Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Summer? Is that you?

The first summer "holiday" has come and gone. While I'm already whining about being back at work, I am extremely excited for one thing: Summer. 

OK, so I know summer doesn't officially start until late June. In fact, according to the calendar, my June 17th birthday is in spring. But calendars can get f*cked because my birthday is in summer, dammit! I never celebrated my birthday at school (unless you count half birthdays), I've had several pool parties, water balloon fights, and melted ice cream cakes for my birthday. Those aren't spring activities, bucko. And since we in the Midwest get majorly gypped when it comes to warm weather months, I'm pretty sure we get a pass in claiming the whole month of June in the name of summer.

Regardless, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of the summer. Water parks and pools are open, kids (and teachers!) are almost free for the summer, and the camping season is upon us. Yep, after this 4-day week, Hubby and I are taking both the pups camping. It'll be Pepper's first trip with us, and we're hoping he enjoys the fact that he can pee on pretty much anything all weekend long without getting yelled at. We already know Maxine loves camping, so we're definitely keeping our fingers crossed.

An update on the good ol' boy: He spent all of last Wednesday at the vet getting tested for Cushing's disease. As it turns out, the test was inconclusive. He either has Cushing's or thyroid disease, and while both present similar symptoms, the treatments are different enough that we really need to nail down which it is. Our vet is going to have a chat with an internal medicine specialist and let us know what the next step is going to be. It's possible that they'll just run the same test again, but with a higher dosage of the diagnostic drug. 

So what kinds of symptoms does our little man have? Anyone who has seen him knows his fur is thin and he has a bald area on his back that just won't fill in. He has lots of little bumps on his skin, and the skin itself is really, really thin. He's a tiny thing, and even though he has gained 2 pounds since living with us, you can still easily feel (and see) his hip bones and spine, but he has a pot belly. He's really sensitive to temperatures and gets hot pretty easily. He drinks a ton of water and then pees a bunch. Even his heart murmur could be a symptom. 

So far, he's not really in any pain. He does have some mild arthritis, but he's an old man, so that's pretty normal. He still gets around well, jumping on and off the couch, chasing after Maxine, and frolicking in the grass. He still doesn't trust us completely, but he's letting us in a little at a time. Just the other day we a had a breakthrough where he kept wagging his tail while I was petting him. Usually it stops dead, like he's terrified to move if we touch him. But there it went, just wagging along! 

Here's hoping we can show him just how fun summertime is for our little family. :)     

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I'm baaaaaaaaack

So, it's pretty much been forever since I posted. OK, so it's been since December. Still! That's a long time. Here's a brief recap of what has been going on.

December 20-31: Christmas (got an iPad!). New Year's Eve (saw my sisters). 

January: Went to NC to see my bestie. Started spring semester.

February: Adopted a new dog (Sgt Pepper).

March: Work, school, sleep, repeat. Niece (Bestie's baby) was born!

April: Finally done with spring semester. 

May 1-14: Saw Fluffy. Went to our 1st Brewers game of the season.

And now you're caught up.

You might notice some fairly big things in there. The first is that we adopted a new pup. If you're curious about Pepper, here's the description from the shelter: "Pepper is an approximately 10 year old mini schnauzer and was a transfer from Adams County Humane Society. His owner died and he was grieving and shutting down at the shelter, so they asked if we could take him for some more individual attention."

He lived most of his life in Kentucky, so he's not a fan of snow or winter. He's a tiny little thing (around 16 pounds at the vet in March), especially compared to Miss Maxine. He is an older dog and has health problems. He has a heart disease and, with it, a murmur. He's missing most of his front teeth (except for his ginormous canines), has a big bald spot on his back, and doesn't always have control of his bodily functions. He's thrown up more since we got him in February than Maxi has thrown up in the past year. And we have a vet appointment today where we'll probably be getting some blood work done to see how advanced his heart disease is and/or whether we can "fix" his bald patch. 

On the plus side, Maxine is wonderful with him. They sleep in the crate together all day, and then Pepper sleeps in bed with us at night. He gets super excited for mealtime and loves to romp around outside (as long as the weather is good). For the first few weeks we had him, Pepper didn't make a sound (unless you count the wheezing noises he makes when he's relaxed). These days, he barks more than Maxi does, mostly out of excitement. He's still cautious around us, not completely trusting us, but he's opened up a lot since February and already we love him like he's always been part of our family. 

The other important thing is that my new niece was born! Yes, I know, she's not technically my niece. But I am Aunt Riki, and that's good enough for me. If you want to know more about her, check out the Disney Hippy's blog for info and updates. Suffice it to say, she is one adorable, lucky, spoiled, and LOVED little girl. <3

Now that I'm on summer break, I should be back more often to update, but don't quote me on that. I do have my hands full with 2 pups in the house! Here's to my sanity...