Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Special Prayer at the Western Wall

This month my dear friend Lori took a birthday vacation to the Holy Land. One day while she was there, I received a Facebook message from her. "I went to the Western Wall today."

I thought of pictures I'd seen of the Western Wall, also known by some as the Wailing Wall, a 1601-foot long limestone wall in Old City of Jerusalem.

"It's a custom to stick notes in the cracks between the stones to ask God to grant requests," she continued. "I wrote a special one for Ernest."

So tiny!
 Ernest was just diagnosed with cancer.

"There is very little space in that wall, and it's difficult to stuff the notes in the cracks, so that's why the paper is so small!" Over a million notes are placed in the Western Wall each year!

I was so touched that my friend brought such a special request across so many miles to a place so far away.

Here is the note tucked in the stones:

Ernest's note.

Thank you Lori for praying for Ernest, and for bringing this request to God in such a special way.

My friend Lori at the Western Wall.
Thank you God for hearing this prayer. We pray Ernest will be healed of his cancer. Amen.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Petting your Dog may Save His Life

Petting your dog may save his life.

Ernest is a good boy.
 A few weeks ago Ernest was at his therapy dog prep class. In between exercises my husband was petting him, stroking his fur like we both do numerous times a day. I'm sure you do with your dog, too. But this time he felt something different. A small bump near Ernest's shoulder.

Later that night he showed me. It looked like a mosquito bite. I didn't think anything of it at all.

Mike shows me the lump.

It's barely the size of a mosquito bite.
 A few days later we were at a vet appointment for our puppy. Ernest was with us. Mike happened to mention the bump to the vet. She looked, taking more interest in it than I thought, which surprised me. "I'll aspirate it and take a look," she said, inserting a small needle into the area. To be honest, my only thought at the time was, here goes our bill up, up, up!

The next night we received a phone call about 9pm. The vet.  "It's not benign," she said. I listened, barely believing her words. I thought Ernest was fine. He had no symptoms. And the bump was so small. But now the bump had a name: mast cell tumor.

Monday Ernest had surgery to remove the tumor.

Ernest's scar on his right shoulder.
 Tissue was sent for a biopsy. Stage 1 is a pretty good prognosis. Stage 2 could go either way. Stage 3 means it has already spread. The biopsy shows it is a stage 2 tumor.

None of us know how long we have. It's no different for Ernest. We're just going to give Ernest the best, happiest, most loving life we can, and the best health care within our means. We have a wonderful veterinarian we trust and we know that she'll take good care of us. We plan to continue with therapy dog classes (only one left and then he'll take his test!) and if he passes, Ernest will fulfill his destiny (we believe) to be a therapy dog.

Paw Power!

He's recovering from surgery well. The tumor has been removed. And all because my husband was petting him one night.

So petting your dog can save his life.

And you can bet, we'll be petting Ernest a lot.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Back to School Treats #ChewyInfluencer

Hi there, Petey here. Wednesday I told you that I was going to school. Well, every good dog who goes to school knows that means one thing:  TREATS!!  And where does Mom get my treats? Can you guess? I spelled it out for you on Mom's refrigerator.

Mom and I and Ernest are Chewy Influencers. Chewy sent us this awesome bag of Natural Balance mini rewards treats. Whenever I do something good, Mom gives me one. They're mini size, so I don't have to worry about my figure--less than 5 calories each.

They're made with high quality proteins. The first ingredient is duck, and they also contain sweet potatoes. Other flavors available are chicken and lamb. Can I just say that learning is delicious?!

Check out these and other yummy treats on Chewy.

What flavor treats do you like when you are learning new things? Hot dogs? Cheese? Bacon?

Full Disclosure: Chewy sent us one 4oz bag mini rewards in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Petey's First Day of School

The first day of school is here for Petey. He's ready to start his training to eventually become a therapy dog.

Here he is  at 12 weeks old and ready to learn. He's enrolled in puppy kindergarten with trainer Teri. I like Teri because she emphasizes a positive learning environment. No pushing and tugging and jerking. She has lots of lessons for little puppies. Here Pete's learning "sit."

There is even recess! The pups get to zoom around and play together. If one gets to be a bit bossy or possessive with a toy, Teri intervenes, scoops the puppy up and gently holds him for a little time out. This way Petey will learn about positive interactions with other dogs. Here he's playing with Luna. And yes, Petey got a time out too.

We had a fun obstacle course too. Pete went through a tunnel and hula hoop.

Pete loves school! I hope he graduates!
 What tips do you have for Pete as he goes through puppy kindergarten?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Personalized Books About YOUR Pet

I love books about dogs--partly because I write books about dogs and the human-animal bond. But I also love reading books about dogs, and I read a lot of them. In addition, I love reading books about dogs to my granddaughters. And personalized books about my own dogs? What's not to love?!

 Look! Here are some adorable books about Ernest and Petey.

I See Me! Books released a series of illustrated, personalized rhyming storybooks narrated from YOUR dog's perspective. If My Dog Could Talk. They offered me a chance to review the books, and sent me one for Petey, Ernest, and even one as a memorial for our spaniel Kelly.

My name, other family members' names and my dog's names were incorporated into the artwork. We enjoyed seeing Petey's name on his dog bed, Ernest's name on a dog bowl, and my name on a picture on the wall. The cute little rhyme expressed our dogs' devotion to their family and the book ended with a loving message.

The books are bright and fun, well-made, with great attention to detail and personalization in multiple places, not just once or twice. 

You simply submit information such as your dog's name, and choose from 12 dog "styles" and several color options that make it easy to select a dog that looks like yours--big dogs, little furry dogs, poodley dogs, long-eared dogs, terriers, dachshunds, shepherds, hounds, etc. You can also send photographs of your dog which are printed in the front and back of the book.

You can also get the book with a gift set which includes these adorable bandanas and a dog food place mat. The bandana is happily a nice quality with the name embroidered on, not a flimsy iron-on.

I See Me! If My Dog Could Talk would be an adorable gift for a child with a new dog, to celebrate your own dog's adoption, to memorialize the loss of a pet, for a veterinarian or pet sitter, or just for yourself to enjoy. Read it to someone you love...or maybe even a dog you love!

Check out the dog illustrations on this page. Which dog looks closest to your dog? Which color would you choose?

Your purchase will help an animal organization. This month, I See Me! will donate proceeds to Minnesota's Secondhand Hounds. If you order this month, use the code HOUND and you'll get 10% off your purchase, good through the month of August.

I See Me! also makes books for children to celebrate birthdays, baptisms, and other occasions, and other personalized products such as puzzles, lunchboxes and stickers.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I was sent 2 gift sets and one additional book in exchange for my honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion. Opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.