Thursday, February 27, 2014

FitDog Friday - What the heck is Skijoring?

You wake up, look out the window and it's cold and snowy outside. What do you say?

A. "I'm going back to bed, wake me in the spring."
B. "Winter, Schminter! Nothings going to keep me from getting out and getting fit with my dogs!"
C. "I'm going skijoring!"


If you're like me, you've never heard of skijoring before reading (or for me, writing) this post. But I was researching ways to get fit in the winter, and found this interesting option. A few caveats:
1. Your chihuahua, or other small dog, probably shouldn't participate in skijoring.
2. As with any sport, you need proper equipment to ensure no one gets hurt.
3. Make sure you and your dog are physically fit before beginning.

Image Credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Skijoring is a sport originating in Scandinavia, which involves skis and dogs. A person moves along on skis while the dog provides extra power by pulling. Up to three dogs may be used. (In other variations, horses or trucks are used to pull the skier.)  Since both the skier and the dog are physically participating, it's great exercise for both!

1. Skijoring belt for skier
2. sled dog harness for dog
3. rope
4. skis and ski poles

Breeds of dogs who enjoy skijoring:
1. Huskies
2. Samoyeds
3. Retrievers
4. Mastiffs
5. Any dog with a desire to run and pull

At first I worried about these dogs having to pull extra weight, but since the skier also moves, the dog doesn't have to do all the work. Every dog would have different limits. I think it would be important to watch your dog for signs of tiring, or just not enjoying it any more. Also, watch the weather, and keep alert to signs of your dog being too cold. These are just common sense issues for most of us. Of course, it is important that the dog wears a harness, and the skier never hitches the rope to a collar around the dog's neck. Once all the safety issues are cleared, then it's time to get out there and start skijoring!

*Fun Fact: The US held the world's largest skijoring event in 2011, in Minneapolis. 

 I grew up in Vermont and enjoyed cross country skiing, and I think that being able to share this sport with my dog would be so much fun! I'm pretty sure Kelly would want no part of pulling anything, however. And Ike would probably be willing, but getting him to move in front of me, rather than wanting to be at my side (or on top of me) would be the challenge.

Would your dog enjoy skijoring?'re kidding, right?

 For more information:
Sled Dog Central
Skijor Now

**THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED THE K9KAMP RAFFLECOPTER. We had a fantastic response with more than 1900 "points" entered! AND THE WINNER, chosen at random, IS:
Kelly T
Please contact me with your mailing address so we can get you your prizes!

FitDog Friday is co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place, Slimdoggy, and To Dog with Love. Join our hop!

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Someone feeling ill? Send a Get Well Dog

While my husband was recently in critical condition in the hospital, he received many wonderful get well cards, and because people know he's a dog-lover, many of them featured a dog. The wonderful variety of illustrations and wishes made me smile.

This pug enwrapped in the blood pressure cuff might be my favorite.


And there's nothing like the homophone, "Heal!"

A dog in a cone always sends the right message.

 A poetic "Sorry to hear your tail is drooping" the inside reads, "Take all the time you need recouping."

Some yellow labs never hurt.

I'm not sure why this dog's bone is making music, but I love his tapping tail.

And someone threw in a cat card, just for variety.

So if you know someone who isn't feeling well, be sure to send them a get well dog (or even a cat) and cheer them up....just like these cards cheered us!

p.s. After more than 30 days in the hospital (pulmonary embolism, internal bleeding, perforated bowel, surgery, fluid in the lungs, etc) my husband is finally home and doing well on the long road to recovery! :

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there! 

Friday, February 21, 2014

K9Kamp Around the Kampfire Blog Hop Fun

K9Kamp Around the Kampfire Blog Hop

We've all worked hard. Had fun. Played hide and seek. Visited each other. Left some comments. And now it's time to pull up a stump and gather around the warm, crackling Kampfire and share our stories. How did you do? I can't wait to find out.

Although my time was limited, busy and stressed, I figured this was the perfect time to keep up with make sure the dogs are having some fun and exercise, even when our routine isn't normal.  We played hide and seek with several different variations:

I hid Ike's favorite "snowball" toy in plain sight.

Ike had no trouble "seeking" his snowball.

I hid a ball under the bucket.

Kelly pawed at the bucket to get at the ball.

Ike didn't seek under the bucket, so I hid the ball in plain view.

Ike finds the ball!


Good boy Ike!

Here's Kelly's lizard.

Kelly found it right away.

Kelly enjoys her reward.

The lizard doesn't stand a chance.

Did I play good Hide and Seek, Mom?

How did you enjoy your Hide and Seek games and K9Kamp? Share your results here in our blog hop!
K9Kamp and FitDog Friday is hosted by Slimdoggy, Peggy's Pet Place, and To Dog with Love.

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Dr. Ike is in the house

Dr. Ike has been busy. He's helping take care of his Dad.

His Dad had encountered several serious health conditions, including pulmonary embolisms and internal bleeding, and has been in the hospital for several weeks, and will be recuperating at home for many months. The good news is, hes going to be okay. But Ike, Kelly and I will be blogging a bit less frequently for a little while. And we haven't been able to get around and visit you and your blogs as we'd like to, either. I hope you don't forget us while we're away.

We'll still be here at K9Kamp. We kept up with our games of Hide and Seek because everyone knows that fun and fitness is good for you. We can't wait to see your posts next week, February 21, for our Around the Kampfire blog hop where we share our Kamp experiences! It's not too late to join in Kamp- just check out our challenge, write your post, and link up next Friday.

Also, don't forget to enter our Rafflecopter for a great prize package valued at more than $100! Anyone can enter, regardless of whether you participated in Kamp or not. (Check out these prizes!)

I'd also like to thank Slimdoggy and To Dog with Love for helping me out with my Kamp duties while I've been attending to my husband.

FitDog Friday and K9Kamp are co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place, Slimdoggy, and To Dog with Love.

Join the hop!
Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Can a dog Tap and Swipe an ipad? See Bernese Mountain Dog's first Commercial

I met Bernese Mountain Dog Gabriel in the hospital two years ago. Our story appears in Angels on Earth magazine Jan/Feb 2014. He's stayed a good pal of mine, and has even visited my husband Mike twice during his current hospitalization. Gabriel keeps busy visiting hospitals, nursing homes, colleges...and now he's even star of his first commercial!

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

K9Kamp #3- Make our Hide and Seek Challenge Your Own

Welcome to FitDog Friday and week 3 of K9Kamp! Co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place, Slimdoggy, and To Dog with Love. If you missed Week 1:
check back to find out what it's all about
check out our first challenge
enter our great prize Rafflecopter!

So how are you doing? Have you thought of your own way to make our Hide and Seek challenge your own? Are you hiding something unique? Playing the game someplace special? Maybe you're setting the record for playing the most times. Or, for hiding and finding the most different objects? Do you or your dog have a special need--how have you made our challenge work for your special needs?

I can't wait to read your posts and find out how you've done with the challenge. I hope you've had fun so far. The challenge ends on February 14th. Then, take the next week to prepare your post. Don't forget to take pictures, and link up on February 21st for our K9Kamp Around the Kampfire blog hop!

And...enter the Rafflecopter. It's open to EVERYONE. You could win this great K9Kamp prize package:

Petmate Interactive Treat Tower
Chuck-It fetch ball
Dogzilla Large rubber bone for strong chewers
Aikiou Interactive Dog Feeder
Medium Paw Plunger
1 bag SmartCookee all-natural treats (5 oz.--your choice of flavor)
The Dieting with my Dog Guide to Weight Loss and Maintenance
Slimdoggy t-shirt
Slimdoggy frisbee

FitDog Friday is co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place, Slimdoggy, and To Dog with Love

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there! 


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Kelly, Ike and the Big Green Chair #RecipeforMoments

Here is my Big Green Chair in the furniture store showroom.

Here is my Big Green Chair in real life:

My family and the Big Green Chair

My chair is not empty like in the showroom. It's full of dogs and people, blankets and pillows and books and cookie crumbs. This is where my dogs Kelly and Ike and I spend our special moments together.

Sure, we take walks together, and they're great. And we get out in the yard and play fetch. And those times are special. We love keeping active and fit together. But the most special moments are when we are cuddled together in my Big Green Chair, snuggling, smooching, sometimes snoozing.

We each have our own place on the Big Green Chair. I get the side close to the little table where I can rest my book or beverage. Ike likes to lie on the ottoman, then he climbs up onto my lap.

Kelly is funny, because she prefers the highest spot.

We each have our own place and we each settle in there every evening, and tell each other about our day. I rub Ike's ears. I reach up and pat Kelly. And I feel their warm bodies next to me, Ike warming my legs and Kelly warming my neck, and it is comforting and relaxing and peaceful.

There are times, of course, when it's not so peaceful. Kelly is playful. Ike wants me to throw his tennis ball. If I'm trying to read, they stick their head in between me and the pages. If I'm working on the laptop they step on the keyboard. Times like these, all I can do is put aside my work and take a break and give them some attention. And usually they are right--it's just what I needed.

There also was the time I wasn't feeling well. I wrapped myself up in a blanket on my Big Green Chair. Before I knew it, the dogs joined me. It made me feel a lot better.

Currently, my husband is ill and in critical condition in the ICU. Every day I come home from the hospital and the first place I go is to my Big Green Chair. The dogs climb up beside me and their presence comforts me. Just knowing that they're here for me helps me know I can get through anything.

My Big Green Chair may not look as pristine as it did in the showroom. The cushions are lopsided. The seat is covered with dog hair. But I like it better this way. Don't you agree?

*Just after I wrote this, I saw this cartoon in the newspaper. Have they been spying on me?!

The relationships we share with our pets are meaningful. Patting a dog has even been shown to lower blood pressure and lift depression. Nature's Recipe ® is looking at the human-animal bond in a different way: through the eyes of the pet. Just look at the adorable pictures on the Recipe for Moments Scrapbooks! The pictures, taken with a collar cam, are a great dog's eye view--it really helps me to see the world through a dog's eyes! It's funny to see the angle they get, looking up at the sky, the fridge, and us!

Join the #RecipeforMoments blog hop and share your special moments with your pet. Nature's Recipe is giving away a chance to win one of 5 camera collars to bloggers who join the blog hop. Be sure to tag your post #RecipeForMoments

This post is sponsored by Nature’s Recipe on behalf of the BlogPaws Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Nature’s Recipe for Moments on behalf of Nature’s Recipe, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Nature’s Recipe is not responsible for the content of this article.

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Calling all Goldens--Be a Hero Today

When Jackie and I decided to create this blog hop, we gave a lot of thought about what to call it. We tossed around a lot of names, but Give Cancer the Paw seemed right. What does Give Cancer the Paw mean?
  One meaning could be sort of a “we’re not going to let this disease bully us” type of attitude. But to me, Give Cancer the Paw is that we’re all joining hands—and paws—and uniting together to share information that builds a better understanding of issues surrounding canine and feline cancer, discuss methods of prevention, and most of all support for one another. We’ve probably all been touched by cancer in some way--whether it’s a loved one or a beloved pet. Here’s your place to share your thoughts, pictures and tributes as well.

I’ve recently adopted two golden retrievers. Some of you remember Brooks. He was a 12 year old golden with a big, golden heart. Sadly, we lost him to cancer a year after we adopted him.

Brooks was a good boy.

Now we have 8 year old Ike. He had some anemia and weight loss, which the doctor thought was possibly leukemia. Since then, Ike’s blood levels have improved, so we’re hoping that’s not the case. But we’ll be keeping a watchful eye on the situation.

Ike always gets the best seat in the house.

Since falling in love with Golden Retrievers, I learned that the breed has a much higher rate of dying of cancer than any other breed. According to the National Canine Cancer Association, 60% of goldens who develop cancer will die from some form of it.  The Morris Animal Foundation wants to learn why, and discover links that may help not only Goldens, but all breeds, and even people.

The Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study aims to following 3,000 purebred golden retrievers for 12- 14 years. The study requires no special treatments or procedures--you fill out annual questionnaires about your pets' lifestyle, diet, exercise, behavior, travel, health and environment and submit them through a secure online portal.

Moses would eat anything--including this stuffie.

 So far 600 dogs are enrolled. There is room for more. Your golden can be a hero to so many others dealing with cancer. To participate contact the Morris Animal Foundation. Help us discover important clues to curing and treating canine cancer.

Be a Golden Hero!

Join Give Cancer the Paw blog hop 2/6. Co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place and Pooch Smooches.

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!