| "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
having to choose between my brother & me. I was sitting nicely
carefully, and my brother was chewing on her shoelace. She asked, so
one of you guys is Jordi? and I piped up Awoo. I even
cause I hadn't said that before! Everyone said, Well I guess this is
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
mom calls me the stretch model. My face is expressive, I know about
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
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,
Barkley & his feline friends who are fun to boss around. My human
include Uncle Ian, mom's best friend & Rocket's dad. There's Nana,
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
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
problems started in November 2001 when I started to drinking water,
urinating frequently & losing weight. My regular vet diagnosed
he mustn't have known much about diabetes as he only had mom give me
of Caninsulin insulin a day.
By February 2002 I was extremely sick with diarrhea & vomiting &
barely walk. My regular vet diagnosed Cushing's disease & prescribed
Anipryl. Anipryl didn't work; I got sicker & went into Ketoacidosis,
my regular vet wrongly said was probably fatal. He further devastated
& everyone else when he inaccurately said that my Cushing's disease
Finally, with the urging of Uncle Ian, mom asked for a referral to a
specialist, & a wonderful Internal Medicine Specialist named Dr.
came into my life. When Dr. Norris met me I was half my normal weight
could no longer walk. But Dr. Norris asked me to walk in my assessment
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
at this point because of my will to survive. Dr. Norris said I could
from Ketoacidosis, felt there was only a slim chance my Cushing's was
cancer, & thought that with some intensive care & tests I might
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 &
nicely to Lysodren for Cushing's disease. It was confirmed that my
was actually due to a benign or non-cancerous brain tumour. My mom
then that I would never go back to my old vet again. Soon I went home
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
long time I suddenly lost my vision due to cataracts over a weekend
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
intense days together working on new commands- mom said she became
"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
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
remember a neighbor's sweet boy asking about what happened to me, &
explained, well Jordi can't see anymore. The boy thought this over
"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
fine". Smart kid- he was right!
Mom was told if I could see anything it was probably in dim light- so
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
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
on the same very familiar small walk around our house but I would go
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
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
"crumpled" & was inoperable. Dr. Wolfer successfully removed my
cataract in surgery on August 19, 2002. After surgery I wore a head
hours a day for 2 weeks & wasn't to play for 4 weeks. I needed
several times a day before & after surgery, but today I need drops
After eye surgery I was quite disoriented, but gradually calmed down.
remembers I would sit & look out at the world with an expression
wonderment on my face. I would often stop during walks & just sit
at a tree or a house or me with my head tilted. I also became like
In early 2003 my mom finally found the Rainbow Pet Diabetes Email List.
is thankful for the great information, support & friendship she
from this list of other parents.
Earlier this year I became extremely sick with diarrhea & was diagnosed
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
years. She knows it sure isn't about the money but about wanting to
every chance to be as healthy & happy as possible. I can assure
you I love
my life, & especially enjoy spending time with friends & family,
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.
Better not ask KitKat about her cousin Jordi.
Read More Stories
about Other Diabetic Pets
Rainbow Bridge Page