Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Spoiling Thru the Heartbreak #CancerSucks

We've been spoiling Lola as best we can... as our hearts break.

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Sisterly love. #dogstagram #houndmix #dobermanmix #dobiemix #rescued #sisters #ilovemydogs

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Spoiling my girl as much as possible... Peanut butter in her #Kong has always been a favorite. #Heartbreaking #Osteosarcoma #BoneCancer #dobermanmix #dobiemix #CancerSucks #dogstagram #instadog

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Snow day + Lola spoiling = peanut butter #Kong #ilovemydogs #dogstagram #instadog #CancerSucks #sisters #adoptdontshop

Tut is doing his best to comfort Lola. I don't know whether to smile or cry. #dogstagram #ilovemydogs #dobermanmix #CancerSucks #Osteosarcoma

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On Saturday, we received a wonderful surprise package of toys and treats from Harper and her family.  It really meant a lot to know they were thinking of us and helped to brighten all of the Lapdogs' spirits.  Of course, it also reminded me of the play dates we put off last fall.  Harper was one of those fosters who really clicked with both Lola and Sophie.  Please, learn from our mistakes and don't put those special moments off.  If there's one thing this absolutely awful experience has taught me, don't put things off... you just never know what can happen, or when.  Live life to it's fullest... all the time.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday Mischief: Senior R-I-D-E

Well, it's been one heck of a roller coaster ride with Lola these past few days.  We've had ups and we've had some downs, and we thought we might actually be making a really tough decision today.  But... we're not quite there yet, so instead of those ugly details, how about a HAPPY post?


We haven't had a lot of fun mischief going on in the Lapdog household as of late, but Friday was certainly an exception.  I was getting Lola ready to go for a little joy R-I-D-E when Zeus decided that whether I liked it or not, he was going too.  He tried to tag along with us earlier in the week as well, but it's not very easy for me to manage two limpy, gimpy seniors on my own.  He didn't seem to mind, and just knew Mommy would figure it out...

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So, off we went for a nice ride with a couple of pit stops.  I didn't take Lola for a double cheeseburger this time, since I wasn't sure how that would go over with Zeus' mega esophagus while on the go.  Instead, we stopped at the post office, then headed to the store for some more special Valentine's cookies.

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While I managed to get them both in the car, I knew there was no way I'd get them both out for any sight seeing, so we just went for an extra long ride instead... taking the scenic route home.  I think they both really enjoyed it.

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There was a lot of relaxing going on at home after their big adventure...

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Here's to a few more blissful days.  Looks like we're going to be snowed in for at least tomorrow... there will be lots of cuddling, snuggling, spoiling, and loving on the agenda.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lola Update - Riding the Roller Coaster #PowerofThePaw

It's been over a week since I posted an update on the sweetest dog in the world, Lola.  Please excuse the lack of blogging, but I've found my time to be best suited to cuddling and snuggling... and spoiling her like crazy! 

Absolutely nothing beats this right now... It took some convincing, but I got Lola up on the couch to cuddle in my lap for awhile. She used to get up on the couch with me every night, whether cuddling in my lap or laying behind me. I'm really going to mis

We have indeed been tossed on that roller coaster ride that the holistic vet warned us about.  I won't lie, my emotions can go from 0 to 60 in .5 seconds flat.  Devastated.  Heartbroken.  Angry.  Screaming WHY.  Pissed Off.  Wondering why the hell life can be so damn cruel.

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The IV treatment, which we did 2 weeks ago today, did not work as we had hoped.  Hannah believes it most certainly did something, but the cancer is still attacking her shoulder area at an alarming rate.  Perhaps this means we might have already had to say goodbye had we not done the treatment... I'm not sure.   

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Despite the visible signs, Lola still remains quite strong and determined.  Nothing keeps her from eating, and while she can't get around as easily as she would like, she manages to surprise me greatly.  Like last week when the UPS truck came and she not only got up to bark at it, she actually got up on the box in front of the window to see out and bark at it (something she hadn't done in weeks)!  The roller coaster was going up again...

Today's happy moment... Sure the pic is grainy because I was sitting across the room with Zeus, but this just happened... The UPS truck came and Lola got up to look and bark at it! This has not happened in a couple weeks! Apparently she's feeling a little

Then we hit a downward slide when I got home from work on Thursday and noticed her lower leg was quite swollen.  After describing it to Dr. C, she felt it was edema, and confirmed that Friday morning.  Either the bone destruction is blocking the lymph node from draining, or the cancer may actually be in her lymph node now.  Talk about a major punch in the gut.  Watching her leg and paw continue to get bigger and bigger, I honestly thought we weren't going to make it through the weekend.  It doesn't hurt her at all.  If anything, she seems a little annoyed by her super-sized leg/paw.  Thankfully it didn't continue to swell at such an alarming rate and seems to be somewhat stable... if anything about this process can be stable.

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The humans took Lola out for a R-I-D-E on Saturday and made a couple of pit stops for some photos.  It was freezing, but Lola was so happy to be out for a ride.  She began to tire after our second photo stop, but seemed to have a blast.  I haven't downloaded the photos from the camera yet... but hope we managed to capture some precious moments.

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On Tuesday I went home early from work, not feeling so great and hoping to take a nap on the couch.  I was expecting to find Lola acting rather lame, as I've been worrying about things even more since Friday.  Instead, she greeted me with a toy in her mouth (something she used to do every single time either of her humans came home, but hasn't in weeks), obviously excited to have Mommy home early.  I *might* have said the word "ride" and she immediately hopped as fast as she could to the stairs and began going down all by herself (much to my horror... her leg is at high risk for fracture at this point and normally she not only needs help getting down the stairs, but occasionally some bribing to get her there as well).  When we got outside, she demanded to go for a ride... and despite me feeling like crap, there was no way I would deny her request. 
Lola loved her double cheeseburger! #dogstagram #dobermanmix #dobiemix #seniordog #ilovemydogs #ilovemyseniordog #CancerSucks #Osteosarcoma #McDonalds

We headed off to Mickey D's for burgers, then over to one of our local pet boutiques for a special cookie.  I thought about getting her out to walk around for a bit, but the temperatures were dropping very quickly, so instead we took a longer-than-usual ride home.  She was thrilled... and I smiled bigger than I have in a long time. 

Yum! Got Valentine cookie? #dogstagram #dobiemix #dobermanmix #ilovemyseniordog #seniordog #ilovemydogs #ilovebigmutts

We are truly cherishing every.single.minute. with the sweetest girl in the world.  Completely unsure just how much precious time we have left, I continue to shed spontaneous tears, and she continues to comfort me by licking them away.  I will never understand why this nasty, nasty disease attacked my baby girl.  Simply put, cancer sucks. 

Lots of cuddling going on today. Tut and Lola. <3 #dogstagram #ilovemydogs

As you can see, Lola's siblings have been doing their best to comfort their big sister.  I can't help but smile and cry at the same time... seeing Sophie and Tut go over and lay with her... I can't even put it into words.  Zeus has been doing his best to stick close by as well, although he's been having some rough days with his mega esophagus and not feeling so great himself. 

Thank you to each and everyone of you who continue to keep Lola in your thoughts, comment on our posts and send well wishes our way.  It truly means the world to us.  (and please excuse any rambling, typos, etc.)

ETA: I pre-wrote this post yesterday.  I must add in that we had a really rough evening with Lola, and Zeus had another bad night with his mega-e.  I'm honestly not sure what today will bring for my sweet baby girl.  While she is still very alert, and really interested in eating, things are going downhill quickly when it comes to her pain threshold.  Please, keep the good thoughts coming.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Quality Time

Happy Wordless Wednesday.  Please excuse the sporadic blogging (we do have several review items to get up.. eventually), and especially my lack of reading other blogs, as we continue to cherish each and every day with Lola. 

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Lola and Tut checking out the fresh snow... #dogstagram #instadog #snow #winter #rescued #dobermanmix #coonhoundmix #seniordog

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Lola - One Week Later #PowerOfThePaw

Well, here we are, exactly one week after I realized 2015 was off to the suckiest start imaginable (post linked for those of you who may have missed it).  One week after our vet confirmed my worst fear.  One week after she uttered those two nasty words: bone cancer.

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Lola made new friends at the holistic vet's office on Thursday.  I can't say enough wonderful things about our new friend Hannah.  The appointment began with some heartache and tough talking - namely she wanted to ensure that we fully understood Lola's diagnosis (sure Dr. C went through the motions on Tuesday, but I'm sure I looked like I was just hoping to spring awake from a terrible dream) and the fact that bone cancer is the most painful type of cancer for any dog or human to get.  And, of course, there is no cure (apparently there is a vaccine in the works that would greatly slow down, or possibly even stop the cancer from metastasizing - but that's not an option yet).  Our plan was to first and foremost, treat and manage Lola's pain.  Hannah warned us of the rollercoaster ride we were about to embark on, indicating there will be good days and bad... and just when we think it might be "time," Lola could surprise us all.  She prepared us as best she could for this emotional whirlwind... but I feel like I've been living on that emotional rollercoaster with Zeus for at least a year.  I never asked for another seat on this ride, but it is what it is... and I'll do everything in my power to have my baby girl here with us for as long as she can remain a happy girl.

We opted to go forward with the IV treatment that Hannah had told me about when we spoke on the phone.  It's not alternative or holistic, but traditional medicine administered by a slow-drip IV which she had recently found out about through another vet who was treating a great dane with bone cancer.  The medicine was shown to slow down the growth of the tumor and the bone destruction.  Lola stayed at the vet hospital most of the day, as the treatment began with 2 hours of fluids, followed by 2 hours for the medication, and another 2 hours of fluids (the fluids act as a "flush" and are important to the overall treatment). Apparently she made friends with all of the girls, instantly showering them with her charm.  They were still finishing up the IV when we arrived to pick her up and while we waited, there was a line of employees coming out to tell us how unbelievably sweet Lola is (believe me, we know... which doesn't make any of this easy) and how they were all showering her with treats all day.  If the treatment works as we hope, and things are going smoothly, we can repeat this treatment in 4 - 6 weeks.  
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We also left with two Chinese herbs to start Lola on, Hoxsey and Power Mushrooms.  However, she had some vomiting on Saturday and as a result, we've stopped the Hoxsey for now, gave her a couple doses of anti-nausea medicine and are hopeful that it was the Hoxsey upsetting her stomach and not the Rimadyl (which we added in on Thursday evening).  Keep your fingers crossed, because Lola has seemed to be feeling much better since Thursday and not in as much pain or discomfort.  

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Things have been pretty quiet and low-key at home.  Lola spends a lot of time napping (although that's not much different), and I try to get in as much snuggle time as I can.  She is still very food motivated and driven.  Zeus, Sophie and Teutul are all concerned about their sister and not quite sure what's going on, however I think it may be setting in with them.  Tut kept bringing Lola toys and trying to get her to play over the weekend, while Sophie would periodically go over and just lay down next to her sister.  Zeus, who often spends time by himself, seems to be a little more concerned about his sister in the past couple of days and has been sticking nearby as well.  It is so hard to watch.... and as much as I try to remain positive and keep smiling, I won't lie... we are just devastated.  Never did I think we wouldn't have another summer to play outside, another birthday to celebrate, more time to catch up with old friends (including all those foster dog play dates we put off last fall), a chance to take Lola to the race track (really kicking myself for not doing that last season)... Never did I think we'd be loosing the sweetest, most loving dog in the world so terribly soon.

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Please keep the paws crossed and continue to send good vibes.  While my heart will surely break, I hope it won't be for awhile and that we'll have some good, quality time to spend with our baby girl.

(PS excuse any typos or rambling in this post... I didn't proofread it before hitting "publish" - and please excuse any intermittent blogging during this time)