Monday, November 29, 2010

The worst day of my life...

This was me in hospital in April this year. I have never been so scared in my entire life and I hope I never have to go through such a horrible experience ever again.

I'd like to tell you about it but as I really don't want to relive it all again, I'll let my human do the talking.

Hi everyone

As Abbey says, what happened to her in April is something we really and truly never want to have to go through again. You've probably gathered by now that this little dog is super special to our family. She is the tiniest little thing with the personality of ten of her kind put together. She rules our household and she literally is my shadow, never letting me out of her sight.

We live in a double storey home and because she is so tiny, she NEVER goes up or down stairs.

One late afternoon in April this year I was watching TV upstairs while the dogs were having their supper. My husband came upstairs a while later and, as usual, brought Abbey up with him as she doesn't do the stairs by herself.

He put her down at the entrance of the room and continued on to where I was sitting. After a few minutes of not seeing Abbey, I asked him where she was. My words were hardly cold when we heard a loud thud downstairs. We were both puzzled as we were both upstairs and with only the other dogs downstairs, the noise was a mystery.

My husband immediately went downstairs to investigate and the next minute I just heard him screaming, in fact almost crying, in absolute horror.

Abbey was lying on a coffee table on the ground floor, absolutely comatose. She had clearly fallen down the stairs from the first floor and landed on the wooden table that was situated next to a window on the ground floor, next to and below the staircase.

My husband went into such a state of shock as this was like a horror movie playing itself out right in front of our eyes. He picked her up and screamed at me to come down. At this stage I was halfway down the stairs and I thank God for filling at least one of us with a sense of calm and clarity of mind.

I grabbed her little body, grabbed my car keys and ran to the car as fast as I could. Only after I raced out of the the gate did I realise I had no shoes on and as it was after 6:30pm, our nearest vet would be closed for the day. I felt as if my mind went into autopilot then and in seconds, flipped through the information that it needed to find for me in that moment. I remembered that the vet in a suburb about ten minutes drive away had a 24 hour clinic.

In fact, Abbey had been there for a while about a year earlier when she had quite mysteriously developed problems with balancing. A proper prognosis was never made as the condition disappeared as fast as it appeared.

I drove like a lunatic to get there, praying out loud the entire time. At times I couldn't feel her heart beating anymore and I actually shouted out out to God, bargaining with him, pleading to have her survive this unthinkable horror.

Her tongue was hanging out of the side of her mouth, she wasn't blinking her eyes and she was making the most horrific sounds every now and again.

I got there in record time and stormed into the packed waiting room. Bless the souls of the wonderful reception staff who immediately got us into a room with a vet.

They put her on a drip immediately and managed to stabilize her a little. I just praised God that she was still alive and luckily nothing seemed to be broken. She slowly came out of the shock she was in but continued to make the horrible sounds. When we tried to get her to stand, she would fall over almost immediately. I decided to stay with her as I knew that the trauma of being left alone, locked up in a cage, after everything that had happened to her, would traumatise her beyond what she might have been able to handle.

So I stayed with her the next two days and nights, going home only to change my clothes and sleep for an hour or two. She continued to be disorientated, hardly ate and was obsessed with being able to see me. In fact, I held her almost the entire time as putting her in the cage upset her tremendously.

By the middle of the second night the vet on duty said to me that it's really bad and they are at their wits end as to what to do. She was almost gasping at times, couldn't walk without falling over and things were not looking good at all. I seriously thought at that point that she was not going to make it.

If you thought I did some serious praying in the car, that evening I took it to a different level! With Abbey in my arms I called upon God like never before! As always, my prayers were answered, as the next couple of days proved beyond a doubt.

By the third day we sent her to a human hospital for a brain scan. The scan revealed that she had a massive cyst above the cerebellum. This was putting pressure on her little brain and was the cause of her loss of balance. The scary part was that the cyst was filled with fluid and the question of course, was how to get rid of that fluid.

Now this is the part that makes me smile. The vet wasn't sure which route to follow but he informed us that the very next day, 7 of the top veterinary surgeons in our country, would be attending a conference at their practice. He asked our permission to have them all look at her scans and see if they could all agree on what course of action should be followed. What a question! Of course we said yes.

The decision was made to insert a syringe into the cyst and attempt to drain it.

The next afternoon she went onto theatre and he successfully drained 6,5 ml of fluid from the cyst. This was a feat of note, as he had to somehow find his way into her little head from the back of her neck and trust he had it in the right position when he started extracting fluid. The other challenge of course was when to stop!

The fluid was sent to the lab and sadly, it was determined that it was indeed cerebrospinal fluid, which means that the fluid in the cyst was coming from the brain.

The good news was that Abbey was a changed dog after the fluid was drained and she almost immediately started walking better, looking better and even started eating her food without us forcing it down her little throat!

They concluded, based on the scans that they took, that the condition is most likely a congenital anomaly. That of course explains the earlier incident of about a year ago as well.

I'm happy to say that our little Abbey is back to her own self and is doing just marvelously. The cyst is there. We can't do anything about it. What we can do, is pray that it doesn't fill with fluid again.

Our option, if that ever has to happen again, is to have a stent put in that will drain the fluid to another part of her body, so that it can get rid of it via another route, as it where.

I'm not even going to think about that possibility as I know she's going to be fine.

Some people don't understand how and why we get so attached to our animals but for us, that is just the way it is. The joy they have given us over the years, an continue to give us every day, is something that money can't buy.

Understanding now why Abbey turned around and ended up going down the stairs instead of walking into the room, as she always did, has helped my husband deal with what has happened. He is just as attached to these little dogs as I am and together we decided, as that cyst is still sitting there, we are not taking any chances. We've had the stainless steel ropes that we had along the staircase removed and we've replaced it with shatterproof glass panels.

Now you know why, even though I have four dogs, I chose Abbey to be the star of the blog. Our tiniest but at the same time our biggest miracle doggie!

- emilene

This is where I fell from - down the top and through the opening on the left. I landed on a little table that used to stand just below that window.

This is what my humans have done for me since my fall. They said they don't care that it's maybe not as aesthetically pleasing as before, as long as it keeps us safe!

Ok. I'll say it out loud.

They're pretty ok for humans. And yes, I love them. :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

To wear or not to wear...

Hi everyone! I've been very quiet - trust me, if I was able to type I would have had a lot to say but I had to wait for my human. She says this time of the year is just so busy that I have to wait my turn.

So I guess it's my turn now.

Let's start by saying 'Happy Thanksgiving!' to all my American friends. I'm not sure what Thanksgiving is all about and I don't think my human knows much more than I do. I don't see them celebrating it over here in South Africa but I'm going to ask her to google it so that I can know exactly what it's all about.

Hey, forget about googling - I'd really appreciate it if one of you can educate me a little. You know how it is with humans - they get busy with other things and before you know it, they've forgotten what you've asked them.

As for the very embarrassing photograph above.

My human doesn't really believe in dressing us up except for our fleece jackets when it's really cold in winter and she actually sees us shivering. This year however, she made one exception.

Seeing that we had the Soccer World Cup over here earlier this year and my other human is Portuguese, she decided to dress me up in this outfit. I played along but sadly, the Portuguese national team didn't!

Anyway, she does a lot for me, so I thought I'd indulge her this one day of the year! Now - that was one of my VERY embarrassing moments - how about you? Do you have to go through the same kind of stuff just to keep your humans happy?

Please tell me I'm not the only one...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What are humans for - if not for cleaning up after us!

Not sure how it works in your part of the world, but over here people have to be reminded to clean up after their pets when out on walks. I think this sign is amazing, just a pity some humans don't stop to read it!

My human is thinking of starting a 'name and shame' blog for humans that she catches in action (or catches NOT performing the action they should...). Let's face it guys, we can perform many tricks but cleaning up after ourselves - well, that's what we've got you lot for!

On a lighter note - hope you're all having a fab weekend! Can't wait to go walking with my human tomorrow - let's just hope she doesn't embarrass me with the naming-and-shaming crusade she's on...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Guess who...

You'll be forgiven if you don't recognise me. My human decided it was time to give me a bath today.

No consulting. No asking - are you in the mood for this? Or - is it ok if I poke the camera in your face afterwards and post the pic on your blog so that the whole wide world can see what you look like after a bath?

I love my human to bits but sometimes I wish I could send her a memo about what is ok and what's NOT!

So anyway, seeing that this is totally out of my control - here I am. In all my wet, soapy misery.

Ps: In her defence - I look rather spiffy now that she's blow dried my hair and given me a proper grooming. I suppose she's not that irritating after all!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Unconditional love...

A while back my human was taking pictures on our beach. She spotted this little boy who should have been in school - playing with this beautiful dog. The dog's owners were relaxing on the beach and these two were having a ball running and romping around.

My human started chatting to the little boy and he even posed for a whole bunch of pictures. He told her his life story and it wasn't a happy one. His parents didn't seem to care where he spent his days, in fact, his dad had left them a long time ago. Alcohol abuse seemed to be a big problem in his home and judging by how thin he was, he wasn't getting the correct nutrition either.

This is such a big problem in our city and I just sometimes wish we had a more balanced situation in our communities.

It's wonderful to see how happy and healthy the pet in this picture is, but so very sad that the little boy has such a different reality. I was happy though that he had this wonderful afternoon with a dog that clearly loved children. That is probably the biggest gift us dogs and cats have to offer to humans, unconditional love!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's all about friends!

Let me tell you something about animals. They know how to network! I have made at least 18 new friends since my human started my blog and if you keep in mind that each one of them have at least two humans, that means I can add another 36 humans as well. And then I'm not even counting all the other animals that each of those households have.

I am a very private girl but I will admit, I love inviting all these new friends in my life! I think my human feels a bit more normal now that she has discovered so many other humans who are just as connected to their pets!

I saw something she wrote the other day and thought I'd share that with you.

She said she is really grateful for her 'anyway' friends. Friends that remain her friends anyway, no matter what happens! I really get that. I think that is exactly what all pets are as well. We will remain our humans' friends anyway, no matter what! Perhaps that is one of the reasons why they love us so much!

On that note, let me me introduce you to the rest of my family. Lets start with the other Yorkie in the house. Her name is Chloe and we are the same age. She's a bit camera shy, so this is the best I could get...

I love her to bits but we do constantly battle for a spot on my human's lap. She really makes me mad at times but she remains my friend anyway!

Then there's George the Maltese. He's our alpha male but he has his work cut out for him with two female Yorkies in the house. George is incredibly regal. He doesn't have any pedigree papers like we have but if dogs had kings and queens, George definitely would have been a king of sorts. I really respect him and will always let him eat first, I even allow him to be the leader at times when the humans take us for a walk. :)

Then there's Bacardi. He's also a maltese but he's really been very camera shy lately. I'll get the human to practice her camera skills on him next week. As we're all getting some of our best pictures posted, it's only fair that he also gets to have a nice one as an introduction.

It's scary how much I've become like my human. She also likes things to be just right! Wait a minute, maybe she got all of that from me - we all know by now what a strong personality I have!

I just overheard on the news that the humans are watching on TV, that one third of South Africa's drinking water is contaminated. Even as a non-human, I find that to be a disgustingly sad statistic! I'll have to tell her to fill our drinking bowls with the filtered water that I see them drinking. My stomach is just too sensitive to deal with anything less...

Here's wishing you all a wonderful week!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My vet - she's a keeper!

Humans. Can't take them anywhere. Imagine arriving at the doctor's office with your camera and then asking the doctor to pose for a picture while she examines you. Bet you she'll think you've lost the plot.

Well that's exactly what my human did to me today. Lucky for me my dr Kerry is a gem of a vet and she played along with a great sense of humour and an even bigger smile!

After my big scare six months ago, my humans are treating me like a newborn baby and today they were worried about a little rash I have on my chest. All's well though and I have to admit, I hardly felt the injection she gave me and the massage I got under my belly when they put the ointment on, was a nice bonus.

Having the hair plucked from my ears, well that's another story. I really wish they would have consulted me about that one before the time. Anyway, I do love my vet and I love how she fusses over me - I guess a sting or two is not the end of the world.

Here we are - now I know how Paris Hilton's dog feels! Dr Kerry is a natural but I still prefer to hide behind my locks...

I promised my human a guest spot today, so here goes!

My dearest little Abbey

I know how much you hate going to the vet. When we pull up in their driveway you start grunting and I feel how you tense up. Trust me, I get it. Why would you feel happy about going to a place that reminds you of pain and fear?

I know you think I'm paranoid to take you everytime you have a little ache or rash, but I would rather be safe and know that you are ok. You have to know that even though you've never uttered a word in your life and weigh less than two kilograms, you have managed to crawl right into our hearts and we cannot bear the thought of losing you.

I never want to relive those few days when we thought you were not going to come home, so please bear with your silly, paranoid humans!

Your blog is looking quite spiffy and I hope you'll allow me to say my say every now and then as well - I know you'll probably moderate all my comments, but that's ok. At this stage you can get away with pretty much anything you feel like doing.

You must admit though - pretty cool human I chose to be your vet!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What's in a name?

So one day on the blog and I have my first follower. I am over the moon. Even if I don't get a single extra one, my day has been made.

My first online mate is called Oskar. He couldn't possibly have known that my other human is called Oscar, so I'm going to take this as a good omen!

Oskar's blog is so good, I've told my human I want regular updates. What is it with these Oscar's - I know of another Oscar that toured the world not so long ago with his human.

Have a look at his story here:

Follow my new mate here: and last but not least, here I am with my very own Oscar...

No need to tell you who's taking whom for a walk here, another one of my faithful followers this one...

Tomorrow I might allow my human to publish a guest post - hopefully she'll have an update on the infamous bedbug situation!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hallo world!

When I heard my human mention in her serious blog that she's thinking about training me to search for bed bugs, I thought it's time to pop out and say my say. Surely she didn't think I would be without an opinion on such a serious matter? It's not my fault that she's decided to walk 780 km in four weeks in a country where she can't speak the language! To top it all she plans to sleep in hostels - she must be losing the plot!

Spanish bed bugs. That's what she wants me to find. I seriously thought finding my way to the nearest bed and food bowl was my only job description. Read that fine print - don't they always warn you about that?

Well, I plan to voice my opinion about the matter, as well as a whole bunch of other stuff while I'm at it! She's not the only one with a blog...

Just to show that I play fair - you can read her blog too if you want the whole picture:

Time to call it a day and trust me, there is not a bed bug to be found in my bed!