Tucker Talks Back!

A blue-eyed, red-furred view of the world!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


mr_ed writing.

I think I know now what happened to Tucker.

I asked my veterinarians to review the notes, lab results, and x-rays taken by the emergency vet.   One of them sat down with me last week, and we hashed out a theory that seems to explain all the medical signs and symptoms.

We think Tucker died from a perforated ulcer, which would have let the extremely toxic contents of his digestive tract out into his abdomen.   ("Acute peritonitis" is a possible diagnosis.)

There's no direct proof of an ulcer, but there's a hint of leakage on an x-ray.   And the sudden onset of acute symptoms, the extremely high fever, pain in the belly....

In a vet hospital modeled after a human hospital, maybe Tucker could have been saved.   It might have required a radiologist to give a better reading of the x-rays, an internist to endoscopically examine and treat the perforation, and a surgeon to open the abdomen and clean out and treat the poisoning.   In other words, a team working just on Tucker.

But this clinic had a single vet in charge of more than 30 overnight patients, emergency and not.   Her goal was just to stabilize Tucker and keep him alive until the specialists came in in the morning, and that wasn't possible.

Whether she thought of perforated ulcer, I don't know.   She didn't mention it, even when the high fever and belly pain led me to ask about something sharp causing a puncture and then peritonitis.

So why the perforation if there wasn't anything hard and sharp in there?

Steroids.   Specifically, 3½ years of near-daily doses of prednisolone to help his breathing.   Tucker's respiratory system was permanently crippled by the pneumonia and other lung problems that he had when I got him.

So that's the theory, and I'm grateful to my vets for coming up with it.   It might be wrong, but I'm still grateful and very comforted that there is an explanation to hold onto.

Logically - when I'm able to think about it logically - I expect my senior pets to die before me.  But if they suffer, dammit, I want to know why.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Laugh at the devil

mr_ed here.

If you're at a funeral and everyone leaves but you - if you're the guest of honor, so to speak - well, that's a topic for another day.

But any funeral you can walk away from represents a death that becomes part of your story, one that may get woven into your philosophy, one in which you may even find some humor, eventually.   And so about my parents and myself....

We were all born in different places in Colorado.   My parents both died in the Denver area, but neither of them in one of the same counties we were born in.   And in Colorado you can get certified copies of things like birth and death certificates either from the county where they occurred (five different counties, in our case) or from the state.

In settling my mother's estate, I need copies of three of these documents.  Do I get them from three different county offices or all from the state office?   Hmmm.

Nevertheless, I took a look at the website for the City and County of Denver (my birthplace).   I need my birth certificate to prove that I'm entitled to my parents' death certificates.  Denver says:

You may obtain copies of birth and death certificates if you have proof of your relationship:

The state of Colorado has separate eligibility lists for birth and death certificates.   For example:
Birth certificates may issued to:     [that's what it says, honest]

The registrant (person name on certificate)     [ditto]
Current spouse
For some reason, though, "The registrant (person name on certificate)" isn't on the eligibility list for death certificates.

So Denver will sell you a copy of your own death certificate, but Colorado won't.   And that concerns me.   If there were a death certificate on file for me, I'd really want to see it!

But that's just how I am.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The end of an era

Human Assistant again --

It wasn't a very long era, it's true ... about 45 months.  Longer than JFK's presidency, shorter than Carter's, and even that wouldn't have been as long as I thought it would last.

But while Tucker was with me, it was definitely his era.

My buddy didn't make it through the night.  He became just conscious enough to whimper about the pain somewhere in his belly; his breathing was becoming more labored; and his blood pressure wouldn't come up - which would cause him to go into cardiac arrest before long, the veterinarian said.

I let him go.  I stroked the side of his face and the top of his head like he really liked.  If he could feel the pain, maybe he could feel that too.  And while I watched his face, everything else stopped.

Everything changes so fast.  Yesterday he slept next to my bed and woke me up in the morning and woood at me to hurry up with food and was in everydoggy's way all day.  And today, none of that.

No amusing thumpety-thumpety running from the kitchen to his crate in the living room for his Human's Leaving the House treat.  No liver-colored nose under my wrist to get my hand off the computer mouse and onto the food scoop.  No mostly-obedient poking around the front yard late at night while I take the trash barrel to the curb.

What was my life like before all that?  I can't remember, and it was such a short time ago.  So very few years stand between now and my life before Tucker.  But I can't see what occupied those years because Tucker's presence stands so tall that it blocks my view.

I cherish the playfulness you showed only to me, buddy.  The humor that you wouldn't share with other dogs.  Oh damn, Tucker.  I'll sure miss you.

   -- Ed

What's going on?

Dear friends of Tucker --

Human Assistant here.

I apologize for not helping Tucker write anything for several months.  My mother died, I lost a litter of foster pups to distemper, and I had issues with the shelter.  So I've withdrawn a lot.

The exception has been Facebook.  If you're there and haven't seen me yet, give Ed Dahlgren a shout.  I've posted some photos on FB, some recent that haven't been here in the blog and some older that you may recognize.


Tucker got realy sick last night, awfully fast.  At 3:30 p.m. he was eating and being his usual self, then at 3:30 a.m. he was unconscious in the emergency room with people trying to bring down his very high fever and bring up his very low blood pressure.

I have no idea what's wrong, and it will be a while before there's any possibility of me knowing.  For the next three hours the emergency doctor will just be trying to keep him going, and then the daytime internal medicine staff will take over and see what they can figure out.

Thank you for your kind thoughts for Tucker in the past.  If you have any left over, he could probably use them now and over the next few days.

   -- Ed

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dogmic Paw

The Human Assistant says there's something called the Car-mic Wheel.

I don't know what that is.  But maybe there's also a thing called the Dog-mic Paw.

I don't know what that is, either.  But maybe it's, like, you put your paw on my back and somedoggy else will put their paw on your back.

Or you make me wear funny things, somebody else will make you wear funny things.

Remember two posts ago I showed pictures of poor, pathetic Huskies being forced to wear antler headbands?  Well, the Human Assistant got his turn to look dopey too:

MaxFund's Queen with Human Assistant Santa
MaxFund's Sam with Human Assistant Santa
MaxFund's Mambo with Human Assistant Santa
MaxFund's Cheyenne with Human Assistant Santa

(Did Cheyenne make a rude sound?  She's debarked.  So she makes strange sounds.  Or is Santa just surprised because he forgot his glasses?)

These are four of the dogs at the shelter.  The ones that the Human Assistant likes best, I guess.  The shelter had an open house. They wanted people to come and donate some money and have a picture taken of their pet with Santa.

Not very many people came.  I think they knew that this Santa is real stingy!  But he donated money to have his picture taken with his buddies.  Not his real buddies!  Which is me.  His shelter buddies.

Although I think he wants to foster Cheyenne.  Which would make her not a shelter buddy anymore.  She's at the house again today!  That makes three times he's brought her here!

She doesn't like being part of the pack.  So we'll see.

And YES, these are ...




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