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Monday, February 9, 2009

R.I.P. Bo Dog

Most of you probably know the news already, but I feel I should do a post about it anyway. We had to put Bodhi to sleep on Saturday. I'm not sure how much I mentioned it here in the blog, but he had been experiencing some health problems for the past several months. First, he went blind last summer, for seemingly no particular reason--not diabetes, not glaucoma, not cataracts, etc. Then he started having pee pee problems ie: he started peeing in the house more than he had ever done in the past. He was also drinking a LOT of water and his urine was very diluted. We'd taken him to the vet several times. Blood work was done, and although some odd protein readings were found, no definitive diagnosis was given. The vet's guess was that it was a problem with one of his abdominal organs, either organ failure or a tumor. We could have done an ultrasound to try to get more answers, but we had already decided that we didn't want to put a 10 1/2 year old blind dog through surgery and/or cancer treatment so we decided that the several-hundred-dollar ultrasound probably wasn't worth it since whatever it found would probably require surgery or chemo. We decided just to concentrate on keeping him comfortable and happy as long as we could. There was a brief unrelated incident over the holidays wherein Bo ate half a Costco sized bag of peanut M&M's. He definitely enjoyed himself, but he also got REALLY sick. We though he was going to die, but he pulled through. Then, about two weeks ago his abdomen began to bloat. It took a couple days to develop, so we knew it wasn't the stomach twisting disease often refereed to as "bloat" that can kill dogs in a matter of hours. By the end of the first week of his pot belly, we took him to the vet where they drained literally a liter of clear fluid out of his belly. They did an x-ray but couldn't find anything since his abdomen was so full. Again, we opted to just manage his quality of life and not do further exploratory treatment. The vet suggested we could feed him puppy food, since it is very high in protein. We went to Petsmart and bought a huge bag of puppy food. We also got some of the egg-whites-in-a-box thing from Costco and added that to his food. We were hoping that the bloat wouldn't progress as quickly as it had before. But, it did come back and probably actually came quicker than before. By Wednesday his belly was just as full as it had been when the Vet drained him. By Friday, he was huge, looked like an extremely pregnant dog having trouble walking and seemed unable to find a comfortable position to sit or lay down in. Friday night he started wining in a distinctive "I really don't feel well" sort of way. We could have taken him back to get the fluid drained again, but it was obvious that we'd have to do it every 5 days or so to keep him comfortable, which was a bit too much both from a financial standpoint and from a quality of life standpoint for him. Early in the morning on Saturday, woken by his whines, we decided that he wasn't going to get any better, and that maybe we should go ahead and put him down before it got a lot worse. So that's what we did. About 5A.M. on Saturday morning we took him to the emergency vet and put him down. It was very sad, obviously, but I think in his best interest.

So, no more Bo dog. :( We miss him a lot already. Its weird only having one dog around the house. Maggie (the remaining dog) is also having some adjustment issues since Bodhi was always the alpha dog. She always got her feed after he got his. She always followed him out the door. Now she seems a bit confused when she doesn't have anyone to follow. Despite this adjustment pains, she doesn't seem to be too depressed, so unless she becomes depressed, we're probably going to remain a one dog household for now. We'll see.

Nick got Bo dog 9 years ago when he lived in Rhode Island and was working in the dorms. Bo just appeared on campus one day. Nick had been looking for a dog and Bo fit his ideal dog profile quite nicely: short haired, medium sized, pretty calm. His name, Bodhi is short for Bodhisattva which means "enlightened one" due to his cool-as-a-cucumber wise-beyond-his-K9-abilities-andyears demeanor. Bo was an only dog until Maggie joined the family a couple years later. Bo was always the one in charge, though. He loved to watch out the window for squerrels or for anyone walking down the ally. He was sure to alert us if he saw anything. When the cats moved in, it took Bo dog a while to learn the difference cats and squerrels, which he did eventually. By last fall, the cats and dogs were cuddling together on a regular basis, although I'd like to thank Bo publicly for not biting the head of Keenan who would sometimes and for no obvious reason smack the Bo dog on his nose. Thanks for not eating the Keenan cat.

I met Bo four years ago when Nick and I started dating. Nick was always Bo's favorite person, although I think he liked me fairly well too... especially when I gave him treats or petted him. Bo dog LOVED getting affection from his people. He was a 55 pound lap dog. He was an exceptional dog and will we miss him... we already do miss him. Rest In Peace Bo.

Bo dog is survived by Maggie (who is trying to get used to not having her alpha dog around), Keenan (who will miss smacking Bo in the face, but in a loving way, he promises!), and Morgan (who will miss snuggling with Bo on the bed.)

Sorry to have to regale you with the details of this sad news, but thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Announcement: I Have Discovered The Secret To Life

Ok, well not really the secret to life, but I did have a bit of an epiphany today regarding how to conquer my latest daemon: the diet killing temptress most people call hunger. Some background info: Nick and I started dieting New Years day so its been over a month now. For the first two weeks I found the diet pretty managable,--not too miserable--and I was actually losing weight. I droped 8 pounds in two weeks with NO trouble at all. But then, things just stopped. The scale hasn't moved since, and the not-eating-everything-I'm-craving-the-moment-I'm-craving-it has been getting more difficult. They say there's no motivator like succes, right?

I'll skip the part of this post where I wax on about the particulars of my diet (actually there aren't that many, we're just counting calories; I only get 1,400 per day) or the fact that Nick apparently has no problem quieting his hunger reflex and so easily eats well under his calorie allowance (1,700) and has already lost over 15 pounds.

Instead I'll get to the point. So, on the train ride home today as the little voice inside my head (the little voice reminds me a lot of that little annoying green dude from the second Lord of the Rings) kept screaming "Cheerios, Cheerios, You Want Cherrios!!!!!" it hit me that this little hunger voice in my head is very much like a nagging child or (something I have more first hand experinece with) a dog that wont stop trying to wake you up at 3 in the morning to feed him or her. Then I thought about the realitve success I've had with harnessing my magical powers of rock solid stubborness (this is the part of the blog where everyone reading this who actually knows me will smile or perhaps even laugh in recognition of this distinct aspect of my personality) to totally ignore the dogs when they're trying to wake me up. Then I realized, that in order to ignore my hunger all I have to do is pretend its one of those other things I stubbornly ignore with great success all the time, like the dogs, or like people who try to get me to watch movies or TV shows that I've already convinced myself I wouldn't like (insert more laughter from friends here).

So there it is, folks. My big discovery. Ok so its not quite the secret to life but I'm hoping it will be the secret to succesful avoidance of caloric temptations. I'll let you iknow how it goes.

Thanks for reading. :)