Crack Puppy Tremors — Our Hearts Are on the Ground

The addictive Crack Puppy is the cutest puppy in the universe and has brought us enormous joy since we got her six months ago.


For as long as I can remember, she had this funny habit. She’d be lying next to you and then one of her legs would jerk a few times. Sooooo cuute!

Last week it stopped being cute, because Ling Ling’s whole head started to shake.

After a few days, the shaking increased from being hardly noticeable to being almost like Parkinson’s.

Our hearts were on the ground.

Because we have been there before.

The Crack Puppy is Ling Ling III. The original Ling Ling was a Shih-Tzu we got in Dallas 24 years ago. She was a genetic mess from what must have been a puppy farm. A pox upon the people who bred her.

It cost about $2,000 to keep her alive for three hard years. Despite daily phenobarb tablets, she seizured a lot. Towards the end, her seizures could last for up to 30 minutes.

Watching your sweet little dog seizure uncontrollable is heart-wrenching. It is awful. When, finally, she had a seizure that just would not stop, we had to put our little Lion Dog down.

And now, our Crack Puppy has the tremors.

Our hearts are on the ground.

Racking Our Brains

As recommended, we’ve been watching her carefully for about a week and considering every possible cause: she’s been drinking water out of a plant saucer on the front deck, could that be it?

We fertilized the garden months ago. Years ago we used Slug Slam. Did we poison her? Maybe we dropped a pill on the ground and she got it…

Meanwhile, she’s been getting worse.

In addition to tremors, she’s just not herself. Her appetite is gone. Her energy levels have dropped. She doesn’t want to play.

When she tries to jump onto the couch, she misses a lot. When she jumps down, she hits the ground hard and frequently falls. When she gets up after a rest, she wobbles like a drunk. Her back legs shake badly when she tries to pee.

She pants. And she’d rather lie on the wooden floor to cool off than snuggle next to us.

Our hearts are on the ground.

I’m writing this on Sunday. On Thursday, I couldn’t stand this monitoring business any more.

I went online and hooked up with a vet. He said it really sounded like a neurological problem to him, especially since Ling Ling had had a brief seizure two months ago. (We had been wallpapering the hall and thought the fumes must have gotten to her).

‘If She Were My Dog’…

The on-line vet said the magic words: “If she were my dog, I’d take her to the vet right now.” So I did.

$259 later, we know that her organs are good. Her liver is working well. There are no toxins in her bloodstream. All good news.

But because we are not going to spend upwards of $1,000 on an MRI, we won’t know whether she has a brain tumor. We think and “hope” she has a neurological problem, because that can be treated.

It looks like she will be on meds for the rest of her life. How long her life will be, and what quality it will be, are question marks at the moment.

Our hearts are on the ground.

As I write this, it’s Sunday night.

The Crack Puppy has been on Phenobarbitone and Vivitonin, a steroid, twice a day since Friday night. Thankfully, she’s showing signs of improvement.

Welcome Back

Two days later…

The Crack Puppy is back!


She is eating like an alligator.

She’s more playful. She can easily jump onto the couch. And when she jumps down, she only wobbles a little bit.

She’s underfoot, as per normal, sticking her nose into grocery bags, and being adorably annoying.


Best of all, when her precious little face looks at you, it’s not trembling!  At least not like before.

I don’t know what lies ahead. I’m afraid to go there. But for now, I’m enormously relieved.

And the Crack Puppy is a bit tipsy on meds.

Soooo cuuuute!

So, for the moment, our hearts aren’t on the ground.

We’re just tired. And we cannot imagine what it must be like to go through this with a child.

We’d never make it.

No way.


UPDATE: Phenobarb works well on the Crack Puppy, although for the first week she acted like a drunk…


Previous stories and photos of the Crack Puppy are here and here.


2 Responses to “Crack Puppy Tremors — Our Hearts Are on the Ground”

  1. Kris says:

    Love to you and your wife and Crack Puppy.

    Just . . . love.


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