Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Remembering Kelly

Recently I found myself thinking more about my dogs Ernest and Petey, and less about the ones I'd lost six months ago, and it shocked me.















Maybe it's only natural to focus on the ones who are here day in and day out. Maybe it's because Ernest has cancer and we spend a great deal of time making sure we're caring for his health and comfort. Or because Petey is a puppy and so very consuming of time and energy. Maybe it's just the way it should be. But it feels wrong.

Especially with Kelly. I don't feel this same melancholy about Ike, the 10-year old golden retriever we lost in March. Ike is still with me in many ways. I think of Ike every time I look at Ernest and Petey, and feel a deep appreciation for this wonderful breed. Ever since Brooks, the dog we adopted when he was 11-years-old, we fell in love with golden retrievers. Especially the seniors. Maybe it's still having golden retrievers that helps me keep Ike's spirit alive.
















But Kelly. Sometimes Kelly feels...gone. It seems like years, decades ago that we had Kelly. Yet we lost her in March, just after losing Ike. And we'd had her longest of any dog...15 years.

The last year with Kelly had been bad. Pacing. Loss of continence. Loss of mental faculties. She didn't like to be held anymore. She fell. Panted. She stared with eyes that barely recognized me anymore. That's not the Kelly I'm remembering today.
















Kelly was a good dog. She used to be joyful. She ran, wagging her tail like a helicopter, springing from bush to bush in the yard. She loved to swim. She loved to jump. She jumped up on the back of my big green chair and curled around my neck like a scarf. She cuddled. She was smart. She could solve any puzzle or problem. She was in charge, that was for sure.

















 With any other dogs in the house, she was the boss. She controlled them with just a look. All our golden retrievers were respectful of her, and deferred to her leadership. But what I remember most is her empathy. She was always there beside me if ever I was down or not feeling well. There were many times when I was going through some challenge, and she just intuitively crept up and tucked herself in by my side. She was almost human, I thought. She understood me, and sometimes it seemed as though she read my thoughts.

It makes me happy to think of Kelly and how special she was, but it also makes me sad because I miss her all the more.
















There once was a dog named Kelly, and we adopted her, and she was a part of the family and she loved us with everything she had. We played with her when she was young and we cared for her when she was suffering from dementia. And in March we said goodbye to her. And I love her. And I miss her.

Kelly was a good dog.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Pet Parent's Guide to a Clean and Odor Free Ride and #Meguiar's Giveaway!

To be a pet parent is to have a car with:
Smudgy nose prints all over the windows.
Muddy footprints on the upholstery.
Drool down the back of the seats.
Dog hair flying everywhere.
And that ewwwww stinky dog odor.
















Does this describe your vehicle? It does mine! Ernest and Petey have lent a paw or two to make sure our car has that lived-in look and smell!

It's time for a total car clean-up. Luckily, I was sent a set of high performance car care products to review....and because I think they're so fantastic, I'm giving you a chance (below) to win  a set of five  Meguiar's car care products!























We take Ernest and Petey in the car to go to the vet's, the park, training classes, visiting Grandma, and we recently took them with us on vacation. So they've certainly left their mark on (and all over!) our CRV. The trouble is, actual human beings have to ride in that car too. Most of them prefer not to sit in a rolling dog bed. It would be nice, just once, not to exit the car with dog hair all over the seat of my pants too. So we sampled and tested five items to shape up our car inside and out, and I can tell you that it's never been cleaner or fresher, except for the day it rolled off the lot. Best of all---usually you need a lot of elbow grease to make a dent in the gross dog muck, but I was pleasently suprised at how easy these prodcuts were to use, and how effective they were with very little effort from me.
















Here's what we got:

Ultimate Interior Detailer -- Helped clean up mats and interior surfaces such as dashboard, vinyl handles, and seats. It really only took a swipe of the cloth to see a noticeable improvement.

Meguiar’s ®Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner--  What do you know, I can see out the windows again! Quite helpful when driving! No streaks and smudges, either. This is my favorite of all the products.

Ultimate Waterless Wash and Wax --  For touch-ups and a quick cleaning on the exterior, no need to get out the hose and bucket. Simply mist on this product and wipe away with a microfiber towel to remove drool and road grime. It also adds a layer of protection to your finish. What's not to love?

Meguiar’s ® Whole Car Air Re-Freshers-- I notice that Ernest and Petey's doggy smell lingers, even after my pups have left the car. This great air freshener's "odor-eliminating technology" took care of that. Scents include sparkling berry, spiced wood, spring blossom citrus grove, summer breeze, and new car.  
  
Meguiar’s ® supreme shine microfiber towels--  These are the softest, car clean-up towels ever! Why use quality cleaners if you don't use a quality towel too?






















Now for the fun part. You can win a set of Meguiars products too-  Just fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. Good luck!
Prize consists of:
1 3-pk microfiber towels
15.2 oz Ultimate Interior Detailer
24 oz Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner
26 oz  Waterless Wash and Wax
1 whole car air re-fresher












a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Full Disclosure: Meguiar's sent me these five car care products in exchange for my  honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Special Prayer at the Western Wall

This month my dear friend Lori took a birthday vacation to the Holy Land. One day while she was there, I received a Facebook message from her. "I went to the Western Wall today."

I thought of pictures I'd seen of the Western Wall, also known by some as the Wailing Wall, a 1601-foot long limestone wall in Old City of Jerusalem.

"It's a custom to stick notes in the cracks between the stones to ask God to grant requests," she continued. "I wrote a special one for Ernest."

So tiny!
 Ernest was just diagnosed with cancer.

"There is very little space in that wall, and it's difficult to stuff the notes in the cracks, so that's why the paper is so small!" Over a million notes are placed in the Western Wall each year!

I was so touched that my friend brought such a special request across so many miles to a place so far away.

Here is the note tucked in the stones:

Ernest's note.

Thank you Lori for praying for Ernest, and for bringing this request to God in such a special way.

My friend Lori at the Western Wall.
Thank you God for hearing this prayer. We pray Ernest will be healed of his cancer. Amen.


Monday, August 28, 2017

Petting your Dog may Save His Life

Petting your dog may save his life.

Ernest is a good boy.
 A few weeks ago Ernest was at his therapy dog prep class. In between exercises my husband was petting him, stroking his fur like we both do numerous times a day. I'm sure you do with your dog, too. But this time he felt something different. A small bump near Ernest's shoulder.

Later that night he showed me. It looked like a mosquito bite. I didn't think anything of it at all.

Mike shows me the lump.

It's barely the size of a mosquito bite.
 A few days later we were at a vet appointment for our puppy. Ernest was with us. Mike happened to mention the bump to the vet. She looked, taking more interest in it than I thought, which surprised me. "I'll aspirate it and take a look," she said, inserting a small needle into the area. To be honest, my only thought at the time was, here goes our bill up, up, up!

The next night we received a phone call about 9pm. The vet.  "It's not benign," she said. I listened, barely believing her words. I thought Ernest was fine. He had no symptoms. And the bump was so small. But now the bump had a name: mast cell tumor.

Monday Ernest had surgery to remove the tumor.

Ernest's scar on his right shoulder.
 Tissue was sent for a biopsy. Stage 1 is a pretty good prognosis. Stage 2 could go either way. Stage 3 means it has already spread. The biopsy shows it is a stage 2 tumor.

None of us know how long we have. It's no different for Ernest. We're just going to give Ernest the best, happiest, most loving life we can, and the best health care within our means. We have a wonderful veterinarian we trust and we know that she'll take good care of us. We plan to continue with therapy dog classes (only one left and then he'll take his test!) and if he passes, Ernest will fulfill his destiny (we believe) to be a therapy dog.

Paw Power!

He's recovering from surgery well. The tumor has been removed. And all because my husband was petting him one night.

So petting your dog can save his life.

And you can bet, we'll be petting Ernest a lot.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Back to School Treats #ChewyInfluencer

Hi there, Petey here. Wednesday I told you that I was going to school. Well, every good dog who goes to school knows that means one thing:  TREATS!!  And where does Mom get my treats? Can you guess? I spelled it out for you on Mom's refrigerator.


Mom and I and Ernest are Chewy Influencers. Chewy sent us this awesome bag of Natural Balance mini rewards treats. Whenever I do something good, Mom gives me one. They're mini size, so I don't have to worry about my figure--less than 5 calories each.



They're made with high quality proteins. The first ingredient is duck, and they also contain sweet potatoes. Other flavors available are chicken and lamb. Can I just say that learning is delicious?!

Check out these and other yummy treats on Chewy.

What flavor treats do you like when you are learning new things? Hot dogs? Cheese? Bacon?

Full Disclosure: Chewy sent us one 4oz bag mini rewards in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

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