Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Genealogy Anyone?

One of my interests is genealogy. I love searching for ancestors and occasionally making contact with others who are descended from the same great-great-great-grandparents.

I was born years after my parents, their two young daughters and my maternal grandparents moved to California. My older sisters were teenagers when I was born and my parents had been married 17 years. I was a big surprise.

Over the years I've heard many family stories...including stories about my paternal grandfather and his older brother operating a number of saloons in the area where southern Ohio meets northeastern Kentucky and northwestern West Virginia.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I found several liquor labels belonging to my grand-uncle. As I understand it, Uncle Ike was some 25 years older than my grandfather, Andrew Jackson (Jack) Ash. Ike and Jack married Harlow sisters, Martha and Flody.

Anyone else interested in genealogy?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

In Memory of

Courtney Cathleen Waggle
Whitney Anne-Marie Waggle
January 25, 1982

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ashley

Yes, today is Ashley's 34th birthday. I can't believe I'm that old!

She and one of her friends from the Bay Area share the same birthday so it's an annual celebration with her group. She flew to San Francisco this morning and was really looking forward to connecting with her friends again.

Checked the weather report for Chicago this morning...a high of 7 degrees and a low tonight of -3 degrees. Yikes, that's cold. I hope Joseph is keeping warm and toasty.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

It's a very sad day

This is the last picture of Tulie and Emma taken about the middle of December.

We said good-bye to Tulie on Christmas Eve, and yesterday we had to say good-bye to Emma. We were so hopeful after her first chemo treatment last Wednesday because she seemed to feel so good on Thursday. Friday she was not doing well and by late morning on Saturday she couldn't walk, couldn't hold her head up and had even stopped drinking water. We took her in to our own vet since Dr. Macy is no longer in the desert.

As much as it hurt to make the decision, we decided it was time to let her go. I am just so incredibly sad and lonely without her, but Dr. Williams and the staff at All Creatures reminded us she was going to meet Tulie at the Rainbow Bridge. She and Tulie were very close. Before we left the office, we picked up Tulie's ashes. Emma's ashes will be returned in a week or so.

It's very quiet here now but we still have Harley. We always worried about losing Harley first because he has so many allergies, arthritis, very little fur and he's losing what little he has, his ears never went up, and his little legs are bowed. Scotties are supposed to have very straight front legs. But with all that's wrong with him, he has a great personality and he makes us laugh with all of his antics so we are grateful to have him to help us through this. At some point we'll want another Scottie, but not for a while. Harley loves attention and belly rubs, neck rubs, feet rubs, so he may enjoy being an only dog for a while, but I think he'll be a little lonely, too.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ups and Downs

Emma isn't doing so well today. She's refused any food and so we haven't gotten her pills down yet this morning. She's sleeping and refuses to leave her pillow. She's depressed and lethargic again today. She lost control of her bladder over night and again this morning.

I didn't expect to see such a down-turn after seeing her feel so well yesterday. I guess I have to expect ups and downs but I didn't expect them to be so drastic.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A more hopeful day

Dr. Macy was able to give me a cautious ray of hope for Emma. He has used a combination of newer drugs to treat other dogs with MH. Her cancer is not operable and there is no long term treatment, but he thinks we should try this regimen to see if we can stabilize her, bring back her appetite, and bring some quality to her life.

She began her chemo yesterday with a stay in Dr. Macy's office of 90 minutes for her first iv treatment. She came home with several meds and information about chemo in dogs.

This is the first morning in two weeks that she's taken her roast beef in the morning and has stayed near me. She's even gone up to the landing to get some sun with Harley. I am very hopeful that treatment may give us more quality time with her.

Thanks for your prayers.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Definitely not a good start to 2008

After having just lost Tulie on Christmas Eve, our Emma has just been diagnosed with Malignant Histiocytosis or MH, a rare, fast moving cancer that has no cure, no successful treatment and from time discovered to death is a matter of days or weeks. Not a very good prognosis. She remains depressed, lethargic and refuses food but occasionally takes water.

We have an appointment with an oncologist tomorrow afternoon. Dr. Macy flies from Colorada to the desert twice a month to treat his patients. Luckily, he is currently in the desert and our vet was able to get us in quickly. We need a miracle.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Not off to a good start in 2008

I've talked about my Scotties before...
Tulie, 12; Emma, 10; and Harley 10. The day after Joseph arrived, we were just quietly talking when Tulie, who had been sleeping soundly, suddenly went into a seizure. After five days in the hospital and many, many tests, we had to let her go on Christmas Eve. The tests had shown that in addition to an enlarged heart, three vital organs were failing at the same time: kidneys, pancreas and liver. Of course, we knew she was slowing down and getting older, but we had no idea about the all the other issues.

Our Christmas was very subdued and no one feels much like doing anything since we lost her. Even the other pups are unusually quiet and just not acting as usual. After a few days, Harley was back to his old happy, carefree self but Emma continued to seem very depressed. Then we noticed she was losing weight and was refusing even roast beef. Emma never turns down a treat so we were sure, after nearly two weeks, it was more than depression.

So now our Emma has been in the hospital since yesterday. We're awaiting more blood test results and an ultrasound today. We've known she has Cushings disease since she was about 4, but it's been under control with Lysodren. When we took her in her temp was 105, very, very high. Initial blood work showed some imbalances in her readings and an indication of her kidneys not working.

It's very hard to wait and not know what's wrong with her. We pray whatever is causing her illness will be treatable with adjustments in her meds. And so I'm hoping later today we'll get some good news.

Obviously, the picture is an old one, but from the left is Emma, Harley, Hugo and Tulie. We lost Hugo three years ago (when he was only 8) to bladder cancer while our regular vet was in Argentina for the holidays, just as he was this year when Tulie passed.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy 2008

Happy New Year to all and my resolution every year is to Get Organized though somehow the year slips by and I'm still wondering why things look pretty much the same. This year will be different. How do I know? Because Ashley's home to "help" me...but that's a good thing because I need someone to nudge me along and with her here, I actually have a serious chance to Get Organized.

Joseph made it home for Christmas on Dec. 18th. His 10 am flight was cancelled (we never knew why since it was a bright, sunny day in Chicago and he had a direct flight) and he had to hang around O'Hare until the next direct flight at 6 pm. But we finally got to give him a big hug around 9 o'clock that evening. We stayed up late catching up and enjoying the family being together.

He's still here (upstairs asleep) appreciating our great weather while just reading about Chicago's temps makes us shiver. He will return to the freezing Mid-West on Jan. 8th and I know I'll miss him terribly when he leaves.

We're all praying very hard that once he's back in Chicago a J-O-B will immediately present itself. Hopefully, it will be a job he wants and will enjoy, but by this time, we're hoping for anything just to get him working.