Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Mom scanned our Easter picture!
This was taken the day we were on TV which is why we look so tired.
Celebrity is exhausting.

We're recycling an old photo because we don't have our latest one yet. 
But we're still adorable!

PS, we hope to have an update on Tallulah's paw Monday evening. Paws crossed for benign results!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Update* Power of the Paw needed for Tallulah (and mom)

*Update 3/27 at 11 AM*
Tallulah came through surgery and is recovering now. I get to pick her up at noon and will spend the rest of the day with her at home.
During the dental portion of the procedure, the vet did find another small mass on the underside of her tongue which will also be sent off for testing.
Counting the minutes until I can go get her!
Thank you to everyone who has prayed, sent good juju or positive thoughts our way. We really do appreciate the love and compassion of our friends.

Original post
Tallulah's mystery spot on her toe pad did not heal like the other boo boo. That means it is a mass. She goes in tomorrow morning for surgery to remove it. The vet will send it for pathology testing so we won't know right away what it is.
Please keep Tallulah in your prayers tomorrow morning as she undergoes anesthesia (always a risk and especially for underweight dogs). We'll update as soon as we can tomorrow.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Birthday fun!

Isabelle at the Mac today to tell you about my awesome 13th birthday. 

Mom bundled me up and took me out to lunch and shopping for the day. 

First stop, Burger King for my very own burger!

It was delicious!

Then off to Carealot for some shopping. I got a new orthopedic bed that I picked out myself. The nice lady at Carealot put a bunch of beds on the floor and I sniffed them all, then picked out this one. 

Tallulah gives it the paw of approval. 

And I got two new outfits. 

And this one. Because every lady of a certain age needs an animal print house dress. 

Here I am ignoring the brand new bed I picked out. 
I'm stubborn like that, but you can relate, right?

Finally, I gave it a try. A lady likes her options. 

Yesterday, we mentioned that I share a birthday with my human great-grandma. When we saw her at Christmas, she surprised us with a new skill. At age 79, she decided to learn the violin. 
Here's a little video of her playing. 

She had only had four lessons when this was recorded. 
Just goes to prove that you are NEVER too old to learn something new. Great-grandma is pretty amazing anyway, but this just proves that 

PS. Isabelle passes her behavioral assessment so please keep voting for her!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Happy birthday Isabelle!

Today we are celebrating Isabelle's 13th birthday! 
We don't know her real birthday since she was a rescue, but this is the day we picked. 
It's also our mom's human grandma's 80th birthday!

We are off to get Isabelle her own burger and some alone time with mom. 
And mom's going to a butcher to get a bunch of beef! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Poor Tallulah

Girl just can't catch a break! 

We went to the vet today. Petunia had to get her thyroid rechecked, and Tallulah needed an exam. Mom found some spots on her that needed checking, and she's still not gaining weight like she should given all the food that she's eating. 

Good news is that one spot was a sebaceous cyst (no biggie) and one looks like "an old dog spot" according to the vet. It's one that we will watch for growth or shape changes, but not a big deal at the moment. 

The bad news was that the spot behind Tallulah's big paw pad was infected. Probably a cut. Then the vet checked her other paw and it had a really weird hole in it. All the black was gone from the toe pad and there was something coming out of the hole in her pad. It was a hole about the size of a pencil lead with tissue squeezing out along with what looked like a string. Ick. Hopefully, it is also an injury. We go back in a week to see how it has healed. 

In the meantime, Tallulah is sporting some spiffy bandages. 

She is not happy with this development.

She will be happy that she gets to eat beef again! The vet thinks that adding a protein with fat should help her gain some weight and keep it on. As long as her tummy agrees, it's hello beef and goodbye stinky fish!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

We were on TV!

Sunday, we got to be part of something very special for the guy who takes our holiday pictures! 
We got up bright and early so that we could be at Carealot at 8 am. That's seriously early for us. 
Our photographer Tom was profiled for the local ABC station (which is our favorite because they also show the parade!). And the reporter talked to mom about the rescue!

Now, you have to ignore the fact that the reporter called her Ally (which she absolutely hates), spelled her name wrong (left off the "e") and said that she ran the pug rescue (she's on the board but not the president!) But she got to get the word out about how Tom and his pictures help rescues, including ours! You can even see the rescue's name on mom's shirt!

Thanks to everyone who voted for Isabelle on Facebook! You can vote once a day until April 19!
Sunday, Isabelle has an appointment for behavior testing. Uh oh. She has to prove that she can behave in crowds and with other dogs. Hopefully she passes!

And now for the obligatory cute pug photo!

Friday, March 15, 2013

We need your help!

Isabelle is a finalist for Norfolk's first Canine Crusader! 

This is a contest to become the city's first spokesdog for cleaner waterways, including our rivers and the Chesapeake Bay! The winner will attend a couple of events around the city to promote earth friendly behavior like scooping poop and recycling! 

We need your help for Isabelle to win. 

All you need to do is go here, like the page, then vote for Isabelle!

You can vote once per day per Facebook account. 
Tell your family! Tell your friends! Tell your neighbors! 

Help a pug represent!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Nom nom nom

We've been trying to gain some weight around here. 
Yeah, we know, poor us. 
Although we think Petunia's weight loss has been explained by the thyroid medication, Tallulah is still fluctuating in her weight. 
What does that mean? We still get to eat lots!

Caught Isabelle in mid-bark!

 Popcorn is more of a healthy snack, but hey, it's food and we'll take it!




We are gaining weight. Petunia is up to 16.6 pounds, Tallulah up to 15.8. Don't tell Petunia, but she's about to get her food cut back a little. Tallulah will be getting a little more. Fortunately, they eat with a love seat between them so they can't see what the other has. As long as everybody gets something in their bowl, the peace is kept. 

Hope everyone remembers to set their clocks forward and check the batteries on their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. And dust off or wipe down the detectors. Puggy hair can clog up those sensors!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Dog park action!

So you may know that we all have been really involved in creating a dog park in our neighborhood. It's been a long journey (the whole process started five years ago), but we are finally getting water! The way it works here, the neighborhood is responsible for paying for everything at a dog park except the land. The city will designate land for a park, but as far as fencing, water, benches, etc., that all has to come from the neighborhood. We don't live in a rich neighborhood so it's taken us a long time to raise the money.

The civic league has been fundraising for years, and last year, we won a grant from the city to make improvements. There was some red tape/paperwork delay then the weather has been uncooperative. So yesterday, we finally got started! 

A nice man named Richard let us use his special trencher that digs, runs the water line and covers it back up all at the same time. That's important because the ground is still wet from all the rain. And that meant the little dog side could open back up immediately!

These awesome guys have done all the heavy work on the park. And get this, not one of them has a dog! They just agree that this project is really important for the neighborhood. Here they are rolling out the hundreds of yards of PEX, a flexible water line that doesn't freeze and break as easily as PVC. 

Here's a video mom took of the trenching. It may not look exciting to you, but we were all tickled pink! 

Our next step is installing the water spigot structures.

They don't look like much yet, but at the end of each of the pipes will be a Lixit fixture. It's like the end of a hamster bottle that when a dog licks it, the water comes out. 
That will eliminate the need for a bowl to hold the water which eliminates the spills and a breeding place for mosquitos. Very important here!

Below the water structure will be a 4x4 patio paver pad on each side. That will catch the drips and let the water drain back into the ground, filtering it as it goes. That's important because our park backs up to a tidal creek of the Lafayette River. And it will cut down on all the mud under the water spigots! 

This is phase one of the project. Phase two will include the installation of the pavers at the water stations as well as pavers in the entrance corral. Grass just can't grow at the entrance because that's where everyone has to come in and out. By putting pavers there, we get rid of the mud (it rains here a lot). And it will make our park ADA friendly. That means people who come to the park in wheelchairs or those who have mobility issues can have a safe way to enter and exit the park. After all, service dogs need exercise, too!

All the work done on the park is by volunteers. People who have day jobs so it may take us a few more weekends to get the water stations going. But we definitely hope to have water by Pugapalooza! 

So yay for water! Yay for volunteers! Yay for people coming together to do something that makes the world a better place, even if they don't directly benefit!

Friday, March 1, 2013

A serious post by mom

Life is too short to be hateful. 


Be angry, get frustrated, but never be hateful. 

In 2004, my only aunt passed away from pancreatic cancer. She was 52. She never smoked or drank. She ate healthy food and exercised. She wore sunscreen. She beat breast cancer 7 years before. She spent years of her life helping Jewish people from across Europe move to Israel through Bridges for Peace. She married young, had two kids and didn't finish college. She taught herself Greek and Hebrew so that she could read the Bible in the original text. Don't get me wrong, she wasn't perfect, but she was doing the best she could to make the world a better place. She told me once to live life with no regrets. That wasn't an instruction to do whatever I wanted. It meant that I should think about what I do, make sure I wouldn't regret it in the future.

That year, I learned a really hard lesson. As good as you are as human or as mindful as you are of your health, it does not guarantee you anything. You don't get a pass from cancer no matter how many cheeseburgers you pass up. 

The lesson I learned was that life was too short for anything that does not make the world a better place.  If I die tomorrow, I want to leave the world better than I found it. I want the last impression that people have of me is that I had a positive impact on the world around me. I want to look back on my life and say that I don't regret the choices I made. The big ones or the little ones. 

 Now, I'm not finding the cure for cancer, but I'm trying to be the best person I can be. 

And we all can do it. I'm willing to bet that everyone who reads this has donated to a charity or spent time volunteering. If you're like me, you can't donate thousands of dollars to charity. I have a job to pay the bills so I can't devote all my time to volunteering either. 

But we have the power to 


simply by being kind and compassionate and nice. We also have the power to really ruin someone's day by being hateful and cruel. It's so easy now to spread spite through the internet because you don't have to look the person in the eye. I am trying to be better than that. We all can. 

I think it's okay to get mad at stuff. Traffic makes me want to use HBO words and I don't curse. But I don't let it ruin my day. I don't let it upset me when I can't do anything about it. The sequester? The fact that 12,000 people in my town alone will lose their jobs, including people I know, people who have pugs and kids and mortgages? I can't wave a magic wand to fix Washington. Does it upset me? Absolutely. So I focus on what I can do. I can make sure that my friends know that I'm here to help as much as I can. I can drop off casseroles and dog food and help with resumes and job searches. I can focus on the good I can do instead of the bad in the world.

The world can be a really terrible place outside of human influence. Hurricanes wipe entire towns away. Diseases kill people. Then humans can turn around and make things even worse. And we don't have to. We have the choice to do something regretful or something wonderful.

Our dogs think we are the greatest people in the world. When Petunia jumps in my lap, snuggles her head on my chest and sighs sweetly, I know that she is happy and content and wouldn't be anywhere else on the planet. Tallulah, Petunia and Isabelle know that I give them the best life I can and love me no matter what. Even when I have a bad day at work and come home grumpy (because I'm not perfect), they are so glad that I'm home. I'm smothered in pug kisses and knocked over by curly tails wagging. My pugs inspire me to be a better person every day. 

Let's all be the person our pugs think we are. When something makes you mad, get mad but then put it in perspective. Is it worth making your blood pressure skyrocket? Are there more important things you could be doing, like hugging your pug? When hate comes knocking on your door, ignore it. It will go away. Don't respond to meanness with more meanness. It is a never ending cycle that only drags you down to the meanie's level. You decide how you react to a nasty comment. Decide to be the better person. Don't say something you will regret later. You will sleep better and be happier. Trust me.