This Week in Darwin

Thanks so much to those of you who asked after Darwin last week! I posted on Tuesday that Darwin was under-going his second attempt at neutering on Wednesday, after having bad reaction to a pre-anesthia sedative his was giving the first time and having to be resuscitated. Then I completely forgot to post again letting you all know that everything went perfectly fine with his surgery.

The hard part since then has been keeping Darwin calm so he doesn’t rip out his stitches. This dog is 30 pounds of muscle and play! (Someone who saw us walking Sunday morning called him “a cinder block with feet” and it’s an apt¬†description.) Walking him twice a day has helped to wear him out and keep him from being completely bored while he is separated from our other dogs.



We celebrated Darwin’s successful operation with watermelon– his favorite!





Then, Saturday evening, we found out that that sedative wasn’t the only thing he is allergic to. Darwin got stung by a bee and his entire head swelled up!


This picture really doesn’t do it justice. Both of his eyes swelled shut and his lips were completely distended. I was terrified that his windpipe was going to swell shut! I forced two benedryl down his throat immediately and spent the rest of the night monitoring his breathing. Very quickly the swelling went down, but it was very scary nevertheless.


Sunday morning he was back to his old self again, our adorable Dr. Chubbs. He has two facial expressions: tongue a tiny bit out



and underbite. I guess this is his smile?

Someone told us recently that another name for English Bulldog is “vet bill”. ¬†Good thing we love this little guy so much already!


  1. Lisa Cogswell

    June 30, 2014 at 7:23 am

    My dogs share the same name.

  2. Rebecca Adcock

    June 30, 2014 at 9:17 am

    How could you not love that adorable face! Although I must say you guys have an interesting collection of animals, first Agnes, the goose who not only eats pumpkin but also figs and now Darwin, the pup who eats watermelon. Can’t wait to see what animal with an interesting palate shows up in the blog next!

  3. I prefer “underbite”. So freaking.adorable.

  4. Glad to hear everything went well. Adorable!!

  5. Oh poor puppy! He’s giving you a look though like, what’s the problem, what are you looking at? Such a cutie.

  6. Cathi Graves Tudman

    June 30, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Glad your puppy is better. So very sorry you are discontinuing your CSA. You are the third set of yarn folks I have lost due to being too good at what you do and getting overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work needed to do things “right.” Best of luck with your books and critters. We have fruit and veg. CSA’s out here in Central CA., so I am looking for someone willing to do the alpaca/sheep/goat fibers closer to home.

  7. Hi,

    I was looking at all your “Darwin” posts and I didn’t see any information on how you acquired him. Could you tell me where you got him? Was he adopted from a shelter? Rescue?


    • Susan

      June 30, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      Patty, that is a great question. We got Darwin from a small English Bulldog breeder. I want to go on record right now as saying that was a big mistake for a number of reasons.
      I haven’t had a puppy (in the house) in years and I had completely forgotten how much work puppies are. I got caught up in the romance of the whole thing. I will adopt an older dog if I ever get another.
      At the end of the day, we love Darwin and we are responsible pet owners, but if I had it to do over again, I would definitely do it differently.

      • Thanks for your honesty.

        Were Darwin’s parent’s on-site? Reputable breeders have the parents of their puppies on-site and have no problem inviting the potential buyers to meet them.

        I have a 14 y.o. toy poodle that I rescued 3 years ago. He was rescued from a puppy mill in SC. While at the puppy mill, due to poor care, his teeth rotted away and so did half of his lower jaw. Due to poor breeding, he also went blind.

        I know a little bit about this subject and thought it would be great chance to inform your readers about the pitfalls of buying a puppy from pet shops, the internet and the classifieds. Here’s the Humane Society’s tips on getting a puppy:

        And here’s the ASPCA’s site:

        Thank you very much.

  8. They steal our hearts the moment we lay eyes on them. Sorry to hear about the other name for the breed – vet bill… As my sister – who is the dog person in our family would say – beware of White Dog Syndrome! As if you need another critter sensitive to the sun!! And you let us know how Darwin did, how’s sis? My GF just had a surgical consult and due to the location of her ‘spot’, they are going to take the lymph nodes that drain the area – who knew???

  9. Susan (sjanova)

    June 30, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Wow. If he’s that sensitive to bee stings, you might want to keep children’s liquid benedryl (store brand usually is ok) in the house. They have no-dye versions, so it wouldn’t stain his skin if he spits it out. I use that myself because I can control the dosage (adult dose is too strong for me, usually) and because the liquid version is faster acting than waiting for a pill to dissolve. That must have been pretty scary for you!

    • Susan

      June 30, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      Thanks for this tip, Susan! I will pick some up ASAP. It will also probably be easier to get down his throat.

  10. judy aka lamazeteacher

    June 30, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Thanks for the update. So glad that Darwin’s immune system allowed the neutering to be done, but now you know that he is a sensitive little guy! Is an epinephrine injection compatible with dogs if they are highly allergic? It comes in a
    package that is called “Epi-Pen” and would be no problem, with all your experience, to administer the shot. It works very quickly and would alleviate any fear of a breathing problem.

    I understand, but still am terribly disappointed, about the CSA closing. I feel as if I am losing a close friend. Hopefully, whoever has the sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and cows (Amy?)will keep posting pix and updates. At least, I can look forward to another sheep shearing! BTW, what happened to the yurt?

  11. I watched a girl drop a watermelon on the sidewalk outside trader joe’s last night. It had a break, but was still in one pieced and totally good for animals.

    Her mother told her to toss it in the garbage.

    I nearly hauled it out, and then remembered I don’t have a dog at home to feed it to.


  12. Vet Bill, so funny, like a broken leg! We adopted Lulu in April of this year, she is 7 yo (they think) and since we got her I’m sure we have spent close to 1k on vet bills already. She was a puppy mill victim, she was bred for her puppies and then dumped when her eye lids became entropic and infected and blinded her. She has cysts between her toes, a growth in her ears and ear infections that I can’t seem to get on top of and skin issues. She is adorable and we love her so much. With all that being said, I’m not sure I will ever get another bull dog. We have had 5 adopted Old English Sheepdogs over the years, and while they can be a bit of work due to grooming and staying on top of their ears so they don’t get infections or yeast. They are by far easier dogs… But none of this matters, cause Lulu is our girl and I wouldn’t do it any other way.

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