Not a bad week, considering … the start!
In the last seven days l have experienced a bucket load of mixed emotions some of which you have read in this series, there has been humour, disappointmet, upset, misery, achievement and accomplishment and some real progressive success. It is fair and right to say that here l am 7 days on from last Saturday and l can hand upon heart say that there has been more positives than negatives, despite my own hesitations at times.
Last Saturday was a nightmare at the vet appointment, both Suze and l were in the throes of thinking , “Shit we are now at that level of the game!” However, despite some serious stress, morality and ethical discussions during the course of the last seven days and at times some critical worries and concerned conversations between Suze and myself over Scrappy. Here we are one week from that dreaded day and things are looking better … actually much better.
Scrappy is a lovely dog, she has ‘flaws’ like us all, one of her weaknesses especially in times like now is her determination to be stubborn and like most dogs – routinal.
I went through a hell of a time literally a couple of days ago, and it is the truth to say that just those two days ago, l was under the impression that l would be sometime this week potentially saying goodbye to my mate for the very last time. After l penned the Dear Blog – 01.19 – 25/07/19
l didn’t sleep that much, l had one hell of a fitful night thinking about possibles and potentials and sandbox eventualities. The breakthrough happened literally on the evening of 25th – the puzzle pieces started to fall into place! Thank FUCK!
To make life easier for all parties, new routines to an old dog would have to be introduced, implemented and maintained – things needed to change and fast! There would be no guarantees, but l was damned if l was going to let her go if there were avenues to help her feel healthier and happier and award her more comfort.
We knew Scrappy would never take solid tablets without it creating a lot of stress for not just her but also for ourselves. So the vets prescribed her to receive Calpol+6 and now a few days on since she has been receiving [Last Monday evening] she has finally accepted this as part of one of her new routines. She still doesn’t like the liquid being syringed into her throat, but at least she has stopped spitting it out.
Paracetamol syrup is also known by the brand name Calpol which it is why it is being administered to her in the first place, so that we can finally be able to award her ‘pain relief’ – bonus. So that is a huge progression in the success department. Scrappy has now accepted pain relief in liquid form and it is an easy to administer method that doesn’t cause her too much stress or upset her functionality.
She still receives Metacam which is relief for her joints, she has been on that since 2017 so she wasn’t really having to get used to ‘too’ much all at once. But Metacam and Calpol can walk hand in hand and cause no conflicts with each other. She receives 10ml a day which is a lot but manageable.
It irked me that despite all of her plights and ailments in the negative, she still had fight, stamina and pluck in her positives. That it was her determination to prove she was right and could go on longer, that made me realise that l had to work harder to find a result to enable that to happen. You see, Suze and l have always believed that Scrappy WOULD let us know when she was ready to go. We know our dog and some of the feats she has pulled off especially in the last few years alone would have floored many others. She is a hardy breed and she was telling me in her way to grow the fuck up and remember that!
Where there is a will there is a way Dad!!
I don’t live in labels, but it doesn’t mean l don’t use them when l have to – l have strengths and weaknesses also. I was living the last week in a pre grief mode – WEAKNESS! Here l am trying to be more positive and increasing my optimism and l was being stumped by the loss of Scrappy who wasn’t even gone yet!!?
So l pulled my other strings and detached using my Aspergian strengths. I can when l need to emotionally detach. A lot of people envy that at times, and as l have gotten older and received third degree burns from some people, it has become more of honed skill. Basically for me, it was time to switch off emotions and apply hard logic to a configuration.
“Not happening, no way!!”
It wasn’t that hard, and for something so absolutely simple, it’s worked! Scrappy isn’t going to live for another two years [if she had her way she might ] but who knows with her, but l was going to make her time valuable and the time for tough loving was in order. She is not the only stubborn one in the house, hell l am a Taurus! We’re reknowned for our stubborness! I can at times be harder to shift than a ten tonne rock, especially when my heels are dug in!
The simplicity was to simply stop her second walk of the day! I know right? But we were so caught up in her still doing what she loved and so not wanting to upset or stress her further, that we missed the blatantly obvious.
Scrappy is a walker! She used to walk for miles as little back at 2016 but once the IVDD struck, that slowed her down considerably. Now she just loves to small walk, loves to walk a bit and do some sniffs and then that’s her done. But the problem with two walks is that it wasn’t allowing her sufficient recovery from the previous walk properly.
Where we live, we have a few hills. Now luckily we are quite close to the top of the hill, but even two small inclines and two small declines daily is too much pressure on her little old legs and that had to stop. Once of course the incline has been peaked, we were then walking her on flat terrain for the remainder of the walk. But this had to be reviewed, how could we still walk her, but not?
She used to get a morning walk [between 6am – 8am] and an evening walk [between 6pm and 8pm], but of course something else made this removal transition easier this last week – the intense heat we have had. She didn’t want to go out even in the evening, but her stubborness for routines was making her a very stressful animal to all parties!
Established routines needed breaking!
Sod it , l thought – she simply doesn’t need two walks a day considering her condition and restricted mobility. The Metacam and Calpol are fighting a losing battle. I rang the vets on the morning of the 25th and said “Nope, hold fire l have an idea that l would like to implement first before any home visits are arranged. I am not being naive to my dog’s health, or an overly optimistic idealist, but let me run this logic past you and then you can tell me what you think?”
They agreed, and of course we all almost laughed at how we had all just missed it!
In addition to that l had ordered Pet Remedy, but it arrived in spray form, but not for the body but only for the surrounding areas and that was proving ineffective because of Scrappy’s advanced years, so l then bought some of the Pet Remedy Apply Direct to Body wipes and these have started calming her stress levels down in the evening, alongside restricted walking, Calpol+6 and Metacam now having a firm hold and being able to wave their magic wands – we actually have a dog who is starting to perk up.
Sure she is NOT a springbok by any standards, but her tail is higher when walking, she has more bounce in her steps, her tail wags again and she smiles and seeks out cuddles again …. my goal, Suze’s goal, was to make Scrappy comfortable for her end days – for the time being we have achieved that little but major success.
Things Take Time was a credo once written on a foot to thigh cast l had to wear and was used to explain to me the virtues of patience, it was true then, and it is no less truer today.
I’ll of course keep you updated.
You will recall the ‘chicken and the oven incident’ of this week. Well despite me managing to pick off the main offending pieces, we were still left with a rather horrible smell and some serious staining. This weekend l was ready to purchase a new middle oven – however Suze’s perseverence paid off with her cleaning the oven using her new ‘organic do it all spray’ and last night we used the oven for the first time this week! In a few moments l will be using it once again to cook Scrappy’s chicken in the 100% oven friendly pyrex bowl! A huge win!
My health this last week has been really terrible, ever since coming off those cursed Tramadaol last Saturday. I did place an order for some more and then decided to simply not go down that path at all. The damage to my gut health and flora this last week has been appalling, but l decided to ride the pains and cramps out from stomach and shoulder and use old fashioned grit and positive thoughts to get through it …. hard going, but succeeded using natural remedy Candaway pills for my stomach and ultra maximum acidophilus 20 billion and when needed gaviscon tablets and aloe vera juice. But l also stripped my diet right back to basics – well l am not Thor, so don’t have the strength of the Norse Gods as back up, but when l want to get something done and have made a decision to do it myself, l do it!
For my shoulder l have used 4 x 400mg Ibuprofen per day and Deep Heat spray and damn it’s painful at times, but again with positive thoughts, l am achieving success there as well. I am planning on writing a Positive Brain Healthy Mind Healthy Body post soon and will outline it then.
Both have been a hell of a challenge, but they make me healthier and stronger and more importantly, l will have control of my body back! Another success in progress!
I wasn’t at the keyboard and the blog much yesterday l had quite a few things going at the same time, mostly finishing off the tweakings to moving to my new office tomorrow, as well as emptying out my office space here. We have carpet cleaners coming in on Thursday to clean this room professionally, so that Suze’s ‘den space’ will be completely clean for us to start preparing her new creative space.
The office here is sited right next to the conservatory which leads out to the garden and of course with a forever moulting dog, cream carpets and a garden to boot, the room needs it. Why our landlord who is more than happy to have dogs in property has ‘cream’ carpets is quite beyond me, but hey ho – it needs to be done. We are going to have all the rooms of the house done once the two offices are settled.
Mine is really taking shape for a small space and l am very happy about it and with the results achieved thus far, but you’ll read about that in time in the Positive Brain series also.
But the other thing l was seriously busy with was Suze’s confidence and positivity and our first task was sorting her wardrobes and drawers which l will yes, you guessed it, raise as a seperate Positive Brain post called Colour Defines You in the next couple of weeks or so.
But we made huge progressive moves yesterday for part 1 of what might be a three parter and the best bit, was that as we were going through things, Suze was starting to become quite upbeat, and that for me alone was a huge gratifying experience. Her confidence has been seriously detrimental to her health for a couple of years now because of work issues, menopause and her family, so this is another challenge as we bounce off each other and can assist each other in our forward steps! Another success in progress!
Rounding off, l am actually REALLY REALLY pleased with the weeks accomplishments so far, considering the start! But also, once more to my readers and friends alike, many thanks for your support through this tough week – it’s always, always appreciated.