Double The Trouble, Double The Fun…Two Puppies Are Better Than One!

Our Chihuahua puppy, Georgie, is six months old already and totally precious! (I blogged about getting Miss Georgie Girl here)

She behaves beautifully on her leash and is enthusiastic about walks.

Outside continues to be a favourite hangout. And she finally comes when she’s called!

She and Rocko, the neighbour dog, are madly in love, sharing doggie kisses through the fence.

With Georgie maturing nicely, what would possess us to get another puppy? Three words: Energy To Spare. Georgie begs to play nonstop.

We give her plenty of attention, just not as much as she’d like. So, five weeks ago, we got her a playmate, “Baby Bella B”. (The B stands for butterfly ears and bunny-rabbit legs)

Bella’s an undetermined mix of breeds – her dad’s a purebred Papillon and her mom’s a poodle cross. The tiny runt of the litter, Bella weighed two pounds at eight weeks, only slightly more than Georgie did. We’ve no idea how big she’ll get.

Regardless, she’s 100% adorable.

Her fuzzy wire-hair coat has nice markings with several cute splashes of brown.

Wherever Georgie goes, Bella isn’t far behind.

Probably from being much smaller than her siblings, Bella’s assertive when playing with Georgie. They both usually want what the other one has, and Bella often wins.

Unlike Georgie, who’s not food motivated, Bella loves to eat and is eager for treats.

Bella adores Georgie, and Georgie really likes her, too (just maybe not quite as much). At first, she refused to snuggle together.

One day I happened across this adorable scene.

As long as Georgie initiates it, she’s now okay with cuddling.

I take way too many pictures of them sleeping. They’re just too sweet and comical to resist.

Georgie still sleeps in funny positions.

Bella’s body is too short and chubby to contort.

Right now, they’re still small enough to both fit on my lap.

Bella had the sweetest puppy ears, and I hoped they’d stay that way forever.

But her Papillon genes soon won out. Still so cute, though.

Maybe it’s because my old pup, Roxy, had tiny, hairless ears, but Georgie & Bella’s beautiful fuzzy ears rather fascinate me.

Like Georgie, Bella loves it outside.

They chase and wrestle constantly. Bella often dominates the wrestling matches, but Georgie leaves the clumsy-footed baby behind when they run. Lean and sleek, Georgie’s the undisputed speed demon.

Time out for a drink.

Our yard offers lots of shady grass, yet Georgie, the sun-lover, seeks out the hottest spots. Sometimes Bella joins her, although with her thick, fuzzy coat, she prefers shade.

In contrast to Georgie’s cautious nature (she won’t even jump off the couch), Bella knows no fear. Hubby had to add a bottom railing to the deck after she leaped three and a half feet to the ground below.

When our son’s family visited with their three dogs, Georgie was initially terrified. Doggie socializing is important though, and she soon warmed up to Piper and Shasa.

Bella loved them all, especially Sukie, the big lab.

Little devil even stole Sukie’s bone.

They were all amazingly relaxed together.

We often take the puppies on outings. They enjoy meeting people, which is beneficial to their socialization. They’re great in the car, and although Bella’s not as keen about walking as Georgie is, she’s learning.

They get plenty of water breaks.

And on the car ride home, they sleep like angels.

So, yeah, we’re busy, and we’re certainly looking forward to Bella being potty-trained. But these sweet little girls have stolen our hearts, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

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Introducing Little Miss Georgie Girl!

1 Chihuahua heartbeat- Sunfrog.com

I was devastated when our rescue puppy died two days before she was to become ours, mere weeks after we’d lost Roxy, our beloved fifteen-year-old pup, and I wondered how I could risk opening my heart to another puppy. Surprisingly enough, Hubby, the guy who’d been saying he didn’t want any more pets, convinced me to keep looking.

When I came across an ad selling Chihuahua puppies in the Vancouver area, I gave the contact information to my son, who lives out there, and left it up to him whether to get a puppy or not. He chose this precious baby girl.

She snuggled into my son’s jacket and slept the entire four hours to her new home.

After discarding several names, we settled on Georgie. Miss Georgie Girl, to be exact. Gosh, she’s a cutie. Her fluffy coat is spectacular, with lovely markings and silky soft fur.

With her short snout, protruding bottom jaw and tiny jowls, she resembles a micro-mini boxer.

When I tucked Georgie into her sleep crate that first night, she gazed at me for a moment and then curled up and went right to sleep. I thought, “Wow, how easy is this?”

Famous last words. She started whimpering as soon as I left the room and didn’t stop the entire night. Or the next night. Or for many nights after that. It took two long weeks of her wailing nonstop between twice-nightly visits outside before she finally settled down. Broke my heart to put her (and me) through that, but I’m so glad I persevered. She’s a perfect angel at night now.

Georgie weighed 1.7 pounds at her eight-week vet appointment. She has a small umbilical hernia, which is nothing to worry about, but will need repairing when she’s spayed.

Other than pitifully complaining about her sore leg, Georgie simply put herself to bed and slept off the vaccine’s effects.

She quite enjoys her toy crate, and comes and goes as she pleases.

It’s been fifteen years since Hubby and I had a new puppy. We’d forgotten how busy and curious they are. Georgie’s nose is always to the ground and she tries to eat whatever she comes across. And thank goodness she’s so small because she wants to bite and chew everything. Shoes, clothes, furniture, fingers, toes…noses.

Distracting her with toys usually works.

She entertains herself very well.

Georgie accompanies me into the bathroom at night while I wash up, and out of desperation to save my toes, I discovered that toilet paper rolls are highly entertaining.

One day I came across this scenario.

She’d dragged a towel I’d left by the door into the living room and settled in for a comfy chew. She was not impressed when I took the roll away.

Georgie thinks Roxy’s favourite snuggle blanket makes a fine plaything. She drags it from her bed and comically runs laps with it hanging from her mouth.

Works for tug-of-war, too.

She’s not averse to snuggling with it, though.

Roxy hated this little bed and never used it. Georgie took to it right from the start.

If I’m nearby, she keeps a loving eye on me.

The bed is tippy, so I tucked a rolled-up towel underneath to stabilize it. Georgie promptly pulled it out every time I put it there until I finally gave up. Apparently a tippy bed is more fun.

She sometimes sits flat on her bum.

Roxy slept on my lap while I used the computer, and Georgie often does, too.

Or she runs around the room, exploring and playing with her toys.

If Hubby’s in his workout room, she scratches on the door.

Sometimes we play fetch while I’m on the computer, and she’s getting quite good at it. If I’m slow to respond, she smacks my leg and twitters like a tiny bird. When she’s tired, she’ll lie quietly at my feet.

Georgie’s had a couple of playdates with our grand-dog. Daisy, who weighs less than four pounds, looks huge beside Georgie, but that will eventually change. I think they’ll become good friends.

Running is the best fun, ever.

The only thing better than running inside is running outside.

She loves the backyard.

So much to explore…

To eat…

Because of these fun distractions, she rarely wants to go back inside when we do. We won’t indulge in the chase game, so this can become quite time-consuming. Much to my consternation, the little escape artist discovered she could slip through the yard’s front latticework or duck under a few spots in the chain-link fence.

I began taking her outside on her leash, both to keep her safely in the yard and to easily corral her after she’s done her business. Luckily, she doesn’t mind the harness and leash (which is also great for chewing). She’s enthusiastic about walks, too.

Hubby installed new front fencing and put chicken wire along the chain-link. Not too pretty, but it does the job.

We still have problems convincing her to come in, and using the leash isn’t always convenient, so I’ve borrowed a little pen. It’s the best thing ever, for when we don’t have time to let her run loose. Georgie enjoys being in it, does her business right away, and we can easily pick her up afterward.

Just like Roxy did, Georgie helps me with the laundry.

Georgie’s philosophy is “play hard, sleep hard”. I can’t resist taking (too many) photos of how adorable she looks asleep.

Some of her positions are quite hilarious.

She used to stick her tongue out and suckle while sleeping. So precious!

She prefers snuggling near our neck and shoulders.

The couch pillow is comfy, too.

I get this face if I’m on the couch without her.

She can go up and down the carpeted stairs on her own.

But the steep, tiled stairs are still beyond her comfort level.

Like most Chihuahuas, she loves sleeping in the sunshine.

If there’s no sun, the heat register will do nicely.

Those ears though!

Georgie’s ever-evolving ears continue to enchant us. At eight weeks, her right ear stood up and her left one bent down.

Soon after, at two months, both ears bent.

By ten weeks, her left ear decided to stand, while the right continued to bend.

A week later, they both stood at attention.

Currently, at three months, her right ear ripples a bit and the left one stands up. Unbearably adorable.

At Georgie’s twelve week vet checkup, she weighed 2.5 pounds. Although she took to her crate again to sleep afterwards, the second vaccine seemed to hurt less.

At three months, Georgie’s smart, sweet, mischievous, and so entertaining. I’m amazed at how many words she already understands, when she chooses to listen. We’re still working on potty-training and obeying, but that’s slowly improving. She’s my little ray of sunshine and I anticipate many years of fun and adventures together.

Oh, and Hubby, that guy who didn’t want another pet, he’s totally smitten. Georgie completely adores him, too.

She’ll Always Live In My Heart, My Sweet Roxy

It’s still hard to believe that barely a month after I last posted to wish Roxy a happy fifteenth birthday, she was gone. Even though she was old and very fragile, there’s no real way to prepare for that kind of loss. She was truly a special little girl, the joy in my life, and I miss her immensely. A few years ago, I blogged about my wee diva, and if you care to, you can read that post HERE. And another post when she broke her leg HERE.

1 Roxy's last day22a.

As the reality of Roxy’s imminent passing became painfully clear to us, Hubby and I started talking about what it’d be like to not have a fur baby in the house. We’ve both had pets for most of our lives, including the eight dogs and cats we’ve raised throughout our marriage, but Hubby insisted he didn’t want any more. I, on the other hand, couldn’t commit to that possibility.

3 Pets4

I’m mostly housebound now. With my impaired vision, I can’t work, I can’t drive, and I struggle at times to find a purpose in my life. Roxy had been my purpose. My trusting little companion who loved me as much as I loved her. Knowing she was patiently waiting for me at the foot of the stairs, every single morning, gave me a reason to haul my butt out of bed and get on with my day. Her morning kisses were the best antidepressant on the market.

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After Roxy passed, we agreed to get one last pet. I wasn’t in a hurry, but I wanted to keep my options open so I began to peruse the classifieds. I soon came across an ad for teacup Chihuahua cross puppies. Apparently the tiny mama died delivering her pups, and the surviving puppies were brought to a rescue group. We liked the idea of a rescue dog, and that these were young puppies. We especially liked how the adoption fee went back into the rescue operation to help more animals find homes. And coincidentally, their probable birthdate is January 8th, same as Roxy’s.

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It was all so perfect, it almost seemed too good to be true. And turns out, it was, because two days before we were to pick up our new baby, the foster mom texted to say the puppy became sick after getting her deworm meds. After a long, stressful day of exchanging texts, I got the horrible news I’d dreaded. My beautiful puppy had died. How could this have happened? It was so unfair. Unfair for me to go through something so awful right after losing Roxy. And totally unfair to that tiny puppy who’d already overcome such a rough start to life.

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My feelings are raw, and a part of me is afraid to ever open my heart to another pet. But I’m a dog lover, so I likely will get another one, sooner or later. Meanwhile it’s important to remember Roxy as the unique and special little character that she was. That three-pound scrap of preciousness enriched my life in so many ways for fifteen amazing years, and she deserves to be remembered with smiles, not sadness.

5a With Roxy

And I mustn’t dwell on what might have been with that other sweet puppy who captivated me completely in just one short visit. My tiny rescue puppy who never got the chance to rescue me.

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More Majestic Mountains, Some Hoodoos And…A Raven – Alberta Road Trip Wrap-up

With a free Parks Canada pass in hand, Hubby and I enthusiastically visited several national parks while on our recent Alberta road trip. Last week, I shared stories and photos from Mount Revelstoke, Yoho and Banff National Parks, ending with lovely Lake Louise. (Check them out here)

From Lake Louise, we took the Bow Valley Parkway to Banff, hoping to increase our chances of wildlife sightings. Unfortunately, we didn’t see a single critter.

Mount Rundle and Sulphur Mountain, Vermilion Lakes Wetlands, Banff National Park

Mount Rundle

Cascades of Time Garden, Banff, AB

Banff Springs Hotel

Imagine having these beauties in your backyard.

Following our oldest son’s suggestion, we stopped at Bow Falls while in Banff. Such a pretty river setting.

We drove the Tunnel Mountain loop, taking a short detour to view the Bow Valley Hoodoos.

Hoodoos with Mount Rundle and Bow Valley in the background.

Taking in the view from farther down the trail.

Bow Valley with Banff Springs Hotel way off in the distance.

A zoomed-in peek of Banff Springs Hotel.

Three Sisters Mountains, Canmore, AB

In Calgary, our daughter-in-law fed us an incredible Thanksgiving feast, and we watched our grandsons’ hockey practices.

Roxy came to the rink, too.

Our eldest grandson showed me his new skateboard skills.

That’s our youngest grandson under the hoodie.

On our way home, I saw a grizzly bear in the distance, sitting on train tracks near Banff. Disappointingly, we had few wildlife sightings the entire trip. Besides the bear, I had a brief glimpse of a chipmunk on Mount Revelstoke, a squirrel in Lake Louise (are those even considered wildlife?), several jack rabbits (not really wildlife, either) and a coyote in Calgary. At least the incredible scenery didn’t disappoint.

We never leave Roxy alone in the car, so a downside of traveling with her is having to eat takeout. While Hubby got us some food in Golden, I prepared Roxy’s lunch on the car console. When I turned back around, this massive raven was staring at me through the windshield.

It immediately began ‘talking’, asking to share Roxy’s meal, or perhaps wanting Roxy for its meal.

This persistent bird was considerably larger than my wee dog, and I was relieved to have the windshield between us. It hung around until Hubby arrived to shoo it off.

Traffic quickly backed up during the hour and half delay for road construction east of Glacier National Park.

Wish I’d spent the entire time snoozing the way Roxy did.

Long traffic lines on the other side, too.

Lots of lovely fall colours and fresh snow on the mountains in Rogers Pass.

When Roxy woke up, she had to pee. Bad.

We stopped at Three Valley Gap, west of Revelstoke, as suggested by my older brother. Roxy was relieved to relieve herself.

We’re truly blessed to live in such a naturally beautiful part of the world, and I hope you enjoyed this small taste of it.

A Scenic Trip To Alberta

When the federal government announced free admission to all national parks in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, Hubby and I eagerly ordered our pass.

Unfortunately, due to many circumstances beyond our control, we couldn’t visit any parks last spring and summer. When Hubby got an unexpected week of vacation right before Thanksgiving, we decided to head to Alberta, with stops at as many scenic spots along the way as possible. I posted a request for suggestions on Facebook, and was soon planning a much-needed getaway.

Pitstop in Sicamous, where Roxy broke her leg a year and a half ago. Luckily she doesn’t remember her tumble from the picnic table.

Having lived in Revelstoke, we’ve often visited Mount Revelstoke National Park, but not for many years, and I was excited to go back.

Mount Begbie, the Columbia River and city of Revelstoke from a viewpoint along the Meadows in the Sky Parkway.

Upon arriving at the upper parking lot, we found out because of grizzly bear activity at the summit, we’d have to take a shuttlebus the rest of the way. A bus had left just as we pulled up, and by the time it returned, we’d only have about fifteen minutes at the summit, so we decided not to wait. Total disappointment.

Revelstoke and the Columbia River from a viewpoint on the way down.

Gorgeous sights through Rogers Pass.

We overnighted in Golden, and Roxy was happy to get comfy.

Our first stop, the next morning, was at the Natural Bridge, west of Field, BC, as suggested by our youngest son. Natural Bridge is a rock formation over the Kicking Horse River in Yoho National Park. Simply fascinating, and such incredible colour.

Emerald Lake, another beautiful setting near Field.

Majestic Rocky Mountains in Yoho National Park.

I’ve never been to Lake Louise, despite it being ‘right in my backyard’ most of my life. My younger brother suggested we stop there, and I’m glad we did.

Mount Victoria Glacier reflected in Lake Louise.

Mount Victoria Glacier

Mount Whyte, Big Beehive, Lake Louise.

Mount Fairview

Chateau Lake Louise

Roxy, taking in the beauty of Lake Louise.

Our eldest son suggested the short hike up to Fairview Lookout. Less than two kilometers, it’s basically straight up and I actually needed breaks along the way.

The stunning views from the lookout were so worth the effort and quickly reenergized me.

Chateau Lake Louise from Fairview Lookout.

Canoes, floating through the sky.

Not really.

I took the time to enjoy my surroundings on the much easier hike down.

I’ll be back next week with more scenic stops, including Banff, Bow Falls and Hoodoos. I love hoodoos!

Stepping Away…

Thank you for stopping by my blog. Monday Musings is currently on hiatus while I tend to other projects. I’ve left links below to some of my more popular topics in case you’d like to browse. I promise most of them include gorgeous photos.

Or you can pop over to my bookshelf or excerpts if you want more information on my books.

I’ll see you all in a few months. Happy reading!

Link to:  My experience with torn and detached retinas

Link to:  Cruising around historic Cuba

Sunday Funday Adventures – Exploring the Okanagan

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Link to:  Beautiful beaches and hiking trails on Vancouver Island

Link to:  Monkeys and more at Sandos Caracol and Riviera Maya

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Link to:  Fun in Palm Desert and San Diego, California

Steamboats on the Old Man River, trolley cars and beignets…Adventures in New Orleans

Icebergs and rowhouses…Exploring Nova Scotia and Newfoundland

Favourite Furry Pets – And a few not so furry ones, too

 

Whirlwind Day of Appointments in Vancouver

A quick recap on my series of eye health posts. (Start from beginning here) In December 2016 I experienced a retinal tear in my left eye, which has left me with unstable vision. In April 2017, I had a vitreous hemorrhage in my right eye, and still don’t know the full outcome from that episode. I want to reiterate the importance of recognizing and understanding the symptoms and dangers of torn or detached retinas.

As our eyes age, the clear vitreous gel that fills the central eye cavity liquefies and separates from the retina. This is a natural occurring event that happens in most people between the age of forty and seventy. When the gel separates, a person will often see floaters—dots, spots or curly lines, which move with the eye. Usually this quickly settles down and everything returns to normal. Sometimes, most often with people who are extremely nearsighted, the retina will tear or detach when the gel separates. A vitreous hemorrhage can occur when blood vessels are damaged during the above process, filling the eye cavity with blood.

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

I ended my last post with our rushed trip to Vancouver to see a retinal surgeon. We had a nice view from our hotel suite, and I wished we were there under better circumstances.

The eye clinic was huge and crowded, but operated like a well-organized production line. I filled out some paperwork, then had drops put in my eyes and various tests done. After a thorough examination, the retinal surgeon explained he could see enough of my retina to confirm it was severely detached, so I told him the ultrasound had shown the retina was okay. He said that might’ve been true at the time, but it had since detached, with potentially dire consequences. He didn’t offer false hope, but promised he’d do everything he could to restore as much of my vision as possible.

I asked if now that both eyes had experienced the vitreous gel separation, there’d be no danger of this happening to me again. He replied that some retinas keep falling off even after being reattached several times. This worried me because my left retina has had to be repaired twice since tearing.

He told me it could take a full year to know the quality of vision I’d end up with. I asked if that meant the sight in my left eye might still improve and he said no, but I’d probably adjust to the blurry vision. Damn, eh? Got my hopes up for a moment.

I filled out reams of paperwork and received pamphlets explaining what a vitreous hemorrhage and a detached retina were, and which procedures would be used during surgery. One procedure is called a Vitrectomy. This involves making small incisions in the eyeball so the surgeon, using a microscope and special lens, can insert micro-surgical instruments to clean the vitreous and blood from the middle eye cavity.

The other procedure entails sewing a silicone scleral buckle around the outer wall of the eyeball to create an indentation inside the eye. This pushes on the retina and effectively closes the break. Scleral buckles usually remain on the eye indefinitely.

After all that cheery news, I had to have my blood pressure checked (Surprise, surprise, it was way higher than normal). After lunch, Hubby dropped me at another clinic to have an electrocardiogram. I’m not sure if this is standard procedure for all the eye clinic’s surgery patients or if it’s because I have an aortic valve insufficiency. Regardless, the test was performed quickly, with no problems detected.

We picked Roxy up from our son’s place and headed to Kit’s Beach for some relaxation.

About 25,000 pot smokers, who’d gathered at Sunset Beach for the 420 cannabis rally, began disbanding about the same time we were returning to our hotel. Extra police presence with road blocks to monitor those partiers, combined with the usual rush hour traffic and few left-hand turn lights, meant it took us two hours to travel what should’ve taken thirty minutes. It was certainly frustrating, but rather than getting all worked up, it became almost a game to us – let’s see if this street will take us where we want to go.

After dinner, we did a dry run to Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, where I’d have my surgery the next morning. Hubby likes to be prepared, and he didn’t want anything unexpected making me late for my appointment. Thankfully, the crazy traffic had dissipated and the trip there and back took no time.

Our hectic day ended with this lovely sunset.

Next week, I’ll share my eye surgery experience. (next post here)