Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Joys of Being a Senior Pet

I am a senior citizen.  In dog years, I am older than my Baby Boomer Mom.  I admit, that's a bit weird at times.  But it's nice to know she's still young enough to take care of me!

Now that I am a bit older, I admit there are some things I cannot do as well as when I was a puppy.  Mom needs to help get up in my chair sometimes.  And I sleep more now than I used to.

Mom seems to enjoy my company more now too.  She laughs at Austin's antics and likes to play with him outside and take him for walks.  But in the evenings, she likes to sit in our chair and read or watch TV and I will curl up in her lap and just be with her.  She will scratch my ears or sometimes give me a belly rub.  It's pleasant to just spend quiet time together.  Austin is constantly jumping up and down and Mom finally gets tired of it and tells him to stay down.  But she seems to really enjoy having me laying quietly in her lap.

Now that it's getting colder at night, she often lets me sleep with her.  We lay quietly next to each other snuggled under the quilt.  Sometimes Dad's snoring wakes me up, but Mom will nudge him and he quiets right down.  And sometimes Austin will try to squirm his way in.  But he can't ever lay still long enough so Mom makes him sleep at the food of the bed or he would keep all of us (Mom, Dad, and me) awake all night.

I remember my puppy years.  There was so much to learn.  How to go outside so I didn't mess in the house.  What toys I could chew on and some things (like shoes) are not chew toys.  Mom was often stern with me while I struggled to learn the rules.  Now I watch Austin going through the same thing and I am glad that I am old enough to know all the rules.  I'm done teething so Mom and I don't have any differences of opinion over what makes an appropriate chew toy.  And while Austin needs to run and play ALOT, I'm content to walk quietly with Mom or just sit in the sun on the porch with her or in our comfy chair.  Being a older dog is much less stressful than being a puppy!

There are lots of senior pets in shelters all over the country that would welcome the chance to share their golden years with a special Mom and Dad.  And there are lots of advantages to owning a senior dog.  We are already grown so you know exactly how big we are going to be.  We are done teething so you don't have to worry about us chewing up your favorite slippers - or the rockers on your antique rocking chair (sorry Mom!).  Most of us have been housebroken already so once we know where we are supposed to go, there aren't the usual puppy messes to clean up.  Some of us have even been trained to do other things.  When Ginger came to live with us, she soon showed us that she had been trained to herd.  Now she uses that training to round up everything from grandkids to cats for Mom.  Our older cats have years of experience hunting.  So while neighbors complain of mice coming in their houses for the winter or finding snakes in their yard, Mom relaxes knowing that her four-legged mouse traps and snake deterrents are on the job.  (I don't have any special tricks or skills.  I guess it's a good thing I'm so cute!)

At shelters, older dogs are often the last to be adopted and the first to be put to sleep. When you save the life of one of us senior dogs, you will be rewarded with unconditional love and devotion every day.  If you don't believe we can know and express gratitude, just talk to someone who has adopted a senior pet.

Ready for some good senior pet companionship?  Check out these programs that specialize in senior pet adoption. 

 Berkeley East Bay Humane Society 
H.A.R.T. (Humane Animal Rescue Team),

Nike Animal Rescue Foundation
Peace of Mind Dog Rescue
Atlanta Animal Rescue Friends (AARF)
Pets for Seniors,
The Hinsdale Humane Society
Indiana Petite Paws Rescue Angels, Inc
St. Louis Senior Dogs Project
Senior Dogs 4 Seniors
Posh Pets Rescue
North Shore Animal League
Warwick Valley Humane Society
The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs (SSD)
Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon
South East Dallas Humane Society



Friday, November 4, 2011

Las Vegas, Baby!

Mom and Dad go to Las Vegas at least once or twice a year.  But they never take me with them!  I heard them last night discussing another trip and this time I am determined not to be left behind.  So, I did a little research on where I can stay and what I can do.  Before I share it with mom, I'm going to pass on what I found with you!

There are several hotels in Las Vegas that allow pets.  My choice is the Four Seasons Las Vegas.  The Hotel welcomes dogs weighing up to 25 pounds each (additional fee applies). Mom and I have stayed in other Four Seasons hotels and they are simply the best.  They are located at the end of the strip by Mandalay Bay, so while they do not have a casino (Yeah!), there is one very close by.  The rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows so I can have a good view of what's going on, big comfortable beds, and large flat-screen TVs so I can sit in mom's lap and watch my favorite shows with her, just like we do at home.

If the Four Seasons doesn't interest you, other options include Staybridge Suites Las Vegas or The Platinum Hotel and Spa

I won't be bored while we are there.  Mom is not a big fan of the casinos.  But I found plenty of places that she and I can go while Dad tries his luck on the slot machines.  Red Rock Canyon is less than a half-hour drive from the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are lots of hiking trails for me and mom to check out.  Pets are allowed on trails in Red Rock Canyon as well as the campgrounds and visitor center, but we have to keep our owners on a leash.

There is also a great dog park, Desert Breeze Dog Park, where we can play.  It's divided into three large gated sections for small, medium, and large dogs. There are tables, benches and chairs for people to sit and relax while I burn off that energy. A hose and doggie bags available inside park.

I also found Las Vegas DockDogs.  It looks a bit challenging for an old dog like me, but it also looks like fun.  I think I'm a shoe-in for the Extreme Vertical!  I may be small but I can jump!

You know I love to eat and there are plenty of places for me to do just that in Las Vegas!  Mom loves coffee.  I'm not fond of it, but most places that sell coffee also sell snacks - which I am VERY fond of!  And I found the perfect coffee house in Las Vegas - It's a Grind.  It sells only the best coffee so I'm sure it has great snacks too.  I think I'll be very happy. 

I love burgers and I found the perfect spot to get one - Hougan's Racing Sandwich Shop! While I munch on my 1/2 pound burger Dad can have a Philly Cheesesteak and Mom can have a Tailgate.  Something for each of us.  It doesn't get any better than that!

Hamburgers may be my favorite, but I love just about any sandwich so another place for lunch might be Capriotti's Sandwich Shop.  The reviews I read said the sandwiches are so big, they will feed four people - or one little dog!  Mom and Dad eat subs fairly often when they are both busy and too tired to cook so this sounds like a perfect solution for all of us.

Places to stay, things to do, places to eat - and all of them dog-friendly!  It's Las Vegas, baby!  And this time I'm going too!  Now if I can just convince Mom and Dad....

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dog contests

The Be a Responsible Dog Owner Poster Contest was such fun.  Mom and I had a great time looking at all the entries.  In fact it was so much fun, I decided to see what other types of dog contests were going on.  And I found a bunch!  There are lots of photo contests for dogs.  So have your mom or dad get out the camera.  Maybe you can be the next winner! is currently accepting entries for their quarterly cutest pet photo contest. All of the entries they receive are voted on by their site viewers. The pets with the most votes will win a spot in their next book and qualify as semi-finalists with a chance of winning $1,000.00 in cash. Trophies & $100 Pet Smart Gift Cards will be awarded each quarter and the grand prize is awarded annually. There are absolutely no fees or subsidy payments required to enter the contest. Enter your cutest pet pic today to receive cash and prizes including a cash grand prize of $1,000.00.

 The Bark is partnering with Greenies to find the dog with the brightest smile—enter the SHOW US YOUR PET’S HEALTHY SMILE contest for a chance to get your dog on the cover of The Bark. Greenies is inviting cats to join the fun (they've got a special cameo planned for the winner). Both the dog and cat winners will receive a year’s supply of Greenies® Chews and Treats.

Modern Dog Photo Contest -  Every week, the dog with the most votes will be featured as Dog of the Week on the homepage AND will have a chance to appear in an upcoming issue of Modern Dog magazine!

Enter Your Dog's Photo in the Orvis Cover Dog Photo Contest!

Does Your Pooch Have What It Takes to be a Poster Dog?  Anchorage Animal Care and Control Center (AACCC) is announcing its annual Poster Dog Contest.  The winning dog(s) will be the next AACCC poster dog(s) for the dog licensing campaign in 2012.  This contest is open to any licensed dogs, and their people, currently living in the Municipality of Anchorage.
WANTED: Handsome old fellows and beautiful old girls for the Sanctuary's 9th annual photo contest for Graying Muzzles 2013.  Don't miss out. Enter your favorite senior dog (7+ years) in our photo contest to benefit the Sanctuary for Senior Dogs. The winners will be featured in the 9th annual Sanctuary calendar. Each winning dog will receive a calendar and be invited to “pawtograph” calendars at a Sanctuary event.

FlipFlop 2013 Calendar Contest.  Don’t miss the chance to have your dog’s photo featured on their website.  Submit that precious picture of your dog on a FlipFlop vacation.  From those received, they will select 13 for their 2013 calendar and the lucky winners (both Owner and Companion Family) will receive a free calendar. Be sure to fill in the application completely and then click submit. You will be notified if your photo is selected for the calendar.

I'm off to get mom to get the camera out and take my picture! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Meet Shorty - and his Mom and Dad

A while ago Mom and Dad celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.  25 years!  That's even older than me!  Mom and Dad wanted to go someplace special but not too far away.  Since I haven't been well this year they wanted to be close in case they needed to come home quickly.  The answer - a trip to Hot Springs.

As I mentioned in an earlier article, Hot Springs is for lovers so what better place to go for a romantic weekend away.  And they picked the best place in Hot Springs to stay - Tinkerbelle's Wildwood 1884 Bed and Breakfast.  And that's where they met Shorty.

Mom chose Wildwood because she says it's elegant and yet comfortable and homey.  It is owned by The Colonel and Tinkerbelle.  But Shorty, and his mom and dad, Rebecca and David, really run the place.  They came to Hot Springs from Dallas in 1995 to find the perfect Victorian house and searched for 7 years before finding Wildwood.  The dream of building Wildwood began when Sarah Elizabeth Van Patten of Washington D.C. became the bride of Prosper Harvey Ellsworth, a physician, in 1873. Sarah moved from a highly cultured and socially conscious eastern city to join Prosper in the rough-hewn country village of Hot Springs. Sarah chose the basic design from a magazine and persuaded her brother to do the architectural work.  

As you drive up, you will see Wildwood sitting on a beautiful acre lot set back from Hwy 7 (Park Avenue), nestled in among trees taller than the house. They have plenty of off-street parking and a circle drive to the front which is convenient for unloading luggage.

Mom said one of the best parts of the place is the Butler's Pantry, alias "The Snack Room". Here Rebecca keeps home-baked goodies, bottled water, sodas, popcorn, chips, etc...This is also where you will find the ice machine, ice buckets, refrigerator and microwave. Or, in the main dining room, you can visit the coffee bar for a cup of gourmet coffee, hot tea, or hot chocolate anytime during your visit. All snacks are included in the room rates. Steal a brownie, and then wander around outside and enjoy the grounds and the porches with wicker furniture.  Mom says Rebecca makes the best brownies in the world.  Dad says the chocolate chip cookies are better.  All I know is they didn't bring either one back for me!

Mom and Dad stayed in the Kind David Room. This room is regal with the high-back, half-canopy queen-size bed, complete with featherbed and down comforter. Mom said the room was large enough to relax and Dad liked the TV complete with DVD player.  A wide selection of movies are available to borrow from the TV room downstairs at no extra charge. And Mom fell in love with the antique claw-foot bath tub that's right in the room.  She couldn't wait to enjoy a candlelit bubble bath!  She said Rebecca and David even supply the candles and the bubble bath.

While at Wildwood, Mom had a chance to spend some time getting to know Rebecca and that's when she met Shorty.  Shorty is a miniature dachsund that came to live with Rebecca and David when he was 8 months old.  He was a birthday gift from Rebecca's son to her daughter.  Rebecca's son breeds pitbulls and he traded one for Shorty.  Rebecca says Shorty came when she was out of town so it was a bit of a surprise but now he is just part of the family.

Rebecca and David got into the Bed and Breakfast business to help cover the cost of owning an old Victorian home.  But once they did, they found they loved doing it and so they have kept Wildwood open.  They have 5 bedrooms and 2 cottage suites and are open year round.  Mom said that besides her brownies, Rebecca is known for her famous three-course breakfast that is included when you stay at Wildwood.

Mom said she would have been content to just relax around the house and grounds at Wildwood.  But Dad did want to get and do some sightseeing.  Hot Springs is a great place for a weekend getaway.  Mom loves the lakes and trees, and the history.  Dad loves the fishing.  Plus this trip they took a tour of Fordyce bathhouse.  Mom said it was interesting.  Dad said it looked like a torture chamber!  And of course, Mom took the opportunity to make another visit to Garvan Woodland Gardens.

Small town atmosphere, history, nature, lakes, trees, Bathhouse Row, Garvan Gardens, and Wildwood - Hot Springs sounds like the perfect place for a romantic anniversary celebration.  Maybe next time Mom and Dad will take me so I can meet Shorty.  Until then, when you visit Shorty - and Rebecca and David - tell them Traveling Bob sent you!

To contact Rebecca and David and find out more about Wildwood,  call (501) 624-4267 or (888) 763-3707 (toll free) or e-mail them at  Or visit them online at


Monday, September 19, 2011

Science Diet Senior 11+ Age Defying Cat Food

I am still recovering from my eye surgery and not feeling so good today, so I agreed to let Iris do a guest post.  She is a cat, true, but she has been around here almost as long as I have so I guess that earns her some privileges.  Take it away, Iris!


I'm Iris, a gray tiger cat that Dad rescued from a drainage ditch and brought home to Mom.  I was already a few months old when Dad found me but I'm not sure exactly how old I was.  But I have lived with Mom and Dad for 15 years so that makes me a senior kitty and leader of the pack around here.  Bob thinks he's in charge but I just let him think that to keep peace and quiet in the house. 

I asked Bob if I could type with Mom today since he wasn't feeling well and I had something I wanted to share.  I just had to tell everyone about this new food that Mom got just for me and Bitty Kitty. 

Mom is a BzzAgent.  She says she started doing this a few years ago because money was tight and she was tired of wasting it on stuff that didn't work.  She said being a BzzAgent allowed her to try products before she bought them.  And it gave her the chance to share the good ones with her friends.  Now that things are easier, she says she still does it because she likes the opportunity to try new products and tell others about them.

A while ago, Mom got a chance to try a new cat food made just for us senior cats.  It's called Science Diet Senior 11+ Age Defying Cat Food.  I'm pretty finicky about my food so I was not excited about trying something new and I let Mom know by taking my time sampling it.  Don't tell Mom, but I really like it!  It tastes great.  And even though it's only been a few weeks, I already feel different.  I don't sleep as much and yesterday I even went out to hunt with Bitty Kitty.  I was so grateful I brought a frog in for Mom as a treat.  She didn't seem to like it much though.

Science Diet Senior 11+ Age Defying cat food provides breakthrough, tailored nutrition for cats 11 and older.  It has everything we need for a healthy and happy life.  It fights 4 important signs of aging in as little as 30 days.  Typical signs of aging include more accidents in the house, sleeping more, less agility, and less interaction with owner.  It also contains an exclusive antioxidant bundle which helps defend the body and brain against aging.  Age Defying is also rich in Omega-6 fatty acids to help promote soft skin & radiant coat.

Not only does it taste good, it's also got small kibble so it's easier for me to chew and digest.  At my age, sometimes those harder pieces in other cat foods are difficult for me to eat.

Mom says Dr. Karen has this cat food at her clinic.  She said she also saw it at PetSmart.  I am glad there are places that she can buy this close by.  I would hate to have to go back to my old cat food once we run out of our sample. 

Take my advice.  Try this cat food.  Even Bob likes it.  I caught him stealing some this morning.  Of course, I made it clear that would not be allowed! 

P.S.  Mom has said that I will have a column of my own on Bob's new website.  Can't wait to share more tips and recommendations with you!  See you soon!  Thanks Bob!  This was fun!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The AKC Responsible Dog Owner Pet Promise

Are you a responsible dog owner?  Take the AKC Responsible Dog Owner Pet Promise!

1.  I will never overlook my responsibilities for this living being and recognize that my dog’s welfare is totally dependent on me.

2.  I will always provide fresh water and quality food for my dog.

3.  I will socialize my dog via exposure to new people, places and other dogs.

4.  I will take pride in my dog's appearance with regular grooming.

5.  I will recognize the necessity of basic training by teaching my dog to reliably sit, stay and come when called.

6.  I will take my dog to the vet regularly and keep all vaccinations current.

7.  I will pick-up and properly dispose of my dog's waste.

8.  I will make sure my dog is regarded as an AKC Canine Good Citizen® by being aware of my responsibilities to my neighbors and to the community.

9.  I will ensure that the proper amount of exercise and mental stimulation appropriate for my dog’s age, breed and energy level is provided.

10.  I will ensure that my dog has some form of identification (which may include collar tags, tattoo or microchip ID).

11.  I will adhere to local leash laws.

Post your name and your dog's names in the comments if you are a responsible dog owner. 


For more information visit or call 212-696-8228.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Are You a Responsible Dog Owner?

It's Responsible Dog Owner Days!  All month, we will be announcing events, writing about responsible dog ownership, and we are even hosting a contest!

Mom and I think that everyone should learn to be a responsible dog owner - and the earlier the better.  So we are hosting a contest for kids ages 5-18. 

Design a poster showing what it means to be a responsible dog owner.  The kids who draw the winning designs will each receive a cash prize, a T-shirt designed by PopArtDiva, and a bag of Beefie Boots for their dogs (my favorite).  All posters will be displayed on the new It Should Be a Dog's World website.

I am very excited that Mom has agreed to let me do this.  The people who had my dog mom were not very responsible and that is why I wound up in a shelter.  I was lucky and Mom and Dad adopted me and they take very good care of me.  Now I want to help you teach others what it is to be responsible. 

Official contest rules:

1.  Contest is open to all kids ages 5 - 18.
2.  Poster must be about responsible dog ownership.
3.  Poster must be an original design. No previously published or copyrighted material.
4.  Entries can be submitted by mail or email.
     Mail entries to:  It Should Be A Dog's World
                             12688 Oak Valley Drive
                              Rogers, AR  73756
                              Attn:  Poster Contest


   Email entries to  All entries must be in jpg, gif, bmp or png format, 8 MB
   maximum size.
5.  Entries must be received no later than September 30, 2011.  Winners will be announced on October 15. 6.  Winners will receive:  1st - $75, commemorative T-Shirt, bag of Beefie Boots
                                      2nd - $50, commemorative T-Shirt, bag of Beefie Boots
                                      3rd - $25, commemorative T-Shirt, bag of Beefie Boots
All entrants will be recognized on It Should Be a Dog's World.
7.  All entries become the property of WealthTogether, Inc. (That's my Mom!).

I can't wait to see all the posters!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Responsible Dog Onwership Days

While I was in the pound, I saw many dogs come in that were not treated responsibly by their owners.  And I see more out here.  Dogs that are allowed to run free with no tags that were picked up by animal control and brought to the pound.  Mom and I sometimes see dead dogs on the side of the road where they were hit by cars.  Dad told me that one of the stray dogs here was shot by a neighbor because he was allowed to run and would chase the neighbor's horses.  We get to run in a big fenced yard so we are safe and don't bother anyone else.

Dad has a friend whose dog is so fat he can hardly walk.  When we visit Dad will tell him he needs to stop feeding Butch ice cream and chips.  But Dad's friend says he hates to see Butch begging and he likes his treats.  Dr. Karen told Mom to put me on a diet when I was only a few pounds overweight.  I wonder what she would say about Butch!

These are just two examples of irresponsible dog ownership.  To help put an end to this kind of behaviour the AKC is once again hosting Responsible Dog Ownership Days.  AKC invites and encourages all dog and pet-related organizations to commemorate AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days by holding a community event that publicly promotes responsible dog ownership anytime during the month of September.

We will be doing our part.  Throughout the rest of the month we will be writing about responsible dog ownership, sharing news of events being held, and listing ideas for events to help others get involved.  And Mom has even said I can host a contest!  I'll be sharing more about that tomorrow.

Last year, more than 550 dog clubs and other organizations hosted events reaching millions of dog lovers and potential pet owners through extensive media coverage. Dog lovers also posted thousands of "Acts of Responsible Dog Ownership" on Facebook and Twitter. 

We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to interact with the public and gain positive exposure for your club, breed and the AKC. Your participation will help this worthwhile program continue to gain momentum each year, benefiting dogs and dog owners everywhere!

For further information about AKC RDO Days please contact Stephanie Smith at 212-696-8228 or  And stay tuned to this blog!



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bobcat Fever

Mom and I spent the a lot of time this weekend missing Mittens.  We also did some research on bobcat fever, the disease that killed her.  Since we had never heard of it before, we want to make sure that others who may not know of this illness get the information to keep their cats safe.

Bobcat fever is also called cytauxzoonosis.  Only cats can get it.  They get it from ticks.  Once the tick bites a cat, she will start looking and acting sick in about a week.  Cats die pretty quickly after they start looking sick.  Mittens died only 3 days later.  

The only way to tell if your cat has bobcat fever is to take her to a vet.  The vet will take some blood and look for the bug that causes the illness.  

When a cat has bobcat fever, she gets depressed, withdrawn, and doesn't move much.  She has a fever and doesn't eat.  One of the articles Mom and I read said "the disease rages through the body attacking blood vessels in all organs; heart, lungs, liver, kidney, spleen. Under such systematic attack the liver & kidneys quickly overload with damaged blood cells & the body becomes jaundiced. In the end phase, the cat begins to vocalize frequently & at greater & greater length, a heart-rending agonal cry, hemorrhages, & dies."  (The Helios Project).  

The sickness is passed from bobcats to our cats by ticks.  The bobcats don't get sick (I don't understand why.  That doesn't seem fair!)  Only our cats get sick. 

Bobcat fever has been reported in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois (southern),Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas & Virginia.

Dr. Karen told Mom we should keep our cats inside since it is the only way to be sure they don't pick up any ticks.  But Mom said most of our cats are strays that have been out on their own so long, it's almost impossible to keep them in.  One actually ripped through a screen to get out.  Since that is not an option, Mom said we will use the best tick killer and tick repellant we can find.  And since even that is not a guarantee, the cats will get the same daily combing that we (Oscar, Austin, Ginger, and I) get before bed.  Dad combs each of us with a fine-toothed comb.  Now he will comb the cats too. 

Mom and I hope this information will help other cats.  The only good thing is that Mom made the choice to let Mittens go to sleep before she got to the end of the illness where she would have been in lots of pain.  If you have any other questions about the disease, Mom and I found a great website called The Helios Project.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

In Memory of Mittens

Mittens, one of our cats, died last night.  I know I always say I don't like cats.  But Mittens was different.  I actually did like her - sort of.  She was pretty pitiful and I felt sorry for her at first but then I got to like her.

Mom found Mittens stuck in a tree on our property.  She was up there for 3 whole days!  Every day Mom and Dad would go out and try to coax her to come down but she wouldn't.  Then on 4th day it was storming bad here.  Mom could hear Mittens crying from the tree.  She was very upset and she looked at me and said "Bob, we are going to get that cat out of that tree before she dies up there!"  The next thing I new she was dragging Dad's big ladder down over the hill to the tree.  Now Mom hates ladders almost more than anything so this was a pretty big deal!  I went out the pet door and over to the fence in my yard so I could watch.  Mom set the ladder up against the tree and started up.  I could hear her talking to Mittens but I couldn't hear what she was saying.  Then there was a loud thunderclap and I heard Mom holler at Mittens that it was now or never and if she wanted to be safe and warm she needed to come down.  Mom reached up and Mittens jumped!  I thought she would get hurt but she didn't.  I guess everything they say about cats landing on their feet is true.  Mom came back down the ladder.  By now it was raining pretty hard.  She called Mittens and this time the cat actually came to her.  Mom brought her to the house, dried her off, and gave her some food. 

Mom and Dad spent the next few days trying to find Mittens mom and dad.  But no one claimed her.  Since we live at the end of a dirt road in the country with lots of woods, animals get left out here all the time.  Mom said someone probably left Mittens on the road.  Mom said since she was clever enough to find her way to our house, she could stay.  She was black except for white booties on her front feet.  Mom said since we already had a Boots, we would call her Mittens.

Mittens had some problems.  She never meowed again after her days in the tree.  And she couldn't purr.  She tried.  Sometimes you would hear a small sputtering sound.  But she never actually purred like Puck or Peasebottom.  But she loved it when someone showed her some attention.  She was afraid of most of the others and would only eat if Mom put her in the pantry with a bowl of food.  But she would curl up on the chair with me to sleep.  At first I didn't like it, but later it was nice to have someone to snuggle with - even if it was a cat.  Mom loved her too.  I think Mom loved her almost as much as she loves me.

Mittens would always get up with Mom for breakfast.  But a few days ago she didn't come to eat.  Mom looked for her but wasn't worried.  She thought maybe Mittens was just off playing or sleeping.  But that night Mittens was in the bedroom and was just laying still.  Mom thought maybe she didn't feel good.  She told Dad to help keep an eye on her and see if maybe she needed to go to the vet.  The next day, Mittens was up and around and Mom thought everything was good again so she stopped worrying.

Last night, Dad came home from work.  Mom had gone grocery shopping and so I was waiting for him.  He came in and I barked to let him know he needed to come to the garage.  Mittens was laying in the garage and wasn't moving.  I knew she was in bad shape.  Dad took one look and called Mom and told her to come home right away because Mittens had to get to the vet. 

When they came home later that night, Dad was carrying the empty cat carrier.  I knew Mittens was gone.  Mom said she had something called Bobcat fever.  Mom said she had never heard of it but the vet said you get it from ticks.  I was worried that I might get it but Mom said only cats get it.  She said the vet told her that it's very hard to diagnose and most cats die once they get it.  Mom said she had the vet help Mittens go to sleep because she was suffering and Mom did not want her to suffer anymore.

In memory of Mittens and to keep other cats from getting the same thing, Mom and I are doing some research on bobcat fever.  We will be sharing what we learn here on this blog.

I miss my friend Mittens.  I hope she knew how much we loved her.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Choke Leashes

Mom and I were out walking today in the park and I saw a dog with a leash I had never seen before.  It was all one piece - no collar.  And every time the dog ran a bit ahead, his dad pulled on the leash.  This made it tighter around the throat of the dog and of course, he would stop.  Mom said these are choke leashes.  She said some people use them for training.

When we got home, mom said she wondered if these were safe for dogs.  She was still pretty upset by the thought of tightening a leash around the throat.  So she did some research and this is what she found.

Most people use choke leashes because it allows them to control their dogs with a tug of the leash.  They are often used to control big, strong dogs like Ginger.  They are also used to control more "aggressive" dog breeds like Maggie, a Doberman that belongs to our friend, Chris.  When tugged, they put pressure on the dog's throat.  This will make the dog stop whatever unwanted behavior it is doing.  (I would think so.  Squeeze my throat and I will stop what I'm doing too!)  Mom said most trainers say they are safe if used correctly, but can be harmful in not used correctly.  She said they can actually damage the trachea of the dog.  And there is a lot of potential for abuse since you can use them to basically choke a dog. 

I have never had a choke leash or a choke collar.  Neither have Ginger, Oscar, or Austin.  We all learned to walk on a leash using Easy Walk harnesses.  Well, all of us except Ginger.  Mom had to use a pinch collar on her.  It looked awful with those big metal prongs, but Mom said that it only pinched the back of Ginger's neck when she tried to lunge or pull and wouldn't actually hurt her.  Mom said Ginger was a big dog and could hurt someone if she didn't learn to obey.  And since she had been abused before Mom and Dad found her and brought her home, she sometimes got scared or mad and didn't want to behave.  Mom said if she didn't learn she would probably be put to sleep and we were her last chance.  Fortunately, she did learn and now she is just a big baby.  Even the cats like her!

Anyway, Mom said that choke leashes are not something she would recommend since there are other alternatives available.  I am glad.  I wouldn't want to learn something by being choked if I forgot.  Try the Easy Walk harness or if your dog is big and scared like Ginger was, use the pinch collar.  These are both better ideas than a choke leash or a choke collar. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

FHTM Welcomes The Flying Basset

FHTM is pleased to announce The Flying Basset Organics in the US!

Flying Basset is the Leader in Organic Supplements and Natural Treatments for Dogs & Cats

Flying Basset is an all natural whole food and organic animal care line dedicated to providing your furry friends with the best, quality products to maintain a healthy and active life. Flying Basset Organics proprietary, technologically advanced formulations are created with the highest quality certified organic and standardized ingredients.

Product Categories Include:

Digestive Support
Bone and Joint Support
Whole Food Supplements
Immune Support
Coat Support

At Flying Basset customers’ health and satisfaction come first. By strictly monitoring their cGMP processes while producing small lot batches, enabling them to maintain consistency and freshness in all of their products. They take pride in offering the best products available. Flying Basset has the only whole food plant cell based vitamins, minerals, and CoQ10 available on the market for your animals. Improve your furry friends' lives with supplements to support digestive health, strengthen immunity and provide joint comfort. Use The Flying Basset's natural treatments to relieve your pets of fleas, hot spots and worms. Flying Basset Organics products are shipped directly to your door, ensuring that you will get the best quality, at the lowest possible price!

Mom has been buying these products for me and the others for a while now.  The treats are yummy!  I wasn't sure about them when Mom told me they didn't have any meat in them.  She said they were made from plants.  Do I look like a rabbit?  But they sure are good and they really do make me feel better.  I feel almost 15 again!  I was even able to jump the landing the other day on my way out to the back yard.  I haven't been able to do that in a long time.

Mom says I have to tell you that we sell these products through our FHTM business.  She says it's a law so that you know we are recommending something we also sell. 
Help improve the quality of your pets' lives with Flying Basset Organic Products. Visit us to learn more about our products!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On The Road Again?

Take my advice.  When Mom tells you to get away from the snake, listen!  Because when you don't and they bite you, it is not good. 

It has been a long, hard road, but I am finally feeling better.  Mom has even said she will let me write again.  But unfortunately, I probably won't be doing much traveling anymore.  Between the fact that I am getting a bit old now (105 years old Mom says) and the fact that battling the snake bite took a lot out of me, I'm just not up to it anymore.  So Mom says it is time for me to retire and let the young pup do the traveling.  And so any further travel adventures will be brought to you by Austin.  You remember Austin - that pampered, furry rat Mom brought home?

Now that does not mean that I am being put completely out to pasture?  (Do dogs get put out to pasture?  Okay, maybe we just get put in the dog house.)  Whatever - I will still be working.  Mom and I are building an entire site just for pets - particulary dogs.  And she has said I can use a big part of it to promote adoption and spay/neuter programs.  Since I am a former pound puppy, this is a very important issue for me and I can't wait to get started.

All of our family will have a piece.  So over the next few days, I will introduce you to the rest of them.  You'll meet Ginger and Oscar, Iris, Cobweb, Puck, and Peasebottom, and even Bubba.  You might even get to meet the raccoon twins if they decide to put in an appearance.  You'll learn a bit about how they came to be part of the family and what each of them will be contributing to our site.  That way, when it's ready, you'll already know us - you'll be part of our family too!

I do want to thank everyone who has sent me kind wishes while I have been recovering.  And whoever the mystery benefactor is that sent the Beefie Boots - you are my new BFF!  You know who you are.  Thank you.  You made little dog VERY happy!