Let’s Talk

Gemma Correll has inspired me to talk about something that is a heavy topic for most people: mental health (how amazing are these images she drew up for Mental Health America?). Just this morning I had a panic attack which includes an endless cycle of “I have so much to do” and “why even bother, nothing I do is good enough.” I often have these all-or-nothing thoughts and it’s extremely difficult to break this repeating cycle. In planning my upcoming wedding, I have been overwhelmed with self-loathing thoughts: “no one will want to come” and “no one cares enough about me to be by my side,” but the truth is I do have wonderful people on my side. It may not be one-hundred, fifty, or even twenty people there to support me, but the people who are there, are the ones I WANT there. Those who love me unconditionally and understand my struggle with physical and mental illness and YET (yes, yet) still WANT to be involved in my crazy life; Those who are in my court through not only my ups, but my overwhelming lows.

I have struggled with major depressive disorder, anxiety, social phobia, and PTSD for years now and so many times I have felt ashamed, that I must hide these mental illnesses from society. [I think that] They will judge me, thinking “that girl is crazy”, “I don’t want to be around her”, or “she may snap at any moment”. The fact is: loads of people suffer with these issues of feeling inadequate at what they do. We are told not to express these emotions because we will appear weak and vulnerable, but holding on to them is what makes us weak and vulnerable in the first place!

I will honestly say that my anxiety is becoming unmanageable. I have tried so many different medications in order to feel more relaxed, but the ones that work are too sedative and/or they don’t last long enough; because of this, it is time for me to go to the next measure: a service dog. It was suggested to me in 2015 that I should obtain a dog for support (whether it be a service dog or a ESA) by my psychologist; I have always responded well to animals and grew up with a full house of five main animals (and some of them had various litters!). My pets have always gotten me through the struggles through the years: I grew up in not so favorable situations. I was abused as a child and the victim of severe bullying (this went on for over six years). I often spent my days hiding inside when I wasn’t forced (I begged to be homeschooled) to go to a school (and take the bus which was just as horrible if not worse) where I was constantly harassed. My only safe place was in the comfort of my own bedroom with my furry friends and dolls; even then I was tormented by my older brother and cyber stalked (even after I moved away from the hell of Newport, North Carolina) by the same cruel people I went to school with. These cruel girls thought it would be so “cool” for them to go to my social media platforms and save my photos so that they could go back and forth on Photobucket saying how ugly I was and that I was just a fat poser. I never understood the cruelty I received. I was brought up in a Christian household and taught to treat people like you want to be treated. I truly believe I have upheld this moral and proceeded through life with honest and compassionate intentions. I never bullied anyone, not even those who bullied me. I put my faith that God would lead me to a successful life, rich in love, which I have now obtained.

I got Mavis in March of 2016. After years of wanting a pug and a dog of my own, I finally received the gift of a lifetime in the form of this spunky, curly-tailed girl. I began training her at 3 months as a service dog, but with the stress of finishing my last semester and my first hard break-up, I took a [much too long] hiatus from the weekly training. Now that I somehow managed to graduate from Texas Tech and my heart is mended and found love, I am ready to get back on track! I want to use Service Dog Express to train Mave and get her into tip-top shape for her aiding in my life and the public access test (the test Service Dogs must pass before being deemed certified). I know anxiety will continue to play a big role in my life (although I wish it wouldn’t) and I’m tired of being afraid to go into public alone. I truly believe that I may have a shot of living a healthier life with her by my side. If you would like to get involved with our campaign, YouCaring is donating $500 to a fundraiser: It’s completely free, quick, and easy to do:

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Here is an example done by the wonderful Caleb (aka my fiancé) and my darling girl, Mave. This took five minutes to draw and take, so it’s super easy and affective. #SignedwithLove & @youcaring is all you need to include on your post! The opportunity to help will pass soon as it ends on JUNE 14TH.

or if pictures aren’t your style…

You can purchase one of the many cute clothing options available featuring “Mave Saves” on our Bonfire. The sales remain until JUNE 29TH.

Don’t want a hoodie or tee?…

The last option is to make a donation! You can do this through our Youcaring with a no end date or through our Paypal!

Here is our links: YouCaring, Bonfire, Paypal, & Facebook Page.

• • • • •

Struggling getting through the day? Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you need someone to talk to. We’re here for you, 24/7. 💚📲

Never give up ladies and gentlemen.

You are so much more than your illnesses and we need to fight together to end the stigma!

xo,

Cass & Mave

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Dog Vlog

Hello lovely followers and new readers! As most of you know I have two lovely little pug princesses that are a big part of my crazy life. I’ve been trying to keep my youtube channel somewhat updated with their troublesome adventures, therefore below, I have included two videos from the past month!

The first one is a look into the first week I brought Eleven “home” to Grandma’s house to get acquainted with Mavis and myself. This time happened to fall while Caleb was off in California for training, so it was an all girls adventure in bringing this tiny soul into our lives. Mavis and Eleven have been best friends ever since meeting and they constantly play back and forth.

The second little clip is from Mae’s first time “home alone,” while Caleb and I took a couple of hours to do errands. What a sad little girl she was. While Eleven was confined to her crate, Mavis took her “freedom” aimlessly roaming around in a confused state of solidarity.

I hope you enjoy the videos above and if you would like to subscribe to our youtube channel, we would love that (unfortunately we can’t even name our channel until we have 100 followers! Okay youtube this is one of the most stupid official rules!)!

xo,

Cass, Mav, & Ele

Mavis’s Ordeal

As many of you know, my pugs mean everything to me. Mavis, in particular, is my emotional support animal and I’ve never felt this connected to an animal in my life. She is my baby, my first dog raised on my own, and I would go to the end of the world to make sure she is healthy and happy. It began Thursday morning shortly after awakening. I noticed Mavis’s eyes and mouth had become swollen. I immediately gave half of a 25mg Benadryl, knowing the exact dosage to give (1mg – per body weight) from my days as a vet assistant. I thought things would clear up and that this reaction was a result of some type of insect sting or bite, but things only began to progress for the worse.

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First Symptoms: ~9 am on 03/23/2017

Around the time my fiancé, Caleb, came home for lunch at 12pm, Mavis rapidly began to deteriorate. She began breaking out in hives all over her body and swelling heavily. We rushed her to the nearest veterinarian (Animal Medical Center in Copperas Cove), who wasn’t quite sure what was causing this, but was concerned. Mavis was given dexamethasone, a steroid injection that lasts 24 hours, to help her immune system fight this. After waiting for her reactions to calm down a bit, we were “discharged” and told to keep giving Benadryl every 8 hours until hives are gone for 24 hours and to keep a close eye on her.

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03/23/17 – ~ 12:15pm at the Animal Medical Center

We were hopeful that this was the end of things and that she would start getting better with the steroid injection. She had been carefully watched the entire day, so we were racking our brains for an explanation as to why she was having such a serious allergic reaction. Things seemed to be okay until around 7:30 pm after Mavis ate. She again began swelling heavily on her face and hives covered her legs and stomach. We gave another half of a Benadryl and called one of her veterinarians to consult. After ruling out that the reaction most likely would not have been caused by an insect (due to all over swelling and hives and not localized to a specific location), we began thinking of things Mavis ingested. Since we watch her so carefully during the day and this first reaction happened between 5-9 am in the morning after eating and again around 7:30 pm after eating, we were led to believe that this is associated from her meal time.

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03/23/2017 – ~7:30pm after eating her second meal of the day.

She had been eating the same food for about three months, but we had just purchased plastic containers to store her food in and introduced it just a couple days prior. The next morning I took Mavis back into the vet for oral steroids because her hives did not dissipate. The next couple of days she battled continuos hives. We gave Benadryl every 8 hours and her steroid every 12 hours as directed, but she didn’t seem to improve much, other than reduced swelling. We bathed her in oatmeal shampoo and stopped her dog food in fear it may be food allergies. The shampoo helped a good deal with her skin irritation and have made quite a few changed to help prevent or further a reaction like this.

We believe that this is linked to the plastic containers we purchased to store her pet food in. I bought an IRIS 3-Piece Airtight Pet Food Container Combo and this is when things began. We cannot know for sure what the exact cause is or if she has a plastic allergy, but these containers are DANGEROUS. Plastic often causes issues with animals and can contain toxins. Since then, we have switched to all glass containers. Mavis and Eleven both use metal eating bowls and ceramic water bowls. We are avoiding plastic in all their food and water intake, as well as toys, just in case this is what has caused her issues.

Mavis is just now starting to feel better after three visits to the vet and quite a lot of medication. She is now eating homemade dog food that Caleb and I spent hours preparing (I am happy to share if any of my readers are interested) and carrots and green beans as snacks, instead of processed treats, to rule out food allergies. We additionally changed our detergent to an allergen free brand and washed all of her bedding and toys to rule out chemicals in the detergent. She is not allowed to go outside currently, except for when she needs to potty (front yard only) to ensure that outside allergens are not making her sick.

We are doing our best to get both of our pups healthy. Mavis is nearly back to 100% after four days of intense reactions, but now our little baby has coccidia bacteria in her intestines, that she got from her litter. Hopefully it should clear up soon with treatment and she will be back to good as well. It’s just been a tough week for us girls!

xo,

Cass, Mav, and Ele

New Header!

How amazing is the new header by Zoey Cottom? I had Zoey design a custom header for my blog and I absolutely am in love. How perfect is this magnificent header?! I just am so absolutely happy with it. Please go follow Zoey and order a custom design!! I think I will just have to order a print of this too!

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This was a custom design created for me so please do NOT steal. You do not have permission to use.

Xo,

Cass, Mav, & Ele

Mavis and Eleven

Good news, good news, good news! Eleven is home and officially best friends with Mavis! This little seven-week-old pug puppy is so full of spunk and energy, she is known as ‘spitfire’! I officially turned twenty-four this past Sunday and it just so happened to line up with bringing the baby home. Mavis met Eleven on Saturday night right before we went out to Red Lobster to celebrate my day. She did wonderfully with the introduction although

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Eleven was a bit intimidated and scared by this new strange long-legged lady.Eleven is quite different from Mavis when she was puppy! Ele is noticeably smaller than Mae Mae, as she was the runt of eight puppies (Mavis was the runt of five!). She is super quick on her feet, which makes me think she secretly should be called “Lightning McQueen.” Her personality is quickly blossoming into the sassy little soul she is. She is completely fearless now when it comes to playtime with Mavis. She is constantly throwing herself at Mae over and over again looking for a boxing match. It’s quite hilarious!

Mavis and Eleven were even featured on television on Right This Minute! I have never had anything posted main stream wise, so this was pretty cool for all of us. They’re little “puglebrities,” as I have been told. I will continue to videotape Eleven and Mavis as they grow up together and cause shenanigans.So much love to you all!

Xo,
Cass, Mav, & Ele!

Pugs, Pugs, Pugs

Yesterday Mavis celebrated her first birthday! I can’t believe my baby is growing up so fast. She has been a true blessing in my life and a huge help to my mental health. Mavis is my emotional support animal, so her and I have a special connection and she is allowed to travel with me to help manage my anxiety and depression. To help celebrate her special day, Caleb and I gifted her a giant “Lambchop” stuffed lamb because when I first got her, I gifted her a mini one and it became her favorite toy to play with. We were so busy yesterday with cake tasting and meeting with our photographer that we didn’t even get to do much, plus I had a bad pain day which left me bed ridden for the rest of the evening, but today we are planning on bringing her to PetsMart and Hobby Lobby. That way she can get a pup-pie and a special treat, plus we have some wedding DIYs supplies to buy! She is my little best friend and I am so happy she’s in my life.

In addition to celebrating Mavis’s birthday in the form of her favorite plush, we also got her a little sister! Meet Eleven, our newest family member! She is two weeks and next weekend we get to visit her. We decided on the name Eleven Mauvé for our gorgeous black baby; Eleven is from one of our favorite series, Stranger Things, and the name Mauvé (pronounced Mauve-aye) was a name I made up when I was around the age of ten and always said that would be the name of my future pug!

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We are so excited to start this new chapter in our life and for Mavis to have a playmate. She’s been down in the dumps, as have I, since losing our beloved kitty, Oliver. Mavis used to play with him all the time [there’s a cute clip in the video I made showing this], so she’s been lonely. We wanted her to have a playmate that she could really get along with and pugs can’t really hurt each other because of their short muzzles. Pugs are my absolute favorite and I am so excited to get our baby home in a month or so. Proud pug addict and momma!

XO,

Cass & Mav

Desires: Mav & Cass

Just a few of our favorite wishes we wanted to share with our pawesome followers. Check out XBOX’s new design laboratory, where you can design your very own custom engraved controller in any color combination you can think of! Also, we recently stumbled across PrideBites: the coolest company that allows you to add your pet’s photo and name to their merchandise which includes dog clothing, placemats, bed, and more! One last thing! We love BarkShop, so many of Mav’s wishes come from there! We hope you like our lists and add some of our picks to yours!

Cass’s Wishlist : February 26th

 

Mav’s Wishlist : January 21

Xo,

Cass & Mav