Well, today was the day Jelly finally went in for that stem cell procedure I’m hoping will help her deteriorated hips and arthritic elbows.  At eleven, the poor gal can barely get around anymore, limping to and from her food bowl every morning and night, requiring my assistance to negotiate stairs, couches, and that lofty perch atop by bedroom pillow from where she surveys all the action.  For several years now she’s been taking glucosamine and chondroitin for her joints and metacam for the pain, and, on the advice of a fellow animal lover (thanks, Annie), I’ve special-ordered some Glyco-Flex chewables.  Still, despite the meds, she continues to stagger around stiffly like me the morning after I do lunges – so I’ve decided to try something called a “Vet-Stem regeneration cell procedure” that goes something like this:

Day 1: My vet collects a 10-50 ram sample of fat from the pet, usually from the belly area.  Fortunately for Jelly, she’s got more than enough to spare.  The fat tissue is then shipped overnight to the Vet-Stem lab in San Diego.

Day 2: The techs at Vet-Stem process the fat, extracting and concentrating the stem and regenerative cells, generally work their magic, then ship the treated cells back overnight.

Day 3: The stem and regenerative cells are injected into the problem areas – in Jelly’s case, her hips, shoulders, and elbows.

From what I’ve read, many dogs who have undergone the treatment see results within two days.  Some don’t and even if that turns out to be the case for Jelly, at least I’ll know I tried.  I’m not looking for a miraculous turn-around and certainly don’t expect to see her bounding up and down the stairs in a couple of weeks, but I am hoping she’ll be a lot more comfortable.

Jelly being comfortable.

Bubba getting into the laundry.

Bubba and Maximus (above), all smiles after a day at the spa.

Jelly, also all smiles as opposed to crabby Lulu...


Maximus's "WTF's your problem?" look.

Bubba settles in all nice and comfy and then, when he hears the clatter of is dog dish, charges out to the kitchen, unplugging the laptops and bringing the router crashing to the floor.

Jelly this morning, enroute. She suspects something's up!

Yep, it's confirmed. Something IS up. She wasn't very happy when we got to the animal hospital.

Five minutes into my discussion with one of the techs, Jelly

casually ambles over the entrance as if to say “Okay, I’m ready

to go now.”

Definitely having trouble getting around.  Note the drag in her right hind paw…

Anyway, the harvesting of fat cells was done under general anesthesia this morning and it apparently went well.  They’ll keep her their overnight and then I’ll pick her up tomorrow afternoon.  She’ll spend the night at home and then, Thursday, she’s back (Oh, she’ll be thrilled to recognize that entranceway!) for the injections.

It will be interesting to chart her progress, if any.

Alastair Reynolds has already started on your questions.  If you go ’em, post ’em!  You have until Thursday after which you’ll have to live life resigned to not knowing the answer to that burning question!

And some House of Suns discussion:

bytehead writes: “I figured it was going to be some kind of mystery, but that certainly wasn’t the climax, so I really wouldn’t say the novel is a sci-fi mystery.”

Answer: I don’t know if I would call it a sci-fi mystery either, but the mystery element certainly drives the story as Campion and Purslane try to figure out who wants them dead and why.  In fact, the answer to both is a huge revelation, one that left me conflicted.  I could sympathize with the House of Suns, regardless of the extreme measures they deemed necessary to guard their secret.  And, believe it or not, I could also understand Cadence and Cascade’s desire for vengeance.

bytehead also writes: “As I was reading up to the climax (it is hard to actually claim what the climax is, but I think it would be opening up the star dam), I really didn’t understand where this book was going. Sometimes that’s a good thing, but I usually like to have an idea of at least the direction we’re going.”

Answer: The climax was certainly the opening of the star dam and subsequent encounter with the First Machines.  It was like two young siblings arguing, then trying to outrun each other to be the first one’s to tell dad their version of the story – only it turns out dad isn’t interested in their squabble and sends them on their way.  As for not understanding where the book was going, I thought it was pretty clear.  Campion and Purslane were able work out where the robots were headed and, eventually, why.

RebbbecaH writes: “I have to point out that it’s “Gentian”, not “Gentean”. Gentian is a flower, which explains why the Gentian Line is called the House of Flowers, and every cloned member has a plant name. That was the second thing that struck me. The first was that, at the beginning of the book, I thought it was going to be an Iain M. Banks Culture knockoff. Of course it wasn’t, though the universes are similar in some respects. Also, I believe the Line met every two hundredthousand years for the Thousand Nights of exchanging information.”

Answer: I stand corrected.

RebeccaH also writes: “It was more realistic to me that Reynolds didn’t bother to give the minor robots, ships, etc., personalities. They were merely smart robots, not sentient beings.”

Answer: And yet Hesperus had his own unique personality, one I really grew to like as the story progressed.


Susan the Tartan Turtle writes: “So – Jamil has an outrageous wardrobe ? Are there any piccies available?”

Answer: How ’bout this one –

ytimynona writes: “I’ve been trying to find the Very Keller Mailbag you did (the whole post about how Jewel is frakking awesome)… it was so snarky and amazing and I was telling my friend about it today and now I can’t find it to link her to it… can anyone else find it?”

Answer: Elminster was kind enough to point you in this direction:


Dodoalda writes: “Where’s the next part of “pineapple diaries”?”

Answer: I’ll hold back on a couple because they contain spoilers for season two.  A few more are on the way and I’ll continue the interview format with Louis once he’s back from vacation.  We’ve got a lot of questions to cover…

Kymm writes: “I saw on CNN today that Paul (yes the octopus), is getting all kinds of offers for endorsements etc.”

Answer: I know.  I just saw him do a spot for the new Arby’s Jr. Deluxe.

susiekew writes: “best of luck to jelly! are you going to get her a little pug walker whilst she rehabs?”

Answer: Fondy picked her up a stroller a couple of years back.  It’s still sitting in the garage.  Hopefully it won’t come to that (ie. me turning into “the crazy dog guy” – although my writing partner, Paul, thinks I’m already there.).

Quade writes: “Joe, I don’t really want to get involved in the SG-movies debate, but you always reference the poor DVD sales. Has there been any discussion about theatrical releases for either?”

Answer: I don’t believe that’s an option.

Joseph writes: “Joe, I know you’re leaving after SGU, but are there any of the current writers who are interested or likely to stay on for a fourth Stargate series, if that happens?”

Answer: Believe it or not, the topic of a fourth Stargate series has never come up – and I don’t see it coming up anytime in the foreseeable future.

imadaman writes: “Joe, apparently Todd’s name in the upcoming Stargate Atlantis: Legacy book series from Fandemonium is “Guide”.
Can I ask your opinion on this: Do you like the name?”

Answer: I prefer “Todd”.

chevron7 writes: “@Kymm – I get that you were trying to be funny but I didn’t find that amusing at all.”

Answer: ???  I don’t see what was offensive about her comment.

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Hey Joe,

Thanks for answering my questions, I like those pictures of Jason, Especially the one with him jumping on the sofa. That one almost made me have to buy a new keyboard.


Quade writes: “Joe, I don’t really want to get involved in the SG-movies debate, but you always reference the poor DVD sales. Has there been any discussion about theatrical releases for either?”

joe/Answer: I don’t believe that’s an option.

how about putting the movies on the syfy channel first? maybe do them as a mini series? (and then maybe put them on dvds?)


All my best to Jelly, the poor old girl!

So, season two spoilers in the next Pineapple Diaries? Weee…settles in to wait…

Narelle from Aus

Glad to hear the initial stages have gone well for Jelly.

It’s heart breaking watching an animal in pain. I hope it brings her relief.

Narelle from Aus

Have you heard much from Brie and Stewie lately?


I don’t know Joe, I would think a guy walking a dog with a tiny little mobility stroller would be a “babe magnet”. I’d think you would be extremely popular with everyone who saw you two (especially the ladies!). I know I’d have to stop and talk. (sweet little doggie and her very caring owner) Try it and see…

Thanks for the Jelly updates. I’m going to take a peanut butter and Jelly sandwich to work tomorrow for lunch in her honor.

Lisa R.
Lisa R.

Hope that Jelly feels better when it’s all over. Also looking forward to the next installment of the Pineapple Diaries.

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

Ouch, I really shouldn’t look at anymore Jelly videos. It hurts me too much. I’ve got my fingers crossed and saying prayers that the procedure works! My vet is thinking of having the procedure done on herself, so the procedure must have something going for it.

Great dog picces! Hey, didn’t you have router problems last year? When was that picture taken?


Best of luck to Jelly, hope it all works out for her. I can imagine these kinds of things being extremely nerve wracking for owner and pet if anything because it’s an operation.

Well I hope it all goes okay Joe.


Oh Joe, I hadn’t seen that Blog about Jewel…. so so funny, I have been known to have those sort of days…. thanks for sharing it!
All the Best to Jelly – totally deserves a tummy rub for that


Jewel Staite is appearing on Warehouse 13 tonight! smile

(If someone already mentioned this and I missed it, um…sorry. Move along, nothing more to see here.)


That second picture of Jelly looks like she’s playing hide and seek… 1..2..3..4..5..

At first I thought Bubba was wearing a babushka like a little old woman, but then I saw the other pics and realized it was a hipster neck bandana gone awry. But all he really needs is a pair of huge sunglasses, a cigarette in one of those long holders and a convertible and he could be a 50’s movie star.

Ohhhhh Lulu is NOT happyyyyyyyy……… You may want to check your bed, for puddles, before you get into it. Just sayin’

Jelly had pupster liposuction!! I hope she regains some of her former puppyish figure. She should, at the very least, get a bonus benefit for having to go under the anesthesia. Hopefully, that way she can have extra treats while in recovery and the weight issue would be a push. I really wish the stem cell injection has her show improvement, hopefully a lot!!

So was Paul EATING the burger or was he IN the burger?

I think you may be doomed to a lifetime of links to really scary food!! Whenever someone hears of a weird/unusual food, they think of you (I know that I do) and will let you know about it. Here’s another one for you, whale vomit. The video shows a close-up picture of it….. It’s part of a royal 300 course meal (yes, 300 not a typo).

Have a good one!!


1. Sending loads of good vibes and lovey hugs Jelly’s way!

2. I prefer Todd, too. (And yet another reason not to read the books.)

3. Joe, sorry I missed the mailbag – I had a quick question. Today at the weekly farm market I picked up some fresh-made macarons – first time ever trying them. They were simple – chocolate, lemon and strawberry – and sweet. Are all the macarons you get like that? Some of the ones you’ve had don’t seem to be flavors associated with sweets.


otros ojos
otros ojos

Joe, sending lots of good vibes for Jelly to get significant relief from this procedure, and to you while you wait and hope for the same – the hardest part, clearly. I’ll guess that most or maybe all of us have gone through something like this, and know that it’s a tough job.

Thanks for sharing the photos of your fur-kids in their colorful bandanas. That makes my day. I hope that Kymm will be glad to see that Jelly had Mr. Ducky with her this morning, en route to the vet’s. *smiles*


I hope this works wonders for her, Joe. Does she have two good front legs? If so, you know there are those doggie carts where their back legs are immobile and they power it with their front legs. Takes a little bit of training, but if this does not work (but fingers and toes crossed that it does) that may be an option if her front legs are still good.

I think she and BamBam should get side-by-side beds so they can recuperate together.

Personally I would have a difficult time leaving the vet. I don’t suppose they have overnight options there?

Sending positive energy yours and Jelly’s way.


Good luck to Jelly. I’ve seen those strollers. You should give it a try. Jelly would probably like it, although is an exercise program in the future? Do they do rehab in these situations? Don’t worry, I’m a crazy cat lady. I’d do just about anything for my fur friends.

Waiting in anticipation for more Pineapple Diaries. I’m really liking his responses to questions. The outfit makes the video though.


Good luck to Ms Jelly. I hope the procedure works. I think it’s great that you’re willing to give it a shot. When Dion was diagnosed with cancer and I made an appointment with an oncologist to find out if we had any options, a friend of mine said, “Oh, Riley. You’re so cute.” All I could think was, “Spot the person who’s never had an animal in their life.” I felt sorry for her that she had never known what it was like. I am saddened by people who intimate that it’s stupid that people are willing to ‘waste’ serious money on what is ‘just a cat/dog’.

Great pics of the dogs today. Very cute.


@Das I’m catching up on the blogs here since Friday and I saw you can’t take ibuprofen. You might ask them for something called Voltaren Gel. It works wonders (like I’d like to sit in a vat of it 4 times a day) and it goes instantly to the problem area(s) without any of the GI side effects. Just in case you need something better than aspirin.


Extra scritchy ear scratches to Jelly Girl! Keeping paws crossed for good results!

Narelle from Aus

riley – I had a ‘friend’ say to me when we were spending thousands on Ralph, “You need to look at whether this is worth it Narelle”. I asked her if she would spend thousands to get her child better. She looked at me like I was nuts. “Of course I would.” Tried to explain to her that something doesn’t have to be from your own blood to want to do all you can to save their life. She didn’t get it. But then again, I’d like to adopt a child rather than bring another into this world. She thinks that’s crazy too. Label me crazy then. I’m fine with it.


Fingers crossed for a good result from Jelly’s procedure.


Hi Joe, I love the photo of Jelly in the car, she’s really a beauty, and what an expressive face! You know we have her in our thoughts, looking forward to nothing but good news!

Shadow Step
Shadow Step

Everybody is always getting offended by something. Its the state of being human apparently.

Good luck to Jelly.

annie from Fremantle
annie from Fremantle

My heart melted watching Jelly struggle to walk.. yeah I noticed the right back leg.. even more hugs to the beautiful gal xxxxxxoooooooooo

Can you post some more vids of her after the treatment so we can see if the stem cell treatment is working??

ewww @ Metacam.. I had some for my rats. That stuff stinks. How do you get Jelly to take it?


Hi Joe,

Oooooh! Puppy pics! But that vid of Jelly is painful, poor little girl! I echo everyone else here wishing Jelly a quick and positive result from her procedure, for her sake and yours.

Loving the Pineapple Diaries! Maybe SG needs a Q&A vid booth, like Real World’s Confessional, where actors and production staff could drop by for a little video face time with the fans, answer questions, sneak us advance scoop, and start playful little rumors. wink

Smiles, Julie