Happy Howl-o-Ween

I know, I know, corny title. But it’s Halloween and despite the cruddy weather, we’ve had a festive day around here! I will preface this by saying yes, I am fully, 100%, completely aware the dogs have less than zero clue what is going on and that I am treating them like tiny humans but any reason to make a day extra special – especially a random Thursday – and I’m all for it.

It started with giving the doggies their Halloween toys:

Toys and treats

Toys and treats

Not so patiently waiting for toys

Not so patiently waiting for toys

Lucy got Charlie Brown:

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And Snowy got Tweety Bird:

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This afternoon I gave them their special Halloween treats…

Yum!

Yum!

And then I put their jerseys on:

Extremely less than thrilled

Extremely less than thrilled

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And we made a visit to our vet to get pictures taken (and free doggie water bottles for showing up in “costume”) and made a pit stop at track practice to visit Marty and the team.

Not bad for a rainy Halloween!

Photo Friday

Lucy has been particularly cute these past few mornings. Every single morning she plants herself in the corner of the couch while I work out and these are some of the views to which I’m treated:

Twisted up like a pretzel

Twisted up like a pretzel

Vampire dog, as Marty calls her.

Vampire dog, as Marty calls her.

Another long, busy weekend ahead although mostly for me, not the doggies. I’m still debating whether Snowy needs a Halloween costume or not, so that might be my task on Sunday…

This Should Never Have Happened

A quick rant.

S.N.O.R.T. recently had a male English bulldog, Grimmly Fiendish, surrendered to the group. Apparently his family’s home was ruined in Hurricane Sandy and had been forced to move to a new residence that did not allow dogs.

So their logical solution? Keep Grimmly inside the home that was unlivable for humans and check on him once a day.

Say what?

Yes, for the past year apparently this sweet boy was living all by his lonesome in an abandoned home not fit for human living. He developed fungus on his feet, sores on his legs and rear and only when his health “became a concern” to the family did they surrender him to S.N.O.R.T. The thought of him sitting alone day after day makes me simultaneously cry and feel sick to my stomach.

Unfortunately for Grimmly his family’s humane decision came too late and he passed away today from a variety of issues.

How can people do this? People ask me all the time why we didn’t keep Cindy and why we aren’t planning on keeping Snowy (although I desperately want to) and it’s because we’re not 100% sure we can financially provide for two dogs. It’s not fair to the dog, simple as that. And I would have the same answer if I didn’t think I could devote enough care or attention to my dog or dogs.

This story (obviously) makes me so angry and so, so sad. Just look at his sweet, happy face.

grimmly

At least he had a warm home and love for his final few days.

Big Girls Don’t Cry

Or can’t cry, in Snowy’s case.

Snowy had a follow-up vet appointment this morning.

Yes?

Yes?

As I mentioned before, she has three separate eye issues (all three in both eyes, of course): dry eye, entropian (her lower eyelashes curl in, obviously causing irritation) and distichia (teeny, tiny little hairs on her upper eyelids that may or may not be bothering her).

Step one was to get her producing tears. From my understanding, there is no surgery to produce tears; we were hopeful that starting a different kind of drop would start producing tears. At our last appointment, before we switched drops, Snowy was producing exactly zero tears and zero tears in each eye. Today she produced zero tears and maybe registered a 1-2 on the other eye (normal range is something like 16-20, I think).

Despite the little progress, there is still some progress so she’s going to stay on the drops, most likely for the rest her life; the vet said it can take months for the drops to have their full effect so we’ll keep plugging away. The entropian need to be operated on no matter what and Snowy still needs to be spayed, so it’s looking probable that we’ll schedule both surgeries in the near future.

"I stick my tongue out at surgery."

“I stick my tongue out at surgery.”

The distichia is something that my vet cannot do (they don’t have the equipment) and since we aren’t sure how much that issue is even bothering her, we’re going to hold off. If we feel she needs it after the entropian surgeries, she’ll either have it done while still being fostered or we’ll tell her future forever family that it’s an issue that may need to be taken care of.

I’m optimistic she won’t need the distichia surgeries; even now, before any surgeries on her eyes at all, you really can’t tell if she’s in any discomfort. She has to be – I mean, how painful does it sound to have your lower eyelashes curl inwards?? – but she shows zero signs of pain or discomfort.

She was such a trooper today. She’s not a huge fan of having people poke around her eyes and really hates having the tear test strips stuck in her corneas (duh, who wouldn’t hate that?), but she hung tough. She has lost another pound-plus, bringing her to 49 pounds and change and she definitely doesn’t need to lose any more weight – go Snowy!

"Told you I wasn't fat."

“Told you I wasn’t fat.”

She found the joy of the treat jar and had many visitors stop by our room to check on her. I just love her more and more each day. She has to have come from such horrendous conditions and while she’s still a little spooky in new situations, she’s been warming up quicker and quicker to people and strange places. She even placed her front paws on the vet tech’s knees so she could give her kisses.

Here’s to finally getting Snowy the vet care she needed!

Homecoming

It’s Homecoming Weekend here at SU. Since I didn’t go to SU, all that means is that the weekend is nonstop work for me, from the Hall of Fame banquet last night to home games on Saturday to a crapton of teams on the road today and tomorrow.

However, I was able to do at least one thing non-work related this morning. Marty’s cross country team hosted its annual Homecoming race on Saturday morning; the race started at 10 and I didn’t have to be at work until 10:30, so I brought the doggies over to the field to hand them off to Marty and his team so they could enjoy a morning outside with TONS of attention.

Still a little tense is new situations.

Still a little tense is new situations.

“Tense” is not in Lucy’s vocabulary, however.

Look, a cow grazing in the field.

Look, a cow grazing in the field.

Snowy has really come a long way; look at her letting a guy pet her!

Soaking up the attention

Soaking up the attention

They have plenty of babysitters

They have plenty of babysitters

These doggies are so spoiled; several parents of the athletes brought the doggies treats and one even brought them their own water bowls!

I unfortunately headed to work within 20 minutes of dropping them off so I couldn’t see them enjoy the morning outdoors but Marty said they did great. They were great with all the people, behaved themselves and had a blast.

And I can tell because I came home tonight to two very tired doggies!

The definition of tired.

The definition of tired.

Hoppy

I know it’s difficult to believe based on where Snowy came from, but she is truly the happiest dog I have ever met. It took her a few days with us to feel 100% comfortable, and she’s still quite nervous and edgy around most men, but her personality has come out in full force.

Every time I enter the living room – whether it’s after work, in the morning, after just walking in from the kitchen – Snowy breaks out her hoppy dance. She goes up on her hind legs and hops around. Usually I catch her front feet and we “dance.” It’s as cute as it sounds (well, she is at least. Me, not so much).

But perhaps my favorite quirk of hers is during our walks. I noticed it right when we first got her and it’s continued ever since. Every few minutes, she busts out in a gallop in the midst of our walk, totally unprompted. It’s like she can’t contain her joy at being outside for a walk! I can almost guarantee she never experienced a walk at the puppy mill and is probably just so happy to be outside with grass under her feet.

I will literally never get tired of watching her walk/run. It is both the cutest thing and saddest thing because she never experienced the joy of a walk before.

Another bonus to her love of walks? It gets Lucy to walk with a lot less resistance (although it would be hard to resist walks more than Lucy did). Once Snowy breaks out into her gallop, Lucy follows suit so by the time we get back, we have two tired doggies!

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Two tired and happy doggies!

How it All Went Down

Monday, 8:30 p.m. – Head upstairs to watch TV in bed before going to sleep. Snowy joins me, of course, and spends a half hour literally just lying on my lap. Talk about a heating pad.

Snuggling on MY bed.

Snuggling on MY bed.

9:00 p.m. – Call Marty upstairs as I’m about ready to go to sleep (hey, I have a 5 a.m. wakeup call!); instruct him to lock Snowy in the cage when he comes up to bed later. After many, many nighttime wakeups and Snowy’s persistence in crapping and peeing on the floor in the wee hours of the morning, the cage seems to be the only solution left to try.

9:15 p.m. – Marty says good night, hauls a very sad Snowy downstairs. Bedtime for me!

11:?? – Marty locks Snowy in cage and comes upstairs to go to bed.

Just pretend Butler Blue is Snowy. It's near impossible to lure her into the cage.

Just pretend Butler Blue is Snowy. It’s near impossible to lure her into the cage.

11:45 p.m. – Wake up to incessant barking from Snowy.

11:46 p.m. – Race downstairs to find this:

Yes?

Yes?

and a pile of crap on her bed.

11:47 p.m. – In the midst of our shock, Snowy takes advantage and literally makes a mad dash through the living room and up the stairs (girl’s got some speed). She makes a leaping jump onto our bed before we’ve even made it halfway up the stairs.

11:48 – Marty cleans up, I yell at Snowy, give up and crawl into bed next to her.

In case you missed it in my breakdown of events, Snowy escaped out of a locked cage. I asked Marty this morning if he was positive he locked the crate door and he was pretty sure he did. We’re going to give it one more try tonight. If Little Miss Escape Artist gets out again, I’ve truly lost all hope for a crap-free and pee-free home.

At a Loss

Before I get into the main point of this post, a quick update on life with the doggies. Snowy is an absolute blast and is fitting right in, in large part because of Lucy.

A cute picture of Lucy, just because.

A cute picture of Lucy, just because.

Lucy is a tremendous foster sister; she shows her foster sisters the ropes, tries to get them to play and (sort of) willingly shares her toys.

Chewing Lucy's toy

Chewing Lucy’s toy

And she finally succeeded in her mission to get Snowy to snuggle!

Too cute for words

Too cute for words

If funds were unlimited I would, without a doubt, keep Snowy. Her high energy level fits right in with Lucy, she’s a sweetheart and has so easily adapted to our routine.

If we're in the kitchen cooking, they're in the kitchen.

If we’re in the kitchen cooking, they’re in the kitchen.

However, the one thing Lucy hasn’t seemed to be able to teach Snowy is to DO HER BUSINESS OUTSIDE. Don’t get me wrong, she does do her business outside but maybe 50% of the time. Here’s what I’ve been to figure out so far: Snowy may or may not go when I take the doggies out when I get up at 5 a.m. but she will go 99% of the time right after her breakfast at 6:30 (which I figured out after a few days of coming downstairs to poop and pee on the carpet after my shower).

So, now I take Snowy for a walk around the complex immediately after breakfast. Unfortunately, today I was out running during and after the doggies’ breakfast; Marty went upstairs to change while Snowy was still eating and came downstairs to poop on her bed. Sigh. So now we can’t even go upstairs during breakfast??

The other day I was so proud of her; we went out for our post-breakfast walk and she peed and pooped. I left for work at 8:30 and Marty came back from his bike ride at 9 a.m. to pee and poop on the carpet. Back to square one.

I’m at a total loss as to how to fix this. Actually, I’m not – I guess I have to crate her in the mornings. I just really don’t want to; she spent her entire life to this point in a crate and from the few times we’ve put her in it, she’s resisted, to say the least. But hey, on the bright side at least she’s stopped peeing on our couch (for now).

She’s such a perfect dog in every other way, I just don’t know how to get her house trained. She can obviously hold it as she routinely goes 12+ hours without peeing anywhere at all, there’s just something about the mornings.

We’ll keep working at it because I know she’s a smart dog. Hopefully this will be a blip on the radar soon!

A Day of To-Do’s

There’s a new vacation policy at work: if you have over 160 hours come Jan. 31, 2014, you will lose the surplus hours and no one can accumulate over 160 hours again. Well, I have 240 hours, or just under four weeks. I never minded stockpiling the hours; after my mom’s stroke two-plus years ago, I always felt they provided a safety net of sorts if something were ever to happen again.

Well, not much I can about the policy change, nor is there a way I can possibly use up all the hours by Jan. 31. Working in athletics in a two-person office that covers 23 sports, I can’t just pick up and leave for a week at a time. But, I can take a day off here and there and that’s what I did this morning.

I had a massive to-do list that I got cracking on bright and early this morning. First up was a visit to Petsmart to get Lucy’s nails clipped.

Crazy eyes!

Crazy eyes!

I know she looks freaked out, but I walked in to pick her up and she was planted on the groomer’s lap getting snuggles. Spoiled doggy. She got a treat at checkout and another treat at the drive-up window at the bank. So, not a bad morning for little Lucy.

We got home and I promptly put Snowy in the car for her follow-up vet appointment.

"Get that camera out of my face."

“Get that camera out of my face.”

To recap: Snowy has three eye problems. 1: dry eye 2: entropian (her lower eyelashes curl in) 3: the itty bitty lashes on her upper eyelids may be rubbing a bit on her eyeball.

Step 1 was to get her eyes producing tears on their own. When we got her, she was already on drops whose purpose was to produce tears and we’ve diligently continued those drops. Her tear production in both eyes today? Zero and zero. Cue the sad music 😦

Surgery was always an option but the vet we saw today wants to try a new eyedrop. Surgery will mainly help the entropian and possibly start tear production but in reality she really needs to start producing tears on her own, so we’re trying the new drops with the hope they will force the production of tears. If she produces tears, it may alleviate a lot of her discomfort and surgery may not be needed.

So, we’ll be on new drops for a to-be-determined amount of time before reassessing.

One positive of today’s visit? Snowy lost a whopping five pounds in three weeks! She is now a svelte (ok, solid) 50 pounds on the dot!

Her large head is deceiving - she's a skinny-minnie!

Her large head is deceiving – she’s a skinny-minnie!

Now, I’m planted on the couch crossing another to-do off the list: homework, followed by another exciting to-do of cleaning the bathroom which will be followed by a chiropractor appointment. But at least I get to spend the day with the doggies!