The elusive final chemo

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Hi Everypawdy!  Life has been good this week… Holly’s bloodwork was better than last week (her counts went from 540 to over 5000!).  She was scheduled to get her last chemo yesterday, but her veins wouldn’t cooperate because she was dehydrated.  It’s been hot here in Chicago, and we’ve been picking up the water in the early evening because of the puppy without thinking about how that could affect poor Holly.  So the vet gave her fluids yesterday, and today she’s enjoyed some salmon popcicles we made yesterday, and some frozen pb&yogurt treats (thanks, Comet!) so hopefully she’ll be good to get her final chemo tomorrow.  Her spirits have been good, except she’d like to erase the little intruder from our house.  She does a good job totally ignoring Zuzu – still really only shows her backside to the puppy!  And of course Zuzu is very excited about Holly.   So we’re working on harmony in our pack. 🙂  Holly now allows Zuzu to nap within a few feet of her – so we’re making progress!

Harmonious Living with 2 Dogs?

Holly Jolly By Golly!

Grandparents were visiting over the weekend, which was awesome for Holly since Grandma (who is not a dog person) loves Holly and made sure to give her plenty of pets.

I’ll update again tomorrow night or Friday to let everyone know if Holly is done with chemo.  I’m hoping we’ll be celebrating the end of that soon!

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I have a new little sister!

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Hi Everypawdy!  Guess what?  I have a new little sister!  And I’ll tell you, she’s pretty cute even if I’m not letting my mom know that I think that.  She’s only somewhat annoying to me – like when she tries to play with the tags on my collar.  She jumps up and tries to grab them – how annoying is that?  But as the big sister I know I need to stay patient and teach her how to be a good dog, so I haven’t growled at her or swatted her or anything.  My mom says I’m being so good and I’m getting lots of extra cheese for it! YAY – you all know how much I love cheese!  My new sister’s name is Isabella Wolfjaws but they’re calling her Zuzu.  As Opie would say – sheesh!  What kind of a name is that?  My other sisters really like to hike, and there are mountains my family climbed in the Adirondacks called Upper and Lower Wolfjaws – so they named her after that.  I guess I’m pretty lucky to be called Holly Jolly By Golly, huh?  I wonder why they didn’t name her after the mountain I climbed with them – Ampersand!  That would be way cooler, don’t you think?  Maybe someday they’ll take Zuzu and me to climb Wolfjaws, too – afterall Mackenzie has shown us all what an amazing hiker a tripawd can be!  So here’s some pictures of Zuzu.  My mom says it’s really hard to get pictures of the two of us together cuz either I move away too fast or Zuzu runs around too fast.  But she’ll post some more once we settle down together.

I think everypawdy should get some treats to celebrate Zuzu coming to our family!  Oh, and Zuzu is a mix of a Golden Retriever and a Poodle – so I know she’ll be pawsome since so many of my friends here are Goldens and of course there’s the ice cream loving Miss Cherry who was a poodle!

See what I mean – she’s trying to grab my tags in this picture!

See how she loves all my frisbees?

The intruder

As for me, I was supposed to get my 6th and final chemo yesterday.  But the vet decided to wait until next week since my white blood counts were low.  I could probably blame Zuzu but I didn’t meet her until Monday when they took my blood – so I don’t think even she could have made my blood look bad that quickly!  Mom was so surprised since I did pawsome after my last chemo.  Anyway, that all translates to even more treats for me since Mom feels bad about that.  And the vet put me on antibiotics just in case – which my mom wraps in cheese so you can guess how I feel about that!  This week has been pretty good to me so far…


Holly Jolly By Golly

Happy Spring!

My mom has been pathetic about posting the last few weeks, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and do my own post.  I’ve been so busy that it’s hard to know where to begin!  First, we went on a long, long ride and I ended up at a dog park with Gerry!  We had so much fun running around and watching the other dogs (he mostly did the running and I mostly did the watching).  HIS mom was quick about posting our adventure video; here are some pics that my mom took before her camera battery ran out.

We had a pawsome time!  And we really showed all the peeps there how cool tripawds can be!

Friday was a banner day – I got to play with my boyfriend Ernie in the morning while my mom and his mom were busy doing stuff.  And then I got to go play with my puppydog friends Murphy and Zeus while our moms gabbed.  I was all smiles all day!!

Today I walked in a walk to raise money for the Wellness House – it’s a place where people and their families can go for support when they have cancer.  I think I was the only tripawd!  And everyone loved me!  I wished I had a tripawd bandana to wear – I’m going to ask my mom to get one for me.  Some people didn’t even realize I didn’t have 4 legs.  And one little girl told her mom that my leg was broken – she was very cute.  After the walk my mom’s friends gave me some yogurt, which was almost as good as ice cream.  You all know how much I love ice cream!  But my mom wouldn’t let me finish all of it cuz she was worried about letting me have too much sugar.  Boy – I sure would have liked to lick that container clean!  But she promised me that she’d make me some of Comet’s frosty paws treats so I can’t wait for that!

I hope all my tripawd buddies had a great weekend!  Happy Spring!


I love ice cream!  Tonight my family let me clean out the ice cream container.  My mom kept laughing – must be she was really enjoying her dish of ice cream.  I know I was enjoying mine!  Check it out…

Hard at work
OK - it was stuck on my head, but I figured out how to see again!
Boy does this taste good!

Ok – there were a few minutes where I couldn’t see at all and it was stuck on my head.  But I did figure out how to use my paws to get it off.  I’d say that’s really using my head!  There wasn’t a drop of ice cream left when I got through with that container!  Spirit Cherry sure knows what she’s talking about!

I hope everyone is getting yummy ice cream this week!

Always Holly Jolly By Golly

4 down… and some good news!

Yesterday Holly had her 4th chemo treatment.  All went well, and so far she’s been in fine spirits.  While she was at the vet, they did x-rays of her chest, and the x-rays are clear!  I can’t even express the relief – I wasn’t sure I wanted them to do the x-ray, and they hadn’t told me they were going to do it.  So when the vet tech said they had taken x-rays I think I held my breath until she said all was clear. 🙂

Over spring break Holly vacationed with her good friend Ernie, the yellow lab.  They spent lots of time studying the squirrels in Ernie’s back yard – but I’m not sure what conclusions they reached.  Perhaps more study is needed.  I’m sure Holly will file a report with all you tripawds interested in squirrels!  Holly also met her first pussycat while she was at Ernie’s – Sweetness is afraid of Ernie but evidently liked Holly!  And now Holly really likes cats!

For now we’re happily back to the usual… Holly hanging out under my desk, checking out the squirrels in the yard, monitoring the big cheese box in the kitchen, and watching for the mailman.   She’s happy, which makes all of us happy!

(2nd picture is Holly with her puppydog friend Murphy)

Happy dog, Happy days

Holly’s back to her old self again!  We had some snow on Saturday – the peeps in the house woke up and said “yuck – more snow”.  Holly woke up and said “cool! more snow!”.  She went outside and made tons of snow angels in the yard – rolled all over the place. It was hilarious to watch her!

And the house is once again covered in her toys.  When we sit down and talk over dinner, she grabs a squeak toy and squeaks it – kind of like she’s joining in the discussion.  She’s once again living up to her nickname – Jolly Holly. Yay!

And thanks to Comet for Holly’s cool new banner for her blog – I hadn’t yet figured out how to do that and Comet came up with one for her!  So now she’s not so generic anymore. Thanks, Comet!

Holly won’t have chemo for 2 more weeks – her schedule would be for next week, but lucky for her (and us!) it’s her sister’s spring break so we’re going away.  Her next chemo will be 4/6.  We’ll see how she does with that before deciding to continue with more chemo.  Her vet thinks she should get 6 – he thinks she’s been doing well.  But he also knows he’s not seeing her day to day when it hits her.  So we’ll take this one day at a time.  Hey! We’re getting better at that all the time now! 🙂

Happy Spring!

Another day

Holly’s appetite’s been off since her 3rd round of chemo, but not as bad as after the 2nd round.  She had her follow up bloodwork done yesterday and today her results came back – wbc was 2800.  The vet said that’s a dip, but not terrible.  She wouldn’t eat breakfast today and threw up this morning… but is now eating dinner which is a good sign.  The vet put her back on the metoclopramide (anti-nausea), so that might be helping.  I’m struggling with whether to continue chemo… I hate seeing her uncomfortable for so long after it.  Our vet feels that she’s doing well enough that we should continue.  I think we’ll do round number 4 and see how she does with that.

Her energy has remained pretty strong, except for Saturday when we all wanted to nap.  But you’d never know her tummy was bothering her if you were to see her – she’s still getting excited by life, her tail is still up, she’s still giving lots of kisses.  So the outward signs continue to look awesome!  We’ll celebrate that life is good today – and it’s a sunny day at that!

I think we’ll take a nice walk after dinner… her favorite thing to do! 🙂  As Bob always says, we must feed her spirit!

3rd round of chemo today

Holly’s white blood cell counts were back up this week!  Yay!  They went up to over 7,000 so the vet and oncologist said she was ok to resume chemo.  So she had her 3rd chemo treatment today.  They cut the dose by 10% to be on the safe side.  And she’ll be getting Metoclopramide for the next few days to hopefully help with the nausea she experienced last time.  We’re keeping fingers and paws crossed that all goes well.  She’ll have her blood work checked again next week just to be sure, and if it’s too low they’ll start her on antibiotics.

Holly, of course, has been true to her name today – Jolly Holly.  She was so excited to go in to see her friends at the vets – of course to get the treats they all give her.  A treat to stay on the scale to be weighed.  (hey – I might not mind the scale so much if I got treats when I went to the doctor and had to be weighed!)  A treat from the vet tech who gives her chemo (who she adores!).  More treats from the ladies at the desk.  She was true to form and gave the vet tech kisses all the way through treatment.  And then barked at every dog we passed on our way home.

So… for now she’s doing great.  She even licked her bowl clean tonight!  And armed with some meds to counter the nausea, I’m optimistic that this round will go better than the last round. 🙂

A rainy day in Chicago…

Holly continues to let me know that she thinks she’s doing awesome.  That puts a big smile on my face… sometimes I have to remind myself that she doesn’t care that her white blood cell counts are low, or whatever!  Thanks for all the encouragement after my last post… it helps to have all of you here.  We’ll stay pawsitive for this week’s blood work, and hope for the best.

Anyway, when I started writing this (yesterday!) we were having the 4th really nice day here in Chicago.  We walked into town to mail some letters, and stopped at the little dog store (where Holly loves to stop since they have yummy grain free treats!).  Then we played in the backyard for awhile – Holly kept laying down in the snow and she looked so funny!

Feeling frisky in the snow!

Needless to say, laying down in the snow would never sound appealing to me… but what do I know?  She was rolling around in it yesterday, and throwing herself all over it and basically being goofy.  It was hilarious!

Today is a rainy day, better for napping than taking a walk.

The squirrels have been really active in our yard.  It could have something to do with the sunflower seeds we put out for them so that Holly would have some entertainment as she looks out the doors.  🙂  She likes to watch the “nature channel” alot – and this way there’s something fun for her to watch.  But today even they’re taking a nap… think we’ll head back to the couch for a nap!

Holly:  boy, I thought she’d never walk away from that computer so I could let you all know how I’m really doing.  I’m doing great!  I just like to worry mom a little since it usually translates to more treats.  And that worked out for me big time last week!  I’m also learning that if I want a little more affection, then all I have to do is stay quiet for awhile and she’ll give me lots of attention.  Sometimes that’s hard with all the pesky squirrels in the backyard, though.  And my family is always going into the big, cold cheese box in the kitchen, so I usually have to go investigate who’s eating all my cheese!  So sometimes my plan goes a little haywire when I lose my head and jump up to investigate stuff.  But that also works out, since I usually get cheese when someone opens the big cheese box! 🙂  (that’s me when I’m eating cheese)

No chemo today

Holly was scheduled for her 3rd chemo treatment today.  We got a call from the vet this morning telling us her white blood cell counts were too low so we need to put it off for a week.  Her counts were 1073 – he said the low end of normal is 3000 and they want them to be at least 2000 before chemo.  So we’ll do another blood test on Monday and if all looks good then her 3rd chemo will be the next day.

The good news is that no one told Holly that something’s not quite right.  She ate breakfast and dinner with some enthusiasm today, and was good at performing her jobs around the house – she barked at the mailman, barked at a dog walking down the street, chased a squirrel out of the yard, and monitored cheese drawer activity.  We even played a rousing game of “where’s mommy?” (she gets some cheese everytime she finds me – no wonder she loves this game!)  She gave me lots of kisses, and her tail was at “full mast” most of the day – all good signs, I know.  I just hate it that this awful disease comes along and one little call makes you remember that all is not completely right inside even though all the external signs are awesome. Sigh.  So I enjoyed all the little kisses I got today, and she got some extra scratches behind her ears and extra treats.  With a 2 day celebration of her ampuversary and now another day of extra treats and scratches and rubs, I think she may think this is now the way to live her life!