They’re everywhere, which is a good thing. Some have the yellow-and-black striped body I’m familiar with, but others are shiny black. Did a quick search and found a page describing all the different markings. Never realized there were so many.
The ones I’ve seen look solid black, which means they could be one of the Cuckoo varieties. But to be honest, they were all moving at the time of observation and I was reluctant to get too close because, well, BEE! They could also be part of Color Group 1. I’m just glad to see them buzzing around all the apple blossoms, the hanging basket petunias, the tiny holly flowers.
It is warm. Cool breeze, but the sun is making its presence felt. Last week, I wore a heavy sweatshirt when I took Gaby for her walk, and had to keep wiping my eyes because the chill breeze made them tear. Today, I wore a light t-shirt under a light jacket, and was glad I did because halfway through I took off said jacket and tied it around my waist. Even Gaby ran out of gas, which is a first. We made it as far as the lake. Saw a few boats, a yacht and a couple of smaller cabin cruisers. A speed boat. There was a haze over the water. Not much wave.
Out on the deck now, under the brollie, with iced lemon water close at hand. The hardwoods are finally starting to leaf out. The honey locust. After a short nap and some water, Gaby is alternating dashing about the yard and lying beside my chair and resting up in preparation for more dashing. A dog of her weight and approximate age–almost 6 1/2 we think–she is supposed to be around 42 in human years, but I don’t see it.
It’s the first summer without King. He hated buzzing–flies, bees–and would either try to snap the offending insect out of the air or tuck tail and seek shelter in the deck Dogloo. Once all was clear, he would lie by the gate and watch the street. The guardian.
T-storms last night and this morning. Rumbles. King would have been pacing, pawing me, trying to climb onto the bed. He hated thunder. Over the last few years, he even grew restless as the pressure changed.
Gaby…sleeps. Unless it rumbles hard enough to rattle the house, she pretty much ignores storms.
It’s strange, getting used to not having to do certain things because King is no longer around. No more emptying tissues and paper towel out of the open-top trash cans so he wouldn’t eat them. No more lowering the toilet lid to keep him from drinking. Last week, I put the pale green and white bedspread on the bed–King would always brush against the edges of bedspreads when he followed me around the room, and his hair really showed up on anything light-colored.
Yeah, I know. Trying to keep dog hair off the bed–what was I thinking?
I can even contemplate switching out the lava rock in the backyard for wood mulch. King used to love to chew on anything wood, and whenever he had a stomach upset he would eat anything to try to quell the burning, including mulch. Gaby’s not a wood eater.
Bladder capacity, however, is another matter. I have to make sure to set out the pads before I leave for any period of time because little Miss Teaspoon-and-a-Half sometimes can’t hold it for more than a couple of hours….
It’s been almost a week since King passed. Time goes so quickly.
I was picking through photographs, and found my favorite picture of him. Dad was still alive, which means it was taken in Fall 2001 or 2002, which in turn means that King was either 8 months or a year and a half old. He was bounding around the backyard as Dad and I raked leaves. I was toting the camera in hopes of getting a good photo, and took a short break just as King decided to check out the pile I had just raked. He sniffed the leaves, then plopped down in the middle of them and stayed there as they filled in around him.
Gaby seems fine–she’s eating, playful. Earlier in the week, she would hesitate and look around when I offered her a treat. It seemed to me that maybe she was wondering where King was. She doesn’t appear to be moping or quiet. I took her for a walk this morning, and she was so excited–nose to the ground the entire time…except when she spotted the deer. She really wanted to give chase.
Taking her to the boarding kennel for her temperament check tomorrow. She will be there for a good chunk of the day, which means I will be Solo Kris for the first time in months. I have plenty to do–errands, grocery shopping. The usual chores. But it’s going to feel weird.
I hope things go well. I would really like her to have the chance to play with other dogs every so often.
Thanks to all of you for the kind words and good wishes.
Memories. King used to follow me all over the house. He would lie in the hallway so he could watch me make the bed or fold laundry, or lie in the dining room and watch me work in the kitchen. He’d lie flat with his head on the floor, and just Stare. Sometimes, I swear he snored. I think he was able to doze with his eyes open.
He used to dance around his toys and bark at them. A 115-pound dog doing a hop dance is quite a sight.
After he buried something in muddy ground, he would walk around with a big wodge of mud on the end of his nose.
Sometimes in the morning, I would wake up to find him standing in the bedroom doorway with his food bowl in his mouth. If that didn’t get me out of bed, he’d grab one of my slipper clogs and run off, in hopes that I would get out of bed and give chase and maybe even, hey, feed him.
Gaby seems okay, as far as I can tell. She spent a lot of time outside patrolling the yard, barking at the meter reader. She often refuses to eat if she isn’t comfortable or if things are off, but today she ate a small breakfast and a little bigger lunch. Saturday morning, I’m taking her to her usual boarding kennel for a temperament test. If she passes–and I will be really surprised if she doesn’t–I will be able to enroll her in daycare play dates with other dogs. I would like to do this a couple of times a week. I think it will be good for her. I know she must wonder where King is, and she’s a very social little girl in any case. She needs that stimulation, I think, so she doesn’t get bored or depressed.
The day started fine. He was a little slow, but more old-slow than sick-slow. Then things went downhill, just as they did on the day he first presented. He seemed spacey. Stood as though something would break if he moved too quickly. His gums were pale.
I took him to the emergency clinic. He was bleeding in his belly. Opening him up again wasn’t an option.
I held him. Told him I loved him. Let him go.
March 28 2001 – March 3 2013
Posted in Uncategorized
King had his monthly check-up yesterday. Still doing okay.
He’s on Tylan to settle his gut, which is getting a little upset from the chemo. They give it to me as a loose powder, which I am pretty sure is spray-coated because it flows too easily to be untreated. Even with a coating, antibiotics can be nasty-tasting. I was able to get away with sprinkling the stuff on King’s food for a couple of months, but by Wednesday night, Himself has apparently had enough of that shit–he refused to eat his own dinner, contenting himself with Gaby’s leftovers and whatever stray crumbs he could find on the floor. So, when I picked up his new meds yesterday, I asked if they could have put the Tylan in capsules. Well, they don’t do that, but they did give me the capsules so I could fill them myself.
Powders can be a pain to load into capsules. I asked if they had any glassine paper, which can be folded into funnels and is slick enough to keep the powder from sticking. Well, they didn’t have any. But on the way home, I remembered that I had a box of non-stick foil in the kitchen. The non-stick side is slick as hell, and a small square worked great as a capsule-filler. I felt like I was in the lab again, filling capsules for stability studies.
Hockey. The Blackhawks. They’re going to have to lose sometime. But hopefully not tonight.
Time. How in hell can it be March already?
Posted in life with dogs
Woke up kinda cloudy and early–as opposed to ‘bright and early’– to take King in for his monthly check-up. I was a little concerned about this one because he was scheduled for an ultrasound to check the state of his belly. The oncologist was on the lookout for developing lesions, or any other sign that the disease was progressing.
News was good–nothing unusual seen. One benign liver nodule, but no apparent malignancies. Given that, we just keep doing what we’re doing. Same drugs, same dosing regimen.
After nearly three months of treatment, King is showing a few side effects of the drugs. Occasional loose stool, which is the most common side effect–we’ll be giving him an antibiotic to treat that. He’s also shedding more than normal, with coat coming out in small clumps. The weather could explain it in part–he did always shed in the winter–but it is also something they see with one of the drugs he’s taking. His coat is still fairly thick and even–no bald spots. I will just brush him more frequently, and keep an eye on him.
They had to sedate him for the ultrasound–apparently belly rubs failed to calm him sufficiently so that he would lie still. They brought him back part of the way, but he still needed to be boosted into Kuro’s back seat. He’s now lying beside my chair in the dining room, sleeping it off. Definitely spacey-wacey. Blank stares, and a hind end that keeps wanting to lower to the floor.
Maintaining. Taking things as they come.
Posting will be light to nonexistent through the weekend–things to do. After the backlog clears, I want to look into sprucing up the site a bit–Twitter and FB links, maybe a new theme. No update yet on Jani ebooks. Working on a couple of angles, but so far, no progress to report.
Hope everyone’s New Year is off to a good start.
Posted in life with dogs
Spam babble of the day: Accord stands out as the Coptis groenlandica which will jewelry this paper hearts with the earth.
Over at Lisa Mantchev’s website, Lisa has posted about her experiments with Ina Garten’s Ultimate Ginger Cookie recipe. Her apotheotic–is that a word/it is now–recipe involves soaking the ginger in bourbon for at least an hour, the result being her Boozy Woozy Timey Wimey cookies. I liked the sound of that, but alas I have no bourbon. I do, however, have dark rum. The ginger has been soaking since yesterday afternoon and the level of the rum has dropped a bit, which implies soakage. I will be baking later in the week, Thursday or Friday. I will post pictures.
King update: you still wouldn’t know he’s sick. He’s bouncy. Eating well. Barking at me when he wants his foods, dammit–I’m never fast enough. Likes to be outside in the cool. At his last checkup, his liver enzyme results came in just a hair above normal. He has a follow-up on Jan. 3 that will include an ultrasound to see how things look. The oncologist told me that it will just tell us where we’ve been, not where we’re going. Yes, I know. But right now, we’re at happy, bouncy, and eating, and that’s all good.
Snow. We haven’t had any yet. It’s been 288 days since measurable snow fall around here, which is a record. However, we are supposed to get hit on Thursday into Friday with anywhere from 1-5 inches. On the other hand, if the snow line twitches, we could wind up with rain instead. I wouldn’t mind a little snow. Snow means clean puppy feet. Rain means mud.
Kill Bill Vol 2 soundtrack in the background, that slow, dreamy version of “She’s Not There.”
I have doors and windows open, and it’s December 2. Temps hit the 50s yesterday. Then came nighttime rains. It is now off-and-on sunny and edging up on 60F. It won’t last, but I will take the opportunity to air out the house.
But oh hell, it’s December. I hope 2013 doesn’t fly past as quickly as 2012 has.
King appears to be doing well, fingers oh so crossed. He’s peppy, and his appetite is great. He’s moving better thanks to the Meloxicam. He’s also on a new joint supplement called Dasequin. He had been on Glyco-Flex 3 for years, but the oncologist recommended Dasequin and given the struggles King was experiencing with his hips I decided to switch him. Don’t know if it’s helping in addition to the NSAID, but he’s getting up more easily and running a bit more. He has a check-up on Thursday, and I’m hoping his bloodwork results match what I’m seeing.
That said, I know how quickly things can flip from “all’s well” to “oh shit”, so I’m just keeping a watchful eye.
Gaby, meanwhile, is her own Gaby self. The mouse body count continues to rise.
Excavated leftover pot roast from the deep freeze, so a decent dinner will be had without my needing to do much more than warm things up. Time to get some work done.
Saturdays are always busy. I try to cram two days worth of stuff into one day, grocery shopping and errands and laundry and odd chores. Cooking for the week. Today’s items, ginger cookies and meatloaf.
I had tickets for Amanda Palmer’s sold-out show at Metro this evening, but by this afternoon I knew it wasn’t going to happen–legs and back were achy and every time I sat down I drifted off. Coffee and ibuprofen helped, but not enough that I felt like braving Saturday night Wrigleyville traffic. I’ll probably be sorry I missed the show, but the timing just didn’t work out.
King had his second checkup this week. CBC and liver function. Everything looks good–no inflammation, anemia, or other side effects of the chemo. Liver enzymes still high, but down to half what they were pre-surgery. The doctor twitched King’s med schedule a bit, and prescribed something for his stiff hip that really seems to be helping. He’s doing about as well as possible given the circumstances.
He was a character. The nurse took him to the examination area to draw blood–a few minutes later, I heard barking that sounded familiar. The doctor was smiling when she came out to talk to me–yes, King was the barker. They had him tied on an extended lead, and he walked around the room and barked at them when they talked to him. He has become very vocal in his old age.
They like him. That makes me happy.
Today we had near-record warmth, and tonight the wind is roaring. Possible snow showers on Monday. Trying not to think about it.