Lip smacking.

Melvin has allergies.  Plain and pretty simple.  He takes the perfect balance of medication to help with the allergies.  Expensive but worth it.  These medications are a life-long endeavor.  Some of them are newer to the market than others and  the decision ultimately arose whether to provide him an itch free life now, not knowing all the long-term effects, or to allow the itching to an extent and play it safer.  Having lived with Melvin during the horrible, itchy, bloody days, I know in my heart that the decision is for him to be as itch-free as possible in the here and now.  No one knows what will come. The goal is to focus on quality of life, not quantity of days.

One unfortunate side effect of those medications is that my boy has bouts of nausea.  When a dog is nauseous he smacks his lips together.  Over and over and over. Like a metronome.  You think there will be a break when they sleep, but there isn’t.  The lip smacking is continuous.  Yes, it’s a little like nails on blackboard but as annoying as it can get, it will never be worse than what they are feeling. 

I hope and pray that I always do right by him.  Decisions about his care are not always easy and many of them haunt me, but I stand firm in the conviction that every decision I make is backed by unconditional love. It’s pretty simple, I want him to know as much joy as possible.  I am fairly certain he has no recollection of life before me and his current exuberance level suggests that joy is winning. Check, check.

Remaining upright.

This week we realized Melvin was taking too much of one of his antibiotics.  Well to be clear, he was taking the right dose for his weight, but it was just too much for him personally.  He was sniffing and licking every surface on earth and was having trouble relaxing.  The definitive sign was when he was shaking his head to give his ears a good itch and he fell over. I called the vet, he went cold turkey for two days and he is now on a lower dosage.  Melvin is back in full-on-streched-out-on-couch relaxation mode, still a little extra sniffy and licky but he only has two more weeks on the treatment so I think we can tolerate some oddball behavior until then.

A few years ago I snapped a rather scary quick shot of him shaking his head.  Imagine this scene and then one second later, ttttttttt-iiiiiiiii-mmmmmmm-bbbbbbbb-eeeeeee-rrrrrrrr.

I’ll always catch you little buddy.

Fame.

A few years back I had Melvin photographed by Bev Hollis.  I had stalked her work for some time and was able to get a booking with her.  We spent a lovely fall October day at a farm in Purceville, VA and the beautiful outcome can be seen in some of the header photos of this blog, throughout my house and in the homes of many family members.  The photos are breathtaking and I treasure each and every one of them.  And soon, you can treasure one also.

Workman publishing (you might have heard of them) publishes themed page-a-day calendars.  The themes include things such as Purses (yes I have this one), Islands, Flowers, Art, etc.  One page per day (thus the clever name), with a photo.  Below is the Dog themed calendar example from 2012…

In the 2013 calendar, MELVIN WILL BE ONE OF THE PAGES!!!!!  I can’t even believe I was able to wait this far into the post to tell you!  The calendar chose 27 photos from Bev (she is so friggen talented!) and my boy was one of them!  We don’t know which photo was chosen or what day he’ll get (I pray it’s not Halloween since that is my least favorite of all the days) but we are so excited and have started saving up for our bulk order.  The calendar goes on sale in July!  Woot!

Congratulations to Bev on her talent and to Melvin on being so adorable!

Gratitude.

You might recall the post I did about the passing of my dear friend’s dog. It was tragic and sad.  There is absolutely never a good time to die.  For them, Sosa left this world just as his newest human sister was turning three weeks old. Exhaustion was the new way of life, especially since there was already a five and two-year old in the house.  The weekend he died, half the family had the stomach flu.  The weeks after his death were filled with sadness, flat tires, ear infections, reflux, Croup and Scarlet Fever.  Life in their home felt ‘cursed’.  They personified overwhelmed.  Of course if Sosa had died and none of these things had happened, it still would have been too much to bare.

I am friends with these lovely people, to the point of being family.    If something ever happened to me I know they would walk across the street, pack Melvin up and give him a good life.  A few weeks after Sosa’s death, I was given the most thoughtful thank you I have ever received.  A jar of reasons why we are close, the little things that add up to a big friendship.  That jar sat in front of me for several hours before I was able to open it and it now sits on the counter as a reminder to live a life that makes the people in my life thankful for having me there.

One of the lovely handwritten notes was about being there when Sosa died.  A sad day indeed.  Grief becomes a part of you but eventually (hopefully) it stops owning as many moments in your day.  In an upcoming post I will tell you how they are motoring through the grief, how they told ‘the curse’ to suck it and how they are honoring the Sosa love.

Medicine man.

Melvin already took enough pills to require a pill-box that has seven days a week and a slot for AM and PM.  Now his morning, evening, and for some of those pills midday regimen includes…

As mentioned the de-worming is more of a proactive measure, there have been no visible signs (thank the good Lord).  The effect that all these meds have on my boy is that he is TIRED.  Also, for some reason they make him lick everything.  The ottoman, the rug, the blanket, my leg, the brick steps, the grass, the sidewalk.  I think it’s a nausea issue.  All in all he’s doing great and has a very relaxing, pill-popping weekend to look forward to!