Lyle: Still Peeing on Death

Some of you have asked how Lyle’s doing. He’s still dying, he just doesn’t seem to have realized it yet. Thanks to a truly great vet and a truly great Yahoo Group, he’s put on weight, his numbers are getting better, his energy is way up, and he’s spoiled rotten and loving it.

Here’s Lyle’s headshot; doesn’t he look fabulous?

And he doesn’t just look fabulous, he has an equally spectacular life.

We sleep late here, so round noon, Lyle wakes up for lunch. The rest of the dogs get dry Iams dog food; Lyle gets homemade dinners (they look like sludge, but they have hamburger and pumpkin in them and he snarfs it right down). Then he goes outside and runs around, digging holes, and peeing on things, and generally being a dog.

After that, he crawls up on the bed next to my laptop (still haven’t dug out the LaZBoy) and goes to sleep on the pillows. Because it’s naptime. Then everybody goes out again; run, chase, dig, pee. It’s a simple life, although Lyle does have to occasionally jump on a chair to escape Mona, who drags him around by his ear.

For awhile, we were going to the vet every three days to get epogen shots for his anemia, but Alastair is giving those at home now. One of my favorite things about this vet practice is that they put the dog’s mug shot on the paperwork. Lyle looks like he was picked up for trying to rob a liquor store stoned:

We did get some news on the diagnosis: Lyle, it turns out, has Polycystic Kidney Disease, a genetic problem in which cysts gradually take over and destroy the kidneys. There is no cure, and Lyle’s ultrasound shows he doesn’t have much blood flow there any more so his prognosis is, well, dire. The vet has been fabulous, and she’s delighted that Lyle is still around and acting healthy. In fact, the whole practice is getting pretty fond of Lyle who appears to be pretty happy about them, too; here he is at the vet’s yesterday (although the happiness could also come from sitting on Lani’s lap):

Then it’s home for another nap with the pack–being a dog is exhausting–and at eight, he gets cuddled by his two favorite people, Lani and Alastair, when they stick a needle in him and pump saline under his skin. He’s not crazy about the needle, but it must make him feel better because at about 7:45 he goes up to the door to the kitchen and waits there until it’s time.

When I open the door he runs into the kitchen and goes wild when he sees Lani sit down in the subq chair and leaps on her lap and curls up on the towel (which is there because Lyle is a peeing machine). Then Cheesus (as he calls Alastair) slides the needle in, and they talk to him softly for about ten minutes while 200 mls of NaCl create a bison bump over his shoulder blades (which is why Lyle is a peeing machine).

Then Alastair feeds him whatever he didn’t eat of his lunch and tops it off with a pill wrapped in cheese (Cheesus saves). And then I’m the buzzkill who comes in with syringes of aluminum hydroxide and Reglan and squirts medicine into his mouth (no needles). Lyle ADORES Lani and Cheesus. And he should because they’re saving his terminal little butt.

And then we go back downstairs and Lyle jumps on the bed and flaunts his special status by climbing high into the pillows in front of the other four dogs and goes to sleep again. (Milton was on the floor when this picture was taken.)

That’s an abbreviated description of Lyle’s day–there are more trips outside than that–but basically, aside from the dying part, Lyle is living large and feeling good. Huge thanks to the wonderful Dr. Raab at the All Creatures Animal Clinic, to the K9KidneyDiet group on Yahoo, and to Lani and Cheesus, with whom anything is possible.

114 thoughts on “Lyle: Still Peeing on Death

  1. Oh, Jenny, you make me ashamed! My family is of the opinion pets are outside people. So no dog ever comes inside ever. But then, we always have HUGE dogs, HUGE!

    Also, Lyle’s conversion to Cheesus might be the start of a whole new spiritual movement. Especially since the whole robbing-liquor-store-while-stoned incident made him re-think his ways and give himself over to a greater power.

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    1. Cheesus Saves.

      Also only 62% of Americans have inside dogs. You have a lot of company.
      Of course I also read that 67% of dogs in American households sleep on the bed. That would be confusing except there are probably multiple dogs in a household . . .

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      1. We have dogs people keep saying are huge, but I would never dream of making a dog live entirely outdoors. I was raised with a revolving pack of rescues, though, so am probably biased. Jenny, you’ve met Angus & Emma when they were still puppy-sized – imagine Angus at 90 lbs, Emma at 80 lbs, and tell me, with those faces, could you still classify them as huge?

        Kyle is living the life! May he keep living it for a very long time, nothing but doggie grins and cuddles all the way.

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    2. @Sure Thing – I grew up the same way. We always had very large dogs that stayed outside. Sometimes I think it depends on the dog and where you live. My boy Dreyfus, a Malmute/Sheppard mix, could barely stand to be inside. He lived for outside. Upstate NY winters aren’t too bad and he loved the snow.

      I now have Mulligan, a Rottie/Sheppard mix, who is an absolute princess. She loves cold weather (especially snow!), but refuses to go outside in the rain. She even has a raincoat.

      It upsets me to see dogs chained to trees or dog houses. It breaks my heart because dogs were born to run. I don’t think people in general understand how important it is for them to get proper exercise.

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      1. We have a big yard with interesting topography and flora – no dog ever need be bored at my house. And we have good fences. They run free. And get to chase cats, rats, snakes, frogs and injured birds (alas, an actual incident.)

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    3. Oh, my parents are coming to see my house for the first time. And I’m cleaning up more dog hair than it would take to build another dachschund (I looked that up twice and still am not sure it’s right..!). My 120-pound “baby” is all fluff and it takes approximately 2.4 minutes for the whole house to look like it’s never SEEN a broom or vacuum.
      Inside dog, but some days I can see the appeal of keeping her outside!

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  2. Thank you so much for the update. Every time I see a dauchshund, I think of Lyle and send hang-on-there-buddy vibes his way. I’m glad he’s having a blast, peeing on death. And now I’m thinking of Gaspode in Pratchett’s Fifth Elephant, peeing on Death’s leg…here’s hoping Lyle is as surprisingly resilient as Gaspode.

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  3. It can’t be right how happy I get when I get a nested response from Jenny, can it?

    Of course, there is my altar to consider… Deborah, Skye – any input?

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    1. I know every time I get one, I do a little happy dance. Maybe. Unless that’s weird, I mean. Because if it is, I definitely don’t. 😉

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    2. Well, I often place a book (such as Welcome to Temptation or Agnes and the Hitman in a special place, such on top of a loose pile of papers or maybe in my yarn basket. I would add Dove Bars or pecan pancakes, but those melt or go bad. Instead, I add more yard, a bit of fabric, or some fabulous paper. I don’t light candles because of, well, the paper and the yarn.
      I’m sure you will come up with something suitable!

      I get all happy when I get comments back from Jenny, too. Makes me feel all warm and tingly.

      Oooh, I just had a thought. Jenny: my mom had some dachshund earrings. If I find them on my next trip back (end of this month), would you like them?

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      1. Thanks, but I have dachshund earrings. I’m stocked up on dachshund and cherry stuff. And flamingos and alligators.
        You just did that to get a comment, didn’t you?

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        1. If I promise you non-existent dog earrings, can I get a comment too? Because, ya know, I am an actual jewelry maker, so I have lots of earrings. Although, damn it, no dogs.

          On the other hand, at the Artisans’ Guild (the shop I manage), one of my artists just brought in the PERFECT Jenny thing. It is a shoe ( a real, very cool black high-heeled shoe) that she made into a pin cushion by stuffing it with antique fabric, throwing in some cool stick pins, and adding beading. You would love this thing with the love of a thousand suns.

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  4. Thanks for the update. I worry about Lyle, and each day I am half afraid to look at this site in case I see bad news.

    I think dogs are luckier than we are in the sense that they have no sense of their own mortality. We would worry/scare ourselves into a quivery blob in his situation. He just carries on, each day a new one to sniff, pee, hump, whatever. Oblivion is sometimes a great thing. Would that we had a bit more “dog” in our psyches.

    (I love the bedtime pic — curled up in the middle of a bunch of warm furry cuddly bodies is my idea of heaven. Unfortunately, not my husband’s. Our compromise is: the dog now sleeps on the floor on my side of the bed. That took a while to reach….)

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    1. I’ve always thought that, too. When it’s time to go, they quit eating, curl up, and wait. I’m the one who goes nuts trying to save them from a natural end. Fortunately, Lyle is still eating like a champ.

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  5. Yay, Lyle! Living his best life everyday. What a role model! 🙂

    Fact is that none of us are guaranteed a tomorrow. I’ve lost pets young to accidents and disease. You just never know. At least you guys know that you’re giving Lyle the best possible care. He may not have been so lucky had someone else adopted him. Let’s not forget that he’s found Cheesus, and through him all things are delicious.

    Right now my pooch, Mulligan, is having a lot of problems with arthritis. She’s only 8 years old, and going lame in her hip from an old injury. It sucks knowing that they’re something wrong with your baby, especially since they can’t tell you whats wrong or where it hurts.

    Thank God for the internet! I’ve done a little research and found some good stuff out there. We’ve started her on supplements, daily massage and have altered her exercise routine. I’m also looking into the possibility of shark cartilage. If I had a local pet acupuncturist she’d be doing that, too!

    Of course if anyone has suggestions I’m wide open!

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    1. I have had good results from a combination of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSN. They seem to work best in a combination of all three. Good luck.

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    2. HLA + MSM. Has worked better for all of our dogs (basenjis, dogos, pits, and excellent crosses) than anything else, including many costly and fancy prescriptions. My brother speaks very highly of green mussel something, which both he and his dog take – they have arthritis in their elbows. But really – HLA. It costs hundreds to de-wrinkle your far with and paltry tens to de-limp your dog with. No kidding.

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    3. I second the glucosamine. And if you have a local someone who does Reiki or some other kind of energy work, that can be great. And you can learn to do it yourself. I’ve worked on my cats when they are sick. You can tell when the terminal ones are ready to let go, because they stop letting you do the work. (Sigh.)

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  6. Cheesus Saves. I was not ready for that. lol. And he really does look like a criminal in his mug shot. Glad his days are dog enjoyable.
    We are down to one outside cat, Bernie. Bernie used to be Bonnie with our other cat, Clyde. Then one day we looked at him good and realized, oops, he’s not a Bonnie, he’s a Bernie. Some rat bastard took Clyde may they be eaten by zombies.

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  7. Praise Cheesus! And the rest of you as well. At least Lyle won’t die from lack of loving 🙂

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  8. “Cheesuz saves” reminded me of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Also known as “Pastafarians”. I am not making this up:

    http://www.venganza.org/

    “Cheezus Saves” — the First Church of Gouda? Dairyfarians??

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    1. Me again. To understand Pastafarianism, you must first read the Open Letter to the Kansas School Board.

      Of course, if you want real entertainment read “Hate Mail”… Humanity at its, um, best??

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  9. I’m so glad Lyle is doing OK and his numbers are looking better. As long as he’s happy!

    🙂

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  10. Indoor, outdoor… they want to be with you.
    Since my dog died, the neighbor’s dog has tried to take over some of her duties, e.g. when I come home at night he comes bounding up to the fence to greet me. Of course, this might also be due to the fact that once I found a tennis ball on my side of the fence, so now he thinks I have a stash of tennis balls and will play with him again if he beseeches enough.

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    1. i never had to clean under the high chair or table when we had a dog. boy, do i miss those days, for many reasons.

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  11. thank you for the update – made for a good Friday. Im glad Lyle has so many people to love him 🙂

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  12. Lyle has the soul of a warrior and the heart of a lion. Why shouldn’t he give death a piss in the kisser – he’s already in heaven and he is loved. He’s beautiful and you, Lani and Alastair are incredible.

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  13. Thanks for the update! Your Lyle looks like he’s loving life and that’s the best we can wish for anyone, especially our pets. Everyone, (dogs and people) look especially happy and your good vibes are uplifting us all! Happy Friday!

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  14. Well, you know, even though they’re small, dachshunds are fearless. Little wonder: their name in German means “badger hound” (“Dachs” is a badger). They were bred to go down badger holes and, well, kill them (when badgers were considered pests). That’s why the short legs.

    So dachshunds were designed to wear a purple star on a ribbon. Doesn’t Lyle look like he knows this????

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    1. Oh he totally does! One of the dachshunds we had when I was little defended his front yard by charging a German Shepherd who happened to be walking by (on a leash). The confrontation didn’t last long, but Baron Von Fritz (aka Fritzie) had a gloriously ferocious end.

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  15. It’s a dogs life! Love them while they are with us. My beloved pup is living on borrowed time as well. We suspect a tumor; it’s been a year since her issues started and she’s still going strong but changing every day. I just keep poking pills in her and trying to make her life as awesome as possible. She is my best friend and I will be lost without her. I’ve been working from home for the past year just to be with her and her spoiled level has reached epic but nothing would keep me away. Kisses to Lyle from my Lady.

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  16. Fabulous post. Mom’s dachsie died of kidney failure (but she was a lot older than Lyle) and it was so hard watching Mom deal with it. I love the pics of Lyle, all that crazy flyaway fur. Wonderful mug shot. He’s having a wonderful life and I’m sorry that you have to deal with the pain of his illness and approaching end. Many sympathies and hugs to you.

    My friend’s dog is 75 lbs and 10 years old and was a rescue. Something is wrong with her hips and she is in enough pain that she won’t go for walks anymore. She can still get up and down into his humungo Suburban, tho’, and she’s on pain pills and stuff. I don’t know how he will handle it when she just cannot walk anymore.

    We love them all their lives and we hurt so much when they die, but it doesn’t keep us from finding another one to love. I look forward to when my life is such that I can get a kitty. Or two.

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      1. I think only if you have an old farmhouse in the backwoods of NY. 😉 I think if you have a small apartment in Houston, having five cats makes you the Crazy Cat Lady.

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        1. Oh, no, Skye. Even if you have an old farmhouse in the backwoods of NY, five cats still makes you the Crazy Cat Lady. But you live far enough from your neighbors that you can’t hear them laughing at you.

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  17. Jenny, thank you for this update on Lyle, and the splendid pictures. I love those long Dachshund muzzles! Lyle may not be able to look forward to a long life (and heaven knows, dogs’ lives are far too short at the best of times: think what amazing things dogs could learn and do if they had an average life-expectancy of, say, 30 years!), but you are all ensuring that he is having the best possible time while he is here. That is no small thing to do.

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  18. Jenny, just discovered your website. Have been a huge fan of your books and sense of humor for a long time. Always love how you include a pet as a character. Lyle looks like a character, too. Hope his remaining time continues to be blessed. He’s lucky to be your furbaby. Dogs are truly a gift. My two shelties, Phoebe (juvenile delinquent) and Bailey (my little lover man), got me through my divorce. When I realized I’d be more upset to lose them over him, I knew I was going to be okay.

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  19. How many places could you go and see such concern over one little dog? I love it. I wish Lyle was going to live forever – but none of us do and at least he’s there with you and has FGBVS and FGCVs flowing to him.

    He has such a happy little face, well at least when he’s not stoned…

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  20. Jenny-I just want to thank you for making something as horrible as watching a loved one die a must read! I am sending lots of love and prayers to Lyle!

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  21. This posting made me want to bawl my eyes out and simultaneously, I had a huge grin on my face. I just love Lyle. Love his little, pointy, smiling face. Love his conversion to Cheesus. Please keep sharing his story and pics, so that he will be immortalized on the Web.

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  22. You’re giving him a wonderful life, and it’s heartwarming to see.

    I like most dogs better than most people – they’re so much more pure, loving, and devoted to generating happiness. It’s definitely worth the trouble to help them enjoy their time here – they give us far more in return.

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  23. Lyle is so lovely and adorable and I’m really happy he’s doing well. Many cuddles to him and the other puppies.

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  24. I am glad Lyle is doing so well – the mug shot is great! Lyle is luck to have all of you pulling for him. He clearly has a resilient spirit. Go Team!

    If Alastair is Cheesus, what does that make Lani? St. Lani of the miracle lap and towel?

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      1. I protest!! I am an aunt to a Austrailian Sheppard puppy (Frankie). I don’t belive in ‘fake’ aunts or uncles. If you love the little critter you’re family to them! Especially if you play tug with his bear!

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  25. Glad to see Lyle is sucking the juice out of everyday – and peeing it back out! Yay for you and Lani and Alastair doing what you can for him. Around here when we’ve had sick pups I’ve become the Mighty Keeper of the Peanut Butter Jar which may be a patron saint in the dog world, though not as exalted as Cheesus.

    Good thing my dogs can’t use the internet. If they were to see these pictures and realize that it is possible for canines to be on the bed without the dogsheet, I might just as well sign the deed to the house over to them.

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  26. I know what your next book will be about/ scientific journal – The Vampire Dog about the dachshund with no blood but who will outlive everyone. wicked 🙂

    P.S. If we wanted to send you something, what’s the address of your publisher? or agent? or wherever you prefer to get mail from crazy stalkers/adoring fans

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  27. I love the picture of Lyle straddling the pillow – he looks supremely happy. The other dogs look soulful and contented. They’re all lovely, but little Mona’s face? Like the song says, “that face is just a miracle”.

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    1. I’ll do a Mona post someday soon. Lani and I were watching her run today–she can outrun the other dogs even with no kneecaps in back–and Lani said, “We should have named her Bunny.” She runs like a rabbit. My screensaver is Mona smiling.

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  28. He is so adorable. I’m so glad he’s happy and comfortable. Also am thankful for the hints in the comments about what to do for arthritis– our eight year old is happy and lively but can barely get off her bed in the mornings.

    Got an e-mail from audible this morning, Bet Me is included in a list “The Books that Made them Famous” http://www.audible.com/mc/Books_That_Made_Them_Famous . I’ve never listened to it on audio, I think it will be my next audible purchase!

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    1. BarbN – you won’t be disappointed in the audible Bet Me. It’s one of my favorites, but then I have all of the unabridged (I hate it when they abridge the story and totally screw it up, if the author thought there were unnecessary parts, they would have taken them out themselves) ones on audible and my favorites tend to run to which ever one I’m listening to at the moment. “”SIGH”” if only they had Tell Me Lies and Crazy for You available in the unabridged version, I would have a complete set. A girl can hope…..

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  29. I am an ArghInk lurker, but the posts about Lyle had brought me out just long enough to say that you will find these days with Lyle will stick in your memory for a very long time. We just lost our Italian Greyhound after 15 years of constant companionship. In the end he had liver shunts, was blind and deaf, but like the other posters said, he seemed unfazed. We would carry him out to do his business and when he was through would just look around and wag his tail letting us know he was ready to go in – he knew we were close. He would have a bad day, then several good ones and we would celebrate those good days. Caring for him became the focus of our day, but I would not trade those hours for anything.

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    1. I know, I’ve done the same with cats and dogs. Believe me, every day with Lyle is a gift. And I am so sorry for your loss; they leave such emptiness behind.

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    2. Love the IGs! Their eyes, their souls, their little stilt-like legs that allow them to leap up and look you in the eye while you are making supper…..

      We lost our old IG in October to renal failure. It’s much quieter here without him, even though we still have two.

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  30. Keeping dogs outside all the time is a topic I’m passionate about. I’ve always had large dogs and they have always been allowed to be in the house, in fact they come and go as they please because we have an extra large doggie door built in to the wall. Dogs are pact animals. When you adopt one you become their pact. To keep them constantly outside and away from you is not right. You are their pact. They need to be with you. Dogs are not solitary creatures. If you own a dog and feel you must keep him outside, then please consider owning multiple dogs so they can keep each other company. Thanks for listening to my rant.

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    1. I agree with the pack thing, but I think if dogs are safe and warm outside, they do fine. They definitely don’t need to be on the bed for their happiness. They do need to be up there for mine. Nothing like reading at two AM and feeling Lyle’s warm, hellaciously bad breath on my neck as he cuddles up. We’re getting vanilla mint toothpaste for all of them.

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      1. We’ve got outside dogs, but we live on a farm, so we’ve got outside people as well. (-: It’s so true about them being pack animals . . . if we let all three have a run, they’d show up in the next town. We let them loose by turns, and they love following the people around for a little bit, then going off to investigate something. We can only do this because there’s so much car-free space for them to roam. (They are medium-sized dogs, so it’s not like they could get all their exercise on the staircase.)

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  31. What a wonderful, heart-warming story of Lyle’s life… and sad, of course. Lyle is, in some ways, a very lucky dog. Great pictures–he looks happy as h_ _. If I die, I may want to come back as one of your dogs. Love the “mug” shot–liquor store robber? Maybe a German deli–I see a Bratwurst in his near future (mixed with pumpkin). 😉 You’ve heard the joke about the dog who goes to a bar, asks for a drink, and gets shot…

    So how are you holding up through all of this?

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    1. The first month was awful. I cried a lot, especially when the vet (we love our vet) said it had been an honor to know Lyle. But I kept researching the diet and the vet kept promoting the subq which works wonders and Lyle just got stronger and stronger. I expect his numbers to be awful again, but the fact that he’s so strong and happy helps keeps Lani and me from weeping any more. Sooner or later, he’s going to get sick again and we won’t be able to help, but until then, Lyle Lives.

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  32. Just an FYI- they make a flavorless aluminum hydroxide gel powder that can be mixed into moist food if you want to do that instead of the syringe. They sell it at thrivingpets.com and you can print it out and take it to your vet to have her tell you the correct dose to mix in, and write you a prescription. That’s if Lyle hates the oral syringe- if it works for him, go with it! I am a vet and have used this in a lot of cats with renal failure- if they are picky about medicine tasting bad this seems to work well for them.

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    1. Lyle’s not crazy about it, but when a drop of it landed on Lani the other night, he licked it up, so he’s coping. Plus after that, he gets his Azodyl in cheese. Lyle lives for cheese.
      I’ll keep that in mind for when he gets more finicky later, though. Thanks!

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      1. It binds the phosphorus which builds up when the kidneys break down and makes the animal ill. It’s white chalky stuff and you shoot it into their mouths with a needle-less syringe and they swallow it. Lyle gets it twice a day. Cats with CRF may be different, but I wouldn’t think that different.

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        1. Huh. My vet is pretty proactive (I switched to her when the old one said, “Just switch foods and watch the cat for a few months, then we’ll retest to see if her numbers have gone down,” and my gut said–if that’s all I do, she’ll be dead)–I wonder why she hasn’t mentioned it. Will have to ask. Thanks.

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          1. Hi, Deborah!
            Sorry I have been working more lately and haven’t had time to do essential things like check my fave blogs! 🙂 Sorry I missed your question, but Jenny is right. The main reasons to do it are 1) if the CRF is advanced enough to be raising the phosphorus levels, or 2) if you are interested in using a drug called calcitriol to slow the progression of renal failure- then you have to get the blood phosphorus levels below a certain number to keep from having some undesirable side effects. You may want to ask your vet about calcitriol; I have used it in several renal failure cats with good results as far as keeping them comfortable for a long time. If she hasn’t heard of it or isn’t comfortable using it there is a lot of information on VIN (veterinary information network) including a medical FAQ.

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  33. Argh people are awesome. I just went through the posts clicking like a demon. The whole house should be buried in love and goodwill by now. Go Lyle!!!

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  34. Glad to see the update on Lyle and all the great pictures. Nice mugshot 🙂

    And happy to hear that he, and everyone else, is hanging in there…

    Samhain, my chronic renal failure cat, is sitting on my lap as I type this. (And yes, I am sitting crooked and aggrevating both my back and my tendonitis, rather than make her shift…) Her numbers were really bad the last vet visit–out of nowhere, since they had been consistently slightly better each time for a year–but she doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo either. She is still feisty and stubborn, and mostly resisting her subq fluids, which I’ve had to move from every other day to daily. Some days she’ll sit still for me to do it by myself, other days my best pal Ellen (Fake Aunt Ellen, I suppose) comes to hold her for me. We are both very lucky to have a helper who is willing to drive 15 minutes (one way) in the opposite direction of home. Of course, on the nice days, we walk Ellen’s 3 dogs (2 pugs and a gods-knows-what-pulling-lunging-houndish-thing), so it works for everyone.

    Samhain is young for this too, although not as young as Lyle. She was a stray brought to the shelter, and when I adopted her they figurered she was 3-4, and now she is about 6. Way too young…and I haven’t had her nearly long enough.

    I think of you every time I stick her with a needle. Wait…that didn’t come out right…

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  35. My dogs stay out all day long, while I’m at work (We have a radio fence) and then when I come home they all come in to keep me company. (As if the four kids weren’t enough company!) The biggest likes to stay close and often lies on my feet. Or is that lays on my feet?

    I like that they get plenty of exercise, and I leave them in when it’s bitterly cold. But they like to be out keeping an eye on things. And if the weather turns bad they can sit on the porch and stay dry. However Moose thinks the porch is for sissies and sits outside the door when I’m in the house. Otherwise he’s out making the most of living in the country.

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    1. My dogs would pick outdoors, too, but they get bored. In the summer, I take my work out on the terrace and work on one of the chaises and invariably I look up after an hour or two, and they’ve gone inside.

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      1. And what is the deal with that? They want out so we let them out, literally set them free to roam the backyard at will and they want back inside. I will go sit outside and work and my dog will come out, sniff around, purge the yard of rabbits and then say “pfft” and go back inside. If I leave the backdoor open for her to roam, she won’t venture out. But you’d think I kept her locked up 24/7 the way she acts when she can’t get out. I guess it’s a matter of we want what we cannot have but then we get it… Darn kids.

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  36. I have the audio version of Dogs and Goddesses, and my favorite part is when the dogs talk, and the dachshund keeps saying “Sweet baby. Love you forever.” I have a big Lab mix now, but I have been good friends with a large black and tan dachshund, Gigi. They are great dogs. So glad he’s having good times. It’s important to remember that we worry, but they don’t. They take life one nap at a time.

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  37. I am hysterical at this post, first I wanted to cry because Lyle is so sweet with his pictures and his prognosis is so sad but then with the mug shot — I’m at work and laughed out loud! And I adore hearing about Cheesus, my dogs think my parents are Cheesus… more like Any-food-you’ll-feed-us… thank you for the post! Thinking positive thoughts for Lyle and the rest of the crew and praying for him too, every little bit helps!

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  38. I am also a lurker on your site and felt so upset seeing this post! Not only did we just lose our dog to bone cancer, but I also have a connection to PKD. Although I know PKD impacts 1 in every 500 people, I was unaware that it occurred in dogs. I lost both my mother and my aunt to the disease. As one of seven kids, we are fortunate that only one of us has the disease since it is passed down from a parent with each child having a 50/50 chance of contraction. My sister successfully donated a kidney to my brother a couple of years ago as well. Dude, my first post and I’m a total downer! lol Honestly though, my thoughts are with you as I know this will not be an easy road. Here’s to little Lyle fighting the good fight as long as he is able!

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    1. Oh, Sabrina, I’m so sorry. It’s devastating; I can’t imagine what it must be like knowing it’s in your family.
      I don’t think Lyle even knows he’s fighting; I think he just thinks he deserves the attention because he’s Lyle. Which, of course, he does.

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    2. Sabrina, I don’t think your post was a downer. I think it shows empathy and caring and that’s not a downer to me. I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother and aunt and also for losing your fur baby. You must have a caring family as demonstrated by your sister. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  39. Shniffles – What wonderful puppymates you have, and what wonderful roommates. I loved that picture of Lani and Cheesus and Lyle, it was really …kind. Atsa nice household.

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  40. This post is proof (as if any of here needed any more) that you can write about any topic in an entertaining way. Sending good vibes to Lyle – let us hope he sets some sort of dog record in the area of surviving kidney disease.

    I had a cat who died of liver failure and toward the end I used to let her drink water from a plastic cup I held for her – something I had previously attempted to prevent when she was well. She totally took it as her due 🙂

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  41. Does Lyle (and the others) have steps up onto the bed? It seems rather high for stumpy little legs.

    I have no objection to dogs on the bed. Mine sleep under the covers with me. They are definitely indoor dogs as they are small and relatively hairless. My co-worker has a larger hairy dog and she couldn’t believe that I don’t leave mine outside while I’m at work. I’m not sure if she’s ever realized how hot or cold it can get outside when you have no body fat or fur to keep you warm (or cool as the case maybe).

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    1. There’s a ramp. We live in a full service dog house. If I had cats, I’d have those runways all over the place. Of course cats tend to make their own runways.

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      1. My daughter, the eleven-year-old you met at Anderson’s bookshop last fall while one of our cats was dying and she and I were both outrageously depressed and a bit in shock (sorry about that), has been lobbying for those runways. She has designed and redesigned several systems for the house. If she had access to lumber she would have turned the whole house into a cat play system by now.

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  42. Thanks for the update on Lyle. He has such a sweet face, as do your other dogs. I’m hoping that you have a long career as canine top chef and that Lyle stays happy for a long, long time. I truly enjoyed the post – it had everything – comedy, drama, human (and canine) interest, and even pictures! You can’t ask for more. And what an outporing of concern and helpful hints it has produced. You have a great blog with truly kind, loving readers. It’s all good.

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  43. They do kidney transplants for doggies, don’t they? Sabrina’s post brought thought to mind. And wasn’t this the condition that did Jane Austen in? Something near, I think.

    Kissies and huggies to sweet Lyle, he’s on my pagan prayer list.

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    1. The survival rate for kidney transplants in cats is only about 50%, and on an average it only extends their lives about six months, living on immunosuppressants. The numbers for dogs are worse. As long as Lyle is happy, we’ll keep medicating and treating him, but when his quality of life drops, we’ll let him go. I’ve learned the hard way that working too long to keep a dying animal is just cruel.

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  44. It’s so good to see Lyle living life to the fullest. I wish we could all learn to live as well as our pets do – every day being an adventure, joy from simple things, and too much love to share to waste time angsting over things that can’t be changed.

    Cat runs – my Kelly already has one: my house.

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  45. It always amazes me how much I learn about humanity through dogs and cats. Lyle is dying, but he’s doing it with good cheer and making the best use of his time . . . that’s the way I want to go.

    Thanks for sharing. It’s sad, but funny and . . . awesome at the same time. Awesome in that we all come, we all go, and we all have connections on this earth, and not always to the two-legged kind.

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  46. Yet more unusual praise for Crusie at http://www.justinarobson.blogspot.com.

    Justina is an English SF writer who I know slightly. Here’s a bit of what she said:
    “The Crusie Scale is named after wonderful romance author http://www.jennycrusie.com/ Jennie Crusie whose humorous, earthy trips to the Land of Hearts-Entwined provide the necessary uplift for me to counter the massive, broody power of levianthic texts like Kraken. It is not intended as a critical scale, it’s just a measure of balance.”

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    1. LOL, I don’t think I could handle the emotion-wrenching of a novel with more than a 2 Crusie rating. Heck, reading the newspaper ALONE is like a 7 on the Crusie Scale (I need to read 7 feel-good books in order to feel normal again), so why would I invite a bunch of fictitious upheaval into my life? (-: YMMV. Great link, though, and definitely food for thought.

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      1. Totally! I don’t like Oprah Book Club types or weepy chick flicks. I hate, hate, hate crying. Which is why I love, love, love Crusie books. 🙂

        When someone asks me if I’ve read or watched one of those tear-jerkers, I just say, “If I wanted to cry, I’d balance my checkbook.”

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  47. Oh, wow. I know exactly what she means. Thank you so much. I just added 2 authors, and a blogger to my reading list.

    But first, I need to choose which 4 Crusie’s to read with the Kraken….

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