Saturday, August 29, 2009

August 26-28, Wednesday - Friday


It's still been a bad couple of days for our boy. Today I had a follow-up appointment with my ENT to check out my progress from my cancer treatments (everything looks really good, so we were very happy to hear that). Unfortunately, the hour we were in the office apparently was long enough to muck up the way we smelled. Poor little Elvis. We looked like his people. We acted like his people. But we most assuredly did not SMELL like his people. He was all bug eyed and skittish until well into the evening when I guess the smell of us changed. LOL Between that and me doing serious cleaning here in the den, it's just not been a great couple of days for him.


He got to be in his crate most of the morning because I was cleaning here in den and he just didn't need to be around that. He's just been too uneasy with everything going on in here, so there was no reason to subject him to it. He was in the living room, well out of the way from vacuum cleaner and moving furniture. Tomorrow and Saturday we'll do the same with him. We also had to pick up some stop-gap Lasix for him. We've been trying to get his liquid Lasix in for over a week, but we've had no luck. It finally came down to getting something in here to take him through the weekend. He's now got enough Lasix pills to take him through mid-week. I'm a little upset about this because he's not a healthy dog and I've never dealt with one with congestive heart failure, so I'm not sure how long he could go without it if he had to. Fortunately, though, he doesn't have to, so I'll start calling again Monday afternoon and see it it's come in yet (it's been ordered, just not delivered). He also got a fresh supply of his cough tablets, so he's good to go there.


Another day of cleaning. Another day of Elvis in the living room. He was still skittish when he came out with us, but better than he had been. He also got to spend a brief bit of time on the couch with us while we kicked off DVD Date Night (bad movie, so we gave up 15 minutes into it and will start a new one on Saturday). Saturday is my last cleaning day, and I'm looking forward to that because I know this has been upsetting to him. It wasn't bad when I was in other rooms, but being in the den has really gotten to him. I also gave him his Lasix pill (this is once a day) and he did have to have a cough pill later in the day. I suspect that will continue through tomorrow while I'm stirring up all the dust in here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 23 - 25, Sunday - Tuesday


Poor Elvis baby. The August Deep Cleaning has reached his safe room...the den. He has been a most unhappy little man since I've been rattling stuff around, toting boxes into the kitchen, washing stuff and polishing furniture. I don't think he ever really settle down until I finished up around 3:00. He's gone everywhere he could in this room to try and get comfortable, but nothing worked. I think probably Randall and I will go in after dinner and sit on the couch and let him have a little "normal" time.

And the couch time did seem to help. He's much more content tonight. The bad news, though, is I'm going to be carrying on here in the den for another three or four days. If it gets too bad, I'll probably just move his crate into the living room while I'm working.


Very little to report today, though I will saw it was much improved over yesterday since there weren't any storms in the area. Mainly he dealt with the smells and sounds of cake baking, but he's gotten where he handles that pretty well.


Today was going to be something different for Elvis because I'd planned on grilling (it's just been too hot to fire up a grill for the last few weeks), but there were storms in the area, so I changed my plans to using the oven. Poor little guy, it was still different. He's apparently afraid of thunder...not at all surprising given his reactions to loud noises, but this was really bad because the storms were out of our hearing range, but not his, and he spent a whole lot of the late afternoon frozen in place. Not quite unresponsive, but damned close. He got better later since the storms apparently moved on out, but he was one very unhappy little boy there for awhile.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

August 20-22, Thursday-Saturday


My dad and stepmom came by this afternoon and, while Elvis did really well, since we kept him in the living room with everyone, he had to have a cough pill. He wasn't panicked, but even laying on the sofa, you could tell he would have really preferred to be elsewhere. He shook a bit when I brought him out of his crate and took him in the other room, but once he'd had a minute to see nothing was coming after him, he settled down. He didn't want to make eye contact with people, and I didn't want to force that. He accepted being petted and then relaxed on the sofa. All in all, I'm very proud of the way he handled himself.


My keyboard tray came out again this morning. This time it was almost on top of Elvis, but I caught it in my lap, so it didn't crash to the floor. He skittered away and then crawled under a raised shelf under my desk, but when I pulled him out, he wasn't too excited. A bit stiff, but no coughing. He also got over it almost immediately, which was good.

Today, though, is Friday, and that's the day he hates since Randall does laundry. There's much mistrust of the laundry basket and he wants no part of Randall walking our with clothes on hangers. LOL Tonight, though, he gets to join us on the sofa for a movie, and that helps make up for a lot of things.


Elvis really, really, really wants to be in the kitchen where the good smells are, but he just doesn't have the courage to stay in there when I'm banging around. The smell of bacon and onions sauteing is a REALLY big draw for him. :)

He has been a bit skittish today. Not sure what's up, but he may be taking a step or two back again.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Any given Saturday...

Well, really just about any given day this is where Elvis is. :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

August 17-19, Monday-Wednesday


No real updates for Monday and Tuesday. Randall and I have been busy with some real life stuff, so Elvis is kind of taking a back seat. I suspect things will be a bit more back to normal by Wednesday or Thursday.

He did get his toe nails cut Tuesday night. He was a little less sanguine about that this time around, but still really good. I'll give it a couple of days before I do Skeeter's since he screams bloody murder the entire time, and I'd really rather Elvis not tie the two together. He's also going to need another bath soon, but I'll probably wait until late next week since I'm going to be busy over the next several days.


Not a whole lot that went on today. I did call the shelter yesterday to renew Elvis' prescription for Lasix and for his cough tablet. He needed another one tonight, though the cough wasn't bad. Just sporadic, but not dying down. This was after his dinner tonight, and I know Skeeter was doing a lot of barking outside, so there may have been a bit more exercise than is strictly good for him going on. Also, my dad is coming over tomorrow afternoon, and it will be interesting to see how he does.

Monday, August 17, 2009

August 14 - 15, Friday - Sunday

I'm going back to writing this stuff under weekday subheadings. It's just too hard for me to keep track of otherwise.


I got up a bit early today and Elvis is coughing slightly. Randall said he did the same thing yesterday, though once I got up, he quit. He's had his breakfast and his Lasix and, if by 9:00 he's still coughing, I'm going to call the vet. Hell, I may just call her anyway. This cough concerns me since I have no experience with this sort of thing. I'd like to have some professional guidance in what to expect here. For all I know, it may be because I'm feeding him a bit later in the morning than I originally was and, from what Randall says, he's not coughing when he comes out of his crate. He doesn't start until he gets back inside and this morning he was pretty active and barking. Something to check, anyway.


No coughing this morning at all, so what we've seen the last couple of mornings might be an anomaly. I'll continue to keep an eye on it, though. Also, he's up to 9 pounds today which is the first time he's gotten that high in about three weeks. I think this is more related to having closer to 3 tablespoons of breakfast this morning than his usually 2. I was trying to finish up the dog food so I could make a fresh batch. He's still skittish from his keyboard encounter on Wednesday, but this morning he was sliding around and wagging his stump when I came through the baby gate the first time, so I suspect in a day or two he'll be past the worst of it.


Today was actually a very good day. No coughing at all, which was great. He weighed a little less than I like for him to, but only 2/10ths of a pound under 8 pounds, so it's not bad. As you can see from the picture I posted, he's climbed in to Skeeter's basket. This was actually the third time today, and I wanted to get a picture of it. Elvis has also learned that petting happens if his people sit on the floor and dogs crowd around. This was definitely a "learn by watching" situation, but he caught on quick.

He's staying out from under the dining room table more and more during dinner, and tonight he seemed a little less skittish of me making eye contact with him before dropping a tidbit (which is good because you've got to see WHERE he is in order to drop something for him!). He also got to spend an hour on the couch with Randall and I while we finished up our DVD Date Night. He's definitely gotten used to that. He likes to watch TV still, but mainly now he's either curled up next to me or stretched out completely relaxed. So nice to see compared to what he was doing just a few short weeks ago.

Oh. And he has a nickname now (something just about every animal in this house gets and that, really, I should probably not be allowed to do considering some past names). Since he has no tail...he's also known as Stumpy. :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

August 11 - 13, Tuesday-Thursday

Tuesday afternoon saw another cough pill. What I saw today (and Sunday) were soft, but persistent coughs. Nothing nearly as bad as when we first got him home, but enough to where I'm going to keep an eye out on it and his weight. If I end up having to give another pill in the next day or two and/or his weight goes up, I think a call to the vet is needed. He's acting fine, eating like a horse and generally doing well otherwise, but I've never had a dog with congestive heart failure, so I'm not completely sure when something is a problem.

Elvis had a really crappy Wednesday. He was sitting just a couple of feet away from my desk when my keyboard tray fell out of its holder and crashed to the floor. Randall finally found him cowering under a chair in the dining room, and when he came out, he started coughing. I went ahead and gave him a pill, but since I scared him half to death, I'm not at all counting this one as one to watch. Bless his heart. He's just as skittish as he can be right now, and is trying to stay away from me and the desk. I've had him in the living room sitting on the couch with me once already, but I need to do that a couple more times. This is the first time he's been so panicked since the first day he was here. And I can't blame him. The only way this could have been worse is if he'd been UNDER my desk when it happened.

He's still skittery today, Friday, but I am seeing some improvement.That keyboard crashing to the floor yesterday did a real number on him. I'm still not his favorite person, but since I'm the Food Provider, I suspect I'll be forgiven sooner rather than later. Still if I could take that 5 seconds back, I would in a heartbeat. No cough today, though, so that's a plus.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

August 8-10, Saturday-Monday

Saturday has been a quiet day, though there are a couple of things that I probably should have mentioned a day or so ago. Elvis has learned that the activity in the kitchen frequently means plates are set down for cleaning. He waited patiently in there this evening for me to transfer meat over to a smaller plate so he would get a chance to clean the remnants off the one going into the dishwasher.

Also, he's gotten where he really wags his stump. It's kind of funny to watch since he's a tailless baby, but it's really obvious when he gets going. He only started doing this in the last few days, but it's a very good sign. In the morning when I come into the den for the first time, he's quite enthusiastic in his greeting. I know full well most of it is food related, but he does seem genuinely glad to see me at other times, too. So this is a good thing. :)

Sunday morning and Elvis gets a cough pill. It's not a bad cough, but like usual, there's no reason I can see to make him suffer through a cough when he's got something to stop it. I've really been pleased with how well he's handled the whole visitation thing. My dad didn't get a chance to come over this weekend, but he should be here sometime this next week, and I'll be interested to see how Elvis handles that.

One thing Randall and I are trying to do is to get him to stand up before he's picked up. He shows that crouching, submissive behavior that we'd like to get him over, so we'll just sort of school him in this. I suspect this is one of the things that will take the longest for him to get over. My mom said watching him reminds her of watching a fawn, and that makes sense. Like a wild animal, he freezes while deciding whether the situation calls for flight or fight. I've never really seen the "fight" instinct (though rushing Savoy is close), but there sure is a lot of "flight" instinct coming into play.

Today, Monday, I made my switch over from ibuprofen/aspirin back to Aleve. I've got some health problems that have me taking large quantities of NSAIDs, and I try to stay on Aleve for three weeks and come off for a week. Anyway, I have been feeling really crummy, so I took a pain killer and Haley and went in for a two hour nap. When Randall came in to wake me up, Elvis was on his heels. He put him up on the bed and Elvis had a good rubbing session up against my leg. He doesn't rub his head the way any of my other dogs have (standing on it, so to speak) and he doesn't really lay down and roll around on his back. Instead he leans up against something and starts walking down the length of it. Usually that's the sofa in the den, but this afternoon it was my leg. :)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

August 5-7, Wednesday - Friday

I think I am going to start simply writing an update that isn't broken into days. Elvis is doing well enough at the moment that I feel that's my best way to keep track of the days.

Wednesday was really a non-event day. I suspect today, Thursday, will be as well. So far, the only thing of note that's happened today is Elvis was introduced to the white laundry basket...and introduction he obviously felt he could have done without. He was spooked, which is completely understandable, so we'll bring him to it several times over the next couple of days to see if he can be acclimated to it. I suspect the fact it was carried in was the initial problem. He seems to have real reservations about things in hands, and this sucker is big and white and intimidating.

Friday my mother is coming in, so I suspect there will be a bit of detail on that. She'll be here Friday afternoon and will leave Sunday morning. I'm also hoping to get my dad over here, though I don't know the day, yet.

Friday was actually an interesting day. Elvis did very well meeting my mom. He initially showed some of the same skittish tendencies he did with my cousin, but Randall and I both picked him up a couple of times and held him while she petted him. He ended up settling down pretty nicely. He didn't cough at all, came in during dinner and wandered around and helped clean a couple of plates up. Randall didn't join Mom and me for a movie, but while she was at one end of the sofa, and I was at the other, Elvis got up on the sofa between us. He sniffed her hand a couple of times and, once he got settled, she was able to pet him a couple of times, too. Since Randall wasn't sitting next to me, Elvis was able to get REALLY comfortable. LOL He snuggled up to my leg and had his head in my lap. He was very content. Skeeter was a bit hacked off, though, since Elvis was in "his" place...he got over it by laying in my lap, so everything worked out fine between the boys.

All in all, I'm really pleased with the way he's handled the introduction on Friday. Now how he'll be once she appears out from the guestroom Saturday morning, I don't know. Also, my dad is going to swing by Saturday afternoon, so there will be another person for him to meet.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

August 2-4, Sunday-Tuesday


OooOoOOOOOoo...didn't get up until way late. :) Randall got busy on the computer and didn't look at the clock until 7:45. Elvis survived. I think perhaps it's best from now on if he gets me up at the regular old time of 8:00 or shortly before so I can keep Elvis on something of a consistent schedule for his Lasix. I probably have a bit of wiggle room, but not an hour, so if he gets me up between 7:45 and 8:00, that should be good.

He has also definitely figured out that when Randall and I go somewhere, he gets a treat in his crate. He's also really figured out the dinnertime thing, too. I guess that's not surprising since I know his experiences with food in the past must have been not nearly as positive as they are here. In the three weeks that he's been here (well, starting his third week yesterday), his coat looks MUCH better. Much more like what I'm used to dealing with. I'm also seeing less scratching, which may be either the topical flea treatment keeping the mosquitoes away or the better quality food or a combination.

There still seems to be a problem when one of the cats stares at him, but every time it happens I'm either out of the room or my back is turned. I know Savoy is provoking a lot of it, but still, Elvis needs to learn that's not acceptable behavior here. If I can ever catch it as it happens, I think I can make enough of an impression with him that he'll know responding to a cat in that manner just isn't done here. I know it's threatening to him, but still.


Elvis got to wait a bit longer for his breakfast again. Randall didn't wake me up until 7:00, and Elvis seemed hungry, but not famished. We'll do this a couple more days and then move it another 15 minutes or so.

Also, we got new pictures of him this morning (I posted those yesterday). He wasn't too sure what to make of mom and dad being outside with him, but he managed to calm down after a few minutes.

One thing I am definitely seeing is that he suffers from a slipped stifle (dogs with this condition will frequently run three legged for a few steps...skipping, as it were). Those of you who have shown dogs or know much about toy breeds probably know what that is. It's also known as luxated patella and is something seen fairly frequently in small/toy breeds (and chihuahuas are apparently well known for it). Surgery is sometimes recommended for this condition, but that's just not an option here. It is something I will talk to his vet and Liz about, but since there isn't pain involved, I imagine it will just be a condition that is monitored. I've been suspicious of his rear gait for quite some time, but this morning was the first time I've ever seen him move with one rear leg held up, so there's really no question what this is.


Elvis got to wait a bit later for his breakfast this morning. I've been getting up with Randall at 6:30 and feeding him right away, but it's really been telling on my day. Since I'm still recovering my energy a year after radiation treatments, the early rising equals a long nap in the afternoon. I've wanted to starting feeding him later, but I wanted him a bit more settled before I started. This morning I had Randall wake me up at 6:45, and I got Elvis fed a little before 7:00. That seemed to work well for him, so I'm hoping over the next week or so to move me getting up a bit closer to 8:00.

We've got relatives coming in this afternoon. My cousin and her niece will come in this afternoon on their way to visit my mother up in Dallas. I've told Melinda the deal with Elvis, and I'm very interested to see how he acts.

I'm actually very pleased with how Elvis acted this afternoon. He was skittish and didn't want to be picked up, but once he was (and after an initial bout of shaking), he handled things well. More importantly, there wasn't a single cough during the two hours Melinda and Max were here. That is really outstanding because when he panics badly or is badly stressed, he coughs. So no coughing was a very good thing. My mother is possibly coming in on Friday and will be here two days. If so, that will be another great experience for him because it will be a 48 hour visit.

Anyway, we're very proud of how he handled himself considering he's only been here two full weeks and this was the first set of visitors he's met.

Monday, August 03, 2009

August 3, Monday Pictures Part 2

August 3, Monday Pictures Part 1

I finally got around to getting more pictures of Elvis. Obviously, these were taken out in our backyard and on the patio. :)

Sunday, August 02, 2009

July 30 - August 1, Thursday-Saturday


Slow news day here. :)

About the only thing to report is he spent most of the time on the sofa with us last night during our DVD Date Night. He was a whole lot more comfortable than the last two Friday nights, and even ended up laying down for a short nap. He does jump off and shadow me if I leave the room. Also, after he's had a bit of time in there with us, he is a whole lot more stable the remainder of the evening. If that holds true tonight, I think I want Randall to go in there every night (maybe do a quick five minute finish up on a DVD documentary we're watching with dinner) and see if that continues to hold true.

Also, his weight is down to 6.8 which is the lowest it's been. I want to keep an eye on him, but I'd rather him go a bit lower than higher.


While I was in the kitchen this morning getting something ready to go on the cooktop and Randall was getting the washer ready for the first load of clothes, Elvis was making himself comfortable. :) Skeeter has a wicker basket that sits right next to Randall's desk and when I came around the corner from the kitchen, Skeeter was at one end and Elvis was at the other. And Skeeter seemed not to mind at all (he rather minds Haley in there at times because Haley takes up the entire basket leaving very little room for him...fine when he wants the body heat in the winter, but not fine in July!)

I also had to give him a cough pill after he had his breakfast. The last one I gave him was on Saturday, and I have to wonder if there isn't some allergen or the humidity triggering it, because it always seems to happen when he comes in from outside. Of course, it may also just be something triggered by him waking up and moving around after 8 hours of sleeping. No real way to know, but it's not a bad cough, but there's no reason not to treat it since it makes him uncomfortable.

It's looking like Elvis has tried a couple of times to play with either Haley or Skeeter today. When they've come bounding out of their crates, Elvis meets them and runs along side in sort of a "chasing" mode. It's hard to describe, but it looks from my vantage point that he may want to play. He's only done it a couple of times, and I think it's mainly when he reads the excitement coming from the other two, but there's some definite change in his behavior. I'll keep an eye on this because, while I want to be careful because of his heart condition, I would like to see him feel comfortable enough to engage in a bit of play.


Elvis got to experience vacuuming up close today. Since we brought him home, when Randall vacuums on Thursday, he does the living room, stops, and moves Elvis and his crate into there from the den. Today I wanted to try leaving him in here for the whole thing. He did very well. He was in the back of his crate alert, but not panicked, and when I brought him out to let him watch from a distance he was fine. He only coughed once or twice and then stopped. The vacuum cleaner itself (and the noise) actually didn't seem to bother him, but the cord snaking a few feet away and moving made him quite uncomfortable. He definitely showed some nerves when it would move, but, overall, he handled it very well.

I did forget to weigh him today. Oops.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

August 12 "Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Day."

From Petfinder. And, personally, I'd like to encourage people to see what they can do to help out the animals in need. If you can't adopt, perhaps volunteering at your local shelter or fostering from a local rescue group is possible. There are lots of ways people can help.

Big black dogs. FIV+ cats. Senior pets. Special-needs pets. To help these and other often-overlooked pets find homes, Petfinder has named August 12 "Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Day."
Help us spread the word!