Category: Dog Mom

A promise to Freddy…

Three months later, I am still hurting over the loss of my Freddy, but I am finding ways to honor his memory and focus mostly on the good times we shared. I still look for him in the house at times, thinking he’s right there next to me, eager to give me kisses and whining for my attention. To me, he was my child and I was his mom, he was a special being who opened my heart as it has never been opened before. Because of Freddy, I know I am forever changed for the better.

On that note, I have started to hide my grief in front of people who have never had a dog pet, as they may see it as a bit of an overreaction. Most people are too polite to say that it’s “just a dog” out loud, even when they are thinking it.  I have been lucky to have a few people who truly understand how deep and intense the pain can be and thus respect and honor my grief. Plus, those of us who have loved a dog know the truth: Your own pet is never “just a dog”.  Anyone reading this who may be going through a loss of a pet and is seeking advice, I promise I will share what has been working for me in another post in a few weeks.

—-Now to the promise we made Fred.  My husband and I planned to get another dog –a brother, a fellow canine playmate once we got back from our wedding and we were starting to look around for one we were stopped in our tracks. 

After struggling to find what our new normal could be like, we realized that Freddy made us dog lovers,  our normal absolutely needed to include a dog. 

We started to look again and came across a photo of an adorable puppy with a DOB of 8/11, we knew it was a sign,  I mean 382 miles away, a puppy was born the town over from where we got Freddy — on “that” very same day.  We went back and forth emotionally, but ultimately decided to go and adopt him.  Well, the puppy from the photo was already taken by someone else and we came home with one of his litter mates, only to find out a day later that we got the wrong dog. . We were kind of bummed about it, but had so much love to give. We figured that maybe it was another sign that things got mixed up and the one we came home with was meant to be in our lives. We named him Theodore,  the named we always planned to name Freddy’s canine brother.

Theo seemed to have a drippling problem. He soaked my clothes every time he lay on my lap and every time he slept, he drenched his back legs. It was only a few days of having him so I tried not to over-analyze. I mean a 10-week-old puppy is bound to have a ton of accidents like that. Well, his belly looked bloated and we saw a worm in his stool. Being super nervous to take him to the same exact animal clinic that Freddy was a patient at, I decided to go to *Banfield Pet Hospital at PetSmart.  I was relieved when the Veterinarian seemed to ignore our concerns about the urine drippling (said he was a “silly puppy peeing on himself”), bloated belly (saying he “just has a big wormy belly”) and the black discharge in his ears (saying “it’s just waxy puppy ears”).

She said we have a “very healthy puppy”, gave him some de-wormer and sent us on our way.

Well, my worrying habits would soon prove beneficial. I was overly worried about the leaking, about the dark wax in his ears, about the bloated belly. I swallowed my anxiety of going to Fred’s vet and took Theo there Friday afternoon.

There, I explained the same concerns to Dr. L just like I did at Banfield 5 days prior. As he was examining T, there was worry in his eyes and he immediately took him for a “fast” ultrasound.

I am getting the ultrasound images sent over to me and will post them shortly.

Dr. L told me there is a severe problem: a massive amount of fluid outside of his bladder and no visibility of a right kidney. He alerted me that he needed to take x-rays immediately. At this point, I walked outside to update my husband, as things seemed to be escalating rather quickly.

After the x-rays, Dr. L brought a gasping Theodore wrapped in a towel back in, put him in my arms on the examination table and started to explain, “this is not good, this is not a healthy puppy whatsoever…”

I am embarrassed to admit what happened next. But as he was explaining the situation to me and as T’s head was collapsing in my arms, I had flashbacks of holding Freddy after he was hit by the car and died in my arms as I frantically administering CPR. The next thing I remember from the conversation, was that my brother kept repeating, “please breathe” and the paramedics were taking my pulse…

I had blacked out.

As my eyes started to open, all I could see was Theo’s little head and puppy eyes looking at me from the corner of the room still so aspirated. I regained strength — I needed to see if I could save him — I would not lose another precious soul.

Next steps were to take blood work to see if there were abnormalities associated with kidney function. I gave Theo a kiss as he was taken away and the paramedics escorted me out.

I did not know if I would see him again.

This is where we are now.  He was sent to the ER at the Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital. 

A conclusive ultrasound was performed and again there was no identification of a right kidney, and the concern was the massive fluid pocket, which was urine.  Our options at this point: 1) send him back to where we got him from with a high probability he would be euthanized or 2) try and save his life with surgery.

Once they open him up and remove the nonfunctioning right kidney tissue (as planned), attach the suspected ectopic ureter to the bladder, he has a chance to survive.

We can’t give up on such a helpless living thing that in just 6 days brought us joy again. The bloating and pain he’s been in have not stopped him from showing us love and dedication, so how could we give up on that? There must be a reason that we got the wrong dog – that we got a sick dog – someone knew that we would fight to save a life.

We want Theodore to have a chance at a good life just like his brother Freddy had.

If you would like to contribute to Theo and share our story, we would forever be grateful. You can always follow along as I will post updates on his condition here.

I know I will have more dogs in my lifetime, but Freddy will always be my first dog and the dog who taught me so much about myself. Theo already can thank his big brother for allowing his momma to always examine him and knowing what is normal and what may not be 🙂

*In no way am I bashing Banfield Hospitals. I just want people to be aware that misdiagnosis can happen and your responsibility as a dog owner is to always look for signs of discomfort and do your research on what’s normal and what might not be. If I did not do so much research with my first puppy, Theo would not have a chance at life. That was confirmed by the doctors. The large sac would eventually burst ending his life.

Summer Update – the good and the bad


Thank you for all your messages lately. I wanted to share that my wedding was more than N and I could have ever expected. It was perfect. A real fairy-tale. I will share some professional photos once I get them, but here is one of my favorites taken by my (now) cousin, Jodi.

As promised, I am working on a segment with all my wedding planning tips, sharing everything from choosing your wedding party (remember I asked my ladies with these DIY bridal party boxes) to the activities you should plan days before the BIG day.

I also have some extremely sad news to share, my baby bear, Freddy_doodle was hit by a car in front of our house one week after we returned from Europe. I honestly cannot talk about that yet. It hurts too much and combined with planning a wedding, it is the reason I have not written for some time. I am however SOOO grateful I did everything in my power to make sure he was a part of our wedding <3 

Thank you for sticking by me and my blog. I have SO much content to start sharing again — I am also collaborating with some great influencers to bring awareness to shelter animals. Combining fashion with an amazing cause is something I am really excited to be able to do. I will continue running @Freddy_doodle with the intention of helping other animals.

Last update, N and I are putting our condo on the market and moving. We planned to do this eventually, in a year or so when we bounced back from the wedding financials, but losing the love of our life was a sign that we need to start the next chapter of our lives and not wait. We call it Our Chapter 3.

I will share how to market your home for selling with tons of pictures and tips (declutter and depersonalize are key!) and am working to collaborate with some interior designers to make the new place (once we find it) our family home.

Stay tuned and thanks for reading and following along. The journey of life is so unpredictable sometimes, but what I have learned is that we all need the love and support from others to make it through the difficult times.

With love,






Sharing how, when & where I got my mini-goldendoodle

In honor of National Puppy Day, I wanted to share how, when and where we got our dog. I get this question a lot, so I thought this would be a great outlet to share the info.

The process can be overwhelming and you may not know if you are making the right decision based on where you are getting your puppy from — Did the dog come from a puppy mill? Will the dog grow up healthy? Should I go to a shelter? Should I go to a breeder? Do I have to transport it on an airplane? Will that have long-term effects on the dog’s behavior? Am I allowed to pick the one I want or will he/she be selected for me? What if I don’t like the dog? What if I get allergic? SOO many questions!! I know because I had them all too.

So, I will share with you the process we went through to get our little muffin, Freddy.

First, I did A LOT of research on the breed because of my allergies. I am very allergic to cats and some dogs. If you are still in the stage of deciding if a dog is right for you and your family, please read my post here FIRST.

I wanted to find a local place so that we could go visit and see how the environment where the dog was brought up was like. Unfortunately (& fortunately), 3 years ago when we were looking — miniature golden-doodles were not as popular as they are today in New England. A golden-doodle in a shelter – forget about it! I called every day for months. There was a breeder in Maine and another in Connecticut – however they had crazy waiting lists and a strenuous process of getting on the list, which knowing what I know now, is a great thing. You want to make sure you find the right people to adopt a dog, to own a dog, to care for a dog. Both breeders wanted to interview and determine personality traits of Nico and I to match us to a dog that they thought was the best fit. That is great & all, but I did not like the idea of that very much and I also didn’t want to wait for months and months to then find out that I didn’t match with a particular dog….

SO, I looked elsewhere and came across 2 greats sites: this one and this one. I saw this picture of Freddy on the KP site and the breeder was located in Lititz, PA.  He was 10 weeks old on August 28, 2014 and ready to be adopted! I sent Nico the picture, called the number provided and booked us a hotel right outside Lititz, PA for the night.

I was determined and I WANTED him! After work on Friday, I picked Nico up and we drove off to PA, about a 6.5 hr drive. We stopped in NYC for dinner and then drove to PA to spend the night about an hour outside of Lititz. Saturday morning came and I was nervous? What if I didn’t like the family, what if they were a puppy mill!? What if the puppy hates us? #crazythoughts

We got cash out of the ATM and drove to the address given. 

and we were greeted with this:

HOLY CUTENESS!! I’ll take all 3, please!! No, but seriously, Nico, can we take all 3? Go back to the ATM and get more money!

We learned a lot about the family living on that farm — like that they are not breeders. That they simply bred their dog, Freddy’s mom with another family member’s poodle, with the assumption of getting 2, maybe 3 pups and with the intention of teaching their 5 young children about responsibility and how to take care of a living thing. Well, they got 9 puppies and had to find a service that would help them advertise and sell the pups. Keystone Puppies came and took pictures of the puppies and posted them on the site.

We got to meet Freddy’s mom, who is a golden-doodle – weighting in at 50 lbs. Freddy’s dad is a miniature poodle,(about 20 lbs) but he was not at the house and so we did not get to meet him.
I told her I was taking her baby and I felt bad! #pisces but that I would take the best care of him!
Kiss of approval from Freddy’s momma <3

We spent 1.5 hours debating which pup to take. The real Freddy kept running off and jumping into bushes while little Frisky stayed close by and kept nudging himself towards N’s leg. Can you guess which one is our Freddy aka Frisky aka we renamed him Freddy 🙂 I sent this picture to my brother for help and he responded right away….

The one on the left, defiantly the one on the left. Look at that face!

The one on the left was named Frisky. The one on the left was the one that wanted us while the others ran off to get sticks and explore the yard. The one on the left is now named Freddy, after his brother that we originally thought we were going to take home.

We stopped at a Walmart on the way home when we realized we didn’t even have a collar or leash for him to take him out during the ride home! 

My little bear has brought and continues to bring the entire family so much joy! He is going to Europe this year for our wedding and to meet the rest of the family. He has been so healthy and perfect thus far and we love him dearly.

Let me know if you have any questions! I hope you have the same luck if you are adding a puppy to your life.


10 lessons my dog has taught me

Owning a dog has taught me so many wonderful life lessons. Here are the top 10 things Freddy has taught me in just two years 🙂

1. How to forgive and forget.

Whatever the crime, one look into those puppy-dog eyes and all is forgiven. I don’t like flip-flops anyways – he must have known that!?