I am Shawnimal v.2.0
Dogs still there?! So frustrating!

Just saw this comment pop up from Mozart Neighbor on a recent entry:

At 7:45pm on 5/30/12, there were two pits running back and forth in the front yard  of 2620 N. Mozart. One was black with white and the other was light brown. I really hope neither or these dogs were Remy’s attackers.  

Yep, those are the dogs. Sorry to say, Mozart Neighbor, though I do appreciate you being on the look out!

How’s that for justice? Yes, we are pursuing a civil case, and yes it’s not entirely the fault of the animals, but plain and simple these dogs should no longer be in the possession of Luis Rodriguez. If not because he is a lowly piece of shit, then because under his care these dogs are dangerous.

Anyone know what we can do here? Animal Control has been no help at all, and we don’t really know what to do next for this part of the ordeal.

Free and clear!

It’s somewhat hard to believe, but we received the all clear from Dr. Neihaus yesterday! Remmy is completely done with her visits, re-checks, bandages, meds, etc. and in the docs words, “she can go back to being a dog again.” It’s interesting, too, since as the past week came around, her attitude changed in a good way. She was more lively, more alert and, in general, seemed happier. And then to end the week with the official “all good” from the doc… well, it was the perfect way to start the weekend.

Now Remmy can do all of the usual stuff she did before, like walks, playing, etc. and better still, no e-collar. That thing was loud!

We’ve noticed, as you’d expect and from what the vet said, she will need time to build up her strength. When she tries to run, sometimes she falters a bit, or even does a cute mildly pathetic hop thing. Given her progress though, I won’t be surprised if she’s back to her old safe in a couple of weeks.

Seeing her now, and looking back, it’s remarkable that she seems unscathed. Then you look more closely and you see the scars and the graft. And that’s a great thing.

Thank you all again so much for everything. It’s been a journey that has lasted nearly 3 months, and taught Jen and I a lot about ourselves, about Remmy, and especially about the kindness of friends and strangers.

This won’t be the end of updates by the way. As things progress on the other side (the legal side) I’ll post here about that. Of course, I’ll continue to post about general goings-on as well, not to mention a Shawnimals-related thing or two.

End of May already?

It’s been a weird, tiring week and a half. While life can often be a relatively uneventful series of subtle ups and downs – which is preferred, by the way – without going into the gory details, lately there has been far too many extremes. And if you know anything about me, I hate drama.

Now don’t get me wrong, I promise I’m not really complaining. It’s more of a step back and observe the situation kind of thing. Life is great, despite some minor hurdles which could’ve been incredibly humungous without your help, and when we push through the frustrating day-to-day issues at Shawnimals, there’s some really, really cool stuff on the horizon. And, of course, the work itself is a blast.

It’s just a matter of making it through this little rough patch unscathed, stepping back even further, taking a nice, long, deep breath, and enjoy what’s to come later on all fronts.

Sorry, I really don’t mean to be vague, because I hate that vague Facebook / blog / Twitter post stuff some people do. It’s just that some of it, both on the personal and business side, is best left unsaid for now.

The silver lining: Remmy is doing incredibly well, and goes in Friday for her (most likely) last check-up. Fingers crossed! She is the dog we had before, and we couldn’t be happier. Super playful again, happy, spunky, etc. It’s an amazing gift.

On another upside: Revolution Brewing brewery opens Friday, and we score tickets. It’s going to be a blast.

More great news!

Remmy had her last official bandage change yesterday! Well, technically it was a bandage removal. :)

She’s in amazing spirits, and wants nothing more than to go on her regular walks again, play with sticks and chase birds. Of course, she isn’t supposed to chase birds or do anything too active just yet, but it’s nice to see her spirit back. As you’d expect she gets tired really easily, but she’s still pretty young, so we expect her to regain her strength relatively quickly.

She’ll be going in once or twice more for suture removal on her right front leg elbow area, and possibly another recheck some time after that just to give her a once over. After that, we’ll be done!

This all started on that fateful morning of March 6th, just over two months ago. It’s hard to believe how she looks now considering how she looked then. We love seeing her eyes light up for a treat, the fact that she actually sit again, and, perhaps most of all, despite the scars on three of her four legs, she really will be OK again soon.

We’ve been slowly but surely getting thank yous sent out, so hang tight if you haven’t received yours yet. It’s difficult to express in words our gratitude toward everyone who’s helped during this whole thing. All we can say is thank you 1000 times, and let you know that if you’re ever in a position like this in any capacity, know that people do care, and we’ll be here for you like you were for us.

Last but not least, the legal side: The case is being built slowly but surely. The house in question (confirmed to be 2620 N Mozart) has been in foreclosure since June of 2010. We don’t know what the knock-on effect of that is, but we’re hope that’s a good thing? We’ll see as things unfold.

As for that owner’s dogs, we still have no definitive words from the supervisors at Animal Control. However, we have reached out to an inspector, and hope they can help us get to the bottom of it. We also have a connection to the Animal Task Force of the CPD through our pal Booker so hopefully that helps get to the bottom of that part of this fiasco.

Until next time…

It’s been awhile!

Been a busy time here, between a couple of product releases – one for Summer Ninja and the other for Remmy Ninja – a weekend in Wisconsin with some awesome old friends (including a groom-to-be) and life busyness with Remmy, I haven’t been able to jump on here to post a proper update.

Speaking of Remmy Ninja, they’ve been doing really, really well! I think we’re up to 90 sold, which means over $450 to the Logan Square Dog Park! That’s really awesome! Have you seen the full photo? If not, here ya go! You can nab one here.


Back to updates: So yeah, a bit quiet but that’s also a by-product of there not being much to report about Remmy, and that’s a good thing! Her back leg that was having issues previously is now healing up nicely, and any possible long-term problems with it have vanished (phew!). In fact, the bandage on that leg is now off, too.

Her left front leg bandage is off and that leg continues to do its thing. Which, by the way, isn’t much. Just scarred up in the back, which looks a bit funky but doesn’t seem to bother her.

And then there’s the third and final leg. This is also the leg with the third and final skin graft. We took her in for a scheduled bandage change today, and received some good news from Dr. Neihaus. Well, to be clear, he called and said, “I have some good news, and some bad news…” My heart sunk. He went on to say everything was healing well, the wound on the front right leg is nearly closed, etc. and then the bad news…

That Remmy’s visits are coming to an end! He totally tricked me, but it was worth it. Nice one, Dr. Neihaus, nice one.

Remmy will have one more bandage change on Monday, and if things are looking good, she won’t have another recheck for 10 days! Amazing to consider, and needless to say we couldn’t be happier. We may have endured this, and Remmy’s the real trooper, but YOU made all of this possible. Amazing.

We’re looking forward to a time when the main thing we’re doing is living our normal life with our sweetheart of a dog. Can’t wait…

Improvement! Mostly…

Weekend drifted by in an instant, most of which involved hanging with Remmy, getting our apartment in order, and hanging with friends a bit. Pretty quiet overall, but not entirely uneventful. I came home on Thursday night, and while Remmy was her usual excited self, she was also… well, leaking from one of her incisions.

Rewind to Monday: Remember she had skin graft surgery. They used extra skin from her previous skin graft for this new one, and as such, she had a fresh incision on the back of her right leg. So it’s not that weird that she’d be leaky, but then again, we don’t want anything to open up too much. Bandaged her up best we could (which, by the way, was really not very good), and since we had an official bandage change scheduled for early Friday morning and she didn’t seem to be in any pain, no harm, no foul. We’ll sleep on it.

Definitely not as leaky come Friday morning, and Dr. Neihaus wasn’t terribly concerned about it when he saw it then. Bandage change was fine, everything was looking good, onward to the weekend.

She also had a slightly swollen paw, but that wasn’t too concerning. Probably a combo of being immobile and a bandage that was a smidgen too tight. Took her in for a few minutes on Saturday for them to take a look. No biggie.

Took her in again today for a scheduled bandage change, and things are looking good overall. New skin graft on her front right leg is taking nicely (about 80% so far which should be enough), and her front left leg is closing and healing.

But then there’s the ‘mostly’ part. Turns out that back leg incision from which the graft was taken isn’t exactly doing great. Drainage is common, and since it was a fresh wound, it wasn’t pleasant looking, but unfortunately when Dr. Neihaus did some investigating, some of the tissue around the incision had died off. I suspected something was going on due to the smell. Gross, yes, but  I won’t soon forget that terrible smell. Not as bad as the first go-round, but it was still there this time.

So what’s the fall out from this? Nothing catastrophic, but it is definitely a small setback, and definitely frustrating. So bandage goes back on the back leg. Luckily, looks like there should be enough to work with back there the close it up as it should be once it heals. I really, really, REALLY hope no additional surgery is going to be required back there. It already looks really gnarly. Don’t want more trauma…

That’s all for now. We pick her up after work, then back again Wednesday for another bandage change.

Glad to have Remmy home…

Picked her up after work this evening. Needless to say she was INSANE when she saw us, and wanted nothing more than to get out of there. For just having surgery, she sure is spirited! Wants to jump and run, bark at dogs, and, in general, just be herself. So awesome…

Bandage changes Friday, and then next week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Fingers crossed the graft takes, and we’ll move onto the next phase which is considerably easier. Live with a happy, healthy dog who we love unconditionally.

On an unrelated note, did you know Shawnimals was recently on CNN’s HLN network as part of its Small Business Success segment? We were! Check it out…


Strange-ish thing to note: They have anti-smoking ads and commercials, some of which are pretty intense. Truthful and necessary, sure, but rough in any case. So if the kiddies are gathered around, just a heads up.

Until later…

Skin graft went well!

Great news from Dr. Neihaus just a bit ago: Skin graft surgery went really!

We’re so happy. True, the next week will be the true test, but we’re on the right track, and the rest of her wounds are just about healed. In short, we almost have our dog back.

She has to stay in the hospital a couple of days since we’re at such a critical stage (too much movement could essentially kill the grafts), and once she comes home we have to be incredibly careful. No stairs, no running, jumping, etc. And as much laying down as possible so it takes and she heals. We’re used to that by now!

Will keep you posted as things go along…

A huge thank you!

The fundraiser yesterday at Quencher’s Saloon was a success!

Thank you to all who attended to support Remmy and Lucky, and a special thanks to all who donated time to set up and facilitate the event, as well as the fine folks who donated some amazing items and services for the raffle.

We had friends come from down the street, far and wide, strangers who just wanted to help, and plenty of new friends that just hadto do something. It’s amazing, and humbling, and shows just how rad humans can be.

An extra special thank you goes to Drew and Amanda for organizing this event alongside Steve and the staff from Quencher’s, and to Drew and Chef Won for making some amazing soup and sandwiches for everyone.

In addition, I’d like to send a thank you to my friend Tim who made a delicious celery, fennel and potato soup, to DJ Sean Doe who donated his time, expertise and equipment to fill the space with awesome music (yes, he lead off the evening with the smooth sounds of Michael McDonald), and to Melissa and Laurent for supplying amazing Jo Snow Syrup / booze-filled snow-cones all night long. They snuck up from behind and punched you in the head repeatedly…in a good way.

Thanks to you all, we raised over $1000 yesterday evening! It’s truly amazing, and will help us offset our ongoing bills, and just about pay for Lucky’s bills from mid-March March. Great news all around!

So what’s next? Remmy is under the knife as we speak while Dr. Neihaus performs (what we hope to be) the last skin graft on her front right leg. If all goes well and it takes (we’ll know in a week to 10 days), we’ll begin the FINAL healing process. That would be fantastic. If not? Well, we won’t be back to square one, but we will have to talk to the doc about what our options are, so we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.

Finally, many of you have been asking about the Remmy Ninja. We expect to have that released in early May, preferably on May 2nd when we release our next Ninja of the Month. Stay tuned!

Thanks again, everyone. You’re all awesome. Nothing new to report otherwise…

What’s next for Remmy?

Remmy is doing amazingly well! She is completely herself most days, although as you might expect she does get tired after walks and other physical activities. Pretty amazing considering where we were a month and a half ago! Overall wounds are healing extremely well, and it shows in Remmy’s demeanor.

Now that said, we still have one more biggish hurdle to get past with regard to her long term recovery: Another surgery.

Yep, we knew it was likely, and while I secretly hoped we were done, Dr. Neihaus confirmed on Friday. Back right leg is healing really well, front left leg is nearly there, but her front right leg needs some help, so a skin graft is necessary. So she’s scheduled for Monday or Tuesday, and will most likely stay another day or two for recovery.

It’s not as serious as the last go-round, but it’s moderately serious since it is a surgery and skin is being removed and reattached elsewhere. The previous graft on her back leg is completely good now, and, in fact, there’s extra on her inner back right leg, so the doc is going to use some of that excess for the front right. Fingers crossed this one takes enough to get that leg closed up.

Nothing new to report on the legal side, except that we do intend to file a civil suit against Mr. Rodriguez.

One more thing before I go: A reminder that a friend of a friend Drew M. has organized a soup fundraising event for Remmy and Lucky over at Quencher’s on Sunday April 22nd from 3pm to 6pm. It’s called SNACKDOWN! It’s going to be a really good time with amazing food, and equally amazing raffle items. Here’s a short list in no particular order:

  • Coffee and coffee drinks from Crop to Cup and Bean & Body
  • An overnight dog boarding stay with Rover Night Boarding
  • Art from Revise CMW
  • Art prints from I’m Smitten
  • Awesome stuff from Logan Hardware
  • Deep tissue massage from Ad Infinitum!
  • Rotofugi has confirmed a prize package / gift certificates ac
  • We have a snack pack provided by Provenance & Jo Snow Syrups
  • Tinycakes straight-up chocolate brownies
  • Shawnimals product bundle
  • Bacon for a year from Drew
  • Scent work class and boarding gift certificates from Dog Nose

And more good times during the event…

  • Boozy snow cones thanks to Quenchers Saloon and Melissa from Jo Snow Syrups
  • DJ Sean Doe will be spinning amazing music