Tag: Furbaby

“If My Dog Could Talk” Warms All Our Furry Hearts

Imagine if your dog could talk! What do you think they would say? You don’t need to wonder anymore as I See Me! has created a book on exactly that!

But not just any book but a personalized book for your dog. I was very intrigued by this idea as I do love animals and have a furry nephew by the name of Theodore. This was a great gift idea for my sister-in-law to share with my daughter. What makes this perfect is that it ties in two things that they both love, reading and Theodore!

To customize the book, there are a few details that we needed to submit first. We had to select our dog’s style and there are 12 to pick from. The next step was to pick a color for our dog. Then we needed to fill out the Dog Lover’s First Name, Dog’s Name and Dog Gender. Of course with I See Me Books you can make the gift extra special and add a dedication and sender name. They have really thought of all the details.

We submitted all the info and we waited for our personalized book to arrive. I must say that it arrived quickly and was neatly packaged. The package included the book, bandana and mat for the furry family member’s food. It surpassed my expectations and at this point we only had opened it up. Can’t say I have had this experience before.

Theodore proudly wearing his bandana by his new mat with his food. Talk about “Bark-Tastic!’

A personalized gift for dog-lovers that captures the hilarious mischief and pure love of your furry friend.

Now it was time for the big moment, reading time. I sat with my daughter and told her that we were going to read a very special book. She was really excited and being three of age, she gets REALLY excited quickly! I told her we were going to read a book about Theodore. “Bubba!” exclaimed Nikki which is the nickname that her Auntie calls Theodore. I told Nikki that yes it was all about Bubba and some other special people too. So I have set the stage for my very eager toddler and I have to admit I was just as excited.

We went through each page and being very detailed oriented I noticed that I See Me didn’t miss a single detail. Inside there was a photo of Theodore and it was dedicated to everyone we had listed and it included our dedication, “May you always know the pure love of a furry friend. Nikki & Family. 2017.” This piece meant a lot to me to see as our furry family members are an important part of our families.

The story takes your furry dog through his day and thoughts about why people do what they do and why they couldn’t just do what dogs do. It really is cute and funny. You can’t help but wonder how accurate this could really be. 😉 Each drawing is colorful, bright and detailed to your family. This is where I See Me separates itself from anyone else. They inserted Theodore’s name in all spots that it could go on such as his bed, collar, towel, bowl, etc. They also inserted the special people we listed into the drawings. There is one part of the book where you see everyone’s name framed along with handprints (this tickled my heart pink!). I was just amazed on the little details to really make the book feel like it was ours.

At the end of the book, we see an adorable photo of Theodore with a poem which read: “You give me hugs and hold me tight. You fluff my hair and say ‘goodnight.’ When I grow old and my face turns grey, I’ll remember the love you gave each day.” (At this point I had tears as our love is unconditional for our furry family members and I remember our dear Lily the cat).

My daughter clapped with delight once we finished and asked to read it again (four times). Each time I read it we both loved it more.

For this #MelandNikkiReview we give, If My Dog Theodore Could Talk!, 5+++ barks out of 5This book has also made it onto our Recommended List. It is an unique, very personalized and cherished book for any family especially for dog lovers. The illustrations are beautifully done and detailed. My daughter (and I) were captivated by the bright colors. We also loved the gifts that came with the book for our furry family member and it makes it that more special.

As many of you already know that I love companies who give back and I See Me Books does just that. You can save 10% and help SAVE an animal in need by entering code RESCUE (only for a limited time). It’s a win-win for everyone!

We do highly recommend this most precious book to any dog lover on your list as it would make a perfect gift or keepsake. To purchase this book, please click here.

Make sure to follow I See Me Book on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Also stay tuned as we will be releasing another #MelandNikkiReview on another book from I See Me! You don’t want to miss it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

* Please note that the product was given in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed in this review are of Momma Braga and were not influenced by the company.

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Lily’s Legacy At Work

Many of you may recall my recent blog on the loss of our beloved cat, Lily. If not, please feel free to read this heart touching story by clicking here.

Part of our story was to take our tragic loss and turn it into something positive, hence the start of Lily’s Legacy. Our goal was to raise money to help other animals that need a second chance in life. Lily got her second chance and now it was our turn to pay it forward. The charity that we picked that we know Lily would have loved is called, Companion Animal Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.) in Mississauga.

C.A.R.E. is devoted to the rescue of stray, abandoned, injured, orphaned cats and dogs, with special emphasis on feral cats. They are volunteer-run, and are dependent on public donations to fund programs. They do not have a shelter facility but run a network of foster homes.

Rescued animals are immediately brought to veterinarians where they are checked and treated for internal and external parasites, treated for any injuries and/or illnesses, vaccinated and spayed or neutered. Cats are tested for Feline Leukemia and F.I.V.; and dogs are tested for Heartworm and put on preventive programs.
We were thrilled to have raised $835 in support of this great organization and our campaign will remain open until April 1st as this would have been Lily’s 13th birthday. Therefore, there is still time to contribute to this campaign and make a difference.
When we make donations we always wonder what difference or impact it has made and I am thrilled to see the donations at work already through Lily’s Legacy. Here is the story of Kali and her kittens.
Kali had two kittens outside in the cold weather and she was brought into a Sales Office in Caledon. There were a couple of wonderful women that worked there who were feeding the strays that came their way and they reached out to any resources that they felt could help them.
By the time C.A.R.E. became involved, one of Kali’s kittens, Kristy, had been picked up and taken into the care of another rescue around Christmas time (and was adopted almost immediately!).
Anna, one of the wonderful ladies, was having difficulty finding rescues who could afford to take in Kali without her being vetted already (spaying, vaccinations, etc.); and unfortunately C.A.R.E. was in the same boat, until Lily’s Legacy.
Anna was also experiencing difficulty catching Kali and her other kitten, Kennedy. But that all changed shortly after Anna found out that C.A.R.E. was now able to afford vetting and make arrangements with Dr. Mann at the Animal Hospital Port Credit (who was also Lily’s amazing vet) to take Kali and Kennedy once they were caught.
Kali and Kennedy have now visited Dr. Mann and are staying with Anna until C.A.R.E. can find them a forever home.
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Due to the generous donations to Lily’s Legacy this mother and her kitten can now have a second chance at a forever home. They received the proper vet care and are now living in a foster home until that special family adopts them. We are so touched to hear the impact the donation dollars have already done and we look forward in hearing more success stories!
We received a little note from C.A.R.E. stating the following: “On behalf of Anna, Kali, Kennedy, and everyone at C.A.R.E., thank you very much for sharing Lily’s light in an otherwise dark time in your lives.”
We are truly touched that we can keep Lily’s memory alive by helping this beautiful family and we are truly thankful to everyone who donated to this special cause! This would not have been possible without all of you! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
– Momma Braga

A Tearful Good-Bye

Our pets are more than just pets as they become a member of the family. The love and care we feel for them is so very special. They are the ones who are always loyal and by our side when we need them the most. This is how we felt about our cat Lily.

We adopted Lily in 2009 when she was six years of age and she was the sweetest cat you could ever meet. There is a saying that our animals are the ones who pick us and this rings true for us as she is the one who picked us. So when we were faced with her good-bye, it left us heart broken.

Here is our story of how we lost our beloved furbaby, Lily.

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*Warning – specific details have been expressed in this piece that can be emotionally hard to read.

The Beginning

In 2009, we went to visit a facility of adoptions to see if we can find a cat to adopt. When we got there we went into a room with all the available cats that were up for adoption. We went around to see each one of them to see who would be a fit in our family of two (at the time). When my husband arrived at Lily, Lily gave him four kisses. As soon as she did that, my husband turned to me and said, “Ok, she is ours. We are taking her today.” And that is exactly what we did that day. We adopted our new family member, Lily.

Lily came with a past of abuse, neglect and abandonment. The transition to get her comfortable with us took some time and we helped her along the way to trust us. After nine months, she was so comfortable that she slept on my husband’s lap for the very first time and she just got more loving from there.

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When we had our daughter, Nikki, in 2014, Lily became even more loving and friendly. It was amazing to see the bond that Lily created with Nikki and as time passed, the bond grow stronger between them. Nikki ended up having a tag along friend as everywhere she went Lily was close behind.

The Dramatic Change & Diagnosis

Our whole world then shifted with the sudden health changes to Lily. One day we noticed that she was struggling to do her business in the litter box and every time she tried, nothing would come out. Then when she would eat, she would throw up. We knew something was really wrong.

That same day (January 2, 2016), my husband took Lily to the animal emergency hospital to see what was wrong with her. After a five hour wait, it was discovered that Lily had a 3cm cancerous tumor in her intestines and this was causing a backup of her stool. This is why every time she ate she would throw up. Receiving this news was devastating to us as we never expected this to show up so quickly. Lily never showed signs of discomfort until now.

The vet provided us with two options. Option 1 was to do surgery which had high risks attached to it, such as not surviving the surgery and the tumor would return and spread. Option 2 was to put her down.

This was a lot for us to digest in one day so my husband brought her home for us to discuss it further. In the meantime, Lily was given two vaccines that would help with her pain and would prevent her from throwing up. After a lengthy discussion we decided to make an appointment for Lily to see her vet and get a second opinion. This was such a big decision to make that I wanted to make sure we did everything to ensure that putting her down was the right decision. We were fortunate to book an appointment right away which fell on a Monday (January 4, 2016). By this time, we could really see that Lily was getting worse. Her eyes were filled with pain, she lost another 10 ounces since Saturday and threw up even though she had a vaccine to prevent this from happening.

The Final Decision

My husband went in with Lily to see her amazing and kind vet. Once the vet reviewed the x-rays from the hospital and did a full check up on Lily. She turned to my husband and said with tears in her eyes, “There is no saving her.” Lily was getting frail, her bones were weak and she was starving herself to death. The vet further stated that if we decided not to put her down she would only survive another 3 weeks and she could just drop any day in our home. We just couldn’t do that to her. Our vet has known us since we got Lily and she told my husband that she knows that we gave her the very best life full of love and that is all Lily wanted. She further stated that cats are very good at hiding their feelings of pain so there was no way to tell until now. What was happening to Lily was in the inside and it wasn’t on the surface for us to see. With great pain, we decided the best thing for her was to put her down.

Tearful Goodbye

Since Lily was a rescued and abused cat, who had been abandoned a couple of times in her life. I told my husband it would be comforting for him to stay with her to the end. I told him that I would hate for Lily to think that we abandoned her. I wanted her to know that we never left her and loved her so much until the very end. My husband found the strength to stay with her as I knew I just couldn’t (just writing this has me in complete tears).

The vet prepared the needle that would put Lily to rest. She gave Lily the needle and to everyone’s astonishment, Lily got up and walked towards my husband. The vet has only seen this happen one other time in her 26 years as a vet. So she turned to my husband and said, “You have to tell her that it is time to go. She doesn’t want to leave you so you have to tell her that it’s ok.” As painful as it was for my loving husband, he turned to Lily and said, “Sweet Lily, it’s time for you to go. We don’t want you to suffer and it’s ok to go.” The vet said that Lily looked at peace now and she gave her the second needle while in my husband’s arms. Lily looked up at him and gave him those same four kisses that she gave him when we first adopted her. After the last lick, she peacefully went. And that was the end of her suffering and the start of her legacy.

The Grieving

It has been a difficult process and we went through the grieving cycle such as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. What has helped us the most, has been the amazing love and support from our family and friends. Just talking (writing) and crying about our loss has been very therapeutic to us as well.

Luckily, our daughter is really young to comprehend or feel the loss. But we did talk to her about it in the simplest terms. The day we said good-bye to Lily, we told our daughter that Lily was going bye-bye to heaven and our daughter went to Lily and said “bye-bye” and gave her kisses. As I watch her do this, all I could do was weep but I knew it was important for our daughter to say good-bye.

In honour of Lily’s memory we had the very first blanket our daughter was wrapped in from the hospital (which became Lily’s favourite blanket) and a cat sleeper transformed into a keepsake teddy bear by Plush Memories. This was a beautiful way to celebrate her life and have something to hug when we missed her. It has been a great tool in helping us grieve.

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Lily’s Legacy

Another way we coped with the grief was by creating a fundraising campaign that we called, Lily’s Legacy. Money raised by our campaign was going to help other animals like Lily who need that second chance at a forever home. We picked a local organization and I am proud to say that we raised $835 in memory of Lily. The money raised has already made a difference in the lives of our furry friends.

We didn’t want to remember the abrupt ending but we wanted this campaign to continue the memory of Lily’s life and sweetness by helping others, the way she did for us.

The Paw Print Left

The loss of a beloved furry family member is hard on everyone and Lily’s loss will be felt for a long time. But she has left a forever lasting paw print on our hearts. To this day our daughter screams with excitement when she sees a picture of Lily. When we say that Lily has gone to heaven, she still responds with “bye-bye” and blows a kiss into the air. Because of Lily, our daughter will always have a special place for animals in her heart.

Lily was such a friendly and sweet cat who always greeted our guests and I know they have all felt her loss as well. Lily has definitely left her mark with many here in this world and we are so lucky to have had her.

Thank You Lily

As I write this piece, my heart is filled with array of emotions and now as I come to the end, it is filled with so much thankfulness. I am thankful for having the opportunity to have had Lily in our lives. Thankful for the unconditional love that she provided and taught us. Thankful for her loyal nature to our family. Thankful for the pure joy that she gave us. Thankful for the love, patience and kindness she always showcased to our daughter. Thankful for trusting us to hold her paw until the very end.

We could not have asked for a better and sweet family member. To that we say, thank you Lily! Rest in peace our sweet girl and know that we will always love you.

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– Momma Braga

Furbaby and Baby Introduction

Our pets are more than just pets as they become a part of our family. When my husband and I moved into a place of our own, we knew that we wanted to share our lives with a furry family member. Instead of purchasing a kitten from a pet store, we decided that adopting a cat would be a better option for us. We adopted our furbaby, Lily (6), from a humane society in 2009 and she instantly brought great joy to us. Lily got lots of love and attention as she was our one and only. So as soon as we got the news of a baby entering our lives, we knew we had to start early in teaching Lily that a new family member will be joining us. With time and care we knew that they would become the best of friends really early on.

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Pregnancy

During my pregnancy and during preparation for the arrival, we would allow Lily to smell all the baby clothes and any other items we had for the baby. The beautiful part is that animals sense change and Lily knew that something was coming. Lily would lie her head on my tummy many times and our vet told us that she can hear the baby which we thought was amazing!

Before Baby Arrived Home

Since I had to stay in the hospital for a couple of days, it gave us the opportunity to bring home the blanket that our baby was wrapped in home first. My husband brought it home and allowed Lily to smell the blanket and kept it in a spot that Lily would sleep on. This blanket became Lily’s blanket and she loved it.

Baby Nikki Arrives Home

When we got home from the hospital we brought the car seat into our bedroom and placed it on our bed for Lily to see. Lily looked in the car seat and slowly smelled the baby. As it can be seen in the photograph below, Lily looked at my husband with inquiring eyes. We told Lily that her sister has arrived and that our love has just tripled for her. One more person to now love Lily and for Lily to love.

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Baby Love and Bond

As the days turned to months, we slowly taught Lily what was ok to do and what was not ok to do with a baby. Lily learned quickly and bonded with Nikki very early on. At first, it was frightening for Lily to hear baby screams and cries but she adjusted quickly. Now Lily will run to Nikki if she is crying in pain and won’t leave our side until Nikki is ok. It’s amazing how Lily can tell the difference between a pain cry and just a fussy cry. Lily follows Nikki everywhere she goes and loves to play with her. The bond between them has been beautiful to see grow.

Nikki at 7 months old playing with Lily

Cat Love and Bond

Not only do we need to teach our furry family members how to interact with our babies, we as parents have to teach our babies how to interact with them as well. Of course, only as Nikki got older we started showing her how to interact with Lily. Babies can be very rough as they don’t know any better so I knew I had to patiently teach her how to pet and love Lily. Now at one year old of age, Nikki pets Lily with lots of love and as she pets, we say “nice”. This way she knows to be gentle. Nikki just adores Lily and every other cat and dog she meets.

The bond that they have created is heartfelt and sincere. I know that the love they have for each other will be treasured for the rest of their lives. We couldn’t see our life without either one of these precious babies together.

– Momma Braga