Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Wednesday blahs.

Or the mean reds as Holly Golightly called them. I don't know why, but I've got them. No particular reason. Hopefully they will be gone tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Five down.

Round five of chemo is out of the way! We've been nervous about this particular drug (doxorubicin) because apparently its the most likely of the chemo drugs to have side effects. It can cause damage to the heart over time, nausea, bone marrow suppression, etc. Lovely, huh? But the oncologist assures us over and over that the benefits far out weigh the risks. We decided to get an EKG to make sure his heart is in good shape to begin with. So we saw a cardiologist today before chemo and his heart looks great. Good news. He received the chemo this afternoon and now we wait. 10 days with no major reactions and we are out of the woods on this drug. Then we get a week off. Yay!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Round five tomorrow

This is a verrrrry old picture, but I was realizing that I don't have many body shots of Preacher. I was trying to take some this weekend and he just wants to head for the camera - hence so many close ups. Anyway, this was taken several years ago after the Might Texas Dog Walk. We took Preacher and Pasqual. Pasqual decided to run the walk so Tom took off with him and we didn't see them again until the end. But Preacher and I had a lovely walk, well, once he got rid his nerves and diarrhea on the start line. Lovely.

So, tomorrow is round five of chemo. I'm a little nervous because it's a new drug. He will see a cardiologist in the morning because this drug can cause issues with his heart. Makes me anxious but I am trying to trust his oncologist and know that we are taking every precaution by meeting with the cardiologist first. So, more well wishes, prayers, good thoughts, etc. please. And I will keep you posted.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Are grab bags out?

When I was a kid I was a sucker for a grab bag. Probably a good sign to stay out of the casinos, huh? I loved them though. And I don't recall ever being disappointed with the contents. Colorful pencils, odd shaped and scented erasers, stickers, gum and candy - kid stuff.

So I have been brain-storming how to drum up business and the old school grab bag came to mind. I thought maybe that would be something fun to do in my etsy shop to give business a bump and help out with the vet bills. I was thinking a necklace and earrings, a bracelet and earrings plus some bottlecaps, something like that...well over the $25 price tag.

I posted a little something about it in the etsy forums and got mixed reviews. A couple seemed to think it would be fun and others were down right touchy about the subject. Like they have been personally wronged by the grab bag! I had no idea grab bags were such a sensitive subject. Now don't get me wrong, I did ask for opinions, so I have to be willing to take what I get...but damn, my grab bags don't bite!

So who knows. It might be a total dud. But I am giving it a whirl. We'll see...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

An even dozen.

I was looking at the scrolling photos of my dogs the other day - the ones here on my blog, the little thing-a-ma-bob off to the right that scrolls through various photos - and I was noticing how many of the pictures are of them in costumes or clothes. I immediately felt the need to tell everyone that we are NOT those people! We don't typically dress the dogs up. But I suppose on the rare occasions when we do we feel the need to capture it on film! Anyway, if made ME feel the need to show you how truly dignified my dogs REALLY are, sans clothing.

When Tom and I helped co-found Blue Dog Rescue almost 10 years ago we had two dogs. Seven and Preacher. A very reasonable number of dogs. But over the years of fostering some just seemed to stay. We certainly never meant to have 12 dogs. But that's where we're at. And we adore each and every one of them. We have probably fostered 200+ dogs over the years so I like to tell people that keeping 10 out of 200 is not so bad!

Anyway, here they are, in order of arrival, the loves of our lives:

We adopted Seven from the local Humane Society in 1998. She is the absolute love of our life. She's the Princess and knows it!

The Big Man. If you've read my blog before then you've heard all about him over the past month. He is a sweet, gentle soul who loves every single person he ever meets.

Ozo. Our very first foster and maybe the big glaring sign that we shouldn't foster because we'd want to keep them all. But thank goodness we didn't pay attention to the sign. Ozo has the happy-go-lucky of his Golden Retriever part and the independence of his Chow part. EVERYONE loves Ozo.

This little man is the love of MY life. He has soooo much personality rolled up into his little chihuahua/dachshund body. He's a little gangsta and considers himself The King. I have his paw print tattooed on my foot so that he walks with me wherever I go.

The Notorious P.I.G. When we were fostering him and took him to adoption days kids would tell their parents that we had a pig for adoption! Pasqual was the first pit bull in Blue Dog Rescue and he won over everyone he met. He is the Pit Bull poster child!

My baby. We got Vincent and his four littermates when they were two weeks old. Their mom had been hit by a car. Tom and I brought them home and bottle fed them. We almost lost Vincent one night when he went into hypoglycemic shock. I slept with him on my chest all night. Since that point he has been my dog through and through. He is my guardian and protector. Where I go, he goes.

Clishy Marie Shew.
Probably the most energetic dog in our house. She wants to know what is going on at all times! And the best hugger in all the world!

Veruca Jane Shew.
While her sister is the hugger she is the kisser. And she prefers your nose if that's okay with you. Oh, and a beer if you'll share that too!

Monkey Shew.
Sweetest little boy ever - all he wants is a little attention of his own. In this pack you do have to kind of assert yourself to get attention - and he's just not that assertive. So we try to go the extra mile to give him the love and belly rubs he deserves.

The Business Man.
Oh, Ferdabidnee. The dog is even sillier than he looks. We joke that he should really be a cartoon character. His tongue sticks out and he's cross-eyed. He's not particularly nice to strangers and he has a liver shunt. He's a little train wreck but he brings laughter into our lives every single day. I wouldn't trade him for anything!

Our little chug. Another foster who came and just refused to leave. And while I didn't want 11 dogs I wanted life without Horatio even less. Every night it is his job to announce Bed Time. And he does so my garbling bizarre noises and dragging his belly on the floor. And when he does it they all know - "It's bed time!"

Jessica Beatrice.
She was going to be a "quick" adoption. She was NOT supposed to stay. But she wormed her way into Tom's heart by being pitiful and pathetic and only loving him. So there it was. She became number 12!
So that's us in a nut shell. It is crazy but it works. And what am I most proud of? That people come to my house and say "Wow, it doesn't smell like dogs!"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Round four

Not a great picture I know, but how freakin' cute is he sitting on the couch like he thinks he's a person?!?!? Round four of chemo was yesterday and he seems to be handling it beautifully. When I went to pick him up he trotted right out wagging his nub like crazy. He got into the car with not too much help from me, came home and ate some lunch, and took a nap. Happiness.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dog and Jewelry updates:

The chemo fund/close out page has been updated with all kinds of new goodies! My favorite being these new Mono-Stone necklaces. This one is rock crystal. It's a new design so you might be wondering "Why the close out page?". Well, sometimes I'm not sure, will they like it, will they not and I just don't know if I want to make it part of my line. Sometimes I just make things and then never make them many reasons. So, take advantage, they may never come again...or, if you love 'em, let me know!

And speaking of the chemo fund, we go in for round 4 of chemo tomorrow. Luckily this is a drug Preacher has had before and did well on. So we are optimistically apprehensive. This last week has been great. He rebounded from his hellacious week like a champ! He's eating well, getting around great, being a goof-ball, everything we were hoping for. So, good thoughts for tomorrow. And I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Just stuff

My dogs kill me they are so cute. I would love to imagine a serious conversation going on between Horatio and my bedside poodle lamp, but in reality I think he was staring at a moth that was flying around under the shade. Orrrrrr, we could assume that he and the poodle were having a very meaningful discussion about the pure bred dog vs. the mix-y mix. I think Horatio might have a more compelling argument being that he is so ridiculously cute in his "chuggy" way -that's chihuahua/pug for those of you not in-the-know. Before you think that is some new kind of "designer" dog it's not - it's a shelter dog. THE perfect dog.

Now, having gone on and on about the fabulousness of the mixed breed dog, let me update you on my precious Preacher Man, (a pure bred Great Dane and equally fabulous!). He is doing so well. I hesitate to even say that because I don't want to jinx anything. But he has been eating like a champ, his personality is back in spades, he is putting weight back on. It's great. And we got to skip chemo this week - hallelujah!

And lastly, on the work front, I am now starting to gear up for ACL! It's three months away and I have got beaucoups of work to do! I have got to get myself back into the swing of things. With all that has gone on with Preacher my focus has been waaaaaay off work. Now it's time to get many Giant Round Necklaces does one need for an audience of 65,000 people anyway?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I made this ring a couple of weeks ago at the request of my friend Charlotte. Charlotte and I joke that she is the real designer behind my work because she often has very specific ideas about jewelry she'd like me to make and a lot of times I end up including it in my line. She has great ideas!! So, this ring is an example. I love it! Of course I want one in Pink!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Knock on wood... is a good day. He's eating. See. He's taking it right out of my hand. So, here's what I wonder. Has he totally got our number? Is that why he will pretty much only eat grilled hamburger meat? Oh, and freshly grilled hamburger meat. Don't dare refrigerate it and re-heat it. No. That will not work. Freshly grilled, not boiled which is better for him because the fat is left behind in the water. But truthfully, boiled hamburger has to be one of the grossest things ever so I can't say I blame him for not wanting it. And sure, I would love for him to be getting some healthier things in his diet, but right now we just want him to to eat. So it's a good day.

No chemo this week. Another reason today is a good day! Assuming all goes well we don't even have to go to the vet at all this week. Oh, knock on wood again. Knock Knock. And if it continues to be a good week we start chemo again next week. Today, I can breathe. Fingers crossed for the rest of the week.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

the rocky road

Round three of chemo has sucked. Round one and round two went so well, I just wasn't mentally or physically prepared for this. And obviously my poor Big Guy wasn't either. The day after the last chemo we went back to the oncologist because he was so nauseated he wouldn't eat or dring. They refered to this reaction as gastro toxicity. They did send him home but by that evening he was really feeling bad. He gave us a good scare. We rushed off the the emergency clinic. They kept him over night and gave him fluids to try to get him past this gastric reaction. He ended up having to be hospitalized after the trip to the emergency clinic. Tom picked him up from the EC in the morning and transferred him to the oncologists office. Unfortunately he had signs of yet another bad reaction to this latest chemo drug. He had hemorrhagic cystitis, which basically means the drug caused toxicity in his bladder and he started to pee blood. So they had to put a catheter in and flush out all of the urine and then flush it with saline and then put some kind of "anti-inflammatory cocktail" into his bladder. This all happened yesterday morning. The good news is that since then there has been no more blood in the urine. Hopefully that means there is no significant damage to his bladder. As of this morning they said he was drinking on his own but hasn't eaten anything. So I just cooked him up some chicken and boiled ground meat (nastiest thing ever!) and am going to take it to him soon. The hope is that there will be no more blood in his urine today and he'll be able to come home tonight.

It's been a roller coaster for sure. I never wanted to put him through anything like this. But now that we are here and the oncologist still feels we can get him past this and he still is in remission...well, I am trying not to second guess myself too much.