March 31, 2017

Introducing the Piri Bartles Bow

We are so happy and excited to share with you the Piri Bartles bow from Madeline and Emily Co's Clips for Critters line! 

A good friend from my junior high school days and her two daughters started an adorable bow brand for little girls (hair clips), boys and critters (bow ties). They invited us to create a bow by choosing a fabric and naming it as well -- I just couldn't chose between Piri and Bartles and decided to combine their names. 

Each handmade Clips for Critters bowtie is $5 and shipping is free if you purchase $20 or more. Orders can be made by emailing

The greatest part about these bows is that 20% of proceeds benefits LovelyLoaves Special Needs Dog Rescue and Sanctuary. Proceeds from bows sold for girls and boys benefits World Vision. I just saw a picture from Madeline and Emily Co's Facebook page and it looks like they raised a good amount in their first month for World Vision and my hope is that the Piri and Bartles bow can do the same for LovelyLoaves.

The bow clips on easily to collars but I think it can act as a cute accessory as a clip on attachment to leads as well (just make sure it doesn't fall off if you have pups who get super excited on walks). 

It measures just about 2.5 inches wide and 2 inches tall. 

When we received our bows in the mail, and after Bartles woke up from his grandpops nap, we had a little photo session where Bartles enjoyed lots of treats and cheese (just finding out that he really loves cheese!) and broke out all his model poses. We also took one with Piri as well. I think he would've looked just as dapper as Bartles. 

And just in case people are wondering, we don't receive any commission from sales of these bows and I wouldn't want it to be that way. We did receive two free bows as a complimentary and my enthusiasm in sharing it and continuing to talk about the Piri Bartles bow is really in hopes of raising funds for LovelyLoaves (and of course, they are named after my two boys and it warms my heart to think that friends who care about Piri and Bartles will be wearing their bow).

If you live in the New York City/Northern New Jersey area, Madeline and Emily Co is having their brand launch on April 8th at a children's boutique store called Happy Hello in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey (33 Sylvan Ave., Englewood Cliffs, NJ). 

You can also view all their bowties for girls, boys and critters on their Facebook page and also on Instagram

PS -- If you do purchase the Piri Bartles bow and if your pup is cool with posing, please share a picture either on Twitter and/or Instagram (must be public profile) using the #mandemco and #thepiribartlesbow hashtags. I would love to see them! 

Have a wonderful weekend everybody! 

Yangkyu and I are so not prepared for our upcoming Korea trip and so we'll be spending the weekend (pretending) to be organized and hanging out with Bartles and our Piri's Place guest pup Hank. 

March 29, 2017

A family moment + a couple of Bartles updates

Last Friday, the three of us, Yangkyu, Bartles and I, headed out to Town and Country Animal Hospital for Bartles' Bordetella vaccine shot. Since Bartles' bathroom habits aren't always clockwork, we always try to go out after he has done his business. On this particular day though, we were pressed for time and needed to head out even though he hadn't gone.

It was an accident free ride over and the process for the Bordetella vaccine was a simple walk in procedure and Bartles was done in less than 5 minutes. Yangkyu dropped us off and went for a coffee run and while we were waiting for him to come back Bartles and I took a walk for a good 15 minutes outside the animal hospital where he sniffed and enjoyed all the pee-mails that the patrons of Town and Country left for Bartles to read.

Bartles is unique in that he doesn't go when he smells other dogs' pee. This may sound gross, but he licks instead. Normally dogs will mark but Bartles doesn't. I didn't expect Bartles to do anything and we got back in the car to head back home. We didn't go more than 3 minutes when Bartles started to whimper and tried to get up and get out of the car. This is a sign that he needs to go.

The first time he did this, I recognized the sign right away because his foster mom gave me a heads up. Bartles ended up pooping in the car and Yangkyu and I, even though we knew the sign, were pretty not calm about it. Hearing it and anticipating it and actually going through it were two very different things. There was a lot of panic. And stress. And a lot of being hard on ourselves ("Man, I knew this was going to happen! Why wasn't I more prepared?!")

There was just one more time after this incident where Bartles went potty in the car and we were still very much noobs in trying to facilitate a relatively messy-free bathroom session in the car. And for a while after that we tried to avoid going out with Bartles if we could. 

On Friday though? 

I caught his body language early on and lifted him so that he wouldn't wiggle and smear his poop all over his behind and leg. We already had wee wee pads covering his bed in the car and I used one to catch his poop, cover it up in case I lost control of him and he steps on it and I was just about to ask Yangkyu if he could pull into any one of the stores along the road so I can wipe him but he was already parking the car right at a restaurant called Moby Dick. Cool as a cucumber.

We got out, Bartles walked a bit more, we wiped his potty area, threw out the wee wee pad, wiped our hands, put him back on his bed and we were on our way home again. No panic attacks, no stressing out, no being hard on ourselves, just two people and their dog doing their thing as if they had perfected this dance a long time ago. 

When we got home and after we settled Bartles in his bed, Yangkyu got us in a group hug and said, "We did well, family! Good job!" I followed and said, "Good job family!" And Bartles just kind of nodded, perhaps his acknowledgement that we all did well, and quickly snoozed off to sleep. 

We're slowly coming in step with each other. We're learning more about each other's body language and really becoming more and more a family. It's a wonderful feeling. 

In other Bartles news -- a few days ago, Bartles gave me a scare when he was moving from bed to bed in the middle of the night and crying out as if he was in pain (first here then here). His foster mom let me know that he made similar cries when his ears were bothering him and so I cleaned them and administered Xymox every day. He quickly recovered and showed no signs of discomfort for a few days until last night when his cries, although not as pronounced, came back. I gave him pain medication, gave him the day's Xymox drops early, then a bath and by the afternoon he was his normal self again. I just got Echo Gold in the mail and am eager to see how he responds to it. 

We also finally was able to catch Bartles' morning pee and send it in for lab work. Results came in today and he doesn't have any infections or bacteria (no UTI!) and his pee in nicely concentrated and looks good for a dog that has some signs of kidney compromise. The only concern our vet saw was that he still had protein in his urine and the amount seemed high and so we decided to run a UPC test to see if we need to increase his Enacard dosage. The UPC results definitely showed high protein in his urine (I don't have the exact number) and tomorrow I'll be touching base with my vet again to come up with a plan on how we may control this.

I'm definitely worried but I'm trying not to get too worked up about it.

Right now Bartles is off to dreamland. I love his face when he sleeps. He looks so comfortable and so right at home. 

March 22, 2017

Germany, according to my iphone (pt. 2)

March 21, 2017

Tuesday Tunes -- Find My Way Back Home by Priscilla Ahn

It's an old favorite of mine. 
It makes me teary eyed and my heart ache for some reason. 
It reminds me of Piri. 

If there is a way for you to come back, please come back to us. 

March 19, 2017

Happy birthday, Piri

If Piri were still alive, he would be have turned 18 today. 

Surprisingly I haven't cried (yet). I almost did but Yangkyu and I were both out and I fought back my tears. I have been looking back at all the pictures from Piri's birthdays past and it brought back so many warm memories (I only have them from his 11th birthday because I didn't have a digital camera until then). 

Piri, I hope you have a great birthday with all your friends across the rainbow bridge. I miss you. I love you. 

11th birthday (2010)
Rego Park, NY 
 // Piri snatched his birthday patty up quickly, in whole, and I couldn't take it back to chop it up in little bite sized pieces. I got so worried he would choke on it. He held on to it and literally gulped it down. 

12th birthday (2011)
Silver Spring, MD
 // Piri's first birthday in our new place in Silver Spring. We bought these birthday treats at a quirky pet shop in DC and got him a monkey toy as well. He shredded the toy up and we ended up throwing it out. I wish I kept all of his toys. 

13th birthday (2012)
Silver Spring, MD
 // Those candles. This time I made sure to make his patty into little meatballs because I didn't want a repeat of his 11th birthday. Piri was also aging so gracefully.. we really thought he would live to be over 20. 

14th birthday (2013)
Fairfax, VA
 // It was the first year when I made him a cake myself. I used sweet potatoes and decorated with his treats. 

15th birthday (2014)
Fairfax, VA
 // Along with a birthday cake, I made him a party hat too. His cake this year was meat ball cake! His expression looks as if he's saying, "why are you putting my food on fire?!"

16th birthday (2015)
Centreville, VA
 // It was his first birthday after being diagnosed with kidney disease. He would slowly become sicker. His cake -- sweet potato with carrots and chicken and his favorite cookie on top. We also took him to Pet Valu where I got him a huge lamb chop doll and told anyone who would listen, "He is 16 today!" 

17th birthday (2016)
Centreville, VA
 // His last birthday with us. By this time, Piri also was fighting cancer. Piri had lost his appetite and wasn't eating for a few days. I made him a sweet potato and chicken cake and he ate half of it. I was so happy. I also got him two more toys this year - almost as big as lamb chop from the year before. They now sit on the futon in Yangkyu's office. He wanted to have it in there to remember Piri by. I saw him napping one time while holding on to them.  

I miss you Piri boo. 
Happy birthday.

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