Friday, November 22, 2013

My Original Baby Girl

Yes the original Precious "Lilli" Gaither as opposed to her baby Scrappy Doo Gaither.  This post is about her, as most of our family knows she walks weird and always has kinda like a toy soldier, very stiff... like she doesn't have knees or elbow joints or something.  She was never able to jump onto the couch or bed and she stopped jumping down from them a while back b/c I think she hurt herself one time since then she uses steps.  She got to the point many years ago where she wouldn't play ball outside which she loves.  I never really understood it I just took it as it was and thought, "well she has arthritis", since the vet has always told me that for a breed that's known to have loose knees her knees are great.

Well since being in Guam the issue has gotten worse and her bad moments are much more frequent than before.  I talked to a neighbor and put her on some great glucosamine pills that seemed to help tremendously with her walking and she even played ball out in the yard :)  This made me think Arthritis and joint issues.  Later on she had some bad spells and I ended up taking her for X-Rays to see what the real issue was so that we could take care of it once and for all... so I though.  I dropped her off at the vet and while in their care they noticed she couldn't stand on the linoleum tiles in the office so wile doing the x-rays of her back legs they decided to go on a hunch and do them of her neck as well.  Turns out she has a Atlantoaxial Luxation which is a very serious disease she was born with and will suffer from for the rest of her life.  It is basically the first two vertebrae aren't fuse together so the head hangs down and slowly causes spinal cord damage.  Oh one little problem, there is nothing we can do for her here on Guam and she would have to be seen in the states and the only real treatment is surgery.  I was scrambling when I got home trying to find a vet in the states to give me an estimated cost; turned out this specialist charged like $7,000 and don't get me wrong I absolutely love my dog but at that point I have to think about our bank.  I decided that I would just wait and see how things went till we go home (back stateside) well here we are.  

Here is Lilli's x-ray
you can see the second vertebrae is sticking out away from the first.  The surgery fuses these 2 vertebrae together with screws and bone cement.

They had their health certificate visit on Monday and the Dr. told me I should really have her seen by a specialist and at least talk to them about our options even if surgery wasn't an option.  I was thinking about how she would do during the procedure and her age.  Then the Dr told me that since she is gradually getting worse she will get to the point where she can't use her legs at all... my heart broke.  She just turned 8 and to think in a few years she won't be able to walk which mean surgery now to save her or putting her down when it came time.  The latter was hard, still is when I think about it esp when my mom has 2 Yorkies that are going on 14 and 13, yes they are showing their age but they are happy and still here, so knowing my girl could have that as well if given the chance.  I knew what Aaron would tell me after hearing the first estimate I got.  You see we have a different view about our dogs, not that he doesn't love them but it's just not something he would do b/c we could pay all of this money and then she could die tomorrow of something unrelated.  For me it's my baby and the thought of putting her down is heart breaking when there is a chance I could help her to live a fuller happier life than ever.  So I started doing research again and found a Neurology center in Jacksonville that can do it for less than half the cost as the first.  YAY YAY YAY :)  I told Aaron and he jokingly said "just put'er down"  he says things negative about Lilli cause he knows it gets to me (even though he's never serious) but I knew this time he was kidding and I think I can convince him it's needed.  Even if he knew it was he would want to see me beg ;)  So it turns out she WILL be getting her surgery once we are in Jax and hopefully not be in anymore pain and can live a happier life!!!  I told Aaron that if I can find someone to do for a decent price I will make it happen no matter what I have to do.

All this puppy talk... the dogs left Guam on the 21st and are actually sitting in Atlanta as I type waiting to get on their plane for Tally!!!  I have been a crazy puppy mommy checking their flights and tracking them to make sure they did get on those flights.  We had a minor bump but nothing my amazing mom couldn't take of for me, love you!!  They are staying with her and my dad till I get there.  Their Yorkie family will be whole again (my mom has Scrappys daddy and brother) and lots of playing will take place!!!  Makes me happy!


Friday, November 8, 2013

Positive News

Hey peeps... well as teh title says we got some decent news this week that hopefully turns out to play in our favor.  The guy taking Aaron's place at the sqaudron here on Guam got his orders this past week... ya ya so what right.  Well that means we should be next, Aaron thinks within a month (fingers, toes, legs, arms and whatever else crossed).  Normally they send out the overseas bullets first so if he has his (overseas) then we should be getting ours since it's a rotation type thing!  I am oh so hoping that this is true b/c I would LOVE to be home for Christmas and have family around and to be able to have those 2 weeks to get a house (I have no doubt it'll only take one time going to Jax to find the perfect one but...)

As of now, I quit my job on December 20th (assuming we would get them in January there would be no point in going to work after Christmas break January 6th) but if we end up getting them sooner then I will quit ASAP.  That talk was a little difficult for me since I love my job and my boss and the fact that they asked me to stay and just let my husband go on to Jax without me (jokingly of course).  The shop will be in a rough spot a few weeks after I leave but I have been training a friend of mine to hopefully take my place eventually!

We are having a BBQ on the 30th of this month as a good bye thing and have all of our friends over and rent a bouncy house for Blake and all of his friends!  That's gonna be the hardest part of leaving... the saying good bye; my family knows I hate them and I'm no good at them.  You'd think I'd get used to them eventually being married to a military man and all but it doesn't... take my word on it!

Anywho, there isn't much going on in the Gaither household except for packing up some Rubbermaid totes so I don't have to wash clothes when everything arrives in Jax and well I don't trust the packers.. any of them.

I will of course keep everyone updated on here since I know family reads this and we will send emails when the time comes to pass along ticket info :) hopefully that will be sooner than later!