So much has happened…

since the last time I wrote.  I still have Flurry the chinchilla, but I added a puppy to my family last October and suddenly I had no free time.  Raising her has been the hardest and the most rewarding thing that I’ve ever done, and I’m typing this now with her curled up and sleeping beside me.

Her name is Pippa, and she’s a black and tan Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  If you’re interested, you can follow our adventures on Instagram @pippa.and.me

Pippa is now over a year old, and we’ve learned to live together.  She’s a little special – she has a genetic neurological condition called Episodic Falling Syndrome, which only occurs in Cavaliers and predominantly in the black and tans or rubies.  Basically, she got two recessive genes from her parents and when she gets hot or excited, she loses control of her muscles.  It’s a lot like a seizure but she is fully conscious (not in pain or scared).  I’ve seen her turn full cartwheels and it’s terrifying, but it doesn’t hurt her and it’s over in about 30 seconds, when she gets up and continues as though nothing has happened.  At this point the only treatment is seizure medication, which I’ve opted not to do as it can damage her liver and her episodes are relatively infrequent (at their worst, once a day, compared to some dogs who have more than 30 each day).

This condition is fairly rare and not well understood.  At first the vet had no idea what it could be, but the breeder said that Pippa’s grandfather carried the recessive gene, which then led us down this trail.  I take Pip to a university vet hospital for care, and they reached out to the University of Missouri, who developed a genetic test just for her.  She’s a bit of a case study.

I’ll be back to reviewing books now that life has settled into a new normal, and you can expect some cameos from my favorite girl.

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