Friday, March 21, 2014

Where has the time gone?

That is a very good question!  I can't believe spring is here already (the cold certainly doesn't help you to believe winter is over) and I have yet to make my first post of the year.  Now, you could say that is a very good thing, which is true because no-news-is-good-news and in Rilley's case it certainly is good news.

He is still with us and still causing his own special brand of trouble, albeit at a slightly slower pace.  You see, Rilley is still passing his annual physicals with flying colours but he is starting to show his age.  The poor little guy has been having occasional bouts of back pain.  He doesn't cry about it, but we can tell whenever he takes just a little extra care when climbing onto or off of the bed or sofa.

Wait a minute!  Who am I kidding?
"Takes a little extra care..."?
This is the dog who laughs in the face of danger!

Okay, maybe not laughs, rather he doesn't necessarily realize there's danger when he sets his sights on something...or more to the point, on food.  So that statement should more appropriately have read that he "actually takes care when climbing onto or off of the bed or sofa."

When this first started we took him to see Dr. Ewing and as usual she takes very good care of him.  It was determined that this is indeed a sign of age progression and it seems to be restricted to his lower back.  We've put him on some medication (Metacam) for when the issue does flare up and changed his food from Satiety diet (the "fat" food that we used to give him to control his weight) and put him on a Mobility Support recipe. The theory is that the new food has ingredients that will help to avoid the medication being used full time.

The only downside to the new medication is that it lacks the qualities to satiate his appetite.  This leads to him being extra whinny around dinner time and he begins to demand his food early.  The funny thing is, he is quiet in the afternoon until Sara arrives home from work.  Then he unleashes full whine mode directly at her, only trying it on me when absolutely necessary.  He seems to know that if he keeps it up, after a long day at work, Sara will give in just to keep him quiet.  Although, I think he secretly hopes for two dinners as he continues to beg at the table for scraps despite having been fed.  But we were warned when we adopted him...

"He is very food motivated."

Rilley's "Battle Scar" is that little
black line near the centre of his head.
That was almost 11 years ago now and it still holds true to this day.

Basically, what I am trying to say with this post is that, aside from one age related issue, Rilley is continuing to do extremely well since his bout with the brain tumour over three years ago.  Aside from those occasional (and I do mean very rare) breakthrough seizures of rapid jaw movements, and the now slightly more visible scar line on his head, you would never know what he's been through.


  1. Roy,

    So happy to hear Riley is still doing strong. Not sure if you remember me but my wife and I had also enrolled our little guy Jake in the clinical trial. Your blog was a great source of information at the time, helping us through it. It also inspired me to create our own blog to chronicle his story at the time, JakeTheWarrior. Unfortunately Jake did not fair as well but we were so thankful for all they did and knew we tried our hardest. I wasn't sure how to best contact you but just wanted to share an Indiegogo campaign I've started. I'm trying to open a dog daycare/boarding facility in my area but plan to donate back all the contributions once I am up and running. A lot of my motivation to do this was from Jake and my current dog Dusty, also a cancer survivor. I just wanted to share it with other fellow dog lovers. If you'd like to check it out, you can find it here,


  2. Hey Frank! Of course we remember you and Jenn. And who could ever forget Jake The Warrior? (A very fitting handle indeed.) We were saddened to hear about Jake when we read your post-op blog posts. However, it is very inspiring to see that you didn't let that stop you from adopting another dog, a cancer survivor no less! Dusty is very lucky. Sara and I have checked out your link and what you are working towards is very worthwhile and we wish you the best of luck. I don't know how much help it will be, but in the next few days I will write a blog post about your efforts to launch Dusty's Dog House with a link to the campaign page.

    Thank you for checking out our blog again, it's nice to know that people are still reading it. Please keep in touch.


  3. Hi, So sorry to hear about your dog and glad you got to enjoy him years longer. I am in Upstate NY and would love to speak to owners that had surgery on their dog... I am about to travel to MN to Dr. Pluhar...have some obstacles in my path (very long trip for one). The trial study is over at UMN so this will be just surgery. I may leave as early as tomorrow and quite nervous about the decision, traveling alone, putting her through it, etc, and most of all the seizures, both now and post-op as I understand they continue(she is 13 yr old lab w/a meningioma- strongly suspected only as they could not complete the MRI). My email is Do you know of others that may be willing to speak to me as well? (reluctant to leave my phone on site here, but will rapidly send it via email)Thanks.