Please note:

We hope that you enjoy the DOT posts and the different views from everyone included. We promise lots of cute pictures, laughter, maybe a tear or two, and some information. Please note that the views and opinions expressed here are each author's own and do not necessarily represent DOT as a whole.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Years to all the DOTs!!

Hello! I almost forgot that today was the 5th Thursday and it's my week again! :) Hope everyone has had a wonderful Holiday season! Hope all your pups were safe during the Christmas break and that they are enjoying the extra time with you!

For anyone who has contacted me and has not received a response or a public welcome, please contact me again at gnatchat(at)gmail(dot)com. I've been away and I just feel there maybe some emails I missed.

Here are recent pictures of my pups...and we wish you a Happy and Safe New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Merry Christmas Eve to All!

Hello everybody... Penny here! It's my very first Christmas. I can tell it's a big deal to my humans because they took me to get my picture made and put on cards they sent out to all their friends. They even signed my name to the card to let everyone know I'm part of the family now!

My mom's helping me write this a few days before Thursday, which is Christmas Eve, because we'll be traveling to Grandma's again. She says the Christmas Tree will be all decorated. I saw it at Thanksgiving. Didn't smell like a tree... they say it's an "artificial" one, whatever that means, and they told me not to play with stuff on it. Well, if you don't want me to play with it, don't hang it that low, right??

Mom also says I'll have some presents under the tree. Oh boy!! I got one the other day from my cousins up in West Virginia. It was in a bag and I got to get it out of the bag all by myself. It turned out to be a really neat stuffed beaver with a squeaker in it and everything. I love running around the house with it.

Grandma's house means food. I told you about my "starving puppy" routine, right? Worked like a charm at Thanksgiving. There was turkey and ham and bacon, and I got lots of all of it!! Yum!!!

Although... I may have to watch it a little. People are starting to make a few disparaging comments about my waistline. I'm a growing puppy! I need my food! Well, ok... I'm supposed to weigh between 9 and 10 pounds like my doggie mom and dad, and the last time they made me get on that blasted scale I weighed 12 and a half, but that's no reason to start calling me names like "Chunky-Butt", is it??? Hmmmph. I heard someone say "diet", but I think Mom was talking about herself. I certainly hope she wasn't talking about me!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday, no matter what holiday you celebrate. May your lives be full of love and happiness, may your pups always behave, and may there be peace in all our hearts.

Merry Christmas everyone! I'll bark at you next month!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas to you!

I apologize for the delay in posting this morning. I had a minor emergency with one of the elderly ladies that I look after when her son is traveling-but all is well now.

For a truly inspirational story for all dog lovers check this out!

Honey Dew, Sampson and I hope you have a very enjoyable day, and remember the Reason for the Season! Merry Christmas!

With puppylove,
Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dental Care

This month we are going to talk about the importance of dental care for your pet. First I'm listing several reasons why dental care is important...

Cleaning your pet’s teeth involves removing all the tartar and then polishing them so that they will be pretty and white just like after you go to the dentist.
Better Breath
The tartar and plaque on your pet’s teeth is a major contributor to the "dog breath" syndrome. Having the teeth cleaned will improve your pet’s breath so you won’t mind as much when they give you kisses!
Oral Health
Pets get dental disease just like we would if we never or rarely brushed our teeth. They can get reddened, inflamed gums (gingivitis) and loose or painful teeth just like we do. However, because pets cannot tell us that they have a toothache and may naturally tend to hide their pain so we may not realize that they are suffering. Regular dental care at home and cleaning by your veterinarian can prevent and relieve the mouth pain that many older pets are suffering from. Many owners have just assumed that their pet was "getting older" because they were eating less and sleeping more only to find that a dental cleaning by their vet returned their pet to an active happy lifestyle. You can imagine you would not want to eat or play either if you had a chronic toothache!
Systemic Health
When your pet’s gums are inflamed and red the blood vessels come closer to the surface of the gum. This is important because the tartar you see on your pet’s teeth is 30-70% bacteria by weight and every time the pet eats or chews some of that bacteria can break off and get absorbed into the bloodstream. The bacteria can then go to any organ of the body (like the kidneys or heart) and cause disease. The damage is done slowly and builds up over the pet’s lifetime so that we may not see any signs until later in life when it is too late. As a result keeping your pets teeth clean is a way to help them live a longer more enjoyable life.
So, now that you have decided to schedule a dental cleaning it's important to realize that not all dentals are created equal. Be sure to ask what all is included when you schedule your pet's appointment. You will want to make sure that the teeth are cleaned above and below the gumline in order to make sure all plaque and bacteria are removed. It's also important to polish the teeth after the cleaning is finished. A quality dental cleaning will also include probing all the periodontal pockets to make sure there are no hidden pockets where the gum is not adequately attached to the tooth. Deep pockets need to be addressed and may even mean the tooth needs to be pulled. Dental radiographs are also becoming more commonly available. There can be a lot of dental pathology that can only be picked up radiographically so having these done can really help your pet's mouth stay healthy. And as with any anesthetic procedure make sure your veterinarian is using quality gas anesthesia and appropriate monitoring, as well as pain meds if there are extractions or oral surgeries performed.

Once you have had your pet's teeth cleaned, or before they reach the point of needing cleaned home care is important. There are many products and foods than can help reduce the build up of tartar and plaque but the gold standard is daily brushing. It may take time to teach your pet to accept brushing but don't give up. It will be much better for your pet to have quality home dental care in between professional cleanings. Happy brushing everyone!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cool Dog Holistic Remedy Joint Care Formula

Hello to this week's late DOT post! Sorry about the late post but the day went away with me.

So...for this week's post I wanted to share a new supplement that we have Jackjack on. As many of you may or may not know, Jackjack is my black lab that when he was about 3 years old got hit by a car. If you want to hear more details, please feel free to listen to the podcast episode in which I share his story. However, when he was hit his left elbow was shattered and we had to take him to a specialist. The specialist put in four pins into his elbow. After a long recovery, he was able to walk fine and run! During the time he was recovering, he developed arthritis in all four of his legs. Now Jackjack is only 6 years old and acts like he's only 3 but he has arthritis. We've used Rimadyl for when he's really painful but usually I like to keep him on a joint supplement to keep him mobile. We've been using Nupro, which has worked for a long time, but never really as well as the new stuff we've got him on now.
About a month ago, I went to pick up Jackjack's Nupro and while I was there there was a video on about Cool Dog Holisitc Remedy Joint Care Formula. It's a liquid supplement with human grade ingredient. They had a special going on buy one get one free so I figured why not try it out! The three months before, Jackjack had really been hurting but I didn't want to put him back on Rimadyl. He had been avoiding jumping on our bed, which he LOVES to be up in bed. He'd also been a little grumpy with his sister Abigail. Well, on the 2nd day we had him on Cool Dog I walked into my room and there he was spralled out on the bed like he owned it. Which come on...I should admit he does. ;) Well...since then I've seen a lot of improvements in him. He still gets sore when he's gone on too long of a walk like tonight when we walked for almost an hour. I would like to test him out swimming and see if he can handle swimming and not get too sore. Usually he has a hard time getting up after a good fun swim.
So, if any of you have a dog who is suffering from arthritis, please check out Cool Dog. It may not be in your local store yet as I've spoken with the owner of the company and they are testing it out in our market but you may have seen infomercials for it on the Animal Planet.

Here is a video of Jackjack and Abigail heading out in the wouldn't know he had arthritis. :)

Well...Happy Dogs on Thursday!! Hope everyone has a fabulous holidays and keep safe. This year, Jackjack may get to see snow. We are heading up to Ohio for the holidays and he's getting to come with us. Abby got to go on our last road trips so it's his turn! ;)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone! Penny here, and I'd like to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all our US friends!

Being only 8 months old, it's my first Thanksgiving, but my mom and dad have told me the proper thing to do is to consider the things that I'm thankful for.

I'm thankful that I have a warm bed to sleep in and lots of food.

I'm thankful that I have humans who love me and take care of me.

I'm thankful for my v-e-t, who always kisses me, even when she has to give me a shot or (shudder) take my temperature.

I'm thankful for green grass to roll in, leaves to chase, and interesting things to sniff when my people take me for walks.

I'm thankful for car rides!

I'm thankful for strawberry yogurt.

I'm thankful for bully sticks to chew and all my toys that I have scattered through my house.

I'm thankful for humans who do rescue to help all the pups who don't have the wonderful home I have.

I'm spending the day up at my Grandma's house with my mom & dad. Now, a trip to Grandma's, I've found, is a wonderful way to get lots of yummy things to eat. You see, I've got Grandma absolutely conned. I've been working overtime to master the "starving puppy" look -- you know, the sad eyes... the one paw slightly off the ground... the licking of the chops when I see some tasty piece of people food... And she falls for it every time! She'll stop everything to make sure I get the choicest pieces of turkey and bacon, even with Mom and Dad telling her not to do it! So my plan for Thanksgiving Day involves a lot of food mooching and a lot of sleeping it off.

Come to think of it... it's probably not very different from the Thanksgiving Day a lot of you will be having. Enjoy, everyone! Have a safe and wonderful holiday, and I'll bark at you next month!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The greatest dog in the a companion who does all but speak. He will be gay or serious; he will console you in your lowest moods.

Ludwig Bemelman

We are entering the time of year that in days of old was a time to rest, reflect, and give thanks. The harvest was put up, the stores for winter use was put away, all the hard work of spring and summer was completed. As the daylight hours grew shorter and the weather of the day colder, members of the family would do the chores that absolutely needed done and then all would gather round the family hearth spending the evening hours together eating, reading, writing, indoor crafts such as candle making, knitting stockings, etc. before retiring for the evening.

In this modern world however with all the technology that is supposed to make our life easier, many of us find ourselves overwhelmed with all the hustle and bustle that starts before Thanksgiving and extends all the way through the New Years celebration. We are cleaning our houses top to bottom before guests start arriving, shopping for the perfect food, the perfect decorations, the perfect gifts, cooking, planning, baking,... our schedule has become over run with invitations that we can't turn down. And for others, the holiday season can be one of the lonliest times of year.

Believe it or not our canine companions experience the same emotions.

Our pups sense exactly what we are feeling. When we are uptight and stressed, our pets may exhibit those symptoms outwardly, by whining, moping, or acting lethargic, pacing, etc. If we are too busy to take them for their walks, play with them, pet them but for a quick pat on the head, or they are left alone in the home more frequently; they may act out by having accidents in the house, chewing stuff, or getting into my yarn basket and stringing it throughout the entire house getting into things they would regularly not. This type of behaviour from our pets will obviously feed the cycle above.

Let us make a commitment to ourselves and our furry friends to stop and seize the moment(s), to decompress, reflect, and enjoy each other for just a bit each day this holiday season. I think we all will be amazed at the peaceful difference this will make both with our pets as well as within ourselves.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgivings!
With puppy love, HoneyDew, Sampson, and Tina too!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Senior Wellness

Sorry this is a bit late everyone-the pain meds from my oral surgery must have made me forgetful!

Senior Wellness

Pets are generally considered seniors when they reach the age of seven, although this can vary some with size and breed. Senior pets, like senior humans, need more visits to the doctor to make sure they stay healthy. In addition to twice yearly exams and annual blood screening, there are several tests that can be performed to make sure you and the veterinary staff are doing all they can to keep your pet healthy and happy for the as long as possible! Any and all of the items listed below may be needed for your pet-talk to your veterinarian about what is recommended for your special senior.

 Dietary changes: There are prescription diets available that can assist in treatment with many geriatric diseases. If your pet doesn’t have a specific medical condition then a quality senior diet is the desired choice.

 Tonometry: This test evaluates intraocular pressure (the pressure inside the eye). The reason for this test is that many breeds are predisposed to glaucoma-a painful disease where the eye pressure becomes elevated. This test is quick and painless and gives us valuable information about a potentially painful disease process

 Chest Radiographs: Radiographs or “x-rays” of the chest will help us evaluate the size and shape of the heart, as well as evaluate the lungs and large airways. This is a very important test for pets with heart murmurs, coughing, or abnormal airway sounds.

 Abdominal Radiographs: Radiographs of the abdomen help us interpret abnormal findings on bloodwork or on physical exam. They can help confirm a potential mass or bladder stone among other problems. Often these problems are easier to treat if confirmed early in the course of the disease.

 E.C.G.: This test evaluates the electrical activity of the heart as well as any arrhythmias (abnormal rhythm). This test is important in pets with any heart disease and in certain breeds predisposed to cardiac abnormalities.

 NSAID Trial: Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs are used in the treatment of arthritis or degenerative joint disease. This is a common disease of older pets and can cause stiffness, reluctance to jump or climb stairs or overall decreased activity. Your pet may be a candidate to try one of these very effective drugs.

 Urinalysis and ERD: Evaluation of a urine sample can help us get a better picture of the renal system and urinary tract. It can also allow us to pick up on infections, diabetes, and other diseases in conjunction with our blood work.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dirty Dawg Shampoo Bar!

Welcome to this week's DOT post!

We have a couple new members this week. Please go over and welcome Gayle and Ella.

This week's post I'm going to do some self promotion but only because I really would love you all to go listen to an interview I did with Tim from The Soap Shed about his Dirty Dawg Shampoo Bar!

It's in Episode 37: SAFFtastic of my podcast about dogs, knitting, spinning, and my life called Barknknit Podcast.

For those of you who don't want to listen to the rest of the podcast, if you skip to about 14:45 minutes in the podcast then you'll be able to listen to just the interview. He was a very interesting man and the soap was inspired by his two rescued goldens. :)

Hope you enjoy it and have a blessed day! Happy Dogs on Thursday!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Hallowiener!!!

Hello, all! Penny here for the latest installment of Dogs on Thursday. I'm a little tardy... my mom got confused because she thought the 4th Thursday was today, but it was last week... and, since I'm a puppy, I can't take responsibility for such things. You know how it is.

So Saturday is Halloween! Be sure to watch after all your pooches, because I hear that a lot of them get kind of spooked with all the activity going on. And make sure they don't get into the candy (although I also hear that it's ultra yummy but bad for dogs -- pooh). Mom and Dad say that they're interested to see how I do with all the goblins who will be coming to our door. See, I love everybody. And I think they're all here just to see me! Isn't that how it's supposed to be for a princess??

Earlier this month my folks took me to an event sponsored by one of the dachshund rescue groups here in Atlanta called the HowlOWeenie. I have to be honest -- I was a little bit overwhelmed by all the wiener dogs there! So many in one place... a lot were dressed in costume... some were in carts since their back legs didn't work well anymore... some were bigger than me... some were smaller... There were more pooches there than I had ever seen before! We saw a couple who were black and tan dapples like me.There were wiener dogs in costume. I wonder if they went trick-or-treating afterwards? Do people give out snausages as treats??This little lady is in the red hat society. I'm hoping that's in dog years...And Elvis even made an appearance... complete with his security detail:All in all we had a good time. Visited some vendors there; Mom bought a new fleecy jacket for me to wear when the weather gets chilly here. She says she's "knitting" a sweater for me... the yarn is really tasty tho, and I don't understand why she gets so annoyed when I'm sampling it while she's playing with it and those sticks. Honestly, don't have it out where I can get to it if you don't want me to eat it!

I hope everyone has a good month of November ahead. I'll bark at you next month!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Safety Tips

Can you believe it is already October 15th? Halloween is only a little over two weeks away. I was reminded of this when checking out one of my favorite sites for my daily chuckle, and saw this picture:

As many of us participate in the activities surrounding Halloween in one manner or the other whether actually dressing up our dogs or passing out treats to little goblins or princesses, I thought I would do a little research for suggested tips to keep our pets safe.

There are several sites that do list some tips/guidelines for us and here are the ones from

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowlful of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy.
Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Symptoms of significant chocolate ingestion may include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased thirst, urination and heart rate—and even seizures.
Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures. In cases of significantly low blood sugar, liver failure has been known to occur. Ingesting tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage.

2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, yet they can produce gastrointestinal upset should pets ingest them. Intestinal blockage could even occur if large pieces are swallowed.

3. Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet could experience damage to his mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise extreme caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don't put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume can cause undue stress.

6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal's movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturel or donning a festive bandana.

7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn't dart outside.

10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and become lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can increase the chances that he or she will be returned to you

Other sites that have helpful information are:

No matter how you celebrate, have a howling, and safe, good time!

Happy DOT's,

Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Annual Blood Screens

Annual Blood Screening For Your Pet

This month we are going to talk a little about annual blood screens. This is a series of simple blood tests your vet would like to run on your pet at his or her annual examination. The older your pet becomes the more important and more comprehensive the bloood screening becomes. The tests included may vary from clinic to clinic but examples of them most common tests are explained below.

Why does your pet need annual blood screening?

Blood work allows us to evaluate things we cannot see on physical exam and gives us a more complete picture of your pet’s health. This way we can identify potential problems early and intervene with treatment or further diagnostics early on. Problems that are identified and treated early have a better prognosis for long term health

Blood work lets us know what is normal for your pet. Each value on a blood screen has a reference range of what is normal for most pets. Annual screening will let us know where your pet falls in that range. That way if he or she ever becomes sick we will know what changes on the blood work are significant or abnormal for him or her.

Blood work allows us to see trends in your pet’s values. A value may be in the normal range for many years but may be continually creeping up over time. This can alert us to an impending problem and we can institute an appropriate therapy as needed. This is why it is especially important to have the blood screen done yearly.

What is included on an annual blood screen?

Heartworm test: Heartworms are a very serious parasite. All pets in Missouri need to be on heartworm prevention. If they are not yet on prevention this test will let us know if they are negative so that it will be safe to start a preventative program. For pets that are on routine prevention this will let us know that our preventative program is effective.

Complete Blood Count
1. Hematocrit or Packed Cell Volume: measures the percentage of red blood cells to assess anemia and hydration status
2. White blood cell count: White blood cells can be indicators of infection, disease, or allergic conditions
3. Platelets: Platelets are a part of the clotting system and adequate numbers are needed to prevent excessive bleeding

Serum Chemistry Panel
1. Albumin: Albumin is a serum protein that helps evaluate hydration, hemorrhage, and intestinal, liver, and kidney disease
2. Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP): ALP is an enzyme that can indicate liver, gallbladder, or Cushing’s disease. It also indicates active bone growth in young pets.
3. Alanine Aminotranferase (ALT): ALT is an indicator of liver damage
4. Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN): BUN can be an indicator of dehydration, kidney, or liver function
5. Creatinine: Creatinine is an indicator of kidney function
6. Globulins: Globulins are blood proteins that often increased with chronic inflammation and certain disease states
7. Glucose: Glucose is a blood sugar. Elevated levels may indicate Diabetes and other diseases. Low levels can cause collapse, seizures, or coma
8. Total Bilirubin: Elevations may indicate liver or hemolytic disease. This test can help identify bile duct problems or certain kinds of anemia.
9. Total Protein: This is an indicator of hydration status and provides additional information about the liver, kidneys, and infectious diseases.
10. Other values are assessed in older pets because they are more prone to age related diseases and these additional values give us a better picture of their health.

Thyroid hormone level (older pets only): Decreased levels of thyroid hormone, or hypothyroidism is a common endocrine disease in older dogs. Increased levels of thyroid hormone, or hyperthyroidism is a common endocrine disease of older cats.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dog Lover's Daily Companion

Hi, and welcome to this week's Dogs on Thursday!

We have a couple new members of our pack. Please go over and welcome Janet! If you would like to join us, please email me at gnatchat (at)

Yesterday I came home to a wonderful surprise, I had received a book in the mail to review! I immediately sat down and read the intro and started flipping through the pages. I am really enjoying it and I just had to share it even though I haven't read it cover to cover yet.

The book I got in the mail is called Dog Lover's Daily Companion: 365 Days of Tips, Tricks, and Techniques for Living a Rich Life with Your Dog (The Devotional Series) by Wendy Nan Fees and Kristen Hampshire. Can I just say first off, this is a genius idea for a book!

The idea behind it is to get out of your old habits and to stimulate both your body and mind and your dogs. The sections are broken out in to days and each day has a certain theme. It goes from Mondays which are basics of dog ownership and to Weekends, which are reserved fro bonding and relationship building and everything in between. The book talks about crafts you can do that are dog related building a doghouse...I must discuss this one with my husband Kenny to see if we can do this together. It also gives you many tips for keeping your dog healthy and happy. It even has a page about Dog Blogging, day 365 + 367.

I think this book is a must have for any new or old doggie parent. It's a great gift for a fellow dog lover and with the holiday's coming up I'm sure most of you can use a gift idea. So, please go check out this book. I'm very impressed with this book and can't wait to read it every day and also to give a copy to my dog friends who I know can use many of the ideas and knowledge in this book to help their relationship with their furbaby.

and if you happen to have other animals they do have these books as well...

Hope you enjoyed this review and have a great week. Until next Dogs on Thursday! Don't forget to give all you can to your furry baby because the more you give the more you receive from them. They love you with all they have and you are there person!

Happy Dogs on Thursday!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

But I Wasn't Broken!

Hi Everybody! Penny here again for my monthly contribution to Dogs on Thursday. I hope that everyone's had a great month.

As for me, it's been a big month here in our household. I had my 6 month birthday on the 12th -- yay me! -- but Mom said it was time to go to the vet and get fixed. I tried to tell her I wasn't broken, but she wasn't buying it. So this past Monday, she took me to see the people at the vet's office, and I took a little nap. When I woke up, I had an owie on my belly. And, I had an owie in my mouth because some of my puppy teeth weren't making way for my Big Dog Teeth.

Mom said that we had to do this so I wouldn't have any puppies. Why would I want puppies?? I'm a puppy! Any other puppies around here would take the attention away from me that I so richly deserve, being that I'm a princess and all. Humans are so silly.

So I've spent the week here recuperating from my surgery. Mom says she's recuperating from getting me home -- we had some bad weather in Georgia, and Mom and Dad had a tough time making sure I got back from the vet. Mom blogged about it here. Please send some good thoughts to all the people and pets who are homeless because of all the flooding.

But before I was fixed, I made up a new game:I call it "grab the toilet paper and run". Did you know you can grab the end of the paper and run with it all through the house?? Wow!!! I got it all through the great room and into the dining room one time before I was found out! Tee Hee!! Stuff shreds really well too.
I know that's not the best picture of me, but I've found that when you're playing "grab the toilet paper and run", it helps to move quickly.

Evidently Mommy and Daddy aren't real fond of this new game. I swear, they're trying to squash all of my canine innovation! They've closed the door to the magic room. But I'm on the lookout, because I know they'll get careless...

Everyone stay safe and enjoy all your fall activities! I'll bark at you again next month.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Traveling with Dogs

I know most of the "travel season" is behind some of you, for us however it seems it never ends with children, parents and relatives spread out all over the place. Take today for instance. We have arrived in North Carolina to visit my son and his girlfriend.

My pups always look forward to the trips. They know something is up the moment we take the padding out of the kennel in preparation to folding the kennel up for the trip. They beat us to the door, leash in mouth...well almost anyway, more like with tongue hanging out and slobber starting to form!

I always do a double check to make sure all ID tags are in place, as well as latest booster tags, that the collars/harnesses and leashes are all in good condition so as not to have an unexpected break in them when traveling. I put together a goody bag with treats, toys, water bottles, food for the trip/stay and doodoo bags plus their kennels.

Here are some other good travel tips from

  1. Lists of rest stops and veterinary hospitals along your trip (if driving)
  2. List of veterinary hospitals near the location where you are staying
  3. Crate / kennel
  4. Leash
  5. Water and Bowls
  6. Dog Food
  7. Treats
  8. One or two toys
  9. Blankets and/or dog bed
  10. Bags to pick up waste
  11. First Aid Kit
  12. Grooming supplies, if necessary
  13. Medications, if applicable
  14. Your dog’s medical records (including vaccine history)
  15. Health Certificate (obtain from your vet

We will be posting pictures of our mini-vacation here and at the beach later. For now however we want to say, Happy Dogs on Thursday, wherever you may be!

Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

All about Heartworms.

This month we are going to learn a little about heartworms. Heartworms are a serious parasite that all dog owners need to be aware of. Heartworms, in contrast to many intestinal parasites, are spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. The larval stages are injected into your pet and mature over the next 4-6 months into adult worms that live in the heart and larger blood vessels leading to the heart. Heartworms can go undetected for long periods of time before your dog starts showing clinical signs-the most common of which are cough, weight loss, and exercise intolerance. Heartworms, left untreated, can be fatal. However, they are easily prevented with one of several monthly preventatives which we will discuss in more detail later. But first lets go over a few more important facts about heartworms.

Heartworms are not contagious from dog to dog, however an infected dog can serve as a reservoir to infect more mosquitoes which can infect more dogs.

Heartworms can’t be detected in a stool/fecal sample like other worms. A simple blood test is needed to check for heartworms. This test is ideally performed annually to make sure that your preventative is working as it should. Although all of the drugs used as preventatives are very, very effective there can be rare cases of failure. This test is also important in case your dog has spit out or vomited up a pill without you knowing or if you have forgotten to give a pill or were late giving it. It’s also important to test new dogs (6 months of age or older) before starting them on a preventative because some of the medications can cause bad reactions in a dog that is already infected.

Heartworms have been diagnosed in all 50 states but are much more common in some areas such as the midwest and southeast-where there is warm humid weather that favors mosquitoes. Although some states may feel it’s safe to not use heartworm prevention or to go off prevention in the winter months I feel the safest thing to do is to use prevention all year round. Many preventatives are very cost effective, protect against other common parasites and give you peace of mind-especially if you travel with your pet to parts of the country you are not familiar with.

If your dog is infected with heartworms it can be treated. It is expensive, painful, and there will be some dogs that don’t survive treatment-especially in the later stages of the disease. Treatment generally consists of some tests (blood, urine, radiographs) to determine how advanced the disease is. Then your pet will receive two injections to kill the adult worms-these injections can make your pet quite sore. There is then a 30-day period of crate rest while the worms die and are destroyed by the dog’s immune system. Then the dog is given a second treatment-sometimes by injection or orally to kill the baby worms and rested another 4 weeks before testing for heartworms. If the test is negative the dog can begin prevention and go on with normal doggie activities.

More information about heartworms and heartworm disease can be found at The American Heartworm Society.

Now, about prevention-the easy way to manage heartworm disease. Heartworm preventatives come in both chewable tablets and topical spot-on products. All are given or applied monthly. I’ll be going over the most common products today. Which product you choose is based on your preference and what other parasites are a concern to your dog.

Heartgard Plus from Merial is beefy chewable that also protects against roundworms and hookworms (3 varieties).

Interceptor from Novartis is also a monthly chewable that protects against roundworms, the most common species of hookworms, and whipworms. Interceptor and Heartgard are often similar in cost with the difference in the two products being Heartgard covers more species of hookworms and Interceptor protects against only one hookworm but eliminates whipworms.

Sentinel is also from Novartis and is the same as Interceptor except it also contains an insect growth regulator or IGR. This compound sterilizes flea eggs to help prevent flea infestations. Adding the IGR nearly doubles the cost of the product, however it does not kill live adult fleas. For this reason I recommend using Interceptor and a separate flea product if needed.

Revolution from Pfizer is topical product and also protects against fleas, ticks, ear mites, and sarcoptic mange mites. It is not labeled for control of roundworms and hookworms because it did not eliminate a high enough percentage of them to meet FDA standards but it does control them well enough in cases where there is not a high level of exposure and risk of reinfection.

Advantage Multi from Bayer is another topical product. I have not used this one personally but it sounds like a promising product that would be worth trying. It protects against fleas, roundworms, two kinds of hookworms, and whipworms.

I hope this has been helpful to some of you and if you have other topics you would like me to cover just leave a comment or give me an email-I’d be happy to take suggestions.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dogs on Thursday...looking for a pet?

Hello!! How has everyone been doing? My life has been insane but here we are...another thursday so let's talk dogs.

First wanted to share that my dogs got to go swimming again and they had a BLAST! Jackjack totally is picking up on the jumping into the pool! You can check out pictures and footage over here.

So, for today's post I wanted to talk about petfinder! I'm not sure everyone knows about this site but there are TONS of resources on the site and also some great ways to find an animal to adopt. There are tons of adoptable dogs posted and you can search in your area which is so neat!

Pet Adoption

If you are looking to adopt an animal, the first place you should go is to petfinder and start searching in your area. It's just a great way to at least find out what's available. I often check it just to look at all the pictures. Some break my heart because I want to give them all homes.

If you're looking to adopt, please check out!

Hope everyone has a GREAT week!!!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mom Calls Me an Extortionist

Hi everybody! It's Penny here, and me and my mom Jean are very excited to be talking to you about Dogs on Thursday. I figured, since I'm a dog (or at least that's what they tell me anyway), I'd give you my perspective on things. (Mom's helping by typing for me -- darn this lack of opposable thumbs!)

I'm 24 weeks old today. Yay me!! And last weekend, I graduated from puppy kindergarten. Yay me again!! It was a lot of hard work. There were lots of big dogs there, but I kept up with all of them. Not so easy to do on these short little legs.Like all good puppies, I learned a command called "leave it". Now, Mom and Dad appear to be using this to their advantage, because I hear them say this when I've found a particularly interesting something, or an incredibly tasty tidbit, or some of their dirty clothes that they've left within my reach (seriously, I'm a dachshund... how hard is it to put something where I can't get it?). They say "leave it" and when I back away, they click the magic clicker and then I get a treat.

Pretty slick, eh?

Except, they didn't take into account that I'm an exceptionally smart puppy, if I say so myself. I've figured out that, if I just prop my front feet up on the coffee table and look interested in something, they'll say "leave it", click, and give me a treat. If I actually succeed in grabbing something, Mom brings out the big guns and gives me a Milk Bone Gravy Bone in trade (especially if it's something to do with the IRS. I don't know who they are, but she takes them pretty seriously).
Some days, if I sneak into Mom's office, I get a lot of Gravy Bones. *burp*

Mom calls me an extortionist. Something about holding things hostage for ransom. I think I need a dictionary. At any rate, it gets me lots of treats.

See you in a few weeks!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Health Benefits of Dog Ownership

Our perfect companions never have fewer then four feet.


Let me take this opportunity, to openly confess here in front of you all, that I am...*gasp*...a dog person! I have been as far back as I can remember. Even when it wasn't cool to have a dog in the house, as a dog's place was outside in those days because well you know "dogs were dirty". My how things change!

Most people get a puppy because they are cute, their kids beg for one, companionship, or protection, etc. But did you know it has been proven in scientific studies that dogs are good for you! Really! Unless you get one like Marley, but even in that story love conquers all! I digress...

It has been proven that just by petting your pup you can reduce stress, your blood pressure and heart rate. Individuals who have been hospitalized for serious illness or surgery show a much faster recuperation time when visited by therapy dogs or being with their own dog recouping at home.

People who own dogs also get out and walk more. The increased exercise benefits the body, but also consider that it alleviates loneliness and depression by getting persons susceptible to this affliction out and about, meeting other dogs and owners. I know people who have lived in the same neighborhood for years but never spoke until they see the person out with a dog! Talk about an instant ice breaker! Take your dog to the park and see what happens! I have made many new friends walking with my pups on the bike trail, as well as acquaintances (i.e. oh yeah that is Max's or Roxie's mom!)

Having a dog also gets one's mind off of self as you now have someone else to care for. My sons are still waiting for me to get one more dog...they say each time one of my boys left home that I replaced them with a Basset Hound. There may be some truth to that as I am the nurturing type... Dogs love you unconditionally, accepting you just as you are. They just want to be cared for and loved.

They say laughter is the best medicine. I don't know about the rest of you but my pups (who are two of my best friends) crack me up several times a day with their antics and expressions. And so do yours as I faithfully read your posts!

There are a lot of good rescue groups out there and shelters are over flowing with dogs who need homes. If you are one of our readers who do not have a dog and are considering it, you will find that a lot of the participants here are blogging about dogs who have been adopted. Having a dog comes with extra responsibility but it is worth it!

Happy Dogs on Thursday!

Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson Arrrooo!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Another Introduction!

Hi and Welcome to this week's DOT post!

This week we are introducing Jean another wonderful person who stepped up to help out the DOT blog!
"I'm Jean from Georgia, currently owned by Penny Jasmine (The Princess), who is a black and tan dappled dachshund puppy. By trade I'm a CPA who works to earn dog food and dog toys for The Princess, and when I'm not amusing her, I enjoy counted thread needlework and knitting. I've been married for 25 years to Richard, who The Princess has wrapped around her little paw.
For her part, Penny enjoys rolling in the grass, chewing on bully sticks, chasing her tail, and attention from just about anyone. Her dislikes are nail trims, thunder, and not getting her way.
Waiting at the Rainbow Bridge is His Royal Lowness Oscar Worf, who left us in February at the age of 15 1/2. Oscar never considered himself to be a dog, so we're sure he didn't mind when Penny came into our lives. We miss him terribly."

Thank you Jean and I look forward to reading posts for you as well as the others who have been introduced. Jean blogs regularly at Baa Baa Knit Stitch.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Another Intro and another DOT!

Hello and Welcome to this week's Dogs on Thursday's post!

This week...another introduction!! Please go over and say hello and welcome to the team to Nicki!

A little about me...

I'm a small animal veterinarian working in southwest MO. I graduated from Univ of MO College of Vet Med in 2004. I spend most of my free time training dogs! But I also enjoy running, spending time outside, listening to country music, riding horses, and spending time with my husband-don't want him to be jealous of the dogs!

About the dogs...

Zodiac and Legend are both rescued border collies. Legend currently competes in agility and dabbles in obedience. Zodiac is retired from agility but is working toward his UD and RAE in obedience. They have over 30 performance titles between them and Zodiac is also a therapy pet-he currently visits the pediatric ward of the hospital. Already waiting at the Rainbow Bridge is Oreo-a border collie mix and my first performance dog and best friend whom I miss terribly. But he has left behing many wonderful memories and a tremendous legacy.

We also have a few cats, a rabbit, horses and 2 pot-bellied pigs (those belong to the hubby!)


You should be hearing from them in the near future!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

DOT...a bit late!

Sorry for the late DOT post today. Was hoping to get this up earlier but just have not had a chance today.

Big welcome to Jacki. Welcome to our DOT pack!

So today we are going to introduce one of our new helpers!! Tina is our first one to be introduced. This is what she has to say about herself.

My name is Tina, wife of Kerry for 27 years, mother of 3 grown sons. Dog mom to our two basset hounds, Honey Dew 5 and Sampson 1 year. Reside: Pennsylvania Favorite Food: Chocolate, Herb Teas.

Please go over to her blog here and say hello and thank you for helping out. I'll have some more intros coming soon and also you'll be hearing from them starting next month!!

Thank you and sorry again for the late posting.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dogs & Yarn

Happy Dogs on Thursday to you. While I realize not all of our participants are knitters, many of you are. And while the contest I'm about to mention is for Ravelry members, (if you knit, spin, crochet, design patterns, etc., you should be a member!) I believe it is worded so that those of you who sew might also give it a go.


In short, if you happen to be (or become quickly?) a member of the Ravelry Namaste Love group and you send the Namaste girls and their dogs a sweater you made, you get entered to win Namaste products.


I can't help but share how much I love Namaste bags. I know Nichole and Natalie do too, but what a lot of folks don't know is that the Namaste girls love dogs and theirs go to work with them regularly. No wonder they produce bags that resist even basset hound drool!

This is also my last post, due to a new venture a friend and I have started. I will still be a member of the group, but I just don't have the time to commit to a regular feature here too. I'm grateful to Paula and Elise for starting this wonderful group and tradition, and I hope some of you who enjoy it too will step up and give Natalie a hand to keep it going. Stay in touch!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tagging fun! Dogs on Thursday!

Hello DOT pack! How is everyone this week? Welcome to this week's DOT post!

First off we have a new member Sharon this week. Please go over and give her a nice DOT hello.

This week is going to be short and sweet...We are still looking for people to help out with this main blog. Please email me at gnat(at)barknknit(dot)com if you would like to post at least once a month to this blog.

So...this week I wanted to share a really cool article about Pet ID Tags. We all know how important they are and how cute they can be. Check out this article on how to create your own really cute tags! I already have plans to make a couple for my pets!

Don't forget that it's summer right now and your pup needs lots of water!! Make sure to keep fresh water out at all time!

Hope everyone is safe and having a great summer!

Happy Dogs on Thursday!

PS...having a really hard time with the linky working! Let me know if you see it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

DOT with a plea for help.

Welcome to this week's DOT post. I first wanted to tell you about a little change in the DOT volunteers. It is sad but both Nichole and Sue have stepped down from posting on the main boards. They are both busy and we will miss them and I thank them so much for their help over the last couple months. They have added greatly to our main blog and I appreciate them for stepping up.

This being said...I would like to ask for more help. If you have time and would like to contribute once a month to the main blog, please contact me at gnatchat(at)gmail(dot)com and let me know. I really want this blog to continue, however, sometimes life gets a bit busy and it's nice to have help to keep it going.

Thank you in advance for your support.

So...on the the post. For this week, I wanted to share a sad but amazing story about a dog named Blue. Not sure you have seen this before but my friend Monica sent it to me and I about cried reading it. It definitely pulls my heart strings because it's a story about a black lab.

But please go over and read this story about Blue! Also check out the AWESOME leather bags that Blue's owner makes!

Hope you enjoy the story and hope you and your pups have a great week!!

And because I can't resist sharing my pups...Here is a pic of Jackjack and Abigail swimming at my friends pool. They had SO much fun!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Paws for Charity

Welcome to this weeks Dogs on Thursday post! We have a couple of new people on our dog roll! Please welcome Melly and Roslyn. Go over and give them a tail wagging hello!! :)

For this week's post I wanted to talk about a book called Paws for Charity!

"The Paws for Charity Art Book Project is a compilation of photography and artwork submitted by artists from the US, UK, and Canada. All the images are of dogs and cats (the "Paws" part of this project) and proceeds from the sale of this book are donated to the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade (the "for Charity" part of this project).
Information about the 37 artists and Paws for Charity is available on the blog:"

Blurb taken from this site. Image from their etsy site.

I have not purchased the book yet but I definitely plan to. The blog is a great read and you will find many people who are doggie minded like us! Please go over and check it out and let them know you found them through the Dogsonthursday blog!

The book and other items are available for purchase from

Have a great week and safe 4th of July!!!


PS...I shared this on my podcast but a great tip on keeping your dog calm during the loudness that is this holiday is to make a big batch of chamomile tea and mix it into your dogs water for the next couple days. It will help ease their nerves!!

Also don't forget to go over and say HAPPY birthday to Chan! Her birthday was yesterday! :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nailing Down Dog Nails

I must confess, I had another post planned for today, but something wonderful happened at our house, and I wanted to share it with you.

Around our house, the Knight - my husband, also known to the fur-kids as Dadaw - has nail duty. He was raised in a home where shelties were raised too, so I suppose he learned to help trim the dogs' nails after he'd mastered trimming his own. In fact, it's not unusual for my family to whisper in his ear when they hug him hello, and before we leave, he and the family dog(s) have some quality time together. He has a knack many vet techs would love to have.

Rewind to last winter. We brought home baby Sissy, our second basset hound. Bassets are notorious for being very persnickity about their feet, and Sissy took it to a new level. Finally, the Knight began to suggest that I make sure the vet trimmed her nails while we were there. It was a blow to his Dadaw-ego.

Several of you and a couple of our local friends bought Pedipaws when they first hit the market. The Knight already owned a couple of Dremel tools, so he did some research and decided Sissy wouldn't like it. So imagine my surprise - and the eye rolling - when a Pedipaws found its way into our cart a few weeks ago.

(Insert nail in that little cut-out. You can see the file below.)

He started with one nail every other night, and in under two weeks, Sissy has decided that the buzzy thing can touch all her nails in one sitting. The Knight still has to pin her down a bit, but I predict that in a few more weeks, she'll sit in his lap like Gretchen does. I don't think Sissy will ever like it, but for our pack, Pedipaws is fantastic.

Sissy's nails are rather thick, thick enough that "we" use the big dog clippers. I think that's why the Knight originally discounted the "as seen on TV" tool, but in a matter of seconds, a whole paw's worth of nails can be filed without a fight.

Gretchen seems to prefer the human fingernail clippers, but I like the smooth finish Pedipaws provides, so she's going to have to adjust.

Me? Despite countless tutorials and many assists, I've always been too afraid of nicking the quick to try on my own. However, I think that if the Knight ever tires of giving his girls their pedicures, I just might give it a whirl.

Happy Dogs on Thursday. Don't forget to visit some of the other members, and let us know about your Pedipaws experiences too.