Why did I pick NOW to become a blogger?

A few days ago I was given a diagnosis that rocked my world. I'm a 10-year old Corgi living in Portland, Oregon. I am reasonably healthy, except for that abdominal surgery I had last summer. Ok - I don't know WHY I ate that piece of wire but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

In the middle of March, I was told by the folks at the Veterinary Cancer Referral Service that I have K9 lymphoma. I was gobsmacked! My mom immediately tried to find out everything she could and, while there were many sad stories, there really wasn't much else to go on. There are "support groups" but my mom's not much of a joiner when it comes to those things.

What we decided to do was chronicle this journey so that others can follow along. Those who have their own dogs fighting cancer - lymphoma and other forms. Those lucky enough to have a Corgi. Those just SO abysmally bored they have no better way to waste their time.

So we'll see how this works. Be well - The Barney Dog

Saturday, April 16, 2011

DRUG-FREE DOG WEEK. Or as Nancy Reagan touted: “Just say no.”

"On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog."
I must apologize for being remiss in my duties as a dog blogger.  Since most bloggers, I am told, are slackers in their mid-20’s living in their grandparents’ basement, microwaving ramen noodles, typing furiously with Cheetos-stained fingers, I feel compelled to dispel this as a possible image of dog bloggers.
Truth be told, I had the week off from chemo and I’ve been feeling rather feisty.  Last week’s dodoxorubicin/adriamycin kicked my bunny butt.  I actually didn’t want to eat anything one day, which sent my mom into a manic depression. Probably not as bad as the one fellow Welsh-woman Catherine Zeta Jones is experiencing but worrisome nonetheless.  The day after my self-imposed fast, however, my dad came home.  That’s always a reason to celebrate and I inhaled my dinner that evening, making my mom seem like a lying reactionary.  I’ll just have to learn to move my food around in my bowl to make it LOOK as if I’ve eaten it.  I’ve been told my human cousin, The Baby Girl aka Alyssa, often does this rather successfully.
Sitting at a computer typing was just NOT in the cards for last week.  I DID do some reminiscing, though, and I thought I’d share what it means to be a Corgi with my loyal readers.
Cor gi translates to “dwarf dog” or “gathering dog” in Welsh. There are two types of Corgi’s: Pembroke and Cardigan.  I am a Pembroke, THE favorite of the Queen Mum as you can see.  We were also prominently featured in that movie with Helen Mirren.  Dame Mirren won an Oscar for that extraordinary role and there was much buzz about creating an Oscar category for best performance by an animal to highlight the incredible Corgis’ portrayal of…royal Corgi’s but nothing ever came of it.  
People are sometimes told the easy way to remember which Corgi is which is to think that Pembrokes don’t have tails.  So think of a dog with the tail BROKEn off.  Ouch.  I actually have a naturally bobbed tail.  No unnecessary, painful docking needed here, thank you very much.  While people also think that Pembrokes and Cardigans are pretty much the same dog, let me remind you that Cardigans are longer with a different bone structure, floppier ears, and are generally just not as attractive as we are.  IMHO of course.

We are the smallest of the herding breeds, usually between 10 to 12.5 inches tall and weighing in at between 25 and 28 lbs. We can be red, fawn, sable, or tri-color/black and tan like Fred.  We may or may not have white areas on the chest, legs, neck, and muzzle.  Some Corgi's tip the scales at 30 lbs. and over (such as this dainty Corgi specimen who rather resembles a footstool) but that's usually because we are so darn cute that our loving owners simply can't refrain from giving us treats and table scraps.  While all treats ARE delicious, moderation is the key to keeping us healthier and alive longer.  Now if we were out herding cattle, sheep, or small children every day, the exercise would keep us at a fighting weight but that doesn’t happen very often in Portland or any other areas in the States that I've visited. Maybe I need to get out more?
Legend has it that we were the preferred mode of transportation of faerie warriors in the woodlands of Wales. The faeries eventually took pity upon the poor mortals working so hard just to survive that they allowed the Corgi’s to help them, working the farm, herding cattle and the like.  Most Corgi’s still have the markings left from the harnesses and saddles up around our shoulders. Take THAT French Poodles!  Show me your legendary roots! HA!

People must know that we are big dogs in small bodies.  Not the type of dog that would want to be carried around in a designer shoulder satchel.  More often than not, our bark can sound fierce.  My brother Fred’s bark is actually deeper than mine.  Unless you see us, you’d think there was a 120 lb. Rottweiler barking behind that door.  Once you break in, however, we are pure show dogs.  We show you where the jewelry is…where the cameras are…
I will start again with the Veterinary Cancer Referral Service on Tuesday.  We’re still trying to get the diet thing under control but in the meantime, I am getting some pretty impressive meals.  My mom is trying something from a company called Newman’s Own.  She says Butch Cassidy wouldn't lie to her.  I haven't a clue as to what that means but I smile when she says it.  It makes her feel better.  The Newman food smells GREAT but has the consistency of mousse.  No matter what she mixes it with, Tomo and Fred drool longingly.  If they only knew that anything from prednisone to sulfasalazine to cerenia might be mixed in they wouldn’t be so eager to get in on the chemo deal. If I could choose between chemo and organic ground beef or "normal" food for the rest of my life, I'd pick the "normal" food.  At least then I'd KNOW I'd have a "rest of my life."
Adios for now. Au revoir.  Hasta la vista, baby. 

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