View Full Version : Chris passed away August 1, 2008

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03-24-2008, 08:43 PM
This seems like a good way to get Chris' thread started!

Tomorrow is my husband's birthday and since Chris was born sometime around the end of March 1994 we decided to make his birthday the same day - Chris is a pound pup adoption so we don't know exactly when he was born - my husband and his daughter adopted him in September 1994.

:cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: So tomorrow Chris officially makes it to 14!!! :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

Last year on March 31 we were at the ER vet, facing the possibility of congestive heart failure. The lasix injection, even though it was modest in amount, upset his kidneys and he was turning down food and coughing... We were very worried... I didn't think he'd see Christmas. But thanks to a new cardiologist and lots of expensive medications, he made it not only to Christmas but to his birthday too! Yay!!!

Baby Chris after his PDA-correcting surgery, late 1994...


Chris this spring...


Happy Birthday Poopster!


03-24-2008, 10:01 PM
He's a cutie, this is for you Chris :)


03-24-2008, 10:55 PM
Happy Birthday, Chris!

May you have many, many more!

Jac, Ella & Angel Jenny
xxx ooo

03-24-2008, 11:42 PM
Happy Birthday Big Boy...
Wow... 14.... Thats great !!!!
Congratulation's Natale.... Hes reached this fine number only because of all your methodical care......

Hers to 15... next year !!!!and 16!!!!! and who knows how many more !!!!

03-25-2008, 10:26 AM
Aww...Natalie, he is absolutely gorgeous!!! Congratulations on the wonderful job you have done managing his health issues, while at the same time making sure he knows he is loved. You two are the greatest!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRIS!!!!

Love and hugs, Teresa and Ricky:D

03-25-2008, 11:40 AM


Chris is one handsome guy. I love the baby picture of him. You have done an awesome job with him. He sure is lucky to have you for his mom. Hugs to you and Chris.

03-25-2008, 02:19 PM
Eyelostit, apparently Shiva dances too! Thanks!

I was just looking at his two pictures... apparently at some later time the rest of his body grew into his ears!! ;)


03-25-2008, 03:49 PM
Two boys - one birthday celebration! Hope they got cakes! Chris of course has to have a 'special' one - cause he's the OLDEST! :cool:

What a lucky pup he was to have been chosen that day at the pound. Another lucky day was when YOU came into his life Natalie! He was home free and still doing well at 14! Amazing!

Happy Birthday Hugs! Jody

03-25-2008, 03:49 PM
Happy B day Chris You are a handsome boy!!!!:D:D:D:D:D
Marianne and pebbles

03-27-2008, 06:34 PM
Happy Birthday Chris!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This means you are 98 and may I say you barely look 40!
Big HUG and KISS

03-27-2008, 08:04 PM
Does it just seem like yesterday when you took the first picture?

Happy Birthday Chris! Glad you are here with us. Let's look forward to the coming happier healthier year ahead.

Thanks for putting Monk's picture up Natalie!

04-01-2008, 02:54 PM
Happy Birthday Chris!! It's so wonderful that you turned 14! Sorry, but Crissy, the boys and I were traveling home from Florida on your big day!

Bonnie and Crissy

04-03-2008, 08:26 AM
A belated happy birthday to Chris and your hubby, Natalie! What a cute puppy picture of Chris (and the current one also!). We should have a gallery of "baby pictures!" Age 14 is a mile stone, for sure. I know that the love and care that Chris has had from his family has made a difference. You should be proud parents!

Happy Belated B-Day!

Jeanne and Kiska

04-07-2008, 11:46 PM
True to form, Chris is being worrisome... after all, it's April.

His heart rate has jumped up into the 160s even at rest. I emailed the cardiologist and she wants him checked for signs of congestive heart failure so we are seeing the vet tomorrow afternoon for a chest x-ray, an ecg, and possibly a quick ultrasound of the abdomen to see if any fluid has accumulated there from right-side heart failure.

Congestive heart failure is inevitable... I just hope we aren't there yet. His heart is already severely enlarged so it's only a matter of time before it fails to keep up with his needs. The problem is he's very sensitive to Lasix. Even a small dose is hard on his kidneys so we have tried very hard to avoid having to use it.

I'm hoping hoping that this is more a combination of his chronic lung disease and allergy season than a deterioration in his heart function.

Today it was the cat who was at the vet. Gus is limping so we started him on a little Metacam tonight and will see if it improves. Gus is not a big fan of medical care...


04-08-2008, 05:35 AM
Hi Natalie,

Sorry that Chris is having some problems. Sending prayers and positive thoughts that it's not his heart. Good luck at the vet's today. Hugs to you and Chris.

04-08-2008, 06:52 AM

Do keep us informed as to what they find. Have all of our paws crossed that Chris is just stressed due to the spring pollen.

Bonnie and Crissy

04-08-2008, 08:44 AM
Natalie, Sending you the most positive thoughts...hoping it's not Chris' heart function...let us know how it goes.

Love and hugs, Teresa

04-08-2008, 11:27 AM
Hi Natalie,
Hope it's just the season giving Chris his problems...will be checking back tomorrow to see how he makes out at the vet. Take care,
Jo-Ann & Lady :)

PS And a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Chris....what a fantastic job your family has done taking care of you!! :D :D

04-08-2008, 02:04 PM
Hi Natalie,

I'm sure that today will be full of worry; but I'm praying that Chris will bounce right back! Hopefully, you are right about the allergy season. Sorry to hear that your kitty is on meds, too. Mine absolutely out-the-door hates her pills. She can tongue-flick them five feet away!!! Then I say bad words while I crawl around on the floor searching for the darn thing! I'll be anxiously awaiting your report about Chris from the vet. I'm keeping everything crossed for you!


Jeanne and Kiska

Brandy mom
04-08-2008, 04:36 PM
Just checking for an update on Chris. Our thought are with you today.

Dawn and the girls

04-08-2008, 10:40 PM
We got his ECG, quickie abdom. ultrasound for fluids there, and x-rays. No sign of fluid anywhere, which is good.

But his heart rate remains very high and erratic.

He was getting stressed during the ECG - was in the back and I wasn't with him because they had a difficult dental going on.

His heart started contracting so quickly that there wasn't time for the chambers to fill. So they brought him back out to me to give him time to relax and then they did the rest of the work with him in a quiet examining room and he did better. But his heart rate was fluctuating between 170 and 220 when I watched the monitor on the ECG. Lots of supraventricular tachycardia and atrial fibrillation...

I'm going to take the ECG strip and the x-rays to the cardiologist tomorrow so she can look at them and then she may want to do some tests of her own. I'm not sure what more can be done for him treatment-wise. For now, I'm glad we don't have to give Lasix.

He seems fragile and like he just doesn't feel well. His blood sugar's good - it was 129 while at the vet and 85 when we got home.... I'm sure he's pretty tired from all the anxiety at the vet's office for two hours.

I'm worried and also resigned that there's not much more that can be done for him. It's a miracle he's upright now.

So I'm not sure where we are at with Chris yet. Hope to learn more tomorrow or the next day, after the cardiologist reviews his tests.

It dawned on me this morning how Gus (the cat) could have injured his leg. Gus is too dumb and stubborn to get out of blind Chris' way and I'm constantly jumping in to move one of them before the blind dog steps on the dumb cat!! I'll bet Chris stepped on Gus when I wasn't home. That would explain the sudden acute problem with Gus' back leg.

Fortunately, Gus laps up the Metacam just fine when mixed with kitty gravy. Saw a lady at the vet today who I saw there yesterday too. She was there getting assistance to get the pills into her cat...


04-09-2008, 01:45 AM
Hi Natalie,
I know what you mean about fragile! Buddy looks like a strong gust of wind would knock him over. I hope Chris can overcome this latest problem and then you and I can have "our boys" for a good while longer.
Jenny & Buddy

04-09-2008, 06:52 AM

I'm sure that the rapid heart rate is causing Chris to be very tired. Hope the specialist can find some way of relieving the condition.

Bonnie and Crissy

04-09-2008, 05:28 PM
Hi Natalie,
Hope the cardiologist has some answers for you tomorrow. And I bet Chris is very happy to be at home tonight. Lady just has a heart murmur but 2 hours at the vet's would be h--l for her, especially if she was away from me for a long time.
Sleep well and will check back tomorrow,
Jo-Ann & Lady :)

04-09-2008, 07:11 PM
Natale... I'm so sorry i'm so late to read this and post !!!!
I haven't been around too much this past week... I didn't know Chris was even sick.... I'm so sorry to here this.... I know he'll be just fine.... he always seams to pull through every time ....
Chris ... sending healing thoughts......

04-09-2008, 09:14 PM
I'm sorry to read that Chris is having another problem. I'm sure he IS tired. No meds to slow down heart rate? Or would that just make it so he wouldn't get enough oxygen?

Would oxygen help? I can see him toting an oxygen tank along side him on his walks.

Bogie is looking more frail, he's lost a couple pound but he isn't acting frail. Reba doesn't look frail, just old!

Saying prayers for Chris. I hope he's with you a lot longer!


04-09-2008, 09:24 PM
I talked to the cardiologist tonight. She says his heart looks no worse than before, possibly even a little smaller, and his ECG was a faster rate but not signficantly different from the previous ones in terms of his rhythm. She also said his lungs actually looked a bit clearer than before.

There is some kind of a nodule in the x-ray on the top of the heart and neither the vet nor the cardiologist is sure what it is. A radiologist is going to review the x-ray tomorrow.

He last had a chest x-ray just a couple of months ago and it wasn't there and it seems like they don't think it's cancer. Could even be some normal anatomy like a blood vessel in cross-section... But if the radiologist thinks otherwise, Chris will need an ultrasound to see if there are nodules anywhere else.

The cardiologist's general opinion is that something is bothering Chris, especially given his panting, seeming uncomfortable, and lack of energetic appetite lately. And that he's responding to whatever is bothering him with tachycardia. We have seen this happen before. He was tachycardic the night he was diagnosed with diabetes too. Under stress, his heart rate goes up.

So the question is what is bothering him.

She'd like us to do bloodwork, which I'll see if I can get tomorrow. And I may arrange for an ultrasound even if the radiologist isn't concerned about the thing on the x-ray. An ultrasound is a little expensive but I feel better having looked so I've always been glad I did it. I agree, something's bothering him. And good news or bad, I want to know what it is.

He's a little perkier today but still reluctant to eat and panting often.

I was supposed to be on jury duty tomorrow, now have been postponed to Friday. So I'll see if I can get bloodwork done tomorrow. If they postpone me again, I'm going back to them to get an exemption. I agreed to do it only because they promised I could schedule it and arrange to have my husband here to cover Chris' injections. Fortunately, my husband doesn't work Fridays. They allow being a person's caretaker as an exemption and I explained to them that I'm a dog's caretaker. They pushed back that it would be 1 day, 2 at most. If not, I'll fight it.

Still worried,


04-09-2008, 09:33 PM

Ha! Our posts crossed... Yeah, I can see him wheeling along his oxygen tank!!

Do you remember the whole incident with Pat from the other board whose little dog was attacked by a larger dog out on a walk?

She beat the attacking dog back with HER oxygen tank!! We were dealing with the killer pit bull next door at the time and, with carrying a baseball bat as a weapon being illegal in CA, I was thinking about getting an oxygen tank for protection!! LOL

Chris is so sensitive to meds that we try not to add anything unless absolutely necessary. The cardiologist thinks the rate will come down if we can get him feeling better. Last spring one night his heart rate, for no apparent reason, was almost 300. We took him to the ER. Fortunately it was down to 170 by the time we got there. I have no idea why it jumped up that night. My concern now is that he's stayed at a high rate for a week or more.

She thought the increase in rate might be compensation from failure. But with no fluid and the heart looking no worse, she feels it's a symptom of another problem.

Plus his color has been good. He doesn't seem to be deprived of oxygen.

He was down to about 160 this morning. Will check his heart rate again tonight.


04-10-2008, 06:22 AM
Yes, I remember Pat and that story! I'd forgotten though about Chris being so sensitive to meds.

Have you ever used Cornell's signs of illness page?

I use it anytime something is going on with one of mine. Oncea friend had a sick cat and the vets couldn't figure out what it was. I used this site and went through all the possible dx'es for her symtoms and told her it was lupus. A few weeks later they finally figured it out too.


How is Gus's leg??

Cats can appear to be so dumb sometimes when they choose places to lay down. If I'm in the kitchen you can bet there are at least 2 right behind me just waiting to be stepped on.


04-10-2008, 08:33 AM
Natalie, Just wanted to add my thoughts and prayers that everything is going to be worked out with Chris...I know he is stressed, and so are you. I know you will post as soon as you find out anything, but till then, I just wanted you to know that we are thinking of you. Good luck!

Love and hugs, Teresa and Ricky

04-10-2008, 11:16 AM
Hi Natalie,
I'm glad you have some answers of sorts.
Just had a weird thought and not sure if it would help. Would the cat have bitten Chris when he stepped on him? Cat bites can get so infected and sometimes there's hardly any sign of the infection. One cat of mine needed antibiotics for an infection but I couldn't find any sign of a wound. There were other wounds that only had a little scab but were full of green ucky pus when I took the scab off. The wounds needed to be drained and cleaned for several days.
Hope you find some answers, take care,
Jo-Ann & Lady :)

04-10-2008, 12:16 PM
Nothing new to add.... Just laughing so hard about the Pit Bull and the oxygen
That Really happened??????? :eek:

04-10-2008, 06:01 PM
Hi Natalie,

Just checking to see how Chris is today. Hoping you get answers soon. Hugs to you and Chris.

04-10-2008, 06:14 PM
Chris' heart rate has come down a little... it's running at 110 and then at 160 for 5-10 seconds at a time so averaging out about 140. Not great but better than 160 and 200. There are stretches at the 110 where it's fairly rhythmic.

We haven't gotten the radiologist's report back yet but I suspect the cardiologist won't get a chance to call me back until this evening.

I'm debating whether to schedule a blood panel or see how he does. I'm still scheduled for jury duty tomorrow.

Arthritis is a possibility - his back has been bothering him lately. He's caught it a couple of times when rolling and writhed and yelped from the pain. Once he would get out of the painful position, he would be okay.

I think I'm going to wait for the radiology report so I know whether we also need an ultrasound. If so, I'll do both the blood panel and the ultrasound at the same visit.

Johanna, that story is real!! Pat apparently carries a small portable oxygen tank and she put it to good use! They prosecuted the dog's owner and he had to pay her dog's medical bills. Fortunately no serious physical damage was done to her little dog but I think it was pretty traumatic for her dog. When we had the killer pit bull next door, I was taking a baton my husband has for work out into the backyard with me because the dog was trying to break through the wood fence to get at Chris. She was already extremely dog aggressive before they bred her. Once the puppies arrived, she was out of control. Poor blind Chris was afraid to go out into his own yard. Life got a lot better when they finally moved away.

Oh, and we decided to pony up the extra money for DNA analysis with a blood test. The one we got with a cheek swab keeps getting delayed and we want to know so we're gonna have them draw blood for it on Monday. It analyzes 130 breeds and apparently even gives you an idea of how much of each breed is in your dog: http://www.whatsmydog.com/. I saw this cute little dog at the vet this week. Clearly had chihuahua and most likely terrier like rat terrier, but was also leggy and had a bit of a tuck so maybe Italian greyhound... So cute but was a breed hodgepodge. I'd love to see her DNA test!


04-10-2008, 06:16 PM
Hi Natalie - just reading up on Chris. Sending good vibes your way that this problem GOES AWAY! He is like a miracle dog, thats for sure! Keep all of us posted! Jody Messing with fonts and such - can you tell???

04-10-2008, 06:20 PM
Yes Johanna - it really HAPPENED! I had forgotten about it also until Natalie jarred my memory! Can you imagine beating a dog with your oxygen tank? Man - those things come in handy! They are heavy too! :eek: Jody

04-10-2008, 06:22 PM
Hi Jody! :p

04-10-2008, 07:09 PM
Hey you!!! Sorry to hear about Chris- it's so hard when they get to be a senior! Will be thinking of him and YOU! Hope you get out of Jury Duty - god - I HATE THAT! :mad: I've been on a few trials - and what a PITA! Jody

04-10-2008, 08:42 PM

I have been following along, just not much time to post! I am still sending healing thoughts to Chris!!! Hoping it is just the arthritis and things come back in control quickly!
Lots of hugs!!!! Beth and the boys

04-11-2008, 03:14 PM
Just checking in today to see if there is any new up dates on Chris ;)?

04-11-2008, 05:12 PM
Good news from the radiology review - all seem to feel that spot on the x-ray is an artifact and nothing to worry about. Yay!

I'm having his blood drawn tomorrow for a full panel and will see if that tells us anything more.

He's a little better in that his heart rhythm has gone from being stormy and 160 all the time to being a combination of a slower 110-120 that is fairly rhythmic and a faster stormy rate that average out to about 140. And I haven't had to coax him to start eating his last couple of meals.

He's still not exactly perky and continues to pant off and on but seems to be in no imminent danger. He went out for a hammie yesterday so that cheered him up! He was certainly energetic in demanding his share of our lunch!


04-12-2008, 07:40 AM
Ah, Natalie, good news about the x-ray!!! Hopefully, the blood work will tell you what you need to know, and Chris will give you a break....yeah, right. Just wanted to let you know that Ricky and I are both sending good thoughts your way.

Love and hugs, Teresa and Ricky

04-12-2008, 05:24 PM
Thank you everyone for taking time to wish Chris well. It does my heart good!

He did pretty well today with giving up a blood and urine sample and we hope to have the results Monday. And he got a hammie afterward, the one thing that's guaranteed to perk him up.

I decided to do the urinalysis too, just in case there were crystals or an infection. If anything, he is "going" less than usual so figured it was worth checking while we were there.

He's sleeping off his.... Wendy's burger! (wink, wink Johanna) now.


04-12-2008, 05:32 PM
Very Cute Natale ! Ha Ha.
Glad to see the big guy is feeling better... Hope the test results all come in good too.
Hay Chris... do you want fries with that????? /

We Hope
04-12-2008, 05:34 PM
Chris will start wanting to go to the vet, if he's getting all these hammies! :)

04-12-2008, 05:52 PM
Poor guy... what a crazy heart beat. I just checked him before his 5pm meal and his heart rate was all over the place. Slowest was 140, fastest was 180. Erratic, sometimes pounding, doubles, triples... It can't feel good.

His blood sugar - despite his hammie and a little frosting earlier because his BG was 86 and we were leaving the house for a couple of hours - wasn't too bad. 184. Whatever is causing him problems isn't upsetting his blood sugar.

Off to feed the boy.


04-13-2008, 10:34 PM
Hi Natalie,

Just checking on you and Chris. I'm so sorry that Chris's heart rate is erratic. That has to be scary! At least you know that he is holding his own in the BG department! I have to ask, what is a Hammie?!


Jeanne and Kiska

04-14-2008, 06:21 AM
Hey, Natalie...checking in on Chris. Maybe you can get some answers soon. He's a brave old guy...maybe the hammies help...we are thinking of you two.

Love and hugs, Teresa and Ricky

04-14-2008, 06:43 AM
Hammie = Wendy's hamburger!!! :eek: I reckon that Natalie has been at this long enough to be able to give Chris a special treat like this! I'm sure within an hour - she was poking him and testing his BS while Chris was still licking his lips!

No bacon with that burger? Shame, shame! (Hi Johanna!!) ;)


04-14-2008, 08:05 AM
I'm glad that the blood work is being done and that Chris is enjoying his hammies! Hope they can find a med to help regulate the heart beat. Have you thought of a pacemaker? I was told that there are pacemakers donated to animal use.

Bonnie and Crissy

04-14-2008, 02:16 PM
The mystery of what's up with Chris is no closer to being solved, but his blood panel results are very good. Virtually unchanged from the ones done in December 2007 (results at the end).

His back is really stiff and sore the past 36 hours. We may need to try Tramadol again and see if he can tolerate it.

But for now, his hammie's are keeping him going! Good thing he has no history of pancreatitis cuz losing his hammies would probably kill him! He had one today after his blood draw for the Mars MX canine DNA test.

I hope Johanna knows that we wouldn't tease her if we were upset about the Wendy's incident! It's when people don't feel like they can tease you that you know you're in trouble! :)

Chris used to get his own hamburger patty and occasionally some of the bun but these days he mostly gets some of our sandwiches. Today, we went for a hammie right before his meal so I just skipped the ground beef I usually put in his meal cuz he already had it in the car and then gave him his normal insulin. Depends on when we feed him the hammie.

Sometimes it does raise his blood sugar but I just correct it with a little extra Regular insulin at the next injection. I actually love using Regular. It's so flexible.

By the way, check out Chris' blood glucose in the test results below (I'm so proud!)...

Still worried but not sure what I'm worried about,


TEST -- 04/08 -- 12/07 -- Ref Range -- Result Range

ALB -- 3.0 -- 3.3 -- 2.5-4.0 -- Normal
ALKP -- 22 -- 27 -- 10-150 -- Normal
ALT -- 20 -- 26 -- 5-107 -- Normal
AST -- 25 -- 19 -- 5-55 -- Normal
BUN -- 32 -- 34 -- 7-27 -- Slight High
CREA -- 2.1 -- 1.7 -- 0.4-1.8 -- Slight High
Ca -- 10.9 -- 10.5 -- 8.2-12.4 -- Normal
Chloride -- 115 -- 113 -- 105-115 -- Normal edging high
Chol -- 304 -- 309 -- 112-328 -- Normal
CK -- 185 -- 91 -- 10-200 -- Normal (but fairly large change)
DBil -- 0.1 -- 0.0 -- 0.0-0.2 -- Normal
GGT -- 3 -- 5 -- 0-14 -- Normal
Glucose - 125 (Happy Dance!!!) -- -- 60-125
Phos -- 4.2 -- 4.1 -- 2.1-6.3 -- Normal
Potassium -- 5.8 -- 5.4 -- 4.0-5.6 -- Slight to Moderate High
Sodium -- 148 -- 149 -- 141-156 -- Normal
TBil -- 0.1 -- 0.1 -- 0.0-0.4 -- Normal
TP -- 6.0 -- 5.9 -- 5.1-7.8 -- Normal
Trig -- 80 --176 -- 20-150 -- Normal - dropped quite a bit
Glob -- 3.0 -- 2.6 -- 2.1-4.5 -- Normal
Anion Gap -- 22 -- 23 -- 12-24 -- Normal
Bicarb -- 17 -- 18 -- 17-24 -- Normal edging low
IBil -- 0.0 -- 0.1 -- 0.0-0.3 -- Normal edging low
A/G Ratio -- 1.0 -- 1.3 -- 0.6-1.6 -- Normal
B/C Ratio -- 15.2 -- 20 -- none given
Na/K Ratio -- 26 -- 28 -- 27-40 -- Just low of normal

T4 -- 1.1 -- 1.7 -- 1.0-4.7 -- Low end of normal, which is where Chris' T4 always falls.
Free T4 with ED has always shown normal thyroid levels.

Serum Spec cPL -- <30 -- < 30 -- 200 or less is normal

Urinalysis Specific Gravity - 1.038 -- 1.043
pH -- 5.5 -- 6.0

HCT -- 42.0% 47.3% -- 37-55 -- Normal
HGB -- 14.6 -- 17.2 -- 12-18 -- Normal
MCHC -- 34.8 -- 36.3 -- 32-36 -- Within Normal, was just slightly high in Dec.
WBC -- 8.8 -- 6.9 -- 5.7-16.3 -- Normal
Lymphs -- 25% -- 25% -- 12-30 -- Normal
Monos -- 4% -- 4% -- 3-10 -- Normal on low end
Eos -- 7% -- 5% -- 2-10 -- Normal
Baso -- 0% -- 0% -- 0-1 -- Normal
RBC -- 5.78m -- 6.58m -- 5.5-8.5 -- Normal
MCV -- 73 -- 72 -- 60-77 -- Normal
MCH -- 25.3 -- 26.2 -- 19.5-26.0 -- Normal
Neut Seg -- 64% -- 65% -- 60-77 -- Normal
Platelets -- 517thous - 431thous - 164-510 -- Slight High
Poly -- Slight
Abs Baso -- 0 -- 0 -- 0-100 -- Normal
Abs Eos -- 616 -- 345 -- 100-1,250 -- Normal but large change relative to last time
Abs Lymphs -- 2,200 -- 1,725 -- 1,000-4,800 -- Normal
Abs Monos -- 352 -- 276 -- 150-1,350 -- Normal
Abs Neuts -- 5,632 -- 4,485 -- 3,000-11,500 -- Normal

04-14-2008, 02:33 PM
Hi Nat....
Never thought for a minute anything other then a good joke.....
I'm glad we can all laugh about it now.....
What are the Hammie's your giving Chris ?
I know Killian would love that but after the Pancreatitis there out.....
I believe thats what triggered the attack in the first place.....
At a Christmas dinner at my home between Christmas and New Years eve...
I made a very large prime rib......
There was so much meat on the bones and a lot of meat left over....
SO....... Thats right i couldn't resist giving some to Killian......
It was the very next day when he started not wanting to eat......
the following day he looked awful and was vomiting.....
and then the trip to the hospital..... and the rest is history......
Every time i go to the store and I'm looking in the meat department and ee a beautiful prime rib I just think.... $3000 .... Nope!!!!!
So glad all looks good for Chris... He just keep on pulling through, and surprising you, So glad for the both of you.....
Still want to know about the Hammie.......:)

04-14-2008, 03:45 PM
LOL Hammie is just our generic term for anything that comes from a drive-through window! Today it was Carl's Jr, last time it was Wendy's. Sometimes I have chicken, sometimes a hamburger...

Today I had chili cheese fries!! I know, I know... a recipe for cardiac arrest. But dang it was good!! Hey, I grew up in Montana eating beef - it's like an essential vitamin and mineral for me!!


04-14-2008, 04:02 PM
I thought a Hammie was some type of bone.......
Lucky for Chris that he can still enjoy the drive through experience....

We Hope
04-14-2008, 06:41 PM

I think if you can get a handle on the back problem, everything will fall into line. All else seems to be doing just fine and Chris has given them enough blood to almost be a donor. :)

04-14-2008, 07:36 PM

Just checking in on you and Chris! I thought a hammie was a ham sandwich!:o

And I am one to think you have to have something here and there to enjoy life! Otherwise, what's the point?:confused:

GREAT glucose number there! I am now wishing the heart rate issue will resolve quickly!!!
Lots of hugs!!! Beth, Scooter and Bailey

04-22-2008, 03:07 PM
Chris has been having more off days than good days in the past week so we are going for an abdominal ultrasound and discussion of his hind leg problems this afternoon.

I was hoping to avoid the stress of an ultrasound and x-rays but feel now like it's necessary. The cardiologist feels pretty strongly that something other than his heart is behind his increased heart rate. No question that his back and/or legs hurt. And he looks uncomfortable generally.

Wish us luck... I'm worried.


We Hope
04-22-2008, 03:11 PM

Here's hoping Chris gets something to make ALL of us feel better!

PS to Chris--they owe you at least ONE hammy for this!

04-22-2008, 03:12 PM
Hi Natalie,
Sorry Chris is not feeling good. I understand the feeling that you don't want to put him through anything that may upset him but it looks like you need to get to the bottom of his problems so you have no choice. I am sending lots of good wishes and positive thoughts for good news.
Jenny & Buddy

04-22-2008, 04:25 PM
Dang! He's had his fair share of crud! Hope the tests go well today!!!!

04-22-2008, 07:22 PM

I was just checking in to see how things were going over here....I am sorry Chris has to get more tests, but it does sound like you have no choice. :(

I am sending my very very best that it isn't too hard on either one of you and will be anxious to hear what happened! Lots of prayers and hugs! Beth and the boys

04-22-2008, 08:52 PM
So the ultrasound went pretty well - nothing found that was concerning. They were aware of his sore back so were careful in lifting him and got him through it as quickly as possible.

His back is very sore - he flinches with any pressure applied above his hips.

The vet suggested a fentanyl patch to avoid the gastrointestinal issues and see if pain relief helps bring down his heart rate and makes him feel visibly better.

So now he looks a little like a bus with a billboard as he's got a big piece of tape across the his right hip emblazened with the information about his patch. I'm thinking of shaving the other side and putting a "Your Ad Here" advertisement! Maybe he can finally starting earning some cash!! :p

The patch should get to full force tomorrow morning and last about 2 days at that level so we will see.

It was interesting... a lot of people have looked at me like I was crazy when I've said that Chris got stiff and sore in response to NPH and to a food allergy. His vet today said that he discovered the same thing in himself. He changed his diet for weight control purposes, cutting out some foods, and found that his aching and inflammation went away as a result. So the vet didn't think that was strange at all.

Chris' heart rate stayed pretty good through the u/sound too. I was there with him and checked it periodically, just with my hand.

I am relieved. Now will see what the pain patch does. I hope it works but it also costs $90 and is good for a maximum of 5 days... even by Chris' standards, that's pretty pricey.

Have to go email the cardiologist and then will be back to catch up on everybody else.


04-22-2008, 09:32 PM
Hope the patch works too and you will be able to see what is effecting what if the pain clears and ehart rate decreases.

I think he is trying his darndest to egt into the veterinary publications!

It's sad when you know they just hurt so hope this is his magic bullet!

04-23-2008, 06:30 AM
Hi Natalie,

Happy:D:D to hear that the ultrasound went well. Hoping the pain patch does the job and relieves his pain. Sending positive thoughts that he feels better real soon. Hugs to you and Chris.

04-23-2008, 06:57 AM

I've never heard of a fentanyl patch. Do they have to shave the hair off to apply it? Crissy doesn't show pain as much. Never has cried out, but somedays just lays around and appears 'out of it'. She's taking Metacam, tramadol, and gets Adequan shots. I want to check out this patch thing.

I hope that Chris gets some relief from the patch and his heart rate will go down as a result.

Where did you learn to take a heart rate on a dog? I can't even do it with a human!

Bonnie and Crissy

We Hope
04-23-2008, 07:13 AM

This is used for people too:


Fentanyl--transdermal (skin patch)


Duragesic product insert--one of the two brands of fentanyl patches.


Let's hear what kind of hammy the boy got for all of this last night! :)

04-23-2008, 08:17 AM
Hi Bonnie,

Yes, poor boy did have to have an area about 5 inches by 4 inches shaved.

He's pretty silly looking at the moment with that and his bare belly from the ultrasound, though his skin is cute - all of his black fur corresponds to black skin so he's got a pretty speckled belly.

Our cat Winky had a fentanyl patch too during the last week or so of her life before dying from lung cancer.

We are using it because the one time we tried Tramadol he threw up constantly.

As for heart rate, in Chris' case I use a stethoscope. It can be done by feel on the side of the chest just behind the front leg (though with all Crissy's fur that might be difficult) but Chris also has pulse deficits (heart beats that don't produce a pulse through the vessels) and some very soft beats so I miss too much if I just use my hand. I put a stethoscope to his chest just behind his front leg at about mid ribs, wherever I get the strongest sound, and then count beats, usually 15 seconds at a time.

The cardiologist asked me to do this because his heart rate always goes up at the vet from anxiety so we can't get a clear picture of what his heart rate actually is unless I take it here at home. I check it every day, record it in my notes along with his insulin, and then send it to the cardiologist periodically.

She said that if he sustains a heart rate of 250 or more he needs to go to the ER.

So far so good with the patch - it doesn't seem to bother him, internally or externally.


04-23-2008, 08:41 PM
I'm so sorry Chris is having trouble, I did not notice it because of the Birthday topic and knew i had replied to that, so I will have to check when the title gets changed.

I hope things are better today.

That heart rate, would you do it like this, take the beats in 15 seconds then if it would be EX: 20 the heartrate for 1 min would be 80 correct?

take care ;)

04-23-2008, 11:24 PM
Yup! I usually count for 15 seconds as his heart rate is highly variable right now and then multiply by 4. That gives me an average rate over a minute. Although if there's a lot of variation, I also try to give her an idea of the speed of the slow beats and of the fast beats that make up the average.

If his heart is going very fast, it's hard to count that long and keep up so then I usually do 10 seconds and multiply by 6.

If it's too fast to count... off to the ER. We have only had to do that once so far, last year.


04-24-2008, 04:29 PM
I can't see any obvious changes from the patch, which is having a tough time sticking to his skin. The gauze tape peeled off at the edges pretty quickly but the heart of the patch still seems to be intact. And it's not that he's hassling at it. He doesn't seem to notice it at all. It's just having a hard time sticking. They often use staples to keep it on but were trying to avoid having to staple him.

His heart rate is sometimes a little better, around 120. But it's very erratic. This morning I got 10 seconds of 160ish and 5 seconds of 100ish that averaged out to 140. I'm leaning toward the completely unfounded opinion that this is just his heart's "new rhythm." Just like when he suddenly went from 100-120 to slow doubles of 80.

Sometimes he seems a bit perkier from the patch, sometimes a bit zonked out by it....

I think he has been... not sure what to call it... more relaxed? He hasn't wandered the house as much and sleeps quietly through the night. That may just be sedation from the patch.

Short answer is I don't know if it's made any difference or not! :rolleyes:

It should be in full effect until mid-day tomorrow so I'll just keep watching him. I owe the cardiologist an email update.


04-24-2008, 04:41 PM
Where is the patch located? Could an elastic bandage be wrapped around that part of his body or the self stick wrap stuff to help hold it?

I'm glad he is more relaxed. Better to have them nap a bit more than to be hurting.

I saw a dog at ISU yesterday that I had no clue what breed he was so I asked them! Like you with Chris they had to know to and found out he was GSD, corgi, some terrior and pug! He looked like a corgi with GSD coloring. I thought it was funny. You aren't the only one that wants to know breed!

04-25-2008, 07:28 PM
Chris had a good day today. We planned to take a drive up the valley today and were going to leave him at home. I fed him his 11am meal and cut his insulin a bit since we wouldn't be home for a few hours. But then he looked so sad that we decided to take him with us.

He's not crazy about the car these days but he settled down reasonably well after a hammie... Carl's Jr today. And he got to get out and wander around a park type area at our destination. And then we bought ice cream on the way home and he had some of that too! He thought this trip was GREAT!!!

I know that his blood sugar tends to go low when he's very active, like on trips to the vet, but I was still surprised that after his normal meal, a smaller dose of insulin, hammie, and ice cream... his blood sugar was 126.

He's one tired but content boy this evening.

I took his patch off as there was very little of it still in contact with his skin. I haven't been able to identify any slowing of his heart rate from it but I think the pain relief was good for him. I'll check back with the vet on Monday and see if there's a long-term plan we can work out.


04-26-2008, 05:39 PM
Interesting side note... the fentanyl patch upped his insulin requirement half a unit, which is a fairly large amount since he was on just 7 units per injection.

As soon as it started to peel away substantially his insulin needs started to drop.

04-27-2008, 01:57 PM
Hi Natalie,
Just doing some catching up today....glad to hear Chris had such a lovely outing with his favorite treats. Hope things ease up for him, take care,
Jo-Ann & Lady :)

PS I do plan to put Lady's story on the story page...just haven't gotten to it yet.

05-03-2008, 12:13 PM
The DNA test result came today and it's official....

(wait for it)

Chris is a freak! And may not even be a dog at all. I've always had this suspicion... starting to think he is part cat after all...

None of the 130 breeds tested, including Australian shepherd, dalmation, am staff, Jack Russell terrier... came up as a significant contributor. There were no medium contributors.

He has trace amounts of bearded collie!, chow (am starting to think there's chow in everything), and, get this, Nova Scotia Duck Trolling Retriever!

Here's what they said about Chris:

Chris is a one of a kind, unlike any other dog in the world. Our analysis has shown that Chris is an extremely complex mixed breed dog. Results like Chris's are found in about 15% of mixed breed dogs in the U.S. Chris' ancestry contains distant traces of Bearded Collie, Chow Chow, and Nova Scotia Duck Trolling Retriever. There are also faint signals from other breeds which are not strong enough to identify.

He doesn't look anything like any of these dogs.

There are some hounds that aren't included that could account for his black spotted coat.

So there you have it. He's the mutt of mutts.

05-03-2008, 02:02 PM
Hi Natalie,
Were you really surprised that Chris wasn't categorized as anything other than special! You know he doesn't like to follow the rules and he really is unique.
Jenny & Buddy

05-03-2008, 04:30 PM
Wow. That is interesting. A Designers Designers Designer dog. That's how I see it.

05-03-2008, 05:21 PM
It doesn't matter what he is He is still cute will those spots Hugs to Chris from Pebbles and I

05-05-2008, 07:21 AM

You're so lucky to have a one in a million dog! Chris is truly amazing and now we know it's based on his breed!

Bonnie and Crissy

05-06-2008, 10:22 PM
Very interesting!!! Darn though! I'd like to know more details as I'm sure you do too!

I've thought about doing this for Micah. I don't think she could be all Sibe and would like to know if there is wolf in there. Knowing that would also help me track where she came from and who had her tied so that her collar was imbedded. People that breed wolf into dogs seem to be proud of it so everyone knows who they are and I would like to know for my own reasons who's doing this to dogs.

Chris is a SBD (not silent but deadly) but special breed dog.

: )

05-06-2008, 11:43 PM
Amazing isn't it, with his black spots, I'd thought some dalmation with a type of terrier like a jack russell, or a mixed short smooth coat terrier.:rolleyes:

05-07-2008, 12:14 AM
I think I will check with them and see whether this means he definitely is NOT any of those breeds, which seems unlikely - though the 60-breed cheek swab test gave the same result - or whether his DNA markers are just so mixed up that they can't tell what's in him and it could be some of the dogs they test for but just can't identify them.

His coloring and personality are terrier - he's always been a rodent dog - rats, bunnies. No interest in birds, despite the Nova Scotia duck trolling retriever! :o No interest in herding or being herded. No interest in retrieving either for that matter.

I shared the information with his cardiologist and she says I should start listing him on forms I fill out as a Nova Scotia duck trolling retriever mix! :p

The family who adopted our stray Rhodesian Ridgeback mix had the test done and they got back Rhodesian, chow, and basset hound... don't know how strong the basset hound was!


05-07-2008, 01:04 AM
"I should start listing him on forms I fill out as a Nova Scotia duck trolling retriever mix! "

Thats a good one Nat !! Make there heads roll :rolleyes:

05-11-2008, 11:46 PM
We tried Tramadol for a day and didn't like the reaction. He didn't throw up but kept going outside looking like he was about to.

So a couple of days ago we started Tylenol. So far he seems to be tolerating it okay. Not sure whether it's providing any pain relief though.

Friday and today he went for a hammie and a walk in a nice, small park that's shady and full of squirrels, birds, and probably bunnies. He really likes it there and it's not as exhausting as a walk along the river. He was a happy guy.

05-12-2008, 12:03 AM
ya, its nice the walk, I took Niki down into the yard with me, i was cutting some limbs off some trees, she gets so excited and happy and jumps up on my legs, i can hardly believe she is blind. My little soldier.
I like when they hold their heads up in the air when they get a scent.:)

05-12-2008, 02:28 PM
Natalie, I have been out of pocket for a while with minor health issues, and I just wanted to check in on Chris...hope he's doing better. I was reading some of the posts, and say that you have been using a patch on him. Maybe it gave him a measure of relief. Just checking in...

Love and hugs, Teresa and Ricky

05-12-2008, 02:30 PM

I took Crissy to the vet's this morning and was looking through an old issue of 'Dog Fancy' and found a 'senior' dog that looked a lot like your Chris. The caption said he was a Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog. I'd never heard of the breed!

I located these sites that have descriptions and some pictures. The one I saw this morning had mostly white.


Did any of this breed show up in Chris' DNA?

Bonnie and Crissy

(This is a repost from this morning....guess it didn't take earlier)

05-12-2008, 09:35 PM
Bonnie, that's a cool looking dog! I don't see it on the list. In fact, there are a few hounds missing from the list and that could be one of the things in his background given his color.


I suspect though that he might have some more common breeds and that his DNA is so mixed up they just can't find any recognizable patterns.

He's been wheezing like crazy the past couple of days... have been considering giving him a lasix cuz his breathing whistles. But it's hard on his kidneys so I'm holding off. So far I can't tell if the Tylenol is helping. It doesn't seem to be hurting anything.

05-15-2008, 03:07 PM
Chris has been having a rough few days. Lots of wheezing and coughing. I think as much from lung disease as heart disease.

I finally broke down and gave him a little Lasix as it really helps his breathing even though it's a very small dose. Also gave him a little Zantac last night.

He's clearly uncomfortable but we don't really know why... maybe a combination of a bunch of small things. I feel bad for him. I'm considering some changes to diet and meds to see if I can get him to feel a little better.

The Tylenol didn't seem to hurt him but didn't seem to help him either.


05-15-2008, 04:03 PM
Thought I'd copy some of an email discussion here...

Chris has a severe case of "old dog lung" basically... that's my understanding - just kind of a chronic bronchitis that's not infectious in nature. It always seems to be worse in the spring, maybe combines with allergies, although he's currently on a small dose of benedryl twice daily.

He gets a pretty good boost from the Lasix - I give him just 12.5 mg, not even enough to increase his drinking noticeably - and his breathing eases and he stops coughing.

His severe reaction, kidneywise, to Lasix, came after being given an injection of quite a bit more, even though it was a low dose for his size. His kidneys values changed immediately and took a long time to recover. So it scares me to give him any Lasix but I can also see that it's one thing that really helps him. This morning I gave him just half a 12.5mg tab with his food. That's how much Lasix our 9 pound cat was on when she had cancer!

We did try theophylline briefly... he didn't handle it well as it can increase heart rate, kind of like caffeine I guess?

We haven't tried other inhalers though...

I'm just kind of sifting through all his issues in my head right now debating what to try/change/eliminate. The doc saw some evidence of IBD when he did the ultrasound and Chris goes through panting jags. Last night after his meal he panted heavily for over an hour. So I'm thinking about changing his diet. This is the longest he's ever eaten Canidae... I actually hate to change foods as there are so few I feel comfortable feeding. But it could be there's something in it that bothers him.

05-16-2008, 06:34 AM
Nat, others are having good luck with Zyrtec (sp?) that used to used Benedryl.

The uncomfortable panting thing is what I saw in Reba and still am for that matter. I even gave her Lasix in the beginning thinking that was what I was seeing. You ever question Cushings? Like he needs another problem!

Yea, that's the Lasix dose a cat gets, pretty small but if it helps....

You have him on anything to thin his blood a bit? Just thinking that should help both lung and heart issues. Baby aspirin, fish oil, vitamin e?

Any other signs of IBD in him??

05-16-2008, 12:32 PM
Hey Denise,

He's on such a small dose of benedryl it may not be doing him much good. But any more and it makes him too groggy.

Chris has had a few Cushings tests over the years, always negative, along with thyroid. And with his good blood sugar control on about 7 units of insulin, I don't think that's likely a problem.

The panting reminds me of when he was getting DermCaps and he would go through a panting attack an hour or so after eating. It's not quite as reliable as it was with the DermCaps but has the same feel - like it's digestive. I cut out his fish oil capsule a few weeks ago too but that didn't seem to make a difference so I may put that back in.

I suspect it's something in the Canidae that disagrees with him. Before when I fed Canidae I mixed it up with California Natural and I preferred California Natural because it was just meat, rice, and vitamins, whereas the Canidae has all kinds of stuff in it he could be sensitive to - I suspect eggs for one might be a problem for him. But then the recall made me nervous about California Natural and we switched to strictly Canidae.

So I'm going to put him on a simple diet for a while and see if that makes a difference. He's really liking it. He was getting fed up with trying to lick up the canned food and cottage cheese - nothing to sink his teeth into. He snarfed up the chicken and rice in about 5 seconds.


He is on aspirin therapy for the blood clot - 1/4 of an 81 mg aspirin twice a day. That he seems to tolerate fine. NSAIDS just don't bother him. But stuff that doesn't bother another dog makes him sick! He cant' tolerate Tramadol at all. Silly boy.

05-22-2008, 03:03 PM
Yesterday I made him mini bowtie pasta! :rolleyes: He likes it!

Plus I cooked his chicken on the BBQ and the smoked smell about drives him crazy!!!! He started spitting out his cheese ball full of pills cuz he wanted to get at the smoked chicken.

So the new diet is very popular. Sometimes I think it has helped a little. Sometimes I'm not sure but I know he likes eating it better than the mushy stuff so we will stick with it for now.

I put his fish oil capsule back in and added a bacon-flavored vitamin supplement.... Personally, the fish-bacon-chicken combo seems a little gross to me, but he doesn't seem to mind.


05-26-2008, 04:49 PM
The end of last week Chris seemed terrible... withdrawn, sleeping all the time, short tempered and wanting to be left alone. We were really worried about him. Yesterday he seemed a bit better and not too bad today. He got a hammie/duck pond trip yesterday and was pretty demanding for his share of lunch, which was encouraging to me.

I know there's really not much more we can do for him. He's on all the meds he can tolerate. Others that could have potentially made things better caused more problems than they solved. Digoxin that could have slowed his heart rate gave him toxicity at a very low dose. Theophylline, which could have expanded his airways, made his heart race. Tramadol, which could have provided relief for his back pain, made him nauseous...

He's two months now past his 14th birthday and slowly failing. Thankfully, so far, very slowly and gradually failing. But there's no denying his age has caught up with him and we just have to look at every day as a gift. At times last week I thought we might be coming up on some hard decisions. Today, not so much. We most fear him losing control of his back legs and bowel/bladder.

But today there's barbecued beef on the counter and he seems okay... life could be worse for him.


05-27-2008, 06:53 AM

I sure understand. Although my Criss is almost 2 years younger than Chris, she, too, is fading. And 'melting' away. She's down to just 55 pounds and you can actually see the bones in her rear legs. She sleeps about 21 to 22 hours a day and makes just 3 trips out the door to do her 'business'. That's just about all the walking she does.

We feel so helpless, not being able to 'correct' their issues. But like you, I know age is catching up.

Take care,
Bonnie and Crissy

05-27-2008, 01:48 PM
I am also very understanding of the situation. I try to be positive like I'm sure you do Nat, and also Bonnie, and give Bud the best I can but it doesn't seem enough anymore. They say time is great for healing the heart but it sure is mean to old bones and bodies. I wish we could turn back the clock for a few years and then I would want more because it will never be enough.
Jenny & Buddy

05-27-2008, 06:32 PM
Oh, Jenny, you're so right....no amount of time will be right or enough...am thinking of all three of you...Natalie, Bonny and Jenny. I keep reminding myself that humans are concerned with time...our babies are just concerned with quality of life!
Take care,
Jo-Ann & Lady

05-28-2008, 07:09 PM
Thank you Bonnie, Jenny, and Jo-Ann for your kind notes and expressions of your same struggles with our old dogs.

Jenny, as I recall, you have a few senior citizens at your house, don't you?

Bonnie, does Crissy Ann have some IBD? (I should go look it up instead of asking!)

I don't know if it works the same in dogs as in cats, but it's the hind legs where Gus lost all of the weight he lost. He was still a little plump in front but skin and bones in back. His pelvis was about to poke out of his skin.

I know 14 is old for a 60 pound dog, whatever his breeds actually are. He has been better the past few days so I just keep reminding myself that's it's one day at a time, one paw in front of the other (three).

I really want him to decide when he's done... not make me decide. I know we're not there yet and I'm not trying to be melodramatic (though may be succeeding without trying) but it's something I think about often these days, preparing mentally, hoping not to have to be the one to decide.

Well, once again, it's doggie's dinner time so I need to get off my sob box and go feed the boy!


05-29-2008, 05:59 PM
I really want him to decide when he's done... not make me decide.

Hi Natalie,

Feeling your pain in a very real way and hoping neither of us has to make that decision.:)


05-29-2008, 07:48 PM

Actually, now I feel a bit guilty about my whining cuz I know you all are going through this much worse than we are.

I need to catch up on your thread over at the Cushings board to see how your gorgeous one is doing. But feel free to give an update here too if you want - I know everyone would be interested to read it.

Sending you all a sympathetic hug,


05-31-2008, 01:42 AM
Nat I'm sorry Chris is feeling bad, and to all others with our older doggies.

My Akita cross Chief is going downhill also now, but as I read about the weight loss in the hind legs, at first I thought I was imagining it, but nah he is, his back legs he's sorta hopping along, and his front ones are starting to go, he's up to 2 meloxicam's 2X a day thats about 3.75 mg each, I had called vet about a month ago to up his dose to the 2X he's taking now, I am leary of uping it anymore, I haven't had any problems with meloxicam, Chiefs been on it for 2 yrs now, but now its the 2X day.

I am waiting for him to tell me its time to go also, this just breaks my heart because other than his legs he's a happy dog, good appetitie, goes outside does his business, lays on his back and acts like a baby.

I had called the vet earlier today, both my doggies need their shots, but as I talked to the gal, I just said there's no need for Chief to get his shots, I don't think he will be here much longer, if he makes it thru the summer, Ok, that will be a miracle, but I doubt it when the cold weather gets here.

I had to put down my old german shepard who was 18, but with his legs, for a long time he was on rimadyl, got worse, go to vet, my vet not there, see his wife, she gives him another drug and next day i think he had direaha in the hall ( I should of know when I cleaned it up it did not have that poo odor) and here it was blood he threw up, my vet had know ahead of time by looking at his paws, from throwing up, the stuff he threw up falls into their paws, so she knew he was bleeding and showed me how his gums were losing their pink color told me he would not last the day. So oh well, another rainbow bridge crosser.

So its making me heartsick with Chief, I think he will let me know, or when he can't come in from the yard or I have to pick him up (which I know I can't do, and will have to resort to pulling him on a blanket) Then Niki will be alone, Geez, just lost my other dog last summer.

I can't stand it, it creeps up in my mind and I have to keep shoving the thought way back there!!:(

He was the white puppy some people bought their kids for a Xmas gift they got tired of him and left him outside on one of those screw in the ground posts, until my husbands co worker took him, then his wifes dog a pug didn't like him and bit his ear, so my husband brought him home then we had 4 dogs, Chief never liked being patted on the head, he'd shrivel down a bit, no doubt the prev owners smacked him on the head. Thank God he came home to us.

Aw, this post is making me sad, hard with the older doggies, and the big ones their legs just go, my medium sized dog got the bad legs to, but she could get around better, I guess because she didn't weigh as much.

Nothing you can do, and you feel helpless. It never gets any easier no matter how many dogs you have had.

Well I hope all our older doggies are doing better today,

yep its Saturday now and i am up still at 3:30 AM, Niki running low so I've been checking her :rolleyes:, all and all we cherish & love our dogs, they are one of the good things of this world who really give you unconditional love.

God I miss my dogs more than people, can't help it, people P me off!!:)

05-31-2008, 03:33 PM
Hi Nat,
Don't you dare apologize about having a whinge. We all need to let it out every now and then. I hope today is one of Chris's good days and that there are many more of them. Like they say, one day at a time.
Jenny & Buddy

05-31-2008, 05:02 PM
I don't really know why all these old pups tend to lose muscle mass in their hips and back legs... I've gotten the sense from some reading that it's related to inflammation but I'm not sure why it's concentrated there.

Dolly, that's quite an accomplishment to get a German shepherd to 18 years of age!! Sorry that he had it so bad at the end.

I have similar concerns about Chris because I really can't carry him at 60 pounds. To me, the heartbreak of losing control of the back end is that it takes away quality of life at a time when they are not necessarily mentally ready to call it quits. Scott was telling me that Moria was barking in frustration the other day because she wanted to get up and couldn't and she wanted someone to come help her!

I'm glad Chief was able to come and live with you. That's the best gift you could give him.

Aw, this post is making me sad, hard with the older doggies, and the big ones their legs just go, my medium sized dog got the bad legs to, but she could get around better, I guess because she didn't weigh as much.

Nothing you can do, and you feel helpless. It never gets any easier no matter how many dogs you have had.

God I miss my dogs more than people, can't help it, people P me off!!:)

No doubt we come to these forums because the best people are the ones who treat their animals right. The ones who have earned their critters' love instead of just being given it despite abuse or neglect.

It is sad to think about all this and I try not to stay in "this place" for too much of the day. When Chris feels good, I feel good. When he feels bad, I feel worse. Today he's somewhere in the middle.


06-02-2008, 05:04 AM
Hi Natalie,

Just checking to see how Chris is doing? Sorry he's been having some problems. Positive thoughts being sent to him. Hugs to the two of you.

06-03-2008, 07:33 AM
I'm checking in too - just wondering how the 'ol boy is doing? :rolleyes:

It's okay to whine a bit Natalie - especially here! We've all been there and know the difficulites that we face when our loved ones get old! It's so hard and these guys just don't live long enough! I look back at Taffy's healthy days and they make me smile - she was so full of vim and vigor.

I filled out a pet-foster application FINALLY! It took me long enough because of my hurting heart - going for orientation Thursday evening - and will see how it goes from there. The group is getting so many nice dogs being relinquished because of the economy and losing their homes - the animals have got to go! I can see me failing this whole FOSTERING concept big time. But I'll try....the worst that can happen is that I end up with a nice dog! LOL Steve will strangle me! He is trying to be supportive of me doing this....but keeps telling me you can do this - but we're not keeping any!!!:confused:

Hugs to Chris, Gus, and Katie! Jody

06-03-2008, 10:06 PM
You all said I could whine, so here goes (it's a doozy)...

I've been down with a nasty flu bug combined with some kind of muscle spasm on one side above the right hip that makes walking painful and only some sitting and lying positions halfway comfortable. The two together are making me really cranky!!

Chris has been panting like a fiend and making me anxious. I gave him a Lasix today and he seems a little perkier but then I worry about killing his kidneys. His BG is fine, his heart rate remains high but not astronomical... I can only guess that he's winded and uncomfortable from the chronic lung inflammation and/or the enlarged heart pressing on his larynx as the Lasix does seem to help. I've read that it can help the lungs even before it manages to reduce any fluid buildup. It's the first one I've given in three days.

So the dog's freaking me out, my relatives are driving me crazy, I feel like crap on multiple levels, and I had to drive 20 miles to take Gus in for a blood draw. They're checking his blood for calcium levels, potential anemia from the chemo, and whatever else might show up. Gus seems lethargic. Not miserable but not content either. At least excretory systems seem to be functioning.


I've also been sad as I stopped by the CDMB and so many of Chris' "buddies" - dogs who were there when we joined or whose owners I had more of a connection with - have lost the fight in the last few weeks.

Kind of sorry I started this....

But I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow.


06-04-2008, 01:03 PM
Darn! I almost missed this whole "whining post!" I want in on it too!!!!

Nat, I know how you feel when you say you feel better when Chris feels better. Don't need the flu/muscle spasm thing on top of pets that don't feel well. I know if I have a headache day it's a lot better timing if the critters are all feeling OK.

What does the vet say about what Gus might be feeling with the chemo? Do they have nausea? Lght headedness? Maybe just the BLAHS????

I'm lucky, Bubba is acting ike his old self, feisty, picking on others, running and sailing over the gate we have between the dining room and kitchen. I really would like to get that on video one day, something to look back on. He is so graceful. It's not a jump, it's flying and going an extra 6 feet. It makes me smile.

Oh Chris. You've been through so much.

I've been sad too with the recent pet loss. Way too many, that's for sure.

Wishing you all a feel better day tomorrow, one that lasts and lasts.

06-08-2008, 02:41 PM
Hey Denise, please feel free to whine here! :) I hate to do it alone.

I'm feeling better finally. Chris goes up and down daily. Some days okay, some not so good.

I've been experimenting with different types of carbs to give him since he tends not to want to eat the pasta unless it's covered in tri-tip juice, which kind of defeats the purpose of a mild diet... have actually been using cheesy crackers this week. He's definitely in favor of those. And I picked up a different kind of vitamin supplement as a tablet that so far I've been able to get him to eat so I don't have to use the powder.

Tried some kibble yesterday (Avoderm) but they never seem to work well for Chris. He likes it but his blood sugar goes a lot higher even though it's the same number of calories as the rice or pasta. I bought a sample size bag of Pinnacle kibble too and probably will be experimenting for a while.

All this is combined 50/50 with chicken.

He just seems to be tired of the mush consistency of canned food and cottage cheese so I'm trying to find something chewy or crunchy, which he likes a lot better.

Will post about Gus over on his thread.


06-08-2008, 02:46 PM

You were on my mind with Shiner's plight going on... I was looking at the map thinking... Jody's not so far away!!

I'm very excited to hear that you've applied to foster!! I'm fairly certain I'd fail right into pet ownership but someday we might try it so we can be more mobile. I'd take Shiner in a heart beat if I could. I've just got a thing for black and white dogs especially, and cats!

I think you should take Betty's approach when her hubby said "It's me or the dog" and she said "It's been a nice 15 years, dear, but you knew who I was when you married me!" After all, if a dog makes you happy, that's what's important!!

Some of us need them to be happy.


06-10-2008, 04:01 AM
Quoting Nat

"So the dog's freaking me out, my relatives are driving me crazy, I feel like crap on multiple levels"

LOL, I hear ya, Nat just whine away, I fear this week or next week will be Chiefs time, he's getting that look, GDMT!! I can't stand it, and my relatives make me sick to my stomach!!!!!!!!!:mad:

07-02-2008, 12:26 PM
Chris spent some time at the vet yesterday as a few weird things were making me concerned about him. I already had an appointment, for Gus so just brought Chris instead.

First, he hacked up a bark nugget on Monday. Which is weird for him. He's not a dog who grazes on inedible objects. He will lick dirt and occasionally eat a little grass and there was some grass with the bark nugget. But the bark was big enough - about 3/4" by 3/4" - that he wouldn't have just accidentally swallowed it! 8)

Then yesterday morning he had a marathon squat around the back yard like his butt was trying to kill him.

That and the panting and restlessness... and he let me trim six of his nails a little bit.... that's what really scared me!! So I decided to take him in.

An abdominal x-ray looked a little off and they were thinking he might have some kind of an obstruction. So they did a quick abdominal ultrasound - fortunately his vet is specially trained to do ultrasounds - and didn't see anything. Sent the x-rays to the vet school radiology department to review this morning and I fasted him in case they wanted to do a gastric x-ray with barium. Vet felt that everything I described suggested pain.

Took Gus and Chris in this morning. Radiology agreed that the x-rays looked "off" but felt we could wait and see how he does before putting him through a barium procedure so Chris got a free ride to the vet today and wandered around the examining room while we talked about Gus.

He seems pretty good today and slept better last night, though perhaps in part cuz we were at the vet for almost three hours yesterday and he was really pooped.

I've whittled Chris down to 57 pounds, which is perfect for him. So I'll increase his food a little and see if I can keep him at this weight. Now that he's about 8 pounds lighter, I have a much easier time lifting him into the SUV so didn't have to use the ramp, which is nice. With his screwed up back and hind legs, the ramp is tricky. He's also gotten used to being lifted in and doesn't thrash around anymore.

I knew we were gonna have to do an ultrasound cuz his fur was just starting to look normal after the last one - not fully grown out but getting close. So now he's a tri-level... his cute black spots are back along his tummy, then the half-regrown fur on the rest of his stomach and then his normal coat.

Two people yesterday asked me what kind of a mix he is and I had to tell them that literally no one knows, after two DNA tests! :)


We Hope
07-02-2008, 04:41 PM
Here's hoping that Mr. Hammie will not need to do barium! :)

07-03-2008, 07:41 AM
Hi Natalie,

Just checking to see how Chris is doing? Hope everything is ok. Hugs to you and him.

Lynne and Lady

07-03-2008, 07:42 AM

You mean Chris didn't even get a hammie out of all that? I'm so envious that your vet has an ultrasound machine!

I do hope that Chris is feeling better. I will have an interesting weekend with the 4th. Crissy will be terrified, but I bought some over-the-counter 'calming medicine', which is mostly alcohol. Think I'll just keep her tipsy!

Bonnie and Crissy

We Hope
07-03-2008, 08:39 AM

Just a word of caution--alcohol lowers bg's. This is why people with diabetes are told to be careful when they use it.


"Alcohol, beta blockers, salicylates, oxytetracycline and monoamine oxidase inhibitors potentiate the hypoglycaemic effects of insulin".


"Alcohol can strengthen the blood glucose-lowering effects of insulin. Though our pets don't use alcohol as people do, there are medications and supplements both by prescription and OTC, which contain alcohol as part of their ingredients. Reading labels carefully and being cautious when using meds containing alcohol can prevent possible hypos."

We used Bach's Five Flower with Lucky, but sparingly because of the alcohol content of it. He got a drop in his water in the morning and once again when I changed it in the afternoon/evening. You can smell the brandy the minute you open it--I said a St. Bernard should come with every bottle. :)


"The founder of the modern flower essences, Dr. Edward Bach (1886-1936) established the Bach Flower System: He found 37 individual plants, spring water and one combination of 5 plants (Rescue Remedy). The essences of the Bach Flower System are numbered from 1-39 and listened alphabetically from Nr. 1-Agrimony to Nr. 38-Willow. Bach prepared his remedies of flowers of non toxic wild plants, bushes and trees and spring water he found in the English countryside. He developed special methods of preparation using spring water, sun and decoction.

"English Flower Essences are concentrated (stock bottles) and have to be prepared before use. They were diluted in a solution containing 3 parts of spring water and 1 part of alcohol (vodka, brandy). To make a mixture for use in animals (and man) you add 2 drops of each essence per 10 ml solution. Only the famous Nr. 39 Rescue Remedy makes an exception: you add 4 drops of Nr. 39 per 10 ml water. A mixture can contain several essences.

"The dosage in small animals is about 1-5 drops 1-4 times a day--dependant on the species and the reaction of the animal. You can give the mixture into the mouth, add it to food or water or drop it on the head of the animal.

"The most famous remedy of the Bach Flower System is Nr. 39-Rescue Remedy, the only combination in the system. It is composed of 5 flowers: Nr. 6 Cherry Plum, Nr. 9 Clematis, Nr. 18 Impatiens, Nr. 26 Rock Rose, Nr. 29 Star of Bethlehem. It can be used in every case of emergency as a first aid medicament--in practice by the vets assistant, at home by the owner. You can drop a few drops on the head between the ears and repeat every 15-20 minutes until the animal gets quiet."

Lucky never had a hypo from anything, but when we decided to go with the Five Flower for some anxiety, we factored the blood glucose lowering effect of the alcohol into the dose he was getting. He got enough to make him less anxious but not enough that we needed to lower his insulin dosage.

I just wouldn't want Chrissie to avoid the firecrackers by having a hypo.

07-03-2008, 02:21 PM
Well, he seemed okay yesterday, but today's he a bit delicate.

We did take him out for a hammie today and he came home and threw up part of it after his insulin and meds! So I'm gonna have to keep an eye on him and probably give him some syrup or see if he can take some more food.

If this continues, we may have to have the barium x-ray.

I'm wondering if he ate the bark nugget because he threw up into the bark in the yard and then ate it and that's how he picked up the bark piece.


07-04-2008, 07:44 AM
We Hope,

When Crissy gets so stressed by thunderstorms (had one between 1 and 4 AM this morning), her bg's go soaring, so the alcohol in her calming stuff shouldn't cause a hypo. It's also basically a combination of natural floral essences with the alcohol. I really didn't see much 'calming' with it's use this morning. She still paced and whined and barked. I got up with her, turned the TV up, and covered her with one of her blankets. She used to just want to go upstairs and hide under my bed (although she can only get her head under it), but in the last year she's gotten so much worse.

Chris' losing part of his hammie made me sad since we all know how much he enjoys them. Hope he's feeling better.

Bonnie and Crissy

07-04-2008, 08:00 AM
I am just catching up after being away for awhile (sometimes our humans demand attention....ho hum), and I am hoping that Chris is feeling better. Really hoping that there is no need for a barium procedure...keeping fingers crossed.

Love and hugs, Teresa and Ricky

07-04-2008, 10:25 PM
Hi Teresa,

Nice to see you here... how's Ricky doing? I heard through the grapevine that he wasn't feeling too well himself recently.


07-04-2008, 10:29 PM
Thanks everybody for wishing Chris well!

He hasn't thrown up today but has been a little slow moving and his poop was unusually dark tonight. Makes me wonder if he isn't having some kind of ulcer type issue with a little bit of bleeding.

He's been picky about his food too. Sometimes he turns down the cheese, sometimes the crackers. And I haven't given him any Lasix so this lack of interest in food is coming from something else.

I'll be in touch with the vet on Monday. I want to find out how involved the gastric study will be, especially regarding any anesthesia needed. Am wondering if we can make some changes and/or treat as if there's a stomach issue without doing the scan. I'm not real anxious to anesthetize him, even a little bit.


07-04-2008, 10:31 PM

We have been lucky. Chris isn't bothered by fireworks. I always feel so bad for the pups who are this time of year. They aren't too bad here cuz they're not legal, which thins out the number of people doing them.

Hope Crissy's tired and a little pickled from the alcohol and snoring soundly downstairs, dreaming of her favorite things.


07-05-2008, 12:20 PM
It occurred to me late last night that the dark stool is mostly likely from Chris eating dirt as the consistency was normal. Still fits in with stomach concerns but a lot less worrisome than potential bleeding.

07-13-2008, 05:45 PM
We are having a bad weekend...

Chris heart rate is periodically even higher than his usual rate these days of 200. Multiple times it's been 250-270. I used to worry when it was 200. Now I'm relieved if it goes back down to that.

Yesterday at lunch time his heart rate was 270 and his gums were a bit pale. Not enough to panic me but paler than I'd like.

Lots of coughing and wheezing all weekend.

And he's had two episodes today of sudden urgent bowel movements, enough time to haul him outside but barely.

This morning's was followed, in the time it took me to get my shoes on, by a back spasm or whatever it is that causes him to flop over on his side and just lay there with a wild eyed look. I sat on the grass with him for the five or ten minutes it takes for this to pass and then brought him back in.

The second urgent bowel action happened a few minutes ago and immediately followed a deep cough and seemed like the force of the cough set it off.

The bowel thing could be his food... it's a constant search for something he will eat for a few days at a time. I was giving him some high fiber bread for the past few days so maybe that's the cause of BM attacks.

Sometimes his breathing is pulling, sometimes it's okay.

I've emailed the cardiologist to discuss what any vet would be able to do for him for the heart rate. If there's really nothing they can do for him, we won't take him to the emergency room for it. The last thing we want is for him to be hauled back by an unfamiliar doc who comes back to say yup, his heart's rate's too fast.... like we didn't already know that. Nothing invasive, nothing stressful unless it can provide him with some relief.

So far I've managed not to have to take him in but it's been close a handful of times. He's just not doing well at all.


07-14-2008, 01:34 AM
Ending a long day of ups and downs with Chris. One minute he seems better, next he looks terrible.

Heard from the cardiologist tonight.

She would like us to have an ECG done during the fast heart rates to see if the ventricular arrhythmia is the source of the fast beat. She has a medication we could try if that's the case. Also wants me to put him on a regular dose of Lasix for a while (and get a chest x-ray to see if fluid is building) as she's seeing a lot of dogs with heart problems going into congestive heart failure from the hot smoky air we have had.

Giving him his pills is getting more and more challenging.

Every time he bites into something his pills are hidden in and happens to open up one of the heart med capsules, he then refuses to eat what the pills were wrapped in and whatever meal he had right after that.

He was eating the Pinnacle kibble like it was a treat until that happened this morning. I've since had to bury it in canned food gravy to get him to eat it. The powder in the capsules isn't horrible tasting (tried a taste to see) but it is very sour and there's a fair amount of powder to take with his dose. He first refused his crackers, then his chicken, his bread. Not sure what I'll try next if the Pinnacle is refused.


07-14-2008, 01:46 AM
Hi Natalie,
Sorry to hear Chris is doing it tough. I have no helpful advice to offer because I know you are doing all you can but I can tell you I am thinking of you and hoping you can get something to make Chris more comfortable.
Jenny & Buddy

Brandy mom
07-14-2008, 05:10 AM

I don't have any advice. Just wanted you to know that I am sending postive thoughts and prayer your way.

I sure you have but have you tried the pill pocket you use for kitty Gus?

Dawn and the girls

07-14-2008, 07:59 AM
Sorry to hear Chris had a bad weekend. Hope you can locate a medication that will slow the heartbeat down somewhat.

I picked up some Hydroxyzine at Crissy's vet's this morning because her anxiety levels are out of sight with all our thunderstorms.

Hugs to Chris and Nataline,
Bonnie and Crissy

07-14-2008, 01:12 PM
The heart is no worse... but Chris may have cancer.

There are a handful of small nodules in his lungs.

His doc is gonna take the x-rays to the vet school tomorrow for a consult but he does not seem hopeful about good news. Most likely form of lung cancer is secondary to cancer elsewhere, although the doc has no idea where it might be coming from.

07-14-2008, 01:35 PM
Oh, Natalie,

I'm so very sorry to even see the word 'cancer' being used. I do hope that they find something else or at least, that it's confined to some area where there can be treatment.

Give Chris an extra hammie and hug from us.

Bonnie and Crissy

07-14-2008, 06:21 PM
Ive been reading about Chris,...Big hugs from me and Mickey, No matter what happens , He is one lucky, well loved doggy to have you!

We Hope
07-14-2008, 06:49 PM
Natalie and family,

Chris is blessed to be a part of your family ever since you picked him at the shelter. You've seen him through many, many things, beginning with corrective heart surgery I don't believe a lot of people would have had done.

Along the way, there was diabetes and quite a few more serious medical conditions. Throughout all of this, you found ways to deal with them all so that Chris has a quality and happy life.

In order to express what I'm feeling, I need to look back on one of mine a moment-she was far from a youngster when we learned she had a malignancy which began quickly and spread rapidly.

"Grampa" took this just as hard as we did. Many years later, he spoke to me about it again--about not being able to save Heidi. I told him he had forgotten about all of the times that he did.

Please keep thinking about "all of the times you did"--for Chris.

07-14-2008, 10:38 PM
I'm so sorry to hear this about Chris - he is such a miracle dog. Let us know what you find out Natalie - will be thinking of you two. Jody

07-15-2008, 05:06 AM

I am so very sorry to hear about Chris. Sending tons of prayers and positive thoughts your way. Hugs to you and him.

Lynne and Lady

Brandy mom
07-15-2008, 09:12 AM

So sorry. Sending prayer your way. Kisses to Chris from the girls and me. If anyone can fix this you will be the one. You are just amazing with Chris. With so many things going on with Chris you find the time to help others.

Dawn and the girls

07-15-2008, 09:30 AM
Hi Natalie,
Hugs and well wishes to your Chris He is so lucky to have you!The amazing thing is that you help others!!. I hope Chris gets to feeling better and doesn't have cancer.
Marianne and Pebbles

07-15-2008, 12:54 PM
There was no good news from the radiology review. No question it's cancer and most likely secondary metastases from a tumor elsewhere.

Chris' vet feels his quality of life has already slipped significantly in the past week to ten days and things will only get worse from here. That the kindest thing to do at this point is to let him go now when it's not so bad.

We haven't made any decisions... Jeff and I will have to talk tonight and I've put in a call to an oncologist who is familiar with Chris. But his heart is so compromised and he's declined so much recently that treatment, even if it could help and it's not clear that it would, really isn't an option.

I can't even really take all of this in yet. Chris is still "in there", but he's also clearly uncomfortable too much of the time. The past five days have been terrible for him. So I know in my heart that his vet is right about him and his future. Exactly how that road will go I don't know yet...

Thank you for your kind wishes... will let you know what happens.


07-15-2008, 02:16 PM
I just wanted to say I am thinking of you and Chris and hoping for the best. I do know that any decisions made for Chris will be made with love and compassion so they will will be the right ones.
Jenny & Buddy

Mike Vee
07-15-2008, 02:37 PM
our hearts go out to you & Chris. You provide guidance and inspiration to us all. Please know that we're sending prayers and good wishes your way during this rough time.

07-15-2008, 05:36 PM
I think this is the most difficult time for ya'll and the hardest conversation that you will have with your husband I know that you love Chris and will do whats best for him not yourself. No one can judge unless they have gone through this most difficult time.. we are all here for you Hugs and prayers from Pebbles and I. God will guide you
Marianne and Pebbles

07-15-2008, 09:45 PM
Natalie, I'm stunned! We never know about these things but it does cross our minds at times. You've done so well by Chris that I know this decision will also be in his best interest but you need time to process the info. I am so sorry you have to think about this.

My mind has been in the same place with Bogie, wondering what I will find out and it scares me.

Where is the tumor? Nothing maybe to knock it back for the time being?

Praying for you a calm mind to process this, praying some feel good moments for poor old Chris and sending HUGS to all.


07-16-2008, 02:44 PM

I am so terribly sorry to hear the news about Chris. You and he have fought so hard and have beat the odds many times. For him to be walking on God's green earth for 14 years is truly a testament to the love and nurturing his momma has given him. I sincerely believe that your love and devotion has given him the will to live and I suspect that it is no less difficult for him to say goodbye to you as it is for you to let him go.

My prayers are with you and your entire family.


07-16-2008, 03:44 PM
Denise, we are stunned as well. No one was expecting this. I see that Bogie continues to struggle too and am anxious to hear whether you got into ISU and what they found out.


07-16-2008, 03:46 PM
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind messages. I have been kind of living this thing for the past couple of days... sometimes I manage to set it aside, sometimes not.

I have an appointment with a veterinary oncologist tomorrow who is acquainted with Chris, just to talk things over - what's likely to happen, what she sees when she looks at him, that kind of thing.

My feeling at the moment, literally the moment as I go back and forth, is I don't think this is the time to do a pre-emptive euthanasia to avoid things that "might" happen. Jeff and I agree that euthanasia is for relief of suffering, not to avoid suffering that he might experience, or might not. Right now, he's eating heartily now that he's getting Hamburger Helper Beef Pasta!, pooping, peeing, and mobile even if creaky. He's present and sometimes even looks cheerful, though he is often less than comfortable. But taking him off the kibble helped. He likes it but it doesn't like him.

Will see whether the talk with the oncologist changes any of that.

I always feel like if I'm not sure then it's not time. And right now I think it is not time. He may still decide on his own or he may decline and then I'll know....


07-16-2008, 05:23 PM
Hi Natalie,

I have been off and on on the Cushing's forum and have not visited yours in a while due to other demands on my time.

I know you will do what is right for Chris and Chris knows it too.

I am so sorry you all are having to go through this and I agree with you about preemptive euthanisia. We hasten their departure only to relieve them of suffering.

Vandy, Moria and I will be thinking about you, Chris and Jeff.


07-16-2008, 05:52 PM
Natalie you've been a great help to me here, and I know what you are facing right now, we let 2 pups go in the last 3 years. A 12 yr old and a 14 yr old. Its hard, but let me tell you what I have found. Your pup will let you know when they've had enough, We had another dog named Mickey for 16 years ( our Mickey now was named in his honor) he had severe arthritis..it got to the point where when he got up from a laying position he would just cry, and he would move around slowly, One morning he just looked up at me with a "help me" look, and i knew it was time, it was hard and he went peacefully in our arms. Your baby will let you know when hes had enough,,Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Chris

07-17-2008, 06:50 AM

I've just been unable to get enough control of my emotions to write anything since I saw the post that it was definitely cancer. I'm heart broken that this is happening to Chris and you. You've been by my side through everything with Crissy and I truly feel like Chris and her are connected in some way...treading the same paths.

Now there's Bogie too.

You know that you're in my thoughts and if you need anything, just say so.
I have faith that you will always do what's best for Chris.

Bonnie and Crissy

07-17-2008, 10:40 AM
Hi NAtalie,
I am really sorry to hear the news on Chris's cancer. I know that when he is ready you will now.It is so hard to even think of the inevitable for the healthy dogs and the sick dogs It breaks all of our hearts here as atone time or another we had to go through the same decision. I have 9 animals to go through. Jeez! I understand if you don't come on the forum for a bit.You need to be with Chris.Pebbles and I send really big hugs!
Marianne and Pebbles

07-17-2008, 02:01 PM
I know what you mean about "not taking this all in" as I feel I am in the same boat. I don't know if that's a good thing or not but maybe a self preservation thing?

Hamburger Helper??? Oh Chris! You lucky dog!!! Don't tell Bogie!

Nat, have you had to change his insulin dose?

Keeping you and Chris in prayer and sending "feel good" thoughts for Chris and "I can cope" thoughts to you!


07-18-2008, 12:00 AM
I thought the oncologist visit today was good. She really has a special place for Chris in her heart. Took him back to the hospital area as we decided to do some bloodwork and a urinalysis... more about that later... and she introduced him to the techs in the back as the best managed diabetes dog in the world (he's not really but it was nice) with his own website! ;) I had sent her a postcard about k9diabetes.com so she knew all about his star turn here.

Her feeling is that ultimately it falls to us to decide when he's having more bad time than good time but looking at him he didn't look like a dog who is currently suffering. We talked about signs that would indicate he's suffering and that quality of life is not adequate.

She also feels that unless a large tumor grew quickly, the cancer is not necessarily the cause of his discomfort and she wants to work on pain control with his back to see if that helps him. The lesions in the lung are not causing pain so the question is what is. Could be a hemangiosarcoma in the heart as they both grow and spread quickly and it's been a while since we looked there. But in the end it probably doesn't really matter whether it's there or where it is. I'm not inclined to do a lot of work to find it. Even ultrasounds are stressful.

She had the surgeon do an analysis of his nerve function in the back half and that was all normal. He didn't see any obvious growths in bones or muscles and just confirms that Chris has lower back pain.

So she took blood and urine just to check for anything new and wants to boost his pain control. She wants to add amantadine, which can in some cases boost the effectiveness of other pain killers and then there's another synthetic narcotic, an older one, that we could try since he doesn't tolerate Tramadol if the amantadine doesn't help. Plus get him back on his glucosamine supplement and add some pepcid or other stomach soothing. The surgeon felt we could go just with the oral supplement and skip adequan injections.

We also talked about a variety of drugs that can ease his life if the cancer starts to cause problems, in a hospice/palliative mode. Won't cure anything but help lift mood and general quality of life.

I'm a little concerned about kidneys as he's drank more water the past couple of days. Will see what the blood work and urinalysis shows. He'd had a 24 hour break from Lasix. But then of course his diet isn't exactly salt free..

So far so good with the Hamburger Helper (and a few hammies). As long as he doesn't bite into one of his heart medication capsules, I think he'll continue eating it.

Today wasn't his best day. She saw him in something like middlin' level of comfort. I was feeling very discouraged this morning looking at him.

But I do know that we are not interested in pre-emptive euthanasia. If things go bad, we will know what we have to do. And if they don't we will all be lucky. In the meantime, we will see if we can improve his comfort level by tackling the back and stomach.

Everybody was great with him today and we felt very lucky to have an oncologist who cares so much for Chris taking a look at his case.

Now, instead of one day at a time, it's more like one moment at a time. And a major rollercoaster. But I feel like we are currently doing what's right for him and for us. I think his vet, who I really like, was hearing my concern about quality of life that was expressed pre cancer diagnosis and got the impression that it was worse than I think it is.

The cancer diagnosis did change my... yardstick.. for what is expected from Chris. I don't know if that's right or wrong but it's like the heart rate. 200 used to scare me; now it's a level that gives me relief. Now what some panting and back problems that were scaring me sort of pale in comparison to cancer and they aren't so scary anymore. Probably totally irrational.

Okay, I'm rambling.

For tonight, we are here and no horrible decision has to be made and a margarita has improved my outlook.

Denise, no real change in insulin dose. He's been bouncing up and down but his diet has been all over the place too. Chicken and fiber-added bread last week (a little too much fiber apparently), Pinnacle kibble over the weekend, which he liked but it didn't do good things to him, and now Hamburger Helper. So I can't correlate anything. One thing we might ultimately give is pred... only if it really helps and we really have to, but I figure I can compensate.

I hope Bogie's doing okay and is not so weak. It feels like Chris' whole peer group from the CDMB has been having problems this summer.


07-18-2008, 09:46 AM
MArianne and Pebbles

07-18-2008, 04:31 PM

I am so very sorry to hear about Chris. I know that whatever you decide to do will be the right thing for Chris. Know that we're all here for you. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Hugs to you and Chris.

Lynne and Lady

07-20-2008, 12:31 PM
How's it going Natalie???

Hang in there. We are in the same boat so paddling upstream should be a bit easier?

Did you get a survival time with this cancer?

07-20-2008, 02:08 PM
Hey Denise,

We don't know whether Chris' lung nodules are primary or metasteses from somewhere else. Primary starting in the lung isn't very likely but could happen.

Hemangiosarcoma is one possibility - would have started in the heart or spleen (or skin, though no sign of an external tumor) with hemangio and frequently spreads to the lung. My understanding is that hemangiosarcoma is very aggressive and spreads early and quickly.

At this point we aren't willing to put Chris through the tests to determine what the cancer is. His heart is barely functional - his resting heart rate lately has been 200, sometimes higher, and even an ultrasound generates a fair amount of stress.

He's had back x-rays, a stomach ultrasound that saw some of his colon and bladder a few weeks ago, and an abdominal ultrasound a couple of months ago so anything new would have to be fast moving. The last heart ultrasound was April.

We did do bloodwork and a UA just to see how things are looking there. But even being put on his back and held for the needle collection of the urine (I was with him) was stressful.

Long story short... could be tomorrow, could be a few months.

The oncologist did confirm that the small lesions in his lungs would not be painful. She feels like his current discomfort may not be cancer-related.

I'm going to try giving him an Amantadine today - it piggybacks on the Metacam to boost the pain relief. His back and right leg definitely hurt him.

I don't know about you, but my mood shifts with every little change in Chris. Friday he had a good day so I felt pretty good. Today he's not as chipper so neither am I.

Sending a big hug to you and to Bogie,


07-20-2008, 05:29 PM
Wonder if the leg and back pain could mean it's in the bladder and or prostate? NOt knowing doesn't feel good, seems we like answers but I understand your not putting him through it. I've had sick cats that when breathing was a issue it about killed them to be held on their backs for xrays and I felt soooo bad.

When an exact dx can be made so you know how to treat the ailment then you put them through more but I don't see doing any further tests on Bogie except UA's. I wish there was a blood test that could tell us how things were going.

I have Bogie in a belly band and fem pad and it's nice since I can hold him without getting peed on and he isn't needing to be washed up several times a day. I will be taking pics, video and am keeping a journal. The journal was recommended by someone that lost a golden to cancer last year. He said it helped a lot.

I would like to make memories but he needs to feel a bit better than he is right now.

Call if you want to talk. I understand the mood thing and am already tired of comparing one day to another based on how he is feeling. It's not how I want to remember him.

07-20-2008, 07:08 PM
Hi Natalie,

I just read about the trip to the Oncologist, it sounds like you have a good team working with you.

I believe we are put here to support them as long as it makes sense for them and I think that is what you believe also.

I hope Chris enjoys as much hamburger helper and other special meals as he can eat.

Best wishes from ours to yours.


07-20-2008, 09:45 PM
Nat, check out the products at www.onlynaturalpet.com (http://www.onlynaturalpet.com) I was just reading about several for use in cancer dogs and cats. I ordered Bogie some te other day but want to add the one with inostisol (sp). It's supposed to help build up healthy cells to kill of the bad cells.

Bogie is now getting Transfer Factor, Tinkle Tonic, B vitamins liquid that he loves the taste of but boy it smells! Digestive enzymes, fiber, his anti inflammatory and have one for prostate coming and one for immune.

I used to try and add one thing at a time but now's not that time!

07-21-2008, 11:04 PM
Oh Nat, its so hard for me to be strong as I write this, I feel so bad about Chris, the worse part is we feel so helpless.

I feel so bad I haven't been to the board, with just losing my Chief, I can't get past it.

I feel your pain and know you will do what you think is best. I don't know what words to say, our doggies are so much a part of our hearts.

I know what Chris has been thru over the years, your little soldier.

Its so hard to hear that diagnois and keep yourself together.

I am at a loss for words, please know I am thinking of you and Chris and hope you are OK

Me and Niki love you, Give Chris a big hug for me.

Nat you are the best.

07-22-2008, 08:10 AM
Natale ..
There are no words to express how sad I am with this news about Chris....
I know how much you love him , and will do what ever it takes to see that his quality of life is the best it can be....
Big smooches and hugs
to Chris...
Johanna & Killian

07-22-2008, 11:03 AM
Hi Nat,

Just thinking of you and Chris today.

07-22-2008, 06:44 PM
Just checking on you and Chris Hope he is having a good day and not a bad one Hugs from Pebbles and I

07-22-2008, 10:00 PM
B vitamins liquid that he loves the taste of but boy it smells!

Denise, Chris was starting to refuse his Metacam liquid so I mixed it with the contents of a fish oil capsule and now he laps it up... his breath could knock you over afterward.

Today was not Chris' best day. It's hot and a little smoky so that's probably not helping. He's not panting, just lethargic and low energy. He actually had a good weekend and has only been blah that past 36 hours or so.

Hard to know if the Amantadine is why he's down in the dumps. I'll give it a few more days and if he doesn't perk up I'll drop it and see if that helps.

I do think the Amantadine is relieving some of his back pain so I hope it isn't bothering his stomach or causing a sensitivity reaction.

His kidney values aren't great either. His creatinine went up to 3.1 (from 2.1 in April) and the BUN went to 57 (from 34 in April) plus his urine specific gravity dropped from 1.038 to 1.021, which is marginal. Maybe mostly the little bit of Lasix he has. He was drinking and urinating more at that point when the tests were done than he is now.

Have been trying to arrange for someone who can do an at home euthanasia if it comes to that. I talked to a mobile vet yesterday who is willing and able and seems nice and I'm hoping to check the situation out with vets I know just to be sure there's no problem with that person as a resource. I hope we won't have to do it but want to be prepared so we can do it at home if we have to do it. It would require some time to arrange.


I don't like days like today when he's down in the dumps. His heart rate this morning was 231. It's like some twisted race to see which organ fails first.

Every time I talked to someone about it today, I made it through the conversation, hung up the phone, and then lost it.


07-23-2008, 01:27 AM
I do understand about the down days and how hard it can be. I am hoping you can have lots of the good ones to enjoy. You are amazingly strong but nobody can keep a brave face on all the time, it has a habit of slipping when you least expect it.
Jenny & Buddy

07-23-2008, 02:11 AM
Oh Nat I know you are not Ok, I don't know what to say and know how heartbreaking all of this is.

Just checking in on you and Chris
http://images.yuku.com/image/gif/39e355784790e6d680cb888f65325312d8829cb_t.gif (http://eyelostit.u.yuku.com/fs/view/fid/96208)

07-23-2008, 06:27 AM

I feel like I'm right there beside you. I know how hard this is. I sat down beside Crissy Ann this morning and gave her shot and just the way she looked at me, started my tears. I told her how very much I loved her and that if she felt it was time to go meet Dinky, it was OK and she should just go. That 'Mommy' would be alright. That I'd have a broken heart but would love her until the day I died.

I so hope that neither you nor I will have to make that final call.

Hope Chris perks up and has a wonderful day and can enjoy a hammie.

Bonnie and Crissy

07-23-2008, 07:00 AM
Good Morning Natalie: Thinking of you this morning and reading your updates. I'm one who likes to be prepared also, so good that you are making those phone calls. It was so hard to make that dreaded decision when I looked at Taffy each day - and when I knew on that fateful day that it was here - I had to do it quickly, so opted to take her in. She was pretty mobile at the time, which helped alot.

I remember making those calls too - I hung up on many people because of that lump in my throat that just appeared out of no where.

Scritches to Chris - I hope he has a good day, and you too! Love, Jody

07-24-2008, 11:31 AM
Hi Natalie,
I'm just checking in after being off the forum for a few weeks and I'm so sorry to hear about what you've been going through. I hope you don't have to make the decision....I hope Chris just goes peacefully and painlessly. I'll check back more often and will be praying for your family,
Jo-Ann & Lady

07-24-2008, 12:20 PM
Just wanted to say we are thinking of you. Another friend of mine found out her 11 year old lab has malignant melanoma yesterday. What the heck? Are we just going to see more and more disease in our human friends AND our pets?

Spend as much time with him as you can, cherish every good moment and memory.


07-24-2008, 04:33 PM
Hi Natalie,

Just checking to see how Chris and you are doing today. Keeping the two of you in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs to you and Chris.

Lynne and Lady

07-24-2008, 11:48 PM
I feel like I'm right there beside you. I know how hard this is. I sat down beside Crissy Ann this morning and gave her shot and just the way she looked at me, started my tears. I told her how very much I loved her and that if she felt it was time to go meet Dinky, it was OK and she should just go. That 'Mommy' would be alright. That I'd have a broken heart but would love her until the day I died.

Bonnie... I do sometimes feel like Chris and Crissy Ann are walking down the same path... I know how hard that was to say to Crissy.

Chris has had a miserable week. Every day since Monday a little worse. Today he did go for a hammie and a stumble around the nearby grass. I stopped the Amantadine this afternoon to see if that helps and gave him Lasix for the coughing. Restless all night last night, wheezing, coughing. Heart rate high.

Will see if skipping the Amantadine this afternoon has any effect. The theory is that the coughing, etc. is all just upper airway stuff, maybe laryngeal, and not critical but it seems to have a big impact on his comfort, which makes it critical.

07-25-2008, 12:19 AM
I'm so very sorry to hear Chris is not doing well and send my heartfelt wishes that he's able to get more comfortable. I know how exhausting it can be to cope from day to day, and will keep you both in my thoughts.

07-25-2008, 02:11 PM

I am there with you as well and am very sorry to hear that this week was so tough.

I wish I could do more.


07-25-2008, 10:14 PM
I'm here if you need a walking partner too!

We need to talk.

07-26-2008, 04:12 PM
What a crummy thing for us to have in common, huh? Still, if that's how it has to be, well, I couldn't ask for better company.

Denise, feel free to call whenever it's good for you. I upped my cell phone minutes midmonth as there have been so many crises lately.

I put Chris back on the Amantadine today - he was no better off of it than on it. And he quit eating Hamburger Helper a few days ago. Currently it's breaded chicken breast with a little Italian cheese mix sprinkled over it and there's hamburger waiting in the wings for when he starts to refuse the chicken. He's had some cottage cheese along the way too.

He's not feeling too well today and is clingy. Doesn't want to be left alone in a room, which is okay with me to have him here beside me but I don't get the feeling it's all that good of a sign of how he feels.

07-27-2008, 12:50 AM

Just letting you know thinking of you and Chris, its hard, give Chris a neck rub for me.

Take care

07-27-2008, 05:44 AM
Natalie...I have been off the board for a while now because of family health issues, and am just now learning of Chris' diagnosis. I think you may be one of the bravest people I know...Chris has been blessed, as have you. You will now, as you always have, do the best thing for Chris, and even though my heart is breaking for you, I feel joy, too. Because of your special relationship with Chris. You know, it wouldn't hurt so bad if it wasn't so good. I will be thinking of you, sending strength your way. God bless you both.

Love, Teresa

Bichon Mum
07-27-2008, 09:55 AM
Hello there Natalie

Sorry I haven't been in touch I only just found out about this board.

I am dreadfully sorry to hear your news about Chris, I was just asking about you both to Denise and she told me your sad news, poor fellow and poor you and hubby.

How is he feeling today? He couldn't be in safer hands anyway Natalie you are fantastic with Chris, I know Zeno would have been long gone without you. The food you are preparing for Chris sounds yummy he has a very special mum.

I love his picture on your profile he looks so sweet.

Just wanted to say hello and that I am so sorry. Please give Chris a big lick on the nose from Zeno and a big hug from me (and a hug to you to Natalie).

Love Sharon xxxx

07-27-2008, 10:34 AM
Hey Natalie & Chris... Denise told me about what you have guys have been dealing with and I just wanted to let you know that I am here if you need anything. I know I am a hell of a long way away, but I can listen.

I have been thinking of you often and wondering how you have all been doing. When I came on this morning, to read your post, I was so shocked. Poor Chris, please give him a great big hug from me and the boys. You know that I will be keeping you all in my prayers and will send positive thoughts your way.

We have so much to get caught up on, since you left the other board. We've moved, a whole bunch of major changes and losses, lots of stresses. As I read your post on Chris's diagnosis, all I can think of is that is exactly what my Dad was dx with in February.

And you can tell Chris for me that since he was dx on my birthday....I'm gonna be praying extra hard at this end.

Belated birthday wishes to Chris and to Jeff, from a fellow crab person.

Natalie, even though I no longer have any diabetic pets, I still go to the board often, there are so many friends. I hope you don't mind me registering here, I feel so bad that I wasn't here earlier. I know you had so much on your plate and still do, from the looks of it.

I will be checking in to see how you are making out. Hoping that the rest of your lives are going okay. I still have that patch that we have to send to Jeff (no I did not forget...)

Will talk soon. Take care and super great big hugs from me and the boys.

07-27-2008, 10:55 AM
Natalie...Just wanted you to know I was checking on Chris and am so sorry He is having all these problems. I know how hard it was with Bo and I wish you and Chris to have some good days. There is nothing i know of to say to really help. Just letting you know I was thinking of you and Chris...Kay

07-27-2008, 04:11 PM

I have been away from here for so long, things here have been a bit on end and I am sorry about that, but never did I imagine that things have turned out like this for Chris! Cushy gave me the heads-up tonight, and I appreciate that so very much, bc you are such an angel and Chris such a very special pup, I wanted to come and offer you my support, and hugs and prayers, and anything else you need!!!

I wish there was something I could say, something I could do, my tears flow for you both and I feel so utterly lost bc I know nothing I say can make things any different. And how I wish it could!

So...I will do the only thing I know that I can....say lots of prayers, keep you both so close in heart, and let you know that I, too, stand with you...

So many many many hugs coming to you both from my house....Beth and the boys

07-27-2008, 09:54 PM
Just checking in on you and Chris.

Take care

07-27-2008, 10:31 PM
What a lovely surprise to come here today and find so many old friends taking time to check in on Chris - now I'm crying again just writing this.

I feel bad cuz I'm sure there has been plenty going on with all of you as well and I just haven't been able to keep up.

Chris has not felt all that well. But he did muster up a little enthusiasm for a hammie this afternoon and a little time after he ate spent lying in some shady grass with his nose into the wind.

His vet on Friday said that if he can still enjoy at "hammie" at 98 years old the way Chris has, he'll be grateful.

Thank you so much for taking time to write and wish us well.


07-27-2008, 10:53 PM
I'm just dropping by to let you know I'm thinking of you and your's and Chris. Wishing him many more hammies and anything else he takes a fancy to in the future. Is it possible for you to set up some home oxygen for him to give his heart a bit of a break?

Best wishes.


07-28-2008, 06:45 AM
I have a great visual of Chris lying in the shade with his nose to the wind....and enjoying his hammie!!
With all the time you've spent helping the rest of us, checking in on you and Chris is the least we can do...wish we could do more. I've learned so much from your posts to myself and all the others. Lady's collapse on July 2nd sounds more like a back spasm that you described than a low or a seizure.
Will check back later, take care,
Jo-Ann & Lady

07-28-2008, 09:31 AM
Just stopping by to say I am still thinking of you and Chris...sending love.

Love and hugs, Teresa

Bichon Mum
07-28-2008, 01:40 PM
Hello Natalie

Aww the hammie and the nose in the wind sounds lovely.

Hope Chris is having a good day today - we are thinking of him, and you.

Love Sharon & Zeno xxxx

07-28-2008, 03:41 PM
Sending Love to you and Chris......;)

Mickey and his Mom

07-28-2008, 08:13 PM
Dear Natalie,
I've missed you on the other board, but am devastated to hear the news about Chris. I am happy you have so many friends here to help you through the times ahead...
I know many friends have helped me deal with my loss of Lena. I doubt I'll ever fully recover, but I celebrate her life every day in spite of missing her. It's how I pay tribute to her and all that she brought to my life.
I know you feel the same about Chris.
I wish I could say something to help, but I'm here in spirit and sending prayers and good thoughts your way. Hugs to you and Chris!
Sincerely, Monica

07-29-2008, 06:00 PM
There will be no feeling bad from YOU about not being able to keep up on everyone else Miss Natalie - you've only helped a gazillion people and their dogs and many wouldn't be here today without your expertise and knowledge! I'm sure many others will attest to that! You've got your hands so full right now with not only Chris....but Gus the kitty as well! Spend lots of time with them, and Jeff too - I'm sure he is feeling overwhelmed too.

Hope he gets another hammie tomorrow - and by the looks of California and their fires - Chris should probably not hang out outside with his nose in the air! BAD STUFF!! Jody

07-29-2008, 10:43 PM
We took him to dinner for a hammie. His energy is very low but he consumed all the hammie we would give him.

Had a long talk with Denise today and among the things I learned from her is that the high heart rate could be a very major contributor to Chris' discomfort, that it really doesn't feel good to have such a high heart rate.

It's like the cancer diagnosis just told me that we're at the end of the road. I don't think the cancer is a major cause of his problems right now but made the gravity of his illness sink in and forced me to accept it.

Brandy mom
07-30-2008, 05:12 AM

Glad to see Chris is still enjoying his hammie. I agree with Jody. With out all your help with Brandy I don't think we would of made it to two years. You taught me to look outside the box not all dogs will follow the text book.

I think and pray for you and Chris each day. The girls and I send Chris big kisses and hugs and one for you too.

Dawn and the girls

07-30-2008, 07:03 AM
Natalie...my heart breaks that you are going through a difficult time now. When our loved ones are ill, and we think they may be uncomfortable, nothing else matters. I pray each day for you and for Chris. You are a wonderful, caring, loving mom to him. You are both lucky to have each other. God bless.

Love and hugs, Teresa

07-31-2008, 07:38 AM
Just checking in on Chris. Glad he can enjoy his food. Not much else to say except I am praying for him and hoping his days are more comfortable.

07-31-2008, 09:33 AM
Chris started bleeding somewhere in the upper GI tract yesterday and he's anemic and very lethargic.

I talked with the ER doc last night and have a call in to the oncologist today (she's not scheduled to work so not sure when she will call), only to make sure we have covered everything. But I don't expect she will tell us anything we don't already know...

So we are talking about tonight or tomorrow morning. We've decided to take him to the oncologist's hospital but let him go in the SUV on his bed. I just can't stand to make an appointment and we feel now like sooner would be better for him.

We don't believe he's in severe pain but he's very weak and the anemia has taken him much farther away and severely reduced his qualityof life over the past 24 hours. I don't think going to the vet hospital versus staying here will make any difference to him at this point. I just don't want to have to take him in to the hospital.

We Hope
07-31-2008, 09:41 AM

Having lost mine, but not to this awful disease, I know how hard it is when you done everything you can.

You and Jeff have given Chris a perfectly wonderful life--I don't know anyone else who would have done all you both have for him.

I'm not seeing well enough to type anything more--too many tears.


07-31-2008, 10:16 AM
Too many tears here too...have been praying for all of you and thinking of you often. Will keep checking back...
((((HUGS)))) for all of you, especially for Chris,
Love Jo-Ann

07-31-2008, 12:21 PM
Just checking on Chris and you, I know that you will whats best for Chris
Marianne and Pebbles

07-31-2008, 02:11 PM
Natalie...God be with you and sweet Chris...we all love you both.

Love and hugs, Teresa

07-31-2008, 04:39 PM
Natalie, you had a suspicion that he was bleeding somewhere. Your instincts are great when it comes to Chris and I hope you know that will be the case now too. Don't second guess yourself or feel you've failed him in ANY way because you have not.

If I had a magic wand.....

You are in my thoughts and prayers. Please hug Chris's big old head for me.

I'm sorry Nat.

07-31-2008, 05:15 PM
Natalie...You will hold Chris in your heart forever, and you will be in his...its time to place your sweet baby in the loving hands of God, so you both do not suffer any longer..All my prayers for you and Chris' journey home.....

Mickey and his Mom (((((( hugs))))))

07-31-2008, 07:02 PM

The "newbie" made it--simply had to come here tonight to be with all of you.
E-mailing you as I've been doing is not enough--this is for Chris.

Along with so many of your old and new friends I am with you and Jeff and dear sweet boy Chris.

Our hearts can touch-and they are-right now--don't ever forget that.

Please kiss that boy Chris on the nose from me and Boopers.....

You ARE such a good momma (my highest praise, remember?)

Thank you for sharing his life with us. And thank you again for making my life better for knowing you all.

Good thoughts and prayers for everything that you all need right now.

Love from my little house to yours,

07-31-2008, 07:27 PM

Stopping by to check on you and Chris....have been reading every day but haven't had much chance to actually post.

My heart aches...I am so very sorry that the three of you are going through all of this. And I am so sorry I have no words to make any of it any better. :(

I do know that you are an extremely exceptional, wonderful mom and your life with Chris has reached out and touched and made such a enormously huge impact on so many, many people and their sweet pups.

I'm too choked up to even think of something halfway intelligent to say to you right now....but I want you to know that I am with you in spirit and I admire you so much....and if I could change things for you, I would in an instant.

Peace to you all.....prayers going up to God for comfort....and lots and lots and lots of hugs from my house to your's....Beth, Scooter and Bailey

07-31-2008, 10:07 PM

Just popped in here quickly to see how you guys are making out and to check on your boy.

I am sorry that he is having such a difficult time. You know that you were there for me when I went through tough decisions with both Reiko and Tecah, I just want you to know that my thoughts are with you all. Give that boy a hug for me and I will say some extra prayers for him tonight and for you so that you have the strength to get through this for him. You two are such an awesome team, my heart aches that you in this place.

((HUGS)) to you my friend. What ever decision you have to make you know Chris will be right along side you helping you through this.

Like Denise, I wish I had a magic wand too.

07-31-2008, 10:26 PM
I'm very sorry Chris is not doing so well. I've been reading his story this week. You've been through so much together. Although I'm a newcomer, you and Chris obviously share an exceptionally close bond and are so tuned in to each other, that I'm sure you'll know when it's time to say farewell.

Hugs to you both,
Jackie and Oreo

08-01-2008, 04:55 AM

So very sorry that Chris is having a rough time. You and Chris have been through so much together. I know whatever you decide to do will be the right thing for Chris. Sending love and prayers from my house to yours. Hugs to all of you.

Lynne and Lady

08-01-2008, 02:59 PM
I've been thinking of you all today,

08-01-2008, 04:29 PM
Chris passed away peacefully this afternoon lying on his bed in the car.

08-01-2008, 04:39 PM
Oh Natalie! I am so sorry!! I wish I had magic words (and that magic wand) that could really make yoou feel better but there is nothing to say. Know we are all here for you and lean on everyone you can if you need to.

I know you knew this was coming but still.....


There's something missing in my home
I feel it day and night
I know it will take time and strength
before things feel quite right

But just for now I need to mourn
my heart - it needs to mend
though some may say 'it's just a pet'
I know I've lost a friend

You've brought such laughter to my home
and richness to my days
a constant friend through joy or loss
with gentle loving ways

Companion, pal and confidant
A friend I won't forget
You'll live for always in my heart
my sweet forever pet

by Suzanne Taylor

08-01-2008, 04:45 PM
I just don't know what to say so I'll just say how sorry I am. The struggles you and Chris faced were enormous and made it though most of them.
Jenny & Buddy

08-01-2008, 04:51 PM

I am so very very sorry....words still fail me. But please know I am sending you tons of hugs through the tears. I send my support in any and every possible way I can.
Godspeed, Chris....And may peace and comfort come to you and your's, Natalie...

Lots of hugs and anything else you need from us to you...Beth, Scooter and Bailey

08-01-2008, 04:54 PM
Natalie, simple words can't express how much sorrow I feel knowing your beloved friend is gone...you will be in my thoughts and prayers. I am so very sorry. You are an awesome furmom...the best. You and Chris were made for each other. God speed, Chris. God bless you, Nat.

Love and hugs, Teresa

08-01-2008, 04:57 PM
Natalie & Jeff....I don't even know what to say. I am so very sorry to hear about Chris. I came here to check on him and read your post.

I know there is nothing I can say that will take the heartache away, but it will lessen. I know you are both strong and your love and what you did for Chris proved that over and over.

Nat, he's free of pain, eating hammies till his belly is sore, stopping to play with the others across the bridge and to check on his Mom & Dad. You are an awesome Mom and Chris's journey was coming to an end and you knew that. I am glad he was in his bed, in his car and with you...he went on his own terms.

God Speed Chris, you are an awesome boy because you had an awesome Mom. Wear your wings proudly you've so earned them. Please say hello to Reiko, Tecah and Mouzer tell them I miss them and love them.

Natalie super great big ((HUGS)) to both you and Jeff. Remember the times he made you smile and it will lighten your heart.

I am thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers that your heart starts to heal.

08-01-2008, 04:58 PM
Thanks for posting....Beth said it all. Please take good care of yourselves. We all learned so much from Chris and his journey on earth.

08-01-2008, 05:14 PM
I just don't have the words to express how sorry I am to here that Chris has passed....
I know how much he meant to you and there is nothing that will take the pain of this loss away right now.....
You fought a hard fight.... and so did Chris.... I'm so sorry you's didn't win this battle.....
Johanna & Killian

08-01-2008, 05:17 PM
I am so sorry to hear about Chis's passing Even though you knew you are never prepared for this Hugs from Pebbles and You were a great furmom to him The dedication was enormous!!!
MArianne and Pebbles

We Hope
08-01-2008, 05:21 PM
Natalie and Jeff,

It's never easy, because you love. And because you do, you never really lose, unless you stop loving. When those we love have to leave us, they are never really gone. Chris is still right there with you--he's in your hearts and our hearts and will be there to stay.

When we love, we fight as hard as we can, knowing that someday there will be one battle we will lose. Love means knowing that and fighting just as hard as you can--even when that day comes.

Love and hugs,



For Chris--a candle of love from all of us.

08-01-2008, 05:43 PM
Natalie.. I am so sorry for your loss..Your baby is at peace and I pray for yours as well...God Speed Chris as you cross that bridge....Natalie take heart in knowing that Chris will be there when you leave this Earth...all healthy and like new ((((((Hugs))))))

Mickey and his Mom

08-01-2008, 06:05 PM
Donna ( Kevlar's mom ) said it best a long while ago...

Our animals shepherd us through certain eras of our lives.
When we are ready to turn the corner and make it on our own... they let us go.

Paul & Zip

08-01-2008, 06:45 PM

He is loved and is at peace protected by your loving memories.


08-01-2008, 08:04 PM
I am so sorry Nat! Chris was such a 'staple' to all of us - he was like the Poster Boy for doggie diabetes. Each and every time this boy was sick, it was Natalie to the rescue. I know that you are going to be so lost without him for quite awhile - I mean for the ones that don't know - Chris' insulin routine was food and shot - EVERY 6 HRS! Talk about dedication and care. I will admit it - I couldn't of done this.

Chris is now at peace, eating hammies and talking to all the others that have gone before him - I hope Taffy was there to greet him and boy will they have alot to talk about over snack time now!

Sending you {{{{HUGS}}}} Natalie and also to Jeff. I know you will both miss him for a very long time. Love, Jody

08-01-2008, 09:41 PM
Dear Natalie and Jeff,
So sorry about the loss of Chris. His spirit lives in the 100's of dogs that have been helped and touched by his journey.

Fly free sweet boy!

Hugs and Blessings, Carla & Grams

Bichon Mum
08-01-2008, 11:47 PM
Oh Natalie I am dreadfully sorry to hear the news about Chris you must be devastated. I've been checking in every day. I just got up and it was the first thing I did - I am crying buckets with you as I type.

I am so sorry Natalie, you were so dedicated to Chris if anyone else had been his owner his life would have been years shorter but you persisted and gave him a wonderful life and looked after his every need.

I know there is a massive hole in your life now, it's a dreadful thing to have to go through.

Chris was a BIG part of our lives too - he has touched all our hearts over the years and he helped many of us get through our issues with our dogs - he will be sorely missed Natalie we'll never forget him..

Please be kind to yourself and I am sending you a big gentle hug ((HUG))

I am so so sorry and am crying with you sweetheart.

Love and hugs Sharon xxxx

Brandy mom
08-02-2008, 05:09 AM

I so sorry. Word can not express how sorry I am. You gave Chris such a wonderful life. God Speed sweet chris. Hug to you from the girls and me.

Dawn and the girls

08-02-2008, 05:20 AM
Dear Natalie,

I am so very sorry to hear the sad news about your precious boy Chris. I wish there was something I could say to ease the pain and deep sense of loss you are feeling but know there isn't.

You and Chris have been an inspiration to all of us. I know that Chris couldn't of had a better mom. Your love, care and devotion to him went above and beyond and because of you Chris made it through some really hard times. My deepest sympathy to you and Jeff.

Lynne and Lady

08-03-2008, 06:05 AM
Thinking of you and Jeff. I know you are having a tough time. Catch Gus and love up on him! He should love that! : )

Take care Hon.

08-03-2008, 06:12 AM
Natalie, just to let you know that you are in our thoughts. I know it is hard.

Love and hugs, Teresa

08-03-2008, 08:24 AM
Dear Natalie,

I know how hard this is for you - just want you to know I am thinking of you and sending special hugs your way.

Lynne and Lady

08-03-2008, 06:03 PM
Natalie and Jeff,

I am so, so very sorry for your loss. I know that words are meaningless at times like this but please know that my thoughts are with you both. Chris was a lucky boy, indeed, to have such loving parents. He'll be wagging that tail until he can "see" you again.


08-03-2008, 06:31 PM
I don't know what to say or where to start...

First, thank you from the bottom of all of our hearts here for your thoughts, prayers, and kind words. Jeff and I both read through them and took them to heart and felt blessed by the giving. I will write to everyone who emailed...

We knew that Chris was bleeding internally somewhere into the upper GI tract on Wednesday but I think the bleeding started several days before that. His gums were getting paler every day and he was weaker and more lethargic every day. Thursday his stools were extremely black and he was so weak that it took everything he had to make it out to the back yard when he did have to go.

I talked to an ER doc Wednesday night and then Thursday I talked to the oncologist's assistant. We decided we had little to lose by trying some carafate Thursday to stop the bleeding and see how much he could rally. The carafate did make him feel a little better but it wasn't enough to make a serious dent in the anemia or give Chris any quality time.

I can't adequately thank Chris' oncologist, Dr. Melinda Van Vechten.

She was in Friday and had a very full schedule of appointments but she made time for us, allowing us to come in whenever the time was right for us. I could have kissed her for giving Chris a gentle kiss on the forehead and telling him what a good dog he was... it really meant a lot to us to have her there. He was lying on his bed in his car where he'd gone for a hundred hammies in his life and everything smelled familiar. His head dropped softly between his front paws and he was gone.

I didn't think I would want to but I've spent a lot of time looking at pictures and movies of him since then. And it has made me acutely aware of how tired he had been the past month or so, how much he had already started to slip away. I looked at the images of him smiling and the videos of him barking and walking and realized how long it had been since I'd seen that much energy and enthusiasm.

So I know we did the right thing for him.

And now I feel completely without purpose... Every moment of every day revolved around him. No place is right. When we are away, we want to be home and when we're home it's not "home." I think one of the hardest times is walking in the front door and missing his greeting. This has been the longest two days of my life. I'm at loose ends and I just wish I could have him back.



A relatively small Quicktime movie...



08-03-2008, 06:44 PM
I cried reading this and looking at Chris This will be a most difficult time. It is a slow healing process I realize your heart aches and you miss him But you have to keep on telling yourself that Chris was ready. Selfishness didn't get in your way That is a good thing You went well and beyond anyone would do that loves their pet. Pebbles send a big hug and I too!!!

We Hope
08-03-2008, 08:31 PM

I know exactly what you mean when you say you feel without purpose. My mother needed that same every moment for a long time; when she was gone I was at a loss. Less than a year later, Lucky was dx'd with diabetes and my every waking moment went to him.

My mother has been gone over 6 years; Lucky has been gone over 3. There has never been a day since they've both been gone that I haven't wanted them both back--but I always add to that "but not sick". Not because of the care I had to give them, but because there was simply nothing in this world that could be done for either of them which would have kept them going. Both of them basically had their bodies wear out from age.

Your mind realizes that everything possible has been done--and so does your heart, but realizing that doesn't keep your heart from hurting horribly because they're gone and you miss them desperately.

You and Jeff love Chris enough to do everything you did for him. He had a marvelous quality of life because of you both. Because you both love Chris, you always put his needs first, including Friday afternoon when what he needed was not to suffer.

Be good to yourselves because you both know this is what Chris would want.


08-03-2008, 09:32 PM
Oh Nat, I am so glad you posted. I've checked several times a day to see if you had. When Bogie is gone I will still have Molly to do the diabetes thing for and I pray she ets no other concurrent illness's. Reba is doing well, praise God! and Bubs is well but when his cancer pops up somewhere (and I was told it would) then I'll be in crisis mode again.

I may have lots more pets than you but Bogie is special to me. Don't tell the other 18, OK? I got him at a time in my life where I only had one other dog and only 8 cats. Financially we were better off, I was more relaxed and spent so much time with him. I talked enough to him that I really thought he knew what I was saying. He knew the names of 18 toys and could get the one you asked for. He has an attitude much like me too!

Some pets leave a hole in your heart, others leave a massive void. That was Chris for you and Jeff. You doing the R insulin and 8 hour schedule made you even MORE involved than those of us that can get by with a 12 hour schedule.

I love the pictures of him. He was truely a handsome guy even though you never really found out all the breeds that might be in him! : )

I couldn't get the movie to work for me. Will try again tomorrow, rally want to see it.

If good thoughts from friends could heal your heart, you would be healed by now. So many people care Nat, don't ever forget that. It doesn't have to be OUR dog we lose, I am torn by every dog that passes as I know the feelings their people are dealing with.

The last couple I've lost I ut their pics on the computer as the wallpaper and screen saver. I thought it would tear me up but I found comfort in seeing them. Do what you need to do, feel what you need to feel, you will make it through.


08-03-2008, 11:42 PM
Oh Nat, I know how empty you feel, you'll always have Chris in your heart. I feel your sorrow.
Take care of yourself my friend, we love you.


08-04-2008, 07:55 AM

I'm so very sorry. My heart is breaking for you, and Jeff, and Chris. I know how devastated you must be. Chris was one of 'my' dogs too! I think we once talked about how hard it is to be on a forum, getting to know the dogs and their owners, and then reading that one of them has passed.

Chris, please be there to welcome Crissy Ann. She'll be following in the not too distant future. You were such a joy to us all.... you and your hammies.
But you're free of the diabetes and of course, that terrible cancer. Bless your heart baby, you were the best.

Bonnie and Crissy

Bichon Mum
08-04-2008, 12:29 PM
Hello Natalie

I am glad you dropped in - keep checking to see how you are hun.

The story about the oncologist was lovely giving him a kiss on the forehead - how reassuring for him and so kind of her - it brought a tear (or two) or my eyes.

Looking at picutures was exactly what I did when Charlie died - I had stacks of pictures out within hours and kept watching the same little video on my phone on my lunch hour once each day for a while as it made me feel close to him.

It is so hard when they are gone, where the sat, coming home it's a dreadful thing to go through as they leave such a huge whole in your life, they are just part of the family.

The pictures of Chris were lovely - I was disappointed that I wasn't able to play the video (and I am hopelessly untechy!).

I wish I could help, time does make you feel a a bit better but your heart aches so much

You and Jeff were wonderful owners Natalie - Chris, I am sure, had many extra years due your undivided attention and all the hard work and reading and learning you did to become an expert on anything Chris suffered from.

I am so sorry you are going through this dreadful time - Chris was our hero! He touched so many lives on the boards and helped so many other dogs pull through - and he will do I am sure for years to come - there's lots more people out there that are yet to learn about him and to love him.

All our love

Sharon and the boys xx BIG HUGS

08-04-2008, 12:38 PM
Natalie...I am crying with you and your husband for the loss of your precious Chris. I have been where you are today, and I can understand when you say nothing is "right". We had our Butchie for almost 11 years...10 after diagnosis... and we lost him to kidney failure. I was devastated...I couldn't sleep, didn't want to go out, didn't want to stay in...just wanted my Butchie back. I cried for days, weeks, months. Sometimes I would just see something that reminded me that he was gone, and I would start to cry. I heard my husband crying at night when he didn't think I knew (he didn't want to make me any more sad, bless him). But Nat, eventually, it got better. I could talk about Butch without tears, then I could laugh about things he did..then I smiled when I remembered our time together. You will get there. Please know that I am thinking of you, and you gave your Chris the greatest gift.....yourself, your heart, your care, and when he needed it the most, you gave him wings. God bless you.

Love and hugs, Teresa

08-04-2008, 05:04 PM
Awe Natalie I am so sorry. Glad his parting was an easy one physically. I will be thinking of you and your husband.

08-09-2008, 10:04 PM
Just a quick note to thank you all for the cards, emails, phone calls, and flowers... it means so much to me and especially to Jeff. We are doing okay.

I have learned this past week how much he had been gradually drawing inward and letting go for a couple of months. I keep thinking that he's just asleep in another room, as was so often the case this summer. We lost part of him back then and it just confirms for me how very ill he was becoming.

I check the forum quickly every day but I confess I'm just not ready to participate much yet. I'll be back, of course, but right now it somehow feels wrong to go back to a routine so deeply associated with Chris without him.

I do want here, though, to send a special wish and hug to Denise and Bogie and Bonnie and Crissy and a kiss skyward to Rorky...


08-10-2008, 10:42 PM
Take time Nat, they are so much a part of us

08-11-2008, 08:05 AM
Natalie..Your beloved Chris passed away on our Mickey's 6th birthday..I would like to think Chris is passing his longevity with diabetes on to our little boy who was diag. 2 months ago..I pray Mickey is with us for at least 6 more years..I dont even dare hope for 8..Bless you at this difficult time, and our thoughts and love are with you....

Mickey and his Mom.......

08-11-2008, 11:26 AM
Natalie..I am thinking of you and hope you and Jeff are feeling better. It is so hard I know but in time it does ease some. I know this is such a difficult time....Kay

08-12-2008, 07:56 AM
Natalie, we understand about not being ready...you need to take some time. Know that we are thinking of you and your family...we will be here when you come back.

Love and hugs, Teresa and Ricky

08-12-2008, 08:58 AM
I've been wondering about participating on the boards after Bogie is gone. In my case (at least I think so now) I want to memorialize Bogie and his 7 year accomplishment dealing with diabetes. I've had bad days lately when I just didn't have it in me to do more than read, responding required to much energy that I have already spent dealing with our issues here. I understand both reactions to loss, some need to be involved, others need time. Same with getting a new pet, some are ready for a new one much sooner than others.

We are all different and it's just a good thing we know what WE need to do for US!

You take care and thanks for your thoughts for us!

08-13-2008, 07:37 PM
Thinking of you, Natalie....
sorry I have been so scarce, just a lot going on, but I wanted you to know I think about you often and hope some peace comes to you....
Hugs, Beth and the boys

08-18-2008, 12:05 AM
Dearest Natalie,

I just got back from vacation and heard about Chris's passing. My heart is aching and I'm choking back tears as I write. I am so sorry that I wasn't here for you. I know that you must have suffered greatly in the past few weeks. You fought a valiant fight, and I know that Chris probably stayed a little longer than he should have, just to help you get through it. His love for you will always be in your heart. Your love for him gave him wings to fly. Fly high and free, sweet Chris. We will all miss you. Natalie, no dog ever had a better mom. You are amazing, and I only wish that there was some way to help you through your grief. Please know that you and Chris will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Love and hugs,

Jeanne and Kiska

08-18-2008, 06:40 AM
You doing OK Natalie? Just want you to know that I'm thinking of you.

Bichon Mum
08-19-2008, 12:14 PM
Hi Natalie

Just checking in to see how you are and check you are okay.

Big hugs to you

Love Sharon Zeno and Bobby boo xxx

08-20-2008, 08:18 PM
Fortunately I have been very busy with work so not too much time to feel sorry for myself. Or keep up very well with the forums!


08-21-2008, 11:48 AM
This morning I just can't think of anything else except I want him back...

08-21-2008, 11:56 AM
That is normal It a grieving process that you will have to go through JUst know that you did everything in your power to help him. Hugs to you form Pebbles and I

08-21-2008, 12:59 PM
I know how you feel Nat, its so hard, I still miss my Chief, every time we use the toaster we think of him, he liked his lil piece of toast.

I had buried Chief and Gandy in a special spot in the yard.

I always go over and sit with my Chief and Gandy who have both gone in the past year.

;) You should of seen me lugging the gigantic rocks lifting them up on to the wheelbarrow, and I had to use more rocks for Chief being he was so big, so I have a miniature stonehenge rock garden here, I guess I had the strength to lift them because I was so sad and mad at the time.

This is not the time but someday somewhere I will post a picture of them, I know someone had done this I think on the other board.

Just take your time Nat, I can just imagine the sorrow I would feel if Niki left, its always in the back of my mind, with this diabetes I realize she could always take a turn and I pray it don't happen, but we do the best we can, especially with our love and compassion and how we cherish our diabetic doggies.

Chris knows you miss him and don't want you to be sad, he knows how well you loved and took care of him.

Chris knows that there is another unwanted doggie who nobody cares about at the pound, the doggie is there waiting so he can take care of you cause Chris is gone. He hopes you go get the doggie soon.

I know you miss him dearly Nat, take care