Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 Calendars

Hi Everyone! It's hard to believe that this year has almost come to an end. I created a set of calendars this year and did a similar set for 2012.

Any feedback is appreciated. You can download the appropriate sizes below.

640px X 480px
800px X 600px
1024px X 768px
1152px X 864px
1280px X 1024px

Widescreen Monitors
1280px X 768px
1280px X 800px
1366px X 768px
1440px X 900px
1680px X 1050px
1920px X 1080px
1920px X 1200px

Friday, December 23, 2011

Great Last-Minute Gifts For Your Pooch

The holidays can be hectic these days. Dogs have become more important when it comes to shopping. All of the gifts below are available at brick and mortar stores in the US. A few of the stores like PetsMart are located in Canada too. With only a few days left, here are a some ideas for the dog lover and dog in your life:

Boneheads Rain Coat, from Petco

Many raincoats cover the top of a dog but not the bottom. This coat by Boneheads has pretty good coverage by having thick velcro straps around the neck and across the chest.

Luv-A-Pet Christmas Ornaments from PetSmart
These ornaments are available for dog or cat lovers and are great stocking stuffers at only $3.00 each (on sale).

The Dog Whisperer by Paul Owens from Barnes and Noble

This is one of the best books on dog training out there. The other stresses non-violent training which focuses on using positive reinforcement. There is also a gift bundle which includes his other book, Good Habits for Great Dogs. You can find the original book for about $10 USD and the bundle for around $25 USD.

Little Gifts Luggage Tags from Petsmart

These tags are ideal for the pet-loving traveler in your life. They come in variety of tags including: Cat, Chihuahua, Daschund, Labrador, Pug, Schnauzer, Shi Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier. They sell for $7.99 USD on sale.

No Outfit Is Complete Without Doghair t-shirt from PetSmart

This is one of five t-shirts by Life is Ruff with an assortment of colors and funny statements. They cost about $18.00 USD.

This is just a short list of stuff to help you if time has crept up too fast. I wish you all much happiness this holiday season.

Let's Discuss!

Have you finished your holiday shopping this season?

It's All Related!

More Last Minute Christmas Gifts
Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Monday, December 19, 2011

Home 4 The Holidays Tweets Results

Last month, Too Kool Doggies readers participated in Home 4 The Holiday Meal Drive. Most of the meal drive happened on Twitter and I'm happy to share the results on Twitter.

As a result there were 61 tweets shared over the holiday weekend which fed over 610 pets. To date, over 3,000,000 bowls of food have been donated to the cause, and with just under a month to go, they may reach their goal.

Below is a special widget that keeps track of Home 4 The Holidays' progress.

We all hope to reach every goal we set. If you would like to support Home 4 The Holidays, please visit the Facebook page. Every like helps to feed more pets. Also, you can view their website.

If a customer buys a specially marked bag of Iams dog food, a meal will be donated to a local dog shelter. Even better news is that if you adopted a pet during the season, you qualify for a $35 dollar rebate.

Let's Discuss!

How has the Home 4 The Holidays campaign touched your life?

It's All Related

Home 4 The Holidays Reaches A New Milestone

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Importance Of Good Shoes

Homer with my summer sandals.

Hello Everyone!

I know it's been awhile since my last post. This past semester was really demanding considering that I had classes that were extremely time-consuming. When you combine that with work, it makes it trickier to blog consistently. Anyhow, I'm glad to be back and have missed you much.

The Moment Of Realization

Many times, we take good shoes for granted. A few weeks ago, I had the opposite reaction when I had sharp pains after wearing the new shoes I recently bought a couple of weeks ago. They weren't anything fancy, just a decent pair of Nikes that I bought for everyday wear and walking the dogs that I do.

So what was wrong with them? They were made with no arch support. Usually, when I buy gym shoes, I've never ran into that problem, however since I was looking more at side support first, that totally evaded me.

What then happened is I found my left foot hurting, with sharp throbs of pain going through it. Since I hadn't kept the receipt long enough, I decided to pick up insoles from Target. After the first day, both my feet were sore. After a few days the pain subsided.

Facts About Foot Pain

When you're walking a dog, there's nothing like shoes with good support. Walking puts up to 1.5 times one's bodyweight on the foot. The average person will walk 1,000 miles (1,609 km)in a year's time.

What To Look For

Whenever buying shoes for lots of walking one should:
  • Find a shoe built solidly with arch and side support. You can find one for a reasonable price but watch out for lower quality shoes.
  • Make sure it fits your foot. Nothing should be squeezed or poked. Even in the same size, two pairs of shoes will fit differently on your foot.
  • Can they be waterproofed? Some shoes are pre-treated and others will need a spray. There's nothing worse than getting wet because water soaks through your shoes.
  • If you do lots of walking, look for a shoe that's lightweight. Running or walking shoes are ideal since they are made for that reason. The last thing a runner wants is a heavy shoe. Walking shoes are really popular because of walking's increased popularity as exercise.

With a little time and dedication, you're feet will stay in good condition and remain pain free.

Let's Discuss!

Do you have any stories of unfortunate shoes or what you look for in a great shoe?

It's All Related

The Benefits of Walking Your Dog Pt.1
The Benefits of Walking Your Dog Pt. 2

Saturday, November 26, 2011

41 Beagles Saved From Spain

Photo: Andy Holzman
Yesterday, I saw a story on the news about 72 beagles being saved because an animal research lab was closing in Spain. All I could think of was there were all these dogs like my Homer out there who were suffering.

Luckily, the Beagle Freedom Project was able to bring 41 of these dogs home on Thanksgiving. Shannon Keith, the president of the organization maxed out her credit cards to make this trip possible. Currently 16 of the 41 beagles are staying temporarily at her LA home. The The other 31 dogs were adopted out in Europe.

It is believed that these dogs were being used to test for human drugs. Beagles are frequently chosen as test subjects because of their calmness and docility. The age of these beagles is between 4 to 7 years old.

The dogs have never seen anything but the inside of a crate. Now, as they wait to be fostered and/or adopted, they are in pens where they can move freely. Many got the chance to feel grace under the feet for the first time in their life.

Many of the dogs were given celebrity names like Tom Hanks and Sylvester Stallone since they were headed to LA. They seemed to have settled into their surroundings just fine.

How You Can Help

Originally, the Beagle Freedom Project started in December 2010 when a research lab from California gave Beagles their shot at freedom. It's been going strong ever since.

There are still beagles out there who are looking for a foster home or a forever home. The group also accepts donations. At the end of the year, their 2012 calendar will be coming out too.

Let's Discuss!

Have you known a dog that was rescued from a research lab?

Related Posts

Pit Bull Nation
Why Not Draw The Dog
Leaving On A Jet Plane
Home For The Holidays
One Day Can Make A Difference

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pit Bull Nation

Pit Bull Nation

Pit Bulls are dogs that are constantly under the eye of scrutiny. Articles like this one show the typical attitude of the media when it comes to this breed. It’s a shame too because most times, the reader gets only half the story. I’ve been a long-time advocate of this breed because they have been so unfairly judged. When I was asked to review Pit Bull Nation by Cindy Marabito, I jumped at the chance.

Book Review

One of the biggest misconceptions is that many people think this breed of dogs are monsters. This book helps to dispel that myth. It’s a collection of stories that narrate one women’s journey from being a steadfast animal lover to a fearless animal crusader.

The book begins in 1995 when Cindy Marabito and her husband Scott move from Texas to Northern California. While they are settling in to their new life there, Cindy becomes a volunteer at the CCACC (Coastal County Animal Care and Control). Known for its strong reputation, we are taken on an eye-opening journey through the author’s time there while volunteering. At first, Cindy was afraid to even be in the breed’s presence, but after working at the shelter for awhile, she discovered aspects of this special breed never fully realized.

In order to help save more of these incredible dogs, she founded Round Up Rescue in 1998. The book shows how starting a non-profit is no easy task. Each victory is offset by a setback. If I were to use one word to describe this book, it would have to be honesty. It’s an informative and
passionate view into the world of shelters and rescue groups.

We meet such lively and memorable dogs. One of which was named Mookie wound up choosing them and always sat by their door until his negligent owners decided to give him to them. Another was named Martha who loved to play with tennis balls. Many other dogs like Junior, Girl, Pip and Arthur have unique and remarkable stories that stay with you after the book is finished.

Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
There are many stories that have fantastic outcomes. Yet, like life, not every one of these has a fairy tale ending. This book shows how the more important a situation is, the more power and politics come into play. We learn how rescue groups originate and the difficult battles they endure every day to save dogs who otherwise would be euthanized.

I highly recommend this book. If you are a dog lover or have been curious about the pit bull mystique, this book is a must-read. However, because the stories are real some of them may be hard to handle for the faint-hearted dog fans. Still, the message from the author is powerful. She has such a passion for saving animals it’s incredible and shines through.

You can learn more about Cindy and her rescue group through the following websites:
Pit Bull Nation Website (Every book purchase goes towards building the best shelter possible for Reunion Rescue)
Reunion Rescue Facebook Page
Amazon Link

Let’s Discuss!

What are your thoughts on this breed? How has a pit bull touched your life?

Related Posts

The Misunderstood Pit Bull
One Good Dog
Grandma Files Petition Against Pit Bulls After Grandson Adopts Them
National Pit Bull Awareness Day
The Lost Dogs

Monday, November 21, 2011

Home 4 The Holiday Hits A New Milestone

Photo Resource: 123RF Stock Photos
Each year, over eight million animals are found homeless. Half of those animals wind up being euthanized.

Some of you may remember the Home 4 The Holiday blog posts from last year. Well, IAMS is back helping pets to find new homes again this year. Their goal is to have 1.5 million animals be placed permanently and give out 5,000,000 bowls of food to shelters in need. Since October 1st, over 413,000 animals have been adopted, as you can see below.

Home 4 The HolidaysStats
Dog/Puppy 214,741
Cat/Kitten 190,484
Other Animal Adoptions8,678
Total adoptions so far: 413,903
Total meals donated so far:/td> 1,525,920
They've been going strong in helping animals find forever homes and recently hit a new milestone. On Friday November 19, over 6,000,000 animals have found a new home!.

Help Animals This Holiday Season!

I'm very excited to announce that Too Kool Doggies is doing a special joint promotion with Home 4 the Holidays on Twitter. If you're on Twitter, you can feed hungry animals by just typing a few characters. Each tweet that includes @Iams and #TKD4Shelters in their tweet will give 10 meals to shelters. This will be happening from Tuesday, November 22nd to Tuesday, November 29.

If you're not on Twitter but still would like to help, you can also create a special holiday card through the Iams Facebook page. Each time a person likes the Facebook page, comments on a post or photo, Iams will donate a free bowl of food.
Have you recently adopted a pet? You can spread the news and help animals at the same time. Use the Iams Card Creator to create a special announcement and Iams will donate bowls of food for each card created.

Let's Discuss!

Are you bringing a pet home this holiday season? What do you love most about this program?

Related Posts

Home For The Holidays
A Rescue's Christmas Poem
2010 Home For The Holidays Results
One Day Can Make A Difference

*Special Thanks to Chad Darwin of Citizen Payne for making this possible.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Adventures In Doggy Day Care

Dogs are great pets, but sometimes, it's hard to fit them into our day to day routine. Most of us have to work, and many times, dogs aren't allowed in the workplace.

Ever since I've been working a contract position full-time, I've been taking Homer — and in some cases all three dogs — to doggy day care. The main reason I started, was the fact that Homer has such extreme separation anxiety issues when all of the dogs were left home alone. Homer would bust through the baby gates into the area of our house that we had sectioned off. His only way to cope was to run around, even if it meant going to areas of the house that were off-limits.

While the Thundershirt worked pretty well, it got to the point that whenever Homer saw it he would run and hide. Why? Because any time I'd take it out, he'd associate it with being home without humans.

That being said, the Thundershirt is a great product but in order for me to have it work in the best way possible, I have to start putting it on Homer on times where there's someone at home, to desensitize the situation for him.

A New Routine

Because my time has been limited, I decided to try out doggy day care as an option. I called the daycare center to learn about their program. After taking Homer the first day when I was most concerned, I received no phone calls at work. Instead I called the center more than once because I was uncertain of Homer's actions toward other dogs. To my surprise, I was told that Homer was being a good boy and if that he started misbehaving, I would have been called. Many times while I was walking him on leash, his encounters with other dogs would be unpredictable.

When I came to pick up Homer that day, I was relieved to hear that he had a good day. He of course was elated to see me, yelping cries of joy. When we got home, he was pretty tuckered out and mellow.

After a couple more daycare sessions, I noticed a change in Homer on our walks. When we would come in close proximity to other dogs, he didn't feel the need to challenge them. His reaction was more like I want to say hello and be your friend. It was apparent that doing day care was an ideal solution for weekdays when everyone in the house had lots to do.

A Recent Discovery

Probably what surprised me the most about my dogs at day care was the reaction of my oldest dog Cookie. I had forgotten that Cookie hadn't been crated in a long time. I had let the center know that she had past injuries and to be careful when handling her.

Since it was her first day, I called the center again just like I did with Homer. The lady told me that Cookie let out a horrendous cry when they tried to put her in the crate. (The dogs are crated for a short time before their play session would begin at 9am). Instead, Cookie was staying with one of the workers while he did his tasks and they kept her separate from other dogs.

I then told the center that Cookie would be fine with other dogs, she just doesn't like being crated. Cookie has always been a good girl, we never really had to crate her since she way past her puppy stage when we brought her home. The center worker agreed to mix her with the other dogs, and I checked in later. She then told me everything was fine.

Positive Results

I think that doggy day care is an excellent alternative for handling their schedules on days one needs to work long hours. Here are some of the benefits:
  • They get socialized with other dogs in a neutral territory.
  • A full day at day care will tire out your pooch. It's a great release for excess energy.
  • You know that someone will be there looking after them. They are experienced in handling dogs and will make a dog's stay as comfortable as possible.
  • The cost is pretty reasonable. While taking your dog every day may add up, taking them occasionally is the price equivalent of two walks.

Some important features to look for in a good dog daycare business are:
  • It's important that the place is clean. Most day care centers will have a doggy odor smell but that's a given considering so many dogs are staying in one area. It's common to see them constantly wiping up accidents with a mop and pail nearby.
  • The way the employees treat their customers. I'm far more likely to take my dogs to a place where the employees are glad to see my dog instead of acting like everything is routine. While taking care of dogs isn't the most glamourous job in the world, people who choose to work with dogs, do it because they love it. A dog owner shouldn't settle for less.
  • Find a place that has ample space. All doggy day care places are not alike. Some places segment their areas and the dogs are kept confined most of the day. A good daycare establishment will have access to indoor and outdoor spaces.

Other Alternatives

While most big cities have dog daycare centers, smaller cities and towns may be more limited with this option. Other alternatives may be hiring a dog sitter or dog walker, having your dog as an outside dog during the day or leaving him with a close friend or relative during the day.

Let's Discuss!

How do you balance work and life with dogs?

Related Posts

Thundershirt Review
Anxiety Under Pressure
The World Of Petsitting
How I Found A Dog Walker On Short Notice

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Greetings

It's hard to believe that Halloween is already here. Last week, I took the dogs to a Halloween party. Cookie dressed up as a pumpkin. Gigi was a rabbit and Homer was a prisoner. Why a prisoner? Well, because he's the king of busting loose.

It's been awhile since I've last posted. It's been a little hectic because of school and work projects, but I am hoping to have more posts once I'm up to speed with everything.

Below are some pictures from the Halloween party. I hope you all have a very happy Halloween.

A puggle dressed as a bumble bee.

Dogs in an obedience contest.

Homer The Prisoner

It's the Great Pumpkin! Cookie.

Also, I've a couple of tips to keep your Halloween safe and happy:
  • Exercise your dogs before you expect trick or treaters. A good walk will help unleash any excessive energy and keep their barking at a reasonable level.
  • Keep them away from any halloween candy. Chocolate can be toxic for dogs and their bodies are not meant to consume candy.

More Information For Safe Pets

Oregon Live

Let's Discuss!

How do you and your pets plan to celebrate Halloween?


Halloween Parade

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Little Faith Can Go A Long Way

Earlier Today, I came across this story. It's about a small puppy named Jax.

This is a great story with a happy ending.

We got him on Saturday August 6th. The following day,my girlfriend had to leave for New York. That same morning, he began vomiting and diarrhea. I took him to the emergency clinic, and he tested positive for parvo and a few other things. He weighed 15 pounds that day. The vet wanted $2400 to treat him for 6 days and gave him a 50/50 chance of survival. He recommended putting him down. I called my friend that owns his own veterinarian clinic and he recommended the same thing. I phoned the people who we purchased the puppy from and they said they would give me my money back if I returned him and they will put him down.

I decided that I might as well try to save him regardless of what they all said. I took care of him that day by squirting pedialyte in him (orally and enema) every 15 minutes, day and night! The following day was a Monday and I took my week of vacation from work.

Find Out How This Ends Here

Let's Discuss!

Have you ever had a puppy like Jax?


Website Of The Week

Monday, October 17, 2011

Get To Know Angie Ketelhut

Painting of Caeden and the Seattle skyline - Angie Ketelhut

I'm always in awe when I see different works of art. It's one thing to visualize a picture but another to stand in front of them in admiration. I am happy to welcome Angie Ketelhut, a portrait artist that paints animal and people portraits. However, she's especially is known for her dog portraits. I've seen many of Angie's works on one of the social media networks, and they have a whimsical and playful look that really distinguishes them from other paintings.

Dog and the City

It's great that Angie was able to drop in and shoot the breeze. Below, is my Q and A session with her.

How did you start out in the art world?
I've been creating art for as long as I can remember. Growing up in unpredictable environment as a child, creating art and spending quality time with pets were my stability and my happy place when things were tough. I won an artist mentorship scholarship in high school and began to grow more confidence as an artist at that time.

What is most rewarding about your profession?
The end result. The emotions felt and expressed by clients when they receive their portraits. There is nothing in the world like witnessing their genuine happiness and excitement of having captured their beloved pet personality on canvas. It brings me much joy.

What do you find most challenging?
The rollercoaster ride where I can be extremely busy or can be slow. Also, meeting deadlines such as birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, etc. I try my very best to accommodate these requests and sometimes it can be cutting things very close, depending on my workload and how much time I have to complete the portraits.

Dog on the Beach

How has the internet impacted your business?
It has made it possible for me to have a business. I am very grateful for the invention of the internet.

How long does it take for a single portrait to be completed?
Normal turnaround time from sketch to finish is 3-4 weeks, depending on my workload and waiting list.

Who are the artists that inspire you?
I'm inspired by Toulouse Lautrec, Chagall, Van Gogh, Grandma Moses, and Frida Kahlo.

Four Friends On The Beach

What advice would you give to young artists who hope to break into your profession?
Follow your intuition. If this is something you truly love to do, develop your own unique style and keep at it. Be realistic for potential challenges along the road ahead. Donate your time and talent when you can. Spend time with and around people who are supportive and lift your spirits up. Continue to learn about pets and grow from people and experiences.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
It would be on the Greek Island of Hydra.
Photo of Hydra from Hydra Island's Official Website
What things or hobbies do you do when it's time to recharge?
I enjoy walks and playtime with my dog (and now baby boy) under the big blue sky, reading a good book, sipping a latte or cup of tea, taking a short roadtrip to a different part of the city, and lunch or dinner with friends. I also relax by sketching and writing.

Boston Terrier With A New Friend

How did your dog become part of your household?
He was a very special gift from my husband.

What type of personality does Fatsa have? Is he really energetic or very laid back?
He's a little bit of both. At home with just me, he is laid back unless company arrives. Then he is quite energetic. He is a very playful bubbly little guy around several people.

How do you balance being a pet owner with work?
It's challenging at times but I always make time for little Fatsa. I take breaks throughout the day to take him for a walk, play, or just to give him a few pats & back scratchies.

What does your dog do when you're busy at work?
He naps in his cozy place nearby burrowed under his comfy warm blankets.

The Tub Time Trio
What kind of food does your dog like to eat?
He has food allergies so unfortunately has a very limited diet. We have only found one type of dog food he can eat without having tummy issues.

What does he like to do for exercise?
He loves to play tug o war and fetch. Also, he loves to run while carrying his leash in his mouth.

What's the most unique quality about Fatsa?
He's very chatty. If on a walk, he will bark at everyone (dogs, cats, people) on the other side of the street as he walks. It is almost like he is greeting everyone and having a little chat about the weather, day, etc...

What do you like most about the social media world?
The opportunity to meet and connect with many kind hearted & inspiring people from all over the world. One can learn something about something from each and every person.

Angie grew up in the Midwest, USA. Her childhood was a bumpy one, with a series of challenges to overcome. Pets and creating art were a steady source of comfort and solace from the very beginning of her life & remained with her throughout uncertain times. With her expressive painting style and use of vibrant colors, she strives to capture individual pet personalities and honor the furry friends who bring so much joy & happiness to our lives. Angie has sold her work nationally and internationally. She offers custom portraiture through her website Art By Angie.
She now resides just outside of Seattle, WA with her husband, son, and bubbly Boston Terrier, Fatsa.
Thank you Angie for taking the time to chat and share with us some of your beautiful works.

You can learn more about Angie through these websites:

Angie Ketelhuts's Website
Pet Portraits By Angie - Facebook Page
Angie's Art Gallery On Facebook

Let's Discuss!

Please feel free to share any comments or questions for Angie in our comments section.

More Posts Like This

Interview With Aimée Hoover

Q & A With Anthony
Q & A With Go Pet Portraits
Why Not Draw The Dog?

Battlepug, A New Breed Of Comics

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Purina Incredible Dog Challenge National Finals

Vhoebe, reaches new lengths in the Dock Diving Challenge.

On October 1st, Purina held its Incredible Dog Challenge in Gray's Summit, Missouri. Dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages competed in different challenges like hurdles, agility, weave pole racing and dock diving.

One dog really rose to the occasion. Vhoebe, a Belgian Malinois owned by Lisa Strum, broke a world record in dock diving. Jumping a total distance of 31 feet 8 inches, she surpassed the rest of the competition and is now in the record books.

Below are some more pictures from the event. All pictures for this post are courtesy of the Incredible Dog Challenge.
Bracken, a border collie owned by Diane Allen, zooms through the 30 weave pole challenge

Shunsuke Hirai, and his Border Collie, Shack, compete in the Incredible Freestyle Flying Disc competition

Let's Discuss!

Have you ever seen the Incredible Dog Challenge in person? What's your favorite event?


An Incredible Dog That Set The World Record

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Score Big On Dog Nutrition

Pet nutrition is becoming more important these days. A strong knowledge of what's good for your pet can really make a difference in it's quality of life.

That's why the makers of Ideal Balance have put out a great quiz to test your skills. Just visit the PetMd website and try it out for yourself.

Just visit their website. Each participant will receive a rebate on Hill's Science Diet Ideal Balance dog food to celebrate Pet Nutrition Month. What's even better is that four lucky quiz takers will win a $2500 USD gift card from selected pet retailers.

Take the test here!

Let's Discuss!

What's your most valuable nutrition tip?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Thank You Hewlett Packard

Hi Everyone!

I can't believe we're already in October!I know it's been quite awhile since my last post, so I wanted this post to be special. One
day, when I was having lunch at my neighbor's house, I had left my flash drive on the coffee table. The videos below show the rest. Enjoy.

Thank You HP, Part I from Elena Papastefan on Vimeo.

Thank You HP, Part I

Part II

Hope you all are having a great weekend.

Let's Discuss!

What precious possession has your dog chewed lately?

It's Relative!

Thank You Kingston
Chloe Tests The iPad

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Tradition That Needed To End

People love traditions. They love to celebrate a special event. These celebrations can go on for hundreds of years. Such is the case of a longtime festival held in Qianxi.

Known for the origin of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), folklore said that Zhu Yuanzhang and his troops killed the dogs of their opponents so that their barks would not warn them. As part of the victory, they feasted on the meat of the dogs that were slaughtered.

Each year, residents of this area celebrate by eating dog meat. However, after some people questioned if the dog meat was safe to eat, dogs were butchered out in public to show they were safe. Dogs had been killed and then skinned on site.

Online outcry called upon the government to stop this cruelty towards dogs. Many people and After overwhelming pressure, the government gave in and this is the first year dog eating has been banned from the festival. This is a great illustration of how powerful online communication has become.

Read More About It

China Bans Dog-Eating "Carnival" After Uproar - Reuters
Dog Eating Carnival Banned In China - AFP

Let's Discuss

Please share your thoughts about this below. I never could imagine dogs as cuisine and hope this trend ends in Asian countries.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Finding The Right Balance

When you're a dog owner, there are times that you wonder if your dog is getting the right mixture of nutrition in his dog food. Dogs can eat almost anything, and with the increased rate of obesity in our country, it's important to know the nutritional value of what we are feeding them.

Over 69% of Americans have difficulty giving their dog optimal nutrition. It usually isn't balanced enough.Two companies, Hill's Science Diet and PetMD have teamed up to inform dog owners about giving their dogs the right mixture of food. It's called "MyBowl".

What's MyBowl

MyBowl is an interactive educational tool to inform dog owners about the correct combination of nutrients dogs receive. All dogs should have the following as part of their diet:
  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Fats and/or oils
  • Vitamins and minerals
Carbohydrates help regulate the digestive system by keeping the sugar levels even and giving your dog the burst of energy needed to get through the day. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that isn't digestible but will help your dog feel full and not want to overeat. Both types of carbohydrates are essential for your dog.

Protein helps maintain muscles and maintains growth. It's the first ingredient in most dog foods because it's a pure form of nutrition. It helps keep their bones strong.When you give an animal a protein like beef or chicken, it will be tasty and nutritious. Protein is a must for any dog food.
Photo: Pet MD
Fats and oils can be intimidating to most dog owners. Too much fat can put extra weight on your dog. However, they also provide energy, give your dog a shiny coat and help promote heart health. We all need a little bit of this to help stay in prime condition.

Vitamins and minerals are important for good health but also are needed in smaller quantities. Examples would be fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts.

Dog Food That Does The Thinking For You

Hill's Science Diet has now created a new dog food called Ideal Balance. It contains just the right mix of the necessary nutrients to keep dogs at their best.

Good nutrition doesn't have to be complicated. With the new programs like the one at Pet MD and making sure that the dog food you buy meets the standards of the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) it's simpler than you think.

Let's Discuss!

What do you do to keep your pet healthy?

Other Posts Of Interest

The Launch Of A Business
When Your Dog Is Beyond Chubby
Project Pet Slimdown
Laura's Struggle With Hemangiosarcoma

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

In Memory Of Laura

Photo: Laura's Dad

Some of you may remember Laura. She was fighting an awful disease called hermangiosarcoma. Last week, she lost the battle.

Hemangiosarcoma is a rare cancer that usually isn't caught until it reaches the later stages. It is most commonly found in the spleen and affects the blood vessels. It is treated most often by surgery and a follow-up of chemotherapy. When diagnosed with this disease, if a dog lives longer than a year after the initial diagnosis, it's almost miraculous. Laura's family learned she had the disease on January 20th.

Laura and her family were determined to fight this disease in order to give her the best quality of life possible. They stayed on top of her treatment and even created a special diet to help combat the cancer.

While her time was limited, never did she falter in her courage and always trekked through the fight like a trooper. Laura helped bring awareness to a cancer that wasn't well-known. She handled the situation with grace and fortitude. She showed how life can throw obstacles in one's path but that you can still appreciate and love life wholeheartedly.

It's never easy to say goodbye, and even harder to say goodbye when your dog's condition is terminal. Although I never met Laura, I felt for her situation and cheered when she had her good days.

Her dad kept an awesome blog if you would like to learn more. My thoughts go out to Laura's family during this difficult time. She won't be forgotten.

Learn more

Laura's Blog
Laura's Struggle With Hemangiosarcoma

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

Hi Friends!

Since it's a national holiday here in the States, I just wanted to post to wish you all a happy Labor Day. Now that school's started, along with work, it's become a little trickier to post as frequently. However, after next week, things should open up a little more.

In the meantime, you may enjoy a couple of the posts below. I hope you all have a great Labor Day.

Other Posts Of Interest

White Knuckles
At Your Service

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Woman Saves Dog By Punching Bear On The Nose

It isn't every day that one finds their dog in the clutches of a black bear. Yet that's exactly what happened to 22-year-old Brooke Collins. This woman from Juneau, Alaska had her dogs outside in the yard, when a black bear came in and took her dachshund Fudge by her neck and was carrying her like a piece of salmon.

Without having much time to think, she remembered hearing that if you punch some animals on the nose, it can deter some animals and make them run off. Sure enough, after doing that, the bear became stunned and walked down the driveway.

The dog wasn't seriously injured aside from having some scratches and bite marks. She will be watching the wounds closely to ensure that there's no infection that arises from the incident.

While she wouldn't do something like that again, she felt that she had to act quickly to save her dog. Her other dog, a Pomeranian was unharmed.

Not A Rare Occurrence

It seems that bears are becoming more commonplace and less fearful of humans up in Alaska. To date, there have been at least five bears wandering the neighborhoods scavenging through trash cans for food. It is a growing problem that dog owners have to face.

Collins said the whole experience of a physical encounter shook her up, calling the whole thing an eye-opener. She said she’ll be taking a lot more caution from now on and definitely won’t be approaching neighborhood bears.

Let's Discuss!

Have you ever witnessed such an incident up close?

Read More About It!

Woman Punches Bear To Save Her Dog - Juneau Empire

Related Posts

An Angel Of A Dog
Dogs Of Valor

Saturday, August 27, 2011

When A Pooch Goes Poof!

It seems these days that more and more dogs are being kidnapped. One of the main reasons this is happening is the bad economy. Thieves who grab dogs can't afford to buy one of their own, so they will steal one so their kids can have a pet.

Many will kidnap breeds like Yorkshire Terriers or Pomeranians because their smaller size make it easier to pull off. They can sell them for a higher price and make a profit. Others will hold on to the dog until an owner puts out a reward sign and then wait until the reward goes up in price.

In the first seven months of 2010, there were 150 pets stolen from homes. This year there has been 224 thefts. That's an increase of 49M% from last year. Nothing is more precious than life and those who snatch family pets have little regard for that fact. They're opportunists who profit off another person's misery.

Tips On How To Avoid This

There are some steps dog owners can take to keep their pets safe.
  • If your dog is a pedigree, don't discuss the details about how much was spent. A savvy thief will latch on to that key piece of information and could target that person
  • Be wary of classified or internet ads. Many thieves will try to unload stolen pets that way. It's better to find them through a shelter or rescue group.
  • Keep your dog on the leash when walking it. If you do walk your dog off-leash, be sure that your dog remains in close proximity and very responsive to your commands.
  • When at the dog park, always keep an eye on your dog. It's easy to get caught up in conversation with other owners and lose track of your dog.
  • Make sure your dog is microchipped and has proper identification. With a microchip, if a dog gets away from its kidnapper, it will be easier to find his home. Likewise if your dog wears an id tag.

Even though stolen dogs are becoming more of a problem these days, with a little extra care and cautiousness, you'll be able to safeguard your pet.

Read More About It!

San Francisco Chronicle More Dogs Get Kidnapped For Money - USA Today

Let's Discuss!

What are some ways you keep your pet safe?

Related Posts

All Dogs Need Insurance Reunited And It Feels So Good Don't Have A Lost Dog!

Friday, August 19, 2011

10 Lesser Known Dog Breeds Of The AKC

Spinoni Italiano by Johan Michaëlsson

A few days ago, I went with my mom to the Corner Bakery and came across this unusual yet lovable dog. When I asked the owner what type of dog it was, she told me it was an Italian Spinoni (pictured above).

It made me think that with over 167 breeds, there are a few dogs that some dog lovers never even heard of or that have a small, devoted following. I wondered which dogs were not as popular and the top 10 and came up with the following breeds. One of the best things about getting a breed that is less popular is owners will not have to worry about over breeding.
Note: This does not mean that these dogs aren't great dogs, just dogs with fewer numbers.

So here are some of the more unknown dogs of the AKC. See if your dog made the list:

Ranked #158
Finnish Spitz
Known as the national dog of Finland, the Finnish Spitz is known for its hunting
skills and is great with children. It's a friendly dog yet cautious with strangers. They vary in shades of red but you will not find them only in that color.

It measures 16 to 20 inches (38-51 cm) and weigh 25 to 36 pounds (11-14kg). This breed is slow to mature. He is known for his thick coat but is a dog that can adapt to all temperatures. He is independent yet trainable and will shed quite a bit.

Ranked #159
Norwegian Buhund
Known as the dog of the Vikings, this dog has a rich history. The word buhund is derived from bu (meaning farm in Norwegian) and hund (meaning dog). These medium-sized dogs have a height of 16 to 18.5 inches (41 - 47cm) and a weight of 26.5 to 40 pounds (12 to 18kg). It has a coat in various colors such as white, wheaten, red, black and wolf sable. They have a short and harsh outer coat and a soft, wooly coat underneath.

Photo: Muu-karhu
Like the Finnish Spitz, this dog will shed heavily during the change of seasons. However, this dog is more of a shepherd than a hunting dog. It's high-energy is great for active families and ideal for children. Not only are these ideal shepherd dogs, they are also used as police dogs, tracking or therapy dogs. They are excellent watchdogs yet are friendly and have a gentle disposition.

Ranked #160
Skye Terrier
The Skye Terrier is a beloved breed to the people of England and Scotland. Originating from the Isle of Skye (islands northwest of Scotland), this is a true terrier in every sense of the word.

With a height that puts this breed low to the ground at about 10 inches (25.5cm) and having a weight that falls between 25 to 40 pounds (16-18 kg), this distinctive breed stands out for many reasons. All Skye Terriers have a body that is twice as long as their height.

They have a long outer coat, and soft, wooly undercoat which shields them from the brush. This is a dog that will be high-maintenance for grooming. Their colors include black, blue, gray-blue, dark or light gray, silver platinum, fawn or cream. Some you will find accented with white on their chest or black points on their ears or paws. They also have two types of ears: prick ears which stand up and dropped which fold over. Dogs with dropped ears tend to be more rare of the two.

Queen Victoria was a big fan of this dog. It doesn't require a whole lot of exercise and an every day walk is adequate for them. While they are an affectionate and loyal dog, this breed isn't for everyone. It's ideal for single individuals or senior citizens. It's a good breed for apartment dwellers. Being a terrier, it's likely to chase small animals. They are close to family but reserved with strangers.

Ranked #161

The Otterhound is a large dog that loves the water. This scent hound was originally bred to hunt otters, that has since fallen out of favor since sea otters have been added to the list to protect them from extinction. Like the NewFoundland these dogs are expert in the water and have webbed feet.

They are big dogs, standing 24 to 26 inches high (60-65 cm) and weighing anywhere from 66 to 115 pounds (30-52 kg). They

They are a dog that love the outdoors as well.They need to be in a living environment where they have plenty of room in the backyard and are taken on a long walk every day. They are eager to please and are wonderful therapy dogs. They are great around children and are a friendly breed but their large size and clumsiness may be overwhelming for some people.

While they love other dogs, they are liable to chase other animals such as cats. Training is challenging because this breed can be quite stubborn. They will need firm boundaries and they tend to get into messy situations. They will grunt, snort and drool. Still, they are good watchdogs and have a sweet disposition.

Ranked #162
Pyrenean Shepherd

Originating from the Pyrenees Mountains in France, these shepherd dogs are quite small compared to other breeds. They are 16 to 19 inches (40 - 48) in height and 25 to 32 pounds (11 - 14.5kg) in weight. You will find them in a multitude of colors and hair types. There are some that are smooth-faced and others that are rough-faced.
Photo: Ulyssebleu
Bred, with a job to do, these dogs don't like to sit still. They require much time for socialization but are highly trainable and intelligent. They are excellent candidates for agility. They need space to run and have a very high activity level. They are great with kids but wary of strangers.

Ranked #163
Canaan Dog
The Canaan Dog is an true beauty from the country of Israel. Considered one of the oldest breeds, has been around since the ancient middle ages (2000 BC). Known for their intelligence and independence this dog adapts well to most situations but can be hard to train since it needs a strong pack leader. Some may be good fits for apartment living but most will be comfortable in a larger living environment.

They range between 19 to 24 inches (48 - 61 cm) tall and weigh anywhere from 37 to 57 pounds (16 - 25 kg). They come in a variety of colors which include white, red, black or brown or have patches in two colors (like white and black). Their thick double coat isn't too long. It doesn't require as much grooming but will moderately shed throughout the year.
Photo: Yigal Parado
They are calm dogs who have a shepherd background. They are more versatile than a hard-core shepherd dog like the versatile which makes them open to trying new things. They are excellent with young children and other animals as they consider them members of the pack. Canaan Dogs thrive in agility and tracking. They make an excellent guard dog. Still, these dogs will train best with an experienced dog owner since they can have a manipulative side and require firm leadership.

Ranked #164
Dandie Dinmont Terrier

These terriers have an unusual name having been named after a Walter Scott novel from the 19th century. These adorable little dogs first popped up in southwestern Scotland. Basically bred for hunting vermin, these dogs have a similar look to the Dachshund and Skye Terrier.

Photo: Bonfire Buddy
Its colors are primarily Pepper, which is bluish-black, and mustard, which is variations of golden brown. They have a coat that needs to be regularly trimmed but minimally sheds. They are known for their big brown eyes and domed heads and are one of the oldest terrier breeds from Scotland.

These dogs have medium energy levels but will love to chase animals. They are trainable and respond best using positive reinforcement methods. They are ideal for an apartment setting due to their small size. They measure between 8 to 12 inches (20 - 30cm) tall and weigh between 18 to 24 pounds (8 - 11kg). They are reserved with strangers and very protective of their home like most terriers.

Ranked #165
The Harrier looks very similar to the Beagle, but actually descends from the English Foxhound. They love to hunt rabbits and hares just like Beagles. These dogs are truly a rare breed with only 8 dogs registered last year in Canada alone.

They are 18 to 22 inches (48 - 55cm) and weigh anywhere from 45 to 60 pounds (20.4 - 27.2kg). Their colors are very similar to Beagles where you will find them with black, white & tan, red & white, black & tan, black, tan & white, lemon & white, tan, open-markings with lots of white and white.

They can be very vocal and make good watchdogs. They are outgoing and love people and other dogs. They are very people-oriented and are excellent family companions. They are the type that must be in a fenced-in yard because they will wander if they break free. They do have a stubborn and independent streak, so obedience training is a must for this breed.

Ranked #166
American Foxhound

The first American Foxhound was brought here in 1650 by Robert Brooke. These dogs are larger than their Harrier and Beagle counterparts. They are 21 to 25 inches high (53 - 64cm) and weigh about 65 to 75 pounds (29 - 34kg). Their coat can be any color but most of the time it will have two colors. It's a scent hound as well. When the dog fixates on a scent it will take quite a lot to get him to listen.

These dogs are famous in the Southeastern areas of the United States, like Virginia. Virginia has embraced this breed by naming it its state animal. American Foxhounds are true hunters.

American Foxhounds are calm and even-tempered. They love to run! Since they love to run and hunt, a home or farm environment is best for this breed. They don't care to be indoors unless it's to spend time with family. They get along great with children because of their gentle and tolerant nature. They will also get along with small animals if they're socialized at a young enough age.

Speaking of socialization, these guys can be tough to train and housetrain. They are best handled by experienced dog owners. Like the Harrier, this dog has a short coat and requires minimal grooming. They are also known for their loud howling voices.
Ranked #167
English Foxhound
The English Foxhound is one of the oldest breeds from America. It is also the rarest breed with only 17 dogs registered here in the United States. George Washington was especially fond of this breed. The main difference from the American Foxhound is that they are thicker and shorter. The English Foxhound will also resemble a Beagle more whereas the American Foxhound will resemble a pointer with their head shape.
Photo: AKC
This dog leads an active lifestyle and is best living in a large home or rural environment. Exercise is a must with this breed as is firm leadership. Both make great running companions, and this dog is good for accompanying horseback riders.

It is 21 to 25 inches high (53 - 63.5cm) and weigh 65 to 70 pounds (29.5 - 32kg). They have short, dense coats that are easy to groom. Their coloring is very similar to the American Foxhound. They work well with older children but young puppies of this breed may be too rambunctious for younger dogs.

All in all, the dogs above show that you don't have to be popular to be remarkable.

Let's Discuss!

What do you like most about these dogs? Have you ever had a rare breed?

Related Posts

When Dogs Become Too Popular

George Washington and General Howe's Dog
The Most Popular Dog Breeds
20 Dog Breeds That Make Great Running Companions
The Top Dog Breeds Of 2010

Friday, August 12, 2011

All dogs need insurance

They say that a dog is a man’s or woman’s best friend. The second we bring a pet dog into our lives is the second that we welcome them into our family as one of our own.

This is why dog insurance is so important for protecting your dog’s health. The sad fact is, that many dog owners have had to put down their dog simply because they could not afford the veterinary bills.

Unfortunately veterinary costs are rising all the time. If your dog broke a bone for example, the x-ray alone would cost in excess of $200. Dental surgery could cost over $160 and if your pet dog was unfortunate enough to catch an ongoing disease such as diabetes or asthma, the ongoing treatment for the lifetime of the dog could reach up to $10,000.

In this video from MoneySupermarket, Sheila from one of the many pet rescue centres talks about the importance of insurance for your pets.

Pet insurance video courtesy of

What a dog insurance policy can cover

A dog insurance policy covers much more than just the veterinary costs. Here is a list of everything that a dog cover policy can include.

Vet Bills – As discussed whether your dog as a one time or a life time injury or illness your policy can cover you from the associated costs.

Death Benefit – This can be paid out to you if your dog dies of an illness or accident. The payout is usually the price you paid for your pet or its market value.

Accidental Damage – If you dog was to cause damage to a third parties personal property this will cover the costs to replace the damaged property.

Third Party Liability – If your dog was to cause a car accident and someone was seriously hurt, you could be held liable for any damages and costs.

Theft/Straying – If your dog is stolen and not found usually after 28 days, the price you paid for the dog or its market value can be paid to you.

Advertising/Reward – Carrying on from the last point, your dog insurance will help pay towards the associated costs involved for advertising your missing dog and offering a reward.

Boarding Fees – If your dog has to have a prolonged stay in hospital then the costs for keeping them overnight can soon start to add up. Your insurance policy can cover these costs for you.

Holiday Cancellation – If you have a family holiday planned and paid for and you had to cancel it due to your dogs health, then your insurance will cover the money you would have lost. This only applies if your dog needs life saving surgery.

So, as you can see a dog insurance policy covers a lot more than just your dog’s health.

Today's post was written by Stefan Mustieles. Stefan is the proud owner of a Yorkshire Terrier called Ben. Writing for the price comparison website, he currently writes a number of diverse articles on all aspects of pet ownership.

Let's Discuss!

How has having pet insurance made a difference for you?

Related Posts

The Cost Of A New Dog

The Oscar Foundation
A Tale Of Three Dogs

Saturday, August 6, 2011

When One Is Under The Weather

Sometimes, when I'm sick, I'll notice a complete change in my dogs. They'll stay by my side and not nag at me to let them out like they usually do. It's as if they sense that I'm not operating at 100 percent, they adjust.

Dogs have this uncanny ability to detect when something is up. When a human is emotional your dog will smell the difference in the air. Many dogs can detect cancer, seizures or if a person is unconscious because of this keen instinct.

While all dogs are different, I think many will sense when their owners are sick.

Let's Discuss!

How is your dog different when you're sick?

Related Posts

Dogs and Autistic Children
Interview with Pam Gaber of Gabriel's Angels
Diabetes Detection Dogs

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Get Up and Go Giveaway Winner

Hello Everyone!

I was amazed by all the entries in this contest. You guys totally rock. Since there were lots of tweets, I decided to choose the winner at random on

Below is the list of all the entries who entered within the contest timeframe:

  1. Abby
  2. Abby Tweet
  3. Wise Owl Designs
  4. Anonymous #1
  5. Just Coupons
  6. Just Coupons Tweet
  7. Julie D.
  8. Julie D. tweet
  9. vhubler
  10. vhubler tweet
  11. TonyaHopkins
  12. TonyaHopkins tweet
  13. roswell
  14. roswell tweet
  15. Kari
  16. Michele
  17. Terra H.
  18. maxfate
  19. maxfate tweet
  20. Pauline Milner
  21. Pauline Milner tweet
  22. Anonymous #2
  23. missbobloblaw
  24. Eileen
  25. Eileen tweet
  26. Mrs. Smitty
  27. Mrs. Smitty tweet
  28. cloud10277
  29. cloud10277 tweet
  30. TwoPeasInAPodOneDayAtATime
  31. Missy #1
  32. Grace Matthews
  33. Grace Matthews tweet
  34. ✿Heather S✿
  35. ✿Heather S✿ tweet
  36. manthas24
  37. manthas24 tweet
  38. Kristen
  39. katklaw777
  40. katklaw777 tweet
  41. jsc123
  42. Retro ReDesign
  43. Amy Sue's Place
  44. ruthhill74
  45. ruthhill74 tweet
  46. Jessca
  47. scottsgal
  48. Monica #1
  49. Monica #1 tweet
  50. amyd
  51. SuperMom3128
  52. TheSharpTeethOfLove
  53. TheSharpTeethOfLove Tweet
  54. tdean30
  55. My4boysand1
  56. My4boysand1 tweet
  57. Ann
  58. Jeanette Jackson
  59. Jeanette Jackson tweet
  60. Temperance
  61. Judy
  62. Passport To Frugal
  63. DHidey
  64. dailymom
  65. LisaWeidknecht
  66. LisaWeidknecht tweet
  67. polly
  68. Angel Jacklyn
  69. Angel Jacklyn tweet
  70. Becca
  71. Becca tweet
  72. pinkghosta
  73. bettycd
  74. bettycd tweet
  75. Ashley
  76. Stacy
  77. Jason & Bethany
  78. sononchalant
  79. Carolsue
  80. Michelle Spayde
  81. Michelle Spayde tweet
  82. pauline15
  83. pauline15 tweet
  84. Ericka
  85. Ericka Tweet
  86. Gina
  87. Connie Black
  88. Connie Black tweet
  89. Helen
  90. Helen tweet
  91. Erin
  92. Erin Tweet
  93. Mippy
  94. Tammilee Tillison
  95. Christie B.
  96. amanda
  97. Krissie McCoy
  98. Krissie McCoy tweet
  99. amied027
  100. amied027 tweet
  101. Denise McDonough
  102. Missy #2
  103. maryjaco1
  104. Tara Trovitch tweet
  105. Tara Trovitch tweet
  106. Lynda
  107. Lynda tweet
  108. Sarah Sparks
  109. Monica #2
Congratulations to Ruthhill74! Her tweet was the winning entry.

Thank you all for entering. I loved hearing how you all "get up and go" with your dogs. I'll be back with another contest soon.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pet Friendly Hotels

There are sometimes you want to get away and stay in a hotel but can't find one that will take your pet. That's why I was so thrilled to find

Based in England, started out in Europe and later expanded to North America and the other continents. It provides the owner with an overview of the hotel and even has pet travel tips.

It's nice to know that if I ever want to take the dogs on vacation, I'll be able to find a good hotel quicklyThat's why this resource is my Website of the Week.

Let's Discuss!

What's your favorite pet-friendly hotel?

Related Posts

Dog Website Resources
Happy Halloween (Fido Friendly)
At Your Service


Dog Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory