Thursday, August 11, 2011

The run

Long time no post, but this is a 'no news is good news' delay. Toby is doing extremely well, we just got a full blood work panel done and Toby looks like, well, a normal dog. Some stats are on the shy side of normal but everything is in great range. He's happy, he's healthy and best of all, he's running! I used to run with Toby all the time, it was one of his favorite things. Sometimes I had to put on roller blades just to go fast enough for him. Seriously, 14lb dog can run at a clip of up to 15mph, he's that good. Well when all this went down you start reminiscing on all the good times, for Toby and dad, that was our runs together. We'd go, he'd take off, randomly smell something and make a sudden stop, I'd try to spin on my roller blades, fail, and then get the look from Toby as if to say "why are you laying down, we gotta go?" Then of course there is the at home afterwards when he runs over to Vero with a huge grin, super proud of himself. Next step, make a mess of the water bowl. Followed by trying to sit next to dad and realizing we both make each other hot, transferring to sit on the wood floor, then back to dad and repeat.

Well, Toby is doing so well that he is up for running a bit again. Not as much as he used to, but we're so thankful to have him that we couldn't care less. So off we go, Toby ran, I mean really ran, for three steps then realized he didn't have that level of energy, so trotted it out. He was loving it, until we got to the next street. The street is packed with other dogs, almost every house has at least one, and they love to bark at Toby. As we turn down the street, the chorus joins in and Toby, always one to play for an audience, let loose. We tore down the street with Toby showing off but not only did he want to run, he wanted everyone to see him run. He kept turning his head side to side, as if to look at the barking dogs and make sure they saw him. When we turned the next corner we slowed to a trot. By the time we got home he didn't have the energy to sprint the last little bit but it didn't matter.

Veronica and I are both so thankful. He's a great dog and a very special part of the pack. Speaking of the pack, Meg and Pepper are getting along much better, so much that we can now go on family walks and life around the lily room is much happier (FYI, lily room = LIving + famiLY room, since we both grew up calling it different things). Our schedules have changed a bit so during the week we get in the walk, our food, their food and then spend a little time just relaxing. 3 dogs, 2 people, 1 couch, love it!

We're heading to Rome in another week but when we get back Toby is transitioning to a home cooked diet that UC Davis put together for us. That transition may be interesting since his insulin needs may change but we don't want to leave him on kibble forever. We like kibble for treats and games but otherwise we'd rather use more nutritious, whole foods. We'll keep you posted!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Comeback kid

Things have been going very well for our little fam. Toby had his recheck 2 days ago and his PCV was 37-38%. Phenomenal! We're keeping most of his meds the same for now, but that will likely change next week when we try to decrease even further down. Toby's lovin' it. He enjoys his walks and looks forward to car rides and field trips. We're still trying to get his weight back up, but that might not happen until his diabetes is a little more regulated.

With his IMHA, the doc worries about him eating raw food ever again, so we've had him on a kibble and canned food specifically for diabetics. I don't know about you, but I can't imagine going through my entire life eating the same processed food. So, we're trying out a home cooked diet. Well, we submitted a request to UC Davis and we'll see what they come back with.

PS, we moved into the updated family room last weekend and everyone loves the new space, pictures coming soon!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Puppy cut!

Toby went to the dr earlier this week and we ran some bloodwork on him. Everyone was pleased to see how great he looked. Plus, he had just gotten a haircut by mom and dad so his puppy cut was attracting more attention. Yup, we cut his hair at home and encourage others to do the same. It's so much less stressful than going to the groomer. It takes practice to get the right cut and find your groove, but Toby couldn't care less about what he looks like, even though the first few times the right side of him was a whole lot shorter than the other. As long as treats are involved, and we take breaks in between to let the clipper blades cool down, Toby just sits there. And his hair is growing so fast it's almost even now and you can't tell where his legs and neck were shaved for his many catheters.

Anyway, his bloodwork was good enough that we're going back to his normal insulin and giving it twice a day rather than 3 times a day. This is not only awesome for Toby but for us too as we don't have to wake up at midnight to feed him anymore! Plus, we're decreasing some of his Prednisone too. Because it's still a critical time, we're checking the ketones in his urine every day, and monitoring his energy, appetite, overall demeanor. So far so good, Toby just got back from another Jose Ramon walk and he's all smiles! He goes back to the dr next week, and we'll see how the new insulin dose is affecting his body.

In the meantime we're hoping for beautiful weather to take more walks once our days off come around. Toby hasn't walked as far as he used to, but he's getting there. I think he realizes he has a lot of marking to catch up on!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Miracle Dog!

They called Toby a miracle dog at the hospital! It's so great to see his energy come back a bit more each day and to have our lil guy back. This week brought back 2 of Toby's signature moves;

1) The Tripod - Toby loves a good belly rub but he doesn't like sitting still when he is excited. Like the ninja that he is, he has a solution, The Tripod. From a standing position, toby will put his head, to the ground, on it's side and then stick his front paws out so he is resting on his neck. From here, we can pet his belly but he can continue to push himself across the floor with his backlegs, thus, getting a belly rub without holding still.

2) The Jose Ramon - we have a variety of walks we take them on, each named by a street or landmark. For example, we have the Jose Ramon, Nikki, Rusty, Round the park and that tail wagginl DOBLE PARK! Jose Ramon is the smallest loop, coming in at just over a mile. As he's improved more and more he's made it farther and farther but always ended up in the stroller with Meg (who rides because of unknown leg pain, we're working on that and she's probably headed in for accupuncture). Not yesterday though. That's right, mark your calendars, Saturday, June 11th of 2011 at 6pm, Toby the invincible not only walked a full mile but walked it with vigor!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Too much of a good thing

Yesterday I gave Meg a dental chew to help with her teeth and to keep her occupied. Some days she gets what to do with it, other days she lets it sit in her mouth like a trophy and eventually spits it out and lets it rest beside her. Toby saw Meg sleeping next to it and thought "who would do such a thing? It's meant for eating!". So he barked at me to get my attention, as if to say, "Ridiculous! I know what to do with it!" So I gave it to him instead. Meg didn't seem to miss it.

Because Toby is diabetic, and now on Prednisone, he drinks a lot of water. What I didn't realize is that every time he eats one of those dental chews, it makes him drink even more water. I was cleaning around the house, doing other things, and it wasn't until John got home that we noticed Toby's belly really distended. He must have had at least 2 big bowls of water, and he drinks like he'll never have access to water again in his life. We called the doc to see how concerned we should be. She advised us to not offer water the rest of the night, and no food at midnight, just a half dose of insulin, and monitor him. Great. We can manage that.

But not so much for Toby. Toby lets out a single bark when he's trying to get our attention, like when a kibble has gone under the couch and he needs help to get it. Well, all night he sat by the empty water bowl and let out single barks. I felt so bad for him because I knew what he wanted, I just couldn't give it to him. Eventually he fell asleep, but those first few hours were painful for all of us!

This morning he was so excited for his breakfast, he ate it all, and it didn't take that long. He had some water too. His belly looks much better than last night but still somewhat puffy, so we're keeping an eye on him. Note to self: don't cave when Toby pouts wanting a dental chew!

On the plus side, his appetite is up, his energy seems up, and he even barked and jumped when we got his food ready this morning. Oh, and it's not raining this whole week, so we get to enjoy some outside time. Maybe we'll even go to the park later. Woohoo!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

First day home, sort of

This is the first Sunday in a few weeks that Toby doesn't have to go to the hospital. In fact, doc said he doesn't need to go back to recheck his PCV for 3-4 days! We even stopped one of his meds for nausea because he hasn't been vomiting. We did add an injection of B12 but that's only once a week. He's eating well, wags his tail, and barks when he's excited to see us. So today, we're lounging all day. We really wish it wasn't raining so we could take a nice walk, but hanging out at home is the next best thing.

Oh, and we got a petsitter so none of the kids have to come to the hospital with me for boarding anymore. The petsitter comes and stays for 4 hours to feed the kids and let them out to potty. I'm sure they all appreciate being able to stay at home where they're more comfortable.

This weekend we'll be doing some more baking, so now's the time to place your order for some goodies!

Friday, June 3, 2011


Thank you all for the crossed fingers, Toby just got back from his PCV and he put up a 30! He's been fighting for that 30 for over a week so it's so great to see. Vero actually had to have another nurse check just to make sure she wasn't willing it to happen.

His energy level is still a bit low, noticed mostly in how easily he can get tired on a walk. His will however is definitely coming back, he's even eating almost all of his food now. Toby's communication style has changed a bit as well, he likes to cuddle more and to be held. I think the heavy level of interaction and dependence with us is making him more people and less dog. Secretly, I kind of want him to pick up a sandal and throw it!

We'd had Toby a year before I saw him do it. I had just gotten home and since he was barking I was ignoring him. I looked down just as he went to the shoes, picked up a sandal and turned his head quickly to throw it. The following look is one I'll never forget. With big, proud eyes and an ear to ear smile he looked at me for praise. It was as if he had just thrown a discus in the olympics and was looking for me to score it, hoping so badly I'd give him a perfect score. This is the point where I, as a parent, came to realize the old saying that parents aren't perfect either, because I laughed. Hysterically. In my defense, it was funny, but still. Toby took my laughter as praise and for a few months we flirted with a sandal/slipper throwing behavior.

So maybe tomorrow we do sandal throwing, today we did 30% red blood cells. So YAY FOR TOBY!