Archive for August, 2015


Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

I have wanted to sit down and write a blog post so many times this week, but have been met with exhaustion and a lack of words. This week has been busy and hard and my Madison Team met it head on and saved lives.

Early in the week a huge sweetie named Winchester came in. He had been losing weight lately and now seemed to be having a hard time breathing. Before he got sick he had been 160 pounds of Mastiff handsome, he was now 123 pounds but still handsome and gentle and good. This dog immediately stole our hearts.


I ordered radiographs (x-rays) of his chest asap. His lung sounds were too quiet and I could not hear his heart. I suspected either a large tumor or free fluid in his chest. While positioning this still huge dog for the radiographs he passed out from lack of oxygen. My techs set up oxygen, yelled for me, then got the needed view so I could make a diagnosis. There was so much fluid in his chest that it had mostly collapsed his lungs and was pushing on his heart. The fluid needed to be drained immediately. We were just starting appointments, but no one stuttered or objected. The thoracocentesis (chest draining) tools were gathered and we started the long process of pulling 1.6 liters of thick fluid out of this sweet boy’s chest. After about half of a liter he picked his head up, his gums turned a beautiful shade of healthy pink, and he started smiling. It took three of us about 45 minutes to drain his chest and for all of it, Brad, one of our ward managers, was holding Winchester up or otherwise supporting most of his weight. I’m sure he was sore the next day when we had to do it again, but that time Winchester laid still like he knew that we were there to help.

Our hope is that this fluid does not come back, or at least slows down. We sent samples to a pathologist to be examined.

We also saw our share of adorable puppies, hilarious kittens, a diabetic dog who we are all pulling for, a couple goofy limping Golden Retrievers, and new older dog with half a blue eye and a lot of dignity.

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Life is good and our Madison staff is great.
Thanks guys. I hope you get some sleep cause tomorrow is another day 🙂

Circle of life

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Last night at Madison was hectic. I wanted to write to you then, but I didn’t get home until 11:30pm.  Among other things, we saw an acute allergic reaction with facial swelling that was adorable but dangerous, puppies and adult dogs in for routine vaccines and check ups, one puppy in for a nasty respiratory infection, two cats who wanted to make sure we understood their displeasure at our actions (or attempted actions), and two cats who just wanted to snuggle.

We also said goodbye to one very sweet old friend that I will always keep in my heart but who’s body was too tired to continue in this world.  He had been a joy to everyone lucky enough to know him and his memory will continue to bring a smile to many hearts even as his loss brings tears.


The other appointment that stuck out was our new puppy.  At Madison we are careful with scheduling our new puppy appointments.  They need to be a whole hour long and we try to put them in the schedule where it will be ok if they run over that amount of time.  Sometimes this time is mostly spent cuddling and cooing and taking a million puppy/kitty selfies.  Last night’s new puppy appointment was a true New Puppy.  The family who brought in the tiny yorkie baby had never had a dog before.  It was all new.  The potty training, the barking, the selfless love, the utter devotion, the sweet cuddles – all the love that a dog immediately brings into a home was so new and wondrous to this happy family.

This sense of newness, and need to explain so many little things that we all take for granted about our pets made us pause in our hectic day.  Pause to explain the various aspects of dog behavior and training, and pause to appreciate how much our own pets bring to our lives every moment of every day.  This happy family spent almost two hours at Madison learning about their new family member.

yorkie puppy

Andrea went over vaccines, house training, bite inhibition, parasite control, feeding, appropriate treats, and so much more.  We call this our “Puppy Rap”.  The puppy rap has so much good information that it can be overwhelming.  We make sure that everything is also written down and there is even more good information in the packet of handouts that go along with it.

I hope this new family unit continues to grow in love and appreciation for each other.  We are looking forward to seeing them back in 3 weeks for puppy’s next set of vaccines and another conversation about the sweet life with a pet in the house.