Condo Blues: canine cancer




Showing posts with label canine cancer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label canine cancer. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

How to Make Dog Boots

Poor Lacey. Snow and ice get in between her toes when she goes outside during winter. It hurts so much, my snow dog stomps romping and digging and crumbles into a little ball from the pain.

You try playing in the snow with bare feet. I bet it hurts too.

I scoop her up and carry her home. Often we have to go back outside after Lacey's toes are warm to finish what she didn't get to do outside in the snow. Rinse. Repeat.

As much as I hate putting clothes on dogs for the sake of putting clothes on dogs, I bought Lacey a pair of dog boots for Christmas. I'm all for protective dog clothing if the dog needs it but I still felt like one of those people while in the store buying shoes for my dog.

I didn't feel that way last weekend when I tried to exchange the boots for a size that fit Lacey. All of the pet stores had a run on dog boots to prepare for the Polar Vortex Storm That's Colder Than Antarctica (for real. It is summer in Antarctica and 45 degrees warmer in Iceland (36 F) than in Columbus, Ohio today (-9 F. )  It looks like I am not the only crazy pet parent in Columbus putting boots on my dog. Good to know.

Seriously?


The only thing left in Lacey's size in Store Number Three were a set of disposable dog booties made from recycled plastic bottle fabric. I was less than thrilled with the disposable part, but any port in a storm. I hoped Lacey could wear them several times and see us through the cold snap. No such luck. Lacey's dachshund claws started to poke through the second time out.

Time to make fleece dog booties!

How to Make Fleece Dog Booties

Monday, June 3, 2013

Socializing Miss Lacey - Our Fearful Rescue Dog

Lacey’s obedience and behavioral training is working! Lacey is consistently walking at our side 90% of the time on a loose leash. Yay Lacey!

We are now able to work on the next layer of Lacey’s behavioral issue onion – meeting other dogs and introducing her to new people and places.

Family time!

First, our behaviorist brought a fake dog into our yard and instructed Husband and I to give Lacey a verbal correction when she acted out. We use the sound AH AH because it has the force behind like a Momma Dog's You-Are-Not-Behaving-Stop-It-Right-Now bark unlike using the word NO.  The only people I knew who forcefully use NO consistently are toddlers and we are a smidge past that age.

On the one hand, it makes perfect safety sense to use a fake stuffed animal in this situation because you don’t know what reaction you are going to get from the real fearful dog. Poor fake dog has been growled at, attacked, and peed on in the line of duty. Sad fake dog face.

On the other hand, and in the crazy part of my brain that is not a responsible adult, it is funny seeing a grown man bounce a stuffed animal on a in leash in my backyard. However dedicated dog people know that sometimes you have to do strange things to help your dog learn how to be balanced and happy. Besides fake dog worked and we were able to work with his real dog on later appoints. Thank you fake dog!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Top 10 DIY Posts for 2012


Wow 2012 you sure gave me some ups like appearing on Blog Talk Radio and in This Old House Magazine and in Beth Terry's book Plastic Free, and raising $1,080.00 for the Blitzkrieg Cancer Treatment Fund. Thank you thank you thank you again for helping our boy. It really means the world to us.

2012 gave me the the rock bottom of downs with fighting canine cancer and losing Blitzkrieg earlier to lymphona that we and his medical predicted.

Through the good and the bad. I did projects. Projects and keeping busy keep me sane. Well, as sane as anyone can hope for that is. From the looks of it, you like projects too! 

Here are my top ten posts of 2012 based on the mystical magical blog stats and algorithms. 

1. How to Make Dandruff Shampoo  



Friday, November 16, 2012

Have I Thanked You Lately? Because I Should


This post has been in the back and front of my mind for a long time. Last night I had a mild panic attack when I realized Thanksgiving is next week and I am unprepared. This is unusual but well, I’ve been a little busy fighting and losing to canine cancer this year.

These past five months I’ve been on a see saw. Feeling OK and moving within the online world only to retreat to my cave the following day. I feel guilty and selfish because I haven’t truly thanked you for what you did for us and before, during, and after Blitzkrieg’s cancer battle.

I’m thanking you now.

 Husband said I should share the photos I took of our visit to my hometown's beach. We let Blitzkrieg sniff and experience the smells of a Lake Erie beach after the winter storms and before the spring beach clean up. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Urban Scrawl Inspiration

Urban Scrawl MuralHusband and I have the best friends in the world. Our in real life group is so understanding of our devastating loss of Blitzkrieg. We got sympathy cards, personal calls, and condolences from an overwhelming number of friends, neighbors, our family vet, and the vet hospital oncology team. Every single one touched our hearts but none so much as Blitzkrieg's oncology nurse. She made and painted a plaster paw print she took of Blitzkrieg for us on her own. Tears I did not know I had welled up inside me when I unwrapped it.

Many of our friends are calling us for spur of the moment dinners and get togethers too. Thank you friends. Keeping busy helps.

That's how Husband and I ended up at Urban Scrawl. One of our couple friends invited us to join them at Urban Scrawl because they know we like local food and arty things.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

3 Art Therapy Projects

Ohio State Veterinary Hospital holds a Pet Remembrance Ceremony every year. Husband and I went and were immediately greeted by Blitzkrieg’s oncologist Dr. B. She hugged us and asked how we are doing before the ceremony.  She is such a good person and a caring doctor. I can’t express how lucky you and your pet will be if she is your veterinarian.

We heard words of comfort.

There were tears.

We went to a small corner near the hospital I passed a dozen times before but didn’t know until now it is the Remembrance Garden. We placed stones with loving messages under the tree.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Taking Risks at BlogHer 12

My personal and unintentional theme for this year’s BlogHer conference was Take a Risk. I am grieving my dear Blitzkrieg and worried about leaving Husband alone.

It took everything I had pry myself from the house, put on semi happy face, and join 5,000 people in New York for the conference. Husband lined up time out with friends so I wouldn’t worry. He reminded me how important it is to thank as many of you in person as I can for your love and support during our cancer journey. He reminded me I paid for my BlogHer conference expenses months before Blitzkrieg got sick and made the investment in myself long ago. I spent the moola. I had to go.

I brought a little security blanket with me. I made and wore a pin with Blitzkrieg on it backed by the canine lymphoma ribbon (red ribbon with paw prints) on my conference lanyard. The American Cancer Society saw it and asked me to add a pledge to their More Birthdays wall. 

Blitzkrieg donated tissue to the vet hospital’s research tissue bank where any researcher in the US can use it. Husband and I feel it is particularly important to donate because Blitzkrieg’s lymphoma did not play by any of the cancer rules. We hope our donation will keep another family from reliving our cancer story.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lantern Hummingbird Feeder

Husband asked me if I was into getting a bird feeder a few weeks ago when we were standing in the checkout line at the garden center.  I smiled to myself because it was yet another sign of Husband getting into our new gardening hobby. I suggested a hummingbird feeder because our lavender attracted hummingbirds until the big fat bumble bees found it and hog all the polleny goodness. 

Husband said we should think on it because a bird feeder is an impulse purchase and we never know what lymphoma side effect Blitzkrieg will have each week with or without an extra expensive expense. We're very conscious about spending money that might look extravagant or  that we are using your generous Blitzkrieg Cancer Treatment Fund donations to buy bird feeders instead of canine chemotherapy. Trust me, everything you donate to the Blitzkrieg Cancer Treatment Fund pays for Blitzkrieg's mounting medical bills. The poor guy keeps getting side effects that require more medical attention than was first estimated. ( Edited by Lisa: The final bill was $4 to $5K in threee months time when we were finished because of the side effects and remissions and extra treatment they required instead of initial estimate of $3K spread over 6 months time.)

I decided to make Husband a hummingbird feeder for Father’s Day or as it is known in these parts, Doggy Daddy Day.

My first five attempts were big, fat FAILs.
  • My original plan was to buy a glass hummingbird feeder tube, stick it on an empty painted by me wine bottle, and make a holder from copper wire. It would have worked if my craftypaintaphobia didn’t mess up the project. My ready made stencil stenciling attempt bled under the stencil. It made blobs not flowers.
  • My punch circles from leftover contact paper to make a stick on stencil attempt bled under the stenicl because the contact paper I used has been rolled up/mashed in drawer since we moved in. I had more bad blobs.
  • I liked Round One of using a round stenciling pouncer to paint circles on the bottle. Unfortunately, I hated the other layers and colors I used on the bottle. Can I put out here it is a very good thing Martha Stewart craft paint doesn't cure immediately when it dries on glass and makes it easier wash after five failed attempts of painting?
  • I decided to paint the hummingbird feeder test tube that came with the feeding tubes, and add red wire wrap glass stones to it to attract hummingbirds. The glass stones looked like red welts. I hated it.
I was frustrated. I gave up and went with what I knew – power tools.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blitzkrieg: Forever in Our Hearts

Blitzkrieg lost the war we waged on canine cancer last week. When I try to write about it, all the words and nothing come to mind. 


My page is blank. 


The cursor blinks at me. 


Taunting.

Husband wrote this tribute about Blitzkrieg’s life and our love for him. I cannot find better words than his to describe our boy, his journey, and our heartache. 


Blitzkrieg


I need to explain this because not everyone will completely understand our sadness right now.

Many people who have known Blitzkrieg will understand this, but some will not. But that's okay. It's unusual to experience this much loss over a pet. I just hope I can explain this in a way that will make it easier to understand our grief.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blitzkrieg is Losing the Lymphoma Fight

We are losing the cancer fight. We put Blitzkrieg on a different chemo protocol after the our first protocol of the aggressive Kick Cancer's Ass and Take Names CHOP protocol failed to keep Blitzkrieg’s cancer in remission.

I totally play the cute dog with cancer card to convince Lisa to l stay home from band practice and stuff me full of salmon steaks - doctor's orders! Sitting on her practice flag also helps.

If Blitzkrieg responded to the second chemo protocol we were looking at months with him instead of up to a year like we might have had with CHOP.

The second chemo protocol failed.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How to Organize Cancer Medications

Blitzkrieg had what the oncologist called a “spa day”instead of a chemo treatment last week. They did blood work, exams, played with him, and feed him a redonculous amount of chicken baby food all day.

I'm a dog. I like food, see?


Blitzkrieg let them because he is kind like that.

The doctors feel Blitzkrieg is responding to the new cancer treatment protocol and sent us home with an oral form of that week’s chemo medication.

We are cautiously optimistic.

This is what it takes every day to keep our boy alive.

The only prescription missing from this photo is Blitzkrieg's prescription dog food.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I'm in a Holding Pattern


It only took a few weeks after Blitzkrieg started chemotherapy to put his cancer in remission. Blitzkrieg still needs to keep his weekly appointments and daily medication to keep the lymphoma at bay. As we deal with side affects, good days, and meh days these last two months I didn’t dare utter the word remission because I thought I might jinx things.

Hi everyone.

Last week I started to feel confident about using the word. I was going to update the Blitzkrieg Cancer Treatment Fund page using Remission as the post title.

After Blitzkrieg’s Monday chemotherapy appointment, the oncologist said she wanted to talk to Husband and I. That’s never good.

Blitzkrieg’s lymphoma is back.

Friday, June 1, 2012

How to Remove Furniture Marks from Carpet




I borrowed a steam carpet cleaner to clean the wet and explosive surprises Blitzkrieg left in his wake on an hourly basis when he had a bladder infection due to the chemotherapy.

Fortunately, Blitzkrieg is now back to his fine and fluffy self. My carpeting is another story. I spent an entire afternoon steam cleaning pet stains on the carpeting by the front door. I couldn’t move on to the rest of the living room or house like I normally do. We lived with the living room in the kitchen for several days. And then our bedroom in the computer room. And then the computer room in our bedroom. And then the guest/sewing room in our bedroom.

This is about the time I was considering maid service.  Or a box of matches. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bacon Candles


I cut the top off a beer bottle, ground the sharp edges, and filled it with phthalate free bacon scented soy wax and topped it with a lead free wick. 

Why?

  • I like candles.
  • Husband likes beer.
  • Blitzkrieg likes bacon.
I floated the idea of a bacon candle to my foodie friends during a Monday Foodies Nite In Twitter chat (Join us! Please?) They went bonkers for it. No surprise there because bacon always comes up during the chat no matter what the weekly party topic. I don't understand it, but people really love their bacon.  

I made soy beer candles, crème brulee candles, and campfire candles so my bacon candles would not feel lonely in our Blitzkrieg Cancer Treatment Fund booth at the Pet Promise Rescue Run. After the candles cooled, I realized I needed a label. Then I realized I needed something to put on the label. Think. Think. Thinkidy think.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Eat From the Pantry Month Challenge

Husband and I stumbled into May’s One Small Green Change by accident.  I am busy crafting for and building Blitzkrieg’s Pet Promise Rescue Run booth. Add to that Husband’s weekly choir rehearsal, Blitzkrieg’s chemo day, and now my weekly marching band rehearsal it’s been difficult to squeeze time in for grocery shopping except for a quick milk run. Husband goes through almost a gallon a week.

 I relive my high school color guard glory days by twirling flag in two parades each summer. Some things never change. I'm stilled placed by the tubas and am the shortest person in the band.
 
Fortunately, we did a big grocery shopping trip before Crazy Time, which should keep us in fish, meat, and fresh produce for awhile. We really need to work on eating the fresh frozen veggies, 17 cups ofhomemade chicken stock that keep falling out of the freezer and onto my head, and the backup bags of frozen vegetables to make room for this summer’s garden produce. When Husband and I bought seeds last January we bought with our stomachs instead of our heads because this year’s garden will be items I cannot can. I have to freeze whatever we can’t devour in our tiny freezer. Whoops!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

DIY Cabinet Door Chalkboard

I’m crafting my tushie off for our Blitzkrieg Cancer Treatment Fund booth at the Pet Promise Rescue Run this Saturday. Please come!

Husband and I will sell Barking Mad Candles for Men (more on that in a later post), braided fleece dog chew toys, t shirt grocery shopping bags, and reclaimed wood signs. The money we raise will help pay for Blitzkrieg’s chemotherapy treatments and extra medical bills we’re having because of side effects from the chemotherapy treatments. You can read an update about Blitzkrieg here.

Chalkboard Paint Cabinet Door
Thank you for helping me!

I don’t want to spend a lot on the booth itself because we’d have to make that much more money to turn a profit and help Blitzkrieg. Christina from A Mommy Story stepped in and offered us the use of their awning for the event. She crossed a major expense off our list. Thank you Christina!
 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How to Tea Stain Wood

I made a wine box toy box for Blitzkrieg. I wanted to kick up the pale color with a pet safe wood stain. Blitzkrieg already has enough onhis plate fighting cancer; I don’t want to add to it by using a wood stain containing questionable ingredients.
 

Fortunately, I have a lovely honey colored pet safe wood stain in my kitchen cupboard – tea.

I tea stained book pages and used them as wallpaper in my bathroom remodel. Sometimes I tea stain fabric when I make historical costumes.

I also tea stain my pajamas because I am Clumsy Grand Supreme in the morning pre-gallon o' caffeine.

Why not stain wood with tea? Tool Girl experimented with homemade wood stains with interesting results. Let’s try it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My House Smells Like Dog Pee

Blitzkrieg developed a bladder infection as a side effect of chemotherapy. Poor little dog is piddling almost every hour in the house on his way to the front door.

This is my old toy box Lisa made me.
 This is unusual for Blitzkrieg. He has an accident in the house one or two times a year tops. We checked with the oncologist. This new behavior is a medical thing not a behavioral thing. Trust me, Blitzkrieg's potty bark is so sharp and forceful it could shatter glass. Consider it the canine equivalent of a toddler screaming in the middle of a public place,"I HAVE TO GO POOOTTY!"

The problem is the infection is overwhelming his little bladder that he often barks to be let out and the flood gates open on his way to the front door.

To deal with pet accidents, I got a Bissell Spot Lifer as gift on Blitzkrieg’s first Christmas. I think I got more use out of the box because I turned it into Blitzkrieg’s first toy box until I made him a toy box from a wood wine box. 

This is my new toy box Lisa made me. It's comfy.
 
Between the Spot Lifter and the later gift of a Bissell Ready Clean carpet cleaner I was able to keep up with the rare dog accident.

Until now.

I almost fell over from the smell coming from the dry living room carpet when I bend down to clip Blitzkrieg’s leash to his collar for a walk.

O.M.G! Ew. Ew. Ew!  I'm big baby about smells. I better never have a human baby because I'd make them potty in the yard like Blitzkrieg so I don't have to deal with stinky diapers. Whiiiich I just tipped Children Services off about me early and put myself on some sort of Watch List. Oopsie.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Avengers Assemble! Sign

Husband and I did not officially discuss it but it was understood we would give dog chemo to each other for our anniversary because Blitzkrieg is our most precious gift.


It is in line with tradition. The first anniversary is Paper. The fifteenth anniversary is Dog Chemo.

Now you know.
 
On a recent walk with Blitzkrieg (made possible by you and dog chemo), I discovered the little darlings from the neighborhood next door kicked in several slats from wood fence that divides the two neighborhoods – two feet from the fence gate. AGAIN. Apparently, the cherubs think the word condo means rich. *sigh*

The weathered and broken boards somehow made their way to my garage.