Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thank you, Boo Boo & Bond

Our dear friends Boo Boo & Bond sent us a wonderful email with a tribute to Dakota and we wanted to share it here.

Thanks for thinking of us, we miss Dakota terribly. - The Brat Pack & Maryann


When dogs go to Heaven,
They don’t need wings
Because God knows that
Dogs love running best.

When a dog first arrives in Heaven,
He just runs.
Dog Heaven has clear, wide lakes
filled with geese who honk and flap
and tease. The dogs love this.

They run beside the water and bark
And bark and God watches them
From behind a tree and smiles.

There are children,
Of course.
Angel children.

God knows that dogs love children more than
Anything else in the world, so He fills Dog
Heaven with plenty of them. There are children
On bikes and children on sleds. There are
Children throwing red rubber balls and children
Pulling kites through the clouds. The dogs
Are there, and the children love them dearly.

And, oh,
the dog biscuits
As far as the eye can see.

God has a sense of humour, so He makes His
Biscuits in funny shapes for His dogs. There
Are kitty-cat biscuits and squirrel biscuits.
Ice-cream biscuits and ham-sandwich biscuits.

Every angel who passes by
Has a biscuit for a dog.
And, of course, all God’s dogs
Sit when the angels say “sit.”

Every dog becomes a good
Dog in Dog Heaven.

God turns
Clouds inside out to make fluffy beds for the dogs
In Dog Heaven, and when they
Are tired from running and
Barking and eating ham-sandwich biscuits,
The dogs each find a cloud bed for sleeping.
They turn around and around in the cloud…
…until it feels just right, and then they curl up
and they sleep.

God watches over each one of them
And there are no bad dreams.

Dogs in Dog Heaven
Have almost always belonged to somebody
on Earth and, of course,
the dogs remember this.
Heaven is full of memories.

So sometimes an angel will walk a dog
Back to Earth for a little visit and quietly,
Invisibly, the dog will sniff about his old
backyard, will investigate the cat next
door, will follow the child to school, will
sit on the front porch and wait for the mail.

When he is satisfied
That all is well, the dog
Will return to Heaven with the angel.
It is where dogs belong,
Near God who made them.

The dogs in dog Heaven who
Had no real homes on Earth
Are given one in Heaven.

The homes have yards and porches and there are
Couches to lie on and tables to sit under
While angels eat their dinners.
There are special bowls
With the dogs’ names on them.
And each dog is petted and reminded
How good he is, all day long.

Dogs in dog Heaven may stay as long as
They like and this can mean forever.
They will be there when old friends show up.
They will be there at the door.
Angel dogs.

Author: Cynthia Rylant

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pain meds rock.

Seriously. They're like magic.
First they start making me a little loopy...do my pupils look big to you?!?
After a while my eyes start to roll back in my head and that earache is looooooong gone. So is the feeling in my toes but I don't think that's a bad thing...Lovin' life - Dot-Spot

My day at work.

Hi guys, Tucker here. Mom decided I needed to get out of the house and around people to make me perk up so she took me to work with her today! It was pretty fun, but I stuck close to her just in case she needed protection. I even went in the bathroom with her, not because I was scared to be alone but because she wanted me to.

When I got there really early Buddy was already there with Nana, here they are: (Nana might not like this picture much but Mom TOLD her to smile)

The Budster was pretty fun even though we mostly just hung out with Mom. Notice I was wearing my Pirates bandana to show everyone how tough I am.
After a while my cousins showed up - Kita and Ghost. Since Kita doesn't like me too much yet I don't have a pic this time. We kind of avoided each other but I think she's warming up to me. Ghost, on the other hand, has some serious attitude going on. All I wanted to do was sniff him and he puffed all up like crazy. He started growling too, like a demon. What's up with that?

I decided to just back up into Mom's office and leave the grump-butt be but Buddy ran right up to him and got the snot knocked out of his nose. Ghost loves Buddy but I guess he just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Cats are strange, mysterious creatures...I think I want to learn more. Other than that I just worked a lot and helped out, here's a pic of me working:

I really like the office but I do have one big problem. I don't know if you remember in my bio that I really don't like anything that looks like a stick and I REALLY hate wrapping paper rolls. Well, this is something called a cunstrukshun office and there are big rolls of wrapping paper everywhere. It's really freaky but I'm trying to work my way through it. Everyone was pretty nice to me, they kept asking if I missed Dakota and then gave me treats.

I'm tired, working is hard. - Tucker

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I love PB.

Before I started to not feel so good last night I gave some serious attention to those Kong things. Mom gave me one a few years ago and I didn't like it at all but now it rocks.

She says my tongue looks funny when I carry it. I hardly ever carry anything in my mouth, I prefer when my peeps move my things for me. The peanut butter makes it worth it, plus the other Brats were trying to steal it. The extra hair stuck to it adds flavor.

Stop taking pictures of my every move!!!!! I'll give you a pic for your stupid scrapbook!!


She needs a life. - Thrawn

She's taking over our blog.

It's Sam. I was supposed to be at Dr. Bill's this morning but Dot woke up with an ear infection. There's some green stuff oozing out and she can't hold her head straight. In other words, she got to go instead of me. I'm pretty stressed, I was still looking out the window an hour after Dot left. She NEVER leaves me, EVER.

Mom gave me something to post for her in case anyone knows anything that could help.

Thrawn continued to pace relentlessly last night and drank a TON of water, until his stomach was hard and round. We called Dr. Bill at about 11 because the more he walked the worse his legs got, he kept falling over and couldn't get up. Nothing I did would get him to lie down and relax. He had us give him two of his Valiums and eventually he passed out.

This morning when I went to let him out and do meds he couldn't get up. He went into a "frog" position with his back legs and started crying. The floors are hard/slick and he couldn't get the traction to push himself back up. We lifted him onto his feet and got him stable, then he was able to go out to the bathroom alone. After coming in he continued with the pacing, through the house, into each room, all around then back to the kitchen. His back legs were a bit better this morning, but he really has no strength in them and he's so clumsy, they'll cross when he's walking and he's knuckling his back paws on the ground. I don' t know what to do if he loses the ability to walk. I'm looking at the wheelchair situation, but then when he's not in it he'll be stuck wherever he is. He's alert and appears happy attitude wise which makes this even worse IMO. I'm sorry to "take over" as Sam put it, but other dog people seem to be my best resource for first hand information. Thanks again - M

OK, Sam again. I'll post what happens today when I hear something. In the meantime I'm hanging out with Doodle who looks like he might be having an anxiety attack. Maybe one day soon our house will return to normal? I'm really starting to wonder.

Hound Love - Samantha


Update - They just finished with Dot, had to put her under to get her ear canal cleaned out and she'll be on steroids & pain meds until it clears up. :(

Thrawn is going back to the Neurologist next week and see what options they have. In the meantime Dr. Bill thinks the kitchen area where he stays needs to be carpeted so he has an easier time getting up and down. Soooo I guess there will be some lovely temporary outdoor carpeting in the kitchen. Working out a plan to ramp the few steps in the house and the few problem areas in the backyard so if we get a wheelchair he can get around.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Hi Again.

Hi everyone

It's Samantha. I'm kinda blah about blogging, but Mom thinks it will be good therapy. We've just been hanging out at the house mostly. We really miss our brother. The humans cry a lot and we haven't really been interested in much. We've tried to stay really close to them to make them feel better though. Here I am surfing the internet on top of Mom on the couch.

Tucker really hasn't been himself since Dakota went to the Bridge. He's been spending a lot of time holding his baby, Mom bought him this new one for company. He doesn't even care it's a girly pink. I think he's going to lose weight because he hasn't been scarfing down all the food like usual either. He's already the skinniest dog here and that's just going to make me look rounder.
They gave us yummy frozen Kongs filled with peanut butter and Tucker seemed to really like that. Here's a few pics of us eating them:


Dr. Bill called today with the results of Thrawn's bloodwork. He does have that disease called Cooshings and Mom is pretty depressed about it. He has a gland that is supposed to be the size of a pea but it's like an inch big now and maybe he has to have surgery. He's really shaky on his back legs the last few days, I'm afraid he's going to fall on me sometimes. I heard them talking about asking Dr. Bill about wheels for him, whatever that means. I'll have Mom post an official report because I don't understand the doctor stuff sometimes. Thrawn and I are spending the day at Dr. Bill's tomorrow - he's having his Adequan injection and I have some yucky skin tag that has to come off.

It did make us happy today getting an email saying our blog won an award from Pet-Health.org. I had our Web-Mistress add the icon on our sidebar. :)

Anyway, that's all that is going on here. Just a lot of nothing and quiet. It's just not the same here without Dakota.

Love - Samantha

Maryann here - Thrawn does have Cushings and there's a possibility that he'll have surgery to remove his Adrenal Gland. His liver can't withstand the meds they would usually use to control it. If he feels he's strong enough to have surgery then they'll biopsy the tumor in his liver at the same time. His back legs are so weak from the effects of the Phenobarbital, I'm wondering if one of the dog wheelchairs would help. Has anyone out there used one with a big dog? I don't know what to do; I'm about at my emotional breaking point. The thought of something happening to him right now, I just can't bear it. He seems so alert/perky tonight, eating his Kong and bones but he is so clumsy and weak when he walks. He keeps pacing the house over and over like he's searching for something. Uuuugh. Any advice would be great. Thanks to everyone for the outpouring of help this week. -M

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Thank you...


I want to say thank you to everyone for the outpouring of kindness and concern about Dakota. I think the biggest thing was that it seemed so sudden. I knew he was sick, we had just started these new meds, the day before Dr. Bill had even said that his heart murmer was sounding better. We talked to him on Thursday about Doggie CPR and if that was an option if Dakota went into cardiac arrest. He explained that it might help him for thirty minutes or a bit longer, but it wouldn't save his life. In other words, it would be more for us than him.

Dakota always slept above the pillows on the bed and Thursday night was no different. He woke me up about 4:30 that morning by lying next to me and I fell back asleep rubbing him. When I heard him jump off the bed at 5:20 I woke up and checked the time to see if it was six yet, the time he and Thrawn got their morning meds each day. It was early so I called him up and that's when I realized he was lying on the ground and not getting back up. I jumped out of bed and turned on the light, but he was already starting to gasp for breath. He laid on his side and it seemed like he tried for a couple minutes, trying to raise his head and get his breath but finally laid his head down and passed peacefully. He appeared to not be in pain for which I'm very grateful. We had a couple hours until Dr. Bill was open so we spent the time with him, holding and petting him. I never thought I would want to do that but I'm very very thankful that we had the opportunity. I'll treasure the time to say goodbye.

As much as I did not want to witness him dying, it was truly a gift that we were able to be with him and I hope it comforted him. I am a coward, I am relieved that it was not a decision I had to make and I know that is horrible to say.

I just wasn't prepared at all even though I knew he was sick. I know this sounds morbid, but I guess in my head I always thought something would happen to Thrawn first with all of his health problems through the years. That would somehow be more expected, but definitely as painful. It was just one of those things that was supposed to happen "later", you know? With these new meds I really believed he would make it through the year, that we would have another Christmas with him. I realize now that it was selfish of me to wish for. When I'm honest with myself I know that he was having a hard time, even with the medications.

Dakota loved life, his favorite things were playing and swimming. He LOVED to swim. With his health the way it was he wouldn't have been able to swim this summer, there was no way. He couldn't really go for walks because of his heart rate and lack of breath. He didn't wrestle much with Tucker anymore, when he barked much he would start coughing and would have to stop. I know in my heart that this was probably the best thing for him but it's hard to mentally accept. I want to cry tears of happiness that he was in my life and that I hopefully provided him with a life that he loved, not tears of sadness that he's gone.

It feels so strange when it's pill time for him not to be sitting there waiting for his marshmallow...especially in the morning after potty break he'd always run right in and sit next to the medicine area. The little things - like taking four treats out instead of five; taking a bath and he's not guarding the door, getting in bed last night and automatically lying down with a foot empty above the pillow so he could lie there and putting my hand up to hold his paw like I did every night. It hurts.

Tucker was a small puppy when I adopted him and Dakota was already a year old. He has never been without him...even the days that Dakota would go to the vet without him caused Tucker anxiety. Once Dakota had passed we brought each of the pack into the bedroom to see him. I don't know what the "protocol" is for this situation, but I didn't want him to just disappear from their lives. I guess it maybe makes no sense. Tucker stayed in the room for close to an hour, lying by us next to Dakota. He would sometimes paw at him, push at his ear with his nose. I know he knew, I don't care what people say about dogs not understanding things. He seems so depressed now and very clingy. Dot and Sam seem "off" too. Thrawn is hard to read, but I think he knows. I'm very, very worried about Tucker. Dot and Sam are kind of a team, Thrawn is a loner and now Tucker is just alone.

Dakota can never, ever be replaced and I don't know what the future holds for a future pack member. I do deeply believe that when one has the ability and situation to help an animal in need then they should. A part of me feels horribly guilty for even thinking about it but another part of me looks at these angels lying here and knows just how important rescue is. I think I'll just know when it's the right time and the right situation. Sooner or later, I don't know.

The dog blog community has really amazed me the past couple days, the comments and emails have helped me tremendously. I'm behind in replying to mails and I apologize, but I will. Several dogs have put memorials to Dakota on their blogs and I can't tell you how nice that is to see. If there is ever anything I can do for any of you please don't hesitate to ask. You have become an extended family, I enjoy reading everyday. Give them an extra kiss, an extra hug from the Brats and I. Treasure every single moment they are in your life because it's truly a gift.

With deep gratitude,
Maryann


Friday, March 23, 2007

Dakota

It is with a broken heart I am posting to tell our friends that our dear baby boy Dakota had a heart attack and passed away at about 5:30 this morning. I'm thankful that he did not suffer, but the emptiness left behind is just devastating.

I will post more later - thank you to everyone that has been so supportive through his health issues and our new friends we have made through this blog.

Maryann

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Home alone. Again

Hi, it's Tucker-Doodle. Well, the three of us "normal" dogs have been left home again. Sure enough, Thrawn and Dakota were loaded up in the car again this morning for a fun day trip to see Dr. Bill. Sometimes I wish I were "special needs" so I'd get to go more places and get more attention. I'm just the middle child out of the pack...forgotten. Sniff.

I hope they are ok though. Thrawn was having a really hard time using his back legs this morning and kept falling down. He was also reeeeally mad that he couldn't have breakfast because he's having his Cushings Disease bloodwork today. That's one grumpy Husky without food. Dakota started getting really raspy breathing yesterday - he kind of sounds like Darth Vader with a cold. Mom freaked out of course and said he was also "retaining water" which I guess is not good with a broken heart. I don't know. I just want him fixed so he can play with me again. He's my brother but he's my best friend too. I don't know what I'll do if something happens to him. :(

Not much else is going on around here, the TV was left on some do-it-yourself channel - what are we supposed to do with that? It makes me tired just watching. I think I'll stay busy keeping an eye on the weather, it's really cloudy and I have a feeling deep down rain might be moving in. Oh, how I hate bad weather. Maybe I could figure out how to change to the Weather Channel so I can watch the radar. I think we're out of my magic storm pills too.

Hope all you doggies with real lives are having a good day, you're probably out traveling the world, having adventures while I'm stuck here watching how to faux paint a bathroom on tv.

Lonely - Tucker
PS I poked around the computer for a picture of me, it's from the archives but I'm still cute.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Trooper

The thoughts of fostering Samson has made us walk down memory lane so we thought we'd introduce you to Trooper. Trooper (Wally as he was known in the big house) lived with us for three months while he looked for his forever home. Mom was looking through Petfinder one day when she saw him at the Arlington Animal Control. She decided to go visit him because he had already been there quite a few days and his time was short. Here are the pictures of him that were shown on the shelter site:



Handsome and sad looking, huh?

So Mom went over on her lunch and brought him home. He was a LOT of fun to play with, but boy was he big and strong. We all became great friends and really wished he could have stayed with us, but Mom said six big dogs were way too much. :( He had some issues - like he HATED the vets office and totally freaked out plus he was a rough-houser so he needed a special kind of family who would work with him. Mom set him up a website and started looking for a home for him...it took over three months to find the perfect family but boy did he luck out. Hi new Dad had always had dogs like Trooper and was able to handle a big boy. He gets to go to the dog park a lot and they just love him to death.







































Anyway, we miss playing with him sometimes but his people are truly a godsend for him. Maybe when I get to feeling better and can run again I'll have Mom ask if we can see him. Here's my favorite picture of him, we taught him how great treats were and how to look pathetic with us.


We would like to foster another dog, but Mom says its hard to make sure it's someone who gets along well with all of our quirky personalities. Maybe one day...we have a lot of wisdom to share.

Love - Dakota

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Anyone in DFW looking for a new family member?

A couple went into the shelter looking for a Husky and adopted Samson!!

This sweetheart is at the City of Hurst Animal Services. I wish we could foster him. We thought we'd post in case anyone out there is interested. If there's anyone or a rescue in DFW (or where we could get him to you) that could foster we'll help with costs and helping him find a home. :( We had Mom send email to the rescues offering to sponsor him but everyone has said they're full.


"Samson is a wonderful Siberian Husky. He is completely housebroken, and a real laid back kind of guy."




The Brat Pack

Monday, March 19, 2007

This makes our hearts sad.

These poor, poor animals.


All us blogging dogs are so lucky. Kiss your people.
- The Brat Pack

Does anyone want a Hound Dog?

This is Sam. I'm writing you with a heavy heart today because I'm in trouble. Deep doo-doo if you will. She actually YELLED at me. ME!?! Can you believe it? *Sigh*

You see, I have this little *thing*. I guess you could call it an issue and with some extreme stretch of the imagination it might possibly be labeled a problem. I just love underwear. I can't help it and I don't care what kind. This morning Mom went to put on what she refers to as her "it's-going-to-be-a-long-bad-day and I want my comfy underwear" underwear and there could have possibly been several holes in the crotch. I like to refer to them as love holes, but she didn't seem to quite feel the same. I remember just last week when I gave these undies my love, they have palm trees on the butt and the word Mi-am-i on them...I can still hear Copacabana playing in my head. Aaaah. Ummm, well she wasn't so happy with my handiwork.

After this little discovery at 6 am, she was searching for the undies that were on the clean clothes pile when disaster struck. She found my booty stuck in the far corner of my bed. I had four pairs of cottony and silky goodness just waiting for my love and she TOOK them. Took them AND yelled, can you believe it? I'm thinking of running away to a better life somewhere as soon as I figure out where that is.

Hurt and misunderstood - Samantha the Sad Hound

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A piece of rubbery love.

Hi Dawgs

It's Dakota. I was inspired by Suki's review of goodies so thought I'd pass on the news about this thing Mom bought at Target. It was $4.99 - a small price to pay for a lot of pleasure if you ask me. Wooo-eeeeee. This thing feels GOOD.

Mom likes it because it gets ALL of our extra hair out. That means it is outside instead of all over the house. Uh, and her clothes...and the furniture. Well, you get the picture. We like it because it feels SOOOO delish. Here's some pics of us modeling it. Dot doesn't look too happy, but believe me she was diggin' it.

The Husky was a big butthead about it, he growled the whole time but I think secretly he liked it. Anyway, just wanted to let you guys know. Send your peeps out for it ASAP.
Ready for another massage - Dakota

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Flowers!

Even though Mom says we don't always smell so sweet, we're still her favorite flowers. :)





...and pretty much THE cutest bunny ever!


Spring is close! - The Brat Pack (minus Dot who was more like a prickly vine and wouldn't pose)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Vet Report

It's Thrawn. We had Mom write up the report from Dr. Bill so we could post it even though her eyes keep leaking. I'm pretty worried about what they said but I'm trying not to show it. So here it is...

Turning in for an early night - Thrawn

Dakota
Dakota had his Echocardiogram and his heart is enlarged even more than it was in December. The main concern is that the valve is going to completely give out. They ordered him new meds that have had really good results in "shrinking" the heart so that is good at least. He'll remain on the two meds he's on as well and hopefully the combo will work.

He also had the lump on his side tested and it was benign, just a fatty lump. Thank Dog.

Update - They feel that he needs a more aggressive plan of action so they have ordered other medications to start him on in the next week. I guess it is more extensive than I thought.


Thrawn
Where to start? He had his first Adequan injection today for his arthritis, his next is Friday then two times a week for the next three weeks. He'll stay on the pain meds until it kicks in.

His bloodwork was all over the place so they performed a sonogram on various organs. A couple years ago he was tested for Cushings Disease and was negative, when Dr. Bill talked to his consult at Texas A&M today about the blood results they really felt he needed to be tested again. So - part of the sonogram was for his Adrenal Gland which was apparently HUGE. He will have another test ran on Tuesday but it appears that he does have Cushings. After Tuesday he'll start on a new medication to help control it.

A surprising and distressing turn in events is that the sonogram found a major tumor in his liver. The Lymph Nodes are still clear with no signs of Cancer, but there's a chance that this tumor is really bad news. He's going to observe him closely and we'll retest in 90 days to see if there are any changes. If it is C and it's in his liver there's not much that can be done medically. I'm just sick, I can't even start to address it yet. :(

If anyone out there in dog-blog land has any experience with any of this I'd appreciate any input. I'll find out the new med names for both of them and post as well. Thanks - Maryann

The Brat Pack's Day

Hi! Dakota here.

Our day started at 6 am when Mom loaded Thrawn & I up and took us to her office with her. We hung out there until Dr. Bill's office opened at 8.

We visited with Lightning the Rabbit who wasn't scared of us at all...

Nana's dog Buddy comes to work everyday so we got to play around for a while with him.
Investigating all the offices together...
We went in to say hi to Pop but he was on the phone...
Then headed outside for a potty break and some water...

Here we are in the tuna can car smooshed in the back...


Watching the world go by...


The Husky wasn't even supposed to have a sonogram but he got one anyway so he was shaved!


I can not even believe that Mom took this shot of my shaved chest and what is Dot doing between my legs???

When Thrawn and I got home the others looked pretty sad so Mom loaded them up in the Mini and they headed for Sonic. They brought us stuff back too! (That second pic looks like a 3-headed dog!)




Good times! We're tired... - The Brat Pack

PS. We're having Mom type up the technical report of our vet visit and we'll post that. It's too much work for us! T&D