Osteosarcoma~Norman’s Story

Today I am joining in on the Caring For Critters Round Robin started by our host Jodi at Heart Like A Dog. Each day “a blogging team member” will write a post about a specific illness, injury, disease, condition that they have experienced with their pet and share their story with us. Each member will pass the “round robin baton” on to the next blogger in line to share their story, I will pass the baton on at the end of this post. All posts are lined up on the community page over at Heart Like A Dog, you can go to that page and read all the stories here.

First off I have to admit in one month it will be one year since Norman’s passing from osteosarcoma and writing this post brought a tear to my eye. I still miss that boy and think of him each day. When Jodi first tossed out the idea of a round robin blog hop so to speak I was on board with her and told her I would like to contribute, then the more I thought of it I didn’t really think I had anything to contribute as my gang is healthy and I wasn’t going through anything I thought would be worthwhile to talk about so I told Jodi I was bailing. She got back to me and told me if I wanted to bail I could but she thought it would be nice for me to share my thoughts as to why I chose to go the route I did with Norman’s care when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. I then decided I would join in again on the round robin and share my story.

You can read my original Osteosarcoma post here that I wrote after Norman was diagnosed.

My story of why I chose not to treat Norman’s osteosarcoma beings with a little bit about myself. For those of you who don’t follow my blog I have been a certified Veterinary Technician since June of 1990. I currently work in a small animal practice where we have diagnosed several dogs with osteosarcoma. Some dogs have had treatments. Some with amputation and chemotherapy, some with radiation, and some with just pain control like I did with Norman. This wasn’t the first time dealing with a patient who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma but this time the patient was my own. After consulting with my boss and a specialist John and I decided we would not treat Norman, we would try and control his pain with Rimadyl, gabapectin and tramadol until the pain could no longer be managed then we would make a decision to say goodbye at that time.

A little bit about osteosarcoma. Osteosarcoma is cancer of the bone. It usually affects the  bones of the front and rear legs,  it is rarely cured with chemotherapy alone, but amputation or radiation combined with chemotherapy can increase the medial survival.  Ostersarcoma is a very painful disease if you don’t amputate or do radiation to the lesion you need to use some pretty good pain control to help manage the pain. Usually by the time you diagnose a dog with osteosarcoma it has already spread to the lung, you may not see the mets on the lungs but it doesn’t mean they aren’t there, so if you are going to amputate you should follow up with chemotherapy, average survival time is >1 year . If  you Amputate and don’t do chemotherapy metastatic disease can occur within 1-3 months. If you chose not to amputate you could do palliative radiation therapy to take away  the pain from the lesion. You won’t be trying to cure the disease you will be just making the dog comfortable. You will be making them comfortable for approximately 3-4 months, median survival time for palliative radiation or amputation without chemotherapy is 5 months. It typically is administered as a outpatient session of 2-4 visits where the patient is heavily sedated to prevent movement during the procedure. It will not lower the risk for pathologic fracture. A pathologic fracture is where the cancer has weakened the bone and it can break at any time. It is something no dog should have to go through.

A little bit about Norman. Norman was 12.5 years at the time of diagnosis in June. He had lead a very healthy lifestyle with no health problems except a ruptured cruciate. He was our foundation stud and why we started Sand Spring Chesapeakes. He sired two litters and gave me a daughter and a son whom we still have. He was our first competition dog in UKC and AKC hunt tests. He was our first dog that won any titles for us. He received his AKC Junior, senior and master hunter titles, he also received his UKC finished title. This was a big deal to us as we have never done this stuff before or had a dog to  this caliber. He was also the best hunting dog, companion, best friend and family member anyone could ask for. When Norman was sedated for his bone biopsy my boss also diagnosed him with a tumor on his spleen. She took aspirates from his spleen that we sent to the pathologist to tell us if the tumor was cancerous or not but the results were inclusive. So now he had two things against him, well really three if you count his age. One should not put a time on a dog’s life and  not treat because “he is old”. Knowing what I know and seeing what this disease has done to other dog’s and seeing what the owners have gone through I put a time on my dog’s life which I feel was in the best interest of Norman. After your Veterinarian goes over the pro’s and con’s you need to think long and hard on what is the best thing to do for your pet and your lifestyle.

After weighing all the pro’s and Con’s we decided not to amputate. The lesion was on his front right shoulder so he would have to have his whole arm removed in order to get the cancer. The majority of the dog’s weight is on the front half of the dog. So we needed to think of his lifestyle. Our home is not set up for the recovery of a three legged dog. Norman also had a tumor on the spleen so if we were going to amputate we should also do another surgery to remove the spleen. These types of surgery are very hard on any dog and now we have to think about his age and how he will recover from two major surgeries. We have to figure in his age on doing chemotherapy also, with chemotherapy the average length of time a dog makes it afterwards can be a  year. At his age is it fair to put him through all that when we may or may not get a year?

The main reason we made the decision not to treat Norman was because after the wonderful life he gave us for the past 12.5 years we just could not put him through all that could of been done and let what time he had on earth be spent in hospitals with major surgeries, major recoveries and continued care for however long he had left. He came into this world with dignity he was going to leave this earth in dignity and not have to go through all kinds of stuff just so we could prolong his life because we weren’t ready to say goodbye. We wanted to do what was right for Norman and not make him suffer for us. We made a promise to Norman that we would not let him suffer, when it got to the point where he was in more pain (limping more, tumor grew more) we would say goodbye. He was always a happy dog, I don’t think he ever had a sad day so we were going to make sure he left us the same way.

Since we knew we had limited time with Norman we lived like he was dying. We made our rounds and took Norman to all his favorite spots, visited our friends and had them say goodbye to him. I took lots of pictures and we made lots of memories. I had everything planned out right up to the end. He held on and gave us 5 months to cherish each moment.

The day I made the decision I came home from work and the tumor grew and he was limping more and stumbling more. It was time. A friend told me what her Veterinarian told her when she was trying to know when the time was right. The Veterinarian told her that in a terminal disease like this there isn’t a time that is too early but there can be a time that is too late. Some people hold on too long and that is ok for them but it isn’t ok for me. I never regretted our decision or if the time was right. It was right. I was at peace with the time we had with Norman.

Every medical decision is a individual one, it should be thought out carefully with the help of the Veterinary professionals and family members. To me there is no right or wrong answers as to what or how far someone should go for their pet. Each individual needs to make decisions that are right for them and ones that they will be able to live with.

Thank you for listening to Norman’s story. Tomorrow our host will be talking about Elevated Liver Levels, I pass the baton back to Jodi at Heart Like A Dog.

A Canine Cowboy Cookout Chewy Style

Chewy.com

Ding Dong it’s Chewy.com calling.

 

Oh, give me a home where the Sand Spring Gang roam
Where Gambler and the Glory play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word (cough, cough, cough)
And the skies are not cloudy all day
Home, home on the range
Where the Gambler and the Glory play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word (cough, cough, cough)
And the skies are not cloudy all day

How often at night where the heavens are bright
With the light of the glittering stars
Have I stood there amazed and asked as I gazed
If their glory exceeds that of ours

Home, home on the range
Where the Merrick Cowboy Treats are ate
Where seldom is heard a non crunching mouth
And the pooches stomachs are full all day

Then give me a land where the bright diamond sand
Flows leisurely down to the stream
Where the graceful white swan goes gliding along
Like a maid in a heavenly dream

Oh I would not exchange my old home on the range
Where Chewy.com delivers right to my door
Where the seldom is heard a ding dong of the bell
And the pooches are happy all day

Hey little ladies, what you suppose we got here in this Chewy box?

Yea Haw, lookie here, we got ourselves a Cowboy Cookout!

Cowboy Gambler here, the Cowboy Cookout treats are grain free and gluten free.

Let’s put them to the taste test. Testers today are Cowgirl Nellie and Glory.

Nummy Nummy Nummy

Shucks these Kitchen Bites are delish.

If I squint my eyes hard enough I think these little cowboy hats and boots will jump into my mouth.

Since willing them into my mouth didn’t work, I will just help myself.

This is what Chewy.com says about the Cowboy Cookout treats:

Merrick Kitchen Bites Cowboy Cookout Grain-Free Biscuits Dog Treats

Merrick Kitchen Bites are all-natural, oven-baked biscuits based on Merrick’s innovative and award-winning classic can recipes. Kitchen Bites start with real deboned meat as the #1 ingredient for a single source of high quality protein, then fresh fruits and vegetables, for a crunchy and healthy treat for dogs. Unlike many biscuits that include rice, flour or wheat, Kitchen Bites are grain-free and gluten-free. These Cowboy Cookout biscuits are oven-baked with real beef, potatoes and carrots.

Key Benefits

  • Grain-free and gluten-free biscuits
  • Real deboned meat is the first ingredient
  • Dogs love the taste
  • Made in the USA!

9-oz bag is only $4.49

Cowboy Cookout treats are so delish I will hold a hat on my nose for more.

Let me see all you cowdoggies out there do this!

Cowgirl Nellie says, I love these!

Cowgirl Glory wants more!

The SS gang gives these treats 12 paws up.

Why Chewy.com?

Because: Chewy.com has more than 300 brands to choose from and is ready to fetch it and ship it, direct to your doorstep, anytime of the day. Have a question regarding the best food for your pet? Call us 24/7 and our helpful customer service team at Chewy.com is ready to listen.

Chewy.com lives and breathes pets. Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Chewy.com’s dedicated staff is committed to providing quality pet products to our customers in a fast and easy way. That’s why we have warehouses located throughout the country – so the products are delivered quickly and efficiently. Bottom line, Chewy.com delivers pet happiness – and there’s nothing really better than that.

Their products are 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed (if your not happy call them and they pay for shipping the item back), they have expert pet care and product advice, over 200 of the best pet brands and 24/7 customer care. Another great benefit of Chewy.com is they have autoship for your pet food needs and orders under $49.00 are a flat rate shipping cost of $4.95.

Chewy.com

200 SW 1st Avenue

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

1-800-67-CHEWY

I was compensated 1 Merrick Cowboy Cookout treats for a honest review from Chewy.com.

chewy

We’re joining the Tasty Tuesday blog hop today.  This is a blog hop that celebrates good food, sponsored by Sugar the Golden Retriever and Kols Notes.  

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#mywritingprocesstour

 

Glory, Gambler, Nellie & Fur Angel Norman. My Inspirations.

Today I am joining the other bloggers that participated in #mywritingprocesstour. This is a tour that tells us more about the writing process of the person behind their blog. I was graciously invited by two other bloggers early on in the tour but I declined as this summer is flying by and has my head spinning on all the stuff I need to do each day I didn’t think I had time to participate in this tour and to be honest I’m not a chain letter if you call it that type of person as I always have trouble finding others to follow along with me and agree to do something I would like them to do. So I need to say thank you to Jenna from Owned By A Husky and Jan from Wag N Woof Pets for thinking of me and asking me to join them.

I had been reading other peoples writing process and really enjoyed what they were telling me about their process so when Hawk from BrownDogCBR asked me to join in on his tour I figured why not, I can do this. If you don’t know Hawk I recommend you hop on over and say Hi to him and tour his blog. He is a fellow Chesapeake on many beautiful adventures. Some are at his mountain home and some are at his home on the shores. Where ever he is he is seeing beauty each day of the year and sharing it with us.

So from one Chessie to another Chessie person here are the three questions of the tour I have to answer.

What am I working on?

I am working on finding time to take pictures, edit pictures, come up with and write a blog post. I try to have a couple days done in advance but with trying to train my Chesapeakes Gambler and Glory for upcoming hunt tests in each spare moment of my free time that doesn’t leave much time to prepare my posts like I would like to. I have a couple of reviews that I need to get done and a thank you blog hop for a company I do reviews for coming up.

 

Why do I write what I do?

My blog is about my Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. I started this blog almost 3 years ago when my foundation bitch Nellie was pregnant with her third and final litter. I thought it would be cool to follow along with Nellie’s whelp and have a diary of the puppies. The diary would be for the potential puppy people who were getting a puppy and for me to look back on in the years ahead. I posted a few times but really didn’t get going blogging until later in 2012 where Norman, Nellie, Gambler and Glory became my inspiration. I got serious blogging now to promote Sand Spring Chesapeakes and get my name out there for future puppy buyers. I don’t hide anything about my kennel and breeding. For those who what to know what Sand Spring Chesapeakes is about all they need to do is follow along with this blog and they will follow the adventures of our Chessies. Some days they might get to follow along with MK our cat-chessie too!

How does my writing process work?

My writing process is a fly by night operation. I really don’t know what I am doing. If you can’t tell I’m not the best at grammar, spelling or anything in between. Spell check is very helpful but it still doesn’t help me with the correct writing process. I will be honest here and tell you I wasn’t very good with English and spelling in school and in college I had to take general English or whatever classes and I damn near flunked out. I think they passed me just to get me the hell out of their classroom because I was so sad. I hated writing and anything to do with it. Now that I am older and don’t really care what people think I love to write and tell my story in my own way. I get a giggle when people ask me if I really meant to spell things the way I do or if I meant to write the wrong word. Yes, yes I meant it because I don’t know no better, if you don’t like it don’t read it! How’s that for a philosophy?

Ok now for my real process, my goal this year was to write a blog post each day for the whole year. So far I have stuck with that goal and some day’s I am lucky enough to post two if I didn’t want to combine blog hops. I  mostly do blog hops as it gives me a structure to follow. I have a blogging calendar on google calendar that lists all the blog hops as well as different animal events throughout the whole year that I can blog about and tie into a blog hop if I so wish. I love taking pictures, mostly of my Chesapeakes so I take a bunch, edit them and then tie them into a blog hop. As long as I have my Chessies I will have inspiration.

So that’s #mywritingprocesstour in a nutshell.

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I would like to invite you all to check out my pal Lisa along with Scout, Teddy, Ash and her grandson Diesel from Dogs N Pawz. I’m passing this tour on to yet another Chessie person as Ash is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever who has done a tremendous job at losing weight. Lisa also started her own blog hop Tuesday’s Tails which is a hop for any animal that needs a furever home. If you know of a animal that needs to find a furever home join Lisa and her co-host Sue from Talking Dogs each Tuesday of the month. They also have a Tuesday’s Tails facebook page to help get the word out on animals needing furever homes. Lisa just recently started a new website called  The Daily Coffee Bean. The Daily Coffee Bean is a website that reviews the different coffee makers on the market today. Visit her site if you are looking for a new coffee maker.

Hope you all enjoyed reading my tour as much as I have enjoyed reading all of yours.

FitDog Friday with A See Beautiful Moment

 

One should always take a break from serious training and just have some fun! That’s what pretty much happened this week. I was gone three days so yesterday was the first day I was home to do some training. I took G & G to my friends property and put out some blinds on the water. I ran 4 blinds with each dog and then it was time for some fun. Both dogs love to jump off the pier. Gambler is much better at it than Glory. I think it is because he has a different build then Glory and so that makes him spring up and really get the distance. Glory doesn’t know how to spring up, she is kinda flat when she takes off. Nontheless they both have a ball and it is good exercise to run, splash in the water and swim back to shore to do it all over again.

Getting ready to go.

The Gman launching.

Video of Gman:

Glory’s first jump.

Glory’s second jump.

Glory’s third jump, the launch.

Gotten the form worked out. It’s a 10!

Video of Glory:

 

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The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and Emma from Mygbgvlife to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.

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We are also taking time to join another blog hop: This Moment~See Beautiful

I see beauty in my dogs that can do several activities and look good doing so.

this moment

{This Moment} See Beautiful is a once a month Blog Hop, every 2nd Friday of the month. simply create a blog post that made your day, week, and/or month … inspiring you in Seeing Beauty. Blog Hop inspired by See Beautiful.

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Thursday Barks And Bytes~Hunt Test Friends

The Barks:

This past weekend you know we went to a UKC HRC hunt test where Gambler competed in two finished level tests. While at the hunt test we watched a couple of our hunt test friends run their dogs. I took some pictures of them running. First up The Mini Chessie from yesterday’s Wordless Wednesday post. Who and what is a Mini Chessie you ask? The Mini Chessie is Fibber and she is a Boykin Spaniel. The Boykins just happen to have some Chesapeake Bay Retriever in their ancestry. I’ve had the privilege of hunting with these little dogs last November on a pheasant hunt. They are some really cool dogs that do really great work. You will be seeing more of Ted and Trigger my hunting buddies this fall as I’m sure we will be doing more hunting together. Now on to more pictures of Fibber.

Next pictures are of my friend Cheri and her red lab Church.

We had a great time at the hunt test. Such nice people and dogs.

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FitDog Friday~#K9Kamp And A Star Drill

For our last week of #K9Kamp our backyard fitness was the Sand Spring gang doing the star drill. The star drill is a drill used for handling retrievers. It is 5 posts set up in a star formation and then you put bumpers by each post. You have the dog by your side and you line the dog up to the post you would like them to go to and you send them at that direction. If they are going to the wrong post you handle them by blowing your whistle and making them sit then you give them a hand signal and get them going in the right direction. You can then have them pick up a bumper and as they are coming back you can blow the whistle and make them sit with the bumper in their mouth and you can give them a hand signal and send them to another post. This keeps you in control and teaches them that they have to listen to you when you are handling them.

Here is the set up.

See the 5 posts in a star formation?

Glory was first up.

Glory heading out to the post.

Glory getting the bumper.

Running back to me.

Sitting waiting for a left hand over cast to the bumpers.

Almost there.

Gamblers turn.

Gambler heading out.

Almost to the bumper pile.

Heading back to me.

Waiting for his hand signal.

Right hand back to the pile.

Sitting by the pile. It’s a good idea to make them sit by pile before they pick one up to keep control so they listen to you when by the pile.

Grabbing the bumper.

Heading back.

Of course we couldn’t have our backyard fitness fun with out the help of the Kat Counselor.

Wonder what game they are playing now.

Yikes I better get out of here.

The SS gang had a great three weeks at Kamp thank you to our host for another fun Kamp!

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Please enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!

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My Perfect Chesapeake.

My Perfect Chesapeake.

Great post!

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I want the perfect Chesapeake….or I think I do.

From the moment he is born,( and he will be a ‘He’ so I don’t have to worry about seasons and cycles), he will know that he exists purely to please and obey me. But I also want that independent thinking type of dog that will work unaided when I need him to hunt for a bird in darkness or beyond a bank of reeds.

I want him to have the power, stamina and energy to endure the coldest hunting days in Winter, take on the toughest water and face the hardest cover. But in his off-time he will drop like a stone before the fireplace and lie quietly for hours until asked to come forward and do my bidding once more.
I want him as a protector of my home so he will be strong and confident in his masculinity…

View original post 708 more words

FitDog Friday~Open Water With See Beautiful~Glory Girl

FINALLY! The weather has broke, the freezing cold and snow has disappeared and the pond opened up! The SS gang was happy to see the open water when we took our walk to the pond last weekend. They all jumped in and started swimming around like they never saw water before. Glory would jump in swim to other side, get out and jump in again. She was having so much fun. They didn’t need anything to entertain them or to get them to swim but I did throw a stick a time or two to give them some retrieves. Swimming is a really great exercise to keep dogs fit. It is especially great on dogs with arthritis or recovering from a surgery as they don’t have the constant pounding on hard ground as they do when they walk/run or jump on land.

Here are the pictures from our day at the pond.

My eyes, my eyes she splashed water in my eyes.

My eyes, my eyes she splashed water in my eyes.

So excited the water is open.

So excited the water is open.

Sister Glory keeps jumping in for no reason.

Sister Glory keeps jumping in for no reason.

Another jump in.

Another jump in.

Water in my ear!

Water in my ear!

Gambler let's jump in again, this is great exercise.

Gambler let’s jump in again, this is great exercise.

Cannon Ball.

Cannon Ball.

We love to retrieve sticks.

We love to retrieve sticks.

Flying Glory.

Flying Glory.

Splash!

Splash!

 

Can I help you with your stick or three.

Can I help you with your stick or three.

Nellie trying to walk on water to cut Glory off to get to the stick faster.

Nellie trying to walk on water to cut Glory off to get to the stick faster.

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Please enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!
My American Girl~Glory Girl
I am truly blessed to See Beautiful not only This Moment but every moment of the day when I look at My American Girl, Glory Girl. She brings so much beauty to my life. She is full of life and doesn’t have a care in the world. She knows how to wiggle her butt to make me smile when I am sad. She knows how to make me laugh when I am down. She is the sweetest girl that gets sweeter each day. I am blessed to have a good friend that loves to do photography and knows how to do more advance edits to photos then I could ever imagine. In the next blog posts if you see some really stunning photos chances are Nichole from Alred Photography edited them. Her work as been featured in a Marine Magazine down in Alabama. Thank you Nichole for adding beauty to my photos. 
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this moment
{This Moment} See Beautiful is a once a month Blog Hop, every 2nd Friday of the month. simply create a blog post that made your day, week, and/or month … inspiring you in Seeing Beauty. Blog Hop inspired by See Beautiful.

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Today is also National Pet Day
NationalPetDay

 

Monday Mischief~Catching Up

Two weeks ago I talked about my gator hunt as the gang didn’t get into any mischief, you can read about gators here. Everyone was surprised that Gman didn’t get into any mischief, well he made up for it the next week. Here is what has been happening around our house. It’s a week of playing catch up in mischief.

I have a couple of video’s of mischief to share. This first one is Gman Vs Goose. John brought his goose decoy in the house to fix it. This is what Gman thought of the goose decoy.

Disregard the potty mouth from John, we really don’t talk to our family pet’s that way. lol

This next video is Gman trying to get the cat’s food on the table.

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Gman was so full of it having a week off from mischief he decided it would be a good time to wreck Glory’s bed.

Glory didn’t want to get left out so she grabbed some potpourri that the cat flung off the coffee table and started chewing on it.

photo 5

Now Gambler has been reading his pal Easy’s blog a little too much and wanted to keep up with Easy in the toy destruction posts.

Gman Vs Big Red Bone

I'm being a good boy.

I’m being a good boy.

What do we have in here?

What do we have in here?

I think there is a squeekie in here.

I think there is a squeekie in here.

There is only fuzz....

There is only fuzz….

I must get all the fuzz out.

I must get all the fuzz out.

This is how my pal Easy does it.

This is how my pal Easy does it.

photo 3

Sure is a lot of fuzz.

Sure is a lot of fuzz.

I think I have it all.

I think I have it all.

The infirmary.

The infirmary.

Watcha doing mom?

Watcha doing mom?

MK helping out.

MK helping out.

MK watching gman steal the toy.

MK watching gman steal the toy.

How’s that for taking a week off of mischief?

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monday mischief

This is a Blog Hop. Thanks to Alfie’s BlogSnoopy’s Dog Blog , Luna, a Dog’s Life , and My Brown Newfies for setting up this hop. Please go to any of the sponsoring blogs to find out who else has been mischievous.

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Nothing But Norman #35

Happy Saturday Everyone! Today marks 600 posts!

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 St. Patrick’s day is coming up on Monday. Even know we at Sand Spring Chesapeakes are not Irish we like to pretend we are. Here is Norman in his St. Paddy’s day wig last year. Wasn’t he a handsome lad? 

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The whole month of March our pal Oz is doing Limericks for his friends. You can read this weeks one here and here. He is so clever and funny and you get to meet new bloggers. After I found out Norman had Osteosarcoma last June Oz asked if he could write a Limerick for his pal Norman. I was so touched, this Limerick means so much to me so I thought I would share it again today. You can see it on Oz page also by clicking here.

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11/3/00 I found my pot of gold, I found Norman J Stancer who was richer in life than any pot of gold could of been. His love for me was golden and it filled my heart til it was over flowing, where it will stay til we meet again.

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We are now joining Ruckus The Eskie for Sepia Saturday.

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Peekaboo I see you.

Peekaboo I see you.

Last Saturday I posted up a tribute to my friend Kathy who lost her Chesapeake Monet. When I hit publish the tribute wasn’t there so I want to take time to share it again today. May Monet always be in your heart guiding you through the tough days, weeks, years ahead.

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