Thursday, March 31, 2011

Too Kool Doggies Is Two Years Old

On March 31st, 2009, I started this blog as part of my Blogging and Podcasting class taken at school. Since then, I haven't been able to stop. This blog and the people I've met through it have given me such joy that this has become a labor of love. As I write this post, Homer is laying on my lap (the big baby) and groaning if he gets disturbed.

This year we've had some interesting discoveries and statistics:

Let's Discuss!

It's been quite a year. What are some things you would like to see in this blog for the new year?

Cookie Update

I'll be updating you occasionally on Cookie's progress. She is walking but is only using three of her legs. To compensate for not taking her on walks, I've been taking her on car rides with my morning dog walks since she loves the car.

I'm going to take her downstate to a teaching hospital to save on surgery costs. It will take some time. In the meantime, I've had a couple of readers inquire about donations so I've set up a donation page through . I am seeking other fundraising options as well.

I thank you all for your encouraging words and support during this time. It's been extremely comforting.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Rough Road Ahead

Hi Everyone,

Many of you may know Cookie from this blog. Yesterday, my mom and I took her to the vet. It turned out that she needed x-rays. After we came back to pick her up, we found out the news:

Her right ligament had completely snapped.

I am devastated. She was just back to herself, having the stamina to handle two walks a day. Now, she has to use her left hind leg to walk and her weight has ballooned to 28.5 pounds (12.9 kg) which was a shock. We had been measuring out her meals and it still happened. I think part of it is due to her breed because Cocker Spaniels love food and can gain weight easily.

The Prognosis

It is imperative for Cookie to lose weight. I will probably be getting a high quality food like Bil-Jac light since it doesn't require as much food to feed your dog as other dog foods do. Without Cookie losing the weight to get back to a manageable size, she won't be able to have the necessary surgery to repair the ligament.

Cranial Crucial Ligament Surgery

This surgery is ideal for dogs in Cookie's situation. Without the surgery, she will not be able to have full mobility of her legs. With the surgery, she will be able to walk using all four legs again.

The surgery is very expensive. With my current income, the only way I'll be able to do it is with financial aid. I will be checking all of the resources to see what's possible for Cookie. Thank you all for stopping by. I will keep you updated on Cookie's status.

Let's Discuss!

Have any of you had dogs in the same situation as Cookie? What steps did you take for your dog?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cookie Hurts Her Other Leg

Hi Guys! It has been a hectic weekend. I was out of town at a convention for school. It went really well. I came back to the dogs elated to see me. However, later in the afternoon, Cookie jumped down and hurt her other leg.

Not sure if the same thing happened as when she tore her CCL. So I am going to wait two days till we know if it's a sprain or something more serious. I am using an ice pack because it's hard for her to put weight on it. So far, she's sitting quite a bit and is a little uncomfortable. I think I'll have a better idea by the morning. Anyhow, I'll keep you posted and hope to do more posts during the week.

Thanks for stopping in. And for discussion, if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Magic Bullet Fund

There's nothing worse than seeing someone you love fighting cancer. It can be even more difficult when it's a little dog who can't talk but handles its pain with the greatest of dignity.

Now there's an organization that can help if you are having financial difficulties with paying your medical bills for fighting canine cancer. It's called The Magic Bullet Fund. This organization was named after Laurie Kaplan's dog Bullet. Grateful that she was able to care for Bullet while he was fighting cancer, she wondered what happened if she couldn't afford the treatment and realized she would be brokenhearted.

How The Program Works

With the cost of cancer treatments these days, this organization will give financial aid from $600 USD to $6,000 USD. If you are a primary caretaker or a shelter/rescue group can apply for aid for your ailing dog. You dog must fall into the proper age and weight range. They provide assistance for tumor removal surgery or chemotherapy treatments (there are specific requirements for chemotherapy treatments).

A Difference Is Made

This organization has helped over 100 dogs fight cancer and extend their life. It's a great resource for other similar funds for this reason. The volunteers who run this website are true heroes who dedicate their lives to making dogs' lives better. If you would like to help, you can donate to them or visit their website store.

Let's Discuss!

Did you know anyone in this situation? How have you been affected by a dog fighting cancer? Personally, seeing Elvis battle cancer was horrifying because he had such an aggressive form that hit him so quickly.

Note To Readers

I haven't been writing as much because of school and work demands. I hope to be back in full force next week and will try to get an additional post up over the weekend. Thank you all for your support and I hope you are having a great week.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thank You Kingston

Thank You Note To Kingston from Elena Papastefan on Vimeo.

Hi Folks!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Ever have one of those times that you find such a great product, you want to shout it from the rooftops? Well, I found one of those with Kingston flash drives. When a flash drive survives being chomped on by my dog's teeth, it's incredible. That's the topic of the above video. Hope you all have a great day and good luck with those of you picking your March Madness pools.

Let's Discuss!

What is a product that you've raved about?

Related Posts

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4 Reasons Dogs Like To Destroy Your Things
Flash Drives That Are Going To The Dogs
Making Headway With Homer
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Valor Dog Of The Year

The Valor Dog Of The Year has been chosen. Congratulations to Yogi! This Golden Retriever was not only the Valor Dog but the people's choice as well. He waited by his master's side when his bike flipped over and was left paralyzed from the chest down. The owner of the dog will receive a crystal figurine by Custom Glass Etching, a sterling silver pet tag from Bella Tocca Tags and a $200USD Humane Domain gift card.

Runners Up

There were also two runners up. The first runner up was Sarge, the German Shepherd who let his owner know there was an intruder in his 15-year-old daughters room.

Gangsta warned her father and sisters that Debra Lowery collapsed in the tub into a faucet running with scalding water as a result of an epileptic seizure.

All of the dogs are valiant as far as I'm concerned. A huge congratulations goes out to them all. To see a slideshow of the winners, please visit the Humane Society webpage.


Dogs Of Valor

Countries Unite To Help Japan

Photo: Fairfax County International Task Force

On March 11 —just a few weeks after the Christchurch earthquake— Japan had experienced one of the worst earthquakes ever, registering at a 9.0 on the Richter Scale. An earthquake with that magnitude happens only once in 5 to 10 years. Shortly afterward, a devastating tsunami followed. This earthquake was so severe that it has been said that Japan shifted 8 feet (2.4 meters). Aftershocks have been as high as 6.0 on the Richter scale. The earth's axis moved 10 inches that day.

Not since World War II has Japan experienced such destruction. More than 2,000,000 households
are without electrical power and water. Over 10,000 have perished. The biggest hurdle this country will face is stopping the nuclear reactors from having a meltdown. Thousands of people as well as their pets have been displaced from their homes.

Photo Source: News Observer

Countries Band Together

Countries from all over the world are uniting to help Japan in the midst of disaster. Many of the countries had landed on March 13 and will be deploying on March 14 at first dawn. These next hours are critical if there are any survivors to be found.

Some of the countries assisting Japan include:
  • The United States has already sent a joint team of 144 rescue workers out there with 12 rescue dogs who will bark alert at the sight of any persons. One rescue team is from Fairfax County, Virginia, and the other is from Los Angeles County, California. Over 85 tons of equipment have been provided for this mission.
  • Great Britain has sent a search and rescue team of 59 rescue workers, 4 doctors, 2 rescue dogs and 11 tons of equipment.
  • Germany has sent 40 rescue workers and 2 rescue dogs through the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief. This agency is composed mainly of volunteers.
  • France has over 100 from their country assisting Japan and an additional 11 from Monaco helping the country through their plight.
  • Italy is standing by on word from the Japanese government on how they can help.
  • China arrived with its rescue workers on Sunday morning.
  • Australiahas deployed 72 rescue workers to Japan. It also has offered its field hospitals and victim identification personnel to Japan. Additionally, dogs will be en route as well.
  • Singaporesent 5 rescue workers and two search and rescue dogs each. Many more rescue workers are on standby.
  • South Korea sent 5 rescue dogs.
  • New Zealand will be contributing 48 rescue workers to the search.
This is just the tip of the iceberg with many more countries currently on standby waiting to offer help to Japan when requested. In the social arena, the Annenberg Foundation will be providing $200,000 USD toward sending rescue dogs to aid in the Japan response efforts because over 100,000 people hit "Like" on The the Dogs Bless USA page on Facebook by Sunday evening. (110,356 and counting) Originally, they were going to offer $100,000 yet because of the actions of those on Facebook, the amount was doubled. Countless donations have rolled in from around the world. If you would like to help, you can find a variety of agencies through this link.

 I am truly saddened and dismayed at what has happened to Japan and send them my sympathy, hopes and prayers during this tragic time.

Let's Discuss!

What are your thoughts on this historic event?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dogs Of Valor

Every dog that I've met in life has a special, and there are times when you meet a dog so remarkable, they're in a class all by themselves. The Humane Society Of America is recognizing 10 of those dogs by having their 4th Annual Dogs Of Valor Awards. These dogs have gone above in beyond in being a companion to their owners as well as fearless protector. Some of these dogs have given up their lives in the process.

The dogs who have been nominated for the Dogs of Valor award are as follows:
  • Sirus a German Shepherd dog from Conneaut Ohio, who warned his owners of a gunman intruding into the house. The gunman came in shooting and the owner, Mike Hommes was able to shoot off gunshots and the intruder fled. Luckily no one, not even their baby was injured. The dog miraculously survived too.
  • Gangsta, a 5-year-old Pomeranian who Barked hysterically to get her family’s attention when their daughter suffered a violent seizure in the shower and collapsed unconscious in a tub of scalding water. The daughter is recovering in the hospital with 2nd and 3rd degree burns on the majority of her body but if was not for Gangsta's warning, she would not be alive today.
  • Effie, a 15-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer from Pine City, Minnesota pulled her owner, Brett Grinde off their usual route on their walk one day. She strained so hard against her leash that Grinde unhooked her and followed. After 50 yards, she disappeared up a driveway.

    When Grinde turned the corner, he found Effie standing over and licking his 94-year-old neighbor, William Lepsch, who was lying face down in the snow and ice, bleeding and unconscious. Lepsch’s 88-year-old wife, Marjorie, had spotted him through the window, but she couldn't reach him using either her wheelchair or walker. She had been attempting to call 911, but in her panic kept misdialing.

    Effie stood guard while Grinde cleared Lepsch’s airway and called an ambulance. Lepsch was taken to a hospital, where he was treated for broken ribs and hypothermia. He passed away two days later, but because of Effie, his family was given the chance to say goodbye.
  • Diamond, a 1-year-old black pit bull from Hayward, California alerted her owner that their second-floor apartment was on fire. Her owner, Todd Steen was the father of two young daughters. Because of Diamond's loud bark, all of them were able to jump out the second floor window, saving their lives. Diamond survived too, although she had burns on 30& of her body. Todd is now looking for a new place that allows dogs.
  • Ceili, a 14-year-old Labrador mix from Hayward, California was jumping up trying to smell her owner's breath one night. Deciding to go to bed early because he wasn't feeling well, Danny Fincher noticed Ceili pulling on his shorts while he was brushing his teeth. Shortly thereafter she was nipping on his socks and pulled off one of his shoes. As he sat down to put his sock back on, his chest suddenly felt like it was on fire and he struggled to breathe. Ceile barked maniacally and ran circles around him.

    His fiance Jewell found him and rushed him to the hospital. He wound up having quadruple bypass surgery. He is now recovering and Ceili is by his side as usual.
  • Emmett, a 5-year-old Labrador retriever from Boise, Idaho, was out with his owner Lance Esquivel and his son Tyler as he took his snowmobile out for a ride. Suddenly Emmett came to a halt, looked back, and barked until Esquivel stopped the snowmobile. That's when Esquivel saw that a live power line had been knocked down during the storm and was lying directly in his path.

    Emmett continued to run back and forth, barking in alarm. Then he got too close to the line—the electrical current threw him several feet, and he died instantly. If not for Emmett's warning, Esquivel would have driven over the wire and been killed.
  • Sarge, a 3-year-old German Shepherd from Forsyth, Illinois, was hanging out with his owner Doug Claypool while he was reading a book and fell asleep early. At midnight, Sarge awoke and rushed down the hall to his 15-year-old daughter's bedroom door and started growling and scratching. Doug had tried to push the door open but the intruder was holding it closed. Claypool ran to another part of the house and grabbed his handgun. He then forced his daughter's door open, and ordered the intruder to get on the floor. Sarge started towards the unknown man, but Claypool called him back and held the intruder at gunpoint until sheriff's deputies arrived. Luckily, his daughter had slept through the whole incident.
  • Coco, a 4-month-old male Chihuahua from Summerfield, Florida, was parked for the night at a Maryland truck stop, with his owner, truck driver Timothy Harris. Harris fell asleep in the bedroom area of his tractor-trailer with Coco by his side. Shortly after 2 a.m., Coco woke Harris up by clawing and nudging him between frantic barks. The truck was filled with smoke and flames.

    Harris grabbed Coco and escaped, but then he realized his tiny dog had stopped breathing. Harris administered CPR until Coco responded. Harris was then rushed to a the hospital, where he was treated for second degree burns to his arms and face. Coco was taken to an emergency vet clinic, where he was treated for exposure to excessive heat and smoke damage to his lungs. Sadly, after four days, Coco had died of a heart attack.
  • Yogi, a 4-year-old golden retriever from Austin, TX ran around and barked furiously until he got help for his owner who hit a bump and flipped over the handles of his mountain bike, paralyzing him from the chest down. He was able to grab the attention of his owner, Paul Horton's neighbors who were able to get him to a hospital. Horton is still paralyzed but is undergoing therapy. As usual, Yogi is right by his side.
  • Wyatt Earp, an Airedale mix from Royal Oak, Michigan was out on a walk Don Callahan, who would frequently take him on winter strolls. All of a sudden, Don collapsed in the park. Wyatt Earp sat by his side and barked incessantly. Finally, someone called the police to report a nuisance dog. When an officer arrived to investigate, he spotted Callahan and Wyatt Earp and called for help.

    When the firefighters arrived, they found that Callahan, a diabetic, had a dangerously low blood sugar level. He'd had no warning because the sensor on his implanted glucometer had expired that very night.

    After a night in the intensive care unit, he and Wyatt Earp were reunited the following day.

Read More About It

All of these stories are extraordinary. To see pictures and read more about these beautiful dogs, please visit this Humane Society webpage. The winner of the People's Hero Award will be announced shortly. One lucky supporter of the Humane Society will win a $100 gift certificate from Humane Domain (the online store of the Humane Society) from the contest that was recently held.

Let's Discuss

Which story touched you the most? Do you have or know a dog who have been heroic situations similar to the stories above?


Sheer Determination

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rabbit Frenzy Strikes Again!

Earlier tonight, I decided to reward the dogs by taking them on an extra long walk. Just when we started, Homer caught a glimpse of our friendly neighborhood rabbit. Luckily, I had a good hold of the leash and was able to continue the walk. Fast forward 10 minutes later. While Gigi was paused for a moment, Homer decided he couldn't wait any longer and slipped out of his collar again.

Cookie and Gigi were good girls by minding the homefront while I was hot in pursuit. Suffice it to say, after looking around for him for about an hour, I finally found him in my neighbor's yard. Since rabbit season is just starting, serious precautions have to be taken.

  1. It's time to get out the harness again.
  2. I will be heading to the pet store to pick up a martingale collar.

What's A Martingale Collar?

Premier ECO Dog Collar, Medium 3/4-Inch, Fern Green
Martingale collars are a cross between a choke collar and a regular collar. They are made with nylon and will keep your dog from slipping their head out of the collar.

Since Homer seems to be a master of an escape artist, I will be picking up one of these tomorrow. It's a small price to pay for extra piece of mind while I'm on our nightly jaunts. I'll let you all know what happens.

Let's Discuss!

Have any of you used this type of collar for your dog? How does it compare to other collars and harnesses?

Related Posts

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Winter Rejuvenation

Last summer, many of you may recall reading about Cookie. The hot, humid weather had her leg injury flaring up. It was a little disconcerting because she's an active dog. With the partial tear on her CCL, she would have her good days and her bad days.

I had begun to accept the fact that as she was only getting older, her injury would worsen with time. Then a funny thing happened. With Homer wanting to sleep near me, Cookie had no desire to be anywhere near him. They get along, but both have strong personalities where they want to be the boss. Cookie however, wants peace above everything else, so she gives Homer the final say on most matters, unless I intervene on her behalf.

As a result, Cookie hasn't been using the stairs as much as she had in the past. With the combination of the cold weather and avoiding the stairs, she has become a rejuvenated dog. She's no longer limping, and is handling walks much better.

She can last much longer on a walk. It used to be she would insist on turning around to go home after a few minutes. Now, she will resist if the walk is too short and will want to go longer. Thankfully, she's been understanding when I take her in the morning before going to my temp job. All three are just happy with a short jaunt around the block.

Extra Rest Is Underrated

In the past, the doctor was adamant about Cookie staying off of her feet. I always thought I complied but obviously, it wasn't enough in the past. Now, I realize that every dog has their limits and that time can make all the difference.

Going Forward

I've had Cookie avoid the stairs as much as possible and keep an eye on when she wants to jump down from high places. Because she never had surgery for the tear, it's always better to take extra precautions. I won't be taking her roller skating like I had in the past because it's too much of a risk. However, I'm hoping to build her up slowly to longer walks when I have the extra time to do so. Taking the dogs to the dog park always works well because Cookie can be as active or as lazy as she wants to be with no leash required.

Let's Discuss!

Have you ever had a dog in a similar situation like Cookie? What helped them to make a great recovery?

Related Posts

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Get Ready For Spring Giveaway Winner

Get Ready For Spring Giveaway Winner from Elena Papastefan .

Some of you may remember the Get Ready For Spring Giveaway from a couple weeks back. Well I'm happy to say we have a winner. Play the video above to find out who won.

I'd also like to specially thank Jocelyn Nagy from CSN Stores for making this contest possible and to all of you who entered. I hope to have another contest really soon. Happy Hump Day to you all.



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