Thursday, September 14, 2017

Walking on the Eggshells of Old Age

My blog is about the journey I am taking with my two wonderful dogs. Unfortunately, the path doesn't always lead me in the direction I would prefer....

This week I took Wilson, who is now 14 and 4 months, to the vet for a senior check-up. I had noticed he was having trouble chewing a beef tendon he had been eating fine for years. I thought we might find a cracked tooth. Because Wilson takes an anti-inflammatory for his arthritis, I asked for a blood test also. Those drugs can be hard on the liver.

Well, his mouth checked out just fine, a bit of gingivitis being the only problem. What I wasn't expecting was the bad news we received on his blood work. His kidney values are all well past high-normal which indicates he is in the beginning phases of kidney failure! This really caught me off guard, as his last blood test was in February and all was perfect. My vet called us back in for a blood pressure test as kidney problems and high blood pressure go hand in hand, sort of a chicken or the egg relationship. Well, his blood pressure was on the moon!

So overnight I went from thinking I had a healthy old man to one that has started his decline. Kidney failure, when chronic, isn't an immediate death sentence, but a more gradual slide into bad health. It is also very common in older dogs. For now I am treating the high blood pressure with drugs, adding a supplement called Azodyl to his food to help remove the toxins his kidneys are no longer cleaning out, and another supplement to reduce the amount of phosphorus his body absorbs. Unfortunately, he can no longer take his arthritis medicine regularly anymore as it is hard on the organs. Hopefully he won't be too uncomfortable. My vet recommended I switch his diet to the prescription version of Science Diet or Royal Canin. Not gonna happen! I will do my research and find a higher quality food. FaceBook friends recommended a prescription diet from Darwin's that sounds like a much better choice. This is all new to me, so an education is in order. Hopefully it will all come together to slow the speed of Wilson's decline. There's a very good chance he will still be here this time next year, fingers, toes and all four paws crossed!

Here's my sweet old man on a recent morning.....

He's worried about where his breakfast is,
 and that's a very good thing
for a kidney patient!




Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September is Our Month!

I have definitely posted about this before (here  and here), but now that it is officially our month, I had to get pictures of it in real time......

As reported before, both my boys made it into separate Corgi wall calendars, both for the month of September. The cool thing about that is September is my birthday month so it sort of feels like a gift!

Here we are posing with the calendars yesterday, a very rare blog occurrance with me in the photo!

Calendar photos were taken by professional photographer Dwight Dyke.

But even more amazing......Wilson made it into the Corgi-A-Day desk calendar for September 4th. What's so amazing about that? He landed directly on my birthday!!! It doesn't get any better than that!

Taken on the day......



This is such a great piece of the A Tail of Two Cardis storyline!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wilson With his Weisenheimer on Wordless Wednesday



*** Special thanks to Bluberry's Human at Spotty Spotty Polkadotty  for providing this week's inspiration with her suggestion a few weeks ago! I didn't even know what a Weisenheimer was but it works pretty well!



Monday, August 28, 2017

The Weekend Report: PACH2 Try #1

Sunday was our first try at earning our final QQ , #20,  for our PACH2 title (Preferred Agility Championship, second time). Obviously by saying "try", I've kind of given away the results!

The day actually started with a Premier Jumpers course. We had a nice run but unfortunately Jimmy knocked down the #2 jump, which was one he had to jump from the back side. I cheered him on the rest of the way and we had a very nice speedy run.

The map......



Next it went right into the regular Jumpers. Here are the maps, the JWW being on the left.


It was a bit tricky with a few spots where things could go wrong. Fortunately we made it through cleanly! So now we had the first half of QQ#20.  Jimmy earned a 3rd place ribbon for his efforts. I was being extra careful and didn't push Jimmy for speed or tight angles going over the jumps. Here is the video......



This trial ran all the Masters level dogs first so we didn't have to wait too long before it was our turn for Standard. (Map above on the right) Again, the course was a bit tricky, and my biggest concern was the #13 tunnel to the #14 jump, to the #15 table and then back over the #16 jump. That jump bar at #16 was a tough angle coming from the table and I was worried Jimmy might knock it. We made it all the way through those obstacles cleanly only to have Jimmy run right past #17! I don't know if my body was blocking his view, or perhaps the jump blended into the wall and he just didn't see it, but, alas, we were disqualified. And so close to the end.....Here is the video...



Now I always get way more nervous when there is a big title on the line and that doesn't help to get good results. Jimmy's breeder Anne and her husband had come to watch and I SO wanted to be successful. Oh, well, we will just have to play another day! But it won't be for a while. My next trial isn't until mid-October! You all get a break from these Weekend Reports.

Tracking Jimmy's PACH 2 progress:
Very 1st Double-Q: Sunday 5/1/2016
QQ#20: 
Masters JWW legs: 65...MJP Title 01/25/15 MJPB 10/11/15 MJPS Title
Masters STD legs: 59...MXP Title!10/24/14 MXPB 04/30/17 MXPS Title
Double Q's: 19 (out of 20 needed)
PACH Points: Way more than we need! I have lost count!




Thursday, August 24, 2017

A Pup and a Plant for Jackie

Over at Pooch Smooches, Jackie has been coming up with some plant name /  dog photo combinations that are simply amazing! My Wordless Wednesdays pale in comparison!

I tried to rise to the challenge and come up with a few myself. It's much easier to get an idea than it is to actually get the photo. You need the plant and a way to pose your dog. Not as simple as it sounds! I only used the plants and flowers growing at my house so I had to work with what I have.

Here are my attempts....



A Lantana and Jimmy in a matching bandana


A Gerber Daisy next to a corgi who's lazy


A Geranium and a dog's cranium

This next one is for Sue K......A "W" plant!


There was no hysteria with Wilson near Wisteria

Keep Calm and sit by the Palm

And finally......(No animals were harmed in the making of this last photo!)

To sniff a Cactus, Jimmy needed more practice

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