Friday, December 31, 2010

Saying Goodbye

Yesterday's blog I shared a oouple of stories about my dear dog, Lacey.

I came across a couple of websites which have some helpful information regarding mourning the loss of a pet.

You can add your dog's name to the "Monday Night Candle Ceremony" held weekly at or These beautiful and touching sites allow visitors to add their own pets' names and, if they choose, write some special words about their pets. During each weekly ceremony on is a reading of The Rainbow Bridge, a poem about pets who have crossed over the rainbow and await the coming of those who have cared for them.

The human-animal bond is strong, sometimes as strong as any you may have with a person. When an animal companion dies, it can be just as heartbreaking as the death of a human loved one. Unfortunately, animal lovers are often met with insensitive comments, such as, "It was only a dog," or "Just get another one" when a dog companion dies. The dog's caregiver is left to mourn in private or get emotional support from strangers who might staff pet-loss support lines.

Fortunately on these websites you can find help and support.
I wish you had the option to turn off the music.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Items Chewed By Dogs

Yes, dogs have been know to chew just about anything, especially as a puppy.

My Golden Retriever was named after the first item she chewed; Lacey. The kids thought it was pretty funny when she ripped off the lace at the bottom of my nightgown and ran around the room.

May 2000- October 2003

I was reading an article that listed the top ten items that are surgically removed from dogs. Do you know what is #1?

It is the sock!

And Lacey ate one, too! Lucky for us it passed through her system.

Here is the list of the top TEN surgically removed items

1. Socks
2. Underwear
3. Pantyhose
4. Rocks
5. Balls
6. Chew Toys
7. Corn Cobs
8. Bones
9. Hair Ties/Ribbons
10. Sticks

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snow Games for You and Your Dog

Do you have snow where you live?

As every retriever knows, the chief purpose of snow is to make snowballs. If your dog loves to play with balls, he will love snowballs. "Catch and chomp" is a favorite game among many retrievers. For more entertainment, roll snowballs down a hill and watch your dog return with a mouth full of melting snow and a funny look on its face.

Snowball toss, considered it winter Frisbee, is fun for most dogs too. See if your dog can intercept snowballs when thrown to someone else.

Build a snowman (or elephant) with your dog. Ask your dog to, "Find a stick," for the snowman's arms. Or bury one and see if your dog can find it.

Hide and seek is a classic especially with a good snowfall and snowbanks. The best hide and seek game involves hiding yourself, of course. It is easier if there are two of you, one to give the commands, including the command to go find, and one to hide. If there is just you, you may need to shout "find" from your hiding place. It is not really giving away where you are - the tracks you left in the snow will do that anyway!

If the snow is really deep and fluffy, some dogs like to swim through it after a stick or a snowball. And speaking of deep snow, build a labyrinth or a maze and watch your dog work through it for a treat.

Slippery snow is best for sliding and some dogs really take to it. And there are some dogs that are perfectly happy just rolling in snow.

Most ski resorts do not allow dogs, but you might find some areas to cross-country ski and snow shoe where dogs are permitted off leash. Keep in mind that if your dog is a novice to the sports, you will need to spend time familiarizing him with the equipment. A human being on cross country skis looks like a very strange creature to most dogs especially those two sticks he swings.

While you do not have to worry about heat stroke in the winter months, dehydration can be a problem even in the coldest conditions. If you are out for a long period of time, make sure you take a drink break. And remember, having fur does not mean you do not feel cold.

Also, take care of your dog's feet. During walks, check paws for icicles and balls or hard snow. They make walking very difficult. If you live in a city where roads and sidewalks are salted, you may want to consider getting some dog booties or rubbing your dog's paws with petroleum jelly before going out, and washing the salt off when you get home. Salt can dry and crack paw pads.

Winter can be as much fun as summer for your dog and you.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Latest Pet Food Recall

On December 18, 2010, the Kroger Co. began recalling select packages of pet food sold in some of its retail stores because the products may contain aflatoxin.

Also, Kroger stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

The recall also includes Dillons and Gerbes stores in Kansas and Missouri; Baker's stores in Nebraska; Food 4 Less stores in Nebraska, Illinois and Indiana (Chicago area); and Jay C, Hilander, Owen's, Pay Less and Scott's stores in Illinois and Indiana.

Stores the company operates under the following names are not included in this recall: Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, Smith's, QFC, City Market, Foods Co., and Food 4 Less stores in California and Nevada.

Kroger is recalling the following items:

Pet Pride Cat Food sold in 3.5 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111088128

Pet Pride Cat Food sold in 18 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111071357

Pet Pride Tasty Blend Poultry & Seafood Cat Food sold in 3.5 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111088152

Pet Pride Tasty Blend Poultry & Seafood Cat Food sold in 18 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111074580

Pet Pride Kitten Formula Food sold in 3.5 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111071903

Old Yeller Chunk Dog Food sold in 22 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111074566

Old Yeller Chunk Dog Food sold in 50 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111074563

Kroger Value Cat Food sold in 3 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111000018

Kroger Value Chunk Dog Food sold in 15 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111071559Kroger Value Chunk Dog Food sold in 50 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code:1111000108

Aflatoxin is a naturally-occurring toxic chemical by-product from the growth of the fungus Aspergillus flavus on corn and other crops. If your pet shows any symptoms of illness, including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, yellowish tint to the eyes and/or gums, and severe or bloody diarrhea, please consult your veterinarian immediately.

The company is using its Customer Recall Notification system to alert customers who may have purchased these recalled products through register receipt tape messages and automated phone calls. Customers who have purchased a recalled item should not use it and should return it to a store for a full refund or replacement.

Customers who have questions about this recall may contact Kroger toll-free at (800) 632-6900.

For more information.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

So Far Still In One Piece

Ebony's Christmas present.....

Usually I choose the most durable toys for Ebony, but I could not resist this silly looking creature. It is rather funny watching Ebony play with this toy. So far it still has its stuffing and is in one piece.

I found the creature at this website, but looks like they do not sell it anymore.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dog Family Christmas

Most of you are gathered together with your families this Christmas Eve.

In my son's household that family gathering includes the dogs. Can you imagine a house full of Golden Retrievers? Cute, but I imagine chaotic!

Oh, did I forget to mention Koda, the German Shepard, as part of the family clan?

How can Ebony miss out on all this fun?! Besides, a black dog would add variety.

Maybe I should bring her when I visit on Christmas Day :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Heimlich Maneuver For Dogs

A few days ago I posted information about
performing CPR on your dog.

Today, I wanted to share information from a veterinarian about the Heimlich Maneuver on your dog.

Before administering any first aid, make absolutely certain your pet is actually choking. Many people confuse difficulty breathing with choking. If you witness your pet ingesting an item and then immediately begin pawing at the face, the throat, acting frantic, trying to cough and having difficulty breathing, only then should the Heimlich maneuver be considered. If your pet is not really choking, the Heimlich can cause serious injury.

After determining that your pet is choking, remove any item that may be constricting the neck. Examine inside the mouth and remove any foreign object you see. Do not blindly place your hand down your pet's throat and pull any object you feel. Dogs have small bones that support the base of their tongues. Owners probing the throat for a foreign object have mistaken these for chicken bones. Do not attempt to remove an object unless you can see and identify it.

If your pet is small and you cannot easily remove the object, lift and suspend him with the head pointed down. For larger animals, lift the rear legs so the head is tilted down. This can help dislodge an item stuck in the throat.

Another method is to administer a sharp blow with the palm of your hand between the shoulder blades. This can sometimes dislodge an object. If this does not work, a modified Heimlich maneuver can be attempted.

Grasp the animal around the waist so that the rear is nearest to you, similar to a bear hug.

Place a fist just behind the ribs.

Compress the abdomen several times (usually 3-5 times) with quick pushes.

Check the mouth to see if the foreign object has been removed.

This maneuver can be repeated one to two times but if not successful on the first attempt, make arrangements to immediately take your pet to the nearest veterinary hospital.

Even if you are successful in removing a foreign object, veterinary examination is recommended. Internal injury could have occurred that you may not realize.

Here is a video on the Heimlich for dogs.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's A Dog's Life

Did you read Merle's Door by Ted Kerasote or see the movie?

Ted's dog after Merle is Pukka and he has written a book about him, too.
I must read it!

You can get a glimpse of what a great life Pukka has in this charming video.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Homemade Dog Gift

Looking for that special homemade gift for your dog or a friend's dog?

Something quick and simple, make a bandanna. With different patterns and fabrics available, you can find the best design to fit any dog. All you need is some festive fabric and a pair of scissors.

Supplies needed to make 4 large bandannas or 8 small ones:

1. 1 yard cotton polyester blend fabric (can be pre-washed, though not required)

2. Pinking shears (scissors that help keep fabric from fraying)


Keep the fabric folded along the natural crease so that the width of the double layer of fabric is 23 inches.

With the fold along the bottom edge, grasp the lower right corner of the fabric and fold at a diagonal to that the bottom right corner is now even with the upper left edge. Make sure the previous right edge of the fabric is now flush with the upper edge of the fabric.

There should now be a triangular shaped piece of fabric with some extra fabric on the left side.

Using pinking shears, cut along the edges, including the base of the newly formed triangle. This will result in 4 large bandannas and some extra fabric.

For smaller bandannas, connect the two edges of the previously made bandannas. This will result in a smaller triangle. Cut the edges with pinking shears. There will now be 8 small bandannas.

Pinking shears are used to delay the inevitable fraying that occurs on the edges of the fabric. For longer lasting bandannas, fold, press and stitch the edges to prevent fraying.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Begging and Dogs

Company coming over for the holidays?

Does your dog beg for food at your parties?

Dog owners who have a begging dog problem must have rewarded the behavior at some point, either inadvertently or intentionally. Some owners of begging dogs decide to try to break the cycle of begging and reinforcement, but do not have the willpower to stay the course.

Instead, they occasionally cave in, reinforcing the dog's begging behavior on a random intermittent schedule. This schedule of reinforcement produces the most indelible learning of all. It ensures that the dog will continue to beg on the off chance that next time he may win.

Here are several suggestions to eliminate begging:

Have a set feeding regimen for your dog. For instance, feed him twice daily at 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Feed proprietary dog food only so that there is no confusion over what is human food and what is dog food.

Feed your dog at the same time as you sit down to eat, so that he is fully occupied during mealtimes. Also, feed him in a separate location.

If necessary, crate train or tie your dog so that he is not free to roam (and beg) at mealtimes, but make sure he has something to do when confined.

Never give in to begging after you have indicated, "no" – not even once. Recognize begging for what it is and stand fast against repeat requests.

Remember that a behavior that worked in the past will initially be carried out at an even greater frequency when the expected reward is withheld. Do not worry about this exacerbation and do not let it weaken in your resolve. Your dog will eventually stop trying something that does not work. (Does this sound familiar to raising children?)

Teach doggy Zen. Hold a food item in your closed hand. Whatever your dog does by way of begging/nudging do not open your hand. When he relaxes into calm acceptance of the fact that you are in control, by sitting patiently and stopping begging, say "take it" and open your hand. You are now training an acceptable behavior – waiting for a command (more appropriately cue) before the "goods" are produced. The message is that good manners work; bad manners do not.

Punishment is never appropriate. Your dog would not understand why he was being punished and would wind up confused. Punishment teaches a dog nothing except how to avoid the punisher.

A well-behaved dog is a pleasure to have around. One that is constantly trying to push people's buttons is often viewed as a little beggar. The decision to reward or not reward should be made by the owner, not coaxed by the dog.

If the time is not right for the game in question, the dog should be instructed to perform some other behavior that is incompatible with asking/begging, such as going to his dog bed or blanket and lying down. This will only be possible if the owner exhibits firm but fair leadership.

Be in charge. Stay in control. As your faithful friend and follower, your dog will appreciate your lead.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Eco-Friendly Dog Biscuits

Wagatha's is a company founded by a life long professional chef and a Wall Street commodities trader. Norman Levitz and Neil Reilly have created Wagatha's Organic Dog Biscuits.

These are USDA certified organic biscuits made using pure, honest ingredients in a fully licensed human grade bakery. They contain no wheat (except for the Classic Recipe), corn, or soy products. They claim to make the world's best dog biscuits and you can see why by the ingredients.

They also donate 5% of the sales to the Morris Animal Foundation Canine Cancer Foundation.

Check out these dog biscuits.

I wonder if my dog will share them with me?

Saturday, December 11, 2010


As much as we try to protect our pets, accidents do happen. So, it is important to be as prepared as reasonably possible. One way to be prepared is to know how to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

CPR is an emergency technique used to help someone whose heart and/or breathing has stopped. Although somewhat modified, the same techniques used for people – rescue breathing and chest compressions – can be used to help treat an animal in distress.

The first lesson to know about CPR is that it does not restart a stopped heart. The purpose of CPR, in both humans and animals, is to keep them alive until the heart begins beating on its own or a cardiac defibrillator can be used. In people, about 15 percent of those getting CPR actually survive. In animals, CPR is frequently unsuccessful, even if performed by a trained veterinarian. Even so, attempting CPR will give your pet a fighting chance.

Here is a video teaching you how to perform Dog CPR.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dog Holiday Stress

Do dogs experience holiday stress?


Tips to Help Minimize Dog Holiday Stress

What can you do to ease the burden of holiday stress for you dog?

Routine, Routine, Routine.

Keeping as close as you can to your pet's normal schedule is the best antidote to holiday stress. Stay consistent with feeding times and amounts, and be on guard against illegal snacks.

Maintain his exercise, walking schedule and playtime. A tired pet is a happy pet. This advice, by the way, goes for people too. Exercise is a great stress reliever. Staying in shape improves attitude and behavior in pets and people.

Getting your pet used to crowds in the home also helps. Bring your friends or family over to get your pet used to it, and reward him if he behaves correctly.

It is important to reserve a room for your pet to retreat to, equipped with his favorite toys, a bowl full of fresh water, some food perhaps, and clothing or blankets with your scent on it. This gives your pet a safe comfortable place to which he can retreat from the madness.

As for Christmas trees and holiday decorations, there are a lot of hazards your pet faces – it is important to know what to look for and how to secure your home. Here is an article that you may find helpful.

Traveling during the holidays is stressful whether you bring a pet or not. Dogs usually travel better because they are by nature in love with car rides. Pre-planning is an absolute must, whether by car or by airline.

If you decide to put your pet in a kennel, do not try to find one at the last minute, which is nearly impossible at holiday time. Research the facilities in your area and ask around. A kennel should see to your pet's emotional needs as well as to his physical requirements. Be prepared to ask many questions when you visit a kennel in person.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Dog Treats

I came across these recipes for dog treats, but they sound good enough for me to eat. I wonder how they taste? I am sure my dog will love them; maybe I will too.

Stay tuned........

Noel Nibbles

2 tablespoons honey
3 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cups white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon nutmeg
2 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup unsweetened chunky applesauce
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. In a bowl, mix together honey, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add water, applesauce and egg and stir, mixing well. Add nuts. Spoon into a greased muffin tin, filling each cup two-thirds full. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on a rack and store in sealed container. Makes 16 muffins.

Festive Holiday Cookies

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups water
3 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup chopped peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl, combine applesauce, egg, peanut butter, vanilla and water. Mix well. Add flours, corn meal, oats and peanuts and mix well to form a dough. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until thoroughly mixed together. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick and cut out shapes. Place on greased baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on rack. Makes 30 cookies.

New Year Delights

2 tablespoons honey
2 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup unsweetened chunky applesauce
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup dried apple chips
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, mix together honey, water, applesauce, vanilla and egg. Add flour, apple chips, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix thoroughly, scraping sides and bottom of bowl to be sure no dry mixture is left. Spoon into greased muffin pans so that each cup is three-quarters full and bake for approximately 1 hour until lightly browned. Cool and store in an airtight container.
Makes 12 muffins.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dog's Mental Health

Are you giving your dog the gift of mental health?

It is important that your dog's mind stays in shape.

Domestic dogs are descended from gray wolves, and you can still sometimes see your dog exercising some of their wild instincts. The desire to chew on bones, dig to bury food or find a cool spot to rest, tug or roughhouse these behaviors likely served your dog's ancestors well. Today's dogs live differently with most of their needs provided for, but these instincts have not disappeared.

A dog that no longer has to worry about hunting food, running from predators, and defending its territory from intruders has a longer life expectancy - but fewer things to keep him busy. Without a way to exercise his natural instincts, a dog is likely to express frustration and boredom or he may decide to make his own "entertainment". This can lead to unwanted behaviors.

When it comes to improving your dog's mental health, a few changes can make a huge difference. Gift your dog with toys that challenges his mental abilities. There are several toys that challenge your dog's problem solving skills, toys that make crunching sounds or squeak, and super tough chewing toys.

Give your dog the gift of mental health.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday Plant Safety 101

Flowers and plants add beauty to any holiday, and make great holiday gifts. Although, if your family includes pets, you may want to learn which plants are safe.

Here is a list of plants to avoid:

•Holly (Ilex sp.). This plant, commonly found around Christmas time, can cause intense vomiting and diarrhea. Mental depression can also occur.

•Amaryllis (Amaryllis spp). Ingestion can result in vomiting, diarrhea, depression, lack of appetite, tremors, drooling and abdominal pain.

•Mistletoe (Phoradendron spp.). This plant, another Christmas plant, can also cause significant vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, this plant has been associated with difficulty breathing, slowed heart rate, collapse and, if a lot is ingested, death has occurred. Some animals may even show erratic behavior and possible hallucinations.

•Poinsettia (Euphorbia). This plant can cause irritation to the mouth and stomach and sometimes vomiting. It has a low level of toxicity and is overrated as a toxic plant. Many people consider it basically non-toxic.

•Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, Easter cactus (Schlumbergera or Zygocactus). In dogs, if large quantities of this plant are ingested, vomiting, possibly with blood, diarrhea, possibly with blood and mental depression have been reported. With small ingestions, typically there are no signs of toxicity. These plants are considered low toxicity plants.

Some less common toxic winter holiday plants include:

•American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens). Ingestion results in weakness, vomiting and seizures.

•European bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara). Ingestion results in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, lack of appetite, weakness, confusion and low heart rate.

•Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium). Ingestion results in vomiting, diarrhea, depression, drooling and lack of appetite.

•Christmas rose (Helleborus niger). Ingestion results in abdominal pain, vomiting, bloody diarrhea and delirium.

•Jerusalem cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicuni). Ingestion results in vomiting, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, seizures, mental depression, respiratory depression, shock and death.

•Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale). Ingestion of the bulbs results in mouth irritation, blooding vomiting, diarrhea, shock, kidney failure, liver damage and bone marrow suppression.

•Thanksgiving cactus (Zygocactus truncactus). Ingestion results in vomiting, diarrhea and depression. Cats also can develop staggering.

•Christams palm (Veitchia merrillii). This plant is considered nontoxic.

•Christmas orchid (Cattleya trianaei). This plant is considered nontoxic.

•Christmas dagger fern (Polystichym spp). This plant is considered nontoxic.

•Mistletoes cactus (Thipsalis cassutha). This plant is considered nontoxic.

•Burning bush (Euronymous alatus). Ingestion can result in vomiting, diarrhea, depression and lack of appetite.

Remember that ingesting bulb plants often cause the most severe illnesses.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Music For Your Pet This Holiday

Reduce holiday stress in your home.

A CD to play when your pets are home alone – or anytime they need to relax.

Tom Nazziola from Disney’s Baby Einstein, the highly acclaimed children’s music series, has created another CD for pets. Celebrate the holidays with his new Holiday Treats CD. This beautiful collection of holiday music was created using the same proven pet relaxation techniques that he used in his Music My Pet CD.

Specifically designed as a relaxation tool for pets, the Music My Pet CD follows the findings of recent pet anxiety studies to create beautiful music that soothes dogs, cats and other household pets. It uses only those core musical elements that were proven to have a calming effect on pets. Music My Pet has gotten rave reviews from pet industry experts and many satisfied pet owners.

Holiday Treats exquisite music will fill your home and your heart with a warm, magical holiday feeling of pure delight. Its calm, soothing dynamic will help calm your stressed-out pets (and you!).

So grab a cup of hot cocoa, curl up with your pet and relax to the soothing seasonal melodies you know and love.