Saturday, December 27, 2014

My Boys

I spend a lot of time posting about the pups and ME...thought I'd dedicate tonight's post to the pups and their dad!  AKA...the boys in my life who make me very happy :)

Dad and Piper

Dad and Murray

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Wishing all of our blog friends and readers the Happiest of Holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Murray Love

Kisses
Snuggles
Following me around.
Major tail wags and body wiggles when I come home.
Sad face when I leave.
Hugs
Murray Love


Monday, December 15, 2014

3 Reasons Why A Puppy Is Not A Good Christmas Gift

In most cases, getting a puppy for a Christmas gift is a bad idea.  A puppy is likely going to be a 15 year commitment, and it's certainly not an impulse buy.

* The weather in many parts of the world is cold!  Puppies need many many trips outside to do their business.  That's much more comfortable for you and the puppy if it's not freezing out.  It's also better to choose a time of year when you have extra time and will be comfortable spending quality time waiting and playing with your pup outside.

* A puppy is not a toy, and sometimes small kids treat them like they are.  It's best to separate the idea of "Christmas toys" and a "new puppy".

* The holiday season is chaotic enough without tossing s needy puppy into the mix.  Puppies need a lot of your time and commitment.  A new pup will either take away from your holiday fun or your new pup will in some way likely be a bit neglected with all the holiday bustle.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Me And The Tree!

I knew when they brought that big plant in the house last night that it wasn't long before a photo shoot ensued.  Here I am in front of our 2014 tree!
~Murray

Monday, December 1, 2014

7 Basic Good (Dog) Manners To Teach

It's important to teach your dog how to properly behave around others in your home and when out in public.  Your house guests will feel more welcome if you have a well mannered pooch, and you will feel less agitated and more in control with some good doggie manners in place.  Here are some basics to start...

* No jumping up
* Leave it (telling your pup not to touch something)
* No pulling on the leash
* Teach only to chew on safe dog toys or chews.  Lots of redirecting!
* "Settle" or "go to your place" such as in a crate or on a dog bed nearby
* "Quiet" to stop a barking dog (this one is tough in my opinion)
* Wait patiently before exiting a door

Showing off our good manners

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Little Late But Always Thankful!

We're a little behind, but never the less, always thankful for our health, happiness, family and friends...like YOU!  Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Benefits Of A Senior Dog

* Most manners are already in place but seniors are easy to train if needed.
* Seniors are far less likely to damage or destroy your belongings.
* They're extremely loving.
* Since their personality traits are already in place, it's easier to find a perfect fit for you!
* Seniors adjust to new settings and changes faster than young puppies.
* Senior pets are great matches for senior citizens.
* Most seniors sleep soundly through the night.
* If you bring in a second, younger dog, the senior will help guide and train the pup.





Monday, November 17, 2014

Taking Care Of Your Dog This Winter

You must be extra cautious when it comes to dogs and winter.  Frigid temperatures, hypothermia, toxic chemicals, freezing winds, ice, frozen water bowls, snow, snow clumped fur, allergies, proper shelter and snow filled paws are just some of the issues that need attention during the winter months.

*Antifreeze and Salt- Dogs are attracted to the smell and taste of antifreeze and if left within reach, you pup will likely ingest it.  Antifreeze is extremely dangerous and often kills pets when ingested.  If you don't see your pet lick up any antifreeze, symptoms include vomiting and stumbling within several hours of taking it in.  If there is any reason to believe your dog has come in contact with antifreeze, contact your veterinarian immediately.  After walking your dog on a treated surface (with salt) be sure to rinse the paws off so your pup doesn't lick them clean and become sick from ingesting the salt.

*Cold- Dog winter wear is not just for fun.  If it's too cold for you to be outside for more then a few minutes without your coat, it's likely the same for your dog.  Some breeds are more protected than others with thicker coats of fur, but always ears, paws and tails should be considered too, so as not to get frostbite.  They're not protected by dog winter coats, so never leave your pooch outside too long in the cold.  It's also important to keep long paw hair clipped short to reduce the snow buildup.

*Allergies-  Some dogs have more severe allergies during the winter months than any other time.  This is due to the amount of time they spend inside in homes with potential allergens.  Ears and skin (might notice rubbing, chewing and licking causing bald spots) are common bodily locations to see winter allergies.

*Supplies to have on hand during the winter- extra food, warm pet bed, medications, dog snow boots, heated water bowl (if one is kept in a freezing location), id tags, pet safe ice melt.

*Grooming- Keep up with proper, regular grooming during winter months to ensure the coat is in good condition for maximum cold protection.  Never allow your dog outside after grooming until completely dry.  Also use gentle shampoos to help your dog's skin maintain it's natural protective oils.

*Cars- Never leave your dog in a car unattended in the freezing cold.  If the car is off, it becomes very cold and if it's left on, carbon monoxide becomes a threat.

*Exercise-  Keep up with your dog's activity and exercise, but be mindful of older dogs being more achy or stiff during colder months, and ice can be particularly troublesome for arthritic dogs to maneuver on.  Warm beds or blankets are helpful after a colder workout.

*Burns-  Dogs trying to find warmth might get themselves too close to radiators or fireplaces.  Keep pet bedding a safe distance from surfaces that are too hot and be on guard that your pet isn't snuggled up too closely to anything that will burn them.

PLEASE- do not leave your dog to live outside, especially in winter months.  If it's too cold for you, it's too cold for them. 

Sweater, boots and a toy...for winter play!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Happy Birthday, Piper!

Happy 11th Birthday to my wild Piper! You were our first furkid and from day one, until this very day, your free spirited nature is as much there as it ever has been. You've never been a cuddler or a lovebug, but we know you love us in your own Piper way. You've been a great big brother, yet somehow Murray turned out to be the exact opposite of you (good thing, not sure I could have handled 2 of you). So onto year 11! May this year be smoother sailing than last.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Book: Decoding Your Dog

Lots and lots of information in this book for all dog owners.  I think it's a very helpful read.  From barking, lunging, and not getting along with other dogs, this book can help you handle lots of dog related issues.  It's filled with great information to help all types of things owners face with their dogs, and a lot of new information for even the experienced dog person.  A great resource to use to problem solve!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Check Up!

Murray had a check up today and all is well.  We also had a squishy lump needle tested and all is well there too!  We are very grateful to have our healthy, happy Mr. Murray :)

Excited to see "Doc"

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Alternatives to Canine Surgeries - Whole Dog Journal Article

Alternatives to Canine Surgeries - Whole Dog Journal Article

I stumbled upon some interesting info today (see the link above)!  I've known and heard of many dogs tearing their ACL and "needing" surgery for a fix.  Sometimes that just may be the case...the only and best option... but I'm sure what many people (including me) didn't realize (and are not told) is that many dog owners are having great success with much more conservative ACL treatment approaches.  Physical therapy, leg braces, medications, acupuncture, chiropractors, and massage are a few of the options to help your injured pup.  Might be worth a look if this is something you ever have to face.

A great blog post about alternative treatments used HERE





Sunday, October 26, 2014

Always In The Car

Having your car "dog ready" at all times will not only help in times of need, but is super convenient anytime you hop in the car together.  Here are a few things we keep in our car.

*An extra leash for both dogs
*An extra collar/harness for both dogs
*A ball or toy
*Poop bags
*Dog mat or small bed
*Treats
*Food/water dish
*Water jug
*Dog ramp (we have an SUV and two big dogs)
*Health records


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dogs Read Us

Our dogs read sign language.  Have you ever thought about that?  Just like we humans do, even if we're not classically trained in actual sign language, dogs pick up on our bodily cues.  We read body language, hand and arm motions, facial expressions etc. all the time, all day.  Dogs too look to us for important signals.  A glance from you toward their leash hook immediately tells them it's time for a walk.  Moving toward the back door signals to them they're headed out to the yard.  Sure, you might purposefully tag a word for your dog to associate with when you head to the door (such as "outside"), which then simply teaches a new signal, the word, but the motion alone is being read even without the word attachment.  It's actually far easier to train and teach a dog with cues than language. 

Possible Cues Your Dog Already Picks Up On
Your eye movement toward the door, leashes food etc
Using finger to point in a direction to go
Crying vs laughing or smiling
Energetic vs tired body language
Head nods for direction
Pain body language
Stress body language
Breathing (For some odd reason Murray is VERY in tune to breathing.  Deep sudden breaths stress him.)

They're favorite cue is my "walk" cue :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Our Top 10 Bark Triggers

We're barkers in our house.  We bark at all sorts of things!  Sometimes I'm not sure exactly what it is Piper and Murray are barking at, and I'm not sure they do either.  Here are a few items on our "barking frenzy" list.

*Doorbells...both real and on TV
*Voices in the neiborhood
*Dogs walking anywhere within sight of our house
*UPS, FedEx, Postman etc
*Neighbors coming and going next door from their own house
*Knocking anywhere...doesn't have to be at the door
*Strange cars stopping in front of our house
*People walking down our street
*The wind
*Thunder
And on and on and on....
WOOF WOOF

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Goldendoodles

Goldendoodles are a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle.

F1 doodle- Half golden retriever and half poodle.  Pups can appear more like goldens, poodles or a mix of both.  May or may not shed.

F1b doodle- A goldendoodle bred to a poodle.  Looks more poodle like and better chance of little to no shedding.

F2 doodle- An F1 goldendoodle bred to another F1 goldendoodle.

F2b doodle- An F1 doodle bred to an F1b doodle.

Coats
Goldendoodle coats can be very unpredictable.  They can be shaggy, have loose curls or look much more like pure golden retrievers.  Apricot and cream colored doodles are most usual, with black and brown close behind.  More unusual colors are gray and multi-colored.  All coats types require regular grooming.

Size
Doodles range in size from standard (60ish lbs), medium (40ish lbs) and small (20ish lbs).

Personality
Goldendoodles are known to be smart, happy, loyal and very friendly dogs.  Most of them LOVE people and become very attached to their owners.

Murray is an F1 standard size doodle.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Goin For A SAFE Ride!

* Never allow your dog to sit on your lap while you drive.  He could fall out the window, be crushed by an airbag (or you), get twisted in the steering wheel etc.

* Any dog sitting or standing in the front passenger seat while riding is at risk of the airbag deploying as well.

* Restraints or crates are a safe option to keep your pet secure.

* Lock windows so your pup cannot step on the button and roll it down and get out. 

* Don't allow your dog to hold his head out the window (at high speeds especially).  Bugs, dirt and debris can enter and injure their eyes.

* I believe in unhooking loose leashes during car rides so they don't get hung up and become a choking hazard, but make sure leashes are on before opening your doors so your dog doesn't bolt. 

* Make sure you always have the keys.  If you close the door with your dog inside, those bouncy paws just might step on the lock and lock you out!

* Don't forget a bowl, fresh water and snacks!  Potty breaks are needed on longer rides too!

* Car pet beds/mats are a nice, comfortable option.

* ID tag your dog...or better yet, microchip!

* DON'T LEAVE DOGS IN HOT CARS!  Even in cool weather dogs are stolen and injure themselves when left alone inside cars.  Be aware!

* NEVER allow you dog to ride in an open truck bed.  It's not safe.  They could get loose. They're out in the cold, heat, wind, rain, snow and whatever else is in the air.  Not good!
We haven't left the driveway yet here.  He only sits in front if we're parked!  LOL


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Murray Tip

For dogs sensitive to or afraid of thunderstorms, try rubbing a NATURAL, NON TOXIC dryer sheet on your dog's fur.  It's crucial that the sheet be all natural and non toxic so it does not sicken your dog through licking or as an irritant on their skin...you can even make your own! HERE is a great recipe! For some dogs it cuts down on the "electrical" feeling they get through their bodies.  If your dog is sound sensitive, this is not likely to work.

I don't like the rain either!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Emergency Preparedness Tips

*If you evacuate, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND!
*Have your pet microchipped
*Have pet carriers (if size is appropriate) and/or leashes for each of your pets
*Be aware of shelters that do and do not welcome pets and plan accordingly
*If sheltering in place, bring pets inside and stay in a room with few to no windows and remove any toxic substances
*Place emergency stickers in your home front doors and windows indicating what types of pets are inside and how many there are.



Items to have on hand:

Canned food
Water
Bowls
Medications
Newspapers
Paper Towels
Leashes
Poop Bags
Pet Health Records
First Aid Kit
Pet Toy
Vet Contact Info
Current Pet Photo
Flashlights
Blankets
 
 
 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Service Dog Month!

It's the last day of September and "National Service Dog Month", but I say celebrate these wonderful dogs year round!

Way to go, Chester!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Oldies But Goodies

In our house we are very fortunate and grateful everyday.  We have 4 healthy, happy (mostly senior) pets. 

First came our cat Nickers.  He is now 14 and looking a bit like an old man.  We got him as a 6 week old kitten after he was found along the road in the rain and brought to a local veterinarian.  He has always been our super timid guy, but very loving.

Nickers

Next came Piper.  He is now pushing 11 and in fairly good shape if I do say so myself!  He was the product of a couple in Vermont who lived on a farm and bred their two golden retrievers.  He's always been a beautiful looking golden, but boy did he have a crazy streak when he was younger.  He came to us being the boss and he was determined to keep that status.  With age, he has mellowed and learned to appreciate us.  The feelings are mutual and I just love how he represents being a strong senior dog.

Piper

Then along came Foof.  Oh boy, he's our problem child!  He is our 9 year old cat we got from an ad in the newspaper when he was just 8 weeks old.  The owners were all too happy to hand him over.  They must have known what he would turn into....a huge pain! We love him, but he doesn't make it easy.  He regularly tries to beat up on Nickers, he acts like a badly behaved dog, he breaks things all over the house, he eats things like a naughty puppy and he's overall just in a miserable mood all the time.  I generally tell people to think of "Spike" from Gremlins if you want to know what Foof is like.

Foof

Finally comes my big love, Murray.  Murray is now 7 and time is flying way too fast.  I don't know how I got so lucky, but he is complete perfection in my eyes.  It's just in his nature to make people happy, especially me.  He's so very smart and all he wants to do is be with me.  He's never met a dog he doesn't like and he's happy no matter where you take him or what you do.  He's just the best!

Murray

So, all my oldies are absolute goodies and life would not be the same without them.  Cherish your senior pets...that's really when the best of them shows up!  Well, we're still waiting on that with Foof!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Grandma Lucy's Organic Oven Baked Dog Treats

My guys LOVE these!  We haven't had many cranberry flavored treats in the past, so perhaps that's part of it (they have lots of yummy flavors), but they sure are a big hit!  I love that they are made with completely organic, human grade ingredients.  I am always looking for products with these qualities.  I'm lucky that my local pet store carries them, but a 14 oz. bag can be ordered online for less than 10 bucks!  Here's the fun part...they're for YOU too!  I haven't been snacking on them myself just yet, but I certainly could!  That makes me feel extra good about feeding them to my pups :)


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Apache

Sometimes a puppy face captures me in a way I can't explain. There are tons of adorable faces of pups waiting to be adopted out there, and this one I felt I HAD to share.  He's located in Cuddebackville, NY at The Hudson Valley Rottweiler Rescue.  He's an abuse survivor.  Don't get me started on HOW someone could ever abuse such a love.  His mom died birthing the pups, and all his siblings have also since died after being advertised on Craigslist at one day old.  This little guy is now a healthy 10 weeks!  This a tough little boy who can live with big and small dogs, and even cats.  Sure hope and pray he finds his forever, loving home fast!

petfinder.com

petfinder.com



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Murray's "Happy"

* Walks
* Treats
* Petting
* Bed
* Car Rides
* Other dogs
* Boiled Chicken
* Vanilla Ice Cream
* When I Come Home After Work
* Toys (we call them all balls)
* BarkBox
* Me



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

From Pups To Peeps- 3 Ailments Your Dog Can Spread To You

Some things your dog can pass to you aren't as pleasant as love and snuggles.  Some things are downright concerning.  Here are three dog ailments that we may not want, but can be shared:

*Worms- They enter through contaminated food or through the skin's surface.  Have your pet vet checked for worms regularly and treat with heartworm meds, especially during appropriate months.

*Leptospirosis- Can be transmitted through the handling of an infected dog's secretions.  Vaccinate in disease carrying areas.

*Rabies- Generally passed through biting as the saliva is contaminated.  Vaccines will prevent rabies.




Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

When To Express

Some lucky dogs need their anal glands expressed regularly, but most others never need them expressed at all or maybe once or twice in a lifetime.   Every dog is different, and larger dogs tend to have fewer issues here.  Signs your dog might need expressing would be: licking of his rear end or dragging his butt across the floor.  Some dogs manage to express them on their own, but if licking and dragging doesn't quickly subside, it's best to have your vet check them out.  Expressing and cleaning the anal glands will not harm a dog in any way.  Many groomers do it as an included service, as it's not always a pleasant job to do at home.  Adding fiber and perhaps a good probiotic to your dog's diet and regular exercise can help keep the problem away.

Sorry, "butt" this photo was too perfect to pass up!

Monday, September 15, 2014

I Need You!

Chime in!  Let me know!  Tell me!  Shout it out!  I want to know what dog health topics are on the tops of your minds.  The possibilities are endless, so I'm looking for advice.  I LOVE to share what I know and learn about dog health and wellness.  I figure the more we know the better we are able to care for our furry family members...so give it to me! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Broccoli Eating Nemo!

This is just too cute not to share!  My guys love broccoli too, but they don't savor it like Nemo!  BOL
Happy Sunday!

Friday, September 12, 2014

How To Be A Good Dog Owner

Being a good, responsible dog parent take a lot more than just "being a dog person".  It's a large undertaking and takes a lot of commitment.  If you aren't prepared, it's better not to own a dog.

*Dog ownership is FOR THE LIFE OF THE DOG!  I can't stress this enough.  You will need to provide healthcare throughout the life of your dog, and at times it can be very costly.  If you're not willing to spend the money or provide adequate care, a dog is not for you.  This goes for training as well.  A misbehaved dog takes work, whether you hire a trainer or do it yourself.  Dogs should never be tossed away due to your lack of providing training.  Also consider what your life will look like for the next 15 or so years.  Babies, new homes, and your own health must be carefully thought about before bringing a dog home. 

*Do your research as to what breed or breed mix would best fit your lifestyle.  Highly active dogs will not be best suited with a more sedentary family or person and vice versa.

*Be prepared to ALWAYS...and I mean ALWAYS clean up after your dog.  It is never OK to leave their business behind.

*Follow your town/city animal laws.  Many places have leash, licensing and noise laws.  Review them all and be prepared to follow them.

*If you're not a responsible and ethical functioning breeder, seriously consider spaying and neutering your dog.  If, for health reasons, fixing your dog is not an option, be sure to keep him from accidentally breeding with another.  Overpopulation and poor health is rampant in dogs today.

*If you're not rescuing a dog, find an ethical breeder.

*Dogs aren't holiday gifts.  Plan to bring your new puppy or dog home during a time when you can provide as much individual attention as possible.

*Provide the highest quality food your wallet will allow.

*Dog proof your home.  Until you're sure (and you may never be with some dogs) that your dog won't get into things that could harm him, it's your responsibility to pick things up out of his reach.

*Provide proper exercise daily.

*Grooming must be provided.  Depending on the type of dog you choose, grooming can be a large undertaking or a small one.

*ID tag your dog with either an actual tag or a microchip.

*If you dog cannot live inside with you, perhaps a dog is not for you.  Dogs need proper shelter from heat and cold, and the best place is inside your home with you as part of the family.

*LOVE, pet, play, talk, walk, run and enjoy each other.

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