My Dog Pierson’s Broken Toe

October 18, 2016

My Dog Pierson Broke His Toe

Poor Pierson. Look how sad he is. His foot hurts and he doesn’t understand why. He was so intent on¬†chasing those wily squirrels that he only barely noticed when he snagged his toe. I didn’t notice either because he didn’t yelp. I only realized after he came back inside with a limp.

I admit I didn’t take him to the vet right away. I checked his foot over myself and didn’t notice anything extraordinary. I made him rest, though. Then I took him in the next day. They didn’t do x-rays. But the vet felt his feet and found the fracture. Pierson was very brave. He didn’t yelp once. But he did piddle on himself. Poor baby.ūüė¶

There was nothing the vet could do about the fracture except give him some pain meds. I was a bit wary of giving meds because I knew it would mean Pierson would be back to running and chasing bunnies and squirrels, and then possibly aggravating his toe more. But I gave him the meds anyway and only let him out on a leash for the next few days.

The squirrels were thankful for the reprieve. But poor Pierson.

If you ever notice your dog limping, inspect his feet. Look on the skin pads, between the skin pads, the toe nails, and look for any noticeable breaks in the skin. Pay attention to if your dog whines or yelps. This could indicate a sprain or even a break. Pierson didn’t whine or yelp and his fracture was too small for my inexperienced hands to feel. Even though the vet didn’t do anything other than give Pierson meds, it is a good idea to take your dog to the vet to have them check the injuries. In some cases, more can be done. Also, you will have peace of mind in knowing exactly what’s wrong and what, if anything, can be done about it.


*Update* It has been nearly a month since this happened. Pierson’s toe is still a little swollen, but he’s no longer limping. He’s back to chasing bunnies and squirrels every chance he gets. Lesson not learned.

Being Respectful Goes a Long Way

May 3, 2016
What do you mean naughty? I was just trying to say hi.

What do you mean naughty? I was just trying to say hi.

I just had an unpleasant experience which ended very well because both parties were respectful.

I went to a park near where my husband works so we could meet for lunch. Li Xi wasn’t there yet so it was just me and my dog Maya. My hands were quite full at this point. Maya was super-excited and, therefore, harder to control. And I was carrying two bags for our lunch. I stopped for a moment when I saw something on Maya’s head. It was a tick. I put the food down and was trying to get her to hold still so I could pull the tick off.

It just so happens that a woman was walking by at the same time. Well, Maya absolutely loves people. Add this to the fact that she was already excited about the walk and things got out of control quickly. Maya got away from me and went after the woman. She tried to jump on her. Just to say hi, but this woman didn’t know that. All she knew was a big yellow dog was trying to jump on her and the dog was¬†making grunting noises, which could have been confused with growling.

Needless to say, the woman was scared and that fear quickly turned to anger. She didn’t curse or anything, but her words reflected how unhappy she was. I apologized profusely and quickly got Maya under control. I felt absolutely terrible.

After lunch, I walked with Maya back to the car. As I got Maya secured in her AllSafe dog car harness in the back seat, I saw the woman again heading to her own vehicle. After making sure Maya wasn’t going to get away and cause more trouble, I turned towards the woman¬†with the intent of apologizing again.

Before I could say anything, she actually apologized to me! Maybe she felt bad for the tone she had used,¬†although to be quite honest her tone wasn’t so¬†bad considering the circumstances.¬†Of course, I apologized in return and said I am the only one who should be sorry.

Can you imagine if everyone was this way? We all make mistakes. And sometimes our reactions to other people’s mistakes are not all that nice. But if everyone would just step back and take a look at the entire situation, we can all be a little more understanding. The woman knew I didn’t do anything on purpose. She understood that accidents happen. I knew that even though Maya was the one who misbehaved, I was the one who was completely at fault. I didn’t make excuses, nor did I get defensive when she got angry.

Lesson for dog owners: Be responsible with your pet. Understand not everyone likes dogs and some people are deathly afraid of them. Control your pet at all times.

Lesson for everyone: Take responsibility when you make a mistake and be understanding when others mess up.

Learning the Copy Me Command

February 23, 2016
Dog Pierson Sitting

“Okay, I’m game. But only if I get lots of cookies.”

I know I said I wasn’t going to do much blogging anymore, but I found another great article I wanted to share. Today as I was doing yoga, I recalled a video of a dog who was copying his person and I thought it would be so much fun if I could teach my dogs to copy me. Pierson is already a great candidate since he is intensely interested in me when I do yoga. But I had no idea how to teach him how to copy me, so I googled it. Here is the article I found – “Training ‘Do-As-I-Do’: Fun and Efficient“. The training tips seem simple enough. I’m pretty sure we¬†can do this, so I’m going to give it a try and let you know how it goes.

Service Animals – Where’s the Line?

February 22, 2016

I know I haven’t been blogging lately. I’m doing well, as are Maya and Pierson. I’ve just taken a step back for a while to work on other interests. I’m probably not going to get back into blogging, but you will see me once in a while.

I came across this interested article about service animals. I’m all about having a pet to help with stress. But how much stress does one need to experience in order for their animal to be considered a service animal? I think there are legitimate situations, such as those with PTSD. But some people really push the line. So much so, that it makes things difficult for those with legitimate service animals. And so much so that states are beginning to implement laws to make it tougher for pets to be labeled as service animals. This is a good thing for inhibiting all the impostors out there, but it makes things harder for people with legitimate needs. Check out this article for more – Service Animal Impostors Face Crackdown.

To me, it’s just a given that pets help us reduce stress. So even though Maya and Pierson are absolutely great at helping me deal with stress, I would never consider calling them service animals. If I did want to get then labeled as service animals, it would be surprisingly easy. Seriously. Not only are there ways to do it online for a small fee, I bet I could get my doctor to write me a note. If she won’t, I can just get another doctor! Simple.

What do you all think about this issue? Do you think service animals to help with stress should be defined broadly or narrowly? Do you think those who define it too broadly are impostors? Do you think impostors ruin it for everyone?

8 Photos of Happiness

July 29, 2015

I’ve been selected by Flea with DogTreatWeb for Jones Natural Chews to join in this fun blog hop activity to share 8 photos of happiness.

I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged here. Things have settled down since last year’s craziness, but I haven’t gotten back into the blogging spirit except through my writing blog. Consider this new post as an update that all is well… and we’ll be moving again! Yep. After a little over a year of living in Des Moines, we are moving back to Kansas. I love it here in Des Moines, but considering that I work from home, I go where my husband goes and his career is taking him back to his old job in Topeka. I’m both happy and sad about the move. I love it here in Des Moines, but it will be great to be around old friends again.

Anyway, back to the main point of this post – my 8 photos of happiness:

5 Year Anniversary Dawn Li Xi and Dogs

My husband makes me very happy. This is our 5 year anniversary photo taken earlier this year.

Labrador Maya Swimming at Gray's Lake

We’ve had some good times here in Des Moines. Maya and I would often go with our good friends and neighbors, Deb and Rodney, to Gray’s Lake. Maya really loves swimming and it is so fun watching her enjoy herself.

Mr. Fluffybutt 001

Rescuing Pierson was a very rewarding experience. My fluffy boy can be a pain when it comes to his barking habit and his dog aggression, but he is the cutest, sweetest, and funniest boy. Both he and Maya were a very good comfort when I cried about having to leave Des Moines.

Family Photo with Mom

My family makes me happy. This photo is only a small part of that family. This is my mom (a few months before she passed away from brain cancer) and me and my brothers and sisters on my mom’s side. I also have a niece and two nephews on this side. Then there is my brother and sister on my dad’s side and a niece and nephew there as well. I also have a great family of aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Chow Mix Sephi Artwork Drawn in Pastel

This photo combines two happy things. This dog is my beloved Sephi who passed away in 2011. Other dogs in past years have also brought happiness and include but aren’t limited to Cassie, Smokey, Huckleberry, and more. The other happy thing about this photo is that I drew this. Doing art¬†makes me happy.

Our Family Sha Sha Jinbo Etc

All my friends make me happy. This photo is of us and our friends/housemates when we lived in Lawrence, Kansas. They have since moved back to China, but like all our good friends, we stay in touch.

Green and White Crocheted Baby Blanket

Doing crafts like crocheting, making jewelry, and other things makes me happy. This is a baby blanket I made for a friend’s baby.

Pink / Red Tulip Flowers

This tulip is from the front yard of my old house in Lawrence, Kansas. It does not represent a happiness of gardening. I hate gardening. This photo represents the happiness that nature brings me. I love nature.

There you have it. My 8 photos of happiness. Now to spread the happiness to a few bloggers. Although I haven’t been visiting many blogs lately, there are a few that I still like to visit.

Flea, of course, with Jones Natural Chews. She’s already done her 8 photos of happiness.
Lindsay with That Mutt.
Emma from MyGBGVlife, who has also already done her 8 photos of happiness.
And here’s one that I follow through my DawnRossAuthor blog – Whitney with Invisible Ink.
(BTW, writing also makes me happy.)

If you all choose to join, here are the rules:

1. Thank your nominator(s) and link to their blog(s).
2. Link to the creator of the event.
3. Post your eight photos of happiness.
4. Pop in a brief description of each photo, why you chose it or let the photos do the talking.
5. Spread the happiness and tag up to ten other bloggers!

Wordy Wednesday – Who Wants Breakfast? Maya Does!

March 25, 2015

It doesn’t matter how sound asleep my Labrador Maya is. If I say the word breakfast, food, cookie, or oops (to mean I dropped something on accident), she is suddenly alert and comes running!

Labrador Dog Maya Sleep Awake Breakfast

What is your dog’s favorite word?

For more Wordless or Wordy Wednesday fun, check out the pet blog hop below.

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Managing Undesirable Dog Behaviors

March 6, 2015
Bad Poetry Day - Roses Aren't Edible

Pierson likes poop so I need to manage his behavior.

Dogs will be dogs, but some of the things they want to do are annoying, unpleasant, or possibly not safe. If someone is not familiar with dog training, their first instinct might be to try to correct the issue with punishment. Those who are familiar with better ways to stop an undesirable behavior will try behavioral modification techniques such as redirection and positive reinforcement. But sometimes, we don’t have to go through all this work. Sometimes we can eliminate an undesirable behavior by managing it.

Let me give you an example. My dog Pierson loves to eat my other dog Maya’s poop. I’ve considered training him not to eat it. But let’s be honest, even if I did teach him not to eat it, he will probably still try whenever I’m not looking. I’ve also considered giving Maya something like NaturVet Coprophagia Stool Eating Deterrent to make her poop taste bad. But I’d have to buy this stuff all the time or risk Pierson realizing the poop wasn’t tainted and eating it. So what did I do instead? I simply decided to always pick up Maya’s poop right after she poops. Yes, it is a bit inconvenient, especially in colder weather. But it’s more sanitary and it has completely stopped Pierson from eating her poop. No training, no expensive supplements.

Another example is with Pierson’s barking. As you may know from previous posts, I gave in and got him a no bark collar. It worked well much of the time. But sometimes he really couldn’t help himself from barking and I felt terrible about the collar shocking him. It finally occurred to me that I should try managing his barking instead. This is what I did:

Determine the Cause of the Behavior

Pierson barks at surprising noises and he barks at squirrels, rabbits, and birds. I decided that barking at noises isn’t such a bad thing. I want to know if someone is creeping around my house. Even though most of the noises Pierson barks at are nothing to be concerned about, I can live with that. But the barking at squirrels, rabbits, and birds when he can see them out the back door window was too much.

Eliminate the Cause of the Behavior

Like how I eliminated Pierson’s desire for eating Maya’s poop by picking up her poop, I managed Pierson’s barking at animals he sees through the window by blocking the view from the window. It worked like magic! By simply putting a large piece of paper over the bottom half of the door window, I eliminated Pierson’s barking by at least 70%.

Dog Pierson in Front of Blocked Window 1

See how I blocked the door window so that Pierson can’t bark at squirrels?

Dog Pierson in Front of Blocked Window 2

“How am I going to talk to the squirrels now?”

Other Ways to Eliminate Undesirable Behaviors

If your dog tends to get in the trash, eliminate the behavior by getting a trash can with a secure lid or by putting the trash can in the pantry. If you don’t have a pantry, use a smaller trash can and put it under the kitchen sink. You may have to throw out trash more often, but isn’t that better than picking up trash from the floor and worrying about whether your dog ate something harmful?

Eliminate digging behaviors by filling his favorite digging spots with rocks or even his own poop. Keep your dog out of your garden by putting decorative fencing around your garden. Keep your dog from trying to bolt out the door by putting his leash on him before you open the door. Stop counter surfing by making sure food is always put away and/or out of reach. Keep your dog off the furniture by laying a sheet of foil over it when you’re not around.

Managing your dog’s undesirable behaviors isn’t always feasible and doesn’t always work. But if you think outside the box, you might just come up with a simpler way to stop your dog from doing things you don’t like. You can save time and even money by not having to hire a dog trainer.

Does your dog have an annoying behavior that you’d like to stop? Comment below and let’s see if we can come up with some creative ways to manage your dog’s behavior.

Wordy Wednesday – The Most Interesting Dogs in the World

March 4, 2015

Which of these two photo captions of Pierson work best?

Naughty Dog Most Interesting in the World 1

The sly look?

Naughty Dog Most Interesting in the World 2

Or the guilty look?

Maya and Pierson are the most interesting dogs in the world.ūüôā

Always Wear Dog Seat Belts

Happy Wordless… I mean Wordy Wednesday!

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Story of a Lost and Found Dog

February 16, 2015
My Dog Smokey

In Memory of Smokey – One Darned Good Dog

This is a true story about my dog Smokey from several years ago. Smokey has since passed on, but I still think of him from time to time. I was recently reminded of this lost and found story when empathizing with someone whose dog has been missing for over a month.

Smokey was everything a good dog should be. Smart, loyal, lovable, and well-mannered. He was my boy. He didn’t just love me, he took care of me. I can recall a number of incidences when he had my back, but before I relate the lost and found story, let me tell you about one of these incidents during our trip to the Grand Canyon.

I was separated from my husband at the time and was anxious to go out and see the world. I was really into hiking, rock climbing, and other outdoor activities at the time so the Grand Canyon seemed like a great place to go on vacation. As a single female, I should have been a little afraid to go on vacation by myself. But I really wasn’t going to go by myself. I was taking my boy Smokey with me.

Me and My Dog Smokey at Georgetown Lake

This isn’t the Grand Canyon, but my dog Smokey was my hiking buddy on a lot of trips. We spent three days roughing it on a hike we made around Georgetown Lake in Texas.

Our first stop was in Tucson where we slept in my car at a campsite. We stayed only long enough to sleep and for me to take a quick photo of Smokey in front of a tall cactus. Then we were on our way to Sedona. I think we were there for a day or two hiking the wild green trails surrounding various big red rock formations. It was on that trip that Smokey and I saw our first Tarantula. Cool!

My Dog Smokey in Tucson Arizona 3

Before we headed to the Grand Canyon, we stopped in Tucson.


Next, we went to the Grand Canyon. It was here that Smokey first exhibited his role as my guardian. I was young and pretty back then so it is no surprise that I had men hit on me from time to time. For the most part, Smokey could care less. He got along with people well. But he had a sixth sense, as some dogs tend to do. There was this one particular man that Smokey did not like one bit. And he let the man know exactly how he felt, too. Smokey did not lunge at him or even bark, but when the man went to pet him Smokey showed his pearly whites and let out a menacing rumble. Now I don’t really know if this man was up to no good or not. But I trusted Smokey more than I trusted myself.

My Dog Smokey

That’s my boy!

This is just a hint at how close Smokey and I were. So you can imagine how devastated I felt on the day he disappeared. Someone left the gate open and being an intact male, Smokey went out exploring.

I looked everywhere for him to no avail. I must have filled the tank in my car a dozen times while out looking for him. I even checked the animal shelter, but there was no sign of him anywhere. The internet was not as prevalent as it is now, so I did what most people who lost their pet did back then. I put up hundreds of fliers and posted ads in the newspaper. I also talked to people who were out and about and visited the shelter on a regular basis.

No one had claimed to see Smokey. Not a single person responded to my ad or my fliers. I did have a scam call where a truck driver told me he had my dog and he wanted money, but I didn’t fall for it. This man didn’t have my dog.

For two long weeks I feared for the worst. I was sure Smokey had been hit by a car or something. Smokey was smart but he was not streetwise.

By the beginning of week three, I was ready to give up. I almost didn’t place an ad in the paper. But thankfully, I did.

A couple of days after I placed that ad, I finally got the call I had been hoping for. It was a vet office. They said they had picked up a dog fitting Smokey’s description a couple of weeks ago. It was quite a distance from our house, but it really sounded like it could be my Smokey. He had the same collar. He had tags too, although the woman said the tag information didn’t lead her anywhere. (I checked the tags myself later and the tags did, indeed, come back to my current information. But that is another story.)

I still wasn’t sure if it was my Smokey that they had or not, but my heart raced as I got in my car and tried not to speed over to the vet office. When I got to the office, I tried to be patient as the receptionist called someone to the front. As a woman led me to the back kennel area, I asked her a dozen questions. My heart was still racing and she was walking so darned slow!

Smokey must have heard my voice because before we got to the door of the kennel area, I heard a wailing cry. I’ve never heard this sound from Smokey, but somehow I recognized his voice too. The woman couldn’t open the kennel area door fast enough!

She didn’t have to show me which cage Smokey was in. I just followed his cry. And sure enough, there was my boy!

I cried so hard at seeing him again. He cried too. It didn’t take long before the entire vet staff had tears in their eyes too.

When the woman opened the cage, I was mauled by the happiest dog ever. I’m sure he scratched me with his nails, but I didn’t care. I was so happy to see him again. I got my boy back! It was the best day ever!!!

You can’t end a story on a happier note than this, so The End.

My Dog Smokey When He Was 2.5 Years Old

This is my dog Smokey in his younger years. He is 2.5 years old in this photo, long before the lost and found incident.

Wordless Wednesday – Dogs and Snowflakes are Kisses from Heaven

February 4, 2015

Ever heard the quote, “Snowflakes are kisses from heaven”? After shoveling 10.5 inches of snow from my driveway¬†this weekend, I wasn’t sure I agreed. But after watching my dogs Maya and Pierson play in it, I’ve rediscovered¬†the beauty of snow.

The Street to My House February 2nd, 2015

The street to my house after our weekend snow was so pretty that I had to pull over and take a photo.

My Dog Maya Scales 10.5 Inches of Snow

This bench in our back yard shows how deep the snow is compared to my Maya.

Snow-Filled Trees in Our Back Yard

The trees in our back yard are heavy with snow. Some branches broke.

My Fluffy Dog Pierson in the Snow

My fluffy boy Pierson likes the snow. Can you see his boots?

Dogs Maya and Pierson Looking at Frozen Squirrel

Maya and Pierson are looking at a squirrel that is sitting on a lower branch of a snow-filled tree.

Maya and Pierson Giving Snow Kisses

Pierson gives Maya snow kisses.

Okay, so it’s not so wordless. I just can’t help but to comment on the photos. You’re welcome to leave a comment too. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Wordless Wednesday!

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