dogs

Just me and the fur kids and a super Wordy Wednesday

The hubby has been out of town this week which means it has been very quiet around the house. I don’t know why the house feels so empty when he is gone, but it does! When you work from home and your office mate is away, it makes for a lonely day.

What do I do when the hubby is away (besides slave away on my computer)? I watch TV shows that he doesn’t like to watch . .like American Idol. Well, I read blogs and glance at the television occasionally. Unfortunately this time while he is away, there are no dancing shows!

Tonight is his third night out of town and FINALLY Ashley has decided that she would grace me with her presence on the sofa. She is a daddy’s girl and apparently daddy is the only one with an appropriate lap. (whatever!) Everyone just seems a little off their game while the hubby is away!

I’m feeling a lot of angst about my new job. I have to IM my “lead” when I get on the computer and they want to know what I am doing every second of the day. I hate it. If you give me a job to do, I will get it done, post haste – no need to worry! I am a deadline drive, self starter. She sent me a few emails last week and then IM’d me to ask if I had received them. Um, Yes – why wouldn’t I have received them? Then she asked that I always reply when I receive an email, so she knows that I received it. UGH.

It’s okay. I’m grateful to have some steady income and I know that I’ll find a way to make it work. I’m also doing some freelance work for my previous company doing their quarterly magazine design, at least that will be fun. Add in a website or two and I’m doing okay 🙂

I shared this link in a comment on Kristine’s blog yesterday (OMG, if you haven’t seen the adorable kittens she is fostering, you should head over there), and I thought I would share it here as well. I think it is pretty cute and an excellent reminder that we are always a little too hard on ourselves: Be Kind to Cute Animals and Yourself. So if you have been mean to yourself, remember that you are a soft and adorable creature!

Here’s a little baby Cali to remind you to be kind to yourself!

picture of dog with stick in his mouth

Is she adorable, or what? Hope you had a great Wednesday ! The hubby comes home tomorrow – YAY!!

Allergies be gone – a look back

picture of a dog and cat veterinarian service

I’m taking part in the Caring For Critters Round Robin hosted by Jodi from Heart Like A Dog. The Round Robin is like a relay race, each day a fellow blogger will share a post about a specify injury or illness they have experienced. Please keep in mind, I am not a vet and this is not advice on how to handle any illness your pet might have. This is just my experience. Always consult your veterinarian before choosing any course of treatment.

August, 2011:

My dog Cali has terrible allergies and she has had them since she was a young puppy (I always joke that she is allergic to the world!). It all started with little red bumps on her cute little puppy belly. She has always eaten a high quality food and we have tried EVERYTHING to ease the itch. Every year the itching seems to get worse, and the “off months” where she doesn’t chew on herself has gotten shorter and shorter!

We have tried antihistimines, allergy shots, a raw diet, topical skin treatments, fish oils . . . you name it, we’ve tried it. Two summers ago I worked with a very highly recommended Holistic vet. Cali ate a raw diet and took so many supplements that it was hard to keep track of. It got to the point that she decided that she just wouldn’t eat – she didn’t like having all of the pills tossed into her food, and she looked TERRIBLE! The vet said that she was just “detoxing”. One night we came home and she was in a panic – her face was swollen and she was covered with red welts (we still have no idea what caused it) and we had to take her to the emergency vet for a steroid shot and pills. About a week later she got a terrible bladder infection (it always happens on a Sunday too . .so off to the emergency vet we went again!). I spoke with the Holistic Vet the next day and she told me NOT to give her the antibiotic, that she was still just “detoxing”. I was angry – my dog was peeing blood (and if you’ve ever had a bladder infection you know how painful it is!) I was not about to make her suffer through it. Unfortunately, that was the last time I spoke to the Holistic Vet.

I truly believe in holistic health. I want my dog to be as healthy as possible, but I decided that I couldn’t rely on all natural solutions when my dog was in crisis. I thought we would try again when she wasn’t in full blown allergy mode, but that never happened. Last year, it seemed like her allergies lasted all year and when she got terribly uncomfortable I would take her in to get a shot of a slow release steroid. The shot gave us about three months of sanity and I decided that since she was 11 years old, I was going to do what I could to make her comfortable, even though steroids can have side effects and cause other problems.

A dog smiling

Six months ago we found another vet that has a theory that some dogs have problems producing the natural steroid in their body which is why their bodies overact to any allergen. (There is a much longer, much more eloquent explanation of this, I just thought I would keep it simple for this post!). We started giving her a very low dose steroid that is biologically similar to the steroid that she would naturally produce and so far we have gone the entire summer with NO ITCHING! I have to admit . . I have a little bit of guilt giving her a steroid. She takes 4 mg of methylprednosilone a day (she’s a 75 pound dog) and has had no typical side effects of steroid use (panting, drinking lots of water, hunger). She looks great, has lots of energy and shows no signs of any problems. Anyone that has had to deal with allergies knows how frustrating it can be. My last vet basically told me that we had tried everything in his bag of tricks and he didn’t know what else to do. 🙁

I can’t begin to tell you how nice it is to leave the house and not worry that when I get home, I’m going to have a bloody tail or paw to deal with. When Cali is itchy, she chews. Once she starts chewing, she can’t seem to stop and we end up at the vet. I love the fact that she has been so relaxed and happy this summer. I guess I feel guilty that I didn’t find a “natural” way to do it.

Regardless of my guilty feelings, Cali is enjoying her summer rolling in the grass, chewing on sticks, and swimming in the river! If you have a dog that suffers from allergies, don’t give up and don’t stop searching for a solution . . you never know what will work for your dog!

February 2013:

We started weaning Cali off of steroids because she was starting to have Cushings-like symptoms. As we weaned her off the steroids, she started having days where she would not eat and over the course of the next few months we discovered that she had cancer in her stomach. We lost Cali in May of 2013 at the age of 14 1/2.
We ALWAYS did what we thought was best for Cali and when we finally had to make the very difficult decision to end her suffering, I had so many questions. Did the steroids mask the symptoms of her stomach cancer? Did they cause them? Overall, we feel like we did everything we could to keep her comfortable and give her a pain free, happy life. If I had to do it all over again, I believe I would have done the same thing.
We do the best we can for our babies, right? This is a safe place to discuss what has worked for your pet. I know several people that cured their dogs allergies by going raw, and I really wish it would have worked for us. Does your dog have allergies? What has worked for you? Be sure to share your experiences in the comments – your comments may just help another blogger!

Tomorrow’s Caring For Critters Round Robin is going to be hosted by Kim of CindyLu’s Muse – be sure to check it out!

Pet Bloggers Gift Exchange, Wag the Dog UK

I call myself a “deadline driven” girl. If I say I’m going to do something – I do it (even if it I get it done just under the wire!)

picture of pet bloggers gift exchange

This time, I really wish I had jumped in and got this done BEFORE we brought home a new little bundle of fur! Just about every single day for the last 3 weeks, I have written the Pet Blogg

 

ers Gift Exchange post as a “to do” on my daily list, but it never seemed to happen. SO, today I am delighted to introduce you to Wag the Dog UK (I don’t know how you could possibly NOT know about this amazing blog, but just in case, I will tell you all about it!)

First of all, there is an adorable Beagle named Maggie. Nothing melts my heart more than a sweet little Beagle face. But Maggie isn’t just any Beagle, she is a world traveling Beagle! This girl has traveled by Train, Plane, Automobile, Boat, Ferry, Bus, Taxi, and Limo on three continents!

Her website: Wag the Dog UK was started in February 2012 to share great stories, tips, and a few recipes with dog lovers like us! I am new to Wag the Dog UK and I am so

image of wag the dog UK

excited for this opportunity to share it with you!

First of all, if you are a sucker for adorable Beagles like I am, you should really follow Maggie’s Instagram feed. How is it that she always looks so adorable? She also has lots of great Pinterest boards, and an active Facebook page (go follow all of these, pronto!!)

 

photo of maggie and her dogMaggie’s human is also pretty amazing! An entrepreneur with a love of animals – a pawsome combination! Trina (or Dr. Doolittle as her friends like to call her) created this really cool product, The Wag N Go Bag for dogs on the go! Keep your eyes peeled for her Kickstarter project, coming soon – in fact, you can sign up on her website to get notified when the project starts!

What will you find on Wag the Dog UK, you might ask? Well, lots of amazing information about traveling with your dog, fun blog posts like this one, and this one (that I totally related to), lots of amazing guest posts, and even a place to shop for fun pet products!

If you haven’t had a chance to visit Wag the Dog UK, please head right on over, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed! You are sure to fall in love with Maggie and her adventures!