Wednesday, August 26, 2015
For all of you fellow moon gazers out there, I saw on Facebook that tonight there is to be a double moon. It is fake, though. I was so excited to have a special sky gazing night but it is not true. Here is more about it.
What I can say, is that on my calendar that shows the full and half moons, that Saturday night (the 29th) we will have a full moon.
For now, just enjoy this photo of little Luna as she shines in our heart the way the moon shines in the sky. And don't forget, you can't believe everything that is on the internet.
#DumbFBHoax #DontBeFooled #NoDoubleMoon #EnjoyLunaInstead
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Thank you all for coming up with good questions! Hopefully Ask OBP will continue for a little while longer!
The first series of questions comes from Terry. Terry asked: Do/did your pugs growl? If yes, what would make them growl? Did aging affect their tail curls both in tightness of curl and how often they kept them curled? And if they shed their whiskers.
Terry! All great questions! We are happy to answer them all. First, yes, our pugs have growled. They were not big growlers though. Mostly, as puppies, the boys (Benjamin & Henry) would growl at each other during play. They also made some other more hideous noises for the first few years when they wrestled together. Often sounding like gremlins! As they got older (4+) they no longer really growled very often. The girls, however, were later life growlers. Solsey came to us as an old gal and we only ever heard her growl on a few rare occasions. And I will say that on those couple of times Solsey was out of her mind! It was usually when each pug was given a very special chew treat (most notably a knuckle bone). Solsey not only tried but successfully bullied all of the pugs into giving up their knuckle bones. Solsey's growling during one especially memorable incident had baby Benny cowering in another room! So, yeah, she growled. And when she growled everyone knew she meant it! Luna, on the other hand, had a petite growl (and really more during her middle years), She would have a sweet little growl leading up to a bark. This was typically an indication of her impatience. And like a warning. She would give a little growl to say, "if you don't [do X] then I will be letting out a piercing bark after this." Hopefully we would do X before the bark but we never seemed to be quick enough. But other than that, Luna was not much of a growler.
Regarding their tail curls....we can safely say that indeed with age, their tails loosened in tightness a bit. This did vary by pug though. Henry's became much looser. Luna's was somewhat looser but not extremely loose. And Benny's was barely looser. (Think of the 3 bears but with levels of looseness.) I cannot really comment on Sol's tail since we had her for so short a period of time. If I am being honest, though, I am not entirely sure that it was "age" that created this phenomenon, though. I think it had more to do with their level of discomfort (which aging may have brought along). Such as the week of Henry's kidney cancer surgery, I can't say that his tail was curled for one moment that entire week. And the more exhausted he is, the less his tail is apt to curl. With that said, Henry has always had the less curly tail. I also want to make another comment not so much about the curliness but the wagginess of Luna's tail. I don't think that I am exaggerating when I say that Luna's tail wagged most of the whole first year we had her. Even in sleep early on, her tail would have some movement to it. We are confident that this was not a sign of pug happiness but of anxiety. Eventually Luna learned that she was safe, secure and could bloom into the little diva she knew had been hidden until then.
Ah, yes. Their whiskers. There would be a rare whisker shedding with the pugs. This was quite uncommon. Sadly, though, all of Henry's whiskers fell out during his chemo treatments. They did grow back eventually though. He had 2 gray whiskers that fell out but all the fresh whiskers grew back black. So, that was interesting. We see more cat whiskers shed from Cupid than pug whiskers shed. These are easy to tell apart, of course since the cat's whiskers are white whereas the pug whiskers are black (except for those 2 gray ones that Henry lost).
Outstanding questions, Terry! They really caused us to reflect. Thank you.
Another OBP reader, Jude, asked this (paraphrased): If we were not pug/cat people what would our next breed choice be? WOW! Good one, Jude! We have been discussing this among ourselves A LOT lately. We are all over the map (and a bit divided.) One of us may never stray from the pug breed and the other one of us thinks that there may be "healthier breeds" that may not give us quite as much heartache (but maybe also not as much joy). But to answer our top "other" choices we would include (and I cannot narrow down a specific order): Poodle, Golden Retriever, Chinese Crested (bald kind), Great Dane, Boston Terrier just to name the most talked about. As for cats, I think I can safely say that Cupid has ruined us for any other cat on the planet. Reflecting on that statement, it sounds like the pugs are more "replaceable" which could not be further from the truth. Hmmmm. I am not sure what exactly that means! Jude, you have given us a great conversation in house! We thank you for your question!
Christine also had a question for us. It was about nicknames for our brood. Oh boy! Do we ever have nicknames! We will begin with Sol. We regularly called her Solsey. A time or 2 we called her Solei Moon Frye (which is the name of the person who played Punky Brewster). But mostly we called her Solsey Baby! (This would be spoken in a specific tone and rhythm, too.) That was really it for her, though.
For Luna we mostly called her Looney (again in a specific pitch and song). And honestly, unless you called her that way, she did not know her real name was Luna! But some of her other names included: Looney Toons, Miss Thang and Baby Girl.
Benjamin probably has the most nicknames. He was Baby Benny. Benny Bag O'Wrinkles, Handsome, Hansey Boy, Ben Ben and Benny Boy. The most special time we remember him responding to a nickname was once post anesthesia and he was still bleary eyed and wobbly legged. They brought him into the exam room and we greeted him with a "Hi Handsey!" and he immediately gave a huge tail wag and ran right towards us, licking our faces and whining. It was super sweet.
Henry has had his fair share of nicknames too. He is Henry doodle boy. Doody boy. Hanky Doodle. Hank. The Hankster. Gangster Prankster. And yes, sadly now we sometimes even call him Blindy. But it is with much affection. Or as GMa says, she "means it in the nicest way."
While this is about the pugs, we feel like if we left out Cupid we would be doing her a disservice. She is Cupey, Cupey Cat. QP. Pretty Girl. Pretty Pretty Girl. And on days that she tries to steal Henry's food lately, she is little brat.
Thanks again, Christine! Another good question!
Monday, August 24, 2015
Last week it was time for Henry's check ups. He had doctor visits to the eye vet and his general vet. We will share the good news from the eye vet in this post. Later this week we will give a recap of the general vet. (It is not terrible but not ideal. No huge worries. #StillCancerFree!)
Henry's cataract is still attached (which is good since if it detaches there are bigger problems). There are no signs of the scratch on his cornea from the Memorial Day tree event. So, that is great, too! His eye pressure is good which means no indication that Glaucoma is on the horizon.
This was all terrific news! We are to leave him on the same eye drop schedule, too. So another win!
It was a good day overall. Henry did all of his tests like a champ! Again, more later on his xray, sonogram and blood work!
Friday, August 21, 2015
This blog is to be sure that I give proper recognition to those that save the day. Most often this person is Grammy. Grammy keeps her iPhone nearby each weekday and awaits the Henry update. Fortunately, there was only one day last week when Henry melted down earlier than Grammy's standard 11AM "start time" (the time she goes down from her house to our house to give Henry relief from his loneliness). There was a week or so that Henry was losing his cool on the very early side and Grammy would sweetly respond to Henry's howl. We watch on the camera and gauge his level of anxiety and let Grammy know about how long or what time she should show up. And although, it would be superhero like of her to always show up in her SpiderMan outfit, she rushes down the street in her everyday clothes. Her outfit, however, is not what makes her a day saver, it is her rush to tend to Henry. This saves his day by alleviating his stress and it saves our day by also reducing our stress. So, Grammy is a daily day saver!
I also want to be sure that I give kudos to cousin Kerry, though, too. She recently had a 1 day saving stint that came at a critical time.
I usually work from home on Thursdays. Thursdays are Grammy's special days. Grammy is in a writer's group called OWLS (Ormond Writer's League) and they meet every other Thursday. Grammy is about to self publish her 3rd book and as she is nearing the end of this process, it is even more important that she not miss any meetings. Well, there was a big meeting at work on a Grammy OWLS Thursday day. This happened to also coincide on a day when OBP peep #2 was not able to take off work. We were in a Henry predicament.
Fortunately for us, cousin Kerry was in a position with her work where she was able to come spend the day with Henry! (Why this is so extreme is because Kerry lives a little over 2 hours away--one way.) And not to mention that even though Henry loves everyone and is familiar with Kerry, it is pretty far out of his routine to be left alone all day with someone completely new. But it worked out well for everyone! Grammy did not have to miss her writer's group, both OBP peeps could go to work on what were critical days for each of them, Henry had good care and Kerry ended up getting some good study time in while earning few bucks on the side to make the long journey worth it.
We wanted to share that we have real life heroes in our family! Hooray to Grammy for her steadfast heroism that she produces all the time! And many thanks Kerry for her one time big bang random act of kindness that helped out on a wonky Thursday. We are all so fortunate to have them in our lives!
#GratuitousShoutOutToOurAwesomeFamily #CheckOutGRammysBooksOnAmazon #KerryHasStrohLuck
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Since Henry had not been getting up on the sofa in the last year, Cupid was back to commandeering that space. Well, now that Henry has again been interested in being on the sofa, where has that left Cupid? Well, some days she is ok to share with Henry and other days not so much. Cupid does recognize that Henry has not been the pug antagonizing her over the last decade or so. That pug (Benjamin) is no longer with us. And the seriously cat tormenting pug (Solsey) has been dearly departed for years now. But Cupid knows that Henry has not meant any harm over the years. That does NOT mean, however, that Cupid doesn't bust Henry's chops every once and again. I will elaborate on how Cupid picks on Henry in another episode. But for now, let's just enjoy the unity on the sofa.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Henry had a bad night a few days ago. He had completely fallen back in his anxiety ritual. The whole stand by the door, go potty or go fake potty, come back in, get a treat, pace the house, go back to the front door and repeat. We were shocked. We have no idea where this came from or why out of the blue he just suddenly reverted back to this anxiety soothing behavior. The routine was in place and nothing out of the ordinary (that we could tell) had happened to cause this.
Oh the worry of this, though! Was this a sign that all of our progress was going to be undone? Was he just going to revert back and we were going to have to start all over with baby stepping into things again?! That night he was amped up at bed time instead of being a sleepy head. He demanded a bonus bowl of food. He was all over the place. We started to panic. But we went to our tool box. We whipped out the lavender oil and slathered it all over him (like we do each morning before we are off to work), gave him a rub down, turned out the lights and hoped for the best. And it worked! He was able to get settled into bed for the evening and while the next morning was not 100% ideal, he was able to work his way back into his new good boy routine. A day or 2 after later he was getting back to normal (but who the heck knows what normal is these days?).
I'm telling you, I think he just does stuff to toy with us! Is it possible that he does this just to get a rise from us and good blind dog laugh on the inside? This might be an avoidance method for us to handle that because the real reason is too scary. The reality is that he is living in a house of cards right now more than we'd like to admit. If he could have regressed that much at something completely unnoticeable to us, then it's just going to show that we still have a lot of work to do and we have started to count our chickens before they have indeed hatched. C'mon, H! You've got this. You are a big brave dog. #HenryStrong
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Welcome to ask OBP! I am pleased to say that we had a couple of questions last week! The first one came from Christine. She asked if our pugs liked milk. This is not something that we have really ever tried. And not with any type of milk. When we had our boys as puppies they had a lot of tummy trouble and it was recommended to limit their dairy intake (they would have a little bit of yogurt or cottage cheese in their bowls but that would be all the dairy they would be able to withstand). We also have never tried milk with Cupid since our vet said that it was a myth that milk is good for cats. Christine, it is very interesting that your pugs not only enjoy the milk but can also withstand it! Kudos to you and your puggies for having an iron like tummy. Thanks for asking, Christine!
Martha also asked a question. This one was about Henry's weight. Henry weighs 26 pounds. This probably sounds huge to a lot of people. Our vet thinks he is a pretty healthy weight but would not be upset if he shed a pound or 2. Benny, at his heaviest was about 24 pounds (and that was indeed a couple of pounds heavier than he could comfortably carry, but Benny spent the bulk of his adulthood at 21-22 pounds) and Luna was about 16 pounds (and only towards the end did she start to have a hard time keeping her girlish figure). Henry, while weighing the most, has still been the healthiest of them all. And when they were lined up altogether, they would look like little stair steps. Henry is the one of the tallest pugs we have ever seen. At any meet up or any pug event, he has easily been one of the top 3 tallest pugs there. He has long legs and a longish body. So, he carries his weight a little better than most, probably. As he has slowed down with age we are having to be more diligent with his "extras" so as to manage his weight effectively. We do hear a lot that Henry is "so big" and we are never exactly sure if they are nicely saying he is fat or that they actually recognize that he is much taller than "pug standard" and is also not thin. He is a solid, strong dog. And especially when standing next to Luna he would tower over her petite frame. Martha, if you or anyone is concerned about your pup's weight, the best thing to do would be to consult your veterinarian. He/she would likely recommend reducing calories and introducing more exercise. All within safe limits as your pug can withstand. In asking OBP, we always want to clarify that we are just here to make suggestions and share history, but we are not vets and we always make the disclaimer to be sure to talk to your vet when you have concerns with your pet's health. Thank you for your question, Martha!
Our next question comes from Victoria. She asked if we could share her pug Poe's story in hopes that there are OBPers out there that may be able to share some knowledge of PDE (Pug Dog Encephalitis). Below is little Poe's story:
My name is Victoria and I have two beautiful baby boy pugs named Ollie and Poe. Ollie is 10 months old and we have 5 month old Poe. We took Poe home the Sunday before last. He's a happy, crazy, silly, smart, sweet little man. He was diagnosed with an entropian and corneal ulcer (no big deal once corrected surgically and we were prescribed eye medicine to give him twice a day ). He received his Lyme booster and kennel cough booster, his heart guard, a flagyl prescription( high dosage at 125 mg), panacur and frontline that Monday. He had an adverse reaction to the Lyme shot (vomiting over 5 times) and needed a shot of Benadryl and cortisone. This was the same reaction Ollie had when he received this vaccine. The vet wanted to see Poe again that Saturday to check his corneal ulcer with receiving the medication. We took him to the vet that morning and upon bringing him home he hid under our bed. My boyfriend got him and put him on the couch where he started convulsing and foaming at the mouth.... He was unresponsive, sitting up and seizing. This happened 4 times and was sedated at the emergency vet with some Valium. We drove him to another emergency vet that night whose facility had a neurologist. Within an hour of his episodes he was panting, smiling, kissing and running around. He stayed overnight and was monitored for two days. All blood work came back normal; no liver shunt or hyperglycemia. His neurological exam was normal. He was given anti seizure medication while there but amongst conversations with our vet, the neurologist and my partner we felt the best measure with him ONLY being 5 months old was to take him of the medication and see what happens. It has been 5 days with no seizure activity. He's acting as if nothing has happened; active, alert and affectionate. The neurologist said honestly the presentation of epilepsy and PDE is very uncommon at 5 months and his cluster could have been caused by a multitude of reasons. We we're instructed to monitor him and if another episode occurs and MRI & spinal tap must be done. I was wondering if anyone has had a similar story? I've been researching PDE like crazy. I love my sweet boy so much. I'm hoping the seizure was ideopathic.
Any input for Victoria? We feel for poor Poe!
In order to keep Ask OBP going, we need your questions! So, jot down your question in the comment section and we will do our best to answer. And I know we are dragging our feet on the recipe response. We promise that it is not off our radar!
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