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, June 11, 2011


 Thirteen weeks and counting.  Thirteen weeks of chemo treatment and 11 weeks into my remission.  I’ll take it.
 The vincristine I had 2 weeks ago had no really annoying side effects but for the slight adjustment to my intestinal fortitude. Literally. As I mentioned in my last post the chemo drugs I am being given destroy fast-growing cells.  As in humans, they don’t necessarily distinguish between the good, the bad, and the ugly fast-growing cells. This is why humans lose their hair and I…well, I have gastrointestinal issues.  The best food in the world isn’t going to help you get healthier if it isn’t allowed to digest properly. I believe the challenges presented today might be a cumulative response to the beneficial yet undeniable assault and battery on my otherwise impressive bod. If you'd like to see additional photos of my impressive bod, email me directly and I'll text them to you as long as you are of age and I'm not quite sure what age that would be in dog years.
 Instead of putting me on more anti-diarrheal drugs, Dr. Freeman, from the Veterinary Cancer Referral Center, gave my mom some probiotics. Probiotics are actually live microorganisms that are supposed to get my lower forty back in shape. They seem to be ALL the rage lately with Jamie Lee Curtis hawking them in yoghurt on TV commercials. The probiotics I am taking are in a powdered form and they are probably not as tasty as the yoghurt is, though I’ve never tasted it. We’ve had marginal success but that’s probably also due, in some small measure, to the fact that I had last week off again from any chemo drugs.
Having last week off was critical especially since this new rescue pup is a handful even while resting under sedation after her surgery. (She and Fred took the opportunity to spoon, as it were.) Yuki is allegedly at least PART Corgi but I simply don’t see it. Yes, she’s short but that might be due to the fact that she’s only 5 months old. People see her and inquire, “Oh is she part Corgi…” That might well be because I am standing right there. As if traits of my regal breed could rub off on an otherwise indistinguishable cur via osmosis!
Yuki’s most annoying habit is imitating me. Well, if you can’t make a silk
purse out of a sow’s ear you certainly CANNOT make a Corgi out of a Yuki. No matter how much she tries to herd us, stalk us, or tilt her head when she hears “Rule Britannia” or how much she claims to love David Bowie. I just hope unsuspecting humans don’t fall for it.
This week my treatment includes cytoxan given orally at home.  Once again I ask WHY am I taking a drug by mouth that my mom wears gloved to handle? But I jest.  Cytoxan and lasix go well together.  Like peanut butter and jelly. Bagels and lox. Liver and ice cream.
My mom, however, appears to be overly concerned with my bowel movements. She said it reminds her of when her twin nephews were born and everything had to be written down. How much they ate, when they were bathed, who’s diaper was changed last and what was in it? She thought it was absurd for one’s life to revolve so intensely round biological emissions but she understands it now. My fellow pack members don’t necessarily watch where they’re running and should they step in “something” and lick their feet, my caustic crap could cause irreparable harm. So my mom looks like one of those crazy people with metal detectors following me around in the morning with her pooper scooper. If I cough, she furrows her brow and makes sure it’s not an unusual cough. She scratches my neck every morning and tries to act as if she’s not REALLY checking my lymph nodes. It’s cute how she does it.
Every once in a great while, I think about the end. Nothing melodramatic. Nothing earth shattering. And on bright, brilliantly spring-like days like today, it’s the farthest thing from my mind.  A quick nap with the sun shining on me makes everything perfect. And, despite the annoyingly chipper younger sibling, life is good. With my elderly wisdom and what time I have left, I try to teach Yuki manners, like how to walk nicely on leash but she’s somewhat obstinate at times as you can see in the video. Yuki just doesn’t retreat and the word “surrender” is simply not in her vocabulary.
 Wouldn’t it be great if we really could communicate in some meaningful way? I suppose that's a pipe dream. I mean humans have the same language and THEY can't even get through a sentence without someone taking something the wrong way. There is a book written by a human, of course, that is supposed to help make these communications better.  It’s called Dog Sense and the author says, “To many people, a world without dogs is unthinkable.” And to many dogs a world without humans while perhaps enjoyable for a short while, would mean a lot of hungry dogs in the long run. Regardless of our shortcomings in the conversational arena, I’m glad to have met you.
 Til next we meet!