Tuesday, July 15, 2014

More About Hannah


It's been a very long nine days since last I was here. Hannah's story continued.  (Once again, I'm lifting from my FB updates and comments to save on time and emotional energy.)

July 6 Hannah Pupdate: Terry and the pup are on their way back in to El Paso to get her to the El Paso Animal Emergency and Veterinary Specialty Center. She's bleeding from a spot in her incision. Looks like she may be losing more internally than externally. I'll update as I get information .... won't be for at least an hour.

6:30pm update: They are keeping her overnight so that her surgeon can look at her in the morning. Taking culture. Does look like an infection, perhaps. But, according to Terry, the emergency vet said "it's not as scary as it looks."

July 7 at 8:42am Nothing yet. Terry is our family's "liaison" with the vet. He will call me as soon as he hears anything. When he came home last night, I asked him, "She's not going to die, right?" He replied, "She's not going to die." And that's what matters. The support that has been rolling in has my heart overflowing this morning.

July 7 Hannah Pupdate: It IS an infection. They are waiting for results on the culture to see what new antibiotic to treat her with since the one she was already on didn't seem to work for this. She is being treated as an emergency patient rather than a surgical follow-up (not quite sure what the difference is). She will be there at least until tonight; Terry would prefer her to stay overnight again. She went downhill so fast yesterday that it scared him. But she will be okay once we figure out how to fight this.

July 7 at 3:58pm She is staying overnight again. Again, I have no reason to believe that the vet and clinic are working in anything other than Hannah's and our best interests. The surgeon was devastated to have to amputate that leg.

July 7 at 8:14pm I misunderstood...they have her on two antibiotics - one of which seems to be helping based on her temperature, appetite, and demeanor. They are waiting for the culture to know which one is THE one. We may have her back tomorrow.

July 8 Hannah Pupdate: She is improving in body and spirit but the culture results still haven't come in and she's still draining, so she's staying in the hospital one more night. I miss my pup. Terry will get to visit with her on his way home tonight, however, so that's good.

Hannah Pupdate: She was obviously happy to see Terry this evening! (I will not share his photos of her wound with you...I'm nice that way, sometimes.)



July 9 Hannah Pupdate: She will be spending at least another night at the clinic. She's doing better. Still no results on the cultures. Dressings are being changed four times a day. I'm a lot more comfortable with them doing that then with me trying to do it by myself.

Hannah Pupdate: Terry stopped by to visit with her today. They had left the open area recently uncleaned intentionally so that he could see what we're going to be up against. She'll come home tomorrow. Yay. The infection is being dealt with (still no culture results) and the rest of the amputation is healing well.





July 11 Hannah Pupdate: She is home! Thank you, everyone, for all your wonderful energy and support.


July 12 Hannah Pupdate: She is resting comfortably, surrounded by those she loves who love her. Since there was no seepage overnight and since her dad is a softie, she is without her cone for the moment. We are so thankful to have her with us, again and still. And thankful to all of you who are making this less of a burden on us.

July 13 Hannah Pupdate: Our patient had a great day yesterday, a good night's sleep, and this morning she thought it was time to try to charge around the yard. It is a good thing that Terry had a strong hold of the lead at the time. Her energy is returning as the infection heals. My heart is full.


July 14 Hannah Pupdate: She must feel better - she's testing her limitations, and my patience, once again. When told to "go crate" this morning, she decided the couch looked more inviting. Rather than correct her (which I really should have done since she didn't follow a command), I'm letting her enjoy her victory. This time. Cuz I'm a tough as nails disciplinarian, dontchaknow.

July 14 Hannah says, "I am home."

two hours ago  Hannah Pupdate: Miss Hannah is spending the day at El Paso Animal Emergency and Veterinary Specialty Center. It's okay - no panic! She's having her staples removed (all 4,458 of them). Almost two months to the day since she first broke the leg. We are all finally breathing normally again, and it feels good, really good, to be able to write that. Thank you!

Re: # of staples - I'm kidding, peeps. But it is a lot.

....and now let me tell you about these friends I have 

I have had the pleasure of developing friendships with some amazing women who also happen to be bead designers and who also happen to have generous hearts of gold.  They have donated patterns to help raise money to cover the huge vet bill my pup has incurred. You can find more information on all of these at Patterns for Hannah.  Please take a moment to visit. There are some great deals on some beautiful patterns available.  All proceeds benefit Hannah.



whew...I'm going to go pour myself a large cup of coffee and relax for a little before I start back on beading orders.  I am grateful beyond words to everyone for their incredible support. Be well and get going ... and love your pups.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

All About Hannah

For the last six weeks, life at Casa Sharpe has been different.  I spent over four hours putting together a cohesive narrative (a story) - with photos - for you yesterday evening. And then Blogger decided it was hungry and my blogpost was the perfect snack.  All gone.

Rather than try to recreate that post, I decided to be kinder and gentler with myself and pull the status updates and comments from my Facebook page.  It's a different kind of story-telling, more immediate I hope.

May 16 My poor baby (Hannah) has injured her elbow/shoulder.  Waiting for Terry to get home so we can take her to the vet. In the meantime, meloxicam and water and a cool kitchen to the rescue.

May 16 at 4:39pmThanks everyone, for your concern. The news is not good. She broke her leg/shoulder joint in three different spots. Our vet's x-ray was down so they sent us to another vet for X-ray and treatment. That vet was very kind and tender but isn't comfortable performing the surgery Hannah needs (it very complicated and has to be done "just right"). Only two vets in El Paso they would refer to, one of which was out of town, the other of which works weekdays at the Animal Emergency Clinic in El Paso. Hannah is being put in a splint so she can't do further damage and will remain at the 2nd vet's until we know exactly what the next steps our. That dog is amazing. Worst case: she loses the leg...but that really is WORST case. It's a good thing I didn't have plans for Bead & Button because I'd be canceling those just about now.

May 16 at 5:58pmAs to how it happened: nobody really knows. Hannah and Tatum were outside, while Buck and Callie were inside with me. Suddenly, there's tremendous yelping. I ran outside to see a strange dog on the other side of the fence, Tatum "chasing it" and Hannah by a tree crying. Mayhem ensured when the other two dogs joined in. My first thought was that she had dislocated a joint while running/stepping wrong, but the vet says that the kind of break she has comes from getting hit, hit hard. But by what? Only Hannah and Tatum will ever know the answer to that.

May 17 at 2:15pm We got to visit with her for a little this morning. What a great dog she is...only whined a bit as we were leaving. They've got her pretty tightly wrapped in a splint so that she can't move the joint and aggravate the injury. Terry will pick her up on Monday morning and take her to the other clinic for what promises to be a complicated surgery. Something tells me it's gonna be a long hot summer at the Sharpes this year.

May 17 Pupdate: We had a short visit with the injured party this morning. She's scheduled for surgery Monday morning. The bionic bitch? 


May 18 at 10:53am We can't see her today, but I'm sure they are taking good care of her and keeping her as quiet and comfortable (and drugged) as possible until Terry picks her up in the morning to transfer her to the clinic where the surgery takes place.

May 18 at 5:03pmThe vet just called to say she's doing well today and will be ready to transfer to the surgical clinic in the morning. I don't know how people with sick or injured children stay sane. Just these last two plus days have been hard on our human/canine family.

May 19 Terry sent these pix of Hannah in the waiting room at the vet's this morning. He says she seems relatively "chipper."


May 19 at 10:01amSurgery will be later this afternoon. Sounds like she will be pretty much crate-bound for 3-4 months. We may all go nuts before this is over.

May 19 at 6:48pmShe's out of surgery. So I feel like I can breathe deeply again. It went well, according to the doctor (via Terry). Terry will be able to see her tomorrow evening when he gets back from San Antonio (overnight work trip) and then he and the surgeon will discuss next steps. She will have to be in a "sling" (which sounds like the splint she had pre-surgery) for 3-4 weeks because they need her quiet to get some bone growth going.

May 19 at 9:15pmAll the doctors and vet techs that encounter her comment on what a beautiful disposition she has.

May 20 Hannah Pupdate: She's resting. In good spirits. Had breakfast. Will be weaned off of IV pain meds and put on oral pain meds today.
The rest of the pack: depressed, fighting, not eating well.

May 20 at 11:16amTerry meets with the surgeon tomorrow to discuss our options. She will be spending the next 12-16 weeks in crates (we've ordered two extra large ones, one for living room, one for bed room), let out only to do her business while on lead. For the first 4 weeks of that, her leg will be in a sling while we hope for bone growth, making her especially vulnerable. Explain that to three other dogs. sigh. Long hot summer at Casa Sharpe, me fears. Terry & vet will discuss how long they can keep her at the clinic, which is near the airport so at least Terry can visit daily. If it sounds like I'm pouting, it's because I am. ;(

May 20 at 12:07pm It'll all work out. Whatever way it's meant to work out. We are really blessed and times like this remind me of that.

May 20 Hannah Pupdate: She's coming home tomorrow evening! In the meantime, here's a look at her at the clinic today. And before and after X-rays. yikes That's some hardware, Maynard.




May 20 at 7:09pmHer nickname has been Hannah BoBo. I think we may have to change that to Hannah Bi(onic) Bi(tch).

May 21 Hannah Pupdate: She's home. More tomorrow! 

May 22 Hannah Pupdate: She came home last night. These are pictures of her new accommodations and relieved pack. Yes, there's licking going on. sigh. I can't wait for the carrier sling to get here tomorrow....getting my 90lbs beauty outside should get easier. Day One of ????




May 22 at 11:14amShe can't put any weight on that leg (and has the paw bound upward to make it difficult). She's been out three times; she has to be on lead and have a towel wrapped under for support (my back does not like this! lol). She has not yet gone to the bathroom. I spoke with the vet tech who said that she wouldn't go potty outside while with them and just peed in her crate. Terry's getting some puppy pads and we have lots of bedding for her so we will wash as often as needed. I'm sure she'll relax enough by the end of the day to go when we take her out. I'm sure. I'm sure. I'm sure. Yes, we can do this. (It's my mantra)
May 22 at 12:09pmHow long it takes to heal depends on how the bone growth goes. Minimum 8 weeks, but could be as much as 16. The vet stressed that we only get one chance at this. eek.

May 26 Hannah Pupdate: Puppy (aka My Goofy Gazelle) is eating and drinking, pooping and peeing, and generally on the mend. What she is not is happy about being stuck in a crate most of the day. 

May 27 Good Tuesday morning! Hannah Pupdate: Ms. Hannah thought it would be an excellent idea to remove her sling (the wrapping that is supposed to protect the operated leg from bearing any weight) overnight. So one guess as to who joined Terry on his way to El Paso. Thank goodness the vet clinic agreed to just let him drop her off early so he didn't have to drive out to the airport for meetings and then all the way back here again to pick her up. Life is an adventure. I'm hoping her incision has healed enough for her to get the staples out (it's a day earlier than planned) and have a splint (actually immobilizing the leg) put on. She is so darn full of spirit that girl of ours. Life is an adventure.

May 27 at 12:17pmBoth the vet and the vet tech commented on how happy Hannah is. No damage from the de-bandaging and the incision looks good. Terry will bring her home this evening...AFTER discussing means to dial our girl down a little while she heals.

May 28 at 11:55amToday she is being rather quiet, probably because yesterday was rather eventful with the trip and stay at the vet's.

May 29 Hannah Pupdate: She must be feeling better. After a little outside I-don't-need-to-pee-or-poop-afterall break, she thought it a good idea to jump up on the couch before I could get her back into her crate. Good idea? Not really.

I let her stay up there for about 10 mins, until I could gather the courage to pick up her 90 lb awesomeness and get her back on the floor without incident. Not good. Really really not good.

May 29 at 10:57amShe seems no worse for the experience...rather proud of herself, actually. ;(

May 30 at 8:07amShe's feeling well enough to get sneaky....making me take her outside when she wants fresh air rather than needs to go to bathroom. lol

June 2 Hannah Pupdate: Miss I-don't-want-to-be-in-a-crate-I-want-to-play will have her staples removed later today. Can't believe it's only been two weeks since her surgery. I am most grateful for the cooperative spirit the rest of the pack has shown and hope they keep it up. 

June 2 at 7:17amKeeping her relatively quiet throughout the summer is gonna be rough and tough on all of us. Too much energy in my goofy gazelle, too much joyous spirit. (I didn't just write that! yikes!) She's a happy dog, a bored dog but a happy one.

June 3 Hannah Pupdate: Miss Hannah got her staples removed yesterday and now boasts the longest scar in the immediate family. Vet is pleased with her progress. Hannah thinks she's healed and recovery is a nonsense concept designed only to frustrate the bejeezus out of her (and me). Next step: X-rays in two weeks to see if the extra long screw can be removed/altered yet

June 3 at 9:45amThat damn dog jumped into the back of the station wagon, refusing any assistance yesterday. A 3-legged jump. Her confidence is at all-time high and her energy is matching that.

June 6 Hannah Pupdate: We let her spend a little time outside of her crate several times during the day. If we did not do this, there would be nonstop wimpering from the not-so-patient patient. (Please note: her paw is bandaged only to keep her from being able to use the leg.)

Hannah Pupdate: My puppy cannot be trusted! She must be in the crate, on the lead, or within two feet of me or she'll bust out in energetic fits. I feel guilty having to suppress her innate joy and enthusiasm, but those qualities are not helping her heal right now. lol

June 9 at 10:34amI had her out for a potty break earlier this morning and two dogs came up on the other side of the fence...it's a good thing I have quick reflexes and was able to grab her by the collar before she could launch....but launch is exactly what she wanted to do. lol
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June 9 at 10:42amI let her out on one of the doggie beds in the den so that she could say hello to the rest of the clan. Went into the kitchen for a minute and the darn creature followed me! Guess who had to go back in the crate right away. ah.

June 10 at 10:15amHannah is under crate-arrest this morning because she tried to sneak out of the house while I was refreshing my coffee. lol

June 11 at 12:41pmHard to believe she's been home almost 3 weeks. I am so grateful for how well the rest of the pack has been behaving. I don't know if it's because I'm in "no nonsense" mode or because they sense that Hannah is off - or a combo of the two - but their compliance has made this a lot less trying than it would otherwise have been.

June 13 Hannah Pupdate: It has been four weeks (almost to the hour!) since her accident. This dog is bored. This dog wants to play. This dog says "I am not injured!" This dog…has the most amazing spirit. This dog knows exactly how to get on the last of my nerves. (There is a reason I did not going into nursing. There is a reason I do not have children. lol)

June 19 Hannah Pupdate: Miss Hannah was x-rayed yesterday. The news is good and not-so-good. Good - new bone is growing, which means she is healing. Not-so-good - the alignment is off, which means she might be hobblie-gobblie for the rest of her days. It's impossible to keep this dog from putting weight on that shoulder. I feel like I've failed her.

She goes back for another x-ray in two weeks, at which point the surgeon will decide if he can remove/modify any of the hardware.

June 19 at 11:12amYes, she'll be okay with a limp. I'm just disappointed for her in that we had a chance for a more perfect conclusion to this. And we have been able to save her leg ... which was important to us.

June 21 Hannah Pupdate: Miss Hannah and Mr. Terry are on their way to the emergency vet/speciality clinic this morning. She seems to have re-injured her shoulder. We had to leave her alone (in her crate in an air-conditioned house) for a few hours yesterday afternoon so that I could go to the doctor. At the vet's advice, we gave her part of a doggie downer pill at noon. We left the house after two and came back around six...and she seemed fine, had her dinner, went to the bathroom, hung out with us and the rest of the pack. This morning, her shoulder is swollen and painful to her. I'm sick for her. We think her surgeon is out of town, so they may just have to keep her bound up until he can see her on his return. My poor baby. I will update as I get information.

June 23 Hannah Pupdate: She's going in for surgery this afternoon. The doctor won't know which of the three options open to him to use (don't ask me what those are!) until he has her open and can see what damage has been done to the bone. Nothing like two major surgeries in six weeks to bust a budget. Can I have her put in a coma for the months it will take to heal after this? (just a thought)

June 23 at 12:40pmI just want Hannah to come out of this okay. I'm hoping she'll have four legs because (we've only recently been told) being a tripod can be really problematic for a dog her size (90 lbs), with her existing arthritis problems, especially when the missing leg is a front leg. I'm trying hard not to project and just let things happen as they happen.

June 23 at 6:31pmJust got the call: Hannah is waking up and made it through surgery okay. There was just enough to work with, with the addition of several bone grafts (don't know if from her or cadaver). She does have an external cage fixation now. We expect to bring her home on Thursday. Surgeon stressed that the next 8 weeks are critical. (If you need me, I'll be here at home, with Hannah, 24/7 ... with the exception of a wedding(local) we have to attend in August.)

June 24 I miss Hannah. Terry has decided against going to visit her because she gets so terribly upset when he leaves again. sigh. Her doggie companions are NOT pleased with the state of affairs, not pleased in the least.

June 26 Hannah Pupdate: If she looks unhappy, it's because she is. She's much happier when Terry and I are both at home, preferably in the same room with her.

June 27 Hannah Pupdate: She decided to give me a day's vacation. She's back to the vet to have her incision checked and re-bandaged. She just wanted to jump around and play this morning. I swear that the most frequently used expression in this house has become "HEY! Hannah. HEY!" I do believe she knows I'm super serious about this.

June 27 at 10:30amWe think they may have contributed to whatever happened to reinjure the shoulder/leg. She will be in the crate, outside on the leash doing bathroom business, or on the extra doggie bed in the den with leash on and under strict supervision ... for the next two months, at least. She needs to learn to modify her behavior. Even once she's out of this mess, she's going to be vulnerable. We have to convince this 5 year old, with the heart of a 2 year old, that she has the body of 12 year old.

June 27 P l e a s e, please, please let me go out and chase lizards.

June 27 at 8:25pm Vet was pleased with her. Has put her on antibiotics, just in case, however. He acknowledges that there is no way we can keep her from doing things she should not. Like putting weight on that shoulder when she lies down.

June 28 Hannah Pupdate: Chillaxing with her favorite boy toy on a hot Saturday afternoon. Everyone/dog has been on excellent behavior today.

June 30She had some stomach problems this weekend (to be expected when you're on as many medications as she is, I guess), but is good spirits. 

July 1 In honor of my dog Hannah, I am having a month-long sale at Sand Fibers. Use the coupon code "HANNAH" at checkout and receive 35% off your total order. The 3 for 2 Pattern Program will remain in effect, so now is really the time to stock up on Sand Fibers patterns!

July 1 Hannah Pupdate: Hannah will not be able to keep her leg. The doctor is devastated. Terry is devastated. I'm in shock. They are performing the amputation tonight. At least she will be in less pain now.

July 1 at 6:31pmI don't doubt for one second that Hannah will adjust beautifully. She has been amazing with how she handled change in mobility brought on by the first two surgeries. She will be okay. As will the rest of famn family. We will adjust to whatever we need to adjust to.

July 1 Hannah Pupdate: She's out of surgery, minus one front leg, but doing well. She'll be coming home tomorrow evening or Thursday.

July 2 I slept in this morning and then woke to the most amazing wave of support and love from my friends here. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. My heart is full and I am absolutely aware of how blessed Terry and I are.

Hannah Pupdate: The vet said that her elbow was just falling apart, screws coming loose, bone brittle. He thought she was in less pain the moment the leg was removed, based on her vitals and response to anesthesia (don't ask me how they know these things). She will be okay ... just that much more my goofy(-looking and acting, now) gazelle.

July 3 Hannah Pupdate: She's on her way home. Terry said she jumped into the back of the wagon. Nothing keeps this pup down! I'm so excited. Will post a photo later when she's here.

July 3 at 6:29pm SHE'S HOME!

Her first moments home, right after getting some necessary business taken care of before going inside. (And I apologize if this TMI for some of you.)



July 3 at 6:44pmI think being restricted from using that leg for the last six weeks was good balance prep for her. Yes, she's happy to be home again!

July 3 at 7:10pmShe's in pain when she jiggles (I know that cuz she whimpers) but seems fine when she's just down in her crate. Still on pain meds (tramadol) and antibiotics. She seems a lot less stressed than she did after the first two surgeries.

July 3 at 7:41pm be on crate rest for the next two weeks (much shorter than she was going to be with the leg). As for pain, I don't know...but she has good meds for the next few days.

July 4 Hannah Pupdate: She has spent most of the day on one of the dog beds in the den, holding court with the other pups, who know something major has happened but aren't quite sure what. Hannah recommends some method other than amputation for losing 12 pounds, btw.

July 4 at 10:22pm….the dogs are being very gentle...for the most part. Buck does get nervous and reacts aggressively if she yelps in pain or surprise. We stay close.





July 4 at 8:23pmShe gets tramadol pills every 8 hours. Her spirits are worn down a little today. She's more fearful than she was after the other surgeries because certain motions cause her more pain (or so I suspect). She's happy to have Terry here all day; that much I am certain of, however.

Yesterday at 9:14amShe is officially still on crate restriction. The only reason she gets to come out on the dog beds is that she stays put once she's there and is closely supervised.

3 hours ago Hannah Pupdate: Let's face it - she has had a leg amputated; it's got to be painful. That doesn't make it any easier to hear her whimpering as she shifts positions on her bed. I wish we could fast forward to when the healing is done and normalcy settles back in.

2 hours ago ...she is on pain medication and I do believe that it keeps things at a manageable level for her most of the time ... it's just when she has to move or get up to go outside that she protests. I'm wondering if the doctor would allow us to wrap her (kind of like a thunder shirt) to keep the "jiggling" of tissues to a minimum. We'll call the clinic today for suggestions.



And that's the story of the last six weeks ... It's a tale of heavy emotional and financial cost to the humans involved.  As hard as we fought to let her keep it, it cost Hannah her leg Even with wonderful veterinarians discounting some and donating other services, this entire misadventure (doctor, surgical, hospital, medication, and ancillary expenses) has run up to over $12,000 to date.

As mentioned above, I'm running a sale in the store for all of July.  The coupon code HANNAH gets you a 35% discount on your total at checkout.  The 3 for 2 Pattern Program still applies.  The first six days of this sale have been gratifying; I'm hoping for similar results for the next three weeks.

Several friends, oh my goodness my friends!!!!!, have come through with unexpected cash gifts. My husband is both astonished and gratified ... I'm in constant danger of breaking out into tears of gratitude.

Sabine Lippert of trytobead has gone so far as to donate the pattern for this gorgeous bracelet - named Hannah in honor of the cause it supports - for us to sell on this blog.



The 8-page pattern is in English and available for direct download for only $10.


I'll keep you updated better from now on. In the meantime, be well, love your humans and animals, and get going.



Saturday, March 01, 2014

Scroll Borders! And a Winner!

I almost let February go by without adding a new pattern to the store. Almost.  At the very last minute, I managed to publish the file for Scroll Borders.  This design is fun and quick to stitch (yes, even though it is done in odd count).



And we have a winner of the Whole Lotta Love #4 bangle.



Our trusty Random Number Generator picked the last of the 28 comments left on the giveaway post.

I've emailed stitchkat for her mailing address. Congratulations!

And thank you to all of you who have made these last eight years on Etsy such an amazing experience. Things just keep getting better!

Be well and get going!