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"

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!!