Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Zeus Update

To say I'm thankful for everyone's support and well wishes over the past two weeks is an understatement.  We have received so many supportive messages and well-wishes from far and wide - friends, family and even complete strangers!  It truly amazes me how word spreads through the blog world and the fact that so many people take time from their busy lives to step up and offer support.  And, as I mentioned, many of whom were complete strangers - although I hope we'll become blogging buds  We've met so many wonderful friends over the years through blogging, and although we've yet to meet the majority of them in person, those who hear us speak of them would never know that - you'd think they were life-long friends we grew up with!  

The Power of the Paw is something very special, as is the power of bloggers who band together to help others during difficult times.  Thank you to everyone who has done so for us during the past two weeks!  Your messages mean the world to us. 

We'd also like to publicly thank the awesome folks over at Chewy.com for the Get Well message and absolutely beautiful flowers they sent for Zeus!  To say we were blown away by this surprise is an understatement.  To know that our friends at Chewy are so thoughtful is heartwarming.

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The flowers really brightened my day last week!  And knowing how much my big guy loves to stop and smell the roses (literally!), I know they helped him as well.  The shot below is from last Friday, right after they arrived and before the blooms opened.  You can really see the difference in his own demeanor between it and the shot above, which was taken on Monday.

Wow, thank you @chewy family!! We were just surprised with these beautiful #flowers and Get Well message for Zeus! #love #thankful #roses #PeruvianLilies #dogstagram #Chewy is amazing!

Seriously, Mr. Chewy, you really know how to brighten a girl - and her dog's - day.  The flowers were simply gorgeous (I'm still gushing over that lavender rose in the center).  One of the pink roses broke upon arrival, so what else does one do, but grab a good 'ole shot glass (from Biltmore Estates no less)...

Our Get Well flowers from the awesome @chewy peeps are looking gorgeous!! #thankful #love #flowers #Chewy #peruvianlilies #roses #feelingloved

This #rose was broken when Zeus' get well #flowers arrived from @chewy ... Makes a #BiltmoreEstates shot glass look amazing! #love #thankful #Chewy #feelingloved

Thank you Chewy friends... just to know you were thinking of Zeus really means the world to us!  The flowers were a much needed brightener to a very difficult time.

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Oh, and just in case you missed it, we posted another update yesterday.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wordless Wednesday... Almost

I've lost track of what day it is with everything going on since the 14th, but the calendar is telling me it's Wednesday and time to get wordless.   But before I do that, I wanted to give an update on Zeus.  

It hasn't been easy and I sure feel old with my aching back, knees and shoulders, but I'm happy to report my baby boy is doing so much better!  He's come out of the Vestibular Disease quite nicely and is pretty much back to his usual hobble-wobble self (from the arthritis and old age).  At times he goes up and down the stairs like he was a puppy, while other times he'll ask for some assistance (or assurance, really) and we'll walk with him.  

We went to see Dr. C on Monday afternoon, despite my hesitation of not knowing whether I could get him into my truck by myself.  Much to my surprise, he walked right up his ramp,  got in, laid down, and was happy as a pig-in-poop that we were going for an R-I-D-E!  He even sat up a couple of times when I slowed down to see where we were.  When we got to the vet, he walked right down the ramp and tried sprinting across the parking lot to go see the girls inside. 

My copilot... We're heading to the vet to check in.. Might need some fluids. #ilovemyseniordog #VestibularDisease #megaesophagus #seniordog #instadog #dogstagram

I was even more pleasantly surprised at how well Dr. C thought Zeus was doing!  Not only did she say the Vestibular syndrome was just about gone, but his chest x-rays showed the pneumonia was beginning to clear up and his lungs were looking better!  We talked about our issues with him eating (or lack thereof)/keeping food down and determined he isn't vomiting per say at this stage, but instead regurgitating due to the mega esophagus.  That just means we have to pay extra attention and work even harder at getting him to sit upright (which has been a chore in and of itself when your nearly 100-pound dog is dizzy and weak).  Fortunately he hadn't lost that much more weight in the past week, as I had feared, but my boy is skinny and while weight loss is good for his arthritis, we do need to get some weight back on him.  He's done pretty well with eating, albeit very small amounts, since Monday.  This morning I was more than happy when he heard me getting the other dogs' breakfast and came upstairs looking for his!  I think we're going in the right direction.... finally.  Normally Dr. C refers to Zeus as a "Happy Old Man," but on Monday it was a "Tough Old Man."  She said his recovery thus far is remarkable.  I'll take it... and now, let's get wordless!

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Sunset over #BeechRidge last Thursday night. #nofilter #latergram #sunset #sky #clouds #nature #beautiful #maine #newengland 

It's been a rough couple of days. Taking some time to chill on the couch with some #yarn, needles and a cuddly dog, and this #solidlotion bar from #DenaliDreams #Alaska  #knitstagram #dogstagram #relax #simplelife

Lunch time! Chicken Bruschetta Burger from Big Daddy's Burgers and it's friggin amazing!!!  #foodstagram #FoodTruck #chicken #burger #Massachusetts #delish #yumo

 First #scarf pattern I picked for this #PlymouthYarn Gina didn't work out.. Trying On The Side instead with my Sophie needles. #knitstagram #dogstagram #instaknit #dog #knittingneedles

Zeus' nursing staff, hard at work, lol #dogstagram #houndmix #dobermanmix #coonhoundmix #mybabies #ilovemydogs #rescued #adoptdontshop

Here today with the #racecar Come on down! #HobbyEmporium #inex #uslegends #8 #racing #sponsorappearance

Brewing nicely today! #suntea #icedtea #sun #clouds #sky #tea #summer #love #relax

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Mischief: Those Cheating Ways

**This post was originally scheduled for Mon 8/18, but with everything going on with Zeus, I postponed it.  The cheating was done over 2 weeks ago...**

Well, hey would you look at that... Monday already?  We'd still really like an extra day between Saturday & Sunday.... hmprf.  

Anyway, the Lapdogs wanted me to tell you all about the latest mischief their humans got into.  The nerve of them coming home smelling like baby cow...

I'm in love with a baby cow! #farmanimals #babyanimals #cow #farmstand #newhampshire #toocute #love #farm #babycow

And miniature horse...

Another cutie pie! #farmstand #farm #farmanimals #horse #sosweet #toocute #love #newhampshire
 
And pesky goat...
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The Lapdogs just knew we must have been giving the calves, horsie and goats scratchies!  And to top it all off, Teutul heard I how I *might* have said I feel in love with a baby cow. 
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Tut is beside himself and clearly thinks he is the most adorable thing around. At least that's what the Instagram peeps seemed to think when I posted this Throwback Thursday picture...

Are you ready for some football?!? We can't wait! #tbt #throwbackthursday Baby Teutul #dogstagram #puppy #rescued #coonhoundmix #adoptdontshop #football #rescue #houndmix #love #toocute #curious

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Zeus Update: Gerber To The Rescue

It's been a very emotional week, so please excuse the lack of regularly scheduled blogging and blog reading.  While I've been out of the loop of reading blogs, I have read each and every comment we've gotten with well wishes and concern for Zeus.  I can't even begin to tell you how much your kind thoughts and crossed paws mean to us.  The blog world is full of some truly amazing folks (several of whom I'm proud to say have become dear friends), always willing to reach out to complete strangers during difficult times.  I apologize for not being able to thank everyone personally, but hope you all know what your comments mean to us.  Thank You.   

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Vestibular Disease is absolutely horrible to witness (especially when you don't know what it is) and as hard as it is for us humans to watch our baby go through it, I can only imagine what is going through Zeus' mind.  But, I'm happy to report he's making great progress with it.  He's been getting up and going out with assistance (harness and towel sling) since Sunday.  There were a few times where he tried to get up and hobble on his own without a whole lot of success, but by Monday he was trying really hard.  We took him out to go potty Monday night just before bed time and got him back up the stairs and settled into his bed in the living room.  No more than 5 minutes later he got up and went to bed for real (in our bedroom) all by himself.  I was so proud!

Winding yarn while Zeus chills out on the porch... #love #dogstagram #mybaby #knitstagram #Madelinetosh #newengland #relax
Relaxing on the porch while Mommy wound up some yarn

Since Tuesday, Zeus has been hobbling around more like "drunk dog" as opposed to incapacitated dog.  I've been working some shortened days this week, so I can go home and get him out on the porch in the fresh air (his favorite place to hang out when it's nice outside).  He's been getting himself up to move around out there, as well as to hobble inside the house from time to time.

He totally surprised me yesterday morning.  I got out of the shower to find this had happened...

Got out of the shower this morning and this had happened... Zeus got to the couch and up all on his own! #VestibularDisease #RoadToRecovery #dogstagram #seniordog #megaesophagus #love #hopeful

Yup, Zeus somehow managed to get up on the couch all by himself.  Again, so proud!

So, it seems he in process of coming out of the Vestibular Disease, however now we battle the pneumonia.  We changed antibiotics on Monday evening after talking to Dr. C.  The one prescribed to him by the other vet on Sunday definitely seemed to be upsetting his stomach (and never mind that it was 5 capsules per dose) - he wasn't keeping them all down.  He seems to be doing better on the newer one, except he's had less of an appetite.  He ate more Sunday and Monday than he has the past couple of days.  In fact, he ate so little on Tuesday that I was really worried.  On my way home yesterday, I stopped and bought some good 'ole Gerber.  It was time to bring out the big guns for my baby!  I got 4 of their "2nd stage" little containers into him yesterday, along with a can of the Hill's prescription A/D.  He had 2 more little containers of Gerber this morning... 

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At the vet on Sunday.  The scale seemed like a good place to rest.


Please keep the positive thoughts and crossed paws coming!  And, would you also please keep them going for our dear friend Morgan as well?  

She's having a rough time and her Mom thought perhaps she also had Vestibular Disease yesterday, however it turns out to be a really bad infection.  Her Mom is one of those very dear friends I met through blogging... I wish we lived closer and could help each other out right now.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Zeus Update - Continued Power of the Paw Request

Well, it has been a very rocky road around here since Thursday.  This is going to be a bit of a drive-by post (excuse any typos), but I wanted to update everyone and ask for the continued crossed paws please... we really need them!

Zeus is resting... Diagnosis is Vestibular Syndrome of old dogs. Hoping to see improvement in 2 or 3 days. Keep the paws crossed please. #seniordog #mybaby #ilovemyseniordog

Zeus was diagnosed with Vestibular Disease of Old Dogs on Thursday.  It literally came on over night.  He was perfectly fine Wednesday when we went to bed, and when I got up with Lola in the middle of the night (more about my night owl some other time).  Thursday morning he was obviously having a problem with his hind legs and it appeared he had fallen and scared himself (he had peed and pooped where he was lying down).  Fortunately I had Thursday off from work and was at home.  I watched him deteriorate more and more over the day and won't even begin to tell you the thoughts going through my mind or the amount of tears I shed.  It became obvious pretty quickly that he hadn't fallen and sprained an ankle or something - his front legs were no longer working and he was just lying in one spot, unable to control his bowel movements.

As soon as we got him into the vet's office (a project in and of itself to move my big guy), she immediately recognized the signs of Vestibular Disease - and I calmed down considerably.  His eyes were twitching back and forth, non-stop ... a big sign of what was going on.  If you click through the link above you'll be able to read more about this disease, but basically it's really bad vertigo, dizziness, etc.  No wonder why my baby couldn't stand up!

They gave him an injection for the motion sickness, loaded him up with fluids and sent us home.  There's nothing to do to "cure" Vestibular Disease, you just have to ride it out.  Dr. C said we should see improvement in 48-72 hours and Zeus should come out of it altogether in about 5-10 days (though he may continue to have a head tilt -- the least of my worries!).

Things were progressing as best they could, I got him to eat a few very small meals on Friday and to drink some water.  He even tried to come upstairs at one point Friday evening, but quickly realized he didn't have his balance and laid back down.  

Saturday things seemed more off and he refused to eat, and drank only a small amount of water.... and then the worst, he started coughing.  I was hopeful it wasn't anything major, but when I woke up Sunday to find him very out of sorts and coughing a lot, I knew we had to get to the vet.  My worst fear since he was diagnosed with Mega-esophagus was realized - my baby ended up with aspiration pneumonia after being so immobile.  

My baby on his way to the vet this morning. He got more fluids and had chest xrays which confirmed my fear that the Vestibular syndrome combined with his mega esophagus has resulted in pneumonia. :( crossed paws please...

After his chest x-rays, they gave him another injection for the motion sickness and more fluids and sent us home with 140 antibiotic capsules.  Yes, I said 140 - and that's just 2 weeks worth (he needs 5 per dosage).  We also took home some stinky prescription canned food in hopes of enticing him to eat... especially because the antibiotic is supposed to be given on a full stomach.  

Zeus ate a few times yesterday and was drinking well.  We got a couple of doses of the antibiotic in him and are just hopeful he's keeping enough of it down.  Please... cross those paws in hopes that this antibiotic kicks in fast and does the trick.  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Black & White Sunday: Waiting for Fall

Happy Sunday everyone!  We're hanging out over here just waiting for fall... We even managed to capture a leaf in this picture!

Sophie says Good Morning IG! #rescued #houndmix #dogstagram #instadog #blackandwhite #love #adoptdontshop #ilovemydogs #chill #relax #summer #lounge #happydog

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Power of the Paw Request

Please cross your paws and send good vibes.  Zeus is not having a good day at all and I'm well past the worried stage.  We're heading to see Dr. C shortly.....

My baby has not had a good morning... Crossed paws and good vibes please? #seniordog #ilovemyseniordog #love