Miles to Go Before I Sleep

Recently my good friend, sous chef (she hates it when I call her that), and the princess of pastries –  Valerie – her dog Sydney went from seemingly happy, healthy, full of life and love to lethargic with loss of appetite. 
An ultrasound Tuesday revealed a 17 cm mass in her spleen with possible liver involvement.  Valerie had to make the heartwrenching decision most of us have had to make but in a fraction of a moment.  Once hemangiosarcoma is suspected, time is of the absolute essence.  
For Sydney, 13 years old though a spirited lass by all accounts, the clock was ticking.  Valerie opted to spare no effort to save her life.  
Her surgeon, Dr. Taylor, successfully performed the splenectomy and a liver lobectomy as well as removing an intestinal tumor that wasn’t evident through the ultrasound and I’m happy to report that Sydney has made it to Day 2 of postoperative care.  Though her status still guarded, hopefully Sydney can go home today and be with her mother.  
Three times I’ve gone through this personally with Malcolm, Murphy, and Hudson and I’ve been by the side of many friends with dogs with cancer.  That is one of my jobs. I awakened early this morning relieved by the promising news of Sydney’s condition but reminded of a poem by Robert Frost.
“Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   
My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   
He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.”
——–
YBD’s Notes 1: I want to thank Valerie for her courage in not only fighting to save her girl’s life against all odds but for allowing me to share Sydney’s story.  She just isn’t able to speak about it yet but she knows I must.  
YBD’s Notes 2:  Nearby is a pic of Sydney with my Puppy Up neck gaiter I gave her to keep her warm.  Isn’t she a beaut?  
YBD’s Notes 3: Perhaps the main reason we got Sydney into the vet before her spleen ruptured is by noticing her distended belly which will be added to our list of early warning signs of cancer.  
YBD’s Notes 4: BTW Sydney is NOT a boy (inside joke).

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

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Tattered and Mended: The Art of Healing the Wounded Soul by Cynthia Ruchti Book Review

Tattered and Mended: The Art of Healing the Wounded Soul by Cynthia Ruchti My rating: 5 of 5 stars I have long been fascinated by the Japenese process of repairing pottery with gold. This process is called kintsugi which means “golden joinery” or “to patch with gold” and reading, “Tattered and Mended” I am reminded…



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Sunflower Faith

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RESCUE KITTEN SAVES PUPPY

lovemeow2-lgSometimes when we’re most in need, love can work miracles. That’s what happened when Zekey, an extremely ill puppy, was nursed back to health by her best friend – a kitten named Sapphire.

According to Love Meow, Stephanie Tiu found Sapphire, a small, ginger-colored kitten in a garbage can.

Dirty and just a few weeks old, the little kitten captured Tiu’s heart. She decided to keep him. “He was all muddy, but I fell in love with him,” Tiu told Love Meow.

A week later, Tiu adopted a month-old puppy she named Zekey. The two babies bonded immediately and became best friends.

Click here to read the complete story.

Halo

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Grief is a hot potato

Ever since I started this blog, and even moreso since writing All Dogs Go to Kevin, people write to tell me about their pets who are no longer with them.

They used to apologize for writing, or say they weren’t even sure why they were telling me about their pet, but most people don’t do that anymore. I think they know that they don’t need to explain.

As followers of the blog know, I love birthdays. Birthdays are fun, and I love love love that my birthday coincides with National Dog Day. I always celebrate. This year, though, I could barely be bothered. It was so bad that I got a card in the mail last week from a relative and it took me a full minute to figure out why, exactly, she was sending me one. It was more than not feeling like celebrating, it was as if my brain consciously turned it off.

Part of me wondered if it was because I was finally getting sick of getting older, if my rotten back and increasing-in-number doctor’s appointments were finally clueing me in that birthdays stink. I went about my routine for the day, ran some errands, and came home to scrounge up something to eat for lunch.

And then I understood.

I have never in my life spent my birthday day by myself. Mom never would have let that happen. With the kids in school and my husband at work, it would have been inconceivable to her that I would eat lunch by myself, and we would go out. Always. Today, however, I was alone, and in that moment all the little sadnesses that piled up just felt like more than I was ready to hold.

So when people asked me how my birthday was, I said, “meh,” because it was true, and then I said, “I really miss my mom.” It probably was not the answer they were expecting or really knew what to do with, but it was honest and I had to say it.

2008/03/12 Hot Potato by Jason Taellious under Creative Commons license

2008/03/12 Hot Potato by Jason Taellious under Creative Commons license

Because grief is like a hot potato burning in your hands. If you don’t toss it up in the air to give your hands a break every once in a while, they get burned, and then you drop it and then have to pick it up with blistered fingers. The need to let go of what you are holding onto, for just a second, is all that lets you continue to carry it around.

So when people write, I get it, I really do. Because while many people look at someone walking down the street tossing a hot potato in the air like they’re nuts, wondering why they can’t just put it down, I just nod. It is too terrible and precious to throw away; all you can do is wait for it to cool down. It will.

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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TRACIE HOTCHNER: LOOKING FOR A LOW-CAL TREAT YOUR DOG WILL LOVE? TRY FROZEN BROCCOLI!

newtraciepic2If someone told me that dogs of all ages in my house would go nuts for chunks of frozen broccoli as a treat, I would never have believed them! But I’ve made the wonderful discovery that I have three dogs crowding around me eagerly when I slide open the freezer compartment and reach in for frozen broccoli “cuts” or “florets.”

Handfuls of frozen broccoli have become my 80 lb. blue Weimaraner Maisie’s evening snack – they are nutritious, high fiber, vitamin-filled, inexpensive and incredibly satisfying to her. What has amazed me is that Wanda, my six-month-old Weimaraner, and Jazzy, my 12-year-old Collie-mix, each wait eagerly alongside Maisie for their own big scoop of the frozen broccoli. You’d think it was filet mignon!

It all started when my beautiful rescued Weimaraner Maisie was turning two a few months ago: she is a really big tall dog and her weight was creeping up on the vet’s scale. I had been taking her for weekly weigh-ins because I knew that a dog’s weight at two years old is usually considered her optimal or natural weight.

I knew this from Dr. Donna Spector – Halo’s Veterinary Advisor and my co-host on the Radio Pet Lady Network show “The Expert Vet” – because we’ve been running the Halo Healthy Weight Challenge on our show, where Dr. Donna is looking to help people return their dogs to their weight at two years old. Maisie was naturally an always-hungry, high-energy dog, but even with constant exercise she was packing on the pounds, along with some impressive musculature as she approached her second birthday.

DFF-logo-ProudSponsor175x166When Dr. Donna guides our Halo Healthy Weight Challenge participants in keeping an eye on the calorie content of treats they are feeding she always recommends steamed or raw string beans as a low-cal filling snack – along with her determination of how much to feed of Halo’s Healthy Weight dry food and Spot’s Stew in a can (which they receive three months of for free).

But none of my dogs will touch a string bean – unless it’s fully boiled along with other vegetables and chicken to accompany their daily Halo kibble. One day I was getting out a bag of frozen broccoli cuts for their cooked vegetable stew and dropped it on the floor. To my amazement, all three dogs made a dash for it and could not have been happier gobbling down the frosty chunks!

Afterward, I expected some pretty nasty “air pollution” from taking in all that cruciferous vegetable matter, which is known to cause intestinal gas in people and dogs. However, there were no unwanted side effects! Dr. Donna told me their odorless digestion was fortunate and unusual, since broccoli can cause some intestinal “blow back” in many dogs, which is why she recommends using steamed string beans or zucchini as treats during the Halo Healthy Weight Challenge.

I will say that where training treats are concerned- to reward a sit at the door, or a fast recall when the dogs are out loose, I would never think of offering a frozen hunk of broccoli! Instead, I make sure they get a “just reward” for their obedience so I keep Halo Liv-a-Little freeze-dried meats in my goody bag, which are also low-cal being pure protein. I’m thrilled they enjoy the frozen broccoli so much (they will not touch it raw or lightly cooked) but I also know that to get good training results you need to have a treat that is up to the job, and that would be Liv-a-Littles.
RPLN-NewLogo-ProudSponsor175x197
Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know.

She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.

Halo

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EOTW: Back to School for Brody One Ear!

Today we bring to you our second Ear of the Week:

earbrodeschool

Yes, the kids are back to school this week, but why should they have all the fun? Just because a dog only has one ear doesn’t mean he can’t be fully functional.

Really, in many ways this ear surpasses the original one. His old ear didn’t have a pen holder, after all.

schoolear2

He’s already learned that the hat and the camera mean fun time and treats, so rest assured no one is more on board with this ear project that Brody himself.

Now if only I could teach him to make coffee…

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Celebrating Love in Northern California

Earlier this month I shared some snapshots from our trip to Door County, Wisconsin, and I mentioned that rather than making my usual conscious effort to take perfectly curated photos of the journey, I only snapped a couple of images with my DSLR and mainly just captured shots with my phone along the way. Well for our week in northern California, the same was true, but even moreso. We flew out for the wedding of one of my best friends, and from the moment we stepped off of the plane until we boarded our return flight to home, there was nonstop activity. I didn’t even bother to bring my real camera this time, and I was so (happily) busy that I barely even had time to pull out my phone – nor did I want to. This trip was one of my favorite experiences I’ve had in years, and I took absolute pleasure in savoring the luxury of being in the moment with my closest friends in what is probably my very favorite part of the country. Maybe when the professional pictures of the wedding are available, I’ll share some of those. But for now, I’m just posting some of the phone images that were taken along the way, mainly by myself, along with a couple taken by friends – which although less aesthetically beautiful than what I’d normally hope to post, accurately (and more personally, I think) tell the story of our trip.

From setting up the bridal shower at a Sebastopol farmhouse on Thursday, to helping decorate and arrange flowers for the beautiful rehearsal dinner on Friday, to being part of the most stunning ceremony on the edge of a cliff where the Russian River meets the ocean on Saturday, to celebrating love in gorgeous outdoor reception in Guerneville on Saturday evening, to gathering with friends for clean-up and farewells on Sunday, and so many more blissful moments along the way, the entire trip was full of action and laughter and beauty and overall awesomeness. I cried when we had to say goodbye on Monday. And Essley slept almost the entire flight back. Both of these things, I would say, are signs of a truly wonderful vacation. I hope we can go back to magical Sonoma county sooner than later.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Titoo

This adorable Jack Russell puppy is called Titoo. He lives in Gorbio village.
RIVIERA DOGS

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Countryside Veterinary offers wide range of services

Countryside Veterinary offers wide range of services
They are also skilled with cancer care and pain management. The state of the art facility has the capability of digital X-rays, which are useful in examining a pet's bones, lungs, heart, abdomen, oral cavity and other areas. It can spot a fractured
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Top Takeaways from ASCO: Neck dissection in head and neck cancer
PET-NECK: Guided active surveillance vs. planned neck dissection after chemoradiation. Guided active … “In patients with an early oral cavity cancer, an elective dissection is a reasonable standard-of-care approach,” Adelstein said. “There's now very
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Biz Bites: Dandy raises K for breast-care fund
The donation was raised in October from the annual “Dandy Pink Cups for the Cure” campaign and will be given to The Guthrie Clinic Breast Care Fund, according to a joint news release. The fund is used to help patients with the cost of medication
Read more on Elmira Star-Gazette

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Enter #NutrishPetMoments Contest: $1500 + 1-Year Supply of Nutrish!

It’s hard to believe–really, really hard to believe–but this Friday will mark Tiki’s SEVENTH “gotcha” day when we adopted her at our local shelter. She’s not…



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DogTipper

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