We rescued Charlie back in 2011 from Thomas J. O’Connors Animal Shelter in Springfield, Massachusetts. Click on the below link to read the original rescue story.

It brings me great sadness to let everyone know our sweet Charlie has passed away. He was 12+ years old. He had a heart issue. He passed away peacefully at home on his favorite dog bed. Rest In Peace Our Sweet Boy. We will miss you so much!

In this photo is his BEST FRIEND AMBER ROSE who passed away 2 years ago. They will meet in heaven and play for eternity

My Sweet Amber Dog

liver failure in cats

Our Beloved Rex

This grey tabby was found on 11/14/2014 on the streets of Utica Avenue in Brooklyn, NY, transferred to Staten Island Care Center and eventually ended up at Mary’s Kitty Corner to be cared for until he was adopted. He was a bit obese and missing one of his incisors. He also had gingivitis. He was treated for all ailments and given a clean bill of health.

On December 9th, 2014 my husband and I went to Mary’s Kitty Korner in Granby, Connecticut to pick out a cat. We walked in and there were cats everywhere. So many to chose from! There was a certain, quiet grey tabby in a crate with the door open. All of the other cats were out and about, sitting on the window sills in the sunshine or begging for attention. We walked over to the cat in the crate and he came out to let us pet him. He was very friendly and liked us so we decided to adopt him. We named him Rex.

He’s been a very healthy and friendly cat who loves to eat and sit in the sunshine high atop of his cat tower. He spends most of his days upstairs in the spare bedroom which he considered “HIS” room. He would run and pounce on his toys. From downstairs it sounded like an elephant was up there (LOL) Our Rex was happy to be alone but also loved attention.

Fast forward to March 2022. About 4 weeks ago, I noticed Rex hadn’t eaten the food I put out for him. I thought that was very strange as he LOVED to eat! He always meow’s for food every morning. I tried to feed him a different flavor of cat food but he wouldn’t eat that either. This went on for 2 days. I called my vet and they said to bring him in.

The vet did blood work, a urine sample, fecal sample and an exam to find Rex to had liver disease. The only symptom he had at the time was lack of appetite. How could that be he went from being okay to liver disease. How did I not notice? My vet said cats hide their sickness very well.

They started him on IV fluids, an antibiotic and some anti nausea medicine to see if he would eat some food. Rex spent a full week in the hospital with slight improvement. He was in good spirits but still wouldn’t eat any food. The vet was “force feeding” him which he didn’t like but tolerated.

On the 2nd week, we hired a vet tech to care for him at her home to see if she could get Rex to eat on his own but that was not successful. He was still being force fed but was in very good spirits and following the other 2 cats in the household around.

Week 3, we took him home to rest in his familiar surroundings. He seemed very happy to be home with all his blankets and bed. Again, he was purring and just acting tired. Another week went by and I still had to force feed him. His ears were getting yellow and so was his skin. I cuddled up next to him and talked to him. I explained he was sick and he would have to go back to the vet. He laid very still and quiet and let out a little meow. I stayed with him most of the day and turned the heat up to 72 so he was warm. I ended up falling asleep and when I woke up I put my head to his chest and there was no heart beat. Rex had passed away. Our boy is at peace.

Here are two main types of common liver disease in cats that can lead to liver dysfunction and liver failure. These are classified as primary and secondary:

Primary liver disease

  1. Congenital abnormalities (which animals are born with)
  2. Bacterial infection (e.g. suppurative cholangitis or cholangiohepatitis)
  3. Immune-system-related liver disease, in particular lymphocytic cholangitis, which is often linked to two other related inflammatory conditions, pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), resulting in a condition commonly referred to as “triaditis”.
  4. FIP Feline Infectious Peritonitis
  5. Toxic damage to the liver: a number of toxins may cause liver damage
  6. Hepatic lipidosis, known as fatty liver disease (linked to obesity, when the liver becomes infiltrated with abnormal fatty tissue in obese cats)
  7. Tumors, both benign and malignant, including lymphoma

B. Secondary liver disease can occur with a number of conditionsThe liver can commonly be adversely affected by other diseases, such as:

  1. Pancreatitis
  2. Diabetes Mellitus
  3. Hyperthyroidism
  4. Other conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease etc.

Waikiki Chicken

I made this over the weekend and it was fabulous! It’s extremely easy and quick to make. I paired my chicken with rice and broccoli on the side.

Here’s the recipe for Waikiki Chicken.

2 whole chicken breasts, 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt & pepper, 1 green pepper cut into rings, 3/4 cup cider vinegar and 1 cup chicken broth.

Sauce: 1 4oz can crushed or chunk pineapple in natural juice, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 TBL cornstarch, 1 TBL soy sauce, 1/2 tsp fresh ginger.

Wash chicken breasts and pat until dry. Coat chicken with flour. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and brown on both sides. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Heat over to 350 degrees

Sauce: Drain pineapple pouring syrup into a 2 cup measuring cup. Add enough water to make 1 1/2 cups. Combine sugar, cornstarch, pineapple syrup, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and chicken broth. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Pour over chicken and bake for 30 minutes. Add pineapple and green pepper rings. Bake 30 more minutes. Serve over a bed of rice.

instapot Organic Vegetable Ministrone Soup

When I heard about this recipe I knew I had to try it. I made a few changes to the original and made it even more tasty and healthy than the original version.

Prep: 20 Minutes. Cook 30-40 minutes. Servings 6.

You can cut down on the sodium by using LOW SALT stock

2 TB organic olive oil, 3 organic celery stalks, 3 organic carrots (chopped), 1 organic onion (chopped), 4 cloves organic garlic (minced), 3 cups organic vegetable stock (Low sodium preferred), 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp parsley, 1 tsp sweet basil, 1 tsp kosher salt; 1/8 tsp ground pepper, (1)14.5oz can of organic diced tomatoes, 2-3 organic diced potatoes, (I used 3 as I love potatoes), 15oz of low sodium, organic 3 bean mixture. I used the dark kidney, pinto and black beans from Big Y which is a local supermarket chain near where I live.


Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Cook and stir, carrots, celery, garlic and onions until the onions are translucent.

Pour stock into instapot and add carrots, celery, garlic and onions from your saute pan. Stir in tomatoes, potatoes and beans. Add salt, pepper, oregano, parsley and basil.

Set your instapot for soup. Once the instapot is done, depressurize it and add fresh organic kale. Stir in and serve.

Plastic and Foam

Through my job, I had the opportunity to learn about plastic and petroleum based products that are dumped into the ocean. Only 9% of the plastic recycled actually gets recycled. The rest of it goes into landfills, oceans and streams. 83% of drinking water has microplastic in it. The largest store of Co2 is the ocean. It stores thousands of gigatons of Co2. With the barrier reefs being destroyed along with the plankton this world is being destroyed. By the year 2050 any fish or crustacean that comes out of the ocean will be toxic, un-edible due to the fact they will contain more plastic than their being.

It was brought to my attention by a new product my company is offering and using. It’s tree free, plastic free, and compostable! They developed a sustainable product from the waste of agricultural products like sugarcane and wheat which are usually burned and crates pollution.

Sweet Potato Burger

I came across this old recipe in my recipe box today for sweet potato burgers.

I can’t believe I haven’t made it in years. It’s so delicious. Sweet potato burger. It’s super easy to make. If I can make it, anyone can.

The ingredients for sweet potato burger are simple and things you most likely already have in your home.

1 Cup Water (for the rice) Cook rice first and let cool

1 pinch of himalayan sea salt

1/2 cup brown rice

1/2 cup raw, pealed sweet potato grated

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup whole grain or gluten free flour

1 Tsp olive oil

Cook your rice first and have it cooled down before you mix it in with other ingredients. If you have left over rice in your fridge, even better, use that! Mix the rice, raw grated sweet potato, onion and salt in a bowl. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the moisture to be drawn out of the rice and potatoes.

Mix in enough flour to make the batter sticky and add some water (spoonful or 2) if necessary until the mixture can be formed into firm balls. Squish the balls into a patty.

Heat your pan, put in some olive oil so the patty’s do not stick. Cook for 7-10 minutes on one side then flip and cook 5-7 minutes on the 2nd side.

You can garnish with your favorite dressing like cheese, salsa, avacado, lettuce or what I love is the chipotle sauce!!! I also added a little garlic powder to the top of it after it was cooked.


My Sweet Amber Dog

We adopted Amber from Friends of New Haven animal shelter. Here is the original story which should be read before this one

Our sweet girl Amber had been licking her front paws excessively for a few days. I gave her a warm bath, cut her nails and shaved her paws however the paw licking got worse. I called my vet and they suggested I bring her in as paw licking is a sign something could be wrong.

On our way to the vets office Amber was very nervous. She was panting like crazy. I turned around to look at her and I noticed there was something on the bottom, right side of her mouth, on the gum line. It was a pink lump that looked sort of like bubble gum. I never noticed that before.

When we got to the vets office I mentioned the mass in her mouth. The vet looked at it and I could tell by the look on her face it was NOT good news. She said, “Amber has a sarcoma in her mouth. We need to test it to be sure”. We made an appointment for a biopsy and also to take as much of the tumor out as possible. That happened within a few day.

We dropped Amber off to get the procedure done. She did very well. 3 teeth had to be pulled due to the tumor but she seemed to be in good spirits. Now we wait for the results.

2 days later, the phone rang and it was the vet. As expected it was very bad news. Amber had a poorly differentiated sarcoma in her mouth. It was growing out of her jaw into the gums. It is an aggressive tumor that grows quickly. Doc said she removed as much as she could but it will grow back rapidly. The options were to remove part of Amber’s jaw, radiation and medicine. Amber is 11 years old. We decided not to put her through any of that mostly because there is no guarantee she will survive.

The next 4 weeks were very emotional for all of us. We kept her as comfortable as possible with some pain medication and hand feeding her. She was able to eat home made sweet potatoes, rice, chicken and some ground beef. The tumor would periodically bleed and seemed to be getting larger. She was sleeping most of the time and we carried her outside to the bathroom as she wasn’t interested in walking. I took her for many, many walks in the doggie stroller which she LOVED. She could feel the wind in her face and I would talk to her the whole time. I let her out on the grass to smell all the great smells outside. She loved that. Through all of this she would still wag her tail and look at us adoringly.

On July 31st, we took her back to the vet for a re-evaluaton. I rubbed her belly the whole way. If you read my original blog on how she and I first met, it involved belly rubbing. Every morning I would rub her belly before she got out of her crate for the day. She would hear my voice and turn over on her back waiting for me to rub her belly.

We arrived at 5:15. Doc looked in her mouth and said the tumor doubled in size, was infected and she also felt another lump in her jaw and her abdomen was swollen. We again discussed treatment however with all the tumors, we made the decision it was time for our Amber to be at peace and out of all the pain she was in. Amber willingly laid on her side. I was rubbing her belly as they shaved her small paw. Tears were streaming down my face as I told her how much I love her and she will be okay. No more pain baby girl. I told her I will miss her forever and I will never forget her. I thanked her for being such a great friend to us.

The needle went into her paw and within 2 seconds I heard doc say “She’s already gone”. It was that quick because Amber was so tired. I held her for 10 minutes before I could leave her there, stroking her beautiful white fur. I got back into the car without her and really had a difficult time keeping it together. I wiped the tears from my eyes and thought of all the great times we had with Amber and drove home.

Entering the house without her was difficult and the other dogs in the house knew something was different. It will take time to heal the heart after the loss of such an amazing friend. Amber left us the same way she met us. With loving belly rubs.

Amber and Marcus

Overweight Dog

If you are following my blog, you already know we adopted our Prince Harry, a Cavalier King Charles in August of 2019. If not, here is the story.

Our Prince Harry had his annual check up with the vet this week. He was around 20 pounds when we first brought him home. He is now tipping the scale at a whopping 26 pounds. As you can imagine our vet was concerned and suggested we put him on a calorie restriction along with more exercise.

How did he get that heavy? I didn’t even realize it as it happened over a period of 8 months. I looked back at pictures of him when we first got him and then picures of today. Huge difference. 6 pounds on a small dog is alot of weight.

I did some research on how to help your dog lose weight and all the sites are pretty much the same. Count the calories and exercise more. In order for Prince Harry to lose weight he needs to be on a 500 calorie diet per day for food and 50 calories for treats. Total calories 550. We will start measuring the food in a cup, counting calories and drastically reducing the homemade treats we feed him. He is especially fond of the pumpkin/peanut butter treats I make for him. I actually like them too. It’s flour, eggs, peanut butter, and pumpkin.

Today is day 1 of the “diet”. Previously I was just taking a hand full of kibble and topping it with a scoop of chicken. This morning I fed him 1/4 cup chicken and 1/2 cup of his kibble. He gobbled it down and looked at me with those beautiful eyes of his that were screaming at me that he was STARVING! I had to turn away and tell myself that he had enough food for now. Part of me wanted to give him a cookie because he looked sad but I knew better.

I will be writing an update in a few weeks to see how the new fitness regimine is going. Wish us luck!

First day with us
8 months later

Covid 19

I have interviewed 3 people in the Northeast who will remain nameless who had or thought they had the corona virus.

Patient 1 – Will refer to as P1: Age 40: Normally healthy no previous illnesses

In February P1 was at a work meeting for a few day in a large city. P1 started feeling sick 3 days after returning home from the meeting. Symptoms were body aches, dry cough, chest fullness, headache and a fever. P1 went to the doctor and the Dr. pretty much dismissed it and was sent home.

P1 tried to tough it out but then began to notice a fever was 103 and had trouble breathing. P1 went to the ER where they didn’t have any test kits to test for Covid 19. They did a chest xray which showed pneumonia in 1 lung. P1 was sent home after 1 day with antiobiotics. A few days later P1 returned to the ER where a test was administered and registered positive for Covid 19. IV fluids were given and some oxygen. Again sent home after a few hours. To recap: Fever, weakness, body aches and totally exhausted for 14 days. Finally feeling “better” however now her 2 family members have become ill with the same symptoms.

Patient 2: P2: Age 56. Started with a scratchy throat, fever, and then it escalated quickly into difficult breathing. Went to the ER, tested positive for Covid 19 and was admitted. Chest xray showed pneumonia. Hospitalized for 4 days. Sent home with meds and bed rest orders. P2 explained an excruciating head ache like never known before. Tylenol, motrin, advil, nothing would even begin to relieve the pain. The fever left P2 dehydrated and weak. The symptoms continued for 8 days. Today P2 was well enough to speak on the phone with me. P2 was taking a nap 2 times a day and has issues even walking down the driveway to get the mail. P2 feels the symptoms are getting better.

Patient 3: Age 59. Awoke with a head ache and sinus pressure and pain. P3 is known for occasional migraines. They especially occur around April when the tree pollen is at it’s highest. P3 took the usual dose of the migraine medicine and it didn’t work. P3 laid down and napped. After a few hours of napping woke up soaked in sweat. P3 tried to stand up only to tell me legs felt like they were filled with sand and so weak couldn’t stand. Pounding headache. P3 made it to the shower where the warm water helped with the congestion however the water hitting on the top of P3’s head hurt. It felt like the water was directly going into the brain nerves. It was like nothing ever experienced before. P3 called the doctor and a nurse called back within 15 minutes. Symptoms were discussed and the nurse advised P3 to go the ER if symptoms didn’t get better. A few days later, no relief at all. P3 began to vomit and couldn’t keep anything down, not even water.

P3 called the dr which this time the dr wanted to face time with P3. They went over symptoms. No fever, but so many odd symptoms. Body aches, severe head ache and muscle weakness. It didn’t sound the the typical Covid 19. P3 was advised to go to the ER if not better. 8 days later, the symptoms started to improve. P3 is still weak and tired but improving. P3 told me the story of how 2 weeks earlier they took a trip to pick up a college student who was on spring break down south. That college student was complaining of a sore throat and a slight cough but recovered within 2 days with no fever. No Covid 19 test was administered.