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!