Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The circles of life

I named this blog "life with 3 special dachshunds" when we were only 3, each with a different type of special need. Then Daisy Mae was returned and Stanley came into our lives. Then it was life with 3 dachshunds with a specific special need, plus "the boys".

Life has circled back; Daisy Mae left us December 18/09 and my sweet boy Stanley left us this past Saturday, January 23/10. Again it is life with 3 special dachshunds.

Stanley has changed me forever. His pawprints will always be on my heart. Quiet, dignified, with a charm that drew people to him at first sight, he was one of those "special" furkids. He forced me to face fears and grow, to give him his fluids. Never did I ever think I would stick a needle into a living thing. Love for him was greater than my fears. Stanley's legacy is that skill. Some place, somewhere, maybe on an EARS deployment, I believe I will need this skill again to help another animal - Stanley's gift to that furkid.

I am glad that I was able to track down his first family and they were with us at the end. Stanley did recognize them and wagged his tail. However hard it was to make that drive to them, knowing what was coming, I am glad that I was able to give him and them that last meeting.

I miss him so much.

Dogspeed my little Snorey Bear

Friday, January 8, 2010

Life with Kidney Failure

We are doing pretty well. I am so touched with the response from the rescue community. I sent out an email asking for help to hold Stanley while I do his sub-q fluids. I am happy to say that we have a full rotation of volunteers; pretty well every day of the week has someone assigned to help us. Sometimes they come to us and sometimes we go to them. 10 minutes or less and my boy is good for another 24 hours.

I fuss over Stanley. If he does not eat/drink as much as I think he should, I worry. The vet said 24 hours without eating and we need to get back to the hospital. He needs to keep his kidneys flushed out. I try to add 2 cups of water per day to his food, in addition to his 100ml of sub-q fluids.

A bonus with having our "gas station attendants" is that I get impartial feed back from them about how Stanley is doing. Someone who sees him once or twice a week is more likely to notice changes that I am; seeing him constantly.

It is not easy to keep his appetite stimulated. He has not been a big eater since coming to me. He is not fond of the prescription dog food, so finding appropriate, low protein enhancements for his meals is a struggle.

I am getting much better at handling his needles for the sub-q fluids. Having someone hold him makes all the difference.

I know that we are just buying time. This is not a cure. We are grateful beyond words for the people who have volunteered to be part of his palliative care.

For now, my boy is content, eating well and taking an interest in his surroundings. He enjoys cuddles, tolerates his treatments and is just his charming, adorable self. What more could I ask for. Each day is a blessing with our Christmas Miracle.