Wednesday, December 26, 2012


So... I finally figured out how to take pictures of Max swimming without him going snorkeling... well not too much.. Below are some photos and videos of him. He REALLY loves to get in the "pool" and swim around but I'm beginning to see he wishes it was a little bigger and he had further he could go...  He may be the one thing that pushes me over the edge to put in a REAL lap pool...  and lucky for him.. his mom used to teach swim lessons and coached swimming. I should be able to teach a dog how to swim right?

I've been in here for 2 hours and don't want to come out! It's cold out there!

Nothing like floating to help you stand up!
Below are a series of 3 videos... Max had just woken up from a nap when I put him in his pool, so the first one is him just getting used to the water.. by the 3rd one he was kicking around pretty good!

Video 1:  Max first just getting into the pool and getting used to it (He just woke up from a nap)  I think he's enjoying floating around actually...  (He does have some really raw sores on his inner thighs from moving around in his cart so much... so I'm trying to let those heal and they may have been stingy when he fist got in the water too. He got over it by the 3rd video.

Video 2:  Max getting more used to being in the pool and moving around more.  He wants to stay on one side of the pool and keeps moving back there even when pushed to the other side.

Video 3:  Max has been in the pool for just about 2 hours now.. he's kicking around and moving and didn't want his life preserver around his neck any more...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pre-Holiday Max

Happy Holidays everyone!

Just wanted to post a few pictures of Max and keep you updated with what he's been up to.

Max likes to wake up early, sit up and stare at me until I get up and put him in his cart!
Max less than thrilled to be at the hospital with Buttercup while she had her cardiology appt (She's doing well) Max didn't have a schedule appointment so nobody messed with him.

Max watching the squirrels out the window
Max standing up straight in his cart and looking around

Max checking out what's going on around him (and that slop is his favorite dinner - although he had a few pieces of a roaster tonight)

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Sorry no visual on this posting, one of these days I'll have one for you!!!  But I am very happy to report that yesterday, we walked into the room where Max was laying down on his bed... When I called his name he actually sat up a little bit and then turned his head to look toward me!!!  MAJOR PROGRESS!!!

His eyes have been following and tracking more and more.  We still have a long way to go and I've been slacking in my physical therapy with him to get him up and standing and walking more, but we'll get there!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sophia Gettino conquers a brain tumor - Great story to give hope to all!

This link is to a great story about Sophia Gettino who was diagnosed with a brain tumor as a baby and was given no hope. She went to see Dr. Byrzinsky and is now celebrating her 16th birthday!!!

There's some hope for everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Re-Introducing the Incredible Mr. Max!!!

He still doesn't quite have that whole, get up thing going, but he's trying hard, and that's half the battle! He's basically starting to learn everything from scratch, just like a new born infant... just a little slower apparently... but he's made so much progress since I brought him home and he couldn't move or even eat!  Now he's picky about how foods taste and will spit out what he doesn't like.. (which is a bit challenging when you're trying to get some weight on a dog!!!)

Max this morning after breakfast

Max working on sitting up on his own

Almost there - turned out he was trying to get up and go out to go potty!!! He needed some help!

And here is the incredible Mr. Max a few days ago as he was getting frustrated and realizing what he wasn't able to do.. notice he'll stop panting when he hears me talking to him sometimes.. and when someone walked by he would follow them with his eyes and pay attention to them...   Some days he's more alert than others, but there has definitely been A LOT of improvement and progress over the last couple of weeks!

One one last video of Max practicing Marching... of course he was doing this over and over on his own and the second I took out the camera he stopped... He likes to march in place while eating his breakfast..

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor's Presentation on TED

For anyone interested in learning more about the brain.. this is a great presentation by Jill Bolte Taylor on TED

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sit ups

Thanks to our AMAZING Pet Sitter, I got to take a 5 day vacation over the holiday.  She kept up Max's workout schedule and a few days ago I got a text that Max was sitting up like a normal dog!!!  When I got home last night, the whole gang came to greet me and Max was hanging out on the couch with Amanda.  I wasn't sure if he was going to recognize me or not, but he started kicking and pushing himself up when I came over and pet him!!!

His eye is looking much better too.  She has him eating 4 meals a day and he was getting plenty of fluids as well.   I think I need to adjust his cart so he's a little higher now. He did develop a blister in his inner thigh from wheeling around and kicking in his cart so much but it looks like he's ready to do some more work on sitting up on his own!!! So the next plan is working on sitting up, staying up and then moving into a standing position... it'll be a while but he's starting to regain more and more control of his body!  His eyes are also starting to track more and more and Amanda said he's enjoying sitting in the window and watching the other dogs play outside..  This morning when I was feeding him and Rex and #2 came in and started making noises he actually turned his head to look at them!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanks for Giving...

It's been a wonderful Thanksgiving. We're fortunate that Mr. Max is getting a little stronger every day!  Today he went for a walk up at the park for the first time since May!!!  I finally figured out how to hook his Eddie's Wheels Cart up to Buster's old Pet Gear stroller and have it roll behind us until we got to a good place where Max could get out and practice walking.  He has been EXTREMELY frustrated the last few days with not being able to get up on his own. If he's not asleep and I move out of his sight he panics and starts to pant and kick and struggle and try and get up. The ER vet told me this would happen one night when I was visiting him in the hospital. She said as horrible as it may be- it's a REALLY GOOD sign that he's thinking, aware, and putting 2  and 2 together!

Max rolling across the field at the park

Max enjoying the sun
Max resting after a LONG roll at the park!   This cart has come in handy so many times with Buster, Buttercup and Max!!! Best Purchase!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Running Dog

Max has been working on those legs. He has them (all 4 of them) moving  in somewhat of a coordinated effort when he rolls and when he wants to walk. He's definitely getting stronger and more coordinated. The funny part is that his front legs, which have only had movement for a few weeks now, are much more coordinated than his back legs which he still keeps sticking under the back spoke of his rear left tire.  I don't know if he's still leaning when he gets tired because he's still used to having the feeding tube in or not.. But he DOES practice standing up straight in his cart.  We still need to work on getting him to stop knuckle walking on his left legs (front and back) the right side he's much better about placing them perfectly - but also could have something to do with his leaning and not wanting to put too much pressure on his legs just yet.  He does spend about 10 -30 minutes a day (at a time of his choosing) practicing standing up straight and holding his body weight on those legs. He's also practicing lifting and holding his head up as well (usually while eating dinner)

Today he did a bunch of laps around the house and a few outside on the deck.  Some with guidance, and some on his own..

Here's what Max has been up to lately:

Crazy Max Running down the hill in the back yard with his cart (He did need help stopping)

Max supervising the tree guys from inside while they removed the trees that fell during Hurricane Sandy

Max splashing around in the tub. He was like a baby when he realized he could make splashing noises with his feet! He kept doing it over and over again making more and more noise!  (Getting him and his cart out of there was a little bit of a BIG challenge!

I was at my desk and heard a loud crash and a big sigh... so I went to go see what was going on... Max, while doing his laps, crashed into the dishwasher nose first.  We'll be breaking out the orange cones in a few weeks for some drivers ed once he gets a little more practice under his belt. He still needs to work on that steering!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

CALGON... take me away!

So... what I've discovered... or at least what seems to be a pattern here.. is that when it rains Max has bad days and when it's sunny and crisp out, he has super fantastic days!   He had a very tough time after Hurricane Sandy, and a tough time during the Nor'easter, and the other day when it was raining he also seemed to not be doing well. But in between, when it's been nice and sunny out, he's been doing fantastic.

So fantastic that I need to run away and get a break!  I'm sure any parent of a to (as I write this he's peeing on the floor - it has not been a good day for carpets)... as I was saying.. I'm sure any parent of a toddler probably knows what I'm talking about.

So.. 2 nights ago, Max woke me up at 2AM.. panting and grunting and looked like he was just freaking out. He appeared to be badly dehydrated (I've clearly fixed that issue), He also was burning up. His ears were super hot and read, his nose was super hot, all 4 feet were burning hot as well. So I turned the AC on and cooled the house down to 65 (the rest of us were freezing) and put the fan on Max and then put him in his cart and started to try and get him to drink water.. He wasn't interested. I didn't know what to do so went back to the kitchen (aka the drawing board) and decided to put a few drops of my Vitamin B complex (non-alcoholic) into his water.. which turned it orange.  Came back and gave that a try (I know Vit B will flush through your system if there's excess) I also know it's good for your neurological system and your overall health too.. So went back to Max and he LOVED it!  - I managed to get about a cup of water in him (not on the floor) over the next hour and a half.. (yep.. not too much sleep that night). He also ate an extra can of food too.. I guess he figured, while we were up, we might as well have a snack.  He needed to put more weight on so all was good.. At 4:30 we finally got back in bed, only to wake up again at 6:45 when he had to go pee!

He had a great day that day... I was EXHAUSTED!  He took a bath and went swimming in it - wearing his life jacket.. He kicked his back legs, not sure what to do with his front legs.. (sorry no photos - need to find a water proof camera first).  When he got back on "land" he practiced using his front legs as he walked... they are still very stiff - but his right leg is being placed perfectly when he focuses.. The left one is dragged and doing some knuckle walking (this is also the one he's putting some weight on.. )

He had another great day yesterday.. but I could tell he was getting more and more frustrated that he can't do things.. His eyes are opening up wider and wider each day and becoming more and more clear, and every so often they are following what's going on and he's turning his head toward noises.  The ER nurse who was on duty when I first took Max home from the hospital told me that as he was getting stronger and more and more aware of what was going on and what he couldn't do, I'd start to see him panic, and I think that's what I'm beginning to see more of.

Max this AM after breakfast looking a lot like his normal old self

So flash forward to this morning.  Super Max ate a whole can of food within an hour, he practiced his kicking, drank some water,  took a nap with the cat and then took a ride into the family room, where he decided to work on using his front legs on his own. He did manage to move himself (sorry - can't find the camera with the video on it!!).. So I went over to help.. as I was watching him perfectly place his right left and working hard on the left front leg and trying to help him get more of his weight on his legs - he's relying on the cart a lot to hold him up vs. for balance (although sometimes he'll get frustrated or stuck and stand up with the cart on his hips and turn himself and go in a different direction).. as I was watching his front end.. and not his back end.. his back end decided to excrete a few poops.. which I stepped in... on the carpet..  (as I said earlier.. not a good day for carpets.. )   Max has always pooped on the run, so now is no different.. I just forgot to keep an eye out ... and now... we'll be getting a new carpet..

Then he decided it was time to try and roll over Rex who came to inspect the stink... A few days ago.. Rex had gotten in Max's way in the kitchen.. now Rex, you see, may have played a role in Max's current condition. About a week before Max had this bad seizure (the day before he had the small one) Rex PLOWED over Max on the street and bowled him over and Max his his head on the asphalt.  Max's neurologist thought the bleed was from an accident - which seems to work with the theory that Rex did it.. Anyway... I'm wondering if Max remembers this... The opportunity was ripe for him... Rex was right in front of him and I saw him wind up his legs and drive as hard as he could - faster and harder than I've EVER seen him push his cart, directly into Rex's side (Rex does like to get in the way A LOT).  Then he was on the hardwood, and he wound up and did it again, turning his cart just so he could hit Rex squarely again  - this time causing a bit of an injury, with Rex whimpering off and limping...   Yet another thing that makes be think Max is a little more with it these days and more aware of what's going on.

Max napping with Simba

Kind of a messy eater

Perhaps a bib is in order?

Taking a morning stroll on a cold fall day

Afternoon nap

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Put One Foot In Front of the Other....

Put one foot in front of the other.... and soon you'll be walking out the door!

From "Santa Clause is Coming To Town"

Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walking cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walking out the door

You never will get where you're going
If you never get up on your feet
Come on, there's a good tail wind blowing
A fast walking man is hard to beat

Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walking cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walking out the door

If you want to change your direction
If your time of life is at hand
Well don't be the rule be the exception
A good way to start is to stand

Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walking cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walking out the door

If I want to change the reflection
I see in the mirror each morn
You mean that it's just my election
To vote for a chance to be reborn

Monday, November 5, 2012

That Hurricane Sandy....

So the last week has been a bit rough... Hurricane Sandy blew through and I don't know if it's because of the low barometric pressure, the fact that I missed one dose of Max's Keppra or a combination, or the stress of the storm but he ended up having a focal seizure.  The day after the storm hit I ran out in the morning to get some fencing (to keep the other dogs in after a tree crashed through the fence). When I got home, Max was in the same spot in the house that I found him when he was having the cluster seizure (needless to say he will no longer - ever - sit in that spot if I can help it.. a little superstitious)  His face was twitching - in particular his left eye kept blinking repeatedly...

I thought it was a full seizure, until I realized he was moving his arms and legs because he was trying to get up. If I pushed on a leg or arm, he'd push back, he would grunt, he was just all around irritated at the situation.  Having had a twitching eye myself (from eye strain) I can only imagine how frustrated he was.  I called his holistic vet and she came over to do acupuncture, and we decided to up his prednisone and keppra doses (at this point in the game we know what we're doing - normally I'd suggest calling your neurologist).  Once the focal twitching of the left eye stopped - we saw his eyes were circling.. Not a good sign. That meant there was some kind of pressure on his optic nerve or in his brain.. could be another bleed, a tumor, or related to the airpressure? or who knows - maybe just stress from the storm (we did have a tree fall 1 ft from the house (again)).

So.. his prednisone has been upped to the dose on the label, and his Keppra is right where it's always been. The circling has just about stopped but it's still there is a little. The first time his circling was bad it took about a week for it to go away - so in remembering that - we're ok.. but something is still going on (and I have to remember there's another storm approaching - another N'or Easter - if it does have anything to do with the barometric pressure..) I mention the barometric pressure because we know 4 other brain tumor dogs who were in the way of Sandy and ALL of them had seizures. I also know 2 kids who are prone to seizures in the way of Sandy and they also had seizures.  Who knows.. but something to consider.

The other thing I noticed was Max's gums were a little paler than normal. Pale gums can be a sign of pain (which could be from the circling or something else) or can be a sign of anemia or internal bleeding.  The last time Max had that bad cluster seizure his gums were paler than normal.. So... to combat that I upped his yunnan Biayo dose to 1-2 capsules / day ( I had him down to one every other day)

While we're still trying to combat and figure out what is going on with that part of his brain..  Max has started to use his front legs more and more to walk.  He's actually been able to start dragging them and putting them into the correct position when he's full of energy. Back legs he seems to prefer to knuckle walk right now - no matter how hard I try and work with him.. however if he's on the hardwood - he'll walk flat footed becasue he gets better traction..- go figure!

He has started to grunt when he wants to be picked up , or moved, or wants something - so something is going on in his brain where his speech - or noise maker function - is coming back slowly

And the most annoying thing that he's doing now.. if he doesn't want to eat, he will grit his teeth really tight and if you pry them open he WILL bite you and bite hard and grunt.. He is making it perfectly clear he will eat on his terms... He also has made it pretty clear he prefers sweet food to bitter or anything else for that matter, so I've discovered that if I add honey to his food he's more likely to eat it (honey does have some good properties - natural antibiotic)

Anyway - Max is definitely more cognitive than he has been .  He's doing some problem solving which is all good..   We just have to figure out what caused the googly eyes and see if there's a way to stop it and keep it from happening again... (which probably requires another MRI.. )

Anyway - that is the latest from Max land.. I have some videos I"m going to need to get up shortly for your viewing pleasure. I did not take any of his googly eyes - which looking back - I should have for others dealing with this.. but I really didn't want to face what could potentially be going on..

OH - and because we upped his meds.. he's more sleepy and lethargic (that's not the brain thing going on.. it's the drugs if anyone else is dealing with this too. )  And since he's more sleepy and lethargic, he falls asleep while he's eating so we added Sub Q fluids to his diet since his tube was taken out..   (This is something you can do at home if your vet is willing to show you..

It helps keep Max hydrated.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Working out at Home

Check out Mr. Max!!!  Just a few months ago he couldn't swallow, or move any part of his body...   His feeding tube came out this past Monday and he's been working out at home.  We're stopping formal PT and we're working with some other folks who know him well and know his limits, his drive and his personality.  In speaking with other stroke patients (humans) who have gone through what Max has gone through, they've said it's really important to keep him in a positive, encouraging and motivating environment. 

Max Practicing his standing and keeping his head up

It's hard to keep your head up when you're so darn smart and have so much info in there!!!

Working on pushing up... and he almost gets it on his own!

Max standing on his own and then trying to catch himself as he leans back

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Treat after Acupuncture

Max chewing on one of his favorite treats after his acupuncture appointment today

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A picture says 1000 words

Nothing to say.... just a photo that speaks 10000 words... ! 

He was standing up straight for a while before leaning back, Mighty Max held that pose for a good minute for his friend Amanda and I and then did it again this afternoon!

Keep the good positive energy flowing!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Max got his feeding tube removed!

Yesterday was a big day!  Max got his feeding tube removed! He hadn't used it at all over the last 2 weeks so it was time to bite the bullet and give it a go!  He's doing well.. Although yesterday must have been a REALLY stressful day. He's never had an upset tummy through any of this and yesterday and last night he sure did- vomiting and puking all night long. He's doing ok now... Just wondering if they gave him something at the hospital that didn't agree with him. The Internist mentioned that his tube was clogged when I asked if they had drained his tummy... (probably b/c he was eating whole foods again and veggies... which don't fit well through the tube! Wonder if they tried to flush it with something.. anyway - he seems to be doing ok so far today... He wanted to sleep in his cart last night.. thank goodness for the cart...

He's definitely feeling better physically without the tube and can scoot around more in his cart. His tummy was so upset last night that he scooted himself up and over the 2 inch ledge into the back door on his own - he also managed to turn the corner and roll down the ramp on his own... he still needs to master breaks though...   He starts PT back up again tomorrow. 

Today's objective - keep him eating and drinking and happy... I did manage to get him in a sternal position today too and he tried to get up - not quite there yet.. but we're still working on..

Pics to Come..

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Max Trying to Stand Up

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words... well.. how about a video! Or a few videos

Max standing in his cart working on lifting his head 10/9/2012

Max sitting in bed demonstrating how he can now turn his head 10/9/2012

Max working on pushing himself up to a standing position  10/16/2012

If you think that last video was something - check this one out!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Max looking around and turning his head

Here's Max up to his latest tricks today!  (October 9, 2012).  Isn't he handsome?!!!  Not sure if you can notice.. his eyes moved towards me when I asked if he wanted to go for a walk later in the video!

The latest trick

Max's latest trick is pushing on his front leg stirrups so that he can stand up in his cart and lift his head and then turn it to the side and then sit down again and get his head stuck in the side... his head rest may need to come off soon...

Another morning of Max eating his whole breakfast by spoon!  A whole cup of the Honest Kitchen!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

More Progress!

After a little hiatus Max went back to Physical Therapy on Wednesday and he's been doing great!  They changed up his routine from range of motion exercises to more massage and between that and the cold laser I'm seeing more of a difference.  His back legs actually are doing more of a walking motion when he decides he's going to walk, his front arms are still behind with the program but he has some movement down to his wrists (yep... he has limp wrists still).. however he now can push using both arms when they are up in the stirrups of his cart and when he's positioned right he's cruising through the house crashing into things and rolling over Buttercup - not sure how long that will last before she loses patience...

He's been doing pretty well with eating by mouth. Sometimes it's a little slow and can take up to an hour to get a full can in there.  Tonight I was able to get him to eat his regular food finally - so he's back to eating the honest kitchen. He ate a whole bowl, no problem.. however he's still not eating it on his own, I do need to pry his mouth open to spoon the food in there - except usually the first  but he'll open his mouth up wide for that one... and the more full he gets, the more he clenches his teeth shut!

He's grunting and sighing sometimes when he wants something and smacks his lips when he wants attention.  His eyes are starting to follow a little more... and.... he's starting to lift his head up in his cart!  Below is a video - all be it not a great one... of him lifting his head up a little bit.  (In Physical Therapy they've also been having him practice standing up on his own  and leaning against them. It's helping to build up strength in his upper arms and his neck. )

The other thing that Super Max has started to do is push himself up to a standing position if he's  propped up on pillows the right way and his legs are bent under him...   Will get a video of that one of these days - but he requires spotting..

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Quick update

Sorry for not posting in a while. I've gotten a few emails from Max's followers asking how he's been doing.  He's been chugging along.  Some days are better than others just like with the rest of us.  I've also discovered that the better he's positioned in his cart the more he'll cruise around. We've had a couple of days where I place him in front of the TV and then I turn around from my desk a few hours later to find him in the kitchen or by the back door.  He has been rolling to the back door when he needs to go potty (provided he's positioned in his cart the right way.  We've had to stuff foam and towels around him to help position him right. Since he still has the feeding tube he tends to lean away from it so it doesn't hit the side of his cart.

I took him in to meet with Dr. Dumont about doing Physical Therapy and getting a little extra work in by someone who knows what they're doing vs someone like me who's winging it, and he starts his first day of therapy today.  We've modified his medication schedule so hopefully he's more active earlier in the day. He was getting his prednisone at 8pm and keppra at 11pm and was getting active around 5pm.  So now he's getting his prednisone at 6:30 and keppra at 8:30.. He falls asleep earlier, and is awake much earlier in the AM, and seems to be a little more active earlier in the day. The plan is for Mr. Max to go to PT 3 times a week. My goal is to see if we can get him to move around better in his cart.  Anything more than that is a bonus!  He is aware enough to go to the back door when he has to go potty... so I think that will give him more independence.  He's been spending a lot more time in his cart too.

Dr. Dumont mentioned a quote by St. Francis,

 "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

The other goal that Dr. Dumont gave me was to get him off that feeding tube.. This is going to take more time from me which is going to be the tough part but it really needs to be done.  He will eat if I syringe feed him, no problem. So... we started yesterday and he ate most of his food by mouth.  Breakfast took about an hour and a half to get all of it in.  I fed him his normal breakfast.  Then I also gave him a can of organic grain free speciality food in balls and he did really well with that -I did a few balls at a time over the afternoon, and then fed him dinner by syringe in his mouth.  To be honest the balls were a little easier and a lot less messy than the syringe feeding - however, I know the quality of the food isn't as good as his regular diet... so I'll probably keep it mixed but the extra calories don't hurt.   Then last night when I was feeding everyone their pre-bed cookies of freeze dried beef, I gave Max one. To my surprise he started to gnaw on it and went to town chewing on it!  He hasn't done this since before his bleed! He ate a whole Primal nuget and a bite of a 2nd one and then had the rest of it in his mouth...   I tried again this morning he took a few bites and then spit it all out - but really put his whole body into the effort of spitting it out.. I guess it didn't taste good the next morning?!  (Difference of opinion on taste if you ask Buttercup though).  Anyway - we'll keep working on feeding by mouth and the meat balls and the freeze dried raw nuggets and see how he does.. (Waiting to see how his tummy holds up. I added liver to his food a couple of weeks ago and poor little guy had some horrible gas.)

I'll update after Physical Therapy.. but we're still trucking along!

**warning.. the above video contains some little boy humor... 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Super Max!!!

Today is Sept 4, 2012, exactly 3 months since Max had that nasty cluster seizure and went into that coma.  A lot has changed but the one thing that hasn't changed at all is that Max continues to amaze me each and every day!

Today he learned how to move his cart on his own!  He's been working really hard and getting that cart to move. He still hasn't mastered steering but that's OK!  He's able to get himself to where he wants to go (for the most part now!)  When I call him, he responds!  Today when the dogs went to bark at the window when the mailman arrived, he started to try and roll his cart over to where they were too!

His Eddie's Wheels Cart has been amazing! I wish I had had this from the very beginning. I think Max just being in a standing position where he can have full range of motion of all of his legs in a natural position has really made a HUGE difference!  His cart has also been something that stimulates his mind and his body to work and heal.  The one thing I know about Max is that he never gives up.. and he's just showing me that every single day!  It's amazing to think where we were 3 months ago and where we are today!  We still have a ways to go, but he has some independence back and that's a huge thing for him!  He can go potty when he wants without worrying about messing on himself, and he can now move on his own... now if he'd just eat out of a bowl and a whole meal! 

Friday, August 31, 2012

After a week with his wheels...

After a week with his wheels, Max has yet to master what they are REALLY designed for.. I'm still hopeful he'll figure it out.. or just continue to climb out of the cart and eventually walk off into the sunset with his buddies chasing some critter..

He's been spending about an hour at a time in the cart and then a few out. He has a couple of sores on his groin area (but he had diaper rash before that so I'm guessing the added irritation didn't help matters), and he has some sores on his feet where he's been dragging his front paws and ramming one of his back paws into the rear wheel.

I can only suspect that he is leaning to the side because of the feeding tube, although it in no way touches any of the cart, but maybe something inside of him feels funny or there's some extra weight on his side with his body all stretched out like that. He has started to eat a little on his own. Only baby food consistency and it's not yet consistent.  He did drink some water on his own and then decide to blow bubbles with his nose, so we can't leave him alone with food yet - at least liquid food, but he's practicing every day.

The cart has been fantastic for him to go potty in!  He has always let me know when he's had to go, now I just put him in the cart when he's ready and roll him outside and he goes out there - it's great!

When he's not tired he will move his legs with the cart. He's still knuckle walking, but if he's working hard enough he can get his feet into the right position. Left side is definitely stronger than the right, but he has had moments where he's had both front paws working perfectly for a few minutes, and both back legs doing the right thing.. although he sits to the side so one leg is up higher and that one seems to kick a lot more - like he needs a Kick and Go or a skate board.  Yesterday at the vet though, he had his front paws up in the sturrups and his back paws where actually running as we rolled back out to the car.   I'm hoping that the more he's in the cart, the more aware he is that he's not moving and the more frustrated he gets that he'll actually start to move it and figure it out.  He's definitely aware in the cart that's for sure!  He turns now when you call his name!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Max got his wheels today!

Max's Wheel's Arrived at 5pm today! The UPS guy was fascinated and watched me take it out of the box! He couldn't believe how light it was!  It took me a little while to figure out how to adjust it for Mr. Max.. but I LOVED it!  He spent about an hour in his cart at first, and didn't fuss at all about wanting to get out! I did finally take him out after an hour because he fell asleep in it!

Max's first 5 min in his cart trying to figure it all out
A little panic after going down the ramp! little legs were back peddling!

Getting the hang of it and just starting to try and use front arms

How are YOU doin?!

Checking things out and trying to figure out how to get from point A to B!

Tail wagging, feet kicking, finally able to push his cart just a little bit on his own!

OUT COLD!!!!  Didn't even wake up to barking or being pet!

Thanks Eddie's Wheels!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Look who's holding his head up all by himself!

Look Who's holding his head up all by himself!  And turning to the right side this time (definitely his stronger side... still working on the left side)  But he's practicing his self control and was able to hold that position for a good 4 minutes before he decided to try and get his nose to touch his rear end..   Now he's less than pleased with me b/c I have him on his side - feeding tube down and am trying to get him to repeat.. Not as fun when you have a tube pressed into you!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Max's midnight workout caught on video

Keep in mind this is just the beginning of Max's new all-night work out plan... he doeosn't do this during the day.. just ALL NIGHT LONG!! I'm not sure what the thought process behind this is...  but he's sleeping during most of the day and seems to be working out at night...

And so it begins with a gentle head lift... lift, relax, lift, relax... lift... relax..
Then we progress to head lift, front arm lift and then we add the back leg in... right now we're just doing the left side.. just wait and see if I'm still awake enough to catch the right side going to...
Max has always been somewhat of a perfectionist.  He has always repeated things over and over again to perfect them... When he first came to live with me as a foster dog, he knew 36 commands cold.. you could whisper them.. or even mouth them and he would do them immediately on the first try.  Last year when he first started to circle and we first found out about the brain tumors, after he startedd the prednisone and the dizyness started to go away, he spent 3 whole days walking back and foroth against a line in the floor until he could do it without wobbling off the line.
I have no reason not to think that he's not practicing what it feels like to move each one of his muscles.  He's still the same dog and that same personality is still in there.    Just hoping that we cacn do this without him kicking me and having to take a shower at 5am tonight!!!
Max attempting to get up out of bed..

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

And a Bark!

Max enjoying a change of scenery!

Woke up this morning at 4am to a Bark... Max's Bark! Max has not barked in over a year.  He needed to go potty and I guess I didn't wake up with his kicking so he tried the next thing he could.. As soon as I turned on the light and got his pad in position he went.  Let's see if he does it again. Max used to bark NON-STOP!  At one point I finally bought him a bark collar that would spray citronella in his face when he barked... what did he do?  He figured out a way to twist the collar so it would spray anyone standing next to him and he would run through the house barking and spraying everyone he ran by..

Max practicing standing.  Back legs crossing and knuckling and head started to get tired..  but he's getting there - front arms strong (at the moment)

Max & Buster #2 hanging out

Get me off my mom's lap!!! (sorry video is sideways!)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Max is Standing!

Hello everyone!
I am happy to report that Max can now stand up on his own!  (Provided he has something to lean up against!!)  He can hold himself up on all 4's, and is starting to try and make an effort to walk (but that hasn't been working out very well yet)  Can't wait for that Eddie's Wheel's cart to get here!!

Video's to follow as soon as I figure out how to video him and be close enough to catch him if he falls!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Max sits up on his own

Max sits up on his own.. sort of.. he managed to put himself in this position and curl up and take a nap while hanging out on the couch watching the olympcs.. Normally he's laying on the side that's up..

Friday, August 3, 2012


Max had a busy day today!  He woke me up at 5am with a good hard kick to let me know he had to go potty... apparently right then... so then he took a shower and had a blow dry...  and then he had an appointment at the vet for some electric acupuncture!   We re-measured him for his Eddie's Wheels Cart  and then he came home to nap and work out some more.  Around 4pm he let me know he had to go potty again while he was working at his "desk" so I picked him up and though... maybe we can figure out a way to get him to use the toilet.. without him being able to hold his head up longer it wouldn't work, so I then took him outside and held him up on the grass so he could stand... it started to get hot.. nothing... finally I brought him back in the house and no more than 3 steps in I started to feel a warm stream of liquid running down my leg... At least HE knew he had to go and he knew how to tell me had to go... I just have to give him a little more time.

We also ordered his quad cart from Eddie's Wheels Today!  It should be arriving in about 2.5 weeks! Can't wait!

Max Napping during his electric acupuncture

All hooked up, Frankenstein style (and yes! If you turn the dial too much his arm will move!)

Max getting measured for his Quad Cart from Eddie's Wheels - he's cheating and standing on his tippy toes

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Max the Toddler

Sorry I haven't written in a while but Max has been hard at work. He was measured for an Eddie's Wheel's cart but the measurements were apparently all out of proportion so we need to have them done again. Since then he's been doing his exercises with his peanut ball that Dr. Lessinger suggested and right now he's working hard - very hard  - on lifting his head and turning it to the left and then back to the right.. In the process he's also been throwing himself off his desk.. Once he managed to get back up on his desk but I have squshed him in with 2 beanbag chairs - don't need him breaking his neck at this point.. and of course.. Max being Max has figured out how to get up and over the bean bag chairs..   EXCELLENT!

This is good but also what I was worried about - when he can be more mobile and gets up but can fall over because he's not super stable yet... Practice Makes Perfect though - he just needs adult supervision. Yesterday we sat on the front steps and he practices pushing himself up with his right front arm.. and he was doing pretty well!  He even tinkled standing up yesterday with some support! (It was not my plan but maybe he had it all planned out.. We'll have to keep working on that!)
Anyway - still making steady progress!  Max is now getting electric acupuncture 2-3 times a week and I think the increase  has really made a big difference in his progress. The electricity makes his muscles flex and relax and kind of jump starts them... now if we could just get him to start eating on his own!  He'll eat liquid if it's syringe fed, and he did lick a peanutbutter molasses cookie until it was soggy and then Buttercup ate it, but if food is put in front of him he's not going for it, but he is sniffing it. 
He can hear everything, and he's still grunting and huffing when he gets frustrated, and every so often we get a whimper. I know he's really frustrated but he's trying so hard and hopefully that will all pay off soon! Max doing the Butt Dance..

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Neck works!

Guess who sat up on his own and turned his head!!! Over and over and over tonight!  So far he has only turned his head to the right...but we'll get there!  He lifted his head up and held it all on his own and then turned it very very slowly to the right at first.. and then he got faster at doing it.. still no speed demon.. but he's definitely controlling that movement!

Poor little guy is now getting so frustrated that he can't move more. He'll work until he's exhausted...

Max at work

Max now has a "desk" and a "chair" and he goes to work and does squats... on his own!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Max in Action!

We just had some bad storms come through and I left Max in my office to go find the cat... the other dogs followed me. When I came back to my office, Max was working on trying to get up and follow. He looked like he was in a little bit of a panic that he was left alone!!! (good sign!)

As promised... some videos of Max working out... (please excuse any shaking of the camera - it's a bit challenging to video tape and support Max as well!)

Max having a drink of water:

Max working on his walking exercises

Max working out:

Max standing on his own... and then taking a well deserved rest!

The Karate Dog!