Foster Puppies

Meet Amy

 and Bernadette (aka Bernie). 

They are two pups that are with the Windy City Canine Rescue that Marlin is letting us foster.  :)  There are 8 pups in the litter of Springer Spaniel pups – the mom was purchased from an ad on kijiji and when she went to get her spayed, the vet discovered she was pregnant.  Sure enough a few days later, 8 little cuties pop out.  As often seems to be the case, by the time the pups start to be about 5 weeks old, the owner of the mom is starting to feel overwhelmed by the extra responsibilities she wasn’t planning on.  (And by the amount of poop these two produce, I’m not surprised!) So into rescue they came.  2 other ones are with Lorelei and the other 4 are with another foster home.

The first day was a breeze… all they did was sleep, eat and poop. They would be awake for maybe 5 minutes after pooping and then go back to sleep.

Their first night was also a breeze.  We kept our door open so we would hear them if they got upset (they are downstairs in the kitchen) but we didn’t hear a peep.

These last two days have been more active and fun. Their little tails wag like crazy when they see me in the morning.  They eat their meals like champs. Bernadette even licks out the dish! (Coulee would be proud had she noticed, but seeing as she can’t bring herself to look at them…)

I took them outside yesterday at lunch for an hour or so.  After spending a bit of time getting their bearings they had a great time running around and playing.

We’ve done pretty casual intros with the other critters in the house.  The girls want nothing to do with them for the most part, but I could see Lacey debating whether or not she was excited or scared yesterday when they were outside so I bet, given a little more time, they’ll hit it off.

The puppies are super respectful.  A little grumble from Coulee (from 2 feet away) sends them sprawling on their backs.  A hiss from Lu gets them to back up.  Jack is shockingly the most comfortable with them. Amy was just relaxing on my lap last night and Jack came up and sniffed her, let her sniff him and even take a gentle little nibble at his tail.  :)

It’s cute seeing little bits of personality already.  Loud noises send Bernie looking for safety.  She doesn’t like it when Coulee barks, when the smoke alarm went off or when there are any sudden noises.  In new places though, she is the first to go off exploring.  Amy needs a moment to take everything in, but once she decides it’s OK, she seems the braver of the two.  She is smitten with Coulee and Lacey and wags her little tail furiously at them whenever she sees them, but doesn’t go running up to them. She just sits and stares and wags.
Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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Planning a Vacation With a Dog

Planning a vacation with a dog requires advance planning if you want your trip to be fun for both you and your dog.

The most important things you’ll need to do before taking your summer trip:
Pack a first aid kit. Doggie first aid kits are for sale at your local pet store or pharmacy. If you have the time you can make your own. Include a pair of tweezers to remove ticks, a pair of scissors, adhesive tape, eyewash or drops, gauze bandage, and antiseptic lotion or cream.

Make a copy of your dog’s vaccination records. In case there’s an emergency while you’re away from home you’ll have the important information to show an emergency vet.

Take your pet’s collar and leash for use when you take your dog outside your car or RV. Whenever you take your dog for potty breaks be sure to put its collar on and attach it to a leash. Being in a strange environment with new, unique smells, makes it difficult for any dog to resist checking out everything it can. If your dog is not on a leash it could run off and be hit by a car or get lost. Be sure your phone number is on the current dog tag attached to your pet’s collar or harness. Since most people travel with cell phones, you may want to engrave that number on your dog’s tag.

Take along your dog’s favorite foods so there’ll be no upset stomach from eating different and strange foods. If your dog only drinks water from home, take along as much drinking water as you can and use bottled water whenever possible.

If you need have leather seats in your car, cover them with blankets, towels, or old sheets. You can also use the sheets to cover furniture in a hotel room if your dog is used to sleeping on your bed or sofa. Use towels to clean your dog’s paws after playing in the mud or dirt. And don’t forget the TOYS!. You can help ease the discomfort of traveling by bringing as many of your pet’s toys as you can fit in your vehicle. The familiar smells of a favorite blanket and plenty of chew toys will help calm even the most sensitive dog.

When planning your vacation with your dog and you intend to stay in a hotel, be sure to call the hotel before leaving home to confirm that it’s okay to have your pet in the room with you. Don’t make the same mistake I did when I took my dog on an overnight trip to a small town in Oregon. It was not a pleasant experience arriving at my hotel and finding out they had a new “No Pets Allowed” policy. The worst part about it was trying to find another pet-friendly hotel at 9 o’clock at night. Luckily my dog is such a sweet, loving and gentle animal, the clerk at a smaller hotel took pity on us and gave me a room on the first floor.

When making hotel reservations, choose appropriate accommodations if your pet has behavior issues, like barking at all strange sounds or being aggressive when the cleaning staff is in the room – especially if you’ve left your dog alone. A ground-floor room is best and a corner is your wisest choice if unfamiliar noises easily disturb your dog.

The goal is for you, your pet, and all the other guests to enjoy their stay.

The biggest concern non-dog owners have about pet friendly accommodations is the belief they will be disturbed by a barking dog during their stay. If the hotel’s rules allow you to leave your pet unattended in the room be sure you place a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, notify the front desk and leave your cell phone number with them in case there is an emergency. Turn on the television to cover any outside noises that might disturb your dog. Animal Planet is a great channel for dogs to watch. I say this from experience with my own dog. I tune the TV to Animal Planet and tell him to “stay.” When I return my dog is absorbed in watching TV.

If your dog has separation issues, do not leave it alone in a hotel room, even if the rules permit it. Check with the front desk for information on pet sitters.

If you allow your pet on your furniture at home it will likely want to jump up on the furniture in your hotel room. Bring a couple of old sheets to cover the furniture your pet will be sleeping on or resting on.

Planning a vacation with a dog will ensure a happier and less stressful trip if you take a few simple steps before leaving home.

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Keeping Up With the Puppies

Whoever raises litters of puppies for fun is crazy.  Last week was a breeze – the puppies would play for a bit, sleep for hours and repeat.

This week is a different story.  They play for hours, sleep for a bit and repeat.  Last week their teeth and jaws were ineffective at destroying anything, this week I’ve caught them gnawing away at the baseboards, electrical cords, shoelaces, and more.  Thankfully only the baseboards have shown any wear, but I’ve got to be on my toes.

Lacey has started to play with them, Coulee thinks we brought them home to torture her.  The cats are pretty indifferent – Jack walks away when they get too close and Lu gives them a gentle (claws in) bop on the head when she’s had enough of their sniffing.  They are pretty respectful puppies and tend to grovel when they are told to back off – which is a good thing.

They are still the cutest things ever.

Oh and did I mention we brought a third one into the mix?  This is Leslie. She is quite a sweetheart and has been doing a good job of keeping the play between all of them a little more balanced.

Its amazing how similar they are, yet there are little differences too.  Leslie was the first to go up the stairs (by a few days) but they can now all go up, but no one can (or at least no one does) go down.

Amy is starting to develop colour patches that I swear weren’t there before.  See that little brown smudge next to her eye?  I thought it was dirt. LOL  Turns out it is brown fur.  She’s got another patch on her back and a tiny hint of black on the edge of one of her ears.

Amy and Bernie will bark a little bit while playing but we’ve never heard Leslie do anything but whine.

Bernie is the first to explore new objects but Leslie is the first to explore new places.  Amy likes to sit back and assess the situation before making her move.

They have quite the speedy little runs now when they want.  When Coulee and Lacey try and get away they tend to have a little pack running behind them.  It is really cute to watch.

After much snarling and posturing, Lacey finally caved to the pressure of the puppies and now plays with them. Her favourite game is when she lays on the couch and they reach up to get her.  She tends to play more with them outside and occasionally tries to take on all three at once.

Bernie likes to sample the grass.  And the leaves.  And anything else she can find.

My favourite time is when they are just about to settle in to sleep.  They have the cutest little gentle play sessions.  Their favourite place is the big West Paw bed in the living room.

It doesn’t matter how hard they try, Coulee is immune to their charms.

We’ve got them for almost 2 more weeks before they go home. They are actually going off to meet their first family tonight.  It’s going to be bittersweet when they leave I think.  I’m going to miss the little gaffers.

Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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Dental X-rays: my top front teeth

Some cool tooth images:

Dental X-rays: my top front teeth

Image by jcolman
Dental X-rays: my top front teeth.


Image by dogwelder
"Try this delicious apple pie!"
"I’m sorry, I can’t eat anything that doesn’t have false teeth in it."

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Do You Know This Dog?

This golden lab mix was pulled from icy Mona Lake in Norton Shores, Michigan last week. Police pulled the dog from beneath a dock and are looking for the family. The dog was wearing a green collar with what looks like an invisible fence receiver on it. The dog is described as being “well-fed and […] Dog Blog

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This beautiful black German Shepherd dog is called Spade. He’s 8 years old. I met Spade by the English bookstall at the Kermesse in Monaco in November.

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Brushing off voters' climate fears would be a foolish move

Brushing off voters' climate fears would be a foolish move
Sailors report seeing toothbrushes floating in the midst of the Pacific Ocean, far from land, swept along on currents like sad little fish in search of a school. Except, of course Go back just 30 years and this would have seemed a greenie fantasy
Read more on WA today

Water Watch Lecture Series kicks off Jan. 15
On the menu at this restaurant are surprising selections such as Le Soupe Du Mean Greenies, consisting of the invasive Asian shore crab, and “Peanut Butter and Jelly,” a dish composed of invasive feral rabbits and jellyfish. A 2013 James Beard Award 
Read more on Hanover Mariner

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Evolution of the Domestic Dog Redux

I’ve written about the evolution of the domestic dog before. What makes this such a great time to be a dog science geek is that in the few years since I wrote that post there’s been a lot of new research and new thought on the topic.

This is one of those subjects that is probably never going to be completely settled, at least not without time travel — and even then we would need a lot of luck. Chances are there was more than one "domestication event" and each one had likely slightly different factors contributing to its genesis.

This infographic, from The Uncommon Dog explains domestication with a bit of a hybrid view between the "adoption" theory that was very popular until relatively recently, and the self-domestication theory that I wrote about before (and still find more believable than adoption.) It’s an interesting take on the origins of the domestic dog.

What I really enjoyed about this graphic is the additional information about how dogs may have helped us survive. For more on that and on how we evolved together, start here and here.

Here’s the graphic. Enjoy! (Click for the full size version on the orginal site.)


Evolution of the Domestic Dog Redux is a post written by . You can see the actual post at Dog Training in Bergen County New Jersey


Dog Spelled Forward Website and Blog

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Dangers the Elements and Chemicals Pose to Our Pets

Many dogs love to play in the snow… some prefer not, but they still must go outside.  And whether you have a fenced-in yard or your dog goes for walks, there are some dangers you should be aware of and precautions a pet parent should take.
Below I list the most common threats:

Rock Salt and Ice Melts - I highly recommend those precious paws be protected!!! 


See my blog post about dogs and cats — yes, kitties, too, wearing booties   : )

The chemicals can burn and irritate paws and skin, cause stomach and intestinal upset, if ingested, and burns to the tongue and mouth on contact, from licking their feet and body.

Avoid walking in salted areas, and wash your pet’s feet thoroughly when home.  Check in between each toe!!! I do this for my furry friends after every walk regardless if it’s snowing. : )   There are products such as gels and ointments to apply which are intended to protect the paws; however, most times they actually trap the small particles, become quite challenging to clean, and may cause more harm than help.

AntifreezeEthylene glycol, a very sweet-tasting and extremely toxic chemical, is the main ingredient in most antifreeze products.  If ingested, very rapidly, damage to the nervous system and kidneys may occur, if immediate medical intervention is not obtained.

Some companies have changed their formula as a result of a 12-year old boy petitioning via Change.Org for a bitter-tasting and smelling ingredient to be added to deter pets and children.

Frostbite - See my blog post which included an article about frostbite, written by Dr. Ernie Ward:

Grooming and nail trimming is essential during the wintertime, as any excessively long hair will allow for snow to accumulate on your baby’s fur, especially on their tail, belly, and in between their toes!  If their nails are long, it will cause their toes to spread while walking, allowing a greater chance for snow and ice to accumulate.

Snowbanks and drifts - The snow acts as a stepladder right over the fence for your doggie! See photo above - Photo Credit:  Dr. Garret Pachtinger

Ice - Obvious risk of slip-and-fall injury to you and your pet.   When possible, walk in well-lit areas and avoid wet spots, which may actually be frozen.

Loss of Scent Trail - Please be sure your beloved pet has current ID tags and a microchip with current contact information and photo on file!!!  Many dogs cannot find their way home after it’s snowed due to the inability to pick up and follow familiar scents!

My previous blog on Microchips:…

Be safe and have fun out there… and remember:   AVOID YELLOW SNOW!   : )

Helping to keep beloved furry babies healthy and safe… and pet parents informed!


I’ve Got the ‘Scoop’!, LLC, in Palmyra

PetsitUSA Blog

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Robert L. Ridgway, DVM, discusses over-the-counter pet treatments

ORLANDO, Fla. (PRWEB) December 11, 2013

In his new book, ?How to Treat Your Dogs and Cats with Over-the-Counter Drugs? (published by iUniverse), veterinarian Robert L. Ridgway presents an easy-to-use guide that shows pet owners how to effectively and correctly treat their animals using over-the-counter remedies.

Organized into easy-to-read chapters, ?How to Treat Your Dogs and Cats with Over-the-Counter Drugs? offers complete descriptions of common conditions that can be successfully treated using over-the-counter drugs. Readers will learn how to identify and treat a variety of ailments including hookworms, bad breath, loose stools, red mange, scabies, impacted anal glands and fleas.

In addition to detailing the proper use of over-the-counter drugs to treat pets, the book alerts pet owners to conditions that require prompt medical attention from a veterinarian rather than home treatment. Ridgway also outlines where to purchase various over-the-counter medications.

?How to Treat Your Dogs and Cats with Over-the-Counter Drugs?

By Robert L. Ridgway, DVM

Hardcover | 5.5 x 8.5 in | 168 pages | ISBN 9781450290074

Softcover | 5.5 x 8.5 in | 168 pages | ISBN 9781450290050

E-Book | ISBN 9781450290067

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Robert L. Ridgway graduated from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine and completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of California ? Davis. After graduation, he worked for a short time at a veterinary hospital before entering the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, where he became director of the Animal Medicine Division in Okinawa, Japan. He was the first U.S. Army officer to be in charge of the Department of Defense Military Dog Veterinary Service at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and received a master?s degree in international management from the University of Maryland. After retiring from the Army, he worked at Covance Laboratories, Banfield Pet Hospital and Orange County Animal Services in Orlando, Fla. He is also the author of ?How to Treat Your Dogs and Cats with Over-the-Counter Drugs Companion Edition? and ?The Truth about Dog and Cat Treatments and Anomalies.?

iUniverse, an Author Solutions, LLC, self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Indigo Books & Music, Inc. in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Reader?s Choice, Rising Star and Editor?s Choice designations?self-publishing?s only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniversebooks on Twitter.

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