Tag Archives: senior dog

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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)

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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.

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Obey the Pug.

Keep your pet’s eyeballs safe.

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Filed under Adventures, Friends, Pug Health

Happy Pug Valentine’s Day!

We might be laying really low here at Casa Lola right now, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get into the festive spirit.

Sort of.

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Happy Early Valentine’s Day from Lola Pug and me!

 

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Rooster Chinese New Year Pug!

Lola Pug is in a bit of a quiet period of her life right now, so we couldn’t celebrate Chinese New Year the way I had planned to, but we shall perhaps make up for that during her birthday week in March.

I mean – Lola IS a pug, which means her Chinese ancestors would be celebrating, plus, she’s a Rooster, for goodness sake!

So we had to do a *little* dressing up in between naps, right?

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We’ve been having fun reading about the year ahead from Lainey’s mum, aka the Chinese Squawking Chicken… Lainey Gossip’s Year of the Rooster Predictions.

I’m apparently supposed to watch out for Lola P’s emotional well-being this year. I might have already missed the mark with the cheongsam, so I’ll clearly have to plan our celebrations wisely.

GUNG HAY FAT CHOY! and love to everyone, especially Roosters like Lola, out there!

 

 

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Diabetes Pug

We have been BUSY here at Casa Lola over the past few weeks, so let’s start by filling you in on our most recent adventure, shall we?

I woke Lola Pug up the other day to tell her the exciting news that we were about to have a house guest.

Lola Pug loves house guests.*

*Lola Pug: This is entirely untrue. The human lies terribly.

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We have been hosting and having play dates with Nelly going on nine years now, so these two are not only sisters from the same mister, but they are also old friends.

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Both Lola Pug and Nelly are getting higher up on the pug seniority list, and age typically brings health developments along for the ride. We noticed a while ago that Nelly was starting to act “not herself”, so her people whisked her off to the pug doctor, and they did so not a moment too soon. Nelly was diagnosed with diabetes!

So along with her food and bed and a favourite toy, Nelly came bearing these new accessories…

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Now, I am *that* person who needs to look away when I get a blood test or a vaccination. When I was a kid, it once took three nurses to hold me down for my annual blood test. (not my proudest moment) But now that I’m slightly more grown up, I think of happy places and chocolate and baby pugs, and I usually make it through with minimal embarrassment.

Needless to say, I saw this new development in Nelly’s care as a long overdue challenge that it was time I faced head on. It was the perfect opportunity to overcome a silly phobia, and the chance to do it for love.

And you know what?

It was NBD, as the kids say.

After a tutorial by Nelly’s humans, as well as many discussions with friends whose dogs have diabetes, I was ready for action. And I had a schedule. I always need a schedule.

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Turning the vial gently 10 times to mix the insulin so that I don’t create any bubbles…needle in…drawing out… just like I’ve seen it done a million times by people much smarter than me.

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I was definitely more nervous than Nells was when her appointed insulin hour came around.

In fact…

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…she was pretty darned excited about what was about to happen.

Why would anyone be excited about getting a needle, you ask?

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…because giving an insulin shot the right way means getting a second dinner, in Nelly’s world.

A little jab with the thinnest of needles in the squooshiest part of Nelly’s ample neck folds was nothing to her. And it was pretty quickly no big deal to me, as well.

It didn’t take long for the girls to gang up on me and start to demand some evening entertainment.

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So now that I’ve earned my Junior Pug lab coat, I guess it’s time for me to put on my adventure cap and get us outside, right?

The most amazing thing about this really simple diabetes treatment is that Nelly is doing SO well. In fact, I haven’t seen her this playful and happy in years.

So, alright, little ones. I’ll get me adventurers hat on and see what I can conjure up for you. To be continued next Sunday!

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Golden Oldies – Retriever Edition

Lola Pug is most definitely an only child. She prefers all of my attention on her terms at all times.

But every so often, we open our doors to very special dog friends when they need a home away from home.

My (slightly) hairier sister, Misty, has been a frequent guest as Casa Lola over the years, and it was a joy (for me) to welcome her back to our little space this week for a visit.

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Misty is 14 years old now, which is slightly miraculous in Golden Retriever years, and I have to say that her age and infirmities only makes me love and treasure her more.

Goldens, as you might know, absolutely LIVE for love, so there’s no shortage of attention and skritches when Misty visits.

 

And she is *so* helpful when I’m in the kitchen. Always keeping watch that the snacks aren’t falling to the ground or going to waste.

 

We go outside for very short walks and we have many rest breaks. Old bones need lots of rest.

 

But infirm doesn’t mean unhappy for Misty Moo. A shady spot in the grass with lots of people passing by is pretty much heaven for this old gal.

 

With a good drink of water when we get home, of course.

Oh, Hi, Pug!

 

Perhaps The Pug is perturbed that Misty appears to be hogging the water bowl.

But, really, when your legs don’t work so well, it’s much easier to lie down and drink, no?

 

Well.

Someone has reached new levels of mortification, I see.

 

Misty is here for a little while longer, so we have some senior adventures to go on together.

And, yes, I am bracing myself for the inevitable Wrath of The Pug that I can feel coming on.

…it always begins with the staring….

And before I forget – Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers of fur, flesh and feathered (and scaly?) creatures.

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10th Birthday Pug

I have been excited about this day for weeks now, which is odd, considering how much I dread Lola Pug getting older.

But today is a momentous day.

Today is the day that, ten years ago, this brilliant little light came into the world.

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The week ahead will be filled with all of the things that 10-year old Lola Pug loves most, so stay tuned for our exciting adventures! Well…our slightly subdued exciting adventures.

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

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Bradie’s Eyeball Update

Thank you, everyone, for your good juju and wishes for Lola’s little friend, Bradie.

She pulled through her eye surgery with flying colours, despite a rocky and scary lead-up, and I am happy to report that the little diva is back, and she’s badder than ever, man.

She is SO active now, that when I went over for an impromptu visit (armed only with my aging cell phone as a camera) I couldn’t get even a half-decent photo of her!

 

…so we went outside to the private terrace, and B’s mum held her up. She actually did stop wriggling for a second.

 

Not bad at ALL, girlie!

As Bradie was already blind, the removal of one of her eyes was more of a relief than a change for her, so aside from the side effects of the post-surgery medication, she is now mostly pain-free and more delightful (and demanding) than ever.

 

And not to be forgotten in all of this is little brother, Frankie, who lay by his sister’s side while she recovered, and who needs a little bit of extra loving to make up for all of the attention that the patient is getting.

 

Ah, the power of love. Yorkie style!

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Little Bee and Her Eyeballs

Lola Pug has her eye issues, but her buddy, Bradie, is going through some much more serious eye issues right now.

 

Little Bee is in for eye removal surgery this morning, and she’s a little bit on the older side with a few other health issues happening, so please keep your fingers and paws crossed for her.

She’s a special soul, rescued as a senior, and her mama and Aunt love her dearly (as does her growing fan club).

Heck. Lola Pug will even share a bed with her. It doesn’t get more special than that in the dog realm.

 

Be strong through your surgery, and heal, Little Beyonce. We’re all rooting for you.

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