Our losses and gains (Dog Edition)
I actually do enjoy writing things. I am much better at putting my thoughts out in this format vs. speaking. However it's obviously not something I think to do often. I still thought it would be fun to update our life and evolution of our dog family since my last blog shows it's been 4 years!
Since my last post the world has changed so much. We lost Ziti in February 2019. She went in for a routine spay surgery and the anesthesia stopped her heart. It is a day and a phone call I'll never forget. We were heartbroken. Weirdly enough I had already casually begun the search for our next puppy and teased that Ziti needed this puppy playmate named Polly. Our vet then offered to pay for our new puppy. So we set off to get that little puppy anyway. It was a nail biter as we were on a list to pick puppies. It was meant to be! Polly became ours and was renamed Tiramisu (tee·ruh·mee·soo), Misu for short.
After another month plus we went to pick up Misu from the same place we got Ziti from. It was bittersweet. Misu was a little bit shy at first but soon took to us all and even laid across Lynx's lap on the ride to our next stopping point. (Ziti had been a cry baby when we picked her up and I felt like a horrible person.) We spend the weekend with family and then brought her back to our mature adult dogs back home.
Introducing Misu to the home was so easy. I swear Rico (aka Taco) just thought that she was a tiny Ziti and he loved her from the start. (If you haven't read about Rico before he was very dog reactive too.) Morzy was basically like "ugh, I gotta raise another puppy for you fools, fine..." Mo actually always liked puppies but she was starting to slow down a lot.
By June 2019 Morzy was starting to show major signs of incontinence. We tried some meds to help and managed to keep her favorite resting spots covered. Even though Lynx was mostly out of diapers by now but Morzy had to start wearing them. She started losing weight and refusing food, a huge red flag for our usually voracious girl. She went to doggie hospital for 2 overnight stays where they pumped her with fluids and meds but ultimately she was suffering from Kidney failure and her body was not responding to medicine.
Morzy became the big focus for a while, we tried different supplements. We tried the kidney food (which she hated). We desperately fed her hotdogs and food scraps for weeks at the end. We held on a bit too long. She was our first dog we didn't know what to look for but she had been telling us for a while that she was done living. The last 2 weeks of her life I just thought she was cold so I put sweaters and blankets on her. I didn't realize all the shaking was likely from pain. She hid in the kitchen so we put a bed in there for her. She didn't want to be with her family. When we finally figured out she was done living it was so late. She trembled on her last day as I held her on my lap in the car telling her we were gonna help her. As soon as the vet gave her the first set of meds to rest we believe she let go before the actual heart stopping meds were given. This old lady was holding on to life for us not for herself. She was the best dog and continues in many ways to be our best dog ever.
Rick had lost his baby girl. Rico had always been a mommy's boy. Misu was essentially Lynx's dog. I had been preparing for the loss of Morzy. I was looking at different breeders for a while but nothing felt right. Because of the loss of Ziti and Misu showing signs of anxiety we decided against using the same breeder. On my birthday, February 18th, 2020 I found a breeder that seemed to fit. It was very serendipitous. She was very open with me on her available puppies and said while they may not work she'd have another littler in a couple months that would be what we were looking for. I could handle that. However just a few days later a claimed puppy popped up saying the original picker had backed out on this particular boy puppy named Resolution (named in theme as his litter was born on 1/1/20/20). In her description of him she mentioned that he was probably the nicest puppy she'd ever raised.
Ultimately it was up to Rick. I still had my boy and while weren't really wanting another boy this sure was tempting. He talked to the breeder and asked all the important additional questions he had. There was mention he may have a coloboma in his pupil but it shouldn't affect his quality of life. (We ultimately were able to determine he just has a dark brown spot on his iris there, no coloboma!) I asked myself if we didn't get this puppy if I would regret it and the answer was a profound YES! So we made a deposit and plans to pick him up in lower Wisconsin the first week of March 2020.
We still needed to pick out a name. We have a food theme going with our dogs but we also like to be original and not name a dog something we've already heard. Rick found the name Goji Berry and it fit perfectly. (Goji Berries are red and our new little pup was a red merle). At pick up he was so calm and snugly. There were a few hiccups between the puppies at first but we handled them well and they quickly became the best of friends. The only problem that existed was that Goji imprinted on the wrong person (or so we thought at the time) and he too was a mommy's boy.
And then a couple of weeks later the world fell. Goji got to have exactly 2 puppy classes before we were all in government shut down. We spent the next few months at home. We did a lot of walking training and of course I got to spend extra time with my main man Taco (aka Rico). But in the middle of the shut down Rico started having nose bleeds. Initially we thought he had just given himself a nose injury because he loved to rub his face in the snow. The vet gave us meds to essentially treat it as an infected sore. But they came back.
He'd have one or 2 nosebleeds then we'd get a break for several weeks. Then he was having them weekly. Then multiple times a week. The only way to check would be to put him under anesthesia (which isn't generally advisable for 14.5 year old dogs) and scope his nose and or lungs if necessary. If they found anything we'd then have to take him to a specialist for surgery with uncertain results. We knew it didn't look good. On top of all of this we had to move suddenly and unexpectedly.
We had been moved in with the grandparents for about 2 weeks. The vet gave us some meds to help control the bleeding. He took them for a few days and had a great romp at camp. Then the meds stopped working. Rico had a nosebleed that lasted for 45 minutes or more. The vet said we could try doubling the meds. I looked at my boy and the joy had left his face. He was miserable. I had promised after Morzy's passing that I would never want Rico (or any dog) to suffer that long again. So I had to trust him that he was ready to go. I'd never seen him so happy to go to the vet before. The memory is burned into my head but I watched my sweet baby boy that I raised from a flea ridden farm dog slowly rest his head peacefully.
When I went home Goji was beyond prepared to take over the duty as Mommy's #1 boy and he has been ever since. His job as Rico's was is to watch mommy wherever she goes and make sure she feels loved. He's actually a bit too good at it sometimes. We tell Lynx Misu is her dog but Misu would live with anyone that feeds her. In fact she likes to spend most of her time with grandma! Rick is still without a daddy's girl but he's been currently talking about getting a Maltese he can groom in fun and colorful ways.
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