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Old 03-21-2008, 08:06 PM
bowens2's Avatar
bowens2 bowens2 is offline
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Default Monkey's Story

To begin with my husband was never really a pet person. After 20 years of marriage and my husband staying out too long after a football game, my daughter (who was about in the 4th grade at the time) and I were in the new pet store (they brought puppies and kittens from the local shelter- it was a new concept at the time). There was the scrawniest rag tag pup you every saw and she melted my heart. So along came Pepper (not the diabetic). My husband would not look at her for four days. He finally said "It's either me or the dog." My response was " It's been a nice 20 years but the dog is staying." He did grow to love Pepper as much as my daughter and I.

Seven years later after being diagnosed with cancer, my husband suggested that Pepper looked lonely and needed a buddy. I am sure you are saying well what did cancer have to do with it? A couple of years after that my husband finally confessed he thought that at the time not only would I lose him in a few years but Pepper too. He knew by that time both of our kids would be out of the house and thought I should have another dog to get me thru the tough times.

Monkey was purchased at the same pet store that brought puppies up from the local shelter that Pepper was (which went out of business right after that or I would probably have three or more dogs). Even though Pepper had medical problems over the next few years including heart problems, skin problems, and cushings, Monkey remained healthy.

In September of 2006, Monkey (7 yrs old at the time) started urinating in my bedroom at night and drinking a lot of water. He quickly became lethargic in a matter of a couple of days. I, like almost everyone else on this message boards, was in disbelief when the vet gave me the news. No way! I cried and cried. I really did not know how I could afford it but also how I could manage to be home for him due to our business (I often work 12 to 17 hours a day) in our busy season. But just the thought of the alternative ripped the heart right out of me.

The first day of Monkey coming home after his diagnosis was a nightmare! I was a nervous wreck. Monk cried when I gave him his shot and then immediately threw up. I was frantic. It was a weekend. I could not get a hold of my vet. I was more frantic. I did a quick search on the internet and low and behold found the canine diabetic messageboard. Thank the Lord and I mean that, Natalie was online. She immediately went to live chat and helped talk me through my panic attack (so even though I have never met her in person she holds a special place in my heart).

My vet put Monkey on Lantus which works well for him and gives me some flexibility but it seems to be soo much more expensive than other insulins. It works well with Hills Precription RD dog food which is in fiber. Apparently not all dogs do well on Lantus but it has been great for Monk.

I can't say it has been smooth sailing but not too bad just a bump in the road now and then over the last year and a half. Other than a bout of pancreatitis and a few highs and no hypos, Monk has done amazingly well. Thanks to Natalie, Helen, Margo, and the others who have responded to all of my questions. I have slowly raised Monk's insulin on my own to get him to his present dosage with seems to suit him at this time.

I still can't afford it and I still have to find the time but we have made it. We lost Cat (Monk's playmate), Pepper (Monk's mentor and protector) and Loopy (Monk's tormentor - but I think they were tolerating and even enjoying each other on walks the few months before Loopy left us) in the past 9 months. Monk some times seems sad or lonely but he loves to take walks. He has had to become braver without Pepper (who was half his size) to stick up for him.

He is still always hungry! However he is in great health and very energetic when someone will play with him. This will be his first summer alone. I plan (the big word is plan) on spending time walking him.

If someone would have told me in the beginning (and they did) that I could handle this (and I have) I would never have believed them.

I see myself over and over each time we get a new member on the board. The disbelief, the denial, the struggle, and then the acceptance. Then the love because it brings you closer to that special pet. I don't know if I could have taken Cat's, Pepper, and Loopy's deaths if I didn't have Monk depending on me too. Guess my husband was right at least about half of it. I need Monk to get me through Pepper.

By the way My husband has been cancer free (Once again I thank the Good Lord above for his blessing) for 9 1/2 years and they gave him approx 3 years at the most.

Cat (female calico cat 8 yrs old) was hit by a car in June of 2007, Pepper (schnauzer mix) at the age of 15 died of bladder cancer in September of 2007, and Loopy (husky mix), my daughter's dog who stayed with us every 3 months while my daughter co-oped for school, died of a sarcoma type cancer in January of 2008.

Monkey is 8.5 years old (10.5 at the time I edited this post - I decreased his food right after this post a few years ago and increased his treats)

Residence: Goshen, Ohio (east of Cincinnati, OH)

Diagnosed: September, 2006

Breed: lhasa apso terrier mix

Color: Mostly blond with little grey and white mixed in. Long hair

Weight: 26 lbs

Insulin: Lantus (right now but I may change)

Dosage: 14.5 units twice a day

Food: 2/3 cup RD dry mixed with 1/2 RD can twice a day with shot.

Snack: Broccoli cooked with chicken broth once a day right after his evening meal and very thin chicken jerky strips usually a couple times a day. The one in the morning I stick in a small kong so he has to work to get it out. I give it to him right after his morning meal and usually another strip about mid day and occasionaly another one at various times of the day especially if I am going to be feeding him later.

Health is great most of the time. One bad bout of pancreatitis January 07.

Last edited by bowens2; 12-03-2009 at 08:15 AM.
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