Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

Sage, that's what they call mountains over there. See?

Someone asked what my role is with Toby now.

First I have to set the stage with how it was when I was a young lass. He was my teacher. He was my rock. I was the pup that needed to learn…and did I ever! He taught me how to play. When I was introduced to something new, like an antler, he showed me it wasn’t something scary. He was (and still is) my cheerleader.

So, what about now? I’m the young adult taking care of an aging parent. I lick the bare spot on his leg. I lick his ears. I correct him when someone comes to the door and he barks. (Unfortunately, Mom says I haven’t gotten that quite right yet. Sometimes I bark too….)

The OP Pack asked how Toby was doing. Well, I think I’ll let him tell you. He’s still a pretty good story-teller.

Toby here: Where do I start? Oh, I remember! It’s quite a tale, beginning with the mites (that would be demodectic mange) a couple of years ago. It turned out my immune system was lousy because of my thyroid.  I kept losing weight and was getting pretty slim. I thought I was fitting into some pretty good skin! But it turned out I had something called Cushing’s Disease. That’s when I met a special vet who gave me magic powders to fight my dragons and Mom was given special powers to knight me Sir Pantsalot of the Round Bowl. 

That fight has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. The dragon lair had all these babies in there that started attacking me. And attacking me. My Cushing’s Disease turned into Addison’s Disease and I was given a new sword called prednisone. It’s worked pretty well, but it brought those darn mites back. My feet were itching like all get out.

A new dragon came into the was dubbed spinal myleopathy (kind of a weird name for a dragon, but what the hey). I think that’s the one that’s going to take me down. Some days it’s hard to get up the steps. I don’t go for long walks any more. But, the itchy mites are gone and I’m still getting around. It’s not easy getting old (I’m a tottering 12 1/2 now), that’s for sure and I’ve had my share of dragons to fight!

Well, that’s Toby’s least the short version. And to answer my own question…yes, I’m now my brother’s keeper. Well, sorta.

So, what’s up with me? I’m growing moss. We are going to set an all time record for rainfall this month. Even the mud-puddles are no fun. But, I started Canine Good Citizens classes so that means some darn good treats coming my way! I make sure Toby gets his share too.

Sir Pantsalot’s Update

Hi! Toby here. It’s been a long haul since I was knighted as ‘Sir Pantsalot of the Round Bowl‘ and a lot has happened. Let me tell you, fighting dragons is hard. Really HARD. Even with a magic sword. My special vet has been with me all the way, even though the dragons were impervious to some of those potions he sprinkled on my sword. Dragon 1 was Cushing’s Disease. That was a nasty fight, let me tell you. I don’t think I’d had enough practice with my sword, so I ended up on the wrong side of that battle. I was pretty down and out for a bit, that’s for sure. And, wouldn’t you know, the Cushing’s dragon called in reinforcements! Just what I needed….

This new dragon  had a funny name:  Addison’s Disease. It’s supposed to be the opposite of Cushing’s (sorta like a mirror image). All I know, it was scary. But Sage and all my blog friends were by my side in all my fights. It sure helps to have an army behind you!! I can’t thank you enough for all the good wishes and happy thoughts you sent. Dragons don’t like them, that’s for sure. But that wasn’t the end of it.

I kept losing weight (must have been all that fighting) and my special vet tried something to help me absorb food. I spent a couple of days looking at the Rainbow Bridge. It was there–I saw it. It’s really beautiful, let me tell you. And I saw Maggie. She looked like she couldn’t wait to have me come play with her! But Sage, the little whippersnapper that she is, said NO–I couldn’t go yet. She needs me here. I heard her in the distance saying that and decided maybe I should stay a while longer.

So, here I am. The special vet says I’m doing pretty well in my fight with the Addison’s dragon. The magic Prednisone potion is working! My legs don’t work so well and I have some spinal degeneration, but I’m happy. I go for walks. I get some of the best food you could ask for and I gained a couple of pounds! Pretty good, huh?

Sir Pantsalot has met the Dragon

Toby here. I have to tell you about the latest battle with my dragon. It’s been a tough fight, let me tell you. Tough, tough, tough. My special vet armed me with a sword slathered with magic potion and my might steed is battle ready, but…..

the dragon was FIERCE

and I got wounded. I felt a little fuzzy headed and couldn’t stand up. I had to have my personal aide help me walk for a bit, but my special vet had a secret weapon that had me back on my feet.The battle isn’t over, that’s for sure. I found out the stupid dragon called in reinforcements! Now I might have to gear up to fight another one.

This one looks pretty fierce, but my special vet says it’ll be a “piece of cake”. Maybe I can just eat it…..

Note from Mom: Toby, who was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease, reacted a bit too well to the drug, Lysodren, and his cortisol levels dropped too far. He had a course of prednisone and, on the last day of weaning him off, his cortisol levels cratered. Several calls and a visit to the vet specialist, a couple of prednisone and a few anxious hours later, he was able to walk again and finally is eating. There is a potential his adrenal glands were damaged and is now in Addison’s Disease, or some form of it. Since he had good blood work results today, we are pushing onward with another prednisone course to bring his levels back up. He’s got his happy smile back and is following me around as he’s always done. It’s a day at a time, but we are hopeful!