Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Update on Sam

This message is written by Cynthia, Sam's pet guardian.


Your comments and emails are so kind and mean so much.

San is still in intensive care and will remain there all night. The best guess on what is wrong with him continues to be aspiration pneumonia.

Sam has not gotten worse, but neither has he improved. I went to see him twice today and he was happy to see me although he is clearly uncomfortable and not a happy camper. He ate two large bowls of food today. His temperature is hovering around 105 degrees. He had a bad urinary tract infection which I didn’t even know about but he is on mega doses of antibiotics so that should be resolved. An ultrasound was done as there was a concern about his spleen and liver but all looked fine. His platelet count is very low which has the vets mystified. It was fine 2 months ago. They don’t believe the platelet problem is related to the pneumonia. If it goes much lower he is at risk for internal bleeding.

I plan to visit him at 9am tomorrow morning when visiting hours start. I hope very much to bring him home tomorrow.

Thanks again for your wonderful comments to this morning's post and for caring about my big baby Sammy.


The New Bout of Pneumonia

This message is written by Cynthia, Sam's pet guardian.


At 10pm Sammy was fine and ate his bedtime snack. AT 12:30am he woke up whining, which is typical, means he wants his midnight snack. But he wouldn’t eat the snack – a behavior which has never, ever happened. He was also holding his head up a bit (he can sit but he usually lies down) and breathing kind of hard. I took him to the emergency vet and after Xrays and blood work the vet determined that he has pneumonia/infection in one lobe. Sammy also had a fever of over 104 degrees. The vet believes this pneumonia came on very suddenly, maybe caused by aspiration of food that went into the lung. The cure for a normal dog is morphine for the pain, oxygen to help with breathing, antibiotics to work on the infection, and surgery to clear out the lung. Sammy is not a candidate for surgery (because of his degenerative myelopathy) so the possibility of recovery is poor. Since he has been so happy lately I just couldn’t bear to let him go right then and put him in the ICU. If he is going to get better it will take 12-24 hrs. More likely he will get worse and just go downhill.

I know I should have just let him go. I don’t want him to suffer. If he is not clearly improving by noon tomorrow I won’t allow him to suffer any more.

However, the vet said that even though the probability of recovery was low, she felt he had a chance, that he was strong and stoic and had a very powerful drive to live. I agree. I think despite the odds against him that he will improve. If he gets better I should be able to bring him home tomorrow afternoon. He loves to be at home.


Monday, June 27, 2005

Photo: Kodi and Buffy at Aunt Cindy's house

When I go swimming on Friday's Buffy spends the time with his (and my) buddy Kodi. Here the two of them are looking out the window for Mom's car.

Photo: Kodi and Buffy at Aunt Cindy's house Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Photos of Dogs Tied to Things

Wow, just discovered this wonderful photo blog of San Francisco dogs tied to things. It's pretty interesting. Looks like SF dogs have a good life even if once in a awhile they are stuck outside instead of getting to go inside. Generally they seem to be on a walk and their person has gone into a store, probably to buy them a treat. As of this post, there are 197 dogs, in nearly as many photos, patiently waiting outside for their human to come and fetch them.

Dog Blog: "As I walk around San Francisco, I encounter dogs tied to things, take their pictures, and offer them up to the world with whatever commentary springs to mind. Enjoy."
-- Jon, the dog blogger

Here's a few of the photos:

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Favorite Place

One of my favorite places -- the back seat of the car. I just finished my swimming lesson and I'm patiently waiting outside Aunt Cindy's house for Mom to take me home and feed me my dinner! Aunt Cindy took this photo.Posted by Hello

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Swim Routine

Just an update about my swimming. I go every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for my swimming lesson. I'm doing well. I swim three times at each swim session. Each swim is about 6-7 minutes so I swim a total of 20 minutes or so. Connie, my swim instructor, says that I'm a good swimmer. I get my back and front legs going pretty good. Of course the whole time I am trying to get away from Connie and over to the stairs so that I can get outta there! I don't like to swim! But what can I do when Connie plops me in the water? I don't have a choice -- gotta sink or swim!

This is my only exercise right now. Mom hasn't put me in the cart for awhile. She says it's really hard to get me in there by herself. So, I humor her and go swimming. I like to ride in the car so that part is great. And I always get a few treats at poolside so it's not all bad.

On Fridays after my swim we go visit Cindy and Dick and their doggy Kodi. Buffy comes along to and while I am swimming he plays with Kodi. Buffy is kind of a Mama's boy though and Cindy and Dick report that he spends most of the time looking out the window wondering where she is. I just wait out in the car because I'm pretty tired after swimming. But Cindy comes out to the car and gives me a treat and Kodi jumps in the car and says hello.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Poem about Sam the Buddha Dog

Well, I don't know anything about poetry but Mom found this poem in the Woofer Times and she thought it was beautiful. It's about another dog named Sam.

Finding Sam the Buddha Dog

What about this steady drift
Towards bitterness, Dogen Zenji?

What about the pernicious nature
Of our dissatisfaction,

The poignant and unshakeable
Belief that life can and should

Be better: happier, healthier
More just and certainly kinder?

All this stirs and rustles in me
Like creatures of the night.

I wake up feeling forlorn and
Hungry for the old connections

To my children and my husband
To neighbors and enemies

To relatives, alive and dead
To the beginning and the end

To my pepper tree out front and
To Sam the Buddha dog long gone.

The Saratoga Gardens Tour June 17-19 2005

Our garden is going to be on another tour, this time one featuring Saratoga Gardens. The tour is a fund raiser for the Saratoga Historical Foundation. If you come by and want to meet me, just knock on the front door and ask for "Sammy"!

CasaTierra Hacienda, Saratoga, CA Posted by Hello
More photos

The Saratoga Historical Foundation presents a tour of exquisite Saratoga gardens and points of interest, with the final stop at the astounding CasaTierra hacienda estate. Here will be offered a tour of the 7,532 square foot home; a chance to meander about the 1.2 acres of stunning landscaped grounds; shopping at a boutique with products of various local artisans and merchants; enjoyment of plein air artists and musicians; and drawings for donated prizes.

Refreshments will be available – complimentary coffee cart on Father’s Day for all Dads.

Friday, June 17th, Noon – 4 PM
Saturday, June 18th 10 AM – 4 PM
Sunday, June 19th 10 AM – 4 PM

Tickets $20
Please mail your tax deductible checks, payable to
Saratoga Historical Foundation*
Garden Tour, PO Box 172, Saratoga, CA 95071

Pick up your tickets and tour directions June 17-19th at the
Saratoga Historical Museum, 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road, Saratoga, CA
(Highway 9 near Oak Street)

*Event to benefit museum restoration, education & cultural programs.
For more information call Nancy Anderson 408-867-4383

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Boring Weekend

Nothing much happened this weekend. Mom has been working around the house. She bought a new drill and now everything seems like it needs a few holes. I was supervising her work in the garage for awhile. I just lay quietly on the floor watching her wave that drill around rather aimlesslessly. Yikes, I began to worry she would drill some holes in me!

The gray cat Misty ran away today after I barked at her. She was outside and she jumped on top of the wood pile because I'm so big and mean. Then when Mom took me into the house Misty escaped! She is never allowed loose by herself outside since she doesn't have any front claws (Mom tells me they were removed by her previous owner...I think this makes her all the more attractive if only I could get close enough to wrap my pearly teeth around her scrawny little neck!). Mom was all upset for an hour calling for her and wandering the neighborhood looking for her. But Misty knows what side her bread is buttered on, and she came home looking for a handout.

I've been having diarrhea again. Now I am on still a new type of medicine. I hope this helps because I make a terrible mess and it's a lot of trouble for Mom to clean up after me.

I'm making little barks right now. The reason is that I need a snack! Mom discovered that I've been gaining weight and she has cut back on my food intake. I love to eat! I need a snack! Woof. Woof. Woof!

No new photos of me but there are some taken by Aunt Cindy of Buffy and Kodi last Friday. See them below.

Buffy selecting one of Kodi's toys to destroy Posted by Hello

Buffy killing one of Kodi's stuffed animals Posted by Hello

Buffy and his buddy Kodi Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Flickr Dog Nose Photos

There's a group on Flickr that features dog noses! Buffy and I are now part of the dog nose photo gallery.

Friday, June 03, 2005

The New Harness & The Swimming Lesson

Exciting news. I have a new harness and Mom is very hopeful this is the answer to all of her problems in helping me get outside to do my duty. It's the Hartman Harness and although I've only been wearing it for 6 hours Mom seems very happy with it. I personally don't even notice that I've got it on, which is the whole idea I suppose.

Also, I went swimming today! Yikes, I thought my water baby days were over but apparently not. Connie my swim instructor was very happy to see me but to be honest, I was not happy to see her. I regret to report that I growled at her when she lifted me to put me in the ugh ugh ugh WATER. I had to swim 3 times, just like before. Awful. But Mom insists. She says both Dr. Pedroia , my neurologist, and Dr. Julie Miller, my vet, say that swimming is good for me. I used to go swimming a lot -- you can read all about it right here in my blog.

Connie and Mom jabbered away like crazy catching up over the last 2 months. Pretty boring for me since Mom talks incessantly about me. One of Connie's doggies has been sick; the other, Chief, was there at the pool. Chief is obsessed with tennis balls. Connie thinks Chief has DM too, he's a long-haired GSD, but he can still walk.

Then Mom went over to Aunt Cindy's and Uncle Dick's house to chit-chat with them. They live right around the corner from the swim school. In fact, Mom had dropped off Buffy with them before I went swimming so that he could play with Cousin Kodi, their chow-GSD. I didn't get out of the car 'cause I was so tired from my swimming ordeal but Uncle Dick and Aunt Cindy came out to the car to pet me and fawn over me. As they should!

Pictures soon Mom is still waiting for the camera connection cable to come back from the factory. Aunt Cindy took some photos of Buffy and Kodi -- they will be posted shortly.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Game of Catch

I've been playing "catch" lately with the squeaky toys. Mom throws them and me and I catch them and slobber all over them. I love it when they squeak and squeal because I think I am killing some small defenseless rodent. Fun!