Thursday, February 27, 2014

Goin On A Road Trip

Dr. T, Miss Betty’s long time vet is one of the most cheerful people in her profession and at the beginning of Betty’s visit she was all smiles and hugs.  After a thorough exam, she started questioning us about the progression of Betty’s condition. (degenerative myelopathy)  We are fully aware that Miss Betty will not be with us soon, but when Dr. T. actually said, “we are talking months and not years now.” ; it kind of silenced the room.  Dr. T. went on to say that when Betty becomes incontinent, that is the end of the battle.  We had previously agreed that incontinence was the end point, and to hear it from Dr. T.  was reassuring that we would be making the right decision.  DM is a frustrating disease, not unlike Lou Gehrig's disease  (ALS) in humans.  One day you are walking with a perfectly healthy dog, then comes the leg ticks, then the obvious weakness in the hind quarters.  Soon enough the gradual inability to make the back legs carry her any distance.  So at that point your companion resorts to dragging herself out to the garden to take care of bodily function;  with a great heave she would be able to swing her rear end upward propping herself up on constantly wobbling legs in order to relieve herself.   We have no doubt that she is still in a happy frame of mind.  Though she can no longer scoot herself through the house as the weakness has progressed to the front legs, leaving her to rely totally on either the cart we had her fitted for or her devoted humans carry her from room to room so that she never becomes distressed. Normally a very quiet dog only barking her loud Corgi bark when someone knocks at the door, but now even that has become week almost a whisper of what it was.
This March is spring break and since MeMa works with the school district, we take advantage of any time off and have a trip planned south to Arizona for a weeks stay with my twin brother at his new home in Phoenix.  My father lives there with him during the winter months and will travel back to Portland with us on our return.

Our trip back home from the veterinarian was quiet.  Thoughts of cancelling our spring trip were voiced.  I was sitting in the sunroom when I told MeMa that we are going to Arizona in March just as planned with one exception…..Miss Betty is going with us.  We had cancelled our summer trip to Hawaii celebrating our 40 years of marriage because of Betty and I was damned if we would cancel this trip.
When life disappoints, just grab on and don't let go!
We have a wonderful house sitter in our good friend Andrea who does a fabulous job of staying at Menagerie Manor and ministering to all the animals needs, but Miss Betty’s needs are so demanding that we would not enjoy ourselves if we left her home.  There are plenty of dog friendly hotels along the way and Miss Betty is a great traveler.  And another plus is that we would be able to monitor her progression.  I told MeMa that we will purchase some of those moisture pads that are used in hospitals and a supply of dogie depends.  If the incontinence occurs we will be outfitted for it, so if this event should happen we would want to deal with it ourselves, Andrea will have her hands full with these two mugs....


  1. Doc and MeMa, my heart goes out to you. xx

  2. A sad & hard time for you, take care. xx

  3. Your plan will work! Some days in the sun for Miss Betty, how nice.

  4. Sounds like you have a good plan worked out. A very sad time but all going well you will have some quality time with Miss Betty while away.

  5. :-(
    Hope you have a wonderful trip, Doc. ♥

  6. Poor old Miss B. I know you are devoted to her, and she must be aware of this herself. It's just so painful when they decide to leave us. Best wishes.

  7. You are wonderful ... so is Miss Betty. Bless her. I know that there is nothing more difficult. Hope all goes well.