Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Quick update on my day...

Took Milly to my favorite groomer, "For Pet's Sake" today. I love how close they are to my office, and they are so great with her. In fact, when I dropped her off they did not take her back and crate her, but instead let her hang out up front at the register. When I arrived to pick her up when she was done she was again not in the back like most dogs, but instead lounging up front greeting the customers and soaking up the attention of the grooming salon's owner and the groomers! I've always had great experiences going here, but today seeing the individual attention they gave Milly really made me that much more of a loyal customer. When I payed they informed me they are having 3 drawings for a year of free groomings this summer, and so I entered. I was so pleased with the results, and possibility of free groomings for a year that I left feeling very lucky. On my way home I decided to continue the luck and invested $7 in the lottery - I've already lost $5, and am nervous to check the Mega Millions tickets online.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Trader Joe's

Last night I popped into Trader Joe's to pick up some bread and granola. As always I had to peak at the pet aisle, and boy was I happily surprised when I saw they sell made in the USA dehydrated chicken treats. I didn't have time to fully examine the labels, but the price was pretty good at $3.99 a package, and they said "All natural" and made in the USA.

I'm hoping to get back there in the next few days (or possibly after the 4th of July weekend) and take a closer look at these and other American made treats.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

As an advertising analyst I am consumed by ads on a daily basis, and during campaign cycles find myself thinking in 30-second increments. Over the past two years, I have come to really appreciate a well made commercial. Some of my lifetime favorites include a Diet Coke ad where an elephant trades peanuts for a Diet Coke, the Budweiser tribute to 9/11 ad, a handful of political campaign ads and my latest favorite is this Traveler's Insurance spot.

It is hard not to smile and become totally engrossed in this dog's journey of finding the safest place for his bone. I find myself wondering what safe-keeping spot the dog will chose next, and hoping he will be satisfied with the safety of his bone.

Take a look, and let me know what you think. I love it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Great run through agility course! Take a look!

Don't assume that you must own a dog to partake in agility! This video is proof that with positive training methods you can train just about anything!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Texas Toothpicks!!!

As you know last week I went on a fun natural-treat shopping spree at a wonderful store called A.K.A. Spot. I wanted to get Milly something to serve the purpose of a rawhide type chew – something to clean her teeth, and keep her occupied for at least 30 minutes. I found the perfect treat… Texas Toothpicks, made by Merrick. I could not be happier with them! Milly absolutely loves this one of a kind treat. The toothpicks are about 6-8” in length, and maybe ½” in diameter at the largest point – they have a puffy texture that makes them appropriate for dogs of all ages, and is not too hard on their gums. It takes Milly about 30 minutes to finish one Texas Toothpick making them the perfect treat to leave her with when I head to work on weekday mornings, and she seems to really enjoy the crunchy, chewy sensation and unique texture of the toothpicks. The all-natural treats made from beef tails, and smoked in the heart of Texas, are a healthy alternative to the rawhide bones you will find at the grocery. Because dogs are naturally carnivores feeding all-meat treats like these natural Texas Toothpicks is sure to be a very enjoyable snack for the dog, and is very natural for their digestive tracts. Unfortunately, all-natural treats do tend to come with higher price tags, and Texas Toothpicks are no exception to the rule. I paid almost $17.00 for my 6.5oz bag, but the bag does have at least 20 Texas Toothpicks in it – making them less than $1 a treat.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Little Update

I apologize for not updating the blog more regularly – I have been extremely busy these last few weeks. I thought I would fill you in with what has been happening in my life lately.

This past weekend (Thursday through Tuesday) I dog sat for my friends Dave and Rachel… they have a lovely chocolate lab mix named Hershey. Hershey is about 10 months old, and while what she is mixed with is unknown, she looks like a miniature Chocolate Lab (think full lab look in Springer Spaniel size). It was a delight having her in the house, but having an active young dog did keep me on my toes most of the long weekend she was with me.

On Friday, I was able to leave work early, and a friend and I took Milly and Hershey on a wonderful hike. If you live in the Washington, DC metro area and have never been to the Potomac Overlook Trail I highly recommend it! It is in the woods and the trail winds back and forth across a creek leading all the way down to the Potomac River. It is not at all a crowded trail, and though there is a sign at the entrance stating dogs must remain on a leash and under control at all times there seems to be an unwritten rule amongst dog owners that well behaved dogs are welcome off leash. In my almost two or three years of enjoying this trail I have seen more dogs off leash than I have on leashes.

Hershey came to my house with a set of instructions, one of which was she absolutely loves water and swimming. At one point on the hike there is a large tidal pool (maybe 20 feet in diameter at its largest spot) and probably 5-6 feet deep at least. Here I let Hershey and Milly off of their leashes, and allowed Hershey to swim for a good 45 minutes. She loved it. Milly also enjoyed the hike, but Milly is not a fan of swimming. Instead, my darling Golden Retriever simply waded in the water up to her belly, and flirted with some environmental scientists who walked by. In case you were wondering, Milly is an excellent flirt, and in this case her flirtations certainly paid off as the researchers stopped and rubbed her belly for quite some time. Milly also was able to enjoy off leash time during the hike, and bounded through the woods shaking her head and wagging her tail. It was wonderful to see her darting around, leaping off of ledges and over logs with a look of total bliss on her face! Though Milly is 9 or 10 years old she was acting like a young puppy, and I do think having Hershey around for the weekend really helped Milly reconnect with her own youthful side.

On another note, you might remember me blogging about having found the right breeder for my next puppy, and my excitement as I anticipated this breeding to take place. Well, that was many months ago, and since then the breeding has occurred (it took), and the puppies were whelped about a week ago – seven healthy pups – 2 males and 5 females. A few weeks before the April breeding took place, I realized I really am not at the place in my life to fly all the way across the country (the breeder is in San Diego) to pick up a puppy, and with this horrible economy I simply did not feel this was the right time to invest in a puppy. I’m not going to lie, asking the breeder to remove my name from the waiting list was devastating, and I shed many tears. I had such high hopes for this litter, and for getting a puppy from it, but I have since realized that there is a puppy out there for me, and when the time is right I will get my next Golden Retriever. It still pains me to see the photos of this litter, and know one of those puppies was supposed to be mine. I have saved up enough money to purchase a puppy on the East Coast, and hopefully one of these days this will happen. Right now, I need to focus on my career, Milly, and possibly moving to a new rental property (with a larger yard!), though.

Don’t forget to enter the Austrian Crystal Dog Bone Pendant GIVEAWAY!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chicken treats, Milly got sick, and I found a great dog store!

A few weeks ago I fed Milly breakfast, gave her a dehydrated chicken treat, and headed to work. When I returned at lunchtime to check on Milly there was vomit everywhere and I was so worried! I cleaned it all up, made sure she was acting normal and drinking, and reluctantly headed back to work for my last two hours. I spent my time at work wishing I was with Milly, worried sick about her, wondering what could have made her vomit 8 or 9 times, and if she was okay.

I went through my mind of possible problems: the day before I had done yard work, and had not yet had a chance to pick up all of the clippings from the yard, could she have eaten something toxic? I mixed in a Taste of the Wild food sample (25% Taste of the Wild, and 75% her regular Fromm) with her breakfast, because I was thinking about switching – did the new food do it to her? And lastly, what I now think was the culprit… I had acquired two bags of Waggin’ Train dehydrated chicken strips – I fed the first bag to Milly the weeks leading up to the incident with no problems, and she loved them, but on the morning of her illness I gave her the first treat from a new bag. I have since learned the problem with Waggin’ Train treats is they are made in China, and there have been all sorts of problems with poultry products coming from China. Though the Waggin’ Train website reassures customers their products are safe, I have read of these particular treats being involved in two recalls in the past few years.

After lots of worrying, Milly turned out to be just fine, but vomiting 8 or 9 times is something to really be concerned about! I have since had her around the same plants that were clipped, and tried feeding her more Taste of the Wild food with no problems… the only thing different I did that day was that bag of chicken treats! I even found the treat in one pile of vomit, so I know shortly after eating breakfast she fell ill. I have saved this bag of treats, and am currently looking for a company to test them and see if there are toxins in this batch of treats. She has not been given any more of these treats, and I will never feed her this brand again (or any other made in China treats).

This incident really frightened me, and I want to publicly thank a wonderful veterinarian in the area by the name of Dr. Amy Poole, who kindly offered her assistance to me on this terrifying day.

Since then I have been on the hunt for some high quality treats to stock up on. I make my own biscuit type treats, but I like to give Milly something that takes her a bit longer to eat when I leave for work.

On Thursday, I stopped by a new dog store (well, new to me) in Clarendon (a neighborhood in Arlington, VA) called A.K.A. Spot. A.K.A. Spot is great, and if you haven’t been there I encourage you to check it out! I had heard great things about the store from my former roommate Mary Katherine, but had never been there myself. I was on the hunt for all-natural treats and found this store to be exactly what I was looking for! They have a large variety of all-natural and high quality foods, lots of collars and leashes (many of which are on sale right now!) and tons and tons of treats and toys! I stocked up on lots of treats and spoke with the wonderful sales associate about my problems with treats made in China, Milly’s dry skin, and countless other dog related topics. Everyone at A.K.A. Spot was extremely friendly, and dogs are welcome in the store! When I need more treats I will be sure to frequent this wonderful local business again! Unfortunately, they do not carry Fromm or Wysong foods, so I will not be able to use them as my food provider.

I’ll post a photo (update: photo posted!) of my wonderful purchases when I get home, but wanted to quickly mention that among the many, many, many treats I bought I also picked up a bottle of doggie beer! It is non-alcoholic, contains beef broth, and was a major hit with Milly and her puppal Hershey. I’ll right a full review of my experience with Bowser Beer at a later date, but it is great stuff, and a fun treat to give the dogs on occasion.

Don’t forget to enter the Austrian Crystal Dog Bone Pendant GIVEAWAY!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Doggie Perfumes

There are all sorts of brands of dog perfumes and body splashes on the market, but must of them contain harsh chemicals and alcohol that can dry and irritate the coat. No one wants their pooch to smell nice at the expense of a shiny and beautiful coat, and at the expense of their pup’s health, wellbeing and comfort.

I actually grew up making my own linen spray (my mom taught me how when I was 8) out of water and organic lavender oil. I kept it in a spray bottle and would spritz my sheets and pillowcase each night before bed (and sometimes spritz myself). I have always had trouble sleeping and the lavender did seem to have a very calming effect on me. It was so simple to make this spray – simply fill a spray bottle with water (I prefer filtered or bottled water for this purpose) and add 10-15 drops of organic lavender essential oil (add more for a stronger scent) and shake before using. In the same way I made this linen/sheet spray I have made similar natural fly repellents for horses and “perfumes” for dogs. When I am making a dog perfume I prefer to go with essential oils of citrus fruits (think grapefruit, lemon, orange and lime) with a small amount of lavender, and a small amount of chamomile – but really it is up to your own personal scent preferences. Making your own dog perfumes with organic essential oils (which can be found in health food stores) is cost effective in the long haul, but the initial cost of the essential oils can quickly add up. The annoying part of making it yourself is you do have to shake it before use, so if you’d like a store bought natural option I’d recommend the Pure Dog Freshener.

(I took this photo with my webcam, and I apologize that it is a mirror image -
thus the font on the bottle is backwards)

Pure Dog Freshener is a green product, and will not harm the environment and when you have finished the bottle you can recycle the empty bottle to be extra environmentally friendly. As an all natural product, I have found this to not irritate Milly what-so-ever. On the contrary, I have experience with the non-natural, chemical containing doggie perfumes, because the groomers at Petsmart and other large scale big box store groom salons sometimes use the harsher chemical perfumes on her post bath, and these cause irritations to her skin. The nice thing about the mostly rubbing alcohol, high in chemical, non-natural dog body splashes and perfumes is they come in a variety of scents (everything from Vanilla to Pina Colada to Strawberry Splash – whatever that is), but at the expense of an itchy dog it really is not worth it to me.

I love the rejuvenating aroma of the citrus scents, and Milly does not seem to mind being spritzed down one bit with either the Pure Dog Freshener. Because citruses can irritate the eyes please use caution when trying this product on your dog, and be sure to avoid their face. I have found that using Pure Dog Freshener every few days can add an extra week to Milly’s grooming sessions before she starts to smell like “a dog”, and to me that is worth it! I bought my bottle for under $10 (I want to say in the $5-8 range, but can’t remember) at a small mom-and-pop pet supply store specializing in carrying natural and high-end pet products. It was worth every cent, and I love the scent!

Don’t forget to enter the Austrian Crystal Dog Bone Pendant GIVEAWAY!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I am pleased to announce The Wet Nose is having our second GIVEAWAY to reward all of you loyal readers, and encourage you all to continue to spread the word about your favorite dog blogs!

Because our last GIVEAWAY was an all-natural, organic bully stick that a wonderful yellow lab named Abby was able to enjoy I wanted to ensure dog owners also could get some fun from this GIVEAWAY!

Bring some bling into your life with this dog bone pendant encrusted with authentic Austrian crystals on a 19” adjustable chain with lobster clasp and small logo tag. It is absolutely adorable! Other uses for this would be to rig it into a tag to hang on your pups collar for nights when you want your dog to walk in style, or, what I think I would do with this if I had it would be to have a jeweler affix a small toggle so it could be attached to my charm bracelet or I would wear it to a dog fundraiser!

Let me know what your favorite summer activities with your dogs are, what you would do with this necklace, and how you plan on wearing it, and become a follower of The Wet Nose, and you will be entered to win. Remember, you get entered twice if you link to The Wet Nose on your blog.

Good luck! This necklace is beautiful!

The drawing will take place using a random number generator at 3:00pm on Wednesday, June 24, 2009. GOOD LUCK!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009


I hope you all have a VERY FUN FRIDAY!!! And I hope you have the opportunity to do some fun activities with your four legged friends this weekend.

When I was little I started the Greensboro Annual Dog Show in Greensboro, VT. One of my favorite classes at this dog show I founded, arranged, and put on as a 10-13 year old was the "Dog Owner Look Alike Class"... boy would that be fun to judge! With reminiscence of my youth I present to you this look-a-like.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


VERY URGENT:Please take 15 seconds out of your time to sign the PetPac petition to President Obama stating that you don't want PETA and the HSUS to speak for you & your rights as pet owners, breeders & exhibitors. If you have time please forward to other concerned "dog people".


Poodles: They Aren't as "Frue Frue" as You Think!!

Lately I have been running into a lot of people who make fun of poodles, and roll their eyes at me when I say I would love to own a Standard Poodle one day. It amazes me that people who love other retrievers (like Goldens and Labradors) would be put off by a Poodle and not be able to look past their fancy haircut. I often ask these eye rollers if they know anything about Poodles, and the response tends to be, “yes, they’re very fruffie dogs that people dress up, and they don’t really serve much purpose.” Boy are those people WRONG!

Did you know that the Poodle is the original retriever? The breed, which started in Germany, but was developed into the modern breed we know today in France, is bred to be a water dog used for retrieving. You can look at their coat (the texture and pattern) and their conformation and see a reflection of the purposes the breed was originally bred for. Poodles come in three sizes – toy, miniature, and standard – the toy and miniatures have been bred down from the larger Poodles (now called Standard Poodles), but despite their smaller size these dogs exhibit the same general characteristics as the larger Poodles.

So what should you expect in a Poodle? First, brains! These dogs are extremely smart, and regarded by dog fanciers as one of the most intelligent dog breeds. The Poodle Club of America explains, “The Poodle is an active, intelligent, ruggedly-built dog which is at the same time elegant and refined. Well-bred Poodles in all three varieties have steady, calm nerves, hardy constitutions and they can be easily trained.” Poodles are very people oriented, often thinking of themselves more as people than dogs, and they do expect to be treated in such a manner. This personality makes the Poodle a wonderful companion. If you own a Poodle you should raise the dog in the house, and give it plenty of love, affection, and mental and physical stimulation. If not properly stimulated Poodles are prone to getting into mischief, so be sure to provide this high energy dog with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. The good thing is their high intelligence makes the Poodle very easy to train, and they are one of the easiest breeds to housebreak!

Poodles excel in a variety of sports, and are still today used for their original purpose as retrieving dogs and gun dogs. Poodles are known to also excel in other areas where their sturdy build, physical endurance, and brains help them win titles in obedience, agility, tracking, rally and field trials. The Poodle is not just a sturdy well built athletic dog, but also has grace and beauty – it is this beauty that has helped Poodles win Best in Show titles at some of the most coveted dog shows in the conformation ring, including The West Minster Kennel Club Show (in 2002) and the World Dog Show (in 2007).

The Poodles coat is often referred to as hair, rather than fur. They have a single layer (with no undercoat) of dense curly fur (or hair). The texture of their fur ranges from coarse and woolly to very soft and wavy. Their coats shed minimally, making them ideal candidates for allergy sufferers who want to own a dog.

A lot of people who are prejudiced against Poodles often reference their hair cuts when talking about why a Poodle is not the breed for them. The cut or clip most people think of is the show clip, usually the “English Saddle” or “Continental” clips. This show clip takes many hours of grooming (think at least 10 hours a week) to maintain, but don’t let that stop you from getting a Poodle as a pet. Poodles can also be shown (in some breed registries) with a corded coat. Despite the Rastafarian look of this style, it is very time consuming and takes a lot of attention to detail, and diligent grooming to encourage the coat to remain corded neatly. It is much less time consuming to groom a Poodle in a pet clip, and often this can be done at home with the right tools – Poodles as pets usually require regularly brushings, and grooming only every 6-8 weeks.

This photo shows a Standard Poodle with a corded clip.

The show clip, which turns so many off to Poodles, is thought to have derived from their original use as water retrievers, because this clip provides warmth to major joints while swimming in cold waters, but the rest of the body is clipped to enable less drag while swimming in the water.

Another turn off to the breed, I think The Poodle Club of America is partially responsible for, is in AKC shows the Standard Poodle now competes in the Companion Category, rather than the Sporting Group category. Some critics suggest this is because the Companion Group is easier to win, while supporters suggest the Poodle’s human like temperament makes them more suitable as companions than sporting dogs.

To learn more about the Poodle and their breed standard in America check out AKC.org.

Take a look at these photos, and think to yourself, is this really a fruffy dog?

These photos demonstrate the variety of colors allowed in the Poodle breed standard, as well as their ability as true bird dogs.

Poodles were bred as water retrievers, and this ancestry makes them excellent swimmers. You can even find Poodles competing in Dock Diving competitions!

This Poodle seen here pulling a cart shows the tremendous versatility Poodles have.

Yet another color of Poodle. Poodles excel in agility, as seen in this photo.