Thursday, May 20, 2010


101 DOG TRICKS: I am already picking thru this book and growing more and more excited about teaching the ever active Coco some new tricks. I have located a Hula-Hoop and we shall see how long it takes for Coco to learn to jump thru it. There's a whole chapter just on Hoop tricks, so that should be fun.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Of course, this should come as no surprise.

When Coco was 10 weeks old, I sat in disbelief as I watched her jiggle the handle on her teeny little crate and let herself right out. We had a bungie chord around the crate for months. When she grew a bit bigger, we moved her to a medium size crate that my mother let us borrow. It was far more secure, so we didn't have any problems.

Recently, we bought her a SUPER SIZE crate. One like this:

And now I am wishing that I had splurged on something more secure like this one:

The wire crate seems a bit flimsy, but we bought it 50% off. So I thought we'd be able to use it for the rest of Coco's life. It's totally huge! But Coco is a smart cookie and has already managed to get out of it. Chris (my hubby) secured it with a bungie chord this morning, so we'll see what happens.

Honestly, we were expecting a "Keith Moon" type reception when we got home. Thankfully, she was sound asleep by the door - which shocks me. Coco has been on house arrest for one week due to her spay and she has been a BAD BAD little girl. Exercise is the key to obedience, and she's not getting any of that! I can't blame her. But the house was oddly in order. I thought at the very least there would be broken pens and ink all over the furniture, but she didn't do a single thing. Altho - I bet her puppy tummy is FULL of kitty poo, via the litter box. *barf*

Anyhoo...we'll see how this goes. If you have a smart German Shepherd or any large breed, I don't recommend these wire crates. Splurge for the more secure ones, as these crates are going to last the dogs entire life.

Friday, May 14, 2010

More Senseless Violence Against Animals

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” - Gandhi


Holy smokes - ANOTHER dog was horribly beaten by their owner? It seems like every few months posts a horrific story about a dog owner losing their temper and damn near beating their dog to death! This time, it was a little Jack Russell/Terrier Mix named "Shadow." I just cannot believe that someone would beat a tiny dog with a hammer over an indoor "potty" accident. I mean really - WHAT does one think that a dog does in a new environment?? Especially little dogs that are notorious for their little bladders? This is so sad. CLICK HERE FOR THE WHOLE STORY.

I'm obviously preaching to the choir, here. You are reading this blog because you are a fellow dog lover and you are just as floored by these senseless tales of impatience and unforgivable abuse.

"Annie" finds a loving home

Last February, a local man was finally convicted of brutally beating his dog "Brownie" nearly to death, this time with a tire iron. Her abuse was so extensive that she had to have one of her hind legs amputated. After lying under oath and swearing that he accidentally ran the dog over with his car, the judge slapped him with a 2-4 year prison term. According to; "Washtenaw County Circuit Judge David Swartz slapped Rutley with a two- to four-year prison sentence and said he would have issued more time if state guidelines allowed." CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY. "Brownie" was renamed "Annie" by her adoptive family and is thankfully living a new life of luxury and prestige!

At least the laws are somewhat in-place to handle these types of cases. Many other states merely give a slap on the wrist, and offer probation. I'm thankful that Judge David Swartz took this case seriously and handed this criminal a tough sentence, especially after he refused to take accountability for his actions.

As much as it shocks me to see these stories come out of the woodwork, I am glad to see that treats them as "Headline News." Are there a sudden rash of violent cases against animals? Probably not, animal abuse is as old as mankind - but it seems that the media is jumping on the stories as more and more people are responding to them. People are fed up with these disparaging stories and are taking steps to mitigate this senseless violence against our precious little fur babies.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


So I just received a friendly reminder from the folks at AKC about Spring Garden Toxins. I'm just starting to garden little by little, but I was surprised to learn that even in my limited space that I have some VERY toxic plants/bulbs in my yard.

From the AKC:

Watch for Toxins in Your Spring Garden

Due to their natural curiosity, their love of digging, and their tendency to consume anything they come across, dogs are at a high risk for accidental poisoning. This can be particularly true in spring, as front gardens and backyards come to life with new growth, and as dogs and their owners spend more time outdoors.

Toxic bulbs, plants and flowers include tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, certain lilies, crocus, and lily of the valley.

See a detailed chart here.

Harmful fertilizers and ground cover include cocoa mulch, blood meal, bone meal, and any fertilizer containing disulfoton or organophosphates.

Store all poisonous substances in your home, garage, and yard out of reach of your curious canine, and block access to potentially harmful bulbs and flowers. If you suspect your dog has ingested a poison, call your veterinarian at once; or dial the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tracking Class + Coco gets her Spay

Westarbor Animal Hospital is my local Vet and I cannot say enough about them - THEY ROCK! The entire staff rules my world!

They hosted a great Tracking class last Saturday and I thought we'd give it a whirl. Well - Coco was a total Brat for the first hour. She walked in thinking that they had thrown her a SURPRISE PARTY, so she was all over the damn place socializing and distracting everyone. UGH. Well, after an hour she settled down and totally got into it. We set a trail for her to follow and once she got it - she was a ROCK STAR!

Coco is feeling poopy

Poor baby, she is feeling super sore and is having a hard time getting around. I wish that I could tell her that she was spayed and that this pain will wash away, but right now she's sick and dizzy and she's giving me her most dramatic pout EVER. Even still, I'm a BIG supporter of "population control" and I know that in the long run this will be best for her health. But I have to admit, when I was on my way to pick her up, I did have a strange wave of guilt. Coco is just such a sweet pup, and what if she did ever have pups? They would be little GEMS! But, they would result in more dogs being euthanized through shelters and they would contribute to the horrible over population that is resulting in over 1 million euthanizations per year. Vs my Vet

Soooo, I spent a small fortune on Frontline and Interceptor on top of her spay. It was a big expense that I was saving for, so I was ready. Luckily, my VPI Pet Insurance will be reimbursing me about 30-35% of my entire bill - stay tuned for that one. But like $240 of that bill was for Coco's Heartworm/Flea medication. Some of my friends use, so I jumped online and compared costs.

12 Months of Interceptor

My Vet: $119.34 $96.99

6 Months of Frontline

My Vet: $115.98 $93.99

Hmmm...those prices certainly do not include shipping. Nor do the prices contribute to keeping the doors open and the lights on at my favorite Vets office. Yeah - I'd save some money. But I understand the need for "overhead" and I want to see my Vet stay open and functioning, so I'll probably stick to supporting my local vet over

Monday, May 3, 2010

"In the middle of the night I call your name..."


Happy Mother's Day to Coco's Mother!

Mother's Day is coming up and I can't help but look at the beautiful pictures of Coco's mother. She was a playful, sweet-natured dog. When I met her and Coco's father I just knew that their pups were going to be reflections of their kind, gentle spirits. Coco's mother has an incredible smile and was very nurturing to her little pups. Her father was a HUGE bear, he was quite intimidating to look at. But once I came through the gate he ran right up to me and welcomed me immediately. Coco has become such a big part of our lives. I'm glad that I got to meet her biological parents.

Coco's Mama

Coco's Papa!

This is a song that we sing to her quite often. She loves it.


In the middle of the night
In the middle of the night
I call your name
Oh Coco!