Tuesday, July 26, 2016

More news on the boy!

Well we got some good news!  The last of the biopsy results are in and Seamus' copper level is improved and some of the other metal levels are too.  It's just a small amount of good news but we will take it!  Seamus will remain on the drugs and we'll see how his levels are in 4, no 3 weeks!  Thank you for all your support and love during this tough time!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Seamus' Biopsy Report

Shayme in 2012
Seamus' results are in for the biopsy and the good news is that he does not have a second disease.  The bad news is that a really aggressive approach to the disease has to be taken.  Most of his meds are now doubled and we have to keep an eye on him to see if he develops jaundice or bloating.  

Shayme is very weak at this point.  The boy that never wanted to stop playing ball catches it twice and goes in the house to rest.  Walks are brief with resting breaks along the way.  The prednisone makes him hungry all the time.  But I am holding on to what the vets are all saying:  Treatable, not curable.  If the meds can get this inflammation under control, Seamus could live a normal life with medication and monitoring.  

Thanks to all of you who have kept Seamus (and me) in your prayers.  We greatly appreciate all the love and support that has been sent our way.
Hugs, Mickie

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Our Garden: Home of the Chirps!

First off, Thank to all my friends who have been so supportive to me and praying for Seaums.  Thank you so much!  It means the world to me.  I've been emotional these last weeks and more so since Seamus' test results.  I've one diversion though.. the birds!
We were delighted when a pair of cardinals built a nest in our viburnum!  We've been seeing them both go in and out of the bush for a few weeks.  It seemed like a perfect nesting space, the bush is alongside the house, the garden has plenty of food and fresh water.   We even named them: the Chirps :)
Occasionally we would see a little head in the nest, we assumed it was the Mama deep in her nest.

Then...on Wednesday, I heard a weird bird call while I was sitting outside with my friend Linda.   Linda has chickens and she identified it as a baby call.  I thought the eggs hatched!  Yippee!

Thursday was a tough day.  I was taking Seamus to get his biopsy (we get the results next week).  Early on Thursday I noticed that both cardinals were at the nest, they seemed upset and I thought perhaps the sparrows had tried to attack their nest.  There was even a little bird standing on the edge of the nest.  I've been researching cardinals and know that a cardinal can take on a sparrow.  Is it possible the eggs hatched a while ago and that little head in the nest was one of the babies pearing up?   Why yes... and...Turns out there was only one baby.  Best to leave them to their job, and left to take Seamus to the animal hospital.

I was even more emotional after I dropped Seamus off.  I came home and decided to peek around the house and see how the cardinals were doing.  Ma and Pa Chirp were clearly upset and kept hoping around the ground and chirping.  And then I decided to go out and look...and sure enough, the baby had fallen down the window well at the base of viburnum.  He was struggling to fly out.   I burst into tears, and went to my neighbors.  

My neighbors calmed me and created a strategy to get the baby bird out.  I returned home, determined to help.  The window well was empty!!!  Ma, Pa, and Baby were sitting together a few feet away in the elderberry bush.  I'm taking this as a good omen for all of us, especially Seamus.

Since then, I've been privileged to be able to view the training of a fledgling.  It is AWESOME! I still have to water the garden (we've only had one brief shower once in three weeks) but I've been as respectful to the birds as I can.  Here is baby resting on the patio chair (or IN the patio chair).  We call him Fuzzy Wuzzy.
I said to the baby,  "Where is your mother?" and the male cardinal landed aside of him.  Now they have taken up the training in the upper bed of our garden, predominately in the rhododendron.  
You can see Fuzzy above the right chain.  He's the brown blob :).  I'm using my long lense on the camera to be respectful.  

The parents are always nearby and often sit with him wherever he is.  Here is Mama guarding above him..
I cannot tell you how what a joy it is to watch them do their job.  It's truly impressive to see how strong their instincts are and how well they take care of their baby.  

Seamus is doing well and on pain medication for a few days.  He sleeps a lot.  His recent bloodwork (just last Monday) shows he is now anemic.  We are praying for a treatable diagnosis.
His front paws were shaved for the IV.  On a lighter note, my neighbor said he looks like he is sporting UGG boots :)
Stay well and please keep Seamus in your prayers!
Hugs, Mickie

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Seamus Report

Seamus and his beloved fan.

Thanks to everyone who has been asking how Seamus is doing.  Yesterday we got the recent blood test results and they aren't good.  He hasn't responded at all to the medication.  His liver enzyme is more elevated and now another enzyme is elevated, as is his chlosterol.  On Thursday, he is having a liver biopsy which will helpfully tell the vets what is going on.

Seamus is even more lethargic and bloated from the prednisone he has been on.  He wants to do less and less.  Fortunately he is a poodle and communicates pretty well.  When I pick up the go-to-the-park bag he sits down.  He knows he can't do it right now.  His exercise is mostly going around the block.  In a whole new turn of events, he is even using the back yard to do his business (he always preferred going for a walk).

I had expected these results, because he's just not been right and the last week seems to have gotten slower and slower.  But it still hit me like a ton of bricks.

Anyway, if you could remember Seamus in your prayers, I would be greatly appreciative.  He has brought so much joy to others, in our home, neighborhood and his therapy patients and we all want him to get well.  Thanks and hugs, Mickie

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Tomato Bowl

It's no surprise to anyone that I'm an avid gardener.  I love gardening because I am always learning something new.  Today I am going to discuss the tomato problem.  I learned a great secret two years ago and I will share it because I hear my Aunt and Uncle are having similar challenges.

Everytime my tomatoes would ripen, the squirrels would pluck them, take one bit of them and leave them strewn throughout the yard.  Sometimes they stole them all together.  Here's a photo I found on the internet that illustrates it perfectly:

Image result for squirrel and tomato\
Sure, everyone wants to eat fruit with a rodent bite.

The last time this happened.  I pulled all the tomato plants, swore profusely, and ranted that I would never grow tomatoes again.  THE VERY NEXT DAY...just to add insult to injury, the squirrels stole my neighbor's tomatoes and threw them all over my yard again :(  So I didn't grow tomatoes--no big deal--until 2 years ago when my neighbor Bill told me his solution.  It was so easy!

Bill said that he puts bowls of water near his tomato plants.  He said, "The squirrels don't want the fruit as much as they want the fluid.  I never have a problem with bites or theft."

Last year I tried his solution.  And it worked!  I even put some extra bowls around the garden and the squirrels responded positively.

I wasn't really thrilled to become a bartender for rodents but I did begin to think more sympathetically.  Our summers often have weeks of dryness (for example, we are 4 inches below the normal rainfall right now).  

With fruit developing these weeks, I've placed the tomato bowls.  Each morning, as I wander through the garden,  I make sure the bowls still are full of water.

So if you have any problems with tomato thievery, you may want to try this method yourself.  Happy Gardening!