Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Test of Time

When it rains it really pours as they say.  Visited with Joey last night and this morning, and about to head back up north to visit him again.  He's very happy when Dad and his friends come to visit, and we saw a partial tail-wag this morning.  He sits on his little bed all hooked up to tubes and such, and we sit on the floor next to him - he wants so badly to sit in his Dad's lap, he gets up and inches closer and closer with all the strength he has, but there are just too many tubes that keep him separated.  Maybe one day very soon.
Joey continues to be stable, which is the good news.  He is resting well, his blood pressure is good, his temp is a low normal, his heart rate is good, no arrhythmias, incision healing well. 
It's the surgery complications which continue to plague us to no end.  Yesterday he developed the pulmonary embolism, but the positive news around that is that it has not progressed.  It seems that when dogs get a PE, they often go downhill quite quickly, but the fact that he has remained stable is positive.  His breathing is still labored, but slightly better.
We tried to get him to eat last night, but he wasn't having it.  Canned dog food, an Ensure supplement, even chicken and gravy baby food, but he wouldn't touch it.  They tried to get him to eat later as well, and the smell made him vomit. 
He also vomited several times early this morning for no apparent reason, so they did some blood tests, and have determined that Joey has developed pancreatitis, another complication from his surgery.  He was hopefully looking at getting weaned off of his fentanyl drip soon, but pancreatitis is quite painful and he now won't be able to eat or drink anything for 48 more hours at least, and will remain on his fentanyl drip for pain relief.  It looks like he will remain in the ICU through the weekend.
All of this makes you rethink the decisions made to this point.  Other than his excessive water drinking, here was an outwardly heatlhy boy, albeit one who would not be healthy for long, and the decision was made to attempt to prolong his life, and was that a selfish decision?   Was that in his best interest?  It certainly seemed like the best thing to do at the time, but he is certainly not enjoying his time in the ICU.  If I knew what I know now, I would not have made the same decision.  But that's the feeling today, and maybe things will change.  Life doesn't hand you a crystal ball.
But we couldn't have predicted these postoperative complications, they are relatively rare, just like Joey's adrenal gland tumors which got us here in the first place. 
After long talks with his vet and the vet techs, and describing how overwhelming all this is, they offer good advice:  take one complication at a time and work to resolve it.  It's time that Joey needs right now.  Time.  He is just 48 hours post a complex surgery, he's a senior boy, and his body needs time to adjust and heal. 
And the most important thing they said, which was repeated by friends, as well as in the wonderful comments and emails here, is to remain positive.  Don't give up.  Because if Joey senses his Dad has given up, he will give up too.  He needs more time.
Off to see the J-Man.  We're printing off all the comments and emails that have been written for Joey, and will be reading them to him tonight.  He loves to hear his name, he will really enjoy it. 


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the update. I've been checking all day to see if Joey was ok. Every time I see that picture, I look at my senior baby and know the pain that comes in making those decisions. All we can do is make the best decisions we can at the time we make them. Don't second guess yourself, you always do the best that you know how!
Piper and Gracie were very excited to hear that Joey was stable. Gracie even brought over a toy and laid it on the computer. Best wishes and keep your chin up and tail wagging!

Anne said...

Don't give up Joey!!! FIGHT, FIGHT, Fight!!!! You can do it - Dad TOO!!!!!! hang in and have been keeping up with the prayers - every bit HELPS. Coco Beane & Roxie Lou send tail wags and dox kisses!!

Anonymous said...

STAY PAWSITIVE! Joey, you can do it! Every hour is a victory! Joey, Dad and Maggie are in our prayers again tonight in SC!

Best wishes,
Faith, Tigger and Petie (my senior baby at 9) and their mother

Stacey L and Toby said...

Come on, Joey! You can do it! We have been checking back here at least five times a day. The fact that he has remained stable this long is a great sign like you said, and it shows that he is fighting.

I don't think you made a mistake. Joey has a lot to live for...and he's making that apparent by how hard he is working to hang in there! I think if it had been up to Joey to make the decision, he would have wanted the surgery because he would want to have as much time as possible here on Earth with his wonderful Dad. He knows that you would never do anything to hurt him and that you only have his best interests in mind, that's why he's so darn happy to see you when you go visit him. ;)

Hang in there, little warrior dachshund! We will STILL pray and check back constantly to see how Joey is doing!!! You can do it Joey!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I have been reading this blog for the past few weeks, but have never commented. Every update on Joey just reminds me how precious time is with our furry friends, and throughout the day I pray he gets better!

You can do it Joey!

I have an RSS feed to this blog on my work computer and have been checking obsessively hoping for good news. I just know the little guy can pull through =)

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you all and Joey constantly today with my little doxie by my side. Hang in there. You are doing the right thing and everything happens for a reason we just don't always understand it at the time. Joey knows you love him and he believes in you. We are sending white light and love your way.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of Joey and Dad! Don't second guess yourself, you only wanted to help Joey and he has so much to live for. Keep fighting Joey, we know you can do it! I believe my doxie Slinky made it through his back surgery with all the love and support we gave him! Joey, I know you can do it! lots of love and tail wags! Get well soon <3


firstyouleap said...

Joey, Joey, Joey, Joey we love you! Did you know that your name contains the word Joy? And that you bring such joy to so many people and dogs that are supporting you with positive loving energy? Joey, we know you are strong and steady, just look at your Dad (heck look at anyone there, they all love you) and let all that healing energy and love move through you. Take your time little one. Joey, Joey, Joey we are all here for you, Maggie and your loving Dad. Melinda and Jeeves

Anonymous said...

Sending positive thoughts Joey's way! I found myself thinking about your little guy today and hoping for the best.

Get well hugs to Joey! (and also a hug to Maggie cause I'm sure she misses Joey).

Willow and Cocoa

Oscar and Hans said...

Oh Dad and Maggie;

You did NOT make the wrong decision! Joey might be going through a rough patch now, but he WILL recover, and it WILL be worth it in the end. I know how second-guessing can be - but you can NOT think "what if," or you will never get anywhere.

Keep fighting, Joey. And Carson and Maggie, keep your heads up. Joey needs you now more than ever. Keep in mind that it's not just you three - it's the whole WorldWide Wiener community pulling for our favorite (OK Maggie, co-favorite) stubby-legged blogger.

We love you Joey!

--Oscar and Hans (and Holly)

Anonymous said...

You can do it Joey! Take it easy and get better, we are all rooting for you. :)
Your parents sure do love you and me and my little wiener dog 'Killer' are thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

You know if you had not taken Joey to surgery, you would be suffering a different kind of stress right now.

You're in the perfect middle of an imperfect situation.

You've done good. You gave Joey a chance. I would have done the same.

God will guide Joey's course now.

Liz Kearley

kalyxcorn said...

Oh dear Joey, while the rest of the world goes on spinning, know that we will wait, no matter how long it takes, for you to be by our side again and this world can spin anew. Hang in there, sweet boy. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the update, when it's probably the last thing you feel like doing. You made the best decision possible, and if you could hear Joey we're sure he'd say the same thing. The hope of one more cuddle, one more play with Maggie and one more home cooked meal would definitely be worth it in Joey's mind.
Hang in there.

Jerry S. said...

There can be no regretting decisions made from love. Look into his eyes, and you will see that Joey has absolute faith in you. So do we.

Anonymous said...

Keep healing Joey! Don't give up. Once step at at time. Each one a blessing. We all want you to get better so you can go home. Will keep the prayers going. Joey's Dad, please don't try to second guess your decision. All any of us can do is make the best decision we can with the info available at the time. You did that. It is so tough to see Joey hurt. For that reason, it is natural to feel misgivings. But, you said it well, life does not hand us a crystal ball. Have heart. We are all praying for you.

Debi and Ringo said...

We are still praying for you Joey, you can make it!!!!

To Joey's Dad, we can understand how you're feeling, but please try to stay positive. You did what you felt was best at the time, and that's all any of us can do. We are praying for you too, I know all too well how hard it is to see your little man suffer... But for Joey's sake try to be positive - they are so sensitive, he'll know if you're feeling bad, and it might make him feel worse.

Sending big hugs to you all. Please keep us updated.

~Debi & Ringo

Whit said...

Like everyone else has said: Don't give up! These things can be exhausting to deal with, but you did what you knew was right in your heart and you are right that these complications couldn't be foreseen. Sometimes the old guys just need a little extra time to recuperate, just like people!
Joey's hanging in there, and he needs ya to hang in there with him!
My thoughts are with you guys during this trying time!

Anonymous said...


Please don't feel you made the wrong decision! Even though Joey seemed fine on the outside before the surgery, it sounds like he didn't have much time left if you left the tumors untreated. If Joey has to stay on the fentanyl for a few more days, that's ok. Pancreatitis is treatable, and if Joey has to stay off food for a few more days, so be it -- he can get through this. It sounds like you have a great veterinary staff working on him, and that makes all the difference. Just give Joey all the positive loving you can and don't give up! I've been through this a couple of times with various dachshund-kids over the years, and each time, they surprised me with their tenacity and will to live. And even though Joey is technically a "senior" now (sssh, don't tell him), we know that dachshunds normally live to be 15 or 16 (I've had 3 live to be 15 and one to 16), so right now, Joey is just middle aged! I'm continuing to send good, healing thoughts to Joey. Hang in there Maggie and Dad Carson!

Lyn and the San Diego dachshund crew

Anonymous said...

It is natural to worry that you have put him through needless pain -- humans worry about the same things when they get a cancer diagnosis. There is no right answer. There is only hope. Joey knows you love him and if (and we hope when) he pulls through he will not remember the pain. Just love him and be present for him in this moment, because that is all we can ever be sure of anyway.

-- Rosie, Felix and Maisy's Mom.

The Sheridan Avenue Boys said...

Hang in there Joey! We're all pulling for you! Thank you so much for the updates! You all are in our thoughts and prayers.

Bludog said...

Molly and I are pulling for Joey! Let's face it, Molly looooooooves her some black & white & spotty fellas, so her motivation may be purely selfish ;-)

She is still undergoing tests for what we - in our house anyway - are calling "Cushions' disease." We'll know more early next week. In the meantime, we are thinking of you intensely and awaiting your updates.

Anonymous said...

Kona and I are hoping and praying for a full recovery for Joey. Keep positive and know that you made the best decision at the time. Joey, little man- stay strong and know that all of your friends are thinking of you and are all pulling for you! Keep up the FIGHT!!!

Chelsea and Wilson said...

Long time reader, first time posting a comment, but Joey is worth it! Get better and fully heal soon cutie!

Jablana said...

Get well Joey! Soon the balls will fly, sun will warm ya and grass will tickle your tummy again!:d
kisses from Lea!:*
Hang in there Dad and Maggie...:*

Leanna said...

Beautiful Joey...what a pup! You just take your time: rest and sleep and you'll be home in that new kitchen in no time at all. Everybody is waiting for you! Most of all: Maggie!!
We love you, Pup!!

Keren Hening said...

Well, let's put the choices in perspective: on one hand - in the ICU, feeling kinda yucky, no appetite, lots of rubs and kisses from the vet people and Dad; on the other hand - dead.

Thanks, I'll take door #1.

Anonymous said...

Big JOEY GO! woof from the North of Germany. Carson, don't waste your strength on decisions that have been taken. You did what all of us would have done: trying to stay with a beloved friend as long as possible. There is nothing wrong about it. Just give Joey time- HE WILL MAKE IT. And give Maggie a big hug, she must be scared as well. We're looking forward to see pics of Mag and Joey chasing red and golden autumn leafs. WOOF, Tobi & Anika

Alicia said...

Keep up the good fight Joey!! Oskar and family want you to be strong and let the medicine and care help you to heal. Remember Joey, you can 'eat an elephant', but you must take one bite at a time. Take the time you need because your family and friend love you so much, and you guys have so many friends around the world praying and sending their positive energy your way.
You are such a good boy, Joey!!

Anonymous said...

Joey, you are so loved- you can do this,sweetie. You will be home soon with your family. Didn't you know that black piebalds are the very strongest of the dachshund family? That's right! Every spot is put exactly in the right spot to make you the smartest and the strongest. Heal, Joey, heal.

Anonymous said...

I put my 9 YO standard we rescued thru surgery when we first got her and it was a very hard decision. But she was TOUGH -- a weiner, after all! -- and rallied to live until age 16 when she passed peacefully.
He'll eat when he gets off the narcotics. That's hard to watch, though, especially since you know how doxies are about food.
I'm checking on Joey all the time. Hang in there, big guy!

Ruby and Penny said...

Joey we're here for you. Take this one day at a time and as the days pass you will feel better & better. Hugs to you.
Love Ruby & Penny

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the updates. We've been thinking so much about Joey and your family. It is so hard to watch your little dog in pain but you made your decision out of love and know that Joey appreciates it. Keep positive and don't stop thinking about how wonderful it will be when you can hold Joey in your arms again and take him home. He feels your love. We send our love and thoughts as well.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid we had a dachshund who went down in the back. We had to decide between putting her down or a very expensive surgery that might not even work.

She was only 2 years old so we opted for the surgery. They said she only had a 70% chance of ever walking again, and even then she may need assistance.

Not only did she walk again, so well that you could never tell anything was wrong and never needed any assistance until the day she passed, but she lived a long and happy life until the age of 17. It was worth every penny.

We wondered if we had made the best decision and if we were putting her through all of that for no reason. But it turned out, if we had not had the surgery we would have missed out on 15 more happy years with her! Dachshunds live very long lives and Joey may have ANOTHER 9 years in store for you, you never know.

Hang in there. We are keeping you and your dachshunds in our prayers. Remember what tenacious fighters they are and know that everything will be alright~

Anonymous said...

We can't say it any better than what the folks comments sent in above said. Dad Carson, you know in your heart that if you did not give Joey this chance you would have always wondered "if only", you made the right decision. Yes, it is so hard to see our beloved pets going through this but he will come through it and the pain will go away and you will be so happy that he was given that chance to come home to you and Maggie. PS: Sass the Bold, LollyPOp Wiggle Butt, Shilo Baby Bean and Maggie Muffin says "Our offer to give up treats to help Joeys expenses still stand. Can we send to vet's office in Joey's name?" Love from Quebec Canada

Kim said...

Joey, we are all praying for your recovery. It's a great sign that you are stable. Healing takes time and with anything overwhelming you just have to take it one step at a time.
I agree with the others who said that you make the best decisions you can at the time so don't second guess yourself. We all do the best we can day-by-day. It's so hard to see loved ones in pain. It's wonderful that you all have the prayers, love, and support from dachshund lovers all over. Hang in there, Joey, Maggie, and Dad. Feel our love and healing energy. We are all pulling for you all.

inc123 said...

Joey, we love you so and wish you a speedy recovery. I know it is tough but you are tougher. Little Polly and the GSDs (Riesie and Aniko) miss hearing about your good natured romps and seeing the new photos. You rest comfortably all weekend and we just know Monday will bring good news and happier times. Nobody is giving up, and don't you either. Everyone loves you Joey!

firstyouleap said...

Hey Joey, I just had to do something so I made a donation to Midwest Dachshund Rescue (MWDR).
I put in the message line that "This donation for MWDR medical expenses is to celebrate Joey, Maggie and Carson's courage and love."
Joey is the gift that keeps on giving to dachshunds in need of loving care just like he is getting from the great doctors.
BTW, I am in no way affiliated with MWDR, I have donated to them before and admire their work and just wanted try and make Joey smile knowing his courage is supporting other dogs like him!

doxieshar said...

Considering the average life span of a dachshund is about 12-15 years, you did not make the wrong choice in having Joey undergo the surgery. You love him enough to give him a fighting chance in life. Your decision had nothing to do with selfishness, but instead had everything to do with love.

Jessica said...

Thanks for the update, I too have been checking the blog every few hours to see if there are any updates about Joey. It is so angonizing to see them in pain, and you wonder if they know what it is all for. I think they do. They are smart, sensitive, universal beings that know our thoughts and feelings. Its hard to make decisions like that - surgery/no surgery. All you can do is make the best decision with what you know at that time. And you did. He knows you and the rest of the fam love him. Keep it up - you are a great dad and he knows he's lucky to have you. Give him some kisses and hugs from his fans.

Take care, keep your chin up,
Jessica, Arthur and Bauer

Trinket's mom said...

Dear Joey,

Hang in there, sweetie! May you gain strength with every passing hour. Trinket, her non-doxie sisters Lucy and Chloe, and I are sending positive thoughts for your continued recovery your way.

Anonymous said...

John and Ozzie have been hoping and praying for Joey continuously since his first diagnosis. We love that beautiful guy and the times we have all met up at Chicago Dachshund Lovers. Carson, your love for Joey and Maggie is both amazing and contagious. You have definitely done the right thing to give Joey a chance and I am positive that he loves you very much for it. Give him all of our love. Our prayers and healing thoughts continue.

John & Ozzie

Anonymous said...

I am very moved by your story and although we sometimes second-guess our decisions, Joey is so lucky to have compassionate owners. I went through sudden back surgery with my dachshund a few years ago after she ruptured a disc. She had an extensive hospital stay and recovery was very slow going after she lost movement in her back legs. She now gets around with a bit of a wobble (but when she sees a squirrel somehow manages to run!) and is living well even as a senior. We send these healing thoughts to Joey and your family.
Dorothy (and Ladybug)

Nahlah said...

My humans and I are saying prayers! We can't wait for your dad to post that you have come home!

Unknown said...

We are praying for Joey and you guys!!! Don't give up!!!

the "florkens" said...

You helped share my pain of losing my soul, my little Samson a few months ago. This blog has helped keep me grounded through my grief. YOU have helped me and I show my appreciation by sending love your way! You can do this little man... You have to! Feel better soon Joey!

Anonymous said...

We are praying for Joey's recovery. Our hearts are heavy. As a new Doxie mom - I can not even imagine your pain. And here I am riddled with anxiety about potty-training. What Joey is going through puts it in the proper perspective.
We send our love, hugs and kisses to Joey, Maggie an your entire family.

Nancy & Hildy the pooch

Anonymous said...

JOEY -- wishing you a speedy recovery and a quick return home to your family. CARSON -- hang in there! You are a fabulous caretaker and Joey knows he is loved. I agree with the vets -- handle each issue, one at a time.

With love, Molly in McLean

Bamberdashery said...

My Bambi and Miles are saying prayers for Joey and Dad, stay positive and good things will come. Have faith you made the right decision Dad! Joey will thank you for it soon, we just know it! Lots of Seattle love coming your way!
-Catarina & Co.

Anonymous said...

Please tell Joey that Becky and Michael-the-dog are sending their best wishes and prayers to him for his reocvery. In Israel, people say, "Yishar Koach" or "Kol ha kavod," to brave, strong, big-hearted individuals like you (and Joey too). Literally, the expressions mean, "Straight power to you!" and "All respect and honor for you." But, to put it in good ol' Chicago vernacular, we're basically trying to say, "You're both doing great with a very tough situation, and we're behind you!"

Please be gentle with yourself during this difficult time. Joey is so, so fortunate to have a loving dad like you who cares so much for him and wants him to have the best life possible.

Hugs hugs hugs!

Cynthia (Geneva's mom) said...

I will echo the comments of the others, when I say that you cannot question your decision now. You made the right one, and this is the time to stick with it and stay as positive as this stressful situation will allow. Joey is counting on you!

PS Thanks so much for the updates. We are all checking several times a day to find out how he's doing!!!

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