Thursday, May 15, 2014

Morning Musings

Sometimes, if I'm up really early, I'll check my blog to see if anyone has left a comment, then go back a year or two to the same timeframe and read what was happening in the blind dog's life. Last year at this time, I wrote about a trip to the vet'sMurphy getting a new brother, and Ray's associating the opening of the cellular shade with the presence of Hugo. It occurred to me, while I was reading, just how much has changed in the last year and also just how much has remained the same.

While change is, of course, inevitable, some changes are heartbreaking. Hugo's passing falls under that category as does, to a lesser extent, the fact that we haven't seen Murphy since she adopted a new brother. We've seen Murphy's mom but not Murphy or her brother, Browning.

Part of the reason for this lack of contact is I can't seem to figure out how to introduce Ray to Browning. One lesson I've learned while walking Ray is that meeting a pair of dogs creates a whole different dynamic than meeting just one. Ray and I have learned to be a bit more wary when meet and greets occur with two dogs that live together. Add to that the problem of Browning not being raised around the blind dog. Unlike Murphy, he won't be used to a dog that will randomly run into him (tends to cause fights). So, while we would like to see Murphy again, we're not sure what to do about the new brother. It's been a year though, we need to figure it out (please consider the comments section as a suggestion box).

Under the category of some things remaining the same, this week we were at the vet's. For the last month or so, Ray has been limping on his left foreleg and sometimes, when he gets up from a nap, he is quite hobbled with pain. We took him to the vet when it started and were told that he probably had arthritis but without an x-ray there was no way to tell for sure. We started treating him with a joint-health supplement and an occasional anti-inflammatory but after a month without any noticeable change, took him back to the vet for the x-ray which only confirmed the diagnosis.

The vet told us to continue the supplements (sometimes it can take six weeks before improvement occurs), and we were given information on other pain management options such as laser therapy and acupuncture. After researching both (i.e. checking on cost), we decided to go with the laser therapy.

So this week, Ray had his first treatment; his second is on Friday. It will probably take a few treatments before we see any change (if this option works for him, it doesn't work in every case), but we have high hopes that Ray's pain will be under control in no time.

Another thing that remains the same, Ray still reacts to the sound of the shade being raised or lowered. Even if I accidentally bump the shade and it makes a noise like it could possibly be raised, Ray reacts. He whines, he makes a gargling noise, then he gives a couple of high-pitched shout outs (I must get this on video). It's been ten months now since Hugo went to the land of milk and cat treats but Ray remembers the big black cat. And somehow, in Ray's brain, the raising of the shade will forever be linked to the presence of his unforgotten brother.


  1. Bittersweet that Ray still connects the shade to Hugo. Hugo & Moonie led the way for Dumpling & Harvey.
    Awww...I wonder if Murphy misses Ray. Probably.
    And, thank, but I will pass on typing practice. My backspace key gets enough of a workout. ; )

    1. Yeah, if it wasn't for Moonie and Hugo, Ray wouldn't know how to love a cat.

    2. Oh, I think Juno would have found a way to make friends with the big hound. She seems tenacious enough. Hugo and Moonie just made the road an easier one for them to bond. My Ross paved the way for Cooper and Zoe to get along.

  2. It is eye opening to look back a year and realize all the changes that have taken place!

    I hope that laser therapy works for Ray. I had to switch supplements for Blueberry after the ones she was originally on just weren't getting the job done. I've also noticed that she requires more anti-inflammatories during the colder months - she's my spotted little old lady dog.

    Maybe you could send Murphy and Browning's mom a note "from Ray" explaining the situation. I bet she'd think it was fun getting a note from your blind hound and would be willing to let Ray and Browning meet a few times to see how it goes. If nothing else - maybe Ray would get to see Murphy again!

    1. I'll keep you updated on the laser therapy. The supplements we're giving Ray were recommended by the vet but I'm open to suggestions (if you want to post the type you're using).
      I keep in contact with Rachel, Murphy's mom. Part of the problem is she lives about an hour away now. So if the introduction doesn't go well, we'd have to turn around and come right back home. And Ray would be so heartbroken to not get to play with Murphy once he was there.

    2. I use Freeform and Dasaquin for Blueberry - they work together so it's not an either or situation. I used to give her Phycox but it wasn't as effective after she was on it for about a year so that's why I made the switch to the double meds. Plus she is on Rimadyl as needed as well as Tramadol for really bad days which thankfully have been few and far between.

      Oh I didn't realize she lived an hour away - that certainly makes it more difficult. :(

    3. We're using the Dasaquin now. Without the Freeform. I'll have to look that one up. The anti-inflammatories don't agree with Ray's delicate constitution so we are trying to avoid them.
      Yeah, it was a sad, sad day when Murphy moved away. Sadder still (for us) when she got a brother. Up until then at least we got to have sleepovers every once in a while when her mom and dad had to leave town. Oh well.