Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thoughts for my old labby.....

Beau has been with me for the last 8 years.  I adopted him from a local shelter.  It was hard to tell his age as his teeth were in bad shape from rock chewing.  Best guess, he was 5ish.  So, my old boy is now 13ish...  It is getting close to that time where we will have to make a decision for my old boy.  We had all hoped he would make it to Christmas this year, as it is his favorite holiday!!  He did, and had a great one!
Tonight, Beau was different.  Not as chatty, a little more limpy, and for the first time ever, I saw sadness in his eyes.  I do not claim to know a lot about anything, but I do know dogs.....  My big love came over to me while we were all playing "Don't Spill the Beans", breathed a heavy sigh and laid down in my lap.  I stroked his head and hugged him.  He groaned and sighed.  He looked up at me with his sad eyes, and my eyes welled with tears...  It was as if to say "Mom, Christmas was wonderful, but it is time".
I held him and cried.  My daughter cried.  My husband cried.  The other three dogs came an laid with us (there is never that much calm in my house!).  The discussion with my 5 year old hit a new level tonight. Beau is her favorite and she is heartbroken.
So, please send some good thoughts to my good, old labby.  We will be seeing if there are any other options at this point, but he will not suffer.  He has been an amazing old friend.  Loving, kind and funny.  Taking care of his needs is the very least I can do for everything that old boy has done for me.....
Beau putting up with the new bulldog puppy, 4 years ago!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sorry, Mom

When Bruno was younger, he went EVERYWHERE with me.  I was on the local fire department, and he even went on calls with me!  On one call, Bruno waited in my truck for me to return.  When I got back to the station Bruno was so excited to see me!!  I walked over to the truck to bring him inside and he was bounding everywhere.  I heard the distinct "Click" of the door locking!!!!  When parking at the firehouse, we left our keys in the car in case our vehicles needed to be moved.....
There stood Bruno, locked in the truck, baying at the top of his lungs!!  We tried everything to get the truck unlocked, with no luck.  I had to call my Dad to go get my keys and come to the firehouse.  Bruno jumped and howled for about half an hour until we broke him free!  He jumped out and wiggled his way to the firehouse, happy to greet everyone!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to all!

As I sit, getting ready to go to sleep on this wonderful Christmas Eve; I am surrounded...  Surround by love.  Surrounded by 1 old, minature beagle, with whom I have now spent 12 Christmas Eves with.  He has been there when many have not.  He has given me the true meaning of Christmas - unconditional love.

I am surrounded by a very large mastiff, who is snoring and exhausted from stealing a very large piece of beef tonight.  She ran outside with it and gulped it down.  She came back inside, sheepishly wagging her tail, as if to say "sorry, but thanks, it was good!"

I am surrounded by a very old black lab, who has given me nothing but joy and love since I adopted him 8 years ago.  A loyal, loving boy, who laid on the floor with my daughter tonight, both excited for Christmas.

I am surrounded by a farting bulldog...  Perhaps not such a lovely Christmas thought, but he is a lovely dog.  He was the hit of our Christmas party last night and really made people smile.

So here I am, in the midst of dogs, thinking about the true meaning of the season.  I all I ever need to do is look to these four heros and I have found the spirit and love of the holiday season.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good (and less stinky) night!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Unconditional Love

So, this post is not about my current dogs, but ones I grew up with.  Valentine (a golden), Tank (a golden) and Crash (a lab mix).  This time of year reminds me of my Mom, who passed away 14 years ago.  She loved the holidays!  LOVED Christmas.  SO I always think her of her a little it more than usual this time of year.
My Mom and I always had a "date" for Wednesday nights to watch "Beverly Hills, 90210".  I worked for a treatment center and usually called Mom during lunch.  One particular Wednesday, the boys were acting up and I could not get away.  So, I waited until I got home to talk to her.  When I got home, it was eerily quiet.  Usually, I would be greeted by barks and tail wags.  I pulled in and heard nothing...
I went into the house, still quiet.  I heard the TV downstairs on "snow" with that loud humming sound.  I called to my Mom and got no response.  I looked downstairs, and my Mom had died.  Laying in the room we called "the pit".....  She had a heart attack.  As sad and painful as it all was, she was surrounded...  All three dogs were with her.  Laying by her side.  One had a toy, the other had a ball, the third just laid with her.  I remember the faces that I saw when they looked up at me; so sad, so peaceful....  I can't prove it, but I am certain they were with her all afternoon.  Once they knew it was ok to leave her side, they began comforting me and continued to do so for many years.
Dogs are wonderful.  Dogs are amazing.  Dogs are unconditional love defined.......  May your dogs give you peace, joy and love on your worst days.... and your best days!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

There is something about Lou...

I was reading a magazine about bulldogs today...   I began to think about Louie and what a wonderful companion he has become.  I will give it to you straight - Louie is disgusting.  He burps.  He farts.  He is constantly dirty.  He drools more water on the floor than he gets in the house.  But, Louie is the kindest, sweetest, most loving dog I have ever met.
Louie loves his people.  Actually, he loves all people, unless they are infringing on his house or HIS people!  I have recently changed jobs (to a dream job), which has allowed me more time with my family and my dogs.  I am now able to take my daughter to school every morning.  Louie has decided that this is his job too!  It started about a week ago as a power struggle between the two of us.  We were running late for school.  I opened the gate to go to the garage and Louie bolted past me and ran downstairs.
"No, Lou.  Come Lou.  Please come Lou, I don't have time for this."  He looked at me and sat!
"Louie, get your butt up here NOW!!"  Nope.  He wanted us to take him...  Well, after several minutes, I won.  Lou stayed home.  The next day, we were even later for school!  I opened the gate, Lou bolted.  This time he went all the way downstairs.  I followed, cursing...  When I came around the corner, there was Louie, shaking, wiggling and smiling!  He was sooooooo excited and wanted to go.  Lou won this one.
Since that day Louie has accompanied us to school in the morning, and sometimes in the afternoons for pick up.  It makes him so happy.  It makes my daughter and I giggle, and start our morning off in a great mood!  Yesterday, Louie got to come into the classroom with us!  I have never seen a dog so excited!  I really thought he was going to come out of his skin!!  The kids loved Louie.  Louie loved the kids!  Louie is now the talk of kindergarten!
The morale of the story - Louie may be gross, he may be stinky.....  but he makes anyone he meets smile.  He makes me happy.  He continues to teach me the true definition of unconditional love!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The second incident at the vet.....

Bruno had been staying at the vet for a few weeks.  He was still barely eating and drinking little water.  The weekend was coming.  No one staffed the vet's office on Sundays, so we were prepared to bring Bruno home on Saturday and take care of him.  I was going to have to give him shots, IV fluids and medications.  I was prepared, and thought being home might be good for him.
I was told on Saturday that "she" did not want Bruno to be released and "she" wanted him to stay at the office over the weekend.  Again, I had to advocate for my little man.  I was pissed that "she" wanted to keep him in the office, on Sunday, when NO ONE would be there.  If something went wrong, they would not find Bruno until Monday morning, when it could be too late.  If he came home, we would be with him and ready to do something if needed.
Bruno came home.  He was so sick.  He was so exhausted.  But he was happy to be home!  I took vital signs every hour.  I gave him fluids through a needle 4 times a day.  I gave him shots every few hours....  He did well on Saturday.  On Sunday, he took a downhill turn.  He began to vomit.  We decided he need to go to the doggie emergency room.  When we got there, I explained everything to the vet.  The vet gave Bruno a heavy duty medication that the owner of my regular clinic refused to buy or give.  It turned out to be a miracle drug!  Bruno began to feel better!!  He started to eat and drink small amounts on his own.
I called Dr. Lynne on the way home and she was as excited as I was!!  She called the emergency vet the next day and order some of the miracle drug for Bruno.  He was showing signs of hope!!  We continued to go back to the clinic, EVERYDAY for a couple of months.  He was getting ultra sounds weekly to look at the pus pockets (the ultra sound doc did not make us pay for many of them, as we were already racking up a huge medical bill).  I was still giving him shots and heavy duty anitbiotics and taking his vital signs frequently.
Then it happened....  About 6 months after that awful night that Bruno was taken into surgery, we had another ultra sound.  Dr. Lynne, Dr. Dawn, the ultra sound doc, the front office and of course Bruno, my daughter and I were nervous!!  We went into the ultra sound room and flipped the little guy on his side.  She began to check the area where the largest and most stubborn pus pocket had formed.  The room was so quiet...  But wait, she couldn't find it!!!  IT WAS GONE!!!!!!  Bruno was completely healed!!!!  I couldn't believe it!  The vets couldn't believe it, the office couldn't believe it.  HE WAS HEALED!!!  We all had tears in our eyes!  Bruno was a fighter and he had won this battle!
Almost three years later, I sit here typing, with my 12 year old buddy, Bruno, laying next to me.  What a blessing!  He was like a new dog when he finally felt better.  No more blockage, no more pancreatitis, no more infections!  For the first time since my husband and I had been together, he saw Bruno play!!  That blocked intestine had been causing Bruno a great deal of problems for many years.  We just didn't know how bad until he was all better!
There are so many people to thank for helping Bruno get through this....  Dr. Lynne, you are amazing!  I am so glad we met that night, so is Bruno!!!  Dr. Dawn, you, too are amazing!  You have been such a wonderful vet for so many years, and you finally got that nose lick you always wanted!!!!!  The office staff, the techs, the ultra sound doc, my family and the community for all being there - to listen, to let me cry, to hug me!  You guys are ALL AMAZING!!!  Each and everyone of you have been a blessing to us, and we have our Bruno Bear to prove it!!  THANK YOU!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The incident at the vet....

I can't remember exactly the timeline of when this occurred, but I believe it was shortly after we figured out Bruno had pancreatitis....  I went in just before closing one night to check on Bruno and get an update from Dr. Lynne.  Dr. Lynne seemed a little off, a little upset.  I asked her what what wrong.  The conversation went something like this....

Lynne "As of tonight, I am off Bruno's case".
Me "Excuse me"?
Lynne "I was told I am no longer allowed to treat Bruno"
Me "The hell you are.  Where is she"?

"She" was the owner of the clinic.  "She" had never impressed me.  "She" had always rubbed me the wrong way...  The ONLY reason I took my dogs to her clinic was because of Dr. Dawn!  and now, Dr. Lynne as well.

The office called "her" so I could speak to her.  I was pissed!  My baby, Bruno, had been saved by Dr. Lynne.  She and Dr. Dawn were the only people who were allowed to treat my animals.  Period.  I explained this to the owner.  "She" told me that she was the owner and asked is she got any credit???  Ummmmm, no.  "She" did nothing for any of my dogs.  I met her once and immediately did not like her.  I explained to her that my dog's treatment was MY decision, not hers; and that my decision was that Dr. Lynne and Dr. Dawn would be the only vets touching Bruno.  I explained to her that she rubbed me the wrong way the first time I had met her and that I did not like her.  I told her that because of me, MANY people came to her clinic to see Dr. Dawn.  I explained those people could easily leave as well.  I WAS FURIOUS!!!!!!!  Bruno was my dog, my family.  The conversation did not go well for the high and mighty owner....  I hung up and walked out to the waiting room, where the entire staff was waiting.  I simply said, "Lynne, you and Dr. Dawn will be continuing to treat Bruno".  Enough said.
I spent some more time with Bruno and went home that night, feeling a little more hopeful, as I had just won a big fight for my buddy!

Bruno is sick, the saga continued....

I went back to visit Bruno the next day.  There was no improvement.  Actually, it was getting worse.  He was refusing to eat.  He was starting to refuse water.  Again, I laid with him and talked to him.  No wags, no licks, nothing but sad, sad eyes....  I gave him my finger with water on it and he licked a tiny bit.
Everyday that week, I went back with multiple jars of baby food and canned dog foods.  I would try everything until he ate..  FINALLY, he took some after I wiped it on his nose!!!  Dr. Lynne, Dr. Dawn and I were all so excited!!!  I usually came at lunch and Dr. Lynne would sit with us.  She was amazing!  She was so patient, kind and meticulous.  I am so grateful that we had her and Dr. Dawn taking care of our little guy!
He continued the high dose antibiotics.  He started eating for me, a little bit everyday.  I was beginning to see a little bit of hope!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bruno is sick Part III

Bruno was in the hospital for a week.  He wouldn't eat.  He stopped drinking.  I visited everyday.  I would lay on the floor with him and pet him and cry.  Occasionally he would lick my nose.  I would bring him a different flavor of canned food or baby food everyday.  Nothing worked.  They decided to do an ultra sound to see why he wasn't eating and why he was so depressed.  The news wasn't good...
He had several "pus pockets" in his intestines.  He had an infection.  On top of that, he had pancreatitis.  As if the surgery wasn't enough, the poor guy was now super, super sick.  Massive, high dose antibiotics began.  Could this get any worse?
I remembered the first day I met him and what an awesome dog and companion he had been.  I began to face the painful reality that Bruno may not make it through this awful ordeal.  I sobbed the whole way home that night.  I got home and sat on the floor with my other dogs and cried and cried.  I explained to my little girl that Bruno was very sick and I was not sure if he would ever come home from the hospital.  She sat down and cried with me...  I would go back tomorrow and talk to Bruno about his possible fate....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bruno is sick part II

The next day, I went to the vet's office to check on my beagle bear....  He looked awful!  He looked sad.  He perked up a tiny bit when he saw me....  I even got a tail wag and nose kiss!  I got to sit on the floor of the room and visit with him for a while.  He cuddled up on a blanket next to me and slept.  We layed there for an hour.  It was so heartbreaking!
I talked to Dr. Lynne, and she said that Bruno had a long road ahead of him.  He had just undergone major surgery, and recovery would be tough.  He wasn't eating or drinking yet.  That would be the first of many hurdles for Bruno....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mommy's sick

Forgive me for not blogging....  I have had an awful migraine for the lasy 2 days...  I will say that the essence of unconditional love is found in a dog...  When I came home in tears, all 4 of my brood were waiting with hugs and tail wags.  They have spent the last 2 days in bed with me.  Occassionally licking me to make sure I was ok!  I'm lucky to have them.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Oh my God, Bruno is sick.... part 1

Bruno is my baby.  I got him when I was single.  I have grown up with him.  He has been through happiness, sorrow and life with me.  I adore him.....  He has always had belly issues...  He had been vomitting for a couple of hours and it was Friday, so I thought I would take him to get checked before the weekend....  My whole weekend was about to change drastically.
Our normal vet, Dr. Dawn, who is AMAZING, was not in.  So they asked if I would mind seeing Dr. Lynne, Who I had not yet met.  I said sure, I was sure it wasn't anything major, he always pukes.  So we got there.  Dr. Lynne did an exam and said just to be safe, she would like to do an xray.  I thought sure, he's my baby, just to be safe.  I had an instant connection with Lynne.  They took my buddy back for the xray...
Bruno came back and we sat and waited.  I figured they would say "pepcid and bland diet".  Dr Lynne came back.  The conversation went something like this....

Lynne "Bruno has a blockage.  He needs surgery immediately".
Me, "Ummmm, what?"
Lynne, "He has a complete bowel obstruction.  I need to take him into surgery, now."
Me, "Ummmm, uh ok, go"

She took my little buddy.  I was in shock.  I was in tears.  I got up and walked out numb.  They said they would call.  She said it would take about an hour.  I had to go home, without Bruno and tell my husband and little girl.  This was turning out to be a very horrible start to the weekend!
I waited an hour.  Nothing.  An hour and half....  two hours....  I was on facebook and saw that one of the vet tech's was online.  I begged her to call and find out what was going on.  She did.  They were still working on him!!!  OM MY GOD.....  Finally, the phone rang.  I think it was about 3 1/2 hours later...  Lynne told me he was out of surgery, but he had a long way to go.  His entire intestine was blocked, everywhere....  by gobs and gobs of hair!!!  Bruno had always been a licker, so it was probably 10 years of hair.  Dr. Lynne said she had removed all of the hair, and his intestine, and rinsed it 7 times!!  Tonight would be a long night for him.  My first love, had a very long road ahead of him....  I didn't sleep at all that night, or many more to come.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Butter Braid Incident....

This is the incident that finally caused me to blog about the dogs.  We bought some butter braids for a school fundraiser.  You know, the frozen, yeast filled, dough breakfast pastries??  They need to rise for at least 8 hours before cooking.  So, I put one out on Friday evening to enjoy on Saturday morning.  My husband was playing poker that night.  Christa and I went upstairs to get ready for bed.
I went downstairs to get a snack for Christa.  I walked into the kitchen and there was a very empty cookie sheet.  No butter braid to be found....  Oh My God....  It was still frozen!!!!!  I looked around to make sure I hadn't "misplaced" it.  Then I saw Diva....  She looked very guilty.  I said "What did you do"?  She ran outside.
I began to think about yeast rising, in her stomach.  I got worried.  So, I called the emergency vet and the animal poison control.  Both said watch her, but it could be VERY serious.  Butter braids can apparently expand 10 times in a dogs stomach!  Who knew!?!?!  In addition, the yeast ferments and they can get alcohol poisoning!!  I was told to watch her carefully, give her ice cubes and gas x.  So, off we go to the store.  Godiva, Christa in feet pajamas and me, to buy gas x!!!
By the time we got home from the store, Diva looked really sick, and she was expanding!!!  Off we went to the emergency vet!  We got there and Diva still looked pretty crummy.  She was also VERY nervous.  Diva does NOT like the vet!!!
Into a room we go.  The vet comes in and I begin telling her the story.  She explains about the expansion and alcohol poisoning.  All this time, Diva is freaking out!  Trying to hide from the vet, under me and under the bench.  The vet then tells me that she will need to induce vomitting immediately.  At the same time, Godiva stands up, and pukes THE ENTIRE BUTTER BRAID, onto the floor!!!  It smelled like beer and had already started to expand.
I stood up, shook the vet's hand and said "thank you, it was very nice to meet you".  Really???  Only my dog!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Louie and the cardiologist

Louie, my daughter and I arrived at the cardiologist.  He wiggled and rolled for everyone he met.  He stole everyone's heart at the hospital.
He had an exam, which he was extremely wiggly for!  The doctor agreed that he had spontaneous, pulmonary hypertension, which caused him to stopped breathing and for his heart to stop.  She explained that bulldogs occassionally had issues with this, as they have a short snout and small nasal passages.  She said if nothing was done, he could get worse and eventually die from it.  She suggested that he have surgery to help him breathe better and open his airway to alleviate the problem.  I agreed, and asked if they could neuter him while he was under, too!
A few days later, we headed back to the hospital.  Louie was still his wiggly self and everyone adored him!  They took him back....  I watched with tears in my eyes.  I was so nervous.  A few minutes later, the tech came back and asked if I wanted to watch the surgery. So, my daughter and I decided to watch.
I was worried that Christa would freak out watching the surgery, but she was excited. We walked in and behind the glass, there was Louie, with a tube in his mouth, lying on his back. They cut and pulled and prodded. I kept watching the monitors to make sure he was doing ok. His vital signs remained good throughout the surgery. They finished up and came out to talk to us. All had gone perfectly!!!! We waited until he woke up to snuggle with him n
He was so happy to see us and Soooo wiggly! We were making him to excited so we had to leave. We came back to pick him up the next day. He was doing great!!! 3 years later, he is still doing great!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What a strange place to sleep!

As I was walking downstairs, I looked over the railing into the kitchen, as I always do...  I saw something large and black ON the kitchen table.  I did a double take....
There, sleeping on the kitchen table, was a large black lab!!!  My Beau....  When I came downstairs and asked him what he was doing, he just jumped down and went on his merry way!  Some days, I really wish they could talk!

A bit too big to be sleeping on the kitchen table!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Louie has a death wish....

It was time for Louie to get neutered.  We didn't feed hi after midnight.  We headed to the vet and he was super excited to be going on a ride!  We arrived at the vet's and wished Louie good luck!  They said his surgury would start around 11am.  They would call when he was all done.

I used to work for a vet, so I know how long a neuter generally takes.  I didn't expect to hear from anyone until at least noon.  The phone rang at 11:10, I saw it was the vet....  I answered the phone "What's wrong?".  Dr. Dawn, our amazing vet said, "Laurie, Louie just stopped breathing on the table, we are trying to get him back.  I knew you'd want to know.".  That was it...  I hung up the phone and began to sob.  Louie had already won our hearts in the short time we had known him.  I had to explain, in kid terms, to my daughter (then 2) why I was crying.  I had to call my husband.  Joe got very choked up when I told him.  We all sat around and waited, not so patiently, for the next phone call.
About an hour later, the phone rang.  I was preparing myself for the worst....  Dr. Dawn said, "Laurie, we got him back!  But he is not neutered..."  I was so pleased!  What a huge relief.  This was when we learned of all the potential bulldog issues...
We went to pick the little stinker up and Dr. Dawn told us we should go see a specialist - a cardiologist!!!  Really, we have a dog that needs a cardiology consult????  It was believed that Louie had spontaneous, pulmonary hypertension, which caused him to die on the surgery table....  Off we go to one, of only two dog cardiologists in Colorado!!  

Sunday, October 31, 2010


My daughter got to trick or treat twice this year.  The first was at her school's "Trunk or Treat"  She filled her bucket and her witches hat that night.  She put both, filled with candy, in her room for safe keeping.
When getting ready tonight, for Halloween, we couldn't find her witches hat...  We all looked at Diva.  Then we went outside...
There was the witches hat - SHREDDED into pieces, and no candy in sight.  Diva had eaten all of the candy, and the witches hat.  We had to run to the store to find a new witches hat before Trick or Treating tonight.
When we got home, Christa had a HUGE bag filled with candy.  She looked at Diva and said "You've already had your Halloween candy".
Happy Halloween!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

And then, there was Louie!

For some reason, I decided that English Bulldogs were cute.  We had a baby, 3 dogs and a lot on our plates.  I really didn't "need" another dog.  I knew that....  But still, I continued to read about bulldogs.  So, I asked Joe if he wanted to go look at some.  Just look.....
We all packed up the car and went to "look".  There were 2 there and the white one was ADORABLE!!!!  We asked to hold him and play with him....  oops.  Our daughter was a little afraid of him, but then he licked her.  I looked at Joe with MY puppy dog face.  We left with the adorable little bulldog!!
When we brought him home, we had a heck of a time with a name.  Originally he had a pretty boring name (I don't recall what it was now).  The next day I took him to the vet for his first vet check up.  He was a holy terror in the car!!!!  I called Joe and told him I was changing his name....  to Lucifer!!!  It fit.  Now, we only call him Lucifer  when he is naughty.  At all other times, he is lovingly know as Louie.
Louie is the sweetest, gentlest, stinkiest, grossest, and so ugly he's cute dog that I have ever know.  His personality is bigger than life!  He has provided us much laughter and stories over the years.  Louie is now 4 years old and still a big goof!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Here we have a chewer.....

As we got to know Lady Godiva (lovingly known as Diva), we also learned her bad habits.  We found that she enjoyed chewing....  anything!
Diva has eaten many, many things, including a cell phone, an i-pod, several remote controls and anything she can find on the counter.  When Christa was really getting mobile, she was in between the high chair and sitting at the table...  We couldn't decide if we should get rid of the high chair or not, so Diva made the decision for us!  We caught her chewing on the wooden high chair a couple of times, and scolded her.
One day, we went on a short trip to the grocery store.  When we came home, Diva had helped us with our high chair decision.  She had eaten ENTIRELY through 2 of the bottom rungs.  The high chair was no longer stable or safe.  As Joe went to take it down to the garage, he looked at Diva.  She looked back with an expression on her face, as if to say, "Christa is too big for that Dad"!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

And then there was Diva....

I am not sure exactly what we were thinking when we got Lady Godiva....  We had a newborn baby and 2 dogs, so naturally, we should add a puppy to the mix, right?
Joe and I were shopping and I was showing our beautiful baby (3 months old), puppies.  My husband, who, in case you have forgotten, was NOT a dog guy prior to meeting me, went missing.  We looked around and I finally heard "Honey, she wants to come home with us".  I turn around to see Joe, holding a 3 month old mastiff puppy! She was waving her paw at me...  She was very cute, but I had a baby and was EXHAUSTED!!  Joe explained to me that our daughter needed a puppy to grow up with and a LARGE dog to protect her.  Odd as it was, I said no.  The puppy, and Joe gave me a puppy eyed look.  I said let's go to lunch and talk about it.
We ate.  We talked....  I caved....  We went back and brought Lady Godiva home.  Her birthday is 5 days after my daughter.  What in God's name was I thinking????

  She came home and made FAST friends with Bruno, Beau and Christa.  She has become an excellent watchdog, protector and friend to the entire family....

Mom, I feel for you....

About 2 years after Joe and I were married, I got pregnant.   I think Bruno and Beau knew before I did.  They went from climbing all over me, all the time, to carefully avoiding my belly at all costs!  They helped with the new baby laundry.
Bruno "helping" with baby laundry
They helped with the painting.  They helped with the crib.  They took naps, LOTs of naps, with me!
I had a really rough pregnancy filled with LOTS and LOTS of sickness.  The only thing I could keep down were tomatoes and TUMs!!!  We were at Costco one day and I decided the industrial size bottle of TUMs was necessary!
A few weeks later, we returned home from errands....  My industrial sized bottle of Tums was opened and EMPTY on the floor!!  Bruno is a very picky eater, so I knew it was Beau...
Yet another eating related phone call to the vet...  She asked me if they were Tums with calcium, uh, yes they were.  "Laurie bring him in".  Shit, really, again?????
Beau was acting fine, and of course, still begging.  They drew his blood and sent it out.  Calcium can apparently, really screw a dog up!  Well, most dogs.  Not Beau.  He was FINE.  No trace of anything or any problems.  Geez, this dog can eat anything!!

A couple of months later we were blessed with a beautiful little girl.  When we brought her home, Beau and Bruno welcomed her immediately.  Beau would lay outside of her room and Bruno next to her crib. They remain very protective of her to this day, 5 years later!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Bread Bandit...

Joe was watching TV and I was getting ready for work.  I cam out of the bedroom and kissed him goodbye.  I pet Bruno and Beau and of I went.  Joe was still sitting on the couch when I closed the garage door.  Apparently, Beau thought that we had left together.
Beau walked into the kitchen and jumped on the counter.  He took an entire loaf of bread off of the counter and walked into the den (where Joe was sitting).  He saw Joe, forcefully spit out the loaf of bread and walked out of the room.
Oops, didn't know you were still home, Daddy.....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

He ate what?!?!?!

Beauregard is a garbage gut.  He has been since the day I met him.  He will eat ANYTHING!!!  He has been know to eat coffee grounds, raw ground beef, bread, meatloaf and the list goes on and on...
Wedding plans were in full swing!!!  We were getting married in 2 weeks.  We were so excited and Bruno and Beau knew something was up...
We had 200 guests coming to the wedding and I had decided to make all of the center pieces and favors myself.  I had finished the center pieces - beautiful candles, and I was almost done with the favors.  I was making 200, chocolate filled, organza bags.  They took me weeks to finish and they looked beautiful!  I had special ordered the chocolate (and it was delicious!).  I had FINALLY finished all of the favors.  Off I went to a dress fitting!
I arrived home full of happiness and excitement.  I walked up the stairs and saw wrappers all over the floor.  I looked down the hallway, they were everywhere.  HOLY SH**..... the chocolates!!!  I ran into the room where the favors had been.  They were all, yes all 200, destroyed!  I looked at the dogs, Bruno was wagging and Beau bent his head and ran away.  I didn't know whether to be mad or worried, as Beau had just eaten several pounds of chocolate!
I called my vet (who is an angel!!) and she said make him vomit and watch him.  The stinker didn't even have a stomach ache and was begging for his dinner shortly there after!
I was left rushing to Hobby Lobby to buy more bags and rush order more expensive chocolate!  Happy Wedding!!  Really Beau???

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The day the dogs went missing.....

Joe and I had been dating for 6 months.  I had planned to surprise him after work and take him for a romantic getaway...  He was planning on proposing!
Since I had to work,  Joe stopped by my house to take care of Bruno and Beau.  I was sitting at work and the phone rang.  I saw it was Joe, so I answered quickly.  This is how the conversation went....

Joe "The dogs are gone"
Me "What do you mean, the dogs are gone?????"
Joe "The ran under the fence.  They are gone"
Me "Go find them"

I still had 3 hours to go on my shift.   I sat there, feeling helpless.  I became restless.  The tears started to come.  I left work and headed home.  On my way home, I called my Dad and step-mom and my brother.  Everyone was out looking for them.
Joe called and told me Beau was home.  He came home on his own.  I asked about Bruno, my first baby...  No sign of him.  My heart sunk, I began to sob.  We all continued to look for several hours and we did not find Bruno.  I was so relieved that I had asked Joe to put their collars on...  the collars never got on....  This was the angriest Joe had ever (and to this day has ever) seen me.
We went inside and I opened the back door and turned on the porch light, thinking that would help Bruno find his way home.  I even put hot dogs on the grill hoping to entice him home.  I laid on the couch with Beau all night, hoping, praying and staring at the door.
Bruno was out in the mountains, with the wildlife and highways.  He was only 18 pounds.  He didn't have a chance.  But that didn't stop me from hoping.  The next day I made many, HUGE, bright signs.  My Dad and step-mom offered to put up half of a huge reward.  I put posters EVERYWHERE!  I posted it on the computer, I called vets, I called shelters....  no Bruno, anywhere...
And then, the calls started coming in - frequently.  There were many Bruno sightings.  Everytime someone would call, my ENTIRE family would rush out of the house to look for him.  He was never there...  and then the calls stopped.  It had been almost 2 weeks and we hadn't heard from anyone for a while.  I was sure he was gone for good.  Beau was, too.  He was so upset about his buddy, that he made himself sick and ended up in the ER with an ulcer!!!  He had to spend the night in the ER.  So, I went home to an empty house, without a single snuggle buddy.
Early the next morning, the phone rang.  I was sure Beau had gotten worse, or even died during the night.  This phone call went like this:

Me "Hello?"
Caller "I found your dog"
Me "OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!?????????  REALLY???????  WHERE ARE YOU?????"
Caller "At the school"

I hung up the phone and rushed to get dressed.  I then realized, I had not asked WHICH school!!??!!??!! I drove to the junior high, where there had been Bruno sightings.  I pulled up into the circle drive at the front and 2 men came out of the door, followed by a small and very tired beagle!!!!!  I was so happy to see Bruno!  I cried and cried and thanked the men.  I was so excited I never even asked where he was or how long they had him!  Bruno looked great!  He only had a tiny scratch on his back paw!  And he looked very, very tired.
We went home, I called, and woke up, my dad to tell him.  He was just as happy!  While we talked, Bruno searched for Beau, who was not home.  Bruno was sad, so I had to tell him the good news that happened while he was gone.  Joe and Mommy were getting married!!  He was going to have a Daddy! He wagged his tail and then we both passed out in my bed!
Later that day, I took Bruno to the ER to see Beau.  Beau perked right up, as did Bruno.  Beau was released the next day!  We all began the wedding plans!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Who the hell is this guy???

By 2002, I had given up on love and the hope of ever finding the perfect mate.  Then I met him....  Joe lost a bet and had to take me to dinner...  We were inseparable after that.  I had a previous relationship where I was asked to move in with someone.  In the same sentence, I was told, "you can't bring your dog" (I should have known then).  So, I told Joe that if he was interested in me, he needed to be interested in my dogs, too!
Joe was not a big dog guy when we met!!!  He would come over and Beau would talk to him.  Bruno, however, would turn his nose up at him.
Joe would offer to walk the dogs....  Beau would go, Bruno would not.  Joe would say "Come", Bruno would go the other way.  Joe would feed them, Bruno wouldn't eat.
Bruno made it very clear that there was not room in his world for someone who would take his Mommy's attention away.  Little did he know, he would grow to love Joe....  eventually...

Why won't Bruno grow??

I took Bruno to his third or fourth vet check up.  He just wasn't growing.  He was eating, drinking and thriving.  but he wasn't growing.
The vet examined him and said he looked great.  He was a healthy beagle.

I asked the vet, "why isn't he growing"?
The vet scratched his head and responded, "Laurie, he must be a minature beagle".....
I paused, and then replied, "I didn't know they came in minature"!!
He said, "Apparently, they do"...

Bruno is 12 years old and still weighs only 18 pounds.  If it weren't for the gray, he would still look like a puppy!

Monday, October 11, 2010

And then there was Beau....

Several years after Bruno, my roommate got a new job and was moving away.  I decided Bruno needed a friend to keep him company while I was at work.  I went to the local shelter and found an australian shepard puppy.  He was adorable.  I took him home to meet Bruno...  The meeting did not go well.  The puppy bit Bruno three times in the first hour.  Bruno was scared.  I took the puppy back to the shelter.  I left in tears, no friend for Bruno.
Over the next few weeks, I would check out the shelter's website and would always be disappointed.  Until one day....  It was a Sunday morning and I rolled out of bed.  I checked my email in my jammies.  I decided to look at the shelter's website.  There he was - "Bo"....  a handsome black lab, that someone dumped.  I called them to see if he was still available.  The lady remembered me and told me he was still there, but a couple was coming in an hour to meet him!
I raced around the house, putting on acceptable clothes.  I didn't do my hair.  It looked as if I had come out of a tornado, and the tornado won!  I hopped in my car and flew to the shelter.
I met "Bo" and fell in love.  He nudged me and "spoke".  He even "sat handsome".  I was told he had been a rock chewer, so it was hard to judge his age by his teeth.  They thought he was around 5.  I decided to bring him home for another meet with Bruno.
I was nervous, "Bo" was excited.  I opened the door to the house and Bruno ran out....  He sniffed "Bo", "Bo" sniffed him.  Bruno welcomed him into his home and showed him around.  The have been best friends for the last 7 years!
I changed "Bo's" name to Beauregard (Beau).  A bit more distinguished and original.  It also made it easy for him to know his name.
I soon found out that poor Beau had been through a lot.  Probably dumped by his family, for whatever awful reason.  He didn't have food, so he ate rocks.  He was literally skin and bones when he came to live with us.  His now silky, black coat was dirty, ratty and brown.  The most heartbreaking moment was when Beau had an xray.  We found out that Beau had been shot!!  The poor guy still has several BBs in his body today.
Beau is getting older, he turns 12 this month.  To this day, he has been goofy, loving and wonderful.  He has won the heart of our daughter, who says "I never want old Beau Beau to go to heaven"...  Neither do I....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Meet Bruno....

Twelve years ago, I was living in an apartment, with a hamster...  I missed my dogs.  It was Christmas time and my brother and I went to the mall to shop.  As always, I insisted on going to the pet store to get my fill of puppies.
When we walked in, there was an adorable little beagle in the center, wanting to be held.  I picked him up and he kissed me, with his wonderful puppy breath.  I left him there, tears in my eyes, a wag in his tail....
My grandfather sent me a check for Christmas that year.  My best friend, Jenny, and I went to the mall to spend some of my gift.  As usual, we went to the pet store.  Unbeknownst to Jenny, this time, I was looking for someone.  I walked up and down the aisle, searching....  Jenny asked me what I was looking for.  I told her a beagle.  She said, "Well there is a beagle in the front window"!
I raced to the front of the store....  there he was, my little beagle friend!  I asked to hold him, even as Jenny said, "Nooooooooooooooo, don't hold him"!  I held him.
I hugged him and snuggled him; and then it happened...  He kissed my nose.  I was done.  I heard myself saying, "I'll take him".  Did I mention, my apartment did not allow dogs???
His first scary encounter happened shortly after meeting me...  I had to work that night, so we just headed to Jenny's house, which was near work.  When we got there, with the adorable, tiny, 8 week old beagle, Jenny's malamute tried to eat him!!  Poor little guy.
That night, he went to work with me.  I kept him in a cardboard box under my console.  I was a 911 operator.  As I was bending over to pet him, I keyed my microphone (not knowing).  I began to say things like "you are so cute", "I love you" and "I am so happy you are mine".  All of these went over the airwaves to all of the cops I was dispatching!  After giving me a hard time, they all came in and said similar things to my new best friend.
I named him "Brunobear, the beagleman".  He is now known to all as my beloved Bruno...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


This blog was created on behalf of my 4 crazy, lovable dogs, who are constantly providing stories for me and my family and friends.  My best friend suggested I begin blogging about my crazy group after an incident involving a butter braid...  I have been a dog lover as long for as long as I remember.  I was even voted "most likely to be arrested for having too many animals" my senior year in high school....

Let me introduce you to my brood:

"Brunobear, the beagleman" aka "Bruno"
Bruno is a 12 year old, minature beagle that has been with me longer than my husband or daughter.  With the exception of my parents, brother and a couple of great friends, I have had the longest relationship of my life with Bruno.  He is kind, sweet and excessively stubborn!

"Beauregard" aka "Beau"
Beau is an almost 12 year old (I think) black lab.  I rescued him almost 7 years ago when my roommate moved away and I thought Bruno needed a friend.  He is needy, mouthy and oh so sweet.  Prior to him living with me, he was a rock chewer and VERY skinny.  He is now fat and happy, minus the rocks!

"Lady Godiva" aka "Diva"
Diva is a beautiful, 5 year old mastiff.  She was my husband's pick, very shortly after the birth of our daughter.  My husband thought our infant daughter needed a big watchdog in her life.  Diva is 5 days younger than my daughter (what were we thinking!!)

and then there is "Lucifer" aka "Louie"
Louie is a 4 year old english bulldog.  He is stubborn, feisty, disgusting and truly the sweetest dog I have ever met!  We got him because he was "cute".  He initially had a different, less descriptive name, until I rode in the car with him on the way to his first vet check up....

So, that's my gang.  They are a diverse, eclectic group that provides me with much joy, laughter and frustration every day!