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mrszelly's picture
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We currently have 2 australian shepherds. Our oldest dog (Bogie) who is 12 yrs old has been in and out of the vet office the last few months. First it was to help with his hips as we thought he was showing more signs of being in pain with them. The last vet trip 2 weeks ago this sat. showed his liver enzymes were way too high.They were at 677. Bogie wasn`t eating much at all, has lost weight and was not more thirsty than usual. They took him off the meds for his hips and placed him on an antibiotic as well as Denamarin to try and help get his liver enzymes down.We were supose to go back in 1 month however he will be going back tomorrow or saturday as he is starting to hack and cough like he is going to get sick. I am still having to coax him to eat. If I don`t coax him he just lays by his dish. I just feel so helpless right now. *UUUGGGHHH* We have had him since he was about 4 months old. He is a rescue through ARPH and we have not regretted getting him at all even with his skin and ear problems. The vet we use doesn`t think it is due to diabetes or cushings as he is not drinking more water than usual. It is quite the opposite where he doesn`t want to eat or drink much. Does anyone know what else it could be if it is not the diabetes or cushings which is what they usually suspect first?I know our vet said not to change his diet right now but we are starting to change it anyways to a low protien /low fat diet because many things I read said that is best when dogs have high liver enzymes. Any information would be much appreciated.I just hope we are doing what is right for him.

I just didn`t know where to put this as I am here on the forums to learn about the doberman as it will be the next dog we do get and just going through a really tough emotional time with Bogie.

mrszelly

Lady Kate's picture
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mrszelly,

I just read your post and wish I had some encouraging words. I just don't know. His enzymes are really high and being a rescue, you have no health history from his parents.

We went through an enzyme scare with Sofia a year ago.. our vet thought she was storing copper and we eliminated that through Royal Canin Hepetic kibble.. but the enzymes dropped so dramatically and so quickly that I'm thinking it was something else as she's had no flare ups and enzymes ( both heart and liver) are only slightly elevated. And she's back on grain free kibble.

I am hoping for the best for you and Bogie, I can only imagine how frightened you are. Please let us know how he's doing.

prayers

Katie

mrszelly's picture
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Thanks Katie.

We are calling in the morning and will try to get him back in tomorrow. If not tomorrow he will go in Sat. morning. They are not open on Thursdays. It`s just hard on me because I have taken so much time to train our dogs and I`m the one who mainly takes care of them. Taught him to "find" all our family members, play hide and seek,tag,shakes with both paws ,gives "good hugs" and that is above and beyond basic training of sit,down,stay,wait,give,drop,heel,let`s walk and so much more. He is a awesome dog who is really big for an aussie. He topped out at 110 lbs with not an ounce of fat on him when he was in his prime. He is now down to 94 lbs so has lost quite a bit of weight right now being sick like he is. I will let you know what the vet says tomorrow or Saturday.

mrszelly

Kim
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I'm holding a good thought for Bogie, and Gabriel, my Aussie, sends wigglebutts too!  I've had Dobes and part-breds since '76 (ack, I'm dating myself!), and rescued an Aussie 8 years ago and fell in love with them too. Now it's just me and Gabe (my second Aussie), but I'm looking for another part-bred Dobie girl. (Oh gee, and maybe another. I like having three dogs. LOL!)

Welcome to the forum - sorry your first post has to be because of Bogie's problems. Please keep us posted, will you?

talisin's picture
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Oh dear, I'm so sorry that this is happening to your boy.....did they rule out heart conditions??? the hacking and coughing can be alot of things including but not limited to congestive heart failure, cancer (my collie did this and it was a tumor pressing on his stomach/lungs making him cough with nothing coming up), lung issues etc. it could be a combo effect the liver could be incidental to the coughing just coincedence, have they done any xrays or scans??? this type of weight loss which can also be from all the above mentioned issues would indicate something major going on that would require more aggressive testing........keep us posted....

mrszelly's picture
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Thank you Kim,

Talisin, they have not done those things yet. They said his heart sounded good. They also said if he started to throw up to bring him back in so that is what we are doing. The vet did say the next step would be an ultrasound type stuff. Not sure why he didn`t just do that if he suspects something more is going on. Yes I have also began to think maybe his tummy is not feeling very well as he will eat from my hand but eats smaller amounts more often last few days. Least he is eating though.I am just praying for some answers so we can make some informed decisions rather than waiting around to see what happens. waiting 1 month seemed wierd to me with his enzymes being so high also.(meds or not) I will definately being more assertive about it all as I been trying to research a bit more concerning it all and obviously he is in distress if he typically only eats when I hand feed him/coax him to eat.It is also why we are switching him to grain free,low fat,low protein also even though vet said not to change it yet. Sorry I will do what is best for my dog to the best of my knowledge/ability.His appatite has at least gotten a little better since starting to switch him even if he still only eats from my hand. The vet said clotting wasn`t a factor, he has good clotting ability,heart sounded good, just the liver enzymes were up. I will let everyone know what they say. Talisin, yes, I am very afraid that it might be something pretty bad as the Vet said they usually suspect diabetes and cushings but he`s ruled those out cause of Bogie not having increased thirst.The only time he gets a little spunk back is when my daughter gets home from school or we take him for a short walk.He hasn`t even been barking at the kids walking home lately and even if our other dog starts growling/barking looking out the window  he doesn`t investigate it , he just stays in his resting spot. Which is SO NOT LIKE him. He is usually the instigator in those things. anyways I will let everyone know more when I know more.

Kim
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I wouldn't think it was Cushings, either. My dog Dillon, who I lost a couple of years ago, had Cushing's. They eat everything and ANYTHING. I had to constantly watch him while we were walking down the road, because he would grab all kinds of stuff and swallow them. He drank a TON of water, and until I found an herb to help, he was peeing for over a minute every morning. With Cushings, their coats also get very coarse, and they get a pot belly.

Gabe and I are sending up prayers for Bogie!

talisin's picture
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Oh dear this sounds bad if he is not doing the things he normally does. Not to scare you or anything but my dear Goofy (his bloodwork was in the norm) anyway, he would just stare at his food as if he wanted to eat it but didn't feel like it, I would watch him and he would go over during the day and start to eat but then just as he was about to pick up a piece of food he would stop and walk away, no one could find anything, not even with palpating, xrays etc. he had bulging eyes, panting and was drinking lots of water and then would burp and the water would all come out; trip after trip bloodwork after bloodwork and nothing showed up, it was only after Goofy did alot of jumping around and running really hard did we find it, a tumor that was pressing on his stomach which in turn pressed on his lungs, all of which caused him to not want to eat cause he already felt "full" from the tumor pressing on his stomach. Goofy went the opposite direction than Bogey by barking at everything, everything seemed to annoy him and upset him.

I am not saying that he has what Goofy had I am just pointing out that even in the best of circumstances things can be hidden and it's only a fluke to find it, so if there is anything that your vet has not done then push to get them to do it; rule out everything you can; in hindsight I wished I had pushed harder to find out what was wrong with Goofy, but the symptoms were so vague and could be attributed to numerous other things. Don't give up and insist on the scans; I miss Goofy and know if I had pushed he would still be here with me, keeping your baby with you as long as possible and as healthy as possible is priceless......you know something is wrong - so did I - insist they find it......voice of experience here......

mrszelly's picture
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Well, we just got back from the Vet`s office with Bogie. They rechecked his blood work and his liver enzymes are down 120 apprx. points so he seems to be doing better than he was but still has a ways to go. His vet was quite surprised his levels were down that much. However, he has lost more weight. so he is now down to 92 lbs. Vet wants to just continue since it seems to be working for now. Also wants us to get him back on some more higher protein food even if we mix half and half to try and get him to gain some weight back. Hard to do when he isn`t eating much. He wants to recheck him in 2 weeks. So for now I think it should be ok since he is responding to the treatment and liver enzymes are lowering. Just have to get him eating again. If his appetite doesn`t pick up though with the enzymes coming down this next week to 2 weeks then it definately will be time for other measures for sure. We could tell the vet is racking his brains trying to figure all this out as well. We are going to go try and find some food that will entice him but is still good for him. Such a pain when they are being so picky about eating and not feeling well. At least we have some good news that the liver enzymes are coming down.

Lady Kate's picture
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That is good news and I'm hoping for more in the near future. Believe me when I tell you, you're not alone with this struggle.. We are ALL here for you and completely understand what you're going through. Not that it makes it any easier, but when faced with problematic health issues, it's sometimes nice to be able to come here ( forum) and vent.

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Since your vet wants him to have more protiens.  Have you considered boiled chicken along with the low protien low fat kibble.  I am only suggesting because I thought this might be easier on the tummy than changing kibble again.  I am sure that he will find the chicken paletable, and enjoy the treat.  Wishing you and bogie the best and my thought and prayers are with you both.

Jeri & Shelbi

mrszelly's picture
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We stayed with the same brand of food just a little more protien and is a sensative solutions. Still no fillers,glueten meals,wheat,soy.

 He has finally started to eat. Still smaller amounts but more often as long as I crumble a half of treat (buiscit) in his food.

His stools are a little softer than normal but not bad.

Our other dog loves the new food but is having a little more trouble transitioning to it than Bogie is but still not terrible.They have seperate bowls but trying to keep cooper out of bogies dish lately has been a no go.

Cooper is definately starting to try and assume that top dog spot over Bogie and Bogie is allowing him to even though we correct him about it.

Yes they both know we the humans are the alphas over them both.

Bogie seems to be starting to do better a little. He is still sleeping quite a bit and not barking at things he normally does and even hubby has noticed that. I just hope he keeps improving. He is still on the denamarin. We will see what happens in 2 weeks.Hopefully he will gain some weight back eating more often even if it is smaller amounts.

If his enzymes are still higher than they should be at his re-check ...hubby and I talked and we will be asking for testing to see if they can find what is going on.(ultrasound/x-rays)

As far as the dog food goes it is something we have been considering changing to anyways for me. I can not have the wheat and I am the one who feeds them.

Also think the vet is trying to determine if the food was helping with the meds or if it was more the meds.He seemed puzzled that his enzymes are down a bit but Bogie still lost 2 lbs and not eating like normal or acting like normal.

mrszelly's picture
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Well, today Bogie went for his 4 week check up. His liver enzymes are back up to 574,We have actually gotten him to start eating a little bit more (raw with yogurt)since yesterday, but at least he is eating a bit more now. He is also being sent for an ultrasound to try and figure out what is going on. He managed to somehow gain 2 pounds even though he struggled for 2 days with diarrhea and not eating much this last week.We also are supose to put him back to the low protein low fat which the raw is so he will be staying on the raw.(even though his human has to feed him and thinks it is YUCKY! if he eats it then it is worth it)Also today his gums were pale pink. I know, not a good sign. Hopefully we will know more when the ultrasound is done.

 So that is the update so far on Bogie Polish Prince. (Bogie for short) (australian shepherd)

Kim
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Bogie, Gabriel says he likes raw food and yogurt, too, and he's glad Bogie is eating a little better!

We are still holding good thoughts for Bogie, and I hope the tests are helpful in treating Bogie so he can feel better!

mrszelly's picture
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Thanks Kim and Gabriel.

I too am hoping the ultrasound will help to figure this out. However if they show nothing the outlook is not good.

We discussed a lot with the Vet today. Including quality of life questions. This Vet seems to have his head burried in the sand or so it seems to me... He said that it all depends on what is or isn`t found on the ultrasound. If nothing is found he talked about putting Bogie on meds to just try and keep him comfortable. With the research I`ve done, I know that this will be a double edged sword as the meds he would put him on will most likely finish trashing his liver and raise his liver enzymes even more.But the Vet understands this as well but is looking at the "comfort" level. I just can`t wrap my head around this as I would never want my Bogie Polish Prince to suffer EVER. I asked about a refill on the Denamarin and his answer was to finish what was left and then not worry about it. I even told him he only has like 4 days left. He stated that if he felt that it was "time" then he would not hesitate to tell us that. Maybe he just feels the low protein /low fat diet was working better than the meds? I do not know.

I am just really hoping we will have more answers when the ultrasound is done but I also know there is no guarentee to having answers from it.

talisin's picture
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Oh my, this does sound dire......I have had this quandry of meds that cause issues or no meds and shortened life....I decided to try the meds since either way I was going to lose my friend I might as well make him comfortable for the long haul and who knows it might work at some point, whereas doing nothing definitely seals that deal.  And your dog will let you know when it's time, you will not have any doubts......trust that you will get the answers you need from your dog and/or the ultrasound.  There is nothing wrong with meds to make them comfortable until it is time.  Hang in there we are all here for you........keep us updated on the test results please.....

mrszelly's picture
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Talisin,

Yes, I will keep you updated. Thank you for the support.( definately need it at this time)

 On top of Bogie being sick in the past few months hubby got rear-ended and has complications with his arthritis due to it and is going through PT, My issues are flaring up and I am also going through PT and learned that my right hand grip strength is 1/2 what my left hand is. (I am R handed)so my Dr also had blood tests ran on me as well. Checking for auto-immune stuff and put me on prednisone stuff to reduce inflammation. On top of the stuff going on with my R hand/arm my EE is flared up. (Eosinophilic esophagitis is an inflammatory condition in which the wall of the esophagus becomes filled with large numbers of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell.) Mine is due to an allergy to some form of protein.I guess Mortons salt and Murphy`s Law has been applied here, when it rains it pours!

I did have a bright moment as Hubby and I have been discussing things about ... do we get another dog, when is the right time,which breed(german shepherd or dobe)... He even looked up about pet insurance for when we do get a new dog and here`s me going I dunno if I can go through all we are going through again with Bogie,not sure I can do another dog besides Cooper of course. Cooper seems to know something is not right as well. He actually nuzzled Bogies ears when we got home from the Vet when we walked in. Have not seen him do that since they were puppies. Hubby is seriously considering the possibility of a new dog around January ish... we will see... My husband is like Bogie, He is so stoic and no matter what comes at us he just keeps trudging through it all. He also knows that my prefrence would definately be the DOBE. We have gone back and forth over it all and I just keep telling him *ALL THAT HAIR* concerning the german shepherd. hahaha Since I am the one who grooms our dogs, feeds them, trains them... He does help with training and goes for walks with us which I am glad he does. Only problem is in Jan. I will also be starting school. ( to become a dog trainer) which I am very excited about and we have even considered that yes, we may have to put a new dog/puppy in doggie day care while I am at school but the bright side to that is all the extra socialization the puppy would get.Also we have considered getting one of each with about 2 years between the dogs.One GS and one Dobe and have kicked around ideas concerning that as well.yeah, now you see why we research a lot before ever bringing a puppy in to our home.We try to consider EVERYTHING.It is not something we take lightly. We have had our current dogs since they were 4 months old and Cooper is 11/1/2 and Bogie is 12. Yeah I was a glutton for punishment. Cooper still has a lot of spunk left in him and is doing very well. By the time Bogie was 6 months old his basics were down very solidly.He also reinforced the rules of the house with Cooper. Bogie taught Cooper to bark to let us know he needed to use outside,reinforced in him it isn`t allowable to bite anyone when they are rough housing that they are just playing like we do at times. And lots more. They have been quite the pair.I do worry about how Cooper will handle all of this because he really doesn`t know how to "play" except with Bogie. He has never played like he use to with Bogie with any other dog.(chase games and such) but he loves to please and try`s to learn what ever I throw at him.Anyways I am rambling again... Just so much on my mind right now. If you made it to reading ALL of this so far *cookies* for you. Thanks for listening.

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Ah, Sweetie, you've got a lot on your plate right now.In fact, to me it's just overwhelming. I'm glad you can come here and chat with us, and know that we ALL care so much for all of you.

My only thought right now is to take one baby step at a time..Try not to overload on plans, decisions or other taxing things. There's always time to fret. Try to stay calm, at peace and stregthen your faith and reserves. That way, when the time comes to decide on meds, vet problems, rotten diagnosis and all the other things that are pouring down on you, you'll be equipped and sure of your options.

Bless you and your husband (  he sounds like such a great guy) Cooper and of course Bogie.

You're all in my prayers.

Katie

mrszelly's picture
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Thanks Katie.

Yes ,my husband is helping me a ton to learn to take things in stride.

Thank you for the prayers and allowing me to vent a bit.

I do love reading about everyones dogs and I hope someday soon we can have ours. When the time is right it will happen.Till then I will simply do my research so I can be the best mom I can when that time comes.  : ) 

 

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@ mrszelly

talisin's picture
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Like Kate said Overwhelming alot of things going on thought wise - try to slow down and keep the husband from jumping into another dog before Bogie passes; I know in my household an animal comes in a few months before one transitions out, we adopted Ben the rottie to keep our aging collie company and it was the best decision we ever made, Ben made Goofy the collie the happiest he had been in years, but alas 10 weeks after adopting Ben Goofy died of a sudden tumor rupture. And for the past year I have been trying to find another collie to no avail, so it's alot of emotional stress to be looking for a dog while trying to say goodbye to another. From my experience it's a bit easier to focus on adding one after the grieving period is over.....you know some people add a dog immediately and others wait, I can do either I just wait until I feel the time is right. But you do have alot going on so take your time and enjoy these last months with Bogie and focus on him instead of researching a future dog, I mean go ahead but try not to make that the main focus.....post pics of them both we would love to see them.....

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Yes, right now I am just focusing on enjoying the current dogs we have and giving Bogie extra attention. He goes this tuesday for an ultrasound. We can`t afford any biopsies at the moment but we can afford the ultrasound. Hopefully we can at least know a little more of what is going on if they see anything. He has been eating a little better lately without me coaxing him.(YAY) He has gotten to go with for car rides to go get our daughter after band practice. He LOVES car rides.

I will try to get honey to help me post a pic or two of them both soon. Might not be till Sunday as we have a full schedule this week with daughters band.She plays the keyboard for her school`s marching band/drum line and they have a parade as well as homecoming this week.Fun stuff!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fqwCq_BkgI  (Luna FX show)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYxLaExUM0k (Luna FX you can see some of their movements a little better in this one but it is only the exhibition)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH-wq_ECFNA   (Robots Dream)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwj7FfXVGgo  (drum line)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G54l76AzBX4 (drum line Heart of a warrior)

there are a few links so if ya`ll want to enjoy and see the band she is involved in. Their drum line came in 8th in worlds last year. Last year she played the alto sax, Our 2nd son also was in the band prior to our daughter and played Tenor Sax. Daughter switched to keyboards this year. My husband and I have helped with the band since our son joined it. Son is now off at college. You never realize what goes into bands like this till you are behind the scenes volenteering.  : ) The long hours of practice,the dedication of students and teachers/parents alike.

 

 

mrszelly's picture
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Thought I would add this one as it is of their first competition this year. Even though their director has more to add yet it gives a good idea.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cuvcg170Yzs

talisin's picture
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I loved the drum line ones showing the xylophone players using 4 "thumpers" (that's a real technical term uh? hahahaha) but that was great, I have to admit I have not seen that technique up close, and thoroughly enjoyed that, that would be like walking and chewing gum and trying to juggle at the same time to me, and the Robot one the guys with the drums that surround them they were a hoot watching them parade across the field cause they reminded me of tweedle dee and tweedle dum in alice in wonderland, but they did great, love the videos, amazing that that many kids can get on the field and actually move around and have it make sense from above......

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Talisin,

yeah thumpers that are called mallets.  : )

Here is one you will truely just enjoy and showcases the talent of some of the Marimba players from this past year. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7Rpjq2fvME

It is awesome to see how each person in the band progresses not only during the year but through the years of being in band during highschool. And also sad to see how many parents choose not to get involved and how much they miss out on. Anyways, enjoy the one I just posted. I am sure it will bring a smile to you.

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Thanks that was amazing!!!! Love the xylaphone, wish I could have participated in band back in school that would have been my instrument of choice and then the big bass drum.....

mrszelly's picture
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Yes, and now you see how my husband and I have been so spoiled by a world class band/drumline.

We enjoy helping with the band a ton as we get the joys of watching all the kiddos grow,mature,progress in band as well as life. Just as we have enjoyed watching our dogs do the same.

Also it is a marimba not a xylaphone.  : )  (yes, band geek parent lol)

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oh yay I learned a new word, I used to do that every day - find a word I didn't know and learn how to use it, so thanks I will do my best to remember that - but what makes the marimba different from the good old xylaphone??  Since you are so into it maybe you can throw that one at me so I sound more informed next time :)) I am learning alot about music that I love so I really appreciate the information.

I LOVED the performance by STOMP, have you seen it?? I would love to see them again, it was absolutely the most entertaining show I have seen.....

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Talisin,

The Marimba is wooden where the xylaphone is metal.  : ) So they sound quite a bit different from one another. 

I have not seen STOMP however our daughter has. She thought it was o.k.

 

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OK? wow I thought they were great, of course I know they have different groups performing in different areas so maybe the one she went to was not as entertaining as ours, and I will remember, or at least try to remember the difference between the two instruments, learned something new today, thanks !!!! And yes they do have a different sound from each other that explains why I would cringe on some and love the others throughout school, who knew......I just thought is was the musician and it was the actual instrument.....

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Talisin,

It is okay. I learned all this because my second son and now daughter is in band. I would have loved to do band and if I had I would have played either keyboard or drums.  : )

We tried to encourage extra school activities as it always seems to help the kids focus and use their time wisely etc... and gives them the extra incentive to stick through school even if they are bored.

Our oldest son played football and his academics were at a college level from his freshman year so he was quite bored and football helped him get through to graduation. Now our oldest is in MART(Marines Awaiting Recon training) out in California.

Our second son is in college and going for his law degree.

Third son is planning to attend tech school for buisness.

Daughter has a few years before she will truely decide on a career path.She is a Sophmore this year.

Overall I think we did okay so far for parents.  : )

 

 

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Sounds like you did a great job!!! I loved all the info on the musical instruments! I would have loved to play drums too in band but with my leg issues I knew I couldn't do the physical stuff so I missed out :(( but do so love to hear a great band. I LOVED fleetwood macs TUSK just gave me goose bumps hahahaha.....