Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Joy of Surprises: Operation Red Wagon with Purple Patrick Duckie

As you know, I adore my duckies with a passion that is beyond compare. We have lots of fun and adventures, but nothing could have prepared me for the adventure I'm about to share....
About a month ago one of my favorite duckies, Purple Patrick Duckie had been missing for a while. I'd looked and looked, but he was nowhere to be found. Then one day I was minding my own business tearing up an empty kleenex box (I love doing it & Mommy takes out the plastic liner first) when my missing purple Duckie Patrick shows up out of nowhere. He jumped into the box and told me to "just act normal" but let him "lay low" for a while in there. It turned out he was part of a covert operation called "Operation Red Wagon" and I was recruited to help out. He couldn't tell me anything further but I was now unwittingly up to my neck in it too. I looked around cautiously as I thought to myself, "Goodness knows what he's got himself into...and now I'm involved too!"

Purple Patrick Duckie and I hung out together acting as "normal" as possible, but then he suddenly "disappeared" again one afternoon. I had started wearing my purple spotted hoodie, that matches him perfectly, as a show of solidarity and support of his covert "Operation Red Wagon" that he had recruited me into. Details were still sketchy, but he was teaching me some things. On the very day he again disappeared, we had been practicing his now famous "duck and cover" technique, but he was acting a bit odd during practice...standing a little too close, commenting on how "comfy" my hoodie looked and saying that being invisible was a "state of mind". I had no idea what kind of existential mood he was in, and was too tired to try and keep up with what he might be inferring. I lay down for a nap after our covert "duck and cover" training, but when I awoke, Patrick Duckie was gone. I was upset that he didn't say goodbye, but just figured, "that's how it is when you're a covert duckie operative..."







Three days later, right after finding out about my scary ear lump and upcoming surgery (at the time it was the end if January), there was a faint knock at the door. Mommy insisted I be the one to answer it. There sat Purple Patrick Duckie with Minkie Duckie (Pinkie Tuskadero Duckie's sister) by his side. I was so happy to see them both I didn't initially see what was behind them. We greeted each other with love and then Patrick said, "Pixel, I have a surprise for you. Operation Red Wagon has one last critical stage that needs your help. Will you be a part of it's final success?" "Of course!" I exclaimed with excitement. I'm always there to help my friends, and I knew it had to be something of utter importance for him to be gone for so long. I told him I missed him and hated that he just up and disappeared on me. He promised never to do that again but that it was important that he do this operation in secret.

"Look behind me Pixel..." Patrick Duckie said. That is when I heard the low murmuring of little quacks here and there. Then I saw the most amazing sight my little duckie loving eyes had ever seen. A red wagon filled with a bunch of little rubber duckies that needed a home! "This is 'Operation Red Wagon' Pixel," Patrick Duckie said with delight.





I kissed Minkie Duckie and thanked her for helping greet them. They were all relatives of course. Can't you see the family resemblance? They'd been looking for a loving forever family home together and they found mine! I adopted every single one right on the spot.

I greeted each one and told them how much fun we'd have, what a nice place they were at now and what a great life they ALL would have with me and my family. They all seemed very excited, just like me. Mommy was kind enough to document the whole thing.

I checked around to make sure they were safe and then we all went inside for a nice dinner together.

This was truly one of the best surprises ever! I think I'm going to like these covert operations!!


I hope you enjoyed my "Operation Red Wagon" Tail of Adventure! Please leave a comment below and tell me what you think...

Happy Wordless Wednesday friends!! This blog hop is hosted by my friends at BlogPaws, and today's theme was "spoiling your pets" since February is "Spoil Your Pet month. I do believe I've found my favorite month...

Pixel Ear Surgery Update: A Serious & Unexpected Result

I just wanted to share a quick and unexpected update on my ear surgery. I've been telling everyone how well I've been healing up and that the ear looks good in spite of a big ugly looking scab that covered the entire length of the suture area where they sewed my ear back together. For those that don't know, I had a scary growth removed from my right ear and tested for cancer last month. Believe it or not, we still don't have the final results from pathology. Now for my ear update...





Things appeared to be healing well...
I had a large scab (sorry to be doggie gross but it's important) that was worrisome, however the vet said to leave it alone. We did. Mommy protected it like it was gold. No touching, scratching, poking, etc from me or my sisters. Mommy kept watching it, and slowly it got a little smaller. Finally, it was just a dot in the center on the top side of my ear but was still big on the underside. She noticed that it appeared to go right through my ear. Mommy was really worried I might have a hole going through my ear but thought, "No way. Pixel had two layers of heavy duty stitches." But were those stitches TOO heavy for my tender little delicate ears? I ask this because yesterday that big scab finally fell off.

Now for the not so good surprise...
You are not going to believe this...when Mommy saw where it fell out, and it lay on my blanket, she looked at my ear and I now have a large hole in my ear where the surgery was done. It's so large, that a toothpick could go through it and not touch the sides of the hole! We are NOT happy about this at all. One wrong scratch of my paw nail or one wrong playful tug with my sisters and my newly healed ear could split right open and into split butterfly wings. It's basically shaped like the center of a funnel cone where the hole is the center point of where they cut the wedge out of my ear. This shocked Mommy and she's not happy about it at all. She's very worried.

What to do now...
We are watching it for now, being careful not to let it get snagged, but we will be talking to the vet about it. There's barely 1/8th of an inch (0.3175 cm) of newly healed tissue between the hole and the edge of the ear now. We are snowed in right now but when we are able to go to the vet, we will, and we will talk to them about corrective measures. Our point in sharing this is to point out that as pet parents, you must always be "on top of things" when your pet gets treated or has surgery of any kind. Things can happen, and you must keep a watchful eye for circumstances to change, even when everything appears to be healing or going well.

A Pet Parent Reminder...
Remember that you are your pet's only advocate, they cannot speak for themselves, you must speak for them in all things. Mommy will be taking care of me in this, just as she always has.
I promise we'll continue to keep you updated on what happens. We've joked that I could always become a pirate and just get a huge hoop earring to go through that ear, but in all reality, the danger of it tearing is just too great.





What are your thoughts on this friends? Is Mommy overreacting with her concern or would you feel the same way? Please leave a comment below and let me know. We love to hear from you!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Joy of Love - Pixel Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day with Your Pet

Happy Valentine's Day!
It's Valentine's Day weekend friends. Showering love on your dear ones isn't limited just to humans, just as it isn't limited to only one day. Dogs love spending time with their humans, they love getting gifts, and they love to play and show their love. Remember, pets have feelings too. We spend all day waiting for you to come home when you are gone. We want to spend every waking moment with you. Since Valentine's Day is on a weekend, why not do something extra special with your pet to let them know they are your one and only furry Valentine?

Here are some of my favorite ideas for showing your pets they are special this Valentine's Day...

1. Cook your pet a meal or bake a batch of dog treats.
Let pup watch you prepare it and take part in it. Make it a fun activity you do together. Use safe foods they can lick from the spoon or spatula such as chicken, pumpkin or peanut butter. Then, sit down and actually have a meal together.
Mommy lets me lick the spoon and gives me little bits of chicken as she makes her famous chicken and rice, making it a fun experience we share.  I wrote an article recently on safe foods for dogs that make for a great addition to a special meal or treats! And don't think that baking is just for ladies either. Lots of the best bakers are men.

2. Have a one on one grooming time.
I don't mean take them to the groomers, I mean get a special brush or comb, maybe some scissors if they have a few knots, and have a gentle petting/brushing session with lots of love. Take your time. Make sure there's not stress, let them lay their back or do whatever is comfortable. I know Mommy will start by just petting me and getting me all sleepy and comfy, then she will bring out a soft brush or a "slicker" brush to gently get the knots out. I love it!! It's a HUGE difference for your pet than having to stand on a public grooming table at a groomers with lots of strange dogs and cats (no offense to other animals), and being perhaps rushed along in getting brushed, possibly getting nicked in the process, and not getting the extra care that our beloved humans would give us with a loving petting/brushing fest. Follow it up with a bunch of their favorite treats!

3. Have a long outside play date (if the weather's right).
If it's warm outside, or if you love the snow, take your pet on an extra long play adventure outside. Bring a few of his or her favorite toys (a Kong Wubba is always a great choice!) and focus on you and your pet sharing some fun together.
Given that a lot of us have snow on the ground, but love the snow anyways, you could plan a few outside play times that are shorter so you both don't get frost bite but can enjoy romping together. Your pet will LOVE it!

**NOTE:  If you take your pet out in weather that is even remotely cold, please be sure to bundle them up in warm clothing. Yes, fur covered pets get cold too. Our paws can also get seriously injured by the snow melting salt on the ground, so be sure to wipe our paws after we come inside each time. And have a warm blanket ready for us to get bundled up in once we've had our fun. Our family likes to put a few blankets in the dryer and have them getting warm so that once me and my sisters are back in front playing outside, we have really warm blankets to get wrapped up in. Not to mention the electric throws we have on each couch and chair so that every dog in the house has a warm place to lay.

4. Have a wild inside play date.
If you can't go outside due to weather (it IS winter after all), then have a big giant play fest inside. Clear a big place in the living room or family room, remove anything breakable from possibly being in reach of a fun playful time, pull out ALL the toys from the toybox, and have a ball. ...have 10 balls! Let your pet go a little crazy! Allow yourself to really get into it. Remember that your pet is devoted to you 100% and they love to play with you so let them have extra time being silly with you. It will really make them feel special and loved. Let them wear themselves out! You can always clean up the disaster area of toys later while your happy and sleeping cat or dog is dreaming of all the fun you just had.

5. Have a "Special Delivery Valentine" delivered for your pet.
Pets love getting gifts just like humans do. What a wonderful surprise it would be for your pet to have one of their favorite toys delivered right to their door! You can set it up yourself. I was surprised with this amazing gift of a red wagon filled with my favorite little duckies who ALL wanted to come live here with me. I was elated and it was one of the BEST gifts I've ever received! The "special Valentine delivery" doesn't have to be expensive. You know what your pet loves. It can be something simple and sweet. The point is, when they go to the door, there is a surprise for them there and they get to enjoy it.
**NOTE from Mommy:  These little duckies are less than $2.50 each, and I already had the wagon from a Christmas display. So, for less than $20 I gave Pixel the surprise of a lifetime.

6. Take your pet on a car ride and/or shopping trip just for them.
Whether you just ride around in the car for a while just to drive, or take a car ride to your pet's favorite store, it will be a fun outing for both of you. I love riding in the car with Mommy. Even if she just goes to the pharmacy, I'm ready to jump in the vehicle with her. We sing songs, she talks to me and we just enjoy the time together. If you do go to the store, make sure to let your pet pick out whatever toy they want (within reason of course, heehee). Your pet might even like going to a drive through food place...I hear there's a few places that even have food for dogs! They are in bigger cities, but if you do some research, you just might find a fun new place that you and your pet can go to and enjoy a meal together.

7. Learn or practice a new trick together.
One of the best ways that Mommy and I bonded and still continue to bond is with our trick learning and practicing. Pets love to learn new things, we love to please our humans, and of course, we love to have fun. Positive reinforcement is the only way to go when pets are learning something new of course. Have a small bag of small treats (break up bones you have into tiny pieces - a hammer works great on a zip lock bag of dog bones), and a simple trick you'd like your pet to learn, such as putting their paw in your hand. Say one word like "Paw" or "Shake" and then take their paw in your hand, say good girl/boy, and give them a small treat. Repeat a few times, always being positive. If they start to do it even a tiny bit on their own, tell them good girl/boy and give them a treat. They'll be on their way in no time! Of course it won't be learned in a day (or maybe it will) but it's a fun new activity to start and it makes your dog feel special and loved, like you want to be there with them, interacting one on one with them.

For detailed tips on training your dog, here is a link to one of my Pixel dog training articles.

8. Hug
9. Kisses
10. SNUGGLES!! 
(Why, these last three were just WAY too easy!)



These are just a few ways to make your pet feel special, loved and appreciated this Valentine's Day and everyday. Make them a part of your celebration! And of course, nothing beats some good old fashioned snuggle time!
Do you have a fun way you show the love to your pet? I'd love to hear about it! Leave me a comment below and share the love. Happy Valentine's Day!




This blog post about love and the many ways you can show it to your pet, including the special last photo of me and Mommy sharing the love, is part of a wonderful blog hop that my friend The Lazy Pit Bull is hosting called #52Snapshots of Life, where each week a different theme is the focus of our photos and blogs. This week's theme word was LOVE. How very fitting! I hope you enjoyed the love I shared and I hope you'll visit some of the other blogs sharing the LOVE on this Valentine's weekend. If you'd like to join in the blog hop fun, just use hashtags #52Snapshots and #PBSG and visit the host for more details.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Pixel Returns from a Blogging Leave of Absence - I Had Surgery!


Hi Friends, sorry I've been away from my blog. This big smile on my face has come after a long hard battle that I am still dealing with, but the worst seems over for now. I know many of you have followed my Mommy's updates on my Facebook page since we first found out on January 19th that I had a scary growth on my right ear. It all happened very fast. Within a week of finding the aggressively growing growth, I was having surgery to remove it, along with part of my right ear to make sure that in case it was cancer, none of it would be left over. The vet did an amazing job of putting my new ear back together in a different shape and now I have a perkier ear that will be just as pretty as can be when it all heals up. They even tried to leave as much of my signature pony tail hair as they could so I wouldn't be bald on one side!
Needless to say, I've been unable to blog for almost a month while we dealt with this scary medical situation, with the surgery and while I was recovering. I am still in recovery mode, but I just got my stitches out yesterday and am doing much better. Here's what happened...

On January 19th, Mommy was petting me and stroking my long hair on my ears, as she always does. She suddenly felt a lump. Sure enough, an odd lump was there. We went to the vet, she did a needle biopsy of it and said it appeared to be okay, but let's "watch it for a week" to see if it goes away or not. It was not a typical growth, like a little wart or a pimple or something, it was a small pea size and it got bigger fast. By the 6th day, Mommy was so worried and we went back to the vet. The vet was worried it was cancer, saw how much bigger it got, and said, "we've got to get it off right away to get it tested". You can see it poking out of my hair in this photo.


So Tuesday, January 26th, I had surgery on my right ear. Dr. Robinson took a wedge-shaped section of ear off along with the growth to ensure it was all gone. She creatively sewed by ear back together and recovery started right away. She left as much of my hair as she could so I could still have a pony tail on that ear.





I was out of it and loopy and stuff for a while. Mommy and my family took great care of me. Here's a photo of my sister Dixie Mae who came to visit me on mine and Mommy's bed. Yes, I was on pain meds at the time, but believe me, I needed it. See the look of concern on her face? She's such a good sister. My other sisters Peanut and Sassy were also so very sweet, coming to visit, nuzzling me and checking on me. It was a great comfort.






My good friend Patrick Purple Duckie was on special assignment when we found out about the growth and subsequent surgery, so he came back immediately and stayed by my side as I began the healing process.















In fact, some of my closest duckies came for a group visit a few days after the surgery. I lovingly sniffed hello to each one of them and though I couldn't play or anything, it was great to just have them come for a visit.


















Mommy fed me my meals in bed for the first week or so because I was just not feeling so great. The blue neck pillow ensured that lots of air got to my ear, which was double stitched, but it prevented me from scratching at it in any way. It also made a great "on the spot" pillow for napping!

















After a couple of weeks, I started feeling better and my smile returned! We still don't know for sure if it's cancer or not, but the preliminary finding was that it is not, however the pathologist wanted to verify for certain because the kind of growth that I have looks the same as cancer. So, she is doing a two week special test to verify if it is or not.
Mommy and I are not going to worry because we don't know. It will not benefit us to worry about what we don't know, right? However, this whole experience has taught me and Mommy a some important lessons.











Here are 5 Things We've Learned:
1. Always look for unusual lumps, bumps and changes on your pet's body. One little bump or skin change can be a serious medical issue. It might not be, but better be safe than sorry. Mine was serious and it got bad quickly...don't wait. Pick a day once week perhaps to check your dog, cat, rabbit, ferret or other pet's body over. Make it a fun, gentle, loving treat time so they enjoy it. Make sure to note any changes and talk to your vet if you see changes.
2. Make sure to build a good relationship with your veterinarian so you can "swing in" at a moment's notice for an appointment (if possible) to get things checked out.
3. Blow up neck pillow collars are GREAT for keeping little dogs from messing with head wounds, but they ensure that air gets to the incision site, a point that Dr. Robinson was very concerned about and thus refused to allow me to wear an "E-collar" (thank goodness!) because they trap moisture around the head area.
4. Things happen. Pet parents, don't beat yourselves up if you miss medical things on your pets. You can only do the best you can do.
5. Take each day as the gift that it is. Don't waste it being anxious, angry, resentful, living in past hurts, or doing any of the emotional things that weigh us down and keep us from enjoying the precious moments we have with our loved ones that day. We only have today. Things could be much worse, and many people DO have it worse off. We don't know what will happen tomorrow, so let's not waste it today.

Do you have a routine for checking your pet for changes in their body or an experience similar to this? It just might help others to know. If you wish to share, please feel free to tell us about it in the comment section or visit my Facebook page and post it there. 

Below, you'll find lots of my fellow pet bloggers with all kinds of stories, reports or just fun and interesting photos to share. Today is officially #WordlessWednesday, but I I had far too much to share to be silent. Visit some of my fellow bloggers to see what they have to say...

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