Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Dog With Nine Lives

.... also known as the Ten-Thousand-Dollar Dog. Also known as Tucker Bug.

Precious little Tucker Bug, the Yorkie my husband inherited when we got married, has been super sick, which is probably not a shocker to those who know him because he is sick ALL the time. But this time he happens to be super sick.

Let me give you some history on him-
  • He's my grandma's favorite grand-dog. This is not something she outwardly admits, but she does confide in me when no one else is around and listening. I will say, however, when I purchased him while in college, she told me it was the dumbest thing I had ever done. Ironic, huh?

  • He's the most cuddly, sweet, lap dog you have ever met.
  • He's almost nine years old.

  • He's not a friendly dog until he gets to know you.

  • He LOVES my best friend, Peah, and she is NOT a dog person. Actually, I take that back- he ADORES her and wants to be with her every waking minute she is at our house, and she wants nothing to do with him. Literally.
  • He may have the worst breath you have ever smelled of any dog, even after multiple teeth cleanings a year.

Now, on to why he is called "The Dog With Nine Lives" and the "Ten-Thousand-Dollar Dog."

  1. Within the first twelve weeks of his life, when he weighed a mere two pounds, he fell off the second story stairs of my apartment. No joke. He screamed, cried, had his head twisted so badly that my girlfriends and I thought he had broken his neck. Upon rushing him to the emergency vet, we were told he had just over-stretched some of his neck muscles, were lucky he was a puppy and had major flexibility, and were sent home with some medication to relax him. That trip cost me about $1200 on top of the $1100 (okay, probably more) it cost to purchase him and all his necessary "supplies and shots" as a six-week old pup. I didn't feel right complaining about the medical costs at that point in my life because my poor baby has escaped the throes of death. My family thought he was a goner and began planning his funeral. Thank goodness there was no funeral, only family donations and chip-ins to my bank account so my check didn't bounce at the emergency vet.
  2. The grandma that loves him most also almost squashed him flat when he thought he was "going for a ride" in the car, jumping into the car as she was sitting down. Poor dude whimpered but no vet trip was necessary.
  3. The same grandma almost closed Tucker Bug in the car door several years ago. Again, no trip to the vet, but the poor baby had a bruised ego because his favorite grandma was trying to kill him. 2nd attempt, no less.
  4. He's had impacted anal glands on multiple occasions, which I roughly estimate to cost about $400 to "fix."
  5. He has had multiple urinary tract infections. Again, another $500 or so with meds.
  6. He also has had some skin allergies, so the special shampoo we have to use costs extra. Let's say that's about $200.
  7. He also has MAJOR stomach issues. He pukes about once a week and has been to the vet many times for this one symptom alone. With all the Pepto Bismol and antibiotics for his weak stomach, I would say we have spent about $300 on this particular expense for him.
  8. These stomach problems led the vet to diagnose him with "Separation Anxiety," which basically means he cannot go without his mama for very long or he doesn't eat. Or he pukes on the floor. Or he shreds Kleenex and toilet paper. Or he refuses treats. Or he finds dirty underwear and chews on them. Or ..... you get the point.
  9. Two summers ago, Tucker started puking blood. We waited until the next morning to take him in to the vet, but we thought he had either been poisoned by chemicals/ toxins he found or eaten a toy of some kind. The vet could not figure out what was wrong, and the x-ray showed nothing in his bowels or belly. We were given some meds in case it was an ulcer and sent home to observe him. Trip #1 for this cost us about $350.
  10. During the weekend, Tucker began puking massive amounts of blood again. Being that he is so small, we couldn't wait until the weekend was over to take him in to the vet, so we had to rush him to the emergency vet. They couldn't figure out what was wrong with him, but he was so dehydrated that they had to keep him overnight and give him fluids via an IV. Trip 2 = $900 with a note to go back to the vet early Monday morning.
  11. The final trip for this was just a check to ensure his fluids were where they needed to be. Nope. No bueno. Poor dude spent a night at the vet with still no explanation for the blood vomiting. Trip 3 = $300. We finally got to bring him home, and he has not since puked blood. Mystery diagnosis never to be revealed.
  12. The last incident began to occur about a month ago. Tucker stated having accidents in the house, but we could tell he was trying to make it outside. He would take off running toward the back door, jump through the doggy door, and leave little dribbles of urine on his path outside. After about two weeks, he began to get very clingy, a common sign he is not feeling well. This progressed to more accidents in the house and "spots" left where he slept. We took him in the the vet about two weeks ago with a urine sample and the vet prescribed some medication for what we all thought was an infection. Trip #1=$160
  13. Another week passed, and we were asked to take in another sample to ensure the infection was gone Still blood in his urine, so a new medication was given to knock out the infection. Trip #2= $60
  14. Last Friday, I took the final urine sample in and could tell there was still blood in it just by looking at it with my own eyes. The vet called to let us know he needed to do an x-ray to check for bladder stones because the antibiotics should have knocked the infection out, yet there was still an obvious amount of blood in his urine. Trip #3=$52
  15. We'll head to the vet next Monday to do the x-ray and into surgery from there if there are bladder stones. Trip #4= to be determined, but I see major dollar signs.
All this to say that I love and adore my little dog. It is obvious he has been a sickly little guy, and I will likely never have another Yorkie because of this; but he is my number one bud and cuddler. It is hard to spend this much money on our pup with two babies on the way, but we can't let him suffer either. There is no question about moving forward with x-rays and examinations.

How can you refuse this precious face? How can someone say he isn't worth it when that sweet little dude kisses you with the nastiest breath you have ever smelled (said sarcastically)? And how does anyone leave ANY animal to suffer? I surely can't..... in fact, the nicknames give Tucker Bug his character: the Ten-Thousand-Dollar-Dog with Nine Lives!

P.S. We have another dog named Moxie too. I didn't want to not mention her and have someone think I'm showing favoritism...

Tucker Bug & Moxie

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Place to Begin- 16 weeks

Welcome to our blog!

Many of you know that Allen and I are thrilled to be pregnant with twins after many years of trying to start a family. And if you didn't know, well, now you do! I thought I would start this blog post with some frequently asked questions because we seem to be drilled weekly. From Ashley's viewpoint, here goes:

  1. How far along are you in your pregnancy? 16 weeks or 4 months today
  2. How are you feeling? Overall, great. I have been pretty tired, and while most women tend to begin feeling better in their second semester, my doctor has told me that since I am carrying twins, I will likely be tired the rest of my pregnancy (and many years after the babies are here). HA!
  3. How does Allen feel about all this? Um. I'm not sure. If he feels anything like me, I'm sure he is excited, scared, nervous, overwhelmed- you know, the full range on emotions.
  4. Do twins run in your family? No
  5. Do twins run in Allen's family? No
  6. Do you know the genders of the babies yet? Nope
  7. Are you going to find out what they are? At first, I really did not want to know. But being that there are two and we'd like to pick out bedding,nursery colors, clothing, etc. Allen has persuaded me to find out.
  8. When will you find out the genders? Let's just say it will be in the next few weeks. Don't ask us when. We'll let you know when we know and are ready to share.
  9. Do you care what you have? While I care more about the health of the babies than the genders, Allen really, really wants at least one girl.
  10. Do you have a "feeling" or Mother's intuition about what you are having? From Day one, I have never thought we were having two boys. I think we are either having a boy/girl combo or two girls, and today I am leaning more toward one of each. I suppose only time will tell if my intuition proves to be accurate.
  11. Are you going to stay in the same house? Maybe? We currently have our house on the market to sell and are looking for the perfect home with four bedrooms somewhere here in the state. Can we be more specific? No, because we don't know how everything will unfold. Guess you'll just have to check back here for updates.
  12. How much weight did your doctor ask you to gain? 35-50 pounds
  13. How much weight have you gained? How dare you ask! Let's just say, I'm definitely gaining and leave it at that. Or, I could tell you that I gained 9 pounds in the past month and have your jaws drop open like mine did.
  14. Regardless of gender, are you going to put the babies in the same room/nursery? For the first few years, we anticipate keeping the babies together in the same room like many of the multiples books suggest.
  15. What's the best piece of advice you have received so far? Well, we have received lots of information and "advice," but the best advice has been the advice we have asked for and the questions we have asked others.
  16. Do you have any names picked out yet? Since Allen has refused to discuss names with me until we know the babies' sexes, I'm just creating a list of my own. No, I will not share them with you! I'm the one that gets to name the babies anyway, so Allen's opinion is neither here nor there. Ha!
  17. When is your due date? I'm due November 3rd, but twins usually come early. My doctor will likely induce me two to three weeks early, so they should be here sometime in October.
  18. Are you having any cravings? Food! I'm hungry all the time (no wonder I've already gained so much weight).
I think I've given you answers to the majority of the questions that we are asked pretty frequently. I hope you'll check back here for updates and become a "Follower" of our blog. I promise to post as often as possible and not always about the babies.

Thanks for visiting; make sure you leave a comment to let us know you stopped by our blog.

I'll leave you with some parting belly pics and hope they don't gross you out......

This is me at ten weeks pregnant, right after we announced to family that we were expecting.

And this is me today, sixteen weeks pregnant. My, my, my! What changes have occurred!