I just found two more lumps on Arran. They’re probably mast cell tumors. This has been an ongoing problem with Arran, who got his first one in 2015 and had another one removed in January. Zane also had MCTs before he finally graduated to lymphoma and passed away in 2019. Anyway, I am reminded of a book I read in December 2016 to keep my hopes up. I’m reposting it for those who might find it useful. It appears as/is.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been processing the news that my sweet beagle, Zane, has mast cell cancer. My other dog, Arran, also had a mast cell tumor removed and there’s been no recurrence so far. I’m not sure we’ll be as lucky with Zane. I have a lot of anxiety about my dogs and life in general. When I’m faced with a problem like this, I usually go hunting for information. In my quest for information, I ran across a book called The Dog Lived (and So Will I): A Memoir.
Written by twice divorced California lawyer Teresa Rhyne, this is a book about a dog named Seamus who had an aggressive mast cell tumor. The dog eventually recovered from the tumor. Then Teresa found a lump in her breast that was cancerous. Rhyne turned her odyssey into a successful blog and then wrote her book, which was originally published in 2012. I will admit that I decided to download the book because I was looking for a hopeful story. In Rhyne’s book, I did find some hope.
At the beginning of the book, Rhyne is coming back from a trip to Ireland, where she’d gone to see relatives. She had just been through her second divorce and lost her two dogs within months of each other. She’s overwhelmed and depressed, but looks amazing. Rhyne explains that when the chips are down, she ups her personal grooming. It’s like an armor she wears to help her bring her “A game”.
Rhyne has an irreverent sense of humor and writes about how much she enjoyed her Irish relatives tendency to use the f word liberally. When she met Seamus, a dog who seemed to need her as much as she needed him, she was reminded of her irreverent relatives. Although Seamus proves to be a challenge to train, they become a pair. And then Rhyne starts a new relationship with a man named Chris, twelve years her junior.
This book is part dog story and part love story, with a healthy sprinkling of medical and veterinary drama thrown in. Rhyne adds her interesting sense of humor and the compelling stories of how she and her dog both battled cancer and annoying doctors, and both survived. It’s probably just the kind of book I should be reading right now. Thanks to Rhyne’s way with words, I managed to get through this book quickly and effortlessly. I related to her story and admire how she’s turned her experiences into a new career. After the success of her first book, Rhyne wrote another. She now does public speaking and continues to rescue dogs.
As for us and our situation with Zane, I’m not really sure what’s going to happen. His tumor was not as aggressive as Seamus’s was. We live in a different country and Zane is a bit older and grayer. At this point, I’m more inclined to work hard to give him a great quality of life rather than put him through multiple surgeries and chemotherapy.
I have to admit, though, that reading about Seamus was inspiring. Rhyne’s story about her breast cancer was also interesting, even if it left me checking my boobs. I was impressed the most by Rhyne’s loyal and long suffering boyfriend, Chris, who was apparently Teresa’s rock. To be honest, Rhyne comes across as somewhat self-absorbed, although I figure she’s also pretty genuine. I’d much rather deal with someone genuine but somewhat unlikable over someone who’s fake.
Anyway… I would recommend The Dog Lived (and So Will I) to interested readers. I give it four stars out of five.
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Today I reposted a 2017 era article from my original Blogspot version of The Overeducated Housewife blog. That post was written in a time of blissful ignorance of what awaited the world just three years later. In 2017, I was inspired by reading about young people who were critically ill and forced to accept medical care decisions thrust upon them by older people. Most of the cases of the youngsters in that post suffered from cancers of some kind, but a couple of them had other medical problems.
In several cases, the young patients’ parents were religious or wanted to try a more “natural” approach to healthcare. The parents were taken to task by medical professionals who wanted to override their decisions. In one case, the patient was a 17 year old young man who was deemed mature. He didn’t like the chemotherapy that was prescribed to treat his Hodgkin’s Disease, so he tried to refuse it. Doctors sought to force submission by legal means. In the end, the young man’s case was the inspiration for “Abraham’s Law” in Virginia, which allows older teenagers and their parents to refuse medical care or choose alternative therapies.
It amazes me now to read about these controversial cases involving young people, especially given that COVID-19 wasn’t on the radar at the time. Nowadays, the term “medical freedom” is a hot topic, as people fight over whether or not vaccinations against the coronavirus should be mandatory for all who can safely take it. On one hand, there’s a group of people who want to be able to make all medical and healthcare choices for themselves, although a lot of the people in the anti-vaccine group curiously draw the line at abortions for other people. On the other hand, there’s a large group of people who fear the rapidly spreading COVID virus that has, so far, killed over 650,000 Americans and well over four million people worldwide. That group believes that people should be required to get vaccinated.
Although I am all for vaccination and I do believe that the vaccines are saving lives, there is a part of me that empathizes with those who don’t want to be forced to take it. I don’t think it’s smart to skip the vaccines. Many of the arguments I’ve heard against the vaccines seem to be mostly based on misinformation and conspiracy theories. A lot of people worry that there will be terrible side effects to the vaccines. Or they know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy whose balls shriveled up and fell off after the first shot. Personally, I think those arguments are pretty lame. But I also genuinely don’t like the idea of forcing people to do things. I wish those kinds of rules weren’t necessary, and more people would cooperate simply because it’s the right thing to do.
And I’ve also read about many conservative radio talk show hosts who have either gotten very sick from COVID or have actually died. There was a news story just this morning about a conservative talk show host named Bob Enyart, who had spread false information about COVID-19. He got sick and died. Enyart was vehemently against vaccine and mask mandates, and last year, he successfully sued the state of Colorado over mask mandates and capacity limits in churches. Enyart was all about making choices for his own health, but as a very vocal opponent of abortion, he apparently didn’t mind making healthcare choices for other people.
Curiously enough, Enyart was a Christian pastor, and he once gleefully read the names and obituaries of people who had died of AIDS while he played “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen. What a charming man… huh? As Mr. Enyart was the 5th conservative radio talk show host to die of COVID in the past six weeks, perhaps the Queen song is appropriate theme for him and his ilk.
This morning, I ran across an interesting thread in the Duggar Family News Group. Someone, yet again, compared the COVID vaccine and mask mandates to seatbelt laws.
I have mentioned before that I don’t think the COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates are the same as seatbelt laws. I mean, yes, I can see how people would make the comparison, but I don’t think it’s a very accurate one. When I was a child, I hated seatbelts and would only wear them if I was forced to… and generally that only happened when my dad was feeling controlling. In those days, a lot of people didn’t wear seatbelts. They weren’t as comfortable as they are today. Thankfully, as time has passed, the technology behind them has improved. I doubt we will ever be rid of the damned things. In any case, seatbelts are kind of different from masks and vaccines, as they don’t involve being injected into someone’s body, nor do they impact normal living and communicating as much as face masks do. You only wear them in the car. They don’t interfere with speaking, hearing, seeing, eating, or breathing.
And before anyone tries to tell me that masks don’t impede breathing, let me just stop you right there. I know they don’t. But some people do find wearing them oppressive, and the anxiety that comes from that might impede breathing. There are some people who can’t wear them for whatever reason… not too many, I will admit, but there are some. Likewise, some people can’t wear seatbelts for whatever reason. A lot of times, the reason has to do with being very obese, but sometimes it’s because of an injury or an occupation.
The point is, I don’t think seatbelts will ever go away. However, many of us hope the masks will go away, if and when the pandemic ends. Personally, I don’t see the pandemic ending happening unless a lot more people get vaccinated. But even though I think vaccines are an excellent idea and I would strongly encourage people to get the shot(s), I also feel uncomfortable with government mandates on things like medical care. Because, there are people who can’t or shouldn’t get vaccinations, for whatever reason. I also understand that some people are genuinely concerned about government overreach. Their concern isn’t entirely unfounded, although some of the arguments I’ve read are pretty ridiculous.
One thing I don’t think is helpful, though, is being rude and insulting to those who disagree. I don’t like the dogpile approach to trying to change minds, either. The above photo was shared in the Duggar Family News group, and it did invite contention. One woman posted this:
I remember when this page was about snarking on fundamentalist Christian families on television rather than promoting the divide of human kind based on personal choices they make for what they put in their own bodies.
That comment led to this response…
The original poster was offended by the image. She expressed her dismay that a total stranger would wish death on her. Then, a big, long thread of comments ensued, with the vast majority of people name-calling, hurling insults, being sarcastic, and typing “all knowing” responses at the original poster. Her response, rather than being convinced, was to dig in her heels and respond in kind. Then, she either got booted from the group, or left on her own accord.
So… what exactly was accomplished by this contentious exchange? Not much, that I can see. I think a more respectful and friendly dialogue might have done more to foster group harmony. Maybe no one’s mind would have changed, but at least there would be listening and constructive communication going on, rather than flaming and hair flip rage exits. No matter what, I don’t think it’s appropriate to wish death on people simply because they disagree with you. On the other hand, I do understand the sentiment and the frustration behind such responses. I will also admit to occasionally being a hypocrite when I get pushed too far. I’m human, after all. I do try not to start out with abuse and insults, though.
I have never liked “nannyism”, especially in laws. However, I understand why “nanny” laws are often necessary. Many people, when left to their own devices, will not do things that are in their own or the public’s best interests. I have always hated wearing seatbelts myself, but I do understand why they’re necessary. I also have a husband who will turn into Pat Boone if I don’t wear one. So I do comply with that rule.
Even though I fucking hate face masks, I comply with that rule, too. However, I hope someday it will no longer be necessary. And I had no issues whatsoever with getting vaccinated against COVID, because as a student of public health, I know the theories behind vaccines and have seen concrete evidence that most of them work. That doesn’t mean I’m not open to learning new information, nor does it mean I’m not aware of potential risks from certain vaccines.
Below is advice given to people during the Spanish Flu pandemic. I agree with most of it, although I don’t think it matters whether or not someone “obeys cheerfully”, as long as they are compliant.
My late beagle, Zane, was a prime example of a dog who didn’t do well with vaccines. He had mast cell cancer (immune system cancer) that eventually progressed to lymphoma. He was allergic to at least one vaccination, and would get tumors when he had others. I actually think some people over-vaccinate their pets, and some of the encouragement to vaccinate is due to the revenue vaccines generate. Dogs with mast cell tumors should not get any unnecessary vaccines. I’m a little concerned about Arran, because he is due for a rabies shot next month, and the rabies shots can stimulate mast cell tumors. Arran has also had mast cell tumors, though not to the same severity Zane had. Because of Zane, I have some sympathy for people who are against vaccines, even though I think their reasoning is wrong in most instances. We don’t vaccinate people like we do pets, anyway. We certainly don’t get as many shots as they do.
Although I do believe in vaccine efficacy, I am not one to run out and demand the latest and greatest shots, nor do I get every vaccine available. For instance, I’ve never in my life had a flu shot. I would get them if I spent more time around other people, though. COVID-19 is different, at least right now. There’s hope that the virus will eventually weaken and become less dangerous, as flu mostly did. But at this point, it’s not getting better. Many people are getting sick and dying, and from what I’ve read, COVID-19 is a pretty nasty way to go.
I do think sometimes we need laws to protect ourselves and each other from those who lack insight, perspective, and wisdom. On the other hand, I agree that people should be free to make choices, whenever possible. Either way, medical freedom doesn’t do a damned bit of good to anyone who is dead. So I do hope that those who are against vaccines will wise up and get with the program. I understand wanting to wait and see how other people do with the shots, but time is running out… I have read too many sad stories about people who waited too long and got sick. There are too many stories about orphaned children, and bereaved spouses, siblings, and parents. And too many people are becoming downright mean and NASTY toward total strangers. I wish we’d all remember that when it comes down to it, we’re in a community. And being in a healthy community requires compassion, responsibility, and solidarity.
That being said… sometimes people DO need protection from crazy beliefs. Case in point, an old Mr. Atheist video I came across yesterday. Religion and politics make people do stupid things, even to their children. So while I am mindful of the so-called slippery slope when it comes to government overreach, I also think some people need to be saved from “freedumb” ideas.
As I try to figure out what today’s topic will be, here’s a repost from March 23, 2012. I am reposting this because it was a very popular post for years and got 26 comments. Sometimes, I’m amazed by what topics people think are interesting. Some of my most mundane blog posts get thousands of views, while the ones I think are especially interesting get ten hits. Go figure. I am reposting this as/is, so pretend it’s 2012.
I’ve had dogs for a good portion of my life. I’ve also always loved to go barefoot. Somehow, despite these two truths, it wasn’t until recently that I experienced my first “dog hair splinter”. In the last two days alone, I’ve had two of them. I walk around on the bare floor and suddenly feel a sharp pain in my foot, almost like I’ve stepped on a glass shard. I sit down and look at the sole of my foot. There it is. A long white dog hair. I pull on it and out it comes. Instant relief! Isn’t it odd that stepping on something as innocuous as a hair can hurt so much?
I wondered if I was the only one who ever experienced this phenomenon. I did an Internet search and, lo and behold, there were several Yahoo! Answers and messageboard posts about people who had gotten dog hairs stuck in their bare feet. Apparently, it’s an occupational hazard for people who groom dogs professionally. The risk of a nasty dog hair splinter is a good reason to avoid wearing sandals while washing canines.
It’s hard to believe I lived so many years without ever bearing the pain of a hair so sharp it sticks in the tough, callused, soles of my feet. You learn something new every day, I guess…
Who knew this little cutie pie could hurt me so much with just one hair? I should mention that Zane is the only one of my dogs whose hair ever got lodged in my feet.
knottyDecember 14, 2013 at 2:10 AM Funny because I have had dogs most of my life and that was the first time. It’s happened more times since then and I get a lot of hits on this blog from people looking for info on dog hair splinters!
Bad DogNovember 20, 2015 at 5:57 PM Happens to me all the time, never happened to my husband, he’s seen me tweeze them out so he knows it’s true, but he said he’d never heard of it happening before and blames my weird dog (black lab velcro dog) who he’s always claimed is an alien pretending to be a dog lol he says she’s trying to get a tracker in me so she knows where I am at all times. Who knows? He has got a PhD so he might be right 🙂
UnknownFebruary 23, 2014 at 2:19 AM I too suffer from these painful hairs. I’ve got 4 Boxers and I get them every now and again. I just had one that I coukdn’t locate until I started to dig and there it was, tucked all the way into the skin…it was there for 3 days, I just couldn’t find till now. Nice little hole I now have in my sole. So relieved I’m not the only one this happens to, because my family thinks I’m nuts! 🙂
UnknownDecember 22, 2014 at 7:15 PM Omg! I’m so glad I seen this! I thought I was the only one! Haha. And my family thought I was crazy when I told them about it. My boyfriend asked if I was sure it wasn’t a piece of my own hair. I said nope! It was a coarse white piece of dog hair stuck in my foot! And it began to get infected, I had to pull it out and clean it up with some rubbing alcohol. Blah!
knottyJune 15, 2015 at 6:50 AM Since I wrote this, it’s happened a few more times. I get a lot of hits on this post. It’s evidently a very common problem that no one ever talks about.
UnknownSeptember 5, 2015 at 12:49 PM I just dug a hair from our dog out of my husbands foot. I’m not sure how long it was in his foot but it was infected. Once I finally got the skin open pus came out. One little black dog hair was sitting there. My husband is a diabetic and the hair created a 2or3 cm deep hole in his foot.
AlexisAROctober 27, 2015 at 4:28 AM i almost never go barefoot and don’t even wear sandals except to get in the pool, so I’ve never experiences the phenomenon. Our dogs are golden retrievers, although we don’t know how pure their bloodlines are since they were pound puppies. I don’t know if golden retriever hairs hurt more or less than other dogs’ hair.
knottyOctober 27, 2015 at 7:45 AM I am barefoot all the time. This has only happened to me a couple of times. I am shocked by how many people find this blog because of this post. I had no idea it was such a prevalent problem.
MPavsweetNovember 8, 2015 at 8:21 AM I went to work tonight and after my shift I felt like a had glass in my foot. Got home found I had a black pinprick spot on my foot, had to use tweezers to get it out. oMG it hurt like hell. It was so long too! It was all curled up in there. 😭
UnknownNovember 16, 2015 at 3:59 PM My husband doesn’t believe me when I tell him about this happening. Growing up, we had a Boxer and my mom and I were constantly getting hair splinters! Now my husband and I have a sweet Catahula baby and it has happened twice to me. He never goes barefoot, so he has no idea of the pain.
herald manJune 5, 2016 at 9:30 PM I have got a yellow labrador and twice i have had a course hair go into my foot,once into my heel this one went straight in and felt like i was treading on a needle when i walked,had a look and was amazed when i saw it there,the next one went in under my little toe and hurt like a paper cut does it was there for a fortnight until i got my wife to look and she dug it out with a needle then pulled the 3cm hair out with tweezers it was totally in the skin .
UnknownSeptember 19, 2016 at 12:25 PM this has happened to me also and I couldn’t understand it. WTF, I have my Dog’s hair trying to grow into my foot, unbelievable! At least now I know that I’m not the only one, thank you everyone!
NTDecember 13, 2016 at 5:55 PM This happened to me this morning!! So awful. This is my first dog. He is a half chihuhua, half Jack Russel. So cute! So smart. But I had a stabbing pain in my foot. I finally looked, and there was a 1.5 cm white hair stuck in my foot like a needle. I pulled it out. Now I am scared, my husband is a type one diabetic, this can’t happen to him. Worried! The pup isn’t even a year old. I bathed him yesterday, I guess I really mussed up the fur. 🙁 🙁 🙁
NTDecember 13, 2016 at 6:08 PM Does anyone have advice? How do I prevent this from happening again? I bathed the dog yesterday. It’s freezing outside, so I was towel drying him indoors. I was roughing up his fur. What do I do? My foot still hurts. I can handle this but this could permanently hurt my husband. Advice? Help?
UnknownJuly 23, 2017 at 1:37 AM HAHA! Same thing happened to me today. Had to google it to make sure I wasn’t crazy. My pup actually looks a lot like yours!
knottyJuly 23, 2017 at 7:10 AM It happened to my husband the other day for the first time. It amazes me how many people have this happen and show up on my blog.
UnknownMarch 22, 2018 at 2:45 AM I have had one be there just thetiotand pull it out.. however recently I felt a sharp pain n looked didn’t see anything wasn’t hurting so I went on about my day and now a weeklaterwmy foots all swollen and it feels as if I have a splinter it’s very painful butitsbu actually imbedded itself in my foot.everyone in my family picks on me neverhavinev heard of such a thing.
Next week at this time, if all goes well, we will have a new family member to welcome. As I write this, our new dog’s rescuer is in Kosovo, getting several dogs bound for Germany vet checked. Next weekend, we plan to drive to Slovenia to pick up Noizy. He’s a big boy… bigger than any other dog we’ve had so far. I am a little apprehensive about how Arran will react to him, and how Noizy will adapt to us. But not counting the unfortunate dog that we failed to adopt in the spring, he will be our sixth rescue, and the only one who isn’t a beagle mix of some kind.
I don’t know if I ever mentioned this before, but our dog, Arran, was adopted once before we took him from Triangle Beagle Rescue out of North Carolina, which was where we lived when he joined the family in January 2013. Arran’s predecessor, MacGregor, had died a week before Christmas in 2012. We usually get new dogs soon after losing one. This past year with just Arran in the house is unusual for us.
Until a couple of days ago, I knew very little about the people who had taken Arran before we did. We were told that his first family lived in Charlotte, North Carolina. They were a couple, and the female half was an attorney. They kept him for about nine months before they returned him to the rescue. Apparently, his separation anxiety was more than they could handle. Or, at least I think that was what we were told. We were also told that they called him Marley.
Arran and Zane got along pretty well. They were about the same size and close in age. Both liked to play. Since I stay home most of the time, we never had any really serious problems with Arran and separation anxiety. In fact, I’d say he’s probably been one of the easiest dogs we’ve had yet. Zane was also pretty easy, once we got him housebroken and he quit chewing everything up. Zane was a year old when we got him, while Arran was about four.
Anyway, I happened to run across a blog post written by the guy who was fostering Arran, at that time called CD, when the first couple took him. He included a picture of the couple, along with their first names. They’d also had a female beagle named Sydney. From that post, it wasn’t hard at all to find the couple all over the Internet. They are quite different than Bill and I are.
I would guess that the couple is quite a bit younger than we are. When they adopted Arran, they weren’t married, but I soon found a wedding site for them from 2015. The photographer mentioned that their dog was involved with the wedding, too. I’m assuming that was Sydney.
They are Black, and very attractive. Indeed, the wife is a lawyer, while I’m not sure what the husband does. She’s very active in her community and does African dance. He looks like he’s a lot of fun. I found many photos of them dressed up as if they were going to costume parties.
I got the sense that this couple isn’t home much, mainly because they appeared to be busy. I also found out that last year, the wife had a daughter. I guess I can see why Arran didn’t work out for them. He’s probably a little too needy.
I look at Arran and see how much he likes to snuggle with us, especially Bill. I see how even at his now advanced age, he occasionally has accidents in the house. For example, this morning, he left us a nice pile in the living room. Sometimes, I still find wet spots on one of my favorite rugs, although he’s gotten much better in the past year. I know how he vocalizes when I pet him in certain areas, sounding like he’s having an orgasm. He’s not been as noisy since we lost Zane. Zane would often get him riled up. But he’s not totally quiet, either. He also has a little bit of a temper, although he’s generally very sweet, lovable, and agreeable.
People often criticize folks who rehome their pets. In fact, I remember the couple who fostered Arran when we took him (different than the guy who blogged) were kind of disgusted with Arran’s original family. They kept him for nine months and the decision to bring him back to the rescue probably was traumatic for him. He has always been a very sensitive dog who needs reassurance that he’s secure. But when I see how much Arran adores us both, especially Bill, and how happy he is now, I realize that the decision to surrender Arran was probably one of kindness. I also appreciate that they were good enough to bring him back to the rescue, as they agreed when they adopted him, rather than giving him to someone else, ditching him at a shelter, or turning him loose in the woods.
I was also kind of surprised by how easy it was to find these folks, just based on a photo, first names, and a city location. I know a lot more about them than I probably should… but then, I guess people know a lot more about me than they should, too.
I’m so glad we have Arran. I hope he and his new brother will get along. It’ll be a big adjustment, especially since the new dog is a big boy, quite young, and will have to be trained. But at least it’ll give me something constructive to do as COVID-19 ramps up again in Europe. Hopefully, he and Arran will get along and Arran can teach him a few tricks.
I still really miss Zane, but I don’t miss seeing him sick. I like to think the dogs who have gone to the Rainbow Bridge inspire the next ones who come into our lives. Maybe that seems a little ridiculous, but I like to imagine it. There were many days when Zane reminded me so much of his predecessor, Flea, who was probably the only purebred beagle we’ve had.
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