Meet Tux

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We’ve got a new friend hanging around these days……

 

Meet Tux.

 

 

Created by West Paw Design, this durable chew toy is made in the USA, BPA free, and recycleable! A real three-fer. Somehow when he arrived in the mail the dogs just knew it was for them. Knew it. Don’t ask me how. Ok really it’s probably because I get giddy when opening packages for the blog ;) Bear was pulling the thing out of the package before I could even reach in, and took off with it…tag and all.

 

When I finally got it back and managed to clip the tag, it was already covered in slobber and hair. Yum. Guess he’s just trying to keep it real for you :)

 

 

Bear thought Mr. Tux was too cool from the start. And then I stuffed a treat inside. Blew his mind. Consider him officially obsessed.

 

 

 

Tux is a little too bulky for 4 lb Scooter, so he sat wistfully by and watched Bear enjoy the heck outta this thing. (Above he’s barking jealously. They’re such brothers) A big thank you to Becky from West Paw Design! We love our Mr. Tux.

 But I couldn’t stop there. Oh no. After a thorough web-stalking session, my latest West Paw obsession is this ahhhhmazing looking ‘Eco-Drop’ bed. But Scooter? He’s begging for the newly released ‘Mini Tizzi‘ (just the name makes me feel he belongs in our house! Tux and Tizzi= match made in heaven) because like West Paw says ‘smaller dogs crave big fun too!’

What’s on your wishlist? Have you tried a new dog toy or dog bed recently? What are your dogs favorite toys? I’d love to hear about it…

 

 

*Disclaimer: West Paw Design sent us the Tux toy at no cost to us. All opinions are completely my own. (Ok, and Bear’s a little too) We have plenty of opinions..these all just happen to be good ones. Go West Paw Design!*

 


Extra Extra!

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Read all about it!

 

The results are in from Bear’s DNA test, and I can’t wait to spill the beans. I’m hoping you’ll do me a favor before the big reveal though. Would you’ll all humor me and participate in a little informal poll?  Don’t make me beg ;) Ok,  so here’s the deal….take a look at these photos of Bear and give me your best guess as to what breeds you think he might be.

 

 

 

Alright. Got your guess? Great! Now write down your answer and save it for later…..

 

 

 

 

 

Wisdom Panel believes that Bear is a: German Shepherd, Border Collie, Dachshund, collie mix. Whew, that’s a mouthful! I’m all on board up until the part where they throw in Dauchshund…I don’t particularly see an ounce of it in him. Do you?! Let me explain a bit more about the report…below is  a copy so you can follow along.

 

Bear is represented by the red tag BEAR on the report. Clever huh?  His parents would be represented by the circles to either side of the red tag. Thus wisdom panel is suggesting that one of his parents was a border collie x german shepherd mix, and his other parent was a mixed breed (represented by the silver dog tag) probably with collie and dachshund as well.

 

 

As you follow the chart upwards you read further into his genetic history. This suggests his grandparents on the one side were a purebred border collie who bred with a purebred german shepherd. On the other side a purebred dachshund bred with a mixed breed collie. Pretty easy so far. The Wisdom Panel report even goes so far as to show results for his great grandparents, four generations back. I was truly impressed with the in-depth results they provided which were a lot more than I was expecting.

 

 

 

Widsom Panel even further analyzed Bear’s mixed breed hertitage and sent a separate sheet providing more details about his mixed breed grandparent (silver dog tag on the report). I got a real laugh out of this part, which showed a cocker spaniel as one of the highest results. They just so happen to be one of my least favorite breeds. Oh well.

 

 

Finally, they sent us a cute little printable certificate of authenticity, and some in-depth details on each breed detailed on his sheet.

Remember how you wrote down your breed guess? Ok! Now’s the time to leave your answer in the comments, I’d love to see what you came up with? I bet NO ONE guessed Dachshund! I know I never would,  and still don’t see it. As for my guess: I said he was a border collie x rottweiler, or a border collie x German shepherd. Feels good to know I wasn’t too far off! :)


First Aid Awareness *Guest Post*

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April is National Pet First Aid Awareness month. Were you aware? Yah, me either (I’d forgotten)…so let’s get educated together shall we?

 

I’m so excited to announce that I’ve lined up our first-ever guest post for you today (hooray!) I’ve got Australian blogger Serena Faber Nelson of “Pretty Fluffy” here to discuss her solution to a very important first aid matter. You’ll of course remember that she and her dog Soda were the inspiration behind the Valentines Heart Collar that Scooter festively sported this year.

 

DIY Doggie Medical Kit:

 

What you’ll need:

Storage container with snap lock lid.
Cotton Pads for clean up and topical applications.
Gauze for swabbing, padding or wound cover.
Bandages for compression and dressings.
Cotton Buds for topical applications and clean up.
Scissors.
Tweezers.
Flea and Tick Treatments.
Worming Treatments.
Antiseptic for small grazes and wounds.
Sanitiser for your own hands after dealing with wounds.
This is merely a starting list for you. Think about what your dog needs medically day to day and in an emergency. Check with your vet as to what they would recommend to include, and consider your local area and your dog’s lifestyle for any extras – such as doggie sunscreen or tick removal devices.

Package all of the items into the container, and wrap in a bow (for prettiness!). Don’t forget to label the kit with your vet’s emergency contact number. Should you have an emergency on your hands this saves time by allowing you to call the vet for help while attending to your dog.

Isn’t she great? I don’t know about you, but I’ve already started gathering my supplies to create my own medical supplies kit, and I’m currently on the search for the perfect container. So far I’ve got gauze pads, adhesive tape, neosporin, asprin, tweezers and nail clippers rounded up. How do you store your dog’s medical or grooming supplies?

Want to brush up even more?

Red Cross offers  Pet First Aid Classes.

Or check out our tips on creating an emergency kit for your pet.

 


Brush your teeth!

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The doggie toothbrush kit I ordered came in the mail today and I couldn’t wait to get to scrubbin’ on Scooters teeth. I’ve really been needing a good pair of those finger toothbrushes to be able to effectively clean those tiny teeth of his.

 

 

Pomeranians are notorious for bad teeth and bad breath and we’re determined to make Scooter an exception to that rule! He’s got his own collection of greenies to chew on and now finally this toothbrush kit. The vet did tell us that he needs to come in and have his teeth cleaned professionally so that’s on the agenda for later this summer. I’m nervous to have him put under anesthetic, he’s such a small guy! Have any of you taken your fur babies to the doggie dentist?

 

 

What about you? When’s the last time you brushed your dogs teeth? Even though its no longer Pet Dental Health month, we’re making a real effort to keep both Bear and Scooter’s teeth sparkling clean.


I’m adopted?!?

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Today I’m finally ready to wrap up Bear’s Birthday Bonanza week-long celebration. Hah, hows that for a mouthful! Are you sick of Bear’s Birthday Bonanza yet?! To re-cap his birthday adventures: check out his new interactive food bowl, picnic playtime, and pro-adoption post that we’ve covered so far this week.

 

"It's all about meeee!"Photo by Julia Jenkins

 

I found THE cutest free download awhile back that I have been wanting to share with you all. We’ve been through the fact that I’m a huge fan of adoption once or twice already, so I don’t feel the need to explain again. So for my fellow fans of adoption: this one’s for you :)

 

I had a huge “Why didn’t I think of that?!?” moment when I came across Charlotte’s Adoption Kits online. I mean ‘cmon, what kind of adopted dog-parent doesn’t want a certificate to proudly display. I know I do! At least to bring out in celebration on their “gotcha day” (Does anyone else celebrate that?)

 

 

If you’d like a FREE adoption certificate for any and all of your furry family members (available in blue or pink!) just click here. Get your downloading fingers &  color printer ready. Before you know it, you’ll be the proud owner of your own certificate of adoption. Maybe you’ll frame yours, put it on the fridge,  or file it away with your dogs shot records. Whatever your plan: I know you’ll enjoy the reminder of what a difference you’ve made for your furry friends.

 

Heather of Chickabug and her dog Charlotte are just so cute! How can you not love this blog? Besides these adoption printables, she’s got an entire section of other freebies available for the browsing. Once you hop over and print your certificates please leave them a little love {via comment} to let them know you appreciate all the hard work that went into creating these adoption keepsakes.

 

You can stay connected with Chickabug through their blog, or facebook.

 

So tell me all about the furry family members that bring a sparkle to your eye! Where did you adopt your dogs from? (Shelter, rescue organization, craigslist rescue) And do you all remember/celebrate your dogs’ ‘gotcha date’ (aka date of adoption). Bear’s is sometime in the middle of November, and Scooters is the end of June but I’d honestly have to pull some paperwork to get exact dates.  I’d love to hear from you..tell me about your adoption experience or a funny story about your dog. I’m all ears…

 


Find your perfect canine companion

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In honor of Bear’s birthday week I’m posting a highlight on finding your next canine companion through adoption. As many of you know, I adopted Bear as a silly 9 month old ‘reject’ from a shelter that I worked at in Iowa. That was nine years ago.

It’s been quite the journey: full of ups and downs, laughs and frowns. It’s not always been easy, but its been more than worth it! I’m a huge proponent of adoption (that doesn’t mean I don’t agree there are other appropriate methods of obtaining a dog!) and believe it can be a great solution for many families, but again will admit is not right for everyone. Disclaimer over ;) let’s move on.

If you happen to be on the search for a new canine companion, I’ve got a few tips you may want to keep in mind.  Thorough research is really the key to finding a good canine match for you and your family.

 

I suggest that you begin the search for your new companion at your local animal shelter regardless of your intentions to adopt. Simply visiting a shelter can give you a good idea of what type of dogs are available and what to expect from the adoption process. A visit to your local library is also a great start for your research, especially if you already have a few specific breeds in mind. They will have general canine books as well as breed specific books for you to browse.

Important Questions to Consider:

1. Can I afford a dog?

Dogs are expensive to keep and maintain, so its a requirement that certainly needs to be considered before making any decisions. On top of the basic fees like food, treats, toys and medications there are sometimes sneaky fees that come with dogs. For instance, if you’re not prepared to take your dog to the groomer every 4-6 weeks don’t adopt a shih tzu who needs this type of service on a regular basis. On top of a purchase or adoption fee, you may be looking at several hundreds of dollars in vet bills when your new dog needs shots and a spay or neuter surgery. Consider your best options- a lot of shelters give vaccines and spay or neuter pets before adoption- all these fees are built into the adoption fee so you end up getting a lot more for your money.

2.How much time do I have to spend with my new  companion?

If the answer is ‘not much’ then consider adopting an older dog (or a cat or bunny!) from a shelter or rescue organization. Without the added requirements of housebreaking and puppy- proofing the house, an older dog is generally more able to fit into a new lifestyle quickly and seamlessly. Older dogs, especially those adopted from shelters are grateful and wonderful companions to have around and are better able to entertain themselves when left alone- I frequently catch my 10 year old Bear sleeping when I get home.

3. What type of activities do I want to do with my dog?

This should be a given, but if you’re a couch potato looking for a snuggle buddy, please know you are going to be miserable with a dog who needs ample and regular exercise like a German Short hair. Same goes if you’re an avid jogger and adopt a short-legged dog like a basset hound who honestly has no chance or desire of keeping up with you. To do: Jot down a list of your favorite outdoor activities/ways to exercise and label them on a level of 1-10 of physical exertion. Come up with an average level of exertion and try to find a dog who fits within your level. The Animal Planet Dog Breed Selector (discussed further down in post) can be a great asset when looking at this aspect of dog ownership.

4. What personality type will fit my life?

 If you’re looking for a dog to protect the home there are certain breeds that are better suited for the job than others. Likewise, if you’re looking for a lap dog, smaller breeds like Pomeranians, Lhasa Apsos and Papillons (among others!) have the right personality, and size for this. When conducting research, consider what the breed was created for, and try to envision similar activities you and your potential canine companion could do together.

Visit pet rescue sites like Petfinder and browse adoptable pets. You can learn a lot about specific breeds and can search for pets in your area. Petfinder lists thousands of animals at any given time (317,000 listed just as I looked now!) and allows you to search for pets all across the US or in your local area.

Animal Planet’s website has a great resource for potential pet owners who may be having difficulties choosing a breed or identifying the right dog for their lifestyle. Called the “Dog Breed Selector” this short and informative quiz asks basic lifestyle questions and then comes up with compatibility ratings (in percentages) for your top 10 breed matches. The quiz can be found here , and only takes a few minutes to complete. When I took the quiz, some of my favorite breeds were my top matches, leading me to believe the quiz does a really accurate job if you take the time to answer the questions honestly.

If you have a specific breed you’re looking at, I recommend picking up a book specifically on that breed, maybe several and reading through them. Most breed specific books are written by someone who actually owns the breed or has bred them for years and thus has a great understanding of the nature of the dogs they work with. You can also check out a lot of dog care and dog breed books at your local library. I’ve always had good success with the Barron’s Dog Breed books: they’re cheap ($5-10), but I’ve always found them very thorough and they always come with great pictures and illustrations.

In reality, finding your perfect companion is going to take some initial legwork from you. But anything worth keeping is worth working for, and a little research before committing can be just what you need to ensure your own happy ending.

Sooo, now it’s your turn! Is anyone out there on ‘the search’ for a new (or another) dog to add to their family? What venues are you looking through, and how has your experience been so far?  I’m dyingto add a third furry member to our family…so let me live vicariously through you! :)