Monday, May 26, 2008

Snot Fair

I am trying to get Herbie's nasal problem under control, but it's pretty much like King Canute telling the North Sea to back up a bit. Ever since he stopped chemo, the crusty nose thing has been happening. Last week, he rubbed his nose so hard on the bed, he made it bleed. This morning, I found him trying to dislodge bogies onto the ironing pile. Sigh.

The vet suggested Vaseline on his nose, and I've added de-odorised garlic capsules to his diet. Someone had a miracle sinus cure with their whippet and garlic capsules, but I've no idea how much to give a Herbie-sized dog. Is 1000mg a day a lot? Well, he's still here, still snotty, so it's not a lethal dose. I am glad he's still with me, and glad his histiocytoma's cleared up, but I wish he were well.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

And Now We Is Cold...

Last week, 8 a.m., T-shirt and flip-flops. This week, long-sleeved T-shirt, fleece, waterproof jacket and walking boots. A typical English spring.

It's been a sad weekend. My father's cat, Henry Kitten (he never grew very big) went AWOL during the week. He was of feral stock, and was rounded up along with his mother by the Cats Protection League at a local feed mill, as part of a trap-neuter-release programme. When he didn't come back home on Sunday, we all feared he'd heard the call of the wild and answered it. Yesterday, coming back from an outing with the dogs, I spotted a black body on the verge, a couple of hundred yards from my father's house. I went to fetch Dad, and it looks very much like Henry. Unfortunately he looks to have hit a car head-on.

Then (big mistake) I read the last chapters of Merle's Door, by Ted Kerasote. It's a wonderful book, about a man who tries to put himself in his dog's shoes, and let his dog have some choices about the way he lives. The two of them lived in a national park, and spent their days out in the wilderness - but the ending is a three-hanky job.

As a result, I've spent today fussing over Herbie. First, I thought I'd found a new tumour in his stomach - I'd actually found the end of one of his ribs. They're all knobbly at the end, and so are Holly's - it's nothing new. Then I went to clean his ears out, and found that they were black inside. Not just dark brown wax, but deep charcoal black. I wondered if this was one of those symptoms of cancer that no one talks about, because it's too much of a bad sign. Maybe his brain was starting to rot and leaking out through his ears.

Then I remembered I'd repotted a few plants yesterday, and put the spent compost on one of the flowerbeds. Herbie had had a really good dig, and redistributed it all. When greyhounds fold their ears back, the ear canal is wide open. He didn't have a brain tumour, he had compost in his ears. Only person with a leaking brain round here is me. Very glad I didn't call the vet.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

We Is Hot

Lots of outside time, but the garden is south-facing, and just too hot in the afternoon. Herbie doesn't deal well with heat, so he's back in his usual spot, on my bed.

Big things are happening over at Emily and Maggie's - Maggie is taking part in a trial of a new drug. Here's hoping this one turns out to be more effective than some of the other things I know Maggie's tried.

Oh, and Holly's just told me she never gets in the blog:

Monday, May 05, 2008

Relaxing Bank Holiday

We've been staying home. No DIY, no visits to superstores, and only a couple of brief visits to relatives. Yesterday we were pretty much confined to quarters by the annual Tractor Run for charity. All winter, people have been tinkering with their vintage Massey Fergussons in preparation, and yesterday was the big day. I live right by the start of the run, and a couple of hundred vintage tractors chugging in a 20-mile circuit round your village means you have to leave early, and stay out till dark - or stay home.

Herbie has had his first trip to the vet in over four months. He has a histiocytoma on his leg. He had one a couple of years ago, and I didn't think you could get them twice, but those good folks on Greytalk have assured me that lighting does strike more than once . The vet was pleased with how well he was looking. "I was dreading this visit, when I saw your name on the list. I thought it was going to be one of those difficult ones. But he's kept the weight on really well." I think that might be code for "Your dog is fat".

There was an elderly man in the waiting room, dogless, trying not to cry, and when he collected his drooping, bleary-eyed dachshund, I could see why. Daxis aren't supposed to be floppy like that. I wanted him and his dog to be OK, but you could tell the vet had said "There's nothing else we can do." It's the worst thing, not having any hope. I am currently hoping Herbie outlives his histiocytoma - they take at least six weeks to clear up - but I have absolutely nothing to base that optimism on.