Friday, November 30, 2012



(This is Griffin, 6 years ago)
Just a post to update.
I wasn't going to write about this originally.
I didn't want people to dread coming to my blog.
But.... the next day after losing Horton, I found a tumor in Griffin's mouth.
It was on his lip and also on the floor of his mouth.
Everyone I talked to at work and all my friends and family said that if he's still eating and active, to leave it be.
He's "at least 15" years old.
I say that because when I rescued him 12 years ago, I was told he was "at least 3"...
So, he's probably older.
I didn't even think about surgery to remove it because he "died" on the surgery table during a dental a few years back.
Doc and his tech (who's a good friend of mine) worked like crazy to bring him back.
His "numbers" were good before the surgery so there really wasn't a good reason except he just doesn't handle anesthesia very well.
Then there's the fact that my niece who called Horton "her cat" loves Griffin the most out of all my dogs.
She was 5 when I brought him home and she's grown up with him.
She knows he is old and that he's confused most days, in fact I'm sure he doesn't even know who I am anymore.
I will walk in to the room, he looks startled and runs away from me.
I call his name and he stares at me.
But he eats, in fact he's chubby and he "runs" rather than walks.
So I planned to leave it be. Like the big lump (the size of  my palm) he's had on his chest for the last few years.
Then I came home tonight and as I walked into the house I smelled "blood".
In the laundry it looked like someone had been murdered.
There was just so much it.
I quickly called work since I knew they were closing. (it took me 3 tries, I was shaking so bad.)
The Office manager said Doc would wait until we got there.
So Griff and I drove through rush hour traffic and it took forever.
Doc had to cut the hair away from his mouth that was clotted with blood.
Somehow Griffin had broken the tumor open.
Doc said it was Bad, and that it felt like it was into the bone.
Most likely Bone Cancer.
I told him that Griffin is over 15 and I also said he was my niece's favorite dog.
Doc wants to do surgery on Monday, unless it starts bleeding tomorrow and then he will come in special and do emergency surgery.
I reminded him of the past problems Griffin's had with anesthesia and he said not to worry. He said that "I'm REALLY good."
Then he said we will keep him on pain meds afterwards and he has other plans for keeping him alive and happy for as long as possible.
I do know that he's a really good vet, I'm not doubting that but....
We could use all the positive energy and healing thoughts you can spare.
Jeez, when it rains it pours.

(This is Griffin, last year)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

R.I.P Horton

Doc opened Horton up and started looking. I watched through the window but then went up front and had one of my co-workers, a friend go into the surgery room and see what was happening.
She came back and told me I needed to go into surgery, things were NOT going well.
So I went in and Doc showed me.
The baseball size looking tumor in the X-Ray was more like a tennis ball on his liver but there were little tumors slightly smaller than ping pong balls on his gallbladder and on...well, everything.
Not fatty tumors, most likely Cancer. Everywhere.
Doc said we needed to let him go.
I was crying and told him Yes, let him go to Heaven.

My niece had a VERY hard time with the news. I think that was the worse part.
Not that any part was good, but....
I will be back in a few days when I'm more cheerful and when I think of something happy to write about.
Thank you for all the kind comments on the previous post.

Monday, November 26, 2012


I'm taking a break.
I don't know what's wrong with me but everything is irritating me lately.
and I'm not sure why.
I just feel angry.
maybe it's my hormones or something. (I hate when other people blame their rude behavior on stuff like that)
See what I mean.
Everything is bugging me.
I just want to bite everyones head off.
I know that a FEW different things have sent me into this direction,
but, I usually can deal with those types of things.
for the fact that a cat of mine who's been living at the clinic because my big cats pick on him,
a cat that my niece loves very much and wants for her own when she moves out after graduation,
a cat that I kept saying that he looked sick and I paid for expensive bloodwork etc. to be run on him back in August
and I was told the tests showed nothing...
I found out on Friday that no vet was shown the results.
And he's now in liver failure.
The xrays and ultrasound are showing a HUGE mass tumor.
It's crowding his organs, his stomach, covering the liver.
Prognosis - not good.
His mouth and around his eyes are a yellow color today.
Doc said he's going to open him up tomorrow and see if there's anything he can do.
See how bad it is, maybe he can get the tumor.
It's the size of a baseball.
He says it's not looking good but he will try.
I guess it depends on what it's attached to.
If he doesn't do this surgery, my cat won't be here much longer.
He said if he can't get it, he won't wake him up and he'll let him "go".....
I will never trust anyone again.
I usually don't. I'm more of the in your face "What's going on with my critter!" kind of person.
but I dropped the ball.
I believed someone cared about him as much as they said they did.
I had a talk with Doc about this.
He knows that I am going straight to HIM from now on.
He's fine with that.
anyway.....just one of the things making me cranky, crazy and wanting to SCREAM.
so, I'm taking a break until I can get it together and be nice again.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thank God it wasn't BLOAT.

First of all, Blue is doing well.
I'm doing just OK. I'll do better after I get some sleep.
Last night I kept waking up all night just to look at him.
I was such an idiot.
I was all off schedule yesterday. I usually feed Blue, Jimmy and Nora twice a day and the little ones just in the evening.
I wait until I get home at night to feed the small dogs so that they aren't "holding it" all day or having a "poop" party.
But yesterday was just a weird day for me and I ended up feeding everyone at 3:00 pm.
Blue usually eats 5- 6 cups a day. So I gave him 2 cups and he was barking for more, so I gave him another and then 2 more after that.
Somewhere I was sure that I heard that as long as they didn't gulp down water afterwards, a dog wouldn't get BLOAT.
Last year a dog that I used to board, a big St. Bernard mix the same age as Blue, woke up in the middle of the night wanting to go out. His owners let him out and he walked outside and dropped over dead...of bloat.
I had heard that if you added a bit of water to the food, that was a good thing?
No! Now I find out that's bad to do!
I was feeding Blue on a raised platform, now I find that's not good either.
I find that I should be adding canned food to his dry, that I should split it into 2 or 3 meals a day and NEVER one large one.
I did know that:
A dog should not be allowed to quickly gobble down the food.
Also large amounts of water before or after a meal is a very BAD thing.
If a dog can't vomit or belch, he's in BIG trouble and could die within the hour.
Bloat tends to happen to large breeds, especially deep chested ones.
It's not usually seen in small dogs except for breeds like DACHSHUNDS!
(Nita! and Anne! are you reading this!)
I feel like we dodged a bullet.
Thank god he threw up after drinking all the water....if he hadn't,
well...I just can't let my mind go there.
But apparently he could have still bloated. We were just very lucky.
Thank you for all your kind and caring comments!
Blue really appreciated them

Below is more detailed info about BLOAT.
The following information is from:
Bloat is a life-threatening emergency that affects dogs in the prime of life. The mortality rate for gastric volvulus approaches 50 percent. Early recognition and treatment are the keys to survival.
Anatomy of Bloat
Bloat actually refers to two conditions. The first is gastric dilatation,in which the stomach distends with gas and fluid. The second is volvulus, in which the distended stomach rotates on its long axis. The spleen is attached to the wall of the stomach, and therefore rotates with the stomach.
Gastric dilatation may or may not be complicated by volvulus. If volvulus occurs, the stomach may twist 180 degrees or less (technically called a torsion). An actual volvulus is a twist of 180 degrees to 360 degrees or more.
During volvulus, the pylorus is pulled out of position and becomes displaced to the left of the gastroesophageal junction. This pinches off the duodenum and prevents fluid and air from escaping from the stomach through the pyloric canal. Simultaneously, the gastroesophageal junction becomes twisted and obstructed, preventing the dog from belching and vomiting. Gas and fluid are trapped in the closed-off stomach, which becomes hugely distended as the material ferments. Interference with blood circulation results in necrosis of the wall of the stomach.
This sequence produces a number of other problems, including acute dehydration, bacterial septicemia, circulatory shock, cardiac arrhythmias, gastric perforation, peritonitis, and death.
Bloat can occur in any dog at any age, but typically occurs in middle-aged to older dogs. There may be a familial association. Large-breed dogs with deep chests are anatomically predisposed. These breeds include the Great Dane, German Shepherd Dog, St. Bernard, Labrador Retriever, Irish Wolfhound, Great Pyrenees, Boxer, Weimaraner, Old English Sheepdog, Irish Setter, Collie, Bloodhound, and Standard Poodle. Chinese Shar-Pei and Basset Hounds have the highest incidence among midsize dogs. Small dogs are rarely affected, with the exception of Dachshunds, who are also deep-chested.
Bloat develops suddenly, usually in a healthy, active dog. The dog may have just eaten a large meal, exercised vigorously before or after eating, or drank a large amount of water immediately after eating.
Signs of Bloat
The classic signs of bloat are restlessness and pacing, salivation, retching, unproductive attempts to vomit, and enlargement of the abdomen. The dog may whine or groan when you press on his belly. Thumping the abdomen produces a hollow sound.
Unfortunately, not all cases of bloat present with typical signs. In early bloat the dog may not appear distended, but the abdomen usually feels slightly tight. The dog appears lethargic, obviously uncomfortable, walks in a stiff-legged fashion, hangs his head, but may not look extremely anxious or distressed. Early on it is not possible to distinguish dilatation from volvulus.
Late signs (those of impending shock) include pale gums and tongue, delayed capillary refill time, rapidheart rate, weak pulse, rapid and labored breathing, weakness, and collapse.
If the dog is able to belch or vomit, quite likely the problem is not due to a volvulus, but this can only be determined by veterinary examination.
Treating Bloat

In all cases where there is the slightest suspicion of bloat, take your dog to a veterinary hospital immediately. Time is of the essence.
Gastric dilatation without torsion or volvulus is relieved by passing a long rubber or plastic tube through the dog’s mouth into the stomach. This is also the quickest way to confirm a diagnosis of bloat. As the tube enters the dog’s stomach, there should be a rush of air and fluid from the tube, bringing relief. The stomach is then washed out. The dog should not be allowed to eat or drink for the next 36 hours, and will need to be supported with intravenous fluids. If symptoms do not return, the diet can be gradually restored.
A diagnosis of dilatation or volvulus is best confirmed by X-rays of the abdomen. Dogs with simple dilatation have a large volume of gas in the stomach, but the gas pattern is normal. Dogs with volvulus have a “double bubble” gas pattern on the X-ray, with gas in two sections separated by the twisted tissue.
If the dog has a volvulus, emergency surgery is required as soon as the dog is able to tolerate the anesthesia. The goals are to reposition the stomach and spleen, or to remove the spleen and part of the stomach if these organs have undergone necrosis.

Preventing Bloat

Dogs who respond to nonsurgical treatment have a 70 percent chance of having another episode of bloat. Some of these episodes can be prevented by following these practices:
  • Divide the day’s ration into three equal meals, spaced well apart.
  • Do not feed your dog from a raised food bowl.
  • Avoid feeding dry dog food that has fat among the first four ingredients listed on the label.
  • Avoid foods that contain citric acid.
  • Restrict access to water for one hour before and after meals.
  • Never let your dog drink a large amount of water all at once.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise on a full stomach.

more great info, here -

and more, here -

Thursday, November 22, 2012


at Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's house
and then I came home and Blue was sick.
He threw up his whole dinner from 5 hours ago.
He's sleeping now but I can tell he doesn't feel good.
Lucky for me that I work where I do and if he's not better in the morning when we get to work,
I'll ask one of the Docs to look at him.
Wish I could throw up.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I have a lot to be thankful for.
I'm thankful that my sister and her girls live so close by.
I'm thankful for my home.
I'm thankful for my furry kids.
I'm thankful that I have a job.
I'm thankful that I'm healthy. (but I'm working on being healthier.)
I'm thankful for my friends, the ones that live close by
and the ones scattered all over the world that I have never meet,
but who stop by my blog, share emails, cheer me on and keep me going.
XOXO - Cindi

Monday, November 19, 2012


With the time change, it's light out when we leave for work.
Jimmy and Nora jump in the back and Blue sits in the front passenger seat.
Just like a person, he sits up straight.
I buckle him in.
Everyone is awake and alert.
They are excited to be going.

But when we leave work. it's dark.
In the back I have an old feather bed.
My sister was getting rid of it and thought my dogs would like it.
They do.
When we head home at night, Nora and Jimmy curl up and sleep while we head home.
and Blue?
Lately he's too worn out in the evening to sit up straight.
He sits in the passenger seat, buckled up but by the time I'm leaving the clinic parking lot
he's got his front feet down on the floor.
He rests his chin on the dashboard.
He's tired too, but stays awake.
He keeps his eyes on the road. He has to.
He's my co-pilot.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I have to be careful what I write about on my blog. I mean, anyone can read it.
It's not like they need to be a "friend".
But I've never been big on "secrets". Probably because I was raised by a man full of them. Everything was a secret with him. Boy, I could really write quite a bit about that or one could ask my sister, she goes crazy on that topic!
But some things are best kept as secrets.
Such as salary. Sigh....
I was just rolling along with my life, not ignorant of the fact that I am probably a member of the working poor but...
Hey! things could be much worse.
I could not even have a job.
Or I could still be working at the "bank".
Now THAT was awful.
Awful to wake up each morning and feel every joint in your body be heavy with dread.
It was a physical effort to sit up and rise from bed and go to work. Then to sit in a windowless room and research the mistakes that other people had made. Only to almost always find another that had to be corrected too. I look back on that times and wonder how I made it through those years where I felt like my life blood was being drained slowly out of me....
and I didn't even have a dog.
I suppose the fact that I had a part-time job all those years that was a polar opposite of the bank, helped me get through that time.
That and the fact that I was so very busy working.
Now I have a job that I don't hate.
I get to go outside.
I get to care for creatures that I mostly love. I won't lie here, there are the occasional annoying untrained or nasty boarders but I do my best to view them as a challenge.
A challenge to connect with them and get them to settle down and be happy.
the other day when I came into work after taking a day off to try to stop being sick, I just needed to get some rest before the big holiday and get some energy back. I was pleasantly surprised when the vet tech who had covered for me and cared for the ONE dog that was in my boarding kennel (and the room of cats) told me that she is amazed how I do all the work myself every day.
She commented about how caring for, medicating, cleaning. doing laundry for one dog had kept her busy all day.
This Thanksgiving I will have more than 30 dogs and several more cats to care for and she shuddered at the thought.
I thanked her because most people think it's a "cushy" job (as my boss has stated) and they don't stop to think how keeping a level of concern and commitment and most importantly care for YEARS is not always easy.
But because I am a fanatic about it, I can't let myself ever lower my standards.
So.... it made me feel GOOD, kinda warm and fuzzy that someone GOT it.
I felt happy, almost contented
Then I walked up front, the boss hadn't arrived to work yet and I found there is a feud going on over salaries.
I was told that one person had told another person what yet another was making.
They were mad and angry.
One talked about the dollar amount and how they had a raise this year and hoped for another in January.
I felt like a balloon that someone had just blown up and then let go.
My air rushing out and my head sailing around the room.
It's been 3 years since I have gotten an increase and I've been employed there for over 10 years...
and most of these people have just started working there....
their $ amounts are evidently very close to mine.
Or more.
I walked back to my area.
Tears in my eyes and went outside with my little boarder and leaned over and scratched the top of her head.
I stood up, threw the rope toy and watched her race after it
and I questioned what I'm doing with my life.
I guess I'll go paint something.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Wow! That just flew by!
(He's the BEST thing that has ever happened to me.)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Being SICK and a Business IDEA!

 I've been sick.
Physically. Achy, tired, dizzy with a sore throat type of thing.
Mentally. Because I've seen ugliness.
The last few months have opened my eyes to what is really inside of some people.
Sometimes it was just a difference of opinion and we might have said things that we shouldn't have but we listened to each others point of view, and then agreed to disagree, still be friends and move on.
I find that there are times when you don't always LIKE someone but it doesn't mean you don't still LOVE them .
But when things are said or written that creates a crack and lets you glimpse inside and you are able to see the awful truth, the hate and the ugliness that lives inside their heart.
When that happens it's best to step away before the evilness leaks out and contaminates you.
If it's rotten to the core, that's a waste of time and time is too short to waste energy trying to help and heal.
Maybe I'm a Pollyanna but it still shocks me that people can be so unkind and uncaring and hate-filled.
I'm not just talking politics, although that has definitely shined the light on some people lately.
I'm not just talking about heartless disregard of dogs and cats.
It's just that lately I've encountered so many mean self-centered people who can't figure out why they are so unhappy.
I realize that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
I know that I can be sarcastic and stubborn. Sometimes I'm lazy and whiny. I 'm indecisive on everything and then procrastinate when I do decide on something. I'm outgoing but secretively antisocial ...
a borderline-hermit. I'm judgmental and I have no time or use for anyone that doesn't care about animals and I harbor horrible thoughts about people who abuse them.
But I do believe that I am aware of my bad behavior and try to work on it.
(except for the animal part, that's in my DNA)
So, I'm trying to rid myself of these poison people in my life.
Sometimes it's easy and you're able to just "UN-friend" them.
Other times it's harder and you have to hide in the kitchen until they quit knocking and let the calls go to voice-mail.
Some are impossibly difficult because they are related to someone you care about.
Or worse yet, you work with them and you just nod, walk away and go hold a cat close.

Holding a cat close...
that gave me any idea.
I recently read about "Cat Cafes" in Tokyo.
I thought I could open one here. A place for people to come in for coffee or tea and sit and play with cats.
Maybe it would soften their souls.
Maybe they wouldn't take life so seriously and relax and just be.
I was thinking, what could be better than a a warm kitty purring against your heart?
and if it couldn't change some peoples mindsets, maybe it could be a refuge for others from those people.
But then I started having doubts.
What if the business failed? Where would the cats go?
I would need a bigger house.
My head hurts.
I think I will go not finish something.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I had a bit of a meltdown last night.
I've had a long week at work and I came home to relax.
I got on Facebook and checked to see what was going on.
Initially I didn't like Facebook but then I discovered friends who Followed artists and I started following them too.
So now I have more friends that I've never met.
I also follow a deaf dog group and it really wasn't a surprise to find that there are many artists actively working with rescues groups.
Although sometimes the frequent postings of sad animal faces get to me.
I don't really know how to get around that one.
I sometimes pass it on when I think I know someone is that vicinity and might be inclined to go rescue them but I hate when they post dreadful things that I have no control over.
I really don't want that image burned into my brain.
I had a bit of headache. I don't usually suffer from those but maybe it was sign. Like when people say their joints ache when it's going to rain.
My dogs had been outside for their nightly run around and were back in.
Some were playing but most napping. I've been taking Blue, Nora and Jimmy with me to work everyday so Blue and Nora were resting from their day outing.
and Jimmy?
I thought he was chewing on his empty plastic 2 liter bottle.
There's a confession for ya. I still drink Diet Pop....and I have empty bottle laying around the house that the dogs chew on (until they are destroyed and then get tossed into the recycle bin).
Cheap toys.
and Jimmy Chew likes to live up to his name.
So I'm on Facebook and he is laying on his bed next to me chomping away when I look down.
Have you ever been so upset that you thought your head would explode?
In my effort to live in a more streamline minimal decor, I had been going through drawers and things, throwing away and donating STUFF. I had read somewhere not to hide away things you love but have them out where you can see them and look at them daily and appreciate them.
I'm not huge on knick knacky cats cured me of that long ago, but the artwork on my walls and the things I have set around the house are treasures that I have found at estate sales or are a few prints off of Etsy or eBay but mostly they are gifts from friends and family...and those things are priceless.
So I had my beautiful not replaceable piece of art way up on a cabinet for me to see and smile at everyday. I loved it so much, not just because of the sheer beauty of it but because of the thought and friendship behind it.
and there was Jimmy, laying on his bed. chewing pieces of it.
I was shaking with fury.
My house is littered with little rope toys and a big collection of stuffed toys carefully picked out from yard sales.
(baby toys with sewn eyes and noses. no plastic bits and pieces for my furry kids!)
and he had apparently jumped up on the kitchen chair and gotten to the cabinet and dragged down my treasured gift.
My head was about to split open and I grabbed his collar and dragged him to the laundry room and put him in a dog crate.
I did it for his own safety, from me.
I went back and sat down crying.
I was still on Facebook and typed out words.
My oldest niece was on-line and immediately text me and asked what it was.
(which I will never divulge because I don't ever want my friend to know)
I told her, and she said that was what she feared. She knew how I felt about a couple of things especially.
I must say that I immediately got some supportive comments and while I didn't really feel better, they were nice to read.
Of course, some people sided with Jimmy and pleaded for me to let him out of the crate.
People who don't really know me because by the time I got those comments he was already out, had his dinner and was happily tormenting Griffin, my senile old dog.
I did get a text from my sister, whom my niece had obviously contacted.
She sent her sympathies.
I tried to read my fav blogs but my head hurt so bad...from the headache and the crying, that I decided to just go to bed.
what to do.
I guess put things even higher.
Or back in a drawer.
and embrace the minimalist modern style of decor.
and.... maybe Facebook isn't so bad.