Monday, September 2, 2013

Goodbye Grace, our sweet baby Gracie-Face

My boxer Grace lost her battle with GME yesterday. (Sat, Aug. 31, 2013.) She had just turned six years old on August 16.  She lived approx one year and one month past the initial onset symptoms and 10-11 months longer than the vet's first prognosis. Last summer we prayed that she would at least make it to her birthday, & preferably many more after.  Our prayers were answered and for that I am thankful and grateful. 

Saturday was awful. The worse experience and her symptoms were so different than her normal "bad" days. Even her eyes were different. They were cloudy and glossy and some of her white parts were redder than usual. It almost seemed like she couldn't really see me. She couldn't move, just laid still on the floor for hours. When we managed to get her to move she was trembling, could barely walk and then would fall over. We had never seen her like that. She refused to eat anything, not even a treat or any ice.  I told my husband I thought this was her body giving up. Our normal vet is closed until Tuesday so we had to make a decision to bring her to the emergency vet. She has been through so much including so many side effects from her meds. We were hoping she would all of a sudden jump up and start walking but if anything it only sounded like her breathing was getting worse, like real fast and shallow.  This was the hardest decision ever.

It breaks my heart to even write this now, but we brought her in because we felt it was the right thing to do. We got to go into a private room with her. We stayed with her giving her kisses, hugs and petting her the whole time. The vet was so sweet telling her how as soon as she woke up she would be pain free and could run and play again with all the other cats & dogs. I told my Gracie she would also be able to chase squirrels again, one of her favorite things to do before she got sick. The vet asked if we were ready and even though I really was not ready at all, I believe that she was.  She went quick and peaceful. It was the hardest thing ever in my life and the feeling of loss is just beyond words. We have another dog at home, our little corgi beagle mix, Ashley. We are trying to stay focused on giving her lots of attention and love in the absence of her sister. I don't know if she realizes yet but she does go over to the window a lot to look outside like she is searching for something, or someone.

I miss my Gracie-Face so much already. I'm exhausted from crying and so is my husband. I pray that she is in a better place, pain free and wagging her little nub with excitement and happiness. I pray she felt loved from us always and will continue to feel our love forever.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 2013 - Gracie's 6th Birthday!

    My beautiful, sweet doggie, Gracie's birthday was on Friday and we are celebrating today. We are so happy that she is still here on this earth with us! Our prayers were definitely answered and it means the world to us that we can pamper her this year.  She's hasn't had an easy time with this and she still gets these weird seizure/spasms from time to time and they do pass but it is scary when its happening.  Her skin is much better now but she has scars from her infection. I know she can't understand anything since she is a dog, but I tell her how much I love her and how beautiful she is every single day. Today she even grabbed one of Ashley's toys to play and it was just hilarious.  With this brain disease the different meds keep her disease in check but cause so many side effects.  Sometimes she seems sleepy all day and doesn't want to do anything while other days we see signs of our puppy girl who wants to play tug of war and wrestle with her Daddy. I just pray that she stays in happy spirits and is able to stay with us for as long as possible. Love this baby girl! **) -SS

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 16, 2013

Today is Tuesday April 16.  Yesterday there was a horrific event in Boston, Mass and today most of the world is still trying to understand why, why &-why on earth would people plant bombs to explode at a marathon?  This is just awful.  How can a person not have thoughts/feelings about the results of their actions?  Why is it that people hate other people so much and have no regard for human life?  I feel sorry for people like that.  I find myself wondering what happened to them to make them that way?  Everything is not always black and white and people who believe need a serious wake up call.  I just don't know how people can treat other people badly and what did they experience in order to make them so hateful and evil?  How can we help people like that before they do bad things to other people?  Our society has its faults, yes, but I don't know why people just feel the need to hate other people for no reason. ??  Why can't people respect life and the blessing that it is? I wish more people would embrace the differences among us.

I'm not perfect, nope--not all all.  I know that when I was younger I made some stupid mistakes and didn't always consider my actions before doing them.  I still make mistakes from time to time but I try to learn from them now in order to not repeat myself.  Reflection is a powerful feeling because you can thoroughly explore the memories in your brain and compare what you know now to what you knew & did in the past.  This helps to provide a new understanding of how you would have handled things differently and what you can do in your own future to ensure that you don't make the same mistakes.

Our country is very diverse and we make up a variety of cultures.  Why can't we teach the younger generation to respect differences in other people and find the beauty in their uniqueness?  Giving up is not an option.  The only way to change our world is to spread the word and do something positive and encouraging to make a difference.  Practice respect for one another, stop discriminating against people for being different and instead support one another even if you might not believe in the exact same things as they do.  Practice patience and lead by example, that is all we can ask of one another.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March 2013

WOW... time FLIES by, doesn't it? My Gracie is still doing ok but could be much better.  Her skin infection ended up spreading to both her legs, behind her tail and all over her stomach.  She is on yet another course of antibiotics and we are trying a new combination of creams to see if they will help.  The vet was pleased that some of the skin does look a bit better, its just a shame that its not gone completely.  She did have three different spots appear on her face, but they have since disappeared (thank goodness!!) and the same happened to a few spots that appeared between her paws but have also gone away.  We were also told to decrease her prednisone which we did until we got to 10mg only 2x's a week... but then she had a few symptoms of the GME return.  We are now back to 10mg per day instead.  We don't want her to relapse, yet we want to get her off the Prednisone. UGH! This is so hard, especially with her skin issues but when you look into that face you know that everything is worth it. She is so incredibly loving and just wonderful.  Her face makes me happy.  I'm so glad that she seems okay with everything as she still eats, drinks, snacks and plays like a normal doggie. **) Now to concentrate on my own issues! Final exams and assignments this week for school and eye surgery for me on Monday. Fun stuff up in here!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hello 2013

Well, 2013 is here.  We've had a bit of a rough start so far with Gracie and her health problems.  She started developing some strange lumps out of the blue near her nipple area on her belly and also some weird skin infections.  The poor thing, I feel so bad for her and what she is going through but she seems high in spirits and she is not letting these issues get her down.  She may or may not have cancer and it may or may not be tied to her GME brain disease or it could be unrelated and just something entirely new. Oh my goodness, its time like these that I'm glad she is a dog so she doesn't have to worry as much as we are.  For now we have to scrub her boo-boo's with a medicated wash and then apply an ointment.  There is nothing we can do about the strange lumps, but she doesn't seem to be in pain so that's good. 

I've decided to start feeding both dogs a healthier diet.  I've been researching what to feed dogs with cancer, (even though we have no confirmation that it is cancer, but better to be safe I say) and I've decided to mix in healthier options with their dog food for now.  As long as the healthier options agree with them and everything than I'll completely switch over to the healthy option.  Boiled chicken, cooked peas and carrots, yogurt with apples, oranges and sometimes carrots mixed in, as well as a tablespoon of peanut butter a day.  Their "treats" are carrots chips, ice cubes and greenies treats.  I hope that a more natural diet might be able to help out Gracie's problems and also help to keep Ashley as healthy as a horse.  Of course they also have a pill pocket each day as Grace needs to take her Prednisone to combat the GME.  So far so good on that front and we pray every day that she stays with us for as long as she can.