Friday, November 8, 2013

Here we go Team Lentil!

I'm still in a whirlwind. Still trying to get organized and make this unplanned phenomenon something big. Not "big" monetarily- but "big" emotionally. I want to do it "right" for the kids. Something is there, and I'm determined to find it!
I said to my Mom the other night that I now feel as though I'm a "stay at home mom who scrambles in circles constantly". I love it- don't get me wrong- but I have guilt, in not being able to physically work daily in my shop and rescue, as I always had and also personally-in that as much as my life (I feel has come full circle) is falling apart. My mind races constantly with ideas (that's normal for me)- but finally....I feel as though these racing thoughts can become reality because we have a Team!
The idea behind these (somewhat vague) posts I'm making on Facebook to compile a database for our kids is this...

I feel as though all of us who follow Lentil want to help..but maybe we don't know how?!  We are trying to compile information on children that follow us daily- who are inspired by us- and then move forward to incorporate ALL of our Team to participate in sending whatever they choose to- for birthdays or upcoming surgeries- to inspire these kids and show them that the world cares!  We will make care packages and forward them on to the children!  Everyone will have the opportunity to play any part they choose to!  
On a second note- for these children- I'm working on "Lentil's Lucky Charms". Each child that signs up will receive a bag and a team lentil "starter" charm...along with a form for parents to fill out on passed procedures that each child has gone thru (so we can get each child up to date).  We will make different charms to correspond with different procedures (ie- MRI, shunt, lip repair). The kids can "collect" these and be able to one day, look back and see all that they've accomplished.  This is all in the
works...and one way or another- it'll happen!  We are Team Lentil!  
I'm excited for the future..who knows what it will bring....when he was my tiny little Bean, sitting in the palm of my hand- I made a pact with Lentil...."I will always stand strong by his side, and do everything in my power to keep him safe...but I will never put him in a situation that would expose him in an uncomfortable or stressful manner."   I want to meet everyone, and somehow I will....I (and really, WE) need to just always keep our Lentil's best interest in mind first!  We, alone are one, and that's ok in a pup's mind...but to enter a room of hundreds of "ones" that want to squeeze you, takes a toll!  I have faith in all that we do together...and we will find a way- while keeping our boy's best interst in mind!  
Here we go (again)!  We are making this a reality!!! Together- somehow- each day is The Best Day Ever!!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It's been too long!

It's been too long since I've been able to sit down and seems as if updates on Facebook and writing envelopes/shipping Tshirts has gotten the best of me!  (I'm not complaining by any means- as I don't think I would change a second of any of this for the world)
I thought I should write since I realized that 2hrs had gone by where I'm sitting by myself and going through comments/messages and laughing/crying as if I were surrounded by a group of friends...yet it's just me here. It made me realize how true it is that we are this incredible, huge family...sometimes to a default when people make a negative comment about our boy!  But really, we are. It took 2 hrs for me to realize that (in person) I wasn't surrounded by everyone....oh dear- maybe Mama Bean is crazy ;) 
We have another surgery date creeping up on us...neuter- Aug 6!  Although it isn't nearly as extensive (obviously) as the palate will still be, yet another, milestone in our boys life!  I'm not sure if I'm more excited that he made it to the point of 6 months...or the fact that I can actually clip his nails bc he will be under anesthesia!  
Anyone that knows Bean personally, knows that he has grown to be the typical Frenchie...he does what he wants- and he refuses to do anything that he doesn't want. It's gotten to be a "joke" when we are at the vet for a palate exam..."who's taking one for the team?!" So we can get a 2 second peek....and bloodwork- it's seems as if the hospital "goes on lunch break" for that one!!  All of that attitude however, makes me even more proud of him (if that's even possible).  He is a dog- he has his own personality- and I will always allow him to have that. (With boundaries- of course) :)  
In all of the meets that we have done, and the events that we've attended, he thrives off of them.  He snaps into his Bean routine...ears back...butt wiggles and works the room- it's so funny. Most of the success of this I have to say, I credit to everyone around us. For some reason...whether it be children or adults- we all respect him and his needs. It's because we are family!  "Bean is getting fidgety"...ok...give him time and we will pick up where we left off...
I will always ensure that he is able to be a dog- before an "icon". I am trying to (as I've implied) find a way to meet everyone...and I promise you, there will never be a "charge" to see him...I'm still trying to wrap my head around all that is happening...but I can assure you- I will never exploit an animal. I've enjoyed the meets so far- so much...perhaps more than I can ever say...bc it feels like family- and I don't ever want that to change. 

I'll never forget my Mom saying to me one day "something big is happening."  She was so is's a lot of love all wrapped up tightly together. Again, I still can't fully comprehend it, but here we are...and through one pup that beat the odds, we are moving forward. It's not "weird" anymore to say "I love you"...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

5 months. Amazing

In doing rescue work, we all know we have our good days and our bad. Today was my "limit" for my bad. 
I already feel guilty about not making a post surgery post...which- by the way- is in it's own way- a GOOD thing- bc all is going well. It's crazy- I look back- and STILL wonder about how everything- even though we had our moments- was "perfect".  
Surgery day- my world stopped. That's all I could say...but it was a beautiful "dance" of incredible drs that are probably sick of me hugging/thanking them- and it went without a "hitch"--- so ONE more time (as if it'll be the last- haha) THANK YOU!! And also thank you to all who were there with me- tied to the updates...bc you and I were there together. I look back- and before I could even process an update-it was being posted for our family. We did it!!!  TOGETHER!!  
There was never a time in raising our little man that I ever felt anything to be hard. I am blessed that French Bulldog Rescue Network entrusted me with his care.  But now- there are times that I question "hard". I did my job- and I still do!  That- as a mom- will never stop.  What I never signed up for was the way this turned into a "social media craze".  Don't get me wrong...I'd never change that for the world either...but one thing I think is forgotten at times is the fact that it was never sought after.....I've done this work for yrs- "the world" didn't friends did...and so did my neighborhood (who knew me)...but not the WORLD!   
I did what I did and I've always been happy doing it. I have the most amazing family within Chic Petique and Street Tails-- we are there for eachother- we step up where needed and we make it thru....small business, debt and good friends is all I've ever known--and I'm lucky for that!  
I sit here writing...rambling...bc I needed to...and in the background "tiny dancer" is Madison's "song"- first thing I heard when she passed away....and oddly enough- the first song I heard when I got into my car when they took Lentil back into surgery (had to lv the hospital to get my brain in order).  Funny how life works...."tiny dancer" will always "haunt" me in the best way's a sign that our beloved babies never leave us....
I may have lost anyone who even attempts to read this- if so- I'm sorry...but if you're still going- please know that I truly love all of you. 
I am so grateful for everything. I feel as though all that I've worked for, has come a way I could never have planned...but it's better than anything I could've ever asked for!
It made me so sad that it seems as if Facebook posts have been so critical that its taking the fun out of all of this. If you ask anyone that knows me- I have so much more to do than post updates on Facebook. I always think- "yikes- my bed sheets are exposed to the world!"  This is my private life...yet I've come to sharing my private my life with so many- that I now view as my family. So please know- I keep Lentil I do all of my need to criticize....we all have opinions- but I do and have done the very best that I can!  Does that make sense?!  Maybe so...but hopefully it does. We all have different ways of "living"-but we are all in this together...and through this one incredible pup- we can make a difference together! I've given my life to it. 
I don't want drama...I don't have time for it. I want to make a difference...and so I will continue to try...with the help of my friends and my amazing new found family!
And today...I (we) celebrate that our boy, Lentil, is 5 months old!!!!   Together- we have gone through so much!  He is here- he is thriving- and full speed ahead- we will do what we can to help animals and children--because- at the end of the day...if we can put a smile on a child's face...we've succeeded!  :). Love you guys...and love you Mom and Dad...I've given you guys (mom and dad) many "grand dogs"...I'm sorry there aren't grand kids involved...but Mom...what you've given to the countless children at Bright Beginnings is more than most can do in a lifetime.  YOU are what moves mountains.  I look at all of this- and honestly- if I can be even half of you and dad as Lentil's personal assistant- I can be happy. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Surgery Info for Tomorrow!! HERE WE GO!!!

As I'm finally finding the time to sit down and write...all I'm thinking about is that at this time tomorrow, all of these thoughts that I'm having will be in the past.  I can't believe that surgery day is actually here.  We have gone through so much.  Thinking back, I remember my fears of him getting his first tooth and being worried about him "chomping on his tube"...but all of those fears quickly went away as each "fear" became a reality...and all was ok..  I have to remind myself of that, as tomorrow quickly approaches.  All will just be fine.....I still can't believe that I won't be traveling with a bag of meds, formula, tubes and syringes by tomorrow!!  It's seems so surreal to me....My work as a Mother to get him healthy and strong enough to the point of surgery is complete.  Tomorrow is up to him and his Doctors- and I have complete faith in both!

I'm so proud of Lentil.  I can't believe all he has accomplished in just 4 short months.  He will always amaze me.  I know that he is a strong boy, and that is important going into our "adventure" tomorrow.

The plan for surgery is that we will arrive at the hospital at 7:30am.  The drs believe the procedure will take about 3 hrs.  Dental x-rays will be done first and if they feel it's necessary, he will then have a CT's all depending on what the x-rays show.  His surgical team will consist of Dr John Lewis, Dr Alex Reiter and Dr Jesse Taylor (from CHOP)!!  I couldn't have asked for a better team.  Also in the room will be Dr Fulton (Lentil's primary vet) and Dr. Shana.  Dr Fulton will oversee him through his recovery- which makes me happy because Lentil will be waking up to face that he has always known/loved.

Our focus for tomorrow is repairing the hard/soft palate.  Although we now know he has a hiatal  hernia....we are going to "pretend" it isn't there.  He isn't showing any clinical signs of it, and the drs have already taken every precaution with lessening the risk of regurgitation, so we will worry about the hernia if/when it causes an issue.  To fix the hard palate, they will create a flap of skin taken from one side of the roof of his mouth and suture it onto the other side (to seal that ridge), then they take skin and somehow create a soft palate.  It amazes me with what they are capable of doing.  They are confident they will fix everything in one try...but depending on how he heals, he may need further surgeries.

From the outside, our little Lentil will look exactly the same.  I've opted to not do any cosmetic procedures, as I feel it's important for all of us to remember that it's OK to be different!!!  It's ironic that so many people love him for the way that he looks, yet will still ridicule/judge a human for having the same difference!!  This is one of the barriers that all of us need to break down together!  We should celebrate each day loving each other for exactly who we are!!

I promise to keep everyone in the loop.  As soon as I get info- I will pass it along to all of you!  Think good thoughts for Lentil....and go out and do a good deed tomorrow in honor of will help his good energy :)  We are all in this together, and I won't forget that!

Some people have said that it seems as though our Facebook posts aren't showing up in their newsfeed...if you feel that way- from a desktop, go to Bean's page and put your cursor over the "like" sure it says "show in newsfeed" on the screen that pops up.  xoxo

Full speed ahead to tomorrow!  I am going there with full confidence and many hopes for a speedy recovery!  Thank you for all of the love and support.  It's gotten us this far...and after our surgery tomorrow...our life together will truly begin!  Lentil will be able to begin to accomplish what he was placed here to do!  I'm excited for the future....and as for tomorrow....we will make it the Best Day Ever- because that's what we do!!!  

Love you guys!!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Surgery Day is Approaching...

Just when you think that everything is running smoothly, there's always that bump to throw things a bit off.  We are starting to prepare for surgery, so last Wednesday we went to Bethel Mill for blood work and x-rays.  Dr Lewis had also asked for a blood type, as they are taking every precaution.

Lentil's CBC/Chem came back with elevated liver values and his ammonia level is extremely high (311) now we know poor lentil may also have a liver shunt, making the risk of anesthesia even higher.  We went to UPenn on Thursday to do a bile acid test, which tests the function of the liver.  That test was also elevated, so they are pretty positive now that a shunt is present.  I feel as though walls are just caving in on me. 

Currently, we are working on a new game plan...although we are still sticking to the May 28th surgery day...however, if they are able to find the shunt on ultrasound, Bean may have surgery to correct that on the 28th rather than the palate.  

I refuse to let this get me down....and I hope all of you will continue to stay strong for him- he needs it- now more than ever!  Love goes a long way, and Lentil is a trooper.  He is full of life (as you know) and he is showing no clinical signs, which is wonderful news!   

I'm sorry that I didn't get to making this announcement sooner, but I needed a bit of time to collect my thoughts and take all of this in.  So now, the countdown to surgery day begins!  We will continue to celebrate each day we have, and we look forward to a speedy recovery for our boy.....we have lots of people to meet when he gets better!!!  

Thank you, again, to all of you for all of the love and support.  It breaks my heart that I physically can't keep up with all of the messages I have on facebook (I'm about 1500 messages behind) and the "thank-you's" that I would like to personally send.  Please know that I am so grateful...xoxoxo  I love you guys!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Today is the best day EVER!

What an amazing way to start off Mother's Day!  I couldn't be happier.  I feel like I was just granted my only wish I could ever have in this little Lentil.  I am so thankful to FBRN for making this possible- and so appreciative of the amount of love and support we are getting from everyone seeing the post!  It makes me feel so good to know that I am trusted to care for him- forever.  It's been a long, hard road for us, and I would never change a second of it.  Now I can be 100% sure that he can and will complete his mission in life.  As his Mother, I will see him through every step of the way.  I don't feel as though he is "my" dog, he is the world's dog...and under my care, it will stay that way.  Now our life is really going to begin!

I have been so scared about his surgery day coming up.  I am petrified of him going under anesthesia and having an even higher risk of aspiration.  It was such a heavy load on my heart thinking that he would undergo surgery without ever having an official "Mom", but now he doesn't have to!  Even though I would be by his side regardless, I can now be there- as his true Mother....and that's all I've ever wanted for him.

This is just the beginning.

Lentil Fest was a huge success!  I can't even begin to properly thank everyone for the hard work that was put into the planning, and also the incredible amount of support throughout the weekend.  It was so great to see so many people pull together to create something so successful for 3 very deserving nonprofits!  A huge thank you to Kate Connor for putting together a raffle night that raised $2234!!  Many, Many thanks goes out to the venues- North Bowl, the Blockley, The Fire and the Bands who donated all of their time/talents to help our cause.  Derek Dorsey, for organizing the shows, which brought in another $610 at the doors!  Dan Murphy from,, who photographed our raffle night...thank you for always being there for us (pics coming soon).  To all of the artists who donated to our raffle and auction night- thank you- you made it happen!  Our online auction through Lentil's page raised $ thank you to all who kept that bidding going!!!  All of the above funds that are listed, along with the money from the Lentil shirts that were donated by FBRN, each organization will be receiving a check of a minimum $2523!!!  The table we had for CCAkids at our market day, brought in an additional $433 for the children- selling baked goods donated by my Mom and Lentil "Support Ribbons" created/donated by Daniel Pfeiffer.  We had countless volunteers from STAR and FBRN running these tables and making the weekend happen...we couldn't have done it without all of you!  This is so exciting!!  PLUS- at the end of the month- we will have more checks going out from our online donation link!!  I will keep everyone posted...and smiling ear to ear all along!  Everyone who helped and supported this cause should give themselves a huge pat on the back!  This happened because of all of us!  I feel like I could write a novel just saying "THANK YOU"!  We are in this together- and we made it happen!  I love you guys!

Monday, April 29, 2013

12wks old...and FINALLY consult day has arrived!

It seems like forever ago that we made this consult appointment...and now- finally it has arrived!   The vets at UPenn are amazing to work with.  They are in agreement with us that my ONLY concern is correcting what needs to be done for his health....cosmetic isn't an issue for me.

Lentil's surgery is tentatively scheduled for May 28th!!!  They explained that he will probably spend the night after surgery, but they are very hopeful that everything will run smoothly.  It's so nice to have such confident doctors on your side!   Now my only question is if they will let ME also spend the night :) Bean and I have never been apart....and I'm surely not above sleeping in a kennel to be with him! 

We've had such an eventful last 2 days!- Sunday started  by Lentil and I joining a group of children at Salon L'Etoile in Jenkintown.  CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) brought these children and their families together to let them have a day of beauty which was donated by the salon.  It was absolutely incredible- the kids were all so amazing!  I have never been in a place and surrounded by so much strength!  Bean had a blast, and I think the children really enjoyed him....they can relate to him and the road he has ahead better than any of us!  They were so sweet- the kids were helping ME!  Talking about their surgeries and experiences, and letting me know that we will be just fine! 

It's because of these children that I was able to calmly listen to the doctor today and not worry so much!  They gave us/continue to give us the strength to get through this!  Lentil even was offered some dry kibble!  He's a bit confused by it, but he was able to swallow some pieces safely!  So now a new adventure.... offering more and more each day and hopefully rotating between tube/kibble.  This is another huge milestone, and I'm so excited!  I promise to keep everyone posted on the progress!  I'm happy to say that the perfect size kibble turned out to be Orijen Red Meat!  So thank you, Champion Pet foods, for making a kibble that my baby can tolerate! 

Thank you again for all of the support!  We are all in this adventure together!  Now full speed ahead to Lentil Fest!!!  xoxo