Healing the heart after the loss of a pet

It will be 4 weeks tomorrow at 4:30 pm that we lost our precious Marcus. He was our first dog. I didn’t want to use the word “was” because that means he’s not here anymore. I still sob when I think of him and how adorable, fun, energetic and amazing he was. There’s that word again……….Was. Ugh. Cancer in dogs is so common. I joined a facebook group dogs with cancer and I was shocked at how many dogs are affected by cancer. Is it the food we fed them? How about the pesticides used on the lawns? Even if YOU do not use them, maybe your neighbors do. Their precious little noses are always sniffing the ground and inhaling the toxic chemicals used for pest control and weed control. Could it be genetic? Over breeding?

How do you heal your heart and move forward? Should we rescue another dog? Is it too early? Would I love the new rescue like Marcus? Would it make me feel better? How would bringing another dog into the house so soon affect the other dogs we already have? The only way to answer that question is to move forward. And so we did.

I know Marcus would like us to honor his memory. He is the one who inspired us to rescue dogs. We started in 2009 rescuing dogs and donating time and money to the shelters because of his sweetness and fun personality.

Here is the newest rescue. His name is Prince Harry. We adopted him from a local breeder that is retiring the dog. They were very picky (as they should be) in who they gave him to. We were luck enough to be chosen. I here by announce the new member of our household….Prince Harry, King Charles Cavalier

He is so different than the terriers that we have rescued. He is more calm, has a bit of separation anxiety however he is getting much better with each and every passing day.

I know our Marcus would be proud of us for helping yet another dog. I will miss my boy forever and 2 days. And yes, I am crying now .

My Best Friend Marcus

I can’t believe it’s been 11 years since we first met. I remember December of 2008, seeing you in an enclosed area with your siblings. 3 adorable puppies; 2 females and 1 male. I smiled viewing the puppies and I said out loud “Which one of YOU wants to go home with US?”

Marcus as a small puppy 10 weeks old.

You looked up, and walked cautiously toward us. You put your little tiny paws up on the enclosure and licked my hand. I picked you up and you snuggled inside my coat. It appears you have chosen us to be your humans. You were so tiny I could fit you in the palm of my hand. You slept close to me snuggled in my coat for the 1 hour ride to your new home.

We named him Marcus. He is a Morkie which is a hybrid breed. It’s a cross between a Maltese and a Yorkie. Morkies have beautiful hair. They are small dogs that are jam packed full of energy with a ton of personality. He is the king of the house.

He has the best doggie life any dog can imagine. He goes everywhere with us. The beach, Gramma & Papa’s house, rides to the gas station and so many walks I can’t even count the miles. He can run so FAST. He is like a mini lightening bolt. He even sleeps with us every night. He snuggles up behind my head on top of my pillow leaving me about 1/4 of the pillow.

The best thing about Marcus is he lead to us rescuing 4 other dogs. You see he was bored with us humans after a while and needed some 4 legged friends to play with. We rescued Riley, Amber Rose, Charlie and Pumpkin all within the 11 years we had Marcus.

Marcus has had his fair share of health issues. His first one was gastritis. He was only 2 years old. He recovered from that but continued to have digestive issues on and off. The second issue was a cough. He was diagnosed with kennel cough a few times then at one point it was realized he had a trachea collapse issue. He was 9 at that time.

Why am I writing about Marcus? I am writing this tonight as our Marcus is very ill. He has been diagnosed with cancer. He has a mass in his abdomen that has spread to his lungs. His heart is enlarged too. He is on steriods and a diuretic to keep the fluid from building up inside him. We are keeping him comfortable; however the past few days he has shown us he is not going to get better and is deteriorating. He will no longer jump onto the couch, walk up the stairs or scratch at the door to go out to pee. I carry him outside to go to the bathroom. He is eating less and less. He is so sweet and is still wagging his tiny little tail when we talk to him and pet him.

I purchased a dog stroller to take him for walks because he can’t make it to the end of the driveway without sitting down and resting. He LOVES the stroller and really looks forward to his 2 walks a day with me. I also snuggle him up in his pet bed and I walk with him outside in my arms talking to him. I cried alot over the past 6 weeks. I cried when I held him, talked to him and when it was time for bed I cried.

I explained to him that he is very sick and he needs to get better or he will be going to heaven. I told him several times a day how much I love him and how much I will miss him when he is gone. I could see it in his eyes he knew his time was limited. I cried way more than I should have holding him and talking to him, but I couldn’t help it. He’s MY boy.

I can’t imagine my life without him. I am thankful he is still with us and I am enjoying every day like there is no tomorrow.

That no tomorrow came on Thursday July 25th. He wouldn’t take his medicine and decided he didn’t want any more food. We called the vet and she said to bring him in. I walked him out into the back yard holding him in my arms. We stopped and smelled the stargazer lily’s we both loved to smell. I explained to him what was going to happen. I asked Marcus if he would come back to me and tell me his was okay. I said, “Show me a cloud shaped like a dog, or come to me in a dream and tell me you are okay, please baby boy give me some kind of sign so I know you made it”.

We got into the truck with Marcus’s favorite blue bed and he snuggled with me for about 20 minutes into the 1 hour ride to the vet. I was petting him and talking to him. As I gazed down at him, I felt him leave. He was not breathing and his temperature dropped. I looked at my husband with tears streaming down my face and I said “He’s gone, our boy is gone”. I placed my fingers over his eyes to close them. I told him I LOVE YOU MARCUS and I will MISS YOU.

Just like the first day we met him and he picked us out, he left the same exact way. He passed away snuggled in my arms.

I cried the rest of the way to the vet’s office. I opened the door to the vets office and walked him in. I held him so close for the last time and kissed him goodbye.

1 day later I saw this in the sky. On the right hand side just above the puffy cloud is a terrier like looking dog. Maybe it’s my imagination or it is really Marcus telling me he made it.

I will miss you forever times forever into infinity. Thank you for picking us to be your humans

Auto Immune Disease In Dogs Genetic Correlation? Puppy Strangles

Strangles. What on earth is that? Auto Immune Disorder

It is an autoimmune disorder in puppies. Symptoms occur between 3 weeks to 4 months of age. If left untreated it results in severe scaring and in rare cases, even death. Breeds susceptible to the disease include golden retrievers, Mini Daschshounds & Siberian Husky’s. It is not contagious and unlikely to recur once treated properly and quickly. With the combination of prednisone and an antibiotic, it will give your puppy the best chance for a full recovery.

The disease is also called juvenile cellulitis. The symptoms are as follows; swollen face, eyes, muzzle, sores on face, inside ears, mouth, and in severe cases it affects the anus and genital area. The sores may burst and crust over. If it involves the puppy’s ears, they will smell very foul. The puppy’s lymph nodes are also affected. Other symptoms are fever, poor appetite, and lethargy. Your puppy may also experience joint pain.

When diagnosing a puppy with strangles, It can sometimes be tricky because it does look like a staph infection which is a bacterial infection. To get an accurate diagnosis make sure your Vet takes a swab of the areas infected and examine it. Make sure it’s not mites, ringworm or any other skin issue or allergy.

8 Week Old Lab/Doodle Puppy. She had sores everywhere! Ears, nose, eyes, and all over her “private area”.

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Treatment involves aggressive autoimmune drugs, antiobiotics, to prevent secondary bacterial infections, and its very important to keep all lesions clean and dry. Ask you vet about a hydrogen peroxide diluted solution to keep the infected areas clean.

When your puppy is on the steroid, they will experience stronger than usual hunger. It’s a side affect of the medication. Some people will give them a little more food than usual, but NOT ALOT MORE. It’s important to keep him/her comfortable after all they are just babies and so dependent on their new owners. Keep the cone head on when ever possible. Excessive licking only adds to the problem.

The more I research this “RARE” issue in Labradoodle, the more I see people posting the same type of stories, so how rare is this actually?

This particular dog is much better now. She is 8 months old now and feeling and looking much better. She is no longer on steroid or any medicine. The condition was caught very early.