Sunday, June 8, 2014

Agent Jake of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Look what I got! Mom got them in the mail, it's badges made like the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on TV and movies! Mom made one for all of us... it was after Zoya passed away so we didn't get her one, but it's okay.

Mom said that the height options were too big for me and Atom, so she just did the smallest size for Atom and then a few inches bigger for me. And there wasn't an option for "Tri-Color" under hair color so Mom just picked "other".

Caninsulin Adventures Begin: Dealing with Canine Diabetes

The weather got really warm really fast! I want to go for more walks but I've been feeling yucky. After losing my sister, Zoya, Mom and I did a few walks but I started feeling sick. I was getting clumsy, like falling and stuff. I lost weight too, so I was excited at first...

These are from one walk after Zoya passed away...

I found a bird nest!
It was empty though...

But then I started having... accidents...
A lot of them... like, I'd move and just tinkle.... or I'd try to hold it and I couldn't....

At the vet's clinic for a little lab work...
I don't like needles so I couldn't watch... "Tell me when it's over!"
Atom, my little brother, came for support... he watched.
Needles don't bother him when they're sticking in someone else...
Mom noticed how thirsty I was all the time too and she brought me to see the doctor. At first he was afraid it would be something called renal failure, but when my lab work came back he called and told Mom I have diabetes.

I weighed about 18.2 kg which is just around 40 pounds. Last year I was 55 pounds... about 24.5 kg. I thought I was doing well, losing all that weight, but it turns out that a lot of it was a thing called muscle atrophy.... Mom says it's when the body eats muscle because it isn't getting what it needs from food. In my case, I was eating but I wasn't able to use the glucose I'd get from the food so over time my body started attacking itself to survive and I lost weight from that.

It's scary to have something that you didn't have before and now it'll be with you for the rest of your life. I didn't know what to expect, and I don't really understand what's going on.

The doctor said it hasn't been going on very long, it's just good that Mom and Dad saw symptoms to bring me in to the vet clinic. If it went on longer I could have been really sick. I don't feel great now, but I'm starting to get better.
Caninsulin... the insulin Mom has to give me every morning and night.
Right now we use these needles, but Mom is going to get a thing called VetPen so Dad can help too.
I'm practicing making this face a lot. Whenever I do, Mom snuggles me and gives me kisses.
It's only been a few days, but I've been trying to be good about taking the injections every day. I have to have a bigger dose in the morning, after I eat, and then a half-dose at night, also after I eat. The thing is, I'm not always hungry when I need to be to stay on that schedule -- Mom's been trying to help. She mixes enough food with some canned food so I eat enough before getting my injections, then leaves the regular dry food for me to pick at during the day if I want.

I like to sneak Atom's food sometimes. It's tiny, like little candies! But the doctor said I can't do that and Mom and Dad have to be extra careful about it. I also have to change to a different food. It's one with a prescription. Luckily, I can stick with Vet-Concept... Oh! Did I mention that? I was using the Hill's Metabolic Diet, but then I stopped enjoying it and Mom decided to switch to Vet-Concept like Atom gets. I was eating a Care Pack food from them, for older dogs... but now I'll start to switch to the prescription food for diabetic dogs. I hope it tastes good!

 Vet Concept Care Plan

 Vet Concept Low Carb

Mom can also get the low-fat canned foods to add to my morning and evening dishes, so I eat enough when it's time for injections.

Life changes are tough! 

They're tougher when you just want to make a change but have no real consequences for making or not making the changes... in this case, I have no choice but to change things in my life or I'll get more sick and probably die. I'm just not ready to go yet, so... change it is!

Jake's Diet Updates for 2014 - Dealing with a Loss

I haven't posted in a while. The winter was yucky for exercising. It was very cold in the mornings, and the ice on the sidewalks made it slippery, which hurt my hips and knees too much to walk a lot.  But we didn't get much snow, so it was just cold.

Then it got warmer during the days, 60 degrees or higher! Great for walking in the morning... but something happened....

Dealing with a Loss in the Family Pack

My Mom and Dad went on a short trip in April. Zoya, Atom, and I stayed in a dog hotel. It wasn't a bad hotel, we had our own room to share, and it was big. With a chair and beds and blankets to snuggle on, fresh air, walks every day, plus time to play in a fenced yard -- we got to play with the small dogs, no big scary ones to make me nervous. It wasn't a long stay, only about a week, and everything seemed fine. But the last night we were there, we all went to sleep but Zoya never woke up.

Mom and Dad were very sad. Zoya was my big sister for about 10 years... she was only about 12-years-old, or so we thought... but Mom says that sometimes animal shelters estimate ages as young as possible, to give dogs the best chance for adoption. They told us Zoya was about 2-years-old... and that was in 2004. In reality, she could have been older. She never got white hair like me and Atom have... she always looked like a puppy... Mom joked that Zoya "moisturizes so she stays young"... I don't get that... must be a person thing.

Adjusting After a Loss

Anyway, so now it's just Mom and Dad, me and Atom. Our Pack feels a little small... Dad always said "no more" but after Zoya passed away Dad said "Okay, probably more... but probably not until we move back to the States." I don't know when that is... Mom said it depends on work and school situations for her and Dad, so I guess we'll see.

It's an adjustment when a Pack gets smaller... everything is quieter. Zoya was always the loudest at barking... and she was always afraid of stuff, but I miss that. For the first month, Atom kept sleeping on her bed in the bedroom every night. I wanted to sleep there too so sometimes we shared. He misses Zoya too, even though he's younger so he only knew Zoya as a big sister for 6 years. It's still all he ever knew, so he's been sad.

Getting Better After a Loss

I think things are getting better now... we're still sad. Mom is still sad sometimes, but she puts on a strong face for us so we know everything is okay.

Everything will be okay... As long as Mom and Dad are around, I know everything will always be okay.