My latest blood tests

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I had routine blood tests last week. It’s a few months since the vet wanted them done because my Cushing’s Disease has been well controlled. It’s not well controlled any more so Mum & Dad have agreed with the vet that my medication has to be doubled. Vetoryl does have some risks, but so does the Cushings.

I’m 12 years old and have Cushing’s Disease, heart disease, a dodgy liver and pancreas, two luxating patella and one eye that has age-related issues. Depsite all that, the vet commented I’m remarkably healthy and perky. So it’s well worth increasing the medication and seeing how things go.

When Mum comes home at night I play hard for a while, I bark to keep the street under control, and my tail is always wagging – so life’s pretty good!

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Doing better

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My catsister, Goldie, has her voice back & I guess that’s a good thing. On Tuesday she is going to the vet for an ‘old cat’ checkup before they remove some of her teeth on Wednesday. Mum and Dad said I have to be nice to her. Whatever…

I am feeling a lot better now I’m less itchy and my ears aren’t so sore. I went to The Dog Box and they have me a good trim, especially my ears because Mum couldn’t see where she was putting the medicine. I had a bath again today and then Mum dried me a bit with the hairdryer because it’s still winter and I’m old.

Mum’s friend Sandra stayed the night on Friday and she had her Malshi, Bruno, with her. I’m not scared of Bruno and *almost* played with him … almost!groomed 072018

We both went to the vets

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Goldie and I are typical old age pensioners – sometimes we need medical help! In the last couple of weeks we have both been to the vets. I had very itchy skin again, and sore ears; the itchy skin is caused by the Cushing’s Disease so all we can do is manage it. My sore ears are almost better because Mum has been putting awful ointment in them. Yuk!

Goldie lost her meow and it turned out she has laryngitis, which she last had in 2015. The vet gave her an injection of antibiotics and B12 to make her feel better; she’s a bit louder already. She has some bad teeth so in a couple of weeks, when her throat is better, they will take them out so they don’t keep making her sick.

Mum is finding it weird that the cat has dementia so has been doing art journal pages about it, to get it out of her head.

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My furry friend has dementia

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Goldie is my friend except when she chases me and attacks me to practise her hunting skills. When she’s being nice, I am happy to share the sheepskin rug in front of the heater with her. Goldie is 13, a year older than me, and her brain is being bad. Mum says it Cat Dementia and we all have to be patient.

Mum and Dad have been sort of joking for a while that Goldie’s memory isn’t very good, so she had a big visit to the vet who said she is in good health except for one tooth that has a crack in it.

She’s had a cat flap for years but now she can’t work  it very well – she pushes at the flap a lot but doesn’t always come through, she just sits and cries instead. She does the same about her food – sits and cries until they pick her up and put her with her food. Other times, she manages the cat flap and food just fine.

She spends a lot more time inside too. She’s always been a talkative cat but she’s got a lot noisier, especially at night (kind of like ‘sun downing’ in humans with Alzheimer’s). She gets a bit disoriented too and sits in the hall calling us, as though she can’t figure out where we are.

Mum had a chat to the vet about whether Cat Dementia was a possibility and he said yes. Mum did some research and Goldie has about 80% of the symptoms cats tend to develop.

There’s no treatment but there are things Mum and Dad can do to help us all cope as she gets worse. We’re not doing anything yet, apart from opening the door a zillion times a day, but as she gets more confused Mum and Dad will start making a few changes. Poor Goldie, it’s a bit sad that my friend has a bad brain…

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Pensioner pets

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Faith is 12 years old, and Goldie is 13, so they’re both well and truly retired. Of course Tony is well retired too, and I’m not always well, so really our house is a loosely run retirement home!

It’s cold here today, by Patea standards anyway. Goldie is asleep in Tony’s Lazyboy chair because he’s away for a couple of days, and Faith is asleep on her sheepskin rug, face first into the heater and snoring gently. They both do as little as possible, for as long as possible.

Despite her age, Faith still plays with her toys when I get home from work, barks at the courier and wags her tail constantly as she moves about the house with us. Tony’s brother Roger has been living with us for the last 6 weeks and he commented this morning that she’s one of the sweetest natured dogs he’s ever met. It’s true – she can be a bit yappy (although less so now she’s old) but she’s happy and gentle.

Sometimes I worry about her when she’s having a quiet sleep-a-lot day. My sister always reminds me that in a retirement home some days residents go on bus trips and play cards, other days they nap in the sun all day – and it’s the same for Faith and Goldie. She’s right, of course, and today’s a nap in the warm day…faith 2018-06goldie 2018-06

 

Life as an older dog

I’m only 11 years old but my multiple health issues mean I seem quite old. Mind you, I can still fling my toys round and chase stray cats when I want to!

Most of the time I am happy to lie around in the sun, or face first into the heater, and nap my way through the day. Although I am very much Dad’s girl, I light up briefly when Mum comes home and haul all my toys out of their container so we can play with the ball.

Auntie Ailsa says Mum and Dad have to think of it like a retirement home and not worry on the days I’m a bit slow and uninterested. Some days the residents go out on a bus trip, other days they sit in the lounge and watch TV; same for old dogs. Auntie Ailsa knows stuff…

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What did you say?

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I’ve been doing quite well lately – and then things went weird. I had sore ears and kept scratching them, so Mum was putting stuff in them – and suddenly I was stone deaf. My wee ears didn’t even twitch when Mum and Dad shouted, and I wasn’t barking at the courier, cars next door, flies going past…

We live a very routine life so it’s been kind of ok – I know when Mum cleans her teeth etc at night it’s time for me to go toilet then head for the bedroom so they can put me on the bed. And in the morning I know when Dad puts Mum’s car out I have to stay inside. But I missed being told “what a good girl” all the time, and Mum waffling on to me about what she’s doing.

The vet wasn’t sure if my ears were just super sore or if I was deaf because I’m getting old (I’m 11 and a half…).

Anyway, in the last couple of days I have started to hear some things again and today I reacted when Mum said I’m a good girl. So my ears were just sore and all blocked up after all. Thank goodness for that. Mum said a deaf dog with a heart condition, Cushing’s Disease, Luxating Patella in both back legs and one bung eye didn’t bear thinking about!

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I’m doing well

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Mum’s almost scared to write this, but I’m doing well. I have settled on my arthritis, heart & Cushing’s meds to the point where I don’t even need blood tests for a couple more months. (Mum says my vet bill doesn’t look as healthy as I do … whatever!).

I am enjoying the sunshine, playing with my toys, and cuddling with Mum and Dad. Life’s good. Thank you all for caring about me. Happy woofs!

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Groomed, and presents

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I was groomed on Friday, just in time for Christmas and the hot weather. The nice groomer at The Dog Box in Hawera tried to get me to wear a bow but I wasn’t having it, and kept shaking it out. She did get a photo of me for their FB page with it in though.

We celebrated Christmas yesterday – I still have one present under the tree, from Aunty Ailsa. Yesterday Uncle Roger gave me some new balls to play with, but it takes me a few days sometimes to decide if I like them!

I had a great day for a dog, and hope you did too. Happy silly season everyone.

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A story just for me

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Mum’s friend Kylie Parry (@parrykylie on Twitter) is, among other things, a writer. Recently she sent me a wonderful story about Faith, based on my tweets and this blog. I think it’s just lovely; she has really captured their personalities. Thank you so much Kylie, your timing was perfect…

It was gone. Disappeared. Faith shook the blonde hair out of her eyes. Cath couldn’t help. She’d gone to the library, again. Faith figured the library must have the best toys in the world because Cath kept going there. Or treats, maybe it was full of treats.

Faith scratched behind one ear and then shook herself. Focus. The toy was gone. Not just a toy. The Toy. The best one. The one that was chewed soft in just the right places and smelt like happiness. Well she was on her own now, she’d just have to track it.

Nose bent to the floor Faith sniffed carefully around. Humpf, the worst smell in the world was here… Goldie. She stiffened. Goldie was big, mean and scary. People thought Goldie was cute,

“Who’s a lovely cat, do you want a pat.”

People were stupid. Faith knew the truth, Goldie was a no good toy thief. It was clearly the only answer. Goldie must have stolen The Toy while she was sleeping. Gathering up her courage, Faith stood tall, tallish, oh OK just stood straight and prepared to track.

Goldie had left stink everywhere. Under the chair, in the kitchen, up on the bed. Everywhere cat stink, no-where The Toy.

Faith wasn’t giving up that easily. Behind the curtain. AHA, a clue. A small piece of stuffing. She picked it up carefully in her mouth. Following the scent.

In the corner of the lounge, more stuffing. Near the door, an ear. Faith whimpered, an ear. What kind of monster was this cat! Dedicated sniffing tracked down another ear and a small piece of fabric.

Faith sat in the lounge and yapped loudly,

“Goldie, what did you do? What did you do?”

Goldie wandered slowly into the lounge yawning. The weird fluffy dog was yapping again. Goodness knows what about. Frankly Goldie didn’t care. Goldie leapt up on a chair, curled up in a ball and went back to sleep.

Faith sat on the stuffing yapping and planning her revenge.

“Cath!!! Cath!!! Cath!!!”

Cath was home, she was home, Faith spun in happiness. Cath reached down and patted her, then pulled a toy out of her bag.

“Here you go Faith, a new toy. Try not to destroy this one OK?”

Oh. Faith looked at the fluff and back at the new toy. Oh. Had she? She remembered playing… some shaking…. Then there had been fluff…

“New toy!” Faith grabbed the toy and ran around the lounge. There was a toy and Cath. Everything was wonderful.

Goldie opened one eye.

“Stupid dog”

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