Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Way To Go Heels!

I realized that I have been slacking and have not once mentioned our beloved UNC Tarheels during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

The Heels beat Oklahoma on Sunday and are now in the Final Four!

We are hundreds of miles from Chapel Hill, but we still bleed Carolina Blue. This may seem odd, since it is not our alma mater, but ever since Jeff worked at the University and we purchased season tickets, we were hooked.

UNC will play Villanova and UConn will play Michigan State on Saturday.

It is a good thing that Jeff's parents like basketball, because I do not want to miss this game. Jeff's Dad went to Michigan State and the Championship could be Michigan St vs UNC.

Wouldn't that be interesting ?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Bath Time

By the time we finished with Coop's morning walk we were all soaking wet. I said, "Since we're already wet, we may as well go to the dog wash". Both Coop and Jeff gave me the same "do we have to" look.

I wish I brought the camera, not for Coop, but the site of Jeff in a big yellow rubber apron was priceless.

Coop did not want a bath. He refused to jump onto the bench, so Jeff just scooped him up. We were very careful around his incisions. As Coop's hair gets thicker, it takes much longer to blow dry his fur.

Coop is now looking beautiful and his fur is unbelievably soft. We have family visiting this coming weekend, so Cooper will be all ready for lots of love.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I knew we were in trouble the other evening when we pulled into the driveway and saw frogs hopping across the blacktop headed towards the pond.

The frogs are now "singing" all day and night. It is not so bad during the day, but when you are trying to sleep, they sound like an off key band outside our window.

Thankfully, it is too cold to open the windows.

There are a pair of hawks constantly perched in the trees around the pond. I can only hope that they are enjoying frog legs as appetizers.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pond Life

The wood ducks seem to be enjoying the pond. They will fly in for a few hours each day.

We have also had a pair of mallards visit. I do not think these ducks are Maddy and Paddy. They did not fly off when I put out corn, but they refused to leave the water.

Maddy and Paddy would come running whenever they saw the corn.

Cooper has not shown much interest in the ducks on the pond. We will not let him get too close to the water.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Cooper's stitches were removed today. He can wear his collar again. I think Cooper will be thrilled to get rid of his harness.

I thought we would have a lot of problems with Cooper chewing at his stitches. However, he was great! He occasionally licked his leg, but no chewing.

I am hoping to take Cooper to the dog wash this weekend. He could really use a bath. It will probably take months for Coop's hair to grow back.

We have an appointment on Thursday with the oncologist.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I was finally able to speak with Dr. Duffy about his discussion with the oncologist. It turns out that there is a "world class" animal oncology center in Norwalk, just a few miles from Norwalk Vet Hospital.

The oncologist stated that there is a chemotherapy protocol for dogs with thyroid carcinoma. Since they did not have Cooper's test results, they cannot give specific details.

Dr. Duffy is very realistic and reminded me that the oncology center's business is chemo and radiation, so they almost always recommend followup treatment.

I have a lot of concerns about starting Cooper on chemo. We agreed to make an appointment with the oncologist and can then make an informed decision.

The oncologist should be able to tell us how long Coop can survive with and without chemo, the cost for treatments, side effects, etc.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Not Our Ducks

On Sunday morning, I looked at the pond and saw two ducks swimming on it.

I immediately thought Maddy and Paddy (the mallard pair) had returned, so I went out with some corn. As soon as I got close to the pond, the ducks flew away. I knew that these were not our ducks.

This morning I looked out and the two ducks were back. I pulled out my binoculars and saw that they were a pair of wood ducks. I know that wood ducks are very flighty, so I just let them enjoy the pond in peace.

I don't know if Maddy and Paddy survived the winter or if they found a new home. It seems that sadly, they will not be back this year.

Cooper Update: Dr Duffy and I are playing phone tag, so I don't know the oncologist's recommendations. This may be TOO much information, but I found a great article about thyroid carcinoma at http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=2666&S=1

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cooper's Back

I don't know if it is the fact that Cooper heard the good news from Dr Duffy or if it was that on Monday Coop was home alone and got to sleep most of the day.

In any case, the old "never slow down" Coop was back Monday evening.

Since his surgery, Coop has pretty much ignored his toys and rawhide. This evening he started carrying around his big rubber ball and dropping it at our feet, with a please throw it look on his face.

When he got tired of the ball, Coop started chewing on his rawhide bone. I only let Coop have the bone for a little while, so he would not open up the stitches in his neck. Coop did not want to give the bone up and only a stern word stopped a tug of war from occurring. If you haven't guessed - Coop loves tug of war.

As Jeff says Coop doesn't know he may be sick and we're not going to tell him ;)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Test Results

Dr. Duffy called us at home tonight. He asked how I was and I said that depends on how Cooper is.

Dr. Duffy said "I have pretty good news".

We started with the bad news - the neck tumor is thyroid carcinoma which typically spreads to the lymph nodes and lungs. (The lump on his leg was benign).

The good news or to quote Dr. Duffy "The best news we could have hoped for" - the tumor appears to be fully encapsulated, which means that it all was removed during surgery. Also, the x-rays of Coop's lungs were clear!

What does it really mean ? Dr. Duffy said it is possible that the cancer has spread and it is just too small to see or it may reappear in the future. He will contact an oncologist to see if there is a standard protocol that is typically followed.

We will need to have chest x-rays every few months and check for swelling in his lymph nodes.

Dr. Duffy said these tumors are usually found too late and invade the jugular vein, so we are lucky. At least we know Coop will be with us for a while longer (think months, not days).

We should know more later this week after Dr. Duffy speaks with the oncologist.

To everyone who said a prayer, emailed, called or just thought about us, we THANK YOU!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I don't know if tomorrow will be a day of celebration or sadness, but I thought we could all use a smile....

I was wrapping a rather large gift in the living room and Cooper was napping near by. When I unrolled the wrapping paper Cooper came over to take a peek. I didn't think twice about his curiosity.

When I pulled the paper up around the box, Cooper pounced on it. I yelled, "Hey!".

Cooper had a gleam in his eye and a smile on his lips.

I took a closer look at the paper and realized that there were tiny metallic flecks that were reflecting the light.

Cooper pounced again - he was determined to conquer this box. I couldn't help but laugh and didn't have the heart to yell at Coop. He was SO happy and it was nice to see crazy Coop again.

The box eventually got wrapped. The paper may be a little wrinkled, but I don't think the recipient will mind.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bathroom Complete

The shower curtain has been hung.

Everything is back in its proper spot.

The bathroom is complete.

Friday, March 20, 2009


We are still waiting to hear from Dr. Duffy about Cooper's radiology and pathology results.

I am hoping that on Monday, we will know something definite.

Neither Jeff nor I have slept very well since we were told that Cooper has cancer.

Cooper, on the other hand, seems unfazed. When Coop hops up on the bed at night he immediately falls asleep until 6:10 am.

Cooper is not the same since surgery. He seems to have lost some of his spark, but that may be expected. I know that he is tired and seems stiffer when he walks.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lemon Hill Window Treatment

My eBay window treatment arrived.

It is not an exact match to those in the bedroom, but very close.

The shower curtain also arrived, but I need special hooks to hang it. Not sure when I will get out to buy those, since we are trying to spend as much time as possible with Coop while he recovers from surgery.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


When we picked Coop up last night, he was glassy eyed, whimpering and unsteady on his feet. His eyes were so sad and reproachful - all I could think was I hope this pain is ultimately worthwhile.

Cooper cannot wear a collar due to the stitches in his neck. We purchased a harness, which Coop hates. Maybe over the next two weeks he will adjust to it ?

When I look at Coop, he reminds me of a patchwork quilt - with his shaved patches and black stitches.

We are trying to be optimistic and praying for good test results. Some dogs with this cancer can survive for a year or longer. Wouldn't that be nice to hear ?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I woke up this morning, feeling like my world was falling apart. On the way into work, I stopped at the dry cleaner and chatted with the owner. The owner said she was sad today (me too, I thought) because she had to put her Mom into a nursing home yesterday.

Those words put Cooper's cancer into perspective. My heart may be breaking, but there are many things worse than a sick dog.

Dr Duffy removed 2 masses from Cooper - one in his neck (cancerous) and the second on his thigh (preventative). The thyroid tumor appears to be encapsulated, which would reduce the risk of the cancer having spread.

We will not know Cooper's prognosis for a few days until we get the radiologist and histopathology reports.

Coop is coming home late tonight and for now that is enough.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Deja Vu

Just a few months ago we were told that Danny had cancer. Now, we have been told that Cooper has cancer - Thyroid Carcinoma to be exact.

The vet wants to immediately remove the mass in Cooper's neck, so he will have surgery tomorrow (Tues).

Once the mass is removed it will be biopsied. If the makeup of the tumor is known, we can better gauge how to treat it.

Thyroid carcinoma spreads quickly to the lungs, so Cooper will also have an x-ray to see if the cancer has metastasized there. There is no hope if the cancer is in his lungs.

I am stunned, shocked and unprepared to once again battle this disease.


The faucet and plumbing have been installed. We now have a working sink.

The valance has been shipped and should arrive this week. I am still waiting to hear from the seller of the shower curtain about when this will ship.

We have not heard from Dr. Duffy about Cooper's biopsy results. I will call again today to see if they have received the lab results.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I was never a big fan of white chocolate, until I had a Lindt white chocolate truffle. These delicious chocolates quickly moved up to the top of my favorites list.

At Easter time, I like the Lindt white chocolate bunnies. We went to the Danbury Lindt store and they did not have any white bunnies. Disappointed, I called the Stamford store.

The clerk must have sensed the desperation in my voice because she said that she would reserve a few white bunnies for me. When we got to the store, the bunnies were waiting.

We also saw some milk chocolate dipped white truffles wrapped in Easter foil. The same clerk saw Jeff pick up a bag and said we have the same ones left over from Xmas at 75% off.

That was all I needed to hear. Off I went to the sale rack. The clerk tried to convince me that the GIANT reindeer was a great buy for only $20 (was $80), but I couldn't imagine eating that much milk chocolate.

I do have to confess that I was tempted ;)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Easter Season

You know that Spring has arrived when the crocus and bunnies appear.

Yes, I do have Fitz and Floyd for all seasons.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Blossom Hill - Lemon

Several years ago we bought our Waverly Blossom Hill Lemon comforter set and window treatments. When we moved from Oxford they got packed up and only reappeared when we painted the master bedroom.

Since this pattern stopped being manufactured several years ago, I wasn't sure what to do for a bathroom window treatment. You guessed it, eBay to the rescue.

It turns out that there is someone who makes Blossom Hill curtains and sells them on eBay (the fabric is still manufactured by Waverly).

While researching the curtains, I found an auction for a new Blossom Hill fabric shower curtain. I couldn't resist and after waiting for 3 days put a bid in at the last 60 seconds. We won!

Now I just have to wait for these items to arrive.

In the mean time, the new window shade has been installed, so the bathroom can be used again.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cooper's Checkup

When Dr. Duffy examined Cooper he found 2 other lumps, not counting the one on his back leg. So, that meant there were 3 masses which were aspirated.

Coop was a great patient - did not pull away during the aspiration, but did yelp when the needle went into his throat.

After reviewing the slides of the aspirated cells, 2 slides were found to be ok (normal cells). However, the third slide of the lump in Cooper's neck seemed to have some abnormal cells.

Dr. Duffy is sending this slide to the lab for confirmation. He does not think it is cancer, but wants more details. At worst, he said the mass would have to be removed during surgery with anesthesia.

We asked what was causing this and the vet said it is mainly genetics and does not have anything to do with diet.

Cooper weighs 59 lbs. (on the vet's scale). Dr Duffy said this was IDEAL and we should make sure he stays trim.

Jeff asked if Dr Duffy thought Coop was a Lab/Golden mix. Surprisingly the vet said "NO". He said Coop has some unusual characteristics for a Golden (the broader nose, the ridge of fur at the bridge of his nose and the shorter ears), but he did not think there was Lab in Coop, because of the feel and length of his coat.

Dr. Duffy said it will take 1 full year for Coop's old coat to grow out and a new one to come in.

So, in 6 more months, we should see the real Cooper.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Towel Bars

The new towel bars and mirror have been installed.

When we saw the mirror at HomeGoods, I wasn't sure how well it would work with a red/brown vanity. However, Jeff really liked it and I thought the frame was interesting.

We decided that for $20, we couldn't go too wrong. Now that it is hung, it is starting to grow on me. I think the brushed nickel fixtures and black specks in the granite balance the silver and black frame.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Back to the Vet

Now that Cooper has been with us for 6 months, it is time for another visit with Dr. Duffy.

My biggest concern is a lump on Cooper's rear leg. I am hoping that this mass is a fatty tumor or perhaps due to some previous trauma.

I refuse to consider that cancer may again be threatening another one of our pups.

We should know more on Wed evening after Cooper is examined.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Lowes, Take Two & Three

After we discovered that the undermount sink was not installed correctly, we went back to Lowes to exchange that countertop for a new one.

We picked up a new countertop, checked that the plumbing fixtures would fit in the holes and headed back home.

The next day when we went to install the second granite top, we noticed that there was a chip in the front edge of the granite.

This meant another trip to Lowes. We finally found a countertop that we are happy with.

The worst part of all this was carrying an 85 lb granite slab up and down 2 flights of stairs numerous times. The drain and faucets will be installed next weekend.

While at Lowes, we purchased the same brushed nickel knobs that match the ones used in our built in cabinets.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


The bathroom has now been painted and matches the bedroom color. The new white trim and ceiling paint seem to pop against the green.

At least both rooms seem to flow together now.

We had hoped to install the granite counter top this weekend. However, when Jeff tried to install the faucet handles, they would not fit into the holes. It turns out that the undermount sink was installed incorrectly and was blocking the holes.

The sink/countertop will have to be returned to Lowes. Hopefully, they will have one in stock that does not have this issue.

Friday, March 06, 2009

6 Months

Cooper has now been with us for 6 months.

I thought that it might be interesting to show how much he has changed since coming to Wilton.

The top picture is Coop when he was in Maine with Linda P.

The bottom pictures are Cooper today.

Cooper now has belly hair and feathering. When you hug him, he is not all bones.

Sometimes when he is sleeping, it looks as if Coop is smiling. His nickname is Thumper, because his tail is always wagging and thumping on the floor.

I think that Cooper knows that he is safe, that there will be food and water in his bowl, and that he has people who will care for him.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Snow, snow go away

Last week I was posting pictures of my spring bulbs. Today I am posting images of the heavy snow fall we received.

Considering it is now March, I never expected a foot of snow to fall.

Cooper loves the snow, so he is very happy.

This may be the worst storm we received all winter. I know it is the first time that my office was closed.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Jersey Boys

We went to see Jersey Boys on Broadway. It was FANTASTIC! I was singing Frankie Valli songs all the way home on the train.

Until we went to the show, I did not realize how many hit songs had been recorded by the Four Seasons.

If you get a chance to attend Jersey Boys, I would strongly recommend buying tickets.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


The new bathroom fan has been installed. Yes, it does look familiar. We purchased the same fan that we used in the downstairs bath.

I really like that there is a nightlight in this fan. Plus, it is incredibly quiet.

Compared to our old ugly fan, it is a real improvement (see second photo).

I bought this fan on the Internet and saved 50%. Plus there was FREE FedEx shipping to the house. How could I resist ?

The store we typically purchase from admitted that they could not compete with online purchasing and are losing customers. I don't mind paying a little more to a brick and mortar store, but to pay twice the amount makes me feel like I am being taken advantage off.

Don't get me started on their markup for Jado faucets! I will rant about that on another day.