Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ode to my Buddy Love

Well, as 2014 does bring excitement for a new home, and new jobs in the Maurer house, it also brought sadness.

Hendrix, our (likely) 13 year old male husky was not acting right for a week or so. I had to be downtown for a meeting for a few hours, and he urinated on the couch, which was not him at all. He also wasn't laying in his normal places for a very long time. He acted restless. I sat on the floor with him late one night, and could tell that his abdomen was larger than I ever thought it had been before. It's so hard to tell with so much fur.
So, the next day 1/16/14, we went to the vet, and indeed, the vet said she felt like his abdomen was very large, and took labs and xrays. Xrays showed what looked like a very large liver, and some organs pushed out of place. His labs came back that night, and his liver numbers were in the 6000's. Normal high is 120's. He went for an abdominal ultrasound in the morning, and it showed a liver mass that incorporated about 80% of his liver mass, about 5 inches x 5 inches. I already knew this in my heart.

The story of Hendrix is one of rags to riches if you will. Hendrix came to us about 10 years ago, after we had to put our cat to sleep. Jasmine had started to mourn the cat, they so enjoyed tourchering each other! (The kitty is a whole other story) I was working at IU Med Center at the time in the Surgical ICU, and going to school to get my NP. I knew we didn't want a puppy. I contacted Northern Lights Sled Dog Rescue where I saw his picture. His story was sad. He was 2 years old. He had been a court case in his short life, and even found his way to the shelter 3 times. The third, he found rescue. He was was a witnessed beating with a 2x4 by his owner, and awarded back to his owner, and would show up at the shelter when he wanted food and drink. He came to us as a foster, as he was very sick. I knew we wouldn't be able to give him up, and it was always my intent to keep him.  He had a chronic cough, that on xrays, showed almost like a doggy COPD. This was probably because he had pneumonia or bronchitis that was untreated for a long time. He had a redish/purple large spot on his coat, looked like he rubbed up against wet paint, right on the scruf of his neck, and he had terrible worms. We dewormed him, and put him on prednisone for his cough. He managed to get out of 2 cages. We finally had to PADLOCK his cages. He was not easy the first few months. All of the prednisone made him eat and drink a lot, gave him diarrhea, and the worms.. oy... Todd was NOT set on keeping him. lol. Thankfullly, my mother in law stayed with us for almost a week at that time, because Muncie had a large ice storm, and they had no power. It was a life saver! She also talked to Todd, and asked him to give Hendrix another chance when he was healthy.

That was all she wrote with Hendrix. He was a good dog. He got better. Wasn't really ever sick. Jasmine would pick a fight with him now and then, and he would always win. Todd called him our Junkyard Dog. He was calm, and laid back, until you messed with him. He would finish it.

He loved to lay on my feet and work with me. He would come running across the yard when I would tell him time for work, or we had a meeting. He was on a eating and drinking schedule. 5pm SHARP he wanted his food. I used to think it was because he would know Oprah's music was over, but, NO, that dog, just had an internal clock that was very accurate. He would WOOOO, and WOOOOO until you got him what he wanted. I think that was a testament to deprivation early on. That, and his fear of long, skinny things like brooms, shovels, etc, were the only issues this dog had. We never really had to scold him. He just was a good dog. (As long as he was fed, and watered... lol) He loved the snow, he loved to run. he loved to have his neck rubbed, and he loved to lay under things, desks, tables... anything.

He was rather annoyed by the kids... I think they were too unpredictable for him, but had come around in the past few months. He still woo'd at them a lot. :)

Fast forward to Sunday night 1/19/14... I was laying in Owen's bed... (If you don't know why, read the last post). I noticed he couldn't get comfortable. He got in the bed, on the floor, in the hall, down the stairs, back up. I noticed when he laid down, he moaned. I took a video of his breathing, and counted it... consistently 70x a minute.. which is more than double normal. I gave him a pain pill that I had here, and after 30 minutes, he settled down. He slept, in one place. I knew... he was in pain.

I called the vet in the morning (1/20/14)... and I knew we either needed to do pain meds, or we needed to say good bye. After realizing that he hasn't done many things for a while, like, he used to lay like a frog, with his legs all sprawled out, he used to stretch and woooo each morning, he used to lay at the end of the bed, and not move, nightly... I knew we had a decision to make. We could have given him pain meds, but there was a risk of the tumors bursting, and him hemmoraging to death, or being in extreme pain, or.... with my work, and Todd's work being so busy lately, maybe we would miss it, and not be home. I knew we owed him dignity, we owed him the love that we gave him when we picked him up that first day.

I read in a blog somewhere that dogs don't fear the afterlife, they don't fear heaven or hell, they don't fear death.... they fear pain. Pain was indeed, what he was in. And, I owed him more respect, and dignity than that. I know, in my heart that we did the right thing. He died eating a mouthful of homemade banana bread... and I know that is the way he'd have loved to go. But, I will miss that dog. I will miss that big man, and I already do. I don't know how many times I accidentally felt for him under my desk last week.... but I know, I will see him again.
I cannot re-read this tonight... so they typos will have to exist for now.

Hello 2014

2014 has come so fast.
We had a great Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
I was actually sick for Thanksgiving, and Todd tore his bicep tendon right before Christmas, and had surgery on the Dec. 22nd, so, I guess it was eventful for both. After blisters from a surgery prep allergy, and hives from the treatment of the surgery prep allergy... Todd is just now getting back to normal after his bicep tendon rupture. Todd is not usually the one sick, so when he is, it's not easy on this household!

The kids had a good Christmas. We tried to not go overboard since we are moving early May-ish. They got a lot of Lego's, and the really enjoyed some fake snowballs that we got from their great-aunt. Another favorite is some battery operated bugs that they like to build Lego houses for. They are quite creative.

Grey is doing well. We are still watching his ears, here and there, but his latest set of labs, show a lagging immune-system, but it's on the low end of normal. He seems to be catching up to where he needs to be. Our battles with Grey are 1. getting potty-trained, 2. getting rid of his pacifier. In that order. First of all, I have never seen a child so lack-luster on getting potty-trained. He just DOES NOT care. I thought that he would be persuaded by peer pressure. We will NOT have to worry about Grey and peer pressure in the future, because, he does NOT care. He is in his own little world, and he doesn't care what you think. Quite evident. I started today rewarding him for staying dry in his big boys, which I did not have to do for Lilly and Owen, and he did quite well, until he locked himself in his bedroom, and panicked until I could get a screwdriver to unlock his door. We will keep working. He has lost his "diegos" which are the Pamper pull-ups, he thinks they are cool. He is now getting generic pullups. I hope they are even uncomfortable. He can have his Diegos at night. The pacifier, will not go with us to the new home. We have tried to prep him for this, but... we may just have to go cold turkey. I've seen him in the middle of the night when I've gone to cover him up sucking his thumb when he doesn't have his paci, and that is not something I want to start either. Grey has to be the easiest to entertain of the 3. He often giggles at the TV, and looks at the other 2, like,"WHAT, that was funny?" He has the best little personality, so silly, and such a creature of habit. He continues to be our best sleeper. Thankfully! He still says his favorite color is orange, and he loves playing Lego's, as well as his hot wheels cars. He also likes to draw and color. He will eat nearly anything.

Owen continues to be quite the daddy's boy. He loves his daddy! He does very well in school. He will recite the Pledge of Allegiance, prayers, he answers the TV with everything... and He told Todd the other day that "God will forgive all of your sins." Priceless. He remains a big boy. In solid 5T. 49lbs, and I have seen how tall he is lately. Size 13 shoe. He has the biggest heart, but can be the biggest bully. He continues to say that his favorite color is red. He likes Lego's, and cars as well. He still loves his "bb's" which are his 2 blue blankets that he sleeps with nightly. And, he really prefers to sleep in our bed with Todd. He has no issues telling me either, "Mom, please move over so I have room, you can go sleep in my room...". Because we've been tired, we've just done what works. We regret that. He loves to run, and hide. I guess they all do, but especially him. He loves to play hide and seek. He also, likes to pretend he's a kitty. There is frequent meowing around here. He happens to probably be the pickiest eater. He prefers chicken nugs, and hot dogs. He still LOVES milk!

Lilly is also doing well. She had her tubes placed in November I believe. No infections since then. (Knock on wood)She still likes pink, loves to color, play with Lego's, and will join in on the cars with the boys every now and then. She likes playing with her dolls. They all like pretending to play house, and be different characters. She is still a momma's girl, and loves to sing. Currently, Katy Perry's song "Roar" is her favorite, she demands it when she hears something even similar. She, like the boys, like watching her Disney Junior shows, and some on Nick Jr. as well. She makes up songs all the time, and for whatever reason, she calls me "Sumee" , like (SUM and a long E sound) Weirdest thing. But she constantly calls me Sumee. She also has been a picky eater. Not as bad as Owen though.

Our house hole was dug right before the new year... and well, that is where we still are. It has been so cold, and snowy (Because we are building a house)... that they haven't been able to do anything. Which is fine. Our house is not on the market yet. We really are in no hurry, other than the anxiety, and excitement of seeing what we have put together, come together.

Todd's job has been extremely busy, and my new job has also been very busy. I will be traveling a bit the next month or so. Of course, it's the coldest winter in 2 decades, and the 3rd snowiest in Indianapolis history (again, because we are building a house). We will just keep truckin along. We could not do what we do, without our family, that is for sure.