Monday, November 18, 2013

Place Your Orders Now in Time for Christmas

          Oops! Looks like once again that naughty dog ate my homework. Wow, I didn't realize how long ago was my last post was. Mid October I took ill, nothing major just your run of the mill illness with a fever and what-not. Then towards the end of October and beginning of November the Christmas gift orders started coming in. It has been a busy time.

          If is the gift giving season so shop early, especially if you plan to place orders with handmade artisans. It takes time to hand make lovingly crafted items unlike the mass produced stuff at big box stores. Please get your Christmas orders to me as soon as possible, that way I will have time to get them stitched and mailed to you in a timely manner. As more orders come into me the longer the turnaround time will become.

          Nearly all my listings are now up in my Etsy and Bonanza shops and I also currently have listings running on eBay. If there is an item you are looking for that isn't listed please contact, I can get it listed or if I don't have it I might be able to make it for you. I have also listed a limited amount of items in my Zibbet shop.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fussy the Dog's Grand Day Out!

Hurry, let's go there is no time to waste!

          On September 13th we took Fussy out for more of her birthday celebration to Fullersburg Woods and Graue Mill. Turning 13 years old is a big deal when you are a dog. Fussy loves going to forest preserves and it had been quite a long time since she had been to these two particular places.

          Because of Fussy's arthritis in her hock and a little bit of a hip issue I like to keep her in shape by taking her for a walk around our neighborhood. The only problem with that is the scenery gets old and boring for not only me but for Fussy as well. I was a bit concerned about how well she would be able to walk on a forest preserve path, most places have rugged dirt paths. Fullersburg Woods and Graue Mill were picked for their nicely packed trails and paved paths, not to mention that Fullersburg has a restroom with modern pluming for us humans.

You humans stop to much for photos. Let's keep going!

          We got ourselves and Fussy packed into the car and off we went! Fussy knew that car ride meant something exciting was happening and she also knows that when we pack stuff for a trip it is to some place really good. She was so excited on the trip up there I thought for sure she would be to tired to walk far once there.
No time to sit and enjoy the view humans, we gotta keep going.
If you are going to stop and take pictures I'll run in circles while I wait for you.

          Time to disembark the vehicle and head off into the woods. I loaded up my little back pack with some supplies that Fussy and ourselves might need while on the trail. I pulled out the water and offered it to Fussy, she glanced at it, turned her back to it and proceed to pull on the leash. In Fussy language that was "Forget your water human, let's get going!" It was great to know that she was feeling very spry and alert for this walk. Not only was her mind feeling rejuvenated by the sight of the woods so was her body. Our walks at home aren't for very long trips because after awhile Fussy's back end gets wobbly, but I could see that wasn't going to happen on this walk, at least no time soon.
There was no stopping her!
 
          So the walk began. For pretty much all of the walk all we saw (and could take pictures of) was Fussy's fuzzy rear end! She was smiles the whole trip, it was awesome seeing her enjoy herself. 


Nope, still no stopping her.


          We were a little far from the car that had our water so we stopped at a water pump so Fussy could get a drink. This pump was slightly different then the ones I've used in the past. Instead of the water just shooting out to the faucet up at the top the water first emerges into a little drinking bowl which then heads down a pipe and shoots out at the bottom. It took a bit of hand pumping before the water started to flow and a little encouragement before Fussy attempt to drink. At the bottom of the pipe that the water was flowing out before head back down into the earth had small leak that dripped out the bottom of the elbow of the pipe. Fussy started to drink from the flowing water but craned her head to the bottom to the elbow of pipe to lap up the drips of water. She is so silly! We laughed our butts off over her antics before hitting the dusty trail.


          This time for this trip we decided to not walk all the way over from Fullersburg Woods to Graue Mill, so we headed back to the car. Sadly this time of year all the waterfowl seems to have been elsewhere instead of on the creek that runs along Fullersburg Woods and Graue Mill.


          We headed on over to the mill to watch the water wheel turning. The spray of water coming off it was great to feel on our faces after such a long hike. I placed Fussy up on the wall next to the wheel for a little photo shoot.

          After some walking around the outside of the mill we headed off down the paved pathway. However, it wasn't long after that we finally decided to stop Fussy as we could see that her body was starting to get tired. Like a kid, she did her best to try to tell us that she wasn't tired and wanted to keep walking. On the walk back to the car I could see that we made the right decision to head back. Back at the car Fussy sat in the grass, rested a bit, and drank some water. It had been a spectacular day but like all good things they must come to an end, so off we headed for home.

          Back home for a well deserved meal Fussy eat and promptly fell asleep. She slept a good long time and even did some running in her sleep. I think the chances were very good that she had been dreaming of her trip and was back running along its trails.

No really, I can keep walking! Well....this grass is comfortable.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Winner of Fussy's Birthday Giveaway


          A winner was randomly chosen from among all the valid entries in my Fussy's Birthday Giveaway. And the lucky winner is....... Carol L., congratulations winner!! She is now the proud owner of her very own handmade dog crate tag stitched by your truly.

          Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway and making it such a success. I wish you all could have won. But don't be sad as you can still purchase a crate tag of your own or wait for the next time I hold another giveaway.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Enter Fussy's Birthday Giveaway For Your Choice Of Dog Breed Crate Tag

          Yesterday was my dog Fussy's 13th birthday. I'm so excited about her birthday it got me thinking that I want to share my excitement with the rest of you! What better way to do that then to have an awesome giveaway. Sure it was a spur of the moment kind of thought but when you are this giddy you do crazy things like this.

          I will be giving away to one lucky winner one of my handmade crate tags, their choice of dog breed from the breeds and colors I currently carry (sorry no custom crate tag).


          Fussy had a super birthday, she enjoyed her Frosty Paws treat and hung out with her doggy pals. By the end of the day she was pooped and told me it was time to go home. We got everything and everyone packed up and headed home, once there she slept like a log. It was a terrific day and I hope we will have many more days, months, and years like this together.


          Visit my Website, Etsy shop, or Bonanza shop to see all the breeds I carry. Now onto the giveaway details and how to enter!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER.
1. Promotion Description: Fussy's Birthday Sweepstakes begins on 9/10/2013 at 12:00 AM (Central Time (US & Canada)) and ends on 9/30/2013 at 12:00 AM (Central Time (US & Canada)).
2. Eligibility: You must be 18 years of age or older, void in Quebec.
3. How To Enter: You must fill out the Rafflecopter contact information and leave a comment on my blog about which dog is your favorite breed, this is a mandatory entry. Once you have completed that you will then be offered additional ways to receive bonus entries.
4. Prize Description:
  • 1 (#) winner will receive [1 Handmade Dog Crate Tag created by barleecreations, your choice of dog breed from the breeds and colors I currently carry (sorry no custom crate tag)]
  • (Approximate retail value "ARV": up to $24.00)
Prize can not be redeemed for cash. If the actual value of the prize turns out to be less than the stated ARV, the difference will not be awarded in cash. Sponsor (barleecreations) will not replace any lost or stolen prize items. All federal, state and/or local taxes, fees, and surcharges are the sole responsibility of the prize winner.
5. Odds Of Winning: The number of eligible entries received determine the odds of winning.
6. Winner Selection: The winner of the sweepstakes will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible entries received throughout the promotion period. The random drawing will be conducted within 48 hours after the closing of the sweepstakes by the Sponsor , whose decisions are final. Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the entry information on or about 48 hours after the random drawing. Potential winner must except prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 48 hours of notification. Any winner notification not responded to or returned undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted expect by Sponsor.
7. Sponsor: Sweepstakes is sponsored by barleecreations, barleecreations@yahoo.com
8. Winners List: Name of winner will appear in a blog post following the selection of the sweepstakes winner.
VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 9, 2013

FDA Releases Arsenic in RiceTest Results – But is it Safe for Your Dog?


FDA Releases Arsenic Test Results – Is Rice Safe for Your Dog?

           There is a great article on the DogFoodAdvisor (one of my favorite dog related sites) about arsenic in rice. If you feed your dog food kibble or use rice in your homemade dog food you may want to think twice. Read the article and educate yourself to make an informed decision. I personally don't think you need to abandon rice altogether but similar to tuna and other fish with mercury you don't want to be feeding it for every meal.

          Currently I've been taking a good look at what I feed my dog and how I feed my dog. I've always read the labels but now I'm looking into ways to limit my dependence on kibbled food. I know the convenience and easy that commercially produced dog food gives can really be a godsend, so for some of us we are kinda stuck with it. So what I've been doing is to add things to the kibble which allows me to cut down on the amount of kibble I give. Adding raw or cooked fruits and vegetables to your dog's food is a great start. Also adding cooked meats and/or even organ meats (I never recommend feeding raw meat, read my past post) as a supplement to the commercial food. What is nice about doing it this way is, as I said before, that you will be cutting down on your dog's kibbled consumption but still keeping the convince and nutrition that that kind of food provides. Buy your "supplement" food items when they are on sale and/or when you have the time to add them to your dog's diet.

          Adding "supplement" foods to your dog's commercial food is a great stepping stone and practice to making home cooked meals and ditching the kibble altogether. Even just doing one home-cooked meal a week will (in my opinion) do your dog good. Do your research, learn all that you can, then make your best educated guess on what is right for you and your dog.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dog Product Review - Cranimals Organic Supplement

          Back in April or May doggyloot, my favorite place to find cool dog related deals, had listed Cranimals UTI test kit with supplement. I didn't need the test kit but upon reading about the supplement it had me intrigued. I then went to the Cranimals website to read more, it is a pet supplement that uses organic cranberry, red raspberry, and blueberry extracts without artificial anything.

          They have different products but I went with their Very Berry. That one is supposed to help with maintain eye heath and prevent macular degeneration, slow and improve age related declines in memory, balance & coordination, dental health, cardiac health, kidney health & some UTIs, and has antioxidants. I thought the Very Berry was the best one for a senior dog to be on. Fussy will soon 13 years old and anything I can give her that will help fight the aging process I am all for that.

          Towards the end of 2012 I noticed that Fussy was having some senility problems so I started to get her to exercise (physically and mentally) more and added fish oil to her daily health regimen. After do that her mental deterioration stopped and reverted. Earlier this year before Fussy had her surgery she had a UTI, which surprised me because I didn't see any symptoms. So when I read about the Cranimals product I felt it would be a perfect fit for my aging gal. I ended up buying the 1lb bulk container of Very Berry.

          The powder can be added to the dog's food or even mixed into some yogurt. Fussy doesn't seem to like it in yogurt so I mix it into her breakfast. She isn't wild about the taste so I add some irresistible sweet potato to her meal. Other dogs might enjoy the taste of Cranimals more then Fussy because after all she is....well....fussy.

          Has Cranimals' Very Berry made an improvement on Fussy's health? To be truthful it is hard to say, I haven't noticed any markable improvement. However I can say for sure that she hasn't gotten any worse. But if you think about it perhaps that is exactly what you should be seeing. What I mean is this formula is to mainly help maintain what functions the dog already has so you wouldn't see anything change. I am wondering if it has helped improve anything in Fussy that perhaps it was either so small or gradual that it has been overlooked. I have also around the same time been doing several other things to help with Fussy's health that that also makes it hard to say which one thing or even a combo of multiples things helped her or the what degree. Bottom line, I think I will continue using Cranimals until Fussy refuses to voluntarily take it anymore.

          Have you used Cranimals? What was your experience with it? Did you think it worked?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New Design - Boxer With Natural Ears

New Boxer with natural ears
          In case you haven't heard yet, I had some problems finding a new supplier for the clasps I use in my crate tag. Thankfully after a loooong search I was able to locate a suitable replacement. I bought a ton of them now I'm all fully stocked with a fresh supply of clasps. I had been waiting to release the new Boxer style as soon as I had found a new clasp supplier, now that I have ..........Introducing Boxer with Natural Ears!

          You Boxer lovers will be thrilled to know that you can get all the same colors I currently carry for the cropped ear style now in the natural ears. Once again this was a style with a slight color modification requested by a customer. I am always happy to hear customer requests!
Boxer crate tags with cropped ears. Same colors can now be gotten with natural ears.
          At the time of this post this new style is not yet listed in my shops or on my website, but rest assured I will post them as soon as possible. Not to worry if you don't see them (or any other breed I currently carry) in my shops you are always more then welcome to contact me and request a custom listing. Also don't forget you can also get this new style not only in crate tag form but also as a magnet, ornament, and more.

          Didn't find your favorite breed or color? If you didn't then I would love to hear from you. Because if I don't then there is no telling how long it will take before I'll get around on my own to make it.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Tips For Your Skin When Grooming Your Dog

Fussy right before a much needed haircut.

          I do all the grooming on my dogs which are all English Springer Spaniels with the exception of one Chinese Crested. So not only do I do trimming with scissors I also use a clipper to keep them all nice and trimmed. But anyone who has clipped snippets of fur off a dog knows that those little bits of hair likes to collect on your skin and even stab you. OUCH! Not to worry as I am going to give you some tips to help save your skin and make cleaning those little stabby hairs off you a bit easier.

          First you want to make sure you are wearing the proper clothing for the job at hand. Long sleeves will help be a barrier for you arms but if that is to hot short sleeves will work. You don't want to have anything with a low cut neck unless you want hair going down into your shirt. I like to groom wearing a old T-shirt. Long pants are best but once again if that is to hot to wear shorts will do. If you go with shorts I would recommend them not to be super short shorts. I normally wear jogging pants, jeans, or if it is hot out a long short. As for footwear I like to use gym-shoes but any shoe that covers your foot completely will also work. You don't want to wear sandals or you run the risk of getting a hair splinter in the bottom of your foot, also you don't want anything with an open toe just in case you drop your scissors.

          Second thing to do is wear some type of grooming smock. There is a wide variety of grooming aprons and smocks that range from short to long length, long sleeve, short sleeve, or no sleeve, and even in different types of materials. Pick one that fits your needs and that you would be comfortable wearing. I personally have a bunch of different types of aprons and smocks that I use. For quick examples I have a long heavy water proof apron for washing dogs, long sleeve smock for when I have to do a bunch of haircuts, and a lightweight small apron for brush-outs.

          Now you got your clothing and apron on, what is next? You need a skin barrier. Products such as: Oster Clear Glove (I mainly use this one), Gloves In A Bottle (I also use this), Liquid Gloves, and Invisible Glove. Before you begin to groom you will want to apply one of these to your neck, hands, and arms. What these products do is to create a barrier between your skin and any hair that comes in contact with you. When using this you are less likely to have hairs stabbing into your skin and it makes it much easier to wipe the fur off your skin.

          After you finished clipping make sure you run a horse hair brush or other soft bristle brush over your dog to remove any loose trimmed hair. Next you now need to get any hair that is on you off. Before you jump in that show get a dry small towel and use that to dust yourself off. Clipped dog fur likes to stick to wet skin so by using a dry towel first you will have an easier time knocking off the hair. If you don't feel any hair splinters or see any clumps of fur on you then you are ready for the shower. Afterwards you will want to check your fingernails, you may see tiny bits of trimmed hair under your fingernails. If you do take a nail trimmer and pull out that metal file that is attached to it. On the end of the file is a hook use that part to go under your nails and gently remove any hairs you see.

          I hope you found my tips helpful and maybe even learned something new. If you know a tip or trick that you use to help with keeping the fur off your skin I would love for you to share it.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Quick Dog Nail Grinder Safety Tips

          I personally like using a grinder to file down my dogs' nails. My dogs also prefer it to a nail clipper which creates lots of pressure on the nail and has a higher rate of clipping the quick. Whether you use a grinder specifically made for dog nails or something like a Dremel rotary tool there are some safety tips to keep in mind.

1. Tap - The action of the grinder on a dog's nail creates friction which in turns creates heat. To keep from burning your dog always use a taping motion to file the nail instead of constant contact. Remember you want to make nail trimming a positive experience not a painful one.

2. Hey, watch the fur! - Before using a nail grinder you'll want trim up any long foot fur. Not only does it make it easier to see the nails but it will help reduce or eliminate the possibility of the hair entangling in the grinder. Also keep the grinder away from the rest of your dog's coat because that grinder will snag onto the fur very fast. If your dog has long fur make sure that when you use the grinder that you have your finger next to or on the off switch just in-case. I had a situation where one of my dogs kicked the grinder in my hand which knocked it close enough to grab a chunk of her hair, luckily my finger was next to the off switch. Even though I turned it off in seconds the tool still managed to tangle in her coat, thankfully she didn't get hurt. Nail grinding is safe as long as you stay alert and vigilant.

3. Eye Protection - Your face is right in the "line of  fire" for the flakes of nail to shoot out and get you in the eyes. Please protect your sight by either wearing your corrective eye glasses or eye wear designed specifically for eye protection. A scratched cornea is no fun nor is having grit in your eye.

4. Protect Your Lungs - We all have seen what our dogs step in when they are outside. When you grind your dog's nails all the nail debris, dirt, and other nasties become airborne. Unless you plan on holding your breath the whole time you are going to end up breathing all that stuff in. In my grooming room I keep a box of ear-loop surgical face masks that I put on every time I do my dogs' nails. The face masks are easy to find and can be bought at most drug stores like this one at Walgreens.

5. Let There Be Light - It is always the best idea whether you use a grinder or nail clipper to have good lighting. Even with a grinder you can still hit the quick, so being able to see what you are doing is a must. I also recommend having your dog on a grooming table, it just makes everything easier for you to see and to do grooming.

6. Don't Get a Speeding Ticket - Grinders have a speed dial you can adjust. I recommend not to have it on the fastest setting, I usually have it set on medium to medium-high. Going at to high a speed you run into taking off to much nail in a blink of an eye. Set it to a low speed first to try it out on your dog's nail, then adjust the speed to where you feel comfortable and where the tool easily grinds off the nail.

7. The Ol' Stand By - If you use the nail grinder according to the instructions and follow safety procedures you are unlikely to nick your dog's quick.  Even so, I still recommended having some sort of styptic to stop bleeding on hand just in-case. Better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it.


          Do you have any safety tips regarding the nail grinder, leave your comment below I would love to hear them.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Very Important Notice About My Current Crate Tag Production

Please see update below in comment section.

         Who knew that this was going to be so hard to find!? Here let me explain what as been going on. For years I have been getting the clasps I use in my crate tags from a company on eBay. A few years back another company bought them out but thankfully they continued to sell the same clasps I need. Good thing to because I couldn't at the time find anything close to being comparable to it. Now flash forward to this June when my clasp supplies started running low. I got on to eBay looked up my supplier only to find that they didn't have anything in their eBay shop, not to worry I can email them which I did. Almost a week later still no reply, now to being worrying.

          I begin to Google their store name as I remember I had done that before and found their website from which I can email them. Easy-peasy I find the website and fill out the contact form, but once again almost a week goes by with no reply. Now I know there is something wrong, I had a bad feeling they may have went out of business. Now for the mad dash to find a suitable replacement.

          Years ago when I first searched for this type of clasp because of its size it was next to impossible to find unless I could afford to spend over $500. Today however when I did a search more options are now available. It is one thing to be able to judge the quality of an item you can hold in your hand then it is in an online shop. Some of the listings it was easy to tell that the quality wasn't there thanks to the photo, you could see pitting in the metal or problems with the consistency in the plating. After much sifting through Google I found a shop that had a similar clasp and their photo didn't show any obvious defects. Holding my breath I placed the order.

          My order arrived and with fingers crossed I opened the box. Heart sank and worry set in, these clasps weren't even passable with the exception of less then a fourth them them. I can see now that I am going to lose a lot of money buying clasps to see if they would be any good. The next company I ordered from their photo looked even better then the other shop I bought from so I felt these might have a better chance of being good. When the package finally arrived I opened it up and after examining them found that half the order the plating on the clasps were bubbled. I contacted the company and unlike the first one they are will to either send me a replacement for the defective ones or refund part of my money. We are still communicating so I'll have to see what the end result will be.

          By chance I happened upon a phone number for my supplier, so hoping against hope I called them yesterday. It did turn out that they are going out of business and are right in the middle of liquidating all their stock through their brick and mortar shop. They didn't think they had any more of that clasp, so I asked if they could be so kind as to tell me where they bought them from. The lady didn't have that information so suggested I call the following day and her son who would know would be in.

          As I had been typing this I called and found out what the son had to say. When they bought out the previous company they got all their stock which the clasps where part of, so they never had to order any. He went on to say that it doesn't look like the ones I need are in-stock only smaller sizes and the gold colored ones. They did give me a suggestion as to a company to contact for the clasps. I'm so crushed I thought for sure that I was finally going to hear who I can get the clasps from. Well I will have to follow up on that lead and on my own I did find another place to check out.

          In the meantime I do have a very limited supply of clasps to use for my crate tags. However, if I don't find a reliable supplier soon I may have to temporally stop production until I do. Thankfully this will not impact my breed ornaments, jewelry, or other items. Only my dog breed crate tag line will be affected.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dog Product Review - Wag Lifetime Joint Care

          While hanging out on Google+ I came across a post in my feed about getting a sample of Wag Lifetime Joint Care. What can I say but I'm a sucker for dog related giveaways and free dog stuff. What also attracted me to this was the fact that my nearly 13 year old dog is on prescription pain medication for her hips and arthritis.

          Over the years I had put my dogs on various glucosamine and chondroitin pills and supplements and to be honest I never saw any type of change or improvement. Perhaps glucosamine and chondroitin is best used as preventive, well at any rate I had stopped use them and needless to say I was skeptical about Wag. When you have your dog on a veterinarian prescribed pain med you think how much could a OTC joint supplement actually help. As I said I'm a sucker for free and the after looking at its ingredients I figured what the heck I'll give it a shot.

          Once I got the pills in the mail I opened it up to begin testing them. The first big test was to see if my dog Fussy (she is her name) if she would eat these chewables on her own. I broke one in half and then in half again, Fussy only likes to be given tiny pieces of anything foreign for her to taste. Big relief not only did she like it but asked for more, so I handed her the rest of her dose. Now for the main test, would Wags do what it claims it does and alleviate my dog's joint pain.

           After about a week I realized that Fussy was moving much better in the morning, not as stiff getting up, not falling over as much, and was walking better. I was rather shocked that I would be able to see a noticeable difference in my dog and within such a short time. I was so astounded that I had to ask a family member for a second opinion, and sure enough I wasn't crazy they saw it to.

          Now that I knew this stuff actually works and my dog likes it I had to go and find out were I could buy it and how much this stuff costs. I was in for sticker shock on how much it cost per bottle, it was well over $40 for a bottle but if you signed up for their automatic monthly subscription it would cost you less. I hate, hate, hate automatic subscription deals and the cost was more then I had expected. This was a horrible dilemma......do I not buy the pills that obviously helped my dog's pain, do pay more money and just buy the pills when I could afford to, or do I pay less and be locked into a automatic subscription for a price that I find to still be to pricey? This is one of those choices that will drive a person insane!

          The tipping point came when I received an email from the company with an offer of buy-one-get-one bottle free with shipping included (automatic subscription only), not only that but on their website there was a code to also receive 10% off the price. Ugh! They found my weakness, my love of my dog and my love of saving money. I caved and ordered the bottles now I have to figure out if I should keep the subscription or just order when I can. Not sure what I will do.

          Did you find a joint or pain supplement that you think works tell me about I would love to hear what you have to say.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dog Product Review - Snack 21 Salmon Skin Bone

          It is so hard to find a long lasting treat for a dog that can't chew anything to hard. Most of those long lasting treats are to tough and anything soft enough doesn't last longer then a few seconds. What makes it even more upsetting is having dogs that can eat long lasting treats and one that can't, life can be so unfair.

          While I was going to place an online order at petfooddirect so I thought what the heck and began looking through their dog treats and chews section. I nearly gave up looking for something that I would feel good about giving and something that my dog would eat when I found it.....Snack 21 Salmon Skin Bones and Rolls. They are 100% natural wild salmon skin that has been rolled into a stick or knotted on the ends to make a bone. I went with the bone shape hoping that it would make chewing it a little more long lasting.

          Salmon especially wild caught are a healthy food and a good source of Omegas which are important for dogs with joint issues (like my dog Fussy). Can't go wrong with a healthy good for you treat that may also be long lasting. I placed my order and waited for my things to arrive. Receiving a box of goodies makes me feel like a kid at Christmas time, even if it is all things only for the dogs. And just like a kid I have to always check out any toy or treat first. I ordered only two of the salmon bone just to sample, I pull the one out and remove the plastic wrapper. Good news no strong offensive fishy odor. But what I was surprised to see was all the fish scales were still on it. That concerned me some even though they weren't huge or anything. Have you ever eaten fish and found out you got a scale sticking in your throat, it is hard to brake the suction.

          Now for the big test... will the dog like it and how long will it really last. I hand to bone to Fussy which she takes, good sign so far. Being the dog she is it takes her dropping it and me passing it back to her for a few times before she starts chewing it in earnest. At least that means it isn't to tough on her mouth, another point in its favor. As she chews it still there is no over powering fishiness. However I do see that those scales are popping off and are littering where she is chewing the bone, point against. I wished I had timed her but much to my surprise it took her about 15 or 20 minutes to finish off the whole thing. That certainly makes it a long lasting chew for Fussy, big point in favor of. Despite the issue with the scales I think this Salmon Skin Bone is definitely a keeper.

Monday, July 22, 2013

New Study Shows That Dogs Use Color Vision After All

          We have come a long way from thinking our canine pals only saw in black and white. I always find it fascinating just how little the animals living closest have been studied. Domesticated animals have lived with humans for such a long time and yet we are still finding out new things about them. It really makes you think, doesn't it. Well anyway, I hope you find this article as interesting as I did.

New Study Shows That Dogs Use Color Vision After All | Surprising Science

"But because they only have two cones, dogs’ ability to see color is indeed quite limited compared to ours (a rough comparison would be the vision of humans with red-green colorblindness, since they, too, only have two cones). Whereas a human with full color vision sees red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet along the spectrum of visible light, a dog sees grayish brown, dark yellow, light yellow, grayish yellow, light blue and dark blue, respectively—essentially, different combinations of the same two colors, yellow and blue..."

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dog Product Review - EVO canned food


          As many of you already know Fussy my almost 13 year old English Springer Spaniel is aptly named thanks to her finicky nature. Giving her pills have always been a royal pain in the bum, so guess what she has to take everyday now that she is an older dog.....that's right pain pills.

          Over all the years and of all the dogs that I had I've become adequate at administering pills. Hiding meds in a treat or food is the easiest followed by the direct down the hatch approach. Fussy on the other hand is more then adequate at detecting pills in food and stopping any pill administered directly (I wont get into details but suffice it to say she is good).

          It has been extremely hard to find something edible that I can hide her medication in. First the food item needs to be able to hold the pill in place without coming apart. Second it needs to be tasted enough that Fussy will not examine it and take it in only one bite. Every time I think I have found something that will work she only falls for it for a short time, she is just to dang smart and not amply piggish. Once she catches on she will either refuse to ever touch that food again or she will gingerly pick at it to remove any "foreign objects".

Fussy is quite adorable looking but she has a devilish side!

          Earlier this year I went to the pet store and bought a small variety of quality canned dog. I didn't exactly buy them to stick pills in but as luck would have it one of them turned out that way. EVO canned food had the right texture and constancy to hide a pill in but more importantly Fussy goes nuts for it. Hallelujah!!

          There have been a few times where Fussy had noticed I stuffed a pill in her spoonful of EVO but the taste of the food is way to tasty for her to be fussy over it. Let me tell you that feels like a miracle or at the very least takes the stress out of pill time. If you have a finicky dog or are having a hard time administering your dog's medication you may want to check out EVO canned dog food.

          The pet stores in my area can be a pricey when it comes to buying healthy dog food, so I thought I would search the internet and see if I could it cheaper. I came across petfooddirect, they have the food for a decent price and even have sales from time to time. What I also liked was for that brand of food you can buy a variety case that includes three cans each of beef, chicken & turkey, duck, and venison. This is great because even dogs some diversity in flavor.

          How do you give your dog its pills, I love to hear if you found a better way. Have you bought dog from an online store, what store did you use and how where their prices?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Is Your Dog's Prescription Correct? - Medicine Mix Up

          Older dogs more then likely are on some sort of prescribed medicine from the vet, be it for a temporary illness or a permanent condition. Dogs of all ages at some point in their life will need a prescription drug for one reason or another. Usually you would get them through your vet, but if you are like me you are getting them through a drug store. My 13 year old dog is on Tramadol for her arthritis and it turns out that we can get the drug cheaper through a traditionally human pharmacy.

          Earlier this year my dog needed a refill of her pills. Called it in, got it filled, no problem. That was until we picked it up. I opened up the bottle to give my girl her pill but there was something wrong, the pills were a different color and shape then we normally get. I checked the label on the bottle...nope all was well there, but I knew this was still wrong. So I thought "Ah-ha! I'll Google the number stamped on the pill". Wouldn't you know it there is a website that you can look things like that up. It turned out that the medicine I received was Simvastatin a drug used to treat high cholesterol.

          The moral of the story is people make mistakes but you are your dog's last line of defense before that pill goes down their throat. It may be redundant, time consuming, and boring but every time I get a new prescription or refill I make it a point to take the time to check that it is correct. To check your dogs meds I recommend the website I used Drugs.com, once there click on the Pill Identifier tab and fill out the information.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Paw Safety Reminder - Hot Pavement Can Burn

          Summertime means hot weather and another issue that we often overlook....hot pavement. Dog's don't walk around in sandals or other foot wear like us humans, which means they are walking barefoot. Pavement that is to hot will burn your dog's paws. I know I am guilty of forgetting this at times, and I am sure I am not the only one.

          So how can you tell if the pavement is to hot? Very simple, put your barefoot on the pavement and feel for your self. Remember to use your foot and not your hand, feet have padding that hands don't so the temperature will feel different. If the pavement is to hot for your feet it means that it is much to hot for your canine's paws.

          If your dog refuses to walk it could be a sign that the pavement is to hot for them. Symptoms of burnt paws are limping, licking or chewing of paws, paw coloration darker then normal, and missing parts of the pad. Dogs that have been swimming their pads get soften just in the same way our feet and hands do. This means that hot ground will feel much hotter on their paws.

          Apply first aid right away if you suspect your dog's paws have been burned. Fist get them off the hot ground quick as possible, grass will be cooler. Flush pads with water, preferably cool water and apply a cool compress if available. Afterward you will want to get your dog to the vet so they can tend to the burns, if the burns are bad enough they will prescribe antibiotics.

          If you know someone new to the world of dogs please make sure they know about this information, dogs will thank you!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New Papillon Color Added!

New Papillon in black & white

          Once again thanks to a customer asking for it I can now offer to everyone a new color option in Papillons. For those of you looking for black and white you will be pleased to know that is the new color.

          Currently I only have the new color listed in my Zibbet shop. But rest assured that in time I will get it posted to my website along with my other shops. Of course if you can't wait you are always welcome to contact me and I will get it posted faster.

          If you are looking for something in particular let me know and I will work on adding it to my line of all breed dog crate tags/magnets.

          I thought about working on new breed colors or new breeds but instead I decided to take a bit of a break from that. (That is not to say I wont do it if a customer asks.) In lieu of stitching something new I am finally taking the time to work on the crochet patterns I have bought over the years. My crochet skills aren't very advanced and I haven't crocheted in years but darn it all I want to! (LOL! Heck, I even have knitting patterns sitting around and I don't even know how to knit yet.) I figured if I keep waiting for the perfect time to work on them I will never get my chance. Who knows, if any of my crochet pieces works out perhaps I will end up selling them in one of my shops.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fireworks & Dogs - Keep Your Pups Safe





          If you live in the United States it is that time or year again, the one holiday many dogs hate the most but us Americans love......the 4th of July. If you have had dogs before you're most likely an old hand at this, for those of you new to dogs or just need a refresher here are some safety tips for you.

          During the fireworks season many dogs go missing, this is due in part to the loud scary noises that send dogs into a panic. If your dog is afraid of the thunder they are probably frighten of the noise fireworks makes. I always highly recommend dog owners microchip their pets but especially if they are easily frightened by loud noises or other things. All animals have a fight or flight reflex, and a dog frightened by loud noise will either hide or run off. Around the time of 4th of July there is a big spike in the numbers of dogs that go missing, having you pet microchipped gives you a better chance of having them returned to you.

          On the 4th is the peak time for fireworks, so what I do is I make sure that throughout the whole day when ever my dogs need to go outside that I am constantly with them. This is to not only keep an eye on them but also to monitor the yard for any stray fireworks or burning ash that may have landed in the yard. Don't let your dog eat or step on any spent fireworks, you don't want them to get burned or sick. Be weary of "duds" as they can still go off.

          Once your dog is safely inside and awaiting the fireworks volley to begin you will want to confine them in an interior room in the house, preferably a room that is the most insulated from outside noises. Then what I like to do is to turn on the TV and turn up the volume. But don't turn the sound up to loud, I would suggest to just turn it up slightly louder then what you would normally have it at to watch a movie. Play something either you know your dog would like or anything that doesn't have loud or sudden scary noises. The PBS station is usually a good channel to stay tuned to. If you don't have a TV in that room a radio tuned to a talk show will also work. Some people turn on music but I am not fond of that idea. I have heard there are studies about which music dogs like and it turns out that the kinds of music that dogs or humans like correspond to their heartbeat rhythm. Dogs and humans hearts beat at different rates, so music on the radio are geared towards humans not dogs.

          Most fireworks are set off at night which means you will want to make sure you get your dog outside to do his business before it gets dusk. It may very depending on where you live but there is a time late in the evening when your neighbors either run out of fireworks or are to tired to set off anymore for the evening. This is usually a good time to take your dog back outside for one more time before bed. Get a flash light and inspect your yard, make sure it is safe for your dog. I recommend taking them outside on leash, being tethered to you will provide them with some confidence and will keep them from running if anymore fireworks happens to be set off.

          Remember to repetitively inspect your dog's yard all throughout the fireworks season, it is better to be safe then sorry. Do you have any fireworks safety tips, I would love to hear about them.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

7 Dog Sherbet Recipes

          It is summertime once again, time for hot weather and cooling off in the pool. Why not include Fido in your summer activity like enjoying a cooling homemade sherbert together.



For each recipe you will mix the ingredients together, pour into an ice cube tray or other container, place in freezer until frozen and then serve.


Recipe #1 Ingredients
2 3/4 cups frozen strawberries
1 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup honey (store bought is ok, but honey from someone who makes it themselves from their own bees is less processed.)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Yields: 2 1/3 cups



Recipe #2 Ingredients
1 cup water
1/2 cup cantaloupe, cubed
1/2 cup pineapple chunks in their own juice, drained
1 banana, sliced
2 tablespoons honey (store bought is ok, but honey from someone who makes it themselves from their own bees is less processed.)

Yields: 3 cups 



Recipe #3 Ingredients
2 cups low fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup honey (store bought is ok, but honey from someone who makes it themselves from their own bees is less processed.)
12 ounces frozen raspberries
1/4 cup water

Yields: 4 cups 



Recipe #4 Ingredients
1/4 cup honey (store bought is ok, but honey from someone who makes it themselves from their own bees is less processed.)
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves chopped
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup real lemon juice

Yields: 2 1/2 cups



Recipe #5 Ingredients
2 cups watermelon
3 cups water
1 tablespoon real lemon juice

Yields: 5 cups



Recipe #6 Ingredients
1 cup water
1 cup non fat plain yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup honey (store bought is ok, but honey from someone who makes it themselves from their own bees is less processed.)
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Yields: 3 cups



Recipe #7 Ingredients
1/4 cup honey (store bought is ok, but honey from someone who makes it themselves from their own bees is less processed.)
1 egg
6 tablespoons carob powder
2 cups plain yogurt
1 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted walnuts, chopped

Yields: 3 1/2 cups

Saturday, June 1, 2013

It's National Pet Preparedness Month - Are you prepared?


Before disasters strike have a plan and supplies for all your pets. I have gathered some links to help.

Make sure all your pets are microchipped, this is the very best way to identify a pet and who is the owner.
Microchipping:
http://public.homeagain.com/
http://www.akccar.org/
http://www.freepetchipregistry.com/
http://microchipregistry.foundanimals.org/
http://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/
http://www.petlink.net/us/cms2.spring?path=/welcome.html
(UK) https://www.petlog.org.uk/

General disaster information:
http://www.humanesociety.org/about/departments/disaster_preparedness.html 
http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/programs/emergency-services/pet-preparedness-month.html
http://www.fema.gov/medialibrary/media_records/2484
http://trupanion.com/pet-health/emergency-pet-preparedness
http://www.co.summit.co.us/index.aspx?NID=819
http://www.ready.gov/caring-animals
http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/pet-safety
http://www.cert-la.com/education/DPPetOwner.pdf

Tornadoes:
http://www.americanhumane.org/about-us/newsroom/news-releases/tornado-tips-to-keep-your.html

Earthquakes:
http://www.adem.arkansas.gov/ADEM/Divisions/Preparedness/Earthquake/pets.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
http://www.earthshakes.com/ebooks/PetsEarthquakePreparedness.pdf

Fires:
http://www.grabpak.com/10-fire-emergency-preparedness-tips-for-pet-owners/
http://www.co.summit.co.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1124

Hurricanes:
http://www.weather.com/weather/hurricanecentral/article/pet-preparedness_2011-08-24
http://www.humanela.org/hurricanepreparedness.htm

Floods:
(not specifically pet related)  http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/
(not specifically pet related) http://www.phe.gov/emergency/naturaldisasters/Pages/flood.aspx
http://www.prep4agthreats.org/Natural-Disasters/floods/

Tsunamis:
(not specifically pet related) http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/government/departments/fire/safety_tips/TsunamiPreparedness.cfm
(not specifically pet related) http://www.noaa.gov/features/tsunami/
(not specifically pet related) http://www.cleanhawaii.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=65&Itemid=85
(not specifically pet related) http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/tsunami
http://www.examiner.com/article/earthquake-and-tsunami-japan-reinforce-need-for-pet-emergency-preparedness

Blizzards:
(not specifically pet related) http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm
(not specifically pet related) http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-home/blizzard-preparedness-guide.aspx
(not specifically dog related but good info for birds) http://birds.about.com/od/livingwithabird/tp/Winter-Storm-Preparedness-For-Pet-Birds.htm

Extreme Heat (heat wave):
(not specifically pet related) http://www.ready.gov/heat
http://www.prep4agthreats.org/Natural-Disasters/excessive-heat-pets-and-livestock
http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2011/07/keep_your_pets_cool_during_heat_wave_071111.html

Volcanoes:
(not specifically pet related) http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/volcanoes/
(not specifically pet related) http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/volcano
(not specifically pet related) http://www.survivalkitsonline.com/volcaniceruptionpreparedness.html

Wildfires: 
(not specifically pet related) http://www.ready.gov/wildfires
(not specifically pet related) http://www.justincasearizona.com/be-informed/natural-disasters/wildfires.asp
(not specifically dog related but good info for horses) http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/livestk/01817.html
http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/

Terrorists, economic and political upheaval:
(not specifically pet related) http://learntoprepare.com/
(not specifically pet related) http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/rise-of-the-preppers-50-of-the-best-prepper-websites-and-blogs-on-the-internet_02012013
(not specifically pet related) http://americanpreppersnetwork.com/
(not specifically pet related) http://graywolfsurvival.com/
http://justonemorepet.wordpress.com/tag/emergency-preparedness/


Disaster has struck now your dog is injured, what do you do? Before a disaster happens learn how to give your pet first aid, get a book and/or print out pages from the following links. Store book/pages in a water prof bag.

First aid:
https://www.avma.org/public/EmergencyCare/Pages/Basic-Pet-First-Aid-Procedures.aspx?utm_source=oldsite&utm_medium=prettyurl&utm_term=animal_health-poison_guide-asp&utm_campaign=redirect
http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/program-highlights/cpr-first-aid/wilderness-sports-pets
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=SRC&S=1&SourceID=20
http://animal.discovery.com/pets/how-to-give-first-aid-to-your-dog.htm
http://www.dog-first-aid-101.com/
http://www.peteducation.com/category.cfm?c=2+1677
(Video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApaEQlYJ7u0

Dog CPR:
http://www.chicagocpr.org/pet-cpr-guidelines-changing/
(Video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJGlsYHI9cU

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dog Product Review - Mutt Soup mix for dogs

          As you guessed it this is another of my doggyloot purchases. At first when I saw this Mutt Soup listed I wasn't going to buy it. But after reading the natural ingredients list and learning that this little nearly 6 ounce pouch (along with a few things you need to add) will make 6 cups I thought what the heck! I have been wanting for sometime now to start making a few home cooked meals for my dogs, but I have felt a bit intimidated about the whole prospect. The Mutt Soup mix I think is a super way to get over that hurdle, after all it can't get much easier then opening a pouch, add a few ingredients, and cook.

          All you need to cook this soup is add 1 pound of lean meat (your choice of meat), 6 cups of water or unsalted chicken broth, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. The one problem I ran into was trying to find unsalted chicken broth, the best I could find was low salt. I take it specialty shops like Wholefoods would most likely have it. So what I did was to use one can of low sodium chicken broth and made up the rest of the cups needed with water. The grocery store had a sale on good lean hamburger so that is what I used for the meat.

Cooking the Mutt Soup Mix.
          Following the simple directions on the pouch I began cooking the soup for the dogs. The smell was wonderful, it made me hungry. Fussy was even sniffing the air, I think she knew something was up. I have heard it said some where that the color of your food should be colorful and not bland, that is one way to tell if you are eating healthier food. If that is true then this soup mix must be healthy because the colors were very pleasing to the eye. I was very tempted to give it a taste when it was done but I didn't.

          The hardest part of making the soup I think is waiting for the finished soup to cool so you can dish it out to the pooches. To make the cooling go somewhat faster I dished out some of the soup for the dogs and then placed the bowls in the coolest room in the house. Stirring the bowls also helped to cool off the soup at the bottom.
The finished soup.
           Fussy, she is a dog that I can count on taking food gently from your hand, mostly it is because of her picky appetite and neurotic need to check food for "poison". By poison I mean her medication, she is the worst when it comes to taking her pills. I've had dogs in the past that at some point I needed to give pills to, either they took the pills wrapped in food or I just popped it down their throat. Easy peasy! But not Fussy, she has a....let's just call it a "unique" ability to avoid pills. I can't just pop the pills down her throat like any other normal dog as she some how always manages to munch on my fingers and spit the pill up. Hiding it in food is also difficult. She is very good at finding a pill in nearly any food, and once she finds it she will either be leery about eating that food again or quit eating it altogether. Any new food you need to make sure you have a super tiny piece to hand her so she can first sniff it and then if she takes it she'll roll it around her mouth and spit it out a few times before eating it. If you hand her a piece of new food that she deems to large she wont even try eating it. Well back to where this is relevant to the Mutt Soup......so anyway the soup is cooling down. To test the temp I stuck my finger in the bowl, it was still a to warm. So I am sitting there with soup on my finger and Fussy staring at me, I don't want to waste any of this soup so I offer her my finger to lick off (something I have done many other times before with her). As I hold my finger out for her I see the look on her face get super excited. OMG is she going to bite my finger?! It all happen so fast I couldn't react other then to just stand there waiting and expecting to feel teeth. Thankfully at the last moment Fussy realized my finger was there, I could see her facial expression changed and she gently licked to soup from my finger. Whoa that was a close call. Apparently Fussy loves the smell of the soup, so far so good.

          Waiting for the soup to cool I decide to go and sit in the front-room and watch some TV in the meantime, and like usual Fussy follows me. If you are at all familiar with English Springer Spaniels you know that they will follow you EVERY WHERE. It is not very usual for them to sit in another room for a length of time without you. So Fussy and the rest of us sit down and begin watching TV. All of a sudden I get this feeling something is off. I look around the room, odd Fussy is missing. I brush it off thinking she walked out to the kitchen for a drink of water. A short time passes and she doesn't return so I get up to look for her. She is in the room with the bowls of soup staring at them just waiting patiently. This must be some soup to make her act like that!!

          Finally the true test comes when the soup is cool enough, I pass out the bowls and wait. Maybe it is me but there is some comforting feeling when you hear a bunch of dogs all contently munching on their food. Fussy showed no sign of picky eating as she dived right in slurped up every last bit of soup, she even lick the bowl completely clean. Oh yeah, Mutt Soup is a big hit!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Annual Dog Holidays & More Part 2

July

August
  • National Immunization Awareness Month
    (Not exactly a dog holiday, but a good time to learn about what shots dogs should have.)
  • DOGust: Universal Birthday Of Rescued Dogs August 1 (North Shore Animal League America declared August 1 as a birthday for all the shelter animals whose birthdays are unknown.)
  • International Assistance Dog Week August first Sunday of http://www.assistancedogweek.org/
  • National Spoil Your Dog Day August 10
  • International Homeless Animals Day August third Saturday of http://www.isaronline.org/index.html
  • National Homeless Animals Day August third Saturday of http://www.isaronline.org/ihad.html
  • National Dog Day August 26 http://www.nationaldogday.com/
  • National Holistic Pet Day August 30

September

October

November

December

Years
  • Chinese New Year Year of the Dog in 2018, 2030, 2042.

Televised AKC Events http://www.akc.org/events/tvschedule.cfm


Please let me know if any of the dates I have are inaccurate.

Don't miss: Annual Pet Holidays & More Part 1