With everything that is going on with Jersey, it’s easy to forget about the stuff that is still good and happy around this house…

But Oslo won’t let us forget. Oslo who is so silly, jubilant, and hilarious. Oslo who seems to actually understand what laughter is, and know just what to do to get us to do it. I’m thankful for this funny little black pig. He makes me laugh every single day.

Enjoying some sunshine on the porch.

All day yesterday I grappled with feelings of uncertainty about Jersey’s neuter & tooth extraction. He just didn’t seem to be making a lot of head-way with his back troubles… and honestly, if anything seemed a bit *worse* than ever.  As we got closer to the surgery date, I just felt more and more unsure. Surely it wasn’t a good idea to operate on a dog who already was in compromised health? We brought Jersey into the vet as planned today & expressed our concerns to the vet. She did another physical exam of Jersey and agreed– he wasn’t fit for surgery.

Of course, it’s disappointing… but ultimately, I think it’s the best decision. Jersey NEEDS to be neutered and have this tooth pulled– yes. But not if it poses unnecessary risks.

Since we were already at the hospital, I asked if they could please run more diagnostic work on my sweet boy, just to definitely rule out other issues like hip displasia, torn knee ligaments, etc. She went ahead and did some X-rays of his knees and hips, as well as did a full blood panel. The good news is that his knees and hips look good and his blood work all came back clear and wonderful– no troubles there. The bad news is that the xray showed a few “questionable” places on his spine. Not exactly a surprise, I suppose… but very disappointing.

Unfortunately, X-ray imaging does not give a very good picture of the spinal discs. Only an MRI can give us the clear picture we need, & no clinic near here us has that technology. I am not sure that taking Jersey on a 16 hour road round-trip road trip, just for an exam that will simply confirm what we already know is worth it… At this point, even without the MRI, it’s safe to say that Jersey is officially dealing with Intravertebral Disc Disease (IVDD).

This is of course bad news. But, the good news buried inside all of this crappy news is that the Vet is still confident that Jersey can make a great recovery from strict crate rest & medication. It’s still early (stage 1/2) and he still has good use and control of his legs (though he is wobbly). He has been put on another 6-8 weeks of STRICT crate rest… and will remain on his anti inflammatory medication, and has also been prescribed something for pain. As long as he doesn’t take a sudden turn for the worst, we are hopeful that we will be able to avoid surgery altogether.

If he DOES suddenly get worse we will be packing up, and heading directly to Dr. Nick Sharp at Canada West Veterinary Specialists in Vancouver for Spinal Surgery (The same Dr. who operated on Oslo 3 years ago)

I am thankful to have a Vet who I can approach so openly with my concerns, who listens & takes me seriously. I’m thankful that I was able to recognize these symptoms early. I am thankful for a husband who does what he can to help me during these insanely stressful and emotional weeks. And I am thankful for Pet Insurance… because if it DOES come to surgery for Jersey, we wouldn’t be able to foot the $7,500+ bill without it (I hope beyond hope that it doesn’t come to that.)

2 more days. Super nervous… but trying to think positive thoughts & making sure that Jersey gets lots of lovin’!

This video is too hilarious not to share!


Jersey is doing great. His crate rest period is nearing an end which is fantastic because he’s really starting to get restless. After these 2 weeks of ‘strict rest’ are up (this weekend) he will start 2 weeks of ‘moderate’ rest. Meaning, he’ll be allowed more freedom, but still encouraged to take it very easy. The biggest news around here is that his Vet wants to go ahead and do his neuter surgery ASAP. Jersey also has a cracked molar that needs to be pulled, so he’ll have that done at the same time.

As you may know, Jersey has not yet been neutered because of his heart-murmur… However, his recent complete Cardio-Exam showed us that despite the murmur, his heart is actually in very good working order. His cardiologist considers him a great candidate for surgery, as long as the surgeon takes the normal precautions that one would take while operation on a brachycephalic dog.

Anyway, since his period of strict rest is coming to an end, and he is about to enter that period of ‘moderate rest’, his vet thought that this might be a good time to go ahead and do the neuter & tooth extraction. With her vote of confidence, I went ahead and scheduled the procedure for Monday morning– the 7th.

I’ll admit– I’m extremely anxious. No matter what the cardiologist & veterinarian say– I am just so worried about my guy. I’m terrified that he’ll have a terrible reaction to the anaesthesia and we’ll lose him forever! His vet assures me that she’s VERY familiar with the special needs of Frenchies, and she will do everything in her power to be prepared and ready for any ‘complication’ that may arise. I have no doubts in her capability & I am trying to be calm and rational about this… but I just can’t help but freak out!

Jersey NEEDS to be neutered. Not being neutered leaves him susceptible to prostate infections&  testicular cancer. His cracked molar NEEDS to be pulled because it’s likely to become infected and terribly painful. These things need to be done, and thanks to his Cardiology report, we now know that they CAN be done. But still. I am terrified.

Please send all sorts of positive vibes our way on Monday morning to Jersey & I.


Our March (and 4th) BarkBox arrived last week!! I was too busy dealing with all of Jersey’s stuff to post about it right away.. but here is our review now::

We really enjoyed this month’s box! The theme was “breakfast” which we thought was very cute. As always, it was a ton of fun cracking this open and exploring what was inside::

Charming Pet Squeaky Bull $8.49 — How did BarkBox know that Oslo’s favourite thing in the whole world is an obnoxious squeaky toy?! This was a resounding hit. The second Oslo laid eyes on it, he could not relax until it was in his mouth and being squeaked about 1,000,000x a minute.

Jolly Pets Teaser Ball $22.99 — Wow! High value toy alert!! When I took this out of the box, I was skeptical that my boys would show much interest. Somehow the hard-plastic construction didn’t really appeal to me.. But I was very pleasantly surprised to find that Jersey took to it immediately, knocking it around inside his pen so much, and with such abandon that we had to take it away (for fear of Jersey hurting his back). Essentially its an inner plastic ball, set inside an outer plastic encasement. The result is a ball/toy that rolls & wobbles erratically as your dog lunges at it. Very fun- great toy!

Healthy Dogma ‘Mini Barkers’ $6.95 — These cinnamon apple flavoured treats smell DELICIOUS & come in a very charming ‘yogurt & granola’ styled cup. They are small, and the perfect size for dogs, like mine, who get…. many treats a day. They’re NOT grain-free (rice flour is a top ingredient) which I don’t exactly love… but they almost make up for that by having only 10 totally pronounceable ingredients.

Happy Howie’s Lamb Sausages $6.49 — I haven’t opened these up yet… but the concept is good. Made in the USA, with Lamb as the #1 ingredient (unfortunately salt & sugar are the 4th & 5th ingredients). Initially I thought I’d need to give these away because my boys cannot be given ‘sticks’ of things, due to their tendency to swallow things whole!! However, the package advises cutting the sausages up into little pieces and treating that way. Great suggestion, and exactly what we will do!

Twistix Dental Chews  $4.99 — Banana Yogurt Flavour. The concept here is doggy-dental chew– removes plaque and freshens breath. I SO WISH my dog’s could have stuff like this!! However (as I seem to mention in almost every single BarkBox review) they are unable to have ‘chews’ as they do not ‘chew’. Instead, they prefer to “break off a chunk small enough to *almost* swallow, and then choke on it.”  So, unfortunately for them, this treat was given to our neighbour– her chi-yorkie owes you a full review.

In summary– a really great box. There was only one item that they were unable to have & the rest were really lovely. Total retail value of this month’s box is just shy of $50!! A great value for the $25 that we pay for it.

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