Tippy II Dog
Beagle mix (seemingly part Whippet)15 Years old - adopted from a shelter in Hot Springs, Arkansas in 2004 as a 5 month old puppy and needed medical care for anemia?100% blind and diabetic since 2018
100% blind and diabetic, but very happy / good quality of life with elevated care (attention, quality food, supplements, new allergy med); Beagle and Whippet life expectancies are 12 to 15 years.
Has very acute hearing. Excellent cognitive status. From late December, 2017 to early February, 2018, he has several episodes of vestibular syndrome (vertigo) he has recovered from. 2018 was a tough year for both Tippy and Eric, both trying to adapt to Tippy's changing health. In early 2018, doctors recommended I consider euthanizing him because they thought he had either brain cancer or a brain tumor that will get much worse. I was too loyal to euthanize him, but I thought I would have to soon. Instead, with his strong will power and my dedicated (and very difficult) 24/7 nursing, he improved, but in mid 2018 he had severe issues with a bloody stool, restlessness, etc. He was diagnosed as diabetic. I thought that was certainly the end of him, but again, refused to euthanize. We both had a somewhat poor quality of life throughout 2018, but there were enough good times to keep trying. I tried really hard to treat diabetes naturally, but failed. When he was put on insulin later in 2018, he slowly improved more. The more time passed, the more he improved which is extraordinary for a blind and diabetic dog of this age and recent history. In mid February 2019, he was incredibly rehabilitated back to normal health other than blind and needing insulin.
When he was younger, I envisioned him living to be at least 9, probably about 13. I thought I would have to buy him a stroller due to arthritis around age 12 so he can still enjoy seeing places, but to my surprise he lived past 13, went blind and diabetic and is fairly mobile, so no stroller would ever be used.
This is my second dog named Tippy. The first one was a family dog when I was around 7 to 13.
Main Reasons Tippy is so Important
Some people, especially relatives, accuse Eric of being too attentive to Tippy. Here's why Eric put so much effort into keeping him happy and healthy:
Last "link" to significant others Eric has lost since 2011 (Tippy was close with all family Eric has lost between 2009 and 2011). Family lost in death during that time: Mother, father and pet Chihuahua of 18 years. Family lost in communication and lifestyle differences: Brother, sister, niece. Tippy might be the last pet Eric will ever get due to nomadic lifestyle (pet = less freedom), frustrations and dangers of dealing with a pet in public (as required with a dog), how nature is always attacking our pets and for cleanliness reasons. Tippy is a popular service dog from age nine since 2012.Eric remodeled a house in Murfreesboro, Arkansas from 2004 to 2008 with Tippy, installed an RV with power and water on a Colorado mountain slope in 2011 as well as his Sprinter van for two years from Feb. 2016 to Dec. 2017. Regarding the remodeling, etc., Tippy was always within just a few feet of everything, having to endure an extreme amount of chaos (movements, noise, changes, etc.). He was a great trooper during those chaotic times!
Places Tippy has Lived
Hot Springs, Arkansas - birthplace home - Black Family - July - November, 2004 Hot Springs, Arkansas - Animal Shelter - November, 2004Murfreesboro, Arkansas - House & Business - November, 2004 to November, 2008; allergies, fleas, heartworm threat, etc. Ashdown, Arkansas - Shared House - November, 2008 - 2009; Here were his best friends until they all passed: Eric's parents who passed in 2009 and 2011 and their Chihuahua, Rudy who was put to rest at age 18 in late 2008. Westminster, Colorado - Shared House - 2010 - Colorado is excellent for dogs. Lafayette, Colorado - Shared House - 2010Berthoud, Colorado - 28' RV - summer and fall of 2011 (Stressful due to utility, etc. construction of the lot) Many hotels in Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming in late 2011 and early 2012Ashdown, Arkansas - House - 2011 to July, 2012; Neighbor's house - July, 2012Dallas, Texas - Shared House - August, 2012Noel, Missouri - House - Sept, 2012 to Dec., 2012 - Very cold; hard to heat, heat rashes and allergiesLittle Rock, Arkansas - Apartment - Winter, 2012-2013Prescott, Arizona - Shared House - Summer of 2013Bothel, Washington - Shared Condo - 2013Puyallup, Washington - Extended Stay Hotel - 2013Olympia, Washington - 1 BR Apartment - to Nov. 2013Spokane Valley, Washington - House & Business - Nov. 2013 to late 2014 - Very hot in summer, cold in winter, but healthiest place for a dog due to no fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and allergies. Very high stress location due to extreme traffic noise and poor climate insulation. Austin, Texas - Extended Stay hotel - Early 2015 until moved into minivan, then Sprinter van and traveled extensively since. He was quite a trooper, tolerating the building up of the Sprinter van into a motorhome from February, 2016 to December, 2017 as well as constantly moving from boondocking or campground to another across the country. Has since traveled as far Northwest as Whistler, Canada, as far northeast as Bangor, Maine, as far southeast as Key West, Florida and as far southwest as San Diego, California.... pretty much all of southern Canada and the lower 48 US.
Recognized vehicles by make, model, year and color even at night and associated them with someone he knowsPerformed many tricks: Sit, shake, roll over, jump (in arms), brings a toy and puts in hand, gives hug, gives "10" (boxes), gives kiss on command. When he knew he was going for a ride, he drank water first in anticipation it could be hours before getting water againWhen walking on trails, he pooped on the side of the trail rather than in the middle.
Tippy loves looking inside & sometimes crawling in culverts
Most Dramatic Events
Hazards & Stresses
Vet misdiagnosis, over-prescribingVicious dogsAllergies, other health ailmentsVehiclesJunk food; chicken bones people feed him or throw on the ground
Tippy as a Puppy