Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sometimes Friends Are Blue

I was walking around the backyard today when something landed on my back.  I couldn't see what it was but I felt its soft feet land on my fur.  

"Who is it, Momma?" I shouted at the top of my lungs.  

"It's Blue the butterfly.  She flew here all the way from Oregon to spend the day with you" Momma told me.  


Blue wasted no time checking out the yard after she arrived.  She fluttered here and there searching for the perfect flowers to land on.  She told me she was hungry after her long journey.  I watched as her graceful wings effortlessly flapped in the summer breeze.  As I watched her I wondered what it would be like to be a butterfly.

This lone pink flower is all that's left on this plant.  All the other flowers have returned to Mother Earth where they will nourish her so the plant can bloom again next spring.  Blue sipped the last energy from this flower, savoring it as she did.

Blue was very attracted to the newly blooming mum.  I explained to her that the mums now bloom in August due to global climate change.  She told me she knew all about this crisis as she flew to the mum to say hi.  

"Over here, Blue.  These purple cone flowers have been blooming all summer, providing food for all the pollinators.  Would you like to taste them?"

"I'm a Sunflower Girl, Blue.  Would you like to be one, too?"  Blue told me that it would be an honor to join such a prestigious club.  She told me that she would spy on the Fire Hydrant Boys every chance she gets.

There were so many bees a buzzing around this beautiful flowering shrub.  I asked her if the bees ever bother her and she told me they do not.  They are all friends who love each other.  I told her that I love bees, too.

After a while, Blue decided to rest on my back.  I tried to sit so very still while she rested but her antennae tickled my neck.  Before I knew it she was up and flying around my head again.

I was a little embarrassed when Blue landed on these Black Eyed Susans.  Do you see all the white stuff on the leaves?  That's bird poop.  This plant is right underneath a bird feeder so the birdies poop as they eat.  Luckily, the poop didn't bother Blue one bit as she gazed at the flowers.

Blue loves gazing balls!  She found ours and landed on a nearby flower to gaze into the ball.  She told me she was making a wish but that she couldn't tell me what it was or it wouldn't come true.  

I asked Blue to swing with me before she left so I could tell her my wish.  I know my wish will come true so I knew I could tell it to Blue.  My wish is for all the creatures of the Earth to live together peacefully forever.  Blue loved my wish and told me that it will indeed come true.

I wished Blue farewell with tears in my eyes.  I hope she visits me again one day.  I will be waiting for her.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Life on the Farm

Life as a farmer isn't going as planned.  I thought this farming business would be a tad bit easier than it has been.  It seems like it's all work and just a little play when it should be the other way around.  In addition to all my farming duties, I have to keep the birdies happy by keeping the feeders filled, the birdbaths clean and full of fresh water, and by allowing this mess to remain intact despite how it looks.  It seems as though the birdies like to 'bathe' in the dirt to remove mites from their feathers.  Every time Momma puts the wood chips and dirt back under the bushes, the birdies move it out to create a dirt birdbath.  Silly birdies!

I knew that not everything would grow as planned in the vegetable garden but I had no idea how fickle some plants would be.  The biggest bright spot has been the beans, specifically the pole beans.  The plants themselves are towering over the heads of everyone who comes to visit not to mention the support structures in place to hold them up.  And the beans are huge!  Momma is so excited because in a few months when they have dried up she is going to make soup out of them.  I personally think we should eat them now but I am too short to reach any.

One of the bush beans is still flowering but even has some small beans already.   I think I may need to get a ladder because these beans are Tiffy size.

We are still getting broccoli shoots every week.  Momma isn't sure if we are going to plant broccoli again next year because it takes up a lot of room for so little reward.  She can always buy it at the farmers' market instead of growing it.

My farming duties don't end with the many flowers in the yard.  This is a total mess but I like it this way because it attracts tons of pollinators.  Different species of bees and butterflies can be seen on the butterfly bush all day long while the American Goldfinches hang out on the sunflowers.  There's even a Black Eyed Susan blooming in the middle of this mess.  Momma tells me that she only planted the butterfly bush.  The rest were planted by the birdies.

The chipmunks are still stealing my strawberries so I check the plants several times a day so I can stay two steps ahead of them.  

Oh, look!  A yummy strawberry just waiting for me!  "Get in my belly, strawberry!  Momma, it's ripe enough so please pick it before the chipmunks have their way with it!"

I must sit patiently while waiting for Momma to pick the strawberry.  Since I can't see the strawberry, Momma has to put it right up against my nose before I realize it's there.

Nom, nom, nom!

I water the Stubby shrub every day.  There have been plans all summer to expand this area of the yard with additional plants but you see how far that's gone.  I like this area nice and simple because it's easier for me to cruise around.

We have an entire zoo full of critters in our gardens.  I am responsible for making sure none of them get out of line.  The turtles in particular have been known to relocate themselves when I'm not looking.  "I'm watching you, turtle.  You better be here when I come back or else!"

I don't know why this ladybug hasn't flown away but she hasn't.  I think she really likes it here standing amongst the mock orange bushes.

This turtle looks like he's ready to swim away but he hasn't been much trouble, either.  Don't think I'm not watching him though because I know how these turtles can be in cahoots with one another.  

Don't even get me started on this guy.  L-A-Z-Y!  He hasn't moved all summer so he's made my job a little easier.  I just wish he wouldn't look like he's going to attack me every time I walk by.  

So back and forth I go all day long.  Checking the beans, keeping the birdies happy, making sure the zoo critters aren't getting out of line, watching the perimeter of the yard for bad guys, etc.  This farming stuff is hard work.

And of course a good garden only grows when you add water so back and forth to the rain barrel I trudge.  Momma helps because the watering can is so heavy.  

When my work is finally done I collapse on the patio.  I usually try to get in a few winks before it all starts all over again but sometimes I fall into a sound sleep and Momma has to shake me awake.

I definitely need a sign that says: "Exhausted pug.  Sleeping due to extreme farming duties.  Please do not wake.  Leave treats and get on your merry way."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's A Beautiful Day!

There was no way I was going to stay home on such a beautiful day.  With temps in the upper 70s and sunshine as far as the eye could see, I dragged Momma out of the house early this morning to go hiking.  

For some reason my car seat was in the garage.  Hmmmm.  Why wasn't it in the front seat where it belongs?  Is someone trying to tell me something?  

Soon my car seat was back in the shot gun position and we were cruising down the road.  Ahhh.  I love to stick my head out of the window.  The fresh air really makes me feel awesome.

Our destination was Buffalo Creek, one of many forest preserves that we've visited this summer.  Momma chose this one today because it's mostly open with only a little tree cover (no mosquitoes) and close to the house.

I love going downhill!  I always run ahead of Momma and beat her to the bottom of the trail.  No one can catch super Tiffy!

"Please try to keep up, Momma!"

"See ya later!"

We have to cross three bridges on this trail.  I used to be afraid of the bridges but now I stop to check things out.   Too bad there wasn't anything down there to see.

Even from this view I couldn't see a thing in the water.  I wonder where all the fishies are.

We came across this cool caterpillar on the back loop of the trail.  Momma doesn't know what species of caterpillar it is but it looks really cool.  Please leave me a comment if you know who this guy is.  

I was getting a little tired as we headed back to the car.   Of course, I was still in front of Momma but I was dragging a bit.  Momma left my water in the car so I was walking fast because I was thirsty.  3.4 miles of hiking takes a lot out of a pug!

After a quick drink, we were on the road again.  I thought we were going home but before I knew it we pulled up to Page's.  YAY!

One of the resident kitties was hanging outside greeting customers but I walked right by him without even seeing him.  I sure wish my eyes worked so I could see what's going on around me.

Momma didn't get any pictures of me in the store because she was too busy talking to Jody, the owner, about my food.  After I got weighed (I am a trim 15.2 lbs, thank you very much!), I checked out the Honest Kitchen food, got a turkey treat, and then said my goodbyes to everyone.  We didn't actually buy anything because Jody gave us some samples.

Has anyone tried this brand of food?  It's called Addiction and even though their North American headquarters are in Washington (where Tuni lives), the food is manufactured in New Zealand.  Talk about a carbon footprint!  Jody gave us some normal samples (beef and lamb) but I checked out the Addiction website and they sell dehydrated food that contains brushtail and kangaroo.  Brushtail is a possum and I sure don't want to eat it.  And I love kangaroos and I don't want to eat them either.  I haven't decided if I'm going to try this food yet, just on principle alone.

I am definitely going to try the Honest Kitchen embark that Jody gave me.   Puglet has a friend named Norton that used to lick and chew his paws.  After two weeks on Honest Kitchen all the licking and chewing stopped.  I am so hoping that I like this food because if I do Momma is going to go back to get me some this weekend.  My friend Payton also eats this stuff and she loves it.

Thank you for all your comments on my post this past Monday.  I am going to try the raw, dehydrated food, Momma is going to buy the book "Pets at Risk" that the Southern Fried Pugs recommended, and then if all else fails I am going to take Toby Moses advice and get the VARL test.  For now I am going to hold off on the supplements but I fully expect to be on some over the winter to boost my immune system.  And maybe one day soon Momma will go buy me some coconut like Bellatrix suggested.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Itchies, Supplements, Food - Oh My!

Thanks for all the comments about my new food.  I appreciate all the feedback because Momma doesn't think the new food is working.  Working how, I don't know but I'm still itching, scratching, and chewing.

Here's the link to the recipe:


Auntie Nancy contacted Momma today and suggested she use fish instead of chicken in my food.  Um, I don't know if that is going to happen because it's hard enough for Momma to cook chicken much less fish.  So for now she is looking into supplemental options, specifically some natural ones. 

I already take 1/2 tablet of this stuff every morning for my joints.  Stubby started taking it last year when his disc got angry.  The sports medicine vet recommends starting puppies on it when they are 6 months old but I guess it's never too late to start.

Thanks to the Urban Hounds, Momma found these oil capsules for me.  They are a combination of fish, flax seed, and borage oils with some vitamin E thrown in for good measure.  Momma coats the top of the gel cap with peanut butter and down it goes. 
Apollo's mom recommended the Azmira line of supplements to Momma last year for Stubby.  Unfortunately, Momma didn't purchase them in time to help him but she kept the brochure and referred to it a couple of weeks ago when searching for help with my issues.

Aller'g Free is an Ephedra-free Herbal Antihistamine.  They come in capsule form so more peanut butter for me.  This is what the Azmira brochure says about it:

"Azmira's hottest item to "cool" your animal's allergy reactions.  Works wonders for scratching, rubbing, foot chewing, fur pulling, rashes, throat, nose, ear and eye irritation.  Clinically proven in eliminating most allergy sensitivities when combined with Yucca Intensive (steroid alternative), Mega Pet Daily, Super C 2000 and Garlic Daily Aid.  Additional B vitamins (as found in Mega Pet Daily) are recommended by veterinarians to be used with high-strung pets or those with very poor coats.  Safe to use with veterinary medications to lessen the need for drugs.  These easy to feed dry herb capsules, which support Dr. Newman's Holistic Animal Care LifeStyle approach to allergy elimination by systematically reducing acute symptoms while foundation supplements can build up the immune system, have supported even the most serious 

Momma thinks giving me 5 additional supplements each day is a bit excessive but she's willing to give them a try.  This standardized extract could be added to my food.  And the great thing is that it works like a steroid without the side effects.

I should be on a multi vitamin now anyway since I'm eating homemade food.  Another capsule = more peanut butter!

This supplement comes in a powder formula that could be added to my food.

Momma is a garlic freak but she doesn't take any garlic supplements because she eats enough garlic for the whole town.  This gel cap might just tasty enough to not require a peanut butter coating.

The Azmira website doesn't state recommended dosage(s) of each but assuming one pill, drop, or teaspoon of powder of each daily, here's the breakdown for a three month supply:

Aller'G Free - 90 capsules = $19.50
Yucca Intensive - 2 oz bottle = $16.25
Mega Pet Daily - 90 capsules = $29.50
Super C 2000 - 4 oz. powder = $14.00
Garlic Daily Aid - 90 gel caps = $14.00

I'm bad at math but even I know that these supplements are a lot of money.  I know I'm worth it but I wonder if any of you are taking or have taken any of these supplements.  Do/did they work? 

Momma said that if she buys them it won't cut into my treat money (thankfully).  I'm all about getting better because I hate to scratch, itch, and chew all day long.