This Pug Life http://thispuglife.com My Life, with a pug named Pug Mon, 22 Jan 2018 21:53:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 40923987 Crohn’s Chronicles – Part 4 http://thispuglife.com/2018/01/crohns-chronicles-part-4.html http://thispuglife.com/2018/01/crohns-chronicles-part-4.html#respond Mon, 22 Jan 2018 21:53:34 +0000 http://thispuglife.com/?p=8544 hospital room viewWell, this post is long overdue since I had my bowel resection surgery way back on November 29th. Between recovery, the holidays, caring for and saying goodbye to Molly, life has just gotten in the way of my writing schedule.

I was pretty nervous going into surgery, largely because my first resection was so painful. But, I got lucky this time. Not only did my epidural work (wonderfully), I got a huge surprise upon waking up to find out that my surgeon was able to complete my surgery laparoscopically! I definitely didn’t have my hopes up for that, and frankly neither did my doctor, due to how many abdominal surgeries I’d already had.

post-op selfie

Feeling comfy with my epidural pumping.

The downside of the wonderfully effective epidural was that I was totally overconfident in how well I felt. Because when that thing came out I got a rude awakening! It may have been laparoscopic but it was still a major surgery. But, the pain medicine they prescribed kept me quite comfortable and I was able to discontinue those after about a week at home.

New SLU Hospital construction site

There was a lot to be desired about the patient rooms at SLU, but at least I got an interesting view of the new hospital being built.

I still get a small twinge once in a while if I’m really straining my abdomen, but for the most part I feel totally back to normal and my scars are quite healed.

The pathology report that came back looked good, in fact it didn’t even show any active Crohn’s disease. The problem was indeed scar tissue.

That said, while I should now not have to worry about developing obstructions, for the most part I feel exactly the same. Which, was to be expected. This surgery was only going to “cure” the narrowing that kept getting obstructed. It wouldn’t do anything for the overall fact that I have chronic joint pain, fatigue and just generally feel like crap. What hopefully will fix that is the new medication, Remicade.

pug and pugs

The boys welcoming me home. I had to use a pillow shield for the first couple weeks to keep Pugs off my incision sites.

Unfortunately, I can’t start doing the Remicade infusions until 3 months post-op. Which, makes sense, it’s an immunosuppresant and they want to make sure I’m totally and completely healed from surgery. But, I’m obviously anxious to start. Best case I actually start feeling better, worst case I don’t respond again and we can try the next option. While I would definitely prefer a medication that I can take at home, if it makes me feel better having to do an infusion once a month will be well worth it.

So, my next update will be in about 6 weeks when I am able to get my first Remicade infusion.

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Start the New Year with Better Health with Profivex Probiotics http://thispuglife.com/2017/12/start-the-new-year-with-better-health-with-profivex-probiotics.html http://thispuglife.com/2017/12/start-the-new-year-with-better-health-with-profivex-probiotics.html#respond Sat, 30 Dec 2017 20:07:39 +0000 http://thispuglife.com/?p=8526

Probiotics are a great wellness tool for your pets whether you use them all the time, or situationally, like when your dog is put on a round of antibiotics or has a yeast overgrowth (from experience, probiotics are exceptionally good at killing off excess yeast!). Having Crohn’s disease myself, I know how an unhealthy gut can wreak havoc on your immune system and body.

(This post is sponsored by Profivex®. As always, all opinions are my own, and I never recommend any products I don’t fully support.)

You may remember my glowing review of a product called Glandex a couple years ago – when the company reached out about their new probiotic, Profivex, I knew it was a brand I could trust. I began testing the Profivex probiotic powder right away, adding a scoop to each of the pug’s food at dinner time every night.

I was very interested in trying a probiotic for both of my pugs for different reasons. Pug is a senior and it’s important that his poops are as healthy and solid as possible because of his neurological problems. The healthier his bowels are, the fewer accidents he has in the house (or bed, or car…).

pug pixel 2 xl portrait photo

On the other hand, Pugs has sensitive skin and seems prone to allergic reactions. Itchy paws, random red patches on his belly and irritated ears.

pug pixel 2 xl portrait photo

How can probiotics help such a large range of issues? Because 70% of a dogs immune cells reside in their gut! [1] Finding this out, I was even more inclined to use a probiotic for 13 year old Pug, as I want his senior immune system as strong as possible!

Profivex contains five of the most beneficial strains of probiotics, with a total of five billion CFUs per scoop:

Bifidobacterium bifidum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactbacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Streptococcus thermophiles

The different strains have different benefits. There is some scientific evidence that Bifidobacterium helps the overall immune system and diarrhea symptoms, while Lactobacillus can improve nutrient absorption. [1]

Plus, two prebiotics including sweet potato which adds fiber and keeps those poops nice and healthy. Prebiotics help promote the growth of the good bacteria in the gut. [2]

Having used the Profivex probiotic powder for about 6 weeks, I can give a positive anecdotal report. Since I’ve been using it, Pug has had 70% fewer poop accidents. And while the probiotic obviously can’t help the underlying neurological issues, I feel that having the healthiest digestive tract possible certainly helps. And, scientific evidence has shown probiotics can help with stress-induced diarrhea. [2] Very helpful for a pug who sometimes has what I refer to as “angry poops”.

As for Pugs, after a week or two on the probiotic I noticed a definite decrease in the amount of scratching, paw licking and redness. In fact, I’ve only had to treat him with Benadryl once during the entire period, and I had been dosing him 1-3 times per week.

So, whether your dog has specific digestive issues or inflammation, or you just want to keep their immune system in tip-top shape, adding Profivex probiotic powder to their daily routine can help. Start 2018 off on a healthier note! Check out the Profivex website for more information, and the links below for more research on probiotic benefits for dogs.

[1] https://www.petmd.com/dog/general-health/probiotics-dogs-what-you-need-know

[2] http://www.akc.org/content/health/articles/probiotics-for-dogs/

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Holiday Gift Guide For Dogs 2017 + Giveaway http://thispuglife.com/2017/12/holiday-gift-guide-for-dogs-2017-giveaway.html http://thispuglife.com/2017/12/holiday-gift-guide-for-dogs-2017-giveaway.html#comments Tue, 05 Dec 2017 17:35:43 +0000 http://thispuglife.com/?p=8483

It’s the MOST wonderful POST of the year! My annual holiday gift guide for dogs, where I curate all my top finds for the holiday season just for your pooch. Stay tuned to the end to enter my giveaway to win one of the chosen gifts!

(As always, my annual gift guide is set by me alone. I reach out to brands after they’ve been chosen about sponsoring a giveaway prize. The list is not contingent in any way on whether they participate. So without further ado, let’s get to it!)


P.L.A.Y. Christmas Ornament dog toys

image: P.L.A.Y.

This set of Santa’s Little Squeakers from P.L.A.Y. is perfect for the holidays. First of all, their toys are top quality and eco-friendly. Pugs has one and loves it. But, this set in particular is great because you save money versus buying the ornaments individually. Then, you can either decorate your tree with them prior to Christmas and give them all to your dog, or split them up and gift a few to friend’s dogs.


Honest Kitchen Instant Goat's Milk eggnog for dogs

image: The Honest Kitchen

Don’t let your dog miss out when everyone else is drinking eggnog out of their moose mugs (reference anyone?). The Honest Kitchen’s Instant Eggnog mixes goat’s milk (super healthy for dogs!), eggs and a hint of cinnamon to create a tasty, healthy holiday treat for your dog. And, it’s all dehydrated so it’s shelf stable. Just add water and serve.


vintage santa claus dog toys

image: Harry Barker

I won’t lie, the main reason I love these Retro Santa Claus dog toys from Harry Barker is that they remind me of the old plastic Santa Claus ornaments that hung on my grandparent’s Christmas tree. And I remember those in particular because their dog Mitzi (that I grew up with) chewed up a bunch of them when she was a puppy, but my grandma never got rid of them. So, basically these toys remind me of the Santa ornaments with chewed off feet/no faces hanging on my grandparent’s tree.


Fetchers bully stick candy cane

image: Red Barn

Every year I look for treats in fun holiday shapes that aren’t rawhide. This year I came across these Fetcher Candy Canes from Red Barn that fit the bill. Perfect for hanging in stockings, these candy canes are fully digestible and super tasty!


holiday bow ties for dogs

image: Tuesday’s Ties

Maybe your dog doesn’t like to dress up, but most all dogs will rock a bow tie. Tuesday’s Ties are one of my very favorites and not just because I’m a total fangirl of Tuesday the pug herself. I love that her ties come on elastic bands instead of clipping onto a collar. My pugs don’t wear collars and the few collars I have on hand don’t usually match my bow ties. This is all in one, and is nice and stretchy so it fits every breed!


Soda Pup Christmas ornament chew toy treat dispenser

image: SodaPup

This SodaPup Holiday Ornament chew toy and treat dispenser is super simple in concept, but great fun. And it’s not so glaringly “Christmas” that it’ll look out of place the rest of the year.


turkey stuffing and cranberry dog treats

image: Vita Bone

Give your dog a taste of Christmas dinner with these Turkey Stuffing & Cranberry flavored biscuits from Vita Bone. Check their website to find a retailer near you.


Rudolph burrow toy

image: ZippyPaws

Zippy Paws is known for their fun “burrow” toys, and they have a great collection of holiday burrows, including this Rudolph version. They’re the perfect toy for the dog that likes to pull stuff out of their toys, because these are designed that way and can simply be put back together. The best part of the Zippy Paws toys is that they sell refills of the mini toys if they get lost or destroyed.


Gingerbread cookie dog treats

image: Three Dog Bakery

Three Dog Bakery always brings it when it comes to seasonal and holiday flavors, and their Gingerbeg Cookies are no exception.


Outward Hound Holiday tennis balls

image: Outward Hound

The tennis ball – a classic and a favorite. Outward Hound adds festive color and cheeky wording to make these holiday balls a perfect stocking stuffer.


Santa's Helper holiday dog treats

image: Amazon

Einstein Pets Santa’s Helper treats combine a full Christmas dinner (sweet potato, turkey, cranberries) into one tiny treat, in fun holiday packaging.


Polka Dog Stocking Stuffers

image: Polka Dog Bakery

Polka Dog Cod Skins are a super popular treat, and Polka Dog created a couple of mini tubes perfect for gift giving. The mini tubes come in chicken or duck flavor.


Christmas light dog toy

image: Bark Shop

I was an early adopter of Bark Box, gifting my mom a subscription and featuring it in one of my very first Holiday Gift Guides. This year I’ve won a couple of free boxes and I’ve become increasingly impressed with the quality and creativity of their toys. Two of Pugs’ all time favorites are from Bark Box (the dumplings toy and sushi toy).

For the holidays, I really love the “Clark’s Fuse Free Lights” toy because it’s a. cute, and b. a reference to my fave Christmas movie. They also have some awesome Hanukkah toy selections which makes the Bark Shop a wonderful resource for holiday gift giving!


Wellness holiday gingerbread treats

image: Petsmart

We reviewed the Wellness Soft Wellbites earlier this year and enjoyed them, and this holiday season they come in a gingerbread flavor and cute winter packaging.


Giveaway

Six lucky readers will win one of the prizes listed below. Giveaway open to US residents 18 and over. The giveaway will run through December 19, and winners will have 48 hours to respond once contacted, or a new winner will be chosen. Check the Rafflecopter widget for full terms and conditions. Good luck!

  • P.L.A.Y. Santa’s Little Squeaker toy set
  • Tuesday’s Ties Holiday Bow Tie
  • Three Dog Bakery prize pack
  • Two Red Barn Fetcher’s Candy Canes + Red Barn Filled Biscuits
  • Vita Bone Artisan Inspired Treats
  • Two SodaPup Holiday Ornament chewy toys

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Holiday Gift Guide for Dog Lovers 2017 http://thispuglife.com/2017/11/holiday-gift-guide-for-dog-lovers-2017.html http://thispuglife.com/2017/11/holiday-gift-guide-for-dog-lovers-2017.html#comments Mon, 27 Nov 2017 17:55:23 +0000 http://thispuglife.com/?p=8464

Looking for a great holiday gift for your favorite pet parent? I’ve got you covered! I’ve rounded up my top ten holiday gifts for dog lovers for my annual Holiday Gift Guide. Looking for gifts for your pet? Stay tuned next week for my annual Holiday Gift Guide for Dogs and giveaway!

Pet yearly stats chalkboard photo prop

image: Pearhead

Why should babies and kids going back to school have all the fun? This Pet Chalkboard Photo Prop from Pearhead is perfect for new puppy parents or any dog lover that celebrates their dog’s milestones.


Rescued Wine Candles check a lot of boxes. They’re environmentally friendly, their scents are wine inspired, and they donate a portion of their proceeds to animal rescue. And, they make a perfect holiday gift! These soy candles are poured into repurposed, hand-cut wine bottles in small batches in California.


PetCube Bites

image: PetCube

I often include a pet tech item in this gift guide, and the pet cameras on the market just keep getting better and more innovative. The latest and greatest, PetCube Bites, is an HD pet camera AND treat dispenser. It features 2-way audio and night vision. But, the big seller for me is being able to talk to your pet and toss them a treat, right from your phone, while you’re away from home!


Curly Tail Coffee

image: Curly Tail Coffee

Curly Tail Coffee is a small batch coffee roaster out of Pennsylvania. It’s owned by two pug lovers and $1 from every bag of coffee goes to pug (or pig) rescue. While any variety would make a wonderful gift, they also have a holiday roast sampler available, perfect for gift giving!


 

Lilipi pug pillow with santa hat

image: Lilipi

I received one of these pug pillows (sans Santa hat) as a gift from Pugs’ foster mom and I absolutely adore it. But, Lilipi has a huge variety of breeds to choose from. They also have a limited selection via Amazon.


No need to knock, we know you're here welcome mat

image: Urban Owl Co

Pretty self explanatory and all too real. May as well laugh! Five dollars from the purchase of this welcome mat (and any of their pet themed mats) is donated to animal rescue.


image: Bark Shop

The best part of Dogs and Their People, published by the team at Bark Box, is that it comes with a miniature dog toy version for your best friend! From the blurb:

Dogs And Their People is the first-ever BarkBook, written by the brains behind our publishing arm, BarkPost! Our dog-obsessed humans have put into words and photographs the depth, spirit, and power of the extraordinary bonds between humans and their pups.


Dog Breed silhouette hand lettered address stamp

image: Paper Peach Shop

I may be old fashioned, but I still love snail mail, and I would adore one of these dog breed address stamps! The creator custom makes each stamp, fitting your address into or around the dog silhouette. While I naturally featured the pug, they have dozens of breeds available and you can contact them if your breed isn’t listed.


Picture Your Pet - President

image: Uncommon Goods

Know someone whose pet is king of their castle? Or, in this case, commander in chief? With Picture Your Pet, artist Patricia Carlin uses a photo of your pet and places them in a wonderfully illustrated oval office.


Dog Bone Pet Name Necklace

image: Little Miss Lilyan

Who wouldn’t want to wear their love for their pet around their neck? These dainty Dog Bone Pet Name necklaces are stylish, pretty, and let you keep your fur baby close to your heart. For multiple pets, I like the idea of layering the different metals and chain lengths.


That’s it for 2017! What did you think of these picks? If you need even more inspiration, check our previous year’s gift guides below!

Gift Guide 2016

Gift Guide 2015

Gift Guide 2014

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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DIY Advent Calendar for Dogs http://thispuglife.com/2017/11/diy-advent-calendar-for-dogs.html http://thispuglife.com/2017/11/diy-advent-calendar-for-dogs.html#respond Tue, 21 Nov 2017 20:10:17 +0000 http://thispuglife.com/?p=8428

DIY Advent Calendar for DogsWhen I was young, the ladies at the church where my before and after school program was held made all the kids an Advent Calendar. It was super simple, tiny trinkets wrapped and hot glued to a piece of green cardboard. But I loved opening my tiny gift every day leading up to Christmas. I see different Advent Calendar ideas on Pinterest every year and I’ve long wanted to create one for my dogs. And finally, this year, I collected the supplies in time to make it happen!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 25 cardboard tubes (I used toilet paper tubes cut in half, you can use whole tubes, paper towel tubes, paper cups, plastic cups, whatever size you want! Michael’s even sells packs of cardboard tubes the same size as TP rolls)
  • piece of cardboard (large enough to fit all of your tubes/cups)
  • green wrapping paper
  • green tissue paper
  • ruler
  • pen
  • hot glue gun
  • scotch tape
  • Advent Calendar date stickers
  • double-sided tape (optional)
  • dog treats

Fair warning, I realized, literally seconds after completing my advent calendar that they’re supposed to be 24 days, not 25. But, I was already done and obviously wasn’t starting over. So, you may want to do it correctly and make yours 24 days. My dogs will enjoy the extra day of treats.

DIY Advent Calendar for Dogs

To begin, set up your tubes (or cups) into a Christmas tree shape on your piece of cardboard. Use the ruler and pen to mark out your cut lines.

DIY Advent Calendar for Dogs
Once your cardboard tree base is cut out, wrap it in green wrapping paper.

DIY Advent Calendar for Dogs

Now, set your tubes back up and attach them using hot glue.

DIY Advent Calendar for Dogs

All attached!DIY Advent Calendar for Dogs

Hot glue cools nearly instantly but I waited a good ten minutes just to be sure it was completely dry before loading my treats in.

DIY Advent Calendar for DogsEven using half tubes, I was able to squeeze three treats into each tube. If you want to use larger items like a dental treat, or jerky, you’ll need to use a taller tube or cup.

DIY Advent Calendar for Dogs

To cover everything up, layer your tissue paper until you can’t see through to the treats. That took three sheets for me. Then, just use scotch tape to secure it down, trimming excess as you go. You can do this neatly if you plan to leave the tissue paper as is. I added a wrapping paper collar in the next step.

DIY Advent Calendar for Dogs

Here I covered the edges of my tubes with strips of wrapping paper using double-sided tape.

DIY Advent Calendar for Dogs

And here’s the finished product with the wrapping paper attached.

DIY Advent Calendar for Dogs

Finally, print out a set of my Advent Calendar Date Stickers. Each sticker is 1-inch in diameter, so if you have a 1-inch circle punch this step will be much quicker. If not, I added cut lines to cut them by hand. I printed mine onto sticker paper, but you can just as easily print on regular paper and attach them using double-sided tape. Just feel around to find each tube under the tissue paper and place your sticker in the center.

At this point you can add a ribbon to hang your calendar, but I am displaying mine on a shelf. I am afraid a ribbon might come loose and the dogs would have a smorgasbord if it fell off the wall!

DIY Advent Calendar for Dogs DIY Advent Calendar for Dogs

The boys got a sneak peek so we could get a photo of the Advent Calendar in action, and you can see it is a big hit! The hard part was keeping them from busting into the rest of the days while I took photos.

If you decide to make a Doggy Advent Calendar, tag me on social media so I can see!

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Pug Reviews: Molly Mutt Dog Duvets and Crate Cover + Giveaway! http://thispuglife.com/2017/11/pug-reviews-molly-mutt-dog-duvets.html http://thispuglife.com/2017/11/pug-reviews-molly-mutt-dog-duvets.html#comments Sat, 18 Nov 2017 14:00:38 +0000 http://thispuglife.com/?p=8416

I’ve been a big fan of Molly Mutt designs since I bought my first Dog Duvet several years ago. That (now retired design) duvet has held up beautifully and I still enjoy it. Recently, I was given the opportunity to try out a matching set of Dog Duvet (plus Stuff Sack) and Crate Cover and jumped at the chance, because Molly Mutt designs really turn your ordinary pet products into stylish home accessories.

Disclaimer: This Molly Mutt Dog Duvet, Stuff Sack and Crate Cover were provided to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. As always, I never promote products I don’t truly love!

Dog Duvets

Molly Mutt’s original product and what I think they’re best known for. They come in a variety of gorgeous designs, ranging from cute to modern and stylish. I chose one of the cutesier designs for myself, Bleeker Street, featuring dogs, ham bones, dog houses and trees on a beautiful sky blue background.

The 100% cotton canvas material is durable and high-quality. It’s pre-shrunk and washes like a dream. High-quality dog beds like this can get pretty pricey, but with a dog duvet you’re only paying for the cover itself. The inside is stuffed with up-cycled filling, saving you some money while being extremely green!

To keep all your stuffing organized and easy to remove and wash, Molly Mutt designed the Stuff Sack. Simply stuff your old pillows, dog beds, clothing, towels or bedding into the sack until you get the desired fluffiness. Any fabric items you have that become worn out or ratty become dog bed stuffing instead of ending up in a landfill. You can even throw the stuffing from destroyed toys in there!

To stuff my bed, I used an old dog bed plus a few worn out fleece blankets. When it’s time to wash the cover, all the filling is contained inside the Stuff Sack. And when the filling needs a wash, the Stuff Sack and it’s contents can be thrown right into the washer. They do also sell a water-resistant liner that fits over the Stuff Sack, to prevent accidents from reaching your stuffing. A great option for puppies or older, incontinent dogs.

(Another innovative product from Molly Mutt is their Crib-E. A duvet that slips over an old crib mattress to upcycle it into a huge dog bed! Great for giant breeds and parents who want to keep old mattresses out of the landfill. I haven’t tried this out myself but wanted to mention it!)

Crate Cover

The crate cover is exactly what you would expect, but with a stylish Molly Mutt twist. They’re made of the same 100% cotton canvas which gives them a quality look and feel while being super durable. It also helps make your dog crate look a little bit more like part of your home, like another piece of furniture. There are a bunch of patterns that match the dog duvets, like the Bleeker Street fabric I chose.

They’re also wonderful for dogs that love their crates as a place to escape. If you have a kennel-trained dog, you know that they often put themselves in their crate to relax or when they’re scared (or when mom tries to put their belly band on, ahem). The crate cover gives them more of a “den” feeling, which you can adjust by lowering or rolling up the sides. I keep just the front rolled up and Pugs has been loving his new “cave” while I love the look of the adorable fabric instead of a pink wire crate!

I think these crate covers will come in especially handy over the holidays if you’re hosting family and friends. Even sociable dogs can get overstimulated during large gatherings and the crate cover gives them a buffer between their crate and the festivities.

Giveaway

Molly Mutt is giving one lucky reader a Dog Duvet in Med/Large (or smaller) in the pattern of your choice! Just head over to mollymutt.com and comment with your favorite dog duvet pattern. Use the Rafflecopter widget to confirm your entry, and unlock bonus entry options.

This giveaway will run for 2 weeks and is open to US residents 18 and over. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and have 48 hours to respond. Check the Rafflecopter widget for full terms and conditions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Long Goodbye http://thispuglife.com/2017/11/the-long-goodbye-2.html http://thispuglife.com/2017/11/the-long-goodbye-2.html#comments Thu, 16 Nov 2017 18:45:29 +0000 http://thispuglife.com/?p=8411

This week I took Christmas photos of Molly, because I don’t think she is going to make it to Christmas, and I’m not sure she’ll even make it to our Christmas card photos. Senior dogs bring their own set of joys and sorrows, but not much is worse than watching their slow fade away. My Molly girl is in her final days. She is 14 years old and I have had her since she was six months old. She was a ridiculously healthy dog most of her life. I don’t think she even saw my vet other than for vaccines until she was about 12 years old and started getting urinary tract infections. She was my problem-free dog. Healthy as a horse.

Baby Molly

Molly circa 2003

Like most seniors, she started to slow down. Started having aches and pains. But a few months ago she was diagnosed with kidney failure. I wrote about that diagnosis and for a short time she did very well, all things considered. But, I now see her on the same trajectory as my grandma’s beagle that passed away at 18. She’s losing use of her back legs. She can’t get up from a laying position, and she can’t “sit” at all.

Senior Australian Shepherd Mix
Even though she still has a good appetite, and she’s not losing weight according to the scale, she looks more and more bony. I am keeping her fairly comfortable with a regular schedule of pain medication. I’m not worrying about the kidneys so much, just keeping her comfortable. And she’s still able to walk on her own, which will be a deciding factor if it comes down to it. Molly has always been a very independent, aloof kind of dog. The opposite of a pug. She comes and gets attention when she wants it, then she’s happy to hang out by herself, even in another room entirely. I know it frustrates her to have to bark and have me assist her any time she wants to get up. If/when she loses the ability to walk at all, I know she would be miserable.


We’re in the worst waiting game, where every day you evaluate if she’s still comfortable enough. Wishing she could tell me, “mom, I’m ready”. Every morning I look over to her and check to make sure she’s breathing. And on one hand, I almost hope that one day she isn’t. So she can pass peacefully at home, without having to make a decision and wonder if you waited too long or did it too soon.

I’ve been through this process before, and I trust my vet team 100%. I know they will help us make the call. But, it never gets easier. Even on the worst day, when I’m frustrated and cleaning up a third or fourth accident of the day, I don’t wish for it to be over yet.

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This Is Pug-O-Ween http://thispuglife.com/2017/11/this-is-pug-o-ween.html http://thispuglife.com/2017/11/this-is-pug-o-ween.html#respond Wed, 01 Nov 2017 20:50:51 +0000 http://thispuglife.com/?p=8382

Pugs in pumpkin costumes with pug jack o' lanternSince it was too hot to wear costumes at our first Halloween event we had to live it up this week. On Saturday we attended a fall festival in our town and then the boys dressed up again to hand out candy. 

Pugs Firefighter Costumes in front of fire truckI knew the fire department was going to be at the fall festival so I had to break out the firetruck stroller wrap and costumes. But, I only have one firefighter costume and two pugs. I had to improvise so I found a red children’s apron from Dollar Tree, cut a head hole and added some yellow felt stripes. Since Pugs didn’t tolerate the costume’s hat anyway Pug wore that. If you looked closely you could tell it was a little janky, but since he was sitting in the stroller the whole time Pug’s fire poncho worked out great!

Pugs dressed as firefighters with firefighter

The pugs are always popular with kids but they were especially enticing dressed as firefighters!

Pugs dressed as firefighters with firefighter

I had to really be patient not to tell these kids to get the heck out of the way so I could get my long awaited photos with the firefighter. Move it, children!

Pugs dressed as firefighters

We also got to see my birthday twin who was very excited to see her pug friends. This was the first time she’s met Pugs when she wasn’t in a carrier so she got to interact with him.

Pugs Firefighter Costumes in front of fire truck

Pug dressed as firefighter trying to steal baby's candy

And Pugs being completely shameless literally tried to steal candy from a baby while posing for these pictures. She cleverly moved her candy cup from the left cup holder to the right. Ha!

Standard poodle and tie dyed dog Dog in pumpkin costume Dog in superman costume

Naturally, since it was 87 degrees for our first Halloween event, it ended up being 37 degrees for this one. The poor pugs were shivering and there was over an hour left until the official pet parade started, so I ended up just getting a few pictures of the dogs already there and heading home.

Harley Quinn cosplay with Joker dog

Then, for Halloween night we went full pugkin! The boys wore their pumpkin costumes and I finally fulfilled my dream of carving a pug jack o’ lantern. I even bought an artificial pumpkin (for 70% off to boot) so I can keep it forever. The pattern I used is from the uber-talented Ink Pug.

Pugs dressed as pumpkins Halloween

 

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Riding in Style with Molly Mutt http://thispuglife.com/2017/10/riding-in-style-with-molly-mutt.html http://thispuglife.com/2017/10/riding-in-style-with-molly-mutt.html#respond Sun, 29 Oct 2017 14:00:13 +0000 http://thispuglife.com/?p=8365

I was first introduced to Molly Mutt a few years ago when I worked at a pet store. We carried their dog bed duvets and I fell in love with the high-quality canvas and one particularly adorable print (grey with yellow and white fire hydrants, now retired). After eyeing it for months, it went on sale and my willpower failed. Fortunately,  I was doubly impressed by the durability of the fabric and how well it bounced back after being washed.  So, when Molly Mutt reached out about their new line of car seat covers, I was all in.

Disclaimer: I was sent this Molly Mutt car seat cover free of charge in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own and I never recommend any products I don’t truly love, or brands I don’t personally support.

Car seat covers almost universally come in one of two colors – black or tan. But Molly Mutt has opened up a whole new world of possibilities. They currently offer 8 pattern choices. It was tough to choose, but I ended up going with the papillon pattern. I have a red car with red accents, so I thought it went well, plus the pattern should make pug hairs a little less noticeable!

The car seat covers use the same high-quality canvas I have come to love. It’s thick and durable, without being overly stiff and is quilted for extra comfort. To keep the cover in place, there is a non-skid backing and seat anchors. These are a must because they keep tricky dogs from re-positioning your seat cover to their own liking (been there done that, drove around with Pug under the seat cover one too many times).

Oh, and the quilting encompasses the entire car seat cover. I have another premium cover that only has half quilting; the flap that creates the hammock is just a single layer. That quilting is especially nice if you use the cargo area installation since it offers a bit of cushioning.


There are openings cut out for seat belts, and I was able to attach the dogs’ car harnesses, including the anchor straps, without any issue. I was worried that since the openings were pre-cut and not velcro I might have issues, but I haven’t run into any.


The colors are super vibrant and if they perform like the dog bed duvets, will maintain their quality and vibrancy even after being covered in doggy dirt and put through the wash. (One thing to note, while the fabrics are durable, these covers are not water resistant. They should handle the occasional muddy feet just fine but if you do a lot of water activities you’ll probably want to skip these for something that is waterproofed.)

Basically, this car seat cover gets a resounding recommendation from me (unless you really need waterproof). You really are getting tremendous quality for the money, besides the fact that they’re just gorgeous to look at! You can also coordinate the car seat cover patterns with other Molly Mutt products, like dog duvets and kennel covers.

Are you familiar with Molly Mutt, and if so, what’s your favorite pattern?

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Pug Reviews: Merrick Howl O’ Ween Stew http://thispuglife.com/2017/10/pug-reviews-merrick-howl-o-ween-stew.html http://thispuglife.com/2017/10/pug-reviews-merrick-howl-o-ween-stew.html#respond Tue, 24 Oct 2017 17:01:20 +0000 http://thispuglife.com/?p=8357

If you’ve been around a while you know I’m a big fan of Merrick, and an even bigger fan of their limited edition seasonal foods. So, I was so excited to be able to choose their new Howl O’ Ween Stew for this month’s Chewy Influencer review, just in time for Halloween! It’s just not a holiday if I don’t have an appropriately themed Merrick food to serve my dogs, too.

Merrick seasonal offerings have everything you’ve come to expect from their regular line – locally sourced, quality ingredients with no grain, wheat, soy or corn. This stew stays on theme with deboned chicken, peas, sweet potatoes and pumpkin. All in a ridiculously cute package. I know, I know, I gush over their packaging every time I do a review. But, it’s just so good. And the hand-drawn Howl O’ Ween illustrations with the subtle addition of spiderwebs and bat is one of the best.

But, it’s what’s inside that matters, so here’s a list of the full ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Broth, Peas, Dried Egg Product, Sweet Potatoes, Dried Pumpkin, Chicken Liver, Natural Flavor, Potato Starch, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodate, Cobalt Glucoheptonate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate), Potassium Chloride, Flaxseed Oil, Sunflower Oil, Guar Gum, Cinnamon, Xanthan Gum, Yucca Schidigera Extract.

One of the nice things about these stews is they have a nice amount of gravy that makes them great as a kibble topper if you don’t want to serve them straight-up. If you have a picky dog, a bit of Merrick stew mixed in to their food will likely get them eating!

Even though Pug and Pugs were my main reviewers for this, I did add a little bit in to Molly’s special diet to encourage her to eat. She’d gotten bored with eating the same flavor every day, so even a quarter of a can of the Howl O’ Ween Stew mixed in got her licking her bowl clean again.

It should come as no surprise that I highly recommend the Merrick Howl O’ Ween Stew. If you want to give your dog a special treat for Halloween (or fall in general) it’s a great choice. It’s allergy friendly unless your dog doesn’t tolerate chicken and/or potato. Another winner from Merrick! I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of their holiday line up for 2017.

Disclaimer: I was sent this case of Merrick Howl O’ Ween Stew free of charge in exchange for an honest review from Chewy.com. As always, all opinions are my own and I only promote products we truly love. 

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