We are still here!

Wow, it has been a hot minute since we’ve been on the blog! I just read our last post and I don’t think too much has changed.

Most of you know, I have a blood clotting condition, so I am in a pretty strict quarantine which means, so is Doug. The company I work for is still 100% work from home, so I have had so much glorious time with my boy. Would I like to be able to see more people and do more things, absolutely! But time with Doug is a beautiful outcome of this rather tragic predicament the world is in.

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Since late April…

  • We went to the beach with my family! Everyone quarantined in advance because there is a newborn in the family so we were all able to come together safely at our beach house. And that included Doug! He was around small kids, 24/7, for the first time ever. We took it very slow, he had a gated off area at the beach house so he could see the chaos but not be the chaos. After a few days of seeing a 10, 6, and 2 year old run back and forth non-stop, he was pretty much oblivious to them. He was also fine with me holding a baby.  The 10 year old already loves dogs but at the start of the vacation, the 6 year old was not a fan. She left vacation crying, because she was going to miss Doug so much. Further proof that Doug is irresistible. 
  • Doug went into a pool for the first time!  It wasn’t planned (although there was no danger), and at first he sunk. All we saw were his GIANT eyes as he wondered WTF was happening! My BIL was the lifeguard on duty and helped Doug learn to paddle. He got out of the pool and never got back in. Typical Holupka dog.
  • Health wise, Doug is doing, great! We saw the neurologist recently and she is amazed at how well he is doing. She even said that the first thing she sees in him is joy, not NCL. He has bad days but he always rebounds. A bad day might look like him falling over for a few seconds, his eyes rolling back in his head, or him being frozen for a few seconds. It might be him falling over each time he shakes. These might go on all day, but the next day is much better. A good day isn’t free of NCL, it’s just that he is able to travel through the day and navigate the disease. The only thing he can no longer do, is run fast. When he tries to run, his body doesn’t move on demand. So half of his body is running and the other half isn’t moving at all. He rarely tries to run anymore, and honestly after his leg surgeries, his running has never really been easy or smooth. 
  • Doug’s disease is progressing slowly. This means that we can learn a lot from Doug and we can help other dogs and families that face this. So far, about six people have found us through google, based on my sharing Doug’s story. Not all of the dogs have as much access to great veterinary care, so we share everything we are doing with them so that they have the same info we do. Doug does some traditional supplements, some holistic Chinese herbs, and acupuncture. Hearing the neurologist say he is doing so much better than she expected, makes me celebrate all our efforts. But either way, he will always know love, and the depth of his joy will always be my guide.
  • I go back and forth on getting a dog right now. Doug is so happy and content. He has a disease that causes dizziness yet he has never been more, balanced. I don’t know how long we have before he can’t maneuver as well. There is a damaged part of me that recalls what it was like to not have dogs in the house, but there is also a part of me that wants to pack Doug’s entire life into a this smaller timeframe. I remember the year I had when it was only Jake and I, and I knew his time was short. He absolutely deserved all of me. Doug deserves that too. None of it is easy, I am tearing up just writing this because I really do not know what is best at this point. We are winging it. Every. Single. Day.

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On September 1st, we celebrated Doug’s 4 year adoption anniversary. Four years ago, I was falling apart over Jake dying and there being no dogs here and I was trying to meet dogs but every single one of them felt, wrong. I decided to stop torturing myself and I unfollowed all the rescue sites so I could take a break. But somehow, a dog named Hootie snuck into my feed. There was no panic, no breakdown, just a knowing that he was already mine. Through the feet mouthing, the leg surgeries, his anxiety and now the NCL, love has helped us persevere. When Doug first came, I thought he would be the dog I had the longest. I still very much hope that is true. I seek only to control the things I can – he is my beautiful purpose and I want him to know as much joy as possible. 

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xoxo,

tracey & doug

7 thoughts on “We are still here!

  1. I’m so happy to read an update from you! I was just thinking I hadn’t seen anything from you and was hoping Doug was doing ok. I sort of feel like a weird stalker now. It sounds like despite the craziness in the word you have found a way to enjoy life and your family which is wonderful.

    We’re still quarantining here as well, I had a blood clot last October so, high risk there, plus I’m scheduled for my… 4th AND 5th knee surgery. One at the end of this month and one TBD. ugh. As much as I hate what’s going on and the losses people have suffered, we’re still trying to find the joy in being home more, spending more time with our close friends and family and of course our wild child girlie girl who has now turned into my nanny dog ever since my surgeries (oops!).

    We keep thinking about getting a second pet, we even tried out a cat for like.. 2 days, I was so sooo allergic, and our girl was terrified! I really thought she’d try to eat it, but it swatted her once and she was forever scarred and refused to be in the same room as the cat. So, not fair to her, or me, so maybe someday we’ll consider another dog. Right now I think she’s enjoying being the center of our attention and getting all the snacks (she and I both need to go on a diet). Maybe if I’m ever done having surgeries we’ll really look into it.

  2. So good to read a post from you! Glad to hear that Doug’s condition is moving slowly. This quarantine is almost a gift of time for you both! (that sounds weird, as there is nothing good about COVID 19), but you get to spend a lot more time with each other than working outside the home. I have worked through this entire beast, and have seen the devastation (ICU nurse). I am thankful everyday that my family has remained healthy. In a weird way I have enjoyed being home more when I am not working. Feels more like when I was a kid and our family had only one car that my father took to work, basically the neighborhood was our world! The neighbors and I social distance and have an old time coffee clutch outside with mask more than 6 feet apart! But soon it will be really cold here and the isolation will move into the house for the winter and that can be challenging. So for now good thoughts are being sent your way for you both, and for all of us really! Great to hear from you and Doug!

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