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

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


  While many may whine that the Olympics are quite overblown and an essentially boring parade of spoiled and coddled children, I must confess I was champing at the bit due to the fact that the summer Olympics were held in London. I may be Welsh but when it comes to these things, there is still a bit of national pride when it comes to the UK. My excitement was rewarded with the introduction of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth. 
  It was quite exciting to see some of my Corgi relatives at the palace and to watch HRH the Queen actually jump out of a helicopter. I dare say it was THE BEST PART of the opening ceremonies.  My mom thought that 007 gentleman was relatively easy on the eyes, too, but frankly I don’t see it. I must say, HRH the Queen can be quite the cheeky old broad. I mean no disrespect and I can say this because, in a way, we ARE related, you see.
Air vents rule
  It has been a tad on the warm side here at home in Oregon. It hit over 37 degrees Celsius on a few days (over 100 for you Yanks).  When we lived in Arizona, 100 degrees was very common but in Arizona, Snottsdale to be specific, everyone has air conditioning. This is not the case in Oregon. Warnings were repeatedly given so that people would NOT leave their dogs in an automobile for even the briefest moment. It proves to be a deadly mistake more than one might imagine. Some of my chemotherapy drugs have a tendency to make me pant. Not particularly attractive, I know, but it can’t be helped. My mom was very concerned and asked Dr. Freeman about it. Dr. Freeman calmed her fears and I simply spent every waking (and sleeping) moment on the air conditioning vents.  It’s quite refreshing actually. I recommend it for all my readers.  Note the patchwork shaved legs with dark splotchy markings. This is a quite common reaction to the chemo treatments. Some may find it appalling but I have been approached by several old school punk rock bands to go on tour with them as the only punk Corgi known to man. They are attractive offers and I do have an agent working on them as we...type.
Bolting for the door
  Truth be told, I was rather apprehensive on this second go around at chemo. Last year, I found all the people at the Veterinary CancerReferral Center and Dove Lewis to be a lovely lot. They are still quite lovely but I must admit to making a run for the door on my early visit. I know what to expect on these weekly treks and I know these sessions are the only reason I am here today to update my faithful followers. Vincristine, cytoxan, adriamycin, flagyl, prednisone and I have reached a d├ętente.  I won’t run again, I promise. They will keep me alive.  In addition, my mom fills me with fish oil, Chinese mushroom extracts, something called Onco Support, ground turkey and rice (from time to time) and probiotics. I’m not sure which of these are actually working, if any, but since I prefer to stick around a bit longer, I’ll not complain and the ground turkey concoction isn't all that bad. 
Riley - livin' LARGE
  I did meet a rather large fellow patient last week. His name is Ripley. He is a Blockhead Mastiff (some call them Bull Mastiffs) and he is only 4-years old. His head seriously resembles an overinflated basketball and, this might be a slight exaggeration, but he IS the size of a Volkswagon. I honestly think he probably weighs more than his tiny owner.  He was impressively well behaved. He didn’t even flinch when I lunged at him. (I just have to do that sometimes.) My mom said he probably poops bigger than I am and I should have minded my manners. DO please keep Ripley in your thoughts, however, as the chemo doesn’t seem to be working for him as it does for me.
The other Yuki in the White House
  I would be remiss if I did not include this little historical tidbit in today’s blog. My life here would also become unbearable due to Yuki’s constant - and I mean CONSTANT - prodding.  Apparently, there was a rather important gentleman named LBJ who also had a dog named Yuki. The other Yuki was also a rescue, found at a gas station. The other Yuki befriended world leaders, diplomats, and many other VIP’s. Our Yuki thinks she can do the same. “It’s good to have goals,” I tell her. I don’t think I’m giving her false hope or encouraging her to dream too big. You never know. My mom has met and worked for a few of those types and they may come to visit unexpectedly. You never know.
  Preparations are well underway for our upcoming move to a state called Florida on the first of September. It is allegedly very warm and humid and we will be surrounded by something called alligators. I know my mom wears Crocs regularly but I think this may be different.
  There is a lot of “measuring” going on. I’m not exactly sure what this means but when they mention it, this annoying yellow snake shows up. As the defender of our domain, I must attack.  I know this snake to be very dangerous because my moms keeps warning me that it will slice my tongue if I don’t get away!
  Everyone had to undergo heart worm tests and we will be taking another medication because there is something called mosquitoes where we are going. I’m not quite sure why but my mom wanted to see how one of our kennels would fit on the roof of the truck. I certainly hope she doesn’t expect to transport one of us up there! No one – and I mean NO ONE – with any heart would ever strap a dog they loved to the roof of a moving vehicle. At least I don’t think so.
Your Corgi on benedryl
  So we hit the road again on September 1st. I’ve heard it is the start of the Labor Day weekend and most of the rest of the country will also be on the road that day. My mom keeps explaining to people that she didn’t do the “logistics” on this trip; that my dad is “helping.” I’m not sure what that means but I DO know he asked the veterinarian about doggie xanax for us. The veterinarian suggested something called benedryl first and it seems to work very well on Fred and Yuki. I think she may be planning to keep the xanax to herself.

  To prepare for our cross-country trek, I am once again trying to train Yuki to understand how a leash is to be utilized and respected. If she doesn't pay a whit of attention to me, I can't imagine that she'd succumb to the respectful requests of my mom. What she doesn't seem to grasp is the simple notion that once on a leash, you are tethered and common sense dictates a certain decorum. It is a matter of mutual respect. But don't mind me. The Queen of Soul can explain it much more eloquently than I. 

So be well. Keep calm and Corgi on!