December 20, 2017

or literally any day after 3pm





April 2014

As an overprotective mom of two rambunctious furbabies, I try to make sure our dogs are worshipped properly.  They eat good food.  They have (more than) plenty of toys to stimulate their brains and help burn off energy.  They’re socialized.  They’re adored.

But there are certain components to pet-ownership that we, as a family, haven’t addressed: how to handle medical-related emergencies and who would take care of the pups if one or both of us are incapacitated.  I’m not addressing the latter here today.  Don’t worry.  No tears.

When I realized my Type-A Virgo mind had neglected to prepare for the worst, I vowed to resolve it.  I’m a planner.  I plan.  This is yet another New Year’s Resolution.  2014 is shaping up to be a very busy year.

And so, last night James and I attended a humans-only American Red Cross Dog & Cat First Aid/CPR Certification class.  It just so happens that Olde Town Pet Resort (are you tired of us mentioning them yet?) was hosting the class, which made the decision to attend very easy.  It’s convenient, we like how they take care of our dogs, and the staff is welcoming and friendly; basically, a no-brainer.

From 6-8pm, 6 parents gathered with two instructors and five resusci-dogs to learn the basics of Pet First Aid, Rescue Breathing and CPR.  We watched a video and gained hands-on experience administering first aid response for:

  • Rescue Breathing and CPR
  • Choking
  • Shock
  • Abrasions, Cuts and Tears
  • Pad Wounds
  • Eye and Ear Injuries
  • Burns
  • Fractures or Broken Back or Neck
  • Car Accidents
  • Poisoning
  • Hypothermia or Frostbite
  • Heat Stroke
  • Electric Shock

Obviously, I’m now paranoid about all of these occurring, because I possess a highly overactive imagination. Our resusci-dog looked like the latte version of Zozo:

in the middle of practicing ear bandaging.

in the middle of practicing ear bandaging.



Here are some key lessons that we learned:

1.  Make sure you know your pet’s resting breathing count, pulse and temperature.  If you have a baseline, you’re better prepared to tell if your pet is in distress.  This means spending some quality time with your dog, a tub of vaseline and a digital thermometer.  Apparently the over the ear animal thermometers aren’t accurate enough.  James and I are going to flip a coin for this one…

2.  Don’t panic.  The instructor said this 13 times during our training.  I kept tally marks on my notes.  In the event of an emergency, don’t panic.  Keep your voice calm and your own pulse steady.  Like emergency response with children, if you’re calm you’ll temper their freak-out.  However, I suspect that if a snake is hanging from my dog’s nose or a bone is sticking out of her skin, I might not be able to temper my own freak-out.  Maybe that’s a good opportunity to put my theatre school education to use.

3.  Before administering treatment to an injured animal, create a soft, temporary muzzle.  If your pet’s not a biter, you still need to do this.  You never know how an animal will react when he or she is in distress.


4.  If you suspect your dog has been poisoned and you call the National Animal Poison Control Center, they will ask for your credit card information prior to giving you treatment information.  There is a fee.  Pay the fee.

4a.– if advised to use Hydrogen Peroxide to counter-act suspected poisoning, try to administer this on a tile or wipeable floor.  Whatever you get down is coming right back up.

4b.  in case you’re wondering, pretty much everything humans use every day is a poison and/or choke hazard to pets.

5.  While we’re on the topic of choking: the easiest first-step way to clear a small dog’s throat of foreign objects is to pick them up by their hind legs with their backs against your legs, and let them hang upside down.  For larger dogs, try a wheel-barrow method of raising only their hind legs.  You can also try a finger sweep, but watch out because your dog may respond to the dislodging by biting down.  And of course, there’s the Heimlich.

6.  Just like we have a go-bag for our dogs for weather emergencies, we will now be preparing an official Puppy First Aid Kit, to include these items:


7.  We’re going to need to keep a lot of gauze pads and vet wrap in the house.  MJ is forever scratching her paws and her nailbeds attempting to climb trees and catch wildlife, so paw compression wrapping is something we’ll master quickly.


Step one: clean the wound and apply ointment, if you can. Step two: apply gauze pads to the area.


Step three: cut the vet wrap to make a stirrup around the gauze pads, applying pressure to the wound.


Step four: using more vet wrap, start wrapping around the stirrup in the middle of the leg, covering the entire leg and making sure no fuzzy bits of gauze are sticking out.


Step five: make sure to end the wrapping at the back of the animal’s leg, so he or she can’t unravel your effort. You’ll know you’ve wrapped too tightly if you can’t get one finger under the top of the wrapping.

6.  Always call your vet or the emergency veterinary hospital.  ALWAYS.

At the end of the training, we received our official certificates of completion, which I promptly snapped pictures of and posted to Facebook.  Because I’m a nerd. IMG_1269 We also received a little something for the dogs, who were not invited to the training. IMG_1270   And on our way home, while I rambled on about how helpful it was, and how I’m excited to make a first aid kit, and wasn’t the instructor open to all sorts of questions, and isn’t it a shame she has so many real-world experiences working in rescue, James put the whole night into crystal clear perspective:

“So, now we have to put a thermometer in their poopers.  Do they each get their own or will they share?”



February 13, 2014

Three days ago, the dogs started acting weird.  Antsy.  Jumpy.  Short-tempered.  That’s when we knew the forecast was correct:  snow was coming.  And boy did it arrive!  Here in NoVa, we’ve got practically a foot of it, and sleety-rain is still coming down.  Gross.

Four mammals are snowed in…. The pups are rough-housing.  They’re annoying each other (which is annoying us).  They’re rearranging the pillows of the couch.  It’s time to put down the baked goods and warm drinks, and take them out to burn off some energy.

Thus begins the 20 minute dressing ritual.  For the dogs.

items: 8 dog booties (blue), one doodle snood (blue with whale), one hooded fleece (pink with hearts), one dog jacket (pink and brown plaid), one mj snood (white fleece with hearts)

items: 8 dog booties (blue), one doodle snood (blue with whale), one hooded fleece (pink with hearts), one dog jacket (pink and brown plaid), one mj snood (white fleece with hearts)

now, one dog at a time, please…

booties go on like pants: one leg at a time.

booties go on like pants: one leg at a time.  this is when “shake” comes in handy. (i think there’s a pun there…)

then the snood, to keep our ears warm.  he hates-- i repeat-- hates wearing his snood, so we'll see how long this lasts.

then the snood, to keep our ears warm. he hates– i repeat– hates wearing his snood, so we’ll see how long this lasts.

Next, MJ.  MJ dislikes being cold and wet, so obviously she has more of an ensemble.

three down, one to go.

three down, one to go.

fleece hoodie?  check.  jacket? check.

fleece hoodie? check. jacket? check.

Let's go, let's go!

Let’s go, let’s go!

[Insert humans pulling on boots, coats, gloves, hats, etc. with two bundled dogs circling in anticipation.]

And so, the undressing….


Keep warm, all!  Happy Snow Day!!

Pencil me in!

It’s been a very busy winter here in the F–G—— household.  Holidays, work, travel and visits!  Since our routines have been a bit interrupted, I haven’t been posting as consistently as I’d like.  So, something to work on (an addition to my resolution list— or intentions, as our pals over at Dakota’s Den call them)…

Anyhoo… here’s a quick rundown of our super adventures!

MJ and Zozo met their human cousin!  Adorable and puppy-friendly, Baby Cousin is also a recent walker.  To make sure everyone had the chance to say hello without fear of jumping and knocking-over, MJ and Zo greeted her first through the gate in their room, and then one at a time outside of the dog room.  I suspect, once everyone is a little older, there may be pictures of both girls (Baby Cousin and MJ) wearing matching tutus and eating popsicles.


We road-tripped for Christmas!  By now, the dogs have it down to a science.  Car harness, leashes, pit-stop then buckled in.  Usually, Zozo conks right out for the drive, and MJ slowly pushes him off the seat so she can spread out and gaze out all of the rear windows.


We flaunted our fashionable winter wear, courtesy of Mums.  It’s a fabulous fleece snood which sometimes works its way down to become a tube dress.  Because that’s how we roll.


MJ and Zozo supervised some home improvement work.  Which is ongoing.  Much to their chagrin.  PS: They’re also bossy and micro-manage-y.


And then, there’s been a lot of hanging around trying to recover from the holiday festivities.  Literally.



Yule love!

December 2013

Wishes for a warm and happy holiday season, to all of you from all of us!

(many, many treats were harmed in the filming of this video)




And then this happened…

We’re having lovely fall weather here. Temperatures beg for sweaters (or my coveted denim jacket), long walks in the earlier-every-day twilight, and the air smells of spiced lattes.

This is my favorite time of year.

I love the sense of festivity that comes as the first maple leaves yellow and plummet to the lawn. Pumpkins grimace, turkeys run for their lives, and winter holiday decorations begin to encroach on my mellow sensibilities.

For Zozo’s first Halloween, I dressed him in my purple, glittery fairy wings before James could return home from work and talk me out of it. The doorbell rang, and a little girl dressed as Tinkerbell (with the same wings, mind you) freaked him out so much that the wings and his tolerance for the doorbell were forever ruined before I could get a picture. You’ll have to trust me. He looked glorious.

We’re usually out and about during trick-or-treating, or hiding in the basement around a laptop watching Netflix on-demand when the kids would come knocking. Yes, we’re that house. Please don’t egg us.

This year, a friend sent us a picture of a pittie wearing a costume. If we’re Facebook friends, you can see the picture. If we’re not friends: shame on you. Here. From the first moment I snorted, I knew it had to be mine– the costume, not the pup. The pup seemed to be in fairly good hands.

A Google search led me to an eBay auction, and my wonderful husband bid on what will surely be the greatest source of entertainment in our household for-ever.

And so, folks, here’s an early All Hallow’s gift for you. MJ’s costume.



For the full fashion show:

I’m also considering having MJ wear this over her sweatshirt as her snow suit. So, a promise of ridiculousness to come, it seems…

Selfie, Part 2

Last post, MJ and Zozo introduced you to some of their pals. When we put out a call to furriends about sending along selfies, a few gals sent us short biographies, too.

We’re excited to share their pictures and stories with you! Enjoy!!




Hello! My name is Hunny but mom and dad call me badger. I am a 2 1/2 year old boxer mix. I enjoy mischief, long walks in the woods and snuggling with my mom. I also enjoy shoes on occasion but apparently that is frowned upon in this establishment. A year ago, mom and dad rescued me and I have been the happiest pupper fluff ever since. They give me lots of toys and a super comfy bed to sleep in. They sometimes make me do things like sit and lay but I look at them with my puppy eyes which pretty much gets me out of trouble. But they super love me more than anything. If you meet me on the street, I will wiggle my butt right up to you and give Hunny hugs.. Everyone needs a little love!


My name is Beatrice. My mom and dad call me “Beatrice the Brave”. I’m from North Carolina. I was abused once — it made me scared of people because I thought they would hurt me. I was afraid of other dogs — in fact, I didn’t know how to be a dog, like wag my tail or play with toys. I used to shut down emotionally, whenever I got scared. But a shelter volunteer posted me on Facebook, and that’s how my new mommy and daddy in DC found me. They decided to save me and give me a good home… a few weeks later I was transported up I-95 via the Freedom Ride. My new parents picked me up in the middle of a parking lot at 2:30am. I wouldn’t leave my crate for a few months — they set up paper next to my crate so I could go to the bathroom. After talking with the vet and doggie behaviorist, they started me on medicine to help take the edge off my fear reaction. And they would come and sit near me, and talk to me, every day. They showed me what a toy is. They slowly taught me that a human hand can pet and not hurt. They started to put a leash on me and gently guide me a little further every day towards the back door to the yard. But they did the best thing in the world for me…. they adopted my sister, Stella, to help me. She showed me how to be a dog. I’m still getting better, but I am brave now — I’m going for walks, and I like to be kissed and cuddled with. I play with toys, and I paw at visitors when I want attention. I’m a brave girl.




My name is Stella. My mom and dad usually yell my name. I’m from Georgia. I am “Simple Stella” to some people — I have a big heart and a little brain. But I love EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. That is why my mommy and daddy adopted me — because they needed a confident, happy-go-lucky girl like me to be an “ambassador” to my scared sister, Beatrice. A shelter volunteer posted me on Facebook, like my sister. And my mom and dad saw me that way — they called the shelter and said they needed a “happy” girl to help their dog. The shelter staff said “Stella’s your girl.” Up I came on the Freedom Ride — I am such a happy girl that I bounded off the van and ran over to my new mommy and daddy, showering them in kisses. It took awhile for my sister Beatrice to like me — whenever I would bring her a toy, she would try to bite at me to keep away. But I never take “No” for an answer! Every time she would nip at me, I would pick up the toy and put it closer to her. Closer. Closer. Until finally, after a few weeks, she started to smell the toy… and then finally pick up the toy. Now, one year later, she plays tug o’ war with me and our toys! So I did something right! I’m a happy girl…. My favorite thing to do is to be upside down. I love it. I also love talking to myself LOUDLY. And I’m fairly convinced that demons live in my butt. I like to look at myself in the mirror, eat things I’m not supposed to, and lay in the sunshine outside. Most of the time my parents are yelling my name because I’m ignoring them and am being naughty. But I’m a happy girl. Just simple. I want to meet you and cover you in kisses!!






My name is Annie. My foster mom and dad call me “Little Orphan Annie”. They get a little sad when they talk about me. A few years ago, when I was a puppy, I had no home but the street. I was sick and hungry, and very cold. One day I saw a nice man walking near me. I immediately knew he would help me, so I followed him all the way to his home. He and his wife took me in; they made me warm, got me medicine and gave me good food. I got better and healthier. They let me hang out with their friends and other dogs — I loved everyone and just wanted to play. Then they found a nice home for me on a lake — they met the family and everything seemed great. I loved my new family — especially the little girl. We were best friends. Except, some problems started happening that I didn’t really understand. The mom and dad slept in separate rooms. My family stopped taking me places, so I was only ever at the house. They wouldn’t take me for walks to meet other people and doggies. They would have parties and would stick me a crate so I didn’t meet anyone. I started to get scared of other people. And scared of other dogs. One day they decided they didn’t want me anymore, and called my foster mom and dad to take me back or I would be killed. I’m so glad my foster mom and dad immediately took me back! I didn’t want to die. I just wanted a family. I admit, when I first saw my foster mom and dad again, I was scared — it had been a long time and I hadn’t been around other people much for 1 1/2 years. But they were patient with me, and went very slowly (over several weeks) to introduce me to their two dogs. I so wanted to meet them, but my foster sister Beatrice was afraid of me and my foster sister Stella was a little TOO excited for me to be around yet. Then one day I escaped my gated room and foster mom found me playing with my foster sisters — I had a GREAT time! Especially with Stella — she and I are best friends. “Two peas in a pod” — that’s what they call us. We run around and jump on the beds and play with toys. At night, I curl up in a ball next to my foster parents’ heads and fall asleep. I love my foster parents. I just want to please them and make them proud of me. I am very smart and listen to what I am told. I am still learning how to meet new people and new dogs, but I’m doing VERY well, considering what I went through at the other home. I guess not everyone should have a dog. I hope that someday I find a real forever home with a family that will love me, and keep me socialized and active and trained. I just want to please! But for now, I’m happy with my foster family who love me so very much. I’m such a good little girl.

Kari note: if you know someone who can provide a safe, active and loving home for Miss Annie, send me a message and I’ll put you in contact with her foster mom!

Kari’s second note, October 2013: a most wonderful thing has happened.  Annie’s foster parents have failed, and they’ve officially adopted her.  HOORAY!!

Revenge is a female dog. And that Female is named MJ

Y’all, I jus’ happen to think it was in poor taste for Mama to put up that terrible post last week. I mean… she got two puppies. Obviously they’s dogs, so I don’t know what that “16 Reasons” mess was all about.

So, as a result, Doodle and me has been particularly naughty this week.  No sharin’.  Ruff-housin’ and the like.  Mama tries to sit on the couch, no couch for Mama.

photo (4)

Mama wants to go to sleep.  No bed space for (3)

In general, this is how I feel about Mama, even when I’m gettin’ my beauty (2)

So there.


May 2013

We’ve finally had nice springtime weather after several days of gross, spritzy rain.  What a fantastic opportunity to run the pups  (and humans) around the yard to burn off some cabin-fever energy.

On May 6, I read a great blog post from celebripup Johnnie Cash’s fostermom, in which we were introduced to quite possibly the greatest yard toy ever imagined: the flirt pole. Our dogs like to run in circles and chase things.  We’ll try it!

James, being the handy hubby that he is, happened to have all of the ingredients (he called them materials) necessary to make our own.  Got some PVC? Rope? Fancy Duct Tape?  Puppy Lure?  You’ve got yourself the makings of a flirt pole.  He toiled long and hard in the garage (35 minutes!), surfacing with a pseudo-fishing rod taller than moi.

So, two dogs, two humans, and one flirt pole bounded out the back door and into the sunlight.  Here we go!

Attempt 1:  MJ saw a squirrel running along the fence.  Squirrels are far more interesting than Daddy today, so she’s off hunting.  Zozo is being a great boy, sitting and waiting to play…(pardon my giggles)

Attempt 2: The little girl catches on.  Zozo still hasn’t quite figured things out yet, but he sure is interested in the tennis ball at the end of the pole.  Again, stupid giggles.

Attempt 3: All in! And more giggles!

Ok, so my laugh is sort of annoying.  My bad.  But here’s what we learned:

1.  Zozo is singularly focused on tennis balls.

2.  Someone shorter than 6′ tall (ahem) may manage the flirt pole, but at the peril of being tackled by an 80lb Pupper-Doodle.  Thankfully, there is no video footage of this pummeling.

3.  MJ is an excellent jumper.  Maybe we’ll try a frisbee.

4. Easy and rather inexpensive to make, the flirt pole will keep even the most ADHD’d dog’s attention (unless there is a squirrel, naturally).

100% worth the effort.  I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a little flirting?



How I Handle My Newfound Celebri-pup-ness… or -hood… or… SQUIRREL

hi. this is zozo.

my mom has been writing some embarrassing things about me, and i asked her to give it a break and let me write something. of course, she’s typing for me because that’s one of her jobs. her other jobs include people-food-sharer, tennis-ball-thrower and snuggle-upper. she also keeps the kibble and medicine and hugs (when i get scared). dad does these things, too, plus we share a nightly spoonful of peabut-nutter and he picks up my poop in the dark. he wears a headlamp. it’s weird.

i thought i would start off my first post with a joke. i love jokes. i’m a comedy pup. here’s one of my favorites:

what’s brown and sticky?

think it over long and hard. what is brown? and? sticky?  here, you may look at this cute picture of me while you think about the answer.


Give up?


A STICK! get it?! it’s brown and it’s a stick, and sticks are brown and… you were thinking number 2s, weren’t you?  i’m a gentleman.

life here at the house is pretty great.  i have a bed and a cot and a couch and a cat.  well, the cat thinks she owns the place, but i know that i’m in charge.  there’s rawhide bones and bullysticks and toys and peabut-nutter and pizza crust and sunspots and good humans who love me even when i’m having a bad day.  there’s also a ninja squirrel, who is my arch nemesis.  i am also betrothed to chloe, who is an australian cattle dog.  she’s beautiful.

i know my mom and dad were worried about getting me– that maybe they weren’t home enough and it would be unfair or something.  but the truth is, we’ve all made it work.  sometimes i see dad more, sometimes mom.  sometimes they see more of me and the cat than each other.  but that’s ok.

know what would make it even better?  if they’d let me sleep on the bed.  i’m working on it, and i’ll keep you posted.

HA, another joke!  posted!  and this is a blog!

well i thought it was funny.

i’m off to nap.


sloppy kisses on your toes,

zozo bean f—–

or pupper,

pupper doo,

and doodle (if you’ve been reading)