Wednesday, May 6, 2015
We are always trying to do something each night to wear Henry out for the next day so that he can be happy at home while resting and not be filled with anxiety. We have snuck him on to the people beach a time or two. And on this night that was again our intention. But for some reason once we got there, we had a feeling that we would have been popped by the po-po (for those of you over 20, that means busted by the police). So, we opted to just hang out on an overlook area (near the sign that said no dogs allowed). Here we observed a couple of things.
First, a few other people that had snuck their dog on and low and behold, up rolled the beach patrol and tossed them out. Not sure if they also got a ticket but off they went after the fuzz visited them (lights flashing and all).
Next we observed MANY Jeeps driving down the beach. And come to find out that later in the week, there was actually a world's record set for the most number of Jeeps at one gathering at one time. So, we got a mini preview of this event. Although we stupidly did not take even one single photo of this! Ugh!
What we did take a photo of was Henry taking in the smells from his overlook ledge. He still thoroughly enjoyed the breeze and scents that the winds brought his way and with the luxury of not even having to walk or get his feet wet!
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Looking forward to your comments!
Monday, May 4, 2015
As we have bemoaned for months now, Henry is only able to be left at home during work hours. Since this is starting to make for cranky housebound people, we decided to get crafty! There are not many (really, if any) restaurants nearby that allow pets, but there are a couple that have some form of outdoor seating. It has been literally about a decade since Henry has experienced outdoor dining but we opted to give it a go again. (The last time was when Baby Benny was in the hospital at age 2 or so for a case of pancreatitis while we were still living in Maryland.) So, the plan was to go to our local burger joint that offers outdoor seating.
This was a huge hit with Henry! He had a great night! And so did his people. We brought a towel for the chair. The tables and chairs are made of wrought iron and have a mesh style seat, back and table top. This type of chair is not ideal for pugs with issues like Henry has (wiggly and blind and with long toenails). The chair was a little shaky which made for a more nervous Henry. So, we simple kept one foot on one of the chair feet and that took the wiggle away. We covered the seat with the towel so as his toenails did not get stuck in the mesh seat...although when he would put his paws on the table---like a bad boy-- his toenails almost immediately got stuck! That was not fun.
Since going blind Henry is not able to distinguish the smell from cooking food from cooked food. Since he cannot see he doesn't know that there is not food on the table even if he can clearly smell it. So, sitting right outside of a burger joint made him a little wild while he waited because he could not understand why he smelled food but yet was not being fed food! Not to mention that on this particular night we had gotten in line behind the wrong crowd. The people in front of us ordered one of each menu item! Talk about a long wait for us! And we had a wonky dog waiting! Yikes! But Henry built his patience up, waited for about 20 minutes for his very own kid's meal to arrive. (Benny & Luna would be ever so jealous!)
Henry was thrilled to get his own burger with a bun and we even let him indulge in a few french fries hoping that this would not make him sick. After that he went for a walk and a ride. Some little boy was a tuckered out guy by the time we got home. He even slept in a touch later the next day! #MissionAccomplished
Friday, May 1, 2015
The weekend with Spike ended midday Sunday. It was a great visit and even though eventually Henry grew mildly more than indifferent to him, we knew ultimately it was not the right thing for either dog for us to keep Spike. We spent Sunday by again offering them a morning walk and a final test of the boys being alone. This time they both settled and while Spike was awake during our away time, he was not anxious. Henry was passed out. Spike tried various locations where he could settle himself. He used the main pug bed. (It is weird...we are sure you have noticed that we are down to a scant few beds. There are multiple reasons for this. First, Henry really only cares for the one bed. Next, too many beds make for tripping hazards for sweet blind Henry. And if he's not using them, then no reason for them to clutter his path.) Spike tired of the main pug bed then weren't we surprised to see him hop up on the sofa and commandeer the pillow pile a la Benny & Henry of old! Seriously! It is a such a huge change to be with a dog who can accomplish such feats! It has been so long since we've had jumpers, leapers, runners, hearers, seers, non-coughers and just an unbelievable presence of such good health! And Spike isn't even a puppy! He's 7. But a young 7 for sure.
I did want to share a bit more about Spike. Because while this is really more about Henry, we wanted to share info about Spike. Without discrediting any of our current or dearly departed pugs, Spike is a perfect dog for us (should Henry no longer be with us---no wishing bad on Henry, of course!). Spike is an active, well mannered, attentive, people pleasing, good natured pug. I know that is how all pugs are really. But Spike, while not terrific on leash initially, was easy to correct, happy to do the right thing and overall would be exactly the dog we would be looking for in a different place and time. He is housebroken, a chewer (but only on stuff he should chew), excitable but not overly anxious. Just HAPPY! And I think that is what he really brought most to our home was happiness. Although it was not to the one who needed it the most: Henry. He filled the hearts of the people, but not the pug. And if we are being honest, while trying to stay upbeat and positive, we have been brought down a bit here and there by Henry's sadness (and yet we hadn't even realized it until after seeing our own elation over Spike's enthusiasm). We hope Spike finds a terrific home. He totally deserves it. We certainly hope that a great family pans out. Maybe someone with an older child who will play with Spike and be rambunctious with? I am not sure where he will land but I know that he will be a bouncy bundle of joy wherever that is. If you are interested in Spike or other dogs like him, check out CFPR's website (or the pug rescue nearest you). It would be great if all pugs could have a wonderful forever home. And a very sincere thank you to Ann and all of the team at CFPR who make pug rescue a wonderful success. Rescue is very necessary work and we just wanted to add that we truly appreciate the experience and appreciate the hard work that goes into finding families the perfect match.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
After a good nights sleep was had by all, we got up the next day and tinkered around the house some trying to ignore the pooches to see if they would befriend one another. A well rested Spike was in need of a walk to burn some energy. So we took him for a quick mile walk around our neighborhood. We came home and added Henry and went for another (MUCH SHORTER) walk. Hoping that this would tire out both boys and leave them in a state of calm, this was our real opportunity to give them some alone time. It wasn't "too alone" though. We left the boys inside and went to do some yard work. Henry was mostly passed out on the kitchen floor most of this time and Spike was more curious about our whereabouts. It was hard to check on the boys here and there since Spike has all his faculties. Unlike Henry, Spike could see us when we peeked in the front door and could hear us coming from the back yard to look inside through the sliding glass doors. So we had to default to using our spy cams. And after the yard work was done we realized that we had to go more away than just our own yard. So, we took a nice walk (sans dogs) around the neighborhood and gave them about another hour to see what would transpire. In that time Spike settled and Henry unsettled. At first Spike did not seem to care but then he got in on the action and then we had 2 unsettled dogs. They were not off the charts unsettled but the point of being together was to be together in calm and not in angst. So, we hustled back home and suited the boys up for more action (we know tired dogs have a harder time being anxious since they've burned all that energy up).
So, it was Doris Leeper time! (Side note: we Googled Doris Leeper and she was a local person known for her artistic and community impact. So added bonus in our book. ) The boys did great in the car and once we were there it was game on and both boys were bundles of energy (as energetic as they each get for their capacity). Both boys did the whole walk. And this is where Spike actually seemed to do the "job" we "rented" him for. He could have marched way ahead of Henry but instead, he went a few steps forward, came a few steps back. He could explore around the area where our slow walker was because the space allowed for a lot of investigation. And maybe this was really the only time that Henry even seemed to notice that Spike was there. Spike would sometimes bump in to Henry in his explorations. And the fact that Henry knew that there was a pace setter there perhaps influenced his efforts to try a little harder to keep up. We tried to get some photos of them sitting still together but there's something about a rescue dog we have found...they are wiggly in front of the camera! Luna was the same way. I guess because we started so young with the boys that they just got the hang of photo shoots. But there are a few good photos.
By the time we got back home, everyone was pooped and it was time for dinner for everyone in the house. After a nice meal it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. It's crazy but since Henry and Spike are both "good breathers" they didn't even snore! They were just 2 quiet little boys. But they still were not hugging up or even sleeping near one another. It was getting more clear that even though Henry was tolerating Spike, he was not embracing him. And I can tell you who really was not embracing Spike was Cupid! Holy Heck! She was hissing at him all weekend and literally only came in the house from her special chair on the lanai once we were asleep. Spike never chased her or even paid her any attention. But he did break the cardinal rule (and this was our fault for turning our back on him for even a second)---he jumped up on Cupid's little table and ate her food! Oh! We are out of practice with having such mobile animals! Shame on us! But really, if we put the food up higher, Cupid can't get it to it. She's an old lady herself. It was kind of turning out like we thought originally...it was like giving a nursing home a toddler and telling them to have fun! Not really the ideal scenario from either side. Although the old folks are sweet and the baby is adorable is wasn't a match made in heaven.
We knew our time was running out and we did not have much longer to try to make this work. We knew that Ann would be there the next day to pick up Spike or be ready with adoption papers. Our hours were ticking away. We had considered seeing if we could keep Spike through the next week and weekend to see how the routine days would go but we knew that our Monday and Tuesday back to work were not going to be the usual and we also knew that if we kept Spike THAT long that we would have overridden Henry's vote and preferences if he had still continued to say no to Spike. We knew that it was getting away from us and that our focus had to remain back on Hank. Ugh. It was a back and forth over and over again.
So with swirling thoughts, it was off to bed for the 2 tired pups and 2 worn out peeps in OBPland. We hoped Sunday would bring clarity and friendship. More tomorrow.....
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
The introduction to Spike came on Friday night. Ann from CFPR appeared on our doorstep with some of her pack. In tow was Julia, her own baby girl and Flynn, also her pugger. Poor Flynn is stuck wearing his cone of shame for a while. Of course, Spike came along, too. We met in the driveway where Henry had more interest in going inside than playing meet and greet. So, the rest of the socialites hung out for a bit, chatted, sniffed bottoms (just the dogs, of course!) and eventually we made our way inside. Once inside the visiting pugs explored the house. It was crazy to see a home full of pugs again! Not just pugs but mobile, active, heavy breathing pugs! We were taking it all in. Henry, on the other hand wondered off to be alone. It was sad. It was probably a bit overwhelming for him though. So, we tried not to push anything.
Letting everyone get to know one another and recognizing that this was probably our home check should we end up adopting Spike, we toured Ann (and her hubby Bill) around the house (mostly the yard). This was where I experienced a moment of weirdness. We walked out back and Ann promptly announces, "MIMO!" referring to our Mimosa tree in the back yard (which of course we have discussed many times on the blog. But what is so weird about this is that it is a reminder that whenever you have someone in your home for the first time that has read the blog (especially faithfully like Ann has) you have a tendency to forget that they pretty much already know EVERYTHING about you! So hearing her recognize Mimo, and call Mimo by name (and reflect when Mimo was barely a sprout in pot) just gives you a funny feeling. It is hard to describe.
Anyway, so pugs are bouncing around the house and we try to bring Henry a little bit into the mix and pretty much as soon as Spike moved in Henry's direction Henry started to nip at him (well, technically it was the air since Henry can't see and his aim is off). But it was Henry's little warning that this was not yet cool. So, we again tried to give Henry the distance he needed. After a bit, it was just Henry and Spike. It was at this time when it sunk in that this little exuberant new pug needed a walk to take the edge off. He was a bit of a bundle of nerves (new house, new people, old pugs and people gone, etc). So, we divided and conquered. One took Spike walking while the other stayed home to reassure Henry that all would be ok.
After the walk things did go better. Spike was starting to wind down a little bit. Henry was not longer cranky. And we took this as a good sign. Not long after all of this, it was time for bed. While Spike is very agile, he doesn't quite have enough giddyup to jump on the people bed. We wheeled in the ottoman so that he could make it with a 2 step process. He learned this quickly! (Although torturing us, he did not use the ottoman to get down in 2 steps.) He simply leaped off the bed! Mind you, we are used to senior pugs! No one has jumped on or off our bed in eons!
So that was night one. More about Saturday and Sunday in future episodes.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Looking forward to your comments!
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