27 August 2012

The Song of the Sirens

Man must be arched and buttressed from within, else the temple wavers to the dust.

~~ Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Roman Emperor (and co-Emperor for eight years), the last of the Five Good Emperors, and considered one of the most important Stoic Philosophers, AD 161 – AD 180

Choose rather to be strong of soul than strong of body.

~~ Pythagoras, Ionian Greek Philosopher, Mathematician, and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism, 570 BC – 495 BC

HEALTH UPDATE: All of your well wishes, crossed paws, and kind words and thoughts are working! I am doing and feeling much better. The medicines have helped with my balance issues and my arthritis, so I am walking more and walking better. I am still coughing but not nearly as much, and my energy level has slightly improved. Thank you all very much! I could not have progressed this far without you!

The heatwave had broken from days of 100+ degrees Fahrenheit to days of 90+ degrees Fahrenheit. While still hot for an Alpha Male Malamute such as myself, I was claustrophobic from spending all Summer in the house. It was time to head back outdoors. Despite my human’s (K) best attempts to keep me inside, I would have none of it. Outdoors is where I belong (I also belong where there is snow, but that is another story). Anywoofs, the air was hot, the sun was shining, and I was calmly lying in the backyard in the shade. Then I heard it: faint singing, enchanting music, sweet voices. As if being pulled, I followed the singing and ended up in the dry bed of the creek. I feel asleep to the song of the Sirens.

Eagle-eyed K found me. She saw me from the bridge. Do you see me?

It's about time! Get me out of here.

I awoke to K calling my name. I had been in the creek for hours! And yes, I was stuck. K was baffled by my inability to get myself out, but she assumed it was due to the high steep sides along the creek and my arthritic back legs. So began the routine of K sliding down the side into the creek, leashing me, climbing back up the side, and then pulling me out of the creek. After that ordeal came the long walk home. We had to walk back home the long way, across the bridge, because the only place K could enter, and have us exit, was from the street side of the creek rather than the yard side. It was during these walks back home that I would collapse and remain motionless for quite a few minutes. It was very frightening to both K and I. What had those Sirens done to me?

Hey, K, did you hear the Sirens, too? [You can see the bridge in the upper left corner of the picture.]

Silvius, I hope you waxed up your ears.

Why should he have all the fun?


Triumph of Neptune, Roman mosaic, pavement from a house in Sousse (ancient Hadrumetum), Tunisia, circa middle 3rd Century AD (Musée Archéologique de Sousse, Tunisia)

Poseidon, sculpture at Københavns Havn, guards the gates from the harbor to the Queen's Palace (Copenhagen, Denmark) [I cannot locate any information on the artist or year. If you know, please let me know. Thank you!]

Back to me...

Repeat this scenario for the next two weeks. K was getting exasperated by the situation but she did not want to leash me due to my illness. K knew the effort to get me out of the creek, and then the walk home, was very stressful for me and she feared that the next collapse may be my last, so she repeatedly told me that I was not to go back into the creek. But the Sirens continued to sing and I continued to heed their call.

Yes, back again. It's not my fault! They lured me with their voices.

Can you see me now?

I am defenseless against the Sirens.

O.K., I am ready to be pulled out of here. Let's go home! [This is the spot where K pulls me out of the creek.]

Then one day the songs stopped. It was the day after K got me out of the creek as the sky darkened by an approaching storm and thunder echoed all around. The next few days were quiet, and I stayed away from the creek. The songs had stopped and I wondered if the storm had carried the Sirens away. I finally went back to the creek two more times to investigate. I heard and found nothing. However, to K’s happy surprise, and to my shock, I was able to get out of the creek both times on my own. No more enchanting Sirens to trap me in the creek.

Can you see me now? Cow dung (aka poop!) here I come!

From the irresistible sound of the Sirens to the irresistible smell of cow pies (aka poop)! The bulls are back across the street and my nose smells something sweet to eat. Good-bye creek, hello field of dung! I’m just sayin’…

20 August 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

~~ from “The Lion and the Mouse,” a fable by Aesop, a Fabulist (Story Teller) credited with a number of fables now collectively known as Aesop’s Fables, 650 BC – 564 BC


Kindness begets kindness evermore.

~~ from “Ajax,” a Greek tragedy written by Sophocles, one of three Ancient Greek Tragedians, 497/496 BC – 406/405 BC

I am extremely humbled by the outpouring of well wishes, prayers, crossed paws, and love shown to me by my friends and by strangers. It has been overwhelming and I never expected it. All of that positive energy has helped me to gain strength and has made me feel better, especially in my heart. I am very touched and I give a heartfelt thank you to all.

I want to apologize that it has taken me so long to post an update. I am sorry I left so many of you wondering how I am doing for so long and I appreciate that so many of you continued to check on me. I am very blessed to have such wonderful friends in my life. Now, for the update on my status:


I am walking better, and for longer distances. I think it is due to a combination of the cortisone shot and the 1.5 teaspoons of turmeric my human gives to me every night. On Saturday I actually walked almost half of a mile up the hill, but then had to turn around and come back home when my human, K, saw I had left the yard. Surprisingly she is still letting me remain unchained (yay!!) but she is watching me more closely so I don't go traipsing around the neighborhood again.


I still have balance issues due to my inner ear. Many times when I first get up I walk in large circles until I can find my balance and straighten myself out. I also don't walk in a straight line much anymore, so it makes it frustrating to get from point A to point B. I sometimes feel very confused about my weird new way of walking. It is also scary sometimes because I have no control.


Today is the last day of my antibiotics and I am still coughing, albeit a little less. I also still have spit-up occasionally when I cough. And, now I wheeze sometimes when I breathe. Both symptoms do not bode well for me. I won't know until it is confirmed but I most likely have the dreaded heart disease. A few times when K has had to get me from the creek (story in next post) I have collapsed while walking back home and have had to rest for quite a few minutes before I was able to get up and walk again. We are not sure if I collapsed due to my heart or due to pain from my arthritis. Either way, it is scary.


Juan Van Der Hamen, Still Life with Flowers and a Dog, circa 1625-1630 (Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain)

Unknown Italian Master, Portrait of Dogs with a Cat and a Rabbit, circa 1650 (Galleria Palatina, Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy)

Back to me...

I never expected or anticipated such an outpouring of concern and kindness when I posted of my condition. But a few of my friends went above and beyond a simple "get well soon" wish and for them I would like to give an extra woof-out: the handsome and witty Mr. Pip, an inspirational survivor of heart disease, who suggested fish oil to give me more energy (and it also helps with arthritis and heart disease)and has shared tips on how he lives with heart disease; the sweet and adorable Amber Da Weenie and the fun and smart Haopee for creating a graphic for me on their blogs and asking their friends to wish me well and cross their paws for me.

Also, the gorgeous and fabulous FiveSibes. They shared great recommendations for some of my issues, such as K-Laser for my arthritis, which is currently helping Gibson, and Dasuquin for my joint pain, which has helped Chloe, Harley, and Gibson. They also put a badge on their blog sidebar for me, and they requested a Paw Circle of Healing for me on both their Twitter account {@FiveSibesMom} and their Facebook. Their Facebook page is very informative and fun so please check it out and "Like" it! You can see the special Facebook post they dedicated to me here. I am very humbled.

And, last, but never least, the beautiful and loving White Dog Army for their extreme generosity. Today I received a very unexpected surprise in the mail from them: Bonine, a motion sickness medicine since I now have balance issues; a large bottle of Glucosamine and Chondroitin, to help with my joint pain; a bottle of natural aspirin-free medicine, to help with my aches and pains; and an incredible handheld precision massager, with infrared light, which I know will make my legs feel so much better. I am left woofless by your bigheartedness and your thoughtfulness.

I am a blessed pup to have such pawsome friends!

Either there is a monster tick growing on my head or Silvius is photobombing me again.

Actually, I wish it was a monster medicinal leech on me. Medicinal leeches were actually used to help cure heart disease back in the day. I could use a monster medicinal leech right about now, and perhaps I should go hunt for one since I am now leash-free. No leash to find a leech. Woof that seven times fast! I'm just sayin'...

10 August 2012

Request for Power of the Paws and Prayers, Please!


Live in rooms full of light
Avoid heavy food
Be moderate in the drinking of wine
Take massage, baths, exercise, and gymnastics
Fight insomnia with gentle rocking or the sound of running water
Change surroundings and take long journeys
Strictly avoid frightening ideas
Indulge in cheerful conversation and amusements
Listen to music.

~~ Aulus Cornelius Celsus, one of the greatest Roman medical writers and author of an encyclopaedia dealing with agriculture, military art, rhetoric, philosophy, law, and medicine, of which only the medical portion has survived, De medicina, now considered one of the finest medical classics and a primary source on diet, pharmacy, surgery and related fields, 25 BC – AD 50


Water, air, and cleanliness are the chief articles in my pharmacopoeia.

~~ Napoleon I (Napoleon Bonaparte), French Military and Political Leader, Emperor of the French from 1804-1815, 1769 - 1821


Notice anything? Look hard! {No, not the dry, dead, brown grass from the lack of rain and heatwave.}

See - or not see - it yet?

No leash! I am outside with no leash!! How pawsome is that?!

Finally, one of my dreams has come true. But sadly, it came true at a cost. I am not on a leash because I am sick.

Yes, it is sadly very true. I have a few medical issues going on inside me right now and it is a bit scary. It happened fairly quickly, too, so it took my human, K, by surprise. One day I was my loveable, happy, goofy, excitable, fun, energetic, trying to break free of my leash self and the next I was lethargic and coughing and barely walking. So I humbly request for the Power of the Paws and prayers to help me heal and get back to 100% perfect me!


Guido Reni, Archangel Michael (defeating Satan), circa 1636 (Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, Rome, Italy)

Paolo Veronese, Saint Barnabas Healing the Sick, circa 1566 (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, Rouen, France)

Back to me...

Porgy is sticking by me so he can transmit powerful parrot healing thoughts to me.

Porgy has something he wants to say. Take it away, Porgy!

Thanks, Suka! Porgy here. Suka is always woofing about all his wonderful and amazing blogging friends, so I appeal to all of you out there in the blog-o-sphere to please use your Power of the Paws to help heal my Suka. Thank you.

I don't want to lose my Suka.

I don't want to lose my Suka.

I have the best Pack! Thanks Porgy and Silvius! I don't want to lose myself, either! I currently have three medical issues. First, I have very bad arthritis in both my hind legs which makes walking uncomfortable. Hence, no leash, because I just don't go that far anymore. I also have an inner-ear issue in my right ear, so my balance is slightly off sometimes, which also makes walking a bit difficult and thus keeps me from wondering too far from home. Finally, and the worst, I may have heart disease. Right now I am on antibiotics because my Veterinarian wants to first check if I have congested lungs. If I do, then the antibiotics will clear up my lungs, the coughing will stop, and I will breath easier and feel better. But, if my cough does not go away, then I most likely have heart disease. K does not want to think about that right now. Neither do I. Instead, we are thinking of all the prayers and Power of the Paws coming my way to cure me. Disease has no place in my heart, and arthritis has no place in my legs or body. But leash-free adventures have a place in my future! I'm just sayin'...