Thanks to your generous support, Bryson's made it to the 2011 Corgis (with Blogs) Calendar as Mr. March, yay!
And check out the cover boy, Gibson, whose mommy Kelly is the mastermind behind this project. If you go through her blog, you can see how much work she's put in to the creation of this calendar- and she isn't making a dime from it- 100% of the profits go to corgi rescue. What a way to give back to the corgi community. You go, Kelly!
But to be perfectly honest, it is not without some mixed emotions as I look at Bryson as Mr. March in this calendar...
As some of you know, Bryson has been diagnosed with Addison's Disease for a little over a year now, just before Eva was born. It must have been such a tumultuous year for him- being demoted in the pack, having to deal with a condition where you have no ability to fight off stress (a baby in the house probably doesn't help with that), and despite being constantly medicated having flare-up's every so often that results in spectacular episodes of bloody diarrhea (not pretty, definitely not calendar material).
Below is the Percoten shot I have to give him every 25 days, it's a subcutaneous injection (just under the skin) between his shoulder blades. Without this he wouldn't be able to regulate his electrolytes, and he could die from it (as he almost did last year). In addition, we give him a daily dose of prednisone to simulate the body's normal response to stress. But since we can't always predict what stressful event happen in the day, it seems like we're always playing catch up.
As I looked over his photos this past year while choosing ones to submit to the calendar, I was shocked when I realize I hadn't noticed (a) we have so few pictures of him (Eva is a show-stealer); and (b) he looks like he has aged 10 years in this short year. This is when I realize this disease has really taken a toll on him, and I felt so guilty that we hadn't spent more time helping him get healthier this past year... I bawled my eyes out while scratching his head next to my feet.
So, over this past holiday weekend, I've made a resolution to myself and to Bryson, that this coming year we'll try our best to do whatever it takes to get him back on the healthy path again.
I started by finally making him an appointment to this naturopathic vet that our neighbor recommended. I know, it sounds hocus pocus, but I'm a firm believer (being a pharmacist) that there are limitations in allopathic ("regular") medicine, especially when it comes to these chronic immune-related diseases that there's so little it can offer other than treating its symptoms. Don't get me wrong, I don't believe in ditching his life-saving medicines, but I do believe that there are other ways that you can help coax the body to restore (or at least move towards) its balance. Sounds philosophical, but reading Dr. Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats (he's considered the grandfather of naturopathic veterinarian medicine), it helps me understand small changes in their lifestyle can amount to big improvements in their health.
This naturopathic vet is so popular (I think someone in her practice consults with the Oakland Zoo), that our first appointment isn't till October. They told me to prepare for a review of history at this first visit, and potentially treatment at the time if deemed appropriate, which could include *gasp* doggie acupuncture *gasp*. I'd love to tell you how that goes and have a picture of Bryson the pincushion posted on the blog when it happens. And that one probably won't make the calendar, either.
Wish us luck!