Doug got his own place.

You guys know I love the dogs. You also know that I love decorating.  While some argue that Doug’s 2017 jail cell time was hardest on him, I just want to remind everyone the visual assault I went through daily having to see that monstrous jail cell in the middle of the room. I mean sure, I get it, he was in pain and needed to stay still and I was there 24/7 to tend to his needs.  But some days, that jail cell, mocked me.

It hurt my soul. Real bad.

Of course that time is behind us now (please God, no more surgeries) and in 2018, I want tp add another dog. Me wanting another dog, and me being a planner, means I need to work on having two safe spaces for two different dogs. There are those who would say, put the new dog in the mudroom and just let Doug have run of the house. Uh, no. Those of you who would say that are clearly insane and not allowed to vote. Homeboy is not even close to being behaved enough to have run of the house. Not even run of the first floor.  Most days, I say a prayer for the poor mudroom when I leave.

Two safe spaces. The end.

I need to find a spot for Doug (or the new dog) so that I can free up the mudroom (or keep Doug in the mudroom). Clearly you can see I am not sure which dog will go where since currently, only one of those dogs is here and I’ll need to see size and needs of the, at this point, imaginary second dog.

I do not recall how I became aware of Ginny Bins.  I think Instagram recommended me to her page and well Instagram gets me so I checked it out. She makes, in addition to so many other things, custom dog crates. I loved her work but I was hesitant to reach out because her crates were a bit more traditional and/or rustic and I although I realllllllly wanted one, I couldn’t see any of them working with my decorating style.

Around November, I reached out to her (the most awesome Ginny of Ginny Bins ) and I said: hey awesome Ginny-lady, your crates are amazing!  Just one teeny tiny thing, they are a little rustic for me, I like a more modern decor, do you think you could make one that is equally awesome but more the style of my house?

She said yes!

Ginny was a dream to work with and her and her husband hand delivered the crate over the holiday break. There are honestly, VERY FEW THINGS I would allow to take up visual space in the house (from a decorating statndpoint) and this is abosultely one of them.

Some of you have seen it in some of our recent Instagram stories. It’s amazing!

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I thought I was going to have to train Doug to go into it.  I figured we’d take a few weeks to get him comfortable being in it.  The day it arrived, he walked in and took a nap.

Ok, well that was easy.

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This thing is magical. Doug opts to nap in it. WHEN I’M HOME!  It’s also in a great spot. He no loner feels he has to follow me every step I take because he can pretty much keep track of me from all the views of his new digs.

I have yet to shut the door on it (with him inside).  I will also need to relocate the WiFi extender since he will 100% try to remove it from the plug and likely be electroctued.

On days I go into the office, Doug gets 2, half-hour walks, and those walk would probably increase with another dog, so I am not terribly worried about him being in the crate when I’m gone (once we add another dog). Also, one day, maybe, I’m not sure but I hope, I think, probably, althought not for sure but maybe, just maybe, that, perhaps, he will have run of the house, first floor.

For now, he has a condo, and a mudroom and we’ll see where this second dog idea goes. Go check out Ginny Bins (site and social media)! Tell them Doug sent you!

Bob. Take two.

I don’t even know where to start this update.

Bob, the cat that I named before I knew HER gender, is my (well is she really anyones?) feral cat. You’ll recall she was trapped this past spring and I got her fixed at my vet. I put food out for her every night and on occasion we’d run into each other and she’d hiss at me.

I would see Bob around here and there, but never consistently.  Until a month or two ago, when I’d see her every day and the food bowl would be empty each night.

The other day, I got a good look at her and well…now I think there are two Bobs. The new Bob, which I call Bob #2 looks exactly like Bob #1 except that Bob #1 has two eye patches and Bob #2 only has one. Clearly, the numbering of Bob and her eye patches could use some work.

I have heard that good food can change a cat’s coat and coloring but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it cannot erase an eye patch.

I do not know where my life with Bob #1 ended and my life with Bob #2 began. I also, again, do not know Bob #2’s gender.

I’m more than a little worried about Bob #1.

When we trapped the original Bob, it was suspected that she had more kittens than what we found on my neighbors porch. It was likely (unfortunately) that she got trapped before all her kittens were accounted for. My guess is, this may be one of Bob’s kittens.

I do not have any plans to trap Bob #2. I really hope she is a dude.  And gay. (no babies down this path in case you cannot keep up with my logic).

Regardless.  Bob #2 is eating great food, has a condo in my driveway and Doug hates her/him so they are definitely siblings also.

The universe can stop sending me cats at any time now.

Merry and Happy.

The holidays can be lovely, joy filled, and happy.  They can also be challenging, lonely, and heartbreaking.

I always say that best part about any holiday is who you share your couch with.  Sometimes, the couch is full.  Inevitably, someone is missing.

We understand.

This will be our third Christmas without Melvin, and the second without Jake. There are a few tears when I put their ornaments on the tree, but at this point, I’m mostly just grateful that they are both in my heart and that every beat is a chance for me to seek and spread joy in their memory.  Despite their physical absence, I’m blessed to still have a full couch.

Love lives on. But it is not always an easy journey.

We wish you all much love and much laughter this holiday season. To anyone who is dreading the holidays or too sad to celebrate, we send you love and hugs. We’ll hold a spot for you, just in case.

xoxo, Tracey & Doug

PS: If you are wondering what Doug thinks of Christmas, just check out his expression on our card.  It’s the ho-ho-ho version of  F-you.

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Ch, ch, ch, ch, changes.

So many things have changed with Doug this year.

Prior to the surgery, Doug loved the vet. Now he does anything he can to remain in the car when we arrive. His tail is tucked from the moment he walks through the door to the moment he exits that same door. While I get that he had two situations where he arrived at a vet, fell asleep and woke up unable to walk/in pain, I can’t imagine he applies this to every vet. Sure, if he did this only at the surgeon I would understand.  But he does this at our regular vet also. For a dog with ADD, he sure has great memory and focus in this area.

I’d choose to be back in jail over going to the vet. IMG_6244

Prior to the surgery, he didn’t seem to mind the cold all that much, he has jackets and hoodies to keep him warm.  But now I’ve noticed that on colder days, he’s not nearly as mobile. He’s stiff and uncomfortable.  I know he has arthritis (there is no having what he had done and not having arthritis) and I have also heard that all the hardware in his legs could ache in cold temps. He’s not even two yet. Focus on the joy, stay positive. At least he can stand and walk!

Let’s move to Florida. IMG_2074

Earlier this year, Doug was doing great with meeting dogs. Then he got attacked by one (he ended up in doggie ER) and he became, less-good. During surgery restrictions, play time was not allowed. I noticed each time that we were at surgeon or at rehab that he was snarly at other dogs, even lunging a few times. I talked to a few people who said that can happen when a hyper dog goes on lockdown. So, I hoped for the best. Now, I am ready to add a dog (or two!) and Doug is still not doing great meeting them. Long gone are the days where I worried a dog could keep up with Doug (or that my house would collapse), now I just want one who he can co-exist with.

Remember when that dog wolverined my nose? IMG_3706

What I know is that he does not do well with dogs bigger than him. And females are for the most part, are not his favorite either. You know who he does well with? Male puppies/male younger dogs (and some male dogs that are smaller than him). Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy? When will I have a dog that shares in my love of big, old dogs? When? No seriously, it is a question.

As it turns out, there are a lot of young dogs in our area in need of a home. There are a likely always puppies/young dogs available and I just never notice them as I go right to older dogs. Ideally, I’d like to add two dogs. I mean I entertain the idea of adding two younger dogs (plus Doug) and I’ll think I can do it and then about 20 min later I’m looking up definitions of insanity and they show a photo of someone with 2-3 young dogs.

Please give me a puppy to eat play with. IMG_7171

 

 


Thankful. Grateful. Blessed.

There are so many things I am thankful for.

I’m thankful for beautiful sunsets sent by angels. For surgeons who know their shit. I’m thankful for Peanut Butter City and a dog who can now run zoomies again. For sushi and salt and vodka. I’m thankful for my family, for friendship and beautiful moments realized.

I’m thankful for rescue, vets. vet techs and tranquilizers. For leashes that hold up, for healthy treat options and for photographs. I’m thankful for Instagram stories, Facebook and blogging. I’m thankful for you. For this community, for constant support and understanding.

I’m really thankful for laughter and love. And random acts of kindness.

I’m thankful for good hair days, handbags, boots and cold-snuggly nights. I’m thankful for the kids in my life.  I’m thankful for all the dogs, and a cat named Bob.

I’m thankful for memories, for giving hearts, and that love lives on.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo credit: Bev Hollis54342NNhol112204-R4-057-Edit

Photo credit: Bridgette E. PhotographyBT4A9990

Photo credit: Kate Juliet Photography kate_juliet_photography_pets_melvin_022836v2-2

Vet visit 10,591.

As Doug’s legs have gotten better, I started noticing that he is having some other issues. My general rule for vet visits is that 1. If it seems like an emergency, it is an emergency and we go right away.  2. If it something shows up (but not a 911) and persists, we go.  Doug’s latest symptoms have shown up, then gone away, then shown up a few weeks later for a day or two, then gone away. So it took me a little while to realize that in this case, persisting was defined a little differently.

  • He throws up. Not daily. Sometimes less than once a week. But enough that I can say ‘regularly’.
  • He has runny poops or poops that start out good then go runny.  This will happen once and then he’ll be fine for a week then it will happen again for maybe two times then not happen again for two weeks. (This one made a little more sense to me. As he has come off tie down and gone back to his normal exploring mode, things go in that shouldn’t).
  • He has a cough. He will cough one day, then not again for a week, then maybe throughout one day, and not again for several days.
  • He rarely has any of these issues at the same time.

All of the above started after his last surgery but also after he came off all his meds and as he was becoming  more active. Then last week he was just off.  He was hyper one day then completely lethargic the next day. And I could tell he was nauseous from the amount of drool he was producing. So off to the vet we went.

Take me to the vet woman. IMG_7171

I listed out all of the things for the vet and I mentioned how he never had any stomach upset with surgery or pain meds and that I thought it was odd that all of this started as he came off meds.

The vet found the timing to be very suspect. All of his symptoms (other than the poop part) could point to his esophagus being irritated during the last surgery when they put in or removed the breathing tube. He felt the on and off again could indicate it healing then flaring, repeat, repeat, repeat. So we started on some meds to coat his digestive tract, some meds to tamper down acid production and some meds to help with the poops. He also got a nausea shot that night and we went home with nausea medication.

The first few days on the meds were just more of the same. But by day 3 or 4, Doug was remarkably better and WAY CRAZIER than usual.  I could tell he was feeling better. The only thing that is persisting is the cough.  I know this cough, Jake had it when he was going through radiation and having anesthesia (and thus a breathing tube) daily.

The next step, since the meds did seem to help, will be to scope him and see whats going on. Is there inflammation in his esophagus?  Is it limited to there or does he perhaps have an ulcer.  Is it something else all together?

The only thing I  know for sure is that getting insurance on Doug is the best things I have EVER done.

I’m gonna take a nap but you need to keep working so you can pay for my insurance. IMG_7352

Doug’s corner. Featuring, Doug.

Heyyyyyyyy my people!  I’m out of jail and living the good life!

Where to start?…

So a few (dog) years ago she got all I’m the boss of you and now I’m going to kidnap you in your own house and put you in this jail cell and oh wait some stranger is going to cut your leg open and its going to hurt and you won’t be able to walk or run or jump or be a dog and the moment its healed he’s going to cut the other leg open and you will live a life of de ja vu and I’m still the boss of you and you will like it and I’ll keep a leash on you at all times and no running and stay still and sleep down here alone and seriously no running, not even thoughts of running including but not limited to memories of running!

She’s the worst. Well at least for this part of the update she’s the worst. Don’t even try to disagree with me unless your mother is also addicted to having surgery done on you.  No one? Thought so.

I mean sure, she came in the jail cell with me. And fine, she made me some pretty incredible treats.  And there were all those times she took me to Peanut Butter City and hello, that place is heaven on earth! They have Beckys there. I mean you gotta get you own Becky cause I got my Becky but there is also a Becky there named Jessie that I really liked too, anywhooooo, yeah, Smother is ok I guess.

Also, I graduated from rehab!  But she promises we can still go back and visit my harem. IMG_7302 (1)

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Where was I? Oh, right, I’m freeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Like she always says, forward is the best direction. So forwards is where I go.  Does it count if your forwards is a really fast zoomie circle?

The leg scars make me look incredibly rugged. I can tell the ladies love it. She dressed me up as something called Franken(leg)weenie for Halloween and she drew some lines on me that look like more scars and then she found out that stuff does not wash off easily so now it looks like faded tattoos and I’m not gonna lie, I like it. A lot.  I look like a damn badass.  IMG_7448

She says I’m not really a bad ass because I’m afraid of wind. She’s dumb.

Also, I love blankets now.  And not just as a snack! IMG_7268

So… I’M FREE!  I’M FREE! I’M FREE!

She keeps trying to introduce me to dogs (and Jake keeps whispering to me in my sleep that I should not, under any circumstance, fall for it or allow it).  Who should I listen to?

Gotta run, she just went upstairs so its time to eat another shoe!