December 27, 2010


I do not have children to blog about so will you indulge me with a recent puppy "parenting" conundrum?  Our lovable, beautiful 2 year old pup, Hudson, is experiencing some deep psychological issues.

This is where you say, "but he's a dog."

I know, that's what we have been saying for the past few months but it has become very clear to us that our dog is not normal.  Very far from it.

We first noticed something was off this summer when he started peeing and pooping all over the house.  It got progressively worse and to the point where he was having accidents about 5-6 times a day.  You could not scold him for this because it made him have an accident on the spot and get markedly "depressed".  Every time we took him to the vet they told us that it was an issue of training.  Despite the fact that I was a bit personally offended by this - hah - it didn't seem right to us.  Every time he had an accident you could tell he felt bad and was scared.  He knew he wasn't suppose to go in the house and he ALWAYS tried making it to the door.  Each time he had an accident it sent him farther into this scared, uncertain and unhappy puppy.  It has been such an awful thing to witness.

Well we finally saw another vet and figured out that he had swollen glands that caused him to be incontinent.  I won't go into the details but every month we take him in and they help him feel better.  This seemed to help a bit but he still wasn't getting back to the Hudson he was.

So another trip gave us the diagnosis of ANXIETY.  In a dog.  This one was hard to swallow.  They wanted to put him on anxiety medication - the same medication they give to humans.  We resisted for awhile not knowing what to think about Hudson possibly having anxiety..... Are dogs even capable of suffering from anxiety?  I mean this isn't our child.  It is our pet.  Do you really pursue treatment for something like anxiety in dogs?  Do you spend the money on a prescription?  A daily, life-long prescription?  I don't know what I think about this.  I am still very confused about it.  I just don't know.

Wel a little back history on Hudson - from day one he has proved to be a little extra sensitive.  Any loud noises or tension (aka. fighting) would and still does cause him to run upstairs and hide in our bed.  I mean even shouting at a football game brings him right upstairs.  We have to go up there and literally reassure our DOG that everything is okay.  Weird?  Yes, weird.  Other than that strange quirk Hudson was completely normal and happy.  Very easy going.  When we added Lola to the mix, they got along great right away and had fun playing.  He was one at the time and still very young and playful.  They were buddies.  He even shared his bones.

It is a possibility that Lola's existence is a small factor in his "problems" but really she was already a year when his symptoms started.  And like I said, they still really love each other and he always is happy running around the yard with her.  So I do not think that Lola caused TOO much anxiety.

The more we thought about it and watched Hudson it did become clear to us and our families that Hudson was unhappy, uncertain and mostly fearful.  He always seems on edge.  He won't lie down, he cannot relax at all and the smallest noise or movement makes him jump.  I mean JUMP.  The large 100 lb. dog literally jumps to his feet and stands there in a weird hunched position.  The same position that he maintains most of the day.  He also does this lip curl thing where he looks like he is frowning.  Or mad.  Given his sensitive pre-disposition we think that Hudson may be a bit "depressed and unsure" or whatever the dog equivalent would be.

My diagnosis:  I think that Hudson's gland problem, which is very painful, was unsettling to him.  I think the fact that he could not control himself caused him to feel bad and scared because he was trained well and knew that it was wrong to go in the house.  I think that since it took the vets so long to diagnose his gland problem he got used to going potty wherever, he got use to not being able to control it, so he has regressed in his training and is use to just going.  All of this took a toll on Hudson's sensitive personality and made him sad.  Also the craziness of this fall with the kitchen remodel and lots of contractors in and out of the house and lack of space for him upset his routine and further added to the problem.

So all that to say, right before Christmas we decided to try a trial run of the anti-anxiety medication for him.  We have started to re-train him with positive reinforcement and are working on giving him more of a routine and stability.  We have noticed a change.  He seems happier and has gone several days with none to extremely minimal accidents.

He's not there yet though.  It will be a long process and hopefully we are correct in our understanding of Hudson so that we can continue to help him feel better and healthier.  More like the sweet, happy puppy we first brought home. cute.  

So do any of you have any insight into Hudson's issues?  Have you heard of something similar?  Or maybe you have dealt with something like this?  We love our little guy a lot and just want to see him happy and healthy.

Thanks for listening.

December 22, 2010

Christmas Wishes!

From our family to yours - wishing you all that is merry and bright this Christmas!

And a very happy new year.

December 20, 2010

new knit baby headbands

A few weeks ago I posted about another cutie, wearing my stripe ear flap hat.  Well the same photographer just photographed another precious little one wearing some more of my creations.  And when I say little, I mean tiny, little Thomas weighs 4 lb. 4 oz.  But he is so adorable.
Indulge me?

Check out Erin's website.  Her newborn page melts my heart. 

Thomas is great but where are all the baby girls?!  I have been doing some knitting for my expectant friends which has been so much fun.  I want to supply them with an endless amount of knitty little things.  I put so much time, energy and love into each piece that I knit so I absolutely love that I get to share them with my good friends and their new little blessings.  My one and only complaint is that they are ALL having or just had BOYS!  Still cute and so fun to knit for but I have so many new designs made just for girls.

A new favorite is my new knit headband.  I quickly whipped one up this weekend while watching Elf with the hubby and I loved  it so much I had to make one for myself.  I just need a little baby girl to confirm that it is as cute on as I imagine.  I contemplated testing it on Lola but that would make me one of those dog owners who treats their dogs like children.  (To my friends rolling your eyes right now - we aren't that bad - yet.)  Well back to the knitting - tell me what you think of the headbands.  Yay or nay?!

(I apologize for the image quality.  There is only so much you can do with our old camera and bad lighting at night.)

December 16, 2010

we have a working kitchen

A lot has happened in the kitchen the past few days.  While we were briefly out of town we had a flurry of workers hooking up the gas, installing the granite and setting up all the plumbing.  That means we now have a working stove top, oven, microwave, sink, and dishwasher!  And with the countertop we have all the essentials needed to cook a meal.  And while the finishing touches such as the backsplash, paint, and moldings aren't up yet, it still looks beautiful.  At least I think so.

Nicor finally came on Wednesday morning.  We were heading out the door for two days but they assured us that when we returned home we would have gas!  I know this doesn't sound too thrilling but it was almost as exciting as when the granite was installed the day before - almost.  I managed to grab one picture of the men hard at work.  We were told they would be digging a large whole on our parkway to access the gas valve and turn it back on for us.  Years before we purchased the home the previous owner had the whole house converted to electric, so slowly we are turning it back to a gas efficient home - and this was the first step!  However, when they showed up our neighbors got quite the surprise - a large whole on their parkway.  I guess that is where the valve is located.  And when I say large, I mean large.....a 4x6 pit was what it took to access the line.  You could hardly see their hard hats peeking above the edge.  Sorry neighbors!

So good to their word, when we arrived home we had gas!  I can cook now.  I just don't know what the first meal should be.  Any suggestions?  This is a big deal for us.  I am not counting all the many many Christmas cookies that I will be baking over the weekend.  No time can be spared in planning there.  

As I promised here is the granite.  We went with persian pearl and love it.  The pictures aren't the greatest, we have just an old point and shoot camera but you can still tell what they are like.  I also included a picture of our new faucet and sink.

There is still much to do.  We have to finish the electric, put up the backsplash (white subway tile), paint, pick some fabric curtains, and finish off with the trim.  It won't be too much longer now and in the meantime, we can eat!

December 14, 2010

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

So as I predicted our tree remained half dressed for a few days last week but we finally got around to one of my favorite parts of the holidays - deckin' the halls.  I love to turn on the Christmas music (didn't happen this year), start a toasty fire (also didn't happen this year) and make myself a hot cup of cocoa (definitely didn't happen).  Regardless, it felt so good to cozy up on the couch after we were done and enjoy the festive lights and colors.  Christmas decorations instantly up the cozy, family feel of a home.  It's amazing.

oh and friends - the granite came today!  So watch for that update....

December 12, 2010

not quite cooking yet

So the appliances have arrived but we can't quite use them yet.  What torture.  Nicor still has not come to hook up our gas.  They were suppose to come weeks ago.  They are just a bit late.  But thats okay - at least the appliances look pretty.  Almost holiday baking time!!!

Granite this week!  Supposedly.

December 6, 2010

just keeping it real

This is what our Christmas tree looks like right now.  It will probably look like this for a few days.  You see we tried decorating the outside of our house with fresh garland and Christmas lights.  It was going to look very festive and welcoming.  Only problem - we didn't have enough lights.  So of course we stole some lights from the Christmas tree.  No big deal.  We'll just run to Target later (the answer to everything).  But Target failed us (GASP).  They only had crazy LED bright white/blue (not real) lights. They had pink lights and rainbow lights too.  Oh and lots and lots, like a whole aisle dedicated to icicle lights.  Do people still use though?  I remember when those babies were flying off the shelves - oh the good ol' days - when the holiday's biggest worries were whether you could find icicle lights and the Y2K bug.  But we made it through.  My holiday decorations may not though.  Did I mention that the fresh garland and lights never quite made it up?  No - well we're still working on that too.  You see, it was a little cold freezing here in the midwest this weekend and we're just not that tough or crazy.  Or maybe we are just big babies because apparently no one else in the neighborhood experienced our same problems.  Once again, we are the party pooper on the block.  The sore thumb.  The ugly house.  

Just maybe we will catch up on the holiday spirit by the time the kitchen is finished.  I mean nothing gets you in the holiday mood like fresh Christmas cut-out cookies.  And we happen to be in luck because after a long stall we have action this week.  Appliances arrive Thursday and then soon after that the counter arrives!  
We're getting closer.  I'll keep you posted - on the kitchen and the tree.

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