Part of Henry's anxiety/dementia routine begins around 7 PM (or when the sun starts to set---depending on the time of year). Each night Henry will stand by the front door as though he needs to go potty. We will take him out and he will either do his business or decide to come right back in the house. About 10-15 minutes later, Henry again stands by the door and trained as we are, we let him out. He pees or poops or does nothing and then makes his way back to the house. When the door opens to go back in, he steps up and immediately begins looking to the "treat gods" for his payment of a small dog treat. 10-15 minutes later in the night, cue Henry to the front door. Outside, potty or no potty, front door opens, eyes to sky, treat. Rinse and repeat until 830-9 PM when finally he then is ready to be placed onto the big boy bed (the people bed) where he then will settle for a good night's sleep.
After each trip outside he looks to the sky for his treat. This routine was the pugs' bedtime routine for many, many years. They'd all go out front for a final pee pee of the night, rush to the front door, get paid in the form of a doggie cookie and then be put up on the big bed. Well, Henry starts this routine and practices it over and over and over again nightly. We know that he is not ready for bed when he begins doing this at 7:00 since we've tried to put him to bed and he will yelp for us to let him down off the bed. (We are very lucky that he does know that he's on the tall bed and does not to attempt to jump down.) And we have considered not rewarding him when he comes in if he has not gone potty, but we are worried that would make a disconnect to going outside to potty at all. It is just part of his OCD type anxiety and cognitive decline.
The funny part is the OBP parents would typically take turns letting Henry out and playing treat god. But each night Cupid will choose an OBP parent lap on which she will firmly plant herself for hours. And once Henry starts the ritual, the parent with the cat on the lap simply looks gazingly at the other as though to indicate, "hey, I can't go, I have a cat on my lap. I don't want to disturb her." While the unlucky one with no cat on lap, has to go up and down and up and down bringing an empty bladdered dog outside to do nothing but turn right back around and get a treat. At least Cupid does take turns when choosing a lap.
We've always known that Cupid is not your ordinary cat. But this sort of took the cake! One of our favorite meals is turkey chili. We like to have add some crumpled tortilla chips to the chili. Recently we discovered that this Cupid likes tortilla chips too! Being that this isn't very healthy, (for Cupid or for us) we cut Cupid off from the chips after filming the video. #CrazyChipLovingCat
17 year old Cupid has struggled a bit with thyroid disease. This has been a problem for a few years now. First we tried the special food then we moved to oral medication. There was a time when we were considering the radiation surgery for her but I think we have officially ruled that option out. Behaviorally we can almost always tell when her thyroid (T4/TCH ) levels are out of whack. Recently, we got that feeling that things were not right and we took her to the vet to get some bloodworm done to check her levels.
We were correct. Her levels were too low, so we upped her meds. But then it seemed that she started having issues again and we considered that her meds were upped too high. So, back we went for more bloodwork. But this time her levels are considered "perfect" which mean her behavior was just her cattitude.
What problem could sweet little Cupey cat be causing, you ask? Well, her main issue, sadly, is Henry.
Cupid KNOWS that Henry is "not right" but she either can't figure out what the problem is OR knows what the problem is and simply does not cut him any slack. The biggest issue is that Henry runs into her. A LOT. In Henry's defense, he's probably very happy to run into something that is soft (Cupid is by far the softest thing he runs into) AND also in Henry's defense, Cupid makes little to no attempts at getting out of his way. Sometimes it is even like she may be daring him to bump into her AGAIN. Most of the time Cupid will just hiss at him and run away but lately she has been getting super annoyed and thus her irritation has created an escalation in her retaliation. Granted, there has been only one really bad day but it was a stinky one. On this day, Cupid was observed (via our canine cam) to have not only hissed at Henry but she added a spit, and a triple bap for good measure. Poor Henry just stood there not knowing what just happened or what to do about it. But since, at the end of her Mike Tyson sequence, Cupid ran away, Henry was then free to continue to roam about the house. The good news is that Henry was no worse for the wear. But Cupid needs to wash the cranky out of her pants! On this day, #CupidWasNotAPug! #CalicoCupid #HenryStrong #PoorHenry #HenryIsAGoodBoy #GoodPug
If you can believe it, it has been almost 3 months since Henry's last eye exam. We are on an every 3 month schedule to ensure the health of his remaining eye. Dr. Denis said that his eye is stable. And we take that as a good thing. We know it is not going to get better but it still can get worse, but it's not. His eye pressure was good, too. (Which means no glaucoma.)
We also had a chance to talk to the eye vet about how Henry experiences the world. He is blind, but he has some light perception. Its sorta like closing your eyes and being able to tell if you are in a well lit room or a completely dark room. You can't make out any shapes or figures, but you are able to get a feel for how much light is in the room. Also, if someone walks on front of you or blocks the light, you will be able to tell.
We suspected this was the case for Henry based on his behavior, but it was good to have the vet validate it. Sometimes, Henry is so on point that it seems that Henry must be able to see something, but in fact he is just getting much better at interpreting his light perception.
We are very pleased that his eye is stable and as healthy as possible right now. Stay strong, Henry boy! #HenryStrong #VisuallyImpairedPug #HenryIsAGoodBoy #GoodPug
Well, today Henry the Wonderpug is 13 years old! Happy Birthday, sweet boy! We know that this birthday is already better than last year! Last year on his birthday he was having his eye removed! #Enucleation So, we know that today HAS to be better than that!
I think we shall celebrate by going for a walk and maybe a little extra protein. One day of a little extra meat shouldn't be too bad for you. Possibly an extra long car ride will also be in store. May all good things come your way this year, old man. Being 12 for you was kind of stinky, H. So, this year, let's make your teens be something magical. We love you, Doody Boy!
At a nearby shopping center there is a walking path that Henry has been to a time or two. We took him there right before the time change and we did not beat the darkness. As we walked, night fell hard upon us. Even though Henry clocked his head once real good on a picnic bench and crashed into a high curb we still considered this walk a success. Since there was minimal daylight we did not get photos.
Well, we went back to this path this weekend and had Henry pose for the camera. He got a little bored of this (hence the yawn photo) but eventually he gave a blog worthy photo. The path is about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile long and Henry walked the whole thing! It is extra wide which allows him to do his stagger walk without huge threat of falling off the edge the sidewalk. There are some grassy areas that he enjoys and ample bushes that he appreciates the opportunity for releasing urine upon.
In Henry's heyday, he was a "one way" type of guy. If you went one direction, you could not expect to bring him home the same way. So, we always had to find "loops" so that he could do the complete circle since we knew we could not go up to point A and back the same path (even if on opposite sides of the street he would know it was the same way home).
We started to wonder now.....was Henry getting this way with not being able to go to the same PARK TWICE?! It seemed his new favorite was Doris Leeper but then when we took him there the second time it was an epic fail. So, we wondered if not only could he not take the same way up and back could he not even repeat a loop?! We were thankful to realize that this was not the case as he has successfully navigated the Pavilion path twice in a row! So, Doris Leeper day was more of an off day.