Friday, April 29, 2011

The Mutt

The mutt is the most common dog in the US and has won many hearts and homes.

The mutt is the all-American dog. Call him a random-breed, a mixed-breed or a mongrel, at his best he is loyal, healthy, smart and friendly – a virtual melting pot of positive canine characteristics.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dog Etiquette

Wherever you go with your dog, remember you are a doggie ambassador. How you act with your dog not only affects others around you, but also how people think of dogs and dog owners in general.

Put your best foot and paw forward with dog etiquette:

1. Always clean up after your dog and abide by licensing and
leash laws.

2. Make sure your pet is a welcome guest. Call ahead to discuss
pet policies.

3. When visiting family and friends, if your dog ruins something in their home, offer to pay the repair fee or cleaning charge.

4. Only bring well-behaved, quiet dogs to outdoor restaurants. Dogs should be out of the way, such as lying underneath the table, so the wait staff and others can easily walk past.

5. When a repairman or other service provider makes a house call, crate your dog or put her in a room and shut the door. Some people are afraid of dogs or allergic to them.

6. Be a considerate neighbor by curtailing barking. Even hardened dog lovers are annoyed by constant yipping and yowling.

7. Do not allow your dog to roam freely. It is dangerous for you pet, plus it is disrespectful of other people who might be walking in your neighborhood.

8. Always ask permission before allowing your dog to greet another dog.

Being a doggie ambassador consists of combining dog training skills with common sense and basic good manners. Pet etiquette is practicing good behavior at both ends of the leash.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Woofstock Similar To Woodstock

Do you recall Woodstock?

If not old enough...... Woodstock was a music festival, billed as "An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music". It was held at Max Yasgur's 600-acre dairy farm near the hamlet of White Lake in the town of Bethel, New York, from August 15 to August 18, 1969. It famously became a "free concert" only after it became obvious that the event was drawing hundreds of thousands more people than the organizers had prepared for.......about 500,000 people showed up. It became the first "love-in".

Woofstock is a big festival in Canada in the St. Lawrence Market neighborhood of downtown Toronto on June 11th and 12th. The annual love-in will see over 300,000 dog lovers. Admission is free!

Competitions includes: Mr. and Ms. Canine Canada Pageant, High Tea (look-a-like celebrity wanna-bes), top model, best costume, stupid dog trick, and agility. Vendors selling everything from designer outfits to the latest in dog treats.

Each year Woofstock donates space to rescue groups, and stages a K9 Rescue Me Walk-A-Thon to raise money for rescue groups across Canada. They even have a Paws to Remember Memorial Service for pets who have died.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dogs Help Crime Victims Heal

Petting a dog has magical calming effects.

Carolyn Corbett created K9 c.a.r.e.s. victim support program in Colorado in 2007. It stands for Canine Assisted Reduction of Eventful Stress. In the program specially trained dogs work side-by-side with victim advocate volunteers to aid people who have experienced traumatic events or crimes.

Carolyn and her Golden Retriever Caitee are on call 24-7 with the Westminster Police Department to help victims immediately after a traumatic life-altering experience. The team also supports children under 18 before, during, and after court proceedings for a wide range of crimes. Caitee's job is similar to that of a comforting friend. She patiently hangs out with the person allowing them to pet, brush, or hug her.

Caitee is trained to bring a tissue to the person at the first sign of tears. Carolyn says that usually the person cries harder at first and then the crying changes to laughter. This begins the positive change in brain chemistry which is the beginning of the healing process.

Visit the website to learn more about the nonprofit organization and its plans to expand the program to other states.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Entertaining Dogs

How do you train a dog to ride a bike?

Or dance in a conga line?

Rather amazing!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kids and Pets

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) sponsored the Association's 3rd Annual National Children's Pet Poetry Contest.

Third, fourth and fifth grade students from across the country were invited to write a unique poem about their pets, what they love about them, the joys they bring, and then post it on-line or mail their final submission. There were over 1,000 submissions.

Two students from each grade level (6 total) nationwide were selected to win a $250 gift certificate for pet products, and a "by-line" in a nationally circulated publication. In addition, the six winning students' classrooms will each receive a $1,000 scholarship to spend on pet related education.

Poems were judged on creativity, clarity, voice, and the child's ability to reinforce the message of the joys and benefits of pet ownership. The panel of judges consisted of third, fourth and fifth grade teachers, elementary school administration, and APPA.

Here are the six winning poems by grade level:

Third Grade Winners

Lovable Kitties
By Sydney of Modesto, CA

One cat, two cat, three cat, four
All were chasing a ball of yarn on the floor.
First, we rescued Snowy and then there was Twitch
Then we found Rose and Taz in a ditch.
Mom said rescuing one would be okay,
But the lady at the shelter said it was a two for one special that day.
A house with four kids and four cats,
A crazy combination that could give our parents heart attacks.
One child, two child, three child, four
Loving their kitties more than the day before.

A Member of Our Family
By Shemarof Royal Palm Beach, FL

There's a member in my family
and I know just who it is
My dog Max is the one
who's like another kid.

His fur is white and black
with a little touch of brown
His eye's are big and shiny
and he never wears a frown.

He likes to play fetch
and cuddle up with us
He's soft and fuzzy
and we never make a fuss.

We adopted him from a shelter
where he was sad and all alone
He looked misunderstood
so we brought him home.

He's the best dog ever
that is easy to see
That's because he is
the best dog he can be.

Fourth Grade Winners

By Skylar of Newton, NC

Where do I go to feel joy all around?
I always go play with my trusty hound.
What do I do when something troubles me?
I always go see my sweet dog, Jolly.
Who do I tell all my secrets to?
I always tell my dog, there, now I've told you.
If ever I'm feeling a little blue,
I always know just who to go to.
She's my best friend,
Always loyal to the very end.
Everyone I know has been told,
She always has a gentle heart, pure as gold.
She's such a treasure,
I will always love her forever and ever.

My Tiny Tibbles
By Nadia of Tampa, FL

I walked in the pet store, ecstatic to see, a hamster inside waiting for me.
The hamster I wanted, was only a baby. As soon as I saw him, my heart filled with glee.
I took him to my house, he squeaked like a mouse. He rolled into a ball. His orange fur shimmered in the sun.
I could tell, he was having fun.
I took him inside, safe in his cage. Then I remembered, he didn't have a name. How about Squeakers. No, that will be lame. What about Tibbles? Do you like that name?
He bounced and bounced on his tiny feet. My tiny Tibbles, do you want a nibble? Here are some carrots. They are super healthy. That also taste, extremely yummy.
When he was done, he did a little yawn. In his cage, he dug a hole with his tiny little paws. He got in it, and winked good night, and then he closed his small black eyes.
Then in bed, I tucked myself in. I took one last look at Tibbles, and fell asleep with a grin. My tiny Tibbles, my tiny Tibbles, I love him.

Fifth Grade Winners

My Dog Moe
By Abby of San Diego, CA

Moe is not your average dog.
He is curious about the most odd things.
He likes the light of diamond rings
And hates when the spongebob pirate sings.
He finds weird things such as nets.
I love it when his nose is wet.
He is the absolute perfect pet!

My dog's a golden and lab mix.
He does a lot of super fun tricks.
I taught him most of what he knows.
He loves to lick all of my family's toes.
You can tell when he gets confused.
When his head tilts to the side,
He also might wink one eye.
He always makes me really glad.
Moe is the little brother I never had!

I Wonder
By Amanda of Bowie, MD

I miss my pets while at school, oh yes!
In the world, I vote that they are the best!
But I wonder what my pets do at home.
I wonder if Cindy is chewing her bone...
And what will the cats do today
While my family is all away?

(Cindy's part)
Oh, I wish that my owner would come right away.
I watched her disappear on the bus today.
I don't know what she does at school.
All I can do is sit and drool.
I miss Amanda and hope that soon
I will bark a happier tune!
The cats are being total pains.
I wish they could be put out in the rain...

(Figaro and Carmen's part)
Our owner is gone, hip hip hooray!
Imagine all the things we can do today!
Rip up the sofa, claw up the chairs,
And chase each other up and down the stairs!
We think that the dog is a total sap,
When Amanda comes home, we'll fake a nap!
Then she will think that the dog was bad,
And with us she will not be mad!

(Amanda again)
I am back home at last, yippee!
My pets are here to greet me.
Hey, what's that mess over there?
Did you two cats claw up that chair?
It's okay, Cindy! I know you're good.
It's Figaro and Carmen who don't do what they should!
Still, I love my pets because they add,
To my life so much more happy than sad!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dream Dog Park

What do you visualize for the perfect dog park?

To celebrate the relationships people have with their four-legged best friends, the Beneful® brand created the WagWorldTM Dream Dog Park Contest in which last year they awarded $500,000 to makeover one lucky dog park.

The winner of the contest was Pat McNeely of John's Creek, Georgia.
See what he imagined.

The park is to open this spring and I was looking on the Internet for photos. But I gather it is taking longer or photos are not available yet.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Anise Seed Works Like Catnip

Do you know that dogs react to anise seed in the same way cats react to catnip?

YES! Anise seed adds an intoxicating scent and when added to a homemade dog toy, instant addiction.

Try this:

Take an orphaned sock and stuff it with a plastic water bottle that makes great popping and crackling sounds when your dog plays with it. Add one or two ounces of anise seeds and knot or stitch up the end.

For the ultimate earth-friendly dog toy, sew a face on it.

Another thing this toy has going for it is that it is easy to refresh. If the bottle starts to break down from too much play, just untie the sock, pop in a fresh bottle, and add more anise seeds. If your dog chews the sock, find another sock without a mate. It is an irresistible and long lasting dog toy.

I bought something similar for Ebony made out of cloth but without the anise seeds. Now to try a homemade one with anise seeds.....

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pet Sitter Checklist

Next time you go on vacation and leave your dog with a pet sitter, here is a handy checklist to help you.

Type up a document that includes:

1. Your dog's diet and exercise habits
2. Nearby walking routes and parts, and best/worst times of day for each
3. Your dog's microchip information and veterinary phone numbers
4. Instructions for storing leftover canned food
5. Your contact information and a local emergency contact

Leave these things in plain sight:

1. Your dog's collar and leash (with an extra, if possible)
2. A flashlight for after-dark outings
3. Plenty of cleanup bags
4. Food a stored in a secure, dog-proof container or cupboard
5. A can opener, if needed

Do not forget to:

1. Tell your neighbors to expect to see the pet sitter coming and going. Optionally, give a trusted neighbor the pet sitter's number or a number where you can be reached, should they notice a problem.

2. Ask you pet sitter about her backup plans, in case she runs into an unexpected conflict.

3. Re-evaluate your home's dog-proofing; with extra time alone, you dog may find new things to explore.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Kissed By A Dog

Do you remember Lucy from the comic strip Peanuts?

True or False:

Is a dog's mouth really cleaner than a human's mouth?


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.

Dogs' mouths are filled with all kinds of bacteria, depending of course upon what the dog recently had in its mouth. 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, imagine that after sampling the world with his tongue, your dog comes back inside only to smear his saliva and bacteria-filled kisses all over your hands and face.

While canine kisses can be sweet, you really should consider thoroughly washing your hands and face afterward.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ready For Easter?

Skip the chocolates, but check out the bunny!

Knotties Bunny

The Knotties Bunny made by Hugglehouds Toys is a fun interactive toy that comes in 2 sizes - regular and mini.

This cute pink bunny is made of snuggly soft corduroy - but it is really durable because it is made with Tuffut Technology and can withstand 100 pounds of pulling and tugging!

Inside, there are five squeakers, and those long bunny ears are filled with a special "crinkle" fabric. Best of all there is a knot in each leg for your dog to gnaw on.

I think I will put a Knotties Bunny in Ebony's Easter Basket.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Beach Time For Doggies

Here in the Pacific Northwest we were recently treated to two full days of SUNSHINE. I happened to select those two very days to visit the beach and Seabrook.


AND PERFECT, I might add.

Imagine days and days of rain, a decision to go to the beach, and presto! Sunshine and blue skies. Washingtonians would say, "It's a miracle!" Especially since the weather is back to rain once again.

Here is what a Washington beach looks like on a rare sunny day:

This is the beach at Seabrook, a lovely little beach town near Pacific Beach, Washington.

Wind swept trees looking North.....

Frost and Ebony

Ebony and her good buddy Frost, along with Frost's daughter, Bailey, ran the beaches to exhaustion. Frost and Bailey are Wirehaired Pointing Griffons and are trained to hunt birds.

"They are on vacation," said Shelley, their master. Frost and Bailey taught Ebony the fine art of chasing shore birds.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Do Not Let Your Dog Kiss A Toad

Do you know the difference between a frog and a toad?

The word "frog" is a general term. Toad is more specific. All toads are frogs but not all frogs are toads. For example, the Colorado River toad is a frog, and the green tree frog is not a toad. If this is still a little confusing, think of this. Your cuddly kitten may have very little in common with the lion, the King of the African jungle, but they both belong to the "cat" family.

However, in addition to their name and position on a species chart, frogs and toads can be differentiated by other means.

Toads have a special organ that other frogs do not. The Bidder's organ is a vestigial ovary that is found in the male toad. Another difference is that toads do not have teeth. This is an uncommon finding in species referred to as frogs.

In addition to body differences, toads differ from other frogs in their movement and life style. Toads really cannot jump like other frogs. They typically hop or crawl. Also, toads prefer to live their lives on the ground instead of in the trees, as many other frogs do. Despite their desire to be on firm soil, toads are quite adapt at climbing.

The reason I bring this up is that the venom secreted through the skin of some toads is highly toxic to pets. Dogs, which are the most likely pet to come into contact with a toad, have a high probability of dying if untreated. The Colorado River toad and the giant toad (also called the marine toad) are the two most common venomous toads found in the United States.

The Colorado River toad can be found along large streams in the southwestern United States, from Arizona to southern California (and Mexico). Its brown/green skin is usually covered with warts. They grow to be about three to seven inches long. The giant toad is not as common, but can be found in south Texas and Florida. This brown toad grows to be four to six inches long. It is very toxic to pets.

Because dogs are more curious and extroverted, they tend to be treated for toad poisoning more often. But a dog does not necessarily have to lick or eat a toad to be poisoned. There have been cases where frogs have been attracted to a dog's water dish and sat along the rim. Enough toxin can be left to make a dog sick.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What's Behind A Dog Smile?

Do dogs smile?

Ask an expert on dog behavior why dogs smile, and you may get a somewhat complicated answer involving submissive behavior, automatic responses, etc. They often ruefully conclude, "But dogs do not really smile, at least, not for the same reasons we do."

Ask the average dog owner the same question, and he will respond indignantly: "Of course he smiles! Just look at that face; he's smiling right now – you cannot say that is not a smile!"

In wolves, the expression we take for a smile indicates nervousness or submission to another wolf. Dogs also are hard-wired to interpret the expression this way. To signal that he accepts his subordinate position, a subordinate dog retracts the corner of his lips, which pulls the mouth into that happy face we recognize as a smile.

In reality, the "smile" is indicating that the dog is not threatening to overturn the status quo. Confident alpha dogs rarely smile. They think of themselves as our equals and have no need or desire to signal their deference to us.

An exception is the "smile" that comes with teeth bared – a smile that decidedly does not indicate submissiveness. A dog that lifts his lip to show his fangs is giving a signal to an encroacher to back off ... NOW.

But dogs are, if nothing else, extremely astute observers. An owner sees his dog "smiling" at him without fangs showing. The owner, touched by this adorable face, rewards the dog with a belly rub, a pat on the head, treats, or some other form of positive attention. The dog notices that when he performs this submissive gesture, he gets something desirable in return. So in a way, the dog's "smile" may become genuine, because he associates the expression with something that makes him happy.

This also helps explain why dogs roll on their backs for those treasured belly rubs. Rolling onto the back normally indicates submission, which the dog is happy to concede because of all he perks that come with it. For the dog, acting submissively is a pretty good deal.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ready For A Laugh?

How about a huge tongue protruding from a dog's mouth?

For those ball loving dogs,
this toy would definitely crack people up!

It is a ball and tongue in one called Humunga Tongue™.

The toy is made from durable non-toxic natural rubber and comes in three sizes to fit any dog.

A toy that is as much fun for you as it is for your dog!