My goal with this blog is for you to enjoy your time here. Most of the posts talk about my experiences raising my two yellow Labrador Retrievers, some are just for fun, and others share the best dog related information and products I have found.

Use the tabs above for quick navigation. I have imbedded links for as much as possible so that you can find the resources easily from this blog. The links in the side bar are for websites that have been helpful to me. I hope that you find them useful for you and your canine "family member"

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Which of Santa's Reindeer Are You?

In the spirit of Christmas, which I am terribly behind in getting set up at my house, I had some fun this morning. So, follow the link below, and join me in finding "which of Santa's Reindeer you might be". Make it even more fun and leave me a comment with your reindeer name.

You Are Prancer

You are the perfect reindeer,
with perfect hooves and
perfect flying form.

Why You're Naughty: Because you're Santa's pet, and you won't let anyone show you up.

Why You're Nice: You have the softest fur and the sweetest carrot breath.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Can't a girl get a little privacy ...?

Even the bathroom is not sacred in our house. I'm sure many of you with "fur children" will be able to relate to these photos. At the very least, you'll be able to laugh with me.

"A little privacy would be nice!"

"What did you expect, roses?"

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanks Giving!!

With two things on my list to take to Thanks Giving dinner tomorrow, I'm cooking most of the day.  The pumpkin pie is in the oven and I have a few minutes to share a photo from this morning.

With a busy day around the house I decided to take the dogs out for a run around 10 am this morning.  Ends up others probably had the day off and were out later then the usual 7 am group with the same idea.  Within 10 minutes a group of 6 dogs were having loads of fun.  It was a beautiful morning with a great group of friendly dogs that we've gotten to know over the last two years.  It was so nice to be able to  relax knowing that the dogs were fine and that it was not as critical to keep them under close watch to avoid any unnecessary squabbles.

Here's a picture of "Shelby" and "Mia" taking a break in the shade of the summer baseball scoreboard.  

Here's wishing you all a Happy Thanks Giving!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

"Unforgettable Animal Actors" & Share Some Link Love!

Now here's some "link love" any animal lover can have fun with.

It was for me easy to come up with a favorite animal actor. I think this was the first movie I ever remember watching on a big screen. It was on the old reel to reel with the 20 min intermission half way through so they could rewind and swap reels. Brings back memories for sure!!

So join in the fun, and leave me a "tail wag" so I can add your favorite "Unforgettable Animal Actor" to my list.

————— Copy and paste this line and below ——————

List your favorite animal actor and let’s share some link love in the process!

Here’s what to do:

1.) Copy and paste the matrix of “Unforgettable Animal Actors” below, courtesy of PetsitUSA.com!

2.) Substitute the Host Tag and one of the “Animal Actors” in the matrix with the name of your favorite animal actor and the URL of your blog, just like I did.

3.) When you get a ping back from someone that has your link in one of their “Animal Actors”, practice good paw by copying his/her Host Tag’s anchor text (automatically the associated link will also be copied) and paste it over one of your “Animal Actors” below.

5.) Encourage and invite your readers to do the same and soon we will have a list of unforgettable animal actors!

Host Tag #8: Old "Yeller" - For the Love of Labradors

1. Mr. Ed - PetsitUSA.com
2. Buddy (from Air Bud) - JohannTheDog
3. Benji (he was a rescue!)- RescueMe
4. Flipper - PawsibleMarketing
5. Pete the Pup -Fuzzy Logic
6. Enzo (from My Dog Skip) - Raise A Green Dog!
7. The Taco Bell Chihuahua - The Poodle (and dog) blog
8. Old "Yeller" - For the Love of Labradors

9. Animal Actor
10. Animal Actor
11. Animal Actor
12. Animal Actor
13. Animal Actor
14. Animal Actor
15. Animal Actor
16. Animal Actor
17. Animal Actor
18. Animal Actor
19. Animal Actor
20. Animal Actor

Important: Once I get a ping back from you, I will add your anchor text and the associated link you designate as “Host Tag” here, and add your favorite animal actor to the list here. As more and more pet and animal bloggers copy and paste this matrix, the more backlinks you will have with your anchor text. If everybody who copies and pastes from your blog does the same, pretty soon this will spread and go viral. (And we don’t have to stop at 20!) So, the sooner you participate, the more links with anchor text you will receive.

There it is folks. This should help you improve your Technorati ranking, SERP and Google PR and get you noticed with more blogs - we all like making friends, right? Please leave a comment here if you have copied from this matrix so that I can add you just in case your ping-back didn’t reach me.

————— Copy and paste this line and above ——————

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Better late then never ...

I know this is terribly late but I figured it was still worth it anyway. My husband and I with the dogs spent Halloween with my sister and the nephews. Seen as last year I carved a dog and their home is a two cat house I decided to carve a cat on the moon this year. Time wise it was also easier to fit into an already busy evening with kids and parents filling all the extra spaces in the house.

Hope you enjoy!!

This photo courtesy of my ever present iPhone.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Things worth learning from our dogs:

  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
  • Take naps.
  • Stretch before rising.
  • Run, romp, and play daily.
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
  • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
  • When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
  • Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.
  • Be loyal. Never pretend to be something you're not.
  • If what you want is buried, dig until you find it.
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
  • Be always grateful for each new day.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Perfect Low Tide

Friday was one of those special days you remember for a long time. Not only was it a full moon week, which of course means low tide for me and the dogs, but it was a beautiful day all around. The best low tide this month was -1' just around sunset. As an extra special treat it was sunny, beautiful, and warm. The last whisper of Indian Summer was saying a very sweet "good-bye", and boy was I glad I had my camera.

I had some fun with my favorite photos of the day.
Hope you enjoy!!
Click on the image to enjoy the large view.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Red Dingo Dog ID Tags - They are beyond gorgeous!!!

The "proof is always in the pudding" and boy is this pudding sweet!!!

I just ordered these new engraved dog tags made by Red Dingo at DogGoneGood. Boy are they beautiful!! This is the "large" size ID tag and the color selection is the "dark blue".

There are 9 beautiful colors to choose from and 8 different graphic patterns to select as well. They have cat collar size tags and special cat only graphics as well!!

I got the "bone" for Shelby and the "flower" from Nutmeg. You can engrave up to 5 lines of text. I obviously edited out our personal information on the back of Nutmegs but I wanted you to see how nice the engraving is. These are no cheap-os either when it comes to durability. They are thicker then just about three quarters and are beautifully polished and smooth rounded at the edge. You just want to hold them in your hand. I may pick up another one to use on my key ring they are so nice.

This is a "go out and get it right away," especially if you are as tired as I was of the virtually disposable ones you can get at Petsmart or Petco.

And the best part is that they are just $12 each. I'd have probably paid way more than that for something this nice!!

For my faithful few fellow bloggers:
Please share this with your other blog readers.
Trust me they are that good!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

The "naked walk"

The first perfect morning walk ...
two beautiful Yellow Labradors;
leash free, collar free naked dogs;
a beautiful sunny Monday morning.

I hope you enjoy the recent collection of pictures!!
With the my iPhone always at my side I have been able to capture more pictures of the dogs.

Sunday morning with Mom

Because every Yellow Labrador looks better in purple!!

Sunday morning sleeping in with Mom.

Now that's one happy girl!

At the lake ...

Yes, that's Nutmeg out in the lead, at least in this picture.

The perfect reflection.

Final tug of war.

"Come on Dad, throw it alright already!"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Just for fun!

Click the picture for a larger image.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

All good things come to those who wait

I knew this day would come.

I knew this day was possible.
I knew I couldn't give up hope.

Looking into his eyes, despite the fact they were adolescent eyes, I knew one day I would be writing this blog post. And today's the day!

Tonight for the first time Shelby and I walked all the way around the block with no leash. I was so proud of him!! Yes, he still pushes the limits on how far away from me he wants to jog ahead, but he was able to be checked with voice commands. We had two encounters with three others dogs out for walks, granted they were across the street on the opposite sidewalk, but still ... !

In the past there would have been no holding him, or shutting him up for that matter. (See previous post "Surviving Puppy Adolescence")

Yet there he was this evening prancing at my side with a yip and whine or two, (maybe it was three - anything is better than the incessant barking fits he'd go into) and he was quick to check in with me with those loving attentive eyes turned up to me as if to say, "look, look, look mom - other dogs!!" I couldn't help but smile in admiration!!

So here he is now in the evening shadows of my office - 13 months later. And I couldn't be more proud of him. That's my boy!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It was time for change

So as you can see, I've updated the post column top picture. Here it is on the right for those of you who catch us on your favorite RSS feed aggregator.

Although I liked the previous picture it was time for a change. I really like this new one. It is one of my favorite recent pictures from this summer. There's such a happy feeling to it. They are both running at full speed, ocean air blowing on their "slip stream" features, big smiles on both their beautiful faces as they grin from ear to ear. With a closer look you'll see that they each only have one foot on the ground as they sprint back to us with the ball.

Every time we decide to drive out to the beach I think that I just barely beat them at wanting to get there as absolutely fast as possible. Nutmeg, who is fondly been named "Miss Wiggles" gets to wiggling from tip to tail. Shelby trembles with excitement for the the last five miles it takes to get to our favorite final destination. I'm sure you get the picture!

Even though the previous picture was of the beach it was taken up along the Mendocino coast and was not as clear a picture as the new one so it was easy to make the switch. For posterity sake I'm including it here for the eventual archive history it will become a part of.

Here's hoping you, my few faithful readers, have some awesome memories of your own that you had the pleasure of sharing with your canine "children" this summer.



Sunday, October 14, 2007

Only time will tell - 2

Well so far so good ...

We had some good rain just after I spread out the enzyme deodorizer. That usually will set off Shelby on a "I'm not peeing there" fit. With two dogs using the same area you can imagine how the area can smell. However, not this time. Then today my husband raked off some of the early fall leaves that were beginning to cover their "business" area. Usually stirring up the rocks, especially when they are wet, will set off a pretty good nose tickle. Once again, not this time.

Here are some other things that we've noticed. Where some of the water solution that hit the fence it did not leave a stain or a residue on the wood, granted it's 30+ years old. Also the concrete driveway got some of the over spray. Now it no longer shows any of the stains left from where Shelby often "signs his name". At least that's what my husband calls it when he swirls the last of a stream off the rocks onto the driveway in what appears like a fancy cursive "S".

So far the "Yard Odor Killer", made by "NaturVet" is working well. A big thumbs up form us for now!!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Only time will tell

I know I've mentioned before that our dogs have been trained to "do their business" no a path of pea gravel rocks that runs half the length of our drive way behind the gate. You can imagine after two years now how that path of rocks can smell on a hot day.

With winter rains just around the corner my attention turned once again to that area as Shelby will really "cop-a-tude" about peeing there when the rocks are wet. The smell must be too much for his hyper-sensitive hunter's nose. It becomes a real battle to get him to go in a timely manner. This can be trying to one's patience when it's cold, raining, late, or all of the above.

I just found a new product today that I really hope works, it's called: "Yard Odor Killer" and is made by "NaturVet." Here's the description from their website:

Product Description:

Tired of lingering urine and stool odor left behind by your dog or any stray dog that happens into your yard?

Yard Odor Killer effectively eliminates stool and urine odors instantly. This is not a masking agent and is safe to use around children, plants, grass, and pets. Simply attach any standard garden hose to the special nozzle and spray away. Covers up to 15,000 square feet. Great for use on grass, plants, shrubs, patios, patio furniture, kennels, dog runs, swing sets, fences, block walls or any other surface where odors arise due to pets.

Active Ingredient:
Alkyl Dimethyl Benzylammonium Chloride.

I found it today at one of my local independent pet supply stores. As it was recommended by the owner of a dog board and kennel I really hope it works. One of the things that convinced me it was worth a try is that it is safe around plants. In other words, it will not leave harmful residues in the ground or harm the neighbors plants on the other side of the fence.

I'll let you know how it works. If anyone has tried any other products with the same intent in mind I'd love to hear what worked for you. So, send a "tail wag" our way!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A little off topic - but I know you won't mind!!

There are very few times that I have veered off topic here on this blog as my purpose with this blog is to tell you about my experiences raising my dogs.

But I love KT Tunstall and this video is awesome!! In a way for me it comes back to the whole blog theme in that we need to "Hold On", to the moments we have each day with our "best friends" as the nothing stays as it is forever.

I hope you enjoy!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Online Scrapbooking

Got some time to seriously waste? Check out this online scrapbook photo collage play time website. www.scrapblog.com

Here's what I created with some of my recent favorite photos in my favorite theme. Not that it will come as any surprise to anyone who has read this blog why I picked the theme I did.

Fair warning: Time wasting potential - "Very High"

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Double the Pet Hair, Double the Fun

So what does it really mean to raise two yellow Labradors Retrievers together at the same time? Well here's my list:

  • double the opportunity to capture the cutest puppy pictures ever
  • double the puppy potty training accidents
  • double the sweet puppy kisses
  • double the walks during adolescence as each one was best walked separate
  • double the training time at home
  • double the joy greeting you at the door
  • double the Labrador hair "tumble weed" clumps collecting at the edges of the hard wood hallway, and everywhere else for that matter
  • double the warmth on a cold winter evening
  • double the food for the UPS man to deliver every month
  • double the poop to pick up
  • double the pull when you walk them together and they both catch the same sent
  • double the noise when a stranger comes to a door
  • double the bed size taking up valuable floor space for their beds in the kitchen, office, and bedroom
  • double the energy to burn, lucky they can tire each other out
  • double the security when you're home alone
  • double the leashes and any other equipment for that matter
  • double the laughs watching their silly little games
And last but not least ...
  • double the L O V E as only Labrador Retrievers can give!!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Who doesn't appreciate a little "love"

Wow, talk about "feeling the love". I was going through my Google Reader blog feeds from some of my favorite blogs and found some love had been sent our way from Willow and Stella over at "Dog's Eye View." Shelby, Nutmeg and I all are genuinely touched!! Coming from one of my favorite bloggers it is quite a compliment. Thanks for including us in your list.

For a little history on this award check out this post at "BlogsWeLuv".

And of course as the saying goes "It is better to give than to receive." So I'm sending some "Love" to some of my favorite blogs:
Karen Shanley - Truly a great writer
Lab Tails - I am always inspired by what she has to write
Pappy's Fella - This guy is just awesome
The Poodle (and Dog) Blog - The best dog related news and stories
Just Golden - I just like his perspective sometimes
Orion - Too darn cute for words

So for those hearing about some of these blogs for the first time check them out. I hope you find at least one that you enjoy.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Truth about Cats and Dogs - 2

There are special moments in our home where two Yellow Labradors and one beautiful cat share life under the same roof. Then there are extra special moments.

I shared one of those moments earlier this year here, "The Truth about Cats and Dogs".

Here's a picture that once again shows that miracles can happen. Bella, our cat lived with us for 7 years as an only child. She was queen and our home was her domain. It is no small gift that she will share the same space with the new members of the family.

Monday, August 27, 2007

How time flys!!

I was just realizing after my last post that it was a year ago August 22nd that I started this blog. This blog's 1 year anniversary almost slipped past me unawares. Our home is such a different place now a year later.

The dogs and I have all come a long way from where we started a year ago. They have taught me so much!! I've learned you have to be "present in the moment" when you live with dogs. You can't tune out, every moment is just too rich with the "living of life" when you share it with a dog, not to mention two dogs. I can only imagine how "rich" life is over at "Lab Tails" with Elsie one of 4 labs, now a first time new mom of 8 puppies.

Then there are the great friends I've made while sharing my journey with you my faithful readers. Thanks for all the "Tail Wags" and encouragement.

Thank you Blogger for making it so fun and easy to share photos, thoughts, video's, and great links with others!!

Here's to another year of blogging!!

"Neverland . . ."

"Finding Neverland" is one of the movies in my favorites collection. So it should come as no surprise that when I hapt on the following quote I had to post it here.

A dog is like an eternal Peter Pan, a child who never grows old and who therefore is always available to love and be loved.

–Aaron Katcher, American Educator and Psychiatrist

Thank-you to all the wonderful dogs in our lives that keep us young at heart, teach us to laugh at ourselves by letting us laugh at them, and love us unconditionally!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Reality Check!

I occasionally follow a fun blog called "Just Golden". Today I read what has to be one of the best blog post rants ever. Here it is for you to decide for yourself.

Thursday, August 16, 2007
"O" really?
Apparently the new issue of O Magazine includes a piece where "O" reflects on the choking death of her two year old Golden Retriever, Gracie.

"She never stopped moving. Was energy in motion. ... I have never seen a being, human or animal, always so full of joy," Winfrey says of Gracie, who ran amok and gulped food and treats. "This dog lived every moment as though it were her last."
A young Golden being spunky and eating everything that isn't nailed to the ceiling? Really? I'm shocked. Thanks for the heads up "O." "This dog lived every moment as though it were her last?" I'll say it again... that's how Goldens roll... and that is exactly why I love them so.

When I got to the bottom of the article linked above, I wanted to punch a hole in the wall after reading this:
Winfrey says she "got the message" to slow down and catch her breath when Gracie died.
So, "O," let me get this straight... you got the message to BREATHE because of Gracie's final moments gasping for air while people you hired to tend to the day to day obligations of dog ownership pounded on her chest in an attempt to dislodge the obstruction to Gracie's airway?

You can tell a lot about people by how they treat their animals.
All I can say after that is "Thanks for the reality check!!"

Monday, August 06, 2007

The rest of the story ...

It began here, I guess it really touched one of my buttons as proven here, and now for the rest of the story ...

Pappy's Fella said...

Well, when Pappy ain't fetching, he's humping the puppies. I throw the ball to keep him from bein' incarcerated.

Eh, I look at it as being an object lesson in the disadvantages of being too narrowly focused. Pappy needs to put his head on a swivel.


Gus said...

Me n Teka used to have a lot of fun doing the same thing to Travis. Muzzer says you should be glad Pappy will retrieve! It is below my dingity.


"Sunshine" said...

An "object lesson" ? You've got to be kidding, right?


Pappy's Fella said...

I understand your dislike, but can't say I feel as strongly about it. Of course I didn't have to work very hard to reinforce the whole retreiving response. I've been bothered at times when it seemed too rough, but often it draws Pappy out of the shell of ballchasing and into social play. In truth I've had much more disturbing problems with other dogs chasing his ball and getting aggressive if he grabs it first.

Yeah, neighbor dog Molly likes to give Pappy a hip-check if he isn't paying attention to her. That, or steal his ball and run off.


"Sunshine" said...

Ah, I see, you are lucky to have nice, though denizen dogs at your park. You are lucky!!


Pappy's Fella said...

To me it all looks like kids playing, but maybe that's a warped perception from being raised in an all-boy house. It reminds me of when we'd be watching TV and my brother would swat me with a pillow until I reacted, and then he'd try to bury me in sofa cushions. Good times.


"Sunshine" said...

Ah, I see perfectly now, you are very right!!

You reminded me of hours spent watching my brother wrestle with his friends. I sat on the sidelines wondering what the fascination could possibly be.

Perhaps this is just the perspective I needed to adjust mine a bit. Thank-you for that. I guess I needed to get over my initial inclination to be an over protective mother.

I love your blog. Your sense of sense of humor and view of things is refreshingly humorous and unique!!



Sunday, August 05, 2007

Stop making excuses ...

I can't tell you how much I can relate to this post today. "Slam-Dunking Pappy" With two Yellow Labradors that I have encouraged with food rewards to have a consistent retrieve, I often loath dog parks.

My motivation for rewarding the consistent retrieve was to reinforce a strong off leash recall, and still allow my dogs to get the extensive exercise they need. This of course means that my dogs love to retrieve. They are often the only ones in the group that will stick with the activity more then the initial five minutes the other dogs will give to it. That's when the "denizens of the dog park" turn their fun into a cruel game.

I think what pisses me off the most is the fact the owners of these denizens think it is funny, or cute, or "their just being dogs." I'm sorry, but that to me is a total cop-out. These owners in my experience do not fully have the respect or off leash control of their dogs. There is no way for them to stop or control the behavior of their dog in this cruel game. So, they make excuses for it by down playing what is actually happening.

My dogs can be seriously hurt, most of the dogs that enjoy this game are tough, compact, low to the ground little tanks. At the very least they at least have the advantage of planning the impact and are prepared for the hit.

I actually had one woman who's dog was doing this one day tell me that my dogs needed to be "more aggressive". "Are you insane", I thought, "more aggressive!!!!!" I chose the breed of dog I did largely on their temperament, I live in a dog dense community with one in every house if not every other. I have corrected even the slightest toy possessiveness in our home of two dogs, as well as in play with other dogs - even if it is their toy. It's not "my dogs job" to tell your dog he's "being a shit head", that's your job, and if you can't see it I'm going to tell you, "your dog's being a shit head," and that "you need to do something about it," as it's "your fault" for not being able to redirect your dog. My dogs do not deserve to be your dogs punching bag!

I'm tired of people who make excuses for their dogs behavior just because of their breed, "Oh, he's a terrier - it's just what they do," or "he's a herding dog - they love to herd," the classic, "he's a bull dog their just stubborn, there's nothing I can do about it." All I hear is, "I'm a lousy owner who has not respected the breed of dog I chose enough to work hard to make them safe in any situation when socializing with other dogs."

Ok, I'm done ranting!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

More interesting facts about Boric Acid

I originally posted our summer ear care solution recipe here: "Summer + Labrador's + Water = No Problem!!". I was making up some new ear solution today as summer swimming in full swing, and I have been running low.

I decided to do a little research as the bottle of boric acid said it was orthoboric acid. Here's a link that explained the different boric compounds and why alcohol works so well as a medium to administer it as an ear cleaning protective solution. In a nut shell here's what I learned:

"It is poorly soluble in cold water but dissolves readily in hot water, in alcohol and glycerine."
That explains why our holistic vet recommended to dissolve the boric acid in Vodka. As a very pure, distilled alcohol it is clean and stable with great shelf life in which to contain the boric acid for administering. Vodka will also evaporate relatively quickly leaving the light coating of boric acid in place to prevent the growth of yeast and bacteria.

Thank God for vets that are willing to think outside the box. Here's to happy, healthy fun filled water days for all you out there who have dogs that love the water as much as mine do.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

You asked . . .

Taking a cue from a fabulous dog blogger over at "Pappy's Dog Blog" and his post: "Pappy Answers Your Search Term Questions" I have gathered some of the questions that have brought some of you here to "For the Love of Labradors". I offer no apologies for my sarcastic humor - it's just the mood I'm in.

Q: How much does Bark Busters cost?
A: Proprietary dogma is always over priced.

Q: Why keep my Labrador Retriever in a crate?
A: Depends how badly you want to have to remodel your house.

Q: What age do Labradors hit adolescence?
A: Much too soon and it lasts for much too long.

Q: What's really in pet food?
A: Have you been living under a rock this year?

Q: How do you hug a dog?
A: With your eyes open.

Q: How dangerous are Labradors?
A: How dangerous is the Labrador's owner?

Q: Where are Labradors on the dangerous dog list?
A: May be you should be asking, where are humans on the dangerous species list?

Q: When are Labradors not hyper any more?
A: When their owners no longer over react to their antics.

Q: Why does my Labrador love me?
A: Because he/she is a Labrador. It's what they and all dogs are born to do if we let them.

J: You want answers?
K: I think I'm entitled to them.
J: You want answers?
K: I want the truth!
J: You can't handle the truth!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Because we can't stay away!

Well, I'm long over due for a new post. Sorry for my MIA status of late. The summer so far has been busy and adventure filled with too many diversions to devote extra time to blogging.

While at the beach yesterday I was reminded of our last time there and my last post here. With this week finally slower than all those in between I decided to do some catch up.

June started off with our second, now annual, tradition of a week in Mendocino at our favorite dog friendly Bed & Breakfast. (Yes, they have cottages with enclosed attached fenced yards!!) This year we were actually brave enough to take the dogs canoeing with us. I can't say they were overly thrilled but it was fun to take them with us. We kept them leashed even in the canoe. Between the two beavers and the seal we saw up "Big River" I was glad they could not get any stupid ideas of getting a closer look themselves.

Cottage Fenced Yard
Labrador Frisbee Fun
We returned Friday, and Saturday found me in bed all day with a 102° fever. By 5 pm I knew something was very very wrong. The doctor in urgent care confirmed my worst fears that strep throat had gotten the best of me. With glorious pain killers and my first dose on penicillin on board I finally got a good nights sleep Saturday night.

The next day my 13 year old niece flew in from Virginia. Ten days on penicillin is not my idea of fun. When I wasn't out drinking coffee so we could paint the streets red ( we went every where), I was napping off the side effects of penicillin. Lombard Street By forth of July I had finally ditched the drowsy, though much necessary drugs, and we were headed to Monterey for the fireworks. It was the first time the dogs were going to experience fireworks up close and personal but I was optimistic. True to their calling, my even tempered "gun dogs" took it all in stride. Shelby in fact snuggled in under a blanket with one of the teenagers with us and went to sleep. Nutmeg snuggled into my husbands chest and kept him warm from the cool ocean air. Not a single startle from either of them despite the "ooooohhhhs," and "aaaaaahhhhhhhs" all around us, not to mention the ground shaking noise of the exploding fireworks.

Our two weeks with my niece ended much to soon and the dogs and I found ourselves sulking as we missed our too soon departed companion. Fortunately my nephew's and family were down this weekend and a trip to the beach was just what the doctor ordered to cheer the dogs and I up. We all had a blast - as if there is any other option available when at the beach. It was a sunny, warm, and best of summer pacific ocean days. The water was even warm - of course you have to really love the ocean and live on the north west pacific coast to appreciate the subtlety of how warm it was. [subtlety: so delicate or precise as to be difficult to analyze or describe]

The past two months have flown by much faster than any other's this year. Through it all our dogs have been my constant companions. Now able to take my dogs every where with me, we are all enjoying the freedom that well trained dogs afford. I was reminded of this today as I was stopped in the parking lot of Trader Joe's (for those of you who do not know about Trader Joe's I am so very sorry!!!). I was giving the dogs some water and the back of the SUV was open. A lady came up and had to say "Hi" to the dogs. She laughed at Shelby's crazy over excited greeting and was impressed as he calmed himself down with a little coaching from me. Nutmeg of course charmed her in two seconds flat with her sweet soft gentle kisses of "hello". She was so surprised to hear that the dogs were siblings. Yes, they are siblings I reassured her, and no different than two children in a family, each with their own personality.

Despite the ease of the last several months, nothing is ever truly easy with a sensory driven overachieving dog (a very nice way of describing Shelby). Of course nothing of any value in life is ever easy. Nutmeg is my reassurance dog, reminding me every day that even though I may have gotten side tracked I didn't cause him to be this way. Shelby is the dog he was meant to be, and both dogs have a lot to teach me.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

True to tide ... what we live for.

With the full moon just this last Thursday I was hoping for a better afternoon low tide. Yet this afternoon came with it's own gifts. With the coast in it's typical May - June pattern of heavy fog banks and only 1-2 hours of sun each day, we were blessed with 4 hours of beautiful clear sunny beach time.

So even though low tide this afternoon was 3 feet instead of the awesome - .5 foot tide of the past several months we still had an awesome time at the beach. This time I have pictures to prove it. Sometimes I think about the home and land and open space we could live on if only we did not live in California, but then I enjoy a day like today and know that there is no way I could ever live very far away from "my" Pacific Ocean. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Coming back at a full run.
They couldn't smile any bigger if they tried.

Can you find the ball before Shelby does ?
(Hint: Click to enlarge)

Happy wet dogs.

Taking a quick breather.

"Yes, we're having fun Mom, can't you tell"

Perspective changes everything

Just when you think you know every facet possible about your beloved pet, or pets - as in my case, you'll find there is more to learn. Next time you have a few minutes get down on the floor with them. You'll realize there are things about your pets you have never seen before. A different side of their personality emerges. Somehow they become more playful and loving and you can see just how connected they are to you in their own special way. Here's what I saw when I changed my perspective.



Friday, May 18, 2007

Welcome Back!!

Welcome back, Dog Gone Blog!

Back in January this dog mom, dog trainer, dog blogger took a break. Well she's dusting off the cobwebs and getting her balance back. Check out her blog and give her some encouragement. We all need it sometimes!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Blogging on Blogger - Keeping it Fun!

For those of you who visit regularly, you can see that I've been having fun with the different page elements of this Blogger template. As much as I often "chafe at the bit" of a fixed width blog I appreciate the value they have in making the content most accessible to the majority of Internet browsers and computer platforms, not to mention computer screen sizes.

I will now however, offer an apology for those of you who wait a bit longer than usual to load my page due to the pictures I have tucked into every place I could make them work nicely. I hope the pictures are worth the extra wait. I realize that I am approaching this blog from own my visual interest aesthetic but I love well placed pictures on blogs. As you can see from my own "twist" on the traditional "blog roll", in the right side bar, I have an image blog roll. If the blog I want to link to does not have an obvious banner that I can screen capture, I try to make one that best represents the blog and will be clear in the final small image.

I also recently tweaked the html code to replace the little blog post title "boring little arrow image" with one of the puppies at around 4 months. I also added an image to the blog title at the top of the page. By adding in the blog description text to the picture in a different application, I was able to remove the simple text and replace it with something more "free from" and fun.

Having no idea what I'm doing when it comes to reading or editing html code, I'm sure this took me way longer than it would have for some of you "html wizards" out there. For me it was a lot of trial and error, with "oops, that's not it". So needless to say, I'm pretty thrilled with the results so far. The new widget feature in Blogger has made this easier than ever I expected, so hat's off to the designers on the Blogger Team at Google!! For being a very un-savvy computer user, I have been able to personalize more than I ever thought I would.

Take away:

Go ahead. Be brave.
If I can do it so can you!!
Make it your own and have fun!!

Update: 5/27/07
So I went and spent hours, yes hours, putting a fun photo into my header. Than Blogger goes and adds a easy new feature to the blog header widget and in less than 5 minutes I have the perfect header I gave up on when I first put up the new header. Oh, if only I had waited two more weeks. Oh well, I did learn a lot and it was fun. Thanks Blogger!! Now I have what I really wanted. For a great tutorial, check out the following "Customize your Blogger Header" Vlog (video-blog post).

My new Take Away:

Let the experts set it up first!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Foods & Substances That Could be Deadly for Your Dog

Before the Holiday's this year Karen Shanley posted an awesome list of foods and food substances to that could be deadly for your pets, in her post: "Dangerous People Food for Dogs". With the recent dog food recall and more people considering new approaches to providing good nutrition to their pets I felt it would be worth it to post this list again. I know I learned a lot in reading this list the first time. Hopefully you will learn something new here as well.

  • Alcoholic Beverages: Can cause intoxication, coma, and death.
  • Avocados: The fruit, pit, and plant are all toxic. They can cause difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation in the chest, abdomen and heart.
  • Bones: Cooked bones can splinter and damage a dog’s internal organs. Raw bones should always be supervised.
  • Chocolate (all forms): Can cause staggering, labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, tremors, fever, heart rate increase, arrhythmia, seizures, coma, death. Bakers (semi-sweet and dark) Chocolate is the most dangerous.
  • Coffee, Coffee Grounds, Tea: Drinks or food containing caffeine cause many of the same symptoms as chocolate.
  • Fatty and Fried Foods: Excessive fat can cause pancreatitis.
  • Fruit Seeds and Pits: Contain cyanide. The core/pit of fruits can also become lodged in the intestines and kill a dog in 24 hours with no warning.
  • Grapes and Raisins: Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, kidney failure in dogs. A single serving of raisins can kill a dog.
  • Hops: Causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures, and death.
  • Macadamia Nuts: Can cause locomotion difficulties, tremors, and weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters. Some affected dogs have swollen limbs and show pain when the limbs are manipulated. Limit all other nuts, as their high phosphorous content is said to possibly lead to bladder stones. The exception seems to be Peanut Butter (Organic salt & sugar free is best.)
  • Moldy or Spoiled Foods: Can cause indigestion, diarrhea and vomiting. Molds and bacteria go hand in hand. If the dogs are small, they will not be equipped to ward off diseases caused by these bacteria.
  • Mushrooms: Can cause abdominal pain, drooling, liver damage, kidney damage, vomiting diarhea, convulsions, coma, death. The only safe mushrooms are shitake, maitake, and reishi.
  • Nutmeg: Can cause tremors, seizures, and death.
  • Onions, Onion Powder (and Garlic in large quantities): Can cause Hemolytic Anemia, labored breathing, liver damage, vomiting, diarrhea, discolored urine. Weakness, confusion, dizziness and accelerated heart rate are other symptoms of onion poisoning. Onions and garlic contain the toxic ingredient thiosulphate. Onions are more of a danger.
  • Raisins: (see grapes)
  • Salt: Excessive salt intake can cause kidney problems and may lead to electrolyte imbalances.
  • Sugar and Corn Syrups: Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus. Small amounts of honey or molasses are okay (but not for dogs with cancer.)
  • Tobacco: Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.
  • Tomato Plants: Can cause tremors and heart arrhythmias.
  • Yeast dough: Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.
  • Xylitol Sweetened Products: Even a small amount can cause liver failure and death.
Here's to ... long, healthy, and happy lives
with God's amazing gift to us, our beloved pets!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday Humor: Pet House Rules

House Rules
To be posted VERY LOW on the refrigerator door ~ nose height.
Dear Dogs and Cats,
  • The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.
  • The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.
  • I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this inconvenience. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.
  • For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the door and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years --canine or feline attendance is not required.
  • The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough!

To pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on our front door:

To All Non-Pet Owners Who Visit & Like to Complain About Our Pets:
1. They live here. You don't.
2. If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. (That's why they call it "fur"niture.)
3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
4. To you, it's an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn't speak clearly.

Remember - Dogs and cats are better than kids because they:
A. Eat less
B. Don't ask for money all the time
C. Are easier to train
D. Normally come when called
E. Never ask to drive the car
F. Don't hang out with drug-using friends
G. Don't smoke or drink
H. Don't have to buy the latest fashions
I. Don't want to wear your clothes
J. Don't need a gazillion dollars for college, and…
K. If they get pregnant, you can sell their children.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Happy Birthday - Shelby & Nutmeg

I am a day late with getting to this post, but this weekend was busier that I thought it would be. We had a group of twenty over, not including the 5 kids ranging in age from 2 to 9. Of course, the dogs had a blast when we finally had time to be out with them so they could play with the kids. I may be proud of how they are with kids but I refuse to take anything for granted. So, I still like to be at close proximity when kids play with my two.

In celebration of them turning two I'm posting some recent photos. These were taken on a recent trip to the park with "Dad".

Happy Birthday to my
Cinco de Mayo
"fur kids".

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Update: FDA Admits to Greater Danger from Melamine

Ok, I'm sure you're as sick of this as I am, but this is way too disturbing!!

NPR posted the following article: FDA Admits to Greater Danger from Melamine included on the page is the audio file for the report. I would seriously recommend listening to the audio file. I was dumbfounded at the true scope of what is at issue here.

One sentence in this report that convinced me to share this news link was the following:

"There but for the grace of God go some humans,"
This coming from a former FDA staffer. I hope you have seriously stopped to think about the impact this is having on not only the well being of our beloved pets but on us. If you haven't, I hope you do so now.

That "knowledge is power" is no joke!!

Never stop learning!!

Monday, April 30, 2007

What we live for . . .

True to tide . . . we headed to the beach this weekend. With a full moon pulling tides nice and low the beach was the perfect Labrador playground. The dogs had a blast!!

We met up with several friends and their children. The 5 kids ranged in age from 1 1/2 to 6 years old. The dogs played fetch with them all much to the delight of the littlest one, who giggled with delight as Shelby raced back to drop the ball at his feet.

Can I just tell you now, that I love my dogs!!! They were so good with the kids, and the squeals of "my turn!, my turn!" were sweet echoes in my ears as the kids clammered to be the next one to throw the ball for the dogs.

It was a fun day, with memories of crazy, out of control, adolescent puppies drifting further and further into the soon to be forgotten past.

Being a tide watcher I added an awesome new widget to my sidebar that keeps track of moon phases. I like how clean and simple the interface is. I hope you enjoy it, if you are a moon watcher, for what ever reason. Here's the link: Moon Phase Module.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Update: Pet Food Recall - May have you thinking vegetarian

In a news article posted today by "SFGate.com" one reporter points out a disturbing detail in the escalating recalls. In the article titled: "Ogden Pet-Food Maker Extends Recall" Debbie Hummel points out the following:

On Thursday, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food announced about 2,500 hogs from four farms in northern Utah would be euthanized because they may have eaten contaminated pet food scraps from ANI.

The decision to kill the animals came after the FDA decided any animal that might have consumed feed from the plant after April 1 should be euthanized as a precaution.

The nitrogen-rich chemical melamine is used to make resins and is a byproduct of several pesticides.

Melamine appears to have caused acute kidney failure in pets that died or were sickened after eating pet food contaminated with the chemical in recent months.
DEBBIE HUMMEL, (Associated Press Writer Friday, April 27, 2007)
It's scary when you think of the number of animal products you may serve your own family in a given week, and that now the feed these animal are being fed is being called into question. I hope it makes you stop and do a double take!!

Personally I'm glad I'm vegetarian.

More here: "Hogs given tainted feed may be in human food supply"

Update: Just when you thought it might be safe . . . The pet food recall gets worse!

So many of you may be thinking, who's doing something to fix this problem? Where's the FDA when it's obivious something needs to be done? Maybe for some of you the cute picture below is all you need to feel better again. Personally I'm pretty under-whelmed!!

Just in case you were wondering, here's what the FDA is doing:

To keep up on the latest pet food recalls, here are some good links:
The PetsitUSA.com Blog