Misfit Manor Diary

Misfit Manor Diary…Betty’s back

When Betty first arrived here my friend and pet psychic Carrie Kenady came over and did a session with me and Betty. The first thing Betty said to me was “where have you been….I’ve been waiting for you my whole life”. All I could say was “right here…waiting for you beautiful girl.” Betty is a perfect girl…she is a pleasure to live with every day. This poor girl has the worst spondylosis in her back that her vets have ever seen…it is getting harder and harder to manage. We recently tried adding Gabapentin to try to help with her discomfort…that unfortunately was a no go for Betty.

This week I packed her up and we drove to Louisville for a visit with Dr. Betty (Boswell). Dr. Betty did some acupuncture magic and some special laser and some ultra sound.

Betty was so relaxed during her treatment she was snoring (well snoring and gassing). I love my Betty so much…pulling out all the stops I can think of to give her the best quality of life. If I could buy her a new back I would sell everything I have to get her one.

Life here is always busy…one of my Misfits always needs something…or is getting in to something…or we are running to appointments…or just dealing with the demands of running two businesses to support them all. But each day is a joyful one. I would not trade this life for anything. Hopefully next week I will posting pictures of roses…my rose bushes are on fire this year…covered with buds just waiting to open!

It was in the mid-80’s today…summer is here in Kentucky! That means pool pawties and doggie ice cream and all sorts of summer fun! I can’t wait to spoil them all rotten!

Please don’t forget about our shop if you are planning a Pawty!

Rescue On!

Nancy and her Misfits!

Misfit Manor Diary

Misfit Manor Diary – accepting reality

Last year when I adopted Rosie I did not know the reasons she had so many struggles. Rosie does not walk well, she had major struggles with eating, she can’t bark and she generally has a very weak constitution both emotionally and physically.

What I did know instantly was that she was an absolute sweetheart and I was meant to be her mom.



We started working on finding answers and solutions for Rosie right away. The biggest challenge was her difficulty with eating and frankly her plain lack of willingness to eat. I am happy to say that that situation has done a complete 360!

Rosie eats like a champ now. The biggest impact to improve her eating has been laser treatments on her jaw and throat. I purchased my own medical laser for the dogs last December (more on that later) and do treatments daily for her.

The laser treatments dramatically improved her ability to masticate food and swallow. It also made her willing to try new and different food which has helped me get some additional weight on her. We also take Rosie for acupuncture treatments. Her acupuncturist puts emphasis on her stomach points. I also started adding probiotics to her food. All of this combined has changed things dramatically for her. We are so happy with this progress!

We did these things while continuing to pursue medical answers to Rosie’s lack of muscle development. Our last hope was the neurologist. Unfortunately, the neurologist concluded that Rosie’s issues are genetic…the result of very bad breeding.

The neurologist recommended no further testing. She recommended never putting her under anesthesia unless it was life or death. She gave me the hard news that Rosie’s lack of muscle development is genetic and there is nothing medically that can be done for her.

Don’t get me wrong; Rosie has made a ton of progress since she arrived. Beside eating great she does walk more and her flexibility and strength have improved. But Rosie will never have a “normal” life. It is odd that over the last weeks of digesting the disappointing news from the neurologist that Rosie has made the most progress since I adopted her. Both Rosie and I seem to have had an attitude change about her health…acceptance and gratitude seem to be having a pretty profound impact.

Rosie’s neurologist advised we keep up what we had been doing; acupuncture, stretching exercises and laser and suggested trying a drug for neuropathic pain (which does already seem to improve her mobility a bit).

Its been several weeks since we visited the neurologist. At first I was so incredibly disappointed with the outcome. But as usual; the dogs are smarter and better adjusted than I. Rosie is fine. She is living a happy and full life; she spends not one minute worrying about “what could or should be”…she just “is” a happy girl.

Spring has sprung here and we are focused on living for each moment we have together. My girls (Petunia and Rosie), neither who can go for walks, are great wagon riding partners. They both are such grateful creatures…I love spoiling them.

I do my best to focus solely on life here and shut out the noise of the world outside of Misfit Manor. I am blessed that my work is right here at my home. But mostly I am blessed by all these sweet creatures who make every day a joyful one.

Blessings from our pack to yours,

Nancy

P.S. Please keep our Pawty store in mind if you are planning a special day for your pups!

Misfit Manor Diary, Pet Parent Resources

Misfit Manor Diary – Products I can’t live without!

With so many dogs in my house and four vacation rental properties I feel like I spend half of my life cleaning.  Believe it or not even with so many dogs my house is really clean…and I have a few secrets!

As much as I love pets…I can’t stand for my house to smell like pet.  I also allow pets in one of my vacation rentals and there is no way I can let that apartment ever smell like pet.  I have tried pretty much every cleaning product on the market and I have a few that I absolutely can’t live with out.

The first (and definitely my favorite product) is Angry Orange.  Angry Orange is the best cleaning deodorizing product I have found and trust me I have tried almost everything.  I add it to my bucket of mop water.  I keep a spray bottle of water and Angry Orange for dusting.  I sprinkle it on my steam mop.  I also use it to clean and deodorize the outdoor pet yard.  If I find I spot where someone has had an accident I clean it up with clorox first and then let Angry Orange sit on the spot for about 30 minutes and then wipe it up.

Besides the effectiveness of this product being really good it is non-toxic to pets and it is safe for tile and wood floors (which is all I have in my house).

The second product I cannot live with out is Zep Wall Cleaner Foam.   Let’s face it…dogs shake slobber, water, food, boogies and other unmentionables off of themselves and on

to the walls.  Wiping your walls with most products ruins the paint job on the wall.  I use this wall cleaner in the house and in my vacation rentals and I LOVE IT.  It doesn’t take the paint off and it cleans most marks off the wall.  My vacation rentals constantly get scuffs on the walls from people dragging in suitcases, dog crates, etc….this product makes the walls look clean again.  For the record I use really high quality paint from Sherwin Williams.  I don’t know how this would work with a lower quality paint so if you have cheap paint on your walls I would spot test it first.  In general I like all of ZEP’s products.  I use their shower cleaner in my rentals (it is fabulous) and their glass cleaner works far better than say a product like Windex.

The third product I can’t live without is my steam mop.  Because I don’t want harsh chemicals on my floors that are dangerous to my dogs I don’t use any product on the floors but Angry Orange.  But Angry Orange really isn’t, at least for me, sanitizing enough.  I vacuum and steam mop my floors every morning.   Let’s face it…dogs scooch their buts across the floor, they drool, they drag lord knows what in on their feet…the floors just have to be sanitary.  I use a Shark Steamer.   Its the only steamer I’ve tried so I don’t have any opinion on how it works relative to others.  It does last quite a long time though and it does the job.  I have a weeks worth of pads for it and toss them in the washer with hot water to get them clean.  I do sprinkle Angry Orange on the pads when I use them.

The last tool I use is my diffuser.  I buy the Innogear diffusers.   I usually don’t need it in the house but sometimes in my rentals someone will have cooked something that smells horrid or they have a dog in there that smells like it hasn’t bathed in a year.  I run my diffusers in the apartments while I’m cleaning with a mix of orange oil and lavender oil.  I’ll run them for a day if necessary.  Along with a good cleaning the diffuser will eliminate most odors pretty quickly.  A tip on using diffusers…they need to be cleaned.  About every 10 times or so that I use them I empty them and put a little vinegar in the chamber for a few hours to clean the residue off from the oils.

For all the dog moms out there fighting the good fight on keeping your house clean I hope you find this helpful!

Don’t forget our Pawty Shop of you are planning a special day for you pups!

Rescue On!

Nacny

 

Misfit Manor Diary

Misfit Manor Diary – It’s a Trudy!

The best things in life are unplanned.  A few weeks ago I went to meet a rescue friend for lunch.  I picked him up at his shop.  He always has dogs at his shop who are in need of homes.  It is so much fun to see all the sweet pups he is saving.  This time though as we were chatting and catching up a tiny nose peeked out from under his desk.  I asked him who was under the desk.  Knowing what would happen he insisted that I didn’t want to know who was under the desk.  I insisted he bring the dog out to me.  He picked her up and put her in my arms…and it was over…she came home with me.  Say hello to Trudy Halverson!

Trudy is a deaf and blind dachshund (we believe about 4 years old).  She is what is called a “double merle” (the result of two merle dogs bred to each other).  Double merle dogs are almost always born blind and as in Trudy’s case are typically deaf as well.   Not only is she herself a double merle but it is clear from her physical state that she was being bred herself.   There really aren’t harsh enough words for my disdain for irresponsible breeding.  She is the second dog I have taken in this year that is severely handicapped because of creepy sub-human “greeders”.

Trudy holds no resentments though…she is as happy and loving as any dog can be.  I fell in love with her the moment I met her.  As I was driving home my mind started running through the reality of what I just did.  Uh oh…I’ve never trained a dog that was deaf and blind…can I do this?

As it turns out…Trudy is wicked smart.  We have to do some things differently…I use touch instead of my voice to train her to do new behaviors and that works just fine.   She is truly remarkable.  She learned her way around the house in a few days.  She learned to identify the different dogs in a few days.  She learned where she is supposed to go potty in just a few days.  She curls up in bed with me and the rest of the dogs each night….right in the middle of all us.  It is like she knows she is home now.  Honestly…we are very taken back at how adaptable she is…she is truly a little miracle.

Trudy will always require a different level of protection than most of my other dogs.  She gets very scared when a new human she doesn’t know the smell of gets near her.  She warms up eventually but she will not tolerate being ambushed by people she doesn’t know.   She will never be appropriate for kids or badly behaved adults…but I don’t allow either of those in my house so its all good.  She will need a vet who is incredibly patient as she gets scared in new surroundings as well.

Spring has definitely sprung in Kentucky.  The weather has been amazing for walking and wagon riding.  I can’t wait to give Trudy a Misfit Manor summer!  We have so much fun here when the weather is nice with pool pawties and homemade ice cream.  I don’t know how Trudy will do with wagon riding at the park…I am hoping she likes it.  I have given her short rides in the yard just to get her acclimated and that is going well so far.

Every time I think that life can’t get any sweeter here…it does.  Trudy is such a blessing and I am the luckiest dog mom alive!

If you are planning a Pawty please keep our Misfit Manor shop in mind!  We have so many fun items to make your pups day special!

Rescue On!

Nancy

 

 

 

Misfit Manor Diary

Misfit Manor Diary…sometimes this is really hard…

I love every minute of taking care of my misfits but that does not mean it is always easy.  I knew when Rosie arrived here that I was going to be dealing with some new challenges…not just on a day to day basis to keep her healthy and happy but also in terms of being faced with difficult decisions.

Rosie came here because her family could no longer care for her complicated health problems.  She has serious neuropathy issues that make the simplest things hard; barking, walking, eating, swallowing.  Over the 5 months that she has been here she and I have worked hard at getting her strength up.  Eating is, at least for now, almost a normal activity (a far cry from where we were).  She masticates her food and swallows like a champ!  Walking is getting better but its inconsistent.  Barking is rare.   She is happy as hell though!

I have taken her to several veterinarians since she arrived.  All types of tests have been done…none have provided answers.  Most recently we went to a neurologist; this

Sleeping Beauty

was our last hope for a definitive diagnosis on what is wrong with Rosie.  We have learned that almost nothing is definitive when a dog has signs of neuropathy.  The conclusion though after this last round of tests (results came in today) is that Rosie’s issues are most likely genetic…which means there is really nothing available to treat her in traditional medicine.

I was given the option to do further (invasive) testing and/or to try some drug therapies typically used for immune disorders without doing further testing… the odds the treatments will help her (very low) do not outweigh the burden they will put on her.  Rosie has a very weak constitution…both physically and emotionally.  There are limits to what she can handle.  The neurologist was not optimistic.

So I find myself in that unpleasant place in dog parenting…when I have to make difficult choices on my dogs behalf.  We won’t be pursuing any further testing for Rosie nor will we do any aggressive treatment for an autoimmune disease she most likely does not have.  We will continue doing what we have been doing.

Rosie has responded well to acupuncture, physical therapy and laser treatment and we will continue that.  She is going to the guru of Chinese medicine in Louisville every week, she is eating great and we spoil her completely rotten.  Dogs with serious neuropathy issues don’t typically have very long life spans…we are hopeful that she will defy the odds.

Several months ago Rosie did a session with a psychic.  Rosie was very clear that she needed everyone around her to be positive.  She just wants to be happy.  She doesn’t want to be treated like a handicap dog…she wants to shake it off and move forward.  So that is what we will do.

She is such a darling dog…she tugs my heart every day and I am so blessed that she is part of my little family of Misfits.

Hug your dogs…every single day matters.

Nancy