Saturday, December 31, 2011

Jake: August 31, 2002-December 31, 2011

Our sweet Jake crossed over the Rainbow Bridge this morning.  He became ill again 2 days ago and we could no longer allow him to suffer.  Thank you to all those who have followed his long journey, been so incredibly supportive of me and Jake, and take time out of your day and pocketbooks to help us in so many ways.  Once I'm able to function more I will write a memorial for him . . .

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The A-List!

If you recall last year at this time we were entered into the A-List (then WFAA, now Dallas A-List) and we finished off in 2nd place as the BEST TRAINING in Dallas!  Not shabby.  However as of right now we are in 3rd place!  We need more votes!  You can only vote one time period.  So we need more votes, many more votes!  If you could help us by voting and spreading the word I'd greatly appreciate it!  Thank you and stay tuned for new blog posts for 2012!  Vote here: . . .  Oh and did I mention that for everyone who votes you are given the option to purchase a single in home lesson for $79 ($109 value!) So what are you waiting for?!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fa la la la!

Well I'll put a lot of goodies in this post.  First, for many of you wonderfully super followers you have been a reason for my sweet Jake still being on this planet today!  Again, more thanks to everyone who has been supportive in every way, I am truly grateful forever.  He continues to do well.  He's being a sweet, jolly ole Jakey as we knew him before!  He is still sporting his "cone of shame" but alas he doesn't care at all.  It's pretty funny that thing is so obtrusive that when  he goes behind the laundry room door and attempts to then go back around the door to leave, his cone catches the door and  he ends up shutting himself in there!  I discovered the other night that Jake was nowhere to be found. I was baffled. I went in the yard thinking I left him out there, "Jake! Jakey!" Nothing. I went in each room of the house.  Nothing.  Then I hear the clanking in my laundry room.  Ah there he is!  Silly boy.

We're Competing badgeNow for some business. I need votes... well Adventures in Canine Training needs votes!  If you recall last year at this time I was in the running for the CityVoter's A-List for Dallas amongst 27 other nominees!  In the end I came in 2nd place for BEST TRAINER in Dallas!  Whoa, great accomplishment!  I want to reach #1 and I have enough supporters to do this.  I need your votes!  People can only vote once, period the end.  So this truly means that the number of votes are critical!  Recruit friends to vote, knock on doors, campaign for me here at Adventures in Canine Training in any way you see necessary.  Ok.  You can vote here.  And by the way, thanks for your vote.  Your vote is what keeps us going strong all year long!

And lastly, did you get or read my latest newsletter?  Loads of great stuff in there--loads of it!  Take a look at that here if you haven't already!

And don't forget to buy Gift Certificates for that special dog person you know!  Contact Stacy for purchasing.  On sale through this Friday, December 16th.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sweet Survivor: Part V

Jake came home on Monday.  He's doing well!  I know that all the prayers, support, good vibes and healing thoughts got us through this . . . once again!  This time it was much more critical so all the above is the only reason we still have our sweet Jake.  

He doesn't seem to be in much pain and he's actually now acting like the ole Jakey we know.  His big soulful eyes beam at me gently as I sit on my bed and he stands on the floor politely to beg for his dinner.   Monday he was pretty sore but he was really happy to be at his comfy home after a very long week.  He was pretty much in the hospital for 6 days.  Poor guy.

His eyes are already back to their full, big brown self.  On Monday he looked pretty awful.  His eyes were really sunken in and looked "beady".  He's putting his weight back on and sleeping well too.  Today he started playing and I was ecstatic!  He isn't especially playful as a dog anyway, so not only did this mean he feels well but also that he's really happy! 

Thank you, once again, to all those who have been generous monetarily to us since all of this started.   We definitely couldn't have done it without you all.  Thank you to the group of ladies who encouraged me to reach out and ask for help, as I was too reluctant to do so . . . again.  I cannot find words to express my gratitude to each and every one of you!  Thank you!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sweet Survivor: Part IV

 Well it's late Sunday night as I type this.  Hubby went with me today to visit Jake, our toddler was with my in-laws so we went over there together.  He was much, much brighter and tail was wagging today.  He seemed pretty depressed and sad the other day.  I didn't really want to say that the other day but he wasn't all that happy on Friday.

He has lost a lot of weight and his face looks incredibly awful, major muscle atrophy.  However, he's eating and seemingly doing okay.  They said at this point he hasn't vomited but he also hasn't had a bowel movement so they are hoping for that.  They said they had cleaned out his plumbing so well during surgery they thought it'd be a bit before he actually did have to poop!

Anyway, I'm hoping to take him home tomorrow (Monday).  First, I have no idea what this bill is going to be at this point.  And second I think he'll be more comfortable here and feel better being home.

Anyway, since we are coming up on day 5 in the hospital I'm still hoping and praying for some more donations.  By the Grace of God we have had the remarkable donations pour in so far and the contributions have been incredible.  I mean I cannot find words to thank all of these dog-loving people!  We could still use some help and we'd love it if you shared this on Facebook or Twitter, email or whatever other social media you use!  Yes, now I'm kind of begging.  A bit sad and desperate, but that's the reality at this point!  

Thank you, thank you and thank you to all of those who have kept up with him, prayed, paid, supported, spread the word and much more.  You have no idea how much it truly does mean to me and my family!  Truly some acts of paying it forward!  God Bless you all! (Link to the Chip In! donations here for those who cannot see the widget to the right.)

{{Note to those who get this via their email inbox: You can always visit the blog online to see all pictures, widgets and videos by clicking here.}}

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sweet Survivor: Part III

Today is a new day!  First, Dr. Franks is awesome. I woke up this morning to a text that had a picture of sweet Jakey and a text that said -- He has done well overnight :)  Great thing for me to wake up to!

So I went to visit him around 3pm.  He was pretty sad looking (Labs are good at this!), I think in pain, but he was happy to see me.  They told me that he had nibbled a small piece of chicken earlier but not really eaten.  I mixed some food for him at home and put his enzymes (he has to have due to his EPI) on it and blended it in the blender since he's going to have to have basically a liquid diet from now on.  I tried to give him some when we were in the room but he just licked a bit and then just laid down.

I told him he had to eat (it's coming up on 5 days since he's eaten) and stay strong and that I'd be back to get him.  I hate visiting dogs in hospitals because I always wonder what they think as you walk out the door and leave them there.  Anyway, he needed to go back in his little area and get back on his pain meds and fluids.  So they came and took him.

I talked to Dr. Franks and she asked if he ate anything for me. I told her about the food I made and that he licked a tiny bit.  She said it was good he was willing and trying.  She also said, "...he has got to have the worst bellyache ever!"  Poor guy.  So she feels that he really needs to stay through the weekend, which I am not arguing with as he needs more constant care to ensure he's going to pull through all of this.  She also said he was one heck of a fighter!  And we knew that.  I said that before. I told my husband perhaps we should call him "Rudy" since he never gives up! (That's in reference to the 1993 movie, "Rudy")

So on my way home Dr. Franks texts me -- He just ate 1/2 c of shredded chicken. Wofled it down.  Right before I was writing orders to only feed his own food with enzymes in it!  I text her back -- I must have inspired him!   So we are excited he's seeming to want to eat now.  The prayer is that food stays down and hopefully he has a bowel movement.  Ugh, that's gonna hurt that poor guy!  But this is the difficult part for him, the reason he's here now anyway.  So this will be another big hurdle if he can do those things.

With all this said, I'm having a much better day today.  Not blowing my nose and trying to ice my swollen eyes down.  I know I owe it all to the Big Guy Upstairs and all the support, prayers and love he's received from all my (and Jake's!) adoring clients, trainer-friends (near and far!), veterinarians, friends and family.  Thank you so much to all of you. I could not have made it without you and Jake surely couldn't have!  

I am still in awe at the donations.  This is incredible.  We are still taking those, of course.  Now that he's staying longer we know the bill will be higher than was originally posted.  But I would not have been able to do this at all without the donations I have!  Thank you again and again and again...  Here is his ChipIn page again, and please feel free to share.

{{ Note to those who get this via their inbox: You can always visit the blog online to see all pictures, widgets and videos by clicking here. }}

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sweet Survivor: Part II

 Well, where do I start?  First, the out-pour of generosity is amazing.  I don't have words, I don't have enough arms to hug everyone.  But I have many tears of joy as the dog-loving community always pulls through for me!  For those of you who have donated your hard earned dollars -- thank you really isn't enough, but thank you!

Now for an update.  Jake was able to go into surgery late today.  After the donations came rolling in we knew this would be feasible, and with the help of my wonderful surgeon (rather Jake's surgeon), Dr. Franks at the Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center in Grapevine we saw a light at the end of what was a very dark tunnel. I always say that "she knows Jake inside and out, literally" since she's now seen the guy's insides 3 times, or is it 4.  Wow, I lose count for that poor guy.  Anyway, she's amazing, truly amazing and she is fighting for him as much as we are.  She's also been more than generous to me and my family, human and canine.  So I have to give her some major thanks, hugs and hallelujahs!  

I also want to thank the wonderful veterinary staff at Katy Trail Animal Hospital in Dallas.  They saw him first on Tuesday (Dr. Naugler saw us that day, she was amazing!) and then sent us back over to Dr. Franks.  But their staff is always so kind, caring and there to fight for your pets' care and quality of life.  If it weren't for them Jake wouldn't be where he is today as Dr. Murray over there is the one that finally helped us discover he had developed secondary EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency) after we thought last year at this time that we would be saying good-bye to him.  If it weren't for her we wouldn't have him here at all.  And since all this Dr. Naugler has called me twice to check on him and get updates despite the fact that she's getting reports from Dr. Franks. I figure she could just get the reports and go from there without calling but instead she's being incredibly caring and encouraging. 

Anyway, he came out of surgery stable.  He is comfortable now.  Apparently while we've gotten past one hurdle that very well could have been a wall instead of a hurdle, we still have several others to contend with.  Without going into all the specifics that Dr. Franks went over with me, I'll just say that we do still have to keep praying.  With all of his major issues in his GI tract he's got a long road ahead and he'll have to be a real fighter to keep going.  But we are sure he is, we know he is, and we feel confident that he'll get through it.  Dr. Franks is cautiously optimistic but she's honest and real and that's why we love her.  So we do have to keep praying for the big ole sweetie.

Again, the donations have poured in like Christmas came early and that is marvelous.  Absolutely marvelous!  I'm really emotional today, and with all this kindness and giving I've now got tears of joy.  Thank you to all of you and we know that we can now begin to look ahead!

Sweet Survivor

Well here we are again with my sweet, tough boy Jake the Lab.  Many of you know him, many of you have contributed to his ordeals in the past but we've sadly come to a really bad place.  I'll type up the story for those who haven't been in the loop [this time around].

Monday evening Jake refused dinner.  Red flag for any of my dogs (side note: one very good reason to never free-feed your dogs!)  He vomited about 6 times from dinner time until the morning, all in the manner that it was hardly anything which meant probably a blockage.  He also hadn't had a bowel movement--huge red flag and another possible sign of a blockage.

X-rays showed his bowel is dialated and that there is something in there.  The interesting part about Jake is that since all of his crazy stuff from the past he's a "horse of a different" color.  His intestines are a mangled, scarred mess.  And it seems that they are always filled with gas--not normal.  Actually I think even the vets are all surprised the boy is still around with all the plumbing issues he's lived with!  So with this our wonderful, dear surgeon, Dr. Joanne Franks at the Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center in Grapevine (she's done 2 of his surgeries) has said that the reality is that she could open him up but may not be able to swim through all his insides due to all the scarring.  She already warned me last year that if something just like this happened again the odds were highly stacked against us.

Anyway, I took him in Tuesday so they could at least give him fluids, try everything possible to see if by some miracle he'd pass whatever it is in there.  Wednesday she calls and says they could do this and that but asked me about cost as she knows I am not financially stable (seems like a forever thing!).  The costs for the other things were too high so I elected to bring him home yesterday.

He vomited 4 more times at home and is very obviously uncomfortable.  I can't imagine what he feels like, poor guy.  Still hasn't eaten a meal since Monday or had a bowel movement.  Not good, not good at all.  All I can do is think what if she can go in there and find something, remove it and we can just move on to recovery?  What if he does in fact survive this surgery by some miracle?  I mean he's been so strong this whole time.  What if?  But of course the problem is that we definitely haven't the funds for surgery.

So the sad truth has come to this, we have to elect humane euthanasia if we cannot do the surgery.  Even with the surgery it is definitely possible that he still doesn't make it.  But I can't help but think that I'm a horrible person for not at least trying the surgery. 

We would immeasurably appreciate any donations. A dog training forum I'm on convinced me to do another ChipIn. I was reluctant, after doing so in the past, as I know that this time of year and this economy is not kind to anyone.  So I removed the chip off my shoulder and did it--again.  And I'm actually going to apologize for doing so.  It's not easy to admit to failure and it's not easy to ask for money, especially since I've done so in the past.  Humility has gotten to me.  So thank you, thank you and thank you to all contributors.  I cannot express the gratitude enough.

Here is the ChipIn I've created. If you can't see the image below, just click here to go to his donation page.