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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Sonja in the City…Of Fashion

Sonja poses for photographers with one of her models.

Sonja poses for photographers with one of her models.

By Tara Cushing (@TheBravoBlonde)

It’s September and TBB is back after taking a much needed summer hiatus. What better way to make our fall debut than with a trip to the city for New York Fashion Week (NYFW)? Why, a trip for a Housewife headed fashion show of course! Sonja Morgan of The Real Housewives of New York City hosted her second turn on the catwalk as a designer, the first round we witnessed on the recently wrapped season of RHONY. For a few minutes, however, I want you to forget about the Housewife and focus on the designer, because this really is the real deal. It’s Sonja version 2.0, and it just may be the version that we will know long after RHONY has ridden off into the sunset on a camel (Ya habibi).

Sonja’s biggest challenge in riding this wave into the future will be to get people to do just that. At first I had my doubts about the show even happening. I had traveled from work (about 13 miles) to The New Yorker hotel in an hour and a half of traffic. The invite said 4pm “sharp” so when I was a half mile away in a traffic jam at 3:55 I decided to just park in the lot to my left and run it in pony hair leopard print J.Crew heels (the same ones I wore last fall on the Meredith Vieira Show ). I made it to the door at 4:03, worried I wouldn’t be let in. One of the models was walking in next to me. At this point I realized that this show would be running on Sonja Time, not real time, and that I probably could have parked much closer.

A sheer one piece swimsuit with lingerie seaming.

A sheer one piece swimsuit with lingerie seaming.

Inside, the seats bore signs emblazoned with some pretty interesting names in the fashion, television, and music industries…none of them Housewives related. The only recognizable face I saw, however, was former (and perpetual) Bachelor Lorenzo Borghese. I said my hellos (we have a mutual friend who introduced us a few years ago) and met a photographer, a canine couture designer, and three young women who work in public relations. The conversation flowed…but the show didn’t. By the time it was a half hour past the original start Borghese had to bolt. People started to leave, getting impatient and wondering if the show would go on. I spotted Sonja nervously peering out through the curtains in the balcony above the waning crowd. My three new young friends and I wondered exactly what the hold up was. Finally, an hour delayed, the music started, the first model graced the runway, and, thankfully, more seats had filled.

A nautical white short suit with tuxedo detailing.

A nautical white short suit with tuxedo detailing.

I LOVED the first look, a nautical feeling short suit with a pin striped crop top. Not sure if at almost 40 I could pull it off, but I definitely could see myself in the white satin trimmed tuxedo shorts. The second, a tuxedo inspired slouch pant with matching jacket and lattice backed swimsuit, was also a winner. This was the same suit that Sonja, herself, was donning for the event. Other favorites of mine were a sheer bodied one piece swimsuit, and black evening gown with satin detail. All these neutral pieces spoke to my basic and classic New York inspired tastes. For those of you who love color there was also a red evening gown, hot pink bikini, and the infamous gold lame dress Sonja wore on the latest Housewives Reunion special (this was the final look in the collection). You can see them all in the video below.

A tuxedo inspired slouch pantsuit with satin details.

A tuxedo inspired slouch pantsuit with satin details.

Sonja joined all her models on the runway for the final look. She looked less Real Housewife and more Real Designer to me, and with what truly is a viable collection, I think she has found her calling. I just hope the rest of the world gives her the chance to prove herself. After the show I gave Sonja a kiss on the cheek and my sincerest congratulations. Then after a quick trip to the loo I was off again running in those heels, this time through the rain, with an overpriced anorexic sized dinner from Starbucks in one hand and no umbrella in the other. As the rain poured down on me, and I called a driver an asshole, I thought about my crazy day running from here to there. I paid the parking attendant a whopping $60 and smiled at the crazy that is New York. Being back in the city I love doing what I do best I couldn’t help but feel sheer gratitude.

Sonja had invited me to stay behind for a drink after the show, but after 10 minutes I had left. I hope you aren’t offended Sonja, but I have to live on Tara time…when everything happens on the “sharp”. XOXO

The RHONY Season 7 Premiere and TBB on Huff Post Live!

Sonja and Ramona on Huff Post Live. I chime in around 7:30 and then I'm back at the end.

Sonja and Ramona on Huff Post Live. I chime in around 7:30 and then I’m back at the end.

By Tara Cushing (@TheBravoBlonde)

The Real Housewives of New York City are back, and they are back in a big way, a big Bethenny (Frankel) way. If you love Bethenny this is great, if you’re not her biggest fan, well it might not be. “The show was at least 40% about her,” my husband quipped at the end of the Season 7 premier episode which aired last Tuesday. So what happened in the other 60?

Ramonja– Ramona Singer, fresh from a very public divorce, and Sonja Morgan, who is acting like she’s fresh from her divorce, continue to be best frenemies. They fight for dominance of conversation, of the camera. Hey ladies, give up, Bethenny wins.

Heather Thomson– I love her, but was she even in this episode?

Kristen Taekman– Her daughter is finished with physical therapy, which will leave her plenty of time to go for the psychiatric variety she will be needing from having had a mother on Housewives.

Carole Radziwill– Carole has missed a deadline for a book deal. Perhaps Aviva Drescher‘s suggestion of a ghost writer wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

Countess LuAnn DeLesseps– She looks very, umm, refreshed. Hey I’m not knocking it, I just want to know what she’s done. Spill the beans please Lulu!

Dorinda Medley– Though Sonja and Ramona assured me on my Huff Post Live appearance (see clip below) that she “hit the ground running”, she seems more Real Housewives of New Jersey to me, than RHONY. Maybe it’s her boyfriend who seems the Jersey dry cleaning stereotype.

Bethenny Frankel– Aaaand back to the star, hey, she has no control over how much they edit her in or out. She’s back with the one liners and she’s as interesting as always. One thing that lit up Twitter was her scene with Million Dollar Listing New York‘s Fredrik Eklund, in which a displaced B states she is homeless, in the same breath that she talks about having bought a house in the Hamptons over the summer. In the words of Ramona on that evening’s Watch What Happens Liveshe should rent something while she works on renovating her new apartment, and figuring out what to do about the one that her soon to be ex still inhabits. Between her and Kim Zolciak‘s similar statement on last season’s Don’t Be Tardy, I think it’s time for a new series…The Real Homeless Housewives, now that would be an interesting show. Skinnygirl dumpster dive recipes anybody?

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PS: I was not at the premier party this year. I blame the harsh New York winter that made me a hermit on my absence of an invite. I turned too many invites down over the last few months. I love everybody and sincerely wanted to go to everything but, I don’t love you more than I hate the snow!

What did you think of season 7 opener? Share your thoughts with us!