thank you

We would like to say thank you for all the messages we got back regarding Starbuck's passing. We miss him so much. There are some days I feel like he is still here and in disbelief about the last few months but then reality sets in pretty quick. Its been up and down and mainly trying to keep busy.

ZuZu is holding up ok. She is depressed as well. We can tell as she sleeps a lot more and isn't as interested in playing with her ball as she used to be. My heart aches when I see moments of when she forgets he's no longer here. We just had our first snowfall and I know when she was out playing in the yard she was looking for her BFF to chase around. We've been paying a lot of extra attention to her and taking her out for long walks and giving her lots of yummy food to eat (we're glad she hasn't lost her appetite).

Anyway, we are are handling it and just trying to take it day by day.  

This is a picture I took the night Starbuck passed. It might seem odd that I took a picture that night but it was beautiful and I felt like it was a message that he was in peace and I wanted to remember it

Here is a pic of ZuZu, just because she's our angel. She's all snuggled up in her new spot these days beside me on the couch.

Here is a pic of the flowers my sister brought for us to his private ceremony/memorial. 

She may or may not realize it but these are actually SB's favorite flowers (we always draw him with these flowers in our comic).  Speaking of flowers, thank you to the Jung family for sending the beautiful bouquet and the card - it was very touching.

we carry your heart (we carry it in our hearts)

Some people spend a lifetime without ever experiencing that moment of finding their soul mate. We’ve been fortunate to experience it more than once. The first was when we met each other. The second was when Starbuck and ZuZu came into our lives.

We don’t really know how to properly express in our own words how much Starbuck meant to us as there are so many memories, so many reasons why we love him so. He’s our baby and we are devastated for the loss. So, we’d like to share this poem that we find closely describes how deeply Dave, ZuZu and I love Starbuck.

I Carry Your Heart With Me, by E. E. Cummings
(changed the words "I" and "my" below to "we" and "our", etc)

We carry your heart with us (we carry it in our hearts)
we are never without it (anywhere
we go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only us is your doing, my darling)

We fear no fate (for you are our fate, my sweet) we want
no world (for beautiful you are our world, our true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
we carry your heart (we carry it in our hearts)

Starbuck passed on Wednesday December 3rd after a brave and courageous fight with a horrible cancer called hemangiosarcoma, presenting in his liver. The oncologist gave him a few days or weeks but he fought for 3 months to the day of his diagnosis. We call him our miracle dog, not only for fighting the cancer for as long as he did but also because he touched the hearts of everyone he met throughout his lifetime.

We love you Starbuck, forever in our hearts, we carry your heart (we carry it in our hearts).

picture of me, zuzu, starbuck and daddy

sleeping beauty and a new haircut

SB hasn't been feeling so great these last few days. However, tonight he had a good meal and soon after fell into a sleep coma. I love watching him sleep, so peaceful. He was dreaming when I took this photo as he started barking and growling. I think he was dreaming of that squirrel he chased in the yard a few days ago. I wasn't happy about that as it may have triggered the last episode he had but at least in that moment he had fun doing it.

ZZ got a haircut this like?


we're doing ok...

It feels like its been a while since my last post. Time is just flying by and a part of me would just like it to move a bit slower -- esp if that means more time with Starbuck.

Starbuck is doing ok. We are happy that for a period of time, SB was episode free (for about 13 days). But he had another episode that started on Monday which was very different in that it was a slow build up of various symptoms to a point where he wasn't eating or sleeping and was very pale, weak and depressed. It came to a climax yesterday and our doctor came to see him. We got new remedies to try out and thankfully it seems to be working. We're feeding him chicken broth now as he doesn't like any of his food except his treats (of course). He loves his chicken broth and I guess I never thought of feeding him soup but what a great idea as its easy to go down, warm and easy on his system.

ZuZu is doing ok too. I think the stress is getting to her as she seems to know when SB isn't doing so well. She is loving the new food we are giving her though and still tries to cheer us all up with the funny things she does.

Here are some pics for those of you who haven't seen our babes in a while:

teehee! Starbuck and ZuZu are famous!

Starbuck: "Excuse me mommy, pls stop taking pics and let me lie down or give me a treat"

Mom: "Does anyone want a treat?"

ZuZu: "Yah Yah Yah Yah Yah!"

All snuggled ZZ in there anywhere?

Generally, D and I are doing ok. There is a lot of other stuff going on that I haven't blogged about but I suppose its just life and stuff we just try and get though. There were some low points but we remind each other we have to be thankful and stay positive. To cheer me up, D surprised me today with tickets to SYTYCD Canada!! I thought he was joking but its for real. I'm a big fan and know I'm going to just geek out that night -- teehee!

cause I'm never, never giving you up

dedicated to my bb's

"Lullaby" by the Dixie Chicks

They didn't have you where I come from
Never knew the best was yet to come
Life began when I saw your face
And I hear your laugh like a serenade

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

I slip in bed when you're asleep
To hold you close and feel your breath on me
Tomorrow there'll be so much to do
So tonight I'll drift in a dream with you

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

As you wander through this troubled world
In search of all things beautiful
You can close your eyes when you're miles away
And hear my voice like a serenade

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up


This week was tough but we pulled through again! SB is recovering from an episode that he started to come out of as I played the lullaby song for him. ZuZu was right by his side, the angel she is.

crossing fingers and toes really tight

We didn't do much this weekend. Stayed home, worked a bit and mostly spent time with the BBs. It was so nice out today. We got to spend time out on the patio again and SB got some fresh air.

I'm worried about him right now but I think he's ok. I think he's just tired from having us around all day and not having a chance to really nap. I hope. Its so hard to tell sometimes. His temp is good but his gums seem a bit pale and he seems uncomfortable. We gave him some carbo veg and he seems ok right now...therefore, crossing our fingers and toes really tight that he is not having another episode.

I've been reading forums and blogs of other people who are going through something similar and I could totally relate to what this one person wrote
"your world becomes smaller and more compact - my days revolved around checking her gums for re-fill time..for color - dear God please let me see pink not pale or white. I would check her gums a million times a day. Not knowing when I come home after being out for a few hours will she be there to greet me."
Its so true that everything becomes smaller and more compact. Everything right now revolves around when I have to check temperature or check the color of his gums. I record everything in a notebook so I don't forget the details. There are also other things I look out for. Like if he doesn't sleep on his pillows or blankets its an indicator that he's not feeling good. When he moves off his pillows D and I look over at each other with worry. When he moves back onto his pillows we high-five each other (he's on his bed right now, moved over a few min ago - yes!). Also when he snores I know he's ok b/c he's in a deep sleep (c'mon snores!!).

Ok I better go. I've got to get ready for tomorrow and need to check up on him again. Will update more tomorrow...don't worry. I know he'll be ok. Crossing fingers and toes really tight.


happy and sad

Starbuck is doing so well.

But I'm going through so many different emotions. I'm so so happy he is doing good. But I feel angry because I don't want him taken from our family. I am sad. I am hopeful. I don't want to waste time feeling down. I just want things to stay the way they are.

organic meatballs

I mentioned in one of my earlier posts "Sunshine and Salmon" that SB and ZZ have started to eat organic meatballs (salmon balls). They loove these home-made all natural and organic meatballs. And they are sooo good for them. The meatballs are 80% meat and 20% vegetables.

Vegetable ingredients include:

The meat is 100% Free Range and Non-medicated.

Also, the ingredients help to reduce allergic reactions. The food is PRESSURE COOKED to keep the ingredients healthy and fresh as possible. Pressure cooking the food prevents bacterial growth in organs when they eat, and does not damage minerals and vitamins from natural source as much as regular cooking.

Their products are GRAIN, Soy, Sorghum, Corn, or dairy products FREE.

We were feeding them Origin organic dry food which was one of the better organic dry foods out there. We tried feeding them raw food before and they just didn't take to it so we were really happy when we found these meatballs. Here is a link to their web site. I also had the opportunity to meet Heather who was so sweet, nice and very helpful.

Please, anyone feeding their doggies processed commercial food, please reconsider switching to a healthier option.

zuzu and her t.b.

So we are on day 2 since the last episode and all is good. Yay! We've been resting a lot and taking it easy. SB's vitals are all good, he's just more tired.

Things were getting a little too quiet for ZuZu so she decided to entertain me and SB by playing with her T.B. in front of us. Luckily I had a camera to capture her craziness. She is too hilarious. If you don't know by now, she is obsessed with T.B. Can you see the crazy look in her eyes?

"come to me T.B...come closer"

"got it"

"rar! rar! rar! you're mine"

She wrestled with T.B. for a while...later on she and D entertained us with Quatchi-choo...she is too cute.

never been sooo happy to see doggie poops!

Didn't get much sleep again last night. I woke up about 3 and SB seemed uncomfortable. I stayed up and gave him a massage to provide some comfort. I eventually fell asleep with him again (an aside: my body isn't what it used to be, sleeping on the floor does not do my body any good!).

Leaving for work was so stressful. It was hard for us to leave him. The only comforting thought was that he would have ZuZu with him. I was so sensitive at work. I didn't want to talk to anyone about the situation. Luckily an afternoon meeting got canceled so I was able to come home even earlier than planned.

The hour long drive was awful. It just isn't good for my nerves these days. I tried really hard not to think about the worst case scenario but its just my nature. I tried to focus on believing that SB and ZZ would be ok when I got home.

When I got home, I smelt something really bad. Something I hadn't smelt before. I rushed over to their bed scared out of my wits. ZuZu looked nervous and was whining. To my relief, there was doggie poopoo in the middle of the floor (luckily we had laid down some plastic before we left). Also to my relief was little Starbuck sitting up in the bathroom happy to see me!! He was sitting up!!! I'm happy about that b/c since the last episode SB has been lying down most of the time and only standing up to eat, drink water or pee.

ZuZu was so nervous b/c she knows that poopoo and peepee in the house are a big nono. It took her a bit to calm down and wouldn't stop yapping at me. I think she was just trying to explain what had happened.

SB is doing well. It seems as though his bloating has gone down. He ate and is resting beside me now. I am sooo happy!!!


I'm sitting here watching SB sleeping. He's had a rough 24 hours. We all have. Good notes: He ate a full meal, had some treats, temp is up and staying up around 38 and gums look ok.
We are still really worried about him and how could we not be. He's tired and the bloating is hard on him.
For some inspiration, here is a pic of sb at the park when he was a few months old. Strong and healthy as he has been in mind in spirit the last few weeks.

He looks kinda crazy huh? teehee...always making us smile.

another episode last night

Last night was tough. I haven't slept yet and can't sleep. Last night around 11pm SB had another episode. It started again with him looking a bit uncomfortable and not wanting to sleep on his blankets or pillows. We checked his gums - pale. His temp also had fallen to around 36 (normal healthy dog temp taken from the bum is between 38 and 39). We started him on his meds/supplements.
We spend the whole night waiting, monitoring and escalating the meds. Finally at about 7am his temp turned and was back around 37. And now its at 38.3 which is the highest its been since he's been sick. His gums also have their color back. He's very tired and I'm sure its the meds and not being able to sleep properly. I'm still anxious though and waiting to have him ask me where his treat is. Thats when I'll know things are ok.
I am so happy he made it through the night. It breaks my heart to see him this way and its so hard when they can't tell you how much pain they are in. At one point I told SB how much we love him and that we knew how much he loved us. And, if this was the right time then it was ok but that if he felt he wanted to fight then we are all here fighting for him. Based on his response I think there are still a few things for him to do in this lifetime.
Will update more later today when he wakes up.


Back from dinner. SB and ZZ are ok! We had to go out as we don't have much groceries. Will need to get some tomorrow. I get a lot of anxiety when I'm out. Worrying so much about Starbuck.
Its good that I can work from home when I can but next week is going to be busy and worried that I might have to be away for full days. D is even busier than I am and we both try really hard to have at least one person be at home or not to be away for too long. I want to spend as much time as I can with the BBs. I just don't feel good when I leave home.
SB is tired today. He's been burying himself under his blankets. This isn't something new as he loves to be under covers but I often wonder how he can even breathe!
He is such a cutie pie. As I type this, I look over at him and he's looking back at me. We love you Starbuck!

good blood

We got an update from our Vet last night that SB's blood looks good. She came by the next day after his episode to check in on him, take some blood and gave us more supplements (we're giving him a lower does of carb veg every 4 days now).

The results of test show his blood is better than last time and there is good red cell regeneration. He still shows as a little anemic but she says its probably due to his episode the other night. This is great news.

I am feeling ok but more worried now. D is still trying to cheer me up and keep me in good spirits. On Thursday my mom and dad came for a visit and I think mainly to check in on me. They kept me company as I waited for D to come home. I get kinda nervous when he's not around. Its so nice to have the support of my family during this time. They totally understand that SB and ZZ really are our babies. I really can't stand when people roll their eyes or look at us funny when we talk about them and I think, do you not have any empathy or ability to put yourself in others shoes. D and I aren't going to have kids and SB and ZZ are our life.

I don't feel like doing anything else but to spend time with SB and ZZ. Last night we watched a few episodes of 90210 together (I can't watch anything serious lately as I end up getting really anxious). SB slept on my lap and ZZ was beside me as I gave her a massage. She enjoyed that v. much. :) D also took ZZ for a looong walk to help relieve stress in both of them. D had to sneak ZZ out though and did a good job as SB didn't notice.

It was a perfect night.

zuzu our little angel

On Tues night around 11pm as we were getting ready to go to bed we noticed SB was looking a bit more tired than usual. But it was hard for us to really tell if it was because it was bed time or if something was wrong. I took his temp and it was lower by a few points (36.7 vs 37 under the armpit). His gums were also pink and he looked fine otherwise and ate his midnight snack. So we decided to not panic.
At about 3:30AM I woke up to ZuZu panting really hard beside me. She never goes up on the bed but she was there trying to wake me up. I got up and checked on SB and his vitals weren't very good. His temp was still low and his gums were looking really pale. I was really scared.

We started to give him the supplements our Vet gave us, phos ac (every 30 min). At about 5:30 he got up and went over to his bed. Eyes looked shinier, gums pink. He also started snoring so I thought that was a good sign. Yay! And, I was just amazed that our little angel ZuZu helped to save SB. Amazing!

Just before we started getting ready to go to work, we checked on him again. I also was finally brave enough to check his temp via his bum (more accurate this way vs armpit). It wasn't so bad and he surprisingly (or unsurprisingly) didn't mind. Temp was good and gums good color. However, there was a nagging feeling inside me that I still needed to monitor him. I called our Vet and left a message to see if she could come check in on him that day instead of the next day when we had our appointment scheduled.

Throughout the morning, he slept but seemed a bit lethargic and depressed. His gums and temp were still normal so I wasn't sure what was going on. Its so hard to tell or decide when to do something! At around 1pm I noticed his gums were looking really pale. I offered him a treat and it took him a while to eat it...not a good sign. So I started him on the supplements again.

I called our vet but she wasn't answering (I later learned she was in surgery all morning). I called the Emerg Clinic we went to last week and I was getting ready to take him down there to help but after a few conversations they told me the only 2 options I had when I got there was surgery or euthanasia. I WAS ANGRY. I didn't like those options AT ALL (also later found out that they could have helped out with his fluids..what is up with that??! they didn't even offer that as an angry at them. Next time I will demand they do that for us.)

So I started SB on the second set of supplements, Carb Veg...after about an hour, he got up and went to his bed (a good sign!). Me and ZuZu were sooo happy. I also offered him a salmon ball and he ate it right away. His temp was back to normal although his gums were a pale pink.

After a few hours of sleep, he woke up and ate dinner and was OK!!
Throughout that whole time D was at work and trying to get back as soon as he could. He was really stressed and we were all in a panic.

I'm so thankful SB made it through this episode and that our little angel ZuZu was there to alert us. They never cease to amaze me.

Thank you ZuZu!

p.s. I wanted to thank DJ & LJ for being there when I called for advice! Sometimes its hard to think clearly when you're in panic mode. DJ & LJ's dog Buster was SB and ZZ's best friend. He was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer in 2004 and lost his battle in Sept 2005. We know Buster is out there looking over SB too.


sunshine & salmon

SB is doing really well. We spent some time outside again to give him some fresh air He loves our backyard and being out there in the sun.

ZuZu was happy to be out there with us.

She found some time to relax but mostly was as frisky as ever and obsessed with her ball. This is a pic of her waiting for me to throw her ball. "Hurry up mommy!"

Another good thing is that this hasn't effected his appetite! Look at him go...we switched their food to organic salmon and cod meatballs. He LOVES these! The fish will help fight any potential cancer in him.

thank you

We're thankful for all the love and positive thoughts from our friends and family. I was especially touched by an email from my sister:

"Sean, Quinn and I love SB very much. He is our furry nephew/cousin. We think SB IS a miracle dog who gives everyone he meets love and joy.

Love you!

sb: our miracle dog!


On Sep 3rd Starbuck suddenly fell ill and we took him to Emergency. He was in pretty critical condition when we brought him to the Emerg Clinic and thankfully the team there was able to revive him (they do a great job and are also very very nice people there). He was bleeding internally very badly and ended up having a plasma transfusion. Initially, they thought it was rat poisoning b/c of the symptoms he had but we were confused as we couldn’t think of any situation where he would be exposed to that. After a day of testing they found multiple masses (what they believe are tumours) on his liver. If its what the doctors think it is, its very serious. I don’t even like writing this as its very difficult for me. Everyday is a blessing right now and all we are doing is trying to stay positive and believing that he is and will be our miracle dog. Right now Starbuck is doing really well and recovering from the trauma over the last few days. He’s eating and snoring as per usual which is good but we’re limiting his movement. He sleeps a lot which is good b/c he needs the rest. We’re doing ok.


ZuZu I think understands and knows that something is going on as she is always sniffing at Starbuck and licking his head when they are near each other.

Today we were able to spend some time with him outside to give him some fresh air. I think he enjoyed that very much.

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