Wishing You A Very Blessing Thursday, dear friends!

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All I can say is it Friday yet? Please, Friday, hurry up and get here! I am sure you can imagine how my life is going right now, HA! And that’s not “HA” funny, it’s “HA” this is pathetic. I have always heard about people having their grown children move back in with them. But I never, ever, thought it would happen to me. I love my children to death and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for them. My son has been here today, it makes 3 days, and it seems like 3 years. He works the afternoon shift 2 – 10 p.m., and sometimes he work 12 hours. The last couple of nights he has come in and has wanted to talk. I have no problem listening to him and giving him advice (and of course, telling him his shit don’t stink, lol!). But he is a worse night owl than I am. He wants to talk till 4, 5 or 6 in the mornings. This old dog just can’t hang. The bad thing, this old dog ain’t that old but this lifestyle will make you an old dog quick.

Yesterday, I got so sleepy I couldn’t stand it. I decided I had too much to do to take a nap. So half asleep, Kiki and I waddled out the door. I forgot to put her leash on her because I was half asleep. Well she stayed on the porch like a good girl. I thought, “this is going to be a breezy.” So with my mind settled Kiki was going to behave, I started pulling up stones. I have been running into wolf spiders every other stone. I lifted this one up and sure enough, there sit a huge wolf spider. I went to beating him with one of the stones. In the meantime, a huge black Lab comes strolling down the street. Little Miss Perfect (Kiki) took off like a bullet. Well I forgot about the spider, but the spider didn’t me. As I was getting up, the spider bit me always on my rump but thank goodness he missed. He got me were your leg ends and then the fatty part of your rump begins. I can’t wait to go to the doctor, oh brother. But anyway, I took off running after my idiot dog. My neighbor finally caught her. After all this, I was starting to get sick from the bite. We came in the house and I laid down in the floor and went to sleep. I got up around 11:00 p.m. I cleaned up the kitchen and told my husband, he needed to talk to our son. So I went to bed because I was sick from the bite. Well believe it or not, my hubby talks to my son. Three o’clock in the morning, I am sound asleep. Here comes my son wanting to know if I am a wake. Three in the morning why wouldn’t I be wide awake??? His father had made him mad and he wanted to talk to me about it. Well he talked to about 5:00 this morning. I need to go and buy me some more toothpicks to hold my eyes open. I don’t believe I am going to survive my son’s divorce. The funny thing, he thinks this is really rough on him, HA!

I feel like Lurch on the Addams’ Family, lol! All I know, my mother-in-law use to tell me, “If I knew then what I know now, I would have had puppies instead!” I now understand, she was a very wise woman!

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Dog-gone Doggie of the Day for Feb. 14th

Wilson, the Dog of the Day
Name: Wilson
Age: Six years old
Gender: Male Breed: Miniature Poodle
Home: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Wilson is my adopted shelter dog who is the subject of my children’s books, “Wilson Gets Adopted” and “Wilson Learns Manners” – which helps children learn manners, too – and the spring release will be “Wilson and the White House Pups.” I post Wilson in costumes on his website, Wilson Gets Adopted.com.

I found Wilson on Petfinder, I was looking for a small non allergenic dog to be compatible with my two Havanese. He was four years old then, and he is six now. His first book tells, of course, of his adoption, but it starts with his early life – he ended up in rescue because his former owner was an elderly man who got sick, and couldn’t keep him anymore.

Wilson is friendly, loves to be in front of the camera and be on TV shows. As he was a rescue, I thought he might be mixed with Bichon or some other breed, but we had DNA testing done, and he’s purebred poodle! So that proves you can find purebred dogs in rescue!

He learned tricks when he came to live with us, SIT, FETCH, PAW, DOWN, STAY, and he was an apartment dog with his first owner, so my two dogs taught him to go outside. He loves being dressed up – the attention and the treats are part of the deal!

Wilson is a true “lap dog“, if I let him, he would stay on my lap all day! He gives kisses and snuggles. He’s the best.

What Does My Dog’s Breed Say About Me?

What Does My Dog’s Breed Say About Me?

  • Nicolas, selected from petMD

by Dr. Justine Lee, PetMD

In my book It’s a Dog’s Life … but It’s Your Carpet, I admit, I make some pretty huge generalizations about breeds and pet owners. Granted, they’re my own opinions, but if you really wanted to know what your veterinarian thinks of you when you walk in the door with your breed of dog, read on!

Labrador Retriever

Dedicated, outdoorsy, loyal, and generally a good person to be around. Shops at REI. Drives a Subaru.

Chihuahua

May bite. The dog too.

Greyhound

Kind, mild mannered. Has neurotic tendencies. Gentle. Laid back. Drinks bottled water. Often looks like the dog.

Miniature Poodle

Usually owned by a sweet, old, white-haired person.

Terrier

Potential to be a loyal, family-oriented person. Can be snarky and have an east-coast attitude

 

Golden Retriever

Family oriented and generally a good person to be around. Has two or three human babies.

Miniature Schnauzer

Family oriented. Owned by older adults. Shops at LL Bean and Lands’ End. Drives a Volvo.

Yorkshire Terrier

Likes to carry a YSL or Gucci purse, often with their pet in it. Enjoys the high life. Drinks wine, not beer.

Rottweiler

Bad ass. Loyal. Protective. Doesn’t want to be screwed with.

Maltese

Either wants to have a child or have grandchildren. Loves to nurture and carry loved ones in arms. Very well dressed. Likes pink bows.

Beagle

Family oriented. High tolerance level for baying.

****

What? Don’t believe me? What do you think? Does your breed represent you?

And yes, I purposely skipped stereotyping us American pit bull terrier dog owners. But as a veterinary student once said to me: “Dr. Lee … you look just like your dog.”

Weird Questions You Don’t Want to Ask Your Vet

Weird Questions You Don’t Want to Ask Your Vet

  • Nicolas, selected from petMD

 

By Dr. Patty Khuly, PetMD

Got a question for your vet but too embarrassed to ask? Dr. Khuly answers some odd, gross and downright silly questions!
1. Why do some dogs have hair in their ears and some don’t?

Arctic vs. non-Arctic breeds, mostly. Dogs who must survive in cold climes are more likely to have hairy ears. That’s an easy one. Next…?

2. Why does my dog like to stare into my eyes and hold eye contact (not when he wants food or something)?

I will have to ask a behaviorist (or twelve) to get a better handle on this one but here’s what I suspect: Dog domestication has evolved patchily over the last eon or so. Greater domestication is accompanied by behavioral traits that include the very human (and much less dog-like) eye contact thing.

Extended eye contact among dogs is verboten unless you want to spar, but domesticated dogs have come to associate eye contact with humans as a way to get things from us. Wilder dogs (like Morgan) would never deign to beg in this way but happy dogs like Maddie fall all over themselves to get your attenshun* any way they can.

3. Did yoga develop from watching dogs? They totally do a downward dog thing.

Yes. Yogis obviously engage in bio-thievery. They totally stole the pose from dogs.

4. Why do dogs’ pads sometimes smell like evergreen meets rosin? And other times like corn chips?

Knowing your dogs I’d say it depends on the season, the hiking terrain and moisture levels. Got moist feet? Then maybe you’ve got yeast growing there; that can kind of smell like corn chips.

Hiking among the evergreens? Voilà.

5. What is the purpose of a dewclaw?

Vestigial; which means it no longer has a purpose. It is in the process of being evolutionarily rejected, which is why so many purebred and sporting dog owners want them lopped off.
6. Why do some dogs poop every morning like clockwork and other dogs is not as regular?

Why does my receptionist constantly complain of constipation in spite of an Activia habit, and my acupuncturist not-so-subtly tut-tut that my elimination habits are more frequent than most?

Get over it! As long as everything that goes in comes out and no impact on health results … who the frick cares?

 

7. Why do they say dogs can’t go into restaurants for health reasons — what health reasons?

They lie. Or rather … they are ignorant. They excuse the feverish sneezes of a human child in the table at the front of the restaurant as “cute” while a dog’s under-the-table snores are regarded as “the devil’s music.” (I’m making stuff up now.)

Honestly, I think most restaurants are more worried about dog bites and liability insurance than they are about any health risks. That or they truly are as stupid as all get-out.

8. What makes dog saliva so slippery?

I think I’ve also overheard that it’s the world’s best natural lubricant. Truly, however, I have no answer, other than to note that cat saliva is also incredibly viscous. Maybe someone else out there knows…?

9. If a dog’s tail hangs over its anus why doesn’t it ever get really dirty?

I’m not sure which way to go with this one but I think I’ll err on the side of biology:

Dogs have a lot more natural oils on their fur than we do on our human hairs. These oils repel the mucosal exterior of most dog stool. But that’s not universally true. By virtue of their hairy genetics, some dogs have finer, longer, less oily hair (think Maltese). That’s what a groomer’s “sanitary clip” was invented for: clean tails.

Dog-gone Doggie of the Day for Feb. 7th

Maddie, the Dog of the Day
Name: Maddie
Age: Thirteen years old
Gender: Female Breed: Wire Fox Terrier
Home: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Maddie, is short for Madeline, but also comes to Maddles, Mad Dog, and Super Maddie. Maddie was rescued from a pet store where she had spent her youth in a wire cage stuffed with other dogs.

Full grown and unsold the store owner had her up for quick sale as he was going to take her back to the “breeder” a.k.a. puppy mill in Lancaster county to a fate unknown if she was not unloaded that week. Wild and aggressive from being in a cage her whole life, I wasn’t sure if I was up for dealing with her, but I knew that with her “quick sale price”, she would surely end up in the pound or somewhere worse.

Against all my beliefs about pet stores and puppy mills I bought her freedom at the price he’d get back from the “breeder”. He wasn’t gonna take a loss and let her go for free. I wrapped her in my arms and brought her home to Alex my beloved Irish setter as his new little sister. He was quite upset at first, and left the room when ever she entered, but soon fell in love with her, even if she did push him around like only a terrier can.

After Alex passed, she was there for me and now goes everywhere I go, we are practically inseparable!

She is my best friend and my co-pilot in life. Since I take her everywhere she gets lots of attention for her good manners and I think she may be the unspoken ambassador for “Good Dogs!!!!” Maddie is also the genesis for a book I co-authored with Kit Feldman called “The Culinary Canine … Great chefs that cook for their dogs.”

I was sitting out at an outdoor cafe with a bit for her and a bite for me when I came up with the idea of wouldn’t it be great if there were restaurants with dog menus? Then talking to a chef he said he cooks for his dogs and it wound up as a book! All because of Maddie!

Dog-gone Doggie of the Day for February 5th

Rosie, the Dog of the Day
Name: Rosie
Age: Three and a half years old
Gender: Female Breed: Newfoundland
Home: Italy
Rosie’s full name is Rosabelle degli Angeli Neri Kennel in Italy. She was born with a miniature front paw which was later reabsorbed into the wrist. When she was born her breeder, Emmy Bruno, was very sad because she thought that no one would have liked a three pawed, four legged dog, but when we went to see her sister Nana (Rosalinde degli Angeli Neri), we fell in love with Rosie and decided to take her too.

Rosie is beautiful, and if it had not been for her handicap, her breeder would have kept her for breeding. Emmy was (and is) very fond of Rosie, and spoiled and pampered her a lot while I was waiting to take her home. Rosie still thinks she is a lapdog, and now and then she half jumps on my knees, keeping her hind legs on the ground, wrapping her only paw around me, and laying her big head on my breast, looking at me as if saying “I love you, Mom”. We thought that she would never be able to lead a normal life at the beginning. She had problems getting up, and when she wanted to lay down, she circled and circled around like a cat on a cushion , and then literally dropped down face first, with her butt in the air and her tail wagging. She still does it even now, minus the floor hitting with her face.

Her sister was a pest with her when they were pups. She bullied her and pulled her around by the tail. But little Rosie (we still call her Rosina, little Rose, even if she weights 56 kilos), learned to get up very quickly, and to wrestle with Nana and to jump on her and push her down.

She is a very brave and sensitive dog. She still spends most of her day laying on the floor, but if she wants to run and romp with Nana, she is as quick as her sister. The day she learnt to climb stairs was a great day in our house! She never gives up, and having been rather spoiled because of her handicap, at times she is very stubborn. She likes to go to the seaside to my Mom’s even if she does not like water very much. I think it is because she feels unbalanced and knows swimming is not for her.

This summer we almost lost her to an infection, and she was emergency spayed, but her kidneys were damaged. I slept three nights on the floor with her after the operation because she was too restless and was supposed to be resting.

Notwithstanding all this, she is as loving and sweet as she has always been. She is very funny when she sleeps on her back, her stump tucked to her breast. She is very protective of the house and of me, and her deep, husky bark is very intimidating. If anyone arrives she does not know, she hops in front of me and puts herself between me and any possible danger. I love her determination never to be left behind or excluded from anything, her love for life, her courage.

She is a philosopher dog. You can see her thinking while she is looking at you. She loves fish and little treats, and when she was a pup she was a formidable wood chewer, but she never destroyed anything in the house. I love her, and hope that notwithstanding her kidney problems, she will be with me for a long long time still, because losing her will mean the world would have lost a very exceptional being, and I a part of my heart.

Yellow Dock Ointment

Yellow Dock Ointment

 
This ointment is great for annoying skin problems your pet may pick up such as ringworm on cats or mange type diseases in dogs. It will work on you too, for any sort of itchy or rashy things. To make this recipe, you need flowers of sulfur, available at the pharmacy, a small jar of vaseline, a bottle of apple cider vinegar and the roots. You will need to gather about 6 or 8 yellow dock roots. They are long yellow tap roots, and difficult to dig up. Look for plants growing in moist ground, it’s a bit easier to dig them there. Dice up your roots and place them into a small saucepan. Pour in enough apple cider vinegar to just cover them and simmer over low to medium heat until the roots are soft. Put the roots through the blender or a sieve to mash them thoroughly. Scrape the vaseline out of the jar into a bowl and add the mashed roots. Add 1 teaspoon of the flowers of sulfur. Stir to mix completely. You can put the blend back into the vaseline jar. To use just apply to the affected area twice a day for about a week, or less if it goes away sooner.

Embarrassing Secrets of Pet Parents

Embarrassing Secrets of Pet Parents

  • Nicolas, selected from petMD

Dr. Vivian Cardoso-Carroll, PetMD

The other day I was in an exam room with a client and she sheepishly admitted that her dog sleeps with his head on her pillow. My tech looked over at me and said, “That would be a good blog topic: What’s the most embarrassing thing you do with, for, or about your pet?”

I thought it was a great idea. You guys have the benefit of being relatively anonymous. I, on the other hand, have to stand tall in front of you faceless masses to admit my doggie dirty-laundry. But that’s okay — I don’t think I’ve got anything too scandalous going on!

So after some thought, I’ve come up with a my most embarrassing dog confession. You can start thinking of your embarrassing moments now, too.

 

First, Two of my three dogs are dubiously housetrained. Katelin, my Min Pin, became my dog precisely because she’s potty training-deficient.

It was during my first job post-vet school, as I was walking through the kennels, that I saw her lying on a little bed in the back of a run. Katelin was simply the cutest dog I had ever seen. Supposedly her owners were pretty sure she was a Min Pin (Miniature Pinscher), but they had bought her at a garage sale for $35, so who knows? I told them that if they ever wanted to get rid of her, I’d take her.

The little voice in my head said, “Hey newlywed girl, maybe you should run that by the new husband first?”

I ignored it, naively thinking nothing would come of my offer.

Well, Katelyn’s issues became a problem. Her owners offered her up and my receptionist took her. I realized my folly and figured I wouldn’t make my never-had-a-dog-before husband have to deal with a second dog. However, the receptionist couldn’t potty train her — this wasn’t her excuse for not keeping her, but I don’t remember what was.

She gave Katelin to a lady with cancer. This lady pretty much sat around all day with Katelin in her lap, so it was perfect. Except for the fact that Katelin peed over every inch of her house (or so I presume). The story was that the lady was too sick to take care of her. I’m sure that was the case, even a perfectly healthy person tires of cleaning dog excrement all the time.

Then Katelin went to my friend’s friend, Marty. Marty had been looking for a Min Pin. Perfect! He took her for approximately 24 hours.

You can guess what she did.

He said that, well, actually he wanted a Min Pin that fetches, and Katelin didn’t fetch. This I know is untrue because she loves to fetch; she bounces after the ball like a little red gazelle! She really just peed all over his house.

So I picked her up from Marty’s house and brought her home, telling my husband it would just be for the weekend until I could take her back to work on Monday. My secret plan, though, was for him to fall in love with her and let me keep her.

 

Well, he’s not really a dog lover. He likes them okay, I guess, but ultimately dogs are my thing. So I subsequently appealed to his engineer side: I wanted a cat, but couldn’t have one because of his allergies. Katelin was about the size of a cat so… I should be able to keep her instead of a cat!

“Fine,” he relented. “She’s our substitute cat.”

Cats are far easier to housetrain than our stubborn little Katelin. She was extremely talented at peeing and pooping in areas of the house we didn’t frequent; the formal dining room and the game room, for example. These places were like little graveyards with poop headstones all over the place.

We finally had to resort to the “umbilical cord” method of potty training: you keep her on a leash on your person at all times. She has to go out every 30 minutes (praise when she potties). If she has an accident in the house, we provided negative reinforcement — shake a can with coins in it, etc. to startle her. This way you can catch her in the act. It took about 48 hours, but she got it.

If you give her one little inch, though, she takes it. She also forgets her potty training every winter, when it’s too cold or wet to bother using the great outdoors.

We have gates everywhere to block her from potty locales.

Currently, her favorite place to potty is my closet. It’s the only place in the house with any carpet left that isn’t gated. We’re putting springs on the doors so that they close themselves.

I’m not sure why we’re bothering, she’ll just find some other place to go.

But we love her, so we keep trying to stay one step ahead of her “accidents.”

So that’s confession #1; my poor potty training ability.

My second confession I came up with right off the bat, when my tech mentioned the subject: I have a tendency to tell my dogs I love them more often than I tell my family.

How ’bout you?

Dog-gone Doggie for January 27th

Chance, the Dog of the Day
Name: Chance
Age: Two and a half years old
Gender: Male Breed: American Pit Bull Terrier
Home: Michigan, USA
This is my amazing dog Chances. He is an American Pit Bull Terrier. Chance is special because he is nothing but a lover. He is 72 pounds and would love nothing more than to sit in your lap all day and be loved. He is a tough pup, he is recovering from surgery after an ACL tear currently. He loves going for runs, swimming, and going to the dog park. I rescued Chance when he was six months old, the previous owner couldn’t handle his separation anxiety. With love and training Chance has become an amazing companion. He knows several tricks including my favorite, play dead, where he throws himself on his back all for paws in the air nothing moving except his tail which is constantly wagging. My dog truly is my best friend.

Chance has the personality of a human. He is so gentle with kids (letting my friends three year old put headbands on him and cuddles with her like the gentle giant he is,) and just wants to love. His favorite thing in the world to do in the summer is to chase sticks in the water. He also loveshis tug of war rope, a household favorite. He does not have a mean bone in his body, but I have no doubt that he would protect me if need be. Chance has an uncanny ability to sense what sort of mood I am in as well. He is such an amazing dog, and I am so lucky to have him.

Dog-gone Doggies for January 26th

Riley, the Dog of the Day
Name: Riley
Age: Two years old
Gender: Male Breed: Dachshund
Home: Huntsville, Alabama, USA
Riley is our lighter colored Longhaired Dachshund. We don’t get a lot of snow here, but he sure enjoyed it when we did! Riley is the sweetest puppy!! Okay, he’s all grown up, technically, but he is only two years old, so he’s still a puppy to us! He is a little chicken sometimes but sweet! He loves to play and he is so fast! He loves to play with our other dog Toby, the red dachshund! He loves to play with his tennis ball and chew on his bones. I love him so much!!

He has so much energy sometimes we have to try to calm him down. His favorite toy is anything that our other dachshund Toby is playing with. He loves to chase tennis balls; he is really fast! He is great!