Boxer Eyelid swollen and red

Rocco has a red eye
This is Rocco and Chloe. See Rocco’s left eye. Thats the problem!

Catching everyone up. I am posting these these after the original date they were written. June 2, 2015 – Rocco, our boxer has a very swollen and red third eyelid. We have been to the vet three times already for this problem. The first time she thought it was an infection, or maybe something in his eye. She cleaned it out real well, did the pressure test, and the tear test. Everything came back normal, so we proceeded with the antibiodics. Did nothing.

Went back in a few weeks later. Eye was about the same. She thought that maybe it was allergies. Using allergy eye drops seemed to help the swelling a tad, and got rid of the redness synthroid tablets online. So we did that for a month or so. Eye definitely not getting any better.

Called vet again – she suggested a different antibiodic drop. She couldn’t think of anything else it could be. Well, that did nothing. Upon doing a bunch of research I found that boxers have eye problems! It can be a bunch of different things, so I decided to call the Animal Eye specialist nearby. Wish I would have done it sooner.

Bad news! It is cancer!

August 28, 2015

Bad news: I have been praying for a good result from the tumor people, but I am sorry to say, he has an actual cancer. Some kind of Meningioma. Have to call the vet on Sunday to get more info. They said it’s a common cancer in dogs, especially boxers! It is a form of brain cancer. I did a little research and there are several different forms, so I will need to see exactly what kind it is before I worry too much. But it’s not good news. 😢 on a happier note – his appetite is back, he ate some dry food today! All in all, he seems to be feeling good. And He has been wanting to play. So bad news, but the good news is that he is healing and his overall quality of life is much better than before the surgery.

I am so bummed. I knew it was a possibility, but I was really hoping for the best. Now I have to wait until ‘our’ vet is available to talk to us about the tumor. He is off until Sept 2. How can they give me this news and then make me wait several days for the details? Cruel!!!

Rocco got a new ball
Rocco got a new ball

I will say that Rocco is doing great! He seems to be back to normal. His jaw seems better. He is eating everything, and playing ball – a friend of mine dropped off a new ball for him. Its not a NEW ball, its the perfect kind of ball – used, slightly flat, and soft synthroid tablets. He loves it! We played outside for about 30 minutes today. He is one happy camper! And that’s whats important right now!

This momma loves her boxer boy!

Home alone!

August 17, 2015

Rocc's eye area is looking better each day!
Rocc’s eye area is looking better each day!

Today I came home for lunch, to let the doggies outside and to give Rocco his medicine. Glad I work close to home. This is Rocco’s first day home without anyone here since his surgery (except for Chloe). So far so good. I was worried that he would scratch his eye, but Stu put some NeoSporin on it and I think it helps. It was getting a little crusty, and probably itchy. And my wonderful daughter came by earlier and let them go potty. (we have to keep the doggy door closed so Rocco doesn’t go running wild in the yard – surgeon said to keep him ‘calm’ for about 10 days. If you ever met Rocco – calm is not one of the words you would use to describe him. LOL). Here is a picture of Rocco, ready to take a nap. Unfortunately I have to go back to work now. I will be nervous this afternoon with him home alone, but I think everything will be fine. I cant keep taking time off work – I have so much going on at work and so much to do before school starts! Did I mention that I am going to start looking for a new job? More on that if I get one!

I really think that Rocco is still pretty tired from the whole ordeal. He sleeps a ton more than he use to. His body is probably forcing him to rest so it can heal. His swelling is almost all gone, you can tell by this photo that there is still a little swelling, but not horrible. I see progress each day. I see his personality coming back a little more each day, too. So its all good 🙂

Boxer Puppy Personalities

Boxer wears shades
Boxer Rocco and his cool shades

I watched this adorable video on Youtube last night, which pretty much sums up what it is like to own a boxer. Here is a link to the video – you should definitely watch it

Why Would you Choose a Boxer?

Boxers are puppies forever. Rocco is 4 years old and still acts like a pup. Boxers are fun! Boxers have incredible personalities. They are adorable, sweet, cuddly and up for anything!

If you watched the video I linked above, you will see how goofy they are, how different from just about any other breed they are, and how much fun boxers bring to the household.

Our boxer Rocco loves to sit on people’s laps. He actually ‘needs’ to be laying on something or someone at any given moment. He likes to sit on my lap, or lay next to me and lay his head on my lap. He likes to lay next to Chloe, our lab, on the floor and rest his head on her. She doesn’t like it very much, and sometimes growls at him, but he does it anyway.

Rocco is so excited when someone comes home. Chloe is, too, but she calms down right away. Rocco goes nuts for about 10 minutes. He wants to play. He will bark and encourage you to go into the yard and play some soccer with him. If you don’t he will bring toys to you, or sit there and stare at you until you give in and throw something for him.

He loves to play rough, but doesn’t really have anyone to roughhouse with. My husband will play with him sometimes, but only for a minute or two. Poeple get hurt. Rocco doesn’t mean to hurt anyone, he just gets carried away. As soon as you say ‘ouch’ he will stop immediately and look at you with the most adorable apologetic face.. Then kisses it is!

He chases anything that moves in the yard. A leaf, a lizard, a bird, squirrel… anything! He loves to chase bubbles. He concentrates on them and tries to catch every single one before it hits the lawn.

He talks a lot! He is very verbal. I wish we had one of the collars from the movie UP, so I could tell what he is saying. He says a lot. Boxers are verbal dogs. Its not just barking, but actual talking. I am trying to teach him to say MOM. He has said it several times, but not when I am asking him to, so I think its just a coincidence. Thats ok, I’ll take it! I love my boxer pup.

National Dog Day – Celebrate your doggies

National Dog Day
These are my dogs that I celebrate everyday

Did you celebrate National Dog Day on August 26th? We did. Well, sort of. I posted a couple pictures of my cute puppy dogs on Facebook, wished everyone a Happy National Dog Day and I gave the doggies some extra loving, and a couple extra treats.

How did you celebrate? Did you even know there was such a thing as National Dog Day? Well, there is and this was the 10th year. You can visit the official National Dog Day website for more info.

I think there are many holidays that most of us are unaware of the real reason, how and why it became a holiday, etc. Not that this is a big holiday like Christmas, Easter, Halloween, or Independence Day, but it seems like many people celebrate it – so I thought I would find out how it originated, and how people celebrate it.

Apparently it was formed in 2004 to honor dogs, to give them “a day”, to show our deep appreciation for the historical connection of companionship with one another. Its focus is to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, and to encourage getting your pets from reputable breeders, or from the Animal Shelter. 

I think that is a pretty good mission and I am going to think of a great way to honor my doggies more often and this website will try to encourage people to adopt from animal shelters! Here is one site that helps with that: The Shelter Pet Project. Click on the link to Find dogs in local shelters that need homes!

If you want to help donate money or items to your local Animal Shelter. I recently took over a pile of old sheets and towels and they were very appreciative. Our local shelter is a no-kill shelter, so they are always filled to the brim with animals to adopt. I am going to try to help them more often.

MegaEsophagus. Diagnosis & Treatment

My dog Chloe has megaesophagus. She has had it a few years. We are coping with it, but it takes some effort.

Chloe has megaesophagus
Chloe as a puppy.

What is megaesophagus? Basically muscles of the esophagus lose their tone and are no longer able propel food into the stomach. So the food stays in the esophagus. Chloe has two areas of her esophagus that have enlarged, if we are not careful the food kind of sits in these areas, and does not move into her stomach. Then a little while later she will vomit all the food back up.

How was she diagnosed? It was very strange. She was fine one day and then the next day I took her to get groomed. When she came home she had her dinner and then about 10 minutes later vomited. Not normal vomiting, almost like the food just ‘poured’ back out. It was strange looking, had a mucus sort of coating over the food, and the food looked like it does in the bowl, but slightly chewed. I thought that maybe she was nervous from the grooming, so I wasnt too concerned. Next morning, same thing. And then she acted like she was starving. Typically if she has an upset tummy she wont want to eat – so I decided to go to the vet.

How do they diagnose megaesophagus? They kept her a couple hours. They took some xrays, and then wanted to watch her eat. They were pretty confident that she had megaesophagus. It is common in certain breeds. German Shepherds, Great Danes, Newfoundlands,  & Labs, which is what Chloe is. Normally it just arrives out of the blue. They told us that it doesn’t mean anything else is wrong, but she would be at risk for pneumonia, so they checked her for that.

Treatment for megaesophagus? The most helpful thing is to feed the dogs from an elevated bowl. We bought both dogs an elevated stand for their food bowls. This makes for a more direct path from mouth to stomach. When a dog is hunched over eating from the floor gravity is working against them. They wanted us to use a bailey chair, or step stool so she has her head above her body, but we found that to be too difficult for her. Our current stands work well. The other thing that you need to do is get them to stay standing after eating so the food can move into the stomach. We would have her walk around with us for 10-15 minutes after each meal. This helped a ton! Now she kind of walks herself around. I think she understands that it helps. There are antacids and a couple other medicines that help with the discomfort, but we didn’t see a difference with them, so I chose not to medicate her. I didn’t think it was helping or hurting – so why?

Other tips:

  • No bones or treats that are big, or that she will lay down to eat. I found small little treats that she can quickly eat and digest.
  • I also make her some great pumpkin oat gluten free treats.
  • Feed small amounts of food. Chloe is a snacker so this is not a problem for her, she only eats a little bit at a time. She has always been like that.
  • Bland diet if your dog is really having trouble. Periodically I have to revert to the bland diet. Boiled chicken – no spices! and rice. Or babyfood and rice. Small amounts several times a day.
  • You can add pumpkin to dry food, pumpkin is good for dog tummies. Not pumpkin pie filling, only give them pure pumpkin.

So its possible for your dog to live a normal, happy life with megaesophagus, but it takes a little work & planning site link. But doggies health and happiness are definitely worth it!

Dogs are Allowed! Dog Friendly stores.

I dont take my dogs shopping with me. Not because they are not allowed, but because I find it too hard to control them both at the same time. Chloe, our lab is fine. She would be easy, but

dogs on leash
doggies sitting nicely. Some stores are dog friendly, but that’s not where we’re going today.

Rocco is kind of hard to handle. He pulls on the leash and it would be really difficult to do any shopping with him in tow. I’d like to take them more places with me, but for now, I go alone.

I was at the grocery store earlier this morning and there was a lady with a corgi in the store. The dog was walking beside her very calmly, but it still seemed kind of wrong to have the dog in the grocery store. I didn’t say anything, her dog was not disruptive at all. I came home and decided to do some research to find out exactly which stores are dog friendly and which are not.

There are quite a few retail stores which allow dogs (I would call and verify the validity of this, but according to many, these retailers are dog friendly!) If the store is inside a mall, mall policies may prohibit bringing your dog, even though the store policy would allow it. All dogs must be on a leash, well behaved and under your full control. Here is the list of retail stores that are dog friendly:

  • Barnes & Noble
  • Lowes
  • Home Depot
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Petco
  • Petsmart
  • Nordstroms (some are pet friendly, others are not)
  • Crate & Barrel
  • Foot Locker
  • Sas 5th Avenue
  • Old Navy
  • Macys – cant believe this is true, but their website says yes
  • Bloomingdales
  • Gap
  • Anthropologie
  • Pottery Barn
  • Banana Republic
  • Bebe
  • Restoration Hardware
  • Tiffany & Co
  • Marshalls
  • TJ Maxx
  • Home Goods
  • Michaels
  • JoAnns

Before getting your heart set on taking your dogs to one of these stores, please call ahead and verify. Some store locations may have different policies. Do you know of any other dog friendly retail stores, please comment below. I’ll add them to the list.


Protect your Dogs during Natural Disasters

our dog chip
This cutie is Chip. He is now in dog heaven

I was reading an article about how dogs & cats are sometimes forgotten in disaster planning. It isn’t just about getting your human family out of the house, but also your dogs and cats. Do you have a plan in place? Do you have a neighbor available who can evacuate your pets if you cant get home in time? These are all things you can think about now, and make plans to protect your furry family members.

Do you have an emergency kit? We do. It is stored in our garage right by the door, hopefully for easy access. I have a bag of dogfood in our kit, but really thats all. After reading the article, I think I am going to add some items.

They suggested having:

  • dog or cat food (of course)
  • water
  • medications
  • proof of vaccinations
  • extra leashes & name tags with cell phone numbers on them
  • blanket for them to sleep on
  • a comfort item, like a toy or something to calm them. I would not have thought of that, but it makes sense.
  • For cats have a litter box and a cat carrier ready.

Dogs and cats have a way of knowing something is wrong, so they may act differently during or after a disaster. Be patient with them and try to reassure them as best you can that everything is ok. They can sense stress in their owners so it may not be possible to completely calm them.

Evacuations: If you are evacuating. Take your dogs and cats with you! Actually take every pet with you! Dont leave them in the house. They cannot fend for themselves and probably wont survive. They may jump fences, and go try to find you and get lost.

A little advance planning will help things go smoother if there is ever a natural disaster or weather emergency.


Cute Dog Contests. Try one!

Dog contests are everywhere! Dog owners are proud of their doggies. Many of us treat them just like every other member of the family. We want to talk about them. We want to share stories and pictures of them. Many websites capitalize on that and have Cute Dog Contests. You can win a spot on a calendar, your dog can be dog of the week on a website, you can win actual cash prizes, and many other things. Some contests ask you to choose specific themed pictures, others want puppies, some want older dogs. Some require a ‘donation’, all of them ask you to register for their site. Most registrations are simple, and free. Contests are fun!

Here are a few that you can sign up for:
Page a Day Calendar
Modern Dog Magazine
Pamered Puppy
Canine Superstar
Dog Channel
Old Farmers Almanac

I signed up for one. Well, its not really a contest, its just a cute dog voting site where people can ‘love’ a picture of a dog with a certain name, then the one with the most votes becomes the “Top Dog” with that name. I signed up Chloe and Rocco for this contest. Please vote for them! Then submit your own cute doggie(s).

VOTE FOR ROCCO                                                    VOTE FOR CHLOE

Rocco's Selfie - contest entry
Rocco wanted to take a selfie
puppy dog Chloe. Contest entry
Chloe as a puppy dog

I have an older dog

Chloe, our 11 year old lab was sick the other day. It gave us a bit of a scare. She was vomiting every 20 minutes. It was so sad to watch. Nothing I could do to comfort her. After about an hour of it I called the vet. They said I should bring her in. Since she has some health issues, and is an older dog, we were a little scared.

sweet lab chloe
This is sweet Chloe cuddling with her purse

Chloe takes Rimadyl for her arthritis. I was told I should give her half a tablet daily to ‘maintain’ her comfort and for the most part that works. On days when she seems to be having trouble walking I was told I could give her an additional half tablet. Prior to the vomiting spell, I had given her the extra tablet. I thought that maybe it upset her stomach. When I told the vet that I had given the extra pill, she was even more concerned. She said that it could be toxic to her. Yikes!

So my daughter and I headed off to the vet. Chloe was excited to go for a ride. We went right after she had a vomiting spell, so I knew we had 20 minutes to get to the vet.  She normally loves the car, but she wasnt feeling well and just laid on the back seat. She whimpered a bit, which was so sad. We made it in time.

After a long wait we saw the dr. It was about 1am. She gave Chloe an exam and said that her heart and lungs are great, no masses, no blood in her stool, everything seemed normal. They wanted to take some blood to rule out other things. They gave her some fluids, an anti-nausea shot, an antacid and took her blood. The shot seemed to work, she did not vomit at all after that.

We were told to watch her carefully for the first 24 hours, withhold food and water until morning. Then feed a bland diet. I arranged to stay home with her all day the next day. Fed her small bland meals, and she started feeling better.

Results from the labwork came back normal. So that was great news! So maybe it was just something she ate, or a complication from her megaesophagus. Its now 2 days later and she was doing really well today. Appetite is back, she is moving around fine, acting normal 🙂 Crisis diverted.. Yay!

I love Chloe so much. She is the sweetest dog ever!  So glad she is ok!


One dog, two dogs, or more?

sleeping dogs
Rocco and Chloe sleeping

I was just reading on a dog owners forum about how many dogs different families have. It was interesting to see what people had to say.

I have two dogs and I think I would like to always have two dogs. Rocco is a boxer, young, playful and in your face! Chloe is a lab mix, older, calm, sweet and so patient with Rocco.  I think they enjoy each others company. I am sure that Chloe would rather be left alone at times, but overall, I think she loves Rocco. When she has had enough of him, or when she doesn’t want to be bothered, she lifts her lip and growls at him. He backs off!

On many occasions I find them cuddled up together sleeping. It is so cute. I think having two dogs also gives the dogs companionship during the day. What do they do when we are not home? Im not sure. They probably lay on the couch and sleep much of the day. They also spend a good part of the day watching the yard. We have open space around us, and they watch for intruders to chase away. Rocco loves to chase bunnies and squirrels. Chloe seems to go after birds.

Since Chloe is getting older, she doesnt enjoy roughhousing, while Rocco would love it.  I think when we get our next dog, I will get them closer in age. I think that would make them each happier. Chloe was very motherly towards Rocco when he was a pup. We got him when he was about 10 weeks old. Chloe showed him how to go outside and go potty, she growled when he was doing something wrong, when we went for rides in the car, she would use her body as a seatbelt to keep him safe.

I am glad our two dogs are a similar size. I dont think its a necessity, but it is easier when we go for walks. I see people with a big dog and a small one and they look like they have a hard time.

I have read that its better for your second do to be the opposite sex as the first dog. That makes a lot of sense. If they are both the same sex, they will have to determine who is the alpha dog, and who is not. This may result in fights among the dogs, and a hard time getting along. Some dogs may get overly aggressive or way too passive after the fight for dominance. Its not always the case, but if you can avoid this situation, that would be a good idea.

Is it easier to have two dogs vs. one dog? No. There are now two pets that need love and attention. One is generally more jealous (Rocco) and makes it hard for Chloe to get attention. We make it work, of course. Training is harder with more than one dog. They dont have the same training needs, but they are both around all the time so both need to be included.  When one is ill or hurt, its hard to keep the other dog from bothering them without isolating them.

There are many things to consider when deciding how many dogs you want to have. I recommend reading lots of information, listen to experienced dog owners, and make the decision that works best for your family. To me having two dogs means double the puppy dog love!

dogs sleeping
Rocco using Chloe as a pillow

Rocco loves Soccer Balls

Our dog Rocco loves Soccer balls. He likes them a little flat and a little shredded. He enjoys chasing the ball when we kick it (if he actually lets us kick it), he enjoys throwing it around the yard by himself, too. Friends save old soccer balls for him, and he is very appreciative!

Does he ever let us play? Well, sometimes. He loves to tease us, act like he is going to let us kick it, but then grab it at the last minute.  But then there are days where he will let me kick it 100 times. It just depends.  One trick I use to get him to let me play is to give Chloe attention. He gets jealous and will bring me the ball.

Over the past few years, he has been through MANY balls.  A friend of mine asked me if I have pictures of him with all the various balls. Do I? Well, I have MANY pictures of him with various soccer balls. Here are some:

Rocco Soccer ball
Rocco with a soccer ball. One of many!
running soccer ball
Rocco running through the yard with a soccer ball
kick soccer ball
Rocco waiting for me to kick the ball
no kicking my ball
Rocco is not going to let me kick it
ball on couch
Sometimes the balls come in the house
ball on couch
another ball that snuck inside
shredded ball
This ball is getting to be a little too shredded
my ball
This is MY ball, you cant take it!

Gluten Free Dog Cookie Recipe

Healthy Dog Treats – Gluten free dog cookie recipe

Chloe Relaxing
Chloe relaxing out front

My dog Chloe has Mega Esophagus, which means her esophagus has lost muscle tone and has a hard time moving food down into her stomach. That’s a story all in itself, but because of this illness we were told to give her foods that are easily digestible.  I found a great dog cookie recipe for her! This is my Gluten Free Pumpkin cookie recipe for dogs. Both dogs devour them! Rocco, our boxer sits and drools as they are being baked. Chloe, the lab, doesn’t usually show much interest in food, probably because it makes her uncomfortable to eat – but she loves these cookies!

I can’t take the credit for this recipe. I found it online, but I did change it up so that its gluten-free. Give it a try!

Here is the Pumpkin Oatmeal Dog Cookie recipe. It makes about 4 dozen cookies

What you need:

  • 2 cups of rice flour (available in the health foods area usually)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of steel cut oatmeal, uncooked. I buy gluten free
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 small can of pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons water, as needed

Preheat oven to 350

Spray cooking spray on cookie sheets. I use Pam Baking Spray

In one bowl, mix dry ingredients and set aside

In a larger bowl, mix wet ingredients. Make sure the peanut butter is mixed in well. You can use a mixer, or a spoon.

Then combine all ingredients.  It will be thick and dry. Add a little water so that you can get it all mixed up.

I like to chill the dough for 15 minutes or so before starting, but its not necessary.

Take teaspoonfuls of dough and place on cookie sheet. I put 12 on each sheet. Then press them down into a circular shape. Thin, maybe 1/8 inch thick.

Put into oven for 14 minutes. Flip cookies and cook for another 14 minutes.

Cool completely on cooling rack.  Then store in airtight container in the refrigerator. You don’t have to put in the frig – but they last longer if you do. I am not sure how long they stay good in or out of the frig. Since our doggies love them so much, we use up our bag in about a week and a half.

Note: if you have a smaller dog, you can make the cookies smaller. This size is perfect for my large dogs.

I hope your dogs enjoy this Gluten free Pumpkin Oatmeal dog cookie recipe!

Puppy Dog Love – for pups & their families

Welcome Dog Lovers!

Puppy Dog Love – a site about dogs and their families. Pictures, fun stories, tips and advice about doggie ownership and training. Have you ever wanted to share pictures of your cute dogs with the world? Or tell someone about that funny thing your puppy did this morning? Here is the place to do it. I love talking about my pets, and I am sure there are others out there, too! Welcome to the site.

rocco cute boxer puppy
Rocco, 10 week old boxer puppy dog.

Rocco is already famous among my Facebook friends. He is a 3 year old boxer. We got him as a puppy. He is an incredibly smart guy, and so cute! He has been keeping us on our toes since we got him. I have a bunch of stories, fun pictures and even some dog videos to share.

Our other doggy, Chloe is about 11 years old. She is a lab mix and has been the best dog ever! She never ruined anything, and when we say NO, she stops what she is doing. She is sweet and cute and just an amazing dog. I will be sharing photos of her, too! She is a bit camera shy, but I do have some fun pictures of her, too.

Once I figure out how, I will have an area where you can log in and post stories and pictures of your pups, too! So start thinking of fun dog stories, find all those cute pictures of your pets and get them ready to upload!

Please comment with ideas of other things that I can include. I am very new to this, so be patient as I figure things out. Invite your friends and family members, and their pets of course – lets make this a fun place to hang out!

a site for dogs and their families