Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ripple Effects Of The BP Oil Spill

One of the biggest stories in the news these days is the BP oil spill. Now that we are in hurricane season, the need to stop this spill is even more adamant than ever. Hurricane Alex is on its way and more hurricanes are certain to follow. Since April 20, there has been over 70 million gallons of oil spilled from this debacle. British Petroleum has spent at least 2.7 billion USD to resolve this problem.

The Effect On Dogs

The oil spill has hit home for many of the residents of Louisiana. Just recently recovering from the aftereffects of Hurricane Katrina, this happens. Many have lost their jobs and can no longer keep their dogs. The local shelters have reached their capacity. Some dogs are being transferred to other animal shelters up north. There is even a special pet retention program that has been created where only $25 will fund the expenses to help families keep their pets.

How You Can Help

This is a travesty that seems to be getting worse before it's going to get better. If you live in the area, there is always a need for volunteers. Petfinder has a great article in their blog where they show how to become a disaster relief volunteer.

Let's Discuss!

What are your thoughts on the BP Oil Spill? How has your area been affected by this?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Agility Diaries


Recently, my brother picked up a dog named Homer. Homer is a really tall Beagle (18 inches) who is naturally energetic. He's over at the house quite a bit. He's only a year old and never has had dog obedience. The place that I usually sign him up does not have classes in the summer. Homer is a scent hound. He needed a job so I thought that agility would be a good way to keep him busy.

He's picked up some bad habits and with a little more exercise, he may not have the time to focus on those habits if he's tired enough. Since I had experience with agility in the past, I decided to give my brother a hand and take him to a seven-week class in my area. I will share everything about the agility class with you all in this new weekly series.

Week 1

Well, starting a new class always is an experience. Although the place is a half-hour away driving locally, I wound up taking the expressway to save time. What a mistake that turned out to be. Because it was in the end of rush hour, I was caught in traffic. I took the exit in the wrong direction and wound up being twenty minutes late.

Luckily, I had filled out the paperwork beforehand, and the class instructors were understanding. Since this was the first class, it turned out to be only 45 minutes. Homer got to try the teeter-totter, jumping through the tire, crawling down low and the staying on the table.

For the first time, I realized he was a quick learner. My biggest problem will be keeping him from getting car sick. He can handle shorter rides but rides over twenty minutes will start to affect him.

After class he still had a bit of energy but wound up being much calmer as well. It's just a start, but will be a start in the right direction.

Let's Discuss!

Do you have any favorite agility stories? How did agility benefit your dog?

Related Posts

Dogged Pursuit
Dog Agility

Friday, June 25, 2010

Take Your Dog To Work Day 2010

Hello Everyone! It's been a little hectic this week because I was working on a special graphic design project so I haven't been able to blog as much. I hope everyone has had a great week so far.

Take Your Dog To Work

In 1999, Pet Sitters International created Take Your Dog To Work Day. It's become so popular, some workplaces have a Take Your Dog To Work Week. This event was created to celebrate the human/canine bond and encourage pet adoption. Since then, it's been commonplace to see a pet at work on this day.

More Holiday Fun

This day has become so special, the Take Your Pet Website is having a special photo contest. It's so much fun just taking a look at these creative shots. The photos you see on this page are the top three vote-getters. The grand prize winner will win $500 USD in cash and a $500 USD donation to their favorite shelter. The contest runs through July 31, 2010.

Let's Discuss!

Are you bringing your dog to work this year? Did your place have a Take Your Dog To Work event?

Related Posts

The New Legal Assistant
The World Of Pet Sitting
Take Your Dog To Work Today

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

5 Tips for Walking A Senior Dog

When Your Dog's A Senior

As you know, my dog Cookie is a senior dog. She will be nine later this year. Ever since she tore her CCL last year, her activity level hasn't been the same. She still loves going on walks, but humidity and hot weather will tend to shorten our walks. Considering I have Gigi who is much younger, this can present a problem in finding the happy medium in walking them both. Still, walking is one of the best forms of exercise you can do for your dog.

Here are some tips for walking your senior dog:
  1. Give 'em a rubdown. Before walking your dog, it always helps to rub their leg muscles. With Cookie, I gently rub the area that was affected by the injury last year after the walk. It's a good way to notice if your dogs joints are swollen as well.
  2. Be conscious of the weather. When I take the dogs on the walk, I think as if I were a sunbather. You always hear to avoid the sun between 10AM and 3PM. We get temperatures over 90°F (33°C) especially with summer on the way. When you compound it with the humidity, it can be a huge double whammy for your senior pet. Taking them out early or late gets the best possible results for the necessary exercise.
  3. Walk in stages. I've found that stopping for a minute or two is a great way to keep your dog going. They just don't have the stamina they used to when they were younger and resting a few minutes will give help them complete their goal.
  4. Walk them indoors.I've found that walking the dogs at a pet superstore like Petco, Pet Supplies Plus or Petsmart is a great way to get them the exercise they need. It's climate-controlled so temperature and humidity aren't a factor. You also get other dogs' scents and may even run into one for your dog to greet. It's especially useful if you need some pet food too.
  5. Take them to a dog park. Although this isn't a traditional walk, this is an effective way to make sure your dog has enough exercise. Most dog parks give your dog the freedom to run off-leash, and if they're well-behaved and get along with other dogs, they can pace themselves accordingly. Most of the dog parks where I live require memberships but it's well worth the investment if you have a senior dog.

Let's Discuss!

What are some ways you keep your senior dog in shape? What is your biggest challenge in walking them?

Senior Dog Websites

The Senior Dog Project
Senior Dogs

Related Posts

The Benefits of Walking Your Dog Part I
The Benefits of Walking Your Dog Part II
A Day At The Dog Park

Friday, June 18, 2010

Anxiety Under Pressure

Anxiety is a funny thing with dogs. You don't expect a dog to be anxious about anything. Their life is pretty simple. Yet, certain events like thunderstorms, fireworks or separation will make a dog behave in an odd way. They may be panting uncontrollably, pacing erratically or just make a mess in the house.

A New Type Of Treatment

The other day I was reading an article which talked about these shirts that help control anxiety. They are very similar to helping dogs stay calm the way swaddling benefits a baby. The shirts are lightweight yet give enough pressure to sooth a dog's anxiety. There are two shirt companies that stand out. One is called Thundershirt and the other is called Anxiety Wrap.

Comparing The Two Websites

Both of these companies are highly endorsed by veterinarians. Also, they both have received the 2010 Best Pet Products Award from Fido Friendly, a major dog publication. They both are also guaranteed or your money back. Upon looking at their sites I noticed these differences:
  • I like the name Thundershirt better than Anxiety Wrap.
  • Anxiety wrap has a page to let you know what the shipping will be. Thundershirt does not.
  • sells only this product. Anxiety wraps carries their main product as well as dog treats, accessories and toys.
  • Their sizes vary. A small at Anxiety Wrap is the same size as medium at Thundershirts. It's really important to get an accurate measurement of your dog's girth.
  • Thundershirt gives a sketch on how to put the garment on and fasten it. It seems Anxiety Wrap is just a pullover.
  • Anxiety Wraps has a special retailer for their items in Australia.

When you take into account that many dogs get stressed from certain noises this can be a huge help. Before, a vet would offer to sedate a dog to deal with their anxieties, now, this shirt can calm them without the use of drugs or injections. If you're looking for an alternate method to deal with anxiety, this is a small price to pay for some peace of mind.

Here are the links to the websites:
Anxiety Wrap
You can also find Anxiety Wrap and Thundershirt at

Let's Discuss!

Does your dog suffer from anxiety? what are some ways you deal with your dog's anxiety?

Related Posts

When Dogs Sense Something Wrong
Scared Dogs

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Home At Last

It all started when a little black-brown dog was wandering on the expressway one day. Ike, the Eisenhower dog has found a home. He officially released a statement this past weekend and is living with a cat named Harley. He's living in a house that has a huge yard and a futon just for him.

It's nice to hear that this story has a happy ending. I hope you all are having a great week.


Related Posts

The Runaway Dog On The Eisenhower Expressway
The Runaway Dog On The Eisenhower Expressway Part II
One Step Closer To A Home

Monday, June 14, 2010

When Your Puppy Is Too Peppy

There are times when a person adopts a puppy impulsively because it was love at first sight. After falling in love with the dog, one discovers that living with the dog is another story. The dog can't stay still, is always wanting attention and will possibly chew anything in sight.

What is the cause of this? This dog has a high energy drive and has not expended enough energy.

How can you tell if a dog has abundant energy?
  • They will bark excessively. They will find a way to bark because they either are not getting enough attention or are just plain bored. Usually this is referred to as nuisance barking.
  • They will chew up anything. One minute, you'll have some papers on your desk. The next, they will be shredded as you see them laid out on the floor.
  • A walk isn't enough. You get home from a long day at work. You're exhausted. You take your pooch for a 30 minute walk and get back home. After you feed the dog, he's ready for playtime.
  • You've bought all these toys and it won't play with them. The reason this happens is the toys are not mental or physically stimulating enough for these creatures. They need more than just a toy to work off their excess stimulating.
  • It will nip at you or one of your other pets. They are trying to engage you to play and as puppies, that's how they would get their litter mates to play.

What To Do

While the easiest thing is to do is give the dog away, it can be a copout in most situations. This should be a last resort because as a dog owner, we take on a huge responsibility bringing dogs into our lives.

Instead, you may want to try these activities for dogs:

  1. Dog Obedience. This will give a new dog structure and a job to do. Dogs live to please. Obedience will help them shift their focus.
  2. Go Running. Even if you're not the type to run, a few short sprints on your walk will help your dog get more exercise and lower their energy levels. If your a regular runner, if your dog has excessive energy, incorporating them into your running routine is a great way to benefit you both.
  3. Dog Agility (pictured right). Dog agility is becoming increasingly popular. Dogs love the challenge it presents because it gives them a job to do. It involves, running, jumping and balance. It also builds upon your bond with your dog. These classes can get expensive though. If you find yourself in that situation, a good substitute is picking up a couple of hula hoops from the store and teaching them to jump through them in your backyard.
  4. Take them to a dog park. Dog parks are becoming more popular these days as dog owners are looking for a way for their dogs to be able to run free. It's a great way to socialize your dogs with other dogs yet you must watch your dog closely because there's always a chance that a fight can break out. The newest trend in dog parks are indoor dog parks. These are great because you don't have to worry about your pooch getting affected by the elements, especially those dogs that have short hair.
  5. Give it a job! Many high energy dogs are that way because they were bred to do a job. Some of them may have herded sheep or hunted prey. Those instincts stay even though society has changed. If you have a working dog they may benefit from being trained to become a search and rescue dog or a therapy dog.

Let's Discuss!

What do you do to keep your dog's energy level in check?

Related posts

How To Decide On The Right Dog
When Dogs Become Too Popular
Treadmills-The New Wave In Workouts
Workouts For Owners And Dogs

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sleek, Chic and Unique Giveaway Winner

Hello Readers!

Happy Friday to you all. I'm happy to say that we've found a winner. Out of the entries, the winning entry is Stephanie. Congratulations, you will receive a $40 gift card to CSN Stores. She was chosen through Research Randomizer.(Double click on the picture to see the results more clearly.) I counted all of the people who commented and publicly followed this blog. Thank you to all who entered. I will be doing another dog-related giveaway in the next couple of weeks.

Hope you all have a terrific weekend. Again, congratulations to Stephanie and thanks again to CSN stores for making this giveaway possible.


Sleek Chic and Unique

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What The Dog Did

What the Dog Did: Tales from a Formerly Reluctant Dog Owner

Book Review

Recently, I picked up What The Dog Did: Tales from a Formerly Reluctant Dog Owner to read. This caught my eye because it told the story of what it was like to own a dog from a cat owner's perspective. It is a collection of Emily Yoffe's own experiences as well as those close to her which share the story of what a dog can mean to their owner. She is a writer at who would write about her daily experiences with her dog and they suggested that she make this into a book.

The book starts out when her daughter wants a dog for a pet. Her daughter is only five years-old at the time and she happens to make a good point when she tells her mom that she can't have a brother or sister, and unlike her mom, is not fond of their cats. After looking around, she finds Sasha, a beagle through an animal rescue called BREW.

Owning a dog is much different than owning a cat yet the author illustrates the differences beautifully. This book goes to show that even if you're partial to liking only dogs or only cats, that there are times your opinion may change. I know that after having dogs most of my life, I never really experienced what it was like to have a cat until I went to college. It took a while for me to understand the difference of having a cat for a pet. This author is has illustrated perfectly how it's a transition but that you get a new understanding of that animal.

This book had me laughing many times. It shows you that you're not alone when it comes to mishaps that happen when you're a dog owner. There are a couple of serious moments too. However, that seamlessly blends in with the nature of the book. It's a collection of many stories that make one book. The author has a sense of humor. If you're a dog owner, I definitely recommend this. Better yet, if you're a beagle owner, this book is a must.

Let's Discuss!

Have you gone from being a cat lover to a dog lover or vice versa? What amazes you the most about being a dog owner?

Related Posts
One Good Dog
Hachi, A Dog's Story
Dogged Pursuit

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Woofstock 2010

This year, a local dog park was having an event called Woofstock. What I loved about this was the fact that there was a dog park for my dogs to enjoy. There were two areas. One area had an enclosed area for agility. The other area was an enclosed dog park with grass.

I brought my dogs and my brother's dog Homer. It was Homer's first time at the dog park. Since this was an off-leash dog park, I had no idea of what to expect with him. There have been times on the leash he's been aggressive but at the dog park that wasn't the case. He jumped right in and just ran along with the other dogs. When it came time to approaching other dogs, he would wag his tail and sniff. What more could I ask?

We all spent about a half an hour there since the girls were getting hot. Gigi and Cookie were basically just sitting and watching the other dogs. They were perfectly content to do that. Still, it was a great time and good to know that my dogs were able to be outside and enjoy the environment.

Sleek, Chic and Unique Contest Reminder

Thanks to all of you who've entered the contest. The last day of the contest is tomorrow. In order to qualify you must follow Too Kool Doggies publicly and leave a comment. If you would like to read more about it you can find it here.

Let's Discuss!

What is your favorite event to take your dog? What do you like to do in the summer with your pooch?

Related Posts
Woofstock 2009
A Day At The Dog Park

Sunday, June 6, 2010

One Good Dog

One Good DogOne

Book Review

One day I was reading an article about Susan Wilson, who was the author of this book. She had said that she had initially feared the pit bull but then learned more about how pit bulls are easily misconceived as they were initially by the author. At first, I though it was a true story but after I picked it up one day, I was pleasantly surprised to learn it was a novel.

This is a story with real heart. It manages to balance the fine line of telling a powerful story without getting overly sentimental. There are two protagonists, one is a human named Adam. The other is a pit bull who has no name until he meets Adam.

Adam is a successful businessman who's life changes in an instant when he makes a huge mistake at his job. The pit bull has been living as a fight dog when he is taken in by animal control. When their lives connect, that's where the true magic begins. Adam's story is narrated in the third person whereas the dog's story is told in the first person. This makes the life of the dog in the story more poignant and heartbreaking.

It is a story about friendship, redemption and starting fresh. The author really has created vivid characters and a realistic story. I would recommend this book for everyone ages 15 and up. This book gives a voice to one of the most neglected dog breeds in our modern day. You can find One Good Dog at any brick and mortar bookstore, online at places like Amazon or Barnes and Noble and at your local library.

Let's Discuss!

Have you ever had a misconception about a certain dog breed that surprised you once you learned more about them? Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?

Related Posts
The Misunderstood Pit Bull
Grandma Files Petition Against Pit Bulls After Grandson Adopts Them
The Runaway Dog on the Eisenhower

Friday, June 4, 2010

Surfing For Friday Fun

Recently, San Diego celebrated its 5th Annual Surf Dog Competition from Loew's Hotel. There were over 65 dogs competing. The dogs you see pictured above are Kalani and Richochet. They were winners of the tandem heat. All proceeds from the competition helped the San Diego Police Department Canine Unit through the San Diego Police Foundation.

The other winners are as follows:
Abbie Winner of Heat 1 (Dogs Under 50 pounds). This Australian Kelpie proved she was a natural when a dog loved to hang ten.

Stanley Winner of Heat 2 (Dogs Over 50 pounds. This Chesapeake Bay Retriever showed is sea legs and climbed to the top of his heat.

Buddy owner Bruce Hooker 2nd Place winner of Heat 3. He's a Jack Russell Terrier who loves to catch a wave.

If you would like to read more about this fabulous competition, please visit the Loews Surf Dog Website. Special Thanks to Anne Stephany for providing the photos

Let's Discuss!

What do you like to do for Friday fun with your dog?

Related Posts
Get Summer Started
Loews 4th Annual Surf Dog Competition
Loews 2009 Competition Results

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sleek, Chic and Unique Giveaway


I was looking at these three dogs a few weeks ago. When I was looking for words to describe them, I came up with the words above. Homer, who belongs to my brother comes over quite a bit. Gigi is the black dog. She's always just taking everything in and Cookie, well she's unique to me for many reasons but the most obvious one is her color.

Many times, people don't think of these terms when they describe their dogs. The common stereotype is that dog owners are not fashionable or that they will dress up their dogs. Sometimes, beauty is about embracing the unusual or just maybe looking at the usual in a different light.

Sleek, Chic & Unique Contest

To celebrate the individualism of dogs, I'm having a special giveaway from CSN Stores. They have some really unique items that is sold in over 200 stores. One lucky winner will receive a $40 gift certificate to use at their website. The one that springs to mind is their track lighting store. I've never seen track lighting designed like the ones that they have there. If you want to see some cool track lights, just click on the link above.

Contest Rules

1. It's easy! Just become a public follower and let me know in the comments section.
2. You must live in the U.S. or Canada.
3. You must have a valid e-mail address.
4. Winner will be chosen at random.
5. Only one entry per person.
6. Contest ends Wednesday, June 9th at 11:59 P.M. C.D.T.

Let's Discuss

How does your dog stand out from the ordinary? Is your dog sleek, chic or unique? Better yet, is your dog all three?


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