Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Dog has Leprosy

My husband has pointed out in recent days (ok, ok, weeks and months) that I have not updated our family blog. I realize what a slacker this makes me but I just haven't had the creative juices to write. I can't necessarily say I don't have anything to write about, it is that I am struggling with how much to write. How much information do you really want on us? How much do we really want the whole (cyber)World to know about us. There are somethings for one reason or another that I cannot just write about. There are times I don't write because although I am generally fine with you all having information about me I don't want put information about others out there, yet they are vital to what I want to write about.

So I sit and I ponder how to best approach this blog going forward. My initial idea, thought, want, was to make an completely open and honest blog about the struggles, funny things, joy, happiness, hard times, quirks, and so much more that you face in the first year of marriage. Really that is still my goal in writing this. I just need to figure out how to do so in a way that accurately portrays us, tells our story, and leaves the rest out.

So as Carl and I were sitting there discussing this, with my Dad actually (he happened to be in town!!) he suggested that I write about our Dog.. who has Leprosy.

Harley... Harley is our 3 year old dog. Really he has quite the life, and has travel, and lived in more places than Carl. haha. I got Harley when I graduated College. It was a splurge. It was an impulse. He was the cutest little thing that you ever did see. Seriously. When my mom and I picked him up he was literally the size of my hand. To watch something so small pounce around the house was the cutest thing ever. (Also when we got him, his ears didn't stand up like they do now, otherwise I might have named him Radar)

When we got him they told us he was a miniature fox terrier. It is very apparent now that he is NOT. He is some sort of mutt, mix, perfectness. He definitely has papillon in him (his ears, and longer hair show that), but I am certain there is something else mixed with him. Any way, not super important. All you must know is that he is 7 pounds of cuteness.

When my parents moved from Cleveland to Houston... they took Harley with them. By my request (begging).  At that time I was struggling with some medical issues and just didn't feel I could take care of him. So off to Houston he went. I am pretty sure he loved it there. He really enjoys my little brothers, and Jacob still to this day thinks Harley is his dog who I stole. (terrible sister alert). While he lived in Cleveland he really had no issues, other than when he broke his leg, but about 2 months after they moved there he started to get sick. Insert Leprosy. That is what it looked like, he got these wounds, lesions, red spots, scabs... disgusting-ness all over his little body. My mom was concerned for him, he was consistently licking and or chewing at the spots, making them worse, he was losing his hair. Really to put it simply, he was pitiful. So he went to the vet, and went to the vet ,and went to the vet some more. They couldn't figure out his issues, they did allergy tests, blood tests, everything.. and he stayed sick. 

Finally they put him on some steroids, and that seemed to help. The lesions went away for the most part, his skin wasn't so irritated, he could walk on his paws (which had gotten some of the wounds on them). It was a good fix, it seemed to help. But at the same time, a dog on steroids is a bit crazy. He bulked up. His tiny little frame suddenly had all of this extra weight on it. He really looked like... a fat dog with a little head. After a while Harley still wasn't doing awesome, the steroids helped, but he if he went off of them he'd get sick again. So we made the decision that he would go live with my sister in Missouri.

My sister has a dog named Lucifer ... I mean Lucy. Harley and Lucy got a long well, and hopefully his sickness would clear up in a new climate. So he went to Missouri in the fall, and got better! His lesions went away, he went off medication. Done deal. Awesome.

Carl and I got married in November. We were looking to get a dog, when my sister suggested I take Harley back now that I was more able to take care of him. So Harley traveled with my sister to Texas, and we traveled to Texas for a visit, and Harley flew home with us in January. January-April was good as gold. But then April hits (with A LOT of rain)... and Harley starts to get these nasty things on his skin again. Our playful dog started sleeping all day, starting doing nothing. If you asked him to bring you his toy, he would get it... drop it at your feet, and then go fall asleep on the couch (I think he thought we still wanted to play with his toys even when he was asleep). It was pitiful. So to the vet we went... told her the back story, etc, etc, etc. They thought it was an allergy brought on by the rain ... lots of rain = things blooming = harley gets sick. So they... put him on a dog allergy pill and steroids. And he got better... until it would rain.. and he'd get worse. Then he just started getting worse regardless of the rain. Then more steroids, and he got better. Then he got worse.

SO basically what I am saying is... our dog is high maintenance. No, really we just feel sad for him. Our sad little leprosy doggie. His sickness has gone on much longer here than it did in Texas, so we are trying to decide what is best for him. We are hoping that the fall hits, and he gets better! But if not we will be making some decisions as to what to do. We really don't want him to be miserable all the time. The best place he did was Missouri, for whatever reason. But even so he did better in Texas than in Cleveland at his point (although when he first lived here he never had an issue).

So if you come to our house, and look at our dog, and think we are neglecting him. Please don't. Please know he is still very spoiled... he is just kind of sick looking. Carl says I notice it more than others because I am around him more, possibly true. Hopefully the cooler weather, the leaves changing color, the smell of apple cider will bring more than my favorite season... maybe our little leprosy dog will get a break too!

(maybe we should start a foundation for little leprosy doggies?)

**Please don't be offended by my definition of my dogs disease. I realize it is not actually leprosy.**

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