Mum Flowers!

I'm so excited!  I finally found a flower that I can't kill and it doesn't even take that much effort to take care of!

A mum! 

Many of you may remember that I replaced one of our nasty thorny bushes in front of our house with a mum!  I was a little worried that it might not survive the winter, but I'm pleased to report that it made it through and is now thriving wonderfully!  I'm sooooo excited!  I'm not by any means a green thumb (even though I wish I was) so to have it pull through was a huge accomplishment on my part!  Now that I've finally found a flower that I enjoy, that comes back every year, and is low maintainance... I'm thinking about planting them all around my house.  When Fall hits this year I'll be on the prowl for some more mums to complete the landscaping project I plan to take on this summer!  Hopefully by Fall 2012 my house will be lined with beautiful flowering mums :)

Well... I can always hope, right?

A tough pill to swallow...

Here is the most recent update on Remington's surgery...

I contacted Purdue's Small Animal Clinic on Friday.  After getting a referral from our current vet they were more than happy to speak with me about the surgery. They have several vets in house that specialize in soft tissue surgeries.  The type of surgery that we are discussing doing with Remington is something that their surgeons are very familiar with and do on a routine basis. What would happen is we would bring him in for a consultation to go over Remington's medical history.  They would do testing on him for 2-3 hours to make sure he is healthy enough to have the surgery.  If he is... then we would leave him there that night and they would perform the surgery next day.  He would then stay at the hospital for 2-3 days after the surgery because they would need to keep a close eye on him and manage his pain levels accordingly.  While there he would be monitored 24 hours a day until we came to pick him up. We would also receive calls on a daily basis to update us on how he is doing.

Now... here is what is tough to swallow.  The price they quoted us for the surgery is between $800-$1300.  YIKES!  However, this would cover the consultation, blood work/tests, anesthesia, the removal of the anal glands, pain medication, and his stay at the hospital after the surgery.  It is a lot of money for us to spend and will definitely put a huge dent in our savings, but we absolutely feel it is worth it for him to have people that specialize in this and for the amount of care he will get.

We have scheduled the consultation for May 17th... which means he will have the surgery on the 18th.  We decided on this date specifically because the way Dan and I's schedule work out we would have 13 days where one of us would be with Remington during the recovery process.

At this point in time I feel very much at peace with the decision.  I don't feel like we could do anything more to ensure that Remington have the best outcome possible for this surgery.  I am planning on documenting the recovery process because as I was looking for information on this subject is was incredibly hard to find anything out there that would tell me what to expect.  I'm sure that there will be many more posts concerning this :)


This is the text message I received from Dan's brother, Matt, this morning!  Made my day!

Forever Grateful!

I am forever grateful for the comments I received on this blog, Facebook, and DoodleKisses (please click to view comments) about thoughts and opinions on what we should do for Remington.  It has made things a lot clearer for both Dan and I on what would be best for him....

As of this morning we are leaning toward doing the surgery.  I am going to contact Purdue University which is a teaching vet school that specializes in soft tissue surgery.  The actual professor/vet would be the one doing the surgery as the students watched.  I think this is the best option since this is something they specialize in, even if it is an hour or so drive. Our vet has only done 10 of these surgeries in his 30+ year career and even though he has been successful on all 10 I just feel nervous about it.  However, if we can't get Remington into Purdue we still might go to him as we love him and know he would do his very best.

Right now, we are leaning toward the end of May for the surgery.  The way that Dan and I's schedules fall, we would be able to give Remington a full 13 days of having someone by his side as he recovers from this very long and painful ordeal.

Even though I know some people may not think our decision is right, we can only do what we believe is the best for Remington.  I will keep everyone posted as we move forward with this in the near future.

To Remove or Not To Remove... That is the question!

WARNING: This is a long post, but please take the time to read and respond, as my heart is being pulled in many directions with this decision and I truly need some good advice!

As many of you might already know we have been battling with anal gland issues for over 2 years.  To give you a little background info, it began when our Goldendoodle Remington was 6 months old.  This is when we first noticed the odor and finally took him to the vet, not having a clue what the problem was.  We soon learned of anal glands!!!  The vet expressed the glands and we thought that would be the end of it.  Never in our wildest dreams did we think it would progress into the problem it is now.  After that first expression, Remington began having to have them done every 6 weeks. When we would take him to the vet they would be completely full and leaking out of his bum at times.  The vet suggested many things... switch foods (we did), feed him green beans (we did), feed him pumpkin (we did), give him this medication (we did), feed him two meals instead of three to give him bigger poops (we did)... NOTHING HAS WORKED!  The vet told us that he isn't able to express them on his own because they sit back a lot farther than in most dogs.  So we even tried being taught by the vet how to express the glands ourselves (we have only be successful with this once) and believe me, it is not an easy thing to do with an 80 lb dog.

Fast forward to a 1 1/2 years old... Remington was now getting his glands expressed every 4 weeks.  They were filling up so fast.  He needed them expressed like clockwork each month.  We could always tell because he would often leak anal gland fluid... whether it was on our couch, bed, floor... where ever he was.  Now, if you have ever smelled this, you will know that it is a nightmare of a smell.  A drop the size of a pencil easer can clear you from the room.  Can you imagine getting it on things!  YUCK!  Me being the clean freak I am would "freak out" every time this happened!

Fast forward to 2 years.  By this time we were thinking that this was just something we were going to have to deal with for the rest of his life.  He was now getting the glands expressed every 3 weeks.  The vet suggested we try something called an anal gland infusion.  This is when the inject antibotic fluid into the sacs.  You let the fluid sit there and it can prevent the glands from filling up for 6 months to a year in some cases.  However, it may not work at all.  We thought what the heck let's try it.  We had nothing to lose.  We paid the $106 dollars and had it done.  Within a week the antibotic fluid was seeping out.  We had this happen on 3 occasions until we finally took him into the vet not knowing if it was antibotic fluid or anal gland fluid.  They expressed the glands and said it was mostly just antibotic fluid... but that they didn't think the procedure was going to work on Remington.

A few months later we took Remington in to get his annual exam.  He is in perfect health except for this problem.  After 2 years of trying everything suggested by the vet, by our friends, and by our family... we were asked to consider anal gland removal... this is where my heart drops.  I had heard about the surgery by several people, but I have also heard about the many risks, the main one being the dog becoming incontenient after the surgery.  This is our worst nightmare!  If you know my husband and I... we are obsessed with our dog and love him as much as we would our own child.  The vet told us that Remington has a long life to live and the surgery would not only help us from having to constantly shell out money to have them expressed (which adds up every 3 weeks) and the frustration we deal with daily, but it would also take away the stress and pain Remington is experiencing with the glands.  We were also told that he might end up having to have them expressed every 2 weeks or 1 week in the future (judging by how the time frame had been going).  They quoted us at around $1000 for the surgery.  Now, to me the money really doesn't matter if it fixes the problem, but what if we end up with a much bigger problem of incontinence?  Is this a risk we are willing to take.  The vet said that this is something that would RARELY happen... but what if it did?  What would we do with Remington then????  How could he lead a good life with this problem?  How could we?

So here is my question?  Should we have the glands removed and hopefully things turn out just fine and we never have to deal with those suckers again???  Or do we not remove them and deal with anal gland issues the rest of Remington's life and more than likely have to have the suckers removed at some point in time anyway?  My heart is so torn.  I just want the best for my dog.  Please give me your opinions, advice, horror stories, success stories... I just need to know what I should do!

Thanks in advance for any comments :)

Diets for the Rhoton's

Everyone in the Rhoton household is now on the big D-I-E-T!  Yes, you got it... a diet... even Remington!  All of us have gained weight in the past couple of years, we just hope it doesn't take us as long to get the weight off as it did to put it on. Hehe!

The biggest challenge I'm facing on my diet is trying to stop drinking pop and replacing all my sweet drinks with 8 glasses of water a day.  I haven't been doing that bad of a job with it, except I did have a little incidence this Sunday and got an ICEE.  Oops :)  But other than that I'm going strong.  Another big thing I have been trying to do is eat breakfast.  Most of the time I wake up as late as possible and rush into work, which always results in no breakfast.  I'm now at least trying to get a granola bar or a piece of fruit in there somehow.  So far I have lost 4 lbs.

Dan has been trying to eat better and he has been doing some cross fit here and there.  Obviously, driving around in a police car for 8-10 hours a day and not eating right while on the job doesn't help his diet, but he has been doing a good job working on it.  I think once he is off FTO and has a more consistant schedule that it will be a bit easier on him.

Now, there's our sweet Remington Bear... Last time we were at the vet he weighed in at 82 lbs.  The vet suggested that we get a couple pounds off of him by the next time we brought him in.  I worked hard at this and started taking him on 2 mile walks everyday almost! So we took him in for his annual check up last night and he weighed in at 79 lbs.  We thought... "YAY!  We did our job!"  Wrong... the vet then told us that he wants him down to around 75 lbs.  GOODNESS!!!!  He suggested that we put him on a Weight Loss Food and cut down on the number of treats we give him during the day (no more peanut butter Dan!)

I don't think he's fat do you? Okay, maybe just a tad!

Anyways, long story short, we are all on our way to a new and skinnier Rhoton household... we hope!

Week #4 of Kendra's Cooking Challenge : Creamy Grape Dessert

It's gonna be a busy week this week, so all I made was a dessert.  Can you tell that sweets are my weakness?  I decided on Creamy Grape Dessert.  It seemed like a good choice for spring :)

Creamy Grape Dessert (


  • 1 lb red seedless grapes washed and dried well
  • 1 lb green seedless grapes washed and dried well
  • 8 oz fat free vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 4 oz light cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Measure out 1 lb green seedless grapes and 1 lb red seedless grapes.

Cut grapes in half and set aside.

Mix yogurt, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until blended well.

Stir grapes into mixture and pour into a large serving dish.

Combined brown sugar and crushed walnuts or pecans.  Sprinkle over top of grapes to cover completely.  Chill until ready to serve.

Dan's rating for this dessert dish... a perfect 10!  He even told me I should bring this to family functions!  WHOA!

Mileage Monday!

Running stats for the week of April 11th - 17th...this week has been pretty amazing weather wise.  You won't find any complaints here!  I have gotten in some good beginner runs since I didn't run much all winter.  However, you remember that foot pain I was experiencing last Fall... it is back again unfortunately.  I consulted with a running friend of mine and he suggested that I start doing calf and feet exercises to strengthen up my muscles.  Sometimes when your calf muscle are weak it puts more strain on other areas resulting in shin splints (no stranger to these) and possibly the pain I'm experiencing in the top of my foot.  He also suggested not running so much in my Vibrams until I build up my strength a little more.  This is a bummer, but something I wasn't surprised about.  It does make me very sad though because I do love them so.

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011 - Ab Ripper X and upper body + 2 mile walk with Remi

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 - 2 miles @ a 11:00 minute per mile pace + 2 mile walk with Remi

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 - 1 mile run/walk with Remi + Ab Ripper X and upper body

Saturday, April 16th, 2011 - Yoga

Sunday, April 17th, 2011 - 2.14 miles @ a 10 minute per mile pace + 2 mile walk with Remi 

Total miles ran for this week = 5.14 miles

Half Marathon Training Schedule

In October I am planning to run a Mini-Marathon.  At first I was planning on doing one in my hometown... but I have not seen anything advertised about that, so now I'm leaning toward running one in the Lawrence area at Ft. Harrison.  I have heard this marathon is more low key than the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and it is during the Fall in the most lovely State Park around!  How could I pass this up?  I have not yet signed up for it because I first want to make sure I can do it.  I paid to run the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon a few years ago and then never did it because I didn't train well enough. I'm not gonna make that mistake again!  So... I found a really good training schedule to keep me on track!

Week       Mon     Tues     Wed     Thurs     Fri     Sat     Sun

1 & 2       Rest      3 mi      2 mi     3 mi       Rest    X      4 mi

3 & 4       Rest      3 mi      2 mi     3 mi       Rest    X      4 mi

5 & 6       Rest      3.5 mi   2 mi     3.5 mi    Rest    X      5 mi

7 & 8       Rest      3.5 mi   2 mi     3.5 mi    Rest    X      5 mi

9 & 10     Rest      4 mi      2 mi     4 mi       Rest    X      6 mi

11 & 12   Rest      4 mi      2 mi     4 mi       Rest    Rest  5-K

13 & 14   Rest     4.5 mi    3 mi     4.5 mi    Rest    X      7 mi

15 & 16   Rest     4.5 mi    3 mi     4.5 mi    Rest    X      8 mi

17 & 18   Rest     5 mi       3 mi     5 mi       Rest    Rest  10-K

19 & 20   Rest     5 mi       3 mi     5 mi       Rest    X       9 mi

21 & 22   Rest     5 mi       3 mi     5 mi       Rest    X      10 mi

23 & 24   Rest     4 mi       3 mi     2 mi       Rest    Rest   Half

The X's mean Cross Training... so on these days I would do something other than running.  Things such as swimming, stair climbing, free weights, push ups/crunches/pull ups, stretching, yoga, plyometrics, or sprinting. Do you think this Training Schedule is do-able?  I sure hope so.  I plan to start May 9th... that will give me a good 6 months before the Mini!

Spring has finally Sprung!

I think I speak for everyone here in Indiana when I say that I have been dying for some warm weather.  Finally this past weekend we got some wonderful temperatures in the 80's!  I took advantage of the weather by going for a few long runs and taking Remington on long walks (the vet tells us he needs to lose a few pounds).  I was tempted to start working on my flower beds that I would like to create, but decided against it since I thought it would be better to tackling that project on a weekend that Dan was working and I was in need of something to do.

Below are some pics that are a sure sign that Spring has finally sprung!

My two favorite boys on an evening walk...

All the lovely flowering tress around the neighborhood...

Remington taking in all the sights and sounds of Spring time!

And me carrying Remington's "presents" that he leaves during his walks... why do I always get stuck with this job?  Sigh...


Week #3 of Kendra's Cooking Challenge : Cilantro Lime Shrimp, White Rice, Maple-Glazed Carrots, and Lemon Cake Cookies

This week I went for the whole meal... I felt pretty daring... are you ready for this???  I decided on shrimp for this this week.  I do eat shrimp every now and again, especially when I'm craving some kind of meat.  This is mostly a win win for Dan and I! 

Cilantro Lime Shrimp (


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs shrimp, shelled and deviened
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • salt and pepper
Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan, when hot add shrimp.

Season with salt and pepper. When the shrimp is cooked on one side, about 2 minutes, turn over and add garlic. Saute' another minute or two until shrimp is cooked, careful not to overcook.

Remove from heat. Squeeze lime all over shrimp and toss with cilantro. Serve hot.

Maple-Glazed Carrots (


  • 3 pounds carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick on the diagonal
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper
In a large skillet, combine the carrots, syrup, butter, 1/3 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Cook the carrots.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring once, until carrots are tender and the liquid has reduced to a glaze, 12 to 15 minutes. (If carrots are tender before the liquid has thickened, uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until liquid forms a glaze.)

Lemon Cake Mix Cookies (random internet site)


  • 1 egg
  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • 1 8 oz container Cool Whip (yum)
Mix all ingredients together!

Roll off a spoon into powdered sugar which makes a ball.

Place on a greased and floured cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

So what was the rating for this meal you ask... Dan rated the total meal a 6!  BLAH!  But he rated my cookies a 10!  My conclusion is that he just doesn't enjoy healthy cooking.  It is also hard to try to cook meals suited for me and him both.  He of course would love a nice steak... I on the other hand am pushing it to eat shrimp. O'well... I'm not giving up!

Baby Andrew is growing up!

My best friend Kristin and her husband Duane just had Andrew's 6 month pictures taken not too long ago.  I can't believe how much that little boy is growing up!  I just had to share some of these adorable pictures... I guess he wasn't in a very good mood for his photo shoot, but I don't really think you can tell :)

Quite the handsome little fellow isn't he :)

Such a wonderful family!  I love them :)

Remington's Adjustment

So, about a month ago I was complaining about how awful Remington's adjustment period had been going since Dan switched to 2nd shift instead of 3rd shift.  He was throwing up a lot (almost every day) and challenging me on about every little thing I would ask him to do.  If I said STAY he would run around the house like a manic... if I said DOWN he would walk all around me daring me to correct him... if I said COME it meant play time.  In my opinion, I feel like we have a pretty well trained dog who listens and respects us most of the time, so to see him not doing as asked I knew something was up.

Well after about a month of this new schedule, things have finally started to settle down. Most of the time Remington knows that Mom is the boss when she is home by herself and Dad is the boss otherwise.  I luckily am no longer am having to deal with his extreme behavior, which I'm thankful for because I was getting lots of bruises from him mouthing my arms and hands when he didn't want to listen.  Right now I have my baby back and I'm loving it!  I don't know what I would do without his company!

Remington staring adoringly into my eyes :)

Nice and sprawled out on the bed with his favorite toys all around him!

Enjoying his time on the couch (that he isn't allowed on) with his Mom!

Shhhh... don't tell Dad!

Week #2 of Kendra's Cook Challenge : Baked Bananas

Okay, since the first week of April was rather short (two whole days) it may seem like I've done a lot of cooking since I'm already posting the second cooking post, but I had to get on track with the month.  I woke up on Sunday morning in the mood to cook so I figured I had better take advantage of the situation before it past.

Baked Bananas (

  • ripe bananas
  • honey
  • cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Peel and cut bananas in half.  Arrange bananas in an oven safe dish.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and honey.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes depending on how soft you want them.  

The recipe said to put these over oatmeal, but Dan suggested we put them on some chocolate chip waffles we had! 

 Dan rated this breakfast a 7 as well...

Week #1 of Kendra's Cooking Challenge : Chicken and White Bean Stuffed Peppers and Lemon Dream Fruit Salad

After looking at about a million recipes I came across a few that I thought were easy enough to begin my challenge with.  I didn't want to start out too difficult and then become discouraged and quit.  I have never had stuff peppers before, so I actually didn't know what people usually serve with them.  I went to Google for the answer and many people commented that a good fruit salad is often the way to go.  I thought it was a little bit of an odd combination, but didn't have any better ideas so went with it.

Chicken and White Bean Stuffed Peppers (


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell peper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley (or cilantro)
  • 5 bell peppers (red or green)
  • 14 oz shredded chicken
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • 15.5 oz can white beans
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
In a medium pan, heat oil on medium heat.  Add chopped onions, garlic, parsley, and red peppers. Saute until soft, about a minute.

Add chicken and season with cumin and salt... for our family I just kept one side of the pan with stuff that included the chicken and the other side without. That way Dan could have his meat and I could have just  have my vegetarian option.  It ended up being a pain as the recipe progressed.

Add beans and 1 to 1-1/2 cups of water and simmer for about 5-10 minutes, until it thickens and the liquid reduces.  Adjust spices to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut peppers in half removing seeds and stem. Place peppers in an oven-proof dish.  Fill each pepper with 1/3 cup of chicken and bean mixture. Pour about 1/3 cup water on the bottom of dish.

Cover tight with foil. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil, top with cheese and bake uncovered another 5 minutes.


Lemon Dream Fruit Salad (


  • 11 oz can Mandarin Oranges (drained)
  • 8 oz can pineapple chunks (drained)
  • 2 babanas, halved lenthwise, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup halved marashino cherries (drained)
  • 1 container (6 oz) Yoplait Thick & Creamy Lemon Supreme Yogurt
Pour all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.  Refridgerate until ready to serve!

On a scale from 1 to 10.  10 being the all time best meal I have ever fixed Dan... Dan rated this a 7.  I don't think that's too bad, do you?