I like to think I have earned my merit badge, hyper-paranoia. I’m sure our vets appreciate it and I know our bank account just has an automatic “transfer to vet” button.

I was there yesterday with Flocko, he has a “puffy” ear that we’ve been treating for a few weeks. Karen and the vet call it a hematoma, to me, it’s just puffy.

We were there last week with, you guessed it, Timber. That dog is a royal challenge. He misses one itsy bitsy meal and we are just this side of hysteria.

Today, it was Jillian. In all fairness, I waited the 24 hours. When she refused her third meal, I loaded her up and we were off to the vet clinic.

Poor girl, X-rays, blood tests, pokes, prods and an exam that nobody wants, nobody wants to talk about, and nobody ever said they’d volunteer to do again. Good news is that there was nothing remarkable. But most importantly, she ate her dinner.

It always amazes me how as soon as we make a transfer from our bank to the vet clinic, many of the ailments just disappear. Poof. I’m not complaining, I like it that way.

Celebrating Talley Ho Ho Ho

It was February 18, 2004. Bentley was limping and we thought It was just a sprain. She was a new vet to us and we had never met her before. Dr. Amber Talley, so compassionate, so caring tried to explain to us what osteosarcoma was and what it meant.

Before Bentley was gone, we put in a call to our adoption group and said we wanted a special needs dog. Bentley was a confident and outgoing greyhound, he would want us to help another dog become the same.

Joe was what they called a spook, scared of his shadow, scared of people, scared of anything and everything. We adopted him without ever meeting him and when we went to pick him up, the kennel manager asked if we would think about a little fawn girl, she was a kennel favorite. She was so shy that she had to be carried out to the meeting room. They called her Sara, Sandhill Sara. We called her Talley.

First night home

She was so unsure of her new digs when we first brought her home. Once she got here though, she never wanted to leave, ever. She became quite accustomed to Greyhound Gardens and although it made her quite nervous to leave, at home she was so happy.

Talley, Edie, Joey and Buddy

She loved having a built-in pack and made friends with everyone, all of our fosters always felt right at home with her.

By the end of the first week, it was pretty clear that Talley Ho was going to be the class clown.

And she teased the boys unmercifully. Somedays I think she drove them crazy.

Our memories of Talley will be filled with laughter and smiles. She danced, she pranced, she loved her stuffies. When she first came home, we gave her our bedroom filled to the rafters with neatly stacked stuffed rabbits. When we would come home from work, we would find that she had moved everyone of the stuffed toys to her nesting area. Every day, we would re-stack and the next day Talley would move them all to her nest.

This game went on for weeks, it ended when she tried to take the mattress off of the bed.

Talley took her job as a 45 mile per hour couch potato very seriously. She was actually quite good at it.

All of the black that peppered her muzzle as a youngster was replaced with salt as she rounded the corner to 12.

But it didn’t matter, she was still the sweetest, most beautiful dog in the world.

On Friday, I knew the pain from the osteosarcoma that she had been diagnosed with just five weeks earlier was almost at an unmanageable state. We were getting close. So I grabbed the camera, first in the house and then I followed her outside. She knew. I knew. Oh how we loved our little clown girl.

Our memories of Talley will always be happy and wonderful. She was a joy.

She will always be our clown.

Talley aka Sandhill Sara
August 4, 2001 to July 14, 2013

Lovin’ the days


Cancer teaches a few really valuable lessons in life. The most important is to just slow down and enjoy the moments.

We spent our entire Sunday out in the backyard with the dogs yesterday. It was relaxing, it was peaceful and it was worth every minute.

We need to do that more often.

Woo hoo

Danny, Jillian, Flocko and Talley in the background  

The neighbors are having a barbecue!

We are on our way.

Working the lights


Now more that ever, it is really important for me to have good photos of our hounds. Life just keeps taking random turns that I am not prepared for.

First up, Talley Ho.

Not what we wanted to hear


Well, the radiologists came back with a different read on Talley’s hip x-ray yesterday. Although it still does not read like a typical osteosarcoma and it’s not in a typical osteo location, they are 80% sure that we are looking at osteosarcoma.

We weren’t going to do xrays for another week, but since she was there for the seizure/stroke episode the night before and she is still limping, they did the xrays. The shadow had changed. It’s changing fast.

We probably wouldn’t even have xrayed there in the beginning except that my vet thought she had a funny gait in the hind-end. We were x-raying a whole different part of her body and my vet thought she would X-ray the hips, just to see. We probably caught the whole the progression much sooner than most.

Last night we spoke with the same animal communicator that we used with Timber. We really like her a lot. She’s a very gentle person. She described Talley as a little old lady that should be surrounded with lavender. Talley will be 12 in August.

She said that Talley just wanted to be at home where she’s comfortable. No more doctors, no more procedures, no more needles.

It really fits Talley. Talley came to us as a very shy girl. She warmed up to us immediately, but she never wanted to go for car rides or walks. And, as is our nature, we let her call the shots.

When I talked to the Dr. today, she said that amputation was an option, but osteosarcoma is a cancer that grows from the inside of the bone and it a finds a place to show. Talley is not a dog that would be a candidate for that, ever. It just is not in her personality.

We’ve been here before, we promise to do right by her. We owe her that much because she has been such a wonderful, wonderful girl.

Adjusting my attitude

First a quick update on Talley. She’s home resting peacefully by my desk as I type.

We really don’t know what happened. It was mild whatever it was. They x-rayed her leg again and there were changes once again in the shadow. At one point we considered just having the head of the femur removed, but now, I think we will just concentrate on keeping her comfortable.

Her blood pressure was quite high, but she works herself up into such a stew at the vet, that it possible that her blood pressure is related to stress.

For now, we watch, we wait and we worry.

My trilogy



Spending the night at the E-vet


We just left Talley at the E-vet. We aren’t sure if she had a stroke or a seizure.

Crap. Crap. Crap.

She’s spending the night in observation with fluids and a sedative because she is so shy and nervous.

I will remain optimistic until I’m told otherwise.

Inconclusive part II


This is Talley rolling her eyes at me as I run screaming and crying from the building.

I don’t know if inconclusive is my friend or my foe. The biopsy on her femur came back today. Inconclusive. She is still limping, she is losing muscle mass, she’s eating, she’s in great spirits, she comes up to get her ears scritched.

Plan B, keep her comfortable on Rimadyl and X-ray again in two weeks.

Oh, this looks so familiar, it’s called the waiting game. It’s not favorite game, but hey, we could have had the definitive “C” diagnosis and this post would have been so different.

Talley Ho, it’s up to you, let’s turn this around to a nothing girlfriend.