Friday, August 28, 2009

My Life As A Fulltiming Dog -- by Annie the Schnauzer

Nobody consulted me about starting this fulltime motorhome journey! Hello, I'm "Annie the Schnauzer" and I live in this Winnebago motorhome with my Mom and Dad. Truth is though, I really enjoy RV travel and I've been doing it since I was just a puppy. Back then we just went on long vacation trips and always came back to our fixed home. I am now 12 years I guess I'm a veteran of this RV life.

Living on the road can be pretty interesting for me. Used to be I had a dog door and a backyard to play in. No more dog door, but I have a lot more space in the great outdoors to play in now. (I've had some major troubles lately and you can read about that further on in this post) I always get excited on travel days when I see Mom moving the slide rooms in and when Dad goes outside to unhook our utilities. I know just what is going on. I always jump up on Dad's driving seat so I can look out the big window and watch what is going on.
Mom and Dad have to go away sometimes and leave me home alone. I don't know why I can't go with them everywhere they go, but they do take me to a lot of places. When they are gone away, I jump up into Mom's front seat and wait for them to return. I am always right there when they open the front door and it seems like they have been gone forever...even if it has only been 10 minutes. Hey, I don't wear a watch!
Our Winnebago has these great windows by the dining table that are way down low. I think they might have been made just for me. Ya think? Anyway, it gives me a great place to do some people watching. I'm always on the look out for a dog friend so I can bark out a greeting to them, too. Mom put one of my 3 dog beds by this window so I am comfortable. I sometimes take naps here, too. My Mom is so special and she always tries to make me happy.

My Dad is way cool! He bought this car organizer for all of my stuff. He found it at the car wash place down in Palm Springs. It has a pocket for my traveling water bowl and food dish. Mom always keeps 2 servings of my dog kibble in the organizer in case we are out touring around for a long time. See, I told you she was a great Mom. I also have my own water bottle in the organizer. I could always just drink out of Dad's water bottle and I wouldn't spit it in or anything. Really! Also in the organizer is a whole supply of "poop bags". I don't have to explain what those are for.

Here is another one of my dog beds. Mom and Dad keep it in the back of the Explorer so that I have a nice place to rest while we drive or if I have to stay back in the car while they go and do whatever it is Moms and Dads do.

This window guard is a really great thing my Mom found in the Dr's. Foster & Smith catalog. We have 2 of them. They fit into the back seat windows of the Explorer and I can get a lot of fresh air while we are parked somewhere. They also prevent somebody from sticking their hands inside the car to try and pet me. Of course, my Mom and Dad NEVER leave me alone in the car on a warm day. They always make sure I won't get too hot and they park in the shade if they can also. I have my water bowl filled before they leave so I can get lots of drinks while they are gone.

Going on picnics has always been a favorite thing to do. That means I get to get out of the car and have some fun with Mom and Dad. I can always find interesting things to do on a picnic. Like chase a squirrel! I'm always on the look out for squirrels. Mom always packs a dog treat for me too. When I see Dad bring the picnic cooler in from the outside storage in the RV, I know just what we're going to be doing. They can't get anything by me, that's for sure.
Here I am just prancing along on one of our outings. Since I was born in 1997 I have been to 41 states, including Alaska. I've also gone to Canada and been to British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Yukon provinces. I guess you could say I'm a well-traveled Schnauzer. I just love to go to new places and see new things. I haven't been to the Grand Canyon yet, though. I've added it to my "bucket list" of places to see before I die. Speaking of which....

I seem to have developed severe heart disease. Yeah, that really sucks! Last Wednesday night my Mom and Dad came home from the store and I was excited to see them and I totally passed out cold or had a seizure in front of them. The doctor's think it was more of a fainting from lack of oxygen to my heart and brain, but it could have been a seizure. I just fell over sideways right there on the darn old rug. How embarrassing. Mom and Dad took me to the emergency veterinarian in Lacey (town by Tumwater) since my own vet office was closed for the night. Dr. Patterson at the ER did an exam and then said I had a major heart murmur going on. They did an x-ray and I was so stressed out about that I had another fainting/seizure with the doctor there. My x-rays showed an enlarged heart and liver. They also did an EKG...who knew they could do that on a dog? They began an I.V. plus Lasix for all the fluid I was carrying. They kept me there overnight and I had ANOTHER fainting spell. They had me in an oxygen cage all night long. Boy, I was sure racking up the bills for my Mom and Dad.
The next morning Mom and Dad had to come and pick me up and then take me to my regular vet, Dr. Mitchell, in Olympia. He is really nice, too. He did some more follow-up blood work and continued with the I.V. My heart isn't working like it should. It is only operating at about 75 or 80% of it's capability. Dr. Mitchell wanted to keep me overnight at his office this time. I was wondering if I'd ever get to go back home again.
Friday morning Mom and Dad came back to see Dr. Mitchell. I'm not out of the woods yet he said. I am getting to go home today, though. I have to take 3 new medications for my heart disease now. (I can see more bills racking up for Mom and Dad) Twice a day I have to have a dose of Enalapril, Lasix, and Digoxin. That is in addition to the Tacrolimus eye drops I have twice a day, prescribed by my opthamologist, Dr. Cooley.
I haven't had any energy for a while and I haven't wanted to take walks much. Mom and Dad didn't force me to and now they know that I can only do a little bit of walking without feeling out of breath. They are going to fix up this stroller we got from Zoey and make it into a doggy-stroller. This way when we are out touring in the RV, I can still go out with them and be pushed around instead of having to walk and maybe faint again. Isn't that just the coolest thing? If this doesn't work out very well, they can buy me a real doggy-stroller from the pet store.

I'm glad I get to be a fulltime RV dog. No matter how much more time I have left on this earth, I get to travel and see things that a lot of dogs just don't get to see. I am a very lucky girl. I don't guess my Mom will let me chase those squirrels anymore though. Darn it!
Bye for now...from "Annie"


squawmama said...

Oh Margie I am sitting here crying my eyes out for you & Anni... We had our little Schnauzer for 11 years and she came down with the same thing as Anni... We vowed never to have another dog because our hearts were broken. But never say never right… we adopted a rescue dog (Bichon) when she was 5, she is 11 now. Has a few ailments like us older folks and we are making her comfortable too. We love her so much too! I hope things go well for Anni.


K and D in an RV said...

what a wonderful post about your dog - yes, it is hard when they are advancing in age. Our little female schnauzer cross is also 12 years and she has heart problems as well as wheezes at times. In the midst of their troubles, they still seem to smile from ear to ear! Our " Allygator Girl" goes everywhere with us! Best of luck to Anni - hope things go well. Don and Kim

Jerry and Suzy said...

Margie, Annie is a great writer! She's your family, and she is worth it all. We've had dogs get older and we share your feelings. Thanks for letting Annie write about her life -- keep that post in your memory book. In years ahead you'll read it over and over.

NWlambear said...

Oh my.....sorry to hear 'bout little Annie! That "old age" gets ya every time. We had a (rescue dog) Schnauzer/Lapso mix...."Chewie"...for many years. She was able to make it to Washington with us for retirement, but was not her old self. She couldn't enjoy running around our property....oh how she would have loved to be able to run with Kume. She mostly just watch "Kume" our other fur baby and barked orders to him. She was the "alpha" dog in the pack. After about a year I think it in Ferndale....she left us. I know she knew what was happening...and it was sad. She will always be in our hearts. Boy...she would have loved our 5th Wheel too!!!!

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