Archive for June, 2009

A Look Inside Ramirez

Sorry to have taken so long to update, but it’s been a busy week. Ramirez is doing well and came through his procedure with no ill effects. He handled the anesthesia like a champ. Unfortunately, he wanted to eat at 2am but that’s ok. The x-rays showed no abnormalities in his “bully” – the part of the brain that controls the vestibular system. So, that’s actually good but it still leaves us with no clear answer as to his condition. He’s definitely shown improvement and today walked several times unassisted. We’re still just waiting, waiting for him to get back to his old self or waiting for him to tell us he’s done fighting. It’s up to him.

Throughout his entire life, anytime Ramirez had to be put under, it was done with me holding him. It’s nice to get special privileges.



Dr. Rick’s is a full service vet clinic. Our boy was hooked up to all sorts of machines to monitor his heart and breathing. The incubation tube was being secured here so the machine would administer the proper agents.




Eye ointment is administered to keep their eyes from getting dry since they don’t blink while under.



The x-ray was shot through his open mouth. This is precisely why he had to be knocked out. No way this would have been accomplished with him awake! We all took advantage of him being asleep and lavished kisses on his face. This is the only time Dr. Rick can do that.






The circles show his “bullys” which look perfect. If you look closely you can see his gorgeous ears stretching to the sky.


Read Full Post »

Ramirez And His Bully

At 11am today, we’re going to be doing an x-ray on Ramirez’s brain. Dr. Rick (who is wonderful) will be putting him slightly under anesthesia because the x-ray has to be shot through his open mouth to show the part of the brain he needs to see. We’re calling it his “bully” but I think it’s ebulus or something. It’s the part that controls the vestibular system. Since we’re one month into this now, it’s time for more answers. He has improved, as you can see here:

If this x-ray today shows abnormality on the right side of his “bully” (which is the side he circles) then Dr. Rick will somehow be able to relieve the pressure. If it doesn’t show abnormality then we will know we’re dealing with more than vestibular disease. I trust Dr. Rick completely, especially when it comes to knocking this guy out. He’s been caring for him since he was a pup. The agent he uses has a reversal so he’ll come back up fairly quickly. We understand the risk and are praying we get some answers. We’re also doing another procedure at the same time that will be revealed later – can’t say anything, yet.

Please keep our boy in your prayers today.

Read Full Post »


What do you get when you cross an over zeolous cattledog with a bratty fjord? You get mom falling flat on her face as the cattledog clotheslines her trying to chase after the fjord! Ouch! The side of my knee is gonna be all kinds of cool colors later today…

But before I stumbled, I was witness to my most magnificent Cassidy April showing complete grace while tearing it up running all around the 5 acres. She was absolutely breathtaking. It’d been a while since I was able to turn them loose and since it was a tinge cooler this AM, my girls were feeling fruity. It is truly a thing of beauty to watch a horse run for the sheer love of running. She even had Buford the bull scrambling out of her way. She would stop at one of the fences, arch that neck and let out a couple snorts then take off again. Becca was trying to keep up, but momma ruled this race. It was too cool.

Read Full Post »

This week Cass allowed our farrier (http://soundhorsesystems.com/) to trim her hooves by just standing calmly on a loose lead. She didn’t have to have a wheelbarrow full of hay in front of her for a distraction! We were also standing in the barn, not out in the open of the pasture so she was dealing with two biggies. This was huge. She’s had a problem with her feet from the beginning. Her experiences in the past with hoofcare were not the most pleasant. From what we can tell, she had them trimmed while being attached to a livestock tip table. Picture panels being pushed against both sides of her to squeeze her tight enough so that when they lifted the table sideways, she was off the ground. It had to be horrifying.  She and I have worked diligently on her trusting to have her feet lifted. We are very proud of our smart girl!

Read Full Post »

I think I’ve mentioned we have other ailing dogs besides Ramirez. Had rechecks with two of them today at the vet. Kaley, who is in kidney failure, is heading right back to end-stage even after being hospitalized last week for IV fluids. She is now feeling her disease, is nauseas and weak. She’s kinda stumbling around like she’s had a bit too much to drink. Joey, who was just diagnosed last week with glaucoma, has only had a slight improvement in the pressure in his eye. The meds that are working for Nellie aren’t doing enough for him. His lens has now luxated completely to the front of his eye and he’s in pain. We’re adding an oral pain medication to try to help. The best answer for him is to remove the eye, but he’s 18 years old. I don’t know that he’d survive surgery.

The cat that’s ill is actually responding to his meds and is enjoying canned food along with his usual kibble. He’s looking better. Ramirez is scheduled to see Dr. Rick tomorrow. It’s difficult to describe things over the phone. He needs to see him again and assess if this is all still vestibular disease or if there is brain damage. Our boy is trying so hard but it’s hard for me to stay positive when I see him like this. We actually kicked him out of our bed at night so we can get some sleep – though Scottie’s been up with him several times the past two nights. Not having his squooshy fortress all around making my feet hang off the bed is an adjustment. I’m sleeping better and not being scratched by him, but it makes me completely sad. We’ve got some tough decisions to make.

This is our boy, Ramirez, napping on our bed a few years ago – when he could still get around on his own.


Read Full Post »

With Father’s Day right around the corner I thought it sweet to show off the love my husband has for his special #1 “son”. We made the decision when we got married not to have any human children, so these animals really do feel like our kids, they just have fur. The past 3 weeks we’ve been averaging 2 -4 hours of sleep a night so we’re catching naps as we can. At night Scottie’s been trying to sleep on the couch so Ramirez can have his side of the bed. He goes back to bed in the mid-mornings after pet sitting. This is how I found them the other afternoon…



Read Full Post »

How many pillows does it take? Ramirez has always loved what we call his “squooshes”. They’re his pillows of various texture, softness and overall squooshiness. In dealing with his current debilitation, we’ve come up with a few ways where he can still enjoy his comforts while staying safe. He’s slept in the bed with us since he was a 4 month old puppy. I have a hard time sleeping if he’s not next to me. It’s ironic now how I’m not sleeping because he is next to me!

He has spurts of resting comfortably and then his nose thing starts up and he goes into his panic mode trying to get up to sneeze. This sometimes goes on from 2 – 5am. We’re all catching our sleep when we can. Sort of reminds me of being back in college…ah, those were less complicated days. All I had to worry about then was getting to class and finding out where the party was going to be. Now, I’m holding delicate lives in my hands. Some days I feel competent, others I’m at a loss.




We got a babies play pen for him to be in the times we aren’t able to supervise him on the bed. He had been using a soft crate, but it was difficult getting him in and out of it and we couldn’t just peek in the room to see if he was ok. This solved all that.



We don’t want him to have to be in there for very long, so we’re now eating in the bedroom with him. Our good HD tv is in this room so it’s working out nicely. He’s also a Magic fan so we’ve been getting into these playoff and finals games.



Scottie spends the mid mornings with him while I tend to our other animals. Easy to forget there are several others depending on us for their food and essentials! He does his futures trading stuff while in bed with him. He’s got quite a cool set up. Scottie’s always wanted to just spend his days in bed. Be careful what you wish for…



All these photos makes it seem like Ramirez is laying there like a vegetable. He’s not. He’s trying desperately to stand up and walk like he wants to. He moves himself around the bed using his front legs. That’s why he’s surrounded by the pillows to keep him in. He is completely aggravated about being carried and touched constantly. He always been a pin that did things on his own terms and that meant giving or getting affection. When I go to kiss his nose he’s still trying to bite me and that’s a good thing.


Joey (on the left) and Frank (on the right) sometimes horn in on the squooshiness. The age of that group together is 51 freaking years old! Good grief! Poor Joey is at the vet today because something’s going on with one of his eyes. We had Kaley hospitalized last week for 2 days to get IV fluids because she’s in kidney failure. Simon is hyperthyroid. Nellie has glaucoma. It goes on and on with this group of senior citizens. Give us strength to get through these dark days.


Read Full Post »

We’re Famous!

Scottie recently started tweeting on Twitter (you can follow him here) and his links to our blog caught the attention of Daphne Sashin. She’s a writer for the Orlando Sentinel, and is in charge of their online Animal Crazy feature. Thanks to her, we’ve been mentioned on it! Pretty exciting stuff. So I guess this is kind of a welcome to anyone who’s found us from over there… we hope you will enjoy your adventures in CassidyLand!

Read Full Post »

When I bought Cass it was purely for selfish reasons. Yes, we were saving her life and the life of her unborn (at the time) foal, but I got her to help me cope with what I knew was coming. That being the eventual deaths of the majority of our dogs, especially Ramirez. The past few weeks with Ramirez being so sick and on the verge, at times, of that death, going to the barn has been my salvation.


I was one of those little girls that ate, drank and breathed horses. I drew horses. I wrote about horses. I read about horses. Every summer on our trip to Kentucky Lake we usually spent one afternoon out on a very controlled trail ride. I used my vivid imagination to concoct all sorts of cowgirl scenarios when sauntering along with the group, yet hiding my terror of actually be up on such a huge animal. But, for the most part I was never any closer to a real horse than standing outside the paddock watching the jockeys mount up at our local horse track. Going to the track was a frequent outing with my dad. He would be off studying the racing form  and placing bets and he knew he could always find me standing at the paddock drinking in the horses. Back in those days, you could take your child somewhere like that and let them go off on their own.


When I pull up at Cassidyland it’s a different world, away from the heartache and pain so intense at home now. With Cass & Becca there is beauty and grace. At home, what was once so graceful can no longer walk on his own. With Cass & Becca there is peace and comfort. At home, we struggle trying to give peace and comfort to our special boy. With Cass & Becca, I see the trust earned after a life knowing harshness and fear. At home, we desperately try to not let our boy’s trust in us waver, but he is feeling fear now for the first time.


Scottie & I are barely getting any sleep but we will do what we need to in order for Ramirez to comfortably sleep. I’m proud of how the two of us are able to work together for him and not even have to speak out loud. Our entire married life is with this minpin we named Ramirez. He’s named after a movie character who is immortal. Oh, how I pray that could be true. How I wish we could go back to 1993 when he was a youngster and we had gathered the remaining members of our holy trinity, Jack & Rebecca. What an absolutely awesome family we put together without even knowing it. We sure know it now. We lost Jack in 2003, Rebecca in 2006 and now it’s 2009.


Cass and I also have an unspoken language. She is my heart’s desire come to life. She’s the horse I drew as a child. She’s who I wrote about. She will be my salvation when my heart is shattered into a million pieces. Ramirez is struggling now and he may leave us soon to join Jack & Rebecca. His impact on our lives will never be duplicated. He was the first. He taught us. He gave me the strength to take on the challenge of my heart’s desire, though he holds my heart for now and always.


Read Full Post »

Well, the boy’s excursion to the pool proved to be too hard on his already incapacitated sinuses. For the past few years Ramirez has had horrible sinus problems. So much so, when we have his dentals done, Dr. Rick also flushes them out. The end of this week had Ramirez really gasping for breath in between all his congestion. Without being able to stand or walk, that made it difficult for him to sneeze so we’ve had a bad few days and nights. Scottie and I have been scheduling ourselves so one of us is here with him or he’s only alone for an hour or so at the most. When one of these episodes of non-breathing would hit, he’d panic, begin to flail his legs, hence, ripping our arms up with his little pin toes. We put our heads together with Dr. Rick and added a decongestant to his antihistamine and it seems to be giving him some relief. He also allowed us to put him over a vaporizer to open things up, he’s such a trooper. Last night was a fairly peaceful night of sleep for all of us, he only woke me up once around 4am and just needed to be held up so he could get a sneeze out. We were all able to go back to sleep for a few more hours.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »