Rough Start to the Weekend

Today was not exactly the best start to the weekend.

It all started at 5 a.m. Marty and I both woke up early as we had long, busy days ahead at work. Marty went downstairs first and from upstairs I heard Cindy hacking up…something. Turns out she was puking up a lovely mix of saliva and foamy stuff and she continued to dry heave on and off.

We took her outside to do her business, got her to drink some water and lifted her onto the couch for some R&R while we worked out, all the while keeping an eye on her.

Lucy was worried and stuck by Cindy's side all morning.

Lucy was worried and stuck by Cindy’s side all morning.

Cindy stopped her hacking and puking so I decided to feed her breakfast, albeit slowly. So I fed her spoonful by spoonful and she ate everything. And then puked everything back up approximately three minutes later. Not good. Cindy is on steroids as part of the heartworm treatment but she obviously didn’t keep her morning dose down, and I started to get worried. One of the symptoms to watch out for after the heartworm injections is vomiting – put a big, fat check mark next to that one.

I called the vet who said she could come in and get an anti-nausea shot, so at 9:45 this morning I hauled Cindy back to the vet for the second time in five days. They were happy to see her but I was not happy to be there. Cindy got her shot and then we hopped back into the car and headed home. Unfortunately I had to head to work, which was the last place I wanted to be but it’s not like I had a choice.

Luckily when I returned home there was no puke and Cindy promptly went outside and did her business. Following the vet’s suggestion, I fed her a mix of rice and bouillon along with a very, very tiny scoop of food. I crossed my fingers and fed her a small amount – and this time it stayed down!

However, there’s no doubt she feels pretty shitty.

Not enough energy to make it onto the couch.

Not enough energy to make it onto the couch.

And Lucy is pretty worried.

Keeping a close eye on Cindy.

Keeping a close eye on Cindy.

Four hours later and Cindy has still kept her food down although it’s obvious she’s feeling less than 100%. Honestly, how do parents of human children do it? I’m a nervous wreck over a dog that technically isn’t mine (since she’s a foster) and it’s stressing me out big time!



Cindy laughs in the face of heartworms!


I’m a slightly less paranoid wreck than I was two days ago. We seem to be settling back into the same routine we had before except a few more naps, a few less walks and a few more pee spots on the carpet every morning. Not sure what’s causing the peeing beyond the fact that she’s drinking a lot of water and can’t hold it for six hours every night?

I’d say Wednesday was definitely Cindy’s sleepiest day; I could tell she was absolutely pooped for most of the day before rallying a bit at night.

Sleepy but looking adorable in her new harness!

Sleepy but looking adorable in her new harness!

Thursday seemed to be a turning point; she had a lot more energy and apparently even tried chasing our neighbor’s dogs! Obviously I about near had a heart attack when Marty told me that, but for the most part we’ve been able to keep her (and Lucy) calm.

Nap buddies

Nap buddies

I think if we were home all day or had normal, 9-5 jobs it would be a lot harder to manage this heartworm thing, but since we have large chunks of time where we’re at work and neither of us has a normal workday schedule, Cindy’s able to pretty much sleep all day. Normally I hate having such a weird, non-regular work schedule but for now I’m grateful because it means Cindy’s able to relax all day. I feel guilty for leaving them and yet I know it’s better for Cindy right now to be able to sleep away most of the day.

Plus she looks so cute when she’s sleeping 🙂

Absolute cuteness

Absolute cuteness

And here’s a gratuitous, cute photo of Lucy just because. 🙂

Work it, Lucy!

Work it, Lucy!

Thank Goodness That’s Over

Cindy’s injection number one of three on day 60 of a 91-day heartworm treatment is done! Thank goodness. Although the hard work is really just starting…

Tuesday at 8 a.m. I dropped Cindy off at the vet for her day-long procedure. The one and only highlight of leaving her behind? We found out she’s down to 52.2 pounds (she came in at 57-plus pounds)!

Pre-procedure smiles

Pre-procedure smiles

Beyond picking her up, that was really the only highlight of the day. I spent all my time at work worrying and carrying my cell phone around with me waiting for the call saying I could pick her up. I hadn’t heard anything all day and when it got to be close to 5 p.m., I finally called and they told me she was ready to go home. I think I broke speed records getting there to pick her up.

I was in the reception area waiting to be called into an exam room to see her but when I heard her breathing and scuffling walk from yards away I raced (uncalled) into the room I knew she was in. I was SO SO happy to see her I almsot cried.

The vet tech told me that Cindy did great. She had some problems with her respiration immediately after the injection so they put her in “super” isolation to keep her calm and she seemed to respond well after that.

I got her follow-up meds (steroids) and we made the slow walk to the car to head home. Cindy has to remain extremely calm for the next four weeks – until her next two injections – and that is going to be the hard part.

Lucy was very excited to see her and it was hard keeping the two of them calm. Cindy’s breathing was already a bit rough – we think she was super dry because she chugged water all night and then peed all over the carpet this morning – and to say I was a tad anxious would be a gross understatement.

Cindy just would not settle down; she wasn’t excited, persay, but I tried keeping her alone in the kitchen and she barked. Not exactly a recipe to remain calm. I brought her into the living room and put her on the couch so she could be around Lucy and me to avoid separation anxiety but she could not get comfy. She wandered all over the couch and wouldn’t fall asleep. I, however, was exhausted but just couldn’t leave her while she was awake. I was a ball of anxiety. Just ask Marty.

Finally around 9 p.m. she and Lucy settled on the couch and Cindy promptly fell fast asleep; so did I (yes, I’m an old lady who goes to bed at 9 every night. Hey, I get up at 5 a.m.!).

Finally starting to settle down for the night.

Finally starting to settle down for the night.

Yesterday’s drama seems to have now caught up with her. She didn’t have the energy to make it outside this morning and peed all over the carpet but I’m so glad to have her home I wasn’t super annoyed 🙂 So far Cindy’s list of activities this morning includes sleeping, eating and sleeping.

Lucy's butt makes for a cushy pillow

Lucy’s butt makes for a cushy pillow

I’m very lucky in that Cindy is an inherently calm dog so more than anything it’s going to be managing the two dogs to prevent extra excitment for Cindy.

It’s going to be a long couple of weeks…

I’m Sad

Early Tuesday morning I have to drop Cindy off at the vet for her first of three heartworm injection treatments.

I have to get what? Injections??

I have to get what? Injections??

I’ve been dreading this for weeks. Every day Cindy seems to improve and become happier and happier. This morning she even chased a squirrel! If you’ve met Cindy you know what a big deal that is – the girl frequently stumbles when she walks (not because she’s clumsy but because due to breeding her shoulders are a disaster). She goes for walks with me and Lucy pretty much every day and just absolutely soaks up the attention we get on our walks.

Starting Tuesday that all changes when she needs to be closely monitored and kept calm with little to no exertion; obviously walks fall under that category, as does “chasing” squirrels, playing with Lucy and trudging through the snow.

Cindy, you mean we can't play wrestle anymore?

Cindy, you mean we can’t play wrestle anymore?

My biggest fear, beyond the health risks, is that she becomes sad again when she needs to be exiled to the kitchen for parts of the day and watches Lucy and me leave for our daily walks. She’s been through so much during her six-plus years at the puppy mill – things I’ll never know about – and I don’t want her to ever think she’s being abandoned. I know, I know, she’s a dog, she has the mentality of a two-year old and these treatments only last a month. But I’ve never met a bigger lovebug than Cindy and I think Lucy will also miss their time together.

The girls

The girls

Crossing my fingers all goes well over the next month, Cindy isn’t further scarred for life (dramatic, much?) and in 30 days we have a fully healthy dog ready for adoption!

Lucy’s Thursday Photoshoot

This is the picture of a dog who wet her bed overnight and another dog who had two bouts of diarrhea all before the hour of 6 a.m.

Not so innocent

Not so innocent

Fortunately Lucy seems to feel fine and is back to her weird ways. For some reason, this morning she was obsessed with hiding under one of our chairs and behind a camera bag I had placed near the chair. Weird, but it made for some really cute photos.




I guess she felt like she had her own secret cave?

Well, if she’s going to make me clean up toxic poop in the dark, the least she can do is look cute 🙂

If You Could Only Save One Thing, What Would it Be?

Did anyone else used to ask the question, “if your house was burning down and you could only save one thing, what would it be?” A really morbid question, now that I think about it, but enlightening nonetheless.

Well, last night Lucy answered all on her own what she’d save if our apartment burned down. Or got covered in three-plus inches of snow in the middle of March!

Lucy loves snow. I do not.

Lucy loves snow. I do not.

The snow here in Central PA started around 3 p.m. yesterday afternoon. That evening, after letting Lucy out after work to do her business and feeding her dinner, she still wouldn’t leave me alone. She was climbing on the sofa, standing on my chest, batting me with her paw and generally making it impossible to ignore her. Clearly she wanted to go out, so we did.

And do you want to know the one and only thing she did while she was out there? You guessed it, rescue her stick from the snow and bring it onto the porch.

One of Lucy's favorite sticks

One of Lucy’s favorite sticks

She literally hopped off the porch, picked up her beloved stick, plopped it on the porch and asked to go back inside.

I got the message Lucy, loud and clear. Sticks should be never be buried in the snow.

P.S. – So what is one thing you’d save if your house was burning down? I guess I’d have to go with my phone, as superficial as that seems. It has pictures, contact numbers, email and games. What more could I need?? If I wanted to take the harder route and pick something else, I guess I’d go with my box of letters, cards and notes I’ve saved over the years.

One-Year Checkup

On Friday morning Lucy had her one-year checkup at the vet! I was battling a mild case of the flu so I felt like I was the one who needed to see a doctor, but I lugged Lucy to see Dr. Mac to hopefully get a clean bill of health.

Waiting, waiting...

Waiting, waiting…

Do NOT let this picture fool you. It took me 20 minutes to get a picture where Lucy stood still for more than one second. It was a packed waiting room which meant Lucy went into hyperactive overdrive and my shoulder felt like it was falling out of its socket by the time our names were called.

Speaking of which, first up in our appointment was the dreaded scale…

And this is also not what Lucy looked like, not even close. It took two tries and five minutes for her to stand still long enough to get a reading on the scale which – cue the angels singing – read that she had lost an entire pound! Yay!!

Once we got into our waiting room, where my shoulder thanked me profusely, we waited a bit more for Dr. Mac to come in and see us. Fortunately Lucy was off-leash in the office and sniffed her way around the room.

"Where is Dr. Mac?"

“Where is Dr. Mac?”

Well, $345 later, Lucy was stocked up with a year’s supply of heartworm and Lyme/tick meds, a microchip, clipped nails and a clean bill of health!

Yum, lots of hairballs in here to eat, I mean chase

Yum, lots of hairballs in here to eat, I mean chase

Of course multiple vets and technicians came in to see little Lucy during her checkup – they love her there, which is why I love our vet. They remember all their patients and even asked about Cindy.

Well, Lucy, here’s to another year of good health!

The Key to a Healthy Digestive System

…is to essentially do the opposite of what Lucy does.

It started last Saturday morning. Lucy and I headed to a local park to watch a co-worker run a 5k. We were there an hour early (whoops) but luckily the co-worker’s wife and son (who’s almost seven) were there and he helped entertain Lucy for the hour. Of course, she didn’t need much help being entertained – the field was literally covered in sticks of every size. So we threw sticks, Lucy chewed on more than I can count as I found out on Sunday (and Monday and Tuesday), she literally ate quite a few of those sticks.

Sunday morning I came downstairs and all looked normal – Lucy was curled up on the couch barely paying any attention to me. I walked over to give her a good-morning pet and that was when I noticed a scattering of woodchips and stick pieces stuck all over the blanket surrounded by a large wet spot. I had NO clue what she had done. Had she puked up woodchips? Then where was the puke? (I know, gross). I was thoroughly confused but figured she had maybe stored a few pieces of stick in her jowls (she’s been known to do that…).

But I came down Monday morning and same thing! A big wet spot on the blanket and a few hunks of stick.

Tuesday morning I finally figured out what was going on and that I have the world’s most disgusting dog.

We have a whole host of cleaning products for a reason.

We have a whole host of cleaning products for a reason.

She had been puking – but eating her puke and leaving just the woodchips behind. Lovely. However, Tuesday morning she missed some of the puke which I found on the floor, so I was able to put the pieces together.

Doesn’t look like a dog who had just puked up woodchips, does she?

I feel so much better now, Mommy!

I feel so much better now, Mommy!

We’re on morning two of no puke and no woodchips. On a serious note, I was really worried that we were going to have a big problem on our hands. Growing up, our chocolate lab had two surgeries to remove foreign objects from her stomach that had totally blocked her stomach/intestines so I was kind of paranoid about Lucy.

Luckily, she always acted fine before and after puking incidents. A silver lining? She has her one-year checkup today and maybe the puking made her lose a few pounds in the process and the vet won’t call her chunky. 🙂

This wet spot? It's nothing, trust me, Mom.

This wet spot? It’s nothing, trust me, Mom.

A Veggie-Filled Diet

In 20 minutes, Lucy took down an entire carrot.

What is this I see??

What is this I see??

My brother got this toy carrot for Lucy and told me that he hoped it would last “at least a day.” Yeah, it lasted 20 minutes. RIP, Carrot. Lucy thought eating healthy meant eating a plastic carrot instead of the real thing.

Is this for me?

Is this for me?

I think I'll take this over here...

I think I’ll take this over here…



Happy Monday

It’s Monday and no one likes Mondays. So just a quick post with two cute pictures to start the week with a smile or two.



And here is the view I see every morning while I work out. And no, Cindy isn’t actually looking at anything, just staring into space.

Neither is impressed with my displays of strength in the mornings

Neither is impressed with my displays of strength in the mornings