I was recently interviewed by Lessons From a Paralyzed Dog.  It’s funny, when they asked me if they could interview me my first thought was ‘but why?’.  Jake has been ‘wonky’ for a few years now.  In fact, Facebook just reminded me last week that it’s been exactly two years now. I slowly got to become an ‘expert’ on some things, so to be honest, I don’t really think of myself as able to add too much content.  But I guess I have learned a thing or fifty over the past few years!

When I was being interviewed, the questions made me smile.  Why did you start the blog? Melvin’s face popped into my head, three-year-old Melvin who had blood-red skin, very little hair and more energy than a power plant.  The blog started off to chronicle life with the world’s most allergic dog.  To share our crazy antics and our trials and failures and successes. To laugh at our crazy life and to let those who might read our little blog know, health issues are what you make of them.

Melvin provided constant content!  Allergies, infections, tail injury and amputation.  Behavioral challenges, separation anxiety, more allergies, so many more allergies. Colitis, countless ER visits, ear infections, giardia, mange, diarrhea, constipation and cancer. And loss. Oh, Melvin, indeed!

Please stop including my name and diarrhea in the same sentence. 9 18 13e

Jake has also never failed me in the content space.  From his punk start in the family to the decline of his mobility, from his eyes to his meatballs, dude continues to teach me so much about perseverance.

The days of him being diaper-less are long gone. 9 18 13a

A few things came up during the interview. Things that have stayed true to who I am and to what my life with the dogs has been about.

  • When something comes up, seek a solution.  Otherwise, it’s going to become a problem and problems add up and can overwhelm life.
  • There is laughter and joy, even in the worst moments.
  • This is life.  This is our life.  It’s gorgeous and complicated and I wouldn’t change a single thing.

We were excited to be featured and to giveaway one of our favorite solutions, a Sirius Republic Belly Band.  And to celebrate his new-found fame, Jake did something extraordinary.  Something he has not done in well over a year.  Something that made this dog mom so proud and so happy and so shocked.  He pooped in the yard! It was so incredibly shocking that I didn’t even know what to do and I had no idea where the poop bags were since I have not needed them since Melvin was here! I even left the tied-up-bag outside as a reminder that MIRACLES HAPPEN! That’s right, sometimes crap can be a miracle!

Celebrate everything!  Life is too sweet not too!


Allergy season.

Fake winter is over.  We had about two inches of snow that lasted all of one hour before it melted.  Whatever.  Now it’s time for fake spring, where it goes from cold to burning hot in a matter of nanoseconds.  The trees bloom so fast they have no other option but to blanket the area with allergens.

When I rescued Melvin he came with a sheet of paper from his allergy testing.  It listed out everything in the environment that he was allergic to.  It was very specific.  The type of tree leaves, the various grasses, the range of mosses and other plants.  I’m not sure why they expected me to do with the list – I mean if we walk down a sidewalk and he wanders into a patch of grass, I’m not going to be able to tell if that is one of the forty grasses he is allergic to or not. He is pretty much allergic to it all.

Melvin spent this weekend with a paw in his mouth, gnawing away.  I call this ‘gnaw-paw’ season.  We’ll get though it (with the help of some baby wipes, baths, and lifestyle changes).  And not to be outdone, Jake opened his eyes to fake Spring on Saturday and they were bloodshot.  My first thought was ‘wild Friday night?’ but the vet confirmed it, googly-eyes has allergies also.

4 8 13a

Can I put my paw back in my mouth now?

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My eyes are as red as my drumstick.

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Let’s roll around in this and get real itchy.

Nubbagedon 2011.

Most dogs who had a tail amputation 9 days ago would be close to having their stitches removed. Melvin is not most dogs. His tail just got re-bandaged and it will probably be covered for a while. With all his allergies (and his need for Prednisone) his healing is slow. They changed up his antibiotic to a stronger variety and sent us home with more pain pills.

He’s such a trooper, he wags that little nubbin non-stop! One blessing is that these bandages seem to have staying power. I’m a bit of a sissy and will admit I’m not ready to see anything that is described as ‘still oozing’. It’s back to the vet on Wednesday. So for now, Happy Labor day weekend, from our nubbin to you!

Harry Barker.

As mentioned several times before, Melvin is allergic to just about everything. After finding the one food his body could process without giving him extreme itching, I set out to find a treat. Melvin, like most labs, is food motivated. I don’t think there is anything he wouldn’t do for the promise of food. I couldn’t bear the thought of him only having kibble for meals and treats, and worried that he’d tire of it eventually…and then what?

The treat experiment was both brutal and expensive. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that we went through 100 different brands/types of treats in our endeavors. The one blessing was that the trials themselves were quick. Since he was already tolerating his food well, introducing only one treat at a time made it very easy to identify what was causing the almost immediate redness and itching. It took maybe two days for the reaction to surface and then a week for poor Melvin to get over the physical effects. As per usual, it was easy to feel like I was torturing him.I tried every treat that said: wheat, soy and corn free. Every treat that said: Hypoallergenic. I then passed each onto the neighborhood dogs who were blessed to tolerate them all.

Enter the wonderful Harry Barker into our lives. They have a Hypoallergenic treat that is pure perfection, it’s as if it was made for sweet Melvin. I order it in bulk and Melvin is reaction free! Harry Barker has the most wonderful dog and cat items, they are environmentally conscious and they pack a surprise gift in each shipment. I phone most orders in, while the website is super easy to navigate, I order in bulk so I always call to see what we can do about lessening the packaging. They know Melvin by name and remember our unique situation each time we call. It’s like chatting with an old friend.

Harry Barker, we love you!!!