Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Life Without A Dog

Hello Everyone. It's been a long time since I've written a blog post. Ever since Cookie passed and living in a no pets allowed apartment, it's been hard for me to write about dogs. I love living with my husband and I love the location of where we live. It doesn't take long for me to go to work and it's convenient to everything. However, we're stuck here for another year.

I still love dogs (and cats). I'm patient enough to wait. But the decision to move has to be what's best for both of us. Right now, just isn't the time. It helps that I visit my mom who has Gigi and Homer. I also will be writing about their adventures. But right now, I'm just getting used to the fact that I'll live another year without them. Our property manager is very strict about that.

Living in the Present

So that's what I've been up to lately. I've been travelling more often which isn't something you can do as easily when you have a pet. To all of you who are in the same boat, I can only tell you this. Take the time before making a decision to find your next place. You don't want to rush into your next decision as this affects your life. Also, I plan to find ways to give back. Earlier this year, Ron and I participated in Bow Wow and Alley Cat Bowling with the Heartland Animal Shelter, which is a great way to combine your love for animals and giving back.

Anyhow, I just wanted to let you guys know what's been happening lately. I'll still be blogging, but less frequently than when I had dogs. I always check on the blog though, so feel free to comment below. Thank you all for stopping in to visit my blog.

Let's Discuss!

What have you done to get yourself through your no pet periods in life?

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

4 Apps That Help You Go Cruelty Free

Day in and day out, animals are continuously being tested for various reasons. Some are tested for medical purposes, others are tested to see if household products are harmful. Worse yet, many animal are tested so that cosmetic companies can sell their products.

When it comes to dogs, beagles are chosen for animal testing more than any other breed. There are over 65,000 dogs and 20,000 cats in labs in the United States alone. In England, 94.7% of dogs that are using in animal testing are beagles. This is because of their gentleness, trusting nature and ability to forgive easily. 95% of animals are not protected by animal legislation in the United States.The Beagle Freedom Project has been working to free beagles from a laboratory and a life destined for euthanasia by banding together to help legislators find these dogs a home.

Cruelty Free Apps

While we are unable to only hope that more legislation succeeds in giving these animals a loving home, we can control the products that we buy on a daily basis. Some apps even offer a scanning feature to help you find out right in the store if an item is cruelty-free or not. For all of you who own iPhone and Android smartphones, you can download the following apps.

Cruelty Cutter

Cruelty Cutter is an app that promotes a cruelty-free lifestyle. It's free to download. This app was created exclusively for the Beagle Freedom Project. It offers many features including, a pledge to shop cruelty-free, doggie dollars which give the recipients discounts from their monthly sponsors once they've accumulated a certain amount and bite back, which allows you to communicate with cruelty-friendly companies to campaign for the welfare of animals.


Cruelty-Free is another app that makes it easier to navigate through the animal testing waters. This app is available for both iPhone and Android smart phones.

Bunny Free

Bunny Free was created by Graduate Student Margaret Pearce as a special project for PETA. The app will scan products and let you know if they're animal friendly or not. PETA also provides the data information for the app.

Choose Cruelty Free

Choose Cruelty Free is an app that was created for our friends who live across the world. Since the organization is based in Australia, most of the products researched will be pick up products in that continent. This may be handy for cruelty-free lifestyle pursuers in New Zealand and parts of Asia as well.

It's Not Hard To Be Cruelty Free

Living the cruelty free lifestyle isn't the easiest thing in the world. Many times, companies will find a way around the animal testing laws and pretend they are cruelty-free, but really have just found a loophole. You don't need to be a vegan or vegetarian to help end animal cruelty, but by choosing carefully which products you'd like to purchase is a great step to take.

Let's Discuss!

Do you have a favorite cruelty free app? What steps do you take toward a cruelty-free lifestyle? Please share with me in the comments below.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

The Soi Dog Foundation

Photo courtesy of

Living in the United States, one hears about the horrors and neglect of abused dogs on a daily basis. However, in places like Thailand, the abuse is so much more. Hundreds of dogs and cats are abused, abandoned or left for dead in the streets. Others, become part of the dog meat trade.

The Soi Dog Foundation

The Soi Dog Foundation was founded in 2003 by a trio of animal rescue activists, Margot Homburg Park and John and Gill Dalley. Jon and Gill had relocated to Phuket and decided to dedicate their lives to rescuing these animals. Their foundation became the first organization of its kind to be certified as a foundation in Thailand.

What They Do

In Thailand, there aren't as many facilities available to help their animals. The veterinarians volunteer their time. They can't perform surgeries there, just give basic care. In addition to the basic care, that's given to these animals, there have been huge strides to spay and neuter them to control the overcrowded pet population. Since the beginning, over 100,000 dogs, averaging about 1,800 a month.

In 2011, they started an initiative to help end the dog meat trade. Many dogs from Thailand are exported to Vietnam to be eaten. It's illegal and the foundation has worked to bring awareness to this by naming it the Trade of Shame. In addition to its Trade of Shame campaign, the organization teaches students in school to become more understanding and tolerant towards dogs. Today, the Soi Dog Foundation is the largest animal rescue foundation in Asia, having over 50 full-time employees and a huge goal of opening a veterinary hospital in Asia.

How You Can Help

There are many ways you can help this foundation. They have a dog sponsor program where one can sponsor a dog or cat for $26USD a month. Another way to help is through adoption. Many of their dogs, mostly adult are shipped to places such as North America and Europe to loving homes. If you find yourself vacationing in Thailand, one of the best ways to help the animals is not to take them into the comfort of your hotel room. Many tourists will do so thinking they're helping and it gives the animal hope they'll have a loving home. When they return to a new tourist who turns them away, they at risk for getting clubbed to death.

Finally, 100% Pure has a special offer going on right now. You can purchase special products from their website and 100% of the profits will go to the Soi Dog Foundation. I picked up their Soi Dog Mangosteen bath package and it's a great feeling to know that even though it was a little costly, the end result is more well worth it. If you'd like to learn more about this please visit

*Note: No payment was offered by 100% pure. I am endorsing them purely for their Soi Dog Program.

To learn more about the Soi Dog Foundation, you can find them at

Let's Discuss!

Are you familiar with Soi Dog Foundation? What animal rescue organization has changed your life?

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

When The Time Comes To Cross The Rainbow Bridge

Dogs add so much to our life, we put it out of our mind that their time has come to cross the rainbow bridge. Yesterday, that day had come for Cookie.
We had brought Cookie into our life for one main reason. Our other dog at the time, Elvis, had stopped eating because he lost his best friend Cosmo. Elvis had come from backyard breeders, and was a fearful dog by nature. He grew up with Cosmo, with them both being a month apart in age. Losing Cosmo, really struck a chord in him. He lost his appetite and his weight dropped from 75 to 60 pounds. After two weeks of my mom and I seeing Elvis going through this, we knew he needed another companion or he would die from a broken heart.

I knew it couldn't be a replacement for Cosmo, who happened to be a black, tan and white Siberian Husky/German Shepherd mix. I figured getting a smaller female dog would be a good solution but not let Elvis think that I was trying to replace his buddy, but rather help him through his grief. When I brought Cookie home, Elvis was at first confused but surely warmed up to her. Her gentle, sweet demeanor helped Elvis become himself again.
Cookie was about two to three years old, when we adopted her. But that's only a guess. She was a dog picked up off the street who had given birth to puppies and was left to fend for herself. Thankfully she was picked up and taken to the city pound.

Elvis was an older dog by then. But Cookie being in his life, helped him live an extra year and a half. Soon after, Cookie was just so grateful to have a home, she was happy enough to be by herself for a while. A few years later, my mom wanted a companion for her, and then Gigi came into the picture. But Cookie, no matter what or what pets came into our life was the same. She was grateful she had a home and a family that loved her.

Thirteen Years Later

On my way to my mom's house, I had a feeling that her time was near. I didn't want it to come, but I couldn't stand to see her suffer unnecessarily. I went to my mom's house to take Cookie for a vet visit. When Cookie greeted me, her legs gave out on her. She was having constant accidents, and because she had epilepsy all her life, her seizures had increased much more in frequency.

I took my mom with me to see the doctor. I unfortunately couldn't make the decision because I had moved out when I got married at the end of 2014. My mom who is retired, was there day in and day out. She spent the most time with Cookie, so in all fairness it had to be her choice. When my mom told the doctor, that Cookie just isn't Cookie anymore, I knew.
It's never easy to say goodbye to your pet. I didn't write this to make you all sad, but since Cookie was one of the reasons I created this blog in the first place, it seemed the only fitting way to let you guys know, since she was such a big part of this blog. It is seen said that dogs live for less time than humans, because they've taught us all the lessons we need to learn from them. That definitely was the case with Cookie.

I'd like to thank you all that have come to support me and my dogs here. I still plan on blogging with all types of topics, not just the sad ones. For all of you who are in similar situations like I was with Cookie, my heart goes out to you. Thanks again for visiting, and I'll be back with new posts soon.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Return Of The Bladder Stones

Hello everyone. I know it's been awhile since you've heard from me. Right now, I live in a place that doesn't have dogs. However, I'm lucky enough where I can see Cookie, Gigi and Homer when I visit my family. Luckily, it's not too far of a drive. So, when I blog, you'll be hearing stories about me blogging from experiences outside of my home. It's my goal to do things more frequently and finding a balance between marriage, family, friends and my world online. Anyhow, this post is more about Gigi, so here we go.

In October 2014, I noticed that Gigi was having accidents in the house again and not eating. Not only that, but she would lay on my mom's bed all day and not budge. So it was time take her to the doctor again. Unfortunately, I had to switch doctors because the original one I had taken her to didn't have weekend hours. So I took her to the Petsmart in the neighborhood.

When I took Gigi there, they checked her over and we had x-rays done. From the x-rays, it was obvious the stones were back. They had prescribed Clavamox and she was eating the prescribed food. Taking her back on regular visits, there was little improvement and the doctor suggested that she may need to have surgery.

It occurred to me knowing that she had struvite stones, which are able to be dissolved, this place did not look at all the options. They looked at surgery as the be all and end all. There was no suggestion of a urine culture or other non-invasive treatments. I knew in my heart it was time for a second opinion. It also didn't help that the staff wasn't very compassionate either. For me, compassion goes a long way when it comes to those you love and the people who are responsible for their care. I also felt like I was being judged.

Time for a Second Opinion

One year later, I knew things shouldn't be this way When I got home, I decided to check my old vet's website. After seeing the hours, I noticed he now had Saturday hours in the morning. I quickly called to make an appointment. I brought Gigi in to get an exam and asked the doctor if it would give her the medication that he did in the past, because it seemed to work. I was hesitant about getting an X-ray because I knew in my heart from the way Gigi was behaving and struggling on walks that they were still there.

As the person taking her to the doctor, I had made some mistakes. I got a urinalysis first to see where things were and took a plan of action. It was getting scary because Gigi had become resistant to the original antibiotics. I shouldn't have tried to outguess my doctor. Because the urine culture wasn't done right away, it was hard to tell if the medicine was working properly or not.

So it turned out that the doctor ran the urine culture to see if there was any medications that Gigi's would accept. Out of the seven types of possible medications he ran against her blood chemistry, there was one in which she wasn't resistant. I realized then and there, it was time to me to let go and go all in with what the doctor was saying. We instantly switched the medication and I told my mom that she would need to give her a half pill twice a day.

This was a very long process, but after a couple of weeks, I took Gigi back for another test to see if the medicine would work and her body didn't build up another resistance to the medication. A few days later, I got another call and the doctor told me that the medication was working. We both were relieved.

Lessons that I Learned

This experience with Gigi and her bladder stones has been frustrating and incredibly fulfilling at the same time. I learned that no matter how scared you are, you can't try to second guess your doctor. I also learned that you have to go with your instincts. It's also important to build a foundation of trust with your vet and not to let incidents of the past cloud your thinking. Not all vets are the same. Because of my second veterinarian's unyielding commitment to finding a solution, Gigi didn't have to have an unnecessary surgery. I will always be grateful to him and his staff for their excellent care they gave my dog.

And Gigi? Because the stones came back after the first treatment, she will have to have prescription food for the rest of her life. The food is available by prescription only but it's a small price to pay to know your dog has a good chance of not getting the stones again. I'll also have to take her for a follow up visit in about four months.

Let's Discuss!

I love to hear what you have to say. So here is my question for you. Have you ever gotten a second opinion for your pet and how did it make a difference?

I appreciate you guys always coming here to support my blog. Have a great weekend!

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