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Macklin and Archibald’s Adventures

Hello! Once again, it’s been much, much too long between posts. Despite the lags in keeping in touch, please know we think of all our friends often! We’ve had a great summer. The boys are doing fantastic. Archibald is now 1 ½…..and still full of it! Not a week goes by where JB and I don’t laugh at some point because he reminds us so much of Sammy….it’s really bizarre…in a good way. He’s very smart, but very naughty….he certainly keeps us on our toes. We finally decided to replace our front lawn this summer….it was still all burnt out from Sammy’s chemo pee and we held off last summer when Archie was still a puppy. So we bit the bullet and did it this year. Except Archie had other plans…..he realized that “keep away with sod” was actually a really fun game. He would pull up large pieces of the sod and run around. And when we got wise, he would still his nose under the gate and pull it out in sheets. Sigh! So we’re on round 2 and all is going well….as I said, he’s very naughty!

Here are a few pictures of the boys. Archibald now has 20+ pounds on Macklin….Macklin has always been very slight for a male, but Arch is a big boy!

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We had a great trip to Martha’s Vineyard this summer. The boys loved the island vibe and it was super chill break.

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We chartered a boat which was fantastic…both Macklin and Archie love the water.

Archibald learned that if he went belly up at the bar, everyone coming in would give him a rub…smart boy!

Please know you’re all in our thoughts!

Best!

Xo Sue

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Hello to all our Friends

Hello Everyone!  I know, I know, it’s been all together way too long since we’ve posted…but it doesn’t mean we don’t think of our many friends frequently!  We had a crazy hectic 2012 and a similar start to 2013.  All is fine, just passing us by much too quickly.  Anyway, thought we would just say hello.  The boys are fantastic.  Archibald is by far the funniest and most outgoing Berner we have had.  He’s a complete meatball and a love bug.  He would give kisses 24/7 if we didn’t stop him for fear of licking us raw!  He’s 11 months old and weighing in at about 100 pounds.  Macklin still keeps him in line and loves their daily throw downs.  He’s most definitely keeping Mack on his toes.  Macklin has lost all his separation anxiety from losing Sam and it’s so great to see him back to his old self.   He has this crazy/funny habit of running as fast as he can when he’s lying on his side…it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen!  JB and I laugh although sometimes people ask if he’s ok….ha…even Macklin gives him the look of “that’s not normal, dude!” 

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We had an amazing visit to our little get away spot up in Maine (Inn by the Sea) back in November.  As some of you may recall, it was one of Sam’s favorite places to visit – it was so fantastic to get back to see old friends.  We left a bit of Sammy with them at the beach and toasted him with some champagne.  It was a lovely trip. 

It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 months since we said goodbye…we have such unbelievable memories of our journey.  Archibald has so many similar qualities of Sam (although he’s no where near as stubborn) and he looks so similar that it actually brings us joy.  They are so different but so similar….we love it!  We forgot how much work a new puppy can be….it’s not really that it’s more work but rather we’ve gotten a bit older…sigh!  We’ve had some good snow storms so the boys have had tons of outdoor play.   Ok…so it’s not uncommon for us to yell to Macklin “get Archie’s head out of your mouth!”

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And Archibald always crashes hard after a romp in the snow!

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I hope all our friends, new and old are well and please know you are in our thoughts! 

xoxo Sue

 

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Summer is Great

Hello all our friends! So sorry we haven’t touched base very much. The summer is ticking by at a crazy pace, as usual. We’re having a fun summer and Macklin and Archibald are doing great. Archibald is growing like a weed…well, faster than a weed to be honest. He’s been gaining about 4 pounds a week…insane, huh! He’s already about 50 pounds at 18 weeks old.

Macklin has been busy showing him all our summer haunts. We took the boys to Boston a few weeks ago to have dinner at one of the spots we frequented last summer with Sam (where he used to eat burgers and key lime pie). Well, Macklin promptly pulled to “his” table and stared at the people sitting at “his” table. It was quite funny, although awkward trying to explain to some lovely people that they were sitting where he enjoyed burgers and key lime pie with his brother all last summer – I sounded like a nut!
The boys have had a few boat outings and Archibald has taken to being a dock dog. He’s really great and is fantastic and comfortable around the boat. He’s so smart to – he learned quickly that if he hangs out at the top stair by the galley, everyone coming from there has food! But….he’s not so sure about swimming yet. We’ve only had him at the beach once and he wasn’t digging it. We think it’s because it was rocky and he couldn’t figure out his footing. Macklin still loves the water and will be sure to teach him the ropes.


 

Archibald had his first hotel stay this past weekend. He was so very good. We had a little “stay-cation” in Boston for a few days at the Liberty Hotel. It’s a really, really neat hotel. It’s an old jail built in the mid 1800s and has been turned into a luxury hotel – the theme of the hotel incorporates its history too (restaurants/bars are Alibi, Clink etc.) and the catwalk, jail cells and exercise yard still exist. It’s a really lovely hotel so I was surprised to learn they welcome dogs. This is one of those places that welcomes dogs, not just tolerates them. It is super dog friendly – they even had homemade treats with the boys name on them in the room when we checked in. It was very hot in Boston this past weekend so it was great just to chill in the A/C for a few days. Archie was thinking he could get used to this!

That’s all for now….enjoy the summer!

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New Monkey Butt in Town!

Well, it’s been quite some time since out last post. We made it through the holidays after sending Sam to the bridge the day before Thanksgiving. It wasn’t a great holiday season but we made the most of it. Once January kicked in, all heck broke loose at work and I’ve been jammed up awful for the last several months – it’s been brutal. All the while, we’ve been missing Sam. Macklin had a tough go – he had separation anxiety something fierce. He had never been alone in the house before. Mondays were the worst….after having a few days home with us over the weekends, he was so anxious on Mondays. So we put him in daycare…what a blessing. JB drops me and Macklin off in downtown Boston in front of my office on Monday mornings – and a school bus picks him up for the day! Yup – a bus! Macklin doesn’t like to be in a crate in the back so with my permission, he hops right up front with the driver and heads off to the amazing Red Dog Pet Resort and Spa! That’s the same place that Sam used to go for hydro-massage. Macklin loves it! He plays all day and then sleeps for 2 days – it wears him out. They even have a Berner play group…he loves Yukon and Wally and all the other dogs! The amazing people there even sponsored a trophy at the next Berner Specialties in Sam’s name – what an honor!
And the hole in our hearts if starting to heal so ….we have added a new monkey butt to our family….meet Archie! We got him home on Sunday and he turned 8 weeks old yesterday. He’s already 17 pounds…going to be a big boy. Macklin is tolerating him well. Archie is very self assured but seems to be taking direction well….but he is full of it too! We’re tired, but thrilled! We’re so please with our new breeder and we can’t wait to watch Archie grow!

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Brave Warrior

My heart is breaking as I write to share that we set Sam free at the Rainbow Bridge this afternoon.  It’s been a difficult 24 hours to say the least, but he is now running free with all our tripawd friends.  Bear with me as I fear my computer may crash from all my tears falling!

Sam’s energy turned real low the past few days, but he was still doing ok.  Yesterday morning, he got up and ate all his food and had a trip in the yard and JB and I headed off to work.  About noon time, Rich, our dog walker (and darling friend) sent a note that Sammy was not good.  For the first time ever, he didn’t get up when Rich came to the door and his eyes were not focused.  His eyes were rolling to the back of his head and he was struggling to breathe.  JB came home from work immediately and spent the day with him.  He had moments of clarity but was mostly in a fog.  JB spoke with Dr. Cronin and she explained Sammy had turned the corner from living to existing.  She said it would only get worse.  

When I got home from work, he had a little energy – his tail was wagging like crazy but his eyes were vacant.  They were red and sunken.  I had had a talk with him over the weekend and told him he needed to let us know when he was done fighting – and he was letting me know.  JB shared his conversation with Dr. Cronin with me and I said, “tomorrow?” and he said, “yes”.

So the boys had a steak dinner and we just enjoyed our last night.  As you can imagine, lots of snuggling.  I slept on the floor, but Sammy roamed most of the night – although he always came back to lay by my side. 

He was pretty clear this morning but within an hour he was back to the same.  We decided that brave warriors were meant to live, not just exist.  So we made the appointment to give Sammy the best gift we could ever give – to set him free.  He fought such a brave fight – we wanted to end his life with dignity before he started suffering.  His diagnosis was 9 months ago – that’s a long fight.  

Dr. Cronin was not in today so we met with Dr. Rosen – she was simply wonderful.  She was worried a bit that his eye issue could be neurological – it made us even more confident we were doing the right thing, as hard as it was.  When Sammy received the sedative, he became so calm.  We had become so accustom to the heavy breathing the calm took us a little by surprise.  We cried – a lot – but they were good tears.  As typical, he even gave a few tail wags.  We had some good last words, last ear scratches and last hugs before we said good bye.  Our hearts are broken but we know the edges will become less sharp over time.

So, to the boy with a heart of a lion, run free Sammy, run free!  We’ll see you another day good boy!

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Beach Time

We had some unseasonably warm weather this past weekend – which meant a trip to the beach! And we didn’t just hit one beach – we hit 2 beaches. We went to Sammy’s swimming beach first – he doesn’t need to go far in the water for it to drop off so he can swim – and he doesn’t need to jump any of those pesky waves while he’s trying to get in the water. The down side is that it is rocky so he can’t really do any digging. So after he had a nice swim, he seemed to have good energy so we hit beach number 2! Why not….it’s November and we likely will not have beach days left. So Sammy was able to dig and just chill on the cold sand. He was really happy.  Every time he started to dig a new hole in the sand, Macklin tried to join him and Sammy was having no part of it.  He just was not up to sharing his freshly dug holes on this trip.  So finally, Sammy plopped himself on top of his hole and guarded against Macklin’s attempts to help! 

 

 

When we got home, both boys got a bath! Always tons of fun!

So Sammy is still hangin’ in there. He’s definitely slowing down, but he still has a will to live. I’m able to gauge how much energy he has each morning by how fast he runs from me when I try to give him cough suppressant! Our 3-legged dog still has some giddy up when he’s avoiding it! A few days ago, he ran through the kitchen, down the hall, through the foyer, across the porch and down the stairs to the yard! He gets lots of treats and belly rubs as a thank you once he gives up and let’s me give it to him. My stubborn boy!

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Monday Update

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Sammy had a hydro massage with Alex on Saturday – as always, he was in heaven. It’s just so amazing to see how relaxed he is when he gets in the pool. Macklin continues to just prefer to run around the pool like a maniac which is fine with us….we let Sammy get all the attention. He’s pretty beat by the end of his appointment but it’s always a good tired…he’s just happy. Alex made a really cool video of Sammy and has it posted on the Red Dog facebook page – it’s really neat. We had so much fun.

 

Nando and Josie came to Sam’s appointment to watch him swim. After the appointment, they climbed in to the back of the truck to try to sneak home with Sammy and Macklin! The dogs did a good job trying to hide them, but it didn’t work!

 

Saturday was a fun night for Sam because all his grandparents came to visit – we had both my parents and JB’s parents for dinner! That’s a lot of extra hands for ear scratches!

Sammy’s cough is definitely getting worse. Yesterday was the first day that it was fairly persistent. He doesn’t seem to be in any distress at all – he is still eating well and has good energy but the cough is starting to take a toll. He coughed a fair amount of blood yesterday and had a few episodes of coughing fits during the night and again this morning. I was hoping it was just a bad day yesterday but after this morning, doesn’t look like it’s settling down at all. I’ve called Dr. Cronin this morning and will start him on a cough suppressant. We just want to keep him comfortable. Sigh.

Here’s a picture of Macklin trying to “comfort” Sammy – ha! He is definitely a dog that has no concept of his size. He saw a 2 inch opening on the couch and definitely believed he could scoot his butt right in there – then he just chilled pretending to be comfortable! I love the dangling legs and the “this is how I want to be sitting” look on his face! Macklin turned 4 on 11/11 – happy birthday Mack Attack!

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Happy 8 Month Ampuversary!

Well, today is Sam’s 8 month ampuversary. Hard to believe our tripaw journey started way back on March 8th. At times if feels like yesterday and at other times it feels like years. I read back at our post from the day we dropped him off 8 months ago – it was so bitter sweet. It was such an anxiety filled morning dropping him at the hospital and Macklin off to my in-laws. I remember when Dr. Pastor called to let me know she took an extra set of x-rays because she still couldn’t believe he was presenting with no symptoms and she wanted to double check – it was a good feeling because it made me sure she was the right person to be taking care of Sammy.

When his lung mets hit so ferociously we thought there was no way we would get to 8 months…well here we are! Super Sammy makes his own rules and sets his own schedule! Ha – I never thought I would embrace his stubbornness like I do now!

Thanks to all our friends and supporters on this site for supporting us through these last 8 months – we certainly could not have maintained our sanity without you (no really, I have maintained it!) We love you all!

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Sammy’s Smile

We had a really nice weekend. Just lots of chill time for the most part. The weather was beautiful and Sam spent most of the days just basking in the sun. It was great to watch him just enjoy the sun and the fresh air. We had a quick trip to the store to pick up some food for him….he LOVES the Red Dog. He definitely wanted to go in the pool, but Alex had the day off so we needed to schedule a swim for next weekend instead. We ran in to some friends at the store and Sam just soaked up all the ear scratches from Grace! I think Sam wanted to take her home with him – she said her mom wouldn’t like that though! My favorite part was when one little girl said, “He’s a happy dog, I think he’s smiling at me!” Ya, he is a happy dog!

 
Yesterday the boys had a special treat – they got to visit with some of their favorite kids, Cassidee, Greyson and Allyssa. Greyson had a football game so we got to go watch. Sam and Macklin don’t quite get the cheering thing….so when people start cheering and clapping, they just start barking. It was a little funny because it sounded like they are cheering for the team! Sam’s energy was fantastic…made us look a little silly when we told people he was sick. He ran around the track at the field like he was a puppy. After the game we went back to their house for dinner…it was a nice, relaxing day and really good to spend some time together. The boys were exhausted when they got home and completely crashed when we got in the door. Sam definitely requires more down time these days…it just takes him longer to get his energy back after having a busy day. That’s ok though….just fine by us!

 

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Super Sammy

We had an oncology appointment yesterday – for the first time in 8 months I wasn’t even anxious – no more  bad news left to receive.  I love our oncology office – Emily, the tech was so caring and concerned with how Sam was doing.  And we simply love Dr. Cronin – she is so wonderful – she has the greatest approach.  She decided against x-rays – she said she’s taking all cues from Sam at this point and it doesn’t matter so much what the x-rays say.  It made me smile as we both know the x-rays would be ugly at this point.  She basically just shrugged her shoulders and shook her head and we laughed a bit.  We both know given Sam’s met situation, he should’t be with us.  We had a little trip down memory lane with his medical charts and laughed at just how amazing he is.  It was actually a good appointment – I left proud – Sammy has just been such a warrior.  He is such an example of living with cancer and he’s taught us to let him take the lead and he’ll let all of us know when he’s done fighting – not the other way around.

Sam is doing well although Thursday night was his first bad night we’ve had.  He could not get comfortable and was whimpering a bit.  JB stayed up most of the night with him – he couldn’t breath well when he was on his side. He was good yesterday and fine today.  Dr. Cronin said it was
probably just a bad night.

So we’ll continue what we’re doing – and that’s having fun and loving all our days. He’s basking in the sun as I write…going to be a good day,

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