Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Well, finally, the pics

Okay, a quick fast forward of the last several months with Sitka. And ya might figure out why I haven't been around a computer much....
And in the beginning, there was cuteness and softness...
Caya sez: OMG, WTF? Rabbit? Dog? Huh?
I like to move it, move it.....
Kid. I didn't survive kidney failure to put up with your sh!t.
(Editorial note: Caya has a 'soft' mouth, no puppies were rushed to the emergency vet after this photo.)

This is called 'puppy hangover.'
(another editorial note: After Caya's bout with lepto, she went really white in the muzzle. Kinda makes me sad....)
Donkey Ears: I haz them.
It's Kansas, it's 100+ degrees out.
I want to talk to my lawyer and my agent.
Who didn't read the "ALASKAN" part of my name?
Ah c'mon, I B chillin...U B hatin.

And so, there's the fast forward of the last few months in the household. Sitka totally digs the camper (but not the camper crate, but she will EAT camper if not), she likes to bully Caya, and the fact Caya puts up with it completely, utterly dumbfounds me. She's in her malamute teenage years, which is why wine is always available at my house now.











Thursday, May 13, 2010

Time for an update finally

Wow. Can't believe it's been February since I last posted. Time has gone way too quickly.

I guess that's what happens when your life is dominated by a very smart, willful malamute puppy who is receiving messages from the big Spirit Tika in the sky.

I thought I was weird for thinking it, but when my husband said it, I was like, yeah, no kidding.

Every little torment that Caya ever did to Tika, Sitka now does to Caya, it's creepy. Well, Tika was called creepy before....

The little demon, er, darling is now 5 months old. Holy crap! The vet is asking when we will spay her. We plan to, but after reading some very scary studies about spaying pups too early and how it increases their chances for osteosarcoma, I'm just not going to rush it.

On that note, I knew we spayed Tika early, but just didn't realize how early. At the time it made since, she was big, healthy and she had to be put under to have a baby tooth removed. (It was broken by Caya while playing, oh yeah). The vet said, why don't we just do both and save having to put her under again in a few months. Seems reasonable.

Well, looking back at the bills and pics--she was 3 1/2 months old. OMG. I just bawled all day long, I felt like when I agreed to that in the fall of 2004, I signed her death warrant. I have been dealing with guilt for the last few months also. My husband tries to reassure me that I can't prove it, there's no way to prove it.

So needless to say, my girl is with me in my mind all the time. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry. Sitka will do something that reminds me so very much of Tika and I'll start bawling and bless that little pups heart she just wants to console me. I am out of town this week and called Tim because I was having a hard time and Sitka could hear my sorrow over the phone and then I hear slobber, slobber, slobber through the speaker.

I am trying to let go and just remember the good times, but there's silly little things. Tim has offered to get my car detailed, but I can't bring myself to get the nose prints and long white hairs removed. I should, I know. I guess all of this is being brought on by the fact that this weekend will be 6 months since Tika passed.

I think I am grateful that Sitka is so different, if she was more similar I would probably try to compare her more to Tika. But Tika was an 'old soul' since she was a pup. Sitka is a malamute version of Caya as a puppy. Girl has got attitude.

But I save the BEST NEWS FOR LAST!!!!!
We just got an update on Caya's kidney values. She is normal in her BUN and just above the normal range in her creatinine. That means her kidneys are functioning at a much, much higher level than any of us thought would happen (any of us meaning, Tim, me, several vets, coupla specialists, etc). She is on a mix of large breed Science Diet and K/D which balances well with her pancreatic problems. When they called with the news, I just cracked, the sweet vet tech started crying too. She said, "We love Caya too, we are so HAPPY!"

Tim and I think Sitka might have a bit to do with that. Sitka has brought out the puppy in Caya and Caya will be six years old this year. She has a compatriot in arms now. She truly loves her little sister and is very, very, very patient with her. Much more than Tim and I are.

I will post a pictorial update when I get home.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Drum Roll Please

Caya has probably recovered the best she will. Her kidneys have permanent damage, but it's something we can live with. Will it take time off her life? Probably. But, as we learned with Tika, it's not the time it's the quality and quality is really freaking awesome.

Because Caya has EPI, the kidney diet (Science Diet K/D) is not agreeing with her. We switched her back to her 'normal' food and she went back to normal. So, the Catch 22, eat the diet she can digest well, or eat the diet that will benefit her damaged kidneys. We are going with digested food is the best bet.

So...............now what. What do you give your spouse who never asks for anything? But however is lost with out his Monkey-mute? What do you do?

You search every rescue in the nation, have countless email conversations, denied opportunities, impossible situations, and sometimes insulting experiences.

Then....it all works out. You find the perfect situation, the perfect puppy, and you let spouse know....

The new little girl will never fill the hole in your heart, but she will create her own pawprints.

So, happy anniversary, honey, and everybody else.... Meet Sitka. This is a pic I got when she's four weeks old at this pic. Looks a little like a Guinea Pig, eh?

PS--I should mention that little miss doesn't come home until March. However, I love getting the baby pics!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stupid dog tricks... the beginning

Oh, we've been working with Caya's pea-sized brain. She needs motivation. More importantly, she needs to remember to respond to us. She's in her first stages of DEAD DOG, we hope that she'll learn to be the dog that fetches beer outta the cooler.

So, to follow up on earlier tribute, here's a tribute to Justice, cancer dog that passed away naturally before we understood what cancer dog meant!


video

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A tribute

To quote the Dead: "What a long strange trip it's been..."

As I look back the pet adventure started with Caya, then my beloved Neko Cat went into feline renal failure (she kept Truckin' for two years on fluids...possibly training me for Caya's adventure?) Then the rock of the family, Tika, battled cancer only to lose to it as Caya went into sudden acute renal failure.

Holy shit.

The combined vet bills starting with getting the pups tallies around $35K-45K. The majority of it being in the past year. However, St. Francis of Assisi and a few other religious dieties, oh hell maybe even Neko and Tika themselves have looked out for us because things are looking up, we will have the means to recover financially and we have the health of our remaining two critters. So, to all in the 'other' world, thank you.

However, I need to give a bit of love to the many folks I met over the last year. Without their support, laughter, tears and just being there, I kept a tenuous hold on my sanity. So to the pack at www.tripawds.com, I love you all, thank you for being there. My family, my friends, my coworkers, they all tried to understand, tried to be supportive, but I could feel the patience wearing thin. On the bad days, I just had Tika's jolly spirit and a few simple keyboard clicks and I knew I wasn't alone, I wasn't crazy.

To all of my fellow crazies--I'll always be there for you.

Caya was still getting fluids when the disaster in Haiti happened, I had several emotions going through me while I would sit on the floor administering fluids to her and watching people suffer and die and go without basic medical necessities for their needs. I felt guilty, we donated all we could to the relief efforts, we have even considered taking some time to go down there for rebuilding if we can, Caya was very lucky to be with us.

There was a recent article/poll in our local paper on what you would spend/do for a pet's health care. The answers amused me. My first thought was, AMATEURS, but honestly, you wouldn't know what you would do until the time comes. If somebody told me I would spend $20,000 on Caya over a two month period and put my job and my financial situation in jeopardy over her, I would have said no way. But I did.

Was it worth is? Oh, you betcha. Caya doesn't just own my pocketbook, she owns my mind and spirit, she shows me the simple joys in life. Tika taught us that in spades. If I ever get sick (and with my family history it's probably likely) I will hold on to Tika's memory, play her videos and say, I CAN be that strong. I'll remember the words of a elderly gentleman, "Live in her Strength."

So our four furry children are down to two, and they are starting to turn to each other, as if to say: "Okay, it's up to us now, we've got to team up and take care of these guys." So, to my 15 year old GracieCat, thank you for the love and hair combing. So, to miracle dog, Caya, thank you for showing me life doesn't have to be so SERIOUS and sticking around for a few more RV trips.

To the two that have gone on to new adventures, I know you are still with me. You always will be.





Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Caya is a little early for April Fools

SOOOOOO, we got the shit scared out of us last night.

Caya was doing good, had dinner, was romping around with me, mauling me and playing with the ball, all was good. Total Norman Rockwell evening.

Then all of a sudden, lil' dog FLIPS OUT! Starts running around the house doing this weird head bobbing thing, drinking 10 tons of water, wanting outside where she started manically eating snow.

This kept going on, we tried to calm her down, nothing. Then BLEEEEAAAAAH, spectacular bazooka puke of all the water and snow she just ate. She calms down.

Then it happens again, manic snow eating (looked like Ms PacMan), freaking out. I grab a hold of her to calm her down and I feel her stomach, it's huge....her whole abdomen is distended....then the dreaded word comes....BLOAT.

We call the ER, they say bring her in. SO off we go to KC, I'm riding in the back, hubby is speeding, I'm getting carsick, dog is freaking out. Oh, and it's 10pm at night.

So, happy ending to the story. Doggie didn't have torsion. She had severe intestinal gas. I have IBS, so I know how painful that can be. Basically, Caya had a fart caught crosswise! Okay, sick humor, I know.

We got back home around midnight and stayed up for awhile longer. Finally, she calms down around 2am and we all get to sleep (she's racked out on top of me, but that's okay).

Today she was back to normal, she took a fantastic poo at lunch (more poopy talk!) and was a whole new dog.

It was the cheapest trip we've taken to the ER, but not a fun one. Let's not do that anymore, mmm'kay?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A new year...a new beginning

I can't believe over a month has gone by since I have last posted.

Caya had several ups and downs over the last month, but she's finally on what we call the recovery path.

Several arguments ensued among the vets/specialists we were in contact with about whether Caya had a anti-biotic resistant form of leptospira, whether or not she needed a dialysis, etc.

Once Caya seemed to be on the up side of things and staying there, hubby and I took a break, got completely off the grid to rest and regroup. Caya was spending her days in the vets anyway so they took her and boarded her in a run at night. During our trip, we called and checked on her and we got the wonderful news that her BUN was in the normal range and her Creatinine was going down. (It's still high). The best news was we could finally start dialing back on fluids and she started eating by herself.

We got home yesterday (went from 85 degree weather to 10 degree weather and 16 inches of snow) and it seemed like we had a whole new Caya-dawg. We proceeded to destroy the pristine backyard playing (I hate the cold, but you cannot avoid being caught up in the rapturous joy of a german shepherd!)

Now, as things get better, what does the future hold? First of all 2010 has GOT to be better than 2009, it royally sucked. I want to tell myself I will not be an overprotective momma and keep Caya from enjoying all the things she loves. But it will take a while to get the image of my baby girl with tubes coming out from every angle out of my head.

Tika's presence is missed every day, I think mostly by my husband surprisingly. But I guess I am in that acceptance stage of grief and I can remember her for all the good times. I had a picture in my office at work that my parents gave me when Tika was a puppy and we visited them, Tim forgot about it so I framed it and gave it to him for our $5.00 christmas present giving.

So here's to a new year, we are planning a trip up to Montana (husband's never seen Yellowstone!) with Caya and the RV. My parents are both retired now so they'll be up visiting a lot, my dad has more or less kicked us out of our own house for the summer on the weekends. He wants pool and dog sitting duty. Hmmm, we'll see. If I can get Caya to agree to being a boat dog, she'll have a new job this summer.