Pugs, prescriptions, and companionship. A winning combination!

Yup. You're seeing this correctly. Darwin the Pug has an official Costco Pharmacy Membership card. Has he arrived, or what? 

I've always found great value in establishing a good relationship with my pharmacy. Whether it's a last minute refill, or an issue with my insurance company, I know from experience how beneficial it can be to know my pharmacists by name, and to have them in my corner when I'm desperately in need.

But over the past couple of years,  I've had to rethink my pharmacy allegiance. With rising drug costs and changes in health coverage, I've had to say good bye to my friends at my long-time pharmacy, and instead adopted a bargain shopping mentality, one that I never thought would apply to medicine. If I'm at pharmacy x, and the price is cheaper at pharmacy y, I go there. If I can get a better deal the following month at pharmacy z, I transfer my prescriptions again. Thankfully, I haven't had to transfer too often, but I'm always open to a better price and inquire anytime I get a tip.  Almost always, the price break outweighs the hassle of transferring (which it IS a hassle, mind you.)

My price comparisons began when I re-started cellcept (a traditionally expensive, though effective drug) last year, and have continued with the most recent trevails with plaquenil.  You can read about those here and here, but I'll summarize by saying that in a year a half, I've been able to save thousands of dollars by shopping around.

I've most recently landed at the Costco pharmacy, which we currently go to for almost all of our family's drug needs, including Darwin's!

(Note that Rite Aid is still cheaper for Bernie's epi pen jr., and the vet is more convenient for Darwin's other Rx, but that could always change. If it does, I'll be on the hunt again!)

Because baby Darwin is not listed on our family's insurance (a mere oversight, I've assured him), he gets his very own, shiny new prescription card. He's not flaunting it to friends and family just yet, but he has been strutting around with his held high these days. (No doubt he'd be unbearable if he had a library card, too.)

But we let Darwin get away with a lot these days. He'll be 15 at the end of the year...and he's still going strong. Not AS strong, but still a joy to have around.

Dar had just been issued his pharmacy card when the folks at Milk Bone shared with me the results of a recent study on pups and their owner's health and wellness. Thus, it was a perfect opportunity to blog about the two together. I've written several posts about the personal lessons I've learned from my pugs before, and you can read the scientific evidence below. It's wonderful to know that dogs really can be a lupus patient's best friend!

Read the entire Milk Bone study and tips here.


“Milk-Bone Study: Doggy Routines Keep Entire Family Healthy”

According to the “Milk-Bone Human-Canine Health Study", pet parents who include their pups in family health routines lead healthier lives.

In fact, 55% of dog parents say their lives are “full of happiness and joy,” compared to 39% of non-dog parents.

51% of dog parents say they get more exercise because of their dog.

TIP #1: Turn your pups’ morning or evening walking session into a fun, impromptu workout session for the entire family, so both you and Fido will get your daily fit fix.

(Despite Lupus tip: Having a hard time finding the energy to work those aching joints? Even a nice, slow stroll to the end of the driveway with your pup will get you moving.)

1 out of 3 pet parents are concerned their dog isn't getting enough of the nutrients they need

TIP #2: Start every day with a vitamin (or medication) routine for the whole family.

(Despite Lupus tip: Think your dog needs to adhere to a good medication or vitamin regimen? So do you! Take medicine as prescribed. Don't skip doses. And don't self-medicate. Would you let your dog do that???)

Pet parents conduct “well puppy” check-ups, as they would with their child. If a dog is rubbing his eyes, or has oily spots or bumps in his fur, something could be wrong.

TIP #3: Use fun petting sessions to give your dog a quick look over for possible health ailments, like gently rubbing the bottom of his foot pads for sores.

(Despite Lupus tip: Take a moment to inventory YOUR own health and wellness while you're at it. Had a fever for too many days in a row? Are your swollen joints really not improving? Take action and call the doctor!)

57% of dog parents who also have children involve the kids in their doggy caring care routines, with most reporting that it teaches them good life habits and responsibility.

TIP #4: Your pup needs just as much attention and care as you and your children. When it’s time for your kids to brush their teeth, brush his teeth too.

(Despite Lupus tip: Could your aching, swollen joints use a break from taking care of the dog? Delegate the tasks to your kids. As the tip above states, it will benefit everyone!)


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