Monday, December 31, 2012

Celebrations that Bother Dogs

Midnight is not an unusual hour for me to see; I've been a night owl since college, the first time it was really possible and permissible for me to do so. Back in high school, there were times in the summer I stayed up later writing, but not often. Now, it's odd if I'm in bed before midnight. I must say, though, the fireworks at midnight on New Year's Eve tend to startle me. We celebrate midnight now? Oh, that's right. Auld lang syne.

If fireworks startle me, though, how do dogs feel about them?

Friday, December 28, 2012

The New Year Approacheth

It's that time of year again, when everybody's talking about goals.

I was talking to somebody today who showed me a clipboard with their week's To Do list affixed; I realized that I don't really make To Do lists. I don't even really make shopping lists. I mean, sure, I have a general game plan in mind typically, but it's rare that I actually map out those thoughts in a take along, check list manner.

Which, of course, brought me to my thoughts on the new year.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Product Review: Bergan Dog Auto Harness

It's something that's been on my mind for awhile, but Dogster also had an article lately about whether car restraints for dogs are in fact adequate safety devices, or just a placebo. Of course, I have the EzyDog Chest Plate Harness, which Elka wears on walks (attached to both a leash and her collar, with Liberty's Attachment, for backup safety) and has worn in the car since we got it. She'd already ridden in the backseat once I'd realized that an air bag could kill a dog. But, was the EzyDog Chest Plate Harness safe enough, or only to prevent driver distractions? Should I look at other options as well?

Then one day I was browsing the Animal Rescue Site, and lo and behold, I saw the Bergan Dog Auto Safety Harness, which claimed to be safety rated. It certainly bore investigation! I contacted the Bergan Pet Products company via their web site, and they were kind enough to provide a harness for me to review.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Just missed Christmas Etsy fun

I'm told a lot of people do their Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve. Nowadays, I think some stores even have some sooper dooper last minute sales, for those 11th hour gift seekers.

It's certainly too late now to get anything shipped for Christmas, but one could certainly order and print a picture, and then put it in an envelope with a "Watch the mail for....!" card. Right? Or is that weird? Maybe it's weird.

Regardless. Submitted for your approval, more Etsy finds!

(and if you missed it the first time, here were my other Etsy finds)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Zippypaws Review!

I was approached by a representative of Zippypaws to do a review and offer a coupon code (Expires December 31!) to my readers.

Of course Elka is always happy to try out new toys, and I'm interested in seeing what's out there. According to the information that they sent me, Zippypaws designs and manufactures their toys in-house, so that the products are less expensive for dog owners. Well that's nice of them, isn't it? So frequently, I see toys that seem to cost an awful lot of money for what I know for a fact will be destroyed in short order, once it's delivered to Elka's waiting maw. They also have free shipping in the U.S. for orders over $10

Which begs the question, as Zippypaws sent me three stuffed toys with squeakers in them, how do they hold up?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Witty Title Here

So, I didn't really know what to post about. It's rare that I'm at a loss for doggie words, but there it is.

So, a couple of random things (that I suppose I could have/should have saved for This 'n' That Thursday with 2 Brown Dawgs et al, but, well, it's Tuesday and I'm stalling for a "real" post come Thursday. Dreams really do come true, right?)

An article about BPA leech and dog toys. I can't be the only one who wishes we didn't have to worry about stuff like this. But, with big industry comes big problems. Clearly. And the pet industry is a big 'un nowadays. At least they've finally outlawed it in baby bottles?

Let's see....

Monday, December 17, 2012

Doggie-Vous Francais?

One day last week, I saw on some news site or other, that there was a proposal to make sure all dogs in Montreal understood cues in both English and French. The notion would be that since in that part of Canada, lots of folks speak French, there shouldn't be linguistic barriers if you were interacting with stranger-dogs and stranger-people. Yearly testing to make sure owners were complying, etc. The thought of legislated language requirements in dog training makes me suffer ennui.

Of course, it was evidently a spoof. But that doesn't stop it from being an interesting thought. Does your dog understand more than one spoken human language? How is your dog doing with just English?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Good new for Sayrevile, NJ shelter!

I've been checking on the Sayreville, NJ Petfinder page, but hadn't gotten back there for awhile.

Guess what?

I'll let you read it in their words:

DECEMBER 8, 2012: IT'S OFFICIAL...AS OF TODAY EVERY SINGLE ONE OF OUR BEAUTIFUL PETS HAVE BEEN PLACED IN LOVING HOMES! The staff of SPAC would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all of our faithful supporters for your kindness and generosity. Thanks to you we were able to remain open throughout 2012 and to find homes for an additional 450 pets who would have otherwise had nowhere else to go. PLEASE REMEMBER TO VISIT AND SUPPORT OUR OTHER LOCAL SHELTERS AND RESCUES WHO HAVE MANY WONDERFUL CATS AND DOGS WHO STILL NEED HOMES. We will miss you all...... 

So, I'm not sure if anybody got there and got a pet because of reading this blog. If so, that's pretty rad. If not, it's still rad. All of those dogs and cats are now at home!

Book Review: Buddy (how a rooster made me a family man) by Brian McGrory

I was given a copy of Buddy (How a rooster made me a family man) by Brian McGrory to review, and to give away to my fine readers! When I heard the title, really I just had to read the book. It's not every day we have heartwarming life lessons coming from roosters (at least not roosters named Buddy; Chanticleer from The Book of the Dun Cow [and various other tales, though I guess he's not the same exact character in every one] I guess has a pretty good track record).

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December in the park

On our most recent walk, Elka and I pretty much had the park to ourselves.

We kind of nodded and smiled "hello" at a couple of passers by, and saw one guy who looked like he was doing a snail's pace circuit of the park while doing some kind of martial arts kata (we gave him a wide berth). I can't say that I minded, really.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Holiday Giving Tree

The Delaware Valley Doberman Pinscher Assistance, inc organization has a virtual holiday giving tree that they put up every year. You can buy lights and ornaments to help decorate the tree, and help Dobermans! They are a 501-3c organization, so these donations are tax deductible (via Paypal, looks like).

Every year, the DVDPA helps Dobermans find new homes!  From their web site:

DVDPA, Inc. was started in 1989. Our group rescues an average of 100 Dobermans each year in the PA, NJ, & Delaware region. We have also helped to place other Doberman by referrals.

Please consider helping the Dobermans in need this holiday season.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Let's Talk About Worms

I’ve talked about many different health issues affecting dogs, and Dobermans in particular, on this blog so I thought today I might zoom in on a particular problem: worms. Not a nice thing to think about but, thankfully, something we can avoid if we do.

After some research on the topic, I’ve come up with some top tips to help keep your dog worm free.

See your vet regularly
A good vet should keep an eye out for symptoms of worms, and even check their stools once in a while. If they find evidence of a worm infection, they’ll be able to advise you on what kind of dog wormer is best for your pet.

Make your dog’s business your business
It’s not the most pleasant of jobs for us dog owners, but when you’re cleaning up after your dog look for evidence of worms. Basically, anything stringy or irregular should set off alarm bells. If your dog is having trouble going, it might mean a build-up of worms in his gut as well so get him checked out.

Monitor your dog’s behaviour
Keep an eye on your dog’s appearance and behavior. If his energy levels or appetite changes, or if you notice his belly looks bigger than usual, these could be signs he’s battling a worm infection.

Treat worms before they happen
They say prevention is better than cure. I’ve got one word for this: petmeds. It’s so important to keep your dog in good health and that includes a regular dog worming treatment. Adult dogs should be wormed every three months. After each treatment, make a note in your diary to ensure your pet is never put at risk by being unprotected.  

Fight fleas
Dogs can catch fleas easily, and fleas spread tapeworm, so if you give your dog anti-flea treatments, you’re less likely to have to deal with worms.

Keep his nose out of it
Don’t let your dog sniff around other dogs’ mess. This is one of the prime ways worms can be transmitted.

Be responsible
While you may be a responsible dog owner, unfortunately not everyone is. You can’t always know if other dogs have flea or worm infections, but when you do, keep your pet away from infected animals.

Hopefully these top tips will help keep your dog healthy and worm free, but if in doubt, speak to your vet about protecting your dog from unpleasant – and avoidable – infections.

Note: This post was sponsored by

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sayreville, NJ Animal Shelter closing, Adoptions Free

While I've heard of Sayreville, New Jersey, I've never been there. It's north of my New Jersey point of origin. It boasts an animal shelter that is no kill, The Sayreville Pet Adoption Center, but it's closing after December 31. As a result, with 80 dogs and cats still in residence, they're having free adoptions to try and get everybody safe and home before those doors close for the final time.

(Brutus, a dog listed on the Petfinder page at the time of this blog)

From their Petfinder page:

We're right next door to the Sayreville Police Station.SHELTER HOURS: Monday through Friday: 12 Noon to 7 PMSaturday & Sunday 12 Noon to 4 PM The best and most greatly loved cats and dogs live at SPAC - come and see!It is with heavy hearts that we announce the closing of Sayreville Pet Adoption Center effective December 31, 2012. Unfortunately like so many others we have fallen victim to the economy. Providing and caring for over 120 animals on a daily basis is no easy task. We have always strived to provide a clean and safe facility along with the best veterinary care for our shelter pets in a warm and nurturing environment. This endeavor has been a joy and a labor of love. The loss of our municipal contracts combined with the rising costs of vaccines, medications, supplies, utilities, maintenance and upkeep of our shelter has taken a toll on our budget as well as the impact of events relating to Hurricane Sandy. Although it is difficult, we are forced to think with our heads instead of our hearts and to face the fact that even with the overwhelming outpouring of donations and support from our many friends, we simply cannot sustain operations any longer. The staff of SPAC would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all of our faithful supporters for your kindness and generosity. Thanks to you we were able to remain open throughout 2012 and to find homes for an additional 450 pets who would have otherwise had nowhere else to go. We still have over 80 dogs and cats with us at this time who are looking for their forever homes. We are deeply honored to have been touched by the lives of these precious animals and by our many volunteers and friends. Thank you. PS - It should be noted that the operations of SPAC have been subsidized by Sayrebrook Veterinary Hospital since the time SPAC opened. In today's economy, it is no longer possible for Sayrebrook to do so. We are grateful for everything.

If you're near Sayreville, NJ and looking to add a new family member, this might be a good fit for you. The Petfinder page also cautions that they do no same day adoptions, and that adoption applications may be completed via email. Other important information is that all dogs and cats are spayed or neutered, all dogs are tested for heartworm, and all cats are tested for leukemia.

Edited December 15 2012: Apparently, as of December 8, all of the animals at the Sayreville Shelter have found homes! It's a Christmas miracle!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Do you do audiobooks?

Not really dog related (I mean, we could play six degrees here, but I don't tend to play the Kevin Bacon one. I relate everything back to Fight Club instead), but I was sent this awesome infographic about free audiobooks that you can download online. Audiobooks aren't really my thing, personally, but we do a brisk "business" of them at the library, and so I was happy to pass this one along. Reading is reading, right? A lot of people listen to them on commutes, or while working out, or while doing housework.

It's a fairly simple process on that site: You download the Ambling book player, and then you download your free audiobooks (Sorry it's so small, but when I leave it "original size" it's just far too HUGE for the site's format).

20 Great Audiobooks

Friday, December 7, 2012

Would Your Dog Protect Your Home? (From SomethingWagging)

Head over to Something Wagging This Way Comes, where Pamela posted about a topic I've ruminated upon before (most recently in September): Would your dog protect your home? Thsi is a topic visited periodically on the Doberman board, and I guess amongst dog owners in general. There's a video, you see, wherein CBS Atlanta first planted cameras in a home, then took a dog trainer in a bite suit and had him "break in" to each house.

The "test" was interesting to watch, though not scientific in any regard. More for fun, I guess. My issues with it are somewhat nitpicky, but hey, if we're going to play at housebreaking, it might as well be realistic as possible, for the dogs' sakes, right?

I did comment on Pamela's entry, but I'll repeat myself here.

(guy in a bite suite, from the Wikimedia Commons)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holiday things to benefit the Doberman Assistance Network

December 15th deadline! Place your order with Gina Austin at Dobieblue AT aol DOT com and send your payment to helpdobes AT dobermanassistance DOT org

Also, the Doberman Assistance Network is having a raffle!

(picture from Day 3)

As of December 1st, D.A.N. is conducting a "12 Days of Christmas Raffle". Over the next 12 days, we will add a new gift to the raffle.

Raffle tickets cost $3.00, or (2) for $5.00. Payment MUST be made by check to (PayPal payments are NOT accepted):

Doberman Assistance Network
c/o Heidi Merriman
3852 LaColina Road
El Sobrante, CA 94803

Once your check is received, your raffle ticket numbers will be emailed to you.
Please share and cross-post this raffle to other Doberman groups that you belong to, post to your Facebook page and Twitter feed, and share with your family and friends. All money raised goes to help with pull fees, boarding before transport can be arranged, vet fees and medication when needed and health certificates.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nature's Logic, Sardine oil and food review

So, waaaaay back in October, I won a giveaway from CindyLu's Muse for a 16 oz bottle of Nature's Logic Sardine Oil. I thought "Awesome!" because we give Elka olive oil or coconut oil on her kibble about once a day, especially in the winter, because she'll frequently end up with slightly dry and flaky skin.

Well, when the rep contacted me for my address, CindyLu's Muse had mentioned that I was a blogger as well. So, I was offered a bag of Nature's Logic kibble, my flavor choice (well, I had the choice of canned as well, but kibble works out better for us)! Good deal, right?

Elka was pretty excited when I told her...primed at the food bowl, in fact.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Farewell, Gummy Bear

Well, Elka's Gummy Bear (first seen here, as it was a birthday gift) has gone on to the next world.

Really, it was a tough toy. From May to November? That's a definite squeaky toy record. Most of them are ten minutes. It always makes me wonder, this pet toy people, if they actually have pets or what. Most toys, I can gauge their play life just by handling them in the store. Most of those toys stay at the store.

The gummy bear was rugged, though. And loud.