Mad dog in the middle of the night

When I last posted, Roo was starting to feel better. She had just tested negative for Addison’s disease and I was discussing next steps with the vets. The one in Tulsa who we went to for her ultrasound didn’t return the call for a few days (note to vets: If you’re too busy to make the calls, don’t take the patients).

Meanwhile, Roo continued to feel better every day. By the time the vet called on Monday morning, five days after the results the had prescribed came back, she was almost back to normal. Almost, because though her energy had returned and she was happy and as active as ever—I wouldn’t have been able to tell her apart from the dog she was some weeks ago before she got sick—her stool was still wet. But, I was monitoring it the way the court physician in The Last Emperor checked the boy ruler’s chamberpot with every bowel movement, and it was improving. Slowly improving, but definitely firming up a little more each day.

Now, I’m sure that vet in Tulsa is fine physician, but he is not good at communicating. When he called, he was more like Deep Throat in All the President’s Men, the source whose information brought Nixon down, but whose rule was that he wouldn’t volunteer any information that he wasn’t asked for. God only knows why. 

“Well, Doc,” I said, “the ACTH test came back negative, so I guess Addison’s is out.”

“Yes,” he said.

“But she’s been feeling much better. Almost back to normal. The only thing is her stool is still on the loose side.”

“Ah,” he said.

“I know you said that the next step would be an endoscopy, but what about other things she may have? Irritable bowel disease?”

“Possible,” he said.

“And when she was really sick, back when I took her to the doctor originally, she had that slightly elevated number for pancreatitis. Could it be that that test happened to catch her at the tail end of a pancreatitis attack? The blood test you did was a week later and didn’t show anything. But you said that her pancreas might have been a little swollen.”

“Well,” he said. “That’s a possibility.”

“In which case…?” I tried to prompt him, but it was no good. “Wouldn’t it make sense to treat her for the other stuff and see if it does any good.”

“You could do that.”

“Just with diet, or with any meds?”

“Bland diet. No fat.”

“I mean, does anything indicate to you that that she needs to be scoped urgently? Is there any sign of anything grave that you’d need to get a look at? If she had something growing in there, wouldn’t that mean that she wouldn’t be improving?”

“Probably. Hard to tell.”

“But you don’t think I’d be placing her in danger by not scoping her right away?”

“No.”

“Is there any other testing I should do in the meantime? Another fecal exam?”

“You could. Parasites can come in waves. They don’t always appear in every sample.”

Roo kept improving. She returned to her old energy levels and started bugging me constantly to be allowed out in the hopes of killing someone. She even started to lay down a few near-normals poops.

The only thing over the past few weeks that has changed is that Roo hasn’t gotten any of her usual tastes of cheese or milk or any of that. Not that she ever got large amounts, but she always got a taste. Now, though, I trim all the fat away from her meat and she’s not getting anything with fat in it. So maybe the reduction in fat is why she was doing better. And if she has inflammatory bowel disease, her cleaner diet might also have been the solution. But, with IBD they tend to lose some weight, which Roo wasn’t. She’s lost a tiny bit because of the way her diet has been scaled back, but she’s not wasting away. In fact, she looks so good that if she had an egg cream at the soda fountain in Schwab’s on Hollywood and Vine somebody would spot her and cast her in movie.

But then, late this afternoon, she had a small piece of chicken, cut up into small pieces and spread out on a plate to keep her from snarfing it down in one gulp, which is how she likes to eat, and suddenly her acid reflux came back. She must have been as worried as I was at the thought of getting sick again. She panicked and started jumping up and down and getting agitated and wanting to get outside. But, was this Roo having the same thing she had recently, or was this just Roo getting nauseous the way she always has from time to time? Whatever it was, there was no calming her down. She had to get out to eat grass to make herself throw up. That didn’t seem like such a bad idea, except that the last time she ate grass she didn’t throw up. And if she ate grass and the didn’t throw it up, with whatever’s going on in her gut, it could irritate her intestines more. But, it wouldn’t if she threw it up. On the other hand, she had been off the anti-vomiting medication for only a day or two that last time, and maybe that was why she didn’t throw the grass up.

Who knows? Half the time it’s impossible to tell what’s going on with these guys. This is exactly why I would rather fly around on Air Force One with a special Naval veterinarian whose entire career devoted to one patient—Roo. Otherwise, you spend your whole time trying to figure it out. Even vets have no clue what’s going on with them most of the time.

But, she was freaking out. I opened the door. She tore away at the grass, for ten minutes, then threw up an impressive green ball that looked like something out of a Japanese dinosaur movie from the 1970s and then seemed to be more or less okay. The reflux kept coming back, not violently, but repeatedly. And now, nearing one in the morning, it’s till hitting her a little.

Here’s another weird thing: When she getting sick a few weeks ago, I started to think that her skin, on her lower neck and back, was feeling a little hard, a little thicker than usual. Then, as she got better, it seemed to get back to normal. Now, tonight, it seems to be back to being hard again. Of course, this is probably just another symptom of losing my mind from overanalyzing everything she does. All night, every time I hear her just settling her tongue in her sleep I’m immediately alert for signs of her being sick. But there have been none. Until today. 

I was really hoping she had gotten over her weeks of illness. Maybe she has. Maybe she hasn’t. 

I gave her another round of Pepto about half an hour ago. And just now, at 1:28 AM, she went on the alert at the door with the hair on her back standing on end. I opened the door for her and Roo—the same Roo who has refused to go out for a nighttime pee in two months—charged out and chased some poor little beast, some nocturnal Oklahoma furball, probably skulking around the campground in the hopes of scavenging some tiny crumb, off into the night. 

This is what that looked like: Roo, with her hair up, barking, bolting into the darkness, then instantly running back with her tail between her knees and wanting to get back inside. It took some convincing to get her to relieve herself, but finally she did. And she didn’t want to eat any grass. So, maybe she’ll be all right.

Don't you wish she would make up her mind, already?

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Negative test results. But now what?

Yesterday Rooki had the ACTH stimulation test (scroll down to the previous post if you missed that), the purpose of which was to zero in on the possibility, raised the other day by bloodwork at the internal medicine specialist, of Addison’s disease. Today, from the time she got up, she was so obviously feeling better that I didn’t give her her anti-nausea med, and then she led the way on a full walk around the pasture. She swam, hunted, chased, ran, dug, all as if she was back to normal. The only thing pointing to her still not being well was the cow patty she left behind. But she felt great. And she looks great.

The camper has developed a whole new set of leaks, so I had to spend several hours trying to fix the godforsaken thing and in the end get a repairman and work on it with him. Roo hung around outside and stayed happy and alert through those hours, lobbying for some attention, curious about what was going on. These days I never expect that to last long. I looked at her constantly to see if any signs of trouble were coming back, but she was fine. Completely normal.

In the afternoon Dr. Stokes called with the results of the ACTH test. Negative. No Addison’s. The cortisol response to the glucose stimulation was perfectly normal.

I don’t put too much stock in her having felt better for a day—after all, that happened last week for two days before she took another dive. But the conflicting signals of feeling so good yet now having to be subjected to the next stage of the inquiry—endoscopy—is not just confusing, it’s bloody awful. It’s scary and stressful for her. And Dr. Stokes has warned me that when they scope a dog, they can’t snake the scope past the beginning of the small intestine, so if the endoscopy doesn’t turn anything up the next stage would be exploratory surgery. He wanted to be clear that I understood that. What does that mean? Are they expecting something bad?

I don’t know if I’m glad or not that she doesn’t have Addison’s. And if the past couple of weeks has been any indication, in another day or two she’ll be sick again. Then, if I give her the anti-nausea med, will it work if it’s after the fact? Will it be too late? But keeping her on it for prolonged periods isn’t a great idea, either. It’s not made for that.

I’m reaching new levels of exhaustion, sick, too, and obviously worried about Roo all the time. So, when we were finished with the pain in the ass jobs on the camper, another walk for Roo was the last thing I wanted to do. But I didn’t want to waste an opportunity for her to exercise and be able to have some fun while she was feeling good. She was the old Rooki again, just as she had been in the morning. 

I didn’t let her go to extremes, though. Getting too exhausted can’t be good for her, either. She wanted to continue, but I told her to forget it, Bearface, and clipped the leash on her and brought her back. As it was, this meant she had hiked three miles today. What happened next is another mystery.

At the end of the walk she wasn’t as hot as she normally would be, since on the leash for the last half of the walk she had to move at my speed, but she was still panting when we got back. It wasn’t cold, but it wasn’t warm, in the low 50s. On the way, there’s a water trough for the buffalo, and I usually hose her off there so she can dry out a little by the time we get back to the camper. She was fine. Normal. I fed her, and she ate without incident. No reflux, no sign of anything wrong. Fifteen minutes later I told her we had to go in the car, and she hopped right up, wagged, and was happy about it. Ten minutes after that, in the car, I put a hand on her and noticed that she was shivering. Her nose was ice cold. I took my fleece jacket off and put it around her. By the time we got back to the camper, she was still shivering a little, and didn’t want to be covered. Eventually she stopped, and now she’s sleeping soundly. Could she have shivered from being in a weakened state? I think she’s only shivered one other time in her life.

What could be going on with her? The only two things the docs thought her symptoms pointed to have been all but ruled out. But a lab test could be wrong. I doubt the ACTH is wrong, because one lab checks two results taken two hours apart and both fell into the expected ranges. But her pancreas was a little swollen on The ultrasound on Monday. It was the bloodwork that came back negative for that. Now, the endoscopy is coming up, but that’s being given with the warning proviso that it’s only good if it finds anything wrong with her upper GI tract. If it doesn’t she’ll need exploratory surgery?

That’s where we are. Another 300-mile round trip to Tulsa coming up, and another frightening time for Roo. And of course the question of whether she might be able to eke out another day, and then another, of feeling well, like she did today. What could be wrong with her?

Living in the camper is becoming impossible. But I believe we are stuck. 

Midnight Reruns: The New Rooki Kahoo

I'm not the type to go back and look at old videos I posted long ago on YouTube, but I'm going to start to repost some of those.

This one is the first video of Roo I ever posted. It was only a few days after she was assigned to me as an IndiLabs foster. If you haven't read the short book about her, these old videos will be a lot more fun—and a lot more touching—if you read that. When I picked her up at the spay clinic, Roo was a mess. This was when she first started feeling better and had just begun to smile as she started to strengthen. She was so weak that even the muscles in her tongue had lost tone. In this video, you can see that her tongue still looks like its a little weak. It was so moving to see a young dog start to heal, to see those scrawny, underdeveloped legs start to gain weight. 

Can you believe that this puppy was mistaken for a three-year-old? After a few days she started to look like a two-year-old, then younger and younger. By the time she had to have a little surgery a couple of weeks in, her vet was examining her and we were talking about how old she was. I said something like, "I think she's even younger," and the vet said, with an incredulous look on her face, because she hadn't seen Roo in ten days or two weeks, "She's a puppy!"

Another day, another test for Rooki

Whatever is making Roo sick seems to come and go. She’s worse in the mornings, but by the afternoons wants to get back to her life’s work of leaving the grandpuppies she never had a world untroubled by mouses. 

You might remember that one of Roo’s peculiarities is her need to sleep by the side of a bed. In the camper, those spaces are only 18 inches wide. The bed is on a square wooden frame, and I had that cut back on one side to make enough room for a proper bed for her. She likes that bed, it’s comfortable memory foam model, and that’s where she sleeps. 

But the other side is still only the original 18 inches wide, and she goes there when she wants to hide. Being tighter, it probably feels more secure, and she also has a better view of the rest of the interior from that side. If she’s keeping an eye on things you see her forepaws and her nose poking out from the corner. 

Over last night, she moved from her bed to that side, either because she heard something that worried her or she felt sick. Whichever it was, every time I checked her, she was sleeping and she seemed to be okay when I leaned over the side to say hi to her. 

This is a ritual Rooki loves. Roo is a prizewinning sleeper. She hasn’t changed much since she was a puppy who couldn’t be woken up. She lies there as if she’s recovering from the effects of a profound experimental anesthetic, groggy, glassy-eyed, barely able to move. I put my hand on her head and say something like, “Who’s this little country mouse sleeping here?” She makes an enormous effort to move an arm over in the conviction that such a supercanine effort should be rewarded with some belly scratching. I comply and she puts herself back to sleep. Her eyes glass over again. She looks like a sea bass lying on ice chips at the fish market. She seems to be asleep, and, because I am hanging uncomfortably off the edge of the bed, I always take advantage of this to get up. This, however, is never acceptable to her. With the reflexes of starved Malinois working the barbed wire at a Soviet work camp, the second I move she frantically bats at my arm with her forepaw and picks her head up to look at me withto let me know that I am not, as I seem to think, dismissed.

This morning she was the same as usual, except for being on the narrow side of the bed. When she got up a few minutes later—way earlier than she usually does—I waited until she took her usual morning sip of water to get her throat lubed up and then stuffed her pills down her throat. She’s not getting these meds in the hopes of fixing anything she’s got. They’re just to try to make her more comfortable. She’s back on the Cerenia, which controls her nausea and keeps her from eating grass. One of two omeprazoles she’ll get (thank you Blue Cross Blue Shield for those), and a couple of Peptos just in case. But ten minutes another reflux attack hit her. 

When that happens, she gets worried about how bad it’s going to be. I know it’s worry because she can be comforted and when she calms down the severity seems to be reduced. 

To make things worse for her, she was going to have to go to the vet’s again, and this time be left there alone for the two-and-a-half hours it would take to complete her ACTH stimulation test. She had to be there by ten in order for the blood to get out the door to the lab by the one o’clock cutoff. She was so wrought up that she didn’t even get everything done. 

I kept her outside for as long as I could. It helps her because she spots a squirrel or remembers some promising mousehole and, with her mind off the way she’s feeling, she does better right away. All of this is new, and it hasn’t settled into definite patterns, but that’s what it seems like, anyway. I hope it doesn’t get to settle into regular patterns before we find out what’s wrong and can treat her for it instead of just trying to keep the symptoms down.

When we got to the vet, Roo hopped out of the car and trotted right up to the door—but then remembered the implications of where she was herself and decided not to come in. I asked someone to hold the door so I could move farther in and get her to follow. The worst part is having to turn her over to the staff. She doesn’t want to leave me, so I have to go through one of the doors to the back area ahead of her and then hand her over when she follows. It feels like I’m tricking her. I hope it doesn’t feel like that to her.

I came back to get her at 12:30, and man, was she glad to get out of there. Who can blame her. No dog likes it. Roo of course is a skittish dog, but she was no more upset than any other dog. She wasn’t looking miserable. She was just glad that whatever the hell that was all about was over. She was like, “You forgot to take me with you when you left. I tried to come, but you were already gone. These people put me up on a table! One of them held me while the other one stuck a needle in my arm! For a Daddy, you sure have some weird friends.”

The stress took a lot out of her, though. She was wagging and smiling with relief about getting in the car, and jumped right in without playing her usual delay game. She lay down in the back seat and was asleep in seconds. Back at the camper, same thing. She didn’t want to go for a walk, she wanted to get right in and lie down on the narrow side.

She slept for a couple of hours. Any time she woke up I suggested a walk, but she wasn’t interested until much later. And then, as soon as we went out, someone started shooting. Not close by, and whoever it is is a deliberate shooter who doesn’t blow off a lot of ammo, and Roo has been getting used to that particular source of gunfire. She’s almost to the point where she can tolerate it with just a little coaxing. But not today. We had barely gone 200 feet. I was a little ahead of her when the popping started and she ran to me with a look that said, “Nope, not today. Not dealing with it. Had it.” She motioned for her Flexi and as soon as I gave it to her she ran back to the camper and waited with her nose at the door until I got back to open it.

She needed more sleep, anyway. Later she was willing to try again, and that time, she ran up and down the hills and dug holes and refused to listen to me when I called her and tore a dead tree down and chased the rat who this forced out. He won that one, but she knows where he lives now, so it’s only a matter of time before that rat goes swimming with the fishes. With the sea bass, in particular. She was in the same kind of shape she’s always been in. When you have a dog who isn’t feeling well and they have stretches where they seem as energetic and happy as ever, it’s really something to see. 

The vet says the results of this last round of testing might come back tomorrow, though it might take another day. On one hand, if it’s Addison’s disease, it could provide an answer, though not a great one. On the other, if it’s not Addison’s, she’s going to have to have endoscopy right away to see what’s going on down there.

Meanwhile, Roo has been asking for a little more attention. She likes it when I say something about her stomach and rub her belly where it was shaved for the ultrasound. I tell her what a poor little bear she is with her stomach but that we’re going to fix it so can can stop worrying about it. She listens with her ears back and the skin on the top of her head flattened. I hope she’s not too worried.

It’s getting late. She just came out from the narrow side of the bed, stretched, wagged, and put her chin on my leg. She knows this will get her ears scratched. Then she asked for a lift up to the bed. That’s a good sign—she never goes up there if she’s worried or feeling bad. She went to the head of the bed and leaned against a pillow, but then reconsidered and crawled closer to where I’m sitting on a camp chair. She stretched her neck to get her snout close and looked at me while she went back to sleep. Maybe tonight she’ll sleep through the night. It might be a tall order with the wind blowing as hard as it is. But maybe she can.

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Roo goes back for more

Roo had a better day today, probably because instead of waiting for any symptoms to kick in I give her the Cerenia and omeprazole early on with a couple of Pepto kickers before she showed any signs of reflux and tried to stay ahead of the game by giving her more Pepto every four hours. It was a beautiful morning, mid 60s and bright—on the way to a not-so-beautiful 80—and Roo felt good enough to take the mile-long walks she always had. 

Later the vet called with her lab results. He said there was no indication of pancreatitis but that her resting cortisol level indicated the possibility of Addison’s disease, a hormonal imbalance caused by some funky interaction between adrenal and pituitary excretions. The summer before last, I had to take the same test she’s taking tomorrow, an ACTH stimulation test. They take your blood to get a baseline, then they shoot you with some glucose and if the cortisol level doesn’t respond to that properly it indicates Addison’s (when they checked me it was for Cushing’s disease, different disease originating in the the same organs, and got two lab results saying I had it; the results were so unusual that the doctor had the lab check their machines, and something was wrong with them. In the couple of intervening weeks the doc was telling me to start picking out a brain surgeons. Turned out not to be that at all.)  

From what I’ve read so far, Addison’s sounds controllable with one of two or three course of drugs that she would have to take for the rest of her life. She will have to have frequent monitoring in the beginning until good levels are established, and then after that a few times a year. 

If the ACTH stim test comes back negative, though, Junior will have to go back to the internal medicine vet to be probed with an endoscope at both ends. Tomorrow’s test she’ll do at the local vet’s clinic. It’ll be a little rough on her because she’s going to have to stay there by herself for about three hours. She’s really been going through the wringer lately.

Roo has been refusing to go out at night at all. It just doesn’t seem like that can be doing her any good with all this other gut trouble she’s having. So, tonight I concocted a story about going somewhere in the car. She wanted to know where. I told her I didn’t know. That didn’t impress her. I suggested that she could check on a particular night mouse she’s always been interested in. She thought about it, but was ready to demur, but when I treated to go check the mouse myself, she agreed. 

Just like the other night when I tried to fake a rabbit sighting to get her to go out and a rabbit appeared, this time the damned mouse—one of those huge rats Roo has been hunting lately—was right there. Roo went insane and began to tear up an old dead tree trunk in the moonlight. I couldn’t take it for too long, but it’s hard to stop her when there always seems to be the risk that she could be feeling sick again at any time. 

I’m sure Iv’e mentioned that every time it’s time for Roo to get in the car she pretends that she’s not ready or that there’s something she has to look at or she starts wondering if there’s a weasel under the car and she dicks down to look there. She always has a few reasons to delay. She does this not because there’s anything to look at, but because it’s fun for her to get my goat. She doesn’t like to jump in the car until I finally raise my voice and say, “Move it, Roo!” She just likes it that way.

My last dog, Orville, the white lab some of you might have seen in this video, used to like to have a look around too when he got to the car. He wasn’t playing a game the way Roo does. He just liked to look back at whatever place he had just hiked. I used to hurry him, too. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always been impatient when it’s time to get in the car.

Then, on a spring day, Orville and I got back to the car after a walk. His thing was stick swimming. The bigger the sticks the better. By then, The cancer and the meds for it had taken a little bit of a toll on him. He looked a little tired. But, he still wanted to run and swim and play tug of war down at the swimming hole that is part of the vista you can see from where I built the pile of stone to mark his death and scatter some of his ashes. That day, when we got back to the car, instead of just turning his head to look back, he turned completely around and started looking back on the park. He had traveled the world and had been to many places that he loved. But this park, in Boulder, Colorado, was his favorite. He sat there for a while and just looked around. It was a warm day. Out of habit I was about to say let’s go, but then understood the obvious. How could I rush a dog who was so sick and who was just spending a couple of minutes looking at a place he loved? I stood there with him. A couple of minutes later he looked up at me and smiled. I had to help him in the car. I don’t know if he knew it or not, but he would never go back there. The next day he was too sick, and the day after that he died.

And of course I remember that sometimes. But, Roo has no such dire thing wrong with her, and so, until she ever does, I have a feeling we’re going to playing her game of arguing about getting in the car for a long time. In her case, it’d probably be less fun for her if she stopped being able to annoy me with her car game.

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Quick update on Roo's health

Overnight Roo didn't seem to feel too bad, but at around 7 she needed to get out. As you know, that's way too early for Roo to get out of bed. But she diarrhea again and then the reflux started hitting her. Within an hour she was feeling bad enough that it was hard to get her loaded in the car on time to make the 140-mile drive to see the internal medicine specialist in Tulsa. 

It's late, and so I'll post more tomorrow. The planned ultrasound (the flowing hair I've been letting grow for a couple of years was shaved to apple-smooth on her belly) was inconclusive. Her pancreas were possibly a little swollen, but so slightly, and without other signs of pancreatitis that usually show up on an ultrasound, that the vet said it might not even have been swollen. So, he recommended another and more sensitive blood test for pancreatitis and one to test hormone levels for Addison's disease. I'll have the results tomorrow.

Of course it was stressful for Roo. She had to go in the back with the nurse and the vet, first to get her vital signs and weight. I warned everyone about how skittish she was, and they took good care of her. When she was brought back a few minutes later, in-between that and meeting the doctor for the exam and the ultrasound, she was crouched, lying down in the hall of the clinic area, in her classic gesture of insisting on not going anywhere because she was frightened. I think she was looking for me, staring down the hall in the other direction. When I called her, she was so focused that she didn't hear me at first, but then she got up and came over. She was fine. She was just nervous. She didn't try to hide when we went back in the examining room. Next, Dr. Nestor came to look her over. You can see how calming he was with her. 

There was no doubt that being sick and scared was going to be rough on the Kahoo. It could have been worse. She was a bit disoriented when she came out, but not especially frightened. Just stressed. I took her for a walk and her stomach was still bad, and then we made the three-hour return. 

Here's the thing about Roo when she's sick that impresses me the most. She's had to take pills of one kind or another now several times a day for the last ten days or so. I don't wrap them in anything, because she's so good at picking the food off and spitting the pills out. But what she does is really sweet. I tell her that it's time for her to take a pill, and she comes to me and sits. She knows I'm about to jam them down her throat, and yet she comes over and sits. She usually even gives me a few wags. Orville used to do the same thing, and it's always moving when a dog trusts you enough when you have to do something unpleasant that they must be tired of and they still cooperate.

That's Rooki Kahoo. Tonight she's still not feeling great, a little on the quiet side. If she was in a bigger space I know she'd go and lie down by herself somewhere. She's tucked herself beside the bed on the far side.

Meanwhile, it's broiling, in the 70s and humid, at midnight in early February in Oklahoma. I'll post an update tomorrow. 

Son of a bitch

I just spent two and a half hours writing a 1500-word post and the computer crashed and the draft on Squarespace was blown away. My own damned fault for not putting it in Scrivener, the writing software I use, and which never blows anything away, but I thought it would just be a quick update and then it dragged on. you know that feeling of having been way too tired for way too long, and then your goddamned computer screws something up for you and you'd like nothing more than for a meteor to drop through the roof on you or one of the right wing snipers out there fantasizing about nailing a libtard finally getting to use the .338 Lapua he's been cherishing for just such an occasion? Come on, everybody knows that feeling.

The post went into detail about how Roo has been feeling. I don't have the strength to rewrite it. I had to go the urgent care tonight for some infection or who knows what that I've been putting off but couldn't any more. Roo, in her capacity as ride-along dog, of course came with me and waited in the car. The picture is of her on the way. She went insane today trying to dislodge some sort of sea-faring rodent from underneath the bank of a lake and in the course of her excavation reached new levels of filth that even Roo might not have experienced previously. Her coat was filled with thousands of gritty particles that were in all likelihood remnants of ancient civilizations that might have rewritten everything that is know about Early Man had Roo not gotten to it ahead of a team of archeologists. That bit of the History of the Planet was hosed off back at the campground.

She's been seeming fine, a little tired, maybe, with two days of being back to normal, starting after I posted last, but then suddenly getting nauseous again, eating grass again, not throwing up, having a so-so night, me up with her the whole time the last two nights, and certainly tonight again, though she was sleeping and I was just worrying whether her snoring was actually groaning. In the meantime she's tired in the morning but then runs around like the mad dog she is, having fun, hunting, murdering, removing creatures from the holes they were quietly enjoying, shaking them to pieces and placing them in the holes she has chosen for them to spend eternity in. Then, today, soft stool again. As I write, she is bugging me for something to eat and is either moaning to complain about that or because her belly hurts. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I can't really tell. She's bored and hungry. Especially, though, she's been disgusted by the way her diet has gone the last ten days. No fatty stuff at all, other things she misses. I'm not really sure how to recalibrate her entire diet, but that's going to have to be next if she does indeed have pancreatitis. 

In the morning we drive the 140 miles to Tulsa to see the veterinary internal medicine specialists. I hope we get some answers, because this thing dragging for so long can't be much fun for the Kahoo and it's really starting to worry me. I mean, really. Poor Bearface. Do you think she's worried? At least dogs don't know about cancer. And something's got to give, anyway. The exhaustion, the living in this little box—it's all too much now. I can't take it any more. Maybe the two of us have just had it. Life is a long sequence of tasks designed to satisfy a finely tuned cascade of financial demands precisely timed to drag out just long enough to wrest everything away from you. When you're worthless enough, you die.

The picture is of Roo on the drive to the ER tonight. She looks as healthy as she ever has, though she is getting some of that cute grey fuzz on her muzzle. that should be the sign of wisdom. In Roo's case, it is the sign of having grey hair on her muzzle. This question of what's going on in her gut is driving me the short remaining distance to crazy.

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