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Herding Water? The Craziness that is Jasper.

May 26, 2012 16 comments

I was all set to share a cute picture montage of a rescue flight today, but I ran into a glitch with some of the photos. So instead, I bring you the craziness that is Jasper.

Ever since I took him and Daisy to the Minnehaha Falls Dog Park along the Mississippi River, he has been obsessed with herding water. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a lake, in a river or in his water dish (as you will soon see).

Please ignore the wheel barrow and dirty water dish. These are the after effects of a severe thunderstorm that rolled through the night before. The water dish is what I was trying to clean out when Jasper went into herding mode.

BTW – “Trouble” is Jasper’s nickname. He’s had it since he was a puppy. It definitely fits him. :)

Welcome to the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop. I encourage you to check out some of the other awesome pet bloggers out there. My thanks to our most generous and giving hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume!

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The Pool’s Open!

May 18, 2012 16 comments

Friday was the first day we could open up the pool at Casa del Mel.

All seemed very happy at the news…

 

Except one…

 

I must get this dirty water off me

But one…

Seemed to enjoy it more than the others.

Welcome to the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop. I encourage you to check out some of the other awesome pet bloggers out there. My thanks to our most generous and giving hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume!

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Animal Welfare – Wishing for days of old

April 9, 2012 14 comments

Do you ever get weary of all that is going on in the world today? Do you ever wish that you didn’t know as much about the pet world as you do?

I know I do. Sometimes I wish for the days of old; when I was oblivious to all the worries and concerns that I face as a pet owner today.

Back then, I knew so much less about dogs, animal rescue, puppy mills, dog shows, dangerous pet foods, tainted dog treats, lost dogs, etc. The world seemed so much less complex.

I could toss my dog a milk bone and not worry about whether it was from China or would make my dog fat. I could watch a dog show in total ignorance and just revel in the beauty of the various breeds without judgement about whether the dog was able to breathe or had a life span of six years. I could look in a pet store window and just laugh at the cute little puppy inside without thinking about where the puppy came from and what kind of conditions its parents lived in.

It’s so much easier today to become overwhelmed and weary by all that goes on behind the scenes. There is SO MUCH information out there nowadays. Of course, the benefit is that you can just about choose any interest and focus solely upon it, but always, just around the edges, lingering just outside your peripheral vision, is that other stuff. The stuff you don’t want to think about. The stuff you don’t want to know. The stuff you would rather ignore.

I know that educating people about puppy mills does make a difference – even if it only prevents one more puppy mill puppy from being sold or motivates one person to take action to close them down. I also know that sharing information about a dangerous pet product can make a difference, especially for that one person who might have lost their best friend if not for that blog post or status update to warn them. And, I know that sharing that one picture of a lost dog may be the one “share” that makes the all the difference to that lost dog and their owner.

But every once in a while, just for a second or two, I really DO wish for the less complex days of old.

The Chicken Jerky Treat Jerkaround

April 6, 2012 35 comments

I’ve been watching this story unfold for some time now with much anger and disbelief. I have even posted the stories and news updates on my Facebook page, and on my own personal page, in hopes that by doing so dog owners would know the danger of giving their dogs these treats.

Dog Jerky Deaths With No FDA Recall Prompt Campaign Against Nestle Purina (Huffington Post, March 5, 2012)

3 big brands may be tied to chicken jerky illness in dogs, FDA records show (MSNBC, March 13, 2012)

Consumer Pleas, FDA Warnings Ignored by All Major Retailers (Truth About Pet Food, April 3, 2012)

Consumers desperate for answers clutch at straws to stop jerky treats from poisoning more dogs (Poisoned Pets, February 22, 2012)

Vets discourage use of any pet treats from China (My Fox 31 Online, mysouthwestga.com, February 16, 2012)

It frustrates me that after all the recalls back in 2007 – after so very many dogs died after eating the pet food loaded with melamine from China – that the FDA and the companies that make these chicken jerky treats would continue to allow them to be sold. Have they learned nothing from what happened in 2007? Did dog food companies not lose enough money, enough consumer loyalty, the last time this happened?

Now there is a petition that you can (and I hope will) sign to ask one of the pet food companies mentioned in the MSNBC report, Nestle Purina, to pull their chicken jerky treats. It was created by a woman who lost her dog after he ate Waggin’ Train “Wholesome” Chicken Jerky, made by Nestle Purina.

I can’t say why Nestle Purina (or the other pet food companies linked to these chicken jerky treats) won’t pull their treats, but it does make me wonder…is there something they value more than our beloved furry friends?

If you’re still not moved to sign the petition, then please watch this video. At 1:36 it features pictures of many of the dogs who died or became seriously ill after eating chicken jerky treats. I don’t like to imagine my dog’s faces featured in a video like this. Do you?

When you’re done signing the petition, please share on Facebook, Twitter or in an email. Pet owners need to know the danger that lies ahead if they give their dogs chicken jerky treats.

Welcome to the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop. I encourage you to check out some of the other awesome pet bloggers out there. Much thanks to our most generous and interesting hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume!

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Favorite Video Friday – Cody, we need a hit. Don’t we?

February 16, 2012 6 comments

There’s several things about this video that I love.
1. Cody is a Sheltie. Given I have two Shelties of my own, any video that features one is definitely going to catch my attention.
2. I am absolutely fascinated by the fact that said Sheltie, Cody, loves baseball.
3. I am in total awe of the fact that he not only watches baseball on TV, but even knows when a batter is up and when he gets a hit!

Seriously impressive. My Shelties don’t even bark at a dog barking on TV!

You just gotta see it to believe it. That little Cody is quite adorable too. Don’t you think? :)
Happy Friday everyone!


Welcome to the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop. I encourage you to check out some of the other awesome pet bloggers out there. Much thanks to our most generous and interesting hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume!

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My Favorite 2012 Super Bowl Commercials

February 3, 2012 17 comments

There’s two big games coming up this weekend – Super Bowl XLVI and Puppybowl VIII, and yet every year we wait in anticipation for the commercials. This year animals will be a featured theme in many of them. I’d thought I’d share two of my favorite ones (so far). Both of them are from Volkswagen.

Volkswagen – “The Dog Strikes Back”

Volkswagen – “The Bark Side”
(A little side note: The barking in The Bark Side were from the same dogs featured in the ad. Can you imagine the work it took to edit that? Wow.)

You can see more Superbowl commercials here.


Welcome to the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop. I encourage you to check out some of the other awesome bloggers out there. Much thanks to our most generous and interesting hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume!

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The Top 11 Pet Blog Posts of 2011

December 30, 2011 26 comments

It’s time for my second annual list of favorite blog posts. This year was full of wonderful posts. In fact, there were so many great ones that I had a very hard time whittling it down to just 10. So, I decided to compromise a bit and make it 11 AND to lump those written by the same blogger together (Yes, several bloggers had more than one good post!).

I want to make clear up front that the blog posts I chose were the ones that touched ME most. I know there are many more that people would nominate for their top 10 or 11, and I encourage you to do so in the comments section below or write your own Top 10 or 11 Blog Posts posts and share them. I always enjoy hearing what you found most inspirational, powerful or funny. This year’s list is quite a variety – some are funny, some are sad and some are thought-provoking. I hope you enjoy the ones I have chosen as much as I have.

So, without further ado, here are My Top 11 Blog Posts for 2011…

1. So You Think You Want a Human?- Prologue by Kevin Myers at Dog Lover’s Digest – Kevin is a great writer. He is smart, witty and has a great sense of humor. If you haven’t read his blog you may want to after reading this post and his accompanying piece, So You Think You Want a Human? – The Announcement. Both pieces are written from the dog’s point of view and while extremely funny, they also have a message to convey. They are definitely worth sharing with friends and family who have a dog.

2. Be Gentle: I know my dog is old by Susan Seligson – This post actually appeared on TheBark.com, but I felt it was powerful enough it was worth sharing. So many of my friends have lost their senior dogs this year so it struck home. It’s a good reminder to everyone, dog owners or not, to be gentle (and kind) when you encounter an owner and their senior dog.

3. Blog-a-versary! A celebration in photos by Aleksandra from Love and a Six-Foot Leash – i love Aleksandra’s blog for many reasons. She brings attention to what wonderful dogs pitbulls are, she fosters and finds home for pitbulls who otherwise would have perished in a shelter, she educates people about pitbulls and she takes the most amazing pictures of the pitbulls she fosters. This post is more pictures than words, but I think that’s why I love it so much. She captures so much of each dog’s personality in each picture, proving once again that pictures do matter when it comes to helping a dog to find its forever family. There is one other blog post that Aleksandra wrote that is worth mentioning, “Pit bull awareness: words do matter“. It’s educational and informative and leaves you thinking.

4. Drunken Master IV: Canine Fu by Kristine at Rescued Insanity – I love reading Kristine’s blog. She is exceedingly honest about her relationship with her dog, Shiva, and all that comes with that relationship – the good, the bad, the funny and the inspirational. This is one of her funnier posts. I read it back in August, but have remembered if often with a smile on my face. I hope you find it as funny as I did. I also recommend A Letter Long Overdue. It’s a letter to her dog, Shiva. If you’re a dog owner, I think you will be able to relate.

5. Old Ladies Wear Purple In Heaven by Carrie Noar from Tales and Tails – This was perhaps the hardest post for me to read because it was about Carrie’s grand dame Greyhound, Lilac, and about saying goodbye. I love reading Carrie’s posts about her Greyhounds and German Shepherds, especially when they write their own blog posts. Lilac was a beautiful senior girl who had an elegance and style all her own. It hit all of us fans pretty hard when Carrie shared with us that Lilac had crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Carrie’s loving tribute to Lilac’s life is touching and beautiful. I encourage you to read it. I also recommend her follow up post, With Deepest Gratitude, as Carrie shares a little more about how Lilac came to be with her and her husband.

6. Putting the pieces together by Debbie Jacobs from Fearfuldogss Blog – As always, Debbie’s posts leave me thinking. They always offer some valuable piece of insight that leaves me examining my relationship with my own fearful dogs, Daisy and Lady. While Debbie specializes in working with fearful dogs and their owners, this post is particularly applicable to all dog owners, reminding us that our dogs’ issues often cannot be summed up in one root cause, but are only one piece of the puzzle.

7. The Cuteness Curse by Brandi Barker and Megan Ores-Ulrich at Barker Behavior – This post was particularly powerful for me because it covered a lot of the human behaviors I encounter as the owner of a fearful dog. So many well-meaning people have made these mistakes when approaching Daisy or Lady. Brandi and Megan’s advice is clear, concise and straightforward. I shared this one all over the place, so it made sense to include it in my top 10 list.

8. I am living with serial killers by Jan at The Poodle (and dog) Blog – This post is nothing short of hilarious. Jan has a unique way of writing. She is humorous, educational and informative. Her blog has a good mix of everything for everybody. This post takes Jan through an interrogation that will leave you laughing your butt off.

9. Everyday Heroes: Foster Families by StubbyDogs – This one actually came in under the wire, but I knew it would have to be on my list as soon as I read it. Having been a foster parent to several dogs it was nice to see such a loving tribute to foster parents everywhere. I was particularly struck by these two sentences: But when people tell them, “I couldn’t foster because it would be too hard to give the dog up.” They say, “How can it be harder than knowing a dog died because no foster home stepped up?” If you have fostered before or are considering doing it now, this is worth the read.

10. We’re Certified Humane by Lisa Spector of Through A Dog’s Ear (featured on Victoria Stilwell‘s blog Positively) – This was another post that I shared everywhere I could. Lisa’s pondering on the phrase “We’re Certified Humane”, found on a particular yogurt company’s product, and how it could be applied to dog trainers was particularly insightful and thought-provoking. I loved it.

11. The Puppiness Project – You Can’t Change Everything (and You Shouldn’t Try) by Pamela Webster at Something Wagging This Way Comes – All year Pamela has been dedicating her Tuesday posts to The Puppiness Project, modeled after Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project. I have found myself looking forward to these posts each week because I always know Pamela will have some wonderful insight to share that makes me think our dogs are much wiser than we are as human beings. This one was particularly powerful for me, but I encourage you to check out her other posts on this topic. They are wonderful.

There were a few blog posts that were not pet related but still powerful in their humor (like this one from TheBloggess.com), personal experience (like this one from Jennifer Margulis about the death of her mom or this one from Kim Clune over at This One Wild Life about remembering 9/11) or messages of personal growth (like this one from Marc and Angel Hack Life)


Welcome to the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop. I encourage you to check out some of the other awesome pet bloggers out there. Much thanks to our most generous and interesting hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume!

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Twas the Night Before Woofmas

December 24, 2011 10 comments

Recently, a few of my blogging friends Pamela, AJ and Kristine decided to take the song parodie challenge and rewrite the lyrics to some popular Christmas songs. You can see them here, here and here.

Truth be told, I’m not very good at the song parodies (although, I did give it the old college try), so I decided to take a stab at the traditional ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (see below).

Not much better than my attempt at song parodies I am afraid, but I did find a website that had a whole collection of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas poems using a variety of dog and cat themes. You can check them out here. I like this one the best from this site, but I have to say that Jodi’s version over at Kol’s Notes is the the one I enjoy the most of all that I have seen this year.

Twas the night before Woofmas, when all through the doghouse
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The snow booties were hung by the doggie door with care,
In hopes that St Dogmas soon would be there.

The puppies were nestled all snug on their beds,
While visions of squirrels danced in their heads.
And mamma in her bandana, and I in my cap,
Had just rested our heads on our paws for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I barked out loud, determined to sniff out the matter.
Away to the doggie door I flew like a flash,
Threw up the door flap and got ready to dash.

The moon was bright on the new-fallen snow
And illuminated the rabbits frolicking below.
As I prepared to chase them, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight dogs sporting antlers like deer.

The driver was a Newfie, with big brown paws,
I knew in a moment it must be St Dogmas.
Fast as Greyhounds around the bend they all came
And he barked, and howled, and called them by name!

“Now Jasper! now, Daisy! now, Lady and Buster!
On, Ty! On, Nigel!, on Frankie and Kuster!
To the top of the dog house! Try and catch that ball!
Now chase away! Chase away! Chase away all!”

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The barking and growling, and each little woof.
I drew in my head, and lowered the flap,
when in came St. Dogmas wearing a red colored cap.

He was all big and furry, from head to foot,
And his nose was all tarnished with slobber and soot.
A bundle of stuffed squeaky toys he had flung on his back,
As he chewed and chomped on a Kol’s Notes doggie snack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! Oh boy was he merry!
He reminded me of my friend Leroy, which made him less scary.
His girth was so large that I wanted to know,
How he had fit through the doggie door with hardly a go.

He laughed at my question, and shook his big head,
“It’s the special magic of Dogmas.” he said.
Suddenly, before I could open my mouth to talk,
Four elves appeared at his side – Honey, Shamus, Shiva and Hawk.

They introduced themselves to me with quiet little woofs,
and unloaded the presents before flying back to the roof.
St Dogmas inspected and sniffed at their work
then turned to me and smiled with a little smirk,

“They forgot to fill the booties with treats for the pups.”

He spoke not a word, but went straight to work,
And filled all the snow booties and turned with a jerk.
Then laying his paw aside of his snout,
Through the doggie door he went and then he was out.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his dog team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like missile.
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
“Happy Woofmas to all, and to all a good-night!”


Welcome to the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop. I encourage you to check out some of the other awesome pet bloggers out there. Much thanks to our most generous and interesting hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume!

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From a foster dog’s mouth – Lady speaks

November 11, 2011 26 comments

Hi everyone

My name is Lady. I’m a foster dog (F.D. for short) and I live with the blogger who writes this blog.

Tonight Mel, my F.M. (that’s short for foster mom), said I could take over the reins and write a little about myself. I was a bit nervous about writing a real blog post, after all it’s not easy typing with all four paws! But, after some serious doggie deep thinking (and a long nap), I decided that I was up for the task.

Since I’m looking for my forever home, it only makes sense that I would want to write about me. It’s very important that my new mom and dad know what I like and dislike. Being cute, I knew I would be irresistible once everyone saw my pictures and videos. They show me at my cutest and most adorable.

So, here goes!

My best feature – My swish (I know. It WAS hard to break it down to one thing.)

My least favorite moment – when F.M., Mel, dressed me up in a sequined skull shirt she won from Something Wagging This Way Comes (So wrong!)

Seriously?

Me at my most adorable – (I know. I can’t help it. It just comes naturally for me.)

How could you resist me?

Me sleeping – (Yes. I pretty much do look this adorable all of the time.)

This is my sleeping pose

My favorite activity – Sniffing. Pretty much anything.
I sometimes get so busy sniffing that I forget to keep up with the group at the dog park. Luckily, my F.M. always makes sure she knows where I am and calls for me when I am getting behind.

Nope. Definitely not food.

Meeting new friends – I love to meet new friends.

He's kind of cute isn't he? He just found his forever home.

Sometimes friends have to help you sniff

My favorite place? The dog park.

I love this place!

I am constantly on the move at the dog park.

Me and my foster brother, Jasper.
Jasper and I love to chase one another around the house and then play wrestle. It always makes my F.M. laugh to see us during our “silly time.” She thinks it’s cute when we play – usually in the mornings and when she first gets home from work.

Jasper and I are best buds.

My foster brother can't go anywhere without his stick.

Me and my foster sister, Daisy (She likes to sniff too).
Daisy is kind of the big older sister I never knew I wanted. She always checks on me to make sure I am okay and even lets me play with her squeaky toys. Isn’t she nice?

Sniffing is best done with a friend. Don't you think?

My favorite picture of me (Mel says that she loves this one too).

The sun really does highlight my beauty.

After all that I can tell you are thinking that you want to adopt me. I don’t blame you. I would too if I were a human. To find out more about me go here and scroll down to Lady (that’s me!).

I’ll leave you with one more video of my adorable self. It’s Mel calling for me to come (I tend to get distracted by smells so she needs to remind me to keep up sometimes).


Welcome to the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop. I encourage you to check out some of the other awesome bloggers out there. Much thanks to our most generous and interesting hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume!

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words – Daisy and Jasper’s Professional Pics

October 21, 2011 25 comments

Recently, I mentioned that Daisy and Jasper would be getting professional pictures taken. I was really looking forward to it because as I mentioned in a previous post, I have rarely been able to get a great picture of Daisy. She is a gorgeous dog, but because of a past mistake, she is now afraid of cameras.

I warned Jessica of Chocolate Moose Images about Daisy’s fear of cameras (I didn’t want her to be too disappointed if she couldn’t capture any good ones of Daisy), but she assured me that she was up for the challenge. And, she was. :)

She was awesome with both Daisy and Jasper, taking the time to just get to know them and make them feel more comfortable.

Jess had already scoped out a location in my area of town and suggested we meet there. I was blown away by beauty of the place she had chosen. I never even knew this little park existed! It had ponds, a forest, a walking path, and a wooden foot bridge that spanned between the two ponds. The walking path was littered with lots of colorful fall leaves. It was beautiful… and perfect.

I’ll let you decide how the photo session went, but if it gives you any idea, I still can’t decide which ones to I like best. Jasper, of course, was a more than willing participant, Daisy less so, but I still think Jess caught some good ones of her too. Of course, there was the added surprise of Daisy deciding to jump into one of the ponds and paddle around, swimming for only the second time in her life, and then her running through the woods only to reappear with burrs in her coat and paws full of mud. But, you know what? I didn’t care. It just added to the experience. My thanks to Jessica for the great pictures. I hope you enjoy the slide show.

By the way, not only is Jess a great photographer, but she is also a really nice person. I was so impressed with how she interacted with Daisy and Jasper. If you would like some awesome photos of you, your dogs or your little ones (i.e., babies, toddlers, etc.) contact Jess via her website, Chocolate Moose Images , or through email. You can also follow her on her Facebook Fan page. I also recommend checking out her blog.


Welcome to the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop. I encourage you to check out some of the other awesome bloggers out there. Much thanks to our most generous and interesting hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume!

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