On Grief and a Shelter Dog

There wasn’t one day in the six months after Peanut had passed that I was not consumed by grief. I didn’t care about anything and had little motivation to do much at all. When I wasn’t working, I’d grab Peanut’s blanket that still held her scent, lie down with it somewhere, and cry myself to…

Joel Arden Peanut Zich Family Portrait

Peanut Was Here

Joel started a bedtime routine with Peanut many years ago. He’d place her on her bed, pat her lovingly, tell her she was a good girl (whether or not she had been that day), reminded her of how much we love her, and to have sweet dreams. It made her perky little ears and forehead…

Twelve-Year Pugiversary

Joel and I were seconds away from meeting the dog that was advertised for sale in the local paper. As soon as Joel opened the door to the apartment complex, a then two-and-a-half-year-old Peanut* came trotting from around the corner of an open door and down the hall. “CLOSETHEDOORSHE’SESCAPING!” I yelled. Joel replied, “She’s fine, she’s not…

Peanut in the potty tent

The Tent-tacular Outdoor Potty Tent

November 2019: I’ve posted new photos at the bottom since we constructed the original Potty Tent a few years ago. We did have to get a new tent for Peanut and were able to reuse the sides. Before Penelope’s first winter in Chicago, we decided to spring for a temporary shed that we could reuse.…

Adventures in Aging Canine Physical Rehabilitation

Our sassy little senior has swagger! Unfortunately a bit too much swagger… We noticed that Peanut had a slightly awkward gait shortly after she joined our family when she was just two years old. As a pup, it made her more impossibly precious. Now? Not so much. The misalignment has progressed over time and has…

Easy DIY Dog Ramp

An acquaintance recently told me that her special-needs dog was having a hard time getting on and off the couch because jumping was difficult. She wasn’t familiar with dog ramps, so I told her about the low-cost DIY dog ramp we created to help ease Peanut’s travel up and down from “her spot” on the couch. The…

The Dogged Battle of Frosty Paws

I was supposed to be enjoying a TV show with the mister but my mind was elsewhere. I was thinking about Peanut, our 11-year-old pug, and our ongoing dilemma of how to make going potty outside in the wintertime easier on all of us. Because our little gal insists on finding the perfect spot on…