Tuffy, author of the Beagle Blog

Saturday, February 13, 2016

It's time to say good bye

The week started out good.  Mom weighed me again … 30 ????? pounds.  Yep, starting to pack on a little more weight and that’s great.  But not too much as it would be too hard on my back legs.  I had a badly broken one when mom got me from some people in the Valley.  It was x-rayed, and not good even back then, about 9 years ago, so she has to be careful that I’m not too heavy.

The other night I got mom good.  I’ve employed a new ruse.  I don’t want to do my big chore out in the dog yard, so now she’s taking me for short walks so I can take care of business.  Why not?  Now I get a walk and great food.  Mom’s such a soft touch!!! 

More meds, special food.  It's a dog's life.
But I know she’s leaving.  So, I need to take advantage while I can before she goes as I’m not sure pop will be as gullible!  And I’m sorry to say I won’t be posting because mom’s taking her computer and pop won’t let me use his.  He’s afraid I’ll get chicken all over it or something.

February 13 … I felt good this morning, but by this afternoon I didn’t and didn’t want to eat no matter that pop brought me the good stuff … chicken and fancy canned food.  I want to eat and please, but I couldn’t and then I threw up.  I’ve had a hard time getting up on the couch, too, and pop knew.

Mom had been out running errands because she’s leaving on vacation tonight, and when she came home, she was going to go walking with Rita and Robin.  But she knew there was something wrong.  So she called the vet and they said to bring me in.  Pop carried me out in my Beagle bed and Auntie Rita held me in her lap all the way to the vet.

The vet was really nice to me, but she told mom I was jaundiced as my liver was failing, and mom knew it was time to send me over the bridge. 
I'm sorry, mom, but you and I both know I have to go.
I know I’m a piece of her heart, but she had to do what was right for me … and let me go with dignity.  I know it’s a hard way to start her vacation, but I was so glad she was here to send me over and spend my last time here with her holding me tight and telling me she loved me. 
She always loved me best.
I had a great life with mom and pop and the rest of the crowd.  I was loved but I needed to go.  Signing off, folks, and this is the last Beagle Blog.  Baaarrrrrooooooooooo.

A Poem to my mom and pop

The day you laid me down to sleep
you prayed to the Lord; my soul to keep
I know you had to send me on my way
but you sent me to a new; better; and much brighter day

You sent me home; to heaven above
where I'm cradled in God's arms; covered with His love
I understand what you did; you did out of love
and I'll return that love; from my new home above

My sickness is gone; and I'm free here to roam
I run and play in the meadows; here in my new home
We play here by the Bridge; from morning to night
there is no rain here; just warm sunlight

I know you all miss me; I miss you all too
but I'll always be with you; whatever you do
Please wipe the tears; from your weeping eyes
by remembering the good times; from days gone by

When you look out; into the dark of night
I'll be that bright star; your guiding light
We'll meet again at the Bridge one day
when we'll walk in the light; together to stay.
Tuffy February 13, 2016

                                                                    by John Quealy

Thursday, February 11, 2016

I'm so smart and cunning I make myself proud

A few days have gone by since mom put me back on chicken and rice and occasionally she even puts some broth on it.  YUMMY!!!!!  Sometimes I eat it a bit slower, usually in the early evening, because now she’s doing something a bit different … giving me three meals a day.  Of course, I’m really liking that, even when she stuck a joint compound and a quarter of a Rimadyl in it and some ordinary dog food.  I still ate it.  She continues to have to give me some other meds for a few more days.  She’s a bit smarter now as she’s giving me a small piece of plain chicken and then another one with the meds in it.  She thinks I don’t know it.  Ha!!!  Of course, I do.  But I’m taking one for the team as everyone gets a piece of chicken.  I hope they all appreciate what I’m doing for them.

It seems that my system is way more regulated, too, with three smaller meals and I’m not having to make a dash for the door three, four or five times a day to drop a cow-pie-like bomb in the yard that requires a hazmat outfit to clean it up due to size and stench.  That makes her very happy.  Right now I’m at once a day, and it’s more normal.  Kind of, as I used to be a two-times-a-day guy.

My mom loves me.
Something else that is making her happy is when she weighed me again, I’ve put back on about another pound, so I’m over 30 pounds.  In reality, I should weigh a few more than that, but it’s progress in her mind.  I’m way more alert than I was a few days ago after she’d taken me to the vet, and more likely to get up for my meals.  I just wasn’t interested in food.

Things otherwise, I don’t know.  I seem a bit slower mostly, maybe sleeping more and a little weaker in my back legs.  Sometimes they shake and mom is watching me closely, worried about me.  It’s nice that she worries about me so much, but I sense there’s something big coming … is she leaving town again?  What will I do?  I sleep next to her heart.  Poor pop will be left to deal with all of us …

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Emergency, emergency

Things have been going relatively well.  Mom got this expensive enzyme powder medication from the vet January 23, and has to put it on my food and mix it together 15-20 minutes before she can give it to me.  Guess what that means?  The others have to wait for their meals, too.  Haha!  I’m the star here.  And I’m still getting extra food and fancy food, like hamburger and rice.  Cuz I’m mom’s favorite … and I’m sick.

The enzyme powder takes the place of my pancreatic enzymes doing their job.  My pancreas has apparently quit working and that’s why mom can feed me three times the normal amount of food and it just goes in one end and out the other, barely stopping to say hello to any of my internal organs.  The pancreas failure means that I get no nutrients from my food.  So, while I’m enjoying eating a lot, it really doesn’t do me any good.
This is the enzyme powder I have to take that helps do what a pancreas does.  Who knew?
After being on the enzyme powder for a week, things seemed to be going better.  So mom took me to the vet’s office to get me weighed on their scale.  She’d been weighing me at home and it appeared I’m gaining a little weight.  The vet scale proved mom right.  I’d gained nearly 3 pounds, and am a bit over 30 pounds again. 

After seeing I was doing well, mom cut down on the food a bit and completely cut out the fancy hamburger and rice.  WTH???  I’m not really cut out to eat plain dog food.  That’s just not fair.  I’m sickly and deserve so much more from her.  But being that I’m a Beagle, I’ll eat anything.  So be it. 

After several days of regular food and enzyme powder, mom and pop gave me a few carrots, a green bean or two, and “horror of horrors” a French fry.  I threw up all of them.  They came to the realization I can’t have any people food.  But that French fry sure did taste good going down, and I’d bet I was the envy of every raven in the neighborhood.

Then I got too much water because I have a tendency to drink too much … I threw that up, too.  I even projectile vomited off the couch.  Mom wasn’t happy cleaning up several spots.  She did get me outside for one of them.  I’ve also had a few “solid” accidents in the house, but at least they were near the door on non-carpeted space.  Mom wasn’t real happy about that either.  But she’s understanding.

The final straw, though, was February 6.  I didn’t eat my food as quickly as I usually do.  I’m pretty much done before anyone else.  I finished last.  It just didn’t taste good to me.  Then I wouldn’t eat my dinner either.  Only a little bit.  Mom got scared because of the vomiting and not eating, and got hold of a friend (Robin) to go the vet with us.  We went to Diamond Animal Clinic on Tudor and she got our favorite vet there, Dr. Kunce.  She told her what was going on.  It turns out I’m not vomiting.  I’m regurgitating.  There is a difference.  Who knew?  All I knew was that what went down came back up.  But I wasn’t eating and mom was crying because I don’t weigh that much to begin with and she was scared I was going to go downhill quickly and something would happen to me while she was on vacation and she wouldn’t be here to be with me.  The vet gave us some meds … I take way more than mom and pop do.  And it was kind of nice to get out and go for a car ride and meet some other dogs and their people.
We canines take more medications than our humans.
Sunday morning, Super Bowl Sunday, mom prepared my food.  Yuck.  I’m not eating that crap.  And I didn’t.  Mom tried to hand feed me some of it, but I don’t like it with the enzyme on it.  I know I’m a Beagle and should eat anything, but it looks, tastes and smells NASTY!!!  I ate a few without the enzyme when she gave me a piece or two at a time, but that was it.  And then she shoved a pill down my throat because I wouldn’t eat that either.  The indignity of it all!!!  Just put it in people food and I’ll eat it.  I promise!! 
This is a face you can trust.  Yep, I'll take my meds if you put them in chicken.
Mom was upset.  I don’t like to do that to her, but I just can’t eat that stuff.  It's really quite nasty.  She gave me a Yummy Chummy, and of course I ate that.  Then she thought maybe I’d eat rice and chicken.  She boiled some chicken and made rice.  And put the powder on it.  Now I was back to where I was supposed to be … being fed like a king.  I ate it.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Photos and earthquakes ... what a combination

On Saturday, Jan. 23, mom was taking us in for photos at David Jensen Pet-o-graphy.  She worries that some of us might be crossing the Rainbow Bridge, whatever that is, too soon and so it was a chance to get a newer photo that also has the pissant, Oliver, in it. 

And that, my friends, is the Pissant.

I don’t know why she cares.  He’s a dog that takes the paint off the wall when he screeches, he barks a lot, he hacks like a 4-pack-a-day smoker, coughs up stuff and blows snot out of his nose.  They think he’s got allergies, but no medications have helped.  It seems better when he’s outside or on walks.  Matters not to me.

Anyway, we went for our photos and David gives us jerky.  That’s some great stuff.  It smells good and tastes even better.  Of course, Ollie dogapulted off the couch and made a beeline for the jerky bag and got some out of it before they knew what he was doing.  He’s a sneaky one. 

We had fun, and we ran David through his paces.  He’s got lots of dogs at his place, big dogs.  We would have liked a chance to play sniff-the-butt, but that didn’t happen.  We didn’t get to know anyone at all.

Home we went.  To lots of food for me.  I hope this keeps up for a very long time.

Saturday night/Sunday morning (January 24), strange things happened … the earth started to shake.  It was an earthquake.  Daisy Mae and Ollie usually bark at a big one.  I think they were really scared this time because they didn’t make a sound.  I’m surprised Jade didn’t sleep through it because there’s not much that bothers her except getting fed late.

I wasn’t scared.  I was sleeping in my usual place, right next to mom’s heart.  When things started falling off the wall and the top of the fireplace, she just put her arms around me and scooped me up like I was a lightweight (oh yeah … I am), and ran through the bedroom door to stay in the hallway.  Of course, I was between her and the door, but I know she loves me and that’s why she grabbed me … ME!!!

This is a bookcase upstairs in the guest room.  Glad I wasn't sleeping near that.  But I wouldn't be, because mom doesn't let us upstairs anymore.  Some (I know it's the pissant), do things they're not supposed to, and Jade is snoopy and gets into everything and makes a big mess by knocking down things and scattering them all over.
The others were running around back and forth into the living room, dining room, kitchen, but there was no danger of anyone getting outside.  And the things that were crashing down were in the bedroom and upstairs.  Very strange, it was.  My mom is very afraid of earthquakes, and I expect I was as comforting to her as she was to me, cuz she just continued to hold on to me.  Finally it was over and she and I slept on the couch with the light on.  Just in case.

The Sunday brunch continued with big amounts of food.  I’m still doing a lot of chores outside, but there seems to be a slowdown … but there is one thing that seems to be much worse now … the smell that comes out of my butt … it even smells bad to me … and I’m a dog!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Cushings and pancreatitis

Jade's doing really well on her cancer treatment.  She said she wanted to write a blog, too, but she can't figure out how to use the pen.  I'm not telling her I use a computer.  That's way easier as I use my toenails to hit the keys. 

Mom has been doing a lot of research about Cushings disease as I’ve been diagnosed with it.  There is one more test coming up soon, an ultrasound to look for tumors on my adrenal gland.  Good grief.  I’m getting tired of taking tests where I can’t eat.  You have to know that eating is what Beagles do best, and I’m a master at it.  Plus, skipping a meal is critical for me as I’ve been dropping weight like a rock, and really can’t afford to lose more.

We went in for my ultrasound on Friday, Jan. 22, and discovered in just that short time of about a week, I’d lost nearly another pound.  My mom was really getting scared because I’m nothing more than skin over bones, my neck is skinny and stringy looking and my butt bones are quite prominent and sharp to where it seems they’ll poke through my skin.

I’m a happy dog, though, and always glad to see other dogs, cats and people.  It was quite the day.  I couldn’t have food after 9 p.m. the previous night even though my test wasn’t scheduled until 1 p.m.  A Beagle could starve to death.  Mom had an appointment for her knee for a new treatment she’s trying and Jade had to go in for bloodwork to see how she’s doing on her cancer meds.  It was a day that was all about doctor and vet appointments.  Yep, we’ve been keeping mom busy.

Finally, mom came to get me at about 5 p.m.  She was told my vet, Chris, wouldn’t be in the clinic to talk to her until the following Tuesday, four days away.  She was concerned because we’re getting closer to her departure date, especially since I keep losing weight.  I’m only 27.8 pounds, now down more than 7 pounds.  She was asked if she’d like to talk with Riley, who also had the information.  Yep, she would.

Riley came out and showed mom my ultrasound pictures.  I’m sure they were quite beautiful because I am a very good-looking boy.  As it turned out, Riley said there were spots or something on my pancreas, and he was thinking I might have pancreatitis.  If so, they can do a blood test to confirm it.  But the clinic staff had already given me treats, so we couldn’t do it that day and I’d have to go without food yet another evening after 9 and then come in for them to draw blood the following Monday.
I do enjoy my comforts.  I lay on the couch all the time, usually right up next to mom cuz I love her.
If it’s pancreatitis there’s a powder that acts like an enzyme could be put on my food and then it would help me digest it instead of it just going in one end and out the other without me getting any nutrients to fuel my body and keep weight on me. 

Although, I have to say, with mom trying to put weight on me I’ve been getting three and four times the usual amount of food, and special food, too, like boiled hamburger and rice.  I’ve been enjoying eating and eating and eating.  It’s what Beagles do, and since I’m so good at it, I’ve eaten it all.  The only problem is that it’s given mom and pop a lot more to clean up out in our yard.  That doesn’t make them happy.  Barooooooooohhhh. 

In the meantime, until we do the test and get those results, Riley said mom could give me the powder to see if it helps.  As he’d not seen a case of this in four years they didn’t have any of the enzyme powder, so the techs would be calling around on Saturday to see if they could find some for her.  I know mom is really hoping this works because she doesn’t want to lose me.  Of course not.  I’m her handsome boy.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Being sick ... a Beagle's story

My mom learned Friday, Jan. 15, that I have Cushings disease.  She doesn’t yet know if it’s the adrenal gland tumor or brain type.  She’s very upset and crying all the time.  I’m lying next to her as much as I can, but I don’t know that it helps.  She feels hopeless because she had taken me to the vet because I’d been losing weight (five pounds as it turned out), drinking a lot of water and pooping way more than usual.  She thought it was diabetes, and she knows that can be treated.

I'm the goofy one and have my mom's heart.
The vet first did a blood test and found I had a bladder infection that they gave me pills for.  I don’t mind pills cuz I usually get an extra treat for it.  By the time I went back to the vet in three weeks I’d lost another pound.  I’m pretty thin anyway because mom doesn’t let me get overweight since when she got me I’d had an untreated broken leg that she was told in time would atrophy so I’d not be able to use it.  So I cannot afford to lose weight.

I went back to the vet Thursday, Jan. 14, for a day-long blood test.  That’s the one that said I had Cushings.  Mom has been trying to read about it, and much of what she’s read isn’t good news.  Others have been able to keep their fur babies for quite a while with certain treatments, so I know that’s what she’s hoping for.  But she still keeps crying because she doesn’t know enough yet.
Pop and Jade, September 2015.
Maybe me being sick wouldn’t be so bad if it were just me, but pop’s girl, Jade, had a splenectomy in early-December.  She weighed 23.5 pounds, and they removed a 1.4-pound tumor.  The vet said that usually as ugly and big as it was, that type is normally benign.  It wasn’t.  Jade will probably have 3-12 months.  Mom could do chemo for three months, but she and pop chose not to based on quality of life.  So Jade gets an anti-inflammatory, cancer-inhibiting pill once a day. 

Jade might be sick, but you’d never know it.  She’s like the old Jade … demanding, playing, lively, barking too much, being bossy.  Mom’s been giving her special treatment, too.

Jade looks slim and trim after losing the tumor.  I'm looking at her in a whole different way.
I know it’s hard for mom because Daisy Mae has been sick, too, throwing up.  She figures it’s cuz Daisy got in the bird seed and she’s allergic to nuts.  It’s been a long, hard road this fall and winter.  And I can only cuddle up to her and give her love, as she gives me cuz we're her kids.  I sleep right up next to her heart, and she knows I have a huge piece of it.

I’ll try to do some updates.  Mom has some good friends who are telling her things because they’ve had fur babies with cancer and Cushings so hopefully those things will help Jade and me, too. The upside is that I'm getting lots and lots of extra food.  But all this couldn’t have come at a worse time since mom’s going on vacation in less than a month and will be gone for two months.   But maybe I’ll live a long time and she won’t be so sad.

Monday, May 4, 2015

We talk, he walks

The other day mom took the not-a-real Beagle with the fancy name Colonel Oliver North, AKA Ollie, or The Pissant, as I call him, to the vet to get his teeth cleaned.  His teeth had turned a bit discolored, unlike my pearly whites, so he was a dog-in-need of a cleaning.  She loaded him in the car and off he went with mom. 

While the Pissant was at the vet the rest of the household was quite calm.  When he is around things are always more frantic.  He’s got some type of terrier in him, Jack Russell, I hear, and so he’s always nervous, always moving around, never calm and relaxed.  The house was way quieter cuz he does a lot of squealing and squeaking in a high-pitched voice that would take paint off the walls.  We all had some quiet time with pop and it was very enjoyable.
Ollie with his ears blowing in the wind.
Mom was home waiting for the call to pick up the Pissant in the afternoon.  She didn’t hear from the vet so she called them because when she went to pick him up she was going to take Daisy and Jade in for some routine shots.  Mine are all up-to-date by-the-way.  The vet clinic told mom that Ollie had just come out of surgery and it would be an hour-and-a-half until she could pick him up.  So everyone settled in for that last bit of quiet time before he came home.

About 15 minutes later mom got a call from the vet office.  She could come pick Ollie up now.  What?  Off she went with the girls to go get him. 

At the vet’s the shots were completed and Ollie was rounded up and harnessed for the ride home.  Turns out he’d come out of his comatose state (his under-anesthesia time) way sooner than they’d expected.  He squealed and squeaked and in their words was “quite annoying.”  Ha!!!  I could have told them that.  The girls said mom told the vet he was a very annoying dog at the best of times.  Yep, he sure is.

Anyway, mom brought everyone back home.  Too bad as I’d been enjoying some quality time with pop.  Oh well.  That’s the pack way … all of us here at one time.

We had our supper and then, wouldn’t you know it … something else different happened.  Mom took a walk, but this time she took the little Pissant with her.  She never takes any of us … we’re too much to handle, you see.  So, the moral of this story is, he acts like a Pissant and gets to walk with mom and gets extra treats.  How do I know that?  Cuz he bragged about marking territory everywhere, and I could smell Milkbone on his breath!!!  Plus I saw mom had photo proof.  Pissant!!!!

The pissing Pissant!!!