Seasonal Toxins

dog-4118328_1280As we move in to Fall we need to be aware of toxins specific to the season.  I have posted before on environmental and other toxins (Water Hemlock, Don’t Eat That, Toxic Fruits & Veggies, Xylitol) but there are several seasonal ones to look out for going into the fall.  I never knew that red maple leaves were toxic, did you?  Then there are several mushroom varieties that pop up, especially here in the Pacific Northwest where we get so much rain.  For a complete list, take a look at this article on many others and how to deal with them.

Take Me With You

My girls seem to say that every time I get ready to go someplace – even if it’s just to run errands.  Sometimes I can take them, but other times not.  They don’t understand of course; they just want to be with us.  Vacation is no different.  We often try to go places where we can include them.  It’s actually easier than trying to find a good “babysitter.”  I just read a great article about a group that builds their tours around you and your dog.  If you are looking to take some time off in May, check out Happy Tails Canine Tours.  This looks like so much fun, and what better than spending it with your four legged best friend.  If you do go, please come back and tell us about all the fun you had.

Informed Immunization

While this should not be taken as gospel for everyone, and you should have a good conversation with your vet, the new vaccine protocols from Dr. Jean Dodds and US veterinary schools, are something I have thought should happen for years.  As breeders we start our puppies out with their first shots around 8-10 weeks then pass the torch to their new owners who continue.  Tests now show that core vaccines – distemper and parvovirus – that are given at specified intervals up until the puppy is about 1 year 4 months, will provide LIFETIME immunity.  No need to pump that stuff into them after that.  If you or your vet have concerns about this, a simple titer test will give you all the proof you need.  But take a look at this article – it will give you more complete information.

Let’s Get Dirty!

Wow, I learn something new every day.  Like humans, a dogs largest organ is their skin and it needs to be taken care of.  The skin communicates with the immune system and helps the body with inflammation wound healing and UV exposure among other things.   When improperly cared for, your pet can experience dermatitis, hot spots, fungal infections and plethora of other maladies.  Apparently the key is to let them get dirty. Microbial diversity beefs up the immune system so hey – let’s get dirty!  This article explains it much better than I can, so take a look and maybe lay off on the bathing a bit.

I See You

We, once again, had to experience the heartbreak that is euthanasia.  It’s inevitable when most of your pack is well over 7 years of age.  This time around, we spent some time talking with an animal communicator in the days before.  When I say we, I mean myself and the dog that was rapidly declining.  Our sweet Elektra’s end of life experience was so different from the others we dealt with.  Through the animal communicator, we learned not only when she was ready, but that she was prepared for her freedom.  She was more concerned for her humans and the rest of the pack than herself and imparted some beautiful thoughts and memories to us before she went.  Here is an interesting article on these amazing, talented individuals who can help you and your pet in the most incredible ways.  Elektra passed in perfect peace and we have been able to face her loss with quiet hearts.  If you have not used an animal communicator, give it a try.  You won’t be disappointed and it can be done over the phone, via email or even text – seriously they are amazing people.

Communicators we recommend:
Dana Linn – Her Facebook page has her contact info
Debbie Vaughn – Website


With geriatric animals needing extra attention and working full time, it’s hard to keep in mind that the 9 month old puppy still needs work.  So what’s your excuse for bad behavior?  We joke that Amelia’s name is “Naughty Amelia” but I have to own that and try to be a better dog parent.  So don’t beat yourself up.  Just own it, read this article (and others if needed) and try to make it better.  That’s all we can do.  Your dog will thank you for it in the end and your life will be way less stressful, but probably just as busy.

That’s Mine!

Having a dog that guards their food and toys can be a recipe for disaster.  Teaching them young, that resource guarding is not acceptable, is easier than retraining an adult but it can be done with persistence.   Your puppy has to remember that all the toys are really yours, you just allow her to play with them.  This article shows 4 great training tips for dealing with this issue, but I’m sure there are more.  If you have some methods that have worked for you, please leave a comment.

I Still Miss You

It will be 6 months tomorrow and the loss still rears it’s ugly head at odd moments.  I keep telling myself, there was nothing different we could have done, but somehow my heart, the one that held her in a special place, can’t seem to believe it.  Because social support is so absent when it comes to pet loss, we often feel devastated, embarrassed and totally alone.  The studies show that pet loss carries an equal amount of grief as that from the loss of a loved family  member, including the physical effects of concentration loss and impaired health.  I’m here to tell you, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  Reach out to friends who understand or leave a comment here – I’ll listen and respond.  Share this article with as many people as you can.  Together we can educate the public.

“Grief I’ve learned, is just love.  It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot.  All that unspent love, gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in the hollow part of your chest.  Grief is just love, with no place to go.”
-Jamie Anderson

Honey, Not In Front Of The Kids

How many of you heard this in your family when you were growing up?  Well your stress and feelings also effect your four legged children too.  Life is tough, bad things are going to happen, and your dog is going to be there to share them with you and help you through it.  As wonderful as it is to have them there in your “time of need”, means that it may take a tole on them as well.  Like they say in the intro before take off on a plane (put the mask on yourself then on your child) – take care of you so you can take care of your pet.  Take a look at this article  and the infographic below for more detailed information.