Friday, December 05, 2008

I really need to be better about updating this thing.

Sorry it's been a while. I've been busy with school and work lately.

Well, Kobie has been diagnosed with renal insufficiency. Once again I'm trying to change his food to something better for him and he isn't cooperating. He's losing weight at an alarming rate and refuses to eat about half the time. I have a feeling the decline into renal failure isn't going to take very long. I'm very sad about this. Kobie is only 8 years old. In my adult life, I have yet to have a cat live into the double digits, despite my every best effort. Yet, my childhood cat lived to her twenties, and ate nothing but science diet and had millions of health problems her whole life. It just doesn't make any sense. I've been in denial about Kobie's diagnosis for the past few weeks, but I'm finally coming to accept it. Poor Dr. Cathy has had to put up with my millions of questions. Its not as if this is the first cat I've ever seen with kidney failure. But its the first of MY cats to ever have the disease. It's so much harder to understand and accept when its one of your own. If any of you have gone through renal failure with your cats, any advice is welcome.

Moxie is fine. She's bored mostly. Outside of therapy visits we haven't done anything all semester. No classes because I had to go to class on Tuesday nights. But thats all done now and we can start going back to GTDOG when the sessions begin again after the new year. Now that the semester is over and I have more free time, I'm going to try to take her out and do things with her more often. A nice trip to the park, a good long walk, all the things she deserves but doesn't always get. But she never complains. I really don't deserve such a wonderful companion.

I'll bring my camera and get some good pics of her. Its been a while since I've gotten decent pics of the mutt.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

You've been blessed

Moxie has had a packed social calender this week.

We met up with the gang at the dog park last friday. My friends dogs stuck nearby, frequently returning to their moms to check in. Now Moxie. She was off and about being a social butterfly. Any dog that wanted to chase, or any human that wanted to throw a ball was fair game. She had a wonderful time. She ran around for two solid hours, and still wanted to play when we got home.

This week we've had two therapy visits. Thursday morning it was cooler than it has been (but still in the 80's) so I got up early and took Moxie to the park to play ball and have a walk. She played fetch with her usual exuberance for about 20 minutes before running off with the ball and laying down next to the car. Game over? She has NEVER voluntarily ended a game of fetch before, so I was a bit worried. I walked her around and made sure she wasn't hurt or sore. We got a drink and rested in the shade, but she was done.

That night we had a visit at UBH. I was afraid she would be drained. I need not have worried. She was in fine form. She was the favorite for the kids to run the agility course. She must have run that course a dozen times in half an hour. She was barely winded. Then she played with the next group for another 30 minutes, doing her tricks, demonstrating obedience skills, loves and cuddles of course and a couple more rounds on the agility equipment kept the adults entertained for another half hour. As that group left, another group of adults showed up. We were only supposed to be there for an hour and the other dogs were exhausted, but Moxie is the energizer dog. She doesn't get tired. We got out her holee roller ball (which in her opinion, is the best toy ever) and she played catch and fetch with the men for another fifteen minutes. She spread a lot of joy that night.

Today we had a visit at the senior care center, a nursing home in Denton. Its a huge facility, it took us nearly two hours to get through it with five dogs. Everyone loves seeing the dogs (well almost everyone) Moxie seems to know she's making people happy and joyfully goes up to each resident for pets and cuddles. She minds her manners and refrains from giving kisses (her favorite thing to do, I call her the stealth smoocher because you never see it coming)

After the nursing home, we headed over to the St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Denton for their annual "Blessing of the Animals." I figured we could use all the blessings we could get. It was nice ceremony, with lovely prayers and bible readings punctuated by the ocassional bark. A few ill mannered pooches caused a couple of ruckuses but for the most part the dogs (and one cat) were all well behaved. The priest seemed quite taken with Moxie and took a moment to rub her belly after he blessed her.

Mom says I brought the wrong animal to be blessed. I told her that perhaps the Annual "Casting out of Demons" mass would be more appropriate for the cats.

Little heathens.

Kobie is doing okay. He's still in pain. He is eating again. *sigh* I just don't know what to do with him.

Midterms this week. Off to study!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kobie's day

Monday I took Kobie in to my regular vet for an exam and x-rays for a referral to the animal chiropractor/acupuncturist. It was supposed to be a straight forward, easy, pleasant experience.

Kobie was his usual charming self. He was a real gentleman as Dr. Williamson prodded his back and hips, but she could tell he was in pain, so it was off for some quick x-rays.

When Dr. Williamson came back into the room I knew something was wrong. "I don't want to show you this" she said as she put the xray up on the view box and pointed out the quarter of Kobie's pelvis that was just gone, obliterated, poof! Odd, I thought, what could cause that? "I don't want to tell you this" Dr. Williamson said with a sigh, but I think we have a bone tumor.

Shock. Disbelief. Sadness. Anger. All wash over me. Cancer? My cat has Cancer? This was just a routine visit, and you're telling me he has cancer? As I search for answers on my vets face through tear filled eyes I know that she would not have used the "C" work with me unless she was pretty sure. We have a long history, she knows how I am about my cats. And she knows I've been down that cancer road more than once.

She said she would send the films off to the veterinary radiologist for review to confirm the diagnosis. She gave Kobie a shot of Buprinex and sent us home. On the drive home the reality of the situation set in. Bone cancer is super painful, and incurable. I had only one real option here, and that was to give my little kitty back to God.

Back at home I sent the other cats back to the bedroom for the day so Kobie could have the house to himself. We shut off the AC and opened up the windows in the kitchen so Kobie could sit in them and look out, his favorite activity. He got more treats than he could eat and all the cuddles and love he wanted. We wanted his last few hours to be special and happy.

Monday night I couldn't sleep at all, I just laid in bed next to Kobie and cried and cried. Tuesday afternoon Dr. Williamson calls. She had just gotten off the phone with the radiologist who said she didn't think the bone loss was due to cancer at all! It was likely a result of his injury 7 years ago when he was hit by that car.
We were filled with joy! Our Kobie was going to be with us for many more years to come. It was a good day.

Mom reading the Funnies to Kobie

A tearful cuddle.

Looking out the window

Friday, September 05, 2008

Cat about town

A few new snaps of the kitty crew.

First Kobie enjoying our new Sofa.



I love how my new camera captures every little detail.
We also caught some scandalous action on the dog bed.


Who can blame Thurston. After all, who could resist those sultry blue eyes. Sully is such a sexy siamese.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Weekend Disapointment

Well, I didn't go to the agility trial this weekend. Thankfully, Moxie has no clue what she missed out on. I didn't tell her about it beforehand to save on the incessant pestering. Thank goodness she didn't know, or you know I would have never heard the end of it.

In other news, I'm worried about Kobie. He's becoming increasingly neurotic. (I know, I know, how can I tell, right?) He's so clingy and very wary of the other cats. He can't stand the other cats to molest him in any way. When I pet him, he can't tolerate me petting him beyond his shoulders. When he's laying asleep he's violently thrashing his tail. He's unhappy. I'm beginning to think its all pain related.

I got him after he'd been hit by a car. The vet that fixed him up did a piss poor job of it. He did a shitty job on the hip and didn't even try to fix his pelvic fracture. He's been gimpy his whole life, but increasingly so lately. He doesn't run, leap or play anymore. He can't tolerate another cat even sleeping with him. I think the other cats perceive his weakness and pick on him even more.

The limits of traditional medicine are many. There is just no effective way to manage chronic pain in cats. Pharmacology has failed us. So I'm looking into alternative treatment methods. Perhaps a chiropractor could make some adjustments. Or regular acupuncture could give him some relief. The trouble is finding a practitioner that I can trust. I know some of you readers take your pets to chiropractors, if you have a recommendation let me know.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Agility Weekend coming up

Moxie and I are entered in the TWANG ASCOT ASCA Agility trial in Fort Worth this weekend. This will be our first agility show in something like six years. We also haven't trained on any contact obstacles in over a year. We haven't trained any agility period in more than a month due to the heat. This should be interesting.

I knew better than to Sign up for both days, but I'm a glutton for punishment, what can I say? We are only doing two runs each day, so Moxie will be fully rested. But I have also volunteered to be a ring slave, I mean, steward, both days. I want to join the club that is hosting the show, and I have to work two shows to do that. I wonder if Saturday and Sunday are considered separate shows, or if I'll have to put in another full weekend before I can be considered for membership?

Still haven't heard anything about my job, but I'm hopefull that I will hear something this week. Wish me luck!

A much younger Moxie takes a hurdle at the PAWS NADAC trial in Rhome Texas, this was the last trial we went to. 3/1/03


I was cleaning my room today and came across an old notebook with a bunch of random stuff in it. Most of it is scribbles and to do lists pertaining to my work in Mexico and my job at UNT. But a few pages in the middle there is a scribbled out journal entry. I read it, I remembered it, and I wanted to preserve it somewhere safe, for posterity.

Written on 3/21/2005 upon returning from a spring break trip to Mexico.

I feel the chill of the departing day sweep over me and shiver. At this moment, I wish I could sink with the setting sun into blackness. Just when I begin to feel enlightened, like I finally understand everything, I realize I don't understand anything. I don't know if the key to understanding my life lies in understanding my past or understanding my future. Maybe I should just try to understand the moment. This moment. This sunset. This first spring breeze. This song. This breath. This thought. What is right now all about?

Each time I return from Mexico a bigger mess than the last time, but a better person just the same. Settling back into the U.S. American way of life after any amount of time away from it is a process much like unpacking. Taking those crumpled, damp or dusty thoughts; haphazardly packed, pushed, crammed and zipped up in my head, pulling them out, and deciding what is to be done with them. How to make those vestiges of Mazamitla fit for exhibition in U.S. American culture, in this life, this place, this moment. Cleaned, folded, tucked neatly, softer and milder than Mazamitla. How to make myself palatable to my culture? What to do with those things that don't seem to fit here, no matter how cleaned or pressed. Toss them back? Zip them up, pack them away until my next trip? Hide those things so no one can see? Hide the things that don't fit, and walk around with huge voids in my heart and mind where the best of Mazamitla would be? The bright colors, the bold flavors, the laughter, the depth, the raw power, the beauty, the emotion. I cannot be without those things. I have become those things. I am Mexico. I am wild, raw, vibrant, and intense. Pressed to the heavens from between the rocks and the earth. I am not something many people here in my culture can tolerate. I am too extreme for America, yet too mild for Mexico.

I walk through my day, interacting with different people, knowing that not one of them understands my heart. Not a single person I meet in the hall, talk to on the phone, drive with on the freeway; not Brandon, Not Syl. They know my mind, my body, but no one yet knows my heart. I sit by the waters edge in the grey early night holding those damp, dusty, bold, vibrant pieces of me, washed in the earth, dried in the moonlight, while the lights from the city twinkle in the distance. I sit by the waters edge, whole. Every piece and part unpacked, exposed and unashamed, my heart on display for anyone to discover. But there is no one. I am alone tonight.

Oh Mexico. Oh how ALIVE I felt in those days. I sometimes wonder if I will ever feel vibrant, bold or excited about life ever again. I truly hope so. I hope someday to find my passion again.

On another note, Brandon? I haven't thought about him in AGES? I wonder what he's up to these days?

Now back to your regularly scheduled dog blog.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

A brand new title!

Moxie and I were entered in two grueling days of Obedience trials this weekend and we've come away with a couple of ribbons and a brand new Title. She now has a CD from both the UKC and ASCA! In watching the open and utility dogs, I'm itching to try something a bit more challenging, so we will be working that dumbbell! I hope to be showing in Open classes this time next year.

We got lots of great feedback from judges and other experienced dog people who were all very kind and, I think, glad to see some younger blood interested in the sport. I've got some good things to be working on to improve our scores and our work as a team. So enough training to keep us busy for a while.

It was SO HOT this weekend. Even in the Indoor with the AC on it was like an oven by the afternoon. On Saturday, Moxie and I were practicing in the parking lot, and I asked her for a stand stay, and I knew it was hot because while remaining completely in place she would gingerly lift one paw then the other as if to say, "Ouch Mommy! The cement is burning my feet!" We moved over into the grass after that.

I should have some video of the trial to upload and share with you soon.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Moxie on Mutts Day

Today is Mutts day. In honor of this prestigious occasion, my dear friend Labcablady held a photo contest on the best dog forum in the world, Ruffdogs! It was an open call to all mutts on board and my own dear Moxie mutt won the contest.

This is the winning pic.

She is well pleased with herself. She is getting a gift certificate to petsmart so we get to go shopping for a present for her. I promise to get her something fun, after initially threatening to get something practical like cat litter. I tried to explain to her what my being unemployed meant in regards to her lavish lifestyle, but she just kept throwing her squeaky toy in my lap and looking at me adoringly. Thats the wonderful thing about dogs, they don't care if you are working or not. They just love you.

So go on over and visit Moxie at It's the Dogs life.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Moxie

Today is Moxie's 9th birthday.

8 years ago today, I made the best snap decision of my life, and brought a skinny, mangy, sickly dog home with me. I've never looked back.

Moxie is my best friend, my constant companion, my confidant, my partner, my love. I have never been so richly blessed in life before Moxie, and will never know a love like this again. She is my soul dog.

So I raise my glass in a toast to Moxie. The best dog ever. May we have many more happy years together.

So far we have celebrated with Birthday cookies (from me and her grandmama) and a pup cup ice cream treat. Lots of pets and cuddles of course, and some indoor romping and playing (its 104 degrees outside today) I'll probably take her to the lake to play on Monday when its less crowded. Then a bath, then a therapy visit Tuesday morning.

I do plan on getting Moxie her Swamp cooler and a custom made new collar for her birthday. Those may have to wait though, until I start getting regular paychecks again.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

It's hot. Too hot to hang outside for very long. As a result, Moxie is very bored. GTDOG is on summer hiatus, so no obedience classes and it's been far too hot for agility. I tried some tunnel to weave pole entry the other day and Moxie did it, but would run to the shade up by the garage with her toy at the end. It was just too hot.So other than doggy daycare on Thursdays and the odd therapy visit, poor Mox just has nothing to do.

I'm thinking of investing in a Swamp Cooler from Ruffwear. Maybe with something like that, we could at least go hiking during the summer instead of staying inside and training in the living room.

Moxie's birthday is coming up. I'm thinking of having another party for her. I was hoping we could rent out the doggy daycare for the evening to let the dogs play in the air conditioning, but I'm not sure how that will work out. The backup plan is the Denton Dog Park. Last year was fun. I'll bring a cooler full of ice to help keep the pups cool. I don't know what to get her for a present though. What do you get the dog that has everything? Maybe her swamp cooler could be her birthday present.

Can you believe my baby girl is nine years old! I hope to have at least another nine years with her. I hate to think of my puppy getting older. But to look at her, you'd never know she was nine. She acts like a puppy, people are always surprised when I tell them her age.

This week, Kobie is getting his teeth cleaned (More teeth pictures!) and Moxie is getting her second Lepto vaccine. I've never vaccinated for Lepto, and in fact, had only seen one or two cases ever in my years in veterinary medicine. There's more controversy over that vaccine than most others. But my vet said she's seen near a dozen cases of lepto this year, in city dogs too. I take Moxie to lakes and other water sources all the time so I figure I can't be too careful. So I started the vaccine series. I trust my vet to recommend whats best for my dog. This is a good practice too vaccine wise. They have actually adjusted their vaccine protocols to match the AVMA and AAHA three year protocol that came out several years ago. A lesser practice will still insist on yearly boosters despite the fact that its been proven unnecessary. Sad fact really. You really have to be your own dogs advocate.

Anyway, happy summer.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Well auditions yesterday were fun. Sully did pretty well I think under the circumstances. It must have been pretty strange for him and he must have been pretty weirded out about the whole thing. He was scared. Not completely freaked out, but not his normal confident outgoing self that he usually is.

For this reason, I don't think we'll be selected. But if we are, we probably won't go. I don't want to risk stressing him out so bad his IBD flares up again. We would be talking 4 days of non-stop stress for him, I think thats too much to ask. Besides, I wanted this to be something fun we could do together. If he isn't enjoying himself, then it defeats the purpose.

Dawn's kitty Kiki did really well. He was very relaxed and composed, I think he stands a good chance. Also Hali's kitty Cassiopea auditioned today and also did well. I hope one of my team mates gets selected. How wonderful would that be! They are picking 1 team from each city where they audition, plus two back ups from each city. There were only maybe a hundred people there yesterday, maybe, if that many, so odds are pretty decent!

Good luck everyone!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Big Day for Moxie

This morning Moxie and I and a friend went hiking at the clear creek nature preserve in Denton.

Camo dog.


Happy dog. Look at those pearly whites. I've been brushing her teeth. They look fabulous!


Moxie looking longingly at the not so clear creek waters I wouldn't let her swim in.


Moxie in the shade


Silly dog

The many faces of Moxie. The preserve was beautiful, but the trails were a bit overgrown in the north part of the park. Moxie and I were covered in burrs.

I realized she would need a bath, so I decided to let her have a bit of fun first so we headed out to the lake and spent an hour swimming. I didn't take any pictures.

After the lake I decided to try out this new place in Flower Mound called the "Blissful Bark" Dog wash. It was great! The tubs were clean with no slip matts and drains that didn't clog up with hair. The water was temperature control and the wash nozzle had different settings. They provided everything, the shampoo, conditioner, ear cleaner, towels, everything. The best part was the forced air dryer. Moxie really NEEDS to be blown out after a bath or she mats up really badly. The whole process took about an hour and only cost $15. Well worth it for me to bath my dog in air conditioned comfort with no mess to clean up afterward.

So now I'm off to try to get some AKC worthy shots of her before we lose the light of the day.

Some parting shots of Kobie



EDITED TO ADD: Moxie's AKC pics


Right Side:

Left Side:

SO what do you think. I'm thinking Border collie. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Game Show n' Go

Well tonight was the last class at GTDOG before we break for the summer. So we went out with a bang. Moxie was fabulous. The more I work with this dog the more I realize just how incredible and special she really is. She is so smart and this dance that we do trying to communicate with each other is so intricate and beautiful.

Tonight, we had a breakthrough in agility class. Moxie loves agility. She likes to tell me how much fun she's having while we work, which is fine with me. I'm all for the dog expressing her joy. Doesn't bother me a bit. Now what does bother me, and it another thing all together, is the herding barking that she also does.

The difference between her gleeful yapping and her demanding yodeling are subtle, but I can tell. One minute she is listening to me and watching my signals and following my lead, the next she's trying the call the shots herself. Finally, my instructor offered a simple solution. "She's trying to control you, remind her that you are in control. Tell her to down" So when she starting the herding, I firmly told her to down. She did, and that was the end of it for the night. No more herding the rest of the evening. Brilliant! A communication breakthrough. Now whether or not it will last to the next session remains to be seen, but at least I've found an affective way of communicating with when she goes into herding dog mode.

I've started the process of joining this new club, TWANG. I'll start by stewarding at the Labor Day Trial. I think I'll just enter Moxie in jumpers that weekend, and spend the rest of the time just soaking it all in and learning the ropes.

I've also decided to bite the bullet and try to get Moxie her ILP (or rather PAL as they are now calling it) for AKC. I'll take some photos tomorrow and post them up here and let YOU decide which ones to send in, and whether I should try to pass her off as a Border Collie, or a Sheltie. I got one vote for each tonight. I need a tie breaker. I'm personally leaning towards Border Collie. I have never seen a sheltie Moxie's color, but I HAVE seen border collies overly speckled and frosted like Moxie. So I'm leaning towards Border Collie. I'll post the pics and let you weigh in.

In other news, I'm trying out for a game show this weekend. Fun, yes! Its a show sponsored by Meow Mix called "Think Like a Cat" and it pits 8 teams of cats and their owners against each other in a series of games, everything from a jeopardy style quiz game to a "how well do you know your cat" challenge. It sounds like tons of fun and the grand prize is a million dollars! And who couldn't use a million dollars! So anyway, tryouts in Dallas are this weekend and I'll be taking my sweet Sully and giving it a go. I figure, the worst thing that could happen is Sully freaks out, and we have to leave. But if he keeps his cool, we have a hollywood style screen test, a multiple choice cat quiz, and a taped interview to complete. I'm excited. Full details about the Game show and auditions can be found here.

Wish us luck!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back in the saddle

Moxie and I have joined a new agility group. I'm even planning to go to a show on Labor day. I'm also entering an obedience trial in August. So after a hiatus from trialing that has spanned most of Moxie's life, we are going to get back into competition, just in time for her 9th birthday.

I'm nervous. She's happy. I'm thinking ASCA is my new favorite venue. She has GOT to learn to work away from me though. Any help with that? Anyone? The dog is fast. She was impressing some hard core agility folk last week with her speed and enthusiasm. Also, she WILL work distance for someone else, not me though. Too much of a mommas girl. I know she can do it. She would be kicking butt and taking names if she had a better handler. The lesson I am quickly learning is that agility is just as much a test of the handlers skill as it is of the dogs agility. I'm just better at a slower pace. Thats why we clean up in obedience.

I'd love to go to a rally trial this summer while I'm off. I'm starting grad school in the fall. I registered for classes today, so this is my last free summer for a while. I'd love to finish her Rally 1 title. Thing is so few people offer APDT Rally. Its all AKC and AKC has this RIDICULOUS policy about no crossbreeds in their sporting events.

Sorry about the ramble. Maybe some pictures of her working tonight. Or a video? I don't have a class buddy to do these things for me.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wet Wild Summer

Moxie and I made our first trek to the lake of the season in Wednesday. We found a nice quiet area with a boat ramp for easy access for Moxie.

Its hard to take pictures and interact with Moxie at the same time, so I didn't get any action shots, but these turned out pretty well. Never mind her tail, her fur hasn't quite grown back from her hot spot.










Happy Summer!

Monday, May 26, 2008

What would I do

What would I do at three o'clock in the morning when I'm lying in bed, can't sleep, can't stop the spinning in my head, if I didn't have pets to cuddle, caress and keep me company. Moxie listens intently to all my secrets, so long as I'm rubbing her belly. And Sully is content to lay on top of me and purr away my worries.

If I had a husband sharing my bed, there would be grumblings of waking him up in the middle of the night or at the very least heavy snoring and heat production (sleeping with a man is like sleeping with a furnace)

How do people make it through life without an animals companionship?

Friday, May 23, 2008


I subscribe to a newsletter called "Your Dog." Its put out by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, one of the premier vet schools in the U.S. There was an article in the May issue about caring for senior dogs that actually recommended a higher protein food. The article said that senior dogs need extra protein to prevent muscle wasting and maintain a lean weight. They went on to say that a high protein diet will not damage the kidneys. I was elated to read this. As you know I've been battling with trying to find the perfect diet for everyone for months now. Moxie is on the grain free high protein Wellness CORE dry food, with a premium wet food mixed, or Natures Variety Frozen Raw Medalions. (I hate the idea of her eating the same thing every day, so I mix it up a little. Her gut has never minded this, but I don't recommend it for those with sensitive tummies) So according to this article, this is an ideal diet for my senior dog.

I weighed Moxie last month and she was 25 pounds which is the least she has ever weighed. When I adopted her, she weighed 26 pounds and I thought she was scrawney then. I've been worried lately that she's too thin, but the article really extolled the virtues of keeping your senior dog lean and fit to prevent muscle wasting and joint damage. I think this means my diet search is over! YAY!

Everyone else is fine. Sully is getting pudgy. I upped his meal rations about a month ago on advice from my cat forum peeps, thinking that feeding him more might curb his ravenous appetite. This cat would eat ALL DAY LONG if I let him. He spends his whole day (not spent sleeping) hunting for food. He's into everything and he will eat ANYTHING and I mean ANYTHING. Well, increasing his food hasn't helped one bit, so its back to his usual portions with maybe some pumpkin mixed in for bulk. No fat cats. No fat pets! And hopefully, one day, no fat me!

Let start with the cats.

Sully is cuddled in my arms right now looking perfectly innocent and sweet like he wouldn't dream of causing any trouble. Moxie is laying in the middle of the floor on her back looking the picture of cute. Kobie and Thurston are curled up together on top of the dog crate.

I love my little fur family.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I'm back, poor Moxie

I just got back from a trip to Boston to see my Shawnbear. My kiddos seemed to do okay while I was gone. Everyone ate. Everyone did their best to annoy my mother. You know, business as usual.

The first thing I noticed when I got home was Moxie holding her tail weird and acting very strange. I felt her tail and it was very painful and matted to the skin over the center where she had clearly been chewing on it for some time. I clipped the matts off when my crappy clippers and found a massive hot spot underneath. Poor baby, its so sore! She whimpered and cried all night long. I took her in to work with me, setting aside my objections to our new policies on treating our own pets, because shew as uncomfortable. We clipped it up, cleaned it up and its looking better already, though she is still sore. She holds her tail to the side and acts like something is biting her when she walks. She is being good about leaving it alone though.

Mom says she didn't chew on herself during the day, so she must have been so upset about being alone at night that she chewed her tail. I can find no other reason for it. No fleas, her skin looks perfectly healthy otherwise. So now Moxie is wandering around with a half shaved tail, its shaved from the base to about mid way up with a pom pom left on the end, like a lion cut. In fact, the way she carries her tail over her back, she reminds me of a low chen.

Moxie is very embarrassed about the current state of her tail, her former crowning glory, and has made me swear NOT to take any pictures. So I won't be gracing this page with pictures of hot spots (to the delight of those of you already sick of looking at teeth)

Instead I will post my pics from my Boston trip as soon as I get them all uploaded and edited.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dental Day

Today was Thurstons turn to get his teeth cleaned. He needed it bad. So does Kobie but I can't afford to do them both at once. Apparently Thurston had a bipolar attitude today. He was fine for the blood draw then flipped out when it came time to give him his injection. Silly boy. I think its a black and white thing.

Here is the before and after. I think its so cool that they give us pictures!

Kobie came with me to pick Thurston up and he got his Rabies booster and his ears looked at. Nothing to report on his ears, he just scratches them to be scratching them which is a perfectly acceptable explanation for any behavior when you're an orange cat. He was a little love, purred the whole time. I think he rather enjoyed the trip and the attention. He's a weird cat.

My vet, Dr. Cathy, is about the best vet you could ask for. She's gentle, she's thorough, and she's always been there for my pets. Unlike my employer, she doesn't treat my babies like second class citizens (probably because I pay like a first class citizen) but its worth it to shell out the bucks and know I'm not getting fluffed off.

Well my bank account is a bit lighter, but I'm happy knowing I've done the best for my pets. Its totally worth it to know they are happy and healthy. Poor Thurston looks like he has a hangover. He keeps squinting his little eyes. So sad. Maybe some dinner will perk him up. Not until 8pm though, doctors orders.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A couple of recent pics of the kiddos.

Thought I'd share of few pics from the past few weeks.

Thurston and Kobie on the pup-couch. They probably kicked poor Moxie off the couch so they could sleep there.

AWE Thurston!

Sully in the Cat tree

Sully catches the bird with one arm

Moxie and her ducky toy. This is the first toy I ever bought her. So cute.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Nothing new

Hello all,

Well there isn't much to report. Things are just rolling right along. Moxie and continue to do our therapy visits at UBH. These visits are the highlight of my week, Moxie's too. Its the one thing I'm doing right now that I feel is making any real difference in the world. I can't wait to get going in grad school and get back into social work.

I'm taking an online spanish course right now, and I'm even beginning to dream in broken, terrible spanish! Despite all the hurt, I just can't get Mexico out of my mind. I want to go back with a group in June, but I don't think I could get the week off of work, and I'm not sure I'm ready to go back. Ah well, no matter what I do, the spanish will come in handy.

Right now Moxie is eating half Wellness CORE, and half Natures Variety Frozen Raw Medallions. So far so good. I think I'm happy with this arrangement for now. We'll see how I feel in a few weeks. Moxie doesn't care than I change my mind every few weeks. She likes the variety.

The cats are fine. Everyone is healthy. Thurston and Sully, aka, Frick and Frack are busy wrecking havoc most of the days. Kobie is thriving on his new diet, no more tummy troubles and he seems much happier.

I guess thats all for now. I'm off to see what you all have been up to.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Snow Day

We've had a couple of random snowstorms in the midst of an early spring. I got to leave work early today because the weather was so horrid, so Moxie and I got a snow day. Moxie was at Doggy Daycare so I had to go and pick her up then make my treck south on I-35 which took two hours. But we made it alive.

The snow is so much prettier when you aren't driving in it.

Here is my beautiful girl in the snow.





Just some snow pics.


So on the diet front, I've still made no decisions. I'm thinking Innova maybe (not evo), or Natures Variety prepackaged raw. Moxie's doggy daycare sells both. I think I'll get the Natures Variety and give it a go. I'm really happy with their cat food.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The trail mutt rides again

Moxie and I and my dear friend Marie hit the trails this weekend in perfect hiking weather!

Here is Moxie with the Ruffdogs forum mascot who also joined up on our hike.

Moxie is queen of the hill!

Beautiful Moxie

Moxie loves her auntie Marie!

In other news. Kobie seems to be symptom free after his steroid injection and food change. He is LOVING the Natures Variety INSTINCT formula. Good thing as its two bucks a can. YIKES! I think I will be keeping Sully on the Wellness as its a bit cheaper and he's doing well on it. If it aint broke....

Not sure what Thurston's diet will be. He is going in to have his urine rechecked on Friday. If he is crystal free, he can stay on the wellness, but if he still has crystals, he'll have to go on a special diet. Yuck. So hope for no crystals for Thurston.

While we are discussing diets, I'm re-evaluating Moxie's again. Moxie's just gaining too much weight on the CORE, even the low fat version. I'm thinking, at nine years of age, she would probably do best on a good senior diet, so I'm in the market again for a good dog food. Any suggestions welcome.

Friday, February 22, 2008

IBD or Lymphoma, those are your options

Kobie is still sick. He vomits at least once every day. He's having diarrhea. His eating is sporadic, though this has gotten somewhat better. I took him back in today and took more x-rays and Dr. McClannahan had another look at him. We decided to give him another shot of steroids to see if that made the symptoms go away again like they did last month. If so, then we've got one of two things going on here, either IBD, or Intestinal Lymphosarcoma. I happen to be well acquainted with both of these; Sully has IBD, and Tyler and A.C. died of Lymphosarcoma. I'm going to schedule an ultrasound next week to confirm one of these diagnosis. Lets all hope its IBD.

I'm going to go ahead and say its IBD and I'm going to blame the multiple protein sources in his food (Wellness grain free varieties, canned). So I'm switching him to Natures Variety INSTINCT formula. Its 95% protein source and liver. They are all single protein sources and novel proteins like Venison and Rabbit. I haven't decided which variety I will be using yet. Rabbit and Duck seem more natural for a cat to be eating, but Venison has a good reputation among IBD pets. They have a Lamb variety, but I remember reading somewhere that Lamb wasn't a good staple protein for cats because its low in Taurine. I think thats what it was, don't quote me. I've posted the question to my Yahoo Group FelineIBD. They were such a great resource with Sully. Now that I've gotten him sorted, I'll work on Kobie. Then hopefully Thurston won't need a special diet for his bladder crystals. I would really prefer if I didn't have three cats on three different special diets.

So thats the latest from the cat house. Poor Moxie. Its been all about the cats this week. I didn't take her to class, or to the therapy visit Thursday night. To make it up to her, we are going hiking tomorrow. I will take pictures to post.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sick Kitties

This week both Kobie and Thurston decided to get sick on me. I noticed earlier this week that Thurston was visiting the kitty box frequently. When he took the opportunity to pee in front of me, I noticed that he was straining, and producing a very small amount. He normally pees a large volume with a good stream. He gets UTI's about once every 6 months like clockwork. I think this is going to be a chronic issue with him. For the first time this time his UA showed struvite crystals. He is on antibiotics and an anti inflammatory. Hopefully if we can get the infection cleared up, the crystals will go away on their own. I don't want to have to put him on a special (Read Hills) diet for crystals. On the advice of my natural cat forum peeps, I'm cutting the dry food out of his diet entirely and putting him on the fully wet grain free wellness, just like Sully. So now the only cat in the house eating dry food is Kobie....

Not that he's eating much of it. Kobie's not been eating well for about a week. He just won't finish his meals, leaving fully 1/3 to 1/2 of his food behind. He is also having intermittent diarrhea and vomiting. He had this same problem about a month ago. I took him in and ran a full panel of bloodwork and took two full cat x-rays. He was a little constipated, and his intestined looked mildly inflamed, but everything else came back normal. I'm worried about intestinal lymphosarcoma. I've had two cats, A.C. and Tyler, die of this particular cancer, and this was how it started too. Random vomiting, diarrhea, not eating well, losing weight, just generally looking puny. But for weeks and months we did tests and tests and found nothing. When the tumors became palpable or visible on x-ray they were already on deaths door. Kobie's blood calcium levels were high normal, but the calcium levels don't always elevate with lymphosarcoma. Its such a hard cancer to diagnose. I guess I'm just gunshy. He may just have developed IBD late in life, but somehow I doubt it. I have an IBD cat and his appetite and attitude are both in hyperdrive. Kobie just isn't right. I'm so worried about him. So I'm thinking of just putting him on all wet food diet too and eliminating dry food forever, but we will see. I don't want to do anything to make him eat even less than he is already eating. He at all of his dinner tonight for the first time in a week.

In an effort to improve everyones over all health and water consumption, I bought a premium drinkwell pet water fountain last summer. Its been sitting in a box in my room ever since. This latest bout of illnesses prompted me to put it together and plug it in. Not one cat has touched it. I put them all up there to see it, they sniffed it then hopped down. They don't care about the running water. Meanwhile, the only place I could put it was in my bedroom, so I get to listen to the sound of running water all night long, resulting in a few latenight trips to the bathroom. The fountain is sitting on my metal filing cabinet right now, and the motor makes the metal vibrate a little bit, so I'm wondering if thats not putting the cats off drinking from it. I'll move it to my desk when I get my desk cleared off....which would be sometime this century.

I got a visitor in the mail from the UK this week. The Ruffdogs forum mascot has come to see what my corner of Texas is all about. I'll have him with me all week and I'll take photos to document his stay here. So far, he has met Sully and Moxie (the others weren't feeling up to it) His run in with Sully perhaps a bit traumatizing for him, so I think I'll keep him clear of the cats for the rest of his stay.

Well I'm off to poke pills down cat throats. Joy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I really have nothing to report at the moment so I thought I would post up some of my favorite pics from a few of my favorite sites.

There are two that seem to be the same concept. Not sure which came first but here they are: And

I have a few pics I'm going to submit some day.