Yes…it’s a pet peek!

Okay, so y’all know how crazy I am about my furry baby girl….I love to spoil her and shower her with love and attention. And…although I don’t really have a need for this fahhhbulous little ditty, I am IN LOVE! When I saw it, I about fell to the floor in giggles!

Ever had a curious dog determined to see what’s beyond your fence trying to jump over it or constantly digging or chewing holes in fences? Well, here’s your solution. Allow me to introduce you to the Pet Peek, a window for your fence to ease their natural curiosity! Eeeekeeee…

Can’t you just picture your little furry baby peeking out at the neighbors or the park next door?!?!? Eeeekeeee…I love it!!!

And wait…it’s not just used for dogs and wood fences but it’s been used as indoor room dividers. I read on the website that the Smithsonian Museum uses a Pet Peek in a display about the moon…funny but that visual totally makes sense.

I was really intrigued by how the Pet Peek came to be. Like…who is sitting around and suddenly has the idea to cut a hole in their fence and stick a plastic dome in it for the dog?!?! Well, according to the website, the idea for the invention came to Carolin Best in 1982 when she and her husband lived in Aurora, Colorado with two small terriers, Little Abner and Noodles. They had a 6-foot wooden privacy fence that had a small knot hole for peeking out but only one dog could peek at a time. And then one of her dogs wouldn’t share with the other. So, Carolin cut a hole near the bottom of the fence and popped a clear plastic dome (the top of an old rug shampoo machine) through the fence.

Can't you just see this adorable face looking out at you through a Pet Peek?!?!

Low and behold, then both dogs rejected the knot hole and instead went straight to their new peek. Can you imagine?!?! So then she had to install another one and Pet Peek was born. In June 2007, Colorado newspaper Westword awarded Pet Peek “Best Dog Accessory” and I can see why! 

I mean…I could totally SEE Tess peeking into one of these. Can you say adorable?!! Unfortunately we don’t have a fence to install one but if we did, I’d be all over this little ditty!

The plastic dome window accommodates a snout and comes with a black trim ring. Installation is simple and retail cost is under $40. You can order this patent-pending invention online here.

And even more uberlicious is that Carolin never forgets those animals who need help. She donates a portion of the profits to non-profit animal organizations.

It’s Twisted Tuesday and that means it’s time to enjoy a smile, giggle or laugh…here’s hoping I’ve provided it in spades…enjoy!

Think your dog would enjoy the Pet Peek? How about any other uses? Share the wealth!

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Dogs that….tweet?!?!

Sit down and buckle up! All you dog lovers are going to fall off your chair when you see what I have for you today!! What would you say….if I told you….that your dog can now send you….TWEETS.

I KNOW?!??!?! SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!

It’s Puppy Tweets by Mattel, a wireless, electronic tag that I simply attach to my dog’s collar (along with a USB dongle to my home computer) and voila…my baby girl will sent me tweets about her day while I am at work and she’s home.

Whenever Tess moves, barks (or just naps), the tag (which has motion and sound sensors) will send a WiFi signal to my computer which then sends me a tweet.

Barking is the new tweet! Get out of town?!?!?!

What better way to perk up my day than to get tweets from Tess! AND…that’s not all. Best yet, I can invite my friends and family to follow Tess on Twitter and Tess can follow her favorite puppy pals or celebrities. O.M.G. Y’ALL CAN FOLLOW TESS. Sweet! Imagine…she could actually go viral. Her tweets could become famous. Maybe she’ll have more followers than ME?!?! She’ll be the next Internet sensation. She’s not just a pretty face folks. She’s a Master Jedi Tweeter!

I can almost HEAR hubby groaning!

Here’s the deal, Puppy Tweets comes pre-loaded with over 500 phrases that put a humorous or insightful spin on Tess’ daily activity. Her barks will tweet me stuff like:

  • I bark because I miss you. There I said it. Now hurry home.”
  • I finally caught that tail I’ve been chasing and…OOUUUCHH!

Dang…I know…I was hoping I could load it full of customized tweets to! Now that would have been FUN!

Puppy Tweets comes in pink (but of course…nothing but pink bedazzled for my baby girl) and blue.

It’s Twisted Tuesday and that means it’s time to enjoy a smile, giggle or laugh…here’s hoping I’ve provided it in spades…enjoy!

What new tricks is your dog learning?

P.S. Unfortunately when I read the reviews for Puppy Tweets on Amazon, this doesn’t sound like a quality product…sniff…I couldn’t help sharing it with y’all for humour sake but I caution anyone to read the reviews before actually purchasing.

The things we’ll do for our furry children

Tess

As most of you have, my dog Tess had knee surgery five weeks ago today after she ruptured the main ligament in her knee (in human terms, she blew her ACL) in early June. The surgery cost was a hard pill to swallow at $1800 but what’s been more of a whooper is the time and energy we’ve had to invest in her physiotherapy. I mean, the vet warned us that the 12 weeks of physio would be pretty time intensive and boy…she wasn’t kidding.

 “If you are going to invest this kind of money into the surgery, you need to be willing to invest the time and energy into the physio otherwise it’s not really going to be worth it,” she told us.

OK…damn it…she’s right! So physio mania has taken over my house for the last five weeks.

Before I give you the jaw-dropping deets, I gotta stop right here and give myself and hubby props! We’ve done far better than I thought we would. We’ve thrown ourselves into Tess’ therapy with a level of commitment very unlike us. When push came to shove, we’ve really come through and have given Tess exceptional care and attention. I’ve been so impressed; hubby hasn’t even complained or moaned once. We tag team the therapy which helps dramatically and together, we’ve made Team Tess a huge success.

And in telling others our story, I’ve been blown away and comforted by the amazing stories of what people will do for their furry children. It’s a beautiful thing. I’d love to hear your story so feel free to comment.

So here’s the physio deets…hold on to your panties, it’s a bit long….

Week 1 to 2:

  • Cool compress on knee – 10 minutes
  • Massage leg and knee muscles – 3 minute
  • Range of motion exercises (12-15 reps bending the toe, ankle, knee and hip) – 3 minutes
  • Slow, controlled walk – building up from to 10 minutes (hubby’s job)
  • Cool compress on knee – 10 minutes

Total: 36 minutes – 3 TIMES a day.

I know what you are thinking: “wowzers, that’s a lot three times a day – are you insane?” But honestly, it wasn’t that bad. Watch a little TV and the time passes quickly. Voila, tous fini. I actually caught myself thinking “hmmm…no idea what the vet was talking about, this isn’t that bad…” I thought we were in the clear. Boy was I wrong!

The result (2-week check-up):hubby and I we were duly rewarded, patted on back, and cheered with a GLOWING report card. The vet was super impressed with the reduction in swelling and with the increase in muscle mass. She thought Tess was walking on it beautifully and putting a good amount of weight on it. Yeahhhh for hubby and I. Quick, someone get us a plaque with the Puppy Parents of the Year Award!

Our gift for our great work…we got to take Tess off the opiate drugs (dog morphine) and do more physio!

Week 2 to 4:

  • Warm compress – 15 minutes
  • Massage leg and knee muscles – 3 minute
  • Range of motion exercises (20 reps bending the toe, ankle, knee and hip) – 4 minutes
  • Controlled walk – building up to 20 minutes (hubby’s job)
  • Cool compress on knee – 15 minutes

Total: 57 minutes – 3 TIMES a day.

Funny, when Tess isn’t high on her opiate drugs, she doesn’t seem nearly as “willing” to have me yanking on her leg. So weird. This has made physio a little tougher.

The increase in time proved to be a wee bit more difficult to make happen, especially in mornings before going to work. Getting up at 5:30 a.m. to do dog physio was not in the plan so…we compromised. Through the work week, we did physio “light” in the mornings (around 12 minutes of heat, walk, cool) and a full physio treatment in the evenings. On the weekends, we would fit in three full physio treatments.

The result (4-week check-up): again, a GLOWING report card! The vet was super pleased with Tess’ progress and said that we were doing a stupendous job (ok, she may not have used that word exactly but I am sure it’s what she meant)! And again, we were rewarded…Tess came off her anti-inflammatory drugs and we got….wait for it….yes…MORE physio…yeahhhh…..

Week 4 to 8:

  • Warm compress – 15 minutes
  • Massage leg and knee muscles – 3 minute
  • Range of Motion exercises (20 reps bending the toe, ankle, knee and hip) – 4 minutes
  • Slow, controlled walk – building up to 30 minutes (hubby’s job)
  • Figure eight exercises – 5 minutes
  • Sit and stand exercises – 5 minutes
  • Cool compress on knee – 15 minutes

Total: 77 minutes – 3 TIMES a day.

OK, now we are just getting crazy! I am going to have to hire a stay-at-home physiotherapist for my dog. Either that or I’ll have to take a month off work. Wow.

We keep reminding ourselves that the motto is to do the best that we can do. Unfortunately, there’s no way we can do this full physio three times a day and hold down full-time jobs Monday to Friday (and have something of a life) so we are being realistic. We will continue with the morning “light” version and  do one full session each evening. On the weekends, we’ll do at least two full physio sessions a day, if not a third.

You should also know that throughout these last eight weeks, Tess hasn’t been allowed off a leash. For a dog that used to run and roam free (supervised) nearly 100% of the time, this has been a major shock to the system. Controlled walks where she can’t sniff, pee, and poo eighty-five times are like torture to her. But she’s adjusting…thankfully!

And to make matters worse for hubby, Tess has not been able to go up or down any stairs. Have I mentioned that we live in a two-storey home and the main living area is up about 14 stairs. Ugh! Hubby said he wanted to increase his exercise and the universe must have heard him. He’s had to carry 50-pound Tess up and down the stairs three to four times a day this entire time. Thankfully, at this past check-up we got the news that we could start her on stairs albeit we have to go slow and easy.

Thankfully, at the eight-week mark, as long as we get another glowing vet report, things should et considerably easier with increased walking but less of the heat, massage, cooling etc and stairs should start to become a breeze. Here’s hoping!

Isn’t it CRAZY what we’ll do for our furry children? How far have you gone for your fur friend?”

Dear blog…my dog is my baby…

Well, a week ago today, my dog was injured. Tess is a near 10-year-old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. About five years ago, she injured her knee playing fetch. It was a pretty serious sprain that took a few weeks to heal from. Now, it seems like ever since that first injury, the knee is susceptible to re-injury; about once a year or so. And last Tuesday, Tess was flying across the back yard at full speed when she fetched up to an immediate halt and starting screeching.

I am not sure how many of you have been around a Duck Toller but they don’t just howl, they screech like a freaking banshee. It’s loud and at a heart wrenching soprano level. My heart nearly stopped and I ran to her. There she stood, whimpering, a tripod; balancing on three legs holding the back left straight up in the air.

Now, you have to understand, this isn’t the first time we’ve gone through this and I’ve come to recognize and accept that my dog is…well…a bit of a drama queen…with a touch of spleeny tossed in. The first few injuries, I’d rush her to the vet immediately and the next day she’d be up and around with no lasting side effects, fully recovered. So this time, after I felt the leg all over, pushing and squeezing, and was certain nothing was broken, I was convinced that this latest injury was likely par for the course. She’d be right as rain in a day or two.

But the next day when we got home, she was still holding up her left leg and wouldn’t put any weight on it. I got concerned, and so did Scott. She was due for her annual exam anyway so we figured a vet visit was in good order.

And it was a good thing. The vet is concerned that this time it could be more than a strain or sprain, but an actual torn ACL. Due to the swelling, she couldn’t tell 100% so Tess is on couch potato duty, pain and anti-inflammatory meds, and I am icing the knee three times a day for the next 10 days. She goes back for a recheck on June 21 for a final verdict; rehabilitation/healing or surgery (with a cost of around $1200)?!?!

Here’s the thing. Scott and I have had this ongoing and open discussion about what we would do when this time came: when Tess started needing surgeries and bigger dollar investments. With a life expectancy of only 12 to 15 years old, we both agreed that there would come a certain point where major moolah for big surgeries would be a moot point. Add to that, I don’t believe in compromising my dog’s quality of life for my own need to keep her around longer. If she is suffering and her quality of life is not going to improve, I would like to think no matter how hard the decision, I would put her down.

But neither of us feels like we are quite there yet. Even though she’s turning 10 this year, she seems to have a ton of life, energy, and spirit left in her. Other than this knee, there are relatively no other health issues. Wth a possible cost of $1200 for the surgery, we are just on the “cusp” of our financial comfort zone. Pushing right up against the boundaries but not quite pushing over.

And then comes the “what ifs”; what if we invest in this surgery only to turn around and have the other leg go within a year at another $1200? Thirty percent of dogs who have one surgery done, require the other leg to be done; likely because of all the weight/strain they put on the other leg while injured and recovering. That could potentially mean $2400 within a year or so.

I am pretty certain that if the vet recommends surgery, we’ll suck it up and do it: happily. I want her with us as long as possible and as strong as possible. She’s my baby – my little girl – my darlin’!

It does beg to question, our pets are our fur babies, but when is too much, too much? How do you know?

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