Saturday, March 31, 2012


The possum probably started his weekend early.  Our backyard light came on around 9:30PM Friday night.  Annie was fidgety, moving restlessly back and forth, wining and crying.  Figuring it was probably stray cats, my brother took Annie and they both went out to check.

"Come out here, he's back again - and bring the camera!"  Needless to say, I grabbed the camera but needed to load the batteries.  By the time I made it outside, the possum was heading for the fence separating my yard from next store.  This time he was in our yard!

My brother said he spotted him in a pile of dried leaves we placed in one corner of the yard prior to bagging them up.  We didn't get a chance to finish up before winter set in so the leaves have been there since last fall. Not a big issue really, the neighborhood strays use the pile for a bed.  I frequently find one, two or three napping there.

Well, all Artie got were some shots similar to last Saturdays photos.  Annie started a ruckus, crying and barking as soon as she saw the possum and I'm positive she scared the daylights out of him.  So enjoy the photos.  I'm sure he will be back and Artie is intent on getting some video footage of him next time around.



And Annie?  She was happy with a job well done.

Friday, March 30, 2012


Buddy's condition is worsening.  He cannot control his back legs.  I'm really disheartened to see the progression of his illness because he is still alert, eating, drinking, etc. but it is becoming harder for him to control his muscles.  He appears more tired as well.

My kitchen counter is home the majority of the time now with my bed and the recliner coming in second and third.  He can no longer negotiate the climbs to any of them so I move him to different spots during the day and evening, taking care to check on him from time to time.

His food intake today was half that of the previous two days although he did have a variety: milk, his pouch food, tuna, Chinese BBQ pork and scrambled egg.

He needs assistance toileting.  We have to position his back legs into a sitting position for him so he can do his business.  I was surprised awhile ago when, after taking care of business, Buddy managed to walk into the hall for about three feet before he plopped on his butt and couldn't move.  He keeps on trying.

Later there was a noise from the kitchen.  I went to investigate and found he had turned around and was sitting up.  Of course he hit his water and food dishes moving but thankfully not spilling them.  He ate another small meal and is presently fast asleep.

His doctors said the decline would be a series of ups and downs - decline, a rebound, decline again, another rebound with each rebound bringing him a bit short of the last. That has proven to be very true.

I had a bit of a break from all this mothering last night - my brother took over and I had a few hours out with friends.

We're both very saddened; we know the end is imminent and hour by hour we wonder whether we will have to make the decision to euthanize him or if Nature will take him in it's course.

Annie is extremely upset by our disrupted routine.  She either stays in my room away from all the activity or sits in the kitchen doorway sadly watching us care for Buddy.  I wonder how she will react once her furry Buddy is gone.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Today and yesterday we saw an improvement in Buddy's appetite.  He ate 6 oz. of food both days - that's good except he's only eating commercial food - that's bad but better than not eating at all.

His back legs are very, very wobbly, taking him a few steps before they slide out from under him.  Sometimes Buddy can manage to keep going, sometimes he lands on his butt in a sitting position.  I've taken to putting him on the counter, the bed or down to do his toileting.

I'm sure we can't go on like this much longer.  He is sleeping more than before and his urine output has picked up instead of shutting down completely.  When awake he is still alert, watching everything going on around him and he is still talkative.

Yesterday, Buddy had difficulty moving around on the kitchen counter.  The towel and newspapers kept sliding around whenever he moved.  We solved that problem by placing a piece of matting purchased for use with throw rugs under everything.  The matting anchored the towel and papers making it easier for him to move about.

Most of today has been spent sleeping.  Here's a photo of Buddy I took two days ago:

I will miss my little man when he's gone.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


The possum is still THE topic of conversation or rather speculation at our house and among our friends.  What are their habits?  Are they nocturnal?  Will he show up during the day?  What do they eat besides (probably) garbage?  I've done some online sleuthing and came up with some very interesting information.  Apparently possums are fare-beaters as well as opportunists.  One guy (could it be our visitor?) decided to head to Manhattan (it probably was a Saturday night) by hopping a ride on a D Train out of Coney Island.  Read the attached article:

There are celebrity opossums.  YouTube has video of Ratatouille, the snowboarding opossum:

There was Heidi, the cross-eyed possum in Germany who recently passed on (her videos are on YouTube).

Wikipedia has a wealth of information and so does The National Opossum Society website. I did find out the following: opossums are nocturnal, they don't live very long (about 2 to 4 years), they eat garbage, pet food and roadkill (among other things) which makes Brooklyn a great place to hang out.  The possums came to New York at the invitation of our City Officials.  The deal was for the new immigrants to wipe out the rat population then die off but it didn't exactly work out that way.  The New York Post carried an online article about the booming possum population back in January.  So, for now, we will just be extra diligent concerning Annie's backyard evening forays.  I'd rather put up with the possum since he's part of the Rat Patrol.  Come to think of it, there haven't been that many rats on the subway tracks lately.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I woke up this morning to two furry feet in my face.  That was definitely a new experience for me.  It was Buddy, burrowed under the covers with his butt out.

This is more proof of his changing condition.  Since his diagnosis, Buddy has taken to sleeping with me every evening.  The frailer he gets the more he huddles against me.  My thoughts are he's doing this for body heat and safety.  Always with his head out of his blanket, but not today.  Also, this was the first morning he did not wake me to take care of him - another indication of his deteriorating condition.

Our morning routine did not go well.  Buddy ate less than 3 oz. of pouch food.  He's not interested in turkey, tuna or anything else.  I guess fast food is preferable to Mom's home cooking.  It's quite distressing to have to give him store-bought food but the doctors said "Give him whatever he'll eat."  He drank half of his milk and half his usual amount of water. He stumbled about after his toileting.  He's doing very little walking and is definitely having trouble turning around.

My foodie, Annie, on the other hand, is still playing the food card as a bid for attention. Thankfully, she has a  healthy appetite but she's being a bit stubborn and will eat only a portion of her meal finishing the remainder only after I add 'something extra' to it.  This morning the 'something extra' was leftover Chinese Roast Pork again with an additional treat - part of a crushed up Stella & Chewy's Freeze Dried Chicken Dinner patty.

We use Stella & Chewy's freeze-dried patties as a treat.  Break the rounds into four pieces or more to make them last.  Annie loves them.

Monday, March 26, 2012


The possum has been THE hot topic of conversation in this house since Saturday evening.  He's been around before - last summer Annie watched him at two in the morning while he hung out on one of the cement posts on our front porch.  We heard her crying. When we checked, there he was like some silvery-grey ghost of a monster rat hanging out and sunning himself except he was basking in moonlight instead.

Both my brother, Artie and I have had raccoon experiences.  I once saw one walking nonchalantly down the block on the opposite side of the street from our house. Thankfully, I was inside looking out the front window at the time.  It was around 7AM on a Saturday morning.  We were waiting for a home attendant who, at the time, was helping our Mom post ambulatory surgery.  The attendant saw it as well but didn't know what it was - I did.

Many years later, Artie and Annie were out for a Saturday night stroll.   (Why do these things always happen on a Saturday?  Anyway...)  This time it was about 10:30 at night so the stroll was confined to our block.  All of a sudden, what appeared to be a big cat emerged from under a car about 10 feet in front of Artie and Annie.  For once, Annie was so fascinated she was mute.  To say Artie was stunned would be an understatement he was in shock.  The raccoon stopped for a second, looked very calmly at them both then proceeded across the sidewalk through an open chain-link fence into the backyards for our stand of houses.

At first my brother thought it was a cat until he got a good look at it's long slender snout and the raised back legs.  By the time he saw the tail, there was no doubt in his mind what it was.

They were outside a total of 5 minutes when my house phone rang.  I picked it up and it was my brother.  "Why are you calling me, you just went out?"
"We can't walk Annie at this time anymore.  We just saw a raccoon.  He went through the chain-link fence near the corner."
"Great.  We can't let her on the porch without checking it first from now on either."

Who ever thought you'd have to worry about wildlife in Brooklyn?

Buddy's doing his best to walk and he is having moments when the walking is back to normal.  Unfortunately, those moments are interspersed with his legs giving out or just not working right.  Our morning routine went well.  When we were done, I placed Buddy down to do his business.  After a few minutes I realized he didn't come back to the kitchen as he usually does so I went looking for him.  He was on my bed - a definite plus since he hasn't gotten onto the bed under his own power since his leg troubles started.

After awhile I heard a noise so I went to investigate.  Buddy went back to do his toileting. Another surprise since he got off the bed under his own power instead of calling me.  I decided to check.  To my chagrin, he spent quite a bit of time toileting but when he was done there was only a silver dollar sized puddle of wet - way less than the amount of fluids he took in.  I guess his kidneys are slowly shutting down.

Annie on the other hand, has been on a major campaign for attention.  After I finished with Buddy, we went through her daily routine.  I've been doing my best to pay extra attention to her.  Today, she trotted up to me with a plush toy in her mouth and a hopeful look begging me to play.  Usually, she likes to be chased while she holds the toy but I managed to coax her into a game of fetch.  That made her happy.  She's been very finicky which I'm sure is also a bid for additional attention so I added some (gasp!) Chinese Roast Pork from our weekend takeout to her breakfast to get her to eat it completely.  It worked and she seems to be relaxed and content.  I keep telling her that Buddy is sick and pretty soon he will be gone.  I know she doesn't really understand and I feel like a total loony doing this but I hope at least my tone of voice will convey something to Annie.

Well, that's it for my Monday post - it's the start of the week and I need to get some people chores done and out of the way for a change.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Yesterday was a day of many twists and turns.  Buddy is steadily improving which is a good thing.  Annie was acting her usual neglected self which wasn't a good thing.

Buddy's legs were a bit better but he's still having quite a bit of difficulty.  He's hanging out on my kitchen counter exclusively now so we've created a permanent space for him between the sink and microwave.  The area is set up with his bath towel, newspapers, his water and food bowls.  All-in-all a pretty comfy cat space.  All levity aside, I am noticing Buddy feels safer here and is very reluctant to leave this confined area.  That's OK by me - whatever makes him happy.  I'm adaptable.

I tried desperately to play catch up yesterday and managed to succeed somewhat.  Took care of straightening up and doing laundry but I kept checking on Annie who spent the day in my room, on my bed sulking.  Breakfast was served but my little girl wouldn't eat. Instead she sat in the middle of the living room floor looking like a punished child relegated to standing in a corner.  No matter what I did I just couldn't break her mood.

At 4:45 I decided to take a break and take Annie for a walk.  The sun had come out earlier but the weather was starting to cool off so getting our walk in before the weather changed completely was imperative.  Amazingly, when we came back in, Annie went straight to her bowl and ate her meal.  With that concern out of the way, I turned to getting ready to go out for the evening.

We returned around 11PM.  Our evening routine is to let Annie out back to take care of her bedtime business.  No sooner had my brother stepped on the back porch with her, Annie began to bark and cry.  We have a fairly large stray cat population in our neighborhood so the barking/crying routine is more an annoyance than anything.  Being part Beagle Annie can't seem to grasp the concept that not every cat is Buddy - they aren't dying for the chance to play with her.

My brother called for me to come outside right away with a "He's here come and see."  I ran to the back and was greeted by this sight:

There, nestled in what was left of our neighbor's mulberry tree was a possum - and was he huge!  I knew we had wildlife in Brooklyn but I never expected to encounter anything larger than a cardinal or a squirrel in my own backyard.

Annie probably thinks he's a big cat - he has the same coloring as Buddy, after all.

We have no idea where he came from but he's been a regular visitor for quite some time. There's the distinct possibility he's a new neighbor but I don't even want to contemplate that!

Just another Saturday Night in Brooklyn...

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Buddy is better today but the hind legs are still not working well.  He's eating, drinking and relaxing.  I desperately need today to catch up on errands and chores I put aside in order to tend to Buddy and his needs so I'm posting this news story about a cat that took a walk on the wild side and lived to tell the tale...

Friday, March 23, 2012


Well, Thursday morning Buddy woke up around 8AM, two hours after I went to bed.  He was just standing on my bed talking a bit to me.  He wasn't pacing back and forth as he usually does but I knew he wanted to start his morning routine. We went to take care of his toileting first.  After he took care of business, we started our ritual of having milk, eating breakfast with the Azodyl capsule added, drinking water, doing the sub-q with Famotidine injection, a long and lengthy process.

He appeared better, more animated and he ate without much coaxing but it was apparent he wasn't walking.  He tried but kept stumbling.  After a while, he wasn't walking at all.  We began to make plans to euthanize him.

My brother called the doctor's office to make an appointment.  We were told to come in for 7PM.  The day was spent agonizing as well as vacillating about our decision.  After running the entire gamut of emotions, questioning, second-guessing, fighting, re-thinking our decision, we noticed Buddy's walking had improved , he wasn't stumbling.  His general condition was even better than it had been early morning.  Another call was made and we cancelled the appointment.

After discussing Buddy's condition at length, my brother left a voice mail for Dr. Young telling her we had a few questions.

Dr. Young is always sensitive to Buddy's and our needs.  She is very patient and understanding.  She returned the call, discussing with my brother Buddy's current condition, reviewing the notes from our visit with Dr. Klein and filling us in on what to expect from now on emphasizing that what we're seeing is typical, Buddy isn't in pain and there isn't much more we can do for him except keep him fed, hydrated and comfortable as we've been doing.  The end result?  We were both relieved that we reversed our decision to euthanize Buddy.

After what turned out to be an incredibly stressful day, we partnered on completing Buddy's evening routine, preparing supper for ourselves and feeding and coddling Annie to try and make up for spending the day totally focused on Buddy.

Buddy slept on my lap the remainder of the evening or the back of the recliner until bedtime when we went through our final evening routine of offering him food and water then seeing to his toileting needs.  We settled down for the night with Buddy covered in blankets sleeping next to me and Annie at the foot of my bed.

I awoke somewhere between 9 & 9:30AM with a start, instinctively I knew Buddy wasn't with me.  I looked around my bed and room but he wasn't anywhere in sight.  Where was he?  I learned many years ago not to call him - he never answers.  In fact, Buddy always took great delight in watching us rush around frantically looking for him never revealing his whereabouts.  I went from room to room looking for him.  A package of All-in-One printer cartridges was on the floor next to the recliner.  This told me Buddy had walked across the side table next to the recliner.  There were papers belonging to my brother on the floor behind the recliner; this told me Buddy had jumped from the side table to a tray containing papers my brother was sorting.  Still no sign of him.

I found him in the kitchen curled up on the counter top.  Imagine my surprise!  He used his old cat condo with two perches as a ladder to get to his place on the counter top.  What a relief to know he was OK.  My brother had the idea to move this particular item into the kitchen - I'd placed it next to my bed so Buddy could use it there.  There he was, like the Sphinx, curled up on his bath towel serenely surveying his domain.  When he saw me, I was greeted with a few meows and a look that said "Hi, Mom are you going to serve breakfast now?'  Thus, our Friday morning routine started.

Basically, we know where we stand but we don't know for how long.  I'm grateful it played out this way.  It might sound selfish but it will give the humans in this household a chance to adjust to what is inevitable.  And I sincerely hope we do make that adjustment.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


It's 5 o'clock in the morning; I can't sleep.  I've not posted for what?  A day, two days.  I'm exhausted and upset besides feeling totally numb and emotionally drained.

Buddy is rapidly losing ground.  He's comfortable but his quality of life is slipping away; he's Buddy without the energy.  All the little bits and pieces of personality and routine that go into making Buddy, Buddy are falling away.

His condition yesterday was a shocker.  No longer kissing me (only my brother) or playing "tip your head" Buddy seemed terribly tired.  He really wasn't interested in food although he ate somewhat, or water although he drank a bit.  We went through our daily routine but all he wanted to do was stay on my kitchen counter top near the sink and his bowls.  The major difference was Buddy's activity level was practically down to zero.  He wasn't even looking or asking to go do his toileting.

Extra effort was put forth by both myself and my brother taking care of Buddy's needs.  With a doctor visit scheduled for later in the day, we readied Buddy and ourselves and made the trip.

We saw Dr. Klein since Dr. Young wasn't at the Clinic today.  He confirmed our suspicions of end-stage kidney disease.  We discussed whether or not to put Buddy to sleep.  My brother and I decided we wanted to give him one last round of treatments to see if he rallied.  He has dental issues which we can't address unless he's knocked out and doing so would probably kill him so that's out - what would be the point.

He was given antibiotic and anti-nausea injections plus an additional round of 150 mm of sub-q.  He perked up; we all went home.

Buddy was definitely more alert for the remainder of the evening but he stayed in his spot on my kitchen counter watching everything going on.  He ate and drank with gusto but only if the food plate and water bowl were placed in front of him.  The big change here is Buddy isn't asking for anything, making any demands, in short, he's not controlling his routine as he did every day since he's lived with us.

Finally, we went to bed.  Buddy got up to come over and cuddle but just stood next to me waiting for me to get him into position.  I settled him for the night and he went to sleep with Annie sleeping near us but I couldn't find rest.  So, out of bed to the computer I came to write this post.  Now that I'm almost done writing I'm exhausted.

I don't hold out much hope for Buddy.  I believe my brother and I will have to make our decision today; neither of us expect Buddy to improve.  We will make our decision as the day progresses.  I'm going back to  bed to try and get some sleep.  Definitely not looking forward to this Friday.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Buddy is pretty much the same today.  Last night was an ordeal; Buddy kept waking me up for food, water and just crying in general.  Numerous times I got up to feed him, hold the water bowl for him, put him down to urinate and follow him around the house as he appears to be wandering and not always aware of his surroundings.

Sometimes I think he's going senile.  Today he's a bit off his food - not eating as much as the last three days.  He did eat a bit of Annie's food when I was preparing it although not enough to make much of a difference.

Yesterday evening, we spent about half an hour trimming the hair around Buddy's pads, cutting his nails, combing him and removing mats from his fur.  I've always been very good about helping him groom since he is a long-haired cat but it's been months since Buddy did a thorough job of grooming himself so that job has fallen to me with an assist from my brother when four hands are needed.  Frankly, he smells like the 42nd Street Subway station before NYC cleaned up Times Square - Eau de Pee!

Today, I noticed food on Buddy's chin, whiskers and facial fur as well as his chest.  My little guy is turning into a right slob.  For all the years he's lived with us, Buddy has worn a collar and a bell.  That was a firm decision at the very beginning because I feared stepping on him and breaking a paw.  It dawned on me his bell wasn't ringing the last day or so.  I removed the collar only to discover it was dirty and the bell was full of food.  The clapper literally stuck against the wall.  Of course, I soaked the bell in warm water and washed the collar until all the food and stains came out.  Once my brother's home from work we will wash Buddy  himself down with a damp cloth, dry him with a towel and comb him out and continue the process of removing mats.  That should prevent him from smelling like a Bowery bum.

I hate seeing my little man like this.  He's definitely a geriatric cat who needs help with everything.  We will definitely visit the doctor Wednesday or Thursday for a prognosis.  We need to know where we stand.

Just heard a crash - Buddy fell asleep and toppled into the sink.  I'm ending the post to check him out. 

Monday, March 19, 2012


We're seeing a definite decline in Buddy's condition.  He's doing goofy things like passing up his water dish but going into the kitchen sink or the bathtub to lick up water.  He won't drink out of his bowl unless we hold it up to his face.  Once it's placed on the counter, he ignores it.  We've folded up 2 towels to place underneath the bowl.  With it raised, he's drinking from it - sometimes.

At least his appetite is good.  He's eaten at least 6 ounces of food a day for the past few days.  Generally, he eats less.  Still, it's been a struggle to get him to focus on the food. Buddy asks to eat but becomes picky.  Now he's back to eating Wiskas Pouch food; I'm reluctant to give it to him but he wants it.  Anything to keep him eating.

Today he gave me a few kisses.  Yesterday, I couldn't coax a single one out of him.  He is also sleeping more than usual and very deeply.  Twice I found him fast asleep on my kitchen counter with his head hanging in the sink.  Picking up his head didn't even cause him to wake up.  At first, I thought he died until I saw his chest going up and down.

Doctor Young and I have been emailing about all of this, discussing possible reasons for what is happening and whether or not there is a medical solution.  One of the possible reasons we discussed was blindness.  Dr. Young explained to me renal failure can cause hypertension which in turn can cause the retinas to detach causing blindness.  She asked us to perform a simple test.  When it's dark, shine a light in Buddy's eyes to determine if his pupils contract.  If they do, fine.  If not, he's blind.  My brother and I did this and thankfully, Buddy's not blind.  So now we're back to square one.  What's happening to Buddy?  It looks like we will definitely pay a visit to Hope Veterinary Clinic this week.  Blood work will probably tell us what's going on.  I'm afraid we don't have many options open to us now in terms of treatment.

Annie's not eating - she's upset and depressed because we're spending an inordinate amount of time caring for Buddy.  She doesn't understand - all she knows is he's getting special treatment and she isn't.  I wish there was some way I could make her understand.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


The reigning World's Ugliest Dog, Yoda died at age 15 years.  Follow the link to the article and video.

Personally, I don't believe in Ugly Dog Contests but hey, they don't cause any harm I guess so let those who enjoy them continue to enjoy.  Maybe we should hold "Most Unique Dog" contests instead.

Friday, March 16, 2012


The minute I started typing this post I heard a plaintive meow coming from my living room.  From where my computer is positioned, I have an unobstructed view of the furniture.  The sight greeting me was Buddy looking over the arm of my recliner calling me to help him get settled for the afternoon.

My brother has taken to placing a favored blanket on the seat of the recliner for Bud's to snuggle on but lately it's not enough.  The blanket must be shaped like a doughnut - mounded all around - so Buddy can curl up in the middle.  Before he settles down he calls me to come and cover him up to his ears with a part of the blanket.  The end result is Buddy is completely cocooned.

Caring for Buddy is increasing in intensity.  His needs are consuming more and more time. He asks for food but then must be coaxed to eat.  Time is spent trying to figure out what tack will get him to eat.  Add a different food to the mix?  If so, which one do I think might do the trick.  If it doesn't appeal, then I must try another.  Sometimes all I have to do is heat the food slightly to entice him to consume his meal.  Then again, sometimes that ploy doesn't work.  Oftentimes, the dish must be held up to his nose or food placed on my finger and rubbed across his front teeth.

As the days go on, I've noticed the morning routine increasing from approximately 30 minutes to 45 minutes or almost an hour.  Still, there are some pluses. The addition of a few drops of olive oil to each meal has produced the best results in terms of toileting regularity to date -along with his daily morning milk or yogurt. In other words, he poops more often.  Also, buddy has retained his sweet disposition although he doesn't seem to talk as much as he did before his illness progressed.

We knew caring for Buddy would get harder.  It signals we are getting closer to the day when there will no longer be any quality of life for our little guy and we will be forced to make the decision we both dread.  Hope says alive in my heart Buddy will be granted a peaceful end which arrives naturally while he's asleep in my lap or on the recliner instead of an end we have to pick because he won't eat or drink.

I'm grateful he's been a part of my life for more than ten years but I'm sad knowing our time together is coming to an end.  What makes it even harder is not knowing how much longer he has.  It's really a day-by-day proposition now.

Buddy is calling me once again; I must go and see why.  Then is's off to spend more time with Annie.  It won't due for her to feel neglected.  Soon she will be without her Buddy.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I'm not posting today beyond telling everyone to read up on chicken jerky treats made in China.  Fatalities have occurred because of them.  Personally, I recommend getting some good recipes for homemade treats.  Bake for your pets yourself.  It's doesn't take much time and at the very least you know what's going into what your pet is snacking on!

Monday, March 12, 2012


Well, today went well.  Very uneventful.  By that I mean no toileting accidents.  Buddy seems OK.  His appetite is good.  He's not being picky - that's good.  And he's drinking water - that's definitely good.  Annie is calm and happy - that's great!  She's relaxed, not depressed or sulking.  Around here, I would say this is a pretty unusual kinda day for a change.  Believe me, I'm thankful for it.

All day long, Buddy has been trotting off to do his toileting without any coaxing from me.  Maybe what happened was just accidents.  Each incident appears to have happened right after Buddy awoke from a deep sleep.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed and of course I'll have to document each incident in Buddy's medical journal.

I thought you'd like to see a few more photos of Buddy and Annie so here they are!



Sunday, March 11, 2012


Well, Buddy had another accident.  Unfortunately it was on the guest bed.  This is definitely an issue and sad to say, I'm sure an indicator of his downward slide.

Cleaning up after Buddy, monitoring him to prevent accidents and taking care of his medical needs are all taking a toll on Annie.  She's very depressed and forlorn since this takes time away from her.  Annie doesn't understand  or sense that Buddy is dying.  She's been spending her days alternating between sulking and vying desperately for attention.

The entire situation is getting too hard to deal with.  The guest room is a three-walled room; no door to shut.  Even if there was a door to close, I need to think about my bedroom as well as the living room.  It might only be a matter of time before Buddy has an accident on my bed, the couch or the recliner.  I am now contemplating blocking off my long hallway and kitchen with extra high doggie doors in order to contain Buddy in that linoleum-floored space.  One thing I need to avoid is having to clean and re-clean bed linens and cleaning upholstered furniture?  I don't even want to contemplate that!  Way too labor-intensive.  Smell is not an issue - a cup of vinegar in the final rinse takes care of that given the fact that his urine doesn't smell like it did when he was healthy.

My main concern is this - will he take to howling at night if I contain him in this way?  He's used to sleeping on my bed.  Thankfully, so far there have been no accidents during the night but who knows what will happen next.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Incredible story I came across via MSN about a guy competing in the Iditarod who performed CPR on one of his team dogs after the dog collapsed and died.  Check it out.

CPR is an emergency skill pet owners should at least read up on.  It could mean the difference between losing a beloved pet or giving them a second chance at life.  Basically, you hold the animal's mouth closed while blowing breaths into the nose and doing  chest compressions.  This is really a simplification, You Tube has a few videos demonstrating the entire process.  This is one of them...

You can also perform CPR on cats.

As to the Iditarod, read the comments debate.  Maybe the Iditarod, like greyhound racing, bull fighting and Central Park Carriage Horses should become a thing of the past.  Yes, if people want to compete in all kinds of crazy endurance challenges fine - we can make a rational decision as to whether or not to put ourselves through the ordeal but a dog just says "Yay!  I'm running!" without knowledge of the consequences to itself.

Opinions, anyone?

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Yesterday morning, Buddy bounded onto my bed, sat by my head chattering to me about who knows what.  After about ten minutes of non-stop one-sided conversation, I got out of bed, grabbed him figuring he probably wanted to eat.

We proceeded into the kitchen where I discovered Buddy spilt some of the contents from his water dish completely soaking the towel I placed underneath.

There was a gigantic puddle of water on the kitchen floor.  Odd that there was water on the floor since the kitchen counter top was bone dry.  Then it dawned on me - Buddy was upset because he had an accident.

Last night, we returned home from running errands and dinner out to find Buddy had another accident on our guest bed - he likes to sleep there sometimes.  I can only guess he woke up and didn't make it off the bed in time.  There was a cardboard box nearby where my brother was temporarily storing some papers he needed to throw away.  We discovered Buddy used it as litter box - now the papers were soaked!

This is upsetting.  Buddy has always been very fastidious with his toileting habits so it is very uncharacteristic of him.  We will have to keep an eye on Buddy to make sure this isn't a new problem.  Hopefully, the use of the cardboard box was either "in a pinch" or just a bit of confusion.   

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Well. it's been a funny day.  Both Annie and Buddy spent it vying for the same spot on my bed.  It's very amusing to see the two of them staring at each other, one waiting for the other to vacate a brightly-lit spot on a double bed when there is plenty of room to lie down. Other areas of the bed have sunlight but for some reason they have a need to one-up each other.

Both of them are with me now as I blog.  That's because the sun has gone down so it's no longer fun to try and beat the other out of the coveted spot.

Buddy's been acting a bit peculiar today.  He'll eat if I hold the dish up but not so much if I place it on the counter.  I ended my stint as Jeeves by placing a pint plastic soup container upside down and positioning Buddy's food plate on top of it.  My brother added a rolled piece of tape to the two bottoms effectively sticking the container and plate together.

I gave Annie a quick check-over today.  Her coat is beautiful - so shiny since she's been eating home cooked meals.  She has a habit of separating some of the vegetables from her meal so a while back I started to puree the vegetables before adding them to her meal. Yesterday I prepared a large quantity of food to last about 4 days (2 meals a day) and decided to puree the meat portion along with the vegetables.  This worked out OK with Annie eating her meal without any food landing on the floor.

Today was spent looking at two old terrycloth bathrobes with an eye towards turning them into bath towels for Annie and Buddy.  The pockets will be re-purposed as bath mitts.  This process will be described at length in another post.

Monday, March 5, 2012


My sweetheart of a girl has unbound-less energy.  It's all I have to do to keep up with her - actually, I really can't keep up with her.  She constantly surprises me.  After 9 years, Annie is still running around like a puppy.  I love to see her break into an all out run.  She appears to be an inch or so off the floor when she does this and all I have to do is stand still uttering an occasional word, clapping my hands or shaking my arms to keep her going.

What kind of crazy things does Annie do?  Well, for one, she wiggles.  Yes, wiggles.  Whenever she's happy (and that's about every evening when my brother comes home from work) she gets on her back, paws in the air and wiggles like a worm.

Annie also cuddles and will rub the top of her head, ears, eyes and snout over our cheeks and under our chins.  Annie is also a bit of a hoarder.  She will take her cookies and place them on my bed or near her dog bowl if she doesn't eat them right away.  Another funny thing she does is take a cookie but immediately ask for a second one.  Once she has both, she will either eat them both or put them aside for later in the day.

What really touches my heart is when Annie crouches down with a wide-eyed, hopeful look on her face and starts to hop around.  This is Annie's signal she wants to engage in play.  If I respond, she will run to her toy box and select a stuffed toy for me to throw.  After a fetch or two, she will break into a run, stopping to look over her shoulder to see if I'm chasing her.  This is a favorite ploy of hers when playing with other dogs.  Annie is great at getting other pets to engage in play.

Every evening I sit in my recliner to read or watch TV.  I love it when Annie crawls onto my lap and goes to sleep although I can only take about a half hour of this tops because at 42 lbs. she's a bit heavy to be a lap dog.  Of course, our mini massages are wonderful bonding time; I try to do this every day since Annie loves them so much.  She always appears calmer and quite serene after a session.

The best is when Annie shows her contentment by sighing.  She will do this if cuddling, sleeping on my lap or during a mini massage.  To me, it shows her complete contentment with what we're doing and makes me happy to know she's happy too.

Annie is a sweetheart - I love her so.

Friday, March 2, 2012


OK, anyone reading this will be saying to themselves, what does Davy Jones have to do with a blog about family pets and their medical issues.  The answer would be absolutely nothing, except Davy had cats.  I've been grappling with the idea of posting about Davy since the announcement of his death this past Wednesday and I've decided to go with it.

To say that I am sad over Davy's passing would be understatement; I'm heartbroken.  Davy was always a presence in my life and not because he was a Monkee.  Davy and Mickey were the professional actors; Mike and Peter were musicians.  The operative word here is "actor".  Sure, he sang, danced, played guitar but I remember him as an actor first.

Davy's career started at about age 14 on the British soap opera "Coronation Street".  From there he appeared in  London's West End in the musical "Oliver" which crossed the pond to Broadway with Davy still in the roll of the Artful Dodger. The first time I saw Davy was as the Dodger with the rest of the Oliver cast on The Ed Sullivan Show.   Everyone always watched Ed Sullivan but that particular night I was watching to see some other Brits I was interested in for it was the first of three evenings The Beatles performed.

The insanity of Beatlemania started but through it all I never forgot Davy.  He appeared on "Ben Casey" a very popular doctor drama of the early sixties (Yvonne Craig also appeared in the same episode).  All in all, I managed to catch him on whatever show he was on.

Colpix released (pre-Monkees) a solo album entitled, "David Jones" which was a mix of pop tunes and British music hall songs!  To this day, I catch myself humming or singing songs from this album (most of the cuts are on You Tube).

Like so many of us, Davy started out pursuing one career course but wound up doing something entirely different.  Davy originally intended to be a jockey but the entertainment field beckoned.  Even so, Davy always kept a hand in by raising, training and racing horses.  And Davy was with his horses when his time came.

So here's to you, Davy.  Thank you for all the good times and the great memories.
"Good-night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."
 (William Shakespeare: Hamlet)