Scamming or Surviving?

First thing this morning I carried Odie outside and set him down so he could do his business. He walked over to a post and lifted his left leg so he could pee. That felt like another small victory.

Then after he was done with the pee and the poo, he started heading back toward the house. He only traversed a couple of feet before he stopped and wanted me to rescue him (pick him up). But still. That he even attempted to walk back toward the house is more than he’s done in days.

I picked him up and carried him to the front stoop and set him back down. He climbed over the entrance way into the kitchen and then promptly stopped in his tracks. I did manage to get him to stay on his feet for several minutes as he happily licked away at his breakfast. It feels like I’m tricking him to stay on his feet a bit by tempting him with food. His food naturally slides all over the floor as he licks at it, which naturally causes him to have to move around in order to continue eating.

As he was happily licking away at his food, an idea struck me. I quietly slipped out of the kitchen and walked past the living room into the hallway so that I was completely out of sight. After Odie finished his food I heard him walk a few steps and then stop for a minute or two, possibly listening for me. When he didn’t hear anything or see anything he plodded his way from the kitchen into the living room and over to his doggy bed. It was then that I poked my head around the corner and made eye contact with him. His ears were alert, on point.

So the question is he scamming me for attention, coddling and adoration or is he doing what he has to do to survive? His vet said he will force himself to move when it comes to life-sustaining efforts like eating, drinking and going to the bathroom. But if that were true, and he could only bring himself to move for life-sustaining efforts, would he make the effort to leave the kitchen to walk to his doggy bed? My dad and I always marvel at how intelligent he is. So I wouldn’t put it past him to exaggerate how he’s feeling in order to get more attention out of me. Honestly, how can you say no to these sweet big eyes begging you for help?

big eyesWe picked up his grandpa from the airport about two hours ago. When we pulled into the driveway, I set Odie down and he walked from the car nearly to the front door, stopping at the steps, perhaps intimidated by them. The last time he met them he sort of ran into them and fell back unable to climb up them.

I set a ramp down over the steps, picked him up and placed him at the bottom of the ramp. He immediately walked up the ramp into the house. I then coaxed him from the kitchen to the living room with treats. My dad and I cheered him along the entire time.

After I gave him a bath this afternoon I set a pretty big plate of food down in front of him because my dad said he looks like he’s lost weight and part of me wonders if the diuretics were flushing nutrients from his body causing him to become weak/malnourished.

After he scarfed down almost half a can of chicken and brown rice dog food, he got up a bit unsteady on his feet, walked out his doggy door, hopped down the steps and went to the bathroom. From the plastic flap through his doggy door I watched as he made his way back to the steps. I could see him struggle to get up the first step and my mom instinct kicked in. I stood up, opened the door and there he was on the top landing poised to walk in through the doggy door. Had I not overreacted, he probably would have walked back in through the door.

My dad is second set of eyes observing his movements and actions. He says he’s a lot better than he pictured he would be (having been reading my blog posts) but that he’s definitely unsteady on his feet. We both feel this has to be a result of the drugs as he gets stronger and stronger every day he’s not taking them. The stronger he gets, the more peace of mind I have.

Odie mon


Literal Baby Steps


Convinced the medication is the issue, I had high hopes for Odie today given that at 4 p.m. today it would have been 48 hours without any medication bogging down his system. I mean … how long can it take for medication to flush out and for side effects to reverse. Right?

The happenings of the day were relatively inconsequential. I mean he’s still way more alert than he has been in the last few days (see the top picture where he has his ears standing on point in alertness), but his strength doesn’t seem to be coming back to him very quickly. One of the first things I noticed when he was on the couch was that he had enough energy to lengthen his entire body and push his belly up in a clear sign that he wanted me to rub his belly. I can’t remember the last time he did that. Probably BH.


The first chance for Odie to prove to me that he’s getting physically stronger, he tanked it. I brought him out to pee and as soon as I set him on the ground he remained with his feet glued exactly where I set him, shaking either out of fear or weakness. I picked him up and moved him and eventually he tilted his hips toward the ground, a sure sign that he’s peeing. After a long no. 1 followed by a no. 2 he planted himself on the grass not interested in the jaunt back to the house or any sort of movement really. Defeated, I carried him back inside.

The good news is that whenever he eats he has no qualms about standing for as long as it takes for him to finish his food. Maybe he’s distracted by the food and doesn’t notice the weakness in his legs. My dad thinks he’s playing up the weakness trying to get attention and extra coddling.

This afternoon my sister came over to grab a cable. She watched Odie for a few minutes while I ran to the grocery store. I asked her to take him outside while I was gone and see what happens. She texted me with the following reports:

He peed. But I carried him out. Crazy long pee!


And pooped…


Runny poop


A little bit later she texted me this:

Ode came back inside on his own.


When I asked her how he got up the stairs she replied:

Climbed up himself.

Needless to say, I was flabbergasted. When I got home she described the action as him hopping up the steps. I hadn’t seen him even attempt to get up the steps in over 48 hours. OK. That’s not true. His attempt to get up the steps had ended at him putting his front paws on the first step and then waiting there until I carried him inside. The same thing happened when Julie came over to check on him on Thursday. She had to carry him back inside every time he went outside.

So it felt a bit miraculous that he had climbed up the steps on his own. My dad felt that this proved his theory: that Odie’s milking it while I’m around to gain extra sympathy.

Later that night when I took him out again, the same thing happened. I set him down and he began to shake. He peed briefly and then refused to move. So I brought him over to the steps and set him down. It was beginning to rain. He took shelter under a nearby chair for a few seconds before setting out in the rain to poo. Once he was done, he made his way over to the stairs. I hid behind the door so he couldn’t see me. Then he slowly made his way onto the first step and remained there. When I popped out from behind the door I could see his little hind legs shaking. So I picked him up and brought him inside and placed him on the rug just inside the door. He wouldn’t move until I picked him up and placed him on the area rug and then fed him some food.

In case you were counting, he’s now gone up one full flight of stairs (OK – three steps) plus one additional step. That’s progress, baby!

The final time I brought him outside for the evening, we went across the street. He likes the yard across the street for its many scents. He didn’t really move much, but when he decided to pee, he lifted his left hind leg up and stood on his right leg while he peed. He hasn’t lifted his leg to pee in … I dunno. A week?

I guess I probably sound dramatic, but my vet says the observations I’m making are important. She consulted with the vet who did surgery on him almost two years ago and they both agree that it’s a strong possibility that his symptoms are a result of the medication. She told me I need to give him a good week to allow the medications to flush out and for him to gain his strength back, if they are causing these symptoms – because it took a week for him to reach that nearly comatose state.

In summary, the total improvements I noticed today are as follows:

  • climbed steps by himself to get back inside the house
  • later that day climbed one step in an attempt to get back inside the house
  • has enough strength to “ask” for a belly rub using doggy language
  • appears way more alert than recent days
  • lifted one leg on the last pee of the evening

The progress seems slow, but if you had seen him at his worst, you would be triumphing as much as I did today over these small baby steps.

A few days before he fell into his near-comatose state he walked out his doggy door and lay down for a cat-nap in the grass that lasted pretty much all afternoon. When he awoke, he got up, made his way back to the house, climbed the steps and walked in through his doggy door. I can’t believe I used to take his walking for granted. Here’s to hoping he’ll be able to walk out the door, hop down the steps and lay himself down for a cat-nap in just a few more days.



Odie 17

I had a feeling when I went to bed last night that I wouldn’t be going to work in the morning. Instead I would need to take Odie to the vet. I was right.

I dropped Odie off around 10:30 am, and he spent most the day there having his kidneys and blood pressure checked and being monitored. Everything checked out fine. Relatively speaking. They don’t have the capability of doing heart tests such as an echocardiogram, the only real way for them to determine if his heart disease has rapidly progressed. To that end, his vet said that his comatose-like state was most likely due to his recent diagnosis of heart failure. The heart failure must be rapidly progressing. I more than silently disagreed describing how energetic he was the day I brought him home from the emergency room and how his demeanor grew more and more listless every day he was on medication.

Of my own volition I took Odie off his medication that morning. So by the time I picked him up from the vet he hadn’t had any of his heart failure medication in 24 hours. And although he wasn’t quite perky nor was her anywhere near energetic, he was way more alert than he’d been in the past 24 to 48 hours.

When we got home he immediately went outside to go to the bathroom. He’s barely able to stand for short periods of time so he doesn’t do much walking around. I’ve been carrying him in and out of the house to go to the bathroom. Tonight he decided he wasn’t interested in the dog food I presented to him. Wonderful. I just bought about 12 more containers of that food today at Winco. But he did gobble up the chicken and carrots I set in front of him. And he nosed around until he found a Trader Joe’s beef stick on top a pile of DVDs near the door. A plate of with scraps of melted cheese served to get him up on his feet and out of his bed. Really the only thing that’s the same right now is his healthy appetite for both food and water.

Odie 18

I’m hopeful that he’s coming around. Though he’s not moving from his doggy bed without some sort of coaching (food/water), he’s been lifting his head again to noises, wildly looking around to see what’s going on. I don’t think he’s lifted his head or perked up his ears in almost two days.

I have a gut feeling that the reason for his change in demeanor is that he’s overly medicated. Call it mother’s intuition or blind faith, but I’ve always had a pretty keen sense of what’s been going on when it comes to his health. Almost two years ago now blood tests yielded a rise in his calcium level, which signals many things – most of them serious. I was adamant with his vet that he had a parathyroid tumor which was causing the rise in his calcium level. It’s a rare condition, but I felt convinced that was the cause behind the increase in his calcium level. The only test for this disease is conducted in a lab at a university in Michigan. The test confirmed I was right.

Now that his condition deteriorated rapidly after a week of being heavily medicated I have convinced myself that the problem is relatively simple: take him off medication. I believe that if he needs to be on any medication, he doesn’t need the massive amounts he’s ingesting. And I’m not convinced he needs much in the way of medication at all.

His vet agreed to take him off the medication and see if his condition improves, remains the same, or deteriorates. Already I’m seeing signs of improvement. And it’s only been 24 hours. I’m hoping in the next 24 I’ll see even more.

Odie 19


Last night after posting about the car ride home, Odie went outside to go to the bathroom. And then never came back in. After a while I got curious and peered through the plastic flap of the doggy door to see Odie sitting at the bottom of the steps leading up to the front stoop. Waiting for me to pick him up and take him inside. I had to help him into his doggy bed and he remained there, unmoving, all night.

When the alarm went off at 3:45 am he remained in bed. I fed him his pills packed in some ground chicken. He remained in bed. I set out his food and sprinkled some treats on the ground. He remained in bed. I went to work.

Around 6 or 7 am I began to panic when the thought occurred to me that I hadn’t seen Odie move in a number of hours. What if he could no longer physically move? I was afraid I would arrive home from work to find him in the same spot having had no water, food or bathroom break all day long. Or worse: dead.

So I texted my neighbor who currently works freelance assignments out of his house. Need a HUGE favor. Are you home? He was in Dallas. So I texted two friends, both stay at home parents, and my dear friend Julie responded to my request to check on my dog with, “Of course I will.” I should mention here that the other friend I texted lives a mile from me. Julie? She and her family live at least 10 miles away, all the way across town in the opposite quadrant of Portland. Julie and her youngest daughter graciously drove across town to check on my dog. In case you were wondering, that’s the definition of a good friend.


When Julie arrived around 9 am Odie was laying in his doggy bed by the kitchen door, which meant he was at least able to get up and move around (good news) and affirmed the fact that he waits all day by the door for my return (such a loyal dog). She also fed him and took him outside so he could do his business.


When I got home he wasn’t waiting by the door. He was laying on his doggy bed by the couch. He didn’t get up to move. I carried him outside where he again did his business. I couldn’t get him to get up the stairs. Not even by coaxing him with treats. In fact, the more I tried to get him to get up the steps of his own volition, the more upset he became. He couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t help him. He sat there shaking looking up at me with his big eyes.

In my most creative move yet, I lay down a giant red carpet (my living room rug) and stuffed the carpet with towels, a board and bricks to try to create a comfortable platform Odie can walk up and down to get outside. I couldn’t get him to walk up or down the red carpet. In fact, he no longer has the energy to walk over to the front door and walk out his doggy door.

How has this happened?

He hasn’t moved all night save for the trips outside wherein I carry him out and he walks from the front stoop after I pick him up and set him there and he slowly saunters over to his doggy bed. He doesn’t even have the energy to get in bed alone. I have to help him with that, too. Sometimes if I pick him up at his chest he yelps in pain. The guy never yelps. Almost nothing hurts him or causes him to whine or cry out in pain.

How has this happened?

Tonight was the first night I lowered the dosage of one of his meds. He hasn’t had Benadryl in 24 hours. Yet he’s more listless than I’ve ever seen him. I plan on cutting his Prozac in half tomorrow morning in an effort to elicit some sort of energy or movement from him. I know that when I leave him tomorrow to go to work he will barely move from his bed. I’ll have to carry him out to go to the bathroom before I leave and make sure he has both food and water near. I will be anxious all morning and probably leave work early (half day?) to race home to check on him.

Dr. Stemper said I should notice some improvement in him by tomorrow. And, if not, I should call. He was fine before he went on all this medication. This medication that’s supposed to prolong his life appears to be killing him. Instead of improving his quality of life it’s left him lethargic, listless, immobile and sad.


The Long Car Ride (Home)

Odie 7

Odie hates riding in the car. I *believe* every time I lift him up inside he thinks he’s going a) to the vet b) back to the humane society or c) out for a ride in the country. Tonight he had his first visit to his regular vet for a check-up and game plan. He actually did OK on the ride to the vet. I think this is because he’s so doped up on drugs it was hard for him to completely object.

Our visit at the vet lasted almost an hour and a half. During that time I learned that Odie and I will not be going for any road trips across country any time soon as the vet says this (anxiety) could harm his heart even further. She also told me she believes that his altered state is due to his medication. That was a relief. She suggested I tweak one of his daily meds and see if I notice improvements to his energy and behavior. Even though he’s not exhibiting any symptoms, she too gave him only a few months to a year due to his age and his heart failure.

I believe all the vets are underestimating his capability for longevity.

On the drive home Odie was completely calm. He’s always calm driving home from the vet (because he knows he’s going home). In a rare burst of energy he crawled into my lap three-fourths of the way into our ride. I hesitate to have him on my lap because you can get a ticket for it, I’ve been told. I’m pretty sure I already got a camera ticket today while driving home from work (going 8 mph over the speed limit in a 40 mph one. For real? Since when is 8 over considered speeding?!) Despite my likely brush with the law today, I let Odie climb into my lap anyway. Then I rolled the window down completely so he could hang his head out the window. We did encounter a cop on our way home. But luckily he wasn’t perched with his head hanging out the window at the time we passed the cop.

By the time I slowed down to turn into my neighborhood, Odie was again upright with his head out my window. I slowed down to a near crawl and drove the rest of the way at that pace letting him enjoy the wind and the sun on his face, taking in the familiar scenery of the neighborhood. Even though he hates riding in the car, he manages to find a way to enjoy it. It’s the least I can do to let him enjoy car rides while he still can.

Odie 15

New Evening Ritual

Odie 12

Ever since the vet warned me about physical symptoms indicating heart failure, I’ve been searching for them and perhaps seeing them when they aren’t there. Odie doesn’t have much energy these days. To be fair, he never really had much energy to begin with.

Unlike his brother, he’s not a fan of a long, power walk. Instead Odie likes to go out for what I’ve aptly named a “sniff.” Generally, his sniffs take him around the block and can last about 20 minutes. Yes. You read that right. One block = 20 minutes. During those 20 minutes he sniffs anything he can get his nose on. These days his sniffs are lasting him about half a block and back. But I can’t tell if this is by my design or his.

I have noticed he’s having a hard time getting up the stairs to get back into the house when we return. I’ve seen him put his two front paws on the first step and stop, waiting for me to help him along in some capacity. Today he attempted to get up the steps but didn’t have the momentum to do so. Instead he sorta ran into them and fell back a bit.

Is this heart failure? Is this a result of the medication? I couldn’t say.

On the bright side, he has been a bit more cuddly recently. We’ve I’ve developed this ritual wherein I gather him in my arms, pull him onto my lap on the couch and hold him as long as he can stand it. I cradle him like you’d hold a baby or hold him with his back against my stomach and chest, rocking him back so he’s sort of stuck like an overturned beetle. He doesn’t try to fight his way from my arms.

Tonight he let me cradle him for an especially long time. So long he fell asleep. Afterward, when he finally wrestled his way out of my grasp, I got him to remain on the couch laying pressed against my leg as he continued to snooze. (Lately he hasn’t been able to stand the couch, which means he’s been down in his dog bed a lot. I’ve been trying not to take it personally.)

Maybe his love for me goes in waves. Or maybe he feels the turning of the tide as his breathing becomes more quickened, his pace slows and his energy dips. Right now his breathing is relatively slow. This happens when he sleeps. Sleep seems to be the only time he’s really at peace though, admittedly, he never appears to be in pain.

He goes to his regular vet tomorrow. I have a million questions for Dr. Stemper, and I’m hoping she has good news and optimistic hope for me.

Odie 13

Best Buds


Sometimes I call Odie the social ambassador. It’s not because he’s overly friendly. In fact, sometimes when he’s out walking he will inadvertently snub a small child or dog-loving adult clamoring to pet him as he beelines his way along the sidewalk intent on sniffing the various trees, bushes and lingering dog scents or hunting for errant food bits. Something about Odie draws in both people and animals.

Odie recently lost his best (doggy) friend in the neighborhood, Copper, when his owners moved a few miles down the road. Copper’s yard had the best scent in the neighborhood. Odie used to spend the most time sniffing Copper’s yard – more so than any other yard in the neighborhood. Like Odie, Copper is getting up there in age. Whenever Copper’s owner saw Odie trotting past the front door, he would open the door and urge Copper to come out and greet or play with Odie.

Odie loved Copper a bit more than Copper loved Odie. He loved to follow Copper around and sniff his butt or pee where Copper peed. I’m pretty sure Odie idolized Copper. Poor Copper. Odie’s adoration could be a bit of a nuisance to him at times. Yet still it was clear that deep down Copper loved Odie as much as Odie loved Copper. We know that wherever Copper is (just a few miles down the road), he’s wishing Odie would trot by his house for a lingering sniff and a quick hello. And, if Odie could, he would be there in a heartbeat.

Day 3, AH

Odie 11My alarm goes off every morning at 3:36 and then again every afternoon at 3:36. Those are the exact times I give Odie medication. Yes – even on Saturdays and Sundays.

This 3:36 am, Odie was resistant when I tried to give him his pills encased in shredded cheese. I was worried because the guy loves cheese. If he was turning his nose up at cheese I reason he was sick. Or he figured out what was inside the cheese. A closer look revealed he was shaking. Which means he thought I was going to give him the cheese, and then leave the house. He gets nervous when he knows I’m getting ready for work in the morning and he shakes. He must have thought it was a weekday instead of our last day of the weekend.

Now it’s Sunday night and I’m dreading having to leave him in the morning. It will be his first day AH where he will be home all alone.

I’m pretty much scarred from coming home last week and having to rush him to the emergency room. As he was scarred from getting stuck in his doggy door (which made him no longer want to use the door upon return home), I am worried that any day I arrive home from work I’ll have to rush him back to the emergency room. And the worst case scenario would be never bringing back.

I keep thinking I need to do something to entertain him for his last remaining days, weeks, months, years. But really the things he likes to do are eating (first) and sleeping (second).

Today we made homemade doggy biscuits and crock pot chicken. OK. I made them. Odie slept most the day. But both the biscuits and the chicken were intended with him in mind, as he’s getting pickier and pickier as days go by. (This morning he refused to eat egg for breakfast when the day before he gobbled it up.) And he gobbled up both.

I know he’ll be fine without me tomorrow, but I’m still nervous to leave him alone. I keep thinking at any moment his stomach will re-bloat. Or that something will happen to him while I’m gone. In reality, the worst thing that will probably happen tomorrow will be that he’ll sit at the door waiting for me to come home. All. Day. Long. I know some day sooner than I’d ever imagined he’ll no longer be waiting for me at the door when I come home from work. Until that day we will both be waiting in anticipation every day I walk through that door.

Stubborn Love

This morning Odie told me under no certain circumstances that he will no longer be eating dry dog food. He’s been boycotting dry food for the past week or slowly eating less and less every day. One day I came home from work and he hadn’t touched his breakfast. It was after 3:30 pm at that point, which meant he had eaten nothing all day. That’s unusual for Odie because the guy loves food. Maybe more so than he loves me.

Odie 8

Normally he will condescend to eat his dry food once he realizes it’s his only chance at food. But not anymore. And what do you say to a dying dog? Eat your dry food anyway? No. Since he’s still eating at this advanced stage of heart failure, I’m going to let him eat what he wants. Within limitation of course. I won’t set a spit-roasted barbecue pig down in front of him because he would eat until he burst.

For breakfast, I cooked him an egg (over-easy). Then I poured about 1/3 the amount of his daily intake of dry food on top and set the bowl down on a towel.


He eagerly sauntered over to the bowl of food and then did the funniest thing. He tried to “bury” the bowl of food with the towel as dirt. He nosed the towel around attempting to cover the bowl with the towel. It was so comical I recorded it on my camera phone.

I know for a fact he likes eggs, so I cooked him another over-easy egg. This time I cut the egg up really fine, placed it in a bowl and served it sans dry dog food. He was obviously suspicious when I set it down in front of him. He’s no fool. He knows the last time I gave him egg it was laden with that gross dog food. So he suspiciously licked at the bowl for a while before he really went to town and licked the bowl clean.

Here’s the funny part: He went back to the first bowl of eggs perhaps forgetting about that gross dog food. After taking one lick, he remembered. He wasn’t going to be duped into eating dry food. No way. No how. He jumped back slightly and for a split second went into that “stance” where for the whole bury-my-food-with-towel routine again. Instead he just walked away.

For the record, he ate most of the egg in the first bowl I set down for him after I picked the pieces out from amongst the kibble and hand fed it to him. The guy has always been stubborn. I never used to be the one to cave. I guess that’s what a death sentence will do for you.

Back to Mr. Independent: Day 1, AH (After Hospital)


I often refer to Odie as Mr. Independent, which is ironic because he has an attachment disorder that results in severe enough anxiety when I leave him alone that he takes prozac for some relief (it only partly works). But when I’m home, and he knows I’m home, he’s happy to be on his own. Take today for example.

Day 1, AH and I’m one of those annoying, overbearing, overprotective mothers. I want to be around him all the time to make sure he’s still breathing/not displaying any symptoms of heart failure. I want to show him as much love as I possibly can so he has something to live for when he starts getting sick. The thing is, Mr. Independent doesn’t know he’s sick. I don’t think he even feels sick. He’s just happy to be home and be with me.

After he got used to his doggy door again, he began making good use of it immediately. Most the time he goes in and out to take a leak or poo. Sometimes he goes out and stays out. He’ll settle down in the grass, or sometimes even on the cement stoop, and bask in the sun.

Odie 2

Today was one of those days where he headed out to bask in the sun. After a while of him being outside I got curious what he was doing out there. From the north and eastern facing windows, I couldn’t locate him anywhere in the yard. When I poked my head out the door I spotted him lounging by my neighbor’s purple plastic chairs. So I gathered my coffee and my phone and padded across the grass and sat in the chair opposite Odie. As soon as my butt hit the chair, he promptly got up and went back into the house. Message received, Odie. See why I call him Mr. Independent?

Sometimes I wonder if I need him more than he needs me. I like it when he sleeps with me. Especially when he snuggles up right next to me. Our sleeping arrangement changed this summer, so he hasn’t been sleeping with me much recently. This summer was hotter than usual and I had the a/c running most the time, wherein past years I didn’t even have a/c. The window unit is perfect to cool down the kitchen and living room but the cold air doesn’t quite reach the bedrooms that easily.

So Odie and I began sleeping on the couch. This arrangement served to work well for my morning routine during the week. When Odie and I used to sleep in my bed, I would wake him up and carry him from my bed and start my morning routine. He would sit outside the bathroom as I was getting ready, terribly petrified knowing eventually I would leave. As a result of this same morning routine after a while, as soon as I would pick him up from my bed, he began to shake knowing that the simple act of getting out of bed in the middle of the night meant he would be left alone in a matter of minutes.

But sleeping on the couch allowed me, at times, to sneak out of the house while Odie was still asleep. I figured what didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him – until eventually he realized he was alone – hopefully hours later.

Odie 3

Now that I’m sleeping on the couch on a consistent basis, most often he sleeps on the floor on one of his many doggy beds. At best sometimes I can get him to sleep down by my feet. It’s rare that he will cuddle up next to me these days (most likely because it’s been so unGodly hot). Every time I pull him up onto the couch right next to me he placates me for a few minutes before getting up to jump down and go back to his doggy bed. Mr. Independent alright.

Odie 4