Posted by: janetleigh | February 24, 2009

Rascal – the Comeback [fur]Kid!


Nine year history:
3 snake bites puncture his face
maybe in mouth, too


Insult injury-
wasp takes advantage hones in
zaps left anal sac.


Recovery takes time-
infections, drug overdose
stomach problem, blues.


One-year-old undergoes
first of many tumor scares,
comes back benign – whew!

Next tumor not so
lucky, it is cancerous-
our breath-holding starts.

Then the years go by
dreading inevitable
rounds of surgery.

Past history recalls
panic on discovery;
a mass uprising,

bump lump, plus twomore
on back chest side and one haunch-
question survival,

Rascal my furkid
under the knife yesterday
4 masses removed,

bold scars projected,
one three-inch and three two-inch,
closure with staples.

Rascal barks ouch! ouch!
groan moan shiver tremble too
and did I say OUCH!?!

I’m the Teflon Kid!
took on poopy mean Old Snake
Copperhead – and bee.

I’m the Teflon Kid!
have no doubt – made it through then
I’ll make it through NOW!

Rascal shows 4-squared
shaved, bald-spotted & bloody
patchwork of fur mess,

Rascal knows we look
past physical wreck outside-
look inside – that’s best.

King Rat Warrior,
Alpha Male personified
[a creampuff, really ;]

When it comes to all
fur kingdom’s best – Rascal rules
over all the rest.





  1. holy crispers!!! rascal has been thru the wringer a few times and sill looks none the worse for the ware… how are you holding up????

    You are such a sweetie for asking, Paisley {{{hugs}}}. I’m hanging in there. Rascal had a spell today when he first woke up. Like a dry hairball hack, rapid breathing, wouldn’t move, and the episode lasted for about 5 minutes. I was concerned and called the vet who recommended bringing him in for quick check-up, so I drove him to our vet 30 miles away to have him checked out. He had an echocardiogram before his surgery on Monday, which showed his heart was enlarged somewhat. I didn’t want to take any chances with Rascal today, the 3rd day after surgery. Hubbybubba is on a business trip and won’t be home until very late Friday night. I had only about 2-3 hours sleep last night and had to be very vigilant while driving. Aside from the increased respirations and heart beat of 168, he is recovering as well as can be expected. I learned how to give him CPR, and what to look for that warrants getting him to the Emergency Animal Hospital for immediate care. He’s such a trooper. I can’t stand seeing my furkid suffer; any animal for that matter.

    Oooh, here’s a good one. Last night I called our local Sheriff to come out to my area because I heard an animal shrieking outside after dark. I grabbed my stadium spotlight and went out to see if I could pinpoint the source of the sound. I walked to the end of my long driveway and trained my truck-sized, 20lb spotlight on the field across the street. I was getting crazy thinking a small deer or animal had been caught in a bear trap or something. I couldn’t see anything. Went inside, called my neighbor. She walked outside to have a listen and called me back and said yup it was an animal shrieking. She agreed it was a good idea to call the Sheriff, which I did. He said he’d send someone out to see if they could find the animal in distress. I stayed inside so I don’t know when the law got to the scene or how long they were out there looking. My neighbor called this afternoon and left a message on my phone tape; she mentioned the screaming animal to our other neighbor and he said it was owl-mating season and that’s probably what it was. *blush* I hope word of this doesn’t get back to the Sheriff or he’ll be pissed with me for wasting his time. But I swear it sounded like a shrieking, screaming animal being drawn and quartered. *laugh* My bad.. but I simply cannot ignore an animal in pain..:)

  2. A terrific tribute poem to the furkid, Rascal. They do become our children, and when they develop health issues, it is expensive, both emotionally and financially. So three cheers for the canine kid, and how lucky he is to have a Mom like you.


    You of all people know how I feel about my furkids, Glenn. And yes, we think of Rascal as our child and it breaks both our hearts to know he’s getting up in years and has health problems. We just learned in the last year that he has a 2-out-of-6 heart murmur, nevertheless, we are surprised to hear he also has an enlarged heart. It was discovered on Rascal’s pre-op echocardiogram. I don’t know too much about what it means for Rascal’s longevity or what we’re facing in the near future. Apparently he doesn’t need meds yet, but the new, recent episodes are really scary to watch. It’s like he can’t breath and his his respiration rate increases to 24/min and heart beat climbs to around 168. The spells don’t last very long; about 5-10 minutes from start to finish, but as you know, a lot can happen in that short period of time. I just get down on the floor with him and stroke his head and back while cooing/extolling praises on him which eventually calms him down. So far..knock on wood. You’re right the expense takes its toll emotionally and financially. Why, his poisonous snake bite episode alone cost thousands. But you know – You just gotta do whatcha gotta do, right?!? You wrote how lucky Rascal is to have me for a Mom, but we’re really the lucky ones to have the companionship and joy which Rascal brings into our lives. At least we know our furkids have the best possible life an animal could ever have while in our care. Too bad we couldn’t do the same for our own kids. Ha Ha, just kidding! (..although they may say our pets are treated better than them. Guess what? No surprise there – dogs don’t talk back and give unconditional love along with unmatched loyalty. *grin* Hope you’re doing fine and tripping the light fantastic, sweetie..:)

  3. My goodness Janet, what a history, my heart goes out to you. Before I got my own dog a few months back, I never realised I’d worry as much over her as I do the kids! Oi! Give him a hug from me, your lovely cream puff.

    Oooh, wow, Jo! You, too!?! Thank you for dropping me a line. Everyone should know that dropping in and commenting is like balm to my afflicted soul. Truth! How’re you doing these days, besides being busy with your new furkid..? :) It’s truly amazing how attached and protective we become to our furkids, but they are such a sense of joy and wonder aside from being the very best companions (I’m sure our spouses love to know this ;). What kind of dog did you get and is it a puppy or are you one of those angel rescuers who don’t care how old their new bundle of joy is..? I’ll have to stop in Florescence to see if you’ve got any photos up – and I sure hope you understand why I haven’t been doing much blog hopping to my stellar cyberfriends, but frankly I’ve had my hands full for awhile. You probably know this already; that it’s been difficult just to refresh my own blog with new material, but I do roam around my cyberfriends’ spheres taking in their own unique essence to recharge me. Usually I choose to drop in to as many friends as I can during one ‘puter session in lieu of a few which allows me to also leave messages/comments, even if only short ones. Ack! I’m having trouble expressing myself. I haven’t had much sleep and I just went through another “Rascal episode” before getting on-line. I’m not only dealing with his post-op recovery care but also with another problem that appeared several months ago; scary episodes/events which may actually be petit mal seizures. Or, it may have something to do with his heart which the vet discovered on Rascal’s pre-op chest x-ray. sigh. Please know tho, I’m making every effort to resume my on-line activity ‘in a manner I’m most accustomed to,’ heh heh. Thanks so much for stopping in, Jo, to see if my blog shows signs of ‘stirring’ because your support of my work is very much appreciated. I’m passing on your hug to Rascal. He loves them. {{{hug}}}

  4. Wow…how do you do that…Have so much important stuff going on, maintain a sense of humor, and express such deep and heartfelt connection…

    Here’s to you Janet…Hurray!!!


    Hmm.. probably because of people like you, Poetman. Like attracts like, I think, and your heart has to be in accord with mine and my other friends for you to stop in and say hello to a fellow poetmeister undergoing emotional assault. :) I also realize that there’s surely other people out in cyberland that have problems and trials greater than my own. I read a long time ago that we master our own problems, that each one of us has something going on in our lives that we, who don’t suffer the same affliction, simply can’t understand. If everyone got to throw their woes into a pile and then go pick out a new, different one from the same pile, most of us would choose the one(s) we threw in – because we are familiar with it, are overcoming it, and all the rest look like they’d surely do us in. I think I feel comfortable with that explanation and I wish I could give credit to the person who came up with it, but unfortunately I didn’t realize at the time I first read it, that it would stay with me all these years and be as helpful as it has been. Also, to be honest, I’m leaning on the Lord a lot right now, it’s the only way that I know is Truth.

    My sense of humor is my mother’s legacy passed on down to me. :) She has always been compared to Lucille Ball, even in looks, and she faces life’s problems with strength, courage and humor. I just hope I can do her proud.

    Here’s an example of my mother’s antics. Early in my parents marriage, after the first 2 kids (out of 5), my Dad made the mistake of telling her (on a particularly challenging day) that she sounded/looked like a fishwife (whatever that mean). Well, my Mom always took pride in being able to juggle home, kids, job and keeping up with her looks (she was a hair and hand model). I think his comment reallllllly messed with my Mom’s mind. That night when my Dad got into bed my Mom rolled over to give him a great big kiss goodnight and his eyes took in this lovely image: Mom had tied a large hankerchief around her hair, tied in the bow tie at the top of her forehead, she had slathered on cold cream with a palette knife, I think, and blackened out some of her teeth. Now, of course, you know she faced him with the biggest, widest smile she could muster up. *laughter* Dad was shocked speechless and never, ever, ever said anything disparaging about her impeccable good looks ever, ever again. The End. :)

    And I thank you kindly for your heart-felt words that make me feel like I’m doing an okay job coping – all things considered. I appreciate the blast of pride in myself I feel from your words. So, please come back again.. ;>

  5. My youngest daughter, Andrea, is living at home again for a time, and she brought her pug, Sir Charles, who is a black child. Pugs are terrific little rascals, and have a lot of energy, like terriers, even though it sounds like they can’t breathe most of the time. Let’s all send wome white light and prayer to little Rascal furkid, and give him back his health and vigor, so that Momsie can start getting her rest. Your stop overs on my blog were much appreciated. As you know I have been on a Native American poetry gathering jag for months. Hugs to you and to the pooch.


    Your words of support made my eyes squirt, Glenn, with your ‘call out’ to send white light and prayers for Rascal. My sister did some experiments with “sending colors” to people for healing when she was a psych major in college. She’s a mental health therapist and uses colors on her personal friends and family members. She’d appreciate your knowledge of the work done in this field.

    I chuckled at reading the name of Andrea’s pug, Sir Charles. What a great name for a pug. That, or Sir Winston (Churchill, hee hee). I didn’t know pugs had breathing problems, but I suppose with the configuration of the nose, well…hmmm… yah, it makes sense. How long do you expect your daughter to stay with you?

    I’m so close to crying from lack of sleep and what the vet now calls cluster seizures. I had to bring Rascal back to the vet yesterday at 6:40pm after a day of 5 seizures. No one has seen these “episodes” (now so-called seizures) but me. Even Scott has never seen one while he’s home. On the way to the vet’s I just prayed if it was God’s Will to let Rascal have one while at the vet’s. Rascal is now to the point where he gets so worked up going to the vet that the Technicians come out to the car to check Rascal’s vital signs, etc. But since we were the last to be seen for the day, I told them I was going to bring him in with the hopes that he’d have an episode so they could see what it looked like. They agreed, but wanted to do the vital check out in the car first until the last pet existed. Fine. Tech comes out takes his vitals/temp, and says he seems okay all things considered. So, I collar and leash him and Rascal sprinted jauntily towards the door and just as we got to the door Rascal fell down and went into an episode, so I banged on the glass door and waved for someone to come to see and about 4-5 people rushed out and luckily one of the technicians saw everything and was able to relay it to the vet. It’s a little atypical for a seizure because he doesn’t urinate or defecate or chatter his teeth but he does paddle a little with his legs (a la I’m a tick, I’ve fallen and can’t get up, while wiggling all my legs in the air :). They sort of ruled out syncope from a heart problem and are calling it “cluster seizures” but today the Tech told me that the vet had also written down in her notes “possible tick-borne illness.” They gave Rascal Valium by IV and gave me Valium pills in case he had more seizures when we got home (around 9:00pm) thinking that maybe the Valium would sedate Rascal enough to “break” the cluster seizure cycle. Well, he had 2 more seizures so I had to give him the Valium. Then went into town to get the anti-seizure medication at the pharmacy which had to be specially made up (compound med) and got home around noon and gave him his first anti-seizure med. A little while later as he was sleeping he looked like he was going into another seizure but got up on his feet and seemed to abort the full episode. I hope this means the meds are starting to work. He had a seizure in my arms when I returned from the pharmacy. I hope Rascal survives the excitement of seeing Scott tonight after being away on a business trip for a week. Mercy. I didn’t mean to go on for so long.. I think I’m punch-drunk, so I hope you understand…. {{{hugs}}}

  6. Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

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