Wednesday, August 12, 2015
The end of July offered the world a BLUE MOON! What that means is that it was a second full moon within the same month. Although very overcast, we trekked to the beach to see if we could see Luna shining brightly. We got to the beach early and took our usual spot (the landing at the top of the steps leading to the no dogs allowed beach). It is a good thing we got there early. As we waited for Luna's arrival MANY more people also showed up. Several of them had super powered cameras and were hoping to capture a magnificent photo. But it was not to be had. The clouds merely thickened throughout the night and we were left alone with no glow to warm our hearts.
However, with each trip to this special spot overlooking the beach, you can see Henry getting more and more comfortable sitting on the railing. (Almost too comfortable if you ask me, though.) Henry waited patiently and in full relaxed mode as the other moon gazers arrived. He only started to fidget well after dark and only because he needed a potty break. Since it was after dark and the beach po po did not seem to be near, we took a short walk on the beach and Henry was able to relieve his bladder in the tall grasses at that edge of the beach and the concrete (not where a sunbather would lay).
No Luna that night but the next morning she shined like the Sun right before the Sun actually rose! So, it was not until the next morning when the opening lyrics to Blue Moon actually were true...Blue Moon. You saw me standing alone. ( I mean, it was just me taking Henry out to go potty but technically no other "people").
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
While the Ask OBP segment received a good number of comments last week, there was only one new question which was more of a technical question. This came from Marina. She had an issue posting pug pictures for the Daily Pug Picture. More specifically, she wondered if it had to do with the fact that she uses a Mac.
Also, we have run out of new daily pug pictures to send in the newsletter. I know everyone out there has lots of adorable pug pictures! If you could send them in (either via the form or by emailing us) we would very much appreciate it!
Thanks for the question Marina!
We do still promise come through on a blog with some recipes and more about our home cooked food, that is a very large undertaking for us since we have not organized or recipe info in a very accessible method. So, still keep a lookout for that.
There was a question that I believe Sue VDB had asked on a comment on different post that we will address here. She asked if G-Ma and G-Pa bought the house that Henry scoped out for them a while back. Unfortunately, no. G-Ma and G-Pa decided not to buy the house.
There is another thing that I have been wanting to address but have felt uncomfortable to express in other ways, though, so I will just bring it up here. We want everyone to hopefully understand that we are not writing about Henry's comeback to drum up kudos for us as pug parents. We are overwhelmed by the positive feedback, kind words, kudos and other generous support and we are so thankful to have such supportive readers. But now we are starting to get a complex. We have never intended on writing the blog that brings us such a tribute. It has always been for an update and/or status of the pugs. And to share (hopefully) amusing stories! But especially lately with Henry's comeback, and gradual progress back to health, we feel like we may have inadvertently pulled the attention off of Henry and our worst fear is that if we have ever come off as fishing for compliments. We are seriously humbled by all the love and kindness of you all and we want to be sure that the focus remains the pug(s) ---in this case, now just Henry. We hope this is interpreted in the spirit intended, which is gracious. We love you all and we thank you for loving us peeps, but eyes back on H! He is the star of the show. We will try to be better at bringing the spotlight back to him and off us as it was never meant to be diverted in the first place. It's all about the H, the H, the H, no people (to the tune of "It's all about the Bass, no Treble")
So, back to asking OBP!! Please, ask some questions, so we can keep this party going!
Monday, August 10, 2015
Memorial Park has become one of our most favorite walking places. This is the place where we showed you the video of Henry tip toeing over a slatted bridge. It is a longish 7/10 of a mile trek. But it gives us the option of 3 choices of paths. We can cross the bridge and go the right. We can cross the bridge and go to the left. Or we can not cross the bridge and do the entire loop. It has pretty good shade, large side walks, heavy on the nature and is low on the mosquito population. So for these reasons, this park is at the top of our list.
HOWEVER! There is one super down side to Memorial. And no, it's not the bridge or the excessive amount of duck poop we often have to dodge. It's the fact that there is a Chinese restaurant near by. The yummy smell of this place derails Henry like no other scent has ever derailed him before. This has limited us to the only walking to the right side portion of the path unless we have an excessive amount of time to work Henry past the wonderfully smelling portion of the path. The extra hard part about this is that Henry doesn't just stand there, nose in the air sniffing and enjoying. He literally has attempted to drag us to the smell. Mind you, the Chinese place is located across the street, across a ravine and then you are only at the back of the strip mall where the restaurant is. Henry, unable to see (and obviously sans logic anyway) has no idea about all of these obstacles preventing him from getting to the source of the tasty aroma! All's he wants to do is walk closer to the smell.
You can see in the photo how close Henry has pulled us to the street. While it is not exactly clear in the photo, there are 2 rows of trees. Between those tree lines is a deep canal. Then on the far side of the trees you can see the back of the strip mall. (It like a tan or light peach color.) Where Henry is is about 10 feet from the street and I am standing along the edge of the path while he is extended to the capacity of leash (16 feet). The "fight" that ensues from this point until the path turns (about 200 yards) is the epitome of frustration. Henry's only desire is to keep heading in the direction of the food. My only desire is to get passed the smell of the food in the most reasonably compromising time possible. And this often requires me to pick him up and tote him to the next leg of the path.
I am sharing this to make good on what would otherwise would have been an idle threat. I told Henry the last time he didn't want to go in the right direction that I was going to tell his fans on him! I told him, his buddies at OBP would not want to hear about him putting on his stubborn sniffy pants and not getting on board to finish his walk! I warned him that all his friends would say the same thing his peeps were saying, "ok, Henry. You can smell for a little while but then we have to walk. And you walk and smell at the same time. And that also means not walking into the street. It is for your own safety. We can stop and smell while you get some water but then you need to get back on track. " But you know what?! He did not listen! It's like he was giving us all the chin! (You know the chin, right? It's that chin flick that comes with an attitude behind that says "Hey, I don't have to listen to you!") So, rather than not follow through on my threat to him, I did it! I told on him! Henry is a good boy....MOST OF THE TIME. And then there are days like these! I know. I know. He can't resist. Oh, poor blind, deaf, one kidney Henry. C'mon now. He's got us wrapped around his paw. He knows better. Now is the time for you all to chime in and give him his what for!!!
So, this griping is all in good fun but seriously, he does take FOR-EV-ER to get past that special spot on the walk where he just gets caught up in the mouth watering odor. It is seriously, the down side of Memorial Park. #HenryLovesMooGooGaiPan #HenryCanSmellFriedRiceAMileAway #BenjaminBequeathedHisSnifferToHank
Friday, August 7, 2015
Since Henry has gone blind, there are some things we have expected and some things we did not expect. We knew that his sense of smell would be heightened but we did not expect that he would begin "over sniffing" on things that may be considered inappropriate. Trash cans are one of those things he over sniffs. We can literally spend 3-5 minutes waiting for him to finish taking in the smells of a nasty ol' trash can!
Another weird thing that we did not expect was how he has sort of turned into Ben with the odd places he will poop. (Sorry if I lost some of you with the "TMI: or too much information.) And fortunately, these odd places have all been outside the house! (Unlike Benny on a rainy day!) Recently, though, after over sniffing a light pole with a square base, he immediately turned around an pooped it!
But that still doesn't hold a candle to one of Benny's worst poop stories. Benny once poopd at the entrance of a store that had automatic doors. He decided right at that moment to drop his waste just as the doors slid apart and out popped customers giving us the stink eye. I cannot say that I blame them. In our defense, we did try to drag Baby Benny away from the location but what else can you do when nature calls, your dog is copping a squat and you are dragging him while he is still squatting?! We thought if we kept dragging him, we'd just leave a trail. At least this way it would be one small pile and we are the most diligent poop picker uppers in the land. Benny had many other inappropriate poop scenarios but this was an all time high! OR SHOULD I SAY LOW?!) #Embarrassing
Anyway, back to Henry, I am not sure if metal and plastic hold smells more than wood (like a tree) but those are the objects he tends to sniff the most. He will choose to sniff industrial things over natural things more now that he is blind. There are places that we go for Henry to actually take a walk (such as Memorial Park,Reed Canal Park, the beach) and places we go that give Henry an overload of smells (City Center, the dog park). We have labeled the extra smelly places with a new compound word. These are Henry's "Sniffortunities" (Sniff + Opportunities). Places where Henry has ample opportunities to sniff (and over sniff) are great sniffortuniities for him!
Not sure if this is normal blind dog behavior. But this is our Henry. And we will take him as he comes to us. Quirks and all. #OneCoolPug #BlindDogQuirks #WhosAGoodBoy? #SniffortunitiesForAll
Thursday, August 6, 2015
Henry got to go along with his peeps on a trip to Dairy Queen. While ice cream is one of Henry's favorites, it does not set well with his little tummy. (He has IBD-Intestinal Bowl Disease-pretty bad.) So, we often try to avoid ice cream for him. And this trip really was no different. We did not order him anything. The funny thing though, is that the DQ worker had made a banana milk shake and topped it with whipped cream. The person who it was for had a whipped cream allergy and could not accept the milk shake. They re-made a fresh shake for that customer and offered us the whipped cream topped banana milk shake for free. So, we took it and let Henry have just a few licks.
#HernyIsALuckyPug #FreeFoodFindsHenryOften #EasyOnTheDairy #HankLovesDQ
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
We are fast approaching the one year mark of the removal of Henry's kidney (August 7, 2014).
I feel somewhat obliged to recap the last year in a modified time line.
- Henry lost his left eye to Glaucoma in April 2014
- Henry lost his brother Benny in June 2014
- Henry lost his sister Luna in July 2014
- Henry lost a kidney in August 2014
- August -October 2014 he was only able to complete 3 of his initally 6 prescribed chemotherapy treatments
- October 2014 Henry suffered a case of pancreatitis
- December 2014 Henry experienced a day of seizures and is later diagnosed with multiple brain hemorrhages
- January 2015 confirmation that sometime in late December the low vision that remained in Henry's right eye was lost
- Somewhere between June 2014-October 2014 he developed an extreme level of separation anxiety
- At meeting with neurologist in December 2014, neuro doc shared that a "worked up Henry will very likely lead to his demise" and advises us not to leave him unattended especially if that means he will experience stress (as stress will invariably cause him to stroke out and die)
- OBP peeps begin to work to ensure that Henry has the closest thing to around the clock care that they can manage
- February 2015 the OBP peeps begin rebuilding Henry from the ground up
Cut to now. Here we are almost at the one year anniversary of his kidney removal. He is in good health and we are constantly talking about how we are baby stepping him back into life. Well, the latest thing that he's been doing that is like his old self again is joining us on the sofa before bed time! The pugs of old would join us on the sofa for some TV time before bed. Well, all of that changed for Henry. As Henry's anxieties built he would start to stand by the door (beginning around 7:30) and ask to "go potty" only to turn around and come back inside over and over again. By 8:30 he would be done with this pattern and be most comfortable just settling for the night on the big bed. Little by little that routine got to be later in evening and less repetitious. He had the pattern down to starting around 8:30 and only going out 2x to go potty and on the second time he was fine going to bed around 9. Less pacing. Less milling. Less anxiety.
Well now Henry will go out once around 8 and then he's fine to settle with us on the sofa until actual bed time which is around 10PM. And at 10PM he will go out for a final potty and then up onto the big bed. So, again, baby steps, baby steps, baby steps.
It is weird how fast and yet so slow the year has gone by. The cancer doc said she saw no reason that Henry could not make it 2 years post chemo. At the time we were just holding out for one more year. Well, that one year is here and in no way is that long enough! Henry is just now getting his mojo back! So, this first year was just about walking him back into life slowly and my hope is this next year (and years to come) will be about enjoying the fruits of our labor! This means for Henry to embrace his life to the fullest. And we will be here supporting but not rushing him along.
#HenryIsOneToughPug #HenryStrong #HappyNoKidneyAnniversary #HenryIsTheComeBackKid #Don'tCallItAComebackHeNeverLeft
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Ask OBP is our attempt at trying to better respond to questions we get asked. So, don't forget to post your question in the comments.
We start this week with out first question from Ann, who asked how old Mimo is. (And to clarify, Mimo is the name of the tree we have in our back yard. It is a mimosa tree and we just decided to name her Mimo.)
Good question, Ann. Mimo started as a seed. The seed came from a seed pod from a far away neighbor's home. We started to grow Mimo in very late 2006. The first attempt befell a weed wacker accident. So, early in 2007 we began trying again to sprout the perfect Mimo. And by April 2007, Mimo had made it from a paper cup to a pot. So, as of this writing, we can Mimo was "born" in 2007 and is about 8 1/2 years old now. Here are links to previous posts about Mimo. Planting Mimo, Enjoying Mimo and Mimo. Thank you for your question Ann! G'Pa calls Mimo a weed and not a tree and we can't say he is far from wrong judging by how quickly she grew!
The next question came from Christine, who asked why pugs?
This is a good one, Christine! My gut reply was "Is there any other breed? Because they are the coolest dogs EVER!" But it does go deeper than that and while we are both animal lovers, one of us could stray from the breed more than the other. But the fact is that I feel in love with a 2 year old pug when I was visiting my sister. When we still lived in Maryland and my sister was already living in Florida, I was on a visit and her boys were playing T-ball. At that game there was a pug. He was the cutest, silliest, spunkiest little dog I had ever met! I had never forgotten him and how he just instantly warmed my heart. Later I fell in love with the movie Milo & Otis (although re-watching it recently I did not really enjoy it). The pug in that movie also "talked to me" and after researching them and learning more about their quirks and temperament, I knew that pugs were right for me. I eventually shared my passion with my family and friends and now we share our pug passion to all the others out there that got bitten by pug love bug. Thanks, Christine! Glad you asked!
We also had some interest in OBP supplying readers with recipes. We will work on making that another post exclusively about recipes. And when we do that we will touch more on the portions we serve(d) our pups, too (that request came from Alayna).
Another question, from Chuckie, was asked about the interest in the featured pug pic. Chuckie is noticing a trend that this has not seemed as popular as it once was. We will leave this question up to readers. Are you all still viewing this but maybe just not commenting as much? Or are you getting bored of pug cuteness?! We have learned a lot about those who comment vs. those who lurk. There are about 10-20 people who lurk to every one person that comments. So, please chime in and give us some feedback while helping to answer Chuckie's question.
Our last question was about how Puppia brand harnesses measure. Can some of you all chime in on that, too and help Jen C? Since it has been years since we have had to buy a harness we are too far out of the loop to help on this one. Readers, please offer your knowledge!
All great questions. We will do our best to answer as many as possible. We also wanted to post a reminder that we are not veterinarians. If we post about medical things, it is from our experience and not training or other credentials. Thanks everyone! And keep the questions coming!
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