08Feb13 Update on Shayna: Great news!!!

February 8, 2013 | By | Add a Comment

It gives me great pleasure to report some really great news, to Shayna’s friends and donors to her Health Fund!

On Monday, February 4, we had our long-awaited follow-up exam and ultrasound with our wonderful holistic veterinarian, Dr. Janice Raab.  Aside from evaluating Shayna’s overall health, the key question was whether the tumor on her heart (hemangiosarcoma) had been again releasing fluid into her heart sack, and if so, whether it was time to do a needle extraction of it, as was done on Oct. 30.  Or, whether it was even possible to do so.  (Reminder: On Oct. 30, she was given an estimated lifespan of one day to four months; described in detail here; and since then, I’ve had to learn to accept that given the horrific nature of this disease, everything can change very quickly.) 

Dr. Raab reported that, to her amazement,

Feb. 6: Shayna at her ideal weight of 64-66lbs.

Feb. 6: Shayna at her ideal weight of 64-66lbs.

Shayna’s heart and the sack surrounding it look exactly as they did back in early December – just a small amount of fluid, not enough to extract.  And that there was no fluid in her abdomen!

The bottom line: Apparently, all the medicines and supplements we’ve been using, along with the dietary changes we’ve made (which enabled Shayna to shed the 8/9 lbs that Dr. Raab had been wanting her to lose), along with her zest for life, and all the other things we’re doing, are working exactly as we’d hoped: she is in superb health.

Dr. Raab, for the first time, even said that seeing this latest data, we should just hope that if we keep doing everything exactly as we are now, that Shayna will be that one in a million dog that has this terrible disease, yet simply goes on as she is, month after month, year after year.

You can imagine my relief at hearing this news.  I’d been07Feb13-WalkInWoods-sqcrop enjoying and videotaping Shayna’s amazing activity level, which is far in excess of where she was for the past few years, but knowing, as I said above, that everything could change very quickly.

We could not have gotten to this point were it not for the support, love and financial donations from Shayna’s loved ones, and her new admirers from around the world who fell in love with her as a result of this video.  So, thank you to everyone who has helped us, and given me encouragement and counsel.

The video at the top of this page was taken earlier today, as we walked through the woods behind our place.

Here are some more recent videos that I think you’ll enjoy:

31Jan13: Shayna runs after her tennis balls in parking garage, after torrential rain; then turns into “middle-aged” dog, then into “old dog.”

I took this video in a nearby parking garage after a massive rainstorm that lasted most of the day.  Shayna hates the rain, and will not go out in it.  The amazing thing is, when she got out of the truck, I thought she’d just want to walk and do her long-overdue business.  But she stood there, kept looking at the truck and me, then the ground in front of her, til I figured out what she wanted – her ball.

So I got it, and here’s the result – as I comment in the first part of the video, it was like witnessing a dream; two years ago she never ran like this after her ball, period.  The second part of the video is where she stopped running, and just wanted to walk laps around the garage.  The third part is where she stopped walking, and we sort of just paused for bits of time until she decided she wanted to continue.

I show all three parts because I don’t want anyone, especially Shayna’s loved ones and donors, to see only the unbelievably active aspects of her life, without seeing the “down” side too.


31Jan13: Watermelon after Shayna’s exercise in the parking garage

(Continued from above) It was a very warm night, and it turned out a local supermarket was having a big sale on watermelon – in the middle of winter! It’s one of Shayna’s favorite foods, so on the way home I went and picked some up…. and as you can see, she delighted in it.


29Jan13: Attempted re-training with Shayna’s flash cards

After several years of not doing Shayna’s “flash-card training,” in which she retrieves her toys according to the pictures of them that I show her, her skills have understandably gotten rusty. I recently started re-training her in this skill, and as it was a warm day, I thought we’d do our training outside. Unfortunately, it was a big failure from a performance standpoint, but as you can see, we had a lot of fun anyway – and you can see how awesome she looks and feels. From here, we went to the outdoor cafe, where I worked for a while, as she got treats and visited with her friends.


25Jan13: Toy training

Showing off Shayna’s growing toy-identification-and-retrieval repertoire… and how amazing her glow has become of late. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world, in several regards.


Filed in: Shayna's medical condition, The Blog

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