Pet Diabetes Presents Stories from Around the World!
Of Owners and Their Pets with Diabetes Mellitus

Rainbow Bridge December 8, 2005

 "My name is Jordi, and I'm Kathy's little boy. I'm a 10-year-old Bichon 
Frise & I live in Toronto, Canada. When I was 7 weeks old mom found me, 
having to choose between my brother & me. I was sitting nicely & listening 
carefully, and my brother was chewing on her shoelace. She asked, so which 
one of you guys is Jordi? and I piped up  Awoo. I even surprised myself, 
cause I hadn't said that before! Everyone said, Well I guess this is him! 
and that's how I found my mom & all my other friends & family.

I weighed 3 pounds then, & now I weigh 25 pounds. I'm long for a Bichon 
mom calls me the stretch model. My face is expressive, I know about 50 
words, I'm very social & smart. What can I say, I'm wonderful! Mom says I 
have an overly healthy self-esteem!

Before I get into my health challenges, I want to thank all the others in my 
life who are great friends & caretakers. In the fellow canine category 
there's of course my best friend in the whole wide world, Rocket, a 
Dauchand. Also there's another Bichon named Keisha, who adores me, plus 
Barkley & his feline friends who are fun to boss around. My human buddies 
include Uncle Ian, mom's best friend & Rocket's dad. There's Nana, Aunties 
Lara, Lorri, Justine & Claudine, plus Uncles Dale, Chris & Colin. I'm lucky 
to have such a big & loving family!

Health wise, I've always been prone to bladder stones & had these surgically 
removed 3 times in my life. 4 years ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, 
which is easily treated with Eltroxin twice a day. But my really big health 
problems started in November 2001 when I started to drinking water, 
urinating frequently & losing weight. My regular vet diagnosed diabetes but 
he mustn't have known much about diabetes as he only had mom give me 1 shot 
of Caninsulin insulin a day.

By February 2002 I was extremely sick with diarrhea & vomiting & I could 
barely walk. My regular vet diagnosed Cushing's disease & prescribed 
Anipryl. Anipryl didn't work; I got sicker & went into Ketoacidosis, which 
my regular vet wrongly said was probably fatal. He further devastated my mom 
& everyone else when he inaccurately said that my Cushing's disease as due 
to cancer.

Finally, with the urging of Uncle Ian, mom asked for a referral to a 
specialist, & a wonderful Internal Medicine Specialist named Dr. Alan Norris 
came into my life. When Dr. Norris met me I was half my normal weight & I 
could no longer walk. But Dr. Norris asked me to walk in my assessment & I 
struggled with all my might to show him I could go a few steps & I told him 
with my eyes please don't let me die. Uncle Ian thought I was still alive 
at this point because of my will to survive. Dr. Norris said I could recover 
from Ketoacidosis, felt there was only a slim chance my Cushing's was due to 
cancer, & thought that with some intensive care & tests I might not die.

So I stayed at a ritzy & expensive vet hospital for several days. I came out 
of Ketoacidosis, got changed to Humulin NPH Insulin twice a day & responded 
nicely to Lysodren for Cushing's disease. It was confirmed that my Cushing's 
was actually due to a benign or non-cancerous brain tumour. My mom  decided 
then that I would never go back to my old vet again. Soon I went home & I 
was so happy to put my head down on my lawn & see Rocket & my toys again!

I continued to recover but having not been regulated for my diabetes for a 
long time I suddenly lost my vision due to cataracts over a weekend in March 
2002. Mom & I both sat & cried. I decided after moping for a few days that I 
wanted to enjoy some moments in life still. So mom & I spent a couple of 
intense days together working on new commands- mom said she became my 
"seeing eye person". These were our main new commands that we learned:
"wait" or "careful" if I was going to bump into something, so I would slow 
down and know something was coming
"step up" if there was a step up coming like a sidewalk curb
"step down" if there was a step down coming like a step down to a road

Mom watched me over her shoulder when we walked, & I followed behind 
listening for the sound of her feet- it helped when she wore noisy shoes. I 
remember a neighbor's sweet boy asking about what happened to me, & mom 
explained, well Jordi can't see anymore. The boy thought this over & said, 
"well dogs can already smell & hear much better than people can, so I think 
once he learns to use his other senses even better he should manage just 
fine". Smart kid- he was right!

Mom was told if I could see anything it was probably in dim light- so she 
closed the blinds during the day & tried to walk me at twilight or at night. 
It was my idea to modify our playtime of fetch- I threw a squeaky toy with
my mouth a few feet & mom got it & threw it back near my feet. I could hear 
& feel the toy & would find it & toss it again for mom, etc. I was pleased 
to get the human doing the fetching for a change! Mom didn't move any 
furniture & I would zigzag across a room to get somewhere. I preferred going 
on the same very familiar small walk around our house but I would go farther 
if Rocket & Uncle Ian lead the way. Rocket knew I couldn't see & he would 
lead me & wait for me. When we went visiting, baby gates were put up so I 
wouldn't fall down the stairs.

Six months later we explored having one or both of my cataracts removed as 
by then the Cushing's & diabetes were managed. My Opthamologist is Dr. Joe 
Wolfer. I could only have one cataract removed because the left cataract had 
"crumpled" & was inoperable. Dr. Wolfer successfully removed my right 
cataract in surgery on August 19, 2002. After surgery I wore a head cone 24 
hours a day for 2 weeks & wasn't to play for 4 weeks. I needed eye drops 
several times a day before & after surgery, but today I need drops just 
twice daily.

After eye surgery I was quite disoriented, but gradually calmed down. Mom 
remembers I would sit & look out at the world with an expression of 
wonderment on my face. I would often stop during walks & just sit and look 
at a tree or a house or me with my head tilted. I also became like a puppy 

In early 2003 my mom finally found the Rainbow Pet Diabetes Email List. She 
is thankful for the great information, support & friendship she receives 
from this list of other parents.

Earlier this year I became extremely sick with diarrhea & was diagnosed with 
Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD). I now take Tylosen twice a day to manage 
this. Lately I've been feeling better than I have in years.

Mom figures she's spent about $18000.00 on my health care in the last 1-= 
years. She knows it sure isn't about the money but about wanting to give me 
every chance to be as healthy & happy as possible. I can assure you I love 
my life, & especially enjoy spending time with friends & family, taking very 
good care of my precious toys & snuggling with my mom.

Please email my mom/spokeshuman if you have any questions or comments. 
Thank you very much for reading my story. 
Your Friend, Jordi"

Here is a picture of My Mom Kathy

Jordi came to Leamington for a visit in 2004

Fun was had by all at the Leamington Gathering.
Well Kinda!
Better not ask KitKat about her cousin Jordi.

Read More Stories about Other Diabetic Pets

 Jordi's Rainbow Bridge Page 


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