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Thursday, January 31, 2013


We're just a bit worried. You may remember that R repeatedly had abnormal blood tests starting in September. They seemed to indicate cancer - but an ultrasound and an echocardiogram did not uncover any tumors. We decided to take a wait-and-see approach, while we began feeding R a home-cooked diet designed by a veterinarian who specializes in nutrition.

After more than 2 months on the new diet, I took R to the vet to have his blood examined again. Unfortunately, it was worse than it has been in the past. The abnormalities are now suggestive of leukemia or lymphoma so his blood is presently at the Colorado State University Vet School where they're doing high tech tests to look for those two diseases.
We are nervous about the outcome. R is far too young to have these diseases but it's not unheard of.

In general, R's energy and spirits have seemed pretty good. He likes playing with his sister, most of the time.
However, Shyla is sometimes a bit more wild than he prefers. He avoids her, by hovering behind us, when she's playing too rough. We'd like to see him tell her to "chill out" with a correction... but that's up to him. I'm not sure if he has the personality to give corrections - he may be too sweet and forgiving.

I've felt, for months, that something intangible wasn't quite right with R. Our vet suggested that it was the loss of K that provoked the change that I think I see. It's possible that she's right.
But, since he still runs with glee, plays with abandon, and rolls in the snow like a goofball most of the time, I find myself feeling doubtful that he could be very sick.
R adores rolling and rubbing his face in the crusty snow. Shyla hasn't taken up this hobby yet.
Here's what Shyla has to say about all this worry...
I agree.


  1. Oh no! Fingers crossed they don't find anything! Hugs to you all

  2. WE are with Shyla on this. We stick out our tongue to disease, illness of any kind.

    We just refuse to allow the possibility. However, we are going to keep R in our prayers.

    Bert and My Vickie

  3. Shyla's raspberry is wonderful! And I hope so much R is perfectly all right!!!

  4. As a big time R fan, I will have my fingers tightly crossed for good news on the blood tests! The unknown is always worrisome, but hopefully there will be some answers soon. He seems like such a larger than life character! The photos certainly make him look like a healthy dog to me.

  5. Keeping R in my thoughts and hoping you get good news. Love this set of pictures.

  6. Of course we are keeping our paws crossed for R too. He is looking so happy and healthy.

  7. Tell R from me that any boy who has a sister has to learn to manage some abuse . . .just the way it is.

    My hope is that everything is OK, because I am crazy about that boy.
    Could it just be an anomaly in his blood, or the difference in labs that might be causing this?

    I know you will keep us informed.

    Cheers and hugs,
    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  8. OMD, paws crossed KB. I think you are right to pay attention to your intuition, with caution of course. Like you, I know my dogs so well, and I know when the tiniest thing is wrong. Around new years we had a bloat scare with Loki. I wasn't even panic'd. I just said, this is bloat, get dressed MWD, we're going to the ER (at 7 AM). We went downstairs, Loki went outside, came back and was normal. I called the ER and said "is this bloat?" No, bloat doesn't resolve itself and since he never had wretching or vomiting it was something else. Well a few weeks later I saw it again, this time w/o distended belly. He gets inflamation, like size of a golf ball in his urethra bulbous (excited i think the term is!) at the base of his willie. it doesn't hurt but it is uncomfortable and he's worried sometimes about it. I took him in before I knew this and intuition told me, not to worry but to definitely have it explained. it's normal for some male dogs and she gave me symptoms to watch for to make sure it's not infection, otherwise, he's normal. I had never heard of that before, but like i said, I had a feeling it wasn't something too bad.

    Still, this is odd about R. I'm happy he's acting normal. It's odd and frustrating and I sure hope you get to the bottom of it.

    in terms of hiding behind you, for me, I prefer Loki look to me when Juno really transgresses (steals his bone or bed) or sometimes she really eggs him on too. I like to be the referfee because i know what he can be like if he takes it into his own paws. Still R is no Loki, sounds like he's much too sweet (tho he did get a place for Cracker in MM2012!) maybe him learning to tell her off now and then would be a good thing for both of them. a good lesson in sibling respect.

    Anyway, paws crossed for you and R. Big Aggrrr to R from Loki!

  9. Ugh I hate that you have to deal with this situation again and again :( I am hoping R is ok! He sure looks like an incredibly happy and super lucky pup.

  10. Oh, I love the picture of R rolling in the snow!

    Strangely (apparently), Elka never really rolls. She will on the couch or in bed, but really just to snuggle into somebody (we call it her "death roll", like a crocodile).

    I'm really hoping that R is just five by five.

  11. I can certainly understand your worry. When something isn't right, it's hard not to worry. Fingers and paws crossed that there is nothing seriously wrong.

  12. Dearest KB,
    I've not been to your blog for a while, but am so sad to hear, yet again, of another huge huge hurdle looming in front of you. They say that dogs choose their owners and that we have sufficient strength to deal with whatever presents itself, but the heartbreak with these things is insurmountable. I am so sorry and shocked about this news - you have had so much on your shoulders over the years.
    I pray for a miracle - that perhaps things aren't as bad as they seem. Once again, the old words, 'Live in the moment' come to the fore although they seem so trite.
    Please know that I am thinking of you and wish you an easy path. May you be surrounded by the love of your friends in the days ahead...
    Hang in there, KB!
    Sending lots of love
    (PS As usual, your pictures are absolutely stunning! Thank you for sharing you life with us all)

  13. White Dog Army hope and belief in the power of love are being sent to ease your fear and shield you all from a nervous heart.

  14. R, be brave, darling boy, we are with you, hoping with all my heart the tests are clear.Shyla, stay close, and KB,I cannot find any words, just many caring thoughts across the miles. Jean.

  15. Paws and fingers crossed and sending POTP and prayers that R is fine. I love all the pictures here in this post and both R and Shyla are telling you "Mom, enjoy life - enjoy the here and now - if we need to worry about something then we'll do that - if and when that time comes but until then, let's play" But for us humans - that is wayyyyyyy so much easier said then done.

    I'm adding a bit more prayer of strength for you.
    Mom Kim

  16. Sending best wishes, paws crossed and raspberries to bad things.

  17. Oh No. Why does bad news continue to haunt you? It seems so unfair. If there is an issue with lymphoma, however, I would like to put you in touch with a blogging friend in Singapore whose vet treated her cat with a mixture of western and chinese medicine and the cat has been in full remission for several years. So, if you are interested, you might want to talk to her.

  18. Fingers and paws crossed. Glad he's just enjoying life though...that's what counts.

    We wish someone would put Roxy in her place...but so far no one does.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  19. I hide behind mom or dad when Molly is too over-the-top for me too, R! I guess we boys are just too sweet sometimes!
    We're sending tons of positive thoughts your way!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  20. ugh.....i am so saddened by this news. Hang in there...sending positive energy to you, R, Shyla and the runner...

  21. Fingers and paws crossed that this will turn out to be "nothing."

  22. We, of course, will be praying for all of you again, but try to take just one day at a time instead of thinking the worst that hasn't been confirmed. Hard to do, I know.

  23. With hopes and prayers and thoughts and fingers crossed.
    We worry with you.

  24. Paws & fingers crossed and prayers going R's way (and yours).

    Your blog is inspiring - thanks for the wonderful insights and pictures!!

    Nadine & goldens Neeli & Elle

  25. Praying for sweet adorable R and that they can come up with answers for you KB. I laughed out loud at that last pic. I feel the same way these days Shyla! As February begins, I am reminded that my son's one year anniversary is fast approaching. I will keep my eyes and heart open to God for all our worries and fears. Give him your burdens, he will carry them for us.

  26. What is the name of the blood test that is coming back odd, KB?


  27. I hope everything is OK!

    If I let myself, I can always find something to worry about w/ my boys. I had a feeling something was off w/ Wilson, my older boy(9.5 y o) and took him in for an early annual exam. It turns out his thyroid was not functioning properly. This can effect lots of other systems over time so I am glad I went w/ my instincts and got him checked. He will have to take pills the rest of his life but will feel much better once they kick in. Be sure R has a full thyroid test.It's a very common problem that can get overlooked. A normal CBC test doesn't look at the thyroid.

  28. Oh dear! Please keep us posted. I am glad he is at least playful and doesn't show any outward obvious signs of being sick. I'll keep him in my prayers.

  29. All our feets are crossed for you R
    Benny & Lily

  30. We're keeping our paws crossed tight for R. I know he'll be okay. You deserve that!!

  31. Well, you had me aching with worry again until that last photo... I just can't keep from giggling at that! I hope such fun faces keep you from worrying too much until you receive test results.

  32. Keeping cat paws and human fingers crossed that you get good news about R.
    I have been following your blog since last autumn and finally, after Christmas, finished reading the whole lot in chronological order ... didn't have to go to library for a couple of months :).
    Wondeful photos, some make me laugh out loud (that one of R or actually R's tail with the mountain background, and the one of Shyla today).
    Greetings from Ilona

  33. Sending very best wishes for your adorable goofball, R.

  34. Very sad to her the news about R...hope for the best that its nothing bad.
    Like the picture on his nose..
    Hugs from us!

  35. KB,

    We are hoping for the best for R! Fingers and paws crossed here! You are fortunate to have Colorado State as a resource. Hopefully, they will sort this out for you so you'll have a definitive diagnosis and plan of action. R sure doesn't look like a sick fellow. Love the photos of him rolling and playing in the snow!

    Susan and Wrigs

  36. I am so sorry to hear about all of this. Paws crossed that it is not that serious.

  37. Oh goodness! We're just getting around to reading the news. We will continue saying our prayers for R and all of you.

    We're hopping on board the Shyla band wagon and sticking out our tongues too!

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  38. Oh, I hate to hear this; I just want this ongoing misery to end for you...R looks too happy and healthy to be really sick :)

  39. Poor R. Hoping he just has weird blood.

    I have to disagree with you on R needing to put Shyla in her place. If he is coming to stand behind you when she gets to be too much he is asking you to step in and you should do so. Give her a brief timeout to reset her brain. It can be as simple as asking Shyla (and R if you want) to do some obedience or tricks for a few minutes before letting them go at it again.


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