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 Dogs often can reach people and children who have withdrawn from the world.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.

baby

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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 http://www.strollersforpets.com (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: www.justpetstrollers.com.

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 http://grammiesk9s.blogspot.com. Thanks cuties!

And one from Joey and Tanner, the handsome Boston Terriers from Arizona. They too have a blog at http://joestains.blogspot.com. 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 Amazon.com : "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:
http://www.dipidydawg.com/home.php

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.

More DWB E-Cards Have Arrived!

Wee! More DWB Holiday e-cards came!

Click here to check out what Luke and Liesel sent from AZ!
Its animated and hilarious! Their blog address is http://andrachoate.blogspot.com

And here is another all the way from Malaysia from Scottie, Kenji and Lady! Its beautiful, as are the dogs in it!
You can visit them at http://nottiescottie.blogspot.com (I love that blog name!)
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pics of My Haircut- Cayman Colored Highlights?





So the highlights are not exactly the same color as Cayman's fur but we tried and I like the results anyhow!

My First Two Holiday DWB Cards Came!

Yesterday I got my first two cards from the Dogs With Blogs Holiday Card Exchange! How exciting!

Photobucket
This e-card came from Amber-Mae, Faith and Chloe from http://ambers-diary.blogspot.com
They are from Malaysia! I can't believe how perfect everyone is posed in this picture! They are like the "poster children" for good obedience (and it helps they are dog-gone adorable!)

The second was a snail-mail greeting card from Simba of http://simbas-world.blogspot.com
It came all the way from the United Kingdom! It came with an adorable snapshot of Simba looking dapper in a Santa hat! I will add this to the other snail-mail greeting cards and get a snapshot picture of Cayman with all of them together.

I will be sending mine out after Thanksgiving. Its not too late to send me your email address and blog address if you would like an e-card from Cayman! Just send that info to doxidoggybloggy@gmail.com and I will send you one. This way if you missed out on the DWB Holiday Card exchange participant list, you can still get one. Or if you originally signed up for snail-mail only and decided that you would still like one from Cayman (since I am sending e-cards only in an effort to "go green" this year).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Turkey Treats

Face it. You are probably going to have more turkey leftovers than you will know what to do with so why not make something for the pups?

When you can't stand another bite of turkey, you can mix up these turkey dog treats for your canine buddies. They'll love them!

Thanksgiving Turkey Treats

Ingredients:
2 c. cooked turkey, minced
4 tsp. grated lowfat cheese
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
2 c. whole-wheat flour
2 tbsp. brewer's yeast
2 tbsp. safflower oil (or vegetable oil if you don't have safflower)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the turkey, cheese and parsley together. Pour beaten eggs over turkey mixture. Add flour, yeast and oil. Stir.

Drop into small lumps onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes or until brown and firm. Store in refrigerator.

Makes about 2 dozen treats.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Holiday Card Exchange- Wanna Participate?

As you might already know, Dogs With Blogs is having their 2008 Holiday Card exchange and the final participant list has already been sent out. If you would like to receive an e-card from Cayman this holiday and were not on the list, please send me your email address and blog address. Cayman has a lot of cheer to give and would be happy to send some your way! All we ask in return is you sign our guest book! If you would like to send a e-card in exchange, you can send them to doxidoggybloggy@gmail.com.
All e-cards will be mailed out the beginning of December. :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sigh of Relief- My Card is Done

Ahhh.

Sigh of relief.

I finished my "card" for the Dogs With Blogs Holiday Card exchange. And its sooooo cute! I decided to go electronic this year, and then that way the people who are in this exchange can post it on their blogs if they want. :)

And it saves trees so our dogs can have more of them on the planet to pee on. LOL!

Triple Score!

I made the liver snacks. They came out PERFECT! I wish I had found this recipe long ago since they are perfect. The only thing I did differently was I added an egg wash to the tops halfway thru baking to give them that professional shiny top. Awesome! And of course, the dogs LOVED them. But I have to say, they STINK. I think I might take the advise of others that have tried this recipe and use meat flavored baby food instead. Its already pureed and I can tolerate the smell. But the dogs do love them, which makes it so worth it. In fact they have been following me around the house, looking at me expectantly, as if I have pocketfuls of them or something! Score!

Today was the Howl-A-Day Jubilee Festival. I got all kinds of all natural, organic, and grain free dog food samples to try, a Petco bandanna for Cayman, and the best part- a free shark cartilage chew that I mentioned on Cayman's Christmas list!! The rep from Canine Caviar was there and she recognized me from the previous Pet Fest last month and I mentioned I was looking for the Fish Stix sting ray tail chews and the shark cartilage chews and if she had any with her to sell. She didn't but gave me one for free! Sweet! I also found a local pet boutique that sold them so after the festival, hubby took me there and I bought one more shark cartilage chew and two of the sting ray tails for Cayman and my toy poodle, Zoey, for Christmas. I am so excited to have found them, its taking everything in my not to give them to the dogs early, LOL! Score number 2!

Oh and my Amazon.com order came today. I purchased the book "Therapy Dogs- Training Your Dog to Reach Others" by Kathy Diamond Davis. I have a funny story about this book. See, I ordered it but forgot to update my address listed with Amazon. So I have been impatiently waiting and waiting for it only to have discover when I checked the tracking information that the book was delivered to my old address. I think the new renters rejected it, marked "return to sender" which completely sent me into a tizzy because I would have to contact the seller, pay shipping all over again, and wait even longer. But to my amaze, it was in my mailbox today with one of those yellow forwarding stickers. Score number 3, this time for me! :) I will let you know how it is, its gotten pretty good reviews on Amazon.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cayman Turns 7 Months Old

Cayman is 7 months old!
I am purchasing the ingredients to make those liver snacks this weekend to celebrate, the cake has to wait till he turns a year. I hope he likes them!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Liver Snacks

I can not wait to try out this recipe!!From the description, they sound like the liver treats my husband treated the pooches to at the Pet Fest from an all natural dog treat bakery. I think I am going to try making them this weekend. Either way, I wanted to post it as soon as possible to see if anyone else has made them or would like to give them a shot. Oh and they are safe for diabetic dogs too. I think I want to try out a different flour since I am trying to stay away from wheat products in my dogs, but for starters I will flow the recipe as it was written.

1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 eggs
1 lbs beef liver, cut into pieces

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Line a 10x15 in jellyroll pan with parchment paper.
2. Place the liver in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. If you have room, add the flour and eggs and process until smooth. Otherwise, transfer to a bowl and stir in the flour and eggs using a wooden spoon. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the center is firm. Cool, and cut into squares using a pizza cutter. The treats will have a consistency similar to a sponge. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.




Oh and completely off subject but I am getting my hair cut this Sunday and will be putting highlights the color of Cayman's fur in! How freaking cute would that be?! I hope it comes out the way I want- I will post pics when its done.

Why Dachshunds Are Not Allowed to Bake

Yesterday was the first day we left all three dogs alone in the house while we went off to work because our water guy was coming to check out pump (we have well water). And before I left I got down on all fours and inspected the house for anything Cayman could possibly get into. He's still a pup and can get into things. All unaccessable rooms were shut off or had baby gates up to prevent unwanted canine visitors. Well, my mom comes home around noon and is able to check on them and at that time all was well. All three dogs are just hanging out, lounging on the sofas.

Then around 5:15 I get home. My younger brother has just gotten in before me and says "Cayman got into something". Instantly I am scanning my brain, trying to think what on earth he could have found, always suspecting the worse. Did he chew up another cord? Did he throw something up? Is he okay? Speaking of, where is he??

"W-what....what was it?" I asked him cautiously while looking around for him. He usually greets me, jumping and stumbling me in an over exuberant fashion.

"Powdered sugar."Anthony tells me.

"WTF? Where on earth did he find powdered sugar?!" I don't wait for a reply because now Cayman is sitting, not jumping on me, at my feet, wagging his tail, looking guilty as all naughty puppies tend to do. I walk into our living room and it looks like a scene from Scarface. There is white powder all over the living room rug. A chewed up confectioners sugar box is on the counter. Anthony, being the typical lazy brother at least managed to take away the surving box of sugar at least.

So we think the scerio probably went along something like this...
Roxy, my parent's beagle mix is on a diet and knows how to open cupboards (she, and not my two year old daughter, is why we have child locks on all the cupboards) and probably nugged the baking cupboard open since boxes of cereal kept it from closing all the way where the child lock would have prevented her being able to open. Not satisfied with boxed of puffed wheat, powdered sugar and all our mixing bowls, Roxy probably lost interest in the open cupboard and went off to go pout. Cayman, who is Roxy's shadow when I am not around to follow, took interest in this newly undiscovered area of the kitchen. He probably grabbed the first thing he could investigate, which was an already opened box of powdered sugar, dragged it to the living room so the chew-fest could begin. After the powdered sugar poured onto the floor, all three dogs begun licking it, which ground the fine powder into the carpet, making it sticky so it would not vacume up at all.

Needless to say, we have to shampoo the carpet now. And Cayman is forbidden to attempt any baking in the living room.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cayman's 1st Christmas Wish List

Dear Santa Paws,
I know its a little early to send this to you but
it is my first Christmas this year and I am just so excited I just couldn't wait any longer. Mommy says as long as I don't try to eat any of the ornaments (whatever those are, they sound de-lish!) I can say I have been a very, very good boy this year. Mommy says I am the best dog she has ever had, but not to tell Zoey that. She's the toy poodle Mommy had before me. Just please no rawhide. Mommy and Daddy have strick rules about rawhide ever since Zoey choked on a piece of one. She said pressed rawhide is okay though.

Anyways, I would really love to receive:
* a medium sized Nylabone Bar-B-Chew rib chew toy. They are longlasting and are suppose to be BBQ flavored!
* a Skinneeez squirrel (you know, those plush toys without a squeaker or stuffing). They are great for shaking and dragging around the house.
* one of those wild ocean skate tail chews that Mommy saw at the Pet Fest- Canine Caviar sells them under the name "Fish Stix". The exterior of the treat is covered with keratin beads to aid in oral hygiene. The interior is composed of fish cartilage full of chondroitin. Canine Caviar also states that Fish Stix are durable and completely digestible.

*one of those Wild Ocean Thresher Shark Spines, also by Canine Caviar, under the name "Great White Chews". They do the following:
  • Cleans Teeth & Gums A Healthy Chew your Dog will Love!
  • Improves Joint Health - rich in chondroitin sulfate. Excellent for dogs of all ages!.
  • Wild Ribbon Fish – Excellent Source of Omega 3
  • Anti-Inflammatory
Mommy says these are kinda hard to find but I would love them so much!

Thank you so much!

Tail Wags and Sloppy Kisses,

So what's on your dog's wish list?

Pics in the Backyard









Bummer.

Cayman and I were just loading up into the car to head to our orientation when the PAWS Ministry coordinator called me to let me know the church had to be evacuated due to some kind of gas leak so they are having to reschedule. Bummer. I was really looking forward to today. So.... hopefully next Sunday we will have our orientation.

DWB Holiday Card Exchange= More Participants

I got the revised participant mailing list and we now have 146 participants! I can't wait!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie


I couldn't help myself. I had to snap these photos of my two sleeping fur-babies. The one above, Cayman almost looks like he was smiling. Maybe he is as happy as I am about tomorrow's orientation for PAWS Ministry therapy work!

PAWS Ministry Gets New Members

Today was PAWS Ministry's temperament testing. I fortunately already got to test when I showed up on the wrong date last week (still feeling silly about that, by the way) so I was not there to meet some of the other testers. I did, however, receive an email from our coordinator who proudly stated that as of today PAWS Ministry welcomed 34 new members and 28 new pets including 23 dogs, 3 cats , 1 bird, and 1 bunny. So it goes to show you that not only dogs can make a difference in peoples lives!

The new members and their assigned locations are:

CORAL TRACE
Wynne and Nancy Nolan & "Giffer"
Sue and Chase Purdy & "Zoe" & "Zelda"
Adalina Mendez & "Snoopy"
Don Payne & "Brutus"
Dan, Jamie, Ashley and Kaylee Ayers & "Daisy"

CROSS KEY MANOR
Iris, Pete and Sophia & "Happy"
Cathi Petersen & "Mickey"
Marty, Carol and Jarrod & "Sasha"

GULF COAST VILLAGE
Linda Schrodell & "Sadie"
Sandra Broderick & "Harry"
Ann Bachhuber & "Bing"
Courtney, Daniel and Mia Acevedo & "Jack"
Erin Tuthill & "BooBoo"
Majorie Seegmuller & "Olivery"

HIDDEN OAKS
Chris Leetz & "Sasha", "Ruppurt Henry" & "Bootzz"
Brenna Yukins & "Angel"
Karen Reci & "Bella"
Shirley Thompson & "Taco"
Shawna Laufer & "Cayman"<---------------------- that's us!

REHAB & HEALTH
Amber, Karla, and Jason Alden & "Bunny" & "Spike"
Kim Phillips & "Sancho"
Kim and Morgan Stevens & "Penny" & "Lucky"
Bill and Marilyn Earl & "Sandy"

Tomorrow is our mandatory orientation and I can hardly wait to meet the other members and get my new shirt and Cayman's bandanna!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Another Wonderful Therapy Dog Opportunity

I found another one! This organization is called Paws For Friendship and it is international! And the international headquarters are located in Tampa although they have charters everywhere. They too have been relaxed requirements and let you pick where you would like to volunteer with your certified therapy dog. I decided to inquire about having Cayman visit our local shelter for abused woman and children. I feel they could really benefit from Cayman, especially those that might have had to leave pets behind in extreme cases where their safety came first. The membership is $40 annually and you get your choice of a polo shirt or denim shirt; a sweatshirt; a bandanna for your dog; a service vest; and ID card. And they only require you to make one visit a month. Of course I would want to do more- maybe alternate between PAWS Ministry working with seniors at an assisted living residence and Paws for Friendship working with recovering woman and children on alternating Sundays. Oh that would be such a dream! Please pray for me that this can be the way things work out!!!!

For more info: www.pawsforfriendshipinc.org

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sponge Bob Invades Our Lives

I hate Sponge Bob. I refuse to let my two year old daughter watch Sponge Bob. When she received a hand-me-down Sponge Bob character stuffed animal, I quickly got rid of it before she could get attached. I hate Sponge Bob. I would never, ever buy anything with Sponge Bob on it. So you can imagine my state of confusion when unloading my Walmart groceries to find a package of two yellow Sponge Bob tennis balls. WTF???Hmm.

My husband, knowing my extreme dislike for Sponge Bob would never have put them in the cart; besides, neither of us plays tennis either. So then the next suspect in the appearance of the Sponge Bob balls is my daughter, Shaylee. She must have put them in the cart while we were not looking, which would be the first for us. Anyhow, I gave them to the dogs figuring they wouldn't care for them and then I wouldn't feel bad about ditching them later. But Shaylee and the dogs must of had a plan. They love these stupid smiley tennis balls! How could I ever get rid of something they love so much? Here is a couple pics taken at different times where Cayman just can't let these tennis balls go, I think they just might be one of his favorite toys now.
I still hate Sponge Bob though, for the record.

DWB Holiday Card Exchange


I have just received my copy of the 2008 Dogs With Blogs Holiday Card Exchange mailing list. This is gonna be fun!!!

There are 144 participants from all over the world! Most are from the US and there are about 47 international participants from placed like Gibraltar, Australia, United Kingdom, Mexico, Malaysia, Switzerland, Spain, Singapore, Costa Rica, the Philippines, Canada, the Netherlands, Tokyo, England, and Taiwan! Part of the exchange is you have the option pick if you would like to receive snail mail, as in the old fashion card in the mail, or an e-card. Most picked either or, while some picked only snail mail or only e-cards. I personally choose either. I would rather have a traditional holiday card via snail mail but I understand that postage can be expensive, especially if it is international so I will happily take an e-card too!

The coordinator for this fun program suggest having them all mailed out the beginning of December so I better get working on these! I would love to get a picture of Cayman dressed up in his reindeer costume I bought him. How cute would that be?!

I will try to post the e-cards I receive as well as scan any traditional holiday cards that come in the mail to share with you all. What a wonderful way to connect with people you would not otherwise ever get the chance to meet and all who share a common love of dogs with blogs (and kitties and hamsters I am told, LOL) during the best time of year, the howl-a-days! :)

It might not be too late, get on the list too!
http://dogswithblogs.com.au/christmas.htm

Monday, November 10, 2008

The 411 on 42299

I just received the weirdest phone call ever. I didn't catch the woman's name but she claimed to be from NuVet which, if you have read my previous weblogs, is the best product ever for keeping your pet healthy and live a long life.

Anyhow, she said that she was browsing the web and came across my blog and was very happy to see me promoting the product, blah, blah, blah. She asked if she could make a suggestion and that would be to change the link I have of www.nuvet.com to www.nuvet.com/42299. She said it was because when you clicked on the link I posted it pulled up all my personal information. This raised some suspicion since I know when you get to the site you have to log in with a password. And then the address she rattled off wasn't my address. Upon further search into previous weblogs I found that I had recieved a comment from a groomer named Susan asking me to put those very same numbers at the end of my link!

Hmmm.

So I called Nuvet and they are looking into the matter further. They have the phone number from which she called me on and some additional information. Basically I think it is a scam from a groomer aiming for some kind of personal gain for herself by scaring me into thinking my personal info was at stake. And furthermore it makes Nuvet look bad. I don't mean to trash talk, and honest don't think I am. I am just stating how disappointed how low some people will go, even to lie about who they are. Isn't that against the law or something? Hell, if I really wanted to trash talk I'd put her blog link in here. But I'm not that kinda girl.

So yes, dear readers- you can log into the site at www.nuvet.com. That is the website, any "code" at the end is just for credit for someone else somewhere.

I will say, however, that this does not change how I feel about the product-it's fantastic. And the customer service I received, even for such a strange inquiry, was handles with professionalism and care. I can not say enough good things about Nuvet.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cayman is a Therapy Dog!!!!

I am so silly. I tend to get very excited about things and sometimes fail to read into the details. I did that today with the PAWS Ministry Temperament Testing. I got so excited about the opportunity, that I failed to read that it was suppose to be NEXT Sunday, not today. So I drove to Cape Coral to the Grace Church but it was definitely not for nothing! I got to meet with Misti who is the coordinator for the program. She and several other members where there at the church between sermons promoting the organization. Thank goodness someone was there!

She basically did a temperament test with Cayman and the other dogs and the people right then and there. She said he was wonderful and she seen all she needed to see just in the first five minutes! He was friendly and allowed everyone to pet him, was friendly towards the other dogs and got engages with wrestling with a chihuahua/poodle mix puppy so he obviously got along with other dogs. I do have to go back up there next Sunday (the correct date!) for the orientation and to purchase my PAWS Ministry shirt (they are aqua- my favorite color and Cayman's signature color!). I think she said there was about three or so Saturdays where I have to go on a Saturday as part of the group so the evaluators can see him in action. Then from there I can go whenever which will most likely be Sundays. I just to make other arrangements since the time on Saturdays may interfere with my daughter's Kindermusik class.

Since I live in Ft Myers, our facility that uses the PAWS Ministry is the Hidden Oaks Assisted Living and Alzheimer Residence. She explained that whats nice about visiting nursing homes is that unlike hospitals, they don't mind dogs being dogs. They can play with other dogs and bark and howl (as long as its all in fun and not an aggressive bark) and the residences love it. With hospitals you have to be quiet. Cayman is a quiet dog for the most part but its nice to know they are not too stuffy about the dog's behavior.

How exciting, Cayman is a therapy dog!!!!! Since he was such a good boy, Mommy spoiled him with a tasty twisty bullystick! Yum!

Other purchases made today included a new black harness and matching leash since his aqua harness is getting too small. And a black car seat teether to keep him from trying to climb into my lap while driving, especially if we are going to be driving all the way downtown for training and therapy work!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Blog Worth Begging For Award- Did You Get One Yet?

A lot of other bloggers on here have traded awards with each other for having interesting or creative blogs and I wanted to join in the fun! So I created my own blog award that I am quite proud of....
Photobucket
Now to hand them out and perhaps get it back in return! :)

Here is to my loyal followers, thanks for following my blog! :)

Addie

Ruby
Snuggle Dachshund
Ben at WYD

And even if its not doggy-related...one to my loving in-laws who listen to my babble on about my dog and love me anyways, LOL
Nea and Ed

Temperament Testing on Sunday!

At last! We are making our first official step towards therapy work! Sunday we are meeting with the PAWS Ministry coordinator for Cayman's temperament testing and orientation! I have to drive about 30 minutes to get there (its in Cape Coral and I live in Ft Myers) but so worth it, especially if he passes. Please cross your fingers that he does!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

PAWS Ministry Update

Hurray! I finally got a response from the coordinator from PAWS Ministry!

I was very happy to hear that she "knew" my dog would be absolutely wonderful but I have to go into the nursing home with an experienced member for my first several visits as an extension of my Temperament Testing so they can "observe my family and pet" (although I think it would probably just be me and Cayman) in the actual nursing home environment. She understands my dilemma with working full time and the weekend being my only true family time. She is in the same position. Part of the reason that they do the ministry on Saturdays, she explained in her email, is so families can be involved. The groups that go to the hospitals go during the week. They have obtained a lot of those people because they work full time and the week days do not work for them. She would say it would be OK for me to go into the nursing homes on my own on Sundays but only after I have had a couple of group visits. She went on to say that she doesn't want to discourage me but she has an obligation as a church leader to control the group since it their insurance policy at stake every time they enter a nursing home with an animal, which I completely understand. She highly encourages people to attend in addition to group visits and has many people that go on opposite days of their group visit for various reasons from work schedules, children extracurricular activities to personality conflict with another animal. She said she has no problem with that as long as she knows the foundation is there for a strong ministry member, which I feel I could be. She stated that they can only find that out by meeting and spending time with me and Cayman.

She went on to stating that she is willing to work with people on an individual basis for Testing since quite a few people have a conflict with the date but would definitely need me to take part in at least (2) group visits prior to going on my own. She says that
the testing starts at 10 am and ends between 11 am and 12 pm depending on how many people show up on Saturdays, which is the same exact time as my daughter's music class, and she usually meets people up at their church in Cape Coral when she works with them on an individual basis. I was happy to hear that she can meet most Saturday or Sunday afternoons, which might work out just fine if I can go the group visits after Shaylee's class after all.

So this may be even more possible than I originally imagined!






Delta Society Workshop

Grrr. I sent the PAWS Ministry another email, since its been about four days, asking them to please at least reply to my email. Its so discouraging to email someone because you really want to help and be part of their organization and be ignored. Four days isn't very long but most people reply to their emails daily. Sigh, maybe I am just being impatient. Or I guess I should just call them. Hopefully they will answer their phone! :)

I finally got the information for the next Gulf Coast Pet Partners Team Training Course. This is a two day workshop in Punta Gorda (about a hour and a half from us) that is part of the requirement to have Cayman tested to be a therapy dog with the Delta Society, one of the most well known therapy dog organizations out there. Since my husband wants to attend as well, it cost $100 for us to share one student manual and attend the instructional workshop together. It is basically going to cover what we have to do and what is expected of Cayman, but without the dogs there. The price also includes the team evaluation which will be held at a later date. This is when Cayman and I show our stuff!

The workshop is February 7th and 8th. Since we will be enrolling Cayman and I into the basic obedience class at the Dog Obedience Club of Lee County in January, he will be learning some if not all the basics to therapy work as I am learning handling skills as well as the Delta requirements. I contacted the coordinator and she said I can send in my check and our applications as soon as possible and would not deposit the check until class, but it would reserve our seat so I might be sending that out very soon. I am so excited!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

PAWS Ministry

Last Saturday we took Cayman to the 8th Annual Pet Fest sponsored by our county animal services. There was a lot of vendors and contests and raffles going on but what caught my attention the most was a big sign that said PAWS Ministry Therapy Dogs. Therapy dogs! The representative explained that t his organization has the pets do the ministry work by taking the pets to local nursing homes the 1st Saturday of each month to share the love of Jesus and our pets. Pets must pass a Temperament Testing but there was no age requirement like most other therapy dog organizations. And all that is required in the temperment test, Cayman could do no problem. I am very excited to possibly get Cayman's feet wet in therapy work as soon as possible and without an age requirement, this seems like the perfect opportunity. The only that would stand in our way is that Saturdays are tough for me, since its the only day my husband and daughter and I get to spend as a family since we both work full time. And our daughter has a Kindermusik class on Saturday mornings. But I did send a really nice email to the coordinator two days ago but have yet to get a reply back. Hmm. Perhaps I should just call the coordinator.... anyhow, here is a copy of the letter. I think it's pretty good myself! Hopefully we will be able to work something out! :)

PAWS Ministry Applicant

Shawna Eugenio-Laufer Sun, Nov 2, 2008 at 4:01 PM
To: mististpierre@hotmail.com
I would first off like to thank your representatives for a very welcoming booth held at the 8th Annual Pet Fest in Ft Myers this past Saturday. I do not remember the name of the woman I spoke with that day but she was very friendly and made the PAWS Ministry program sound the perfect jumping off point in the long and rewarding journey of therapy work with my 6 month old miniature longhair dachshund puppy, Cayman.

Cayman graduated the Petco Puppy Education class with flying colors in September and we are looking forward to continuing his training to make him the very best dog we know he can be. We are currently taking a break from the professional training for the holiday season but will be attending a basic obedience class which includes the testing requirement training for the Canine Good Citizen certification in January (Dog Obedience Club of Lee County).

We are also on a waiting list for opportunities for therapy work through United Way's many organizations and hope to become members of the Delta Society as well as the Therapy Dogs Inc. Because of his young age, many of these opportunities are not available to us until after Cayman is a year old but we would love to begin working with him as much as possible now, so when he does hit that 12 month of age mark, we are ahead of the game! From my understanding when speaking to your rep, she explained that we could begin working with him in your program as soon as possible, granted he pass that temperament test. I have full confidence that we should have very little issue accomplishing that! Cayman has already been exposed to people with walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters and has shown little interest in them, which is a positive thing since many dogs display fear or aggression to these unknown objects.

He is also raised with a two year old so he is used to children. We try to make it out to the local dog park whenever possible (and plan to have many more opportunities with this cooling weather) to further expose him to other dogs. We have two other dogs and a cat in our house as well. The only thing that might raise a concern is with other dogs- he is still in puppy hood so every other dog he comes into contact with is a potencial playmate! There is absolutely no aggression in this very happy-go-lucky pup! As well as having an amazing disposition, Cayman is current with all vaccinations, is licensed, and neutered. He is groomed daily, bathed weekly so he always looks his best. Since he has such a wonderful personality and is so well behaved, we tend to bring him with us where ever dogs are permitted to further expose him to unusual and unfamiliar settings.

With all these things considered, and his natural affection to all things on two or more legs, I feel we have a very potential and successful therapy dog here. I would be honored and delighted to share the joy Cayman gives me to others through the PAWS Ministry. I would like to arrange a temperment testing as soon as possible. I am aware that the next temperament test is Saturday, November 15th. Unfortunately, I am unavailable Saturdays until after noon since my husband, Nils, and I have enrolled our two year old daughter in a music class and would like to inquire if there is another date, Sundays for example, or other time frame in which this could be arranged.I would also appreciate any additional information regarding this program such as visitation of patient locations and hours, as started before, Saturdays are rather difficult for us since, as full time working parents, it is the one day we can spend together as a family. I am available Sundays however!

Thank you in advance for your consideration in the PAWS Ministry. I do look forward to hearing a reply back from you. I have included some recent pictures of Cayman as well.

-Shawna Eugenio-Laufer



And the Winner Is....

After much thought, I decided to go with my instinct, and pick the registered name that just flowed perfectly and stood out to me and had high votes on both the poll that was listed here as well as on the dachshund forums I am a member of. And the winner is.........
GCK'S FIVE O'CLOCK SOMEWHERE

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cayman's Registered Name

I still don't know what to make it. The winning name for the poll I ran here on Cayman's blogspot was GCK's Cayman Cabana Boy and in the dachshund forums the winner was GCK's Five O'Clock Somewhere....but I think I decided I didn't care for the word "cabana". Maybe GCK's Cayman Beach Boy instead? Oh I do not know...just when I think I have it, another word pops up that sounds so good, I try to incorporate it into the name. Like "schooner" and "beachcomber" and "sea-clusion". They are all fun words but I can't seem to make them fit....this is hard. I want to make his registered name really good! I think I may have to settle on the one name in the polls that I have been leaning towards the most which is the GCK's Five O'Clock Somewhere. Grrr!

A New Look for Doxi Doggy Bloggy

Doxi Doggy Bloggy has a new look! Its more "grownup" for a fast growing pup. Can you believe he is already six month old?!