Sunday, July 19, 2020


Today is Drummer's 9th birthday. The average age of an Irish Wolfhound is 7-8 years, and I've only owned one that lasted to 10 years of age. You can see Drummer's age by his difficulty with his back legs now. I assume this may be in part due to the burst disc in his back several years ago. Of all the dogs I've owned Drummer has had more medical problems in his lifetime, and always has some sort of malady going on but he just keeps on truck'n - outliving most of the dogs I've owned. He is a celebrity in the neighborhood.

Monday, March 16, 2020


Drummer spent a pleasant visit with his old caretakers, Wendy & Andrew who once owned his half-brother (whom Drummer has outlived). They now own Alfred, who is four years old and is the daughter of Drummer's only surviving sister (two others have died). Drummer is the smaller of the two (on the right).

Monday, March 9, 2020


Drummer is the most expensive dog I've ever had! His vet bills are regular and costly. Pictured here are his current regimen to deal with his chronic colitis and skin rash. We did an allergy panel and he's allergic to all grasses - so no more rolling on the greenway, which is one of his great pleasures (see photo Nov. 2018). Also listed here are meds for pain and inflamation. He wrenched his back while slipping on the stairs. His back legs don't work too well anymore. We decided its a quality of life issue to let him continue to use the stairs. He'd feel we were punishing him if we restricted him to one floor of the house. So now we have throw rugs all over the wood floors, particularly at the head and bottom of the stairs.

February, 2020: Drummer with Housesitters

Here is Drummer with Kris (taken by husband, Tom). I was in Myanmar most of February and Judy is working in San Diego. Tom & Kris came out from New York to take care of Drummer (and our house). I originally found them on, but this is the third time they've taken care of Drummer. They have a daughter and several friends in the area, and Tom can telecommute.

Saturday, May 4, 2019


A half block from our house is a skate park, which is often busy even after dark. There are a group of teenagers who have introduced themselves and want to love up Drummer. This is one of them, Isabel. They know I walk Drummer four times a day, usually past the skate park, and come to say "hi". Drummer is very popular in our Stapleton neighborhood, being the only Irish Wolfhound, which has lead to me meeting many of my neighbors some of whom have become good friends.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


Drummer and Judy at Christmas. Drummer is now 7 1/2 years old, an old man by big dog standards. He doesn't run like he used to since his back surgery. He sort of gallumps, but he still has spirit, and is affectionate with all dogs and people. He has turned into a pretty obedient dog, but not liking going back on a walk and will lag behind, and he doesn't like baths. He also still occasionally poops in the house (life last night at 2am). But he will roll over to get brushed, and will come to get toweled off when wet from the rain. He recently had a lump removed from his back leg that was the size of a golf ball. Fortunately, it was benign, and he has recovered without licking and aggravating the wound. The cost ended up almost $1,000 in vet bills. Our doggie health insurance has not made a profit on Drummer.

Friday, November 23, 2018

November, 2018: Drummer's favorite thing

Here is Drummer on Thanksgiving Day, rolling out on the greenway grass. It is his favorite thing - scratching his back. Earlier in the week we got a warning from the Parks Department for his being off the leash.

Saturday, September 1, 2018


Photo by Jeff Peterson
Photo by Jeff Peterson

Photo by Raymond Bleesz

While camping Drummer got grass seeds that burrowed between two paws on his back right foot. They burrowed under his skin, and have taken numerous trips to the vet to try to eradicate them and heal his foot.

Friday, July 20, 2018

July, 2018: DRUMMER'S 7th BIRTHDAY

Drummer's 7th Birthday was the 19th of July. By wolfhound average lifespans he is an old guy now. He no longer runs like he did as a puppy. He gallumps along rather slowly. He will have to win lure coursing races in his next life. But he still has some pep, and occasional enthusiasm when not asleep.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Drummer is so gentle with all dogs and kids. He would tower over Samantha unless he layed down. He now weighs 168 pounds, and Samantha is maybe 20 pounds. His head is as big as she is! But she has no fear with him.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

January 2017: Drummer's Health Update

We got the results of an allergy panel on Drummer, and one of the things he's allergic to: beef, we regularly gave him. We thought he was allergic to chicken, but he isn't. He is also allergic to milk, liver, lamb, and pork... and kangaroo (kangaroo?!).

He continues to have his GI issues, and we've had him on pumpkin, rice and fish as well as his dry food (BilJack for sensitive stomachs). He is also taking tylan, an antibiotic; as well as a probiotic. He seems to be improving.

Photo by Katy Tartakoff.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

December, 2016: Drummer's Sensitive Stomach

No, Drummer is not dead. This is how he relaxes.

Unfortunately, Drummer is going through another bout of GI problems. He is in the second week with two visits to the vet and over $800 of expenses. He seems to be getting better, but last night he threw up in the middle of the night all up and down the stairs.

Worse, is we got the news that his beloved brother, Brogan (pictured in older posts) died of stomach cancer. He was a half brother from the litter before Drummer. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

July, 2016: Drummer's Vacation

While we were on Whidbey Island for my nephew Ryan's wedding, Drummer was staying with Judy Jackson at the Two Paws Up Kennel in Arvada: 

As you can see Drummer was in relaxation mode. He might have been mopping because he still can't play with other dogs since his ruptured disc surgery.

Drummer turned five years old, July 19th.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

May, 2016: Drummer's Surgery

Wendy & Andrew's visit to Drummer after his surgery
Drummer had been in some pain and discomfort for about a month, and was taking tramydol and an anti-inflammatory medication. Then on 4/28/16 he had trouble coordinating his back legs. When I took him to the vet he collapsed in the parking lot, and being 145 pounds I couldn't move him. The vet techs saw me struggling with him, and came out with a gurney. The upshot is what we thought might be wobbler's syndrome turned out to be a bulging disc, which ruptured. He had an MRI and surgery. It was a difficult several days following surgery, but on day six he was able to come home. He continues to recover, and continues to have a gate like a woman trying to swing her hips, and he easily slips on his back legs. But we have a harness with handles both front and back, and he now wants to walk again. He was very excited at the close of the first week after surgery to get a visit from Wendy and Andrew, his surrogate parents; so much so that he struggled to his feet and sat in Andrew's lap.

Monday, April 4, 2016

March, 2016: LET IT ALL HANG OUT!

Drummer lays on the landing of the stairway with his tongue hanging out.

 He's not half dead, but just relaxed. He has recently been diagnosed with Wobbler's Syndrome - a pinched nerve in his neck which causes him intermittent pain - which is currently controlled by an anti-inflamatory medication.

Monday, December 21, 2015

December 21, 2015: BAD DOG!

Drummer stole a Christmas cookie off the kitchen counter while we were downstairs watching TV. Then he had urgent diarrhea at 2am and 3am. None of us got much sleep last night. This also happened a month ago when he stole a small loaf of bread off the kitchen counter. He is obviously allergic to wheat - which is one of the reasons we've had so many problems with his diet. He is currently weighing in at 140 pounds.