Farewell, Duff Man …


Yesterday was another sad day in the Reilly-Davis household, as we had to unexpectedly say goodbye to another of our furry critters, McDuffy.

McDuffy

The Duff Man was six years old when we brought him home from the Marin Humane Society on January 23, 2010. McDuffy was a handsome Maine coon … who had previously been named Monterey …

McDuffy nee Monterey Marin Humane Society Photo

… though we chose to rename him.

He quickly proved to be an friendly, even-tempered and affectionate little guy … before long, he developed a routine of coming up to me while I was working, putting his paws on the side of my leg and looking up at me until I picked him up. He would then snuggle down in my arms, pressing his head against the side of my neck and purring up a storm.  Other times, he would simply climb up on my desk, flop down and go to sleep …

McDuffy Asleep on My Desk

…or would “help” with my work on the computer.

McDuffy Paw on Jim's Hand 160129 cropped close up

He also became one of Candy’s little napping buddies, lying beside her whenever she decided to take a nap …

Candy & McDuffy Napping 130819

… and, because of his stocky build, she began calling him “Bear”.

Right up until yesterday, McDuffy had no significant medical issues … he had slowed a bit the last couple of years … and I had to put some steps next to the desk on which he liked to lie under the window in my office because he could no longer jump up onto it. Otherwise, however, he showed no signs of health problems.

Yesterday, after three nights in a row of four hours sleep, I slept late (past noon) … as a result, I was late feeding the critters their breakfast … I fed them shortly before 1:00 in the afternoon … and Duffy jumped up onto the second level of the scratching post, where I often gave him his food bowl. He seemed completely normal.

About an hour later, Candy left for work … and I went upstairs to my office. At 3:45, I went back downstairs and Duffy was lying on the floor in the living room … in a spot where he often slept. I thought he was sleeping and got down on my knees to give him a quick rub … only to discover that he was dead … and, in fact, rigor mortis was already setting in. I turned him over and saw that his big, beautiful eyes were wide open … but it was obvious he had been dead for some time.

I cried over him for about 15 minutes … then wrapped him in a big, soft towel to take him to the vet’s office. On the way, I stopped off at Candy’s work so she could say goodbye, too … and we had another good cry together. Then I took him to Bel Marin Animal Hospital for a private cremation.

Candy had a tough time at work … having to hide in the treatment room several times to cry … and I didn’t do any better at home.

Apparently … as I learned today … Maine Coons are particularly prone to suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy … HCM … and that they can show no signs of the disease before suddenly suffering heart failure. For cats suffering from HCM, the muscle of the left ventricle is abnormally enlarged or thickened … which strains the heart as it tries to pump blood. HCM is described here:

http://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/cardiovascular/c_ct_cardiomyopathy_hypertrophic

Of course, we don’t know for sure if this was the cause of McDuffy’s death … though it seems likely … and, short of an autopsy, there is no way to determine exactly what happened. One thing we have learned, though, is that if we ever adopt another Maine coon, we will have him tested for the gene mutation that causes HCM.

This has been a difficult four months for us, feline critter-wise … on December 30th, our most recent arrival, Darby, escaped from our back yard … and we haven’t seen her since:

https://jimsthreedot.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/wheres-darby/

Then, just a few days later … on January 6th … we had to say goodbye to the cat who had been with us the longest, Frasier:

https://jimsthreedot.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/goodbye-mr-laid-back/

Because it happened suddenly and we had no time to prepare emotionally, however, losing McDuffy is proving to be the most difficult of the three.

Farewell, Duff Man, we are going to miss you.

—–oooooOOOOOooooo—–

More Photos of McDuffy

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McDuffy on Office Chair

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McDuffy on Scratching Post DSC_1185

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McDuffy over the Rainbow Bridge

—– McDuffy Over the Rainbow Bridge —–

Three Dot … 133

Where’s Darby?


The last couple of weeks have been particularly difficult for Candy & I … we’ve both been sick … me since we got home from our trip on Dec. 28th and Candy for the past 6 days … most likely after catching her cold from me.

Neither of us, of course, was as sick as our little man Frasier … about whom I blogged yesterday:

https://jimsthreedot.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/goodbye-mr-laid-back/

And yet, that isn’t the end of our bad furry critter news, either. Early in the morning on Saturday, December 30th … just before leaving home for the trip to Southern California for the wedding of my niece, Nikki Lystne … I let our most recent arrival … Darby … out onto the patio. She had been out there often during the nearly three months since we moved … with no problems.

This time, however, she did not come when I called her … and then I had to leave for my trip. Candy & I talked several times while I was driving south … but still no sign of Darby … in fact, we have seen no sign of her since.

I made up and handed out to our neighbors flyers about Darby …

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… posted about her on the lost pets PetHarbor.com website …

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… and posted about her on the Hiddenbrooke Community Yahoo group.

hiddenbrooke-news-post-re-missing-darby

Candy did receive a phone call from one neighbor who reported seeing a small black cat on the hillside across the street from Hiddenbrooke Plaza, the small community shopping center. I went over there and saw the cat … but it was almost dark and I could not tell if it was Darby. In any event, it ran down the hill and across the street when I approached … did not respond to my repeated calls of “Darby” … and disappeared into the bushes between the plaza and the homes on the hill above the plaza. I have been back to check several times, but have not seen that cat again.

Darby came to us through my friend Steve Davidson & his wife Amanda … she had been found abandoned in a home that had been foreclosed on … the contractor who found her asked Steve if he knew anyone willing to take her in … so he called me … we went to see her … and, no real surprise, brought her home.

We took her to our vet, who advised that she was about three years old … and, after doing blood work, found that she was FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) positive … a somewhat daunting pronouncement … but not enough to cause us to reconsider keeping her.

Darby is very friendly and has a sweet disposition … at least with humans … though she does not appear to like other cats.

Candy & I remain hopeful that Darby will turn up … perhaps after having been taken in by some kind person who has been caring for her.

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—–oooooOOOOOooooo—–

Three Dot … 131

Goodbye, Mr. Laid Back …


This past Friday, January 6th, Candy & I had to say goodbye to the furry critter who had been with us the longest … our cat Frasier.

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Frasier, who we called “Mr. Laid Back” because of his calm and relaxed attitude about … well … everything …

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The boy knew how to relax!

… came to live with us permanently on July 26, 2008. An apparent stray as a kitten, he kept turning up at Canyon Manor … where Candy worked … looking for food and attention.

After several days of this, Candy decided to bring him home. One of the three cats she had brought with her to California … Midnight … had died not long before … and Frasier turning up was perfect timing.

We kept him overnight, then took him to the Marin Humane Society … in part to make sure he didn’t have an owner who was missing him … and in part to have him checked out. We signed up to be first on the list if he proved to be adoptable … which turned out to be the case, as there was no report of a missing cat that matched him, he was not chipped and he was in good health.

So, we completed the adoption and brought him home to stay.

frasier-dscn1449

Frasier the day he came home to stay — July 26, 2008.

Unlike his feline predecessors in our home, however … and perhaps because he was just a year old … Frasier proved to be both very adventurous and an escape artist.

frasier-up-a-tree

Frasier up a nearby tree after his first escape … 2008.

This necessitated us turning our deck/garden area into a virtual “cat jail” … with wire fencing extending up several feet … and bending in to prevent him from getting over the fence and out of the yard.

frasier-escape-proof-fencing

Keeping Frasier In!

Frasier loved his Mommy … and seemed to know that she had rescued him … of all of our critters, he was closest to Candy. He loved to snuggle with her while she was lying in bed … and going to sleep there.

frasier-curled-up-with-candy

Frasier Curled Up With Candy

Unfortunately, Frasier did not continue to enjoy the best of health. Several years ago, a routine checkup showed that he was suffering from kidney and bladder problems … which required him from then on to eat only a specialized diet of urinary care food.

Then, in the middle of last month, I noticed that his left pupil seemed dilated, regardless of the light … and that he had a build up of some kind of discharge … so, on December 15th, off we went to the vet.

Our regular vet … Dr. Robinett at Bel Marin Animal Hospital in Novato … referred him to Eye Care for Animals in Santa Rosa. The vet there, Dr. Burwell, found that he had a partially detached retina, probably from some internal infection … and prescribed two medications.  We scheduled a follow up appointment for December 30th.

In between, Candy & I were scheduled to travel to Colorado on the 21st … and I was going on to Texas on Christmas Day … both returning on the 28th. So, we boarded our cats, as usual, at Cat’s Cradle in San Rafael … with instructions on how and when to give Frasier his medications.

When I picked up the cats on the 29th, however, I was told that one of the meds had begun to cause Frasier to foam at the mouth … and the Cat’s Cradle vet tech had decided to discontinue them. Frasier seemed very listless and was obviously sick … in some way worse than just an eye problem. That night, I brought him up to my office about 11:00 pm … and shortly thereafter, he vomited up a large quantity of a vile, bloody fluid … at least a pint, maybe more.

The next morning, I took him to his 8:30 am appointment at Eye Care for Animals … and the vet there said he was very sick and needed to be seen by his regular vet as soon as possible. So, back to Bel Marin we went that afternoon … but Dr. Robinett said that Frasier’s condition required emergency hospitalization … so I took him straight to the Pet Emergency & Specialty Center of Marin, in San Rafael.

He spent two days hospitalized there, undergoing a variety of treatments and tests … including two blood transfusions. During this time, I had to drive to Southern California for the wedding of one of my nieces … so Candy picked up Frasier on Sunday and brought him home.

Sadly, none of the treatments were beneficial … likely because Frasier had a serious abdominal cancer of some kind. He ate and drank nothing for four days, lost nearly 10% of his body weight and was just lying around … obviously miserable and in pain.

On Thursday, it became obvious what we had to do … so we made an appointment for the next afternoon at Bel Marin. There, as they always have before … with Midnight, Samantha, Macavity and Nano … they treated us … and Frasier … with respect.

After Frasier’s body relaxed in death, blood began to pour out of his nose … and continued to do so for several minutes … a sure sign that it had once again accumulated in his stomach … and a confirmation that there really was nothing else we could have done to reasonably extend his life.

We … Candy in particular … are going to miss our little man, who has been such a good friend for more than 8 years … and who left us too soon.

—–oooooOOOOOooooo—–

More Photos of Frasier

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“Do not even think about changing the channel from Animal Planet!”

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frasier-over-the-rainbow-bridge

Frasier Over the Rainbow Bridge

—–oooooOOOOOooooo—–

Three Dot … 130

My “Gorilla” Story


As a child growing up in Lindenhurst … on the south shore of Long Island … we had a dog … a mutt, really … named Ranger.

Ranger near Hamilton Avenue mid-1950's adjusted & corrected

Ranger, Lindenhurst, mid-1950’s

Ranger’s mother … Lucky … wasn’t. She was hit by a car and killed not long after Ranger’s litter was born … and they weren’t even weaned yet … my mom had to hand feed them until they got big enough to eat on their own.

I was five at the time … and given my choice of which of the puppies we would keep … I picked the runt of the litter … and named him Ranger, after the lead character of a children’s TV show that I liked to watch … Ranger Joe.

Ranger became my faithful companion from then until I left home to go to West Point 13 years later … other than school, he went pretty much everywhere with me … and particularly enjoyed loping along next to my bike when I did my paper route … and running along with me when I did laps around the block as training for cross-country and track.

Eventually, he got too old to do the running … instead, he would lie on the grass in front of our house … and follow me with his eyes as I ran by each time.

Despite his small size, Ranger was fearless … too fearless, as it turned out. One day in March of 1964, he was with my mom and two younger sisters as they walked to the neighborhood grocery store. A much bigger dog came out of the Narrangansett Inn, a local restaurant and reception hall … thinking the dog was coming after his humans, Ranger ran to intercept him … and got into a fight which resulted in injuries so severe that he had to be euthanized.

Mom called me at West Point to give me the news … and I cried myself to sleep that night.

But, that isn’t the main point of this story … which is really about the dog I fell in love with three years later and who was going to be my next “Ranger”.

My Aunt Ethel and her family lived in West Babylon, not far from where we lived in Lindenhurst … and I visited there frequently after my family moved to California in mid-1964, shortly after Ranger’s death. They had a female dog named Queenie … and, coincidentally, she had a little of puppies in April 1967 … just a couple of months before I was due to graduate from West Point.

In my journal for May 6, 1967, I wrote that I had picked up Jessica Poulson, who I was seeing at that time, and then … “we drove out to Aunt Ethel’s. Queenie had her puppies. I picked out one for me — it’s all black with 4 white feet, a white-tipped tail, a white ring around its neck and a white face.”

Yurochka Standing in Grass

Yurochka

I had just that week also finished reading Boris Pasternak’s book Doctor Zhivago … and Jess & I went to see the movie based on the book that same night. I decided that I would name the puppy Yurochka … the affectionate name that Larisa Antipova calls Yuri Zhivago … and then ended up calling him Yuri for “short” (even though in Russian Yurochka is the diminutive of Yuri).

On Saturday, June 3rd, Jess and I were back on Long Island … and I picked up Yurochka …

Yurochka & Jim

With Yuri, June 3, 1967

… to take back to West Point with me for a few days. In retrospect, he was probably a bit young to be separated from his mother … but he enjoyed the visit … particularly sleeping with me on my brown boy (our plush comforter). Needless to say, it’s a good thing no one in authority saw him there in my room!

We graduated on June 7 and I spent the first three weeks of graduation leave hanging around with family on Long Island and visiting with high school friends and teachers … while Yuri was back at Aunt Ethel’s with his mom.

Yurochka on So Rare Too smaller

Yuri had the run of my Corvette

On June 28th, I finally left New York … driving to Washington DC, where Yuri and I stayed at a Holiday Inn. The next day, I visited the Pentagon and confirmed that I would have a few weeks temporary duty at the Pacific Mine Force headquarters before going to the Defense Information School at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, in the fall … then on to Saigon, Vietnam, in November.

While driving, Yuri would sit in the passenger seat … or, if I had the top up on my Corvette, would lie on the convertible top cover, just behind the seats. When in the passenger seat, he was too small to see over the doorframe or hang his head out the window … so I usually turned the vent window in so that wind would blow on him while driving.

The third day of our trip, June 30th, Yuri and I visited my high school track teammate George Brown in North Carolina … then went on to Merritt Island, Florida, to visit with my best friend from high school, Jim Clark. We spent five days there, then on July 5th started the drive across the South … headed for Memphis, Tennessee, to visit with my West Point roommate & best friend, Jim “JO” Vance.

On Friday, July 7th, JO and I had dates with two sisters who lived in the Whitehaven section of Memphis … my date that evening was Sandy Douglas … and, as they say, the rest was history …

… regarding which, see…

https://jimsthreedot.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/could-i-have-this-dance/

After two days in Memphis, Yuri and I headed to Oklahoma, where I hoped to see my former girlfriend … Candy Sayes (ah, yes, a whole other story for another time). I was able to visit with her and her fiancée, Joe Davis, for about an hour … then drove down to Lawton, where I planned to see another of my West Point friends, Norm St. Laurent, at Fort Sill.

After visiting with Norm, I decided to drive straight through from Oklahoma to California … in part because I didn’t have any friends living between the two. On Tuesday, July 11, I got on the road about 8:00 am and drove until 3:00 … slept on the side of the road for about an hour … then hit the road again.

I stopped again about 10:00 and called home, then decided to continue driving until I got home … which I expected to do about 2:30 or 3:00 am. For most of the trip from Oklahoma to California, I was driving on either I-40 (which was not yet complete) or the old Route 66 … which connected the completed sections of I-40 at the time.

Shortly after midnight, I stopped in Barstow, California, for gas … I had the top up and Yuri was sleeping on the convertible cover behind me … I pulled up to a pump, got out and began pumping gas.

Perhaps a minute later, a woman from another car at the station asked me, “Is that your dog?”, while pointing toward the highway. I turned to see where she was pointing and saw Yuri … just as he was hit by a car speeding along the highway.

I immediately ran out to Yuri … and when I got to him, knew instantly that, although not yet dead, he would be soon … I picked him up and carried him back to the car … by the time I got to it, he had died.

I wrapped him in my lightweight West Point grey jacket … borrowed a shovel from the gas station attendant … and took Yuri out into the desert to bury him. I dug a hole about three feet deep … laid Yuri in it … and filled the hole. The driver of the car never even stopped.

The rest of the drive home took about two-and-a-half hours … during the entirety of which I was crying so hard that I had trouble driving … and which makes me cry even now thinking about it. My mom had stayed up, waiting for me to arrive, and I fell completely apart when I got there.

To this day, I do not know for sure how Yuri got out of the car … the convertible top was up … and the windows were up high enough that I don’t think he could have wiggled through the opening of either window. The only thing I could … or can … think of is that he must have awakened as I opened the driver’s door, then jumped down onto the seat and out the door behind me as I closing it.

However he did it, it took just a matter of seconds … no more than two or three … and, because I was concentrating on pumping gas, I never saw that he was out of the car until it was too late.

It is nearly 49 years since Yuri was killed, but the guilt I feel over his death burns my heart every time I think of it … which is still often. My journal entry for that day ends with the comment, “He trusted me so & I let him down in the worst way possible.”

—–ooooo—–

I was motivated to write about Yurochka by the incident at the Cincinnati Zoo which resulted in the death of the silverback gorilla Harambe … and the resultant outpouring of animus and vitriol toward the mother of the child who got into the gorilla enclosure.

To the Christians among the vocal critics of the mother, I commend Matthew 7:1-3, King James Version (KJV):

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

In other words, clean up your own act before you judge the actions of others … and once you do, perhaps it would be best to help those others, rather than judging them.

Or John 8:7 (KJV):  He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

In the context of the gorilla discussion, it is a certainty that everyone, without exception, has at one time or another, been distracted in such a way as to lose track of a child … even a small child … for a short period of time. Most people are lucky in that nothing untoward happens during that momentary distraction … the Cincinnati mother … and I … were not so lucky.

Apparently, the Hamilton County, Ohio, prosecutor will announce tomorrow whether or not he is going to file criminal charges against the boy’s mother. The legal standard in Ohio for filing charges is whether or not she acted “recklessly” or created a “substantial risk” to the health and safety of her child.

Factual circumstances likely to play a part in the prosecutor’s decision include the child’s background and any history of dangerous behavior, risk factors at the zoo, and … perhaps most significantly … the length of time that the child was out of the mother’s direct sight and why.

—–ooooo—–

A few more pictures of Yuri

Yurochka & Little Caruso smaller

Yuri (in the bushes) & his brother, Little Caruso

Yurochka Little Caruso & Little Queenie smaller

Yuri, Little Caruso & their sister, Little Queenie

Yurochka Bath 1 smaller

Bathing Yuri

Yurochka Bath 2 smaller

Drying Yuri

Yurochka & Suzie 1 smaller

My sister Suzie & Yuri

Yurochka & Suzie 2 smaller

Suzie & Yuri Snuggling

—–ooooo—–

Three Dot … 127

Shadow … One Year …


It was one year ago today that Candy & I went to the Marin Humane Society to visit a little ball of fur named Shadow … 14 years old … and surrendered by his previous owner’s family because she had grown too ill to care for him.

Shadow Marin Humane Society 150602

Shadow is well-named … since the day he arrived, he has attached himself to me as if there was an invisible tether linking us together. When I’m in my home office, he’s in the chair next to me …

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… if I get up, he does, too … and follows me wherever I go.

He gets excited whenever a walk outside is in the offing … and runs down the driveway with his little ears flapping … he thinks he’s running like the wind … but it’s actually more like a mild zephyr, as even at age 70, I can jog faster than he runs!

Nevertheless, he now remains, at age 15, quite spry … though he does sleep a lot!

DSCN3220 Shadow Sleeping cropped

Happy Anniversary, little guy.

—–ooooo—–

The Three Dot … blog post that I wrote last year about Shadow’s adoption is here:

https://jimsthreedot.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/shadow/

—–ooooo—–

ThreeDot … 126

Shadow


Welcoming to our family, this little guy:

Shadow Marin Humane Society 150602Adopted today at the Marin Human Society … details in the two page info sheet reproduced below.

I just happened to be looking at the MHS website on Sunday … saw his page … and knew immediately that I wanted to meet him … and that, once I did, I would almost certainly want to bring him home.

Candy and I went to see him today … and, as expected, the little guy now has a new home … in fact, as I type this, he is snoozing on the chair next to mine in my home office.

Apparently, his previous owner … an older woman … could no longer care for him … and no one in her family was willing to take him in.

His name meeting Doug’s rule for dog names … two syllables, the second a vowel sound … and him having had it for so long … we decided not to rename him. So, welcome to our family, Shadow!

Shadow Marin Humane Society 150602 Info 1Shadow Marin Humane Society 150602 Info 2Three Dot … 108

Happy 15th Birthday Nano!


Happy 15th Birthday to Nano!

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I am also happy to report that Nano appears to have fully recovered from her bout of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis that I blogged about here:

https://jimsthreedot.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/nano-one-in-a-billion/

She remained sick for more than a week, suffering from both the HGE and a urinary tract infection. During this time, she was on three different meds and had to be fed special food.

Now she is pretty much back to her pre-HGE normal, albeit still otherwise suffering from the ailments of her advanced age (poor eyesight, hearing loss and difficulty making her way up and down stairs).

We have made two permanent changes in her diet — because of her incipient kidney problems, her primary food now is Hills prescription diet “k/d Canine” Renal Health canned food. She gets one-half can each in the morning and evening.

And for treats, her new favorite, grain-free “Yummy Chummies” Wild Alaska Salmon chunks.

Nano also says thanks and slobbery doggy kisses to all who expressed concern for her during her illness.

Nano -- 2010

Nano

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All Photos in this blog Copyright Jim Reilly 2014

Nano … One in a Billion …


… “Nano- : one billionth part of something”

… (the Merriam-Webster online dictionary) …

Nano

Nano … my one-in-a-billion canine companion … well, one in about a half-billion or so anyway (the estimated dog population of the world being somewhere between 400 and 550 million).

I have been planning to write a series of blog posts here about the furry critters who bring such joy to our lives … Nano being the oldest and with me the longest, she goes first.

Unfortunately, I have to start with bad news … this past weekend was a tough one for Nano … she is closing in on 15 years old and has been slowing down in the recent past … on Saturday, we had an unexpected medical crisis.

Early in the day, she went outside and up on the hill behind our house … something she had not done for some time … and I had to carry her back down when it was time to come in … I then went out to Costco … primarily for dog treats … and was gone for about an hour and a half.

When I got home, I found Nano lying lethargically on her bed, surrounded by what appeared to be bloody vomit … and found a trail of the same stuff all the way out the back door onto the deck.

Nano was listless, could not stand on her own and did not respond when I talked to her … so, I picked her up and took her to the Pet Emergency & Specialty Center in San Rafael … had to carry her into the vet’s office, too, as she still could not walk.

They quickly discovered that what I had thought to be vomit was actually diarrhea, as she had a serious bout in the vet’s office shortly after we arrived … ultimately, the vet determined that she was suffering from HGE or Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis … which means that it was a good thing that I took her in right away, as the website “VetInfo.com” describes HGE as follows:

“HGE or Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis is a disease that hits quickly and can be fatal if not treated immediately. Veterinarians and pet owners remain frustrated by Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis because symptoms appear rapidly and often without explanation. A perfectly healthy dog will be fine one moment and then seriously ill the next. The problem with Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis is that there is no known cause. Experts believe there might be a link between this disease and a loss of beneficial bacteria in the intestines. What is known is that fluids leak from blood vessels within the intestines and exit through the rectum.”

The vet … Dr. Audra Pompeani … put Nano on a hydration IV and some medications … and recommended that she stay at least overnight … I went in to see Nano and she barely responded when I hugged her goodnight.

Sunday morning, the vet recommended that Nano stay the rest of the day … and I had to drive to San Diego for a Monday morning court appearance … so Candy had to pick Nano up after she got off work at midnight.

By the time I got home near midnight on Monday, Nano was doing somewhat better … though she had to be carried when she needed to go outside for a couple of days.

By today, Thursday, we had also learned that a follow up urinalysis revealed that she has a urinary tract infection … for which she has to take amoxicillin … and her blood work shows elevated kidney values, an early sign of kidney problems.

All in all, a tough few days … for Nano … and for Candy & me.


Looking back at better times …

… I adopted Nano (nee “Starrose Lady”) …

Starrose Lady — Marin Humane Society Photo

… from the Marin Humane Society on January 26, 2000 … just shy of three months after my wife Sandy had died of breast cancer … this was a difficult time for me, emotionally … and over the next year, Nano provided a measure of emotional support and comfort for which I can never fully repay her.

Nano -- 2000

Nano — 2000

Of the dogs available for adoption at that time, I picked Nano because I wanted a medium-sized dog who could go running with me on the trails of Mt. Tam … part whippet and part who-knows-what, Nano fit the bill perfectly …

Nano Running on Mt. Tam Trail

Nano Running on Mt. Tam Trail

… and eventually did run thousands of miles with me on the mountain and other open space trails.

The night I brought her home, however, she was shaking like a leaf the entire trip … and didn’t really stop shaking until we went to bed … at which time she crawled under the covers and curled up at my feet … which proved to be her favorite sleeping place for several years.

NanoSleep

Not only did Nano love running … she also loved chasing and catching any ball that I would throw for her … for several years she went with me to work at my brother’s company, A&J Electric Cable Corp., in Hayward … and we would go out a couple of times each day to play catch in the long driveway … I would throw a ball as far as I could and she would go tearing after it … bringing it back and begging for me to throw it again … over & over … until she was panting and my arm was tired!

After I moved to Novato, we spent a lot of time on the Wild Horse Valley fire road … and playing catch out on the street … an uphill run for her to chase the ball.

The last few years, though, she has slowed down … at first, we would go out to play ball and she would run up the hill a few times … then come down once and instead of bringing me the ball, would turn into the driveway and head for the house! Hint … I’m tired … enough ball-playing for the day!

Eventually, she would not chase the ball at all … and would just watch it roll down the hill if I threw it. We lost a few that way until I finally got the message … the ball-throwing & chasing days were over.

Nano has a sweet personality … loves everyone she meets … most other dogs …

Nano & Cairo

Nano & Cairo

especially her long-time friend Cairo

Nano, Samantha & Macavity

Nano, Samantha & Macavity

… and even the cats who have invaded her space since Candy moved to California in 2007.

These days, she particularly likes visiting with my daughter Risa & her husband Jeff Thomas … and their two dogs, Bailey (a mini-dachshund) and Blue (an American blue pitbull).

Here are some more pictures of Nano … doing the things she loves the most …

NanoCouch

Relaxing on the Couch

Exploring a Mt. Tam Ridgeline

Exploring a Mt. Tam Ridgeline …

NanoSlope

… and Running on a Mountain Slope.

Nano -- 2005

Nano — 2005

Nano 2010

Nano 2010

Except as Otherwise Noted, all Photos Copyright Jim Reilly 2014

The World’s Top 10 Best Images of Cats in elf Costumes



… Russell Deasley has done it again, combining his regular Caturday “Top Ten of Anything and Everything” with the Christmas season …

 

… to present “Cats in Elf Costumes” …

 

… gotta love #3 … “Bah! Humbug!”

The World’s Top 10 Best Images of Cats Behind Bars


Russell Deasley has done it again with his Caturday Top Ten! My favorite is #4 — the look on his face would qualify him for a spot on The Official Grumpy Cat Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/TheOfficialGrumpyCat

Thanks again, Russell — I look forward to all of your Top Tens, but especially the Caturdays!

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One of our cats, Frasier, was an escape artist who needed to be kept behind bars — when we adopted him in 2008, he promptly began to escape from the back yard, despite the prison like fencing I installed above the deck and the retaining wall.  When I finally figured out how he was doing it, I had to install some additional security measures:

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Frasier's Escape Route

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On one occasion, I caught him in the act of escaping:

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Frasier Caught in the Act of Escaping

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On another occasion, however, he got completely away and was gone for a couple of very worrisome days before turning up on his own:

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The World’s Top 10 Best Images of Cats Playing Chess


Russell Deasley has done it again with his Caturday “Worlds Top 10 of Anything and Everything!!!” A great collection of photos of cats playing chess … with humorous captions and interesting & educational commentary. Thanks again, Russell!

Reblog of Russell Deasley’s “The World’s Top 10 Best Images of Upside Down Cats”


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I tried to reblog this here tonight, managed to mess it up and now the WordPress reblog function won’t allow me to do it again.  So, here’s a link to Russell’s blog, which has some great Caturday pictures:

http://theverybesttop10.com/2013/04/27/images-of-upside-down-cats/

The World's Top Ten Upside Down Cats

The World’s Top Ten Upside Down Cats

And here’s a picture of our cat Frasier which fits the category:

Frasier Relaxing

Frasier Relaxing

Fraiser, by the way, is a rescue cat — he was a stray coming around Candy’s work at Canyon Manor.  She brought him home, we took him to the Marin Human Society and then adopted him once he was available.