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


September Raves

By Tara Cushing (@TheBravoBlonde)

It’s fall ya’ll, and as much I try to protest the end of every summer, I always surprise myself with how much I really do enjoy this season. There are some wonderful smells, foods, events, and fashions that just don’t feel right any other time of year. On that note, here’s what I’m raving about this month.

Harry & David Pumpkin Macaroon Candle

Harry & David Pumpkin Macaroon Candle

Nothing is more fragrantly fall than anything pumpkin. It’s mandatory to burn pumpkin scented candles in my home each night from mid September to Thanksgiving. This year my pick is this pumpkin macaroon (yes macaroon, not macaron) scented candle from Harry & David. Even better was the price. I picked it up from Home Goods for $5.99. It has kept my home smelling perfectly pumpkin. I may have to go pick up a second one, just because.

Rare find on Facebook!

Rare find on Facebook!

Speaking of Home Goods I’d like to give a special shout out to them and Pier 1 Imports. I recently moved and both stores have been my go to for decorating my new space, without overdoing on decor and dollars. If there’s anything I’m raving about this month it’s minimalism. I’ve always been a minimalist, but moving gave me the best excuse to purge. I got rid of so much stuff that I didn’t use via Goodwill and Facebook sale groups. I’m totally raving about Facebook sale pages. Not only was I able to get money for and recycle things I no longer needed, but I also found some great furniture that I did need. I picked up a fabulous sleigh bed for my son and an amazing (possibly one of a kind) entry table with mirror set. Check out your local Facebook buy/sell/barter pages. You never know what you might earn…or find!

Eve's Tree hoodies clockwise from top: The Sophie in Evergreen, The Ashley in Sienna, The Lisa Golden

Evy’s Tree hoodies clockwise from top:
The Sophie in Evergreen, The Ashley in Sienna, The Lisa Golden

Finding things is awesome and my favorite recent find is a small company (that’s growing larger by the minute) called Evy’sTree ( I purged I made a vow to never again buy ANYTHING unless I absolutely NEEDED or LOVED it. I just can’t take having unnecessary stuff (or spending) in my life. Well, I may not need everything from Evy’s Tree (though I have convinced myself that I do), but I LOVE everything they make, and when I love something (as evidenced by the throw blanket on my couch that I bought in college) I’ll hold onto it forever, getting more than my money’s worth. I found Evy’s Tree on Instagram while I was doing work for a social media client. They make fashionably addictive and comfortable hoodies with feminine touches like ruffles and patterned lining. I purchased one and commented about it on Twitter. After that they asked me to test run two of their products. Brilliant of them, because I’ve bought two more since. They release new hoodies each month and offer them at pre-sale prices. I can’t wait for my next two to get here. I finally can feel like I’m wearing sweats all the time, but look polished and pulled together. Prices range from $79(intro) to $119 (full). Follow them on Instagram @evystreeofficialTwitter @EvysTree and find them on Facebook. Tell them I sent you, and then thank me when you are luxuriating in the highest quality, most comfortable hoodie you’ve ever owned.

Dare Maple Leaf Creme Cookies

Dare Maple Creme Cookies

Fall flavors are fantastic. Say that one ten times fast. Costco makes a pumpkin muffin to die for. It’s one of my weekend cheats, as you all know I eat clean Monday-Friday (I need to write about that again as it’s really working, people keep asking me how I’ve gotten so slim). Another fall treat in my home are Maple Creme Cookies by Dare cookie company. I dare you to try these and not get addicted. I first had these maple leaf shaped treats on a trip to Vermont many years ago. They are extremely popular there. They look beautiful in a glass cookie jar. Tasty, and fall functional.

The Skinnygirls await my housewarming party.

The Skinnygirls await my housewarming party.

For those of us that can’t let summer go, you can enjoy the perfectly peach taste of summer year round with White Peach Margarita from Skinnygirl Cocktails. My awesome friends over at SG sent me some samples of their line to taste test on a few friends (a Skinnygirl “sponsored” housewarming party is in the works). I held a small unpacking party and this flavor went very quickly. It’s got just the right amount of sweet, which I think compliments any dessert, no matter the season!

So those are my current obsessions. Let me know what you think of them and tell me, what are YOU obsessed with? If there’s something you think I need to try for my next Rave Page give it a shout out in the comments!

Regards and hugs,