The Day I Almost Lost Bosco

Bosco had an upset tummy over the weekend – he wasn’t eating a lot and he’d had a touch of diarrhea. Monday night he got me up six times needing to go out, and each time necessitated putting him in the shower stall and cleaning his bum. I love his floofy pants but they do make it messy when things aren’t quite right in the area.

On Tuesday morning I decided that he needed to go in to see the vet. My usual vet wasn’t working at my location (the clinic has two locations that they staff) but I didn’t want to wait so I agreed to bring him in to see the male vet, Dr Martin Rebele.

Bosco is such a very good boy. He lay down on the floor of the room and waited patiently, with me rubbing his belly. When Dr Rebele came in, he let him poke and prod him. There was one area that caused him to yelp as Dr Rebele was feeling around. The initial thought was either pancreatitis or giardia, both of which Dr Rebele explained to me in a way that didn’t make me feel stupid. I find sometimes vets (and doctors) forget that the general public doesn’t have the same education and don’t take the time to check for understanding.

I left Bosco at the clinic after authorizing them to do the tests. They said they would call by 1pm, so I went to drop off a cheque at the dealership where I bought a car on Monday. (That gets it’s own post. This one is Bosco’s.) Hailey took me out for lunch, and then I met my dad so he could see the car. Just before we met, Dr Rebele called. The tests had come back negative and he wanted to do an ultrasound. I agreed and he said he’d call back in about an hour.

An hour and a half went by and I hadn’t heard yet, so I went to the clinic. They put me in a room, and shortly after Dr Rebele came in carrying Bosco wrapped in a blanket. He put him down on the floor and I started stroking his head gently. Bosco was moaning and whimpering in pain. Dr Rebele showed me on the ultrasound that there was a mass on his spleen, but that they hadn’t seen any other issues. At that point he said he wanted to do exploratory surgery because while we have technology, nothing beats a human eye actually looking to see what’s going on. I agreed without hestitation.

Then he dropped the bombshell. He said that if it turned out to be cancer, there was the chance that it could have spread too far and that I might have to make the decision to let him go. I sat on the floor with my beautiful boy, tears dripping off my face, wondering how an upset belly had led us to the point where I might be saying my last goodbye. Dr Rebele didn’t let me have too much time with him because Bosco was in too much pain to wait for long. He picked him up and carried him out … and I sat alone in the room, rocking back and forth, sobbing and whispering the words, “Please let him be okay. Please. Please,” over and over again.

I called Hailey and told her she needed to come. I almost couldn’t speak. Although I am generally extremely private about what I share on Facebook, I posted that I needed thoughts and prayers for Bosco because there was the chance I might lose him. Then I sat there and I waited.

At some point I spoke to Jen on the phone. She was stuck downtown at a conference with no car because she had carpooled. All the fucking days! She would have left work in a second to come be with me, and she felt terrible that she couldn’t be there. But she was still a lifeline to me, because we spoke until the other vet, Dr Whitehead, came in to give me an update.

Remember how I said some vets don’t speak to clients properly? Dr Whitehead is a prime example. She is very nice and seems very competent, but she kept using medical terminology that I wasn’t familiar with. And the only thing I wanted to know at that point was whether I had to let him go. She was telling me stuff about his spleen and how it was flipped over and kinked, and finally I interrupted her to ask whether there was cancer. She looked confused for a moment and then replied that no, there was no [big word] or [big word]. I gasped out, “So I’m not going to lose him today?” and at her startled, “No!” I put my head down in my lap and sobbed.

After that I could start to comprehend what she had been telling me. His spleen was folded over and the mass that showed up on the ultrasound was actually the half of it that was stopped up with blood and very swollen. They wanted to remove it, to which I immediately agreed. Dr Whitehead went back to relay this to Dr Rebele, and I continued to wait. Helen the office manager and tech came in to give me an update that Bosco was doing well and was being stitched up, and finally Dr Rebele came in to give me the official outcome.

His recommendation was that while we could send the spleen to be biopsied, a lot of the time the results came back inconclusive because cancerous cells in the spleen tend to be like blood blisters which pop and then there is nothing to biopsy anyway. Originally he had said he wanted to biopsy the liver too but he changed his mind on that. One lobe of Bosco’s liver has rounded edges rather than a sharp delineation, and this can be caused be age, secondary back up from the spleen situation, or cancer. The thing is, if it is cancer it is inoperable, and it is a blood borne cancer. A lot of the time after a biopsy the cancer spreads quickly because of the hole that has been created by the biopsy. His recommendation is to moniter it with ultrasounds going forward, and just enjoy every moment I have with my boy.

Bosco had to stay overnight in order to continue the IV of fluids, antibiotics, and pain meds. I insisted that I had to see him before I left. I was no longer sobbing but I did still have tears dripping down my face, but I explained through them that I had to see him breathing before I could go home and leave him. After cautioning me that I couldn’t stay long and that Bosco needed to be kept calm, Dr Rebele agreed and Helen took me to the back. He was lying on his side facing away from me in the large crate, tucked up under a blanket with hot water bottles snugged up against both sides. He was breathing steadily and not making any pain noises. They didn’t offer to open the door so I didn’t get to touch him but I did speak softly to him. He was not out of the anaesthetic yet but who knows what we know or hear when we are under sedation.

Hailey was waiting for me at the house, and we took her two and Maia out for a walk in the sunshine. I needed to get out, to watch happy dogs sniffing, to breath the fresh air. It was a beautiful afternoon and I felt so grateful that I was able to enjoy it.

I picked Bosco up yesterday afternoon. They kept him for the day in order to maintain the IV but reassured me that he was bright eyed and perky, and he ate his breakfast. When I got him home I got him comfortable on the couch, and he stayed there all evening with me. I even brought him his dinner there. I had prepped during the afternoon and made boiled chicken and white rice, and Hailey had brought a bunch of freebies home from her work like a bag of Honest Kitchen that I will move him on to today. He took his meds like a champ, and he slept.

It was a bit of a challenge to convince him that he could manage the stairs up to the bedroom but once he got going, he made it all the way up. He slept through the night, first on the bed and then moving to the floor as per usual. This morning he went out to pee with minimal coaxing, and gobbled up his breakfast.

I am beyond words to explain how grateful I am that I still have my beautiful Bosco with me. I’ve only had him for four years and it’s not enough.

Beautiful Bosco

Beautiful Bosco

Posted in fuzzy love | 2 Comments

Actually lolled


Posted in funnies, fuzzy love | Leave a comment



Posted in the everyday | Leave a comment

Introducing Moses

Moses in a Cane Corso Mastiff (I think!) who is 9 months old and a big smooshy baby. He came to stay for 6 nights. Maia was not enamoured – she showed him her teeth multiple times and would put his entire muzzle in her mouth. But he deserved it because he is a stupid puppy. It would have been better had he learned from her corrections but alas, no.

Hailey's Monster, on the other hand, thought he was the bee's knees, and they wrestled and played bitey-face.

It was such a beautiful morning for a walk. Poor Maia was terribly unhappy in this photo because there were gunshots coming from the hunting area on the other side of the valley. I HATE hunting season with a passion because it makes my girlie very sad and all she wants to do is go back to the car. In fact, just after this picture was taken, Hailey kept walking down the dyke with the rest of the dogs but Maia started back towards the car, then turned to look at me hopefully. I couldn't make her keep going when she so clearly wanted to get the hell out of dodge.

The first day I had Moses I also had Tessa, and I took everyone out for a two and a half hour walk that day. It was just what my soul needed – peace, beauty, and happy dogs.

Posted in the everyday | Tagged | 45 Comments

Picture Post!

Jen took this photo of me 5 years ago, but I discovered it when I went trawling through tagged photos of myself on Facebook. My parents want a picture for their living room and while this one doesn't have Bosco in it because it was the summer before I adopted him, I think it's pretty great on every other front. I look good, you can clearly see Maia (who is saying "Cookies in my mouth!") and the background is my beloved dykes.

I took this selfie yesterday at my desk. I was having a 'feeling pretty' day.

A co-worker at the call centre gifted me with this brand new Costco bed because her dog refused to use it. Maia thinks it's perfect.

First snow of the year! Bosco is so handsome.

I stole Cooper again. I *love* him.

My beautiful girl. This is my work computer desktop picture right now. I love blue shadows on snow.


Posted in the everyday | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments


I went by the call centre today (my work place before I got this one year temp position) and everyone was so happy to see me. I got 4 hugs! And people told me I looked really happy, that I was glowing.

Sometimes I think I must be doing okay at this whole life thing.


Totally unrelated, I got jealous at my American friends posting about their Thanksgiving dinners today so I bought a rotisserie chicken and a box of stuffing, made garlic mashed potatoes, and poured about a litre of gravy over everything. No more jealousy and happy belly. And happy dogs since they got to sit next to me in the kitchen while I tore the chicken apart, and got a near constant supply of skin and fatty bits directly in their mouths. Everyone likes rotisserie chicken night.

Posted in the everyday | Tagged | 9 Comments


On Sunday I spent 7 hours on my feet, wrangling dogs for Santa photos. My friend Jen does two photo shoots by donation at a local pet supply store and 100% of the proceeds go to a local cat rescue. This was my first year volunteering at this particular one and I had so much fun. Wore the wrong shoes and my feet still hurt, three days later, but I am looking forward to the second one in a couple weeks. I got to pet and snorgle so many adorable dogs, and seeing how much people love their pets can't help but make you feel good.


Boss was in town over the weekend. Well, sort of. He was doing a mini-conference on Vancouver Island so I saw him briefly on Friday when I picked him up at the airport and dropped him at the ferry terminal. I got a couple hours with him on Monday when we did the reverse. We went to an Asian mall in Richmond. (Richmond is a predominantly Asian suburb in Vancouver, and it is kind of like a large Chinatown. Everything in this mall was written in … Mandarin? I don't even know! The food court was all Asian food, and not North Americanized Asian food but I guess more authentic Asian food. It's quite strange.) There is a Daiso in that mall that is a Japanese dollar store and it is huge and has a ton of cool stuff. He loves to go browse in there.

We may or may not have had a quickie in the family washroom. *laughing*

I had borrowed Hailey's new (to her) Honda Element and had brought cushions and pillows and a blanket so that we could have a cuddle and/or sex in there. Elements are huge when you fold the back seats up, and I thought that it would be a better option than trying to cuddle in my car. He humoured me and we spent half an hour snuggled up in there, just parked in the parking lot. I don't really ever touch anyone except him, and I don't notice how much I miss it until I get the change to glom onto him.

He has time off from travels between the Seattle vendor fair in a few weeks, and Taboo in February, and hopefully I will be able to go down to see him during that time. He won't be working on stuff at the warehouse so we will be able to cuddle and lounge around and cuddle and watch tv and did I mention cuddle???


But because I had a good Sunday and a good Monday, the fates needed to intervene so yesterday I came home from work to find two large piles of stinky smooshy poo on Bosco's mattress. Thanks Maia! It was my fault completely – I fed them some canned food on Monday night and didn't insist that they poop before I went to work. But on your brother's bed? 

Posted in the everyday | Tagged , , | 9 Comments


This is such a cute idea for anyone who has kids or a partner who might enjoy this. It's a do-it-yourself big advent calendar.

Posted in the everyday | Tagged | 9 Comments

Voting and feeling connected

I have spent the better part of today reading the platforms of the candidates running for mayor and councillor in my municipal election. The last one was in 2011 and while I was living in Maple Ridge then, I didn't take the time to learn anything about the candidates and therefore I didn't vote. It is the one and only time I haven't voted, in any election, since I became eligible.

I started with the women nominees because I decided that women whom I liked would get precedent over men that I liked. Considering that there are 26 nominees and only 6 of those are women (and there are no POC at all) I thought it was the best way to get some diversity out of the choices. I now have 2 women and 5 men picked out but I can only vote for 6 to become councillors.

The past year or so I realized that I have become very attached to Maple Ridge, and I don't want to move anywhere else. I had originally planned to stay in my townhouse for five years and then move to a house in Mission. The real estate is cheaper in Mission but it does not have the dykes that I love, and it would add at least another 25 minutes on to my commute (assuming I get to stay in this position once the year contract is up). Reading the platforms and seeing what different people's visions are for Maple Ridge has solidified for me that this community is home.

I may even start reading the local newspaper!

Posted in the everyday | Tagged , | 18 Comments

Public Service Announcement

I may have solved one of my life’s little aggravations. My sheet always ends up covered in dog hair. Like, I use a clothes brush on it every night and end up with a handful of Bosco fluff. Not any more!

The solution
When making the bed:
Fitted sheet (obviously)
Flat sheet smoothed out
Pillows on top of flat sheet (very important)

When I get into bed I lift the pillows and pull the flat sheet down and voila! Fitted sheet with very minimal dog hair!

Posted in the everyday | Tagged | 27 Comments