Category Archives: Uncategorized

Elsie saw santa

Every single time I take Elsie out somewhere people comment on how great she is! Not only is she drop dead gorgeous, she is so well-behaved in public.

We went to see Santa last week. We had to wait in line for over and hour. There were other dogs, lots of little kids, and quite a bit of foot traffic around us (we were at the mall). Not only was Elsie super patient, she greeted other dogs and people as they walked by. She is not forceful, she just walks up to people to say hello!

Socialized dogs are so great! There were many dogs in line. A few were crazier than others, but most of them had been socialized and waited nicely in line. The golden retrievers were barking at the other dogs, but were friendly. The german shepherds was well behaved and pretty calm, the little pugs were noisy, but well-behaved. Elsie was the only one who was actively greeting people, though. It was cute. She got lots of love.

She didn’t really want to see Santa, but allowed us to get a few pictures. Last year we couldn’t get closer than about 10 feet from him, so this year was a definite improvement.

Here is one of the pictures we got from our visit. Santa was in a great mood tonight, despite seeing so many kids and dogs. We got to the mall about 5:30 and the line was maybe about 20 people/dogs long. When we left about 7pm, it had grown to maybe 100 people/dogs. I hope Santa got a little bit of a rest. He still had to get back to the North Pole to make toys! He is sure a busy man this time of year.

Santa will surely bring Elsie something special. She was so good in line, and so good with him!

If you are looking for a dog that is great with kids (all ages), loves socializing, and is not aggressive at all, try a lab! They are such amazing dogs with the best temperment. People ask me all the time if she is a trained therapy dog. No, she is not. She has had training and I am sure that has helped, but she just has a sweet temperment.

Planning a dog birthday party

April 21, 2016 – Party weekend coming!

rocco cute boxer puppy dog party
Rocco, our cute little boxer pup. He is turning 6!

This weekend is Rocco’s birthday party. I have never planned a dog’s birthday party before. It’s not as easy as one might think. I am NOT inviting any dogs. He doesn’t play well with others. Haha. He plays like a boxer and other dogs seem to get kind of freaked out. Rocco is not mean at all, he just wants to knock the dogs to the ground. Then chase them and knock them back down. Anyway, we are not inviting any dogs. But I am thinking I should invite some people for him to play with. People he loves!

So of course I will invite the kids and their significant others, my mom, but who else?? Should I invite friends? All these decisions.

I know for sure that I am going to have my husband bbq and I am going to have him make a steak for Rocco. I dont want him to get a tummy ache, so it will be a small steak 🙂 I am going to get doggie ice cream and I will make him an ice cream sandwich with the pumpkin oatmeal cookies I recently made for him and the ice cream. Hey, if you havent seen my recipe – dogs LOVE it – I mean devour it – they drool when they see the cookies! Here is the recipe.  Oh, I didn’t mention. That recipe is gluten-free!

Anyway, back to the party. I was trying to think of games/activities that Rocco might enjoy. Activity 1. Have everyone lay down on the floor and let him run around to each of us giving kisses? Activity 2. Run up and down the hill with him.  Activity 3. Go for a walk. Activity 4. Cuddle on the couch – but everyone must allow him to sit on their lap if he wants.

How does that sound? Do you think it will be an amazing birthday party for Rocco?

Second opinion – hold off on Prednisone

Second opinion for Rocco
Rocco wanted to take a selfie. Oh how I love this face! one eye, two eye – adorable pup!

April 5, 2016

Just spoke to our regular vet, well, one we have seen in the past for a second opinion. He agrees that maybe we should hold off a bit on the Prednisone. Really Rocco feels pretty good at this point, why add the possibility of the horrible side effects for a tiny bit of benefit. Everything I read – nothing said anything about meningiomas being affected by Prednisone. What it does say is that the tissue surrounding the tumor would be reduced by the Prednisone. I dont know if thats actually a problem for Rocco at the moment.

What the vet said made sense. The Prednisone is given when the dogs are very uncomfortable, having lots of pain, not eating, etc. It makes them hungry, and reduces some of their pain, so they act a little more like themselves, but he says the positive affects are only short term. Once the dog is on Prednisone for long term, the other side effects start to kick in and the dog wont be very happy. I am glad I got the second opinion, he confirmed what I thought.

So right now Rocco is doing well. Yes, his jaw is sore, but we will give him Rimadyl, which is an anti-inflammatory which has no side effects. He had that before, after his surgery and it makes him a little drowsy, but thats it. I can deal with that! Rocco can deal with it, too.

I do understand where the surgeon is coming from and maybe for some dogs its a good thing. I just think for Rocco, right now, its not a good choice. If and when things deteriorate, and he starts having more pain and is more uncomfortable, not eating, etc – then we can start him on the Prednisone. Right now we are just going to continue with what we are doing. Softer foods, raw goats milk, and lots of lovin’.

The Dog Park makes Rocco so happy

March 26, 2015

Dog Parks. People either love them or hate them. Well, add us to the group that hates them, UNLESS there is no one else there – then we LOVE them!

Let me explain. When Rocco was a puppy we took the dogs a few times to the local dog park. It was usually fine. A couple times we saw dog fights, or aggressive dogs running around tackling other dogs. We just tried to keep Chloe and Rocco at the other end. Well, one day we walked in and a huge shepherd attacked Rocco. Knocked him to the ground and help him there. This other dog’s hair was up on his neck, and I was freaking out. The owner hit him and pulled him off. We left! Thank goodness Rocco was not hurt. About 2 months later we decided to go again. I took my son with me, and we went during an off-peak time. Well, Rocco decided that HE was going to be the one tackling the other dogs. First one he saw, he ran over to him and knocked him to the ground. Thank goodness Nick was with me, he helped get Rocco off the other dog and we left. We never went back. I dont want to be ‘that’ person.

So recently they opened a new dog park at the park near our house. There is no way I was going to take him when other dogs are there, so we just go for our walks and if no one is in the park, I take him and let him play. He loves it! He runs around smelling all the smells, peeing on all the trees, treasure hunting for left behind balls and frisbees. He has so much fun!

So I guess the bottom line is: we love EMPTY dog parks!

Santa Rocco says Happy Holidays

December 25, 2015

Santa Rocco says Happy Holidays
Santa Rocco says Happy Holidays

Santa Rocco speaking: I love Christmas. Mom and Dad buy me new toys! I have to sit and wait while they stack up all the presents by each of them. I have a stack, too. Mom caught me trying to open one of my gifts the other day. I guess I wasn’t quite stealth enough. I was a little embarrassed when she caught me, but I got over it. She never stays mad for long. If I give her my “I’m so sorry” face, then she always forgives me. She is a great mommy! Back to Christmas, I knew I wanted to open this one present, it smelled like meat! I kept staring at it until finally they let me open it. Oh my gosh, it was just what a wanted. A new beef flavored nylabone. I love those things! I ran into the other room to chew on it, so no one would come try to take it. Now, that I think about it, I dont think anyone has ever tried to take one from me. I went back in and sat by Grandma. She has long nails and I love it when she scratches under my collar. I helped her open one of her presents. She got a shirt or something. BORING! But she was sure happy with it.  After everyone opened all the gifts, and I had taken all my new toys and put them in by my other toys, we got to have breakfast. They always let me have a little bit of whatever they are eating when its a holiday. I love that about my family.

As far as dog wishes go, I think all of mine have been granted. I have a family who spoils me rotten. A nice warm bed (I actually have several beds), food, water, lots of balls to play with and all the love any dog could want.

Rawhide is Evil and so is Crisco!

December 10, 2015

criscoYesterday was the 4th anniversary of Rocco’s ‘eat a few sticks of Crisco’ adventure – what did he do to celebrate? Swallowed a big hunk of rawhide! (I never gave him one before, and the chunk was pretty big so I didn’t think he would swallow it!). It’s been about 10 hours and he seems fine. Hoping it doesn’t get lodged in is stomach or intestines. Wish I could stay home to watch him.

I called the vet and they said dogs swallow it all the time. About 25% of the time it causes problems. They said to watch and make sure he continues to poop. As long as things are ‘moving along’ then he is probably fine. If he vomits, or gets bad diarrhea, then also thats bad. She said we could bring him in, but she said unless there are signs of a problem, he will probably be fine. The stomach acids hopefully will break it down/soften it up enough so that it passes.

I will sleep lightly tonight, and be listening for problems. Rocco seems absolutely fine. He is conked out. Lets hope it stays that way!

The Crisco incident. Well, back on December 9, 2011 he somehow (still dont know how) got into a brand new 3 pack of Crisco sticks. I had them on top of the microwave because I was going to make some cake frosting. Anyway, I came home from work and Chloe came running up to me to tell me something – I can tell when she is trying to get me to go see something – so I followed her. Out in the family room was a crisco wrapper. Then she took me outside, and found another.. And there was Rocco – going potty. Whitish diarrhea! Yikes – he ate the crisco. I found the third one, not completely eaten. So I called the vet and they said bring him in immediately!

So we went to the vet. They did some blood work and determined that he needed to stay over night. They were going to flush his system, much of it had already been digested – so they would monitor him overnight, do more blood work, and flush him out to hopefully keep his system from absorbing all the fat. They were concerned about many possible things – including Pancreatitis. So we left him there and worried all night. By the afternoon of the next day they said they flushed it all out and that his bloodwork was normal. They didnt think he would have any ill effects from it. Whew!!! Quite a vet bill, but our baby was ok!

Halloween and your dogs

dogs sleeping
Rocco using Chloe as a pillow

October 31, 2015

Halloween is a fun time of year for most of us. Pets, however, not so much. We live on a street that is not heavily ‘trick-or-treated’. We maybe get 5 groups of kids at the most, but its still hard on them. The doorbell rings & they want to greet the guests! I keep them in the other room, behind the gate usually, so they dont scare the kiddos.

Some people keep their pups in the backyard – but that’s probably hard on the dogs, too. They hear all the kids running around, screaming in joy, parents yelling for their kids to stay out of the street, etc. I asked a few friends what their strategy is for their dogs on Halloween. Here is what they said:

My one friend said she locks the dogs in her bedroom. Turns the tv on really loud and just lets them be in there while she takes her kids out trick or treating, and her husband is home passing out the candy. They live in a neighborhood with lots of kids, so I am sure they get lots of activity.She says the dogs (she has 2 little dogs) seem fine. When she is ready to turn off the porch light, she goes up and lets the dogs out.

Another friend of mine sits out front with her dog. He is a giant mastiff-mix dog is and is pretty mellow. They sit outside and the kids come up to get the candy from them. She said her dog pretty much just lays there. So for her, thats a great solution. I actually did this a couple years, but with the lack of trick or treaters on our street – it was pretty boring! And it was cold. If a bunch of kids came, it would have been fun!

My other friend told me that they take the dogs with them trick or treating, and then when they get home they let the dogs watch them answer the door. Yikes! Their one pup is kind of crazy. like Rocco, so I cant imagine how she handles it. She says its stressful for her but the dogs enjoy it. She keeps the dogs on a very short leash while out with her kids gathering treats. She walks in the street so they are not in the way of little ones. What do you do with your pets?

 

More Cancer details

September 2, 2015

Rocco update: I know more about the tumor now. Here are the cancer details. It’s an optic nerve sheath Meningioma. It is not typically a tumor that metasticizes, so that’s good news, and there is no sign of it spreading YET. His neurological exam was normal. His tumor was sent to a dog cancer specialist on the east coast, and was liked at by a dog specialty tumor board. They said it’s a super slow growing tumor, which is also great news. The portion of the tumor that remains is right under the brain, so it’s a dangerous spot. If it grows up into the brain there is really nothing we can do. If it grows into the empty space that was created when the Tumor and eye was removed, that would be better. It could take years to grow back to the same size, but of course anything is possible. It could start growing really fast, or just stay the same size forever.

selfie of the non-pirate side!
selfie of the non-pirate side!

Treatment options: There is a radiation treatment that could help, but there isn’t much data on it. I guess they only do this specific radiation it UC Davis. Because they left some of the tumor inside Rocco, the radiation will not eliminate that tumor, but it could help slow the growth. But they think its a super slow growing tumor anyway .. I think we are going to pass on the treatment. There isn’t enough compelling data to sway me into making him go through it. Instead I want his quality of life to be the best it can be. I will do my best to make sure he is happy and enjoys whatever time he has with us. The vet seems to think his prognosis is decent. It could take several years before the tumor grows back – or maybe it wont grow back. There is a chance that since the edges have been breached that it could grow back quickly, but they dont think that is what is going to happen. If he starts exhibiting neurological symptoms, that means the tumor has grown into the brain and there is nothing we can really do. Watch for seizures, confusion, sleeping all the time, no interest in anything, things like that. 

Bottomline:

He is feeling good, eating a lot, being playful, seems happy! So we are going to enjoy life and just hope that the tumor doesn’t grow fast! (Or at all). Rocco wanted to take a selfie of his non-pirate side. That’s what this photo shows 🙂 

soccer anyone?

August 25, 2015

Rocco wants to play soccer! I think he needs a new ball.
Rocco wants to play soccer! I think he needs a new ball.

Rocco update: Rocco is feeling much better! He wants to play soccer. This is the first time he has attempted to play with one of his soccer balls since his surgery. His jaw is sore so he couldn’t really pick it up, but he tried! He cant open his mouth wide enough. I will keep encouraging him to, though, because I think he needs to work that jaw muscle. He has a cloth, stuffed ball. Maybe we can play with that until his jaw feels better. He is a ball kind of guy. He will play with other toys, but his first choice is always a ball of some sort.

Chloe never liked balls. She would chase a tennis ball now and then, but would much rather have a stuffed animal. She liked to play chase, and liked rope toys, but never really balls. She treats her toys so nicely. She never ruins anything. She will carry the stuffed animals around, lay with them, just ‘play with them’, but not destroy them. Rocco destroys them! He wants to rip them to shreds. When he was a puppy we use to call him Shredder!  Oh, Chloe would try to remove every toy’s eyes, though. She would chew them off. But that was the only thing she would destroy.

Our old dog, Chip, loved tennis balls. They were his favorite thing (besides shoes).  I would buy the huge box of balls at Costco, and always have new ones available for him. His face would fill with joy as soon as he saw a new tennis ball. He also loved his bed. He would drag it around. He was a lab/cocker spaniel mix. And he was a very cute dog – looked like a little puppy his whole life!

 

Squirrel? Rocco almost got him!

sleeping dogs
Rocco and Chloe sleeping – before Rocco’s eye surgery

August 20, 2015

Rocco update: he is doing great! Almost caught a squirrel this morning! No news on the tumor yet. His jaw is still sore, but they said that might take a while before he feels better. He is a happy pup and almost back to his normal spunky self. Just the fact that he saw the squirrel, actually wanted to chase the squirrel, is a great thing! I am glad he didn’t catch it.

I was talking to someone on a dog website that I posted some questions on. I met someone whose dog had a similar issue. We were discussing the whole process and how our dogs and how we handled it. It was an interesting discussion. Her dog wore the cone without issue after his surgery. She made a little play pen sort of area for him and he stayed in that, wearing his cone for the recouperation period. So she was able to go to work and do normal things, but she said she felt very guilty leaving him alone. I was telling her that I felt guilty putting the cone on Rocco, so I made sure he was never alone.  Looking back, I think my solution was better for Rocco – he had someone there to comfort him at any given moment.  Not judging this other person at all! Just sayin’

Her dog didn’t have any complications afterwards (jaw, or anything) and has healed great and is now fine. So I am very happy for her. She found out pretty quick what type of cancer her dog had. They are going to do radiation with him. We are still waiting to find out what kind of tumor it was, and what treatment they will recommend. As a former cancer patient myself, I am very hesitant to put him through all that. But if they give me compelling evidence that it will help him – then by all means I will do it.

 

Stitches removed!

August 16, 2015

Rocco update: (Sunday afternoon) he got his stitches out this morning! Doc says he is doing amazing, he is healing well. No news on the tumor yet, hopefully by the end of the week. Rocco will stay on his pain medications thru Wednesday, and is still restricted from playing outside unsupervised. His jaw is still sore, so soft food for a few more days. He is resting comfortably, and seems pain free (other than the jaw). He still has not really tried to scratch his surgery area or rub it on anything. Even though the stitches has been removed, if he rubs it too hard or scratches the area just right, he can rip the area where the stitches were. I am SOOOO glad that Lindsey is able and willing to stay with him.

I am going to sleep well tonight. I think the weight is being lifted a little as each day passes and he feels better. Its like having a sick child, you feel helpless sometimes to fix things. Just takes time. Chloe has been so sweet to him. He just wants to cuddle with her, and although I know she doesn’t really want to cuddle with him, she allows it. She is the best dog ever! She really is.

Chloe Relaxing
Chloe relaxing out front

I know she isn’t feeling great either. She is just getting old and her bones ache. She never complains. She cant hear very well, but maybe she enjoys that. I see her declining the past 6 months or so. Just more days that she doesnt really want to eat, she sleeps a lot more, she has a hard time getting up, she has a hard time walking too far, I think it even hurts her sometimes when she goes out to go potty and her rear legs need to support her. She has the arthritis meds, and I think that helps. She will be 14 in November, which is pretty old for a lab. I sure love her!

Eye Update and now Sore jaw

483206_4874354542139_1408692795_nAugust 12, 2015 Rocco update:

(Wednesday am). Poor Rocco – his jaw is super sore. He barked and it hurt, he yawns and it hurts, and when Lindsey gave him a cookie yesterday he couldn’t eat it and was yelping in pain. He loves his cookies so I am sure this was very disturbing for him! Called the surgeon and he said it could be from the surgery (they did work very close to his upper jaw), but they want to see him. He also has very dark blackish poops, they said he needs to be seen for that, too! So I took today off. Not sure how long all this is going to take, or if there will be any special care needed. I gave him soft food for breakfast and he gobbled it down, and now he is sound asleep right next to me. Cant this cutie pie catch a break? I feel so bad for him. I know its normal to take two steps forward and one step back after surgery, but I just want him to feel good again! I want him to be able to play soccer outside again, I want him to be his wild and crazy self again! This picture is from before the surgery.

Later the same day:  Everything is fine! Dr not concerned about the poop, they tested it and it’s just the meds. No blood!! The jaw pain is probably because the ‘mass’ was right above his jaw, so that muscle is probably sore from the surgery. Soft foods for a while. They said to keep him on all the medications for a few more days to help him get past the soreness. Rocco, aka Captain fawn beard, is exhausted from his day out. I think he is tired of going all the way to the valley for the vet visits. He would probably enjoy a long walk around the neighborhood a little more. He loves the car and I dont want him to think every time he goes in the car he will be going to the animal hospital. He really is in good spirits and other than the pain in the jaw seems fine! Thanks to all of you for the ideas and well wishes. We all appreciate your concern.

Rocco’s Eye update

August 10, 2015 – Rocco Eye Update

Monday morning: I’ve spent the morning with the pups today! Rocco was in good spirits and very excited to spend the morning with me!! Chloe was excited too! We cuddled up on the couch and then they both fell asleep… So….

His eye looks a little better
His eye looks a little better

Our morning has been a lazy one! I am taking Pirate Fawn Beard (oh yeah, Dad and I changed his name) to the vet in a little while for a check up of sorts, and I will post an update once we get back.  I am exhausted, but I see progress and its wonderful that Rocco is healing, swelling is going down, and hopefully soon our life will be back to normal.

Later the same day: Rocco is doing really well. He doesn’t seem to be in pain (although he is still on pain meds). He is getting a little more rambunctious. The surgeon said he is coming along just as expected, and is healing quickly! We go back in Sunday to remove the stitches. I think the hard part is over – at least I hope so!! Thank you to Lindsey for puppy sitting while I work. This way he (captain fawnbeard) doesn’t have to wear the dreaded cone. He hasn’t really tried to scratch his eye area, or rub it on anything yet. The surgeon said we have to be really careful if we dont have the cone on him because he said its going to start being very itchy and he will probably scratch it. Until we have the stitches out, that could be BAD news!  We do have the inflatable cone that we can put on if he starts acting like its itchy or if he starts trying to scratch it / rub against things. We are suppose to still ice him a couple times a day to keep swelling down. Rocco doesnt seem to mind it, maybe it feels good.

Rocco is coming home!

August 7, 2015

Rocco is coming home! I am so relieved – he is doing better! Dr told me that he has been on oral meds now and seems comfortable. He is alert and is acting happy to see people. They are going to get him walking around and eating. He is swollen still, but that’s normal. His incision is scabbing up, so everything now is as expected. Yay!

He will have the cone on for 2 weeks which is going to make things difficult – he won’t be able to use the doggy door, but hopefully that will be the only problem. (Except for the bill – maybe we will win the lotto).

Later the same day: Rocco is home! He is kind of out of it, a little disoriented, having a hard time getting comfortable, but happy to be home. We moved the crate downstairs, and we have to keep him calm . The words ‘calm’ and ‘Rocco’ are not typically used together. The first couple days will be tough. Pills on different time schedules and I need to put a cold compress in his eye every 3-4 hours. He HATES the cone. Wont even sit down. Just standing there. He is so tired, I can tell. He wont lie down. Whatever it takes! So happy to have him home!

<a href="http://www.puppydoggies helpful hints.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/surgery.jpg” rel=”attachment wp-att-193″>surgeryAugust 8: Rocco update (Saturday am): Rocco is doing pretty good. He only sleeps for about 20 minutes at a time, but he is getting more and more comfortable. The cone is not happening! He freaks out when it’s on – just stands in one spot. He doesn’t want to sit or lay down – practically falls asleep standing up! I took it off and have just been watching him so he doesn’t like the leg medicine patch or try to scratch his eye. He ate breakfast this morning and is ow laying next to me on the couch napping. I’m exhausted, but happy he is home and getting better. I sent Lindsey out to get an inflatable cone, maybe that will be more comfortable for him.. Otherwise we will just have to watch him very carefully. I cant miss work, but Lindsey is still off for summer – she will be my helper 🙂

August 9th update: Rocco update (Sunday eve): it was a good day. Rocco seems to be feeling better and better each day. The swelling has gone down almost all the way. Here is a picture of him sleeping. In the bright light it doesn’t look as good as this, but I thought you might like to see him. Hoping for a nice, restful evening. I have to go to work tomorrow. Lindsey is going to babysit Rocco. She is the best daughter!!!

Eye Surgery Update

Written August 5, 2015

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

Surgery update: What a day! Poor Rocco has been through a lot. He is now out of surgery and resting comfortably. They didn’t start the surgery until about 3. Its now almost 8pm and they finally called with the update (originally scheduled for 11am). I have been worried all day long!!! They think for sure its cancer. But they wont know exactly what kind or any details until the tumor comes back. They sent it out to get analyzed. The tumor appears to have started on the optic nerve. They removed the eye, the optic nerve all the way up to where it branches off to the other eye (which is still fine thank goodness!!!!!). He went up against the brain but not into it. He said some of the tumor appears to have gone into brain tissue.  They did a neurology test and all brain function is normal. I think thats what they called it. So they dont think the tumor is affecting anything in his brain. Yay!

So right now Rocco is only heavy pain meds, and they will continue through the night. If everything goes as expected, he will come home tomorrow night. They have a staff overnight who will watch him like a hawk – just to make sure things stabilize. My poor little guy!!! Please pray for Rocco!!! And if you are independently wealthy ….

August 6th update: Just spoke to the surgeon. Rocco needs to stay another night. They tried to wean him off the injectible pain meds but he was still having lots of pain and discomfort. They want to keep him on the higher does for a little longer. He is very swollen and they want to get that under control, too.  Oh man.. I just wish I could fast forward a few months to when he is all healed and doing well 🙂  Chloe misses him, believe it or not. She keeps wandering around looking for him. She is such a sweetheart. She knows I am upset and just sits with me, comforting me. I love dogs <3

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 🙂

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.