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l'amor

L’Amour

“He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”
Immanuel Kant

Part of being a crazy pet mom is the duty of spoiling your pets rotten.  Unfortunately, with spoiling comes spending money, and money does not grow on any trees by my house.  Since starting this blog, I’ve reached out to a few companies for pet related freebies to try out, and I’ve been lucky enough to hear back from a few of them!  The first product I received was Salmon Oil.  You can click on the link to see my review of it on Amazon, but to make a long story short – it seemed to be a pretty big hit in my house.  I started mixing it in with Oreo’s normal food while we were in Philly.  I put a squirt in his food every morning, and he happily would chow down.  After the first time he tried it, Oreo gave me 5 fishy kisses and a bunch of fur on my new pants as a thank you.  Unfortunately, the packaging on the bottle wasn’t that great, and it didn’t survive the car ride home.  Now I’m dealing with the fun problem of trying to figure out how to make my car stop smelling like fish!  Thank goodness it’s warming up enough outside for me to drive around with my windows down.

When we got home, the cats LOVED ME.  Or more specifically, my luggage…which the aformentioned Salmon Oil happened to spill all over.  Kitten Little was so excited that he couldn’t contain himself!  My normally quiet kitty started singing me a love song (it went MEOWW AAARWW OOORRAOW MEW) while circling around my suitcase, making sure to sniff and lick every angle.  When he was finished, he continued to show his gratitude by gifting me a hairball he personally created.

Burger is my little Romeo. Shortly after sniffing the spilled salmon oil, he wooed me with shockingly loud purrs, and began kneading me with all of his might. Then, when I was relaxed and unexpecting, he latched onto my lip with his claw; getting it stuck in the process.  Remember kids – Romeo and Juliet isn’t the greatest example of a love story…it essentially was nothing more than a passion-fueled temper-tantrum.  Apparently, Burger was keen on making sure that I remembered that.  No more fishy oil for him, if that’s the thanks I get!

I can only hope to someday be able to repay even a little bit of the love and joy these little guys bring me.

Hopefully the next product I review will be a little less painful for me (my poor lip!).  Until next time…

<3

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Puppy breath and CyberKnife

“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.”
— James Herriot

Last night I was curled in my hotel bed, dreaming that Stephen Amell was whispering sweet nothings into my ear. I turned my head to him and smiled.  I leaned in and said “Wow!  …Did you eat anchovies last night?” He just stared at me, panting, until I open my eyes and realized it was just Oreo blowing his dog-breath into my face.

I hadn’t realized how bad Oreo’s icky breath was getting!  To be fair, I’ve smelled worse.  MUCH worse.  And I know that I’m mostly to blame for the state of his breath.  As a responsible pet owner, I should be brushing his teeth every day.  However, in Oreo’s case…that is easier said than done!  So, on my way back from dropping him off for his CyberKnife treatment this morning, I stopped at a pet store and picked up all of the dental health chews and treats I could find.  On that note…he has a history of not liking them, so I might have a good supply of treats in need of a new home pretty soon!

It was a needed reminder that Oreo is due for a routine dental cleaning.  It was something that I had planned to take care of last year, but wound up having to spend a huge chunk of cash on a major surgery for him instead.  That surgery was actually one year ago today!  No biggie, I thought.  I can always take care of it this year!  But surprise surprise, his cancer treatments this year are costing me even more than his surgery last year did.  So yet again, for now, his teeth cleaning is going to have to be put off for a bit longer.  Hopefully I’ll somehow be able to save enough to get it taken care of by the end of the year.  No matter how stinky his breath gets, I’ll always happily accept puppy kisses…but I’d love for it to be just a bittttt less icky!

Anyway.

Oreo and I are currently in Malven, PA – a suburb of Philly.  We arrived Monday, and thanks to some wonderful Acepromazine, our 5.5 hour ride in snowy weather wasn’t too awful.  I think I panicked more than he did for the ride – I got stuck on a highway stretch that was so foggy I couldn’t see ANYTHING.  I slowed down so much and was holding my breath that I didn’t hit anything…and that a car wouldn’t hit me from behind for going so much under the speed limit.  That was the worst fog I’ve ever seen – and on a 65mph road, at that!  All worked out well, but I still pulled over at the next rest stop to regain some composure.  Oreo stayed asleep most of the ride, waking up every now and then to look around, then readjust his position and fall right back asleep.

Our hotel is GORGEOUS…but insanely expensive!  If I could afford it, this is totally someplace that I would want to move in to.  It’s pet-friendly, Oreo has met a  ton of dogs.  And he’s done GREAT with all of them!  He has never been aggressive towards another dog, but he’ll get very anxious and barky and scare the other dogs owners a lot of times…but not once on this trip.  Every dog he’s met in the hotel and in the veterinary hospital he has absolutely loved.

Tuesday he had his CT scan.  The doctor said that he did really well. They were able to see the tumor – she said it’s currently small-to-moderate sized, invading mainly one nostril. There’s a part of it that’s pushing on his brain, but doesn’t seem to have invaded his brain at this point. She’s confident that the CyberKnife will be able to get all of the tumor. After that it’s just keeping our fingers crossed that it stays gone.  He had his first session yesterday, and second today.  He recovered from both very well; although he’s been very very sleepy.  Tomorrow is his last radiation session, after which his vet will give me another update and set up a plan for the future.  Saturday we’ll be heading home.

I’m excited to get home just to see Burger.  I haven’t been away from him for more than 12 hours since he got sick 2 years ago.  My parents are watching him, and have said that he’s doing pretty good; but he hasn’t had a bowel movement since I left.  That’s not abnormal for him, but it still makes me nervous just because I’m not there with him.

I’ve been trying to make the most of the time I have down here while Oreo’s hospitalized.  Tuesday I spent WAY too much time in the Wegmans by my hotel.  It’s HUGE and super fancy.  I’m used to my humble little Latta rd Wegmans!  I also went a bit crazy at the salad bar.  Apparently it was an “organic” salad bar…which I found out when I checked my receipt and saw that I had spent $28 on salad alone!

Yesterday I had Rita’s Water Ice.  Holy crap it was AMAZING.  I had the Cookies N Creme flavor, and inhaled it.  I definitely need to get more before I go back home – although I was THRILLED to find out that there’s a Rita’s in Brighton!  I may have found my new favorite spot.

Today I dropped him off then came back to the hotel to shower…after the shower I took an accidental nap that lasted 4 hours!  I had wanted to explore a bit to try to find a salon at some point – I need something done with my awful hair asap.  But instead, I stopped by a bar called Mckenzie Brew House.  They brew all of their beer there, which I didn’t know as I ordered a Guinness.  The bartender suggested I get the “Leather & chrome nitro milk stout”, which tasted like a chocolate/peanut butter/Guinness mixture.  It was delicious!  I also got their brocolli, mushroom mac and cheese which was also phenominal.

Tomorrow I drop Oreo off again at 7am…hopefully I’ll find some sort of salon instead of taking another accidental nap!

<3

Born to be a Pet Mom

“No matter how much cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens.”Abraham Lincoln

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I often say that at almost 30 years of age, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.  That’s not *quite* true.  While some kids may have dreamt of becoming a vet, a ballerina, or even a port-a-potty maintenance man; I always dreamt of staying home snuggling my pets day in and day out.  And to be honest, not much has changed.  Getting out of bed every morning wouldn’t be nearly as hard if there wasn’t always at least one dog and one cat cuddled upi next to me, begging me to stay put for just oneeee more minute.

Unfortunately for me, being a stay at home pet mom doesn’t seem to offer a lot of opportunity for growth…or for income.  So instead, I’ve been doing the next best thing – for the past 6+ years I’ve been employed at an amazing veterinary hospital.  While it’s not QUITE the same as being at home in my pajamas with my own pets, it is pretty nice to go to work every day knowing that you’ll be covered in slobber from at least one dog and – if you’re lucky – maybe even receive a friendly headbutt from a kitty as well.  I’ve also been lucky enough over the past few years to dabble in pet-sitting.  That hobby is even closer to my ultimate full-time-pet-mom goal – I get paid to stay at OTHER peoples homes and snuggle their animals PLUS my animals while not getting out of pajamas all day.  One step at a time, I guess.

Years ago, when I was first starting out in the animal field, the one thing I thought I would hate about working at an animal hospital was dealing with the owners.  Give me a cranky cat or bitey dog any day, but trying to connect with the person attached to the other end of the leash seemed a lot more challenging.  After all, I’ve always been more of an animal person than a people person.  But strangely enough, that turned out to be the part I liked the best!  Well…maybe second best…I don’t know if anything can top puppy kisses.  I have a really, really cool job.  I get to meet all sorts of people who have one very important thing in common – a love for their animals.  The daunting task of customer service suddenly wasn’t so scary any more.  I found myself getting excited when I saw certain names popping up on the schedule; I built close relationships with a lot of the clients – and some of those clients have turned in to my personal friends over the years.  And as I became more comfortable in my own skin and started to feel like I was finally fitting in, I truly started to come out of my shell.  If I couldn’t be a stay at home pet mom, working in customer service didn’t seem like too bad of an alternative.  Over the past few months, I have even started to branch out a bit!  I’m still working at an animal hospital (they’re stuck with me – I’m a lifer!), but my newfound confidence in my customer service abilities gave me the courage to spread my wings a bit.  I applied to, and got hired at (!) a pretty well known bank this past January!  But that’s a story for a different day.

So…who knows how the rest of this tale will unfold.  Maybe some day I’ll reach stay at home pet mom paradise!  But for now, getting paid to love other peoples animals isn’t such a bad gig.  Who would have guessed?

Fuck Cancer

 

“He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me… whenever… wherever – in case I need him. And I expect I will – as I always have. He is just my dog.”
– Gene Hill

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My worst nightmare officially came true.

Last Friday, Oreo met with a specialist to be sedated and have a nasal scope.  While they were scoping, they officially found a pretty big nasal tumor.  It was biopsied and debulked.  It was a pretty rough weekend for him – I don’t think he was in too much pain thanks to some awesome pain meds, but he was swollen and sneezy and congested.  He bled a lot that first night, and then over the weekend would sneeze blood clots fairly often.  He would look so ashamed and try to “bury” the blood into the floor to cover it up!  By Monday, he was luckily feeling much better, and today is completely back to his normal self, aside from some reverse sneezing.

The biopsy results came back with the diagnosis of a nasal adenocarcinoma.  It is a very aggressive, scary cancer; but the one bright side of it is that it tends to stay localized and not spread to other parts of the body.

I feel like with all of the reading I’m doing I could write my own book on various cancer symptoms, diagnosis’ and treatments!  I’ve gone down several internet “wormholes” tying to find as much information as I can…and more importantly, as much reassurance as I can.  I’ve found several sites for people who have dogs or cats who were successfully treated for nasal tumors and are still living and still happy!  Of course, many other stories aren’t as happy…but I’m really trying to only focus on the positive outcomes.

I called and left a message with Hope Veterinary Specialists to schedule Oreo an appointment for their Cyberknife treatment.  I am hoping to have it done the first full week of April.  I just want it over and done with; and I hope and pray that he will be one of the very few dogs that the cancer never returns.

For right now, Oreo is his normal, happy self.  He’s extra excited for his walks, taking his time to stop and pee on EVERYTHING!  His sense of smell must be so much better now – the tumor was blocking his entire right nasal passage and a lot of the left side as well.  I know how it feels to be able to smell again after being sick and having a stuffy nose – I imagine that’s kind of how he feels, with his extra-sensitive nose going into scent hyperdrive!

I think that’s it for now…it’s time for Oreo and I to get some sleep!  For those going out tomorrow – enjoy the St.Patricks Day festivities, STAY SAFE, and have a Guinness for me!

<3