The Man Behind the Blog

You may have noticed that in many pictures on this blog, a certain guy happens to sneak into the backgrounds of many pictures.

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I spy a sweatshirt in the background

I spy a sweatshirt in the background

Notice a theme?

Notice a theme?

Marty has a way of avoiding almost any and all pictures, hence why you’ll only see a lap or the arm of sweatshirt in most pictures. You’ll also notice that a certain dog takes up residence on Marty’s lap, not mine, 99% of the time.

Lap, arm, same thing to Lucy.

Lap, arm, same thing to Lucy.

For some reason Lucy prefers Marty over me. She’ll snuggle with me as a very last resort but if Marty’s lap is free? I’m nothing to her. She must know that I advocated against her being allowed on the couch and now shuns me every chance she gets.

"Ignore Mommy, Lucy. You can have free run of the couch."

“Ignore Mommy, Lucy. You can have free run of the couch.”

I’m not above bribery to get her to love me more, but so far it’s clearly not working.

Girls Weekend

It was just me and the girls this weekend! Marty was (and still is) away at the Landmark Conference Track & Field Championships so I was on my own with the girls this weekend. I had lots of work to do – both for my job and grad school – but the girls and I still had plenty of quality time together 🙂

Cindy did lots and lots of this:

Smushy

Smushy

And Lucy was even surprisingly calm (for her) right up until tonight…

Apparently quite bored

Apparently quite bored

Now she’s got the zoomies and keeps dragging me outside to do nothing but sprint around the yard.

I did manage to cap off our girls weekend by painting my toenails, though (I spared the girls)!

Lucy was unimpressed

Lucy was unimpressed

Just one (maybe two) more weekends of craziness and games and then it will be officially summer and I’ll have my weekends back for the first time since late August!

All Done! (and a PSA)

Yesterday morning Cindy and I were back at the vet. I was pretty sure she was going to get her third and final heartworm treatment injection but there appeared to be some confusion in the doctor’s notes. So, Cindy and I hung out in the waiting room while they sorted things out and ultimately it was determined she was indeed getting her final injection yesterday.

So, for the second day in a row I left Cindy at the vet all day 😦 This week at work has been crazy – we’ve had home games every single afternoon. Monday and Tuesday I had my assistant handle the games while I picked up Cindy but I knew I couldn’t do that three days in a row, so I enlisted Marty’s help to pick Cindy up while I was working a softball doubleheader. I armed him with a list of questions to ask the vet and as luck would have it, it rained in the third inning of the second softball game so I was able to meet him at the vet.

All I have to say is poor Cindy! She was – and is – so, so tired. These last two days have absolutely drained her. And it makes me even more angry at the puppy mill that “raised” her. It’s not fair that Cindy has to go through all of this just because a group of people do not give their dogs basic care (remember, Cindy had Lyme’s disease, too). For the next several months, when she should be outside enjoying the nice weather, she’s going to have to be cooped up inside because the exercise limitations extend for several months beyond the final heartworm injection.

As has been the case with the last two injections, she was breathing heavily and just could not settle down for several hours after we all got home from the vet. Finally around 9:30 or so, she settled down and has been doing this ever since:

Perfecting her sad, pathetic look. It works, at least on me!

Perfecting her sad, pathetic look. It works, at least on me!

I even had to physically lift her out of her bed this morning to go out and take care of her business!

Bringing this back around to our vet trip, I think some of the confusion about Cindy’s treatment stemmed from the fact that heartworm is very rare, especially in the northern states. The one and only way heartworm can be spread is from a mosquito bite – it’s not contagious – and it’s far more prevalent down South. However, dog owners take note – Cindy is a prime example that yes, you DO need to stay on top of heartworm prevention for your dogs, no matter where you live. As everyone who’s read this blog knows from my previous posts, heartworm treatment is lengthy, dangerous and expensive.

I’ll now get off my soapbox and go back to giving Cindy hugs and kisses 🙂

The End is in Sight?

At 7:40 on the dot this morning Cindy I were back at the vet for heartworm injection #2. They were ready and waiting for her – they told me they already had her ICU room all set for her. “ICU” wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear, but I knew it was so she had a place to rest and relax after her injections; after last time they knew she’d need super isolation.

Around 5:30 this evening I headed back to the vet and couldn’t get her out of there fast enough! We drove home, she slowly made her way inside, ate her dinner and then wandered around restlessly. Just like last time she couldn’t seem to get comfortable and was on the couch, off the couch, on her bed, on the floor. Finally she decided the floor made a good resting spot.

Can't. Move. Any. Further.

Can’t. Move. Any. Further.

Lucy was SO excited to welcome Cindy home! As usual, I had to keep my eye on her to make sure she didn’t get Cindy too excited but she seemed to know Cindy wasn’t feeling her best.

Watching over the patient.

Watching over the patient.

Nurse Lucy pulling bedside duty

Nurse Lucy pulling bedside duty

We head back to the vet tomorrow for a re-check. There was apparently some confusion in the doctor’s notes about when the third (and theoretical final) injection would happen. It was supposed to be day 91 (tomorrow) but apparently there might be some hope she won’t need a third injection. I’ll find out more tomorrow when we meet with the doctor. Cindy will need to continue to be restricted in her exercise and exertion for several months no matter when her last injection is, but either way I think the end is in sight and she’ll be feeling 100% sooner rather than later!

P.S. – Cindy was down to 49.9 pounds!! She has lost seven-plus pounds since we got her – way to go Cindy!

Girl, Look at that Body! (Cindy Works Out)

The title is a reference to my favorite M&M commercial 🙂

Actually, Cindy has NOT been working out due to her heartworm treatments. She’s been doing a lot of this:

She's almost human-like in the way she lounges and smushes her pillow until she gets it juuust right

She’s almost human-like in the way she lounges and smushes her pillow until she gets it juuust right

And this:

Paws crossed like a lady.

Paws crossed like a lady.

However, our neighbor asked me today if Cindy had lost weight! While I don’t know how much weight she’s lost in the four weeks since her first heartworm treatment, she has definitely lost weight since we got her. Cindy goes back to the vet Tuesday morning and we’ll get another weigh-in. Last time she was 51.1 pounds, down from 57-plus pounds when we first got her.

So what are Cindy’s weight loss secrets? Moderate exercise (when healthy), portion control and plenty of rest and recovery between workouts.

Bed buddies

Bed buddies

Spring Photo Shoot

It finally feels like spring here so I’ve been trying to keep the doggies out a bit longer after work. Now, Cindy still can’t be exercised or get excited, but luckily she’s happy to just roam slowly around the yard and roll around in the grass while Lucy chews and chases her stockpile of sticks.

Last night I was able to capture photos of a typical trip outside with the doggies.

Yes?

Yes?

Upside down turtle!

Upside down turtle!

This tongue is why any ointment I put on her nose to fix the dryness doesn't have time to work!

This tongue is why any ointment I put on her nose to fix the dryness doesn’t have time to work!

Lucy chewing her stick, Cindy staring into space. All is normal

Lucy chewing her stick, Cindy staring into space. All is normal

Guarding her stick

Guarding her stick

Yum

Yum

I’m counting my blessings that Cindy is an inherently calm dog. While I miss her on my walks with Lucy, for the most part she’s been able to still hang with all of us. She doesn’t exert much effort in anything she does – which is as it should be after all she’s been through – so while I’m definitely still on guard about what she does and how she reacts to things, for the most part she’s been a model patient 🙂

Cindy Forgoes Healthy Eating

I don’t quite remember why exactly, but growing up we fed our lab, Samantha, carrots as her treats instead of biscuits. That dog had more energy than she knew what to do with any my mom took her for FOUR walks every single day but I vaguely remembering the vet saying something about watching Samantha’s weight and I guess ever since then she got carrots.

Well, Lucy is like Samantha – she will eat anything you call a “treat” and because bulldogs are prone to being, well, fat, I tried to see if Lucy would eat carrots.

One of Lucy's carrot pieces. Notice the lip-licking already occurring.

One of Lucy’s carrot pieces. Notice the lip-licking already occurring.

I often make some sort of tuna salad every few weeks and chop up carrots for the salad so she’s used to the routine. I chop carrots and she waits until I “release” her to get the carrot.

She's so good at waiting until I tell her to eat the treat. (note the circled carrot piece). Puppy class paid off!

She’s so good at waiting until I tell her to eat the treat. (note the circled carrot piece). Puppy class paid off!

Cindy is like velcro so if I’m in the kitchen for more than three minutes, she comes in to inspect what I’m doing. Several times I tried feeding her a piece of carrot like I do for Lucy. I finally caught her reaction on camera.

Placing the carrot literally in her mouth for her.

Placing the carrot literally in her mouth for her.

Testing the waters…

"I'm not sure if I like this carrot thing, Mom..."

“I’m not sure if I like this carrot thing, Mom…”

And then we finally come to the end of our experiment.

The landing place for the carrot piece

The landing place for the carrot piece

Cindy spits that carrot back out like a dart. Kind of like this clip (skip to 1:35 mark).

Nurse Cindy

Lucy was not feeling her best on Sunday. She had diarrhea (a trend around here lately in regards to the doggies) three times on one five-minute trip outside. I think Cindy knew Lucy was feeling crummy.

"Cleaning" Lucy. Maybe she thought a tongue bath would make her feel better?

“Cleaning” Lucy. Maybe she thought a mini-bath would make her feel better?

Cindy’s “cleaning” of Lucy went on for quite a while and she stuck by Lucy’s side for most of the night.

Keeping a close eye on Lucy

Keeping a close eye on Lucy

I think it’s so interesting how they each seem to know when the other isn’t feeling well. They’ve been a bit ornery lately – I’m sure the upset tummies have something to do with it – but they’ve definitely become buddies.

Weekend Visitors and a Natural Laxative

This past weekend my parents came out to Selinsgrove for a brief visit – the first time they’ve been out here since we got Cindy and probably the first time since early October?

Mommy and Daddy weren't quite sure what to make of Cindy and her constant noises. She, however, had a blast!

Mommy and Daddy weren’t quite sure what to make of Cindy and her constant noises. She, however, had a blast!

As usual, Cindy soaked up the attention. Unlike Lucy who won’t go near my dad for the first 20 minutes he’s here, Cindy practically jumped on his lap the minute he sat down. Where he promptly got a good whiff of her breath 🙂

Lucy wasn’t so keen on sharing the attention, however.

Sulking

Sulking

Severely annoyed at the lack of attention

Severely annoyed at the lack of attention

She finally took refuge under my mom’s chair and pouted there for a good while.

At least she's adorable when she pouts.

At least she’s adorable when she pouts.

They finally calmed down and chewed happily – and noisily – on their matching toys while I caught up with my parents.

Twins

Twins

Lucy also got to strut her stuff at the track meet on Saturday – singlet and all! She had a blast and was absolutely tuckered out by the time we got home. Unfortunately Cindy had to stay home but luckily she seems pretty quick to forgive me everytime I have to leave the apartment with Lucy and not her.

All in all a perfect weekend for everyone involved.

P.S. – Without fail every single time I take Lucy on a car ride she takes the largest crap known to man within three minutes of getting to our destination and out of the car and it was no different on Saturday when we got to the track meet. Don’t worry Susquehanna properties – I bring lots of bags with me 🙂

Everyone’s a Critic

Apparently Cindy doesn’t approve of my Tupperware storage techniques.

Cindy hadn't gotten to the part where she put it all back before I got home...

Cindy hadn’t gotten to the part where she put it all back before I got home…

What, Mom? You did a crummy job of organizing the cabinet. Just trying to help.

What, Mom? You did a crummy job of organizing the cabinet. Just trying to help.

This isn’t the first time it’s happened, either. I don’t know if she’s trying to go for the food on the top shelf? She hasn’t actually gotten to the food and now 99% of the time we remember to actually close the cabinet when we leave because this is what happens when we don’t 🙂