I’ve had a couple of folks ask for an update on Abbye, and since that represents a significant proportion of my readership, I figure I’d better oblige.
Abbye’s still got Cushing’s Disease, diabetes, and arthritis and she’s still blind, but other than that, she’s doing pretty well. We should all be so fortunate.
She’s got as much energy as she ever had, and we’re still doing her twice daily walks around the neighborhood. Her hair is coming back in quickly and thickly, although it appears that she may be mutating into a beaver, since her tail is, well, flat. I’m sure that’s just an interim situation until the hair gets long enough to make her resemble another species. At least we hope so. We’d really prefer not to have a dog who goes around slapping the floor with her tail whenever she wants something.
She’s also got her appetite back, which is a good thing for a dog getting two insulin shots each day. However, in order to keep her interested in food (she’s always been a picky eater, at least as far as dogfood is concerned), MLB has stocked up on three kinds of dog food (two dry, one canned) and keeps a bag of chicken tenders in the fridge to prime the pump, or the pup, as the case may be.
Occasionally, she’ll have all three kinds of food in her bowl, because we never know what she’ll be willing to eat. Did I mention the scrambled eggs?
The shots are still an adventure. Abbye has always been a drama queen, so even though the needles are about the width of a human hair, she manages to unleash a blood-curdling yelp about half the time. Mind you, the yelp sometimes comes before the needle stick, which tends to minimize the amount of sympathy she gets. Of course, she might also be recalling very early when we were still trying to get the hang of things, and MLB was holding her while I gave the shot, and it turned out that she was immobilizing her to the point of where she, well, couldn’t breathe.
The blindness has required the biggest adjustment, as you might imagine. She’s fine in the house or in the backyard, but taking her for a walk requires constant attention to make sure she’s not walking into anything or falling off the curb. We also need to make sure she’s OK around other dogs and people.
We’re trying to use a system to alert her to step onto or off curbs, using a combination of verbal commands and tugs on the leash (she hates leash tugs). She’s catching on, but it’s sometimes a bit comical, in sort of a sad way. If we’re a bit early with the “up” command, she starts high-stepping — goose-stepping, really, like…um, you know.
Seriously, though, we’re pretty relieved that she’s doing so much better than a few months ago. The vet is still trying to get a good handle on the right insulin levels, but we knew that would be a long process. The main thing is that her quality of life is good, and there’s no reason why she shouldn’t have a few good years ahead of her.