Owned by Pugs

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Part 1:  A Pugless Vacay?!

Benjamin, Luna and Henry

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.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Caption This #326

Luna, Henry and Benjamin

Looking forward to your captions in the comments.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Super Duper Trooper

Henry

I am happy to report that Henry did wonderful this weekend! I worked from home on Friday and Henry got some much needed rest. He didn't sleep quite as well as he normally does on the first night home from surgery. I think the biggest problem was getting used to the cone. But, by Friday afternoon, he was doing a lot better managing the satellite dish around his neck and was able to get a bit more comfortable.

Henry

In true Henry style, he also coaxed me into spending some time outside with him on Friday. His thinking was that sunshine is the best medicine. I don't know about that, but I was happy to see him wanting to do the things that he enjoys.

Henry

On Saturday morning, we noticed that a lot of the swelling in his eye had subsided. By Sunday, some of the redness was also fading. Overall, I think he is healing very well. He has taken it all in stride.

Benjamin and Luna are also taking it very well. Ever since Henry came home last Thursday, he has been a one man wrecking crew with his cone. He has been bumping the cone into Benny and Luna all weekend. They have been very patient with Henry even though there have been times he has almost bowled them over with his cone of shame.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Henry Post Surgery

Henry

I am so happy to report that Henry is home and is doing very well. He was super happy to see us yesterday. Once he said hello, he marched right out of the vet's office and was scanning the parking lot wondering where we parked because he was ready to get home.

Once we got home, he made no bones about wanting to eat. We gave him a bit of food and he was ready for more. I thought it was a really good sign that his appetite was already back.

I think the hardest thing for him to manage has been the cone. His cone is catching on everything and when that happens he's not sure if it because of something he can't see or if it is because he has a satellite dish on his head. I'm sure in a day or two he will be doing much better getting around with the cone of shame. For now we are super glad he is home and doing so well.

Thank you for all your warm thoughts and kind wishes. It meant so much and was such a tremendous help in getting through these last few days. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Happy Birthday, Henry!

Henry

Today Henry turns 12 years old!

To celebrate Henry's birthday here are some of my favorite pictures of Hank - one from each year he has been with us. If you can't get enough of handsome Henry, check out more pictures of him on Flickr.

Henry - June 2002

June 2002: Ironically enough, it took Henry a few months to grow into his eyes as a pup. He had such a dark mask and the most velvet ears I had ever felt. To this day, his ears are silky smooth.

Henry - July 2003

July 2003: Henry has always been a water lover. He has never been an excellent swimmer, but that has certainly never diminished his love for the water. Whether it be a pool, the ocean a lake or just a really big puddle, if Henry can splash around in it and fetch something out of it Henry is having fun.

Henry - November 2004

November 2004: The beaten path is never where Henry wants to be. Henry was always running off and exploring. The less worn the path, the more he wanted to go that way. I guess you could say that he has always been one to blaze his own trail. After all, that is how he did find that peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Henry - January 2005

January 2005: Henry has always been a big chewer, however he is the only one of the pugs that actually chews the Kong. When we give the pugs a kong, we usually fill it with peanut butter. Benjamin, Henry and Luna lick and lick until they get all the peanut butter out of the inside of the Kong. At that point, Benjamin and Luna give up. But that is when Henry is just getting started. He collects everyones kongs to make sure no one left any peanut butter behind and then he goes to town chewing on the kong like he is going to be able to crack it open and get every last drop of peanut butter.

Henry - June 2006

June 2006: You can't talk about Henry and his favorite things and not talk about lounging in the sun. You can be assured that Henry gets the recommended dose of Vitamin D every day.

Henry - July 2007

July 2007: Being a pug, Henry of course loves food. One of his favorites has always been noodles. Since we frequently call him Hanky Doodle, when he has noodles, we like to call them Doodle's noodles. Overall, Henry likes surprisingly healthy foods. He loves most vegetables, including the gross ones like brussel sprouts wink

Henry - July 2008

July 2008: Henry has always been the official ear cleaner and takes the ear health of both Luna and Benjamin very seriously. It has worked great for Luna and Benjamin. Whenever they are at the vet they always get a great report on their ears. Unfortunately for Henry, neither Luna nor Benjamin return the favor to help keep Henry's ears clean.

Henry - February 2009

February 2009: Henry has always been the co-pilot. He loves car rides and his preferred way of travel is with his head out the window. The faster the car is going the more fun he is having.

Henry - April 2010

April 2010: Curious would be a good word to describe Henry. He is super smart and is very laid back, so when he encounters something new you almost see the wheels turning his head trying to process the situation. This makes him a lot of fun because he is game to try anything!

Henry - October 2011

October 2011: Don't get me wrong, Henry likes his creature comforts, but he loves the great outdoors. No matter what the season he loves to be outside and exploring. He's never been camping, mainly because his humans enjoy the finer things in life, but we have always surmised that he would love it!

Henry - March 2012

March 2012: While Benjamin has always been an early riser, Henry is perfectly content to turn breakfast into brunch and catch a few extra winks of sleep in the morning. Not only is he a man after my own heart with sleeping in, he also makes the best hug up buddy.

Henry - April 2013

April 2013: Because of his calm demeanor, Henry sometimes gets to go on little trips by himself. A yearly tradition for him is to go to the Bark at the Park event for our local minor league baseball team. Henry loves the yearly outing because he has made friends with a few of the concession workers. So, as soon as he gets to the park, he finds his friends and scores plenty of ballpark snacks.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Enucleation

Henry

Recently, our steadfast and always strong Henry has been having ear and eye troubles. His ears have rebounded (infection-wise, not hearing-wise), but his eye woes have not only not cleared up - they have gotten worse.

At the follow up appointment on Thursday of last week, we weighed all of the options about what to do about his eye. His vision in his left eye is lost. Due to the size of the cataract in his eye, there is no hope of vision coming back if we are able to get the glaucoma under control. And despite our best efforts, we have not been able to come close to managing the glaucoma. He has not responded to the stringent course of treatment that was recommended. So, the best thing to do for Henry is to remove the painful, angry eye and allow the true healing to begin.

This whole scenario took us by storm. Henry has always been the "healthy" one. He's barely been on oral medications. Rarely eye drops. Always been able to walk far distances. Trachea still a perfect circle. Could see. Could hear. Well, in the last 10 days he basically went deaf and blind in one eye and now we have to have is eye removed.

One of the harder pills to digest is that the surgery is tomorrow. And tomorrow is Henry's birthday! The guilt I feel for scheduling Henry's eye removal surgery on his birthday is enormous. I almost put the surgery off for another week, but Henry is in a lot of pain from the glaucoma. The eye vet describes it as having a constant migraine in his eye. And it just breaks my heart to see him push he eye into the furniture or to paw at it to help alleviate some of the pressure. So, I took the first available surgery day, which happens to be his birthday, in hopes of bringing him some much needed relief.

We will keep you posted. And don't worry. We are worried enough for everyone. May good health and happiness be with you all. Squeeze your babies today! We will stay as positive as we can. Thanks for all your love & support.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Caption This #325

Henry

Looking forward to your captions in the comments.

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