Sunday, December 30, 2012

Simply Sunday and Almost 2013

We had a few inches of snow here in New Jersey yesterday. Today it's sunny and cold but it looks scenic and right for the holidays! Ozzie enjoys tracking through the white stuff and being a connoisseur of snow was engage in some tastings of it in the back yard this morning!

Right before Christmas Eve I was petting the Oz and found a lump right under his jaw line in his neck. I knew it had to be the lymphoma rearing it's ugly head but was hoping for something else to be diagnosed. I took him to the vet on Friday and sure enough he is coming out of remission. Dr. D suggested a new treatment that would be in pill form once every 3 weeks. They would do some blood work each time prior to the pill and he would be on that for at least 5 pills. She also suggested a injection in conjunction with the pills of a drug called "Elspar" which is given intramuscular with a total of 2 injections. This treatment may make him feel a little "poopy" for a day or so but she feels it works well and helps to extend remission. I am all for it!

Ozzie is in good health otherwise and he gained 2 pounds over the holidays. That is mostly due to all the extra treats and goodies that have come through this house! Also Uncle Fred shared way to much food with Ozzie on Christmas day ( I know he means well) but it resulted in some first class diarrhea 2:00 AM that morning! 

I will keep you posted on Ozzie's treatments and progress and pray for the best out come. 

I want to wish you all a very happy healthy prosperous 2013 and peace for the New Year!

"I detect notes of plum and a smooth finish! Yummo!"

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Simply Sunday and Almost Christmas!

I can't believe it's almost here! So much to do so little time it seems! If I wasn't sick for weeks with some kind of mystery virus I would of had a better start at the whole thing! Though who am I kidding I probably would be in the same boat! Last minute me! 

Ozzie feels no sense of urgency at all! He simply lounges among the madness and waits for the party to begin! In the meantime I better get going! Still have food shopping to do for the gathering on Christmas day and some last minute gifts! 

I want to leave you with a recipe that Ozzie enjoys and is something you can make and freeze in portions for your pooch. Why shouldn't they get some home cooked meals over the holidays?!

Ozzie's Chicken Meatballs

  • Two 16 oz packages of ground chicken
  • flat leaf parsley
  • turmeric  ( healthy spice that dogs can consume safely)

Chop up parsley and add to meat along with a generous sprinkle of turmeric. 
Make small size balls, little bit smaller than a golf ball.

Get a big pot of water boiling on the stove and drop in meatballs. Should take no longer than 20 minutes to cook through. Remove meatballs to cool. Break up and mix with their favorite kibble.

Store batches in freezer bags for future meals!

Wishing you all a joyous Christmas!

"Isn't Santa suppose to give me cookies on Christmas Eve?!"

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Simply Sunday and Grid-Lock Alert!

Oh my goodness there are only 9 more shopping days left and I still have a lot to do! I know that Ozzie could care less about Christmas shopping, he is just looking forward to Christmas day and presents from Santa Paws and Uncle Freddie feeding him under the table!

Speaking of food, Ozzie is rejecting his kibble as of late. For the last several months we have been cooking for him special meals to help supplement his immune system while going through the chemo. His Pop was giving him table scraps on top of it all because he felt bad for the Oz. We have created our own little Frankenstein. He will have nothing to do with his kibble and he barks for organic chicken and steamed veggies and the like. I told him he has to eat his dog food but you know how stubborn bulldogs are!

We went into the city last night to the see the tree at Rockefeller Center and it was the usual madhouse, gridlock alert scenario! The weather was good though, with temps in the 40' so we didn't freeze our tuckus's off. The tree this year is an 80 foot Norway spruce from Flanders, NJ. Though I have seen the Rockefeller tree many times over the years, and it always awes me! It's part of our Christmas tradition and I wouldn't want to miss it for the world!

Not to fail to mention that my heart goes out to the victim's families of the school shooting  in Newtown Ct today. I am sure we all will keep them in our collective prayers over what will be difficult days ahead.

 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you"  (John 14:27).

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Simply Sunday and a Visit with Santa

Yup its that time of year when Santa Paws comes to visit the veterinarian's office. Ozzie was there yesterday with his usual casual attitude towards the whole thing. He was more interested in the tray of cookies they had out for the humans than anything else!

Ozzie behaved perfectly when it was his turn to sit with Santa Paws. I think he asked for bullie sticks and a flat screen TV but I am not totally sure. 

The staff was thrilled to see him and all remarked how well he is doing! Our Christmas wish for Ozzie is more quality time with us!

I have to get hopping, there is so much to do this time of year and so little time. I am off to fight the crowds in the mall, wish me luck!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

"Again I have to wear this ridiculous collar?! What I do for my humans!"

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Simply Sunday and Check up News

This past Friday, Ozzie had his check up to see where we stand with his lymphoma diagnosis. He had completed his five round single drug protocol of chemotherapy that was stretched out over a period of five months. His lymph nodes are back to normal and he is in overall good health. The vet declared Ozzie was in remission and this could last several months or several weeks. When it does return the chemo is not as effective. She told us that Ozzie is a delightful patient and that most bulldogs are difficult to work with but not our Oz. It was a good boy all the time. Dr. D gave us some hopeful information as well, that some dogs live out their normal life span in remission but it is rare. I am praying that Ozzie will be one of those dogs! In the meanwhile we will enjoy him as much as we can! 

Christmas is on it's way and we need to get our lights up outside our house. We are probably one of the last houses without some kind of holiday decor, oh wait do have our scare crow and pumpkins out on the porch, but that's the wrong holiday! 

We will be taking Ozzie to see Santa and have his picture taken with him. I think when Ozzie is asked what he wants for Christmas this year he will probably say "good health and more bully sticks!"

Have a good week ahead all!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Simply Sunday and Countdown to Turkey!

I can't believe that Thanksgiving is almost upon us! The national holiday where we all give thanks for nature's bounty and the family and friends that we share it with! This year may be more dear to those who have had their lives turned upside down (literally) by Hurricane Sandy! We are having the holiday here at Ozzie's house with a good size group of family and friends.

The menu is pretty much predictable, turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, green beans etc. There are "no bones about it" though that the menu presents some dangers to our pets. Once again the food of the holidays will present perilous situations, and we really have to be on guard!

Turkey bones are a major no-no, they can puncture, scrape or cause blockages to their stomachs/intestinal tracts. The skin from the bird is very high in fat and eating that can lead to pancreatitis  in dogs. Here is a list of 10 things to avoid giving your dog and or cat during this feast of thanks.

So what can we give  our canine pals to enjoy while we are all noshing away on Thanksgiving dinners?! I came upon this recipe from Rachel Ray who regularly whips up cuisine for dogs. It's called "Who are you calling turkey?!" Patty. It can be made from your leftovers and sounds like a winner to me.

As usual keep an eye out for Uncle Fred who is constantly giving hand outs when your back is turned!

To follow are Ozzie's obligatory pictures with the turkey hat! Sorry about this Oz, but your so darn cute in it!

"This totally takes away my dignity! Besides, I hate turkeys! They are big fat stupid birds!"

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Simply Sunday and Saluting Veterans

It's been almost 2 weeks since Sandy has hit the North East and there are still people without power and heat. I think that it turned into such a massive storm that the utility companies were not prepared enough?! I know that I would be really upset if I was still sitting in the dark! Especially Ozzie who wouldn't be able to watch his favorite TV shows..."Dancing with the Stars", "The Dog Whisperer" and "Fox News". Hopefully everyone will back on the grid this coming week! 

Ozzie and I would like to thank all the Veteran's out there who have served, who are still serving and those who made sacrifices beyond what us civilians can imagine. For those who made the ultimate sacrifice, our condolences to them and their families!  

"I was thinking about joining the Marines but somehow my weight was an issue!"

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday and Aftermath of Sandy

Sandy came roaring in on Monday and really packed a wallop for the NY/NJ area's. The Jersey shore was really hard hit with tidal surges of water that swept away parts of boardwalks in communities like Seas Side Heights and Point Pleasant. We were without power since Monday night and it was not fun. You really get a sense of what life was before power and believe me its not pretty. We finally got power restored to our neighborhood last night and what a sense of relief. The temperatures were dropping into the low 40's (F) and I was walking around with my coat on trying to think warm thoughts,... Bermuda, Bahamas..! But fortunately the power tripped on around 9:45 PM and so did the heat! Yea! Ozzie was probably getting use to life without lights.
A tree from our neighbors yard split down the middle with a good chunk of it crossing our back yard into our neighbors pool. We were lucky that was the worse we experienced. Some folks in the area lost a lot more. Halloween was postponed by Governor Chris Christie and rescheduled for Monday November 4th. I am sure a lot of kids were disappointed but with all the down wires and trees it was just to risky to be roaming the streets!

In the meanwhile life will slowly creep back to normal while services are restored and areas that were hard hit get cleaned up. Ozzie will patiently wait for trick or treaters on Monday and enjoy the much taken for granted light and warmth!

My thoughts and prayers go out to all who suffered losses from the storm!

"Where are the trick or treaters?"

"A common sight in the neighborhood."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Simply Sunday and Waiting for Sandy

Its now the calm before the Mega Storm or Frankenstorm as the local papers call it. Hurricane Sandy a thousand mile wide, category one hurricane is making its way to the east coast corridor of the US, slamming very unladylike into areas of New Jersey and New York City! Today is the last day to hunker down and get supplies for a possible 2 day stint of being stuck inside. Hopefully we will not have a power outage but with the severe winds that Sandy (up to 75 mph) is packing we may not be so lucky! 

The grocery stores are empty of any kind of bottled water so hopefully we have enough just in case. I noticed the liquor store was very crowded yesterday. Maybe a lot of folks rather be short of water but not of their booze to ride out the storm with?!

Part of our preparing for the hurricane includes making Ozzie his cinnamon pumpkin cookies. They are fairly easy to put together and I just pulled them out of the oven. Ozzie is patiently waiting for them to cool so he may sample one! (see recipe below)

Not to fail to mention the good news with Ozzie.His last chemo treatment was Friday and he went through it like a trooper. The vet wants to see him in one month to check him out and he will continue to take the steroids until then. Dr D  said that he responded well to the treatments and the lymphoma is in remission. Yea! We were very happy to hear this and hope that he continues to keep the cancer at bay!

For all those in the path of Sandy, stay safe have a plan and good luck!

Cinnamon Pumpkin Cookies

2 1/2 cup of organic flour ( you can use regular or whole wheat)
1 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree ( make sure its not the pie filling kind that is seasoned)
1/4 cup of crunchy peanut butter ( organic or all natural if you can )
3/4 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 cup of water (amount varies depending on the dough's consistency)

Preheat the oven to 275 F. Mix all the ingredients together. Once you get a nice dough ball going get your rolling pin and roll it out to about a 1/4 inch. Take your cookie cutter and cut out your cookies. Place them on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake them for 1 hour. The doggie treats should be lightly browned. Let them cool for an hour or so. Then give them to your favorite pup!

"How long must I wait! Wake me when they're done!"

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Simply Sunday and Bad Bullies

Last night we ended up watching the Dog Whisperer. It was just by chance that the whole show was about Cesar helping out two owners with bulldogs. Both had aggression issues with other dogs and one with people as well! The one dog, Hugo, ended up going to Cesar's home for several months since he required intense training and rehabilitation  The owners of these two dogs were the best bulldog dads you could find and very devoted to their bullies. It just makes you wonder what goes wrong sometimes in a dogs thinking, They did explain that with Hugo, was attacked by another dog in doggy day care,that then carried  over into him attacking other dogs. One must remember that bulldog genetics hold generations of dogs that were trained to fight. Ozzie is really a good boy and is more of a lover than a fighter, though except when it comes to his human brother Will. (Ozzie still does go after him from time to time, and we still can't figure it out!) Any one who is thinking of getting a bulldog should consider that they can be difficult to train and should decide if they are up to the task before hand!

Cesar Millan has a new book coming out in January titled A Short Guide to a Happy Dog. Guess what breed of dog  appears on the cover with him? Yup that's right...a bulldog! 

This week I promise to make Ozzie his peanut butter and pumpkin cookies. I just need to get some organic peanut butter. I will post the recipe for them in next Sunday's blog.

In the mean while we are just enjoying the beautiful Fall weather this weekend. The leaves are turning brilliant colors and Ozzie is just soaking it all in!

Here is hoping you are doing the same and have a great week all!

"Happy Pumpkin Day...I just made that up..haha!"

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday, Chubby Sunday

What a wonderful Autumn weekend its been so far! Ozzie is currently lounging on the deck with his Pop and all is right in the world at the moment. He  has been feeling well and with that his weight has gone up. Though you like to see him maintain and not lose weight with the lymphoma, one would hope he wouldn't start to fit in his extra-large size pants again.  ( That is if he were to wear pants!) It may be back to his low cal dog food. I have a call in to the vet to see what she thinks about switching foods.

In the meanwhile there shall be no more pizza crust for Ozzie on Fridays!

"Hey, it's okay this is a low cal bullie stick!"

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Simply Sunday and Bless the Beasts

I work at a small Franciscan College one town over from me which is a 5 minute commute from my house. (You gotta love it!) October 4th is the Feast of St Francis of Assisi who is remembered for his love of all creatures. In celebration of this event, we had a blessing of the animals on Friday.  Ozzie's  Pop was  home Friday so I called him in the morning to bring Ozzie to the college lunch time when Father Damian was going to bless our pets. I also reminded him to bring the camera which of course he forgot, (husbands!) so I have no pictures of this event! Ozzie was the hit of the animal parade and got his sprinkle of Holy water and blessing. Ozzie needs all the blessings he can get! 

Ozzie has been feeling okay lately except a bout of diarrhea that began yesterday. He woke us up at 4:00 AM this morning because he had to do an  emergency poop! We have medication for his stomach woes that we gave him and it will be a chicken and rice kind of day for the Oz. Hopefully this will pass and he will be back to his ole self soon!

In the meantime take a moment to give thanks to the love and joy our pets bring into our lives and pray for those animals that don't have the wonderful homes they deserve...yet!

Ozzie made the local paper a couple of years ago for the Blessing of the Animals!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Simply Sunday and Sizes X-Large to X-Small

Ozzie is recovering from chemo treatment number 4 this weekend. All went well and the vet reports that he is a perfect patient as usual. Also good to know that his lymph nodes are normal in size and over all he seems fit. Yes he is fit all right, up to 81 pounds! I guess his appetite has not suffered! He has another treatment to go next month and then we will see where we are at. Knowing the outcome of this disease all we can pray for is his continued good health and time!

Last Sunday we attended the Columbus Avenue street fair in NYC. There was food galore and vendors of all sorts and music from Zeppelin to Sinatra. The day was sunny and mild and folks where out by the scores, a lot walking dogs of all kinds. Of course we came across a bulldog. She was very lovely, with coloring much like Ozzie. Her name was Dylan and she was a petite thing. Her owner told us that she was 4  years old and the runt of her litter. She weighed only 42 pounds. Wow, Ozzie is twice her weight! 

Here is the scoop on Bulldog's height and weight:
Height, Weight
Height: about 12-16 inches (31-40 cm.) (there is no prescribed height, but shorter Bulldogs are more prized when being shown)
Weight: Dogs 53-55 pounds (24-25kg.) Bitches 49-51 pounds (22-23kg.)

Ozzie is at least 18 inches and weighs in at 81 pounds so I guess he is just off the charts!

Happy Sunday all!

Dylan the bulldog of the Upper West Side, New York City

Monday, September 24, 2012

Recall Alert on Bully Sticks!

The FDA just came out the other day with a recall of the brand Boots & Barkley American Beef Bully Sticks. It may be contaminated with Salmonella.

One of Ozzie's favorite treats is the one and only delicious bully stick. He wants all to know that this particular brand is on recall and should not be given to your special pooch!
The brand was sold at Target stores between April 2012  through September 2012. 

Please read the FDA link below to get the full scoop! 

" All bully sticks are not created equal!"

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Simply Sunday and a River Runs Through it!

Brrr! An evening rain storm has ushered in cooler temps and truly Fall is here! Time to plant mums and to think about Ozzie's Halloween outfit! 

So Ozzie's new idiosyncrasy is holding in his pee for an inordinate amount of time. Example extreme,....Ozzie's last visit to the back yard 4:45 PM. His next visit 11:30 AM! Of course when he finally lets loose he goes and goes, so much that he ends up standing in a river of his pee! What this means I am not sure but I will not fail to mention it to the vet when he goes this coming Friday for his 4th chemotherapy treatment. Other than that he seems fine. His appetite is good and his breathing even seems a bit better! Certainly the cooler weather helps in that department!

"So what, can't a guy decide when he needs to pee or not! Besides I'm busy now!"

It's 8:17  AM Sunday and Ozzie refuses to go out in the back yard to do his morning business. Husband suggests bribing him with cheese, that seems to work. Really? Do we have to bribe him to go to the bathroom?! Hmm, not so stubborn as smart perhaps!

Happy Sunday and enjoy the invigorating Fall weather! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Suddenly Saturday and Smells Like Fall

We had a front come through last night that brought a little rain and some cooler air. This morning is glorious, sunny with a feel of Autumn in the air! Ozzie can definitely appreciate this weather and so can I!

Ozzie is feeling fine as of late. The only thing that bothers him (mostly bothers me) is his excessive panting. Especially after he exerts himself (i.e. going up stairs etc.), he just hyperventilates away! I know that this is a side effect of the Prednisone but it really is distressing to me. A good side effect if you will is that his skin has never been more irritant free and over all is clear from dermatitis of any kind! 

Last night I had a dream of finding a cat that was all white and bringing it home. Ozzie was cool with it and they seem to get along. I miss having a cat but perhaps that addition would not be good timing? I am sure there is some Freudian message in that dream but at the moment I will just take it for what it is!

Below is an interesting link to an article on the use of Prednisone for dogs with lymphoma if any of you out there are experiencing this same dilemma! 

For all of you, enjoy the wonderful weekend of weather and here is looking forward to the Fall! Yippee!

Ozzie's Favorite Time of Year

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tool for Drool? Now Who's the Fool?!

This is an amendment to my previous post concerning the Shark steam mop. The following story is true and no names have been changed to protect the innocent!

As I got ready to clean my kitchen floor yesterday I plugged in my mop to get the steam up and running. I finished sweeping the floor and grabbed the steam mop and began to pump the handle in order to release the steam. To my surprise there was no steam coming out. The unit felt hot but no steam was being produced and as I looked at the mop head there was a big puddle of water on the floor the size of lake Michigan. What?! I began pumping the handle vigorously as if I were to get a pound of butter out of it. Notta, zip, zilch, zero! Hey, how can this be broke, I only had it for a year if that. I went on the internet and found others who had the same problem. The customer service reps at Shark told them to send $39.99 along with the cost of the shipping and they would send them a new one. I mentioned this today to my friend Terri who had recommended the Shark mop to me and she told me her's just broke the other day, She said that the Shark Customer Service rep told her the same thing and that for around $51.00 she would have a new mop. Hmm, do I want to buy another mop from them that's going to break down in another year's time? They are just about admitting that its defective and they know it's going to end up in the junk heap! Then I read online some guy who took it all apart and cleaned out all the hardened mineral deposits that gunk up the valves. He recommended that you only use distilled water not tap water or it will happen again. Why doesn't Shark tell you that?!

 "They don't make things like they use to huh?"

 I think its time to look around for another steam cleaner. Good-bye Shark it's been real but I don't want to get bitten again!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Suddenly Saturday and Tool for Drool

Work has me too busy and I find it hard to post Finally Friday on Friday's so I will have to settle for Suddenly Saturdays for now. Ozzie has done well after his chemo treatment last Friday. No side effects this time and he seems to be fine except for that over the top panting from the Prednisone! The end of September will be chemo treatment four for our big boy. I guess it is going well so I will just keep praying that this will give him more time than the vet predicts!

I want to share with you my secret for cleaning up drool on a wood floor or any other hard surface. Its the Shark steam mop. It works with just steam to clean up the mess left behind from copious amounts of drool and other fluids that will go unmentioned. The wonderful thing about it is that you can clean your floor without using chemicals that can transfer to your pets paws or can licked off the floor when a piece of cheese hits the ground! (You know that happens all the time in our house...oops!) It has become a part of my house cleaning arsenal.

Another domestic point I like to share today is a new treat I make for the Oz. Its broccoli fried rice. I cook up some brown organic rice and steam some organic broccoli. You can get the broccoli in the Wholefoods frozen section. It's reasonably priced along with their other store brand organic frozen veggies. Then I throw them together in a skillet and and add an egg that has been mixed with some milk (both organic) and throw it over the rice broccoli mix. That is then heated up until the egg is scramble (cooked). Of course you don't need to use all organic stuff but I am trying to keep it that way for Ozzie since his illness. Needless to say Ozzie loves this but then what doesn't he love to eat?!

Hoping you all enjoy the waning days of Summer, have a great weekend!

"When do we eat?!"

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Suddenly Saturday and Chemo Round 3

Ozzie had his 3rd chemo treatment on Friday. All seemed to go well. He gained back the 7 pounds he lost probably with some help from his Pop who is constantly feeding him under the table! The vet said that his lymph nodes seem normal and overall he is in good shape. Oz is taking meds for his stomach now since the last round of chemo he experienced bloody diarrhea! (Oh my!) He will continue to take the steroids and there are 2 more treatments ahead. We just take it day by day and hope for the best!

I think the words pet owner are incorrect. It really should be pet steward. It is our responsibility to love them and take the best of care of them that we possibly can. In return they give us unconditional love and joy. It is our privilege in our life time to have a dog or cat or etc. No matter how long or short the time they spend with us. 

And with that philosophical moment I leave you and wish you all a safe and fun filled Labor Day weekend!

"Gak! That chemo leaves a rotten taste in my mouth! Hey where is my dinner!"

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Suddenly Saturday

Ozzie has had a good week. He seems well other than the extra panting from the steroids. He goes for his next chemo treatment on the 31st.

The weather has been a little less humid and cooler in the evenings so Ozzie ventures out a bit more. Though once he is out for a while he is always looking to get back inside to the AC! I guess the upcoming Fall weather will be a welcome relief to him.

"OK, I had enough of this, let me in!"

Here is a link to an adorable bulldog puppy being just plain cute. Enjoy and have a marvelous weekend!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Finally Friday and Yoga for Bulldogs

Ozzie seems to be doing less as far as play is concerned these days but he is replacing those playful moments  with more meaningful zen like moments. Here he is doing his salutations to the sun pose early yesterday morning! 

I think I heard him chanting saying "Om I wish I had a bone!"

Summer is quickly flying by so enjoy your weekends folks!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Finally Friday and Prince of Poop

This week has shown some improvement with Ozzie. For the most part he seems okay! The vet started him on a new dog food. It's Royal Canin Gastrointestinal High Energy. It is suppose to have nutrients that nourish the intestinal microflora in dogs. Along with omega-3 fatty acids to help support his immune system it is recommended by Dr Tracey to help Ozzie in his battle to keep the lymphoma at bay. I know one thing for sure that it does, it's made Ozzie into a super pooper. Not that he wasn't before but wow! The other night he went twice and the second time he didn't make it all the way down to the yard and pooped on the deck. Hm, I wonder if that's where the expression poop deck comes from? I guess a little intestinal unrest is expected whenever  you change dog food on your pup!

The Oz spends most of his time lying on the hardwood floor. Maybe its cooler there for him?! Oh well we are in the dog days of August! Hope you all have a great weekend ahead!

"Geez, can't a guy take a poop in peace around here?!"

Friday, August 3, 2012

Finally Friday and Food for Thought

So another week has passed and it's August already! Weather here in New Jersey has been wet and muggy but tolerable. Ozzie had been panting a lot with instances of rapid breathing that had me concerned. Listening  to him breathe the other night was disturbing to me! I called Dr Tracey and she suggested I bring him in so she can check him out. Ozzie was a cooperative patient when we arrived. He even let his temperature be taken without too much fuss although the vet tech had to give him some of his roast beef sandwich as a bribe! Dr Tracey listened to his lungs and said they were clear. His gums were nice and pink so he was getting sufficient oxygen. She concluded that all the uneasy breathing issues were due to the Prednisone. Dr Tracey told us that sometimes instead of open mouth panting that he will pant with his mouth closed and creates that rapid breathing. Over all she thought that Ozzie was responding well to the chemo treatments and he seemed in good shape. Very encouraging to hear!

 We discussed some food options as well. I told her that I was making meals of organic chicken with brown rice and broccoli and supplementing that with his usual kibble. She said that was great and foods that would support his immune system are a huge help. Omega 3 fatty acids and high levels of protein are an immune boosters and something to look for in a high quality dog food for dogs with cancers. She ordered a brand of Royal Canin dry food that she recommends and that will come in on Monday. I will let you all know how Ozzie rates it, but knowing Ozzie he is not too fussy. Our vet believes that Ozzie will not be cured but may enjoy several more months with us. That doesn't seem like much but if that's all we got I'll take it!

Special thanks again to Ozzie's friends, Emmie and Bippy and Katie who sent Oz cards of well wishes!

Have a wonderful weekend friends!

Below is a book I have been referring to written by a veterinarian about cancer and your dog. I have found it interesting and helpful for anyone looking for some reference.

Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs

Friday, July 27, 2012

Finally Friday and All That Jazz

After Ozzie received his second chemo last Friday he seemed fine! The usual lethargic behavior but nothing more. Not until a couple of days later! Ozzie came down with bloody diarrhea on Tuesday. Always a unsettling thing to witness, I freaked and called the vet immediately who prescribed Flagyl or generically called Metronidazole  . This medication acts as an antibiotic that works on the GI tract and also helps to calm the diarrhea. Our vet Dr. Tracey, seemed less concerned over the BD then us. She explained that it was a side effect from the chemo and that the drug was attacking the rapid divide of the cancer cells that are found abundant in the intestinal tract. She also recommended a diet of boiled chicken and rice for a few days. He has had some smaller episodes since taking the medication and hopefully this is working its way out of his system! Still very upsetting to see this go on with our poor boy. Though his appetite his still over the top and he is acting fine otherwise! He enjoys chewing on his Nyla-bone and is always seeking a hand out from the dinner table. I know the Dog Whisperer would be appalled, but now a days all good dog behavior expectations have gone out the window! 

  What I refer to as the Bulldog stance, while happily gnawing at his Nyla-Bone!

Again to all of you, thanks for your concern and well wishes! A special thanks to Melinda and Don for your call the other day! Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Finally Friday and Chemo Treatment II

Ozzie went for his second chemo treatment yesterday. Everything went well as can be expected. Though Ozzie has lost 7 pounds since his last visit. The vet said the weight loss is due to the cancer. Its definitely not due to his appetite which has been ferocious. I am still cooking "special' for him making organic chicken and brown rice dishes. I am not sure in the end how much that will help but it can't hurt and Ozzie seems to enjoy it!

With this chemo protocol he could be with us 4 to 5 months, maybe longer. The vet felt that Ozzie doesn't appear to be in any pain at this time. There are moments where I still cannot believe  that he has lymphoma and that he will beat this disease. But.....yeah I know....

"Hey my bowl is empty! Where's the beef?!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Finally Friday and Hungry Like a Wolf

Here we are again...Friday! Ozzie seems fine with no real outward symptoms of the lymphoma that plagues him. There are some things that he just doesn't do anymore. He would love to sit out on the front porch with his Pop and people/dog watch. He just isn't interested lately, though the heat doesn't help the situation. He seems to get easily over heated ( even in a cooler environment) and pants a bit. That could be from the prednisone or the cancer?! One thing for sure that the steroid has done is stimulated his already veracious appetite! I could be opening a bag of chips two blocks away and he would hear it and come running! Well you know what I mean. Food is on his brain at every moment of the day! He spends a lot of time on the kitchen floor!

Ozzie's next chemo appointment is a week from today, so I will be able to get an idea on where we are at and ask some questions about what to expect going forward. Till then we will just enjoy the Oz and I will keep feeding him his organic gourmet meals. My husband noted that I feed Ozzie better then him other day. Hubby  was eating a hotdog and wanted to give a piece of it to Ozzie. I stopped him and said "Don't feed him that, hot-dogs have a lot of junk in them!" "Well then why do you feed them to me!" he protested."Oh well you may have a point but you don't have cancer!"

One last note before I go, I ran into a woman who breeds Golden Retrievers and she recently had a litter of Goldendoodles. What are they you might ask?! They are a combination of a Golden Retreiver and a Poodle. Sounds like a great mix between two wonderfully tempered breeds! If anyone here in the NY Metro area is interested leave me a comment with your email and I will give you the information!

Have a super weekend all!

Loving his bone pillow!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Finally Friday and Hiding from the Heat

Ozzie really seems much like his ole self this week. His appetite equals at least 4 bulldogs lately and his outings to pee are more frequent all thanks to the prednisone but if that is the worst thing we will take it! There are some things that he doesn't do anymore. He doesn't go up on the couch in the family room which was his favorite place to roost! It's not that he can't physically do it ( he got up there real quick last night for a  taste of some of Pops ice cream) its just that he chooses not to. He rather lay on the wood floor these days maybe because its cooler?! The weather here has been hot, hot, hot! With day time temperatures in the 90's its not fit for man or bulldog out there. 

Ozzie also doesn't nap as long as he use to. He was in the habit of taking long morning naps after his breakfast but now he seems wide awake all the time. I wonder if the medication has something to do with it or his body chemistry has changed?! Well anyway as we roll into the weekend and Ozzie begins his 4th year with us we will do some barbecue and try to keep cool. Saturday's weather forecast has an excessive heat watch for our area because the temps will be in the high 90's with heat index values in the 100 degree range.  Thank goodness for air conditioning!

This is the hungry face staring at me day and night! "Please Mom, can I have some more!"

I have a box fan that I plop in front of where ever Ozzie is laying to give him extra breeze on days like this. Even though we have central AC it still can get a little warmer in the house midday.

Keep your pets indoors and have a cool weekend!

Over Heating in Dogs

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July and 3rd Anniversary for Ozzie

Happy birthday America! As we celebrate the 236th anniversary of America's independence from England, folks will be barbecuing and watching fireworks all over the nation! Its been hot, hot hot here and the week ahead does not look any better. Certainly not bulldog weather. Ozzie is feeling good and has been laying low for the most part. Only going outside to do his business and rushing back in!

I have been making Ozzie some special food to supplement his body's immunity system against the cancer. I boiled some organic chicken breast along with broccoli and organic brown rice. He loves it (what doesn't he love?!) and happily gobbles it up. The Prednisone makes him thirsty and super hungry. He now wakes up at 5:00 AM to eat breakfast and go poddy. Oh well as long as he is eating well and doing his business well I am happy!

July 5th is the 3 year anniversary of Ozzie's adoption. That day was super hot too and when we arrived at his foster home and got a glimpse of Ozzie it was love at first sight! Maybe an organic steak is in order for the day to celebrate? What do you say ole boy? 

Fireworks are great for kids and adults but not so for our pets. Though not much seems to ruffle Ozzie's feathers his friend Katie the silky Terrier is quite shaken by them. Her mom bought her a Thundershirt. She says it seems to calm her anxieties. Maybe something to check out if your pup gets nervous with separation anxiety or thunderstorms, fireworks etc.?! I am not sure if they make a Thundershirt that fits a bulldogs physique though?!

Whatever you do have a happy and safe 4th of July!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Finally Friday and Feeling Fine

This Friday morning finds Ozzie feeling somewhat better. The swollen lymph nodes have disappeared and he seems a little less lethargic! The steroid has him drinking more and may have peaked his appetite to new ravenous heights! (Or is that just the normal Oz?) The other side effect to the med is that he has to pee more. Ozzie woke up at 5:00 AM this morning. We figured he had to go so we led him downstairs. At that time a thunderstorm was rolling in with lightening and drenching rain. "Great!" we thought, he won't want to go out in this mess. I fed him quickly and we went out through the garage. It was teaming at that point. He finally went into the yard and pooped. Hey! Where is the pee part of that poddy time? I went back upstairs to the bedroom and discovered his  blankets were wet! Oh well. 

Ozzie must definitely be feeling back to good since he was actually chewing on his Nyla-bone, something he hasn't done since he has been diagnosed with this disease. I guess the swollen nodes prevented him from enjoying his chewing time. We hope that there are more feeling good days ahead!

To all of you who have followed and worried with me, a grateful thanks to your support! Have a wonderful weekend all!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Worry Wednesday

Ozzie had his first chemo therapy yesterday. We  chose to go for the lesser single agent chemo route. It will be once every 3 weeks. If this doesn't improve his quality of life then we will not continue and just do the steroids which we are doing in conjunction with the chemo. The steroids help  to reduce the swelling of the lymph nodes but does not treat the cancer itself. 

I have struggled with doing this opposed to just letting the cancer take its course. In the end it's fatal and he will just have relapses that will get worse, so I am just buying a little extra time. Hopefully some quality time with us. Once it is no longer quality ..well then we will not prolong any suffering. 

Today Ozzie seems fine. Still eating heartily and pooping masterfully! Our joyful boy is still with us for now and we are grateful.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Finally Friday and What we Feared

Let me start with this is a difficult post and you will soon see why. The other day we went for a recheck on Ozzie's ear infection and we asked Dr Tracey to look at something that we have noticed for a while under his neck. We felt it several weeks ago and wondered what the heck it was. It was at least a size of a golf ball in the middle of his throat straddled by two other lumps on either side. We thought perhaps we missed this before because of all the fat and rolls around his collar. Maybe it was his thyroid or do dogs have Adam's Apples? Could it just be a case of swollen glands that would be accompanied by some kind of kennel cough? We did ignore it for a while but were going to make a point of showing it to the vet on his recheck visit. When Dr Tracey felt it her face instantly showed her concern. She felt Ozzie's back side too and said "This isn't good!" "I don't want to alarm you too much but this looks like Lymphoma." That fear in the back of my head that kept nagging me that this was bad was right! She suggested that we take blood and aspirate the lump to confirm her diagnosis. As they took Ozzie into the back room to do the test my husband and I stared at each other in shock. He was only with us for 3 years this is not fair. 
All of Ozzie's lymph nodes were enlarged, under his jaw and behind the knee. He had no other symptoms except he has been a little more lethargic than usual and stopped chewing on his Nyla-bones. Chemo would be the way to go to give him some extra time. Most dogs respond well suffering little of the ills that humans do from it since the doses are not as strong. This could give Ozzie a year or so. With no treatment he could be gone in 6 weeks. As we left the vet's office she said that the results should be back from the lab fairly quickly and then we could determine what kind of treatment would be best for him. 

So today we found out that he has high grade lymphoma which needs to be addressed sooner than later. We were given some treatment options to think about and we will wrestle with what is the best course for Ozzie. Treatment will start as soon as next week. I will keep you all up to date on Ozzie's progress. I know that this will beat him in the end since there is no real cure, but we will fight the good fight as long as we can!

Lymphoma in Dogs

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bulldogs for Meatless Monday...Really?!

We are trying to embrace Meatless Mondays here at home. Though Ozzie prefers Meat Mondays! I reminded Ozzie that dogs are omnivores and can enjoy certain vegetables and fruits. He just looked at me and walked away! Oh well regardless we are going to try it. There are a lot of great recipes out there and now that its summer time we can make some great dishes out on the grill. 

Tonight I am going to make Mushroom Stroganoff. It seems easy enough and sounds delicious. I have attached the link below for you all to check it out. You will also find the link to the Meatless Monday movement. Just doing one meal a week without meat is a healthy trend that can carry over to other days during the week.

Meanwhile Ozzie will mope about it and maybe try is own movement for T-bone Tuesdays!

"Meatless? Really?"

Mushroom Stroganoff

Friday, June 15, 2012

Finally Friday and Happy Bulldog Father's Day!

Another week to be completed with a beautiful Friday! We are gearing up for Father's Day and will be doing a backyard barbecue! Ozzie already has visions of rib eye steak dancing in his head. In matter of fact Ozzie wrote a poem for his Pop for the occasion. It goes like this:

This for my Pop, 
who kindness never stops, 
We sit out on the front stoop, 
He bends down to pickup my poop,
I really love him a lot! 

Ok, he may not be Walt Whitman but the sentiment is there!

Ozzie and his Pop, taking a nap together!

Wishing all you Fathers out there a Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Another Wee-Wee Wednesday

"Then why did you take so long, it's not my fault!"

So the saga continues. I wake up and go downstairs with Ozzie. I serve him his morning bowl of kibble. I quickly run to the bathroom while he happily chomps away his breakfast. I come out of the bathroom to take Ozzie outside for his morning constitutional. Ozzie doesn't want to go out! Hmm why? Its been  8 and a 1/2 hours of holding ones bladder! Husband enters room and asks why all the bother? I tell him that Ozzie refuses to go outside to potty. That is when I noticed a puddle on the kitchen floor.....saga to be continued!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Adopt-a-Bull Ozzie

"Thanks Mom and Pop for adopting me!"

It's hard to believe that next month on the 5th of July that we will have had Ozzie for 3 years! Its been quite a ride and we have enjoyed every moment of it! Looking back it must of been scary for him leaving behind the only home he had known for 2 years. I really think it took him a good year to adjust to us and be comfortable in his new family. I would never buy a dog or cat when there are so many great animals out there like Ozzie in need of a loving forever home.

I recently got an email from MABDR or The MidAtlantic Bulldog Rescue, the organization through which we adopted Ozzie. They are in big time need of money to pay for the thousands in veterinarian bills that they incur for treating the Bulldogs they rescue. I am going to send them a small donation ( it would be bigger if we hadn't racked up vet bills lately with the Oz!) to help out. They are great people and they do wonderful work. They are super dedicated to saving these bullies. Ozzie was in pretty good shape when we adopted him but some bullies are not so fortunate. Please check out the link below and if you can send just a few dollars it will help the cause. 

What should we do to celebrate Ozzie's adoption day?  I suppose if we ask Ozzie he would say "Prime Rib please!"


Friday, June 8, 2012

Finally Friday and Bully Breath

Yes it's Friday folks! Ozzie is happily chewing on his bully stick out on the deck. He is really going to town on the "stinky stick" as I refer to them. His breath smells horrendous after he has chomped on one! They are pretty disgusting when they get mushy at the end. At some point I either cut off the mushy part or just throw it out if it gets real bad, much to Ozzie's chagrin!
The good side to them is that they are digestible opposed to rawhide which is not and can cause intestinal blockages. (I wonder why they still sell rawhide?! Oh yeah, profit off of misery!) They are softer in texture unlike the hard bones from cow's legs and the like which can cause a broken canine tooth or two!  So I put up with the yuck factor of the chew treat. I buy them in a whole food pet store here in Northern NJ called Wholistic Paws.  They have a nice selection of treats and organic foods. The prices are reasonable too!

Looks like Ozzie is done for the moment and wants to come back inside for his morning nap. Yes right on schedule Ozzie ole boy!

Hoping your weekend is on schedule too! Enjoy Father's Day all you Dads out there!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wee Wee Wednesday

"Did I do that?!"

Ozzie looks awfully guilty in this picture. No wonder why he peed on his blanket last night! Now why would you pee where you sleep Oz?! He has done this numerous times. That is why Ozzie doesn't have a dog bed. He has already ruined a couple. I know Ozzie must be upset with me for outing him like this but I am just tired of washing pee pee blankets! What to do .......doggie training pants at night?

Here is a link to a pet stain remover product that seems to hold some promise. Its is different from the rest of the stuff out there. Could this be the one?


Friday, June 1, 2012

Finally Friday and Buckle Up Bullie!

Made it through another week though it was a short one! Ozzie spent most of it inside with the air conditioning on. He doesn't do weather over 80 degrees very well! 

We took Ozzie to the vet this past week for his skin infection in his "nook". He left there with 3 different types of medications and we left there a little less lighter in the wallet! He seems to be much better now but seems a bit lackadaisical. I bought him a foot long braided bully stick today and I practically had to stick it in his mouth to get him interested.  Maybe its the weather or could it be Ozzie is concerned about the recent downward trend of the stock market?! 

"I rather ride in a motorcycle side-car if you ask me!"

I wanted to share with you a recent article in our local paper about "Click it or Ticket!" The fines for an unrestrained passenger of the canine or feline persuasion range from $250.00 to $1000.00 and as much as 6 months in jail. A pretty steep fine compared to human passengers at a measly $46.00 per offense. I guess they are not pussy-footing around (sorry about the cat pun!) in New Jersey when it comes to pets free riding in cars. I feel its a good law that will help protect our pets. A 75 pound dog can make for a mighty projectile if unrestrained in a crash. Also small dogs who ride in the front on their owners lap could suffer serious injuries or worst from an airbag! Of course cats should be a in a carrier, which is the only way to transport them!  Ozzie rides in the cargo area of our Murano. Though he is confined to an extent he still is kind of loosey goosey back there. I found a website that is devoted to vehicle safety products for dogs that have a good selection of products. I have also seen safety harnesses for dogs at Petsmart and the like. Most dogs love a ride in the car with their mom and pop but we should think about their safety. After all I assume most of us buckle up ourselves and  our children so why not our pets!?

I have a feeling we won't be going anywhere this weekend which makes Ozzie happy. Hope you all have a great weekend and remember to buckle up pup!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Finally Friday and Ozzie's Troubled Nook!

Sorry I have been away for a week. My husband and I went to Florida to visit our good friends Vin and Di at their condo located close to Anna Maria Island on the Gulf Coast. Beautiful weather was abundant and the beach was the best! Coming back home to Jersey and all the rain is a big let down but in the end there is no place like home!

Ozzie was real glad to see us. Grandpa and Will took good care of him but its never the same as having your Mom! Since we came back he has come down with some irritating skin issues. This is the time of year for canine allergies for the Oz. This season he has developed a skin infection right in his "nook". ( No, not that e-reader thing from Barnes and Nobles) That is the name I call the area of  his face between his eyes. You know that big dip above his nose that could accommodate loose change or the perfect holder for a soft boiled egg. It's red and "weepy' in there and you can't get near him enough to pet his head. He is constantly licking his nose with his head pointed up in the air in an attempt to soothe the hot spot on his noggin! Time to call the vet again! In the meanwhile I have been using Panolog cream in his T-zone, that may be helping a bit?!

When we were in Florida we stopped by a restaurant in Siesta Key called The Old Salty Dog. It's the home of the Fully Loaded Salty Dog hot dog.It has everything on it from bacon to cheese to mushrooms and onions. Totally a cardiac arrest in a bun but what a way to go! The best thing about this eatery is the mascot which is a lovable bulldog! His cartoon face adorns the front of the restaurant which is were this picture is taken of myself and my hubbie! I couldn't resist but buy one of their t-shirts with the bulldog logo! I think Ozzie would enjoy the hot-dogs there minus the onions! I hear that bulldogs eat for free there!

Here is wishing you all a wonderful safe fun filled Memorial Day weekend!