That view should certainly state the obvious, I’m not at home! In fact, I’ve been east of the mountains (since November 1) house and dog sitting for a friend. Sunshine and cold nights! The house is located in the touristy town of Bend. Elevation over 3,200 feet . Everyone drives like they live in Portland! It’s a young hipster outdoors sort of place. Bikes, kayak, running, and anything related to outdoor sports is happening. The snow has yet to arrive, but maybe the mountains will get another dusting around Thanksgiving. The ski resorts are anxiously waiting for the white stuff!
My friend is trekking in Nepal while I stay with the ailing old dogs. You would probably recognize the two Doodles. Reggie and Zeek lived with us for 19 months several years ago. Reggie is currently 14 and has a leg cancer. Zeek , 12 years, has heart disease. Infact, Zeek has been the sickest out of the two since arriving. I’ll get back to him in a moment…
I left the valley in quite a scramble. Getting out the door in a timely fashion hasn’t been my forte. Originally I had planned on leaving October 30th, but an art project was still needing attention before delivery. On November 1st, it was complete and delivered before noon to Halsey City Hall. Yes, the huge wall piece finally moved back to it’s original home as an indoor wall sculpture! I frantically packed up my gear for the 20 day “vacation “and made it to the home around 5pm. The normally boisterous happy boy Reggie gave me a tail wag and went back to his bed. That’s not normal. Then I found vomit in several locations. As the night wore on, his health decreased. More vomiting and diarrhea that turned bloody on both sides. Urgh! I was contacting the emergency vet at 2am, and waiting for their normal vet to open at 8:30. We spent several hours at the clinic and came away with multiple medications and crossed fingers for survival through the weekend. He made it through and has now returned to his more normal self. However, his brothers health shifted from bad to horrible over this same stretch of time.
Zeek was already on heart medication and thyroid support before my arrival. As I would be sitting watching Reggie’s heat and respiration rates, I would compare it against Zeek. That’s when I picked up on the erratic and elevated heart rate. I was pretty surprised! He was also exhibiting head tremors. Pretty freaky! Since Reggie had to return for another round of subq fluids, I dragged Zeek in for a quick check. He was heading into heart failure. Fluid accumulation in the lungs, heart so unstable…. I was starting to think we would be putting Zeek down before weeks end! Not the scenario a pet sitter wants to encounter.
Now we’re well past that initial Zeek checkup. He’s still alive. His lasix was increased twice. We’re on a heart rate reduction med and appetite stimulant. Yes, to top things off, he’s way underweight! I was shocked to feel bones one shouldn’t feel on an elderly dog! We’re trying! The 19th is getting closer!
My original plan was to use the break to create art. HA! I’ve been so stressed with keeping the boys alive that art has hardly crept into my brain. I can’t believe that home is an actual better place for creating work. Go figure! 2 dogs, 3 demanding cats, and a screaming bird is preferable to the 2 elderly dogs! Plus I’m concerned about driving back home on the 20th. Weather is shifting towards storms by that date. I’ll survive. Chains are packed and gloves are somewhere….
I can certainly say that the boys have received the best loving care I could provide. They are now drinking water with less back stress. Food is served on an elevated platform. Canned food is part of every meal for Reggie. Zeek is receiving home cooked food which is sometimes eaten. I’m giving him anything that will be accepted. The list continues to dwindle and his weight loss is not good.
In the image above, you can see the swollen joint problem on Reggie’s left leg.
Zeek watching birds along the Deschutes River in Bend.
It’s certainly been quite the educational experience and I appreciate more what I’ve left behind at home. This will be my last time being with the boys unless something miraculous happens!