Friday, August 17, 2012

My Dog is a Cone-Head

Chevy has been licking and chewing on his feet incessantly for weeks.  At first we thought it was mildly annoying that he had the personal hygeine of a cat, but then it became clear that we had a problem.  The dog would slurp and lick throughout the night.  We did some Internet diggign to see what could be the cause of the obsessive paw-licking and came up with the following possibilities:

1.  He is stressed.
2.  He is aimless, probably because he should be a working dog and we have turned him into a comfort-loving, comfort-giving playmate.
3.  He has an allergic reaction to something

It was clear that I wasn't going to be able to quickly solve any of those issues, so today I took him to the vet, Dr. Erin Russel at Brookfield.  Again, the quality of vet that fell into my lap continues to astound me.  She has so much to say, so much advice to give, so much knowledge to impart.  She rolls options off her tongue, keeping in mind my pocketbook (although my pooch could never be called cheap) and the practically of the time commitment she's recommending.  There are so many things I could be doing better, but somehow she never makes me feel like I should have already known how to better care for Chevy. 

Her opinion is that Chevy is having an allergic reaction to something, which is causing the paw obsession.  The licking is causing inflammation to his paws and causing an acne-reaction to his face. There is a multi-step process to fix it.  First, Chevy needs to wear a cone to keep him from doing more damage to his paws. (He is not a fan.) Second, a "people" allergy medicine like Benadryl or Claritin once a day. Third, a topical steriod spray to help his paws twice a day.  And fourth, a pill anti-biotic to fight his issues from the inside. 

In addition to those things, we should also avoid plastics (no more using plastic containers as cheap food and water bowls at the beach), stop giving him Costco's duck treats (they come from China, which doesn't have safe food controls), return the Kirkland Signature brand of flea medication and buy Frontline (apparently the KS stuff is full of toxins), and start him on a heartworm medicine (since we took him to Eastern Washington). 

Once we get the current paw licking under control, we need to keep an eye out for what was causing the allergy.  Is it his food?  Consider switching to a different protein.  Does it happen again after we return from Eastern Washington? We also need to keep an eye on his feces to make sure his parasite hasn't persisted. 

As I type it, it seems like a lot...but it does feel doable.  Hopefully it is.  You know I'll keep you all posted, whether you want me to or not!  =)

One last pic of my cone-head, Chevy.  Note the tongue is still in action, he just can't reach his paws!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

It is BIRCHBOX time!!!

It's here!  Yes, my new BIRCHBOX has arrived.  I'm sure you were all waiting with bated breath just like I was. 
This is just the inside packaging for BIRCHBOX.   I'm not sure why I thought it was necessary that you all see that picture too.

First up in this month's box is a pair of  ear buds in bright pink and green from Glamour.  I figured I'd slip this into Sydney's Christmas stocking for the coming holiday season, but Sydney checked out my BIRCHBOX and already is pining for the ear buds.  Even though she knows I'm Santa, we still like to pretend that she doesn' saving it for her stocking won't work.   That doesn't mean that I'm handing the ear buds right over to her, though.  I'd like a little more time before my precious girl turns into one of those annoying kids that is always saying "What???" because they can't hear with their ipod plugged into their heads. 

Next up is a uber bar (imagine I went to the effort to find the umlaut key for the U) fro Larabar.  I'm not a huge protein bar fan, but this looks pretty good.  Sweet and Salty with a little fruit thrown in?  Yummy.  It is the perfect size to throw in the beach bag for a trip to the lake too.  

This is a skinny liquid eyeliner from eyeKO.  I've got a regular black liquid eyeliner, but not a "skinny" one.  I do have to work to make my regular one be thin enough on my eyelid, so perhaps a skinny version will be just the ticket.!

A nourishing hair mask and oil treatment from Amika will probably be used on Cheyenne's hair.  She's got such crazy hair and I'm constantly buying new product that moisturize in the hopes that it will lay down nicely.  I have heard of Argan Oil so maybe this one will be a winner.  It is nice to be able to try brands that I've never bought before...and to get them in sample size amounts so we aren't trying to use up a 12 oz bottle if we don't love it.  

Can I be honest?  I have no idea what this one is. B.B. Cream with SPF 27 PA++ from bosca.  Hmmmm.  B.B. cream.  I would assume it is a moisturizer of some kind?  Or a primer?  It says it has a "self-adjusting shade for all skin types" which means there must be some pigment to it.  I love oil free.  I've been switching to oil-free moisturizers for my face.  Any clue what PA ++ is?  Sounds pretty scientific.  Someone should probably tell me what this is before I end up using it on the wrong body part!

And last but not least, a new scent.  I love the lemon-grapefruit nature of this one.  Just perfect for spring/summer and for someone that doesn't like heavy perfumes.  Just something light and fresh smelling for me!  Feel free to walk up and sniff me if you want to know what it smells like. 

Do I really only get one more of these fabulous boxes?  This is like mourning the coming Monday on a Sunday morning.  I should just enjoy it while it lasts, right?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Birch Box: Samples Galore!

My little sister purchased a delightful birthday present for me: a 3 month subscription to BirchBox. I had never heard of BirchBox before but I think the idea is fabulous. Every month they send you a box full of samples (home, beauty, health, etc.) for you to try out. You declare what you are interested in on the website and then they send you a random set of stuff every month. What a great way to try out new stuff!

I can't wait to give this first sample a try. It will give me a reason for one of those 40 minute tubs that I'm always taking. It is a pore minimizing mask that disappears into your skin; after 20 minutes, the mask is gone and hopefully my skin looks years younger. Who am I kidding? I'd settle for months younger.    

Cynthia Rowley Band-Aids??? Totally cute, but my kids don't rate designer Band-Aids and I haven't worn a Band Aid in forever. Still, I think they are cute and I'm glad to have them in my first aid kit!

 Next up:  Denizia Olive Oil soap.  We really don't use bar soap, although this stuff looks delicious enough to make me want to try it. Or I could save it for a cute teacher gift bag someday...

"Staniac Balm for lips and cheeks???"   "Hmmm", I thought, "looks funky".  But then I tried it and I like it!  It is just like the difference between paint and stain on a deck.  Regular lipstick (like paint on a deck) sits on top of your lips.  Stain soaks into your lips.  When you first put it on your lips, they feel a little bit sticky (like stain on a deck while it is drying) but then your lips dry and just a little color remains.  It really doesn't look like lipstick.  There is no shine or obvious product on your lips;  they just look "stained" with color.  It's a keeper.  I think it might be going into my car since I don't think it will melt in the sun like lipstick does. 
Hee Hee!  When I was taking pictures I thought that this little peice of paper was the "parfum", but then I realized there was a little sample tucked inside.  I haven't worn the scent yet, but I sniffed it and it smells good.  The note inside declares it not to be a perfume but a scent used in making perfume.  Someone should tell the designer (Juliette I presume) that that distinction is lost on us little people.  I'd tell her myself, but Juliette Has a Gun! 

All right, that's the contents of my BirchBox sample box.  Can't wait to get a new one next month!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Dog Diaries: Really, who is the stupid one now?

Today was not a stellar dog day.  If fact, there was a fair amount of yelling and crying about the dog today.  But when I think back about the day, I wonder if the dog is really to blame.  At this point, it is really just our stupiditiy for not recognizing those things the dog is surely going to do.

Today the kids and I took the dog to the park for a walk.  I was feeling lazy and didn't put the dog kennel into the car.  I know better than that, right?  I already know that the dog eats seatbelts and  refuses to stay in one seat.  So should I really have been surprised when the dog refused to stay in one seat?  At least he didn't eat any seatbelts today. I was smart enough to not attempt to put him on a leash in the car ('cause I KNOW he would have eaten that!). 

Then I decided to let him go off-leash at the park.  Well...not exactly off-leash, since I left the leash connected to his neck.  I just dropped the leash so he could run around a little.  This was working just fine for awhile.  He was getting great exercise running back and forth.  He and Cade would run ahead on the trail and then I'd call Cade back and Chevy would follow.  Then Chevy discovered the marshlands.  He went crazy.  Super crazy.  He started jumping into the water like he was trying to catch something underneath the reeds.  Then he started running, running so fast and he crashed into Sydney.  So she shrieked and howled.  So he ran faster, back and forth, and crashed into her again.  The shrieks turned into gut-wrenching sobs.  I started to wonder what the occupants of the houses at the borders of the park must be thinking.  I recaptured his leash and walked us back to the car.  Chevy apologized to Sydney the best that he could and everyone was getting happy again...until I realized that wet, dirty Chevy had to get into the car without the benefit of a kennel, or a towel, or anything that might contain the mud.  And Chevy refuses to stay in one seat.  Now it was my turn to cry. 

We got home and I attempted to clean up my car's interior.  Later that night I picked up Subway sandwiches for the kids.  I even said to them "don't let the dog get your food", but apparently that warning went unheeded.  I was upstairs when I heard sobbing.  Cade was crying "I can't find my sandwich".  He said "I don't know if the dog ate it, but I can't find it".  That is not world class sandwich watching.  I found a pile of olives on the living room carpet, proof positive of Chevy's guilt.  See, Chevy doesn't like olives so he took the sandwich into the living room where he could remove the olives in private. 

So there you go...three seperate crying/yelling experiences and they all could have easily been predicted and prevented.  So who is "stupid" now? 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Dog Diaries: Totally Gross

That stupid dog, whom I love....

I think that is how I might start every dog post from now on.  I wonder if "whom" is grammatically correct.  I'm sure one of the grammar nazis that I count among my friends will be glad to chime in about that.

Today the kids and I took the dog on his daily walk.  At one point, Chevy stopped in the middle of the road and laid down.  I first thought he might just be enjoying the warm concrete under his back, but then he started wiggling his back around.  "Does he have an itch?" I wondered.  Unfortunately for me, no, it wasn't an itch.  Chevy had found a large splat of fresh bird poop and was rolling around in it.  Totally gross.  It turned his collar white with green smears. 

I've seen him do this several times before with deer poop and Sydney said he's also done it with dog feces.  What is that all about?  It is totally gross.  Did I mention that yet?  Totally gross.  What innate sense in dogs tells them to rub the feces from other animals into their fur?  And why on their backs?  I guess I could understand if he wanted to smell it, but roll in it?  That's just...(wait for it)...totally gross. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Dog Diaries: Smart Dog, Groggy Mom

Chevy, at about 17 months old, is about as smart as I was when I was 15 years old.  I say this because the dog has figured out something that I figured out when I was 15.  That is, mom is not coherant at 6:30 in the morning and will likely allow anything that doesn't require her to get out of bed. 

Chevy knows that he cannot sleep with us on the bed.  He is allowed to take a snooze on our bed during the day, but when nighttime comes and Scott and I crawl in...he has to get off!  Lately, he has been crawling back on the bed about 6ish in the am.  As long as he stays at the bottom of the bed, I am okay with that.  But he doesn't stay.  He slowly inches up to be with us.  Yesterday he came on to the bottom of the bed and then moved up so he could lay his head on my body.  By the time 7 am rolled around, he was fully stretched out next to me with his head on my pillow.  Yes, his head was on my pillow next to mine and somehow my arm was around under his neck.  I was snuggled up to the dog like he was a person.  Sigh.

I'm sure it was such a funny sight that I thought about re-creating it for a picture, but that would only confirm for the dog that he belongs there.  That's probably not a good idea.  Chevy already has illusions of grandeur that we are going to have to train out of him.  His master plan is probably to take over my spot on the bed and make me sleep on the floor.  That will never happen (although I've said a lot of things would NEVER happen that he's managed to fanagle)!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Dog Diaries: again, dog????

The Dog Diaries: 

Its been months since I posted about Chevy.  I continue to love that stupid dog (yes, again with the "stupid" word) and he continues to respond by chewing up my house.  Mostly Cade gets the worst of this relationship. There is a larger porportion of Cade's things able to be chewed that are laying on the floor...legos, cars, truck, stuffed animals... than anyone elses.  I've been fairly accepting of this problem.  After all, it isn't my stuff that is getting chewed to bits. 

Except today, when he chewed up my favorite flats.  That ticked me off.  Admittedly, I've had these flats for years.  I loved them when I bought them.  I even blogged about them when I bought them.  Just this side of Crazy blog "Gotta go with the mood that strikes ya"  It was Friday, August 14th 2009.  Now I can put an end date to my tombstone of my shoes 9/2009 to 5/2012.  Sigh. 

Taking care of Chevy has gotten easier.  There are many possible reasons for this:
  1. a couple of weeks ago I had three dogs (I was pet sitting for my sister) and now one dog seems pretty easy in comparison
  2. I've really lowered my expectations
  3. I've finally bought most of the gear that I needed and so now I have enough options to care for my pooch
  4. He snuggles with me on the sofa most evenings, which makes up for a multitude of sins during the day
  5. I've stopped feeling guilty if I need to leave him in his crate for 4 hours.  I still feel guilty about more than that.
I still really need a fence in the backyard.  It will be really nice if I can send him out to play occasionally, especially when other people come over.  We are still not sure about a traditional fence or an invisible fence.  We've ruled out the other wireless fence that we were hoping for...apparently those don't work on sloped property. 

Well, I should probably go downstairs and clean up the chewed bits of my shoes all over the carpet.  I bought a new vacuum cleaner attachment to pick up all the dog hair on my upholstery.  Maybe I'll try that out.  Oh yeah...that's one more thing you can put on the "Chevy's an expensive dog" tab!