Tuesday, June 25, 2013

She was CH Terrydale HK No Doubt

The veterinarian explained the panting that is so characteristic of lymphoma. As the white blood cells multiply and the red cells die, the dog has increasing difficulty getting air in her lungs. Also Prednisone can cause panting. By this morning, Alanis was very anemic and was showing signs of the jaundice that would indicate the disease attacking her liver. In such cases, a dog can be given a blood transfusion; but neither the vet nor I saw anything good in putting Alanis through that procedure merely in order to gain a few more days.

So she's gone.

She was a very ladylike Airedale, like someone schooled in manners and deportment.

She disliked being on the grooming table and would give me mournful looks, as if to say, "I have put in my time at this; I'm supposed to be retired."

She hung out with Miro when he was little. As he got older, I think she found him too much of a heathen.
Dec. 8, 2000--June 25, 2013

Alanis this morning

This morning Alanis did not want to get up, eat, or drink. Panting with anxiety and sounding just like her, I efficiently offered the cooked mix she had been enjoying, kibble, sardines, water, broth, and finally peanut butter. She sniffed at each as if interested but would eat only the peanut butter, which I mixed with a little water and put on bread. Miro stood by drooling puddles on the carpet.

When I got Alanis up with the aid of a towel like a sling under her belly, all she did was stumble to the other bed across the room and lie down. Instead of crawling under the table and curling up in a ball, I made rational decisions.

When I called the vet, I burst into tears as soon as the receptionist answered. Fortunately, she understands that language. I'm about to leave to bring Alanis in for an evaluation.

Thanks for your kind support so far. How did we used to get through without this community?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Alanis's illness

I have not wanted to write about this, but it's the elephant in the room. If you don't confront it, you're stuck. During Labor Day weekend, I noticed that Alanis was panting and drinking more water than usual. Since she's an old dog, I worried that she had developed Cushing's disease. The news on May 28 was far worse; she has lymphosarcoma, also known as lymphoma. It is fatal in all dogs. Chemotherapy extends the dog's life an average of 9 to 12 months. The general lifespan for an Airedale is twelve and Alanis is now twelve-and-a-half  I opted for the palliative therapy of Prednisone. 
 What does a person say to herself? Alanis has been a healthy dog up until now; she has reached the average lifespan for an Airedale. But however old the dog, when she's ill and dying, you live every moment in tension. I hear the panting day and night. It's not labored breathing yet, just panting, a usual symptom of the disease. Supposedly she's not in pain (a friend told me to watch for a hunched back or other tension in the body) but she's clearly not comfortable. She has lost weight and grows more frail. She's still eating. In fact, she's happy to eat because she's getting cooked meals instead of kibble, but she can't metabolize the food the way she used to.

I searched for, and found, a lot of information but not the information I wanted. It's worth reading about, though, because lymphoma is the most common cancer in all dogs. I'll sum it up in a future post.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The score

Sherry--9; birds and slugs--1

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Visit to Victoria

Last week I went to Victoria, B.C. for a conference, but here's the city's prime attraction.
I didn't actually go inside. I like the idea of a bug zoo; I don't like bugs, not even butterflies. (Don't let those pretty wings fool you. Butterflies still have crawly feet!)
Living in Seattle, we don't think of Victoria as being very far away; but it's a schlep to get there if you drive and take a ferry, especially if you drive north in I-5 where the Skagit River bridge collapsed. I took the 3-hr Clipper ride, which is actually a 5-hr trip when you factor in the drive to the pier and the hour wait to get on the boat. Before going to the conference and meeting up with friends after, I focused on the important stuff.

Cute ducklings resting on lily pads in the ornamental pool in front of a hotel.
After the conference, spectacular views were de rigueur.

But look at this view. I visited Joanne Helm and her husband Jon, who gave me Alanis nearly five years ago.
Airedale Mary, Irish Kelly and Cairn whose-name-I forget.
Spree. Alanis' granddaughter (if I've kept them properly sorted out).


Gypsy, my most admired. Sired by Joanne Helm's  Harry Potter from a bitch in Romania, she has that indefinable Airedale presence. Some refer to it as Airedale mind-meld because you only have to look at the dog for her to take over your brain. I took the photo from a distance because Gypsy insisted on staying on her rock.
As an anti-climax, Blogger is refusing to load any other photos. There's also Mary, she-who-must-be-obeyed, lounging with her Armadillo stuffie. I was amazed to see a stuffie that still had all its guts intact.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mean girls

When I checked on the chickens tonight, I found Bazooka alone in the main house

and the other three huddled together in the old, falling-apart shelter that doesn't have a perch.

Surprised on camera!
Edna has been going alone into the shelter for some time because Bazooka picks on her. Now everybody is avoiding Bazooka. Junior high all over again.