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Sochi Dogs Post 2 – Pot vs Kettle?

We’re awfully proud of all the dogs and families who posted their #SochiDogs pictures.  And we’re grateful for the response to our blog yesterday.  Hopefully we raised some awareness and shared some of the stories of dogs who need rescuing.  We know we learned a lot.

We even had some fun getting our picture made:

BW Boys Sochi Dogs outtakes2







And then we read this post from the amazing, amazing people at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary:

Disgust at Sochi’s treatment of animals a case of pots and kettles?

Here, let us quote one paragarph:

“In the U.S., 9,000 shelter pets are killed every day. Of course we’re better organized, systematic and discreet. Our shelters are cleaner and the scrutiny of animal advocates has elevated the standards of shelter care, but our poisons are as deadly as theirs and a shelter killing here is as unjust and final as that of any Sochi dog.  We’ve just done a better job of sweeping it under the rug and keeping it out of the public eye.”

Wow.  They’re right.

Please don’t misunderstand us, what’s being done to dogs in Sochi and in Russia is inhumane, but let’s turn some of that outrage to work here at home.  Remember to spay and neuter your pets and please do everything you can to support adoption and rescue pets.  Thanks for listening!

And here’s some really great pictures of rescue dogs going home!

BW Boys Sochi Dogs outtakes1



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Sochi Dogs

The Buck-White Boys are not "Biological Trash"

The Buck-White Boys are not “Biological Trash”








You have probably heard about the “removal” of dogs in Sochi, Russia in advance of the 2014 Winter Olympics.  If you haven’t, you can read about it in this article on CNN.

This was, of course, extremely concerning to us.  We were thrilled to hear of Good Samaritans jumping in to help out.  Like this billionaire who jumped in to try to help.

Or these dog lovers who also jumped in to help.

We hurried to sign this petition on

There is also this petition directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But then these two awesome pups, Pete and Tally, started the #SochiDogs hashtag campaign.

So we had to add our picture to the mix.  We would just encourage you to say a prayer for those pups in Russia, do what you can support them and remember to help out rescue animals in your own community.

BWBoys Sochi Dogs2







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Happy 2014!

Happy New Year! We hope your year is off to a great start and that your holidays were fun, festive and full of joy.  We’re excited about the new year and, like everyone, have made our own set of resolutions.

In 2014 we resolve to:






















Always be curious










Smell the fresh air









Be more goofy!











Focus on the journey, not the destination











Enjoy the great outdoors









And take really killer naps.















And, yes, we’re really going to try to blog more, but please do follow us on Twitter and on Facebook, which is where we spend most of our time.

Happy New Year!

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Barclay has been irritated that all the attention has been focused on Oliver lately.  Given that today is Barclay’s 4th birthday, today will be all about him.

But, briefly, Oliver is responding to meds well, eating voraciously, active, engaged and shows no external signs of being sick, other than the side effects of prednisone (the general ones – muscle weakness, excessive thirst/hunger, etc.).  We see the doctor for a two-week check up tomorrow, so we’ll know what blood levels, etc., are and can gauge how he’s doing.

Back to Barclay.

Barclay was actually born on August 27, 2009.  So, technically speaking, today is his “gotcha” day.


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Barclay was born at Saddlehill Labradors in Riverside, CA; the story of how he came to be a Buck-White Boy is for another post.  His dad is “Ch Saddlehill Struttin In The Moonlight” and his mom is “Beshire Saddlehill Spring Sparkle.”  This means that Barclay’s full name is Saddlehill Barclay Buck-White.

Ch Saddlehill Struttin in the Moonlight

Ch Saddlehill Struttin in the Moonlight 

Barclay's Mom is the black lab in front.
Barclay’s Mom is the black lab in front.

















Dads had to drive all the way to Riverside to pick him up and got to meet his mom and dad and brothers and sisters and uncles and cousins and everybody.

Then they had to drive him all the way home.  Four hours.  He threw up in the car.

Tucker had stayed at a friend’s house that day.  Then they met . . .

But it really didn’t take long until they became the best of friends.

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He’s named Barclay because he’s an English-style lab.  And dads wanted something that sounded English.  So, like Barclay’s Bank, right?  Also, “Bar” in Hebrew means “son of” and one of our dads’ name is Clay, so, “Son of Clay.”  Other daddy felt left out when he learned that, but Barmike would’ve sounded weird.

For awhile Barclay looked just like Shirley’s pet Boo Boo Kitty.  Remember her?

So Barclay picked up the name “Boo Boo Kitty” and very often gets called Barclay Boo Boo Kitty Buck-White









Or sometimes just “Boo” for short.

But we can’t remember a time when there wasn’t a Barclay and are so glad he became a Buck-White, even if he is a little stand-offish sometimes and thinks that every bag has toys for him in it.  We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy Birth/Gotcha-Day, Barclay Boo Boo Kitty Barcle-butt.




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Toy Review Tuesday (and an Oliver Update)

Oliver had a good day today – very quiet and subdued, but that’s what he’s supposed to do.  The doctors do want him moving around a bit so that he can work out some of that edema and fluid build-up and he was feeling pretty spry at certain times of the day.  He does love his boiled chicken and rice.

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For the record, this is his pill dose – twice a day.

O Pills










And, also for the record,we can’t decide if he looks like a beached beluga whale or a baby albino hippo. Either way, and all kidding aside, we are seeing the swelling and fluid build up going down – slowly. Follow up appointments with specialists have been scheduled.

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Now on to the Toys . . . Dads went on vacation, as we mentioned, and had a brief stop in one of The Buck-White Boys’ favorite places, Seattle! And, even more specifically, Pike Place Market.

Three years ago they passed through Seattle and picked up the greatest dog toy at the Market – it was this rope tied in loops and knots. The guy who was selling it said that it was made from recycled or discarded climbing rope.  So, that’s cool.  We loved it immediately.  Check this thing out:

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We have chewed this, tugged it, dragged it around and every foster that came through took their time with it as well.  Sure, it’s a little frayed in some places, but it’s holding up REALLY well!

Well, we’ve all talked about that toy for three years and we’ve even sent people also passing through Seattle to pick ’em up.  We seriously love this thing.  And wanted more.

Guess what!  Looks like this has turned into a really good business for these people – they’re called Adventure Day Treats and they also make what sound really yummy, all-natural treats.  We think Tucker should try the Breath Nuggets and Barclay ought to have a crack at the Calming Nuggets, don’t you think.

But, of course, the real draw was THE ROPE TOYS!  They call ’em the “Monkey-Fist Tug” and they are just as much fun as we remember!

Dads picked up a couple and brought ’em home:












You can tug ’em, you can chew on ’em, you can fling ’em around (gently and if you’re outside).  Here’s the thing, though, they are so well made they don’t fall apart.  A lot of rope toys come apart once you start chewing on them, or they get so frayed so quickly that they’re not fun and leave shreds all over the house.  These “monkey fists” are the real deal and are super, super awesome.

They also make other kinds of pulls and rope toys – different materials and different sizes.  There are also these really cool leashes.  And treats.  Did we mention the treats?  And gift baskets.  Of treats.  We might be hungry . . . . we’re labs and we’re awake, so, yes, we’re hungry.

Definitely go check these out on their website  Looks like you can order them online – they’re worth getting your paws on, especially if you’re a big chewer or tugger.  Or, even better, make a trip to Seattle and visit them in Pike Place!

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Filed under Christmas, Food, Oliver, Recommendations, Toys, Uncategorized

Interconnected Confusion

Yesterday when our Critical Care Vet was talking it reminded us of this:

With Oliver it’s like something caused something which affected something which caused something which affected something and they all have different treatments or medications which are causing this or that effect . . . . we’re all beat.  Except Barclay who’s enjoyed having all the toys to himself.

Oliver came home today – hooray! We’re really hoping some good rest and familiar surroundings will help a lot.  We figured out that he’s essentially been in puppy prison for nearly a full month now.  It helped all of us to sit down and piece everything together, and enough people have asked that we thought we’d list it all out  . . . ready?

Oliver was first admitted to the vet on Sunday, August 25th with vomiting and melena.

On Monday, August 26th our regular vet recommended Oliver be moved to Emergency and Critical Care; we knew he was bleeding internally, but did not know why.  He had 3-4 blood transfusions and an albumin transfusion, along with a lot of other treatment.

There is no canine albumin for transfusion so human albumin is used.  A dog’s system CAN see that albumin as a foreign body and attack it and a dog can only have a human albumin transfusion once in their life as the second time the “allergic” reaction is extremely severe.  We were warned of the possible complications and were very clear.  This will come up later, so hold on to it.

Oliver had surgery on Friday, August 30. They sutured a bleeding artery in his stomach and sent a tissue sample for biopsy.

Oliver came home on Monday, September 2.

On Friday, September 6 Dads left for a long-planned-and-already-paid-for vacation.  Barclay & Tucker stayed at home with Aunt Lady; Oliver stayed at his regular vet because everyone just felt better in case something happened.  When he went in he seemed perfectly healthy, was in great spirits and only needed some tummy meds and ultimately to have the staples from his surgery removed.

Saturday, September 14 Dads were back in cell phone range.  They’d talked to the vet a couple of times earlier in the week and everything seemed cool – they decided to keep him on his tummy meds awhile longer just ’cause he seemed a little oogy still. Checking in, they learned the results from the biopsy had come back, Oliver was his normal self and the results indicated that pathology wasn’t sure what had come first, an ulcer that caused the artery to burst or the burst artery caused an ulcer.  

The pathology report noted that the tissue sample, or lesion, ” . . . may represent a case of systemic necrotizing arteritis or polyarteritis nordosa.” But their findings were inconclusive because the ulcer could have occurred first.  The only way to 100% diagnose arteritis is through pathology. 

On Sunday, September 15 Dads were headed home.    Sunday morning at about 5:00 a.m. the overnight vet tech noticed Oliver’s face seemed a little puffy.  Thinking it might be an allergic reaction to something, the on-call vet prescribed a shot of an antihistamine.

By about 10:00 a.m. when Dr. C. came in, Oliver’s face was still puffy and he had bruises on his abdomen.  He’d been in a very controlled environment so this was puzzling.  A shot of steroids to reduce the swelling was prescribed.  By mid-day, several veterinarians had been consulted and we all begin operating under the theory that Oliver does, indeed, have this arteritis.

Arteritis is very rare in humans and even rarer in dogs.  There’s very little literature or case studies on it, but what is known is that it is usually immune mediated, that is where the immune system essentially attacks the arteries.

On Monday, September 16, Oliver begins aggressive steroid therapy to try to get his immune system somewhat suppressed.  He also came home that day.

On Wednesday, September 18, it appears Oliver is not getting particularly better, having vomited several times and he is referred back to the Emergency and Critical Care vet.  He is admitted to the hospital again to be watched and have his medicines adjusted.  He begins having diarrhea and continues vomiting.

So here’s where the connections start happening:

— It appears that the vomiting and diarrhea are a reaction to one of the medicines; he’s taken off of it and it slowly gets better.  But this was a medicine we really needed to try for the immuno-suppression;

— During blood tests his BUN and Creatinine numbers start increasing.  These are measures of how the kidneys are processing toxins;

— His blood pressure starts to increase, so he goes on blood pressure medicine;

— His tummy starts to fill with fluid and he gets edema in his back legs.

Now, as time goes on these issues start to get better – kidney values get closer to normal, blood pressure is lower, etc.  The continued issue is the fluid build up.  SO, here’s what we’ve got:

1) The Arteritis – very rare, suspected to be an immune system dysfunction – treatment is steroids;

2) Steroids and Other Medication – can cause diarrhea and vomiting and also fluid build up (a relatively common side effect of prednisone);

3)  “Lymphoplasmacytic Gastritis” – or Inflammatory Bowel Disease – this was also identified on the biopsy, but could have been caused by the bleeding and the ulcer (if the ulcer came first);

4) The Ulcer – did this come first?  Were the arteries already weakened because of the Arteritis, so the Ulcer caused them to be weaker? Or did the injury to the arteries cause a loss of blood flow to his stomach?  Unknown;

5) Vomiting and Diarrhea – is this due to the Gastritis?  Or is it a reaction to one of the medicines?  It seemed to get better once he went off that one medication, but it’s still too soon to tell for sure.  Or it could be a combination;

6) Protein-Losing Nephropathy – he’s losing protein through his urine.  Could be because of the weakened arteries, or — ready for this? — it could be an adverse reaction to the albumin transfusion he had before his surgery;

7) High Blood Pressure – who knows?  Could be related to any or all of the above – any of these issues can cause high blood pressure as can a couple of the drugs he’s on;

8)  Edema and Peritoneal Effusion – the fluid retention is most likely due to the weakened arteries and the vascular disease, but it could be because of the low protein in the blood.  Y’know, that he’s losing in his urine.  Because of the weakened arteries or reaction to the albumin transfusion.

9)  Chronic Thrombocytopenia – low platelets in the blood.  Part of the protein loss?  Left over from the anemia when he was bleeding internally?  Because Thrombocytopenia is fun to say and difficult to type?

10)  Chronic, Variably Regenerative Anemia – his packed red blood cell counts are lower than we’d like but significantly higher than they were, so we’re not too terribly worried about blood loss, but we do have to keep an eye on if he’s peeing/pooping/vomiting blood or appears pale, lethargic, etc.

So, all told the diagnosis and prognosis are:

Sick Dog Meme








The plan now is that he’s home, getting plenty of rest and love and we will continue to monitor him, work with the specialists, slowly wean him off of these medicines and see where he gets it.  We’re hopeful and confident that he’ll do great, but it’s going to be quite the haul — and, truthfully, all of this may prove too much.  We don’t know what long-term affects these illnesses have caused and we don’t know what could happen.

But we do know that he’s an awesome, awesome boy and is doing really well handling all of this and being chipper about it. If that changes, we’ll know that means he’s really, truly sick.

Oliver1 Oliver2 Oliver3


Filed under Oliver, Uncategorized, Veterinarian

Holding Steady . . .

After the high stress, high drama, high tension of yesterday, today was a welcome respite for everyone.

We talked with the Critical Care vet this morning – Mr. O had made it through the night with no problems.  He came out of the anesthesia just fine, no vomiting and no diarrhea.  These are good signs.  He’d had a transfusion during the night and had responded to it well.

According to everyone he was up and paying attention to what was going on, if a little groggy.  The vet told us they were going to watch his vitals during the day, see if he could hold down food, and at 4:00 p.m. check the blood counts.  And then the phrase “going home” started coming up.  We’d know more once the afternoon/evening came.

The vet called around 5:00 or so.  His blood counts had held steady – the packed red blood cells was holding at 24%.  We’d like to see it higher, still, but it was holding and that was the highest we’ve seen it yet.  With that said, she felt that she’d feel more comfortable keeping him one more night and, as she put it, “It would be awful to have put this much work into this and have something happen.” We agreed.

We stopped by tonight to visit Oliver.  He’s groggy and it’s clearly uncomfortable.  He looks a it like a Franken-puppy.












And boy was he glad to see us!  So glad that he relaxed and pretty much fell asleep.













He really didn’t want to go back in the ICU, but he’s got plenty of people around him and the vet techs said he’s back there flirting with everyone and, despite not being 100%, is Mr. Charming.  We’re not too worried about him being lonely, but so very, very happy that he’ll be coming home sometime tomorrow.

The relief is palpable and it was a pretty quiet day at the Buck-White house.  We’ve got three major hurdles in front of us:

1)  Oliver’s recovery from surgery and all the tests and procedures of this week.  He’ll be weak for awhile and probably have a fairly long road ahead of him.  We’re confident that will go well;

2) Making sure that there’s no re-occurrence and that the results from the biopsy are positive;

3)  Getting this two knuckle-heads to leave him alone:

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They’ve been a little spoiled while Oliver’s been away . . . and they’ve taken advantage of there being just the two of them.  They’ve played hard – and there’s been nobody here to steal their toys like O does – and they’ve gotten away with a few naughty things while Dads have been distracted.

Barclay and Tucker will be happy to have their little brother home – in their quiet moments, it’s clear they’ve missed the little guy and we’ll all be happy when he’s back to his goofy, nutty self.



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