Saturday, February 23, 2013

What'd ya Mean No Dogs in a Rental Car?

Jeff had to drive down for the Miami Boat Show last week so we decided to rent a car for a week. That way we could easily re-provision, see some of the sites, etc. We needed to have some of Dyna's blood work redone to find out if there were any improvements in her liver levels. So early Thursday morning we loaded the kids in the rental car and headed to the vet.

We've done this rental car thing many times from the boat and have used a variety of methods to try and keep the bulk of the dog hair at bay. My latest creation involves a flannel sheet with Velcro attached and holes put in to accommodate the harnesses we use to strap them in. It works pretty well. Of course, this car had an all black interior - not good for this crew.

We brought Dylan along because he loves rides and we wanted to get him weighed. Lately he's been, well, a little larger in the rear end. It hasn't helped that Dyna has become more finicky about her eating. It's a constant battle to keep Dylan from scarfing up the dropped and left-over food.

Unfortunately, Dyna's blood work has not improved so we need to explore what might be happening with her liver. We decided the best place to settle in and do that is Jacksonville. So tomorrow we leave to begin heading that way. On the good side her digestive issues are better so she hasn't lost any more weight.

As for Dylan, well, can you say portion control?

We'll keep you posted on Dyna's progress.

Monday, February 11, 2013

No Takers

This past weekend there was a Mardi Gras celebration here in Cocoa Village. Sunday afternoon they held the Mardi Gras Paws in the Park event. Dyna and Dylan insisted on attending. There were hundreds of dogs of all shapes and sizes - and I mean ALL shapes and sizes. The event benefited the Central Brevard Humane Society with lots of food and vendors and even a dog parade.

We ran across the Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida booth and thought maybe they would take Dylan. But they turned us down. Dyna asked if they were absolutely positive...

We had great seats to watch the dog parade. Dyna was too dignified to wear a silly costume and Dylan, well, he does whatever Dyna does. There were lots of silly outfits. Dylan wasn't sure what to make of it all.

The whole crew had a great afternoon. But before we left Dyna thought we should make one more stop at the Lab Rescue booth to make sure there were no takers for Dylan. Sorry, Dyna.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tending to Dyna

There's something about an old dog. They have a sense of appreciation that isn't there when they're young, agile, and healthy. It's like they really know they need you. The time comes when they no longer fight your efforts to help them and simply relax and accept your care.

A few months ago Dyna started needing to be carried down the steep winding stairs to the master stateroom. You might wonder why she doesn't simply sleep above but these are Siegel dogs, spoiled to the bone, and Dyna didn't want to be left behind. So Jeff carries her down every night. At first she struggled and squirmed but now she just settles into her daddy's arms and enjoys the ride.

We came back north because Dyna was having difficulties tolerating the heat and humidity. If you've been following her for a while you may remember that she had throat surgery a year and a half ago to fix a breathing problem. She's much better but still only has half an opening to breath through. So panting is less efficient plus all of these things are more difficult as she ages. Dyna will be 15 in May, a true grand dame.

In addition, she's had digestive problems due to chronic UTI's which have been cured with antibiotics but then stripped the good bacteria out of her stomach and intestines. Add to that the need for a periodic blood test to check liver functions due to her daily pain medicine, and we needed to find a good vet. So as soon as we pulled into Cocoa Village Marina we started searching. We checked online reviews, talked to the staff at the marina and some boaters with pets on the dock. We found a nice vet very close by but still too far for Dyna to walk. We started making plans to bring her in a dock cart, something that worked at Cumberland Island last spring.

So I went to the office to let them know we needed to take the cart off site. The manager Ken said, "I'll drive her." I told him it wasn't too far and I didn't want to bother him. "It's no bother. I'll do anything for a dog." I knew there was a good reason I liked him so much. Off Dyna went to Brevard Veterinary Hospital.

After tests and exams and consultations both here in Florida and with Stephanie back at Lucerne Veterinary Hospital in Maine, we devised a plan. Now on top of her hard to find dog food, she is getting a raft full of supplements - cranberry extract to keep the UTI at bay, probiotics to restore her good digestive bugs, Sam-e and milk thistle to help her liver levels, and Nupro vitamin supplement to ensure she's getting what she needs. Oh, and she also needs the addition of canned, wet food to get her to eat all this stuff. My galley pantry is becoming filled with dog items.

Do I care? Not a wit. She's our very special girl and every day with her is precious. Plus she's perked up and has even started a few tussles with Dylan. We know we can't have her forever but we can make her days the best they can be.