Archive for November 14, 2013

A Bad Day for Bear

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Today, Bear is having a bad day.  He’s been quiet, a little withdrawn and had 2 accidents in the house.  We can’t help but wonder if a seizure is on it’s way.  Years ago, a friend with epilepsy, said that she could usually tell when a seizure was on its way.  About an hour before she would seize, she’d experience a “feeling” in her head.  Is Bear experiencing a “feeling”?  Does he have a headache?  Is he reacting to something in the environment?  We are three days away from a full moon, does that ever play a role?  So many questions … We sure wish Bear could tell us so we could help him.

UPDATE:  Bear never did have a seizure on this day!

We Miss You, Cindy Bear

It’s taken us a long time to be able to write this blog about our beloved Cindy Bear.  She was only with us 3 1/2 weeks, but she touched our hearts in so many ways.  Cindy Bear was a racing dog who became a brood momma when she retired.  She was 12 1/2 years old when we found her and we were so happy to be able to bring her into our sanctuary.  She was is such good shape for her age and all of her blood tests and physical exams revealed nothing but normal results. WP_20130417_010 Cindy Bear did have some very bad teeth, and she was having trouble eating at times.  After careful consideration, we felt that she would benefit from a dental and that removing the worst teeth would give her some comfort in her remaining years.  Our vet was extremely careful during the procedure, using the lightest and safest anesthesia possible.  Cindy Bear came through with flying colors and spent the night sleeping peacefully.  Unfortunately, she started having seizures the next day.  Four veterinarians, countless vet techs and two vet hospitals couldn’t save her.  She was not responding to any of the anti-seizure medications and her temperature continued to spike.  Every time we thought her condition was improving, she would get hit with another seizure.  We tried to stay positive and hoped that with all the life-saving medical technology and caring medical staff, that she would somehow come around.  But, by 9:30 pm, it was apparent that she had suffered irreversible brain damage and was no longer able to recognize us or function in any capacity.  We made the very painful decision to euthanize her.  Words cannot describe the horrible feelings we experienced throughout the day.  Her passing rocked our very core.

Cindy Bear’s ashes are here, with us.  We ask her everyday to guide us and help us do our very best for the dogs in our care.  She was such a wonderful mother to her pups, and a sweet gentle soul with very few demands.  She was a model greyhound, a true ambassador to her breed.  She was a friend with the thickest, furriest coat we’ve ever seen in a greyhound.  We love and miss you, Cindy Bear.  We are so sorry that you were with us only 3 1/2 weeks.  You will be in our hearts for a lifetime.

Trying to Keep the Effects of Arthritis at Bay

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At almost 10 1/2 years old, Stone gets around pretty well most of the time.  But, when the weather changes, his arthritis starts to act up and we need to give him pain medication to help him feel more comfortable.  He’s been getting daily supplements of glucosamine and chondroitin for years and those supplements have helped tremendously.  But, days like today are harder on Stone and he does appreciate his special pain meds during these times.  We are careful about using NSAIDS, as he has a history of irritable bowel disease, so we sometimes use homeopathic formulas that are easier on his digesting system.  Like many big boys, Stone has some pain in his shoulders and sometimes his wrists.  Stone also appreciates his comfy dog beds especially made for old joints.

Knobby Kneed Stone

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It always amazed us at the positions that Stone would get himself into.  In his younger days, he’d lay down with both front legs bent at the knees and tucked under his big broad chest.  He can’t seem to do that anymore.  Advanced age, arthritis and a recently sprained wrist have taken their tolls.  The sprain gave us quite  scare … at first it looked suspiciously like cancer.  Thankfully, the radiographs showed only a soft tissue sprain.  Several weeks on anti-inflammatories did the trick, but Stone still can’t move the way he used to.  But, for a 10 year old greyhound, he is doing pretty well.

Sassy Momma Levity

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Momma Levity can be sweet, a little sassy, sometimes silly, sometimes sleepy and always a joy to be near.  With all her expressions, it’s easy to forget she’s a dog.  But when she comes in all muddy from digging a hole in the yard, her “doggy-ness” becomes apparent again.  She is quite photogenic and we’ve been able to capture many of her expressions.  Here she, sticking her tongue out at a meet and greet with her friend Boo Boo.

Bear’s Grain Free Now

WP_20131031_015 We do believe that what goes into a dog’s stomach makes a real difference in the quality of their lives.  We switched Bear to the new grain-free formula from ProPlan and we began to see a marked difference almost immediately.  Not only did Bear stop shedding excessively, the time between his seizures also lengthened and the side effects of his seizure medications lessened.  He’s always been a happy boy, but now he seems to be more settled, as if he is at peace with himself and his body.  Bear will most likely always have seizures.  Our goal is to give him the highest quality of life possible.  For him, it’s a balancing act … getting the right dosage of medications and the best nutrition for his system, keeping him on a strict medication schedule, along with lots of love, attention and soft bedding and blankets.  Bear gives us so much, it’s the least we can do for him.