Monday, December 22, 2008

Clydesdale Budweiser Commercials

They have some of the best commercials! Some will make you laugh, others made me cry. Someone sent me links to this collection of commercials and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!



Snowball Fight

9/11 Respect

And the Clydesdale Donkey
I must be emotional today - even this one made me teary-eyed.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cats keep lost boy warm

MISIONES, Argentina, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Argentine police say a destitute 1-year-old boy was kept alive by a colony of stray cats who shared food scraps and kept him warm in the city of Misiones.

The boy, who had been missing for several days, was found by Police Officer Lorean Lindgvist, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday

"The boy was lying at the bottom of a gutter. There were all these cats on top of him licking him because he was really dirty," Lindgvist said. "When I walked over they became really protective and spat at me. They were keeping the boy warm while he slept."

Lindgvist said she noticed scraps of food near the boy and surmised "the cats knew he was fragile and needed protecting," the Telegraph reported, noting doctors said the warmth of the cats saved the boy during freezing nights that could have killed him.

The boy's father, who is homeless, said his son vanished several days ago and that cats had always been protective of the boy, Lindgvist said.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Tree Woes

The three calamities I expected with the Christmas tree this year (animals eating tinsel, ornaments breaking, tree tipping) have amazingly not occured. But in an house with dogs, cats and toddlers, the poor Christmas tree is still suffering its fair share of mishaps this year.

This past summer was one of the worst we've had for fleas in Ohio, and during the worst of it, the pugs learned that if they get underneath the decorative bushes by the deck, that they can rub their backs on the lowest branches. Oh, heaven! So when we put up the tree, they naturally thought we had installed an indoor back-scratcher just for them. It stinks when the branches pop out of the little holders and fall out. Kind of defeats the purpose. And it's even worse when the german shepherd puppy grabs said branches and takes off around the house with them, dragging streams of icicles, tinsel and ornaments behind her.

Now that the weather has turned cold, the cats have been training me to let them in and out. They enjoyed the fall weather outside so much that they don't want to return to a totally indoor experience, so they go out for a bit while the dogs use the potty, then they come back in, too. They also decided that the upstairs was too crowded with the toddlers, so they're trying to create a comfortable spot downstairs where everyone can live in peace and harmony.

Winter, the more sociable of the two, decided that any laundry pile or the master bed was good with her, and that's where she can usually be found. Luna, being more reclusive in nature, has gone through a number of hiding spots, but just hasn't found her niche. Until the tree went up. Turns out that the bottom two rows give too much (they're sagging very nicely now), but the third row from the bottom is just right. Not too weak and the branches not too far apart. It evidently makes a perfect perch and sleeping spot for a reclusive cat. To her credit, she somehow manages not to disturb the ornaments in her mount/dismount.

With the cats formerly living upstairs or outside, the dogs haven't been around either of the cats in a significant way for quite a while. So to help establish her place in the house, one day Winter hid on a chair and as unsuspecting pugs went by her, she smacked them with her paw. Didn't hurt them, but the sheer surprise of the sneak attack served its purpose and now the dogs don't know what's around the next bend of their formerly perfectly safe house.

Luna is totally black, so when she hides in the tree, there are very few dogs who know she's there. Last night, the german shepherd puppy was sleeping on the living room floor (a miracle in itself, with all that puppy energy) and the tree wiggled. Her head snapped up and it wiggled again. A threatening low growl was emitted at the same time Petunia came around the corner to find herself a cozy place to lay. When the tree wiggled a third time and more vigorously, Petunia jerked around, ran out of the living room with the german shepherd on her heels. No one wants to live with a haunted Christmas tree, you know.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Message from the Horses

Communicating with animals, and especially with the consciousness of the groups of animals can provide very profound information. Some gifted communicators have written books with information such as this. Here is an interesting excerpt.

From the Horses:
"This time in the Earth’s history will involve enormous changes in the vibration, and consequent consciousness and evolution of life on the planet. Within the next decade animals will be considered in a new light, as spiritual equals with rights and freedoms, with important gifts to contribute to the survival of L.I.F.E. (Love In Finite Expression) forever. Man has been struggling through the dark ages of their existence in matter. Human Mass Mind Consciousness, shaped by universal consensus i.e. TV, Radio, Newspapers, has been mired with an ego driven need to fight for and accumulate material possessions. Those possessions have made it increasingly difficult to find time to commune and connect on a spiritual level with the rest of life. All of creation except the majority of mankind has been holding the vibration of love which flows freely from the All when consciousness is open. Have you noticed recently that horses are everywhere inspiring a new understanding of their gifts as wise teachers and healers. Natural Horsemanship, Equine Facilitated Therapy and Therapeutic Riding are just the very beginnings of the possibilities in Horse/Human communication. Open your minds and hearts to the messages we send you and consider us not as pawns to be exploited and tamed but as messengers from heaven, here to guide you in the experience of oneness here on earth."

Liz Mitten Ryan

Friday, December 05, 2008

Scrapbook Page - Ellie's first litter (Jan 07)

Scrapbook Page - Ellie Litter 2

Scrapbook Page - Ellie 1

Jasper & the Unbaked Yeast Rolls

We have a fox terrier by the name of Jasper. He came to us in the summer of 2001 from the fox terrier rescue program. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this type of adoption, imagine taking in a 10-year-old child you know nothing about and committing to doing your best to be a good parent.

Five weeks ago we began remodeling our house. Although the cost of the project was downright obnoxious, it was 20 years overdue AND it got me out of cooking Thanksgiving dinner for family, extended family, and a lot of friends that I like more than family most of the time.

I was assigned the task of preparing 124 of my famous yeast dinner rolls for the two Thanksgiving feasts we did attend.

I am still mad at the electrician for getting the new oven hooked up so quickly. It was the only appliance in the whole house that worked, thus the assignment.

I made the decision to cook the rolls on Wednesday evening and to reheat Thursday morning. Since the kitchen was freshly painted, you can imagine the odor. Not wanting the rolls to smell like Sherwin Williams latex paint #586, I put the rolls on baking sheets and set them in the living room to rise for five hours.

After three hours, Perry and I decided to go out to eat, returning about an hour later. An hour after that, the rolls were ready to go into the oven.

It was 8:30 p.m. When I went to the living room to retrieve the pans, much to my shock, one whole pan of 12 rolls was empty. I called out to Jasper, and my worst nightmare became a reality. He literally wobbled over to me. He looked like a combination of the Pillsbury dough boy and the Michelin Tire man wrapped up in fur. He groaned when he walked. Even his cheeks were bloated.

I ran to the phone and called our vet. After a few seconds of uproarious laughter, he told me the dog would probably be OK; however, I needed to give him Pepto Bismol every two hours for the rest of the night.

Who knows why I thought a dog would like Pepto Bismol any more than my kids did when they were sick. Suffice it to say that by the time we went to bed, the dog was black, white, and pink. He was so bloated we had to lift him onto the bed for the night.

Naively thinking the dog would be all better by morning was very stupid on my part.

We arose at 7:30 and as we always do first thing, we put the dog out to take care of his business. Well, the dog was as drunk as a sailor on his first leave. He was running into walls, falling flat on his rear. Most of the time when he was walking, his front half was going one direction and the other half was either dragging the grass or headed 90 degrees in another direction. When he ran down the small incline in our back yard, he couldn't stop himself and nearly ended up running into the fence.

His pupils were dilated and he was as dizzy as a loon. I endured another few seconds of laughter from the vet (second call within 12 hours) before he explained that the yeast had fermented in his belly and that he was indeed drunk.

He assured me that, not unlike most binges we humans go through, it would wear off after about four or five hours. He then told me to keep giving the dog Pepto Bismol.

Afraid to leave Jasper by himself in the house, Perry and I loaded him up and took him with us to my sister's house for the first Thanksgiving meal of the day.

My sister lives outside of Muskogee on a ranch (a 10- to 15-minute drive). Rolls firmly secured in the trunk (124 less 12) and drunk dog leaning from the back seat onto the console of the car between Perry and me, we took off.

Now I know you probably don't believe that dogs burp, but believe me when I say that after eating a tray of risen unbaked yeast rolls, DOGS WILL BURP. These burps were pure Old Charter. They would have matched or beat any smell in a drunk tank at the police station. But that's not the worst of it.

Now he was beginning to pass gas and it smelled like baked rolls. We endured this for the entire trip to Karen's. We were thankful she didn't live any farther away than she did.

Once Jasper was firmly placed in my sister's garage with the door locked, we finally sat down to enjoy our first Thanksgiving meal of the day. The dog was the topic of conversation all morning long and everyone made trips to the garage to witness my drunken dog, each returning with a tale of Jasper's latest endeavor to walk without running into something. Of course, as the old adage goes, "What goes in must come out," and Jasper was no exception.

Granted if it had been me that had eaten 12 risen, unbaked yeast rolls, you might as well have put a concrete block up my behind, but alas a dog's digestive system is quite different from yours or mine. I discovered this was a mixed blessing when we prepared to leave Karen's house.

Having discovered his "packages" on the garage floor, we loaded him up in the car so we could hose down the floor.

This was another naive decision on our part. The blast of water from the hose hit the poop on the floor, and the poop on the floor withstood the blast from the hose. It was like Portland cement beginning to set up and cure.

We finally tried to remove it with a shovel. I (obviously no one else was going to offer their services) had to get on my hands and knees with a coarse brush to get the remnants off of the floor. And as if this wasn't degrading enough, the dog in his drunken state had walked through the poop and left paw prints all over the garage floor that had to be brushed too.

Well, by this time the dog was sobering up nicely, so we took him home and dropped him off before we left for our second Thanksgiving dinner at Perry's sister's house.

I am happy to report that as of today (Monday) the dog is back to normal, both in size and temperament. He has had a bath and is no longer tricolor. None the worse for wear, I presume. I am also happy to report that just this evening I found two risen unbaked yeast rolls hidden inside my closet door.

It appears he must have come to his senses after eating ten of them but decided hiding two of them for later would not be a bad idea. Now, I'm doing research on the computer: "How to clean unbaked dough from the carpet."

~Author Unknown~

Advice from a professional baker:

While its a cute story I need to point out that it is not accurate as
far as the danger of un baked dough. As a professional baker for 18
years and a dog owner I can tell you that had that really happened, it is
likely the dog would have died.
I only point this out so if your animals happen to eat yeast dough it
is very serious and they need to get it out of their stomach quickly.
My friends pug nearly died of a this from a bit of dough less than
the size of a golf ball.

If your dog eats dough call your vet. I'm the wet blanket on a cute


Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Dragonfly Story

The Dragonfly Story

Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in awhile one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.

"Look!" said one of the water bugs to another. "one of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you think she is going?" Up, up, up it slowly went....Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn't return...

"That's funny!" said one water bug to another. "Wasn't she happy here?" asked a second... "Where do you suppose she went?" wondered a third.

No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled. Finally one of the water bugs, a leader in the colony, gathered its friends together. "I have an idea". "The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why."

"We promise", they said solemnly.

One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up, he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broke through the surface of the water and fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.

When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn't believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings...The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly!!

Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by the new dragonfly lighted happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There they were scurrying around, just as he had been doing some time before.

The dragonfly remembered the promise: "the next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why." Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water...

"I can't return!" he said in dismay. "At least, I tried. But I can't keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I'll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they'll understand what has happened to me, and where I went."

And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air.......

Thank you God, for the story of the water bugs and the dragonflies.

Please remember________who left the pond we live in...and remember me...

STICKNEY, D. (1997). Water Bugs and Dragonflies. Explaining Death To Young Children. The Pilgrim Press.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I rescued a human today

I rescued a human today.

Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels.

I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her. I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn't be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn't want her to know that I hadn't been walked today. Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn't want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn't feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone's life.

She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.

Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms. I would promise to keep her safe. I would promise to always be by her side. I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.

I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven't walked the corridors. So many more to be saved.

At least I could save one.

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month

Top 10 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog

1. Older dogs are house trained. You won't have to go through the difficult stage(s) of teaching a puppy house manners and mopping/cleaning up after accidents.

2. Older dogs are not teething puppies, and won't chew your shoes and furniture.

3. Older dogs can focus well because they've mellowed. Therefore, they learn quickly.

4. Older dogs have learned what "no" means. If they hadn't learned it, they wouldn't have gotten to be "older" dogs.

5. Older dogs settle in easily, because they've learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack.

6. Older dogs are good at giving love, once they get into their new, loving home. They are grateful for the second chance they've been given.

7. What You See Is What You Get: Unlike puppies, older dogs have grown into their shape and personality. Puppies can grow up to be quite different from what they seemed at first.

8. Older dogs are instant companions -- ready for hiking, car trips, and other things you like to do.

9. Older dogs leave you time for yourself, because they don't make the kinds of demands on your time and attention that puppies and young dogs do.

10. Older dogs let you get a good night's sleep because they're accustomed to human schedules and don't generally need nighttime feedings, comforting, or bathroom breaks.

Please save a life and adopt a senior pet today. If you're ready to bring home a senior pet, please visit the below links.

Pet Finder

The Grey Muzzle Organization

The Senior Dog Project

Old Dog Haven

Searches can also be done for the breed rescue of your choice (such as the Ohio Pug Rescue) and, of course, your local humane society. Often older dogs never make it out because people want younger dogs who will be with their families for a while longer.

Also, please take time to make provisions for your animals if something were to happen to you so that they don't end up in a hopeless situation.

Veronica addresses a pet who has died

Dear Veronica,

We adopted a precious pit bull puppy about thirteen years ago. He was a wonderful dog and everyone who knew him adored him. He recently died of what we think was just old age. He didn't like being alone, he was quite sociable. We are heart broken and want to know if he is with either mine or my husband's family on the other side and if he knew we were trying to help him by giving him medicine.

Also, he was quite large and striking, white with a brindle right eye and ear. Since his death, there has been a large white bird with dark markings that comes to our house and flies over, sits in the tree, sits on the fence and chirps, and I wonder if it could be a sign from him. We've never seen a bird like this before and we've always had a busy bird feeder. I did get a good photograph of him.

Dear Karen,

The dog is neither with your husband's family nor your own (on the other side). He is free and taking shape close to your own family. Since he felt such closeness to both of you he decided to keep his energy close. The bird was an easy mark and coincided with the freedom he sought from a malfunctioning body that no longer served him. He remembered a moment of envy when he saw birds flying by and sought to have the experience for himself.

He seeks another body that will make its way to you. That is why he chose a bird, to be able to see all opportunity. He is your buddy and wishes to stay with you. Seek a moment where you will let a newer version of himself to you.
He awaits the opportunity. He is not finished being with you!

He will fly until the moment serves him. He knew quite well how much you loved him. You did not want him to go and he knew it. He will return to you. Be watchful.


April's Editor's Note: Pets, particularly dogs and cats can "blend" with other pets to hang around or visit after they "die". They also reincarnate and return to the same family more often then most people might suppose. Some of April's clients have had remarkable experiences with this... as have we.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rescue Remedy Pastilles now SAFE!!!

Upset that such a trusted company could produce something that could potentially cause harm in a dog, I wrote the company, as I'm sure many others did. I heard back that the product wasn't recommended for dogs and that they would forward the information on to marketing. Out of curiosity, in Feb of 2009, I became curious and looked up the ingredients for the pastilles. A huge thumbs up to Bach for reformulating their pastilles, making them safe for ALL their potential clients, and for restoring the integrity of their products. I'm so relieved and appreciative!!

Here was the original warning:

Bach, the manufacturer of rescue remedy, has released a candy that is sweetened with xylitol. For those who don't know, xylitol is toxic to dogs. The original liquid formula is fine for your furry friends, but please avoid the candy version. Xylitol is also commonly found in chewing gum, so please keep this safely out of your dog's reach, as well.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

RIP Coconut Jar

This morning it became apparent that it was time to put our friend, the Coconut Oil Jar, to rest. This jar has been one of our best friends during it's time here with us.

Our relationship started with an innocent comment or a link somewhere to the benefits of coconut oil. What? An anti-biotic and anti-fungal all in one? I was sure we could use some of this for something or another. I bought a jar on faith that it would be used and find its purpose.

Well, it found many purposes. The first of note was Gator's tearstains. After learning that tearstains were a sign of candida, an internal bacterial imbalance, I began to do what I could to restore the proper bacterial balance and used the coconut oil externally on the tearstains. It worked like a champ! The first application would soften the brown areas and make them very easy to remove in subsequent applications.

From there, we moved to putting it on hotspots, or other dry, patchy areas of skin. Occassionally it would find its way to a dry nose or a scrape or two.

But no matter where the oil was used, the dogs' favorite use was as a treat. Whenever the Jar was pulled out, everyone would gather around for a fingernail full of the fluffy white stuff. It quickly became one of their alltime favorites.

It wasn't long before the Jar taught them other things. Like how to steal it, even though it was far too big for a pug to carry. Then they learned how to remove the srew-top lid which truly resolved the carrying issue now that they could simply grab the rim of the Jar.

After learning how to remove the lid, it wound up on my bed mysteriously missing coconut oil down to the depth of a pug tongue. With getting past that hurdle, it lasted for quite some time afterwards since I was the only one who could reach down deep enough to get out more oil. It didn't prevent them from carrying it around and stealing it from each other. Finding the coconut jar was a chore at times, but fortunately the majority of the time it would end up back on the bed before I needed it again.

The Jar was one of their best friends. They didn't get depressed or give up in frustration that they couldn't reach the oil. No, they carried it around with awe and respect. The possessor would laud it over the have-nots. It would inspire a rousing game of chase. And they would lovingly and gently chew all around the rim of the plastic jar to the point where it was hopeless to ever reconsider putting the lid back on.

Yes, it was a beloved member of the family. Recently, though, we have been scraping bottom. Just yesterday they all got treats of coconut oil as they sat around me with bright and excited eyes. I figured it would only last a couple more days, so imagine my surprise when I woke this morning to find the jar absolutely empty.

It seems in a farewell to our family, it gave them one last lesson on life. Use your paw to get to the bottom. One of my beautiful, intelligent companions has figured out how to use her paw to scrape the bottom of the coconut jar to retrieve the last tasty morsels.

Farewell, our friend. May you find yourself recycled into the plastic of your dreams.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Right Now - relaxing

Positive Pause has created a beautiful slide show that is very relaxing.

Right Now.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Upside down dogs!

Check it out the webpage.

And one of the cutest cuties ever - here's a pug!

5 Major Myths About Raw Food Diets - Only Natural Pet Store

This information was in the most recent Only Natural Pet Store newsletter.

Store Site

All About Raw Food

Why the Staff Feeds Raw

10% off Nature's Variety Raw Medallions until October 30, 2008!

Five Major Myths About Raw Food Diets

1. It's Too Expensive – We firmly believe that feeding cheap dog food is a case of being “penny-wise and pound foolish.” A steady diet of cheap commercial dog food is strongly linked to poor canine health, often resulting in costly and hard-to-treat health problems as dogs age. What is really the more cost-effective option? You can spend a bit more for a high quality diet now, or pay dearly later on in terms of vet bills and your dog’s potentially painful and debilitating health problems.

2. Raw Food Is Risky – Generally speaking, the risk of getting sick from eating raw meat doesn’t apply to dogs. As did their ancestors, our canine companions have a shorter GI tract, and produce powerful digestive juices to digest and assimilate raw food and handle any bacteria it may contain. The bacteria that may be present in all raw meats (intended for human or pet consumption) do not usually cause health problems for dogs. In fact, a raw food diet is known to improve the health of most companion animals.

3. It’s All or Nothing – Many people mistakenly believe that feeding raw is an all or nothing deal, but this is not true! If cost or convenience is a challenge, you can choose to feed raw half time, or even just a few times a week. Your dog can benefit greatly from the high-potency nourishment that raw food delivers. Raw food is the natural choice for dogs, and even occasional raw food for your dog can improve their health and longevity.

4. Dogs Don’t Really Like Raw – It’s true that dogs (like us humans) can be creatures of habit, and dogs that turn up their noses at raw food are most likely responding to its “differentness” rather than the nature of the food. Also, dogs that free feed (have 24 hour access to kibble), or those that routinely eat commercial foods laden with artificial taste- and aroma-enhancing ingredients may have lost their natural sense of appetite and instinctive desire for healthy food. Dogs, like people, can get addicted to "junk" food. Given healthier food, many dogs learn to appreciate the vitality a raw diet gives them.

5. It's Too Much of a Hassle – When compared to the convenience of tossing some dry food into a bowl for our dogs, feeding a raw food diet is admittedly a bit more work. But with the convenient portions available in frozen prepared raw food diets, a bit of preparation (i.e., taking the time to transfer food from freezer to fridge to thaw) doesn’t add much to the food prep time. Today’s raw food diets take no more effort than you take handling raw meat to prepare meals for your human family members, and honestly, isn’t your dog worth the extra effort?

Raw Transitioning & Trial Tips

If raw food seems like a good idea, but you worry that your dog won’t take to a raw food diet, read on! The benefits of a raw food diet can be astounding, and if you make the commitment and persevere, your dog can greatly benefit from your efforts. Here are some tips to get you started:

Take Your Time – Incorporating raw food into your dog's diet is a big step, and your dog’s digestive system and palate need time to adjust to the change. Plan to transition your pet over a 2-4 week timeframe, depending on how picky your dog is and the state of their health. Gradually increase the proportions of new to old food so your dog’s system has time to adjust.

Taste Test First – You don’t have to go all out and buy pre-packaged raw dog food from the get-go! Try giving your dog a small bit of raw meat when you are preparing meat for family meals - this can give you an idea of how receptive your dog may be to a raw food diet. Try different meats and see if your dog has a preference. Often a dog that dislikes raw beef will take to raw turkey or chicken.

Whet Your Pet’s Appetite – If your dog is used to free feeding (having dry food left out all day), start by cutting back to two or three meals per day. This is healthier for your dog’s digestive system, and will increase your dog’s appetite - and usually, their willingness to try whatever you put down at meal time. You can also try adding a tasty “topper” to encourage your dog to try something new.

Take Baby Steps – Especially for picky dogs, a change to raw food can be a huge adjustment. Start out slow, and try mixing a bit of raw meat into your dog’s usual canned food or kibble. Many dogs will accept raw food more easily if you warm it up, or even cook it lightly first by pan searing the outside to release the aroma. Over time, you can cook it less until your dog accepts it raw. Keep trying - the results are worth it!

Raw food can enhance your dog’s quality of life and overall health, and help them live a longer life. It’s easy to take our dogs for granted, and investing in a raw food diet is one of the best ways to give back to your dog for all of the love they give you every day.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Judge OKs $24M for cats, dogs sickened by pet food

For those whose pets were affected by the pet food recalls

Monday, October 13, 2008

Trying to get to sleep?

This is not my house, but might as well be. Yes, it takes them forever to get to bed at night because the bed is the softest and bestest place to wrestle, you know :) Add in Petunia burrowing under the covers and Rizzo destroying the paperback novel after the lights go out, and you pretty much know how it is going to bed around here, too! I love how they disappeared and she had to go get them out of trouble about halfway through.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Training suggestions for an aggressive/barking dog

Cross posted (with permission) from a forum where someone was asking for help with their dog (modified to remove names):


The most effective approach is a multi-faceted one.

One suggestion I have is to have a TTouch Practioner do a couple of sessions with you, your sons and the dog. The process works on the basis on the fear in gentle and soft techniques. The public library also has books and videos you can watch and the techniques are simple to learn.

Second, I would highly recommned "Click to Calm" by Emma Parsons and it will show you how to step by step retrain your dog to first desensitize, then even appreciate your boys. The clicker acts on the amygdala in the brain to calm the dog.

Third, exercise for high drive dogs always helps. By exercise, I mean 40 min 2x a day that gets her heart rate up. Chasing a ball, swimming, steady roughhousing with other dogs, running beside a bicycle etc. This will provide an outlet for excess energy and the chemicals released by the brain has a calming effect.

Regardless of what techniques you choose, it will be a long haul and there are always setbacks. We have had ours (also a recue) a year tomorrow and unexpected fear issues still pop up every now and then. I have been working several times daily training and socializing her at any venue in town to make her a dog anyone would be proud to own. She has made huge strides in her comfort level with "in your face strangers" and dogs off leash but odd sounds in the forest still freak her out.

Good luck!

Donna & Jessie

PS. We have been working Jessie through Sue Aislby's free on-line training program and it's awesome! It provides a step by step process of how to train useful behaviors for a family dog. Once Jasmine is starting to be more comfortable with the boys, they can be a part of the training which will help with changing her view of them and bonding.

From a fellow pug @ YouTube - Max the Pug Sings!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

September Fun - Mum Festival!

September has been a very busy month! We started off with a bang by going to the Dog Splash at the recently closed water park. At the same time, we were battling fleas. Yes, the fleas this year were horrendous. Last year we made it through our first flea season holistically with a bit of diatomaceous earth and some garlic tablets. This year, we knew by the way the summer started it was going to be harsh, so we added essential oils but ran out of garlic tablets. Right around the end of August, beginning of September, I knew we were in trouble. I located some more garlic tablets and added them to their diet. They worked wonderfully, but the problem was that the fleas were jumping off the dogs and onto me! That first night I found a flea in bed, off to the vet we went. The first vet we visited had actually sold out of Frontline (does that tell you how bad it was?) and so we got a bottle of bulk spray at the second stop. Now we've got them back under control, but it was touch and go there for a while! Bet I won't run out of garlic tablets again... Especially since Petunia had a horrible reaction to Frontline (like a chemical burn) and I only sprayed her 4 times (according to the bottle, she could have anywhere from 20 - 40 sprays per her weight). I wish they had remained with their original flea-inhibitor formula instead of going to a pesticide.

This is a 3 generation picture. Daisy, on the right with Rizzo, her daughter, on the left and Kentucky Lilly, the spoiled and headstrong granddaughter in the middle. They had tons of fun wresting every day. Lilly went to her new home two evenings ago and she is terribly missed, no matter how much trouble she caused :) She is busy trying to figure out what she can take over in her new home, I'm sure. She has lots of people there to give her undivided attention and slather lots of love on her! She and Rizzo are products of what we've been breeding for in our lines, with the combinations we've chosen and we're very, very proud of both of them, and of the rest of our crew. Not only is Lilly beautiful and strong, but she also has a strong immune system. She showed symptoms of parvo at 4 weeks old and recovered from it beautifully in very short order with the help of parvaid and colloidal silver. I will always have these products on hand for my litters now that I know exactly how effective they can be, especially when given at the onset of any symptoms.

We also got out for a day of sunshine and fun when delivering a quad runner to my friend's sister. It was a beautiful day, and we ran the quad runner up into an area where he hunts. I got to see beautiful land and dream of living out in the hills and forest. At the end of the day, a storm ripped through while we were driving back (hauling a trailer, no less). It was Hurricane Ike running into a fiercely set high pressure system. The meeting of the two caused a funnel-like reaction bringing hurricane like winds to the Miami Valley. We saw road signs bent over in half. There was actually a tree down on I-70 itself. We saw everything blow across the road in front of us except a cow. The damage was widespread. Even as it was happening, we saw a convoy of 17 Ohio Edison trucks on the highway off to try to repair the damage. In trying to get gas, we had to watch for any signs of electricity at the exits to even pull off. When I finally saw a lit sign, only 2 of the 8 gas stations were operating and they had long lines. And half their pumps were empty already. On returning home, it was shocking the amount of damage. I'm not sure there was anyone that didn't lose limbs from their trees, even if they didn't lose whole trees. In one yard alone, I counted 7 downed adult trees. The wind came through on Sunday, but the main roads in town were still without electricity till Friday and Saturday. Thanks to the help of some neighbors and Tony's ingenuity, the freezers full of meat were saved. With the cost of gas, maybe at an expense close to what was in them!! We have mostly recovered from the event, but there is still a tree in my mom's yard that needs to be cut up and removed. What we suffered was nothing in comparison to the folks in Texas. Our prayers are still with those who are battling the ravages of the hurricane!

Normally I don't post if we've had a visitor or not, but we did have the lovely miss Buzka visiting last week and she was delightful. I couldn't resist posting this picture of her (left) with Fabio. And if you're wondering, she really was giving him a dressing down. Buzka's mom was on her way to pick her up when we learned about a Mum Festival in her area, so we packed up and went there, instead.

Representing Pugville were Petunia and Ellie Mae. They had the most energy to burn that day and boy did they get their money's worth. We walked the vendor's booths for 3 hours! We had a blast. I forgot how many steps you can take between people wanting to pet the dogs. I think it's 3. Sometimes 5. But that's ok. We had fun and the dogs LOVED all the attention they were getting. They had just had baths that morning and were all spruced up and ready for a day out! And, yes, they slept very soundly that night!

Homeopathy Manual Online

A great reference!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pet Food Recall - Salmonella - Affecting Pedigree & Others


Warning: If You Read Nothing Else Read About The Pedigree Recall
On Friday, September 12, 2008 Mars issued a
voluntary nationwide recall of products manufactured
at the Everson, Pennsylvania plant. The 150 brands
involved so far include: Pedigree, Old Roy Dog Food,
Special Kitty Cat Food, Country Acres Cat and Dog
food, Members Mark, Retriever brands, Natural Cat
and Dog Food (Sam's Club), Paws & Claws,
Wegman's Bruiser, Pet Pride, PMI, Red Flannel.

You may not recognize some of these names -
they are private label brands produced for various
supermarkets. For a complete list of all recalled
brands and sizes go to

The recall is due to potential salmonella
contamination - particularly Salmonella serotype
Schwarzengrund. The press release from Mars alerts
us to the symptoms (for both pets and humans) and
advises us to contact the doctor should we have any
such problems.

1. Internally, the company ordered production
stopped at the Everson, PA facility on July 29th, 2008
because they were alerted to a potential and possible
link of two cases of Salmonella Schwarzengrund in
humans. Yet Mars waited until August 08, 2008 (10
days later) to issue only a limited recall for Pedigree
sold in Las Vegas and Southern California. Finally,
on September 12, 2008 - 45 days after production
in the plant was stopped Mars issued a nationwide
recall of 150 brands? Why so long to let the public

2. The recall now involves all products produced
at the Everson PA plant beginning February 18, 2008
until July 29, 2008 when production was halted. Why
February 18, 2008? One could guess that their trace
back leads to contamination found as far back as
February 18, 2008.

3. Salmonella Schwarzengrund Outbreak
Investigation, August 2007. The Center for Disease
Control (CDC) collaborated just a year ago with FDA
and public health officials due to a multistate outbreak
of same salmonella strain and these illnesses were
linked directly to the dry pet food produced at MARS
Everson PA facility

4. The FDA provides guidelines to MARS and all
other pet food manufacturers, which states "... it
expects pet food manufacturers to use sufficient
manufacturing process controls and procedures to
ensure finished products are free of all Salmonella
species and other pathogenic microbes. This
could include having a Hazard Analysis and Critical
Control Point plan in place, sampling finished
product prior to releasing products into commerce
and sampling incoming ingredients for the presence
of Salmonella..."
Assuming Mars follows the guidelines why yet
another recall of the same strain of salmonella from
exactly the same manufacturing facility?

Note: Mars of course assures us that their
products are produced at many facilities
throughout the country and only 2.7 percent of the
total PEDIGREE production came from this plant.
And all the other brands they produce?

5. Who's qualified to answer your questions?
Today I called the hotline at Mars to talk to a
company representative. In the course of the
conversation she assured me that there is no
salmonella in their products but they did find
salmonella Schwartzengrundat the production
facility. That was, I think, supposed to reassure
me. She said that sometimes the byproducts from
animals used in their products contain salmonella
and that might be where it came from.

When I questioned her about the same strain
and product recall a year ago she said she wasn't
aware of it - and sorry, she was new to Mars.

6. Healthy people can become infected with
Salmonella Schwarzengrund. It becomes
particularly dangerous to children, infants, the
elderly and those with compromised immune
systems. Some symptoms include vomiting,
diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, cramps, fever but even
more serious ailments could occur and you should
of course consult your doctor. The most obvious
means of transfer is though handling of food.


Mars hasn't actually admitted there is
anything wrong with their pet food. The verbiage is
all in the "potential" contamination and "voluntary"
recall lingo. They haven't said how much is
involved yet ...if any. But, they have stopped
production at the plant that had exactly the same
problem one year ago. And they have issued a
nationwide recall. You be the judge - and if you
know anyone feeding these brands be sure to
make them aware of the potential dangers.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dolphins with Bubble Rings

From an email I received today:
As if by magic the dolphin does a quick flip of its head and a silver ring appears in front of its pointed beak. the ring is a solid, donut shaped bubble about 2-ft across, yet it doesn't rise to the surface of the water! It stands upright in the water like a magic doorway to an unseen dimension.

The dolphin then pulls a small silver donut from the larger one. Looking at the twisting ring for one last time a bite is taken from it, causing the small ring to collapse into a thousands of tiny bubbles which head upward towards the water's surface. After a few moments the dolphin creates another ring to play with. There also seems to be a separate mechanism for producing small rings, which a dolphin can accomplish by a quick flip of its head.

An explanation of how dolphins make these silver rings is that they are 'air-core vortex rings'. Invisible, spinning vortices in the water are generated from the tip of a dolphin's dorsal fin when it is moving rapidly and turning. When dolphins break the line, the ends are drawn together into a closed ring. The higher velocity fluid around the core of the vortex is at a lower pressure than the fluid circulating farther away. Air is injected into the rings via bubbles released from the dolphin's blowhole. The energy of the water vortex is enough to keep the bubbles from rising for a reasonably few seconds of play time.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Splash Day at the Dog Park

Today was one of the bestest days, ever!!! The new city pool splash park teamed up with the dog park and they had a dog splash day now that the pool has closed down for the season. Truth be told, I didn't make it to the park during its inaugural year as a human to swim, but now that I've been there, I'm very impressed.

The lucky candidates to go with me today were Isabelle, Rizzo, and Rizzo's pup, Kentucky Lilly. Lilly, being only 8 weeks old, and one of the cutest pugs EVER, stole the show. She worked the crowd, following this person, chasing that dog, getting total strangers to ensure her every need was met. She could spot a "rescuer" from across the water park and make a beeline for him/her and give them the "help me, help me" look and they would sweep her up in arms full of cuddles. If I was following her, she barely knew I was there, but if I wanted someone to watch her while I went to do something, she was right behind me with them chasing saying "I tried to pick her up!!" Goofy puppy.

Rizzo was the first to try the water. They have a wonderful little ramp-type area. Humans weren't supposed to be in the pool with the dogs, but several were breaking the rules, so I went in to my ankles with her. She wanted so badly to be brave, but she ended up putting her front paws up on the back of the legs and slowly we waded out together, with her on my leg the whole time. She did ok, though, and kind of swam back a few strokes till she realized she could actually walk back out. Isabelle didn't go out that far, but she did get wet. When we started off for another area, Rizzo lost me in the crowd and ran out into the water searching for me. She found herself in way too deep in a circle of women and she was on her back legs pirouetting. They thought it was cute, but I knew she was panicking. As soon as I saw her go out, I started after her, so as soon as I was within ear range, I was asking people to pick her up. They did, thank goodness. She was in no real danger since she could still stand on her back legs, but she was definitely worried, and didn't really want to go back in the water after that, even though it turns out she's a fine swimmer!! She might have gotten over it if we had been able to stay out there with them for any length of time, but I was trying to be as good as possible for the sake of the health department :)

We continued on around the complex and watched the big, brave dogs. Their owners were throwing all sorts of things as the dogs fearlessly threw themselves into the deep end and gleefully retrieved whatever object it was. They would shake off so much water that it would drench Lilly - lol. She didn't care for that...

On the backside of the pool, where it was deeper, I tried to see if they would like to walk out onto a step where it was shallow and (for the moment) no other dogs. The adults weren't very interested, but Lilly fell into the pool. I immediately reached to drag her back out, but to my surprise, she was swimming very well. She was panicked, but she was swimming. So I held my hand over her till she got to the edge (about 4 inches and 8 puppy paddle strokes) and then lifted her out. Hoping that she would realize that she can swim and that she was ok. Well, she was pretty miffed about the whole thing. First the big dogs shaking on her, then getting her feet wet, and now her whole body??? Where was a rescuer when she needed one? Obviously this isn't what the princess had in mind.

We got to see lots and lots of other dogs. Some of our favorites were the 14-month old springer spaniel siblings, an awesome cutie scottie terrier named Duncan, a 5-month old puppy dachsund who tried really hard to keep up with everyone who ran by, a gorgeous german shepherd who enlisted me to throw his ball into the water, some beautiful golden retrievers, and many others I'm forgetting at the moment. We had a really wonderful time. The girls were totally exhausted after our 2 hour excursion and they settled into deep naps on the way home. And with all the excitement, I forgot to take pictures :( But Lilly kept me very busy with her antics and her frolicking. You just never knew which direction she was going in next. A representative from the dog park asked if she could take a pic for their web page, though. If I find it later, I'll scarf it and post it here for you all!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

New picture of Rizzo's pup

It's been a while since any updates. So much has been happening, not enough time to tell it all. But here is a picture of Rizzo's baby girl taken today. She is aware of the world now, and been getting some new experiences. Today she was outside going potty and a truck came by with a whoosh. It scared her, so she jumped back behind the coral bells and peeked out between two leaves. Too cute! Wish I had a camera for every cute moment with these precious pups. But here is one of her trying to sleep while I was in the mood to take pics.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Miss Jolene growing up?

Maybe it's because I was feeling under the weather this last week. Or maybe it was because I said something public about Jolene having only two speeds, on and off. But whatever the reason, Miss Jolene went out of her way this week to prove to me that she has a softer side. She snuggled up for cuddles on several occasions and was calm and polite when doing so instead of "in your face." It was so nice!

And I've put on her website that she is too fragile for a home with small kids, especially remembering back to all the dresses I put on my poor yorkshire terrier when I was young, but she has me re-thinking that, too. We have a family living with us temporarily with 3 and 1 year olds. And when they giggle the loudest, Jolene is usually involved. She's so tiny that she doesn't hurt them if she jumps on top of them. She's light on her feet and QUICK! and can bounce back out of harm's way easily when she dives in for a kiss, especially when they're laying on the couch. They LOVE playing with her and she with them. She's tireless. And the rewards of a giggle spur her on and on, she could play for hours.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dog Fancy Selling Advertisement to PETA - response

Dog Fancy Selling Advertisement to Peta - Response
Because it has been flying around the internet that Dog Fancy sold an advertising slot to PETA, I sent them an email of complaint. Why, you ask? When I love animals so much? Because since 1989, Peta has euthenized 85% of the animals they have "rescued" and their ultimate goal is no private ownership. So I was very disappointed in Dog Fancy and let them know in no uncertain terms. I was relieved when I read their response and wanted to share it with others who might not have heard their side of the issue!


Dear Jayne,

DOG FANCY does not knowingly accept advertising from PETA and does not agree with its extremist views. Unfortunately, PETA resorted to guerilla tactics by placing an ad in DOG FANCY under a pseudonym to deceive readers with a free gift bag offer, opting to use shock tactics to try to get its message heard.

DOG FANCY promotes responsible dog ownership, including the responsible breeding and sale of purebred dogs, and apologizes to anyone who has been offended by PETA's distasteful and misleading stunt.


Satori Nakaue

Associate Editor, DOG FANCY

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cooking vs Enzymes vs Cancer

This article actually outlines what happens to the food and when. This is from a site that talks about how humans are the only species to cook their food and
the corresponding health issues we have as a result.

It is also worth noting that very successful cancer battling programs (in humans) often involve juicing (read The Cancer Battle Plan). Taking raw veggies, putting them through an extractor and drinking the juice to pack in more veggie servings in a day than we could fit if we also ate all that fiber.

The enzymes from raw veggies and juices destroy the protective coating that exists around cancer cells (which fools our bodies into thinking these cells are normal so that they get fed and grow/multiply). Once the protective coating is stripped away, the body can fight them and destroy them. Some enzymes are more effective against certain types of cancer, but the more variety we get, the more tools we give our body to build optimum health, not to mention the other side benefits of vitamins, etc.

Carnivores don't process veggies well, their digestive tract is too short for them to sit there and break down properly. Freezing/thawing and pulverizing helps because these methods help break down the cell walls. Veggies aren't going to do them any harm, but most of them will pass through undigested if eating a raw diet.
If eating a kibble, they might get digested better because kibble is harder for the canine to digest, thus keeping it in the digestive tract longer.

Raw meat, organs and bones are the most easily digested forms of food they can get. And the enzymes are still intact, helping the body quickly break down the food and absorb a much higher percent than with baked food.

For those who have a strong aversion to feeding raw, then adding a bit of appropriate enzymes to help the system more easily process other types of food is very helpful for long-term health.

Here is a b-naturals newsletter on changing diets which covers advice and links for commercial kibble, home-cooked and raw diets:

Difference between probiotics and enzymes:

And she has many more articles in her newsletter section.

So if you take nothing else from this, remember that natural enzymes help fight cancer. This is one of the reasons that carnivores thrive on this type of diet, although there are exceptions to every rule.

Monday, July 07, 2008

An accomplished nester?

Rizzo during childbirth. Can you see the pug?

And her singleton daughter:

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hemi Sync Helpers

A few weeks ago I went to a seminar and learned about Hemi Sync products created by Dr. Monroe 40 years ago to expand the usage of our brains via sound technology. It's fascinating how they began and how far they've come with it over time.

I was attempting to listen to the first cd in the core series, but with my schedule, I had fallen asleep at least 6 times without making it through the 45 minute session.

Two evenings ago I FINALLY made it through most of the first cd. In one section of the relaxation, the person is supposed to breathe in clean, fresh air, and out with the stagnant air, a sort of clearing out the body while relaxing. The next step is to breathe in, then when you breathe out, try to match the tone of the hemi-sync sound playing in the background.

It was after midnight at this point, I'm about 20 min into the program, and the dogs who were sleeping with me were snug in bed and sound asleep. However, when it came time to make the hemi-sync sound, Ellie Mae leaped from one end of the bed to the other and landed square on my chest with her paws on either side of my neck cocking her head. What was that sound??? When I made it again, she licked my lips till I stopped. Evidently she thought I was in some sort of distress and she had to save me.

So last night, with Ellie Mae safely crated, I tried it again. This time Mariah gave me kisses, but at least I didn't get a body tackle. Guess if my brain is going to expand, it'll have to be when the dogs aren't there to help. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Natural Approach to Flea Control

The Natural Approach to Flea Control
by Dr. Larry Siegler

As flea season is in full swing in many areas around the country, we are realizing that some of you may need a bit of guidance with the war you are waging in your households. There are so many products available for fighting the battle against fleas that a trip to the pet store or a little research online can leave you a bit overwhelmed and bewildered. At Only Natural Pet Store we carry only what works and only what is safe for your companions and everyone else in your household. We also do not carry anything damaging to the environment.

There are three stages, or areas to address, in the flea eviction process; the companion animal – internally and externally, the household environment, and the great outdoors (or at least "securing the perimeter"). But before we wage war, it is best to know the enemy.


To see the rest of this comprehensive article and to see several of the products that have been found to be effective, click the link below.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

What's on your cat's mind? Ask a pet whisperer

By Leanne Italie

updated 1:15 p.m. ET, Fri., June. 6, 2008
NEW YORK - Ears twitching wildly, Nikki and Lucy hovered near the telephone, aroused by the caller on the other end. He was their "whisperer," and the girls had something to tell me: "Their food tastes like sawdust." Nikki and Lucy are my 10-year-old cats. They were nice to each other up until a year or so. That's when the hissing started, and the bullying, and the sporadic indifference.

That's also when Nikki, shy and small-boned, began packing on the pounds and chronically licking her tummy until the fur was gone, opening up sore spots that compounded the problem.

Was it middle age? Our five-room apartment closing in? I decided to consult an animal communicator, aka whisperer, to get an alternative read on their well-being and their relationship.

I was skeptical about the trade, which is largely unregulated, with varied training and certifications. I was further puzzled by the notion that whisperers often do their thing by phone and e-mail as well as up close and personal, charging anywhere from $30 to $300 for their insights.

But could millions of viewers who made a star out of "The Pet Psychic" Sonya Fitzpatrick on Animal Planet be wrong? Whisperers even have their own magazine, "Species Link: The Journal of Interspecies Telepathic Communication," offering training opportunities, "plus prose and poetry transcribed directly from our non-human friends," according to its Web site.

Cathy Malkin-Currea, an editor of Species Link and whisperer herself in Martinez, Calif., said there is no clearninghouse on the number of animal communicators working today. But she estimated their ranks at about 2,000 worldwide. She said 50 to 60 books have been written on the subject after practitioners came out of the shadows about a decade ago.

My whisperer, Tim Link in suburban Atlanta, was a telecommunications company executive for 20 years before a "Dr. Dolittle" moment in 2004, when he attended a workshop on animal communication. Link, a lifelong animal lover and volunteer president of his local humane society, gave up his day job and said he has since whispered hundreds of dogs, cats, horses, amphibians, birds, reptiles and insects.

"It was like a large portal opening and animals saying, 'Hey, this guy can hear me and I have something to say and I'm going to say it,'" Link explained. "At first it was very shocking and I had to digest it. Animals have a lot to say to us. Every animal has a tale. We just need to open up and listen to them."

What's on your pet's mind?
Animals, he said, communicate using emotions, thoughts, images and feelings. Link and others work on behavioral problems (Yo, what's up with not using the litter box?), health issues and even finding lost pets.

So what's on the minds of our pets? After I submitted photos of the cats in advance, they hovered uncharacteristically near the telephone during our session.

"It's not an itching," Link said of Nikki's licking. "It's sort of a tingling that starts in her throat area and goes down to her stomach. I feel some blockage that starts at her throat and goes to her kidney area. She's got many years left, but you might want to get her kidneys checked, and keep an eye on her thyroid."

Nikki's last checkup revealed her kidneys were fine but she was in the high range of normal for thyroid function, along with a lot of cats her age.

"Lucy pesters the heck out of her," Link continued. "Lucy gets on her nerves but you know, she's not fearful of Lucy. It's a love-hate sister relationship."

It was Lucy's turn next. Link said he could see her "strong, healthy body" and that she took offense when I told him she and her sister spend a whole lot of time sleeping.

"Oh boy," he said. "She didn't like the fact that you said she just lays around all the time."

Lucy jumped off the computer table and turned her back on me at a nearby window at the remark. Link told me she wanted more one-on-one time.

Sadly, it's true that I've been marginalizing Lucy lately, primarily because she's been so grumpy and scaring Nikki away. I promised Lucy I'd do better.

As for the unfavorable review of their cuisine — it's hard to argue, but also hard to imagine that the cats know what sawdust is.

"Oh yes," Link said. "Animals have normal vocabularies, like you and me."

Claims can't be verified
Animal whispering, it seems, is one of those things you're either open to or you're not. Link himself urges those interested to check references and choose carefully. People often involve themselves with whisperers at vulnerable times, seeking to communicate with a dead pet or looking for guidance on when to euthanize.

Stephanie Shain, the outreach director for companion animals for the Humane Society of the United States in Washington, D.C., hired an animal communicator for a phone consultation about five years ago when she was dealing with her extremely ill cat, Thomas.

"She started by saying `First you should know that he loves you so much, and that he isn't ready to die yet,'" Shain said. "Maybe she starts all her calls like that but it had me sobbing instantly. I was amazed by what she told me, not only about the health stuff but about his relationships with the other cats in my house."

The whisperer led Shain in the direction of a pet allergist, and Thomas is alive today.

But Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a professor of veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University and past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, likened animal communicators to "fortune tellers," adding: "It's never been studied scientifically and so there are a lot of people who make claims that cannot be verified."

As for our girls, it's hard to believe, but after one session, Nikki stopped her compulsive licking, and her fur is growing back. We've given Lucy more one-on-one time and reminded her to stay away from Nikki's food and water bowl and favorite chair.

We haven't had a single hissing incident, and Lucy has stopped pinning Nikki under the futon or digging her face into Nikki's rear end.

So far, it's a success. But it's not clear what was more important — Link's talk with the cats, or his talk with us.

Dr. Bernadine Cruz, a veterinarian in Laguna Hills, Calif., said animal owners sometimes seek to center themselves through their pets, and whisperers make it easy.

"There are truly people who have this special empathy, that have a connection that we'll never be able to understand," she said. "The animal communicator gives you and your pet peace."

Alleviating your pet's itchy skin

Read this great article by Only Natural Pet Store to help determine the cause of your dog's itchy skin!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Gator & Storm #2

With the first huge storm of the season, Gator kept me up most of the night trying to drive back a panic attack.

Last Friday afternoon we had another good strong gust of a storm with some thunder and lightning. This time, however, Gator decided he wasn't going to take that crap. He ran upstairs and barked at the ceiling. He sure told that storm where it could go. I'd say where the sun doesn't shine, but it wasn't shining anyway.

Now we're in storm 3 and he's taking it all in stride so far. Maybe he figures he made it go away last time, so it's not so scary?

Stairs? No Problem!

I am so proud of brave little Alvin. I was proud of him when he mastered the back deck stairs, but it takes a lot longer for them to be brave enough to come down the inside narrow stairs.

Last week when Ellie went up the stairs, Alvin decided he was brave enough to go up, too. He paused a few times and looked down, but decided it was safer to keep going up than to attempt going down. And we had to carry him down because it was way too scary to do it on his own. But on his third trip up, when I was carrying Ellie down, intending to come back for Alvin, the little trooper marched right down the stairs, his nose practically touching my leg. He was a VERY brave little boy! And now he goes up and down with ease. His mother, however, still requires carrying. So occassionally she gets left up there for a while to discourage her from going up in the first place. But she eventually gives someone her pouty Ren & Stimpy face and someone carries her back down.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Amber D's Advice Column

Amber D is an outspoken donkey who lives on an animal sanctuary co-founded by an animal communicator. So Amber D fortunately has many avenues available to her for expressing herself. She barged in on the newsletter making process and answered a couple of cute questions in her sassy manner, but then started a question and answer column with very thought-provoking and heart opening responses. Here is an excerpt with permission from the folks at Spring Farm Cares and more can be found on the Spring Farm Cares website :

Here is one of her fun and spirited answers.


Dear Amber D: Do humans really hear us? --Crazed Cat.

Dear Crazed:

This has been a question that has perplexed all animals for a very long time. We know from long-time research by dogs, that if you stare at them long enough, they do seem to get it. At least something seems to register that you are trying to tell them something. Some of them start guessing and will try feeding you, taking you outside, petting you, and even singing to you, when all you were trying to say to them is “hello.”

My personal opinion is that the human brain is so large that it blocks out their hearts so they don’t listen well. My advice to you is to try the staring technique and, by process of elimination, you may actually get them to do what you want.


But grab your kleenex for this profound understanding of unconditional love.

Question: There is one thing I always have trouble with and that's the notion of unconditional love. I think humans (myself not excluded) are mostly so narcissistic, that the thought of being loved by animals no matter what a huge egomaniac one is, might not necessarily be a healthy concept. (If I use an extreme example - Hitler was very fond of his dog, but I find it difficult to imagine that the dog found Hitler to be a wonderful person? if the dog had any idea what was going on because of his/her human, which I assume he/she had.) I think it often is absolutely OK and necessary to judge - when values and ethics are involved. What do you think? Do animals judge? Do they judge AND love - and could you explain what animals think about this.

Amber Donkey: This is probably the most popular question I, and other animals at Spring Farm, are asked by people coming to the farm to learn from us. We don't always understand why this is such a difficult thing for humans to grasp or understand. But I think it is because you have become separated from the notion, the ideal, the principle, and the understanding of unconditional love and forgiveness. To think that unconditional love could be "unhealthy" speaks volumes for why so many of our human friends are sick all of the time. Unconditional love is pure health and vitality and oneness and it is nothing short of being universal truth. I have asked Dawn to share a story that she experienced first hand with an animal and a human who did less than right by them. This story is a prime example of how animals operate within the understanding of forgiveness and unconditional love. I will tell you that this same principle applies to the example you used above regarding Hitler. But that example is so heavily charged by the magnitude of the atrocities that this entails, that the human heart and mind cannot wrap itself around the understanding of it. This is why I asked Dawn to share her experience as it will be easier to understand where we are coming from.

From Dawn: I often have the privilege of working with my colleague Lillie Goodrich, Animal Communicator and Co-Founder of Glen Highland Farm, a Border Collie rescue, quite a bit on more challenging cases. We have learned a ton of information from animals who we have worked with together. One of the most outstanding and memorable topics is about unconditional love and being nonjudgmental. This is an exact real life example of what Amber Donkey refers to above.

Lillie contacted me to help work with a dog she had just brought into her rescue. The history on this dog provided all the answers as to why she was very skittish. She was relinquished to a humane society by a person who arrived drunk and told the shelter personnel that he routinely punched her in the face when she annoyed him. A couple of days later, after sobering up, he tried to adopt her back from the shelter. Instead, she was already on her way to a new life at Glen Highland Farm and to find a person who would adopt her and love her forever. Lillie excels at helping Border Collies who have come through some of the most extreme and sad situations you can imagine. The farm is very healing for them and they get to experience life as a Border Collie. But this dog needed a little extra help. I had worked with Lillie on several occasions with this dog and she was gradually improving in her self-confidence. Dogs give so much to humans and it is beyond sad to see that life force dimmed by things humans do to them. This dog was one such case. Within a few months, Lillie was contacted by the humane society who sent her this dog with some interesting news. It seems that the man who had abused and then dumped her had found himself another dog from someplace else. He had just been found dead in his home and his dog had been eating on his corpse. Our reaction, of course, was probably the same as some of yours. He got his just desserts. But then, as quickly as the thought came in, the dog came through for a message for Lillie and for me. Both Lillie and the dog have given permission to use this story and for you to hear what the dog had to say about the fate of this person who tormented and abused her.

From the dog: If you find yourselves feeling that justice was served, then you are not looking from your heart. This is a story of a life....lost. A mission.... incomplete. A heart.... still closed. A soul....still playing out this troubling aspect of itself. It is also the story of two healers whose missions were not effective. It is of a hope lost. Of a rescue never fulfilled. You know the feeling.... when you just have to console yourself with the realization that you can't save them all.

This was a man whose heart was so closed that he lost his own sense of direction and purpose. Instead of love and joy.... he could only feel pain. Instead of knowing success... he could only realize failure. Only one thing could change that for him and that was for him to open his heart. But he forgot that in his pain and his entire focus became one of hiding from the light at all costs. Yet his soul knew its journey. His soul yearned for the love from his heart. And his soul asked for help and help was granted.... as it always is for all who ask. Again, the quickest way to his heart was chosen. A being who could love him in spite of all the darkness he could muster. A being who would still welcome him home although he brought nothing but pain. Because that being was guided by the one truth that all living beings are born with into the physical realm - that all hearts can open, no one is truly lost, and nothing is ever hopeless. I arrived.

I tried to open his heart the easy way -with love. But he couldn't accept it. I never gave up. Until out of a last attempt to save him from himself, I tried to take some of his darkness away. This dimmed my own light by giving up my own trust in my own life. I knew he needed strength.... so I gave him mine.... the ultimate sacrifice. Now I am left to find my own strength once again - for which I will because I am willing to receive.

Sadly, the man did not find that strength I left him, yet he knew something was there and he tried to find it again. A second friend entered the fray. This friend too, could not reach the depths of the emptiness in this man's heart. We ask you now to give light to his soul. The task he came here to complete, went unfulfilled and uncompleted. He will need to try it again. With help, we can all send him light, love, and strength.... exactly what I and the second dog tried to do, so that our missions to help him were not in vain. Our thoughts for his journey to find the light of an open heart - like you so richly have in your own lives - will ease his journey the next time. No one is ever left behind without help.

Also understand that the second dog meant no revenge, had no anger, no false motives other than to help this lost person find his way. Send your thoughts to this dog who is feeling the remorse of a lost mission, and whose only thoughts in chewing on this human's body was first to wake him up, and then as a last attempt at survival for its own body. Revenge was never part of the plot. Send that dog the comfort of knowing it did all it could do and did not fail. Send that dog the light it will need for itself, as it also chose to give up some of its own light as a last attempt to bring the man to his own heart. And last..... remember that your own soul evolved through darkness just like this man. Your journey to your own open heart was not always filled with the light you now have. You too once took baby steps in darkness..... and made mistakes. Someone was there for you .... to show you the way. Because of your willingness to live in your heart, and truly feel your feelings... you have been chosen to teach with the teachers. We can't save them all ..... but we can send them love and light to ease them through their journeys the next time around. You are blessed.

From Dawn: This is not an isolated communication. I have received many just like this from animals who have suffered untold pain and abuse at the hands of humans. Yet I have seen them move on with forgiveness, non-judgement, and unconditional love. Unhealthy? I think that judgment is one of the biggest man made illnesses to plague us.

From Amber Donkey: Thanks Dawn. To further add to the last part of the question: Do animals judge and love? I will say that you can not do both at the same time. To love unconditionally is to do so without judgment. It is to understand that we are all one. To understand that the "dark" side you see and judge in others is also a part of yourself. That no one is beyond loving. No one is beyond forgiveness. And no one has the right to take away someone else's hope. That is what we are trying to say.

The only pig in the world scared of mud

Holistic Vet Advocates Alternative Pet Care

Holistic vet advocates alternative pet care
Category: Pets and Animals

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Thunderstorms & Gator

Last night Ohio was hit hard by one of the biggest storms we've had in years. Hour after hour of rolling thunder, lightning lit up the sky, and huge thunderclaps woke us up several times. Many areas were under tornado watches and warnings.

Most of the dogs handled it pretty well, but around the time the electricity went off at 3am, I woke up to Gator starting to panic. He tried to put on a calm front, but the storm brought back memories of his time in Louisiana and Texas during hurricane Katrina. He abandoned his post at the foot of the bed and backed his hiney up into my armpit so he had the security of me behind him and could still keep an eye on the windows to see all that was going on. He obsessively licked any part of my arms or feet that popped out from under the blanket. He watched the storm with his radar ears following its every nuance, and although he was stiffly awaiting the thunderclaps, they still managed to take him by surprise as he jumped up off the bed.

So we were up together from 3am to 7am when the worst of the storms finally passed. After all my sweet boy has done to protect me and the other females in the house, it was the least I could do for him.

McD’s at midnight = BACON


So we had this tractor show at the Village. This means lots of work and preparation. And even though everyone's been working on it for a week, the day before still ends up with lots still left to be done.

With things looking like they might drag out till 1 or 2 in the morning, I finally go on a burger run at 11:30 pm, even though no one has eaten supper around here till then. McDonald's is about the only thing open, but the girl at the counter LOVED dogs and Petunia and Rizzo made a huge hit.

You know, I like Tim Horton's and they're sweet when they hand out a timbit for the kids when we go through for coffee, but the dogs know what real food is. And they usually take it out of kindness and dump it somewhere on the floor or in the car seat for me to find weeks later. But not the lady at McDonald's. Maybe it's because there weren't any managers there that late at night, or maybe they had some extra food already made that they probably weren't going to be able to sell, but whatever the reason, that girl comes back to the window with BACON!!!

Oh yeh... it was a good errand run for the girls!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Alvin socializin

Alvin has to be one of the most socialized puppies we've ever had. Thanks to some relatives with babies, he's been exposed to toddler luvin and temper tantrums. He's been on I can't count how many car rides. He went to a small family reunion. He has gone into Lowe's and other stores to get landscaping supplies. He has helped take down trees and chainsaws didn't phase him one bit! He has helped mow lawns. And recently he decided that he could go up and down concrete stairs, but the wooden ones... well, we'll wait on those a little longer.

When he's still and quiet, he looks like the picture above. But when he's in full motion, he is starting into his gangly teenage stage like the picture below. As fat as they were as puppies being fed by two moms, we weren't sure if they were going to be large as adults. Logic says no, the genetics determine that, but then looking at them... they were SOOOO BIG - lol. It's nice to see that he'll turn out to be a very nice sized adult pug after all!

Here he was out front helping remove the dandelions before the Memorial Day Parade :)

After the parade, Miss Tanner taught Alvin how to fetch. Over on a hill in the grass with a creek running behind. There were oh so many smells and it was fun to be one of the chosen ones who got to go and run around in the field while the ground was being prepped for a tractor pull coming up next weekend. Chasing twigs was just part of the fun for that afternoon! Wish I had my camera with me then!!

Mugsey needs a ride to Iowa or Quincy, IL

Mugsy is a pug mix in Kentucky who needs a ride to her rescue in either Iowa or Quincy, IL. If you know of anyone going these directions, maybe contact the posting organization!

If there is anyone in the local area who travels frequently, please contact the local humane society and ask if they need volunteer transports. Our humane society works very hard at placing as many animals into rescue groups as they can, knowing that this is one of the best ways to minimize the number of animals they are forced to put down. So drop by or call and let them know the trips you'll be taking and see if there is any need for a transport to a rescue group. An easy way to save a life and provide much needed help and support in this day of high gas prices!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Avoid soy in kibble

This entry will be added to over time, but until the whole article is put together, know that soy in our animals' kibble is having a negative effect on their bodies, and specifically on the thyroid. Here is just one article:

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Alvin & his football bed

And just to make sure you can see all his cuteness!

Free digital graphics downloaded from:

Friday, May 16, 2008

Winter the Cat Ready for New Home

Winter the cat, who was found as a stray 2 days before Christmas (her family was obviously full of the Christmas spirit when they dumped her) has been spayed and is almost ready to go to her new home. If you know of anyone interested, we'd like to personally place Winter. She's loving, affectionate, intelligent, litter-box trained, and a joy to have around. We just cannot keep her at this time. We've done what we could to help secure a better future for her. Please help us in finding her a new and loving home.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

One of Ellie's puppies enjoying sheer bliss

Made with the girly girl kit from plus a few elements from other kits from other sources (the tag, the pearls at the bottom and the brad holding the tag).

Monday, May 12, 2008

Storytime - Alvin

I had Alvin up on the bed Saturday night playing with the pack. We have hardwood floors, so the gang values their play/wrestle time on a nice, comfy bed. After the pups were weaned, Ellie took great care in teaching them the pro wrestling moves, but they still haven't been able to pin mom down unless she fakes it.

At any rate, I fell asleep long before they did. (If I lay just right, when they run over me, it's like a massage!) And here's how I woke up at 4am Sunday. I was laying on my side, head on my pillow. Alvin was laying on his side, upper body on my pillow, facing me. His little head was right by my head. Ok, honestly, his little mouth was right by my lips. I was wakened by his dreaming. He was making all sorts of noises and when the air would come out, his lips would billow with the wind, all up against my lips. If that won't shock you out of a deep sleep, don't know what will! I picked him up (totally dead weight, head lolling back, lips smacking in protest of being woken) and put him back in the ex-pen, thinking he would need to go potty soon.

But then I found out he already had! He was very polite, didn't wake me, and went to the far bottom corner of the bed and quietly had gone potty at some time during the night. I love waterproof mattress pads so I can enjoy my puppy time :)