Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Shopping With The Dogs

Earlier this year my daughter bought me a pet stroller. I must say I was a little embarrassed to use it - at first. But it has come in very handy, especially at this time of the year. Seymour and Zooey go with me as much as possible. They enjoy the outings because first, they like to be with me but more importantly, they like to have new ground to sniff. They know I always take them for a walk after we shop. Often I carry Seymour in the sling and Zooey is in my arms, resting on Seymour.

That works fine most of the time but for the holidays especially, I need 2 hands to shop.
So, I have been bringing the stroller with me and have been surprised at the number of people who asked where I got it. Some said they had old dogs that couldn't walk well anymore and some just thought it was "cute". Many did a double take expecting to see a baby and instead they saw 2 dogs peaking out! I always like when that happens :)
For Christmas, I added some decorations to the stroller. Both dogs fit in it with room to spare. As you can see in the picture below, Seymour takes the front while Zooey is squeezed in the back. She doesn't seem to mind.

I am surprised how much I have been using this. I took them in JCP, Best Buy, Ace Hardware and TJ Maxx with no problem. Maybe as more places see that dogs aren't always a problem, they will loosen their "no dogs" restriction. I am a big believer in allowing dogs that are in carriers in most places. In carriers, they can't pee on things, or nip at anyone and they usually elicit more positive comments than negative. Little by little, I hope we can be a more dog friendly country.
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Another Reason I Love My Pets

It is a quiet Sunday morning with everyone cuddled on the couch. Zooey is chewing aggressively on her bone one minute and is asleep the next.

Seymour is sleeping under that blanket mound. All is right with our world.

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Outcome from Pet Costume Contest Number 2

We went to the Halloween Costume contest this afternoon. It was held at a local nursing home and the proceeds benefited Wags Rescue, a local rescue group here in Wimberley. I like it because the residents get to see and pet the dogs.

Seymour and Zooey got 2nd place, behind some cute dogs dressed as a Univ of Texas football player and cheer leaders. We couldn't compete with that! But I think these two looked adorable also.

Seymour gets a bit stressed around big dogs but overall, he did fine. They both came home and took naps; well, all three of us did! I hate to tell them that I just heard of another Pet Costume Contest at Chick Fil-A!
Update: We didn't go to anymore contests. There is always next year!

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Sorry my posts are not posting. For some reason BlogPress has decided not to work with my Blogspot account. Still trying to fix it.

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Location:Problems with BlogPress

Thursday, October 25, 2012

One More Pet Halloween Contest

I am going to be more prepared for the Pet Halloween Costume Contest coming up this weekend. No more toilet paper costumes. It is so great to have pets included in Halloween for those of us who don't have small children anymore. No, they don't get to actually get candy but those cute pets bring smiles to everyone's faces.

Seymour and Zooey will have a few different costumes from which it choose, but most will need a bit of alteration. Just like with women's clothes, a size doesn't necessarily mean it is the same measurements across companies. Zooey is usually an extra small and Seymour is a small. A few of the extra smalls fit Seymour and some are too small for Zooey. And you can't usually try them on in most stores, since stores like Target or Walmart don't allow dogs. When is that going to change? I still believe that if a dog is in a carrier, they should be allowed in stores. Most places in Europe allow dogs in stores and even eating establishments. Let's get progressive here!

Anyway, we will have pictures to post after the contest on Saturday.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Taking the Dogs to the Pet Parade

I didn't realize the Pet Parade was this early in October this year but decided to make a quick costume for Zooey - out of a doggie tee shirt and toilet paper! I used a some trim, a glue gun, some kind of white tape I found in my tool box and some double sided tape. I am just glad I didn't try to do this for my kids when they were young.

Seymour already had a surgeon costume, so I decided to make Zooey a nurse. I was going to be the patient with fake bloody gauze/ toilet paper around my head. This was going to be fun!

This morning, I gathered up our costumes, a roll of tape and headed to the parade to register. I put on the dogs costumes in the car and noticed that Zooey's toilet paper and tee costume looked much better in the house than in the bright sunlight. When I went to put the toilet paper strip around my head, I found that the roll of white tape I brought was actually plumbing tape - doesn't stick. Not sure why it was in my first aid box!

So, we finally were dressed and headed down to register for the parade. Seymour doesn't particularly like crowds, big dogs or music. Zooey is afraid of everything. I ended being the only pet owner who had to carry their dogs in the parade. It takes away a bit from the costumes when you can't quite see them. As I was carrying Zooey, her glue started coming off. Then her toilet paper skirt started looking like it had been used. Seymour lost his pants. I am not sure if anyone took pictures of us, but we were a motley little group.

Finally when the parade was almost over I decided to skip the judging and call it a wrap. Overall, the dogs were good but we were done. It was also starting to drizzle and that would be the end of our nurses costume.

But here is what they looked like as we waited for the parade to start.
Zooey had not started to fall apart yet.

Seymour as a surgeon before he lost his pants. I didn't notice Zooey under Seymour until I looked at the picture!

Although parades aren't their favorite thing, they tolerate them for me- and for the treats they know they will get. There is one more pet costume contest at a local nursing home in 2 weeks. That should give me time to re-do Zooey's costume, minus the toilet paper.

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Location:Wimberley, Texas

Saturday, October 6, 2012

End of Trip To PA

I was "dead man driving" the last day or so of the trip and it took me 2 days to feel well enough to write. We all got sick on the trip home and mine seemed to worsen as the days went on. My daughter thinks it was stress and I'm sure it had something to do with it, but I'm not stressed now, but still sick.

Traveling with a 21 month little boy who was also sick and hurt (fell and put his teeth through his bottom lip) was a challenge. I think he might be able to be an opera singer since he has a very high pitched scream he practiced often on the way home. We tried playing my dog relaxation cd hoping it worked with kids. Although the kids weren't impressed with it, the dogs and the grown-ups seemed to be a bit lulled. In spite of the craziness of driving with 2 adults, 2 kids, and 2 dogs in my Prius, we are all still friends, so that is a good outcome.

Our last night on the road was spent at the newly remodeled Motel 6 in Texarkana. No extra charge for pets. Rates were $35/room plus tax. We again got separate rooms. Motel 6 is now decorated in a minimalist style with some kind of non-carpet flooring. I missed the frig and microwave, but appreciated how clean it looked. Seymour and Zooey were pretty comfortable, too.

Wednesday morning Shannon and the boys were ready before I was even up - everyone was eager to get home! We packed up or I should say "stuffed the car" and made our first stop about 15 minutes later to get coffee and diet coke for the ladies. I've lost track of the stops we made but Shan said she would drive through the night to get us home. The 4 year old was easy to travel with but he did have to pee at inopportune times like after a gas or food stop. Luckily Shan found an app for the iPhone that told us what was at each exit, so we were able to find bathrooms pretty quickly.

The dogs continued to ride in their bed in the front seat where Shan's feet were supposed to be. Zooey was pretty quiet the whole ride but was eager to get out when we stopped. She is afraid of the beeps from the iPhone when Shan plugged it into the cigarette lighter, so we all had to yell and cheer to cover the sound of the beep. The boys seemed to enjoy that spontaneous 5 second celebration.

Seymour had a few times where he got up and I'm not sure where he was going, but I'm assuming if a door or window was open, he would have decided to walk the rest of the way. Not sure what was going through is mind. Maybe his ears were hurting from the high pitched screams.
We went through a number of places where there was construction, slowing us down to 0 mph. Once my GPS asked if I wanted to switch to pedestrian mode! I have never seen that before. Did it think that we just abandoned the car and took off walking carrying the GPS? I'll admit, it would have been faster.

We made our final stop outside of Waco because The baby was starting to fall asleep and we needed to stop for food and a break before he conked out. Then we headed toward Austin and took the bypass with the 80 mph speed limit. I had trouble getting my car to go that fast but when we finally reached that speed, I noticed that my MPG decreased to 39. It had been as high as 48 but on the way home, was mostly around 43. So, driving that fast really hurts financially. But we were all ready to be home, so it was money well spent. Every time we stopped the dogs looked up at me as if to say "Are we home yet?" It was nice to finally say YES!

They did not eat well on the trip. They ate most of the snacks I bought but wouldn't eat their dog food. When we got home they both made up for it. Seymour ate about 4 meals the first day home - both his and Zooeys. I had to finally hold him so Zooey could eat. They were both really happy to be home. And the rest of us were, also.

Love my little guys.

Kisses are always welcome.

Next year is my parent's 70th Wedding Anniversary. It is going to take me that long to recuperate!
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Here is the Commodore Hotel. I didn't get a pic from the inside before I messed it up. It was cute and comfortable.

This is just one shot of the town. Very quaint but the shops were all closed last night and we will hopefully be leaving before they open this morning. Time is now Central Time so we are leaving a little later than yesterday.

We are all sick. My meds didn't help and I heard Shan and the boys also coughing. This should be a fun day!

I am sitting in the cafe attached to the hotel waiting for breakfast. Shan is packing. We are still hoping to be home in 2 days, weather and sickness permitting.

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Location:Our Hotel in Linden Tenn

Day 2 Driving back from PA

We headed out at about 9:30 am and quickly stopped for a large coffee and Diet Coke. We both needed our caffeine! I have decided to do all of the driving so Shan can entertain the boys. Pax is pretty easy since he is almost 5 and is obsessed with his Power Ranger toys and books. Gibby is not quite 2 so he is more of a challenge. I woke up with a sore throat so am pretty sure a full blown cold is on its way.

It rained just about all day with spots of fog and heavier rain so we couldn't use Rest Areas to allow the boys to run around and get rid of some energy. We decided that McDonalds was the next best idea to try since they often have indoor play areas. Unfortunately, we didn't find any with play areas. We pulled into a few but left when they didn't have the play area. We finally just picked one that wasn't attached to a gas station and let them run around inside while I walked the dogs in the drizzling rain. Our goal was to go at least 400 miles today.

Soon the low tire pressure gauge lit up again. I stopped and checked and the back passenger side tire was a little low. Shan looked online and found that sometimes that gauge needs to be reset and found directions to do it. I decided to unload part of the trunk to get to my air machine hickey and put some air in the tire. The low air gauge went off. Hopefully there is no other tire problems the rest of the way home.

When we got into Tennessee there was a wreck on the freeway. We sat for about an hour and when we finally could move, we saw a wreck between an 18 wheeler and a motorcycle. Unfortunately and sadly, it didn't look good. We went less than a mile and we were stopped again. I am guessing it was another accident because the rain had been pretty heavy. I set my GPS to do a detour and we got off the freeway and got on some back roads.

We passed some cute small towns and were still miles from a main road - and hotels when we went through a town called Linden, Tenn. We both really loved the artsy look of the place and passed an old hotel. Shan used her trusty iPhone to look it up and their website said it was an economical place to stay for travelers. I called and found that rooms were $59 a night and dogs were allowed, free of extra charge. We turned around and headed back to the hotel. I will add pics tomorrow. It had an attached restaurant, also.

The hotel was built in 1939 and was restored. It has 12 rooms, all with antique looking furniture but still has a frig, microwave and flat screen. We ordered our food in the dining room but the boys were too wound up to sit and eat, so they asked if they wanted to watch cartoons in the other dining room. So we schlepped our food in there and the boys ate while mesmerized to the T V. Whatever works.

I went to the grocery store a block away to get some cold medicine, I took some Theraflu but obviously it wasn't the night time version because here I am at 3 am writing my blog - and coughing. At least the dogs are asleep beside me.

Because of the traffic and our detour, we didn't quite make 400 miles so we have about 830 miles to go. But the detour was a great decision. This out of the way town is a wonderful find.

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Heading Home from PA

I don't know how we did it, but we fit 2 adults, 2 kids, 2 dogs and all our luggage in my Prius! But just barely. Here is the trunk:

We headed out Sunday before noon. Shan's husband noted that one of our tires were low. We thought it was due to the extra weight in the car - we did eat a lot while we were there. But, it turned out to be a leak from a nail or something. Within an hour or so of leaving, my car showed the low tire pressure symbol. I pulled over and checked. It was at 20 pounds where it should have been about 35 pounds. We tried to use Shan's iPhone and Siri to find a tire place but finally pulled in to a gas station to ask. They sent us to an auto parts store that didn't fix tires but told us where the Good Year shop was. I bought Fix a Flat to help get us there. At Good Year, I decided to just get 2 new tires, since I had been worrying about the tread on my tires. Probably over kill but when you have 1500 miles to drive with an important group of people and dogs, you want to be safe. It took about an hour but was worth it. The grand kids were pretty good but Gibby was tired and cranky so there were fits of crying.

I had the dogs in a crate and bed on the floor in the back seat and asked the boys not to throw things on them. What was I thinking? By the time we got to the tire place, Zooey was so stressed, she was panting and trying to get away. I had never seen her like that. So, we put the dogs in a bed on the floor in the front, taking up feet space for Shan. She was nice enough to let them share that small space with her and Zooey and Seymour calmed down.
Luckily they are small dogs!

The weather was dry and sunny so driving was pretty easy, but we only drove about 180 miles total. Still had 1201 miles to go when we stopped. We ended up at the Super 8 where I got us separate rooms. I was tired and needed some rest and the dogs appreciated a little time away from the rambunctious boys. Unfortunately, Shan's room was on the second floor with no elevator but we were on the first floor near the exit door - and a nice grassy field for the dogs to walk. And they didn't charge us extra for the dogs although it was posted that it cost $10 extra per pet. Seymour and Zooey both slept with me instead of in their bed and I sure didn't mind. This was the first bed I had slept in in over a week. I had been couch surfing in PA.

BTW, our gas mileage coming to PA was about 45.2 mpg for the first 2 tanks of gas and went up to 48.5 for the last 2 tanks. Coming back, so far it is about 43.5. Heavier load and wind coming back.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Summary of Pennsylvania Visit

With no wireless access in Pennsylvania, I will summarize the trip. Overall, Seymour and Zooey were a big hit. Both my friend and my sister would take care of her, if needed.

I had to constantly watch Zooey especially so she wouldn't walk around my Dad's feet since he has very poor eyesight, but he seemed to like them.

Zooey was a little afraid of all of the kids and hid behind chairs when she could. All of the grandchildren were sweet and good with the dogs, except for a few flying balls and cars!

We loved getting together with everyone. This was the first time we have all been together so there was much talking, laughing and just catching up. This is a family picture we took after my Dad's 90th Birthday party.
It includes my parents, my brother and sister and their families and me and my family. Great memories.

My sister and her husband got in on Friday and they enjoy gambling. So, Friday night we were celebrating my daughter's Birthday and I mentioned wanting to go to the casino, which was an hour away. Of course they agreed so we stepped up the pace of the cake cutting and headed out. Only my sister won, but we had a great time; didn't get home until 2:30 am. Shan took care of the dogs.

I have a few more Pennsylvania stories I'll cover later. We are on our way home and need to get moving. So glad to be going home!

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

USA Made Dog Treats

While visiting family and friends in Pennsylvania, we found that we needed more doggie treats. Because of the problems some dogs had with the treats made in China, I have been on a quest to not only find treats made in the USA, but treats my dogs like.

The first thing I noticed was that the words "Made in China" have become a little more difficult to find. But when I product is made in the USA, it is often written in big print on the front of the package. Here are a few treats we found and how my dogs feel about them:

Champion Breed Chew Strips - original bacon flavored. My dogs love bacon but won't eat these. Maybe when they have no choice, they will give them a try. These were on sale for only $2.29 at KMart.

Pup-peroni. I have hunted all over the bag but can only find that it was distributed by Del Monte Foods. At first Zooey loved them, then she wasn't interested anymore. Seymour wasn't interested at first and now will nibble on a few pieces. Not a great favorite for them. Don't remember how much these cost.

Colorado Naturals - Chicken Jerky Treats. My dogs devoured these! They even tried to find the bag and lick the empty bag. These were on sale for $4.99 for 4 oz. at PetCo. The overall favorite. I need to get another bag or two.

Time to get my daily breakfast: Egg McMuffin (on sale this month for 2 for $3 so my Dad gets the other one), and free small coffee. I get one for me and my dad since we are currently the only coffee drinkers in the house.

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Monday Night and Tuesday in PA

A quick stop at Mc Donald's with my iPad and WiFi !!

A couple of days ago, I had shopped for some decorations for my Dad's party so I went to the Party Store and the Dollar store with my dogs, and the dogs were welcomed into both stores. In fact I think I got better service because of the dogs. I left them home while we went to McDonalds to sit with the gang later.

After McDonalds Shannon, my grandsons and I did a little shopping at Good Will. Shan keeps finding things and says "But they are small". A bunch of small things add up to a big pile in my little Prius when we drive home!

After later heading to bed, Shan came out to my couch/bed to say that Gibson was sick and his breathing was hoarse. We both felt she needed to take him to the hospital. We texted back and forth while they were there and it ended up that he had Croup. Needless to say, none of us got much sleep last night.

Tuesday, we went to visit our friends, Pam and Dennis. Paxton still wasn't feeling well, so after a yummy lunch of pasta and pumpkin pie, we headed back to my parents. We took a little detour to check put Monongahela, where Shan was born. It was nice seeing the old town and our old house.

Things went down hill after that. Gibby was sick and started a marathon screaming fit; Paxton was unhappy that he didn't get what he wanted at the store so refused to get out of the car when we got home. Not going into detail, but everyone was upset, including my parents tonight. Zooey was hiding and Seymour got under the covers on my couch/bed. It is almost 10 pm and the house is quiet. I didn't take an aspirin tonight but was considering liquor until I remembered that there isn't any in the house and I'm too lazy to go buy some.

Seymour and Zooey are my comfort, unless Seymour sees a big dog, then just Zooey is my comfort! Tomorrow is another day!

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Late blog update

We have no WIFi connection except for at McDonalds, so here is a short entry. We found that New Jersey had the best pet rest area. It had a sidewalk, a picnic table and was not near the freeway. It was between where the trucks park and where the cars park. I thought I was in heaven for a few minutes.

Although there was lots of road construction, we made it to my parents by about 5 pm on Friday. At about 8 pm, I took my first Aleve. Quiet night with the dogs. Zooey didn't even bark at the kids but she does bark at my daughter (her adopted sister). My Dad's eyesight is very poor so I made sure the dogs were out of his way when my Dad got up.

Saturday Shan and I went to my old neighbor's daughter's wedding while my high school friend watched Seymour and Zooey. Beautiful wedding and great food, especially the cookies. Luckily I brought stretch pants to wear the rest of the week.

Sunday, my high school friend and her daughter (my god daughter) and I went to the Casino (what a surprise) while my friend's husband watched my kids, I mean my dogs. As much as they loved him, because he gave them treats, every time my friend's husband went downstairs and came back up, Zooey barked at him like he was a stranger. Oh, what a strange dog I have!

Today I came home from my friend's and did some shopping for decorations for my Dad's party and now we are at McDonald's with the "over the hill bunch". I am starting to fit in nicely :)

I will take more pictures because the leaves are starting to change and since the speed limit is mostly 25 mph I will be able to take nice pictures as I am driving.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 2 of our Texas to Pennsylvania trip

Our room at the Super 8 passed the "dog didn't do anything" test so we headed out at about 10 am. A little later than I planned but I had to eat the free toaster waffles first.

We drove through Tenn. most of the day. I-40 was under construction in quite a few places so I am hoping to find a different way home. We stopped at a rest area in Tenn that again had the pet area between the highway and the parking lot. Obviously the people that planned these rest areas are not pet people. See how attractive our walk was?

Seymour finally got tired of sleeping in the car so he squeezed under the seat to the front and gave me those pleading eyes that said "I need outtttt! Now!". I think he had 4 drops of pee he hadn't used. I talked him into waiting until we crossed into Kentucky and stopped at the Welcome Center. See how pretty the sign is?

Then I remembered! This was the place that disliked pets more than any other State we had been in. They almost had more "No Pets Allowed" signs than parking spaces.

I do think they upgraded their pet area since I was there last. Now they have a chain link fence about 4 feet from the parking spaces where I think you are supposed to walk. Over by the freeway, of course. But, if anyone parks on that side it leaves about a foot of walking space. I filled in a suggestion card to ask them to make a more safe place for pets and left my name and address. It will be interesting to see if they write. Oh, I also left my blog address.

I don't have any more rest areas to complain about for now. The good news is that I picked up a hotel coupon book in the Kentucky Welcome center and ended up staying at the LaQuinta in Elizabethtown, KY. They don't charge extra for up to 2 pets weighing less than 20 pounds. Plus I got an additional discount with the coupon so it cost me about $5 more than I paid last night, with a free hot breakfast included. My friends Jan and Betty told me to be sure to pick up those coupon books in the States I was staying, and it proved cost effective.

I mentioned that my daughter and her 2 boys were coming home with us. I am surprised at how much I brought with me. When I went to Italy for 3 months, I had a backpack, a purse and Seymour's crate. I am going to be gone for 2 weeks and this is my trunk. We are in big trouble!

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Two weeks traveling with two dogs!

This is our first big trip since Italy - except for a short trip to a Texas Casino! Seymour, Zooey and I are on our way to Pennsylvania to go to my dad's 90th birthday celebration. We are in a car instead of our camper because my daughter and her 2 children will be driving home with us. There is only room for 2 people and 2 dogs in my camper.

So, I am getting a chance to experience finding places to stay overnight with 2 dogs. But I'm getting ahead of story. We left Wimberley Texas yesterday morning after a stop at the local Diamond Shamrock for coffee and breakfast taco. When I went to pay, they said "it's already taken care of". Thanks, Mary! Nice start to a trip.

The dogs settled into their sleeping spots; Seymour in a small crate and Zooey in her bed. Our first stop was a new rest stop in Texas, near Salado. It had a playground, a storm shelter and nice restrooms. As an after thought, the put in 2 "Pet Area" signs in the weeds near the road. Seriously? Notice the trucks on the freeway behind Seymour?

Zooey could barely walk in the grass/weeds because they were too high for her. This was definitely not a plan for pets in this new rest area. All they needed to do was make a gravel walking path, put in some trash cans for pet waste and maybe add a fire hydrant for fun.

In comparison, we stopped at the Welcome Center when we entered Arkansas and they had a nice pet area, not near the highway. I could walk on the sidewalk while the dogs enjoyed the walk through the nicely trimmed grass. The trucks in the background are parked, not racing down the freeway. Thanks, Arkansas! Also, while we were walking at in the rest area, I was on my cell and a lady kept following me around. She finally tapped me and asked how old Seymour was. She has a puppy that looked like Seymour and wondered how big her puppy might grow. (Seymour is 8 years old and about 7-ish pounds). A little while later, while still on the cell, a truck pulled up beside me and when I looked, it was that woman again. This time she was with her husband and she rolled down the window and said in broken English, "How old to your dog get this size". Because her English wasn't strong, I didn't tell her that I didn't rescue Seymour until he was 2 1/2 and he is a mix so who knows how big a dog who looks like him will get - so I just said "about a year". Dog lovers find each other even if we don't speak the same language.

We then started looking for places to stay. I remembered that Motel 6 was pet friendly and heard that Holiday Inn was, also. We stopped at a Holiday Inn in Malvern and they didn't accept pets but told me that the Super 8 did or I could drive further to Bryant, AR and there was a Holiday Inn that allowed dogs. I decided to drive further since the trip is 1500 miles and I'm trying to do it in 3 days.

We arrived at the Holiday Inn and found that they did allow pets, for $25 extra for each pet, and a long contract to sign. I opted not to stay. They told me that the Super 8 allowed pets and even called them for me. Celeste, at Super 8, was very friendly. We paid $10 extra for each pet and they will check the room before we leave this morning. The dogs were great so I'm not worried. They actually both slept with me. I've never allowed Zooey to do that because she is so small I was afraid I'd roll over on her. We were all well this morning.

I was told that the Super 8 Motel's are all individually owned so they can set their own rules regarding pets. But I will add this chain to my places that possibly allow pets for a reasonable rate.

On to day 2 of our trip.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

I have no affiliation with this dealership except for taking my car in for maintenance, etc. In the past, I always took Seymour with me and the staff was always friendly with us. This last time, I took Seymour and Zooey and I wasn't sure how they would handle 2 dogs in their waiting room.

The staff was equally as friendly with us. More people talked to me, or at least my dogs than they do when I am alone. Maybe my dogs are dressed better than I am normally? Or maybe they just have a lot of dog lovers working there. One person does have a statue of a life sized dog in their office doorway. I haven't checked to see if it barks when you walk by.

It is so nice to go places where pets are not only allowed, but welcomed. It makes the long wait for my car a little more pleasant.
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Location:San Marcos Toyota

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hospitals and Dogs

I am behind in my posts due to some surgery and recovery. I do think my dogs have helped in my recovery and would have been able to help more if I had known one thing.
Having surgery is a stress but for me, worrying about my dogs while I'm gone is almost a bigger stress. I was lucky that 2 neighbors offered to watch each dog. One has a medium sized dog that Seymour is pals with and one has a small poodle that Zooey kinda tolerates. Being a recent rescue and having endured abuse by another dog, Zooey is very skittish around almost all dogs - except Seymour. They are a bit of a handful together, as another kind neighbor found out when watching them for 2 days, so separately them was the best way to go. But back to my story.
I was in the hospital for 3 days and feeling pretty bad both mentally and physically. The last night I was there, one of the nurses mentioned that if I had my physician write an order for "pet therapy" my dogs could have come to visit me. They would have had to be in their crate - at least when the door to my room was open, but at least I could have enjoyed their company for a few hours. Unfortunately, I wasn't told this until the night before I was going home so didn't try to get a physician's order. I am not sure hospitals publicize this, but I recommend that if you are ever in the hospital, you ask your physician about it. I do think that I would have been in a much more positive frame of mind, and maybe I wouldn't have been thinking about my pain as much,if I had my dogs to cuddle. Another good thing about seeing your dogs when you are in the hospital is that you don't have to walk them. It's like having grandchildren. You can play with them and love on them and give them back.
Instead, when my dogs came home after my hospitalization, they considered me the same person I was before; the one who walked them, gave them treats, fed them and held them. I'm sure they were wondering who that strange person was who had to just about roll off of the couch and on to the floor to be able to get up to open the back door for them. Maybe if they'd seen me in the hospital, they would have been more prepared for living with a semi-invalid for a little while.
I am hoping to not go in the hospital for a long time, but if I do, I want to add "dog visits" to my advanced directives.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Feeding Two Dogs

It sounds easy. Put out two bowls of dog food. I can't put them beside each other because Seymour will block Zooey's way to either bowl and try to eat them both. So I put out two bowls of food and two bowls of water in different parts of the kitchen. The bigger bowl with the most food goes to the bigger dog, 6 1/2 pound Seymour. The smaller bowl goes to 3 pound Zooey. Same food, different amounts. Invariably Seymour thinks I am giving better food to his sister so he goes for her bowl first. I could probably put a steak in his bowl and he would still think that Zooey had the more gourmet meal and head to her bowl.

Seymour has been with me for over five years, so if he had some problem with favoritism in the past, it shouldn't affect him now. Cesar says that dogs live in the "now". No one told that to my dog! I now have to put Zooey's food in her crate but Seymour eats his food and then lurks outside of Zooey's crate waiting to lick the bowl clean when she is done. Is is a little heart breaking hearing him licking and pushing each bowl around the floors while trying to get the last dried moral of dogfood into his tummy. Anyone who didn't know the situation would think i was starving him. But today they both went to the vets and Seymour has gained 10 ounces, up to a slightly chubby 7 pounds 2 ounces in less than a month. Zooey gained some much needed weight, up to 3 pounds 8 ounces. I am gaining flexibility from moving bowls around so they both get food!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mutual Admiration Society

A friend sent this and I had to share it. How lucky we are to have our pets, especially when we have little else.

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Seymour and his Surgery

A relatively common small dog issue is a luxating patella. Our vet said that when he started walking on 3 legs about 30% of the time, it meant that he probably would need surgery. He wasn't quite up to 30% but he wanted me to carry him more - and he is 7 1/2 years old, so it was time.

Seymour had his surgery on Monday and since he was going to be sedated, I also had them clean his teeth and clip his nails. I'm sure when he woke up, he was thinking "What the heck hit me?". He is on pain meds and an antibiotic and will go back in 2 weeks to get his stitches removed. Here is a gross picture of his leg - back, driver side :)

He was pretty out of it the first 2 days but would still go to the bathroom outside when I carried him out. I think he is holding "number 2", although I saw him go once, because it is a difficult position to get into with only one back leg. TMI?

The first morning after surgery, Zooey jumped in his bed with him and I heard the worst screech. She has quickly learned that she can sleep beside his bed, but not in it. I do think she is confused. She has only lived with us less than 3 weeks so I hate to see her worrying about him.

Today, Seymour has been whining and I can't figure out what he needs. I have brought him water, fed him his dog food on a spoon (so he wouldn't have to get up), taken him outside and given him his favorite treat, and nothing is working. I took that picture of his wound and sent it to the vet to see if he needs to come in, but I haven't heard back yet. And of course it is almost weekend, so if he needs any medical attention, he will have to go to the expensive emergency vet. I will be happy when he passes the 2 week mark and I can start doing physical therapy on that leg. I am missing my sweet little Seymour. But I was out at my own doctor's appointment yesterday and when I came home both Seymour and Zooey were waiting at the door for me. I was surprised and delighted.

For now, this is Seymour's primary position:

I know that it won't be long before my frisky travel companion is back to normal and ready for another trip - this time with his little pesky sister. I can't wait!

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

And Sister Makes Three

I was getting "traveling with one pet" down to a science, so what did I do? I got Seymour a little sister we named Zooey. I saw her picture on www.petfinder.com

I have always looked but never had a plan to get another dog. But I guess when one looks, it is inevitable that a dog will catch your heart. Zooey is a 3 pound 2 ounce rescue from Abilene Texas. I was told that she was an owner surrender with another, more aggressive dog. She was very timid, very underweight and did not walk on a leash. She is what one of my friends call "a cute, ugly dog". Seymour was hoping that she was just visiting.

We have now had her for 10 days and she has already been to the vet twice. The first time for an update on immunizations and ear infections. She is too skinny to get a microchip yet. The second time was for suspected kennel cough, which she received steroid and antibiotic shots. I think she also has hip dysplasia since she is beginning to hop on three legs. BTW, Seymour is getting surgery for his hip dysplasia on Monday.

Everyone thinks that she is between 18 months and 2 years old. She looks like a feminine little girl and barks like Danny DiVito. No one is exactly sure what her "mix" is, but we think chihuahua, yorkie and maybe one or two others. She is fluffy but looks like she could be Benjamin Button's dog with her wispy, need of hair plugs, head.

Zooey has loved Seymour from the first day they met. She is constantly trying to get in his dog bed with him and follows him everywhere. Seymour, on the other hand, is still hoping she is just visiting! He puts up with her. He is used to being an only dog, so it is a big change for him.

I am doing my best to give them both lots of attention. They both love riding in the car so I think it will be easy to go on camping trips with them.

Seymour, Zooey and I have already visited Ace Hardware and the Senior Thrift store in town. I have carried one in the sling and one in my arms but in a pinch, I can actually carry both in one hand. Between the two of them, they weigh less than 10 pounds.

So, I am now going to be traveling with two little ones. Let the adventures continue!

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Thundershirt Review - Update 2/8/12

My dog Seymour was more stressed than ever with the fireworks on New Years Eve. He shook and tried to hide but couldn't find a place to go. I could not calm him down. After that, when he heard something like a car backfire, he would go into his shaking and hiding routine again. A friend told me about the Thundershirt. I found one on Amazon and purchased it. Seymour is about 6 1/2 pounds and I got the X Small and it fits well.

I did have to look at the pictured instructions to be sure I got it on right, but once I figured it out, I could do it again easily. The next time he heard a pop noise that got him shaking, I put the shirt on him. He laid down but didn't look relaxed. We have used it a few times since and he got more and more comfortable and less stressed each time he wore it. It is almost like a cumulative effect on him. We haven't had a bad storm yet - this is Texas, home of the hottest 2011 ever - but I am actually looking forward to seeing how it works for him. I'm not sure why my pictures are so small but the first is the package the shirt came in and the one below is Seymour relaxing in his shirt. I will update when we have a real reason to use the shirt. So far, I am glad I purchased it.

Update - We finally had a big storm and Seymour was put in his Tundershirt. He continued to shake and was stressed so I held him. He slowly quieted down a little. I would say that the shirt helped him get about 20% calmer than he would have been without the shirt. I will continue using it as we (hopefully) get more storms to see if it starts calming him more.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Rules for Traveling to the UK with a Pet as of 01/2012

Below is a summary of the new rules for bringing a pet to the UK. Unfortunately, they still haven't let up on the part about a pet having to travel as cargo. It appears that they added "Tapeworm Treatment" to their list that Italy did not require. Having just been to Italy, I have to say that my stress and my dog's stress levels were greatly reduced because he was traveling in a crate under my seat. So, I guess the UK is not on our travel plans for now.

From 1 January 2012 all pet dogs, cats and ferrets (including guide and hearing dogs) can enter or re-enter the UK from any country in the world without quarantine provided they meet the rules of the scheme, which will be different depending on the country or territory the pet is coming from.

Preparing your dog, cat or ferret when traveling from the USA:
• Step 1 – Have your pet microchipped – Before any of the other procedures for pet travel are carried out, your pet must be fitted with a microchip so it can be properly identified.
• Step 2 – Have your pet vaccinated – After the microchip has been fitted your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. There is no exemption to this requirement, even if your pet has a current rabies vaccination. Rabies boosters must be kept up to date. The length of the waiting period before entry to the UK is 21 days after the first vaccination date. A waiting period is not required for subsequent entries into the UK, provided rabies boosters are kept up to date. If the vaccination is in two parts the 21 day wait will be from the date of the second vaccination.
• Step 3 – Get pet travel documentation – For animals being prepared in an EU country, you should get an EU pet passport. If you are preparing your animal in a non-EU listed country or territory you will need to obtain an official third country veterinary certificate (apart from Croatia, Gibraltar, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland who also issue pet passports).
• Step 4 – Tapeworm treatment – (dogs only): before entering the UK, all pet dogs (including assistance dogs) must be treated for tapeworm. The treatment must be administered by a vet not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the UK. There is no mandatory requirement for tick treatment. No treatment is required for dogs entering the UK from Finland, Ireland or Malta).
• Step 5 – Arrange for your animal to travel with an approved transport company on an authorised route – Your pet must enter the UK from a listed country or territory travelling with an approved transport company on an authorised route.
Approved EU routes and transport companies
The following routes and transport companies may be used to bring pet dogs, cats and ferrets into the UK. On some air routes, registered assistance dogs may travel in the cabin. Other dogs, cats and ferrets will travel as cargo.