Frank & Beans 1 year Furever Family Day

Today, July 15th, makes a whole year since we drove across town to pick up Frank and Beans, my two pugs. It’s our one year furever family day. If you haven’t already, feel free to check out our pug adoption story blog post to learn how it all came about.

henry the hedgehog

A few weeks ago, my pet hedgehog Henry passed away. I went to fill his food dish one day and realized that he hadn’t eaten much since the last time I filled it. So I started looking him over and realized that he had a strange looking growth on the roof of his mouth. I gave him a tiny piece of chicken and he chewed it but couldn’t seem to swallow. So we took him to the vet who told us these oral growths are very common in hedgehogs. She said she had tried to remove several but had never had one be successful. There isn’t any way to ‘shrink them’, and they just grow over time until they are unable to eat at all. I knew it was already affecting his ability to eat and didn’t want him to suffer so we had him put down. It was really difficult. Henry was the first pet that I ever had as an adult and even though I only had him for 3.5 years, it’s strange to not have him around anymore.

Frank and Beans Pugs Furever Family

Anyway, my reason for sharing about Henry is it’s made me really aware of the fact that my time with Frank & Beans is limited. I would love to see them both live another ten years (I’ve heard of pugs living to 20 and 21, though its of course rare). But the reality is that they are now 9 and 10 years old. They both still get around really well, and will run and play whenever I start roughousing or playing with them. Maybe once a week they will still get sassy and invite a play-session on their own. While they clearly aren’t puppies, they don’t seem like they have truly ‘slowed down’ to me. My mother in laws 7 year old dog is much more sedentary than Frank & Beans. Yet, we really have no way of ever knowing how long they have. It could be 10 years or it could be 2 weeks. Since losing Henry, I have found myself being so conscious and “in the moment” to play with them, give them extra-long petting or scratching sessions. My pugs are truly such precious gifts. Someday they won’t be here to jump on me, wake me up, sneeze in my face, or to play, cuddle, run or just BE with. I am so thankful that I decided to take the risk and bring them both home a year ago today. It’s easily one of the better decisions I’ve made. I have no idea how many more years I have with these two pugs but I’m going to try to make the most of the time that we do have.

Furever Family Pugs Frank and Beans

Happy furever family day Frank & Beans.

 

April Pet Expenses

(32.66) 3 pack of frontline

(22.99) 20lbs of diamond naturals lamb meal & rice formula.

$24.97, Dremel. Just arrived yesterday, hoping it will cause less anxiety than traditional nail trimmers.

$8.57, bag of bully bites

Total out of Pocket for April: $89.17

I also got stuff for the dogs through blogging. I am going to keep track of what I get them through blogging but in a separate area. Some things I get through blogging are necessary and I would have purchased if I didn’t get them via blogging and others aren’t.

(47.63 total)(2) Puppia harnesses. $21.64 + $25.99

$10 value. (2) small bags of milkbone brushing chews. Roughly

($24.99) Ecloth dog shammy size small

(roughly $20) Dingo Market cuts jerky 16oz

$6 value - (2) 2.7oz dogswell treat bags. Sponsor says they are a $9.99 value but they lasted like 2 days I would never have paid that much out of pocket for how tiny the bags were. The same brand has 32oz bags for $12-$14 on amazon so these seem really high priced. I would say they are more like a combined $6 value.

Total value from blogging ($108.63)

 

9.5 Months After Adopting The Pugs – A First

Less than two months ago I shared our pug adoption story. In it, I explained that when they were with us for about 2 months they began to play with toys with us. I said that since then, things had always been the same. I had thought that it took about 2 months for them to completely relax around us and be themselves.

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Until yesterday. Yesterday, I was cooking and Ryan was playing with the pugs. Suddenly there was this yelp. Frank has what I assume is some arthritis and/or joint pain in his back legs/hip area. If we pet him too rough in that area, he sometimes yelps. His yelps always sound the same, though. This time, the yelp sounded completely different. I headed for the living room and Ryan answered the question that I hadn’t yet had time to ask “That was Beans!”

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It was the first time she had helped around us. They are very attatched to us, almost always within 2 feet of either Ryan or myself. She inevitably gets stepped on at least once or twice a month by accident. She never yelps. She once came into contact with a lab easily four times her size. He sniffed her, very gently at first and then in a split second his entire mouth was around her neck. My heart stopped. I let out some kind of noise as I yanked her up into my arms away from the big dog. She made no noise.

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So, while it may seem strange to some, it felt great to her her yelp. It felt great that she finally feels like she can tell us when she is in pain. I hope that she continues to freely express her discomfort when needed.

Did your dogs hold any aspect of their personalities or behaviors back until they had been with you for months? What was it?

Frank And Beans The Pugs – Our Dog Adoption Story (part 2)

frank and beans the pugs adoption story

This is the second part of our Pug adoption story. Click the link below to see read part one first.

Frank And Beans The Pugs – Our Dog Adoption Story (part 1)

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I had heard that bringing home a pet usually goes one of two ways. Sometimes there is a “honey moon” period where the pet is really well behaved for a while and then starts being naughty. The other thing I’ve heard is that when dogs struggle with the transition, they might act out and have potty accidents at first and then things get better. Neither of these seemed to happen with Frank & Beans. They never had any potty accidents or showed any aggression while transitioning into our family. Neither of them were very interested in eating for about two weeks. They did eat, but not very much. I didn’t think to weight them early on, but they were both overweight when we got them and showed physical signs of weight loss by week three, but then they began to maintain their weight after that. They could still each stand to lose a pound or two but their body shape suggests that they are at a healthier weight now. Frank lost his big belly and now has a slight waist, and so does Beans.

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At about day three, Beans was completely glued to me. If I went potty, she sat on the bathroom floor. If I took a shower, she stared at me. If I checked the mail, she came with me. If I made lunch or did the dishes, she came along too. Frank bonded to Ryan in the same way (though even early on he’d trade to being my shadow if I were cooking – his true loyalty is always food!). I think it was about two weeks after that that Frank also came to bond tightly with me and Beans began to bond more with Ryan at that time as well. With us both working online from home, we spend a lot of time on computers. After a couple of weeks of both dogs wanting to sit on our laps while on our computers, we broke down and bought a used recliner that we positioned in front of the computer desk. It looks absolutely crazy but the dogs were so much happier once they were able to have “laptime” for hours a day every day. They are such true lapdogs.

Beans The Pug Smile

A few weeks after getting the dogs, I checked the previous owners Facebook and saw that she tried to get rid of them in March of 2012, 15 months prior to when she gave them to me.

Frank Beans Pugs Kisses

Working from home means we get to be with the dogs a lot and only leave when we run errands or go to birthday parties or to meet with friends, which is maybe once or twice a week for a few hours at a time. Even just a few weeks in, it was obvious that they experienced pretty severe separation anxiety. Ryan’s mom loves them and she’s home most of the time so we’ve been blessed to be able to have her ‘dog-sit’ when we do go out. She tells us that they cry while we’re gone. They cry a little bit when we take them for rides to the vet or on the drive to Ryan’s moms house. When we moved to our new apartment about a month and a half ago, they whined LOUDLY the entire drive, almost a sob-like whine. Of course, they had seen us move our belongings out of our old place piece by piece. It really felt like they thought we were about to go drop them off and just leave them. It haunts me to think of how they cry when I leave or when they think I am leaving but they didn’t cry when we first got them from their previous owner, or in those first few days at our place. I hope that isn’t a sign of the lack of a bond that they had with that owner but instead is just a behavior that they didn’t feel comfortable showing in front of strangers. Yet, they cried in front of Ryan’s mom right away. I don’t know. I just try not to even think about it.

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The first two months or so that the dogs lived with us, they showed no interest in any toys. I had actually came ot the conclusion that they didn’t even like toys and then one day, we had a dog toy come for review and they went crazy for it. While they love to play with Ryan & I now, they don’t play with other people. They have come to know various family members including my kid sister, 3 year old nephew, Ryan’s mom, step-dad and brother, etc but if any of them try to get the dogs to play with a toy, they show no interest. Even if they try using one of the dogs’ favorite toys. So clearly, they take play to be a very intimate thing that requires a great deal of trust.

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After learning that they do like toys at about two months in, we haven’t really seen any changes in the dogs since then. They sleep in our beds, beg for our food and they prefer to be physically touching us at all times. Beans is definitely still more bonded to me, though she absolutely loves Ryan as well. Frank adores Ryan and wags his tail every time Ryan even glances at him. When Ryan talks to him and tells him things like “You’re such a good boy” or “You’re a sweet boy” his curly little pug tail wags so quickly that I think he’s going to liftoff the ground like a helicopter. I barely ever get tail wags from Frank, but we have a special bond as well. Sometimes when I wake up at night to roll over and get comfortable, I (intentionally or by accident) wake Frank up while moving and he will wake up groggy. Every time that this happens, he does the exact same thing – he walks up near my pillow, sniffs my face, licks me and then goes back down to his spot and gets comfortable again. It almost seems like he has to come sniff me to see if its still me and then once he realizes it is he has to show a little affection before heading back to sleep. It melts my heart every time.

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Last week I listed some things online that I had gotten for the dogs but they never liked or used (including their old kennel) I had someone ask me if I had gotten rid of the pugs.

My answer was “I can’t imagine that I could ever do that.”

 

Barkbox Monthly Subscription Box For Dogs Review

*There are affiliate links in this blog post.

barkbox pug small box

BarkBox is a monthly subscription box for dogs that includes toys and treats. I’ve been getting this box for my pugs Frank & Beans since November and we’ve really enjoyed it so far. I prefer it over the other dog subscription boxes because it doesn’t include grooming products or accessories. We have three bottles of dog shampoo already so we likely won’t use up what we have for a couple of years, and we already have brushes that we are really happy with, etc so I don’t like getting random grooming or accessory items. I like how BarkBox offers different boxes depending on your dogs size (some are the same for all sizes of pets) because my dogs are easily intimidated by toys, and will only play with very small toys. Being able to choose the small box for my pugs means that the toys that we are sent are much more likely to suit their needs. I’ve seen people on the BarkBox facebook page tell the company that their dog is an aggressive chewer and BarkBox allows people to email them to say their dog is an aggressive chewer and their subscription will be tagged as a strong chewer box so the toys included in your box will be super durable.

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This month our box had two dog toys from the brand Aussie Naturals – one was an egg and the other bacon. These are a great size for my dogs but they didn’t really care for them. My dogs are huge toy snobs so it’s really hard to get them toys they enjoy.

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The treats were Wagatha’s breakfast biscuits and Hare of The Dog red apple & dandelion treats. Barkbox is selective about which treats they send in boxes, you won’t find filler based dog treats in their boxes. So far, me and my dogs have both been happy about all of the treats that we have gotten through our BarkBoxes.

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We also got a chew this month, it was a Barkworthies junior bully stick. My dogs love bully sticks in general and they seem to go a little crazier over Barkworthies than they do other brands. So this was another ‘win’ for us.

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I love finding new products and brands, it’s a fun way to get out of the habit of always buying the same products for my dogs. If you want to sign up, use my link to save $5!

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*There are affiliate links in this post.

Mimi Green Dog ID Collars With Embroidered Names Review

*I was sent two complimentary dog collars from Mimi Green. All opinions are my own.

I moved to a new apartment in January so the information on my dogs old ID tags was going to become outdated. I never really was a big fan of the tags to begin with because their weight would pull down on my dogs collar which seemed like it would be annoying to them. I thought it was the only way to keep my contact info on my dogs until I found Mimi Green. They offer dog collars with engrave-able buckles so you can put the same info that you would put on a dog tag, right on the buckle of the collar! They offer 3 lines so you could put your address and phone number, address and email address, a name, phone number and email address – it’s really up to you. I really wanted to have my address and phone number on the tag but I also wanted the dogs name on the collars.

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When I was a kid a dog wandered to my house that we didn’t recognize as belonging to any of the neighbors. My mom posted online that she had found a missing dog to try and spread the word but Facebook wasn’t a thing back then so it took longer for word to travel. The 2 or so days that we had the dog it would just lay around acting really depressed. Then finally someone emailed my mom after seeing the online posting saying that she was hoping it was her dog and provided the dogs name. We said the name and the dog instantly perked up, it was clearly the right name. Of course, I hope that if my dog’s ever get lost that they’ll find their way back to me right away. However, I know that isn’t necessarily going to happen and I’d like whoever is caring for them to know their names. So when I came across the Metal Engraved Personalized Webbing Dog Collars at Mimi Green, I was really excited. I realized that I could have their names engraved on the collar itself, and then my address and phone number information included on the buckle. This way, all of the information would be on them at all times. Plus, the collars with the engraving are super cute. We’ve been complimented by so many people on them. My dogs are both pugs so to people who don’t know them really well, it can be hard to tell them apart. The collars are a great way to remind people which dog is which. Plus, my dogs lay next to each other a lot and its so cute to see their coordinating collars next to each other.

Mimi Greens Personalized Embroidered Collar

The collars at Mimi Green come in lots of patterns and colors, we went with Raspberry for Beans and Black for Frank. There are lots of fonts to choose from as well. We went with bradley hand as the font. The collar widths vary based on the length of the collars. My dogs have 15.5 and 16 inch collars and their collars are 1 inch thick.

mimi green personalized dog collars review

Frank has a habit of scratching a lot – we haven’t really decided if this is a behavioral thing, an allergy symptom or if he has fleas that the vet can’t find (even though we use frontline plus on time each month). One day his nail did catch ahold of one of the strings in the ‘f’ on his collar and loosened it a little but because the embroidery is several threads thick, you can’t really even tell. I have tried to be really diligent about making him stop itching as soon as I catch it though. The embroidery is really tight against the collar so I don’t think there’s anything that the company could really do to prevent it from happening, any embroidery that gets scratched could potentially get damaged.

The buckle on our collars is a metal and plastic hybrid. The outer piece that is engraved is metal while the piece on the other end of the collar that slips inside the outer shell is black plastic. I’d never owned a hybrid buckle before but it seems to snap together just fine and feels sturdy. The inside being plastic makes the buckle less heavy which is great for smaller dogs.

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I like these collars more than any other collar I’ve ever owned for Frank & Beans. They’re so cute and I love that the provide peace of mind as well. With embroidery, the collars are $39 a piece which I find reasonable because they aren’t just super adorable collars, they also prevent you from having to buy an ID tag. In the past, the ID tags that I purchased were $20, so I look at it as $20 of the $39 being the contact information and then $19 for the collar itself and I’d absolutely pay $19 for a collar that I like this much.

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Meet My Pugs Frank And Beans

Meet Frank:

Frank the pug

Frank was 8 years old as of July 2013.

He is a male dog.

Frank is a big pug – 14′ from neck to tail, and about 24 pounds.

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Frank is very barrel chested, he has a unique walk as a result. Sort of like a car with front wheel drive – his walk is “all chest/shoulders” with his back end just trailing behind.

frank the pug wearing a coat

While Frank is very bonded to me and acts anxious when I leave, he’s also very close with my boyfriend Ryan. He LOVES getting attention from Ryan (more so than from me). His tail goes crazy whenever Ryan says his name. I get the feeling that Ryan is the ‘cool’ parent and I am the practical one, in Frank’s eyes.

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Frank loves to put his chin on anything and everything, including Beans.

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He has a very expressive face & eyes – he has very different expressions for when he is sad, worried, excited, content, tired, ashamed, and annoyed.

Frank loves to play tug-o-war with toys.

frank the pug bully stick

He loves bully sticks and cheese.

Frank loves “furry” blankets with a lot of texture.

Frank’s biggest fear is having his nails trimmed.

Frank often grooms Beans.

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Frank loves food. He comes running anytime he hears noise coming from the kitchen.

 

Meet Beans:

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Beans is a female.

She was 9 years old as of July 2013.

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Beans is smaller than Frank – 13.5 inches from neck to tail and about 20lbs.

Beans has a lot of excess skin that makes her appear bigger than she really is.

Beans the pug Sitting Outside

Beans has a very short snout, much shorter than Frank’s.

Beans The Pug Wearing A Coat

Beans is an anxious dog – she is very attached to me. She would prefer to be physically touching me at all times. Her biggest fear seems to be being left alone.

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Beans doesn’t handle the heat very well, it doesn’t take much for her to start panting heavily.

Beans likes to play tug but she also loves to chase toys/play fetch. She will also run after any critter that runs away from her (Cats, possums, birds, even raccoons that are bigger than she is!)

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Beans’ favorite types of treats seem to be chicken based. She will take a chicken rawhide strip over a bully stick sometimes!