Tag Archives: dogs

Senior Pug Life

Living with a senior pug is simply the best – either with a pug you’ve known and grown with over the years, or a senior who has more recently come into your life.

Senior pugs, like the best senior people, know who they are, know what they want, and their personalities just shine. They finally grow into their full selves, which, in Lola P’s case, means being as sassy and sure of herself as she’s ever been. Also – the cuteness! Puppies are off-the-charts adorable, but nothing is as beautiful to me as a silver speckled senior snout (or snout-less, as is the case with pugs).

What also often comes along with getting older – for people and pugs alike – are medical issues. Alas, this is one reason why so many mature pugs come into rescue – some folks either can’t, or won’t, afford their pug’s, often complicated, medical care.

Lola is now 13.5 years old, and for a pug her age, she’s doing great.

Our walks are much, much shorter now, and our pace is often glacial, but Lola P is engaged, feisty, and full of the life and spirit that so completely defines who she is, and she continues to teach me and challenge me to grow.

Being the medical mystery and marvel that she is, Lola has been through the healthcare wringer over the past few years, and my life has slowly changed to accommodate her developing needs. These changes will likely sound familiar to other loving, senior dog people.

A shockingly high percentage of my social time is spent in vet hospital waiting rooms, chatting with veterinarians and vet techs, and sharing stories with fellow pet parents. I consider our home vet to be family, and not only because I speak with him more these days than I do my own family.

My travel, evening, and weekend plans have been curtailed, and are often cancelled if the weather isn’t right, or if Herself isn’t feeling quite well and maybe needs a more watchful eye to make sure she’s okay.

Let’s talk about the spending. New shoes? Nope. Fancy dinner out? Nope. With many vet visits come many vet bills – and some of ours have been hefty. But I am so deeply grateful to be able to fork over the cash to save or extend my little one’s life. We have an amazing (and growing) medical team, and they deserve every penny, and more, that we give them. And I would rather have a healthy, happy pug than a newer, bigger TV, or whatever other stuff I’m told I *need* to have in order to be happy.

Speaking of spending… There are folks who have told me (repeatedly, and without solicitation) that Lola is “just a dog”, and that I’m crazy to devote so much time and money to her care, but, to be frank, those aren’t my people. I have stopped trying to explain myself to folks like this (some of whom I am related to), and I just feel sad for them now. Doubly sad if they happen to have an animal in their home.

I know what is important to me, and I know where my time, money, and energy are best spent. The level of care that I give Lola is simply a part of the dedication and love that I believe inherently comes with welcoming any new family member into my home, no matter how many legs they might have.

Dogs are family. The love and connection that our animals bring into our lives is unmatched and irreplaceable, and that love just gets sweeter as their faces get greyer, and their bones get creakier. The only rotten part of the deal is that we don’t get to have them in our lives forever. And that is simply the worst.

I have been quiet on this site because I’ve been focused on getting Lola the best care possible over the past year and a half, and dealing, sometimes not so elegantly, with the emotional roller coaster ride that comes along when a dearly loved one starts to show signs of faltering.

Senior pug life is something that I think only the luckiest among us get to experience. It’s not for the weak, and it is growing and breaking my heart open in ways that I never thought possible, but it is also the sweetest and most rewarding part of my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. …unless it’s the chance to do it all again from the beginning.

Cheers to the seniors. They are the best among us. May they all have safe, soft spots to sleep, and a kind person to love and care for them, and, in Lola’s case, at least, a quick and obedient mama who jumps at her every whim and command.

IMG_4026

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Pug Health, The Daily Pug, Uncategorized

Pug Eye Health

Do you have a pug?

Does your pug have eyes?

Not a joke question. A lot of pugs are “winkies” (one-eyed), or have had to have both eyes removed.

The late, great, Hazel, is my favourite example of an awesome, eyeless pug.

DSC_0110

In the six years leading up to bringing wee Lola Pug home, I learned a *lot* about pugs. Among many things, I confirmed that pugs are, indeed, spectacularly awesome, and I accepted that a lot of my time and income would be going into keeping my pug healthy.

Well. Lola has turned out to be more awesome than I ever could have imagined, and I have, indeed, spent a sizeable portion of my income keeping her healthy. And as she ages, her medical needs have increased.

Which brings us to today’s post. And pug eyes.

Do you see what I see?

FullSizeRender

Trick question – there are two things going on here. Ignore the obvious blob, and look further.

Lola and I are no strangers to the pug eyeball game. She has already had two eye injuries that required surgery to heal, so we know that corneal ulcers are not to be messed with. Ulcers are serious and fast moving injuries that can lead to blindness, or worse.

We immediately trotted over to see Lola’s eye specialist – who we had just seen a few weeks before for a routine eyeball health check up – to get the diagnosis and treatment plan.

Lola seemed to take the news in stride.

FullSizeRender

To help an eyeball heal, you have to pull out the full Monty of treatment and care, and that’s just what we did. Meds, detailed and timed application of meds, and the dreaded CONE.

 

A lot of work, indeed. But you know what?

It’s working.

It’s working because we’re diligent with care – and with keeping the cone on – and because we got lucky.

Corneal ulcers are most common with stuffy faced dogs – Pugs, Bosties, Bulldogs, Frenchies, Shih Tzu’s, etc – but they’re not the only breeds – or species – to have these issues. So be diligent!

How can you tell if your pet has an eye ulcer?

A few symptoms that Lola Pug has experienced include:

  • Watery eyes
  • Wincing, winking, or closure of one eye
  • Red eyes
  • Pawing at eyes
  • Sensitivity to light

What can you do if you think your dog has a corneal ulcer?

Get. To. Your. Vet.

It will not get better on it’s own.

And besides. If you go to your eye specialist, you’ll likely meet a lot of coneheads who are in the same situation as you are, and misery loves company, right? (yes, that’s a cat in a cone in a crate, and boy, did I feel sorry for him)

FullSizeRender

So. Pug eyes.

They require attention, time, and sometimes many vet visits to keep healthy and happy. Especially if your pup likes to go on sniffy adventures, or is aging.

Don’t overlook obvious symptoms, do exactly as your vet specialist tells you, and hopefully your pup will have a lifetime of healthy vision.

And as for that blob on Lola’s eyelid?

Well, that’s a whole other unfolding story. To be updated next time. I promise.

FullSizeRender

Obey the Pug.

Keep your pet’s eyeballs safe.

4 Comments

Filed under Adventures, Friends, Pug Health

Tick Talk

I’m supposed to be studying today, so here I am writing a long overdue blog post. Because that’s what happens, right?

I blame Spring Fever!!!!

Lola P has been through the mill with health issues this winter, so we have been quiet for a while as we dealt with and recovered from our dramas. More about that in upcoming posts, perhaps, but for now, she is better than ever, and my goodness, have we been out and celebrating with little adventures!

FullSizeRender.jpg-14

Spring has sprung in Toronto, and in addition to MANY more walks on the nature trails around Casa Lola, this means a trip to see Lola’s Uncle Deji to get her bloods done and pick up her heartworm meds for the summer.

This year, we have a new addition to her medicine cabinet, as 2017 is the year of TICKS IN THE 6IX*! (*clever title courtesy of Dr. Deji)

FullSizeRender.jpg-16

Ticks are bad. Capital “B” bad. And they have invaded our fair northern shores in numbers not seen before (thanks, humans and global warming). Ticks carry Lyme disease and other dangerous fevers, and they LOVE to feed on the blood of dogs, cats, and their resident humans, causing many, sometimes fatal, health issues. So as much as I am not a fan of giving LP more meds, these are necessary.

FullSizeRender.jpg-12

Thankfully, the tablets aren’t so gross to eat, apparently, so there were no hesitations from the Bean about her new monthly snack.

…and now we can venture out into the wilds of the Toronto Parks system again without (much) fear of LP playing host to these ghastly parasites. (I still have to worry about myself, however)

FullSizeRender.jpg-15

Ticks aren’t to be messed with. They feed on all forest creatures – birds, raccoons, dogs, humans – and they wait on grass, dead leaves, sticks, even cement, to find a host so they can fulfil their gross and parasitic life purpose.

Talk to your vet. Learn more on trusted sites online. Protect yourself, protect your fur kids, and GET OUT THERE AND LOVE NATURE! Well. Love everything except ticks. And mosquitos. And black flies. But love the bees. And everything else.

Happy Spring, All!

Leave a comment

Filed under Action Pug, Adventures, Pug Health

Sunbeam Pug

Aside from the cooler temperatures, there really isn’t much that The Pug appreciates about winter anymore.

It gets TOO cold for her older little bones to handle, and then add in the slush and the salt and the wind and the tonnes of wet snow, and I have a very grumpy little soul on my hands.

img_8493-jpg-2

The one thing winter does bring us, however (aside from relief from those 40 degree summer days), is Lola’s beloved sunbeam.

When I see the sunbeam come in the window, I pull out one of Lola’s beds, and position it just so before I call her over to let her know her winter bestie has arrived.

img_8458-jpg-2

Someone wanted company in the sunbeam the other day, though, and she wouldn’t stay on her bed unless I was there with her, so I picked up my work and…

…well, I’ve had tea in worse places.

I think.

img_0488

Snooze well, little one. Mama is right here beside you.

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Hello Sunbeam, Weather

Stanley the Christmas Visitor

Stanley and Lo are lifelong buddies. Both are beloved only children, both love their personal space, and both are little weirdos. A perfect pair, right?

Aside from her cousin Roxy, Stan is the only visitor who LP tolerates having in her space for longer than a few minutes, so when he came to stay with us over Christmas again this year, he fit in perfectly.

Seniors take lots of naps, so there was a lot of snoozing…

fullsizerender

…interrupted by a few adventures to visit Hanna, our favourite pet supply shop owner (and treat giver)….

img_8258

No holiday is complete without a gift to open on Christmas morning, so I bought Stanley some special snacks to open on Christmas Day. Stan is a bit of a picky eater, so I was worried he wouldn’t like them, but I was a deeply mistaken.

I think that I shall never see a Stan as sad as this Stan can be….

Stan’s stay with us involved lots of begging for snacks (he’s not subtle), lots of napping and love, and lots of waiting for his beloved Dad to get home.

And the obligatory formal family photo, of course. (The price of admission to Casa Lola is usually the humiliation of posing for a seasonal photo or two)

dsc_3960

img_8172

Lifelong buddies and gorgeous old souls.

Now onto our 2017 adventures, friends!

 

2 Comments

Filed under Friends, Special Days

Merry Christmas Pug

From all of us at Casa Lola, we wish you peace and joy and the Merriest Christmas!

dsc_3397

2 Comments

Filed under Pug Duds, Special Days

First Aid Pug

Ever since Lola Pug was a crazy (and I do mean crazy) little pup, I have wanted to take a pet first aid course, just so I could be prepared to at least not make things worse if Bad Things happened.

11 years later, with a few emergencies under my belt, but also with a senior pug on my hands, I finally decided to bite the bullet, and off we went together to take the Walks n Wags Pet First Aid certification course.

img_7578

The course I chose to take was all in one day (yay!), and it clocked in at a hefty 10 hours, so Lola P and I settled in to learn and, much to my delight, have a lot of fun.

Well. I had fun. I mean…

…have you ever seen a pug in a pug muzzle?

img_7583

…well now you have, Clarice.

I wasn’t sure who else would be at the class, but it was a great mix of dog professionals (trainers, walkers, groomers, etc), and folks like me, who love their dogs – all dogs – and simply want to be better prepared to help in an emergency.

The first, and actually most impressive, rule of Pet First Aid?

dsc_3496

You are NOT A VET! GET TO A VET!

And while you work to get to a vet, here are some things you can do to help….

We learned how to identify lots of problems and issues, and then we moved on to practice bandaging a whole host of the more common cat and canine body injuries. And we met some lovely fellow participants in the process.

…all of whom were about as equally thrilled to be our live and squirmy test models. We were fortunate to have stuffies there to practice on, as well.

After a much needed lunch break, we got into the more exhausting topics, like choking, AR, and CPR. Now, supervising is what Lola does best, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise that she seemed to enjoy this segment most of all.

img_7604

She even got into the action to help! …or something….

img_7609

All of the human brains got filled up with some really great experiences and learning, and as we sat down to take the exam at the end of our full day, the pups were able to take a rest while we applied our knowledge to the certification exam.

I wrote my exam with a certain little pug lying on my lap and stamping on my bladder, but I somehow still managed to pass with flying colours. And so did Lola P!

img_7610

A huge thank you to Margaret Pender from DogGone Right! for being such a great first aid teacher, and thanks to the folks at Walks n Wags for creating such a comprehensive, inclusive, interactive, and fun course.

Just to note – I was not compensated for this blog post. I am genuinely impressed with the course and the materials covered in it, and I am very happy and relieved that I finally became a certified Pet First Aid responder. Lola Pug might tell you a different story, but I think she secretly loved being there, as well.

 

3 Comments

Filed under Action Pug, Adventures, Friends, Pug Health, Special Days

Pug in a Hammock

This summer (like last summer) has been hooooot and sticky here, which is never good for pugs, let alone a black senior pug with many medical specialists on her payroll.

Which is all to say that when LP and I received a fabulous invitation to go and hang in the breezy countryside out near a (different) lake, we jumped in the car and drove, baby!

I had glorious plans to visit the beach, explore the town, and eat lots of baked goods, but when we reached our destination, this charming oasis greeted us….

IMG_4861

Notice the hammock?

Yah. So did I. Immediately.

Lola wasn’t so much a fan of the ‘Mmock at first…

IMG_4945

 

IMG_4916

But I kept hauling her up beside me, and she eventually found her comfortable spot…

IMG_4910_2

…like, REALLY found her comfortable spot….

IMG_4972

IMG_4955

So those plans that I had? To visit the beach and the town and to eat lots of baked goods?

Not so much.

But I don’t think that Lola Pug was too disappointed about that.

IMG_4921

So now I have yet another task on my hands.

A pug hammock.

Wish me luck, possums…and please share any tips or tricks if you have made your own dog hammock! (because who hasn’t??)

Also, special thanks to Olive and Oscar (these rascally souls here) for letting Lola Pug and I use their country getaway place (and their hammock) for a few days.

Untitled 14 copy

 

3 Comments

Filed under Adventures, Friends, Frienemies, Hello Sunbeam, Slothpug, Traveling Pug, Weather

Pokemon Pug!

Like all great relationships, Lola Pug and I take turns at being “The Sensible One”. I waggle my finger at her when she wants to eat cigarette butts on the sidewalk, and she lets me know (loudly) whenever I have my eyeballs glued to my phone (and not on her) for too long.

But my pretense of having any maturity and good sense flies away faster than a frog in a tornado when something especially sparkly lands in my lap, and this past week delivered a pretty sparkly distraction for many of us.

IMG_4545-1

“Many” meaning most definitely not Lola Pug or Stanley.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t keep introducing her to the little creatures who are popping up in our ‘hood.

IMG_4805-1-2

There’s some sort of family resemblance to this one….

IMG_4627

Looks as if she’s warming up to the Zubat.

IMG_4628

Should I be worried?

Oh. Maybe THIS is her soulmate. She seems to be interested in it, at least.

IMG_4802

Yah. I think we have the winner here.

At least I think we do. It appears as if Lola begs to differ….

IMG_4804-1-1

The super hot summer we’re having in Lola P’s hometown has meant that we can’t be out and exploring as much as we want to, but I will sure keep my eyes peeled for new creatures to introduce to Lola.

Has your fur kid met any Pokemon yet? Which one do you think they resemble most?

And most pressingly…which Pokemon above do you think Lola Pug most resembles?

Happy hunting!

 

5 Comments

Filed under Action Pug, Adventures, Friends, Frienemies, The Daily Pug

Pug Houseguest

Apologies for our quietude over the past two weeks. I have been off on a couple of weekend quests to raise money for the hospital that helped Lola P’s angel grandma (more on those at the bottom of the post), so my computer time has been limited until now.

Lucky Lola P got to stay with her friends, The Fuppies, while I was away, and BOY, were they happy to see her! And I’m so happy that Lola’s Auntie Evelyn took so many photos to share.

Lola waited for me for a while by the front door of her temporary home…worried that she had been abandoned at Griffy Manor forever…

IMG_3805

She was so sad that Murphy came over to try to console her. Nice photobomb, Leo!

IMG_1346

And it wasn’t long before the promise of a lush lawn and some hardcore snuffling took over, and Lola P’s sadness was almost completely forgotten.

Murphy loves Lola SO MUCH…alas, it is very definitely an unrequited situation.

Admitting defeat, but still sitting by her BFF.

IMG_3806

By the time dinner rolled around, Lola was not only feeling at home, she was leading the Evening Vittles Brigade.

IMG_3803

And when I saw THIS photo, I knew that Lola P would never be coming back to her little tv-less apartment. Because…what is better than TV in bed???

IMG_3807

So everyone ends up happy, in the end.

And I apparently now have to start saving up for a giant, flat-screen tv. And cable.

Now that our schedule is a little bit more back to normal around Casa Lola, I think it’s time to start in on our summer adventures, don’t you? Oh, the sunshine and fun that awaits us!

 

NON-PUG STUFF!

Every year for almost a decade now, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, in Toronto, holds the Ride to Conquer Cancer – a 200+km ride from Toronto to Niagara Falls to benefit the cancer research and treatments that the hospital offers. I also participate in the Journey to Conquer Cancer – a 1k, 3k, or 5k Walk/Run that allows families and the slightly less athletically inclined to participate. I ride and walk to support the Head and Neck Cancer team, because they basically became family over the years, and they really are amazing. If you’re a cyclist, it’s a fantastic ride to be a part of – consider participating in 2017!

BUT WAIT! I saw two pugs on the ride route who were cheering us on, so I just HAD to stop and say HI to them. I STOP FOR PUGS!

2 Comments

Filed under Adventures, Friends, Frienemies, Special Days, Traveling Pug