Friday, March 27, 2009

I Smell Skunk!

I live in a wooded area and on my morning walks I have come across deer, herons, mallard ducks, and owls. As Ebony and I were walking this morning, I got this piercing smell. Quickly I called my dog to heel as I did NOT want her to meet the skunk.

As we came around the corner, I saw through the woods in a boggy area a multitude of skunk.......cabbage!

How can something so lovely smell soooooo badly?

At closer range the smell was awful! But look how pretty!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dogs in the Classroom

Rylee's Kids

Members of Rylee's Kids at Crestview Heights School in Waldport, Oregon, know how much fun animals can be. That's because one of the members of their class is furry and four-legged!

The kids' teacher, Mr. Bodle, feels that having a classroom canine companion is good for his students. "When Rylee is around kids, he's so polite. Everyone loves him," says Mr. Bodle. "And, after spending time with Rylee, the kids have a more caring attitude."

We'd have to agree. Getting to know Rylee has definitely made the kids want to help other animals!

One Penny At a Time

For the past five years, Rylee's Kids have held multiple fundraisers—including a penny collection to help animals left homeless by Hurricane Katrina.

Recently, they focused their efforts on helping an organization called Helping Animals Live On (HALO). To collect donations from the community, the students created papier-mache piggy banks. After painting and decorating the banks, the kids placed them in area stores and businesses.

"Businesses love having the piggy banks," says Mr. Bodle. And their customers must love them too because the fundraiser was a big success! The kids raised $538 to help pay for food and veterinary care for rescued animals.

Rylee's Kids are really awesome!

Find more KIND Kids here!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuning Into Your Dog

Some people think animals can read our minds. What happens when you begin to put your shoes on? Is it a habitual pattern that your dog has learned, or is it that your dog has read your mind that you want to go for a walk?

Can you read your dog's mind? Pet psychics insist the answer is yes - with gradual work and practice. The work requires that you tune into your dog.

Try sitting with your pet and observe her from head-to-paw. Fix your eyes on her, homing in on her deepest feelings and thoughts. It is important to notice your pet's facial expressions and body language, for pet psychics believe that it's the beginning of communication. Stay open and quiet to receive thoughts, feelings and pictures that come from the animal.

Try gently to reach out and ask your pet a simple question in your head. Just observe your pet's answer, and be detached from the outcome. Set aside time each day to tune in and communicate; another chance to spend quality time with your pet.

Most importantly, HAVE FUN!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dog Kisses......

Lucy, from the Peanuts cartoon, might just be right.

She always exclaimed, "Yuck, I have been kissed by a dog!"

Some of us find doggie kisses rather cute, and do not flinch when our dog lavishes us with licks.

FACT or FICTION: Is a dog's mouth cleaner than a human’s?
(I will not make you scroll down to the bottom to find out.)

Here is what I found from Dr. Jon, the veterinarian:

FICTION. This misconception regarding the cleanliness of dog's mouths probably originated from the thought that most diseases are species specific. This means that most communicable canine diseases, with the exception of rabies, do not generally affect humans. While it is true that dog bites are less likely to transmit a communicable disease to a human, they are still quite capable of causing an infection.

Dog's mouths are filled with all kinds of bacteria, depending of course upon what the dog had in its mouth recently. When you consider that dogs use their mouths much like people use their hands, the bacteria counts in their mouths can be quite high.

Next time you get kissed, think about what was your dog eating or licking before he placed that kiss upon you?

YUCK! Says Lucy.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Do Dogs "Show Off?"

I am wondering if dogs "show off" to their dog friends?

My Irish Setter and Golden Retriever use to prance when they had something in their mouth, but I am questioning more of a "watch me" attitude.

Ebony had her good friend Ginger, Golden Retriever, over recently for a five day slumber party. It was definitely a party! Two dogs for one person are a handful, but they are both well trained. In fact, I only needed to put one dog on the training collar when we went for walks because the other dog would hear the tone and obey the command too. I like the way my son trained Ginger to come and sit by your side when she hears the "come" command. This really impressed my neighbor who is in dog training school with his Golden Retriever.

Ebony stalks the squirrels at the end of the road. It is a game they play because I have seen the squirrels bait her. Ginger began to catch on to the game. One day Ebony, like lightning with Ginger on her tail, raced into the neighbor's yard and captured a squirrel. She showed Ginger. That is when I made her drop the squirrel and let it go. I believe Ebony scored major points in Ginger's eyes. Do you think Ebony was "showing off" to Ginger?

We are ready to GO!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Talented Dogs

I know there are dogs who do amazing things,
but did you know one who can skateboard?

Check out this hilarious video for your daily dose of laughter.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dogs and Chewing Gum

Did you know that some chewing gum is toxic to dogs? It is actually the sweetener in some chewing gum products that can be toxic. The toxic ingredient is called xylitol. Many pet owners have no idea about this, and I just read about it from Dr. Jon at

"Xylitol" is commonly found in sugar-free gum, candies and some baked goods. It seems some pets are more sensitive to it than others. The exact amount that needs to be ingested to cause problems is still being determined. Signs can develop quickly. So yes, something as simple as your dog eating a piece of your gum can mean a trip to the veterinarian.

So be aware of what your dog finds to chew on (pun intended!).

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Is Your Dog a Chewer?

Does your dog LOVE to chew? Most dogs do.

If you don't give your dog his own personal things to chew, he will be forced to satisfy his natural instincts by chewing the things around him. And trust me, he will find plenty of things that are pleasing to chew ... mine chewed the molding on the door frame!

Yes, dogs love to chew. It can be a very soothing activity that brings your dog a lot of comfort ... or a very dangerous one that threatens his very life. You can't change your dog's biology. The fact is, he's driven to chew.

What can you do?

Well, to begin with you can make the activity safe for him (and easier on you) by getting him his very own chew toy.

Every dog needs a great chew toy. It can bring your playful pup tons of fun! A good chew toy will satisfy his natural urge to chew, help keep his life interesting and keep him contentedly entertained for hours on end. It can also help break your dog of those destructive chewing behaviors.

Check out this new chew toy called "Bottle Cruncher" I found on the internet.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Snow again!

Spring time and it is snowing! Not a favorite subject here in Washington.

Why is it that the first thing Golden Retrievers do when they race outdoors after a snowfall is to rolling in it? Anyone out there know?

Having my life blessed with a dog of this breed, I am familiar with their love to roll in stuff (mostly stinky). Snow seems to be a favorite as I have witnessed other Golden Retrievers partaking in such fun. I pet sat a Golden who behaved in this manner, and my son's Golden does too. Not only do they love to roll in the snow, but Goldens seem to enjoy snow as much as children.

Unfortunately, if they spend too long playing in the snow, they get serious frozen snowballs between their toes because the snow collects in their long fir. That's when you must convince the dog to come inside to thaw.

No hot chocolate for them!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

Have you ever seen your dog eat grass and wonder, "What is he doing"? After all, dogs are carnivores (primarily meat eaters), right?

I found an article on which enlightens us about this strange behavior.

"We are not sure why your dogs like grass, although there have been many theories offered. Primarily, dogs are descended from wild canids (wolves and foxes), which ate the entire "kill" when they hunted for food. Since they consumed many herbivores (plant-eating animals), they wound up eating a lot of plants and even berries found in the stomach and intestines of their prey.

Interestingly, carnivores tend to go for the stomach and its contents first, so it's likely that dogs may eat grass because they like it and it was once part of their normal diet.

Then there is the great mystery: Do dogs eat grass to make themselves vomit? Or do they vomit because they eat the grass? Most veterinarians believe that dogs eat grass simply because they like it, and vomiting just naturally follows. When dogs eat grass, the grass acts as an irritant and causes vomiting. However, they may not be smart enough to use grass as a medicine when they have an upset stomach.

Some veterinarians believe that dogs eat grass because their prepared diets are lacking in greens and so they eat grass. And as some support of this contention, dogs sometimes seek out a particular variety of grass to nibble.

No matter what the reason, your dog's "grass" habit is normal behavior and you need not be concerned about it. A note of caution, however: Take care that your pet does not eat grass that has been treated with fertilizer, pesticides or herbicides. This could cause stomach upset or even worse problems for your dog."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Play Toys That Bloom

I do not know about you, but I get thrilled to see the first flowers of spring!

There is a patch of crocus which survived not just the harsh winter, but my dog digging them up after my neighbor, Janet, lovingly planted them one day last fall. She did not realize that my dog, Ebony, is very curious and could not resist uncovering what was buried. Of course, Ebony waited until Janet had left the scene.

Here is bounty that did not suffer being treated as doggie play toys by Ebony........

Aren't they beauties!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Heal on the RIGHT SIDE?

Ebony, my Border Collie/Black Lab five year old puppy, and I take a daily morning walk in our beautiful wooded neighborhood.  She has been trained to heal on the left side, as most dogs.  But recently, I have learned that at times it would be more convenient and safe for her to be on my right side.  Ebony thinks I am silly and much prefers to be on my left side.  I think it is the Border Collie in her that knows right from wrong and will correct me by moving back to the right side.  My solution after some frustration..................

A "new" command, "Right Side," and it works.  Imagine that?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dogs and Play; Part 2

Yesterday I shared about dogs and play. What type of dog toy does your dog prefer? Does your dog like to chew, tug, cuddle, fetch, or be creative with his toys? Is fluffy, rubbery, squeaky, bouncy, or ropey his preference? There are many options to consider when choosing a dog toy. Check out yesterday's blog for ideas.

Have you ever seen anything like this? This dog can actually balance a ball on his nose and considers it play! Makes people stop and ponder - is it a dog or a seal. You'll see why when you watch this video. Watch, Is it a Dog or a Seal?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Dogs and Toys

Do you spend time playing with your dog? Daily exercise and play time is important for a happy healthy dog. Do you wonder which toy might be your dog's favorite?

There are tons of dog toys. What type of dog toy does your dog prefer? Does your dog like to chew, tug, cuddle, fetch, or be creative with his toys? Is fluffy, rubbery, squeaky, bouncy, or ropey his preference? There are many options to consider when choosing a dog toy. It is important that the toy be safe, entertaining, and just right for your dog's personality.

Why Have Toys?

Aren't dog toys just an added expense and something else to pick up around the house? No, they are much more than that. Dog toys play a very important role in keeping a dog mentally and physically healthy.

Toys provide dogs with an outlet for excess energy and can prevent them from becoming bored or depressed. This outlet may also prevent them from chewing on or playing with other things such as the couch or the garbage. Dog toys can also challenge a dog's problem-solving skills, provide environmental enrichment, and alleviate separation anxiety.

Toys encourage play and exercise, which help keep a dog physically fit. Chew toys can also be helpful for oral health by reducing plaque and strengthening jaw muscles. Puppies can especially benefit from chew toys while teething.

Toy Safety

Safety comes first when choosing a dog toy. Be sure the toy is the appropriate size for your dog. Do not choose a toy that can be easily swallowed or become lodged in your dog's throat. Also, a large toy can be cumbersome to the small canine, and could potentially cause an injury. Durability is the other aspect of safety. Some dogs do fine with soft, fluffy toys or delicate, rubber toys. Others will destroy and eat them. This can result in a dangerous gastro-intestinal obstruction.

Be careful with toys that have removable parts. If you give your dog a stuffed animal to enjoy, cut off any pieces which could be easily chewed off, such as plastic eyes. Squeakers can also be dangerous. Before leaving your dog unsupervised with a squeaky toy, be sure he is not tempted to be destructive to get to the squeaker. This is true with any toy: supervise, supervise, supervise! 100% confidence in a toy's safety and your dog's behavior is crucial before leaving a dog alone with the toy.

Keep the toys relatively clean. Between drool and dirt, a toy can harvest a lot of bacteria. It is important to wash canine toys from time to time to keep your pooch healthy.

Chewing Dogs

Yes... Most dogs do enjoy chewing; it is a very natural habit. Provide the right outlet for this with the right toy.

Kong toys are good for destructive chewers. They are made of very durable materials that are difficult to destroy, and they are available in various sizes and weights. Rubber Kong toys are gentle on your dog's mouth and have a decreased risk of causing dental damage.

Nylabones are also good for chewers. They come in flavored and unflavored varieties. There are bones for light to aggressive chewers and small to large dogs.

Rawhides and Greenies are loved by many dogs and are great for cleaning teeth, but MUST be only given with supervision. Dogs should not attempt to swallow large pieces of these treats, as they can easily become stuck in the throat, stomach, or intestines.

Tugging Dogs

Rope toys and rubber pulls are designed for tug-of-war between dogs or between dog and owner. They are great for interactive play and bonding. Be cautious when playing tug-of-war with your pet that you are not bitten. It is also important that your dog knows the "drop it" command before playing tug-of-war so that you do not lose control and you can stop a problem if the dog becomes too aggressive with the toy. If two dogs are playing tug-of-war it is important that they are supervised and do not fight.

Cuddling Dogs

Stuffed animals are a cuddling dog's favorite. Of course, there are many varieties of animal, size, color, fabric, and even the noise they make. When choosing a stuffed animal for your pooch, it is best to get one designed for dogs, not children, because they have the least removable parts.

Fetching Dogs

There are many toys for playing fetch... rope toys, Kongs, tennis balls, stuffed animals... they all work great. However, there are some designed especially for fetch.

GoDogGo and Chuckit! are made to throw tennis balls long distances and wear your dog out, not you!

Creative Dogs

Treat balls make your dog think and work to get a snack. Load the ball with treats when you are leaving for work or when you are busy and can't entertain your needy canine, and he will be occupied by the challenge his toy presents. The ball must be rolled about for the treats to be dispensed from the openings. Your dog will be mentally stimulated, and he will be physically exercised.

Kong toys that are hollow on the inside are also great for treat stuffing. Peanut butter works especially well in Kongs; your dog will be entertained licking the sticky treat out of the toy. When he is done, the rubber Kong can be easily washed with soap and water.

The Joy of Toys

Even the most sophisticated dog has a fun, playful spirit. Just like all children need toys to entertain, enrich, and exercise their bodies and minds, so do dogs. Provide your furry child with multiple appropriate, safe toys. Rotate them; put some away and get different toys out each week so your pet doesn't get bored. Though toys are great to occupy your dog when you are busy, don't miss the opportunity to appreciate your dog's playful energy. Use the toys to bond with him, play with him, and laugh with him.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dog's Best Friend is an........Elephant!

I came across this story and wanted to share....

There is an elephant sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee where elephants are sent when they retire.

When they get there, they search out another elephant, one that they relate to and have something in common. Once they chose their special partner, they spend most of their time together. They are best friends!

This is true for every elephant except for Tara. Tara's best friend is.... a stray dog named Bella.

No, not kidding. This actually happened and below is the link to the video to prove it.

This is truly an unusual story, but things get even more interesting when Bella (the dog) suffers a spinal cord injury and lays motionless for 3 weeks. This is when we discover that Tara (the elephant) really cares about Bella.

I won't tell you what happened, you have to see it for yourself. Take a minute to check out this video. Click here

Two VERY different animals that can look past their differences and become friends, why can't we?

Something to think about...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

From Dog Training to Couch Potato Kitties

I cannot resist giving the highlight to my two kitties insead of "dog talk."  How could one pass up this golden opportunity to share the true meaning of "couch potato?"  Do you agree?


Thursday, March 5, 2009

AKC's Top 10 Breeds of 2008

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recently released their 2008 registration numbers which we have used to determine the Top 10 Breeds of 2008.

Drum roll please....

For the 18th year in a row, the Labrador Retriever takes the top spot once again as America's favorite purebred dog!

So it is safe to say that America is in love with the Labrador Retriever ... and with good reason. Labs are friendly, loving and very playful. They are highly regarded for their good nature, easy trainability and intelligence.

This popular breed was not originally used as a companion dog. Instead, Retrievers were bred exclusively as hunters, a job for which they possessed superior talents. The Labrador Retriever was officially accepted into the English Kennel Club in 1903 and the American Kennel Club in 1917.

The Top 10 Breeds of 2008 are:

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Yorkshire Terrier
3. German Shepherd
4. Golden Retriever
5. Beagle
6. Boxer
7. Dachshund
8. Bulldog
9. Poodle
10. Shih Tzu

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ebony's Friends From Outer Space

I decided to see the movie Marley & Me with my good friend.  Having read the book, I knew the story, especially the ending, but I was not ready for the effect it would have on me. Needless to say, I left the theater with red puffy eyes and depressed.  My last dog, a golden retriever, I had to put to sleep and the movie opened the sad spot in my heart.

Thankfully, we had three dogs waiting for us and their romp in the woods to cheer me up. Bundled up we headed up the hill into the forest with our dogs bounding for joy in the last hour of daylight with a bit of cold rain.  Before leaving, I decided to get a photo of the three dogs.  It was rather dark, raining, and the girls did not want to sit still.

I laughed when I saw this photo.  It is rather eerie with the white raindrops, and Ebony looks like she is hanging out with some alien friends.  

What do you think?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Playtime with Luke

Ebony scored again today!   A chance meeting with her friend Luke; perfect timing as Luke was about to go for a walk.  PLAYTIME!  The two dogs immediately start to wrestle. Ebony's favorite game is chase and she controls the speed.  It is funny to watch her as she looks back to see how far behind Luke is and will slow down or reverse direction to continue the game.  

I wanted to take photographs of the two of them playing, but the camera battery ran out before they slowed down enough to get both of them in the viewfinder.   I did get a posed photo of Larry, Luke and Ebony who does not like to be pinned in place.

Monday, March 2, 2009

What Does Your Dog Say?

Do you believe that dogs can communicate their wishes to you?  It is similar to ESP.  Ebony makes her wishes know through her eyes or body language.  On our morning walks, when we pass by Luke's house

Ebony asks, "Can Luke come out to play?"

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Does Your Dog Watch TV?

Since I do not watch TV, I did not realize that dogs do.  One evening I was watching a DVD and there was a dog barking in one scene.  Ebony, immediately alerted to the sound. saw the dog on the TV and got excited. She came very close to the tube and backed away in play mode.  I was a bit nervous that she might attack the TV.  Instead she sat and watched.  I found this rather humorous.

I came across a very funny video of a Golden Retriever watching TV and wanted to pass it along.