A Glass Case of Emotions

If you’ve been reading this blog for any reasonably significant amount of time, by now you probably know the following things about me:

1. I seriously love to eat.

2. I seriously love my birthday.

3. I seriously love my dogs.

4. I am otherwise rarely serious about anything.

5. I have a lot of feelings.

And while I actually do have something to post about that falls in line with points 1 & 2 (because, you know, I haven’t posted enough about all the ridiculous amounts of food I’ve been consuming lately or anything), today, I shall be addressing points 3 & 5. Thus, recapping the grand birthday dinner I had with my family on Friday will simply have to wait (my mom has been out of town for the past month, so we waited to celebrate until she got back) because I have other things to report.

SO! Let’s start things off with Saturday night and the first time I cried that night. (I told you: FEELINGS.) My wonderful sister texted me earlier when I was out with Sean, asking me when I’d be home because she wanted to Facetime. Given that there is very little that we sisters cannot communicate via our wicked fast texting fingers (honestly, I think between Jenny and me we could probably beat some kinda record), I was already slightly suspicious that something was afoot. I was a little worried that perhaps my older and wiser sister had befallen the myth that you can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding and my perfect little niece Mia would be getting an Irish twin.

IMG_1031
Say what now?

My suspicions arose further when Jenny proceeded to Facetime me within 60 seconds of walking back in the door of my house, all but proving the fact that she had been stalking me via the “Find My Friends” app. And yes, there was indeed a reason for the call, though it was nothing like what I expected. My sister proceeded to put Mia on the phone (for lack of a better image), and, in a voice that sounded suspiciously like my sister’s, just 3 octaves higher, “Mia” asked me if I would do her the honor of being her godmother.

I mean, c’mon. Do I even need to tell you that this is when the waterworks started?

IMG_1028
Pull yourself together, woman.

I managed to utter a garbled “Yes!” between sobs of happiness, and then proceeded to watch my sister feed Mia prune juice through an eyedropper 1,400 miles away (TECHNOLOGY!). It was really a very special moment… up until the part where, y’know, she spit up prune juice. Which, coincidentally, also happened to be the part of the evening where I discovered the remnants of a VERY THOROUGHLY DESTROYED packet of Orbit gum on the stairs of my house. Which brings us to our second emotional point of the evening.

529445_10101052382349209_287092231_n
Caught in the act.

Oh, the joys of dog ownership. On a routine basis, you might find your dirty underwear strewn about the house, food wrappers fished out from the garbage, or a panic poop in the basement. At least they generally have the decency to act guilty/apologetic about it, although in this particular case Harry didn’t seem to think anything was amiss. Daxter’s guilt, on the other hand, was evident–he does this automatic ears-back rollover thing that is so cute you automagically forget why you’re mad (see above picture). I didn’t think too much of the incident, seeing as how my dogs have eaten a lot worse things than a couple sticks of gum, IMO (like the time Harry ate half a FILET MIGNON off my end table, or when Daxter polished off half a bag of Fizzing Whizbees from Harry Potter World…). In fact, I thought it was funny, and so I posted about it on Instagram and Facebook.

daxter orbit

And it was kinda funny. That is, until I started getting flooded with messages about how sugarfree gum–like Orbit–contains an artificial sweetener called xylitol. And xylitol, unbeknownst to me, is really, REALLY toxic to dogs. Like, not just like “Oh, you probably shouldn’t feed that pizza crust to your dog because they don’t digest wheat as well as humans”-bad, but “Well, now your dog’s blood is being flooded with a huge amount of insulin and his organs are probably going to start failing within the next thirty minutes and HE WILL DIE”-bad.

Yeah… so, in hindsight, I’m gonna go ahead and say that Googling “xylitol dogs” really didn’t do much to help the situation. Enter: Phase 2 of crying (and this is, clearly, not the good kind of crying).

Anyway, needless to say, at this point I am FREAKING THE EFF OUT. Harry and Daxter weren’t exhibiting any strange behavior, but since we didn’t know A) how much gum they actually ate or B) which dog even did the eating, I knew it was better safe than sorry and there was no question as to what to do. Sean and I threw both dogs in the car and zoomed off to the emergency vet. Which, of course, considering my dogs’ proclivity for bad things happening to them, is a route I know all too well at this point.

IMG_8129.jpg

We got to the vet, I explained the situation (in tears), and they immediately took both dogs into the back to check them out. Meanwhile, I learned that there is an animal poison control hotline that I needed to call (still in tears). They asked me a bunch of questions as to exactly what was ingested, and what the worst-case scenario was in terms of how much gum they ate. Thankfully–THANKFULLY–it turns out that Orbit as a brand has low xylitol amounts, and even if one of my dogs <25 lb. dogs had eaten half a pack (7 pieces), they likely would have been okay. At this point, the vet had already made both dogs throw up, so I did find out that Harry was the sole culprit in terms of actually consuming the gum (though Daxter had a field day with the cardboard wrapper, which I guess explains why he was acting guilty?) but I could take them home that night. I would just have to monitor them for signs of hypoglycemia and my regular vet would likely follow up and want to run some blood tests.

IMG_1368
And nobody at the clinic even commented on the fact that Daxter is still pink.

All in all, I realize I got pretty lucky: There were only a few pieces of gum left in the pack, and I have some VERY thoughtful friends and blog readers who alerted me to the danger quickly. Because, honestly, if they hadn’t told me, I might never have known! Although I guess if we’re going that route, I also would not have known if I didn’t constantly exploit my dogs via my various social media channels. So clearly the lesson here is: Post everything about your life to social media!

Oh, c’mon, I kid, I kid. In truth, I really have learned a valuable lesson about the dangers of anything that contains xylitol (which is mainly sugarfree gum, but also some jams, jellies, and baked goods) when it comes to my pets. And to me, the peace of mind in knowing that both my furbabies are okay was worth the outrageously high vet bill… and I say that only, like, 40% begrudgingly.

So there you have it. One Saturday night, MORE than enough emotional roller-coastering to last me until at least the end of the week. Whew. I am emotionally drained just having rehashed the experience for you guys.

Have you ever had a pet medical scare? I feel like at this point I have had more than my fair share with both dogs… It’s all worth it, obviously, but still. Oy.

No Beard, No Problem!

I have a lot of breed loyalty for the miniature schnauzer (um, duh), and one of the things I love most is that they don’t shed. This means less vacuuming for me (huzzah!) and fewer allergic reactions for everyone else (double huzzah!) Their hair just grows and grows, like people hair! That does mean, however, that grooming can get rather tedious. Also just like people, my puppers require regular haircuts to keep their fuzz from getting totally out of control.


The bad part is that a trip to the groomer can cost anywhere from $60 to $100 PER dog! So, in seeking out another alternative, you may already be aware of the fact that I occasionally take Harry & Daxter’s grooming into my own hands. While in the beginning this had borderline disastrous effects


Whoops.

…I’ve actually gotten fairly decent at it lately!

This time, though, I wanted to try something different. Something that my mom probably won’t actually be too happy about, since she’s kind of obsessed with Harry’s beard. Good thing hair always grows back, on schnauzers and humans alike, eh?

IMG_9304.jpg
IMG_9290.jpg

Presenting… the beardless(ish) schnauzers! I chopped off their beards so now they’re both left with what’s more like the schnauzer equivalent of 5 o’clock shadow. Daxter’s actually had his beard almost this short in the past (kind of), but this is a first for Harry. I actually think it makes them look really sweet!

IMG_9301.jpg

Ben, however, thinks it makes them look like rats. I feel like it makes Daxter look more like a puppy again, and makes Harry look a lot younger, too. Of course, he’ll always be a crotchety old man in spirit (and personality) anyway, so there’s only so much that a haircut can do, ahahaha.

IMG_9309.jpg

I’m not sure how the two of them feel about their new haircuts though. Eating and drinking is already a much better experience for me, since less food is getting stuck in their beards and less water drippage is occurring, but they both seemed a little gloomy while I was taking these photos of them.

IMG_9289.jpg IMG_9312.jpg

Perhaps that’s just because they’re totally sick of having cameras shoved into their faces. And to be fair, they were a little on the sleepy side too.

IMG_9306.jpg
IMG_9291.jpg
>IMG_9294.jpg

I rest my case.

Anyway, I think it’s pretty stinkin’ adorable, but we’ll see whether or not this becomes the norm. At least I have the adorableness for now! And through me, you have it as well. You’re welcome. 😉

Not Today


(source)

Okay, well, maybe that’s a little bit dramatic, but I’m super into Game of Thrones right now (haven’t caught up to the current season yet though, so no spoilers!) and I felt it was apt. Here’s why: A few months ago, I discovered a lump on Harry’s right side. Though I lapsed into steadfast denial at first, I finally took him to the vet yesterday to get it checked out. I was (understandably) worried, since both of my boys don’t have the best luck when it comes to their health. Daxter has had two major incidents where he had to be hospitalized, and Harry was diagnosed with canine lupoid onychodystrophy a couple of years ago (an autoimmune condition where his nailbeds routinely reject his nails, causing them to painfully fall out).

Wise Old Man

As you can imagine, I was very much fearing the worst. As they took Harry into the back to take a sample from his lump for inspection, I was already mentally calculating the cost of doggy chemotherapy. So what was the diagnosis?

Harry

It’s a lipoma, which is a fatty tumor but is totally benign! The vet said that it will never, ever become malignant, and unless it continues to grow (it’s about a centimeter right now), there’s no need to do anything about it. He said it’s the best possible kind of lump you can have! Hooray! Not today, cancer. Not today!

Gimmie!

I don’t think it even needs to be said that my pups are my babies, so I’m very relieved. And this good news comes just in time for Harry’s big day on Saturday. My little man is turning EIGHT this weekend! Whoosh. Time really flies.

Have you ever had to deal with a pet health scare before? Or, more seriously, a real pet health issue?

Feelgood Friday: Puppies!

It’s been a bit of a heavy week for me thus far, I admit. You know, what with the less than ideal Cherry Blossom 5K, and then a couple of generally melancholy days. So to thank you for sticking with me through my hum-drummery, I’m going to keep it light today. It is Good Friday, after all. So let’s kick off Easter Weekend with some genuine feelgoodery, shall we? 🙂

Someone(s) got a haircut yesterday, and it wasn’t me this time. In order for you to grasp how desperately a haircut was needed, allow me to present the following photos that my brother shot earlier this week:

GI7C0270

What’s that you’re saying? They don’t look so bad? Oh, ho, ho… I cordially disagree:

GI7C0289

LOLOLOLOLOL.

Off to the groomer they went bright and early yesterday, and when I picked them up, they actually looked like real schnauzers again! I took them to Purrfect Grrooming (heh), which is just down the street from my house. I’ve been there before, and recently they had a Living Social deal that I just couldn’t pass up! Coincidentally, Claire had also brought her pupster to the same groomer on the same day! I caught a glimpse of Oscar trying to bite the groomer’s hand off when I picked up my little guys, hahahaha.

IMG_4780.jpg

IMG_4765.jpg
Handsome boys!

Harry never looks quite as hobo-like as Daxter when his hair grows out, he just ends up looking really fat, bahaha. So his haircut makes him look like he lost 5 pounds — which, for a 24-lb schnauzer, is quite a lot! I sure wish it was that easy for me…

IMG_4785.jpg
The Mini Schnauzer Weight Loss Plan™: As fast and easy as a hair cut!

This is actually Daxter’s first real schnauzer cut. I’ve kept him in kind of a teddy bear cut since he was a puppy, which has his hair the same length all over. I think he looks rather dapper as a true-blue schnauzer, don’t you?

IMG_4770.jpg
Pulling. It. Off.

That said, I probably will go back to the teddy bear cut after this. I just don’t think he pulls off the distinguished old man look quite the same way that Harry does.

IMG_4783.jpg
I make this look good.

Anyway, at the rate that their hair grows (which is FAST! The price I pay for having a non-shedding breed, I suppose) he’ll be back to looking like this in no time:

GI7C0355
Photo by Ben

In the meantime, however, they’re all primped and primed for my big birthday bash next weekend! I keep trying to think of how to dress them up for the theme of the party. Labeling Harry as “Padfoot” is easy enough, since he’s already a greyish-black dog, but do you think that if I just wrap Daxter in a feather boa he could pass as Hedwig? My other thought was to dye him Orange and call him “Crookshanks” all night, bahahaha. (Kidding! …Mostly.)

IMG_4776.jpg
Help!

Have a great weekend, everyone, and Happy Easter!