbye, like Karma said, when we still have those happy moments. We will make a final memory that will be incredibly sad but filled with people who know us, and who know Sam, and can laugh and snark through our tears.

Without a doubt, this is the hardest, most incomprehensible, inexplicable thing I have ever done.

Not the losing Sampson. Not the saying goodbye after spending more than a third of my life with that curmudgeonly old man. That will be hard…but I understand it. The hardest thing is the letting go. It is making the choice to use that beautifully horrible power we have been given–and the strength to follow through with that decision.

 

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Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Ah, no one wants to write this.

Thirteen years ago this week, I brought Sampson home.

Tomorrow, I let him go.

I was hoping against hope, when we went in to the vet–esp. when he said he didn’t seem to have any bony masses anywhere…  I think, though, I knew, even earlier this week that something was different.

I needed those xrays. Even though I can see it on his face that he just isn’t “there” anymore, that that little piece that makes him him was dimmed… somehow, I needed those films. And I still do. The bastard ate all his dinner tonight and washed his face on the rug, just like normal. He picked out his pills (why did I give them to him?), just like normal. He tried to hump Sadie while we were picking out urns, for fvck’s sake.

But I know that those moments are small–and a small portion of each day. And they will only get smaller in the next couple of weeks.

So please, don’t let me chicken out.

The waiting is hard. Forget the fog, it’s doubt that creeps in on little cat feet.

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

AM update

An update for today:

Sam ate some brown rice and hot dogs last night, not a ton–maybe 2/3 cup of rice and 1 Oscar Meier Classic Wiener (<—as we have mentioned before, ONLY Oscar Meier Classic Wieners are acceptable), but it was something, which made me feel a bit better.

Out of curiosity, I tracked his respiration last night throughout the evening, to see if it was as fast as it seemed. At times, he was taking upwards of 72+ breaths/minute, so almost double what it should be. (This was at rest–ostensibly asleep/dozing) The lowest I counted it was in the 40s.

This morning, there was no convincing him to eat–not even hot dogs and rice. He took a milkbone as I went out the door, but nothing else. He also had his back legs go out from under him (partly b/c he is using the one rear less and less, and partly b/c I cannot touch his feet anymore to cut his toe poufters super short, which doesn’t help…they are trimmed, but could be shorter, if I could get at them), and instead of getting up, just kind of looked in a panic.

Those things, coupled with his general demeanor this morning led me to think maybe I needed to do more than just call the vet today with a general check-in/shoot the shit call and let him know I upped the pred and tramadol.

I broached the idea of taking Sam in for films to Pat, and he agreed…it would probably be worth the cost and seemed a logical idea (engineers…they all need those “rational, cost-benefit explanations” :p). It worries me a bit whenevr Pat agrees to stuff like this, b/c it usually means things are worse than they appear–I am on one end of reactionary; he is on the other.

Anyway, I called this AM and let them know we’d be in this afternoon (Sadie needs a nail trim anyway…she has Badger Claws. We are almost to the adamantium level. If she weren’t such a selfish, needy thing, she’d be the newest superhero do-gooder :D ). If we do films/labs, and they show that no, the lung mets aren’t substantial and there are no mets to the spine or other limbs/organs, that will be excellent. Then we know we can keep managing things with OTC stuff, his accupuncture, etc. Keep on, keeping on. OTOH, if we go in, and we see substantial mets, etc., things are that without a doubt what is causing his discomfort…well, then we need to come up with a different plan. But I DO think, at this point, yes…we need to know to really make the best choices for Sampson.

So there is our update! Hopefully, we will have some answers this evening :-)

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

I need a pick me up (stolen from my post on the forum)

I am so busy at work, and I totally don’t have time to be posting… but every so often, you just need some distractions, right?

I try not to stress or worry about things I can’t control, and I don’t even know if “worry” is the right word. Sadness? Melancholoy?

I noted that Sam struggled with bleeding ulcers awhile back–but following the carafate and the pepcid (which he still gets), he seemed to be fine. Appetite came back, resumed his very short walks, etc.

He seemed a bit slower before we left for vacation, but I chalked it up to the heat (even though we’ve run the AC for several weeks–something I NEVER EVER do. I HATE the AC, and would never turn it on, even when it’s about 97 with a DP in the upper 70s. But Sam’s breathing struggles, so I’ve kept it on. Pat half-jokingly points out the dog’s comfort seems to take precedence over his :D –he’s always badgering me to turn it on when it’s over 90).

Jacqie told us he wasn’t eating very much while we were gone, but sometimes he’ll go on hungerstrikes when we’re out, so again, not too unusual. (She said the only thing he’d eat was sour cream (WTF, Sampson??), lunch meat, and occasionally scarmbled eggs, or leftover pizza). She said his energy was “moderate”, and that he would pant fairly often, and his coughing was sporadic but present, but relatively unproductive.

So, on Saturday when we got home, I upped his pred to see if I couldn’t get his appetite back, at least–and this has always worked in the past. Today is Tuesday, and I’ve not seen much improvement. Most meals, he’d eat a few bites, but not enough to give him any energy, I don’t think. I could get him to eat lunch meat with his pills, and a hot dog or two. He’s still take a milkbone. Today, though, it was a struggle to get him to take his pills–and even after that, he didn’t want any lunch meat (and certainly no dog food). I tried cutting up a couple hot dogs and some leftover broasted chicken…he had maybe a bite of the chicken, and left all the hot dogs. He was uninterested in anything else, although he did eat a milkbone.

His breathing is labored more often than not–not I just Usain Bolted around teh yard labored, but certainly not a steady even thing. He pants, usually mildly, but he pants a lot of the time. Often, when he is lying down, he breathes in a…wheeze? It’s not a wheeze, but it’s something. The cough happens most of the time when he exerts himself–if Sadie goes batshit over a squirrel, and he tries to bark or run, if he goes up or down teh stairs too fast. It also happens randomly. It’s a throat-clearing kind of chunky sound?

Really though, he just looks…tired. He has moments where he perks up–he dug up a dead rabbit that our housesitter buried in our backyard (WTF Jacqie??) after Sadie “made friends” with it, and was happily munching on that. Last night he went to the toy box and brought out a toy (but dropped it, and didn’t play with it). He (and the other five) still greets me at the door, tail wagging, when I get home from work. But more often than not, he simply looks like he’s present, but not all accounted for, I suppose.

Aside from the coughing/breathing thing, the low appetite, the decreased energy (er, it’s all relative, I suppose), and the limpiness from the arthritis, though…he displays no real signs of pain/distress. But then again, this is the dog who walked around for (what looks like in photos) at least 5-6 months on a large bony lesion with very little sign of distress, aside from some crankiness at night and a limp right before his amp. (Insert guilt trip here for not noticing it sooner)

He’s always been a quiet, reserved, stoic dog…so it’s hard to tell, really. And it’s hard to  tell whether this too, shall pass, or whether we’re coming to an end point. And… And…

Ah, there’s really no point to my rambling. I have no questions–at least not that anyone can answer. I know all of the things it COULD be. And I know the possible ways to deal with it. Do I take films? Do I just up the pred and maybe the tramadol? Do I try sucralfate again, in the hope that it’s tummy upset? If he doesn’t appear to be hurting…but just appears…to just appear…how long does it go on that way? I’m not to the pennies-in-a-jar point, but even if I were, I don’t know if it would tell me anything. For 13+ years, I have counted my blessings that Sam is the quiet, reserved, aloof guy that he is. But now, it’s frustrating the shit out of me :D Hey, apparently there IS an upside to having a bright, bubbly, in-your-face, velcro dog… temperment changes! Easy to spot! (<–No offense to those with bright and bubbly dogs, er, I have one, too, in fact…we don’t all prefer the same flavors of ice cream, either ;-) )

ANYWAY, I am now SO behind at work, I have got to stop typing :D . There’s no point here, so I am sure it’s not on the right board…feel free to move it. I just needed to write it down :-)

– See more at: http://tripawds.com/forums/treatment-and-recovery/i-need-a-pick-me-up/#sthash.cNtDZAsv.dpuf

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Bad blogger, bad! Naughty!

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 😉

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Happy birthday, Sam-dog!

Yesterday (July 12) Sam celebrated lucky #13. We went for a walk (hey, 500 meters is a long way for some of us :D ), had a delightful cake (“we” didn’t have this–only Sam. I like Jelly beans okay, and the Petco treat bar cookies are actually palatable, but I draw the line at Alpo and Fancy Feast.), wore fancy hats (again, only the birthday boy. His dignity was lost years ago…I’m still trying to preserve some of mine), and opened presents. Pictures below! (Here’s a link to his Facebook album, too, which has baby pictures, medium pictures, and grown up ones :-) https://www.facebook.com/mmrocker13/media_set?set=a.10150233676936262.319131.655441261&type=1 )

Sampson, Sammy, Sam-Dog, Sammy Psoriasis, Big Dog-Pig-Dog, Budgers…My stoic gentleman; my goofy dipshit. My ever-patient/ever-neurotic, philodendron with fur. Happy birthday, Sammer…you are one in a million.

Baby Sam-dog, the day I brought him home (and washed him off…being one of more than a dozen puppies in a litter, in a single pen at the humane society makes for smelly doggies :p). He’s about 8-9 weeks old.

 

Somewhere around 3 months

 

Getting older! Around 5 months

 

 

Ah, the halcyon days when both my husband (then my younger-man boyfriend :p) and my dog were just bebbies :D (I think this was after P. and I had been dating around 6 months. Sam seemed to have adopted him okay. :p)

And now…PARTY FOOTAGE!

The cake and presents (Sam loves Jelly beans. :D )

 

 

 

The man of the hour

 

Waiting patiently.

 

Waiting less patiently. “Yes! Cake please! Now.”