Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bully Life Lesson #13

Bully Life Lesson
~by bullies, for bullies~
by Howie

Life Lesson #13
Naptime is better when you have
somebully to snuggle with.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I'm so in love...

with this spring!!  Ugh!!  I can't even tell you how fantastic it has been (& I'm fully prepared for it to make a huge turn now that I've posted this!)!!  Normally, it's never, ever this green so early!  My best memories of how I remember this are photos of course!  I remember going to prom (early May) & the leaves hadn't even budded yet.  The lilacs hadn't bloomed & the grass was just beginning to turn from brown to green.
 Look at that...my awesome camera even makes dandelions pretty!  Hey, I say, dandelions in April ARE pretty!!

Within the last week, leaves have sprouted!  Lilacs have bloomed & lawn has already been cut!

Simply in LOVE w/this spring!!  The fact that we actually have a spring is quite a thing in itself!  Most years, it's winter with snow, then it may melt, then in March we'd get a HUGE dumping of snow, then it rains-washes away the snow, but still-it rains, and rains.  But not this year!  LOVING IT!!!

See, green grass for Doc!

Vivi loves the green grass too!  She looks even more white against it!
Howie, well...no photo of him because he just likes to eat the grass...like a cow.  I call him my little heffer!!  Chewing grass like he was a cow.  He'll even grab the grass while he's running...it's comical, until it comes up...ish.

I hope you all are enjoying a real spring like we are!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Monday After...

It always seems the Monday after a show I'm more tired than I was when I got up at 4am to drive to the show on Saturday!  The house is a mess because I didn't feel like unpacking, doing laundry or even making dinner (oh wait I DID make dinner on Sunday...no wonder I'm tired-hahaha).  I enjoy going to shows, seeing all the bullies, my bulldog friends & of course the shopping!!  I must say though, getting that hotel room was the best money spent!!  Naptime & later wake ups are priceless!!

Vivi seems to think we bonded even more this weekend.  She's seems to have forgotten that Daddy Steve is another favorite person of her's!!  Wherever I go, she goes.  I leave the room, she's right behind me.  I sit on the couch, she sits on my lap.  I'm wondering if she's not feeling well (dog shows are known to be cest pools of germs), so I'll be watching her closely.  Steve is taking it a little personally though...so I feel bad.  Hopefully this bigger love for Momma is temporary.

I know I say it after every show, but I honestly mean it....Vivi is a genuine pleasure to take out in public!  She has manners I pray Howie could someday learn.  She is just so laid back & sweet!  I received many comments on her this weekend regarding this as it was a very small venue & lots of dogs & lots of people were around at all times.  Didn't phase Vivi at all!  Gosh I love this girl!!
Vivi placed 3rd on Saturday & 2nd on Sunday but we celebrated like she got 1st...with a Piggy as a gift & a nap with Momma!  Do we know how to party or what?!

Vivi did great traveling in new Fred too!  She thought it was pretty awesome...and he smelt sooo good!

Thanks for following our travels this weekend!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Night Night from the Show!

Ok Everybully, it's been a long day & even though Momma & I took a nap (or 2), we're ready to call it a night.

Show right away in the morning again tomorrow but at least we don't have to get up at 4am!

I'm having fun at the hotel, even got a piggy!

Have a good night everybully!
Vivi & my momma

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Oh Boy! A Sleepover!!

After our way early morning, momma drove us to a show in a whole other state!! Exotic Wisconsin!!! I don't know where it is exactly, but momma said it was a very pretty drive!!

At the show I know I did great! I got a ribbon to match momma's outfit! It was yellow. Isn't it important to match?! Momma said she'd rather clash with a blue ribbon...maybe tomorrow?!

After the show momma surprised me with a SLEEPOVER at a hotel! She said this way we don't have to get up as early as today cuz the hotel is right down the street from the show!

Here I am at the hotel! I don't want to get out of my kennel tho. Guess I miss my brofers.

I have another show in the morning! Hopefully I can steal momma's phone from her again & tell you how I do!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Good Gosh It's an Early Morning

Hi Everbully! It's me Vivi!! Momma made me all pretty last night & now we're going to a show in the new Fred! Wish me luck!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

With Grief Comes Joy...In Time

I just wanted to thank you all for the comments, emails, tweets, messages on BDW & guestbook comments on the site regarding Wednesday's post.  I wasn't sure how well it would be received.  Was it too much?  Would this really help someone?  Would it be too long--as always?  You all washed away my fears when the emails saying thank you, the tweets telling me I was strong for posting it & comments stating I was helping other bully owners came in!  I'm so glad my intention came through in what seemed at times a post of me just babbling on & on.  So thank you once again for letting me share my stories with you!

Ollie was my first dog & the first time I've had to make the decision we did & therefore the first time I was ever witness to such a thing.  We both knew we needed to be there; he deserved us to be there with him.  While I know in my head we did make the right decision, in my heart there has been a lot of guilt.  Did we make a rush decision?  After all we did just get the final diagnosis 2 days prior.  What would our families think?  That we gave up?  That we couldn't deal with it?  And the biggest part of my guilt (& one I rarely ever admit to anyone for fear they'll think I'm coo coo berries crazy) would Ollie understand?  I mean, he had been put under so many times in the weeks prior & they used the same thing...would he just think he was going to do this another time just like the last few times & he'll wake up again & see us?  (See told you coo coo berries crazy right?)

I've only had one dream of him since that day...and it was THE day.  I had cried myself to sleep when we got home & he was in our living room, under the sofa table.  He looked up at me & I asked him if he was ok & he gave me a look that said, "yes momma, I'm ok".  That was it. 

While there has only been one dream, I swear he plays with the bullies in their sleep!!When we see them "running" we'll whisper "tell him we say hi!"  See...there's the joy.

This was one of my favorite photos of Ollie.  My dad had been working on our deck & Ollie was watching him through the screen door.  So my dad took the photo with his cell phone & sent it to me!  I just laughed!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

On today's agenda: Grief Therapy

Ok, today's post is really something I've been putting off for the last year of having this site & I'm afraid it will be long.  Since today is the 3rd anniversary of my Little Dude passing over the rainbow bridge (ok, I know that's a bit corny, but it's a nice way of thinking of where he is now), I thought today would be the most appropriate time for me to share...and honestly, a very good reason for me to have a good cry.

So here it is...Ollie's Cancer Story:

Bulldogs should be named the Educators of Dogs. I have learned so much about this breed & mostly since Ollie passed, but while he was here we learned to pay attention. So often our pets just become part of our lives & we don't notice little things like...When was the last time he ate? Or what is this thing on his ear? It seems bulldogs, being the clowns that they are, are always in your face in one way or another & you learn to pay attention & watch them a little closer.

I know that's part of the reason we brought Oliver to the vet in the first place. Ollie would take his nap with Steve...usually right on Steve's chest...so Steve had no choice but to pay close attention!! One day in January 2007, Steve had told me that Ollie's muzzle was swollen. I didn't see it; thought Steve was overreacting & really didn't give it another thought...until I finally DID see it.

Right underneath the nose, there is that "line" that goes down to the upper lip & splits the muzzle in half...do you know that part I'm talking about? Normally, Ollie's was black...but once it started to swell that line started to turn pink...like it was splitting open. He didn't seem to be in any pain & we watched it for a week or so, but eventually brought him in to our vet.

Steve brought him in & the vet wasn't sure what it was, brought up the possibility of cancer--which of course we didn't believe at all--and took a little sample of the area & sent it in to be biopsied. We waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, about 1 1/2 weeks later it came back as "Inconclusive" & it was recommended we see a dog dermatologist (who knew such a thing existed) at the University of Minnesota Veterinary School.

So in mid-February, we went to the U of M--Dermatology department. We met with a very nice doctor, who of course loved Ollie & he LOVED being there because people were paying attention to him (like we never did--yeah right). She did an exam of his face & told us that Ollie had yeast infections all over his face, his folds, both ears....we felt like the most awful bully parents ever! (We didn't know the things we know now about fold cleaning--as you'll see in the photos below.)

Also, she told us that she looked over the inconclusive results & that it could be allergies or it could be cancer....umm...what? I'm no doctor, but allergies OR cancer? How could you possibly confuse the two? But apparently it's very easy because over the next 6 weeks Ollie had his muzzle biopsied at least 3 other times & each & every time it came back as inconclusive--could be cancer. Very frustrating. His biopsies went across country from one Vet school to another & back to the U---all with inconclusive results.

First they did needle aspirates of the muzzle & then realized they needed a bigger sample so they took a cut of it & sent that in.....In the meantime, there was a raspberry-like growth beginning by his nose (in the fold). So then they started biopsying that...again....inconclusive. At least they're consistent right???

I searched online, I couldn't find anything. I spoke to the breeder we got Oliver from & there was no cancer in his bully family. I found a bulldog vet (who I told Steve--we will go there from now on) to see if the growth was a bulldog thing?? It wasn't. We were so frustrated & confused & just not sure what to expect--but it can't be cancer right? I mean he's not even 2 years old yet.

Then one night Ollie started having head tremors...my god. They were so scary. We rushed him to the U's ER & they said they could watch him overnight for $750....ummm...that's ok. We'll just stay up with him thanks. One of the things that I think was causing the head tremors was that Ollie had not been getting a lot of sleep. Ollie started waking me up in the middle of the night. I'd take him out & he wouldn't do anything. So one night I slept on the couch & I got woken up by hearing this "thud"...it was him tipping over. He was falling asleep standing up & then would tip over.

I think he couldn't find a comfortable position to sleep because of the raspberry pushing on is nostril, he now had a lump the size of a softball in his neck & his original still swollen muzzle...he could barley breath. So he'd stand up, fall asleep & tip over....poor honey.

Once we found the lump in his neck, we once again brought him to the U. They decided to biopsy the ENTIRE raspberry along w/removing the lymph node that had the lump. That was on April 3rd and a week later, there was another lump!! Once again, they sent the biopsies to another Vet school (Philadelphia I think) & on April 12th I got the phone call at work that he indeed had two types of cancer.

The swollen muzzle was a low grade sarcoma, which alone would have been treatable. However, the raspberry was melanoma, which was malignant & spread to the lymph nodes...and at that point I totally lost it. She had told us that if ever the results came back saying that cancer was in the lymph nodes there was not a lot they could do for him. She wanted me to call the Oncology department at the U (remember this was still the dermatologist) to see what our options were. First, I had to call Steve & tell him.

I went home & cried all night. Ollie just looked at me like, "Oh Momma--Iz ok." When Steve came home that night, Ollie greeted him at the door & we all just sat there together. The next day I called the Oncology department...they were rude & insensitive & I felt like I was just another $120 "consult" fee...when they could tell me over the phone there wasn't much but comfort care that could be done for "my dog".

Radiation--well they didn't offer it here, I'd have to go to Madison, WI.
Vaccine for melanoma--it just came out, but the U is not part of the test study.
Chemo--just not really recommended for dogs.

Wow...gee thanks. So we kept our original appointment with our regular vet for the next day, Saturday, April 14th to have his stitches removed from the last biopsies. After a morning where Ollie basically “told” me it was time, we had some time with him & later that morning, my little dude finally got the sleep he so needed.

February 12th 2007-you can see very little swelling under his nose.

February 25th 2007-getting more swollen in such a short amount of time. 
(He was prentending to be a lion in this photo.)
March 19th 2007-the start of the "raspberry" to the right of his nose.  Muzzle continues to swell.

April 2nd 2007-"raspberry" seemed to grow in record time. 
March 19th 2007
April 2nd 2007
March 19th 2007
April 2nd 2007
Sorry this got so long...thanks for the therapy.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Oh this week is gonna be hard...

I'm sure after 3 years it should get easier, but it's like I instinctively know.  Like something isn't right in the world, something is missing.  This week, the site will be both happy & sad as I fully intend to finally write about Ollie's cancer & most importantly (& emotionally) post the photos.

I hope to do this to help someone in the future who may be going through the same thing.  As I'm sure you guessed by now, I documented his cancer growth with photos as best I could.  It was a good visual to give to the numerous vets we saw over the course of 2 months.  It's a devastating reminder of how much he changed in just those few short months.

So I apologize in advance for some sad posts/photos in the coming days.  But I promise to also offset with more happy posts & photos than sad...afterall, he was a happy bully boy 'til the very end.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Any Car Makers Looking for Ideas?!

Last week I got a new car.  Fred, all my cars are named Fred (goes back to my first brand new car I got in 1997-a beautiful red Honda Accord...Red Fred), is a lovely Mazda CX-7.  He's cute!  He's kinda sporty!  He's fun & he smells good too!

 Well anyway, new Fred is fabulous...but he's not perfect.  I say he's not perfect because I had this list of things that were a MUST in my next car because of the bullies; and new Fred was able to only meet a few of those items on the list...but overall he was better than the car I just had (another beautiful Accord--black this time though).

So here is my list of MUSTS for my car with bullies...car makers take note please!  If you make the perfect bully/dog car, you will have buyers!

-MUST be light color leather: Do you know how hard it is to find a black exterior, with a light/tan interior?  Apparently car makers don't think people want this combination.  I couldn't get it in the CX-7 unless I went with the "Grand Touring" model.  How odd.  I even had someone ask why light interior....HELLO???!!!  Have you ever had dried bully drool on dark leather?  You see it when it dries.  Light color leather will hide it better..duh.  Plus, light color leather will either hide the bully fur or allow for easy clean up of bully hair!

-MUST be 45" width in the back (for SUVs) to be able to fit two 20 1/2" wide kennels side-by-side.  Cuz even if you only have 1 dog, you may travel with another person & their dog...see, you need space for two kennels.

-MUST be flat in the back (for SUVs) with the seats down.  What is the point of having the back seats fold down, but not flat to the far back of the SUV?  Why would you want seats that are 10" higher than the floor?  Silly.

-MUST have a separate climate control for the back of the SUV.  If you don't have vents or separate controls in the back, you get really creative during a 6 hour ride to Bismarck with the A/C on for the bullies, but you are freezing in the front seat, but if you adjust the vent to aim towards the ceiling or the windows of the car the bullies in the back MUST be getting some of that freezing cold air right??  Don't forget your winter coat for the car ride in July....true story.

Ok, those were the MUSTS for bullies...the MUSTS for me were:
-Moon roof--once you have one, you always NEED one
-Satellite radio--got a free 6 month subscription with my last Fred & by golly I got sucked right into that thing...I mean the '80s & '90s all the time??  AWESOME!!

So new Fred has light leather interior, w/the darkest exterior I could get (Black Cherry Mica--he's pretty & smells sooooo good).  I could have gotten light leather interior & red exterior, but I have enough red & khaki in my life (gooooooo Target!!).  New Fred has the satellite radio, so I'm still listening to the '80s & '90s!  Yay!  New Fred has a moon roof...of course.  New Fred's back seats fold down...to 90% flat???  I have no idea why they couldn't put the effort into making them 100% flat & the back is not wide enough for 2 kennels side-by-side, but I can get two back there at different doors (one side door, one back door); and only the front climate control...so I'll be sure to keep a blanket or winter coat in there at all times.

So while he didn't meet many of my MUSTS, he was the winner in the cost category!!  That kinda trumps other categories if you can still get the new Fred to work better than the old Fred...and he does...and he smells so good!

A Bullyful Garden!!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that none of that white stuff (shhhh...don't say it) won't make another appearance in these parts until maybe Decemeber...I'd be ok with January too!  It's nice to see green grass again!  Now I just need some flowers!  You too?  Check this out!

The Bulldog Club of America Resuce Network (BCARN) has a flower fundraiser going on right now!  BCARN will get 50% of the sales on plants & bulbs!!  Check it out!!  Fundraiser goes through April 23rd

Help bulldog rescue while helping your garden become bullyful!!

Doc says:
"Help BCARN everybully!  You can make your yard pretty!  Momma!! 
We can do better than this stuff in our yard can't we?  Order some flowers k?!"

Order your plants & flowers today!

To find out more about BCARN, check out their site.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My Baby's Daddy!

I got to see my baby's daddy today!  He was in town.  It's always fun to see Vivi's Daddy Hemi (Bodanna's Yeah It's a Hemi)!  Great job today Hemi!  We'll see you again later this month!

Ummm...yeah, I think they're related.  Even the same tongue stickin' out just a bit!  Ok, ok, Vivi's is out a bit more...that's cuz she's got a crazylong tongue!

Hey, I know there are other Hemi babies out there reading this blog....Ozzie.....Kingston....Dozer!  Any others I'm not remembering?  I'd love it if all of you could send me your Hemi baby photos!!  I'd love to see if there are other Hemi-look alikes out there!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Small Bulldog World & Totally Meant to Be!!??

Last week I was searching for some paperwork & started going through Steve's old, old stuff.  Well, I found some AKC paperwork on his bulldogs he had when he still lived w/his parents ('95 & '96).  I have AKC registration paperwork, pedigrees, a Minnesota Purebred Dog Breeders Association booklet & a photocopied page out of a dog show catalog (bulldog page of course).

It was like finding a bulldog treasure chest!  

But it gets better!!  His first bulldog, Mack I, was Vivi's Great-Great Uncle!!!  How cool is that?  I found this out by Mack's pedigree, his dad was Millerbull's Alberta Clipper & Mom was Sadie Mae VI.  The pedigree was signed by Linda Miller, who has become one of my bully friends!  How crazy is that?!

I sent Linda an email & she told me how Mack & Vivi were related.  Mack's dad was Vivi's Great-Great Grandfather. She even sent a photo of "Wink"!  Here it is along w/photos of Mack I.

**Very Important Announcement**

Due to my new cat showing venture, I'm very excited to announce that this blog & site will now focus on my cat shows & not the bulldogs.  I will be changing the name to Blue Line Felines & in the upcoming weeks the logo will change. 

I have had cats for most of my life & after seeing the cat show at the Pet Expo a few weeks ago, I really found something I'm passionate about.  I'm sure the bulldogs will still make appearances here & there, but my main focus will be cats.  I know this may mean I will lose some readers, but I hope you do give it a chance.  Afterall, cats are just as awesome as bulldogs & I'm SURE I'll have some super funny cat adventures to share with you all!

In fact, I'm thrilled with the show prospects I've been looking at.  I think they'll do very well in the show ring & show such a competitive nature already!  It's a very fun time here at the Blue Line house!  I hope you share in my excitement!

Yeah Momma!  It IS fun here!
PS-April Fools Everybully!