geek style · pup life

Goodbye to my Good Boy

I took these photos with Rory last Sunday. We hadn’t gone out and done a little photoshoot in awhile, and I was planning on coming back to this blog to write about it as an outfit post — the bag in particular as it’s from BTS’s Artist-Made collection. Instead, I’m writing about how I had to say goodbye to my beloved boy.

Going through photos and videos of him throughout the years has been very painful, so I’m just sharing these last ones we took together. I know I don’t have to write this. But I’m doing it for my peace of mind, so if someone asks what happened, I can direct them here. Because I cannot handle explaining my worst nightmare come to life to anyone more than once. I can’t even believe it happened at all.

bts artist made collection v boston mute bag

Rory started coughing and hacking about a week ago, and I had thought it was his allergies acting up. Before that, he seemed completely fine. But the thing about dogs is that they don’t show they’re in pain until it’s really bad. The fact that he was considered a geriatric dog was also unfathomable to me. Not because I was in denial (okay… maybe a little), but because he still acted the same way he did when he was just a wee baby; still super playful, charming, and lively. I took him to the vet on Wednesday and learned that the left side of his heart had enlarged, and was pushing up against his trachea. I was aware that he had a heart murmur and was always careful about it. In the past, the vet told me to be mindful of it so whenever I took him out on walks — which I admit, wasn’t too often (because it’d be too hot, too dark by the time I got home when I worked, etc) — I shortened the route.

Yesterday morning, I gave him the medicine he was prescribed to help with his coughing and his heart. He was eager to get his Greenie too, so I thought he was fine. But around noon his breathing became more erratic than usual. I tried to stay calm because dogs can feel when you’re stressed, and I didn’t want to put that on him. I hated seeing him like that, and I couldn’t help but think, “What if I have to bring him back to the vet? What if this is it? What if I’m asked if I want to let him go?” I thought it wouldn’t be fair to make Rory suffer for my sake and began crying. How could I even think that?

When he was discharged from his appointment, the vet said he’d call the next day with his blood test results so I figured I would ask about Rory seeing a cardiologist as recommended when he did so. I was already thinking I should take him to the emergency vet, but I went ahead and called the vet to ask about the cardiologist and also that he was having trouble breathing and if I should bring him in. The vet was on lunch and was told I would get a call back. I talked to my sister for a bit about what was happening and she said if it’s been more than 20 minutes, call back and if they’re not helpful take him to the emergency vet. So I called again and the vet told me his heart was in really bad shape and that I could bring him in at 3 so he could prescribe him with a long term heart medication.

At this point it’s 2:15. I called my mom even though she was at work to see if she could come with me because I didn’t want to be alone. As I turned around to pick up Rory on our way out he looked completely miserable, almost unrecognizable. The vet is literally a minute drive from our house, and once we pulled up I felt Rory’s body become lifeless in my arms. His head rolled slowly to the side and his tongue was sticking out, tinged with blue. I screamed his name as I frantically put my hand on his chest to feel for a heart beat, but there was none. I blew really hard into his nostrils and he became conscious again.

Because of COVID, we couldn’t just go in. My mom tried calling, but she fumbled the numbers. I was able to call and a vet tech came rushing out to get him. Not too long after the vet came out and led me into the back room. Rory’s heart was failing, and he would need to see a specialist in UC Davis, but in his state he wouldn’t make it. He told me if it was his dog he’d let them go. This moment was the one I feared the most starting from the day I decided to adopt Rory 10 years ago. I asked if my mom could come in to say goodbye (she tried to come with me at first, but the vet said one person only) before officially saying to go ahead and let him go.

My Auntie Nelly and dad came to the vet and we gathered in an exam room with Rory’s lifeless body so we could see him one last time. I got to have a moment alone and I kissed his nose, forehead, and paw for the last time.

It all happened so fast. I wish I had more time. I thought we had more time. He was only 10 years and 7 months old. My mom and sister told me to not blame myself, but it can’t be helped. There are many “I should have” moments that will haunt my thoughts for the rest of my life. They tell me I was a good mom, but I feel like I should have been better.

bts artist made collection v boston mute bag
bts artist made collection v boston mute bag
bts artist made collection v boston mute bag
bts artist made collection v boston mute bag

Rory was my everything and I will always love him so fiercely. I dreamt of having a dog since I was a little girl and I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect one than Rory despite his imperfections. Even if I came home with a friend and he’d run right past me to greet them instead, I knew at the end of the day he loved me the most. Sometimes when my mom would come to hug me, he’d growl in the most protective way. There were also times where he’d guard my things and run over to protect them from anyone who came too close — sometimes myself included. He would do this with his toys and treats as well; I called this “Dragon Mode”… which makes sense because he looks like a luck dragon.

He was so stubborn. If I called him over or said “halika dito” (“come here” in Tagalog), he would look at me, contemplate, then walk away. Or, he would stretch and take his sweet time walking over. Rory always barked at other dogs, but absolutely loved people. His side-eye game was absolutely legendary. When we went for long drives, he’d put all his body weight on my right arm and look out the window. He walked with such a dainty gait and would stand with one paw up like a dignified gentleman — this is why I would sometimes call him a Dandy Lion.

Rory drank water in the most unique way by bobbing his head up and down. He loved chicken. Words that perked him up were chicken, treat, cookie, outside, smoke (when my dad used to), and Uncle Ernie. If you said “cat” he would jump to his red chaise lounge by the window and start barking. Rory loved laying on that chaise lounge and watch the cars and people go by, and would bark at any cat or dog within eyesight. Even if a tv show my dad or aunt was watching had a doorbell sound, Rory would run to the window and begin to bark. He loved greeting visitors with a toy in his mouth.

Sometimes when I’d go out, I would come home to find him in my room laying on a pile of my clothes. My family said he’d stay in my room for hours when I was gone. When I worked from home or was video chatting with friends, he’d poke his head into the office to see what I was doing. I always picked him up and cradled him and would say in a sing-song voice, “I’m gonna hold you like a baby because you’re my baby!” If I blew raspberries on his chest he would give my nose kisses. I loved petting the bridge of his nose with my pointer finger followed by a “boopity boop” on his nose. Sometimes I’d kiss his forehead or muzzle and leave a lipstick mark, so when anyone asked what it was I would simply say, “my love.”

I taught him to give me high fives with his left paw and hand shakes with his right. When I’d give him treats I would hold the chicken over his head and say “reach for your dreams.” Or I would play “Holy Grail” by hiding one chicken in a closed fist and ask him to choose which one it was in. If he got it right I would say “you chose… WISELY!” He got it right 95% of the time. I loved the way he sighed as if he had the weight of the world on his tiny shoulders. Rory was very much a cat trapped in a dog’s body. He would only come give cuddles if he felt like it, and when he did I felt so special. He preferred to sleep in between legs or by your butt — he didn’t care if you were uncomfortable. And despite being so small, he took up the entirety of the bed. I’m going to miss looking down the staircase to see his little face looking up at me, waiting to be taken on a walk. He liked to play hard to get once he saw the leash in my hand by running away when I told him to come over.

I would sometimes (horribly) sing the chorus of ‘Always Be My Baby’ by Mariah Carey to him because, as the song says, he will “always be a part of me/I’m part of you indefinitely/Boy don’t you know you can’t escape me/Oh darlin’ ’cause you’ll always be my baby.”

My Baby Bubbers, it was an absolute honor to be your mama. I hope you know how much I love you. I’m sorry for all my shortcomings. I wish I could’ve been better to you. Your Lola, Lolo, and Auntie Nelly love you with all their hearts too. I thought we had more years to come and adventures to go on. Wherever you are, I hope your journey across the rainbow bridge was a safe one and that you are eating all the chicken and running wild and free.

pup life

Happy 9th Homecoming, Rory!

Today marks 9 years since I brought Rory home! I would say it’s his Gotcha Day, but I think that would technically be when I first met him on August 7 and was like, “Mmm hmm, yes. He’s the one.” Nevertheless, I still like to consider today his Homecoming Anniversary. ūüíú

It goes without saying, but finding the good in these trying times has been hella difficult. I miss the obvious things like hanging out with friends, seeing family, going out and about, and traveling. But one thing I haven’t taken for granted is that I’m able to spend more time with Rory — especially since he’s now considered a senior. AH! It hurt to just even type that ūüė© He’ll always be a puppy to me! I can’t even tell he’s aged since he’s all white and is still super energetic.

I remember last summer, I was at a shopping outlet out of town [le sigh] and I had Rory in a stroller — this woman came up to me and asked if she could pet him, so I said sure and when she asked how old he was and I said 8, she goes, “Oh cool, a senior dog.” ūüė® I still can’t believe it’s been 9 years though. Getting a dog has been a dream of mine since I was just a wee baby, so even though all this time has passed I still look at Rory sometimes and think to myself, “Holy crap, I have a dog!”

Rory tolerates me terribly singing “Always Be My Baby” by Mariah Carey to him or my own original silly ditties. Also me walking by and shaking his butt saying “SO FLUFFY!” And in turn I tolerate him barking at anyone or anything that walks by our house while he looks out the front window (most recently he barked at a hummingbird), or playing hard to get when it’s time to put his harness on before we go out for a walk. Or when I ask him to come over and he just stares at me and walks away. He’s basically me in dog form and I don’t know whether to be amused or annoyed ūüėÖ I love him unconditionally anyway.

Cheers,
Nina

geek style · pup life

Fantastic Pups and Where To Find Them

Today is National Dog Day, and also¬†Women’s Equality Day!

But we’re here to talk about dog stuff because I’m a crazy dog lady¬†dog mama. Obviously. ;P

Rory’s accumulated a few cool items here and there over the past few months, but the two¬†things I’m currently obsessed with are¬†his brand new harness and dog carrier by Yap USA. I’ve been in search of a nice carrier for him since the one I got couple years ago is so bulky and… well, ugly. The main reason I¬†got it was so¬†I could bring him on BART with me whenever I felt¬†like going¬†San Francisco (which wasn’t all that often), and also for family outings. But walking around with it was a nuisance. It felt like I was going around town with a duffle bag.

When I went to SF last month (which you can read about here) we stumbled upon Yap USA in Ghirardelli Square. They had so many cute and stylish things for fur babies; it’s basically Nordstrom for canines! I thought the harness Rory had was fine, but my aunt wanted to get him a new one. So the salesman (who was very¬†helpful and¬†super cute) showed us their “Yap Wrap,” which I thought was weird upon first glance, but then he explained the design and it all made more sense — it’s reversible (Rory’s is plain denim on one side, striped on the other), has¬†sturdy military grade velcro, a d-ring is attached at the bottom rather than top to prevent trachea damage, and there’s a handle down the back in case you need to pull your pup away from something. I feel like I explained this so much better in the vlog I recorded that needs to be redone since it turned out weird. Blugh.

But the carrier! Let’s talk about that, shall we? The carrier I found at Yap USA is the best thing ever. It’s not bulky, it has lots of pockets to place Rory’s treats and a few of my things, and is¬†stylish as f*ck. I’ve already used it numerous times since we got it last month — mainly¬†for Rory, but sometimes just for me. No, seriously. I legit use this thing as a purse. It’s fantastic! When I went to the Mission district and Berkeley with Jen and Rory a couple weeks ago, I just threw Rory’s little bag of food in the main compartment, and my wallet, lipstick, compact mirror, and portable charger in the carrier’s back pocket, and was set for the whole day. It was funny bringing him into Top Dog (one of my favorite food spots in Berkeley) because he kept fidgeting around in it; it made me feel like Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

le fancy geek outfit fashion blogger

jacket: Old Navy | dress: Forever 21 (buy here)
shoes: Dexflex Comfort (buy here) | hat: H&M
necklaces: made by me | bracelet: Disneyland
Hufflepuff badge: Riddles Tea Shoppe (N/A)
dog tag: Loot Pets (subscribe here)
dog harness & dog carrier: Yap USA (buy here)

I’m going to do my best to re-record/edit my haul video showing off some of Rory’s things soon, that way you guys can get a better look at the carrier and harness, so stay tuned for that! If you take a look at their webstore, you won’t see the carrier I got there. However, I do believe that you can call or email the¬†store and place¬†an order. Just ask about the carrier from their Prada collection. In the meantime, have a happy Friday ūüėÄ

cheers le fancy geek fashion blogger

geek style · out & about · pup life

Tourists for the Day: A San Francisco Adventure

A couple of weeks ago (on Harry Potter’s birthday to be exact ūüėõ ), ¬†my Auntie Nelly¬†randomly suggested that we go to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco for the day. I’m not¬†sure what prompted the idea, but I was totally down to be a tourist for the day! When my sister and I were little, Auntie Nelly would take us to San Francisco all the time. She’d drive to Pier 39 and we’d spend the day¬†walking around, looking at the shops (my go-to’s were the sea shell shop for abalone rings¬†and the chocolate store for chocolate licorice), going to Chinatown, and then ride¬†the cable car to downtown San Francisco. Ah, memories.

Along with Rory, we also brought our respective besties in tow¬†— it was kind of like a Hernandez-Ladies-Take-Their-Besties-Out day. We didn’t do anything extremely¬†touristy like go to Alcatraz (a.k.a. The Rock), take a boat tour, or whatever else is there expect for maybe eat at Boudin. If you go to that area, please don’t eat there. The Boudin¬†at the mall downtown is fine, but both of the ones located there are just ridiculous.

The last time I went to Pier 39 was about four years ago, but I don’t really recall much of it since I wasn’t there for that long. But bringing Rory this time around, I didn’t realize that people actually brought their pups with them there. Naturally, he¬†had a good time tugging on his leash and yapping anytime another canine passed by or pigeon came too close. Haha! Some butcher (I think that’s what he was…?)¬†put a big lobster in Rory’s face when we passed by a fish market, which would’ve been the perfect “Snapchat moment” as Shanice put it. Even though we had his stroller with us (hell yes, my dog has a stroller), we didn’t really get to bring him into any stores except for a couple of dog ones we came across; one of them being Yap USA which is basically like Nordstrom for dogs. I’ll write about them in a future post because we picked up some cool stuff for Rory there. ūüôā

Anyhow, I took a lot of pictures, so I thought it’d be fun to share them with you all!

cardigan: We Love Fine (buy here) | dress: Hot Topic (buy here)
belt: from a random dress | purse: Kate Spade (N/A)
shoes: Deflex Comfort (buy here)

Shanice and I have been talking about going back because there are some things we’d like to visit, like the Madame Tussauds was museum (we found a Morgan Freeman wax statue at some random tourist info spot)¬†and Ghirardelli¬†Square. We were there for a hot minute and didn’t even get ice cream or chocolate! Granted, it was pretty nippy out, but still. ūüėõ

cheers

pup life

Must Love Dogs

havanese-maltese-havamalt-dog-dog-mother-furbaby-le-fancy-geek

I had my first official day of dog grooming school last Saturday! The main thing I’ve been doing is learning how to properly bathe and dry them, clean their ears, and clip their nails. Clipping their nails is scary as fuck, you guys. I accidentally cut a little too close on an Italian Greyhound’s hind paw and it started bleeding, and he already nearly fell off the table prior to that when I was drying him. Soooo, yeah. Not good! Despite how nerve wrecking he was, I didn’t let it get to me and managed to soldier on with the other dogs I had to bathe. I think I’m supposed to start learning how to do sanitary cuts this week (buzzing off fur underneath the tail and belly area), and need to be able to name different parts of a dog’s anatomy since I’m getting quizzed on that on Friday.

It’s really hard work. I wasn’t expecting it to be easy, but my poor back was in a world of pain from having to bend over the tub.

So, why dog grooming? It’s seems pretty random considering that I got my degree in Creative Writing. But like I learned in the soul sucking Business of CW class I took my senior year, all writers take on random jobs to support themselves. My degree isn’t helping me out much as far as jobs/careers are concerned. Maybe it would help if I wanted to be a teacher, but I have absolutely no desire for that. Being a tutor is enough for me on the education front! I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do¬†as far as work is concerned. Ideally, it would involve traveling opportunities,¬†writing, and working with like-minded people, ¬†but what job is that? So then I thought about working with dogs. Ever since I got Rory, my heart¬†aches even more when those damn Humane Society commercials with Sarah McLachlan come up. Or if I see a stray dog, it hurts too because I hate the fact that they don’t have a loving family to spoil them rotten. I knew I didn’t want to be a vet or vet tech, but I wanted to help/work with dogs in some capacity. Dog grooming presented itself a few times since my aunt saw an ad in the paper about a local dog grooming school last year. I always brushed it aside whenever she brought it up, but last year it came up again and it just clicked. So that’s where I am now!

I’m also taking an online creative writing class which is going fairly well. I started working on a new story last night and ended up writing over 1,000 words! Still not sure where the story is going, but it feels really good to be creating fiction again. ūüôā

cheers le fancy geek fashion blogger

 

geek style · pup life

Merry Sithmas, Happy Hothidays!

hothiday 2015

Merry Sithmas my little ponies¬†tauntauns!!! Here’s the holiday greeting card I sent out this year ūüėÄ

I’m off to SoCal to spend Christmas with my dad’s side of the family — everyone is packing up things last minute as I type this — so this is gonna be brief.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope you have an amazing day and a happy new year!! And don’t tell me you don’t celebrate the new year because that happens to all of us. ūüėõ

cheers

pup life

Happy Homecoming, Rory!

I’m an extremely sentimental person. Maybe too sentimental? I mean, I like to take note of momentous occasions and make a REALLY big deal about them. Case in point: the first day I took Rory home to live with me! Yesterday marked his two-year homecoming anniversary, so I just wanted to take a minute to say how much joy he’s brought to me in the last two years. I wasn’t in a very good place before I adopted him (I moved back home after finishing college, had multiple falling-outs with people I considered to be my best friends, and dealt with stress induced illnesses), ¬†but once he came things all ¬†seemed to go upwards from there.

It’s been a dream of mine to have a dog since I was probably 4 years-old, and I don’t think I could’ve asked for a more perfect fluffy companion. Rory’s vivacious to the max, terribly goofy and odd (Tim and I joke that those traits prove that he’s definitely our “kid”), super lovable, and √ľber loyal. My parents like to do this thing where they pretend to hit me to see what Rory’s reaction will be and he’s always on the defense and tries to protect me. You totally know it’s love when your dog will try to bite your mother because they think she’s trying to hurt you. And he’s always there to greet me whenever I come home from work! I particularly find it adorable when I go up to him and he immediately rolls onto his back — the universal dog sign for “gimme belly rubs, please!”¬†Even when I get home really late and he’s too tired to run up to me, his tail will still wag like crazy as he lays comfortably on his big ole bed in the living room ūüôā

Either that or he’ll see me and runaway because he wants me to play by chasing him around.

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Here’s to many more years with my little albino ewok. ‚ô°

Cheers,
Nina

geek style · pup life

A Fancy Geek Your Pooch Will Be

yoda dog ears petco comic con

Geeky pet owners rejoice! Petco debuted their special line of Star Wars threads and toys for pooches and kittens at Comic-Con a few weeks ago!

When I first got Rory ¬†a couple years ago I was really bummed ¬†by the lack of geeky dog apparel out there, so there are really no words for me to express how ecstatic I am over this crazy awesome line! And the Petco booth also gave out Yoda ears for pets as con exclusive freebies!!! They ran out when I went on Sunday, but my sister was able to grab a pair for Rory when she went on Thursday ūüėÄ

The collection hits stores on September 1 and will include an array of hoodies inspired by your favorite Star Wars characters (the Chewbacca and Boba Fett ones… shut up. Just. Shut. Up.), leashes and collars, fluffy dog beds shaped like Yoda and Darth Vader, chewy squeaky toys, and there’s also little mice dressed like characters for your kitty to play with!

One piece I can’t wait to get my hands on is the Darth Vader knitted nordic sweater. Rory is going to be the baddest ball of fluff on the block. Is it weird that I’m extremely happy that my dog and I will have matching knitted Vader sweaters¬†and that I can’t wait to take pictures of the two of us so I can turn them into holiday greeting cards? Actually, I don’t care if it’s weird. I’M TOO EXCITED TO CARE.

While I was perusing the booth, another con goer looked at me and said, “Oh man. I’m going to have to buy all this stuff for my dog.” Me too, dude.¬†Me. Too.

Do you plan on getting your pooch or kitten a little Star Wars trinket (or maybe one or two, or ALL OF IT)?

Cheers,
Nina

geek style · pup life

Huckleberry Blues

outfit details – skirt/shirt/belt: Mossimo (buy skirt here) // horse brooch: vintage // straw hat: H&M // backpack: don’t recall, but it’s actually for kids! // shoes: Blowfish // glasses: Derek Cardigan // Duffy Bear keychain: Disneyland (buy here)

Hello kitties!

Summer school started up at the junior college I tutor at, so I’ve been adjusting to waking up at the ass crack of dawn to make sure I get there by 8 am Monday-Thursday. So far my body has taken a liking to passing out as soon as possible once it realizes it’s at home. I forgot how amazing naps are! Except I hate when I doze off well after the sunset because I feel all kinds of discombobulated. Like, “OMG, it’s 8:15! Am I late for work?” Also, where the hell did June come from? Wasn’t it just January? What is happening? How are we at the halfpoint of 2013 already?¬†I haven’t accomplished many the of the goals I set out for myself to achieve this year, but I figure I still have 6 more months to change a few things.

Anywho, let’s talk about my outfit! I wore this last week when I hung out with my bestest friend, Shanice. We went out for a long walk with Rory by a levy, had ice cream, and did some shopping (at Target of course. Where else would we go?). And speaking of Shanice, she’s graduating today! YAAAY!!! Unfortunately I have to work during the ceremony, so I can’t witness her workin’ the cap and gown, but we shall meet up later for ice cream. We love ice cream, okay?

I was in a bit of a Mumford & Sons mood when I threw this outfit together. Not sure if you can tell considering the fact that my backpack has Hello Kitty buttons representing my initials on them. And yes, N.P.H. are my actual initials. That’s not there for Neil Patrick Harris (even though I do love him). When I think of Mumford & Sons, I think of old, rustic, antique items. Not really sure why. So I put this newish-but-old-looking straw hat on my noggin to protect me from the sun, but it was crazy windy that day and kept flying off my head. And my skirt has engineer stripes on them, which says “old timey” and “Mumford & Sons-y” to me. I think my outfit would’ve looked cuter with a pair of brown cowboy boots, but since we were going on a walk I opted for something more practical.

The horse pin I’m wearing on my shirt is a flea market find. I remember digging through a bag full of vintage costume jewelry and had to stop myself from doing a happy dance when I found it. Gotta keep it cool at the flea market, y’know? If a seller can see you like it, they’ll most likely try to get top dollar from you! I don’t remember how much I paid for it, but I recall it was a pretty good deal considering that I got a few other things from the seller too.

Alright, enough blabbering from me. I gotta go get ready for work! I hope you kitties have a lovely weekend ahead of you >^__^<

Cheers,
Nina

PS: Here’s some Mumford & Sons for your listening and viewing pleasure ūüôā