Addie retrieving her 30 lb. “stick”!
When Addie was younger, she used to LOVE to swim! We couldn’t keep her out of the water if we were within a mile of a lake or creek. But in August, 2010 she was diagnosed with Vestibular Disease. From that time forward, she avoided the water. Oh, she would wade a little in it, but no full on swimming like she used to do. I think it was because she didn’t trust her balance and that could be a dangerous thing in the water. Even in Colorado we lived close to a pond and she just would not swim like she used to in years prior.
However, we now live on a massive lake and can walk there within 3 minutes. Whenever it is nice and sunny out, we take the dogs down there. Something about Costa Rica, who knows, but now Addie is back to loving the water! She is back to the point where we have to drag her out of the lake to go home 🙂
We are excited about this change in her for a couple of reasons. 1) we like to see things that make her happy again and swimming is definitely that. 2) swimming is a great low-impact exercise for her. She still stumbles a lot, but in the water she glides easily.
I think we enjoy her new-found (again) passion as much as she does!
Things have been going very well with Addie as of late. No cold paw incidents, she is eating well, and is about as active as a 13 1/2 year old girl can be! She does have some stability issues, but I believe that is caused more from losing muscle mass from age and her vestibular incident last year.
However, over the past 2 weeks, we have noticed that she cannot hold her bladder as long as normal. She occasionally has to get up in the middle of the night and can only go about 5 hours. Not like when she has had urinary tract infections (UTI’s) in the past though. She also was drinking a lot more water.
We took her to Dr. Friedly last week to see if he could find the cause. We were thinking the worst.. not sure what that was, but possibly kidney issues. He ran blood work, and all was relatively normal. We then did a urinalysis today. Major infection. Another UTI. Although a major infection is not great, I will take it over kidney failure, etc.
So our girl is on antibiotics and some other UTI meds, to help her out. Going forward, she will also be getting some holistic UTI chews to help keep more infections from occurring. This is probably her 4th UTI within the last 18 months. The vet said not much we can do to help prevent them, it is just her less-effective immune system, but hopefully the meds and chews will help.
Addie never fails to amaze me. Not that she has done anything that most people would call a WOW action. She isn’t doing back flips through hoops or saving people from avalanches. She is just living her happy life. And that is what amazes me. I take inspiration from her. She is old. Being 70ish pounds and being 13 and 1/2, is quite extraordinary. Then add on that she was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma 2 1/2 years ago and wasn’t supposed to see Christmas that year. And then she got vestibular syndrome last summer which totally threw off her balance. But every morning she gets up, happy as ever. She trots (and dare I say runs) up the drive way with Finigan each morning to see the neighbor dogs. She grabs one of her toys as if it is the best toy ever and throws it around. She romps with Finigan, falls down, but just gets right back up again to play more. It reminds me that no matter what, enjoy the life you have each and every minute. She may not be here a year from now, or tomorrow, but she reminds me that TODAY is what is important.
I try to remember this as so much has happened in the past week. My triathlon coach’s dog, who looked so much like Addie just passed away last week. My sister and brother in law’s dog (Addie’s cousin) Manya just passed unexpectedly a couple of days ago. She will be missed very much. And a friend from several years ago is fighting breast cancer for the 2nd time at the age of 40.
Thanks Addie for teaching me every day that life is precious and just enjoy today.
We know it’s been a couple of months since we posted. As is usually the case, no news is good news.
We have settled into our winter routine and both Addie and Finigan are doing well.
Addie’s vestibular issues are likely to remain with her for the rest of her life. The worst part of those symptoms is that she remains unstable in her hindquarters. If she gets excited and tries to move to quickly she will sometimes stumble and fall. Her head tilt comes and goes and seems to be worse when she is tired.
Otherwise, she seems to be getting along as well as we can expect at this stage.
Nothing much more to report at this point. We will post again when the situation merits.
We just celebrated Addie’s 13th birthday this past October 30th. To commemorate the occasion we took her and Finigan on a flat, 5 mile hike near Palmer Lake. She did so well that we took them on a shorter hike Sunday. She seemed to enjoy herself quite a bit on both days.
Her vestibular issues still remain. She is not as sure-footed as she used to be – especially when she gets excited. Her head tilt is still present but it does seem to be getting marginally less noticeable.
She is truly a remarkable dog. We hope to post another birthday message next year but if that doesn’t happen we know that we have been very fortunate to have her in our lives nonetheless. We simply try to cherish each day we are given with her and hope that her final months and years with us are as enjoyable to her as they are to us.
Happy Birthday sweet girl.