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February Love

Happy Valentine’s month! ‘Tis the season for us all to scramble to find the perfect way to tell that special someone that we like them, admire them, or maybe even love them. Or, perhaps you prefer to think of Valentine’s Day as a ridiculous, made-up Hallmark-holiday created solely to sell silly cards. Cards on which I would very much like to see my photos. (I love you Hallmark! Your ads always make me cry. In a good way.) But I digress.

Which ever side of the fence you’re on – and trust me I’ve been on both – the one love that’s never been up for debate in my life is my love for the little furry creatures.

So in honor of every animal I’ve ever loved, (and currently love…Beans! and Punch!), I’m knocking fifty dollars off any session booked in February. I will also donate 10% of your session fee to an animal charity or rescue group that you get to choose. Mind you, you only have to book in February, you can schedule your session for anytime that works best for you. And if you want to give a session as a gift, we’ll get you a gift-card. With hearts on it.




Fataweelini - June 4, 2013 - 12:07 pm

В общем на этом сайте всё сами увидите. Всегда новые фильмы появляются раньше чем везде – военные фильмы в качестве HD бесплатно

Beans Update

So it’s now the 4th of February. I am extremely happy to report that Beans is still with us and seemingly doing well. Though, we have had a couple of scares – even another night at an emergency vet.  And our bills, well, lets not talk about our bills.

Let me start by sharing the schedule of meds we have him on. As I said in my last post, we came home with 3 different medicines. 2 anti-arrhytmia and 1 antibiotic. Because there are so many and we have to do them at different times, N came up with this handy little chart for us to use (isn’t the picture of him a cute touch?)


So did you have a look? I mean really have a look? The medicine starts at 7am and goes throughout the day until 11pm. Sotalol and Mexilitine are the anti-arrhythmia meds. Doxy, short for Doxycycline, is the antibiotic.  We give all 3 meds orally, with an oral syringe.  The Sotalol and Mexilitine are not huge amounts. In fact .5 ml = 0.1 teaspoon.  The Doxy on the other hand is 3 ml. That is equal to 0.6 teaspoons. It doesn’t seem like a lot in human terms, but  in puppy terms it’s a lot. And it’s even more when he doesn’t like the taste of it and he is denying access to his mouth with a grip like a steel vice.

Our technique for administering the Doxy has been a work in progress. We would force it into his mouth, but we could tell how much he hated it, which in turn made us feel awful and mean. We looked for another solution. And found it…in cream cheese. Brilliant. Until that is, he wised up and refused to eat the cream cheese.

This next part is hard for me to write, but in full disclosure and in the hope it prevents someone else from making the same mistake, I will share.

Two weeks ago, N was working on a huge pitch at work. He was putting in an insane amount of hours, which left me alone on Beans duty. On the night of the 20th(jan) I got the Doxy ready and decided very unwisely that it would be better to go back to giving him the medicine via syringe then trying to plead with him to finish the cream cheese. Here’s what I did wrong and why I may be on the short list for worst pup mom ever.  I shot it straight down the center of his mouth causing it to go down his throat the wrong way which in turn caused him to start coughing. And coughing. And coughing. Not normal coughing like he’s trying to get something out of his throat, but a horrible sounding cough like he was having trouble breathing. I thought he was choking. Cue panic. I looked at his tongue and it was a purplish color. BIG panic. I called N at work, and raced Beans to yet another emergency vet. Longest cab ride ever. N met me curbside and ran with Beans into the vet while I paid for the cab. When I got inside they already had Beans downstairs evaluating him. Plenty of time for me to have another full on breakdown in yet another vets office.  Finally the Dr. came up and said that Beans wasn’t choking, but he was definitely still coughing… mentioned that dogs can get aspiration pneumonia from inhaling a foreign substance. My heart sunk. I couldn’t believe I was the cause of harming him this time. Then she mentioned what really had her concerned was the color of his tongue and gums. Which lead her to ask the dreaded question…”Does he have any kind of heart issues?”

We told her the saga of what we had been through the last two weeks. Her recommendation was to leave Beans there for the the night so they could keep him in an oxygen tank, monitor his heart and their cardiologist could have a look at him in the morning. More tears.

N and I came home and had another sleepless night. I flipped back and forth between 2 channels in my mind all night. One, that I may have killed our dog, and two, please please let me wake up. Let this all be a bad dream.

The next morning the latest cardiologist to see Beans had a look at him and found nothing amiss. She consulted with Dr. Bond (his cardiologist over at AMC) and was caught up to speed. She told us that his heart was fine all night. It had remained stable and never went into any type of arrhythmia. She said she would recommend doing a chest x-ray but as long as that was clean (which it was) she said we could come pick him up. I asked her what she thought about the color of his gums and tongue. She said  his gums looked fine, that they are slightly bluish because of pigment and that as far as the tongues goes according to her it’s not uncommon to see dogs in stress have their tongues go a little pale or bluish in color.  We have had a lot of conflicting opinions as to that but I will save that for another time. When we went to pick him up I didn’t leave until I sat with the cardiologist and asked her the best way to give an oral medication (via syringe). Her reply, and please take note in case you ever find yourself in this situation, is to press it up close to the cheek. Never aim back. Lesson learned. The hard way.

Prior to all of this we had made an appointment to bring  Beans to his first “regular” vet visit so we could get his 16 week vaccinations. Mind you, this was FINALLY his first scheduled “normal” vet visit. We went, but we didn’t get his vaccinations. She wanted him to have two normal weeks without incident before we added another variable to his life. We are currently scheduled to try again tomorrow. I will tell you that N and I are both very nervous about it. One of the doctors we saw along the line recommended against skipping any further vaccinations  as there is a chance it could cause his heart to go back into arrhythmia. The other doctor’s we’ve talked to though (including Dr. Bond) thinks it puts him more at a risk to not have them. So we will go forward, we will keep our fingers crossed, we will think good thoughts and we will continue to take it one day at a time.


Diane - February 4, 2011 - 9:43 pm

They say laughter is the best medicine, but I think cuteness is. In which case, Beans should be well on his way to perfect health.

Tonya - February 4, 2011 - 10:11 pm

Oh man. If cuteness heals he wins…as a matter of a fact earlier today I caught him looking at himself in the full length mirror in the bedroom. I think even he was in awe of his cuteness as he couldn’t seem to take his eyes off of himself….either that or he thought it was another dog staring back at him. I prefer to think he was basking in the glory of him.

Serena - February 5, 2011 - 5:17 am

Oh what a rollercoaster you and Beans have been through. The poor little guy!
It’s so good to hear that he’s doing so much better – he’s very lucky to have such loving and concerned parents.
And don’t worry, all puppy moms at some stage think they’re the worst ever – oh the stories I could tell!
Lots of love to you and the gorgeous Beans xo

Jeannette - February 7, 2011 - 3:50 pm

That has to be the cutest puppy on the planet. Poor little thing… can you do his vax one at a time? I can’t see NOT giving him the shots, but I can totally see not wanting to overload his tiny little system.

Feel better Beans!

St. Mark’s Vet

This is an exciting post for me. My photo’s are now hanging up at St. Mark’s Vet I would like to take a minute to give a huge shout out and thank you to Sally and everyone over at this wonderful veterinary hospital. I can’t recommend them more highly. If you are in or near the East Village in NYC absolutely look them up. You won’t meet a better group of professional’s and animal lovers.undefined


Barbara Callihan - December 10, 2011 - 4:00 pm

Most wonderful veterinary hospital in the world!! The entire staff is caring, empathetic, knowledgeable and skilled than any other facility which I have ever gone to.

I recommend everyone and everything at St. Mark’s. It is truly an exceptional place.

Beans’ Story

This is the first entry of the story of my beloved little pup, Beans. I wrote this entry on January 7th, and will be posting subsequent entries as his medical drama unfolds. I hope as he gets older and stronger I will have less and less to say. He appears to be getting ever better, though still on medicine. We are cautiously optimistic that he will continue to recover.

That’s the dream. For now, here’s his story.

Jan 7, 2010

Many of you know N and I brought home a puppy on New Year’s Day. A perfect little Norwich Terrier named Beans. If you haven’t seen a Norwich puppy before, trust me that there are few cuter beings on the planet. Looks just like a teddy bear. And we fell in love hard and fast. I had posted his picture, but since removed it as it is too painful to look at right now. Maybe if I ever have the courage to post this story, I will repost the pics as well.

On Tuesday morning, three days after we brought him home, Beans wasn’t feeling well. We woke up to him retching in his pen. (We have a large x-pen next to our bed that he was sleeping in). He didn’t throw up, but it was apparent he wasn’t himself. Being nervous pup-parents we rushed him to a vet. They had a look at him…his temp was good, his gums good, his hydration good. They took a stool sample. They gave him some canned food, which he ate a bit of, and decided, much as we had hoped, that he most likely had an upset tummy. So we brought him home.

He spent the next few hours curled up on the floor next to me. He would occasionally get up to drink water, but he was a pile of lethargy. I tried not to worry too much as we had just taken him to the vet and I’m sure that was stressful for him and I hoped he was just sleeping it off. That, very sadly, was not the case.

At 3:00 that afternoon he threw up. It looked mostly like water, but it worried me. So I called the vet again. She suggested I bring him back in and leave him overnight for observation. They would make sure he was hydrated, take some blood and just make sure all was okay.

That night I called the vet in the early evening to check in on him. I was told he was still nauseous, but they had given him some anti-nausea medicine, and otherwise all was fine. Then, the phone rings 45 minutes later and the emotional roller coaster from hell begins. The doctor told us that she had listened to Beans heart and that it was highly irregular. That we needed to come pick him up asap and bring him to Animal Medical Center. In case you don’t know, AMC is one of the best animal hospitals in the country, if not the world. They are a hospital full of specialists. In every field. And needless to say they have a fantastic cardiology department. But, it is also a facility where many animals go to die. This weighed heavily on our minds as we rushed him across town.

We were checked into triage where the attending doctor rushed Beans into treatment to start him on a lidocaine drip. It didn’t immediately work. His heart was beating over 400 beats per minute. In comparison, a normal puppy has a heart rate of  120 – 160 beats per minute. They did an x-ray, and there was fluid building around his lungs. We were told he most likely wouldn’t make it through the night and we were preparing to let him go. He was unresponsive, his tongue and gums were purple and we didn’t want him to suffer more than need be. N and I were in this tiny room weeping together, trying to come to terms that we were losing our puppy – a puppy we’d only had a few days. Suddenly the Dr. reappeared and told us they gave him another dose of the lidocaine and it had worked. His heart was back to beating normally. We were beyond relieved, and they let us go back and see him. He looked like our Beans again. Alert. Happy. Tail wagging. More tears. Relief. Of course we still had no idea what was causing all this, but at least he was stable. They had him in an oxygen tank and were keeping him on the lidocaine drip overnight. We left him at AMC and were told the cardiologist (Dr. Bond) would see Beans in the morning and do an ECG to see how his heart looked.

We went home. Cried. Cried more. Wondered how this could happen. Is it something we did? We went over everything with a fine-toothed comb. Since we had him home, he had only been in two rooms – our bedroom and our office. And both had been completely puppy-proofed. We checked all the wires we could find just in case to see if he had chewed any. He didn’t. There were absolutely no toxins at all he could’ve come in contact with that could have caused a heart arrhythmia that severe. No drugs, no toxins, nothing. There was literally nothing. Our minds moved to perhaps him having an allergic reaction to something. But what? We had him on the same diet he was eating prior to coming home with us. We don’t wear perfume/cologne. Maybe the rug? Did he come in contact with something at the vets office? In our car? On and on we went, and truthfully are still going.

Wednesday morning Dr. Bond called and said the ECG showed absolutely nothing at all wrong with his heart. Literal tears of joy. She said sometimes they see an infection in puppies that leads to an arrhythmia and in some cases can cause cardiac arrest. Our next step was to try to find out what was causing it. Here’s the thing. No one could or can. Still. All his blood work came back and keeps coming back fine. He hadn’t gotten into anything toxin wise, there were no allergies happening, the best guess was a virus that we couldn’t detect. He doesn’t have parvo. He was tested for everything. EVERYTHING. And then some. He even had a abdominal ultrasound to see if there were any blockages. There weren’t. He appears to be an incredibly healthy puppy.

They took Beans off the lidocaine Wednesday morning and his heart was doing well. Dr. Bond suggested they keep him one more night for observation due to the severity of the arrhythmia he had had. just to be safe. If all looked good Thursday we could bring him home. We were ecstatic. Finally we’d have our Beans home. We spent the night once again going over the 2 rooms with a fine tooth comb. Swept. Vacuumed. Washed everything. And jokingly debated about whether to build a bubble to put him in.

Thursday morning we woke up to more bad news. Dr. Bond said that Beans’ arrhythmia came back Wed. night. They had him back on a lidocaine drip. Still no answers as to why or what is causing this. We learned that they see something similar in German Shepherd puppies every once in a while, but they have never seen it outside of that breed. Could he have the same ailment? Again no one knows. They have the entire cardiac staff and more working on this. In my mind I keep picturing an episode of House. Dr. Bond has been at AMC working in cardiology over 25 years and never in her time has she seen anything like this and is dumfounded. WTF.

She suggested that we try an anti-arrhythmia medication. She indicated that they can sometimes be better than a lidocaine drip in treating arrhythmia’s, plus, if he does well on it, we can bring him home. Only catch being that it comes in pill form and the amount in that pill is too much for our fragile little guy’s system to handle. So we need to have it compounded by a pharmacist who will turn it into a liquid and make the dosage the right proportion for Beans. Done. They started him on that medication last night. (1/6/11)

From what I understand it can take some time to get into the system. So they overlapped it yesterday with his lidocaine. Apparently last night around 11pm he still had another arrhythmia that shot his heart rate up again.

Today we’re literally going minute by minute. Dr. Bond thinks that by 11pm last night the compounded oral medicine probably hadn’t had a chance to get completely in his system. So now we have to wait and see what happens today. N and I are both in so much pain it can’t be described. It has been more ups and downs than we can handle. We are of course hoping for the best, but at this point not really expecting it. I have tears pouring down my cheeks as I write this. I love him so much and am not ready to say goodbye.

I have been useless. It’s very had to be a pet photographer and look at pictures of dogs when your own isn’t doing well. Just to get some other things out in the open as I know I’m making this public and I would want to know, I will share that he is not a puppy mill dog, we know his parents and his lineage and there are no heart issues or any other medical issues in his line at all. If this does turn out to be congenital he would be the first in his line ever. He is by all accounts a complete and utter mystery and stumping the best vets NYC has to offer.

UPDATE:  So after I wrote the above we decided to have Beans stay one more night at AMC. If he could make it on the oral medication one night with no arrhythmia’s the plan would be to pick him up the next day and bring him home. However, I don’t think anyone thought that would be the case. N and I came to the very tough decision that if he did in fact go into any type of arrhythmia that night that they were to call us… no matter what time of night, and we would give the approval needed to let him go. We spoke it over with Dr. Bond and with the woman we got Beans from and everyone agreed that it was the right choice.  If this medicine didn’t work there was nothing else we could do. Worst. Night. Ever. N and I were convinced we were saying goodbye to Beans that night. More tears were shed, and no sleep was had. We kept waiting for the phone to ring…but it didn’t…until the next morning when Dr. Bond called to tell us that Beans was looking great. What?!?!? How??? N, asked her this question. Her reply was, “god is good”.  I don’t know whether god had anything to do with it, but I will tell you that I have never been so overjoyed and scared at the same time. Happy of course that Beans was doing well. And scared out of my wits that we would bring him home and he would die in our arms.

We brought Beans home  that day along with 2 anti – arrhythmia medicines, and one antibiotic…not to treat anything in particular as we still have no idea what caused the arrhythmia, but more as a precautionary in case there was a virus that couldn’t be detected.

As of today, Beans has been home with us for 8 nights and is doing great! We are on a crazy schedule of giving him meds 5X a day. Hopefully this won’t be the case forever, but it will be for the next few months as we aren’t sure if this is developmental and he’ll grow out of it, or whether there is something wrong with the wiring inside his body that can’t be detected.  We take him back to AMC the 2nd week of Feb to have another ECG done to see if there was any damage done to his heart during the 4 days of arrhythmia’s. And this weekend we take him to his regular vet to get his 16 week vaccinations.

I will update more as we know.  The last thing I’ll share is this:  The day we brought Beans home I was petrified. I kept feeling his heart, checking his breathing, watching his every move. Beans on the other hand played with reckless abandon. He devoured all his food. He jumped up and down like a maniac. And he attacked all his toys with zeal. He isn’t scared about his health, he has no concerns for what the future might hold, he just knows that in this minute he’s going to have the time of his life and he does. It’s a lesson that is not lost on me and that I want very much to apply to my own life. I’m quite sure Beans is going to teach me a lot more before it’s over, I just hope the heartbreak lesson comes years and years from now.

On a side note, I’d like to sincerely thank Dr. Bond and everyone at AMC for fighting so hard for Beans.  We will forever be grateful. You are our heroes.


Diane - January 31, 2011 - 4:06 pm

I love you, Beans! Keep kicking ass at being a happy, healthy puppy.

Tonya - January 31, 2011 - 4:30 pm

Thanks Diane!! Beans absolutely loves you back.

cate - January 31, 2011 - 4:31 pm

Oh Beans is so cute! Can’t imagine how worried you must feel, hope Beans continues to be OK he certainly looks a happy little pup!

Tonya - January 31, 2011 - 4:32 pm

Thank you so much Cate. That picture of him was taken the day before the madness began. I will be posting updated pics of him in the next few days.

Kim Kelly - January 31, 2011 - 4:33 pm

Oh Tonya, what a difficult thing to go through. I’ve been through it and lost a pup to a lung defect after I only had her 2 weeks & it was the worst thing ever. I did go back to the shelter & adopt her sister, who has been my healthy baby for the last 4 years. I’ll be praying for Beans!

Tonya - January 31, 2011 - 4:42 pm

Oh god Kim, I am so sorry. It is crazy how quickly you completely surrender your heart to a dog. I’m sure it must be the same to have a baby, your heart completely swells and it’s an instant love fest. I’m so glad you have her sister!

Corrine - January 31, 2011 - 7:17 pm

Oh darling! So sorry to hear what you’ve all been through!! Stay strong little beans! xoxo

Jeannette - January 31, 2011 - 7:50 pm

He is too stinkin’ cute! So sorry you guys have been on that roller coaster. :( Here’s hoping it is all behind you now.

Tonya - January 31, 2011 - 8:00 pm

Thanks Jeannette. We’re keeping fingers crossed.

natalie - January 31, 2011 - 9:58 pm

tons, i’m sick about it.
stellie had a LOT of health problems at first too… so i totally feel your pain.
hang in there. beans is in our puppy prayers!

xo nat

Tonya - January 31, 2011 - 10:00 pm

Nat – thanks so much! Really REALLY hoping that Beans and Stellie get to hang out soon!! xoxo

Kristin Pernicano - January 31, 2011 - 10:28 pm

Gulp. Wow, I am pulling for you guys. I’m so sorry that you and Beans have had to go through this. I hope that he does well from now on. xo, Kris.

Tonya - February 1, 2011 - 6:14 pm

Kris, thanks for being on Team Beans. He’s just the sweetest pup I’ve ever known….hopefully we’ll get him down to FL so you can meet him. xo

whit - February 2, 2011 - 5:49 pm

Oh WOW – you have had a tough month. I had tears in my eyes reading this. You are brave, full of love, and Beans is SO lucky to have you for his doggie parents. I will be thinking of all of you, and hoping that this health scare is just a fluke. My biggest fear is something happening to Har. I can’t even see him right now and it is killing me. I’m glad you could write about it. Good luck. xo

Megan - February 2, 2011 - 7:39 pm

Tonya I’m SO incredibly happy to hear Mr. Beans is on the re-bound. He is so beautiful and precious. I remember when you guys were all excited to be adopting him. Thinking nothing but positive thoughts for his recovery and well being. Here’s to many many many more years of Mr. Beans being in your lives.

Jen Cordery - February 2, 2011 - 11:15 pm

Oh my god, I had no idea any of this had happened and I started reading the post thinking it was going to be a funny story about your adorable pup. Now I’m sitting in a coffee shop blinking back tears! What an awful thing to have happen. I definitely know how it’s love at first sight with a puppy and I just can’t even imagine going through something like that with Ollie. So glad Beans is doing ok now and I hope he just continues to do better! Definitely keep us posted!

Tonya - February 2, 2011 - 11:32 pm

Thanks Jen! He’s still giving us some scares here and there, not sure how many of those things we’d be overly concerned about except for what we’ve been through with him so far. I think we might be suffering a bit from puppy post traumatic stress. I’d love for him to meet Ollie and have a play date once we make through all of this. Hoping to get his final vaccinations this weekend. Will definitely keep you updated. xx

Fern Ronay - February 3, 2011 - 4:36 pm

Beans! Please stay healthy! My heart can’t take it. Lots of love and xoxo. Thinking of you and T & N.

Sue Ellen - February 8, 2011 - 12:38 am

Hi Tonya – I have Dash (same litter) and Rhodey (brother from a different litter – 14 months older – and the first male champion out of Hubert). Dash has absolutely no medical issues. None. I have no idea what could be causing your troubles with Beans but my own heart goes out to you. Let me know if you want to talk and meanwhile my prayers go out to you and to little Beans.

Tonya - February 8, 2011 - 1:15 am

Thanks so much for commenting! I’m so happy to hear Dash is doing well. Unfortunately no one knows why Beans got sick. It’s frustrating and scary as we just have no idea if it was a horrible virus that couldn’t be detected and caused no other signs, a toxin that also caused no other signs, or if it’s developmental. Elaine has been wonderful through it all. I will absolutely write you and ket you know more as we do.

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