Friday, February 13, 2015
Tomorrow is Cupid's Gotcha Day! She is turning 17!
We have taken to calling her the "old lady". I think it all started when the vet recommended a special food for her and the label said it was for "Senior Plus". I laughed and quickly informed Cupid that she was no longer just a senior cat, but now she is senior plus!
But mainly I forget how old Cupid is. While she doesn't jump nearly as well as she did in her younger days, she is still pretty spry. We play together every morning before I go to work, right after she gets brushed. She insists on being brushed each morning. Tomorrow, I throw in a few extra strokes and we'll see what we can't do about rounding her up a few bites of chicken
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Hank the tank on a recent walk, enjoying a short water break. We have been enjoying some awesome pug weather lately!
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Last week, we celebrated the full moon by enjoying our twizzlers, but we also made a point to go see the moon rise at the beach. It was a pretty cloudy night (seems like is is always cloudy here on full moon days), but we were able to catch a glimpse of the moon as it was rising.
It was a fun little game. Chasing Looney in the car, looking for her to break through the clouds!
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Looking forward to your captions in the comments.
Monday, February 9, 2015
Last week, in the post about Frenchy getting a new forever home, Sue asked if we had brought Henry along to meet the Fuller family. I had mentioned back in the comments that Henry was not well enough to do this. I went on to again explain in the comments that this was not a physical issue, but more of an emotional/mental wellness where Henry has been struggling as of late.
So, I felt that should share a post more detailed about Henry's struggles that are not necessarily "physical" ailments. The reality is that Henry has been experiencing challenges since early in 2014. To recap, in the last year, Henry has lost an eye to Glaucoma, lost both his brother Benny whom he had been joined at the hip with since they were merely weeks old, lost his sister Luna a month after losing Benny (and Henry's nighttime ritual was to "groom" Luna each night at bedtime), then in August, Henry was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Come September he had already had his kidney removed, was going through chemo and was battling the demons that come with chemotherapy. After 3 of his 6 prescribed chemo therapy sessions it was determined that he was no longer well enough to continue. Almost immediately thereafter he had a bout of pancreatis that which required daily treatments at the vet's office for over a week. Practically the moment that was over, Henry had a series of seizures. Following up with the seizures, we discovered the 3 hemorrhages in his brain from an MRI done by our veterinary neurologist. Then by Christmas time we realized that the vision in his remaining eye was rapidly deteriorating. We considered cataract surgery to correct this but that was not to be. So, by early January of this year, he was blind.
It is coming to the one year mark when his rough year began. (He actually had his eye removed on his birthday last year.) And to be honest, we are not sure when it happened and which event made it so much worse, but Henry is now a pretty anxious guy. (In fairness, he is now maybe on the upswing of all this but I will get to that part of the story shortly.) His anxieties just kept creeping in. We were not sure if it was because he lost his eye. Or because he lost his siblings. Was it because he was developing white coat syndrome and now the vet spooked him? We think it is, of course, a combination of all of these. Just everything is compounding. It's all just overwhelming for the little guy and how he demonstrates his worries and woes is that mostly he simply does not like to be left alone. Dogs being pack animals, his people are the ones of his pack that are left standing with him and he doesn't like them to leave.>
Needless to say, this has made life VERY difficult for us. We do anything and everything to accommodate his needs but he does need to help to do his part too. The reason we don't just sort of make him "suffer it out" and let him bark his spoiled little head off is because our neurologist was emphatic. Henry's anxiety makes his blood pressure go up. When his blood pressure goes up he will be way more likely to stroke out and die. So, we are virtually catering to his every whim so that he keeps his blood pressure low and we don't let him get all fired up and cause himself to go into a stroke and die on us
What this means, though, is that we have to medicate him just for us to get to work. He gets a doggy sized xanax in the morning and another one at midday when Grammy comes. We have a camera on his crate so that we can monitor him. If he starts to get restless that is when we formulate a plan. Who will go release him? Sometimes its an OBP parent, some days it's Grammy to the rescue. It is a very fine balancing act we are doing. The only place the OBP parents go "together" is work. It's been months since we have gone to the gym, out to dinner, grocery shopping together, heck ANY shopping or errands. Everything is done in shifts. There was a time where Henry would even become anxious if one of us was home and the other one of us was not home.
Christmas vacation was interesting. GMa and GPa were here for about 2 weeks. Henry never got crated. We were finally able to somewhat get Henry on a "weekday" routine and occasionally we'd slip an extra "work day" in on him---which meant treating a Saturday like a workday (up by 6AM, breakfast, staggered leaving times, etc) and then we'd have until about noon where we would be able to squeak in a workout and some errands. But lasted only 2-3 times. So, Christmas came and went and we had to work him back from his vacation routine to his work day routine and we had that nailed down. We were doing ok with that for a couple of weeks, but then it was time for my annual business trip. Each year my job puts together an annual trip so that all of our staff members to get together, get ready for a new year and team build. Well, me going away put a monkey wrench into our staggered schedules. So, we had GMa and GPa come down again for more time (about 12 more days) and thus, Herny was not crated during this time again. So, we kind of had to go back to the drawing board. And unlike during Christmas break, this trip we didn't have any extra days to get Henry workday/crate ready. So, back to the work day routine Henry went cold turkey. But during his GMa and Gpa time, Henry was not exactly just ok having his grandparents with him only all day. We was looking for his IMMEDIATE family. He didn't have all his favorite people back together for a whole week.
Day one of cold turkey crate day he lastest about 2 hours and then he melted down. Full on tantrum. So it was Grammy to the rescue. Grammy raced down, relieved the little boy from his crate of hell and all was ok. She stayed until an OBP parent got home. Day 2 he made it an extra hour or so longer and this time Grammy could stay longer and an OBP parent left work early to relieve Grammy. Day 3 Henry was crated for an hour and half (and was not medicated on this day as Grammy knew she was on back up) and I would only be away from home for about an hour and a half. I would be working from home on Day 3 except for a dentist appointment which was scheduled for that day. Little by little Henry is getting back into the routine. Hopefully, it won't take too many more days until he is back into the full workday routine.
I just wanted to share where Henry is at. He's just an anxious little old man. Some days are good. Other days not so much. We do our very best to be patient and not rush him. To be sure he knows we are here for him but to give him enough leeway to let him know he is still a big boy and can do stuff for himself. We are doing our best to maintain rules, boundaries and limitations and yet avoid situations which may spark or heighten his angst. We find scenarios where we can have positive reinforcements happen and also avoid the negative. Yet sometimes it feels like we are juggling buzz saws. It's a delicate act.
Some have suggested getting him a puppy or some other aged dog. This is not even a consideration for us. We do not think that another dog of any age would benefit Henry. If we thought for one minute that there would be any substantial good, it would already be done.
#HenryStrong #TeamHenry #HenryBeCalmAgainSoon #HenryWeNeedToKeepOurJobs and no matter what #HenryIsSuchAGoodBoy
Friday, February 6, 2015
Every since Henry's vision has become substantially worse (and now we know is gone), we have been working on a combination of fun events for him almost daily. Each day when I get home from work, we race the setting sun and go for a walk. And then after dinner, we will also go for a car ride. Sometimes the car ride results in another short walk (or carry). And even though Henry cannot see, he has been enjoying his car rides more than ever. You just see his little nose sniff sniff sniffing like crazy.
Weather it's driving past restaurants, stagnant ponds, a neighborhood where we've never been, a neighborhood where we often are or near the sandy, salty beaches, Henry loves to get his smell on and enjoys the safe ride from the lap of the passenger seat.
Sometimes we can get a photo of the back of his head "looking" out, other times we snap photo of him in the rear view mirror and we have even taken a selfie or 2 but it is harder to get full on frontal views of him. Some people have those "go pro" cameras that mount in a way that you get to see the action coming right at you. We are not to that point yet. But we are getting there.
So, until we figure out how to photo him from the front, you may be seeing an unusually high number of photos of him--back of the head and bum styled. Sorry! We will try to give a balance with facial photos, too.
#HenryStrong #HenrySmart #TeamHenry
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Recently, we were contacted by Compassionate Pug Rescue (CPR) and asked to lend a helping hand. CPR is where we rescued Luna from almost 9 years ago to the day. CPR asked if we could do a home visit on a family that lived near us. Since CPR is located in Miami (about 4 hours away) we knew logistically it was a good plan for them to "subcontract" this task. So, we did, in fact, arrange for a home visit to meet the Fuller family. The family currently has a pug and a larger mixed breed dog, as well. They spotted Frency on the CPR website though and were excited to see if they would make a good forever home for Frenchy (a pug mix).
So, we chatted by email to arrange a mutually beneficial time to meet them in person and take a peek at their home. Upon arriving, the pups greeted us a that the door. Sweet dogs that welcome company is always a good sign. We met the adults of the home, their son (a kindergartener) and a baby sitter that is a part of the family. The Fullers have an older daughter, as well, who attends college in another state so we didn't have the opportunity to say hello to her.
The Fullers have beautiful home, loving family and sweet dogs. Of course, we will partial to the pug, PJ but Bailey Lou was a real sweetie, too. Since a recent loss of puggy Tinkerbell earlier in the year, there were looking to once again become a 3 dog household. They spotted Frenchy on the CPR website, put in their paperwork and were waiting for the all clear from the home visit. We were happy to oblige and the next day they traveled far South to pick up Frenchy. I am still saying Frenchy but their intentions were to call Frenchy Shotzi instead. I am not sure if that transition has taken place yet but what I do know is that Frenchy made it back to their home and we know that they are working on settling in and getting a new routine. Frenchy already sounds like quite a handful and is an alpha female with spice! So, the transition to the new normal make take a little while.
What we are most happy for, though, is that a pug(ish) in rescue has a new forever home and that is one less dog out of foster care and into a more stable life. Cheers to the Fullers and to Frenchy/Shotzi for landing a cool pad and loving family!