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Pet Stories

Stories from the pet’s eye

A Day in the Life of Sophie

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Hey All, It’s Cara, a.ka. Mommy, here.  Hope everyone has been well. Sophie has graciously let me use my own computer for a minute.  In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been gone for a little while (I’m sorry, what? You didn’t? Well why didn’t you notice?? You never ever notice things anymore & another thing…oh, umm, sorry about that, I don’t have a clue where that came from).  Anyhooo, I’ve had some persistant health issues that have taken me out of commission for a while & I just didn’t have it in me to help Sophie out with this/ Have no fear, as the computer is charged up & I am ready to turn it over to Sophie, who told me she is going to be sharing what is involved in her typical day to let all her blog readers into her “personal life” more (she’s so I told her I thought it was a great idea and hopefully you all will agree…Enjoy!  Thanks for reading…it means alot to Sophie & I both.  Peace, Paws & Love, Cara

I’m baaaack!  So, like mom said, I figured I would let you all into a typical say in the life of me, Sophie.  Now contrary to many humans believe’s we proud members of the Canine Coalition do alot more than sleep, eat, potty & bark.  Sure, some do a little more than others but the rest of us are on patrol for our humans at all times.  It may “appear” as if we are sleeping but that is merely a front to our protection detail.  As a matter of fact my day is so busy it won’t all fit in one blog so I will have to continue it for you very soon…keep your eye out for it.  Now, let’s take a peek inside what “a dog’s life” is really like:

4:15 a.m.:    Mom’s 1st alarm of many for the day goes off & it is LOUD like you would not believe.  She has to make sure Daddy really gets up for work. I say really because sometimes Daddy likes to get a few more minutes of sleep & Mom has already gone back to sleep & then after a little bit, Daddy wakes up, shouting a few of those “bad words” & running around like his tail-end is on fire.  Before I know it, Daddy is ready to leave, he always makes sure to say bye to Mommy & I & then its out the door & up in that big, black truck thing and flying down the road to that place he goes every morning called work.  House is quiet…time to go back to bed, umm, I mean protection duty while in a laying position. 🙂

6:30 a.m.:    Ok, here we go…Mom’s alarm goes off & she reaches over & smacks around until it stops making noise but this is a deception because it goes off again not long after the 1st time. By the 6th time I’m ready to attack the alarm. If you think that is loud for humans you ought to have the hearing of a dog when that thing goes off. It is truly deafening.

7:30 a.m.:    Yes, it has been an hour of the previously mentioned alarm routine & Mom is finally beyond annoyed and ready to move. Alright let’s do this! Yeah, get this day going, get our butts in gear & go take on the world! Streeeeetch, yaaawn, full body shake,off the bed & out the…Umm, Mom? Aww, come on Mommy, really? That’s it! I didn’t want to have to do this but here it goes…back up on the bed I go and right up to Moms face…sorry, but you brought this on yourself…slobbery kisses with morning dog breath outta do the trick…Yup, works like a charm everytime! Now, let’s try this getting up routine again. I don’t have the luxury of strolling into the other room & going potty in there. I’ve got to go outside in wet dewy grass which I despise. At this point I could care less. When a girls gotta go she’s gotta go & this girl has to go, so I will catch back up with you all a little later. I will continue to share the true story behind a dogs real life. Until then be safe & give your animals lots of love, Fia

People + Pets = Friendship

Hey All! Sophie here – I’m back after Mommy took over my blog last week – sheesh, sometimes you’d think it was her blog and not mine! That’s okay though because my Mommy is one of my best friends in the whole wide world (well at least of the non-furry variety 😉  This leads me to what I wanted to talk about this week…friendship. I thought I would share with you all how my Mom met Miss Jen and how I came about writing this blog.

First I wanted to say thank you to all my “blogettes” who were concerned with what happened after my awful experience with Samson, a.k.a. Ninja Kitty.  Well, my eye finally healed up and Mom & Dad freed me of that horrible cone thing and I can see perfectly again just like nothing ever happened. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t trust cats and probably never will but Sam & I have established some boundaries and as long as he stays on his turf and doesn’t mess with mine, all remains happy in Homeville.

Ok, now how I met one of my other great non-furry friends, Miss Jen. Back in July of 2007, when I was just a 4 month old pup getting away with anything I wanted (ahh, the good ole days) my Mommy got very sick and found out she has something called “psuedo tumor cerebri”.  That means she has too much fluid on her brain & it  doesn’t go away like other people. I guess it was kind of drowning her brain or at least that’s as much as I understand about it.  I’m a smart dog, but I’m no doctor so I have my take on things that humans go through.  I heard her & Daddy talking about it being very serious and she could die if she didn’t have surgery to fix it and I was very scared but tried to be a brave pup. I knew I couldn’t do anything to help her which made me very sad & I saw she was scared too so I made sure I gave Mommy even more puppy love than normal.  In August, after she had been to sooo many doctors appointments, she found a really good doctor named Dr. Rigamonte and she decided he was the one who was going to operate on her. First they had to shave all the really long fur off of her head which made her look really funny.  Bear, Maggie, Buddy, “The Feline 3”  & myself got together & I told them everything that she was going through (I had the inside scoop back then because I was living in Mommy & Daddy’s room in that darned crate thing). We all agreed we wouldn’t fight or tear up the house and that we would give her extra love, at least until she got better. What can I say, we’re still animals darn it and being good wasn’t easy for us but for Mommy we would do our best!

They kept Mommy in some hospital far away from us for a whole week! I almost forgot what she looked like she was gone so long. Dad got the call that he could go pick her up & we were so happy she was finally coming back home. When they got to the house we could tell she had been through ALOT. She was so tired and had 38 metal staples and a huge cut where her fur used to be and it looked like it hurt terribly. Get this, though…they didn’t make her wear one of those cones around her neck like I did after my surgery…what’s the deal with that?

Well back to how Mommy met Miss Jen…After having surgery she was supposed to stay in bed for a long time & her doctor told her she couldn’t do much of anything but eat & sleep (which to me sounds like paradise but for some reason she was NOT happy about it at all – I may never figure humans out!). Daddy told all of us we couldn’t even play with Mommy & we definitely couldn’t go for our nice long walks anymore until she was all better which was going to be awhile. I was just a puppy back then & I needed to go out quite a bit because it takes puppies a little while to figure out that whole “potty training thing”. Daddy works all day so no one was home to help us & not one of us could figure out how to put those leash things on let alone how to open that tricky door handle to even get outside. So Mom went to work with a big yellow book with lots of names & numbers in it and she found Jen’s Gentle Pet Sitters and called. She told Miss Jen the story about her surgery & they made a date for her to come over & meet the whole furry bunch of us.

I can’t speak for my brothers & sisters (although I try to alot) but I was pretty scared. I didn’t like the idea of a new person coming over to do the things I was used to doing with Mommy but I also wasn’t down with not going outside for my walks so I figured I would give this Jen lady a chance. I’m so glad I did because she is one of the nicest humans I’ve ever met. She came over & let all 7 of us smell her as much as we wanted & she loved on each one of us & took her time to get to know everything about us. She learned all of our little quirks, where each of our favorite “potty spots” were, what food we ate & the most important thing, where Mommy kept those delicious treats we were allowed to have when we were done with our business! She even liked those darn cats that we pups allowed to let live with us – can you believe that? Mommy & Miss Jen set up a time each day that Jen would come over & just like clockwork there she was, right on time, at our door ready to fill in for our Mom while she was trying to heal. Mom even gave her a key to our house and we don’t let anyone have one of those but she knew she could trust Miss Jen and has never had a reason not to even when other “sitters” would fill in for her they were all so nice and what Mom calls “professional”

Miss Jen was so patient with me, just like my very own humans & she taught me not to jump on people (they really should have a puppy handbook because I thought that was the way I was supposed to say hi!) and she would walk us in the rain, heat, wind, whatever weather threw at us Miss Jen just kept walking us until each one of us was done & ready to go in for a nap. She & Mom would sit & talk afterwards and found out they had alot in common & pretty soon Mommy & Jen were having their own play dates. It’s been 7 years since that bad surgery happened and Moms fur is back and long again and she calls Miss Jen her “bestie” and they talk every single day! Even when we moved all the way from Severn to Cockeysville, Jen has been there for my Mommy and us through alot of other things (including a couple more surgeries – yuck & patooie!) and when Mom & Dad went on something called a cruise for 7 days and one of Miss Jen’s helpers came and lived with us 24 hours a day for all 7 days and took such good care of us.

So see how great pets are? Just like the title of my blog this week, not only are pets the best things around but they even can bring brand new friends into your life that you may have never met otherwise. Also, if we had never met Miss Jen, you all wouldn’t be reading this now and I never would have been able to share all my stories with you like I get to do on this blog which is something I look forward to doing every week, so I sure hope you all look forward to reading it! Well, time for me to give Mom back her laptop so she can do some work to make some money to buy more of those treat things I mentioned earlier 🙂  I will be back soon as I have so many more stories to share from a dog’s point of view of this crazy world. Thanks for stopping by. Peace, Love & Licks, Sophie





Are you POSITIVE you want a puppy?

Hey all! This weeks blog is going to be a little different.  Something happened the other day that upset me & got me thinking that I needed to share my thoughts for what they’re worth.  A friend of mine from high school contacted me this week asking if I knew of anyone interested in a puppy.  She has a female yellow lab that bred with a St. Bernese Mountain Dog and when it was time to find homes for the puppies a family member told her they “really wanted one” and to please make sure she would save one for them.  The puppies were born on Veteran’s Day, last November,  and like promised, one of the male puppies was saved for them.  Well here we are just starting April and my friend received a call from the family member stating that she was “allergic to the puppy” all of a sudden & could my friend take it back?!

Let me stop here to say becoming allergic to an animal is a valid reason for not being able to care for it anymore, however, in this particular situation this was an excuse & not the truthful reason, which was, she no longer wanted the responsibility of caring for a puppy anymore.  In my opinion, this is a totally unacceptable thing to do, as she made a commitment when she asked for the puppy from the beginning when it could have possibly gone to a “forever home” as the rest of the litter did.  After hearing the story from my friend I told her I would do everything I could to find a home for the little fella but felt that wasn’t enough & that I could make good use of my job writing this blog to just get people to stop & think very seriously before committing themselves to the very serious job of caring for a dog, let alone a puppy.

I just want to cover some of the basic things you might want to consider when thinking of getting any kind of pet but especially a dog. First off I would always suggest saving an animal from a shelter before going in search of pure breeds. Before sitting down to write this I did some research online and was absolutely shocked at the figures given by the ASPCA on homeless pets (I will put a links at the end of the  post for anyone interested in checking them out). Some of this will seem very obvious but I’m going to point things out just in case someone hasn’t thought of it

  1. If your heart is set on a pure breed dog, please do your research on what that particular breed requires (ie: size of home, amount of exercising, health issues)
  2. Think ahead – WAY ahead – cats can live to be 20+ years old and certain dogs up to 18 years. This isn’t something that is an in the meantime thing to do, it is a very serious long-term commitment.
  3. Where do you live? Are you willing & physically able to get up & shovel a path through snow to let your dog outside to do their business? I can’t tell you how many times in Maryland this past winter we have had to do this before we even had time to even truly wake up in the morning. Does it rain alot where you are? If so that means walking in the rain & bringing wet, muddy pawed dogs into your home.
  4. MONEY – I probably should have put this first but I figure it’s a no brainer. Do you have the financial ability to provide adequate food for your pet. Even when a dog appears healthy, issues arise & sometimes prescription food is necessary which can be pricey over time.  Do you have money to have proper vaccinations and other veterinary care for your animal? A basic exam can be $50 then add in shots, heartworm & other medications, blood work, etc. and one vet visit can easily become $400. Preventative care is necessary for the sake of your animal so please do not skip this as a pet parent. Then there are the unforeseen situations requiring an emergency visit, and in our area just to have your pet seen by an ER Vet is $85. Our Toy Fox Terrier was very healthy for a long time but then out of nowhere became diabetic & went blind. Insulin runs around $25 then there are the needles which are $25, the vet visits were every month at the beginning until he we got him stable and even then he needed special food which costs a pretty penny.  When our Sophie girl had her eye cut by the cat that was a $1500 surgery and set us back quite a bit. So please remember that young healthy puppy you are thinking of getting will one day more than likely get injured and sadly will not stay a little pup forever.
  5. Are you physically able to provide adequate exercise for your animal? Like humans, dogs muscles can atrophy if not used so getting them out for a walk in all temps & all types of weather is necessary even when you don’t feel well. If you’re laid up with the flu your dog still needs to go outside and “do their business”.
  6. Would you like to get away on a vacation if even for a weekend somewhere in the next 20 years? If so, do you have someone reliable to care for your pet while you are gone? Reliable is the key word in that sentence. You can’t just get your neighborhood teenager to come over & let your dog out to potty like you may be able to do if you have to work late perhaps. Pet sitters are fantastic (Jen’s Gentle Pet Sitters being the best obviously 🙂 but they are performing a very important service which, like everything else, requires money. When we took a cruise several years ago I had to not only consider money for the trip but also money for someone to care for 4 dogs & 3 cats while I was away for 7 days on the high seas.

The things I have mentioned above are just a small part of what is necessary to take into mind when you are thinking about getting that cute puppy  or kitten someone has available. I’m sure I’ve left out more than a few things but hopefully I’ve at least caused someone to stop & give thought to what is required to be a Pet Parent. It is a HUGE commitment and not one you should enter into lightly. Don’t get me wrong, being a mommy to  all of my furry babies is so unbelievably rewarding. No one will ever greet you after a long days work when you have just fought traffic for hours & are mad at the world like your dog will. They give me unconditional love when I’m happy or when I’m sad. They don’t care if you have bed head, morning breath or a bad breakout. You can’t put a price tag on that cute little (or big) face, warm body and wet nose. A pet’s love is without measure and they bring can bring you more joy then you would ever know. Losing one is like losing a family member, sometimes worse (hey, just being honest). I just want people to understand the great undertaking they are getting themselves into when they decide to take in a pet and if I have done that with this blog then I’m pleased.  I don’t want anyone to mistake this as  a “don’t get a pet” blog as nothing could be farther from how I feel. Please if you are interested in getting an animal do your research and I can’t say this part enough, please consider a shelter animal first before thinking of a brand new puppy or kitten from a breeder. Contrary to the old saying, you actually can teach old dogs new tricks and if you take time & put the effort into giving one a healthy, happy FOREVER home you will be beyond grateful you did.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. Sophie will be back with her antics very soon as she has many more stories to share but I wanted to help a friend out this week so I borrowed her blog to do so. If anyone is interested in a precious 5 month  old male Yellow Lab/St. Bernese Mountain dog mix that is already completely potty trained, great with people & other animals please contact me at  and I will send you pics and put you in touch with the person who is looking to find a home for him. Thanks for the idea to write this blog Bubba – we will find you a home you handsome little fella!

This is a great link that I would suggest reading as part of your research on getting a dog:

Here is the link I mentioned earlier with statistics on Homeless Animals in the U.S.  It astounded me & made me sad & a bit angry and I’m certain it will you also. Lets all be a small part of a solution to this by spay & neutering all your pets.

Doctors & Needles & Pain, OH MY!!!!



Hey all…I’m back and ready to catch you up on my scary run in with Ninja Kitty Sam.  First off I just want to say I was right (and we all know when a chick is right she’s going to let you know about it!)…this particular doggy right here and cats DO NOT mix. Now I’ve heard some wonderful “fairy tales” at the local dog park of canines & felines living in harmony but let me be the one to tell you, when a cat goes all psycho kitty on you & slices your eye from side to side, it tends to leave a puppy with a pretty sour attitude towards them.

Anyhow, back to one of the scariest moments of my life.  When I last chatted with you kind folks I was telling you I was in the car going very fast to places unknown to me. One could only hope wherever Mommy & Daddy were driving me was going to be a place where eyes can be fixed & everyone could live (and see) happily ever after.  In what seemed like forever we finally pulled up to a place called The Emergency Veterinary Clinic in Catonsville, MD where sick animals can go to get better , and if this wasn’t an emergency, than I don’t know what was.  Once they got me inside things started moving pretty quick which I was happy about until I saw those sharp metal things they called needles 🙁  A woman they called Dr. Isherwood came in the room and she told Cara & Chaz she was going to take really good care of me but she would need to take me to surgery immediately because my eye looked very bad.  This is when I realized that not only do I not like cats but so far I’m not diggin’ anyone wearing a white lab coat either but hey, if she can fix me up then I’ll give her a chance.  I can’t really tell you much that happened from there on as I was given some special medicine in one of those needle things & I went to sleep faster than when I’ve just finished a big bowl of kibble.  When I woke up my eye was pretty sore & I figured things didn’t go well at all as I couldn’t see anything out of it but pitch blackness. I can’t tell you how happy I was to hear that was because there was a big patch over top of it – YAY..I still had my eye (no thanks to Samson’s attempt to blind me)!

Moving ahead several hours, Dr. Isherwood had pne of her nurse people do some last checks on me and then gave some instructions to Mommy & Daddy on what they would have to do to help my eye heal and I was being allowed to go back home.  Hold it right there…Home? You mean I was going back to the scene of the crime and they expected me to not eat Samson the first chance I got? Wow, they were really asking alot from me weren’t they?  Before I could come up with all the “unfortunate predicaments” Ninja Sam could possibly end up in there would be one final humiliating step for me.  In walked a nurse who proceeded to put a big, plastic cone-shaped contraption around my neck which she explained was for my benefit so I wouldn’t be able to “bother my eye” for it to heal best.   Well isn’t that just the cherry on this already traumatizing sundae?  Seriously, I’m brand new to my home with 3 other dogs that have already been living there together and I’m supposed to put off an air of “cool & toughness” with a big ole cone around my head??   I know, I know…I shouldn’t be complaining. After all, my eye was saved & the doc said I should be able to see 100%, plus I really was loving my new Mom & Dad not to mention my nice new home but still…a cone?!  I could just hear the snickers & laughs from the other dogs now. “Oh look at the new kid…and her pretty hat!” Bahahaha  Yeah, this was gonna be a looonngg couple of weeks to look forward to.  On the bright side, maybe this big plastic thing won’t fit in that crate they got for me and I’ll be able to sleep on that tall comfy looking bed I was told to stay off of.  Hmm, I think this puppy is going to ride this “spoil the injured puppy” train as far as it can go.  Who’s gonna be laughing then?

That’s all for this post folks. Don’t forget to follow me & all my stories to come  because one thing is for sure, in a house with 4 dogs & 3 cats there’s bound to be more adventures!

Peace, Paws & Love, Sophia








In Memory of Buddy – our little fighter!

Hello all…Typically, this would be the follow-up to the last blog that Sophie wrote explaining her run in with Samson a.k.a. “Ninja Kitty”, however, this week is going to be a bit more solemn.  I certainly wasn’t looking forward to, nor expecting to write this post, however I feel compelled to honor the memory of Buddy, our 14 yr old Toy Fox Terrier who we had to have put to sleep a little after midnight Thursday, March 20, 2014.

Let me start by explaining to you that my very first dog I truly recall as being my own was also a Toy Fox Terrier named Superdog who I loved so much it was ridiculous.  I got him when I was 8 and he lived so long (18 yrs) he ended up being my son Nicks’ first dog also.  It was also my first experience with a dog having to be euthanized and even tho I was 22 I remember it like it was yesterday.  Superdog was a Blue Ribbon AKC dog up until the time he got loose when I was 11 & after being gone from home for 3 days someone or something broke his front right leg twisting it completely backwards.  My mother and I were sitting in our kitchen in Laurel, MD & heard whining at the side door & when we opened it, Soopie (his nickname) sat there, looking  lost & in misery with his leg facing in the wrong direction.  As a single Mom, my mother barely had money to pay the bills let alone what it would cost to repair a leg in that condition and we took him to the local veterinarian at Brenner Animal Hospital who saw how traumatized we were and after hearing of our financial issues offered to fix Superdog’s leg free of charge! It was an amazing act of kindness that I had the chance to witness at a very young age and I will remember it until the day I die.  When we left the vet to bring home our little broken man with this huge hard cast on his front leg (which probably weighed half of his whopping 15 pounds)…one, two, three, THUD was what we heard as he walked and got the hang of it until it was ready to be removed.  Time went by & other than him favoring that front leg in the cold weather you never would’ve known he had ever been through such a traumatic ordeal.  You can imagine from that point on Superdog was a “somewhat” spoiled dog (ie: he wouldn’t eat his hamburger for dinner unless it was heated up thoroughly and he enjoyed spaghetti dinner every Sunday with the rest of my big Italian family). So that was my first dog that I was actually responsible for who also slept with me every single night and was a fierce protector (hey, he didn’t know he was little & my well-being & happiness was his #1 duty in his mind)  Sadly when my son was 2 yrs old Superdog started experiencing issues with swallowing and we found out through x-rays that his heart was extremely enlarged and pressing on his esophagus at which time we were told to euthanize him was our only option and after many tears & lots of denial that is what we finally did.

Flash forward about 16 years and I was living in Severn MD. While waiting for a friend of mine to come over for a visit I had heard some ruckus going on outside & when I checked to see what was going on, there was my husband Chaz, very upset & frazzled as he had just stopped 2 dogs (a yellow lab & a small white dog) from walking right into the middle of busy traffic & getting hit on Telegraph Rd.  When he tried to catch them they wouldn’t come to him & in the end took off running into an adjacent neighborhood.  Our house at the time had a porch that wrapped around 3 sides of it with 10 steps that led up to it from the sidewalk.  A few of the boards on those steps would creak, which i liked as it was always a give away when someone was coming up them.  I was still waiting for my friend Michelle to arrive and was on the phone with another friend at the time so my mind was pretty occupied but i finally heard the steps creaking and figured Michelle had finally gotten there so I unlocked & held the door open for her. Ok, here’s where things get funny and strange… instead of Michelle walking in, two dogs (a yellow lab & a small white dog) walked into our house & proceeded to lay down in the living room as if that was their home. Needless to say, I quickly excused myself from my phone call & stood wondering what I was supposed to do now. I’m sure I didn’t look half as baffled as Bear, our Beagle mix, who was staring at me as if to say “do you want to explain this Mom?” to which I really had no answer.  All I remember was saying “hi, umm, don’t get me wrong, it’s very nice to meet both of you but I believe you should have taken a left at Albuquerque”  (what can I say? I’m a huge Bugs Bunny fan…lol). Neither dog had any identification and the terribly upsetting thing was they had on matching “shock collars” – the same size & strength on a 70 lb. lab as was on the tiny Toy Fox Terrier – something was very wrong with this picture but I was determined to find their owners & figured I would fuss at them about their dogs not having ID yet having shock collars once I found them. After an exhaustive search by myself & Chaz, including posting fliers & calling shelters (this was pre-Facebook mind you) no owners ever came forward and honestly I was glad because I figured they weren’t very concerned for the dogs well-being and we were growing closer to our new visitors by the hour.  First things first we had no idea what their names were so I stood in the living room just shouting out random “dog names” hoping they would respond to one. When I finally said “Maggie” the lab looked right at me so I figured I was either right on or darn close so that became her name & well Buddy, he just kinda looked like a little Bud someone would want, hence them being given names.  When we took them to the vet to be scanned for microchips we were told there were none but the visit did show they were both in good health (Buddy had even been neutered) and both their ages were put at approx. 7 yrs old.  Bear, Maggie & Buddy soon became the 3 Musketeers & were inseparable which couldn’t have made us happier.  In the fall of 2009 (with Sophie as part of our furry family for 2 yrs at that point) we moved to a house in Cockeysville, MD, making the trek with all of our belongings, 4 dogs & 3 cats (not a comfortable ride by far so I’m glad it was relatively close).

So there we were in our new house (well, old house but new to us) with a huge front & back yard & also a field on the side where all the dogs could run, play and live happy, content lives.  Then in October 2010, a month before Chaz & I were to leave for our very 1st vacation together on a cruise to Nassau & St.Thomas, something very odd occurred with Buddy one morning when I went to let the dogs outside.  He was his normal happy & upbeat self but something seemed off and I couldn’t put my finger on it and figured Bud was just in a frumpy mood and was being difficult as he was flipping out while I tried to put his collar on him. After I fussed at him & told him to stand still I managed to somehow get him hooked up & ready to go do his business.  As we approached the basement door, he ran straight into the washing machine like it had jumped in front of him & I still had no idea what was going on and than it hit me like a ton of bricks…he couldn’t see where he was going. Actually he couldn’t see anything as I stood in front of him waving my arms & jumping up & down it was like I could read the panic on his face & I noticed both of his eyes had a film covering them.  I lost it and started freaking out and called Chaz at work, asking him to get home as quickly as he could, while explaining I thought Buddy had lost his vision. Chaz tried to reassure me saying it had to be something else & he was sure I was mistaken because he had just walked him the night before & he was fine but suggested I get the 1st appointment available with our vet which I did. As soon as we took Bud to the vet our fears were confirmed. Buddy was diabetic, which we were unaware of and obviously at some point between the previous night & that morning his sugar had spiked so high that it blew the cataracts in both of his eyes out completely, rendering him completely blind.  I quickly flashed back to my days when Superdog was hurt and thought how am I going to care for a blind, diabetic dog and began to cry uncontrollably with Chaz looking as lost as Buddy & I did.  Our vet, Dr. Johnston, at Hunt Valley Animal Hospital, was amazing. Her first priority was to get us to calm down, then to get his diabetes under control which would mean getting 2 insulin injections a day & a specialty dog food to control his sugar from spiking or dropping. The vet tech Joyce who is a diabetic herself came in and taught us how to administer the insulin injections & we practiced using saline solution & received a few very scary growls & more than a few nips  & bites along the way from Bud who had no idea why his Mommy & Daddy who loved him so would be sticking him with something sharp in between his shoulder blades, especially when he couldn’t even see us as we were doing it.  From there we began buying every book and reading every website on Dogs with Diabetes trying to educate ourselves on how to best care for our little dude.   We were also sent to Annapolis to the Pet ER  to meet with a vet named Dr. Nunnery who specializes in Opthamology in animals & were told there was a surgery that could be performed on Bud that could rid him of his cataracts and even though is was over $5,000 we were highly considering having it done. The problem being, the more we researched & the more questions we asked we were told that a large percentage of dogs who undergo this particular surgery end up losing their eyeballs completed due to glaucoma within 2 to 5 yrs of the surgery.  That did not sound like a chance we were willing to take & the more time that went on (with lots of trial & error) we learned that blind dogs can lead very happy healthy lives and are more resilient than you would think. We learned things that we so helpful, like not moving the furniture one inch & to keep a radio on all the time in one part of the room that way the dog can gauge by the sound how close things are to the radio like his food & water bowls.  bud was amazing through all of this & he would literally jump off the couch, walk a set amount of steps, stop, turn & go directly to his water then he would back track & hop right back on the couch. It blew my mind that he was dealing with it so well and the better he dealt with it, the more accustomed to it we became, not to say that there wasn’t a lot of trial & error along the way and yes  a lot of laughs & screw ups on our part,  I remember the 1st time it snowed and we let Buddy out to potty and the snow was higher than him and all he did was go Bam, headfirst into snow bank after snow bank, looking back toward us like “can I get a little help here people?”  Like I said, yes it was scary & yes we were clueless but Buddy wasn’t & it was like he was showing us the way thru it all.   Diabetes in animals is very tricky because you can’t prick their fingers to see where their sugar stands and that means he had to endure several glucose checks, one of which required him to stay at the vet the entire day which resulted in nothing because he decided without Mom & Dad he wasn’t going to eat so they could never get a correct reading on him & that was the last time we left him anywhere without us. You also have to feed & give insulin in set periods of time, with Buds being every 12 hours so he actually had us in a very strict routine as to when we could be out & when we had to be back home but we didn’t care because we would do anything for our furry babies. That to me is a commitment you have to make whether you get an animal as a baby or if they walk in your house off the street.  I always tell people to start with a plant for a year and if the plant is still alive after a year then foster a pet and if you are worthy of being a parent to them than by all means give them a forever home but never underestimate the responsibility required to care for a pet.

The last 4 years seem to have flown by with a lot of high points and certainly a lot of lows.  One thing people should also realize when your pet has diabetes, they are going to pee in the house,,,MUCH and you have to be ready to keep the animal off any & all carpet, buy puppy training pads (which like everything else required, are not cheap by far), keep tons of newspapers on hand & get ready to mop the floor on a daily basis, again, none of that is fun or easy but if you are a true Mommy or Daddy you would do that for your children and aren’t animals just furry children after all?  There were a couple of times things weren’t looking so good for Bud over the last couple years and definitely times that got scary over the last 2 months but all of that finally came to a very sudden and very sad end last week.  I went down Thursday morning to let the dogs out to potty & to feed them & give Bud his insulin and he hadn’t had an appetite the past month on & off. One day he was starving & the next he wouldn’t eat a treat but we were told that is very normal with diabetic dogs so we switched foods & tried to sweet talk him into eating but we knew in our hearts he was around 14 yrs old and that he had been a super trooper, putting up one hell of a fight for sooo long, So when I went to let Buddy out I noticed when he went to the bathroom his stool was black & tarry just like I’ve heard it described when blood is present but I’ve never actually seen it. All I knew was something in the pit of my Mommy gut was saying this wasn’t good. He was extremely lethargic & even after giving him Karo syrup (which you do when you think your animals sugar is falling dangerously low) he still didn’t perk up like he would normally do so once again I made a frantic call to Chaz at work.  When Chaz got home he went down to check up on Buddy & told me that he had to pick him up off the couch & when he let Bud outside he was having a hard time not falling over & was wobbly.  We sat down & talked about the obvious, Bud looked bad & needed to be seen by a vet, however, it was 10 p.m. so we would need to run him over to the 24 hour Pet E.R. off Cromwell Bridge Rd which is what we did.  After meeting with the vet on call it was confirmed that Buddy was bleeding internally however we didn’t have any idea where from and they could do a blood transfusion on him but that would just extend the inevitable.  We were told if we brought him home he probably wouldn’t make it through the night and the next step to put Buddy out of his misery that he was obviously in was not an easy decision but it was one made with every bit of love in our hearts.  The doctor was fantastic and told us to talk about it & spend as much time as we wanted/needed with him & if we were going to euthanize him she was behind us completely as she did not feel he would recover & that he was indeed in pain. We were then taken into a room with couches & Buddy was brought in wrapped in a big blanket plus the blanket we brought him in and he laid on my lap with his head down except to look in our direction every so often as if to say “i love you both but I’s so sick and I’m so sleepy and I really don’t want to hurt anymore” and that was all we needed to see to assure us no matter the heartache, we were making the right choice for Buddy not for ourselves. The vet gave us a buzzer and told us when we were ready she would come in to administer the sedative & talked us through every step that would happen and when we felt ready we buzzed her & she got down on his level in my lap and talked to him while we loved on him & cried but tried to stay strong for him, we told him again we loved him & it was ok to go be with God & not hurt anymore, the injections were given, and he laid his head on my leg and took his last little breath and was gone.  It was beautiful & horrible in a mixed screwed up kind of way and both Chaz & I had never been in the room when an animal was put down but we both agree we would do it all over again because Buddy deserved that from us.  He gave all of his self and so much fight and we just wanted to love him thru to the other side and I think we did just that. The rest of the day was a blur and truly its only been 4 days and we are both still very emotionally tore up over this but again, I know we did the right thing.  The last thing I wanted to do for Buddy was to share his story & to honor all the unconditional love he gave so freely to us each & every day i hope I have done just that in writing this story for & about him.  Thank you all for taking the time to read it and maybe shed a tear or two along the way with me. Writing is very therapeutic and I think it will serve me well to be able to look back & read this down the road and to remember all the happy times we had with our little dude. He is and will be missed forever and even though we have 3 other dogs, none of them are him and they never will be.  I miss you sooo much my handsome fella. You were the bright side to so many of my days when I didn’t feel like getting up, didn’t feel strong enough to face more trials & tribulations in life.  You made me realize that if all 17 little pounds of you could be a fighter every day then so could I and I look forward to the day when I meet you again on the other side, only then you will be able to see Mommy & never get another injection again. I know you are running around looking at all the things that you were unable to see for 4 years and that makes me smile, even thru all the tears.   All of our love to you “Buddynut Squash”, always, forever & a day, Mommy & Daddy






I’m sorry, but did you say CATS??


Welcome back!  When we last left off I was telling you all how I was unpleasantly surprised with my new doggy brothers & sister that, might I remind you, no one took the time to ask my opinion on, but hey I was the newbie so I guess I hadn’t earned that right yet!  So I’ve told you about meeting Bear, Buddy & Maggie which I didn’t love the idea of but I was tolerating it quite well I thought, and to be honest they were pretty welcoming (aside from all that smelling of what even I, a dog, consider some pretty private areas)  What I hadn’t yet found out was there were 3 more brothers I was gaining, along with my new parents and new home. Here’s the big catch.. these brothers were not people or even highly investigative dogs, they were, wait for it…….CATS!? This must be a terribly bad joke. Isn’t it a known fact that dogs are not supposed to like cats, none the less share a home with them? Now granted I was only a puppy and hadn’t quite learned all the ways of the world, but one thing I knew in the pit of my puppy stomach was dogs & cats were very different creatures & they should remain separate at all times.  Well guess what? Cara & Chaz not only expected me to coexist with them but they actually wanted me to like them. Oh, this new home, new people thing was getting more interesting by the minute and I don’t mean interesting in a “oh that’s so cool” kind of way.

So here is how it went next…Cara carried me to my new room  where Chaz was busy setting up a brand new, much bigger metal cage thing (where did that come from? I thought we left that cage thing & the whole idea of it in the car, but I digress, back to “the Feline 3”)  It was a very nice room I was going to be staying in. There was a HUGE bed that sat way high off the ground which I was told straight away was not mine & that I wasn’t to get on it (well then why is it in MY room? Wow, rules already!) There was a big glass sliding door that opened out to a porch that wrapped almost all the way around my new house and that led to a really nice yard with so many trees. Okay, I was liking this so far & things were looking pretty good, that is until Cara went over & opened another door that led to a smaller room attached to my room.  Now would be the time to cue the scary movie music.  I was being told it was time to meet the rest  of my family, and there they were! Levi & Samson, twin orange tabby kittens & Nemo, an older big fat tiger cat.  Well it was time to make my move; my moment to let them know I might be new but I was there to stay.


Nemo wanted no parts of me & was gone before I could even give him my toughest puppy bark but Levi & Sam, they were a different story.  Levi must have had me confused with a new toy because he wanted to swat at my tail & run around me in circles (I think this was a diversion tactic so as fast as he ran I kept my eyes glued on him). I’m guessing the fact I wasn’t playing along got old to him pretty quickly because he soon found a spot of sunlight on the floor and was fast asleep in it.

Great, 2 down and one to go. I could feel a lot of tension with this Samson fella right from the start.  I realized he wasn’t down with the idea of me sharing his home with him  anymore than I was but I was gonna be as nice as possible. so I went over to introduce myself. Well, I don’t know what I did wrong but obviously I did something because the next thing I know I was being full on attacked by Insane Ninja Kitten…Oh My God, MYYY EYYYE…I couldn’t see out of my left eye at all…Sam had sliced it diagonally from one side to the other.  I don’t know who was freaking out more, me or my new Mommy & Daddy.  Next thing I knew I was wrapped in a towel sitting on Cara’s lap, back in the car and Chaz was driving so fast I knew this was bad, really, really bad.  Where were we going? Was my eye going to be okay? Cara was crying and kept kissing me and telling me I was going to be okay. She was apologizing like she was the one who had hurt me. It wasn’t their fault that Sam turned into psycho cat!  All I knew was I was hurt & if there was anyway someone could “fix me up” I was going to have to have a loooonnng talk with my new people about going back into that house.  I’m thinking Psycho Sam is going to have to relocate before I step paw in there again.  That could all be settled later, right now I just wanted to stop hurting and to be able to see again. I hope where ever Chaz was driving wasn’t too far because even though I’m a tough pup, I was really scared…To Be Continued…


…And the story continues


So, where did I leave off?  Oh yeah, we were in that car going way too fast to someplace unknown (well, unknown to me anyway…SCARY!)  Before I knew it we had pulled up to a cute little place and Cara was telling me we were at my new home.  Wow, this was all happening so quickly that I didn’t even have time to be afraid anymore.  There were so many new things to see and smell and I was a puppy and we all know puppies are curious so I was ready, as long as I could get out of this cage thing that is.

WOO-HOO, SWEET FREEDOM AT LAST! I was out of that cage. on the grass, and peeing in more spots than was really necessary but hey I had to make my presence known. Next thing I knew, we were up the steps, walking into the house and WAIT! Hold it right there…what was that sound? Was that another bark or three? Even worse, did I hear a meow somewhere mixed in? Someone please tell me we are at the wrong place. Nope, right place and with all that good “new home stuff” came my surprise…I was sharing my new home with “them” and when I say them I mean alot of brothers & a sister that I don’t remember asking for.  Oh, what was I supposed to do now? If I ever wanted to be back in that metal thing it was at this moment.

The first one to come over to greet me was Bear. He’s part Beagle like me but looks waaay different from me. He was very nice although I didn’t particularly like all the areas he was trying to smell me. Then a dog named Buddy was in front of me. He’s what they call a Toy Fox Terrier. I didn’t know they made dogs that small.  I mean I was little but he was half my size.  Finally a big ole dog named Maggie, a Yellow Lab, made her way over.  Ok folks, here’s the problem, I don’t like other animals…AT ALL! If anyone would have taken the time to give me a heads up about these other creatures being here I could have stopped this before it started.

Could this possibly get worse????

I hate to leave you right when it’s getting interesting but I just saw Mommy pull up & if she catches me using her laptop she is NOT going to be happy, and well, I like to stay on Mommy’s good side 🙂

Come back tomorrow and then after that keep following my blog & find out what happened after I met my “new furry family”.  I will give you all a little hint: I don’t think Chaz & Cara planned on spending $1,500 buckaroos and I definitely didn’t plan on finding out how much I do not like cats, dogs, or anyone in a white lab coat!  If nothing else, life was becoming very eventful for my little 2 month old self.


Let me introduce myself…

Woo-Hoo! Yay! It’s that time of day…Never fear, Miss Jen is here and we’re going out to play! (well I’m supposed to be pottying but all good things in due time)…I’m sorry, I’ve gotten ahead of myself but I do that alot!) so, back to the introductions…My name is Sophia but my people call me a lot of different names, like Soph, Fia, FiFi, Noodle McDoodle, Puppers, Monkey (because my Mommy says I act like one but I don’t even know what a monkey is so I can’t really argue with her on that). I don’t really care what anyone calls me as long as it’s not late for dinner. I’m 7 yrs old and I’m a Black Lab/Beagle Mix. My Mommy is Cara and my Daddy is Chaz and we live on top of a big hill in a place called Cockeysville.

When I was just a little puppy I had different people and lived in a different place. The girl person really loved me but the man person was very mean & treated me so badly.  Even though I heard her say she didn’t want me to go, the man said I had to and one day Cara & Chaz came to where I lived and they were sooo nice to me. I was kept in this horrible metal cage thing that I wouldn’t have minded but it was way too small for me…I couldn’t even turn around in it. First I saw Cara coming toward me and she knelt down nice & slow (I think she could tell I was scared) and she said “oh, look at her, she’s so small & too cute”. She opened the door & reached inside to pick me up.  I really wanted to meet them but because of that mean man I was a little hesitant to let another man grab me so as soon as Chaz picked me up I wriggled free. I wasn’t trying to be unsocial but I didn’t know them and was a little scared. They really seemed nice but in my 2 short months being alive I had been fooled before so I was going to play this my way. Ok, maybe my way wasn’t a great idea because the next thing I knew I was back in that darn cage thing, but, wait a minute, this time the cage was moving…hold on people, no one told me what was happening. Chaz was carrying me outside and Cara was right behind him carrying the couple of toys that the girl person had gotten me in the short time I  was there and they put me in the back of one of those things called a car that moves REALLY fast, waaay faster than my little legs anyway, and we were on our way to somewhere new (glad they knew where they were going because I was completely lost)


Pet Costume Contest

Happy Halloween!

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It’s Jen’s Gentle Pet Sitters Halloween Contest. Dress you favorite pet in a cute, scary, or remarkable costume and post it on our Facebook page Who ever gets the most ‘Likes’ will win a Pet Prize Basket with goodies & treats. One basket for Dogs, and one for Cats. May the best paws win!