Saturday, February 26, 2011

Snow Day

Thursday we awoke to snow in Portland. It's something we get only once or twice a year, and it's a welcome change from the winter rains.

We didn't get much, and it was mostly gone by nightfall, but there was enough for zoomies and snow snuffling.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sister Sophie Wednesday

Guarding the estate.

Resting up, since being spoiled is such hard work.

Happy dog!

Haven't heard anything today, but as of yesterday morning, Charlie's sister Sophie was continuing to do great and seemed perfectly normal in every way.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Holding Paws

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Sophie went in to Karen's clinic on Monday for blood tests (whose results were good, btw). At the clinic, they keep a big board with the names of in-stay animals and treatments, and they mark when the treatment has been done - you know, so they don't get mixed up about who needs what & whether someone else took care of it.

Well... upon her arrival, Sophie's name went up on the big board, with treatment labelled "XOXOXO". And by the time she went home at noon, I heard that line was chock-full of check-marks!


(Almost) Wordless Wednesday - Sophie

From Karen:
"[We had] biscuits & gravy this morning for breakfast. We were in the living room eating and watching tv. Sophie got up and went in (I thought) to get a drink of water. We heard a noise come from the kitchen, and she had gotten 4 biscuits off the counter and ate them in record time. Didn't get in trouble."

Hug your dog(s) today! :)


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day, Love Cass

Cassie sent her mom over with a bag for Charlie...

"For me?"

"A new stuffie!"

"Maybe Cass can't rip you apart, but I'll bet I can!!"

"But, wait, there's more!"

"Yummy cookies - nom, nom, nom!"

"And a ball, too?"

Big score!!!

Thanks, Cass! You're my valentine, too!!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Charlie - Third Place Cracker Dog!

With such a stunning field of cracker dogs entered at MangoMinster (I mean, really, do Lacie's feet EVER touch the ground? and that Patti-Wackit... she REALLY knows how to drive the kittehs nuts!), Charlie is honored to have been named 3rd place!

Thanks, Twinkie, for recognizing Charlie's cracker-dogness. And, just remember, Twink, ... what happened at the Estate, stays at the Estate.

Charlie's entry.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

What a Dog!

Direct from Karen:
"Sophie is doing GREAT today. She is eating well, the swelling is out of her feet, and she was jumping (not supposed to) when I came home. She then ran around the house with a toy in her mouth (not supposed to). Anyway, here are some pics from last night when she came home. The others are from the snow storm day 2-3 weeks ago. Sure doesn't look sick!"

Good thing Karen is a vet -- that Sophie does like to push the boundaries (just like someone else I know)!

Just home from surgery and already teasing Steeler!

Steeler's happy that Sophie's home, too.

Sophie a few weeks ago


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Sometimes Life is Just Too Sad

Charlie's sister Sophie is headed home. Her mom Karen says she seems to feel pretty well, but the pathology results indicate "histiosarcoma" -- a rare, aggressive, fast-moving form of cancer with very poor prognosis -- just terrible news.

We're all in shock that a dog so seemingly young and healthy could become so sick so quickly. But you know how that goes; many of you have been through similar experiences yourselves.

For what it's worth, Sophie is about to embark on a life of being spoiled and pampered -- doing what she wants, when she wants, being constantly fussed over and played with, and always being offered the "good" treats.


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Sophie Update 3 - They're Eating Out of Her Paw

Sophie's doing well post-surgery. Her two favorite things are attention and food, and she's getting plenty of both.

In this morning's call (they update Karen twice a day), the vet student responsible for Sophie kept saying "I LOVE that dog! I just LOVE that dog!" And she followed on with "But she can get a really sad look on her face... No one can pass her cage without stopping to pet her and talk to her. And she loves it."

She'll go home when they can wean her over to oral medications, but if she keeps this cuteness up, one wonders how hard they'll try. ;)

Sophie, with "the look"

Monday, February 07, 2011

Sister Sophie - Update 2

Sister Sophie had her surgery this morning, and I'm sorry to report that the news is still not very good. As expected, the surgeons took out her spleen and a nodule on her liver. Unexpectedly, however, they found two more liver nodules that they were not able to get. Lab results are expected by the end of the week. It's hard to stay hopeful, but we're all trying our best.

On the good side, Sophie will probably get to go home Wednesday. And she's scored a cushy new bed and a new toy for the long drive home.

So... please spoil your own dog a little today -- give him or her more hugs or an extra walk or a special treat. Do it for Sophie.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Sophie Update

As with most things in life, there's good news and not-so-good news. Sophie is feeling better and spending the weekend in the hospital at Purdue. Surgery is scheduled for Monday @11am EST.

Sophie's not only made friends, but has everyone there wrapped around her paw. When Karen took her out for a break yesterday after her exam & tests, even the front desk receptionist knew and greeted her. Sophie, of course, wiggled and squinted in response.

Sophie (at 7 wks) and squirrel

The test and exam results yesterday were not so good - Sophie's spleen doesn't look normal and there's a nodule on her liver. Since she's a middle-aged golden, realistically that makes them think cancer, possibly a hemangiosarcoma. On the other hand, it could still all be benign. They just can't know yet.

Sophie in front, Charlie behind.

On the good side, Sophie's wolfing down her food again, her blood count is up to 3/4 of normal (it was down to 1/2), she's feeling better, and (of course) everyone loves her. She has a whole team of great doctors caring for her. And she has the power of the paw!!

Sophie (l), Karen, and Charlie (r)

Thanks for all your thoughts and well-wishes! Karen and Sophie and we here all appreciate them -- more than you can know.


Friday, February 04, 2011

Paw Power for Sister Sophie, Please

As you can see in the photos below, Charlie's sister Sophie in Indiana is very much like him in looks and behavior. For example, she sits on her friends, uses her stuffy as a pillow, and inhales her dinner.

Sophie (top) and Steeler (bottom)

So when she ceased wolfing down her food and didn't want to play "chase the lamb and take it from Steeler", her Mom Karen thought something might be amiss. And something was. Karen's a vet, so she drew blood and found Sophie very anemic; then she x-rayed her and found nodules in/on her spleen. They've probable ruptured and are bleeding, hence the anemia.

Sophie & peanut butter jar

So as I write this, Sophie and her mom are on the way to Purdue's Veterinary Teaching Hospital, where Sophie can have the best level of care -- not unlike that which people get... transfusions, expert surgery with a dedicated anesthesiologist, an ICU with 24x7 staffing... the works.

Sophie, with Steeler's lamb

Hopefully the nodules are benign and Sophie can just have her spleen removed and put this behind her. But to make sure... please keep Sophie in your thoughts and send some power of the paw her way.


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Then and Now

While going through years of Charlie photos to assemble his MangoMinster entry, I was struck by the extent to which I could see the adult Charlie (he's now 6) in his puppy pictures. Here's a sample:

He likes to rest his head on a stuffy, but stays alert in case something interesting goes on.

Charlie's always had a wild side, and it's always involved teeth. Fortunately he has them under better control now. Mostly ;)

He squints when he's so happy that he could just burst!

Charlie is a tease, and one of the ways he teases his dog-friends is to sit on them.

If he were a reindeer, I think we'd call him Prancer... ;)

Charlie also has a serious side. He's a master of the concerned look and an extremely keen observer of human behavior. Don't ever think you're getting away with anything around him.

He likes cats and treats them with reasonable respect, as long as they don't run. He does, however, sometimes urge them to run.

And then there's that whole "flat" thing.