Monthly Archives: May 2014

I Love FatWallet And I Cannot Lie

I am an online shopper.  I don’t know how families with multiple children do it but the one we have keeps us BUSY.  Too busy to squeeze in a trip to the mall and get more soap from Bath & Body Works that is desperately needed for our home or just to go get the pair of Nike Shox I have been wanting to get.  Other times I online shop just because Amazon carries the item at a much lower price than I can find it locally.  But like everything else in life, online shopping has some cons that go along with the pros of convenience.

The major negative value in online shopping for me is shipping and handling costs.  Mostly because I know from experience that a majority of those costs is from the handling side of it which entails someone pulling it off of a shelf, placing in the box, and sealing it up with tape.  I start to weigh out whether it is actually worth the time, gas, and schedule changes to get the item locally.  Then I start wondering how can I get the item(s) even cheaper to make up for the shipping and handling cost.  This is when I begin googling for online coupon codes to use.  (Who hasn’t done this? LOL)  Well one lucky day months ago I hit my proverbial jackpot for online shopping:  FatWallet

FatWallet is a site that lists thousands of common shopping websites.  It keeps track of all the possible valid coupon codes out there for your use with those stores but that isn’t even the best part.  The best part is if you sign up for an account for FatWallet you can earn cash back on all the purchases you make from the stores it has listed on it’s site.  The cash back accumulates in your account over time until you decide you want to cash out.  When you opt to cash out they will either mail you a physical check to cash or deposit it into your Paypal account if you chose to link it.  Its that easy.

So ahead of buying anything I always look to see if this benefits my FatWallet account before purchasing.  The other day I was going to make a trip to Home Depot to buy a new hose and hose reel.  I went online to FatWallet, logged in, and saw Home Depot was listed as a cash back store at 2%.  I clicked the FatWallet link to also use a $5 coupon which brought me to the Home Depot website.  I selected my items, used my coupon code, opted to pick up my items from the store later that day to avoid shipping costs to my home, and earned $2.08 in my FatWallet account.  It may not seem like much but add that to the $9.00 I earned from Finish Line for my Nike Shox, $2.53 I earned from Shari’s Berries from Mother’s Day, $0.33 from Bath & Body Works, $4.50 from Sonic Electronix for car stereo equipment my sister-in-law asked I secretly help get for her as a gift to my brother, $1.03 from Best Buy, and $0.26 from eBay and now I have $19.73 in my account ready to be cashed out when I choose to.

FatWallet is completely safe to use and an easy way to get some of your money back.  They won’t send you junk, add you to lists, or sell your address.  I never recommend or sign up for services that use those practices (if I can help it).  I would say most of the stores you probably shop at are listed on the site.  I added the site on the logo for FatWallet for an easy link to sign up if you should so choose to.  If you’re unsure just click the link and select Cash Back Stores at the top left hand side just to peruse through the list.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.  If you’re anything like me you love to save money and since we are all consumers why not do everything we can to get some of the money we spend back?  Hey, I like money.

 

 

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Dog Shopping We Went

Tchoup

Saving a dog has had MANY ups and downs.  We were determined to rescue a dog.  We tried several times unsuccessfully.  It has honestly left a bad taste in my mouth.  That shit is for the birds.  Now, I absolutely believe in it.  I would recommend anyone attempting to rescue before going to a breeder but if they came across any of the trouble my family had to incur, I wouldn’t blame them one bit if they went out to get their desired designer breed.  Fuck it.  It is what it is.

Well we did it.  We went dog shopping.  We wound up with the cutest little French Bulldog you ever laid your eyes on.  He absolutely is the the coolest dog ever.  He is cooler then most humans I know.  This little boy had stolen my heart.    Someone this cool needed a name equally as cool.  Cristina suggested giving him a name with a New Orleans tie to it which was an easily accepted idea as much pride and love I have for my city but what??  Many really good ones came up but my favorite was the first one Cristina suggested.  She said we should name him “chop” but spelled T-c-h-o-u-p like the New Orleans street Tchoupitoulas.  I was sold.

Well as apart of the breeder’s contract you have 48 hours to have your dog evaluated by your vet in order for the 1 year health guarantee to be in effect.  Tchoup’s appointment was made and for whatever reason that day I had a bad feeling waiting in the lobby.  Well my feeling was confirmed when I was told Tchoup had a rather moderate heart murmur.  I was told to make an appointment with the cardiologist the next day and let the breeder know his findings.  He also told me that if I wasn’t too attached to this dog I may want to consider getting another one because if this isn’t fixed he will die very soon of heart failure.  The procedure to fix him would cost somewhere around $2500-3000.  Tchoup’s heart murmur was graded as a level IV-V range.  In case you don’t know much about murmurs, they only go up to VI.

The breeder came back with “well vet’s say that to make more money and some heart murmurs are innocent and dogs can live healthy long lives with them, blah blah.”  I said yes that is true I had a dog that was diagnosed with an innocent heart murmur from this very same vet and she lived to be 12.  My vet let me know with her that no further action needed to be taken but with Tchoup it was different.  The breeder asked I get a second opinion.  Fair enough.

Well on we go to vet #2 which happens to be my brother’s vet.  I went into the visit not mentioning the murmur at all.  Just stated I purchased a puppy and would like to have him checked out for the health guarantee to be in effect.  I wasn’t in the room for 3 minutes before that stethoscope went on Tchoup’s chest and the vet’s (who was delighted to be examining a Frenchie) smile dropped to explain Tchoup’s condition was serious and needed to see an internist to have an echo-cardiogram done to evaluate how severe Tchoup’s heart murmur was.

A $500 internist visit later and well my initial vet was correct.  Tchoup had Pulmonic Stenosis and needed surgery.  I was sent to see the cardiologist at LSU where Tchoup would spent a couple days having tests done and being prepared for surgery.  LSU was forwarded the internist’s echo-cardiogram but he wanted to have his own. *cha-ching*  The silver lining though was that his eco-cardiogram showed the best of two possible scenarios.  The leaflets in Tchoup’s pulmonary valve (feeding blood to his lungs) were fused resulting in the blood having to pass through a very narrow passage way causing the right side of his heart to be enlarged because it was working so hard to get the blood through the narrowed valve.  To fix this the cardiologist would go in by Tchoup’s groin, insert a catheter, and inflate a little balloon in Tchoup’s pulmonary artery that would tear the leaflets and allow for better blood flow.  Ugh.  I was a nervous wreck.

photo: odlarmed.com/

Well the surgery was a completed.  I was called as Tchoup was going under, once during the 3 hour procedure, and when Tchoup went into ICU.  I made sure that the technician verified that Tchoup was breathing on his own off the machines as I have a couple acquaintances that have had a few bull dog horror stories about them and anesthesia, however that is another story for another time, but I could finally breathe easier.  Now I can’t wait for my boy to be back with us.

The next day after surgery they conducted another eco-cardiogram *cha-ching* to determine if the surgery was a success.  They compare the pictures before and after as well as the pressure he had in his pulmonary valve.  Normal pressure for a dog  in that valve is 0-4.  Tchoup was a severe case and prior to surgery was 120.  Post surgery his pressure is at 60.  The cardiologist thinks in a month the pressure could go down more once the swelling in the valve goes down from having the balloon in there a few times stretching his valve.  This will be determined with yet another eco-cardiogram *cha-ching* scheduled June  9th.  Of course I’m hoping to hear even better news on that day which is that the pressure has indeed gone down but if it doesn’t a dog with the pressure of 60 in that valve is considered a mild case and expected to live a long, normal, healthy life.  In fact a dog with that pressure wouldn’t even require surgery.  Yes!

So we didn’t rescue.  We tried several times and it wasn’t in the cards for us but we did save a life.  The breeder asked a couple of  times if I wanted to swap for a healthy dog but we refused because Cristina and I had already made up our minds that Tchoup was ours.  We loved him and we couldn’t just give him back.  I did ask the breeder out of curiosity what would become of Tchoup if we did give him back.  The answer wasn’t a good one.  We were praised by all the doctors we visited through Tchoup’s treatment  (there were 4) because many people would have just opted for the puppy swap.  Each told us breeders would just destroy the dog as it would be just another mouth to feed.  Well we feel good about our decision and would do it again.  Sure it was definitely the costlier route but Tchoup was apparently meant to end up with us and us with him.

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