Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Wheelchair & Banana Escapades (movies)

Movie (open it in a new window) of me in my wheelchair running down the street. My wheelchair is a gift from Sioleiligh, another doggy with DM. Sioleiligh is at the rainbow bridge now. This movie takes a lllloooonnnngggg time to download but it is worth it! Me and Mom and Joanna with Tony as the moviemaker.

Another movie, this time of Mom and Joanna feeding us doggies bananas. The movie is even longer than the other one so you gotta be a real Sammy fan to download it! [Note: this movie has been been temporarily removed and is being installed on another website This post will be updated when the movie is again available.]

Joanna with Pumpkin and Buffy Posted by Hello

Tony admiring me and my trot. Posted by Hello

Photo: Mom is way too slow!

Mom is way too slow! Joanna and Buffy are in the distance (or is that Pumpkin?) Posted by Hello

Photo: With Elsa, Tony and Joanna

With Elsa, Tony, and Joanna Posted by Hello

Love my wheelchair. Posted by Hello

The Dog Songs

Dog Songs (playlist on

"My Collie (Not A Dog)" - Selecter
"Walkin' My Dog" - Sheryl Paige
"There's A Dog In The School" - Barb Tilsen
"I Wanna Be A Dog" - Barry Louis Polisar
"Dog" - Bryan Bowers
"I Love My Dog" - Cat Stevens
"I Love That Dog" - Connie Kaldor
"A Dog Named Boomer / Scooby Doo, Where Are You?" - Daddy A Go Go
"I Don't Have a Dog" - Doc Possum
"Hound Dog" - Elvis Presley
"Don't Listen to My Dog" - Eric Ode
"The Dog Was Here First" - Gaye Adegbalola
"I Miss The Dog" - Jamie Anderson (Folk)
"Oh, Where, Oh, Where Has My Little Dog Gone? (Split-Track Format)" - Kids Classics
"Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone" - Kidzup Production Inc.
"Dog" - Lawrence Ferlinghetti
"I Love My Dog" - Lindy Gravelle
"Not Much Of A Dog" - Michael Feinstein
"My Collie (Not A Dog)" - Selecter
"Walkin' My Dog" - Sheryl Paige
"Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone" - The Countdown Kids
"Gonna Buy Me A Dog" - The Monkees
"Little Lap Dog Lullabye" - The Seegers
"Black Dog, Friendly Dog" - The Tinklers
"My Dog's Bigger Than Your Dog" - Tom Paxton
"Tribute To A Dog" - Walter Brennan

Info from Rhapsody on how to play this music:

"To listen, just click the link and Rhapsody will start playing the playlist automatically. If the link is not clickable, then you can copy it into the "Address" field in your browser. If you don't have Rhapsody, you will be directed to a website where you can download it, or you can go to <>. Remember: to hear this playlist in its full-length glory, you will need to be a subscriber. Not a subscriber yet? Start a FREE TRIAL today to listen to this playlist."

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Best Friend of Mom

Mom's best friend Laura passed away today, at age 53. I never got to meet Laura because she lived in Bs. Aires, Argentina and she hasn't been to visit us for two years, ever since she got sick. Mom said Laura had a brain tumor, called glioblastoma multiforme. Mom went to see Laura four times in the last two years, the last time was in November 2004 when I was here. I missed Mom a lot when she was gone but she needed to spend time with her friend. Mom met Laura in 1980 when Mom was in graduate school at MIT in Boston.

Well, I don't really understand any of this except the being friends part. I have a pretty good friend in Pumpkin (he seems to worship me, and why not?). Of course, Mom is my very best friend. As far as being sick, I don't know much about that. From my perspective, as long as the appetitite is intact, life is good.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Dead Mouse

Elsa was playing with a dead mouse inside the house today. Elsa was really pleased with herself. She was wagging her tail vigorously and smirking and moving the dead mouse from the dog bed to the crate when Mom became curious about why Elsa was so energetic. Mom made a high-pitched shrieking noise when she realized Elsa was playing with a dead mouse. I never heard Mom make that noise before -- I guess she was pretty impressed with Elsa's hunting skills.

I was hoping when Elsa got bored with the dead mouse I would get to play with it but -- incredibly -- Mom gave it to Fred! In fact she called Fred up right then and invited him over. When Fred came over he picked up the dead mouse in a plastic bag and took it back to his house. I guess Mom owed Fred a big favor or something. I suppose Fred is going to give it to his shelties, Maggie and Bailey.

Then Mom washed everything the dead mouse had touched. What a disappointment because it smelled good! Mom doesn't have the nose of a dog though so she doesn't know all of the places where Elsa played with the mouse. So we still have a nice dead mouse smell in the family room.

I tried to get Mom to take a picture of the mouse but she didn't even want to look at it. It was kind of cute lying on its back all slobbery from Elsa's saliva. Its little pink feet were sticking up in the air and its tail looked cut off -- Elsa must have taken a nibble. To be honest, I'm not sure it was a mouse at all. It may have been a teenage rat. Even better if you ask me. I hope Elsa catches another one soon.

Friday, March 25, 2005

The Upcoming Medical Events

Apparently I am going to go back to the Animal Care Center next week. I overheard Mom making the appointment. First I have to have my blood tested tomorrow at my vet's office. If the results are good I will go Tuesday night to the Animal Care Center and stay overnight. Then on Wednesday morning I will go to a people hospital for my MRI. We doggies get to use the fancy medical machinery in the off hours. I hope I get a chance to leave my "mark" on the machine, if you know what I mean. If any of you humans are reading this, if you happen to be the first patient in the morning using the MRI machine, keep in mind that a dog might have been there right before you :-) Anyway, Mom will come back to pick me up after my MRI and talk with my neurologist, and bring me home.

Speaking of home -- I love being at home. I love to be in the house. Mom takes me outside to do my duty but I can't wait to get back inside. I'm really quite the homebody. I sleep in my crate all night very peacefully. At 6am I wake up and bark sweetly and incessantly until Mom can't stand it anymore and gets up and feeds me. Gosh I love to eat. Mom feeds me extra food now since I lost a bit of weight, plus she told me that if it makes me happy, why not. I also get treats all day long...not just dog biscuits but ice cubes and my daily banana. I still long for the banana peel.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Favorite Things: Food and Cats

Gosh I love to eat. My diarrhea is finally resolved which is very good news for Mom. Good thing because I eat a lot. I lost weight when on the steroids and now I am gaining it back. My coat is all shiny black again too.

But I cannot walk at all. Mom has to put on the harness to take me outside to do my duty. I do not like my back legs to be touched and I growl at Mom when she is trying to get the harness on me. Oh, I don't mean to growl, but it just comes out. Since I nipped Mom a few weeks ago on the leg she always puts on a muzzle before she puts on the harness. Very wise on her part because I have a gorgeous set of teeth and quite powerful jaws.

My passions are food, food, food, as before. I live to eat.

Of course I am still very interested in cats. The indoor cats which live in the little room behind the glass door continue to fascinate me.

Last Sunday morning, when the sliding door to the patio was open, I saw the neighbor's white cat outside on the fence! As you know, that white cat sits on the fence and teases us doggies. I used to run out there and bark my head off at it, but I cannot do that anymore. However I did drag myself halfway out into the yard and barked a bit. I woke Mom up and for once she was really happy to hear me barking loudly. For some reason when I barked at the white cat I had my old deep GSD bark. Most of the time now I can't really bark...I just make kind of a squeaking noise. I don't know why this is but it doesn't really matter as long as those cats get the picture that I am in charge here.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Homecoming from the Animal Care Center

Mom and her friend Peggy came and picked me up today from the Animal Care Center. I was soooooo happy to see Mom and get into the Volvo! Then when I came home the other doggies were delighted to welcome me back. Even Elsa the Meanie. Mom helped me outside and I did a great big pee in the back yard to celebrate.

My diarrhea is gone I'm happy to report. I still need to recover completely from the effects of the steroids. Then I will come back to the Animal Care Center for an MRI.

Mom read me some of my medical records. Neither Mom nor I know exactly what it all means but we have trust that Dr. Pedroia will help me.
Assessment (when Sam checked into the hospital 2 days ago):
T3-L3 myelopathy. IVDD considered most likely. Neoplasia and degenerative myelopathy cannot be ruled out. Hepatopathy likely secondary to Prednisone administration or may be primary in origin. Regenerative anemia likely secondary to blood loss (GI).

Assessment (when Sam checked out of the hospital today):
Sam is BARH, pink moist oral mm. Heart and lungs auscult wnl. Abdomen is soft and non painful, no masses or organomegaly palpated, large bladder. Non ambulatory paraparetic. Decreased CPs RPL. Absent CPs LPL. Able to support minimal weight when placed in standing position. Appears comfortable. Eating and drinking great. Urinated on own outside. No diarrhea overnight.

Of course the doctors wrote a lot more stuff about me but it's all pretty boring.

I'm blogging right now while I am waiting for my dinner. Apparently I have to take some medicine (Metronidazole) and then wait 1 whole hour before I can eat. Mom says we have to follow the rules so that I don't have any more diarrhea.

I can smell the dinner Mom is cooking for me. Chicken and rice. Mmmmmmm. Plus some regular doggy kibble.

I love to eat. It's my greatest joy in life.

Below are just two photos from today's trip home. Mom wanted to take more pictures of me but I got scared so she had to stop. No wonder I am scared -- in the last photo Mom took of me I look like a black hamster! I hope this one turned out better.

Thanks to everyone for your caring comments.


Photo: In the Volvo and ready to go home! Posted by Hello

Photo: Peggy at the Animal Care Center Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Neurologist Appointment

Mom picked me up at Adobe Animal Hospital this morning at 7am and we took a fun 3 hour drive up to Rohnert Park to the Animal Care Center. It was fun because I was really glad to see Mom and especially the bagel she brought just for me. I feel bad that I lunged at it at an inappropriate moment while we were on the freeway but hey, Mom should know that food and me just cannot be apart!

I'm feeling a lot better now that I am off the steroids. I know they served a very usful purpose (according to my neurologist) but they gave me anemia and caused liver problems. But thanks to the wonderful care from Drs. Rogers and Shandro at Adobe I am feeling much better.

When we arrived at the Animal Care Center I was seen by the famous canine neurologist, Dr. Pedroia. I know he is famous because all the other vets I have seen say that he is the best! Mom always tells me nothing but the best for her Sammy so this is what I expect. Connie, my swim instructor, says Dr. Pedroia is the best too and Connie knows everything about doggies.

Dr. Pedroia examined me quietly and carefully. I wanted to make sure he knew my bladder was working properly so I peed all over the carpet. I think I impressed the doctor with how much pee I could do in one sitting. Dr. Pedroia looked over my records from the Adobe, Porte, and Pet's Friend vets. He agreed with Drs. Condreay, Miller, Shandro and Rogers that since my back legs improved with steroid use that I have a different problem than degenerative myelopathy (DM). Or it may be that I have DM and something else. He said that DM never improves with steroids. But the problem is that the steroid side effects are too much for me...I'm losing weight, have terrible diarrhea, became anemic, etc. So I cannot stay on the steroids. But Dr. Pedroia said trying out the steroids was the right thing to do to see if they helped me. Which they did.

So now I am staying at the Animal Care Center for a few days while the steroid effects wear off. Then I will come home to be with Mom. Then I will return for an MRI. After Dr. Pedroia looks at the MRI he will know what to do next. I overheard him talking to Mom tonight and he said my liver numbers were back up and he expects that in a day or two I will be healthy enough to come home and then return for the MRI late next week. Dr. Pedroia is out next week till Thursday so there will be a bit of a wait for the next step which might be surgery. I don't know what surgery is but I know that Mom will make the right decision so I don't worry about these things.

Mom asked Dr. Pedroia if doggies mind that they cannot walk. Dr. Pedroia said that we doggies don't care at all. I would have to agree. As long as I feel good and can eat and pay attention to what's going on, who cares if I can't chase a cat? The reality, and this is a confession, is that despite of 11 years of chasing cats, I have never, ever caught one.

Well, I'm sleepy but comfortable here in my little cage at the Animal Care Center. I'm getting used to being poked and prodded and carried around. What's most important is that I am getting plenty of delicious food! I do worry about Mom being at home all lonely without me which is why I am blogging that she knows I am OK and thinking of myself (hey, dogs are completely self-centered, it's our nature!).

To all of my cyberdog buddies -- demand that your humans give you a treat and hug you because anything can happen. We doggies should leverage our cuteness at every possible moment.

Pictures from the day's adventure are below.


Photo: Checking in at the Animal Care Center Posted by Hello

Photo: Lots of vets at the Animal Care Center

Photo: Lots of vets here Posted by Hello

Photo: The waiting room at the Animal Care Center

Photo: The waiting room at the Animal Care Center Posted by Hello

Photo: Art at the Animal Care Center

Art at the Animal Care Center Posted by Hello

Photo: More art at the Animal Care Center

Photo: More art at the Animal Care Center Posted by Hello

Photo: Still more art at the Animal Care Center

Photo: Still more art at the Animal Care Center Posted by Hello

Photo: Animal knick-knacks at the Animal Care Center

Photo: Animal knick-knacks at the Animal Care Center Posted by Hello

Photo: The examination room

Photo: The examination room Posted by Hello

Photo: Making sure Dr. Pedroia has the right credentials

Making sure Dr. Pedroia has the right credentials Posted by Hello

Photo: Dr. Pedroia and me

Photo: Dr. Pedroia and me Posted by Hello

Photo: Dr. Pedroia and me and the big pee spot

Photo: Dr. Pedroia and me and the big pee spotPosted by Hello

Photo: Taking me to my room

Photo: Taking me to my "room" Posted by Hello

Photo: Yikes -- what are they doing?

Photo: Yikes what are they doing? Posted by Hello

Photo: I'm cooperating but I wish I were at home

Photo: I'm cooperating but I wish I were at home Posted by Hello

Photo: My beautiful profile

My beautiful profile Posted by Hello

Photo: My room at the Animal Care Center

Photo: My room at the Animal Care Center Posted by Hello

Photo: Caged in

Caged in Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Emergency Room

I'm at Adobe Animal Hospital in the intensive care unit. It's a bit hard to blog because I am locked up and the staff are rather possessive about their computers. Mom brought me here last night because she thought I looked weak and my head was bobbing up and down and my eyes wouldn't stay open.

Well, the last two behaviors are side effects of my pain medication, but I do have anemia, most likely caused by the steroids. I'm stable though and patiently waiting for Mom to come to visit me later tonight. She's going to leave me in the hospital until Thursday morning and then pick me up and take me to see the neurologist.

I'm just a dog so I don't really know what's going on. I'm not happy but I'm not miserable. I still have a terrific appetite and what's more important than eating?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Very Ill Dog

I am very ill. I saw Dr. Julie Miller at Pet's Friend Animal Hospital today. Dr. Miller is the vet for Pumpkin, Buffy and Elsa. My vet is Dr. Condreay at Porte Animal Hospital. I'm not sure why I have a different vet than the other doggies...Mom mumbled something about "Dr. Condreay will come to the house if we need her". But I don't know what that means.

Anyway Dr. Miller was very kind to me. She checked me over and looked over my records from Porte and my xrays. She scratched me on the ear and wispered sweet words of love. I was nervous at first but then I succumbed to her charms and relaxed. Dr. Miller said my problems are "profound" and "multiple" which are two words that I don't really understand. She used other strange words like "cancer", "tumor", and a said "maybe" a lot. The only word I understand is "maybe".

Dr. Miller said I am not in pain right now and that made Mom happy. I've gained a couple pounds too which is good. I have had a terrible problem with diarrhea for weeks. I'm sorry to report that this awful diarrhea happened 3 times today. It's a lot of work for Mom to clean up after me, and to clean me up, but she just kisses my big nose and says not to worry. Since I am only a dog, I don't worry about anything anyway. Last night I started taking a new medicine called "metronidazole" which Dr. Condreay says will help with the diarrhea.

Mom was going to go to San Diego tomorrow for a "business meeting", whatever that is, but she changed her mind to spend the day with me!

On Thursday we are taking a long car ride up to Rohnert Park to the Animal Care Center to see a neurologist -- Dr. Pedroia. Drs. Condreay and Miller said Dr. Pedroia is a genius and he will know what Mom should do to help me. Which is fine with me...I know Mom will make the best decision for me.

I want to thank all of you cyberdoggy buddies for your wonderful comments of support. Mom and I read them together and we feel so comforted by your caring.

Barks and licks and nibbles,


Monday, March 14, 2005

The Visit to Cindy's

I went swimming today and afterward we went to visit Mom's new friend Cindy at her house. Amazingly, Cindy lives one block away from where I swim. Mom met Cindy on the internet on the DM list. Cindy's dog Shadie had DM. Cindy and her husband Dick loved Shadie very much. I didn't get to go in the house though because I was still resting from my enthusiastic swimming. But Dick and Cindy came out to the car and admired me and gave me cookies. Their new dog Kodi stayed in the house but I could smell her on them. Kodi is a German Shepherd-Chow mix and Mom says she is adorable. Of course, not as adorable as me.

On the way home we stopped at the vet's office and picked up more steroids and some new medicine that will hopefully control my diarrhea. But after we got home I'm sorry to say I had a diarrhea accident all over the kitchen floor. Mom just sighed and cleaned it up she knows I can't help it.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

The Slumber Party

We are having a slumber party tonight. Mom brought the aerobed into the family room and all of us are going to sleep in there. Mom has her own bed of course, but she thinks I'm lonely sleeping in the family room with just Elsa the Meanie for companionship. Last night I crawled into Mom's bedroom at 3am. I have to crawl now because my back legs don't work anymore. Mom brought in my doggy bed and I was so happy! I got on my doggy bed, fell sound asleep, snored the night away till 7:30am.

Mom's friends on the Yahoo Group degenerative myelopathy said I need to be next to Mom all night. They recommended that we all sleep together in the family room since it's too hard for me to get into the bedrooms.

I'm pretty happy about this I think I will sleep a lot better being right next to Mom.

Mom tried to take some pictures of me in the family room but I am terrified of the camera. I cannot explain why but I immediately try to get away when she brings it out. So she took a picture of Pumpkin on the aerobed and one rather poor picture of me in the kitchen before I escaped. Not that easy for me to get away these days but I hate the camera!

I'm happy with the new slumber party sleeping situation but I don't really understand why Elsa the Meanie had to be invited. While it's true she hasn't been mean to me in awhile, ever since I bit her on the nose when she jumped on me, I wouldn't have sent her a party invitation.

Pumpkin ready to party Posted by Hello