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One thing about working in the living room- Ike ADORES the company.


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I'm just glad it wasn't worse.

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It's Sunday morning, 1 a.m. I'm working the hotel and I have drunk wedding guests that I've had just about enough of; the next time I have to talk to them it will be with a local sheriff at my side.

Ahem.

Photobucket

Jinx surveys his domain.


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Crap, it's late, and i have work to do. Gonna wrap this up for now.
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I've finally dragged myself away from rage comics and Star Trek reviews and made it to LJ. So, where to start?


The paper office was closed today, although my "day off" was, once again, not much of one because I still have my Friday night shift at the hotel. I spent my waking hours working on Bonnie & Clyde photos, played a smidgen of Skyrim, sorted some Doctor Who videos I've been meaning to watch, and now here I am at the hotel. To catch up ...

Remember the deal with the medical clinic and the Check That Has Never Been Cashed? Yeah, still hasn't. This is really pissing me off. If I didn't need the clinic for getting my meds filled, I think I'd be done with them right now. As it is, I think the next time I have a medical issue, I'm going somewhere else, and I'll just have them take over my general care. Depends on how it goes Monday when I go back to the clinic for another talk.

On Christmas Day, I asked Andy what he would like for our Holiday Feast. I gave him two options- baked ham and pie, or a bucket of hot dogs. He choose the hotdogs. I also made a graham cracker cake.


Read more...and there's pictures )



So. While it's now technically New Year's Eve, I think I'm going to wait until my next shift to write up a recap of 2011 and what I hope to get out of 2012.

As for the title of this entry, when I woke up at 6 pm, it was 34F outside; it's now 40F after hitting a high of 50F around midnight ... the snow and ice are melting furiously outside!

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Some short videos I managed to capture. First, we have Ike petting himself on his couch. He does this frequently; but every time I try to record him he perks up to watch what I'm doing, lol.



Next, Jinx has started being REALLY mean to the poor pooch. Ike, however, will only take so much.


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He was a little annoyed at being woken up by the flash.

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I briefly considered that he was actually in a coma.


Sleepy Pets )

But, the weather was perfect for sleeping, and the snooze won once more.
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Once upon a time … )

And all was well in Ike's kingdom once more. The end.

Ike

Mar. 12th, 2011 11:05 pm
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Ike is worrying me.

About 2-3 weeks ago, he started being really restless - moving around the house a lot, laying down, getting back up, finding a new spot, laying down .... and he stopped going under my desk, which is his Second Bedroom. He also started panting a lot, and holding his ears back in a pinched sort of way. I figured he was just more than ready for his monthly shot of Adequan ... but he had his shot on Monday, and he hasn't improved. He also needs coaxing some times to go down the ramp into the yard.

On the other hand, he still climbs up onto the couch (his Third Bedroom) and will walk around the yard once a day to check his domain. He also rests comfortably.

Today, I bought a crib mattress for his Second Bedroom, figuring that maybe the current bed under there is too thin to be comfortable. So far, however, he's shown no interest in even going under there.

So, I don't know. He's showing signs of ongoing pain, but also signs of still being ... um, not overwhelmed by ongoing pain.

See, I know I'll have to have him put down some day; I've accepted that. I don't want to force him to live past the point that's good for him.

But I don't want to misjudge that point and put him down too soon.
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(Appearing in today's Lander Journal)

Growing older with Ike

My dog is old. I like to think he’s the oldest yellow lab in the state of Wyoming. I can’t prove that. He’s thirteen and a half years old. I can’t prove that either, but it’s the closest estimate we can make based on memories of how long he’s been around.

Ike’s favorite activities used to include chasing a ball, going for walks, chasing a ball, finding sticks in the yard to carry around, chasing a ball, chewing up the sticks he found in the yard after he carried them around, and chasing a ball. Usually followed by chasing a ball. Again.

In his old age and general geriatric state, he doesn’t get around well. His hindquarters are held together by nothing more than sinew and tendons these days, and when x-rayed his joints are just a cloud of arthritis. More than one vet has expressed amazement that Ike can even walk. So his activities these days mostly involve sniffing at sticks, wiping his drool on my pants, shedding, and pooping.

Ike poops a lot. The older he gets, the more frequently he has to do his business. I can relate in a way; when I turned 40 I realized that while I had been born with my father’s features, I’d also gotten my grandmother’s bladder. Unfortunately, the older Ike’s gotten, the less he seems to be aware of the fact that he poops. He still asks to go outside to take care of matters. Sometimes. Sometimes though, he seems just as surprised as I am when he suddenly poops in the house. When he’s sleeping, all bets are off. Unlike me, he is completely unaware of the smell.

Around the house, we’ve come to refer to these events as “laying a brown egg” or “leaving a trail.” There are times, however, when we energetically refer to them as “#$%@! What the #$%@! did I just step in?!”

Ike doesn’t care. Heck, he’s not even aware of it most of the time, unless he wants to go back to his bed and suddenly realizes that there’s something there that he’d rather not sleep in. Ike used to sleep with me in my bed, until one night I rolled over and suddenly realized there was something there that I’d rather not sleep in. Unfortunately, I was.

This discovery was made when I semi-consciously realized I was laying on something lumpy, semi-consciously dug it out from under my back, and semi-consciously held it to my face to try to see what it was. I may have even semi-consciously sniffed it. Thankfully, I was fully conscious and aware of what it was before investigating further by tasting it.

After a 3:00 a.m. shower and change of sheets, Ike was firmly, yet sadly, informed that he would no longer be allowed to sleep with me on my bed. It was really just as well; it had been a long time since he could get up there by himself anyway. We compromised and agreed that he could still join me on the couch while I watch TV. Granted, he needs help getting his hind legs up there, but then gets to spend some quality time with me. Shedding. But so far, no surprise brown eggs.

My dog is very old. My dog poops a lot. My dog is fiercely loyal and loving; I return that and accept him as he is, drool and all. I just carry a flashlight when I walk around at night and very carefully watch where I step to avoid anymore #$%@! nighttime surprises.

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Sometimes, they'll even share the couch with me.

Pee mail

May. 8th, 2010 04:14 pm
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Ike's urine is back to normal. Now, to keep it that way.
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Bought some maxi-pads last night and Ike wore his diaper for the first time.



It doesn't stay in one place very well, but it did it's job. No accidents last night! Somehow, he did manage to get stuck under the bed; I have no idea how.
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Ike had just been nibbling at his dry food, the new chicken & rice I got to replace the lamb & rice we suspected of making him sick. He'd been doing well on the canned food; hadn't had an accident in days. Saturday night, he ate his entire bowl of dried dog food, so I happily refilled it, figuring he'd made the adjustment to the new taste.

Sometime during Saturday night while I was at work, he had a small accident. Last night, he had an accident that smelled so bad it woke me up. I thought I was going to have to sleep outside, it was so bad. I put him outside while I sprayed the spot down with carpet cleaner and put towels over top of it. When I was done, Ike was still outside. I opened the door and he was curled up forlornly in front of the door.

Later that night, I woke up to the sound of him scratching the carpet, like he was trying to make a bed out of it. I opened my eyes to see that he'd pulled the towels into a ball and was peeing on them. He gave me a dejected look, and we both went back to sleep.

Woke up this morning, followed him around the yard until I could get a urine sample, went back inside, threw the towels in the washer, sprayed down the carpet again and put a new towel over it, then headed out. I went and bought him a bag of prescription dog food to match the canned food he's been eating, then headed to my vet with the urine sample.

He's PH balance is better, but not perfect yet. There's still blood in his urine, as there are still crystals in his urine, but not nearly as many as last time. However, there's also signs of infection now. So, now he's going on antibiotics for a week, and he's not getting any food but the prescription diet. Tomorrow night, he's getting a shot of Adequan. It's a week early, but he needs it from all the extra squatting he's been doing.

Poor guy just looks so depressed.

Ike

Apr. 28th, 2010 08:25 pm
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Shortly after I returned, Ike started being really skittish about walking across the rugs in the kitchen. now, Ike doesn't like linoleum or hard-surfaced floors; we think they hurt his legs to walk on them (slippy surfaces requiring more muscle control for balance, which puts greater strain on his joints.) But with carpet runners down on the floor of the kitchen, he's been doing fine for the past five years.

It began with him hesitating to cross the bridge over the hot lava, requiring lots of coaxing before he'd skitter his way across. Then, he wouldn't step over the six inch gap between rugs in the middle of the floor. Finally, no amount of coaxing would get him to even step onto the rugs, even after I replaced them with new rugs so there wasn't any gap in the middle. The only way for him to get from one side of the kitchen to the other was to be carried. Not a great solution- he's an 85 pound dog. At first, I just moved his food and water into the living room so he'd have access to it during the day. But my bedroom is on the other side of the kitchen, and that's where he likes to be at night. The first night wasn't so bad; I picked him up, carried him across, and carried him back the next morning. But the second night, he had to go out twice. That was a lot of carrying back and forth.

So, I've temporarily moved into the spare bedroom off of the living room. Working out okay so far, even though the bed is lumpy.

To complicate matters, about a week ago he started urinating in the house. Not little dribbles; full fledged bladder-emptied puddles. And it smelled bad (according to Andy; for some reason, I can't detect it at all.) He'd have an accident every other day or so, but Monday he started having them every day, and yesterday he had one twice. I was convinced that he had become incontinent, possibly due to nerve damage in his hindquarters. I ordered him a doggy diaper off of amazon, and just resigned myself to cleaning up puddles and shampooing carpets until it arrived.

Then this morning, when I was getting ready for work, he gingerly stepped out onto the kitchen rugs, squatted and let lose. I told him to stop, and he looked at me with an expression that said, "Look, I'm not happy about this either, but there ain't nothing I can do about it, okay? Don't judge me!"

I called the vet today while I was at work, and she asked me to bring in a urine sample. This actually wasn't too difficult to obtain ... I came home after he'd been in the house for about two hours, let him out, and just followed him with a plastic bowl. He can't move very fast. The urine was dark, and as I noticed for the first time, remarkably pungent and odorous. I took it to the vet so she could test it for signs of infection.

She called me about an hour later. The good news was that there was no sign of infection. The bad news was that it was so dark because there was blood in it, probably caused by the crystals she found in the urine, which were probably caused by the insanely high alkaline PH level of the urine. She said it was so high, her alkaline-PH-detector-measurer wasn't able to go high enough. But no clue why.

So for starters, he's getting special canned dog food (At only $2.50 a can! He only needs at least two a day! Maybe four! He eats better than I do, lol) to correct the ph balance, and switched to a different dry dog food, which for now he's turning his nose to. But he'll eat it eventually; he's had it before. We're surmising that the crystals in his urine as well as the high alkaline level, are irritating him akin to a urinary tract infection, hence the less than desirable bladder control. Poor guy; it must burn dreadfully when he pees.

So, hopefully the food will change things for the better. I'll find out Monday when I take in a new urine sample. I'm not sure if the irritated pee-pee has anything to do with not wanting to walk across the kitchen, but I'm hoping that when one clears up, the other will as well. I miss my non-lumpy bed, and the house sounds weird from that room.
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While watching Doctor Who last Saturday, I got up for a drink and Ike decided he needed the entire couch to nap on.





Silly old dog.
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The vet feels that his medications are affecting him too strongly after the Adequan treatment, causing his muscles to relax too much at night, leading to Spinchter Surprise. So, his dosages are getting adjusted down some. Hopefully his helps, although I'm not sure how I'll know unless I wake up with another handful of poop.
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Still getting over my chest cold. Ike had another accident in the house. This one I found by rolling over on it and waking up, wondering what the lump was in my bed. So, I picked it up of course, squeezed it, smelled it, switched on the light ... yep, it's poop.

Thank goodness I didn't taste it.

It wasn't a full load, and I don't know how long it had been there. It wasn't rock hard, but it wasn't warm and splatterable either. I'm not sure how long it was there, but it wasn't there when I went to sleep. And it didn't come from _me_. And Ike had been asleep right beside me earlier; I remember waking up and petting him.

So, one remarkably sleepy shower later, here I am posting to LJ.

I don't know if he realizes this is happening. But then again, I don't know if he tried to wake me up and I slept through it, which is pretty rare. Furthermore, I'm not sure what to do about it. He obviously hasn't lost complete bowel control, but random poop is still not a good thing. Considering his physical condition, I wouldn't be surprised if there is nerve damage in his hindquarters.

How often does an 85 pound yellow dog need to poop? I suppose I can start waking up in the middle of the night and putting him out for a break, whether he wakes me himself or not.

It's either that, or the possibility of more 4 a.m. showers and laundry.

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