Orson could not hold on

I was going to take him to the vet this afternoon. But he couldn’t hold on. Maybe he didn’t want to put me through that.

At 8:39am, after a restless night in the bed with me, he had a little coughing fit, so I held him up so he could cough. He was that weak.

I laid him back down, and he tried to lift his head to look at me. So I held up his little head, and he looked into my eyes for a second. Then I laid him back down.

A moment later, I noticed he had stopped moving.

He was gone. He said goodbye to me right before he went away.

Goodbye, little hero. You were the best dog in the world. I love you!

“If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.”

Latest on Orson

Orson’s one brave dog.

DSC03230The new vet in Orange County examined Orson yesterday, and after an x-ray of his heart showed that it was normal, the vet indicated that it’s really looking like his liver is failing. So he performed a test on the liver and also on his lymph nodes.

The three possibilities when all this began were heart disease, liver disease or cancer. And – though it sounds strange to say – we were hoping for heart disease, because that was the most treatable.

So my heart sank on news it was his liver.

The vet expedited the tests, and at 7:30 this morning I found out that Orson’s liver was okay! It’s not his liver. The vet said he was stumped because he was sure that it was a liver problem.

That leaves cancer. We’ll have the results of the lymph test by 2 this afternoon. If it’s not cancer, then this all goes back to being a mystery.

The little soldier is very weak this morning, having barely eaten anything for days. The vet is concerned that we’re still having problems getting him to eat.


I’m an animal person. I’m one of those who has to leave a room if there’s something on TV about animals being hurt or abused.

My 10-year-old Tuxedo cat Cecil and my 5-year-old Maltese dog Orson are my constant companions. They’re my kids.

DSC03218A couple of weeks ago I started noticing that Orson was putting on weight. “You’re getting a fat little belly!” I joked with him. So I cut down on his treats. I also noticed he was wanting to take shorter and shorter walks. He was beginning to  waddle. He was still playful, but not quite as much as before.

Last Tuesday night, he was laying on the couch with his fat little belly, I happened to look over at him and noticed him shaking. I thought he was dreaming. But then he looked at me and was still shaking. It wasn’t cold, so I began to be concerned.

That’s when I noticed his belly wasn’t fat. Well, it was, but it wasn’t because of fat. His belly seemed even bigger than it was earlier in the day, and when I felt it, it was tight like a balloon.

And that’s when I freaked out.

Called the vet, took him in the next morning. His belly had been filling with fluid, and they drained 400 cc’s from him. And then he needed to be drained again two days later.

The procedures and the tests the vet’s done so far have been quite expensive, and it’s already taken up all my monthly cushion. And there are more bills on the way.

From the initial tests, the vet has concluded that there are three possibilities: heart disease, liver disease, or cancer. So I’m awaiting further tests, and I know it sounds strange to say it, my fingers are crossed for heart disease – because, if the damage isn’t bad, he can still live a normal painless life with medication.

Liver disease and cancer, not so much. And my philosophy has always been that every animal deserves a happy, pain-free life, and no animal should ever, ever suffer.

So right now I’m swinging between hope and preparing myself to make tough choices.

His belly is filling up with fluid every few days, and because his appetite is almost nonexistent, he’s very weak. He’s due for more tests Tuesday, and hopefully this will give us some answers. His new vet is leaning toward heart disease.

Cecil the cat, usually standoffish and jealous of his space regarding the dog, is trying to take care of him. He sleeps back-to-back with him at night – and that’s something Cecil simply doesn’t do. Cecil tries to nudge food over to Orson to get him to eat. That cat is getting extra treats – he’s shown his true colors: Orson is part of his family and he wants him to get better.

Some very good friends have already stepped up to the plate and helped with some of the bills. And of course I will spend myself to the limit of what I have to give him every chance. But it has been difficult in so many ways. The little guy deserves to get better, deserves to be happy, to be pain-free, to have more years of a happy dog’s life.

But I have already decided that, no matter what, Orson will not ever, ever suffer. I would rather suffer the pain and loss than for him to suffer pain one minute longer than he needs to.

The evolution of radio

For a very long time I have believed that the next phase of the evolution of radio was not satellite or HD, it was wi-fi. As more automobiles get wi-fi capability, with the many thousands of radio “stations” you can receive (including your own) over the web, that’s when the whole ball game will change.

I also see the possibility of wi-fi and cloud computing eventually making inroads against the mp3 player. The time will come when you won’t even need to carry your music with you anywhere — if you’re in range of a wi-fi signal, you can have your own music collection at home available to you everywhere via web access.

On the other hand, all this talk of new technologies replacing old technologies may be missing another important change in the way listeners consume music. I’m not so sure wi-fi will replace radio and portable music players — they’ll just all compete on the playing field. There will always be people who will want to carry their music, just like there are people who still prefer buying CD’s rather than just downloading songs. Consumers today are all about having as many choices to choose from as they can.

There will still be a place for today’s radio operators, if we’re smart and savvy and keep our gaze fixed on the next decade… we just need to get used to the idea that our primary method of delivery may not be broadcast towers, it’ll be wi-fi networks.