Friday, August 24, 2012

All Dogs go to Heaven

From her younger days
Her last photo. She was always so photogenic

Bella 2009

Bella as a puppy

I lost a very dear member of my family yesterday. My beloved Italian Greyhound passed away.  I had my dog for over ten years and I am so devastated

We purchased our dog at a time in my life where, I really needed a friend. My husband and I had moved to Phoenix, Arizona at the beginning of 2002, so he could attend a technical school. We didn’t have any family or friends living in that town. We were also ready to become pet owners.  We purchased Bella when she was just a puppy from a pet store. I was ignorant to the fact that most pet store dogs come from puppy mills. We just fell in love with how pretty she was and she would be a great apartment dog because someone would always be home with her and she wouldn’t be a very large dog.  We chose the name “Bella” because we had lived in Italy and it had such a pretty ring to it.
For the first couple of years she was a great dog to take along for a short run. She could handle short runs (3-4 miles).    She also enjoyed daily walks. Over the years the pads on her feet grew worn so she wasn’t able to run very far, she was a much better sprinter. Eating was probably her second favorite thing to do. She loved hanging around my son when he was eating in his highchair waiting for food to drop on the floor.  She also enjoyed sunbathing outside.
In 2008 we found a stray shitzu and she became a great companion for our Bella. 
I noticed earlier this year that she was losing a little bit of weight. Last month I took her to our Veterinarian/Groomer for grooming and her rabies shot.  During her wellness exam they had noticed that she lost over 3lbs in the last six months. That’s quite a bit of weight for her lean frame.  We were given the option to do blood work and an X-ray. My husband and I weighed the pros and the cons and we declined to do the X-ray and blood work. We figured that we would keep her as comfortable as possible.  We also were naive and we figured that she would live for another year or two.
Two weeks ago our girl started having trouble keeping her dog food down. We began feeding her small meals of scrambled eggs and steak.  These last few days she barley ate at all.  As her appetite diminished so did her activity level.  I began to worry when she no longer wanted to go outside to sunbathe.  It was heartbreaking to see her loose her beautiful muscle tone.  We knew it was time when she started to appear disoriented. We didn’t want to see her suffer anymore.  I made the appointment with the vet. It was one of the hardest decisions I had to make. My husband and I went to the veterinarian’s office with Bella and we were with her during her final moment of life.  I’m glad that she is no longer suffering but, I am shocked at how fast her decline in health and quality of life was. ..
 It seemed like just a month ago she was running around in the back yard chasing birds and begging for scraps from my son’s highchair.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August in a nutshell

Happy to be at a wedding
My August got off to a great start. I ran 5 miles on the treadmill on the 1st but, then it really went off the tracks.  The next day after my 5 miler I took a rest day and I treated myself to a manicure/pedicure. That night I felt tickle in my throat. I was looking forward to attending a wedding that weekend so I was determined to "push through" whatever cold I might have.  My husband and I haven't gotten dressed up for an event in months so, I was really looking forward to my friend's wedding.  

One rest day turned into two weeks of not being able to do much.  After the wedding my cold hit me full force. I went to  see my doctor and it turned out that I had bronchitis.  I was given antibiotics and I felt miserable. It's really hard to handle cold symptoms without over the counter medicine like Nyquil.  A week later I went back to the doctor for a follow up visit I had started to get better, but my sinuses were still hurting. I was almost positive that I had sinusitis as well.  The doctor diagnosed that I had a facial spasm on my right cheek. That spasm was causing the pain and not letting my sinuses drain properly.  I had been hoping that the doctor would be able to prescribe a pain medicine that was safe for me and the baby. Instead I received an OMM (Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine)  treatment.  I had never had this kind of treatment before and it was amazing. The best way I can describe it is that the Dr. worked on specific sections of my scalp, face, neck, and shoulders using resistance, and pressure release techniques.  The doctor worked on me for about 30 minutes and when I was done my sinuses felt much clearer.  I also didn't need any pain relievers or additional antibiotics.  By the next day I was able to get a light workout in. I ran 3 miles and stretched.  

My body is defiantly changing. I'm 15 weeks now and my belly has started to "pop".  Taking two weeks off from running was  a good thing. It gave me a chance to recover from my illness but, I really missed my endorphins.  Also my running fitness is starting to decline a little. I used to be able to knock out 5 miles at lunch time. Now I am happy to run 3 miles and run/walk 1 extra mile.   Over the weekend I was able to run 5 miles with a few walk breaks. It was pretty warm outside so  I didn't want to try to run any farther. I am so ready for the Summer to be over. 

If you would like to know a little bit more about Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, I have included two links below.

Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment

AOA-American Osteopathic Association