Fetch Spin

It’s been a couple weeks, and I still think about Yoshi a lot. This is going to be my first of many posts about funny/interesting stories about Yoshi.

One thing that most people know about him is that he loved to play fetch. He was pretty good at it too, and was fast. He was obsessive about playing fetch too.

This story isn’t about me playing fetch with him (though there will be a few of those), but rather about Yoshi playing with other people.

Whenever Yoshi saw a Chuck-It he would get excited. Quite often he would race over to whomever was playing fetch with their dog and join in. Yoshi was good though, and would actually return to the thrower with their ball, and not bring it back to me.

More than one person was impressed with this.

The only time it became a problem was if Yoshi didn’t get the ball. He would get all excited and do his spin around, annoying whiney actions. It was usually at this point that I would head over and retrieve him. Calling him never did any good, it was always necessary to walk over and put a leash on him.

He always loved a good session of fetch.

RIP Yoshi 1998 – 2010

I am still torn up about this but on Monday morning Yoshi passed away. The last couple weeks his condition had been deteriorating. Over this past weekend he began getting very crippled, very quickly and on Sunday Sue and I booked an appointment with a vet to come to our house on Monday afternoon. Early Monday morning it was apparent to us Yoshi could not wait, so we met with a veterinarian at their office and we said our goodbye.

We love Yoshi a lot and miss him terribly. There are noises I hear that remind me of him. When I walk into the kitchen I still look over to where his bed used to be to see if he is watching me. I know these will fade, but they still hurt now.

I don’t want this to be a depressing post though. I want to remember Yoshi as the happy, athletic, and energetic dog he used to be. When I am up to it I will be posting some of my fond memories of Yoshi. For now a few pictures.

We’ve had these antlers for a while and Yoshi actually didn’t mind wearing them. He got a great reaction wherever we went with them.

Yoshi loved to have a toy in his mouth. Rope toys, balls, chew toys. Quite often when we got home he would rush to the door to say hi, then we could see him looking about trying to find something for his mouth.

Running “all out” at Macaulay Point Park. His ears really flapped a lot as he ran. Very endearing.

He was quite a handsome dog. We took part in the SPCA Paws for a Cause several times and this was taken at one of them when it was down by the breakwater.

Running at a dog park with one of his buddies.

Taking a break at Macaulay Point Park. This was a great park we frequented a lot when we lived closer to it.

Galloping up the trail at Thetis Lake.

Yoshi loved sleeping in sunbeams. Even better was full on flaking out in the sun. At our old house he loved the sun deck because it got so hot. At our current house he loved to lay out back on the cement pad. Not quite as hot, but it did the trick.

The State of the Dog 2

This past Friday Yoshi had an Xray of his neck. It wasn’t the news we were hoping for. His spondylosis has progressed up his neck and the vet is thinking that his current condition isn’t likely due to an injury, but rather his degenrating spine.

For now he is off one of the drugs he was taking, and when we next talk to the vet we will see about upping the dose on something else. Right now he isn’t any worse nor any better than last week.

I really want Yoshi to be able to enjoy life. Every time I get him to go lay down in his corner I feel a little guilty and quite sad. This is no life for him. I hope that some time in the next month we can hit on some combination of medications that can help him out and allow him to enjoy life again.

There is more from Sox here.

The State of the Dog

Yoshi has been part of our family for a long time. Sox and I love him very much so it was very saddening a few years ago when we learned he had some spinal arthritis issues.

We got him on some medication, modified his exercise routines, and kept him happy. For a long time this was fine.

Recently we started noticing changes in Yoshi. He was having a harder time walking and occasionally on walks he would fall over. This tended to happen when he tried turning around or backing up. A few times he slipped down the stairs too.

A vet trip later and our vet thought a change in medication might be in order. We tried some cartrophen (sp?) shots, but they didn’t seem to do anything. Next up was some steroids, prednisone (sp?). For a couple weeks this seemed to be working.

The side effects are that prednisone makes you thirsty. More drinking makes him pee more. A lot more. Since I was not working, this wasn’t a problem.

This all changed on the weekend. Yoshi was acting funny, whining a bunch, and wasn’t himself. He was panting more too. Sunday morning I went to let him out for his pre breakfast pee he had a hard time getting up and whined loudly. Whining from pain is something Yoshi has never done. This was not a good sign.

Sox got Yoshi in to the vet for another exam and she was immediately concerned. Her thinking is that he has a cervical injury. It may be a lesion on a disc. This is devastating to us. Another indication that he is getting old and that he won’t be around forever.

The treatment is a larger dose of prednisone, and another couple meds. He also is not supposed to move for a month. No walks, no stairs, no running. More pills, more thirst, more peeing. We have to create a gulag for him so he can’t roam around. The pills right now have a sedatory effect so this is a great help, but it is still very sad to see.

The stress level in our household is so high right now. Three of us were diagnosed with strep and are taking meds. I started a new job so I am not able to help with the kids as much as I have been. Now Yoshi needs more care and attention, and agian since I started a new job I can’t help with the extra care.

If all this had happened a month ago, this wouldn’t be a problem. Having it happen now is just killer.

I am just a mess mentally. I’m trying to learn as much as I can for work, but any time I walk in the door all I can think about is Yoshi. He’s 11 years old and has lead a good life, but I am not ready to be without him. I love him to bits and am terrified that soon Sox and I will have to make a decision about whether he will have to be put down because of his failing body. I can’t stand seeing Yoshi in pain, and I firmly believe in quality of life, but that won’t make the actual decision any easier.

I have also thought about the kids. Elliot may have some memories of Yoshi when he is older, but it is unlikely Amy every will. It is hard to fathom that as important and loved as Yoshi is, Amy may not remember him later in life.

And I wish I could do more to help Sox out. That is stronger more than anything else. I want to step in, help out, and make things better. I’ve been so involved in house stuff for the past few months and not having that ability is leaving me feeling a little out of sorts.

Carnage House

Oh the carnage! I went out to do some grocery shopping. I was only gone from the house for about an hour, and this is what I came home to.

Yoshi managed to get into some recycling and shredded an orange juice container, a soup container, and a cream container. That wasn’t enough though. He also ate a gingerbread house. He left the wet sticky candies on the floor, but the whole house got eaten.

The bad part is that when I was starting to drive away I remembered that I needed the grocery bags. When I returned to the house Yoshi looked very guilty but I didn’t see anything amiss. If I had thought a bit about it, I would have just brought him with me. I could have prevented this mess.

Park Fog

We were in Nanaimo over Christmas, and we took the kids to a playground at Beban park (awesome playground by the way). Yoshi needed a spin so he and I walked through the trails at the adjacent wooded area (a participaction park).

We walked a ways, but I started to get cold so we headed back. Along the way I was struck with how the fog looked through the trees. Of course these cell camera pics don’t do it any justice, and if I had my real camera it would have looked totally awesome and spooky 🙂 Still, you get the idea.

Downstairs Intruder

This morning there was a bit of a rude awakening. Well, scary awakening actually.

Sox and I both woke up to some strange sounds downstairs right around 5:15 am. The noises were muted, but sound like a rustling noise. It honestly sounded like someone was downstairs in our house.

I also read this warning from the police so that heightened my anxiety.

My first thought was how did they get in. Second was where the hell is Yoshi.

Sox was concerned too, so I told her to put on her lamp thinking this would cause an intruder to leave. The noises continued.

While Sox grabbed the phone and got poised to dial 911, I got up and noisily put on my slippers again hoping this would cause an intruder to leave. The noises continued.

As I was going downstairs I heard a familiar noise of Yoshi’s claws hitting the hardwood. He was sleeping on the couch. The noises were him getting restless early in the morning. This happens when we don’t lock him in the kitchen at night.

Aaargh. I got locked him in the kitchen then went back to bed, but with the adrenaline flowing, there was no way I was getting back to sleep. Then Yoshi started whining around 6, and that was when I decided to just get up and take him for a walk.

Pets Crazy

People that have met my pets, or have heard some of the stories know just how crazy they are. I have a couple more stories.

Aphro the cat is a pretty reclusive and quiet cat. The other night Sox and I were just about asleep (around 11:30pm or so) and I could hear her scittering around downstairs, then come bounding up the stairs and into our bedroom. Silence for a couple minutes, then she took off quickly down one flight of stairs, around the corned, then down to the basement. That was a little weird.

Moments later I heard Aphro coming back up the stairs at full speed, then up the second flight of stairs. The bedroom door was only open a crack, and she didn’t fit through, and bounced off the door sending it flying into the wall. WTF? Sox turned on a light and I looked at the cat on her cat tree. At first I thought she was sitting on one of our Thrifty’s shopping bags. I got up to verify then discovered it was around her neck. Woops. That explains the crazy behaviour; she thought the bag was following her, and she got spooked.

Yoshi is a special kind of nutcase. Lately he has been bad, and has been chewing on a lot of things. I’ve been keeping a list of the things he has wrecked. On the weekend Sox had Yoshi at the vet for a checkup, and it turned out that when we switched his food we should have upped how much we gave him. We were starving him, and he has lost a significant amount of weight. Felt bad about that one.

The vet ordered a blood test for Yoshi, and she needed a urine sample as well. I can now add to the destruction list a urine specimen cup. Crazy dog. I stopped at the vet’s office today to pick up another one, and when I told them what happened, the two women behind the counter couldn’t help but laugh, and another gentleman dropping off his cat was laughing as well.

Crazy I tell you!

Spastic Toys

When we got back from the playground this morning, Yoshi was very happy to see us. He was quite spastic since he hadn’t been walked yet.

As the kids got settled in the house, Amy wanted a toy on the floor. We had used it on the couch to block Yoshi from sleeping there.

I then saw her sippy cup on his bed totally mangled. Bits and pieces everywhere. Aaargh. He had several of his toys all about and yet he rummaged through a cloth shopping bag to find this to chew on.

Apparently it had some leftover milk in it which made it extra tasty.

Yoshi Bolted

Well, it was bound to happen. I let Yoshi out the back door this morning after he was done eating breakfast for his morning constitutional.

As soon as Yoshi got outside I saw the buck standing in the middle of the back yard. The buck bolted, then Yoshi saw him and started to give chase.

I called Yoshi (rather loudly for 6:30 am) a couple times, and he stopped in the yard and looked back at me. By this point the buck was gone, and Yoshi returned to the job at hand.