Monthly Archives: August 2015

8/29/2015 ANAL GLAND CARE

 

Not an topic for a weak stomach or those squeamish about funky smells. I thought I would address this topic because all dog owners will have to deal with this at one point or another.

The anal glands or anal sacs are small glands found near the anus in many mammals, including dogs and cats. They are paired sacs located on either side of the anus between the external and internal sphincter muscles. Dogs anal sacs produce a fluid that is expelled in small amounts every time the dog defecates. This fluid is like a small USB flash drive that holds all the dogs personal information. Dogs like to share this information with other animals for different reasons. This is also why you will notice when dogs meet they will smell each others rears. They are just downloading info off their flash drive. This is part of how the animal kingdom communicates. Im so glad humans have words.

Most dog owners never think about these glands until something funky happens. Some signs are, the dog will scoot across the floor on his or her bottom. The owner may notice a HORRID smell coming from the rear end of their dog when it startles. The anal gland can abscess, it will actually make its own exit and you will notice the dog is in pain and has a bloody mess on their rear end. This will call for a vet visit

Your groomer should be expressing their glands every time they are groomed. Some dogs never have an issue and the whole process is done naturally without human intervention. But some dogs will exhibit the scooting thing. This is a sign your pet needs assistance in this area. You can do it yourself. Its pretty easy. Many pet owners don’t like it because it is one of the nastiest parts of owning a dog. I do it about once a month just to keep everyone in check. In 15 years of breeding I have only had on Shih Tzu that had an issue with this. That particular dog has not had an issue since. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is so simple to do at home, why waste time and money at the vet. The video below is a bit raw but is a good example of how the process works.

HAPPY VIEWING

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8/24/15 RESUMING LIFE

So its been a while since my last post. I have had a lot of visitors to the blog and site asking how Bailley is doing. Bailley has almost returned to her normal life. She has adjusted to her vision, whatever the loss is. Sometimes I dont think she sees much at all, other times I think she sees. I wish she could tell me. According to all the information I have read, she is probably seeing shadows and light. As long as she is adjusting, I can adjust.

Her vision loss episode is burned in my mind and moving past it to live daily life has proved very difficult for me. I just plug along each day denying myself time to dwell on any feelings about the episode. I have avoided visiting Bailleys Blog and writing because being numb was how I chose to cope for the last few weeks. I have been silently waiting for the next shoe to fall. Over the weekend, I finally allowed myself time to let it all out. I can honestly say, the pain was so consuming I could not catch my breath. It was like opening a door during a hurricane and fighting to get it closed.

So here I am, back to fight another day. I have found myself on the floor with her a lot in the last couple weeks. She and I have had many conversations. At first she was frightened and needed me. She did not want me to leave her at all. I feel the fear has melted away and she is returning to her normal calm state. She looks for me but does not panic when she cannot find me. I think time has helped restore us both to a more “normal” state of living.

I think Bailley’s story has touched many people. I have had emails from others who know exactly what I am going through. They themselves have traveled this road and recall the pain from years past as if it were yesterday.  Does life allow us such pain so we can be more compassionate towards others? I have been breeding dogs for 15 years and all those years I have listened without judgement to others when they call and tell me of the loss of their fur baby. For the first six or so years, I listened and felt sorry for them. Not completely understanding the depth of their loss but just trying to be a friend. When I became aware of my own situation and that Bailley would not live forever I started to understand. Now I cry with them. I am not certain there is a purpose for all the things we experience in life. I like to think that one day I will have complete understanding of the purpose and that it will possibly not feel so bad.

I am hoping to resume posting useful information about Shih Tzu. For today, here is a video of Bailley taken just hours ago. As you can see, she is doing OK.

8/14 JUST A WRINKLE

So I am happy to report, other than still feeling her way through the dark, Bailley is back to normal. She is eating again, which to me is biggest sign of health and well being. Nutrition is the most important thing!! She is still clingy and seems happiest when she is living her day with me. I am starting to feel a bit less frightened about her health. I still live in a constant state of worry and the fact that life will some day have to continue without her is at the forefront of my thoughts most of the time.

I had to leave her all day yesterday. My grandmother needed me. It was around noon that I started wishing I had a camera in the house so I could see what she was doing. from then on my mind just ran with all the things she could be doing. I started to worry on the way home, what if she had another attack? What if she passed while I was gone? I know some of you are reading and thinking WOW, this girl needs to get a hold of herself. I know I have issues and I wish I could be different about them. Trust me, it affects everything in my life.  So I pulled in the drive and went to the door to open it and I could hear B inside asking me, “Where have you been!”  I was so relieved. I did not get home until almost 8:00 last night so it was a very long day!

So I am hoping her vision episode was just a wrinkle in her life after Cushings diagnosis. We will just muddle on the same as we have since November. I will be sure to buy special treats and dresses for B every chance I get.  Her last birthday number 14 sits above the cork board in my office. Right above my computer screen. As each day passes the hope for buying the #15 gets stronger and stronger.  I will have to start planning her 15th birthday photo shoot. It will have to be spectacular!!!!

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8/11 BLUEBERRIES

I have been a bit down lately so my posts have not been very plentiful. I am happy to report Bailley started eating again this weekend. I cannot even begin to express what a relief this is for me. I feel like I have been living in a dark cave since the incidence. As dark as my world has seemed Im certain its nothing compared to what Bailley has been going through. She is still very clingy but she has less anxiety. I have not noticed panting episodes in a couple days. I do believe the light is starting to shine leading the way to a new normal for us.

I do feel Bailley is seeing better. Again, I dont believe her sight has been restored but, she is either adjusting to it or it is getting a bit better. Possibly shadows?

I did cook for Bailley this weekend. I tried a new recipe with brown rice and spinach, she seems quite impressed. I am hoping to get the blog back on track with my normal postings. I like posting useful things for you all as well as Cooking with Bailley. I did buy Bailley a new harness from a woman in Canada. They are very special. I am hoping to get it next week so I can share it with you all. I only bought one because I wanted to make sure I like them before spending more money.

I have a short video I wanted to share that was taken before the incidence. As many of you know Bailley loves blueberries. The other dogs love EVERYTHING! Sorry about my feet. I could not get them out of the video.

8/6 IS TIME: FRIEND OR FOE

B

Sorry it has been a while since I posted. There have been many thoughts swimming through my mind in the last couple weeks. None of which felt was appropriate to share here. This has been difficult to say the least. My poor baby is trying to adjust to her life as it is and I am constantly waiting.

Waiting for? Another episode that takes her complete vision, or worse, her life? For my sweet B to feel safe again in her home, her environment.  For Bailley to want to eat again without constant switching food, begging her, following her around. I am sure everyone is saying I have created a monster with this eating thing. I KNOW! What am I to do? Nutrition is vital to healing and life in general. Without nutrition she could quickly deteriorate. Her immune system is already compromised, I don’t want to compromise it more without proper nutrition.

Bailley seems depressed. She sleeps A LOT. She has lost interest in the things she used to find joy in.  Its like we have made great strides in the last few months as far as her quality of life and now we have taken many steps back. Our dogs are no different than the events a human goes through as they age and their life story is coming to an end. It seems healing will take place and you will be trucking along well, then all of the sudden a set back. Any kind of set back to elderly dogs or humans is catastrophic. They are fragile and cannot handle the setbacks in life that they used to hurdle with no problems.

I firmly believe Bailley’s health is at the same place it was when the episode happened. She was examined after the episode and everything was normal, well, her normal, except her vision.  I believe now constant reassurance and diligence will see her through this tough time and she will return to enjoying things she once did. The week before the incidence her favorite things were, maintaining quality control in the store room while I packed Pet Oasis water stands to go out. She loved rubbing in peanut bag. She showed such joy when we came home from anywhere. Every day joy was when Daddy came home from work. She was showing joy when it was time to eat, she was asking me for dinner. She would get excited when it was time for bed and do a happy dance. She loved going outside and smelling the fresh air. Snack time was a highlight as well.

Now she cannot walk through the house with confidence. She seems fearful to go into dark spots in the house. She walks low to the ground when she follows me into the office down the hall. If she is walking through the house and walks through a shadow, she startles. When she walks outside and walks into a bright patch where the sun is shinning through the trees, she startles. She startles if anything gets close. Every time we stroke her to pet her, it is scary for her. It seems like she spends most of her awake time in fear that something is going to bump in to her.

I wish I could make it better for her. I wish she could understand when I tell her, I will take care of her, I wont let anything get her. I wish I had some tool or way to communicate to her that she will adapt and she will be just fine. I wish there was a way to give her a little confidence. I guess time is not the only thing that will make this better.

Seems I was just complaining about time the other day. I am always looking at ways to stop the clock and slow time. The slower time goes the more I more I feel I can take it slow and enjoy the things that some day, time will take from me. I guess time is a double edged sword. When you know it will take time for healing, you want time to pass quickly.

I have a quote on the memorial page of my website that I found many years ago.

Time is
Too slow for those who wait, Too swift for those who fear,
Too long for those who grieve,  Too short for those who rejoice.
But for those who love,  Time is not. 
       -Henry van Dyke

Mark Masri used the words in his beautiful rendition of “Time”

One day I will figure out this thing called TIME – It is a concept I so desperately wish to understand.

8/3 RAIN RAIN RAIN!

Bailley is napping at my feet as I write this on a rainy morning. Its not unlike any other morning but today she shivers while she naps. She had no choice but to muddle through the wet grass and pouring rain to take a quick pee pee this morning. We all slept until 8:00 this morning because its so dark outside. Our normal time out of bed is 6:30 – 7:00 None of the dogs are very happy with me this morning. As if I have control over when God decides to water the plants.

I have noticed a few changes in Bailley over the past few days that I hope will go away the farther we get from the incidence. She starts panting around 4 – 5 in the afternoon and it doesn’t stop until we are in bed at night. It seems like its a bit of anxiety. She also pants if she cannot find me sometimes. I worry about this panting. I don’t like to see her this way because she doesn’t seem happy. I was with her most of the weekend, only leaving once to go to the store. She actually did very well and just went to sleep in her bed while we were away.

On a happier note, the cranes came to visit this weekend.  We all love the cranes. The dogs are very curious but the don’t get to close. I think their size is a bit intimidating to them. Im glad because I think those cranes would have a little something to say if the dogs got to close.

I think this is the Papa crane.

cranes (21)

8/1 ALMOST BACK TO NORMAL

I am happy to report my sweet “B” is almost back to normal. I believe so much that God gave us this reprieve. God heard all of the voices and the best possible outcome has happened. Bailley is feeling love from all over the world with over 2000 people praying for her. She is such a trooper. Today she woke and did all the usual things. Nothing out of her normal routine. No panting or pacing. No anxiety. She seems content and enjoying her quality of life once again. Her vision may not be completely restored but she is accepting of what ever God has chose to allow her.

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One of my favorite photos of her

Life is so funny how the world can seem so dark and scary with little hope and the next day brings sunshine and hope is restored. I think my sweet little Bailley is a trooper. It amazes me that dogs are so resilient. I am amazed at how dogs have such a strong will to live. Through living with dogs I am inspired to learn to leave the bad of yesterday behind.  They seem to be able to drop the baggage from the past and not allow it to control their future. They live each day to the fullest, enjoying every single breath they take. They walk through the world with great appreciation for all the little tiny things in life that we take for granted. The last few days have literally made my life stop! I have stopped and sat on the couch or laid on the floor with my angel. All she wanted was to be with me. All she needed was to hear calm words and feel that I was with her. We walked outside to potty and I sat in the drive with her watching each step she took into the yard with great appreciation that I was given this time to “SLOW DOWN” so thankful to see her taking each step without fear or pain.

In the last few years I have noticed life is really speeding up. It seems Christmas just passed and Fall is almost here again. I have said many times I wish I could slow it down. But how? I realize now the secret lay in the heart of our dogs. I don’t want to be fearful about what tomorrow may bring. It may bring another attack to Bailley’s vision. If I live in constant fear I will not fully appreciate what I have with her today. My grandmother reminds me often, God never promised tomorrow. It is so hard being human and always looking and planning to what lies ahead.

I was reading through my blog yesterday and came across this ost https://bailleysblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/23/1232014-quality-control/

Funny how I wrote life is good now because Bailley is stable. After that post in the coming days terrible things happened. But in that moment, I took the time to appreciate her and not worry about what was coming. Had I known what was going to happen, I would have missed this precious moment with worry.

I feel like the instructions for living life to the fullest have been laid out before me and are starting to come more into focus. I need to breath this in, I need to let this information consume ever cell in my body. I want to live with this knowledge guiding my every moment. I just have to learn to control my mind a little better and not allow my thoughts to steal the very moment I am living in now.

I am sure many of you feel the same, looking back over life we wish we could go back and relive certain moments. The moments when our children were very small and we were so focused on their future we didnt really live in their present. Really live meaning, just stop and breath it in. Just stop and understand this moment in time will never be given again. Once we use it, its gone and will be filed in the memory section of our brain. At this moment in my life, the sun is shining, my baby is laying at my feet, we have a roof over our head and food to eat. My dogs are all happy, my family is healthy, at this very moment, my grand mother is sitting in her chair doing what she always does. My grandmother and Bailley are both very sick but, at this very moment both are stable and have quality of life.

May God grant me the peace to be able to practice this on a daily basis.