Friday, July 31, 2009

Bad Liver, Bad!


It all started the day Lilibell was to have been spayed. We dropped her off in the morning at the vet's and left thinking that everything would be okay and we would see her the next day (which made me extremely sad as I need both of my babies in bed with me to sleep and I would be sorely missing her!). Around 10:00 that morning, I got a call from her doctor saying that they were unable to go through with the surgery because, through her pre-op bloodwork, it was found that her liver enzymes were elevated. We were advised to make an appointment to get her bile acids tested. This news put me in a tizzy because they were talking about the possibility of a liver shunt!!!

Two weeks later, it was time for her bile acid test. I don't think she was a happy camper that day, as she had to fast for 12 hours first, get poked with a needle for some blood, eat something, then 2 hours later get poked again! When I came home from work, she was bouncing all over the place at the sight of me, so I know she wasn't mad at me, she was probably mad at her father as he was the one who brought her to the vets that morning! A couple of days later, the doctor called with the results, which were while her liver enzymes went slightly down, her bile acids (after eating) were elevated and we now needed to make an appointment for an ultrasound to see if she had a liver shunt. Now, at this point I'm panicking, thinking all sorts of bad case scenarios, such as major surgery to her liver! I did have the wonderful support of my dear friend Sue, whose little furbaby went through the exact same thing. Sue was such a lifesaver as I had someone to be able to ask questions to and compare what she went through to what we were going through. And I must mention Tiffany, as she was there with us from the start giving me much needed support!

The following day, I decided to become proactive and start doing my research into this. One of the things I did was join a liver shunt/MVD group on Yahoo, I knew that I would be able to get lots of advice on there and have my questions answered. Another thing I did was ask for the results of the bile acid test so I could look it over. After looking over the numbers, doing research and consulting with others whose dogs have the same problem, I started to relax and become much calmer. The range for the bile acid number, after eating, is between 0 and 15 and Lilibell's was 21. Which didn't really point to a liver shunt, dogs with numbers well over 100 usually have shunts. Anything below 100 usually means MVD, which can be managed through diet and supplements. We were still going to keep the appointment for her ultrasound though, just in case it showed something going on with her liver.

The day for her ultrasound came (this past Wednesday). Her father took her bright and early at 7:30 in the morning. Steve said that when he handed her over to one of the assistants, Lilibell took a flying leap right back onto Steve's chest.....I guess she's just about had it with the vets and being poked and prodded! Later on that morning the doctor called me with the results. While she does not have a liver shunt (Yay!!), her liver was on the small side. They are suggesting that she get a liver biopsy done. I have now been referred to an internal specialist who will take over her liver management from here on and also do her spaying. I put a call in to him this morning and now I'm just waiting for his return call so an appointment for a consultation can be made.

To Be Continued.......


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

He makes his Momma proud

As you may know, we live in Providence in a concrete jungle. We have no yard whatsoever, and the only time the pups are outside is when they are on their daily walk. We do have several dog parks in the area, but I don't take them due to various reasons. So needless to say, Chewy and Lilibell do not have the pleasure that often of running around in a yard without being tied to me!

On the Fourth of July, we went to Steve's sister's house (Lori) for the day. She lives in Hope Village (the Country!) and has a yard that is somewhat fenced in. I decided to let the puppers off of their leash and see how they would do. Lilibell ran around screaming "Freedom Freedom!" and Chewy tore after her. Since they were having so much fun with their freedom, I decided that I would train them to come to me so that way, if they decided to wander off to the neighbor's yard, they would come to me when I called for them. It worked pretty well....if they started to wander, I would call them and if they came to me, they would get a treat. Chewy did great with it, but Miss Lilibell does not like to listen and several times escaped over to the neighbor's yard and boy did I have a hard time trying to catch her...she kept dodging me and running away (that little girl does enjoy her games, lol!).

This past Sunday we went to Steve's father's house (Tony) for his birthday. Now, they have a big backyard, but it is not fenced in at all. So once again I got the treats (Cheerios....they go crazy over these things!), and took their leashes off. It was so funny to see them fly all over the yard (I do have a video of this, but need to wait until we get our computer back)! And all and all, they did pretty darn good with staying within boundaries and coming to me when I called them. Chewy in fact did so well that he had his leash off the whole afternoon and would always come to me when he strayed too far away, except for a couple of times when something in the front yard caught his interest and off he went, with me chasing after him (but this only happened like 2 times). Miss Lilibell, on the other hand, after a while stopped listening to me (typical Princess, lol!) and I had to put her leash back on. I think she needs a little more work in this department!

But my Chewy did his Momma proud with how well he listened and came back each and every time I called him!



Monday, July 27, 2009

Catch me if you can!

Sometimes when it's time to go to bed, Lilibell, if she's off playing somewhere, won't come to bed right away, but usually she'll be in there a few minutes after I'm in bed. While Lilibell can jump down from the bed, she can't get up into it, so she usually will stand by the bed and bark to let me know she's ready for bed. Sometimes though, the little monkey thinks it's fun to play the game Catch me if you can! She'll stand there and bark, and when I reach down to pick her up, she scurries out of reach. So I'll lay back down and wait for her to come to the side again, and again she'll scurry out of reach. So the next time I ignore her....I hear her pitter patter over to the side, stand up and bark to get my attention. When she doesn't get it, I hear a flurry of pittering pattering by the side of the bed, accompanied by snorts of anger, then she's back barking mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, until I reach over and there she goes again....scampering out of reach and laughing all the while! And this will go on until I finally catch her.

Mommy, it's just so much fun to watch you try to catch know I'm just too fast for you, BOL!!

P.S. It will be a while until I can blog recent stories with pictures as the mother board on our computer went and we are unable to upload any pictures from our camera. For now, I will be relying on past stories with past pictures.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

The next Olympic Gold Medalist

My dream is to be in the next summer Olympics! I've been practicing every day on the horse (couch) trying to build up my distance. One time, I made it all the way to the other side of the couch! Think I have a chance?



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Honest Blog Award


Yep, I've been tagged by Tiffany for the Honest Blog Award! It's taken me awhile to put this together, I'm really terrible about thinking of things about myself, but here we go!:

10 Things about Nadine:
1. I dye my hair and have been dying it since I was 25 due to premature greying. I am probably about 75% grey right now!
2. I am an admitted homebody. I would much rather be home than working or going out to clubs!
3. I just loooooove to read books (medieval historical fiction). I would rather read than watch TV.
4. I used to be a shoe-aholic, but ever since I got the puppers, it's all about them now!
5. I have a love affair with my convertible.
6. I will never eat a green pepper nor any food that contains them. I'll eat red and yellow peppers, but NEVER a green pepper.
7. Chaos bothers me.
8. Favorite food: fish & chips
9. I am a licensed cosmetologist and was a nail technician for about 15 years, before I got burnt out.
10. I am at my happiest when I am home with my boyfriend Steve, and Chewy and Lilibell

10 Things about Chewy
1. I like to suck on Daddy's thumb, sometimes Mommy's too
2. My mission is, once I'm tired of a toy, to tear the squeaker out of it
3. I need my favorite toy with me when I go to bed
4. I hate it when strange dogs are on MY streets, how dare they, don't they know this is my kingdom??
5. I have the need to spread my scent all over the world
6. I wait at the window every day until Mommy gets home from work
7. I absolutely refuse to have my teeth brushed!
8. Chew food? Who needs to do that when it can be inhaled!
9. I like to nip the lady that lives upstairs from us.....she's nice and tasty!
10. I am definitely a momma's boy!

10 Things about Lilibell
1. I am a princess and you better remember that!
2. Why should I jump up on the couch if you are there to pick me up!
3. I hate to get my feet wet.
4. If it's on the floor, it's in my mouth!
5. I love to give sweet kisses (and sometimes go nose mining, hehe!)
6. Cheerios, did someone say Cheerios?!!!!
7. I am very shy with strangers.
8. I am a clothes horse, mommy's always saying how I have more clothes than she does!
9. I hate getting my nails clipped, but I sure do love having them painted!
10. I just love my Vintage Bitch bag, whenever I see that I know I'm off on an adventure!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mommy & Me Day

Mommy decided that this past Saturday we would have a Mommy and Me Day! She said that she had lots of running around to do and needed someone to keep her company. As Chewy does not behave at all in public (he can be very embarassing with his LOUD barking!), and Daddy always likes to sleep late on Saturday mornings, that left me to go with her (but then again, I'm always the one that goes with her!). She dressed me up in my new dress from Petco, which I just love, it's blue with pink and yellow hearts on it and it's even sparkly!

First we went to Toys R Us to get cousin Suzanne her birthday gifts. Mom put me in the carriage and I rode around the store like a princess (which I am, of course!). There were a ton of little kids there, and I had so many come up to me and pet me, which I really don't like, a Princess needs her space! Then on to Home Depot, then after that we had to go to Shaw's for human food. I love it there, there's so many good smells in that place, but my favorite part in the store is the checkout line, all the nice ladies who work at Shaw's always come over and ooh and aah at me.....I feel so special! After that one more stop at the liquor store then it was homewards bound!

When we got home, I think Chewy was a little mad at me for going out with Mommy, but hey, if he wasn't such a pill in public then he could go too!


P.S. From Mommy......I forgot to bring my camera with me, so unfortunately I don't have any pics of our outing....sorry folks!

My afternoon at the beach

Finally, for the first time this season, we were able to go to the beach, yippee!! Unfortunately, the peanut heads had to stay home, as no dogs are allowed on state beaches, bummer. And yes, I did feel super guilty for leaving them behind, and I can tell that Lilibell was not too happy at all (Mom, it's a Sunday and you're required to either take us or stay home with us!!!)

Sunday morning came, and we loaded up the truck, headed over to pick up our friend Anthony, and made the trip down to Scarborough State Beach. What normally would've been a 45 minute drive for us turned into an hour and a half due to the loads of traffic! We've been so deprived of nice weather since June, people were coming out of the woodwork for a day in the sun, lol! Once we got to the beach, we set up the blanket and chairs and settled down for a relaxing day in the sun.

As we were sitting there, we noticed a lady nearby who had the cutest little dachshund with her. I was wondering how she got her dog onto the beach, and was a little bummed and guilty for leaving my puppers at home. Now, I thought she was with some people who were near us, as she left her dog with them and went swimming. But Anthony overheard her ask them if they could watch her dog while she went swimming. I was like "I would've watched him if she asked me!" When she came back, she got her dog and took him in for a little dip. Once both of them came out, she was standing kind of near us and I asked her how she got him onto the beach. Turns out he is her service dog (for emotional reasons). Then she asked me if I could watch him while she went back in and I of course jumped at the chance! Off she went, and the poor little thing started shivering and whimpering for his mama. So I got him in my lap, wrapped him in a blanket and proceeded to sooth and comfort him until she got back. She was amazed that he took to me like that, I told her that he must've sensed the dog mama in me, hehe!

The woman, Cathy is her name, then spent the afternoon keeping me company while Steve and Anthony took off fishing, and I must say that I had a very enjoyable afternoon with her and Fenway Frank. Yes, that's his name, Fenway because that's near where she rescued him from a man who was abusing him, and she added Frank to it because he's a hotdog! He was the sweetest, loving little dog and I've fallen completely head over heels in love with him. I just wish I had my camera with me so I could've gotten his picture! His coloring was a beautiful reddish brown and he had the cutest stumpy little legs and adorable floppy ears. He only weighed 10 pounds, so he was very easy to cuddle on my lap.

I didn't get any information from her, such as her address, as we had no pen and paper, but I did locate her on YellowPages and will send her a nice note to thank her and Fenway for a lovely afternoon at the beach!


Friday, July 17, 2009

Chewy then and now

My sweet sweet Chewy. I can still remember the day you came home to us, my chocolate little baby. The morning after you came home, I had taken you out of bed so you could do your business, then run around for a bit before popping you back into bed with Daddy. I was in my dressing room sitting down while blow drying my hair. You came up to my chair with those sweet puppy eyes just begging for my lap. I picked you up and settled you down into my lap when you decided to go into my bathrobe and squirm around until you were comfortable in the back. Thank goodness I had it tied, it helped to keep you in there safe and warm (and I looked like I had a papoose on my back, hehe!) You are all grown up now, but will always be Mama's sweet baby.

Your first night home with us, February 24, 2008. Age 10 weeks.

I miss the days when you used to snuggle against my chest. Even though you don't do it anymore, you still give your Mama plenty of lovin!

I know you looked ridiculous in this sweater (it's actually a girls sweater!), but that was all they had at Petsmart in your size and you needed something to keep you warm!

Your girlfriend Zebrina. You and her got it on quite a bit, until one day you got tired of her and kicked poor Zebrina to the curb!

This was your first Easter with our family, and all 3 of us had plans to go over to Auntie Bruni's house for some fabulous Italian cooking. I thought it would be cute to dress you up as a bunny and ordered the outfit off of EBay. I was hoping that it would reach us in time for that Sunday. That Saturday, I had just gotten out of the shower and my hair was dripping wet. I went to check to see if the mailman had been there yet, as the package was expected that day. He had indeed come and had not bothered to ring the doorbell but left a notice in the box saying that delivery was attempted and the package could be picked up at the post office on MONDAY!! I promptly threw on some clothes, jumped into Papa's truck and went tearing around the neighborhood trying to find our mailman, lol! I finally caught up with him on Broadway, he must have thought I was some crazy lady, jumping out of the truck like that! But the chase was worth it, because you were the cutest bunny that Easter, even though you hated life wearing that costume!
The hat I got you to wear to your cousin Harry's birthday party. Yes, every time we took you someplace special, I had to dress you up in that particular theme (thank goodness I don't do this anymore, huh Chewy!) This picture was taken the day I got the hat in, notice how it looks all nice nice. Until the next day.....I had put it on the sofa table, not even thinking, and your father came home from work and found the hat in the middle of the floor, the fluff half ripped off, the pompom totally off and the point all chewed up. I couldn't get mad at you sweetie, first off, it was my fault for leaving it in that spot, and second, you were only doing what dogs do!

And here we are at the party. The hat looks better, don't you think? Your father and I glued and stapled so that it was at least presentable, as long as you didn't look to closely at it, haha! I still have this hat and will never get rid of it.

Your sweet cousin Harry, he does love you. Harry was unable to pronounce "ch" so he would say your name as "Gooey" and that nickname has stuck with you! If we went over to Auntie Lori's house and you weren't with us, Harry would ask "where's Gooey?" and we would always say "he's home sleeping!"

Your Halloween costume, I thought you were the cutest bumblebee, but absolutely refused to keep the bonnet on!! We had to go walking around the Hill with it around your neck, because every time I put it on, there you were trying to get it off!

And we come to your birthday, December 3rd (I hope I remembered the right day, I am absolutely horrible about remembering the exact days of birthdays!). On the actual day of your birthday, your Uncle Anthony was over and we had a small celebration. I made you and your sister a birthday dinner of a hamburger with some steamed vegetables and you inhaled it! I also had a big family party for you on another day, but that story is for another time.

I so wanted a picture of you in your birthday hat, but I guess you just don't want to wear hats anymore (you did so good at your cousin Harry's birthday party, what happened?!) So....this is the best picture I could get of you...brat, haha!

This is one of my favorite pictures of you, you have the sweetest expression in it!

And here we are today, at 1 year and 7 months. How the time has flown my son, and even though you've become what we affectionately call our "problem child", lol!, you still melt my heart when you look at me with your eyes filled with love. You will always be Mommy's little man and I love you!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Princess

Yes, I am a Princess! Even though I am Mexican, Mommy says that I've become an Italian Princess, something about how I've become very demanding and prissy! On my birthday, I had a Mommy and Me day with her, I just love those days! We get dressed up and go out and do something fun together! Well, for my birthday, Mommy decided that I should have my nails painted, and I just love them! After that, we went for a walk on Federal Hill, just the two of us (Chewy had to stay home because sometimes he can be just so embarrassing!), and there were a bunch of old men who said that I was the prettiest lady they've ever seen!

Yes, I am a Princess!

Our family and how we came to be

It all started six years ago when I met my wonderful boyfriend and companion Steve. After dating for about six months, we decided that I and my cat Phoebe would give up my apartment and move in with him and his dog Ninook, who was a Siberian Husky. So Phoebe and I packed up my apartment in Fall River and made the move over to Providence in the Federal Hill section. It took awhile for Phoebe to get used to Ninook, as she had never been around dogs of any kind before, but before long, all four of us were settled in and adjusting well to living with each other.

About three years ago, Ninook (who was about 16 years in age at the time), started going downhill healthwise. Steve took her to the vets, where they told him that, because of her age, her body was starting to fail and shut down. Steve made the very difficult decision to put his girl down. It was heartbreaking to see him have to do this, after being with her ever since she was a little baby, but in the end, he knew that it was the best thing for her. He had her cremated and her remains are now with him forever.

So that just left us two and Phoebe. It was just us three for two years, before Steve felt that he was ready to get another dog. He had always wanted to get a Chihuahua, and I felt that it was best for us to get a small dog, as the apartment we live in does not have a backyard, and a smaller dog would be better suited to apartment living. One night (February 23, 2008), while browsing online, he came across an ad for a Chi. He called the number and asked for
a picture. The little boy was a cutie, but was not the one for Steve, he really had his heart set on a Chocolate Chi. After browsing a little more, he came across another ad. He contacted Jenn, the breeder, and was told that she had several available and emailed him pictures. The instant Steve saw this picture, he fell in love and said "that's the one for us!" We made plans to meet with Jenn the next day, Sunday. That Sunday, Jenn had plans during the day and would call us when she got home. We got her call about 4:00 in the afternoon. She told us that another couple were on their way down to to look at the litter and they had expressed interest in the pup we wanted. So we dropped what we were doing, jumped into the car, and drove like maniacs to get to Jenn's before the other couple did.....and made it! The instant both of us saw this little pup in person, we knew that he would be ours forever.

We left Jenn's with our little Chocolate baby tucked safely inside of my leather jacket and realized that we did not have any supplies for a puppy!! It was late Sunday afternoon, around 5:15 (all stores close at 6:00) and the nearest Petco was about a 20 minute drive away. So.....another crazy ride down the highway trying to get to Petco before it closed and we got there just in time. Then on to home to introduce our baby to our home. At this point in time, Steve still had not chosen a name for him.

I can still remember that first night with our little peanut head. I was laying on the couch and he was curled up underneath my chin sweet as can be. We had first discussed keeping him in my cat's carrier (it was a big carrier and he was such a little thing!). So Steve put his little bed in it with some toys. I had gone to bed first, so the little one was still up with his father. Later on in the night, I felt Steve climb into bed with me with the little one. He said he had put him in there, but he cried so much that it tugged at Steve's heart and he had to take him to bed with him. So needless to say, he will never be crate trained and will spend his life sleeping in bed with us!

The next day I came home from work to find that the pup had been named....Chewy! No, it's not short for Chewbacca, haha! Steve said it just popped into his head and that was it! Phoebe didn't take to Chewy at first, then after she got used to him, she pretty much kept her distance from him. Phoebe was around 10 years old at the time, and with Chewy being so young and rambunctious, he always wanted to play with her and constantly kept chasing her around, never giving her a moments peace unless she hid under our bed!

At the end of May, on a Saturday, we had gotten up and noticed that we could not find Phoebe anywhere. We finally found her hiding in a spot that she never goes, crouching there and not looking right at all. I knew instantly that something was wrong with her. A phone call to the vets and after an appointment on Monday, the vet said that something was going on with her mouth and that she was very dehydrated. Phoebe needed to go back the next day so that they could partially sedate her so the vet could look in her mouth. I got the devastating news at work later on that morning.....Phoebe had a cancerous tumor in her mouth and that it was so far gone that really nothing could be done for her. I'll never forget that moment for as long as I live. I knew I had to make the decision to put my baby down for her final rest, I couldn't let her suffer anymore. That afternoon, when Steve came home from work, the three of us (Steve took Chewy so he could say goodbye to
his sister) made the ride to the vet, where we could say our final goodbyes to Phoebe. 10 years was a short life for her, but she lived a good one with me and she will always be in my heart.

After Phoebe's passing, Steve said that we could get another pet, and he left it to me as to whether I wanted to get a cat or another dog. Well, after Chewy, of course I had to get another Chi!! I contacted Jenn to see if she had any little girls available. Jenn said she had two mothers who were pregnant and would let me know when they had their babies. After about one month, I contacted her again to get an update on the litters. Jenn said that there were no babies yet, but said she had another girl t
hat was available and sent me the picture. As soon as I saw the picture, I knew instantly in my heart that that was my little girl. So we made plans for Steve and I to go see her. I think Steve was at first reluctant to get another dog, but when he held this little girl and she licked his nose, he fell in love right then and there. We had to wait about a month until she was old enough to come home to us. But in the meantime, I already had a name for her - Lilibell. It just popped in my head one day and I knew that it would be a perfect name for her!

I was at first very nervous as to how Chewy would react to another pet in the house, as he had been the one and only pet for 2 1/2 months now. But I knew he needed a sister to hang around with. If I left for work last in the morning, I would walk down the street and see him in the window, barking for me not to leave him there, I jus
t felt so bad! We were originally schedule to bring Lilibell home on August 8 (Friday), but we had started our living room renovations two weeks before and were working feverishly to get it ready by then. Then Steve decided that we should put new flooring in, so that pushed back our deadline. I told Jenn that we would get her on that Saturday. Saturday came, and the house was still a mess, not something to bring a new puppy home to! We worked our fingers to the bone all day to get the house cleaned and straightened out so that Lilibell could come home on Sunday.

Sunday came and I woke up so excited, and also nervous! I made the trip to Fall River and picked up my little Princess. Once we got home, Chewy was sitting with Steve and I put Lilibell's carrier down beside him and unzipped it. Chewy looked in, and started growling a bit. Steve then picked up Lilibell and had Chewy sniff her all over. After that, Chewy and Lilibell ended up being the best brother and sister and best friends. That night, when we went to bed, we knew that she would be sleeping with us also. Since she was so small, much smaller than Chewy, we were afraid of rolling onto her while we were sleeping (well, I wasn't afraid that I would do it, I was afraid that Steve would!!). So her pink bed went in between us and that's where she slept!

And that is the story of Nadine and Steve, plus 2!