Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Featured Video: Jerry Loves to Play Ball

I found this video on YouTube and it reinforced my belief in the intelligence of dogs. Jerry looks like a daschund to me. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Benefits of Walking Your Dog Part-I

Taking your dog on walks is one of the best way to bond with this four-legged friend. I used to be one of those people who was lazy about walking Cookie before I got Gigi. If it wasn't for the cold weather, I would have done it more often. Some days, I would just be fried after getting home from work. All in all, I was lucky to have walked her two days a week.

Last year, Gigi the family. She was eleven months old when we got her. For some reason, if the yard was wet at all, she wouldn't go out. The only way I could get to get her outside was to take her on a walk. She couldn't get enough. Soon, it got to be a habit of taking both dogs out twice a day. On rainy days, I bought them raincoats to keep them drier and took them on shorter walks when the weather was miserable. When winter came, it went down to once a day. On snowy days or cold days, I'd bundle up and just do it. Still, there was very few days that I missed taking them out.

They say that it takes only twenty-one times to create a new habit. Ever since I've increased the number of walks I do with my dogs in a week, I've noticed many benefits of doing this activity.

One of the best things dog walking does is create a stronger bond with you and your dog(s). This is a time your dogs know it's for them. They can explore and get in touch with their desire to explore their surroundings.

Another benefit is the fact that you get in touch with the outdoors. You have nothing to listen to except the sound of your footsteps as well as those of your dogs. It forces you to slow down and notice the world around you instead of sitting inside or doing some chores that you have to do later anyway.

It increases your energy level. If you are more active, you are going to have more energy compared to when your being more sedentary. It's also a good way to keep your weight down and have your dogs lose weight, if need be. I know that I can't slack off like I used to because it doesn't just affect me.

Finally, it gives my dogs a chance to be social with other dogs. You see which neighbors have dogs which are good for your dogs to visit and which are not so good. The more your dogs interact with other dogs, the more of a chance they will socialize better in the future.

I feel that something I used to dread to do has become something to look forward to. This is just one of those activities I wrote about in my activities post.
See it here.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dog Accessory of The Day

Happy Monday Everyone! Today, I came across an article which features dog raincoats made from recycled umbrellas. Not only is it good to keep your dogs warm and dry from a rainstorm, it's earth friendly too. Check out the link below to see these jackets up close and personal. Have a great night all!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Misunderstood Pit Bull

Pit Bulls have been a controversial dog breed for quite some time. It's common to hear many reports of vicious attacks that have happened. It's heartbreaking to hear these stories and my heart goes out to all of the people who have suffered from these incidents. However, I think the dog breed has become a scapegoat unfairly.

My issue with blaming these dogs is that they are known for being strong, devoted and loyal to their owners. The two main factors that affect a dog's behavior, --especially a pit bull-- is how they are raised and the environment they are raised in.

Pit Bulls originated from people who wanted an exceptional fighting dog in the 1800s to fight bulls in England. Since then, some will buy these dogs because they need a dog to be mean. A dog only shows its aggressive side when it's feeling threatened. These individuals specifically bring out the aggressiveness of the dog to get that reaction. Others will buy these dogs as puppies and dogs and use the weaker dogs as bait dogs and teach the stronger dogs to fight to the kill. Of course, they make money off the whole thing because there are people who love to watch this and pick a winner.

Yet, we have a group of dog owners out there who love the breed. They want a companion and family dog, and are responsible owners. They know that the American Pit Bull Terrier is an active breed so will take the time to make sure that their lifestyle is able to reflect those needs.

Still, these stories are heard about these breeds are few and far between. Instead, the media focuses on the horror stories because that is what sells papers. It's easier to dismiss this breed as evil and view the situation in black and white instead of attribute any of the faults to the people who have mishandled or abused them. Insurance companies may not provide homeowner's coverage and some cities have made this breed illegal.

One thing that will not change is that dogs have a strong ability to bond with humans. Dogs give unconditional love and enjoy the company of human beings. Pit Bulls are still part of this group. If a person has never had an experience with these dogs, one can't possibly know how they can be. As long as owners are being responsible and giving these dogs the love and care that they need, pit bulls should be treated as any other dog. They are not for everyone but every dog has its own unique qualities and pit bulls shouldn't be punished for the mistakes of irresponsible people.

Here are some links if you would like to learn more about this breed:
Bull Dog
The Dog Owner's Guide
Michael Vick Dogs

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dogs in the News

Earlier this week, the former president and his wife adopted a dog called BB. They said that it's Barbara's nickname as well so that name should be popular. BB is a maltipoo(maltese/poodle). She is one of those oodle dogs I mentioned in an earlier post. Since I c ouldn't find any pictures of BB on the web, here is what a maltipoo looks like...

Also, George HW Bush is planning on jumping out of a plane on his 85th birthday. Good for him!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rollerblading with the pooches

Today, I took my dogs out for their first ride of the season. It was a beautiful day for it. While Cookie was loving every minute of it, Gigi was much more tentative. She stayed by my side and treaded cautiously but still didn't seem to mind being out in the sunshine. I only fell once. It turned out to be a minor scrape. However, when done correctly, this activity is a good choice for you to do with your dogs. (See my previous post here Workouts).

Well, I hope everyone has a great night and if you're from Illinois, don't forget to check our weather.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Backyard Breeders

Backyard breeders are not your typical breeders. Most breeders are in the business because they love their breed and aim to create the best breed they can with minimal diseases. Money is soley a bonus for them. However, backyard breeders are in business to make as much money off of a popular breed or one that is rare so they can have a better profit.

How can you tell the difference from a reputable breeder and a non-reputable one? Reputable breeders will have a history of the dogs used to breed, will raise their dogs in a loving environment and will provide papers to be registered. Also, breeders are in it because they love the breed, many will take the breed back if there is any difficulty in the new house the puppy has gone to and some will even provide first shots.

A small amount of those who breed are breeding for pets. They may raise hybrids or other breeds for that purpose.

If someone is a backyard breeder, you will see it in how the dogs are being taken care of, and they are going to be more interested in the dollar signs instead of how their breed is being improved. Look to see what kind of environment the dogs are being raised in and pay special attention to their demeanors.

All dogs deserve to be in good homes. Just keep an eye out for the breeders who do so to exploit rather than enhance the breeds. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dog Website Resources

Hi All,

Here are some my favorite dog websites to visit:

Please feel free to add in some of your favorite websites. Have a great day all!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dog Agility

Dog agility is a great activity for those of you who have a dog who is very energetic. What is it? In a nutshell, it's an obstacle course for dogs. It has items like tunnels for dogs to race through, they will weave through poles, jump up on a table. The best thing is that it makes them more obedient and is a great way to focus their energy. I had taken Cosmo, quite a few years ago. Cosmo was a Siberian Husky/German Shepherd mix. He was on the overweight side but the activity was great for him. He loved being around all the other dogs, and they made sure that he wasn't aggressive towards other animals. It's based on speed and precision. That season, we wound up in 9th out of 10th place but considering I slipped and fell down, that wasn't too bad. Also, for me it was more about having fun than being in first place. The memories I had of that were priceless.

If you have a dog, whose boundless energy drives you batty, you may want to give this activity a try. Here is a link to the official association:

US Dog Agility

Friday, April 17, 2009


Dogtown is part of the best friends adoption network. It was created in 1987 when so many of the dogs in shelters were being euthanized since they were unadoptable. They have over 500 dogs staying there and the property is over 90 acres. The staff there takes the time to train many of these dogs to become adoptable and for the ones who have been abused to the point of where being adopted is not a reality, the organization gives them a place that they can permanently call home. They are able to accomplish this with a staff and many selfless volunteers. They have taken in dogs from disasters such as hurricane Katrina as well as the thirty dogs who have been declared unadoptable from the Michael Vick dog fighting ring.

National Geographic has a special weekly program documenting the life of the dogs and the staff who loves them. You can catch it on Fridays in the US at 10PM Eastern/9PM Central. If you would like to know more, please visit them at Thanks and have a good night.

When dogs don't like cats

I live in a place where I have one cat and two dogs. Gigi loves Kat but Cookie loves to chase her. It seems that when this happens, it's because Cookie perceives Kat as some kind of threat. Usually, there's no harm done, but it's very scary when it happens. We usually try to anticipate it when we see Kat coming down the hall, but sometimes it happens way too fast.

Have any of you had this problem? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts on handling this situation. Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Short Post About Epilepsy

Dogs are very similar to humans. As a result, they get some of the same diseases we do such as cancer, viruses and epilepsy.

Our dog Cookie suffers from epilepsy. It is very rare in dogs and is more prevalent in certain breeds such as cocker spaniels. 80% of the cases the doctors do not know what causes it.

One day she was with my mom and she just froze. It was only about 30 seconds but then the next episode was for a couple of minutes.

When we took her to the doctor, we found out that she had a tendency to have petit mal seizures. I felt very fortunate that my dog did not have a severe diagnosis but we still have to follow a regimen to keep the episodes to a minimum.

Here are some tips if you ever see a dog having a seizure.

1. Stay calm and just pet the dog to help them deal with the moment.
2. After the incident happens, a dog may want to run around, or in Cookie's case, go out in the yard. This is the dogs process of coming out of the seizure.
3. It's good to write the amount of time the seizure goes on for and note an increase in the time or if it stays consistent.

Well, have a great night all. I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Newest Member of the Whitehouse

Today is the day that Bo Obama officially becomes part of the Whitehouse. It's special for many reasons. You get to see two young girls get a dog after waiting for one for quite a few months. It's beautiful to see a father fulfill his promise. You see a gesture of generosity from a colleague of the President, Ed Kennedy.

There's been some controversy about this from shelters and rescue leagues. I have had firsthand experience from both. Cookie was from a local pound in Chicago. She had been left on the street to fend for herself after giving birth to puppies. Gigi was found through a local rescue league and was originally to be used for breeding but was given up due to the fact the family couldn't afford to keep her. Both types of groups have the most generous, compassionate, and dedicated people committed to making animals have a better life. The benefits from this historic moment greatly outweigh the disadvantages.

One benefit is that allergy sufferers who love dogs may have another option in being able to have a dog. Labradoodles, PWDogs, Poodles, Coton de Tulears, Bichon Frises, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers and possibly a few others will fit the bill. Another is events in the news such as this one will increase the amounts of visits to shelters, rescue groups and breeders. Since it's spring, there will be more people willing to take the time to train a new dog.

However, the new dog shouldn't be about where he comes from. It is a family moment for a very public individual. He was nice enough to share this moment with our country. We should sit back and enjoy it and enjoy Bo. As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Peace

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dental Hygiene

Hi All,

Today I am going to tackle a subject that some may consider disgusting, but necessary. Yes, that's right--brushing a dog's teeth.

I always in the past, would laugh off brushing a dog's teeth, until I took Blackie, my dog from my college days to the vet. His teeth were so badly damaged from tooth decay, that he had to have at least three of them extracted. That act itself was incomprehensible to me. Worse yet, dogs are similar to humans and dental infections can adversely affect other parts of the body such as the heart or other vital organs.

Ever since then, I hit the toothbrush aisle in the local pet store and haven't looked back. They carry toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental sets, specially geared for pets. You should see the toothpastes. Petrodex makes a special beef toothpaste as well as a chicken flavored one. Just giving the dogs a taste is a great way to start.

Cookie is not fond of this, but she'll let me do it. She's been pretty good over the years and the results have been well worth it. She hasn't had one tooth extracted and we are entering our sixth year of owning her. Gigi, is new to this and is more laid-back about it. Since I've bought the type of toothbrush that has one big brush and a little brush on the other side, I find the smaller brush works better for Gigi since her mouth is pretty small.

If you're really on a mission to be tartar-free, a scraper works great, but the noise can tend to be stressful for the dog. The vet does offer teeth-cleaning as well but at about $300 USD, which includes putting your dog under anesthesia, it may be a little high for your wallet. I've done it a couple of times, and the end result is well worth it. The last time I had it done, the vet told me that she hadn't seen a dog with such great teeth for a dog Cookie's age.

My cat will not let me near her with a 10 foot pole so I'm lucky if I can put some toothpaste on her chin and have her clean herself. Cats are probably handled best by the veternarians.

Anyhow, if you've always been on the fence about this topic, and you can handle a few minutes of squeamishness, there is nothing better for improving your pet's quality of life and it's great for building up the bond you have with your dog.

Below you will find some more information on this topic:

Have a great day all!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Full moon

Last night, at dog obedience class, my instructor mentioned that there was a full moon. Although, I am not one to believe in its mystique, it is quite beautiful to look at. What was interesting to me was that he said dogs were affected by it as much as humans. Basically, the full moon sends extra energy into the atmosphere. Our bodies and our dogs bodies apick up that energy and may impact our behavior.

The only way I could see how it affected Gigi at class was the fact that she was not staying when she should have been, but then again, training is something that has to be consistent with dogs. Keep this post in mind if you see your dog acting a little batty and if anyone has a story they'd like to share, please leave a comment. See ya on the weekend!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dog Photos


Today, I just wanted to make this post about photos. I have attached fun and amusing photos just because. The dogs in the raincoats are Cookie and Gigi. Enjoy.

There were some photographers generous enough to let me use these photos. Here are the links for a couple of them...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

At the Vet's Office

Yesterday, I had to take Cookie to the vet. We went to see if she had lost any weight. Unfortunately, not yet. Since we've cut back on her food, the exercise needs to be increased. I can't wait till it warms up, because then I'll be able to take both dogs rollerblading. Until then, it's two walks a day.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Workouts for owners and dogs

Workouts with your dogs

1. Walking. Hands down, the easiest thing you can do.
2. Running. Dogs love it. Though it's hard on the knees, it's very effective.
3. Roller Skating. Although it's much riskier, if you are good on skates, it's really fun. It is best to do this in an area where there is little traffic or dogs. Padding is a good bet too.
4. Cycling. This is great for both of you. Ideally, you should use a special metal attachment on your bike so your dog stays close to you and won't go too far into the street.
5. Treadmill. Well, you have to take turns with this since only one person uses it. It's important to keep the dog's leash tight so it won't slip off while it's learning. This is a great option if you have a treadmill in the house.
6. Frisbee. Ideally, your dog has to be the type who loves to run and catch. Still it's worth giving it a shot.
7. Swimming. Again, it depends on the dog.

If anyone has any other ideas of what they do with their dogs to keep in shape, I'd love to hear it. Have a good night all.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Oodle Dogs

Just a small note...

The picture I use for my heading was taken by a great photographer from Italy. If you would like to see the photo in its entirety please use this link...

Onto the subject at hand...

Yesterday, I was thinking about how all these new types of breeds of dogs are being created. Really, they are a mix of two breeds. So I went to and was amazed to see over 70 breeds for the poodle alone.

Looking through today's classified section I found the most popular ones to be:

I think one of the biggest draws to these dogs are the fact that when mixed with a poodle, most of them don't shed. Also, they usually are more friendly to allergy sufferers. Still, I think as adorable as they are, one should never go by looks alone. Part of me is thrilled that there is a growing market for these unique dogs. It's great that you can find many of these dogs in animal shelters and rescue leagues, but part of me is concerned that it may get out of control. I'd love to year your thoughts on this.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Obedience Training with Gigi

Tonight, I took Gigi (the little black dog) obedience training. She really loved it. Whenever she goes there all she wants to do is play with the other dogs. I told the teacher the biggest things she's guilty of is loving everyone too much.

We worked on having our dogs come to us and worked on walking with them. Gigi is finally learning the basics. Anyhow, I have more training to do but it will be good for her and I can also work at home with Cookie too.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Video of Dog Bowling

Hi Everyone!

I found this video of a dog bowling the other day and found it really hilarious. I hope you enjoy it.

Also, thanks to Pietro, who let me use his photo of Cape Miseno for my header. Have a great day!


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