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.
“Oh, no: I’m fine.” She responded from under her sun hat.
“Yeah,” I thought, “YOU’RE fine but your dog is suffering.”
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I am something of a handyman. I often make repairs around our house and property. I am, by no means, an expert at plumbing, electrical, or concrete work but I understand the principles and can usually cobble my way through a repair project. For small repairs I often employ the familiar tools and various glues, a staple gun, nails, screws, and yes: even duct tape. But today I needed to make a repair for which none of these would help. Today I needed to bring into service — a needle and thread!
One of the dogs got overly enthusiastic and tore a hole in the cover of a dog bed. Discovering that there was “stuff” inside, she proceeded to pull what was inside, out. Thus she tore the end off one of the fabric tubes full of fiberfill that makes a bolster around the dog bed. She also pulled a basketball sized wad of fiberfill out. I caught her at it, gathered the filler and put the bed up until it could be repaired. Today, I tackle that. Continue reading Wielding Unfamiliar Tools→
Every once in a while, the dogs get revved up because something exciting is going on outside and I’m not in the house to calm them down (because I’m part of what’s going on outside). When they get all wild-eyed they sometimes decide they need to “kill” a dog bed. The damage is not intentional. If they flap a blanket, damage is minimal. Flap a dog bed and it tends to tear the cover. Once the cover is torn, stuffing pops out. Once stuffing pops out, everyone *needs* to help pull it out. There is just something about dogs and fiberfill!
This is mostly Callie, but Blondie sometimes gets into it too. Callie is usually very good to her bedding, but when The Beagles get nusto and run through the house Barroorooing, that gets Callie excited too — if she’s loose. When crated she sits calmly and watches them. So if I have to leave the house for more than a couple of minutes, and can’t take them out with me, I crate Callie and Buddy. The rest will be fine.
When a bed gets torn, the proper thing to do would be to put the stuffing back inside and sew a patch over the hole. But I don’t even know where the needles and thread are kept, much less claim to be adept at using them. So I use the skills and materials I do have: Continue reading Making Dog Bed Repairs→
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 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→
One of my Fosters, Ricky, has been producing bloody diarrhea since Thursday. I took him to the vet today. It was complicated, but the simple version is he has Hookworms. He’s now on an antidiarrheal, antibiotics, and a wormer. And because hookworms are quite contagious, I’ll be worming ALL seven of the dogs for the next three days just to be safe. There are two standard medications for this: Panacur and Safe-guard.
Panacur comes as a liquid (suspension) or pills. A liter of Panacur liquid costs around $130.00 and is available only through vet supply outlets. I have also used Panacur paste for equines, but this is difficult to get the proper dose measured out for dogs. The dispenser is graduated in increments of 250 pounds up to 1000 pounds. Setting up the dispenser for an 80 pound dog is educated-guesswork. A 30 pound dog is hopeless.
The pills in boxes of three and in sizes for 10 pounds, 20 pounds, and 40 pounds. If your dog is bigger than 40 pounds, you combine boxes to get close to the right weight. Most places that sell pet medications have the pills and they run $7.00 to $15.00 per box. I figured I’d need 16 boxes to give seven dogs of various sizes three doses each. Continue reading Worming Large Dogs At Low Cost→
One of my friends on Facebook, Donna Gregg, is a cheesehead — aka resident of Wisconsin — and she does dog portraits.
Donna and I connected because she is also a dog lover, canine rescuer, and intelligent person. Among her many talents is the ability to do 3-D dog cariacatures in crochet. Recently she returned to her first love: pencil and paper.
The dog portraits I saw on Facebook looked nice, but when I got one of her works in the mail as an early Christmas present, I was astounded by her likeness of our American Bulldog mix: Cochise. No photograph or scan I’ve done can do it justice, it is so life-like and detailed.
Since I’ve started putting a dollop of home made bone broth on top of the dogs kibbles, excitement among our canine companions at feeding time has really ramped up!
This experiment is the first step in hands-on research for a new book on feeding dogs. It will cover the full spectrum from commercial kibble (what to look for and watch out for) to home-cooked dog food, to raw diets. Continue reading New W.I.P.: Feeding Your Dog→
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→