The Trials And Tribulations of Tansy

I swear, she danced along with *this* song. No joke! Maybe she’s worried about the service weasel. Anyway, she is overdue for an update. What a time she’s had!

It started off when she had a really persistent yeast infection in her ears. That thing would not go away! it took a couple of rounds of regular ear medication, plus some super duper long-lasting ear infection killing stuff, but finally she got the all clear.

It’s really weird when the vet gives medication to take home and we’re doing the curbside thing. I just don’t think to ask them to help me give the first dose. But I kind of got burned this time. I looked at the bottle and it looked like a kind of med I’d given before. But when I got it home, I could not open the darn thing! I eventually had to bother a neighbour because not even Aira could help me! So I try to remember if I’m getting any sort of medication to ask them to help me give the first dose. They said I could bring it back there and they would help me, but there was no way I was spending that much on cabs just for them to go *twist*.

She also lost some hair. They asked me if she was licking herself, but I didn’t notice. We gave her some anti-itch stuff and the hair came back, thankfully. And she kept spawning these pustules. They just went away on their own. Then I made the mistake of saying that she was asking for extra trips outside to pee. That sent us down a giant rabbit hole. The vet was very thorough and took me seriously, which I appreciate. But I wasn’t expecting the journey we would take.

First, they tested her for diabetes, and that came back good, so I was relieved. They also made sure she didn’t have a UTI. So I thought maybe she was just doing an older dog thing. Maybe her little doggy bladder can’t hold as much. But the vet didn’t like how diluted the urine was. So first we tested for kidney issues, and ran a whole pile of blood tests, and they all came back fine.

Next, the vet thought she might have Cushing’s disease, an endocrine issue that causes the dog to produce way too much cortisol. If she did, I would have been forced to laugh because I have endocrine issues that cause me to produce too little cortisol. As Steve is fond of saying, “They match you so well!” So I had to leave her at the vet so they could take blood a couple of hours apart to measure cortisol. That came back normal, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

We also reached out to the Ontario Veterinary College because we were pretty stumped. The college, plus the school, thought it would be a good idea to get an abdominal ultrasound to make sure all the organs in there looked good, and the college wondered if she had a teeny tiny UTI that just wasn’t showing up on urine tests because the urine was so diluted, so they asked for urine to be taken directly from the bladder and taken away to see if it would grow a culture. In case you’re wondering how they do that with dogs, they use an ultrasound to guide them, and then stick a needle right into the bladder! *shiver* Why is it that both Trixie and Tansy had to go through this? The ultrasound came back great, and so did the urine.

Then she wondered if Tansy had something called Diabetes Insipidus, which didn’t sound like her except for the part where she had to go outside more frequently. So we had to figure out how to measure how much water we put out versus how much she was drinking. Long story short, she wasn’t drinking a whole heap, which confused the heck out of my poor vet.

So, the only thing the vet could think to do is to test the urine concentration one more time before trying to give her this weird anti-diuretic hormone supplement, and by some miracle, it was pretty close to normal! So for now, we’re just sighing with relief and scratching our heads. But that was quite a ride.

We also discovered that Tansy’s eyes are starting to not be as good as they used to be. I mean, she’s over 10 and a half, who can blame her? I was starting to notice that she was having some depth perception issues, and if it was too dark when we would throw a ball, she wouldn’t try to go after it. So the vet looked at her eyes and said if she looked really closely, she could see a thickening in the eyes. She said there wasn’t anything that could be done for it, it was just dogs getting older. But if I wanted to, I could take her to an ophthalmologist and they could have a look. I talked to the school, and they said they would certainly help with paying for transportation if I wanted to go, but I didn’t get the sense this was something that needed doing urgently. I just had to think about not asking her to work in dark places. Since this is a pandemic, we’re not going too far, so I just let things be.

Tansy has never had a problem with the vet. She always has been happy to see them. But lately, she has changed her opinion on this. I can hear Steve saying “Gee, I wonder why! The last few times they have seen her, they have not done nice things to her!” Yeah, it’s probably true. Plus, they come for her when I’m outside, and then take her away from me and into the building, and that’s probably not the happiest thing. I feel like an evil person when I hand her leash over and she tries to stick to me like glue.

Speaking of leashes, Tansy broke hers! I’m pretty sure Trixie’s original leash lasted her until the end of her adult life. But one day in December when I was with someone at the Christkindl market, The rivets on the leash just went *pop!* Thankfully, it broke in such a way that she was still under control. It just wouldn’t let me change it from long leash to short leash. Also, thankfully I had a spare at home so I wasn’t screwed for too long. Man! Those leashes are mortal!

While we’re on the subject of equipment failures, I pulled out some Pawz boots that had been in my coat pocket since pre-pandemic, and somehow, the salt had eaten holes in them that I could feel! That was crazy. And I must have gotten out of practice with putting Pawz on because I’ve lost a couple from them just falling off on a small route. One fell off just from getting into and out of a cab! That never happens!

As she gets older, I get more comments about how old she looks and less about how puppy-like she is. That makes me a tiny bit sad, even if it’s inevitable. It happened suddenly. It was like a switch flipped and John Q. Public went from going “Wow! She’s 10?” to “She is getting older.” or “There’s a lot more grey now.” or “What’s wrong with your dog?” or the worst, “She looks kind of scared.” Poor Shmans is finally showing her age.

She seemed to have a really hard time adjusting to the latest time change. Sometimes, when we go through a time change, she’s a little weird about her potty trips outside for a week maximum. But she just kept sticking to the old times, and trying to find times somewhere in the middle between old and new. I called it Eastern Shmandard Time. Eventually, she pretty much normalized, but even now, she sometimes wants her final potty to be at 9 instead of 10.

She’s so lazy now. At dinner time, she hangs out right where Steve’s feet will wind up when he comes to sit down and eat. She waits until the last second…and then moves over a few feet so he won’t squish her. Sometimes she tries to anticipate where he’s going to go and fails. But she always waits until the last possible second.

One thing I still haven’t gotten used to in these COVID times is when I get into the back of a cab, I have to make sure her harness doesn’t snarl the barrier and maybe rip it. When I used to be allowed to get in the front of cabs, I was used to making sure the handle didn’t hit the dashboard, but I’m still getting used to watching out for the barrier. They’re all different, so I never know what I’m going to hit.

I guess the last thing I can write down for now is a dream I had about Tansy. I dreamed that Tansy was living with my parents, and someone hadn’t let her out and she had an accident right on the kitchen floor. I also had a dream that she would walk so slow that if I was walking with her and trying to follow other people I would lose them. In the dream, she refused to get in the car. I guess my brain is turning over what will be the thing that makes me retire her, and what will her last years be like. Apparently I have a morbid subconscious. But Tansy is getting up there, so this is something I have to think about.

But what I have to think about right now is getting out of this chair and feeding a certain hungry hound who still has some spring in her step yet. Until next time…

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  1. There are two extremes to the her laying in my spot thing. Sometimes she’ll barely move at all, and other times she’ll haul ass out of dodge like a herd of steamrollers is coming after her if I so much as get within four feet of her and even if I pretty clearly have no intention of sitting down and am just walking by. She’s so funny.

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