Jake continues to have good days and bad days (from a legs perspective). I don’t count the days but it feels pretty 50/50. It’s all about giving him time to adjust, he needs to figure out how to accommodate his limitations. I have ideas I’d share, but little guy still does not speak human.
How he has evolved so far…
- He can now go down steps on his own by letting his hind legs swim out behind him.
- He can lift himself onto the couch using only his upper body strength and front paws, it’s amazing to watch! He can also go up steps this way.
- He has started signaling to me if he wants to watch out the window. I will help him get his front paws up on the sill and he will hang there, doing a modified push-up/chin-up. I guess he might need some muscle T’s now. (Obviously I came up with a better solution for this one – it’s called just look out the door).
- He knows when he can ‘run’ (in grass) and when he cannot (on concrete).
- He takes a beak when his legs give out, wherever that happens to be.
It is what it is, we have to deal. I will admit that one part I still can’t bear to see is him knuckling. I don’t know why it upsets me so much. I think it’s because when he does all the other things, I know that he is aware of the adjustment he has to make. When he knuckles, I have to accept that he does not know it’s happening. It doesn’t hurt him and I’m sure to keep him on soft surfaces during those moments but he does not have the brain-to-leg connection at that moment. It pains my heart a little to watch.
Dude can certainly strike a pose though!
This is the story of the chipmunks. It all started with one chipmunk who seemed harmless and pretty minimal on the destruction. Melvin and Jake had fun chasing her and she lived under some small brick steps leading to the garage. Whatever.
Well.. turns out girlfriend is pretty slutty and babies are popping up all over the flipping yard and every night there is some sort of frat party (to see who can be the next baby-daddy) so when we come out each morning there are shells and food trails and HOLES and TUNNELS.
I will not tell you what I googled on the subject but it was not ‘gift ideas for an expectant chipmunk’. Also, the whole thing has the dogs going nuts, and not in a good way for anyone. Melvin can’t focus on anything when he’s out back due to their scent being everywhere. Jake thinks some food fairy shows every night to leave him shells to eat. Also, since they seem to be making good use of the whole yard and patio, Jake feels the need to mark all areas, including the brick. If we see one of the squatter family members on a walk, well the walk has then ended cause Jake starts foaming and flipping and honking and I HATE CHIPMUNKS. There, I said it.
They are adorable for 13 seconds which is apparently how long the gestation period lasts. I want them gone. GONE! Please make them go away. For the love of all things good and holy, I’m just not a chipmunk person.
This is how he stalks them from inside.
“Are chipmunks delicious?”
This weekend, Jake turns seven! He came to us when he had just turned five so he has spent almost 14 of his dog years with us! Way back when he turned five, on that very day two years ago, his family gave him up for adoption. I have to doubt they knew it was his birthday. Either way, I think it was the best gift they could ever have given him. If they didn’t have time for the Jake back then, they would not have time for the Jake of today.
Yes, some of his issues can complicate a day. Yes, he’s noisy, and stinky and such a dude in so many dude-dog ways. But he’s my beautiful, complicated handful of a stinky dude-dog! Not one hour in life goes by that he does not make me laugh. He teaches me that limitations are only what you make of them. No matter the number of birthdays we’ve spent together, my love for him stretches back and forward infinitely.
Happy Birthday to my little chicken nugget, to my mini-monkey, my wonky-legged-googly-eyed-spaz! You are spectacular at seven! You are loved to all the way to the non-planet Pluto and back and back around again and again and again!
I don’t know if I believe in chance or fate or signs. I don’t know if things happen for a reason. I mostly believe things happen and we have to deal with them and that how we deal matters. I believe that what we put out into the universe, will in some way come back to us. That doesn’t mean that if you only throw out kindness that bad times won’t come your way. Bad times, good times, neutral-boring times, they will all come. But the goodness, it will come back too, hopefully when you least expect it but need it most.
We got a call on Friday that one of our vets (we have many) was able to get us TWO bottles of Apoquel. Not one, TWO. And not little bottles, we are talking the bulk bottles that vets use to dispense out smaller quantities. That means, and let me tell you I am still squealing with so much joy, that BOTH Melvin and Jake are now on it! I can already see a difference! Jake’s redness is fading. Melvin has a calmness that comes from not having to gnaw on his paws all day. I am filled with so much gratitude and even if this good fortune came our way because of something we put out there, we will still pay it forward. Above all, when good things happen for us, we want others to feel joy too!
Apoquel means that Melvin might be able to get off the prednisone. Might, we aren’t sure yet. But if he can get off it some or all together, his life could be longer. I mean I’m setting some pretty high hopes but when you think about our goals of his life being measured in joy, not time, Apoquel is something that could give both joy and time. And that option has not been a factor with him, ever. Now, the realist in me always kicks in, I know that Apoquel might not be enough for Melvin, prednisone might still be needed. But a door is open and we are going to walk through and see. And in the meantime, double-ear-infection-and-on-an-antibiotic-for-a-skin-infection Jake will for sure feel better. He’s been on this before, we know it works for him!
Apoquel combined with the fact that the first frost WILL come… hot damn we are happy!!!!!! Can’t you tell how excited they are!!!
Jake has this new thing where he wants to prop his chin up. I think he has realized he can breathe better if his face is not smashed into the couch, bed, rug. Go figure Jake! So he will drag items to where he wants to be and use the object to hold his head up when he is lying down. He’s also making much better use of the couch. Maybe it’s his way of being optimistic and reminding people to keep their chins up.
The old way:
The new way:
Chin up folks!
Sleep situation update: Could not be going better! After rearranging their bed positions (not sure what made me think this could work), they both gravitate to their own beds and are staying there all night. This is great for Jake who hunkers down and has been accident free (and that part is great for me!). I think he appreciates the view of Melvin’s butt as he is drifting into dreamland. It’s pretty odd that Melvin is staying in his bed all night, I’m thinking he is so tired on the Melatonin that he can’t even garner energy to get up to join on the big bed (and also if he positions himself just right, he can avoid Jake’s deep gazes into his soul).
Sleep is good for everyone so we’ll take it!