Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WTF Wednesday - Mango on Thin Ice (with video)

WTF has happened to the weather? The Mango is beside himself confused.

Just a few short days ago I was enjoying warm breezes and the little blossoms on our baby fruit trees.

Oh, you need to look closely to see me. I am hiding.

But yesterday when I went out to partake of a morning sip from my official spring is here Mango sized water bowl I discovered that the water was totally hard like rocks!

Friends, have you ever had to eat your morning refreshments? It is hard work!

But that's not the worst. Not by a long shot because I almost perished right in my own pool!

Yes, dear readers, the Mango's leggies conspired to go all slipping and sliding and I became TRAPPED right in my yard.

Trapped with nobody to help, because as the Mango struggled for his life what did Evil Witch do?

She made a MOVIE! Yes! That is how heartless she is. I'm all like, "WTF, lady, get me out of here!" And she is like "Oh, Mango, you are too funny."

It is beyond imagining. I am needing the mentals therapies for sure. See for yourself the abuse up with which I put by watching here or below.

The mind boggles.

Mango Man! Oh yeah!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Epilepsy Awareness (a day late)

This post is kind of a PSA with lots of *important* words, but few pictures.

It wasn't until momma got home from the work place and I was reading blogs with her that I discovered that yesterday was totally epilepsy awareness day (thanks to my friend, and fellow seizure dog, Gibson).

But you know what? Better late than ever because there are so many doggies out there who get visited by the seizure monster, so here goes.

The seizure monster first visited me, Mango, The Relentlessly Huge, in July 2010. Momma wrote about it here.

Now momma had read about other doggies having the seizure monster, but had not realized how awful it was until she saw her beloved mastiff in the grips of that devil. But let me tell you something. The Mango has no recollection of it at all. Except that I kind of smelled like pee for a while and was pretty thirsty.

And the vets were all like "we just need to wait and see what happens next." You know why? Because until you know how often the seizure monster is going to visit, you won't know if you have done something to scare him away.

So we waited almost a whole year and that pesky beast visited me every month or two until one time in May of 2011 he visited and stayed a long time and master was home alone with me and was so scared and so I had to take the phenobarbital.

Let me tell you about that, because while I don't really remember any seizure monster visits, I remember when I started taking phenobarbital very clearly.

The first couple of days were like "no problem, feeling a little light headed, but I can deal with this." But by the third day, I was drunk as a sailor. Yup, I could not even get up without help and given my impressive size, one time when momma was home alone with me it took her ten whole minutes to get me up.

Even then, walking was hard and I would sometimes bounce off the walls and fall down again and when I tried to do my business, my bottom components would collapse and so momma contrived to hold my rear ends up for me. It was quite vexing for sure.

But I started to get used to it and to prove it, here is a little movie from just a week after starting my phenobarbital. You can see how my rear still sometimes had a mind of its own. Whoops.

But pretty soon, I was up and around and moving with my usual grace (ignore the date at the end of the movie - momma is so dopey like she totally didn't know April from May - sheesh).

And you know what? I feel pretty lucky because the seizure monster has stayed away for 10 whole months and not only that, but I get cheese food twice each and every day to help make the medicine go down.

So listen up! If the seizure monster ever visits you. Remember, you are not alone and there are lots of doggies who fight that demon each and every day. Gibson has lots of good links and resources on his bloggy here.

And I am going to share with you the movie he made of just some of the doggies out in blog land who live with doggie epilepsy. It is long, but very happy making. You will see (watch it on YouTube here).

Here are a couple of icons you can put in your sidebar if you want to show your solidarity against the seizure monster.

I'm going to sign off for now and then Mango Momma wants to say some of her blue words, OK?

Mango Man! Oh yeah!

Mango Momma here. I want to share what I have learned about seizures in dogs, but please add your wisdom in the comments.

  1. Seizures are very common. That's good and bad. Good because your vet will have seen it before, bad because it happens far too often.
  2. Watching your dog have a seizure is terrifying and nothing you can prepare yourself for.
  3. Most dog parents will rush to the ER after the first seizure. You should. You should do that even though they will likely take some blood, rehydrate, and then send you home with a prescription to "wait and see."
  4. Your dog does not know that he or she is having a seizure. But when it is happening you should;
  5. Stay away from the dog except to try and make sure he/she has a clear, soft space (if possible). With Mango it is just too dangerous for us to approach him at all. His jaws are chomping and his legs thrashing with such force that when he had a seizure in the bathroom he moved the toilet 1/4 inch.
  6. Talk to your dog. Just repeat over and over, "momma's here" and try to keep a calm aura.
  7. Clear all pets and children to a safe place immediately for their own protection.
  8. When the seizure abates, let your dog get up on his own. Dogs are often blind and very disoriented and might not recognize you as a friend. LET YOUR DOG COME TO YOU.
  9. Make sure your dog has plenty of water. If possibly, offer some vanilla ice cream to get their blood sugar back up and apply a cold compress to the neck to help lower body temperature back to normal.
  10. Be patient. Mango typically takes an hour to begin to recover. During that time I close off rooms and sit in one place talking to him. I let him wander and settle when he is ready (Dexter is kept away).
  11. Your vet will want the seizures to establish a pattern before prescribing medication. Rule of thumb is 3 seizures within 24 hours or any seizure lasting more than 10 minutes. Mango had seizures every 1-2 months for almost a year before he had a giant cluster seizure that tipped the balance for us.
  12. Try to make your house as seizure friendly as possible. We (finally) put up railings on our back deck out of concern that Mango would have a seizure on the deck and fall off. Close off rooms (like the bathroom) where having a seizure could harm the dog. I also recommend closing off stairways. In the few seconds before a seizure, Mango would sometimes wander blindly to some part of the house never visited. An open stairway could lead to a serious tumble.
  13. Phenobarbital is (in my experience) much worse than most vets will let on. This "cure" was more horrible for Mango (in the beginning) than the disease. He was unable to get up or down or even walk more than a few steps without assistance three days into his treatment.
  14. If you start phenobarbital, do not be afraid to negotiate a lower dose. Mango's dose was cut in half four days into his therapy. The side effects were unmanageable. He has done well on the lower dose.
  15. Is it possible that a dog can have seizures from vaccinations, heartworm, flea and tick preventative, or any number of chemicals you use on your lawn or to clean your house? Absolutely. With Mango, I held my breath as I continued life as usual for all those things and did not detect any correlation between them and the onset of a seizure. But it is good to keep track just in case.
  16. Finally, reach out to the DWB community. A seizure dog can be all consuming and it helps to have friends who understand what you are going through.
Most seizure disorders will not get a definitive diagnosis. We were offered a brain scan to look for a brain tumor in Mango. We declined. As with any procedure, you need to think about the "what if?" For Mango, the "what if?" of a brain tumor is no different than what we are already doing; helping him enjoy life as much as he is able. That, my friends, is the #1 (and the hardest) prescription for every human with a seizure dog.

Love your dog. Help him or her live their lives to the fullest.

Monday, March 26, 2012

POTP for Halle

Beautiful (and ever so stylish) Halle was visited by the seizure monster.
I am sending Relentlessly Huge vibes her way.
Click here to join me.

Mango Man! Oh yeah!

Monday Morning Book Reviews by Mango Momma

When I am sick with a cold, the only activity that I enjoy is reading books. Can't seem to get my head around blogs and watching TV or movies just feels like too much of a commitment. With a book, you can take it slowly, reread as required when you dose off, and carry your companion around as you journey from couch to bed to comfy chair.

So during my recent incarceration with a severe head cold, I read three books. Shockingly, none of them were dog books, but they were all good nonetheless.

This was read at the recommendation of Beastie Mumsie. What is it about? Hard to say. What I can say is that it is as wacky and off the wall as one of Mango's photoshop adventures. I'll give you the Amazon description if that helps... Philip Horkman is a happy man-the owner of a pet store called The Wine Shop, and on Sundays a referee for kids' soccer. Jeffrey Peckerman is the sole sane person in a world filled with goddamned jerks and morons, and he's having a really bad day. The two of them are about to collide in a swiftly escalating series of events that will send them running for their lives, pursued by the police, soldiers, terrorists, subversives, bears, and a man dressed as Chuck E. Cheese.

Did that help? Well, maybe you'll just have to read it for yourself.

That was followed by an odd little tome that I nabbed during a recent wander through the non-fiction stacks in the library. Twelve Days of Terror by Richard Fernicola.

The author is actually a doctor of rehabilitation and pain management possessing a rather unhealthy obsession with the shark attacks that occurred along the Jersey Shore in 1916. The first third of the book describes the attacks in grisly and titillating detail.

Once he's got you, he spends the rest of the book going through an extraordinary amount of detail about the different types of sharks, who they eat, where they eat them, and, conspiracy theories about links between German war activities and the tragic shark attacks.

I really liked it, but since I read it on the day I was sickest, maybe I had a bit of a fever...

Mr. Brown's son, Walker, was born with a rare genetic disorder named cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome or CTC (only about 300 known cases in existence today). I found his descriptions of dealing with his son's condition heart breaking and scary. But he also discusses the failure of the health care system and questions the efficacy of relentlessly mainstreaming severely disabled children. It gave me a lot to think about, that's for sure.

While the dogs were somewhat indulgent of my lassitude on Friday and Saturday, yesterday they were united in their desire to get me out of the house and they both enjoyed good walkies as well as some tennis ball and training.

I did give myself a time out from the usual weekend chores, but curiously found myself scrubbing the shower stall with great gusto. Perhaps the bleach fumes helped clear out my head.

For those of you still reading, Dexter has started official dog dancing school and is loving it as am I. Hopefully more to come on that front. In the meantime, the pool is officially opened.

And serious sun baking in progress.

The boys should be back with our regularly scheduled programing soon (as well as reading and commenting on our friend's blogs).

Mango Momma

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Momma's Head is Cold

Momma says her head is cold. Subsequently, she keeps drinking some vile black liquid from a shot glass and going back to bed.

Personally, I think putting a hat on would be a quicker fix, but I'm just the dog.

Apparently the cold head negates walkies and other fun activities. Even reading blogs. Can you believe it? I am patiently awaiting the return of normal.

Mango Man! Oh yeah!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WTF Wednesday - Triple Header

Today I have three WTF's for you.

Presented in ascending order of WTF-upedness.

#3) Why does momma insist on always destroying my slobber art? Take this fine example that got sucked into the vacuum machine just moments after the photo was taken.

Come on! I worked hard on getting just the right viscosity for that delicate lace effect.

#2) Why do "drive-thru" windows have a braille option? Seriously?

And last, but not least...

#1) Remember when Pea tripped me going down the stairs and I totally could have gotten broken? Yuh, and momma was all "Oh Mango, it was an accident, he didn't mean it."

Well, just look at where I spotted him laying about the other day. Little devil!

Nasty labralog all hoping that I will not see him when I am charging down the stairs to protect the estate from intruders.

After all I've done for him. That is messed up.

WTF, dude? I am so on to you.

Mango Man! Oh yeah!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

WTF Wednesday - Special Sunday Edition

Some of the images in this post might be disturbing to more sensitive readers.

Me: You aren't going to post that photo you took of me, are you?

Evil Witch: You mean this one?

Me: I TOLD you not to post that! I look totally dorked out.

Evil Witch: Oh, Mango, I think you look adorable.

Me: ARG! My friends will think I've been sampling the pheno barbie doll whilst unsupervised.

Evil Witch: OK, well, um, is it OK to post this photo of you and Pea doing synchronized potty action? How cute is that?

Me: NO NO NO! What is WRONG with you? My fans are going to think I pee like a girl.

Evil Witch: Well, you do usually pee like a girl, but I have this one of you doing a kind of token leg lift.

Me: WTF is wrong with you? How many pictures do you have of me doing my business? That is so messed up.

Evil Witch: Um, ya think so?

Me: Yes, I do. I seriously think that you need some sort of mentals therapies. My readers' eyes!

Evil Witch: Well, you know, Mango, some of your readers don't appreciate that you seem to always have your lipstick out.

Me: I don't see a problem.

Evil Witch: As long as we are skating along the edge of tastefulness, can I show how you like to line up your poops facing north?

Me: My poops have faces? Freak me out!

Evil Witch: Not sure why, but I happen to have a nice photo of your nards. I think that would complete this set of inappropriate photos.

Me: What do you mean inappropriate? It's all Mango, it's all good.

Mango Man! Oh yeah!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Stuffie Wars

Some of you might be thinking "Hey, Mango! We are totally missing your remarkably erudite posts and comments." To which I say, "Sorry, pals, but the work place has been rendering momma's mentals so depleted that it is all she can do to engage in a fun activity with my large and always up for learning tricks self before she collapses into a heap watching endless episodes of that dumb Glee show." As if! Hope those kids graduate soon.

So I was totally outside doing my morning ablutions and I realized that my snowman stuffie was feeling tired of being in the weather and looking a bit sorry.

I immediately brought him inside, but let me tell you, it was not without protest from momma. She was all like "Oh, Mango, that stuffie is gross! It has been outside too long. I don't want that in the house." And Pea was seriously stalking me to try and put my beloved snowmanperson in between his leathery lips.

Momma was all "Come on, Mango, let's go back outside with that toy, OK?"
I am "No way, foolish human, this stuffie is staying in with the Mango."

But you know what? No sooner had I put my disturbingly large head down to rest but wouldn't you know that evil human tossed my stuffie onto the deck and that little black devil was out there like a shot getting his labracooties on it.

And why oh why does momma never notice those glowing evil eyes? Clearly he is not right in the head.

With great effort, I hauled my large and not keen to get up and down self outside, whereupon which I attempted to behave in an innocent "no, momma, I promise I will never bring the snowmanperson inside again" manner.

When she was distracted by the idiot lab, quick as a wink, I was back in and order was restored.

However, I think I am going to have to sleep standing up from now on, like Chrome, because should the evil witch try to snatch my stuffie away again, I can ill afford the curious delay between the decision to assume an upright position and actually finding myself on all fours.

It is going to be a long day.

Mango Man! Oh yeah!

P.S. You know what else? I totally rolled down the stairs the other day. Yup, for sure. I was headed down like a freight train and that stupid PeeWee jumped in front of me and tangled my leggies. Luckily, I was able to turn and roll. For real. Like I was on my front on one step and then on my back on the next and then plop onto the patio. Except for a little scrape on my snooter, no worse for my ordeal, but not my idea of fun.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Frisbee is not a Tennis Ball by Dexter

What greater pleasure is there in life beyond retrieving a tennis ball? Friends, I will confess that when engaged in said activity, yours truly is sometimes even too distracted to consume noms. Yes, that's how good it is.

However, our good buddy, Bolo, sent a parcel to our estate which contained an object known as a Frisbee. Momma assured me that this, too, was a retrieving toy and my labraheart would fill with joy chasing it about the yard.

I was skeptical.

While I did gamely scamper after momma's sorry excuses for Frisbee tosses, any hope of fun was quickly set aside once the fun police a.k.a. jaws on doom clamped on to the blue disk.

As you can see, just a brief journey into that bottomless maw caused irrevocable structural integrity breaches.

While a bit sorry that I did not have more time to perfect my Frisbee skills, I was not entirely disappointed when momma asked me if I would prefer to break out the tennis balls.

I was quick to secure one for my own enjoyment before the Relentlessly Slow of Thought was able to react to the fact that the joyful golden orbs had, once again, made an appearance.

Not one for hackneyed phrases of questionable origin, I felt compelled to shout out "let the good times roll!" Such is the thrill of tennis ball that it renders one virtually incapable of proper speech.

I played until I could play no more.

But have no doubt. A short sun bake will leave me ready to go again.

While I rest, you can watch an exciting movie of my close encounter of the Frisbee kind here or below.

Dexter done!

P.S. Being a rugged, athletic, all weather kind of chap, I enjoy snow, sleet, rain, as well as sunshine. But since many of my readers pine for the white stuff, I give you this photo of our last remaining snowbank.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dog Book Review by Mango Momma

Well, nothing like a sleepover in the hospital to afford time to catch up on your reading. Luckily for me, the nurses obliged by bring stacks of paperbacks from the break room, but prior to that I was able to finish a couple of the dog books from my reading queue and they were both winners.

Ms. Thayer was in her fifties when she decided that a solo journey to the North Pole was on her bucket list and determined to check it off. She had at first determined to make the journey alone, but the locals convinced her that she needed a dog and graciously donated Charlie to accompany her.

Good thing, too, as not only were there plenty of polar bears bent on enjoying middle aged lady snacks, but he also served as her emotional support when things got tough (and they got really, really tough). Don't worry, they both make it back OK, but even knowing that, reading of her harrowing expedition can get scary at times.

Next is a wonderful book sent to me by Taffy's mom as a little Mango Minster thank you.

Dogs and a Cottage by Dora Wright. I couldn't find this on Amazon, but did find a bookstore for it here.

Even if you don't love Airedales (which, of course, I do), this is a great read for anybody who loves dogs. A determined, self sufficient, middle aged (again) woman, Ms. Wright sets to buying her "dream cottage" and continuing her Airedale breeding program.

Her writing is no-nonsense as she tackles the challenges of re-constructing her house into a livable space. You'll also learn a bit about the mind set of a responsible breeder whose goal is to continue the proud lineage of healthy, happy Airedales.

It's no secret that I would love another Airedale. Maybe someday. But for now, I can get my terrier fix by reading good books and the wonderful blogs of my Airedale friends.

This next one is not a dog book, but it's good too. Lacie Mumsie suggested I stop by the library and pick up a copy of Eat This Not That. (unlike Mango and Pea, I do whatever Lacie and her Mumsie tell me - they are scary)!

There are a ton of books in the series, but I chose the "no diet" one. A very practical guide to making good choices when dining out or eating at home. And a slightly different philosophy than the standard preaching regarding a healthy diet. So, even though it will require (gasp) food preparation on my part, I'm going to give it a shot.

I am feeling fine after my ER adventure (but have possibly crossed our local hospital off my list of places to visit). I think that if the EMT's ever have to drag my sorry self off the estate that I will pin a note to my chest that says "anyplace but Framingham." Even Dr. Dreamy in the ER and all the wonderful nurses, technicians, assistants, and other crew could not make up for what struck me as a sloppily run endeavor.

Given that I read everything and anything in front of me (read the user manual on my IV drip, my automatic bed, and every scrap of paper on the walls and bulletin boards) it should come as no surprise that I snatched my chart up and read it cover to cover. Even before my stress test I noted that there was a set of discharge papers right up front stating that I had not had a cardiac event. I was one of three patients who made a jail break "against medical advice" from the cardiac unit on Friday.

That said, my performance on the treadmill did encourage me to attack my walks with Pea with greater vigor and the time I spent bouncing up and down in front of my heart monitor to see how accurate it was also encouraged me to do a bit of bouncing on my own whilst playing tennis ball with the boys.

So, it's all good.

Mango Momma

P.S. Hopefully Mango is over being velcro dog. He has been very clingy and needy since I got home. Not a bad thing except that when he is busy being a momma's dog, little Pea is afraid to get too close for fear that Mr. Grumpy Pants will AR AR AR at him. Poor little guy. Fear not, I am making sure to give Pea extra attention as well.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Abandonment and Presents

So yesterday, momma and master left together to go to work (or so I assumed) but then it got to be dark and night time and momma did not come home! Yuh, like totally Master gave me my phenobarbital which NEVER happens and then it got later and later and pretty soon it was bed time and I went to sleep even though I was all thinking "where the heck is momma?"

Then this morning it was time to get up for sure and I paced around but NOBODY GOT UP! And then finally at (can you believe it) 7AM! Master came all stumbling out of the sleeping room and fed me and Pea. Where is Momma? I wondered?

Well, she came home at last this afternoon. So I had words with her, you know it!


Momma: "Oh, Mango, I had to go to the emergency room because I had a bad owie in my chest."

Me: "What are you talking about? You seem fine to me."

Momma: "Well, Mango, I feel fine, but the doctors and nurses and Master were very worried and so they wanted me to have a sleepover at the hospital."

Me: "As if! What did you do there?"

Momma: "I got on the treadmill and..."

Me: "Was it underwater like my treadmill? Did you get noms while you did it? Did you get a massage after?"

Momma: "Well, not exactly, but they did give me some crackers."

Me: "Next time, you just tell PT lady you want to share my treadmill time. No more overnight excursions."

Momma: "You got it, big guy."

So Momma says she is fine and all the activities she did at the hospital were "negative" which doesn't sound good to me, but go figure, right?

And I'm not too bothered, you know, because when she came home we opened some pressies.

Yup, like these two cool Airedale books from our buddy Taffy. Loyal readers know that momma is gaga for Airedales and I do kind of miss my old Grandpa Angus sometimes.

And from Bolo we got a flat blue thing called a Frisbee (which looks like it will be good to eat) and a tiny little tennis ball for Pea.

Plus a note pad with Bolo's face on it! How cool is that?

And you know what else? Tomorrow I am going to do MY treadmill and I am going to ask if momma can do it with me since she is so keen on it and I might even let her have some of my special treadmill hot dogs.

Mango Man! Oh yeah!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

POTP for Miss Ruby

A little POTP for the lovely Miss Ruby.
She had serious tummy troubles the other day and had to go to the vet and get lots of tests done and even a biopsy. As I write this, she is waiting to get the results back and for her tummy to simmer down a bit.
You can visit her here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tricky Tuesday - Kind of

Well, we got a little snow but it is all crusty nasty right now. Not the kind of snow that a mastiff wants to be teetering around in. Heck, I already fell down a couple of times and (I'll admit it) cried like a little girl. Ouch! Like it totally grabs my legs and applies the torque must uncomfortably.

So last night, when Momma asked what we wanted to do for fun, I suggested we work on our tricks and dance moves. Yuh, for sure, nothing like learning something new to wear one out, right?

You can watch it here or below. You will see that I am a bit rusty on my moves and PeeWee is, well, a total spazoid (as usual). ARG! And momma has on those stupid plaid pants again. Nice fashion statement. NOT!


Mango Man! Oh yeah!