Dieter update and Happy Holidays!

Hi all,

I’m sorry things have been a little quiet from my end.  Maybe it’s because things have been not-so-quiet around our house (s)!  Dieter has been doing great; he hardly reacted to the first round of chemo, so I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to get a total of 6 rounds in.  Round #2 is tomorrow (yes, Xmas eve), and I’m all set up with meds to help him if he has issues.  He was running with his extended pack all weekend, and has totally worn himself out.  But, the exercise and companionship was really good for him.  I can see his back leg is getting stronger, and in conjunction with longer walks, I will start some home exercises with him to help build his core and work those muscles on the remaining back leg.

I got a new car this past weekend, one that is much bigger and will ultimately be better for all of us.  In conjunction with that, I’ve purchased a couple of things that I think will make life in the car much easier for Dieter.  I will post a review of the items after we’ve had a chance to use them.  They are a non-slip backseat cover and inflatable “pillows” that fit the foot wells in the back, to create a wide, flat surface in the backseat of the car.

I want to wish you all the happiest of holidays!  Dieter wears his bandana proudly every day and I am so grateful for this community!  You all are the best, and I hope your holidays return to you what you’ve put out to the world in helping so many people with this process.

Much love,

Jennifer, Dieter and Otto

P.S.  Sorry no pictures this time around.  Family is coming in, so there will be plenty to share soon!

Rhythms of daily life

Well, Dieter is almost 3 weeks post-op, and has started chemo.  His stitches are out and the incision site looks amazing.  Totally closed up.  He seems to be taking chemo well, although he has had some nausea.  Our vet is wonderful and she sent us home with some medications that have helped.  Today I was able to coax him onto the bed (I took it off the frame so it would be lower for him) and I’m hoping he got the message.  Before all this started, he was my sleeping buddy every night.  He’d jump up on the bed and sleep right next to me.  I have really been missing that (seemingly) little thing, and I know he has been, too.  We’ve slept together on the sofa a couple of times, and also on the floor a couple of times since this all started, and each time he’s snuggled up real close.

Now that all my travel is done for the semester, and class is winding down, I am turning my thoughts to the rhythms of our lives and how this has all disrupted that.  This has been so much for everyone to take in, and it’s hit my little family hard.  Otto is struggling as well, I can tell, and he’s put on some weight since he hasn’t been on his daily walks for about a month.  Remember my post on nicknames?  Well, now I have a new double nickname for the two of them.   Jabba and Luke.  Get it?

I feel like all three of us are at the point where it’s time to re-establish routines.  They will have to be different, so more change is in store.  Otto is a sniffer on walks.  I call walks with him “sniff-peditions.”  He has to sniff every last leaf, needle, rock, etc. along the way, so Dieter was always pushing the pace.  Well, now that he walks even faster (I have to jog sometimes), there’s no way I’m going to be able to walk them together.  At least for now.  Dieter needs to be pushed to exercise on multiple shorter trips, so he can build up his strength and balance, and Otto needs lots of long walks to burn off the fat.  So, more changes, more changes.

Being essentially a social psychologist, I know that the effects of change on people accumulate, and I think it’s no different for dogs.  Hopefully new rhythms to our days will give us all a sense of security and continuity.

Until then, we’ll just chill…