Dog Blog

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Our human holidays can be pretty scary for pets.  There's noise, confusion, and potential danger for dogs and cats if precautions aren't taken to ensure their safety.  Halloween is certainly no exception, and plenty of pets get spooked.

Here is some great advice from the Humane Society of the United States on how to keep your pet safe from harm this Halloween.

Friday, October 26, 2012


Check out what's new at the Sacramento County Shelter on their Animal Care Website, from feral cat workshops to how to keep your pet safe on Halloween.  

Now you can adopt a dog six months or older for only $50! Adopting your next animal companion from a shelter is the best thing you'll ever do for a homeless pet and for yourself.  These discarded animals can enrich your life so much, and they will repay your kindness a thousandfold. They always know that you gave them a second chance at a happy life and seem to revel in their good turn of fortune. Peaches and Beau demonstrate that to me every single day. The best part is you didn't perpetuate an excuse for a backyard breeder or puppy mill to prosper by creating more throwaway dogs to fill up our shelters. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


This report on the UK Daily Mail confirms what I have always felt about Cesar Milan, the self-taught dog trainer so many people seem to idolize for some reason.  I'm always amazed when people who profess to love their dogs rave about how great he is.  I have never cared for his barbaric methods of dominating "problem" dogs.  With Cesar's method of training, there's a thin line between rehabilitation and animal cruelty.  Administering electric shock, punching dogs in the throat, or kicking them are what sadistic bullies do to dogs, not humane trainers who love dogs.  Torture isn't training.   

RSPCA said: ‘Adverse training techniques which have been seen to be used by Cesar Millan can cause pain and fear for dogs and may worsen their behavioural problems.

I much prefer Victoria Stillwell's kind, humane methods of dog training.  She's also very good at re-training the owners, since it's mostly the owners who need training, not the dogs.  

Monday, October 22, 2012


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  People aren't the only victims of domestic violence.  Pets are frequently threatened with violence from abusive spouses or partners, and people stay too long in abusive relationships to protect their pets from harm.  

Join Red Rover on October 23 for a free online seminar, "Sheltering Pets at Family Violence Shelters."  Learn more at

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Just a nose-up for faithful readers: BRACED FOR MURDERthe fourth installment in the Beanie and Cruiser Mystery Series, is due for release soon from Five Star/Cengage Publishing.  In this book Cruiser teams up with Calamity, his new K-9 partner in crime.  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I hope you'll enjoy reading some of my columns that have lately appeared in Inside Publications.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Three years ago on this day I sprang my sweet Beau out of solitary confinement in dog jail. It was one of the best days of my life, and undoubtedly the best one of his.  I will never forget seeing that happy, smiling face behind the chain link of the kennel.  He seemed to know that I was there just for him, and I believe he somehow spirited me through the Website to drive all the way down to Stockton, nearly an hour's drive, to adopt him and give him a new life with me, and me a new life with him after the painful loss of Bubba Gump earlier that year.  He did look so much like him in the photo.

The only get-acquainted area at that shelter for us was through the door to the euthanasia room, through which he might have passed on another day very soon had I not adopted him that day.  I'll wager not many in Stockton would have paid over $200 to adopt a five-year-old hound that limped.  When he flopped down full length on the cold, hard concrete floor and presented his upturned belly to be petted, I knew he must be a pretty good dog to be so easy-going in such a stressful place.  Well, Beau is a great dog.  I don't think I've ever been loved by anyone or anything the way Beau loves me.  Everyone should be adored so completely at least once in life.   Of course, I feel just the same about him.   

Beau doesn't limp any more, and he loves to be serenaded daily on the ukelele.  He has not just an ear for music, but two ears.  I played his special song for him this morning, "My Darlin' Beau."  And he is all that.  I'll be forever grateful that we were united by some miracle and that I have my darlin' Beau, my best dog yet.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Beau just received this cute birthday greeting from his veterinarian.  The dog in the card even looks just like Beau. Be sure to pump up the volume.  

His actual "Gotcha Day" is Monday, October 15.  It's my third wonderful year with this dog destined for destruction at the Stockton pound.  More about my darlin' Beau then.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Peaches has been on a diet of boiled rice and cottage cheese for a couple of days now until her tummy settles down.  I'm happy to report that there has been no recurrence of the vomiting, which makes me know there was definitely something amiss with those Happy Hips chews she was getting.  She seems to be her old self again, thank doG.  I'll gradually introduce a little of her usual kibble to the next few meals to be sure all is well before resuming her normal diet.    

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


                              Dolly's glory days at Tahoe

I just watched the sun set as brilliantly as it did this night 17 years ago when I had to say good-bye much too soon to my dearest little basset, Dolly.  She tragically succumbed to Thrombopathia, a bleeding disorder, similar to hemophilia in humans, that no one knew anything about in 1995. Dolly was only six years old, and I had her for five of those years, having rescued her from Hound Hollow Basset Rescue around her first birthday. Her untimely and traumatic loss still brings tears of grief to my eyes.  

Tonight, as I watched the sun set in the same amazing hues of coral and azure as on that other October eve, I remembered all the wonderful things about her and how she graced my life in her delightful way during her short stay with me.  I know she came to me for a special reason, to see me through the most challenging time of my life during which I nearly succumbed to food poisoning (e. coli/salmonella--a deadly pair!) and then lost my job.  She was my constant companion and four-legged nurse throughout those long, painful nights and the long road back to health.  Thank you, my beloved Dolly, for always being there for me when many weren't.  I'll love you forever, little girl.  

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


I'm sure most pet owners have already heard about the dog poisonings that have occurred with Waggin' Train brand chicken jerky treats that are manufactured in China (except for Raley's, apparently, where they are still being sold in the pet dept. even after I wrote to their corporate office.). Since last May many dogs have died or have been sickened by the treats, which can cause kidney failure.  

Perhaps you are not aware, as I was not, of the same problems associated with another brand, Dogswell Happy Hips Lamb & Rice flavor, which we have been giving our dogs for some time now.  I mistakenly thought that since they are not chicken strips that they are safe.  Not so, apparently.  I didn't make the connection between tainted treats and Peaches' strange illness last summer, and neither did her vet, but when she yarked up her entire breakfast in a heap this morning after eating one of those treats, a light bulb finally went on.  I noticed she hasn't seemed up to par of late, but I thought it was just the sudden change in the weather or old age catching up with her.  She is nearly 10, as far as I know.  

I will watch her very carefully to see if she improves now that I've tossed the Happy Hips out.

*Watch for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and drinking lots of water.  When a dog vomits, it's never a good sign.  

Perhaps the reason the treats are still being sold is that none of the companies in question will own up to the problem for fear of lawsuits, as I'm sure there would be many. Meanwhile, the dogs continue to suffer, so apparently the first concern of these pet businesses is not the pets.   

As for us, no more known Chinese pet products will cross our threshold.  A warning: Sometimes you can't even tell where the product was originally manufactured, even though the package may say it's made in the USA.  That could just mean it was packaged in this country, but manufactured abroad.    

Monday, October 08, 2012


On my way home from the grocery store, I was following a giant, silver double-cab truck.  The kind where you know the guy behind the wheel has "size" issues.  He had been behind me when I was waiting to exit the parking lot, and it was clear he was in a great big tizzy.  He took the alternate route and we met again at the intersection of Occidental Drive.  He was to my right, and even though I had reached the intersection first, I waved him to go ahead since I didn't want to get in his way again.  As I followed him down Occidental, I saw his two dogs, a Golden Retriever and Boxer, untethered in the truck bed and was seriously concerned for their safety. This guy was still in a great big hurry, driving down the road much faster than the posted 25 mph in a residential area.  I watched the two dogs actually go airborne as he zoomed over the two speed bumps.  The fact that they weren't tossed out of the truck was a miracle. I was so furious that I tried to catch up with him to get his license number, which I managed to do.  I wanted to follow him to give him a great big piece of my mind to chew on before I reported his reckless endangerment to the police, but he was racing so fast down La Riviera Drive I couldn't catch up.  But I'll be watching out for him, and next time I see that muther's his license #8D73072, in case you see him first.  

Friday, October 05, 2012


October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.  Take the ASPCA No Pet Store Puppies Pledge today.