Category Archives: Educational

Summertime Danger to Your Dog’s Feet

I was working a tent at an event one day.  A woman came along and stopped to talk with an acquaintance in front of our tent.  It was summer, quite warm, and we were set up on asphalt.  As their conversation continued I noticed that the senior Boxer the woman had on a leash was “dancing” a bit.  I waved to get the woman’s attention and asked if she’d like to move over so she and her dog could cool her feet in the shade of our tent.

is it safe for dog feet“Oh, no: I’m fine.”  She responded from under her sun hat.

“Yeah,” I thought, “YOU’RE fine but your dog is suffering.”

I got a bowl and broke out a bottle of water.  With the water in the bowl I set it in the shade and asked the woman if she’d let her dog come over to get a drink.

She gave me an exasperated look and said, “I’ll be leaving in just a minute.”  but did let out her retractable leash so the Boxer could sidle over to get a drink and cool her feet.

Their conversation dragged on and on, so I stooped there and petted the dog to keep her in the shade. Continue reading Summertime Danger to Your Dog’s Feet

Using Epsom Salt in the Garden

Most people are aware that Epsom salt makes for a soothing bath if you have itchy skin or sore muscles, but did you know it’s also beneficial to some of your garden plants?

Why Epsom salt?

Epsom saltEpsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is high in magnesium.  Magnesium promotes the uptake of nitrogen and phosphorous from the soil.  Magnesium also promotes the creation of chlorophyll, the stuff that gives plants their green color and is essential for photosynthesis.  By improving photosynthesis the plant feeds itself better and stays healthier.  Magnesium also aids a plant in the production of more flowers, which in turn become fruit.  Boosting photosynthesis also boosts sugar production, so fruit trees and vines will produce sweeter fruit.

Before using Epsom salt it is recommended to have your soil tested for magnesium content; amending it may not be needed.

What Plants Benefit?

Most flowering plants can benefit from the use of Epsom salt.  This includes flowers such as roses.  But my focus is the vegetable garden, so I’ll confine my discussion to those plants.  The primary benefactors are the nitrogen hungry plants like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumber, squash, and zucchini.  Do not use it on beans (which are nitrogen fixers) and leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, chard, and kale.

Signs of Need

Continue reading Using Epsom Salt in the Garden

Sneaky Ways to Medicate Your Dog

If you provide care to a canine, you know there are times when you must medicate your dog .  Some medications: like their heartworm prevention tabs, are flavored so most dogs will gulp them down like a treat.  But when you have to get them to take a pill, that can be harder.  Fortunately, most of us are smarter (or sneakier) than most of them.

Small Pills

Small pills like Diphenhydramine  and Prednisone can be hidden pretty easily in a glob of peanut butter, cheese, or pumpkin puree.  I can put a pill or two in a half-teaspoon of peanut butter and drop it on top of their kibbles and the dog will usually scarf it down without ever knowing.

If the dog is the suspicious type and will “search” the glob of peanut butter for alien objects, roll the glob in their kibbles.  The kibbles sticking to the glob make it harder to detect your deception. Continue reading Sneaky Ways to Medicate Your Dog

Members of the Homebrew Computer club

Apple 1: A Home-brew Computer

Here’s an interesting bit of computer history: the Apple 1 home computer.  This was the brain child of Steve Wozniac, who later became the co-founder of the Apple Computer Company.  But that came later.

Steve Jobs (left in image above) and Steve Wozniak both worked for Atari at the time and met in a friend’s garage in the late 1960s.  The two of them bonded over their shared interest in electronics and practical jokes.  Wozniak was a wizard at designing compact, efficient circuitry.  Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs debuted their prototype Apple 1 at the Homebrew Computer Club in 1976. Continue reading Apple 1: A Home-brew Computer

The Tax Reform Bill:
What It Really Says

For some time now I’ve been seeing some folks gnashing their teeth and tearing hair over this tax reform bill that just passed.  All manner of apocalyptic scenarios are being painted.  There are three issues that I see lamented most often.

Charitable Giving

One is charitable giving.  Some (even some news outlets) are saying that charitable giving is no longer income tax deductible, so people will stop giving.  First off I think that concept is just silly: people don’t give to charities solely to avoid paying taxes on that money.  But, getting that deduction is a nice perk for being generous.  Curious about what the real deal is, I started searching for credible reports on what the new tax bill says about charitable giving. Continue reading The Tax Reform Bill:
What It Really Says

Smile: Simple Giving to Favorite Charity

If you are a regular reader here, you know I serve as a foster care provider with Steele Away Home – Canine Foster and Rescue.  Being a charity, we are (always) raising funds to keep doing what we do.  We have a new way for you to help … and all you have to do is — SHOP!  You like shopping right?  Do you shop on Amazon.com?

Steele Away Home is an all-volunteer run 501(c)(3) and is now GuideStar accredited and registered with Amazon Smile.  If you select us as your beneficiary, Amazon will donate a percentage of THEIR profits from your purchase to us as your chosen charity. Continue reading Smile: Simple Giving to Favorite Charity

your dog's poop

Your Dog’s Poop Tells a Tale

Talking about your canine friends excrement may not be a glamorous topic, but there are some things that all dog owners should be aware of and watching for.  Yes, that’s right: you need to be looking at your dog’s poop.

Why Examine Your Dog’s Poop

With dogs, as with people, what is excreted can give clues to problems that are building inside.  Watching for signs of trouble as you clean up after your dog can give you warning well before severe symptoms set in.   Here’s what to look for:

NOTE: To be as effective as possible I have included photos.  To be as inoffensive as possible, I have made the on-page photos very small.  Click the photos to view them full size — or skip that if you’re squeamish. Continue reading Your Dog’s Poop Tells a Tale

pit bull

Pit Bulls We Loved Before They Were Feared

According to nationalpitbullawarenessday.org, Jodi Preis of Bless the Bullys, a non-profit rescue and education effort in Tennessee, introduced the idea of National Pit Bull Awareness Day in 2007 and it took off like wildfire.  Now, the entire month of October is known as National Pit Bull Awareness Month, while devotees of pit bulls recognize October 27th across the country as National Pit Bull Awareness Day.

pit bulls
Am. Pit Bull Terrier

National Pit Bull Awareness Day (NPBAD) is a day of appreciation and education designed to change perceptions and stereotypes about pit bulls and their responsible owners.  NPBAD was established to educate and foster positive communications and experiences in the communities in which we and our dogs live, and it is an initiative dedicated to restoring the image of the American Pit Bull Terrier.

It is well known that pit bulls, and pit-mixes, are at the current target of breed specific legislation, discrimination, and negative bias among the nation’s media and government.  Despite continued efforts by supporters, much of the general public is overwhelmingly misinformed about the breed and hold to a fear-filled image created by humans who exploit the dogs, not the breed itself. Continue reading Pit Bulls We Loved Before They Were Feared

cheesy dog treats

Making Cheesy Dog Treats

cheesy dog treatsDogs love cheese, so even the most discriminating dog ought to love these cheesy dog treats.  Because they’re homemade and you will choose the ingredients, you know they contain nothing insidious — something you can’t be sure of with commercial treats.  They’re easy to make, too!  Because they’re made with real cheese they add protein to your dogs diet, but they ARE treats: so dispense responsibly.

Ingredients

Continue reading Making Cheesy Dog Treats

Universal K9 Turns Pit Bull Death Row Into 2nd Chance

Universal K9Universal K9 is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in San Antonio TX and Richmond VA that pulls dogs from kill shelters and rescues and trains them to work with police officers as narcotics dogs, pursuit & take-down dogs, or as dual-purpose dogs.

They also train dogs to work as business drug/explosives/weapons search dogs.  These are useful in airports, jails, schools, oil fields, warehouses, trucking companies, and similar.

They have a special program for veterans on the GI Bill to attend a two week Dual Purpose Handlers course.  All students who complete the course are eligible to receive a FREE single purpose narcotics or explosive dog.

Universal K9 Favors Pit Bulls

Continue reading Universal K9 Turns Pit Bull Death Row Into 2nd Chance