Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category

Pilling… an Olympic Sport!

January 27, 2013
October 2010 022

The normal demure Gg, 10-10

No, there are no photos from the event.   It’s all hands on deck getting pills into the little feisty patient, and I’m not sure who won this morning’s round.  I believe I got all of it in, but if there are time limits or only X attempts allowed, I’m sure I was disqualified and Gretchen won on a technicality.

No points were awarded for style or technique.  However, the boxing committee representative said his decision would have given the match to Gg.  She made contact far more often than I did.  (No, I am not now suffering from dog bites too.  She’s as sweet as she can be about clamping that strong JRT jaw shut while working the offending foreign object(s) out.)

Thanks to the power of social media, I do want to share (and save someplace I can find it quickly in the future) some of the suggestions my wise and experienced friends shared.

My youngest cousin (okay, note to self… she’s been an adult with two children of her own for a few years… she’s almost old enough to be in More Magazine’s target audience… you’re contemporaries and have been for a while now) suggested a pill popper, which was seconded by an old rescue squad friend.  Only problem is, a search for one online leads to a tool to aid in releasing pills from those foil packs and to something Amazon warned me was explicit.  Hem.  What they were suggesting is a tool that helps shoot said pill to the back of the throat and I’d love to try one with my competitor – er, my sweet baby girl.

Crushing and mixing with peanut butter is another popular option.  I don’t believe that will work for us, as Gg tends to spit new to her foods out, inspects them, and then and only then will either eat or leave it to Sissy, who has no such compulsions about what she puts in her mouth or swallows.  I realize PB is impossible to spit out, but I don’t want Gg to battle an icky pill after-taste for a long time!

One of the brilliant ideas I hadn’t thought of came from a League friend who is a faithful foster for a local rescue.  She also gave advice on how to get the wee one to eat kibble again.

 Dissolve in small amt of water and leave that as the only water bowl out next to her food when she eats .. Peanut butter should also work… Dissolve in small amt of water and add the water to her crunchy food etc. she will eat eventually.

And for anyone who has never “pilled” before, my childhood friend, a nurse and a great doggy dad, described the technique.  I’m sure the Pet Olympics Committee will be using this precise description of the ideal technique in the next rule book:

Hold the mouth open with one hand, put pill to back of throat with 2 fingers on the other hand, close mouth & hold while stroking the throat with the other. That makes them swallow. Then an immediate treat plus lots of cheers and accolades.

I also love that I knew before I joked that Gg and I would be right over to let one successful pilling friend help, she’d tell me to come on.  Never mind that she’s trying to get three kids ready for church on her own (her hubby is also a fire fighter/acting battalion chief), she’s just that awesome and will always help a friend… or anyone in need.

Another friend with a sister who is both a pharmacist and worked in a vet’s office at another point in her life has suggested compounding the offenders.  Liquids might be an option, but gosh, I don’t know that THAT would be easier than pilling.

Awesome doggy-blogger mom and friend Houndgirl introduced me to chasing and proved that Gg’s new fascination with cheesecake (when not used to disguise a pill) isn’t so unusual.

Unused cream cheese it was sweet and worked. We also used a chaser system – as soon as he had it in his mouth I was waiting with some Cheerios his other favorite thing and he would would swallow the pill for the Cheerios.

THAT, I’m filing away for the next time Sis needs pills.  Gg is too disciplined – her own personality, not anything we’ve trained into her – for distractions, I think.

Tomorrow, we meet our probably new vet to have the drain removed, and I’ll definitely as her about compounding and/or liquids.

I don’t know about Gg, but I need a nap.  Have you ever had a pet that made pilling an Olympic event?

Blog the Change

July 15, 2012

The doggy bloggy community is very precious to us.  I will forever be grateful for all the support when Sissy was diagnosed with glaucoma and rather immediately thereafter, lost her left eye.  So we’re proud to do our part to Blog the Change.

While there are so many worthy causes to speak about, including our own vision of a canine glaucoma awareness foundation, today we’re sharing some information  I found via social media.

Dogster had a great article about how to store all of your pets (heck, it would work for human family members too) important information in your smart phone.   Even if your pet isn’t ridiculously high maintenance with special needs out the wazoo (love you Sis!), this list has all the potential to literally be a life-saver.

Please do click over and read the whole article, but just in case, here are the high points:

Take photos of and store in you phone’s photo album:

  1. All of the pet’s medications
  2. Your pet, from several angles
  3. Collar tags – rabies, local dog license, etc.
  4. The microchip data – the chip #, manufacturer, etc.
  5. The food – SERIOUSLY important for dogs with allergies and/or food intolerances!
  6. The pet store where said food comes from
  7. The vet’s business card or screen shot of the website
  8. The emergency vet’s contact information

July 2012 013Obviously, some of us (yes, you Sissy) will need a longer list.  We have the eye clinic and its national info for when we travel, we have the emergency vet info for the beach, etc.  I also intend to forward all of this to the Knight’s phones and to the handful of people who could find themselves caring for the girls.

Do you have any great advice to share?

PCA May!

May 6, 2012

May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, according to PetCo and Blue Buffalo.   We lost our beloved Hooey Hound, Fred, our first basset, to cancer almost five years ago.  Ironically, May was his birth month, so it’s all the more fitting that we support this campaign.

It’s also important because some of our doggy bloggy friends are currently fighting the dread disease, and it seems almost everyone who has had more than one pet in her lifetime has a cancer story.  We’d link to each of them, but the list is long and we don’t want to accidentally forget anyone.

Please consider shopping at PetCo this month and rounding up on each purchase.  Pennies make dollars and dollars fund research.  Additionally, $1 from each bag of Blue Buffalo purchased in May will go towards the campaign.  We’ve been considering a switch to Blue for a while, so this will be the month we actually give it a try.  Yes, there’s chicken fat in there and that worries me (Mama), but I recently learned that even the premium brands don’t necessarily fully disclose ingredients they use in “trace” amounts…

But this post isn’t about Sissy and her allergies.  It’s about pet cancer and supporting those companies that recognize that our pets are family members.  It’s about doing anything we can to improve the quality of our pets’ lives.  It’s about doing what we can locally to support our doggy bloggy friends and our pet pals everywhere…

Pretty Hound
In memory of Fred and all those across Rainbow Bridge because of cancer, and in honor of those fighting the beast now.   The PCA link includes pet cancer facts and signs and symptoms.

Dudley on Thorsday

March 29, 2012

Dear departed Dudley, courtesy of gMarie

Happy Thorsday!   Chan – aka: Mama  – here for a follow-up, informational post.  Just as Thor changed Thursdays for me, even though I never got to have tea or read with the giant gent, Dudley changed my mind’s reaction to that word.   No longer do I think of Harry Potter’s bully of a cousin, or the family I know here with that last name…

March 2011 025

Dark nose 3-11

So when Sue responded to this post about Sissy’s fading nose, I was curious about this Dudley nose thing.   Now… it seems that the doggy medical community doesn’t even agree on what is what with nose pigmentation changes, because there’s also this snow nose (sometimes called a winter nose too)…

As the snow nose link above suggests, we removed our plastic waterer about ten days ago, and maybe it’s a coincidence, but I think Sissy’s nose is getting darker again.   (No, I don’t have a recent photo to show you…)  The Knight wants to put his best girl (Sissy, in case you’re confused and think it might POSSIBLY be yours truly) on a supplement of some sort.  Given that water analysis is basically his job, he’s convinced that the plastic must leach some essential nutrient out of the water and/or the dog, but my research doesn’t support that.  It’s much more likely that our allergy queen is also intolerant of some chemical IN plastic that is sneaking into the water…

January 2012 007

Paler nose 1-12

Since Gretchen HATES metal bowls and Sis only uses metal bowls, this has been a challenge.  I’ve finally settled on a metal water bowl in the master bath, and a ceramic bowl in the kitchen.  Gretchen will drink from the metal bowl if she must, and thus far, Sis hasn’t tried to pick up the ceramic water bowl, even when empty.

Of course, you should report any obvious changes in your dog’s appearance to your vet.  

Here ends the lesson on nose color changes. 

But we’re wondering… what kinds of bowls do you use, and why?


November 10, 2011

From earlier this year... at the moment, I'm resting my head on the mousepad

Happy Thorsday!   We’re here at work with Mama today, and with Auntie Sus’s help, I have her focusing on doggie shopping instead of boots for her or whatever she’s been surfing for the rest of the week.

Do you know Doggyloot?  Auntie Sus’s explanation is more susinct…  it’s Groupon for dogs.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m trying to catch a cap nap.  Don’t they make silent keyboards?


Great Expectations

October 20, 2011

Happy Thorsday!  Where has this week gone?  I’m sure it was just yesterday that we got our great Lupine box in the mail…  (Hound lovers, be sure to click over and wait for the main photo montage to rotate through to the basset and the pirate!)

Jill over at Pet Expectations mentioned forever and a day ago that she was testing a Lupine prototype for a no-pull harness.  Cry.  Hurry up and wait!   So when her email newsletter announced they were for sale, I bought two, right away.  The girls needed new collars to match the new harnesses too, of course…

October 2011 008

These are unlike any other no-pull harness on the market.  You don’t need to hire an engineer or go find a proficient in dressing babies person to get your dog into the harness.   Simply fit the “waistband” to the just behind the front shoulders, click, clip the front strap clasp into the D-ring on the collar, attach least to the D-ring on the strap, and get ready for one sweet walk.

photo.JPGBoth of my girls are pullers.  It’s in their genes.  Gretchen only pulls when she’s seriously excited, and I’d never found a no-pull harness that fits.  I’ll admit the 3/4″ is ALMOST too big for her, and she isn’t happy about the switch to the 3/4″ collar, but I feel she’s as secure as humanly possible.

Sissy could be a sled dog.  That girl is POWERFUL, and knows how to leverage it.  We’d used two other no-pull harnesses with limited success; one couldn’t be adjusted to stay on her funky, long and lean frame, and the other didn’t really work.  I mean… it was better than a regular harness, but she could still give me a good drag if she saw deer, squirrel, etc.

photo.JPGNot anymore.  This harness stops her on a dime, and if she pushes her luck, she’s suddenly cobbled, with one front leg not doing as she wants, and being a good girl at heart, she then immediately turns to me to make it better, which means I never lose control, not even for a second to set my feet in preparation for the attempt to drag!

Obviously, Sis also moved up to a 1″ size.  I did this for her comfort; it is imperative that she has no strain at all on her head or neck, because of her glaucoma.  Because of that glaucoma, we also can’t risk a harness “failure”, so I just knew Lupine would be perfect… and it is. 


Thank you Jill, for your great customer service, and for your fabulous eye for just the right products.   As your LOYAL customer, I’m also grateful for your connection to Lupine so we didn’t have to wait a day longer for the perfect harness!

New Noms

September 15, 2011

Happy Thorsday!  Know what we like best about Thorsdays?!  They’re nearly Fridays, and Fridays bring weekends, which bring more time with our humans…

Mama lied.  She told us when she agreed to this president-elect thing that it wouldn’t take more time than what she was already doing.  Riiiight.  I think we’re going to get her a new watch, because CLEARLY the ones she has don’t work.  Yesterday, we only got a little over a mile walk, crammed in between two meetings.  Where are her priorities!?

Anyhoo, in an effort to keep the peace, the woman did score some new noms for us.   Just about everything she buys these days comes from PetCo, because that is so convenient for her, but really, all that matters is she keeps buying yummies.

For my – Gretchen Greer – birthday, we got Zuke’s Z-bones in cherry.  Since they were big hits, we got more and some carrot too.  They don’t last long at all, but they’re good for our teeth, safe for Sissy and they do take longer to crunch up than those Sammy Snacks she dispenses regularly. 

Note from Mama:  They’re hardly cheap, but life with a dog who can’t have corn, beef, chicken, pork, venison, duck, etc. is challenging enough that we are grateful we don’t have to pinch pennies when it comes to treats!

We’ve also tried two (meat-free) varieties of the Simply 5 chews.  They’re tasty, but Sis finds them ridiculously small and lobbies for two… to no avail, of course. 

From Mama:  I know nothing about this company.  Anyone else have experience with their products?

Do you have any Sissy-approved chews we should know about?

Feed the World!

June 16, 2011


Sissy here – no.  Really!!  Sometimes there’s a good enough reason for me to put up my own post.  Plus, Dadaw gave me a paw-dicure last night… He tricked me.  Lots of cuddlin’ and then when I thought he was sitting up to get a sip of his soda, he came back with those clippers…  Sigh.  At least only my front paws needed trimming.  All that walking on the paved road and racing up the rocky banks on the side of the road keeps the rear feet in shape!

Oh – Gretchen says I was supposed to open with happy dogs on thursday.  Yeah.  That too.  That girl is so hung up on being proper…

From Freekibble

Anyhoo, was Mama the last fur-carer to learn about Freekibble?  And Freekibble kat?  On the off chance she wasn’t, consider yourself invited to click, answer a trivia question, and give free kibble to pups and kitties. 


Think Blue Thoughts

May 26, 2011

We almost missed it.  Luckily, Gretchen needed kibble and I popped into PetCo yesterday and learned that May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month.  

Beauty Boy 2Pet cancer is a concern of ours because we lost our darling Fred to cancer, and several other pets we’ve known have also died because of cancer of some sort.

If you follow the links above, there is lots of information on early detection.  It’s not exactly a happy dogs on thursday post, but it is a very important one…


March 31, 2011




Happy Dogs on Thursday!  Have you seen our spring weather?  It’s gone, and I – Lady Gretchen Greer – miss it terribly. 

November 2010 003

Fire Prevention Week 2010?

Some of you know our Dadaw is a fire chief.   This is as close to doggy turnout gear as it gets.  Sissy uses hers for a warm-weather raincoat, and I’m just not fond of mine – do people really like this vinyl stuff?!

Oh – sorry.  I got distracted.  I’m supposed to be telling you about the email Mama got recently about pets and fires.  We can CAUSE fires, you know…  Chewed wires, knocked over candles, stove knobs turned by counter-cruisers (Sissy!!)…  In June, there’s actually a National Pet Fire Safety Day.  

We’re lucky that Mama is certified in pet CPR.   She also keeps emergency kits all over the place.  There’s one in the house, one in her car, one in our beach bag…   However, we do not use the pet stickers on our home.  For starters, we’re probably the most well-known doggies in the local fire/rescue community.  Secondly, those stickers don’t hold up under fire conditions for a host of reasons.   Plus, we’re a “you go, we go” pack. 

Dadaw’s fire company even has its own pet oxygen masks.  They’re cool like that, and for the record, they were in place before Dadaw became chief.   If ever you’re looking to make a donation in a pet’s honor, contact your local fire/rescue place and see if they have all the pet oxygen masks they need.

Are you prepared to care for your pet in a disaster?