Happy Birthday, Baby.

Melvin’s birthday is over the weekend so this post is early but we celebrate birthday week so who cares!

From me: 

Happy Birthday, Melvin! Nine years ago you came into this world and even though I have no pictures of you before the age of three (when you came to be mine), I imagine that the person who was there watching your litter come out, smiled extra when they saw you. Gianormous head, even bigger paws!  Spirit as bright as the sun.

I love you and all your parts and all your moments.  I love that you pull me down the path of life, that you do not believe in dull, that you persevere.  I love that you still run like a goofy puppy, that you light up at the site of your family, that you do not dwell on your past.  I love that you lean into me, often at the very moment I need a reminder of what matters.  I love that you love Jake in your own special way (which has translated to him still being alive).  Thanks for that one!

You are one of the greatest joys of my life.  I hope you feel my gratitude for that, every moment of yours.  I love you my Melvin man!

  From Jake:

Your butt smell delicious.  I love you.  The end.

5 28 13b

Heart dog.

Heart dog.

9 4 13 9 18 13 9 18 13e 10 14 13e 10 15 13d 11 4 13f 11 7 13h 11 12 13 photo[6] 1 8 14d 1 8 14g

The one.

I never thought I’d love another dog as much as I loved Max.  I thought, he’s ‘the one‘.  The one that will always own my heart.  Then came Melvin. Never have I  been through so much with a dog. His joyful existence and soulful ways, they stole me.

He’s the one.  I mean I can’t imagine I could love another dog the way I love him.  He has taught me a love I didn’t know before.

Then I look at Jake.

I think all along I’ve had this whole thing wrong. The one may not be the dog.

The one, may be the Love.

It’s where you put your heart’s load. It’s the bond that you can’t imagine being without.  And that love, is supposed to move and grow and leap.  It doesn’t take away from those that came before, in fact I think it represents them, it carries them on.

Six years ago, although I didn’t realize it, it likely went a little like this in my heart: Melvin, this love I’m giving you is Max love, it’s crazy powerful and happiness inducing and well I can’t NOT give it to you because well the universe took Max but gave me you and this love, this love needs to go on and you deserve this love, you have left your own mark on this love. This love, it’s yours now. It always was, it always will be.

And I probably did the same thing unknowingly last year, with Jake.

You have a dog and you love them and you give them your love and they are meant to feel it, to fuel it, to nurture it, to own it and then, in a way, to give it back to you as they go. I can say with absolute certainty that in my last moments with Max, he communicated two things to me with a single glance.  I know you love me and I need you to love this way again.

That one love, is infinite.

I’m not sure what inspired me to write this post.  I think a little of it is that Melvin is turning nine this weekend and I have started accepting that the lighter color fur on his face, is in fact gray.  I think it’s also because, when I look and Melvin and then to Jake, my heart is full.  And when I think of Max, the love is there still.  How lucky are all of us that THE LOVE goes on!

We’ve started therapy

Jake started obsessive-butt-sniffing physical therapy.  We have an AWESOME Dr. Krisi that comes to the house and does laser and acupuncture on the chicken nugget.  So far we have had two sessions.  I am not sure if we are looking for improvement.  If we see an improvement, great.  If we are giving him a chance at legs working for longer than if we didn’t do therapy, even better!

Jake seems to love all things therapy related.  He gets to lay on the couch.  Check.  He gets laser treatments and falls asleep, check check.  Acupuncture means even more rest and relaxation.  He’s probably faking the whole spinal scarring thing.

I won’t sugar coat it, his legs remain unsteady. He knuckles on walks and comes home bleeding.  I am working on a solution for that (if you saw my search history on Amazon you would probably pee yourself).  There are times he has a hard time ‘holding #2’ from bed to door in the morning.  Then there are the moments that you just have to laugh… like the other day when I looked over at him and I’m not even sure how, he was eating dinner and pooping at the same time.  Life is like a frat house to Jake! As for the accidents (they are certainly not all the time), what can you do?  You clean-up and move on.

Here are some photos of the spa therapy treatments.

Acupuncture…

22014c 22014e

Laser, also known as ‘lean on Dr. Krisi like you own her’…

22014g 22014f

And some photos of the socks I put on him post-bleeding one day.  Notice that I even vet taped them so they would make it look like we were celebrating Christmas in February stay on.

22014b 22014a 22014

Happy Love Day!!!

The boys want to wish everyone infinite amounts of love today!  If you don’t have a valentine or if you are looking for extras – Melvin and Jake volunteer!  They will be here, in their AWESOME valentine sweaters (made by their super-wonderful dog walker), waiting to love on you.

Love. Is. All. You. Need!

photo photo[1] photo[2]

Oh Melvin, take 4,589

Melvin man will be turning nine in March. Don’t even get me started on trying to figure out where time goes.  Anywho, we go to the vet so much for so many random things that I recently realized I don’t  think we have ever gone to discuss ‘future’ issues.  It’s always been ‘today’s conundrum is…’. So a few weeks ago I took Melvin for what I like to call his ‘he’s-turning-nine-how-are-we-doing-and-what-can-we-do-to-make-sure-his next-nine-years-run-smoothly’.

Almost-nine looks good on him. photo

The good news is that aside from allergies and his stupid liver, Melvin is pretty darn healthy! His joints are good and limber and aside from his stupid liver, his blood counts are all good. His eyes are growing older, the vet said that he likely can’t see very well at night.  I have night lights all over the house (cause I trip a lot) so he is covered there.

Since moving Melvin to a raw diet, I have been able to get him off a couple of his allergy meds (yay!).  We decided to test his allergies again (it’s been almost six years).  When the report came back in, our vet was afraid to share the results with me.  I assumed it was because he was now allergic to me. It turns out, he is NOW allergic to the two things he’s been eating and doing so well on – beef and pumpkin.  Oh Melvin.

Raw worked for us for a couple of reasons, the main one being that Melvin has colitis and on kibble his urgency to go #2 is often frantic.  With raw, that urgency was gone.  We have had much fewer skin infections and his energy level has been awesome.

After the allergy test we moved Melvin over to a prescription kibble that contains stuff he is not allergic to (kangaroo and oats) but the urgency issues and accidents are back.  I have finished my study of which raw diet to put him on and think we will try lamb. We are also starting back on allergy shots (that I will give him).  Before, when we did shots, we were never able to get him off any of his meds and I had serious doubts the shots were doing anything that they meds weren’t taking care of. Now that he is off so many of his meds, the shots might be just what we need to get him off the dreaded prednisone.

In the meantime, I tested the new kibble on Jake.  I try to feed Jake the same protein source as Melvin just in case Melvin ever gets to Jake’s bowl (I mean I’m very vigilant but sometimes I am pouring wine distracted). Jake seems to have an iron stomach and handles food transitions really well.  This time,  Jake had an allergic reaction and itched so much he developed an infection. No Kangaroo hunting for him.  Oh….Jake.

Unacceptable.

Since Jake loves laying near the fireplace and I have a shopping addiction love shopping for the dogs, I bought him a new ‘fireplace area floor pillow’.  So far he is has laid around it, near it,  but not on it.  At one point he even pushed it out-of-the-way. I’m not sue why he finds it so unacceptable.

Hurtful, Jake.  Hurtful.

2 7 14a 2 7 14

Yo Bro.

The brotherhood is alive and well!  Melvin doesn’t play so he continues to refuse all of Jake’s advances to do so.  Jake is still an annoying little brother at times and will try to leap toward/and bite Melvin’s face (for no reason) but luckily he can’t reach that high so it’s usually not an issue.  For the most part, they can be found close by one another, and I LOVE It!

2 4 14p 2 4 14o 2 4 14n 2 4 14m 2 4 14l 2 4 14k 2 4 14i 2 4 14g 2 4 14f 2 4 14e 2 4 14d 2 4 14c 2 4 14b 2 4 14a 2 4 14

My migraine dogs.

When you get a dog, there are no guarantees about how they will deal with future things.  Like your next dog, your next child, your next boyfriend.  In those moments, I hope for great and plan for awful.  At the end of the day, you figure it out.  For me, I had no idea how my dogs would do with my migraines. My migraines come on quick, they last from twenty-four to forty-eight hours.  During that time, I am down for the count. There is no opportunity for a slow introduction between your dog and migraines and I have never once seen an area on a rescue profile about ‘super well-behaved if they think a migraine is in progress’.

Max was great on migraine days.  He would lay next to the bed (he was 100% against getting on furniture) and never made a peep. I figured he was my blessing dog, that I’d never find that again.

Melvin has been with me for hundreds of migraines.  Hundreds!  Where Max was great, Melvin is AWESOME. He requires absolutely nothing more than I can give on those days.  He never asks to go out, he waits until I can make it downstairs.  He requires no treats, even though I keep some in my bedside table for moments such as that.  He never barks, even when I know he hears something.

Melvin assumes the migraine day position:photo

How did I get two awesome migraine dogs???!!  When Jake came, I figured that streak had ended. That all hell would break loose.  His normal noise factor alone made me immediately come up plans for him.  I figured he’d have to be downstairs, separate from me on migraine days. Worse case, he’d have to go…FOR THE DAY, not forever.  I was wrong.  Even though he snores, somehow I can motor through that.  Jake takes most of his cues from Melvin so he has learned to hunker down.  Sometimes, if I get sick, I turn and he is there.  Staring at me with THAT face and THOSE eyes.  Almost as if to say ‘I’m here, you OK’?  Best. Medicine. Ever.

My only rule of migraines is that once they are over, we don’t dwell, we don’t spend hours kvetching about lack of cures.  It’s the least I can do for a life that has given me three awesome migraine dogs!

I mean seriously, imagine waking up to this face!1 13 14