Friday, February 1, 2019

We Love Lucy

The news about Lucy is not good.  Not good at all.  At first we thought a strained muscle was the reason for her lameness.  But as the day progressed, it became apparent she also had foot drop in that leg.  My doctor husband checked and she had no reflexes in that leg but full range of motion did not elicit any pain or discomfort.  The veterinarian had told us previously that there was weakness in the muscles of her left eye, causing the eye to recede a bit.  She speculated it might be a brain tumor.  She did not feel (and we agreed) that we should put Lucy through the tests (especially since it would mean substantial travel), that would be needed to confirm the diagnosis.  Further, at her age she would not be a suitable candidate for brain surgery.  You can see from this photograph that the left eye looks smaller.  That is because the muscle that "pushes" the eye forward in the socket is weak.  Fortunately her vision seems fine.

So this new semi-paralysis of the right leg is likely the result of a spread of the tumor to the spinal cord.  There is really nothing reasonable that can be done except to make as many accommodations as we can to make life a little easier for her.  So we moved her food and water dishes upstairs to the laundry room and blocked the stairs down to the den so she will be living on one floor.  We have a lift support to use when she starts to have more difficulty getting up or walking outside.  We put boots on her rear feet.  The primary reason is to protect the dropped foot from scraping on the pavement when she goes outside.  Another big benefit is that it gives her better traction on the hardwood floor.  Finally, it does give some support to the foot and makes walking much easier for her.  In fact, when we take them off for periods to air out her feet and massage them, she clearly wants the boots back.  We do passive range of motion to the leg so it won't become stiff.  We have reduced her rations so she doesn't gain weight now that she is so much less active.  And we don't leave her alone since she clearly is anxious if no one is visible.

And so we are sad.  But we are also realistic.  We know that unfortunately loving a dog almost always means outliving that dog.  We have much for which to give thanks.  We are delighted that she is not in pain and she is adapting fairly well to the changed physiology.  We will do what we have done with other dogs.  We will love her and care for her and she will let us know when it is time to go to the Rainbow Bridge.  We have no timeline and she may remain stable for quite some time.  We certainly hope so.

Lucy seems to love the boots.

And speaking of boots...our little granddaughter loves them.  Not the toddler-sized ones but her mother's boots.  Many of them come up well above her knees when she tries them on.

Violet loves the boots, too.

Our son says this next photograph clearly indicates that they need to start looking for a pre-school for the gifted!

Don't worry, Violet.  I often want to hide my head too.

Today's quotes are for all who are caught up in the polar vortex:

"The snow doesn't give a soft white damn whom it touches."
e e cummings

"Cold!  If the thermometer had been an inch longer we'd have frozen to death."
Mark Twain

And isn't it a sad thing when elementary school children have to send drawings to educate the President of the United States on the relationship between global warming and the polar vortex?



Anonymous said...

Such sad news about Lucy. She is in the best hands and hearts, and will have love, kindness and comfort all the rest of her days. Not much more any of us could ever ask for.

Your grand-daughter is so cute!

Lowcarb team member said...

I'm sorry to read this news about Lucy, and yes, I hope she will remain stable for quite some time to come.

Lovely to see the photographs of Violet, she is a cutie.

All the best Jan

Barbara Rogers said...

So sorry Lucy is dealing with the frailties of aging...though I also think the boots are great. I know you all will give her just the right care for her needs, not to mention big bundles of love. She's so beautiful and full of love for you too. I hope you consider another pet for when she's gone, because an empty house (no pets) is so sad. I've been in one since losing my last cat almost a year ago, but know my health problems are better off without another one.

Arkansas Patti said...

Boy did this bring me down. I hate it when our pets suffer from old age and disease. Still I know Lucy couldn't be in a better place and that you will do every thing possible to keep her mobile and comfortable. She was very lucky when you chose her.
Violet has some shoes to fill but looks like she is trying. Some days I feel like putting a bag over my head also.

Tara said...

You're right -- this is the hardest part of loving our animals. We must see them through to the end and let them go as we help release them from their pain. My heart is aching for you.

Love the photo of Violet with her head covered. I feel her. Aren't grand daughters wonderful? She brings the joy!

Best of luck with Lucy. Big hugs from me all the way in California.

Nance said...

How fortunate Lucy is to have you to shepherd her through these days. The two of you are What Is Best For Each Other.

And Violet is already adept at practicing Radical Self-Care. What a modern woman--she can create her own Oasis Of Calm for Mindfulness in the midst of chaos. ;-)

Goldendaze-Ginnie said...

My heart goes out to you all but you will always know that her Lucy's days with you have always been (and are) golden.

Vicki Lane said...

I'm so sorry about Lucy. But, as you say, those of us with animal companions know what can happen. It sounds as though you have things in order to keep her comfortable till she lets you know it's time.

And Violet is adorable!

The Bug said...

I'm so sorry about Lucy. As everyone has said, she's lucky to be in such good loving hands. Love Violet with the bag over her head - it certainly matches my mood these days!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Saddened to read the update on Lucy's health issues. It's good that the changes you are making changes to ease any discomfort are being accepted. Lucy and Vilet wore the boots well and who doesn't want to bag their head some days?

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Sending the best of vibes and prayers for your beautiful girl, Lucy. I know she's getting the best of care, from those that love her the most. I'm cheering you all on for many "days of grace".

KB said...

I am so sorry to read of Lucy's condition. Your love for her shines through now as ever. I hope that you get many more good days with her. I will be sending lots of good thoughts. Hugs to all of you.

Joared said...

Glad to read what care Lucy is receiving but regret she has had this decrease in function. Quotes you provide sum up matters pretty well on weather and politics in earlier posts.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments and good wishes, everyone.