Sunday, May 23, 2010


Checking out the new murals at the new West Hollywood (my fav hood) Library.
Here's me posing politely by Shepard Fairey's awesum elephant, absolutely dwarfed by Retna's calligraphy (I hope it doesn't say anything nasty but it sure is painted beautifully even so!) And gorgeously silhouetted by Kenny Scharf's scary creatures!

Update: Rotti has just acquired his Actors & Others for Animals Pet Assisted Therapy Certificate! Good Boy!

Canine Good Citizenship from AKC

Nothing like a professional photo!

Please meet the new addition to my home, "RottiWeiller", a newly rescued puggie boy. He'd been in the East Valley Animal Shelter 6 times in the last 3 yrs. and I decided, enough was enough. He's mine now and what a guy.

I see that I haven't posted for over a year. It was too much after I lost my babies,-and I never thought I'd do it again and this wasn't planned, but I couldn't resist his story. How anyone could have neglected him enough that he's get out so any times I don't know. What a great animal. Fab laid-back disposition and already housebroken. Doesn't know (or admit to knowing) his basic commands, but we're working on it.

My Guy has beautiful gold eyes and is a heavy 25 lb. lardbutt. (Ok, ok, I don't have the purest credentials, but look at me...who could resist?)

How cute am I??

("Pretending-to-be-a-Rottweiler" stare..sniff..any good Mini-Rotti would do the same.)

At least we share our views on politics...

Variations on a Theme by Puganini:
Fav position #1: "Naked"

(Big upside down smileyface...)

Fav position #2 "Streetwear"

(Side-ways smileyface...)

Fav position #3 "Bling"

(Meth-using-after a Lady Ga-Ga-concert smileyface)

I can do it a little...

I can do it a lot...

Or I can do it not at all.

(my father used to sleep with one eye open during the war...)

Some think we bear a resemblance, but I don't see it....

Friday, January 16, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Over 103 human-years old.

Please scroll through "Older Posts" for more videos.

I haven't posted for months because I was having too much fun with my boy after his surgery and didn't feel the need to write. He was himself after recuperating for a few weeks and life was normal once again. His beautiful fur grew back to cover his scars. But suddenly on Xmas, he took an unexpected turn for the worst and couldn't recover. Though his cancer didn't spread to his lungs as we feared, it did make it's way to his liver. His doctors and I did what we could to make him comfortable as he declined, and finally, two days ago, he peacefully died in my arms. It was a profound experience.

He lived nearly 8 months after his diagnosis and surgery. Such a strong, valiant boy. I hope he felt it worth it as much as I did. I hope he knew how much I loved him. Maybe it was all for me that he suffered through such hardship and maybe I was selfish for having him endure recovery. But he thrived afterward and I gratefully did my best to make him happy. I wouldn't change a thing, except give him even more prime rib bones.

We had more time together and that's what it was all about.

the truth can now be told

I didn't want to post the following at the time and didn't want to name names, as I didn't want to compromise my welcome at ASG for Mr. Buster's sake, in case he needed emergency care. For the most part, ASG is a terrific specialty clinic. Clinically they are superior. Buster's surgeon, Dr. Kirk Wendelburg was a dream. Buster had absolutely no post-op problems at all and healed beautifully. And the doctor wasn't afraid to give me his opinion in no uncertain terms, which I appreciated. I had absolute confidence in him.

But sometimes you can't work with certain personalities. Such was the case with the oncologist there, "Dr." Blake, who was arrogant and insufferable.

Coincidently (?) there were two other doctors there with the same attitude and they also happened to be women...which leads me to believe that maybe in their field they had to be aggressive in order to compete with the men or maybe they just think they are better than the clients that give them their livelihood in the first place. Maybe they didn't like to be questioned because they either weren't sure of themselves or felt threatened because they thought I was questioning them, instead of realizing I was just getting information. Maybe it was me, not acquiescing to their authority to rush me through. Someone once told me they thought vets became vets as they could relate to animals better than people, but the joke is on them because, they have to interact with owners after all. Either way, it was all very unpleasant.

Anyway, either they don't care or don't realize that clients talk about them, that there is an online, word-of-mouth community that discusses their experiences with veterinarians in no uncertain terms. Blake told me I was the worse of her clients, that I asked too many questions, even though I made special appointments with her just for that reason instead of dealing with her assistants, for which she was getting paid. After 5 minutes talk she said she had to go and charged me $75 each time! (That comes to $900.- an hour). This happened twice. I was crushed, intimidated and enraged and felt so happy when I later found someone else, Dr.Sue Downing... I didn't give any explanation to Blake but just cancelled my appointments. I find out later that it all got around on the grapevine nonetheless, when Buster's records were sent for. I felt an quiet, vindictive joy in my black little heart.

It so happens that I was talking to another client in the waiting room who said Blake had told her the same thing! And yet another client who was put off by her. So it wasn't me. It was all I could do not to say anything to the owner of ASG (and excellent surgeon of my little boy), Dr. Wendelburg, for the above reasons. But I wrote a letter to them both to get it off my chest and just saved them for later, biding my time. It helps to write about it here too, even if it doesn't get read.

At this point though, several months later, I've gone through so much with my baby, that those feelings of rage at Blake are on the backburner, and though my anger is justified, the expression of it would make me feel bad and she isn't worth my time. What goes around, comes around and sometimes a quiet satisfaction is more delicious. (I'm not bitter...)

Kicking ass!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

sweet boy!

It has been a long time since I last posted. As I re-read some of the first posts, I can't believe that I thought there was nothing that could be done for Buster just because he had cancer. As much as I try to be informed, I always just find out how ignorant I am.  After the 1st two sessions, I changed oncologists and I'm so glad I did. Even though the driving time is much longer, I'm now seeing Dr. Downing at Veterinary Cancer Group in Culver City, California. Instead of the arrogant doctor where I was before, I highly recommend this clinic for their compassion not only for the animal, but to their owners as well. If the owner is stressed so will the animal be...

Buster is doing extremely well. I now call him my Funny Bunny because he hops to get around. Going faster is easier than walking. When it's time to eat he turns in excited circles, so he's able to make the best of what he's got. I love him - he has the sweetest of dispositions.

I jes' loves Aaron Copeland with a snack!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

most comfortable harness

Is this a cute boy or what?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Saturday, June 28, 2008

day 24

Today is day 24 post-op. These pictures aren't easy but Buster's story needs to be told. His surgeon was terrific. Buster had no swelling or any problems with his sutures at all. I believe he has phantom pains and I may put him on gabapentin soon. He has had one session of chemo with carboplatin, got sick a couple of times but nothing more extensive than that. His mood is still not what it was pre-surgery. He is a sensitive little fellow and may be milking it a bit, but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt as he deserves as much loving as possible.

He will alternate the carbo with doxorubicin for a total of 6 sessions, spaced 2-3 weeks apart. His diet is changed to lower the carbs and increase protein and fats. He's also on several suppliments. He's eating well and getting freshly made and high-quality foods and lots of attention.

He won't walk around much outside on a lead, but in the house will follow me from room to room, sometimes with a little lope.


Tight bandage on a hot day and a scraped cornea to boot! Ugh!

Monday, June 23, 2008

day 18 post-surgery

It's nearly 3 weeks since surgery. This has been pretty hard on Mr. B~more than what shows, as of course you never know the extent of it with an animal. I understand bone cancer is unimaginably painful, so at least that part of it's gone. He's had a steep learning curve and his muscles must be pretty sore. So much of a pug's weight is on the front and now the stress to his front leg must be tremendous. He is still pretty subdued, needy and depressed. But physically, he's doing better every day. He'll follow me around the house, especially if there's the possibility of food. But outside, won't move from spot to spot, and only yesterday started becoming interested in smelling the area.

I have actually tried crawling on "all threes" to get an idea of what it must be like. For me it wasn't too bad bad of course, but I know it's very hard and awkward for him.

It's hard not feeling guilty, but I am willing (?) to have him go through this in the hopes of a better future. The alternative was unthinkable. I felt he was worth a second chance.

Tomorrow hopefully he'll get his E. collar off, though I am concerned as he still stumbles and sometimes lands on his chin, I don't want his eye to get more damaged as it's on the same side as his "non-leg".

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

stitches out

Mr. Buster gets his stitches out today..I hope it all healed well, and he can get that hot pressure bandage off.

Friday, June 13, 2008

EGOS and professional jealousy!

After the veterinarians that initially did a work-up on Buster were told (by me) that the specialist (Dr. W.) did not concur with their treatment of Buster and actually said he not only had no broken toes, but that a cast should never had been put on him, the office manager of the first vet told his staff not to recommend this specialist to anyone!! They didn't like the fact that I told them, in a way nicer than I really felt, that they had made a mistake, and not just that mistake, but several others with Buster and two others who treated Sophie, who eventually succumbed in a way that could have been made at least more palliative and humane if treated a year earlier.

Of course I'm never going back there again and tell everybody about them. They have done some negligent things, and worst of all, are jealous of doctors who decided to invest more in their own education and become board certified in their fields (diplomats). If I had done something that potentially could harm an animal, I'd sure want to know about it. But god forbid someone would criticize them!

Most of all, I blame myself for trusting authority. Screw them.

day 9

Well my boy is doing better. He's eating with gusto...(who doesn't like fresh salmon??). It's so hard to know how much to medicate him though. I may be under-medicating him, but he's quieter these last few days, moves more and sleeps a lot. He won't move when outside at all, and mostly moves inside when food is happening. Yesterday he was actually hopping up and down on his front leg in impatience while I'm making him a gourmet meal! He occasionally cries out for no reason apparent to me, but god knows what he's feeling. I'd feel like shit if I was him. Don't want to post pics of him right now, as he's not looking his best and would be so pissed.

Unfortunately somewhere along the line, right after surgery (Thursday of last week), his eye started bothering him and after visiting yet another specialist (oh, why didn't I study science harder!?), he now has to wear a collar as he has damage to the cornea. It's so hard for him to move around, but when everything's off in a week he'll feel really good! Who knows, maybe the collar acts like a rudder...but I don't think so.

He's so brave.

Monday, June 9, 2008

healing time

Today is day 4 since Buster's surgery. He's very whiny, even howling, but last night started moving around quite a bit, following me into the kitchen, etc. And he has a great appetite. Hopefully I get the lab results today.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

in recovery...

Ok, now it's hurry up and wait. My boy became a Tripawd today. His surgery took 2 hours and I know I won't sleep tonight. Tomorrow I get to see him in the afternoon. I'm sure he's feeling sucky now, but in a few days will hopefully feel better for the first time in weeks. After the new x-rays this morning, we discovered his leg bone had already fractured, something we were trying to prevent. Though seen and diagnosed yesterday and rushed into surgery this morning, I still feel horrible at the pain he had to go through, that this dumb human (oh, we are SO-o-o intelligent and intuitive creatures...gag!) didn't notice sooner!

It makes you wonder if indeed animals are angels put here to show us what it is to be human, and it's not always a pretty sight.

The cancer had spread so fast in only two weeks..the Dr. used the word "hot", so it's likely it could be elsewhere, so chemo is scheduled for 2 weeks from today.

Now to heal.

big day for my boy

As it turns out the fungal tests came back negative and there's a very high chance we're talking cancer here so yesterday I took Mr. Buster in to an orthopedic specialist and surgeon I highly recommend, Dr. Wendleburg at ASG (Animal Specialty Group) in the Los Angeles/Glendale area and he confirmed my own intuition and very sure it was cancer. There also were no broken toes (!) and a cast was the worst thing to have put on him! How can I trust that vet that made those conclusions? Always go to a specialist.

So today Buster is going in for a limb amputation. Dr W. was courageous enough to tell me what he thought should be done instead of leaving me to guess. The confidence he expressed that if it were his dog, he wouldn't hesitate to amputate and give chemo, made me feel it also was the best thing to do. Buster is worth a second chance. A really hard decision to make, but I feel he's in good hands. He is in surgery right now. I'm hoping of course for the best. This is going to be really tough on him and is a calculated risk. But it is to eliminate worse pain anticipated in the future and have the ability for more loving time with him.

(And with Sophie, initially "seen" by a regular vet who said just use a little topical itch spray, it turned out to be, (after I took her to a dermatologist and he shaved the area) an extensive horrible rash, that in the end was the deciding factor of her life. I decided the treatment and everything else that was wrong with her as too much for her to endure any longer and had to have her put to sleep. So now I won't go to either of these doctors again. Too many mistakes! And I let them know it too).

Praying for my boy.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

from 14 yrs. ago...classic puggies

...World's Greatest Puglet!

Well, after taking Buster in for a cast this morning, I thought he had a leg fracture and then I go and find out it's one of his toes. Not being able to take my eyes off him for the last 4 hrs, I decided to cut the cast off. He didn't know how to move in it, (wouldn't move actually), and it kept twisting under him which pulled on his upper arm, where the bad bone is and he would cry out. He just tumbled from one position to the next and whined constantly.

I think the toe can heal without the danger of that huge, heavy, unwieldy cast. He didn't move a muscle when I took it off, hobbled around after me and is now, just moments later, asleep. He still needs to be kept quiet as he moves too much now. Tomorrow I take him into a specialist, who I hope concurs with me and doesn't insist on recasting him.

after...he looks a little bull-doggy here...Bullish!

before...not a happy puglet