Mo Bloggin'

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Archive for the tag “Rottweilers”

Birthday boy

Another year has passed and Cutter just had his 12th birthday (10 days ago).  I can hardly believe it at times, and remember at last year’s 11th birthday I was wondering if….  But here we are, my amazing, bigstrongboy still plugging along, albeit at a much slower pace. 

He’s had some rough times, and lately my concern has been over him being hammered with the side effects of his anti-seizure meds.  It’s a wicked Catch-22 these days – reduce the drugs to give him a break from side effects (weak, uncoordinated, sedated – all exacerbated due to his age and normal age-related weakening) and the seizures come rushing in to fill the gap.  Both are detrimental to his health, but the seizures, if left unchecked, will kill him faster than the drugs.  There is more than a whiff of brimstone in the Faustian nature of my ongoing battle with canine epilepsy and I am filled with a chaotic mix of pride, gratitude, humility, and desperation whenever I dwell on his condition for more than a moment or two. 

Rottweilers are not a long lived breed, and making it to age 12 is remarkable for any of them.  For Cutter, plagued with epilepsy and the brutality of seizures for the past 7.5 years, to have made it to this milestone is a small miracle.  I am so proud of him, and yes, myself, for fighting so hard.  I’ve spent buckets of cash, dealt with near incompetency from several veterinarians (trust no one!), and have fought tooth and nail advocating for his health and well being.  But I can’t take all the credit – without his willing partnership and lionhearted strength nothing I could have done would have made a difference.  So here’s to my buddy, my amazing, wonderful, adorable Cutter.  Happy Birthday Buddy. 

My buddy turns 11

Yesterday was Cutter’s 11th birthday (June 5)!  We didn’t do much out of the ordinary;  I mean, he doesn’t know what a birthday is, so I don’t celebrate per se.  In years past I’ve been known to put a birthday party hat on them IMG_0094and take a photo or three, but that’s about as far as it goes.  He did get a fresh egg on his dinner (laid that day), as did the other two dogs, but that was more for me than him, since treats with dinner aren’t all that rare.  Mostly I just hugged him a little more.  Which he hates.  

It really is a small miracle that he’s still chugging along at age 11.  It’s getting up there for a Rottweiler, a breed that isn’t nearly as robust as they look.  Tough, yes, but not durable.  My previous Rottweilers haven’t made it past 12 (my first lived to 12 1/4) and with Cutter’s issues, well, every day is amazing.  He had a few seizures this week, but they stopped after day three (his birthday) and it’s been “quiet” today.  Fingers crossed.    (I spoke too soon…he just had another mini.  And another.  Here we go…sigh.)

He’s still radioactively cute, if a bit curmudgeonly now.  There are times when I could weep at the loss of the dog he was–canine epilepsy stole a lot from us–but despite these issues he’s a strong dog with the heart of a lion.  He wouldn’t still be here if he weren’t so strong.  The anti-seizure meds leave him a little dopey and sometimes zombie-like, and he’s weaker than I’d like him to be, but overall I am amazed and grateful he’s still with me in body and mind and enjoying life, after spending over half his life with the specter of epilepsy hanging over us like the Sword of Damocles.   But, epilepsy or no, I’m glad he came into my life.  He’s a wonderful, one in a million dog, and I love him to bits.

Happy Birthday, Cutter-butter.  You’re my best Buddy.

Cutter - June 5, 2009

Waking up with flying squirrels

I make no secret that I sleep with dogs.  My running joke–though no one seems to enjoy it as much as I–is that every night is a three dog night.  Often the three cats will join us, for a snug six-pack of furry warmth next to me, on top of me, pushing me out.  I’ve awoken in all sorts of horizontal “Twister”-style contortions, with all of them surrounding me in a jigsaw puzzle of beating hearts.

Bedtop real estate is rarely contested, though there are grumbles and discussions, usually between Farley and Cutter.  While Farley always concedes, moving away in a scuttling rush, he does so with his warbling complaining growl (he wouldn’t dare growl for real) that elicits a talking response from Cutter.  Once The Monster (Cutter) is settled, always perpendicular to me, his head on my hip or leg, Farley leaps up to curl up next to /on my shoulder. 

Farley is the baby of the family.  Somewhere around 3 1/2 or 4 years old, he joined the pack three years ago.  The Rottweilers accepted him and his always wagging tail, and his insane energy and drives.  And I learned about the vast differences between a working breed and a sporting breed.  Far is all birddogbird dog, all the time.  During the long winter months, when the weather is lousy and the back yard is a soupy mire of mud, Farley finds ways to entertain himself, and in the process, me. 

My bird dog is all about his toys, and his delight with each one is such that I can’t help buying him new ones frequently.  He has a toy box that’s brimmng with stuffed squeakys and chew ropes, bones and balls.  Not to mention the sea turtles that are living under the bed, the pheasants lying around the house, the dimply honky ball (now in the wash), soft squeaky balls in every corner, a honking duck, a honking heart-shape (the honking sound is a siren song to Farley, so many of his toys have this) and the latest, a flying squirrel.  The toys are ever present, being tossed seductively to entice me to play.  As soon as I look at the item dropped by my feet he goes into a classic Setter crouch, poised for the feeble indoor throw, then the mad scramble for it as if there were even a remote chance of any competition for its retrieval.  He flips and tosses with delight (more than one toy has ended up in a pot of soup or sauce on the stove) and honks or squeaks incessantly.  And at the end of the night, one or more toys will have made it into the bed with us.  Thus, waking up bleary eyed and rolling over, I encounter this in the morning:

The squirrel

Yes, this flying squirrel is cousin to Rocky, of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame.  The chinstrap of his starred “helmet” turns into a slingshot, so one can launch him by pulling back on the tail and letting go.  The thing makes (er, made) a squirrelly chattering noise as it flies through the air, little red cape fluttering, eyes goggling out of its felt goggles.  The flying squirrel was pretty much anFarley instant hit. 

 I know it will only be a matter of time before another toy comes home with me to join the squadron.  And really, with a face like this, who could resist?

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