Sunday, December 23, 2012

Holiday Baking for Doggies

You do not want your dog to be left out of the food and festivities this holiday season.

Here are some quick and easy recipes just for dogs.

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.

Sounds good enough for me, too!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Dog Re-Treat

Alejandro Pijuan, designer with LA architectural firm Johnson Fain, has designed the ultimate Dog Retreat using recycled wood.

He used Facebook to solicit input from other Husky owners about what their dogs might like and incorporated many of their suggestions.

The Dog Retreat will be auctioned off in early 2013, with proceeds going to Alejandro's favorite Husky rescue group,
Alley's Rescued Angels.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

ASPCA Guardian

Do you want to make a difference for animals all year long?

Become an ASPCA Guardian. They are a group of dedicated friends like you who make regular monthly gifts to benefit animals in need. This level of support makes it possible for the ASPCA to continue its life-saving programs for needy animals.

As an ASPCA Guardian, you will stay updated with ASPCA newsletters as well as gain access to a special Guardians-only website. There is no need to renew each year and you may call to change your monthly gift amount or cancel at any time.

Shelters across the country are struggling to keep animals that have been abandoned or abused. Last year, the ASPCA assisted in the adoption of thousands of shelter animals. For as little as 60 cents a day, you can help ASPCA rescue innocent animals from a lifetime of neglect and suffering. They need your support to continue its life-saving programs.

If you are thinking "charity" this time of year, consider donating to the ASPCA.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Dog Poster

Every so often a dog poster comes along that really speaks to me.

I would like to share it with you.....

Yes, this one says it all!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dog Portrait

Last week I posted the winner of the dog portrait sponsored by Training Collar Source. All that was required for one's name to be entered in the drawing was to click on "like" at the business page of Training Collar Source on Facebook. You can still do that and who knows what exciting things may happen.....

The dogs are Wire-hair Pointing Griffons, and Mother(Frost) and Daughter(Bailey).

12" X 12" water-based oil
Joanne Osband

12" X 12" water-based oil
Joanne Osband


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Song About A Dog

Tessie Mae was a stray at the Charlottesville, Virginia SPCA. She was adopted by Robin and Linda Williams, talented bluegrass musicians. They wrote a song praising the charms of their rescue dog. Listen......

If you have challenges with the words, here are the lyrics:

You’re an angel and a little sneak
A sweetheart with a stubborn streak
Good at following your nose
Out any door that wasn't closed
You're July and January
Sunny bright and contrary
Used to doing as you pleased
Back before you sidled up to me

Hey, Hey your straying days
Are over Tessie Mae
Hey, Hey sit and stay
Don't turn your head away
Your straying days are over
Tessie Mae

You're five pounds of sugar in a two pound sack
You stole my heart, I don't want it back
You’re a tease and you’re a flirt
But I don't get my feelings hurt
When you go prancing up the street
White socks on your little feet
And wag your tail, that curlicue
Strangers drop to do the coochie coo


I'd like to go and see Levon
And tell him that her name is wrong
That Bessie girl he once knew
Tessie she sure sounds like you
But Levon had you pegged it seems
Cause Tessie, you're a drunkards dream
You mend me when I spring a leak
You defend me I don’t have to speak


Sunday, November 18, 2012


This summer all dog lovers had the opportunity to win an oil painting portrait of their favorite dog.

How? All that you needed to do was to click on "like" on the Facebook page of Training Collar Source and your name was entered in the drawing to win a portrait of your dog painted by me.

Shelley was the winner and she has two Wirehair Pointing Griffons;
Mother and Daughter.

Bailey and Frost by the waterfront in Olympia

The paintings are in process and will soon be posted, so watch for them. You can still visit and "like" Training Collar Source and learn of future happenings.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bath Challenge

Oh yes, the winter is setting in and the dog is starting to smell bad.

I have given up the home bath frenzy and, now, Ebony visits the pet spa. It is soooo much easier to bathe my dog in elevated tubs and to tether her preventing escape.

This dog bathes itself in washing machine style.

The dog is definitely enjoying its bath.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Put on a Happy Face

Do you have one of those dogs who smile?

Yes, it is a definite up turned expression of joy on their faces.

You can submit your dog's smiley face photo to the number of happy campers at the website of The Bark Magazine. They pick 40 favorites to appear in each issue of their magazine (published five times a year). Other photos they select to post online as Weekly Smilers.

Enter your smiley face dog to the gallery!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Doggie Ears

No, not sugary and sweet like elephant ears.

Doggie ears need attention too.

I recently picked up the fall copy of Virginia Maryland Dog magazine and read an interesting article on the health of doggie ears. Besides having interesting articles, this magazine features a dog on its cover each issue that is up for adoption at Baywater Animal Rescue, a NO Kill animal shelter. Inside the magazine you can read about the cover dog.

The fact that I learned was that the dark, brownish-black substance that smells like yeast on the dog's ear is NOT normal ear wax. It is NOT dirty ears or waxy buildup. It is an infection called Malassezia. Just cleaning this off the outside of your dog's ear canal will not take care of it because the ear canal is very long and makes a turn. The article talks about how to take care of this infection, so be sure to read about it and other ways to keep your doggie's ears healthy.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Warm Place to Sleep

Want to make a difference in a dog's life?

Did you know that every year 5-7 million companion pets end up in shelters around the United States?

The Petfinder Foundation and P.L.A.Y. have teamed up to insure that shelter pets have a warm place to sleep.

Here is how you can help. Purchase a bed from P.L.A.Y. and they will donate a special edition Chill Pad to a shelter in need.

You will sleep better, too, knowing that you helped a furry friend.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Patriot PAWS Program

Now that my dog is in training as a Service Dog, I learned about the Patriot PAWS program.

Beau, co-founder of the program

Since 2008, these dogs have spent their formative years in a Texas women's prison, enriching the lives of the inmates who train them even before they meet their veteran companions.

The prison program started when the Texas Department of Criminal Justice contacted Patriot PAWS founder Lori Stevens to offer inmates at its Gatesville, Texas, facility as service dog trainers. Lori, who was already training service dogs for veterans, was looking to expand her program. Now 75 percent of Patriot PAS dogs start out with inmate trainers.

The program has had positive effects on the inmates, too. Inmates learn job skills, and among the inmates involved in Patriot PAWS, only one in 39 have returned to prison.

Read about Beau.....

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Artists Helping Animals

Have you heard of HeARTs Speak?

It is a non-profit organization of professional artists who use their artistic gifts to raise awareness of and promote adoptions for homeless and unwanted pets.

Lisa Prince Fishler started HeARTs Speak in January, 2010. She was by the number of adoptable animals euthanized each year - more than 4 million in the U.S. alone. Lisa set out to find a new way to encourage people to adopt from a shelter.

The artwork and stories are a valuable resource for the media, websites, magazines, as well as educational institutions. If you saw a photo or painting of a cute dog or heard its story, wouldn't you be more inclined to give that pet a home?

If you are an artist, an animal advocate, an educator, or just someone who is passionate about helping animals, visit the HeARTs Speak website.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Service Dog Extraordinaire

A service dog is a type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have physical and/or mental disabilities. Some dogs are even trained to help with medical conditions.

Any breed or mixture of breeds of dog might produce one capable of service work, though few dogs have all of the health and temperament qualities needed.

With that in mind I thought my dog, Ebony, who is well-behaved, sensitive, and smart would make a great service dog.

So she is now in training!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Old Light Bulb Question

In the world of dogs,

how many dogs does it take to change a light bulb?

GOLDEN RETRIEVER: The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you're inside worrying about a stupid burned out bulb?

BORDER COLLIE: Just one. And then I'll replace any wiring that's not up to code.

DACHSHUND: You know I can't reach that stupid lamp!


LAB: Oh, me, me!!!! Pleeeeeeze let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Huh? Can I?

TIBETAN TERRIER:Let the Border Collie do it. You can feed me while he's busy!

JACK RUSSELL TERRIER: I'll just pop it in while I'm bouncing off the walls and furniture.

POODLE: I'll just blow in the Border Collie's ear and he'll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.

GERMAN SHEPHERD: I'll change it as soon as I've led these people from the dark , checked to make sure I haven't missed any, and make just one more perimeter patrol to see that no one has tried to take advantage of the situation.

COCKER SPANIEL: Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark.

DOBERMAN: While it's dark, I'm going to sleep on the couch.

BOXER: Who cares? I can still play with my squeaky toys in the dark......

CHIHUAHUA: Yo quiero Taco Bulb.

IRISH WOLFHOUND: Can somebody else do it? I've got this hangover....

POINTER: I see it, there it is, there it is, right there....

GREYHOUND: It isn't moving. Who cares?

YORKSHIRE TERRIER: I'm over qualified, have the boxer do it!

AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD: First, I'll put all the light bulbs in a little circle..

OLD ENGLISH SHEEP DOG: Light bulb? I'm sorry, but I don't see a light bulb?

HOUND DOG: ZZZZZZzzzzz.z.z.z..z..z..z...z

SCHNAUZER: Bark bark bark. Mom, the light bulb is out...bark bark bark bark...MOM! I said the light bulb is out! Bark bark bark bark bark...MOM!!! WHAT PART OF THAT DIDN'T YOU HEAR? I MEAN HELLO????

SHIH TZU - Who me change a light bulb? We are royal decedents and we have staff to do that for us.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Doorbell Barking

Does your dog go crazy barking when the doorbell rings?

Or do you have a dog like mine that greets everyone at the door as if they came to be with her?

If your dog barks at the doorbell and runs excitedly to the door, here are steps to train your dog to stop this behavior:

The trick is that you want to teach her to go to a new spot.

1. Pick up a new treat and once you have her attention say, "Go to the rug/pillow" (or whatever) and toss the treat there.

2. As she is eating say, "Good,rug/pillow" then give her the "Stay" command.

3. Practice this gradually replacing treats with praise until she gets the hang of it.

4. Now, phase in the doorbell.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Too Old To Walk

What do you do for your favorite dog who cannot walk the miles with you anymore due to age and physical challenges?

I met a woman on the Chehalis Western Trail in Olympia, Washington, who has the answer.

Her 11 year old Airedale dog suffers from arthritis, but she figured out how to enjoy their time together on the Trail. Her family thinks she is "nuts," but I think she has a heart of gold.

Wish I got her name and dog's name.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Appropriate Chewing

Dogs chew!

In fact, it is a very important part of being a dog. Chewing is a natural way that dogs explore their world, whether they are a puppy or a senior.

How do you get your dog to chew on appropriate items?

First, clear your dog's environment of things you do not want him to chew on. That means picking up shoes, toys, and other objects you do not want destroyed or that can harm your pet if chewed.

Always provide your dogs with tasty, safe chew toys. As you leave for work in the morning, leave him a toy stuffed with treats to help reinforce the idea of appropriate chewing.

When you catch your dog chewing something he should not, firmly tell him "No!". Quickly replace the inappropriate item with a tasty chew toy. Lavish praise as he starts chewing the toy. Reprimanding your dog for inappropriate chewing MUST always be immediate and ONLY when he is caught in the act - never after the chewing is already done.

So how can appropriate chew toys help your pet?

If the toy is designed for promoting dental hygiene, it can help support dental health by helping to scrape away plaque, tartar buildup, and help maintain healthy gums. The right ingredients can even help doggy breath.

A good chew toy can provide stimulating activity by challenging your dog's mind and keeping him entertained. This is especially important for older dogs that may typically be less active.

A safe, well-designed chew toy can help satisfy your dog's innate urge to chew and help avoid destructive chewing behavior from both puppies and adult dogs.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Do Loud Noises Scare Your Dog?

Is your dog afraid of loud noises?

Many dogs are. You can not really blame them…they do not know that the noises will not hurt them. All they know is that the sounds seem to come from nowhere, and that they are very scary. Some dogs are so frightened by these sounds that they even have seizures. Loud noises are one of the top phobias that dogs experience. Some dogs will exhibit signs of fear that can include pacing, panting, trembling, salivating, trying to escape and/or barking. Many dogs will actually injure themselves when trying to escape.

What can you do to help keep your dog calm when there are loud noises around?

Here are some suggestions:

1. Consider not putting your dog in noisy situations. Make sure that your dog will be calm at home, or take them to a friend’s house where it will be quiet. Keep your dog confined in a comfortable location if possible.

2. Do not try too hard to reassure your dog during a fearful event with petting, soothing words, or extra attention. This can sometimes exacerbate the problem by reinforcing your dog's fearful response.

3. Some dogs are very sensitive to people's moods and may be influenced by the way that you react to the noise. It is best to act happy and upbeat or to redirect your dog's attention to some absorbing activity.

4. If you must leave your dog at home when there will be loud noises, consider what would make your dog most comfortable. Bring your dog indoors. Would he feel safest in a crate? Try turning on a fan or air conditioner as "white noise". Make sure you provide a comfortable hiding place or "safe place" for your dog in case he is scared.

5. Pet anxiety studies have shown that music can have a calming effect on a stressed out pet. Classical music can be relaxing or look for CD's that are specifically designed for calming pets such as Music My Pet.

So, the best way to deal with this issue is to be prepared. Before the noises begin, anticipate your dog's reaction to them. Whenever possible try to avoid exposing your dog to noisy situations. If this is not possible (such as with thunderstorms), do everything that you can to make your dog feel more comfortable and secure. Talk to your dog in a light, cheerful tone that sends a comforting message that the noise is no big deal. Encourage your dog to find a quiet restful place to wait out the noise.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ingredients for a Happy Dog

Taking my dog, Ebony, in the car with me makes her happy. (especially when she gets to bring a friend!)

What makes your dog happy?

Here are three ingredients for a happy dog:

1. Play more often. When you tire your dog out they will have less energy to burn in less desirable ways. It sounds simple, but if your schedule does not include daily playtime for your dog, try adding it in.

2. Find a game your dog loves. Dogs are like humans: they have their own favorites, likes, and dislikes. Not all dogs like the same games and toys. Try experimenting to see what gets them excited and playing

3. Challenge them with a toy. If regular balls and bones are not enough to keep your dog out of trouble, consider giving them a puzzle toy. While many toys are great for keeping dogs busy, sometimes your dog needs a little more stimulation or challenge. These can include toys that work like puzzles, float, or randomly dispense treats.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Little Help From Our Friends

Yes, our dogs can be very helpful at times. This little Jack Russell Terrier, Jessie, makes work a breeze.

But, I would not eat the pancake!

Watch Jessie make work easy and fun......

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Many people wish to enroll their pets in an animal-assisted activity (AAA) or animal-assisted therapy (AAT) program. First, let us start with defining the difference between the two. Professionals discourage the term "pet therapy" because it actually refers to animal behavior training programs.

According to the Delta Society, a non-profit organization that encourages the use of companion animals to promote human health, animal-assisted activities are casual meetings between people and pets. There is no "session" between pet and person – activities are spontaneous. Likewise, there are no specific goals for treatment, and notes are not taken. The purpose is to bring a smile and some sunshine into someone's life.

For instance, visiting a nursing home with your pet and allowing residents to touch and pet your dog, without the presence of a doctor or therapist, would be considered an animal-assisted activity.

You should also be aware that these participants do not necessarily have to be a dog or cat. Well-behaved and approved pets such as birds, rabbits and guinea pigs can also be used in some programs.

On the other hand, animal-assisted therapy has a defined goal to treat a problem, and progress is measured carefully. The animal meets specific criteria to achieve that goal under the supervision of a medical professional. The sessions are carefully constructed to meet the treatment goals.

There are a number of organizations that are involved with training human and pet volunteers. The Delta Society is a good place to start. (You do not necessarily have to own or volunteer your pet. You can help organize events, assist setting up workshops and screenings, among other activities.)

You and your pet will undergo training and preparation in order to perform animal-assisted therapy.

First, your pet will be examined to ensure he is healthy and has had all necessary vaccinations. You will also need to show that you have basic control over your pet and that he knows the basic commands. In addition, he will go through training exercises that simulate the conditions he will likely work in.

Next, a training session is held. The length of sessions can vary from a day to more than 12 weeks, depending on the intensity of the program.

So, which is it for you and your dog AAA or AAT?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Summertime, Kids, and Dog

Summertime in Washington is OUTSTANDING!

I have been enjoying summer soooo much that I have been rather negligent in posting to the blog.

I could not resist sharing a photo of our travels. Usually my dog goes in the cargo area of the car, but in this case it was too full. Ebony got to share the back seat with Benson and Mathew.

They were all happy campers!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summer Treats

I have been dehydrating apricots one of our family favorites. Dehydrator out and ready for action, what about some dog treats?

Does your dog like chicken jerky?

Try this recipe (and save some for yourself!).


1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Dog-friendly seasonings (parsley, rosemary, sage) fresh and chopped very fine


1. Rinse the chicken breast and remove any fat,which slows down the dehydrating process and will shorten the jerky's shelf life.

2. Slice the chicken into strips about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick; slicing with the grain will make the jerky even chewier.

3. Coat the strips with oil and seasoning.

4. Place the strips on the dehydrator tray, spacing them evenly; make sure they do not touch. The drying process depends on adequate airflow between the strips.

5. Put the tray in the dehydrator, turn it on and set the temperature for 140 degrees (if you have a temperature setting, mine does not).

It will probably take between 3 to 12 hours for the strips to fully dry, depending on how thick you cut them and the exact temperature of your dehydrator. After the first hour, you might start checking the strips on an hourly basis. To determine the dryness level, remove one strip from the dehydrator, cut into it with a sharp knife and examine the inside. When the meat is completely dried, you will not see any moisture and it will be the same color throughout. If it needs more time, put it back and check every half-hour.

When your chicken jerky is done, store it in air-tight containers; zip-lock bags work great for this. Refrigerate the containers for an even longer shelf life.

Another treat: Sweet Potato Chews

Wash and peel sweet potatoes. Slice the sweet potato into 1/4 inch slices by cutting down the middle lengthwise.

Dehydrate at the highest setting until done. Drying approximately 6-8 hours will leave them with a chewy texture. For crunchier treats dehydrate longer until the desired consistency.

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Only in Oregon

Oregon State Park has 21 campgrounds with yurts and cabins that are dog-friendly. Many of the campgrounds are along the beautiful, scenic coast.

Here is the list to make your reservations.

In addition, Cannon Beach is a very dog-friendly town. Surfsand Resort, the Ocean Lodge, and the Inn at Cannon Beach celebrate your pet's arrival with a welcome basket. Warm pet washes with towels are available throughout the properties for those sandy dogs.

Yes, I believe you can say that Oregon has gone to the dogs!

Friday, July 20, 2012

ATTENTION All Chewers!

How about an edible “Interactive-Chew-Toy” for your dog?

Yes, it is true!

An interactive toy to challenge a dog's keen mind and coordination that is fully edible.

The SPINZ 100% Edible “Interactive-Chew-Toy”
is made by Precision Pet Products.

If your dog loves to chew, as most dogs do, this one will be a favorite.

Check it out........

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Skateboarding, Animals, and Art

What do these three things have in common?

Entrepreneur, David Hendrickson created an eco-friendly skateboard and apparel company, in 2011, shortly after adopting a Chihuahua from the animal shelter where he volunteered. David and William are inseparable.

Combining his love of art and skateboarding with his passion for animals, David started Hendrick Boards and created collections of skateboards and apparel to give back to animal shelters and pet adoption programs – helping animals, like William, find loving homes.

Every purchase gives back to animal shelters and rescues throughout the nation – from 20% to 40% of the purchase price.

Together we can make a difference for shelter animals everywhere.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Garden Hose Warning

Do you or your dog drink from the garden hose?

A recent study by in Ann Arbor, Michigan, found that many garden products, including most hoses made from PVC, contained phthalates which is a chemical used to soften plastics. This chemical has been linked to birth defects and breast cancer among other things. In addition, high amounts of lead were also found in hoses' brass fittings.

Jeff Gearhart, lead researcher on this study, recommends that consumers buy lead-free garden hoses, which are often white with a blue stripe and found at marine and RV stores, or rubber hoses. He also suggests flushing PVC hoses before using them to water plants, and storing them in the shade to prevent the sun from heating them which releases PVC chemicals into the water.

The main message is clear: do not drink from garden hoses yourself or use them to fill your dog's waterbowls.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Amazing Dog

This dog is unbelievable.....

He joined several Chinese cyclists on their way to Tibet.

HE RAN 1700KM!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Stop Begging!

Is your dog notorious for begging? Those big eyes or whine that tug at your heartstrings.

Dog owners usually respond to begging in one of two ways: getting angry or annoyed with their dog, or giving in. Neither of these is a helpful approach to begging.

Even if your dog is not begging for food, giving in can have negative consequences. Each time you turn your attention to him when he whines, you are actually teaching him that whining and begging is an effective way to get your attention. This will encourage him to keep doing it.

So how can you get your dog to stop begging? Here are three simple but effective tips:

1. Eat together. No, I do not mean setting a place at the table for your dog; I mean scheduling meals so that you and your dog are eating at the same time. If you give your dog his own food while you are eating, he will be less likely to beg for your food because he will be too busy with his own. This will also put him on a feeding schedule, which is better for your dog in general.

2. Give him something else to do. Along the same lines as tip #1, if you give your dog a favorite toy during the times that he is most likely to beg, it will keep him occupied and distracted. This also rewards him for leaving you alone during mealtimes.

3. Tire him out before dinner. Sometimes dogs beg because they are bored. Too much energy and no way to use it can lead to all sorts of annoying habits in dogs. You can cut down or even eliminate begging with some exercise. Simply take your dog out for a long walk or a brisk run before you sit down to eat, and he will be resting during the meal.

If your dog's begging is less about food and more about attention, he could actually be suffering from a mild case of separation anxiety. In addition to the toys and exercise mentioned above, you can use naturally-produced compounds to relax your dog. D.A.P. (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) products mimic the calming natural chemicals secreted by nursing mother dogs, sending a signal of comfort and safety to her puppies. When your dog senses these pheromones he feels comforted and safe, and thus is less likely to display signs of stress such as begging.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Collars For A Cause

Beautiful beaded and embroidered dog collars are created by Guatemalans not only to promote economic stability, but also to relieve the suffering of street dogs and cats in the highlands of Guatemala.

The collars are made by Mayan craftspeople who benefit by selling their work to Pana Paws whose purpose is to meet the needs of homeless dogs and cats. Their vision is to provide not only a stable source of income to families in Guatemala, but also to help fund an animal program designed to treat the medical needs of the animals, so balance and harmony can exist as the culture and economy of Guatemala continues to develop. They also donate a percentage of the retail sales to Hope for the Animals. Through its integrated programs, Hope for the Animals is raising awareness, reducing overpopulation, addressing public health issues related to overpopulation, and relieving the suffering of animals.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Bond Museum

Currently an online entity, the National Museum of Animals & Society addresses all aspects of the human-animal bond which dogs have played a major role.

Why such a museum? Carolyn Merino Mullin, founder and executive director of the museum explains that in virtually every facet of society’s development, animals have played a significant role. "The National Museum of Animals & Society (NMAS) is dedicated to exploring this shared experience, a cultural narrative that has remained largely unexamined and untold and one that continues to unravel at a rapid pace."

Read more....

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stress or Hyperactivity?

Do you ever suspect that your dog is a bit too hyper?

Dogs can become hyperactive when they are over-stimulated by sounds, smells, and sights. If you have been exposing your dog to lots of new situations or experiences, he might be a bit overwhelmed by them.

If this is the case, you can help him by giving him a break. Find a place in your home where you can bring your dog to calm down. This should not be seen as a punishment. Instead, it is a quiet, stimulus-free area where your dog can relax and unwind. If your dog is crate-trained, even better! Crates are the perfect environment for this. Make the experience a pleasant and inviting one so he wants to go on his own. Reward him for going to the calm area, and give him attention when (and ONLY when) he behaves in a calm manner.

Some dogs are hyper by nature. They cannot help it, it is just part of who they are. If your dog is so full of energy that he is becoming destructive, give him a human-approved way to burn off all that extra enthusiasm. Take him for walks or on runs where he can release this energy in the form of exercise. Taking him to a dog park where he can run freely with other dogs. By the time you get back home he will be calmer and more relaxed.

Along the same lines, some dogs become hyperactive when they are not getting enough mental stimulation. A bored dog will look for things to do, and what they find might not be your first choice of entertainment.

How do you know when a dog is bored? They frequently fidget or seem restless. They might pace, pant, or drool. If you have a bored dog, try incorporating more games into their daily routine and adding interactive puzzle toys. This will give you a well-behaved dog and give him something to occupy his mind and body.

Your dog might also be extra-hyper because of anxiety. Sometimes stressed dogs can show behaviors that are borderline obsessive, such as repeating the same task over and over. You might also notice that your dog has chewed bald spots in their fur or has begun destroying household items. What seems like restlessness could be your dog's way of externalizing his or her anxiety.

To reduce your dog's stress levels, you first have to find the cause of the stress. Really think about what could be making your dog anxious. Have you had any recent changes in your life as a new family member, a new apartment or house, or even just moving furniture around? Seemingly small changes can upset your dog greatly.

Once you have identified the stressor, the next step is to help your dog adjust to it. Spend time with your dog, give them lots of love, and be patient - some changes take time.

Another thing that you can do to help your dog relax faster is using one of those dog pheromones (natural, calming compounds) that releases the scent into the air. These are the same types of compounds released by mother dogs around their puppies, and they really have a comforting effect on dogs. A great, easy way to soothe a hyper dog.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Voted Number One Dog Video for 2011

The readers at Pet Place voted for their favorite video for 2011 and this one came in number one.

What do you think? Pretty funny, right!?

River and Trout are two fun loving Labrador Retriever brothers and alpine enthusiasts. They like to spend winter weekends at Sugarbush In Warren Vermont playing in the woods and body snurfing or body sledding/belly whopping in the snow.

Friday, June 15, 2012

No Squeak

When it comes to toys that dogs really enjoy, squeaky toys are right up there at the top of the list. That's great for the dog... but not so great if you are the one who has to listen to all the noise.

Well, here is the perfect solution.

If your dog loves squeaky toys and you want him to be happy - but you do not want to listen to all the noise - check out the new line of Hear Doggy!™ toys. Their new ultrasonic squeaker technology transmits the sound at a frequency only your dog can hear. So he can still enjoy the squeaking, while you enjoy the silence.

If your dog enjoys "flat" toys with no stuffing, he will love the Hear Doggy! Flat Deer toy. Their Large Blowfish toy is perfect for larger breeds while smaller dogs and puppies will love the Hear Doggy! Blue Whale.

This new ultrasonic squeaker technology will give you a welcome reprieve from the noise of regular squeaky toys, while your dog enjoys all the squeaky fun his heart desires. It really is a win-win situation.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dog Food Ingredients

There are so many different options available for all different kinds of dogs that choosing the right food can be an intimidating task. How do you even begin?

Dog food packaging contains ingredient lists just like human food does. What you see on that label is the key to knowing whether a food is appropriate for your dog. Let's get educated about some common ingredients so you can know what is preferable and what is not so good.

One quick note: the higher up on a list an ingredient is, the more it makes up that food. Most of your dog’s food will be composed of the first few ingredients on the list. This is important to keep in mind if you see any of the below undesirable ingredients.

The number one ingredient to avoid is something labeled “by-products” or “by-product meals.” These are ingredients created from waste parts in the butchering process. These parts contain no muscle tissue, and are classified as unfit for human consumption. Meat by-products are things like lungs, spleen, liver, stomach, and even bone. If a dog food lists any kind of by-product as one of the first ingredients, avoid it. Instead, look for dog food that lists actual meat as an ingredient. Do not confuse an ingredient like plain “chicken meal” for chicken by-product meal.

Anything artificial is best to avoid as well. Many dog foods use artificial colors and flavors. These synthetic additives are unnecessary, since color has little importance for your dog and there are many natural ways to improve flavor. Some artificial dyes, such as FD&C Red #40, can even impact you; they can be so strong that if vomited, they can stain carpets and fabrics.

Dog foods also often contain fillers; that is, parts with little to no nutritional value that are added to food to increase volume or weight. Almost all dog food is sold by weight, so bulking up food with inexpensive ingredients can save companies money. The issue is that your dog gets absolutely nothing from these ingredients, and in most cases their body ca not even break them down. Common fillers include soybean meal and flour, as well as wheat middlings, wheat gluten, and corn meal gluten.

Try to get a dog food that little to no sweeteners or sugar as well. Excess sugar in your dog’s diet can lead to health problems like obesity and diabetes. The sugar on the ingredients list can appear in a number of different ways including cane sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.

On the other hand there are some ingredients that it is good to have in your dog’s food. Look for dog foods that name natural ingredients and boast no preservatives or by-products. Fruit such as apples, blueberries, carrots, and cranberries all have benefits for your dog - and they add a more natural flavor and sweetness than many other additives. Certain vegetables and tubers are great for your dog too, such as sweet potato, yucca, and spinach.

Some more ingredients that are good to have in dog food include:

* DHA - an Omega-3 fatty acid that boosts the development of your dog’s brain

* Flaxseed - promotes a healthy digestive system

* Kelp - provides fiber and iodine

* Probiotics - strengthen the digestive system and provide natural antibiotics to boost your dog’s immune system

When you go out to find the perfect dog food, keep this list in mind.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dog and Owner Look-A-Likes

Have you noticed how dogs and their owners can look alike?

Someone put together this short video with some great photos of dog and owner look-a-likes. Check it out.....

Friday, June 8, 2012

How Smart Are Dogs?

Recently on PBS NOVA science NOW asked the question,
“How smart are dogs?”

We all know that dogs are smart. They learn to follow commands, perform tasks, and work at jobs.

Research tells us that the average dog can understand about 150 words. Their intelligence level is estimated at around the same level as a three-year-old child. Some breeds are considered generally smarter than others, and Border collies are thought to be among the smartest. We know that some of these dogs understand hundreds of words. But the dog on this show - a Border collie named Chaser - showed us that dogs could be even more intelligent than we believed. Chaser has about a thousand toys, and her owner claims that she can identify each one by name. Chaser knows more than a thousand words!

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is the well-known scientist and astrophysicist who hosts this PBS show. He decided to put that theory to the test with an experiment of his own. He asked Chaser to find several of her toys by name, and she got it right every time. Then he decided to see if Chaser could take it one step further. He wanted to see if she could identify a toy that she had never seen before, with a name that she had never heard before, by using the process of elimination.

Dr. Tyson had brought a new toy with him that he named "Darwin". He put Darwin among some of Chaser's toys to see if the dog could pick out. At first, Chaser seemed confused when he asked her to "find Darwin". She had never seen the toy before and did not know the name, but finally she picked out the right toy!

Experiments like this make us realize that dogs are indeed very smart. Just like humans, dogs need to use their brains to keep them sharp. It is not enough to keep their bodies healthy - they need to exercise their minds as well. A challenging situation that tests your dog's problem solving skills is both interesting and fun, and it is also a good way to help keep them mentally engaged. Without these satisfying tests of intellect, boredom will soon set in. A bored dog can soon lose interest in play or even become destructive or lethargic.

Keep your dog mentally stimulated with games and interactive toys.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Unusual Cleaning Tips

Although vinegar remains the most versatile and green of cleaning solutions, here are several ideas for doggie hair and odors.

Throw a few feet of cheap nylon netting in the dryer with your clothes and bedding. It grabs all of the pet hair. Shake it out and reuse.

A great way to recycle dog hair is composting.

When your dog pulls the stuffing out of her toy, do not throw it away. Put it out in the yard for nesting material for birds and small animals.

Add a few drops of organic essential oil (lavender, peppermint, vanilla) to a cotton ball and suck it up with the vacuum. The cotton ball will give the carpet and room a nice, soothing smell with each vacuum.

Wear rubber glove and run your hands over the furniture. Pet fur comes right up. Or, wet your hands and rub them along the furniture. Continue re-wetting your hands as they dry and removing the accumulated fur.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

From Shelter to Circus Performer

Luciano Anastasini comes from a long line of circus performers going back to his great-great-great-great grandparents. When his fall from 50 feet ended his career as acrobat his thoughts turned to those in a somewhat similar desperate situation; shelter dogs. He now trains rescue dogs to perform in circus acts. He approaches the dogs with compassion and ingenuity. The dogs show him what they want to do and he figures out a way to let them do it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Dogs at Work"

Dogs and humans share a special bond.

The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the enduring partnership between dogs and people with the Dogs at Work issuance. This set of four stamps depicts four hard-working canines: a guide dog assisting a woman who is blind, a tracking dog on the trail of a scent, a therapy dog visiting an elderly woman in her home, and a search and rescue dog standing in a field, ready to tackle the next assignment.

Artist John M. Thompson created original paintings for the stamps, which were designed by art director Howard E. Paine.

Dogs today excel at a variety of jobs. Currently, some 10,000 guide dogs in the U.S. and Canada serve as an extra set of eyes for people who are blind. Therapy dogs, chosen for their friendly dispositions, bring comfort and joy to the elderly and the ill. Dogs that work with police and military personnel are trained to detect drugs, guns, and explosives. Search and rescue dogs speed up search efforts, increasing the odds of survival for disaster victims.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Latest Pet Food Recall

There is a new pet food recall that affect humans in 9 states. Diamond Pet Foods is pulling nine brands and WellPet LLC is recalling one as a precaution.

At least fourteen infected people had contact with dogs or dog food a week prior to them contracting an illness identified as Salmonella. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, cramping and fever. To date – no deaths have been reported.

Cases so far have been in Virginia, Ohio, Connecticut, Michigan, Alabama, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

These products were sold to 16 states in the US East coast and Canada.

Check pet food recalls for 2012

Please forward this to any family and friends. Let's help prevent any problems before they occur.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Dog Park in YOUR City

Bark for Your Park 2012 launches!

Has your town gone to the dogs yet?

Give your furry friends a pet-friendly place they can call their own – a new dog park! You and your community are to participate in Bark for Your Park.

How to win this year’s grand prize of $100,000.

1. Visit to nominate your community.

2. Complete your city’s profile page by finding available land and civic leader support by June 13th.

3. Start voting each day on both and the official contest tab on PetSafe’s Facebook at

4. Once your city has been nominated, PetSafe will confirm the availability of land and civic leaders’ support. You will also be able vote every day to help your city move forward in the contest. For the best chance to become a finalist, make sure your city's page is complete and be sure you are voting each day on both and This gives your city twice as many daily votes!

Vote For Your City!

May 1 at 8am EDT - June 13 at 5pm EDT

Encourage friends, family members, civic leaders, and community members to vote to bring a dog park to your community. Remember to vote daily!

Finalists Announced

June 15 ... and voting continues until 11:59:59pm EDT on July 31 PetSafe will select 15 finalists to continue barking for their park by producing a video and continuing to vote each day. Winners Revealed

August 3
The finalist city with the most votes will receive $100,000 to build a PetSafe dog park. The runner-up and the city with the highest percentage of votes to its population will each receive $25,000.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Natural Remedies For Fleas

Do not feel like using chemicals on your dog to treat fleas?

Here are some natural remedies for fleas.

Repellent sprays - According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, based in New York, a safer alternative for flea management can be made with essential oils of cedarwood, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, and thyme. They emphasize avoiding pennyroyal oil which can cause seizures and death in animals. Also be wary of products containing oils of citrus, d-limonene, tea tree, lavender, geranium, linalool, bay, eucalyptus, and rue; they have been associated with allergic reactions in people and severe reactions in dogs.

Diatomaceous earth - Can effectively kill fleas by penetrating the waxy coating on their exoskeletons and causing them to dehydrate. It can be found at herb outlets and garden shops. Sprinkle it on clean pet bedding and on carpets and floors.

A lemon rinse after shampooing - can repel fleas. Make the rinse by soaking a sliced lemon in a pint of hot water, letting it steep overnight. Remove the lemon and any stray pulp, and sponge the lemon water onto your dog's skin. Let it air dry. Repeat daily if necessary.

Keeping grass and shrubbery short - in areas where your dog spends time helps reduce a flea problem, the Natural Resources Defense Council states. Evict fleas from your home by vacuuming frequently and throwing out the vacuum cleaner bags immediately, and by washing pet bedding in hot water weekly.

Be sure to check with your veterinarian before beginning any flea-control program.

For a rundown on the ingredients in flea products,
visit the NRDC's Green Paws directory.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Shedding Light

Why do dogs shed?

Let's shed some light on the subject (pun, ha ha!).

Shedding is a continuous process. No matter what breed of dog you have, or how well you take care of them, shedding is a normal event in the life of a dog. You can never totally eliminate it, and it is largely influenced by daylight.

Let's shed more light on the subject (could not resist!).

The shedding process is triggered by the number of hours that a dog is exposed to sunlight each day. This number is called a photoperiod.

Thus, outdoor dogs shed quite a bit more than indoor dogs, and your dog sheds more in the summer vs. the winter. This is related to the photoperiod. Indoor dogs tend to shed more consistently but in lesser amounts because of the artificial light inside the house. Dogs also tend to have heavier coats in the winter months than they do in the summer.

Photoperiod is not the only thing that influences shedding, though. Stress and illness can cause excessive shedding. Loss of hair, frequently confused with shedding, is a symptom of many illnesses and a side effect of some medical treatments. A chronically ill dog that is shedding may also suffer skin lesions as well as scaling and thin or abnormally wrinkled skin.

What can you do about shedding?

First be sure that you are dealing with shedding and not a more serious problem.

Tips to help decrease normal shedding in dogs:

1. The first thing you can do to reduce the amount of hair in your home is to brush or comb your dog on a daily basis. This will help more than anything to reduce the amount of hair that you find on your clothing, furniture, and floors.

2. Feed your dog a good quality food. Do not skimp by feeding your dog the cheapest food you can find. A good-quality food will not only keep their fur healthy and soft and reduce shedding, but they will need to eat less to get the proper nutrition.

3. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. Healthy bodies promote a healthy coat.

4. Don't let your dog get fat. Chubby dogs might seem cute, but obese dogs have difficult grooming themselves. Keep your dog at a healthy weight for many reasons, not least of all to reduce shedding.

Dogs shed - it is a fact of life. Nothing will change that. But with these tips you can help reduce the amount of shedding and its impact on your home. Regular grooming will make the biggest difference by far.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pillow Talk

Most homeless dogs in shelters sleep on a hard concrete floor with only a towel to soften the surface.

But, not in New York's three municipal shelters in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island!

New Yorker Susan Brandt launched the Mother's Comfort Project to give some of the animals a little comfort while they are housed at Animal Care and Control of New York City.

That comfort comes in the form of beds stitched together and delivered to the shelters. Volunteers put each bed into the dog's or cat's cage and quickly show their gratitude.

The project was conceived by Rational Animal, a New York City-based nonprofit Brandt founded in 2002 to foster public awareness of the need to aid animals. The Mother's Comfort volunteers gather at a rented sewing studio in Brooklyn to construct the beds. While sewers stitch the bed components together, non-sewers cut fabric or padded batting, or deliver fabric to the studio or the beds to the shelters. Brandt estimates that the project has made and delivered about 4,000 beds.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Dog Tails or Tales?

Myth or not?

Are dog tails more sensitive than the rest of their bodies?

But evolutionary reasons may be hard-wired into animals, making them uncomfortable having vulnerable body parts handled. Some dogs do not like having their feet touched. It might be that dogs may feel threatened by having their tail touched.

If you handle your dog's tail while petting her, you can increase her comfort level. When grooming the tail, carefully comb knots to minimize any pulling on the dog's skin. Patience and gentleness is advised when brushing your dog's sensitive areas. After all, we ask our dogs to put themselves in vulnerable positions when we groom them.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pet First Aid

April is National Pet First Aid Month.

Emergencies can occur anytime and the best thing to do is be prepared. Having a first-aid kit ready will help to reduce anxiety if an emergency does happen. Keep the kit readily available and periodically check to make sure all the items are up to date and present.

Veterinarian recommended first aid kit for dogs includes:

Roll cotton
Some cotton balls
Gauze pads
Gauze tape
Hydrogen peroxide (check the expiration date)
Hydrocortisone ointment
Silver nitrate
Oral syringes
Pediolyte® or other balanced electrolyte fluid
Baby food – meat flavors work best
Large towel
Exam gloves
1 inch white tape (in addition to gauze tape)
Rolls of elastic wrap
Emergency ice pack
Thermometer (both oral and rectal thermometers can be used rectally)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring on the Trail

The Chehalis Western Trail in Olympia is a favorite place to be on the occasional sunny day in Washington.

Ebony and I were caught on camera enjoying the day by Ed Anderson.

He likes to photography the dogs he encounters on the trail.

You can see more photos of his dog friends.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Do Dogs Watch TV?

The average American watches about 4 hours of TV a day.

But what about dogs?

Do dogs enjoy television, too?

Dr. Nicholas Dodman is a very talented animal behaviorist who has written many wonderful articles about dogs. He has used his years of training to develop a television channel just for dogs.

Check out this video where Dr. Dodman explains more about how DogTV.

What do you think about dogs watching TV? Do you think they can appreciate it and be entertained by it, or are we trying to project our human traits on dogs?

Sunday, April 15, 2012


April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month.

Each year, the ASPCA urges supporters across the country to “Go Orange for Animals” throughout the month of April—when the ASPCA’s charter was signed in 1866—to raise awareness for this cause.

So How Do You “Go Orange” for Animals?

Make it fun to go orange - get creative!

Orange is a vibrant, energetic color that most people find inspiring. So use it joyfully to show the world you care about animals during the month of April.

At the ASPCA website are ideas and suggestions on how you can go orange in your community, classroom, business, library, website, etc.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dog Photography At Its Best

A photo of your dog is a prized possession, right?

Getting the right pose can a times be frustrating. Why not try some natural photos instead.

Here are some ideas:

Sweet Dreams: A dog lost in the world of dreams makes for an innocent and peaceful photo. Try a close up where her face fill the frame.

What's That?: Most dogs tip their heads to the side when they hear an unusual sound or when their masters ask questions in an exaggerated way. Find out what triggers your dog's head cock and then use it in a cute head shot.

Snack Time: Give a favorite, long-lasting chew to your dog. Once your dog is happily working on it, ease yourself down to dog level and capture the happiness.

Perfect Day: Next time your dog lounges outdoors and a perfect afternoon, gram your camera. Snap her as she snoozes in the sun, raises her nose to a scent, or rolls happily in the grass.

Once you get used to photographing your dog acting naturally, more ideas will come to you. With today's digital cameras, you can keep snapping photos until you get the one you like best. And if not, try again another day!