Monday, December 24, 2012

Welcome Christmas Pixie

Happy Christmas Eve everyone! I have an important announcement!

Do you remember that lil yellow girl Tori that was staying here while she looked for her forever home? She is now my sister!! Yes, me and momma had a talk and decided we both loved her too much to let her go!

I like having her around cuz she plays with me some. Not every minute of every day but every now and then she gets a wild hair and decides to play tug with me which is my favorite game ever! Sometimes she is a little pushy, like when momma opens the back door for ME but she pushes in front of me to go outside! But mostly she is a good girl! Most important is that she knows I am the NUMBER ONE doggie around here.

I am in charge and I get snaks first! Actually she eats some things slower so sometimes I get extra while she's finishing hers! Proof that I am TOP DOG!

Momma loves that she is sweet and a little bit snuggly and oh so adorable!

So where did we get her new name? Well if you look up Pixie in the dictionary it says they are 'short in stature and attractively child-like' so we thought it was a good fit. She is prolly about 7 years old but can sometimes still look like a puppy.

My pal Beckett said she is part Precious Moments figurine and I think he is right. Here is a comparison for you!

All in all she is a pretty ok lady labbie and we are happy to have her join the MooseLodge!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Happy Birthday Señor Moose

On wednesday I turned 11! I know it might sound old but I am not a senior, I'm a señor! The festivities were delayed until Yesterday because momma was all busy and such!

First off I got a surprise package in the mails from a super twitter pal Jessie! I got all sorts of new treats I never had before so I can't wait to try them!

I was most excited by the cupcakes (the black and orange thing) tho! I loooove cupcakes and when momma has them around for people, it is the one thing I can't resist stealing even though she is home and will catch me! I asked her to get me some but she said they were not good for me but then Jessie sent me doggie cupcakes!

And I know momma should not have, but she even let me eat the paper wrapper- I always steal the wrappers from people cupcakes too! THANKS Jessie! You are the best!!!!
Next I got I new HippoPig! I loved my old HippoPig but it was about to splode so momma got me a new one!
Well I got a new hippo shell and momma put the old pig in it! As you can see I was a little impatient during the reconstruction! What can I say, I love HippoPig!

Also I got cheezeburgins!!! I had to share with Tori but got most of it because she is totally chubbers.

Then I got Frosty Paws for the first time in ages! Even though it was late it was all in all not a bad day!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


First up, I am happy to report I am once again master of my own leggies! Well, mostly! I still get a little tangled up but most days I get two long walkies and even if its hot out I don't pant crazy loud!

So I am so grateful for everyone crossing paws for me, clearly it totally worked plus it made me feel super important and loved! My legs will keep degenerating but now we are optimistic that it will be slower than the doc thought. For now I am happy and feeling good and momma and I are extremely grateful for that!

Second bit of news is that I have a new foster gal pal! Momma thought I was lying around a lot and bored so might like some excitement so we decided Tori could use some help finding a forever home and maybe make me more active while she was waiting.

She has been here a week and I was super excited that she decided to play with me but then she had to get spayed and has not been so interested in playing since then. Still she is a good girl and even if we are not playing, I am more active around the house.
And the most exciting thing... On Halloween I turned into an 11 year old Labradog! Momma was too tired to do anything on Wednesday so today I got my party! She is gonna post about it tomorrow, she promises!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Degenerative Polyneuropathy

Update from mooses momma:

This week has been a rough one but things seem to be slowly improving. In my last post I had just seen a bit of improvement in his ability to coordinate his paws but it didn't last long. It seemed he would get better for brief periods then worse again (though I was grateful that even the bad periods were no worse than the day after I brought him home). I was hoping that it was just taking a long time for the anesthesia to wear off but given that the trouble seemed so specific to two opposite legs even the surgeon was baffled and that is when I got really scared.

When he wasn't improving on Thursday he referred us to a neurologist so we went right away. The neurologist found neurological deficiencies in all of his legs but it was worse in the front left and back right for sure. Given that he also had laryngeal paralysis which is often caused by nerve degeneration she said the most likely cause of the walking trouble is degenerative polyneuropathy. I was not completely surprised by this based on what I have read in the last two weeks. In many cases dogs who have unilateral tie back (the surgery he had on Monday) will be spared from a fatal breathing crisis but will gradually lose function in their back legs until they can't walk and have to be put down. The time frame for that is generally about two years. In an already senior dog, two years is possibly their natural lifespan anyway so I had not been too upset by reading that, after all that is an average and I have heard about several cases who progressed much slower. In the past year I have noticed an occasional toe drag but it had not become more frequent so if that is the rate of progression then I assumed it would be years for sure.

However when I asked the neurologist why he went from being able to walk normally to walking like a drunk with rocks in his shoes overnight she said that dogs often compensate for a long time then get to a point where they can not anymore and people will see what seems to be sudden setbacks. Why did it coincide with surgery? Well, anesthesia affects nerves that are degenerating differently than healthy nerves. The good news is that there is a chance this anesthesia effect will gradually wear off and he will get back to his pre-surgery state in the next weeks but the bad news is there is nothing that can be done to reverse or even stop the degeneration that has already started. The best way to slow it down is to strengthen the muscles as much as possible. This of course involves being able to do exercises that he is too weak and un-coordinated to do at the moment. The worst part of her assessment was that she found that the extent of muscle wasting suggested that this has been going on for a year already and that the timeframe from this point to the time where his mobility would decline to the point that I would have to put him down was 6 months to a year. I know I have a senior dog - he turns 11 this month but until the past month or so he did not act his age at all. I hoped the slow down I was seeing pre-op was his discomfort from being unable to get a good breath when he tried to do anything and that surgery would help me keep him active. As it was we were having to shorten our walks before surgery and no way could he go out in daytime when it was hot. But now I am afraid the slow down may have been more from the loss of muscle- it is a vicious cycle.

The good news is that last night and this morning he seems a little better able to get around and seems a bit more alert and interested in things. Cheese seems to really help his legs move! So I am more hopeful that he will get closer to normal. I have heard that acupuncture can help a lot so I called a local vet who was highly recommended. If I can get him to the point of being able to walk enough that he can get exercise I am hopeful we can really slow it down.
He is otherwise healing well from the surgery and his breathing is much better. He is hacking and gagging a bit more but I understand that is expected.

This has been devastating to me and lots of friends have come out of the woodwork to offer concern and support and I am so grateful that I have people who understand and care. It is so awful seeing your dog suddenly unable to move, particularly a moose sized dog who I am unable to physically lift by myself. Luckily I have neighbors who have helped me get him in and out of the car.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Quick post-surgery update

My surgeon looked down my throat before he operated and confirmed that my wind pipe was stuck closed so he cut me open and tied half of it open. I woke up from anesthesia fine and yesterday they said momma could come get me. So when she went to get me they brought me out and to her horror my legs weren't working! After some frustrating confusion that I find totally boring so I'm not gonna let momma rant about, it turns out I had been given a sedative that morning. So they said it would wear off soon. And a big dude carried me to my car.
We got home and I could not get out of the car so me and momma sat with the car running for 90 min while she had some stupid work conference call.

Then she finally found some dude I never met before to help her carry me into the house in my car hammock!. I dint get up till she made me but I could not walk right even later that night which was 12 hours after my sedative and the doc said it would wear off 12-24 hours! She was freaked out. (warning- the following videos are super boring!)

She woke up this morning and I was all excited about food but still 2 legs were not doing what I told them to. Momma called the surgeon said he saw me standing in the cage after surgery so he does not think it was anything that went wrong during surgery but that I just can not handle the sedative he gave me yesterday morning. For most doggies it would be long gone but even though my liver seems to work perfectly it is not doing a good job of filtering it out. Momma  says I am a bit of a teetotaler when it comes to drugs!

After I had some delishes meatballs I remembered how to walk a little and went outside and peed gallons. I even walked up 2 steps though I did stumble. So, hopefully it will all be out of my system soon and I will once again be the master of my own leggies!

Last night when I couldnt really get up I sorta fell outta my bed. Have you ever seen a more pathetic sight...

Monday, October 1, 2012

GOLPP! I'm having surgery TODAY!

I'm having surgery in the morning! As I mentioned in my last post we were worried that I had some trouble with my ticker. But I went to a special doc and got pictures made of it and it's all good! The bad news is I have something called laryngeal paralysis. It's where my throat doesn't open up wide enough for me to get good breaths of air. So I'm going to the doc and he's gonna sew part of it open for me! It's really scary though because things can go very wrong during and after surgery. Even once I heal I might still have trouble, But if I don't have the surgery we know I will have trouble with my breathing and maybe even pneumonia too like I had a few weeks ago, or worse I could suffocate to death very suddenly.
Here is what I sound like after walking from my bed to the kitchen...

Aside from my loud breathing there're other things wrong that we are learning maybe related to it. GOLPP stands for Geriatric Onset Laryngeal Paralysis Polyneuropathy. Doctors are starting to think that laryngeal paralysis is just the first sign of trouble with nerves. Doggies have this often have trouble with their back end being very weak and sometimes dragging their toes. Since I had knee surgery I'm always thought that my backside was weak because of that surgery. But I also drag my toes sometimes, which just started happening this past year. Also, for some odd reason, doggies with this time to be hypothyroid which I was just diagnosed with in July. So momma is worried that even if the surgery fixes my breathing, that other parts of me might start not working so well. It seems to progress slowly for most though.

We joined the LP yahoo group to get some guidance on what to expect. There are lotsa helpful people there. We learned that the best way to feed while recovering from this is for momma to roll my foods into meatballs and give them to me one at a time. She wanted to practice tonight, of course I am a gifted eater so it went great (except I guess I nipped her fingers a few times... But that's not my problem).

I want to also have some words about our dearly departed Mango. Momma and I were sooo shocked and sad that he went over the bridge and I know we were not alone. He was such a huge influence on us, from general blogging encouragement, to the fun of MangoMinster to the many new friends he helped us make, but also in the form of fun training ideas and a lot of laughs and smiles. I can truly say he changed our lives and there just are not words to express our gratitude or how much we will miss him. Run free big guy!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thanks for POTP!

Thanks Mango and the rest of you awesome pups for thinking of me. Seems like I am doing better.
It started on Monday when I was just being slow and not my bouncy self. Then Tuesday momma thought I felt hot like I had a fever. That went away but I was super lethargic then momma woke up on Wednesday and I was already awake (unheard of), would not eat a snak (unheard of), was panting (unheard of) and did not stand up when I saw my leash (unheard of). So she pulled me up and had to get neighbor to help me into the car and went to the vet. I seemed a little better there, no fever, wagged my tail a little ate a snack but still not right.

Vet could not tell what was wrong so I got pictures made of my innards and the took bloods. They found elevated white blood cells and a little fluid in my lungs which was odd since I had no fever. They also found I might have an enlarged heart so later I will get another picture made of my ticker. She was worried my innards were also squished to the side but another radiologist was not worried about that so we aren't either.

So, you wonder, how does a seemingly healthy doggie get water in his lungs? Well it is another sign that I do have laryngeal paralysis. That is a not uncommon thing with us seniors but it means our throat flappers don't always work and we can get fluid in our lungs It can advance to the point that doggies can suffocate after too much activity. There is surgery that can prevent that from happening but it makes other problems are more likely so my vet thinks mine is not serious enough that I need surgery yet. I have been drinking out of the hose lately and momma wonders if that's how I got water in there so she says I can't do that anymore.
Anywho, since my pals were so awesome to send me POTP I wanted to thank you and update you. I seem to be feeling better so i know your POTP is working! I will try to post again if I find out about my ticker.
Also, I have totally neglected my tricks posts. Momma is lame! She promises we will get back to it eventually!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Super Skilz "Sunday": Super Delayed edition!

This post is over a week behind. Stupid Olympics and Coral spawning season has momma all busy she claims. I fail to see how watching TV can make someone busy though!
Anyways, momma is teaching me to step up on a stool. I am practically ready for the lympics balance beam event!
When she first tried to get me to do it I kept trying to walk around or I would paw it wildly but not step on it. Sometimes I like to knock it over with my snooter even. So we started with it up against the cabinet so I had to step on it to get snaks and it would not slide around.

Then momma gradually moved it a little further away until I would step up on it with no non-sense.We are still working on it but I think I will make the beam finals no problem. I have definitely nailed the dismount!

Here I am in action:

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Super Skilz Sunday: Close Drawers

This week momma worked with me to learn how to close a drawer. She started by holding a treat just over the drawer so I would nudge it while I got the treat but I wasn't getting it. Well I was getting the treats but not the connection with the drawer closing. So then she decided to use the fact that I will investigate with my snooter anything she points to. So she started pointing at the drawer and if I snootered it then and then snacks. Here is an early training session in which I got bored (can you blame me this is kinda a boring trick!)

Then she made it harder and actually only clicked when I nudged the drawer. We did about four 10min sessions before today and that is when she took this next video and you can see for your self how far we got. Sorry it is kinda long and boring...

See you next week!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Super Skilz Sunday: Carrot on a String edition

In the Do More with Your Dog book called 10 Minute Training Games they have a 'logic test' where a doggie is supposed to figure out how to get a treat on a rope out from under the sofa! If the doggies can't figure it out the human is supposed to show them how until they get the hang of it. Well Duh! I figured tout super fast and momma didn't even have to show me! The part that took the longest was where tried to figure why momma would do something so dumb as to throw my carrot under the couch when I was standing there ready to eat it! You can see how super smart I am on the video. After that we did the muffin tin game which I have been doing forever. Both these 'tricks' (not sure I would call them that, but OK!) are worth 1 point towards my Novice Trick Dog Title!

Another trick that is on the list is to fetch my leash. I already knew how to go get my collar and I know what my leash is and I know how to go get things so momma tried to see if I could put it together! Since my leash and collar are not normally out where I can get them she did have to put them out first.
She did it once while she was standing next to it yesterday and I did it. Then tonight she tried from the another room and I had a little more trouble. Note that the video shows me sorting it out, but this is not how you would train a doggie to do it from scratch...

So another trick that I already know how to do is ring a bell when I want to go outside. I can't really show you this because I do it when momma is not in the room so she would only be able to show you that I can ring a bell on command which is no big whoop! Well, tonight my pal Arabella posted a trick where she hides from monsters and it gave momma the idea that she could demonstrate my ring the bell to go out  trick by triggering me to go into my emergency evacuation mode. See when momma says 'Bugs' I do the only reasonable thing and run for the door! She laughs at me but I am only doing so out of an abundance of caution!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Super Skilz Sunday: Slow start edition

Ok, so it took momma a bit to get her act together so we did not spend as much time training as we wanted to but now I think we got our act together!
Momma wanted to make a video of the things I already know but apparently my labradog brain is a wee bit out of condition. See, I still remember how to do everything but the problem is I try to do EVERYTHING no matter what she asks me to do! I loooove training so much that when I see the treats and clicker it like short-circuits the connection from my ears to my brain to my paws. So part of this exercise will be to just get used to listening and ONLY doing what she asks me to do!
In spite of that she did try to teach me a new trick where I spin in a circle! I am starting to get it even though we only did about 5 short training sessions. The way momma is teaching me she is using a treat to lure me in a circle. I got that down most of the time so now she is just doing the hand motion with no treat and I mostly do that until I get tired of it. I sort of think she is teasing me by keeping the treat out of reach so I have started trying to grab at her paws even when she is not luring me so she says we are gonna take a little break with that trick and move onto another one for now.

In my video below you will see me go through my commands and the spin trick is towards the end. It is almost 4 minutes long- momma was gonna cut it down a bit but since it shows my mistakes (and hers!) we left them in.
Note in the video you will see that tricks have points on them- that is because for the Novice Trick Dog title I need 15 points but not all tricks are the same number of points so we put that on there to keep track.

I made momma video me picking up my toys too. That is a kinda fancy trick and one of those things that no matter what she asks me to do I figure I will try that so she says now that she got it on video I can stop doing it every 5 seconds! Sheesh! She is working to get me to pick up several toys without having to say pick up your toys after each one (she is so lazy!) but she can't quite figure that out. Now, if she doesn't click me or tell me to pick up again I will take the same toy out and drop it back in again in case she missed it or something!

Ok, for next week we are going to brush up on some skills, get video of some other things I know and we might try some of the 'logic' games that are in this book:

p.s. Check out my super talented gal pal Arabella cuz she has posted her SSS tricks! Her mom was awesome and worked with her more than my momma did! She already qualifies for the Intermediate Trick Dog title! Wohoo Arabella! (Plus she is totally gorgeous so check her out!)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Introducing: Super Skilz Sunday!

Anyone who still reads my sporadic blog posts surely knows my good pal Garth, right? Well First off did you see he is hosting a Silly Photo Contest? Deadline to enter is July 6th!!!
Second of all, Garth is a super duper trick dog! Ok the title is Advanced Trick Dog but I think that understates it frankly... So yesterday momma was looking at some old videos of me and realized that I am a pretty smart dude!

So she looked into this whole Trick Dog Title thing and found out that I have more than enough tricks under my belt ('cept I don't wear a belt!) to earn a Novice Trick Dog Title! Woo hoo! She says she might register me if we can get up to the intermediate level! 
So that got her to thinking about how to make that happen... Of course the reason I know half the tricks I know is because of Blogville's Tricky T-Day (I think my pal Ludo started that?) and also lots of encouragement from my super talented and leggy gal pal Honey the Great Dane!  So I was tweeting with my twitter pals and I think I want to start up a little challenge to keep momma focused. We love Tricky T-day but it is clear if momma is ever gonna blog for me its gonna be on a weekend. So I will call it Super Skilz Sunday! I am going to try to post about what I am learning every sunday and would love to hear about what any pals who want to play along are up to regardless of what you call it or when you post!! 


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