Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Goodbye, Anna...

You've probably been wondering where I've gone, and why I haven't updated the blog in a while. I just haven't felt like doing much of anything lately. My mind and body are drained, and I'm just going through the motions of life right now.

Last week, I received a call that my dear friend Anna had died, very suddenly and unexpectedly. She was only 27 years old, and she has been a part of my life and my group of friends since I was in middle school. I hopped in the car, and headed to South Carolina for her viewing and funeral, and I'm still numb from the whole experience.

Anna was filled with love, life, humor and pure joy! She put more living into her 27 years than most people put into their entire lives. With a smile always on her face, Anna bounded through life, spreading laughter all around her. She always had some PG-13 joke or comment to make, and her humor and happiness was contagious to all around her. Her Facebook statuses were the funniest I have ever read. Always random, but hilarious. Those alone would make an incredible book!

A part from being a wonderful friend to every human that knew her, Anna was an animal lover, and such a giver. To her, Lola and Baxter were like children. With no children, Anna and her husband welcomed their two dogs into their family, and loved them as much, if not more, than they would have loved their own offspring had they had children. Her obituary highlighted her furchildren, "Survivors include her husband, Doug; cherished family pets, Lola and Baxter..." Which some may find strange, but those who knew Anna, knew that she would want them included, because for her, they were family.

Baxter and Lola on a joy ride with Anna!

Anna was a giver. Just days before her death, she cut off 12 inches of hair and donated it to Locks of Love. She was passionate about breast cancer research and helping homeless animals. In Anna's memory, donations can be made to The Humane Society, 121 Humane Ln, Columbia, SC 29209 or to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, 301 Halton Rd, Greenville, SC 2960.

Anna will never be forgotten.

Friday, August 20, 2010

There's a special place for this woman...


Date: Thursday, August 19, 2010, 1:36 PM

PLS crosspost to all NY contacts as her whereabouts are unknonw..and esp to all
Golden Ret rescue contacts....the dogs were found by my friend

279 TurnbullRd
New Lisbon NY

Abandoned her property. The real estate agent assigned to list the property went
to check on property and found 2 Goldens had been left in a barn hidden in a
back room, chained with no food or water. They were dead and died a horrific
death all alone like that with no chance of help.

The police were contacted and are trying to find her to press charges. If anyone
knows of her whereabouts, pls contact me, Cathy Leinert, as it was my friend who
found them. Would loveto see this woman prosecuted!

Founder, Cathy's Rottie Rescue, Rehab & Sanctuary

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Meet my puppy!

I present to you, MY PUPPY! The litter was whelped this afternoon with 5 girls and 4 boys. This photo was taken when the puppies are just a few hours old, and it's so exciting for me to know that one of those little fellows is my next dog, and my first show dog!!!

I am so excited!!! I love how mamma, "Mandy," looks so proud of herself in this photo!

My Future Puppy

As you know, the litter I was hoping to get my first show puppy from didn't go quite as planned, and there were only two puppies. Well, that same breeder told me about a breeding that took place using one of her stud dogs. The breeder gets pick bitch as a stud-fee puppy, but is being kind enough to offer pick bitch to moi!

Well, I got a Facebook message today that the litter is currently being whelped!!! So far there have been 4 girls and 3 boys born, and it seems like there might be a few more on the way!

This is a repeat breeding, and the first litter produced beautiful puppies. This photo is of the puppies from that litter. They are so cute!

I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed in hopes that everything works out as planned this time around, and I will be getting my puppy in 8 weeks!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dead Dog - Hilarious Video!

This video is hilarious! I hope it brightens your day and puts a smile on your face like it did mine!!!


Monday, August 9, 2010

A Small Tornado Struck My Office

On Thursday, I was sitting at my desk at work trying to motivate myself to continue to plow through the mountain of work I have to do, due to campaign season. I looked out my window, my face green with envy, as I saw clear blue skies and sun all around. I wished so badly I could either be outside with Milly or at the barn riding, really, I wanted to anything but this mound of work!

About five minutes later I looked out my window again, yes, I have ADHD, and noticed the sky was this weird black. It was almost like in a movie - half of the sky was still clear blue, and the other half was a greenish black. I immediately typed an e-mail to a co-worker without a window saying, "The sky is black and green. I hope we get a storm and the power goes out, I can't focus on work! Ugh!" Mind you, I love my job and love the people I work with, but on Thursday I just didn't want to be in the office. A few minutes later I start hearing strange noises and look out the window again. To my horror, the entire sky is this greenish black, rain is pouring down sideways, trees are blowing like mad.

I pull up accuweather.com and type in the office zipcode. Page after page of weather warnings pop-up. I'm reading, "golf ball sized hale and 60 mph winds" when the power goes out. I wait a second, thinking the power will reboot momentarily, but it doesn't. At this point, all I can think is I hope this storm isn't at my house, because I left Milly loose in my room, and she hates storms!

I peer out the window and now the glass of the window in my office is shaking violently. I hadn't heard of any tornado warnings, but I did lose power before I could continue reading the warnings for my area. I assume, this is just a bad thunderstorm that will pass. The next thing I know, my boss and co-workers at my window, too (I have the best view in the office), and the trees are literally losing branches like they do leaves on a breezy fall day, and the sky is now pitch black. It's 3:30pm, and everything is so dark it looks like it's 9:00pm!

I keep thinking about Milly. If I'd known this storm was going to hit I would have prepared better. As she has aged, her fear of storms has worsened. She used to not fear thunder at all, but has always feared guns and fireworks. Now, she's terrified of storms. I'm watching quite possibly one of the worst storms I've ever seen, and my dog is all alone at home, loose in my bedroom. This is not good.

Little did I know that all around me trees were falling on buildings and cars!

About 30 minutes later the worst of the storm is over, and now it is just a heavy rain fall. Through the entire thing, I've watched police, ambulances and firetrucks going every which way, all with their sirens on, signaling a sense of urgency.

Fifteen minutes later, still scared for Milly, I ask my boss if we can leave. It doesn't look like power will be coming on anytime soon. While my building has a parking garage, I park on the top level usually, which is opened air and a normal parking lot. I walk out to my car, all seems well, and I'm thinking how glad I am we had this big storm, because I really needed to get the station wagon washed.

Less than a block away from my office numerous cars windows were blown out.

I'm still nervous for Milly, but I begin driving home. On the way, I realize all stop lights are out, and every 10 feet or so another huge tree has fallen over. Trees are in the roads, branches are everywhere. I realize even street signs have fallen when I have to swerve to avoid hitting a stop sign. I look out the windshield, half expecting a mooing cow to wiz by like in the movie Twister.

When I arrive home there is still a lot of thunder and lightening happening at my house, and Milly is a nervous reck trembling under my bed. I feel terrible for her. Now, I'm cursing myself for not taking her to the vet for the developing fear of thunderstorms. As a loud crash of thunder penetrates the air, she races up to me, shaking from head to toe, her feathers are even quivering. I decide to try an at home remedy I've read about - chamomile.

Luckily, I've been on a major herbal tea kick, and I have a box of organic chamomile tea in the cubboard. I spoon some organic pumpkin into her bowl, cut open a chamomile tea bag, and pour the shredded calming chamomile into the pumpkin. I mix it well, and pray that Milly doesn't have some allergy I didn't know about. She laps up her pumpkin, surprised she gets such a decedant treat before dinner.

I cut open a tea bag and poured the dried chamomile tea into a treat in hopes that it would calm Milly's fears during this terrible storm!

About 30 minutes later, I'm sitting on the sofa as loud cracks of thunder and lightening continue to fill the atmosphere. Milly is happily relaxed at my feet. Thank goodness this remedy worked, and thank the Lord that she wasn't allergic to it.

The next morning, Friday, I turn on the news and see "viewers photos" of the tornado that hit Shirlington. Apparently, cars less than a block away from me had their windows blown out, trees and power lines were all over the place. This bad thunderstorm was a tornado, and I didn't even know I was in the heart of it!

One of the many trees that was down on my drive home!

I thank God for keeping me safe, and am filled with joy that this monstrosity was just a bad storm at my house, when Milly was alone.

Here are the pictures from the aftermath. On Friday, I took Milly to my favorite dog park in Shirlington, and she rather enjoyed the obstacle course for dogs, comprised of large oak trees sprawled about the ground.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Encouraging Your Dog to Drink More

I recently received a question from a reader about parched puppies. In the summer, with these terrible heatwaves, it's easy for dogs to get dehydrated, and it is important to keep fluids in them as much as possible. I am not a veterinarian, and this is not medical advise, but I did experience problems with Milly and drinking water, and this post is about things that I found helped.

If your dog does not drink much water, and you are concerned, the first thing you want to do is go to the vet to clear any potential health problems. If your vet deems your dog healthy, you might want to try some of these tips.

With Milly, I found that she was reluctant to drink water if I was not with her, and even when I was with her, she would only drink if I held the water bowl for her. I was concerned that she wasn't drinking enough, and began adding water to her food at each meal. She happily lapped up the water, and it had the added bonus of slowing down her eating, which is always a good thing. By adding water to her food, I was able to ensure she drank a certain amount each day.

However, I still had concerns that she did not drink regularly. I began adding some low sodium chicken broth to her water dish at non-meal times. I did a 2 to 1 ratio, two parts water, one part broth, but you can adjust this based on your particular dog. If your dog is not enticed to drink at all, you might try doing straight chicken broth. To make sure it is super healthy, you can even boil some chicken in water until the chicken is cooked, shred the chicken and serve this homemade "soup" cold, but not ice cold.

After a lot of thinking I started noticing a trend. I always kept Milly's food and water bowls up against a wall, and she would happily eat this way, but would never drink this way. Sometimes, after walks, if I presented Milly with a fresh bowl of water in the center of the room she'd happily drink it. With this in mind, I moved her bowls so they are no longer up against a wall, and would you know, she started drinking on her own!

I have noticed that when Milly is outside by herself she is much less likely to drink than when she is inside. I have played around with a lot of different bowls, and found that she prefers ceramic or metal bowls, and they must be in the shade. I also started giving her frozen Kongs that contained water. I simply plug the small hole with peanut butter or a mushed up "pill pocket" or other chewy treat, then I either fill it with low sodium chicken broth, or a combo of water and yogurt or water and canned pumpkin (just make sure it isn't pumpkin pie mix, because that has a lot of sugar in it), pour it in the Kong. To prevent spills, I place the Kong in a drinking glass in the freezer so it can stand upright. This is a great treat that also helps with hydration.

I've also discovered that Milly absolutely adores water melon. Last weekend, I was frying some bacon (for me), and made myself a bowl of seedless water melon. Milly smelled the bacon and walked up to me with those big ole' brown eyes. I don't allow Milly to have bacon, because it is too fattening, and instead gave her a piece of seedless watermelon. She went bonkers! This is now her favorite treat, and the only food that she begs for. A small amount of seedless watermelon is a nice snack that is primarily made of water, so it aids in hydration.

I hope this post helped people who have been worried about their pup not drinking enough water in this hot weather. Please remember, with these extreme temperatures it is very important to keep an eye on your dogs, and not have them outside for long periods of time where they may get overheated.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Functional Furniture for You, and a Den for Your Dog!

When I first adopted Milly I was living in a small apartment and had a roommate. I kept Milly’s crate beside the sofa in our living room, and used the top of it as a place to store books and magazines. What I really needed were end tables, but there just wasn’t room for Milly’s crate and end tables, so I made do. As you can see, it was cramped living.

That living situation only lasted a few months, before I realized that I was not compatible with my roommate, and decided to break the lease and move out. I ended up moving to an even smaller apartment with just Milly and I, and found I really needed to use the top of Milly’s crate for storage. At the time, I couldn’t afford to buy a fancy wooden coffee table crate, so I stained a piece of wood and placed it on top of her crate. Voila! More storage! Soon after moving, I adopted a Munchkin Cat. I kept his litter box in the bathroom, and I really wish I'd had this cat washroom at the time!

These days there are so many options available to pet owners that double as human furniture, and make having dogs in small apartments an easy reality. Whether you need a crate that doubles as a TV stand, or want a traditional side table, there is something for you! By buying pet pieces that double as furniture for humans, you will be able to maximize space, especially in a small apartment.

This looks like a trunk, until you remove the front and see that it is a crate! This more traditional crate will keep your dog happy with so much room to see out!

Or, you could get this, which actually is a trunk and perfect for storing dog food or toys! I would love to purchase a nice wooden trunk to store all of Milly's toys in!

I love entertaining, and this wooden den could easily double as a fashionable bar for cocktail hour! These are little details that you need to think about when living in a small space.

Don’t want to have large bulky baby gates separating off-limit areas from pet friendly rooms? Invest in an easy to move, sturdy, folding wooden gate that is not only fashionable, but functional, too! They are made in all wood, or if your dog is a chewer, this wood and metal one would be ideal.

I have a very classic meets contemporary style. I adore antiques, but like to pair them with more modern accessories. For me, this wooden crate would be ideal. Dogs naturally like to den and the walls with smaller slats make this crate ideal for that purpose, and will make your pet feel very secure. The beautiful oak looks great, and you can use it just like any other table!

Small dogs and big dogs can use wooden crates, as they come in a variety of sizes! If I’d had one of these crates in my first apartment I could have kept Milly’s crate in my room, and would not have needed a bedside table!

If you have a modern or retro sense of style, you can easily find great pieces that will suit your d├ęcor! I love the silver pet den!

Even with all of this furniture for dogs, there are still times when I want to let Milly on the sofa to cuddle. But, she sheds, and sheds a lot! Milly knows she is only allowed on furniture if invited, and this machine washable dog quilt from Orvis would be perfect to lie down before she hops up. Plus, it is so cute! I’d happily keep that out all the time!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hemp For The Dogs!

As you know, I just got back from a great vacation in Vermont with Milly and my human family! Vermonters really care about the environment and using eco-friendly products, so it’s no surprise hemp is a fiber of choice for many. Hemp has been getting hugely popular, and is no longer just for hippies and necklaces. Hemp is an eco-friendly, durable material being used to make a variety of products from pillows and hammocks for the two legged variety, to dog leashes and collars for our furry friends.

Unlike many other dog leashes and collars made from synthetic fibers, hemp leashes are 100% biodegradable so they won’t just sit in a land fill when you’re done with them. The hemp used in most leashes and collars is grown without pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals so you will not have to worry if your dog puts it in their mouth.

While in Vermont, I met someone with the Earthdog hemp leash, which comes in a variety of colors, and can be purchased at Robbins Pet Care, a great eco-friendly website for pet-owners with an array of different hemp collar brands to choose from. The person I met that used this lead absolutely loved it! I initially thought a hemp leash or collar would be scratchy and rough feeling, but was surprised to find the material is soft. I was told that with time the collar softens even more. For dogs with lots of allergies, hemp collars and leads are hypoallergenic. When the collars or leads get dirty, simply through them in the washing machine, and you can even put them in the dryer!

The hemp leashes come in a variety of sizes (many are 1” thick with the option for 4’ or 6’ lengths), and are available in a large assortment of vibrant colors and prints,

Environmentally friendly hemp leashes, collars and toys are all the rage this year, and you should definitely give them a try! Find them at Robbins Pet Care and be sure to snag both a collar and matching leash while you are there! Also check out The Good Dog Company for a huge selection of hemp leashes and collars! There are so many options to pick from, and truly something for everyone!

Don’t stop making your pup green when you purchase your hemp collar and lead. There are tons of toys on the market like these, which come with squeakers!

Or these, sustainable, brightly colored hemp bones from Harry Barker!

Don’t stop there; you can pick up a variety of hemp dog beds, too! My personal favorite is the Harry Barker hemp beds, but they are a bit costly, and there are cheaper alternatives on the market.

You can even find clothes for your pooch made from hemp, like this pink hemp dog dress!!

You can even buy bars of hemp soap for your dog!

This hemp pet carrier is perfect for traveling with small dogs!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Anti-Tail Wagging Furniture!

While I was in Manchester, Vermont I took a trip to both the Orvis flagship store and the Orvis outlet. Orvis is quite possibly the most dog friendly store I have ever stepped foot in. The Orvis flagship store is HUGE! It was two stories, and had everything an outdoorsy person could ever dream of! As I browsed through all of their clothing and accessories, Milly was a great sport right at my side. Sales associates kept coming up asking if they could give her a treat, and she sure was spoiled. Milly learned that she needed to wag her tail for people who had not yet given her a treat, to maximize all treat potential! Afterwards, we walked outside and fed the trout in the casting pond while Milly chased geese. It was truly an experience, and I recommend anyone visiting Manchester hit up the Orvis store and outlet, and pay the 25 cents to feed the fish, it's worth it!

The flagship store has a huge dog section where you can test out all of their beds, I’ve been thinking of getting Milly a therapeutic bed as she’s aging, and they had one that was just her size and 40% off! I might call the store to see if they still have it and could ship it to me.

As you all know, I absolutely adore Golden Retrievers, and am dying to get a second (and then perhaps a third) Golden. My only major complaint with Golden Retrievers, and I feel the same way about labs, is their tails are at perfect coffee table height! They are such happy dogs, and as soon as their tail gets going it can easily knock over anything on the coffee table. Milly has knocked over countless glasses of wine or other beverages, picture frames, and even the TV remote with hers! I find I always have to set drinks in the very center of the coffee table so she won’t knock them with her powerful happy tail.

I was tickled while in Orvis to discover they’ve designed a coffee table (and end tables, too) for this very purpose! The Anti-Tail Wagging Furniture line sounds incredible, and I’m dying to purchase it. But, the price tag is not cheap, so I’ll have to wait for it to go on super duper sale before I splurge.

As we all know, there are two things that never mix: a full wine glass and a happily wagging dog’s tail. Orvis set out to solve this problem and the solution in one you won’t find anywhere else. Their anti-tail-wagging storage coffee table furniture features unique recessed areas where glass, food, and any breakable items can be placed safely out of range of your dog’s exuberantly wagging tail. Expertly crafted from solid pine, the storage coffee table features two drawers and a sliding tray, while the end table has one storage drawer.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nuts for Knots!!!

Recently, I discovered a great new product Nuts for Knots, and Milly is begging me to order her one! Nuts for Knots are made of tightly woven cotton rope compressed into a compact ball. The tightly woven cotton is not only colorful, but also very durable! And best of all, you can toss them in the washing machine when they get gross and slobbery. I love the green, yellow and purple design, because it really stands out, and will be very easy for Milly to find in her massive basket of toys.

I love to bring Milly to work with me, but she can only sit still for about four hours before she wants to go out and play. To keep her occupied at the office I’m planning on ordering Nuts for Knots and throwing it down the hallway in my office building. This will give her the exercise she needs while at work with me, and prevent her from getting too antsy and barking. Our hallways in the office are carpeted, so it is the ideal place for indoor fetch. The carpet provides traction and prevents any slipping that can lead to joint damage, especially in older dogs.

This is not a toy I would leave a dog unsupervised with, though. The tag warns to throw it away once the knot becomes damaged or starts to unravel. Normally, this would prevent me from ordering a toy. But, for such a great price ($2.49 for the small, but I’ll need the large) it is worth it! This will be the office toy, so I’ll keep it in my drawer at work for office dog days.

These fun, brightly colored balls come in three sizes: small, medium and large – making them ideal for any sized dog. You can purchase them online at ThePuppyShop.com, and if you search for a coupon code online you’ll probably be able to find a discount code!