Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Hello Everyone! It's that day of the year. We've had some neat trick or treaters stop by and the dogs have been doing their job of alerting us when they hear the doorbell.

In honor of the holiday, here is a slideshow from the photo contest Fido Friendly had put together. While my dogs had the day off from wearing costumes I really got a kick out of this slideshow. It's so cute and the dogs are real troopers. This was a popular contest with some really memorable entries. If you would like to see who won, please check out their blog.

Let's Discuss!

Did you dress up your dog or enter a photo contest for Halloween this year? If so, please send along your pictures.

Related Post

Halloween Parade

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Swim Time For Cookie

Cookie Gliding Effortlessly

Time For A New Workout

As the owner of a senior dog, it's been difficult getting Cookie exercised because of her injury and age. Many times, I'll take Cookie with the younger dogs on a walk and before we've even started, she'll want to turn around and go home. I don't fight her on it because I know that if she would walk if she could. It has been said that swimming makes a body 90% lighter in water so I figured this is an ideal way for Cookie to slowly get better.

I've been taking her on average of once a month. Hopefully, when I find a job in my field, I'll be able to increase it. In the meantime, I'm making the most of what I can do with it now. I started taking her last month and she was a trooper. Gigi had come along for moral support. To motivate Cookie to swim and not give her handler grief, I would walk with her around the perimeter of the pool.

Cookie and Eduardo
This second time, it was just me and Cookie. She was hesitant but a good sport. As she's getting older, it's getting harder for her to keep off the weight. It was apparent to her handler that she was a little heavier this time around. Even with cutting back on her food, with dogs like Cookie, it's more important than ever to find the correct method of exercise.

Swimming Benefits For Dogs

Swimming is becoming more popular these days for many reasons:

  • It's a no-impact workout with high impact results. I don't have to worry about Cookie risking further injury.
  • The place I take her to swim has a swimming pool (pictured right) made specifically for dogs. It's a nice square shape that is only 4 feet (1.21 meters) at its deepest point. There's little reason for dog distress.
  • The Stillness Within
  • They have people specially trained to help your dog swim. Today, Cookie was very reluctant to go into the pool. Eduardo was very patient with her and was able to coax her in for her workout.
  • It's climate-controlled. Because this pool is located indoors, I don't have to worry about the elements affecting Cookie. She can focus on swimming.
  • Dogs always wear life jackets. Even though most dogs can swim, it's too much of a risk for them not to wear a life jacket. It keeps the dogs calm and they can keep going. For me, it was good peace of mind to know that the ultimate safety measures have been taken.
  • No Towels Are Needed. Since this is a business, they dry your dog thoroughly. Cookie was a little damp underneath the ears but it was a huge relief to be able to drive home and know that she's ready to go.

Hopeful Healing

I'm hoping that by doing this type of workout with Cookie on a regular basis that her injured leg will get stronger. With a stronger back leg, she will have better balance and hopefully lose some of the extra weight. Considering that exercise decreases appetite, Cookie will be less likely to nudge my mom or myself for a treat. Since I've taken her today, she hasn't asked either of us for a treat because she's been too busy resting.

A Real Trooper

Let's Discuss!

Do any of you have a dog that's in a similar predicament? How do you feel about swimming as a form of exercise for dogs?

Related Posts

At The Vet's Office Part II
Cookie Update
Follow Up
Five Tips For Walking A Senior Dog
Five Signs Your Dog Is Not Getting Enough Exercise

Friday, October 29, 2010

How Cookie Came Into Our Family

My Sweet Cookie

Many of you know Cookie from this blog. She is the wise woman of my dog trio. I've never had such a grateful dog as this one. There isn't a day that goes by where I see the gratitude and appreciation in her soulful brown eyes. As part of Animal Adoption Month, I thought you all would be interested in how Cookie came into our family.

A Look Back

Before Cookie joined our brood, we had two dogs, Cosmo (Siberian Husky mix) and Elvis(Rhodesian Ridgeback). We first had Cosmo and a month later Elvis came into the mix as a young puppy. The dogs were basically a month apart when the met each other as young puppies.

Elvis and Cosmo
Elvis was adopted from a farm where the breeder regularly hit him. He was hit so often that his head was bumpy from broken bones as a puppy. My brother found him covered in feces so at that moment, he decided to rescue him in 1995. He was so scared the first day, he refused to move from the spot he was laying down. It wasn't until I picked him up and put him outside and then went over to the garage to give him space, that he actually felt free to move around in the yard.

Cosmo, on the other hand was very outgoing and enthusiastic. He was able to help Elvis get used to living with Blackie, our other dog and my family. Soon, Elvis came into his own, and you couldn't find Cosmo without Elvis nearby.

In 2004, Cosmo had been stricken with cancer. He was only nine years old and his cancer was very aggressive. Surely enough, he was suffering and crossed the rainbow bridge shortly after. Elvis was at a loss. He was nervous, panting constantly and drooling excessively. He had severe separation anxiety when we would have to go. He never knew what it was like to be the only dog because even when Blackie passed, he still had Cosmo.

Mom and I had given him two weeks to see if he would get better and he was just getting worse. He refused to eat and was constantly scared. We knew that he would need a companion before he could be himself again. We also didn't want to get a carbon copy of Cosmo because we didn't want Elvis to think we were replacing Cosmo. Cosmo was a true original and we all knew it.

Our Trip To The Shelter

My mom and I headed out to the major animal shelter in the city of Chicago. We decided that we would have a smaller dog who would be a female. We looked among the dogs and then we came across Cookie. To see her at first glance, one would do a double take.

Cookie, Short and Sassy

Cookie was a site to be seen. You couldn't see her eyes because she had so much hair covering them. She had mats the size of golf balls behind her paws. She probably hadn't had her hair cut in six months. She smelled because she was a stray picked up on the street. To top it off she gave birth to puppies on the street which had already found permanent homes. It's because of this, she was available after 24 hours. Small dogs are usually adopted quickly. It was estimated that she was three years old but since we didn't know when or where she was born, it was a guess at best.

Getting to know her, the first thing I noticed was her sweetness. We were holding her on the leash and all she wanted to do was be petted. Both of us realized that she was a gem and knew she had to be part of the family.

When Cookie Met Elvis

When we brought Cookie home, Elvis didn't know what to think. She looked nothing like Cosmo and smelled dreadful. She also had a nasty case of kennel cough which Elvis caught from her since it was contagious. After taking Cookie to the groomer, she was wetted down and basically shaved all over since she still had stitches from her spaying. The groomer had removed so much hair, she couldn't believe how much lighter she felt and shook her body with excitement. After the stitches were removed we took her back for another bath. She was a brand new dog.

In addition to getting Elvis and Cookie comfortable with each other, I had to deal with the fact that Elvis had no appetite. Nothing would get him to eat. He wouldn't even succumb to canned food. I asked my friend who was an animal rescuer what I could do, and she told me to force feed him baby food. Considering Elvis was down to 60 lbs (27 kg) and looking really emaciated, I had nothing to lose. Sure enough, it worked and after a few days, Elvis got his appetite back. He came around to accept Cookie to and acted like a big brother to her.

Elvis had gotten to live with her for a couple of years. He lived a long and healthy life but got hit with cancer the same way Cosmo did. He did have a great companion in Cookie and I am certain that without Cookie, he would have passed away before she was part of the picture.

Cookie After Elvis

After Elvis passed, Mom and I decided to keep Cookie as a solo dog. She seemed to enjoy the extra attention and it seemed like the right thing to do for our family. In 2008, my mom missed having a second dog and that's how Gigi came into our lives. Even though we've had ups and downs with Cookie (more ups than downs), we've always felt that her presence in our lives has been a gift that keeps giving.

Let's Discuss!

Do you have a story where animal adoption has changed your life?

Thanks for all stopping in. I hope you have a happy and safe Halloween.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Purina Pet Slimdown Drawing

Good Morning! I hope some of you have been getting through the week okay. Recently, I heard from the Purina Pet Slimdown program.

Any participant in the program has a chance to win a free year's worth of food whether you have a dog or a cat.

How Can One Win?

If you are currently in the program, you need to send an e-mail to Just mention that you heard about this through Too Kool Doggies Blog.

Related Post

Project Pet Slimdown

Saturday, October 23, 2010

National Pit Bull Awareness Day

Today is National Pit Bull Awareness Day. It started back in 2007 when a rescue group called Bless The Bullies created this holiday to help promote animal adoption and counteract the negative media attention that this breed endures.

Forced To Be Victims

Pit bulls find themselves constantly being put in the midst of dog fights. They are put into these situations to exploit their aggressiveness.

In truth, these dogs are just the same as any other. They want a home and a family to love them. It helps to be an experienced dog owner. However, with the right training and knowledge of the breed, pit bulls can fit into any family.

Celebrate The Breed

There will be many places around the country educating the public about this exquisite animal. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, there will be a special event called PittyPalooza to promote pit bull adoption and unite pit bull fans. In addition you will find many rescue groups having adoption days all over the U.S.
Photo Credit: Danuta Kania

Let's Discuss!

For all the pit bull fans out there, what do you love most about the breed?

Related Posts

The Runaway Dog On The Eisenhower, Part I
The Runaway Dog On The Eisenhower, Part II
The Misunderstood Pit Bull
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Harmony In Unison

As many of you know, I also have a cat named Kat. I've had her for 10 years and she's as much of her sassy self today as she was when I first got her.  When it comes to getting along with the dogs, she is buddies with Gigi, loves to get Cookie to chase her and is putting up with Homer since he constantly barks at her since he doesn't understand her.  In honor of Kat, I'm celebrating the beauty of dogs and cats together. Enjoy...

Photo credit: ULF

Photo Credit: Jarsem

Photo Credit: Stepanov

I-Phone Wallpapers

Let's Discuss!

Are you a multiple pet owner? How do cats and dogs benefit one another?

Related Post

Sometimes They Dog Get Along

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cat Adopts Basset Hound Pups on The Cat’s Meow

Cat Adopts Basset Hound Pups on The Cat’s Meow

I came across this article from The Cat's Meow and thought you all would enjoy this. The Basset Hound puppies are so cute. Just click on the link above. I will be back with a new post soon. Have a great day. :D

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mia, The Dog That Survived Euthanasia

Photo: Associated Press
This morning, I was taken aback when I heard about Mia (pictured above). She is a 11-year-old Rottweiler who was going to be euthanized because of severe back ailment. Her owner, Matt Olivarez decided that it was her time to be put down. Imagine his surprise when he picked up his dog from the vet and took her home to bury her. As he was preparing to bury her in his backyard, he stepped back into the garage to see her standing on all fours.

It was indeed a miracle. He was very distraught over this because he had prepared his children for this inevitable life event. After speaking to his veterinarian, he will be receiving a refund. He also hopes to find a new home for the dog. Still who whole situation has been nothing short of a miracle

Similar Incidents

Strangely, this hasn't been the first time a dog has survived euthanasia. In 2006, a young stray dog from Hinesville Georgia survived the gas chamber. She was later named Amazing Grace(pictured right). After this happened the Liberty County Humane Society reconsidered using the gas chamber as a method of euthanasia.

One of the most jarring stories happened in Rushville, Indiana, in November of 2007. Five dogs in the shelter had survived euthanasia. The employees were doing the procedure incorrectly and there was a huge shakeup with many of them getting suspended.

Is It Miraculous Or Mortifying?

When I hear stories like this, the effect can be jarring. It makes me wonder if a dog should not be euthanized at all, but instead live the course of its life out as nature intended? Were their wills to live stronger than what was administered to them? All I know is that Mia is special and I hope this beauty finds a new home where she can have a great quality of life?

Let's Discuss!

How do you feel about euthanasia? Do you think it's a humane way to say goodbye?

Read More About It

Dog Gets New Leash On Life
Five Dogs Survive Euthanasia
Stray Dog Survives Gas Chamber
Miracle Dog: How Quentin Survived The Gas Chamber To Speak For Animals On Death Row

Related Posts

What Were They Thinking?
Two Stories Of Miraculous Survival
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Home For the Holidays

Photo: Recycled Dogs

Give The Gift Of Love This Season

October is Adopt A Dog Month. The Iams Company is thinking big this holiday season? How big? Their goal is to find homes for 1.5 million pets by January 4th, 2011. Is it a lofty expectation? Not really. Last year, their Home For The Holidays campaign helped 1.4 million pets find a forever home. Many celebrities like Felicity Huffman, Diane Keaton and Hilary Swank have become ambassadors to help with this cause.

Over the past 11 years, there have been over 4.6 million pets that have found a new home. Families who adopt through this program will receive a special adoption kit from Iams.

Ways To Help

If you're interested in learning more about animal adoption by visiting the Iams Website. You can also find out more about the Home For The Holidays Program there.

In addition to adoption, there are other ways to help contribute to this program. If you buy specially marked packages of Iams Dogfood, the company will contribute a bowl of dog food for every bag sold. You can find their fan page on Facebook and Like them. Every Like or comment will provide food to the animal shelters participating in the program. Lastly, you can always volunteer or donate to your favorite animal shelter.

Let's Discuss!

Have you ever adopted a pet from the Home for The Holidays program? Have you adopted a pet during the holiday season?

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

An Unexpected Surprise!

Hello Everyone!

Some of you may be familiar with the Draw The Dog website. Yesterday, I received news that the picture I sent them was being turned into a cartoon. Since I will be spending most of the weekend catching up on homework, I wanted to share this with you all. I hope you guys are having a fabulous weekend and I will be back with more blogging soon.

Elena's Cartoon

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rusty The Vagabond Dog

Photo: Chuck Berman

Considering October is Animal Adoption Month, I found this story very timely.

They Call Him The Wanderer

Earlier this week, I learned about Rusty. He is a stray dog who has been roaming around a Chicago suburb called Oakbrook since 2007. During this time, many people would approach him but he would always run away. However, one thing he wouldn't run away from was food. He would only want people food and had a particular palette. Some neighbors would even fix him steaks.

Since he wandered around various neighborhoods and the Follett Higher Education Group properties he never would let people close enough to him, even though he was a friendly dog. One day, he followed a family into their backyard and they were able to call the authorities.

What's next

Now that Rusty is recuperating at the Hinsdale Humane Society, it will be quite some time till he can get adopted. When he was first dropped off on September 20th, he was examined by the doctors and had tested positive for heartworm. His case was more serious therefore, he will have to be treated using chemotherapy.

Another obstacle for this evasive pooch is the time needed to teach him to be comfortable around humans. He is making strides but is not yet ready for adoption. Even though he isn't ready for adoption if any of you are considering a new dog for your household, please remember there are many healthy, loving dogs at the humane society dogs who are looking for a good home.

Let's Discuss!

Have you had a famous dog like Rusty in your neighborhood or hometown? How did the dog adjust to living in a family environment?

Read More About It!

Community Behind Rusty
The Hinsdale Humane Society
Steve Arfenbarker's Facebook Page

Related Posts

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The Runaway Dog On The Eisenhower Expressway Part II
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I found out from a fellow reader that Rusty is not getting chemotherapy for his heartworm, however the treatments do tire him out as similar to chemotherapy. He will have a full recovery and will be up for adoption when he finished his heartworm treatment and socialization training.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

White Knuckles

It All About The Dogs

These days it's a rarity to catch a video on MTV or VH1 anymore. That's why when there'a an ingenious video that comes out, I get excited. I've always been a fan of the bank Ok Go. I was enthralled by the absolute creativity of their Here We Go Again video and was completely blown away by This Too Shall Pass video. All of the videos that I've seen by this band have such a unique style and indcredible origniality. It's also a huge bonus that this band originates from Chicago.

So, imagine my surprise when I visited one of my favorite websites, Draw The Dog, who happened to have a special cartoon for the band's newest video White Knuckles. They use twelve dogs in the coolest ways. This video debuted on the Ellen Show on September 20th. The idea was conceived over five years ago. Working with trainers Lauren Henry and Roland Sonnenburg, their idea came alive in the video below. In less than two weeks, their video has been viewed over 5,300,000 times.

More Than Just Making Bucks

Ok Go has generously decided to give the net proceeds of the video's sales to the ASPCA, which is specifically earmarked to support rural, volunteer-run animal shelters in America. If you would like to learn more about this, please visit their video webpage at

Let's Discuss!

Have you seen this video? What's your favorite dog-friendly music video?

Read More About It!

Ok Go Website
Behind The Scenes Of The Video From The Ellen TV Show Website
The Inspiration Room

Related Posts

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Many Ways To Bike With Your Dog

Photo: Green Garden Vienna

Every summer, I take out my bike and go for amazing bike rides during that time. Now that fall is here, the weather is ideal for taking your dog along. Dogs with high energy are a natural for this pastime. Dogs with low energy love a day outside with the breeze blowing across their face. With all the products made for dogs these days, I was really excited to discover these products that allow you to bike with your dog and keep your hands free:

Bicycle Leash Attachments

  • 1-Running-Dog Bike Tow Leash

    The 1-Running-Dog Bike Tow Leash was created because the owner had started raising service dog puppies after 9/11 here in America. Their puppy needed more exercise than just from a regular walk. The owner who was a mechanical engineer felt other products had questionable safety issues. He then came up with his product. Although the price for this bike leash is hefty ($110 USD), it does differ from the usual products by providing a solid barrier between bicycle and dog. PetEgo Walky Dog Bicycle Leash
  • Walky Dog
  • This specialized leash is made in Italy and is one of the most popular bike attachments used today. The metal rod attached to your bike post and makes extends out to either the left or right side. It has a bungee cord hanging down to attach to the dog. It is retailed at $80 USD but you can find it reasonably priced online ranging from $30 USD to $50 USD. I found the least expensive one at Amazon. What's great about this is it can be customized for your dogs with special attachments such as their low rider piece.  You can also get a second to use for your second dog.
  • K-9 Bike Jogger System
  • K-9 Bike Jogger Bike Leash System  This is actually made in America as part of the Walky Dog company. The K-9 bike jogger is ideal for dogs 20 pounds and up. It has sturdy construction and will help the dog to get a good workout. It retails for $39.99 USD but can be found for less online. This takes less than five minutes to install which is a bonus. 
    Lets Go Pet Walker Bicycle Dog Leash for Mid/ Large Size Dog- Gold Color.4 colors, Gold, Purple, Blue, Red. Color may vary.
  • Let's Go Bicycle Leash This leash costs less but is still a quality product. It has a spring that attaches at the back of the bicycle to keep the walker from hitting your thigh when riding. It also comes in a variety of colors. The one thing I had noticed is the website. The usability isn't the best and it could function much better. Still, it gives you the information needed. It comes in two sizes: small/medium and medium/large. You can find it at most places for approximately $25 USD.
  • Springer Bicycle Jogger This bicycle attachment differs from the Walkydog type walkers because of it's shape. It has a rod that goes out to the side and then bends downward at a right angle and then comes back up with a spring attachment. It has slots to insert your leash according to your dog's size. It is slightly more for the money ($75 USD) and may take longer to install on your bike. However, if your dog likes to run, it is ideal for that because it will keep your dog from hitting your bike. It does take a little time to get acclimated as well.
A great article that breaks down the different types of dog leashes can be found at

Dog Baskets

Pet Bike Basket Lavender
Dog Bicycle Seat - Pet Rider Bicycle Dog Seat - BlackFor all of you who have toy dogs that love a good ride, dog bike baskets are ideal. They are generally made for dogs 15 pounds (6.6 kg)and under. It's ideal to find a basket that is well constructed and attaches easily to the front of your bike. Solvit makes a great wicker basket that you can find for about $70.00 USD. The Pet Bike Basket (pictured above) from Pet Gear offers a great basket that holds dogs up to 15 pounds. The WeeRide Pet Bicycle Basket is great if you want something portable and foldaway. It's sturdy too. If your dog would like to ride in back, the Pet Rider Bicycle Seat (pictured right) is also a smart choice because it can accommodate dogs up to 24 pounds (10.9 kg) and costs are ($79.00 USD).

Bike Trailers

Pet Dog Cat Bike Trailer, Jogger & Stroller Combo Pet Rider *Navy Blue*Bike trailers are great for any dog. While some may think trailers resemble dog strollers, they are ideal for senior dogs, paralyzed dogs and young puppies whose bones have not fully developed. If you have multiple dogs, this is a convenient way for them to all come along.

They can be pricey (they start at $150.00 USD and can go up to $400.00 USD) but they are built to last and can be used for a very long time. The brand I liked best was Doggy Ride.

More Places to Find This

If you would like to find these items online, here are some more shopping options in addition to Amazon:
Bicycle Trailers
The Dog Outdoors
Dog Clothesline
Hunter K-9

Let's Discuss!

This was one of the first summers in a long time that I haven't gone bike riding but I plan to try out a couple of these products next year. For those of you who bike with your dog, how do you do it?


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