Friday, September 25, 2015

Let's go, Mr. Mo!

I hope you enjoyed Emily's story earlier in the week! It felt good to share with you what's been happening at our home.

I mentioned in our previous post that Emily was taken in by the Mr. Mo Project, the group who also helped us save Diamond. The Mr. Mo Project is an amazing group that helps take senior dogs out of shelters across the country. They started the non profit project just 18 months ago and have already successful pulled, vetted and placed over 60 dog! SIXTY SENIOR DOGS!!! The project covers medical expenses for each dog for the remainder of their life. This takes the financial burden off of people who sometimes question taking in an older dog because of some of the medical issues that may come with it.  They also have no hesitation in taking in dogs who need extra medical care, like Diamond and Emily did, as well as many, many other dogs in their program. Emily alone cost $5,000 in vet bills to get our old lady healthy enough to enjoy her golden age.  

The faces saved by the Mr. Mo Project.

This group relies solely on donations. With all the new dogs they've taken in recently, their funds are at an all time low with outstanding vet bills totaling close to $10,000.  But, the good news is YOU can help! Right now, there are two fundraisers going on.

He loved his Ninja Turtles collar. 

The first is our great friends at Sirius Republic! During the month of September, 20% of proceeds that use the rescue code RPMM86 at check out will be TRIPLE matched for a donation to the Mr. Mo Project! Start your holiday shopping early and get your furry best friend a new collar! Corbin loved when a new collar arrived and he always enjoyed modeling his new gear for the world to see! Sirius Republic also sent sweet Emily her very own collar, which she struts her stuff in any time it's on. We love this company more than words can say!!! Visit their website at www.siriusrepublic.Com and don't forget to enter Rescue Code RPMM86 at checkout! 

The second fundraiser allows you to support the project both financially and visually!  You can get your own Mr. Mo Project shirt, hoodie or tank! Show everyone how great this program is by wearing the name proudly and starting a conversation about your love for dogs of all ages!  Visit the fundraiser site at

Maybe neither of these fundraisers speak to you, and that's okay too! Lucky for you, there are many ways to send a direct donation to the Mr. Mo Project!
Donate via Paypal:
Call the vet directly to make a payment on a vet bill: 518-371-3606
Mail a donation directly to the project:
The Mr. Mo Project
641 Grooms Road #235
Clifton Park, NY 12065

All donations are tax deductible! Make a difference today. My girls mean the world to me, and I have the Mr. Mo Project to thank.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Welcome Emily

Corbin was the voice of this blog.  The words just don't seem to come without him here.  But, like Corbin, his blog stood for something... and I will do my best to continue writing.  So, true to what this blog has always been about... true to what Corbin brought into our life... true to what Corbin stood for... I introduce you to Emily.

Emily was surrendered to our local shelter on July 30th.  On August 10th, I saw her picture and story on facebook... She was 16.  I had to have her.  I chatted with the Mr. Mo Project people and it was decided she would be the newest Mo dog.  She was picked up from the shelter that day and brought directly to the vet for immediate care.  Emily had a dangerous case of pneumonia.  She stayed at the vet office for 2 weeks while they worked day and night to get her to feel better.  


Emily wasn't improving very quickly.  She was visited every day by Chris and Mariesa with the Mr. Mo Project and I visited her as often as I could.  We all brought her anything we thought she might eat - steak, pizza, fish, chicken.... but she was rarely interested in much.  Finally, after 2 weeks, we took a chance and brought her home.  

She was so happy to get into my car.  This picture was on the ride home.  It was the most alert I had seen her since we met.  But, this picture was very deceiving.  I wasn't quite sure Emily was going to make it through the night.  

But, we made it through the first night, and then through the second.  I spent a fortune on every kind of dog food possible.  I made her meals so carefully and fed her small amounts several times a day.  Slowly her meals started to increase and the frequency decreased.  Her energy level grew and we got our first glimpse of Emily.

She now eats two normal meals a day of dry dog food, which is huge!  Emily will be going back to the vet soon to have another full check up.  Now that she's healthy, we can see how she is doing medically with out pneumonia clouding her results.  

The girls welcomed Emily with open paws and Emily seems to like them just the same.  Her energy level has increased and her stiff hind legs have started to become less stiff.  She gallops down the hallway in the morning in anticipation for her breakfast and does the happiest happy dance when we return home from work.  

Emmy will live out the remainder of her life here with us.  
Welcome to the Corbin House, sweet girl. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Two months...

Today marks two months since I last felt his velvety fur, looked into his soulful brown eyes and kissed his wonderful snout. I miss him every minute of every day. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Saying Goodbye...

I debated on sharing this post. At first, I couldn't find the words to write it... then after I wrote it, I couldn't find the strength to publish it, and almost deleted it. But, I've shared so much of his life with you. You've all been a support system greater than I could ever imagine. These 3 days in June changed my life forever. So, here it is... My last 3 days with Corbin....

I came home from work around 7pm on Thursday... the dogs were all in the yard, Adam was grilling up dinner.  After welcoming me home, Corb was laying on the deck, chomping on his ball.  He stood up and began to whimper.  I had never heard Corbin whimper before.  I told him to come inside.  He took one step and screamed in a pain that we couldn't control, we couldn't stop.  I quickly called the vet but could barely get words out... finally, I was able to say "Corbin, it's Corbin!" and heard a familiar voice on the other end say "Come in, come in, we'll take you when you get here."  Corbin got sick in my car, which he never does and whimpered the whole way there.  The vet available was one I wasn't a fan of... she didn't know Corbin well and the last time I saw her, I was pretty sure she thought I was insane.  Corbin acted fairly normal, but I kept saying "there is something wrong with my dog, something is not right."  She dismissed us and sent us home with some pain meds.  I tell you this part not because of the vet... but to remind everyone, no one knows your dog better than you.

We went home and I stayed up to midnight baking cupcakes because I was so annoyed over our visit.  Corbin went to his crate, his safe place when he's not feeling well.  At some point he came out to the couch and I decided to sleep there with him.  I didn't sleep much and was thankful for a friend on the west coast who listed to my rantings and concerns most of the night. At 8am, I called the vet and explained I wasn't happy with my visit the previous night.  They scheduled me in with a vet I trusted and off we went.  Corbin was so lethargic, he wouldn't get out of my car on his own... As I carried him into the vets office, tears streamed down my face as the realization that something was very wrong hit me.  Dr. Elson walked in the door to see Corbin laying flat out on the exam table... he said "oh... this is not Corbin."  I couldn't have been more relieved to see the face of someone whose opinion I trusted and valued.  I told him what the past 12 hours held in between sobs... He sat on the table with Corbin, calmly stroking his fur as he took in all the information I was spitting out.  They took him back for some xrays and did some blood work.  My mom came to wait with me because I wasn't certain what was going to happen.  Everything looked pretty normal.  He was a bit dehydrated and his white blood cell count was low.  He was diagnosed with "clostridium overgrowth causing hemorrhagic gastritis."  A very painful stomach bug.  He got some fluids and some meds and we went home.

I had also made an appointment with his chiropractor for that afternoon.  After we got home, Corbin was still extremely lethargic.  He still wasn't walking on his own by the time we arrived at Dr. Gunderson's office.  Dr. G adjusted him and did some B12 acupuncture injections.  She was very concerned with his level of lethargy.  After looking over his records from earlier that day, she encouraged us to go back to the vet hospital for more fluids and a redo of his blood work.  We went home and I tried to feed him, but he wasn't interested in anything.  We went back to our vet and saw Dr. Goden, who was also familiar with Corbin.  Again, everything looked normal on paper... some things looked better than they did that morning, but no one could figure out why Corbin was so lifeless... The B12 perked him up a bit, and he walked out of the vets office that evening, the first steps he had taken all day.  He slept all night and drank some water.

The vet called the next morning to see how he was doing.  He was pleased, and relieved, that he was drinking on his own.  We tried feeding him small amounts of baby food... mostly me smearing it on his jowls so he would lick it off, but he wasn't interested at all.  Around 1pm he started vomiting again.  I called the vet and we decided to bring him back in.  After that call, I called Dr. Mike.  He had been on vacation, but no one knew Corbin like he did and I desperately needed his opinion.  Having a wonderful vet who takes my calls at home is an amazing thing.  I told him what was going on and told him what his blood work was like.  He agreed with the diagnosis and treatment and eased my panic.  When we got back to the vet, Dr. Goden was waiting with a plan.  He took Corbin in the back for more x-rays.  While I was waiting for him, someone appeared in the door way.  Assuming it was a tech coming with an update, I looked up.  It was a tech, but not one I expected.  One of my favorite techs had left the practice a few months ago... but there she was, in the doorway.  My sheer shock was followed with a loud gasp and then sobs... she knew Corbin well.  She did his x-rays that afternoon and asked what was going on.  I gave her the short version and asked what she was doing there.  Someone wasn't able to work and the asked her to fill in. It was pure fate to have her there with me that day.

Liz left to check on Corbin and Dr. Goden came back.  Corbin's x-rays the day before on Friday were clear, you could see every bone and every organ.  The x-rays they just did were not clear... they were hazy, indicating there was fluid in his abdomen.  He asked if I could bring him back Monday for an abdominal ultrasound.  I said "Monday?  He won't make it until Monday."  Liz came back in with Corbin and got his IV started.  He got some more fluids and medication.  I told Liz what Dr. Goden had said.  I told her I was going to take him to the emergency vet when we left because he needed an ultrasound today.  She left the room for a bit.  When she came back she told me she had talked with another vet that was there who routinely does ultrasounds and he agreed to stay late so Corbin could have one.  I burst into tears and couldn't thank her enough.  Both vets stayed late, as well as a team of vet techs in case Corbin needed emergency surgery.  But, his ultrasound looked pretty normal.  They did a guided aspiration of the fluid in his system.  We finished his ultrasound and waited for the results of the fluid.  Adam and I were with Corbin when Dr. Goden came back in.  He said there was bacteria and a lot of white blood cells in the fluid, in a place in his body that should be sterile.  Corbin had gone septic.
I knew when I heard the word that there was nothing we could do to save him.  Dr. Goden gave us a surgical option, but I knew Corbin wouldn't survive a surgery.  And, even if they could find the hole where fluid was leaking out of and they fixed it... there was nothing that caused this to happen, and the odds were high that it would just happen again. Corbin's body was failing.

I promised Corbin a long time ago that I would never keep him alive for me.  That his quality of life was most important.  I talked to Dr. Mike, and he gave me comfort as we weighed our options.  Corbin picked his head up for the first time that day... and I saw my answer there in his eyes.  His fight was over and it was our time to say goodbye.

I was so thankful to have been with my vets, at a clinic Corbin was comfortable in and with people he was comfortable with. More importantly, people I was comfortable with. I knew the decision we made was the right one for Corbin. I didn't have to second guess myself or make a decision on my own. I had amazing vets that I trusted and an amazing friend in our vet tech. Had we gone to the emergency clinic, it wouldn't have been as peaceful and I wouldn't have been so sure. Corbin left us surrounded by love from everyone in that room...

Losing Corbin was a pain I had never experienced. The air left my lungs, the blood stopped flowing in my body, all of my energy left my life. My legs were weak, my head light, my face drenched with tears. Adam and I made phone calls to those most important in his life. I managed to get the words out, "we had to say goodbye to Corbin today," but the reality seemed so unreal.  Even now, 4 and a half weeks later, the idea of never feeling his soft fur again seems impossible. Corbin had been through so much... everyone always expected him to bounce back. His loss was a shock to everyone... especially to me and Adam.

Thank you for always being there for us. Our 5 years of blogging brought us to so many amazing people. Your support, love and strength have helped me through the last 3.5 years of Corbin's always changing health issues. I know he's enjoying his time on the other side of the bridge with those who went before him. What a party it must be...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Amelia health update

To start with a refresher or to catch up those who may not know, Amelia was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This rare disease typically goes undetected until it's too late and a pet drops dead unexpectedly. Thankfully, 2 years ago my vet heard a murmur in her heart and we had a heart ultrasound done and we caught it. This disease causes a thickening of the heart walls.  While we have not been able to reduce the thickness, with medication and proper monitoring we have been able to slow down the progression.

So, bringing this to the current moment, Amelia had her yearly heart ultrasound on Monday. In comparison to last year, the addition of a new medication has helped the blood flow and her left atrium has improved because of it. However, her left ventricular walls have continued to thicken. We've increased her medication and bumped her yearly ultrasounds up to every 6 months.

Knowing that we could have lost Amelia tragically 2 years ago if this went undetected makes every day with her a gift. She could be the furthest from the vision of a heart patient. She's happy, spunky, energetic, athletic and wiggles more than you've ever seen. Don't bother trying to tell her she has a heart condition, because she won't believe you.

We knew Amelia's life span would be shortened when we adopted her, but we knew in our home she would have the vet care that she needed. We also knew we had the ability to love her for however long we were graced with her joyful personality. Although the results we received on Monday weren't miracle words, I'm so happy her disease hasn't progressed as quickly as it could have. So, we're happy she'll be our little wiggle worm for another bit longer. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015

Meet Kobie.

I'll never be ready to see my home without Corbin. I'll never be ready to welcome a new dog without his presence here. But, if someone had said they were not ready when Corbin needed saving, he would have never made it here to me. So, although I'm not ready, please meet Kobie. Our newest member of The Corbin House foster family. Welcome to your temporary home, handsome boy. It's what Corbin would have wanted.