Izzy and Nando, the pugs, are senior dogs with health problems. Both are diabetic, Izzy less than a year from diagnosis and Nando is 5 years living with Diabetes. He is blind and in frail health now, he is 13 years old and Izzy is 12 going to be 13 in April. Since I am not really cooking I thought I would give you a little peek into my life with the pugs. Izzy came from a breeder and Nando is a rescue pug, he was abandoned in Long Island and I adopted him from Pug Rescue.
Izzy and Nando have never had commercially prepared dog food I have cooked for them from the moment they came into my life. Their diet has changed as they have aged and their health issues surfaced. I probably would have given them a raw diet if I had known about it when they were younger but I did my best giving them healthful food, about 80/20 percent mostly protein with bone meal and supplements. Their diet now consists of skinless boneless chicken breast or lean beef, raw vegetables ground in the food processor, non fat plain yogurt, barley, bone meal and their supplements. Because of the diabetes I have to be very careful how I prepare the food, no fat at all the chicken is steamed and I dry roast the beef. I use only organic vegetables and the meat, well, when it’s on sale I get organic grass fed or pastured but it’s so expensive I try to get the best I can, antibiotic and hormone free. Both Izzy and Nando are insulin dependent, I have to give them injections twice a day every day at the same time all the time, schedules are very important when you have diabetes. I have to have a chart for each to keep track of which supplements each gets on a daily basis, keeps my mind sharp!
I take them upstate New York to a fantastic integrative vet at Smith Ridge Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Seo saved Nando’s life and put me on the right path to keep him as healthy as possible given his medical problems. I also have a great vet here in the city that we see since Dr. Seo is about 2 hours away.
They have a good life in the city, the pugs are not really energetic outdoorsy dogs even when they were young and healthy, they always enjoyed laying around in the house or hanging in the backyard. In the summer I would put a kiddie pool there so they could keep cool.
When they were younger they were even in a movie, they were transported by limo to Central Park. They enjoyed the star treatment.
I didn’t know they could eat brocoli! Good to know. Love that they are famous!
Yes, the broccoli is great for them, it’s funny the broccoli raw helps regulate their blood sugar. I also give them green beans sometimes, but steamed not raw, that also helps with BS regulating. Famous well not really, It was a small Indie film, not a wide release but it was fun.
Sadly, I probably saw it!
Suzanne – you take such wonderful care of your dogs! They are lucky to have you as their mom! 🙂
Thank you, they are my family!
Lucky pugs – as they have someone who really cares for them. I have a French bulldog, which in terms of “daily life” is practically the same (the less he runs, the better), who had 2 major herniated disc surgeries last year (and I thank the vets who saved his life – twice – every day), so I know how difficult it is to see them suffer, and how difficult it is to help them improve their health (my frenchie is a bit of clown and it is almost a very difficult task to prevent him from jumping up and down, or climbing stairs which would make him worse…
So sorry to hear about the health problems with your Frenchie, my friend has two Frenchies and one like yours has disc problems. Had to have surgery. Thanks so much Alex!
They are so cute! And you’re a good mom to feed them such a healthy diet.
Thank you Patty, I am lucky to have such great doggies.
I love! (Disclosure: Daisey’s mom)
We love Daisey!
Well I’ll be, those pups eat healthier than most people I know! Wow, you take such good care of them. They are some lucky pugs for sure.
Also, I’m sure they appreciated the butt sniffing photo!
LOL, I didn’t even think of the butt sniffing when I posted it. Egads, I won’t tell if you don’t. Thank you so much those little guys are family to me.
What lucky (and adorable) pugs to have you as their mom. There’s a book author I’ve talked to, Rick Woodford, who’s a dog food expert. His website is thedogfooddude.com. He had a dog several years ago who was diagnosed with lymphoma and started to research the disease. This led him to finding healthy foods for dogs, he started cooking all his dogs’ meals, and his dog lived far far longer than expected and regained his quality of life. Rick is now building a business around it. He’s written one book and I’m unsure of the status of his second one. Anyway, this is an incredibly long way of saying what a wonderful life-giving gift you give to your little ones by taking such good care of them.
I am going to get his book, It is extremely touchy with the pugs because of the diabetes. I don’t believe in giving dogs grains but do give them barley primarily because it does make a difference in the regulating of their blood sugar. Nando has an extreme case of diabetes, the Vet told me it’s the 2nd worse case he has ever seen. Very very difficult to regulate, he went blind only 2 months after being diagnosed. It has been a long road and they didn’t think he would live a year, well that was 5 years ago. His health is very frail now, I am so sad seeing him deteriorate almost daily but I continue to try my best to do whatever I can to make his quality of life as good as possible. Thank you so much Susan.
So nice to hear more about your sweet pups, Suzanne! We have two rescue dogs, too, and we can’t imagine life without them. They are 9 and 17 years old now and it’s the cutest thing to see them romping around together (the younger one keeps the older one active). Your dogs are very fortunate to have you and your cooking!
17 years old, wow. Thats very old and still romping with the younger dog. Sounds like they are very close to each other. Thanks so much Hannah, your dogs are also very fortunate to have you and such a loving home.
I’ve given a lot of thought to making some of the food for my dog (a 3 year old shih tzu named Gizmo aka the love of my life) for some time now, but I’ve been too scared to experiment. I try going for foods that are grain-free and corn-free, but nothing beats homemade. You’re an inspiration!
You hear the dog food companies bragging about the food being human grade, so why not feed them food that humans eat. I understand that there are certain nutritional needs that dogs have and I did this with the guidance of my holistic vet. They are getting everything they need and then some I think. For me it’s worth it for the peace of mind knowing that the food they are eating is free from possible toxins. Thank you and kisses to Gizmo!!
What a wonderful story – and what a wonderful dog owner you are. They eat better than most humans! I love the photos, particularly the one with their BFF. And to think they are stars too 😉 Hugo is in awe at both their food and celebrity status.
I love Hugo, he is a real star to me and please tell him I think so. Thank you so much, I love that photo too of Daisey with Izzy and Nando.
We had friends to lunch today and Hugo climbed up onto her lap – all 30kgs of him and all four legs. I don’t think he realises how big and hefty he is. He thinks he’s a lap dog! Bit of an identity crisis…
Well Hugo is a real lover, he doesn’t understand that he is just not lap dog size. How sweet is that though, I love big lap dogs.
I love posts like this! Izzy & Nando are cared for and tended to in the best possible way and they could not have asked for a better more loving home or family. You are lovely with them. I’m tickled to read they’ve been in a film! any links online to them in action? Would love to see it! Hope your finger is getting better (sending healing vibes) but meanwhile, I’m really digging the posts triggered by this cooking-standstill phase. Keep it coming! 😉
Thank you, I will have to see if I can find a clip with Izzy and Nando and post it. I have the DVD and we were invited to the premier but one was sick and we couldn’t go. Thanks so much.
So glad you’re still able to give them such a great quality of life. They eat better than most people I know!!!
LOL, it’s true, their diet is much better than mine. Maybe I should eat what they eat and see how much weight I can lose.
More posts on the pugs, always make my day! 🙂
Oh gladly, I could go on and on about the pugs!
they’ve led a wonderful life and hope that continues minus the ill health…..! 🙂
Thanks Ayesha, it is my hope also!
Oh aren’t you wonderful? I have two Portuguese Water Dogs, but we have a good Pug friend, a black one named Vader (which is PERFECT, because of his little Pug breathing) and a “cousin” named Lacey, who lives in Pittsburgh! They are comical and fun little dogs with a lot of personality!! Best to you!
I love the name Vader,pugs have a lot of personality thats for sure. They really grow on you. I do love Portuguese water dogs, they are smart and very beautiful. Pugs do have breathing problems, brachycephalic dogs are notoriously difficult to deal with, some airlines even ban them from flying. Izzy has collapsed trachea, which exacerbates the already existing breathing issues of the pug. Thanks Susan.
I know they have breathing issues. Sweet things. I know it’s hard to have older dogs–I had an old dog too–but they are extra sweet and mellow at an older age. I just love ’em.
Totally agree, I love the seniors, they are so mellow, I just want to make them happy and comfortable.
movie star pugs–love it! There food looks so good, I think I might even eat it for lunch! (if I didn’t know it was dog food, of course). Loving hearing more about your blog’s namesakes.
Lol, it went to their heads for a while, they really liked the star treatment. I am tempted to try their food as a means of weight loss, LOL!! Thanks so much Liz.
Gorgeous post about your pugs Suzanne – lovely to learn a little more about them! You really are a fabulous Mom to them! 🙂
Thank you so much Margot, they are family to me and for me it’s very important to do the best I can to take good care of them.
What an amazing post Suzanne – the amount of love you have for your little guys is so touching. I feel the same way for my little French bulldog, Layla. There is truly nothing that these special little creatures don’t deserve! Wonderful post. xoxo
Layla is beautiful, I love Frenchies, a very good friend of mine has 2 that I love very much. They really are so special, thank you so much!
Oh Suzanne! I’m just moving my first steps in the “dog world” and I feel overwhelmed already. I can’t imagine what it feels like taking care of two little ones with special needs. Your kindness and your love for them shine throughout this post! They are very like to have someone like you always there for them. I’m just starting to realize how much they can depend on us! 🙂
Changing subject: can I have your email address please?
I love your little Sofia, she is just beautiful and Labs are such good dogs, generally speaking. Thank you so much and I emailed you so you can have my email address.
I always tell my husband . . . if we ever own a small dog, it would be a pug! Cooking your own dog food takes planning and dedication . . . kudos to you! We have an English Mastiff (165 pounds) . . . sometimes, I think she eats more than my teenager! Cannot fathom what my grocery bill would be if I cooked for her, too! Although . . . dog food (even in bulk) is expensive!
My neighbor has an English Mastiff, I love that dog, he is so sweet and gentle, They do eat a lot, I can’t imagine cooking for a 165 lb dog. My two little ones go through a huge amount of food, I feed them 3-4 times a day. I go through about 8 lbs of chicken and 4-5 lbs of beef, sometimes I buy turkey breast. A lot of vegetables too, 2 bunches of celery, a lot of spinach and broccoli, and other veggies that I throw into the mix all this in a week. You are right, dog food is expensive also and I imagine your big one really eats a huge amount.
It’s lovely to hear a bit about Izzy and Nando. What lucky dogs they are that you look after them so very well. 😉
Thank you, I also feel lucky to have them.
Suzanne, you are amazing taking care of your “babies” like this. Really. We have a really big dog! He’s a black lab / dane mix. He was hit by a car when he was 2 and it left him with nerve damage in his left forelimb. He’s the greatest bunch of love! He doesn’t use his forelimb to walk so he sort of hops around like a three legged dog. I think we have managed to humanize him as much as possible…hahaha, (you know what I mean). Your little pugs are so sweet! 🙂 So nice to take a peek into your life with them.
You are amazing, how wonderful the way you care for your fur baby. Yes, I know exactly what you mean humanizing our dogs, LOL, guilty as charged. Thank you so much, they are such an important part of our lives and we are entrusted with their care. Is there a photo on your blog, I have to check that out.
So true. I don’t have a photo of him on the blog. I think I may have to make an introduction soon though. He’s very photogenic and adorable, if I do say…. 🙂
Oh please do, I would really love to meet him and I am sure your other readers feel the same way.
Aw, I was wondering how Izzy and Nando were doing! So nice to see that they’re still going strong in spite of their health problems (I’d say that this is ENTIRELY due to your love, dedication and effort Suz… I have no idea how I’d cope with the medication regime and dietary requirements. So much effort!). Thanks for sharing their adventures with us. They are so gorgeous…. I love pugs and seriously wish I had one of my own. Aaron and I still feel that it’d be unfair to have a dog in our tiny apartment. Maybe one day we’ll move somewhere with a garden and get two dogs and some chickens! xxx
I hope one day soon you and Aaron get a place with a yard so that you can have pets, even chickens. I wish I had chickens, for the eggs of course.Thank you so much, it’s mutual between the pugs and I!!
What lucky little pugs to have you as their mom!! Their bowls of food look like big Caesar salads!! And they’re famous Pugs at that!! Lol… That’s so cool, Suzanne. What a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing them with us.. ❤
Thank you so much, their bowls of food look pretty good, had friends over for a potluck and they couldn’t get over the pugs food, kept taking pictures.
My husband is an animal, especially dog lover. He knows so much about them, and I know nothing. It shows how much you take care of your pugs and they are so loved.
They are loved and I try very hard to take good care of them. Thanks so much Fae!
I would say your dogs eat better than 90% of US children!! What good care you’ve taken of them! xx
Thanks Christina, their diet although not really varied is healthful, and truth be told I should eat that good but I don’t.
Oh, Suzanne your pups are so precious and you are such a good mother to them! I can feel your love for them. That is so amazing that you have always homemade their food for them…you are amazing. I’m sorry they are both diabetic, but they are so very blessed to have you loving and taking care of them everyday. I bet they are the happiest little doggies ever!
My Vet can’t believe I have two diabetic dogs, I was blaming myself thinking I must have done something wrong but he said no its genetics. I do my best to take care of them, thanks so much for the kind words.
Wow! And I thought Sofia was a lot of work: Suzanne, your post sure put things in perspective!
You have a pair of lovely pugs though 🙂
Have a great weekend!
Thanks Stefano, puppies are a lot of work but the years in between puppy and senior are great. Izzy and Nando were very healthy in those tween years. I guess its like humans babies and the elderly require more care and attention same with our canine friends.
What a good “pug mom” you are! Fun to get to read a little more about Suzanne at home. Hope they stay healthy and happy little guys in the year ahead…
Thanks so much Rhonda. All the best to you in 2014!
Izzy and Nando are precious (and lucky to have such an adoring, responsible Mom). Buddy and Ginger are on Darwin’s raw food diet with supplements of fish, meats, fruit and vegetables from my kitchen; you, however, are amazing to cook for them all their meals. I too have a jar full of medicines that are doled out each day; it does keep ones mind sharp but is difficult for passing the torch when a sitter comes to stay.
What movie were they in? Such fun!
Hope your finger is healing; it is no fun to be without full capacity for cooking. Cheers!
I have heard about that raw food diet and it’s excellent, your Buddy and Ginger are lucky dogs to have you. It is hard if I am not around. I had to call a friend when I was in the hospital and I had to guide them while I was being worked on. I told them just to leave the supplements it’s too complicated. I need to make a chart and post on my fridge and organize everything just in case. I was unprepared.
The finger is not healing well at all. I guess its a little better but I am now wondering if the damage is permanent, The finger looks the same as it did week one and it’s been two weeks now. Going to the doc soon, will find out then. Did you have someone to help you when you were hospitalized?
So sorry to hear that your finger is not healing well. Sometimes it just takes time. I once broke my wrist then a fractured piece of bone snapped the tendon of my thumb; I thought that was permanent but alas, it did mend.
Darwin’s diet is very good (and the pups are over the moon for it at eating time). Buddy looks more like a puppy than the old crotchety little guy he was when he came to us (I say this lovingly of course). Ginger has much more energy too.
I have a document that spells out their requirements (it lives in my computer but can easily be sent when needed). My neighbor and friend, Piotr, cared for them while I was away. He has a key and is familiar with their needs. I was thankful for that.
Hope you are back in (full) action soon.
I have the same sort of document on my computer and I print as needed but in this case it was an emergency and I didn’t get a chance to print. My friend also has a key and knows the basics but I was unprepared. I hadn’t made their food, and my friend doesn’t know how I do it. I am going to have to add that to the document. If I ever went away I prepared everything in advance. I need to take an emergency into consideration, I also had not pre filled syringes with their insulin.
I have heard great things about the raw diet and how wonderful it is and the physical changes it brings about.
Well, you certainly sound more prepared than most people. Perhaps a doggy preparedness kit should live in all of the homes with furry-four legged kids. The nature of an “emergency” certainly is just that, un-expected (easier to prepare for after it happens). Perhaps you could make some food up and store packets in the freezer? My neighbor is appalled that Ginger and Buddy eat better than him 🙂
You know thats a really good idea, I’ll make some food and put in the freezer. Tomorrow I am going to update my info sheet. Yes, a doggie preparedness kit is a very good idea.
Your lucky, lucky pugs. There are so many horror stories about neglected animals and those stories always break my heart. So heart warming to read your story instead. I love my dog – she’s my third daughter. It’s her third birthday this week and it’s already hard to imagine my life before her. She’s such a source of joy! Izzy and Nando are absolutely adorable. Not surprised they are movie stars!
Thank you, yes I know exactly what you mean. The pugs are my children, they are family. I am very thankful to have them.
Oh, don’t get me started on neglected animals – I wish I could save them all. If only we could all appreciate what we have in one another, and play nice, and eat well (especially with our 4-legged friends)! I can’t imagine my life (or kitchen) without the companionship and wisdom of my three “children”. I love that I’m not alone in those sentiments.
I’m the same way. The thought of abuse and neglect makes me so sad and very upset. I love having them in the kitchen, Nando especially is there with me never leaving my side and if I sit he wants to be in my lap. They are my little loves. So happy to find a kindred spirit.
I always love seeing pictures of Izzy and Nando. They’re adorable and so gentle. And you take such good care of them. I wish someone would cook for me one day, the way you take care of your pugs. Hope they’re staying warm too with the recent freeze!
I know right, wouldn’t it be nice to have someone cook for us? Would love that.They are staying warm, quick jaunts outside when it’s really cold, neither can tolerate extremes in temperature hot or cold.Thanks Melissa.
Those are two very lucky and very happy dogs! I think they eat better than I do. There must be a lot of love floating around that house!
They eat better than me, I am very disciplined with their diet, have to be but wish I could use a little of that discipline on myself. Thank you!
I can see you really love your pugs Suzanne. Lucky babies! My mum-in-law had a couple of pugs years back. They were the funniest little dogs. Jake and Freddy were their names. But I think she loved them to death. With food. Hot-dogs and crappy scraps. Poor things.
Thank you and oh my, yes you can certainly over indulge the doggies and hot dogs and junk food is certainly the way to do it. Every now and then Is ok. I like a junk food fix every now and then myself. Pugs are real characters, I love their personalities, they are funny and so full of life. Love them for sure.
So cool that they are star pugs! 🙂 You are such a great mom to them. Despite their ailments, they are living the good life with good food too! I used to cook food for my dogs, but my vet, who is more of the holistic type, suggested some non-grain dog food brands for my Pekingese boy who has a recurring ear problem possibly exacerbated by food allergies. We went with Taste of the Wild. My Papillon-Chihuahua mix never liked commercial food (picky little girl), but now eats the same food as her brother. She isn’t itching and scratching much anymore and both of them are more active with this healthier diet. What a difference good food can make in pets too. Sometimes, my husband gets them a jr. turkey cheddar melt sandwich from Arby’s, a fast food place, LOL. But we don’t give them the bun of course. I agree, its ok to have a junk food fix once in a blue moon.
Thank you, I have to look into taste of the wild, Izzy has terrible allergies. She has to take natural hydrocortisone, a very low dose every day otherwise she would be itching constantly and have ear infections. Your little ones are also very well taken care, living the good life. When Izzy and Nando were young and healthy they got the occasional treat like chicken nuggets, once in a blue moon for sure. Izzy has a sweet tooth so a lick or two of ice cream was sheer heaven for her.