July 6, 2017
Many things have kept me away from this blog but we’ve had some great news this week and I had to post it, First we were able to trap and return Jack home after being on his own for 25 days. Second, Brady completed his chemotherapy protocol. Tests indicate a complete remission of the lymphoma! The vets were surprised as lymphoma in the spleen and liver usually has a much direr outcome. Brady is not out of the woods. He needs quarterly monitoring but nevertheless he would have been dead by now without God’s intervention.
We do not know why God saved Brady and Jack. Or why He saved Sasha from the ruptured gall bladder last year. Certainly prayer had a lot to do with these gifts from Him and we want to thank everyone who have prayed for our dogs. However we know the answer to prayer is not always what we what. We lost Tetris to cancer not to mention our son Keith in an automobile accident. Nevertheless we know that God ALWAYS answers the prayers of His children. And what has happened in our lives proves to us the love and mercy of God.
God only gives us dogs for a short while before He takes them back. Dogs show us so much of God -- His unconditional love and support, His comfort when we are sad, and His bringing us back to reality when we think we’ve got the world by the tail. All we can do is to marvel at these wonderful little packages of God’s love and to thank God every day for giving them to us even though we are NOT worthy of such gifts. A dog’s love is like God’s love. We don’t earn it. He offers it to us as a free gift and just asks for our love in return.
We are told to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18a). A tall order in this world where we have to watch loved ones get injured, sick and die! We need to not only pray for our pets but also to pray for each other that we have the devotion and strength to be rejoicing and thankful even in the face of getting outcomes we do not want. In all things we need to remember that if we are children of God, He cares for us no matter what happens.
April 9, 2016
I was just thinking last night as I was playing with the puppies how they grow. They are born so helpless lookin more like gerbils than dogs. Then they begin to wonderously grow and devlope into bouncy happy puppies. ANd then there is Sasha who 12 days ago was nearly dead of septic shock, but now is eating, walking around -- praise God. I just cannot get over the love God shows to His children. Who am I that God -- the Creator of the univere -- should hear and answer me. I feel like the final words written by Charles Wesley of that great old hymn Love Divine, All Loves Exceling: "Lost in wonder, love and praise".
April 2, 2016
First Sasha if doing quite well. The vets say she might be able to come home tomorrow afternoon.
In considering Sasha’s recovery you might want to say it shows the Power of Prayer. However, that would not be correct. Prayer has no power – the power resides with God. Prayer is how his children petition Him. John 14:13 says “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” The object of prayer needs to be giving glory to God and Jesus. Thus we need to acknowledge that Sasha’s recovery is through the grace and loving kindness of God. He saved her so that we can praise Him for who and what He is – a kind and loving Savior and Father.
March 31, 2016
Psalms 63:3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You.
5%? Sasha has only a 5% chance of survival? I didn’t want to believe what I was hearing.
Sunday evening Sasha wasn’t her happy self. She didn’t want to eat and just kind of stood there. I checked her gums – they were nice and pink and moist. I checked her temperature – 101.9 also normal. Perhaps she had eaten something out in the yard that was upsetting her stomach. I brought her in for the night and then would check her in the morning.
In the morning she was lying in her crate still. When I picked her up she was extremely weak. I rushed Sasha to her vet who diagnosed she was in shock and very hypoglycemic. They started her on fluids and dextrose and she perked up just a bit. The vet x-rayed her – saw nothing that stood out. He also checked her blood chemistry which was really out of whack. He called the U’s Vet Med Center and I was on my way.
On the way Sasha was considerably better than in her first car trip earlier. She moved around a bit but still was very quiet. At the VMC they were ready for her. They said she needed surgery as soon as she could be stabilized. The vet said they couldn’t wait for ultrasound imaging. Sasha was in septic shock and they needed to find out why and clean it up ASAP. It was hear I was told that Sasha’s chances of coming through this was only about 5% and there are a better than 50% chance she wouldn’t make it through surgery.
Now comes the important part of this story. Cathy was notifying friends and family of Sasha’s plight. We were asking for prayers for Sasha – that God would help her through this. The first answer came in early afternoon. Sasha had made it through the surgery. She had a ruptured gall bladder – a result of mucocele formation in the gall bladder. Her gall bladder + some adjacent liver tissue was removed and her abdomen was flushed out. Now she faced her second challenge – they were having trouble waking her up. Perhaps I could come in and help stimulate her. The vet said she was too sick for any visitors. More emails more prayer.
By the next morning Sasha was awake. Her blood pressure was still low so she was on meds to help with that. I was allowed to see her just before noon. She did not look great. There were tubes everywhere. She was weak and didn’t move while I was there. However there was some good news. Sasha was breathing room air and she was off the BP-regulating meds. Her heart rate jumped from 128 to 160 when she heard my voice. The vet said that meant she was excited to see me.
That evening the vet told us Sasha was back on oxygen and that x-rays suggested she might be developing pneumonia in the middle lobe of one lung. Cathy let the prayer group know and we were back praying. The next day when I saw Sasha she was more alert and stirred a bit. Things were looking up – until the vet called at bedtime. She said Sasha was having trouble breathing. She thought the reason was not the pneumonia nor mechanical but neurological. A major postoperative danger is the throwing of blood clots. She feared a small blood clot had travelled to Sasha’s brain and caused a ministroke in the region controlling her breathing. She was pessimistic that Sasha would make it through the night and that we should “prepare ourselves”. Cathy notified the prayer group. We prayed for Sasha. We prayed until we fell asleep. When we woke up in the middle of the night we prayed until we fell back to sleep.
This morning we called for an update. Sasha had made it through the night and was moving around. I saw Sasha at noon and the improvement was truly amazing. She was off oxygen. She was not just rolling over or stretching like she did yesterday. She was actually moving around her cage and SITTING UP!!
Sasha is not out of the woods. The odds are still against her. She could throw a blood clot to her brain or lungs. She could develop a secondary infection. The organ damage suggested by her blood chemistry panels might not improve. But she is ALIVE!!
She is alive not because of us or even the vets. Sasha is alive because of prayer and God’s loving kindness. God did not have to help Sasha. However, he saw how much Sasha means to us and others and has stepped in. Words fail me to express my thanks to God and my wonder at His awesome love. All thanks is due to Him for this and I will ever be praising His Name.
March 25, 2016
There is a paper that just came out in the March 25, 2016 issue of Science reporting that scientists have created a new synthetic organism having only 473 genes. This is smallest number of genes for a free living organism. This led me to do some back of the envelope calculations. Assuming each of these genes codes for a protein (simplification as some code for RNAs) and each protein is 100 amino acids (an underestimate) there are 20(100*473) = 1061490 unique amino acid combinations possible. Studies on the protein folding suggest that one can generate a unique structure by using a binary code for amino acids (hydrophilic and hydrophobic). If that were universally true (a vast simplification) then the number of amino acid combinations drops to 247300 = 1014190. Now let’s suppose the order of the genes does not matter. There are 473! (= 3 x 101061) unique gene orders. This then reduces the number of amino acid combinations to 1013129. If one says all circular permutations of each sequence are viable there would be 100473 = 10946 combinations of various circular permutations. This further reduces the number of amino acid combinations to 1012183. Finally, if the directionality of the genes does not matter, there are 2473 = 10142 combinations. This lowers the unique amino acid combinations to 1012041 combinations.
This number is unimaginably huge! In 1938 astrophysicist Arthur Eddington estimated there are 1080 protons in the observable universe. If each proton in the universe contained a universe of sub-particles and those sub-particles contained a universe of sub-sub-particles, etc., one would have to go through 151 levels to get to 1012041. With these kind of numbers, holding that the first living cell appeared by chance is an untenable view. A much more reasonable view in given in Genesis, i.e., that God created the first living cell.
March 14, 2016
Yesterday was Trouble's due date. Around 5:00 AM she started having contractions and showed persistent nesting behavior. That lasted for about 3 hours at which time she stop having contractions and quieted down. Because we were expecting 9 puppies and this was Trouble's last litter, we took her to our vet for an emergency C-section. Our vets -- Nate and Jim Kirkpatrick of Associated Veterinary Clinic are wonderful people and were expecting that this might happen so they and their techs were ready. We found out there were actually 10 puppies!! However, one had died a day or two earlier and was starting to decompose. Eight of the remaining nine were out and crying for Mom quickly. The other puppy -- a blue girl -- was about 40% the size of the others. She required a lot of work to bring around. We took the puppies home and continued to pay special attention to the tiny blue girl. We put her on her mother as well as on Noche and Carmen and she seem to eat a little. We also fed her some nutriutional supplement on the end of our fingers plus tried some bottle feeding. By the evening she was on the decline starting to gasp for air. We put her in our oxygen chamber with a hot water bottle. But it didn't matter as she died about 2 AM.
All this made me think. It is truly amazing how these wonderful little animals can develop from a single cell to a loving dog. But death is a reality because of man's sin and part of man's sin is MY sin. So I have to bear some responsibility for the death of my sick puppy. I certainly prayed for her survival but sometimes God says no. I long for the day when all this sin and death is gone and joy will be eternal
March 11, 2016
Doug once again. Today was a bit too exciting. I had let Brady and Thunder outside for about 15 minutes. When I went to call them in there was no sign of them. I started looking and was shocked to see both dogs had broken through the ice on the pond. Both were struggling, especially Brady -- he could barely keep his head above water. I had to wade in the pond and get both dogs onto dry land. Brady was having trouble walking and was shivering. I got Brady into the dog bath and used warm water water on him. I then wrapped him in dryer-warmed towels. I did the same then with Thunder. When I got both boys into the kitchen I placed them before the fireplace while Cathy called the vet. We took Brady's temperature. It was not registering (thermometer documentation says it reads between 90 and 109). Took boys to vet where they received warm fluids. By the end of the day both dogs had fully recovered from this close call. We give thanks to God for saving them.
The next thing was Trouble's x-ray to count puppies. We exoected a large lttier because of her size but were shocked when the x-ray showed 9 puppies!!! We're monitoring her temperature to see when it drops to <98. I think we'll get Trouble's progesterone measured tomorrow as that should also help predict the whelping time. Since this is Trouble's final litter, we are going not let her have a long labor. If we don't start seeing puppies 2 hr after onset we're going to run her to the vet for a C-Section.
February 21, 2016
Doug again. A message from one of the owners of our dogs got me to thinking. I get really upset when I hear of how some dogs are mistreated, suffer and die. I know dogs are gifts from God to show us His love and yet they can suffer such terrible fate. How can that be? Then I remember how Jesus – the ultimate gift of love – suffered and died in the hands of man. At least I know why dogs can be treated the way they are. However understanding only magnifies the pain as I realize their suffering is due in part to MY sins.
February 16, 2016
Doug Ohlendorf here. I know blog is mainly for Cathy but I am compelled to write this. Yesterday we had to put down Tetris. Tetris is the little sable boy who saved our lives in a fire that destroyed our house nearly 8 years ago.
Tetris was not eating. To fight this we went through the normal progression – kibble to wet kibble, canned dog food, chicken & rice, hamburger, steak. Last Friday we took Tetris to our vet where a routine blood test revealed alarming results – severe anemia and very low white cell count. Our vet referred us to Vet Med Center at the U Friday night. They examined him and tested him over the weekend. On Monday we got the devastating news – Tetris had a systemic mast cell cancer. He had only days to live.
We brought Tetris home. He was EXTREMELY happy to be home. He smiled and wandered around his favorite places. He still would not eat and now would not drink. He didn’t seem to be in much pain. The U vet gave him a shot of something as we were leaving that helped. Cathy and I talked it over and knew what we had to do. I took off the rest of the day and that afternoon it was Tetris Day. We petted him, playedwith him, and let him see his buds. Late in the afternoon our vet came over. We had left the cannula in Tetris’s leg so the shot could easily be given. Tetris was lying in my lap and nearly sleeping while I petted him. Our vet gave the shot. I had hoped that there would be no real reaction, but Tetris gave a little start and looked at me before succumbing.
That reaction is haunting me. I know we did the right thing. We loved Tetris too much for him to suffer while untreatable cancer ate his insides. Yet that look… Was it merely surprise or betrayal? I can’t stand the thought that Tetris left this world thinking his Daddy had betrayed him. I hope that he has now forgiven me and is playing with Power and Crystal and Keith. I won’t know this for sure until much later and have to live with the uncertainty for now.
December 21, 2015
I am Dr. Cathy Ohlendorf. I am a retired senior whose physical limitations keep me from running on a dog agility course or in the show ring. My husband Dr. Doug Ohlendorf and I own KeDiOs Shelties. We have a large number of very well bred and smart shelties, many of them retired champions, who love agility. I want to do agility with these dogs. After all I am not the one who has to jump hurdles, climb the A frame or crawl through the tunnels! This blog is for people who have disabilities and want to participate in dog sports with their dog. You are not alone. You can do it and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gives you the right to participate. You may have to do it differently depending on what your specific needs are. My purpose in writing this blog is 2-fold:
1. to offer anyone interested the benefit of learning from my mistakes (lots of mistakes) along the way and to offer encouragement
2. to help educate the fancy with respect to ADA and some problems I have encountered along the way.
For background on Doug and me go to About us.