The Rat Terrier Review: Fourth of July edition!

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

2015-07-03 - Smithville Lake - 0130 [flickr]

I can’t believe we’re five days into July already! The summer is just flying by. Luckily, we’ve managed to cram plenty of fun/new/memory-making things into it, heat and rain be damned.

Of course, we got plenty of walks in this week. Sunday morning we even explored a new trail: the Trice-Dedman Memorial Woods, which is so hidden and out-of-the-way that it doesn’t even have a parking lot, just a shoulder alongside the highway to park on.

2015-06-28 - Trice-Dedman Memorial Woods - 0001 [flickr]

Your sign says “welcome,” but your chained gate says “GTFO.”
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Needless to say, we had the place all to ourselves. That’s the good part. The bad? Well, the trail’s very narrow and I was on high alert for poison ivy the whole time. That kind of sucked most of the joy out of it. Also, Shane managed to get us lost – after I was already headed the right way back to the car. Yeah.

2015-06-28 - Trice-Dedman Memorial Woods - 0010 [flickr]

Peedee was super-anxious the whole time, but Rennie and (especially, weirdly) Mags had a rad time. I think she likes the feel of soft, squishy earth on her tiny little feet.

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The Rat Terrier Review: Waterworld

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

2015-06-27 - Morning Walk at Smithville Lake - 0032 [1024x768 2 water paper]

So remember how last week Peedee had his one-month follow-up x-ray? We finally heard back from the oncologist on Thursday, and her assessment is a little more guarded than our general vet’s. The tumor’s not much larger, which we already knew; but one of the (many) areas of cancerous cells looks a little more advanced. The fluid in his lungs seems to be holding steady, and there’s also a little calcium buildup around the tumor, which suggests that his immune system is trying its best to fight it off. The oncologist is still sticking with her original two- to three-month estimate, although now she’s leaning toward three months. Which means two now, since a month’s already gone by. BUT WHO’S COUNTING? (A: Me, that’s who.)

It’s not the worst news we could have gotten, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping (against my better judgment, natch) for a slightly more positive outlook. Cancer’s tricky, though; it’s always subject to change. The cancerous cells that haven’t yet amassed into tumors could prove more or less aggressive than the tumor – or each other. The tumor might not grow any larger, but the other cells could eventually pose a problem; there’s only so much room in his lung, you know? There’s just no telling how it might progress. All we can really do is take it week by week, I guess. Next x-ray is three weeks from now. Fingers, crossed. But cynically.

2015-06-20 - Watchdog Peedee - 0002 [flickr]

2015-06-25 - Peedee - 0003 [flickr]

On a brighter note, we started him on a few new supplements this week. In addition to the cannabis oil he’s been getting, Peedee’s now on Beta Glucan and Curcumin, both of which supposedly have cancer-fighting properties. Beta Glucan is also purportedly good for the immune system. Nutritional yeast is a good source; since I use it in the dogs’ food and peanut butter balls, I went with a mushroom-derived version of Beta Glucan when choosing the supplement. idk if there’s any difference, but a little variety can’t hurt.

Anyway, on to happier things. It’s still raining buckets in Missouri, hence the subtitle of this week’s Rat Terrier Review. We went on tons of walks, many of which necessitated my giant (and hot! like damn are those things suffocating!) rubber muckracking boots.

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The Rat Terrier Review #5

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

2015-06-14 - Napping in the Sunroom - 0014 [flickr]

I’m running out of clever subtitles for these things, can you tell?

First things first: Peedee had his one-month (actually four-week, but wev) follow-up x-ray yesterday. According to our regular vet’s admittedly inexpert eye, it looks like the cancer has progressed a little, though possibly not as much as we expected/feared given the time frame. (One month = one half to a third of the predicted life span given us by the oncologist, so.) The primary tumor isn’t much larger, nor has the fluid in his lungs gotten worse. So maybe the semi-secret herbal supplement we’ve been giving him has made a difference? Idk.

2015-06-19 - Peedee & His Moo Cow - 0011 [flickr]

Really we won’t know for sure until next week, after the oncologist has had a chance to look over the newest images and compare them to the last round. Like I said, our vet’s good, but he’s not a cancer specialist. I’m trying not to get my hopes up while also not going too far in the other direction and freaking the fuck out. I was dreading yesterday’s appointment all week, and at least now it’s over. So there’s that.

2015-06-19 - Post-Walk Peedee - 0008 [flickr]

Otherwise Peedee is acting pretty normal so far: no loss of appetite, no trouble breathing, no weakness or lethargy. He’s his normal, anxious, hyperactive self. Though the warm weather has got them all feeling a little lazier than normal. Today it’s supposed to hit 95F, so we went the proactive route and cranked the AC this morning. I HATE to close up the house during the summer – it may as well be winter, without the warm breezes and wildlife sounds – but sometimes it just has to be done.

2015-06-19 - Post-Walk Peedee - 0014 [flickr]

So! This week. It actually hasn’t been overbearingly hot, so we were able to take them walking a ton. Peedee’s already tired of our street, so we decided to take a risk and go traipsing around town. For most of our dogs’ lives – well, the entirety of their lives, save for the first year we had Ralphie – we’ve lived in places with wide, open spaces: acres and acres of private property, or large public parks that mostly go unused. So the dogs are used to long leashes and running pretty much wherever they want. As wild as you can get with a harness. Yielding to traffic? Not so much.

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The Rat Terrier Review: Top o’ the Muffin to Ya!

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

This week was pretty low-key, mostly on account of the sweltering heat. Thus we spent quite a bit of time sprawled out on the bed, under fans, and (in the dogs’ case) on the nice, cool concrete floors.

2015-06-10 - Sweltering on the Couch - 0014 [flickr]

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2015-06-10 - Sweltering on the Couch - 0021 [flickr]

2015-06-08 - Dogs in Bed - 0003 [flickr]

Wednesday night we saw Avengers: Age of Ultron (MEH. Especially on the woman front.) and Tomorrowland (not bad) at the drive-in; it was so hot that the dogs nearly polished off the bowl of water we brought. They even sat still when I started splashing water from my canteen on them (desperate times, y’all). Peedee was pretty good, though not quite as amazaballs as last time; he barked twice, once at other moviegoers who walked right in front of HIS WINDOW (which was cracked pretty wide, in his defense), and again at the racket from the truck yard next door. Anyway, a good time was had by all, and we weren’t any hotter than we would have been at home, so.

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The Rat Terrier Review: Furry Road Edition!

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

2015-05-31 - Evening Outside - 0008 [flickr]

This week we’ve managed to tick a few more items off The Peedee-Do List, despite the ridiculous amount of rain we’ve been getting. I really shouldn’t complain, though; the worst that’s happened is our pond overflowed into our yard (just the teeniest bit!), and we’re getting eaten alive due to the influx of mosquitoes. Annoying but hardly the end of the world.

2015-05-30 - Kelly & Peedee - 0001 [flickr]

Naturally, there was quite a bit of couch potato-ing and teevee-watching. iZombie, mostly. Binging on GRAAAIIIINS!

2015-05-31 - Walking Peedee & Rennie - 0003 [flickr]

2015-05-31 - Walking Jayne & Finnick - 0003 [flickr]

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The Rat Terrier Review: Paul Blart Edition!

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

2015-05-27 - Five for Paul Blart! - 0012 [flickr]

Last night we ticked another item off Peedee’s to-do list: the drive-in! I’m happy to report that, while it was not an unqualified success – I spent much of the night in a state of hyper-awareness vis-a-vis his big damn mouth – the trip went much better than expected.

Way back when it was just three dogs, we tried taking Ralphie, Peedee, and O-Ren in various combinations – it’s hard now to remember the exact configurations – but all three were such big barkers that we quickly gave up. (I have vague memories of slinging blankets over their crates to keep them quiet, like birds.)

And then I fell in love with Kaylee, and she became a regular. She was happy just to be near me; the popcorn was a bonus. Needless to say, Kaylee was not a big barker; she saved her voice strictly for communicating her demands. Kaylee and Rennie grew so close that we eventually decided to give her a second chance and – surprise! – Rennie was much improved. After Kaylee passed, we handed her spot over to Mags, who was equally well-behaved.

So. Last night I’m loading the van up: blankets, pillows, crate, water, food. Mags and Rennie, both well-versed in the routine, work themselves into the usual excited frenzy: WE’RE GOING OUT! MOVIES AND TREATS AND A WHOLE NIGHT ALONE WITH MOM AND DAD! WALKS AND STRANGE SMELLS AND DISCARDED GREASY FOOD EVERYWHERE!

I can’t bring myself to look Mags in the eye, because it’s her spot Peedee’s taking.

Like, I seriously cannot describe how bad I felt: here she is, just two days off crate rest, and Mom and Dad and her BFF O-Ren are ditching her for the evening. Possibly other evenings to come. And she looked so happy, you guys! OVER-FUCKING-JOYED.

But we didn’t know if we’d be able to handle three dogs, especially when one of them was wild card Peedee.

Shane offhandedly joked that we should just bring her. And so it was decided.

2015-05-27 - Five for Paul Blart! - 0009 [flickr]

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The Rat Terrier Review: Memorial Day Edition!

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

I’m not sure one post makes it official, but I am making this a thing, people!

On Saturday, the dogs helped me plant marigolds.

2015-05-23 - Helping Me Plant Marigolds - 0009 [flickr]

2015-05-23 - Helping Me Plant Marigolds - 0016 [flickr]

Well, Rennie and Peedee helped; Mags had a fit from behind the bars of her crate, and Finnick tried his best to avoid the camera.

2015-05-23 - Helping Me Plant Marigolds - 0003 [flickr]

2015-05-23 - Helping Me Plant Marigolds - 0001 [flickr]

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