Monday, September 3, 2012

So what's the fuss.

I guess since I've kicked this baby out of the nest, I need to start teaching it to fly (maybe I should have taught it to fly first..oh well).  I guess many wonder "why a blog about a dog? why's this one so special?".

I could say, "duh..she's Thyme".  But I won't (at least out loud)...every dog has it's story and I think hers is something special.

Thyme is the matriarch of my house, turned 10 years old in May and essentially for 10 years, has been a realatively healthy dog.  Her two "major" OMG moments for me were the night she severed her tendon in the front leg (see previous post), and the day we found "the lump".

I was on my way down to Georgia to drop her daughter, Potter, off with a field trainer for a trial run on training her for field trials as a gun dog (sometimes spelled as one word, sometimes chose two).  I got a call from my mom whom Thyme was spending the weekend with about a suspicious lump on her back (lumbar region for those medically inclined).  The call went a little something like this (not verbatim, we're talking 4 years ago).

Have you noticed a lump on Thyme's back.

No.  There's a lump?

Yes, about the size of a dime on her back, close to her spine.  She's been laying outside in the yard all day patrolling for critters (her favorite pasttime) and I just noticed it when she came in.

Maybe she got bit by something.  Give her 2 Benadryl and I'll take a look at it when I get home.


I proceeded to drop Potter off at her trainer's the following morning, then head home.  I called my mom to check on 'the lump' (and Thyme of course) and it was still present, same size...same same same.  I told her to give her 2 more Benadryl..I'm on my way home.

I saw the lump.  Hard, defined border, non-moving.  RUTROH!  I scheduled an appointment with our vet, who pulled a needle aspirate (poked it for fluid for those non-medical folks) and sent it off to the pathologist.  In a few days it came back,

Possible Amelanotic Melanoma..................huh??  A melanoma..with no melanin, and it's UNDER the skin?...Uh OK.

Anyway, it ended in "OMA" so OUT it came!

Here's a photo of her post surgery. 

I had dubbed her "Franken Thyme"

The intruder really wasn't that large, but what was quite creepy about it was that it had "appendages" as the vet said, so to get the 1cm clean margins this is what the result was.  The vets were super, they even "prepped" me by saying the infamous...."it looks worse than it is"...

Days ticked by and the pathology report came back quite different from the needle biopsy:

This mass is completely excised; neoplastic cells are not seen within 1cm of deep margins.  This should be a surgical cure.


That was an event.  Eventually the staples/sutures were removed and even later, the hair grew back.  The only reminants of her second "OMG" experience is a couple inch scar on her back.

Song of the day:  "Fighter" by Christina Aguilera

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A long long thyme ago.

Actually it really wasn't THAT long ago, 10 years, 3 months, 14 days, some minutes and a few seconds.  She was born.


Not exactly a photo of her the day she was born, but I believe about 16 weeks later.  This is one of my favorite photos of her because my first Vizsla was gunshy (hello novice owner) and I was certain of one thing with Thyme (actually several things..but one of big importance) was that SHE would NOT be gunshy.

This was her first bird.  I think she could have stood there until the sun totally went down. I know I could have.  Who had any idea the day this photo was taken, what this girl and this moment would get me into...the memories we'd make together..the people we'd meet, the miles we'd travel, the sights we'd see, and the legacy she'd create.

It was a helluva long drive to bring her home (about 665 miles...11 way) but we took some good stops along the route and there have been THOUSANDS of miles traveled since.  She may have been born an East Coast girl, but Thyme has Kentucky roots and she fit right in from the get-go. 

Her first year was "interesting".  I made my inaugural step into the show ring handling my OWN dog, trained her quite easily (NOT gunshy) and handled her to her Junior Hunter title (not so easily), she severed a tendon in her front leg the night before my set of exams in pharmacy school, and she sat quietly and patiently by as I struggled with the heartbreaking loss of my first Vizsla.

She was a trooper!  Maybe I should rephrase that...she IS a trooper!  She HAD to be to deal with a two-left-footed show handler, field handler who stands in the middle of the field yelling her blooming head off to a dog who's OBVIOUSLY turned her ears off (I'm not sure she even brought them to the field quite frankly), and have the biggest heart to wipe away all the tears from the loss of Czardas.  Through the trenches, she has made me into a much more confident show handler and a better team player in the field...however I find I still need her heart, to wipe away tears and to this day, she has never failed.

There's some things a dog is just GOOD at.  For Thyme...those are just way more than I have fingers and toes to count.

Here she is 8 years at the same place the photo above was taken.

She could have carried that bird around ALL day.
And I could have stood there and watched her.
Some things a dog is just GOOD at!
Song of the day:  Katy Perry "Firework"