From IzziB to Chloe

Our newest family member, Chloe, is helping to ease our pain.

Our newest family member, Chloe, is helping to ease our pain.

By Lesley Rousso (@mommyrou)

When Sonja Morgan held a service for her beloved dog Millou, some Real Housewives of New York City fans sympathized, some snickered. In August, our beloved goldendoodle Isabella passed away and we were just devastated. For those of you ridiculed that RHONY episode, or are right now saying, “It’s just a dog”, clearly you’ve never loved a dog. Warning: this piece, by the way, may not be for you.

Izzi’s sickness started innocently enough.  She threw up a couple of times and seemed lethargic. I thought maybe she ate something that didn’t agree with her, but soon she seemed to have very little appetite at all. Then I noticed something that scared the shit out of me; her eyes were yellow, so was her skin, and her gums. Jaundice, a sign of liver disease, is what I immediately thought. I took her straight to the vet the next morning. They kept her, ran blood tests, did an ultrasound. After spending a few days there, she was misdiagnosed with pancreatitis and sent home with antibiotics. She progressively got worse and after taking her to another vet it was discovered that her liver was full of cancer. Fucking cancer. 5 years old. It was extremely advanced and she was suffering and we had to make a decision.

We were there with her, and she died with her head right in my lap, her most favorite place to be. We sat with her a long time afterwards because I knew once we left, it was the last time we’d see her.  This was a profoundly sad moment for our little family. My kids are old enough to be affected by this, and believe me, they were. Since one of Izzi’s symptoms was yellowing of the eyes, every day now, without fail, my 9 year old daughter asks me if I’ve checked Roxi’s eyes. Roxi is Izzi’s sister, same parents, different litter. I’m hoping and praying this cancer is not genetic. I miss my sweet Isabella every day. I still cry or at least get tears in my eyes daily, and each day I swear I can see her out the corner of my eye. I can still feel her fur in my hands and her sloppy tongue on my face. I cherish those five years I had with her but I’d give anything to have her back. I have come to the conclusion that she was too good to stay.  She was needed elsewhere. Whatever gets me through the night right?

We keep her ashes in a pretty box with her collar atop it and her picture next to it right in the wall unit so every time we watch TV we can see her. We placed a pretty river rock in her favorite spot in the yard with her name on it. We had a memorial service, the 5 of us, plus Roxi and Duchess, our Great Dane. I read the Rainbow Bridge poem and Riley, our daughter, read a poem called Epitaph for a Friend from a book about pets that I’ve had my whole life.  I have loved every dog I’ve had but there was no one like Izzi and there never will be again. She truly was a special soul.
Fast forward a little and enter Chloe. Darren was on the phone with our breeder Cindy Hancock at Abracadoodle almost instantly. He knows me well enough to know that, while I would never and could never replace Izzi, I would definitely need another dog to help with my grief. We got to pick who we wanted and I could’ve gotten another sibling of Izzi but I opted not to just in case her cancer was genetic. It just so happened that there was a new litter and when I saw the mom dogs name it sealed the deal. Isabella. Chloe arrived in the third week of September from Spangle, Washington. She’s a standard sized Doodle and she’ll grow to be about 80-90 pounds. I know what you’re thinking, wow that’s a big dog. If you know anything about me, you’ll know why that’s funny. If you don’t, it’s because my Great Dane weighs about one hundred sixty-five pounds.  (Now that my friends, is a “big dog”.)

So far so good with Miss Chloe, with the normal puppy antics. She has tons of energy and she’s afraid of nothing. Including Duchess! Duchess on the other hand doesn’t quite know what to make out of this little maniac (Her words, not mine). Roxi is happy with her. She really missed her sister and now she has a new playmate.
One thing this whole experience taught me is to make sure your veterinarian is a good diagnostician. Someone, can’t remember who, said this very thing to me. It is true, and until I wound up at Knowles Animal Hospital and saw Dr. David Wise, Izzi kept being misdiagnosed. I strongly recommend to any of my Miami people to just head straight there if you have an emergency situation. After we made the heartbreaking decision of having to put Izzi down, I received the most beautiful handwritten sympathy card. Not from the hospital but from Dr. Wise personally.  I mean it was three paragraphs.

With death always comes new life and for that we have our Chloe. For as long as I live though, I will never forget my IzziB and the love she gave to us in her short, but wonderful life.

Isabella Frothingslosh Puppy Rousso

June 20, 2010-August 14, 2015

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Southern Charm: A Review

imageBy Lesley Rousso (@mommyrou)

Our favorite Charleston residents are back! Yep y’all Southern Charm is two episodes in already, airing Mondays at 10 on Bravo TV.  When we left the friends last season, Thomas Ravenel and Kathryn Calhoun Dennis were breaking up. TRav was actually sobbing by the way, and flash to the next scene, there they are with their newborn daughter Kensington. Cameran Eubanks and Craig Conover were both working for a living and Shep Rose and Whitney Sudler-Smith were hanging around buying tuxedos and being served by butlers. This season, as we come to see, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Thomas and Kathryn are living way outside of town on Thomas’ plantation. It’s here, she spends most days with just the baby and a nanny.  TRav announces he’s running for office as an independent and Whitney plans on doing a commercial for him. As we see in the previews, this was not the best decision on Thomas’ part. The two are still not married, and quite honestly, it may stay that way.  They are looking for a place closer to town though and are in a monogamous relationship. Kathryn is sweet and loves that baby but she’s young and clearly has a lot to learn. Her hostessing skills seem to be a big source of talk this season.  That baby though, could be the cutest baby ever.

Cameran has gotten married to an adorable doctor. She continues to work in Real Estate, using a spare office at her mom’s building. Gotta love Cam, she’s my type of girl. She can hang with both the girls and the boys and spends a lot of time counseling these boys on their various acts of debauchery.

Speaking of debauchery, Miss Patricia, Whitney’s mom is back.  Between her butler, her travel bar, and hilarious commentary; she is easily my favorite cast member. She pulls no punches and is totally my idol.

Craig is still working (I’ll use the word working loosely here) at a law firm but refuses to take the bar exam.  I think it’s because he’s too busy drinking everything that isn’t nailed down.

Shep has actually opened a restaurant, that he calls a dive bar and has plans to move to the beach with Whitney for the summer.  People, I don’t even think we’ve scratched the surface of the debauchery. Shep’s friend Landon is also back in town, rounding out the cast.  No more Jenna I guess. Landon, has returned to Charleston, where her sisters live after her recent divorce from her husband in LA

All in all, the first two weeks did not disappoint and from the previews, things just get better. Y’all know where to find me on Monday nights, if y’all need me. Just be aware that I’ll be speaking in a southern accent.

Reality Roundup

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Greg Plitt on the cover of Men’s Workout

By Lesley Rousso

Happy MLK Monday everyone!

I want to start this week’s Reality Roundup by expressing our condolences to the family of Bravoleb Greg Plitt. Greg passed away Saturday after being hit by a commuter train in, what’s been deemed a “tragic accident”, in Burbank, CA. TMZ reports that Plitt, a bodybuilder, inspirational coach, actor and model, was filming a sports drink commercial when he tried to “outrun the train.” The report states that he tripped on the tracks and couldn’t “recover” in enough time to avoid being struck. Greg was one of the trainers on Work Out and most recently a castmember on the new show Friends To Lovers.

E! News is reporting that Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Yolanda Foster has apparently lost her ability to read and write due to her recent relapse with Lyme disease. She says she’s lost her ability to concentrate on anything including just watching TV. Yolanda we hope you are back to feeling better soon. xoxo

Teresa Giudice has been in prison for two weeks now and her cell mates allegedly spilled the tea to US Magazine. One source claims that Teresa is doing well and has quite the captive audience. According to that same person, most of the inmates are fascinated by the way Tre really looks. One of the main reasons, the hair extensions are gone! Told ya so. Oh my weave! Reportedly one inmate with dreadlocks tried to become her protector which Tre just ignored. Back in New Jersey, US reports that things aren’t going great with Joe playing the Mr. Mom role. I can only imagine.

Tune in later this week for another hilarious Bachelor recap by Denise Weiss!