Thursday, December 29, 2016

Daily Walk: What We've Been up To

Some people might have thought that Baby K led to the less frequent posting of our blog.
But was this.
So what were the pups up to during that time when we weren't posting?

We've been outside eating tacos.
This is the photo of the pups before they realized they wouldn't be getting any of the tacos.
We cheered on the Cubs.
All of us.
We went to lots of street festivals.
And Shakespeare in the Park. Even though Mr. B was not part of the play this year.
Though here they are with one of the actors who came out to meet them because they were so attentive for the performance.
We taught Baby K about Family Walks.
Even in the cold weather.
The pups moved out of the bathtub and started taking showers.
We continued to cheer on the marathoners.
And slept a lot.

Some people have asked if Miss M will have a bucket list. We've been trying to think of things she would still want to do, but really...from staying in hotels to touring on a boat to going to professional sports games to touring Chicago and riding in cabs to starting her own walking group to doing things like this a couple of times a year, the pups have lived a full and fulfilling life.

There are just 2 things we wanted to make sure we did, and we'll share those soon.

Thank you again to everyone for supporting Miss M and contributing to her GoFundMe. We're almost there! It has also been so nice to hear all of the kind words and stories about how Miss M and Mr B have been a part of your lives.
The doctors are recommending an additional radiation blast on top of her chemo as well as some retesting at her next appointment. With the emergency, diagnosis, and treatment, we've already spent a small car payment!
Stay tuned to our Facebook page with a more updates.

And this one.
One More.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Pooches: When Your Pup Loves Your Baby Too Much

We wrote a bit what our pups thought when we brought home Baby K, but since then things have evolved.
Baby K has grown and become more interactive.
And the pups have welcomed him into their squad.
The only problem is that Mr. B is starting to take things too far.
He always wants to be in Baby K's room.
The funny thing is, this actually used to be the pups' room, they just never wanted to be in it.
We even tried to lure them with this amazing bed, but they were still reluctant to go in.
Now that Baby K is in there, we can't keep Mr. B out.
The main problem is that Baby K will be sleeping when Mr B bursts in.
So he's no longer sleeping.
We had a silence band over the door latch so Mr. B was able to burst through the door. And as if that wasn't enough, he would start to shake where his tail became a drum against the crib.
And once we decided to take the band off of the latch so the door actually closes, Mr. B started using his head as a battering ram against the door because he wanted to go in and lay with Baby K and his things so badly.
Miss M doesn't have the same drive to be in Baby K's room, but she does her part in helping wake him up.
She likes to follow me everywhere. Including up and down the stairs, and back and forth in front of Baby K's door.
Which given her extra long toes, always sounds like she's tap-dancing.
Anyone else have a pup who loves their baby too much?

But he tries so hard!
Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more photos, comments, and updates beyond the blog.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Pooches: Where Miss M Determines the Meaning of Her Life

Thank you so much to everyone for your outreach, kind words and support for Miss. M!
--For those who asked, the complete details of her sickness and her GoFundMe can be found here.

Since our last post, Miss M has been doing very well.
She started her first round of chemotherapy and is still very much herself.
Perhaps too much herself.
Now that we know Miss M's time with us might be limited, we've all been putting great thought into what we want to do with this time.
Except for Miss M who has always known what the meaning of her life is.
And it is about food.
Just eating food.
At all times.
We've been happy to help her out with this one. Our first order of business when she came home from the Emergency Vet was to fulfill her lifetime wish of being able to raid the fridge.
Which she soon tricked us into letting her do every day.
For a couple of times each day.
And now it has just become expected that she will get to eat extra food, and treats at all times.
Miss M's food-getting face
I think this might just be the happiest I've ever seen her!

She is still acting like herself with a lot of energy, (and dancing!) and it's hard to believe that she is even sick.
We've been working hard--and again, thank you everyone so, so much for your support!--to get her treatments so she can continue to be happy, and healthy and have a strong quality of life. She's going back for another round of chemo tomorrow.

This is herself.
And this one.
Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more photos, comments, and updates beyond the blog.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Pooches: Some News

We've always loved having this space to share our stories of the pooches and to hear that so many people love them as much as we do.

This is still hard for us to process, but over the holiday weekend, Miss M became suddenly seriously ill. After a stint at the emergency hospital, we received some devastating news that it appears she has a tumor...on her heart.

Which is all so shocking since up to this point she has been routinely going on daily 4 mile jaunts.
Dancing in leaves:
And participating in hijinks with Mr. B:
The good news is that the mass is small and has not spread to any other part of her body. 
She is also still energetic and acting completely like herself. 
Our main goal for her at this time is for her to have a positive quality of life and to be able to continue doing things that she enjoys. 
While there is no cure, we spoke to a Cardiologist and Oncologist who are both optimistic that treatment can help decrease ruptures and the spread of cancer and it will extend and increase the quality of her life.
We still have so many stories to share and we will be keeping updates, so stay tuned.
Update: Thank you to everyone for your support and kind words. While we weren't sure how to proceed, some friends have set up a GoFundMe to help defray the costs of her treatment.

The happiest.
Or here.
My favorite.
More weird.
Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more photos, comments, and updates beyond the blog.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Pooches: Miss M is Sneaky

You know all of those photos we have of the pups sleeping together cosily in the same bed?
There is a bit of behind-the-scenes that you may not have realized.
So something that looks like this:
Really started out like this:
Miss M has a way of finding any bit of space and squeezing in to make it look like she was always there.
Like this sweet scene of them sharing a pillow cheek to jowl:
 Is really a photo that started out with this solo pillow user:
What seems like tandem laying:
Started like this. Notice Miss M in action and Mr B's pained expression.

Remember where it all started?
Or her plan here. (I forgot how hilarious this one was!)
Beauty sleep!
Check our Facebook page for more photos, comments, and storylines beyond the blog.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Two Dogs and a Little Baby: Bringing Home a New Baby

The biggest question we've been getting lately, is how the pups are doing with the (not so new anymore) baby.
We also weren't sure what to expect when we added Baby K to the mix.
Now that Baby K is a whopping 9+ months old, we've seen a couple of stages of interactions.
This is what it was like in the early days.

On Bringing Baby Home:
Even before doing introductions between the pups and Baby K, our trainer told us it was important to set the tone and think about how we would greet the dogs after having spent all that time in the hospital. I would probably smell strange to them, and it could be simultaneously confusing and exciting to have us show up again after leaving so suddenly.
We decided I would come in first, and I would have a high value treat. E would follow with the baby.
As it turns out, the pups weren't concerned that we'd been gone so long or smelled different. They just saw the treat and took off. I guess it was that high value! (We chose pig ears).
It wasn't until later that night that they even realized we had someone new in the house.

Early Introductions:
I pups didn't realize anything new was in the house until the middle of the night.
Like the 3:00am middle of the night where all normal people (and dogs!) are sleeping, but it's Baby prime hour.
For crying.
And not communicating why they are crying.
I was with Baby K in his room when I heard footsteps. I figured it was E, but instead it was Miss M (oddly walking human-like) peeking around the corner and and staring wide-eyed at us.
I could just imagine her saying "Excuse me. My name is Miss M. I am the Mayor of this house. You may be new here, but this is a quiet house. And you are not being quiet."
The first few nights Miss M would come in like this and stare scoldingly.
Which evolved to her literally following my every move. She would sit next to me when I was feeding Baby K at night. She would follow me to the bathroom and wait outside. I felt really bad when I had to run downstairs to get something because she would follow me up and down.

Meeting the Pups:
This was the first time Baby K saw Miss M's gargoyle face.
Just kidding! This was the first time Baby K farted. (Not kidding!)

Being Creature-Like:

I think all dogs don't know what to think of new babies. Between the way they cry and their weird movements.
They must think they are creatures.
Even we think Baby K is like a creature.
The first time Baby K was on his stomach doing tummy-time Miss M tried to poke him in the rear because she still couldn't figure out what he was.
Mr B spent a lot of time retreating backwards because he couldn't figure out what Baby K was.
Since the pups were so perplexed, we were always very aware of holding him up higher and making him seem human-like.
We also very closely monitored any interactions if Baby K was practicing his tummy time on the blanket, and taught the pups to stay off his blanket.

We know all babies and dogs are different. What are some other experiences people had when bringing home baby?

Being Pregnant with Pooches.

Monday, November 21, 2016

DoggyStyle: P.L.A.Y Dog Bed (The One You Always See them In)

It was about 2 years ago when we first moved into our new space that we started our search for sturdier, more comfortable dog beds for our aging pups.
While we used to get away with floor pillows and fluffy rugs,  we want to give them options that offer more support.

We had a lot of people recommend the P.L.A.Y dog bed which we were lucky enough to snag with a really good Black Friday deal...two years ago.

So just in case anyone has been looking at these beds, and if they have an upcoming sale this weekend, here are our thoughts after having the bed for 2 years.

We bought the Urban Denim Lounge Bed in size Large.
Each of our pups weighs 60-something pounds.

What We Like:
1) We like that it is comfortable for one pup:
Or two:
In multiple configurations:

2) We have it in our main living space, so we like that it's nice enough to blend in with our home.

3) We like that it has a bolster-type headrest, but it still has a walk-in cutout so the pups don't have to be climbing into their beds as their joints become more stiff.

What We Didn't Like:
1) It has become squished in the past two years.
You can see from some of the earlier photos that it started out really stiff, but has been starting to squish down and lose its firmness. I'm not sure if it's a matter of needing to fluff up the padding, or to be fair, if it is a result of 130+ pounds of pooches laying in it.
2) This style is difficult to wash.
We also have this style in the Orvis dog beds, and you need to take out all of the bolsters separately so it does take time to clean it and put it back together.
3) It shows dog hair really easily.
Sure, we know that it's a dog bed, but since it's in the middle of our living space we at least try to keep the illusion that we have the dog hair under control. The color we chose, and the material make the dog hair (or is it baboon hair?) really stand out.

4)  It's Pricey
 I was just looking at the website to see how much it is, and it is on the pricey end for larger dogs.
We did get a really good discount when we bought it on Black Friday (it was 2 years ago, but I think we received 40% off!).

Would We Buy It Again?
From all of the dog beds that we've tried, I think our top choice would be the Orvis Deepdish Lounger one size smaller. It is pricey, but it's good for a lifetime.
We even also had the zipper break and they sent us a new cushion AND a new a new back so it would still match.

I still think that the P.L.A.Y beds are good as a next option and especially if you need to buy a second sturdy bed.

Though we always love hearing what everyone else has been using. Are there more good bed recommendations out there?

An inexpensive option
The most beautiful, but impractical bed
We had forgotten about this guy. How is it possible we haven't seen it around the house?
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