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A Beamer Update and Fall Pumpkin Bites for the Holidays

Beamer eating

With Christmas just around the corner and the end of the year fast approaching, we are looking forward to celebrating Beamer’s 14th birthday.  Just a few years ago we never would have believed that he would have made it to this age.  Beamer is a dog of many lives and much love!

The top of the steps has always been one of his favorite spots

The top of the steps has always been one of his favorite spots – December 2015

We are so blessed to have this sweet old boy still with us after both his paralysis that began in February of 2012 and lasted until the summer, followed by his cancer and Post Mandibular Surgery that removed half of his lower jaw in October 2013.  He has never fully recovered from the paralysis.   His legs and body still shake from the trauma and effects on his immune system and he’s not as strong as he was prior to the incident.  Of course, eating with half of his bottom jaw has also been a challenge after the cancer surgery, but he has adapted well and we feed him in tall-sided bowls with home-cooked soft foods.  Thankfully, his cancer has not returned.

Dr. Platt and Jordan Send Beamer back home with us from University of Georgia until his check-up for Coonhound Paralysis

Dr. Platt and Jordan sent Beamer back home with us from the University of Georgia until his next check-up for paralysis

Coming home from UGA after jaw surgery

Coming home from UGA after jaw surgery

The fact that he has been through two very difficult illnesses and is still with us is nothing short of miraculous.  Over the past several years he has developed many lumps, bumps, and warts resulting from an immune system deficiency, but they are not a health problem.  He doesn’t exercise as much as in the past and he has developed fatty tumors.  Normal activities, such as getting up and down stairs and getting up from hardwood floors, have become more difficult for him, but then, who among us doesn’t have trouble with getting up and climbing stairs as we age.  He still has his perky moments and can run and leap and play.  It only lasts for a few minutes these days, but Beamer still has some spunk left in him, or as we say, a little of that piss and vinegar from the feisty old boy of his youth. Those bursts of energy give us great joy.

 

He also travels with us whenever possible and enjoys the perks of hotels that are pet friendly.  We even have sitters in some towns that will come and hang out with him.  He definitely has made friends along the way and is a rockstar. 🙂

Beamer loves pet friendly hotels and resorts

Beamer loves pet friendly hotels and resorts

As I look back at the pictures from just a few years ago, I can see the age in his eyes and in his movements, but I’m so happy he’s still here and I know Beamer is happy to be with us.  To all of the folks who found us through Beamer’s Corner and called and sent emails and were ready to give up when their dogs were diagnosed with either Coonhound Paralysis, vaccinosis, or cancer and were faced with radical surgery or long recoveries, we hope you never gave up on your dog.  They are resilient, but they need your love and reassurance that you will be there for them during the recovery period.

Beamer as a younger pup

Beamer as a younger pup

They are so innocent and helpless and depend on us for their needs. Beyond the best medical care you can give them, all you can do is love them and nurture them, feed them well, and be there for them.  There were times when I thought for sure we were going to lose Beamer; he had given up the fight and he didn’t understand what had happened to him.  Rather than say goodbye, we fed him with syringes, I put water on my fingers to keep his mouth moist, and fed him by hand.  I slept on the floor by his side many a night, crying my eyes out and begging him to hang on and guess what, he did.

Sleeping with the boy when he had the paralysis

Sleeping with the boy when he had the paralysis

One of the reasons I know Beamer has done so well is because we give him homemade food.  Many of his treats, however, are purchased because they have additional nutrients that he doesn’t get with home-cooked meals.  They also are hard and keep his teeth clean, which has been a challenge because of the way he has to chew now.  Of course, they are all made in the U.S. and many are organic. When I do make homemade treats, I will either make Pumpkin Treats or these Fall Pumpkin Bites.  It you make these thicker (as in the photo) they will be softer and chewier.  If you flatten them out more, you’ll have a crunchy treat for your pup.  Either way, your pooch will love them, especially because you took the time to make something special.

Beamer's chair

Beamer’s chair

I used homemade cooked pumpkin to prepare these and brown rice flour, but you can certainly use canned organic pumpkin and the whole wheat flour the recipe calls for.

We look forward to the New Year and officially celebrating Beamer’s 14th birthday on December 29th.  I think he deserves a batch of these treats, don’t you?!  Maybe he’ll even share them with Santa on Christmas Eve.

Happy Holidays to you and your four-legged family members!

Fall Pumpkin Treats

Fall Pumpkin Treats

Fall Pumpkin Bites
Adapted from Home Cooking for a Healthy Dog
Makes about 36 treats

1/2 cup pumpkin purée (I prepared these from fresh pumpkin, cooked and mashed)
4 Tablespoons blackstrap molasses
4 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups (9 ounces) whole wheat flour (I substituted Organic brown rice flour)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I used 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend together the pumpkin purée, molasses, water and vegetable oil.

Stir in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda, to form a soft dough.

Roll the dough into balls, put on a baking sheet, flatten them and prick with a fork.

Bake for twenty-five minutes, or until hard and crisp.

* These treats will keep up to a week in an airtight container.

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6 responses »

  1. So wonderful to read about Beamer’s adventures. I think about him often. But please be careful when you refer to him as old. Gus is 14.5 and just a puppy!

    Reply
  2. Hi don’t know if you remember me, but I talked to you and your husband about 4 years ago when my daughters TT had some type of sickness that no one could give us answers about. A friend of mine saw your post with the TT group and asked you if I could call you. If not for you and your husband taking time with us we probably would have had our darling little Cinder put to sleep. We weathered thru all the bad times and she has recovered nicely. She still has some paralysis in her tongue and weakness on the front leg, but it doesn’t slow her down one bit. Since I am an occupational therapist we did do a lot of “walking in water”, massage, and anything else I could think of at the time. We lost our TT of 9 years, 3 years ago from what they considered an autoimmune disease. We now have a 2 1/2 year old TT and she has had puppy shots only with titers to make sure the puppy shots took and will not have any more. Both dogs are enjoying each other and we look to forward to 14 years for Cinder – thanks to you both. Give Beamer a treat from us!!!

    Reply
    • Hi Connie,

      Yes, I do remember you and I’m so glad you left this update.

      I’m thrilled to know that all is going well with Cinder, that you have a new TT, and are monitoring the shots with titers. We’re happy that writing Beamer’s Corner has helped other pet owners looking for support and answers to questions that you can’t always get from the vets.

      Happy holidays to you all and I will definitely give Beamer a treat (or a few) from your family. 🙂

      Gwen

      Reply
  3. Think I’m gonna add a new middle ” name ” to my Hi Beams salutation…..Gonna add LED…now ” Hi LED Beams “…Why you might ask?…. The Beamster just seems to add an incredible piece of extreme brightness to anyone he touches!!!!…he sure did for me!!!!…Love him without ever officially meeting the Beamster….I envy you Gwen/ Dog!!!….An early very Happy Birthday to you Beamster…you’ve earned every bit of it!!!!…Herm…PS my wonderful guys, Keaton and Wil send their love and doggie hugs and kisses too!!!!

    Reply
  4. So happy Beamer weathered the storms and is able to enjoy more love from you and Roger, and dish out plenty too. Love the pic of you and Beamer napping together.

    Reply

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