The Beagles…and Life

(You will see in this post that Seamus is ever-present in my mind, so I’m sharing with you one of the photos of him that we just got from the photography session we did in January before we even knew that he had cancer again. I’ll forever be grateful we had this done.)   I was getting good at blogging semi-regularly there for a bit and then…well, then life did what it does (which, in case you’ve forgotten, is “knock me upside the head”!!).  So here’s an update: Daphne is recovered from her surgery and appears to be doing very well. We’re still waiting for the pathology report (anybody remember “waiting for the fall issue of Vogue” pathology report in the book??).  We don’t yet know whether she needs any additional treatment and naturally we’re hoping she does not. She continues to be a wonderful, easy going dog who charms everyone she meets…except Percival.  They have not been as charmed with each other as we initially hoped. Currently though, they seem to acknowledge that the other one isn’t going anywhere and they may as well tolerate each other. There have been brief moments of near play, but then one of them will get snappy or just generally grumpy and walk away. We think that actually neither one of them knows how to play with another dog, so it’s going to take a little time. Percival is adjusting. But it’s been a rocky road with lots of ups and downs. He’s an adorable, sweet boy who loves to play with his toys and cuddle.  But…he’s also a puppy in many...

He’s Famous and He Knows It

Chris and I escorted Seamus to the Rainbow Bridge this afternoon. He went peacefully while we both held and petted him and told him what a funny, fantastic, inspirational and awesome dog he had been. Seamus had gone to work with me yesterday and we were able to spend the day together. He was moving slowly but still enjoying his meals and little walks out by the pond at my office complex. We came home and had a nice dinner together. But by late evening his breathing became very quick and shallow. It was clear that he was uncomfortable. He was trying to remain upright–an indication of fluid in the lungs–but was very tired. I stayed up with him much of the night and he seemed to stabilize until eventually we were both able to sleep. This morning we took him to the vet, who started the process to remove the fluid from the lungs. Unfortunately, the fluid was blood and it was clotting blood, which meant one of the tumors had burst. Seamus was in respiratory distress and I promised I wouldn’t let him suffer, so we didn’t. Chris and I both left work immediately and were with him until the end. He passed peacefully, as we had promised him. Seamus was a once in a lifetime dog and we’ve all been through so much together, heartbroken doesn’t begin to cover our feelings right now. I’m taking comfort in the many memories, the fact that he inspired so many and that I was able to share his story with all of you. Seamus Luxury Leisure  Danger Trouble Rhyne...

An Update I don’t Want to Write

This will be the hardest blog post to write to date. And given how this blog started that’s saying a lot. There is no easy way to say this, and I’ve been avoiding it for weeks now, so I’ll just have to say it, because I think you all will want to know. Seamus was again diagnosed with cancer. This time it’s an advanced stage melanoma and he has several inoperable tumors in his lungs. We found out just before I left for India (and believe me, I almost didn’t get on the plane).  We had noticed that Seamus’s breathing was getting a bit shallow and he had slightly (he’s still Seamus, so this is a relative term) less energy. We took him to our regular vet and tests showed reason for serious concern. We were referred to an oncologist and back we went ….Veterinary Cancer Group in Culver City. The place I took Seamus when he was first diagnosed 8  years ago. Only the appointment we were able to get was at 11a.m  on February 14th (right, Valentine’s Day…at least it wasn’t Christmas).  My flight to India left at 11:50a.m.  After much discussion, Chris dropped me at the airport and took Seamus to see the oncologist. He called me with the diagnosis as I stood in line to board the plane.  Seamus has perhaps only 2 to 4 months to live. If he responds to chemo, maybe 6 months.  There is nothing else they can do. I suppose one day I’ll discuss my trip to India. As you might imagine, I was not in a good state of...

The Beagle Goes National!

I know we’ve been absent from the blogosphere, but that’s because we’ve been busy on book tour. Updates soon, but I just wanted to let you know quickly that Seamus and I will be appearing on CNN!! Set your DVR or watch CNN Newsroom Sunday live at 4pm (Sunday, November 25th). Here’s Seamus on set: He’s such a natural (ham)! Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this...

The Canine Mammary Tumor Program

This is just so full of awesome that I had to share: The Penn Vet Shelter Canine Mammary Tumor Program. Be sure to click through and read the article to see just how animals should be a part of science–when it’s helping them! As an added bonus, it helps us too.     This goes in the “reasons to wag a tail” file. Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this...

Seamus’s Battle with Canine Cancer

There is no easy way to say this so let me just start with, Seamus is fine and resting comfortably, but we did, finally, have to have his left eye removed. It happened yesterday. The tumor got aggressive two weeks ago and his eye was very inflamed. Increased steroid drops and pills seemed to back things down and in fact a week later the pressure in his eye was down. So I was hopeful. But this past Tuesday afternoon I was home because we were having some repairs done around the house. Seamus was with me. Late in the afternoon, as I stood talking to the handyman, I looked down at Seamus and noticed he was squinting. And his eye was red. I gave him the eyedrops. The next morning when we woke Seamus’s eye area was the size of a golf ball. Chris whisked him off to the eye specialist and we learned the pressure had shot up and it was time to remove the eye. The vet assures me that Seamus had lost sight in that eye awhile ago and at this point removing it would be getting rid of a pain and annoyance for Seamus.  We scheduled the surgery and it happened yesterday. I went to pick Seamus up post-op at about 4pm. They told me he had come through the surgery with flying colors and was doing well. Then they gave me a list of possible, normal side effects from the anesthesia and medications. They suggested he might not feel like eating until the following morning, and that was okay. Now, Seamus and I have...