More From Rumpy

I am now assigned to work from home.

It’s great to get to be here with Rumpy and the kitties more, even if I’m working.

Especially now.

Rumpy has taken a turn for the worse. He still eats well and never says no when I offer to take him outside, but his breathing continues to become more labored. He had a spell last night and I considered a trip to an emergency vet. I cranked up the window a/c in the bedroom (that I installed for Rumpy to be comfortable without freezing the rest of us out) and he started breathing better.

This morning Rumpy ate his breakfast of chicken and kibble. He was ready to head outside. He snuck and ate some cat food. Same old Rumpy behavior.


It’s hard to know what to do. On the one hand, I don’t want Rumpy to suffer greatly, and difficulty breathing can be frightening. On the other hand, he’s eating and walking around, and can still pull me around the yard when he puts his mind to it.

I often second-guess myself. Should I ask for yet another x-ray to see if the spot has grown more? Should I go ahead and consent to the surgery to tack his laryngeal flap? Should I get another opinion? I mean, I could get a different answer.

When I took Bubba to the vet 6 months ago and had bloodwork done, I was told then he was in the beginning stages of kidney failure and that while he shows signs of hypothyroidism, the medication could make his kidneys worse so it was up to me as to whether or not I gave him meds. Last week I took Bubba back for a follow-up and was told his kidneys were fine and his thyroid was worse. Same vet clinic. Same tests. Different vet. So now he’s on thyroid meds.

I’m continually weighing the options. Since our vet in Florida also thought Rumpy suffered from laryngeal paralysis, and two vets compared the x-rays, I’m not inclined to see another vet just yet.

Finances are one of those options I have to weigh.


I never cease to be amazed with those who have the resources to pay for every procedure offered. Some have insurance, but insurance doesn’t cover all of it. Many people set up funding site accounts to raise money for vet care. That works for some, but Phoebe’s human never did raise enough money to repay the loan taken out to pay for her vet care in her final days. Funny, isn’t it? I see some people ask for money several times a year and rack up every time, while others ask for help and get none, or not all that they need. And no, I’m not asking for donations, so please don’t offer.

Enough whining. It’s time to start working, so let me get to it. The photos posted today are the most recent I’ve taken of the Rumpster. Enjoy, and have a good week.

Please keep Rumpy in your thoughts.


33 thoughts on “More From Rumpy

  1. Jen, Rumpy will let you know when it’s time. From my numerous experiences, this always holds true. As long as he is eating, and showing interests in things, he is not ready. Although each Guardian is different, I think we all have the angst of what is best for our charges. Continue to enjoy those moments. I believe, it is not a “coincidence” you are working from home. Sending much love to each of you.

  2. Thanks for the Rumpy update. Thinking of you and the difficult decisions and turmoil you must feel. Never easy. Sounds like he’s hanging in there. He’s tough and so is his mom!

  3. When our Dillon was diagnosed with early stage kidney failure, our vet put him on a compounded medication called “Calcitriol” It’s kind of expensive, but Dil was 15 when he was diagnosed, and he lived to be 20, with good quality of life. It’s a form of vitamin D, so it was no strain on his liver, but it stopped the kidney failure in its tracks, and that’s not what he eventually died from. Since Rumpy had that one test that suggested early stage kidney disease, I suggest you ask your vet about Calcitriol, and if he/she is unfamiliar, try to find a holistic vet who can prescribe it for you. I don’t think the thyroid meds are too tough on the liver either…I’ve been on them for almost 50 years and my liver is fine.

  4. What is the point in spend more money on tests and ex-rays and the like for Rumpy when its most likely to tell you the same thing you already know.When he isn’t interested in eating and going out and life its self then that will be the time to see a vet.but as long as he is happy why drag him through all that,Just enjoy being around him now you are working from home and we will keep the cookie monster in our thoughts and keep all fingers and paws crossed for him to continue to still want to be around and happy,Love to you Jen and the Rumpster,xx Rachel and Speedy

  5. Thanks for the update Jen, we are keeping all of you in our thoughts. Much love and huds. Denzils daaad.

  6. Three years ago we were in a similar situation with our Mickey. We were fortunate to be able to juggle our work schedules so that either my daughter or I were never out of the house at the same time since we made our sweet boy feel safer. We were lucky to be able to be with him and love him while he was with us. We’re lucky to continue loving him now. xoxoM

  7. Jen, I’m so glad you’ve had this much time with Rumpy and he’s still feeling pretty good! You are right about different vets interpreting tests and symptoms differently, just like people doctors. One of the things it means when diagnoses can shift among a group of professionals is that the condition isn’t so advanced that it’s clearly one thing or another, and that means it’s usually just an annoyance for the patient, not a life-threatening condition, and you have some time to think.

    Any surgery for an animal with compromised health is tricky, and while it might help him with one part of his health condition it may weaken him irreparably and not give him much more quality or length of life, but then again, it might. At this point, you could package up all the information and see if you can consult with a specialist or find veterinarians who are very experienced with this condition with just the paperwork, and focus on learning more about laryngeal paralysis and what others have done. Maybe others have even more actions or treatments you can take that your vets haven’t suggested. The other thing you can do is look for a hospice veterinarian. Often they are more skilled with end of life conditions of all sorts than regular vets because they treat them pretty much exclusively every day.

    My veterinarian isn’t big on ongoing tests after a diagnosis has been established, such as seeing if a mass is growing, although it’s really hard for me to just go with observation rather than tests, but I do. Unless you consider the surgery, you are keeping him comfortable and happy, which is pretty much what you’ve done all his life. If he has more good than bad, which it certainly seems he has, then avoid things that aggravate the bad spells, which you have, and just keep close watch each day to look for patterns. Keep a little notebook so you can track trends. If a mass is growing, you’ll see its effects on him. If you see changes, talk to your vet. All of this helps you not spend money on things that aren’t really informative. This is the difficult part for everyone, not knowing. I hope you have a lot more time with him than you think you do!

    1. I did my research on LP when it was first mentioned in FL. Studies indicate that it’s not just a breathing issue but a neurological one. It’s why I missed the tumor on his leg; I thought his favoring one leg was an LP symptom. I have nothing against vets but they are human like the rest of us. I’ve been told by three different vets that Bubba is at death’s door and yet here he is 3 years after the first diagnosis hanging in there. So I look at physical evidence, study the research (and with dogs there’s a good amount of it out there) and make a decision that is always subject to change.

  8. I don’t know what meds Rumpy is on and I don’t want to act like a know it all but several years ago, I had a cat with lymphoma who had difficulty breathing. Prednisone helped her breathe better. I don’t know if that would help Rumpy or maybe he is already on steroids but I know humans with various breathing issues also use steroids. In my cat’s instance, the prednisone reduced the swelling around her tumors and gave her additional quality time.

  9. There is not a day that goes by that Rumpy is not in my thoughts. I don’t ask every day because that would be annoying. If I were a praying person I’d be praying for Rumpy every day. I understand the concern about costs. Medical care for our beloved companion animals can put us into near bankruptcy.

    I’m glad you are able to work from home now.

  10. Thoughts and prayers are with all of you. It’s such a difficult time. i remember wrestling with when to put our dog down. As good pet parents, we don’t want our animals to suffer, but sometimes, it’s hard to ttell if they are. It sounds to me like Rumpy has a little time left – like maybe he isn’t suffering tooi much yet. Our dog had arthritis and it finally got so bad he had to be caried in and outside for potty. One day he just sat and looked at me with those sad eyes, and it was as if he was syaing – it’s time mom. It’s time. So we called the vet and went yet that day. It may hit you like htat – you’;ll just know he’s been through enough and so have you with the worry. I felt at great peace thereafter. Oh yes, we missed him dearly and tears were shed for a long time, but I was at peace about it. It’s so hard. HUGS!

  11. Jen, thank you for the update on Rumpy and Bubba. I think about the three of you often.
    i, like your other friends, am not a vet and can only share from my experience.

    i had a cat on thyroid meds for 5 years. He died at 18 of something else. He was not a great pill take so I put it in his food. Another of my cats was diabetic with two shots a day for 7 years. He did develop kidney problems and I gave him fluids 3x a week for about a year. He was 18 when he died.

    It’s not easy to decide what if anything you should do, and no one except maybe a vet can tell you. Take a look at Rumpy’s life and judge when it’s time. Don’t second guess yourself. That would be the last thing to do. You’ve had dogs and cats for many years and have watched their behavior. You “listened” to DeeDee and she told when she dad enough.

    You have given Rumpy and Bubba love and a wonderful life. They in turn gave you absolute love and loyalty.
    Think of you. Hugs and smoochies from Duncan.

  12. Glad of the update on Rumpy. As others have said, he will tell you when he is ready to go! He has the best care, he is happy! That’s all one can ask. xxx

  13. Rumpy will let you know when enough is enough. You know what they say about hindsight being 20/20 – it is true. I kept getting “that look” from Angel Shiloh but I refuse to listen, at first. I wanted to find that miracle cure – or at least something that would improve his appetite and for a while it worked. There was a part of me deep inside that knew what was going on – knew that there were signs I recognized pointing to his cancer but I had 2 vets saying different-
    bacterial infection and ringworm which was causing his skin lesions so that is what I went with along with medications which was something else I wish I had not done since those two diagnoses were not the real problem. I even mentioned to one of those vets I was worried about the possibility of cancer – he said, “Oh, we’re not there yet.”. It finally took a trip to the K-State vet hospital who finally diagnosed the widespread cancer and that there was nothing more that could be done for him. Finally, that night, I agreed when Shiloh showed me “that look”. And by the way, I paid it all. We pet parents hate to think that finances don’t play a part in our decisions and sometimes they won’t – luckily I had some money in savings that covered even the ultrasound at K-State otherwise who knows.

    To me – it sounds like you are doing the right thing for Rumpy. But if he is still eating, sneaking cat food and willing to go outside – sounds like he still wants to stay around for a bit. Like Candace said – there are meds that can help with his breathing however he may not need those yet – I’m just thinking that is just took that air conditioner air that helped. And I bet that the best thing you could have done to help Rumpy feel good – just being able to be with him more – not having to go to work even if you are still working there – probably makes you feel a whole lot better too.

  14. Thank you very much for the update on Rumpy, Jen.
    Rumpy is always in my thoughts. I love him and his family.
    hugs and love, from angel kevin’s mom

  15. It’s good you can work from home. You are probably considering all the things I did when Jamima was still here. It’s normal. He is looking happy and it’s all you can sometimes ask. Do what you can to enjoy his company. Thinking of you all. Cheers,H

  16. I’m glad you’re getting to spend more time together through working from home. It’s a difficult time and my thoughts are with you.

  17. Such a hard time for you but am glad you are working from home and can be with them at this time. Much love to both of you xx

  18. My heart goes out to you and Rumpy, it’s a difficult time for you both, but you seem to be doing great (under the circumstances). I’m sure you will know when the time is right to let him go, but it seems Rumpy is playing his part in staying with you for as long as possible. I’m pleased he is still eating and, long may he want to do so. It’s wonderful that you can work from home, to stay with your special boy during work hours. Sending love and hugs to you both. xx

  19. Oh Jen…indeed it’s never a one size fits all answer..i know being home with Rumpy will make a huge difference to you both..the only and i mean only upside to hubby being made redundant after 26 years was that those 9 months it took to find work he was home with us and got to spend 9 months day in day out with Forrest before we lost him….time that meant a deeper bond in his last months …as for treatments with Doc our vet is in agreeance with us that quality is the goal..he knows and we know no tests will change the outcome and only upset him more than he needs to pain meds heart meds his enzymes for his pancreas and let the old pup be himself..for us when Doc is no longer being a terrier then we will make the call…i know i would want quality over quantity and i think we all want the best for our fur kids…sending continued love to your pup and you…❤

  20. You’ll know when it’s time. He sounds happy enough if he’s enjoying food and sniffs outside. Just because seemingly endless medical opinions/surgery are available, doesn’t mean it’s always the right thing to do. Trust your heart.

  21. Purrayers and POTP for your boy. I agree with the other comments – he will let you know when it’s time.

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