Prognosis of Overall health of the 24 Paws of Love Seniors:
Blaze's incision is healing up very nicely after the removal of a cancerous mammary tumor. Her fur is slowly coming in, where she was shaved. Hopefully it won't take too long or she is going to have a cold belly for the winter. She gets her stitches out on Friday and can finally ditch the cone. Not to mention as of now she is cancer free! Yay!
With Zappa we were confirmed that his hearing is starting to go. While a little sad, it's also a little interesting as we learn how to deal with him being a little on the deaf side. The vet says that it's his normal range goes first, but he can still hear high and low pitches. I've noticed a difference in that he is more clingy than usual, but who wouldn't take extra cuddles from such a cutie pie?
Also Zappa had blood work done and it all came back positive. The vet said he had the blood work of a two year old! Zappa is almost 12 years old!!
Chance is still on the fence with the pH levels in his urine. Last time we checked, a couple of months ago, they were high, as we got a little carried away with treats. Something he is eating is raising his levels, so were back to the strict diet with him. Hopefully this will work, or it will mean there is something more serious going on.
Fiona has started on Dasuquin Advanced for her hip dysplasia and it has made a world of difference from just the MSM version. She hardly needs any pain pills anymore, which is fantastic! We also bought some tumeric to give to the dogs to help relieve pain and inflammation. We believe the tumeric in the Dasuquin Advanced is giving her such relief that we want to have it on hand for all the dogs.
Fiona is also on supplement of milk thistle and SAM-e for keeping her liver levels down. So far, so good. She will be tested again at the beginning of the year, to see that they are staying down.
So other than some minor tweaking adjustments, the dogs are in great health for their age. (All dogs are 12 years old) They do not look like senior dogs and really don't act like it.
Sorry for the delay, but Blaze came home Friday and is doing OK.
Blaze made it out of surgery and home doing just fine. Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes. The vet ended up removing the whole mammary gland that had the tumor. The tumor was cancerous. She checked the rest of Blaze's glands for any signs of tumors and there were none. Very grateful for that. Now we just need to keep an eye out if there are anymore.
Blaze is doing well, now that she is home. She ate some food and here she is snoozing away. Wish I could have gotten a better pic, but didn't want to disturb her. We're so grateful she is OK.
Writing has always been a passion of mine. Brut was that passion. Blogging about him was more than a dream, but a privileged and an honor. While he was dying he taught me the art of letting go with grace and beauty. Knowing when the time is right and unclasping. Taking the new freedom that comes and stepping into that new life journey.
For now, I am letting go of this blog to pursue another dream and passion that is already in the works. When the time is right I will come back. Losing Brut is still the hardest thing I have ever went through and I feel that need to follow where he is leading me.
Thank you dear readers for still reading us 9 years later. It has a been a blessing to be read, heard and cared about. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for letting us into your life. It has been a journey filled with gratitude.
I will still be around to visit, comment and share any medical updates about the dogs.
Since post will be sporadic, you can sign up to receive the most recent post in your email. That way you won't miss a one. Just enter your email in box (2nd box down on right side) and you are all set!
Or you can also friend me on FB if you would like. Patty Markiewicz
Ever have one of those dogs who has to be the center of attention? The ones that turn green when other dogs or humans get any attention?
That is our Zappa.
Not little ol' me!
His jealousy of the Front dogs getting anything can be heard around the world.
Zappa was so riled up about the Front Dogs getting a treat, it turned into a fight between Fiona and him. I missed it being on the other side of the door, but thank God they stopped before I could get to them.
Zappa has these jealousy fits, mixed with his aggression towards Chance and he literally has a tantrum.
He is the court, the judge and the jury. He thinks he is top dog and will do just about anything to fight for that title, even if he always loses.
He drives me crazy with all of the mouthing off he does due to his jealousy and injustice that he swears is being done to him.
This competition has been going on since day one with Chance and Zappa. Right from the day they were born and every day after. Competing for food, weight and that top dog position. All Chance and Zappa did was pick up where they left off when Chance came back to live with us.
It has been a long 11 years, when it comes to these two, but more so with Zappa, now that his mom and dad, Silver and Brut aren't here to keep him in check.
Oh that MOUTH!
That demanding, obnoxious, soap-boxed MOUTH!
The one that tries to get all the attention. That one.
There have been many advantages and disadvantages to living with two packs of dogs. Not exactly my dream situation, but we've learned to manage our time and attention with both packs by balancing between the two. If you add our two cats, it is actually three sets of pairs we are dealing with. For whatever reason they can not all get along together. While there are a few exceptions, most of the time they have to be apart from each other.
I don't know if I could do this again when the next phase of our lives comes. Maybe for temporarily purposes but not 11 years worth. This whole plan of dividing the dogs started as a must, only to find out after years of trying to bring the two dog packs together, that it was not going to happen. It is still hard to admit that now. I had doubts, but I also believed in the possibility of they could mesh as a unit. While lack of socialization is part of it, the bigger influence comes down to Daddy Dog Brut's genes and the way he was raised with aggression. Because Fiona has no reaction when we run into any other dogs out and about, yet is the vicious one with the Front Dogs, Chance and Blaze. Fiona will attack. And has been that way from the first day Blaze came back to live with us, after her owners returned her.
For the most part I accepted life with two packs and for the most part the positives outweighed the negatives. Though there were many times when I was following other bloggers or knew of people around me that brought new dogs into their home with skill and ease that I couldn't. No matter what I tried, read, or witnessed, I couldn't change Brut's aggression and that it was passed on to his kids. They were never going to accept each other. Even with the "help" of a trainer and a behaviorist I found I was further along without them.
And so the beat goes on...going from one side to the other, taking turns when there are treat games and the ruffling of furs at the separation door. It is the never ending saga that is our life right now. It is trying, it can be very difficult and sometimes it is no fun, but to have all four dogs in our lives...priceless.
Well, I'm here again. I've circled back around and found myself in the same place I've been before, training Chance not to run and pull on the leash. I shouldn't say I'm training Chance, I'm training both of us, or I wouldn't be starting again. lol
I have some back issues that have brought us here that I don't want to make worse. I haven't been able to walk the dogs in over 2 months. Now that I"m doing better, I want to start again. And basically, that means retraining Chance. My mini-race horse. My top pulling dog. My most hyper dog. Because my body can't take it like it used to.
So we started with walking around the yard with him next to me and without a leash. We did this several times and he did great.
Next I got the leash and laid it on the ground by the front door. I got in between Chance and the leash, clicked and rewarded when he sat down.
Then we started walking around the yard again (no leash) and this is when his anxiety started to spike.
Chance's anxiety continued for several minutes as we took a little break.
He walked around the yard, while I brushed Blaze. Eventually he calmed himself down.
Blaze went back in the house, I went over to the leash and touched it. Chance sat. Click and reward. Clear eyes, centered, calm and a little excited. Did this a couple of times. He remained calm.
Then I picked up the leash, he laid down calmly. Click and reward.
We took one last lap around the yard. And called it good.
Not bad for playing the whole thing by ear and not really knowing what to do or how to start. And everything played out quite smoothly.
Fiona's ultrasound test went good. All her organs were all good. The concerns with her liver were good, although there were a couple of spots in her left lobe that "lit up," but the vet thinks that it is due to age and the fact that her levels were up. They also did blood work to check the liver levels and they were all down. Good News!
We are staying on her supplement of milk thistle and SAM-e combo and will be doing blood work again in a couple of months. Hoping there will be no more spikes and we can rest a little. :)
Fiona will be going in for a ultrasound for her liver and surrounding areas. Her liver test results were high and the vet was concerned. They have all been low up until now and we don't know what the change may be. so we will be taking her in on Tuesday and wait for the results.
Could you please send a prayer or two our way for Fiona. Thank you!
There are some things that I find so challenging to write and one of them is my relationship with Zappa. He has always been a sort of enigma and I find it difficult to express what is happening between us. It is also difficult to understand what is happening and the bond that is forming. That seems to be the mystery of it and the part that I can't explain in human form.
It seems like I can't even begin to try.
I recognized this a long time ago about Zappa. He is hard to explain. He is an old soul, with a wisdom beyond measure and eyes that cover eons of time.
It is so different from my bond with Brut
There has always been a riff between Zappa and me before Brut died. Brut may have been aggressive with Zappa, but Zappa would never submit to Brut and that would cause Brut to lash out at him. Zappa is also a tester. He will test his limits and push them as far as possible. It was another reason Brut would snap at him. Not that Brut was innocent, but Zappa is part to blame for the friction that went on between them. And it didn't help that Zappa was smarter than Brut and used his wits to his advantage.
I witness these taunts from Zappa quite often, but I was always too late to stop anything after Brut would attack. I had a small, growing resentment towards Zappa because of the way he was and because he would do the same thing with me, pushing my limits and such. I didn't help that he had a bigger mouth on him than all the dogs put together pending my aggravation of him further.
As Brut's aggression got under some control, Zappa and I developed an "under the table" kind of relationship when we were by ourselves. And when Brut died, it was Zappa that took me under his paw and gently guided me through the devastating loss.
I wasn't able to accept Zappa as the new king and I refused to for some time. I don't know when that all changed, but it did. Zappa has become my rock. When I don't know if I can hang on any longer with this life and wishing for the next, he understands and lets me know I'm OK. Silent and still, he lets me know things are going to be alright. The same thing Brut used to do but on a simpler level. Somehow with Zappa he has given me the strength of Brut and the calm of his mother, Silver, to show me everything is going to be fine.
A blessed friendship that has grown so slowly over time is really beginning to blossom.
When you live with 2 packs of dogs, the dynamics are constantly changing. While in each pack there is an Alpha male and an Alpha female, if they were left to their own devices one pack would take out the other. Which is why they are divided in the first place. But there is another dynamic that considers the totality of the 2 packs and makes them a whole unit. This is where it gets really interesting because it is in this whole unit when all the members are fighting for the position of being next to an Alpha human. They compete for my attention to be the number two. This has nothing to do with the other dogs. Their focus is on me.
Every time I'm with the Front Pack, (Chance and Blaze) Fiona will bark and bark by the sliding glass door. Not to go out, but she is vying for my attention. Zappa does the same thing, but is more direct about it. For example, if treats are involved with the Front Dogs, Zappa demands my attention away from the Front Dogs. Sure, he wants treats too, but he's also driving for equality or complete control of the situation.
And the Front Dogs are the same way. When I'm on the Back Dogs side (Zappa and Fiona) Blaze will bark and bark to pull me from the Back Dogs to her side. Even if it is only for a moment or two. She wants that reassurance that she is my #2 dog. Chance who used to hardly bark, has now found his voice after the fight he had with Blaze. He took the Alpha position from Blaze and is now top dog of the Front Dogs. He too now uses his voice to draw me in his center for the reassurance of being #2 with me.
If that wasn't complex enough, if the truth was known, the position they are all vying for, that #2 placement, is the one I had with Brut. (their father) Total equality and a sharing in the Alpha human position. Brut was as close to an Alpha dog as was possible to me. Most decisions about the packs we made together, especially with the Back Dogs as they were Brut's pack.
So of course the dynamics took a fatal blow when Brut died. Most of the impact was cushioned by Silver(Momma Dog). So much so that there was very little changed in the hierarchy. This is until Silver died and the monarchy collapsed and has been in the process of rebuilding, even two years later.
This is where I find myself and the packs today. One thing I have always strive for is equality among all the dogs. If someone gets a treat, they all get a treat, time, training, etc.
And now I'm beginning to question myself in this strategy and wonder if it fits with these two packs of dogs with such dynamics? Maybe being equal with them is hindering some of their placement questions that they are fighting for? Does it take a little more to realize that Chance (my heart dog) is the next second Alpha to me? He already has Zappa's attention.
Or am I to be the Alpha to them on an individual basis? Striving for all their unique qualities? Must I change with the dynamics? Or stay the solid rock they need as they twist and turn into their new positions of beings?
Time will only tell.
See, Zappa ad Fiona are equal Alphas to each other. They take turns being the boss. Whereas Chance doesn't. He broke away from being equal to Blaze when he challenged her in that last fight. I wonder if he is trying to be my equal?
This has been happening slowly for the past couple of years. I swore I would never have another equal like Brut. I still don't know that I'd ever be ready or want it, yet here it is happening all along. Once I accept that, everything is going to change again.
So I'm doing the daily cleaning up of the yard. While not exactly exciting for the Front Dogs, I notice Chance trying to rile up Blaze in a game of play. I watch the two of them while finishing with my duties and while Blaze doesn't engage with Chance, she is being pretty frisky with him. Which just eggs Chance on. Spinning this way and that, back and forth and around in circles all with a big grin on his face. It is the most energetic I've seen him since the snow has been melting.
Blaze has given all she is going to give in the form of play with Chance and so I jostle with him and next thing I know we are both running all around the yard chasing each other. It was such a blast!
Ahhh...puppy days again! How I miss playing with the dogs. I mean really engaging and watching them have so much fun. Chance is my jokester when he's really having fun and we give to each other just as good as we get. He can be so carefree and he makes me laugh. What's even better is that Chance initiate the play, so you know he was really in the mood to do so. He isn't always so willing when I try to get something going. It's better when it's his idea. :) And I love that in-the-moment thinking. We just did it.
The other morning I was doing some writing about Silver and her hip dysplasia, when I noticed Fiona, who also has hip dysplasia, lying on the floor. I was flooded with emotions. I give a lot of credit to the puppies acting like Brut, while sometimes forgetting that Silver is part of them too.
Going ahead with Silver's pregnancy, knowing she had hip dysplasia, was a tough decision. A good breeder wouldn't have done it, but neither Mark nor I could quench that gut feeling that Silver was suppose have that litter. We knew it was a risk, but our gut told us to go with it. So much so that when found out that Fiona had it, having her outweighed that detail. We have done everything we can to keep her fit, healthy and pain-free and she is worth it. We don't know what we would do without her.
Looking at Fiona, that rush of the feelings carried me off the chair and laying down next to her. I couldn't imagine not having Fiona here in our life. She let me hold her for a few minutes as sudden tears busted loose. I grieved for Silver and I cried with gratitude for Fiona, for being there and for the Silver inside of her. It was an emotional moment and it wasn't long before Fiona gently moved over, scooting herself from the situation. She's never been one for handling tears.
We know many wouldn't have made the move forward with the pregnancy, but something kept telling us to follow through. We have been nothing but blessed ever since we did.
Our "little" Fiona
The Power of Ten with Momma Dog Silver
What have you done with your dog that you felt in your heart and soul was the right thing to do even though it went against the grain?
You know that saying, I'm alright, you're alright? Well, that's how it feels with the dogs. If the dogs are alright, then I am alright. All of their health scares we that started last fall and carried through winter are being taken care of and everyone is doing well. It is so nice to have peace of mind.
Peace of mind is everything when it comes to the dogs. I'm sure you all understand what I mean.
If you have a dog who is scared of vet's office, you'll appreciate this story:
Chance was actually calm getting his shots and Heartworm test. I put on his muzzle and he laid down without any coaxing. I'd taken him for an hour walk earlier and he sat in the car for an hour, because the doctors were that far behind for the day. We think the combo of walking and waiting, helped alleviate his fears. Hubby, Mark said he walked in quite confident and relaxed. Chance didn't flinch at the two shots in the neck nor when the vet drew blood out of his back leg.
What a huge difference from the screaming, nipping, whining, fighting Chance. The vet has even given me sedatives before to try on him, that didn't do a darn thing to stop Chance's panic attack. So this calm, quiet Chance was quite welcomed and well appreciated. He even took a couple of treats from the vet. Woo-Hoo!
CRY WOLF FIONA
Whenever we are on the Front Dogs side of the house, trying to spend quality time with Chance and Blaze, Fiona begins to "cry wolf". Sometimes she has to go out, but mostly I think she just wants me to come at her call. I've tried the whole ignoring her and it still doesn't work. She will not stop barking nor will she stop calling me out there to check on her. So we continue to play the annoying game "cry wolf" with Fiona until one of us cracks.
Any one have suggestions??
Zappa has steadily become the "rock" out of all the dogs. Except for his jealousy
with the other pack, Zappa has a solid temperament and disposition. He is easy to lean on in times of trouble or you need break from your emotions. Overall he has become "The Dog of the Year" at the 24 Paws of Love!
Blaze and I have been bonding more this past winter. Walking by ourselves has really made a difference in our relationship. We have a lot more eye contact than we used to and she is always talking to me. She runs a tight ship with meals and snacks, always letting me know when it is time for them. Blaze hasn't had recent health issues and is doing great. We love our little Blaze.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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!
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. :)
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.
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?
IN OTHER NEWS...
After last weekends Arctic blast, it "warmed up" and we got snow almost everyday. Here is Zappa enjoying the snowflakes and...wait for it...
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.