November 30, 2006
November 27, 2006
totally fabricated blog gossip
Across the great pond, Charlee is causing a little bit of stir on this blog's sister site, It's A Dog's Life. Do you think I should write to Murph and tell him what a great dancer Charlee is?
Although I don't even come close to getting all the British references, The Murphmeister is still laugh out loud funny.
This photo of Murph at work was lifted without permission from his blog
November 26, 2006
Last week Gina wrote an article for Pet Connection, on why she believed dogs and their owners should have access to off leash areas and not just fenced in dog parks. I could not agree more. Fortunately for me and the dogs we live in Maine where there is still plenty of access to wide open spaces. When I lived in Boston, my otherwise law abiding self broke leash laws on a daily basis. High energy dogs need mental and physical exercise. In fact, all dogs do.
Hiking with dogs is not just a form of exercise for me. I would go so far as to classify it as a hobby. I love watching dogs run and play and I love letting dogs be dogs. I truly think it helps to keep me and the dogs sane and healthy both physically and mentally. It is recreational, but I do get lots of training opportunities in along the way.
This morning's walk was one that I have been looking forward to since I found out that Brewster, was coming back to stay for a while. Brewster my guest with lymphoma got a visit to the Evergreen Woods this morning for the first time in a year and a half.
It was evident that he loves those trails as much as I do. Brew ran and sniffed with my dogs and several times I swear he came over to me to thank me. I will continue to take him hiking and let him enjoy being a dog for as long as he is up to it.
November 24, 2006
There goes the ozone
Between my two dogs and the two visitors, wow, I can barely breathe! It is very nearly affecting my vision.
Any one know of a turkey left over fart antidote for dogs?
November 22, 2006
There aren't many Freestyle competitions in the Northeast (or country for that matter), but one day soon, Charlee and I will be out there strutting our stuff and incorporating lots of things that we learned at the Carolyn Scott Freestyle seminar this weekend.
If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that like many of you, I have a dog reactive dog. This weekend, Charlee left her snarks at the front door and acted pretty much like a normal dog. She was so good in fact that at the end, I became just a tad emotional and shed a hidden tear in her scruff because I was so overtaken at how far she has come. I am thrilled with how far she has come in training, our bond, and her overall performance level. I still am in awe that she recovered from her horrible bout with Pancreatitis. It was all just a bit overwhelming. It kind of felt like one of my human kid's graduation. She has come that far. I joke with all my students that trainers have amazing "kitchen" dogs to. We are finally ready to take our act out of the kitchen and into the fire.
Charlee strutted her stuff with lots of drive and enthusiasm and even grabbed quite a bit of (cued) big air along the way.
If we never do compete that is ok as long as she continues to love what she is doing.
As for Carolyn, what a sweet woman! We were truly inspired by her. Charlee and I were far from precision perfect, but we got tons of encouragement for having fun, and a good attitude.
One of the key parts of the weekend, was matching music to dogs. When it was our turn, I first tried the music we had been playing around with, Pocket Full of Kyptonite by the Spin Doctors. The music got a big, "Sorry"! from Carolyn and the attendees. We then tried several songs and ended up with this Spanish Flea by the Tijuana Brass Band. You all may know it from the Newlywed Game!!! Let me tell you I was blown away and NEVER would have come to that song if left to my own brain cells. Carolyn picked that song to showcase not only my dogs natural gait, but her humorous side. She totally got that me and the dog both have a good sense of humor. Picking the right song can make or break a routine and having my song picked by one of the top Freestylers in the world ain't too shabby!
Carolyn is a very warm person, both with dogs and with people and it comes across in how she handles, trains and teaches. I got a lot of it the weekend, and my head is spinning with new moves to teach not only my dogs, but clients dogs as well.
If you haven't yet checked out Carolyn and Rookie's infamous Grease routine, click here. When I mentioned to Carolyn that pretty much everyone I know cries when they watch it, she asked if I had seen the Musical Dog Sports tribute to Rookie.
You can view Rookie's retirement tribute here.
Sniff, sniff, wipe tears from my key board, and blow my nose and
repeat several times during the 5 minutes of footage.
I suppose I am may be extra sensitive to Goldens with only a short time left on the planet now that Brewster is staying here for a while, but that clip is a powerful piece of doggie love.
Rookie has done more to promote Canine Freestyle than any other dog. I think both clips bring out emotions in animal lovers because the human canine bond is so very evident and strong.
I LLLOOOVVVEEE that all her training is 100 % positive.
For sure we will be doing Freestyle at my monthly tricks clinic this Saturday.
November 21, 2006
Nova , the Spinone has found her way home! After 6 days on the road, she turned up hungry on her very own doorstep this morning.
November 20, 2006
Lost Beagle, Lost Spinone
What is going on?
Yesterday my inbox, and yahoo lists were filled with postings for 3 different lost dogs. One of the dogs has been found after being hit by a car and I am waiting for an update of how Cheyenne, an Italtian Greyhound mix rescue is doing at the ER.
Stetson, a 1 year old Beagle was lost in the woods in New Gloucester over the weekend.
You can view Stetson's lost poster by downloading the PDF file here.
Please call 207-657-6058. He was wearing an orange collar with tags.
A 6 month old Spinone was lost Friday night after she and her Champion Mom bolted in a storm. The mother was shot and killed by a hunter. Here is an edited email I received . All lost dog stories are heartbreaking, but this one really got to me.
Missing Spinone in the Standish, ME, area. Her name is Nova and she's
been missing since Friday. She is orange and white and is just 6
It's with a heavy heart that I let you all know my wonderful Fendi
( CH Risky Business Fender Bender) was shot by a hunter yesterday... .
Unfortunately she and her pup Nova escaped Friday morning while I had
them outside....a new cat next door caught Fendi's attention and off
they ran. The weather was terrible, rainy and high winds and I knew
as I ran after them they wouldn't hear me. I called the local
authorities and shelters to report them missing and passed out
fliers. The game warders called me yesterday... I knew they didn't
have good news....The hunter has been charged as he obviously did not
identify his target and...well.. ..it's charges they are pursing.
Still in all this we have NOT found the pup. Again we will search
today and hand out more pictures and info in hopes someone will find
her. I'm not familiar with the territory so trekking far into the
woods is a bit scary. At least I feel a bit more safe in the woods
today as it's Sunday. Please, just think
positive thoughts we find Nova. Fendi was such a good dog, so
loving...such a big , funny Spinone. I miss her terribly..
(260)637-7037 Home or (260)437-6755 Cell.
November 17, 2006
Get out your wallets! Rabies Challenge fund a reality
There was huge news in my inbox last Monday morning from Kris Chistine and I have been sitting on my hands in anticipation of when I can finally post my biggest story ever. You all remember Kris, she is the person from Alna Maine who challenged Maine's two year out dated rabies law and had it changed to three, after her dog Meadow became ill from a rabies shot. Kris didn't stop there and she was instrumental in starting the Rabies Challenge Fund study.
While many pet owners and even some Veterinarians felt that the rabies vaccine given even every three years was not necessary, previously there was no way to verify, as it takes a lot of money to scientifically prove something. In adding even more years inbetween rabies vaccines, there will even less money to be made by drug companies, the ones who usually funds such studies.
This year for the holidays I will not be posting any gift guides or ideas. Instead, I am listing the challenge study and the challenge study only. It is truly the gift of health and a gift that keeps on giving not only to your current pets but to future ones as well.
So what's the big news already? The big news is that the University of Wisconsin and Dr. Schultz a veterinary vaccine research scientist, is conducting concurrent 5 and 7 year challenge studies to determine if the vaccine protects for 5, then 7 years. They have agree to conduct the study and have waived the usual 48 % overhead fee. Many people had voiced concerns to me that they were all for the study, but that they wanted to know where the money was being spent. Now you know-the money is going directly to the study itself!
Below is the press release.
NOW GO AND GET YOUR WALLET!!!
I am sending my twenty bucks, and that is roughly what I would have spent on my two dogs presents. Don't worry about them, they do not want for anything and will of course still get a little extra something for the holidays.
World-Famous Scientists Donate Services to
The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust
Two world-renowned giants of veterinary vaccine research -- Dr. W. Jean Dodds of Hemopet and Co-Trustee of The Rabies Challenge Fund and Dr. Ronald Schultz of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine -- have volunteered their time to ensure that critical 5 and 7 year rabies challenge studies are conducted in the United States. The studies are to be financed by The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust, a tax-exemption organization founded by pet vaccine disclosure advocate Kris L. Christine of Maine in 2005, and will be performed by Dr. Schultz at the University of Wisconsin. The University has waived its usual 48% overhead fee for these studies.
The concurrent challenge studies will determine the duration of immunity conveyed by the canine rabies vaccine, with the goal of extending the state-mandated interval for boosters to 5, and then to 7 years. According to Dr. Dodds, “This is one of the most important projects in veterinary medicine. It will benefit all dogs by providing evidence that protection from rabies vaccination lasts at least 5 years, thereby avoiding unnecessary revaccination with its attendant risk of debilitating adverse reactions. "
Scientific data indicate that vaccinating dogs against rabies every three years, as most states require, is unnecessary. Studies have shown the duration of protective immunity as measured by serum antibody titers against rabies virus to persist for seven years post-vaccination, and results of a 1992 French challenge study led by Michel Aubert demonstrated dogs were immune to rabies five years after vaccination. Researchers believe the rabies vaccine causes the most and worst adverse reactions in animals and concur that it should not be given more often than is necessary to maintain immunity. Adverse reactions to rabies vaccination can include autoimmune diseases affecting the thyroid, joints, blood, eyes, skin, kidney, liver, bowel and central nervous system; anaphylactic shock; aggression; seizures; epilepsy; and fibrosarcomas at injection sites.
Dr. Schultz states that “[s]howing that a vaccine for rabies can provide 5 or preferably 7 years of immunity would have great significance not only in controlling rabies but more importantly in reducing the adverse vaccine reactions that can occur in dogs and cats after vaccination."
More information on The Rabies Challenge Fund and the concurrent 5 and 7 year challenge studies it will finance can be found at the fund’s newly established website designed by volunteer Andrea Brin at: www.rabieschallengefund.org.
November 16, 2006
Gotta Boogie! (this weekend)
Carolyn Scott and Rookie
An anonymous commenter yesterday asked if my dogs had their dancing shoes ready for the weekend, and I am pretty much 100 % sure that person was Suzan.
Suzan we are all set for Carolyn Scott's freestyle clinic this weekend in Saco. I stocked up on training treats at the pet store, but I am still looking for my target stick.
I am expecting great things from over achiever Charlee, but have no idea what Finney will get out of it. He is not the sharpest tool in the shed. Finney finally figured out he has to automatically sit to get his dinner. This simple concept took this young dog a long time. And then the other night, he sat down splat, right in the water bowl.
There is still auditor space and possibly a working space left for the clinic but you gotta go register already!
Money raised will fund Suzan's future service dog Logan.
I can't wait to learn some new moves.
has lymphoma. I found out today when his owner called me from Massachusetts to see if Brew could come and stay with me for a while when they go away.
His vet gave him 2-6 months to live and he is at the 6 month mark. They didn't feel right about having him stay any where else. My house has been his second home since he was about 1 1/2 years old.
How could I say no? Brew and I have a huge history together.
Images of me being the one who may inevitably have to bring him on his last trip to the vets raced through my head, neck and neck with the scene of my crushed kids balling their eyes out.
I was telling an infamous Brewster story just the other day to some of the staff at the facility where "Rose" (not her real name-she is owned by a local hospital) will one day work as a therapy dog with kids. "Rose" now a full blown adolescent is trying just about everyone's patience these days and they revealed in my "bad Brew" stories.
Brewster is owned by a family who own multiple nursing homes and he was purchased to be the resident therapy dog. Only trouble was Brew had other ideas and most of them involved breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, and of course party time.
The day I was called to be his trainer, an ambulance had come to transport a resident to the hospital. The EMT's stopped in the office to check in where then 9 month old Brew hung out most of the time. Brew jumped up, grabbed the blanket off the gurney and tore off through the double doors (where he was not allowed on his own). The staff said it was like something out of a Disney movie, with people falling, and food flying. No one could catch him as he careened out of control. Up and down stairways, down hallways, in and out of rooms, knocking over most everything in his way, while shredding the blanket and having one hell of a game of tug of war with any and all who tried to get it from him.
The EMT's had to return to their facility to get another set of blankets that were sterilized by their own company, and word spread about the bad dog to area nursing homes and Ambulance companies alike.
I did a 6 week program at the facility to start and returned many times over the years for tune ups. Brew was a big time opportunist (insert thief) , as any dog with ample opportunity learns to be.
He started to come to our apartment for in home training shortly after Charlee arrived. My two young kids were taught to stay on the couch so as not to get knocked over by the young dogs wild play.
He is coming the day after Thanksgiving and I have prepared my kids as best I can for the inevitable. All of us are grateful that we will be able to say goodbye. His owners traveled quite a bit over the years and I have spent more holidays with Brewster than I have spent with some of my own family. He continued to come stay with us most of every winter, even after we moved to Maine. He is like my own dog,and he is part of my family.
It sure doesn't seem fair that at only 7 years old when he is finally fulfilling his role as resident therapy dog, his life is cut short.
I will never forget the first day he earned his keep. A woman with Alzheimer's had just been admitted and she had been removed from her home by her family because she could no longer care for herself. I was called upstairs with Brew to try to help to settle her down. She was distraught, disoriented, getting more and more agitated and she had convinced herself that she left the stove on and had to go home right away. The woman looked like my own Mom, (which was totally freaking me out) and her daughters were
overwhelmed with stress and grief. Brew sat down next to her, and she started to stroke him and then like magic, she totally relaxed. For a moment we all glimpsed her former self. Brew and I walked her to new room and helped to settle her into bed.
She fell asleep petting him. It was amazing. Really amazing.
Her daughters bought Brew a huge supply of doggie treats.
I could go and on, ( and on and on!) but I will stop here and write more about Brewster soon.
November 09, 2006
Finney,Charlee and Sophia
It was a great day to be a dog
or a duck.
Ocean Omega Fish Oil
I have been remiss in not blogging Ocean Omega Fish Oil sooner, a great "made in Maine" product.
Ocean Omega has been kind enough to offer A Dog's Life readers a discount.
Animals need a balanced diet just as humans do. Omega-3 fatty acids are a tremendously important part of this diet. Omega-3's are considered to be "essential" meaning they are necessary to animal health, but which the animal cannot produce on their own. Research has shown benefits in a variety of areas including;
Bones and joints
Skin and coat
Brain and eye development
Heart rate during exercise
Cardiovascular functions and breathing
Overall heart health
Menhaden oil is considered a perfect source of omega-3 because they are a clean fatty fish, rich in EPA and DHA long chain fatty acids. EPA and DHA are the basic components for the benefits mentioned above. Omega-3 fatty acids found in plant oils come primarily in the form of ALA, which then must be converted before any benefit is derived. This conversion rate is extremely low, making fish oil much more efficient.
Recent research has shown that plankton eating Menhaden, which is the species of fish from which Ocean Omega Fish Oil is derived, has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of CRF Critical Renal Failure.
They have two versions of fish oil specially formulated for ALL carnivorous pets; to include dogs, cats, and horses, Ocean Omega Gold and Ocean Omega Plus. They have one and five gallon containers available, as well as individual 8, 16, and 32 ounce bottles.
Ocean Omega is proud to announce its newest product, Ocean Omega Flavored Equine Fish Oil, offered in either peppermint or butterscotch flavor. For more information regarding the many health benefits of the amazing menhaden fish, please visit their website, including their satisfied customer link for some great product testimonials.
A Note From Bill, founder of Ocean Omega:
A Dog's Life Blog Readers can buy Ocean Omega-3 Menhaden Fish Oil for Pets AT AN OUTSTANDING INTRODUCTORY OFFER, Ocean Omega normally offers repeat customers a 10% discount, and we provide free shipping on all first orders. For ALL NEW OCEAN OMEGA CUSTOMERS READING THIS BLOG ARTICLE, WE WILL PROVIDE BOTH FREE SHIPPING AND A 10% DISCOUNT ON YOUR FIRST ORDER WITH A FULL 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE: PLEASE NOTE OUR ALREADY SPECIALLY MARKED GALLONS WOULD BE EXEMPT FROM THIS SALE! JUST GO TO OUR WEBSITE AND WHEN YOU CHECKOUT, JUST PLACE A NOTATION IN THE COMMENTS COLUMN THAT YOU ARE A DOG":S LIFE BLOG READER INTERESTED IN TRYING OUR PRODUCT! Ocean Omega will adjust the pricing and charge your credit card only for the special sale pricing amount unique to the size of the bottle ordered!
Note-This blog (Nancy) is over worked and overwhelmed. Therefor, A Dog's Life is taking a short vacation.
See you all in a bit.
Go now and spend time with your family, friends, and dogs. I will be dong the same.
November 07, 2006
Finney earns his keep
When I took 5 month old Finney home this summer, I had been looking for ages for a young dog that fit a HUGE criteria.
Here is the short list.
-Good with kids
-Good in crowds
-GREAT dog skills
-Lower in pack order to never challenge Charlee
-Trainable in a multitude of dog areas such as obedience, agility, and freestyle
All these were important, but what I really needed was a STABLE dog. A dog that I could use to help problem dogs. For a great number of private training that I do, I need a calm dog. I needed a non reactive dog for a multitude of training opportunities to help other people teach their dogs that an approaching dog was not scary and didn't need to be lunged and snarled at. I needed a dog who could instantly calm my clients and their dogs and help leash aggressive and reactive dogs accept a new dog while teaching their owners how to accomplish this.
I talked to a LOT of people in search of my new dog. Several trainers recommend that I get a retired show dog, with tons of socialization under it's belt, and I looked into that. But as is often the case with dogs who are meant to be, Finney found me.
And the big news is that today at only 9 months Finney has fulfilled his destiny and then some! I took him on his very first assignment, to see an Aussie mix rescue that I had met with once already. My new puppy was calm as a cucumber. So calm in fact, that the other dog forgot he was there and got down to work,and stopped worrying about us. The Aussie is far from cured, but his owners made huge strides today in understanding how to continue helping their dog.
I was bursting with pride.
Update-if that isn't great enough, Finney has spent the last 24 hours entertaining "Rose" (not her real name), who is here so her care taker can get a break. You will read more about "Rose" in the future. She is a 10 month old Doodle belonging to a local hospital and her job is to help kids!
The hospital has asked for anonymity.
Charlee loves that the young dogs leave her alone and is more than happy to let Finn have both of those jobs.
November 03, 2006
Grade of D for the Everlasting Treat Ball
Several months ago, I started to hear the buzz about the new Triple Crown Everlasting Treat Ball. People were telling me how much their dogs loved them and how long they lasted. I started to recommend them to my clients, and all the feed back has been quite positive.
I told clients it sounded like a Willy Wonka Everlasting Gobb Stopper for dogs.
The other day I was surfing products over at Clean Run and their web site claimed it kept their own power chewers busy for several hours. That was good enough for me and I bought one last night. Neither one of my dogs would be considered power chewers.
I bought the extra large size in hopes that I could leave it in the car with my young collie Finney, and that the treat ball would keep him from possibly munching on my seatbelts and other parts of my brand new Mini Van interior.
They are a bit pricey at close to $25.00 for one ball with two treat inserts, but I thought if it safely keeps dogs busy for several hours per treat ball as claimed, it was well worth it.
On the way home I opened the package and filled it with several kinds of treats and gave it to Charlee. She got the treats out in less than 20 seconds and sniffed the ball around and was not interested. When I got home I gave it to Finn and he went wild for it.
After a few minutes Finn got it a bit wet, then Charlee stole it and went into a sort of obsessed, crazed, drugged like frenzy trying to get the obviously delectable treat ball out. Which she did in under 4 minutes. I looked over and she was chewing the ball which to my disappointment, was not even a ball but size of a quarter of a ball. The marketing on the package is deceiving. She guarded the treat (only 1/4 of a ) ball from me but I was afraid she would swallow it, and I carefully pried it away from her. I then put it back in the middle of the treat ball holder and it took her all of another 6 minutes to get it back out. She worked at in a bit of a comical frenzy, and ultimately bit down and pushed it out through the other end. Once out she chewed the 1/4 ball in under 60 seconds, swallowing a large piece before I could get it from her.
If there wasn't a "back door" she may not have been able to pry it out so easily. I thought this was also misleading in the packaging. It appears to have one side for a treat ball and another for a treat pocket, or second ball, but there is a hole in the middle where they can intersect. Why I wonder? The idea of having a chew toy in a ball appealed to me, but only if the dog could not get the chew toy out!
We gave another to Finn who worked on it and chewed it as it was intended, but I no longer feel comfortable recommending them after Charlee nearly swallowed it whole. Finn liked the ball even without anything in it, but let's face it, young dogs are not very discriminating and Finney equally likes socks, tissue and milk cartons as do most young dogs.
We tried a variety of treats in the back pocket and even Finn got them out in less than a minute.
And ok I will admit that Charlee is a clever herding dog, bred to solve problems, but this is not one that I will chance her solving again, and I won't take the chance that any visiting dogs may either.
To make matters worse, while they were playing with it, bits of scented smelly goo got on the area where they were chewing it, and both dogs went back and had I not intervened they would have destroyed several kid's toy trying to get to it. The toys were in the corner by the bed and they obviously had been scented and spattered with bits of the treat ball. One pop up learning letter toy in particular had sort of eaten a few pieces into it's parts and the dogs were more than ready to tear it apart to get the teeny bits out.
I now know to never use one in the car, the main reason I bought it.
Grade-D for disappointing.
Have you tried the treat ball?
The Brown Dog Inn
Zel- resident brown dog
Last night I started teaching at a new location, The Brown Dog Inn in Freeport. It is the kind of place that any dog lover would walk into and wonder, why don't I live here? Which is of course is just what I wonder whenever I am there.
I give a huge and hearty congratulations to my friend Holly, who is the proud new owner of the Brown Dog Inn. Situated on 10 acres, The Inn was built only a few years ago and went under the name of Queen Sparkle. Tragically the previous owner who constructed the Inn, died of cancer before the business was open for very long.
There is still space available in my basic manners class that starts this coming Thursday night. By spring I hope to be offering Rally-O, Freestyle and Agility in Freeport as well. Enrolled in this class is Mica, another New England Assisatance Dog. Puppy Mica, a 5 month old Golden, will be the second NEADS dog to attend my training classes.
A hearty shout out to Chuck, who has graduated from his foster mom Karen and moved on to the prison program. Also entering the NEADS program is Casey, one of Finn's littermates, who I hope to hear great things about soon. Interesting to note that Casey attended day care and boarding with Holly at the Inn and in her home, before the Inn opened.
It sure was hard not keeping Casey myself when he was returned to the breeder for personal reasons. This is the second puppy that Finn's breeder has donated to NEADS.
Way to go Amy!
My goodness I am a bit of a cheerleader today, but how can I not be when I am surrounded by good people doing great things.
Here is a sweet photo that Karen sent me of Chuck's last day with her. She said " I spent 3 hrs in MA with Chuck that day. I think it helped me. I only cried a little as I handed him over & watched Kerry lead him around the corner of the building & on to the next chapter in his life".
Well done Karen!!!
Ooops, I forgot to mention that the The Brown Dog Inn is a great place for cats to.