Hello hotties! As summer winds down and fall starts creeping around the edges of the morning and evenings, we hope you all had an amazing summer.
We’ve had a bit of a shake up here at the Rhinestone Ranch House….our lovely little girl Minnie was diagnosed with canine lymphoma. UGH, it was such shitty news to get especially considering the fact that she’s feeling just fine! I happened to feel a lump and had the vet aspirate it to see what it was and BOOM…..lymphoma. After a consultation with a well respected oncologist we decided to start chemotherapy treatments. Minnie is just shy of her 10th birthday, September 24th!
The lovely Julia at Arcana did such a lovely thing; she whipped up a special perfume oil just to celebrate this little lady’s big birthday!
Princess Minnie: In honor of Princess Minnie’s upcoming 10th birthday. Pink birthday cake with vanilla frosting, cassis berries, sugar cookies, pink musk, and pearl musk.
This perfume oil will be available at The Rhinestone Housewife on Friday. There will only be 33 bottles available and once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. These will be featured at $25 for a 5ml bottle. 100% of the purchase price will go directly towards Minnie’s medical treatment. Thank you so much, Julia and everyone else for your well wishes….it means so much to us.
Should you like to donate directly to her Minnie’s veterinary costs, you can learn more at her Go Fund Me page.
Hello again, hotties! You know what’s sexy? Well, it’s not carpet cleaner. BUT clean carpets and upholstery can be pretty sexy. I’m sure you can tell from the photos on the blog but we are very pet friendly around here. I work at a pet friendly office and drive dogs around all the time so when I had a chance to test and review Carpet Afterlife I jumped at the chance. I did receive this product in exchange for my honest review.
The ironic thing is that I don’t have a bit of carpet in my house. What I do have is a really disgusting, stinky chair that my husband loves and refuses to get rid of. It’s so ugly I’m not even going to show you a photo of it. When my husband isn’t in the chair, then the dogs like to get in there. Needless to say was neither pretty nor fresh.
Of course you’re always supposed to test a small spot of fabric to make sure it doesn’t do anything weird like change the color or damage the fabric. Frankly, I just didn’t care. I hauled the Chair Of Smells out onto the porch, sprayed it generously with the product and let it sit out there and dry. After about four hours, I brought it back in and vacuumed it. I couldn’t believe the difference…it actually looked clean! Well, as clean as this thing can look anyway.
The smell of this Carpet Afterlife if more pleasant than others that I’ve smelled, not too chemically or strong. The scent of the product clung to the chair for about 24 hours after I treated it but now it just smells clean. Like honestly smells fresh and looks so much brighter and cleaner. In fact don’t tell anyone but I’m sitting in it right now and I’m not disgusted. The bottle is 32oz which is pretty generous.
You can purchase this product on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SX4ID4K
The author of this blog receives products, services or sometimes dirty limericks for free to facilitate the writing of honest reviews.
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I’ve got some exciting news for you all (and myself!). Starting September 4th I will become a staff member at August Animal Care, providing care of all sorts of critters in the greater Seattle area. August Animal Care has been around since 2005 and was founded by the most fabulous photographer, Julie Austin. She has taken some seriously amazing photos of me and the kids and I’ll share some here. Big B was a particular favorite and when I’m missing him I really enjoy looking at the photos of us together.
I was asked to write bios for the website so I thought I would share them here. Why is it so hard to write about yourself? lol Anyhoo, here is what I came up with for my ‘long’ bio:
A Seattle native, Jeanine has spent most of her life caring for animals in the great Pacific Northwest. She got her start in animal husbandry in 1990 and has garnered experience in everything from exotic animal care, wildlife rescue, veterinary assistance to dog rescue and spent the last six years managing the highest rated kennel facility in western Washington. With a knack for taking care of animals that require a higher level of care, she enjoys taking the time and using her experience to tend to special needs animals including dogs with mobility issues or chronic diseases, diabetic cats and exotic animals including parrots, reptiles and fresh and salt water fish tanks and everything in between. Jeanine also has vast amounts of experience with dog aggressive dogs and dogs on a ‘crate and rotate’ system or dogs with less than stellar social skills. She worked personally with several Hurricane Katrina dogs that needed particularly difficult rehab and treatment. Jeanine is so skilled with dogs that have special medical needs that the director of Clackamas County Dog Services calls her personally when they get a sick or injured dog in the shelter that requires extensive medical rehab. In other words, she’s a sucker for a hard luck case.
For the past ten years Jeanine has also been performing as beloved local burlesque performer, Hottie McNaughty-The Rhinestone Housewife. Known for her irreverent and cheeky style, Hottie approaches everything with a wink, a smile and a joie de vivre that has made her popular with local and international audiences around the world. Always using her powers for good, Hottie has produced several benefit shows including Bearly Naked Cabaret benefiting PAWS and Animal House benefiting Clackamas County Dog Services. She also produced Toys For Ta-Ta’s (I, II & III) and Beach Blanket Bimbos both of which benefited needy local children. Hottie has also appeared in several benefit calendars with her canine companions, Buford T. Justice, Doogie Howser and Minerva McGonagall and is a popular local model.
It is with a heavy heart that we announce we had to say good-bye to Fergus on August 1st. Fergus was struggling with heart failure and had also recently been diagnosed with renal failure. The two are difficult to treat together at best and Fergus fought hard until he was just too tired.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with his story, you can read about Fergus here:
We only had a year and a half with Fergus but it feels like we had him forever. He came into our lives right after we lost Big B and I think we crossed paths because we both needed each other. It’s almost as if Big B sent him to me in my time of need and grief. He fit into our home so perfectly it’s hard to believe we didn’t have him forever. A couple of weeks ago, we had some photos done by Julie Austin and Fergus charmed her and everyone he met. Always one to roll over for a belly rub he broke down stereotypes and preconceptions of everyone he met. He did good work but it was time to rest. RIP Sir Fergus Of Bravo, thank you for letting us love you and loving us back.
I would like to thank Clackamas County Dog Services for trusting us with his care, Evergreen Holistic Veterinary Care for always being there for us and Julie Austin for the fantastic photos.
So a while ago (ahem) I ordered a couple of items from Ella’s Lead. I saw a Walker Bait collar on Facebook and just knew that I had to have one for Minnie. If the ZA actually happens, Minnie is just wily enough to not only survive, but thrive. Just like Glenn in The Walking Dead. This collar has held up amazingly well and I couldn’t be happier with it!
Because I wanted this to be a fancy, sparkly collar it would mostly be for ‘going out’. Rebecca and I decided that she also needed an every day collar. We decided on black leather with pink and gold. I *love* this collar and it’s been worn every day for months and held up remarkably well.
I also got basically the best leash in the world. I wanted something in pink and orange to match her new collars and I also choose a style I hadn’t tried before. This on has a handle with a clip and the other end also has a clip. There’s a floating ring on the length of the leash that you can use to make it a slip leash. This is really important if you work with some shy dogs like I do. Sometimes leashing them up can be difficult but this allows for less stress on everyone involved. It’s also convenient and quick. Because I work with dogs all day every day I like to always have a leash on me. This one lets me wear it around my neck and clip each end onto a belt loop. That way I’ve always got one that’s convenient to get at but not flopping around or falling out of my pocket. This leash has been used all day long, every day for months and it’s amazing. I’m going to order another one soon.
If you are interested in any of these products, you can peruse the site here:
We are remodeling the living room which included floor to ceiling bookshelves and a new tile floor. This also means that we got to move an 85b gallon fish tank. It’s a lot of work but not necessarily *hard* work so I thought I’d share it in a picture story. Enojy! (oh and all the fish made it)
The sad thing is that once we’ve got the floor done, we’ll have to move it another foot or so to the right. *sigh*
It’s been a while since we’ve had an update on Fergus. I can say he’s doing so amazingly well that I can’t even believe it. He’s settled right into our household like he’s been here for years. His eye is looking so much better, his fur is literally soft and supple and his mobility has greatly improved. For those not familiar, you can check out his original story here:
He’s had two acupuncture/chiropractic treatments and it seems to be working really well. He absolutely LOVES his doctor for that, Kelli Taylor and gets so excited when he sees her. In fact he was feeling a little too frisky after his last treatment and decided to jump over the baby gate! He tweaked his freshly adjusted back a little bit so we had to delay his hydrotherapy a bit but he’s feeling better today. We’ve had to start giving him daily eye drops as his right eye doesn’t produce any tears but Dr. Brad thinks he’ll do just fine.
I’ve got some updated photos of Sir Fergus for you to enjoy!
With his improved mobility, for the first time ever Fergus was able to lay on his back and actually roll all the way over from one side to the other. Imagine how good that had have felt after being to stiff and sore for so long?
Sometimes it’s hard to get photos of Fergus because he’s infatuated with the flashy light! Haha.
Big thanks to Clackamas County Dog Services, Dog Rescue Around Washington, Evergreen Holistic Veterinary Care, Dr. Brad Evergreen, Dr. Kelli Taylor, Mindful Healing Veterinary Care and everyone who helped Fergus in his journey back to feeling good.
I pulled out the kiddie pool for the dogs for the first time this year today. Well, only Patrick and Dash really like to splash around in it but the other dogs will drink out of it. Haha! Bib B used to enjoy it but Minnie and Joxer are less than impressed.
While the Boxers were out acting dumb, Fergus enjoyed some nice, warm filtered sunlight.
I guess it’s time to formally introduce my newest foster, Sir Fergus Of Bravo. On 2/28/12 Fergus was found by a nice lady in Oregon after he wandered down her long driveway and tried to cuddle up next to her house. Can you imagine stepping out of your house and finding this poor lost and sad soul curled up on your porch?
His kind savior immediately sought medical attention for him by delivering him to Clackmas County Dog Services. Weighing in at a measly 37 lbs they immediately started IV fluids and medications and most importantly….FOOD!
Amazingly, Fergus didn’t appear to have any long term complications from the starvation. He ate well and put on weight at a reasonable rate. His muscles were so atrophied that he had some trouble walking but that didn’t stop him from winning over every one he met. Fergus continued to recover and by 3/5/12 he weighed in at a whopping 46lbs! At that time the director reached out to me to see if I would be able to provide a medical foster for him. I agreed and on 3/16/12 through the help of two transporters Sir Fergus made the trip up to WA and landed with me!
He made the trip like a champ and was checked out by Dr. Evergreen that very day. He heart and ears were good and he was up to 48lbs! He found some elbow dysplasia, an eye lid tumor, several nasty teeth that needed to come out and most likely a partially ruptured disc in his back. Poor guy.
I took him home and introduced him to the back yard right away. He marked everything out there and then came in and cuddled up on his nice, comfy new bed from Auntie Rayanne.
Fergus came to me house broken and knowing sit, down, shake with each paw and can catch a treat! Clearly he was someones beloved pet that either got dumped or lost. He was so very lucky to land in the lives of people who cared and took the time and effort to do something. Fergus is still gaining weight (he’s at 52lbs!) and getting stronger but will still need some surgery in the near future to complete his journey to full health.
If you have any information about Fergus, please contact Clackamas County Dog Services at 503-655-8628.
Special thanks to Fergus’s rescuer, Clackamas County Dog Services, DRAW, Evergreen Holistic Veterinary Care and all of those who have sent good thoughts!
Several weeks ago Julie Austin came over to get home photos of Big B and I. She was also kind enough to take pics of rest of my motley crew. These were all taken in my front and back yards with natural light. You should check out the photos on Julie’s site…they are amazing!
I remember the very moment I first met Buford. Chris and I had recently and suddenly lost our Mastiff/Lab mix George and whilst cruising Pet Finder found a dog at the Yakima Humane Society that looked remarkably like him. Because of my work schedule I never got a chance to head over and meet him but Chris did and our other dog at the time Wilma liked him so we decided to bring him home.
Buford had been a stray at large that was well on his way to starving to death so a lady called Animal Control and into the pound he went. I’m not sure what they’re doing in central Washington but large brindle ‘bully’ type dogs are a dime a dozen and his chances of being adopted would have been slim to none. When Chris went to visit him the first time (this is an eight hour round trip mind you) Big B was pretty sedate and Chris couldn’t engage him. While walking him he noticed that B was limping and lifted up his paw and found a big thorn wedged in between his pads. Chris pulled it out and Big B perked up, pranced around and basically became a new dog. I consulted with Chris over the phone and we decided to adopt him but he had to stay to be neutered before we could bring him home. Several days later Chris made the second eight our round trip and picked him up while I was at work. Chris said Big B walked into the house and over to the nicest dog bed, lifted his leg and marked the bed. I guess he had decided to stay.
I got home, walked in the door and it was like love at first sight. Buford pranced right over to me and was basically my special boy from that moment on. As far as Big B was concerned, the Earth revolved around me and he took watching after his mommy very seriously. He had a special ‘girly boy’ bark reserved just for when I got home and always knew when it was time for me to get home from work. Big B always enjoyed having a job, whether that was patrolling the yard (those damn squirrels and crows really pissed him off!) or taking care of me while Chris was out of town.
Buford took the house rules seriously and totally freaked out one night when he got the runs and didn’t want to poop in the house. Not only did he tear up the futon, he also tried to chew through the wall trying to get outside. The hole was impressive, let me tell you and this photo made the rounds with my ‘dog friends’.
I found out Big B was a super model while I was home recovering from surgery. He was pretty darn tolerant but after about the tenth wig he went outside and wouldn’t come back in.
Buford also had the dubious pleasure of training up all the foster puppies that have come through our doors. They always just seemed to know that Big B was the dog to emulate, and the puppies really strove to be like him. He trained many a pup that have since moved on to their very own home, showing off the mad skills that he passed on to them. Dash took a particular liking to Big B right from the beginning. Like he wanted to grow up big and brindle, too!
Buford was always really tolerant of the ‘house squirrels’ (cats) and even cuddled with them from time to time.
While I was still working at Roscoe’s Buford enjoyed coming to work with me. He would sit in the office and supervise while I worked. I’m pretty sure he forgave me for the great ‘Fido Fleece Incident of 2011’.
Buford became quite popular in the calendar crowd and was featured in several. He decided being a super model was much more fun when it included posing with pretty girls.
The amazing Julie Austin came over and took photos of Big B and I just a week ago and this is a photo that I shall treasure forever.
Big B was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma that had spread to his organs just four weeks ago, but he lived a great four weeks filled with donuts, burgers and all the love a dog can get. Buford T. Justice was one of those once in a life time dogs. A Good Dog. My dog. I miss him so much already that my heart is breaking but I feel so very blessed that I got ten amazing years with him. So long, Big B and thanks for all the memories. I’ll see you on the other side.
I think I’ve avoided posting this because I’m just not wanting to deal with it. I’m angry and adrift and yes, a bit depressed but mostly I’m deeply and profoundly sad. Fuck cancer. Big B has been my best friend since the day he entered our lives. He’s been my protector, my doughnut and coffee buddy, my dress up model and napping compatriot.
Big B had a stumbling episode and was non weight bearing on his front right leg two weeks ago so I brought him in to work and we took x rays and did labs and a thorough exam. We knew he had some arthritis in his shoulder and neck and found some more in his elbows. He had a really infected anal gland so we emptied and infused them. While Dr. Evergreen was expressing his anal gland he found a small lump either inside the gland or duct. He was able to express it a little bit and it seemed quite a bit smaller.
A week later Big B still seemed a little bit sore but we upped his Tramadol to keep him comfortable and checked his anal gland again. At that time the lump was the size of a pea and had doubled in size from the last time we checked it. Dr. Evergreen recommended a visit to the surgeon that we love (Dr. Fry) to see what he thought about removing it. I couldn’t really put my finger on it but Big B had just seemed ‘off’ to me. Dr. Fry got us in right away and he recommended aspirating the lump before surgery. This could tell us if it’s cancer or not and determine how aggressive he would need to be with the excision of the entire anal gland.
Unfortunately the lump came back as adenocarcinoma which is nasty. Both Dr’s recommended chest films and an ultrasound before we do surgery to make sure it hadn’t spread to Buford’s organs before we put him through a really nasty surgical procdure. We got the worst possible news that we could get, the chest films showed changes in his lungs and the ultrasound showed nodules in his liver and kidneys. Dr. Evergreen thinks we have maybe four weeks but possibly closer to two weeks for Big B.
There is a great holistic vet in NY who has compounded some Chinese herbs to help support his system and keep him feeling good for as long as possible. He started those last night and they seem to be helping. Monday was a rough day and he felt like crap but I heard Big B get up this morning and head down the hallway to check on me about 5am. That’s something he’s always done….check on mom before she gets up and make sure everything is as it should be before the start of the day.
In the mean time Big B and I will be spending lots of time together and getting a ton of donuts.
I thought I should give an update on Dash as his journey has been a long and difficult one. Dash continued to get better and was adopted by a really nice family at the end of February. Although being healthy when he left he didn’t do well in his new home. He had several trips to the vet which culminated in Dash having a CT scan that brought to light a surprising diagnosis. He had no nasal passage on one side and just a pin hole on the other side. This was interfering with his breathing and the only thing to be done was surgery to the tune of $3,500. The family decided they just couldn’t undertake that journey so Dash was returned to me on 3/13/11. He was *so* happy to see me when I picked him up that he practically jumped into my arms! He actually looked great……had put on weight and his coat looked fabulous and he seemed happy and not sick at all, except for the continually snotty nose.
Now, all of this horrible news was coming to me as I was in Atlanta, GA for the Southern Fried Burlesque Festival. It’s really hard to get that kind of news (that your beloved foster pup was gravely ill and needs thousands of dollars of surgery) when you’re far away and can’t really do anything about it. So I got on the phone, DRAW started fundraising and I started calling in any favor I had with every vet I know.
The response I was getting was that this was uncharted territory for the surgeons because they’ve never seen a pup live longer than 72 hours with this particular birth defect as pups need to be able to breathe out of their nose as they are nursing. Luck was on my side and I was able to quickly schedule a surgical consult with Dr. Fry at Cascade Veterinary Specialists for Tuesday, March 14th. Dr. Fry happens to specialize in this type of surgery with Pugs and Bulldogs. He told me it’s ‘terrifying’ and ‘gruesome’ because of bleeding and they would plan on doing a blood transfusion during the procedure. There would be a 25% chance that he could bleed to death during the surgery. *gulp* BUT Dash needed the surgery to survive so we scheduled it for that next Monday, March 21st. Dr. Fry was kind enough to charge just what we’d been able to fundraise for the surgery which was about $2,500 less than his normal fee.
Dash came through the surgery like a champ. I was able to pick him up and bring him home the next afternoon. They sent off a biopsy of the stuff they removed to the lab. Dash’s recovery was remarkable, even though he had to wear the dreaded Donut Of Shame.
He could breathe out of both nostrils right after surgery which must have been such a relief for him. He had quite a bit of drainage and discharge which is typical of this type of surgery but he was eating and generally being a typical Boxer pup. His incision ran from his forehead down to his nose and he got pretty tired of me wiping the snot off his nose but he took it all in stride.
On Friday March 25th we got Dash’s histopathology results back. The results were interesting to say the least. It wasn’t a birth defect but a cartilaginous benign tumor called a Chondroma. It’s rare to see a benign version of this tumor so once again we are in uncharted waters because we don’t know if the tumor will grow back. There’s no way to assure clear margins unless you also removed the roof of his mouth, etc which obviously isn’t an option. I choose to believe that the tumor will not grow back and that Dash will have many, many years of fun and happy ahead of him. Because of the ambiguity of his future I think Dash will be staying here and become an official member of the Fitzgerald family. He’s clearly likes being here and I genuinely enjoy having him around. He’s a really good and special puppy.
There are many people that need to be thanked for helping Dash along his journey:
Diana at Clackamas County Dog Services for taking in a sick little pup and nursing him back to health, Karin and her family for adopting Dash and spending a ton of money on diagnostics to figure out what was wrong, Dr. Steven Weinrauch at Banfield in Woodinville for putting in motion the plan to get Dash surgery, Dr. Brad Evergreen and all the staff at Evergreen Holistic Veterinary Care for always taking such good care of Dash and for the support for all the DRAW dogs and especially Dr. Fry at Cascade Veterinary Specialists for saving Dash’s life. I’s also like to thank each and every person who donated money for Dash’s surgery. It really does take a village to save a puppy and I’m humbled and honored to have been a part of this scary and stressful yet wonderful journey.