July 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Abby!!!!

It is Abby's 2nd birthday on August 1 (hooray Abby!) so we started celebrating today. 

It didn't start out all that great, however, but it improved afterwards. I'll let the pictures tell most of the story.
First, Abby ran to get the paper to check the contest results...

Then she got depressed, cuz she didn't make it in!

She stayed depressed until...
... we got to Fiesta Island. Big smiles then!

We met a silken windhound (which I'd never heard of before...)

I decided to take a video of her playing, to show that Boris & Natasha are not slowing her down one bit! [As for the pic above of the "windhound" I'm not sure I get the name. Should be the "canthandlethewindhound" cuz the thing was cold in the breeze so they buried it in the sand, where it was completely content to remain. Abby clearly thought that was a weird idea.]

On the way home, Mike and I stopped at this little cafe we'd never been to before to grab something to bring home. While we were waiting for our order, we got Abby out of the car and were sitting in front of the cafe. The pretty French gal who works there came out and gave Abby a half a slice of bacon, which Abby found to be an awesome birthday present. We will definitely be going back there again!  
Once home, she got a Frosty Paw!

...which she very much enjoyed!
Good to the last drop!

We are going to stretch her birthday celebrations out over a few days. Up next, a trip to PetSmart to pick out a new toy. Oh, and we are canceling our subscription to the stupid newspaper. We really appreciate the support and the votes, but we only made it to the web site under the "Top 25 vote getters." The stupid editors obviously don't know a gorgeous special pooch when they see one. And they also did not appear to understand their own contest, since the "editor's picks" included some photos with absolutely no relevance to the "dog days of summer." Oy.

July 26, 2011

Feeling Even Craftier

A couple of weeks ago, I posted that some of my sisters and I had been feeling crafty and had gotten together to Forced Craft and "felt" some bunnies (and a bunny-turned-rat). Well, we have attempted it two more times since and, after some moderate success crafting a Bailey beagle - as evidenced below - I was ready to tackle a tripawd. [BTW, I do not know why it is called "felting" since you use a type of wool called roving. Seems like it should be called "wooling."]
Angel Bailey
The Gang of Four that my sisters & I made

The good news about felting a tripawd is that the legs are quite hard to get right when you make a dog, so I only had to make three! Whoohoo! The bad news is, it's a little harder to get the animal to stand up on only three legs, but if you tripod them it all works out. I took a ton of pictures, excerpted below. I think Ab looks quite cute with her little doppelganger. Now that I have crafted versions of her in "paint" and wool, I'm not sure what I'll try next. Maybe clay. Or marzipan. [BTW... the Tripawds folks are having a caption contest for that painting I did of Ab, so if you have any suggestions, email me or leave a comment. So far I like: "I'm too sexy for my leg." Or "With a body like this, you don't need four legs." Hopefully my drawing will soon be gracing Tripawds T-shirts and other merch!]

Ab's not thrilled with this pose...

"See Ab, isn't she cute?"

"Don't eat it!"

SO cute together! (If I do say so myself...)
In other non-felting news, I'm upping her artemisinin dosage, since I realized there are MANY different dosage levels recommended and we were at the extreme low end of the recommendations. Upping it slowly and so far she is doing fine on it. In theory, it should act to cut off the blood supply to Boris and Natasha. [Speaking of the Badenovs, someone on the Bone Cancer Dogs listserv reminded me that Boris & Natasha were never very good at carrying out their evil plans to foil "Moose and Squirrel" - said in my worst Russian accent - so hopefully our Boris and Natasha will be the same inept baddies.]

That's about all the news for now. Don't forget you can still VOTE for ABBY here up until the 28th. [The vote totals aren't showing on her page anymore, but you can see them by clicking on "View Gallery" and searching for "tripawd". You can also vote from that page that comes up, but it is a two-step process from there.] Will let y'all know how she does in the contest. She just better make it into the paper, because I have Abby's Army voting for her!

July 20, 2011

No Contest

Plotting evil in Ab's lung
Well... the follow up x-ray was not great. The Met formerly known as Lone has (a) gotten bigger and (b) found himself a little buddy, or a girlfriend, or a little sibling, or whatever the hell it is. So we won't be having a "Rename the Lone Met" contest. For now I'm just calling them Boris and Natasha (unless someone has a better suggestion), and even though Natasha was bigger than Boris in Rocky and Bullwinkle, I'm going to think of the bigger met as Boris, since in my opinion he was always the nastier piece of work.

Dr. V. said that it could be worse, and that Abby could still have a decent amount of time left, but it's still not good news. He said he was really not expecting to see another met. He was getting a little red-eyed as well as he told me all this. :( 

He said, overall, considering how crappy and aggressive this disease is, she's still doing good. She feels great still: has great energy and a good appetite (well, as good as it's ever been, which has never been great; she's just not a big eater). Also, her lungs and heart sound really good - no sign of strain on the heart or fluid in the lungs. Her blood work was also fine. He said there is no sign of mets anywhere else in her lungs and Natasha looks to be a chip off Boris (they are sort of nestled right up against each other). And he said that, as mets go, Boris has grown pretty slowly. We first saw Boris back in December, and now 7 months later he's about the size of a golf ball. (That sounds big to me, but Dr. V said that because of where it is, it can get really big before it starts to be a problem.)

Hopefully the new pills (the Artemix, which is the hollistic thing we just started her on last week) will make some difference. We have to give them to her every night and then in 2 months do another x-ray to see if they are helping at all. It could happen that they would make a difference... So all hope is going into that now.

He also said that if we wanted to try to be more aggressive, we could try another type of IV chemo, which would not cure her, but would maybe slow things down. I don't think we'll do that... I think instead we'll hope for the Artemix to do its thing, but I'll have to talk to her pop about that. 

In a bit of good news, the "Dog Days of Summer" contest is going well! Abby is already into triple digits with her votes! Not bad for being in the contest a mere 24 hours. You can vote more than once, so if you have a sec, click on the picture below and vote for her.

In the grand scheme of this fricking disease, I know we've actually been kind of lucky. Some folks don't get to have their doggies with them this long after diagnosis, or don't get to have them be so energetic. It's nice that she still feels fine and her body has no clue that she is sick. Hanging on to that, and hanging on to hope for the Artemix. Come on, Artemix! Do your thing, Artemix!

July 19, 2011

Votes & Something More Important

Abby's pic is up in the Union Tribune Dog Days of Summer photo contest. (Hopefully this voting widget thing works... You should be able to just click on it and vote for her.) It says you can vote once per hour, so have at it! Voting is open until July 29th.

As you can see, I went with the life guard picture. Counting the votes on the site and via email resulted in the watermelon pic edging out the life guard pic by one vote - that is, if Lou the Corgi's vote counts (which of course it does around here!). But (even though I personally prefer the watermelon pic) I thought this one would print up better in the paper. Not that it will actually make it to the paper... I was paging through the competition, just to see what sort of vote numbers others have so far, and some people are really cranking the votes. The dumb thing is that there is no official judging, so they may end up with winning pics that have no relation to summer. The photo I saw with the most votes is a blurry picture of a dog "driving" a car. What does that have to do with summer? Maybe if she was cruising the beach, but no, she's just sitting in the driver's seat. 

Anyway, more important than voting even is the fact that we need your crossed fingers/paws, good vibes, prayers, pagan rituals, whatever you are into so that Abby will have a good follow up x-ray tomorrow. I'm a little nervous about it. I hate sitting in the room alone while they whisk Abby to the back. Then I have to wait and wait, and then try to guess what the look on Dr. V's face means when he opens the door to have me come in the back and look at the x-ray with him. Last time he had a cold, and he sounded all choked up when he said "Come take a look" and I about had a heart attack - but it was just his stupid sore throat, and the Lone Met was still a loner. If it's still a loner tomorrow (oh pleeeeeze) we'll have a re-name the Lone Met contest. 

Will post an update tomorrow after her appointment. In the meantime, Abby got two new bandanas. She'd never worn a bandana before. Didn't realize she would tolerate one, but she looks darn cute in them! Especially the pink one, which was an 8-month ampuversary present from her cousin, Nick, and his girlfriend, Tee. (But really mostly Tee...) The other one is a "Tripawds Rule" bandana from the tripawds.com site. Stylish, eh?

Contemplating life...or maybe just a bug
Watching the sunset through the sage.
In other news, Mike brought home this ridiculously huge trophy the other day after winning the "first annual" badminton tournament at work. (Which is amusing because the stupid thing is bigger than the soccer trophy for the Women's World Cup and because he hasn't played badminton in, oh, about a decade or more.) 
Should have drunk champagne out of it while we had the chance.
Not quite the same, but easier to dust.
Luckily it turned out the BIG trophy will be a perpetual one, so it went back to the office, and we get this little commemorative one for home: 

Thanks in advance for the votes and the good vibes for Ab!

July 12, 2011

Dog Dazed

Well, not just the dog... but both the dog and I are completely dazed (and confused) that she didn't win anything in the Orvis Cover Dog Contest! [In case you are joining us here late, I blogged in Feb. about entering Abby in this Orvis contest, because she loves her Orvis bed. She actually finished on the podium - 3rd place out of almost 13,000 dogs - in the "Most Unique Voters" contest.] With all the votes from you guys, I knew we'd get her pic in front of the judges so she'd stand out amongst the 1000s of entries, and I thought we'd at least get an Honorable Mention. 


We didn't even make the grade for the "Other Favorites." You can view the winners, HM's and Other Faves here. Geez, they couldn't squeeze a pic of an adorable tripawd in there?? Oh well, at least all your votes raised money for canine cancer research. And I suppose that is the important thing.

Nevertheless, we are undaunted. We are going to enter Abby in the local paper's "Dog Days of Summer" photo contest. I'd like to submit her entry by next week and I thought I'd ask your help first in selecting a photo. I tried to pick out some photos that say "summer" (or at least ones that say "hot dog"), so have a look and please comment regarding which you think I should enter:
Tripawd Lifeguard Girl

Just Another Fabulous Day at the Beach

Water Stop (this one doesn't even play the Tripawd card...)

Probably wouldn't really send this one, but I think it's cute

Nuthin' says summer like watermelon...

And more watermelon...

The "losing" shot from Orvis (might save this for the Humane Society calendar contest...)

Just included this one for your enjoyment
Once the pics are in, there will be a voting period from July 20 through the 29th and the top vote-getters will be published in the paper on July 31st and win movie passes. I'll remind you guys to vote next week. Don't really care about the movie passes since we never go to the movies, but it would be fun to see our lovely girl in print. We think she's so cute, we want to share her cuteness with everyone. So, let me know which pic you think I should pick??

July 6, 2011

Another Good Check Up & Feeling Crafty

Abby had a quick check up at the Vet Cancer Group today just to check her blood and make sure she is doing OK taking the Cytoxan every day now. All went well and Dr. V. said her blood looked great - in fact, it was the best it's been. We go back again in two weeks for x-rays. Of course we are hoping the Lone Met will still be a loner, and once we have confirmed that he is, we will have the "Rename the Lone Met" contest. Don't want to have it now, just in case... So fingers and paws are crossed for good news in two weeks. 

We still haven't started Abby on the artemisinin (which I blogged about here) as she's had a wee bit of tummy issues. I'm certain it's from stealing green peaches off another of our peach trees which is not producing much yet. (We've caught her munching on the pits a couple of times...) She is almost back to being a "solid citizen" so we'll be starting the "arte" soon.

As for feeling crafty, I've been playing with my "Brushes" app on my iPad a bit more and did this e-painting of Abby. This is the pose you will most often find her in as she very much enjoys a bit of belly rubbing. She pretty much lays around like that, in the hopes that a hand will come by. (I hope you see this as "art" and not "puppy porn." Mike wanted me to incorporate a fig leaf, just in case anyone might be offended, but I know you guys don't offend easily!)
Slut Puppy        

Three Bunnies & A Rat

In other craftiness, my sisters and I get together every once in a great while for what we like to call "Forced Crafting." You must participate, no matter how much you suck at the particular craft we are working on. In the past we have done Christmas wreaths, beaded bracelets, little stuffed Easter chickies and bunnies made of felt, etc. etc. This time we tried "felting wool," in which you basically just get this special wool (called "roving"), form it into a shape, and stab it repeatedly (and yourself occasionally) with a special needle until it magically retains said shape. We made bunnies. (Well, they all started out as bunnies, but one ended up becoming a rat... And a darn handsome rat he is!)

After we made the bunnies/rat, I had to go, but my sisters made a very fine replica of corgi Lou, remember him from this previous post?, and a neighbor's dog, Marley. Too cute, eh? We are going to try again this week. I'm going to start slow and attempt a quadpawd first. Actually, I can't decide if a tripawd will be harder (tough to get it to stand/sit without falling over...) or easier (one less leg to make!). You can be sure that if they come out cute I'll be posting pics all over the place - the blog, Facebook, Twitter, maybe even a YouTube video! (And if they come out ugly, I will only post the pics here.)
Applying the Tail to the Rat
Marley, next to his photo
Finally, I just want to say there have been some very sad posts on the BoneCancerDogs listserv and on the Tripawds' site the last few days about sweet pooches who lost their battle with this oh-so-shitty disease. We are thinking of you guys and hoping you are taking some comfort in the fact that your furry family members are now running pain free. Hang in there.