The Adventures of Elli the Norwegian Elkhound Continues!

October 4, 2009

And, yes last time when we “chatted” I was embarking on my favorite tree lined walk, now I remember! I would like to talk about my pet walker who is very special to me. Her name is Carol. We met seven years ago. My owner was back in Virginia at the time and selected the service to walk me long distance.

She has pretty good instincts and I am well taken care of by Carol when my owner cannot walk me. We are very fortunate that Carol lives close by and comes over  without much notice to walk me. My owner sometimes has unplanned art site visits and always makes sure I am taken care of when she is going to be late in walking me.

Carol called this morning to ask Tiffany how I am doing. Guess it is time now to bring my health into the conversation. A couple of weeks ago I was taken to Adobe Animal Hospital (most excellent care facility for pets by the way) to check out my recent bladder problems. I was unable to hold it and started peeing on the kitchen floor; not the oriental rug; just the floor so give me some credit.

Anyway, we found out I had a common urinary infection and we came home with pills for me to take daily. Then, my owner noticed I was panting more than usual. Actually, in older dogs it is not uncommon to pant more, however in my case this was not the case. Also, I have pretty much always coughed due to allergies and being a tracker is no fun when your nose is exploring stuff that makes you cough all the time. Tiffany was giving me allergy medication and that had worked in the past, only this time not so much. I was also finding myself very needy and wanting to be as close to my owner on the bed as possible. My heavy panting right next to Tiffany was not so good though for her sleeping, as we would wake up a couple of time throughout the nite. My owner noticed though I was not moving from her side on the bed. Usually, I tend to sleep at the foot of the bed all comfy.

So back to Adobe Animal Hospital we went. Tiffany asked to check my liver level so the techie took my blood and my owner asked for x-rays. I am not so keen on the x-rays as I am picked up (my owner does this and I appreciate that) and placed upsiide down in a heavy soft trough thing. Anyway, when the x-ray came back it showed a mass in my right lung. The blood work showed slight elevations in my liver. Tiffany did her best not to be upset though I could tell she was acting very much on “remote control.” When they suggested a CAT scan to gather more information Tiffany made an appointment at a specialist. Boy, I did not like that appointment. They shaved my belly and to tell the truth I wasn’t sure what my outcome was going to be. Tiffany had to leave me for several hours and when she came to pick me up I was groggy from sedation. No worries I was in good hands with Tiffany and she got me in the car easily. Our results were good news! My tumor did not have any company! I feel most lucky to have Tiffany as my owner and loving care giver.

She listed to the vet and the vet specialist talk about operating on me. The operation is extensive. I am cut open under my rib cage and the pain afterward is awful. I could bleed out during the operation as well. My aftercare would mean three to four days at the hospital on pain medication and then home with no squirrel or raccoon chasing for about a month. Then on top of this how much more time would I have to chase squirrels, raccoons, geese or anything else of my choosing….not much…perhaps a year. So, the decision was made to treat me naturally or holistically.

Now, this is little story is kinda of funny like connecting the dots. My owner spoke with our best friend Misty back in Virginia for a little consult. Misty suggested talking with the owner of Pet Sage in Virginia. Tiffany called and the Pet Sage owner suggested they go “on-line” together and see who would be a good accredited holistic vet. Dr. David Fong popped up with so many letters after his name he must be good. My owner called the San Francisco Veterinary Specialists and started to make an appointment with Dr. Fong. The receptionist asked if we had been there before and Tiffany said no. When the receptionist started entering our information she found out we had been to their old location in 2003….imagine that! We got an appointment.
When it became appointment time I knew it for Tiffany doesn’t feed me when we ride in the car. I have motion sickness. So, when my owner didn’t feed me I knew something was up. The drive into the city was new for me so I was not too happy about getting out of the car and going into a place that smelled of other animals. However, this place was bright and full of smiles.

Dr. Fong asked a lot of questions while looking at the x-ray and reading the previous Adobe vet info. Tiffany was answering and writing at the same time. I was on the floor kinda shaking. Dr. Fong examined me and said my coat is very healthy, though my tongue was on the purple side. He also asked how I slept, curled up or stretched out. He created a plan just for me with the primary goal to halt the tumor’s growth for as long as we can and shrinking it at the top of our list. My diet was to change and I was to take Chinese herbs mixed in with my food and tablets twice a day.

My new diet meant no chicken as chicken feeds cancer; we need to remove things that can heat up my body and feed the tumor. So we are giving me food that builds up my immune system and starves the tumor. Dr. Fong also noticed after the examination I was on the floor with the front part of my body against the wall….a very dark place he said. You see the lungs represent grief. I have been very sad with a lot of stuff that my owner as been and is going through. I love her very much and can’t help myself feeling some of her pain.

Now, Tiffany was delighted to hear I could eat “people food.” Like, lima beans,  wild rice,duck, pork, mung beans, broccoli, carrots, red chard, squash, etc. Next thing I knew we were at Whole Foods and out she came with a bag of Wellness dry fish meal base and duck jerky. My owner also got on the internet and ordered some special biscuts from Foster & Smith. That nite “my personal chef” cooked up broccoli, wild rice, carrots, squash and pork mixed in with the Wellness dry…heaven! Hey, the quality of my life has been jacked up about tenfold….not a bad way to go out! I feel much better and love eating twice a day. I am breathing a little better  though I still have my moments.

Of course I am loveable!

Of course I am loveable!

My energy is good as the six raccoons sitting on the roof of an old building behind our house were my prime targets. I let them know who was boss even though a stone wall separated us. They were not going to run across the top of the wall while I was outside. Then there is my owner with her camera standing on a chair taking a picture of them. They made have thought she was as much trouble as me. Speaking of food I smell a biscut coming my way so woof for now and look for me soon.

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