Owned by Pugs

Friday, September 19, 2014

Sink or Swim


As you all know, Henry lost his left eye earlier this year. This has forever knocked his depth perception out of whack. His right eye isn't that hot, though, either. He can sort of see but there is a small cataract on that eye, as well. He is on drops to hopefully help control any potential sudden inflammation that may occur.

What problems his poor eyesight has caused recently, though, is a doozy. He's fallen into the pool twice now. Once was in broad daylight (while we were cutting the grass and he was trying to stay in our vicinity. The other time was just last night. In the dark.

The pattern seems to be that Henry goes onto the pool deck, peers out the door on the far side of the house and then wonders his way over to the other side of the pool deck (where the doggy door and fenced in yard are). As we swaggers from one side to the next, he loses his sense of how close he is to the pool. Especially since at this point the pool would fall on his blindside. Thus, it just takes one misstep and in he goes. :(

Henry used to love the pool but the older he got the less he enjoys it. Benny & Luna never really loved the pool but both of them were at least good swimmers! Henry has never been a good swimmer. But each time he has fallen into the pool he has done what we had always taught the pugs to do. And that lesson was "swim to the step" and it is obvious that he has remembered his training.

The first time he fell in he swam to the step and got out. Then last night he was swimming to the step when we had to jump in and "rescue" him. This raises many red flags for us since Henry now goes potty much more frequently (minus a kidney, meds that make you drink more/pee more) and this includes in the middle of the night. So we are starting to be paranoid that he may fall into the pool overnight and we could sleep through it.

We have come to a resolve about possible solutions and once that has been implemented and tested we will share how it worked out. Until then, we are making sure that he never goes out alone and he may just have to either "hold it" or have an accident in the overnight. His safety is far more important than any dang old potty accident!

For those still not getting the emails.....this is because there have not been any new featured pug photos. Without the photos, there is no email. OBP is working on getting caught up on those. We apologize for having to come find us when we are usually delivered straight to your inbox. We are doing our best and sadly, that is what is giving right now. Thank you for your patience.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Word About SEVO


SEVO, or South East Veterinary Oncology, has been the place where Henry has been getting his chemotherapy treatments. It is a very quaint little place. And we wanted to just briefly share some of our observances. Some are simple but some are truly notable.


First, their waiting room is like a trip to the set of Golden Girls. It has a mix between cushiony chairs and ratan accents and very typical white southern plantation style shutters. White wicker rocking chairs and gliders are out on the front porch. And truthfully, it looks very cozy and welcoming. We had mentioned before that they put out a welcome sign to all new/first time patients and that was a very special touch.

The main thing that I kind of wanted to talk about is their memory court. It is a paved circular dog walk area with about 60-70 engraved bricks that are intermingled with the brick pavers making the circular path. The bricks really tell a tale of patients past. I actually photographed each brick on this visit. The first visit I cried my head off reading them all and this visit I was better able to keep it all in perspective but it is still hard.

Here are a few bricks that really hit home to me.

SEVO Memorial Walk

SEVO Memorial Walk

SEVO Memorial Walk

SEVO Memorial Walk

The one that reads: "In memory of Pyewacket LaDue, You got me through! I miss you still" particularly was a tear jerker. The back story on this is that Pyewacket LaDue was the pet of one of the doctors there who herself had breast cancer and was helped by her own dog to help get her through cancer and then in turn, the dog succumbs to cancer later.

I am sure each brick has its own special back story but since we are not privy to them, we cannot speak to the uniqueness they each have to offer. But we are sure that each mentioned pet was truly loved.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Trying To Keep Up

Hello OBPers...

This is on behalf of Corrine....

I needed to offer this update since Corrine is recovering from ACL (knee) surgery. She had her torn ACL repaired last Wednesday (from an injury she suffered in May) and she was doing her best to keep everything up to date but the reality is that the OBP house has been a house of cards the last week or so. Corrine has needed this surgery since right before we lost Benny & Luna but with all of that we put it off a bit. We scheduled her surgery, then found out about Henry's cancer. So, it's been a rough summer but we are managing the best we can and the "luxury" of keeping the blogs up has been a little bit spotty. We are very sorry. We are in survival mode this week. Not to mention (but yet, I am mentioning) we have had an extra scoop of to-dos lately. Corrine with her bum knee (on crutches), Henry at chemo AND we have also been catsitting for Grammy who took a quick jaunt to Maryland for a family function. We of course are very happy to return the favor and for all she that she does for us but it just has not left hours in the day to maintain everything that we would like to and we know that this is not a week of blogs that we could "pre-write" so thank you for bearing with us. And this is also why there haven't been emails or featured pug picture updates.

So, I will do my best to catch everyone up and appease the worries out there. smile

And, I apologize for no photos linked with this update. I know they help to explain the story. But I don't know how to add photos either. I am so sorry. Corrine is the computer whiz around here. Not me. :(

Anyway, we do have some pretty good news to share. Henry left chemo #2 like a wild man! He was all amped up and gave us some lip and the nurses were even getting a little perturbed but we tried to leave as quickly as possible. That night (Monday) was a good one. Henry ate, took his meds, took a walk, had a chewy and all was right with the world. The next morning (Tuesday) though, had us a little concerned. He took his meds but did not eat. Not until very late in the day and he slept a lot. This was the same pattern as chemo #1 had been so we were getting antsy.

Tuesday night though, he gained an appetite, ate a lot and went for a walk and seemed to be doing well. This morning was a little rocky getting his meds in him and he did not have breakfast but he is seeming to be an evening eater and pug. More like Luna. Less like Baby Benny. He is finding his way as his own man.

Corrine, on the other hand, is suffering a little set back in that she is having a hard time shaking the nausea that comes from surgery and post op meds. But she is a tough cookie too and will get through this. And I am sure she would want to have me reiterate that the blog is never intended to be about the OBP people. It's about the pugs. In this instance, though, I wanted to be sure to give a little background as to why things aren't up to snuff. So, just try to give us some time to catch up and we will continue to do our best. And as always, #HenryStrong #TeamHenry and a #GetWellCorrine today, too. We know that we are not the only ones with life struggles, too. So, please know that whenever we mention a shout out for Henry, we want it represent all of you in your struggles and support for your losses and may Henry just be the poster boy and represent us all in OBPland.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Caption This #340

Henry & Cupid

Looking forward to your captions in the comments.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Chemo Trip #2

Today is Henry's second visit to SEVO where he will have his 2nd round of chemotherapy. We know that he will go from 85% of his prescribed dose to 50-60% and then we will just have to wait and see. We are hopeful that he went into this round in better physical and mental shape than the last round. The appointment is at 10:30 AM and will last until about 2:30 PM. We will leave the house around 8-8:30. The drive is about 90 minutes but with possible rush hour traffic we want to be sure that we are not late and we'd rather have to wait on them rather than them wait on us. If we are out by 2:30 then we should be home around 4-4:30. That is quite a day. We will give a full update on Wednesday, but there will be a caption this tomorrow and we hope to give some sort of of mini update in the comments section. Thank you all in advance for the warm wishes and continued support you share for Henry and our family. It truly means a lot. Thanks again and #HenryStrong all day long! Go #TeamHenry

Update: We are home safe and sound and Henry is doing well. He received 50% of his normal dose and was given a combination of anti-nausea meds that will hopefully provide some relieve during the week. When we picked him up, Henry was quite excited to see us and caused quite a ruckus. He his happily snoring now and getting some much needed rest. Fingers crossed...

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Story of Cupid


So, I think we have inadvertently given Cupid a little bit of a bad rap.Granted, she is a cat which means that she is prone to be a bit demanding and to give a bit of attitude (or as we call it CATTITUDE) if she doesn't get her way. But the reality is, is that for a cat, Cupid really is a pretty good kitty.

I wanted to share a little bit of the back story on her. Before we even had the pugs, we had a cat named Eightball, or 8 for short (named after the billiards ball since she was all black with a smudge of white under her chin). Well, Eight lived about as long as her name indicated. Eight had an abrupt end to her life. Eight was on allergy shots and one day Eight decided that she was not only going to not get another allergy shot. And beyond that, she saw the cues leading up to her next shot and she literally went out of her mind. She attacked every one and every thing in her field of vision. It was a horrible and terrifying experience and for hours on end she behaved like a vicious feral cat that had never known the love of a person. It sadly ended in a call to animal control and euthanasia.

That is how Cupid came in to our lives. It was early February of 2000 when we lost Eight the Great. It was the first time since living in our home (at the time in Maryland) that the house was empty. And if I am being honest, I had a hard time coming home to an empty nest. So, we went to the pound and we were looking around at all the kitties that were awaiting a new forever home. We saw a beautiful stripped kitty with golden eyes and thought she would fill the hole in our hearts that Eight had left us with. She looked so fancy we had even given her a name. Ritz. Well, the process at this Human Society at the time was that you put an application on the pet you are seeking and they review it, have a phone interview then do a home visit and if you passed, you could pick up your new family member. This process generally took about a week to complete. So, we put our application down (and were the first in line to do so) so we knew that it was only a matter of time before we could bring home adorable Ritz.

Well, it had only been a day or two into the process and I decided to go visit Ritz at the pound. It was Valentine's Day and I wanted to share some new parent love with the new addition. I showed up all bright eyed and excited to see her. I bounced happily to the kennel she was in and it was like Ritz had taken over where Eight left off! Now she was a very distressed and angry kitty. I am sure that being stuck in her predicament made matters worse for her but the sad reality is that there was no way I could take home a cat that was being so aggressive. I panicked. I spoke to the staff there and explained my situation. Fortunately, they understood. And they were sympathetic to my needs and concerns. They just wanted me to find the perfect match. (Or purrfect match!)

They pointed me to a few others cats that they had experience with as being really mellow. And one sweetie that had just come in that morning. That one was named Vanilla (that was her pound name) but her previous owners called her Pepper. Pepper/Vanilla was 2. She came to them that day with her 11 year old cat sibling. They both had been brought in because the family had just had a new baby and Pepper would not stay out of the baby's crib. She loved that baby and the baby smell so much that she just could not stay away. Well, cat loving baby did not agree with the family's wishes. So both cats were brought to the kennel to find new homes. However, after a few hours the 11 year old was not doing so hot and the Human Society did not think that they would be able to find her a new home, so the family came back and picked up the 11 year old cat but left 2 year old Pepper/Vanilla there.

Pepper/Vanilla was a calico cat who, as soon as you brought out of the cage, immediately flipped onto her back and exposed her very white underbelly and gently demanded that you to pet her exceptionally soft snow white fur. As soon as you pet her tummy she would drool on you and knead your arm with here soft pink paws. This cat was a joy! (We even jokingly gave her the "Indian" name of "soft bunny fur")

"I'll take her!" I exclaimed. I spoke to the staff there. They agreed that this would be a better match. Instead of the required phone interview and home check, they interviewed me there live and in person and allowed me to forego the home inspection. (I guess I gave good answers.) And I was allowed to bring home the charming and beautiful Pepper/Vanilla on the most memorable of all Valentine's Days! Thus, no other name would be more fitting than Cupid for this most loving and heartwarming kitty. (We did not like the name Pepper nor Vanilla and while we are not really about renaming our pets if they have already come to us with a known name, we knew that neither of those names fit her personality.)

That was about 14 years ago. Cupid, 2 at the time is now 16. Not 100% free of her own medical issues but everything with her is pretty manageable and we are exceptionally grateful that she has been an accepting, resilient, engaging and affectionate girl over the years. She originated as an only child but shortly gained a bunny brother named Lou C. and then the pugs came along (first the boys as puppies then Luna as a teenager). And while she didn't exactly welcome any of them with open arms, she has always maintained her good nature. Sure, she has needed to remind everyone from time to time that she was "here first" and is the "boss cat" over all things furry or not. She is typically very mild mannered and only on rare occasion does she feel the need to exert her cat domination. She may hiss and bap every once in a while but it's rarely, if ever, completely unwarranted. She usually has a pretty good reason and mostly it is justifiable.

Cupid came with 2 notes about her both of which were spot on. One, she needed a hooded litter box and two, it was noted that she "plays with anything." No words have been more truthfully spoken than those two tidbits. It did not also warn, however, that she would enjoy eating 1/2 of a five dollar bill or that she played fetch with a feather duster. Unless I saw it, anyway, I probably would not have even believed it.

So, it's not her birthday or anything special, but after re-reading the post about how she had a hissy fit at Reagan's birthday party (and a couple of other posts where we've somewhat sold her short), I kind of felt like we had been unfair contributors to Cupid getting a bad rap and I kind of wanted to clean that up. She may be a cat but she is also an honorary pug in our book and while not perfect, I am not sure we have done her justice and I want to try to right that ship on her behalf. It's only fair. We have been told by more than a few people (and not even cat people) that they would get a cat only if they could be guaranteed that the turned out to be like Cupid. And that, to me, says it all.

#JusticeForCupid #NoMoreBadCatRaps #Cupid'sAPugToo

Thursday, September 11, 2014

More Morphing


We have shared that Henry has been taking on some of the traits of Benny & Luna. Well, we have discovered even more examples.

A recent thing Henry has been doing that is very Looney-like is wanting his PM chewy stick. While Luna used to dance around and then bark at us for her nighttime chewy stick, Henry will simply stare us down with his one eye. Sometimes he will release a little groan if we are not acting quickly enough but mostly just eye us when he is ready for a chewy. It's always about the same time of night when Luna would make her request. So, he must have really liked that pattern that Luna had developed for them. Now it's PM chewy for Henry each night, too.

The thing that Henry has started to do that is Benny-like however, is not as cute (and a little bit sad) and is very UN-Looney-like. He's been having some pee pee accidents. Now, in Henry's defense, he is down a kidney! And the vet says it is probably just a side effect of his prednisone. But Henry has had 3 potty accidents (that he slept through) over the last week. And Benny, towards the end, would simply just start walking and a squirt, squirt, squirt would come a little bit of pee pee. He wouldn't even know it. He'd just be like a basketball player and dribble along the way. We will be getting Henry a little medicinal help with his pee pee troubles, though. We will get meds that counter act the side effect of the pred. It would be great if it counter acted the side effect of "excessive panting" too but we found a work around for that side effect (dosing him half tab in the AM and half tab in the PM instead of all at once in the AM or PM). So, we are working it out.

Henry still is holding strong to his own personality but he has incorporated some of the very noticeable attributes of his dearly departed siblings. Team Henry. Henry Strong. All Day Long.

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