Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Introduction Time!

Trevor and I
   Hi, everyone! I decided to give blogging another shot. It's been a few years since I last had a blog, so this should be fun!
   My name is Angie and I'm 22 years old. When I'm not working, I spend most of my time being crafty and spending time with my boyfriend and my dogs. Lately I've really gotten into glassblowing and back into sketching. My boyfriend, Trevor, has been making art glass pieces for about 9 years now and he introduced me to it when we met a little over 5 years ago.
                                  That's us over there :)
    We met through some mutual friends and have been pretty much inseparable ever since!

Baby Biggie
    We are proudly owned by two pugs. We got our first pug, Biggie, on April 9, 2010. He was born February 17th, 2010. He is one of the sweetest pugs in the world! He spends most of his time cuddled up next to me whether we're in bed being lazy, or he's snuggled up next to me in the craft room or like right now how he's hogging up the chair, snoring away! He loves to be near me. He also likes to steal socks, chase the cats and eat oranges.
    I waited forever before finally getting my first pug. As pugs tend to do, he stole our hearts immediately and we were quickly beginning to wonder how we ever lived our lives without him. Everyone he encounters quickly becomes a fan of him, and he puts a smile on the face of everyone he meets! He knows he's my baby, he knows he's adorable and I can't imagine a day without that little boy! We knew almost immediately that we wanted another pug. Biggie brings us so much joy and of course he needed a little play-mate!

Ollie was born August 18, 2010 and became a part of our family January 8, 2011.
Ollie with his Tennis Ball

   He had a bit of a rough start. He belonged to a family friend's father who suffered from dementia. His previous owner passed, and Ollie was alone without food or water for a week. We welcomed him into our family without hesitation. The first day in our home I had a feeling something was wrong with him. He couldn't keep any food or water in his body, and he weighed in at 4 pounds. I scheduled a vet appointment for the next day.
   When we took him to the vet we did some testing for Parvo which turned up negative, did some skin scrapings on some sore spots he had to check for parasites, an overall check-up and then were sent home with some special prescription food to try to put some weight on him. He always had a big appetite, and every time he ate you would think he had never eaten before in his life! Within a half hour of him eating, the food would always come back up and he would become lethargic again. I gave it another day, calling the vet almost constantly because I was so worried before I took him back in again.
     This was the routine for the following month or so. We were at the vet a minimum of once a week, and during that time we did several x-rays, numerous blood tests, special prescription diets, an endoscopic exam, ultrasounds, barium testing and one exploratory surgery to try to figure out what was wrong with him. I would stay up all night with him, and what little sleep I did get I would still wake up almost every hour to check that he was okay.
Biggie being a camera hog :)
   After hours of research and inconclusive testing, I decided to have him tested for a liver shunt. The blood test came back positive, and we were directed to a surgeon that could help us further with the procedure he would need. This led to more ultrasounds and CT scans to locate the shunt and make sure it was extra-hepatic (located outside of the liver and operable). We had to give him 3 types of medication every day, 3 times a day for the following 3 weeks until the surgery, as well as keep him on a strict prescription diet.
   When a dog has a liver shunt, it means that there is a vein (sometimes referred to as the portal vein) branching out where it shouldn't be and going around the liver instead of passing through it. Because of this, the dog wont always get the nutrients it needs to survive and they have issues breaking down their food. Ollie's portal vein was very large, and he was getting almost no blood flow through his liver. His liver was very small and that is why he could never gain any weight or keep any food in his system.
Ollie after his liver shunt surgery.
    We scheduled his surgery, and took him in on March 3, 2011. To correct the shunt, the surgeons locate it and put a lap-band device around it. Over the course of 6 weeks the band will slowly close off the vein and his liver will start growing and functioning properly. Ollie stayed in the ICU for 3 days following the surgery to be on 24 hour watch for seizures. I was there first thing in the morning to pick him up on the 4th day! He was very sleepy, but of course happy to see us.
   The healing process was stressful. We had to keep him confined to his kennel more than he was used to, keep him from jumping, feed him small amounts of food (Which any pug would NOT be happy with!), attempt to keep his cone of shame on him and of course, give him pain killers. There was an instance where I had to rush him into the ER because he had some extreme bloating. They told us that he would be fine, just to keep an eye on him and limit his activity. This happened about every other day for a few weeks, but eventually went away.
   Ollie is now healthy and up to a hearty 19 pounds! He loves to play and run, and of course eat some tasty non-prescription food! He and Biggie are best friends and partner's in crime.

   Ollie's surgery bills and vet visits were the final push I needed to open up my etsy shop and start selling to the public. I have to take out a few credit loans, but he is worth every penny spent! 90% of the income I get from that goes towards paying off his bills, and the remaining 10% I donate to rescues and shelters in my area. Feel free to stop by my shop and take a look!


Blake and I a few years back.
    Last but not least, I also have one other dog named Blake. He's been around the longest! His mother was a Chow Chow, and she belonged to my dad. Blake was the first dog to ever be MINE! He is about 9 years old now, so he is a little more relaxed and laid back than the pugs.. But that doesn't mean he wont join in when they're racing around the room! Blake is a very sweet, gentle, well-mannered dog. He spends most of his time sleeping on my favorite chair.
   We've been battling skin allergies with him for a couple of years now. I still can't quite figure out what is causing it, but he suffers from severe hair loss. Occasionally it will all grow back, but typically it all falls out again. Hopefully we can get it under control soon!


Well, I think that's enough for now! Thank you for taking the time to read this! Don't worry... My next posts wont be as long, haha. Have a great day!

4 comments:

  1. Hi Thanks for coming by my blog and letting me discover you! I like your blog, think your dogs are so cute and love your art. Wow! Hope to see more of you in Blogville.
    Love Noodles' Mommy #2

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    1. Thank you!! I'm excited to have a blog again. Hopefully I don't ramble on for too long! haha. Noodles is SOO cute! Looking forward to reading about your adventures and chatting! :)
      -Angie

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  2. Love the blog! Your fur-babies are adorable! Hope to see lots more pictures!!!
    Pug hugs and kisses!
    The Pug Posse

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    1. Thank you!! I'm so excited to start posting pictures of my boys, and see all the other pictures on pug-blogs! I can never get enough pug pictures in my life :)

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