Saturday, December 26, 2009

Doggie Christmas 2009

This is what makes Christmas so fun!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sasha Waits For Santa

It's Christmas Eve and I'm not sure that you can ever say "not a creature was stirring" at my house. With 3 cats and 3 dogs, there is never a dull moment... much less a silent one!

Wishing everyone Happy Howl-i-days – May you and yours have safe travels, good times with family and/or friends, good health, plenty of food to eat and a warm place to rest your head for the night.

2009 has been a roller coaster ride for many of us, but let's be thankful that we made it! 2010 is just around the corner and will hopefully be a more prosperous year for all.

Merry Christmas from our house to yours,
Renee and the Fur-Babies

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Keep Your Pets Safe This Holiday Season

Lazy on the Couch
Photo of Nigel by Renee Tellez (That's me!)

Brought to you by Deb Kern of the Humane Society of Huron Valley: Every year thousands of pets are rushed to animal emergency rooms because they were accidentally poisoned by household items. According to the ASPCA, they handled 140,000 cases of pet poisonings in 2008.

Here are three very important tips:

1. Don't feed sweets, especially chocolate, to your pets. It is highly toxic.

2. Be cautious when decorating. Many holiday plants are toxic and decorations, such as tinsel and ribbon, can cause serious illness or even death.

3. You wouldn't sleep outside in the cold and neither should your pet.

Read the entire entry from contributor Deb Kern at

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bubbles n' Beads free sample

All natural shampoo that's just for the dogs!

Eco Friendly. All Natural. Cruelty Free.

Bubbles 'n Beads features:

- Time-saving 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner
- Micro-beads deliver vitamins and conditioners to the skin
- Blend of 14 Amino Acids:

To sign up to get a free sample, go to their website,

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's been awhile...

I really need to get back into a routine, but things have been crazy busy and life happens.

On November 6, I found my cat Bankey dead on the back deck. He was only 7 years old. Although we will never know what killed him, he was in his favorite place... outside. The one positive thing is that he didn't suffer and he went exactly how you want them to – quickly. The only tragedy is that he was so young. He was like no other and I miss him.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oct. 14 is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

Over Half Nation's Pets Now Overweight.

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention and "What Would A Dog Do" blog, an estimated 50% of dogs and cats in the U.S. are overweight or obese (84 million).

The Health Risks are no laughing matter. The top ten health risks associated with obesity in pets are:

1. Osteoarthritis
2. High blood pressure
3. Type 2 diabetes (cats)
4. Insulin resistance (dogs)
5. Kidney disease
6. Cancer
7. High cholesterol
8. Respiratory disease
9. Skin disease
10. Increased surgical complications

Read the entire article here.

Keeping your pet fit is not only better for your ani-pal's health, but for your health too. Keeping Fido active is a great way to bond with your best pal and a perfect excuse to get outside and move. Let's not forget, that just like people, preventative care is easier on your wallet in the long run and a better way to live a long and healthy life.

Before starting any type of diet or exercise routine, check with your vet for a safe plan.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy birthday, Bo! First dog turns 1 year old

President reminded of pet’s big day by daughter Malia after Nobel news. Read more on

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's flu season and Yes, fido can get it.

If you think your pet has the flu, chances are it's not the "Swine Flu". However, the canine flu can be very serious and should be dealt with immediately. Click on the link below for more info on the Canine Influenza Virus.

ASPCA | Canine Influenza Virus/Canine Flu

Posted using ShareThis

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Labor Day Dangers to Avoid

From the ASPCA, looking after our furry friends:
ASPCA | September 4, 2009

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cooper update

I've been a little busy this summer and haven't had much time to take pictures or write about anything, but I'd like to give a little update on Cooper.

We had a garage sale, sold planners, collected bottles and donations, all in order to give this little guy a fighting change. As discussed in earlier posts, this tiny fella had a ton of health issues, from having a terrible hernia, tummy and throat issues, to needing surgery to repair a hole in his heart.

He's recently had the hernia surgery and throat repair done. I am also happy to report that he's gone a few days without getting sick and is acting very chipper. He's just a little ball of energy! The best news is the fact that he's scheduled for surgery on Oct. 1st. I'll probably see him a few days after his surgery and will report how he's doing.

Keep your fingers crossed, because Coops needs all the positive energy he can get!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Can you help save Cooper's life?

We are desperately trying to raise enough money so Cooper can get surgery, which will save his life. Without it, the doctors say he won't make it past a year. Can you help? Please tell all your friends.

Here is the information you will need to know in regards to helping Cooper.
My account number is 246968 and his name is Cooper Talbert. His "mom's" name is Adrienne Talbert. You can look him up either way. The number to the Small Animal Clinic at Michigan State Vet. Hopsital is (517) 353-4957. Everyone is wonderful there. Donations can be made at the number listed above or by mailing a check to Michigan State University, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Attn: Business office, Rm A198 East Lansing, Michigan 48824. Please include the account number on the check so your kindness doesn't get misplaced.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cooper needs your help – MSU accepting donations

You can find me on Facebook at:

Letters from Cooper:
Hi, my name is Cooper. I am 5 months old and I am a Yorkie. I have a brother named Maxx and a sister named Sadie. I live between Manchester, Michigan and Ann Arbor, Michigan. I love to give kisses and by my families side.

I haven't been feeling so well. Went to the Small Animal Clinic in East Lansing, Michigan last week because of pain in my lower abdominal. I was diagnosed with an inguinal Hernia. In fact, I have a 1 and a 1/2 tear in my left abdominal wall which is causing my intestines to fall into my scrotum. It is quite painful. I do not like to be picked up. Doctors say I need surgery soon however the surgery is going to cost between $900-$1200 dollars. However, due to cost the doctors say I can wait at least another month while my mommy tries to raise the money. Also during my visit, doctors heard a "whishing" sound in my chest. The Cardiologist diagnosed me with a medium sized hole between my left and right ventricle which is causing blood to pool at the bottom. Although no structural changes have occurred within my heart, doctors give me 4 months before major damage begins to happen. Supposedly I need heart surgery to repair the hole if I'd like to live a long, healthy life as soon as I get old enough. This surgery will cost between $3000 to $4000 dollars.

I didn't mean to be sick. I just wanted to live as healthy as I could.

My vet has decided to take donations for my surgery. Anything would be great appreciated. I need as much help as possible, so I can be fixed as soon as possible.

Please help me life a long, healthy life. Please keep my in your prayers.


P.S. Mom will be adding more information to my progress and information regarding donations really soon.


Went to the Vet's today. I finally weigh 3 pounds! Everything is stable for now although I am still hurting when someone picks me up. Mom has been given instructions about putting my intestines back in place - doesn't seem to be doing much good. My heart is still pumping. Although I have been limited in regards to how much activity I can do. In fact, the vet said I can only walk for 10 to 15 minutes per-day! Can you believe that!? What am I supposed to do with all my energy? Oh my!

Also, received news as to when my next check up will be. July 10th I go for my rabies shot and a weight check. They also want to listen to my heart and see how I'm feeling. Then... Dr. Huie, at Michigan State, wants to see me in 4 months for another Ecogram to see if there are any more structural changes of my heart. I really don't like that machine, feels funny. She says surgery is still needed as soon as possible but I have to get bigger because they can't find tools small enough to work on me. But good news! That means more food, treats and toys for me!!

Until then, I hope to be filled with energy, lots of kisses and attention for everyone!

Even though I don't like all the prodding and probing by the doctors, I am thankful that someone really cares about me!



Great news! The small animal clinic at Michigan State Vet. Hospital has agreed to sponsor my case!! They will begin accepting donations for my surgeries today! Mom set everything up and I am so thankful that my life has the chance of lasting forever!

Here is the information you will need to know in regards to helping me.
My account number is 246968 and my name is Cooper Talbert. My mom's name is Adrienne Talbert. You can look me up either way. The number to the Small Animal Clinic at Michigan State Vet. Hopsital is (517) 353-4957. Everyone is wonderful there. Donations can be made at the number listed above or by mailing a check to Michigan State University, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Attn: Business office, Rm A198 East Lansing, Michigan 48824. Please include my account number on the check so your kindness doesn't get misplaced.

If you would like to donate, please send me your name and address as I would like to personally thank you from the bottom of my little heart!

I will need to raise at least $3,500 before my doctors will even think about performing the surgeries on me. The rest Mommy will have to pay when she picks me up.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dog Grooming Tools

The following accessories will aid in the maintenance of the dog’s exterior finish. All material found on

Brush: It is important to select a brush that is suitable for your dog’s coat. The ideal tool is a soft wire brush that can remove tangles without irritating skin.

Comb: Usually made of steel and featuring both fine and coarse teeth, this tool can remove burrs and tangles and bring order to the coat of a longhaired dog.

Currycomb: Often made of rubber, this tool removes loose hair from shorthaired breeds while also massaging the skin.

Grooming Glove: Covered with nubby, hair-catching material, the glove is useful for face grooming, and for brushing dogs with extremely short hair.

Nail Clippers: There are two basic types—guillotine-style clippers and standard scissors-style clippers. Both work well.

Scissors: Excellent for removing particularly stubborn tangles or burrs.

Shedding Tool: This blade-like device with serrated edges is ideal for removing excess fur from longhaired breeds.

Styptic Powder: This blood-clotting powder (available at most retailers) will quickly stop bleeding caused by trimming a dog’s nails too closely.

Undercoat Rake: As the name implies, this tool removes loose hair from the dense undercoat of long-haired and thick-haired breeds, such as the husky and Irish setter.
Dog Grooming Tools

I found this useful guide on, but is written by –
Quirk Books: The Dog Owner's Manual is a basic guide to dog care.
"The book was written by a celebrated veterinarian and an acclaimed author. It provides dog owners with well-researched and helpful information presented in a lighthearted manner. The creators chose to write the book in a style similar to what you'd find in "operating instructions" for a car or computer. Of course they--and we--respect the fact that our beloved pets are not products or machines!"

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Spotbot Pet

I received a Spotbot Pet for my birthday and finally got around to using it. I must admit that it is awesome and works great. The only downside is that it works a little too well. The spots that were treated with the Spotbot are super clean, but now the rest of the carpet looks dirty. I better drag my upright machine out and clean the rest. Until then, here are some before, in progress and after photos.

Before using the Spotbot, there were some dark spots that refused to budge with hand cleaning. I used spray stain remover and wet rags and tried to scrub the spots away, with no luck. Here is what it looked like prior to using:

Here's the Spotbot in action. It's totally hands-free and easy to use.

This is Mel, checking out the new machine. I'm pretty sure that he knows this is because of him and his sisters.

Spots are totally gone! Here's the result:

Sasha shows her approval.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mr. Green Feet

We call him Mr. Green Feet. This only happens to one of my dogs when I mow the grass. Two out of the three enjoy sitting out there while I'm doing yard work, but the other one only wants to be out there when you're playing. It's been pretty rainy here lately, so not too much yard work or outdoor adventures taking place.

We're still here, just haven't had time to do much blogging or taking photos. Recently, my life consists of work, school and more work, with not much time for anything else. I can't wait until the school semester is over, so we can have a little fun. I hope everyone is having a good summer so far.

Do forget your K-9 Advantix for the ultimate doggy protection and bug spray for the humans.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Shirt

While Mel looks quite dashing in his new shirt, getting his summer cut a week or two early is the reason he's wearing a shirt at all! This happens every year. For about a week or so, the weather will be in the 70s. Just as soon as I cut Mel's hair, it turns cold again. Luckily he only needs to wear a shirt for about a week before it's warm for good (at least until September).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The HSHV's Walk & Wag was a huge success

I would like to thank everyone for their contributions and/or participation in this year's Walk & Wag fundraiser. The Humane Society of Huron Valley was able to raise a grand total of $121,200! We couldn't have done it without wonderful people like you. Thanks again.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Introducing.... LOLA

Originally uploaded by MAULI*
This is Mel's little friend, Lola.

Happy Memorial Day

Nice sweater
Originally uploaded by reneetellezphotography
Even though we love taking Fido everywhere we go, parades and big crowds aren't always the best place. Pets can be stepped on and frightened by all the people and loud noises. So keep your pets safe and leave them at home.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Milan Area Animal Hospital

If you live in SE Michigan and are looking for a quality vet clinic, this is the place to go! The doctor is honest, affordable and will take the time to discuss all options of care for your pet. The staff are well trained, compassionate about animals, very friendly and have tons of patience (which is great, since I have a very naughty dog).

If you don't live nearby, (or even if you do and just want that convenience), you can order supplies from their website at: Milan Area Animal Hospital. So, check them out! You'll be happy you did.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Wishing all the Moms (and dads who act as the moms)
a Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Before I Was a Dog Mom, a poem

Before I Was a Dog Mom
(author unknown)

I made and ate hot meals unmolested.
I had unstained, unfired clothes.
I had quiet conversations on the phone,
even if the doorbell rang.

Before I was a Dog Mom:

I slept as late as I wanted

And never worried about how late I got to bed

or if I could get into my bed.

Before I was a Dog Mom:

I cleaned my house every day.

I never tripped over toys, stuffies, chewies

Or invited the neighbor's dog over to play.

Before I was a Dog Mom:

I didn't worry if my plants, cleansers,
plastic bags,
toilet paper, soap or deodorant
were poisonous or dangerous.

Before I was a Dog Mom:

I never had been peed on

Pooped on

Drooled on

Chewed on

Or pinched by puppy teeth.

Before I was a Dog Mom:

I had complete control of

My thoughts,
My body and mind.

I slept all night without sharing
the covers
or pillow.

Before I was a Dog Mom:

I never looked into big, soulful eyes and cried.

I never flet my heart break into a million pieces

when I couldn't stop the hurt.

I never knew something so furry and four-legged

could affect my heart so deeply.

Before I was a Dog Mom:

I had never held a sleeping puppy
just because I
couldn't put it down.

I had never gotten up in the middle of the night

every 10 minutes to make sure all was well.

I didn't know how warm it feels inside
to feed
a hungry puppy.

I didn't know that something so small
could make 
me feel so important.

Before I was a Dog Mom:

I had never known the warmth,

the joy,
the love,
the heartache,

the wonderment
or the satisfaction
of being
A Dog Mom.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Secondhand smoke kills pets too

Cercei is only 5 weeks old.

If you smoke, please refrain from smoking around your pets. Secondhand smoke can cause the same respiratory effects in dogs as it does in people, and they may develop life-threatening nasal and lung cancers.

Nicotine is also highly toxic if ingested, so keep all tobacco products out of reach. If a dog accidentally eats any tobacco product, they run the risk of collapse, coma and possibly death. If your guests smoke, be sure to point them outside and have an ashtray for disposal on hand.

For more information about protecting the health of your furry friend, please visit the ASPCA’s Guide to Pet Care.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The ultimate in recycling.

Photo from Dogs Life Magazine
Originally uploaded by Dog's Life Magazine
Choose adoption over pet stores because it's the right thing to do. With so many wonderful dogs out there, rescue dogs are a great way to enrich your life. When buying puppies from a pet store, you may unknowingly be supporting puppy mills.

All breeds, ages and sizes are available at shelters, rescue groups and your animal control. Dogs who are a little older make great pets because they usually come potty trained and aren't as hyper as a puppy. To search for a specific breed, size and age; visit

For a great article on pet adoption, please check out Dogs Life Magazine. Click on photo to visit their Flickr photo-stream.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's Nat'l Pet ID Week – April 18-24.

Here are four things you should do, if you haven't already:

• Take a picture of your pet and make sure you have a current image on your computer or at any of the following places: Flickr, Snapfish, Shutterfly, Dogster or any of the many photo/file sharing sites. You may also want to have one put in your pet's chart at the vet's office.

• Microchip your pet. Any vet's office will do it. It's cheap and is a great way to permanently ID your pet.

• Make a contact list for your pet. This is a list of names, phone numbers, email and addresses of people that know you and your pet well.

• Register with a pet ID and recovery service.

Visit for more information. They also have a coupon for $3 off the "Together Tag", which is in partnership with the American Red Cross. We are currently enrolled with the American Kennel Club's Companion Animal Recovery.

I hope that none of us ever have to use these programs, but it's a great idea to have in case of an emergency. Let's keep our pets safe!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Only a few more weeks to sponsor us.

With hard economic times among us, animal shelters are needing help more than ever. Can you spare just $5? $10? Whatever the amount, every little bit counts. Please sponsor me in this wonderful fund raiser. Go to my personal Walk & Wag page.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Where did the sun go?

So tired.
Originally uploaded by reneetellezphotography
Just when we thought the nice days were here to stay, it's gotten cold and rainy again. Leave it to Michigan!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Animal Cruelty/Human Violence Awareness Week

We're singing our hearts out here – it's Animal Cruelty/Human Violence Awareness Week, April 15-21!

It is everyones' responsibility to prevent and report animal cruelty AND violence against humans. Knowing about it and doing nothing is just as bad as the ones who are guilty of it.

The ASPCA has tips on what information to have on hand when reporting...

"Try to gather the following information before submitting a report of animal cruelty:

* A concise, written, factual statement of what you observed—giving dates and approximate times whenever possible—to provide to law enforcement.
* Photographs of the location, the animals in question and the surrounding area. However, please do not put yourself in danger! Do not enter another person’s property without permission, and exercise great caution around unfamiliar animals who may be frightened or in pain.
* If you can, provide law enforcement with the names and contact information of other people who have firsthand information about the abusive situation.

Remember, never give away a document without making a copy for yourself!"

For more useful information visit the ASPCA website.

If you don't know where to turn, your local law enforcement agency is a great place to start.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

WELLNESS dog food

I just noticed that Wellness had a new food out, specially sized for smaller dogs. Since it's a high quality food, I was excited to let my dogs try it. We were almost out and after buying the big bag, there's no other choice than – learn to like it. They usually are picky when it comes to new foods, but I was pleasantly surprised when they gobbled it up without a second thought. I must also add that they've been fed this for about two weeks and still eat it like it's the best food in the world. They even jump around and dance for it.

This gets three paws up (highest rating)!

You can buy the Wellness brand from many independent pet retailers, Pet Supplies Plus (if your from Michigan) or on-line.

This food is great for picky eaters, sensitive skin and stomachs, allergies and for overall great health.

Be sure to visit the Wellness website for more info.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Humane Society of Huron Valley

With hard economic times among us, animal shelters are needing help more than ever. Can you spare just $5? $10? Whatever the amount, every little bit counts. Please sponsor me in this wonderful fund raiser. Go to my personal Walk & Wag page.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


This is a picture I drew of my dog, Sasha.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pet poison alert from the ASPCA

People with pets should NOT use moth balls. This just came to me via email from the ASPCA. News Alert #3:

"In the past year, the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) has managed 113 cases of mothball poisoning, and most of those accidents happened during the spring and summer months. According to the APCC’s Dana Farbman, CVT, the ingestion of just one mothball can produce significant illness. Naphthalene—an offending chemical found in some brands of mothballs—is toxic to dogs, cats and other animals, and if ingested, can cause serious illness, including vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, swelling of the brain tissue, seizures, damage to the liver, kidneys and blood cells, coma and even death.

Farbman also advises pet parents to look out for mothballs that contain dichlorobenzene. “This insecticide is somewhat less toxic than naphthalene,” she says, “but it can still cause stomach upset and potentially even neurological effects if consumed in large amounts.”

Like other toxic exposures, it’s important to seek immediate attention if your pet has ingested mothballs. Prompt treatment can make the difference between just another household accident and permanent tragedy. The prognosis for those pets who receive immediate care is quite good, provided no other underlying conditions like liver disease or anemia are present.

If you suspect that your pet may have ingested mothballs—or any other poisonous substance—please call your local veterinarian or the ASPCA’s emergency hotline at (888) 426-4435. For more information about keeping your pet safe from household poisons, please visit APCC online."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Flea season is among us, prevent now!

Flea – a small wingless jumping insect that feeds on the blood of mammals and birds. It sometimes transmits diseases through its bite, including plague and myxomatosis.

Order Siphonaptera: several families and many species, including the human flea ( Pulex irritans) and the cat flea ( Ctenocephalides felis).

I will tell you that prevention is way easier than trying to get rid of them. Once the fleas are in your house, you can count on months of "war" on these guys. They are one of the toughest things to get rid of. I'll discuss the cycle of a flea and ways to get rid of them at another time.

There are many types of flea medications out there. Talk to your vet to see what's right for you and your dog. Beware of the cheap ones at the store, they don't work very well, they don't last the entire month and they are highly toxic.

The top/trusted names are: Frontline, K9-Advantix, Advantage, Revolution, Program and Capstar. Never use flea products that are meant for dogs on cats (it will kill them) and vice versa. They are dog or cat specified for a reason.

Never buy medications from places that you've never heard of on the internet. Just like everything else, if it's really cheap it's probably not real. I do suggest checking out Drs. Foster & Smith online. They have great deals, have been around a long time and have free shipping on all flea medications.

Happy Spring and remember – Prevention is key!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Snausages Party Sack

Here's another one of my dogs' favorites. These are inexpensive, can be broken into small bits (they do not need a whole one) and are great for training. These are not very healthy and I would consider them to be "candy for dogs", so give sparingly. The last thing you want is an overweight dog. A dog also needs to "earn" treats. Coming when called, sitting, shaking, dancing; it doesn't really matter what it is, but it should never be given for "free". Dogs respond best to earned treats, which is especially true for maintaining good behavior (like listening).

Snausages also come in other shapes, like little footballs and the original little rolls.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chewy Louie Chicken Jerky

These are my dogs' favorite treats and they each get one as soon as I come home from work. They are so excited that they always hurry up to pee and then come back in and dance around the "treat" cabinet (yes, they have their own cabinet and drawer). The best part about them is this whole bag is about $8, which is pretty affordable when comparing these types of treats. They are also all natural, not too hard to eat and no one has choked and ruined it for the others.

These treats are so good, that even when there are outside distractions (other dogs, kids playing, bunnies or squirrels), they will stop and come running if you yell... "Chickens". Sometimes I trick them, but they know they'll get a treat when that word is shouted. Yes, they are a little spoiled, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Chewy Louie Chicken Jerky... your dogs will love them.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sasha is doing much better

We went back for her checkup a day early and everything seems to be much better. She peed in the kitchen again over night, but that's because of the steroids that she was on. Everything should be back to "normal" in a few days.

As for her back problems... that will always be an issue. Since she has never stopped jumping around, it must not bother her too much. I would like to thank everyone for their concerns and positive thoughts.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yawn! Lazy Sunday.

Here's a little picture of Mel to get you through your Sunday. We hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sasha doesn't have a tumor

The new X-rays looked much better. It doesn't appear that there is a tumor or cancer anywhere. It is also good that I found out how blocked her intestines were getting, because that could've killed her too. She does still have the back issues, but that is much more manageable. She will have back problems for the rest of her life, but with weight-management and regular vet checks, she should be just fine.

Even though she had to fast for 24 hours and is on a stool softener (plus the usual pumpkin additive), she still has a lot of poop in her intestines. I don't know how that is even possible, but at least it's gone down from Tuesday (she lost a whole pound). She'll need to remain on the softeners for the next several days and go back for a final exam next Tuesday.

Hopefully she will pass the final check with flying colors (and no poop). I'll keep you posted either way. Thanks for all the well wishes.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sasha goes back to the vet on Friday

Poor Sasha has to fast for the next 24 hours, which is going to be difficult because she is food crazy! We go for more X-rays tomorrow and hope that there's really not a tumor on her spleen. Four slipped disks aren't really great, but better than a tumor. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. If it turns out to be a tumor, she'll need to have her spleen removed right away. I'll post more after her appointment tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Potty training your puppy

Potty training a puppy takes patience and consistency. Crate training is best, but you can give them a little more space. It is very important to have a crate big enough to grow with your breed of dog. I also bought an "exercise fence", which is extra long and folds up. They can be purchased at most pet stores or online. Baby gates are also a good purchase. They don't have to be made specifically for dogs because they are really the same thing. I bought three baby gates at Meijer and they were a lot cheaper than buying a "doggie" gate. Once you have the crate and at least one baby gate, you are ready.

The first thing to do is confine your puppy to a small area with an easy to clean floor (which usually means the kitchen, bathroom or any room with a hard surface). The puppy should be kept confined to this area during the night, while you're at work or when you can't keep a watchful eye on them. I don't suggest leaving them in confinement more than needed, because you need to have positive interactions with your dog. They also need to be social at a young age to avoid aggressive behavior later. Make sure the crate has something soft to lay on (I use fluffy bathroom rugs), plenty of water and a favorite toy to play with. A bored dog is a destructive dog!

The next you need to do is get them on a schedule. Dogs love structure and need this more than anything. Always take the dog out as soon as you get up in the morning, after feedings, as soon as you get home from work and right before you go to bed. A puppy may need to go out every 30-60 minutes at first, just to get the hint.

Once you are outside, tell them to go potty, pee pee or whatever word you are planning to use for that. It needs to be the same word, all the time. Dogs do learn what words mean and mine can even spell. As soon as the pee or poop happens, shower your dog with tons of praise. Acting really excited, talking in a higher voice and jumping around like a "fool" can help them understand your excitement. Always say, "good pee pee" (or whatever word you're using) and I do mean EVERY time. Carrying around small treats certainly can add to their positive experience.

You must stick with a routine or you won't get the results you're looking for. I also don't suggest teaching them to pee on anything in the house. I trained my first dog to go in a "doggy litter box" that I kept a "pooch pad" in front of. The big problem was, when we moved, there was no longer a good spot for that. Since she was going out side like a normal dog, I didn't worry about having it out. Now, my throw rugs get used in emergencies because she thinks they're "pooch pads".

Never ever rub your dogs' nose in it. By the time you find the mistake, it is too late. Punishing them after the fact is confusing and they don't know why you're mad. You can only scold (use a deep and serious voice) them when they are being caught in the act.

Keep to the schedule and routine, then before you know it, they are fully trained. These tips can apply to any age dog.

Buffalo Blue treats... Mmm Mmm, Good

I was at PetSmart a few weeks ago and found these treats on sale. A decent size bag for $4.69. While not as good of a bargain as the old Milkbone standby, I thought I would "treat" them to something new. I'm always on the lookout for treats that my dogs will like and that they are allowed to eat. I say allowed, because some have been banned due someone eating too fast and choking.

My dogs are always VERY excited about new things, whether it's food or toys. I open up the bag and they can hardly contain themselves. Sasha is jumping up and down, Cercei is about to wag her tail right off and Mel is running around like crazy. "Hurry Up" seems to be the message they are sending me. I open up the bag and these things are HUGE! Think of a dollar bill that is folded in half. No way are they getting a whole one to themselves! Once I was able to break a few pieces off, they were allowed to have some. These treats were a big hit. If I even mentioned the name "Buffalo Blue", they would go crazy.

If you are looking for a healthy treat, made with natural ingredients, try these Health Bars. They also carry regular food for dogs and cats. For more info, please visit their website at

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sasha has some issues

I took Sasha to the vet today because she's been acting sick. She doesn't want to eat her breakfast about every third day and then vomits 30 min. later. Sometimes she has bathroom issues and I discovered that she had peed on the kitchen floor in the middle of the night. I found this strange because Sasha doesn't have accidents like that and the two little ones have been wearing "diapers" overnight.

X-rays were taken, blood work was done and a total health evaluation performed. She has several issues. First of all, she is constipated so bad that it's pushing on everything. This also is creating gas pockets and pressure on her bladder, which explains the pee accidents. The second issue is the fact that she is in pain (even though she's not showing it) and about four of her vertebrates are in bad shape. The last and most horrible of the problems could be a possible tumor on her spleen. Since she's so constipated, she needs to go back in for more x-rays on Friday, after 24 hours of fasting and several days of stool softeners. Hopefully it turns out to be nothing, but she may need surgery to get her spleen removed.

On the positive side, she's acting totally normal and wants to play. The news is not great, but it seems to be fixable. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

National poison prevention should be every day

Protect your best friend!
Visit the ASPCA for poison prevention tips online. If you own the popular Sago Palm house plant, BEWARE, it's highly toxic to cats and dogs. According to the ASPCA, "Since 2003, the ASPCA has seen an increase by more than 200 percent of sago palm and cycad poisonings, and 50 to 75 percent of those ingestions resulted in fatalities." You can enjoy beautiful plants, just be mindful of what you own and where you place them.

The unthinkable doesn't have to happen, as long as you stay educated and use a little common sense.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

People got a lotta nerve

Click on the link above to download her song.

Training Tip

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures

Training tip #1 - When training, make sure to use something they can't resist... like a burger.