Boarders, A Birthday and Summer Blues

A few weekends ago, we had our first boarders in our new house. Sunday and Finley have stayed with us on several occasions. They are very well behaved, sweet dogs and get along nicely with my pack. We kept them while their mommy and daddy helped their grandma move from VA Beach to the Richmond area. They were with us for two weekends.

Six seems to be just the right number. We could probably squeeze a couple more hounds in the living room if we counted the space on the furniture.

Although, we did have seven for a short period of time until the adopters could come pick him up.  Hilo is doing well in his forever home.  He attended his first greyhound meet and greet yesterday and did great being a greyhound ambassador.

Sunday and Finley, like most hounds we know, are very use to being allowed on the furniture. Our greys were also, but when we got new furniture when we moved into our new home, we made a decision to not let them on the furniture. For the first time in my adult life, I actually have “nice” furniture and I would like to keep it as nice as possible for as long as possible. Furniture is not cheap! We decided on a bonded leather set. I have heard pros and cons. Some people told us the nails from our dogs will tear up the furniture and not to get leather. Others said they never had a problem with dog nails scratching or tearing up the leather. The first weekend Sunday and Finley were with us, they were unsure of their new surroundings and mainly choose to lay on the dog beds. By the second weekend, they were quite comfortable in their surroundings and made their selves at home.

My greys, mainly Pippi, kept coming to me and staring at me and Sunday and Finley as we all were sitting on the couch. I swear if PIppi could speak she would be questioning why they are allowed on the furniture. I think she was speaking to me with her eyes.

We didn’t mind really. If I wanted them to get down, I could have asked them to at any point. 🙂

Recently I have relinquished my chair to Maggie to comfort her during a storm. She and Pippi now know they are allowed to lay up there and most nights one of them is.

We had a lot of fun watching Sunday and Finley. They are always a joy to keep. Unfortunately, we have had a brutally hot summer so there was no opportunity for playtime outside…..just too hot.

We have had quite a rough past month with illness/injury. The good news is Booyah continues to do well. He had his f/u visit with my primary vet and is now off all of the medications and doing well. He is back to his happy, normal self. We will probably never know what caused all of his issues but we are just happy to have a happy, healthy boy back!

We learned a hard lesson last Wednesday. I came home from work at lunch to find one of our unopened bags of Buffalo Blue dog food in our laundry room ripped open and 1lb total of food missing. Both Pippi and Booyah’s bellies were distended from eating so much. I rushed them to our local emergency vet and called them on the way there to let them know I had two hounds I suspected had bloated. I was quite terrified. 😦

After an exam and x-rays, we got the good news that it was only moderate food bloat. The stomach had not twisted and they did not need to stay overnight. We brought them home, did not feed them over 32 hours and let their tummies digest all that food. It was our fault for leaving an unopened bag of dog food where they could access it. They had never tried to tear into a bag of dog food before. I know they won’t learn their lesson, so we have to. All bags of food, opened or unopened are now in closets with doors shut. 🙂 Cueball and Maggie were both fine. We don’t believe they “indulged” themselves like our other two did.

Cueball celebrated his 9th birthday on the 16th!!! He got lots of scritches, treats and loving to clebrate his big day. Once they weather cools again, I plan to let him get a good romp in. He is a boy who still loves to run and he has the hammies to prove it!

Maggie recently went in to the vet to have her teeth cleaned, for what I hopped would be her last dental. She has one tooth, it is her pre molar on the right that has pretty significant tarter and will likely need to be extracted. She will be 12 in September and this will be her first extraction. She must have good tooth genes. 🙂

She has only had two previous dentals in her life. I always opt for the blood work and ECG prior to any anesthesia. All of her blood work came back normal, but her ECG did not. Therefore, they could not proceed with the dental. She has always been a shy, nervous dog. I think she has done exceptionally well considering this personality. She has traveled with us to many, many events and has been a good greyhound ambassador, especially for the shy dogs. Because of her, I will probably have many more shy dogs join my pack over my lifetime. There is something quiet special about these dogs. The older she gets the less she likes to be out of her element. She was a nervous wreck when we went to the vet. Her heart rate was high, she was tachycardiac and was found to have an irregular heart beat (about every 7th beat is abnormal) on her ECG. My primary vet would like her to see a cardiologist. I am not sure I want to stress her out even more. I know the cardiologist is going to want to do an echo. I have been researching this on line to try to get some advice and have also spoken to some folks I work with. I work for a cardiac surgery practice in Richmond. Understandably, dogs are quiet different from people, but for this type of issue in humans, a beta blocker med is often prescribed to regulate the heart beat. It is a lot to consider. Their suggestion was, since her symptoms sound stress related, to see if my primary vet can prescribe a beta blocker to try for two weeks and then repeat the ECG to see if the heart beat is regulated. It is not a bad idea, barring Greyhounds can take beta blockers, what are the side effects, can my primary vet prescribe or will she prescribe without me seeing a specialist first, etc. It is a lot to consider. What I have against doing the echo is simply this…. I don’t see the need. What is the echo going to tell me? We have already established there is an issue with her heartbeat. Well, if it is anything like human echos, it will tell me if the heart valves are diseased, what her ejection fraction is, if there are murmurs present, her systolic and diastolic functions, etc. If she does have heart disease, they are going to treat her with meds anyway. There is no option for doggie heart valve repair or replacement. This much I know. I guess I am a little jaded by specialty vets because of my recent experience with Booyah. It left a bad taste in my mouth. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are great specialists out there that are able to help pets and I want Maggie to get the care she needs and for her to be well, but at the same time I don’t want to stress her out and do un-necessary vet visits or tests if there is a more conservative approach we can try first. Has anyone had any heart related issues with their hounds?  If so, what did you do to treat?  Any advice would be much appreciated.

Hopefully we have ended our “bad luck” streak with illness/injuries.  🙂

Around the house we are still busy with renovation of the kitchen.  All of the upper cabinets have now been taken down.  Demo is done.  Patching, painting is next and then installation in middle August of the new cabinets.  I will post before and after once it is all done.  We have the lower cabinets, counter tops and floors to complete too.  The entire project will likely not be complete until next spring.  We will need a tropical vacation somewhere once we are all down.  I think we will deserve one!

We hope you are all having a good summer and staying cool!

Of late

We have gotten back in the swing of doing some volunteer work, attending a couple of meet and greets and hosting two adoptions for VAGA.  First one to a young couple.

Then a few months later to her parents.

The hounds, now known as Millie and Molly, are littermates.  🙂

But most of our time has been spent with home upgrades and renovations.

We installed some much-needed cabinets in the utility room.  Two shelves over the washer/dryer was just not sufficient for us.

Cabinets below are on one wall in the laundry room. We also installed these same set of cabinets x 2 over the washer/dryer.

One cabinet below beside our dog food containers.  A counter top will be added at a later date.

Then we did some much-needed landscaping in the front yard.  I put some red mulch around all six trees and the two flower beds.

Next, we removed 7 of the 8 Azaleas and planted some lilies and hostas.  We still have more to plant in the bed on the left.  Have not made up my mind what I want just yet.

I also planted some Astibule and Hostas in the back yard flower bed, which is an all shade bed.



There are lots of projects left to do in the backyard.  Primarily removing the remaining leaves and getting some grass to grow.  We are making progress though!

Our latest project is renovating the kitchen. We are doing this in four phases:

phase 1: move refrigerator to other wall, install pantry cabinets around fridge

phase 2: demo upper cabinets, install new cabinets

phase 3: demo lower cabinets, install new cabinets, add peninsula and install stone countertops

phase 4: remove vinyl floor, replace with tile floor and tile backsplash area.  create pass through to livingroom???  not sure if we will do the pass through or not.  Not sure how that will look.

Phase 1 complete:

All hardware has been installed since taking these photos.  We do have crown molding to install but we are going to do all the crown molding at one time when the other cabinets have been installed.

We have also acquired a renewed love of Antique furniture and are happy to have found a gem of a place locally with some great furniture at unbelievable prices!

Our latest project is converting this Mahogany desk to a TV cabinet.  This is how we found the desk in the store.

We have cleaned, have built shelves for the desk and are in the process of staining.

Most recently we had a bit of a health scare with Booyah.  He is doing very well now but had us quiet worried.  Luckily, I was home on staycation and was able to be with him during this time.

It all started with a limp one morning.  He got up from laying down, yelped, starting limping and then pooped in the house.  As the day progressed, he had two more accidents and had lost function in his back legs.  He was very weak in his back-end and favored his left side.  I got him in to see my primary vet that same day.  They examined him thoroughly and felt it was a neurological issue and referred us to see a specialist to get an evaluation and possible MRI.  In the meantime, to keep Booyah comfortable, they sent him home on Rimadyl, Tramadol and a Muscle Relaxer.  He could not sit down without help guiding his rear legs and rear into a sit position.  When he did sit, he was in a lot of pain.  During the exam at the vet’s, they flipped his paws down, he had a very delayed reaction for his back paws in “righting” them.  That was so scary and painful to watch.  He had no concept spatially where his back legs were.  Could not lift his back paws up on to a dog bed.  We were very worried.  We made an appointment to see the neurologist on the following Monday.  They did a 4 x-rays and a complete blood panel.  Everything came back normal.  The next step was to schedule an MRI, as they were unsure what was wrong with him, but felt it was likely cancer or a ruptured disc.  I had to sleep on this before making the decision.  I had Booyah comfortable before going to the specialist on his med regimen.  After the visit to the specialist and going through mild sedation, we took 20 steps backwards.  The sedative made Booyah mean.  He attempted to bite me four times as I tried to keep him comfortable.  He was unable to get his meds that evening and was in significant pain the following day.  He could not stand for any amount of time without his back legs sliding into a sit position. After weighing all the pros and cons, we ultimately decided against the MRI. We do not have a DX.  He continues to do well on his meds and has a f/u appt in two weeks with our primary vet.  I did reach out to Dr. Couto at OSU and sent him Booyah’s neurologist consult, x-ray and bloodwork results.  Dr. Couto responded very quickly and advised that Booyah’s symptoms could be compatible with a clot on the spinal cord and suggested we start a baby aspirin once daily.  He advised to discuss with my vets to see if they agree.  I did and neither vet agreed with this DX nor did they agree with starting the Aspirin.  So we have continued with his current regimen.  We are happy to report that he is doing quite well.

We share all this in hopes someone in cyber world has experienced this.  Any insight you could give, would be helpful and very appreciated.  We would still like to have a DX, but aware we may never have one.

Booyah did celebrate his 9th birthday on Saturday.  A very special birthday indeed!  He is on restricted activity (no stairs, leash walking only, no rough play etc.) but seems back to normal in every other regard.

I am way behind on keeping up with blogs, but hope to get a chance to catch up this week. 🙂  We hope everyone has a safe and fun 4th of July!