Saturday, May 31, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
—“The Road Not Taken” (1920) Robert Frost
We’d like to thank the many people who have posted with questions about Murphy. And a very big thanks to Lori for all the great blogs she’s posted to keep us up on the comings and goings of our favorite travelers. (We never did hear the score on the golf game, though!)
We know that many of you are waiting, just as we are, to hear about Murphy's biopsy test results that were due to arrive some time ago. We're not sure when they'll be ready, but you can be certain we'll share the news once we have some to pass along.
Because of the high volume of traffic on the roads during Memorial Day weekend, The Big Dog decided to get some solo holiday hiking done. Hudson and Murphy stayed with their new friends Lori and Silas while Luke hiked alone, ending his day pitching a tent at a park near Harmony Hill, Texas. (Sounds like a lovely place to rest one's weary head.) As of Monday evening, he had a nice campfire going and, despite missing his Boys, was enjoying his time under the wide-open Texas sky. His plan was to head out on the road again Tuesday morning, while the Boys stayed together with Lori and Silas.
In the meantime, as Luke is closing in on the city of Texarkana, big plans are being made for Saturday, June 7th. That's the date when The Big Dog will likely be crossing over into Arkansas, the second state along this 2,000+ mile journey. Such a momentous occasion truly calls for a celebration! We’ll be providing more details as they come in, so please keep checking back. Meanwhile, if you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/2DogsDaily/, a great daily email sent out thanks to the hard work of Donna and Kathy, who keep in regular touch with Luke and the Boys. Well, as regular as cell signals permit.
Please keep Luke, Hudson, and Murphy in your thoughts while they await the results of Murphy’s tests.
Special thanks to Donna and her 2 dogs 2 day updates for the content of this blog.
Grateful thanks to Murphy’s guest family, Lori and Silas, for giving Murphy a safe and loving place to stay and recuperate, and for taking such good care of Hudson and Luke too.
It is not so much our friends' help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us.
— Epicurus, Ancient Greek Philosopher —3rd century BCE
Monday, May 26, 2008
May 16, 2008 Silas and Luke took Murphy to the vet (Van Zandt Animal Hospital and Resort) for the biopsy. Luke and Silas returned to the ranch as it would be a long day. We always knew our vet was good, and once again they amazed us with there level of service. Knowing that Silas is technologically advanced, (ok he's a geek), and used to be a surgical tech; they activated the web cam in the operating room. Luke couldn't watch, but seemed comforted that Silas was able to keep an eye on his boy, and give him updates. Because they know I am super mom, and the procedure went well, Murphy got to come home the same day. He now has pain meds added to the antibiotics and rimadyl. Thank goodness for peanut butter. Murphy never even knows there are pills there. SLURP and they are gone. YUM lip smacking good!
May 15, 2008 The call from A & M said that a bone biopsy is needed. An appointment is set for Friday May 16th. To say the least everyone is quiet and feeling kind of lost. Leave it to Murphy to save us from ourselves. There is a strange scrapping and grunting noise coming from the dining room. It’s Murphy pushing his bowl around the room trying to get that last little morsel. His cute face pops up to see what we’re looking at, and he has food on his nose and the biggest smile. We all laughed till we cried. If that isn’t a good commercial for dog food, I don’t know what is. Time for another nap! Yeah Papa is here to hold me!
May 14, 2008 cont. Never missing an opportunity to make a friend, Hudson met a cute terrier girl. Even got a kiss. The huge Great Dane sitting on his mom’s lap wasn’t interested in kissing. By looking at the x-rays all we know is that the lump on Murphy’s left front leg has grown. Now we wait for a call from A & M.
May 14, 2008 cont. Finally about 2 o’clock the water recedes and we are on our way to Van Zandt Veterinary and Resort Center in Wills Point. Kipp Wingo, DVM examined Murphy and took the time to go over the x-rays with Luke before over night shipping them to Texas A&M. Hudson waits in the lobby for what seems like forever.
May 14, 2008 Talk about trials! It’s time to take Murphy to the vet for x-rays and it’s raining so hard that the road is flooded and impassable. The morning appointment has been changed to an afternoon appointment and we wait for the water to go down. While we wait Luke decides to be “MacGyver” using a small hand tool and cutting away a fallen tree in knee deep fast moving water. When the rescue helicopter flew over looking for a woman that placed a 911 call about being stuck in fast moving water, he decided to return to the safety of the house and continue the wait. Hudson entertains us by playing with a little santa hat that is his "puppy". Tossing and chasing, it's obvious Hudson has his favorite toy. Thankfully it's small and light weight. Did you see a dove?
May 13, 2008 After spending a day settling in learning feeding and medication instructions, it was time for Luke and Hudson to return to the trail minus one. Teary eyes and heavy hearts were bravely over come to take that first walk as just two. I am sure it is much harder on Luke and Hudson than it is on Murphy. At least he has air conditioning, a soft bed, and a family to love on him. Still, occasionally he can be found gazing out the front window watching for "Papa" to return. We send frequent text messages letting Luke know what Murphy is doing to try and ease the separation. Hudson seems to be having the most trouble. Luke says he displays his separation anxiety by pouting in the corner of the tent.
May 12, 2008 Greetings from Camp Lacy! Let us tell you about the latest blessing that God has brought to us. VIA an email from SPIN (Saving Pyrenees In Need) we discovered Luke, Murphy and Hudson were in need of help. It turned out to be the help we could offer. A safe place for Murphy to recuperate, a vet who understands the special needs of Great Pyrenees, three rescued pyrs to play with, (Samson is 160 lbs, Delilah is 125 lbs, and Thor is 97 lbs), fenced in acreage, and enough love to go around. So after a few phone calls and prayers we drove to Palestine, TX on Mother's Day to pick up Luke and "The Boys". We knew there was plenty of work ahead of us with caring for Murphy, playing with Hudson, vet visits, transporting to and from the walking route, and trying to get Luke to eat. What we didn't know was how fast they all would become dear family members. Hudson immediately jumped into our arms and hearts with his exuberance. Murphy melted our hearts with his beautiful eyes and perfectly curled eyelashes any girl would want. Luke's every thought and action is about his boy's welfare, his quest, and spreading the message.
Introductions went well. Samson has decided that he will protect Murphy and enjoy Hudson. Delilah likes to play and nap with anyone that Samson approves. Thor and Murphy are turning into bestest buddies. Since Thor is going through heartworm treatment and is recently neutered, we have decided to keep him and Hudson apart. Thor needs to keep quiet and isn't ready for puppy play. Amazingly, everyone is perfectly happy. We are already experiencing the blessings of having a bigger family.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
In this blog, we'd like to introduce you to Jody Chiquoine, canine clinical rehab consultant to Luke and The Boys. Jody has been a registered nurse for over 30 years, and holds a Masters Degree in Nursing as a F amily Nurse Practitioner with expertise in rehabilitation, cancer care, geriatrics and surgery.
More importantly to canine issues, she is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist and a member of the American Canine Sports Medicine Association. She has completed canine rehabilitation courses with the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in Loxahatchie, Florida, the NorthEast Seminars/University of Tennessee Veterinary
School and attends the International Canine Rehabilitation Conferences.
Additionally, Jody has completed courses in canine massage, acupressure, Tellington Touch® and the Basic
Science Course for Animal Physical Therapists offered by the American Physical Therapy Association, Orthopedics Division.
Here's how she became involved with Luke, Hudson, and Murphy, and 2dogs2000miles.
I became extremely interested in 2dogs2000miles when I heard that Luke Robinson and his two Great Pyrenees were walking 2400 miles from Austin, Texas to Boston, Massachusetts for this unique cancer cause. My interest was in part because I own a business, Fitter Critters (http://www.fittercritters.org/), in Western Massachusetts that specializes in canine rehabilitation, fitness, and hydrotherapy.
Also, I own three Great Pyrenees dogs, Gaston, Gentille, and Bella (pictured with Jody), and serve as the President for NorthEast Great Pyrenees Rescue (NEPR). On so many levels, it seemed Luke, the Boys and I were destined to meet!
The rehab and in-door swimming programs at Fitter Critters are focused on being certain that every dog reaches peak performance and the highest level of wellness possible. This is true whether a dog is a family pet recovering from surgery, a performance dog seeking to stay strong year-round, working or service dogs trying to reduce risk of injury while doing their jobs, a senior dog with arthritis needing to be more flexible or a young dog needing to lose weight.
Part of the Wellness Programs at Fitter Critters includes teaching Canine Massage and Pet First Aid Courses. In fact, our new book, co-authored with Linda Jackson, is called A Dog Lover's Guide to Canine Massage and explains to owners the value of canine massage and stretching.
Peak performance, injury prevention, massage/stretching, conditioning, and understanding Great Pyrenees dogs are all extremely important on a venture such as Luke, Murphy and Hudson are undertaking. With this in mind, I thought I might be in a unique position to help, and so I contacted Luke to see if I could offer any assistance. We had so much to talk about in our first conversation that we talked for almost 3 hours and felt like kindred spirits!
As a result, I am thrilled to serve as a canine clinical rehab consultant to The Boys and we stay in regular contact. Luke has an electronic copy of our new canine massage book and uses the massage and stretching techniques with Murphy and Hudson. Luke would like to teach the Boys how to massage him but we have not Pyr-fected that yet!!
In addition, I work with Mark Vogel, a Board member with NorthEast Pyr Rescue to answer questions about Great Pyrenees dogs as this relates to their journey. Any questions we can’t answer are fielded through the many experts within our NorthEast Pyr Rescue organization, and then Mark or I reply.
NEPR will also be escorting and supporting Luke once he reaches our region and we are planning large celebrations in Boston. If anyone wants to help NEPR plan 2dog2000mile events in our Region or desires more information about Great Pyrenees dogs, please go to our website: http://www.nepyresq.org/.
Luke and I share one more strong bond. My husband and I lost our beloved Pyr, Remy, to lymphoma two years ago — about the same time as Malcolm, Luke’s Pyr, died of osteosarcoma. The 2dogs2000mile walk for cancer is personal for me because Remy is on the 2dog2000mile Memorial and also on Luke’s T-shirt. So, Remy, like so many others, is making this trip with them.
For me, I do this for Remy. I do this for the many cancer patients I have worked with in the past. They remind me that, Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice that says, ‘I Will Try Again Tomorrow.’ Luke, Murphy and Hudson have this courage. All the resources I can muster will be there to help them succeed.
A special thanks to Jody for all the expertise she lends to 2dogs2000miles, and for the countless hours she dedicates to helping other dogs.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Thanks to NEPYRESQ and Sue for getting us "out there." And thanks, Janet, for telling us about it.
(Photos courtesy of Janet Graham.)
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Monday, I spoke with Greg and asked him how he became involved with Luke and the Boys. He explained that he and his family, some years ago, shed the trappings of what most of us would consider a comfortable life, to head out onto the open road and connect with one another and the world – to “work, learn and play together” -- Greg, his wife Jenn, their three kids, Kesley, Sunny, and Austin, their two dogs, Timon and Daisy, and their cat, Kiki, all in one RV. Now that’s family! After several satisfying years on the road, they returned to their Austin roots, but still enjoy their stuff-free lives, having discovered that less is, in matter of fact, more -- in many ways.
Through the tragic loss of their own dear friend Isaac to an aggressive form of cancer, Greg and his family wanted to do something to honor the once in a lifetime friendship both families had nurtured. They worked on several projects to honor their friend, and ultimately connected with Tripawds in Austin. There they met Luke and the Boys, and immediately hit it off. They discovered they not only had the open road in common, but more importantly, a deep philosophical connection. “You can’t measure the pain of loss” Greg told me. He saw in Luke a kindred spirit, willing to give up comfort and familiarity to strike out for something he believed in. “Loss is loss” Greg explained, whether it’s a dear friend, a treasured animal or a beloved family member. “Each of us has to find a way to deal with the loss, make sense of it, to do something with and about it.” Greg and Jenn understood this passion and commitment in Luke, who, like they and so many others, had lost someone they loved, earlier than they should have – “Outside of time,” Greg put it.
Through connections Greg has in the music industry, he, Jackie, Kathy, and others made the 2dogs - Texas Music Awards connection happen. Jackie got them in, got them badges, and skillfully managed to have Luke and the Boys strategically placed right where the award winners made their exit off the stage. No one wants to miss a photo-op, especially with the likes of Hudson and Murphy, so many of the stars were happy to walk with Luke and the Boys, especially after Luke explained the cause they were walking for. The highlights of those ‘walks’ are pictured here.
Greg summed it up like this: “We are totally and wholeheartedly inspired by Luke. He’s doing something that’s extremely important. We have a unique opportunity to raise awareness, is what it boils down to.
The Grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. -- Allan K. Chalmers
(Photos courtesy of Greg and Jenn. You’ll find more about their journeys at: http://www.barenakedfamily.com)
Thanks to Jackie Bryant, the Texas Music Awards, all the folks who walked with Luke and the Boys, and everyone who made the encounter possible.
In this bio-blog we feature Ariel. This is her story…
My name is Ariel and I live in Memphis, Tennessee. I am currently a high school senior and graduate May 25th. I am involved with 2dogs because I believe my baby boy Jiggs wanted me to help out with this journey. Jiggs was an incredible, sweet Keeshond that I rescued from my neighbor's backyard with the help of Mid-South Keeshond Rescue (http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/TN85.html). Even though I didn't lose Jiggs to cancer, there is a dog, Casper (see his brief bio below), who I helped rescue out of a local shelter here who is doing wonderfully. I manage Luke's MySpace page (http://blog.myspace.com/2dogs2000miles) while he is out walking, update the 2dogs MySpace blog, and am selling the puppy up! bracelets too.
I am an animal rescuer and I have been since I was 13. I did my silver and gold awards [Girl Scouts] on animal cruelty, humane education and pet adoption. Both these awards are the highest awards a girl can get at a certain age. For my silver I took my scout troop to the Memphis Humane Society and collected things for the Tipton County Animal Shelter. My gold award project was done during the 3rd Annual Tennessee Week for the Animals. I did humane education presentations at Munford High school. I also did a pet adoption event on September 30th at the Arlington, Tennessee Tractor Supply Company with Fresh Start Sheltie Rescue and Muttley Crue.
I have saved many dogs from shelters and placed them into new and loving homes. I am at adoption events every other weekend to help out Memphis Animal Shelter and Animal World USA (http://www.animalworldusa.org/ ). I am the Volunteer Coordinator for Animal World USA and I love it. Additionally, I was the first Tennessee Week for the Animals Volunteer of the year for 2005.
In the immediate future, I am planning to take a semester off after high school to get my feet under me. I will get a job somewhere that deals with animals. Eventually I hope to be going to the University of Memphis with a major in biology and then go on to vet school so I can become a shelter vet.
I believe I was born to help all the homeless babes in this world. I met Luke when Kathy told me that he needed someone to manage his MySpace page. I love doing it. It is such a wonderful feeling to be part of such a great cause.
About Casper: In March of 2005, Casper was sitting at the Tipton County Animal Shelter. When he was rescued, he had worms, parasites, Guardia, and was heartworm positive. He weighed 31 pounds when he should have weighed 60. However, after the intervention of many caring people and prevailing against all odds, Casper looked like he would be fine. Then he was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma. However, through heroic efforts on the part of many, and after surgery to remove the tumor, he was put on supplements and his diet was changed to raw. Casper has survived against all odds and, as Ariel reports, he is doing “wonderfully”! Congratulations to all involved in his rescue and recovery. He is now the “picture of perfect health, no tumors reoccurring, and a healthy 63 pounds.” Casper now belongs with Jeanna Scott and her family.
Special thanks to Ariel for taking time out of her hectic schedule to contribute to the 2dogs blog. And congratulations on your upcoming graduation!