Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Calling all dog lovers!

And animal lovers too, even if you don't have a dog...

I wanted to share with you CityDog Blog's Halloween post, by yours truly. I've been working at CityDog Magazine (right here in Seattle) for the past several months combining my passion for writing and dogs. I mean, really, what could be better!?! Please share a comment or introduce yourself on the blog. We LOVE hearing from fellow dog lovers and want this to be a place for all of us to come together and share our thoughts and ideas on all things dog!

The magazine itself is available in Seattle, Portland and Northern California and is sold at Borders, Barnes & Noble and independent newsstands. Here's a link to our website: CityDog Magazine so please take a look, poke around and make yourself at home.

I've met so many fun loving, BIG hearted animal lovers through this blog, and am excited to meet many more through CityDog! I'll say it again, I've never met an animal lover I didn't like. And if you're reading this post, odds are, you're one of them.

Happy Halloween to you and your four leggers. xoxo

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Halloween is in the air...

...and the animals are getting excited!

(well, kind of.)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

some interesting cat diet info and a Chumley pic

(Chum falling asleep in some yarn)

The vet came out for a house call today because Chum was starting to take a turn - occasional vomiting and a few dark brown urine spots on the shower curtains but still decent activity levels. I wanted to nip this in the bud before it got much worse so she came out to test his blood and urine and give him some antibiotics. I learned some more valuable information re: cats with kidney disease as well as gastrointestinal issues (which we believe Chum also has).

We were told to keep his protein levels low because a protein rich diet was believed to add stress on the kidneys. My vet said that this is hard to prove but what is a definite must for cats with kidney disease is to feed them canned food (dry can be supplemented throughout the day) and to make sure they get enough omega acids and a low phosphorus count. I had been doing that for close to two years and I think we've been pretty successful at keeping him comfortable and somewhat stable.

When I buy his food, the first thing I search for is the percentage of protein. I try to keep it under 10% and always avoid any sort of fish or shell fish in his food since he has a hard time digesting them. I found a New Zealand brand of canned food made from Lamb that had a decent protein count so I started to feed him some of that because he needs variety otherwise he gets bored and loses his appetite. After a couple times eating the lamb I noticed he would vomit. This is because the lamb (and any type of meat) can inflame the GI tract. I never realized this. So now he has to avoid:


The best meals for a cat with kidney and GI issues are:


and any VEGGIES they will eat.

Thankfully Chum LOVES veggies - I make him soup using low sodium chicken broth, very diluted, filled with carrots, celery and spinach (no onion or garlic though).

I've been buying him the Chicken, Duck and Rabbit cans from Nature's Variety Instinct as well as intermixing Spot's stew which has a very low protein count as well. I used to feed him the chicken variety but it contains soy so now I am switching to turkey.

I just wanted to pass along this information for anyone else who may have a cat with either kidney problems, GI problems or both because you may notice some positive changes with some of these modifications to their diet. I've hit every pet store in a 10 mile radius finding the best combo for his issues and I'm happy to say he's still here with us.

rushing through airports and such...

I mentioned that we almost missed our flight leaving Columbus because Tom was still on the course a bit later than was expected. When we finally get to the airport we’re rushing through security - Tom goes ahead of me, puts his things on the belt they go right through no problem so he grabs them and starts heading to the gate. My stuff starts going through and the belt stops and the screener yells for a bag check and of course because we’re about to miss our flight, it’s my purse that needs to be checked. Tom’s still walking ahead, thinking I’m following right behind him and turns back to see the screener hold up my purse asking, “Is this yours?” I say yes and Tom looks at me like WTF you got in there. The stone faced agent walks over to a little cubicle and asks me if there’s anything sharp or dangerous that would inflict harm when she opens the bag and I tell her no and she says that I am not to reach in while she is searching. Ok fine. So she opens it up and out pops my giant water bottle that I completely forgot about. She holds it up high, probably to show everyone else in line how much of a dumb ass I am and Tom sees it from the other side of the cube and makes a face to me like, ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Like this is my first time traveling by plane or something. I mouth to him that I had NO IDEA it was in there and the agent grabs a little vial and pours the water inside and sets it aside. I tell her that I am so sorry, we were running late (I thought about going into the whole golf saga but didn’t think she’d be sympathetic to that story) and all I could do was say again, I’m sorry. She looks at me sternly and says NO LIQUIDS and runs my bag back through the belt. I think because they knew we were running late they purposely took their time so I stand there waiting, Tom’s bugging his eyes out at me and I’m like what the hell am I supposed to do reach in and grab it from the xray machine??? So he waits, I wait and then the bag comes out and I grab it and we run. But not before stopping to check the scores for the Ryder cup on the airport bar TV because you know, that’s really important.

For as much as I complain about Tom and his love affair with golf I have to admit he is pretty darn awesome as a husband outside of that ridiculously annoying addiction. Here’s why…

While on the airplane:

-he lets me eat his warm cookie right off his plate without even saying a word. (I ate mine too but the flight attendant saw me eat his and she got him another one so it’s not like he didn’t get to enjoy a warm cookie too.)

-he gives me the less germ-infested-looking pillow always asks if I’m too hot or too cold and adjusts the air thingy accordingly.

-he holds my ball of yarn and lets out strands while I knit. (Our flight attendant asked if she could take a picture of him doing this, Tom said he would prefer not.)

In the airport:

-he lets me play games on his phone and then when he needs it back to check emails and such it runs out of battery life.

-he always lets me pick the restaurant or carry out place and I’ll say “What do you want to eat?” And he’ll always say “You pick it, I’ll find something I like.” And then most of the time I end up liking the thing he got better than mine so we switch and he never complains about that either.

-he plays along when I make up games while we’re waiting at our gate during a lay over/delay.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

update from Denver...

Wow. Over a month since I've blogged. Ridiculous. Only excuse (although there should be no excuse- surely I can find at least 20 minutes in my day to sit down and type away some nonsense on here) there's been travel, weekend visitors, fun end of summer events, and another freelance job added to the mix. Overall lack of time to just sit still but I want to get back into a groove. We'll see if I can stick to it.

Right now I'm sitting at Denver airport waiting to board our flight back to Seattle. We went to Ohio for a few days of golf related activity. It was fun only because Tom's buddy brought his girlfriend and we palled around together for the 3 days of the tournament. We stayed in Dublin which was really cute and also went to Easton mall and ended up circling the city on highway 270 because the highway system was a giant cluster mess of confusion. Here is an example. We took 270 North from Dublin to get to the mall. We get there, spend time tooling around (actually met up with another friend of mine who lives in Chicago who happened to be in Columbus for work so that was really a bonus) and as we're leaving the mall the GPS tells us to get back on 270 North??? We ignore the GPS woman and realize as we're driving the time and mileage on the unit kept increasing and telling us to turn around and head the other way. I'm like WHAT THE HELL? We took 270 north to get here this cannot be right. My friend was driving and she agreed that we should be heading south as well so I told the stupid GPS lady she was on crack and shut the thing down and we continued to go south. Well I guess the highway system is one giant loop so eventually we notice 270 south turns into 270 north. So what should have taken us 20 minutes to get back to the resort ended up taking almost an hour and a half as we circled around the city. Thank God I wasn't alone. We had a good laugh about it.

This weekend was all about golf. Golf golf golf golf golf. Our flight to Ohio from Chicago was canceled so we had to switch airlines and unfortunately our luggage was not going to arrive until much later in the day. So once we got to Columbus Tom had to stop at a golf store in the airport (can't believe they actually had one) and he bought some shorts, a shirt, socks and a glove. Then he rented clubs once we got to the club. He'd golf all day and come back to the room and put on the golf channel to watch the Ryder cup. At dinner he and his buddy would review the best holes of the day and plan their strategy for the next day. I finally hit a breaking point when we almost missed our flight home because he was still golfing and our flight was leaving in an hour and a half and we still had a half hour drive to the airport. THEN while in the airport rushing to the gate he stops to watch a sports bar tv to check the scores of the Ryder cup. And once we are on the plane he's on his phone checking out the scores. I try to distract him by showing off some pretty yarn I bought at the little yarn store in town. Then I hand him a bag of his favorite candy, sour cherries, I found at this cute little candy shop. He pops a few in his mouth as he stares down at his phone. Enough already.

The thing that amazes me is that we flew in on a red eye to get to Columbus and both of us got zero sleep. The minute he changed into his golf clothes he was like super man, full of strength and vigor, all smiles ready to go. I was dragging like a two toed sloth and could barely stay awake to draw a bath but yet he was so energized to go hit the course and play rounds of golf for 5+ hours. I thought about this and realized I don't think there is anything I love that much that I would willingly lose a whole day's sleep over to participate in and that kind of makes me sad. Later that night I talked to Tom about this and he kept asking me random things to see what my equivalent would be. Sex? No. A knitting competition? No. A bead store blow out sale? No. Wine tasting? No. Wine tasting on a beach? Still no. Finally I came up with something. Wine tasting on a beach surrounded by puppies with their nails trimmed short. Something like this has to exist and I'm on a mission to find it.