Oneco Reflex

March 19, 1994-July 31, 2008

Adopting senior greyhounds is probably more rewarding than any other age. They come in, assess the joint, find a cushion and never give another thought.

Sure, we never know how long the senior will be with us, but every minute is counted and enjoyed to the fullest.

Our beautiful little Oneco. When you came to the gardens on April 17, 2004, I don’t think you had any greyt expectations. Once you got here though, you fit in and made it yours, just like you had always been here.

Your first and probably favorite find were the wading pools. Every trip out included a walk through all three pools for a drink of fresh water. You were the water nazi. If it wasn’t fresh, you haunted us until we made it fresh. Sometimes we didn’t always read the signals right and you got extra long ear scritches. But in the end, you made sure we changed out your water even if it meant 20 times a day, you always got fresh water.

You loved trancing in the trees, running with your friends, eating apples, digging holes and lying in them, and stalking the cats just outside their room. You even became an honorary member of the United Federation of Cat Zappers.

Once you got here, you always seemed so happy.

You and Phoebe joined forces almost immediately and the Double-digit gang was started. Nobody wanted to mess with the Double-digit gang. You were older, wiser and automatically the bosses.

Oneco and Phoebe • Sepember 2004

From here forth, the Double-digit gang was always changing as you lost beloved members and new members joined.

Picker, Roxy, Maddie, Gracie, and Oneco • March 2006

Karen, Cleo, Maddie, Oneco, Roxy, and Barbie • September 2007

Buddy, Murphy, Oneco, Karen, Maddie, and Roxy • June 2008

You were a wonderful ambassador to all of the newbies in the garden. Without you, many of the greyhounds might have missed out on the finer things in life. Many a new hole got dug after you introduced them to the dirt under the trees. You taught them about wading in the pools and enjoying a drink of fresh water.

Oneco and Gracie

And no matter which dogs you with, you were everyone’s friend.

Karen, Maddie, Flo, Minnie, Danny, Oneco and Roxy

One day, very excitedly I might add, you and Phoebe chartered the very first Red Hat Ladies club for greyhounds. You called yourself the “Red Hot Houndies”. Oneco, you were simply stunning in your red and purple bonnet. Even though Phoebe was the Grand Dame forever, you always were and will be one of the top dawgs.

You always knew how to ask and then get what you wanted…

And even in your very final days, you loved wading and drinking from the pools.

But the day came. You had been a beautiful greyhound for almost 14 1/2 years, ran 95 good races and gave birth to 21 babies. You were tired and we knew it was time to say good-bye.

You brought many of our greatest joys and we loved you so very much. Thank you, our sweet, sweet little Oneco ala Bear.


Your mommies, Terri and Karen

Seven Days, Almost Seven Dogs

Our vet clinic, Companion Pet, North Salem sometimes feels like the only social outing we get.

Saturday morning Da dawg week starts on Saturday. This was going to be a greyt week.

Just like normal, we were first in line at the vets with Adam. Urine showed no bacteria, and blood count for the first time since April topped 50. A greyt week! Woo Hoo. Or at least we thought.

Blender was seven days into her antibiotic for her scunned toe, it was healing quite nicely. A greyt week, woo hoo. At least that is what we thought.

Sunday evening Oneco showed no interest in dinner and had a cough. No breakfast Monday either and so, we were first in line at the vet clinic.

X-rays showed something in her lungs. Her heart sounded a little funky. First guess was congestive heart failure so home we went armed with lasix. 24 hours later, we really didn’t see any improvement and Tuesday morning we were back at the clinic. This time we left her for the day for IV antibiotics thinking that maybe she had pneumonia. We brought her home for the evening with the plan to have her spend the next day on IV antibiotics again.

Tuesday night out of the clear blue, I noticed a lump on Clancy’s right front leg just above his elbow. It was huge, about the size of my fist and I have no idea when it appeared. That gnawing feeling reappeared in the pit of my stomach and I knew there would be two going to the clinic the next day.

I walked in the door and asked Karen if we couldn’t get just one break. She smiled and took the next pack out. It was time for Flocko to play with his ball. Not three minutes later she came in to announce, “Nope, we weren’t getting a break this week, Flocko just broke his toe.”

Fortunately, it popped right back into place when she tried to bandage it. No vet trip for him.

Wednesday morning Oneco went in at 7:30 a.m., I made a mad dash for work and when I went home at noon, I stopped by the clinic to drop Clancy off. Wednesday after work I returned to the clinic to bad news and more bad news.

Oneco was not showing any improvement nor was she showing an interest in food. Not a good sign, the decision would have to be made soon.

Clancy had a needle biopsy and a first look, didn’t look good, but we would know more when the results returned.

Both babies went home for the evening knowing that Oneco’s time would be soon and Clancy was scheduled for surgery on Friday.

Thursday morning Oneco spent a good portion of the night panting. Early the next morning she asked to go out and when she came in, she coughed up blood. At that very moment, we knew that this would be the day our hearts would be broken again.

We had just gotten home from taking Oneco first to the clinic for her final shot and then off to the humane society for a private cremation. Just like always, we turned Blender out and she ran to the back fence. This time she returned on three legs, bleeding like crazy. 4:30 p.m., and it is back to the clinic.

Blender had broken her toenail off at the first joint exposing the bone, surgery was scheduled for the next day. She and Clancy would be sharing the surgical suite.

Come Out, Come Out Where ever You Are

Happy, happy birthday Joey, gotcha on my mi-ind.

Way To Go Joe a puppy in a litter of five, you were born to be a racer, but yet as you celebrate your 7th birthday you remain a happy, happy boy frightened of the two people that love you the most.

We’re not giving up though Joe. We’ll entice you treats and every day we’ll ask you to come and get your ears scritched. I suspect when least expect it, you’ll be by our sides ready for the lovin’ you so richly deserve.

A Roller Coaster Called Hope

“When do we say when?” I ask. “It’s a conversation you may have to have soon. The light is getting dimmer at the end of the tunnel”, responds the vet.

Most rides start out with an uncertain jerk. An unexplained limp, a lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea or lethargy. Any and all of these symptoms simply result in a trip to the veterinary clinic.

Day 1: Adam’s ride did not start with jerk but rather a slow start. My first visit to the vet was because he just wasn’t Adam. He didn’t bark at me when it was time to eat, he just laid on his bed, waiting quietly.

Day 2: He had poops that were almost neon orange, just short of glowing in the dark. His blood tests were normal except for the bilirubin, which was slightly elevated.

Day 3: Still lethargic, we went back to the vet. Abdominal x-rays were almost as inconclusive as the the blood work.

Day 4: Adam was scheduled for an ultrasound, again, nothing specific was found and while the vet apologized for ordering an expensive test, I assured her that it was the best money i had spent yet. What we weren’t expect was a dramatic drop in Adam’s red cell count. Normal for a greyhound is somewhere around 55-60, Adam bottomed out at around 14-20. More blood tests were ordered. A Coombs test (a test to look for antibodies that act against the red blood cells) was given and came back positive indicating that Adam probably had AIHA.

Adam was sent home with high doses of prednisone and would be in and out of the vet clinic with twice daily blood tests and IV treatments. For the first several days, his appetite was excellent.

Day 6: No indication that the blood was improving on just the prednisone alone. Imuran was added to his drug cocktail of 40 mg prednisone twice a day, 375 mg clavamox twice a day, 1 gram sucralafate 3 tiems daily and finally, over-the-counter prilosec.

Physical examination concluded that a heart murmur was developing, one that was not there earlier and they thought that it was probably from the anemia.

Day 8: Adam had developed a severe arrhythmia along with the murmur and the red blood cell count was still low. Blood tests did show that the cells were beginning to regenerate, a small but bright light.

The clinic did an ECG that truly came back as nothing normal. We all had hope that it was from the anemia. They consulted with a cardiologist and it was diagnosed with polymorphic ventricular arrhythmia and an echocardiagram was ordered for the next day.

Day 9: Still not much improvement in the red blood cell count, it was up to 30, the arrhythmia or the murmur. An ultrasound of the abdomen showed some fluid in the abdomen that wasn’t present the week before and pancreatitis. Cyclosporan was added to his cocktail and the imuran was discontinued thinking that maybe the imuran had caused the pancreatitis.

Day 10: Adam showed no interest in eating. This was the second time he had refused his food, he was very weak and we were scared. The minute we got into the room at the clinic, he threw up the entire contents of his stomach and laid down on his blanket. At this point, I was quite scared. Again I left him on IVs. I went in to pick him up at 6 p.m. and Adam showed no improvement. He was lethargic and sad.

When I got home, I sat down beside him on his cushion with some freshly boiled chicken. I kissed him softly and stroked his fur assuring him that everything would be OK. At this point it was up to him. If he wanted to pull through, we would go the distance, if he was just to tired, we understood. He stood up walked away from his bowl of chicken and laid down on a cushion in another part of the room. I sat there and sobbed.

When Karen got home from work we decided that Adam had endured enough. He wasn’t going to go through any more. So we stopped all of the drugs except the 30 mg twice a day of prednisone and the sucralafate. I promised him no more daily blood tests and trips to the clinic. Still hoping we feared our ride was coming to an end.

Day 11: Adam got up, went outside and came in to eat one and one-half chicken breasts. At that moment, we knew the ride was not over.

He lost 15 lbs. and even at a healthy weight a greyhound looks skinny. Adam was emaciated but he kept eating.

Day 19: Red blood cells have reached 35.

Day 26: Adam gained one lb. and his red blood cells were up to 47.

Chronic illnesses suck. Mystery illnesses suck. Medicine is a crap shoot. Adam was diagnosed with Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia on April 9, 2008. Four weeks after his diagnosis, he is steadily improving but our hopes and fears continue to ebb and flow like the tide.

Month 5: Adam’s blood count has stayed over 50 now for four weeks. His weight has maintained, he’s pink everywhere and his prednisone has been decreased to 5 mg. every other day. It has been a greyt summer for Adam.

Month 6: October 16, 2008 Adam’s blood count has remained normal. His urine is free of bacteria and he is finally off of all medication. Our happy, happy boy is back.