Monday, August 25, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

That old phrase takes on an entirely different meaning, doesn't it?

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I'm on an e-mail list from the agility class I attend, and this link was sent to everybody today. The product in question is the Four Paws, Inc pimple ball with bell, which caused such severe injury to the dog's tongue, that the tongue had to amputated. Apparently there have been several other documented instances of similar injuries caused by the same product.

Pretty As A Picture

Thanks for the great portrait pictures last weekend Cardigrandma!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


That would be the sound my ego made when it landed on the floor. When I found out which movie hero I am. Thanks Ariel.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Help Me!

Or rather, help Holly.

A month or so ago, I raved about Dr. Bronner's shampoo, and then pulled it from my 'Products I Use' list when Holly started itching a couple of days after her bath. Well, this month, I bathed both her and Mikey with the Chris Christensen shampoo I've been using for years, and then put Frontline on both of them the next day, as usual.

Ummm. . . it wasn't the shampoo. She's really digging at her shoulders where the Frontline is applied. I've washed the area, and I'm currently trying to relieve the itching with alternating internal/external spray on Benadryl. Luckily her coat is dense enough that she hasn't started damaging her skin. . . yet.

First, does anyone have any additional ideas for giving her some relief from the itchiness? Like I said, I bathed the area, and we had (another) pool party this weekend (all right, a pool party is just an excuse for me to lounge around relaxing in the sun while splashing around in the wading pool with Holly and Mikey! sooooo relaxing!), so most of her underparts have been well rinsed. And she's only itching over the shoulders anyway. Please leave your suggestions in comments.

Second, does anyone have some tried and true natural flea treatment suggestions. I'm assuming that either the active ingredient or carrier in the Frontline is what is causing the problem, so I'm hesitant to try another 'chemical' topical. I'm also resistant to anything given internally. I've seen a couple of suggestions on the web about rubbing diatomaceous earth into their coats, or using essential oils (see a couple of recipes below), but living in the Houston area, fleas can become a really nasty problem, so I would prefer to hear from people that have actually used alternative flea treatments and have experienced positive results. So please leave any ideas that you, or someone you know, have in comments.

Orange peels
Grapefruit peels
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
OR 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 pint bottled or tap water

Note: You can often find fresh rosemary in the grocery store, even off season.

Blend all ingredients well in the blender. Strain liquid using cheesecloth or a tea-leaves strainer (a regular strainer will let too many large pieces through, which will clog up the spray bottle)

Pour mixture into saucepan and head over low heat for 20 minutes. Strain liquid once again and put into a liquid spray bottle once cooled.

To use: spray on dogs, rubbing into coat (you do not need to rinse it off). You can also spray dog's bedding and other favorite places. Be careful around the dog's eyes, as it will bother them (and it will go from being a fun thing since they are being petted and rubbed, to a thing where they will run and hide when they see the spray bottle!)

Lavender, peppermint and geranium essential oils repel mosquitoes. Lavender, lemongrass and geranium repel ticks. And lavender, lemongrass, peppermint and citronella repel fleas. Dab oils between the dog's shoulder blades. As you can see, lavender (which also repels flies) is particularly versatile. Other effective natural repellents include lemon, cedar, eucalyptus, myrrh, neem and rosewood .

Holly and Mikey say 'Hi'.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Hmmm, change just one little letter. . .

Empathy - Identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives; the ability to sense and understand someone else's feelings as if they were one's own.

Imp - One who is playfully mischievous; a very troublesome child; naughtily or annoyingly playful.

'Impathy' - The ability to be annoyingly playful, mischievous and/or troublesome and/or naughty.

Holly and Mikey say 'Hi'.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


OK, most of us already were aware that our dogs have a lot of empathy for us poor two-leggers, but now scientists have proof.

Dogs catch the yawns from people
Your pooch isn't just tired, he's empathizing, study suggests

LONDON - Dogs find human yawns contagious, suggesting they have a rudimentary capacity for empathy, British scientists said on Wednesday.

Although yawning is widespread in many animals, contagious yawning — a yawn triggered by seeing others yawning — has previously only been shown to occur in humans and chimpanzees.
It turns out, however, that man's best friend is highly sensitive to catching human yawns, with 72 percent of 29 dogs tested yawning after observing a person doing so.

Writing in the journal Biology Letters, Atsushi Senju and colleagues at London's Birkbeck College said this behavior showed dogs were skilled at reading human social cues and "may relate to their capacity for empathy."