Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and The Teddy...

A few weeks ago I took Teddy to the vet to see if his super powers of flying through the air, and leaping bushes in a single bound, were directly related to being on too high a dose of thyroid medicine. They were.

While we were there, the vet found a lump under his lip and said, "I don't like the looks of this." She then went on to talk about how dogs at this age,"Go like Dominoes, one right after the other." I almost punched her. She wanted to biopsy the lump, and started talking about x-rays, jaw surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. This, to me, was out of the question. I wasn't going to put Ted through that.

A few days ago the lump became infected and began to bleed. I took him to the same place we have taken our other two dogs for cancer surgeries. While the vet told me Ted's options (all of them involving expensive, invasive surgeries) I burst into tears and said,"We had a splenectomy for Lummi here and she died twenty-nine days later!" I think I was having some sort of post traumatic stress at this place. It was the same room, the same doctor, (He also removed several cancerous lumps from Moses) and the same bad news. At the time of Lummi's surgery they had said to us, either you operate, or she dies. We had them do the surgery, and less than a month later we watched another vet inject her with the drug that would stop her heart.

It seems that I am going to need your advice about coping skills. I know this place is a sad place, there are gigantic boxes of Kleenex in every room for a reason, but still, I should be able to keep it together.

Ted's lump had to come off. They took a huge wedge of his lip off, and are sending it to be biopsied. I am hopeful, that by removing it, we have bought The Ted some time. I am also hopeful that he never, ever looks at me the way he looked at me yesterday. He was furious, and so sad.

A few days before this happened, I opened my laptop to find tickets to see this guy. Steven surprised me, and we had planned to go last night. Since the Ted was in full recovery mode, we didn't want to leave him alone. We offered the tickets, along with babysitting to our friends. We were going to be home anyway. No one wanted the tickets, someone wanted the babysitting...

Abe tried to cheer Ted up by showing him his favorite Lisa Loeb video. You know the dog is in a bad way if Abe Rooney can't cheer him up.

Abe Rooney is serotonin in a pair of Stride Rites.

Later, a stranger from Silverlake came by with his friend to take us up on the tickets. (Yay Craigslist). They thanked us for the free show, and gave us a bottle of wine.

Not even Abe Rooney could make me feel better about the possibility of losing another dog. I know that some of you out there really understand this. These dogs, maybe they mean more to us than they should.

They are both so good with kids too.

I want them to be good with our kids.


  1. I hope that you get good news on Ted and that he sticks around for a long time so he can play with his siblings when they come home!! Hugs.

  2. DON'T say maybe they mean more than they should. LIfe is too important.

    Of course you burst into tears.

    I have no advice on coping. My heart still hurts from when I lost my cat Tinker down when I was 10.

  3. Aw crap. I'm a mess. Come on Ted—you got this baby. Come on world, how about a break for this good family. I'm thinking Abe should come over and Julie-sit more often.

  4. Here is hoping to a clean bill of health for Ted!!!

    I completely understand how Ted and Moses can mean so much to animals mean the world to me.

    My Suki has diabetes and has insulin shots twice a day - she is 11 this year and everyday I tell her how much I love her just in case.

    Hugs to you both and to your fur babies!


  5. Oh man this is tough. I am super attached to my dogs. May the powers that be somewhere make this dog get better so he can play with his new little friends and now would be a REALLY good time for a life changing phone call. You know the one with your proposal!!!

  6. Julie,

    I, too, hope Ted hangs on to be a best bud for your kiddos. Samba was really sick last week and it broke my heart. I know how much our sweet doggies become a part of us. Friend, I am ready for happy things to start happening for you! I saw the picture of you and little guy reading on the bed and I swore it was a flash-forward. I wait with lots of hope for that day, when you post a picture of you on that same bed, with Ted, Moses and the little ones all entranced in a lovely tale...

    Lots of hugs from me and Samba.

  7. I'm so sorry! I know how hard it is to lose a dog. I still cry about dogs I have lost when I was a child. I hope you hear good news!

  8. Okay, you guys deserve a major break! I'm betting Ted will rally for you.

  9. I'm sorry :(. Yes, pets DO mean a lot to us, because they are family members and free therapists and sweet soul friends. I know exactly how you feel :(.
    come on ted! pull through buddy!!!
    hugs to you all

  10. Crying soppy tears and hoping Ted is okay.

  11. I wouldn't be able to keep it together either .... Just a few weeks ago, our vet removed a "this doesn't look good" tumour from our dog's hind leg. Thankfully it was benign. He (the dog, not the vet) has another one on his back though and I'm too scared to have it checked, and too scared not to have it checked.

    I'm hoping for good news for Ted and his family!


  12. Aaaccck, I was OK until that last line. I know exactly what you mean about wanting to share someone you love (Teddy) with someone you want to love (the kiddos). It would just be wrong if they never got to meet that person, er dog.

    No way could those dogs mean more than they should...

  13. Sweet Teddy. I hope you get good news...and soon. I want you to be good with your kids. Stay strong!

    Sweet Julie. I hope everyone is resting well, or at least as can be expected. May you and Teddy continue to provide comfort to each other for many more days to come. Stay strong and go through as many kleenex boxes as you need to!!!

  14. I would be the same way, so I have no words of advice. I say, if your heart aches then cry. There is no shame in that. I am so sorry that you are having to go through this. :(


  15. Tell Ted that about three years ago I had a huge wedge of my lip removed because of skin cancer and I lived to tell about - if I can do it, so can he! Hang in there.

  16. Where is the beside manner for these vets?!? He's going to be ok-- maybe a little pissed off, but ok. Zeke is going to send some positive canine thoughts his way.

  17. My heart is with you, and Teddy!
    I hope he gets to be there for your children, and lick their sweet little faces.
    I wish I had advice.

  18. Oh Julie, I just got all teary reading this. I'm ridiculously sorry you're having to go through this and I have zero coping skills for you. Sorry about that, too. I'm sending a googleplex of good juju to The Ted and you.

    On a recent trip to our vet, I was told that our Indi more than like just has arthritis but he also had to mention that it could be a precursor to cancer. I immediately broke down. I told you I had no coping skills.


  19. Julie, I'm so sorry. I can hardly believe that THREE of your dogs have had cancer. That is incredible.

    No coping advice from me. You know what works best for you. You are tough, and good things are coming!

    I, too, love that photo of you reading with the little guy. You are a natural.

  20. Poor Ted. Poor you. :( I hope Ted pulls through. Pets are family. I feel for you having been there myself. Glad you and Abe could spend some good time together. He looks like he had a great time. :)

  21. Oh wow - my heart breaks for you. My furperson, India, is necessary for my survival. I can't even think about what I know someday will come (she is getting pretty old now)...

    I have no advice. Just love him up while he's here.

  22. Crossing my fingers for your Ted. My Jessie is old too (17!) and just the other day Eric replied to my complaining about us not having our kids yet that "This is our time to be with Jess." Maybe that's why it's taking so long. I look for signs too.

    Here's hoping your Ted stays healthy!


  23. Well, you know, my dog (since deceased, but not from the lip cancer) had a thing growing on her gum. A very competent vet removed the cancer along with some of her jaw and it was very upsetting at the time it happened. I felt panicky about it spreading and also that her jaw might be compromised. In fact, it was cancer and it was the bad kind, but it never recurred and her jaw was just fine for her remaining years. Her tongue might hang a bit funny from her mouth at times, but it only added to her overall appeal as the finest creature, with a bit of a clownish quality. She was utterly fine regarding cancer. She did develop lupus, if you can imagine that she could endure so much. And yet she did.

    I feel for you, but just wanted to give you a positive outcome to the worst possible cancer among dogs, especially the shepard mixes. Okay, you Ted, be well.

    I'm sorry, girl. Dogs give the most unique love, so selfless.


  24. I am like you, I love my dogs and they love me back, even days when it seems nobody else does. I think Ted is going to rally, I really do.

  25. Oh Julie I'm so sorry. I don't even know what to tell you. We still tear up thinking about our three doggies who aren't with us anymore.

    I hope you get good news about Teddy!!

  26. Oh, I really feel for you, especially about being back at the same vet's where things went badly. I had to change vets after I lost my first dog because I couldn't even bear to be in the same exam room afterwards. But not all lumps are dangerous, I had a frighteningly fast-growing lump removed from one of my dogs and it was benign. Thinking good thoughts for you & Teddy!

  27. Oh, God. I'm so sorry to hear that. I'm with Rebekah, every person/thing is worth the love we give them, it just is.

    I know the only thing that can dull this even the slightest bit (and oh how slight) would be a proposal. I'm longing for good news for you.

    Love Ted!

  28. Dogs offer their humans unconditional nonjudgmental love. No matter what kind of crappy day I've had, my dogs love me anyway. Losing one hurts, H-U-R-T-S.

  29. Everyone here at Habeshahouse is rooting for Ted.

    Our dog got out of the house yesterday morning and I ran crying and yelling up and down the street in my pj's. My neighbor thought I had lost one of my children. He is home and safe now- and so grounded for a long time.

    You guys, including Ted, deserve a break and a proposal, stat.

  30. Poor Ted, so sorry to read this.


  31. Julie, Having lost a dog (also from New Mexico) to cancer, about four weeks after her splenectomy, I know so well the pain & sadness when they die. I also know there is no such thing as loving any living creature, human or animal, too much. They give tremendous love too; they are worthy. I am thinking of you and so hoping that Ted pulls through. Enough!!!

  32. Ted is well on his way to looking like one of the Mursi tribe. His siblings will think that is cool.

    I'm sorry Ted is unwell. Please kiss him from me and yell, "this dog's got a tail" at Ted from Astrid Meklit. It's her highest form of canine flattery--it's best delivered into his ear--just the way AM does it.

  33. I am very very sorry about Ted. We lost our beloved Aloysius exactly one month before Q was born. It's so heartbreaking. I'm of the low intervention side until it's my dog. Aly had heart disease for three years before we and the drugs lost the battle. Animals are so wonderful and I hope one day we have a dog in our lives again.

    That Abe is absolutely adorable! Glad you had a some time to hang out.

    Thanks for incredibly kind words on my blog. You know I only post the good stuff. All the other stuff gets left on the cutting room floor for the sake of Q. But I so appreciate the support. I write much more because of the blog and I'm happy that Q will have something to remember.

    Take Care - I hope Ted recovers well.

  34. I so dread the day we lose Bailey. Dogs are wonderful. I hope that Ted turns out to be OK.

  35. I also should have said:

    My beloved Peenut was once found on the side of the INTERSTATE (all caps for emphasis) by a stranger who called me and then took him to a nearby vet who then also called me (3 hrs away) and said "I think he needs to be put down. I don't want to see him suffer needlessly." I will not get into the circumstances which led him to be found on the side of the INTERSTATE but I will say that was 2.5 yrs ago and he is none the worse except for a bald spot on his forehead as pointed out to me earlier today (Them: "Why your dog got a bald spot on his head?" Me: "You should have seen it when it was still pink & scabby.").

    Moral of the story: regardless of their expertise, vets are Not. Always. All. That. Dominoes. Notwithstanding.

  36. Please give Ted a big ol' kiss from us!! Can't wait to see you guys tomorrow... xoxoxo

  37. I wanted you to know I am thinking about you. I have lost many dogs in my life and it is heartbreaking, my dog is my baby, i just hope you get many more happy days with Ted....Sending all my good thoughts your way....

  38. I cant even imagine this. In fact I cant even think about it at all. i love my little pup and seriously, I will need to be committed when this happens. I dont know what to say to you because I have no idea how I will handle it. So all I can say is wow. that really really sucks.

  39. Love Abe. Poor Ted. :( I'm SO sorry. My doggies are like my kids, too, so my heart breaks for you.