Monday, June 27, 2011

Dog Portraits

So a couple of years ago I did an oil painting of Charlie.  I really like it and am happy with how it turned out.  Is it weird that I have a big picture of my dog hanging in my house?  Does anyone else have a painting of their dog?  If not, maybe you can commission me to do one if you are interested :)

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dog Potty for Patio: Build Your Own

Well as mentioned in the previous post Jack had emergency surgery.  He can't do stairs for the next 2 weeks while he recovers.  We live in a 3 floor townhouse so this poses quite a problem.  We went to the hardware store and bought supplies to make our own potty spot on our back deck. I had blogged about other patio potties I had seen online, but ours was much cheaper to make and uses real grass.

This is what you need

 1 4'x4' peg board  (about $13)                       

2   2"x4"x96" ($2.12 a piece)
plastic sheeting (we used durable plastic leaf bags)
2 bags of potting soil ($2 a bag)
2 rolls of sod ($5 a roll)

Here is what you do.  

Lay the peg board down on the deck and cover it with the plastic sheeting or bags. Staple gun it or secure it under the peg board so the sheeting doesn't slip.  Create a trim around the board using the 2x4's and secure in place.  Empty the two bags of potting soil on top of the plastic cover peg board.

Roll the 2 strips of sod down. You will have a little extra that you will need to cut off.

Since Jack is a boy dog we bought a little plant for him to aim at to ensure he will pee on the grass.  We also bought a hose attachment for our sink so we can spray off the grass and water it daily to make sure it doesn't die.

Jack Emergency: Blocked Intestines

So 3 days ago we went to this great Natural Pet Food Store called Whole Pets in Broomfield, CO because we got a free dog wash coupon in the mail.  While we were there I was discussing Charlie's horrible teeth and the plaque buildup and they recommended a bone for him to chew on as it helps get rid of plaque.  We figured since we were buying Charlie a bone we had to buy Jack a bone.  We left the store with a small bone for Charlie and a big knuckle bone for Jack.  The bone really helped to get Charlie's teeth clean.

Fast forward to the next day.  Jack is acting lethargic, vomiting up bile, and is stretching a lot.  We were worried that maybe he ate some of the bone we had given him.  We found the bone and about half of the thing was missing.  We took him to an Animal Hospital around the corner from us called Arrowhead Animal Hospital. Since we have just moved to the Denver/Boulder area, we didn't have a vet and were a bit tentative to go just anywhere.  We couldn't have been happier with Arrowhead Vets.  It turned out Jack had a major blockage in his intestines and need emergency surgery to remove it.  The vet was going to have to open him up, cut into his intestines, remove the blockage, sew up the intestines, and the recovery was going to be intense not to mention the procedure quite expensive (about $2600).  But what do you do when you love your dog like a child and it is either this or risk his intestines exploding and him dying.

So we gave the ok for surgery and I was sobbing as we left the vet.  Turns out when they started the surgery and opened up Jack's stomach, the lodged substance had enough room to move through the intestines and into his colon so the vet didn't have to do surgery on his intestines.  The vet tech slept the night with Jack and I guess Jack whined the whole night so the tech ended up sleeping on the floor cuddled up next to Jack.  When we went back yesterday to pick him up, the whole vet hospital was in love with Jack and said they had to take turns petting him because he was lonely and demanding attention.  If Jack only knew he was a dog and not a human I think he would be crushed.  Turns out the final bill was much lower due to the less extensive surgery ($1450 instead of $2600).  It turns out that 3 pieces of bone were lodged in his intestines and he pooped them out later.  One was about the size of a silver dollar. That was one expensive bone.  I guess we have learned our lesson, no bones for our dogs.

Thanks Arrowhead Animal Hospital for taking such good care of our Jack and for the vet Kristin Hrenchir, DVM for being so sweet, kind and great at her job.  Dr. Hrenchir even came in on her day off to update us on Jack. What great service. Jack's very own snuggle buddy at night and a loving and caring staff and vet.

If you live in the Denver/Boulder area, I highly recommend you bring your pet here. They truly love animals and take the extra special step to ensure the animal is healthy and the owners are happy.

Jack is doing well. He has 28 staples in his stomach and about a 6 to 7 inch cut in his abdomen. Poor Jack. He can't do stairs and we live in a 3 floor townhouse so we created a patio potty for him. I will post that next.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Little Bad News But Lots of Great News

Bad News:
Sadly to say I had a seizure on Saturday.  The stress of moving to a new city has that effect on me. 

Great News:

While at the Denver Greek Festival, Charlie and I were chilling at a table taking a break from the heat.  I started to feel a bit weird (I call it seizurey and for anyone who has seizures knows exactly what I am talking about) and all of the sudden Charlie started to bark at me.  He started quietly and then it got louder and louder and more persistent.  I thought maybe he was thirsty, but that wasn't it.  Paul and I hightailed it out of there and we made it to the car and Paul started driving home. I had one a couple of minutes into our drive.  I feel fine and no harm done thanks to the amazing Charlie giving me about a ten minute warning so I could get to a safe and private place to have my seizure.  I slept the rest of the evening as I felt like I had ran a marathon. 

I am doing great now and am back up and running.  I am so proud of Charlie for several reasons.

1. He is a bit rusty on sensing the seizures as I had one a year ago in Berlin, Germany and he wasn't with me then and the one before that was a year before so it had been 2 years since he had been around a seizure.

2. He just rocks and everytime he is right.

3. Having him makes having seizures really no big deal.

Thanks Charlie for taking care of me. I love you!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bikes and Dogs blogged about how the dog lover/ bike lover uses the bike to tote around their best friend. Charlie and I made the post.
Posted on Jun 16, 2011
While it has traditionally been posed that the dog is man’s best friend, we know many of you also reserve that honor for your two-wheeled companion—your bicycle. Like a good dog, a good bicycle is quiet, a provider of comfort during rough times, and easy on your carpet. But for those who have both a special canine and a special bicycle in their life, a common dilemma is how to give both of them attention at the same time. We’ve experimented with this extensively at the office; here’s what we’ve learned.
There are a number of ways to include your dog in a bike ride, whether it’s for utilitarian or recreational reasons. It’s possible to tote small, well-behaved dogs in a basket or a messenger bag. One of our Twitter followers, Zak, sent us this photo of his dog riding in his rear bike basket. Another follower, P.J., has a photo of his adorable pup riding in a front bike basket set as his profile image. PFB supporter Timbuk2 even makes a backpack designed to carry dogs called the Muttmover.

PFB dog Churro liked riding in a basket as a puppy.

Angela won a PFB messenger bag and used it for her Yorkie.

For larger canines or for those who can’t be trusted to sit contentedly in an open basket, you can use a bike trailer like a Chariot or a Burley. Again, there are dog-specific options on the market—the Tail Wagon and the Croozer Dog are two examples. These enclosed trailers keep frisky dogs safe while you’re biking and can haul larger mutts (and groceries too!).

PFB dogs Sadie and Ryleigh getting ready for a spin in Denver.

After PFB dog Churro outgrew his basket, he moved to a Burley Tail Wagon.

Cargo bikes are another option. There are bakfiets for carrying children by bike; why not “barkfiets” for dogs? Blogger Leah Stone carries her therapy dog, Charlie, in a Madsen cargo bike. Below, PFB dog Wylie tries to hitch a ride in our office cargo bike.

Read full article HERE.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dog Potty for Patio

Now that Paul and I have moved to Colorado, I don't know if I mentioned that but yes Paul and I now live in Denver, Colorado, we live in a townhouse without a yard, which means every time the dogs need to do their business we have to take them outside.  It isn't so bad now, but I am sure soon enough if might get annoying especially since I am used to just opening up the back door and letting them run wild in the yard.  So I googled "dog potty for patio" and found this amazing device called the Porch Potty for Dogs. I am not sure if we will buy this or just make our own version. Check this thing out. It has its own fire hydrant and sprinkler system. This is very similar to the potty stations in the airports.

Porch Potty Premium - A grass litter box with fire hydrant and sprinkler system.