Bob.

You will recall that there is a feral cat in my neighborhood that I named Bob.  I feed Bob and I bought Bob a cat condo.  It’s comical, because I’m deathly allergic to cats, but Bob deserves for someone to love him/her and luckily, I am not allergic to love.

There have been several attempts to trap Bob in order to get him/her fixed and vetted.  No luck. So I have just continued to put food out every night. About a month ago I noticed that Bob was getting pretty chunky (no judgement) and realized that Bob was probably pregnant (still no judgment). In the past week, Bob has been very demanding about food.  S/he will loud meow (this is a very technical term) outside my window.  We have a little routine.  S/he demands food, I go outside to fill up the bowl while s/he hides, then when I go inside, s/he eats. Whatever Bob wants.

Bob looking ‘plump’. IMG_3814

This weekend, a neighbor found kittens on her deck.  Bob was watching them from the woods.

Bob’s a mom!

The theory is that Bob lives in the sewer.  She had her kittens there but when the rains picked up here, she moved them to higher ground.

A lot happened in the 24 hours following the kitten discovery. The kittens were taken into rescue.  They are about 3-4 weeks old. Bob was trapped and has been reunited with her babies.  She will continue to nurse them for a bit longer.  Then I will take Bob to our vet to have her vetted and spayed and microchipped to me. We will then introduce her to my backyard and garage (temperature controlled) to see if she would like to call it home. Due to my allergies, that is the best I can offer her. I’ll continue to feed her as long as she continues to come here to eat.  If it’s determined that Bob could be a house cat, then we would love to get her adopted out, but that is unlikely.  Bob likely prefers to be undomesticated. The kittens will be adopted out.

Also, her name is staying Bob. It’s part of her story.

Bob in the trap. IMG_4259 (1)

Reunited with her babies!

Mom love.

Who runs the world? Mom.

There is nothing in the world like Mom love, not for me anyway. Every single effort I make or have made for the boys, is because my mom showed me what it felt like to be loved unconditionally.

So to all the moms, you are the glue. You are the icing.  You are the love.

Happy Mother’s day to moms of two-legged children. To moms of three and four-legged loves. To moms who have young kids, to moms whose kids have left their beautiful nest.

To the moms who have lost children. To those who have lost moms.

Happy Mother’s day to the male moms. Happy Mother’s day to those who are about to become moms. To the moms with no kids, who help to mother those around them. To the next generation of moms, may they be fierce.

In the spirit of love living on, Mom love lives on too.  Whether your mom is with you still, or gone, the mom love in us lives and grows and impacts us in ways we notice and in ways we sometimes overlook.

To my mom, you are all the beautiful moments, all the love that surrounds me. You are my goodness and my strength and my laughter.  I’m a good mom because you have been the best mom.

And to my boys, who made me a dog mom, well there is nothing in the world I am more grateful for than you.

xoxo to you all!

When exhaustion wins.

Doug is confined to the first floor for at least three months. I slept with him downstairs for a few nights but now I lay with him until he falls asleep, then I go upstairs.

I go upstairs so I can get some real rest.  But for some reason (the reason is that I’m cray), I don’t sleep all that much.  I watch Doug on camera. I let him sleep in the donut which is about 80% good at keeping him from licking his leg but 100% good at him sleeping more soundly. Still, I watch the camera throughout the night to be sure he does not lick, or get his leg stuck in the pen, or anything else I can make up that will probably never happen. Yet still, I watch.

Last week, I dozed off while watching the camera. I was awoken to the noise of Doug repositioning and having a hard time of it. I lifted my head to see what the noises were about and, I SAW A PERSON WALKING OUT OF THE MUDROOM – AT 3AM!

There are a lot of things that could have happened at this point. I mean until you are faced with an intruder, who knows what the response will be. Here is what I did. (The real F word will be replaced with more family friendly F words for this recap of events):

I leapt from my bed screaming, GET THE FUDGE AWAY FROM MY DOG YOU FORKER! I WILL FRIENDING KILL YOU, YOU MOTHER FINGER!  I WILL FROGGING CUT YOUR THROAT! WHERE ARE YOU FRITO-NUT??! 

I went tearing down the steps, screaming the above. I could feel veins in my head popping and there was no oxygen.

I would like to add here that I’m against violence. I cannot watch movies with even mild violent content.  But if you are a person (or a bug) going towards my dogs with bad intention, I will frosting cut you.

Once I got downstairs, no one was there.

The alarm was still on and all the sensors were good, none of them had been tripped. I checked the security video from the other rooms, nothing. For a brief minute I thought maybe the video from the cameras was on a loop to fool me.  WHO THE HELL DID I THINK WAS BREAKING INTO MY HOUSE? JASON BOURNE?

Doug was not sure what was happening but it made him wiggle with delight. Party at 3am!

Exhaustion got the best of me. I imagined I saw someone in the house because the video was rendering when I looked at it. After a quick sit on the couch to allow the heart attack to fully play out, and a few minutes pondering why I didn’t bring as much as a shoe downstairs as a weapon (what was my plan on this one???) I went back up to bed and tried to pretend I was normal.  In my defense (who am I kidding), I’m not used to the dogs sleeping downstairs.  They have always been upstairs with me.  Also, (now I’m really reaching) when we are out in public, some people are a little too interested in Doug. We have been to adoption events where people follow us and I try to explain to them that Doug is not an adoptable. One even asked if I could take their number in case he ever is. (Wait, what??). So at this moment in Crazytown, I assumed someone had followed us home.  Even though Doug had not been off our property for over a week.

Signed, Doug’s ninja sleep deprived mom.

Maybe I paid someone to jailbreak me. Ever think of that? You ruin everything, mother. IMG_4183

 

 

Hello ER, I did not miss you.

Seven-months and one day, that is how long it took for Doug to have his first ER vet visit. Much, much longer than it took his brothers, something I had not missed at all. In fact, the last time I’d been at the same ER, in the same exact room, was when Jakey ruptured his eye ulcer.

I have been taking Doug to a local sanctuary shelter on the weekend. It gives us a chance to meet dogs over and over and see how they progress (and it makes Doug tired!). I’ve learned a lot about how dogs react to Doug and at the same time I’ve become more confused about how some dogs react to Doug. When it goes well, it’s easy to say yay. The confusion is among dogs who get to know him for a few minutes and then decided, no thank you. In sort of a big NO THANK YOU way. When it goes bad, I have found for the most part, it is the other dog that doesn’t react well to something about Doug and then Doug may or may not react to that reaction. The confusion is, what is it that Doug does that causes the other dog to have a problem.  Of the five dogs where there has been a problem, there was only one dog where Doug did not like the other dog (a male) and Doug was the instigator.  The other four (all female), liked him and then suddenly did not like him. These were all meet and greets so it’s not like they had spent too much time together. And for the record, play Doug does not come out right away.  He saves that for later. None of the ladies had met play Doug yet, but maybe they could sense it was coming.

On Sunday we had a second play session with a dog. He and Doug did great.  We then decided to meet one of the new dogs that had just come off of quarantine.   She was a tiny thing at about 35 lbs (probably a few months older than Doug). She had not been spayed yet so we were not sure how Doug would respond to her. He pretty much ignored her. She was more interested in sniffing him and then they both just did their own thing.  Good, right?  It was so good, that we started talking about how good it was.

That is when she dove into Doug’s face.

I honestly don’t remember much about those 5-10 seconds. She lunged, Doug’s head tried to move back, there was a ball of confusion and then the volunteer lifted the dog off of the ground, and thus, off of Doug. That is when I saw all the blood.

I ripped my cast off and used the wrap part to apply pressure to his nose. I got a water bottle to clean it and to try to tell if there were multiple blood sources.  I kept my voice normal ‘you’ll be fine bud – it’s ok bud – let’s get you to the vet bud’.

I got him into the car and started driving. I saw him move to the back of the SUV and cower. I thought to myself, no. NO. I had to mend this moment. I pulled over, got treats out, got into the back with him and turned the situation around. There is no need to cower, just wiggle babe, moms got you. You are fine and that situation is over and hey, here are more treats.

He wiggled towards the front as I got us back on the road.

I was told quickly that the mouth and nose bleed a lot, and that made me feel instantly better. They cleaned him up and it looked way less dramatic. He was unable to walk on one leg but there was nothing structurally wrong with it, likely just a muscle pull. His nose would heal. His mouth would heal. We got an antibiotic and pain meds and headed out.

He was a little off the rest of the night but I’m not sure I’d expect otherwise. I got him tucked into a well padded bed that I knew he would bleed all over (he did) and he fell right to sleep.

I went in to wash his blood off of me. Then I cried.

I hope this doesn’t change him.

I hope he still wiggles with delight when we see other dogs.

I hope he continues to loosely walk on leash.

I hope his joy continues to multiply every day he exists.

Those were the concerns my tears spoke to me.

I don’t know if this was ‘bad enough’ to disrupt any of who Doug is. I know he felt pain, I know he was scared, but from a human perspective, I think he felt calmness and cared for so most of me thinks he will bounce back. We’ll test him out with some of his friends to be sure.

I the meantime, I will over think why girl dogs do not seem to love Doug. I’m sure he does something that they dislike, it’s just not an obvious something that I can help him work on. The other dog did not have a scratch on her, I’m so happy about that. Part of me feels like the dog search is on hold, part of me says this was more than nothing but it doesn’t have to be something.

All of the parts of me are swirling right now. We’ll get it worked out.

Until then, Doug is fine. He will heal.

Here he is all cleaned up.  He won’t let me lift up his jowls so no photos of those wounds. IMG_3696IMG_3706

Doug and other dogs.

I have not fully accepted that I have a dog that loves other dogs. No wait, I’ve accepted it, I just tend to forget. After years of having a leash-reactive-didn’t-enjoy-the-company-of-other-dogs-never-once-play-bowed dog (Melvin), and a hunter of ALL animals that were not Melvin (Jake), I still tend to go into oh no mode when we run into, are approached by or even set up playdates or meet & greets.

It’s been A LONG time, since I have had a dog that pulls towards other dogs in a good way.  In fact, I know the date, It was September 19, 2008. The day Max died. That is how long it has been.

Doug loves other dogs. Loves. He cannot get enough of them, even when they perhaps have had enough of him.

Sitting is boring. IMG_3615

I try to take Doug with me on the weekends whenever I can. 1. to dog friendly places so that he can mingle with creatures of his own kind and 2. to continue our training of don’t chew on human feet.  On the latter, we always ask for willing participants, we don’t just dive in!

We have met some great dogs on our travels, Doug has loved them all. We have met some dogs that were, despite their owners saying otherwise, not so well-behaved. Doug loved them all. We have had some dogs lunge and snarl and even attack Doug. You guessed it, after a brief WTF moment, Doug just starts to wiggle and wants to try again with them. He’s like a perpetually drunk, super fun, frat guy that you just can’t be mad at because he’s so flipping cray and now he’s leaping off the roof into the pool.

Laying down is boring. IMG_3595

Here is where Doug and I differ the most. He is an extrovert. I am not. Well, all the tests will tell you I’m 50/50 introvert/extrovert but Doug is 15,000,000% extrovert. Trust me, we don’t pull energy from the same social situations.

On our search for the next dog, we have a few things working for and against us.

Working for us:

  • Doug.
  • Doug.
  • Doug.
  • My willingness to meet and greet with any and all dogs.
  • Time. We are in no rush.

Working against us:

  • Doug’s unrelenting energy. He tends to bring out the worst in some dogs who otherwise would not play as hard as him as they are suddenly thrown into the ring of Doug doesn’t stop. Even when they beg for mercy, Doug still wants to play. We are still searching for the dog that will play, but then will stop and will communicate to Doug to leave them be and stop pouncing on me in a NO SERIOUSLY, STOP way.
  • My not wanting two Dougs. One is plenty.
  • Me realizing that the next dynamic duo in this house, won’t be Melvin and Jake. This one took a while for me to figure out. With each dog we meet, I am faced with knowing that the next two, no matter how much I want it or need it, won’t be like my little soulful, odd couple were. I accept this, the next duo should be who they are, wholeheartedly. But I’m human and I miss Melvin and Jake as a pair and well…it takes time.
  • Doug’s unrelenting energy, take two.

I like that we are meeting a lot of dogs and that Doug is getting to know his tribe.  When I brought Melvin home to Max, I didn’t have to really think about their lifetime together, Max’s time was short. When I brought Jake home to Melvin, I was brining Jake home to the dog that would love any dog that I did and a dog that would have the patience to tolerate Jake as he worked out all his demons. The dog we add now, well chances are good that Doug and that dog will have more than just a few years together. Chances are good they will have some growing pains as siblings and chances are, they will break some shit in their wake. I know this because no matter what dog I add, Doug will be a part of the duo. Doug brings the joy and the funk and some well deserved destruction to this life.

Starring out the window, looking for his next sibling…IMG_3565

 

 

Where did we go?

This past week has been buuuuussssssyyyyyyy! Here a quick recap to explain our absence:

  • I was still in vacation mode.
  • We got house guests, two-legged and four. The four legger did not love Doug.  I’m not even sure she moderately liked Doug.  So it was gating and rotating.
  • I got a three-day migraine. Fun!
  • I fractured my hand. Doug was not responsible. My clumsiness reigns supreme.
  • My new work schedule started.  I now go into the office three days a week.

That last one has been the biggest change for me and for Doug. Not so much for me that there is a change to where I work during the day, but for me in that I worry how it will impact Doug.

What is worrying?IMG_3552

Doug has energy. We know this. When I’m in the home office, he keeps himself busy on various floors and rooms of the house. He plays with toys, he runs zoomies, he chews pillows (I can hear you, Doug!). He goes out back and runs more zoomies. But unfortunately, when I leave, Doug has not earned run of the house yet. He is still gated in the mudroom.

  • I leave.
  • He eats his Kong.
  • He repositions on his indestructible bed that had I to buy because he is, well, a destructor.
  • After an hour or so he wakes up and wants to chew. He avoids the toys and chews I leave him and instead chews the bed (fixed that), the rug, the legs to the indestructible bed.
  • Nap.
  • Repeat chewing.
  • Nap.
  • You get it.

So I set him up to have a half hour walk mid-morning and another mid-afternoon. I leave new Kongs for those visits. I check in on him to be sure he is behaving. IMG_3544

I have tried leaving him on the first floor in the house. I take all the pillows up. He ignores his toys and goes right for the couch cushions. Or the shag rug. Or the acrylic dining chairs. Napping in between each one. Why, Doug, why?

I would never eat these pillows, they feel way too comfy on my parts. IMG_3540

So this is what I have been doing for the last week, worrying and strategizing on how to make this work transition, easier for my boy. I’ve also been missing Jakey this week.  Oh grief, this week, you win.

We will be back to our regular blogging schedule next week! We have some meet and greets to tell you about.

Happy weekend!

 

Flashback Friday: to that time when Jake had a hole in his eyeball.

How was this one year ago?


The eye emergency: Part 1

Posted on August 12, 2015

Saturday: Jake’s eye with the little ulcer had improved. Jake’s eye with the ‘very deep’ (seriously, they repeated the very deep part about 15 times) was not improving. We’d been doing eye drops for about four days and they expected to see improvement with both. So, they took Jake’s blood, and made eye drops out it. I 100% expected the drops to look like blood and that after I put the drops in Jake’s eyes, he would look like one of the vampires in True Blood when they cried. (In case you didn’t see True Blood, the vampires cried blood). Instead, the drops were a milky liquid derived from his blood. And in a test tube. Add this to the list of things I never expected when I became a dog mom.

Sunday: We woke up, I fed him and then got him up on the couch for his eye drops (this is also known as the time he thrashes around like I am performing an exorcism on him). After I put the drops in, I looked into both eyes (knowing full well I had no idea what I was looking at or knowing if I’m qualified to notice a change). The left eye seemed fine. His right eye, the one with the deep ulcer, had A HOLE IN IT. I looked around the room and thought, it must be a reflection of a light or something, THERE CANNOT BE A GAPING HOLE IN HIS EYE. But there it was, a perfectly round hole and I could see into it and it was deep. No one had mentioned a hole but I knew it wasn’t good (I’m that smart). We were at the ER 20 min later.

ER: The ER was packed but they put Jake in a room immediately and the dr came in pretty quick. When Melvin and Jake are your dogs, you know the ER vets by name. He looked at Jake’s eye and said ‘it’s bad’ and left the room to call the ophthalmologist for an emergency consult. When he left, he told me to hold Jake very still, that any sudden movement could rupture his eye. Uh…what? I’m not qualified. I held him and then as any parent would do, I replayed all the sudden movements he’d had since seeing the hole. I then had a silent conversation with my crazy self that I of course didn’t try to rupture his eye and that I didn’t know there shouldn’t be sudden movements and then I continued along the silent conversation route saying there was no way to not jar him a little when putting him in his car seat since his body is not flimsy, it’s more like a cinderblock. And then I had an out loud conversation with Jake about how I needed him to hold his eye together. Crazy person, room three. The doctor came back and said he’d consulted with two ophthalmologists and both agreed that Jake should be admitted, sedated and have emergency surgery the next day. I sorta knew this was coming since they day the ulcer formed. My dogs like to push the limits on how far they can take each health conundrum.

Sidenote: You all know the extent of vet visits I have had with both boys. There are very few things we have not faced and very few tests we have not had. We have been to the ER so many times, I lost count. There have been surgeries, MRIs, Spinal taps and issues that vets had never seen before. Melvin almost had to have a lung lobe removed for cripes sake! But never, ever, never (and I don’t know how this is possible) but never have I had to leave a dog overnight. So I started sobbing. SOBBING. Which turned into an ugly cry and mumbling about things that didn’t even make sense to me. (For example, we were currently in the room that I was with my friend Virginia in when we thought we’d have to put her beagle MollieAnne down and I had gone out to get her (the dog) fast food and the only fast food close by was Roy Rogers and the cheeseburger and fries I brought her that night brought her back to life. And in my crying fit during the present time visit part of my mumbling was that being in the Roy Rogers room would certainly have to work in our favor too and Melvin would be with Jake in his condo and maybe I could bring them both Roy Rogers). The doctor just looked at me and nodded, even when I said ‘ROY ROGERS ROOM’. And the thing is, I have complete faith in this hospital. The Life Center is one of the premiere vet speciality hospitals on the east coast. But mama was overwhelmed and the thought of abandoning leaving Jake seemed impossible. They told me my reaction was normal (sometimes it’s kind to lie) and they let me come back to the ICU with Jake while they got him settled in. He pee’d on the way into his new condo and that made me laugh. So I sat with him for a while and then when they were ready to sedate him, I left. It sucked. I called every 15 minutes regularly to check on him but since he had to remain calm, me visiting him was not a good option.

Tomorrow, I’ll finish the hospital and surgery story. And we have a Melvin’s Project Joy giveaway for August coming too!

Until then, here is a little check-list for sanity. It’s some preparedness tips for ‘a just in case’ ER visit with your pet:

  • Write out all your pet’s meds and take a picture of that list. When in the ER with your pet, you will not be able to recall the name of the meds they take nor will mg/dosage be within your brain’s reach. Even if the pill your dog takes is called ‘pill’, that word will escape you.
  • If you think for one minute that the emergency will require your pet to stay, bring their critical meds with you. I had to go back and get Jake’s meds and True blood eye drops and bring them back over.
  • Have an emergency plan for the car (a blanket in the garage you can throw down, easy access towels, a plan to secure your pet (this is just a good idea in general for regular travel). I learned this one the hard way when Melvin had is first (of several) bout(s) of bloody poop. I know, I know, the glamour.
  • Keep a leash in your car. You will forget it and unless you can carry your pet, you’ll need the leash.
  • When your pet has blood work done, have your vet send it to you via email or print it out for you. Bring that most recent blood work report with you. They almost always want to do blood work. In Jake’s case, he had just had a full panel done a few days prior and having that saved us a lot.
  • Ask the ER vet about payment plans. Regular vet care is expensive. ER vet care is crazy expensive (albeit worth it).

If you’ll recall, Jake had surgery the next day and the term ‘hamburger eye’ was introduced after that.  Here are  a few photos that came after this conundrum….

IMG_5318IMG_5273IMG_5201IMG_5362IMG_5398IMG_5422IMG_5205