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Monday, January 30, 2012

I've been thinking....

I’ve been thinking….

Today I was home with Chicklette (our foster sister), our human brother, and Pop-pop while Tara took Bode to a doctor that is far away.  We waited and waited to hear how things were going and kept watching out the window for their return.  I knew something was different from when we go to  the regular doctor, you could just tell….and Tara took her work bag, which meant she expected to be gone awhile!

Bode on the way to the specialist

Bode is back now and we are waiting on a couple more tests to come back, but are closer to a diagnosis. He has to go back on Monday for an endoscopy to help confirm the diagnosis and is on five meds and special food. His anxiety was like mine at the vet’s office, so Tara  allowed them to give him a mild sedative. It is still wearing off and Bode just wants to lay on the bed and cuddle.
As Bode was gone, I got to thinking. My thinking came from hearing Tara talk to a few different people over the past few weeks that were discussing people with mental illness being ostracized and pit bull breeds/mixes being treated the same. We work with people for many reasons in our practice. Some of which are mental illness related. We have had several pit bulls around us as fosters and friends dogs. You can not label all pit bulls the same, just as you cannot label all individuals with mental illness.

Tara jokingly tells people when they ask what breed we are that I am an “Abbey” and Bode is a “Bode”. We know what we are for the most part, but that does not define us. There are plenty of people that do not have a diagnosable mental illness are that are just plain mean and obnoxious.  A lot of that can be related to how they were raised. The same goes for dogs. The maltese that bit Bode, the Chihuahua that bit Tara are perfect examples. We have never been bit by a pit bull mix of any kind and as I mentioned, we have been around others.

Today Tara read an article about an actor in NY (Actor takes life after euthanasia of beloved dog) that took his life after his neighbors and landlord pressured him to get rid of his pit pull mix.  After having his dog euthanized, a perfectly healthy dog according to friends, he then took his own life from the guilt. There are indicators he had mental illness, however that does not mean the dog did. That would be like saying that since Bode is so sick right now, he had to have gotten it from Tara or one of the other humans in the house. Not true!
Breed bans are not for the health and benefit of everyone, but continue to create fears and bias’. Take the Florida Marlins pitcher and his wife who were unable to move into Miami and were forced to relocate on the outskirts so that they could keep their pit bull. Miami euthanizes all pit bulls, not matter their demeanor, etc.

A perfect example of a dog that came from a place like Miami and wasn’t given a fair chance, but should have been was Dulce. Dulce was our foster sister several months ago. She is a Staffordshire terrier mix who had been through a lot. She lived with us and even went to the office to practice some therapy skills. She was so great with our human brother and has one of her own in her forever family. Dulce shows no more signs of aggression than Bode or I, yet people would express fear in just looking at her. Dulce could have been, as a healthy dog, put down just because of the way she looks and we would have never met her.

Dulce right before her adoption

Mental health in humans is not comparable to breeds in dogs, but is often thought of. If that were the case, would we euthanize someone just because they “could” do something destructive to society? Wouldn’t we all be euthanized then? There are many theories about mental health and whether we are born with it or not. Some we are and some we aren’t. Some develop and some go untreated, when they could be treated and show no affect on an individual. With animals, pit bulls specifically in this blog post, they are not born aggressive, but can be trained that way. I could have been trained that way and you can see my “aggressive” side if you go to do something harmful to anyone (human or canine) in my family, but that isn’t aggressive, that is protective!

Our thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of the NY actor and the community as a whole for losing a life that could have been saved by his dog. One of the biggest signs in suicide prevention is to recognize when someone loses a pet but choice or death. Pets can actually save lives, improve self esteem, act as ones personal therapist, and so much more.

Before you judge, stop and consider if maybe a pet is the answer for someone else…even a pit bull!
I will hop off my soap box (as Tara calls it) now and would love any feedback you care to share about this!


Bode kicked Tara out of the chair in the exam room...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Continued Prayers

I feel like I have been going strong for so long now and try to keep everyone updated as much as possible, yet I am constantly tired. Bode has, again, taken a turn for the worse.

Tara and I keep debating on how much to share as we know many of you are concerned. We are very appreciative of the calls and emails for Bode's recovery. The latest update comes from some not-so-great blood tests that were taken Tuesday. Some of Bode's levels were very high and signifying the possibility of some pretty serious ailments. He has now lost 12 lbs and just does not want to eat.

Snuggling with a pillow pet

Last night was one of the more rough nights Bode has had. He struggles to sleep longer than an hour or so without waking in discomfort and needing to make sure he is touching one of us. He does not want to be alone at all!  Tomorrow he goes in for another xray and then Monday Tara will be taking Bode to a specialist in Estero.

For now we ask for continued prayers for peace as there is so much stress as we wait to see what is going on.

Good night!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

When love has to be enough....

We often feel that we can handle everything. How much can our mind, bodies, and hearts really take? Lately it feels like we are being tested in so many ways in all of these areas. We can decide to grow or succumb to the pressure.

Bode has had a relapse and we find ourselves again waiting on test results. Round 3 of meds started. First round of blood tests today inconclusive. Bode in a lot of pain. Work stresses adding up. The clients asking and becoming fearful of Bode's absence...and so much more!

Bode went into the office today with Tara and I today but wasn't sure about actually spending time with clients. He is so needy though, so he has to be in the room with Tara. I feel so helpless. My GIANT baby brother is in so much pain and discomfort. I don't know what to do. His birthday is in one week.

Prayers continue. Sleep is needed. How much can we take? The limits seem to continually be tested. I can do this. Bode can do this. Tara can do this. Our family can do this.

To health, happiness, and harmony the rest of the week!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Safety first

Tara came home last night and shared with us a situation that happened at a rescue meeting. The group from the rescue was talking about everything that is happening with events, trainings, and more. Next to them was a couple with a beautiful dog that was well behaved. A family with two children came and sat nearby and the parents stopped watching the children. Tara was telling us that the children kept running up and being obnoxious toward the dog by picking at him, teasing him with food, charging at him, cornering him, and more.

The rescue group was distracted by this and watching the dogs body language, which was stating he was tolerating as much as he could, but was having to resist biting. Finally one of the volunteers went and spoke with the dogs owner who expressed concern over what was happening but uncertainty as to what to do. The volunteer helped the owner share with this children and parents that the dog was a nice dog but needed space and the children needed to respect the dog.

In a situation like this, it could turn ugly...FAST! It is important for parents to not only watch their children, but educate them on the fact that us dogs are just that....dogs! We don't have the words to share what is going on and rely on the knowledge of our humans to read our feelings. There are many websites for education on dogs and kids, but the real truth is that if a bite would have happened, the dog would have been blamed and not the menacing children.

Please take time to educate yourself, peers, and most importantly children you know with how to greet dogs. Thankfully our human brother does this well, even with us. He was praised twice recently when he approached a goat the same way he knows to approach dogs and once when they were out of town and he saw a dog he wanted to visit with. The owner was shocked that such a little boy knew just what to do....even grownups sometimes forget to give us the space we need!

Dog language is not human language, however you can learn to be somewhat bilingual!

With safety in mind....

Abbey and Bode

Our friend Charlie is FAMOUS~!

Our friend Charlie appeared on America's Funniest Home Videos this past Sunday from this taping.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Such great news...

We are so excited to see this post! Domestic Violence Against Animals Bill being initiated, along with the Animal Abuse Registry Bill.

Domestic Violence Against Animals

Animal Abuse Registry

Bode update

It has been over two weeks since Bode first went to the vet for this illness. He is not himself, but we are seeing some signs of the "normal" Bode returning. Tuesday he went back to the to the vet for an xray of his belly and they thankfully found out that he does not have bloat or a tumor (the two biggest fears of the vet), however they were surprised to find what they did. The xray showed his belly full of gas and swelling on his organs, more specifically his pancreas.

This is about the summary of Bode's last two weeks...curled up on the couch day and night

Bode lost more weight and is close to being down 9lbs since this started. That is really the biggest fear of our vet, Dr Monte, at this point. She told Tara that she is comfortable in reporting that she feels these symptoms and results are clearly pointing to a severe case of pancreatitus.

Thanks for all the prayers. The hardest part for Bode right now is that the vet asked him not to work with clients (which he doesn't feel up to), however he can't be at the office because his separation anxiety from Tara causes him to want to be in the room with her and the clients instead of resting. The fear is related to the stress the clients processing could put on his already compromised system.

Hopefully when he goes back this week, we have good news. I can't wait to have my brother (and co-worker) back to his normal!

I will try to do better to keep you updated, however I have had to pick up a lot of the extra work at the office, so I am exhausted at the end of the day!



Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Another first!

I did it...I never thought I would do it, but I did it.....

I called off of work today! Yes, you read that right. Bode Moser has called off work for the first time in his almost six years of life. I just can't shake this uncomfortable feeling. It has been four days of my medicines and I thought I was feeling better, but this cold front made me just want to lay around.  And by the way...I hate my medicines. Tara thinks she has tricked me, but I am on to her. She better have a new trick tomorrow or I am going to refuse to eat the whole meal.

Abbey shared what my diagnosis is, but I just am not feeling like myself. I now have a new understanding of what some of our clients talk about when they are "off". When you are "off", you just get nasty for no reason at all. I find myself barking at neighbors that aren't even doing anything, laying in the bedroom while the family is out playing together, and more. I want this to be over!!

Today my best doggie friend in the whole word came over...Baxter. He is here until Sunday as Tara's parents are gone. We played a little, but I think he realizes I am sick, so we also napped together and just hung out.

Tara came home and told me the clients were asking for me and I received lots of well wishes, but I just couldn't get myself together enough to go in. Even when I was sick before, I begged to go in and just sleep in the office, but this time is different. I am hurting and so uncomfortable all the time.

I even refused my homemade chicken and rice dinner tonight. I usually love Tara's home cooking (especially over my dog food) but I just couldn't eat it. She has to cook for me all week (as per the vet), but sometimes you just aren't hungry...especially when you are sick.

Ok...time to go lay by the fire before it goes out. Abbey or I will keep you updated on my progress. I go back to the doc on Saturday and should know more then!

Love all who read about us!


Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Can you believe it is the 2nd of January in 2012 already? This is going to be a great year! Every year gets better and better so we cannot wait to see what 2012 brings! Both of our birthdays are coming up (Bode will be 6 and I will be 7).

Our new year didn't start off as well as we would have hoped. Bode had to be taken to the doctor on New Year's Eve. He was acting really strange and really didn't want to eat or play with anyone. Tara kept talking about her fear that it was bloat...I have learned we really don't want Bode to have this!

Tara and Bode were at the vet for a long time and I was home with our human brother and Geoff (who were both home sick too). We kept waiting for Tara to call with an update. When she did, we learned that Bode did not have bloat....thank God....but that he was in a lot of pain and really sick. He has pancreatitis and a strange parasite that we aren't sure how he got it. He is on three different medications and has to go back to the doctor on Saturday to be checked again. His fever has dropped and he doesn't seem to be dehydrated (he drinks a lot of water), so hopefully we are on the mend.

Bode snuggled in next to the fire

Tara and Bode have had some pretty big fights in the mornings and Bode is not good at taking his medication. I am sort of jealous because along with Bode being on medication, Tara has to cook for him. I heard that for seven whole days Bode gets to eat homemade chicken and rice to help his pancreas process because our regular food is too hard on him right now. When I smelled it cooking, I couldn't leave the kitchen. I hoped and prayed it was for me. I get that when I am sick too, but I am also thankful that I am not sick right now!

Chicklette (our foster sister) and I have to be checked tomorrow to be sure we don't have the worm too, but we don't feel sick like Bode. Apparently you only get it from laying in damp grass when it is warm outside. I love to do this, but no one else (especially Bode) lays out there. I really am puzzled at how he could have gotten this parasite thing and pray I don't have it!

Prayers for Bode's speedy recovery and an amazing 2012 for all of us!