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Sunday, September 13, we’ll celebrate the first anniversary of Clover’s adoption from Blue Ridge Border Collie Rescue. It took fate and many major feats to get her from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Plans for festivities this weekend remain in the planning stages, but I’ll bake canine cupcakes, probably take her on a hike, and otherwise spend the entire day marking the occasion (as if we aren’t always in constant awe of just how blessed we are to be raising this incredible puppy). Let’s begin the party with this 2-minute video slideshow commemorating our first year together. (Video also embedded below.)
A couple of weeks ago, I drove Clover out to Valdemar Farm for her herding instinct test with our herding instructor Cathy Balliu. You can see the video highlights (and bloopers) below, but let’s just say Clover did much more harassing than herding. Here is a recap of what we looked for, what we saw, and what comes next.
It took me close to two solid days to gather and officially archive 9 years of photos and video of Lilly. I’m so grateful – now that she is gone – to have countless images of our life together. You’ll always find spontaneous moments to capture, but here is a short list of must-have dog photos and video.
We threw together a quick 90-second video, showing how Lilly is doing 2 weeks since her most recent setback and 5 days since the ER run to find out why she was feeling so lethargic. Not bad for a puppy-girl who could barely walk 2 weeks ago and who refused to get out of bed last weekend.
Friday, June 7, 2013, marks 500 days since Lilly received the ill-fated rabies vaccine that has forever changed all of our lives. Her widespread brain and spinal cord inflammation remains and requires numerous daily medications and others (including a chemo drug ~ 4 injections, over 2 days, every 3 weeks) to keep her alive. June also marks a full year since Lilly became completely incontinent (both ways). Taking care of her (and working a lot to pay her veterinary bills) consumes my every day. This is our new norm, and that’s OK … until I look at old videos and remember how strong she used to be. Then I’m super sad.
I don’t much remember what life with Lilly was like before she got so sick with an adverse rabies vaccine reaction called meningoencephalomyelitis in January 2012. Taking care of her fills my days. Our world has gotten quite small, but we feel joy at even the tiniest “normal” thing — such as playing fetch. Here, friends, is a little video update.
It has been a ridiculous week in Lilly Town. Here is a quick recap of our efforts to help Lilly recover from a terrible bladder infection. It stems from her symptoms and treatment for rabies vaccine-induced brain and spinal cord inflammation. We are now 13 months into this saga.
Over three days in early August 2012, Lilly went from a good, steady recovery to near death. Tired one day. Wobbly the next. Bordering on coma the next. Her adverse rabies vaccine reaction (massive brain inflammation) had returned with a vengeance. It had been 6 weeks since our 4th attempt to wean Lilly’s steroids. She had a few smaller setbacks when we lowered her steroid dose in the spring, but nothing compared to this total collapse.
In part 2 of our year in review, you can see how well and how quickly Lilly’s first recovery went. Remember, at this point we assume Lilly will get better steadily and fully recover. Check out these pictures and video, and you’ll see why we were lulled into a sense of security.