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

Saturday, April 13, 2013

10 weeks...and Best Birthday surprise ever!

What an awesome Birthday surprise!  I'm so excited to announce that, as of right now, Lentil has reached his  fundraising goal and the cost of all of his surgeries is covered!!  It's because of your generosity, that this little puppy will be receiving the best of care!  On behalf of FBRN, I just wanted to say "Thank you- with all of my heart."  It's just simply amazing!

Moving it seems that's exactly was Lentil was placed into this world to do- we are collecting for other animals in need through FBRN (, STAR ( and also my wonderful new friends at who could use your support for all of the beautiful children and families they are helping!  Please take a moment and check out all of these incredible organizations, as this is no longer about just one puppy in's about making a difference in the lives of many!  Be sure to tell them Lentil sent you!  <3

To help to kick off this awesome partnership- my friends here in Philly have been working their tails off to prepare for Lentil Fest!!  It's going to be 4 days of fun!  We are starting off by having a concert at the Blockley with Tommy Conwell on May 2, then a raffle/auction at North Bowl 7-10pm on May 3rd!  May 4th, FBRN and STAR are hosting an Adoption Event on Liberties Walk, in front of Chic Petique from 12-4, and then 2 more concerts at The Fire on Sat with Kuf Knotz and Sun night with The Lawsuits!  Woohoo!!  This is gonna be an amazing event- and all proceeds are going to be split between all 3 organizations!!  Stay tuned for flyers and more detailed info!!

I'm just so overwhelmed by the love and support that we are receiving!  I couldn't have asked for anything more...and it's just incredible to be able to take it to the next level.  All of this positive energy is exactly what Lentil needs to be surrounded by as we get closer and closer to his surgery.  It's amazing the healing power that love has :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

FAQ- I hope this helps!

I can't believe it's been almost 3 weeks since I've had a chance to sit down and write!

I've been trying so hard to catch up on emails, etc...and I think I have to just realize that it's impossible....I'm sorry :(  In order to try to answer as many questions as possible- at once- I decided to take this moment to attempt to create a frequently asked questions post....I hope it helps!

 Here's the biggie...."When will Lentil have his surgery?"
      Well....the second that I know- you will too!  Here is the plan as of right now.....We are scheduled for a surgery consult on April 29th at University of Pennsylvania.  The Doctors are waiting to watch him grow to figure out the optimal time to complete the surgery.  As of this moment (and it can change by the consult), they are thinking of beginning the procedures in May/June.  I honestly couldn't have asked for a more dedicated/excited team of doctors.  The goal of the surgery will be to create a soft tissue separation between the oral and nasal cavities.  We are all in agreement that we are only doing necessary surgeries to allow him to function normally...any cosmetic things will be left alone.  Being that he is a bulldog, and as a breed, bulldogs are at higher risk of aspiration to begin with- we are doing all we can to put him "under" as little as possible.
     I don't mean to seem vague about the surgery question, but I honestly don't know all of the answers yet...the Doctors feel as though he will have multiple, but until we start, there isn't a definitive answer as to how many.  Once the 29th rolls around, you guys will have an update via here or on facebook by early evening!  I'm aware that we are all in this together- and I will keep everyone up to date!

"Can I meet Lentil?"
     Since Lentil is still a baby...he isn't up to date on his vaccines yet.  He has received his first booster and his Bordetella, but we still have a few more boosters to go!  We are trying be as cautious as possible because of his medical condition.  Have no fear- in time, this baby will meet all of his family!  We just have to do it the right way!

"Where can I send Lentil a package to?"
     You guys are all so sweet and generous!  Lentil will never "go without"- that's for sure!!  Please know, that it isn't necessary to send anything....your love and support is all we need!  The fact that I see numerous comments everyday about the smiles he puts on everyone's face is the best gift ever!  One puppy does not need hundreds of toys...and although I do let him play with/enjoy each gift he gets, I want you to know that we are also sharing these toys with other animals in need!  Every dog deserves to have a fun day!  Any mail can be sent to Lentil c/o Street Tails Animal Rescue 1030 N 2nd Street Unit 401 Phila, Pa 19123.  There are many dogs that need the help at FBRN and STAR...and we are also working to raise awareness and support for!  One puppy doesn't need the world...but one puppy can surely work to save it! 

"When can I adopt him?"
     This one puts a knife straight through my heart.  Yes, I am his foster mom.  French Bulldog Rescue Network entrusted me with a job to do my best in caring for a puppy and getting him to the point of/seeing him through his surgeries.  That is what I am doing.  I've given him my everything in hopes that we will get to where he needs to be!  FBRN is a wonderful group, and they will take the necessary steps on his adoption when the time comes.....but we still have a long road ahead!!  What we need right now is the love and support to see him through to that point.  Just because he is a doesn't mean that we haven't sought out the best possible care for this pup!  

I hope that this helps! Again, thank you for all of the love and support!!  We couldn't have asked for a better group of awesome friends.  <3

Saturday, March 23, 2013

7 weeks! what a blessing!!

I'm so happy to say that I turned 7wks old today!!  I weighed in this morning at 3lb 5.4oz!  That's almost a full 3lbs more than when I was born!!  (I was only 5.78oz when Foster Mom took me into her care). 

I have a consult scheduled at University of Pennsylvania on April 29th.  Dr John Lewis is so nice....and Foster Mom told me that he is an awesome Doctor!  He has tons of experience with correcting animals who were born just like me!  We are so grateful to have him on our side.  He is confident and determined to make me healthy....just like Foster Mom!  She says that he is gonna be great to add to our team! 

I still can't get over this attention that I'm getting!  I'm just so grateful to all of you.  Your generosity and support has been unmatched by anything that Foster Mom has ever's just incredible.  I love that I am able to make so many people (from all over the world) come together.....and smile!!  The love is amazing. 

Foster Mom has been working around the clock with my feedings and care- so she wanted to apologize that her emails/thank you letters have gotten backed up!  We are just so grateful and want all of you to know that!  We appreciate each and every one of you...and all of your comments/emails/kind words.  Foster Mom doesn't ever want any of you to feel as though you aren't a part of our family.  All of this love and support is a huge part in what is bringing so much good energy to my environment and helping me to succeed! 

So this week- I dedicate my Birthday wishes to all of you!!  thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!  xoxoxox  I feel that even though I have so many odds against me....I am the luckiest puppy in the world!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

6 weeks of feeling awesome!!!

Wow.  6 weeks.  If I do the math, I have now tube fed this baby about 396 times!  It's been a ton of work, and a massive amount of stress....but I wouldn't trade it for the world- any of it.  It still blows my mind that it seems as if the tiny puppy has taken over the internet!  Buzzfeed?!  Huffington Post?!  Now NY Daily News?!!  For years, I've been doing rescue work, and doing all I can to help special needs animals...and now, this tiny Bean comes into my life, and is getting more press in his 6wks on Earth that I have in my lifetime!  Good for him.  He deserves it.  He deserves all of the love and support that is being brought upon him.  That long as people remember the reason we are here.  We are dog rescue.  We are the people who open our hearts to offer a chance to these "unwanted" babies.  One animal at a time...we attempt to make a difference.

I have always looked at Lentil and wondered the reason that he is here.  I (personally) believe that every being is here to make some sort of an impact, or a difference in the world....we all have a purpose.  I'm not sure that I know yet what Lentil's purpose will be in the future, but one of the most beautiful things that seems to be unfolding is his connection to people that are facing the same issue that he has!  I've gotten the most beautiful emails from mothers, who's children were born with cleft palates. The stories of their fights, their heart aches and their celebrations just amaze me.  One woman, Alison, wrote that her daughter Rachael and her have been following our story.  She told me that she's shared him on Children's Craniofacial Association or CCAkids. Her email stated "Rachael and I have chatted about how much a puppy or baby with a cleft or other facial difference is viewed as adorable but when the child gets older and is dealing with peers - they are often made fun of and viewed as 'not so cute anymore'."  The truth behind that statement went straight through my heart.  Maybe THIS is part of Lentil's purpose?!  Perhaps he is meant to help to break down this barrier of how horrific people can act towards one another!  Only time will tell....but I can assure you....I will be sure that Lentil finds his way :)

This is the beauty of Lentil...and the beauty of rescue and humanity :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

5 weeks and counting!

Yesterday we made it to 5wks!  I apologize in advance because I haven't been on here much....the start of the "fan page" for Lentil on Facebook has taken me to place that I never thought that I would be!
As his foster mom- I'm trying to do everything...all at once.  My main concern is keeping him alive, but when I post a pic and within minutes he has over 100 "likes" it really does to help to keep us going....
I know in this "adventure" that Lentil and I have together- that we are never really alone...FBRN has been more than generous/welcoming/supportive to any of our needs.  I couldn't have asked for a better rescue to be looking over us. 
It's funny...when I agreed to foster this baby, I never would have thought he would have such a huge following!  It's amazing that this little bean- in such a short time- has such a huge online family.  This blog is where I wanted to be able to give the truth of my fostering.  So many times in the rescue world- things are "sugar coated"-   It always amazes me when people do as such...because in reality....all of us in the rescue world are (or should be) working to "close" down....right?!  The day that I don't have dogs to fill my own adoption center with- it'll be a good day :)    Don't get me wrong- I'd never trade a moment of my life for anything- but if I can one day close the rescue/adoption center that I've spent the better part of my life would be a really good day!
I'm not sure that I've ever "officially" introduced name is Lindsay- I'm 34 yrs old.  blah blah blah...cut the the chase--- well, there isn't much really....  I've worked with French Bulldog Rescue Network for the past few years- but I also run my own dog/cat boutique (Chic Petique) and have founded a nonprofit dog rescue (Street Tails Animal Rescue) here in Philly.  My heart lies with special needs animals....because in my eyes- they're the best!  (I guess that's why FBRN knew to call me).  On top of dedicating my life to Lentil at the moment-which is more than a full time job...I'm also continuing to work my other (2) full time jobs!  I'm trying my best to answer each and every email/message back in a timely manner- but I do apologize if it's taking a bit!  I just appreciate all of the support so much...and I want each and every person following us to know that.
My only concern at this time is that everyone is so overwhelmed by the cuteness of Lentil, that they are forgetting the severity of his condition.  It breaks my heart when I have to tell people that they can't visit or "play" with him.  It isn't me trying to be "mean" or "selfish"- it's for Lentil's best interest.  I want him to meet the world, but right now- he needs to meet the world through his blog and Facebook page!  Even taking his condition out of this- he is a baby- he doesn't have his boosters yet, and if god forbid he ever gets sick- he can quickly end up in the hospital.  My mission at this point- and also my "job" as his foster mom is to get him healthy enough to reach his point of his first surgery.  I'm overly cautious in all that I do for him- because I have to be.  I hope that all of you can understand this.  We all love Lentil- and because we love him, this is the way things have to be!  I look forward to seeing all of you online!  And I promise, I will continue to post as many pics/videos as I can...and also keep everyone in the loop with his medical stuff!  xoxoxo  On behalf of Lentil/FBRN and myself...Thank you for all of the love and support!!!  <3

Sunday, March 3, 2013

4wks old and feeling good!!

Sorry for the delay in our posting!  The new facebook page ( has been keeping us busy, as there are so many messages to respond to!  It makes me feel so good that Lentil has such a huge family! 
Yesterday our boy turned 4 wks old...and he currently is weighing in at 1lb 12.8oz!!!  He's huge!!  He gets funnier and funnier each day as his personality is developing!  He's still better at walking backwards than forwards, but I think over the next week that will change!!  Actually, I think LOTS will change...his teeth are coming in!!!  I've been dreading the day that his teeth makes me more nervous with having to tube him, but we are going to continue to just do things day by day.  My goal is to be able to feed him through his tube for as long as possible.  If needed, the doctors say that they can place an esophogostamy tube, but I feel that if there's a way to be able to cut out having to put him under, we should do that.  With a healthy bulldog, one worries about the aspiration risks under with Lentil, it's even more frightening.  I rather my life become more difficult so his can become a bit easier. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

a fun-filled special day!

Foster mom had me out and about all day today!  I had to take a ride with her to Hope Vetertinary Specialists because one of the Street Tails dogs had to go for a recheck....he was a very loud beagle pup who was hit by a car a few weeks ago!  The doctor said he is now ready for his home!  Yay Fenway!!

While we were there, mom tracked down her all time favorite Critical Care Doctor...Dr Donahue (who saved mom's Madison Rose years ago when she was in ICU with pneumonia) so she could listen to my lungs.  Great news- so far, so good!!  I knew I was ok (and I'm pretty sure mom did too)...but she always likes to double check anyway!

When we arrived back home there was a package waiting- WITH MY NAME ON IT!!  My first package!!!  It was such a great thing to come home to!  So this post goes out to Fudgie Bunny and her mama, Laura!  Thank you thank you THANK YOU!! 

As you can see....I love everything that they sent.  Foster mom posted a video on my facebook page ( if you'd like to check it out.  I took my first step FORWARD just to get to my new toy!  Facebook is fun in that manner....I can post videos! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Lunch break at work...

We are still plugging away!  Lentil is growing continuously at a rate of 1oz/day, so we seem to be right on track!  We were caught in the act for our lunch break at work! 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Where there's a will....there's a way!

Sometimes we all just need to think outside the box!  As Lentil is maturing, he is becoming more and more difficult to feed.  We have our routine down, and everything is going well...but now he sees me and sees the tube and he becomes excited because he knows that his belly is going to get full. 

It's important to feed him upright, so his Aunt Sarah and I got together and started our first prototype of Lentil's new "feeding station"!  This is him getting fit for his "hammock".  The way that this will work is that his legs will fit through holes on the hammock which is stretched over the wood base.  Lentil will be comfortably strapped in, and with his legs free underneath, he can paddle and "nurse" without the fear of his paw getting near his actual tube!  It looks like a night of sewing for me!  We are hopeful that this will work to stabilize him as he feeds and keep him at the safest angle for food intake!  Fingers crossed!!!  We should have the finished design ready by tomorrow!

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Bean got a love note!

My name is Lentil...

And I can SIT!!!!

Making every day the best day ever!

I spent the entire ride back from Cornell trying to figure out how to put
into words what is now going on in my head after his consult.  The Doctors
were amazing, and all of them are on board with our fight, but they are
all extremely concerned with the severity of little Lentil's deformities. 
Somehow I was lucky enough (or probably bc it's that I don't take my eyes
off of him), but I was able to get a very clear photo of a yawn (below). 
This photo was able to give the doctors a better idea of what is going on.
The main concern, at this point, is getting Lentil to the age where
surgery is even an option.  (9-11months).  I'm still waiting for the time
line they are going to send, but basically his game plan is at 6-8wks he
will go in for an esophagostomy tube which will allow me to feed without
going through his mouth.  This is step one.  As he grows more and more, he
will have to go for a CT scan- which is when they will be able to see just
how bad the soft palate really is.  The first, of probably multiple
surgeries, will be between 9-11 months.

With any bulldog, the risk of aspiration is high, but with Lentil, it's a
constant fear.  He has zero protection to his trachea.  So every feeding
has to be perfect.  One cough, one sneeze, one wrong move on either of our
parts can be detrimental.  I feel as though I have the weight of the world
on my shoulders.  He has so many people following him, rooting for him,
and loving him...and we are so grateful.  I refuse to give up.  I told him
when we met that I would take him as far as he is willing/able to go, and
I meant it.  Even the best Doctors and medical treatment can't predict the
future and they can't underestimate the spirit and drive that this little
boy (and his foster mom) have.

For those of you that know me, you know how afraid of pneumonia I am...but
you also know my dedication.  Twelve years ago, my Madison Rose, an
English bulldog, spent 3 wks at UPENN in an oxygen cage with pneumonia. 
Each day was a battle, and there were times that the Doctors didn't think
she would pull through...but no one on her team gave up...and eventually
she did come home to me.  Madison gave me an amazing 6 years of her life. 
We lived every day in fear of her aspirating, but we enjoyed each day and
cherished the time we had together.  Sadly, she passed away, unexpectedly
after 6 years...because she vomited and aspirated.  I miss her every day,
but my experience with her taught me to always keep going- and that is
what we are doing.

I enjoy Lentil so much, so I refuse to let this news make me sad in any
way. It's just making us stronger.  Thankfully, we have a huge support
group of doctors who are always available to us, and who will be ready to
go if a situation ever arises.  We have the backing by all of you, his
followers and donors, who are allowing us to continue this fight.  I
promise all of you that I will do everything I can, every day, to get this
bean to where he needs to be.  I know every noise he makes, every breathe
he takes, and I will be on top of any sign of something changing for the
worse.  I hope you are all comfortable in knowing that I will truly do
anything for this pup...he has taken my heart.  Each day has been, and
will be- a new challenge, but we will continue to update all of you and
celebrate the good things that come our way!  Today, Lentil is a pound! 
(1.1lbs) to be exact!  :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Home safe

We made it home safely and now we are awaiting the official reports from today's consult. All of the doctors, students, and staff fell in love with little Lentil. Here he is with one of them :)

Waiting rooms are BORING....

All checked in and waiting for the Dr!


When I was young, I was always really into animals, and my parents would often say "you will go to Cornell one day".....I'm not sure if THIS is what they had in mind, but I am. 

We had a nice drive up here, and last night was good.  I'm glad we chose to come up early, so our morning isn't rushed and Lentil is able to rest before his big consult day.  We will be leaving about 10:30am to head over...I'm just hoping for some good news...and at the very least, the start of a game plan for the future.

Thank you to everyone for all of your support and your thoughts- we are all in this together!  Lenny is lucky to have such a huge family.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

We've arrived!

Lentil has arrived in Ithaca and we are settling in for the night. Full bellies are good! We have a big day ahead of us tomorrow!! Please keep him in your thoughts!

Off we go!

Cornell University- get ready to meet your cutest client! We are locked, loaded and ready to go! Apparently rescue gets the red carpet treatment-- one of my friends who is a critical care dr at Cornell has graciously offered to allow lentil and I to spend the night at his place--so we are headed up early, and we will be ready for our appointment in the morning!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cornell University- Here we come!

17 days old and 14.6oz!  Our little bean is growing up!  As you can see from the pic, he's already outgrowing the bowl that I weigh him in each morning!  Sorry it's so blurry....he's an active little pup! 

Everything seems to be on track-thankfully-with his feeding, growing, and to look a bit more closely into planning out the future for his medical care.  Lentil and I will be taking a road trip this Thursday to meet with the doctors at Cornell University to figure out a game plan!    We promise to take lots of pictures and update everyone along the way!   This first visit will only be a consult...most likely any surgery won't take place before he's 6-12months, but I would like to be able to have them meet Lentil and answer my million and 1 questions that I have bouncing in my head! 

Each day becomes more and more of an adventure when it's feeding time!  Since Lenny's eyes are open, he's at the point that he sees me...then sees his orange tube and he starts his kicking and snorting--being all excited that he is "eating".  It's getting tough to keep him from pulling the tube out of his stomach!  (don't worry...I have it under control)!  What an adventure!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lentil's ears are growing!

Look who's ears are beginning to stand!

The best view of my palate so far...

So...this is my palate/nose...some may call it my "defect"- foster Mom says its what makes me special!

Introducing a very special Bean!

This is the story of little Lentil Bean, as told by his foster mom...that is- until he is old enough to put his “own” perspective into words!

Eleven pm on February 3, I received a phone call from my FBRN Foster Manager asking if I was up for tube feeding 2 newborn Frenchies with severe cleft palates and deformed noses. I told her that I would have to think about it, but the truth is -- I was already gathering up my heating pads and baby supplies before we even got off the phone! From that moment, I was in “mom mode.” Anyone who knows me, knows that I can't say “no” to a bulldog....especially one with special needs.

The next morning, I had called her back and agreed that I would take them on. By 5pm, I found myself driving to northern Jersey to pick up a box of babies that would change my life forever.

The drive back to Hope Veterinary Specialists seemed as if it were taking days. I'm sitting next to a cardboard box with these 2 little “beans” that I have yet to even hold, and already, the attachment to them was huge. At one point, I peeked in, and promised them that I was there to take them as far as they were willing/able to go. I am dedicated to doing just that.

After getting our supplies of tubes and syringes, the 3 of us headed back to my house to set up for the long road that was ahead of us. Edamame, Lentil's sister, was extremely lethargic and suffering from severe aspiration pneumonia. The fluid in her lungs was so bad, you could feel it without even having to listen for it. The night was long, but the 3 of us pulled through...somehow. I had never given up on Edamame, but it was obvious from the start, that she was tired. Edamame passed about 17hrs later. Whether you've had a dog in your care for years, or just for a few short hours, it's always difficult to lose them. However, I do take comfort knowing that she was loved.

It took me awhile to gain the courage to actually write this blog. With any baby, but even more so a special needs baby, life continuously has its ups and downs. Lentil and I are still plugging away....and this is our story...

Day 1 with me, Lentil weighed in at a mere 5.7oz- it's hard to even put something that tiny into perspective- and even harder for me to believe that something that small can have such a strong will to survive. It seemed as if there were so many odds against him, and after losing his sister (which was the third in the litter to pass on), life became much scarier for both us.

My daily routine is now focused around him. Instead of sleep, I have 2hr naps. Every morning at 8am, it's weighing time. Once I have his current weight for the day, it's time to calculate food intake. (I knew math class would come in handy one day)! Then it's insert tube, check once, twice, and then a third time (because I'm an overly cautious “mom”) that the tube is in his stomach. Once I'm confident, remove the dry syringe and place the formula filled syringe onto the tube to feed. Wash everything and repeat 2 hours later... I've bottle fed countless homeless pups over the years, but this is much different. The act of having to insert a tube into a tiny baby's mouth and into his stomach every 2 hours is something that I don't think will ever become less frightening. And as he grows, and becomes more of a puppy- it becomes even more stressful. He now sees me, sees the tube and gets excited to be able to “eat”'s tough to keep an excited pup under control! Although, I have to say, I would much rather my task be harder, as it shows that his life is becoming easier.

We are now on Day 15 together. We've seen our vet more times than I'd like to admit...because it's usually me that's having a panic attack. I can truly say at this point that the doctors and staff at Bethel Mill are more caring and patient than I could have ever asked for, and I can't thank them enough for dealing with my craziness! I can't stop looking at him and worrying. Each day he changes. He's grown now from 5.7oz to 13.2oz this morning! And on Valentine's Day, he gave me the gift of opening his eyes!

Lentil has a long road ahead of him, but I feel as though we are on the right track. We still don't know what the future holds, so he and I make sure to make every day special. I cherish every moment I have with him, and I wanted to be able to share these moments with anyone who is interested in reading it. This is the story of Lentil....the puppy who eats from a tube <3