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

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


There are places I remember all my life, though some have changed… We are now in the third happy household of my lifetime. Things are still a little unsettled. My mum keeps saying: “There is NO storage space!” but she doesn’t seem to realize she can discard all those heavy cold-weather coats since we apparently won’t be needing them here.  Only one room that needed it has been repainted. What little carpet there is leaves much to be desired. The game room, with a pool table, still needs work and the pool, in a different “room”, finally stopped leaking. The garage remains untamed territory. But we DO have patio furniture.  I DO have to stand guard poolside. There is something lurking at the bottom of the pool. It appears to be a snake of some sort with a blue and white head. It trolls around the bottom of the pool and gets threateningly close to the edges. Should this pool snake monster take leave of its watery realm and decide to attack, I will be the ready to protect hearth and home. And patio furniture.      
Yuki meditating
  It is rather appealing to sit on the patio while mum reads (she has become a voracious reader) and dad bothers her out there. Fred and I usually climb on her chair first, leaving Tomo and Yuki to fend for themselves. Tomo has never really been one to climb on furniture, though she DOES love her leather ottoman. Yuki tried to act serene, as if she’s meditating. I believe she’s just sleeping and has forgotten to lower her head. Douggie surely believes she’s in heaven on the patio though she sometimes looks longingly up at the herons and cranes flying overhead. Never at the ducks. She views them with contempt. 
Yes. I'm in the closet.
  My new favorite place to hide from the noisy masses is my mum’s closet. It is a rather large affair so I don’t know why she laments a lack of storage space. I can curl up and be left completely alone for hours at a time. Bliss! I was lounging in front of the fireplace, nice and warm, but they’ve only lit a fire in the fireplace once. Doesn’t really get cold enough for that here but it IS a wood-burning fireplace so it smells right.
  The holidays came and went with no fanfare.  While mum and dad went to visit dad’s brother for Turkey Day, we had a new dog sitter to train. Her name is Heather. She should work out just fine. She seems like a quick learner and she gives us treats. She knows that I am, by far, the cream of the crop in the household and she tolerates Douggie. I know my mum is always concerned about finding the rogue swollen lymph node but Heather seems to grope me just fine. I really have no intention to let those cancer cells start to take hold again so I'll just have to remain vigilant. And take my vitamins.
Dad sleeping in the hallway
There was a bit of excitement as my mum was getting ready to attend a holiday dinner in December. Tomo apparently decided that she didn’t want to move anymore.  She settled in on the bathroom floor in front of a cabinet and refused to move. After about thirty minutes, my mum realized this acute lack of mobility was not entirely voluntary. Tomo is 14 years old and from time to time is a bit stiff (but aren’t we all at that age?). When neither mum nor dad could get her to stand up, we all started to worry. Mum, ever the overly dramatic one, KNEW it was a stroke or a brain tumor or an aneurysm. Oh! The horror! Dad slept on the floor with her to make sure she knew she wasn’t alone and pretty soon, it turned into a slumber party for us all in the hallway.  It was none of the above. It WAS geriatric vestibular syndrome. We were busy making funeral arrangements and the next day, Tomo was fine. A bit wobbly but none the worse for wear.  My mum said a gentleman named Ed Gero had a handsome lad named Puck who had suffered from the same syndrome in his old age. It HAPPENS in older dogs so be on the lookout.
My new friend Lucy!
  In the “good news” category: I am still in remission and feeling fabulous. I did manage to meet a sturdy young gal named Lucy who is also undergoing chemo for lymphoma.  We met a few days before her mum’s wedding. She was supposed to be a bridesmaid but felt rather poorly that day (some nasty gastronomic disturbance) so she opted to sleep through the festivities. I was really looking forward to seeing her in all her fashionable glory but we’ll have to wait for another opportunity. Her appearance in her gown may not have been as keenly anticipated as the one at the Inauguration but I’m sure she would have looked as stunning…in a canine sort of way. 
Mum's Annoying Jewish Friend, Bob Rosenberg
  I have another checkup in 2 weeks and I am expecting positive results once again. Unfortunately, my mum’s good friend (whom she addressed – to his face - as “My Annoying Jewish Friend”) lost his long battle with a never ending litany of cancers.  I had the pleasure spending time with Mr. Rosenberg while domiciled in Snottsdale, Arizona. He seemed a lovely though gregarious chap. He knew more than you about everything and never hesitated to let you know this. He would always remember my chemo appointments and call afterwards to see how I was feeling. Those kinds of friends are hard to come by and even harder to lose. God speed, Mr. Rosenberg. Fair winds and following seas.

Black bear or hairy rugby player?
  I continue to have issues with the Florida excuse for grass. It’s not up to snuff as far as we are concerned. It's also wearing rather thin in the areas where we tend to romp. And the wildlife in our own backyard is getting increasingly interesting. A loud, curious badelynge of ducks now shows up regularly and they don't seem to know that we could send them all to an early grave. What brazen fowl they are! I don’t understand why my dad wouldn’t let me out to play with a rather large hairy creature the other day. He seemed friendly enough. We just didn’t know how hungry he was so dad saw fit to keep us contained within the fenced area. Maybe next time. 
  As always - Keep Calm and Corgi On! 

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