Sunday, June 15, 2014

The dog with 9 lives

Well, he's dodged another bullet.
The general vet seemed fairly convinced it was osteosarcoma, however the specialist surgeon immediately determined it to be similar to a previous weird lump made of fibrous tissue.
He then had a check of his joints & aspirated a few other lumps and declared Bugsy a freak.
Nine going on four he said. LOL. That's my boy.
We have been celebrating life by visiting, playing, swimming and generally 'doing' stuff.
Being outgoing brings out the best in Bugsy. I always find it kind of remarkable.
Tonight I decided to take him to a local microbrew, turned out they were having a fundraiser, live music and massive crowds. Loads of people, kids & dogs. Seriously noisy. 
He was so happy, couldn't stop smiling.
People patting him on the head, stepping over him, kids screaming; his response "I love this place!"
I loved to see the differing reactions to him, people stopping for kisses and petting to horrified looks of terror. No matter, he just kept smiling, wiggling & waggling.
Damn I love this dog.
He spent the morning swimming & heron hunting with his GSP puppy friend, helped with yard work & household chores & impatiently waited to go to the microbrew. 
He isn't everyone's cup of tea but I couldn't ask for a better canine buddy.
Thanks Bugsy for being a freak of the very best kind

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Feeling more positive

As the time approaches I seem to be getting more and more comfortable that the prognosis will be good.
I keep looking at my Beastie boy and trying to find signs he is in terrible pain, or ill-health. It just isn’t there.
This morning we took a nice long walk in the sticky white air of the North Carolina summers, he began panting in the first half mile but so did I.
Then we saw a friend, and another friend. Both were greeted with oodles of joy and energy. Much bouncy insanity ensued from all the furry pups.
After that brief interlude of cwazee, we continued on our way. He has taken to checking in with me to see if we are turning around or moving on and he was happy to see we’d continue.
We saw a new human friend (we met yesterday, to Bugsy this is now a friend) and then two more human friends with their dogs.
All the while I saw no hitch in his step, no exhaustion, plenty of drool, but then again that is fairly normal for Beastie on walks, especially hot humid walks filled with canine nuttiness.
His nose is working fine – too fine as per usual.
Yesterday I lost count of the squirrel chases, he clearly feels this is a high priority assignment and he absolutely has to ensure they don’t eat all the bird seed.
He wants all the treats and food you will offer, is drinking fine and eliminating fine.
He is playful and downright funny.
Basically he seems absolutely normal for him.
As Thursday afternoon approaches I am feeling less and less afraid of what I will hear. I have even been thinking that I wish I did the xrays yesterday; however I know this decision is for the best.
So thanks for all the hugs and prayers and thoughts – I sure hope we don’t need them again soon.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

That day

Many of you have followed the convoluted life that has been Bugsy's life.
You know the level of dedication I have had to keep him up and running at Bugsy speed.
You know that in his way he is special.
And you know that I love him in the way that one does when you realize your heart dog is your best buddy, ever.
Well Bugsy is aging.
Remarkably his muzzle remains mostly devoid of gray and his best canine friends all remain under the age of 2.
There have been so many health issues, which seems so odd when you look at this strong, muscled, shiny-coated mutt.
In each instance I have poured myself into finding the right vet to provide the right solution and fortunately it has worked so far.
A couple of years ago the lumps started to arrive. A cyst, a lipoma, all normal benign stuff.
And then a few months back one that seemed different. I showed it to the vet who said, "I'm not worried about that"
And three weeks ago when it seemed to present itself as a "hey, yo, look at this" my stomach dropped.
Today we saw the vet.
No aspiration.
Let's get xrays.
If the bone is compromised, we'll xray his chest.
Let's have that done on Monday.

And this is my boy.
Who several people as they entered the vet's office said, "wow what a handsome dog" and received kisses and tail wags for noticing.
This my boy who patiently tolerated all the manipulations the vet put him through and then wagged and wiggled and kissed the vet.
The vet looking at him as he wagged and wiggled with a sadness in his eyes.
And saying, "aw Bugs" over and over.

I thought I was going to be fine. I am not.
I know we won't know until we get the xrays. However I do know that my boy is nearly 9, is an XL neutered as a baby male and that they are prone to osteosarcoma.
I know that I know three people who's 100-115lb dogs died at 9.
I do know there isn't a damn thing more I could have done for him.
I have sacrificed so much to make sure I was the owner he has needed.
I have no regrets.
I also know I do not know how to imagine life without him.
He is my partner in crime.
He is the being that never says no to an adventure.
He is the being that looks into my eyes with anticipation and expectation.
He is my guaranteed joy.

Pray for my boy
Pray for me
This cannot be his time.

Monday, May 12, 2014

it really isn't insanity

During the week I wake at 5am at the latest, put on walking clothes and interrupt Bugsy's morning rolling session to head out into the darkness.
I start the coffee before I go so that at least I can have a few whiffs of the glorious smell, I won't taste any until I return.
As I strap on my shoes and affix the flashlights I often think, "either this is dedication or I am completely insane."

This morning as I sleepily headed down the drive, Bugsy leading the way, wide awake, ready to run and hunt, I sighed and took a deep breath.
At that moment I smelled the flowers of the privet hedge, and honeysuckle, and the early tulip tree buds. The morning air was heavy and still. The moisture was holding the scent.
I took another long inhale and my eyes went skyward, the stars were large and bright.
The only sounds were some doves, a few songbirds, an owl or two.
My thoughts of tiredness left. I felt exhilarated - not ready to run and hunt alongside the Beast but suddenly I didn't feel insane for leaving my bed to walk.

As I did my best to keep up with my Beast, I thought about this time we have together. It sets the tone for our morning and our day.
Last week I changed our routine and didn't take him for two mornings, my day didn't really feel right and by the reaction I got on Friday when I took him back out for an early morning walk, he had missed our time too.
It is our routine and Bugsy loves a routine. I mean he LOVES a routine.
If we do our walk, once home OUR routine continues. Each action I take, he takes a complimentary one.
Even to the point at which I put some of my things in the car, he will run to the door to watch me put them in the car, once he sees me shut the car door, he runs to his bed and assumes his 'relaxed' pose  waiting for his treat.
Here he is in his 'relaxed' pose

So in the end I declare it sane to wake up before 5am, don walking gear and get dragged down the road in the pitch black.
Of course I reserve the right to change my mind once the copperheads become active

Friday, April 18, 2014

It's like a dream come true: Bugsy's Team, SPCA Walk 2014

In May 2006 Bugsy age @ 8 months old participated in his first SPCA of Wake County Dog Walk.
You truly cannot imagine how much he enjoyed that day. Really.

I can still recall the first walk, actually the post walk party; a German Shepherd, that took offense to Bugsy's sniffing of said GSD's butt, attempted to eat B. All B did was wag his tail and give the GSD a look to say 'lighten up dude'. After the GSD's owner settled the dog back down, Bugs went right back to sniffing the dog's butt. Carefree and confident. We were mortified.
Thus we learned that B's intent was to sniff every butt he could and the dog walk was butt-sniffing paradise.

 (photo from 2009)
Over the years we have experienced a variety of weather at the dog walk -
we've had rain, clouds, sun, cold weather, hot weather, perfect weather & the very interesting; just-before-tornadoes-hit-weather.
(2011:approximately 2 hours before tornadoes whipped through causing destruction in Raleigh)
Bugsy has walked for the SPCA as a pup, as a healthy young dog, while recovering from a TPLO, and last year just two weeks after shoulder and elbow surgery he suffered the indignity of 'competing' in the Senior Walk. It was quite embarrassing as he was hell-bent on lapping all the 'competitors'.

(2013: sporting the half shaved look)

So this year we'll be back in the full 'race'.

That brings me to another thing we have learned: his intent is to finish first.
It's no walk, it is a race you foolish humans. We used to line up mid-pack and then he'd launch himself at the start as if he heard the starter's gun at the Kentucky Derby.
Now we just line up in the front row. Usually next to a GSP called Daisy who has the same philosophy of finishing in the lead.
(2012; with Daisy and my Dad holding me back!)

We, the humans, always meet and make friends there. Bugsy always finds dogs to play with and he also has calmed many a nervous dog. I recall one year there was a gorgeous female pittie that was so overwhelmed. We stopped to say hi and within seconds she was wagging and kissing him. Then she attached herself to him. Her owner was amazed at how she had come out of her shell, as long as she was by his side. That was a proud moment, so we walked with her for a while.

(2013: he's making a new friend)

I have so many memories of our Dog Walks, it is a special event for us humans and for the crazy canine Bugsy.
(Here he is trying to defend his title as best kisser (2008):)
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and now 2014. 

Wow looking at year by year is a stark reminder that my Beast isn't a young dog and I am no spring chicken myself.

Every year has been fabulous, however, I think this year will be the best ever.
This year Bugsy truly has a team. Team Bugsy which I'll call Team Zoomie.
I want to stop myself from saying this out loud but I cannot.
I hope that Team Bugsy/Zoomie and the donations made to that team, forever-more, become HIS legacy.

I know that if he could, he'd tell me to give back to the SPCA because they saved his wiggly butt. And he'd also want to make sure that other strays, owner turn-ins, etc. were afforded the same kindness that he received from the SPCA of Wake County.

So thank you Jake, Paxton, and Angus for joining Team Bugsy.
Breslin we look forward to seeing you at the walk too!

Lastly in case this swayed you to want to join us or sponsor us there is still time!
Join or Sponsor Team Bugsy/Zoomie

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The evolution of the Bugsmonster, like a fine wine

A funny thing has happened to Bugsy. 
He has matured and softened. 
Don't get me wrong, he still wants to kill furry things, runs like a fool because he can, and does ridiculous things that make my heart stop. 
However, these days you can pet him and he seems to enjoy it. 
We had a rainy day and I was sick; he laid next to me happy to snooze all day long. 
He walks. 
I know you are like so he walks, Bugsy trots. In the house, in the yard, pretty much everywhere. 
Tonight though he happily sauntered around the yard. Eventually he laid down and enjoyed the fire I had made. It was all so civilized. Peaceful even.
In the past I have worried about his aging from a physical standpoint and of course there have been changes, he currently seems healthy enough though and his broken joints are as good or better than one should reasonably expect.
He has just mellowed a bit. A little less frenetic, a little less intense.
A bit softer, more settled, and finally willing to be loved and touched.
Age 8.5. Like a fine wine, he has matured spectacularly.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Dog management to enable 'working from home' to be productive

If when you try to work from home, you get this:

Then I highly recommend lots of this:
(Today it was about 5 miles with plenty of off leash time)

Then you may have a reasonable amount of time like this:

*praying for a few hours but I am an optimist*