Thursday was the hardest day I’ve ever had. My buddy Rusty spent his last day with us. When I wrote the last post, we had no idea things were as bad as they were. On Wednesday morning I took Rusty into the vet. She immediately told me that his spleen was enlarged. You barely had to touch his tummy to tell… which basically happened over night, because I know when I pet him on Tuesday it did not feel that way. She took some blood work and a few x-ray’s which came back concluding that Rusty indeed had an enlarged spleen which was bleeding and cancer in his lungs. Even with a spleen removal, 3 weeks healing time and a blood transfusion… the pup still had lung cancer which would spread fast and she only gave him around 3 weeks to 3 months to live. He would be in constant pain, even with meds. Our choice was difficult and the process was painful for us. Rusty, however, was very peaceful and passed away quietly in our arms.
As mentioned before, we got Rusty in 2001 when he was 8 weeks old. He chewed on my Birkenstocks and it was love at first sight. We brought him home and fed him ice cubes, which he had way more fun playing with in his paws, then actually licking.
Here is a stroll down memory lane. I asked the girls and my husband to give me some of their fondest memories of Rusty…
Rusty loved to chew sticks. It didn’t matter the size or shape… he would even drag a fallen branch over to a comfortable spot and begin to chew on it, most usually eating all of it. I guess he felt he needed extra fiber?
If you gave Rusty a ball… he would roll over and play with it in his paws and drop it into his mouth. I think he thought he was a cat, the way he always used his paws. He might also use it as a back scratcher and roll on top of it.
Rusty was a protector. He would follow the girls and I around all day. The funniest part about it was when the girls went outside. Rusty did not like to be alone, so as long as the girls were playing outside, he would be at their side protecting them. If they came inside, so would he. When you let him out to do his business, he would immediately come inside afterwards… even if it was a beautiful day out.
Rusty loved to be part of the action… especially if the action involved water. Rusty loved the sprinkler and he would chase the water around and try to drink it.
Rusty could be sitting completely still in the grass, enjoying the sights and the smells – only to suddenly get up and start running figure 8’s around the yard. Then he’d stop and lay back down like it never happened.
I think the funniest thing about Rusty was his daily routine quirks. Every morning around 5 am Rusty would get off the couch and come and lay by our bed. When my husband got up to shower, he would roll over for a belly rub and then go and lay on the couch until he was done. Even if I got up and went to the kitchen to make school lunches or coffee… he would stay on the couch. Then, when my husband got out his morning cereal, Rusty would come in to have 4 Mini-Wheats. My husband used to eat Mini-Wheats every day for breakfast for years. One morning he decided that he didn’t want them, but it was too hard to toss other cereals to Rusty… so, we kept giving him 4 Mini-Wheats. He would then go back to lay on the couch until the girls woke up. Finally when they came downstairs, I’d open up the back door for him to go outside… he never asked a minute before, he always waited on us.
I could go on and on with the stories, but will just close with a few more pictures… So long my dear friend. You were a great walking buddy, protector,cuddle buddy and deployment pal… but most of all, you were a family member – my hairy son.
I haven’t been able to walk my dog as much since I am working. By the time we get home from the school day and the kids finish homework, it is time for me to start dinner.
A few nights ago I was able to take Rusty out while husband and the kids played a game together. He would pull me as hard as possible (so much so that I was almost jogging) and then turn his head, grab the leash in the mouth and look at me as if to say, “are you coming human? wait… what are we doing… oh yeah, a walk!” and then proceed to tug me again for another 10 steps. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
In a completely non-related topic, the weeks have been flying by. Again, I think this is because I am working and my days no longer are filled with constant chores (which seem to take forever to do and then suddenly the day is over with nothing accomplished!). This is somewhat a good thing since now I am forced to pick-up and clean-up the house in the time between getting home and fixing dinner. Since my 2nd grader always needs hands on help with her homework, I am using each minute wisely.
Speaking of my second grader… she woke up Saturday with a tummy ache and a fever. All 3 doctors offices that I called this weekend were booked solid and I was told that if our situation worsened (ie: uncontrollable vomiting, etc…) to go to the ER. Nice. Thank goodness that has not happened. Although, she has developed a cough today. I haven’t told her yet that she isn’t going to school tomorrow. She is still at the age where she loves school and it is punishment not to go.
Hopefully all is well by Friday, since that is the school parade, party and then our church Trunk or Treat event. That would totally not fly if we had to cancel.
and Doh! I bet you thought I forgot again?
Tomorrow I will have my first ever mother’s helper. She will stay for about two hours so that I can get things done in and around the house that I otherwise would not get done. First I will take the dog for a walk and then go for a jog. I have to start jogging more frequently, as every time I go… I end up a bit sore the next day. I actually went for a quick jog tonight, although not on purpose.
We started out on our family walk, except that I forgot to put on tennis shoes. I few houses down the street and my ankles and shins started to ache. Flip flops were just not cutting it. So, I walked home, changed shoes and jogged to catch back up with the family. I even had a neighbor down the street chuckle at me – (probably since I was wearing normal shorts, a polo shirt and had long earrings in with sunglasses on my head!) – the family had gotten a bit further than I had thought they would (or had hoped they would) and so I got in quite the warm up!
Anyway, back to the mother’s helper… hopefully I will also get some house cleaning done and maybe even mow the grass. We shall see! I’m pretty excited about it.
The girls are still doing really well with their swim lessons – even venturing as far as putting faces in and holding breath! I’m really proud of them for being brave.
(ps- I’m working on changing the background again… so, stay tuned!)
Okay, so that title is sarcastic. The last few days have certainly been a run around… but not too much fun.
Sunday morning we woke up and our dog Rusty could not open his right eye. It had been a bit red for about a week and I was planning on taking him in to the vet on Monday… so since our vet was closed, we took him to a vet that was open – only to be charged for an exam and sent to the emergency animal hospital. After waiting a few hours, he was finally seen and told that he needed to stay overnight and be monitored until an Ophthalmologist could see him. They did a pressure test and his normal eye was at 4 psi and his right eye was at 29 psi. Ouch! By nightfall it was at 49 psi. Talk about pressure! They had to put him on a salt solution IV drip to dehydrate him and try and take away some of the pressure. The pressure caused secondary glaucoma and he is now on 4 pills twice a day and 2 different eye drops every 6 or 8 hours, which basically means I am giving him something about every 2 or 3 hours from 5 am until 11 pm. Poor guy. He is doing much better and will be re-evaluated on Monday to see if he needs an eye biopsy. If the glaucoma has not cleared up at all, there is a possibility of a tumor behind his eye.
The rest of the running around has to do with my kids. Pig Will had 3 cavities and they filled one and did 3 sealants on her right side of her mouth… she will go back in January to get the left side done (which is the other two cavities and 2 sealants). What they neglected to tell me was that they were TOTALLY encasing her tooth with a stainless steal cap. The cavity was so far down and between her teeth, that it was impossible to just “fill” it. She is pretty concerned about what she looks like… however, she has sort of shown her silver tooth off to everyone she sees. She complained of it hurting this morning… so, it looks like I’ll be calling the dentist today.
Today I’m taking the girls to see their new doctor. Since we got out of the Navy and changed insurance, I had to find a new doctor. They require you to be seen as soon as possible. I feel like Pig Will has missed so much school lately.
Tomorrow is Pig Me Too’s school play. They are doing The Charlie Brown Christmas. I think she is just a background kid… but her big role is that she is singing a duet with yours truly… so it should be pretty interesting. I feel kind of silly getting up there with the kids, but the look on PMT’s face is such a blessing to me. She is so proud (and shy!) to be singing… and with her favorite singer! 🙂
…and that is only half of it… so, the fun run continues…