Every Day Is #NationalDogDay

Melissa here with the post on #NationalDogDay. Duh – it had to be me!

Sunday was #NationalDogDay.

And like every year on August 26, 2018, the Internet explodes with pictures of everyone’s furry best friends. As I was cuddling Regal in his bed (because he’s still confined to the kitchen because of his TPLO surgery), I reminded Joey of the joyous holiday it was. His quick response was:

I feel like there’s five of those a year.

And he’s not wrong. We are always looking for ways to celebrate our furbabies. So for today’s post, I thought I’d breakdown every day of the year in which you can celebrate your beloved pup, because isn’t every day #NationalDogDay?

The Breakdown: Dog / Pet Holidays

January (National Train Your Dog Month; Walk Your Pet Month)
  • January 2nd: National Pet Travel Safety Day
  • January 14th: National Dress Up Your Pet Day
  • January 24th: Change A Pet’s Life Day
February (Dog Training Education Month, Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, Pet Dental Health Month, Responsible Pet Owners Month)
  • February 14th: Pet Theft Awareness Day
  • February 20th: Love Your Pet Day
  • February 22nd: Walking The Dog Day
  • February 23rd: International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day
  • February 27th: World Spay Day
  • March 3rd: If Pets Had Thumbs Day
  • March 13th: K-9 Veterans Day
  • March 23rd: National Puppy Day
April (National Adopt A Greyhound Month, National Heartworm Awareness Month, National Pet First Aid Awareness Month, Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs Month, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month)
  • April 7th: Tag Day
  • April 8th: National Dog Fighting Awareness Day
  • April 11th: National Pet Day
  • April 11th: Dog Therapy Appreciation Day
  • April 21st: Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day
  • April 26th: National Kids and Pets Day
  • April 30th: Adopt A Shelter Pet Day
May (National Pet Month, Responsible Animal Guardian Month, Pet Cancer Awareness Moth, Chip Your Pet Month)
  • May 1st: National Purebred Dog Day
  • May 12th: National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day
  • First Full Week of May: National Pet Week
June (National Pet Preparedness Month)
  • June 8th: Best Friends Day
  • First Full Week of June: Pet Appreciation Week
  • Take Your Dog To Work Day typically falls in June
June (Dog House Repair Month, National Lost Pet Prevention Month)
  • July 1st: ID Your Pet Day
  • July 15th: National Pet Fire Safety Day
  • July 31st: National Mutt Day
  • August 26th: National Dog Day
  • August 28th: Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day
  • August 20th: National Holistic Pet Day
  • September 13th: Pet Birth Defect Awareness Day
  • September 15th: Responsible Dog Ownership Day
  • September 23rd: Dogs In Politics Day
  • September 28th: World Rabies Day
  • Last Full Week of September: National Dog Week
October (Adopt-A-Dog Month, Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month, National Animal Safety and Protection Month, National Pet Wellness Month, National Pit Bull Awareness Month, National Service Dog Month)
  • October 1st: National Dire Pup Day
  • October 1st: National Black Dog Day
  • October 4th: World Animal Day
  • October 10th: National Pet Obesity Awareness Day
  • First Full Week of October: National Walk Your Dog Week and Animal Welfare Week
November (Adopt A Senior Pet Month, National Pet Awareness Month, National Senior Pet Month, Pet Cancer Awareness Month, Pet Diabetes Month)
  • November 1st: National Cook For Your Pets Day
  • November 7th: National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day
  • First Full Week of November: National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week
  • December 2nd: National Mutt Day

As you can see, Joey wasn’t wrong. Basically, every day can be #NationalDogDay. Let’s celebrate our beloved furchildren as often as we can, because they bring us so much joy and love!

dogs, life

TPLO Surgery Update

It’s been two weeks since we last posted. So much has happened. We’re excited to get back to our regular posting schedule, but wanted to give you an update on our sweet pup first.

Side note: Thank you to all who contributed to our GoFundMe page. You raised $480 in three days, which helped put us in a better position to pull the trigger on Regal’s TPLO surgery. We can never repay you for your generosity, but we hope you enjoyed the cute Polaroids Regal shot for you. Thank you so much!

Monday, July 30, 2018: Consult With Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists

If were weren’t down on our luck enough, we had some trouble with our first orthopedic consult where we first discovered Regal’s ACL was torn. The first place (Gulf Cost Veterinary Specialists) wanted to charge us more than what a typical TPLO costs ($2,000 more), because they only do a fancy, unnecessary procedure in conjunction with the TPLO surgery. They didn’t tell us that there were other, just-as-effective, and less expensive options, which is what ultimately made us the most upset.

But after talking with Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists on the phone, we knew this would be the right fit for us. Joey took Regal to his consult appointment. On just three legs, Regal limped in, acting as a ham, per the usual. He received lots of pets and was a champ! He handled the poking and prodding and didn’t become upset until he was back in his room after the exam. The orthopedic surgeon team there confirmed he did tear his ACL, and Regal needed the TPLO surgery. Luckily, they had an appointment open for the next day.

Regal at his consult appointment at Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists

Monday night was rough, because you continually have these thoughts that it might be the end of the road for you and your best friend. Also, instead of being able to just lay around and snuggle, we had to give Regal an anti-septic bath. Regal hates baths, and to make matters worse, you have to leave this special soap on for 10 minutes before rinsing. The poor guy couldn’t even rush to his favorite part of bath time, which is toweling off. He was mad at us the rest of the night, which made Melissa even more emotional.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018: Regal’s Surgery

We woke up bright and early to try and ensure Regal was the first surgery of the day. There are no guarantees, but we dropped him off as early as we could at 7:00 a.m. When dropping him off, the surgical team sat down with us and walked us through what to expect. We handed over some food and treats, and then, handed over Regal. That’s when the pit in Melissa’s stomach started.

Around 10:30 a.m., the surgical team said Regal was prepped and ready for surgery. They were waiting for the anesthesia to kick in to take him for updated radio-graphs and  surgery. This is when Melissa’s stomach pit grew larger, and she could feel it in the back of her throat until she received the next call…

At about 2:00 p.m., the wonderful Dr. Bubenik called to say Regal was out of surgery. The surgery had gone great, but they did find that Regal had also torn his meniscus. They were forced to remove part of that tissue too. But she expected Regal would still make a full recovery. Melissa’s pit returned to stomach only.

At 4:00 p.m., the surgical team called to tell us Regal was awake. They were letting him slowly wake up and rest, but they were going to try to get him to eat and go on a walk soon. They said at around 8:00 p.m. they would send us a picture update.

These are the pictures Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists sent us that night (aka Regal on drugs):

Wednesday, August 1, 2018: Reunited With Regal

Although knowing Regal was doing OK, it was still hard to sleep well Tuesday night. When we woke up on Wednesday morning, the surgical team called to setup a pickup time. We landed on 4:00 p.m. When we arrived, we spent about 45 minutes talking with Linda (She is so great!) about post-operation procedures for Regal.

We learned our new, daily routine for the next 6+ weeks will look like this:

  • Warm compress for 10 minutes.
  • Walk on leash for 10 minutes.
  • Physical therapy exercise one: Knee Flexion and Extension
  • Physical therapy exercise two: Weight Shifting (Side-To-Side)
  • Cold compress for 10 minutes.
  • Administer 4-6 pills.
  • Feed boiled chicken to ensure there’s food in the belly.
  • Repeat 1-2 more times per day.

I’m not sure we knew what we were getting ourselves into. After being a little overwhelmed by PT exercises, we were finally reunited with Bubba:

It made our new daily routine seem worth it. That’s when the pit in Melissa’s stomach finally went away.

Post-Operation Regal

Since Regal’s surgery on August 1st, he has been doing great, but only because of some very special people:

  • The team at Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists: Thank you for walking us through everything to expect. You recognize our pets are our children, and our concern runs deep. The detail you put into your work eased us during an incredibly “ruff” time, and we couldn’t be more thankful for the step-by-step instructions and videos.
  • Meredith and Colton Beall: Thank you for taking over post-operative duties while we traveled to see our family on a nonrefundable trip. We could never repay you for showing up for us and our little champ. (Sorry he hated taking his pills.)
  • Our friends and family: Thank you for continually checking in. We appreciate getting to tell you how Regal is, because it reminds us that he is going to be just fine.
  • Supporters: An additional thanks to those who helped make this surgery possible. Without you, we would be a lot more stressed.
  • Olivia Craig: For sending us cupcakes and pupcakes from Sprinkles. You made us feel a little bit sweeter about the situation we were in.

Regal still has a long road to recovery, with a follow-up Monday, and another check-up in four weeks – but from what we can see, he is going to make a full recovery, and be able to live a normal, active, playful life again soon. Now, if only we could get him to take his pills more easily. <Insert frustrated because our dog is stubborn faces here.>

Our post-surgery pup, Regal, and delicious cupcakes and pupcakes thanks to our sweet friend, Olivia.



Being A Dog Parent

The Limp

Melissa here. This week was a tough dog parent week for me. Being a dog parent is typically very easy, especially with a dog like Regal. He is low maintenance and just appreciates playtime and snuggles. However, for the last two weeks or so, he’s been limping. It’s very sporadic! It typically only happens after playtime or after he’s been curled up for a long time.

Joey and I thought it could be his nails (maybe one had cracked and was causing him pain), but after further investigation and the miserable process of trimming all of his nails, Regal was still limping. He does not seem to be in any pain. There are no whines or yelps. Just this limp in his back leg that keeps me wide awake at night.

Awake At Night

I’m awake because 1) I’m worried. As dog parents, we have this constant battle with ourselves. A constant internal conversation:

“Do we take him to the vet? Will it be better tomorrow? He doesn’t seem like he’s in pain. He’s eating. Begging to play. But he’s limping. Poor guy. I wish he could tell me what’s wrong!”

I’m also awake because 2) Regal is circling our bed more. *Tap, Tap Tap* We think it’s because he’s apprehensive to jump… Probably because his back leg hurts.



Trip To The Vet

On Sunday, I decided it was time to call the vet. They set me up with an appointment for Monday afternoon. All I could think about was how Regal was going to be so mad at me. Regal hates the vet. He loves all the people there, but when they want to check him out, he thinks he’s in trouble, that he’s done something wrong. He hides under benches and tries to escape through the front and exam room doors.

This trip was no different. In Regal’s eyes, he was tortured. And the worst part is: We have no diagnosis yet.

For now, Regal is on a prescription for a two-week anti-inflammatory. If that doesn’t clear up his limp, we will have to take him in for X-Rays to see if there is a fracture (which he isn’t displaying signs of) or he’s developed hip dysplasia or osteoporosis (which is common in larger breed dogs).

Post Vet

Post vet trip, Regal remains moody, because he can’t enjoy one of his favorite past times, playtime. Additionally, he’s FORCED to take a pill everyday. Although it’s coated with chicken pâté, he still smells the pill, and hides for an hour after I give it to him. He’s very sensitive. This takes away from his second favorite past time: snuggling.

Now, There’s Me Crying

Regal – Playtime and Snuggles = Me Crying

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m emotional. After Monday’s vet visit, I found myself holding Regal in bed sobbing, telling him, “I’m sorry for a tough day.” This leads me to the last point about being a dog parent:

Do you think they know how much we love them?

I hope so! What do you think?