Lucy Would Have Been 13 Today

Lucy
My sweet Lucy girl didn’t make it to 13. She died last August, 2011, when she was just twelve and a half years old. I still miss her every day. She was one of those dogs who I swear was going to be around forever, so losing her was really hard on me.

Lucy was a good girl and had a great attitude. She was stubborn and knew she wanted things her way. She loved food and would do anything for a treat. Though when the treats were gone, she didn’t have much interest in working. But I was able to get an ASCA-CD on her and an AKC Rally Advanced Titles. She didn’t much like agility. She wasn’t built very well and had a hard time jumping. And she developed a strange limp when she was about seven years old. None of the vets we took her to could figure it out.

When she was nine she developed megaesophagus and we had to feed her upright in her chair. But she didn’t seem to mind as long as she got to eat. And she ate three of four times a day, which she really liked!

I have collie things all over the house, smooth collie things, to remind me of the collies. I love them so very much. I even have a switchplate cover of smooth collies, and I do think those kids switchplate covers are fun too. I wonder if I can make up customized ones… I’m going to have to look into that, because I love pictures of the dogs all over the house.

I adored Lucy and will always miss her. I wish our dogs could live so much longer and stay with us. The house is much quieter without our lovely Lucy.

Lucy’s In The Grey Zone

Sweet Lucy
Sweet Lucy
Oh my, yes it’s true, and I guess in a way I think it’s kinda sudden, and in a way it’s not. Lucy has been on the decline for a while now. Years, in fact. She’s had this awful limp for going on 5 years or more, that the vets could never figure out… yup, I just looked at her Rally Advanced title, that she got in 2006, and I think she barely squeaked by just starting to limp back then.

Anyway, then she was diagnosed with Megaesophagus back in 2009. At that time the vet told us that her organs would probably start breaking down. But she has hung in there and done okay since then. My husband made her a Bailey’s Chair and she’s done good with it, keeping her food down and keeping her weight up.

But she’s been losing muscle strength for a long time, now. Muscle mass, yes, and just strength too. When I woke up, I think it was Wednesday morning, her elbow was sticking out at a weird angle. So we took her into the vet on Friday. They said she probably pulled a muscle or something and she doesn’t have the strength to stand much anymore, nor does she really have the capacity to heal. She’s 12.5 years old now. I was really thinking, just a couple of weeks ago, that maybe she really would make 13… but now we are thinking we are going to have to say goodbye to her this week already. 🙁

She can’t hardly walk now. She tries to put her weight on legs that will support her, but there really aren’t any legs left that will. She still likes to eat, and her mind seems okay. But her body is failing her. So it’s such a grey zone now. She’s not really healthy enough to be alive, but she’s not really unhealthy enough to be dead… so we really are not sure what to do. But the more I watch her, the more I’m leaning toward letting her go this week. 🙁

Of course I’ve been crying off and on for the last couple of days. We can’t do anything until next week, of course. But it’s so sad. Lucy is a link to my past that none of the other dogs have. My old house, my old life before my husband and I were married. When she goes, that link will be completely gone. And I’ve always considered her the cornerstone of our pack. Though she’s very weak now and doesn’t exert much of an influence anymore. Tatum will definitely take over as pack leader. Tatum will be our only girl left….

And we only put Angel down a year ago last May. So that is still fresh too. Ugh. The roughest part of sharing life with a dog I love so much. I letting them go. I love Lucy with all my heart, and I really don’t want her to go away.

Lucy’s Meatball Diet

Lucy in her Bailey's Chair
Lucy and Jet

Well so far, so good, on the Meatball diet for Lucy. The first day, I gave her a liquid meal in the morning… her regular soaked and blended dog food. I want to make sure she gets enough water and so wanted to give her at least one liquid meal. Then the rest of the day I gave her a couple of meatball meals, and also some water mixed with gelatin. I think I still gave her too much gelatin too late in the evening, and so she regurgitated some of it about 1am or so. She was able to sleep on the bed with me though, which she loves, and she hasn’t been able to for a couple of years, because she gets me up at night so often.

 

She was drinking a bit out of the water bowls, which she can’t do, or else it’ll just come back up if she doesn’t sit in her Bailey’s Chair to get it down again. So the next few days I gave her two liquid meals… one in the morning and one about noon. Then after that it was all meatball meals. Oh boy, does she love eating meatballs!

She seems better at night, now. Last night she didn’t sleep with me, but in the morning there was no throw up on the floors, so that’s a great thing! I really am going to keep this up for a while and hope it helps her out so she doesn’t regurgitate so much. Poor Lucy, I really worry that her throat is raw and sore from regurgitating.

The downside is that ground beef is pretty expensive, but Lucy is worth it. 🙂 And another down side is the actual cooking, since I hate cooking, and when I stand in the kitchen for too long my upper back just hurts so much I have to sit down. But with the husband’s help, we’ll get her fed with meatballs. And we’ll monitor her weight, too, to make sure she’s not dropping weight. We don’t want her to be too skinny!

Meatballs for Lucy

Lucy
Lucy
We’ve been feeding Lucy a liquid diet for about three years now. Ever since she was diagnosed with Megaesophagus. She’s our collie girl dog and she’s been doing pretty good, keeping her weight on her and staying as healthy as we can hope for. However, she regurgitates a lot. She does so mostly at night and when we wake up there’s lots of throwup stains on the floor of the basement. She, of course, eats it again which is a bad thing. And we really can’t stay up all night with her, every night, that’s not practical for us as humans, either.

So I’ve been thinking lately about changing to the meatball feeding method for megaesophagus. So today I made meatballs for her for the first time. I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to try it. It is more work. I am making them out of ground beef with dog food mixed in, some brown rice, and some flour and eggs so they stick together and are kinda cakey.

Today is the first day I’ve fed them to her. So far, so good. Tonight will be the test, of course. I really hope she doesn’t regurgitate them. And for water I’m giving her gelatin in her cooled water. She wasn’t too crazy about that, so tomorrow I’ll put in some Ice Pups for flavor, I’m sure she’ll like that more.

Lucy also got to go to Ma and Paws today to get out of the house and have some fun. She likes that. And we can use the business credit card to pay for our splurge. We also got some bully sticks, which all the dogs love.

We Are Painting

Floor and Basement Phase Two

Yup we are painting… but not the walls, or the ceiling, we are actually painting the floor in the basement. It’s concrete and it was awful! An ugly icky red color that was hard to clean. And with Lucy having Megaesophagus, she regurgitates a lot at night, so we need floors that we can easily clean. The icky red was hard to clean. The new lighter color is much easier to clean! However, it’s easier to see the dirt and dog hair too, which may not be a good thing. LOL

It’s not white, but it’s pretty close. And it’s really going to cheer up the whole basement and make it more livable. More bearable for me. I haven’t spent as much time in the basement TV room for a while because it’s just… icky! So now it’s much nicer. We are even considering painting the ceiling and putting in some more lights. We can’t afford tile, and carpet would just get ruined, so paint it is for now.

Phase One

You can even see Lucy in her chair in the above picture. She is such a good girl and doing really well. I should get a tattoo of her to match my tattoo of Levi. I won’t need tattoo removal because I love my tattoos!