Snow Patrol

Chicago FINALLY got its first official snowfall of 2017. Winter this year has been extremely unusual considering most years we are usually buried in snow from December through March. Although we did enjoy those unexpected warm spells during February (usually the most brutal month here), it was comforting to finally see some lovely fat flakes drifting down and blanketing everything in white.

But certain flat-faced members of the family weren’t as excited as I was to venture outside and tread in the freshly fallen snow.

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As soon as Sid saw me pull out his fleece coat from the closet, he bunched up in his bed and refused to cooperate. Eventually, with a little encouragement (3 baby carrots), I persuaded him to go outside for some snow patrol duty.

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Making the Bed

I got a chance to wash several of Sid’s beds this weekend (yeah, he’s got a BUNCH of ’em). His more oft-used beds had been looking pretty flat and were omitting that charming odour d’pug, so it was a much overdue task. His “fancy” bed (which he got for his tenth Birthday) washed up really nicely though it did require some disassembly prior to washing. After a thorough hot-water cycle down at the Pug Slope laundromat, the bed was restored to its super fluffy, clean-smelling state.

I reassembled all the bolsters, zipped-up all the zippers, and plunked it down in front of Sid. After a five-minute sniff test, he proceeded to spend the next twenty minutes digging, face-mashing, and sneezing on the bed to make it his very own.

I think he got it just right.

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Was I Hibernating?

Hi everyone! My, you’re looking swell. It’s Sid here with you today.

Now that my back and hind leg are functioning better, I have been able to go on much longer walks. So just the other day, I was out at Winnemac Park and I noticed that the sun was shining brightly, humans were wearing shorts, jacket-less pets were running around everywhere, and even several robins were out looking for worms. It was a gorgeous day.

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I got back home and casually glanced at my calendar only to find we were still in the month of February! Here, I thought I had just hibernated through February, March, and April, but in reality it has just been one of the most unseasonably-warm Februaries in Chicago that I (or my dad) can recall.

Usually February is one of the harshest months of Winter in Chicago. I mean last year most days were below zero! Does this mean people are going to start planning their tropical winter holidays to the balmy Midwest?!

Smooch

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

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Sid told me he’s giving out pug kisses today to anyone that would like one. Be warned though, some tongue may inadvertently be involved!

Laser Pug!

Sid is half-way through his six-session cold laser therapy program for his back & hing leg and he’s been doing very well. It’s hard to say if it’s just time that has helped him regain his stride or the cold laser therapy or (most likely) a combination of both things.

With a laser, it is required that everyone in the room wear eye protection — including the pug!

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Sid isn’t crazy about wearing the tiny goggles, but each session only lasts a few minutes, so I don’t feel too bad. Plus they are hilarious.

Hobbling Around in Holland

We would like to thank you all for the positive thoughts and good pug juju you sent to Sid regarding his hind leg and back. He’s doing much better now and his pug saunter is almost back to 100 percent. He’s got a few more laser therapy sessions at the vet lined up so we’re keeping our fingers/paws crossed.

I know we just finished up reporting on our HPWT trip that culminated with a stop in Holland, MI, so it’s only fitting that we went back there just a few days after I wrote that last post! This time my friend Anna (affectionately known as “Aunt Anna” to Sid) and her young son came along on our adventure.

Holland is about a three-hour drive from Chicago and midway through our journey we stopped for lunch at Panera. Anna and her son ate inside while Sid and I got our lunch to go and ate outside in the rear hatch of our rented Toyota Rav4.

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“Hold up!” you might be saying right now. Yes, I did say “ate outside”, and yes our adventure was taking place in the middle of winter. Well, let me explain. Somehow on this late January day the sun was shining brightly, the sky was cloudless, and the outside temperature was almost 60 degrees! It definitely felt surreal but certainly made our dining al fresco experience extremely enjoyable. Sid even got to indulge in some potato chips which he normally would never get.

We arrived in Holland and our first stop was the music store R.I.T. Music. You see, one of the intentions of this trip was so I could buy a guitar amp I had seen at the shop when Sid and I passed through Holland on our HPWT trip last September. Mission Accomplished! We then took a stroll down the main drag, 8th Street. Well, the three humans strolled; the pug rolled.

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Yes, this happened to be the day that Sid’s back leg stopped working properly, almost immediately upon arrival at our destination. After an attempt to carry him left me with a tingling arm in under fifteen minutes, Anna thoughfully suggested we prop Sid up in the vacant stroller her son had been riding in earlier.

Being carted around like royalty came natural to Sid and although I had now become “that guy that pushes his pug around in a children’s stroller” the smiles he put on the faces of passersby made it all worthwhile.

We got some delicious sorbet and ice cream at Kilwin’s and that’s when Sid laid into me and Anna with his classic guilt-trip stare.

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Like a sucker, I fell hard for it and soon the little furball was lapping away at my ice cream. Within minutes both Sid and Anna’s son were under the spell of a massive sugar rush!

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We checked out a few more shops on 8th Street and then hopped in the car and rode over to Windmill Island Gardens. In the winter there isn’t really anything happening in the garden department, but the grounds are open, and free, and THERE IS A HUGE DUTCH WINDMILL! How could we resist?!

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The sun was setting by this point and the sight of the pink and purple clouds reflecting off the canals was magical.

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If you ever are passing through western Michigan, be sure to stop by Holland. It’s pug-approved!

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Pulling My Leg

We hope you all are having a pleasant January. It has been unusually warm here in Chicago — especially for January! In lieu of snow we’ve been getting tons of rain which makes walks difficult because, as we all know, pugs REFUSE to walk in the rain.

Another thing that has made walks difficult is that one of Sid’s rear legs decided it would stop working properly on Saturday morning.

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He didn’t seem to be in any distress and would put weight on his left hind leg but something was clearly not normal. His gait was wobbly and he also kept his rear end tucked a bit, so it was off the vet. Hooray!

Well, there were no signs of pain or distress which was a relief. After examining him and looking at the symptoms, the vet suspected Sid may have experienced some mild disc compression in his back.

He received some fancy laser treatment on his back and some meds to help with any inflammation. He’s doing much better today and he’s got more of the normal pep in his step. But I wouldn’t say he’s 100-percent back to normal. If you could spare some good pug juju, please send a little our way. I’m hopeful he’ll be back to strutting his stuff again in a couple more days but for now we’re keeping our walks short, naps long, and the little guy gets carried up and down all stairs (I secretly think he may be faking the whole thing for this reason).