Thursday, May 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Sam!

Today is Sam's 14th birthday.  It's hard to believe he's been with me for nearly 10 years!  I dearly love this boy.  I took this photo while he was eating his birthday treat of soft serve ice cream with Bailey's drizzled over it.  It just might be one of my favorite pictures of him EVER!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Good Vet

While moving can be fun and exciting there is also the hassle of finding a lot of new service providers; hair dressers, dentists, doctors and, arguably, most importantly a vet.  I got so lucky in the veterinary department with this move.  Before I left VA, I had several recommendations for Dr. Bernander at Caring Hands Animal Hospital in Franklin, TN.

It turns out that was a good thing because while I was making the drive down here, I called his office to schedule an appointment for Sam.  In the weeks leading up to our move, Sam had increasing issues with mobility - specifically, his rear movement.  So we arrived in TN on Tuesday evening, moved into our house on Wednesday and Sam went to see Dr. B on Thursday.

Dr. B took xrays and diagnosed Sam with a potential infection in one disk, a fully fused disk and a third disk - L7/S1 - that was causing the real issue - and quite a bit of pain.  Basically, Sam has cauda equina.  This is a chronic condition that is very painful and will eventually lead to rear paralysis.  It's a fairly common condition in large, athletic dogs but you don't hear much about it in Cardigans.

The initial treatment for Sam included Cephalexin, Prednisone and an increased dose of Tramadol.  It also included return trips to the vet every 2 weeks.  So we made return trips for the next 8 weeks.

In the middle of all that, Grace, the cat, also became ill.  My first clue was that she missed the litter box.  During one of Sam's regular rechecks, I brought Grace along and ended up leaving her at the clinic overnite.  She was diagnosed with a severe UTI and ended up spending 3 nights at the clinic.  She came home on a Monday but by Thursday evening she had made it very clear to me that she was finished with this life.  I took her back in on Saturday morning and Dr. B helped her cross the bridge just one week before her 15th birthday.

In my next post, I'll introduce Sam's new physical therapist.  She's going to help us manage Sam's pain so we don't have to graduate to morphine for pain control.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


A little homage to Minnie Pearl there in the post title tonight :)  The house I am renting here in Nashville is about 2 miles from Opryland.

The drive down to Nashville in March was pretty uneventful.  We had great weather, the dogs and Grace were patient with the long trip and, thanks to UHM's parting gift of a GPS unit, we didn't get lost :)  Once we arrived, things got a little less uneventful.

The morning I took possession of our little rental house, I got to the house before the leasing agent.  I was walking around the outside of the house and wanted to explore the little, fully fenced back yard.  So I let myself in the yard and, like any good dog owner, shut the gate behind me.  One small problem, there was no latch on the inside of the gate - I was locked in the back yard.  Fortunately, the leasing agent pulled up a few minutes later and let me out so we could get in the house.

The movers arrived shortly thereafter and delivered my rather small truck load of household goods without incident.  Usually, when I move for a new job I manage to arrive on Saturday and have to go to work on Monday so it takes forever for the house to get unpacked and set up.  This time, I gave myself  a full 5 days to get my act together!  I had time to run errands on that first day even.  The weather was gorgeous so I had the windows down as I cruised the highways in the greater Nashville area.  That's when a hornet ended up in my car.  I felt/saw it rocket into the car as I was going 55 miles an hour.  Shortly thereafter, I felt a sharp stinging between my breasts - while I was driving 55 miles an hour.  Yup, the hornet ended up going down my shirt and stinging me.  Fortunately, I'm not particularly well-endowed so I was able to fairly easily get him out of my shirt without causing a wreck.  About 10 minutes later, I felt a sharp stinging behind my knee.  I managed to fling the bastard out of my shirt, only to have him land only the floor and subsequently crawl up my leg.  Only me.

Friday -Our new vet and the many, many visits we've made to his office since our arrival.

Monday, May 21, 2012

We're Baaaaack!

I bought a new computer this weekend so we are back on line and ready to start posting about our adventures in our new home, Nashville, TN.  Look for the first installment of the Moving Chronicles Wednesday evening.  Right now, it's late and we are headed to bed.

Thanks, in advance, for hanging in there with us.  Lots of exciting things have happened since mid-March and I'm looking forward to sharing them with you all.

Red Dog Mom & The Horde (Southern Branch)