42 posts categorized "Pets"


Woops, He Did It Again

It's not a secret that we've spent a lot of money on Spangler these past 18 months. He's notorious for getting into things . . . Things that usually end in money being spent at the vet.

We had to spend Saturday in Amarillo helping my sister move. It was a long, all-day affair (about 12 hours of driving) so my other sister, Dianne, volunteered to watch Spangler. She has a husky/German Shepard mix and we thought they'd be perfect together since they are both teenage boys who get a little crazy sometimes.


All seemed to go well, and I received updates throughout the day. They were playing hard, but enjoying the time together.


Did I mention that they were playing pretty hard?

He acted pretty tired but Monday morning it took him two tries to make it in the car (Spangler rides with me to take Anna to the babysitter). I thought it was strange when it took him two tries again that afternoon, but thought he had likely pulled a muscle from all the crazy playing.

Tuesday morning he showed no interest in dropping off Anna with me, and that is when I started to get concerned. By the afternoon, he was just lying on the floor moaning. I knew at that time we needed to go to the vet.

But of course . . . it's now after 5pm so we have to go where?

The emergency vet, which means everything costs twice as much! His blood work came back normal except his platelet counts (which didn't make me too concerned since they were still triple than mine).

He did have a high fever, so we were going down the path of him having an infection (likely from rough-housing) so antibiotics it was. We headed home with fluids injected into his skin (to make sure he stayed hydrated) and two different kinds of antibiotics. 

But Tuesday night was horrible.

All night long he cried and whined and he couldn't get comfortable. We felt so bad. So, when I came back from taking Anna to the babysitter Wednesday morning and found that he hadn't moved, crying even more than he was before, I knew we needed to go back to the vet.

I seriously thought he was going to die. He was acting that bad.

We were really fortunate that we have such a great vet who took the time to thoroughly exam him. After pressing over his body we finally got a reaction when a certain spot in his spine touched, so we knew where to x-ray. Our vet (fortunately, or unfortunately) knows Spangler by name . . . as we heard a few jokes about him eating the clip board while we were there. 

It turns out that Spangler has managed to compress three vertebrae in his back. He's on this concoction of pain killers, muscle relaxers and steroids, so he's feeling much much better, but there is still a bit of a road ahead of him. We have to keep him flat (no jumping, going up stairs, running, etc.) for the next 2 weeks and then only light exercise 2 weeks after that. If he re-injures his back, it could cause permanent damage.

(Yeah, wish us luck with that.)

He's home and doing really great, it's just hard not to guess what's in it for us next time. Although, I'm sure whatever it is, it will include more expensive visits to the vet.


Spangler, Look at Me.

We've had a ton of rain in North Texas recently (and like much of the country, lots of tornados and really bad thunderstorms) so the dirt in the backyard dirt is really soft (our backyard has been turned into dirt with grass patches from Spangler--nice, huh?). 

Yesterday afternoon I walked outside to let Spangler back inside and wasn't surprised to see this:


Spangler was looking at me with his paws and muzzle covered in wet, sandy dirt. He knew exactly what he did and that he was in trouble.

"Spangler, sit."

<He sits.>

"Look at me. Spangler . . ."

<Very slowly looks at me.>


"Did you dig a hole in the backyard?"

<He looks away and lies down right where he was sitting.>


It's like he was so defeated that he got caught that I couldn't really discipline him. It's like he was punishing himself. (Well, I say that because I guess I'm justifying not punishing him? Man. He better feel lucky that his Mom is such a softie!)

So I wiped him off and took him back inside.


It's Just The Beginning of Spangler + Anna

You may have noticed that I love my dog. He's difficult, really difficult, but he's such a sweetheart.

It shocked me that while I was pregnant I had no less than six or seven people ask if we were going to get rid of Spangler now that we were having a baby.


Ummmmmmm . . . No. First, I think that when you adopt a dog you adopt it for better or for worse. Second, I just know that Spangler and Anna will be the best of friends. And so far, so good.


Yes, her toys are covered in Spangler hair. Yes, we have to pull random dog hairs off her face. Yes, Spangler thinks her toys are his toy (hence why we upgraded her to the pack-and-play from the floor). Yes, she gets licked at least 10 times a day. And yes, I'd be lying to you if I didn't admit that Spangler LOVES her dirty diapers (although he's only been successful in getting one torn apart and eaten).

I know this is just the start of their lifelong friendship. Spangler will be sleeping in her bed in no time and we'll be trying to figure out if it was him or her that got into the toilet paper.

I think he's adapting to her just fine!


Spangler Visits the Groomer

We took Spangler to the groomer for his first "real" bath (I usually give him a bath in the upstairs bath tub, but being almost nine months pregnant, I figured $29 was worth the expense to not have to mess with it). I had to go to the doctor for my every-other-week blood draw and was going to go pick up Spangler on my way home. When I got out of the doctor's office, I had the following voice-mail:"

Hi Jackie, this is Petco Salon and I know that I just talked to you a few minutes ago and that I told you Spangler was ready.

We're actually going to have to re-bathe him. He has just peed gallons and gallons and gallons and has rolled in it and is completely soaked with urine now.

So, we're just going to go ahead and completely re-bathe him and re-dry him.

It's probably going to be about another hour. We're just getting started on him now. We'll give you another call as soon as he's done.



He's all clean and smells SO good, but only Spangler would have to get bathed twice . . .


White Milk on a Black Dog

For the most part, I'm a cereal person for breakfast. I used to not eat breakfast at all, but got into the habit of having oatmeal once I got to work while living in Chicago. With a two-hour commute into the office, I'd get pretty hungry, and oatmeal was an office-friendly breakfast (little stink, quick to make).

Once we moved to Texas and I worked from home, I transitioned to a good old-fashioned cold cereal and have pretty much stuck with it.

The other morning I ate my cereal while watching the morning news and then got to work. I heard a noise and knew that Spangler was into something. I called his name and found him like this:


When you're a solid black dog, it's really hard to hide white milk splatters across your entire face. He looked pretty funny.


Of course, finding white milk over my side table and couch wasn't quite as humorous, but I learned my lesson about accidentally leaving my breakfast leftovers out and accessible.


Spangler Dominates The Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is my thing. I like to cook it every Thanksgiving, although I don't always have the best of luck.

(I first made it in 2005 when we moved up to Illinois and Thanksgiving consisted of just Cody and me. I thought the pie was done, took it out of the oven, and two hours later realized the pie was pretty much 100% still raw.)

This year I was up until 11:30pm Wednesday night so I could get both pies (complete with from-scratch crust) done before taking off to Cody's parents house and left both out on the counter to cool.

We got up at 7:30 Thursday morning and Cody was loading the car while I was blow drying my hair and Cody walked in to see Spangler running from him with a "don't get mad at me" demeanor. He saw this:


I was LIVID, to put it mildly.

I don't know what I was thinking, leaving them both out on the counter where I knew he could get them. He was unsupervised for such a short period of time, but I guess it was all it took.


Luckily, I had one survive, but Spangler better realize that he is darn lucky that I love him so much.

The bad part is though, he didn't even try the homemade crust . . .


Spangler Turns A Year Old

This past February our lives were transformed forever when a 20.6 pound black dog came into our lives.

As I've mentioned before, his parents are owned by Cody's coworker and we got him through a round-a-bout way, but Spangler was one of 12 puppies in his litter.

(Cutest picture, huh? Spangler, his mom Mollie, and his 10 brothers and sisters--one of the chocolate labs was lost right after it was born.)


(Both of these are Spangler, but I'm not sure how old he is in them. You can already see how big his paws are in both of these pictures!)


Life is full of surprises. We ended up adopting him and the past year has definately been eventful (and expensive). We can't forget about the 5:30am wake-up calls the first two months, bunny hunting in the back yard, his short-lived girlfriend, destroying the carpet one carrot and juice drink and muddy day at a time, the constant chewing which included the air conditioner and lots of plastic, and everyones favorite, the rock eating incident and subsequent hospital stay.

But, with that said, he has been completely worth it.


Happy Birthday to my 75-pound little boy, who is getting smarter and more well-behaved every day! He didn't even need cheese to stay still enough to get a birthday picture!


Caught In The Act

It's been beautiful fall weather here in North Texas. Low humidity and highs in the 70's. After living in some of the colder places in the US, Texas's fall/winter/spring makes putting up with the crazy hot summers worth it.

I was working in the backyard yesterday enjoying the weather (and by working I mean real work, as in laptop, cell phone, meetings, etc.) and Spangler was with me. I had a 10:30am meeting with my boss and Spangler was off chewing sticks, or so I thought.

I got off the phone with my boss and caught him doing this:


I then shout, "Spangler!" And he immediately goes to the I'm-not-doing-anything-but-sitting-here position.


Unfortunately, for him, the photo and the dirt all over his face and paws gave him away.

(Cody asked if I disciplined him for this. Ummmm, yes, after I was done taking pictures.)


Stranger Danger

Spangler doesn't have a mean bone in his body. He is labrador retriever through and through. Not once has he ever shown aggression, even when faced with big, mean dogs at the dog park. He'll just shake his tail and lick their face, until they finally decide that they'd rather play then be mean.

When we have people come over, we make Spangler sit until they walk in so they don't have this big 75 pound dog in their face. Fortunately/unfortunately, Spangler follows this same thought process when totally random people come to visit (UPS man, door-to-door religious people) as he thinks he gets to meet them if he sits like a good boy. He never even barks when the doorbell rings.

So I was a bit shocked Monday morning . . .

Spangler and I were on our morning walk when we rounded a corner (The Dog Whisperer would not be happy with me as Spangler leads most of our walks). All of a sudden, he froze, his tail immediately went straight up into the air and he let out a deep bark. I then made the same corner and saw what he barked at, which was a 35-40 year old man hanging out near the entrance to the park trail. Spangler then let out another weird bark/growl and the guy turned and walked away from us.

The guy was weird. I typically don't see people just loitering around our neighborhood. It's usually people DOING something, like exercising, walking their dog, or pushing their baby around. This guy just . . . gave me the creeps. He didn't seem like he was up to any good.

Also, I have never seen Spangler react to a person that way. We've met plenty of strangers on our morning walks, and he's been around ton of people in general. I think he must have felt the same creepy weirdness that I did.

I was so proud of my baby dog for getting that same feeling. It makes me feel much more comfortable that his overall niceness can easily be overtaken when he's around someone that would give anyone the creeps.


(Picture of the only time we usually ever see "aggression" in Spangler: when he's sleeping, with the help of gravity.)


Spangler *hearts* Plastic

Spangler turns 11 months old next week. Even though we are losing the ability to blame anything on being a puppy, he is still very much showing his puppiness . . . and the latest way is his affinity for plastic.

Plastic Ingestion #1

Spangler was fixed just a week ago. We had been delaying getting him fixed (they recommended getting dogs fixed around six months) at the request of his vet. When he ate the rock earlier this Spring, he had some swelling issues that lasted probably two months after the surgery and she had concern that he might be allergic to the type of sutures used. To make sure that all had healed in time for his manhood-removal, she recommended waiting until "September or October." So, we followed her recommendation, but I called the first week of September to make the appointment.

When I went to pick him up from his surgery, the vet chose to send him home in a cone since he had already been caught licking his incision. Knowing the damage he is able to do, I agreed that the cone was the best approach.

Long story short, we got home from church the Sunday before last and not only had he removed his cone, but he was able to swallow a good portion of it.

He woke up Cody two nights later throwing up (how nice that I was able to sleep through it!) and we were able to get the majority of the cone pieces that way.

Plastic Ingestion #2

We took Spangler back to the vet a bit unexpectedly this past Thursday as Cody's Grandmother Bonita left us Thursday morning and we needed to get to his parents house as quickly as we could. We were coming home Sunday, but with the funeral at 11am and the vet closing at Noon, there was no way picking him up would work. Luckily, we have nice enough friends and so Jace was able to make it over to the vet and pick him up.

This is what he was met with:


According to the note that was sent home, the boarding staff showed up Saturday morning and was doing their morning checks. They had the clipboard on the outside of his kennel run and in the five minutes they were gone, he had chewed a good portion through the door.

New policy at the veterinary boarding facility is nothing hanging on the kennel runs, thanks to Spangler.

We're still waiting on the leftovers from the clipboard to make a reappearance, but obviously Spangler has no problem devouring anything plastic.

Spangler <3's plastic.