Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: 6 Months, Again.

Wednesday again?  Time to get wordless...

When you come into work on a rather stressful morning and find your boss' wife left this on your desk. #ilovemyjob #fallinnewengland #pumpkin #decoratedpumpkin #paintedpumpkins #halloween #decoratetheoffice #autumn #fall








In some ways it seems like he was plopping his big 'ole head in my lap just yesterday...
In others, it seems like forever has passed...
In reality, it has been six lonely months since we said goodbye for the second time this year... 
If only I could turn back time. 

I miss you, my Happy Old Man.
Watching 2 Broke Girls with my cuddly big guy #love #dogstagram #instadog #bigdog #snuggles #cuddly #ilovemydogs #LifeIsGood

Happy dog! In his way to see his favorite vet... #dogstagram #instadog #seniordog #happydog #carride #love #smile #ilovemyseniordog


I miss them both so, so much. It's been the worst year imaginable, but I do believe they are still with me each and every day, looking out for us. I know they sent Penny to us and call me crazy, but sometimes I think she can see them. There have just been too many times I find her infatuated with, or barking at, empty space.


Tuesday, October 06, 2015

30 Day FortiFlora Challenge with #Chewy + Teutul Update

Disclosure: Chewy sent a 30 day supply of FortiFlora to Lapdog Creations, free of charge, for review purposes. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions expressed are my own.

We were asked by our friends over at Chewy to participate in a 30-day challenge with Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets FortiFlora. As part of the challenge, will be doing three posts this month: an introduction, mid-way check in, and final thoughts.


FortiFlora, a probiotic supplement for dogs (they also make a cat version), promotes intestinal health and balance, as well as a healthy immune system.  
Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets FortiFlora® is a nutritional supplement for dogs and has been formulated to achieve the following characteristics:
  • Contains guaranteed amounts of live active cultures
  • Proven to promote intestinal health & balance
  • Nutritional supplement for dietary management of dogs with diarrhea
  • Helps reduce flatulence (gas) in dogs


I was familiar with FortiFlora before this challenge, as it was recommended by our vet many years ago. We use it with all of our dogs when they have tummy or digestive issues, so I tend to keep a box on hand at all times for quick access whenever an "issue" pops up.  However, we've never used it on an every day maintenance basis.  That is about to change...

One of the things I love most about FortiFlora is how easy it is to use.  You don't have to shove a pill down your dog's throat or worry about measuring out the proper dose.  FortiFlora is conveniently packaged in 30 individual packets.  You simply tear one open and sprinkle it in your dog's food once a day.  It's as simple as that.  You can add a little water or canned food and mix it up if you prefer.  In the past 12 years or so, I've never had a dog turn his or her nose up to it... so it must be pretty tasty! 


The timing of Chewy's challenge couldn't have been more perfect. 

Teutul had two unscheduled vet visits last week.  At the first, he was diagnosed with double ear infections (which seem to be clearing up quite nicely).  At the second, he was obviously feeling crappy from something else and on Thursday, we received the diagnosis. 

Teutul has pancreatitis. 

No, the ear infections were not related... just bad luck that my boy had to battle both at the same time. 

Teutul has been on a bland diet, antibiotics and daily doses of Pepcid, Cerenia, and FortiFlora.  Ironic?  Perhaps... but I suppose what better way to truly put FortiFlora to the test, right?

My boy's last bout of vomiting was on Thursday morning. He's gotten his appetite back and is not a fan of "small meals."  He spoke loud and clear about that issue when he did something he's never done before - he stole chicken bones from the trash! Never mind my stress over the pancreatitis... I was horrified, but thankfully I noticed his antics right away and was able to pull the bones out of his mouth (and only suffered one very minor wound in doing so). 

Last night was his last schedule dose of Cerenia and fingers are crossed we don't see any vomiting return.  We will continue a bland diet this week and then began to switch him over to a new, lower fat kibble. 

And, of course, we will be continuing to use FortiFlora every day! I look forward to reporting more mid-month. In the meantime, you can pick up a box of FortiFlora for your dog (or cat), or one of thousands of other fantastic items at Chewy!

Monday, October 05, 2015

Penny and a Budweiser Clydesdale

Monday already? Does anyone find it ironic that it's reserved for the "Mischief" blog hop? As I read on a Facebook meme yesterday, "My Saturday was going pretty well until I realized it was Sunday."

My actual Saturday was really fun this weekend. We took Penny to the "Wags to Whiskers Festival" at Anheuser-Busch (the Budweiser factory). The event is an annual fundraiser for one of our local humane societies, and I'm not sure why we hadn't heard about it before.


There was all sorts of fun going on for both dogs and humans, including dock diving and agility demonstrations (dogs could try out the agility apparatus as well, but we didn't stand in the line with Penny), an activity tent and pie eating contest for the mini humans, make and take cat toys, raffles, vendors galore (most of whom had really cool free stuff), food and beer for the humans, and lots of adorable puppies and older dogs up for adoption.  I was a little taken aback that they were allowing people to adopt right there on site, as in my experience with rescue that was never allowed. Perhaps things have changed over the years.

Penny seemed unimpressed with the dock dogs demonstrations.  She was more interested in people and pup watching behind the action.


There was an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the most dogs having their teeth brushed simultaneously.  They needed 300 dogs, and unfortunately fell just short of that number.  We planned to participate, but when we got there we found out Penny was too young.  Apparently the dogs needed to be at least a year old (because apparently puppies don't need to brush their teeth?).  Absolutely no idea why.  The lady running the sign in booth said they just found out that morning and seemed a bit baffled about it as well.

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Penny had an absolute blast.  She met so many great people and dogs, including a precious adult female Doberman named Banana.  Penny was smitten, as was Banana. We chatted with her owners for a bit as the girls admired each other and played... but I can't believe I forgot to snap a photo of them together! I realized when we got home I really didn't snap any photos of other dogs, except for this one.  I'm not sure if Penny was admiring his lime green PJ's or if she was wondering what the crazy green thing was.

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Penny was stopped several times by photographers wanting to snap her photo... proud Mama moments! She was also stalked stopped by several kids asking to pet her. I was very impressed with a group of little girls who must have been around 6-8 years old. They all approached slowly, one at a time and and each asked separately, "May I please pet your dog?" Kudos to the great parenting.

My girl tried a couple of new tricks at the "do a trick, win a prize" booth. While she didn't catch on to bobbing for treats in the ball bin, she did jump through the hoop for the nice lady.

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She even got some cute bling for doing a trick (sure, okay, the bling was supposed to be for the human kids, but whatever).

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As mentioned above, most all of the vendors seemed to have freebies.  I was actually pretty impressed with the quality.  While my favorite just might be the green canvas tote bag from Merrimack Veterinary Hospital (not only did it make a great catch-all for the goodies we collected, but it's a nice little sized tote compared to the rest I have, making it versatile for a knitting bag, or to haul around dog stuff... plus just look at their cute logo), Penny's favorites were the food and treats!


While I didn't purchase any raffle tickets, I did make a small donation in exchange for this adorable little nuts and bolts doggy sculpture. I might have to take up welding...


As we were walking back to our car, we decided to walk through the Clydesdale stable and courtyard area. We had no idea they had one of the boys outside for pictures, or that they would allow dogs to have their photos snapped with him! The stables are home to the East Coast eight-horse hitch and apparently on the first Saturday of the month, they do these fun photo opportunities.


How many dogs can say they've had their photo taken with a Budweiser Clydesdale?!?! Penny sure can brag about it!


I still need to scan in the photo we purchased with the nice frame around it, but someone did nicely snap a couple shots on my cell phone.  I love them, even if she did cut off the top of that poor horse's head. 

The only thing they didn't allow dogs to do was go inside the stable where humans could see the rest of the hitch up close.

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I've had the pleasure of seeing the Clydesdales in the past, but would never pass up an opportunity to get so close to these gorgeous, magnificent creatures.

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Penny had fun people, dog and Clydesdale watching in the courtyard while her Daddy took his turn inside the stables. She romped around with a Weimaraner puppy too... but of course, I forgot to snap a pic.

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On the way out of the courtyard, we walked past this sign. 


Thank you so much to the staff for making great exceptions on Wags to Whiskers day! Penny and several other dogs had the chance of a lifetime!


It was a fabulous fall day (cool temps and the rain held off!)... we'll definitely plan to go back again next year!

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Thankful Thursday - Welcome October

It's no secret that fall is my absolute favorite time of year, but did you know that October is the best my favorite month? 

There's just so much to be thankful for in October.  Not only do we hit peak foliage season in New England in early-mid October, but the temperatures have usually turned (and remained) cool, making for crisp air that is perfect for visiting the apple orchards and enjoying hot apple cider, along with warm cider donuts.  Plus, we have several birthdays to celebrate in October, including my Mom, Teutul and myself. 

Of course, I'm always thankful for my three goofballs.  They certainly all have their own personalities, likes and dislikes.

I'm thankful that Penny loves to go to the race track (I know, I've posted about it before, but it truly is great having such a versatile girl who doesn't mind the noise, crowds, or long days at the track).

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In case you can't tell by those photos, Penny's favorite race days are those spent at her "home track," New Hampshire Motor Speedway (and her Mama would have to agree).  Whether she's hanging out in our pit or waiting with her Daddy on the starting grid, Penny is one happy race track pup!

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I'm thankful that neither Sophie or Teutul seem to care much about going to the race track... they let Penny have all that fun.  Sophie prefers to spend time with her humans lounging at home, whether on the back deck or the couch.  In fact, she prefers anything that doesn't revolve around going for a ride, or meeting strangers.

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Teutul pretty much goes with the flow. He's happy to hang with his humans as home, but does demand enjoy going for a ride whenever possible.  I'm thankful he enjoys the rides no matter where we go (or don't go, for that matter).  He doesn't care if it's just a quick trip to the post office, a visit to Petco, or a half day journey.  Either way, he's just a happy hound in the car with the wind blowing through his crazy ears!

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What are you thankful for today?  Are you as excited about October as I am?