The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Mighty

Every week when I’m thinking about my posts for the week I think about doing an Ode to Midas. I usually don’t because I try to balance out the posts and lately there has been foster stuff, but he’s such an awesome dog he gets a post this week!

Midas is a mama’s boy. I’m his favorite person. If I’m not around he’s usually looking for me, and if he sees me from afar he will haul ass to get to me. It’s the cutest. He’s a professional snuggler, and loves nothing more than to snuggle into my lap when we watch tv.

We have zero photographic mojo though. I took 20 pictures of him and in every one his head is down. Luckily, Caden captured him perfectly.

I worry about Midas a lot. He’s the oldest of the three dogs, and the one with the most medical issues. His knees slip in and out, so when I pick him up I can often hear joints clicking. I worry almost nonstop about his eye. Is it red? Is it bulgey? Is he in pain? He masks pain really well (most dogs too, but I think puppy mill dogs do better than most since it’s such a constant in their lives) but has a few tells that I try to look out for.

While he has the most medical issues, he also is the dog who loves the vet the most. Every time he goes, they make him feel better. When he was diagnosed with glaucoma, he fell asleep in my arms once the pressure decreased. He’d probably had a headache for weeks at that point! Same with when he had the corneal ulcer, the vet gave him pain meds and poof! His crushing pain was gone. This summer he had a cyst thing on the back of his neck. By the time I took him in it was swollen and super painful. The vet scooped it out and instant pain relief! It’s no wonder he charms every vet and vet tech he comes across.

Listen, I get that big dog people don’t always understand small dogs. But I do get really angry when people act like he isn’t a dog. Let’s be honest, he’s the BEST dog. 13/10 would pick him up and snuggle every time. **

**Who gets that joke? They’re good dogs, Brent!

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Puppuccino

We had Midas’ recheck today and I was very nervous. Immediately after our last appointment his eye looked much better, but over the weekend I caught him squinting and scratching at it, and it looked red this morning. I was prepared for the worst and was in tears a few times over the last few days. But, they checked the pressure in his bad eye and it was 12. I pumped my fists in the air for that number. (At diagnosis he was 51, last visit it was 35 I think?) His good eye was also 12. This was the best possible news! The medicine is working and we can just keep on with that.

So the drops. He gets three in the morning and three at night, spaced 15 minutes apart. When he first told me of this regime, I thought it was completely unsustainable. Turns out, it’s not that big of a deal. I use Alexa to set 15 minute timers and we’ve worked it into our day. I’m thrilled that he’s responding so well to it and that surgery is off the table for now.

I was so happy and so relieved, I took the little man to the Starbucks drive through and got him a puppuccino! I’ve seen them on Instagram, but have never gotten them for my dogs. It’s just whip cream in a little cup, but he LOVED it. He was so, so happy with his treat.

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Vet Week

Like Shark Week except more expensive?

Both dogs went to their specialists this week. Lark’s appointment was planned, Midas was more last minute.

Midas’ eye wasn’t looking good. It was often red, and the swelling hadn’t gone down even though it had been a year since diagnosis. The vet immediately noticed he was squinting and was concerned. He checked his pressure and it was 34.5, higher than it should be.

Long story short, the eye drop we are using isn’t controlling his pressure as it should. We are adding in another drop that lessens fluid production. I give it 3 times per day and I can already notice a difference. His eye is visibly smaller. My concern is that this dosing schedule is not sustainable. Morning and night I give three drops, fifteen minutes apart (latanoprost, the new drop, then artificial tears). In the afternoon we are to give the new drop again.

The next step is surgery. I think it’s more of a when do we do surgery, not if we do surgery at this point. There are two options I’m considering. The first option is laser surgery. This is less invasive, and they use a laser to destroy the part of the eye that produces fluid so that it produces less fluid. I forgot to ask if we still have to do drops after this but my guess is yes, we would still need to do the latanoprost. The other option is to remove his eye completely. This is more invasive, but obviously a complete solution. No eye, no pressure, no glaucoma, no eye drops, no headaches for Mighty Man. It’s a slam dunk, but it’s also clearly more invasive. Do we try to keep the eye? That is the question that I can’t answer at this point. I feel like less invasive is better? But then complete solution is maybe better?


Lark had a growth on her foot that we’ve been keeping an eye on since she came to us. It started out as .5cm, then grew to 1cm, and then grew again. It didn’t bother her, but if we didn’t take it off soon, they wouldn’t be able to because they wouldn’t be able to close the skin. Fun fact, it was cheaper to do this at the fancy dermatology vet than it was to do it at our regular vet because they have a laser. Regular vet would have needed to do general anesthesia, laser doesn’t even require sedation. It was seriously half the price.

Lark is clearly an anxious dog. They thought they *might* need to sedate her, but as soon as I left she froze in place and it wasn’t needed. I told the vet tech that maybe she thought if she stayed still enough they wouldn’t notice she was there? We chuckled at that one. The procedure only took 45 minutes, they sutured and bandaged her up and we were out of there. They sent me home with a donut collar, but since she’s a rat terrier with long legs it does no good. I currently have a sock on her foot, but we will need to find her an e-collar this weekend. Wish me luck. An anxious dog in an e-collar? I’m sure nothing will go wrong there.

As the evening went on I noticed her toes were swollen, so I think they bandaged her a little too tight. I’ve been clipping a little bit here and there to loosen it up, but I have a bad feeling I’ll be taking it all off and winging it sometime today. Lucy had a growth removed from her paw too, and that thing was hell to heal. There must be something about paws!

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Go jump in a lake

It got really hot on Wednesday, so we took the pontoon out for an evening cruise after dinner and headed towards a spot on the lake that we knew was over 20 feet deep. A perfect swimming hole. I’d already showered so I was out for swimming, but my dad jumped in with the girls. At first they swam with life jackets, but they’re strong swimmers so I let them take them off and they did jumps off the side of the boat. They had so much fun we did it again the next night!

We also took a ton of slo mo videos which I will not bore you with again here, but were so crazy fun to do. The girls were so happy and had so much fun jumping and doing cannon balls and just giggling in the lake, this was absolutely the highlight of the week for me.

Three stooges.

Annie knows who gives out the best snacks on the boat.

Check out that smile!

I should probably darken this up a bit and make it into more of a silhouette, but what can I tell you how happy I was when I looked at the back of my camera and saw this? I just kept snapping as the girls ran off the pontoon and jumped in, and I caught the sunlight just right here. Love. this.

This was Caden’s version of the Statue of Liberty.

Delaney doing a cannon ball.

It was also our annual “Put the dogs in their lifejackets and make them swim in the water so they know what to do if they go overboard” drill. Midas was THRILLED.

Lark sat on top of Midas for the rest of the cruise.

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Memorial Weekend + Field Day

Friday was Field Day for the girls. My dad and I have volunteered the last few years, and this year my mom came along as well since she’s retired now! Now that the girls are in 3rd grade, Field Day is in the afternoon. We met them for lunch, then headed over to hand out ribbons at the 50 yard dash. You would think this would be a straight forward task but it isn’t. The kids argued with us over which place they came in. Over and over. They were wrong much of the time but that didn’t stop them. Also, there were a bunch of times when three or four kids would cross the line at the same time. So much pressure! It was fun though, and I love getting to see all of the kids that we know.


This year they added the tug of war. Caden’s classroom won the third grade contest! I’m sure it was her brute strength that gave them the advantage.

As soon as tug of war was over, we grabbed their backpacks and headed home to grab the dogs and get on the road. Our route to the cabin is the same as many, many others and we knew we would run into traffic. Which we did. It was slow going much of the way, but we stopped off and grabbed dinner which broke it up a bit.

The weather on Friday was absolutely gorgeous. Saturday was warm but cloudy, and it rained off and on. We fished a few times, and the girls swam for a bit. I thought I took way more pictures than I did, but apparently I only grabbed these two of Caden. Then the rain came so I headed up to the cabin with my camera.


Luckily we got some fishing in on Saturday, because Sunday was cold and windy. I read my book and watched the seven hour Twins game. The girls reconnected with their friend and played Barbies and ate way too much candy. We headed back to the Cities after dinner so that we could get the house organized before another busy week.


On the dog front, Midas crazy, crazy loves the lake. He has so much fun there, I think he really loves the change of scenery and the wide open spaces. I figured I would work with that tendency to run and have him practice walking on a leash. He did pretty well! As long as that was the way he wanted to go. If he didn’t, he just sat there until we picked him up and carried him. So, mostly the same as usual, but at least I did less chasing.

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Happy birthday Midas!

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The Mighty Man is six years old today!

It’s a bummer his birthday is in the winter, because summertime at the lake is clearly his favorite time of year. I smile every time I think of him running away from us down the hill towards the lake. He knew exactly what he was doing, and would look back and give you a little grin as he hopped away.

This little dude, I always joke that he’s the son I never had. He’s always so happy to see us when we get home, so eager to snuggle in and sleep, and so happy to be with us. I can’t believe there was ever a moment when I thought he might belong with someone else.

For his birthday, he’s getting a pigs ear, a birthday cupcake if I can pull it together and pick one up, and a date with a trainer in January. Midas loves me, maybe a little too much, and he gets angry if the other dogs get close to me when I’m holding him. It’s not good behavior. We’ve been trying to nip it in the bud on our own, but it’s time to bring in the professionals. I’d also like to be able to teach him to sit, but every time I pull out a treat he freaks out. He still gets so over excited about food, likely from his puppy mill days. I’m hoping they’ll have some strategies to help him out.

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Chill Weekend

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Both days were top ten weather days this weekend and we had basically zero plans! It was amazing. We totally soaked up our outside time, or at least the dogs did. With four dogs in the house, one of them being a puppy who pees a lot, I just kept them outside as much as possible. I did yard work with them, I read my book, I played Candy Crush, I chatted up the golfers. Poor Baron is ready for his long Monday nap at this point! (That look on his face is “Why won’t you just let me sleep??”

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Midas is a hard dog to photograph, but this picture of him! His eyes are clear, his ears are up, and he’s looking right at the camera. I may frame it I love it that much.

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Note to my father, the hammock swing keeps falling down. I think they play too hard on it because I rehung it three times this weekend. Once, Delaney fell pretty hard on her back – oof! They were able to spend a good amount of time outside this weekend. Sometimes the games they make up are super interesting, and other times I have to intervene because someone’s going to get seriously hurt. Eight is an awesome age.

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This is Annabelle’s default mode. Those $@#$! bunnies taunt her from the next yard, it cannot help that she can see them through the slats. I think she only jumped the fence twice this weekend? We have to be super diligent with her because she knows exactly when you’re not looking and that’s when she goes for it.

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Pictures of Pooches

I have been horrible about taking pictures with my big camera this summer. I’ve gotten out of the habit of taking it everywhere with me, and I just can’t seem to remember to pick it up. So Sunday, Delaney grabbed it and took a bunch of pictures. She did an awesome job!

annie

caden pose

lark

midas

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The old man’s eyes

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When we started fostering Midas, it was obvious something was wrong with his left eye. The assumption was that he got into a fight in the puppy mill, and sustained an injury. That injury caused a cataract to form (relatively sure) which made his eye look cloudy. I had the vet look at it and at that time (last fall) she thought he still had most of the vision in that eye.

A few weeks ago I took him to our vet for his annual check up. She was fairly concerned about his eye, especially since she could no longer see the cataract that was noted in his file. His left eye was also larger then his right eye, which was cause for more concern. She did some more tests and announced that he had glaucoma.

I knew almost nothing about glaucoma other than that it had to do with the pressure in your eye. Turns out it’s a fairly serious condition, an emergency even. We needed to get him to a veterinary opthalmologist (I have no idea how to spell that) the next day.

When we got home from our vet I immediately did two things – posted to the Underdog Facebook group to see who else had dealt with this, and googled glaucoma in dogs. The specialist our vet recommended was also one a lot of people from Underdog use. When I called I made sure to mention that he was an Underdog. Who knows if it got us seen sooner, although our director was there just before us and I’m guessing it helped a little. Also, don’t google. I realized then that the reason they wanted us to get in immediately was so that he could be treated quickly and hopefully not lose his eye. Yikes.

Long story longer, the specialist took one look at him and with a quick test confirmed the glaucoma diagnosis. Because he is young the prognosis is good, and it can be treated with drops twice a day. What we want to happen is to have the lens of his eye drop to the back, which allows the fluid in his eye to drain, which lowers the pressure. In order to make this happen the doctor put the drop in his eye, then I held him on his back so that his head tilted back, like a baby. He was not thrilled with this position because it’s very submissive, but I rocked him and scratched his belly and he relaxed a little. About twenty minutes into this, he relaxed completely, closed his eyes and started to snooze. I knew then that the drops had worked. Poor little man! It was probably his first pain free moment in a long time. Now when we do his drops we hold him like this for five minutes or so and he loves it.

Midas will have to have these eye drops the rest of his life. He has no vision in that eye, but that doesn’t seem to slow him down. Hopefully, the pressure will continue to stay in the normal range, and he won’t have to rock the pirate look anytime soon. I’m more than a little annoyed with myself that I didn’t take him in to get checked out right after we adopted him, but I can’t turn back time so we just give him extra love now.

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Riding in Style

With the cabin two hours away, I knew the dogs would be spending a lot more time in the car this summer than they have in the past. I decided to step things up a bit. Check out Midas in the new booster seat! It sits them up a bit higher so they can see out (which he loved), and it allows me to attach a strap to their collar keeping them safe. Love it!

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