Mr. Max; An Update

Updating the Mr. Max Situation

A few weeks ago Max, our nearly 6 year old Coton de Tulear was diagnosed with Granulomatous meningoencephalitis or GME for short. He spent a week at The Cornell University Hospital for Animals (Thursday July 10 – Wednesday July 16, 2014). Last week I gave a detailed progress report.

This week’s update is much shorter. Max has gone from stuperous to a real dog in under two weeks, and we cannot believe the progress that he’s made!

Since last week, Hubby and I have noticed changes in Max’s behavior and personality. In the past, Hubby always called Max a “cat that barks”. Max has always had a lot of cat-like tendencies including the need to be the leader (let’s face it, this is also small dog syndrome), no interest in food unless it meets his culinary standards (which were a lot higher than mine), and his ability to sleep a long time and play at his schedule, not ours.

Many of these tendencies seem to be changing. Oh not, the “alpha” struggle. That is still going strong. But he’s suddenly become food motivated. Max is on prednisolone which is a steroid. Side effects include hunger, and believe me when I tell you Max is now hungry. When he went to rehab Friday, they wanted to lead him over a serious of low bars, but knew Max didn’t respond to food. I suggested they give a treat another try since Max has become food-interested. Man did Max perform for that dog treat! This would have been unheard of prior to July 4th.

This past week, in addition to several days of rehab, Max also had a bath. Since he isn’t allowed to be near other dogs, the groomer came to our house. It took her three hours to get him (mostly) dematted, washed and dried.

It was like a different dog when she finished!

Not only was he clean and purdy, that bath seemed to energize him, and tire him out. That evening and the next day, Max got more on track with his sleeping. He hasn’t slept well since he returned home from the veterinary hospital. It seemed like his bath made him feel more Max-like, and he slept well that evening! He also took several hour-long naps the next day.

Hubby and I had been very concerned that Max wasn’t sleeping enough, and what sleep he was getting wasn’t very restful. Since he seemed to do better with his coordination when rested, his fitful sleeping was a great concern to us. For whatever reason, his grooming seemed to make him feel better/more himself, and he has been getting better rest since he was groomed. It could be as simple as his knots were causing discomfort, and with them gone he felt a lot better. I honestly do not know.

Max had his first non-crate ride the other day when Hubby took him with him on a short errand. Max could balance in Hubby’s truck, as well as see and respond to walking dogs, joggers and bicyclists. This again told us he is getting “back to being Max”.

His walks are still very, very short. The rehab-vet told us he lost a lot of muscle mass, so we are to build him up slowly. That is fine. He can make it to the end of the block right now. I am hoping around the block comes soon, and then we build from there!

Max’s bark is now deeper. Thank goodness for small favors because man he had a yappy, high-pitched bark before that could really hurt my ears. Now he sounds almost like a real dog!

And something else that has definitely changed (at least for now), is I am his favorite, not Hubby. You have no idea what a big deal this is in our house. Max has always suffered me, and vied with me for alpha. For now at least, he prefers me to Hubby, although he still vies with me for alpha.

Max returns to Cornell in two weeks for more chemo therapy. Unless something happens between now and then, I will make this my last update until that chemo session. I will have a new health and status update at that time. For now I will say we cannot believe how improved he is, and continue to hope for more improvement as the treatment continues.

Previous Max posts:

Updating the Mr. Max Situation
A Mr. Max Update
Mr. Max, Mr. Max, Mr. Max
It’s A Mr. Max Post!

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That’s A Wrap! Ann’s Entitled Life Weekly Post Round-up

That's A Wrap!

If you missed a post this week on Ann’s Entitled Life, That’s A Wrap! Ann’s Entitled Life Weekly Post Round-up gives you all the post links in one spot.

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2014 CSA Share Week 8

Bahama Mama Cocktail Recipe

Five Months Until Christmas

Garden Update, Late July, 2014

Updating the Mr. Max Situation

Wine Tasting On Cayuga Lake


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Creamy Cucumber Salad Recipe

20 Cucumber Recipes

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Monday Laugh For Today

Tuesday Laugh For Today

Wednesday Laugh For Today

Thursday Laugh For Today

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Five Months Until Christmas

Five Months Until Christmas

So it is 85 degrees out, the garden is in full bloom, but when I looked at the calendar the other day I realized: it is 5 months until Christmas!

Have you started anything yet? Shopping? Projects for decor? Cooking?

Believe it or not, I already have Christmas cookies frozen. I am doing the 15 Days of Holiday Cookies on the blog again this December, so that entails a lot of early prep including: baking, photographing, and writing up the posts. I hope to have a second series running at the same time, but we shall see. Sometimes my ideas are bigger than the time I have available to dedicate to the project.

We will again be having Christmas Eve here. I tried valiantly to get my father to go on a cruise, but it was a no-go. He suggested a New Year’s Eve cruise and while I doubt that will happen this year, it is possible for next year.

The last few years my parents have hosted Christmas Dinner at a local restaurant. Due to my Father’s health, they just couldn’t manage Christmas dinner at their house any longer. I had suggested that we (Hubby and I) have it there (at that restaurant) Christmas Eve, my parents still have gifts and brunch at their house Christmas day, and then we are all free Christmas afternoon-evening.

That was a no-go. My mother and I were all over that idea and in total agreement even before I fleshed out my thoughts.

My father and Hubby?


Buncha duds.

I should have sold it to Hubby that we wouldn’t even have to decorate the house if we did this! Hubby hates the commotion of Christmas decor. On the other hand, I never took down the wreath above the fireplace last year. Hubby finally noticed it was still hanging there in June!! Oh well, at least the wreath didn’t get destroyed when the basement got water this past winter.

Ironically, Hubby would go on a Christmas cruise if my father would get on board with the idea.

I bought the wine for Christmas Eve last time I was in the local liquor store. I figured if we didn’t use it for that meal, I’d just drink it. We buy the Brotherhood Riesling. Not only is it wonderful on its own, it pairs well with the the haddock and other fish we serve (probably seafood lasagna).

As far as gifts go, I only buy for my parents, Sonny-boy and Hubby. My nieces prefer cash. They think the color is great, and it goes with everything! To be honest, Sonny-boy gets cash too, but I do purchase him a few things just because…

Sonny-boy and I have a tradition where we go Christmas shopping together the week before the holiday, and that should be interesting with his work schedule. I hope we can continue this tradition. I thought for certain last year was the end of it, now I am hopeful for one more year.

So, how are your holiday preparations going!? Started yet? Finished already?

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