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Showing posts from 2013

Belated Happy Holidays

Hoping you all had a wonderful holiday and wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year!

Piper Update

We have an update!  Physical exam went well last week. Doc was pleased with his activity level and behavior. In other words, Piper is behaving like his normal, healthy, crazy self. Doc can no longer feel the inflammation in his stomach. Yay! Blood results show most all liver levels normal. A couple still elevated a little bit. We will continue to support with liver enzymes and monitor...but this is good news and he appears to be recovering. Thank you for everyone's thoughts and good wishes. He's a tough guy  Many thanks to Dr. Smith and staff at Galway Veterinary Hospital. Piper is forevermore your patient.

Wordless Wednesday


Thanksgiving day took a bad turn when Piper started getting very sick.  He couldn't keep anything down, and even when he didn't eat, he would vomit bile.  We were very thankful and lucky to find a somewhat local, excellent vet willing to come in and examine Piper on Thanksgiving day.  Long story short, Piper was admitted and his blood work showed extremely high liver levels.  "Off the charts" high according to the vet.  Surprisingly in his overnight stay he bounced back quite well.  By Friday he had had two injections of antibiotics and was keeping food and water down again.  He came home with a liver enzyme supplement and antibiotics to help support his liver in hopes it would recover.  We will return in two weeks for another blood draw to find out his status.  Worst case, he has liver disease and we will manage it as long as we can.  Best case would be he somehow took in a toxin and just had a bacterial or viral type infection and with time he will completely heal.…

Happy Turkey Day!

We would like to wish a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and yours.

Easing Into Double Digits

Murray’s big brother Piper turned 10 last week.  It was quite a celebration because there was a time during his early years that we didn’t think we would survive him.  He was a high maintenance puppy
and young dog to say the least.  He chewed everything in sight, was very high strung and a tad aggressive at times. We did a lot of work over the early years with Piper and he slowly adjusted into a well behaved, disciplined dog.  It amazes me that 10 years have passed! Now that he is in double digits and Murray is middle aged at 6, I have taken a closer look at everyday things to help make the aging process a bit easier on them.  Here are a few things we’ve done:

High Quality Dog Food with Glucosamine/Chondroitin

I spent a lot of time researching the dog food I felt was best for my guys last year.  Prior to my investigating I did feel I was feeding a well-known, high quality food, but I hadn’t done any looking into what levels of protein and fats etc would be best for MY part…

Dog Insurance

Tonight I have more of a question for all of you than any tid bits of information or cute pics from me.  I am wondering what information you all can share with me regarding pet insurance.  Our Golden just turned 10 this week, and while he is in seemingly great health, I can't help but look to the future and contemplate the costs that could be involved in his healthcare.  Economic euthanasia is very real for so many people, but I just can't bare the thought.  I want to be able to tend to my dogs' needs, whatever they may be.  We have been lucky thus far and believe me we are grateful.  We have a very reasonable vet when it comes to cost, and our guys have been fortunate with their good health.  So, just thinking and planning any of you have advice or experience about the different kinds of pet insurance out there and what are your thoughts on the whole topic?  Thanks in advance!  You have the floor...

Wordless Wednesday

Vaccine Update

Our vet appointment to discuss our core vaccine schedule went well.  I am very pleased.  I was listened to and we had a useful, detailed conversation.  My vet was comfortable with me choosing to reduce how often we vaccinate for distemper and parvo.  Murray is now 6, and I feel he has been WELL vaccinated at this point.  My vet was open to simply vaccinating every few years or I could choose to titer every few years.  At this point we have not titered.  He was very open and comfortable with how I wanted to proceed.  He didn't think anything I was suggesting was unsafe.  We decided for Piper, he will likely not ever need a core vaccine again.  He will be 10 in a few weeks.  We did do the lymes vaccine because ticks are a very serious problem in our area.  While nothing provides 100% protection from lymes, we agreed as much protection as possible is a good idea.

He did explain why he vaccinates annually as a rule of thumb.  He feels with the clientele he has, he only feels completel…

Clicker Practice

In this clip we practice "touch the cup".  Murray must, in some way, touch the red cup on the floor to receive a click and a treat.  My treats should be delivered faster, but clicker and camera in hand was tough.  I think he's got this one down!  :)

Breakfast in Bed

Need help with that?

Some Tasty Treats- Etta Says

We wanted to share a company we have recently taken notice of.  We LOVE the chews and treats from "fairly" new to us "Etta Says".  We have received several items from this company in our monthly BarkBox, and each one has been a hit.  Most recently we enjoyed the Etta Says Deer Chew, but we have had their bite size treats and other chews as well.  I am pretty picky with what I allow the boys to eat, and I am pleased that their products are made in the USA and natural.  The prices are reasonable too, considering you are getting above average quality treats.  Both Murray and Piper have suffered with allergies over the years.  We feed predominantly grain free and these chews do not cause any flare ups.  We used to feed plain Milk Bones as treats, but since switching from those, their weight, coats and overall health seems improved.  Their energy levels are up as well.  I couldn't be happier!  We highly recommend Etta Says products.   

Vaccines Vaccines Vaccines-OMG!!!

I have been a bit upset recently regarding vaccines.  I have been upset with myself for not doing the proper research (because after all I am my dog's advocate), and also upset with my vet because I'm concerned he's not giving me the best advice.  Over the years I have slowly looked into raising and handling my dogs in the best possible manner.  From choosing high quality food that suits their needs, to leaning into more natural products for bathing and grooming...I have been doing my due diligence trying to keep my boys happy and healthy for as long as possible.  It's terrible enough our pups have such short lifespans, I certainly don't want to be doing anything to make them even shorter!  This is why I am currently on a crusade (as I have called it) to now make adjustments in my vaccinating schedule.  They say when you know better you do better... well that's me in this very moment.  About a year ago in conversation with a fellow dog lover and rescue worker …

We Did It!

TA DA!  Murray and I completed our first training course!  It was awesome!  In a matter of minutes we started to learn new skills (or some might say tricks) that we spent several weeks adding to and strengthening.  We now know "go to mat", "targeting my hand" and "targeting a cup", with even more in the works!  I am completely amazed at how effective clicker training is.  I'm sold!  Now lets see...what will be next???  Hmmm

Canned Food

Feeding my dogs a small amount of canned dog food each day has always been a part of my routine.  My guys love it!  I might even go so far as to say I think they would totally boycott their hard food if I stopped giving them their night feeding with a scoop some meaty recipe a can.  Of course I am careful as to which brand/kind of can food a use (I currently use Merrick), but I do in fact use it everyday.  I think I might be in the minority though.  Seems more and more dog people I speak to tell me they only feed dry food, day in and day out.  Maybe I'm missing the boat here, but I see some definite benefits to feeding wet food moderation.

-adds water to the diet
-increases interest through stronger taste and smell
-easy to chew and swallow for older dogs or dogs with health/mouth issues

What are your thoughts???

We Remember

One of more than 300 dogs sent to Ground Zero following September 11, 2001.  You and your humans will not be forgotten.

Scrub A Dub Dub!

Woo Hoo!  End of August/ beginning of September means fewer clippings and baths of the dog variety in our household.  Instead of every few weeks, we now cut back to every other month or so.  Of course we do maintenance trims and clean ups when we find matted fur or the occasional mud pile, but the full on shave down and outside baths under the hose will now be put on hold until next spring.  Murray (and I) are pretty excited about the break!  It's no easy task for he and I!  We did however discover a wonderful little tool for bath time this year that I have to share...a bath scrub brush for dogs!  Now I realize these have probably been around a long while, but in my mind, I didn't see the point of using a brush instead of my hands to scrub him up.  Well, for dogs with dry, itchy skin issues, there is a huge benefit!  Murray has always had allergy skin that much of the time gets dry, flaky and even from time to time a bit inflamed.  At the recommendation of our vet, we purchase…

I Have a New Cousin!

Introducing...MADDY!   She's my new cousin (Mom's aunt's pup)!   Isn't she just the sweetest?

A Few Words Wednesday

We are back home safe and sound.  We had a wonderful vacation.  Perfect weather, tasty food and lots of fun!  Always nice to come home after being away too.  Can't wait to get reading your blogs.  Missed everyone!  Here are some favorite vacation pics! 

Cape Cod

A few vacation pics in case you're missing me ;)

Wish you were here!!!

Vacation and a Contest!

A quick post (I'm actually trying out the blogger app for the first time) to let everyone know I will be catching up with YOUR blogs after we return from vacation.  Today we bounced around Boston and tomorrow we head into Cape Cod!  We can almost smell the ocean :). The boys are busy busy! Lots to see today in Boston!  ***Oh I almost forgot!...while the boys and I waited in the car for Jamie to grab take out lunch, Murray climbed into the drivers seat as he always does (for a better look out the windshield).  Next thing I know, a construction worker on his lunch break is snapping a pic as he walked by us of the driving doodle!  BOL

On another note, Murray entered a local contest.  Any of you on Facebook that would be willing to vote for him, we would greatly appreciate it! You would search and then like "Harvey's Home, Garden and Pet Center".  Under the contest link you should recognize Murray, but if not, he's the "lifedog on duty".  Thanks so much!  Of…

Almost Wordless Wednesday

When Stress Attacks

Murray is a pretty happy go lucky, relaxed dog, but when something stresses him, you sure know it!  Things like sudden separation anxiety when he has not been without me for a long period of time, some strange people, when he feels sick, the exam room at his vet's office, and water that is deep enough to require him to swim (he can't) are some of the things Murray stresses about when faced.  I have luckily learned that distracting him from his stressor as much as possible helps a ton!  Talking to him, or asking him to give a paw shake can sometimes be enough to break his nervous focus on whatever is plaguing him. Sometimes it's just not enough though.  Something I have started doing that has become more useful than anything else is a little "dog massage".  Now I realize it's not always convenient to stop and start massaging you dog on the spot, so I often use it at the end of a particularly stressful day.  If we had a vet visit, grooming (Murray hates being c…

Beating the Heat

In our neck of the woods we are in a major heat wave.  High humidity and temperatures in the mid 90's daily.  Needless to say, it is very uncomfortable!  Dog owners must remember if is uncomfortable for them, it is uncomfortable for their dogs.  Since dogs can't speak to us, (at least not in our human language) we need to recognize their signals of discomfort and distress and have techniques and products in place to help cool our pups.

Let me start with a giant reminder...DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A PARKED CAR FOR ANY LENGTH OF TIME DURING WARM MONTHS OF THE YEAR!!!  Please look online at the multitude of information to teach yourself about just how fast your car heats up (even with windows cracked) and how quickly this can kill a dog.  Also, PLEASE TEST GROUND SURFACE TEMPERATURE WITH YOUR OWN FEET BEFORE WALKING YOUR DOG ON IT. IT CAN AND DOES BURN THEIR PAW PADS!  Sorry for the caps, but as a dog lover, these two issues are especially concerning to me.  That all being said, …

An Award!

We received the Versatile Blogger award from All Things Collie! Thank you so very much!These collies are some beautiful dogs and their mom writes awesome posts! I really enjoy following them.Please stop by their blog and say hey!Now the Versatile Blogger Rules:
Add the Versatile Blogger award photo on a blog post.
Thank the person who presented you with the award and link back to him or her in your post.
Pass the award along to some favorite bloggers.Contact the chosen bloggers and let them know about the award.
Share Seven Things About Yourself.
Seven things about us:
1. I have been blogging for one whole year now!
2. We travel as a family.  Dogs and humans together.
3. I (Murray) have one dog brother (Piper) and two cat brothers.
4. We just found a beehive in our yard!  Ut Oh!
5. We got a new "cool bed" for the summer!
6. This is our 4th award in our blogging lifetime :)
7. I (Murray's mom) am taking a clicker training course online and loving it!  :)

I would like to give the Versa…

Our First Trip of the Summer!

A few pics of our first camping trip of the season!  Good food, some splashing around in the river and we even visited my alma mater!  We had lots of fun!