Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Pet Roundup

Hi and welcome to Monday Pet Roundup!

* A few weeks ago I wrote a column about the top 5 summer fun activities your dog can do, too. The list included swimming (Here's Kelly swimming among the lily pads!), summer camp, and even getting ice cream from the ice cream truck. Now, here's another activity to add to the list: playing in a water park. The Bora Bora Club, located in Sun Valley California, is the first water park exclusively for dogs!

* It looks like three friends--a runaway coat, Great Dane, and a three-legged Labrador Retriever-- will have a new home together. The Dallas News reports.

* Which dog is right for you? Carol Bryant from FIDO Friendly magazine will help you decide this Tuesday on the Gayle King Show Click on the link or tune in XM 156/Sirius 195 from 9am to 11am EST on(Rebroadcast at 2pm and 9pm EST).

* What would happen if your pet met up with a bear, or coyote, or even a raccoon? Dfs Pet Blog reminds us that this can happen even in urban backyards. Here are some hints on how to keep your pet safe from wildlife.

* Do you think we need more animal cruelty laws? Dog spelled forward blog suggests better enforcement of the laws we have.

* Finally, a dose of cute. Who do you think would win the standoff between a cat and several adorable golden retriever puppies?

What about you? Would you bring your dog to a dog water park? Has your pet had an encounter with wildlife?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fruits and Veggies for your Dog

Kelly and I have been dieting together for quite some time, and while I enjoy my fruits and veggies, she's still not a big fan. The only greens she eats is the grass outside. She does enjoy baby carrots. Sometimes she gets sick of those and I give her coin-cut carrots. It works!

Lately I've been experimenting with offering new foods for Kelly to try. Here she is digging into a bowl of her regular food, mixed with cooked, diced sweet potato. Scroll down to the end to see the results.

Before you do, here are some other fruits and vegetables that your dog might like:

Here are some fruits and vegetables you should NOT give your dog:
No Cherries
No Onion
No Grapes
No Raisins
No Fruit seeds and pits
No Mushrooms

Now, here is what was left in the bowl after Kelly finished her meal:

She picked around the veggies and ate all the kibble. Oh well, I guess she's not a fan.
What fruits and veggies does your dog like to eat?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We Love Treats!

Treats in the mail! Yippee!
Kelly and I want to give a big BOL Thank You to St. Louis Senior Dog Project for sending us these goodies! We recently won a contest, and couldn't be more delighted when our prize arrived. I got an awesome navy t-shirt and Kelly got some extra-delicious natural treats from Treats Unleashed . Wow, did she love them.

Let me tell you, these treats looked and smelled fresh from the bakery amazing. Here's Kelly sniffing them right through the envelope. (Kelly's on the windowsill where she sleeps most of the day. What does she think she is, a cat?)

I love the good work this place does. In case you're not familiar, the St. Louis Senior Dog Project is a non-profit organization to rescue dogs (of all ages, but especially 5 years old and up) and to promote the adoption of older dogs.
Here are a few of the senior dogs for adoption and check out their Dog of the Week blog.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Pet Round Up

Hi and welcome to Monday Pet Roundup!

* Would you lick a pet bandage? This past Saturday, if you did, you won a t-shirt and $1.00 donated in your name to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Race for a Cure fund. Nurtured Pets, makers of Anti Lick Strip Prevent bandages, hosted the "Lick the Strip Challenge" at the Because Your Dog Is Worth It Too event in Cranbury NJ. The bandages, designed to prevent dogs from licking wounds etc., are coated with cayenne pepper, clove oil, and oregano.

*Where does your dog ride in the car? USA Today reports that 60% of dog owners drive while distracted by their unrestrained dog as passenger.

*Yet another pet food recall--this time Beef Filet Squares and Texas Hold 'ems dog treats by Merrick Pet Care. If you have questions, call 1-800-664-7387

*And now for your laugh for today. Little short legs impede this Corgi's graceful dives as he executes what can only be called Corgi-flops.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Look! 2 Awards and 7 Little-known Facts

Here they are, below; 7 little-known facts involving dogs, ice cream, guinea pigs and airplanes. But first...

This lovely monarch has been fluttering around the Net and came to rest on my blog--twice! What a treat! I just want to say that I've come to know so many amazing and caring people through blogs and I also appreciate each and every one of you who takes the time to stop by here and say hello.

Two wonderful bloggers have chosen my blog for the Versatile Blogger award. I told Kelly and she's chasing her tail in delight!

Now with this one comes with some conditions
1) Thank the person who gave you the award
2) Share 7 things about yourself
3) Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and you think are fantastic
4) Contact the bloggers you picked and let them know about the award.

Why, of course!
I am flattered and grateful to:
Welsh Terrier George
STL Senior Dog Project
Thank you so much!

Share 7 things about yourself:

1. I write for Guideposts magazine.

2. My favorite food is ice cream, preferably soft serve. Where I grew up we called them "creamies" but here in New York we just call them "soft ice cream."

3. Speaking of which, I grew up in Vermont. "Ilovermont!"

4. My first dog was a stray we rescued from the woods. A beagle/lab mix named Happy, he was my best friend from Kindergarten through High School. I have stories about Happy published in several Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

5. I've never flown on an airplane. (or any other way!)

6. I love guinea pigs! My short haired blond guinea pig Charlie and my long haired Peruvian tri colored guinea pig Gipper had 10 babies, of every hair length and color combination imaginable!

7. There's nothing that makes me happier than being together with my family; my husband of 28 yrs, my grown daughter and son, and of course our dog Kelly. What do we most like to do together? The Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle.

Pass this award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and you think are fantastic.
This is tough because some of the blogs I think are fantastic I have been following for a while now, so I hope they know how fantastic I think they are already. (You do, right?!) Although it might seem frivolous, I do honor this butterfly by passing her along to some new blogs I've discovered lately. I decided to bend the rules a bit, and select just a few (quality over quantity). I enjoy these blogs and the dogs I'm getting to know through them. Please accept this award.
(Sorry if I tagged someone who already won the award. But that must mean you're really really popular!)

Joyful Paws
Five Sibes
Life with 5 Dogs
24 Paws of Love
Lucy's Human
Oh My Dog!
Jet's Agenda
Tales and Tails

I hope you check out these blogs too!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Meet Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog

For Firefighter Dayna Hilton, the biggest blessing is knowing that Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog saves lives.

Dayna is serving her 10th year as firefighter with Johnson County RFD #1 of Clarksville Arkansas. She loves her job, but what she loves most is educating children to help keep them safe. And that's a mission Sparkles helps with every day.

Unfortunately, Sparkles started off in a hoarding situation. Living with 62 other dogs in Oklahoma wasn't easy, but Sparkles strong spirit shone through. Luckily, Dayna Hilton came along, scooped her up, and offered the pup a fur-ever home and a job.

As part of the department's Fire Safety Team, Sparkles assists with educational programs, appears in schools and on videos, and helps children understand what to do in the case of a fire emergency--such as recognizing the firefighter and crawling low under the smoke.

When little 5-year old Angelica Riggins of Tulsa Oklahoma awoke to smoke and fire in her home, she remembered what she'd learned from a recent presentation by Sparkles. Angelica says: "I was in bed under the 'cobers' and the smoke came. I crawled out of bed and crawled low, just like Sparkles showed me to. I said, 'Come on Daddy, you have to get on the floor and crawl low like Sparkles.'" As soon as the two made it out the front door, the home erupted in flames. Thanks to Sparkles, everyone was safe.

Media Hound
Sparkles has participated in a Congressional briefing in Washington DC, appeared in magazines such as Cesar's Way, and FIDO Friendly, and on television including FOX and friends, and PBS KIDS Sprouts.

Sparkles also stars in his own books! Dayna is author of two books about Sparkles, Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog (also available in audio book) and Sparkles Goes to Boston. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the books goes to Sparkles foundations to keep kids fire safe.

I'm happy to get to know Dayna and Sparkles. Way to go with your pawesome work educating children in fire safety!

Check out Sparkles' blog, Facebook page, or Follow Sparkles on Twitter.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Pet Roundup

Hi and welcome to Monday Pet Roundup!

* Barking. Our dog Kelly barks at cats, squirrels and the mailman. But I'm talking about chronic, excessive barking. The kind the neighbor dogs practice. Left out for excessive amounts of time, these dogs bark due to boredom, fear, or discomfort. I feel sorry for these dogs and their quality of life. And also mine! What can I do? suggests various ways to quiet your neighbor's barking dog including:
1. the infamous anonymous note
2. the face to face approach
3. uploading a video of the dog to YouTube
4. contacting authorities

* I think most cats would love to get loose in the big outdoors, but dangers such as pests, diseases and predators make for a scary wide world. According to writer Franny Syufi from, there are ways to get your kitty some sunshine:
1. Just carry kitty in your arms
2. try training to a leash
3. tote in a stylish cat carrier
4. invest in some mega outdoor play areas

* I don't know why this man ignored his painful (and odoriferous) toe for so long but according to, his terrier Kiko is credited with saving the man's life. Kiko apparently sniffed out life-threatening diabetes and chewed off the tip of the toe. I guess it's a good thing the man was passed out drunk at the time.

* What is the most-taught dog trick? According to an informal Internet search, it's the "Get Me a Beer" trick. Extra points if the dog recycles and closes the refrigerator door.
(Maybe Kiko performed this trick a few too many times for his owner.)

What about you? Do you have a solution for barking neighbor dogs? Does your cat like to go outside? And have you taught your dog the Fetch me a Beer/Mt. Dew/Diet Coke trick?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Being Better for my Dog

Our dogs love us completely, even on days we fall far short on our end of the relationship. That unconditional love is part of the reason why we care so much. Yet, it is also why I want to try even harder to be the best I can for my dog.....why I research healthy pet food...take her to the vet's for check ups when needed... throw her tennis ball over and over and over. And I still want to do more.

An article last week in the Miami Herald cited ways to be a better pet owner. It mentions common suggestions such as daily care and preventative care, and being prepared for emergencies. But more importantly what specifically can I do for my little Kelly? I thought about this.

How can I be a better owner/friend/parent to my dog?

1. Take her on more walks. Kelly loves her walks. I know, because she livens up, her ears perk up, she wags constantly, and sniffs around almost with a smile on her face. And yet, some days I'm too busy to clip on the leash and get her out the door. Even if I only have time for a short spin around the block, I commit to walking her daily, or even twice!

2. Find her a playmate. I could be wrong, but I think Kelly would like a playmate. This is a bit difficult, because sometimes Kelly doesn't seem to get along with other dogs. She growls a bit when we meet them on the street. And sometimes when I've had a friend bring their dog over to play, neither dog is interested. Wow, Kelly must really be finicky about her friends. But whenever I see dogs romping together and playing, I think she must be wanting some of that fun, too.

3. Stop feeding her my pizza crusts. Since Kelly and I have been on a diet together, I've stopped feeding her table scraps. Well, almost. I really don't care for pizza crusts, or the crusts of sandwiches. And Kelly looks up at me so cute and beguiling. We've switched to whole wheat pizza dough and healthy whole grain bread, so I figure if it's good for me, it is good for her. But really, I know that is too many calories for a little gal. But did I mention that she looks at me so cute?!

I'm still not sure about #2, but I have recommitted to walking Kelly more and to stop giving her my crusts. (maybe a bite?!)

What about you? What are some ways you think you could be better for your pet?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Visit from the Compassionate Groomer

What more could any gal want than a pedicure, a new hairdo and some good friends? (maybe a cookie?) Last week Kelly received pampering from her favorite groomer, Melissa Francisco from TransFURmations Mobile Pet Spa, and we also met a new friend- Kim Clune from This One Wild Life.

First, the grooming van pulled up in the pouring rain.

Melissa carried the armful-of-a-dog while balancing an umbrella over their heads. Now isn't that the spa treatment? We all squeezed into the van where Melissa artfully set to work. Check out Kelly's before and after!

Here are Kelly's feet before and after!

You might wonder why I use a mobile groomer. Yes, it's convenient. No driving out to the pet place. No having your pet wait for its turn in a crate. And it actually costs no more than most grooming salons. But in Kelly's case, it is a necessary solution. Kelly is anxious around other dogs and uncomfortable separating from me. Her first visit to a large grooming salon was stressful that when we arrived to pick her up, we were handed a wet, scraggly dog who lunged to get to us, her heart racing, her eyes cherry red because the stress had caused her blood vessels to burst.
Never again!

Enter Melissa and her mobile grooming van. Melissa is gentle, kind, and accommodating. She is the recipient of The Compassionate Groomer award and I can see why. She easily helps Kelly feel comfortable in a situation that is still a bit stressful for her.

When Kelly's grooming was nearly complete, the sun came out and our visitor arrived. Kim knocked on the door and joined us inside the van--snug, but doable. I met Kim on Twitter (follow her!) and then we discovered that we lived only minutes apart.

I could tell at once that she is a compassionate animal person herself. She showed me pictures on her handy multi-tasking cell phone of her gorgeous Newfoundland, Shamus and her svelte hound dog Emmett. (Here is Kim posing with Kelly by the mobile grooming van.)

When Kelly was all done she chose her reward from TransFURmations' toy basket (a stuffed green apple) and set to the task of desqueaking while Kim and I enjoyed chatting about writing, blogging, and all things dog.

And now Kelly is all cleaned up and clipped with her pretty new hairdo!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Pet Roundup

Hi and welcome to Monday Pet Roundup!

* My dog Kelly was having her ear checked out this weekend (poor Kelly!) and the vet reminded me of the ongoing pet food recall for Iams and Eukanuba. The salmonella risk can effect humans too, so please be sure to check if you have these brands of food and follow the manufacturer's instructions. The Iams number to call if you have any questions is: 877-340-8823.

* I love this post from WebMD. A study by scientists at Vienna and Oxford universities conclude that dogs imitate people. The research was conducted on dogs opening sliding glass doors. My dog doesn't imitate that, but she does copy my excitement for ice cream!

* If you're expecting a new little one (of the human kind), don't forget to prepare your dog for the new baby.

* Going on vacation? If you need to make arrangements for your pet, this can help: Get 10% off of petsitting services with Fetch! Pet care.

* Also, more people are rethinking the safety of bringing dogs and cats on airplane cargo areas after the recent tragedies. CNN offers tips for flying with your pet.

* Can cats and dogs get along? This Mercury New column by Gary Bogue features letters from readers sharing stories about their cats, dogs, summer walks and gardens.

What about you? Do your pets imitate you? And do your cats and dogs get along?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Hero Dogs and Soldiers

In an ultimate act of devotion, Rufus bit the Taliban terrorist on the leg.

CBS News reports that Rufus and two other stray dogs thwarted a surprise attack by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan last February. Sgt. Chris Duke vows that the dogs saved his life, and those of 50 other sleeping American soldiers.

When Sgt. Duke returned stateside in March, he never thought he'd see Rufus again. But thanks to Robert's Cause, a nonprofit animal advocacy group, Hope for the Warriors, Facebook, Pet Airways, and some good Samaritans, Sgt. Duke and Rufus are now reunited and will live together, along with Duke's family, in Georgia. One of the other strays, Target, arrived to live with a soldier in Arizona. Way to go!

The reunion was captured by news outlets across the country. This video report is from Fox News:

I'm inspired by all the people who came together to help bring these dogs and soldiers together. This isn't the first great project aided by Robert's Cause. Robert Misseri is a founding member of Rescue Ink, has been instrumental in helping countless abused and neglected animals, works with Puppy Rescue Mission, and numerous other animal advocacy efforts.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ricochet the SURFice dog visits the blog

Seeing this happy dog up on a surf board is a beautiful sight. But there's much more to the story.

Ricochet is a golden retriever with a heart of gold. She's not only a pawsome surfing dog, but also a "SURFice" dog who believes in pawing it forward. That's right, her mission is to help others by raising awareness and funds for human/animal causes.

Judy Fridono, Ricochet's mom and a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT) shared with me some of Ricochet's accomplishments.

Q- Thank you Judy for joining us. I live in New York, so I don't know any surfing dogs. How did Ricochet learn to surf?

A- Part of my nonprofit organization, Puppy Prodigies, focuses on building balance and coordination in puppies. So when Ricochet was learning her service dog tasks, she was also working on balance and coordination. I put a boogie board in a kiddie pool and invited her on it. She took to it, so we slowly progressed to a regular swimming pool, calm water of the bay, and finally to the ocean. Now she participates in some surfing competitions, but her primary objective is helping people and animals.

Q- What are some of the projects Ricochet has been involved in?

A- Her first fundraiser was for a quadriplegic surfer named Patrick Ivison. One day at the beach she jumped on his board and it was clear to me she wanted to surf tandem with him. She raised over $10,000 for his physical therapy and her sponsor, the Rose Foundation, awarded a grant for an additional 3 years of therapy.

Since then she's raised money for arthritis (human and canine), cancer, toy drives, pet food drives, and so much more.

Q- What project is Ricochet supporting now?

A- Ricochet supports several organizations on an ongoing basis. One project she just began working with is Finnley, a 2 yr old little girl who suffered a brain injury. Ricochet is helping raise money for a resistance pool that would greatly help with Finnley's therapy.

Q- What can we do to help?

A- Of course donations to any of these causes are always greatly appreciated, but also spreading the word is such a great help! You can check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you Judy for sharing Ricochet's inspirational story. There are many worthy causes to join in and support Ricochet in helping others.
As Ricochet "says": Paw-abunga!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday Pet Roundup

Hi and welcome to Monday Pet Roundup!

* I'll occasionally review a pet product I think you'll find helpful, and csn stores contacted me recently with another great offer to review one of their products. At their website you can find everything from a bedroom vanity to a braided rug to a barbecue grill...but seriously, you're going to love their wide range of pet products. Stay tuned in the following weeks for my review!

* You may have heard of Ricochet the surfing dog. Now meet Outback Addie! This rescue dog was once afraid of everything, but now look at her go! Hang twenty, dude!

* Take the USA Today poll. Should dogs be allowed in restaurants?

* Neil Genlinger suggests that we may be wasting too much time watching cute pets on TV, movies and the Internet. In his New York Times article he notes that one You Tube video, "Surprised Kitty" received more than 28,500,000 views. The clip is only 17 seconds long, but this amounts to 15 years of time spent (he says "wasted") watching this. I don't know about you, but I think that 17 seconds of my life was worth it!

*Chocolate...grapes...onions. Zootoo reminds us to keep these foods away from our pets.

* My vet warned me that my dog Kelly shared many of the same risks as I due to being overweight. At Dancing Dog Blog, Mary Haight shares some authoritative insight on dogs and human diseases.