Category Archives: Manipulating Humans

Happy Halloween!

It’s that time of year again!  We just wanted to wish all of you a happy and safe Halloween!

Dads tried to embarrass once again this year.  Seriously, when will they ever learn?!?

Oliver is a Bee!  Bzzzzzz!

Oliver is a Bee! Bzzzzzz!

Tucker as The Red Baron

Tucker as The Red Baron

Barclay as The Headless Horseman

Barclay as The Headless Horseman


























And OF COURSE, a reminder to keep your fur-kids and friends safe this Halloween — it’s one of the biggest times of year when pets go missing ’cause it can freak us out a little bit.

Ain't we cute?

Ain’t we cute?








Here’s Barclay’s advice from last year:

And if you don’t trust him, here’s some good words from The Humane Society:

Hope you have a PAWESOME HOWL-I-DAY!!

BWBoys Halloween Greeting


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Filed under Advice, Barclay, Dog Safety, Holidays, Manipulating Humans, Oliver, Recommendations, Tucker, Ways Our Dads Embarrass Us

If you didn’t know . . .

If you didn’t know Oliver was sick, you’d never be able to tell.  He’s bouncy, goofy, silly, wonderful Oliver, but a little quieter, with a little less stamina and every once in awhile he gets this far away look in his eye and you know he’s not feeling 100%.












We had a good follow up visit yesterday.  Here’s the status report:  BUN and creatinine (measures of kidney function) are back to normal!  Hooray!  His blood pressure was 150, so still high, but lower than it was and being maintained by the medicine.  Great!  Pretty much all of his “numbers” were in really good shape.











Except for one.  We got a really good education on how blood is produced yesterday.  You ready?

OK, reticulocytes are immature blood cells that have shed their nucleus and been released by the bone marrow.  The presence of reticulocytes in the blood indicates that the marrow is producing new red blood cells and responding  to a hormone released by the kidneys called Erythropoietin.

So, we know that Oliver is still anemic because his Packed Red Blood cell count yesterday was 24.  That’s steady from the last time it was tested on September 23, but it should be around 40 so it’s still low.

Oliver’s bone marrow is not producing reticulocytes and it appears his kidneys are not releasing erythropoietin.










We’re now in entering into the “Land of Could Be” – a place where we’re just going to go ahead and buy a permanent vacation home. This issue with the kidneys COULD BE kidney fatigue, basically.  Oliver’s system has been through so much in the last month that it’s just packed up its toys and is pouting in the corner, not wanting to do any more.

Today Oliver is going BACK to the ER Vet and will get a shot of Vitamin B12, a shot of Iron and a shot of erythropoietin.  The erythropoietin will have to be repeated twice more over the next week and the whole goal here is to kick-start that hormone production, get the kidneys in gear and kick the whole system back online.












If that doesn’t work, Oliver will have to have a bone marrow test to see if there’s another reason why they’re not producing new red blood cells and we DO NOT want to do that.

Oliver played it up pretty hard during a visit to Barking Dogs yesterday.

Oliver played it up pretty hard during a visit to Barking Dogs yesterday.









In the meantime, we were able to reduce his number of meds, cut back on the prednisone even more and we’re just gonna keep bouncy, goofy, silly going while all of this is going on.

‘Cause that’s what Oliver’s all about — if you’re going to do something, do it ALL OUT.  If you’re going to eat, eat with gusto and enjoy every bite – even the ones you dropped on the floor.  If you’re going to sleep, sleep hard – throw your legs up in the air, kick your head back and snore your little head off.  If you’re going to play, play until you collapse on the cool tile, worn out, panting and smiling.

And if you’re going to get sick, well, you may as well have something very rare, very odd, very confusing — and very expensive.  That’s our Oliver.



Filed under Manipulating Humans, Oliver, Veterinarian

Cranky Christmas Crafts

Something gets into our Dad during Christmas and he gets all crafty and creative and tries to do all this stuff.  Like this one year when he did chocolate-dipped pretzels with little sprinkles on them.  That was the year we had to have baby gates around the kitchen ’cause it was really, really messy and chocolate is bad for us.

This year, not so bad . . . since we can’t wear our costumes (THANK DOG!) all the time, we apparently had to have something festive for when company comes.  So we decided on double-sided bandanas.  Yay.

First thing, get some fabric with fun, festive colors.  Preferably stuff that’s really easy to take care of (read: machine washable).  Get as much contrasting colors as you like – whatever you think is fun.









Now, measure your dog’s neck:









Barclay is embarrassed that his neck size is being published and wants to stress that as a pedigreed purebred he has the breed standard of extra, flappy skin around his neck because he’d be totally able to dive into the cold waters of Newfoundland and chase waterfowl.  But it’s cold there and they don’t have sofas, so he’s fine where he is and no comments about his neck, thank you very much.

Now, measure and cut a square of material measuring about 1-2 inches more than the neck measurement.  So, Barclay measured at 21 inches, so his scarf was measured at 23 inches.









VERY IMPORTANT – during this phase, make sure you lie under the work area and stare guiltily up at your human and be underfoot as much as possible.

Now, once you have two squares cut from two different, contrasting fabrics, fold each in half on the diagonal to form a triangle.  Cut across the middle and you should have two triangles of equal size.  Do this with both fabrics.








(By the way, one of these is a really nice cozy flannel (the red one) and the white is just cotton.  That flannel will keep you warm, for sure, when it’s cold).

Still under foot and in the way?  Good.  You’re doing great.

OK, so now you’ve got to get these to stick together somehow.  Dad’s lazy and not going to sew.  So he bought this super-double-sided-sticky-stuff called “stitch witchery.”  You just iron it on the fabric and it sticks together.

It’s important though that you apply to the side of the fabric you want to be on the OUTSIDE, the side that people will see.  So, you iron the two nice sides of the triangles together.  Make sense?









Once you measure the sticky stuff and put the two pieces of material together over it, you put a damp cloth over it and press down for 10 seconds to make it bond.








Do this on TWO SIDES of the triangle.  On the THIRD side, only put the sticky stuff about 3/4 of the way down the length of the fabric, leaving a hole big enough to turn the bandana inside out.








OK, now once you’ve pressed the third side together, turn the whole thing inside out — so that the nice side is on the outside.  The side that people will see and go, “Awwwwwww, what a cute doggie!” and then give you cookies and scratch your ears.








Once you’ve turned it inside out, you should have a gap of about 2-3 inches, fold the fabric in so the seams line up and put a small piece of the stitch witchery stuff in there and iron it shut.









That’s it.  Give it an all over ironing so it’s all nice and stuff, but that’s it you’re done.









It’s really pretty easy and if you can sew, it’d probably be faster.  And you can do this for any season or holiday or birthdays.  They make great gifts.  Dad bought about 5 or 6 yards of fabric and got about 10 scarves out of it which made them like $2 – $3 each, all told.  Oh, wait, we just totally gave away a great money-making thing ’cause I bet we could have sold ’em for like $10.  Well, if you’re lazy and want to pay us $10 to make you one, we’ll do it!  🙂

Now, some tips:

1) Be sure to look pathetic during the whole process while your person does this.  Like, as if to say, “Hey, you know you could be taking us for a walk or throwing a ball or, oh, feeding us rather than mucking about with that nonsense, right?”










2) Be sure to look very, very pathetic when they put it on you.  Like it burns and you’re just suffering the indignity of it to get the cookie.  They’ll give you a cookie ’cause they feel so guilty and you’re so adorable.












3)  Whatever you do, look absolutely adorable but so, so sad.  You will get so much sympathy, extra cookies and probably a bye-bye in the car if you REALLY milk it.



Filed under Barclay, Christmas, Crafts, Holidays, Manipulating Humans, Recommendations, Ways Our Dads Embarrass Us