June 27

Sick Day

Yesterday began an ordinary day. I arose around 6 o’clock; stumbled and mumbled around until I was finally awake. Once alert, I began doing things I usually do, you know housework, laundry, whatever needs done. I had a slight headache I tried to ignore. It came and went, then came back again. My stomach too was acting up, nausea ebbing and flowing. The further into the morning I progressed the more my symptoms worsened. It seemed my body was waging a war to decide which would get the best of me first. 

Sick mommy & Nurse Jake.

By afternoon I was hugging a ‘bucket’ and curled into the fetal position on the couch. Yeah, you know. It’s not pretty. We’ve all been there, sooner or later some little virus bug decides to get you. I had lucked out all winter. Guess what. Winter’s gone, and apparently so is my luck.

Never wanting to miss anything, Jake was curious to see what I might be putting in the ‘bucket.’ While I, on the other hand was in no mood to play Show and Tell. Bless his little heart, he listens pretty well. Only one weakly uttered, “No, Jake.” was required. He decided his time would be best spent curled up against me.

These days I typically feel good pretty good. I didn’t use to. I believe in part (a large part) because Jake is the most pleasant & amusing companion to have around. Occasionally he’ll remind me to stop and play.  Oh, he is not only content to be showered with attention but also ready & willing to share rest time too.

When you are feeling ill, a little four-legged friend is quite a comfort. Once again, Jake was right. Feeling his solid warmth tucked up against me, left me know I wasn’t alone in my misery. Who knows? Maybe his presence aided my recovery. It sure didn’t hurt.

May 19

No. We Really Did Not Fall Off the Face of the Earth…

Since our last post a lot has been going on… but our technical difficulties have been overcome. (We think. We hope.) We had not one, but two computers with failing hard drives and a plethora of events that kept us away.

In the coming weeks we plan to share the details including some photos of Jake taken during our travels and some friends he made.

The poor little guy couldn’t possibly understand what was going on in our human world. But he did understand when we were upset and he worried. Hopefully things will settle down now and life for all of us can proceed back to normal.

March 8

Old Dog, New Trick

Tonight I discovered you can teach an old dog a new trick. Although at 2 1/2 I’m not sure Jakey qualifies as ‘old’. But I did teach him something new. You might even call it a new trick. Here’s what happened:

I was standing at the stove preparing my dinner. Apparently Jakey approved of my dining choice as he demonstrated my making giant lunges at the cats. For reasons known only to him, he often lunges & at them when he is in a state of excitement or anticipation. He never nips them but I imagine it is quite annoying. It seems as though he’s warning them that he’s the only one getting any food. Peculiar behavior because he’s been known to frequently sit right next to Gracie and/or Meesha while I share strips of string cheese with all of them. He also will sit next to his food dish & watch while Gorgeous-cat eats his dog food.

Anyway back to the trick. He had been particularly well-behaved today; I equate that to being in a cooperative mood. It seemed like a good time to try to teach him something new. When he started picking on the cat, I told him that was bad and bad doggies get sent to their room. Jakey has a seldom used his crate. We keep it in our bedroom. I used it mostly when he was in that awful get-into-everything puppy stage & I couldn’t be right there to watch him. As soon as he learned and began practicing good puppy manners, my husband invited him into our bed and he’s been there ever since. Of course the crate has his things in it and he goes in there on rare occasions. He knows it’s his. So I took him to the crate & said, “This is your room. When you’re bad, you go to your room.” We returned to the kitchen. I said, “Jakey! Go to your room!” I pointed him it the direction. He took off and went in to his crate. I waited a bit, and then called him. Of course I praised him because he did just what I wanted. I repeated the process 2 more times. Then I rewarded him with a treat.

Just to be sure I was successful, teaching him to go to his room I waited an hour, and then I called him to me. Again I sent him to his room. He hesitated but I pointed the direction. He went off to his “room.”

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March 5

Repurposing – We Sewed a Pug Hoodie

Last week I brought out my sewing machine to do a stack of long overdue mending. As usually happens to me, one thing lead to another and the next thing I knew I was off and running onto an entirely different sewing project. As the prices of materials keep raising the idea of reusing items seems smart as well as economical. The previous Fall I had gone to the local Goodwill store where I found and purchased a Snuggie for less than five dollars. In this case the Snuggie appeared unused. In fact it looked as though it hadn’t ever gone through a wash cycle. My intent was to repurpose the material into pillow covers, a blanket and possibly a shirt or two, all for Jake.

Did I mention it was leopard print? I’m not usually into animal prints but I thought, “What the heck! I can’t beat the price!” Besides I just know Jake will look great in it!

Fortunately I remembered a post I’d seen not long ago. I loved the idea so much I had shared it with some of the pug groups I belong to on facebook. It depicted how to make dog shirts by repurposing old shirts using just the sleeves. I pulled up the article and realized there weren’t any directions just pictures- a kind of visual step by step. I had the general idea, but I still was mostly going to have to wing it. I decided do my own version taking hints & cues from the post.

Fear set aside, I snipped off the sleeve near the shoulder seam. I put the whole sleeve on Jakey. Yes, without arm holes it was an awkward fitting. I measured the material from the bottom hem of sleeve (already sewn in by the Snuggie makers) at the base of his tail, up to his neck to about where I wanted the elastic to land. My version has the elastic about 5-6 inches from the neck edge (where the hem will be stitched later) to allow for a hoodie. When not using hoodie, it forms a kind of cowl neck that looks darling.

I marked the area for elastic on the fabric with safety pins. I always use safety pins instead of straight pins because I’m terrified of sticking him while removing the unfinished article from him. I measured the distance between his front legs for the sleeve holes and carefully cut slits in the area for a

Who's the MAN???
Who’s the MAN???

guide point. He’s really good about standing still and my scissors aren’t pointy. I make sure my boy is safe from nicks & cuts.

Bless his little puggie heart; he is so patient with me. He allowed me to measure and measure and measure again. He also allowed me to try the shirt on him multiple times with no fuss, no complaint.

Playing shy...
Playing shy…

Later with the fabric flat on the table I re-measure the width between his front legs and further cut to make arm holes. I sewed a small ½ inch hem at the neck edge allowing room and a small opening to insert a cord for a drawstring. Then re-measured Jake from his tail base to his neck, approximately where I wanted the elastic to set just to verify my estimations were on target.

Next I need to know how much elastic we needed to comfortably fit Jakey. I simply place the elastic around his neck, marking with my finger where to

Modeling Hoodie
Modeling Hoodie

cut. I used an inch wide strip of elastic for the neckline. As I sew I stretch the elastic to the meet the width of fabric in the neck. When finished the pulled elastic forces the material to gather at the neck for a perfect fit. I sew both edges of the elastic to the fabric. Lastly, I attach the biggest safety pin I can find to one end of the cord & thread it through the neck hem. Once pulled all the way through I knot both ends of cord to keep them from pulling back out.

I tried it on Jake and it couldn’t have fit more perfect.

Creativity wears me out
Creativity wears me out

My only regret I wish I had taken pictures to accompany the sewing steps …maybe next time.

Jake’s little hoodie turned out so well I went on to make a matching pillow cover the same day. I did take ‘after’ pictures both with & without the pillow. What do you think? Isn’t Jake handsome?