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Current blog look inspired and dedicated to Silver. The late Momma Dog of the 24 Paws of Love.

Brut Quotes

Brut Quotes

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Chance's pH results!

After three weeks of practicing (with clicker training), I was able to get a sample of Chance's urine to be tested for his pH levels.

See, when we used to try and get Chance's urine, he would just stop peeing.  He wanted to mark, but a glance at hubby, Mark and I behind him would make him clam up.

So I used clicker training when we were walking and would just bend down like I was going to collect.  Click and reward.  Did that for a while and then started doing it while he was going.  Click and reward.  Then I finally added the collection tub.  Bingo!  Piece of cake.

Took in the sample, had it tested and I am proud to say that Chance's pH level is at a 6!!  To compare it was at an 8 about three months ago.  All our hard work paid off.

Now that we are out of the danger zone, we can slowly add items back into his diet to see if they upset the balance of his pH levels.  This also means that Chance's pH levels were high because of the food he was eating and not something more serious.  GOOD NEWS!!

We won't do anything for a while.  I think for safety reason we will keep things as is, but when we feel he's ready we can try a piece of chicken of something.

It may not seem like much, but we have been worrying about this since late fall or so of last year.  It is a relief and a great weight lifted off our minds.

Thanks for cheering us on with Chance's diet and keeping us strong!

Monday, March 18, 2019

mommy's corner-being an animal caregiver

I'm exhausted tonight.  I love everything about pets; especially the bonding relationship that continues to thrive and grow.  Taking you to places of love you never knew existed.  I wouldn't trade them for the world.  For the most part, I do not mind caring for them, but there are times when I really feel like I need some me time. It is during this time I don't want to be touched or nuzzled or rubbed against.  I need some time to myself to recuperate from taking care of everyone.

That's what I'm doing right now.

Getting away from the dogs and cats and taking a much needed break. 

Are there others out there that struggle sometimes with being a caregiver?

I mean, pets are not like children.  They don't eventually leave home and start their own lives.

So caring for them can be kind of exhausting.  And I guess that's where I am tonight. 

It isn't necessary good or bad, it is just part of the love and commitment of caring for animals.

I'll be OK.  Just need a little down time. 

Thanks for listening!
Yes, that's how I feel...

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Here's Where We Are Now with Chance's Diet

Our dog Chance had a high pH urine reading and has been put on a special dry food, treats and can only have vegetables for anything extra.  We are three months in and it has been a difficult transition for everybody.  Here's where we are at now.

You mean I still can't lick your plate??

It's becoming more routine now dealing with Chance's limited diet.  It is still hard to resist not giving him some goodie I know he loves, but 99% if the time I refrain.

My husband, Mark has been doing much better than me since this diet started 3 months ago.  He has stuck to Chance's diet and given him the approved foods he can have.  It took some time for me to come around and I think it was more of a challenge for me because it was about the sharing and bonding Chance and I were doing when we ate together.

And how has Chance been handling it?

Once Chance learned he wasn't getting any food, he goes to his bed and hangs out there while we eat.  Which is great.  Takes the pressure off of everybody.  He's allowed vegetables for treats and we always share some with him after we are done eating.

Chance is a counter surfer and always has been, but now he is doing it all the time.  He even picks up odd ball stuff off the counters and table that are not edible, just to hoard. It is really starting to bother me because he's never touched any of these things before and is getting a bit obnoxious about it.  We have a camera in the kitchen to keep an eye on him, which has helped out greatly catching him in the act.

Hopefully this phase of his diet will be over soon.  In the meantime we are doing the best we can with Chance and hoping to get some answers with his next urine test, that in itself is a whole different ballgame.  More later!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Brut Thursday- My Brut for a Walk

I miss walking Brut.  I miss the connection we had while we were walking.  Brut always knew what time walk time was.  He would get excited and dance around barking.  The joy he had about walks would wash away any negative thoughts I had about taking that walk, especially in the winter.  We have harsh winters here in Northern Lower Michigan and we walked through them all.  In his eight years, I can only think of a handful of times that I actually missed a walk with him.  He was my motivator.  Brut kept me disciplined.  He kept me going.  I never thought twice about taking him for a walk.  We just did it.

Over the last four years that Brut has been gone, I have lost a lot of that motivation.  It seems to be getting worse with each passing year.  Most days I have a mental battle over walking the dogs, especially in the winter.  What was once so easy with Brut, has become a difficult choice every day.  The loss of Brut isn't the only factor at play.  We are all getting older with aging bodies and arthritis that hinder our walk times, but it is the days when we can all take walks that the war inside rages on.

Brut was my heart and my heart isn't in it as much anymore.  I feel like I'm burnt out when it comes to walking the dogs.  When we do go for a walk, despite not having that Brut connection with our four, I still have a connection with each one on our walks.  It's just so different than it was when Brut was here.  I am having a hard time transferring that Brut love, that pure love of walking with the dogs, with the kids.

Our winter isn't helping either, but really that is just an excuse.  It is just me, still hurting four years later for my Bruter Boy, who always made my day and our walks just a little brighter.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Change in the Hierarchy

You wouldn't think that a change in status could cause so much disruption between two dogs.  But it does.

It's been about three and a half months since that significant fight (read: here) between Chance and Blaze.  The fight that started when I started to fix their dinner.  All the dogs were over anxious and quite hyped up when Chance and Blaze got into it.  I called their names.  They didn't stop.  I believe it escalated into a challenge from that point, because they kept at it.  I also believe that is when everything changed.  Nothing between Chance and Blaze has been the same since.

Blaze has always been the Alpha girl and Chance has been the Alpha boy, but it was always Blaze that had the final decision about anything.  And now it is just the opposite, except Chance is a bit more aggressive than Blaze was as head boss. It changes the whole mood and character of the Front Dog's headquarters and I don't know that I like it.

It is really hard to describe what I'm seeing, but what has really changed is Chance's demeanor.  The way he carries himself.  The way he looks and acts like a primitive being.  Like he's gone back to some deep root in his ancestry and this new creature has emerged.  Something like what I saw with Brut when he would pull rank, yet it was more natural for Brut.  He was a born leader, but Chance acts like this skin is too big for him.  Chance's demeanor isn't flowing as a natural course of action.  He is struggling with it.  Is it because I can not accept it or know how to?  Or is he just trying to find his way into this new skin he's obtained?  I don't know but I'm sure there are plenty more questions that will follow.

And as for Blaze, she has developed a fear of Chance that seems neither of us humans are able to soothe.  She just stays out of Chance's way.  Chance and Blaze's relationship has always reminded me more of a husband and wife than brother and sister.  And now even more so, they remind me of Brut and Silver, with Chance getting all the attention and Blaze in the shadows. It is like a repeat of history, although with less aggression than Brut had.  I make a point to spend quality time with Blaze, but she always seems so leery, like she's always watching her back.  I can't believe my confident little girl needs to regain her confidence all over again.

I don't know how I feel about this change of power.  It makes me uncomfortable and is unsettling to say the least.  I am trying to understand to the best of my ability, but it is a bit daunting.  I probably sound over dramatic.  He hasn't grown horns and started stalking Blaze or anything drastic like that.  lol  It is just different.  Like when you run into someone you know and they got a new haircut.  You notice something is different, but you can't quite place your finger on it.  And the more you study them, the more you notice that something is definitely different.  I'd say that is how it feels for me.  This is me flushing it out to get a feel for what has happened between Chance and Blaze.

If you read this far thanks for reading.  Have you ever  experienced a change of hierarchy in your dog packs? 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Husky Heaven- the Snow Paths

We are buried in a couple feet of snow.  At least!  Daddy Mark has been making snow paths with the snow blower, since we first got snow in December.  Good thing too, because we keep getting more and more snow as winter carries on.

The snow blower adds to the snow total, as you'll see in this first video of the front yard. It is more like 3 feet of snow out there. Daddy Mark and the Front Dogs take you on a tour of their snowy world.

It wouldn't be a complete tour if we didn't take you in the backyard with Daddy Mark and the Back Dogs.  This is Zappa and Fiona's snowy world.

Can you believe how deep it is?  It has been a good five years since we had this much snow.  Just this past week we had snowstorm after snowstorm to add to the accumulation!  It has been a crazy winter!  Stay warm and stay safe!

What's the weather like where you are at?

Friday, February 8, 2019

Chance sings with the Rolling Stones!

Every time the song, Sympathy for the Devil, comes on by the Rolling Stones  this happens with Chance...

He just can't contain himself!  lol

Monday, February 4, 2019

24 Paws Weekly News Vol. 3

 Dreaming of going outside again.

I'ma feeling so lazy and cozy and relaxed.  I haven't gotten to the weekly news this week.  Sorry we are late.  I don't like to be behind and then playing catch up.  It really bothers me quite a deal.  Then I get on the fence of whether to do it late or not.  It may not matter to anyone other than me, but that's OK, I'm the one who has to live with me.  But I didn't have any news this week, or so I thought.  I didn't think of it until the next day and the next day we were coming out of the polar vortex and one thing lead to another and now it is raining like a cold spring.  It's been tough getting through this deep freeze we've been in since before the polar vortex happened.   The poor dogs couldn't go out any longer than to do their business before their paws got cold.  Walks were out and all we could do was try to survive the bitter temps.  We did play some treat games and puzzles, but they never really satisfied them like a walk would do.   I was also getting quite antsy and was desperate for a walk myself that I almost took them near the end of the cold snap, but again they were lifting their paws from the cold and I don't have booties for them to walk in.  So we had to wait a couple more days.

Walk, walk, walk, hehe!!

We finally got our walk in this past Saturday.  We were all a little rusty, but it felt good to get outside and stretch our legs.  We went for a medium length walk, so as to not over do it and everyone was happy.

With the warmer weather came moving more firewood inside to the basement.  We went through quite a bit of wood over the last three weeks.  Amazing how quickly it all went.

Paws crossed for a walk someday...

Fiona and I have had a new little thing we do together.  Before dinner time, we walk around the perimeter of the backyard.  Daddy Dog Brut and I used to do this all the time as he did his security detail and now I get the privileged with Fiona.

I'll admit it...it is so darn hard to stop feeding Chance his two favorite things, cheese and yogurt.  I broke down tonight while making dinner and gave him a tiny piece of cheese. I just couldn't deny him.  Eating was just one of those things we did together.  He and Blaze helped me heal when I was sick and couldn't eat.  Eating together made me get better faster.  This was when I discovered all the foods Chance and Blaze loved.  They had a wide palette, especially when it cane to vegetables.  But to see Chance mope around because we aren't having our little quality time together, just breaks my heart.  He really LOVES food and he has always been like that.  I can't help feeling bad for him.  Imagine having to give up your favorite food.  It's hard!

Polar Vortex are so boring.

We had our roof shoveled.  There was over a foot and a half of snow on it.  There was this pile in front of the house that didn't get cleaned up soon after and now it is solid.  It has become Blaze's soap box!  Oh, I wish I had a picture, but she caught me totally off guard.  She's yapping away and I came to let her in and there she is on top of this pile that's got to be 3' x 4', just swinging her tail, nose up in the air, carrying on to anyone that would listen.  It was too funny!!

Zappa has been making it a point to get on the couch after Daddy Mark gets home, so he can spend quality time with Daddy Mark.  Zappa has always been Daddy's dog, but he has to fight for attention.  And now he's got it, just by using his head, Zappa figure out a way to get that much needed attention.  Being on the couch after Daddy gets home.  :)

How did you survive the Polar Vortex??

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

sometimes it is better not to know

A post I found buried in the archives that wasn't published.  For new readers, Brut was my problem child dog.  He could be aggressive, dominant, and possessive.  We had quite a bond. Sadly he died in 2015.  This is a little peek into the mind of Brut and I. 

If anyone would have told me what was to come when I took that little bundle of orange and white fur, I would have run far, far away..  I am a coward and wimp that way.  If there was any inkling of the dynamics of Brut and what he was going to bring into this home, I would have defied every law in the universe and high tailed it out of there.  And it isn't like I still don't think that way.  No creature has ever tore me to pieces only to transform every element of my being. 

And I still don't know if I would have taken him.

Brut has tore down every wall of my defenses and challenged every bit of knowledge I have.  A daunting past that still screams down my throat when it is his actions that sometimes reminds me the most of the pain and terror.  It is fear that binds us, more than any other element.  His external expression to my internal.  His confidence and strength to my understanding and empathy.  We just know each other.

We have been running on the same fuel long before we ever met.

A rampant passion that burns between us because of many wrongs.  Both of us blazing in the same pain.  It is difficult to still such a fire.  Between us and around us.  Flaring a hate and love connection that will not smolder.  This is why we understand each other.  This is what torches our hearts and brings us together with the same flame that heals us like no one else could.

And if you'd told me all of this before,

I would have ran like a wildfire.

Friday, January 25, 2019

24 Paws Weekly News Vol. 2



The 24 Paws of Love standing their ground

The 24 Paws of Love are on strike due to neglected benefits.  Mr. Mouth, aka Zappa, the Spokesdog for the Paws tells us that due to lack of walks recently, they will no longer be handing out their unconditional forgiveness so easily.  

And for those wondering how the Paws plan to not forgive, considering it is a dog's natural state, Mr. Mouth had this to say, "We are part-time Huskies with attitudes!  Need I say more?" 

According to Mr. Mouth, it seems that the humans are too busy or too sore, so they are going to have to earn our forgiveness.  One walk at a time.  

You heard it here first.

Tell us your thoughts.  Do you agree with the strike?  
Are the 24 Paws justified in their reasoning?  
Can they hold out on their forgiveness, the very essence of a dog?
What do you think?


While this may look like pure guilt, let me assure you it is not.  Fiona, of the 24 Paws of Love is holding out on TV privileges for the humans as she takes her own personal stand for being neglected for walks.  She too has felt the sting of this wrong doing and is taking action.  No TV, means more walks.  Just saying...

What do you think?  Is Fiona being fair?


After last weekends Arctic blast, it "warmed up" and we got snow almost everyday.  Here is Zappa enjoying the snowflakes and...wait for it...  

Watch on YouTube.

We are in for another Arctic blast this weekend.   That means temperatures in the teens and single digits during the day and below 0 at night.  We'll be burning lots of wood to stay warm and snuggling with the pups.  Stay safe and warm everybody.

What's it like in your neck of the woods? 

Friday, January 18, 2019

24 Paws Weekly News.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm so glad it is Friday and that this week is over.  It was a tough one for me, the dogs, the cats and hubby, Mark.  Mark was suppose to go in for minor surgery and it was cancelled at the last minute.  This was the second time it had been cancelled.  Talk about screwing up your plans!  There is a six week recovery after the procedure and Mark had the time set to take off of work, when it all fell through a second time.  Talk about aggravation and frustration! Now we are on a wait and see basis.  Hopefully the third time will be the charm.

The dogs are doing good.  Chance is still doing good on his diet.  Another talk with the vet after taking Blaze in for rabies shot, made me realize in order to get a good pH reading, I'm going to stop with my daily yogurt cup and no more little pieces of cheese.  Yes, it took me longer to accept that I can't feed him like I do.  From now on just special food and veggies.  The vet said she needs to know if the pH levels are high because of the way he digest his food, or if there is something that is wrong causing the pH levels so high.  The only way to find that out is  by staying on this special food and eliminating all of the rest he used to eat.  So that's my long version of saying I'm sticking to the plan for Chance's sake.

I have been going through PTSD flashbacks on and off for several weeks from childhood abuse.  I love that my therapy dogs are everywhere I am.  The other day Zappa sat on my boot, while I was going to put it on to take the dogs for a walk.  This is normal for him, except this time he was sitting still, no barking or jumping or kisses.  He just sat there, then he got up and walk away.  I took it as a sign that I shouldn't walk the dogs and he proved I was in no state of mind to do so.  It was probably better I stay home, so I took his advice and did just that.

The cats...another tough situation.  Boxer has been chasing Leia (the Siamese), because he is fed up and frustrated and taking it out on her.  I thought they were just playing, burning off some energy.  Turns out Boxer was deliberately out to harm her, throwing his dominance around.  They had both been getting the short end of the stick when it came to my attention this past week.  Now that I'm feeling better, I've been doing just that and things are back to normal.  Whew!

Have you ever wondered how you get a urine sample from a cat?  I did!  I didn't have a clue.  I had Boxer checked out and they used a syringe to draw his urine so it could be tested.  Turns out he had a bacteria infection and was given a shot that last two weeks to help clear it up.  Isn't that cool?  A shot!  No pills!

And on one final note, today is a special day: Brut's passing on the date of 18th and Friday is the day Silver passed.  Put them together and you have today's day and date. They are always together in spirit, it's just that today is a little extra reminder of them.

Well, that is the latest from our neck of the woods.  Hope everyone has a great weekend.  Stay safe and warm!

What have you been up to?

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Silver's 2 year anniversary

This will be short and sweet.

My dear Silver passed away two years from today and I still miss her so.  I have never really been able to design the blog with her fur, without making the whole screen all black.  lol  I can't help it, black is my favorite.  So I will be working on a new blog look that includes Silver's fur and that you can still be able to read.  :)

It will have to meet both our standards as she looks down today.

Until then, what do you think of our new header?

Silver's colors are dark pink and black.

Be sure to check back!!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Update on Chance's new diet

No more chicken or cheese or apples...Do you see this sad face mom?

I don't know who's more depressed about Chance's strict diet, him or us. It has been just over a month since Chance has been put on a special food, special treats and all he can have are veggies for snacks.  He has a high pH level that showed up in his urine and for a dog who was given a taste of almost everything we eat, this has been quite a challenge for all of us.

 At first it didn't seem to be a big deal for Chance, then as the days wore on and he wasn't getting any morsels from our plates, the sadness begun to seep in.  I have tried to eat at least something he can eat with each meal, like a carrot or a cucumber that we can share and that helps.   It also helps that Blaze gets the same at our mealtimes as Chance and only gets extras when Chance isn't around.

We have kept a couple of staples around, so it isn't a total blowout and a small enough amount that it won't blow his pH levels through the roof.  Like licking the sides of a yogurt cup in the morning and I give him the tiniest pieces of cheese you have ever seen.

 I think that's the biggest key to this whole new diet, is still being able to share our food with him.  I've had to get creative with nighttime treats and I've had to give more of his special kibble to make up for missing calories.

After a month now, this whole ordeal is starting balance out.  Chance is not deprived by any means and he loves vegetables so no real problems there.  It was just for those first few weeks he was sad and confused, wondering what was happening.  The poor guy.  We were all miserable together and how can you explain to him what's going on?  Hubby, Mark took it pretty hard.  He worries so much about the dogs, yet it looks like it is all going to work out after all.  Just needed some time and patience to go through the changes.  Hopefully we'll be able to add some different food to his diet when his pH levels go down, but we'll have to see.  We are just taking it one day at a time.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

11 Years Ago Today...

The newborns

Today is the "puppies' " birthday!  They all turn 11 years old today.  It was a bittersweet day.  Celebrating and mourning at the same time.   Joyous that Chance, Blaze, Zappa and Fiona are all with us and mourning the loss of Daddy Dog Brut, Momma Dog Silver and two of the homed puppies that are no longer with us.  I kept thinking about 11 years ago today, they were all here.  All ten puppies, mom and dad.  Seems like such a long time ago, yet I can remember it like it was yesterday.

It was also bittersweet because the four "puppies" are all still with us and made it through a scary year, yet that only means another year closer to the inevitable.  We've had what felt like close calls, yet everyone is healthy and nothing that some adjustments in food and medicine won't fix.

I think about time quite a bit and trying to make every memory last, yet time keeps moving and is short.  I had a little emotional breakdown this evening while playing with the Zappa and Fiona outside...so many things I miss.  Thank goodness for the dogs, they never let me cry without adding a smile to my face, when the tears stop.  Fiona was just all kinds of silly tonight.  Warmed my heart to know we will always have Brut and Silver with us through their kids.

We've been through a lot these past eleven years and I'm so grateful to my husband for his innocence in wanting Silver to have puppies when we first got her.  That brought Brut into the picture and eventually ten healthy, beautiful puppies whom we were to blessed to have four of them to call our own.  Four puppies that are still with us now.  And whom we share our life with.  I couldn't ask for a more blessed beginning to the year.

The Power of Ten

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!

 We awoke to a wonderful wintery world for the first day of the New Year.

I couldn't get over how blue the sky was against the snow-covered trees.

Just having the sun shining in a otherwise cloudy state offered a fresh perspective for the future.

 Yeah, like can we go back in the house now??  It's 11°F out here!