Saturday, February 27, 2010

Milly's Lump and More:

This morning I took Milly to the vet - I had some trouble making an appointment before my trip to Florida (I was there for a long weekend, and to escape the snow of DC), so I decided to just schedule it for when I returned from vaccation.

My gut feeling that it was just a cyst proved to be true! Praise the Lord, and thank you all for your kind words, thoughts and prayers as I worried about my sweet Milly, and the possibility of this lump being cancerous. My vet let me watch the entire aspiration process, and it was very interesting. We also went ahead and did a semi-annual senior exam and complete blood work. I'll have the results from the bloodwork on Monday, and hopefully everything will be A okay! My vet was very impressed with Milly's over all condition and health, and that always makes me feel good. I work very hard to give her optimum care.

The more I see veterinary procedures like today the more I think I would like to go to vet school. I'm slowly learning how to do basic things myself like draw blood, give shots, and express anal glands... which is all enjoyable for me (okay, the anal glands stink, but I save a lot of money doing them myself).

As a thank you for all of your kind thoughts about Milly I want to share this hilarious video of a Rottweiler singing Pink Floyd! ENJOY!!

Also, keep spreading the word about The Wet Nose... we're so close to 100 followers, and when we get there there will be a GREAT giveaway!! :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

2009 AKC ACE Award Presentation

I forgot to remind all of my readers to tune in for last week's Eukanuba National Championship dog show, and in case you missed it I wanted to share this clip of Robin.

As you might remember from this post Robin (BISS Am-Can Ch. Nitro's Boy Wonder OS SDHF CGC TDI) and his breeder/owner/handler Mary MacQueen were selected as the 2009 AKC ACE award winner in the law enforcement division.

From the AKC ACE Website:

Robin – Golden Retriever owned by Mary & Joseph MacQueen of Frewsburg, NY

Robin, a six-year-old Golden Retriever, is a police narcotics, missing persons and human remains detection dog, who gives true meaning to the police motto, "protect and serve." Keeping streets safe from drugs and hunting for missing persons, are just a few of this dog’s talents. He and his owner Mary MacQueen work for the Salamanca Police Department and the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office. In 2009 alone, Robin has been responsible for getting about half a million dollars worth of dangerous narcotics off the streets. The pair also assists with searches for Kinzua Search Dogs and the Southern Tier Regional Drug task force.

Robin and Mary were recipients of the 2008 Police Officer of the Year award for the Salamanca Police Department. In addition to his work in law enforcement, Robin is also a therapy dog, AKC Canine Good Citizen, AKC Champion of Record, and the recipient of the Golden Retriever Club of America’s Show Dog Hall of Fame title. When Robin’s busy schedule allows, he also leads local parades, visits hospitals and nursing homes, and makes trips to schools to educate students about the dangers of drug abuse.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


For many people nationwide the New Year is celebrated on January 1st by tuning into the ball dropping in Times Square, but the celebration for dog fanciers takes place in February. For the last 134 years dog fanciers have come together to commemorate the past year and the coming new year in Madison Square Garden at a multi-day extravaganza hosted by the Westminster Kennel Club.

2009 Westminster Kennel Club Best In Show Winner

The Sussex Spaniel

CH Clussexx Three D Grinchy Glee

On February 15th 2,500 of the top dogs from across the country (actually, in some cases across the globe) will congregate for two days before the largest audience in the dog world. Many of the dogs will come from within a few hours of Manhattan, but like last year, California will send the most entries for the show, 251 dogs. It must be in the sunshine, or perhaps the oranges, because Florida is also sending a large contingent, 124 Floridian pups will be represented at this year’s show. Entries will come from all over the United States and some entries will even hail from foreign nations too. Breeds with the highest number of entries are the most competitive, because it is that much harder to win Best of Breed and move on to the group competition. The winner of each group competition will compete for the coveted Best In Show. The breed with the most number of entries comes from the three varieties of Dachshunds with 63 dogs competing. The next highest entries are from the Australian Shepherds with 44 entrants, followed by the Rhodesian Ridgebacks with 43, the Labrador Retrievers with 42, and my personal favorite the Golden Retrievers with 40 entries.

The AKC represents 173 AKC breeds and varieties, and all 173 will be witnessed at Westminster. For the first time ever three breeds will be making their Westminster debut: the Norwegian Buhund, the Irish Red and White Setter, and the Pyrenean Shepherd. You can anticipate seeing all of 2009’s top ten ranked dogs at this year’s show, and the majority of dogs currently ranked thus far in the 2010 top ten standings. Westminster will have more top ranked dogs competing than any other show all year.

Mark your calendars for the television broadcasts February 15th and 16th, Monday and Tuesday evenings, from 8:00PM to 11:00PM Eastern Standard Time. Tune into USA network for Monday night’s broadcast during the first hour, and then switch to CNBC for the last two hours of the show. On Tuesday night USA will broadcast all three hours of the most competitive dog show of the year!

I encourage you to visit the Westminster Kennel Club website to learn more – the site is filled with all sorts of great information about the competition. For an opportunity to chat live with other dog enthusiasts during the competition, one of my favorite blogs, Dog Show Poop, will be hosting a Garden Party, an interactive live chat room, on Monday and Tuesday, February 15th and 16th, from 8:00PM to 11:00PM during the competition.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I've been hesitant to post about this until I find out what exactly is going on, but decided the entire purpose of this blog is a learning experience, and my readers are along for the ride as I learn everything I possibly can about dogs.

Most of you know I live in Arlington, VA, two stop lights from Washington, DC, and may have seen on the news we've been slammed with snow - I measured 28 inches in my front yard before the snow stopped falling, and we're supposed to get another 18-20" before 9pm tomorrow night! All of this snow has forced me to spend a lot of time in the house with Milly, and she has loved all of the attention.

A few days ago my boyfriend was petting her and noticed a lump on just above her shoulder. It's about the size of my thumb nail, and firm to the touch. It does not appear to cause her any discomfort when I press on it. Of course, I panicked! Cancer is a documented disease in dogs, and the large Golden Retriever population (consistently ranked one of the top five most popular breeds in the country) makes cancer that much more prevalent in Goldens. That being said, older dogs are known to develop harmless warts, and other benign growths, especially Goldens.

The odds are in my favor, Milly is a geriatric (don't tell her that, I think she missed the memo), and at an age when dogs develop all sorts of benign fatty tumors, growths and other cysts, but even knowing this, I still want to get it checked out. Normally, by now Milly would have been seen by the vet, but the snow is putting a major damper in that plan! It took three days just to dig my car out, and I had to go into work today, so the vet appointment will have to wait.

I thought I had a commitment with Junior League tonight, but I got the days wrong, and the commitment is tomorrow. As soon as I click "Publish Post" I'll be calling my vet to see if I can get a last minute appointment, otherwise I'll wait until after Snowmageddon Round II, and go at the end of the week.

I touch Milly all the time. I make a point to physically go over her at least every other day looking for any bumps, lumps, cuts, or burrs in her coat. I check inside her mouth weekly, paying special attention to her gums. When she's out in the yard I make a point of watching her movement at the walk and trot at least once a week. She's an older dog, and doing this will help me notice any signs of arthritis or joint problems she may develop as she continues to age.

Even with all of my touching and checking I missed this lump. If you don't already go over your dog at least weekly, I reccomend starting to do so. If this lump were to turn out to be the dreded C-word, which I really don't think it is, I will have caught it early, and the odds of successful treatment will be in our favor. If it isn't the dreaded C-word, it will be something my vet can aspirate and keep an eye on at each of Milly's semi-annual senior exams. There are some things we simply cannot prevent in our dogs, but knowing what is normal and what is abnormal in your individual dog will enable you to see signs and red flags of potential health problems. Catching things early, or even before they develop is critical.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Puppy Hunt: Update

I had an amazing conversation tonight with a Golden Retriever breeder that is helping me in my search for a breeder and litter. It was a great opportunity to really think about what exactly I am looking for in a puppy - I decided the biggest things are temperment, structure and movement.

We discussed what bloodlines I like and which ones I like less or dislike. I still have so much to learn, but I've already found there are some bloodlines I'm more attracted to than others. It's fun to look at various dogs from the same kennel and compare them to dogs from another kennel. You'll find you start noticing you like a certain look more than another. There are definitely some that I really prefer over others. One trend I've noticed is I like the lines where the goldens look like they are capable of doing what they were bred to be - hunting dogs. They have solid structure and from that comes good movement, and are not overly showy or flashy.

I have a list of breeders I'll be contacting when I'm snowed in this weekend - the news is predicting at least 2 feet of snow! I'm looking forward to reaching out to breeders and inquiring about litters - it will be neat to know what is out there. I already know about one litter that sounds very promising. The breeding will take place this spring - and the parents are gorgeous.

I'm anticipating it will be 1-2 years until I get a puppy, but it might be less. Most great breeders only breed a few litters a year, sometimes less than that, and you need to get on the waiting list.

My preference of gender is female, but I'd be willing to get a male if it's a great one. I'd much prefer a bitch though.

This past weekend I dog sat a beautiful Golden Retriever named Mason (check out his owner's company: Pennington and Bailes for great game day attire!). Mason was a total doll - sweet, perfectly behaved, adorable, willing to please, and great with Milly. It was a great opportunity to have an un-neautered male in the house to see what it might be like. He was perfect - on walks he did not stop to mark constantly, absolutely no humping, and a perfectly behaved boy in general. He has moved up boys in my eyes, and Milly was quite smitten with him. I did notice he got pee on his chest hair, and I'm not sure if most long haired boys have that problem. I still would prefer a female (Milly strangely gets along better with bitches) for my puppy, but I'm a lot more open to a male after having Mason for the weekend.

Well, I better run! I want to trim Milly's feet before the snow gets here! The news is calling it a "monster winter storm"... so I better prepare!