Welcome Webster Slaughter

This past Saturday was exactly two weeks since we said goodbye to our beloved Otto-- Nick and I miss him terribly, and honestly, our house has been unnervingly quiet with just Clair. I didn't realize just how loud Otto was with his breathing and grunting and snoring LOL. In any case, over the past two weeks, Nick and I had been trolling Petfinder for male boxer pups to rescue. We weren't in a hurry, but were certainly open to the right pup.

And then on Friday afternoon (right after lunch with my friend Lisa, who gave me a beautiful good luck charm), I got this text "There is a boxer puppy available in Eastlake. His name is Otto".

I don't know if you know this about me, but for someone who is typically very logical, I can be incredibly superstitious at times. If there ever was a sign from the universe, SURELY this was it.

At 11:50 am on Saturday, March 28th, we were first in line to see Otto at The Animal Rescue Center. We walked in, signed up, showed our ID, and were immediately led in the puppy-meeting area with Otto. Anyway, Otto was a wild man. He was running from Nick to me and back, trying to climb us, nipping us with his razor sharp puppy teeth (as puppies do)-- one look at Nick and I knew Otto was not coming home with us. I asked the volunteers to bring in another puppy-- Ozzy had caught my eye. Otto and Ozzy wrestled for a while, and we noticed that Ozzy was definitely much bigger than Otto. We asked to spend some alone-time with Ozzy and he immediately jumped into Nick's arms and started giving him kisses. And I knew that Ozzy would be coming home with us.  By 12:35 pm, we had filled out our application, paid our adoption fee, and were on our way home. We renamed him Webster Slaughter Faehnle, and the rest, is history….

Here's what we know about Webster: He's estimated to be 12 weeks old, and he and his siblings were rescued from a pound in Athens, Ohio. He's definitely part boxer, but we have no idea what the other half of him is. He is as sweet as can be, and is ridiculously smart. He has HUGE paws, so we're guessing he's going to grow up to be a pretty big dog! Clair is an amazing big sister-- she's incredibly patient with him, and plays with him all the time.

We still miss Otto, and there will never be another dog like him, but we are back to being a family of four, and starting on a whole new adventure.

Follow me on Instagram to keep up with all our puppy adventures!

An Emotional Week

If you're friends with me IRL, or follow me on Instagram, then you know that a week ago today, Otto was diagnosed with a huge tumor on his spine that was pressing down on his spinal cord. What you may not know is how quickly we got to this point. Exactly 4 weeks ago, Otto came in the house and I noticed that the entire back half of his body was trembling. I turned on the fireplace, but a half hour later, he was still shaking.

We took him to Tremont Animal Clinic the next day, and we started treating Otto for what we believed (and hoped) was a strained back. Failing to respond to meds, he was back a week later to start on steroids. Sadly that didn't work either, and along with our vets, we made the decision to go see a neurologist at Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital. A few hours and an MRI later--we had a diagnosis. A huge tumor on his spine.

Nick and I made the decision to schedule surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible the following Monday. We carefully considered the risks of surgery (paralysis or even death) and then began one of the hardest weekends of our lives. We started to tell friends and family, and the response from everyone was so overwhelming (in a wonderful way). Say what you will about social media, but I cannot even begin to describe what it meant to hear from people that I haven't heard from for a long time. We spoiled Otto rotten, did lots of fun things together, and his favorite people came to visit.

Everything seemed to be going well, and then suddenly on Sunday, Otto couldn't sit or stand. We rushed him down to the ER, where they amped up his pain meds and kept him overnight. To say we were distraught would be an understatement. Even poor Clair was upset-- walking around the house looking for Otto.

Surgery happened on Monday, and then things really started to look up. Not only did the surgery go well, but Otto got to come home on Tuesday, a whole day ahead of schedule! 

As of this writing, he's been home a full two days, and he's doing SO well! He definitely feels more comfortable-- he's supposed to be on bed rest, but he keeps wanting to walk around and play-- I've had to resort to bribing him with treats to lay down!  I'm convinced that it was everyone's thoughts, prayers and energy that are causing his recovery. 

We are still waiting on the results of the biopsy-- I suppose we could have a miracle and it may not be confirmed cancer, but even I am not that optimistic. What I am optimistic about is that Otto is a strong pup, and that the cancer is slow growing (fingers crossed), and that Nick and I (and Clair) are going to make amazing memories with him, for as long as that may be. We are starting a new journey together, and we will carry each other through it. In the mean time, Otto is being Otto-- barking at unauthorized people (the mailman, UPS lady), showing an excessive interest in our food, trying to sneak in licking the dishes as we load the dishwasher -- being the big goofball we know and love. 

So in closing, I just want to thank you for all your love, support and wishes over the past week. I will certainly continue to update you on Otto's condition via social media and you will probably see a few more posts about Otto on this blog. 

An Hour In... Ohio City

This past weekend, N and I had an our to kill, and so we decided to spend it in a part of Ohio City that I really haven't taken the time to explore yet. If you haven't checked it out yet, West 29th between Church and Detroit is an absolutely charming little party of Ohio City. 

Our first stop was Urban Orchid, a delightful floral boutique. To be honest, this is not the first time I've been here, but what I love most about this boutique is that you can give them a budget and an occasion, and they will create an absolutely stunning one-of-a-kind boutique that is GUARANTEED to put a smile on the recipient's face! AND, I always learn something new there, like...

Ornamental Kale-- I didn't know that was a thing!

Beautiful pink roses!

In addition to flowers, they also carry small gift items like vases and jewelry, and of course, adorable Cleveland themed merchandise!

We then walked around the corner to Rising Star Coffee Roasters, but not before I stopped to take a picture of this camper...

For someone who really doesn't care for camping, I am REALLY enamored with campers! I blame Charity.

2 Vietnamese iced coffee to go, please!!! 

I love this bench at Rising Star

A few steps across the streets, and we were at Cleveland Museum of Art's newest outpost, Transformer Station! Incidentally, Transformer Station is hosting Ohio City Stages every Wednesday in July, which is an awesome street fest with live performances! 

I absolutely LUUURVEE the industrial details in the space! There are usually 4 different exhibits each year, and like the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Transformer Station uses technology to help guide patrons through the exhibits (hint: take a mobile device with you!)

Another quick stop to check out the newest pet store: Kutya Rev.

Seriously, how adorable is this?!

I am also really excited that Harness Cycle will be opening at the corner later this year!! I can totally picture myself sweating it out and then heading over across the street to get some post-workout 

So, if you haven't explored this little part of Ohio City before, I strongly encourage you to do so! It is a really lovely way to spend a few hours!