Photobucket Photobucket Therapy dogs spread happiness, love, and cheer to people who otherwise might be lonely, sad or slow to heal. This is the journey of Cayman, a longhair miniature dachshund and his journey and experiences visiting becoming a therapy dog.

Did you know that pet visits often spark good memories of a person's own pets? Dogs often can reach people and children who have withdrawn from the world. It's been suggested by science that petting a dog can lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and stress, and promote healing.



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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wow, They Start to Pile Up Don't They?!

The cards and e-cards continue....

Thanks to the following:

Asta from NY of sent this one:
Kismet the dachshund of sent an animated video you can see by clicking here

George of MI at sent this:
Jack and Abby of Washington at sent this one:
Quincy of Canada at sent this:
Kingsley and Robin from the Netherlands of sent this one:
And another dachshund, Ruby the mini dachshund in Canada of sent this:
Bailey, Baxter, Brody, and Benson of WA sent a really cute animated e-card that you can see by clicking here

And those are just the more recent e-cards! I still got a bunch of snail-mail greetings too from:

Murphey and Reilly of TX at

Ong Bee Bee of Singapore at

Mango, Ximui and Chubs of TX at

Arabella of MN at

and from Sophie, Dixie, and Harley of IN at


Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Very Full Email Box

Just when I thought I cleared out my mailbox of all the wonderful snail mail holiday cards, I found my email box was just as full!

Thanks go to:

Comet and BLU of AZ at

Noah, Willow, Tess, and Lucy from Australia at
And Dobby of NC sent us one. You can visit him at
And one from Fred of TX at
And a very interesting one from the Phillippines from Sweepy and friends of

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A Christmas Story by Sweepy

Once upon a Time . . . in a land, far far away . . . lived two Hounds

who met on the night of the full moon and vowed their undying love to each other . . .

They were inseparable and lived quietly and contentedly together. . .

In a short time, the female hound found herself pregnant and her mate became protective of her . . .

However, they lived in a land ruled by people. And the ruler of this land is a cruel King who hates animals.

The King saw a lot of dogs running around the land so the King gave an order for all puppies to be killed,

and for all dogs NOT to mate so there won’t be any more puppies!

“Ha! That should STOP the spread of their kind!” the King laughed.

The poor dogs cried and quietly slipped out of this land before they can be found

and wandered on a moonless night out in the wild. . . . .

The Hounds joined the wild exodus to escape and deliver their first puppy in an unknown and possibly dangerous land.

In the wild, the Hounds were met by many animals like them who have escaped the wrath of the King.

There was a big exodus of animals and there was no place for the Hounds in the noisy and unfamiliar wilderness.

But the female Hound was about to give birth so the male Hound looked to the skies in prayer and found a Star!

The Star seemed to speak to the male Hound and guided their path to an old house where a Lady met them

and gave them shelter. Seeing that the female Hound was pregnant, the Lady made a comfortable bed

for the Hounds in her small house and like the male Hound looked to the sky for prayers.

Hearing the prayers from the land below, the lone Star in the sky became bright and its light focused

on the female Hound who gave birth to a single puppy!

The light helped the female Hound to have a painless delivery! It also helped the Lady eased her lonely heart.

And the Star remained in the sky lighting up the old house and warmed the hearts of the Hounds

and the Lady who decided to adopt each other and they became a family!

And on that special night in December, as the winds howled, and the birds chirped happily, a bright lone Star

twinkled merrily as it witnessed the loving bond that surrounded a Hounds family once upon a time . . .!!!!

Epilogue: I must tell you my dearest friends that this could be a real story.

I knew that the puppy later grew up as a SuperDog ;-)

who barked loudly at clueless and cruel peeps irregardless if they are Kings!

I also knew that this story exists to the present in several lands

and quiet homes lighted by the DWB Star and kind Keepers.

. . . And with that, we wish you and your family good health, warm hugs and kisses, yummy treats,

exciting play and adventures and may you have plenty of Love in this Holiday Season!!!

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A Very Full Mailbox

Whew! I have been so busy putting up our Christmas tree, working, taking care of my family and pets, getting some Christmas shopping done, and reading up on therapy dog work that I haven't had a moment to post all the wonderful DWB Holiday cards I have received lately! we go!

A gorgeous handmade card came from Lenny of IN at

And one from Tippy the dachshund of IN as well at

Then there is one from The Zoo Crew of NM at

And a very pretty one from a golden retriever named Charlie from OR of

Then from all the way from Australia from Opy and Charlie of

And one of my favorites was a handmade card from Shelly and Tommy of SC of

Then there is one from Keeley of WI of

And Mango and Dexter sent us one from MA of

And last but not least, one from Deefor and Arrow of CO at

THANKS everyone! Sorry it took so long to post them!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

An Award from

proudly awards this dog


E-cards Galore!

E-cards Galore!

Here is one from a very pretty dachshund, Mona, from TX. Her blog is:
And Hercules from KS at sent us this one:
Then there is this one from Beckett from AL of :And all the way from Malaysia is this e-card from Ben and Twinkle of www.colliebenjamin.blogspot.comThanks to all of you as well! :)
I have been so busy preparing for our first therapy visit with Cayman that I had quite a few snail-mail card thank-yous to issue from the past couple days!

I got one from River the beagle in GA. I wasn't able to find him on the participant list but after reviewing the Dogs With Blogs site, I think I found his blog:

Rusty from TX also sent a snail-mail card wishing us a 'Pawsome New Year'! There blog can be found at:

Kirby the airedale from IL sent a beautiful card of Kirby in the snow. Check out this cutie at:

And a rather large card from a rather large Randi, the lab/newfoundland mix from CA arrived as well. His blog is:

Thanks all! I love the cards!

Cayman's First Therapy Dog Visit

Yesterday was Cayman's first therapy dog visit at Hidden Oaks. When we got there, we were greeted by our group's leader and I was given my new PAWS Ministry tee shirt that I will be wearing at every visit. We hung out in the front waiting for the others and when everyone arrived, we all introduced ourselves and of course, our dogs. Cayman instantly made friends with a cairn terrier named Taco. Taco is only two months older than Cayman so they were both filled with the same puppy energy. After that we all said a prayer and entered the building.

When you first walk in, you enter a large semi-formal looking living area. Seated on the sofas were some of the residents. Next to the sofas, there was about three residents in wheelchairs. Each of the PAWS Ministry members walked there dogs around the living area, stopping at each resident and letting them stroke the dog while the handler introduced them. Some of the residents were very quiet and just pet the dogs gently while others went on and on about how beautiful they all were. Cayman, who must have been feeling a bit overwhelmed, sat in a corner observing all that was going on around us. Our leader said this was okay since it was, after all, his first visit. After a few minutes he must have decided that getting attention was better than watching all the others get it, so he got up and let me lead him around the residents as well.

One very boisterous woman kept shouting "God Bless You! They are all so beautiful!" over and over as she shuffled from dog to dog. Cayman, by this time, had laid down, probably worn out from his tumbling with Taco. The boisterous woman had made her way over to where we were and peered down at Cayman and laughed "Look at the dopey kid!". I kinda felt embarrassed since she was calling my dog "dopey" like he was stupid or something but quickly laughed it off. He did look silly all passed out on the floor!

After visiting in the common room, we started down the halls of the resident's bedrooms. The PAWS Ministry had taken photos with the patients, with permission, prior to this visit and were handing them out with holiday greeting cards. Our leader, armed with the cards, begun knocking on the resident's bedroom doors and when they answered, they were given their cards and a visit from one of the therapy dogs, if they wanted.

I had heard that many times, the therapy dog chooses the patient that they instinctively know needs them the most and some will paw at their closed door or pull their handler into that particular patients room. I think Cayman did this! As we were walking past some rooms, Cayman pulled me into a dim-lit room where one woman was sitting in a wheelchair and another was sitting in a recliner, her hands on either side of her face. Cayman visited with the woman in the wheelchair first. She exclaimed how soft he was and how beautiful he was and asked me if he was a boy or girl and what his name was. We chatted briefly while she petting him and then one of the experienced PAWS Ministry members that I had been paired with appeared in the door. I told her that Cayman wanted to visit here when she laughed and said "I wondered where you two went".

As the woman in the wheelchair begun petting her dog, a chihuahua/Jack Russell terrier mix dressed in a Santa costume; I walked Cayman over to the woman in the chair. She still had her hands at her face and said "I don't like dogs. I got bitten by one." I had read that this was common so I cheerfully said, "Oh that's alright, I'll stand over here then so you can still look at him." I stood a short distance away from her as I also read that many times people will change their minds when they see how friendly the dogs are or see how the other residents are with them, like dogs and kids, they don't want to be left out of the fun. So I stood close enough that if she changed her mind, I was still close enough to go back to her chair with Cayman.

After our visit there, we joined the rest of the group in the Alzehemiers unit. This was a seperate living area closed off my door with key code combination locks on them to prevent the residents from leaving that area. We joined the group in another living area, this one had more sofas and chairs and a TV and a Christmas tree. There was an obvious difference from the residence in the nursing home area and here in the Alzehimers unit. The residences here were muttering to themselves, slumped over in their chairs sleeping,or staring off at nothing. These were the residences that the PAWS members had to lift there hands up and place them on the dogs for them to snap back into reality and begin petting the dogs and talking. I chose to sit next to an African American woman with a very pretty kiwi green bathroom on.

I introduced myself and Cayman and she begun petting him. Her name was Wilma. She told me how much she loved animals, especcially horses. She told me a story of when she was little how her daddy's horse had a colt and he let her and her brothers and sister raise that little colt they named Pat since he was born on St Patricks Day. She went on to tell me how smart he was and how she used to love riding. You could see her eyes light up in the memory of that horse, maybe is one of the few clear memories of her childhood she still had. Her mood changed when she said how she isn't as active as she used to be. She said "My mind is still sharp, I used to be a really active lady. But there is nothing to do here. Nothing to do but cry."

I really didn't know what to say at this. "Well, that's why we come here. I visit you all." She smiled and patted Cayman and said "There is only one thing wrong with your visits..." I was afraid of what she might say. "They are never enough. Two times a day would still not be enough." I knew what she meant. PAWS Ministry typically visits the first Saturday of the month only although they have mentioned that with approval from the center's coordinator, we could make more frequent trips if we wanted to. What was even more sad was when she went on to tell me how she used to play the piano and her church's organ every Sunday, but like so many things- if you don't use it, you lose it. She had forgotten how to play. I decided if I ever got a chance to adopt a resident, I would have to pick Wilma and get her one of those little battery operated keyboards. I think she would have liked that.

We actually went over our scheduled time for our visitation, all of us were so involved with the residences. It was truly a wonderful experience. My team leader said Cayman did really well and I was very grateful that this group existed and was able to accept Cayman as a therapy dog, even at his young age. I really look forward to our next visit which will be the first Saturday in January. From what I understand, new members are required to participate in two group visits, this being the first, so the leaders can evaluate how the handler/dog duo works with the residents. After that we are free to make as many visits as we would like. I know I will definitely try to come on some Sundays as well and stop in to see Wilma.

Friday, December 5, 2008

More Cards! A Bunch More

Three snail-mail cards yesterday!
One from Maggie, Marshall, and Opal all posed with Santa himself! They are from AL and their blog address is

And a gorgeous one from Niamh that lives in NC and has a blog at

And we can't forget the card from Callie, Beethoven, and Joe- ho,ho,ho! They are from TX. I have looked over and over the DWB Holiday Card Exchange list and can't seem to find them to thank them! So Mr Robinson and your beautiful bunch, if you are reading this- thanks!

A bunch of e-cards came in too but I am off to work so I will post them tonight. Thanks guys for the cards- we love them!

Homemade Fleece Toys for Dogs

I found this fun craft idea online, just in time for the holidays.
This fleece pom-pom makes a perfect toy for your pet dog or cat and cost a lot less than similar items sold in stores. Cut your cardboard to a large size for larger pom-poms. I would love to make one of these for each of my pets!

First, start out by gathering these supplies.

  • Piece of Cardboard, cut to approx. 3" x 6"

  • Fleece, less than an 1/8 of a yard (can use scraps)

  • Scissors

Fold your fleece in half a few times so you can cut strips out of several layers at once. Cut 3 to 6 strips, about 1/2 - 1 inch wide, they do not have to be perfect! The fleece I buy is 60 inches wide so I fold it in half twice so that I am cutting through 4 layers to make one strips that measures approximately 1-inch by 60-inches. For a fuller look to the ball, use as many as 6 strips (60-inch length), for a floppier ball you can use as few as 3! If you have scraps, feel free to use them up!

Start loosly wrapping your pieces of fleece around the 3-inch width of the cardboard. Do not pull too tight on the pieces of fleece or they will stretch out of shape! Start wrapping the second strip of fleece about where the first ends. This does not have to be exact or perfect! Just wrap away, leaving about an inch of cardboard showing on each side.
Pom-Pom Ball Toy 3
Once all your fleece is wrapped, gently slide it off the cardboard and set it on your work surface. Cut a piece of fleece, about 1-inch wide and 6 inches long. Pull on both ends of this piece of fleece to stretch it as far as it will go without breaking. Gently slide this under fleece, centering it between the loops on both ends, and tie it as tight as you can. Trim the ends of the tied fleece sPom-Pom Ball Toy 4trip.
Now take your scissors and poke the end through the loops and cut! Cut through all the loops on both sides and fluff out your ball. Trim as desired. You can trim it down to be a denser, smaller ball or leave it larger.
Pom-Pom Ball Toy 5
Experiment and see what you like best! Use up your scraps and you can even mix and match colors. Try making thick balls using 6 strips or floppier balls using as few as 3 strips. You can even stretch your pieces of fleece before you wrap them on the cardboard and see what you end up with!

Puzzles for Dogs Provide Intellectual Stimulation For Dogs of All Ages

I was reading this month's The Whole Dog Journal-a monthly guide to natural dog care and training- when I came across an article about canine "cognitive dysfunction syndrome" or CDS which is a lot like dog Alzheimer's. The article suggested to provide plenty of environmental stimulation and had a picture of a dog with the Dog Smart puzzle shown below. Puzzles for dogs? I have seen those stuffed trees that comes with three stuffed squirrels that fit inside that the dog can take out but this was more complex. I had to Google the puzzle since the description only stated that it was a "Pawslicker" puzzle. I came to find out that Pawslicker is a bakery and boutique in NY that sells these puzzles, gourmet treats, Eco-friendly products and more. The puzzles are pricey, ranging about $50 a puzzle, but so neat I had to post them. Hmmm....makes you wanna take up a woodworking class all of a sudden, doesn't it?! I would love to hear creative homemade versions of these basic ideas!

The Dog Box is a great new puzzle from Nina Ottosson Games which develops your dog’s intelligence and rewards their problem solving skills with treats. The dog learns to pick up blocks and insert them into the top of the box. Each time he succeeds a treat is discharged from box. The Dog Box is supplied with three different lid configurations to control the level of difficulty.

The Dog Brick is a clever and inventive puzzle from Nina Ottosson Games that lets you hide your treats in recesses located under a series of interlocking sliding blocks. Since the blocks can not be removed, your dog is required to locate the treats by sliding the blocks with either his paw or his nose in order to retrieve his reward.

The Dog Fighter is a challenging new puzzle from Nina Ottosson Games which is sure to make your dog think. Treats are placed under the wooden blocks, which he or she must slide through a channel to be able to remove. This puzzle can be made more difficult with the addition of two larger pegs used to block the channels

The Dog Smart from Nina Ottosson Games is designed for both small and large breeds. Hide a few treats in the recesses which are covered by hollow blocks and watch as your dog tries to locate the hidden treat by sense of smell. Since the blocks can not be knocked over, your dog must lift the block with its teeth in order to retrieve the treat. Sure bets the ol' treat under the paper cup game!

These are just a few of the super cool, very unique dog toys available at

Apparently will be carrying these Nina Ottosson intellectual toys for dogs too.
I found them on as well as several other sites. They seem to be pretty big internationally, especially Switzerland.
You can read more about Nina Ottosson's products and company on her site

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Even More E-cards!

More e-cards have arrived! This one is from Eduardo from GA. His blog is Click the link below to see his e-card, complete with music!

And another from King King, all the way from Singapore. You can visit him on http://almightykingking.blogspot.comAnd there was a snail-mail greeting card from Mexico, thanks to the beautiful Lorenza. She can be visited on

Better Stroller

I found a pet stroller I like better than the last one I posted. Its the Happy Trails Pet Stroller and its only $6 more than the Ultralight but it holds 10 more pounds (30 pounds total, where as Cayman and my poodle Zoey combined weigh about 24 pounds so I could use it for both of them outside of the therapy visits) and has a cup holder and tray for my things. It's a darker blue than the other one- I like the color of the Ultralight better but I like the features of the Happy Trails much better. Only $79.99 which includes free shipping! Pretty awesome!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


As usual, I tend to worry when its usually nothing. Cayman if fine. Still his bouncy self. Thanks to those that showed concern! :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Poor Little Man

I am a little worried about Cayman. He had diarrhea under our coffee table which is unusual for him since he rarely has accidents in the house anymore. No one can figure out what could have cause it. I asked everyone to see if they fed him something he isn't used to but no one claims to have given him people food. And I haven't given him any treats today so it couldn't be from that. I did add some safflower oil supplement to his food this morning but that was, like, 6:30 this morning and the poop episode just happened around 8:45 this evening. Please keep him in your thoughts that it isn't anything serious. When ever any of my animals get sick I worry since having lost my dachshund, Raider, over six years ago, after he got into the trash outside and ate something that killed him the next day. The vet thought it was rotted meat or something. Anyhow, I always fear the worse. Please pray that its nothing more than a slight digestive upset!

Even More E-cards!

More e-cards came today, hurray!
First we have Pacco from Malaysia (Malaysia is pretty popular isn't it?) His weblog is

Then there was a nice card from Poppy, Penny, and Patches of GA. They are from which beautiful airedale is the model on this card?

And lastly, one from Lucky and Roxy Dragon Pebbles of NH. Their weblog can be found at

Let Them Keep Coming!

Yawn. Its an early morning for me. I suppose Cayman just couldn't wait to get some cuddles in. Well, one of the first things I do is check my email and I was pleased to see that another e-card slipped into my inbox while I was asleep. What a nice thing to wake up to!

Kess and her Mama are from Malaysia and have their own blog at Thanks Kess! The e-card is adorable!

This exchange has been so fun I have posted a bullentin about it on Cayman's Myspace to get those friends involved! Not that it's any more interesting than this blog but if you wanna check it out, his Myspace URL is

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cayman the Mighty Hunter

Cayman is a bully- or at least my mom thinks so. Why? That's what I asked her myself. Well....because there was a box turtle or tortoise or whatever it was, in the yard, all tucked up in its shell because Cayman was barking, barking, barking at it and standing on it (it was really big I guess) and trying to dig the creature out thru the top of it's shell. Huh. Cayman is a mighty hunter today. When I got home from work he had removed all the stuffing from a stuffed squeaky bone. This is the first in which he has done this. Ah yes, Cayman...the mighty hunter.

Thanks Augie Ray!

So as you may already know from a previous post, I am wishing for a pet stroller to assist me with Cayman when we are visiting the nursing home doing animal assisted therapy. A wonderful gentleman read my post and pointed me in the direction of his site that sells them for less then the site I had originally seen them. He has the same pet stroller (Pet Gear Ultralight) available for $73.99 ( which is including free shipping in Continential U.S!!!) at

So there you go, Hubby, if you are reading this.... LOL!

Thanks Augie Ray! (Be sure to click on his name to go to his blog which is dedicated to providing tips and information to pet lovers about Pet Strollers.)

Whoo Hoo, Look How Many Cards Came Today!

Whoo hoo! The DWB Holiday cards, and e-cards, are really starting to come in!

There was a very beautiful card from JB, Misty, PooPoo, and Bear from TX. Our first card from cats! They can be visited at Thanks guys!!!

A postcard came all the way from Switzerland from Faya and Dyos, the Airedales of Many thanks to you two as well!

And a rather humorous, and very adorable card came from Addie and Zoe from TX. They even signed it themselves! On Comet, On Cupid....umm....never mind. On to Addie's blog at Thanks!

And last but not least, an e-card from Charlie Daniels from down-under. Australia!
You can check them out at

Thanks again everyone! I love them all!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another DWB E-Card Came Today!

Another wonderful e-card came today from Grumpy Bobby from the UK:

Pet Strollers- My Opinion Has Changed

Until I got Cayman and decided to work with him to become a therapy dog, I used to laugh at dog strollers. "How ridiculous! Dogs should on the end of a leash, not confined inside a stroller." I used to think the only people who bought these were crazy woman who literally thought their dogs as their babies or those who's dogs were so old and lame, they felt bad and had to get them out for fresh air. I never thought just how wonderful, and completely sane, these pet strollers were- especially for therapy work.

Cayman is a small dog and most small dogs are lifted up onto patients' beds and laps while they are seated in their wheelchairs. Being a dachshund, I am always looking out for his back, since dachshund can injure those long spines of theirs easily. A pet stroller would give him that extra height to be pushed right up to wheelchairs! No lifting or worrying that he would hurt himself- or the patient (he could scratch their frail skin)- if he decided to jump down!

Also, dogs in strollers are permitted in more places that would otherwise not allow dogs. Most businesses see the strollers and don't think any differently than if it was an infant in there. This would be good for further socializing Cayman and getting him used to the different sights and sounds of unusual places. Some people even use them to trips to the vet rather than carriers.

So I have changed my whole option on pet strollers and even put this particular one on my wish list (hint, hint Hubby!). Its my favorite color- and Cayman's signature color as well- and has a roomy basket underneath which is good for any shopping items or my purse. Its the PetGear Ultralight Pet Stroller. And its pretty affordable compared to other pet strollers I have been looking at-only $84.99 on (with shipping and handling, it would be $91.36; most other strollers are over $175).

The new Pet Gear Ultralight pet stroller is an economical way to combine style and convenience. The blue ice color looks great and catches eyes as you stroll your pet. A zippered front entry provides easy access to the interior of the stroller. Front wheel suspension provides a smooth ride. Front mesh provides your pet with air and a wide range of view while strolling. A large undercarriage storage basket provides you with a convenient way to carry all of your pet's goodies, such as toys, treats and water. Rear brakes make the ultralight pet stroller safe and secure for your small dog or cat. The stroller collapses in seconds for quick and easy storage. Purchase a Pet Gear Ultralight Pet Stroller today and find out what everyone's talking about. Holds pets up to 20 lbs. Minor assembly required.

Pet Stroller Features
  • Stroller Folds Easily in Seconds and Stores Flat--Just 8" High!
  • Durable, Breathable & Bug-Proof Mesh Provides Airflow and Visibility
  • 5.5" Wheels with Front Shock Absorbers and Rear Locking Brakes to Keep Pet Safe
  • Large Underside Storage Basket for Pet Toys, Treats, Water Bottles, etc...
  • 600 Denier Waterproof Material
  • No Parent Tray Included with this Stroller
  • Holds Dogs or Cats up to 20 lbs.
  • Removable Waterproof Liner
  • Light Blue Color
  • Very Little Assembly Required
  • Enclosed Compartment is 21" L, 11" W, 16" H
  • Folded Dimensions: 30" L x 16.5" W x 8" H
  • Weight: 10.6 lbs.
  • Ground-to-Handle Height: 37 3/4"

Strollers: for dogs on the go: this mode of pet transportation is gaining popularity because it helps both animals and people in important ways. Here's how

Joan Hustace Walker

You may have seen one on the streets: a screened-in, somewhat elongated baby stroller that's not for babies--well, at least not for human babies. What is it? Only the hottest-selling doggie accoutrement around--a dog stroller.

"Three years ago, we went to a [pet product] trade show, and a manufacturer had one style of dog stroller that came in two sizes," explains Augie Ray, owner of Metropawlis, an "urban pet boutique" in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. "We purchased a [pet] stroller more as a 'talk about' item--something that was unique and different--for our store." But store patrons did more than just talk about the novelty item; they snapped them right up.

Now pet strollers--made by many different manufacturers--are rolling out of the boutique so quickly that Ray has developed an online site devoted entirely to their purchase:

Taking the Dog for ... A Roll?

But who is buying these contraptions? And how are they being used? You might be amazed. Seniors, 20-somethings and everyone in between are buying pet strollers for a variety of reasons.

Big Walk, Little Dog "A lot of little dogs can't make long walks," explains Jennifer Hovey, owner of The Pampered Pup in West Palm Beach, Florida. Many retirees in Hovey's area, for example, walk four or five miles every day--way too far for some of the little dogs. With the stroller, "an owner can walk the dog on a leash," says Hovey, "and when the dog has had enough, it can ride in the stroller for the rest of the walk."

Shopping without the "Weight"

The stroller also comes in handy for shopping in outdoor malls or dining al fresco, says Hovey, and is not nearly as cumbersome to carry as an over-the-shoulder bag. "An eight-pound dog gets heavy after a while," she notes, and if an owner is a bit frail, even a two-pound dog can be a chore to shoulder on outings.

Don't Tread on Me Pet owners who enjoy attending outdoor festivals or other people-packed events often choose to use pet strollers, says Ray. The stroller allows the owners to attend events with their dogs--without the worries that their dogs will get stepped on, eat something unsavory or become injured. Likewise, city dwellers who have to navigate crowded sidewalks and fast-moving traffic with their dogs regard the pet stroller as a safe way to transport them to and from shopping areas, dog parks, etc. without risking injury to the dog.

Senior Dogs Like little dogs, sometimes senior dogs just can't go the distance with their owners. A pet stroller allows the less mobile dog to walk as far as it can and, with a hop into the stroller, continue to receive the mental and physical stimulation of being outside with its owner. Strollers can also be helpful to dogs of any age that are suffering from injuries or recovering from surgeries.

New Levels of Therapy Therapy dogs encounter a variety of scenarios in their work, including patients in wheelchairs and beds. If the therapy dog is small, a dog stroller can be a safe and effective way to allow more comfortable patient interaction with the dog.

Shields Up! Pet strollers can also serve as a buffer between an incredibly cute dog and its adoring public. "Although it is flattering for people to want to love on your dog," says Katy Dicroce of West Palm Beach, Florida, who owns seven Chihuahuas, "there are times you just can't get anything done because everyone is always wanting to pet them." Dicroce uses her stroller to take her dogs to the mall, to dinner and for walks around her neighborhood--in peace.

Look At Me Of course, a downside to the pet stroller is its very novelty can attract attention. "This may not be the product for someone who wants to be left alone," laughs Ray. "If you want to be noticed, you will be noticed with a pet stroller."

Ready to Buy?

Pet strollers come in several sizes to accommodate weights ranging from 20 pounds up to 150 pounds. (More than one dog can ride in larger models.) Prices range from $80 to $450, depending on the size, features (yes, they do come with cupholders), quality of materials and capacity.

The most common reason why pet strollers are returned is not because the dog didn't like the stroller, shares Ray, but rather because the owner underestimated how much room the pet would need to be comfortable.

Before you commit to purchasing one, Ray advises that you "look at the dimensions of the stroller, sketch out [the carrying area] and see how your pet fits." And, if possible, take the stroller out for a test roll. You and your dog might really like the ride!

COPYRIGHT 2007 Belvoir Media Group, LLC
COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning

Saturday, November 29, 2008

More DWB Holiday Cards!

Another beautiful snail-mail DWB Holiday card came today from Moco, Foley, and Dawson from Oregon, sending Cayman "holiday hugs". Their blog address is Thanks cuties!

And one from Joey and Tanner, the handsome Boston Terriers from Arizona. They too have a blog at Thanks to you as well! Our holidays will be merry and bright because we have online bloggin' buddies like you!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas Shopping Begins and Bolt the Movie

This is the first year I have specifically requested to have Black Friday off. Not that I have tons of shopping to do, but wanted to experience some of the "one day only" sales. My husband took the day off too and after buying for our human child, we purchased some goodies for our furry ones. This included a brand new stocking for Cayman, Zoey-our toy poodle, and Sterling- our cat. They are too freaking cute! I have been looking for cute stockings for Zoey and Sterling for a while and this is Cayman's first Christmas so he needed one anyhow. The red ones are for dogs and the green ones are for cats. They even have a hanging photo frame for a picture of the pet with "naughty" on one side and "nice" on the other.
While out shopping, we stopped into Borders where I found an awesome organic dog treat cookbook that is on my Christmas list! Its 225 pages of over 100 organic and all natural dog treat recipes that are free from corn, wheat, and soy- something I try to avoid in everything I buy the dogs if I can help it. Its called "The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook". Pretty straight forward, huh? Its hardbound and vintage looking which I love also. Here's the description of the book on : "When it comes to dog biscuits, there's a lot out there, but not one as concerned with your pets health and happiness as ours! While most of the competition goes for novelty, the Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook stands alone in featuring tail-waggingly tasty 100% organic ingredients. Written by an expert who runs the Bubba Rose Biscuit Company, it contains more than 100 all-natural recipes double what most other dog cookbooks have. That s sure to appeal to owners eager to feed their dog homemade after the recent commercial pet food scare. The wholesome doggie dishes (all tried, true and taste tested) include a Luck of the Irish Wolfhound dog treat with such ingredients as oat flour and spinach leaves, and a beef-based Grillin and Chillin hot dog!" Then all I need is a few cute doggy-shaped cookie cutters in my stocking and I am all set to make my own dog treats.

Speaking of dog treats..........

We went to Dipidy Dawg which is a gourmet dog bakery. My husband- who is turning more and more into the dog spoiling sucker I have always been- got two Fido's Footballs which are molasses flavored football shaped cookies with yogurt piping to look like the football laces, and a bag of 'Temptations' for each of the dogs, which are like mini bone shaped candies for dogs. Zoey, being a white poodle, got a bag of the white yogurt flavored and Cayman, being golden colored, got the peanut butter flavored. They are all organic and are made with yogurt or peanut butter, palm kernel oil and lecithin. We will be putting the 'Temptations' in each of their stockings; the footballs were to enjoy now, just because they are so wonderful.
You can actually order the cookies by visiting their website:

We finished our day by going to the theater to see Disney Pixar's "Bolt" which is HILARIOUS and a real tear jerker all in one. Anyone who loves dogs and Disney HAS to see this movie. I like comedies but I have yet to find a movie that has made me laugh as hard as this one did. The hamster, Rhino, is the best character ever. Hubby had to whisper to me "don't forget to breathe!" because I was laughing so hard in some of the scenes! And I was right, Bolt is suppose to be a white Shepherd. So there Hubby!

Bolt Pictures, Images and Photos

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Keep Your Dog Safe This Thanksgiving!

Cute Dog Pictures, Images and Photos
Okay, before you stuff yourself stupid, make sure you are taking every precaution to keep your dogs, and other pets, safe this Thanksgiving.

Thankgiving Safety for Dogs:
Stuff the turkey, not your dog

by Nikita

Ahhh, the aroma of a fresh, mouthwatering, roasting turkey in the oven, Mom's cornbread stuffing cooling on the counter, sweet, spicy pumpkin pie tempting your passions. But don't forget the happy, little furry-feet, following your every move!

Yep, its Thanksgiving! A time to be thankful for all we have, for those around us we love, including our canine friends. Many people share the family feast with their dog in an offering of thanks and love. While this is an innocent and seemingly gracious and loving gesture, the truth is, it's more loving not to share your holiday meals with your dog. While it may seem that a little bit of turkey skin here and a little bit of stuffing there wouldn't hurt, we know how quickly the pounds can add up over the holiday season. The same rules that apply to us apply to our pets. A diet high in fat and being overweight is very unhealthy for them.

Pancreatitis is just one of the problems that occur with a high fat and unhealthy diet. The "typical" pancreatitis victim is middle-aged or older and overweight. It's common in both sexes, and very often the family has just had a party or a big holiday meal when this disease strikes. So, if your pet is often one that gets a table scrap here, a potato chip there, extra caution should be taken, as his possibility for an accute pacreatitis attack could already be high. However this doesn't OK you to indulge him if it's "just this once" or "just for the holiday." Things can turn bad quickly and with the hustle and bustle of the holidays; you may not be as alert to the first symptoms, or may pass them off as just nerves, stress or having a little too much turkey or all the family at the home for the holiday.

The pancreas produces digestive enzymes that break down food so the body can digest it. These enzymes are carefully handled by the pancreas in order to prevent them from damaging the pancreas itself or surrounding tissue. If they break down for any reason, the result is leakage of enzymes, which damage the pancreas and any surrounding tissue they reach. This breakdown is called pancreatitis. Symptoms include loss of appetite, severe and frequent vomiting, diarrhea that may contain blood, reluctance to walk, weakness, pain, crying, restlessness, irritability, or refusing to eat. Many people know their dog is sick, but may be confused as to whether or not it's serious because of a lack of symptoms or symptoms being vague and mild.

Pancreatitis may occur only once in a dog's life or it can become chronic, a condition that returns over and over again. It can quickly become fatal or just be a mild attack of pain that is over in a few hours or a day or so. It can cause serious side effects including shock, blood clotting disorders, heart arrythmias, and liver or kidney damage. So if your pet exhibits ANY of these signs, even if mild at first, get him to your vet immediately! Of course with it being a holiday, many animal clinics may be closed - another VERY valid reason to not be so sharing with your pets this Thanksgiving. And just in case, make sure you have an emergency number for your vet or the emergency vet clinic number handy for when your vet's office is closed.

Make sure your pet has no access to any food left on the counters or tables when no one is around. After you're done cleaning up the kitchen, make sure you take the garbage out, and dispose of it in a secure place where no pets can get into it. Even the best behaved, well trained pets may be too tempted with turkey bones, the string that tied the turkey legs together, and what little of what was left of Mom's stuffing in the trash.

Other Holiday Food Dangers

Besides table scraps being dangerous to your pets because of the high-fat in some of them, there are still other reasons to not share your holiday feast with pets. Cooked turkey, duck, geese and other bird bones are dangerous to your pet. They are hollow and break and splinter easily. Also, because they are so easily breakable, dogs usually won't chew them thoroughly. The results are sharp pieces that can choke the dog or block, tear the intestines. A pet that has a bone or fragment of one lodged in his intestine may not even show symptoms for a few days. When they do occur they may include loss of appetite, depression, vomiting, or diarrhea. Sometimes the bone will pass by itself; other times it may need to be surgically removed. So make sure all left overs and throw away and out of your pets' reach.

Chocolate and your dog

Yet another danger to dogs is chocolate. It contains a xanthine compound called theobromine. Theobromine is highest in dark chocolate, but even milk chocolate contains theobromine. Chocolate can be fatal to your dog! Bowls of candy, or pieces dropped by guests or children, may go unnoticed by you for hours, but pose a real risk to your pets.

Bloat is a medical emergency!

One last word of caution on holiday meals and your pet is "bloat." Bloat is a gastric condition that can be deadly and is an EMERGENCY for you and your dog. Bloat is most commonly caused by too much gas or fluid in the stomach. This gas can extend the stomach causing gastric dilation. If the stomach partially rotates it is called gastric torsion. If it fully rotates its called gastric volvolus. Each can be a life threatening problem. Usually, large, deep-chested dogs are the victims, but it has occurred in some smaller breeds and puppies that have been allowed to eat too fast. While the causes of bloat are varied, gulping of food and water, a common behavior at excitable times when yummy treats are given and then exercise, such as the excitability and playfulness a lot of pets experience during busy times like holidays and family gatherings, may be a serious threat to a lot of pets.

Bloat is a deadly condition that gives you a very limited amount of time to act. Symptoms include abdominal distention, salivating, retching, restlessness, depression, lethargy, anorexia, weakness, or a rapid heart rate. Any of these symptoms, even if mild at first, should IMMEDIATELY be attended to by your vet. The stages and manifestations of this condition can happen rapidly once started, so no time should be wasted in seeking advice and care, even if there is a little doubt. Things to avoid are not allowing your pet to overeat, even his own food. Instead of 1 or 2 large meals a day, try 3 or 4 smaller ones. Do not feed your pet at high excitability times, or when he's nervous, such as when you have a house full of company. Many dogs will gulp down their food as a "defense" to keep these "strange intruders" out of it. Calm your dog and feed him at quiet times of the day. Do not allow vigorous exercise before or after your pet has eaten.

Be careful with your pets this holiday season, and be truly thankful for them by keeping them healthy!

The biggest hazards to pets on Thanksgiving include:
-Rich, fatty foods (turkey skins, gravy, etc,) can contribute to pancreatitis. This gland inflammation is painful and can be serious-requiring emergency veterinary assistance. And the herb sage in stuffing can lead to depression of the nervous system and digestive upset.

-Cooked bones can splinter and cause tears or obstruction in a pet’s digestive tract. Brittle, bone splinters pose risk to the esophagus, stomach, and intestines.

-Baking strings, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and wax paper can cause intestinal obstructions and can create trouble if ingested by your pet.

-Onions in holiday stuffing can lead to canine anemia if consumed by your dog.

-The toxins from grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in pets.

-Ingesting chocolate (contains theobromine) can also cause seizures or kill your pet.

-Don’t forget that caffeine and alcohol are also toxic for pets.