Thursday, October 24, 2013
A few weeks ago I participated in A Walk to End Alzheimer's. The event was a success and one of the touching things they did was give out these garden flowers. Each colored flower had a different meaning.
- Blue- I have Alzheimer's (not pictured)
- Yellow- I am supporting or caring for someone with Alzheimer's
- Purple- I have lost someone to Alzheimer's
- Orange- I support the cause and a vision of a world without Alzheimer's
It was very powerful to see all these different colored flowers at the event. Once we got our flowers home the pugs could not resist posing with them.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
OBP wanted to share today's blog in honor of Mary Davis. Mary is the mom of longtime OBP extended family, Jenna Davis (Moulton). Jenna, is mom to Jade (a black pug) & Pink (a fawn that recently joined their family). Jenna had been reading the blog for a few years and her mom, Mary knew of the blog through Jenna. Mary learned of the calendars that OBP used to put together. Mary, a true animal lover, ordered a calendar for her daughter Jenna (who resides in New Hampshire). We noted that Mary's mailing address was very close to where we lived. We thought to ourselves, "what a small world". Well, time ticked on and through emails we came to know Jenna, her beau at the time, now husband, Corey, their black pug Jade and Jenna's mom, Mary. At the time, OBP had recently lost Solsey, our black pug. Jenna & her family bonded with the OBP family over the adventures that Sol had brought our way before her passing. And since they had a black pug, too, the black pug topics grew fast and furious. After corresponding for a bit, we worked out a time when we could meet Jenna, Corey and Jade as they would be visiting her mom down here in the South. On this visit, we got to meet Mary, too.
We met up at the dog beach (sadly, sans Solsey). Benjamin, Henry, Luna, Jade, OBP humans, Jenna, Corey, Mary and Jade were all getting to know one another. Dogs sniffing bottoms as they became friends, people asking questions, sharing stories, telling tales, laughing, joking and also, becoming fast friends. I remember Jenna referring to herself as our stalker which seemed completely riotous. OBP had a stalker? Ha! We were both flattered and questioning if we should really be concerned even though we knew that there could no way be a harmful pug stalker out there.
What struck me the most about the "stalker" and her family was that she knew so much about us. There wasn't a story we could tell that she hadn't already heard. She'd already read them all. It did seem like an odd phenomenon. You just meet someone and they are telling you the best moments to your own accounts. It was wacky (but in a good way). So, we tried to be even better listeners and learn about them since we had nothing new to share that they didn't know by now.
Anyway….what was also so cool was that while Jenna was the true pug lover, she brought with her, her mom and then boyfriend. I wasn't surprised that her sweetie would be there but I was a little surprised to see her bring her mom. Her mom, Mary, was such a hoot (I could see where Jenna got her warm wit, spunky way with words and generosity). Mary had a thick northern accent. The OBP humans are both northerners, too but when we talk about Mary being a northerner, she brought the accent to a whole new level. (You know, the whole, "pahk the cah in Scotland yahd" deal? Well that was Mary. And Corey, too but he was pretty quiet the first visit.) You could also tell that Mary was so pleased to be a "snow birder" as they are called down here. Spending the winters in Florida to dodge the wicked North East winter weather and then going back to New Hampshire for the summer once it is safe to trek back again. Mary was pleased as punch to be retired and embracing the best weather each state had to offer. It was so sweet to see Jenna and her mom be so close and loving to one another. There was no mother/daughter friction there. They had a super awesome mutual love and respect.
Mary was no old fogey. She was spry and silly and had a great presence without being overpowering. She was so friendly. She was a character but genuine. And what I remember most of our first visit with her was that her eyes were such a piercing blue. They were gorgeous. She was also a crafty person. She was handy in the quilting and yarn hooking categories and also good in the kitchen. She was always so thoughtful of our pugs. She baked them loaves of pumpkin bread. Knowing that Benny's vice was pumpkin bread, she'd whip up a loaf for him (and the others but Benny would commandeer the whole thing.) She was just so kind that way. She loved our pugs. And I know she loved her grandpugs! She was a special person.
So, we had awesome visits with Mary (and Jenna & clan) throughout a few years. About 2 years ago, though, we were doing some shopping with one of my old college friends who was visiting from Maryland and we saw Mary again at a small town art show. We stopped and chatted a bit. She was that happy, bubbly little lady that we'd remember from our visits. Little did we know that that would be the last time we would see Mary again.
Jenna and Corey remain our friends and we have seen them a few more times (and each time is better than the time before and we grow to love them more with each visit). Sadly, though their last few visits have been laced with health problems on Mary's end. Mary developed cancer and fought it once, but it came back and she tried to fight again but this time it was to no avail. Mary passed away recently. She was a terrific person. She was Jenna's mom, Jade & Pink's grandmom. We know our friend Jenna will miss her mom terribly. We also have an idea what it is like to watch a parent suffer (although fortunately, we still have our parents, we still have seen them battle serious sickness). We broaden this blog as a true tribute to Mary and share with Jenna, Corey, Jade, Pink and their extended family our most sincere condolences, love, respect and support in this most difficult time.
All good pug juju going out to them and their loved ones.
(Post memorial comments: We also had the opportunity to meet Mary's husband Ian and her son Jeffrey. Both, of course were wonderful people and Jeffrey did a wonderful job with the eulogy. I am not surprised that the entire family is filled with terrific people as we know that Jenna did not fall far from the tree of kindness.)
Monday, February 11, 2013
In addition to pug sitting almost every day, Grammy has been hard at work writing a book. The book is called Almost Scared to Death and it was just released last week. We ordered our copy and are anxiously awaiting its delivery.
While we haven't read the book yet, we are pretty sure it details Grammy's life experiences. And while I'm not 100% sure, I don't think the pugs make any guest appearances. It may be pugless but I am sure it is still interesting.
If you are interested, you can order a copy of the book on Amazon.
Grammy also did the artwork for the book's cover. Grammy is way bigger than a one hit wonder. She is an awesome writer, a wonderful artist, a terrific mother and a super pug sitting Grammy.
Monday, January 21, 2013
It was a super busy weekend, but the pugs managed to get out on a few adventures. Since the weather was pug friendly we walked the trails at a local park. On the trail we came across a bunch of tree stumps. The pugs were happy to pose with the massive stumps, but even more happy to claim them as their own.
On a side note, this is going to be a crazy week at case de OBP. I will do my best to make sure the Daily Pug pictures get sent out but there might not be a blog post every day this week. If you don't see anything new from us don't worry. We will be back to normal next week.
Monday, June 4, 2012
As you can see from the picture above, Monroe is doing wonderful! She has settled in nicely in M's house and has learned where the doggie toys are kept and regularly helps herself to a bone.
She recovered nicely from her spay and has been working on her potty training and her separation anxiety. In the process she has also found her "voice".
All in all, the little stinker is doing great. She has a little bit more work left, but she should be looking for her forever home soon!
Friday, May 18, 2012
Once Monroe had a collar and leash on her instinct to run away as well as her fear of people seemed to disappear. One of the hardest things for us to do was to give her to Aunite M (our dog sitter). We knew Monroe would thrive with Auntie M, but we are easily attached. It felt like Monroe was our dog and that we were giving her up. But, we knew that Auntie M's was the best place for Monroe to stay short term and that she needed to find a forever home with younger dogs with which she could romp with for hours.
When Monroe arrived at Auntie M's house the first thing M did was give her a bath. She was soaped up three times and the dirt simply poured off of her (she went from being a dirty blonde to a true blonde). Once she was cleaned up, M & her team got to work on removing ticks from Monroe's skin. I already knew she had a lot of ticks. I felt them around her ears from the few moments I got to pet her while she was in the backyard. In total, they removed over 40 ticks from her!
While Monroe made friends with Auntie M's dogs (8 of them! yikes! luckily she is super dog-friendly), her first night was still a little rough. She was anxious being in her new environment. As each day progressed, though, Monroe got more and more comfortable with her new surroundings and early the following week she went to the vet to get checked out. The vet determined that she is likely under 2 years old, was not spayed nor was she microchipped. One of our biggest worries was the possibility of heart worms. So, bloodwork was scheduled for the day of Monroe's spay (which was a mere 5 days after we got her into our back yard). Her spay went great and we are thrilled to announce that she is heart worm negative. The rest of her blood work also looks great. She is a completely healthy young pup!
Currently, she is staying with Auntie M and receiving the royal treatment, learning how to be spoiled rotten. They are working on getting Monroe completely house broken. Monroe is also suffering from some separation anxiety issues and they are working on that with her, as well. As Auntie M and company worked on Monroe's potty & social behaviors, it was discovered that she fetches, plays very well with the other pups and manages quite well napping on the sofa. All the things a happy and well balanced pooch should do. She is a great dog!
We are so very thankful that Auntie M was able to continue the rescue efforts by welcoming Monroe with open arms into her home and offering Monroe all the love, care and attention she needs during her re-adjustment into domesticated diva-ism. Monroe has really settled into a routine (it is reported that she has even claimed a spot on Auntie M's bed throughout the night). Auntie M and her squad will be sure she is completely ready for a forever home before finding the perfect match for Monroe. Once that special spot is found, Monroe will be re-homed for hopefully the very last time and as you all are hoping, we all here are most certainly as well looking to see that this is truly a happily ever after fairy tale ending. We will be sure to keep you posted with the latest news & information on Roe's saga.
Thank you OBP readers for your support and positive feedback in the story about Monroe. In 'real time' this story took place from April 24th-May 4th. However, there was no way that I could keep you abreast of the situation at it rolled out during the actual time as all of my time was truly dedicated to securing Monroe and getting her into a rescue program. Plus, you all know me pretty well and I would likely not have shared the story at all had it not have had a happy ending. And while we are at a mid-way point of the actual story, it is at happy enough point of the story that I feel it is safe enough to share.
A few FAQ's:
Q: What breed is Monroe?
A: While we are not exactly sure, Schipperke/Corgi mix has been a strong suggestion (and blog commenter Linda suggested a Blue Heeler---which is probably thrown in there, too)
Q: How big is Monroe?
A: Monroe stands just a few inches taller than Henry and weighs about the same (in the high 20 pound range; you never ask a lady her weight, right?)
Q: Where do you think she came from? What is her back story?
A: Since she had not ID tag, was not spayed and had no microchip there was no real way for us to find out exactly what happened. However, animal control had indicated that recently there were several homes in a neighbohood near ours where homes went into foreclosure where their humans left the dogs behind in the houses (alone to fend for themselves) or released their pets into the streets (also alone to fend for themselves). We drove the neighborhood and went on Craig's list. No signs/posters or other indications that anyone was looking for her. So, we really cannot say what Monroe's home life was before we spotted her on April 24th.
Q: Are we keeping Monroe?
A: No. While I would love to adopt this sweet girl there are a lot of reasons why I don't think we are a good fit for Monroe. Monroe is very dog friendly and loves to play with other dogs. The pugs are good company, but are well past their days of non stop playing. They pugs played with Monroe pretty hard the night we got her in the yard and were super stiff the next day. Monroe is just too much of a pup for them. Also, I worry about Monroe living so close to the woods where she once lived her on her own. I feel like if she ever got loose she would run off to her old stomping grounds.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
After a long night filled with dread, regret and worry, I got ready for work the next day with a feeling of hopelessness hanging over me. What do we do now?
I opened the garage door and started to walk to my car. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something. It was a harness-less Monroe standing in the middle of my driveway watching the garage door open.
I couldn't believe my eyes! She came back!
Monroe's expression seemed to say, "Sorry I freaked yesterday."
I quickly came in the house, got a nice big breakfast ready for her and put it in her normal spot in the driveway. She ran over and gobbled it up. Granted, she kept a bit more distance from me now, but at least she was back. I would work on rebuilding her trust.
Unfortunately, I couldn't stay long with Monroe because I had to go to work. I told her that I would be home the same time as usual and I drove off. She stayed in my driveway after I left. I felt horrible leaving her there, but the sense of relief that I had that she was willing to give me a second change was exhilarating. But, how on earth were we going to capture her now without her harness?
That evening we devised a new plan. We decided that we were going to lure her into our backyard. In the confines of our backyard, we would have a bit of an advantage because she would only be able to run so far. She wouldn't be able to disappear into woods.
While we had a solid plan, we agreed we would not rush things this time. We would do things at Monroe's pace.
So for the next few nights, we laid a line of food bowls leading from our driveway to our backyard. The bowls closer to the backyard had the best food in them. Each night, Monroe made her way to our yard, clearing out the food bowls and gaining more and more confidence in her new surroundings. Eventually, we put a bowl in the yard. It took her a while, but she finally went in and ate from that bowl.
The pugs and Monroe had their evening play time as well and we made sure that we ended each night by walking the pugs into the backyard. Monroe always followed, but she never came far enough in the yard. After about three nights of this routine we were started to make progress. The food was helpful, but the pugs were even more helpful. Monroe was super dog friendly and seemed to be becoming one of the pug gang. It also didn't hurt that I believe she is some sort of herding dog because she liked to keep the pugs in a group. She would never let one of them stray away from the group. This was extremely helpful because Monroe seemed to like corralling them into the backyard.
Finally last friday, after eating in our backyard and playing with the pugs in our driveway Monroe herded the pugs into the backyard. I positioned myself by the gate and she walked into the yard after the pugs furthered than she ever had. I closed the gate. Monroe spun around to see what the noise was. I was expecting her to freak once she realized the gate was closed. She didn't. She went around smelling the yard. The pugs were pooped and not really interested in playing so she just hung out with them. She was relatively calm. I immediately called our dog sitter and let her know that we had Monroe in the yard. She was on her way and would help us get a leash on Monroe and would take her to her house that night.
After about a half hour of letting Monroe get used to the yard, we began our attempt to leash her up. We walked her into a corner in the yard and she just laid down. She submitted. We slipped the collar over her head. For the first time in two weeks we got to pet the dog that had consumed every moment we weren't at work. She wasn't afraid anymore.
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