Category Archives: The Pack

COMING UP FOR AIR

 “KEEPING THE FAITH”

I’ve decided that I’m ready to, “Come up for air”.

Recently I received an email from wordpress; it detailed the performance from The Border Collie Inquisitor for 2014. The results were gratifying. This would be the motivator I’d need to start writing again.  I’ve deeply missed the connection with the readership.

Allow me to briefly explain my absence.

My family and I recently suffered nearly insurmountable losses. Losing (4) of our beloved dogs last year took its toll.

I found the courage to write about our Epic, she was our first loss in January, https://bordercollieinquisitor.com/2014/01/02/game-of-bones/

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March came in like a Lion and our old and faithful Scout was gone.                https://bordercollieinquisitor.com/2014/02/26/the-pack-part-2/

Scout

No sooner had we started to get ourselves settled into the new pack order my side kick Deja Blue aka Boo was diagnosed with liver cancer. Her diagnosis hit me like a violent tornado as it made its first initial powerful punch. We sat in the eye of the storm, treasuring every moment we had left until August when the eye wall unmercifully hit with vehement intensity and we lost of Boo. I’ve not yet found the courage to tell her story. Even now I pause to sob.

Deja

The final chapter in October was our Tulley, https://bordercollieinquisitor.com/category/mean-dog/   diagnosed with lymphoma; this had to be a bad dream. How and where would I ever find the strength, I was, at that time, completely and utterly broken. How was I going to break this news to my husband? Tulley was after all, his constant companion. I would somehow find the faith.  I took a deep breath, pulled myself together determined to rid this cancer from Tulley’s body.                                                                    https://bordercollieinquisitor.com/2014/10/16/chemotherapy/    https://bordercollieinquisitor.com/2014/10/25/chemotherapy-2/             https://bordercollieinquisitor.com/2014/11/24/precious_moments/

Sadly determination and reality collided and just a week before Christmas and Tulley could fight no more.

Beautiful Tulley

I so appreciate my co-writer and dear friend Lisa for posting a final farewell.    https://bordercollieinquisitor.com/2014/12/16/farewell-sweet-tulley/

Time is powerful, it moves along with no regard or limits, so we’ll take all of the time that we need. Grief is a process; it goes its own way, and in its own time. It’s the little things, the day to day interactions when we mostly feel their loss.

The Quakers have a saying, “if you love, you will suffer, and it is worth it.”

A friend recently thanked my husband for helping to house a dog at his shelter for 17 months until a special loving home was found.

“Thank you for keeping the faith,” George stated. So profound I thought these three words. And so we will, “Keep the Faith.”

Many thanks to all, your love and support has carried us through.

“Godspeed to our beloved Epic, Scout, Deja and Tulley”.

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“After the tears, there will be a rainbow.”                                                                                                                                                   Terri Florentino

Farewell, Sweet Tulley

Tulley 2014In sadness and sympathy we let you know that Tulley crossed the Rainbow Bridge today.

Readers know him as the “mean dog” in our “Mean Dog” series, but Ed and Terri knew him as a dear friend and family member for a good many long and happy years.

Echo and Tulley, a few days ago.

He was a very good boy. He’ll be missed not only by his people, but by his pack. The family has suffered some hard losses of late. Our heartfelt condolences go out to them all.

The pack

Pictured left to right – Meg, Deja, Echo, Wyn, Tulley and Scout.

 

Tulley and Life’s Precious Moments – Living with Lymphoma

TULLEY and LIFE’S PRECIOUS MOMENTS

Tulley’s had a busy month. Our goal has always been to make sure that his good quality of life never wavers. We were thrilled when his most recent bloodwork was perfect. He was far from anemic so we decided to administer another round of chemo. As before a few days post chemo he had a couple days of feeling nauseous so we administered antiemetic medication, which helped. The days that he was inappetent I would mix meat flavored baby food with liquid Pediasure and feed him through an oral syringe. He never minded the shake; in fact I think he enjoyed it. We did find a brand of food and treats made by Orijen that he really likes so the cupboard is well stocked.

It was the last weekend in October when Tulley escorted Ed, Mirk, and me to Maryland for a sheepherding competition. We packed up the truck first thing in the morning and got on our way. We anticipated about a 4 hour drive and wanted to be south of the DC area before the evening rush hour. Other than the usual traffic delays the trip was pleasantly uneventful. As we neared our location and drove over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge it was a pleasure watching both dogs window surfing while taking in the ocean air. Tulley8

Our hotel was located in an area known as Kent Narrows. The Narrows channel barely separates Kent Island from the mainland. The region is rich with history, beautiful nature preserves and spectacular restaurants. We arrived late afternoon and checked into our room. Once the dogs were walked and the truck unloaded we headed across the street from our hotel to admire the beautiful water view and have a nice seafood dinner.

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The following morning we were up and out early, Mirk and I were entered to compete twice. The weather was fair, there was a little chill in the air in the morning but by the afternoon the sun came out so brilliant and warm. The trial was held at the beautiful Long Shot Farm in Church Hill, hosted by Sherry and Dave Smith. Sherry made a beef stew for lunch which was absolutely delicious, so much so that Tulley decided that was what he wanted to eat. I was so relieved that we finally found something that Tulley really enjoyed and ate readily. Mirk and I finished up our runs, both respectable runs but not good enough to finish in the ribbons. I wasn’t disappointed, Mirk did a great job. Tulley6

Truthfully I felt like we had already won when Tulley ravenously ate so much of Sherry’s stew. As we were packing and getting ready to go, we went to say goodbye to everyone and thank Sherry and Dave for their hospitality. Sherry handed me a large container full of the stew for Tulley.  Her kind gesture meant so much more than she could ever imagine, I couldn’t thank her enough. We headed back to our hotel to get some rest; we’d be heading home in the morning.

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I take Tulley to work with me as often as I can; he loves riding in the truck. There are always plenty of people wanting to feed him. Barb always makes sure she has lots of beef treats for him every time she walks into my office. On occasion Dr. Lagana will return from her lunch with a yummy cheeseburger and the bank drive-thru always keeps an adequate supply of biscuits on hand. He really enjoys being outside, getting some fresh air and playing a game of fetch. There are never a shortage of other dogs to play with and a fenced yard at the hospital so we go out as often as my time permits.  The hospital cats are also a form of amusement to Tulley; he’ll chase them whenever the opportunity presents itself. Of course I make every effort to deter that behavior.EchoTulley

Recently a package arrived in the mail for Tulley and he was thrilled—it was like Christmas morning! As I put the box on the floor Tulley hovered over it with anticipation. As I tore back the packaging tape and opened the top he promptly stuck his head into the box and promptly rooted through each item removing the contents one by one.  In the midst of his rummaging he found an awesome squeaky sock monkey, pulled it out of the box and promptly took off running into the living room, squeaking it all the while. We can’t thank Karen, Jim, Morgan and Wyatt enough for making Tulley’s day and ours as well. We cherish every moment.

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The weather this fall has been beautiful. Tulley enjoys spending the nice days outside with Ed while he clears the leaves, stacks wood, and prepares for winter. We delight in watching Tulley so carefree, jumping in a pile of leaves and bouncing around like a rabbit. He’s also always on guard making sure that the local herd deer stay off of his yard. Echo’s always nearby as well; she and Tulley are nearly inseparable. They truly are the, “cutest couple,”Tulley5

So for now we’ll continue to take it day by day and make sure that Tulley is enjoying each and every moment.

CHEMOTHERAPY

TULLEY’S FIRST TREATMENT

A week has passed since Tulley received his first chemo treatment and his response has been fair. The use of prednisolone has decreased the size of his lymph nodes. Overall he’s had a bit more kick in his step but that varies from day to day. He takes medication daily to ease his upset stomach and suppress vomiting, sadly its not 100% effective. His appetite is also remarkably decreased. He’s turned his nose up to eggs, liver, chicken and beef. Of all things he prefers peanut butter on sourdough bread. Currently I feel his condition is guarded.

My husband and I believe that the quality of his life is whats most important.

We’d like thank all of the staff at the Abington Veterinary Center for taking such good care of Tulley and all of you for keeping him in your thoughts and prayers.

Chemotherapy

TULLEY

There are so few words, the diagnosis, Lymphoma. First chemotherapy treatment tomorrow. Please share any personal experiences. Updates to follow.

Here is Tulley’s rescue story.   https://bordercollieinquisitor.com/category/mean-dog/

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The Pack, Part 6

Home At Last

I received an email—Rich and Wendy were interested in adopting Scout. This would be the third Border collie they acquired from Ed and me over the course of 12 years. If anyone could handle her it was Rich and Wendy. They wanted her to come and spend some time with them, their two cats and Border collie, Willow.

That evening I’d have to prepare my husband. Continue reading

The Pack, Part 5

 The Renegotiation

A couple of weeks had passed. Scout’s game, as I saw it, was to resource guard not only whatever she held in high value, (i.e. a plastic bag or paper towels of all things), but also space and certain people. She knew exactly how to get whatever she wanted. And yet, she could be the most affectionate and lovable pup, as long as it was on her terms. We needed to renegotiate those terms.

As time went on we’d made some progress. Now, in lieu of biting, she’ll give up whatever’s in her mouth with only a brief display of her teeth. Ideally my goal is “no lip” from the little lady. Along with Mirk and Echo she would come to my office with me. The privilege of being able to hang out in the office was immediately revoked as soon as she started inappropriately chewing or rooting through the trash. While I’m working on financials, I don’t appreciate a game of tug o’ war for a banana peel. Continue reading