Rest in Peace
Kara and Charles Stigen
"In memory of our senior golden Nitschke"
Easter Sunday is usually filled with church services, egg hunts, chocolate bunnies, jelly beans and family dinners. This Easter Sunday a group of wonderful transport volunteers gave up some of their day to bring this handsome gent to our home. Buddy thanks all of you for helping him on his journey to our home. Buddy was surrendered to RAGOM due to unfortunate circumstances within his family. His owner needed to go into a nursing home. You can tell he was loved.
There is so much to say about this sweetheart. I don't know where to start other then at the beginning. It took us less then a minute to fall in love with him. He's so gentle, trusting, sweet, loads of love to give and loves receiving love. Buddy is house trained. He goes to the door to let you know he needs to be let outside. He won't bark, but waits patiently for someone to see he wants out. Since he's such a quiet guy at the door we take him out every time he wakes up and watch for him heading towards the door at other times. He follows you from room to room unless he's sleeping hard. Will lift his head to see if your there and with either a reassuring 'Hello Buddy' or a petting he'll lay his head down again. This guy just loves to be petted and know you're near. It is mentioned that he has some storm anxieties .. he'll pant and pace. I did see he was given some meds for this, but that was 4 years ago. I'm hoping because he has some loss of hearing this may not be an issue any more. Spring storms are around the corner so we'll know if this is still an issue.
He came to our home scared, confused and frail. He met our older Golden girl Tyler with a wagging tail. When we saw the tail wag after the many phone calls from my hubby on the way home with him .. well it brought tears to our eyes. We saw spunk and the zest for life. His walking was a concern for us and the foster he spent his first night with after being sprung from boarding. He walks leaning towards the right with his head tilted down somewhat, high steps and staggers some. We have ramps so it was something he needed. He takes the ramp like a champ off the deck, but the lower deck he prefers stepping off vs the little ramp that's set up there. That's okay .. he saying to us 'I can do this'. He ventured to the bedrooms, but liked being in the dining room/living room area the best so we all camped out in the living room with him the first night. One has to wonder what goes through the mind of a 13 year old guy when moved to new surroundings. I've spent many hours just looking into his eyes wondering, but then he reaches out so slightly with his arm for some loving and then I know .. he's just asking for reassurance that someone will be near him and love him. He doesn't need to worry about those things anymore .. we are near him and love him up constantly.
He's getting perkier. Eats like a teenage boy :) Since he eats so fast we started with one tennis ball in his bowl and have graduated to 2 balls. He sure loves his food. Took me till mid day to figure out that he likes a bone after going out to potty and poo. Thought he was just heading to the kitchen all the time thinking it was time to eat. Dumb Foster Mom ... Now I know .. a treat after duties are done. I still haven't figured out if this was something he had always gotten or if he was training me. Probably both :) Knows where all the water bowls are in the house and drinks out of each one throughout the day. Even found the one in the bedroom too. Will that entice him to sleep in our bedroom tonight???? Nope. This time Foster Dad spent the night on the couch and I went to bed because our Golden wanted to sleep in the bedroom and she won't do that unless Mom is there.
Wow ... Buddy came to wake Foster Mom up this morning. Yippie!!!! He ventured into the bedroom and was looking for me. He probably would of succeeded in waking me if his Foster Sister didn't talk to him. Our Golden is a talker and Buddy doesn't understand 'Tyler girl talk' yet. He thought he was being told to 'get out of my room', but she was telling me to get up because Buddy was up. Today he roamed the whole yard on his own with 'nose to the ground', ate some good tasting grass and even lifted his leg to potty. While this sounds so normal for dogs .. for Buddy each step is a new step for him after coming into a place he's never known before. We cheer and tear up with each new step he takes with us.
Since Buddy doesn't know if the bedroom is a safe place I ate lunch in there today. Where there is food .. Buddy will follow. He was patient watching me eat and got a 'good boy bone' afterwards. Today was his trip to the vet. For a guy that is wobbly when walking he stood up the whole way to the vet, at the vet and again all the way home. Buddy loves car rides. He moved from window to window taking in all the 'sniff's of the world' passing by him.
His vet visit went well. Buddy wanted to greet all the dogs in the waiting room and has no problems going to the vet. Weighed in at 69.5 lbs. What we learned is there's something going on neurologically which makes him walk the way he does. His spine is tender to light pressure. There is also lateral distention of the joint capsules in both hind hocks. Buddy walks very light footed. We believe he can't really feel or know where the ground is below him so he walks carefully. This does not stop Buddy from moving around at all. Buddy also has an open sore on each jowl from chewing on metal. This must of happened while in boarding. We don't kennel him nor should he be kenneled. I did notice one sore had started to heal when he arrived, but must of broke open while eating. Vet feels they will heal up on their own with time. His ears look good. That's great news - no ear infections!! Buddy also has Lenticular Sclerosis most predominantly in his left eye which is why he walks to the right. This just makes it harder for him to see, but this too doesn't stop Buddy from exploring. Other then what I mentioned he has the normal bumps and lumps Golden's get when they age. As for his blood workup ... all was good except for one thing. He has mild anemia which the vet feels with good nutrition he should be ok. Right now he's being fed Nutro Natural Large Breed Senior. He could stand to gain 5 more pounds so we will be working on that too, but no more then 5 lbs. because of his back and legs problems. Buddy is very healthy. It's his bones that are weary.
Buddy is a beautiful dog inside and out. He has the most beautiful red hair I've ever seen and it's so soft. Gentle .. I've never seen a dog so open to receiving love and giving it in return. One just want's to pick him up and cuddle him he's just so sweet. Since picking him up isn't an option we spend many moments down on the floor with him. Today he got a whiff of the neighbors dogs while on the deck. He pranced/danced/ran down the ramp to the fence with his head held high and his feet hitting the ramp as soft and smooth as Fred Astaire dancing ... WOW!!! You'd never know he staggered when he walked. You'll also see this dance when your carrying food too :)
Tonight I went into the bedroom to find Foster Dad on the floor sleeping with Buddy. Now Buddy is sleeping next to his Foster sister. He's come a long way in just 3 days. We're so proud of him.
Buddy is laying outside on the grass. He joined Foster Dad in the screen tent. We thought that would be the perfect place for him so the sun didn't hurt his eyes. Every day he improves and shows us something new he likes to do.
Buddy has very few needs, but very important needs.
**He needs a person home with him. Someone who works at home would be perfect. Buddy should never be kenneled as he doesn't like being confined. We tried a baby gate since the information that came with him stated he respected baby gates. He gets very agitated, scared and will scratch and push at the gate. At his age .. free roam is a 'must have'. I've not tried leaving him yet, but will do so soon to see how he handles short separations.
**Because of his eye sight his home should stay somewhat consistent with where the chairs/couches are placed.
**House with very minimal steps.
**Someone who is devoted to giving him a whole lot of love and understanding he's an older gentleman.
Thought I'd share some photos of Buddy enjoying his time outside. I know ... he's sleeping, but we all know how much Golden's love to snooze outdoors. Buddy will sleep so good outside that sometimes we need to awaken him with a treat so we can all go inside. As you can see he found a spot a little to close to the rock FD uses to hold the carpet down on the deck. FD says that rock needs to go and he'll finally nail it down. Thanks Buddy for motivating FD to 'get it done' :)
Buddy was put on Novox for pain, but he had some side effects from it. We're waiting for the vet to call today with another prescription that might work better for him.
Buddy keeps surprising us every day. The other day he wondered into our bedroom only I didn't see him come out. I could hear his tags jingling like crazy. If he were a puppy I'd really be concerned, but an older gentleman like Buddy couldn't/wouldn't get into anything. Right???? Boy did he surprise me :) The Budster found FD's stash of dog treats in his jacket pockets. Buddy had gotten the jacket off the chest knob and was digging his way to the yummy stuff. I of course called FD in from mowing and grabbed the camera. We gave him time to dig out most of the treats. He was working so hard at it and was causing no harm to anything. We finally emptied the pockets so he could finish up what he was having a hard time getting too. There is always a lesson to be learned ... FD learned to hang his coat in the closet and shut the door and Buddy has learned that the jacket isn't in the bedroom anymore.
Every morning Buddy lays by the door FD leaves from when he goes to work and he'll take his morning nap there hoping he'll return soon. If I let him out too soon after FD leaves he'll go to the gate and scratch once or twice to be let out to find him. After his morning nap he's a Momma's dog, but it's all about FD when he gets home. Buddy is 'a mans best friend'.
Previously I mentioned the tenderness on his spine along with some neurological problems which is the reason he walks wobbly sometimes, but I forgot to mention the diagnoses was IVDD. We just started him on Tramadol because he was having some problems with Novox and Previcox. He moves so much easier now and is awake more to enjoy the day. He has gained a pound so now he's up to 70.5. We'd like to keep him within a few pounds of 70 lbs. That way we have some play room with losing and gaining. We had him into the vet on Wed. because we noticed he was holding up his front left paw/leg. The vet said he has elbow and shoulder dysplasia. Reason we didn't notice it before was because when Buddy came to us he slept an awful lot. Now he's more active which is putting more stress on the elbow and shoulder. The Tramadol will help his shoulder and elbow too.
Buddy loves all the comforts that being inside has to offer. When he choses to be inside when we're outside I'll leave the door open so he can join us at any time. He usually choses to lay his head on the door threshold waiting and watching for us to come in.
For the last 3 nights he's slept in our bedroom. I can officially say our camping vacation in the living room is over. He knows now it's a good place to be. He's even taken a nap in the guest bedroom all by himself. I get such a kick out of watching Buddy though out the day. He'll sleep on every bed and blanket before the day is over. Buddy is just a super wonderful dog. I could write a book on all the good things about him. Senior dogs have so much to give and Buddy has accepted his life's changes with such grace.
Kissie, Kissie and more Kissie's :) I know ... some don't get to excited over old dog kisses, but some of us do and when it happens it's wonderful!!! What's so cool about Buddy's kisses is he smiles when he kisses you. So we know he enjoys giving them as much as we enjoy getting them. They don't come often, but when they do .. we cherish them.
This past week we've learned a few more things about Buddy.
Food -- He still loves food ... darn this boy can eat :) We've added a third tennis ball to his food to slow him down some more, but his bowl was kinda crammed with 3 balls and his food. Started using the muffin tin which slowed him down considerable, but he also has to stand longer which then his feet/legs will slide to the side. Now we have a rug turned rubber side up for him to stand on and no more feet/legs slipping out from under him.
Outside -- Buddy likes to be outside for awhile, but he does prefer inside more. Sometimes he'll stay out the whole time were out, but most times he'll go to the door to be let in. He does keep watch over us through the sliding door when he's inside and we're outside. I'd say he's a dog that knows it's comfy to be inside :) Lately I've noticed he'd rather lay on the rug on the deck verses the grass.
Afternoons -- This is Buddy's most active time. He's moves like a spry older dog. You'd never know he had IVDD.
Front Yards -- To Buddy being out in the front yard is a whole different thing to him. Front yards are not for lounging, but for going on walks or going somewhere in the car. We're trying to get ready for a garage sale so I hooked up Buddy and our dog out front to watch us work. I thought Buddy would enjoy laying/sleeping on a foam pad covered with a sleeping bag, but nope. Our dog thought it was great, but Buddy wanted to be moving. He wouldn't lay down. Ended up taking him for a walk hoping that would settle him down, but it didn't. We'll work on this so he can learn that if we go out front we don't always go in the car or for a walk.
Walks -- This guy is a speed walker and loves his walks. Because of his IVDD his walks are short, but they're quick. He now gets excited when the leash comes out and waits patiently for it to be put on.
Bedtime -- The living room is his favorite place to snooze the night away. He's been sleeping in the bedroom, but if we don't go to bed close to 'his bedtime' he settles in for the night in the living room. We'll wake him up to see if he wants to come with us to bed, but he just looks at us like 'Why would I want to get up to lay down again'. First night he slept out there alone we were up checking on him all night. He got a good nights sleep and we were pooped out come morning. We do leave the hall light on for him just in case he wants to join us.
Buddy is taking Tramadol for pain .. 1 pill in the morning and 1/2 pill in the evening. We see great improvements in his walking and his joy for life. He was having some problems with his feet slipping on the ramp, but we covered it with the rubber shelf liners for kitchen cabinets and it works wonderful. I had forgotten to put that on when we rebuilt the ramp. We used that before with our other older dog a few years ago. Spring is here and I've not seen any signs of allergies with him. Hopefully that will continue throughout the summer and fall too.
Buddy doesn't bark. The only sound I've heard is a strange sound that happens so infrequently and quietly that I can't tell if it's a moan, groan or Golden talk. If he does hear another dog barking he'll put his ears back and want to be close to you. We're thinking he's been debarked, but hoping that's not the case and someday we'll hear his voice. If he has been debarked he has no way to sound a defense. Our Golden must know something is different because if a neighbors dog is barking a 'nasty bark' she'll bark and then go to Buddy's side. If Buddy snores .. we don't know because there is no sound :(
I know some worry about adopting a dog that's 13 years old, but Buddy is a dog that any Golden owner would dream of having. Please don't let his age deter you. There is so much more to this guy other then his age. He's so gentle, loves his people, smiles at you and every afternoon he has a time where he just wants loving. He'll bury his head in your leg or arm and push in for all the petting and snuggles he can get. If he feels he's not had enough .. he'll bury his head deeper. Who ever adopts Buddy will experience the 'Golden love and loyalty' that the breed so greatly portrays.
Buddy has a new nickname .. Stinker :) I'd wager in his younger days he was a dog full of spunk and sneakiness :)
Inside doors ... if it's slightly cracked open he'll open it. FD left the door open to where the dog food and garbage can is and Buddy had to investigate what was behind there. He'll put his nose right next to the edge of the door and oh so slooooooowly move the door open. Sneakily slow :) I watched to see what he'd do next. Nothing .. he did nothing but just look inside. But Buddy found the door slightly open again a few days later -- Buddy is so happy FD didn't learn the first time to shut doors completely. This time he was alone in the kitchen. The 'Stinker' didn't go for the yummy stuff in the garbage nor his own food, but went for his foster sisters dog food. We're thinking he ate 4 cups of food before we saw half a dog sticking out of a bag of dog food :)
Buddy had his first solo walk. The deck workmen left the gate unlatched without me knowing it and while the dogs were outside Buddy walked towards the gate as I walked in another direction. Out the gate door he went. I found Buddy standing by the garage door looking for FD ... he knows FD goes into the garage. When he saw me he came prancing to me with his tail wagging. The thoughts that run through your mind are down right scary when something like this happens. All I could think of was with Buddy's ability to walk fast he could go a great distance in a very short time, but he showed me he has no desire 'to run'. He just likes to explore and look for his people.
Garbage cans ... Buddy de-stuffed his first garbage can. I was outside standing under an open window talking to someone and Buddy went into that room and removed some 'stuffing' from the garbage can. When I came inside I found 'stuffing' on the floor and our dog led me to Buddy like she was telling me "I didn't do it - he did" ... Do dogs tattle on other dogs????
Thunderstorms ... I had mentioned that his bio said he has a thunderstorm anxiety. It said he'll pace and pant. We have had a small thunderstorm and he slept right through it. I've noticed that loud noises don't seem to bother him. We had our deck enclosed with screening and all the nail guns and tools that have a riveting sound didn't bother him in the least. In fact he slept right by the sliding door to the deck while the workmen did their work.
We have left Buddy alone for an hour with our resident dog and he did just fine. I video taped it and the only thing that happened was our resident dog went to check on him and then laid down by him. This week he'll have to stay home alone by himself for 2 hours while I take our dog to the vet. I'm not expecting any problems.
If you're a person that's interested in senior dogs please don't look at his age as he's still young at heart and spry on his feet. Give your placement advisor a call if you might be interested in Buddy. I'd love talking to you about him :)
|I told Buddy he had some decorations on his webpage ... an Egg and a Butterfly. He wanted to know about Barney so I told him about sweet Barney and how FM and FD had been following his webpage and at one time thought of meeting him, but they knew he was in a home full of love so they brought me into their home instead. FM cried reading Barney's webpage to me, but I reassured her that Barney was in heaven with loads of toys, comfy beds and many loving hands petting him. Then Buddy looked at me and said "FM we need to do something special because someone thinks I'm special along with all the other senior dogs too" Buddy isn't the most camera lovin' dog, but he does love hats :) Ok .. FM and FD think he's so darn cute in a hat.
Buddy says 'Thank you' Dennis and Joanne for making a donation and adding a pretty Egg to my page. Buddy also says 'Thank you' to the silent donor of the beautiful Butterfly in memory of Barney and in honor of Reno's birthday. 'Happy Birthday Reno' ... 11 years old .. Wonderful!!!
Buddy has been a busy boy since his last update. He watched me plant the flowers and the veggie garden. Unfortunately the garden area was his favorite sniffing spot and he's ventured in there to sniff the plants. We've put up a barrier so it's not easy for him to get into the garden. If it becomes a problem we'll put up a fence. I know once there's tomatoes and beans growing he'll think FM is the greatest person in the world ... 'she gave me outdoor snacks' :)
Food is Buddy's 'love of all loves'. I gave him an empty jar of peanut butter and he was the happiest dog in the neighborhood. I had to hold onto it till he figured out how to do it himself, but it didn't take him long to get the hang of it. Then like any FM I had to grab the camera.
This is what happens when Buddy tells me the photo session is over. He picked up the peanut butter container and turned away from me. This isn't the greatest photo, but it's one of my favorites.
Our resident Golden Tyler turned 13 years old on the 18th. We had a birthday party with cake and presents. All dogs receive gifts when there's a birthday and Buddy's present was a Kong for his peanut butter. Now Buddy doesn't need to wait till FD finishes off a jar of peanut butter to get a taste of the good stuff. How did we know Buddy wanted a Kong ... he told me 'Gentlemen don't eat out of food containers' :)
Thunderstorms are not an issue for Buddy. We had a doozie of a storm roll through last night. House was even shaking from the thunder, but Buddy handled it like a champ. He put his head up once and then just laid it right back down after FD petted him. I think his lack of hearing is protecting him from a fear he use to have.
As Buddy's become more settled into our home I can see his needs have changed.
- He needs a family or single person that is willing to share their day with him. He loves companionship or just knowing you are around. Men are his favorite, but we women will do :) He's becoming more a 'women's dog' since FD works so much.
- Buddy can be left for up to 4 hours a day with no issues.
- Still loves car rides, but they should be short ones. He stands the whole time while driving in town. On the highway he'll lay down.
- A quieter but somewhat active home. He loves to watch what people are doing.
- He sleeps in the bedroom now. So someone that will let him sleep in the bedroom without a kennel. If it's a late night for us humans and he's fallen into a deep sleep someplace other than the bedroom ... a treat in front of the nose and he's up following you to bed :)
- No kennels or confinement.
- Understanding that his hearing isn't the greatest, but once you get his attention he follows your commands. I still think he has what's called 'selective hearing' :)
- Understanding that his eye sight isn't the best in one eye, but he can still see pretty good out of the other eye.
- Again as few stairs as possible only because it's easier for him and safer too.
- Short morning or evening walk
- Treats ... he loves his treats :)
- He'll get up early or sleep in - all depending on what his human does.
If you are interested in meeting a gentle senior boy please contact your placement advisor.
From Dennis and Joanne
In honor of our golden Reno on his 11th birthday, and in memory of Barney #11-408, who touched our hearts. The love of a senior dog is a precious gift.
In honor of Ben (05-317) on his 8th birthday. Buddy, you are gorgeous and we love your story! With love from the "M" Family.
From CJ, a fellow Golden in Fargo!
Buddy keeps me hopping as if we had a pup in the house. Okay .. I exaggerated a little bit :) But last night it sure felt like there was a pup in the house. If you have food on a plate and are moving from one room to another ... watch out :) He'll follow you prancing and looking up at the hand that's carrying the goodies. Anything on the floor in his way is fair game for knocking over. Last night FD was so nice ... he put some cookies and doggie treats on a plate and brought them into the computer room for all of us to have a snack. Water bowl #1 was spilled as Buddy got up to see what FD had on the plate. Water bowl #2 ... well that one was walked through and splashed up a good 4ft on the door it was by. I've never seen water go so high from a dog walking through a water bowl, but he means business when it comes to 'getting to the good stuff'. For a dog as old as Buddy is I love seeing the determination in him when food is brought out. If water is spilled along the way I see it as my floors are getting they're needed cleaning :)
Old dogs can teach other old dog new tricks very quickly. Our Golden girl has one 'vice' - she needs her empty ice cream cones in the evening. When 7pm rolls around she starts 'talking'. Buddy use to sleep through these moments or move away from Tyler when she started talking. Now he's figured out when Tyler talks there's treats. He can look sound asleep, but if Tyler makes a noise up pops his head waiting for his cone too. Evenings use to be Buddy's 'out cold' sleeping time, but not anymore.
Another thing Tyler has taught Buddy to do is 'pant for water'. This is something that started when our other senior Golden was sick and we brought her the water bowl so she didn't need to get up. Tyler expected this to carry on after her sister died and now she's taught Buddy how to 'pant for water'. I chuckle as I type this, but it's so darn cute. Buddy will lay down on one side of me in the computer room and Tyler will lay on the other side of me. Tyler pants ... Mom moves water bowl closer to her ... Tyler drinks ... Tyler finishes drinking and then Buddy starts panting ... Mom gives water to Buddy .. Buddy drinks. Buddy is a double drinker tho. He'll drink, stop and then drink again. Shame on FM if she moves the water after the first drink. He'll pant again asking for his second drink. I moved 2 water bowls into the computer room so they can drink at the same time, but after all the water spillage last night I think I need to rethink the 2 bowls in such a small room :)
Buddy is seeing the birds now. He's chased after them a few times or he'll just lay and closely monitor what's going on. The way he stalks and goes after the birds it looks like he's been trained to hunt Pheasants. Squirrels .. he likes to watch them too, but he doesn't chase them. He gets more of a quizzical look on his face like 'what is that and what are they doing'. Our neighbors tree has a nest of baby gray squirrels so it's kept him entertained. This morning some red squirrels joined in with the gray ones. Buddy enjoyed watching them chase around.
When Buddy came to us we noticed the usual confusion that happens with a dog in new surroundings, but we noticed something else too that seems a little different. Buddy has moments when he'll walk the house or as I call it he 'walks his trail' through the house. It's something he does when ever someone leaves the house or when he wakes up from a nap in a room no one is in. He always takes the same path. But he will walk right by me and not even notice I'm there even if I'm less then an arms length away from him calling his name. I thought the longer he was with us this type of movement would decrease, but it hasn't.
The last 2 weeks we've noticed more changes in him. We've been leaving him alone with our Golden for a few hours and when we come home he's much more clingy. If we've gone grocery shopping and are putting things away, etc. Buddy will follow us from cupboard to cupboard as we're putting groceries away and pant. It takes us sitting down for him to lay down and settle down. If we get up too soon he's up again, standing, following us and panting. This can get him really worked up and stressed so now we sit awhile when we come home so he knows we're home to stay. Once he knows that we can unload the Jeep or put away groceries with no problems. I've video taped the dogs when we're gone and Buddy just lays down and sleeps so he doesn't seem upset when we leave. When we come home most times we need to wake him up. He's had a few incidents of this panting and not laying down when we've been outside. Again we're moving around the yard and not sitting down.
Buddy continues to be a joy to have around. He's always there to listen to my ramblings with the same quizzical look he gives the squirrels. I haven't figured out yet if that's a good thing or not ;) He loves to be brushed and now that warmer days are here he's shedding whatever undercoat he has. I'm hoping that since Tyler has taught him 2 things he'll teach Tyler to enjoy being brushed. Yeah I know ... it probably won't happen :)
I see Buddy has a carrot on his webpage :) Buddy's favorite .. food!!!! I told Buddy he had a carrot in honor of Ben's 8th birthday and Buddy told me .. he's still a young whipper-snapper :) Happy Birthday Ben!!! Thank you 'M' family for donating to Ragom. I took a look at Ben's webpage .. sounds like he's as much a gentleman as Buddy is :) I was happy to hear you enjoyed reading about Buddy. I just love talking about him since he's such a sweetheart. Today I told Buddy we're going for a walk and asked that he do something cute so I could take a 'thank you' photo. Sure enough he walked right to the rose bush and sniffed the flowers. Again .. Thank you for donating to Ragom.
I took a look at Buddy's page today and see he has another carrot :) I told Buddy it's from a Golden in Fargo named CJ and he looked at me like 'There are Golden's like me and my foster sister in Fargo' ??? Fargo has a whole lot of Labs. Seeing a Golden is a treat when out walking the dogs. Thank you CJ !!!
Sometimes there are moments you want to smile and cry at the same time. This morning was one of them. I had left my computer room to do some laundry. Dogs were settled and a 'not too bright' FM had left a freshly filled water bowl between them. When I came into the room again I saw Buddy had rolled over and his rear end was laying in a tipped up water bowl. He was sound asleep. I had to smile ... the sight was so cute, but then I wondered how a dog could spill a water bowl and sleep in cold water with his rear end in the bowl????? Does he not feel it? We're thinking he doesn't since he's done this before. Buddy and I really have a motive at work here .. he spills on the carpeting so I can get new flooring :) As I was standing on the towels soaking up the water and talking about all the kinds of flooring I could get Buddy did something he's never done before. He stood there watching me and then came up and pressed his head into my legs like he was telling me he was sorry. I turned to mush telling him over and over again that whenever he spills water it's my fault not his and that I never get angry when it happens. The water soaked carpeting could wait ... it was lovin' time :) Here's a photo I took of Buddy a few weeks ago with his rear end in a water bowl. It's a lousy photo, but it does show he has no idea his rear end is in the bowl and his FS .. she doesn't care. She'll still drink out of it with him in it ;)
FM and FD have been doing a lot of yard work lately. Buddy always has to follow whom ever heads to the front of the house. He then waits and is happy when whom ever left returns.
Buddy did some hunting in the backyard the other day and found a baby bird. He didn't retrieve it tho. He wanted to eat it. Thank goodness FD was home. Think we need to work on the retrieving :)
Buddy has a vet appointment on the 26th of this month. He'll be seeing a new vet this time. We hope to find out how his anemia is doing along with how much he can feel vs can't feel. That will help too in determining how much pain he might be in. Buddy has a tooth that might be bothering him so we'll get his teeth checked out good too. I'll keep you posted on how his vet visit goes.
Thank you again CJ for the donation :) Buddy hopes to meet you someday while walking the sidewalks of Fargo :)
Wow time sure does flyby when it's summer. I looked at when I last updated Buddy's webpage and see I'm slacking ... sorry about that. Buddy continues to brighten our days. Thought I'd share some photos of what he does during the day. Morning walk ...
Snack time ... and more snack time ... Buddy loves peanut butter till it sticks too much on his tongue ...
FS Ty and Buddy usually nap together. I know I put a napping photo in before, but I thought these were so cute.
Oops .. Sometimes Buddy gets too close to FS. Ty will get the look of 'what the heck' but she doesn't complain nor move. She takes it all in stride.
Buddy has been helping with the landscaping in the front yard.
At the end of the day he'll lay outside the potty room door waiting till everyone is ready to head to bed.
Buddy had his vet appointment with his new vet Dr. B. We were really impressed with the check up he had. Not only was Buddy checked out physically, but the vet watched him too to see what he did. Dr. B. filled in the gaps we had and let us know what was going on with this gentle guy. Some news was good while other is news one doesn't want to hear. Buddy's blood work is pretty much ok which is good for a dog his age. He does have some enlarged body organs. There could be something going on with his liver, but we'd need to do an ultra sound of his organs to get the full picture of what is happening. Also he isn't taking in the full nutritional value his food has to offer. We're feeding him 5 cups of high quality dog food a day, but now it's only maintaining his weight. He was getting 2 cups of food a day before arriving to our home. Since he's arrived to our home Buddy has gained only 6 oz. If we cut the food down he'll lose and continue to lose weight. The vet feels we should stay at 5 cups. Definitely not less, but not more either. Along with not absorbing all the nutrients the food has to offer Buddy's body is still saying 'more food'. So we feed loads of treats throughout the day along with dividing his 5 cups of food into 3 meals. Nothing cold tho .. he doesn't like cold stuff and he'll give it back to you as quick as he takes it in. Buddy was observed for his confusion. He does show the early signs of dementia. That's why he'll lay or stand in a bowl of water and not know he's doing it. Also too why he'll lay on his FS and not know he's doing it. If you've ever visited a nursing home and seen someone with their elbow in their food, but they don't move it ... it's like that with Buddy. We have started him on Pepcid AC for his tummy. He's been licking the air since he arrived to our home and the vet thought he might be having some reflux or tummy upset. The Pepcid AC has really helped him out. Wish we had known this sooner so he could of been on the Pepcid AC earlier. Vet suggested upping his Tramadol to 2 full pills a day because we noticed some limping in the evening. In doing that Buddy will sleep the day/evening away. Then comes into question quality of life. So we changed his walk time to mornings only and he's doing fine with only 1-1/2 pills a day. As for his teeth .. they aren't the best, but it's to risky to put him under to do any cleaning because of his age.
Buddy's is strong and determined. He definitely doesn't see himself being close to 14 years old. Today for the first time he tried to entice our girl to play by play bowing, mouthing at her and prancing as she was running. Our girl told him no so we'll see if he can get some play time with a neighbors dog. For being 3 months shy of 14 years old I say ... Way To Go Buddy!!! :) Had to chuckle too ... for 10 years our girl did this to her sister, but her sister ignored her. Looks like pay back time .. LOL
Buddy's day ends with us on the floor giving him hugs and kisses good-night as we know time with a senior Golden is 'very precious' time.
Buddy's all time favorite other then feeding time, his walks or laying on the deck is his Kong. I'll fill up his Kong with all sorts of goodies and he'll spend most of the day enjoying it. He'll take a break from it and return often to find any goodie that will fall out. If he can't get something out of it he gives me the 'come help me' look :) He's trained me so well :) Also our dog has taught Buddy another one if her habits when it comes to drinking water. Don't start drinking till humans have sat down. They just might go do something when we're drinking and we need to be ready to follow .. not drinking water. You can almost time out when my rear hits the chair to when his tongue hits the water. He watches me so closely out of the corner of his eye. If I sit slowly he lowers his head slowly with tongue out ready to drink .. it's so darn cute. In this photo Buddy is letting his FS know that a little drool in the bowl along with a paw marks it as 'his' :)
Our resident Golden had surgery and Buddy wouldn't leave her side when it was time to go to bed. We always have a 'camp out' night if a dog has surgery in our house. Closer to the door if they need to go out. This night we thought it wasn't needed only to be told by our dog it was and Buddy agreed. I came out to find Buddy had moved to lay next to her. We camped out and Buddy found his spot next to John.
After talking with Buddy's vet we increased his pain meds by 1/2 a pill since he started lowering his rear end while eating. In doing so it increased his episodes of dementia at night and made him very anxious during the day time hours. Because of that we've lowered his meds to what he was receiving. Buddy is still not getting 1/2 of what he could be getting for pain. It's hard to find a whole lot of information on dementia in dogs. Other then they have it and symptoms related to dementia. Night is when his dementia is the worst. He wakes up panting heavily. We've found that by putting our hand in front of his nose settles him down quickly since he can smell us. We were petting him and that worked till the increase in the meds. We were told these episodes are like us being scared and our heart starts racing. Buddy wakes up suddenly and doesn't know where he is. His heart will race and he'll pant hard and fast. Now that his meds have been decreased he's sleeping much better. I wish he could eat laying down, but he has a tendency to choke eating his food in that position. He's a fast eater and to Buddy meal time is 'standing up' to eat. We'll see what we can do to make this easier for him.
With all that is going on with this gentle guy .. he continues to enjoy life. Some days he'll run laps in the house when John comes home. Other times he's content to just lay there and let John come to him for a petting when he gets home. Buddy's favorite sleeping spot is anywhere there's a sheet. He loves sheets or fleece blankets. Never really liked the dog bed. So I lay out big sheets for him. I heard him say one day that he's not too fond of the pink or flowered sheets. I told him that's what happens when a male dog comes into a foster home that's had girl dogs and a Foster Grandma that donates her sheets to the dogs. So what does FM do .. she gets her gentle giant some solid 'guy' colored sheets. Only I did it after this photo was taken :)
Buddy plays peek-a-boo.
Buddy, John, Ty our senior Golden - Buddy's FS and I send out a big 'Thank-You' to Kara and Charles Stigen for sponsoring Buddy in memory of their sweet Golden Nitschke. Ragom does so much for these beautiful Golden's that come through their rescue. Thank you for helping make that possible.
I had mentioned before that I couldn't find a lot of information on dementia in dogs. Finally figured out that I was wording my search wrong. If anyone is interested in reading about dementia in dogs search for Canine Cognitive Dysfunction. When reading up on CCD I found that Buddy displays a lot of the symptoms mentioned. We made the decision to put Buddy on Hospice care because of having problems with managing his pain while not making his dementia worse. Also we were advised by Buddy's vet Dr. B. that Buddy needs to stay here. If he were adopted or moved to another foster home his dementia would increase because of the change in his environment. Dogs with CCD need an environment they know along with a schedule that doesn't vary too much. They find peace in the expected and not the unexpected. Just like humans with Dementia/Alzheimers. We are stimulating his mind with the Kong, having him outside when the squirrels and birds are at the feeder, walks and using my left hand. Bet your wondering what my left hand has to do with things :) Buddy came to us only knowing the human right hand. At first I thought it was his eye sight that only let him see my right hand vs my left. I could offer a treat with my right hand and he'd take it. With my left hand he'd not notice it. I'd put it on the floor in front of him with my left hand and again he'd not notice it. Now after working with him I can lay a treat on the floor with my left hand or hold it in my left hand and he'll snatch it up :) Way to go Buddy!!!! That makes me think he was either trained using the right hand or he may of had a stroke at some point in his life. What ever the reason is .. he's figured it out and that's what counts :)
When Buddy was a younger golden he had to of been a dog with loads of energy. It's that energy and drive that's keeping him alert as he can be, active and wanting to take part in what ever his humans are doing. This morning John gave him a new nick name ... Trotter. As John was picking up the poo Buddy was trotting along with him :)
I just had to share this photo with you. No matter where the blankets or sheets are laid .. a dog will pick their own spot :)
Again I thank you Kara and Charles for sponsoring Buddy in memory of your Golden Nitschke.
Buddy continues to be full of life and ready to go where ever we go. Since he was having problems with dropping his rear end when eating ... My good friend Pete and RAGOM volunteer suggested we raise up his food dish. We did and we're seeing improvement. Buddy tends to stand in one place when eating. Now that the food is raised he's moving around more when he's eating which is putting less stress on his rear end joints. Also too he gets to hunt for all the morsels that fall onto the floor. It's a hoot watching him eat, hunt and eat some more. The other day he sniffed every muffin holder in his 12 cup muffin tin after eating. Followed them in sequence too. Sometimes he'll remove the muffin tin from the box it's being held into and stick his head into the box looking for more food. This boy is one smart doggie :)
We've started calling him Buster. Reason for that is he can hear the 'ster' much better. It's good to see a dog turn his head when you call out his name. Even tho it's not his name .. to him it is because he can hear it. His dementia seems to be the same. We've not had an episode of night time pacing in wks. He will wake and pant, but settles down on his own really well. On the times he doesn't .. just a sniff of our fingers and he's ok. After talking with another person who's dog also has dementia ... Buddy is doing really well. Water bowls being tipped over, walked through and spilled is a thing of the past. Took a while for me to figure it out, but now I put them slightly under desks and such. He knows where they all are and has no problems drinking from them. I have one slightly under my computer desk and I keep stepping in it :)
Buddy loves older people. I don't know where the defining line is age wise, but from what I'm seeing is if your 60'ish or older he's happy as heck. Doesn't matter if your male or female. If my Mom comes over he wants to lay at her feet and lick her. Yesterday an older gentleman came over to give us an estimate on some electrical work and Buddy walked up to him, sniffed his leg and laid down right at his feet. Almost on them. Then he laid his head between the mans feet. I was so happy to see that ... then felt bad too since we aren't in the 'older' category that he seems so drawn to.
Buddy will be 14 on the 9th of Oct. .. YIPPIE!!! He'll see the vet after celebrating his BD for a recheck on all that's going on with him.
Here are some photos ... enjoy :)
Buddy love when FD does this. There's always food spilling onto the floor.
Buddy's my road block :)
Thought you might like to see the ramp Buddy uses. We put cement blocks along the edge because the ramp isn't as wide as the steps.
Buddy smiling for you. Isn't he sweet :)
On the 8th of Oct. we celebrated 6 months that Buddy has been with us. And on Tuesday the 9th we celebrated again ... Buddy turned 14 years old :) I asked him if he wanted cupcakes or chicken. He chose chicken :) He had a big plate full and licked the plate clean.
Buddy continues to have his good and not so good days. Just like humans with dementia his days need to stay as close to a routine as possible. I can tell when he's having a tougher day or part of the day by how close he follows me. He does know that if I go downstairs I'll head to the bedroom when I come up. I'll find him laying there waiting for me to fold clothes :) So even with dementia he can figure out my routine to know where to be when I return.
His lowering of his rear end is an on and off again occurrence. I've finally been able to figure out when it's an actual lowering or a teetering when eating. I had mentioned previously that Buddy doesn't move when he eats. He stands in one spot. So to get to the muffin cups closer to him he'll teeter backwards and downwards with his rear end, but he keeps his legs straight. Then when he reaches for the furthest muffin cups he'll stand up straight again raising his rear end up. It's when he doesn't stand up straight again or if he bends at the knees that I know he's actually pooping out and starting to lower. I'm totally amazed at the strength of his hips. He has outstanding hips which has been a saving grace in his old age.
We continue to take each day as it comes knowing that time is very precious. With 2 aging Golden's in our home .. one with dementia and one with cancer we greet each morning as a blessing.
I see Buddy has a beautiful red paw on his webpage ... Thank-you Ann for thinking of the 'Budster'. The red paw matches his collar :) I told Buddy red paw's help pay for the medicine he gets in his cheese. He gave me a strange look like 'you're hiding something?' in my cheese :)
Here's Buddy waiting patiently for his morning meds. Thank you again Ann for thinking of Buddy :)
There have been many changes since Buddy's last update. Our Golden's cancer progressed to the point where we needed to find a temp foster for Buddy. Thankfully Jessica H. and her family offered to help us out. This was a very hard decision for us to make since a vet had told us if Buddy were to go anywhere his dementia would increase. But our Golden needed some space as her cancer progressed.
So off to Jessica's Buddy went and he found out there were 3 dogs in his new home -- One 3-legged dog, 2 younger ones and kids too :) WOW ... Buddy was in for some fun and excitement :) He spent time where Titus 12-296 is being fostered. One would think a 14 year old dog and a pup wouldn't be a good mix, but Buddy is young at heart and to see that in a 14 year old dog is such a blessing. This was also an opportunity to have a second pair of eyes see Buddy and evaluate him. Vets are good, but we were seeing something different then the vets were telling us. Jessica agreed .. Buddy has spunk :) Jessica sent us a video of Buddy in the snow. I don't have a youtube account set up yet, but I was able to put it on my website. I hope you have time to watch this .. it will warm a Golden lovers heart :) Watch the video! Give it time to buffer/load and then it will run smoothly.
Buddy is now home with us. Of course we were worried he'd not remember us, but he did. When we arrived home we let him lead us to where he wanted to go. He walked to the gate, into the backyard, did his jobs in his same places and headed up the ramp to go inside. From there he went to where his water bowl always was and terrible foster mom .. I didn't have it filled up. After he drank he checked the house for his foster sister. That was a heart-breaker to see. Once he couldn't find her he went to his favorite sleeping spot and crashed. He still looks for his foster sister, but I know in time that will end. He needs time as we need time. Buddy is so in-tune to his humans. If I get weepy he'll come lay by my feet. Doesn't matter where he is in the house at the time .. for some reason he knows and he's right by my side. We will comfort each other.
Yesterday I started emptying out my kitchen cabinets since we're now in the process of a kitchen remodel. Buddy was my helper .. well more like my blockade :) I'm happy to say .. every time I stepped over him carrying a tote he didn't stand up .. Good Buddy :)
To Jessica H. and her family .. many thank you's. You and your family gave John and I some very precious time with our Golden Ty. Time we would not of gotten if you hadn't so generously offered to help us out. And for Buddy you gave him your love while he couldn't be with us. RAGOM fosters have a heart of 'Gold'.
Buddy has been a busy boy with the kitchen remodel that happened in our home. With his dementia we were concerned that with all the changes it would cause some problems, but he's done beautifully. Most of the work is done and he's back to his favorite begging spot .. the kitchen.
Here's Buddy helping Foster Dad remove the dishwasher.
During the remodel I had moved all the kitchen food we used daily onto a table in the living room. It was stated in his paper work that Buddy was a counter surfer. Counters are too high for him now, but end tables aren't. Yep .. he found the bag of cinnamon bread that he had been hunting for since we bought it. I hated taking it away from him as he was having so much fun getting to the bread, but plastic isn't good for doggies. He gave it up like a gentleman and in its place enjoyed a good bone.
Buddy is teaching me something every day. I thought it would be a good idea to store his food in a tote. I bought a nice tote and put his food in it. Put the lid on and clamped it shut. Within minutes Buddy was at that tote trying to pry the lid off with his nose. So back to the bag the food went. I put the bag back by his food bowl, top rolled down and he was fine ... he doesn't bother with it at all. Can't figure that one out, but for some reason he doesn't like his food 'put away', but likes knowing where it is.
He loves the snow and he loves his walks now even more so than summer walks. The snow makes those sniffies to sniff even better. The vet had told us snow/ice would be a big issue for him and we were concerned about the winter season arriving. But Buddy has shown us that winter isn't something to worry so much about. He knows snow and ice and how to handle it well. Better then us humans I think. He has a way of planting his feet when walking that balances himself so well. But snow does confuse him. He has gotten thrown off in the back yard as to where his 'trail' is to walk. If someone is out there with him his bearings seem better. And he's found yellow snow .. LOL Summer time he could care less where he or another dog have done their duties, but with snow he'll spend a lot of time checking out his own yellow snow :) When the snow gets deeper we'll blow out our back yard to make things easier for him.
I'll be scheduling a wellness vet visit for him. Since he had his 14th birthday he'll have a quick check up to make sure everything is going as good as we think things are.
Here are 2 photos of Buddy. One of him enjoying the outside, but keeping an eye on the workmen at the same time. The other is another one of him waiting at the fence for John to return. I know I've shown Buddy at the fence before, but I thought this one was sooooo cute :)
Buddy, his foster parents and RAGOM thank Stichez, Madison and Priya for their donation to RAGOM and decorating Buddy's webpage. Buddy sends you all a big 'holiday hug' for thinking of him :)
Buddy had his 14 year old check up. His blood work came back looking good for an older dog. The vet prescribed another pain medication to take with his Tramadol. As I had mentioned before in a previous update .. Buddy can't take the full dose of Tramadol because it effects his dementia/confusion. So we've added Gabapentin. First a capsule form was given, but Buddy had diarrhea with it. So we switched to a liquid form starting at a very low dose and watching for any side effects. All was going okay at the low dose, but after 3 days we've noticed he seems tipsy/dizzy. So we've discontinued the Gabapentin to see if his tipsy/dizziness goes away.
The next change that will take place for Buddy is his food. The vet didn't want to make 2 changes at the same time so the vet started with the meds first. The food he's getting is giving him gas and tummy rumblings. Gas is nothing new for Buddy, but the tummy rumbles are. They've added a new ingredient to the food and it doesn't seem to sit too well with him. The vet has some options in mind and we'll know which food we'll try next week. When dogs get as old as Buddy is some dog foods are just too rich or hard for them to digest properly.
The bedroom isn't his favorite place to sleep anymore. He may start out in the bedroom with us, but he'll move to the hallway and then to the living room. We have nightlights in all rooms to guide him on his nightly travels. Dementia will have dogs roaming at night, but we've watched to see what he does and he's just moving from one spot to another. No roaming is taking place. His favorite place seems to be the living room. We spent so many nights out there when our resident Golden was sick and I think Buddy feels it's the place to sleep now. We did spend one night camped out there with him when he had diarrhea and he slept in the same spot all night long.
Buddy continues to be the same ol' guy :) He loves life and needs to be involved with what ever is going on. If I'm not on time for his daily walk he'll remind me by standing by his leash waiting. If I'm really behind on the scheduled walk he'll start sniffing it and nose butting it. He is persistent :)
He still enjoys his Kong and any treat that's hidden in it. He'll roll it, reach and then snap/grap for it with his mouth really fast. Just like a puppy would do. It's so much fun to see the youthful play in a 14 year old dog.
As this year is coming to an end I think back to Easter Sunday when Buddy joined our family. He was so thin, frail and hungry. We didn't know if he'd ever be able to rebuild himself. With the wonderful support that RAGOM provides for all Golden's young or old .. he has grown in strength and shown his thankfulness in the love he's returned to us. I wish all of you could experience the loving headbutts Buddy loves to give ... they are pure Golden :)
From Buddy and his foster parents ... we wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas.
Buddy, his foster family and RAGOM send a big 'THANK-YOU' to Anonymous for the green mitten wishing Golden Seniors a Merry Christmas. What a coincidence too .. Buddy has green boots. I made green boots and jackets long ago for Buddy's foster sister. Buddy is wearing the boots now. He's just happy the boots aren't full of flowers or the color pink :) He tried out his new boots today when our temp was 1 above and he was a pro. No flopping of feet trying to get them off. He walked right out, did his business and then headed to the gate for a walk. He figured if he had to wear them then he gets a nice long walk .. and he did.
Buddy is in the holiday spirit .. either laying by the tree waiting for his presents or helping Foster Dad wrap presents. Buddy will squeeze into any tiny area just to be close. This is one of those times.
Good news .. his tipsiness has gone away. Took a few days, but he's back to normal. We'll just continue with what he's getting and not try any new meds. When dogs get as old as Buddy is sometimes their system doesn't tolerate things like it use too. As for his food change ... it looks like it was the flavored Milkbones causing the increase in his gurgling and gas output. I'm happy to say it's way down after stopping the flavored treats. The new ingredient in his dog food coincided with the new flavored treats. So I stopped the treats first. Now we won't have to put his system through trying out new foods.
Here is Buddy enjoying a treat while Foster Dad reads the Sunday paper.
Merry Christmas To All .. From Buddy, Mary and John
Buddy sends a big 'Thank-You' to Sharron, Abby 08-218 and Buddy 11-371 for the tree decoration on his page. Buddy was so excited that he asked me to share this photo of himself holding one of his Christmas presents.
Merry Christmas to the Golden Seniors! From Anonymous
From Sharron, Abby 08-218 and Buddy 11-371
From Jackie and her 16-year old "Senior Moment" girl Daisy
A big thank you to Jackie and her 16 year old 'senior moment' girl Daisy for the red bell icon on Buddy's page. RAGOM, Buddy and his foster family really appreciate your donation and remembering the senior Golden's :)
Since Buddy's last update a RAGOM foster was able to put me in contact with someone who also had a dog with Dementia. It was so good to talk with someone that has witnessed the symptoms and lived through the progression of dementia in a dog. What Buddy does .. so did her dog. Even going to the side of the house which Buddy does on a regular basis. One wouldn't think twice about their dog doing that, but for a dog with dementia it's a common thing and sadly they get lost there. Buddy and I have made it a game which I will say I've not won yet :) That's ok tho .. it's not the winning or losing .. it's his par-taking in the game, remembering the process and being happy playing it. Buddy heads to the side of the house .. the sinker will then slyly turn his head waiting for me once he stops. I will call him .. he has to ignore me .. that's all part of the game :) I then proceed to him .. he will turn around .. I take 2 steps towards him .. he takes 2 steps towards me. I take 3 steps and he'll take 3. No matter how many steps I take .. he will take. Buddy can count :) Finally we meet up and he wags his tail .. laughing at me I'm sure and then gallops to the ramp and up into the house. In doing this I'm hoping he has no fear of being lost on the side of the house, but knows I will always be there to play this game with him. Before we started this game he would eventually lay down and I'd go to him and he'd be startled to see me .. I'm sure he thought he was all alone. Now with the game he's not lost anymore :)
Buddy helped me move a china cabinet over New Year's. We tried to move him to a safer spot so we didn't have to worry about stepping on him, but he wanted to help out too. I'm happy to report he didn't get stepped on or tripped over, but he gave us a whole lot of 'Buddy lovin' breaks :)
From Nora-You are very much loved!
Sorry I'm so late in posting an update on Buddy .... First I'd like to thank Nora for the Valentine icon on Buddy's page. Buddy's all about 'getting and giving love' so seeing a red heart on his page is so fitting for him. Thank you Nora for thinking of Buddy and making a donation to RAGOM.
Buddy has been a busy boy this past month since his last update. He's had a vet visit and now is in the process of teaching his new foster sister Annie 12-425 the ropes around the house. Buddy loves other dogs and loves to play too. Only thing is Buddy is a rough player and Annie would rather run and play 'chase' vs rough housing. Who would of thought the 14 year old dog would be the rough one :) They do get along well. Buddy will even go nose to nose with Annie waiting for the kiss she will sometimes give him. Buddy still enjoys his naps and will look for some peace and quiet.
We had taken Buddy to the vet since we thought he might be experiencing small seizures. Buddy has a lot of twitches, etc. all which are a sign of his old age, but he started displaying some eye movements we hadn't seen before. It was determined Buddy has a growth on his left Iris which hadn't been noticed in previous vet visits. Dr. D. isn't sure if it's an Iris Tumor (melanoma) or a Cyst. Buddy will see the vet again next week to hopefully determine what it may be. We did a series of antibiotic cream for his eye because it looked sore. After that was done we went to an eye moisturizer to help with any discomfort he may be having. The moisturizer didn't really help him out so I've continued with the eye antibiotic till we see the vet again. I will update after his vet visit to let you know what we learn.
We've been taking video's more then photos lately. I have a video I'd love to share with you. One would never know Buddy was a 14 year old dog .. he enjoys life to it's fullest. You can watch the video here.
We as fosters love the dogs that come though our homes and when there's not good news it affects us as if the dog were our very own. Buddy's last vet visit brought us sad news along with decisions that needed to be made.
His eye exam showed that the growth on his Iris has grown 20% more. The vet he's seeing feels it is an Iris Tumor. There are options .. one is to see an eye specialist to determine if it's actually an Iris Tumor or just a Cyst. In each case treatment is the same and the eye is removed along with a biopsy being done. Or the eye can stay in and try to treat the symptoms. When a person is told information like this about their dog right away they say 'remove the eye'. But right away decisions are emotional decisions. One needs to step back and make decisions based on the problems that may arise and also quality of life in the future. If we take Buddy's spunk, determination and stubbornness out of the picture he's a dog with many issues. Taking his eye away would worsen some of the problems he has. Plus with his age we don't know if he'd make it through the surgery. RAGOM along with us his foster family made a decision to leave the eye in. It was a hard decision to make for both RAGOM and us.
As of now Buddy's eye is being treated with an antibiotic cream. That seems to help soothe the eye and stops the repeated blinking. At this time life is the same for the 'Budster' -- we pamper him, he goes on walks, chases his furry sister, loves his food, enjoys just being near his humans and most of all ... we love him dearly.
Buddy continues to do okay. We've noticed him slowing down over the last few weeks, but it's slight. With all the movement in the house (Buddy has to follow you every where) he'll look at you saying 'will ya sit down please' and so we do. His eye seems to be doing okay for now. I can't visually see the tumor growing, but we do notice that the eye is darker. We continue to use the drops and it seems to still be helping. Here is a photo so you can see his left eye is getting darker. Also other photos ... Buddy waiting his turn to get a drink of water from the jug. He did pretty good for his first time learning how to do that. Of course there has to be a photo of Buddy waiting for his lunch. He makes it so obvious I'm not on time :) Then there is play time in the bedroom. Buddy can't jump up on the bed, but he still has his 'play time' too :)
Today Buddy tried helping his sister (with a rear end boost) climb the fence to get to the squirrels in the next yard. Thank goodness she didn't make it over.
When we think of RAGOM's website we think of people looking at it for the reason to adopt a Golden, checking to see if there's a Golden needing financial help because of a medical issue or just to check in to see if there are any updates on the dogs waiting to be adopted. But some also look at the website to find comfort after losing their Golden family member. I know we did after we lost both our Golden's in the past 4 years. The 'Z' family lost their Golden Jake last month. We all know how hard it is to say good-bye to a dog we love so much, but they found comfort in looking and reading about the dogs RAGOM had on their site. While looking on the RAGOM site the 'Z' family saw something I'm sure they least expected seeing .. they saw a dog that was the spitting image of their Jake, shared the same birth date and were the same age. That would be Buddy :) They sent RAGOM an email telling us about Jake and that they had a feeling that Jake and Buddy were litter mates/brothers.
The 'Z' family and I began emailing. From the information the 'Z' family had and what little information I had about Buddy we found that the distance from where the dogs were purchased and lived was in close proximity to each other. Also too they had the same personality -- stubbornness, determination, fear of fireworks, storms, the joy of sleeping next to their humans, loved to be cuddled and Jake had that Buddy goofiness. Both these boys are from the older line of the field Golden. They stand a like, noses are so much a like, each have their dew claws, eyes are a like, etc. Only thing Jake is missing is the bump in-between the eyes.
John and I have always wondered what Buddy looked like as a young man. We got a glimpse of it through the 'Z' family photos of their dog Jake. Both these boys were big boys. Jake was around 80lbs and Buddy's records had him at 90lbs when he was younger. I've attached some photos of Jake and Buddy side by side. While we don't have 100% surety they are brothers .. I'm betting they are :)
Here is a photo of a younger Jake if anyone is wondering what the 'Budster' probably looked like in his younger days.
We all at RAGOM say 'Thank-you' to the 'Z' family for getting in touch with RAGOM. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family as you grieve over the loss of your Golden boy Jake.
Life and old age has thrown some bumps in the road for Buddy since his last update. With the coming of spring he's lost the snow banks that guided him around the backyard. Buddy is a dog that needs to take a certain amount of steps and then will do his business. With the snow melting it's opened up more space in the backyard and he's finding that his number of steps needed to potty aren't leading him to an edge of a snow bank where he likes to go. Now he circles around and re-steps till he's near an edge. It amazes me how well he does and it's not taken him long to figure out that with each passing day the yard is expanding more for him.
Another bump in the road has been Buddy's health within in the last 2 weeks. Because of these changes we needed to take Buddy to the vet last week. The growth (cyst) he has on his forehead started to drain and bleed. We did damp/warm compresses on it to help it drain and also keep it clean. But with each rub on the floor, bump into something or the 'Buddy head rubbing-loving into your leg' he so loves to do would open it up and drain it more. Also Buddy started coughing and when he does cough sometimes he brings up mucus. The vet put him on antibiotics for his cyst and it's helped a lot. In time that should be all healed up. His cough is something much more concerning. Buddy's vet feels its one of two things that may be going on. It's either congestive heart failure or a growth somewhere inside him .. perhaps his liver. An x-ray would help in the diagnoses, but if it is his liver there is nothing we can do and if it's his heart the vet feels medication wouldn't provide him much help. We agreed with the vet that doing an x-ray wasn't necessarily. Also too Buddy has started to lose control of his bowels when he's sleeping. This is only happening at night and some nights he does just fine. Sadly his heart and bowels are growing old. Since Buddy likes to sleep at night out in the living room we started sleeping out there with him when his coughing started. We want him to know we will always be with him. We feel better doing it and I think he likes knowing we're near by. He usually snuggles up next to us at night.
All these changes came on so quick and so close together, but the good news is Buddy is not in pain and he does still enjoys some quality of life even with all the changes that have surfaced. He still runs in the yard to cut his foster sister off when she runs by, he still jogs through the living room hoping you'll give him a treat in the kitchen and he'll use his nose to try to knock over a tv tray in hopes all the goodies will fall into the floor for him. Buddy loves his walks, but they've become shorter. Meal time is still his favorite time and he still prances like a Clydesdale to his feeding spot. He's great at acting like he 'really needs to go out to go potty'. Buddy will step outside, take a couple steps, sniff the air, turn around and walk inside right to the treat dish. He thinks he's out smarted me and I let him think he has -- He gets a treat. I figure for an old guy to get up and go through the motions at least I can give him a treat for his effort. Buddy's alertness when things are going on around him is still the same. His ears perk up and his eyes seem so clear watching your every move. Buddy has learned over time that kisses on the nose is kinda nice. Sometimes he'll even give you his nose for a kiss. WOW .. that makes my day when he does that. Other then food/treats nothing brings Buddy greater joy then you sitting on the floor with him. We don't need furniture in our home because being on the floor with the dogs is the best place to be.
This morning the dogs got to clean out the peanut butter container.
When I was taking the photos of Buddy I saw I caught a good photo of the tumor growing on his Iris. Thought I'd share it with you.
Please keep Buddy in your thoughts and prayers.
With a heavy heart we had to help Buddy cross the Bridge early this morning. He was eating good, asking for treats, chasing her furry sister and getting lots of his usual loving yesterday, but during the night he started to have problems. He was our 'big boy' and will greatly be missed.