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Brut Quote

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Friday, June 4, 2021

And then there was one...

Zappa sleeping on Fiona's blanket

 I don't know if I am ready to share about how Zappa is doing.  Being that he is the loan survivor of the 24 Paws of Love, I'm feeling very protective and quiet about him.  (Other than the fact of grieving the loss of three dogs)  

I just don't feel ready to share yet.  

He's doing OK.    

It was touch and go there for a while.  Not critical, but he was having a rough time.  

He had the basic symptoms as we had.  Not wanting to eat, sleeping more, isolating, depression and sadness.  The first two weeks were the most important.  We are still keeping an eye on him and it has been 4 weeks.  It has been a huge adjustment for everyone. (including the cats)  I wish I had better answers for all the WHY'S out there, but I don't, so we are coping the best we can.  

It's difficult when Zappa doesn't want the attention.  He's very independent and hates to be fussed over.  (Like all the dogs were)  So it is difficult to grieve with him, without touching him in some way  (or is that just for us?)  Maybe a kiss or a quick hug, but that's about it.  There's no cuddling or snuggling with him.  And most of the time there is little to be said.  (for me anyways)  I'm still learning to communicate with him as he has always been a challenge.  

So, we just take care of each other the best way we know how as we go through this loss together.  Because everything changed for all of us and all we have each other.  ♥

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

What happen to Fiona

Today marks Chance's three week anniversary.  This was written a week after his death and about Fiona after we buried Chance.  This was one of the hardest post I've had to write.  May they rest in peace. 

It has been a week today that we buried Chance.  He was alive until 2:45pm, then we did our burial ritual and he was buried.  It is also one week since Fiona had her first episode of not being able to walk.  The harness was fresh off of Chance and onto Fiona.  Scared the crap out of both of us.  We thought it was a bad sign and a horrible message.  Then she was fine the next day.  Was going to take the harness off that day, but decided to wait..."just in case."   She ate on Friday morning.  Good sign.  Then somewhere it changed to she couldn't walk anymore.  Her eyes were darting back and forth, she was shaking and when we tried to move her, awful sounds of pain came from her.  She fought and struggle, we thought we were hurting her with the harness. So we switch to the blanket and took her out to make her pee by hand.  She was in sheer terror from the  move.  Really no urine, she hadn't drank all day, so we took her back in the house and into bedroom.  More terror.  More pain.  Eyes darting fast.  Some how in that state of mind she rested, or at least stopped moving and closed her eyes.  I stayed up all night with her, except going out in the living room a couple of times and going outside with Zappa once.  Mark knew it was the end.  The pain was horrifying.  And if nothing else confirmed it, moving her into the van to go to the vet did.  Her whole world was spinning.  Her body was in constant motion.  There was no stopping this.  

Discussed with our vet what was going on.  She said it was vestibular disease (old dog syndrome) having to do with deep in the inner ear.  Mark thinks it was brought on by a mini-stroke.  Loss of balance, everything spinning, nausea, serious head tilt and eyes that dart side to side.  Our vet said it was like Fiona was on a merry-go-round that she couldn't get off.  Whatever it was and whatever caused it, was one of the worst things I have seen.  Fiona was suffering.  We had to make it stop.  Recovery was very, very slim with her liver condition.  And so, we put her down that Saturday after this short onset on symptoms that took over her body.  And she was set free, from all of it.  Running and playing with Chance and Blaze.  I saw her.  She was happy.  

Today I cried for that girl I miss and what happened.  That it wasn't enough that we loss Chance, but had to lose Fiona too and it doesn't make any sense.  I don't understand.  But then I think I do.  I just don't know for sure, but it doesn't make it hurt any less.  My sweet girl was doing so well. I was looking forward to the extra time together, now that Chance was gone.  And didn't even get that.  So fast.  So quick.  She was gone.  Never to hold her again.  

Today as I sat out front, Mark and Zappa going to grab dinner, I saw Blaze, sitting in front of me.  I hadn't forgotten, I hadn't had the time.  But she was there to comfort me.  And I could see and feel my little Sweet Pea.  Life is so unfair and must move on, but it will never stop me from loving all of you no matter where we go.  I will always take you with me.  And you will always be here.  I love you.  I love you.  I love you.  Now and forever.  Forever and always Amen.   


Monday, May 10, 2021

Run Fiona, Run Free

FIONA MARKIEWICZ
JANUARY 2, 2008--MAY 8,2021


55 days after Blaze died and 3 days after Chance died, our little Fiona, is now running free with them.  I can't explain what happened except it was neurological.  Maybe someday I will try, but for now it is beyond my comprehension.  She started having symptoms the night we buried Chance and from then on it only got worse.  There is a possibility for recovery from this aliment, but with Fiona's liver condition and hip dysplasia it did not look good.  So we did the most loving thing we could do and released her from her pain.  

Heaven gained one hell of a Diva Princess and true warrior of love.  

Prayers are welcome for Zappa, who is now the lone dog of the 24 Paws of Love. And for us as we have lost 3 dogs in less than 60 days.   

Thank you.



Friday, May 7, 2021

Run Free Mr. Chancer

 On May 5, 2021, 52 days after we laid Blaze to rest, we set our Chancer Dancer free from his cancer-ridden body.  

Cancer may have taken Chance, but never his spirit.  He fought right up until the end with all the love he could give.  

Our hearts are broken, but we are soothed knowing Chance is with Blaze again.

Our heavenly warrior is back where he belongs, with his girl, running free in God's kingdom.

Run free Chance



Chance Markiewicz
January 2, 2008-May 5, 2021


Sunday, May 2, 2021

Back and Forth Love

 Today Chance started a new thing.  Mark and I were sitting outside facing each other and Chance went to Mark to be petted then turned and came to me to be petted.  Then he went back to Mark, and continued going back and forth between us about 3 times.  It was sweet and loving.  

Then later in the house we were in the kitchen and he did the same thing.  

Just when I have my doubts about what we are doing, Chance shows me different. 

 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Chance, our walking miracle




Chance is our walking miracle.  This journey with him through his liver cancer and hip dysplasia is one I will never forget.  

In September 2020, Chance was diagnosed with a fist-size tumor on his liver.  Which means it had been there for a while before being discovered.  By my guesstiment, I'd say it has been almost year since the tumor started.  

I woke up today with Mark whispering Chance's name and for me to come quick.  Chance's back legs had collapsed and he couldn't stand up on his own.  Luckily we had a lift harness that we had bought for Blaze, that we were able to get underneath and around him.  

He had a very hard time walking, but with our assistance, we did get him outside to take care of business.  Chance was exhausted and couldn't stand on his own, so he was laying there in the grass and my first thought was, "This is it."  And my second thought was we haven't dug the grave yet.  My mind was whirling with having to go to the vet, the grave, and that we were here, at the end of the road.  I thought that because I didn't know if the weakness in his legs was generated by his hip dysplasia or his liver finally giving out.  And the whole thing triggered off Blaze and when she died.


  

At the time of our little emergency, I wasn't thinking about how Chance would handle the lift harness, because for the last 10 years he still cringes when I put on his walking harness.  Under the circumstances, he was OK with it, and by the end of the day, he didn't seemed bothered by it at all.  Which is good because he is stuck with it.

As the day wore on, Chance was feeling better, walking by himself and getting up on his own.  Even by bedtime, he was still moving just fine on his own.  I finally felt relieved and like I could breathe again when we said our prayers tonight.  The scare was over for now.  Chance had made it through the day.  

We made the choice to ride out Chance's life to the end.  Whatever that means and how ever it comes.  I have grappled with this decision since Blaze died, until today.  Today made the turnaround for me when it comes to ending his life.  We'd never let him suffer and he is not suffering.  There is a whole lot of dog left in him.  And for that I am grateful.  So very, very grateful.  He is not ready to die and I am respecting his wishes.  Blaze was a hard loss.  Out of the blue she went downhill fast and we were nowhere ready for it, but we learned so much from our little girl.  Knowledge that will save Chance's life for as long as he is here.





Wednesday, April 21, 2021

How we lost Blaze-Part 1





We just passed the five week mark of losing Blaze.  The time has been a blur as most of the focus has been on Chance.  Who is doing fine by the way.  No major changes and that is good, because when it changes, that means the liver is failing.  Which can happen at any time.  One minute everything is fine and the next they crash.  That was what happened to Blaze.  We took her to the vet for her heartworm test and to have the fluid drained out of abdomen, she walked out of the vet's office and into the van.  When we got home, she walked in the house and collapsed on the floor, eagle spread.  We were shocked, but I attributed it to her hip dysplasia, getting up and down several times the day before going in and out, and the fact she had to stand to have her abdomen drained.  Figured she was just exhausted from all the spent energy.  She hadn't ate the last couple of days and we thought she just needed to regain her strength.  We didn't know she was going into liver failure.  Nothing prepped us for this.


We had to carry her with towels to take her inside and outside.  By the second day she was weaker, refused to eat and still would only lay spread eagle.  She wasn't getting better, she was getting worse.  Unfortunately, we didn't know her liver was failing and it was all happening so fast.  That's we discovered her stool was black and looked like coffee grounds, she was bleeding internally from her upper GI.  It all went downhill from there.  Even with medicine, nothing could stop what was happening before our eyes.  Most of time she was out of it, but she had her alert moments.  Making the decision even harder.



We talked with our vet, we still couldn't totally comprehend what was happening to our girl.  I felt like we weren't getting any clear answers as to what direction to take.  The shock and disbelief were overwhelming.   But by the third night we knew she wasn't going to get better, she was barely functioning, except to drink water.  I stayed up with Blaze cleaning up her rear and comforting her as she was bleeding heavy through the night. 

It was time to make that decision.  

We took her in the next day, on a Sunday, at 2:15pm, in our van, as our vet assisted in the cross over for Blaze.  The vet at one end while Mark and I were looking into Blaze's eyes for the last time, saying our good-byes.

It was quick and painless and Blaze was finally set free from the wretched body that had betrayed her in the end.  It was over.  Her pain was over.  



Sunday, April 4, 2021

I miss my little spitfire-

 It has been a long three weeks since Blaze left us.  We've settled into a routine without her smiling face and spunky eyes and life seems so empty.  She was the catalyst of the bunch.  Always getting something started.  She never did like a boring life.  

An hour an a half before breakfast, dinner and snack time, she started her famous mealtime is coming up bark.  Blaze always knew when it was mealtime and wanted to make sure I didn't forget.  

She used to drive me crazy with her barking, so I started talking back to her.  I miss our conversations.  

watch on YouTube





Monday, March 29, 2021

Chance update




 Chance is overall doing OK.  You may remember he was having nose bleeds on and off, well,  he had one that went most of the day so we took him in to the vet.  Vet did an x-ray and found a tumor at the bridge of his nose on one side of his nostril.  That explained the bleeding, which did eventually stop.  In fact, the last two days he hasn't bled, so that is good.  I'm sure we're not done with the blood, but it is nice to get a break from it.  

On another day this past week, we took Chance in for another x-ray of his liver tumor.  Mark felt pretty unsettled about it and needed to know.  Well, it fills the whole abdominal cavity and is pushing all his organs back and up.  So there is no question we are near the end.  He is still eating.  Which is amazing because his nose tumor, we believe is affecting his smell, so trying to find something he will eat has been a challenge.  He's showing interest, he wants to eat, but the food doesn't smell good.  Right now canned dog food is his best friend and he is eating it heartily.  

Paw prints on the grave

Evenings are still a struggle.  I think this is when he misses Blaze the most.  He will pace, inside and outside, scratch at door and us and really has a hard time settling down.  I do believe we are over the hump of Chance's grief.  Mark has been giving lots of squeaky toys, bones to bury, and lots of attention.  All this is helping in the healing.  

To say it has been easy would be a lie.  This journey with Chance has been frustrating, difficult and emotional on so many levels.  Trying to help him, understand what he needs and helping him with his grief.  Sometimes I wonder if his time is up, but he's not ready to go yet.  I know Chance or his body will let me know when it is time.  

So we are hanging in there.  Thoughts and prayers are welcomed.  Thank you!


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Blaze's song

Every dog that has passed on has a song.  My song for them.  A song will just start playing in my head after they are gone and it will remind me of them.  

This is Blaze's song.  The first morning she was gone, I got up and this song by Slaughter was playing in my head.  I hadn't heard this song in years, like since high school and there is was playing loud and clear for Blaze.  

I miss my girl.  She had a smile that could light up the world.  

For you Blaze...

Fly to the Angels






 

Friday, March 19, 2021

Chance's Grief


The first night without Blaze was the worse for Chance.  Mark was up with him most of  the night while Chance paced at several different speeds through the house throughout the night.  Inside, outside he didn't know what to do.  He kept looking for Blaze, even though we showed Chance her body before burying her, but he couldn't find her.  He kept looking from the spot where her body was to the grave.  

The second night Chance sniffed around the grave and dug just a little into the sand on top of it.  The third night he got right on top of the grave and sniffed it for more than a few minutes.  And on the fourth night, just last night, he buried a bone at the head of the grave.  Later today, he dug it up and chewed on it for an hour, outside, standing up the whole time.  When Mark went to take him for a walk, he didn't want to go.  Chance has never turned down a walk.  EVER!  He's still eating and drinking water, which is good, but we found blood in his stool tonight.  Time might be shorter than we think or hoped for our Chance.  Turning down a walk is a good indicator that something is wrong.

So between the cancer and losing Blaze, this might be more than our loving boy can take.  Please keep Chance in your prayers and thoughts.  Thank you!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

With Heavy Hearts...

We let go of Blaze... Sunday, March 14, 2021 

She was bleeding internally.  The cancer caught up to her.

So, we set her free

Another Princess warrior to add to heaven's army.

Please keep us in your prayers and thoughts.  Especially Chance who is lost without his girl.  

She was so loved and will be so missed. 

Run free my girl  ♥ 


Blaze Markiewicz
January 2, 2008-March 14, 2021





Saturday, March 6, 2021

Chance's health report

 Chance got an excellent report from the vet yesterday!  I'm still beaming!  We took him for a heartworm test and an overall assessment.  He did so good, I still can't believe it!

My-must-wear-a-muzzle-dog-because-he-hates-to-be-touched, got a blood draw for the heartworm test, as well as a blood count.  He was checked over.  Heart and lungs good.  Weight is steady.  All good signs.  He's been having a reoccurring nose bleed after a fall a couple of weeks ago.  It happened to be bleeding during the exam, and when our vet checked him over, she concurred that it was just a broken blood vessel in his snout that may come and go intermittently.  Then he had his nails trimmed, something he's NEVER had done before EVER and was she said he just stood the while they did it and was excellent for the procedure. The vet even took off his muzzle!  WOW!!  So cool!

And I was a nervous wreck about taking Chance to the vet.  I didn't think it was a good idea and was completely against it.  I didn't want to put Chance through the anxiety and pain, especially with a muzzle.  But now I'm glad we did because not only did Chance pass with flying colors, it show he's in better health than we thought he was or could be at this point in time.  Something must be working!  Now we just need to get more weight on him.  Chance is allowed to eat anything he wants (as long as it is safe for dogs) and as much as he wants. 

I would have never guessed we would be this far into Chance's cancer with him doing and basically feeling so well.  I have been blown away how physically well he is and believe me, every night we thank God he is still here!

Have a fantastic weekend! 

Monday, March 1, 2021

How is Chance doing?

And the boy likes his space.  I'm surprised Chance lasted this long and this close to Mark, so I could get a pic.  lol  He jumped off after I snapped!
 

Chance is doing pretty good, considering he has liver cancer.  He seems to be in some sort of remission as he isn't getting better or worse.  He hasn't lost any more weight.  He's thin but looks like he gained some muscle.   We started walking him every day, as opposed to every other day like we were, to help with his high anxiety.  He's been eating his meals in full and all necessary business is good.  

We started giving Chance CoQ10 a few months back.  I had read that it may help in shrinking the tumor and was also good for his mental and emotional state.  Maybe it's working.  He is quite alert and responsive.  Definitely can't hurt him and maybe it is why he's in remission.  Who knows!?

Chance has always been like a race horse coming out of the gate when we used to go for walks.  And was still pulling me along up until about three weeks ago.  I used to have to speed up to stay behind him and now I have to slow down to walk beside him.  I don't think he likes me sharing the lead with him, he is used to being the lead dog.  So sometimes he turns his head towards me telling me to get back.  

For those who may be curious what we are feeding Chance, really, anything he will eat.  For meals, he finally settled on cooked chicken and his prescription canned food, because he won't eat the dry anymore.  My Mr. Veggie lover, will hardly eat vegetables any more.  He used to love almost all veggies.  I don't know what cancer is doing to him, but he will hardly eat them any more.  The good news is that he will eat almost anything else, so we haven't hit that stage of not eating yet. 

Chance does have some bad times, in the morning and in the mid-evenings.  He isn't a morning dog and can look pretty beaten down.  Like he's lost all hope.  He mostly sleeps through the morning.  In the evening he tends to be very unsettled, has a hard time lying down and paces quite a bit.  Like he can't get comfortable.  I don't know if it is the tumor or his arthritis in his hips and back, or if he has anxiety about something I don't know.  It really tends to ramp up after dinner, and may or may not settle down by bedtime.

When we had the ultrasound done in September 2020, and discovered the cancer/tumor, Chance was doing really good at that time.  Our vet said that he might live for 6 months to a year.  March 24 will be 6 months since she made that prediction.  So far, so good.  We are just grateful for every day with him.  

Thursday, February 11, 2021

And then there is Blaze


On January 29, 2021, a Friday, we took Blaze to the vet.  She had fluid in her abdomen that had gone down and I was hoping to get an x-ray, looking for tumors. I had suspicions when  I noticed Blaze had begun mimicking Chance's behavior.  I don't know how to explain it, but they were like carbon copies of each other.  Unfortunately I was right.  A HUGE mass in her abdomen, coming from the liver, that is pushing her intestines forward. 

Our second dog to currently have cancer, next to Chance.  

Blaze at the moment is doing pretty good under her conditions.  She's doing all the normal doggy things: eating, drinking, walking, sleeping...so for that we are grateful. 

Any prayers or well wishes would be greatly appreciated.  

Love, Mark, Patty and the 24 Paws of Love 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

The best unlaid plans

 It was a new morning.  The clouds were parting for the first time in weeks, showing a faint blue sky and some hazy sunshine.  It was mild again today, the temps in the 30's.  Fantastic weather for mid-January in Northern Michigan.  

Hubby and I had our morning ritual, talking about all we could do on this nice winter day and what we'd like to get done.  For the most part our minds were content.  The dogs were doing well and we couldn't ask for more.  

Despite our excitement over our plans for the day, we moved slowly through the morning hours.  Taking our time with the dogs, when we noticed Fiona in pain.  That darn torn tendon in her right shoulder.   We'd been lucky so far with walks on ice and snow and in the yard, but she most have strained it somehow.  

Watching her pace back and forth is difficult to watch.  Or she stands, then lays, then is back up again, only to walk to another spot and do it again.  

And that was all it took for our day to crash to the floor.  Between Silver's anniversary yesterday, Brut Thursday (today) and Chance, our emotional plate was full, only to have it toppled over now that our little girl was hurting.  It became a day of hugging the dogs and spending time with them.  Which isn't a bad way to spend the day, it was just hard under those circumstances.  It just makes for more tears when you are sad and scared. 

By the end of the afternoon Fiona was doing much better and moving without pain or extra pain medicine.  Mark walked Chance, Blaze was at my feet and Zappa was comfortable in his chair.  

And it turned into a great day after all.  Even with all our plans being squashed and the daylight fading away, we spent the day with the ones we love most, which was the best unlaid plan we could have had.  ♥   

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Love you Silver!

 Four years ago today, we lost our sweet Momma Dog Silver.  It still feels like it has been an eternity since she left us.  It doesn't feel like she died, but just faded away.  She was a spunky girl who had a gentle life force and a nurturing soul.  Silver was the counter balance to Brut's aggressive ways.  Her genes softened the rough edges in their kids.  I see Silver the most in Fiona and Zappa, probably because Silver rubbed off on them being part of their pack.  

Silver was our first puppy together who started this whole journey we are on with her kids;
who are now as old as she was when she died.  It doesn't seem possible.  


She was a good first-time mom.  She already had the mothering down by practicing on me.  lol  She really was a natural.  We were so blessed that she took good care of her puppies.

And when those  puppies grew up she took a backseat to her own needs and made sure they got the care they needed.  She was amazing that way.  I always felt so guilty that she was always last compared to Brut and the kids, not realizing, that is what a mother does.  

 

All those years I didn't understand.  I thought she just didn't fit in with the rest of them and she didn't.  She was a mother first and a dog second.  She'd been that way from almost the start of our relationship.  I thought I understood the true mother Silver was to me when she was here, now I'm finding a deeper root of what
her mothering has meant to me.  Silver was exactly the mother I needed and still do.  

So on this day, I honor my girl, who taught me the true meaning of what it means to be loved unconditionally and forever.

                                                   Love you Silver!





Saturday, January 9, 2021

Chance is stable

 So far, so good with Chance.  Stable is the best word for his condition right now and we will take it.  He's lost weight over the last couple of weeks, but that seems to have balanced out at this point.  We made some changes to his diet and he is now eating all his breakfast. It is a nice sweet spot to be in and we are all getting a little respite out of it.  Just enough to take a few breaths and savor the moments.  A little God-given peace to enjoy that extra time with our special boy.  

Chance thanks you for thinking of us.



Saturday, January 2, 2021

Bittersweet 13th Birthday


Woke up in tears this bittersweet day of January 2, 2021.  Crying about Silver and the day she gave birth 13 years ago to 10 healthy puppies.  There, in our master bedroom where we were part of the beginning.  Squeaks, oohs and ahs filled the room as we reveled at the miracle that was before us.  So many wonderful memories on that day and so many more that came that are still with us now.  

13 years later and the puppies are all considerably older.  Each with their own set of ailments.  How fast time has changed them, even with the difference from a year ago.  

So, while this will be a day of celebration, it will also be a somber one for hubby and I.  Our babies are old dogs and the inevitable is waiting.  It has been a tough year for the Power of Ten litter, as I wonder about the other homed puppies and how they are doing now that they've hit the 13 year mark.  If any of them are still alive?  What ailments they may have?  Questions, we may never know.  I just hope there was a lot of love in their lives and to let them know how much we still love them.