Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Holiday Prep

Pre flu I was trying to get ready for the holidays. I did some holiday stitching earlier in the year.
This was the first one finished.
This may become a stocking one of these days.
I've wanted to do this piece for a long time and finally found the pattern.
 This was my masterpiece this year. It took much longer than usual and is sizable. It measures almost 16" by 20".
 To give you an idea of the size, you can see that Santa's hands are almost as big as mine. I just love this piece because I'm sure Santa loves puppies and would spend his spare time playing with them.
Tomorrow, a couple of special gifts.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

My Best Christmas Present

Hi, I'm back. Although I had my flu shot in September like a good girl, the experts who decide what strain to vaccinate  for each year really blew it this time. There's a flu epidemic here and in many areas of the country. It wasn't the way I planned to spend the holidays but......  So for a couple of posts I'm going to use the Blogville time machine and go back to just before Christmas and catch up the time I missed.
 On October 1st, Rob and I took Fudge to visit Dr B. He was having trouble walking, was falling a lot and wasn't his normal happy self. I had convinced myself that he had bone cancer in his left front leg. The doc examined him and watched him struggle to walk, then we had a long talk.

He said he couldn't rule out cancer in that leg but it was also possible that Fudge had either broken a bone or torn a ligament in the carpal region. There was a lot of swelling and pain. He also observed that Fudge was not acting normally. We opted to give him pain meds and take a wait and see position.

The next few weeks were difficult for me. Fudge didn't want me out of his sight, so I tried to accommodate him. We kept him confined to the living room during the day and the bedroom at night. We helped him down the front steps when he needed to go out and only walked him a few feet, then back to the living room. One day Rob walked him as far as the neighbor's house, only a few yards and Fudge slept all the next day. That little bit of exercise exhausted him. We started preparing ourselves for the possibility that Fudge wouldn't make it to Christmas.

The pain medicine helped and Fudge became more alert and started moving around a little more by himself. The swelling in his leg went down considerably and with some help he could climb onto the couch to lie next to me.

Then one morning at the beginning of December I was reading my email and I came across  one about joint pain in dogs. The veterinarian who had written the article mentioned some supplements that she uses for arthritic dogs. Most of them I recognized and already use such as glucosamine chondroitin, fish oil and tumeric. Then she casually mentioned one that I'd never heard of, moringa.

I looked up moringa and was amazed that I'd never heard of it. It's a tree native to India and grown in the tropics of Asia, Africa and South America. It's widely used by humanitarian organizations to combat malnutrition and has been used for centuries for it's medicinal value. Several articles listed scores of health issues that moringa is supposed to help. The one I was interested in was arthritis and joint pain.
I ordered a bottle of moringa capsules from Amazon and decided to try them myself before using them on Fudge. After two wrist fractures and four hand surgeries, I have tendonitis in my hands and wrists and arthritis in my fingers. I wanted to test our my new discovery and see if I could detect a difference. Recently my arthritis has made my fingers stiff and painful. I can only knit a couple of rows, then have to soak my fingers in ice water and rest them for several hours.  This would be a good test of the supplement.

I took one moringa capsule each morning for three days. On the  fourth day I woke up without any pain in my fingers and they weren't stiff at all. I put them to the real test. I picked up my knitting and started. Three hours later I was still knitting and I had absolutely no pain. OK, it was Fudge's turn.

Fudge has been taking moringa daily since then and he is getting up and down with no help. The swelling is almost gone in his leg and his front legs no longer turn inward. He can do stairs by himself, though I limit his use  of stairs. He still has a limp and always will from the stroke he had two years ago. Now Fudge joins the other dogs for meals and sometimes wanders around the back yard on his own.

Fudge can jump onto the couch now without help and when he gets excited he does a funny little skip instead of running.

My Christmas wish came true. Fudge was with us for Christmas and he's feeling good. I bought Rob some moringa seeds and he's building a greenhouse to grow our own trees. He and I and all the dogs take it daily now and our quality of life has improved.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Holiday Dinner # Chewy Influencer

Hi Everybody,
Mom is sick so she asked me to do our Chewy review while she relaxes. She says she has lots of holiday posts to catch up on, so she'll be back in a couple days. 
Even when Mom is sick, we pups have to eat. This year instead of cooking Christmas dinner for us, she relied on Chewy to give us a special holiday meal. They sent us this Victor Grain-Free Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew.
 This is really good stuff. It's made with turkey, turkey broth, sweet potatoes, peas, egg and flaxseed.  It helps with healthy digestion and muscle health. Plus the flaxseed is a source of omega fatty acids that are important to keeping our coats healthy and shiny.
We had never eaten Victor food before so Mom did some research and says that it gets excellent reviews.  It may not exactly be Mom's home cooking, but this tastes really good. In fact we're having it tomorrow for New Years, too. It's that good.
Chewy sent us a bunch of cans of Victor Turkey Stew at no cost in exchange for our review. You can take it from me, Fudge, you'll like this food.
 Now all of us want to wish all of you a really, really Happy New Year.
From your pals:
Mackey



Sydney



Sebastian

 Norma Jean

Noah

 Lola

Bailey

Tess
 and me, Fudge
 We'll see you in 2018.
 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Happy Holidays

Sorry we've been AWOL. Someone gave me the flu for Christmas. We'll be back soon.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Umm Umm Good # Chewy Influencer

I'm always looking for something to help my boys with their intestinal problems. So far I've been fortunate with Fudge and Sebastian. They're both eating well and the output is good. Noah is another story. Just when I think I've found the magic potion that will help him eat, have normal stools and put on weight, we find ourselves back at the starting line.
I've resorted to making his dog food and making kefir. They both help him, but I learned about another item that also seems to help.

I first read about bone broth on the Wild Dingo Blog a few years ago. After reading her post, I tried making it for my dogs. It was easy to make and they all loved it. But in our modern life, we don't have a lot of bones. I buy boneless chicken and beef and even boneless pork chops. The one item that has bones is turkey and we usually cook two or three turkeys a year.

Just before Thanksgiving I read an article on the Dog Cancer Blog and it reminded me that I should make some more bone broth. When Rob cleaned the turkey, he put the bones in the crockpot and I followed the directions in the article. The broth came out great and after feeding it to the dogs for a couple days, I froze a few containers.

My dogs like bone broth and it is supposed to be good for them but I don't always have bones to use in making it. Now the problem is solved. Our selection from Chewy this month is  The Honest Kitchen Turkey Bone broth with Ginger.  
 This couldn't be easier to use. Just add the powder to hot, not boiling water and stir. Then serve to your dog either as a nourishing warm drink or over their kibble, as I do.
My dogs thought this was absolutely great tasting. We've liked everything we've tried from the Honest Kitchen and this is no exception. It's made with turkey broth, ginger, kale and lentils. It saves hours of cooking and straining and I don't need to take up freezer space.
Is it helping Noah? Well, it's not harming him and he gets to have a little variety in his meal.
Chewy sent us a container of The Honest Kitchen Bone Broth at no cost to us in exchange for our honest review

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Special Wishes

We wish each of you a safe and peaceful Solstice.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,
My name is Norma Jean Portie and I need to explain a few things. I try really hard to be a good dog but sometimes I forget, or things just don't work out the way I thought they would. The past couple weeks have been really hard and Mom kept telling me that you were watching, but last night she got mad and said that Santa is skipping our house this year because I was bad.
You see it all started about a month ago. Every spring when the mud comes, Dad puts straw in the yard to help keep our feet clean. This year he decided to get a head start and he bought straw around Halloween and spread it in the yard. I went out and played with the others but suddenly I got really, really itchy and I couldn't stop scratching. I scratched and chewed on myself all day and all night. Mom and Dad would yell at me to stop scratching, but I couldn't stop. Mom gave me allergy pills but I still couldn't stop scratching and I was starting to get sores from all the scratching, so we went to visit Dr B.
He told us that I'm allergic to a little mite that lives in straw. Other years when we've had straw, it was later in the year and there had been cold weather that killed the mites but this year it wasn't cold and the mites were biting me. Dr B gave me some strong allergy pills and Mom started giving me some baths with medicated shampoo. The shampoo had to stay on my skin for ten minutes, so I had to stand in the bathtub all wet and soapy for ten minutes. Do you know how long ten minutes is?? It's almost forever. 
I couldn't go in the back yard where the straw is, so Mom walked me in the front yard with Fudge and I had to eat upstairs with him too. I couldn't run and play with the rest of my pack. But after a month of all this, I'm feeling so much better. I'm not itchy and my sores have all healed up. Then we had some cold weather that maybe killed the straw mites. So a couple days ago Dad took me into the back yard to run with my sisters. It was great to be free again and I didn't scratch when I came inside. So the next day he took me out again and when he wasn't looking I rolled in the straw. Mom was not happy. She picked all the pieces of straw out of my coat and talked to herself while she was doing it. It's not good when she talks to herself out loud. So now I can still go in the yard but they watch me and yell if I start to roll. Sorry Santa.

Next is the blanket thing. You see, Mom has this soft, warm pink blanket that she likes to keep on the couch in the living room. She puts it over her feet at night when she's knitting and sometimes she takes a nap and pulls it up around her. When Mom isn't using her blanket she let's us curl up on it and it's so comfy. The best time to snooze on the blanket is just after Mom takes it out of the dryer when it's still nice and warm. The other day I saw Mom take it out of the dryer and carry it into the living room. Then she went to do something in the kitchen. I thought this was my chance to beat the others to the couch, so I ran fast and jumped onto the couch. How did I know that Mackey was already curled up in the blanket? She's pretty small and I didn't see her there. I didn't really look  but there was plenty of room for both of us.  Mackey let out a scream like I was killing her. I hardly touched her. Mom came flying in and told me to get down and said Mackey was there first. Honest, Santa, there was room for both of us. Mackey just doesn't like to share.
When I got down from the couch, I didn't notice that my foot got caught in Mom's yarn. Really, I didn't notice. I know not to touch Mom's yarn. Sydney is the only one who doesn't understand the rules about Mom's yarn. I dragged the yarn all thru the living room into the kitchen and Mom wasn't too happy about it. I didn't mean to do it and it didn't hurt the bird she was making,honest it didn't. See...
The really bad part happened yesterday. Mom spent all afternoon making Christmas cookies. Some are for you, Santa. She got kind of tired, so she put them on the kitchen table to decorate them. She made six or seven dozen cookies and they smelled delicious. She even put sprinkles on them.

 Then it was time for dog dinner, so we all went to the garage to eat. We had good dinner with fish stew and broccoli on it. After dinner we went back upstairs and Mom and Dad went to fold some laundry and talk about stuff. I only meant to look at the cookies, honest, but they smelled so good. I grabbed one and it tasted wonderful. There were a lot of them, so I didn't think Mom would miss a couple, so I started eating them and I couldn't stop. I knocked a few on the floor and Fudge and Sebastian gobbled them up. Then Mom walked in the room and yelled my name, NORMA JEAN!!!! I got down really fast but I took one last cookie with me, a snowman with sprinkles.
 Mom looked at her cookies and told Dad that I'd eaten about a dozen cookies with help from the boys. Dad said she shouldn't have left them on the table, but I don't think that helped my situation. She put all the cookies in a container with a top and told me over and over that I was a bad girl. Then she said that I should wear the naughty shirt. I can't, it's too little. 
Last night after the cookie incident, Mom said that Santa would probably skip our house this year because of me. I'm really sorry, Santa. I try to be good. Sometimes no matter how hard I try, it just doesn't work. Please don't skip us Santa, the rest of the pack has been pretty good and I'll try harder.
We love you Santa.
Norma Jean