Sunday, May 31, 2009


When I feel bloated, I know it's a mild annoyance that will go away in time. When a dog experiences bloat, it's not a laughing matter at all. It is extremely serious and can be life-threatening if not caught in time. It can kill your dog in as little as 30 minutes. Cancer is the leading cause of death for dogs; bloat is the second.

The scientific term is Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus. What happens is that a combination of air, food or water can't leave the stomach because it's hard for a dog to burp out excess air. Everyone can burp but not all dogs can do this. If there is a buildup of this air, the stomach of the dog can twist on itself. The twisting of the stomach is the voluvus part. The air continues to fill the stomach and will press against the dog's organs.

I hope that any of you guys have not had a dog you've seen go through this. Still, it never hurts to be one step ahead by being aware.

Bloat has a tendency to be more prominent in larger breed dogs such as the Great Dane and St. Bernard. Still, a dog as small as a Basset Hound can be predisposed to it as well. It seems to hit dogs with a deep barreled chest most frequently. If you would like to see a chart of which breeds are most susceptible, check out this page.

The biggest sign that your dog has bloat is a swelling in their stomach. You will notice they are not themselves and seem depressed, or tired. They may also try to vomit where nothing comes up. Once a dog suffers their stomach twisting once, it's very likely that it will twist again.

This is a condition that there is no way to prevent bloat 100% but you can take some precautions such as:

1. Feed your dog two or three times a day. The frequency will decrease the chance of your dog's stomach stretching as much.
2. If your dog is a fast eater, turn the dog bowl upside down so your dog will be forced to eat more slowly because the food will be harder to grab.
3. Don't exercise your dog until 2 hours after a meal. It will have given the dog time to digest their food.

Since you can't predict that your dog will get this or not, all you can do is be cautious. If by chance, he does exhibit any of the above symptoms, call your vet IMMEDIATELY!

As always, if you have anything to add, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Have a great night Kool ones!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wedding Season!

Spring is here and it is the time when the wedding season begins. Weddings are designed to what the bride and groom envision for that special day. Many dog owners feel as if their dogs are part of the family.

One wedding planner had dogs in about 60% of the weddings she had planned. With the right amount of planning, you can make the day special by including your pet in the nuptials.

There are a few things one should keep in mind if you're going to use your pet in your big day:

1. You want your dog to be comfortable in a social setting. Some dogs are very outgoing but others are really shy or possessive of their owners. It's important to have your dog acclimated to being around a group of people before the big day.

2. Designate a person you trust to help take care of the dog. It's your day and the last thing on your mind should be what's happening with your dog. There are actually people who can be hired for this purpose if you don't have anyone close to you who feels comfortable with this duty.

3. Know what role your dog is going to play in the ceremony. Some weddings may have the dog just for pictures and others will have the dog as a bridesmaid or groomsman.

4. Make sure you get married in a place where they allow pets. Many places are afraid of dogs leaving behind "gifts" and will not allow it even if it is your special day. A great way not to worry about this is to have an outdoor wedding.

5. Make sure you the dog is walked before the ceremony. Dogs love people and all the activity will make them really excited.

6. If you have friends or family that have serious allergies, you have to find a way to work your dog's involvement around that fact. There is nothing worse than that having an allergy attack when it didn't have to happen. Let them know ahead of time that your dog will be involved and that they are not going to be affected by your dog's inclusion in the wedding.

I have yet to be married. Having my dogs in my wedding would be my first choice but everything in a relationship is a compromise so who knows if that will happen when that day comes for me. So I present the question to you guys. Have any of you had your dog as part of your wedding? Please leave a comment and let me know. Have a great night.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dogs in the News-An Alarming Trend (Warning: sensitive readers may want to skip this.)

The following post is not for the faint of heart. As you know, in the past I've written about the topic of dogfighting. Today, I learned about a different type of dog fighting. It occurs in England. Young kids who are in street gangs are using dogs as weapons in street fighting. They are looked at as status symbols and the number is rapidly growing. In 2004 there were 28 dogs for dog fighting and in 2008 there were 284 were used for dog fighting. Of those 284 dogs, 188 were used for street fighting. In four years that's an increase of 1014%.

How alarming is this trend? There is a three-part documentary that recently aired called "My Weapon is a dog". Even worse is a 22-year-old woman whose two year old bull terrier
Hugo was kidnapped today. You can see the story in it's entirety here.

I only hope that this is a trend that reverses itself. It's not going to happen overnight, but maybe the more people out there who love dogs know about this, there can be something good to come out of the knowledge to eventually stop it. Thanks for stopping in.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Toxic Foods for Dogs

There are some times that dogs just find their way into some food that's left out or they'll sneak something when we're not looking. Some of these things are perfectly fine, but others will guarantee a quick trip to the vet.

Here is a list of foods that you should have your dog avoid at all costs:

  • Chocolate. It contains caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can be toxic and affect the heart and nervous systems. My dog Blackie, an overweight Lab mix, once ate at least 15 of those mini Reese's Peanut Butter cups. We were so scared that he would get sick, but luckily, nothing happened. I guess since it had a fair amount of peanut butter, it helped counteract the chocolate toxicity.

  • Grapes and Raisins. Contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys. One or two are ok but even as little as 1/3 of an ounce can cause irreparable damage.

  • Macademia Nuts. Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.

  • Mushrooms. The kind of toxin in mushrooms vary with species. Some cause effects including hallucinations, hyperactivity, and coma. Others damage the liver, heart, or kidneys causing death. Clinical signs usually occur within 6-8 hours following ingestion. Mushrooms grow in the wild in most areas, and pets need to be closely supervised to prevent ingestion, if access to the mushrooms cannot be prevented.

  • Onions and Garlic. In dogs and cats, garlic and onion can cause Heinz body anemia, resulting in a breakdown of the red blood cells and anemia. Of the two, garlic is the lesser of the two evils. Still, you really have to watch out for these. The worst case scenario is having your dog go through a blood transfusion. There is no specific treatment for this aside from giving activated charcoal to the afflicted animal.

  • Sugarless Gum. Even though gum isn't really food, it is something chewed by humans. If your dog winds up chewing it, depending on the size and how many pieces it gets into, the principal ingredient Sorbitol can cause liver failure if not treated in time.

  • Baby Food. This contains onion powder and should be kept away from dogs at all times.

This is just a basic list. If you find your dog has consumed any of these items, the best thing to do is call your vet. Some cases you may be able to wait out. A larger breed such as a Golden Retriever is going to have a different reaction than a breed the size of a Bichon Frise. Still, it can't hurt to error on the side of caution. Nowadays, there are many emergency vets that work overnight in case you can't wait until the morning.

As always, have a great night. If you have any thoughts or situations you'd like to share, please feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dogs in the News: Two Girls Save Dog

This story really grabbed me today when I was visiting twitter. I'm attaching the link to the written story since the video isn't the best quality. I hope you enjoy this.

Twitter Helps Two College Roommates Save Dog

Also, I have a poll in the right widget section. Hope you all have a great night.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Benefits of Walking Your Dog-Part II

Previously, I had written about the benefits of dog walking in this post. After taking them on a long walk (45 minutes), I thought of additional benefits that I had not realized.

Here are some more reasons it's great to walk your dog:
  1. Walking makes your dogs less irritable. Dogs are cooped up in a house or yard all day. Walking is an adventure for them and is a natural instinct for dogs. Dogs love to explore and they never know where they are going to end up on a walk. Only you do.
  2. By letting dogs sniff the ground during the walk, they pick up all the scents of the neighborhood. Their sense of smell is so distinct, they remember exactly where they are because of these smells and it helps them find their way home.
  3. They sleep better and so do you.
  4. Walking is a low-impact exercise. It's great for increasing joint mobility and blood circulation.
  5. It helps stave away heart disease. I had found this comment from Steve Freed, R.Ph., CDE of to be very insightful:
    For our newsletter we did a study with 5 patients with diabetes who would not exercise.
    We called their vets and had them tell the patient that they had to walk their dog 40 minutes twice a day to prevent heart disease and all 5 patients did for their pets what they would not do for themselves. has a great tool that helps you calculate how many calories you can burn on a walk. Check it out here!

I also found the neatest gadget to make walks more inviting. As you know, human pedometers have been around for quite some time, and now someone came up with this brilliant creation.
Pedometers Australia carries a pedometer made specifically for dogs. It slips onto their collar and measures the number of steps you take. It measures the steps they take and it can be used even when you're just playing a game of fetch.

With summer just around the corner, if you've been hesitant to get on the bandwagon, now is the time. As always, feel free to share your thoughts. I hope you all have a great night.

The Benefits of Walking Your Dog, Part I

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Premier Collars

I first heard about Premier collars when I was taking dog obedience this year. My instructor was very enthusiastic about this as a training tool. It was fascinating to me because finally there was a collar that was different for restraining dogs. I never liked the choke collars, and was squeamish around pinch collars, I was very impressed by how this works. The control is incredible, and is fabric, so it's not going to be as abrasive as metal.

These are ideal if you have very strong dogs, big dogs or dogs that tend to slip out of their collars, like Greyhounds. When you are using the Premier collar, it works bye gently squeezing to let the dog know to slow down. It falls just below the ears, so there is no less hair worn away at the neck. It fits dogs of any size from the tiniest Chihuahua to the largest Mastiff.

You can find more about this incredible product at:

If any of you have had experience with this product, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for stopping in! Have a good night!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Video of The Week-Singing Dog

This is a video of a dog named Elvis singing to the ukelele. I like the simplicity of it and it is not one of those videos where the dog's mouth looks like it's singing but what you're getting an edited video. I'd love to hear what you think. Enjoy!

Monday, May 18, 2009

K-9 cops

Dogs have been working in the law enforcement world since the 18th century. They were originally trained in Europe as guards to protect territory in Europe. As time went by, they were used in the wars such as World War II and slowly made their way to England and America.

Today, most police departments have at least one police dog as its member. The average cost of acquiring a police dog is around $8,500. Many of these police dogs originate from Europe, since they put their dogs through much stricter breeding standards. If a dog doesn't past their tests, they will not breed that dog. A police dog has to have a combination of athleticism, concentration, strength and aggressiveness. Police dogs are usually not neutered to keep their aggressive nature at its peak. However, they undergo a strict training regimen that includes obedience, agility and scent tracking. It is with this training that their aggressiveness is kept in check.

Police dogs are mainly used for drug detection, bomb detection and in some cases as a partner. Dogs have over a million olfactory spores in their nose where humans barely have 100,000. Their sense of smell is so distinct, they can easily filter out the smell of drugs from something that masks it such as perfume.

The most common breeds of dog are German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever and Belgian Malinois. Police dogs last on the job on average about 6 years. To partner with a police dog, it is a privilege for the human. Only the officers with the highest accommodations within the department are selected. Working with a police dog is not something that lasts a couple of weeks or months but rather is a commitment for that dog's life.

Dogs are taught to find certain scents as their reward.They can also detect a criminal running from the scene from the trail they leave on the ground as well as the scent they leave behind in the air. There are different ways the dog tracks the scent and alerts their fellow officers. The most common is by barking. Some have taught to touch the item they've found wiwth their paw, but in the case of bomb-sniffing dogs, they have to use a more subtle method such as barking. Other times the mere presence of a police dog is enough to stop a criminal in their tracks.

All in all, police officers have a bond of closeness that is beyond compare. This is even moreso with officer and police dogs. Many k-9 cops have unselfishly devoted their time and in some cases their lives, to make the world a safer place. They deserve to be commended. A great site to learn more about these amazing animals is As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for stopping in.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dog Fonts

Hi All,

I've really appreciated all of you coming to visit my site. I have always been a fan of different fonts for the computer. There is a type called dingbats. If you make the size really big you can basically have a drawing of a dog or you can use different images of the dingbats in a collage. Anyhow, here are a couple of links if you would like to download any dog fonts. They are completely free for any purpose and are designed by Graham Meade of Gem Fonts. Personally, I love the detail in these. You will find the links below. I'd love to hear what you think. Have a great weekend.

Dogg Art

Doggon Dingbat Font

Friday, May 15, 2009

Get Summer Started

Hi All!

Here is a video that makes me think of summer. Surfing is something I've always wanted to try but being in the Midwest, I've never gotten around to learning. Have a great weekend all!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dogs in the News-The Dog that Halts the Mail

Thanks to one of my Twitter friends, I learned this story about a dog who won't let the postman do his job. I feel bad for the owner but what can you do? Jack Russell Terriers are known for being territorial and the dog is probably doing his job as far as he's concerned.

Here's the link from the Associated Press...

Dog Halts Mail

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What I've learned so far

As you know, I've started this blog as part of my blogging class. I had the option to continue or end this after the class ended this semester. I've chosen to continue.

When I first started writing this blog, I knew I would have a few topics, but until you've been doing it awhile, it's apparent that writing a blog is more than just writing a few good posts. Blogging is much more than what you see on the surface. I have found over the past month and a half, it takes a good amount of planning to come up with worthy topics. It's also good to know who you are writing for. They are the ones who will enjoy reading what you have to say and get something out of it. It's given me a voice and structure to a subject I hold close to my heart.

Blogging is also about reaching out to others. There are times, I may do so by sharing a comment with a blogger whose posts I totally got. I just had to share my feelings. It's a form of expression. If you are doing a blog for family and friends, it's a way to deepen a connection with a common interest. If you are doing a blog for family, friends and strangers, like I did, it's a way to learn about yourself and take a risk by sharing your words in a public manner.

By working on a schedule and having a certain requirements for the class, writing for my blog has givent structure and discipline. Being a creative individual, organization isn't something that comes easy. I've learned that writing an effective blog is a balancing act. I've enhanced my writing skills, pushed my coding skills further and found a way to meet people from all over who share a common interest. The video below echoes my feelings about blogging because they all work together to achieve a common goal:

Rat on a Cat on a Dog from Heidi Petty on Vimeo.

Lastly, I would like to thank all of my readers. I still have much to learn, but you all have made the learning process of blogging all the more worthwhile.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Take Me Out the the Ballgame!

Hi All,

This post is a little late because as you know the blog is still only about a month old. Already, I'm going to be having my last day of class tomorrow. Anyhow, I am a baseball fan and some of these major league ballparks have bring your dog days at their ball park. Usually, the pets are in a contained area and you may have to pay a little extra but just watching the whole thing is priceless. It's another way to enjoy dogs especially if you can't own one. (See my post that's about two or three spaces down.)

Well, here is a list of the teams that do participate in this. It's one thing that's great about the Cub's known rivals (see St. Louis and Chicago White Sox). Pittsburgh is the granddaddy of them all, having one game a month. It sounds like a road trip to me!

Here's the teams who you can catch a game with your dog at the ballpark:

Atlanta BravesWednesday, June 10
Sunday, Sept. 6
Chicago White SoxWednesday, May 20
Cincinnati RedsTuesday, May 19
Tuesday, September 15
Oakland A’sFriday, July 17
Pittsburgh PiratesTuesday, May 12
Tuesday, June 30
Tuesday, July 21
Tuesday, August 25
Tuesday, September 21
St. Louis CardinalsSunday, June 7

Some of these you have to act fast. The Florida Marlins already had their game on April 24, and Washington Nationals aren't having a dog day but will be having an adopt-a-pet day on Saturday, September 5. Special thanks to Woof Report and for their assistance. As always, please feel free to leave a comment or drop me an e-mail. Good Night All!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


About seven years ago, I was doing dog walking as a living. One of the dogs was named Buster. He was a reddish-brown Pit Bull who was about two years old. His owner had saved him the day before he was about to be euthanized. Buster was found from a place that did dog fighting. He was either a bait dog, or used in fighting, the owner wasn't sure. You could see little scars on his face. Still, he was a happy pooch.

Buster loved humans but as a result of the fighting, had a tendency to be aggressive towards other dogs. To combat that, I had to be very careful of where I took him for a walk. If I ran into another dog, I would make sure to take him the other way and be super careful that I had a good hold of the leash. Some people would give me disapproving looks but I never took that personally. He was very strong and pulled all time time, but you could tell he loved every minute of his walk. There were times I would run with him to help him get some of that energy out of him. He was so appreciative. Even with a dog as strong as Buster, I never had a major problem with him because I knew what to expect.

Dogs like Buster is why I wrote the Misunderstood Pit Bull. I may have not stayed in dogwalking for longer than a couple of months that year, but Buster was a dog who would never be forgotten. Hope you all have a great day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

If I Can't Have a Dog...

There are times in your life where you may love dogs but you can't have one. Situations like this include:

  • Living in a place that doesn't allow pets
  • Being in a relationship with someone who does not like them at all
  • Not having enough money to sufficiently care for a pet
However, there are things you can do if you find yourself in these situations. Usually, many dog fans can get their fix by :

  1. Dog Sitting

  2. Dog Sitting is a nice way to break out of your usual routine and make a little money at the same time. You need to be comfortable staying in another person's house. It's just like babysitting but this is a great way to be around dogs without having to make a huge commitment. Most importantly, you need to be honest and responsible. Anything that goes wrong and the dog owners will hold you liable if something goes wrong.

  3. Volunteer at a shelter

  4. Many shelters are understaffed because they have such an abundance of pets. Just stopping in to visit can do both human and dog, a whole world of good. When I used to work in the city, I would take time to visit the local animal shelter on my lunch break just to see the little guys. It may have not been much, but at least it was more than they would of had.

  5. Participate in a fundraiser

  6. This is a great way to give back and there are usually quite a few animals the organization has on hand for publicity. Usually, it's doing something enjoyable like running a 5K, cycling or a huge party.

  7. Go to the park or beach

  8. Depending on where you live, you can encounter many four-legged friends this way. I live in a temperate climate, so the best time for this is in the summer. Still, it's a great way to spend your day.

These are only a few suggestions. If anyone has been in this situation, and found a different way of spending time with dogs, drop me a comment. Bye for now.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My First Podcast - No Charge For Love

Hello All,

Here is a link to my first podcast. Since this is my first one, keep your volume button handy because it starts a little loud. Enjoy!

My Podcast

Video of the week

I just couldn't pass up this video. It is was used in a commercial that I-Phone used in 2007 with Tillman the skateboarding dog. Hope you all enjoy.

Here is more information about how the video came about. Check the right hand column and click on more info:
You Tube Info

Also, Tillman has become a celebrity in his own right. See his website here:
Tillman the Skateboarding Dog
Have a great week.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Quite a Scare

Tonight, after I got home, it was time to take the dogs for a walk. The walk was going great. Near the end of it, I noticed Gigi was rubbing herself in the grass. At first, I thought it was due to the fact I had them running for a bit and she was hot. However, it turned out not to be the case. She had rubbed up against some burrs. They were caught in her chin and on her paws. I did not notice this until my mom saw her chewing them.

After I pulled off what I could, I noticed that she had a look of discomfort and was constantly licking her facial area. I called the emergency vet and told them what happened. The technician told me to give her bread. Whole wheat bread didn't go over very well. Gigi wanted no part of it. I then called them back, and they told me to try giving bread to her with peanut butter. This time, Gigi loved the peanut butter but would have no part of the bread it was connected to. I then called the vet and they said for safety I should bring her in.

The vet was able to find a burr on her paw and upon looking at it, he said that it wasn't too bad and once he gives Gigi some food, the burrs should be pushed far enough where it won't be a factor. She did have some irritation in her throat and I was told to expect that to last until the morning. After the vet looked down her throat, I felt that was stressful enough for Gigi, so I had turned down the anti-inflammatory shot.

I am writing this so that if any of you are in a similar situation, you'll know what to do. I learned a huge lesson tonight. Sometimes the littlest things really do make the difference. Thanks for checking in and as always, I look forward to your comments.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dogs in the News: The Dog That Blew Away

For all of you who may have missed this, I was reading the local newspaper and came across an article about a dog in Holland Michigan that was carried away by 70mph winds. Tinkerbell Utley, only eight months old, was found dirty and hungry a mile away from the flea market, her owners were at. That's scary for any owner.

Anyhow, if you would like to read more, check out the article I found. Here's the link: The Dog That Blew Away, Yahoo News

Friday, May 1, 2009

Last Day of Dog Obedience

Well, last night was the final week of dog obedience forGigi and me. Six weeks went by incredibly fast. The main goal last night was to show what tricks we could do. I took some of the treats that I had packed up and did roll over and taught Gigi to crawl.
My teacher asked me if there was anything else. I then told him, the only thing I could think of is when I say "alright girls!" Gigi barks like a maniac. Of course he didn't need to hear that one.

Probably two of the most incredible tricks were by two of our dog owners. The first one, had a Golden Retriver. They took their finger and shaped it like a guy and said "Bang" and the dog played dead. The best trick though was by this Scottish Terrier owner. She showed her dog how to put her toys into a plastic container.

So my question to you dear readers is what is the best dog trick you have seen. Please let me know by leaving a comment or via e-mail. Thank you and have a great night. :)


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