Archive for June, 2012

Boom! Dog Safety Tips for the 4th of July

June 30, 2012

Although my Maya is in the spirit of the 4th of July, it is still not a good idea to let her go watch the fireworks.

This is a repost of our 4th of July safety post from last year:

People love fireworks.  The colorful lights exploding in the night sky dazzles our eyes.  The explosion excites us as we thank God that we live in the United States of America.  But despite how much we love fireworks, most dogs do not like them at all.

Every year after the 4th of July the shelters get a higher volume of lost dogs.  Lost dog posters can be seen in the park and the neighborhoods.  Some dogs escape their yard as they try to run in fright from the terrible noise of the fireworks.  Many other dogs were at the park with their owners at the fireworks when they got away.  Some dogs might eventually find their way home thanks to a kind stranger or animal control, but others may never make it back.

When you go to watch fireworks this year, be sure to leave your dog safe and secure at home.  If possible, keep them in a secure area inside the house.  A dog in the back yard may jump or dig out in order to escape the noise.  Or if he is on a chain he may break the it, slip out of his collar, or hurt himself trying to break out of it.  If your dog is crate trained, keep him inside the house and inside his crate.  If he is not crate trained, keep him in a quiet room.  If possible, keep him in a room with no accessible windows – such as the bathroom.

You can also help your dog by turning on some familiar noise such as the radio or television.  And even if your dog is indoors, make sure he is wearing his collar or tags.  A desperate dog just might be able to find a way out. I have heard of dogs breaking out of windows, going through air ducts, and even managing to open an unlocked door. Tags will help to bring them home. If you find a dog this year, contact the local animal shelter and humane society. Post in the classified ads of your local newspaper. Post online too. Craig’s list is a popular place to post online. Leave fliers at local neighborhood centers and notify local residents.

If you don’t want your pet to be left out of the festivities, take your pet to the park for the 4th of July picnic.  But please leave take him home before the fireworks! Enjoy the Independence Day celebration and come home to a safe and happy pet.

Wordless Wednesday – Day at the Dog Park, Part I

June 27, 2012

My Labrador Maya loves the dog park. She loves sniffing around, meeting new people, and meeting other dogs. Here are some of the pictures from our recent trip to the dog park. (My dog Pierson did not get to go because he is not good with other dogs.)


Before we went to the dog park, we went to the drive-through at the bank. It’s too late to see it but the bank gave Maya a biscuit.


Before I had a chance to take off her car harness, Maya was off and sniffing around.


Off on a hiking adventure at the dog park.


Whew! That was fun but tiring.


Hey! What’s up this tree? Is it a squirrel? Or something else?


Are those round yellow things in the tree tennis balls? Why are there so many?

These are just some of the pictures. There were too many to put on this blog so the second half of the photos are on Pet Auto Safety Blog. From Pet Auto Safety Blog you can also see other Wordless Wednesday blog hop pet photos.

Dogs of the World – The New Guinea Singing Dog

June 23, 2012

This is such a cool-looking and cool-sounding dog. I first heard about the New Guinea Singing Dog when I was doing an art collage on dogs from around the world (you know, like the Scottish Terrier, the Afghan Hound, the Japanese Chin).

The New Guinea Singing Dog looks a lot like the Dingo. He has relatively the same build and a distinctive red coat. The few differences are that he generally has more white on his feet, face, and chest. And sometimes he has a little bit of black, or darkening, on his cheeks and/or muzzle.

This is a very old dog breed. In its native land, he might live as a wild scavenger dog or as a pet. Many are kept in zoos. You might see some in zoos here in the US.

So why is he called a singing dog? Well, he has a very distinctive sing-song howl. Here is a video of one singing.

My two sources for information on this dog breed is “The New Encyclopedia of the Dog” by Bruce Fogle and Wikipedia.

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Wordless Wednesday – Sleeping Study of Dogs

June 20, 2012

Even though I take my dogs for a walk nearly every day and we spend some time either playing in the yard or in the house, I still find that they spend most of their time sleeping. Oftentimes I find them sleeping in the most awkward positions. And they are so sound asleep that they hardly notice I am taking a photo. Tell us about your dog’s weirdest sleeping positions.

Maya sleeping on the chair.

Maya Sleeping Soundly

Big Maya curled up in Sephi’s little bed.

Maya really loves to sleep on her back.

Maya really really loves to sleep on her back.

Pierson likes to sleep on his back too. He generally does it when he is against a wall.

But not always.

Pierson’s not sleeping in this one but he does sleep like this with his back legs out like a frog.

Here is my mom’s dog, Rocky, sound asleep in bed – pillow and all.

For more great Wordless Wednesday dog photos, visit our Pet Auto Safety Blog by clicking HERE.

Rover, Pick up All Your Dog Toys!

June 16, 2012

Maya is playing with a homemade sock toy.

If you’re like me, you buy a new dog toy at least once every couple of weeks. That is a lot of dog toys. And it is expensive too. So how can you save money and what do you do with them all?

Make Your Own Toys (Recycle)
When my dog Sephi passed on, I was left with a bunch of pet bandanas. Maya and Pierson didn’t look good in them so I gave them to someone so they could make dog toys with them instead. I got some of those toys and the rest are being sold for $1 each and each $1 gets donated to a good cause. So if you have old clothes which are not in good shape to donate, cut them up to make braided dog ropes or other dog toys. One which I like to do with old socks is put a tennis ball or even a plastic water bottle inside and tie the end.

The Old Switch-a-Roo
If you not only buy toys and make them too, you could be completely overwhelmed with toys. I find that the newer my dogs’ toys are, the more they play with them. So to keep them interested in all their toys, I let them play with new toys for a few days, put them away, then take out some older toys. Since the dogs haven’t played with the older toys in a while, they are like new! I do this with about five sets of dog toys over a monthly period.

Be careful about letting your dog chew on certain toys when you are not home. Homemade toys are great but they can be easily ingested if your dog is allowed to tear them up. Always watch your dog when he is playing with a destructible dog toy and put it away when he is not playing with it.

A Toy Box
In order to keep yourself or other people in the household from falling and tripping over all the dog toys, put them in a dog toy box. I use an inexpensive laundry basket as a toy box. It works great and I can put it in a room where the dogs are not allowed so that they can’t take all the toys out at once and leave them all over the house.

How often do you buy your dog toys? Do you make your own dog toys too? Where do you put them all?

Wordless Wednesday – Bath Time!

June 13, 2012

Generally, we go to a great place called Pawsh Wash to get the dogs a monthly bath. But since the weather was so nice, I decided to do it at home with a water hose. I didn’t get any photos of Maya getting a bath. It wasn’t until after she was done that someone thought to take pictures.

Maya is watching Pierson get his turn at a bath. My friend Sha Sha is watching me give the bath. (See how well Pierson does? I make it look easy.)

My friend Sha Sha is watching me give Pierson a bath.

A wet Pierson with a towel on him. (And a wet me.) (Ignore the time on the photo. The camera clock was not set. I promise it was not 3:55 AM.)

Two wet dogs on the porch.

Since WordPress won’t let me put in the code for the Wordless Wednesday blog hop, please visit our other site, Pet Auto Safety Blog, for photos of us and our dogs at Clinton Lake as well as links to other great dog blogs in the blog hop

Dog Breed Feature Part IV – How to Get a Healthy Pug

June 9, 2012

Pugs are wonderful dogs but they have a tendency towards a number of genetic health issues. Many of those issues are related to their short noses. If you are looking to get a Pug dog breed, you should know what some of the common health problems are and how to decrease the chances of your Pug having them.

Health Concerns Related to Dogs with Short Noses
Brachycephalic syndrome covers a number of more specific respiratory issues including the soft palate being abnormally long and/or the nostrils being too small for the dog to breathe properly. The issues can be as minor as only causing your dog to make noise when he breathes. But sometimes the issue can be severe enough to require surgery. Even if your Pug doesn’t have these health concerns in severity, it is important to remember that their short noses make it so that they can’t tolerate heat as well as longer-nosed dogs.

Other Health Concerns
Some dogs may develop Pug dog encephalitis which is a genetic disorder where their brain gets severely inflamed. Symptoms include seizures, abnormal gait, blindness, and even death. Two common eye disorders in Pugs include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and pigmentary keratitis. In PRA the retina gradually deteriorates while in pigmentary keratitis the retina develops dark scar tissue which eventually covers the entire eye, both which can eventually lead to blindness. Pugs also experience three common skeletal issues including hip dysplasia, patellar luxation (knee caps), and Legg-Perthes disease (femur hip bone).

How to Get a Healthy Pug
The Barron’s “Pugs: A Complete Pet Owner’s Manual” has some very good advice on how to shop for a quality Pug dog breed. They address breeders, pet shops, animal shelters, and breed rescue clubs. One very good point they made is, “In general, the smaller the “kennel” the more friendly the puppies it will produce and the more healthy those puppies will be.” So don’t go to pet shops. Visit the breeders in person at their location. The breeders should be providing certain health guarantees which last longer than a year (especially since some issues may not become evident until after several years). Good breeders will have done a number of tests and will willingly provide you with proof. Read up on the common health issues previously listed and determine which tests the breeder should have done.

This is our final article on the wonderful Pug dog breed. If you missed the others, check out Parts I, II, and III. Part I talks about the history of the word ‘pug’. Part II is the history of the dog breed itself. And Part III is about the physical and behavioral traits of Pugs. Check out those posts, all written in May 2012, and check out our All Things Pug Store by clicking HERE or one of the pictures below.

Pugs (Complete Pet Owner's Manual) Pug Double-Walled Eco Plastic Drinking Cups 16 oz - Set of Two

Webkinz Smaller Signature Pug

Wordless Wednesday – Davinia Art

June 6, 2012

This is Davinia from the Two Little Cavaliers dog blog. I got permission from Felissa to draw her (the original photo is from one of her Wordless Wednesday blog posts). It is not finished yet. I plan on doing a finished piece in color, probably pastels.

Initial outlined sketch

Sketch with harder outlines

Sketch with eyes and nose more defined

At this point, I didn’t think it looked like Davinia. After looking at it more, I realized the nose needed to be closer to they eyes and the angles of the eyes and nose were a bit off. So I have done one more sketch so far.

Final outline sketch

This is where I am at so far. My next step is to make the final outline sketch with complete shading, a full pencil drawing. If I am satisfied with it, I will then transfer it to pastel paper and begin work in color. To keep up with my progress on Davinia, visit my artwork website, Nature by Dawn, and check out the Artwork in Progress III page. You can also check out my I and II pages. These pages show my step-by-step progress of other pieces of art that I have completed.

Visit the Two Little Cavaliers dog blog for more great articles and a link to other Wordless Wednesday posts from other great dog blogs.

Dog Breed Feature Part III – The Pug “Multum in Parvo”

June 2, 2012

A lot of dog in a little space. That is the meaning of the Latin phrase, “Multum in Parvo”, used to describe the Pug dog breed. Last week you learned the history of the Pug, but now we are going to tell you what he looks like and why this small breed is a lot of dog.

Description of the Pug Dog Breed
The Pug Coat
A Pug’s coat is short and smooth. It is either all black or it is silver or apricot-fawn with a black mask, muzzle, ears, cheek moles, and trace down the back. This light colored body with a black face strongly resembles the colors of the fawn or apricot Mastiff. Because the coat is short, it requires minimal brushing. The Pug’s wrinkled face, however, requires regular cleaning, especially between wrinkles.

The Pug Size
The Pug dog breed stands about 10 to 11 inches tall and should weigh between 14 and 18 pounds. Yes, he is a small dog. But it is his personality which makes him ‘Multum in Parvo”.

Physical Pug Traits
The Pug’s body is square. His legs are moderate in length and proportionate to his cobby body. His chest is wide and rib-cage round. The Pug has a small short tail curled tightly over his back. The Pug’s head is round, and proportionately large as compared to his compact body. He has small thin ears described as either rose or button. His jaw is undershot and his muzzle is short and square. The muzzle should not be turned upward. Because of the short muzzle, Pugs do not do well in the heat. Please note that a few of the health concerns for a Pug (next week’s article) are due to the short muzzle. The Pug’s eyes are round and prominent. They should be dark in color yet bright and eager.

The Pug Temperament
Barron’s “The Dog Breed Bible” describes the Pug’s personality as “a blend of dignity and comedy”. They are loyal and have a zest for life which has earned them the Latin motto, “Multum in Parvo”. They can be as brave as a terrier when it comes to ‘playing with the big dogs’ but otherwise get along well with other pets. They are generally good with children too, but may take a bit to warm up to strangers.

Pugs can be very affectionate and playful. For a small dog, his energy level is average and requires a short walk daily or a fun play session. Sometimes the Pug can be stubborn but he is generally eager to please. His amiable nature makes him easy to train if a positive reinforcement method is used. Harsher training methods may bring out his stubborn streak.

If you are considering a small dog with little shedding, minimal exercise requirements, and yet gets along in almost any family and home setting, then the Pug dog breed may be for you. Whether you live on a farm or in a small apartment, whether you have children and other pets or live alone, the Pug can bring you much laughter and companionship. He really is a lot of dog in a little space.

Come see us again next Saturday when we tell you some health concerns of the Pug, where to get one, and the best book for learning to care for and train your Pug. Also, check out our All Things Pug Gift Store by clicking HERE.

PUG dog puppy COFFEE cup TRAVEL Mug ART decor NEWPug Dog Bathroom Toilet Paper Holder NoveltyRuff Ruff and Meow Dog Hoodie, Pugs and Kisses, Black, Small