December 31, 2015

Winston Has More Signs Of Improvement

Again this daily post starts off where the previous night ended. Last night that was around 1am as I turned off the Holiday Bowl from San Diego early. Good game but my desire to sleep was winning. After sleeping all day, Winston continued his slumber just like he is suppose to.

I did notice something around 10:30pm while he was sleeping that I had not seen in a while. While laying on his side I could see his rib cage. Finally that area that is normally his waistline was visible once again ... just one of the new small changes.

He was sound asleep when I went to bed. So I did the same thing before, I headed to my bed in the next room and left him be. Around 4:44am, Sadie and Stella came into the bedroom whining loud enough to wake me up. I could hear Winston whining in the distance. For the first time I remember he turned down his water. Yet, he was anxious to get outside and pee. I slipped the t-shirt harness under him and we went walking for the drive, his tail wagging all the way.

After sleeping another hour, where the bloodhounds had spent their time on the dog bed and at the foot of the bed on the floor, Sadie and Stella jumped up when they heard Winston whine and ran out to him. This time he guzzled water, then the same routine as always ... harness, tail wagging, walking toward the yard/driveway.

This time I kept the harness under him out in the driveway to see if he would walk back to the house, he didn't. He made a right turn and headed for his area to poop ... over by the southern edge of the yard along 'his' embankment. Firm stool and normal color -- a healthy sign.

It was during this walking to the edge of the yard I noticed a very slight "new change" ... with his right leg out straight, right after I sat him down thinking that was where he wanted ... there was a slight motion like a oar, using his right leg a little to move forward in a rowing motion while he scooted only a foot in distance ... another "new change"

On Winston's trip outside around 10am, HIS LEFT REAR PAW WAS IN THE NORMAL FORWARD POSITION AND HIS RIGHT REAR PAW WAS TRYING !! I feel this is a GIANT improvement for his recovery. I still had his hip elevated with the t-shirt harness.

Since December 19 his rear paws have been dangling facing the opposite direction, to the rear instead of pointing forward.

"I sleep a lot but I'm feeling a lot better"

All of the hounds slept most of the morning if not all of it. Around 11am they all moved into positions think the first college football bowl game started at 11am...once they found out kickoff was not until noon, they just slept.

Caught In The Middle Of A Head Shake

"My Only Choice If Winston's On The Couch

I decided that since Winston did so well the last 3 days/nights ... he needed to be rewarded, no matter what that link about bad backs said. I moved him up to the couch (under my supervision) next to me until he the next time he had to get up to go outside ... yes, he'll get carried off the couch to make his periodic trips outside.

As I write this it's 12:34pm and not a word...not a word from any of them wanting lunch. Stella is usually begging me for food by 11am if not earlier. Instead she spent most of her morning chewing on her favorite bone.

Not soon after I wrote that, both Sadie and Stella woke up and knew it was past time to eat lunch. Winston's appetite is still good. He wagged his tail as I followed lifting his hips off the ground ... only this time he searched long enough to do both of his jobs. Then it was back in his area for a nap.

All the hounds slept until 4:00pm ... right before the Clemson - Oklahoma football game I wanted to watch, he decided he needed to go out right before the kick off. When I came back inside I brought him straight to the couch and he has been sleeping every minute since.

Once again when outside this after noon - HE DROPPED HIS RIGHT REAR PAW IN THE CORRECT POSITION and then he almost tried to stand!!!

He does feel where he didn't before. I tried to shove up about 5" forward on the couch from his lower back by his tail, so I could have room enough to sit down. HE FLINCHED!

I am happy the way these past four days have gone. I don't know which is the cause for the improvement, probably a little of both, the Prednisone and the Laser Treatment but he has had a lot of improvement in small steps.

Heidi moved out to join all of us and kept the chair with her blue Mexican blanket. Stella and Winston shared the couch with me while Sadie was not happy being relegated back to the area where Winston sleeps.

Happy New Year!!!!

Bloodhounds Save The Day

It all started with me setting the small oven that is above my stove,  at 425° and baking one of my two pizzas received late afternoon Wednesday from three of my closest friends. The 35 minutes were up and the cheese pizza looked just as good as the one in the photo on the left. It tasted even better. 

Winston was behind his gated area wagging his tail from the smell coming from the kitchen, Heidi woke up and came running from the bedroom and Stella along with Sadie sat at attention watching every move from the plate to my mouth.

That part of the baking was okay. 

Photo from

Where the bloodhounds come in as lifesavers involves the apple pie, pictured below that is baked inside a brown bag. If frozen, which it was, the baking time was 90 minutes - open the bag and then another 45 minutes to make the crust just like the photo below.

Photo from

Since the oven had already been running at 425° for around two hours, I knew that 45 minutes to brown the crust may take a shorter amount of time so I sat the timer at 30 minutes -- took off for the computer room to answer some emails and catch up on my football/basketball scores.

It wasn't long before I had two bloodhounds running into my computer room, tails between their legs and very agitated. I first thought with Stella's "guilty look" she had found and finished off the remaining pizza that I had sitting on the kitchen island. As I walk away from from desk around the corner to see what the bloodhounds had gotten into ... I see a kitchen full of smoke that is bellowing from my small oven door.

Stella was at the door trying to move the locked door handle lever with her nose to open the door and get out. Sadie was sprinting to the door to get out. I shut off the oven but left the oven door shut, not go give it added air to help fuel a potential fire.

Stella and Sadie ran to just the edge of the yard and field, sat down looking back at the house. Winston is sleeping though all the excitement and Heidi never left the bedroom. She decided if she didn't get any pizza then apple pie was not a possibility.

I walked around and opened windows, brought out a stored floor fan and proceeded to get the smoke from my kitchen to outside ... all in 40° weather. I opened the oven door to let the remaining smoke out along with pulling out the perfectly baked apple pie. The pie still smelled like a freshly baked apple pie.

My mistake was not using a cookie sheet as instructed because mine was too narrow. Instead I used a pizza pan that had holes in the bottom. I did not know the amount of juices that would come from the pie, through the brown bag and drop on the very hot oven floor. It should be quite fun to get that off (any suggestions) but it was well worth it after tasting a slice of that great apple pie.

It took almost 15 minutes before the hounds decided to re-enter the house. Sadie ran to the bedroom and hid with Heidi while Stella followed my every move and glued herself to my desk chair as I ate a slice of pie and continued to read all the news I had missed while sleeping the day away.

So ... 2015 Hounds of the Year go to Stella and Sadie!!

December 30, 2015

Another Solid Day For Winston

Last night as I glanced up, I saw I had been sleeping sitting up on the couch for an hour. All the hounds were sleeping with Sadie and Heidi snoring. It was only a little after 9pm. I didn't want to wake up Winston, thinking sleep was better than anything. So I turned off the light and headed to my bedroom. It was a chance I was taking since I had not slept in separate rooms with Winston since he was hurt.

I woke up at the "new normal" 3:09am. Not sure why but that seems to be the time lately. Darkness, really quiet, not a sound from the hounds. I wanted to see how Winston had done after his solid 8 hours of sleep by then. As I looked around the corner, Winston was still sleeping ... Heidi had moved into the confined area via under the end table and was sleeping next to him.

As I was moving around the house, Winston sat up, wagging his tail over the soft inside liner of his Coleman sleeping bag. I gave him a bowl of water, then slipped the t-shirt harness under him as we walked out the door ... his tail wagging.

Winston had been able to control his bladder for over 8 hours and slept most of those hours. That's not out of the ordinary for him, except for Sunday where the Prednisone may have played a part in a  couple of accidents by him. Of course when I turned the lights on the bloodhounds woke up ready to escort us outside and a chance for them to dump their tanks.

Back inside Winston went right back to sleep in his confined area. To me that was a great sign that he was feeling better. The last time I had seen him awake was a little after 7:30pm Tuesday night. According to my color coded spreadsheet tracking Winston's health, the last two days/nights have been solid and signs of improvement.

The rest of the morning was normal. I took Winston over to the vet's at 8am for his 2nd Laser Treatment. He loves riding in any vehicle, so traveling is not a problem. He rode over in back of the FJ on the dog bed from the bedroom.

The field flooding I showed here yesterday become worse overnight. Here is a new photo take this morning compared to yesterdays.

This Morning December 30
Yesterday Morning December 29
The hounds didn't do much in the morning ... went outside a couple of times. Pretty lazy.

I am not sure what the laser treatment does for Winston immediately. I know what the purpose is. Soon after he arrived back home after his 2nd laser treatment this morning he fell into a deep sleep. That's a good thing. I could only equate it to coming home after I get an 1-1/2 massage and sleeping the rest of the day due to the relaxed feeling.

Stella Stood Watch Over Winston

Sometime around 2pm I turned off my IU basketball game that was ugly for major college basket ball. Winston was still sleeping since his lunch. I left him there and headed for the bedroom for what i thought was a short siesta. An hour and a half later I found that out to be not true. I wake up hearing something ... yes you guessed it.

Winston had escaped from his makeshift jail and had walked dragging his rear legs from the corner of the living room, around the corner, down a short hallway and into the bedroom ... he was lying on the dog bed on the floor, whining to get up on my bed.

Yet with the new rules installed after reading the link last night on how to treat a disc problem for a dog, I carried him back to his living room confined bed, reinforced the side of it where he pushed out the box and heater to move between them. I went back to bed since I was that tired and slept until 5:07pm.

Winston was still asleep when I peeked around the corner. It was good to see him sleeping a lot today. So at that time it was the normal routine.

  • Give Winston water behind the gated area
  • While he is drinking put on my jacket, prop the storm door open
  • Bloodhounds go out the open door immediately
  • By this time Winston is finished drinking water - move him forward over the harness
  • Lift his hips as he wags his tail walking towards the yard
  • Dumps tanks - I carry him back inside because he likes to wander if we try the harness thing back to the house

Only this time, as I open the door, sitting on my step is a delivery from FedEx .. a gift from my college friends scattered throughout the USA. A box from Lou Malnati's Pizza Taste of Chicago ... 2 deep dish pizzas along with a deep dish apple pie.

Of course the hounds are all excited as I open the box...they ALWAYS assume food - even Heidi comes sprinting from her bed. Winston curbs his excitement and doesn't move a lot but his tail is wagging 90 mph.

So the first pizza went into the oven, the apple pie went in the oven after the pizza was done ... I should have used the two ovens I have not just the smaller one, I guess.

So we didn't do much at all today ... lots of rest for him and I.

Sometime around 6:07 pm, Winston has decided once again he has had enough "bed rest". Whining to get out. When the gate comes down he wants to walk dragging his feet as I stop him. Take him outside to only find out that he wants to walk forever in the front yard acting like he is looking for a place to pee or poop ... before I realize he is just wanting to walk!! LOL

He finally gives up hope of escaping around 6:34 pm.

Winston is still sleeping almost 2 hours after he smelled the pizza ... He has had 3 GREAT days in a row.  Wagging his tail a lot when he is awake. He is either confined or outside to pee ... no exceptions. I do make a point of sitting on the floor a lot, hanging out with him and discussing the plan, reassuring him that he's alright.

I have some wire panels on order from Amazon to help in containing him. Thank you to those that emailed me tonight asking if things were okay. All is okay, just a little late posting due to my nap and then enjoying that Chicago deep dish pizza .... then as I try to add photos, Blogger doesn't want to cooperate.

All is good in the "tropics" of Southern Indiana.

December 29, 2015

Winston Improves Little By Little

The rains disappeared late Monday afternoon. The winds picked up and the temperatures dropped a little ... but it's great that Winston can go outside without standing in the blowing rain. He went from searching for "that spot" in the yard to walking straight out into the gravel driveway to pee. It was quick and to the point.

Even with the storms stopping here and moving east, the field across the street started filling up like a ground level swimming pool. It might look bad but I have seen it much much worse that that, still it shows we have had a lot of rain the past few days.

Even after my announcement last night that Winston rolled on his left side for the first time since December 19, he continued to show small improvements. More flexibility. More moving around. Right after I posted that 'breaking news' last night, he later got up, moved to the wall and laid down again on his left side and went to sleep.

I tried taking away the barricade, took the bloodhounds outside, came back to see Winston standing in front of his seat on the couch ... the brain wanted to crawl up the side of it to lay down, the body said no way.

Since I was going to be on the couch for a while, I lifted him up and placed him next to a sleeping Stella. He moved around to get comfortable and then laid on his left side again, next to me. He slept like that for hours. Later he woke up and then curled to the right into a tight sleeping ball. All seemed normal.

A more scheduled day has helped him. I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner but it just happened. I was taking him outside after he would wake up but the other times I would wait for him to whine, to let me know. I started treating him like a 8 week old puppy I guess. I started taking him out every time he woke up and after drinking his water. That has worked out well.

The important thing now will be to keep him in the sleep mode as he feels better because he wants to do more. Depends on how much he tries to 'walk' inside the house will determine if I need to gate his area to keep him confined.

Last night we went back to the camping equipment on the floor and I got the first wake up call at 2:26 am. Of course by turning on the lights, propping the door open with the wind howling through the trees, and getting him ready to 'walk' with the t-shirt harness ... Stella and Sadie woke up and were ready to escort us outside and watch. Heidi was well aware it was not time to wake up so she stayed asleep. The winds were really strong but it wasn't really cold.

I decided we would pile into the bed, hoping to sleep until 7:30 am or so. He moved to his favorite sleeping position and later I caught him sleeping on his RIGHT SIDE ... a first since December 19. I was awaken around 5:26 am by a commotion of hounds moving around the bedroom. Sadie had stepped in the bedroom and thought it might be time to wake everyone up.

By the time I came to my senses Winston was looking over the edge of the bed, searching for his landing spot. See, he must be feeling better already today. I yelled 'stay', he stopped and we did the prep routine to walk him outside. I was still going to get a couple of more hours sleep, so the day officially started at 7:10 am this morning.

After breakfast, a couple of tablets of Prednisone, some water ... a trip outside ... he was back to sleeping on his blanket at the corner of the living room.

Stella came over to me this morning around 8:00 am and started that soft short howl. It was WAY too early to be fed lunch so I assumed she need to go outside although she had already been outside. They charged out the door and by the time I could grab the camera, Stella had bowled over Sadie and sent her rolling into the driveway with a body blow.

They didn't play long before Stella became more interested in a scent the western winds were blowing toward her. For her protection we headed back inside the house. Sadie wanted to play and couldn't understand why she had to remain quiet for Winston to continue his morning therapy of sleeping.

Since Winston had been doing so much better the past 24 hours, I decided late morning I'd head out to get some groceries and stop by recycling to drop off my stuff. It's so much easier to recycle now because I don't have to sort it. Under their new business structure las fall, you dump it all in the same container. They compress the containers, ship to Indianapolis where all the recyclables are sorted there as the container is broke open. Consequently I have canceled my trash pickup at $20 per month, recycling almost everything but food scraps and coffee grounds, which I can drop off a 39 gallon plastic bag of trash for $2 at the recycle center.

To protect Winston from himself and make sure he did not hurt himself while I was away, I set up the gated area. I moved Heidi into the living room letting her roam free and away from Stella. I suspected from evidence the past few times I've left them together while I have been gone ... they fight ... I suspect that Heidi is the aggressor and Stella is just wanting to play.

What a surprise when I got home about an hour later. Glancing through the door window there was Heidi laying next to Winston in the gated area. She left by moving under the coffee table when I opened the door. All was good. No separation anxiety from Stella, Winston had been sleeping and Heidi took care of him.

After a trip outside, while putting away groceries Winston scooted to the next room where the 'basset water bowl' is, drank some water, scooted back to the folded sleeping bag and went back to sleep. He has really improved the past 24 hours. I think I probably need to change "walk" to "scooted" when he travels inside the house.

When taking him outside after I returned home, his rear paws are so close to be pointing forward on their own. About half way there. Once again I flipped both paws into the correct position, lowered his hips slightly just to put a little weight on his rear legs. He stood just a short time before sitting down ... but he legs did not collapse like they did last week.

While Winston gets in some early afternoon rest, Stella stands guard with a bone chewing break fit in her schedule.

Some time around 3:30 pm, Winston decided he had enough of being on "bed rest". Every time I turned my back he was walking (scooting) somewhere. The last instance I caught him in front of the couch with one front paw lifted on the side of it, ready to make an attempt to crawl up onto the couch using his front legs like a pull-up. So ... I made it easy for him, by lifting him onto the couch and prevent his escape with the baby gate in front of it.

He has to be feeling better from all of the traveling I have caught him doing today. It looks like I am going to have to confine him with the set up I had before.

On our trip outside later, it sure did look like he was ALMOST trying to use his back legs. They were not just dangling but a LITTLE movement into position. It was so little though I can't really say if that was what he was trying to do or not but there was something there.

Both bloodhounds were after me all day to do something. This is their way of applying pressure to me to get what they want, whether that be food, a walk, more food or a game of indoor fetch.

Stella has been pretty restless today after being pinned up inside for the past three days due to constant rain. Her and Sadie went outside for some intense play, only to be asleep within minutes after.

I think that last photo could be going into the "all-time classics" folder, it's one of my favorites.

By 4:00 pm most of them were in for an afternoon nap. Once Winston was on the couch, Sadie had moved back to her normal spot of relaxation. Heidi? ... she had been in that position for most of the afternoon. She even tried to fight/wrestle with me when I picked her up just to move her to a different room. As you see after her paws hit the floor of that other room she sprinted back to bed ... I had no other option but to make her comfortable.

Sorry for the blurriness - that's my hand holding the camera .. not your eyes
Winston did it again. All the hounds wake up when they hear me making noise in the kitchen. They suspect food is involved so everyone except Winston comes running. He wakes up on the couch, so I know I have a small window of time to get him off the couch, fed some water and then help him walk outside.

All of that happened okay. I sit him on the blanket on the corner with Sadie. I glance over and Winston is gone again. I hear a dog lapping water. He had 'scooted' to the next room where the basset hound water bowl is. He then made it back almost to the corner blanket area. I waited a few minutes to see what he would do .. he sat for a while and then headed back to the blanket next to Sadie.

That wasn't good enough. It's not two minutes later where he leaves and is back in front of the couch, wanting up there. Not going to happen this time, especially with all the H2O he has injested in the past 10 minutes. So ... I have no choice but to set up the barricade so he can get some rest.

He was asleep within 5 minutes.

Winston is not standing on his rear legs yet, but he continues to improve with more tail wagging and he had another good day here in the "tropics" of Southern Indiana.