Letting go

Cooter physically left our world as we know it in December (the 9th).

Letting go is an extremely hard thing to do.

Summer is now here and the yard is full of bunnies, groundhogs and squirrels.

The crows no longer land…


Cooter PR Book Poster

Just thinking about inventing a slow-dripping dispenser for big dogs… Maybe a water fountain would actually work.

Cooterlarouge's Blog


eating snow off a fallen tree


This is a photo of me eating snow. It is easier for me to digest than straight water because I am ingesting less at once. At home water is added to my big dog bowl in very small quantities (by the cup full – 2 cups per pour). To make sure I am drinking enough throughout the day, my peeps fill a tall glass pitcher, pouring the water from that, instead of filling my bowl completely. This way they know I’m drinking enough… and keeping the water down, instead of on the floor….  
I do have a bark for water, which is quite straightforward, but the pitcher thing makes them feel good.

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Time to see the doctor again…

Just a few nights ago, I was awoken to the sound of rapid thumps and pounding sounds.  I was immediately taken back to that night when it sounded like a freight train was running through my house, which was Cooter’s seizure.  

Turns out it was Cooter shaking as he lay beside the oven (his favorite spot-just in front of the back door…I swear he is guarding us), so the noise from his shaking body actually echoed loudly against the gas oven – yes I was worried about a gas leak along with our dog possibly seizing. He has minor shaking here and there and it is so hard to identify whether it is normal dog shakes OR a small seizure.

We give him his space and try to keep it calm for him… a difficult task as there are four kids around him all the time!  He loves his people brothers and sisters so I’m sure he doesn’t mind.  In fact – he loves nothing more than to be right here with us at all times — often like a large bear rug – only he’s a real live dog (albeit the size of a bear) laying on the floor with us!

So the start of this blog, way back in 09, was to write about living with a French Mastiff… who knew that right after choosing to blog, Cooter would have a seizure  – a very large and scary seizure, and then smaller ones, which kept us on pins and needles for years. We were introduced to Canine Epilepsy – very scary – for any size dog, I’m sure!!! But, after a long time, we really felt that we just hated those barbs!  I take that back – it was a love-hate towards the barbs.  They helped, and were much-needed for a long time… but we just hated how Cooter became so drowsy. He’s lethargic enough already, being that he is a Dogue de Bordeaux, and since we discussed this with his doctor, it was the better choice for us to taper him off the Phenobarbitol.  The vet did provide us with a type of emergency kit, should we find him seizing in that manner again. We’ve found ourselves denying it could be epilepsy, thinking maybe it’s Lyme Disease or tainted toys (lead paint)… either way, we will take him to the vet this week because we aren’t sure what happened the other night. And shaking here and there persists… sigh…

Anyway, since having this 140 pound dog full of slobber, dog hair, and LOVE… yes, all that other “stuff” – the flying slobber, the vomiting, the… well you get the idea!Ha!  All that nonsense just goes away when you realize that there is way more love in the air than slobber!  He reminds us all the time.

And here we are–back, writer’s block lifted? MAYBE…

Cooter LaRouge

the dog…

The more you get to know your Dogue – yes Dogue de Bordeuax, the more you can begin to know yourself. Your limitations, expectations, your level of awareness ~ Are you self aware?

What can a Bordeaux teach you about self awareness?

Take for example the mad-morning rush – let’s say you are a mom of 3 and you are eagerly trying to get ready because you overslept, the kids overslept, the husband overslept. Aha, beginning to see the situation? I’m sure you can relate on some level – here you have to be somwhere -OK a meeting and you are LATE. You quickly feed the kids, the coffee brews, you actually fit in a shower, the kids miss the bus, you are feeding the dog, the dog bowl is full of water.

__________Wait – did I say the dog bowl = FULL?

___________Not with a Dogue de Bordeaux – you just don’t do that – did we forget our own water dispensing process here?

__________The dog has been waiting all morning for that water – all morning – he drinks to his delight and then, as you turn to pour your little cup of coffee he walk right behind you and -oops – he just bumped into me -yes, he just fully bumped into me, from behind, with a completely wet, drenched face (his height is about level to my – well, use your imagination). And Yes, as you can predict he is now full on drooling and wagging that tale because he is super excited that you are hanging out in the kitchen, its play time! And then, the dreaded slobber, he shifts, he shakes, and those lovely strands of congealed drool go flying everywhere, your daughter screams because it lands on her, and there you go, now you have to change your daughters outfit too.

But it is love, and you love your Dogue de Bordeaux.

Did I mention we all made it to work and school?

So what does this have to do with being self aware?

Did I remember to breathe?

It was about 8am and a blue jay was snipping little pieces from the dog bowl… grabbing and flying, grabbing and flying… crows pecking bit of bread from the neighbors feeder directly into our backyard… I began to realize why Cooter digs holes in various spots in our backyard. It is instant reward. He digs… find bread… eats… and digs again. I was not concerned when I first witnessed the crows hiding food in our backyard. But now… and while this might seem off-topic, now my son has sprained his ankle, again. He sprained his ankle from tripping on a hole in the backyard. While I realize that Cooter digs out the larger more spacious holes for cool ground in the summer – it is these smaller holes that are serious tripping hazards, which are directly from the the dog digging out the stored food from the local crows. So, with a little digging on my part, I piece together this bit about the dog holes and I think I uncovered the root cause as to why my dog digs the smaller holes. Forget about the theories your vet may have told you – I’m onto something! 😉
Side Note: I think I know why he occasionally vomits – that stored bread must be old!