Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Biopsy, New Apartment and Nice Windows.

The biopsy report on Honey’s ear came back yesterday, and the lump is benign! We’re thrilled. She’s also back to her normal self and being weaned off the pred and painkillers. We had to up her dose of tramadol again after the ear biopsy but it seems like she’s not in pain any more so we can start to back it off again. We’re also moving to a one bedroom on the second floor, a tiny one but at least we get 2 rooms now J we are going to have to get Honey a second bed for the living room. She’s not thrilled about the massive packing up of stuff, and every time Cameron takes an armload of stuff upstairs she greets him like he’s been gone for a week or so. It’s strange; we’ll have more space but less room. Not sure if I’ve figured that out or not yet, but hopefully it’ll work. Plus, the windows are all really big and perfectly Honey-sized, she doesn’t even have to lift her head to look outside and bark at the people walking by on her sidewalk (the NERVE). I have a birdbath to put on one of the windowsill so she can lay on her bed (the couch when we get one) and watch the wrens splash around. It also has 10 foot ceilings and wood floors. I have big plans for a wine and cheese party as soon as we get our stuff settled.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I'm in Cleveland in work training and Cameron's sitting in the surgeon's office with Honey waiting to see if she needs to have a biopsy or not (the lump has shrunk twice since the oncologist saw it) I'm kinda freaking out.

************************ later

She's going into surgery later today - they're not going to remove her entire ear, just do a biopsy. Apparently these are generally malignant, but its in a good spot (can be easily removed). If there is a lot of bleedign she will have to stay overnight. Poor Hun, I can't handle her being sick and so far away. I'll know more later, probably after 8 pm pst when my plane lands.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Honey played catch today - and actually hopped up on her hind feet and snagged the orange ball out of the air. She's also ploughing through her third can of dogfood of the day. Her nose is almost free of scabs, and has been passing out licks like there's no tomorrow. we're down to 1 3/4 pain pills per dose, from 2 1/2. We're going to need to step her prednisone down soon and I hope she keeps her appetite. The pics are from her walk earlier today (top) and from last night (bottom), when she played with that ball for the first time in a MONTH - I cried. Now there's a post - dinner headroll happening on the floor that I need to go be a part of.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

HOLY CRAP!!! we have bedding rearandgement, chuck it ball playadge and litckatude.

Today was really amazing - We went to Larchmont this morning and took Honey, had sushi (which Honey loved) and then home - Cameron had to work and Nancy and Tybee and I stayed home, sitting in bed, watching Ab Fab while Honey napped. Tybee went to a show with a friend who lives here, and Nancy and I took Hon for a long walk (like 10 blocks) where she investigated lots o yards and peed on everything. I noticed something about half way through our walk, she was SNIFFING things - like her nose was moving and her lungs were moving in tandem to the sniffage. I was SO PSYCHED. So we let her sniff everything she wanted, because hell, it's been two months since she could smell anything - and after our walk we fed her a can of dog food (2nd for the day) and took her on a car ride to Home Depot and then Ralphs.

After Ralphs, we came home and Honey decided it was high time she was played with - with her CHUCK IT BALL (really hard rubber ball that she can't destroy) and she spent two hours shoving her ball on everyone asking for the fetchatude. Her face looks better than it did yesterday, hell, it looks better than it did three hours ago. She ate a THIRD can of dog food and demanded more fetch, then a walk and more fetch, and she just lay down (when her daddy and grandparents left for the evening). It’s AWESOME. I've spent two months watching her get sicker, and in the past two days she's turned it all around. My baby is gonna be ok.

blue skin nosicle and a 1 week check up!

I know it’s been a while since I posted about Honey’s progress, but I’ve been hangin’ with the doggiegrandparents and Tybee. The vet said Honey was looking really good, and was indeed starting to heal. Apparently the animals get worse for about a week and then turn a corner and get batter pretty rapidly. She was starting to get pink skin around the edges of her sores, and today (it’s Sunday morning) the majority of her skin (the nosicle area that was raw and sore) is purply and pinkish and it’s feeling so much better she is letting us touch / kiss it. These are healing pictures! - Honey with Becca, her favorite lady, Honey with Nancy, the doggiegrandma, and Honey at the Grove, which is an outdoor mall, rockin' out in the shade (her nosicle is sensitive to the sun).

We’ve taken her everywhere in the last few days, the Grove, the Promenade (both outdoor malls) and a few restaurants where she had to wait in the car, but we checked on her every 10 minutes or so. It’s fantastic; everything we’ve done all weekend has been centered on ‘what can we do with Honey?’ and if we can’t bring the dog, we don’t do it. Honey’s really responding. Lots of strangers are giving her pets and she’s getting to smell lots of new and interesting things. Last night she even slept on her own bed all night. At first we were nervous, but the end result was that I got a whole night of sleep as well, and it’s awesome. First thing this morning she got up on our bed and it looked like she was breathing out of her nose, but we couldn’t be sure.

There is some bad news, though, she has a bump on the inside of her right ear that’s new (in the last week) and we’re going to need to have it biopsied. The vet couldn’t get a good sample of it with a needle so we have to have her sedated so they can get some of it to look at on a slide. It’s in a fairly easy place to get to if it needs to be removed, the inside flap of her ear, but that’s not something you want to hear.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

OMG - we have fetchitude!

Cameron's parents and sister came to visit us from Florida and got here today, they called to say they were out front and we took Honey out to meet them on the sidewalk. She was sort of half whacked out and didn't want to come outside, we had to coax her, but as soon as she saw Nancy, Barry and Tybee she flipped out, wagging and wiggling, and we came back inside where Honey proceeded to nap, demand pets and fetch, and LICKED US ALL which she hasn't done in days. Today she also ate a whole can of dog food and two cans of baby food, with some rice baby cereal mixed in for texture. Tybee and I went and picked up takeout, and Honey came along for the ride and was totally fine in the car while we waited for the food.

I was worried that seeing Honey would freak everyone out, but she got petted and snuggled and brushed and kissed, and it made an incredible difference in her attitude, I’m sure because she loves them so much. We’re so lucky to have such loving doggie grandparents. Also, I think there’s little place on her lip that’s actually healing, but I guess the vet will tell us when we go in for our one week post radiation checkup tomorrow morning. I’m not anxious to see what she weighs, three weeks ago she was eating a can of food for breakfast and then asking for lunch and dinner, so although I’m really excited about the eating of the whole can, it’s not enough for her to start putting weight back on.

Her shaman healer gave me some stuff to spry in my mouth to sleep, because I guess he could tell I’m not (average is about 3.5 hours a night, and 6 months ago I was horribly cranky if I got less than 8) and I used it and was seriously out. So my big plan for the night is to find my sweatpants and fall asleep with Honey while Cameron plays video games.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

All the bases. All of them. Every. Single. One.

Last night we took Honey to a shamanic healer and he gave her an Ayurvedic Analysis. He took some of her hair and looked at the structure; I think to determine if anything was out of balance and then infused her collar with some mantras targeted at the physical areas of her body she’s having trouble with (nose, mouth, skin, feet). I don’t totally understand how it works but Ayurveda literally translates to ‘knowledge of life’ and the goal is to help her body restore itself using mantras and specific chants, whose energy is held in her collar. We used the collar Fiona gave her for Christmas, and when I told my dad his only response was “well, you do live in LA”. I guess Honey is now truly a southern California dog.

This morning her face was really bothering her and she kept trying to paw at it. its so awful when she does that – she keeps opening it up and bleeding and there’s just no way to explain to her that she’s hurting herself more, and I don’t know that she feels it as pain or just discomfort, but evidently its not enough of a deterrent to stop her from pawing. It would be really funny is it wasn’t so sad – “honey – stop that, you’re killing yourself. Really, have a little foresight” I feel bad that we have to yell to get her to stop it, like I’m a total monster because I’m scolding a hurt dog.

Cameron took her to the vet while he went to an audition this morning, because we can’t leave her alone or she scratches at her face. He said she was feeling ok this afternoon, which makes me happy because I was afraid we were going to have to up her meds again. On a related note, I’m not posting pictures of her any more because she looks really awful – out concerns about her face are about preventing infection, and it basically looks like one massive sore. I’m sure the scar tissue is going to be significant, as her lips are already tighter where they’re raw. I promised her I wouldn’t post photos of her that I wouldn’t want posted if it was me, and I’m also a little concerned about freaking people (MY MOM) out, so if you’re wondering what bad side effects (she’s being used in the vet’s book for an ‘this is how awful it can look’ example) from radiation look like, I can email you a picture.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ding Dong the Dog is Fed

This is just an FYI - through many many nights of trial and error we finally found some things Honey will eat dispite the pain in her mouth. I'm listing them in case anyone else is going through this and needs ideas. I realize we're in a unique situation regarding her food alelrgies, but I got into a conversation with a woman whose dog had IBS and was going through radiation, and we were able to swap some ideas, so hopefully this will help someone:
  • Kraft singles (american, extra calcium, good for smuggling pills)
  • Saifun / rice noodles (made of mung beans or rice, clear, in the asian food section) smothered in butter
  • Lamb babyfood
  • Rice baby cereal (its a good medium for mixing in other babyfoods as well)
  • Assorted vegetable babyfoods
  • Prunes (as the pain got worse, switched to prune baby food)
  • Sweet potato
  • Potato skin cut into strips and smothered in butter
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream / pinkberry (plain or vanilla, no toppings, NO CITRUS)
  • Raw spinach (washed very well)
  • Canned salmon (lowest salt possible, in oil)
  • EGGS!!! an omlete or scrambled egg 'piece' is also really good for smuggling pills. I usually add other stuff to the egg, like some baby food or salmon and finely chopped spinach or other veggies. It also helps to add about a tablespoon of milk per egg when you scramble them, it makes them fluffier.
And because we think the spoon hurts her mouth now, we're hand feeding her. I think this also helps because she likes to lick us so much anyways that it's just a bonus that we happen to be covered in lamb and rice. And we're telling her how good she is the entire time.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Just thought I'd share a picture of Cameron finger-feeding Honey some strained peas / prunes / lamb baby food at around 2:30am Monday.... It took about an hour but we got some food down her. Strained prunes and opiates - breakfast of champions. (please note the prunesplatter on his leg)

Her painkillers are so high now that she won’t stand up and rearrange if she can’t find a good breathing position. She’ll stay put and gasp every 45 seconds for hours. I can hear the gasp noise even through earplugs (35 db) and that means I have to stay awake to get her to sleep before i can fall asleep. Friday and Sunday this was around 4, Saturday it was 6:30. I feel like I'm 127.

And this would be really funny if it wasn’t so sad – she KNOWS she’s not allowed to rub her face on stuff, so she waits until I’m out of the room. And she’s getting really good at doing it quickly, so I’ll go into the kitchen and pour some juice, and walk back into the living room and she’s bleeding, but she managed to do it when I wasn’t looking. I’ve also caught her mid-headroll on a pile of warm laundry, which then has to be re-washed, but how can you do laundry and not let your sick dog sleep in it? It’s impossible. I seriously can't figure out how she can complete a headroll so fast when walking across the room takes her a full minute. Amazing.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

It's like fighting fire. With arrows (Sunday).

It took us less than 24 hours to completely destroy the apartment after I cleaned it on Saturday. There are bits of foam all over the floor from the inside of her dog bed (I'm washing the cover, and she destroyed the filler while I was downstairs – no more than 3 minutes and she annihilated a twin bed sized foam pad) and laundry everywhere. The kitchen, which I scrubbed yesterday, is now full of dishes that need to be washed, and for some reason a few of the chairs are sticky. The dog won’t sleep, won’t eat, can’t play, if we take her for a “walk” she meanders about 3 feet and stops, stares into space and will stay totally completely still until you make her move or she falls asleep. When we’re in the house, she follows me really close (less than a foot of distance, which makes it impossible to move because I might accidentally touch her), but wags her tail and smiles whenever I look at her. Earlier she acted like she wanted to eat, but it was a clever ruse, she took about two licks each of the assorted baby food flavors I bought and then walked away. I guess it’s another omelet, maybe ill add the lamb baby food or the organic peas with brown rice.

*eight minutes later*

She fell asleep leaning on me standing up in the kitchen, and her omelet is cooling now. She did drop the bone (this squeaky toy she holds in her mouth and can breathe around) and is watching me type, wagging, so maybe she’s hungry and will eat the lamb-green peas-egg concoction I just made her, but probably not. Oh well, tomorrow we start prednisone and there will be a whole other set of issues – apparently she’s going to be so hungry there’s a possibility she’ll start nibbling my fingers when I fall asleep. One can hope – she’s down around 47.5 pounds now, normal is about 51.

In other news, I’m so tired I tried to watch ‘Flushed Away’ this afternoon, and couldn’t follow the plot. That’s a whole new ring of hell – I have a degree in English lit and I couldn’t follow a G rated Disney flick. SIGH.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


 I've spent today vacuuming the apartment over and over, because Honey keeps shedding fur / skin / whatever and its really, really gross. I can't take the e-collar (the cone-looking collar) off her at all now, because she claws at her face and opens it up more. Ugh. She did eat lunch, a 2-egg omelet with spinach and salmon, which i cooled to room temperature and hand fed her, because she hadn't eaten and was NOT going to eat dog food, thank you. Tomorrow evening we start prednizone, so she will be ravenous according to the vet, and will eat whatever so i'm saving the goopy dog food i made her that she wasn't interested in. 

The pain killer dose has increased from 25mg twice a day to 100mg three times a day, and I gave her the pills at lunch (cleverly smuggled in a hunk of salmon). After she takes pills, its really interesting to watch her as they take effect.  She goes from standing and being fairly alert to falling asleep on her feet. this morning I gave her a massage, and after lunch she asked for one so while the painkiller kicked in I rubbed her and she fell asleep with me supporting her. 

Saturday night we took Honey to our friend Eric's house for an 'end of radiation' party. We took her bed and blanket, and chew toy and we played star wars monopoly and she napped on the floor next to me. She started getting uncomfortable around 12 so we took her home and had a truly terrible night - she simply cannot sleep with the collar on, and someone has to watch her constantly if it's off. I got to sleep around 6 am, when Cameron woke up.