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Everything posted by ElizabethGPAPS

  1. Oh Xan, what shocking news. The world is surely a bit darker without Wabi shining in it. Please accept my sincerest condolences. It's funny, I was just thinking about Wabi a week or so ago...and while morbid, my thought was "Isn't it amazing and fantastic that she's lasted this long". A testament to your love and care, truly, that this jumbled up little puzzle of a dog would live a full and rich existence, loved by many around the world. I recall reading a definition of wabi-sabi that particularly struck me - that in the imperfection of the creation, one can see the hand of the maker. Wabi was a uniquely-forged little being and there will never be another like her. She thought herself quite special because that's what everyone had always told her. From the moment she came out of the womb, obviously never able to earn her keep as a racer yet allowed to grow up, to the Kansas folks who saw her as adoptable, to the outpouring of support by so many to move her across the country, to the Vet who tried to fix what wasn't meant to be repaired, and finally to the loving home you provided - she was blessed, and every single day was a gift that she very obviously relished. I will not see hers as a life cut short, but a life well-lived. I've taken the liberty of putting together a little collection of the pictures I took of her when she was just a young pup with me (and a silly one with Mazie that I copied because it always makes me smile): Wabi's Page Again, my condolences on your loss. May the Wabi-shaped hole in your heart heal with time. _________
  2. I got mine here: http://ashestoart.com/default.aspx
  3. This is exactly what I went through with Simon and Isabella, right down to the knuckling, incontinence, emaciated even though they ate fine, getting physically stuck in odd predicaments...I truly do understand and empathize. Job loss notwithstanding, it's nice that you can be home with her. I know it doesn't seem like it now but you will look back at this time through a soft lens and you'll be glad that you got to spend the time with her before she passed. It's the natural completion of the cycle, and a kind of closure that people who lose their dogs young to illness or injury never get. Simon was 14.5 when he went down for the last time, which also coincided with his refusing to eat. I always figured when he couldn't get up or wouldn't eat then that was the end, and he did me a favor and stopped doing both so there was no doubt. Isabella went down at 15.5 and I made the mistake of keeping her around for two weeks because I was waiting for her to give me a sign that she was done (it never came). I hope Tuna gives you a clear sign.
  4. Lucy, I guess in a way us old-timers got to watch both you and Riley grow up. You've come and gone from GT over the years but always kept us updated and shared your beautiful boys with us. I saved that beach picture back when you first posted it! I know that going through your 20's is so tumultuous, and for you it's a period of your life that will always be intertwined with memories of Riley. As someone else said, he was him because of you, and you are you because of him. He was one of the stars and will never be forgotten. Godspeed to him and sincere condolences to you.
  5. I'm very sorry, and especially that it all happened so fast. I'm sure you're reeling. Check back in when your world feels somewhat solid again.
  6. The Vet who came to my house was an older woman, probably not capable of carrying a large dog by herself, at least not with any degree of dignity for the dog. She was the only Vet who offered this service in my area and I was very grateful for it, but a little warning would have been nice. Maybe I should have anticipated it myself but we're not always thinking clearly at these times.
  7. You can obtain many types of anibiotics if they're labeled for aquarium usage. I keep a supply of metronidazole (flagyl) and amoxicillin on hand. They sell online as Fish-Zole and Fish-Mox. They are the exact same drugs as the prescribed ones. You can also get doxycyclene, cephalexin, ampicillin, tetracyclene, and erythromycin. Even other types if you expand your search to include those labeled for birds and livestock. However I don't think Clavamox (amoxicillin + clavulanate) is among the available. It seems to only have use for cats, dogs and humans.
  8. I'm sorry. Sometimes you just have to make the decision for them. I've looked so closely for my pets to "tell me they're ready" and it just doesn't always happen. The spirit outlasts the body sometimes.
  9. I hope this isn't a totally insensitive question...but for those of you who had your Greys euthanized at home, did you have to help carry the body to the Vet's vehicle? I sent Isabella off for private cremation and the Vet came alone so I had to help with that. It was tough. And I'll never forget that my neighbors next door were having their daily drunken porch party and were hooting and laughing, unaware, while I carried the love of my life's body out the back gate so those idiot hillbillies wouldn't see.
  10. I'm so sorry to read this. I saw the headline and hoped it was a different Riley. My 3 went in different ways over the past year and a half - Savannah on her own, Isabella was euthanized at home and Simon at the Vet's office. My decision for Isabella and Simon were based totally on their personalities. Isabella was shy and stressy and bringing her to strange place would have been very unpleasant for her, but Simon was much more easy-going and perfectly fine with going to the Vet's and being fussed over by strangers. The cost was about the same for both so that wasn't a factor. I wasn't in the room when Savannah died - I just found her that way. I was with Isabella and Simon when they passed. It bothers me more that Savannah died without me than it bothers me to remember seeing Isabella and Simon slip away. But that is a personal decision for each of us to make. I avoided watching Isabella's face and instead stroked and spoke into her ear from behind so she would know I was there. With Simon it was very fast (he was ready and willing, I think). In both her and Simon's case they were unconscious from sedatives before the fatal drug was administered. Neither euthanization was perfect, but I won't go into details unless you really want to know. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. It's so hard, and if you're like me then the internal dialogue is almost unbearable. Too soon? Too late? One more day? What if..? But...". I truly wish you and Riley peace.
  11. I agree that Miles' problem is likely behavioral rather than medical, but for him to actually attack your roommate - snarling, showing teeth, biting the leg and going after the arm - is extremely unusual in my experience. I would be very concerned about this unacceptable behavior - it shows a lack of bite inhibition and a total lack of respect for you as the person on the controlling end of the leash, and for your roommate as a human (and a male to boot!) in general. I really wish you hadn't let him eat the sandwich, but you already recognize your mistake there: rewarding bad behavior. If you don't get this under control then he's potentially unsafe with anyone that may get between him and something he wants. You and Miles are new to each other, and I think he's a strong-willed dog that's testing his boundaries. Ideally, the negative behavior needs to be corrected strongly at the moment it happens to prevent it from happening again or escalating. Since that moment has passed you should work on the underlying issue that caused it in the first place. If Miles were mine I would immediately begin some training. There are a few articles pinned in the Greyt Information portion of this board entitled "Who's in Charge Here?", "The Importance of Being Alpha" and "Nothing in Life Is Free" that would be great place to start.
  12. I have not seen this type of situation work out for the best very often, but it's not impossible. If I were you I would set some training goals but be realistic and understand that rehoming may be the only ultimate solution. Ramp up your NO KITTY to Cringe-Inducing Booming Voice of God, get a squirt bottle, muzzle, muzzle, muzzle, securely separate them when you're not home and give it some time. If things aren't markedly better in a month...it might be time for a hard decision. Assuming Miles is even workable, I would say that 99% of a cat-trainable Greyhound's ability to live safely with cats depends on how strong of an alpha the owner is, and how calm and confident the cat is. If you're missing either of those components, it's just that much harder. BTW - some dogs test cat safe because they're not showing us their true feelings at the time of the test due to stress or whatever. But if he's distractable/pliable enough to pass a cat test, then he's got a decent chance of being workable.
  13. Thanks to everyone who expressed their condolences. You're all wonderful, truly. You know, I'm not sure why I included that picture. I guess I just needed there to be "proof" that he was really spent and it was his time. I had a lot of guilt with Isabella's euthanasia (both with the feeling of "having her killed", and because she was in a terrible, lingering state and I waited too long, but I still wonder...agh, it makes a person crazy) and I just have to feel that I did what was best for Simon and not a moment too soon or too late. It's such a terrible decision, and almost all of us have to make it at some point.
  14. ElizabethGPAPS


    Merann I'm so, so sorry that you, Lisa and Lyra had to go through such a horrific experience. But Lyra knew she was loved and you did right by her from the minute she walked in your door until the moment she left for the next world. I got chills when I read about the cracked bowl! What a clear and clever sign from your little Queen Bee. Please accept my condolences, and hug your hounds for me. Those pictures Xan posted were taken at my house...I must have fostered her. I wish my memory wasn't so leaky these days.
  15. Simon's story is not a sad one. After a short and unimpressive racing career at the well-regarded Multnomah Greyhound Park in Oregon, he retired at 2 years old and was adopted straight from the track into my home where he remained his entire life. He lived to a grand old age and, up until a couple of weeks ago, was getting around pretty well (if rather slowly and carefully). He enjoyed his reign as King Simon of Greytalk for almost 9 months - surely putting to rest any rumors of a "Suzy Awards curse". Heck, for a while there I thought he just might be the first back-to-back winner. But old age is no one's friend, and Simon's tired old body finally wore out. He couldn't get up on his own on Saturday and when it became obvious that he wasn't going to rally, we made that trip this morning to find his rainbow bridge. He went quietly and quickly, with a last great inhale and a sigh that sounded to me like sweet surrender. Simon fought the good fight, though, and for the most part kicked that hound-gobbling Father Time's a$$ pretty well. Simon's life was mostly uneventful but always full of new faces, both of the human and pointy-snouted kind. He was the one that started my odyssey into Greyhound adoption, first as a volunteer and then as the director of the group for the past 11 or so years. Simon let me know pretty early on that he wasn't the best choice as an "assistant dog" to do home visits with (Savannah was much more outgoing and effervescent, and much less likely to pee in people's living rooms) but he was a meet 'n' greet pro, not to mention a role model extraordinaire for the 250 or so foster dogs that came and went over the course of the past 12 years. He got along with every one of them, with never an altercation. The gentle brood mamas were his favorite, and the young hooligans simply didn't exist in his eyes. He employed the same "If I don't look at it, I don't have to deal with it" technique with cats - ignoring the unpleasant served him well as a life philosophy. He was always a calm dog...his nicknames included "Vanilla Bob" for his very middle-of-the-road personality. Simon's greatest joys in life were breakfast time, dinner time and car rides. These past few months I'd been taking him to work with me most days so I could keep an eye on him...as he grew more and more frail he would find the oddest predicaments to get into (such as sliding backwards off his dog bed and getting stuck for who knows how long). Going to work meant twice-daily car rides which he relished. Every morning we'd go out to the car and he would alternate touching his nose to the hatchback and then looking at me pointedly. He did the same with his food dish when mealtimes were close - subtlety was not something he believed in. I will remember Simon for his adaptable nature, peaceful spirit and gentle soul. He was a good boy. (It's weird - even as I type this I keep reflexively starting to jump up to go check on him. I guess that'll take some getting used to). A few photos: Last week - Car ride! Yesterday, stopping to lean in a doorway to rest after using all his strength to walk the 20 feet from the kitchen. He was just so tired. The scar on his face is from a carnassial tooth that abcessed and had to be extracted about 5 months ago. I really wasn't sure he'd make it through that one, but he did. Happier times - his coronation photo as King of Greytalk, last summer. The blanket has been well-used and will continue to be so, but his crown will go with his collars into my memory box. Thank you for reading about my special little man.
  16. My evidence is only circumstantial, but Simon (14.5) has been on Fresh Factors for a couple of years now...and a few months ago I ran out of it and didn't have any for about 2 weeks (1 week of procrastinating and 1 week of waiting for the delivery man ) and he went downhill in the back end during that time. Refusing the stairs, falling, the works. Once the new stuff came in the mail he was back to his old-but-mostly-steady self within a week or so. I can't say he's running around like a puppy or that he never falls over while pooping (particularly hill-pooping), or that he never wedges himself upside-down between his bed and the wall and can't get out without help, but he gets around pretty well for his age.
  17. I think you can just google "imidocarb side effects" and get quite a bit of information, including this little nugget: "One of 13 healthy dogs used in a pharmacokinetic study of imidocarb dipropionate died due to difficulty in breathing, tachycardia, weakness and profuse diarrhoea. Autopsy findings showed marked pulmonary congestion and oedema. Kidneys were grossly enlarged and markedly congested with extensive haemorrhage in the cortex and medulla. Marked tubulonephrosis was also exhibited microscopically. Liver and spleen were moderately enlarged and congested. The adverse effects of imidocarb may be due to excessive acetylcholine action." Yikes.
  18. My Savannah died unexpectedly in the kitchen (stroke or cardiac) while I was in a different part of the house. I don't know how long she lay there before I noticed things were too quiet and went looking for her. Simon definitely spent time with her body, though, and I think it helped him to understand. They were constant companions for 11 years and yet when she was gone he never missed a beat. He never looked for her or indicated in any way that he was confused by her absence. I'll always make an effort to allow my pets to have a "viewing" of their departed companions if at all possible.
  19. Prices have sure gone down, then - when we were a fledgling adoption group in 1997, a female in our very first batch of dogs from Arizona had a raging case of babesiosis. She was SO sick, very jaundiced and dropped to a dangerously low weight (like, 35 lbs) during the course of her treatement. At that time Imidocarb was only used as a chemotherapy drug for humans. There was only one Vet in our State that was using it on dogs so we went to him. The shots were $400 each and she needed two of them It was a rude introduction to the world of running an adoption group. p.s. After she got to feeling better it turned out she had a very high prey drive! She tested cat safe initially but I guess she was just sick.
  20. So...a positive titer is proof that B-Canis was there at some point because antibodies were developed, but it's not proof that it's still there. Lots of dogs are exposed and never get sick. A PCR would actually look for the living organisms? That's very cool! But wouldn't a low titer pretty much mean that the chance of an active infection is very slim?
  21. Aw, I used to keep zebra finches and I do miss their little meeping and flitting about. It sounds like you and Blitzen had a very special bond. How neat that he worked on his nest even without a mate!
  22. I counted 362 on that list...my Savannah was number 43 I was surprised and touched to find my little foster dog JoJo Smiler, who did not survive her spay surgery, on the list as well. Thank you for remembering them both.
  23. I have one of these and I think it's beautiful: http://ashestoart.com
  24. At this point I'll bet it would just be a relief to get some kind of definitive diagnosis, good or bad. Then at least you can start looking at options and making decisions. This guessing and hoping and flailing around blind stuff has got to be thoroughly exhausting! Xan, to cheer you up here's a little funny I saw on Failblog (I would think this is your little town of Custer, what with suspicious Canucks wandering about and all)...
  25. It seems like you're looking for permission to let her go. That is your decision alone, and coming here with a cry for help and then rejecting all the advice isn't fair to everyone who's just trying to help. Obviously you're thinking along the lines of it being "time", and no one is going to criticize you if that's what happens. But YOU have to decide and you have to live with that decision, just like everyone else that's been there with an old dog who's losing function and falling apart day by day. It's a terrible place to be and you have my sympathy.
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