Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New Blogs!!!!

Hi friends! First of all, I want to introduce you to a wonderful new blog:
www.extreme-lite-hikers.blogspot.com (You can click on the link to the right and access it without having to cut and paste). It will be moderated by Dana Biles and will keep you up-to-date on all the upcoming "Stop and Smell the Roses" (otherwise known as "Extreme Women Lite")events. Please check it often and don't hesitate to contact her if you have any questions.

This blog will continue to highlight the more challenging outings. As I mentioned earlier, Bonnie Moore and I will be co-leading the "Extreme Women" ministry. She will be leading the March 1st snow shoe at Trillium Lake, which is described in a previous blog: MARCH 1 EVENT: Bonnie Moore will be leading a snow shoe expedition to Trillium Lake (Lord willing, we had to cancel last month because of winter storms). She would like you to have your equipment rented beforehand and meet at the church at 9 that Sat. morning. As usual, bring a sack lunch, bandaids, $$ for gas and snacks on the way home. Wear layers, extra socks, bring sun glasses and a camera. Call Bonnie for more info:503-492-1411.

For those of you who are hopelessly addicted to the never-ending saga of my spazzy little dog, Scout--I have designed a new blog just for the latest info on her long road to recovery. That site is: www.spazzylittledog.blogspot.com. I hope you'll continue to visit the site and offer up your prayers on her behalf.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Scout update 2/14/08

Happy Valentines Day to you all!
Scout is doing great on this second attempt to wean her off prednisone. She struggled the first two days, then I saw Kris B. (my vet friend from church) and she said sometimes the weaning has to happen in very small increments--like cutting the dose down by an 1/8 of a tablet.
So that night, I added just a sliver to the 1/2 tablet I was giving Scout and it made all the difference. She's acting almost back to "normal" (which Scout never was, so it's kind of hard to tell :). I haven't given her any pain meds the past two days, have taken her on short walks . . . and she seems to be doing great.
I'm seeing a new vet on Monday. She's the one recommended by Kris B. and we talked at length on the phone yesterday about the prednisone weaning process. She seems to have to good grasp on immune mediated illnesses and predisone treatment, although she admitted she's never treated a dog with Scout's condition (I've yet to talk to a vet who has). So Scout is out of the woods and I'm excited to have someone walk me through the process of getting her off the meds and keeping her healthy. I just have lots of questions like: Can I still give her flea medicine? What about Vaccinations? How can I prevent relapse? How hard can I exercise her . . .

I definitely feel we are on the road to recovery!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Scout update 212/08 & March events info

Well, Scout has survived two days on a little over 1/2 dose of prednisone. I give her the dose at night and she gets up in the morning and acts perky. By around suppertime, however, she's starting to crash--limping, has trouble getting up, panting and just seems to be very uncomfortable. The good news is that she's eating and drinking and not running a fever.
I asked my vet friend, Kris B., what the difference between a relapse and acceptable discomfort (during the weaning process) looked like. Kris said that it was considered a relapse if neurological symptoms reoccurred. So, I'm not sure what that means . . . so please keep us in your prayers.
I contacted the Berryhill Animal clinic (in Oregon City) yesterday--I was told the vet uses holistic and western medicine and was interested in immune mediated conditions. His tech, or whoever answered the phone, had never heard of Scout's illness and had me repeat it several times for her so she could give the info to Dr. Simpson. He never called me back . . . I'm not too surprised. I've discussed Scout's case with four different vets now and not a one of them has ever treated an animal with immune-mediated steroid resistant polyarthritis/meningitis.

MARCH 1 EVENT: Bonnie Moore will be leading a snow shoe expedition to Trillium Lake (Lord willing, we had to cancel last month because of winter storms). She would like you to have your equipment rented beforehand and meet at the church at 9 that Sat. morning. As usual, bring a sack lunch, bandaids, $$ for gas and snacks on the way home. Wear layers, extra socks, bring sun glasses and a camera. Call Bonnie for more info:503-492-1411.

Extreme Women Lite: The next “Stop and smell the roses” hike will be Saturday, March 15. We will meet at 9:00am in the church parking lot and head over to Powell Butte. It is a local, easy hike that offers beautiful views of Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens – if we are lucky! The hike is about 3.5 miles long, pack a lunch and we will stop along the way. Dogs on leashes are allowed. We go – rain or shine!! Please contact Dana Biles (503) 667-3661 or email dana@formanalysis.com if you have any questions.

Our theme for the spring is “Urban Outings” exploring our own backyards. In April we will go to Forest Park, May is Mt. Tabor and June will be The Botanical Gardens where we hopefully will finally smell some roses J. Exact dates will be announced soon.

During the summer and fall we plan to explore as many falls as we can! Hope to see you all!!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Scout Update 2/09/08 and some news . . .

First the Scout update: She went snow-shoeing yesterday! We only went about a mile and she was really stiff and sore the rest of the day, but we had a blast. When she got up this morning, she wasn't limping at all, so I'm excited. I'm going to try cutting her prednisone dose in half again tomorrow. Pray that the weaning will be successful this time. I have heard from several dog lovers around the country (thanks to Karen and her email plea for help) who have been down this road and their input has been very encouraging. Although some dogs fail weaning and have to be put on other immun-suppresant drugs and weaned off those . . .

Now the news: Many of you may already have heard, but Greg has resigned from Abundant Life and will be going on staff at Cornerstone fellowship (in Gresham) in March. It will be announced this Sunday. It will be more of a "sending" than a "leaving," as we've had wonderful partnership with Cornerstone in the past (Sportsman Banquet, trips to AK, etc.). Greg will be "co-pastor" with Barry Arnold and will be doing more preaching, teaching . . . the things he really loves. They only have one service at 10:30 Sunday mornings, so you all need to come visit every now and then. We are still all in the Lord's service together!

And I will continue on with Extreme Women Ministries! Hopefully, we'll just add a few new faces from Cornerstone! Bonnie Moore will now be the pointperson at ALC, though, although she and I will be planning and leading trips together. This blog will continue to be the spot to get info and updates. You can always contact me, but Bonnie's info will be listed in Coolstuff and on the church website now. Dana will also be listed as a contact for the Extreme Women lite, "Stop and smell the roses" events.

Bonnie and Dana talked last week and instead of doing both events on the same day, they will stagger them--giving two outings each month instead of one. We'll try to have all the info for March's events in next week's coolstuff--and here on the blog.

I love you all and am looking forward to many more extreme outings with you in the future!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Scout Update 2/3/08

Poor Scoutie! The vet had me try to start weaning her off prednisone this weekend. I didn't give her the evening dose on Friday and she woke up yesterday very stiff and sore. I gave her the a.m. dose, thinking she'd perk up as the day went along. But she never did. In fact, Scout seemed to go into decline so quickly it was shocking (and scary) to me.

She just shut down. Didn't stop eating and drinking this time, but Scout quit moving. Just lay in one spot most of the day looking miserable. The spark I'd seen returning in her the past few days was gone.

The vet said if Scout showed any adverse reaction to the lowered dose to put her back on the previous schedule for another week. So I gave her the evening dose of prednisone last night, but she's still not feeling well today. Greg had to carry her down the stairs to go potty, then back up to her bed. She was trotting up and down the stairs quite easily just 3 days ago. I am amazed how fragile her health still is and how dependent Scout is on prednisone. I feel bad for putting her through this suffering all over again . . .

I visited a holistic pet store this week and got a top-grade organic dry food for her, plus digestive enzymes and probiotics (to help her combat the effects of the doxycycline she's taking).

So I am supporting her now with prayer and good nutrition. Hopefully, she'll be able to wean off the meds eventually . . .