Hi, I’m Jake.

I guess I’m staying here.  I used to have a life somewhere else.  I had a mom and a dad and a yellow lab brother.  They didn’t have a lot of time for me.  One day someone came to get me and even though my mom cried, she also let me go.  I went to a house with a new mom and dad and another Yellow Lab.  There was also another Frenchie there.  I thought maybe I was going to live there but then She came to get me and now I live with yet another Yellow Lab.  Is there a Yellow Lab in every house in America?  Do they just come with the house?

I didn’t unpack my (emotional) bags right away cause I figured I was going to go to a planet of Yellow Labs another house.  But with each day I seem to be learning things that indicate I’m staying.  That’s cool.  I like it here.  She is a calm person so I don’t have to do the thing where when someone come towards me, I run away.  I mean I can just stay in the space I’m in and She will either stop and pet me or she’ll walk by me and it’s all good.  My inner spaz  seems to settle down here.  Also, there are A LOT of dog beds here and fatty Yellow Lab brother barely uses any of them!

There are a few things that I don’t LOVE

  1. I have to stay in a small room behind a gate when She’s gone.  He gets to run around the whole house like he owns the place.  I guess maybe he’s too fat to fit in this room.  Some days I pretend he’s the one behind the gate and I laugh and laugh and then right when I’m really cracking myself up he does a drive by and I realize this is how inmates must feel.  
  2. She does not enjoy my leash pulling.  Apparently she does not feel the need to freeze like a statue then pull like a maniac if she sees another dog, person, squirrel or piece of trash blowing in the wind.  That makes me wonder about her.  I mean you see one of those things and you stop, statue, pull.  Doy.  So now she makes me wear a gentle (uh whatever) leader harness.  She says that walks now make her want to drink less. I say, give me back my bronco buck moves!  Also, the harness is purple.  I’m a man. I realize Yellow dog is a rainbow flag waver but I like the ladies and purple does not match my manly macho moves.
  3. My new brother.  What is up with that dude?  He does not like to play, I mean it’s not even like he’ll play for one minute then stop.  He. Just. Won’t. Play. Is he dead inside?  Is he a robot?  Sometimes I ram his butt with my head and I can feel his butt cheeks clench like he’s trying to cut my head off.  I shall just continue to try to break him down, I’m sure he’s just playing hard to get.  I know She seems to really like him so I need to win him over.

I get fed pretty good food here, I like all the walks, She loves on me and she’s trying really hard to find a jacket that fits me (we are on jacket 7 and she still keeps trying) so I guess I’ll stay for a while longer.  I’m faster than Yellow dog so I’m pretty sure he won’t be able to eat me.


Kindness and gratitude.

A few weeks ago, one of our blogger family members lost her heart dog, Brutus.  Many of you probably read M’s blog.  She writes with such a gentleness, you can feel in her words how much she loves her family — four-legged and two.  Brutus had been sick and M and her hubby knew their time would be too short.  That never makes it easier.

M was reading about Melvin’s liver issues and when I mentioned that he was taking a liver supplement, she immediately reached out to me to say they had a bottle leftover.  She wanted Melvin to have it.  Love. Love. Love.

The package arrived today and I’m grateful for many things.  For her thinking of Melvin, when you have dog that is at the vet several times a month, these acts of kindness help so much. I’m grateful for M and her generous heart, right down the cute packaging and her indication that rattling was ‘okay’.  Most especially, I’m grateful for all things Brutus.  Heart dogs make us better people.


So far, so good.

The boys continue to do great!  We had a training session that went terribly but we have recovered.  The only reason I thought a trainer would be a good idea is that it’s a been a while since I’ve had two dogs and even then, Max was at the end and Melvin was a banshee so it’s not even an apple to bananas comparison.  I just wanted a 101 on what was normal dog noises and behavior (between the two) and what needed my intervention.  (Sidenote:  Rough play is not allowed in this house so that was never going to the be the issue).  But any-who, the trainer actually set us back a few days (and set me back one furry, lovely throw that Jake raped with poop during the session).  Ahhhhhhhhh, living and learning.

Christmas was awesome. And challenging.  It’s a full house, gifts galore, food dropping on floor (and being thrown by an adorable two-year-old) and a perfect abundance of holiday chaos.  I spent most of the time a tad on edge being sure Melvin didn’t eat anything and making sure Jake wasn’t overwhelmed, being taunted or causing trouble.  It all went well but it was a bit like being in a mosh-pit with eggs taped to you.  Still, being with family is the icing on awesome so I’d go back and do it all over in a heartbeat.

Now that we are home, we start on project, Let’s Lose the Tie-down!  I’m excited to see how this goes.  I still feel like I’ve disrupted Melvin’s life and that causes me guilt.  I know that having Jake on tie-down has helped Melvin acclimate as much as it has helped Jake settle into life here.  I also know taking Jake off tie down is probably going to be more positive for Jake than Melvin.  Oh, there it is, more guilt.  But it’s time.  And we’ll figure it out!


“I think tie-down should last forever.”


Jake’s first minutes off tie-down were spent like this.

Tuesday with Melvin: Is he just visiting?

I thought for certain when I got the belly aches and abnormal blood tests that She would give whats-his-name back to whoever dumped him here.  But no.  My butt stings from constant pooping and that dude is still here.

Is he terrible?  No.  She puts him in jail during the day, so I’m pretty sure he knows this house is mine.  He can have the mudroom, I have the couch and the big bed!  He’s also tied to the table (She told me not to type that because it sounds bad but isn’t) but it’s true.  I can run and bark at brown truck man and the little dude just sits there, close to the table, cause he has too.  HA HA!

I’m bigger than him but I don’t think he knows that.  I’m most definitely not faster than he is but I look much more handsome and distinguished when running and that is much more important than speed.  Also, he keeps ramming my butt with his head and I’m like ‘stop that, it’s gross, don’t be creepy”.

He’s a noisy SOB.  At first I thought he was always growling at me and I was like ‘no you diyant just growl at me’ but then I realized that his face is all messed up like it got smashed into a brick wall so he makes a lot of snorty noises.  And boy does he snore. Dear Santa, me needs some noise canceling headphones.

We are not friends but we are not enemies either.  She is mine and he seems to think She is his so I think that is where our biggest challenge lies. OK fine, I heard her say that so I repeated it.

All I know is that treats have increased while he’s been here as have the phrases “good dogs”, “be nice”, “make good decisions”  and “stop that”.  Whatevs, we’ll see.  I know fer sure that I ain’t going nowhere.

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Mirror, mirror.

In the past two weeks I have started seeing so many similarities between Melvin and Jake.

  1. Neither of them knows their own size. If you (could) pick 80 lb. Melvin up, he is a heap of dog jello.  He melts into you as if he has no bones, which makes it difficult to remain upright.  If you pick 30 lb. Jake up, he forms a stone statue.  Legs rigid, unable to bend. He’s a manageable size to hold, yet, not.
  2. They both love food.  Yay! And, they both liquid burp after eating.  Boo!
  3. Noises that come from them both are unnatural. I always joked that I should have named Melvin, Chewbacca.  He could do voice overs in the next Star Wars.  Jake snores and snorts so loudly that you can feel the vibrations from across the room.
  4. They both love to sleep in.  Thank the good Lord!
  5. Both graduated, with honors, from the school of ‘when you drink, get equal parts of water in your mouth to what you get on the floor’.
  6. They both look to me for guidance, especially when we are all trying to move forward. Walk, walk, stop and look to me for confirmation we should still walk, as I trip over both of them.
  7. Their love for me is very deep, we are seeking a trainer to assist with this so that it does not cause issue.

The main difference thus far…

  1. Doorways.  Melvin could live his life standing in a doorway.  He loves to block all doors from closing and thus me from leaving.  Jake on the other hand seems to have a fear of doorways as he slows down upon approach and then bullets through as if trying to avoid time warp. Usually this culminates in Melvin pausing in the doorway just as Jake speeds up and Jake ends up ramming Melvin’s butt with his head.  I am almost certain that one day, Jake’s head will end up in Melvin’s butt.  He may need a helmet.

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Making a list, not checking it twice.

It has been a rough week in this home.  Let’s just say that diarrhea is difficult to get out of shag carpet and leave it at that.

I was laying in bed last night going over all the things Melvin and I have been through together (medically) in the past four years.  I must be insane because the whole recap made me laugh….

( * = multiple times)

  • Yeast infections ******
  • Mange
  • Giardia *****
  • Severe allergies *****************************************
  • Skin infections **************
  • Hair loss
  • Diarrhea **************
  • Bloody Diarrhea *******
  • Vomiting **********
  • Regurgitation *****************************************
  • Nausea ***************************************
  • Seizures *
  • Tremors ****
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unexplained weight gain (me and him on this one)
  • Unexplained exhaustion
  • Infected anal glands **
  • Brain MRI
  • Spinal tap
  • Ultrasounds ***
  • X-rays *******
  • Tail amputation

Is anyone currently confused as to how I came to name this blog, “Oh Melvin”?

Today we added a visit with another awesome specialist, Dr. Miller, Internist.  She did a work up on him, including ultrasound.  There were no visible tumors (yay!) and she does not feel it is Cushing’s.  Unfortunately his blood work suggests something is going on (liver counts that are way, way too high and have been for a while) so after the holidays and after another blood test, we are going to do a liver biopsy.

In the meantime she is starting him on treatment for colitis and gave us pain meds for his obvious discomfort.  He’s also starting on a liver supplement.

That is all I know.  We are doing good, much better than the shag carpet.  Thank you for your well wishes and check-ins.  I love our blog community so friggen much!

When pets are sick.

This week my brother and sister-in-law had to take their cat to The Hope Center (one of the premiere emergency pet facilities in our area).  Poor Ginger had a 105 degree fever, was not eating and was clearly not doing well.  The emergency vet decided they needed to keep Ginger, thus started her treatment and care.  This is the precise moment that pet parents realize, they are going home without their four-legged child. Note to the universe: Vets should be allowed to administer Valium to humans.

I have always applauded hospitals for encouraging and allowing parents to stay when their children when they get admitted.  It is the right thing to do.  Unfortunately for pet parents, the accommodations are not as inviting (nor do they allow it — although I did once try to spend the night with Max while he was at the same Hope Center by trying to fit in his cage with him).  Crazy person on aisle eight.

Leaving our buddies for overnight care is overwhelming.  They are in emergency care, usually the doctors are still trying to figure out what is going on and that is the exact moment you have to leave them.  An infinite number of ‘what ifs’ flood you as you leave your sweet dog or cat in the care of, in this case, strangers.  I challenge anyone to not cry on the walk out to the parking lot.

Ginger is doing slightly better although not out of the woods and they still do not know what is causing her to be sick.  Also, for the record, they still don’t make cages large enough for pet and parent. Boo!

How adorable is she!!!?


All tied up.

(Apologies for blurry photos, I gotta get the picture while I can!)

We are officially in tie-down mode!  And it’s going great! One challenge with the set up of the house is that no matter where I put Jake (preferably in a place he can watch/learn the goings on of the house), he is blocking a walkway.  But all in all that has been a good thing as it has given the boys time to do drive-bys at close proximity.

The very first minute of tie-down training, Melvin decided he liked the floor pillow that I bought for him two months ago.  Despite the fact that up until Jake showing interest in the pillow, Melvin has never once laid on it.


On second location tie-down, Jake sat like a statue for almost half-an-hour before he gave in and took a load off.  Melvin of course tried to show him how it’s done, from a safe distance.


We had a repeat performance of statue and big-brother-watching-from-above in the bedroom tie-down.  IMG_2986IMG_2988IMG_2989

I keep waiting for something between the boys to transpire but as of yet it has not.  I am under the impression it will (which makes me a realist or fatalist or both but either way I spend time being ready). Both dogs are very relaxed with the process we are taking to acclimate them to a life together so I feel victorious in general!   I’m curious how long tie-down phase lasts, what is the success metric for moving forward?

Oh Christmas Tree.

I love all things Christmas!  I have been collecting tree ornaments, pretty much since birth.  As children,  our next door neighbor used to make us ornaments for our ‘future tree’.  Every single ornament on my tree is one-of-a-kind (for the tree, not one-of-a-kind for the whole world!) and I can tell you where I got each and every one.

Over the years there have been many dog ornaments added, both purchased and received as gifts.  This year, the dogs got their own tree.  There is only one dog ornament that had to go on the big tree.  It’s a real dog bone with shellac over it that has Max’s name on it.  Melvin can smell a 10-year-old dog bone, covered in a chemical used to preserve it, and has jumped up to try to eat it no less than 75 times.