Wednesday, November 12, 2014
After 13 good years, the time came to get a new car. Last week we traded in our Nissan Xterra and got a Subaru Outback. It was a bittersweet day because we had so many memories with the Xterra - especially pug memories. That was the car that we picked up Looney in when we adopted her, and it is also the car that probably still has some of Benny's vomit in it, tucked away in some nook or cranny.
Subaru is known as being a very pet friendly company and we almost took Henry on the test drive with us. We thought he would have fun, but we figured we better leave him behind so that we could fully focus our attention on the car buying process.
After we bought the car and brought it home, Henry seemed pretty happy with it. If he had his way, he would have had us purchase a gigantic pickup truck. Pickup trucks are his favorite. And the bigger the better.
Its not a pickup truck, but I think Henry will be pretty happy running his errands in this car.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Last week, Nancy's mom shared with us the sad news about the passing of her pug Meiling. Losing a pug is always so incredibly sad, but a few days later Nancy emailed me this picture. I know this is Meiling's way of letting Nancy know that everything is OK at the Rainbow bridge.
Monday, October 6, 2014
There are a few fundraising events that I wanted to share. Both are for causes near and dear to our hearts. One benefits CFPR and the other is for the Alzheimer's Association. The details for both the events are below.
CFPR Yankee Candle Fundraiser
For all you candle lovers out there, this is the time to stock up on your supplies as well as buy gifts for your loved ones for the holidays. 40% of the proceeds will benefit CFPR and will be used to pay for the veterinary care of their rescue pugs. Thank you all!
Walk to End Alzheimer's
We are participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer's in November. We are walking in support of our family and in hopes that the funds raised will one day help find a cure as this disease. The disease has had a tremendous impact on our family. We would appreciate any support and thank you for letting me bring awareness to Alzheimer's here on the pug blog.
This year's walk is also fueling my knee recovering. I want to be able to walk the full 2 mile course by November.
Visit my walk page to learn about who, specifically, we walk for and sponsor me in the Walk to End Alzheimer's. There is also an option to mail in your donation if you prefer.
Monday, April 14, 2014
So, we think maybe G'Ma thought it was going to be a little easier than she originally envisioned it. It was hard work. Luna was not so cooperative with her breathing inhaler. While it really is a 2 person job, either of the OBP humans can do it alone in a pinch. But with Luna being, um, particular, shall we say, she did not want anything to do with G'Ma and the breathing tube.
The pugs were pretty cooperative overall, though. They ate their meals, did their business in the back yard, took their pills accordingly and settled into a mostly typical routine. Well, that was until bedtime. We had suggested that G'Ma sleep in the master bedroom bed so that the pugs would not be on heightened awareness through the night and they stay as close to routine as possible since they are serious creatures of habit. However, at bed time none of the pugs were having any that. So, poor G'Ma ended up sleeping on the sofa! And Henry slept up there with her and Benny on his bucket bed on the ottoman nearby and even Luna and the cat eventually joined her. So, there was G'Ma sharing the sofa with 2 dogs and a cat. I cannot imagine how horrible of a restless night sleep it was.
We have to confess. We did peak at the "cat cam" which is a remote camera we have in the house which was originally purchased just to monitor Cupid when we took the pugs to Maryland for a few days and left Cupid with Grammy and a neighbor tending to her here and there. We wanted to be sure we saw Cupid from time to time since due to her week of diabetes a while ago we know that she can have a flare up at any point and stress induces that scenario. Not sure if Cupid considers us leaving the house a vacation for her or if it stresses her out. So, we had gotten a kitty cam to watch her. So, we sneaked a peak on the kitty cam and saw G'Ma laid out on the sofa with animals everywhere and looking very uncomfortable.
Everything else seemed to go well. None of the critters were upset with us when we got home so that was nice. The Orioles won both of the games we watched. One against the Boston Red Sox and the other versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. So that was super cool. The weather was nice. We managed to stay almost completely free of anxiety which made the trip even more enjoyable. When we lived in Maryland we occasionally dropped the boys (pre-Luna) with G'Ma for an overnight. But that was 10 years ago. Since then we have not been away for an overnight. There have been times when one of us, of course, have been gone but not until a few weeks ago have we both been gone from the house overnight without them. We have taken them to the mountains, recently to Maryland, to the 1000 Pugs photo shoot in Miami (let's just say we are happy that we took a few of our own photos) and to a pug meet up several years ago. So, they usually go with us. They always get to go. But this time it was a 2 legged animal getaway only. And we all made it through. Thanks to G'Ma for coming down and biting off more than she expected to chew. And thanks to Grammy for being there as a back up during this time if needed. And of course to Grammy every day for the love and work she puts in all time.
We truly could not make it work (we'd be homeless, penniless and likely pugless) if we didn't have the super support we have for our family of fur. Thanks to everyone for their continued support of this wacky OBP family! How would you do caring for this clan? I'd be surprised if your routines were not close to what we do or even crazier! To love a pug is to give everything and get wet sloppy kisses and piddles on the carpet back. It's all a day in the life at the home of senior pugs. #seniorsarestillcoolerthanpuppies
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Now that the hotel reservations were made, an airline trip for G'Ma was booked and the time neared, we, the humans at OBP, finally were ready to go away for a vacation which constituted one overnight to the other side of the state. We went to see two Baltimore Orioles Spring training baseball games. It used to be an annual tradition to attend a game during opening week at Camden Yards in Baltimore each April. In an effort to revisit that long lost tradition, we took a short trip to Sarasota to take in a couple of the O's Spring training games. This meant, leaving the dogs (and Cupid) at home. Overnight. For the first time ever since we've lived in Florida. Without us. But we had G'Ma there. She was ready. A little nervous, but ready. Grammy, who lives up the street, could be called upon for back up but hopefully, of course not needed. During her few days of pug boot camp just prior to us leaving, we had shown G'Ma the route to our regular vet and (gulp) the dreaded emergency vet, if needed.
We went through the notes and the routine for G'Ma. In doing that, it hit us hard what a day in the life at the home of senior pugs looks like from the outside. We have the routine down to a well oiled machine, but for an outsider to come in and take over for 2 days was a feat.
This is how the day begins:
5:45ish AM wake the pugs. Usually Cupid helps this along but making a lovely poopy in her cat box early in the morning which gets Benny's nose stirring. If this is the case, scoop the poop, feed Ben and work on waking the others. At breakfast time, the pugs all get their morning meds.
Their meds are concealed in various yummy treats to get them to down them with ease. Henry and Benny are not picky about how their meds are camouflaged but Luna has become a master at eating the package and discarding. The most recent one was at the bottom of the water bowl. At least that was an easy one to spot.
Breakfast time ORAL meds include:
- 1/2 synthroid pill (for thyroid disfunction)
- 1/4 Reglan (to help with acid)
- 1 full Theophyline (to open his airways and help him breath)
- 1 full Tussigon pill (cough suppressant to help his chronic cough and in turn to give his collapsed trachea relief from continuous pressure)
- 10 mg of generic Prilosec (for acid reflux)
- 1 full prednisone every other day
Some meds are best if given before they eat. However, for the sake of this narrative, some of the super minor details have been omitted.
- Lasix (to help keep her mucous production low which allows for her to be less gaggy/hacky and helps alleviate stress on her trachea and upper respiratory system)
- 1/4 Reglan (to help with acid)
- 1 full Theophyline (to open her airways and help her breath)
- 1 full Tussigon pill (cough suppressant to help her chronic cough and in turn to give her collapsed trachea relief from continuous pressure)
- 10 mg of generic Prilosec (for acid reflux)
- 1/2 prednisone every day
Some meds are best given before they eat however for the sake of this narrative some of the super minor details have been omitted.
Not an "oral med" per se, but then Luna has to have her inhaler. This is similar to what people with asthma would take. But since you cannot explain to a dog how to "suck in" air through their mouth, you have to put the inhaler into a tube and the other end of that tube has a cup that covers her nose. You spray the inhaler into the tube while the cup is over her nose and you watch the little flap on the top of the tube to see how many puffs she breathed in.
This is by far the most challenging task that we have with the pugs (even harder than giving Benjamin eye drops. Prying his eyelids open to put a drop in his eye is like trying to open a pistachio nut that doesn't already have that convenient little crack in it already.) Luna has actually gotten really good at this, though. We even think that she has come to associate it with knowing it helps her feel better.
- 10 mgs of generic Prilosec (ain't he easy?!)
So, that is pill time in the senior pug home at breakfast. Now. On to early morning eye drops.
- 1 drop in each eye of KCS solution which has to be refrigerated (to help with reducing pigment covering his eye)
- 1 drop in each eye of an anti-allergy drop (to reduce itchy/mucous eyes)
Once you give a set of drops you need to wait at least 5-10 minutes before you can give a different set.
- 1 drop in each eye of KCS solution which has to be refrigerated but is a different type than Ben's (to help with reducing pigment covering her eye)
- 1 drop of Pilocarpine (in her right) and 1 drop of Tacrolimus (in her left) (to help with dry eye, tear production)
Once you give a set of drops you need to wait at least 5-10 minutes before you can give a different set.
Initially Henry was on no drops. That is how it was for when G'Ma was here. But for the week or 10 days before Henry had to have his eye removed, Henry became king of all eye drops. I cannot even tell you what the names of what he was on. There were so many that I could only remember them this way (and I won't repeat them the way I will for Luna and Benjamin because now that he no longer has a left eye, this is all sadly moot). All drops in the left eye. 3x a day drops with orange lid. 2x a day, drops with yellow lid. 4x a day the milky drops that you have to shake really really well. Tacrolimus (I only know this one by name since Luna has been on it forever) is 2x a day in both eyes. Then they added the drops in the bottle with the teal colored top that has to be refrigerated 2x a day. So he went from being super dog to the neediest one (in the eye department) almost overnight).
Whew. Ok. So the morning shift of eating, oral meds and eye drop is done. Now, time to potty them. Are you ready for the bathroom tour?
Benjamin can go one of a few ways. He typically goes outside, does his business and toddles back in. Sometimes, though, often weather dependent, he goes outside, and does his Benny walk which is the small loop around our court. If there are smells in the air then he will wander a bit more aimlessly following the scents in the air, especially if is a windy day. Oh boy does Benny love him a windy day!
Henry. He likes to use this time to try to bust out a walk to the busy corner (about 2 blocks away) and back. I say "and back" but once he gets to the corner he not only doesn't want to come back but when he eventually realizes he has to come back he dawdles like nobody's business. He is often carried home if time does not allow for his shenanigans.
Then there is Luna. Luna has her own agenda set each day. You cannot deviate from Luna's agenda. She either goes outside and does her business immediately or lets you know that you are going to have to work it into your schedule to give her another chance to use the ladies room before you head off to work. It will be clear what her choice is. If she doesn't do her stuff quickly then she will either just march up to the door or not even move the entire time she is outside.
This is the basic care routine of the morning shift. All the stuff that has to be done before the humans go to work. This of course does not include Cupid's routine needs (except the possible early morning poop scoop). Nor does it include the loving, petting and general conversation we have with the fur babies.
Moving on to midday. This is Grammy's shift on weekdays. All things considered, it is a light shift. Pugs get a midday day snack. If Benjamin, especially, and Henry, often, do not eat then they will develop acid in their tummies to the point in which they throw up stomach bile. Not to mention with the Hunger Games twins (Ben & Luna) being on prednisone they are ravenous! Henry's stint on pred also increased his appetite but he was manageable. Anyway, around 12-1 each day, Grammy comes down, lets the pugs out in the back yard to go potty, gives them a little snack and then tends to Luna's midday eye drops. Around lunchtime Luna gets 1 drop in each eye of cyclosporine (which works in conjunction with Tacrolimus) and about 1/2 an hour later she will get lubricating eye drops (Genteal drops) just to keep her eyes moist.
Grammy stays for a couple of hours. She listens to a book on audio, does some sewing, gives the puggers and Cupid some lovin's and tends to them daily. (So, when we think of this "extra shift" we have to include it into what G'Ma would need to learn during her training drills.)
Early evening (after work) the humans come back home and then it is on to the 3rd shift. The pugs get dinner and a round of pills much like the ones in the morning, but not quite as many. They get a round of drops almost exactly like the morning and Luna gets her breathing inhaler again. And of course, more time to do their business.
This is the breakdown of a day in the life at the OBP household. No wonder we don't have much time to go places anymore!
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
A family member told us the other day that we treat our pugs better than most people treat their children. Of course, we have a tendency to agree (even if that meant that there was a sad realization that this means that children often ill treated).
This came on the heels of a recent debate we have been having in the OBP home. Can we take a pugless vacation? Can we go anywhere, stay overnight, without the dogs and cat and not need to take Xanax to relieve our anxiety? Can we trust anyone to stay with them? In our house? Alone? And still find positive results when we arrive home? The fact that Benjamin, Henry and Luna require quite a bit of attention gave us, the humans at OBP, much food for thought in making a decision that we have struggled with year after year since we've moved to Florida. Can we really take a trip somewhere together and not bring along the gang? If we went away, who would watch the pugs?
We have long known that our pugs are high maintenance. Yet, the realities of "who would watch the pugs" lead to an entirely revamped analysis of this concept. Grammy, who lives up the street, watches the pugs for a few hours every weekday/workday. But Grammy has 3 cats of her own, an active social life, gardening that she loves to tend to, books to write (her latest, Katie Did, is now available) and a husband at home that likes to have his wife around.
We knew that asking Grammy to work an additional entire vacation shift would be out of the question. So, who could we ask?! G'Ma, of course! But G'Ma still lives up North. And she does have a job, a husband and other responsibilities BUT no pets and she had been wanting to get away from the snow for bit! So the idea sounded grand!
We made the offer to G'Ma and she accepted. Still, there was much planning to be done. G'Ma would be here just short of a week. A few of the early days would be a pug boot camp for her. She'd be learning the drill, mastering how to give Luna her inhaler, understanding their special needs, etc. It is a lot to learn! Then the real work would begin when the OBP parents left.
Before G'Ma arrived, we got to work making notes, prepping systems and doing everything possible to help make it easier for her. But what we found in this process is that we essentially are running a Home for Senior Pugs.
More on the pugs' routine and G'Ma's adventures in pug sitting coming soon.
Monday, January 27, 2014
It is with a heavy heart that I share that long time Owned by Pugs friend Huckle (Nancy Tucker) passed away. She lost her battle with cancer last Thursday.
Nancy's sense of humor always shined through in her comments. Whether it was witty quips about Benjamin, Henry, Luna and Sol or hilarious stories about her own pugs Abbey, Gracie & Georgie. I know her presence on OBP will surely be missed.
As a true pug lover, Nancy asked that any memorials be directed to Ohio Pug Rescue. Their online donation form can be found here. If you do donate, be sure to include Nancy's (Nancy Tucker) name in the comment section so they know the donation is made in her honor.