Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dreamy Eyed Humphrey Bogart

Lump Update


I'm cautiously excited.  It seems Brando's lump is shrinking.  Since we've seen this before, I'm not quite ready to do the happy dance.  If we're on the right road this time, he won't have to get poked again.  Keeping our fingers crossed.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dog Party

You would tell me if I had 'fetti on my nose, right?
Dog Party Ingredients:
1 carob cake
bunch of homemade peanut butter and pumpkin biscuits
beef and chicken broth ice cubes
party hats
confetti
dog party music
party blowers
4 happy dogs
4 thrilled kids

Heat to 100 degrees. (the temperature outside!) Mix all indgredients together, and have a blast!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Lump: Week 2

So I cried.  Yes, I cried at the vet tonight.  It's a new vet.  She's very nice.  Very too the point.  I wasn't expecting her to say, "We need to get another sample."  Let's rewind a little.  Brando's lump had all but disappeared last Wednesday.  It was such a relief.  I thought it was my imagination.  The lump was hard, the size of a golf ball, extending from the middle of his throat up toward his ear, under the left jaw line.  Without saying a word to my daughter, I handed her Brando.  "Feel his lump."  I took a big sigh when she reported what I had already known, the lump was nearly gone.  The fur and skin under his chin was back to looking like a Cavalier.  He seemed happier.  Playful as a pup, too.  Fast forward to Saturday.  My neurotic self was still doing the lump check everyday.  What seemed to be forming again?  The lump.  It's strange how a word like "lump" is so scary.  Maybe it's because my mother, recently passed away from cancer that I'm a little more nervous about a "lump."  Who knows....that's a different story for a different blog.  Back to Brando.  As it turns out, the vet is closed until Monday.  There's that waiting game, again.  Monday finally comes, and as the day goes on the lump seems to be getting smaller.  Like it or not, Brando still needed to be seen by his new vet.  I told Brando that he would not be getting poked this time.  I promised him, just as if he were one of my children going for a school physical, there would be no shots.  I was completely shocked when she said she wanted to take another sample.  Taking another sample wasn't part of the game plan.  I started to cry.  As I held Brando in my arms, he grew closer to me.  My husband asked the vet if another sample would give a definitive answer as to what was going on, but she wouldn't commit.  That's when we decided to try a new antibiotic.  If the new antibiotic doesn't work, we have no choice, Brando will have to get poked again.  As I breathe a sigh of relief, I hope the next blog is not called  "The Mighty Syringe."  

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Three Dog Bakery, Vaccines, and Brando's Lump

WARNING!  This is being written by a person who is highly emotional.  None of the views, or thoughts brought forward will make any sense.  Here's Brando's story......Yesterday, we found the most wonderful place to bring the puppies, Three Dog Bakery.  They have things that I've never seen before.  They have cakes for dog parties, cookies, and "pupcakes" (which the puppies loved).  Anyways,  after my 4 year old threw a bunch of treats all over the store, we decided to clean the treats, and make our way to the door.  It was strange, but something was keeping us in the store.  We were finished.  I know we were.  Suddenly, the store started to get busy.  A middle-aged woman got excited to see the puppies.  Well, Brando has been kinda grumpy all week.  He went for shots last Sunday, and hasn't been the same.  I told the woman she'd probably do better if she were to pet Bogart.  Brando was barking at her.  She kept insisting, "Oh, you need to get used to people.  See I'm O.K.  You can stop barking.  What's this?  You have a lump in your neck.  Is that a lump?"  The words seemed to linger in the air.  It was like a dream.  Everything went into slow motion.  Who was this woman?  How could he have a lump?  I had just given him a bath the night before, there wasn't a lump on his neck.  I really panicked.  I can't remember paying or leaving the store.  As we approached the car, holding back tears as to not upset the boys, I told my husband, "Brando has a lump."  He stopped in his tracks.  "No, he doesn't.  That lady...."  I handed him Brando.  Yes, Brando has a lump.  Left side under his jaw line.  Does he have an abscess?  Does he have cancer?  Did he get something from his shots?  Our 4 year old has Autism and Epilepsy.  At his 6 month visit, our little guy, like many other children, got his shots.  That night, he ran 104 degree temperature, and developed pneumonia during the overnight.  He was sick for days.  He could no longer sit up on his own or pull to a stand.  His life was changed forever.  Is this why Brando has a lump?  Is this why Brando has been having an "off" week?  Is this from the shots he received last week?  He didn't have a lump on Sunday.   I don't like vaccines.  Not for children, and not for dogs.  Doctors give too many at once.  What's in them?   Are they safe?   There are very few people that give a wishy-washy response to that question.    What good are vaccines if they take away a persons abilty to walk or have a conversation?  What good are vaccines if they take away a puppies ability to eat or play.  I should say,  I'm not against vaccinations.  I'm against the amount given at one time.  Do children need to be vaccinated?  Yes.  Do puppies need to be vaccinated? Absolutely.  My son was given 9 shots on his 6 month visit.  Brando was given 4. This seems like an awful lot of shots for one little boy, and one small puppy.  With that said, and we make our way to the vet, I will hope and pray for little boys and their puppies.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

1st Day of Puppy School


"Help me break outta here!"
 Today was the first day of puppy school for Brando and Bogart.  Bogart slept through the whole class.  Brando was awake, alert, and very unhappy.  He refused to take treats.  He was mad, and just wanted to break out of the class.  That aside, he's doing very well with his training.  We've been working with him at home.  He can sit, stay (we walk away 6 feet before we release him), beg, down, and shake.  Brando needs work on his shyness.  His trainer said, "Don't worry, he's going to make Good Citizen.  He's doing great."  Brando is in stage 2 puppy class, and he may well be able to skip adult class.  The shyness holds him back.  He was showing progress at the end of class.  Brando was most improved student for the day.  He happily trotted around on loose leash for the very first time.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Walking in Old Town

"Can you believe that lady? Who's she calling a Cocker Spaniel?!"

 We went walking around Old Town last night. San Felipe de Neri Church was hosting a carnival, so it seemed like it should be a good place for Brando and Bogart to meet some new people.  Lights flashing, people milling, children laughing, what a wonderful opportunity to practice some of our newly learned Good Citzen skills.  Well, Brando wasn't having it.  He sat, and sat, and sat some more.  I got down on the ground trying to persuade Brando to see it my way.  I tried treats.  I tried love.   I tried reasoning.  Nothing worked.   One lady walked past us laughing, "Oh what cute puppies!  They can't seem to make that happen."  What did she know?!  She thought Brando and Bogart were Cocker Spaniels.  One way or the other, Brando was going to get to the carnival, and he did.  He enjoyed the flashing lights, milling people, and children laughing all from the comfort of my arms. <3

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Study Hard

Brando is studying for AKC Rally.  Between the flash cards, and the book we should have it mastered in about a year!