Hey guys, it’s Melvin. Just a 411 that we got a heat wave happening here, which actually is a 911 for me because I’m sensitive wearing a fur coat and all. She keeps going outside to sit, or water the green stuff so that it does not become brown stuff. And if she goes, so I must go. Who else is going to protect her out there? So out we go and the heat hits me like when my brakes don’t work and I slam into a wall. Boom, heat in my face. The brick is hot, the shade is hot, and if I lay on that chaise my organs might start baking. Oh, and I have to wear baby sunscreen which goes on super thick and creates yet another layer of hotness. Why do I have to wear that goop? What’s an Al Bye No?
After she says ‘Melvin, go inside’ forty times and I don’t listen (trust me, I WANT to go inside, few things would make me happier than to go inside but I love her more than I love air conditioning so I just pretend that I don’t hear her), she gets the snake sprayer out and squirts me. How hurtful can this woman be? I’d run off but the fence seems to go around the whole yard and the snake can spray past the fence. Stupid fence, I’ll pee on it later. Don’t tell her but I do feel cooler once she’s got me watered down. It’s odd cause I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY don’t like being wet but for some reason being wet on super hot days is almost not the worst thing ever.
Stay cool peeps! Oh, and if you read us, please like us on Facebook! LIKE US HERE!
Today is Melvin’s Gotcha day! Four-years-ago, a yeasty, mangy, mess of a dog stole my heart.
I got Melvin for all the right and wrong reasons. The wrong reason was that I was about to lose Max and knew I’d wait too long to bring a new dog into the house if it was delayed to afterwards. The right reason was that I loved Melvin the moment I saw his mug shot. Some things are just meant to be. Balancing a dog that was at the end of his life with a dog that was coming into the joy of being loved and cared for was two full-time jobs. Poetically, as one drifted away, the other reminded me that there was no option but to move forward.
Melvin has taught me to leap into the day and to only look back if you are absolutely certain you forgot a treat behind. He shows me every day how to choose happiness and zoomies over complaining and sitting still. Melvin’s approach to the day reminds me that life is happening right now. Live it.
Four years ago, we both got rescued. I love my boy.
When I started the blog, I was not sure anyone would read it. That didn’t really matter to me and I guess to a certain extent it shouldn’t matter. I enjoy writing, it calms me. It gives me perspective. I also love Melvin so I thought if peanut butter and jelly worked out so great, then maybe my love of writing and Melvin would also.
It’s peanut butter jelly time! We got not one, but two Liebster Awards this week! And, in total this was our 3rd! Our 1st came from the oh so wonderful Our Waldo Bungie. The second, came from the super charming Mr. & Mrs. & Nola Kisses and the 3rd (whew, my gratitude is wilding overwhelming as I type this all) came from awesomely delightfulThe Rufus Way!
I. Am. So. Honored! Thank you! I know I’m supposed to pay the award forward, and I promise to do that in an upcoming post but I just want to say that the biggest reward of all is reading about Turk, Rufus 1, Rufus 2 and Nola. About Chick, Dude, Boogie and Zoe. About Oscar, Mr. B, Miss. M, Brutas, Dixie and Boney. There are so many others (please don’t be offended if your sweetie was not named, know that I love reading about them ALL!) and of course about all the fosters who have come and moved on to their furever.
Meeting your wonderful four-legged family members through the word of their human(s) is one of the highlights of the day. Your words are powerful and lovely, so much so that I feel like I know each one of your babies (and you). Should I ever meet them or you in person, I promise treats all around, for your blogs are such a treat to me. I love our little community.
I’m just the mouthpiece, the real star says ‘did someone say treats’?
When last we left off with Melvin’s health issues, the Neurologist had prescribed two antibiotics to treat any infection that might be present (brain wise) that they were unable to test for. After just two days on the medication, Melvin’s energy level rebounded to his usual exuberant self! I’d missed that part of him so much! He literally went to bed two Thursdays ago tired, beat down and geriatric-like and awoke energetic and bouncy like a 7-year-old lab should be. His energy has remained up the two weeks his been on the meds, both of which finished up last night.
There are two theories. One, and this is my preferred of the two, is that Melvin has a Tick Borne Disease that the medical community just hasn’t identified yet — apparently for as many TBD as they know about, there are hundreds yet to be discovered. So the medications they gave us, which are pretty universally used with all TBD, helped Melvin. The other, less worthy of the theories, is that one of the meds he was on (Doxycycline) could have reduced swelling in/around a possible tumor and/or if the tumor was infected, it could also have helped with that.
I never thought I’d be cheering for Tick Borne Disease! We are hoping that now that he is off the meds we continue to see bouncy, zoomie, spazzy Melvin. He still has mild tremors but that could just be the Chihuahua in him.
I have mentioned that before Melvin, there was Max. He is, was and will always be my angel dog. Max taught me to relax. I only thought I knew about unconditional love, I had no idea how spectacular that type of love could be until he leapt through the front door.
When I lost him, the ache was unbearable. I could never have guessed that of all the things life could hurl, his death would be a breaking point. Losing him was a deep, raw sadness. I thought it would be that way forever.
You don’t go around grief, you have to move through it. There are no shortcuts. It is the price we pay for love. I posted beforethat Coldplay’s ‘Til Kingdom Come song was the song I played over and over. Yesterday was the first time since losing him that I was able to hear it and smile, the entire way through. Not a single tear. Just the opposite, I felt complete honor to have such sweet, wonderful. snuggly memories of Max flood over me and was grateful to realize how the sadness of loss canactually evolve to a joy of having had.
Thing 47 million that I love about Melvin is that even though he didn’t cross a single time zone, he is eager to please when it comes to my jet lag issues. If I’m up, tossing around, he’s totally cool to hang out, lick his various parts and patrol the perimeter. If I’m climbing into bed at 6pm, he’s too busy snuggling into position to judge.
Oh, and here is his new collar (finally on his neck)! Love!
She went away again this week. When the small black rolling box came out I got a little excited that it was the smaller of the little black rolling boxes cause that usually means she is back after like four naps. But all her stuff would not fit in the small one so out came the larger black rolling box. My least favorite of all of them. I don’t know how to spit but if I did I’d do it on that thing. It thinks it is so agile with its wheels but my legs are so much more powerful. I mean I can outrun it AND I can jump over it. And so what if it can lay down or stand upright, I did that 4 nano seconds after birth. For gosh sakes, it eats clothes, how dumb can that thing be?
She went to someplace called Vey Gas for work. She always scrunches up her nose and waves her arms around when I have gas but apparently Vey Gas has great shopping so she tolerates it’s stinkyness better. It’s all good though, my dog sitter V came to stay with me and she is so deeeeelightful. It’s almost as if she is here just for me. We cuddle and snuggle and we say ‘screw you Vey Gas’ cause we have the couch (She says the couches in Vey Gas are not worthy of sitting on) and Kongs!
Melvin’s chest x-ray, MRI and spinal tap were, for the most part, clear! They put him on two antibiotics that break the brain barrier (I just like saying that because it reminds me of Dr. House) to get at a few things that could be going on.
I am hoping that Melvin is just a dog that happens to have tremors, who had a one-time seizure, who has unexplained weight loss, is a regurgitating fool, and a dog that slowed down dramatically for no reason. Meanwhile, the neurologist and vet feel that is likely not the case (although they could not deny it was possible). Currently, their theory is that we should continue looking for a possible primary cancer that we have not found yet.
My gut disagrees. And trust me, my gut usually sides with ‘something is wrong’. Maybe it’s denial, maybe it’s that Melvin and I have been through so much that even if it is something, we can manage it. But with every ‘how are you doing’ that is asked, my response remains ‘great!’. He. Will. Be. Fine.
Melvin slept wonderfully last night and he was very excited to get to eat today. He assumed his position on the bed while I got ready. Just another day. He will go see an internal medicine specialist when I get back (I have to travel for work part of next week). Until then (and after that), we will walk, stop, sniff, repeat.
I was talking to a guy that just started reading the blog and he said ‘I love your blog but it makes me sad’. To that I say, read back a few weeks Anthony! And hold tight, cause we are going to refocus on the joy ride.
We had our neurologist appointment at BVNS this morning and the Dr. was wonderful and delightful. He did a full history and exam of Melvin and then we talked about causes for his symptoms. I was sort of hoping they would say let’s watch him and come back in three months but they decided they would rather spend the day with my boy.
He is having a chest x-ray, MRI and spinal tap. I am confident that it will show nothing. So confident that even though we discussed the fact that it could be cancer I did not cry. I only cried when they talked to me about his being under anesthesia. My theory is that I don’t have to cry about cancer because he will not have it, however he will be having anesthesia and that always worries me (in people and animals) so that was worthy of a few tears. Melvin was his usual joyful self. He loves being at the vet and he tried to pay in kisses (if only that currency was universal, we’d have credits everywhere!).
When they find no cancer they will start leaning more towards tic born disease, which the spinal tap may even help with. I’ll keep you posted!
Melvin’s liver is functioning normally. I got pretty excited while the doctor was going over the details of the test so I’m not really even sure what he said. Our regular vet was off today so my conversation was with the head of the vet practice, who had taken time to read Melvin’s chart before calling. It’s little things like that I find so endearing. We recapped the list of things that had been going on with him (weight loss, nausea, vomiting, crazy drool, energy decrease, increased tremors, mini seizure…not all in that order and not each one all the time). So what is the cause, we still don’t know. I had asked about next steps three steps ago (type A!) but he reiterated the plan to me again. Melvin needs to see a Neurologist. My vet hung up with me, called the Neurologist to give him the update and then called me to tell me they had appointments tomorrow. Whoa, wait, tomorrow? What about the Healthy Liver party I am currently planning (ironically this party celebrates Melvin’s healthy liver by causing damage to mine)!.
Melvin sees the Neurologist on Wednesday. It’s a two-hour appointment and he has to fast again in the case they decide to do an MRI or spinal tap that day. I don’t even know what a spinal tap checks for (oh hello, Google!). He also has to go see an Internal Medicine doctor. When I asked why, I was told in so many words, in the case there is a tumor somewhere that we have not located, but mostly to coordinate with the Neurologist. The world paused for the briefest moment while I reminded myself how much I appreciate candor.
I hung up and made the appointment. Melvin’s life merged with mine for a reason. One of those reasons seems to be a tour of every medical facility in the DC metro area. Another was so Melvin could teach me that some days are itchy and some are pure joy. That is life! I believe wholeheartedly that he will be just fine.
Thanks for checking in with us! We love, love, love you all!
I took Melvin for a nice, slow walk yesterday. He was definitely dragging. A man pulled-up in a truck and asked me how old Melvin was. I said 7. His response was, ‘Seven? That’s it? He looks 20!’. I asked him why he cared enough to pull over and to ask me this and he said, it just seemed like he was really, really old. My response, “well you’re ugly and so is your truck”. Super mature I was not.
I don’t know what is going on with Melvin, we had the Bile Acid test done and we get the results of that this week but I don’t need some stranger suggesting that it looks like he is on his death-bed. We finished our walk and went out to relax on our ‘work-in-progress patio’. And come today, Melvin was full of energy and bouncy on his walk so suck that ugly-guy-in-ugly-truck.
The chaise faces the double sided fireplace.
I planted herbs in the pots and my guess is they will get eaten by some wildlife or another by mid-week.
Melvin is having a Bile Acid test done tomorrow. I have committed to not worrying about the outcome of the test until we get the results. The test involves Melvin having to fast so I’ll be pretty focused on dealing with the guilt of this sad face when he sees an empty food bowl Saturday morning…
Also, I’m excited to be starting this book, and yes, I know I’m probably the last one to read it!