October 26, 2011

Total Beast & A Big Ampuversary!

I always wanted one of those dogs that gets you. I've had friends who say their dogs are in tune to them - so in tune that when they aren't feeling well (the human, that is) the dog will come over and look lovingly at them, rest their furry little head beside said sick person, and join them in a "medicinal nap." These dogs willingly forfeit their exercise/walk time for the betterment of their human.

I have never had a dog like that. I've always dogs who were like, "What the hell's wrong with you? Get up and take me for a walk!"

Case in point: this Sunday I was not feeling very good. I spent the entire day in my PJs, mostly sitting on the sofa watching football and the Rugby World Cup final. (The football was a bummer; the rugby was way more entertaining.) Anyway, I'm pretty sure that other than the weeks surrounding her diagnosis/amputation, this was the only day in Abby's young life that she did not go for a walk. So, did she come and lie next to me and give me one of those "I love you, Mama, and hope you feel better soon" looks? Um, no. She did this:

Now, Mike didn't want me to post this. He said (a) it shows that our usually sweet girl can be a Total Beast and (b) it shows what a terrible pawrent I am because when she is a TB, I just laugh. I can't help it! I love it when she's a beast. She gets away with murder around here, and we all know it. (I just pity the folks that dog sit her... Sorry Terry, Jon & Lou!) Anyway, we posted the Cujo Cone Puppy video, so I figured we might as well post this one too.

"Mmmmm. Creamy."
I'd been saving an empty peanut butter jar for just such an emergency. It came it quite handy on Sunday. After she licked all the peanut butter out as far as she could reach, I cut the jar in half. Once she licked it clean, she had a great time zinging it around the living room. Hours of entertainment! And we got to stay on the sofa!

In BIG NEWS, this Saturday is Abby's ONE YEAR Ampuversary. Not exactly sure what we will do to celebrate, but I'm sure Fiesta Island and an In-N-Out Flying Dutchman will be involved. We have now officially had Abby longer with cancer (12 months!) than without (11 months). We are proud of our Tripawd Warrior Princess. (Oh, that reminds me - did I tell you guys she is in a book?? And she's in a calendar?? And she should be on another T-shirt soon?? Well, I'll have to do another post about all that in the near future.)

In other news, we have a follow-up at the oncologist this Friday. (I'm taking them a copy of the book Abby's in, which reminds me - I need a rubber stamp so she can 'pawtograph' it for them.) Dr. V. said last time that we would do x-rays again, but I think I might veto that idea. It would be nice to know if the artemisinin is doing it's thing and keeping Boris and Natasha at bay... but on the other hand, if it's bad news, then I don't really want to know. We'll see... I'll let you know what happens.

October 18, 2011

Partying & Persimmons

Would you say that looks like a hungover pooch? If you answered Yes!, you are correct!

This is how Ab looked Sunday morning after a Saturday evening cookout at Fiesta Island with my bro, his wife, my nephew and his girlfriend and her family, my sis, my bro's neighbors, me and Mike, and three pooches. Abby had a very fabulous time! 

We got there early. (Actually... we got there on time, as did my sis. Everyone else was late. But we've come to expect that, so it's cool.) We had to kill some time and take the edge off of Abby's pent-up energy so we took her for a little walk. Then when the other dogs got there, we went for another little walk. As you can see in the pics, Guns (the Great Dane) was taken with Abby. He is eight, but she seems to bring out the puppy in him.

Abby, evading Gun's attentions like the spry minx that she is.
Leo, Abby's cousin, is a big sweetie. (Emphasis on big.)
This is his paw. You do not want it to step on you.
Abby chasing the birds & the boys chasing Abby
Resting, post-walk

The boys around the fire
The Survivor Girls (my sis-in-law is a 4-yr+ cancer survivor!)

After walkies and photo ops, we hung out and my sis-in-law BBQ'd some very yummy burgers. (Of course the dogs each got a burger as well - grass fed, organic beef no less!) We feasted and fiesta'd (hence Fiesta Island I guess) and all went home smelling like campfire. The next day Abby didn't get up until 9:15 and when she finally did, she looked like this:

In other news, we got persimmons in our CSA box yesterday. I have never (to my knowledge) eaten a persimmon. They must be good though, because I caught Abby trying to get one off the counter (and she is not much of a chow hound!). Got one down and offered it to her. Thought she'd just sniff it, but no...

...she tried to grab it...
...and run off with it. Seriously hanging on right here!
So... guess I better wash them good, whatever it is I end up making. If you have a favorite persimmon recipe, send it on my way!

October 12, 2011

Abby's Workout & Beauty Tips

A lot of folks comment on how thin and beautiful Abby is, so I've asked Abby to guest-blog today and share her workout and beauty tips. Take it away, Abby:

Hi Everypawdy! I know I make this whole supermodel dog thing look easy, but it actually takes a bit of work. Today I'm going to share what I know so you too can feel your best, or at least look your best in pictures.

Workout Tips
1. Stretching: This is super important. I never get up and go anywhere in the morning without a good long stretch first. Unfortunately, my mom is too slow with the camera in the morning to catch me doing my doga routine, so I've asked my good friend Kermit to demonstrate my #1 favorite stretch: downward-facing dog. (Or in this case, downward-facing frog.) Basically, stick your tail up in the air, and push back toward your hips. Awwww. So rejuvenating.

2. Cardio: This is integral to keeping fit and trim. Find something you love that gets your heart rate up. At least an hour a day keeps me looking my best! (Hey, I didn't say this would be easy...)
Running is the best exercise!

Water aerobics is also good. Here I am following the instructor's lead.
3. Core Workout: Don't forget to work your core! One-legged digging makes an excellent core workout. You try it! Just kneel on the floor. Now tie one hand behind your back. Now make a digging motion. Repeat 8,700 times.

[A note from the videographer... they have this thing on YouTube where you can (supposedly) edit your videos after you post them. I tried to add music and edit this a hair to rotate it. But it has been telling me it's processing my edits for like over an hour now so I give up. We'll see what happens.]

4. Water: Be sure to stay hydrated while you are working out! I recommend having your lackey carry your water for you, and being at the ready whenever you feel thirsty.

5. Recovery Foods: I find a fruit smoothy is just the thing after a hard workout.

6. Rewards: It's not ALL hard work; be sure to include some rewards for yourself so you don't feel deprived. If you are good and follow my advice every day, you'll see that you can reward yourself on the weekends with, oh, say a double cheese burger and fries and a shake, and you still won't gain an ounce!

If your goal is to lose weight, these 6 mostly-easy steps will help! Or, consider the fact that losing a limb is a great way to shed those extra pounds!!

Looking Your Best in Photos
Now, if all that sounds like too much trouble, and your idea of a cardio workout is pointing the remote at the TV, then here are some of my best modeling secrets so you, too, can look good in pictures.

1. Know your angle! Always try to look your slimmest in photos. Stand a little bit to one side and, if you have an extra leg, tuck it in behind the forward leg. If you don't have that pesky extra leg thing, than this is not a problem. Be sure to practice in front of the mirror and find your best angle. This is my best angle for looking my supermodel-skinniest!

2. Know your best color! For me, it's pink. But I also look good in just about any color. It's kind of a gift...

3. Know your WORST angle! Try to never let anyone take a picture of you from behind. (Does this sage brush make my butt look big?)

If you follow my simple advice, you too will be ready for your close up!

October 6, 2011

Seagull Shadows (& Requiem for a Purple Dinosaur)

Abby is continuing to do really well. Last time I mentioned some tummy issues, which have been continuing off and on, but overall she's fine - and was well enough on Sunday that we did indeed get to go for a Flying Dutchman at In-N-Out. She loved it! She is not usually much of a chow-hound/beggar, but she was totally counter-surfing when we brought that little bit of cheese-and-meat-heaven home.

We've been going to the beach pretty much every day. It's the only place where she smiles. The rest of the time she has an expression pretty much like this on her face:
"Well? When are we going to DO something?"
But when we go to the beach, she looks like this:
"This place is AWESOME!"

Happy, beach-bound girl!

And when we get there, she's even happier:

Yesterday at the beach, this old man that I often see there walking his pooch, came up to me and shook my hand and introduced himself (Chuck - and his dog, Elton. Great name for a dog, eh?). He said, "I see you here all the time and I just wanted to say how much I admire you both." Both? I get that Abby is very admirable, running around like nothing's wrong, laughing in the face of adversity ("Hahahah! Stupid Adversity!!") but I'm not sure why he says he admires us both. I'm just there walking with my doggy, like all the other "regulars." Anyway, it was very sweet. And chalk up another admirer for Abby.

Toenail update: In my last post, I had her taped up into a sock trying to help her torn toenail heal. Well, it is still bothering her a little bit, but she chewed holes in the sock, so sock therapy had to stop. It seems to be getting better though and she doesn't lick it as much. At any rate, it's not slowing her down one bit. Here is video evidence of how she still races around. I captured her this morning at Fiesta Island chasing seagull shadows. (Remember I mentioned that she goes nuts for flashlights and candles? Well, it's the same for pretty much all reflecty/shiny things as well and fast moving shadows. She's nuts.) You'll see in the video that the seagull flies by on my right, but Abby takes off to the left - chasing the shadow instead of the low-flying bird. (You might want to turn the sound down or just mute all together - it was really windy today so the sound is not great, plus there's my squeaky voice cheering her on.) She runs SO fast and so far away that you can barely see her. Not the greatest quality video - but I just used my little iPod Nano to shoot it. [Amazing that you can carry something so small around and record videos with it! Thank you, Steve Jobs and may you RIP.]

Barney update: In Barney news, Abby has successfully managed to kill him dead. In the last photos I posted of him, he had been turned into a uni-pawd with a colostomy bag but he was still hanging in there. With the exception of his small and large intestine, most of his internal organs were still intact. Well, the other day I got up to find these remains of Barney (careful... these are gruesome and not for the squeamish...):

No limbs. No eyes. No lower jaw. No innards. He's toast. But he still insists that he loves us! What a chump. Thanks for the good times, Barney.

That's pretty much all the news from Abby-land. Thanks for reading.