Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: They Ate It

My dogs learned how to climb on the table. They chewed up the paper my doctor wrote what blood tests I needed on.

They climbed the table and didn't go after the bowl of dog food!!! Now I have to go to the doctor and give the whole "my dog ate my blood test paper" excuse. Oh, and some good news... the doctor said my Lupus is in remission. Woot woot. (That's why there's a Lupus thing in the "related articles" section. It's linked to my Lupus blog.)

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Monday, November 25, 2013

20 Items On My Dogs' Bucket List

A while ago I started a bucket list for myself. On it are fun items like "Pet or feed a hippo" and "Visit Italy". I'm determined to knock off all the items on my list before I kick the can. My list gave me the idea to come up with a list for my dogs. Their lives are significantly shorter than the human lifespan and I want to make sure they had the best life possible.

Princess And Nessie's Bucket List

  1. Take the dogs to a dog park.
  2. Play with the dogs in the snow.
  3. Take them to a dog beach.
  4. Take them on a hike.
  5. Take them with me to the next Lupus Walk.
  6. Try out "Doga", dog yoga.
  7. Have at least one dog pass the Canine Good Citizen test.
  8. Go camping.
  9. DNA test the dogs.
  10. Have the dogs paint a picture.
  11. Watch a dog movie with them- Cry shamelessly.
  12. Help a shelter dog get adopted.
  13. Have a birthday party for Princess.
  14. Take the dogs stargazing.
  15. Fight breed discrimination.
  16. Take them on a long road trip.
  17. Finish housebreaking Princess.
  18. Get Nessie comfortable with baths.
  19. Teach them 1 useless trick.
  20. Teach them 1 lifesaving trick.

What's on your dog's bucket list?

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Nessie Got Spayed

I'm one of those dog mamas. The kind that carries dog treats in their purse even when they don't have their dogs with them. The kind that kisses their dogs right on the lips. I'm the kind that would move mountains to protect their dogs.

My dogs are my children. I'm also a new dog mama. I've had dogs my entire life, but none that I could claim as my own. And like all new mothers, I'm a worry-wart and a bit overprotective.

Because we are fostering Nessie at the moment, the shelter made an appointment for her to get spayed. I knew it was necessary, but seeing my dog in pain was awful. She is mostly recovered and is back to her old self. But the recovery felt like months instead of 5 days.

Day 1

It all started on November 14th. I drove Nessie through 15 miles of desert to a weather-beaten building. We arrived early, at 7: 45, and had to wait until they opened at 8 o'clock in the morning. I wasn't expecting to wait and had carried Nessie to the door. She's a 18 lbs, so by the time they unlocked the doors my arms felt like falling off. I was nervous. I had images of saying goodbye to Nessie while they put needles hooked to IVs into her. I imagined a cold, metal exam table and being ushered out the room so they could start the surgery. Thank goodness that didn't happen.

My parents' dog, Dusty, was fixed before we finished the adoption process. It was the summer before 6th grade and I had found him two days after the 4th of July. The day after his surgery we took him home to join our family and he peed in the car. It smelled like asparagus. But this time I didn't have my parents with me. It was my dog that I was taking.

Would she hate going to the vet from now on? Would she be angry with me for taking her to that mean place that made her hurt? How do I even care for a dog after surgery? I had a billion questions in my head and not a single answer.

I drove home after dropping her off and Princess and I spent the rest of the day playing and getting the house clean.

Princess and I posing for the camera
She even played a little Xbox with me.
Princess the Puppy plays Xbox with me.
Six thirty rolled around and I drove back across the desert to pick Nessie up. I couldn't stop the flow of thoughts floating through my mind. How would Nessie handle the bumpy road after her surgery? How would I get her in the car without hurting her? And how would I keep her and Princess separate for the next few days? 

When they brought Nessie out, I was amazed at how active she was. She was so happy to see me I knew my fears of her hating me were silly. I kissed her right on the lips in front of a room full of people and I didn't care. I had my Nessie back and she was okay.

We needed to keep Princess away, which was difficult, so we put Nessie's bed in Princess' sleeping crate and gently put her inside with her food bowl and some water. I was terrified of hurting her every time I had to pick her up. But she was an angel.

Nessie resting after her surgery
Princess trying to free Nessie from prison

Fast Forward

On the 17th, we let Princess and Nessie hang out for the first time. They still couldn't play too hard, but we let them roll around a little bit. Princess was so happy to have her buddy back. Nessie was less excited about the whole thing. Even after two very long walks, Princess was a too aggressive for Nessie's taste. She could often be found hiding under the bed, on top of the bed, or on top of the couch where Princess struggled to reach her.

Today they are best of buds, again. They've been playing for hours but their playing is notably more tame than it was pre-surgery. Thank goodness.

Did you have any pre-doggy-surgery worries that turned out to be just silly?

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Puppy Adoption: Getting Princess

I adopted Princess when she was 6 weeks old. Six weeks is very, very young for a puppy to be adopted and taken from it's mother, but it was a special circumstance.

Princess' Mother

Princess' mother, Nessie, used to have a family. Her family went on a long weekend and left her tied to a leash in the middle of the yard (since they lacked a fence). After the long weekend, they come home to find Nessie was missing. After searching everywhere, they finally found her with the leash tightly wound around her leg.

Her family rushed her to the vet. She needed to had the leg amputated but Nessie's family couldn't afford the high price of surgery. The vet gave them another option. He would do the surgery for free but they would have to give the dog up and he would help Nessie find a good home. The family agreed and the surgery was performed. It was during the surgery when they realized Nessie was pregnant.


Flash forward to the day I got Princess. I opened the front door to see my friend and her husband holding two adorable puppies! They were the cutest things. I wanted to get a dog but the timing never seemed right. It was their cute appearances that convinced me I need a puppy right that instant. After convincing my hubby that we needed a puppy, we all hopped into my friend's car and drove to the puppy house.

It was impossible to pick out a puppy. We had three to choose from and I honestly wanted them all. We narrowed it down to the runt of the litter and the second largest puppy. I was rooting for the runt, but after watching how these puppies interacted with us, the bigger dog won a place in our home. She was the most receptive to our playing and petting.

The puppy was free, so we brought her home right away. It took a few days for us to come up with a name, but Princess' personality is that of a princess. She thinks she runs the show and does as she pleases.

And that is the story of how we got Princess the Puppy.

Disclaimer: I realize that puppies should not be removed from their mother until they are 8 weeks old. The vet said that the mother had finished nursing her pups and the pups did not appear to need the mother's nursing anymore. If I hadn't taken Princess and the other puppies hadn't been adopted, they would have been taken to the Shelter, which is a worse place for a puppy than with a family that cares. But please, in all other circumstances, keep the puppy with their mother until they are at least 8 weeks old.

10 Reasons You Shouldn't Adopt A Puppy

 Puppies are adorable. They're soft and fluffy and they fit snugly in your arms. Who doesn't want a puppy? But oftentimes people get puppies and they don't understand just what they're getting themselves into. And that's why a lot of young dogs end up in shelters.

Before you get a puppy let me tell you just what you'll be getting into. You might realize that an older dog would be the better choice for you and your family.
Princess' Dirty Butt (Photo taken by Megan Folse)

10 Reasons Getting A Puppy Is A Terrible Idea

  1. Puppies are not housebroken: Unless you get an older puppy who has had some training, puppies aren't housebroken. No matter how hard you try, you're going to be cleaning up messes. And sometimes, there will be poo on the carpet.
  2. Puppies are babies: Puppies are exactly like human babies, but they grow up faster. You have to teach them everything they'll ever have to know. You are in charge of making sure they get socialized. Loving them is not enough.
  3. They are small: That's part of the puppy appeal. But it's also the cause of many headaches and nightmares. Take Princess for example. She loves small spaces. If you can't find her you should look under the bed, behind the nightstand, between the couch and the wall, behind the tv stand, between the TV stand and the wall, and any other small space she can find. She even got her head stuck in the couch once. 
    Princess attacks my hair 
  4. They take a lot of time: You have to play with them, train them, bathe them, exercise them, teach them wrong from right, feed them, etc. It. Never. Ends.
  5. Two words: "Teething Phase": When the puppy starts to teethe, the nightmare truly begins. Your fingers, ankles, arms, toes, and everything else is fair game. And you can find them the tastiest things to chew on and they will still choose you. Or anything else they can get their mouth on. And that leads me to...
  6. They learn by putting things in their mouths: And they will put EVERYTHING in their mouths. Cigarette butts they find on the street, weeds growing in your yard, metal table legs, wood table legs, other animal's poop, plastic, bugs, and the list is endless. And because they're puppies they haven't mastered "Drop it!" so you have to pry their jaw apart and grab the thing they shouldn't be eating.
  7. They don't understand "No": You have to teach them what "No" means. Dogs aren't wired to understand human. You have to be very patient when training a puppy because frustration is going to be your biggest enemy.
  8. You can't let them out of your sight: I am completely surprised by the number of ways Princess gets herself in trouble. I've done a pretty good job of puppy-proofing the house and training her but she finds trouble in any room. 
  9. You can't have nice things anymore: This is self explanatory.
  10. Princess chillin' under the table
  11. They have endless energy: Before we got Nessie, Princess and I would go on at least one walk a day. Sometimes two. I'd also make sure I played with her every two hours or so. And I'd do 5-10 minute training sessions throughout the day. Somehow, she never ran out of energy. I could get in an hour tops of work or chores done before she'd be ready to go at it again. And during the night I could hear her playing with her toys instead of sleeping. You need stamina to keep up with a puppy.
I hope you consider this list before purchasing a puppy. It's okay if you aren't ready. Puppies are a huge responsibility. This doesn't mean you have to forgo a dog altogether. There are so many dogs in animal shelters looking for great homes. Many already have had some training and are housebroken. 

If you've owned a puppy before, what advice would you give potential puppy owners? Don't forget to share if you like this post.

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Friday, November 8, 2013

We Got Nessie

Two days ago my hubby and I got Nessie, Princess' birth mother. It was a nerve-racking day from the moment I woke up until we got the good news.

Trying To Get Nessie

It was the 5th of November. I hadn't heard from the housing office in a week even though they promised to get back to me about doing a payment plan for the pet fee. It's a silly $200 payment for each dog you have, which means for two dog owners, they have to pay $400. Of course you get it all back when you move out if your house is in good condition. But that's a long time to go without $400. And money doesn't grow on trees out here.

Princess and I walked there. I was hoping her cute face could get me what I wanted. It's hard to say no to her adorable puppy eyes. And it worked! They let me break it down into $50 every paycheck which my husband and I can manage if we tighten our belts a little more.

Off To The Shelter

I could not wait to go pick up the gorgeous Nessie. I wanted nothing more than to reunite this family and have everyone live happily ever after. I ran down to the shelter to tell them that I could finally foster Nessie and eventually we would like to adopt her. But they told me that another couple had called 20 minutes before I got in saying they wanted to adopt Nessie. And the next day they would be bringing in their English Bulldog to see if they got along. My heart broke. Nessie was going to be adopted and wouldn't be able to stay with her baby. How could anyone love Nessie more than I could?

I went home very sad. The only hope I had left was that they would realize Nessie was too high-energy for them and a calmer dog would be better. They would arrive at the shelter at 2:30 and I would have my answer by 3 o' clock.


I spend the entire morning alternating between cleaning the house like a maniac and crying and begging the universe to let me get Nessie. I also gave Princess a few motivational speeches. If someone had broken into my house, they would have seen me rocking Princess like a baby, bawling my eyes out, explaining how she may not get her birth mama but I will always be her mama and I will love until after she's old and arthritic and I will love her long after she dies.

I was a mess.

Three o' clock rolls around and I'm freaking out. Why haven't they called yet? They said they would call. I bet this means that they're filling out paperwork for Nessie. OR maybe they're still trying to decide what dog to get! That's it!!!! Maybe I should go down there with Princess and tell those people "Hey, see this puppy? She's Nessie's baby. Do you really want to split a family apart? You heartless souls!"

So I wake the hubby up and we drive down there with Princess and just wait. And I go inside because I've got myself so nervous I have to pee and I see they have another dog out, Emma. Things are looking good for me. We wait outside. Then I feel embarrassed so we wait in the car. Finally we get a phone call. "Please tell me they didn't choose Nessie!"

Bringing Her Home

Nessie was ecstatic to be going home. She could not sit still the entire car ride and Princess was just as excited. My family was now complete. And the mother/daughter duo have not stopped playing since.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Princess the Puppy Eats Too Much Peanut Butter

My favorite thing about having a puppy is showing her all sorts of new things in life. It's like having a baby and teaching them how to blow bubbles or how to say a word. I get just as excited when showing Princess something new.

I decided that having her try peanut butter would be a lot of fun. Now in this video, make sure you watch the first few seconds- it's hilarious.

How did your dog (or human baby) react to eating peanut butter for the first time?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Princess The Puppy Reacting To Funny Noises

Here is Princess the Puppy reacting to funny noises I made. Isn't she just the cutest thing?