Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Staring Down the P.I.

I broke down today and went to the doctor, actually the Health Center at work. I've had a patch of Poison Ivy on my foot since June 19 when I trimmed weeds at mom Mom's house. I'm sure there were actually no Poison Ivy plants where I trimmed, but it seems if I even get in the zip code with the stuff, I am stricken.

And so now begins my treatment with the dreaded Prednisone. The stuff works, but it is a frustrating process. It makes me unable to sleep, have an intense appetite, and a little headachey. It also tastes terrible if you actually let it touch your tongue and it messes with my blood sugar. (Last year I hit a low blood sugar of 78 while on Prednisone. It made me all shakey one day at work, so they tested it and made me drink juice.)

I wish the whole staring down thing actually worked. But I guess rashes are just not intimidated by me.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful...Beautiful Doggie

My sweet little Sadie died this past Thursday. She was such a good girl. I've written about Sadie before here, and always meant to do an update, but it never got done. In my writing hiatus, it seems a lot of things didn't get done.

I think that I would call Sadie a miracle dog. My friend described her as a "tough cookie". When she was brought to me as a foster dog, she had some difficulty getting around. I don't know how much time she had spent in the shelter, but she was definitely stiff and didn't seem to have experience with stairs. She had obviously had some sort of leg injury in her past that wasn't properly taken care of. But, she got along with Tiger and it was easy for me to walk both dogs at once, so she fit right into our family.

When I took her for her first check up with my vet, we were talking about what breed she might be. She definitely had some Boxer, but as my vet said, "she doesn't look like the breed standard", so it was determined that she was either some sort of mix, or just a very poorly bred boxer. I guess we'll never know, but it doesn't really matter either. That was part of the magic of Sadie.

Within a couple of months of me officially adopting Sadie into our family, she began her medical battles with Cushing's Disease. That is what I had written about before, and really never wrote Sadie's miraculous follow-up. After some treatment, she ended up with no Cushing's Disease and no Addison's Disease symptoms. Somehow we actually did do the perfect treatment that turned her into a normal dog, with no medication needed for either disease.

Sadie still had some issues. One was a chronic urinary tract infection, which got me out of bed every night around 3:00 a.m. to let her out. But we worked through it.

When I am out with my dog Tiger, everyone always compliments on what a handsome dog he is. And I always got the same response with Cali and Rocky too. "Beautiful dogs" they would say. "Is he a show dog?".

With Sadie, the response was always a little different. She had an under bite, her back end was misshapen, her stubby tail was thick, and she had extra skin on one of her front legs, sort of making it like a wing. But the truth about Sadie is that I really thought she was the most beautiful dog in the entire world. Her big sweet eyes would look up at me with love and thankfulness that she was with our family. She would lay on her rug watching TV with her Flying Nun ears, and there was no dog that could be cuter. And, I think she knew she was beautiful too. I believe that was Sadie's lesson for me (and maybe some other's of you out there too). It really doesn't matter if you meet the breed standard, you are beautiful and deserving of love.

And so, last week Sadie was diagnosed with cancer. The vet guessed that she initially contracted it within the last 3 months, but it had already spread to her liver. At that point, there really isn't a treatment for dogs. The vet said the type of cancer she had was one that was very aggressive. And so, within a week she was beginning to retain fluid in her lungs and was done with her fight.

Tiger has been sad, but we are doing okay. Sadie was a beautiful girl, and she will be missed.