Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happiest wishes and woofs to you all for a happy, healthy, prosperous and wonderful new year!

HAPPY 2011!!!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog

Hi and welcome to Wednesday Pet Roundup....Oops! Instead of a round up today, I'm going to tell you about a book, 30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog, The Loved Dog Method, by Tamar Geller.

I won this book through a random drawing on That Mutt blog. Thanks Linday and Ace!

The Loved Dog Method is a method of fun and positive reinforcement, "using pleasure instead of pain, domination and fear to obtain good manners." While this may be common sense to many of you, there are also chapters on specific problem behaviors. If you and your dog are experiencing any of these, it is nice to have Geller's insight and experience to help you out.

I was particularly interested in growling. Kelly is always friendly with people, but she has been known to growl at other dogs. Geller suggests first determining what your dog's growling means. It may be aggression or anger, but she also might be afraid, nervous or excited. Kelly growls when loose dogs approach her on our walks (this happens a lot!) I suspect Kelly is afraid of the loose dog. In this instance, Geller says to calmly remove your dog from the situation. This is not always easy on a walk, because the dogs tend to follow.

Geller advises that when we encounter a loose dog, I should try to remove Kelly from the situation. Then I should reward her with a desirable treat. Kelly should soon perceive encountering other dogs as pleasurable and not fearsome. I only hope the other dogs don't follow, vying for liver treats too!

All in all, I think there are many things Kelly and I can learn from this book. I like the positive tone of the book, and the encouragement to understand your dog. After all, we all want to be understood.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Pawcircle for a human?

I just wanted to write and ask for your thoughts, prayers and good wishes today. I am having surgery (total hysterectomy) and I will be in the hospital for about 3 days. The doctors will take good care of family will take good care of Kelly...and then Kelly will take good care of me when I come home.

I have my blogs scheduled, so I'll still have blogs here for you to read, so please stop by. But I won't be able to visit you all for a little while. I look forward to catching up with you all again soon. And Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday Pet Roundup

Hi and welcome to Wednesday pet roundup! Kelly and I hope all your holidays are wonderful!

* Aww, check out this story from An Oregon pit bull saved a blind cocker spaniel from freezing to death. This story will warm your heart.

* From Mashable, 10 Crazy Gadgets for cats and dogs. I love the tennis ball flinger and bacon flavored bubbles blower!

*These pugs need your help. Eli needs an operation so he can walk, and Maxine needs a home for the holidays! Check out Homeward Bound Pug Rescue.

* From the UC Daily News, 10 reasons to use a pet stroller. I hope that people with pet strollers still let their dog get out, walk, and sniff around. Kelly loves to sniff! Maybe these are good if your dog can only walk a short distance, and you want to keep walking farther. Then you can let your dog take a ride for a while, then maybe get out again when she is ready.

* I'd love to hear from you today! How are you and your pet celebrating Christmas? Keeping away the stress? Keeping warm? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mooooo, baaaaa we need YOU for Christmas!

This gift is so special, so heartwarming and so utterly unique that it can’t be found in any store. Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Farm Animal holiday sponsorships enable you to give the gift of life this holiday season by sponsoring a Farm Sanctuary animal in your name, or warming the hearts of your loved ones with gift adoptions. With each adoption, you and/or your gift recipients will receive a unique and memorable sponsorship package that includes a personalized adoption certificate and a beautiful color photo. You will experience the joy of knowing that you have made a difference for a farm animal.

As a sponsor, you become an essential part of your adopted animal’s life by helping provide the food, bedding, medicine, and individualized care animals need to live peacefully at our shelters. The rescued animals at Farm Sanctuary are finally safe from harm, but they rely on sponsorship support for their care each day. Your holiday sponsorship is a chance to create happy endings for animals in need and bring them comfort and joy. And when you look at the faces of the animals available for adoption, does anyone really need another sweater?

Order gift adoptions for loved ones or sign up now to become an adoptive parent yourself!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Toys for Good Pups and Pooches

Today I have a guest post, especially of interest to all my readers in the UK, but I think we all can get some ideas of fun Christmas toys for your pets that you can find online, or in stores near you.

Treat your Dog this Christmas-- 2010 Doggy Products
by Jessica Hodkinson on behalf of GJW Titmuss pet supplies and dog food.

Have a look at this fun guide and pets, get pestering your parents for doggy products that scream fun. There's a lot more than just dog food out there!
(All images courtesy of GJW Titmuss Pets)

Good Boy Christmas stockings
Christmas stockings are filled with a variety of scrumptious treats that our canine friends adore.

Doggy Do Little piggy toy. Your dog will have lots of fun with this toy. What an excuse to make lots of noise with its squeaky belly!

Laughing Christmas Tree
Soft plus toy provides your dog with lots of fun, and also will make you smile with its contagious

Babble Ball
This crazy babble ball gives off a variety of sounds when touched, and is sure to keep most dogs entertained (and slightly confused!)

If you are cooking a holiday turkey, your dog will sit and drool over the smell. How about going along with the theme and giving your dog a turkey of its own?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Beagle in a Bug

Look what I saw in the car ahead of me as I pulled into the grocery store parking lot!

A beagle in a leopard print coat!

Although never like to see dogs left unattended in cars, I must add that it wasn't too cold that day, and the doggy was wearing its nice winter coat. I kept my eyes open, and the owner appeared quickly. I just hope that they properly buckled her up before they drove off.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dignity for Missy

Last week I wrote a post about Power Paws, canine socks by Woodrow Wear, offering to give away a set to some dog who might find them useful.
I received this email from Rachel, in Nebraska:

"I just read the little article about the dog sox and am so glad to have learned about them. They are just the thing I need for my Spaniel/Retriever, Missy.

She has lost a great deal of muscle tone and control in her hind quarters. Most of my house is carpeted, but two areas aren’t and this would solve the problem. Also, it would allow her to walk with dignity from the waiting room to the treatment room at the vet’s. (I’ll bet Dr. O will be glad to learn about them, too.) I felt awful last time I took Miss out there – she’s 55 pounds so too heavy for me to carry and had to kind of drag herself/scoot across the floor. I felt terrible about it.

She might try to take them off, but I’m sure I can teach her to leave them on with lots of reassurance and praise.
Thanks so much for this info. It will make a world of difference for my girl."

I'm happy that Rachel wrote to me. Hang on Missy, your Power Paws are on the way!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Homemade Holiday Gifts for Pets

Thinking of a handmade gift for your pet this holiday? Here are some fun ideas from Martha Stewart's Pets, via Pet Happy! What about you? Are you thinking of trying one of these ideas? Have you made your pet a great homemade gift?

(All photos courtesy of

* Pet ID tags. Get the instructions here.

* Pet travel cushion. This uses bath towels. Get the instructions here.

* Dot painted pet bowl. Get the instructions here.

* Fleece dog coat. Requires some sewing skills. Get the instructions here.

Cardigan dog sweater: Turn a cardigan sweater into this adorable dog sweater! Needed: basic sewing skills. Get the instructions here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday Pet Roundup

Hi and welcome to Wednesday Pet Roundup! Kelly wants you to see the wreath we made!

* I'm a bit behind the times with these, but I wanted to share these stories, found on the blog Life With Dogs. First, newlyweds sacrifice all to save their dog, who needed a $16,000 bone marrow transplant. Then, read about a husky reunited with his family after 5 year apart. I just love reading heartwarming dog stories, don't you?!

* Thinking of adopting a kitten or a puppy for the holidays, but everyone told you "no?" Are the holidays a bad time to adopt a pet? Or is this an optimal time shelters should welcome, and promote? reports on a change in thinking. What are your thoughts?

* For your smile today, don't forget to check out the world's longest cat!

* And finally, you've heard of dog agility...well check out bunny agility!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Cards that Support Pet Causes

Your holiday cards can help pets too! If you purchase any of these dog and cat themed holiday greetings, a portion of the purchase price will benefit hard-working animal causes.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is committed to “alleviating pain, fear and suffering in all animals” through national programs, education and government advocacy.
These cards feature 5 different designs with whimsical photos, such as this bulldog pulling a sleigh of kitties! All net proceeds benefit ASPCA programs.

2. Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind
This organization provides guide dogs to blind and visually impaired people, or people with other special needs who seek enhanced mobility and independence. These cards feature a sweet guiding eye puppy with a snowglobe. Approximately 67.37% of the purchase price goes to the Guide Dog Foundation.

3. Canine Companions for Independence
A national nonprofit organization that provides trained assistance dogs and support to children and adults with disabilities. A mixed pack of three different designs with pictures of CCI puppies. Proceeds support CCI programs.

4. Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society works "to create a humane and sustainable world for all animals, including people” through education and advocacy programs. Some of the cutest color illustrations and photographs of dogs and cats around. Choice of all dogs, dog and cat combination, or
wildlife designs. Proceeds support Humane Society programs.

5. The Animal Rescue Site
The Animal Rescue Site helps provide food for the thousands of animals rescued by shelters each year. There are so many different adorable cards on this site you won’t know which one to choose.

If you love pets, consider ordering any of these cards and support a worthy cause.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fox in Sox? No, Dog in Sox!

Socks for dogs? Really?
Well, before you scoff, there are some practical reasons a pet parent might want to purchase canine socks for their pet. The kind folks at Woodrow Wear even provided Kelly a pair (well, two pairs!) of Power Paws™ to "test drive." Her review is below. But first, here's some info from Power Paws:

* Originally developed for dogs with hip dysplasia in mind, Power Paws™ have become the answer to everything from doggie allergies to injured paws.

* According to the company's press release, as dogs age, their movement may become restricted by aching bones. A pair of Power Paws on your dog’s back paws may be enough to gain traction and confidence he needs to walk on slippery floors.

* Power Paws give dogs with hip dysplasia and arthritis the power to stand, the power to go and the power to stop.

* Going outdoors? Protect your pup in “rocky” situations. Worn outside, Power Paws are just as effective as indoors. Hot pavements, salty sidewalks and rough terrain are a walk in the park with Power Paws.

* Power Paws function as an allergen blocker, keeping pollen off your puppy’s paws and preventing him from bringing the outdoors in.

* In some cases, veterinarians use Power Paws as an alternative to large, bulky e-collars. When wearing Power Paws, most dogs will leave their injured paws alone, helpful for a speedy recovery.

*Power Paws are the creation of Lorraine Walston, an avid animal lover and parent of Woodrow, an affectionate Rottweiler who developed hip dysplasia at age 14. Lorraine was initially inspired to stitch together a pair of socks after she despaired of finding more comfortable options than canine “army boots” to provide mobility and traction for Woodrow indoors. In honor of her beloved pet, she named the company Woodrow Wear. Socks are available in eight sizes to assure a proper fit for all dogs from 6-pound Chihuahuas to 240-pound St. Bernards. For more information or to find a retailer near you, visit

** Now, what about Kelly? When the socks arrived, they looked very well-made. The packaging also explained the many uses. When I pulled the socks over Kelly's paws, however, she looked a bit worried. But the funny part was when she stood up to walk on them--she lifted each paw high off the ground and walked as if she had just stepped in something sticky! I guess it would take some dogs a little time to get used to feeling something on their paws. But Kelly wasn't going to give it much time. She promptly laid down and tugged each sock off her paws. So, while I think that Power Paws is a cool idea, and great for the right dog, Kelly wasn't convinced.

***Since Kelly wouldn't keep these socks on her feet, I'm giving them away to someone who thinks their dog might benefit. Maybe you have a senior dog with traction problems, or a dog with hip dysplasia who could really enjoy Power Paws. Please leave me a comment if you are interested, and I will mail to the first person who responds with their contact information. These are size Medium (45-75 lb dog).
If you have a dog who might benefit from these socks, please leave a comment.
What do you think--in what instances would your dog wear Power Paws? Does he have trouble with slippery floors? Would she wear them outside? Has your dog tried them before?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday Pet Roundup

Hi and welcome to Wednesday Pet Roundup! Here's my friend Linda's cutie pup, Bailey.

* I'm excited once again to be able to review a pet product from the extensive CSN Stores. They have over 200 online stores with thousands of products--everything from holiday gifts such as toys and children's luggage, to fireplace accessories, to yup--pet supplies. I'll be looking over their website to find the most interesting and useful pet product to try out and review for you.

* You heard all the no-no's. Now, from Pet MD, 5 holiday leftovers you CAN feed the dog. What do you think, is cranberry sauce on the list? Mashed potatoes?

* Amazing story brought to you via Life With Dogs. A Utah woman lost her little dog, Barkley. Two years later, with all hope given up, she checked on the shelter website, looking for a new pet, when what did she the rest of the story to discover the remarkable happy ending!

* Your laugh for today--have you seen those signs nailed to a tree for a lost cat or dog? Well, check out these--the most unusual missing pets-- from Buzzfeed.

* And now for a little movie news. Stella & Chewy's, makers of premium raw dinners for dogs, is sponsoring awards movie screenings in NY and LA for the new animated movie "My Dog Tulip," based on J.R. Ackerly's memoir. The movie reminded the pet food company's founder of how she adopted her dogs, Stella and Chewy, from a shelter.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Purrfect Relaxation

After Thanksgiving, we all need to relax. Here is my daughter's cat, Cinnamon, relaxing, getting ready for a nice cozy nap. We all know that cats are purrfect at relaxing. What is their secret?

I love this post on wikiHow, How to Relax Like a Cat. Some of the steps include:

* Be compassionate with yourself (Cats love themselves the way they are.)
* Practice cat yoga (Stretch like a cat!)
* Hide out (Cats like to find a special alone place.)
* Cuddle, hug and nuzzle. (Cats perform these caring rituals regularly.)

Check out the entire article (with adorable photos) here.

How does your cat show you to relax? What about your dog?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I like these Thanksgiving thankfulness training tips, from the Anti-Cruelty Society:
Don't forget to "thank" your pets when they are behaving. Too many times we notice our pets when they are misbehaving, but don't often encourage good behavior.

* If you see your dog chewing on his toy instead of the remote control, make an effort to scratch his chin and tell him how proud you are.

* Perhaps your cat eschews the sofa and has finally decided that the scratching post is suitable for stretching his claws? Let your cat know what a good decision he has made.

* Animals will more readily and more frequently repeat behavior that garners them praise and reward. Punishment serves to prevent behavior only when the owner is present -- and paying attention.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, from me and Kelly!
And Kelly, Thank You For Being Good!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A smile before your busy holiday.

Like everyone else, I'm busy getting ready to stuff the turkey and bake the holiday pies. So instead of the usual Wednesday pet roundup, I wanted to share this--one of the absolute most adorable videos ever. Since more than 4 million people have viewed this video, maybe you've seen it too. But I still love watching it, and hope you will too. It's a perfect way to add a smile to your day! So while you are cleaning the house and peeling potatoes, take a minute to relax and enjoy.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

We won a prize!

When we checked in for our daily dose of Houndgirl a few weeks ago, Kelly perked up and took notice. There was a contest. She pawed at my arm, urging me to press those keys and enter.

The blog told about some biscuits that Haley and Fred especially loved, and then offered a free box, selected randomly from the commenters. Kelly was so excited when we got the news that our comment was chosen.

Emily, at Boomer's Biscuits, gave us a choice of
Gingerbread Dog Houses
Carob Chip
Apple Pie Bites
Minty Breath Bites

Kelly helped me choose the Carob Chip cookies.
Isn't it funny how dogs always know when something for them is in that cardboard box? Kelly immediately knew that these treats were something yummy.

They even included some adorable Gingerbread Dog Houses!

Kelly loved these treats, and I bet your dog will too. Boomer's Biscuits are wheat, corn and soy free, made with natural ingredients, and boxed in eco-friendly packaging.

Thank you Boomers Biscuits! And Thank you Houndgirl!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Puppy Up

Recently Kelly and I participated in the 2 Million Dogs Puppy Up virtual dog walk. We were able to raise a bit of funds to help support cancer research.

In appreciation, 2 Million Dogs sent us these cool presents! Kelly got a Puppy Up bandana and some yummy cookies. I got a light blue bracelet that reads "cancer touches everyone."

This is a great cause to support, as scientists look for new treatment options and hopefully someday a cure. A card enclosed with the package listed the early warning signs of canine cancer:
Labored breathing
Loss of Appetite
Weight Loss
Foul Odor
Loss of Bodily Functions
Bloody Discharge
For more information, you can contact

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday Pet Roundup

Hi and welcome to Wednesday Pet Roundup! Here's Kelly enjoying the fall leaves.

* USA Today Paw Print Post tells us of Bandit, a 15 pound terrier hero dog, who awakened the household by barking and jumping on the sleeping residents, to warn of dangerous smoke filling the kitchen (due to a neglected pot on the stove). Fortunately everyone--including Bandit--escaped safely.

* This is so funny, from The Oatmeal! How to Pet a Kitty. This cartoon includes whimsical instructions, and warnings, including: "An exposed belly is an invitation for a tummy rub. ...(it) can also mean that the kitty wants to ensnare you into a whiskered bear trap, composed of claws, teeth and agony.

* Why, according to, was one MIT professor so taken with the way cats lap up water without getting their faces wet? Because these findings might help in developing soft robots that manipulate liquids.

* From SF Gate: a study by found the best city to hire a pet sitter is Milwaukee, WI. This was calculated by number of pet sitters available, and average rate charged. Did your city make the top 10 list?

* Gotta love this picture (from the Huffington Post.) Dana Jennings, author of What a Difference a Dog Makes; Big Lessons on Life, Love and Healing from a Small Pooch, reflects on the four dogs who changed his life. Harry and Moxie, here, are definitely my favorites!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The pup after Merle

While Merle gave us lessons from a freethinking dog, Pukka is here to teach us all about the ups and downs of being a puppy...and there's something very real we can all take away from that. I was recently sent a copy of Pukka, The Pup after Merle by Ted Kerasote, author of Merle's Door. The book is big, hardcover with more than two hundred beautiful photographs. The story shares the tale of how the young yellow lab comes into Ted's life, learns some hard lessons, overcomes fears, and basically loves life.

Q& A with Ted Kerasote:
What was it like to write the book from Pukka’s point of view?
I didn’t really write the book from Pukka’s point of view. As was the case in Merle’s Door, I watched my dog, I spoke with him, and I translated what he was telling me. It really is Pukka’s book.

How would you explain your philosophy of raising a puppy?
A lot of puppy-training manuals are all about confining the pup...Pukka had the run of the house and, yes, made a few mistakes...At the same time, pups, like children, need to learn manners—sitting, not bothering people, coming when called. But if these are made fun, and there’s some elk jerky and praise when it’s done right, the pup soon learns. My attitude is not to get too bent out of shape, and you and your puppy will be happier for it.

What have you and Pukka learned from each other?
I learned that one of the things I liked doing—running rivers—was not a great idea for a young, active pup. He wanted to be moving, to be roaming, and being confined to a raft was so borrrrrrrrrring! Pukka has learned from me that just because other dogs can do certain things—bark at the UPS man, for instance—that doesn’t mean he can. This has been a point of contention between us, he saying, “Why can’t I bark? All my friends are barking!” People who wring their hands over the company their children keep will understand this very well.

My review:
Pukka is the Hindi word for "genuine" or "first class." Little Pukka is selected, in part, because his face resembles Merle's. Pukka shares much of Merle's philosophy too, such as collars are itchy, and retrieving gets boring after the first few times.

As we read Pukka, we come to discover the story of a partnership between dog and human. We see how Ted teaches Pukka the rules (no dogs in the kitchen, no begging for food) but also allows Pukka to explore and take the lead in living his own life. I felt a deep respect between the two. The words are sparse, letting the beautiful photographs tell the story. I cringed at the photo of Pukka's poor injured eye after neighbor dog AJ took a bite. I laughed at the pictures of Pukka going down the slide. I awwwwed at the picture of Pukka under Merle's aspen tree. Best of all were the photos of Pukka in the beautiful Wyoming wilderness that Ted loves so much. In some shots, Pukka looked afraid on the kayaks and watercraft. Then there were times when it looked as if he'd conquered his fear. Then came a gorgeous photo of Pukka from the top of craggy Jackson Peak. That was as if he'd conquered the world.

I hope you run out and get a copy of Pukka, the Pup after Merle. There's nothing like a little puppy love to make you feel good.

Author Bio
Ted Kerasote is the author of many books, including the national best-seller Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog and Out There, which won the National Outdoor Book Award. His essays and photographs have appeared in Audubon, Geo, Outside, Science, the New York Times, and more than sixty other periodicals. This is Pukka's first book. Ted and Pukka live in Wyoming.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Midge the Lab and Monsieur the Poodle

In honor of Senior Dog Month, I just had to share this sweet story about Midge. Diane Komp writes for Daily Guideposts and this story was posted on the Our Prayer website.

Blessings Shared

by Diane Komp

For years, some friends of mine have had a wonderful Labrador retriever named Midge. One evening I was in their home for dinner and found that they had added a young toy poodle to their household. I was surprised to find how affectionate the relationship between the old dog and the new one was. Wherever they went, Midge was following the younger Monsieur. They almost seemed to be touching, they stayed so close to each other.

Then I looked at Midge’s venerable old eyes. They were clouded with cataracts. She was blind, and Monsieur was her Seeing Eye dog!

The image of those two dogs has never left my heart. We were put in the world to share our gifts, to know when to give and when to receive. And I need to remember to be able to be both—giver and receiver.

*Thank you to Diane for this story. This story originally appeared in Daily Guideposts. You will find the story and more on Our Prayer website.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Pet Roundup

Hi and Welcome to Wednesday Pet Roundup!

* What makes a pet "green?" And what do shelter dogs, indoor cats, and chickens have to do with it? Find out more about eco-friendly approaches to pet parenting, on Care2's post, Top 5 Greenest Pets.

* CNN tells us about the world's largest house pet...a 1600 pound baby bison.

*And on Mental Floss, The Top 10 pets that are worth more than you think. This includes a cat, Tinker, who was bequeathed a $226,000 trust fund and a house worth $800,000. And pampered pups Sunny, Lauren, Sadie, Sophie and Solomon, who are named in a will to receive $30 million to provide for their care. I guess it helps that their mommy is Oprah.

* From Pawnation, a great dog leash review. Find the right one for your dog!

* Attend the theater, adopt a dog. Kansas reports on a new stage show, "Sylvia" starring Cindy Williams (of Laverne and Shirley fame), about a stray dog and the people who take her in. At the end of each show, a shelter dog will be brought on stage and introduced. Theatergoers interested in adopting will fill out a card so that they can be interviewed. All the dogs come from a no-kill shelter. "I'm looking forward to finding them homes," Williams said. "Wonderful, wonderful homes."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Big News--It's a Book!

I have some exciting news to share with you. I got a book deal!! I recently signed the contract with the publisher for my first book, Dieting With My Dog! (working title). The book will be released this summer. Kelly and I are both super excited.

Here is the book description:

Dieting With My Dog shares the honest and heartfelt story of an overweight woman and her chubby spaniel struggling to get fit together. When a busy mom faces the empty nest, she turns to her rescue dog, Kelly—and food. But Kelly soon becomes the motivating factor to facing down the physical and emotional reasons for her overeating, and overfeeding her dog. Together they discover that everything’s easier with unconditional love. For anyone who has ever loved a pet--through thick and thin.

Here's your chance to ask me any questions about the book. I look forward to sharing with you our various steps along the way as our dog memoir goes to print!