Monday, September 9, 2013

Rain or Shine a Dog has to Walk

Today started out sunny and bright, but has ended with much cooler temperatures and rain. I am loving the cooler weather, and the rain to some extent. Despite the rain, Llarson has to get his daily walk in because Mondays are my longest days on campus. Without his daily walk he can be quite the handful! It was surprisingly great walking weather and even cleared up towards the end. Here is a picture from our evening jaunt.
-Addie & Llarson

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Back to School

Well it's that time of year again where summer ends and school begins. I have been back at school for two weeks now. I have to say senioritis is already kicking in because I keep thinking of my graduation in December. I can't wait! As for Llarson, his schedule hasn't changed all that much since school started. I am fortunate enough that my schedule allows me to go home for lunch, so I can spend a little bit of time with him during the day. The part he doesn't enjoy is that during the week I only have time to go for walks around the neighborhood. However, we make up for this on the weekend by going on long hikes. We went on a great hike this morning. Llarson loved looking at the prairie dogs that were just off the trail. He could not figure out what these "squirrel-like" animals were. Other than that not much has been going on. Until next time...
-Addie and Llarson

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New Beginnings

It's been a long time since I have updated, and a lot of happy, exciting, and also heartbreaking events have happened since that time. However, I want to try and keep up with blogging because I really do miss having a place where I can keep track of the outings with the dogs.

I guess to begin where I left off, Llarson had been retired from detection work and came back to live with me as my pet dog. He is loving the life of a pet dog, especially the part about sleeping on the bed. He lived with my parents from September (when I officially adopted him) until about two weeks ago when he moved in with me because I found a place that would allow dogs for my final semester of college. (Yes I am graduating from college in December! I can't even begin to express how excited I am about this.) Having Llarson with me has been the best change so far. He is an excellent study buddy, as I am taking an online class this summer, and best of all he is also an excellent motivator for getting me outdoors for a much needed walk/hike/run each day. I think the picture below proves this.

I think the worst change that has happened since my last update has to do with Ggoody. Back around September, Ggoody had been having increased problems with her allergies. Her liver counts were elevated due to the fact she was taking very low doses of Temaril-P, a low dose steroid, to control her allergies. Unfortunately, the elevated liver counts meant she had to be taken off of Temaril-P which caused a downward spiral in her allergy flare-ups. The poor thing was so itchy and losing so much hair that she had to be bathed with a special shampoo at least once a week.

Around the time I came home from school for winter break and at the recommendation of our vet, we started Ggoody on a drug called Atopica. This drug is used to control skin dermatitis as a result of allergies. She seemed to be doing slightly better, but she still wasn't the same perky and happy-go-lucky dog we were used to. Within a few weeks, her hind end began to get very stiff when she stood up from laying down. Our vet found nothing physically wrong with her, however there was a small chance that this was a side effect of the Atopica.

Honestly, all of these issues were a part of a much larger problem that had been hiding. On the morning of January 13th, we woke up to find Ggoody downstairs, panting, very weak, and with white gums and eyelids. I think my family knew at this point the chances were not looking good. My dad carried her to the car because she couldn't even stand and laid her in the backseat of the car. We rushed to the emergency vet and they immediately rushed her back for tests. It was soon discovered that Ggoody had hemangiomasarcoma of the spleen. This is a very deadly and aggressive form of cancer commonly found in Goldens and German Shepherds that attacks the blood vessels of the spleen by forming a tumor. Currently, there is no cure for this type of cancer. The problem is, that sometimes these tumors can rupture and cause dogs to bleed out internally. Unfortunately this is what was happened to Ggoody and actually our previous dog as well. It was a heartbreaking prognosis and not at all what I was expecting to hear. To ease Ggoody's suffering, my family and I decided it would be best to put Ggoody down.

It was a very difficult thing to decide, but looking back on it that was the best decision for Ggoody because treatment was not a humane option at that point. I miss her terribly. In fact when I go home for school breaks, I still expect to see her greeting me at the door with her tail going a mile a minute. Her loss was taken pretty hard by my immediate family, my grandparents (who adored her), and my neighbor Lois, who was Ggoody's "baby-sitter" when my family was away from home. We miss her so much, but it was really nice having Llarson at home to comfort us.

One of Ggoody's last times out at the field with her favorite toys.

I didn't mean for this post to be such a downer, so on a more positive note, Llarson recently moved in with me (as stated above). He has been loving life and is still the biggest goofball. He has such a funny personality (I blame the Vizsla in him). He was great during the moving process and I think loved checking out all the new smells our new house brought. It's an awesome feeling to be an official dog owner!

And most recently, as of Sunday, my family back home (my mom, dad, brother and sister) welcomed a new addition to the family. Her name is Ava and she is pictured below. She is an all white Spitz mix, who after she was originally adopted from an animal shelter was left in the backyard all the time. She escaped and found her way back to the shelter where her owner was contacted to come pick her up. Her owner never came, but the rescue group where my family adopted her from did come. From what I hear, she has been a wonderful, calm, and loving new addition to the family. I am hoping for the chance to go home in a month or so to meet her for the first time. Can't wait!

I am hoping to be a better blogger and update regularly on Llarson's adventures. I plan on taking him hiking this weekend, so I will try my best to update on this upcoming excursion.

Have a great rest of the week,

Addie and Llarson