Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Pandora The Great Brindle Hunter!

Originally uploaded by Laura Lynn - Teddy Bear Artist
This morning I took the Girls out first thing to do their business. Cleo and Isis did what they needed to do and ran back to the door. It's chilly!

Then I went and got Athena & Pandora. Pandora did a quick one... but then was on the scent of prey!

We still have some hosta plants along the back of the house, albeit wilted from the cold. Well, Pandora heard something in there and was relentless!

Athena got in on the excitement too - but only for about 5 minutes. After that she got bored LOL! Athena finished what she needed to do and was ready to go inside for breakfast... but not Pandora! I could NOT get her way from those Hosta plants! I went inside to get her treat... nothing!

I then realized I'd have to go GET her. So I grabbed the leash from the wall and went back outside. When I went back outside I saw Pandora was not hunting in the Hosta anymore - she was looking puzzledly (is that a word? LOL!) at the grass about a yard away.

I walked over, slipped the leash around Pandora and saw - and heard what had her attention. It was a small shrew lying on it's back looking up at Pandora... and scolding her like you wouldn't believe!

NOW I understand why they use the term "shrew" for "a woman of violent temper and speech" Holy cow this tiny animal was mad! I held Pandora in place and the shrew righted itself and scurried away as quickly as it could... it was pretty hilarious! This little creature was smart too... it did NOT go back into the hosta plants... is escaped to the yard behind us under the fence!

Friday, October 12, 2007

How is Isis doing? See for yourself? :)

I took this photo yesterday as Isis leaped for the ball I threw for her. Pretty good for a paralyzed dog with a heart condition, huh? :)

Yesterday was a lovely fall day. Isis really likes the cooler days better now - she FEELS better and is very playful.

I decided to take the Girls into the backyard and take some photos. You can see more of them here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's Pedicure Time!

Well, it's way past pedicure time... but I finally did it today.

With 4 whippets, I do their nails myself. That's 16 paws' worth of nails LOL! Takes me about 45 or more minutes.

I can't use a clipper anymore.. I've accidently gotten the quick on each of the Girls and if they see the clipper, they RUN - litterally!

Here's what DOES work for us!

First, I use a Dremmel tool. I pictured it here with the exact attachment I use. When I first found out about doing dogs' nails with a Dremmel, I couldn't figure it out. Turns out, I was using the wrong attachment!

Since whippets have short fur, there's no danger of getting their fur caught in the tool.

Second: I bribe them! There is one treat that they absolutely LOVE and they ONLY get it at pedicure time. It's a sugary paste called Nutrical. They only get a little... but they are crazy for it. I give them a few licks before we start, and then another few licks after each paw. If I try to speed it up and try to do 2 paws before a treat... I hear about it LOL!

Third: We do this in a small room... the hall bathroom. This helps keep them from trying to get away. I spread one of the thick dog blankets on the floor to make it more comfy for both the Girls and myself. I sit crosslegged on the floor, get each whippet to sit in my lap and take a paw.

I may be making it sound a lot easier than it is.... I need to keep them in my lap, keep them from pulling their leg away (without breaking their leg), keep their nose and tongue away from the Dremmel as it can cause major damage (ask me... I did it to MYSELF! - but never the girls!) and I also need to be sure not to sand the cord as I'm trying to keep each girl from wiggling away.

Oh yeah... you should use safety glasses too cause boy does that nail sand fly!

All that said, this really does work best for us. Doing it this way I am able to give their nails rounded edges so they aren't lethally right after being done.

As each Girl is finished, I open the bathroom door to let her out, and call the next one in. Believe it or not... they actually DO come in! Gotta be that Nutrical LOL!

I'd say Cleopatra is the best about this. She just lies there resignedly knowing that the less she wiggles... the faster it gets done!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Isis is just doing wonderfully!

Yep, this new drug is wonderful! Not sure if it is only the drug, or also that it is cooler outside - but Isis is having a ball and has more energy :)

I was very conservative... would only let Isis out to play with either Cleo or Athena... certainly not all 4 at once! I didn't want her to run too fast.

But yesterday Bob said, she may as well have fun since we don't know how much longer she has. Boy has she got a sparkle in her eyes! We've been letting her out with Cleo, Athena AND Pandora - under close supervision of course! "Momma" is ready to step in at a moment's notice LOL!

Well what do ya know... just 2 days of a little running with her sisters, and Isis has no problems jumping up on the big bed and into her top crate!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Isis had an episode... but is doing fine

Our sweet Girl appears to be OK now... but Saturday night she had a few coughing fits and then very rapid shallow breathing... both bad signs of heart problems.

We called our vet at 4:30 in the morning- they are a 24 hour vet.... and they gave us some advice for the rest of the evening. She did get a bit better - no more coughing and the breathing much better - but they had us come in to see if her medications needed to be adjusted.

I am happy to say that although her heart sounds very bad (which is not new) her lungs and still clear!!!!!! Her pulse is good too :) They have us a newly approved heart drug (which has been in use in Canada & Europe for years) that they think will help her even more.

So Sunday... we had planned on going to the Renaissance Faire - but I am more than happy to stay home with Isis and the other Girls to keep an eye on her - and Bob took our two adorable neighbor twin boys to the Faire.
UPDATE.... WOW... this new medcine is doing wonders for Isis! (knock on wood to continue of course!) But after the first 24 hours, she is more active than she has been in a long time. I had not realized she wasn't as active before... till we saw the effects of this new drug!
Also... the name of this drug is Pimobendan

Friday, July 20, 2007

Pandora the Huntress

We've had this chipmonk... or... 13 lined ground squirrel... who lived in our backyard.

He'd go from under the deck, along the workshop and into the woodpile...

He'd often sit outside on the deck... in front of the Whippet Girls, but safely on the other side of the glass door... teasing them. In fact, we heard he used to do this to other dogs before we moved in.

Pandora was crazy for this little thing. As soon as she's allowed outside... no matter how badly she has to "go"... she goes looking in all of the chipmonk's hiding places.

Well, on Friday the 13th... this little guy should have stayed inside.....

I had Pandora and Cleo out for a potty break... and Pandora was at the woodpile looking for him frantically... again... then out she comes with the poor thing in her mouth!!

I chased after her to get her to release... and she did... the poor chipmonk started running... but then Pan picked him right back up. I finally got her to release again... then picked HER up to bring her inside.

This probably all this happened in 15 seconds... but it seemed ages!

I went and got the shovel... that little chipmonk wasn't moving this time... so I put him by a tree outside the fence at the side of the garage. Probably will be some coyote's dinner tonight.

Oh well... he should have known better when Pandora almost got him a few weeks ago! Guess he was a little full of himself and figured he was too quick for her... surPRIZE!!!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Isis is still wonderful!

Just a quick post before I run out again...but I wanted to let you all know that Isis is doing wonderfully! I know I have more pictures somewhere... I'll have to find them and post soon. She appears to be back up to her normal weight!!


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Isis is doing GREAT!

I apologize for not posting in so long!! You probably thought we had major problems with Isis.... but in actuality... I'm just trying to do too many things :)

Last Saturday we DID have a scare... Isis jumped down from bed in the morning so I would take her outside to go potty. I got dressed (I can do this in 4 seconds flat!) and picked her up to go out.

Within seconds.... her rear legs went straight and stiff... and then she went into a seizure! We didn't realize at first that it WAS a seizure... we thought she was dying!!! But it only lasted a minute or so... and then I layed her down on the bed. She looked kinda dazed.... but within 10 minutes was back to her normal self like nothing had happened! She sure gave us a scare, though!

She just seems to be getting better and better. I'd say she has good days... and great days :) On her great days she tries to get the other Girls to play rough with her ;)

I'll have more photos soon.... I just went with a pro Flickr account with my main account... so I can upload all the photos I want to :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Isis was RUNNING today!!!

WOW!!! I took Isis out into the workshop so she could visit Bob today. It's a nice evening... so the big garage door was open. No worries... I can walk and catch her anyways.

SURPRISE!!! After she said "hello" to Bob she wandered out into the front yard. I was close beside her... then she got to the edge of our small road... and started running to the main road!!! FORTUNATELY.... she's not up to full speed so I was able to catch her! But I had to run TO catch her!

Collar goes back on and always on a leash in the front yard again!

I'm not so sure she should be running... with her heart!?? But it was great to see that she wanted to... and could!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pictures finally!!

I've finally uploaded some photos of Isis taken in the last month! Here's one..... and if you click on the photo rectangle on the right side of the page - you will go to our Flickr account for our whippets!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Isis is doing GREAT!

Sorry I haven't posted about Isis in a while... she's much more mobile now so it takes more time to make sure she's not getting into trouble!

Earlier this week.... she was in the office with Bob. The Girls' crates are in the office... and Isis' is a top crate. Her crate door was open... and she looked like she wanted to get in. (She LOVEs her crate!) Well, before Bob could stop her... she jumped up to try to get in. Unfortunately... she missed and so fell backwards. FORtunately she was not hurt! But she is definitely feeling like herself again to want to try!

She's been walking MUCH better! Earlier this week we described her walk as like a drunken sailor :) This morning... we watched her and felt she's walking like a cowboy now LOL!

Jen's boyfriend Peter was over on Monday... and he came over again on Thursday and he said that he noticed that Isis made a lot of progress in those 3 days!

The only time Isis wears a diaper now is in bed (yes, she's in the "big bed" with us every night now!) and also in her crate if we have to leave her unattended.

She's eating 3 regular size meals a day now!! So much easier than spreading them out over 25 meals, that's for sure! She's starting to fill back out again too.

Hopefully I'll have pictures next time.... the pictures are from a few weeks ago... I took them and never got a chance to work with them yet.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Isis Claims "Her" Chair

Last night... we decided to watch a DVD. I was sitting in my LazBoy, and had Isis up on my lap for cuddles. Well, part way thru the movie she shifted a little... from on my lap to next to me in the chair.

She was comfy for a little while.... then got restless..... just couldn't seem to get comfortable.

I got up so I could adjust both of us... but as soon as I got up.... Isis TOOK possession of the entire chair!!!! LOL!!!!!!! I went over and sat down on the couch and said... "I can't believe she wanted me OUT of the chair so she could have it ALL to herself!"


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Isis is doing well!

Isis is doing very well! She's walking more... and is able to walk on her rear pawpads more and more (as opposed to walking on the tops of her rear paws). She's "insisting" on spending the evenings on the couch with us like she used to :)

Thursday night... she got up at 1am to go outside (she hardly ever wets her diaper anymore!). Then she got up again at 3.... so I took her again.... then she woke AGAIN at 4! I knew that it was probably NOT because she wanted to go outside.... but wanted back in "the big bed". I brought her to bed and she stopped figeting :)

We've been having her sleep on a dog bed on the floor... with a pen around her (to keep her from wandering). Now that she's started feeling more and more like her ol' self.... she wants to know why the heck she's sleeping on the floor instead of in the bed!

Last night.... she slept in bed with us :)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Taking Care of Isis

What's it like to take care of Isis? Well, there's a lot... but she is worth EVERY minute!!!

She is taking 8 pills a day. I can't hide them in food.... she finds the pill and spits it out LOL! I have to give them to her the old fashioned way... open her mouth, put them in the back of it, close her mouth and rub her throat. She's getting VERY good about it! We do this 3 times a day... 4 pills in the AM, 1 in the afternoon and 3 before bed.

Eating.... at this moment, she is finally hungry! But her system is NOT used to food... so I have to be careful about how much I give her at a time. As of today... that means giving her a little about 1/3 cup of kibble a day... spread out over about 25 very small meals! (She was used to a full cup of kibble a day... just twice a day!) I give her "treats" of a small bite of chicken breast or her RX canned dog food here and there too. I eventually need to wean her off the Eukanuba and onto the RX food... because the RX food has less than half the sodium of her regular food... and is also low in another nutrient... phosphorus I think. The salt is not good for her heart!

Although Isis IS starting to walk again (whoooHOOO!) she's still VERY wobbly... and needs to be carried outside to go potty. I carry her, open the doors with one hand, try to keep the other 3 whippets inside... close the door.... get her outside, take off her diaper and set her down. That's probably 6 times a day ... sometimes more.

Yes, in that last paragraph I said "take her diaper off"! One of the medications Isis is taking is to rid her body of excess fluids... to keep the fluids from building up in her lungs and heart. She takes this pill 3 x's a day. So.... she wears a diaper. YES, a regular baby diaper!! I'll show later how it goes on (in case that helps anyone else!) I have found that Pampers are MUCH better than other brands... even Huggies! I do not have to change the Pampers as often as I did the Huggies. Isis could feel the wetness right away with the Huggies. Boy was I tired with all those diaper changes!

Sometimes, Isis just couldn't hold it... especially at night... and her diaper would get soaked, soak thru to her bed. Thankfully, I've been using doggie "pee pads" to help protect her bedding - a crate pad with a blankie over it. But there were many times that both Bob and I had to get up, and I'd clean up Isis, Bob would change the bedding.

As Isis continues to get better, she tries more and more to not wet the diaper... cause she knows she should not pee in the house! She's also not going "constantly" like she used to. She is SUCH a good girl! That is really nice cause BOY... diapers are sure a lot more expensive than when I used them 18 years ago! LOL!!!

Isis is now recognizing even at night that she needs to go.... around 1 or 2 in the morning. She just can't make it thru the night. But taking her outside at that time and putting her back into bed is much easier than doing a complete bedding change! And ususally she makes it outside without wetting her diaper! She's such a good girl!

I want to say... a HUGE thank you to ALL of my collector friends... past, present and future!!! If it were not for you....I would not be able to care for Isis in this way - and she'd probably have had to have been put to sleep a while ago... THANK YOU!!!!!

Isis is doing well after a couple of setbacks...

Isis was getting her appetite back! She was enjoying the RX canned food and boiled ground beef... and she's SO skinny! So I let her eat more than I should have in one "sitting"... and she got sick. After that she showed NO interest in food! She really cannot afford to not eat!!

But then I had the thought to boil some chicken breast. (After boiling either chicken or ground beef... it is drained and also rinsed very well in hot water to get rid of the fat. The fat will cause a dog to get sick also!)

Tried that with Isis... and she LOVEd it! Later I tried a few kibbles (litterally! I only gave her 3!) of her regular food... Eukanuba... and she loved that too! By the end of the evening she was begging for food.

It's hard now... to not give her all she wants... but as I've learned.. that will make her sick! So I've been feeding her a little bit all day long. 2 days in a row... everything has stayed down!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Now some good news!!!

Boy what a roller coaster of a day!

She's gotten a little of her appetite back.... and while I was trying to get her to eat more baby food (with RX kibble mixed in) She said "Mom, enough is enough! I'm thirsty!"

Then she got up... used her front legs to get her moving... and yes... she MOVED her rear legs!!!!!!!! Not a lot, but she DID move them! Her paws were turned down so she walked on the tops of her paws...

But she walked BY HERSELF to the water dish and took a drink... all by herself! Neither Jen nor I helped her at all. We wanted to see how she'd do by herself. WhooHOOO!!!

This morning... not so good...

Well, this morning was not so good. We did have 3 good days though... I'm so happy for those!

During Isis' checkup this past Monday, the doctor said we could try to back off some of the meds. We cut the heart meds in half and the diuretic by 1/3.

By Tuesday, I could tell by Isis' breathing that she needed the full dose of heart meds. So after talking with the doctor, we put her back. She was not coughing though! Coughing in this case is a sign that her lungs are filling up with fluid. That's why she was taking the diuretic 3 x's a day.

This morning - Friday morning however, her cough came back :( I gave her her normal morning dose... she did have her night time one last night... and will add an afternoon one to her schedule again. We can tell she's just not feeling right at the moment - my poor Girl! We'll see how the meds help her....

Jen's Home!

Jen's home from college now - she came home last night. Boy was Isis really happy to see her! Jen actually made an extra trip and visited for an hour the night before... to see Isis... just in case.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Isis does have some good days!

Isis has had a couple of good days! She's starting to act like her ol'self :) We do realize... as the vet said, she could go even when she'shaving a good day. On the other hand... she could surpise us all like other whippets have :)

Today I was working in the office and brought Isis in with me. I put her on a blanket on the floor...I heard a rustling... and turned to see my Sweet Girl pulling herself into her crate!!! (we keep the doors open when we are home) When crates are used correctly.. (ie: NEVER for punishment!) MOSTwhippets LOVE their crates! It just makes me feel good to see her doing things that are normal for her :)

One thing I am VERY grateful for is that I work from home... so I am able to be with Isis all day long. (I am a teddy bear artist). Funny thing is that Isis came into our lives the day that I quit my regular job to stay home to do this full time :)

Monday, May 7, 2007

Isis' Check up... not good news...

Thank you EVERYONE for your kind posts and private emails!! They aregreatly appreciated :)

We took our Girl in for her check up on Monday and her prognosis wasbad. Her heart is in really bad condition. We were told we have days or weeks... if we are LUCKY... months. Of course we cried buckets again.

Isis is still alert, enjoys ground beef (boiled and rinsed) and rice,takes her pills like a champ and loves to be loved. She loved just lying in the grass yesterday for about an hour - in a sunbeam,watching things around her and sniffing. I can tell she's gone backwards a little... so we'll just love her till we know it's time.

We are SO lucky that Isis came into our lives!!! She came to us as a 19 month old VERY submissive whippet needing an understanding home. When we first met her, she belly crawled across the floor to us...and then curled up in a ball in our laps as we sat on the floor.

She would not hold your gaze. It took a little over a year... but eventually this scared little girl transformed into a very confident young lady! We are honoredthat we were able to provide her a home in which this transformation could take place!!

If, when we first adopted her, we knew in advance that things would turn out this way... we'd do it again in a heartbeat (no pun intended)

Thank you again for all your good thoughts and wishes!!!:)
Laura, Bob, Jen, Isis, Cleopatra, Athena and Pandora

Saturday, May 5, 2007

One week later....

Isis is doing very well... heart meds seem great. She will be going in for a check up next week.

We have her in a partial ex-pen right now. I was out running errands and Bob was home with her. Isis wanted to go out.... and Bob justwasn't responding quickly enough for her. She pushed her way out ofthe ex-pen (not hard... but wow) and started making her way down thehallway. Bob got her outside and she was able to stand by herself to go!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Our Sweet Isis Girl....

On Saturday afternoon ~ April 28th, one of our Girls - Isis, had a bad accident while running in the back yard. This accident left her back legs paralyzed. It was a spinal injury.

The treatment for this is cortizone shots and then oral steroids. Unfortunately, 2 days later we discovered that Isis has a very bad heart condition.... The steroids almost killed her (but was the only treatment for the spinal injury!)

At the time of this posting... Isis is still with us! We are not sure how long she has... could be days, weeks or months. I decided to start writing down the experiences with our Girls... to help us remember every wonderful moment!