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Friday, September 7, 2012

Still worrisome

Unfortunately, R still has a population of damaged red blood cells. We haven't yet decided how to proceed. We can either wait to see if his blood work improves in 3-4 weeks or we can do an echocardiogram to look for hemangiosarcoma on his heart. Thank goodness for our great pet health insurance which makes it possible for us give our dogs good health care, even when it's expensive.

I'm feeling shell-shocked. It seems inconceivable that we could possibly be staring down the barrel of another terminal cancer in such a short time. I just hope, with all my heart, that R is cancer-free.

On the good side, R has decided that Shyla is the most amazing friend he can imagine. He is always looking for her in the house, wanting to play wild chase and wrestling games. And, she is more than happy to oblige. I finally had to separate them so that I could think for long enough to write this post!

You can see in the photo below that R lost some fur when he had his ultrasound, and he lost some weight when he decided to stop eating (he's eating again now). He looks so playful, and so does Shyla!
Shyla and I did our normal trail hike this morning, enjoying the only sunshine of the day. She's so confident on the trails. Look at her tail!
Shyla and I do our morning hikes alone while R is on the trails with the Runner. So, during our morning hikes, Shyla doesn't have R to follow during recalls and other training games. Here she is doing an enthusiastic recall all by herself!
She is confident on the trails and sticks to me like glue. But, as I mentioned yesterday, the rest of the world is scary to Shyla. So, today we did a socialization outing. We visited a pair of friends who are wonderful with under-confident dogs. They've rehabilitated a number of fearful dogs so they were teaching me how to introduce Shyla to new people without her getting scared.

Just after we arrived at their house and when she was first met each of my friends, she was afraid to the point that she used a super low body posture (approaching a "belly crawl") to approach them. But, as my friends worked their magic using non-threatening body language and treats, Shyla relaxed with each of them. Many thanks to my friends at Dream Valley Ranch for helping Shyla and me!

Seeing Shyla today showed me that her fearfulness the other day wasn't a fluke. She is indeed very inexperienced with coping in new situations or with new people. Tomorrow, we will venture to the city to see an amazing trainer. I hope that we can lay out a plan so that I can gradually help Shyla to be as confident in new places as she is on our trails.
I'm beginning to realize that I have a very big job ahead of me to socialize Shyla. But, the love of a dog is worth it.
Please keep R in your thoughts. I feel scared about him.


  1. R and The 'R'est of you are in our thoughts!

    Please feel our hug from PA!

  2. You are all in my thoughts, it is too soon, too much . Shyla will be knowing how you feel as well.Friends,they are such a huge part of our lives, and those close by, and all of us so many miles away, in distant countries, will be with you, sharing and caring in this tough time. Fondest greetings, Jean.

  3. You are all in our thoughts and prayers! With us in Blogville, that never stops...

    I love how R & Shyla are playing together ~ such a great shot.

    Your pic's of Shyla are incredible. She is such a beauty. We're keeping our paws crossed that the training for her goes well. (My Muffin is the same way.)

    Lily Belle

  4. Paws crossed and prayers being said.
    We love seeing photos of Shyla and R playing. What joy there is on their faces. :)

  5. I will keep R in my prayers. The shot of him and Shyla together playing just melts in the moment!! The second to last photo---Shyla is BEAUTIFUL, her fears will soon disappear I'm sure.
    Hang in there...

  6. R is an amazing looking dog! Of course I'll keep her in my thoughts <3

  7. I love to see R and Shyla having such a good time!
    We are keeping good thoughts coming for R. We know the stress you are dealing with.
    Its so wonderful that you have those friendsto help you with Shyla's anxieties.
    We keep you all in our thoughts,

  8. Fingers and paws crossed for sweet R.
    That second to last photo of Shyla belongs in a calendar!

  9. The picture of them playing is adorable!

    I also love the picture of Shyla after the "enthusiastic recall" comment. She's such a pretty girl!

    You're right. The love of a dog makes a lot of things worth it!

  10. Beautiful pictures. I will keep R in my thoughts and wish him many healing vibes.

  11. Hoping and praying for the R-boy. I just can't see him in his wild play he does and being sick.

    I feel sure you will get Shyla to overcome her fears. Have you talked to her breeder about this? The person who wanted her to be a service dog. (Have I got the right one?)


  12. I lost my heart dog, Sasha, to hemangiosarcoma. I hope to heaven that's not what's going on with R. :(

    Best wishes to him, and to you. And good for you for working with Shayla to overcome her fears. In my job as a petsitter, I see a lot of undersocialized dogs, and they're just so sad to see. So much fear....

    Best wishes, and good luck with both!

  13. Ann...from....Outer Banks of NC....said. ....Healing thoughts and love for R and Shyla....hope all goes well..such beautiful bonding ......I love it...the pups do seem so happy together...they are just fantastic..."Greet each new day with open arms and endless possibilities"(Steve Maraboli)HUGS

  14. I am keeping R in my thoughts and prayers. It is so wonderful to see R and Shyla playing. They are both so beautiful. I am also sending good thoughts for you and Shyla, I am sure in time she will be the life of the party.

    Anne and Sasha

  15. Your two pups look great together. I'm so happy for all of you.

    Of course I'll be sending every best wish for R's good health.

  16. I'm sorry. We're just saying "no" to any form of sarcoma. NO! OFF! Git! Paws remain crossed, of course...

  17. You are all in our thoughts.

    Love and woofs,
    Riley, Enzo (and thier mum)

  18. We are thinking of you and send lots of love to R. Our paws are crossed. Lovely Shyla looks so happy out with you and we hope she gets braver in town situations. Take Care.
    Best wishes Molly

  19. We love to see you and Shyla scootching around together, R! Our paws remain crossed for you!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  20. thinking of R....i know you have the best Vet care, and i'm sure they tested for all the blood borne just can't be hemangio. R and shyla look like they've fallen in love....and driving momma crazy! (in a good way!) :)

  21. Shyla is so beautiful!

    We are saying prayers for R!


  22. I am happy to hear about Shyla's small progress in socialization. If you have the pet insurance, get the echocardiogram. My sister and I spent a teary time on the phone last night, as she told she just found out her younger Boxer has a malignant tumor near the heart.

  23. WEll that was not the news we were hoping to see but we still have our hearts praying for something other than the fear that goes through your mind constantly.

    Shyla lucked out in ending up with you. We all know that you will do everything possible for her fearfulness. Soon she will be a completely well ajusted sweet girl with confidence to spare.

  24. R is definitely in my thoughts! I have a fondness for those black tornadoes. I think it's a good sign that he's so happy to have Shyla around to play with, though. I remember how unhappy Hawk was after Treat passed away, and I really think Bunny was good for him. He decided he needed to show her the ropes, and it kept the old dog young at heart for another year and a half. I know R is a lot younger, but I see some of that same skill coming out in him with Shyla.

    At least you are being realistic with Shyla about what her limits are right now. I know you'll get her to the place she needs to be without pushing her too far. If a lot of the problem is inexperience, it may ease as she gains confidence and experience along the way. It sounds like you have her on an excellent start!

    I always love your pictures, but that one of Shyla starting her recall is fantastic! I love how the greenery around her matches her eyes!

  25. We think of you especially R...I cant imagine that he has the worse...hope you will get an answer soon.
    We have also good insurance, it costs a year but its worth it when you need it.
    Shyla is a beauty, the last pictures are great...

  26. Dear KB, Firstly, I too can't believe you are facing this again; I just don't understand it because your dogs have the best environment and home possible-without stress and pollution here in the lowlands. It is just so weird. Know I'm praying for you all.
    Shayla sounds like Hunter-he is timid of new people too and especially kids. He is getting a bit better and we start obedience training at the end of the month so I'm hoping that will help. I also try to get him out alot in new situations. Your friends & trainer sound incredible. Keep passing on tips o.k.
    Hugs to you today.
    Noreen & Hunter

  27. We are sending every good though, vibe, woof, purr and neigh we've got for R. He MUST get all better.

    As for Shyla, she is too wonderful for words!

  28. Hi KB, we definitely have R in our thoughts. We send good thoughts to you all and paws crossed whatever it is will be fixed. Good luck with Shyla and her training. Won't take that smart little girl long to adjust to different situations with you by her side. No worries, and love, Carol (and Stella and Rory)

  29. I have no words........just prayers for R's return to his healthy self

  30. The return of R's appetite is surely a good sign - I really feel this is something that will pass. I'm curious - how did Shyla act when she first met you and the runner?

  31. Keeping paws crossed that the correct diagnosis for R comes back without a C in it. Our mantra for him here is R be well R be well R be Well!
    Glad he is at least eating again :)
    Thinkin sweet Shyla is good for the boy :)

    Shyla is sure to gain her social confidence in time with all the great coaching she is getting from you and your friends.

    Hugs and Wags,
    The Roo Family

  32. We most certainly will be saying prayers for R. I just hate to think of all the worry and stress you're facing again until you know what's going on.

    Shyla is such a sweetie. I think she'll be fine having a Mommy like you to help her over the rough spots.

  33. Shyla is beautiful! And keeping paws and fingers crossed that R will be okay.

  34. I'm so worried for R, too, but also for you. As you said, it's difficult to hear options and possibilities so close on the heels of another very sad time.

    I have great hope for Shyla and her socialization training, however. I think she'll do well with you as her human mom.


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