This blog will chronicle my adventures as a Foster Mom for the Central Florida Pug Rescue. As a pug foster parent, my job involves caring for surrendered pugs until they are adopted by their forever family. If you are interested in adopting a pug, click the link to the right and visit the CFPR website.
Pugs and Kisses,
Leslie

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming

Yesterday, I bought Pia a life jacket for the pool. My husband, Matt, gave me all kinds of crazy looks and even had the nerve to ask "Why does she need that?" Of course, my answer was "Because I said so!" Gosh, I haven't used that line since the girls were small! heh heh heh.....

Anyhow, I digress............. I strapped Pia into her jacket and took her into the pool. Oh my gosh, she loved it! Once she got used to the floating aspect, she was so happy to be hanging out in the pool. For the most part, I had her front paws laying on top of my forearm, which gave her a feeling a security. Her legs just hung out the back. She really was floating and she didn't even know it!
One thing I've discovered about Pia is that she gets hot quite easily. However, if I am able to pop her in the pool for a few minutes, she cools off quickly and has a much easier time of it. Last night, after her swim, she was so much calmer than she usually has been at night. I think that floating on the water relaxes her as well as cools her off. Her breathing gets real soft and she almost falls asleep. Way too cute! She even kicked her back legs a bit. And her tongue never stayed in her mouth. What a look!
Nora wouldn't stop coming to the edge of the pool, trying to check out Pia's new couture. I think I may try the jacket on Nora next to see if she can lose her fear of the pool.

With the weather in the 90's every day here in the Orlando area, I'm sure this new jacket will be getting lots of use.

Pugs and Kisses,
Leslie and the Puglets

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What a Ham!

Pia is doing real well and responding well to her medications. Here are some pictures of this precious pug. Don't you just wanna take her home for your very own?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Update on Miss Pia Peanut!

Pia spent a few days at Dr. Hart's office last weekend because I "just knew" that something wasn't right with my sweet Pia. Dr. Hart did a full blood panel and x-rays, and this is what they found: Pia has an enlarged heart and had a bunch of fluid in her lungs.

At first, I was so worried for my little girl because having an enlarged heart means lifelong medication, and I was afraid that it would make it harder for Pia to get adopted. WELL! Let me put your mind at ease because this precious pug has done a complete turnaround. It's pretty darn amazing, if I do say so myself!
Pia's breathing is 200% improved and, because of that, her energy level is much better. We go on walks and she runs! It's adorable! Her voracious eating has completely calmed down and her peeing in the house has basically stopped. She actually jumped on me and barked yesterday to go outside. Now THAT is an improvement! She still has lots of potty breaks, due to one of the meds, but it's nothing like it was before, and Pia's much more "in control" of it. I feel like, before, she really didn't have control over her peeing, but that's all gone now. Everybody's happy!

She also snuggles with me more now and, like most pugs, follows me everywhere I go, even if it's just from this chair to the kitchen, which is literally 10 steps away.

Oh, and did I tell you that Pia and Nora are best buddies now? Maybe Nora sensed that Pia's health was funky because, now that Pia has improved so much, Nora loves to be around her. They snuggle up on the couch together and, whenever Pia walks by Nora, Nora grabs her ear and gives her a "love bite." So cute!
Pia wakes up every morning as happy as a clam. When I open up her kennel, she jumps all over me and makes her little noises, which have become so dear to me. She just loves to talk and say "I love you" in her pug language! She immediately runs to the front door for her morning walk, which she absolutely LOVES. She has a cute little routine she does every morning and, when she's done walking, she runs over to me and jumps up as if to say "OK, I'm done now." Once I head toward home, she starts running like crazy, which is something she never did before. She runs to the front door and, when I open it, she runs to the kitchen because she knows she'll get a little treat for going potty (bribery will get you everywhere!). Right now, she takes 3 meds each morning and 1 at night. Believe it or not, this little girl gives me NO TROUBLE taking pills. It's pretty amazing considering the fact that dogs and cats always seem to know the "trick" of hiding pills until you walk away and then they spit it out. Well, not for this little puglet. She's really good about taking meds.

I'm hoping that, once her system gets more stabilized, she won't have so many meds to take. We'll see. Whichever way it ends up, this little girl is STILL a perfect little pug who will make some happy family even happier. She's a dream..........a cute little girl with a big heart (pun intended!).
Have a puggerrific day!

Leslie and Precious Pia Peanut

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's Quiet Around Here!

My house has been so quiet because Miss Pia has been hanging out at Dr. Hart's office since yesterday. I took her in for some blood work and x-rays because I just felt that something wasn't "right" with my little puglet.

When I spoke with Dr. Hart a little while ago, he mentioned that Pia has some congestion in her lungs, so he's going to keep her there for a couple more days and pump her little body full of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. I'll talk to the office on Tuesday and will be back with an update.

Please send loving pug wishes to Pia Peanut. She's such a sweet, sweet little soul and I miss her around here. Nora isn't quite sure what's going on but I think she senses that something is different around here.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy Pia Peanut!

Pia has got to be one of the happiest pugs I've ever met! She's always smiling, with her tongue hanging out! She's starting to "play" a bit every now and then, and Nora gets so excited. Pia has taken to stealing Nora's toys and chewing on them. She's found the squeak in a couple of them, which makes her very excited! She still loves to sleep.......and sleep......and sleep. Well, that's what pugs do!This morning, Nora starting barking up a storm. It was too early for the lawn guys, so I figured it must be the other "distraction" that makes Nora crazy - hot air balloons! Yup, we are really lucky that the local hot air balloon ride companies fly over our home nearly every day. It's so awesome to hear the "whoosh" of the air as it lifts the balloons in the sky. Today, the balloons were extra close, and Nora was running around like a madwoman! Pia, on the other hand, just stood there watching. Pia doesn't get very excited about much of anything unless it involves food.
Pia is still giving me trouble in the "peeing department." Because we don't have a doggie door out to the back yard, I have to watch for Pia's "signs" when she has to go out. She does this little "turning dance" when she's getting ready to pee and, sometimes, I'm not always there to see it. Verrrrrrrrrrrry annoying.............................. I've restricted her to just the kitchen and family room area, so she really can't get out of my sight. HOWEVER, if we "forget" to close the bedroom door, she'll just run in there and, the next thing I know, she's peed on Matt's pants or shorts or whatever he's left on the bedroom floor. Frankly, I'm not sure what to do about this and I'm hoping this won't become so much of a habit that it will keep Pia from finding her forever family. She loves to go out the doggie door to the pool area and, when I DO take her out for a potty break (which is, like 20 times a day - seriously!), she goes right away and then comes right back in. If anyone has any ideas on this, I'd certainly appreciate it. Nora was so much easier to housetrain. I really want Pia to "get" this important thing. She's still on her meds, so maybe THAT'S the issue. I'm also going to call the vet and get her some bloodwork because maybe it's something else. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, Pia is happy as a clam, wanting to eat everything in sight! She loves to be loved on and makes me laugh every single day!
Have a super day,
Leslie and Pia

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hangin' Out at Petco!

Yesterday, Pia traveled to Petco for our monthly adoption event. Although the event itself was very successful with lots of positive interest and new homes for some of our puglets (a few people even spent time with Pia too!), Pia did not handle the excitement very well. My overall thoughts are this: Pia Peanut does NOT enjoy strange environments. The "boys" were really rambunctious, and this little sweetie was a bit overwhelmed by all the action and stimulation. She was very "noisy" and took quite a while to settle down once she was able to lay down in a kennel by herself. I don't think she enjoyed Petco at all so, in the future, Pia will most like rest at home while I attend the adoption events. It REALLY is all about Pia, and I think the best environment for her is a mellow-ish home with a low "noise factor." Make sense?

The prednisone Pia is currently being prescribed is making her soooooooooo thirsty and, therefore, she has a bazillion potty breaks during the day. She's had a couple accidents in the house, and I truly believe that, once she's done with this medication, her potty habits will get a bit more scheduled. She's totally a creature of habit and, when it's potty time, she goes right to the same place every single time. She does not enjoy long walks, probably because she tires easily and gets all "noisy" when she's tired. Hopefully, that will also get better.

I didn't get in Pia's face with the camera yesterday, but I WAS able to snap quite a few shots of the other pugs at the event, so I'll share them with you here. Pugs are such people magnets!
Julia, our Welcoming Committee!
Carter Takin' a Snooze..............
Chayse is crossing his paws that he'll get to live with his new buddy!
Caesar chose his Forever Family today! Hooray!
Bubbles is modeling one of the "Fashionable Furbabies" Hawaiian dresses
Murphy is hamming it up!
Happy Sunday!
Leslie and Pia


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sweet Potatoe Pia!

It has truly been a joy to watch "the new Pia" emerge. You know, I never realized how much Zoey "ran the show" until she went to her new family. Before, Pia was an unassuming little pug who made LOTS of noises. If you saw her now, you would wonder if someone didn't "pull a switcheroo" because Pia is blossoming! How exciting!

I've been really watching her stress and activity levels and have made the decision to limit the big walks we take together. Pia just gets too overheated too fast and THAT'S when she has trouble breathing and starts with the noises. For now, we go out to the back yard to go potty and come right back in during the heat of the day. Once it starts cooling down, we spend more time in the yard, bringing Nora along for company. Pia still isn't fond of walking with a leash and I'm not going to force it on her right now. We're taking things nice and slow.......................

I think I may have mentioned that I made a vegetable puree to use in Pia's food in the evenings. Well, she LOVES this stuff! Yesterday, I couldn't get her dinner made fast enough because she was really letting me know she was hungry. She gets all excited without getting all "screamy" and she'll jump on my legs and hang her tongue out. I get the message quickly and try my hardest to put her dinner together right away.

Last night, I placed her bowl on the floor, and she dove right in! Oh my gosh, what a riot! She sounded like a little piglet, gobbling up her dinner. When she was done, she looked up at me and this is what she looked like:
Don't you just wanna squeeze her? I laughed and laughed and gave her all kinds of hugs, which I'm discovering is something she just loves.

Pia is really changing, and I'm so happy about that. She gives me no trouble when it's medicine time, and she loves to sleep on the couch right next to me. Nora loves to give her kisses too. When Pia sleeps, a little piece of her tongue hangs out and, when she wakes up, she looks at you and it's still sticking out and it's so comical. She sleeps in her kennel at night, and she never minds. However, when morning comes, I hear her little bark (it really IS a little one!) and I know it's time to get up.
My Sweet Potato Pia is a truly remarkable little pug. Have a great day!
Pugs and Kisses,
Leslie and the girls

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"And they all rolled over, and one fell out......"

Remember that childhood song? As I think about Zoey joining her forever family, this song keeps playing through my head. We're minus one pug. That's right! On Monday, Zoey traveled to North Port, FL to join the Hornberger family: Rick, Mimi, Katie and Maggie. Since Mimi is one of my dearest friends, it really wasn't a sad moment for ME personally, because I know I'll get to visit this precious little girl again.

We landed at Mimi's at about 11 in the morning, and Zoey jumped right out of the car and proceeded to run around Mimi's HUGE yard. She greeted Mimi with lots of pug lovin' and made herself right at home in Mimi's "Paper Rose Studio." Zoey and Mimi will be doing lots of bonding at the Paper Rose, since Mimi is a talented card artist and designer who spends lots of time creating wonderful greetings. Check her out here http://stampinwithmimi.blogspot.com/ and you'll know what I mean.

Anyhow, Zoey is now settled in. I'm hoping for some family photos soon to post here. Congratulations, Zoey! You've found your forever family. xo

As for Pia....................................Good Lord! We have had quite an exciting two days. Monday night, Pia started her "noises" but, this time, she didn't stop for almost three hours. She got herself all worked up and, at 11:00 that night, I was driving to Walgreen's in my jammies to get some Benadryl. It took her quite a while to settle down if you even want to call it that, because she was restless all night long. I finally got out of bed at 5:45 yesterday morning and was immediately concerned because Pia seemed to be struggling to breathe and was almost choking. I ran around the house, throwing everything into the car and was on the road at 7:15, driving back to Orlando and to the vet. It was a 2 1/2 hour drive, but we finally made it to Altamonte Animal Clinic, where we were joined by Wendi from the Rescue. Thanks AGAIN Wendi!

Of course, I was a nervous wreck, probably more nervous than Pia. When we finally saw Dr. Schnars, I was told that Pia's breathing was directly related to an allergic reaction, and her throat was basically made raw by her Monday evening episode. I think that, between the grass at Mimi's and the grass at my Sarasota home, she got way too much pollen or whatever was in the grass and it put her in a bad situation. Dr. Schnars is an awesome woman, and she spent lots of time explaining the breathing system of pugs. I learned quite alot from her and will be watching Pia closely from now on.

Pia got a shot and an antibiotic, and then we headed home. Between Pia, Nora and me, we crashed the minute we got in the door. We were all so exhausted. Nora was beside herself, trying her hardest to make Pia feel better by walking all over her and licking her and basically loving on her the only way she knew how. So sweet.

The rest of the day was spent resting. Pia stayed real close to me and, even now, continues to be my little shadow. With Zoey in her new home, Pia is really able to get the attention she apparently has been craving. This little girl is soooooooooooooo loving. She looks at you with a little bit of her tongue sticking out and you just wanna squeeze her!

I got some great tips from Dr. Schnars and, on the way home yesterday, we stopped at Walgreen's (it's becoming my second home!) for some Vitamin E and Fish Oil capsules. Walgreen's was having a "buy 1, get 1 free" sale, so I was able to stock up. Because of the medications Pia's taking, Dr. Schnars recommended I put Vitamin E in her food each day (50-100 IU), which will help her liver. She also recommended that, each day, I put fish oil or olive oil or flax seed oil in her food. Sooooooooooooo, I grabbed one of the fish oil capsules, stuck it with a knife and poured it over her food, which she promptly gobbled up. The oils are good for the pug's coat, which was another thing I learned.

I spoiled Pia last night! I cooked some baby carrots, sugar snap peas and sweet potatoes and made a puree, which I then added to her food. Oh my gosh, she loved it! I decided that she'll have this special dinner each night which will, hopefully, help her in weight loss department.

So, this is where we are right now! Pia is on the mend and, at present, she's laying right here by my feed, softly snoring her cute little pug snore. We're going to spend the day together, doing laundry, knitting and basically vegging out!
Have a super day everyone!
Pug Hugs,
Leslie, Nora and Pia

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Bad to the Bone!

Yesterday was the 4th of July, and I decided to buy the pugs a special treat so they could celebrate too! :) I bought each of them a marrow bone from the grocery store and, if you could have seen Zoey and Pia "go at it," you would still be laughing!
Pia chased her bone around the kitchen floor for a bit but finally was able to "corner it" aside a small cabinet. She never left that bone until she was able to get the marrow out of the center. What a fun thing to watch! Pia was soooooooooooo happy!


Zoe, on the other hand, immediately wanted to bury hers, and she tried very hard to do that under a small blanket on the couch. After her many attempts failed to cover her prize, she seemed to say "what the heck!" and starting noshing away.


Nora, of course, is an old hand at the marrow bone chewing gig, so she got right down to business!

Once the marrow is eaten out of the center of the bone, the bones are usually left there unattended for a bit until one of the pugs notices it and starts chewing on it. Zoey got very territorial about the bones this morning and had two of them right by her side on the couch. If anyone tried to come close, she'd give them her little "Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr, don't you even THINK about takin' my bonez!"

It was a great 4th and, thankfully, we didn't have lots of noisy firecrackers in the neighborhood, so the pugs were relatively quiet and had a great night's sleep.

Zoey goes to her forever family in two days, so I'm storing up all the pug hugs I can get from her. I think she's going to really enjoy her new family. She's showing to be a pretty "bossy" pug, and she wants to be held all the time or at least be right at your feet. She's such a good girl with lots of energy and love.

Honestly, I think Pia's personality is really going to come out when she's here with just Nora. It seemed that Zoey would naturally "dominate any conversation" so Pia hasn't really had a chance to shine. She's already feeling SO MUCH BETTER from her antibiotics. She lets me clean out her ears and apply her drops twice a day and gives me absolutely no problem taking her little orange pill. She's a sweet, sweet little soul. Her vocals have even quieted down a bit, and I figure it's a combination of her medication and the fact that she may have lost a little weight and is actually breathing better. She's becoming very lovable, which I totally love, and she and Nora get along real well. She goes in and out of the dog door (Zoey still hasn't gotten the hang of it) easily. I also think that, if she lived in a home with a fenced in yard that she could have easy access to at any hour, her housebreaking issues would go away. She walks over to the poolside door but, because there's no way for her to get right out, she will sometimes have an accident if I don't "see her signs" right away.

All in all, I have to give these two little girls lots of credit. In the short time they've been with me, they have truly done well. They are such lovers, and they really just want to be with their family.

They're awesome! That's all I have to say......................................

Thursday, July 3, 2008

ZOEY ADOPTION UPDATE!

Hooray! I think Zoey has a home (pending her approval, that is.......)!

Zoey will be traveling a bit south to "check out" some friends who are very excited about the possibility of giving her a forever family. Of course, I'll keep you posted. I must admit that I am so very excited that this particular family has applied for Zoey's adoption.

More later.................................

Settling In..................

We're starting to get into a pattern here these days. At 7 in the morning, Matt and Nora head out to the kitchen to make the coffee. Zoey and Pia hear all the commotion and start "chirping" from the other room. Matt opens their cages and Zoey IMMEDIATELY jets off into my bedroom to find me, Pia trailing right behind of course!
It's really adorable to see how their personalities are starting to emerge. Zoey LOVES attention and will spend the whole day sitting on your lap if you let her. Right now, she's right beneath my feet as I type this, sort of like THIS:





Pia is starting to feel better after a couple days on her antibiotics for the bladder and ear infection. She's so good about taking her medicine and doesn't mind much when she gets ear wash squirted in her ears. She's a trooper! Right now, this is her position:

They don't like carrots! However, last night I ground up some sugar snap peas in their dinner and they didn't seem to notice. Zoey doesn't like to eat too much in the morning but will scarf down her dinner at night. They love love love to go on walks. When they see me grab their harnesses, they get all excited! Watching their little feet scurry up the sidewalk is so cute. I wish I had a video. The hot air balloons that fill the sky near our home every morning are not such a big deal anymore.
I'm still having a few little housebreaking issues here and there with Pia. I'm hoping that, once her bladder infection clears up, she'll be better. It's just that she doesn't "tell me" when she has to go out and, since I don't have a fenced in yard here, she can't just run out and do her thing.
All in all, we're still having fun over here. I've been working on projects for the rescue and am looking forward to showing Zoey off at Petco in Altamonte Springs on Saturday, July 12 from 11 to 3. If you know of anyone who would like to adopt this adorable little girl, send them to Petco. Zoey will be the little meatball with the huge smile!
Pug hugs,
Leslie and her babies

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Gosh! What a Day!

Well, I got in the car at 9:15 to take the puglets to visit Dr. Hart for their check ups. On the way there, some tour bus literally ran me off the road into the shoulder of the high speed lane on I-4. Didn't even see me and didn't hear my horn either. Needless to say, I was totally freaked out for my babies. I'm gonna have to get something to secure these girls in the car since now I'm afraid they'll go flying through the window.

We got to Dr. Hart's office for our 10am appointment and were met by Wendi, one of the Rescue board members. Man, I was so grateful for her because I had no idea what was involved in these checkups and having her there with extra hands and all that knowledge really saved my butt. Thanks Wendi!

So, here's the scoop: Zoey weighs 17.5 pounds and, other than the fact that she needs to lose 3 to 4 pounds, she's otherwise in great health. Her knees and hips were fine, she's heartworm negative and she's now sporting a new microchip in her neck. Her teeth were good too. Even though her fecal came back negative, she was given a deworming just as a precaution. She got all her shots and smiled through it all. She never made a peep, even when Dr. Hart had his fingers in places where fingers shouldn't be. What a good girl! Anyhow, it's official:

Zoey is now ready to be adopted!

Pia weighed in at 18 pounds, and she was found to have an ear infection and a bladder infection, which accounts for all this "marking business" lately. It all makes sense to me now........ Her hips and knees were also fine, she's heartworm negative and was chipped as well. Same on the fecal and all the shots. She'll be on an antibiotic for 2 1/2 weeks or so and she's got some ear wash for her ears. Once she's done with her antibiotics, she'll go back for her dental since her teeth were kind of skanky. She's also got a bunch of little "tags" on her underbody which Dr. Hart will snip off when she gets her dental. Pia was a good girl too. I was really glad to hear that all Pia's crazy noises would greatly diminish once she loses that weight. Of course, they won't completely go away, but what's a pug without all those funny snuffly noises they make, huh?

They slept all afternoon and had a good dinner, although they were not crazy about the green beans I threw in their bowl. Wendi suggested green beans and/or carrots since they have no calories and might help them not be so hungry. It was funny to watch them put the beans in their mouth and then BLECH! spit them out. Too cute. Reminds me of when my girls were small. They were ok getting their Comfortis flea pill too.

So there you have it! We all survived this big day. These pugs are so incredibly wonderful and, hopefully, they'll be finding their way to new homes soon. I feel that, even though they came from the same home, they will be ok separately, so they will not necessarily have to be adopted together. Zoey is such a people person, and Pia likes her quiet so it might even be nice for Pia to have a nice, quiet family home. They're getting used to their walks even though they're winded fairly quickly. These pugs just love to be loved on, and it is such a joy having them. I know that they will be leaving me with a sad heart, but I also feel good that I've been a part of their journey.

Pugs and Kisses,
Leslie and her babies