Jul 262012

I look pretty bad here. What’s worse is how I felt. I couldn’t run, I could barely walk, my parents thought I was dying. And I guess I was. I felt sick as a dog, and I was. My mom wanted me to see my favorite doctor in the world, but she wasn’t there. So I saw the next doctor, then another, and finally I ended up where I should have started out, with my favorite doctor in the world (aside from Dr. Kiko, but I saw him too), who was now back from being away, and my favorite doctor in the world figured out all my problems and made my parents very very happy.

And I’m no longer as sick as a dog.

Here in this photo you can see my shoulder bones, you can see my vertebrae, you can see my sits bones and you can see my hips, bone by bone. You can see my skin flapping around. That’s when my mom said “enough.” Or maybe she said, “This is ridiculous.”

A while back, when my mom took me for a checkup, she noticed that I was losing weight but that doctor didn’t think that was important; he said “He has arthritis and it’s good to carry less weight.” He missed the sign. Then my mom took me back a while later and the next doctor missed the sign too. But my mom kept worrying about me and knew that the doctors were wrong.

So what was the problem?

The good news is that my favorite doctor in the world has me on an antibiotic and I’m gaining weight and you can’t see my bones bone by bone or my skin rolling off of me any more!

And, yes everybody, I’m able to run again!!!

Jun 282012

I don’t think about it, actually.  In the mornings when I’m out walking with Dad, and I’m not clipped to my lead, I really enjoy a quick trot. Maybe a quick dash from tree to tree.  It’s joyous.  In the afternoons when I’m out with my Mom, and she lets me off lead, I’ll do the same. Usually she gets up ahead of me and I’m lagging behind, smelling whatever I can find, and then I see her up ahead and sprint to her. A few times she’s made a game out of it, and she’ll start running, “Come on, Joey. Let’s run” and I do. It’s a nice game.  I get an infusion of energy and life.. “Come on, Joey. Joey’s running!” she says, all the way, maybe one block, maybe less, to our front door. Sometimes she arrives first, and sometimes I do. Either way, she makes a big deal out of it.

Yesterday she took me to Cat Rock Park. It was a nice day. I got to run and toss myself about, gayly and there were a lot of other dogs there and we really galavanted about, swimming and socializing.  but have I had my final run?

Dad doesn’t run with me any more.  After a while I just can’t make it up that big long hill any more.

 Posted by at 8:54 am
Apr 302012

I’m sleeping a lot, guys. I really am.  But a few weeks ago it got really really really bad.  I could barely walk back home when my mom took me out for a walk; Mom felt so badly for me drooping along that she would take off the lead and at least give me some freedom and let me walk at my own slow pace. I know that she would be up ahead of me. This was really not the order of things and she knew it and I knew it, though she tried to make me feel better about it by saying “Good boy” all the way back home.

Dad even stopped taking me out running.

My parents can remember a time when if I didn’t have anything to do, I would always find or make something to do. If I was outside, I would try to get out of the yard, or find a ball somewhere and have myself a nice time, and I think the ball was enjoying being tossed around, chewed, rolled around, too.  If I was inside, I would try to find that ball, too. There was rarely a dull moment for me.  Okay, okay. After I was hit by the car I definitely slowed down. And then a month ago my new doctor told my parents to give me Previcox every day for my arthritis and elbow dysplasia.

The problem as my parents saw it is that I was sleeping a bit too much. “He’s really sleeping a lot,” Dad said.

“Yes, he’s getting older.”

“Yes, but this is a lot more sleeping; it’s like he’s dropping off a cliff or something.”

Then Mom noticed that in the morning, when she would go downstairs, I wouldn’t even follow her down.  “Joey,  Joey!  What’s going on? Come downstairs!  Come!  Come!” and maybe a minute or two later I would stretch and stretch and make my way, one step at a time, downstairs to the kitchen. “Joey, what’s the matter? You usually follow me everywhere. Now I have to call you to come follow me around.”

At some point one of my parents said, “Maybe it’s his medication. Ever since we started giving him one a day Previcox, he’s been sleeping like this.”  And they stopped giving me the pill in the morning.

And then Dad went away, suitcases and all.

But instead of being all depressed, I started feeling better, and more energetic.  Mom was so certain that it was the medication that she took me over to the doctor’s.  He asked, “Has he also lost his appetite?”  When Mom said “NO”, he said that it’s the first time he’s ever seen a dog lethartic on Previcox but not lose his appetite.

When Dad came back home, suitcases and all, he said, “It’s my Joey again.”  While Dad hasn’t take me out running, my Mom has, for a block or two, at a time. And it’s fun again.

I’m really glad my parents know me well.   And it’s good to be me again!!

Feb 122012

My parents noticed it a few times.

They noticed when I tried to jump up on the bed my rear feet lost their footing on the flooring, and I slipped. I tried to make nothing of it, and to make another attempt to jump up on the bed, this time successful. Another time my legs slipped out from under me, and I was quite too nervous to attempt it again.  My parents, who were there at the time, urged me to try again. “Come on, Joey! Jump up! Jump up!! Up up up!” they said, not wanting me to give up and give in to my newfound fear of doing something I’d done without a second thought for all of my life. They wouldn’t let me give up, my parents!

Another time I headed up the stairs from the first floor to the next floor and my rear feet slipped and my legs gave out from under me. Again I tried to make nothing of it, and to make another attempt at ascending the stairs, this time successful. But this happened several times.

Yesterday I found a surprise in a box. I could smell the box that it was for me.  My mom opened it up and many things came out of it, and soon she was working away, like usual, by the stairs. When she was finished, she said, “Joey come!” I did, and she said, “Joey, up!” I walked to the foot of the stairs, positioned my self, and walked up. At the top, she said, “Joey, come! Down, down the stairs!” and I came down to her.  Here I am modeling how I start out: Two feet on the floor, one front foot on the first step and another front foot actually moving for the second step:

Such a nice surprise, for me, and I went up and down and up and down, and it was so soft on my feet and legs and bones.

Here I am, one hind leg on the second step, one hind leg leaving the first step, one front foot on the third step and one front foot about to land on the fourth step (got that?):

And to tell you the truth, I think my parents like this surprise for themselves as well… I think I noticed them going up and down the stairs a little more than usual…


 Posted by at 9:45 pm
Jan 202012

All you dogs, this post has been a long time coming. Some of us go to visits with the veterinarian and are totally cool with it.  Others of us go to the veterinarian and range from skittish to totally terrorized. Where do you fit in?

We can talk about just waiting in the waiting room or bump it up a notch to being in the examination room, or having some procedure done. I’ve seen many dogs hang out behind their parents’ legs in the animal hospital waiting rooms; I’ve tried to make friends with many of these dogs, to calm them down and offer friendship, but they’re just frozen in fear.

I’m on the cool dude side.  When I had my injuries from being hit by the car, I had to have surgery, and xrays taken, and all sorts of procedures done on  me, including having my bandages changed regularly, and my wounds cleaned.  The doctors would ask my mom, “Does he need to be knocked out?” and except for actual surgery, and dental surgery, no, I didn’t.

It helped to have somebody just petting my head and saying “Good boy, Joey” and for splint changes I would need two technicians (my mom counted as “one”) but together we made it through everything, no “puppy’s little helper” required.

But many other dogs do. They have to take anything from a “calm down” pill to having an injection.

Let’s talk about this.

Do you think there’s a difference between how small and large dogs handle this?

Dogs who have been surgically “altered” and those who have not?

I am waiting to hear from you.


Jan 062012

I’m hanging around my bed. Mom says, “Joey.  Come, Jo Jo.” I look at her, and she again says, “Jo Jo. Come.”  Is there a reason I want to go there? It’s Mom, that’s a pretty good reason. And she’s calling me. So this time I get up and go there.

I’m interested in the food around her, the smells in the kitchen.

Joey, you’re an old dog.  Old dog.” That’s what she says.  “At least you could go get a ball and play with it. Go get a ball and I’ll throw it to you.”  I’m not interested, not now, at any rate. I’d rather just hang around, just stand around.

Old dog, Joey.  You’re an old dog.

It’s a good thing I don’t know what she’s saying.

 Posted by at 10:23 am
Jan 062012

I don’t want to face it, but I’m slowing down.  Dad doesn’t take me on the long runs any longer. He takes me on the short ones, however.  On my way home and up the big hill, he says I’m practically walking, no longer running.

On warm days, I’m even more tired, panting my way home.  On cold ones, I do a little better.

It’s the elbow dysplasia that’s got me down. That and some arthritis in my knee joint where I was injured when I was hit by the car.

It doesn’t stop me from loving life and loving running. It doesn’t stop me from eagerly arising with Dad in the morning, when he comes to get me to run, and taking off from the gate. It doesn’t affect my attitude.

It does, however, slow me down.  And I take an extra long nap after my run.

In July I celebrated my 12th birthday.  But the thrill is definitely not gone.

 Posted by at 8:07 am
Dec 192011

My parents want to go take a vacation. They want to go far away. They also want to bring me with them. We will have a family vacation. They also know that if they leave me alone, one of two things will happen.  I’ll either get stiff legs from my arthritis and from sitting around all day doing nothing, or sitting in a crate, or I’ll get depressed from missing them and wondering where they are and why I’m not with them and when they’re going to return to me. The last time they left me, even though I was taken good care of, it took about 4 days for me to snap out of my depression and to start eating again.  So they want to take me with them.  But condos don’t like dogs.

The condo said that when we drive up to the guard house, if the guard sees a dog inside the car, I will not be allowed any further. I will not be allowed into the condo.

The condo said that the older condo buildings allow dogs, but only if the doctor says that the person needs to have a dog to survive.

The condo said that the older condo buildings allow dogs but only dogs that weigh under 40 pounds. That would not be me.

Why don’t condos like dogs? 

Why don’t condos like large dogs?

We are part of the family.  And my parents are sad about this.  Many people love dogs, and many people love me. But not everybody does.

 Posted by at 10:10 pm
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