Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Big News!

This is Pixie. Doesn't she look a little like me???
Hi everyone! It is me, Trixie, popping in again for a visit with some exciting news!

Lily and I are going to be FAMOUS DOGS!

Mama is telling us to settle down right now because we are not going to be that famous. But just a little famous is good enough for us!

It all started when Mama had the idea to write a book for kids, about dogs. She wrote a book called The Best Dog In The World. It is about a little boy whose family fosters a dog from a rescue organization. Mama said she got the idea from me! In fact, the main dog in the story even looks a little like me, and her name is Pixie, which rhymes with Trixie!

I think the book should say "by Trixie" on the front, but Mama says she is the one who did all the hard work of writing and drawing the pictures, and all I had to do was exist. But she did say that Lily and me are her Official Spokesdogs!

The best part of Mama's new book is that she is going to donate half of the profits to different rescue organizations. Most of the money will go to the rescue that I was adopted from. But she will also spread it around to other organizations. For instance, three times this summer she is going to be selling her book at different fundraisers for particular shelters, and whatever money she makes on those days, she will donate half of it to the shelter that hosted her. Also, if she hears of an animal who needs some special help, like a dog who needs a lot of medical care, she will donate some to that dog.

We are all excited about how many pets we may be able to help!

Oh yeah... and another thing? Mama says Trixie and I can have a blog again! We will probably start a new blog site, because Mama says this blog has a lot of personal information on it, which Mama felt safe sharing with you guys, our friends, but maybe not with the entire whole wide world. When it is all set up, we will come and give you a link. Will you follow us there?

She's also looking for a few people who might want a copy of our book to review on their blog. Would that be you?

Okay... if you want to go find out more about our book, our website is at http://nickimannbestdog.weebly.com. Be sure you look at the link that says Spokesdogs! That is my favorite page!

Oh yeah... also Mama said, at the risk of making her sound crazy, we can tell you that she called the Pet Psychic Radio one day because she really wanted to hear about Sammy-Joe. She was worried that maybe he somehow gave himself cancer because he felt like she didn't love him anymore. I knew that was ridiculous, but you know Mama, once she gets an idea in her head there's no arguing with her! Anyways she called, and the Psychic on the radio told her that Sammy-Joe is happy, that he met Mama's grandmother, and that he is a great hunter. He also said he is with Mama all the time and that he is her angel now! (Actually he said he was a cat with wings, but we knew what he was trying to say.)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Snowy Day

This is Trixie, everyone! Feels good to stretch my paws on the computer after being away for so long! Me and Lily just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the support for Mama's post about Sammy-Joe. She really is having a hard time getting over losing him. We tell her that he is still here with us... we see him all the time!

We thought we'd stop by and post a few pictures! Here in Chicago, it has been so cold for the past few days, we've barely been able to go outside! We'd go outside for a few minutes, and our paws would start to hurt. We've basically been going outside, doing our necessary business, and going back in. So today it is 15 whopping degrees out, and the sunshine felt lovely! We actually stayed outside and played for a while! You can see that the snow is so deep, Grampa shoveled out part of the yard so we'd be able to walk in it. Especially Lily...the snow is over her head!

We're going to bug Mama to let us come back here and post once in a while. Mama started her own blog where she posts about having ADHD and autism, and we do appear in there once in a while, but we think it is not fair that she should have all the bloggy fun. So, look for us!

With love,
from Trixie

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's Been Nearly A Year...

Hi everyone! This is Trixie, Lily and Sammy-Joe's Mama writing. It's been nearly a year since I posted here. The last time I wrote was the day that Sammy-Joe died. I promised I'd come back and blog again when I started feeling better... but it never happened. It was too hard to come back and blog again, without my Sam. 

But I still read some of your blog posts on Facebook, and I've been missing all of our bloggy friends. So I thought I'd come back and check in... and who knows, maybe we'll start blogging here again with Trixie and Lily! 

I wanted to write about the day that Sammy-Joe died. 

The night before, he'd been seeming to feel okay. But early the next morning, my dad came upstairs and told me, "You'd better come down and see Sammy. I think he's dying."

I ran downstairs to the basement and found Sammy-Joe lying on his side on the floor behind the water heater. I picked him up in my arms and held him. I wrapped him in a towel and sat down on a chair in the living room, snuggling him. I could tell he was in pain. For the first time in my life, I was actually praying that he would die... just die quietly in my arms... so he'd be out of pain. 

My dad was leaving for work, and since he felt like Sammy-Joe was going to die that day, he came to pet Sammy and say goodbye to him. Sammy growled and bit his finger so hard it started bleeding. That's when I knew Sammy was probably out of his mind with illness. He and my dad loved each other and had a very special friendship, so I knew Sammy would never hurt my dad if he was himself. It was a miracle he was letting me hold him!
Although I had always said, my whole life, I would not be the one to put Sammy to sleep and make the decision to end his life, at this time I realized it was the only thing I could do. But the vet was not open yet, and I also couldn't fathom subjecting him to a car ride at this time... he hated cars and the vet so much. So I got online and Googled "euthanasia at home." I came up with Lap Of Love, a company that provides veterinarians who come to your home. Typing in my zip code connected me with Dr. Juliana Lyles. It must have been some sort of miracle that I came up with her info so quickly... not only that, but it turned out she lives only a few blocks away from me! Although it was still early in the morning, when I called her and explained the situation, she was able to get up, get ready, and be at our house in less than an hour!

It was almost surreal... she asked me if I needed time to say goodbye to Sammy, but all I wanted was for it to be over. He was crying and in so much pain. Dr. Lyle explained to me that the type of euthanasia she gave pets was different than usual, because it was really an overdose of anesthesia. Most vets give the pet something that causes their heart to stop. But the overdose of anesthesia enables them to feel really good and pain free right away, and they just fall asleep and don't wake up. 

While we waited for Dr. Lyle to arrive, I had been assuring Sammy-Joe that someone was coming to help him. I can never stop thinking how abnormal it felt to want him to die, but he was so scred and in pain, and I knew it was happening either way, and I just wanted it to happen as quickly as possible for him.

Dr. Lyle gave him the shot. Then we both stood around him petting him, and I was telling her about how I got him, and all these memories about him. I was actually happy and laughing, just before we realized Sammy was gone. 

Dr. Lyle had brought a special basket with blankets to tuck Sammy into. She put him in the basket, and Trixie and Lily came over to investigate. We all sat on the floor around the basket. The saddest part was that Trixie kept trying to play with him... she kept taking her nose and trying to get the blanket off of him, trying to nudge him to get him to move, and whimpering at him. 

Dr. Lyle also gave me two things to remember him by... she cut off a lock of his fur and tied it in a ribbon, and she made a pawprint in some Model Magic.

We spent a lot of time just sitting there with Trixie and Lily, petting Sammy-Joe in the basket and talking about pets. When it was finally time for her to go, I gave him a kiss goodbye just before hse carried him out of the house. 

It was the only good thing about the whole experience... instead of having to take Sammy-Joe to a cold, sterile vet's office, and drive home without him, we both got to be at home. It also helped that Dr. Lyle was not just a veterinarian doing her job, but she was really there for me, helping me get through it. 

After she left, though, I cried and cried all day long. 

It has been almost a year, and I still haven't gotten "over" Sammy-Joe. When my dog Chopper died, about 5 years ago, it was so painful, but when we got Trixie I was able to focus on her and it helped me heal. But because I am still staying at my mom's, I am not allowed to get another cat... not that a new cat would ever replace Sammy-Joe, but I have always believed that when one pet dies, he or she helps choose the next pet for you. I really believe Chopper was chosen by our first dog, Zip, and I believe she helped bring both Trixie and Lily into my life.. especially since my mom had said we wouldn't be getting another dog at all. Loving Trixie and Lily feels like a natural extension of loving Zip and Chopper. And someday, Sammy-Joe will help bring a new cat into my life. But until then, I still cry about him all the time. 

Part of it is also that I feel I failed Sammy-Joe in so many ways. I was really young and dumb when I got him. I was living on my own and he was my first "own" pet. At the time I was living with some "friends," and I found out later that they had been very rough with Sammy-Joe when I wasn't around. 

At that time I was around 20 years old and had been on my own, sometimes homeless, since I was 17. When I lost my place to live, my parents offered for me and Sammy to move in with them. For years I had refused to live with them again. I was adnament about being on my own. But because my only other option would have been to become homeless again and leave Sammy-Joe with someone else, at the last minute I decided to take them up on their offer. 

For a lot of Sammy-Joe's life, I wasn't around. He became partly my parents' cat. When I joined AmeriCorps and moved to Colorado for a year, I opted to leave him with them, because I was afraid he wouldn't be safe with me in Colorado. I was going to be living with a roommate who had a young son, and also a cat who was an "outdoor" cat, and I just felt worried about bringing Sammy there. So for a year, he was without me. Then, after a year, I lived at home for a few months, but ended up getting in a fight with my parents and moving out again... to be homeless. I left Sammy behind again then too. It was like that for years... I would move in and out, but always left Sammy behind with them, because I just couldn't give him a secure home and I felt like he was safe with them. I know I saved his life by letting him stay with them. But my regret is that I left him in the first place, letting my anger and depression get in the way of making good decisions. 

By the time I started this blog, my life was a lot more secure. I had moved back in with my parents for good, this time bringing with me the small dog I rescued from the place I lived before... a dog you would come to know in this blog as Lily! But even that makes me feel a lot of guilt. Sammy-Joe never felt comfortable with Lily in the house, and he spent the rest of his life tiptoeing around her, never quite being the cat he had been before. He was already old by the time Lily moved in, and I guess he didn't have the energy left to put up with her shenanigans, although he had been best friends with Chopper and medium friends with Trixie. 

I think about him all the time. Right next to my bed is a picture of me holding him in my arms, when he was only a few years old, still huge and bright-eyed and energetic. I still cry for him a lot at night... not only for losing him, but for not being there for him when I had the chance. 

Maybe writing this will help me finally heal my heart? But I just wish I could talk to him, and tell him I'm sorry, and have him understand how much I loved him. 
Sammy-Joe's picture from our first blog entry, on December 30, 2010.  

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Sad Day

We are so sad to let you know that our Sammy-Joe went to the Rainbow Bridge today.
He died at home, with the help of a wonderful Laps Of Love vet. Mama says she will write more about it but now she is so sad and has to lay down. We are all going to snuggle on the couch for a while.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mama Consults A Psychic

It's me, Sammy-Joe again! Thanks everyone for your kind words and thoughts on our posts! I wanted to give you another update on how I'm doing.

Mama did something kinda funny! I don't know if she ever told you this, but a long time ago when our big sister Chopper was still here with us, Mama talked to a pet psychic. She said it was eerie because the pet psychic (who was over the phone and had never met Mama or Chopper) was able to tell her a bunch of small little details Mama would have never thought to tell her about... like the fact that Mama had just recently bought Chopper a new bed. Chopper had never had her own bed before, because she usually slept with the humans, but as she got older Mama wanted to get her a bed to make her comfy when she was lying around on the floor. The psychic said that Chopper showed her a red, rectangle shaped dog bed, and said that she really liked it and that it was very comfortable! (We still have that bed... Trixie and Lily sleep on it sometimes now!) The psychic also said that Chopper showed herself being fed some skinny orange little sticks and that she really liked him... that day Mama had been eating carrots and ranch and had shared several of her baby carrots with Chopper! Much later, when Mama got Trixie, she talked to the same psychic, who was able to describe Trixie's weird habit of jumping around in circles, chasing her tail and shaking her head.

So. I think it is a little silly because, as you can see, Mama talks to us all the time, such as when she helps us write this blog. But when it comes to really important things, Mama wants to make sure she really gets it right. So she called a pet psychic (a different one before... this one has her own online radio show and Mama actually got to be in ths show so the call was free!)

Mama wanted to know if I was in any pain and how I was feeling lately, and if there was anything she could do for me to make me happier. The psychic told Mama that I wasn't feeling like I was in pain, but that I had kind of a tight feeling in my stomach. She told Mama that I enjoy eating cut-up people food. (That is definitely true... Mama cuts up a little bit of her meat for me every time she has it, and I wolf it down. Isn't it funny how both me and Chopper wanted to talk about our favorite people food?) She said that I feel like I don't want to go to the Rainbow Bridge yet because I want to stay here and take care of my Mama. (That is very true. I don't want Mama to be sad. I know how sad she got when  Chopper went to the bridge, and I know she will be just as sad if I go, because I am her very special kitty boy.)

The psychic also told Mama to look for a better quality of food for me. I've been eating Meow Mix all my life, because when Mama was younger she liked the Meow Mix commercial and I liked the food and whenever she tried to change it on me I got mad. But as of late I got to switch to Meow Mix wet food, which was even better than the dry food! And the psychic said to look for a food that does not have as much wheat in it. Mama says the wet Meow Mix doesn't have as much wheat as the dry food, but she still decided to look for something new. Last week she started giving me Nutro wet food, and today she brought home some wet food called... you'll never believe this... Chicken Soup For The Kitten Lover's Soul! (She gets me kitten food because she thinks it will have more protein and be gentler on my stomach.)

Last night I didn't feel much like eating. Even when Mama gave me some cut-up porkchop, I didn't really want to eat it. (Don't tell Mama, but the real reason I didn't want to eat it was because it was really, really dry!) But Mama was a little worried about me, and she came in and had a long talk with me. She told me that she loves me so much, but if I want to go to the Bridge I should go whenever I want to. She said she'll be really sad, but that she'll kind of feel not as sad because she knows that Chopper is there waiting for me. (Chopper and me were best friends... not like these newer dogs who get on my nerves!) Then she hugged me and petted me and kissed my ears. I felt bad because I knew she was trying hard not to cry. So I stood up and gobbled down the dry porkchop pieces, just to make her feel better!

Mama wants me to let you know I am definitely not miserable or anything like that. I am happy and walking around, and I stand on top of Grampa's work bench and wait for her every morning when she gets out of bed, and I still love catnip and Mama just bought me a new mouse with catnip inside! So I am a happy kitty. And all your kind thoughts make me even happier!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Sammy-Joe's Vet Visit

Hi everyone! Sammy-Joe here! I read all of your comments, and thanks, everyone, for caring about me! I don't even feel like I am sick, but I know Mama has been very worried. 
Mama has been telling me that she was going to take me to a special doctor just for kitties. I was a little nervous about that! And it turns out, there was a good reason to be nervous!
First we had to stay there for ninety million years two hours because even though Mama asked the other vet to fax over my records, their fax machine was broken or something and the faxes weren't coming. We kept waiting and waiting. I heard other cats meowing all around me, and it was freaking me out! I used to live with other kitties when I was a kitten, but I haven't seen another cat in person for about 12 years! I know that's a little weird, but I just don't do kitty playdates. 
Then the nurse came in to take my temperature. At my usual vet, they use an ear thermometer, which isn't too bad. I usually just hide my head in Mama's armpit while they do it. But at this vet, they use a different kind of thermometer. 
I got really angry then! It took two nurses to hold me down while they finished taking my temperature. I was trying to bite them. Mama got really nervous then, because they said, if I bit someone, I'd have to stay at the vet for rabies observation! Luckily I didn't manage to bite anyone. 
Then the evil meanies nurses went away for a while, and I had some time to explore the room. I walked around growling, the whole time. Mama really tried to help me calm down. She even put her coat on the floor for me to lay on! But I would have none of it. 
The real horror started when the veterinarian came in. My Mama picked me up so the doctor could look at me, but I just kept hissing and flapping my paws around, and when the doctor tried to hold me I jumped away. Then the mean nurses came back in. 
One of the nurses opened a cabinet to get something. I saw my chance! I jumped into the cabinet and tried to hide! The nurses were reaching in and trying to get me, and I was yowling and spitting and hissing and trying to bite them! When they managed to pick me up by trapping me under my carrier (I have a carrier that is more like a gym bag with screens for me to see and breathe out of) I was acting even crazier! I was so scared. I would have done anything just to get out of there. 
Then the worst thing happened. THEY PUT A MUZZLE ON ME! It went over my eyes and mouth and I couldn't even see. The two nurses were holding me down while the doctor looked at me. I was screaming through the muzzle, "Let me go! Let me go!" 
Mama was embarassed because I had never acted like that before at the other vet's office. Also she was upset that I was so afraid. Mama wanted to call it quits and take me home. But something even worster had happened. Somehow in all my freaking out, I cut my paw! The doctor couldn't get it to stop bleeding right away. It was only a little blood, but the doctor said he didn't want it to get infected. So he put medicine on it, and then he put a bandage on it! 
Finally they put me back in my carrier and took the muzzle off. I was so happy, I calmed down right away. But I didn't like the bandage. I kept shaking my paw and trying to flick it off. 
Now I am at home. I am llayiing in my kitty bed and hiding my bandaged paw from everyone. Mama wanted to take a picture of it, but I said no. (Maybe later, unless I figure out a way to get it off!) 
Next time Mama says she wants to take me to the vet, I am going to bite her nose!
Me in bed, hiding my paw from the camera
Note from Mama: Yep, all this is true. Sammy-Joe was acting like Satan's Spawn at the vet. He was even spitting at them! I really expected his head to spin around at any minute. I kept telling the vet and nurses, "He has never acted like this before!" I don't think they believed me. 
As for the outcome... because they never managed to get his medical records from the usual vet, they couldn't decipher his blood test results for me. But they did do a physical exam, and they found a mass in his belly. The vet thought it might be in his spleen. The good news is, if it is only in his spleen, he could get an operation and get the tumor (and possibly his spleen, which is rather useless anyways) removed. 
I really have to think about it, because besides it being expensive (I would pay every drop of money I have for him to get better, but I can't spend more than I actually earn, and I don't have a credit card) I'm worried about him being put under anesthesia for an operation. They also said he might have a heart murmur. I would be afraid that the anesthesia itself could kill him. Plus, the way he acted today for just a thermometer in his butt, I would hate to have to torture him with a full operation! 
If anyone has any input, I would really love to hear it. 
Thanks, as always, for all your comments! I have a job now that really isn't going so well, and sometimes when I come home I just can't force myself to do anything but sleep. (I'm on winter break now, so that's why I've been a little more energetic.) But I will definitely keep everyone posted on Sammy-Joe and the others. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

We hope you read this!

Hi everyone! This is Trixie at the wheel. We are so sorry we've been gone for so long. And Mama is sorry too. She just hasn't been able to get herself to blog lately. Her new job is kind of wearing her out. Mama gets home from work every day and just collapses on the couch. Me and Lily lay with her. We all squash together on one little couch. Maybe someone will take a picture of us one day. 

We've got some sort of sad news. Mama thought maybe we shouldn't come on here to write about it, since we haven't blogged for so long. She said it would be like just showing up when we have problems, after ignoring our bloggy for so long. But me and Lily thought it would be sadder if we didn't tell our old friends about this, after all you've been through with us. 

For a long time, Sammy-Joe has been losing weight. For a while, way back in February, he kind of stopped eating for a while. He got really skinny and bony. It was weird to see, because Sammy-Joe has always been kind of... um... volumtous. 

Mama took him to the vet, and they tested his thyroid and tested him for some other stuff. They ended up telling Mama that nothing was wrong with him, and that he was probably just bored with dry food. So Mama started feeding him wet food instead. Which he loved! And from then on he gobbled down as much food as anyone would give him. He also loved gobbling down kitty treats, and any meat leftover from Mama's meals. He even ate a potato chip once! But he didn't really gain much weight. 

So a few weeks ago, Mama and her family went on vacation in Hawaii. We all went to our various boarding places... Lily at doggy daycare, me at my friend's house, and Sammy-Joe at the vet. Mama asked them to do another blood test on Sammy-Joe, because she thought he might be diabetic.

When Mama came back from Hawaii, she went with Grampa to the vet. I, Trixie, was going to meet them there, and they were also going to pick up Sammy-Joe. While they were there, the vet asked Mama and Grampa to come into a little room. Then, he told them that he thinks Sammy-Joe has cancer, and that he only has four or five months to live!!!!!!

Mama got really upset. She cried and cried. Then Mama started trying to think positively. She did some research and found out that a mixture of cottage cheese and flax oil, fed in a small amount each day to a pet, has been known to help dogs and cats beat cancer. It strengthens their immune system, which is a really important part of fighting cancer. Mama also decided she wanted a second opinion about Sammy-Joe. 

See, when Mama talked to the vet, he said Sammy-Joe's bones were making a high amount of white blood cells, and that it was probably cancer. But Mama thought that cancer makes you have a low amount of white blood cells! So she was confused. Then she emailed a special vet just for cats, and the people there told her that there can be many reasons for a cat to have a high white blood cell count. They asked Mama to bring Sammy-Joe in for an exam with them. So on Wednesday, Mama is going to bring Sammy-Joe to the kitty vet and see if they can help him. 

Mama says, if it turns out that Sammy-Joe does have cancer, she doesn't think she'll put him through chemotherapy. Mama knows a little human girl who is going through chemo, and the chemo is tearing the little girl apart almost worst than her tumors were! Mama is afraid that would be a lot of pain to put Sammy-Joe through, and that he might not even understand why, and that the treatments could even end up being what kills him. So she is worried about that. Plus, cat chemo is really expensive and Mama probably couldn't pay for most of it. 

Our biggest hope is that the kitty clinic is going to say there is something else wrong with Sammy... something that is easily treatable. If it really is cancer, then our biggest hope is that the kitty vet will help Mama find ways to keep Sammy as healthy and happy as possible, for as long as possible. She'll keep on giving him the flax and cottage cheese, and she'll do whatever else the vet says she should do, and maybe we'd even try pet reiki and things like that.

So that is what is going on with us. Mama hasn't even mentioned this to very many people in real life, because she thinks if she says "cancer" out loud, it is going to make the cancer real and give it too much power. 

It was two years ago today, almost to the minute, that we started our blog. And even though we didn't get to post in it as much as we should of, during 2012, we never forgot about all of our friends. So we thought you should know about Sammy-Joe... and if you can, send pawsitive thoughts our way!

Trixie and Lily

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