Monday, August 2, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How would we spend our time if not for UTube?

I didn't create these, but how I wish I had! You can find them on UTube.



Tuesday, March 23, 2010

National Puppy Day

Beefy, September 2005, 3 months old

March 23 is National Puppy Day! According to the National Puppy Day website, "National Puppy Day is a special day, recognized on March 23rd annually, to celebrate the magic and unconditional love that puppies bring to our lives. But more importantly, it's a day to help save orphaned puppies across the globe and educate the public about the horrors of puppy mills, as well as further our mission for a national of puppy-free pet stores.

National Puppy Day was founded in 2006 by Pet Lifestyle Expert, Animal Behaviorist and Author, Colleen Paige, who is also the founder of National Dog Day and National Cat Day. This holiday, as well as others, are part of Colleen Paige's Animal Miracle Foundation & Network, a non-profit organization which offers financial assistance and educational programs ranging from pet cancer to fire safety and travel safety for kids and pets alike. AMF also hosts many wonderful holiday festivals and trade shows throughout each year and brings local shelter pets to these events hoping to find them a forever home."

Maggie, summer of 2009
Our last several dogs were rescues past puppy age- Ender and Boodles were about6 or 7 months old when they came to us, gangly adolescents; Juniper was adult at 2 1/2. My only regret about rescuing older dogs is that you do miss seeing them as puppies. But the dog park allows me to enjoy the antics of puppies. Here are some pictures of puppies we have known...

Homer (and Boodles) June 2009

Beefy, 2 months old, August, 2005


Gnarly, May 2009

To see more puppies, and vote on the cutest- go here. And for more about puppy mills, go here or to the In Defense of Animal's puppy mill site here.

Those of us living in Central Pennsylvania need to visit this site, but be warned, it is a tough site if you love animals. And not to forget residents of Missouri, where one will find the most puppy mills of any state. Visit here to see what is being done about it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Greening the dog?

No, this is not a late St. Patrick's Day posting. I found this to be a dismaying article about the ecological impact of dogs. The article, written by Julie Knapp of Mother Nature Network, is a discussion of one aspect of the book Time to Eat The Dog? by Robert and Brenda Vale. According Knapp, the Vales say the two big eco-issues involve what goes into your dog, and what comes out of your dog.

The lesser of these evils is the end product of the other, so to speak. We always pick up poop, and we purchase biodegradable bags to pick it up with, rather than using any old plastic bags. We have, however, been sending the bags to the landfill, because I read an article years ago about the parasite dangers of using dog feces in your garden. I never really thought about it, but these are my dogs, and they have a fecal check as part of the annual exam each year, so I am pretty sure they don't have any intestinal parasites. (Boodles did have a tape worm when we got her, but that was 3 years ago, and we treated it vigorously.) This morning I did a Google search on "Composting with dog feces", and quite a lot of articles came up. The most thorough was this. I think we will institute a dog waste composting program this year, separate from the kitchen waste composting we already do. The sticking point may well be those biodegradable bags- I suspect they are not quite as degradable as I would like them to be.

Now- as to what goes in the dogs. According to the article, dogs have a greater impact on the earth than an SUV mainly because of the land use required to provide the meat for a large carnivore's dinner. The transportation costs of all those 40 pound bags and cases of little cans comes into the equation as well. The article suggest making dog food at home to counter those costs.

We do buy sustainably raised meat and local produce, and it is expensive. I can't even imagine the cost of feeding it to the dogs. However, we don't buy the bottom of the line dog food, either. We feed Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice from a local feed company. According to their website, Diamond Naturals are made with hormone and antibiotic free meats, (although it does not say they are sustainably raised) and don't contain wheat, soy or corn. It's not the perfect choice, but for now, it is the best I can make.

I did another Google search on Sustainable Pet Food companies, and came up with this article from Petfoodindustry.com. It deals with plant facilities, though, and not ingredients. Another interesting link is this one, to a petfood industry discussion group on sustainability. Finally, I could find only one manufacturer that mentioned sustainably raised meat; Onesta. They manufacture training treats, and not a full diet.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Happy Birthday to Jerry!


Jerry (on your left, with the black eye) celebrated his first birthday recently. He and Huck celebrated with hats- Terry, who lives with them, caught this picture of them partying.

I was telling someone the other day, going to the dog park with the dogs is like going to the park with kids- some of the dogs there are their friends- they like them and want to play with them. Some they don't like, others they are indifferent to. Huck and Jerry are definitely in the friend category. Since Jerry is a little younger, he mostly wants to play with other young dogs, who match his energy level.

early November, 2009

Juniper tends to be aloof, but Huck and Boodles get along famously.


And Huck does pass Juniper's rigorous test of acceptability...Boodles put in a good word for him.


Both Huck and Jerry are good natured guys.
June, 2009

But Jerry's boundless energy leaves even Bodie in the dust sometimes!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Not a dog, but...

Have you seen this webcam? This is to a live feed den web cam of a wild Black Bear. She gave birth on January 22, and you can see and hear the cub. It's amazing. And when I have it on, Boodles and Juniper are really puzzled about where that baby sound is coming from.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Smiling Dog

Even without knowing what is being said, this video, from Care2 at http://www.care2.com/greenliving/smiling-dogs.html is charming to watch.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Maybe we should change her name to Snowball?


It took a long time to get that snow out of her fur- she was caked. And getting it out from between her toes was terrible.
But Boodles and Toro had a great time.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Games


We've had a lot of snow here- almost 4 feet in the past week. Juniper and Boodles have found it to be interesting. They both like the snow- in lesser quantity. Yesterday I found Boodles sitting on the back porch, the clip to her tie-out on her collar, but the cable broken. Had this happened any other day, she would have been off like a shot, chasing whatever good smell she could find. This day, she made it as far as the holly bush in the yard- about 10 feet- and then came back to the porch. The snow was just too deep to plow through. Boodles also has big snow-shoe feet- with lots of long fur between her toes. She collects snow in little balls in that long hair, and it is uncomfortable. The snow is a mixed bag for her.
Juniper, with that thick Akita double coat, likes the snow, as much as she likes anything about the out-of-doors. (She tends to be a bit of an inside girl.) When she is convinced to go out in the snow, though, she especially likes to plow through it with her nose, and then throw herself down and make snow dog angels.



video