One more sleep

August 30, 2014 Emma 2 Comments

Emma looking over Holly and Joe   

Road trip tomorrow. I’ll leave Salem at about 6:15, pick up Holly and Joe in Portland and we’ll be on our way to Baker City. It’ll take us about 6.5 hours to get out there.

What do you think Holly has in her plans?

Two sleeps

August 29, 2014 Emma 2 Comments

Holly and Emma   

It has been a little over a month since we bid farewell to Emma, the greatest weimie that ever lived. Holly misses her every single day. Boy oh boy can I relate.

All week I have been receiving countdown texts.

Today’s countdown, two sleeps.

Whatever does this daughter of mine have up her sleeve?

Another update for Flo

August 28, 2014 Flo 6 Comments


Flo started another heart medication in hopes of getting her rate down last week. Now in addition to 100 mg of lasix, 12.5 mcg of digoxin, 15 mg vetmedin, she is taking 120 mg of diltiazem every day now.

Yes, the girl has her own 4x per day pill box.

The congestive heart failure she was originally diagnosed with is now resolved. Now we are dealing with atrial fibrulation and degenerative valve disease which will never be cured, mitral valve regurgitation, and enlargement of the left side of her heart. The atrial fib could potentially correct itself but the rest are all considered chronic conditions that we will treat with the above cocktail of meds.

Today I took her back in for another EKG and lab work. Her heart rate has decreased significantly, it’s still very irregular but it is down in the 160s from 320 when we originally took her in. A normal heart rate is between 100 and 120.

She seems a little more logy than normal, but other than that she seems comfortable, has a great appetite and is enjoying the pampering.

Ah yes, still on the “one day at a time” band wagon.

The foster baby

August 24, 2014 grand dogs 6 Comments

Grandma Karen and Opal   

Our daughter Megan and her husband is fostering a nine-week old pit bull puppy named Opal. Talk about sweet. That little baby was so good for the heart today.

Love, laughter and loss

August 22, 2014 Crystal 8 Comments


I’m so sorry, another repost from my other blog.

When I wake up in the morning, I know that decisions will have to be made during the day. Some major, some minor. At the end of the day, I want to fall asleep never having regretted any of my decisions.

Our hearts are shattered into in a million pieces tonight. Our sweet little pocket rocket Crystal is gone. Just when I think I am out of tears, they fill-up and flow again.

I will never regret the day we had our friend spring her from a Craigslist ad. I will never regret the amount of love and laughter that she poured into our hearts. The hole is huge and empty and painful tonight, but I know how this works. We will love again and again, that is what Karen and I are made of. And I certainly will never regret our decision to amputate her leg 10 days ago. We had a chance, we took it. We were dealt the osteosarcoma card again. Someday we will win. I know we will.

To all of the cyber hugs and good wishes that were sent our direction these last two weeks, we thank you. Who would have guessed how much a hug through cyber space and a thumbs-up would have such an impact, but it does.

To our vet clinic, our vet, our vet techs and staff, thank you for loving our girl just like she were your own. Every minute that she was in your care I was confident that it was the best and most loving that she could get. I know that she broke a piece of your hearts off too, she loved you all.

Crystal, many would say that the skies will have a bright shiny star tonight. You and I know better. You are a comet racing across the sky leaving behind you a trail of love, laughter and joy.

We will miss you so much girlfriend.

Crystal aka Rebel Crystal • May 23, 2003 to August 22, 2014

Saddle-up girlfriend, looks like we’re gonna ride

August 21, 2014 Crystal 4 Comments


Well, except for the buckets and buckets of puss that continue to drain, Crystal is doing really well. She motors around on her three wheels as if she never needed the four leg after all.

I was most encouraged when I got a message yesterday about a greyhound that is 27+ months post amp and chemo. And, that there was a study about infections and cancer, dogs that got infections actually did better because the cancer got caught in the cross fire.

Tomorrow she will go in under anesthesia and they will flush out the area and place a drain.

Then, when all is well, we will go forth with chemo. We will keep a very close eye on her quality of life. That will always be first and foremost in our minds.

A good news, bad news kinda day

August 19, 2014 Crystal 4 Comments


Crystal was still pretty punk this morning. The fever was gone, but she didn’t want to eat, she didn’t want to walk and she certainly didn’t want to go back to the vet clinic for another day on IV antibiotics.

They x-rayed the stump and found a few pockets of gas, most likely from the bacteria. She still has quite a bit of drainage. She’s been on antibiotics since the surgery, but boosting her IV antibiotics really seemed to help.

We are still watching her, but there is a chance she might have to go in for more surgery to remove some of the tissue. We are hoping not.

When we got there this evening, she was very excited to see us. She sat right up. Gave Karen a million kisses and even gave me an eargasm when I rubbed her ears. All of those were so good to see especially after she has been so down.

One of the drugs we added to her cocktail is SamE. It’s an over-the-counter natural remedy that is supposed to help with pain and depression. She was definitely happier tonight. It was start of the quality of life we promised her when we decided to amputate the leg.

As feared however, the biopsy came back. Yes, once again osteosarcoma has reared it’s ugly head in our lives and in one of our dogs. I hate that disease. It’s evil and it’s ultimately deadly.

This time is different. We have already amputated the leg and it has been our experience that we say good bye anywhere from three to six weeks mostly because of the pain. We honestly don’t know what to expect. We will talk to our vet about chemo after we get the infection problem cleared up.

One day at a time girlfriend, one day at a time.

Two steps forward, one step back

August 18, 2014 Crystal 3 Comments


Well, today did not go according to plan. Poor little Crystal developed some blood blisters during the night in the tissue where the blood was pooling. Karen noticed them at 3:30 this morning when she got up to check her. She was definitely feeling punk this morning and since Karen had the day off, she whisked Crystal off to the vet clinic. She had a temp of 104° and the blisters were beginning to drain.

She was on IV antibiotics and fluids all day. By noon her temp had dropped to the high normal range. She was a bit more perky but her new best friend Stumpy wasn’t being so friendly. It is hurting her.

The Doc is going to give her two days to see what happens with the draining and depending how she looks then, she may be going in for more surgery.

She’s home with us tonight. She ate, she’s been out to pee, but I really think it hurts the stump to walk.

It will be back to the clinic for more IV antibiotics in the morning. Poor little punky. I’m so sorry Crystal.

Another update from the gardens

August 17, 2014 Crystal, Flo, Jori 6 Comments


We said good bye to our lovely little senior lady today. Sheesh, this just isn’t getting any easier. Jori was 14.5 years old which is pretty darn good for a greyhound. Age had taken most of it’s toll on her legs, they just couldn’t hold her up like they once did.

It was beautiful though. Our vet came to the house and underneath the plum tree, resting so peacefully, she let out one big sigh of relief and raced toward the rainbow bridge to see all of her friends.

Jori is the one dog that knew everyone, she was one of our first greyhounds, a foster failure.

Here’s the link from my other blog, both of our daughters came down. Jori was part of their growing up too. Celebrating Jori


Crystal is doing a little better each day. She’s eating with gusto although she has turned her nose up on the Darwin’s raw and has decided she wants kibble. That’s fine, except that on kibble she was incontinent and she had protein in her urine. Arghh, hoping this is just a blip.

She is walking pretty well on three legs, but definitely tires quickly. We watch her pretty closely. Karen will be home with her tomorrow and I will stay home with her the rest of the week.


And Flo, the cardiac kid. She had another EKG last week amongst the rest of the chaos. Her heart rate is still too fast, so we shall add another pill to her already out-of-control cocktail. She is not the easiest dog to get pills into. She is wise to all of the tried and true tricks of the trade which leaves us no choice but to risk the ends of our fingers when we shove them down her gullet. It is also not a bonding moment for us.

She remains happy and full of zest for life however.

I think that brings us up-to-speed with the gardens.

Onward and upward, one day at a time.

There’s no place like home

August 15, 2014 Crystal 5 Comments

Crystal so happy to be home

I promise to quite reposting from one blog to the next, but holy smokes, this has been a week, a month, a year.

Wow, what a week this has been. Nearly every waking moment has been consumed with taking care of Crystal. Researching and purchasing harnesses, transporting her, finding just the right beds… anything and everything to make her as comfortable as possible.

The thing she wanted the most was to come home, to lay behind my desk and to be with her friends.

Our hearts skipped a few beats as she actually walked out of the clinic last night to our car. When we go home, she stood up in the car and walked from the car to the back yard, her beloved acre where she has always raced with the wind chasing the careless squirrels that would get just close enough to tease her and not get caught.

Her ability to figure out the balance on one leg is amazing. We have a harness on her, but once we reached the grass we let her walk by herself. We stood close by ready to grab the handle if needed, but we held our breath as she tried out her third wheel all by herself.

She had some dependent edema in the remaining hind leg and this morning it is nearly gone. Karen set her alarm so that she could take her out during the night, but Crystal was sleeping so soundly and comfortably that Karen just let her sleep. When we got up this morning, we took her out and she took care of business. I’m so glad we are off for the next three days and prepared to be housebound. We are here to wait on Crystal hand and paw.

Today I don’t regret for a minute doing the amputation. It wasn’t a decision we took lightly as we looked into our crystal ball to assure that she would have quality of life. We are pretty certain that once we get through the learning curve of three wheels instead of four, our little girlfriend will be as good as new.

Now we wait for the biopsy results.

I will never be able to thank all of support that Karen and I have received from our daughters, Megan and Holly, our vet clinic staff (I still say they are the best of the best) and our cyber friends. A few words of encouragement go a long way to keep Karen and I focused and putting one foot in front of the other.

One day at a time.

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