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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-04-2006, 08:46 PM   #61
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

I dont know if this helps, but we lost a pup to cancer a few years back. When his appetite dropped off, we could get him to eat white rice or mashed potatoes made with chicken stock, with a little ground chicken thrown in, and gave him some liquid doggie vitamins. That helped make him more comfortable towards the end.

Rides are always good. No matter how sick our pups get, a trip in the car always gets their spirits up.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-12-2006, 04:48 PM   #62
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Warning: Self-indulgent, emotional post follows

**************************************
All,
We put Katie to sleep on Saturday.
She had been unable to eat for the previous three weeks, though she occasionally showed interest in a spoonful of this or that treat (thanks for the idea CFB--we tried the chicken, chicken stock, and rice idea along the way. The vet even "prescribed" Lee's extra crispy chicken--take off the skin and tear it into small buts. She did eat approx 2 tbs.) As I mentioned, I was out of town for the last 6 days, but DW took Katie to the vet every day for fluids and vitamins. The fluids perked her up considerably at first, but the effect diminished each day. I didn't expect that she'd make it until I returned home, but when I got home Friday night she gave me a small bark and a weak wag of the tail. She was skin and bones except for her belly, which was warm and distended with the spreading cancer in her gut. She was uncomfortable and having some trouble breathing and resting, but not in pain (at least as far as I could tell.) I'm sure she was right around the corner from a crisis or organ failure of some kind. It was time.
DW, DD and I took her to the vet Saturday morning. The staff had gotten to know her very well, and there were tears from everyone.

Nine years of companionship. We got her as a stray from the pound, and she was wonderful. We'll get another pup, but it probably won't be right away.

A Katie story: Ever since we moved to the midwest and she saw her first groundhog, Katie has been fascinated by them. She'd bark like crazy whenever she saw one (while driving, looking out the window of the house, etc.). Big, juicy, not too fast, can't climb trees--they were a carnivore's dream. Still, they always eluded her. We'd let her streak after them firm in the knowledge that they'd get to their burrows before she caught them, they always do. They'd torment her, parade in front of the window, then be gone whenever she tried to catch them. This year we've been short of groundhogs, but three days ago Katie saw her first one of the season. The prior evening she had been near death--labored breathing, barely able to keep awake, so my DW was eager to take Katie out to see the groundhog and cheer her up. Katie was weak, going down the stairs cautiously, like an elderly person getting off a bus, rather than flying over the 3 steps without a care as she used to do. But when she caught sight of the groundhog she was a dog transformed--bounding after the beast with wild abandon. This groundhog wasn't too bright, it tried to double back on its path, which was just the break Katie needed: she was on it, grabbing it right behind the head like she'd been doing this for years.

DW never imagined Katie would actually catch a groundhog given her debilitated state and her track record to date. She was screaming at Katie (you may have heard her yelling "KATIE-NO!!" if you live anywhere east of the Mississippi and north of Memphis), urging her to disobey thousands of years of behavioral wiring. Katie let the beast go--then picked it up again when he tried to scamper off. Finally, she let it go for good and the groundhog sped away, apparently none the worse for wear but very much wiser about dogs. Now, this dog has never hurt an animal--she caught a rabbit once and had it in her mouth, putting it down in response to our shouts. When my daughter brought the classroom bunny home for the weekend, Katie was very curious, she surprised us by gently trapping the poor thing under her paw so she could inspect it more closely. She's uncovered several rabbit nests with little bunnies in them--she needs to sniff them and then she leaves them alone. We've let her sniff our hamsters, and occasionally she even licked them. Though I never trusted her 100%, she never hurt any of these animals. It's always been enough for her to sniff them. Anyway, days before she passed away Katie finally caught her groundhog. I'm sure it was high on her list of things she wanted to accomplish before she left us.

It will be lonely around the house.

Back to the original topic of this post as started by Grumpy (sorry for hijacking your thread ): We probably spent $3000 on Katie over the course of her life, and I know there's nothing we could have bought with that money that would have brought us more enjoyment.

Picture attached. Katie was a mutt hybrid, about 24" at the shoulder. I've got no idea what breeds might have been in there--she had the coloring and even some of the coat qualities of a Rhodesian Ridgeback, but was a lot smaller. Guesses of her lineage are welcome.

Thanks again for all the concern and for bearing with this soppy post.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-12-2006, 04:58 PM   #63
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Sorry about Katie, Sam. Those of us who have been there know it hurts like heck to lose a family pet.

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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-12-2006, 05:07 PM   #64
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

samclem,

So sorry to hear about your loss. That was a touching story about the groundhog. As far as our cat, the original topic of this thread, he is doing well. He had the radioactive iodine treatment last Monday and we brought him home from the vet's on Thursday. The first two days home he was very agitated and hyper. Now he has settled down nicely and is much more mellow (without any medication!). My daughter is staying with us for a few weeks and my son came up from N.C. to visit for the weekend. Even though the house was more active than usual the cat was fine. For 10 more days we have to continue precautions like washing hands after handling him, keeping him out of the bedrooms and wearing laytex gloves when cleaning the litter box and flushing the special litter provided by the vet. Overall its looking very hopeful. The test will come at the end of the month when we are going to Las Vegas for a week and our neighbor will come in to feed him.

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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-12-2006, 05:19 PM   #65
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Sam,
I am very sorry for your loss. It does leave a large hole in your heart when your faithful friend passes on. You wrote a fitting tribute to Katie. Take care.

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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-12-2006, 05:22 PM   #66
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy
For 10 more days we have to continue precautions like washing hands after handling him, keeping him out of the bedrooms and wearing laytex gloves when cleaning the litter box and flushing the special litter provided by the vet.
So apparently radioactive isotopes are bad in the trash but OK in the sewer?

It's refreshing to learn that dilution is still the solution to our radiation pollution...
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-12-2006, 05:51 PM   #67
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Nords,

Yeah, that question occurred to me too. I don't know what the half-life of Iodine-131 is. I guess the dilution that occurs when flushing the litter is adequate to mitigate any hazzard whereas leaving the radioactivity concentrated in a trash dump could pose a danger. I assume that the NRC and EPA set the regulations for this stuff and I am just following the written instructions I received.

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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-12-2006, 06:44 PM   #68
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

So sorry about your Katie, Sam.

At least she had a last hurrah with the groundhog. Her memories as part of your family will always be with you. I suspect a few pictures too. Very good looking dog.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-12-2006, 06:50 PM   #69
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

((( Sam and Family ))) I truely feel for your loss.

Carolyn
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-12-2006, 07:35 PM   #70
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

I'm so sorry Sam.

I'm sure Katies got an endless supply of groundhogs to chase in puppy heaven.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-12-2006, 07:40 PM   #71
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Sam, that was such a sweet story. I'm sure that finally getting to catch her groundhog was Katie's fondest dream. My heart goes out to your and your family. My 13 y.o. "pup" is headed that way soon too.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-12-2006, 08:34 PM   #72
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

So sorry about your dog Sam. Katie looks like a dog reverting to "type." Inotherwords, what a dog would look like if it was a combination of all other dogs. Love the jaunty look to the ears.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-12-2006, 10:57 PM   #73
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Glad to read at the end that you treated the cat and its doing well. I am sure we have spent that much money or more friviously ! This sounds like a worthy cause.

Ps I looked up the half life its 8 days.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-15-2006, 05:52 PM   #74
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
My heart goes out to your and your family.* * My 13 y.o. "pup" is headed that way soon too.* *
When I wrote that a few days ago, I knew the end was not too far away for Rufus, but didn't expect it to be quite so soon.* He had started to loose use of his back legs due to spine injury but steroids were keeping it under control.* Monday he started failing and by yesterday, it was obvious he was in too much pain and couldn't walk or even stand up anymore.*

Here he is in better days:

http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...99890#msg99890

Especially for those of us "childfree" folk, loosing a dog and making that decision to let them go, is the hardest thing I hope I ever have to do.


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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-15-2006, 06:21 PM   #75
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Sheryl,

I am very sorry to hear about Rufus. My heart goes out to you. My husband's 14 yo lab had the same issue with the spinal injury. "Jeff" went on one last hunt and he was such a good boy. We took him to the vet the next day where he was put down. Heartbreaking.

Once again, very sorry for your loss.

Regards,
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-15-2006, 06:26 PM   #76
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

I'm so sorry about your Rufus, Sheryl.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-15-2006, 07:06 PM   #77
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Sheryl,

This is sad news. Rufus looks like an eager-to-please pup. I'm sure the memories of the good times he brought are bittersweet now, but will ultimately be the thing you remember most about him when the sadness abates.

Best wishes.

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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-15-2006, 09:02 PM   #78
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

I have a 13 1/2 year old Bouvier who apparently now has epilepsy. It is difficult for me, because I have to give him phenobarb twice a day, which pretty much means I spend nights here. The vet did say that after he gets up to levels missing an occasional morning won't hurt him,

Right now he is staggering all over the place, and whining and barking because he feels so bad. If this were as good as it might get, I would put him down, for him and for me. But he may well recover to be close to his former self, so I am going to hang in there with him until that issue is decided.

I just gave him a bath, to clean the pee off his long hair left from the seizure. Not easy lifting a 90# dog who can't quite stand into and out of a bathtub; but it is so buggy today I was afraid that if I washed him outside the mosquitoes would eat both of us.

I can tell you this for sure- it is no fun being alone with a large dog having grand mal seizures, then afterward staggering and crashing through your house disoriented and frightened. Poor guy kept staggering through my drum kit, until I finally got it dismantled and out of the way. Getting a big dog into a car to visit the vet when he has no body control is a trick too.

Other than this seizure thing, he seems to be in very good health. The vet says he is in double overtime, so I guess I have done ok by him.

My sincere best wishes go to all who are dealing with either a sick pet of one who has recently died.

Ha

Here Bingo is a few months ago playing fetch-




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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-16-2006, 04:54 AM   #79
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Ha,

Hang in there, the pheno will make him drunk for a while but it will get better in about a month. It took a month for my lab to get back to normal but since he's been on the meds it's been almost 2 years since a siezure.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 06-16-2006, 08:38 AM   #80
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Hope things settle down with Bingo, Mikey/Ha. It must be awful to watch him go through seizures.

So sad when our pets age, my cat Comet is 11 and doing well. But I'm preparing myself...



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