Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cancer in Goldens

Above, Nala shows her intelligence, even in a photo it is easy to see she is very smart.   Just like Albert Einstein, Nala has that disheveled look with the messy hair.

Our cousins went home Monday evening.   We had a good time entertaining our friends, but with the
death of Gracie, we did not run and play as much as we usually do.   We spent most of Memorial day quietly contemplating many lives that have been lost, both our Soldiers defending our freedom, and our Golden Retriever friends.    After the flags were taken down in the evening and our dinner finished, Bella, Molly, Piper, Emma and I sought the counsel of Nala.   Nala has been around a long time and has managed to acquire a lot of knowledge in her 13 or 14 years.   We don't know how old Nala is, and being a lady, she won't tell.

She said that she had been watching the trend in Golden's as more and more of her friends  are catching the dreaded big C.   She said she had some theory's on why it is becoming more prevalent, but she wanted to do some research before she made an announcement.    She sat up late and worked hard on the computer drawing graphs and charting trend lines.   By morning she had prepared several charts that clearly explained the trends in cancer in dogs. 

This morning we were all watching the news, and sure enough, there was Nala's chart, or at least a chart that looked like hers, on the morning business news.     It seems that the latest study has been released and there seems to be a tie between cell phone usage and cancer.      Nala had already gone back ten years and charted the growth of cell phone usage and the increase in  cancer deaths in Golden Retrievers.   As she theorized, if you chart the two together, there is a direct correlation.   With both cell phone usage, up over 300 percent, and cancer deaths in our older Golden friends, up over 300 percent.    The two sets of data are conclusive proof that excess cell phone usage is causing tumors in our Golden friends.   It also proves that Nala knows best.

It is scary, Bella and I may give up talking on our cell phones, and we may switch to text messaging instead.    Now where are we going to find an iPhone with a larger keyboard that we can manage without getting daily pawdicures? 

Mogley G. Retriever

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Crossing the Rainbow bridge

Rest in Peace, Gracie, 2000-2011. 
A wonderful lady has left us, there is a hole that only time can fill.

Today should have been a happy post, but some days never go the way we want them to.   Thursday evening our four cousins came by to spend a long week end.    Bella and I were looking forward to five days to play and have fun.    What can be more fun that having Gracie, Emma, Molly and Piper come to our house to stay?   Play Time!   Watch out, squirrels, seven goldens on duty now!

Gracie had been experiencing a little stomach trouble, she had thrown up before she left home.   Friday morning and Friday night, Gracie did not want to eat.    Finally the tall ones put extra canned food in with her dry diet and she cleaned up some of her meal, but not without some urging and a lot of time.   She was locked in the bathroom so no one would bother her while she ate in peace, even that did not get her meal eaten.    Later that evening she took her place beside the big rocking chair, right where a hand could hang down and give her a rub from time to time.    But her breathing was heavy and a little labored.   At 10:00 when the evening potty time was announced, she went out with us and quickly came back inside, then settled down for a long evening nap.   Everything seemed normal, except for her labored breathing. 
Saturday morning at 6:00 everyone was told to go outside for a morning potty run, Gracie joined us as usual, but when she came back in she laid down in the middle of the family room and did not move, she just watched us.   While the rest of us were bouncing around, excited about our dishes being filled and breakfast prepared, Gracie just watched.   Nala is always fed first, it takes her a very long time to eat, so she goes to her corner where no one is allowed near her.   When Gracie's dish was set down in her corner, she did not budge.   The paw challenged one came over to her and tried to help her up, she could get up on her front feet, but her hind feet would not move.    He called the rescue to tell them he was bringing Gracie in to the vets office, now!    He called a neighbor to come help carry her out to the car and they were gone.

She was loaded in the car at the rear of the Expedition, somehow she managed to crawl, using her front feet only, forward until her head was between the seats where she could get petted all the way to the rescue vet office, 30 miles away.   Once there she was helped onto a stretcher and quickly wheeled into the exam room.    It took only a few minutes to determine that her abdomen was filled with blood.   Her spleen had ruptured and she was bleeding out internally.  Her gums were white.   By then she was so weak that she could only pant harder as she tried to breath, she was not in pain, but she was slipping away.    With Mary from rescue petting her, Gracie laid her head on the paw challenged one's lap, and Gracie was sent on her journey to the Rainbow Bridge.  

Gracie was still listed on the rescue's page of available dogs, but just like Nala, Gracie had already found her new forever home.   Gracie was already home when she went to live with Emma, Molly and Piper, she slipped into a new life with lots of friends and lots of attention.   The following was Gracie's post on the "home wanted" section of the rescue book.  As you can see, she was indeed a special lady. 
The answer is Wine, Scotch and Golden Retrievers! The question was, "Name three things that get better with age"? Eleven-year-old Gracie is proof that Golden's don't get older, they just get better. She is a very quiet lady, with the manners of a queen. She is a wonderful companion. She has no bad habits -- no chewing on shoes, no barking at neighbors, no chasing cats. She is cat friendly. Tell Gracie to "Go Potty, Gracie" and she runs to the nearest grass. She uses the dog door when she needs to.

Gracie is slightly overweight, but that is easy to correct with a leash and walking shoes or just some regular ball tossing (she loves tennis balls). She is very affectionate. If you don't like petting a Golden head when it lays on your lap, if you don't like to scratch a Golden tummy, then she is not for you. If you are looking for a loving lady with great manners and a very calm disposition, Gracie will make you a wonderful companion.

Gracie's family went from a house to an apartment. This sweet and very special Golden was a loved and well cared for girl and was surrendered reluctantly by her family who wanted the best life for her. Give Gracie a second chance at a happy home, and she will show you that she knows how to be your best friend. One look at her sweet face, and you're sure to fall in love.
 We are so sorry for her passing.   At the same time we are so happy that we could have her for a little while and happy that we could bring some love into her life and she could bring her love into ours. 

Below:  Nala, left and Gracie on a better day.
It is a very hard thing, it was unexpected and we were unprepared for it.    We had just finished having a discussion about Nala and how we should watch her closely so that when her life became more pain than joy, we would know it was time to let her go.    Nala is getting stronger everyday and has more energy.   Gracie always seemed to have so much energy and so much love.   She was an attention "hound", if there was a hand available, Gracie was under it. 

Gracie was her lovable, sweet self right up to the time she passed on, she had no pain, only love.    Gracie left us with dignity, getting her ears scratched, her chin rubbed, and stroking the bridge of her nose softly.   Four hands were helping her relax and cross the bridge in comfort.

Rest in Peace, we will miss you.  You brought a lot of joy into many lives.   

Mogley G. Retriever 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Update on a wonderful lady

I have not written much about Nala lately, we were very worried about her and we did not want to write a depressing story.   We remember that "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".  She is doing much better.   First Nala had heartworms, then she had a recurrence of heartworms.   The poison they use is very strong and when you are 14 years old and weak, it takes a lot out of you.   Then she had an infestation of mites.    With her heavy coat, when the mites got down to her skin, she had raw places and sores where the mites were hidden.  Bella and I had to have the mite treatment, it is not as strong as the heartworm, but it is still strong medicine. 
Poor Nala, she has very few teeth, bad hips, cataracts, she is totally deaf, two rounds of heartworm treatment, and if that is not enough, she had open sores from the mites.   Her hips are weak and it does not take much to knock her down when Bella and I play.  On top of this she had to have a round of mite medicine.    The good news is that she is getting her movement back.   The mite treatment seemed to take the pain away from movement, the mites were causing more pain in her movement than we realised.  

The bad news is that during the treatments, the rainbow bridge was mentioned and there was discussion as to how good her quality of life was.    In the bright sunlight today, it sounds so cold to talk about her quality of life and the trip to the Rainbow Bridge, but when there is pain, there is a time that the pain is more than the joy that is left.   It was not her time yet, but we do know that when the time does come, she will not suffer needlessly.   Luckily it was decided to give her a chance to get we back to health again, and Nala gets to enjoy some more Golden years. 
Nala is back!    Yesterday she even ran with Bella and I, we all ran out to the back fence to protect it from a golden retriever running loose in the park.  She is trotting in and out the dog door, making her rounds of the back yard.  She is once again busy protecting the front door from the UPS lady.   When we explained to the UPS lady about Nala, she said that Nala can bark at her all she wants. 

Nala is due back in to get her spring bath at the groomer.  If she keeps looking stronger, we may take her yet this week.   Every day she is a little stronger, every day she is a little more active, every day there is a little more spring in her step, every day she has a little more joy back in her life. 

Welcome back Nala, we are glad to see you getting better.

Mogley G. Retriever

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Of dogs and poop!

The resident human Chauffeur has gone over the edge.   He is seeking a Nobel Prize for his work in Poopology.     He is even threatening to write a Doctoral Thesis on the topic, and see if he can not get a endowed chair established at the local University. 

You see, he has this theory that when you compare the number of dogs (d) in the household to the number of dog poops (DP) that need scooping at any given time, you find a number of curious mathematical relationships.

  • First, the relationship between resident dogs at any given time, and the number of poops per day seems to be logarithmic.  If you will allow days to equal DY, He believes that you can express back yard dog poop using the mathematical formula of (DP=(d to the tenth)*DY).       
  • Although the above formula does correlate well to the number of dog poops in the yard at any given time, there are other formulas that seem to also track backyard dog poops at any given time.   He has a graph of black helicopter sightings and he says there seems to be enough of a correlation to prove that black helicopters are actually sprinkling dog poops in back yards.    It certainly is a better explanation of black helicopters than any other we have heard. 
  • He has placed book marks in several Stephen Hawking books.    He has this theory that the number of dog poops in the yard is mathematically linked to they existence of Black Holes and Worm Holes in the time-space fabric.   He believes that in between Worm Holes and Black Holes, they will eventually discover a third window, Dog Holes.   He has sent several e-mails to Stephen Hawking, but so far has not received a reply, unless that fellow with the white outfit and the butterfly net was from Hawing's office, but he did not answer the door when he saw who it was.
  • If Dog Holes exist in the space-time continuum,  then the extra dog poops may be linked to the number of UFO sitings on any given night.   He has a graph going that the shows the number of sightings of Green Men and flying saucers, compared to the number of dog poops he finds in the morning.    This chart also shows some strong linkage, with the chart peaking on moonless nights. 
  • He even believes that quantum theory is involved in his research.    He says that the quantum of dog poops is the square of the dogs in residence, or Q=Dogs squared.
  • He has even kept a chart to see if the number of dog poops in the yard is somehow linked to the number of treats per day.   He has a chart of "Treats per Day" vs "Dog Poops per day".     We enjoy the days when the chart spikes, on the treat per day axis, but it is heck when that axis drops.   
  • We have attempted to counter this by putting forth the theory that the extra dog poops on any given day are caused by the neighbor cat who is not only very big, but also too lazy to dig.   We may have to resort to a chart to prove our theory.   
  • As a last resort, Bella and I are trying to rotate the "Treat to Poop" graph 180 degrees so that the poops to treat ratio is inverse.    That way we may be able to get increased treats on his lazy days.
Have any of you had a similar problem with your owner?

Mogley G. Retriever

ps.  Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but Google decided to hide our blog from us for most of a week.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Of Mites and partys!

It has been a while since we posted.    I was concerned about how to treat a sensitive subject.    You see, when Nala went in for her heart worm treatment several weeks ago, Bella and I had begun scratching.   Somehow the three of us had acquired mites.    Since the heartworm treatment is a similar, but much stronger, medication than the mite medication, Nala could not take both.    Bella and I were put on a weekly medicine that will kill off the mites, it goes on once a week for 5 weeks, so that the eggs and future generations are killed as well.  But Nala only had one heartworm treatment and she reinfected with mites, but due to the stress on her from the heartworm treatment they were hesitant to put her on the follow up medications until she was a little stronger.   

Monday Nala went in to the vet's office where she was supposed to be kept overnight so she could be closely monitored when she received her mite medication.    She was not happy, she did not like being confined, but she made the best of it.    Her trip to the vet included a major grooming.    Her coat was very matted, she had been scheduled for grooming several times, but her treatments required a recovery time and grooming kept being postponed.   This time she had her coat combed out very well, so that the mites would have few hiding places.    She says she likes her new spring look!

When she came home on Tuesday, she was very stiff from all the stress, but she was feeling better because her coat was clean.   She made her rounds, checking out every corner to make sure her home was just as she had left it, then she had a serious nap.   This morning she is feeling much better, and is walking without any wobble.   She still has a weekly mite treatment for four more weeks, but she will get her meds here, no tiring trip to the vet.    So once again, Nala has faced adversity and overcome.

Meanwhile, Bella and I have stopped scratching, we have several more weeks of meds as well, but hopefully by the time we are done, they will all be killed off.

But this raises another terrible situation.   This weekend is the first Golden Retriever Rescue dog party of the season.    Hundreds of Golden Retrievers will be gathering for the Spring Fling.   But Bella, Nala and I are quarantined.    We can't even have play dates with our cousins until our cycle is complete.    Our cousins family do not even pet us when they stop by, just in case we still have mites.   We can't go to the groomer, we can't go to the dog park, we can't even go shopping at the pet shop.    In four years, we have not missed a single dog event.    In four years I have been there to demonstrate my prowess at ball fetching, and I have proven that they were wrong when they said I would not live to play this long.    Woe is me, and woe is Bella.   Nala says she is quite happy to stay home and nap.   But Bella and I are very upset that we can't go.  


Mogley G. Retriever