I’m Concerned About My Dog, Sage

Sage 9/1/10

Sage 9/1/10

I have three different blog sites and none of them are really appropriate for talking about my dog, but I decided this is where I’ll take a step back from crafts to write about my sweet dog, Sage.  Sage is my first dog and he’s a half-Golden, half-Lab that my husband and I raised from a puppy of 9 or 10 weeks.  He will be 7 years old in early November, and anyone who has ever met him just loves him to pieces.  Sage is very humble, delicate, gentle, loving, sweet and funny.

He’s a very active dog who goes on lots of hikes with my husband, Jake; chases his ball; loves to swim; jumps off the dock at the cabin; lets small children ride him like a pony; and loves to run.  He is very fit and people often think he is just a puppy.  Sage has a good life – he is loved very much and when he’s not sleeping on his giant “Sage” embroidered L.L. Bean dog bed, he’s being cuddled by my husband in our bed.  He enjoys weekly showers or hot baths, and I dry his fur with my ionized hair dryer.  He’s like our furry son and he lives inside our house and sometimes goes to work with Jake.  After he was born, I sent “It’s a Boy!” announcements out and we had a welcome party for him.  I’ll have to post pictures of the invitation and the thank you cards I made.  🙂

Last February I was at an open house when Jake called to say he was taking Sage to the animal hospital for pain.  For a few weeks that month, Sage would let out a few yelps when Jake would dry his hind quarters.  Sometimes Sage would walk very stiffly or abruptly stop chasing a ball.  Starting in February, something seemed wrong.  His skin was also hot and red and he was very itchy, but flea medicine didn’t help.

After spending an obscene amount of money at the vet for prescriptions, x-rays, blood-work and other tests, it was deemed that he was fine.  Jake thought he might have a hairline fracture, allergies or a blood disease.  We tried Benadryl, changed his food, poured apple cider vinegar on his food, reduced the amount of hiking and playing he did… I feel we tried everything.  He would seem okay off and on as the months passed.

I was in Anaheim, CA last week and my husband stayed home with the dog.  Jake, Sage and Jake’s dad were going to hike part of the pacific Crest Trail from Stevens Pass to Snoqualmie Pass that week I was gone, but I was worried Sage would “break down” during that week.  We decided it would not be a good idea for Sage to do all that walking and playing, so Jake and Sage stayed home.

Yesterday Sage went to work with Jake and a 135 pound Rottweiler mauled him most of the day.  Jake is a general contractor and if Sage comes along, sometimes he’ll play with the owner’s dog.  This dog was too big and frisky for Sage.  When I got home late from work, Jake was at Bible class and I found Sage shivering on the living room floor.  He was wet and had just had a bath a few hours ago, so I covered him with blankets and dried him with my hair dryer.  Normally he greets me at the door so originally I didn’t think Sage was home!  The cats stayed nearby, concerned for Sage.  He didn’t move much last night and Jake had to lift him up onto our bed because he couldn’t jump.

Today I was with clients or in the office all day and had a feeling I should head home early to let him use the “bathroom.”  I got home just after 5 pm and found him huddled near where he was last night – shivering and twitching but his skin was hot.  I put a blanket on him and called Jake, who cancelled his 7 pm appointment and called the vet.  I brought Sage’s breakfast bowl over and coaxed him to eat and have water.  I’ve been sitting on the floor for the last 90 minutes, just computing and petting my sweet dog.

When Jake called the vet, they told him that whatever happened to him to cause his problems in February has obviously not stopped.  He is getting worse, and dogs age more rapidly than people.  The vet said we simply must stop him from running, hiking and exercising.  Jake is losing his best hiking buddy and this was hard for Jake to hear. We plan a lot of our activities around Sage and dog-friendly hikes and campgrounds.  To think we have to leave him home or kennel him while we go out and have fun is a new way of thinking that we’re not comfortable with.  However, we’ll do what’s best for our sweet dog.  Jake is on the way home and will stop at the vet to pick up some prescriptions.

I know this post was long and not written eloquently, but I had so many friends from Twitter show concern and ask about Sage and thought writing a quick a blog post would be the best way to explain what’s happening.  I love my dog and just want his pain to go away so he can feel good again.

Thanks for reading.

Sage as a puppy!!!

Sage as a puppy!!!

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. angie_seattle
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 18:34:41

    Poor baby! I hope he gets better soon. Dogs are like our kids (but always glad to see us). Hoping he’s just a little stiff and sore from the play and it passes. Hugs to all.



  2. Grandma B
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 18:47:01

    oh no, hope Sage feels better — maybe another vet’s opinion? I remember Dandy with his hip displacement. When I had my hip operation, we were a sight – on crutches, the only way I could help him up was to slip a towel under him, and raise it up. Keep me posted.


  3. Jayma
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 19:42:37

    Poor Sage. I’m so sorry you and Jake are going through this. Our dog is our fur-baby, too, and I can’t imagine having to leave him at home when you go out to “play.” We also plan our activities around dog-friendly places. I agree with Grandma B that you should get a second opinion. It just doesn’t sound right that a 7-yr-old dog isn’t able to go out and play. There’s gotta be something wrong. I’m so sorry, Steph! Good luck, and keep us updated!


  4. Deborah
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 20:43:41

    Awwww…poor Sage 😦 I hope he starts feeling better soon. Maybe like the other person said, take him for a second opinion? These animals are just such a precious part of our families…((hugs))


    • Stephanie Dawson
      Sep 02, 2010 @ 21:15:01

      Thank you! Getting a second opinion depends on my hubby’s schedule because I can’t take Sage to the vet alone – Jake’s the one who has raised him and I just nurture Sage. He seems a lot better now that he had some meds. He’s watching a DVD with Jake right now. 🙂


  5. Dad
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 22:24:58

    Wow, I hope Sage can get better soon. I’m sure it’s hard on Jake and you. He’s a sweetie. Can he come over tomorrow? He needs to “retire” for a while until he feels better.


  6. Chelle (hanwayink)
    Sep 03, 2010 @ 04:58:28

    Poor sweet Sage 😦 I hope you & the vet can make him as comfortable as possible…


  7. Cheri Hickman
    Sep 03, 2010 @ 11:06:09

    Stephanie and Jake,
    I am so very sorry to hear the story about Sage and his struggles. Having our “baby moose” Thor since a puppy, who is now just over seven years old gives me a total understanding of where you’re coming from. Our fur-babies ARE a member of our family and it is as hard coping with their illnesses as it is one of your children, and the thought of not doing all that you can to help them live a long, quality life, is not even an option. I wish you were here where you could see the vet that Thor sees. It’s just been the last year or so that we have taken him to Dr. Coleman and he has really helped Thor to get back to the “pup” he loves to be. Thor is a chocolate lab/great dane mix who loves to play, run and act live an infant. About a year ago he tore the ACL in his right leg (the same injury footballs players endure when they blow out their knee) and he was in such bad shape, that when I did call Dr. Coleman’s office it was to check on what the prices were for euthanasia. The woman who answered the phone convinced us to bring him in to consult with the doctor as he is known for sending many pets home that people had called to put down. It’s been a long haul, and pricey (to say the least), but Thor is now back to running, jumping and being himself. He hasn’t been able to do that for a very long time. We are so glad that we opted to try methods we were not familiar with to give him his life back to a great degree. Dr. Coleman is in to natural healing and holistic treatment and I can attest that it has worked wonders for Thor. After his first injury he also “blew out” the left knee, which has been treated. He still has problems at times, but is so much better that we couldn’t be happier for him. The Dr. did what they call “prolo therapy” with his leg which has build back up the joint and allowed him to walk easier. He also (as crazy at it sounds) has a chiropractic adjustment about every two months because a lot of his problem with his gait comes from his back. Sorry to make this such a long post, but knowing how much you must love Sage (by knowing how much I love Thor) just wouldn’t let me stay silent and not offer you some hope of a recovery for Sage. Not knowing what his condition is, I can’t say that the same would help him as has helped Thor, but I just had to share that with you. My best to you in this journey you’re now on to provide the best care for one of God’s creatures that you dearly love. You will all be in my prayers, and please keep us posted. Love to all.


  8. Mandy
    Sep 28, 2010 @ 14:24:34

    Ugh! I never knew this went on! How’s Sagey-poo? I hope Lila’s brother is alright soon! Our silly pooch hasn’t had nearly the exciting life that Sage has! You know that if you ever need to, you can drop Sage here with us! Lila loves him crazy-like and I know they would EVENTUALLY mellow out and crash. 🙂

    Just wanted to pop over and visit your blog… and was surprised by this one!!

    Love you,


    • Stephanie Dawson
      Sep 28, 2010 @ 16:34:39

      Thanks for your comment, Mandy. Sage is feeling so much better after resting and taking pain meds and anti-inflammatory RX’s. Jake is trying not to throw the ball for Sage as much, and sometimes I have to police the fun and rough-housing for Sage’s sake. I think it would be fun for Sage and his sister Lila to spend more time together – maybe the next time we take a day trip somewhere, we’ll arrange to drop off Sage for a few hours, like a play date. 🙂 I love you, too! You’re such a cool cousin!


  9. Kelley
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 23:16:41

    I’m surprised they didn’t try steroids. They helped our Rufus. One day he just couldn’t use his back legs. He still can’t go up stairs but he can do everything else.

    I hope everything is ok!


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