Sunday, April 14, 2024

A Special Sunday Selfie and our Ussie

 

We received this beautiful graphic from Ingrid of Meezer's Mews and Terieristical Woofs - and we thought it would be a wonderful Selfie from Angel Lightning.  Thank you, Ingrid.

..  

Isn't it beautiful?

And Beau's Mom Sandra made this awesome AI graphic for us too


On his way across that bridge to a world of peace and joy with all the other Angels!  Thank you, Sandra - it was so kind of you to do that for us.


Meanwhile, we are both trying to figure out what happened.  Mom says we are still adjusting, just like she is, and it will take time.



Our Ussie


Dad says we are both sticking so close together that he thinks we are trying to make sure one of US doesn't suddenly disappear too:(

We want to thank you all again for all your kindness and support during this very sad time. We hope you all have a happy Sunday with family.

Woos - Misty and Timber





Thursday, April 11, 2024

 

This broke my heart last night AGAIN.


This was one of Lightning's favorite spotts to rest.  You could find him there most afternoons and every night.


Misty might slip in there once in a while, but Timber has never positioned himself there at all.


And then there was this last night  . . .


Timber sat there like that for over an hour, just staring,  He eventually lay down and went to sleep.  He seems to be missing Lightning so much.  Every time I come in the back door from the garage, both Timber and Misty keep looking behind me and waiting, presumably to see if I have finally brought him home:(    Misty has been hiding behind the sofa a lot today which is what she does when she is anxious.  I know it will take time for them to adjust, but it sure is tough to watch.

I am trying to look through old photos to do something special for Lightning, and boy, is that hard!  I guess I need time too.  Every loss seems to hit a little deeper. But let me at least extend my tremendous gratitude to all of you, and there are so many, for your emails and comments in support of our newest Angel.  They help more than you know

K          


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Run Free, Dear Lightning

 

Earlier this morning . . . 








Our hearts are in pieces.  We will do a proper tribute to Lightning another day.  Godspeed, Sweet Boy, the Gentlest Giant, and Mom's Teddy Bear.


Love, Misty and Timber - your furever pack, and Mom and Dad, missing and loving you so much.  Always and Forever.





Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Tuesday Update

Well, friends.  I know I told you I was going to have Misty do the next post, but I wanted to let you know myself.

I have had a few not so good, very bad, terrible days.  I haven't eaten since Sunday unless you want to count the gallons of water I am drinking. I can't get up from the floor by myself, I can't do the stairs,  and I just don't feel very good.  Mom says she thinks I have a lot of pain. I am not sure what that means, but I know I feel very old.  I was supposed to have a spa day today, but Mom knew it would be too much for me.  So I told Timber he could take my place.


This is what I have done for the past two days.  I just lie down until I can't wait any longer to go potty.  Mom tries to get me up but I can be stubborn.  After all, I AM a Siberian.


I have been here for about four hours now.  It is just too hard to get up.  Poor Mom has been doing laundry all day today with all the towels and blankets and carpet runners I have been wetting.  I can't get to the door quickly enough to get outside

Tomorrow is probably going to be my day to take that big trip over the Rainbow Bridge to be reunited with Angel Dakota, Angel Phantom, Anget Thunder, and Angel Ciara.  Mom says I won't have any more of that thing she calls pain and I will feel like a young pup again.  I really don't want to go and leave Misty and Timber, but maybe Mom is right.  I just want to feel better.

Woos - Lightning

From Mom - Lightning has deteriorated so very quickly since Sunday.  It is hard to believe how fast he has gone downhill.  I have been in tears all day, but my husband and I have always vowed to do what is best for our dogs when it comes to quality of life and not what we want.  Not eating, lack of bladder control, and severe mobility issues - we can't turn a blind eye to that.  The brain knows even if the heart is broken.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Sunday Selfies

I guess it is Lightning Selfie Time.


Is this OK???  I was just headed to my bed for a nap.  Mom has been making me do my PT exercises.  She is relentless.

This is one of the games she makes me play. 


I have to walk across each of those poles and back again, AND I have to do it five times, back and forth  The purpose of the exercise is to get me to lift my hind legs up and over to strengthen my muscles.  The poles are only about 1/2 inch off the ground.  So far I am 0 for 4 on each trek down the route.  One or both of my back paws clips the pole when I go over.  At some point Mom is supposed to raise the poles a little higher, but she doesn't see that happening for a while:)



The poles are supposed to be similar to Cavaletti poles that she could buy online for a lot of green paers. So for now she decided to get creative and make her own.  The poles cost about $18 from Home Depot and the foam blocks are from a box she found in the basement from when the grands were babies.  She had to wedge a small piece inside the opening to secure the blocks in place.  Pretty clever, eh?  . . . .  And then, there are six more exercises I have to do.  Sheesh, it is endless.



Here is a bonus Selfie for you before I conk out for the afternoon.  I am first going to whisper in Misty's ear that it is her turn to do the next post

Woos - Lightning

Mini update from Mom:  After a week off the gabapentin with no change in the nighttime wakefulness, the vet said the gabapentin was not at fault, and Lightning is now back on it for pain.  We are also adding some melatonin to see if it helps his health in general.


Time for the Sunday Selfies Blog Hop sponsored by The Cat on My Head.  




Saturday, April 6, 2024

Silly Saturday or Caturday Art???




Is this an artsy trick by Mom OR how much is that doggy in the window???


Woos - Timber


Maybe we can count this as Caturday Art and join in on te fun with the Caturday Art Blog Hop sponsored by Athena Cat Goddess.

Monday, April 1, 2024

MondayMoanday

 We told Mom that our blog needs a new secretary.  We keep saying we are going to do beter and that just doesn't happen.  So today we, Misty and Timber, put our paws down and told HER that we needed to do a post because our big teddy bear brother needs all his pals to send him some good vibes.



 LIghtning's almost 13 years ( May 4th birthday) are taking their toll.  The past few months have brought rapidly increasing difficulty in walking, getting up and down,  and doing stairs.  He has been on a variety of medications for pain, ranging from tramadol, gabapentin, Rimadyl, and those new promising Librela injections.  After four months of the Librela shots, the vet said they were not working for Lightning. Librela is a monoclonal antibody treatment that is supposed to direct the nerve sensors to send a message to the body that there is no pain.  Unfortunately that message doesn't seem to get through to Lightning's joints.  The vet thinks his body may be developing antibodies to the medication.  So he switched Lightning to some anantadine which is supposed to do the same thing as Librela but maybe in a way his body would accept.  It is also used in humans and is one of those drugs that either works or doesn't work. It is still early to tell if it is helping Lightning because other behaviors with him have brought additional changes in his meds.


Because Mom was waking almost every morning to puddles on the kitchen floor where we are confined at night, she decided to put a Ring camera in that area to figure out who the culprit was.  It only took one night of filming to see that it was clearly Lightning.  He was checked for a UTi and had an ultrasound of his bladder and kidneys to see if he had stones or a tumor or something that would explain the urination issue.  He had also previously been tested for Cushing's.  All results were negative.  The camera also revealed another situation.  Lightning does NOT sleep at night.  He is up roaming around (and occasionally peeing) literally every half hour from midnight until 5:30 a.m.  He never barks or cries out; he is just totally unable to settle.  So how to explain THAT!!!


Another vet consultation yielded two possibilities.  One could be a side effect of the gabapentin, which in some cases causes confusion in dogs that mimics doggy dementia or cognitive dysfunction.  The other is the early stage of that dementia.  So Mom stopped the gabapentin last Wednesday.  It may take a week or more to determine if the gabapentin causes the wakefulness.  If it slows down significantly or simply stops, then it is likely the medication.  If it doesn't, then it is likely cognitive dysfunction.  In the latter case, he could go back on the gabapentin and an additional med for the dementia.



Meanwhile our wonderful vet is married to another wonderful vet who has been working in veterinary research for a few years and who has just recently acquired her certification in physical therapy for dogs.  She started working one day a week at our vet's clinic last Friday and guess who her first patient was?  Yep, Lightning!!!  He has a very hard time easing himself down to the floor or to his bed and even more difficulty getting back up.  Stairs are a huge problem.  He has to go down 7 steps to get to the yard.  About 50% of the time he does OK, but then he may start down just fine with his front paws, but his back legs give and he just drags his back end down the stairs. Coming back up the stairs are a challenge as he doesn't have the muscles in his back end to pull himself up.  





Sorry this is getting very long. At his PT visit Friday which lasted about an hour and a half with Mom there, and then another two hours where Mom left him with the vet  to do some more work, Dr. Sarah put him through a thorough neurological exam and determined that his issues are not neurologically related - that is the good news.  But his problems are all muscle and orthopedic issues. She proceeded with the orthopedic exam and made her prediction for where the issues were.  She then proceeded to a full range of x-rays.  We were expecting to find issues with his knees and hips.  You might remember that he had torn both CCLs in 2018 and 2019.  One knee was surgically repaired but his recovery was long and difficult.  That knee never really fully returned to normal.  The decision was made NOT to repair the second tear and let the joint heal as best as possible on its own.  We knew that both knees were highly likely to develop arthritis.  The surprise was that the worst of his pain is coming from his back.  He has severe arthritic indications the entire length of his spine.  No wonder the poor guy is struggling with his mobility. And he NEVER complains.  You can see how important it is going to be to get his pain meds under control





The physical exam also revealed that his front shoulder and upper leg muscles are very tight because he is relying on them for most of his body support.  The hip muscles are also very tight and his range of motion in all four legs is limited.  So Mom came home with a myriad of exercises to do with him daily.  She has videos from the vet to guide her.  Lightning was fairly cooperative today for his therapy session with Mom; she is taking it slow and steady with him.  The hope is to try to get his muscles moving more freely and hope that will help his mobility.  


Between the pain, mobility issues, possible dementia, and general aging, our gentle giant is not doing so well.  He could use a little POTP from his friends.  We know that our peeps will continue to do all they can to help him, but the main goal is getting him to be comfortable.  That is only fair to him.



Sorry for the long and sad post, but maybe it will help explain why we don't get to post much.  Mom says it is hard to find happy moments to share.  It's been a rough few years with lots of family medical issues, both human and canine. We think she just needs to change her mindset:).  


We don't want to make any promises, but we WILL try to find something cheery to tell you about soon.


Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber


Let's join the Awww Mondays Blog Hop sponsored by Comedy Plus.