Saturday, May 19, 2018

Charlie is Home!

Charlie is home!  I finally heard from the surgeon last evening around 9 PM.  Everything had gone well, even though there was some post-op bleeding. We have been given 3 pages of discharge instructions to follow. 
Charlie slept all day, had no interest in dinner, or anything else for that matter.  But I did manage to get him to take his medications wrapped in cheese to help with the pain and discomfort he's no doubt having.
But Charlie is home, and that's all that matters.  Let the healing begin!

Thursday, May 17, 2018


Today is the day of Charlie's surgery. The drive to the surgery center was nearly an hour away and there was plenty to look at. 
We've had a lot of stormy and severe weather for more than a week.  Small streams like in the photo below are either at or near flood stage.  On Tuesday, lightning struck the ground next to a co-workers home. It found its way into her house and "electrocuted" everything that was plugged in.  Thankfully she and her family (and their dog) are all safe.  But it will be awhile before they can live in their home.  All this a reminder to take weather warnings seriously.
Even though we were late arriving at the surgery center, Charlie and I still waited, a little nervously, for the technician to come and take him to the back.

I'd been initially told that I could pickup Charlie at the end of the day and bring him home.  However, the surgeon called a couple of hours ago to discuss a few things with me, and said that he'll need to stay overnight.  I'm really disappointed he'll need to stay, but I know it's for the best.

Here at home, there's plenty to keep my mind off of everything. Our boy Jake isn't doing well. While his spirit is still willing, his body is starting to fail because of the severe arthritis in his back.  Its been a struggle the last week to keep him going. I know that this all means that our time with Jake is coming to an end. But this is his journey and we will let him set the pace and enjoy the time we have.
And even thought I'm trying to focus on Jake and the other dogs today.  I have to admit that my mind does wander back to Charlie, and now that it's after 5 PM, I wonder, when will the surgeon call me to tell me how everything has gone?   I'll bet Todd knows.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A Dog Free Weekend

Back in the coldest days of February, my thoughts always seem to turn to warmer weather and getting away.  So, that's what I did.  I thought of warmer weather and planned a trip to see my good and longtime friend that lives in Lancaster Pennsylvania.
Crossing the Susquehanna River  
Usually I stay with my friend, but because of a few changes in her life, I cruised the listings on "Airbnb" and found a place near her home.  An old candy-shop located in nearby Lititz that had been turned into a guesthouse was perfect. The time alone gave me some needed down-time, and of course the time with my friend allowed me to recharge as well.  I really needed it.
My friend has lived in Lancaster for more than 30 years, and so she knows all the best places to eat. And eat we did - A lot of the wrong things, and too much.
Tomato pie with a rosemary scone. 
My friend also knows all the best nurseries.  A favorite of hers, and mine as well, is a Mennonite nursery that has a really good selection and the healthiest of plants. I also like them because they do not use neonic pesticides on bee-attractive plants like many (most?) of the big-box stores do. Now I just need to find the time to plant everything.

All too soon, my dog-free weekend ended.  Of course I missed the dogs. But for the first time in a long time, I feel recharged and ready for what's ahead. At the top of that list will be Charlie's surgery which is scheduled for May 17th.

But before I go back to work on Wednesday, tomorrow there is one last road trip. It's to return the lovely Molly who has been with us for a few days while her family has been out of town for a memorial service.  It's always nice to have her stay with us, and today happens to mark exactly one year since we met her for the first time.
It doesn't seem possible and I have to wonder where does the time go?  I'll bet Todd doesn't even know. Or does he?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

A New Arrival and Charlie

Two weeks? Really? In many ways, it seems like more time than that has passed since I last posted, but in other ways, it's doesn't. I hope it goes without saying that I've missed my blogging friends and that glimpse into your lives and world.
I think I'll begin with a new arrival. Two weeks ago today we welcomed a new feline. He and 7 other cats were left behind when their owner moved.  The "cat-coalition" in our county trapped them, and now that they are all vetted, they are ready for new outdoor homes.
It was really a chance meeting when I was dropping off our foster cat at the vets office who had been adopted. But I'm not sure how it happened. One moment I was saying how handsome "Orangie" was, and the next minute, the cat-coordinator had him packed up and was taking him to my van and she was telling me there was no adoption fee. Gino, as I've decided to call him, will be an outdoor cat. For about another month, he'll be crated in our garage with an outside view during the day, and free inside at night, to help connect to the new place he calls home.  He's a really nice cat, and I'm hopeful and hoping he'll want to stay around. Even though he doesn't really seem to like the dogs.

I'll save some of the other news that has consumed me for another post, and tell you about Charlie.

Two weeks ago he went to the groomer for his spring haircut. When I returned to pick him up, Irina (our Romanian groomer) told me about a lump she'd noticed on Charlie's bottom. She was quite concerned about it, and told me to be sure and have it checked out by our vet. Mobile vet came last week and confirmed that it was an anal-gland-tumor that is more than likely cancer. After seeing a surgeon, we've been told there are few options.  But surgery should be done.
Before proceeding with any surgery, I felt like I should know if the cancer, which has a high probability of spreading, has metastasized anywhere else. The surgeon didn't do x-rays and so I returned to Mobile Vet to have them done. It was good news in that it doesn't appear to have spread, and Charlie's blood work looks pretty good for a dog of his respectable age (about 13).
~Waiting for the surgeon~
With this news, I've decided to move forward and do a palliative surgery to remove the single mass, and no lymph nodes even if the cancer has spread into them. I'm hoping that will give Charlie more time, and make him more comfortable. The holistic vet that sees Jake will also play a part in helping to manage Charlie's health.

For several reasons, I've opted to not have the surgeon who did the console not do the surgery. Instead, I'll be contacting another place to see about getting it scheduled.  I'm hoping that "this place" will be able to take Charlie as a patient. When and if they do, I'll fill  you in on those details.

Of course I'm worried about him. But I am optimistic about everything, and I feel like we have a good plan going forward. Charlie is feeling well and that really helps too. I'll end by sharing one of Charlie's x-rays. Mobile Vet commented when reviewing it that Charlie has a big heart. I told him I didn't need to see an x-ray to know that. Those of  you who are longtime readers of this blog, know that too.
Thank-you all for stopping by.  I hope you all are doing well, and I so look forward to catching up on your news. 
~Max catching up on his TV watching~