Another Throwback Thursday

Things have been pretty quiet on here which reflects how busy life is elsewhere. Things are really picking up at work as we’re in the midst of the crossover season where winter and spring sports overlap. That means because I’m busier at work, I’m less busy with Lucy so there’s a lot less to write about!

I did, however, get a truly wonderful update from Snowy’s (Violet’s) forever family. Her UTI is cleared up, she’s had only one accident and is getting along famously with the family’s two other dogs. She’s full of energy and has truly found her perfect forever home.

Violet and her sisters.

Violet and her sisters.

So, with a lack of anything terribly exciting to write about, here are a few Throwback Thursday photos!

The Great Bee Sting Incident of June, 2012

The Great Bee Sting Incident of June, 2012

Hoppy!

Hoppy!

Shocker - actually voluntarily sitting near my dad!

Shocker – voluntarily sitting near my dad!

Hanging at my parents' house.

Hanging at my parents’ house.

Becoming friends...sort of.

Becoming friends…sort of.

My Buddy & Me

Since we’re back to a one-dog household things certainly are a lot more quiet around here. Snowy was much more of a barker than Lucy; I loved opening the garage door when coming home from work and hearing Snowy go nuts. I don’t get any sort of reaction from Lucy when I come home!

Lucy does seem to be coping pretty well with Snowy’s departure; I think she was a little lonely but for the most part her behavior is pretty much the same. I do still feel guilty, though, that she lost her buddy and since I was able to leave work this afternoon (Friday) around 4:30, the sun was actually out and it was above freezing, we took a walk around the neighborhood.

Normally Lucy resists any form of a walk without a buddy (of the dog variety) to walk with but today she bounced right along; she must be more stir crazy then I realized!

Then I said the magic words – “car ride!” – and we made our way to Petsmart to get her nails clipped. Oh, and she got a super discounted Valentine’s Day toy, too. 🙂

Yes, another pillow destined to be shredded in minutes.

Yes, another pillow destined to be shredded in minutes.

As we were driving home from the store and she was resting her head in the crook of my elbow like she always does when I’m driving, I realized how truly happy Lucy makes me.

Car ride buddy

Car ride buddy

It probably sounds pathetic, but she makes my life so much better. I look at her cute, wrinkly face and it instantly puts me in a better mood. I don’t have a ton of close friends out here – most are back home in NJ – and when Marty isn’t home it’s just me and Lucy so it’s a good thing I like her. 🙂

On an unrelated note, the elephant in the room: will we foster again? I asked the very same question after Cindy (Nellie) was adopted in July and I said we were taking a break until the fall season was over. That “break” lasted six weeks so I won’t make any guarantees at this point. Do I want to foster again? Yes, absolutely, but we’re going to wait until the seeming right dog and right times match up and take it from there.

I did get a picture update of Snowy (Violet) where she was sharing a bed with her doggie siblings and she looked so content and happy, which makes the past five and a half months totally worth it.

Back to a Family of Three

This morning Snowy went home with her forever family.

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I didn’t want to plaster their faces on the internet without their permission, but the parents have three daughters and two other dogs waiting at home (a pug and a Frenchie!). There is a fenced-in backyard that I know Snowy will absolutely adore and from what I gather, the mother is able to spend most of the day at home which is Snowy’s version of heaven.

I made sure to give Snowy (whose new name will be Violet, named after the character from Downtown Abbey) a lot of hugs and kisses yesterday and this morning before they picked her up. Lucy did, too.

One last snuggle

One last snuggle

This is – obviously – by far the worst part of fostering. It’s horrible to drive off (in the case of Nellie) or watch the dog drive off with her new family (as was the case today) and not be with them anymore. It is so easy to get used to being a two-dog household and what makes it hard is that I know Lucy is impacted, too. In fact, she ran after the car this morning as it drove away with Snowy in it. 😦

So I did what any good “parent” does – I spoiled her with a new toy.

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Yeah, it was destroyed in 10 minutes but for those 10 minutes, Lucy was a very happy dog!

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I’ll be honest, it stinks to say good-bye and I’ll be down in the dumps (to say the least) for a few days. Part of fostering is to get involved enough and care enough about the dog to make them adoptable and we certainly did that with Snowy. It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do this all over again because I would, but it is absolutely hard. People ask me all the time how I can give them up and the answer is that we have to. Plus, I am always so happy for the dog who finds that perfect forever home because they deserve it (especially dogs with backgrounds like Nellie and Snowy) and Snowy hit the jackpot with this one. 🙂

It’s Like She Knows

Snowy is set to go to her forever home tomorrow morning. She may be set but I am not. However, as I told my mom, it’s not like this ending is exactly a shocker. The point of fostering is to get them better and then let them go.

We haven’t done anything terribly different the past few days – work on Friday, work on Saturday, bum time today – but it’s as if Snowy knows she’s leaving us because she’s been extra cuddly.

Quite comfy on Daddy's lap.

Quite comfy on Daddy’s lap.

For the past two months or so, Snowy has gotten into a routine of coming up into our bedroom every night after she’s let out for the last time and crawling right into her dog bed which is on my side of the bed. It’s been working great – she’s with us at night but not with us in our bed and she falls right asleep.

Well, this afternoon I went upstairs to take my normal Sunday afternoon nap and Snowy came upstairs with me, as she usually does. And then she crawled up onto our bed.

Not Snowy's bed.

Not Snowy’s bed.

It’s been months since she tried to get up onto our bed but she hopped right up this afternoon and I absolutely didn’t have the heart to make her get down. We only have her for one more night and I selfishly I wanted her snuggle with me this afternoon. So we took one last nap together. 🙂

It’s Valentine’s Day!

As I do with most holidays, I got the doggies small “gifts” in honor of Valentine’s Day. It’s quite obvious I love them to death and it is Valentine’s Day so I had to show them a small token of love!

I purposely got very, very cheap, stuffed heart pillows. No matter what I pay for stuffed toys they don’t last longer than an hour…maybe two if we’re lucky. Sometimes the dogs are efficient enough to destroy them in minutes.

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Yeah, these lasted for roughly five minutes, no joke. Oh well, they were a very happy five minutes.

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And Snowy literally sulked for a good 10 minutes after I had the nerve to take the pillow away when she was about ingest the squeaker.

Sulky Snowy.

Sulky Snowy.

The girls and I are on our own tonight – yes, on Valentine’s Night – because Marty is working all night but I’m soaking up snuggle time as it looks nearly certain that Snowy will be going to her forever home on Monday morning. I fully realize it’s happening but I’m still kind of in denial and trying very hard not to think about Monday morning too much.

For tonight I’ll pretend Monday morning isn’t happening and enjoy Valentine’s Day with my girls. 🙂

Winter Stinks

This winter has been brutal, made more-so due to the fact that we have two dogs. We haven’t seen the grass in well over a week and what had been a semi-pretty coating of snow is now a thick coating of ice which makes it treacherous to take the dogs out. Not to mention treacherous to do your business while balancing on said ice – just ask the doggies. It’s actually kind of hilarious to watch Lucy insist on walking on the ice only to get frustrated and scared every time her paws break the ice and sink into the snow.

The view out our front door.  That would be a four-foot high pile of snow.

The view out our front door. That would be a four-foot high pile of snow.

I can tell Lucy is getting chunk(ier) and the dogs are both stir crazy at times. I feel badly but combined with the dangerously low temps and icy sidewalks and roads, it’s very hard to get them out for decent walks.

Fortunately on Saturday we had a surprise package to break up the cabin fever!

The mystery package

The mystery package

Snowy’s future forever family sent her a care package when we thought we battling a cancer diagnosis. Fortunately we’re only dealing with recurring UTIs but the care package was appreciated nonetheless.

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The girls were each given a soft, fleecy blanket and a nylabone. It was such a sweet gesture and both dogs were very happy.

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Snowy is going to be a very, very happy girl in her forever home.

Cutie.

Cutie.

The Very Best News

I have never left a vet’s office so happy in my entire life.

Snowy hid her happiness quite well.

Snowy hid her happiness quite well.

I took Snowy to the vet today and fully expected to leave her there for surgery tomorrow morning to remove the tumors in her bladder. However, after a very in-depth ultrasound, the vet gave me better news than I had even allowed myself to think about – there was no cancer!

That’s right, the “tumors” we saw in last week’s ultrasound had disappeared!

Now, before you start thinking my local vet is an idiot, Snowy’s ultrasound last week did show obvious shadowing that was not present on any of today’s ultrasounds. So what happened?

They gave her a (sparkly!!) Valentine's Day bandana for being such a good dog.

They gave her a (sparkly!!) Valentine’s Day bandana for being such a good dog.

The internist we saw is very certain that the shadowing/blobs in last week’s ultrasound were blood clots stemming from her back-to-back UTIs. She believes this current dose of antibiotics forced the blood clots to dissolve, hence today’s clear ultrasound images.

Just a dog and an empty waiting room.

Just a dog and an empty waiting room.

So the next step is to finish up this current dosage of antibiotics and then re-test her urine to make sure the UTI is gone and to take another ultrasound to be sure there are no more clots. If the UTI is still not resolved, then we just have to get a more detailed urine analysis to figure out exactly what strain of infection we’re dealing with and what antibiotic will clear it up as she will have then proven she’s resistant to this particular antibiotic.

I honestly never expected such great news and her future adoptive family – whom I called the minute I walked in the door tonight! – is so, so ecstatic. We just have to wait 10-14 days to make sure she’s free of this UTI and then she will be ready to meet her forever family!

The Waiting Game

Thursday and Friday cannot get here soon enough. I will be taking Thursday afternoon off from work to drive Snowy about an hour and fifteen minutes northeast for two consults before leaving her there for surgery early Friday morning.

Snowy will see both an internist (for an ultrasound) and the actual surgeon who will perform Friday’s surgery. I’ve met the surgeon before as he did Lucy’s surgeries and I adore him. He is friendly, honest and – most importantly – very clear about what he’s doing, why, what to expect, etc. He has at least one French bulldog if I remember correctly so he and his wife (the internist who will do the ultrasound) are very familiar with smoosh-faced dogs. Not that it makes much of a difference with this particular surgery, but it’s still a nice bond to have. 🙂

"Who are you calling smoosh face?"

“Who are you calling smoosh face?”

As I mentioned before, so much is unknown at this point. The initial ultrasound indicates that Snowy’s tumor(s) are in a “good” spot in that they can be operated on. From what my vet told me, most bladder tumors cannot be surgically removed because they are often adjacent to vital organs and other internal plumbing parts (my phrase, not the vet’s!). Snowy’s appear as if they are smack dab in the middle of her bladder which is, all things considered, good news.

However, do yourself a favor and do not consult Dr. Google in the case of medical questions. Nothing I read about bladder cancer (TCC) in dogs is positive and I’ll leave it at that.

"Tell Dr. Google I'm fine."

“Tell Dr. Google I’m fine.”

I guess I’m most anxious not about the surgery itself (although that is certainly nerve-wracking) but more about what I can expect post-surgery. Will it remove the tumors? Will they only remove part of the tumors? And the elephant in the room – what is her life expectancy after surgery (pending what they are able to do)?

That’s the biggest question rattling around in my head for a lot of reasons. She was thisclose to being adopted and her adoptive family is still very interested despite this setback. Thus, for their sake and Snowy’s, I want surgery to be a magic fix and cure her of cancer. However, there are so many other scenarios that are not so good and some that are a mix of good and bad.

I’m not a patient person; I know I am incredibly fortunate that only one week will elapse between Snowy’s diagnosis and her surgery but it feels like an eternity. As I’ve said to everyone who has asked me how both Snowy and I are doing, though, it has been immeasurably easier due to the fact that Snowy is still Snowy. She has the same energy level, the same appetite and the same behavior as she did when we first got her back in September. If Snowy were acting sick I cannot imagine how long this week would feel as it’s already dragging.

Chomping away as usual.

Chomping away as usual.

Send healing thoughts Snowy’s way.