Tuesday, April 2, 2024


WHEN WE FIRST MET: March 17, 2018

Today was the day that we met Roxy, now named Pumpkin. Tiemen drove us to Abbotsford, which took about one hour. We found her current human's house. She had told us she was in the basement of their parents’ house. We knocked and they let us in. We met her and her husband, and their young daughter. We also met Roxy (now Pumpkin), and Sydney (the other cat, a lot like Cristobel and Isabel combined). 


My friend had to leave for a meeting, but the other two remained behind. Sydney was okay with me, but Roxy let me pet her. My friend handed me the lint and fur roller, and the cat went crazy over that. I tempted her with a lint roller many times in the future. It was a great way to get her attention and have her come to me. My friend left for her meeting while her husband and child stayed there. We sat on the couch and the cat was beside me. She let me pet her and purred. I leaned my head in and asked, “Do you do kissies?” And Roxy leaned forward and placed her nose on mine! “Yes, you do!” I exclaimed. 

Tiemen asked me if I wanted to bring her home. I said to him, “I think they want both cats to go together.” My friend's husband said we could think about it. We used the bathroom and then left. 

NEW HOME WITH ME – April 2, 2018

After a few weeks of back and forth, and my friend finding a home for Sydney, I agreed to adopt Roxy. Kitty Delivery Day was on the afternoon of April 2, 2018. My friend arrived with her family. She opened up the carrier, and the cat came out. Roxy was really excited to explore my place and ran around investigating everything. My friend looked around my place to be certain it was adequate for her, and seemed pleased. 

The cat then realized what was happening. She hid behind the right side of the couch. My friend told her daughter to say goodbye to her cat. Her husband and her daughter both said goodbye. My friend had one last peek behind the couch. They left.

I had the thought that my new cat liked it here, so she hid from them so she could stay. But she had a bit of trouble settling in, so that couldn’t be it.

The cat came out a couple of hours later, to food and treats. She had her kitty basket with a towel in it, which she slept in. Her first night, I decided to place her in the bathroom. I let her out the next day. She also had Isabel’s old burgundy kitty couch, washed and cleaned, to sleep in too. I placed a blanket on the couch for her also. She used her basket for a few months, but then abandoned it. She enjoyed playing with a Hello Kitty cat toy and others from her first day there.

It wasn’t until May that we settled on a name for Roxy. I wrote three names down on a sheet of paper and told Tiemen to circle which one he liked. I think that Roxybel or Laurelbel may have been other options. I know “Pumpkin” was one of them. He circled that name and I saw it and he laughed. But I agreed. She was a Pumpkin!

Two months in, I was worried, and maybe regretted adopting her, much like Cristobel. There was only one Isabel, who had settled into my place so quickly. “You’re not Isabel!” became a common saying during her years with me. One time, she even hissed back at me when I said it. Later, I felt bad, but around 2022, I just said it, because it was the truth. But Pumpkin did settle into my home, and then into our townhouse after we moved, and I know she loved and trusted me, and vice versa. 

My aunt Marg told me to wait for Pumpkin to come to me for attention. After a few months, she did, and she enjoyed being brushed and petted. 

It wasn’t until summer 2019 that she jumped on the bed. By the end of the year, she’d sleep on the foot of the bed. I set up an orange cat blanket for her to sleep on, as if she didn't have anywhere else to sleep!


Overall, Pumpkin was an extremely intelligent cat and would often understand what I was saying, or what I was asking of her. But if she didn’t want to do something, you couldn’t make her do it. She wouldn’t hesitate to hiss at me. She even bit me and drew blood a few times, and swatted my face and scratched me once. 

In August 2023, I took her to the new vet clinic in Poco. There, the vet tech told me she was the “sweetest” cat they had that day. I’m like, “What? Is that my cat?” But she did get less feisty and spunky as she got older. By the time she passed away in January 2024, she was quite the sweetie, and would trust me to look after her like a meowmie would. She purred more often and loudly in her later years than the quiet purr she had when I first adopted her.          

She was curious of her surroundings, particularly when we moved. She only liked her two humans, Tiemen and I. The rest she could leave. She asked Tiemen for food all the time, even though she knew I fed her too. She demanded her food or a treat if she was hungry, and would not take no for an answer. 

She was scared of the vacuum cleaner, and even with the second one I bought, but the smaller ones didn’t bother her much. 

Generally, she was a good girl and didn’t get into things she shouldn’t, or wreck things, with the exception of chewing on plastic bags, or the corner of the wall, or tearing up the Lil Bub calendar at the beginning. She understood a yes, nod, lap, or up command, and even no. She knew that “upstairs” meant we were going upstairs.


In July 2022 we bought a townhouse. That meant me and Pumpkin would be moving from my condo to the townhouse, and Tiemen would move from his Mum’s house to there. I was worried about Pumpkin and the future move in November, especially after the way she had settled into the condo at the beginning. So, I was worried about our new place.

In November 2022, I put Pumpkin in the van with a towel covering the carrier. We drove to the townhouse. There, I put her in the bathroom with water, food dishes, and a litter box. I let her out of the carrier, and put a sign up on the door that there was a cat within, and to not open the door. 

Once the movers were gone, I opened the door. I blocked the hall with two long boxes stacked on each other. She now had access to the bathroom and my bedroom. She ran all over the place, excitedly exploring everything. All the furniture and bed linens were the same, just in different spots. That night, she slept with me on the bed.

The next day, I decided to let her explore the rest of the house. I was worried about the two sets of stairs, as we didn’t have stairs at the condo. She loved the stairs, walking up and down them, sometimes running much faster than I could go! She sniffed all the furniture, which was the same as at the condo. Same stuff, just a new location. She didn’t venture downstairs to the front door for quite a while yet. Besides, she wasn’t allowed down there. 

She quickly found her second litter box under the desk alcove in the dining room, and used that. She had her food dishes in the kitchen on a tray, and also some upstairs on a small tray. I set up her water glass on my bedside table. 

At first, she didn’t like it when I picked her up to peer out the window. A few months later, she got curious and would go right up to the windows, or patio door to look out. I had to be careful when I opened doors, because she never did that before. At the condo she hated being near the windows and doors. 

Pumpkin settled in so quickly, and I was happy. I guess it was because I moved with her, and that was good enough for her. We lived here together for 14.5 months, until she passed away on January 31, 2024.


Normally, I could touch Pumpkin’s tail at any time. But sometimes we’d play this game where she’d walk past me in the living room, and I’d gently grab the end of her tail. She’d hiss at me, then carry on. She continued to do this into 2023, but stopped hissing at me around Fall 2023. 

I’d often joke that I’d have a Pumpkin, or, “I don’t have a cat. I have a Pumpkin!” Or I’d say, “It’s a Pumpkin!” when I’d see her. “Why is there a cat on my bed? I don’t have a cat!”

Sometimes she’d be staring at me and I’d stick my tongue out at her. She’d watch, likely amused, or thinking, “Whatever.”

If I ever talked about pumpkin pie or pumpkin food, I’d say, “But don’t tell Pumpkin!”

Pumpkin was generally quite smart and intelligent, but at other times she wasn’t, and I’d joke that she only had “one brain cell”, but that was mostly an orange cat joke from the This Orange Cat group on Facebook.

I’d joke to Tiemen that she had him trained, as he gave her food when she meowed, or yowled early in the morning. 

Sometimes I’d ask Pumpkin, “Are you cutes?” or, “Do you want pets?”

If I was cuddling her and her toesies were cold I say, “Did you know it’s illegal for pawsies to be cold?”


If it was morning and she was sitting on my bed I’d ask her, “Are you going to get dressed?

Thank you for reading! If you enjoy reading about cats, please see A Collection of Cats, my fictional short stories book about magical, mystifying, and sometimes silly cats here: getbook.at/catstories

If you need help with caring after a sick or senior cat, please see my Just One More Purr non-fiction cat care book here: getbook.at/purrprint 

If you prefer an ebook, I have that too!


Monday, March 20, 2023

Where to Find My Books

Please use this handy chart to find your next good book on legit sales sites! You can click on the links to the right. I'm working hard at getting my books into more markets, with more options, but it'll take time. You can also see my latest project at the very bottom of the list! More info to come soon!

Name of Book


Print Book







Click On Link

The Aquaria Chronicles




YA, All Ages




Just One More Purr - Terminal Illness Support for Cats & the Humans Who Love Them






A Collection of Cats Short Stories






Karen, Mayor of Zombtown









Zombie Survival Club








Writing Powered Up












Tuesday, March 14, 2023

How to Cope with a Golden Retriever and Asthma

by Mel Dawn

Dogs are mammals, and unfortunately, they can get the same health conditions that their human admirers can. But the good news is that asthma in dogs, including golden retrievers, is not only treatable, it’s fairly simple to give medication as prescribed by a licensed veterinarian.

You’ll still need some guidance on how to cope with a golden retriever who has asthma though. It may seem overwhelming at first, and you may feel quite bad as your loved one has a bad health condition. Here we offer you some tips on how to cope with a golden retriever and asthma, along with the treatment plan that your veterinarian will provide to you. 

Can a Golden Retriever Get Asthma?

Yes, a golden retriever, or any type of dog can get asthma, just like us humans, and other types of mammals too. Not everyone gets this condition, but it’s important to be aware of any symptoms so you can quickly get your pup or adult dog to the vet for proper diagnosis. If you believe it’s life-threatening, immediately take your dog to your local 24-hour emergency pet hospital! And don’t worry, this condition is fully treatable, and your golden retriever with asthma can still live a long and happy life!

What Exactly is Asthma?

There are a few different causes for asthma, but unless your dog has been diagnosed as a pup, most likely it’s due to an allergic reaction to something in the environment. It will be airborne particles that they breath in. Their immune systems will react negatively to the allergens in the air, which can lead to mucus or fluid in their airways. This can fill up, causing the airways to constrict. This results in your dog having difficulties in breathing. Most times, it will resolve on its own, but if it doesn’t, the most severe form of asthma can lead to hypoxia. This is when your dog can no long breath in oxygen. Over time, if asthma isn’t treated, a dog’s airways and lungs can be permanently damaged. The most severe form can lead to death. 

What Are the Symptoms of Golden Retriever and Asthma?

It’s normal for your dog to pant, but they may exhibit other signs that can lead to asthma. These may include being out of breath, even if they’re not running, or with any difficulties in breathing. Your dog may have pale or blue gums. They may be tired and not interested in eating. They may cough and wheeze like humans do. The severity can vary from a minor inconvenience, to be seriously life-threatening. It’s best to book a vet visit, as asthma can worsen if left untreated, particularly if you don’t understand what is triggering symptoms in your golden retriever. 

Why Types of Things Can Trigger My Dog’s Asthma?

Generally, it’s airborne particles that can trigger an asthma attack, though foods can do it too. Cigarette smoke is a common one, as well as campfire smoke. Exhaust fumes from vehicles or machinery is common too. If you don’t do housework on a regular basis, the household dust can affect your dog. Mold spores can be an issue in the home if there isn’t adequate ventilation. Aerosol sprays can affect your dog, including hairspray, scented air fresheners, and pesticide. Burning candles with fragrance, or air freshener plug-ins can be problematic, as well as burning incense. Wheat-based and clay-based cat litter can be a problem if your dog likes to sniff their boxes. Our perfume, hand lotion, and deodorant can trigger asthma in dogs. Cooking smells from the oven can trigger asthma, as well as deep frying or frying  foods. Keep in mind that certain foods are toxic to pets, including chocolate, garlic, onions, and peppers, and even their cooking smells can cause an allergic reaction in our furry ones. Dogs can also be susceptible to flower, tree, and plant pollen. Keep in mind that flowers from the lily family are highly toxic to pets, and that includes Easter lilies and aloe vera plants. 

What Types of Medications Will Be Prescribed?

There are three different types of medications that may be prescribed for your golden retriever dog. The first type you will be familiar with, as they are antihistamines. These block the allergic response in your dog’s body. The second type are bronchodilators. These are inhalers, much like the type we use for our asthma. The medication will help to open the bronchi in the lungs to make it easier for your dog to breath. The third type of medication will be anti-inflammatories. These help to reduce the swelling in the lungs. The lungs will strengthen over time and help the immune system to fight off any triggers. 

What Can I Do to Protect My Golden Retriever?

The best thing you can do is a survey of your house and your dog’s environment. This includes removing all toxins that may be triggering their asthma. You can opt to use fragrance-free and unscented personal care products and cleansers. Adjust your cooking menus or turn on the fans and open the windows, while placing the dog in a room away from harmful smells. If you have a cat, opt for a plant-based cat litter, such as grass or tofu. Avoid using pesticides and aerosol sprays around the home. In fact, go through your home and toss anything problematic into a box and give it away. Also include any perfumes, candles, and air fresheners too. And just because there may be one item triggering your dog’s asthma, other items could trigger it in the future. 

Your wonderful golden retriever dog is a part of your family, and soon their asthma treatments (whether daily or as required), will quickly become part of your daily routine. You’ll be relieved that your dog has a proper diagnosis, and a good treatment plan. Now you can focus on making your dog as happy as possible, which will also make you feel happier and relieved that you can do something to make them feel better!

If you’ve enjoyed being taken away by your working day for just a few minutes then please donate a Ko-Fi to me! It would be greatly appreciated, and I can keep on creating entertaining content for you! 

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What Are the Golden Retriever Genetic Problems?

by Mel Dawn

Before you adopt a puppy or an adult dog you want to know about any possible health problems. This isn’t to screen out any high-risk breeds, but more to be prepared so you can care for your pooch the best you can. Many purebred dog breeds have specific health issues. If you love the golden retriever breed, and have the opportunity to adopt a pup, or maybe you’ve seen a golden retriever at your local animal rescue center, you need to do your research first. You want to know what are the golden retriever genetic problems to expect?

Here is some value information so you can decide if you can afford vet care if there are any future issues, and also to be mentally aware, should you have to bring your newly adopted dog to the vet clinic in the future. 

Are Golden Retriever Dogs Healthy?

The golden retriever dog breed is generally healthy, and they can live up to 10 to 12 years. Unfortunately, some dogs are poorly bred, so this can lead to specific genetic issues. You need to be aware that your dog could have allergies and asthma, an eye or ear condition, hip or elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, heart disease, and cancer. Dogs that suffer from these medical conditions can have a bad temperament (just like people who don’t feel well either). While it’s important to adopt a golden retriever dog from a good breeder, at times that isn’t possible if you’re adopting one from an animal shelter or a friend, where you don’t know their history. And many health conditions occur in senior or elderly dogs, so it can be difficult trying to find a dog breed that will be healthy their entire life. 

Minor Skin Health Issues

Golden retrievers have thick coats. If they love swimming, you should be aware that they may develop bacteria under the skin. This leads to what are called hot spots. Your dog may incessantly scratch their skin. The skin will become inflamed and infected. This may lead to sores, scabs, and hair falling out. These hot spots can appear anywhere. The good news is that with regular bathing, and a topical and oral medication, this condition can easily be cured when it flares up. 

Another skin condition that golden retrievers are prone to is called atopic dermatitis, or atopy for short. This is more related to allergies. This condition is caused by allergens that float through the air. They may be from plant pollen, tree pollen, or flower pollen outdoors, or from indoor dust mites, or mold. If your dog is going to suffer from this condition then it usually occurs from around two to four years old. Like hot spots, your dog may also scratch the problematic regions. It’s treatable with ointments. If the skin isn’t treated, constant scratching can lead to bacterial or yeast infections that are more difficult to treat. The most common locations for these skin conditions are around the eyes, the groin, the paws, and the mouth. 


Hypothyroidism is a health condition that is due to an endocrine disorder of the thyroid gland. The gland loses its ability to produce enough hormones. There may be weight gain and decreased energy levels in your dog. Skin and ear infections will increase. Their coat may thin and they may have skin conditions. This health condition occurs around the middle ages, and is not as serious as hyperthyroidism, fortunately! 

Hip & Elbow Dysplasia

These are inherited orthopedic conditions where the bone does not sit securely in the joint. This causes them to rub against the socket, causing arthritis and pain. In hip dysplasia, the dog can having trouble getting up, and having trouble walking and running. They may be reluctant to walk up or down stairs. There may be one leg that is awkwardly held out. Elbow dysplasia is similar, but affects the elbow joints. Surgery may be required with both conditions. This condition can be prevented by spaying or neutering your golden retriever dogs. 

Eye & Ear Conditions

Golden retriever dogs can be susceptible to ear and eye conditions. Their ears hang done loosely and ear wax can accumulate. This can lead to infection and inflammation in their ear canals. And since they enjoy swimming, that can also lead to ear infections too. Signs include red ears, brown or yellow debris in the ear canal, scratching or rubbing ears against furniture, bad odor, head tilt, and imbalance. Pigmentary uveitis is an inherited eye condition that can affect golden retrievers too. This involves small fluid-filled cysts in the uvea or pigmented region of the eyes. These cysts are benign, and can start growing around five years of age. You can glance at their eyes to see if they have this condition. While it is benign, it can lead to vision loss, and more serious eye conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma. Medication is used to treat it.

Terminal Health Conditions

Lymphoma, lymphosarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma are also cancerous conditions that can affect lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and heart. If caught early, chemotherapy is the best treatment. Various types of heart diseases can also affect your dog. Subaortic valvular stenosis and nutritional dilated cardiomyopathy are heart conditions that can cause issues too. It’s important to give your dog a healthy diet and to exercise them on a regular basis. 

The golden retriever dog is one of the most popular breeds today. When you look at them and interact with them, you can easily understand why. These dogs are smart and loyal to their family. They are simple to train and highly affectionate. They do well with children and other pets. But like with other dog breeds, they can bring with them specific genetic health conditions. The good news is that you are now aware of these health issues, and you can keep an eye out for them in the future. Your golden retriever will appreciate how much you love and care for them!

If you’ve enjoyed being taken away by your working day for just a few minutes then please donate a Ko-Fi to me! It would be greatly appreciated, and I can keep on creating entertaining content for you! 

Send from here: https://ko-fi.com/melanied