Wednesday, August 31, 2011
I'm going to be in some pretty intense business meetings.
Kelly's not disclosing my location...
but she knows she can call in to check on me any time!
I still have lots of great posts scheduled while I'm gone, including a Big Announcement tomorrow, another installment of Woof Friday, and the upcoming Koly & Kelly's K9Kamp! So please keep dropping by. I'm sorry I won't be around to visit your blogs and comment, but I hope you don't forget me while I'm away.
M-I-C- see you real soon! K-E-Y- why? because we like you! (Are you old enough to remember this?!)
Monday, August 29, 2011
I've lost several faithful friends, the most recent our yellow lab Hudson, and it is never easy. Elaine is so kind, and so empathetic that I knew this site must be a great comfort to many people. So I wanted to find out more about Lost and Fond.
Me: Tell me a little bit about your website, Lost & Fond.
Elaine: Lost & Fond is a way for people to share memories of pets they have loved and lost, both recently or years ago. I respect that it's a very personal decision when (or even if) people want to share their stories and pictures, but I know that for some it has brought great comfort.
On L & F people can create a free memorial page and log in as often as they want to add and edit their content, add or delete pictures and memories or add a virtual gift. I set out to create an atmosphere that was respectful but not morbid as I think it's about CELEBRATING the lives of the pets who will always have a home in our hearts and minds.
I also include regularly-updated news and features on the website which highlight pet charities and projects, campaigns and news that I hope is interesting to pet lovers.
Me: What inspired you to start Lost & Fond?
Elaine: For a couple of years I had a job running an online obituary website for a major UK newspaper publisher and it always made me very sad when people asked if they could create an obituary for their pet and I had to say 'no' - because that was the company's rules. When people told me their pet was a member of their family I knew just what they meant.
My husband and I had both been journalists for years and worked long hours so having a dog was never practical. So when I got the opportunity to leave the 'rat race' and work for myself last year the first thing I did was get myself picked by Winnie the Greyhound to be her new 'mum' and the second thing was to create L& F.
Me: What memorial on Lost & Fond touched you the most?
Elaine: That's hard because they all touch your heart. It's easy to empathise with the sentiments behind every tribute and I do sometimes have a little cry - but I find the tributes really positive and life-affirming. It helps you realise that you are never alone in how you are feeling and it shows how much our lives are enriched by the pets that love us so unconditionally.
If I had to pick just one it would be Tipp, a beautiful rescue dog who I'd seen compete several times in heelwork to music. Tipp's bond with Kath was incredible. I was honoured when Kath wanted to share her memories and pictures on L & F. There are lots of images of Tipp on her page and her love of life seems so real to me when I look at them.
Me: How does this site help pet causes/charities?
Elaine: I didn't want to charge people to use the site, but I thought there was an opportunity to perhaps encourage those who could afford it to donate to a charity in memory of their pet when they created a tribute. I also thought if I could get enough people to visit the site I could perhaps make some money from advertising to boost charity funds.
The first partnership I have launched is a pet artist Jane West who will donate money to my charity of the year for every commission she receives through the site. There are two more services launching soon, and hopefully more in the future. But I am keen to keep writing about what charities are doing and raising awareness of their issues so you will regularly find articles and links on the site to a whole range of animal charities and rescues large and small.
Me: Your charity of the year this year is the Rhodesian Ridgeback Welfare Trust Charity. What are their needs and how do donations help these dogs?
Elaine: Yes, the RRWT won a public vote through the website earlier this year, so they will get money the site raises for 12 months up to the beginning of August 2012.
I've met with the RRWT and learned a lot more about this breed in recent weeks. The RRWT is a charity that works hard to educate people about the needs of this breed and encourage responsible ownership. They also put a huge amount of time and effort into supporting owners to give their dogs the best possible life and of course rescuing and re-homing Ridgebacks in need. The donations we raise will help the RRWT continue with its great work. Their volunteers will stop at nothing to help a Ridgeback in need as this story, with a wonderful happy ending for a dog on 'death row' shows.
Me: What advice can you give to those grieving the loss of a pet?
Elaine: I think the key thing is to take things at your own pace and know that however you 'feel' is not wrong. People talk about the cycle of grief and in some circumstances there are periods of anger and resentment to work through. If you have friends and family who you can lean on - lean on them. If they are real friends they will understand and step up to the mark.
It seems so hard that our pet's lives are so much shorter than ours, but I take comfort from a little anecdote I once heard. A boy who had lost his dog told his friends (with a wisdom beyond his years) that he felt that people had to spend a lot of time growing up and learning how to live good lives and love everybody and be nice - but dogs already know all that so they don't have to stay here so long.
Visit Lost and Fond, and maybe share about a special pet in your life, and check out the pet cause of the year.
Thank you Elaine for sharing with us and for the great work you do on Lost and Fond. And hugs to Winnie too!
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Are you feeling as hot as Kelly and her friend, Charlie? They just finished running and playing and are now panting in the summer heat.
The pleasure of jogging and running is rather like that of wearing a fur coat in Texas in August: the true joy comes in being able to take the damn thing off.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Although Kelly is nearly 10 years old, she still runs and jumps like a pup.
(photo by Jennifer May)
Our yellow lab, Hudson, however, was slow and arthritic by the time he was 10. At the time, I didn't know as much about quality dog food as I do now. I often wonder if I'd fed him better quality food, if it would have improved his health.
Recently I attended a briefing by Pet md and Hill's Science Diet and learned about My Bowl for dogs, which helped me visualize nutritional needs for pets. Also, now that I'm dieting with my dog, I've discovered how quality ingredients in pet food can affect our dogs' health and weight. And if you have a pet with mobility issues, you might want to check out Hills Healthy Mobility. You can even have your dog try and see. Just take the Hills Healthy Mobility Challenge. All you do is sign up for free $30 Hill's Healthy Mobility Coupon try the food for 30 days, and report back your results. You'll also be entered in a sweepstakes to win one of 30 prizes of free pet food for a year!
Kelly may be spry now, but I'm sure to keep an eye on her as she enters her doggy silver years. I want to keep those bones and joints strong for as long as possible.
This one is by Go Pet
Here's one, the Hound Round.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
We're cooking up something exciting...we're working out all the details... and if you join, you might lose. Lose weight, that is. Announcing a fun way to get fit and healthy with your dog:
Koly & Kelly's K9 Kamp
What is K9 Kamp?
Fitness challenges, healthy recipes, weight loss tips, prizes, and more!
Koly & Kelly's K9 Kamp runs for 6 weeks, from September 8th to October 13th. During the week, both Kol's Notes and Peggy's Pet Place will blog helpful tips and motivation for losing weight and getting fit with your dog. And, you won't want to miss the main event, the Thursday Fitness Challenge! These challenges:
*are easy (and can be adjusted to fit any fitness level)
*take only a short time (no more than 1 hr each week, and you can divide into a few shorter sessions.)
* include games like Fetch It Yourself and Tug With Me
*offer participants opportunities to win great prizes!
In addition, Kol's Notes is offering some great healthy recipes on Tasty Tuesdays. And every Friday I'll bring you an interview with one of our wonderful Featured Bloggers who will be participating right along with us.
You'll discover more about their blogs, and why they decided to join Koly & Kelly's K9 Kamp, and how they're doing on the challenges. These bloggers are already excited and waiting for the fun to begin.
You can join Koly & Kelly's K9 Kamp too! Come visit Peggy's Pet Place and Kol's Notes starting September 8th. Then, just jump in when you want, share when you complete a challenge, and you'll be entered for great prizes, like an e-subsciption to FIDO Friendly magazine, collar and leash from Doggie Stylish, toys, treats and an autographed copy of my book Dieting with my Dog!
And our first Featured Blogger on September 9th!
So do you want to get fit with us?!
Kolchak & Jodi and Kelly & Peggy
* The American Veterinary Association estimates that there are 41.2 million pet dogs in the US and a recent study by Phizer suggests that nearly 47% are considered overweight. WHAT THE BARK?! That is a whole lot of pups. Staying active and keeping your pet in shape is the first step to ensuring good health, so join K9 Kamp and get fit and have fun with your dog.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
* Hurrah! PJ's Pets, with 41 stores across Canada, announced recently that they'll stop selling pets in the store and will instead promote adoption. The Huffington Post says the pet store's decision comes "at a time of growing public awareness and unrest over the perils of pet stores and puppy mills." Do you know of a pet shop in your area that refuses to sell puppies and kittens and promotes pet adoption?
* abc news reports that dognappings have risen by 49% in the past year. That's a huge number. Keep your pet safe. The American Kennel Club recommends microchipping.
* According to web md, German researchers say that dogs are able to sniff out lung cancer in humans. Previously dogs have been able to detect diabetes, skin cancer, breast cancer and other diseases.
* This weekend coming up is BlogPaws conference, a fantastic event for pet bloggers. Speakers, workshops, meet & greets, and wonderful opportunities for bloggers to get to know each other and learn more about blogging too.
Special event: Animal Center Education Services (ACES) workshop
with Mike Arms, president of the Helen Woodward Animal Center,
Krissie Newman, co-founder of the Ryan Newman Foundation, and
Angela Morris, Coordinator of P&G Pet Care's Office for Animal Welfare.
Keynote address by Rescue Ink.
If you aren't able to attend this year, maybe next year. Also check out BlogPaws West.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Smartest-- Dogs. For communication and trainability, dogs win!
id you know that the average dog can learn about 165 words? Don't forget about Chaser the Border Collie who understands 1000 words!
Cats can learn about 35 words. The smartest cat is the Maine Coon Cat.
Fastest-Dogs. Greyhounds are capable of running 40 miles per hour. This is not faster than the cheetah, which can run about 65 mph. But since they are not a house pet, they don't count.
Most agile- Cats. Cats have great body control and are much more nimble than most dogs.
Hardest working-- Dogs. Just look at their resumes: guide dogs, police dogs, assistance dogs, therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, herding dogs, etc!
In your own personal experience, which pet you would nominate for any of these categories- Softest? Most cuddly? Most empathetic? Laziest? Most destructive? Best behaved? Worst behaved? Most devoted?
Saturday, August 20, 2011
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
Friday, August 19, 2011
Recently they ran a pet writing contest, Leave No Dog Behind, about "the most memorable trip with Fido." I'm excited to say that I won third place in that contest! Grand Prize winner Sunny Kaplan's story is printed in the July/Aug 2011 issue.
Here is a picture of my dog Schuyler (all grown up) and here is my winning story, below. You can also see it, along with the second place winner by Jill Schlip, at Leave No Dog Behind Writing Contest on Fido Friendly's website.
Puppy Love Honeymoon
By Peggy Frezon
I’ll just say it straight out: although I’d dreamed of my honeymoon often, I never imagined anything—not any part of it—involving our three-month-old Dalmatian puppy.
Like most brides, I pictured an intimate getaway—even if we were just driving a few hours away, the travel there would still be part of the romantic journey. On the day of the wedding, however, our puppysitter backed out on us. No one else seemed willing to step in. Board our baby in a kennel? We didn’t have the heart. So, our honeymoon became a trip for hubby and me and spotted puppy makes three.
Mike and I picked up our last-minute passenger at my father’s condominium, where he’d been waiting in the bedroom. He’d eaten my shoes.
“Not off to a good start, Schuyler,” I said.
Throughout the two-hour drive from Vermont to Montreal, Schuyler whined in his crate in the back. We pulled over to take him out for a walk. Again. And again. Three month old puppies don’t have the best bladder control.
Then a surprise storm brought snow and ice pelting the highway. We inched along in blizzard conditions. Gripping the wheel, Mike’s knuckles turned as white as the falling flakes. When Schuyler’s whines forced us to make another stop, I slogged through frigid drifts up to my knees. Finally we reached the border to Canada. We were almost there. Things were bound to improve now.
A border officer peered into our car. “May I see your immunization records?”
“Oh dear, I didn’t know I’d need them. I’m sure I’m up to date, though,” I stammered. “I just had a check-up.”
“Not yours. The dog’s.” The officer scowled.
Schuyler scratched at his crate door. Mike smiled at the officer hopefully. “Oh, he’s had his puppy shots, but we don’t have the papers with us.” He laughed lightly. “Strangely enough, we weren’t planning on bringing our dog on our honeymoon.”
It didn’t matter. The officer wasn’t interested. “He needs a rabies shot,” the man said.
“But our dog’s not old enough yet,” Mike replied. “He’s scheduled for one at 16 weeks.”
“Get him a rabies shot, or you can’t take the dog across the border.”
I shuddered a bit. That officer was intimidating. I glanced back at our puppy. Poor Schuyler, it wasn’t his fault. The officer gave us directions to a veterinarian about 5 miles back in Vermont. There was nothing else to do but turn around.
We considered giving up and going home, but the driving was treacherous, and the two hour trip back would surely take at least twice that long. Besides, Montreal was only a stone’s throw away, if only we could get across that border!
Happy to be out of the car, Schuyler bounded into the vet’s office. “Is the rabies shot harmful this early?” I asked. The veterinarian assured us it was okay. He very kindly administered the immunization, and very kindly charged us an exorbitant fee for his services.
“What a con,” Mike grumbled under his breath, counting out the bills. That veterinarian had a sweet deal being located so close to the border. Finally, we arrived at a pet-friendly hotel. Well, to be clear, the hotel allowed pets, but the experience was far from friendly. No special amenities in the room, no designated place to walk your dog. Once again, I climbed over mountainous drifts, Schuyler and I blazing a trail in the deep snow.
Back in the room, I changed into a slinky black dress to go out to dinner. We’d managed a passing glimpse of the dining room on the way in, and it looked inviting. Mike buttoned his new blue dress shirt. “We’ll be back,” he told Schuyler, scratching our pup’s ears. Schuyler looked at us with sad eyes. The minute we left the room, he started crying. As we made our way down the hall, the whines turned to torturous barks.
“We can’t leave him barking like that,” I said. “We’ll get kicked out.”
Dinner that night? You guessed it; room service, with an extra burger for Schuyler. And our wedding night was certainly cozy, as Schuyler squeezed his chubby little body between us and snored peacefully. We headed back home the next morning. What was the point? And yet, as we traveled along the winter-white roads, I couldn’t help smiling. At the next pit stop, Mike threw a snowball. I threw one back. Schuyler jumped; monkey in the middle. The three of us romped and played together until we were nearly frozen.
I let Schuyler join us in the front seat of the parked car as we sipped takeout cups of cocoa from a nearby restaurant. He wriggled until he found just the right position. Mike and I held hands. I rubbed my thumb across the smooth gold of my wedding band.
At that moment, I was glad we'd brought Schuyler. Everything was perfect; just being there together with the wonderful man I’d married, and our warm spotted puppy with his full, round belly, snuggled up on the car seat between us. I wouldn’t have dreamed it, but yes, it was romantic.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I spent a good part of the afternoon looking back. So here it is, My 7 Links:
1. My most beautiful post: Kelly visits life sized sculptures.
I enjoyed photographing Kelly taking her place among these statues in downtown Albany NY.
2. My most popular post: The Dogs of Toy Story 3
For a post with 0 comments, analytics consistently shows this post about Slinky Dog and Buster as one of my most viewed, with many thousands of pageviews!
3. My most controversial post: A 6-Toed Puffin Retriever
Some found this unusual breed of dog beautiful. Some found his extra toes creepy.
4. My most helpful post: How to Make Your Own Dog Toys and Homemade Holiday Gifts for Dogs.
In today's economy, it seems that tips to save a little money really hit home.
5. A post whose success surprised me: Magical Mystery Mutt Tour
I had so much fun with this one! Will My Dog Hate Me, I Still Want More Puppies and Peggy's Pet Place joined forces to present a fun dog breed guessing contest. The blog hop was great, and even resulted in a company offering us DNA test kits to try on our own dogs, and to give away!
6. A post I feel didn't get the attention it deserved: Mouth to Muzzle first aid
Probably everyone should be familiar with basic first aid for their pets, including how to administer rescue breathing.
7. The post I am most proud of: 32 Simple Things You Do that Matter to Dogs.
It came from the heart.
Now, here are the bloggers I'd nominate to feature their own My 7 Links:
1. Frankly Speaking
2. Pip Gets Back in the Game
3. Two French Bulldogs
4. Bocci's Beefs
5. Cindy Lu's Muse
And here is one that is not a dog blog, but I think you'll love it anyway!
6. My 5 Sons
Thank you Grouchy Puppy!
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
*Read Two Little Cavaliers post about Wylie the Afghanistan stray dog who was abused in the streets and is now being rescued and headed for a great new home.
*Google News reports that CC (Carbon Copy) the first cloned cat, turns 10. She is healthy, has given birth to healthy kittens, and lives in a gorgeous air conditioned cat condo in Texas.
* Why do pets with a new baby in the house get fat? TODAYMoms says that one reason is because new parents often let dogs clean up food dropped from baby's high chair.
* I think these Golden Retrievers have the right idea!
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
(above, my two kids with Hudson and a littermate.)
Because of the new movie, Marley and Me, The Puppy Years, just released on DVD, I've been thinking of our own "worst dog ever," our yellow lab, Hudson. He's been over the Rainbow Bridge for nearly a decade now, but we still think of him lovingly. Even Kelly, who used to eat all his food, steal his toys, and even drink all his water, loved him. We miss you, Hudson!
Hudson, the Puppy Years!
Baby Hudson liked to nap, but never too far away.
Hudson was an excellent swimmer, but not a great hunter. He liked to swim WITH the ducks!
Hudson's motto: Woof loudly and carry a big stick!
Monday, August 15, 2011
Starting tomorrow, fans of "the worst dog ever" will be able to view the prequel, sure to be filled with scenes of adorable puppy Marley captured in adorable--and naughty--puppy antics. I haven't yet seen the movie, but here is what I consider to be the pros and cons:
Pros: A celebration of yellow lab puppydom!
Pros: More Marley! Who can get enough?
Cons: Talking dogs. While the original Marely & Me didn't feature talking canines, the prequel does. I'm not sure why they decided to resort to this.
Cons: The movie is only available direct to DVD, which may be an indication that it is not "big enough" to warrant a feature film.
You can get your copy of Marley & Me, the Puppy Years starting tomorrow, exclusively at Walmart. Here's a peek at the movie trailer:
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Paws for Thought
Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden. ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
I cultivate my garden, and my garden cultivates me. ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there. ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732
and that verbose Author Unknown had more to say about gardens!
Plant carrots in January and you'll never have to eat carrots. ~Author Unknown
God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done. ~Author Unknown
You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt. ~Author Unknown
Friday, August 12, 2011
A few days ago I was invited to join in the Hills Science Diet Ideal Balance and Pet MD My Bowl for Dogs Briefing. Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM and other organizers discussed the important topic of pet nutrition.
According to surveys, 80% of pet parents think that the nutritional needs of dogs are similar to their own nutritional needs. That is, we believe that dogs need meat protein, large amounts of vegetables and fruits and small amounts of carbohydrates. The truth is, dog's nutritional needs are different than people's. Dogs can eat many of the same foods as people, but the main difference is in proportion.
MY PLATE: MY BOWL:
My Bowl (with an additional bowl of water at all times!) helps illustrate how much protein, carbohydrates, fats and oils, vitamins and minerals are needed for balanced nutrition. For example, about 50% of the dog's food should be from carbs. The most important consideration with carbs, as with all ingredients, is choosing healthy carb options such as whole grains, brown rice or potatoes.
Protein should be listed first on the dog food bag, and look for quality protein such as chicken, lamb and fish. Fruits and vegetables are an important natural source of vitamins and minerals. Olive oil is an excellent source of fats and oils.
The My Bowl illustration definitely helped me gain a better understanding of how the proportions for dog food differ from My Plate. I always try to look for the best quality ingredients I can afford (some are just too far out of my budget), and now I will also consider in what proportions the ingredients are offered. This may take a bit of sleuthing with the dog food labels, but maybe in time this type of information will be made clear on packaging.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
As you can see, Kelly loved her treat! But, what exactly is in Frosty Paws? Is it fattening? Are there any options? I did a little research, and here is a comparison of 3 different frozen treats for dogs available at your supermarket.
1. Frosty Paws
The first 5 ingredients:
The rest of the ingredients appear to be vitamins and preservatives. There were an awful lot of those multisyllabic words that I'm not really sure what exactly they are.
Calories: 128 calories per serving
The first 5 Ingredients:
Organic nonfat yogurt
organic banana puree
organic peanut butter
There were only 2 other ingredients listed, both organic.
Calories: 98 calories per serving
Other Yoghund flavors include organic blueberry and vanilla bean, natural apple and cheddar, papaya and peanut butter. These ranged from 34- 62 calories per serving.
3. Nature's Variety Sweet Spots
The first 5 Ingredients:
There were 2 other ingredients, both of which sounded like real food.
Calories: 95 per serving
Do your dogs enjoy frozen treats? Have you tried these products? Are they easily located in your grocery store? Do you think they are worth the price?
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
* Last week I reported on the proposed ban on dogs in Jiangmen China, with the heartbreaking outcome of thousands of pets being torn from their owners and relocated or killed.
Now, due to public outcry, NPR reports that public officials have relented and there will be no ban on dogs in Jiangmen China, and residents may keep their dogs.
* We can't say it enough...never leave your pet in a hot car. Check out My Dog is Cool!
* Here's an easy way to spread the word about adoptable pets: share their photo on your Facebook wall. Maybe one of your friends will find "the one" and voila! A match is made. To help pets are spending their last days in a shelter, check out Lucky Dog Pet Pardons on Be the Change for Animals.
* I'm happy to announce Contest Winners: Congratulations to k9friend and iamHolly, winners of my Innova pet food contest! Please email me at peggyfrezon (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing addresses to claim your prize! Thank you everyone for entering.