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.


dogs, life

Bad Luck Comes In Threes

There is an old saying that bad luck comes in threes, and let us tell you, it hit us hard recently. It’s why we haven’t been as active as we would have liked to be on here – especially this past week.

We encourage you to lean in, learn more, and maybe even help us conquer this bad luck curse.

Floating On Air

Do you ever feel like you’re floating on air? Like everything is going your way? But you try to remain humble about it all? Because well, you know, Karma’s a bitch?

All we try to do is put out positivity, and hope it comes back to us. It typically works until God decides we left Earth for a little too long, and He doesn’t want us just floating any longer.

Everything was going great here! I mean we recently launched this blog to share our love for life, eats, and dogs. We got people interested in writing for our page. We gained followers in family, friends, and strangers.

And then, our bad luck curse hit…

Bad Luck #1

About four weeks ago, Joey was on his way home from a Houston Astros baseball game. Despite being a year to Houston, Joey hasn’t spent much time navigating downtown. Being a later workday than normal, Joey switched his brain to autopilot and followed the car in front of him turning left on a one-way downtown street. Unfortunately, Joey missed his red light, and side swiped a car coming through the intersection on their green.

Thankfully, no one was injured. But “Big Red,” Joey’s 2003 Nissan X-Terra was totaled. And just for that, this day will forever live in infamy.

Joey takes full responsibility for this accident, but it meant we had to purchase a new car. Not knowing what our bad luck fate held, we opted to get Joey what he really wanted (and what was practical for us), since he had been driving a 15-year-old car. “Big Red” had her learner’s permit for goodness sake! We ended up buying a 2017 Toyota 4Runner with 30k miles through Hertz Auto Sales. We were hoping to write a blog on our shopping experience with them, but our bad luck continued…

Bad Luck #2

As everyone knows by now, when it rains in Houston, it pours.

We feel so blessed to have survived Hurricane Harvey with no damage to the house we had only bought and moved into two months before the storm decided to camp itself over our town. We watched as water creeped about five feet from our house, and then quickly and luckily receded through the baby canals on our street. Although we were on an island for a week, we were so much better off than so many others.

We felt like we really needed to say that before we complained about our Bad Luck #2.

Since Melissa has lived here, Houston has had Memorial Day flooding and Tax Day flooding, which our little 1950s house has survived. However, most recently, during the Independence Day flooding (PSA – Dear Houston, you need to stop celebrating holidays with floods.), our 1950s home had endured too much.

As the rain came in sheets, and Fourth of July parades were canceled, we noticed our dining room ceiling showed a little leak, while our kitchen ceiling revealed a substantial leak. We were able to get to the leak in the dining room and put a bucket under the drip, but the leak dripping into the kitchen ceiling was unreachable. The water continued to spread across the room. Thankfully, Joey thought to poke holes where the water was sitting and moving to, which allowed the water to drain out of our ceiling.

What was supposed to be a day spent on the Big Green Egg was spent talking to our insurance company, inquiring with emergency roofing companies, and asking around for recommendations. Luckily, the rain subsided (and still hasn’t really returned since that day), which has allowed us to fix our roof and ceiling.

We thought this would be our last headache, but we had obviously forgotten about the bad luck curse, and the worst of our bad luck hit us very hard…

Bad Luck #3

One of our last posts was on Regal – about a small limp and a recent trip to the vet. We wish we had better news to tell you, but we’ll just spit it out: Regal tore his ACL and needs surgery.

<Insert picture of Melissa ugly sobbing.>

To make a long story longer, about three weeks ago, we noticed Regal, had a small limp. We took him to our vet, where he was put on an anti-inflammatory and advised to rest. We followed the vet’s directions, but Melissa left town for a trip. When she came home a few days later, Regal was so excited to see his mom that he over exerted himself, and all of a sudden lost all mobility in one of his hind legs!

We immediately rushed him to have X-Rays done, and we were referred to an orthopedic surgeon. The orthopedic surgeon said Regal had fully torn his ACL, and he was recommending TPLO surgery. TPLO, or tibial-plateau-leveling osteotomy, is a surgery performed on dogs to stabilize the stifle joint after ruptures of the cranial cruciate ligament (ACL). Although there are other surgical options other than a TPLO that are less expensive, for a young active dog like Regal, a TPLO is usually the gold standard treatment with quickest return to normal function.

For those of you who don’t know him, Regal is happiest when he’s running through the dog park, chasing balls across the yard, swimming in the lake, rolling in the grass, and sprawled across the couch with his head in your lap. Without this surgery, Regal may never get to experience his favorite things in the same way again. And that breaks our heart.

Regal at the orthopedic surgeon’s office being a champ.

This leads us to an ask for help we never wanted to make, but feel like we have to, because every little bit helps…

Although we know there’s so many worthy causes out there to support, we’d love for you to consider supporting Regal and us through our GoFundMe page. We feel silly even asking, because typically we’re asking you to support foster care and adoption, which makes a difference for so many at-risk children. But as newlyweds with bad luck hitting them with the curse of threes, we’re left in a less than ideal financial situation.

We’ve decided to cancel our 1-year anniversary trip to pay for half of the $5,000 surgery, but we are hoping some generous friends, family members, and strangers will help to pitch in for Regal and for us. Every little bit helps!

We won’t ask anymore than this, but please consider donating to our page here. Thanks for considering!

In Summary

The saying is true… Bad luck does come in threes.

And although that bad luck caused our wallets to be empty, our glasses are still very full. As newlyweds out to conquer the world, we are grateful to have each other, you, and this platform to share our lives. We promise there is a lot less complaining to come, more Big Green Egg recipes, and updates on our champ, Regal.


Melissa & Joey


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?



Our Dog Thinks He’s Human

Now that we’ve introduced you to Regal a little bit, we can talk about why he thinks he’s a human. We typically compare him to a toddler. So, yes, he is our furchild. Get over it. It’s a DINK way of life. Either way, we promise you’ll get a kick out of these photos, which best depict it all.

1. He uses pillows like a human.

Whether it’s on the couch or in our bed, you can find his head resting on a pillow (when he’s not sitting like a human – See #2).

2. He sits like a human.

The pictures will speak for themselves, but we wanted to tell you how great of a road trip companion Regal is! On long trips, he will typically lay down and go to sleep, but on short trips, he sits up like a human in the back seat. You can also sometimes find him watching the television.

3. When we go to the dog park, he greets all the humans.

Regal absolutely loves going to the dog park. He will wear himself out on the car ride over from excitement. But when we get there, he could care less about the dogs. At the dog park, he gets to interact with his kind, the humans. He puts on his biggest smile, and trots up to every human he sees. Most of them reinforce his behavior and give him pets, so we don’t blame him for caring less about the dogs. We think if Regal could describe the dog park in 10 words or less he would say, “It’s for playing with my humans and meeting new ones.”

Regal at the dog park – as far away from other dogs as possible.

4. When he’s scared, he hides.

Just as a toddler would hide under their comforter, Regal hides under the bed. He thinks if you can’t see him, he’s safe. His other favorite hiding spot is the bathtub, in which he scares many of our house guests!

5. He doesn’t like to eat his vegetables.

We have saved the best reasoning for last! This is probably our favorite story of Regal, because it’s how we can best show you his human qualities. While grilling bone-in steaks on the Big Green Egg and roast some broccoli in the oven. When we sat down for dinner, we tossed Regal a few fatty pieces from the steak. When we tried to slip in a piece of broccoli, Regal spit it out, and growled at us. (Spoiled brat, we know.) Melissa scolded him, “You can’t have any more steak until you eat that broccoli.” Regal shoulders slumped, his tail tucked between his legs, and he retreated to the bathtub. He didn’t reappear until dinner was done and cleaned up. It definitely felt like we were dealing with a toddler!

What do you think? Dog or human?


We don’t care either way! I mean how could you not love this sweet face? Even it reflects dissociative identity disorder?

I’m sure this won’t be our only post on this topic, but we’re glad we could give you at least five reasons how Regal has taken on human-like qualities.

What does your dog do that makes you question his or her species?

Let us know!