Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Are you ready for some Puppy Bowl?!

Puppy Bowl photo: Animal Planet...
Forget the Super Bowl, we're ready for some Puppy Bowl!  

Get a heads up on some of the rules for playing the Puppy Bowl game in this video.  

Remember:  tune into Animal Planet on Sunday, February 5 at 3 pm ET.  This is the 8th consecutive year for Puppy Bowl and you don't want to miss a minute of these cute puppies, a piggy pep squad, and Meep the Bird who will be tweeting all the live action.

Will Cairn Terrier Be Kansas Official Dog?

Dorothy and Toto photo: ABC News...
Kansas Representative Ed Trimmer, a Democrat from Winfield, expects to be barked at soon.  According the The Wichita Eagle, he's introduced House Bill #251 which would designate the Cairn Terrier as the official dog breed of Kansas. 

With all the critical needs state governments face these days, why would he introduce this bill?  Because it's been requested by constituents.

Brenda Moore contacted him about the proposal.  She's the obedience chairwoman with the South Central Kansas Kennel Club and says:  "Cairn Terriers have a gusto for life.  They are very smart and very loyal."  And then there's the Wizard of Oz / Toto connection.

This isn't the first time someone has proposed the Cairn Terrier as the official Kansas dog breed.  In 2006, Annette McDonald led a petition drive to designate the Cairn Terrier as the state's official dog.  She got several thousand signatures, but no sponsor of a bill.

If approved, the Cairn Terrier will be in good company.  Other official state dogs include:
  • Alaska - Alaskan Malamute
  • Louisiana - Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog
  • Maryland - Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Massachusetts - Boston Terrier
  • New Hampshire - Chinook
  • North Carolina - Plott Hound
  • Pennsylvania - Great Dane
  • South Carolian - Boykin Spaniel
  • Virginia - American Foxhound

Learn more about the Cairn Terrier dog breed in this video clip from Dog Tales TV.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Blind Battered Bernese Mountain Dog Mix Looking for Love

In one of the worst cases of animal abuse the Lebanon Missouri Humane Society has ever seen, Braveheart is a hero.  

Found along a county road on December 29, law enforcement officials believe this dog was thrown from a moving vehicle.  One of his front legs was so badly damaged it had to be completely amputated and his teeth had pierced his tongue.  In addition, the dog is blind and appears to have been blind since birth.

Named by the Lebanon Humane Society staff for the motion picture, Braveheart, which was billed as a "rousing tale of heroism and honor, full of passion and with courage enough to inspire victory."  This dog is healing from his injuries and a favorite at the animal shelter.

Braveheart is a Bernese Mountain Dog mix about three years old.  He seems to be housebroken and is good walking on a leash.  He does bump into things, due to the blindness, but responds well to vocal directions.  He's adapting to being three legged very well. 

Shy at first, Braveheart quickly warms up to everyone and is good with other dogs.  Suffice to say, Braveheart is not keen on car rides.  These days he doesn't even like the sound of cars.

If you have room in your heart and in your home for a beautiful, well behaved, brave survivor... give the Lebanon Humane Society a call at 417-532-9671.

Photo:  Lebanon Daily Record newspaper

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dog Song Saturday: A Dog is a Friend by Jimmy Scott

A dog is friend for life... people leave, dogs stick around.  Oh, yeah!  It's Saturday!  Time for a dog song at Talking Dogs.  If you're reading this blog, you're going to appreciate the lyrics of today's dog song.  A Dog is a Friend is an original song composed and performed by Jimmy Scott.  It's from his album "Little Love Songs/Strumology" which is available at iTunes and cdbaby.

Grab a dog.  Sit. Stay. Relax and pat that dog to the tune of A Dog is a Friend with Jimmy Scott.  If you're in the mood, check out more dog songs at Talking Dogs.  Then come back here and scroll down below today's dog song video and explore some barking good dog blogs because today is a Pet Blogger Hop.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Valentine Dog Lover Earrings from For Love of a Dog Jewelry

Valentine's Day is fast approaching and For Love of a Dog Jewelry & Gifts has some new dog lover earrings.  Just perfect for that special someone who loves dogs.

Shown to the left are adorable dog lover earrings with a chubby red jasper gemstone heart dangling from three dimensional glass dog bone beads.  

Hand wire wrapped with silver jeweler's wire and accented with sterling silver beads, these earring are adorable!

How about these silver heart and white dog bone earrings?  

Sleek silver hearts look fantastic with white and proclaim to the world that your heart is taken by your favorite canine companion.

Fetch more dog lover earrings from For Love of a Dog.  You'll find we have lots of dog bone earrings with hearts and gemstone beads, plus other dog loving earring styles as well.  All handmade by dog lovers in the Missouri Ozarks.  In fact, we offer dog breed jewelry in many dog breeds, mutt and mixed breed dog lover jewelry, and even dog rescue jewelry.  Save 10% on your entire order - including sale items - when you use this discount code at checkout: FLDNEW  Free shipping, too!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

New MACH Agility Dog Lover Jewelry at For Love of a Dog

Thanks to customer requests, For Love of a Dog Jewelry & Gifts now offers jewelry to celebrate your dog's achievements in agility events.  

Show off your bragging rights with the Master of Agility Championship handmade bracelet shown to the left.  White jade gemstone beads and super cute three dimensional white dog bone beads are hand wire wrapped with silver jeweler's wire.  The focal is a hand stamped sterling silver circular disc with MACH, accented with a sweet silver star dangle.  This dog lover bracelet is adjustable in size with an extender chain decorated with a silver dog bone and heart.

If white isn't your color, you may like this very similar MACH dog lover bracelet shown below in jasper gemstone beads with a black onyx star. 
Love agility, but no championships yet?  Or perhaps competition isn't your thing.  Check out this beautiful dog lover bracelet simply celebrating agility.  Chunky bracelet features fat white jade and a hand stamped focal.
Does your Australian Cattle Dog or Australian Shepherd compete in agility?  Fetch this handmade copper ankle bracelet with hand stamped solid copper bar:  AUSSIE AGILITY.  A great way to celebrate your dog's efforts, plus you can benefit from the healing properties of copper.
Fetch more dog lover jewelry from For Love of a Dog.  We offer dog breed jewelry in over 75 dog breeds, mutt and mixed breed dog lover jewelry, and even dog rescue jewelry.  Enjoy fast, free shipping in gift box packaging from folks who love dogs and hand craft these items right here in America.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Does your dog have rights? Mine does! Guest Post

Today we have another Talking Dogs guest post from the dog daddy at For Love of a Dog, known to some of you as the Chief Medical Examiner and my husband, Gary.
Does your dog have rights?  Mine do! 

Recently I've read a number of articles about animal rights. They've really gotten me thinking about the issue. Of course, as I read and ponder, I have my own three dogs in mind. 

One self proclaimed expert on the subject stated that “With rights come responsibility and animals are not responsible.” 

At first I thought, well, that is that.  Of course animals can’t have rights, they have no responsibility. But the more I've thought about it, the more I'm seeing the issue in broader terms. I'll use my dogs to illustrate my recent thinking. 

First let’s deal with me, the one whose rights are not in question, at least not this one. I have the right to own a dog or in my case even multiple dogs. With that right comes responsibility. In exchange for the right to own a dog, I can think of 5 basic responsibilities I have:
  1. I have the responsibility to provide my dog healthy food and water. 
  2. I have the responsibility to provide my dog with adequate shelter. 
  3. I have the responsibility to provide a life free of unnecessary pain or violence. 
  4. I have the responsibility to provide love, attention and companionship. 
  5. I have the responsibility to provide the training my dog needs to exist in his environment. 
In our house, as in many, we go well above the basics when it comes to our dogs. They live in our house and sleep in the bedroom with us. Jeffie even has his own pillow on the bed. They enjoy organic dog food and a fenced two acre back yard.  I could go on, but won't.  Any real dog lover knows the drill. 

Now back to my dogs. I believe they have a right to all the things that I am responsible for giving them. So if they have these rights, what are their responsibilities? Well, they are responsible to do many things and to not do many things. 

My dogs are responsible to return the love, attention and companionship that I show them. I pat their head, they lick my face. Basic give and take. They are responsible to eat the food I provide, accept the shelter I offer, to come when I call them, to guard our home, and accept any training demands I place on them.  

Of course, anyone who loves a dog knows they do much more than the basics without expecting anything in return. 

Now for the list of what they are responsible to not do. My dogs are responsible to not do their business in the house; not to beg when told not to; not to bite me, visitors or the vet; not to bark at night or keep me awake; not to chew the furniture or rugs.  This list could go on, except my dogs are so good I can’t think of any more. 

So there you have it. My dogs have rights and they have responsibilities just like I do. My guess is that your dogs have rights, too.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!

Image: myremi and webcooltips.com
January 23 is the Chinese New Year.  And I'm off the hook for doing any kind of cleaning!

Did you know that the Chinese believe that on New Year's Eve, all brooms, brushes, dusters, dust pan and other cleaning equipment are put away.  Sweeping or dusting should not be done on New Year's Day for fear that good fortune will be swept away.

What a relief!  One of my own New Year's resolutions was to take pictures of my dogs with less dog hair in the photos.  You know, so it looks like I do sometimes run the vacuum cleaner at our house.  (I do, I do!)  Well, I won't be running that vacuum today!
Jeffie thinks cleaning is highly over rated!
So, lay down that duster.  Put away that Windex and vacuum cleaner.  Play with those pups and focus on receiving lots of good fortune in 2012, the Chinese year of the Dragon!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Adopt a Senior Black Dog: Raven is Homeless in Missouri

I feel a special heartache when I see senior dogs surrendered to an animal shelter or picked up (and unclaimed) by animal control.  However, I won't preach on that topic today because it's more important that you take a look at Raven.

Raven is about 8 years old and currently living at the Humane Society of Missouri animal shelter in Maryland Heights.  He's a beautiful black Labrador Retriever dog mix who's already neutered.  He has great manners, is housebroken and walks very nicely on a leash.  He's looking for a home to live out the rest of his life and he'll give all the love you can take in exchange.

If you have room in your heart and house for this wonderful black dog boy, please contact the HSMO at 314-951-1588 and reference animal ID number A522300

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dog Song Saturday: Make Me the Man My Dog Thinks I Am

It's Saturday, so time for a dog song at Talking Dogs!  If you listen to the lyrics of today's dog song, I know you're gonna love it!  Make Me the Man (My Dog Thinks I Am) is a sweet, slow ballad composed and performed by Jimmy Scott.  This great original dog song is accompanied by delightful dog  photographs and ends with a big of a howl.  

Grab a dog.  Sit.  Stay.  Relax and sing along to Make Me the Man My Dog Thinks I Am with Jimmy Scott.  And if you're in the mood, check out more dog songs at Talking Dogs.   Then come back and scroll down below today's video to explore some barking good dog blogs because today is a Pet Blogger Hop.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Product Review: Soggy Doggy Door Mat and Super Shammy

I am in love with these new dog products!  Joanna Rein, President and Top Dog at Soggy Doggy Productions sent us a Soggy Doggy Door Mat and a Super Shammy to try.  Thanks to Mother Nature, we gave them a good workout with both rain and snow. 

With three big dogs, at our house we have quite a stack of "dog towels" in one of our mudroom cupboards.  There are times when it takes more than one towel per dog to soak up all the rain or snow, mud and more from 3 dog bodies and 12 dog paws.  Then, of course, there's a pile of laundry to do.  Well, now, thanks to Soggy Doggy, we have a fantastic, attractive alternative.

The Soggy Doggy Doormat absorbs five times more water than regular cotton doormats.  It's quick drying, very durable, and has a no-slip backing.  It soaks up water and dirt like a sponge thanks to super absorbent microfiber chenille "noodles."   Not only are these fibers super absorbant, but they also snag a tremendous amount of debris. 

The Soggy Doggy Super Shammy absorbs up to seven times its weight in water and is made from the same textured, ultrafine strands of woven chenille.  Both are machine washable and ultra soft for delicate dog paws and bellies. 

Joanna is the enterprising mother of four young children and one rescue dog named Buddy.  She created the Soggy Doggy Doormat to put an end to the soggy mess at in her own house.  Joanna notes that though these products were created with dogs in mind, they work great for kids' snowy boots and dirty cleats!

Our Soggy Doggy products arrived via UPS just days after Joanna promised to send them.  Score one for very fast shipping.  Both are attractive, super soft and squishy, and nicely packaged.

Our first test was with a very light snowstorm.  We plopped the Soggy Doggy  Doormat down in front of the sliding doors to the deck.  Sure enough, as the dogs came in, the snow and mud stayed right on the doormat, rather than being tracked all over our hardwood floors.

The real test came days later when we got a lot of rain.  This time we put the Soggy Doggy Doormat in our mudroom to catch the worst of the wet paws.  Worked great!  The Super Shammy made quick work of wiping down and drying each of the dogs.  Much more convenient for the humans with the convenient pockets for hands.  Plus the whole drying operating was much faster than our old dog towel method.
 The Soggy Doggy Doormat is available in beige with a red dog bone or summer blue with a brown dog bone.  It's 26" x 36" in size, which we found just fine for our 100 pound dogs.  Plus, Joanna notes that the doormats make great crate pads or as mats in a car for traveling.  Suggested retail price is $39.99.
The Soggy Doggy Super Shammy is 31" x 14" and comes in marine blue with red trim.  Suggested retail is $19.99.  Both can be purchased directly from Soggy Doggy at their web site www.soggydoggydoormat.com

We give both the Soggy Doggy Doormat and Super Shammy our highest recommendation.  This is a product that really works, is attractive, well priced and something we know we'll be using for a long time to come.  Learn more about Soggy Doggy products at thesoggy doggydoormat.com

* Please note that Talking Dogs accepts no monetary compensation for reviews.  This review is not sponsored by Soggy Doggy and is the opinion of Talking Dogs.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

44 Dogs Rescued from Unlicensed Breeder in Stone County, Missouri

HSMO Photo
On January 17, 2012, Working in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the Stone County Sheriff's Office, the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force rescued 44 dogs and 1 cat from an unlicensed breeder in Stone County, Missouri.  The dogs included Pugs, Shi Tzus, Chihuahua, Pit Bull mixes  and other small dog breed adults and puppies.

According to HSMO, Many of these animals were kept inside a trailer, where the carpet and flooring was soaked through with urine and feces.  Nursing mothers and their puppies were covered in their own waste.  Some dogs were tethered outside and left to suffer in freezing temperatures.

HSMO staff provided each animal with a thorough veterinary exam and cleaning.  Some of these dogs are suffering from hair loss, dental disease, skin conditions, and untreated injuries.  Several of them are malnourished and most will require spay or neuter surgery.

Most of these dogs will need many weeks of treatment before they are healthy and can be made available for adoption.  Updates will be available on the HSMO website at www.hsmo.org 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Adopt a Black Dog: Kendra is a Labrador Retriever

If you have room in your heart and home for another dog, please consider Kendra.  She is a black and white Labrador Retriever mix currently living in the Humane Society of Missouri's animal shelter in St Louis.

Kendra is about 1 year old and already spayed.  She's a bit shy and afraid of the world.  She needs a patient, compassionate friend to help her enjoy life.  As you can see from her video, Kendra is a sweetheart.  Her animal ID number is A522406 and you can find out more about this beautiful, adoptable, black dog by calling 314-951-1562.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dog Song Saturday: Remember When Pit Bull Video

Every Saturday, Talking Dogs presents a dog song for your enjoyment.  Some are fun and funny; some are more thoughtful.  Today's dog song selection, Remember When, happens to fit both of those categories.

Featured in this video are two of America's most beloved Pit Bull dogs:  You may recognize Petey from Our Gang and The Little Rascals.  The lesser-known, Luke, appeared alongside his owner Roscoe Arbuckle and his wife Minta Durfee in several silent films between 1914-1920.

Technically the song, Remember When, performed here by Alan Jackson, is not a song about dogs.  However, the lyrics are a beautiful companion to the Pit Bull dog video and it's plea to remember when Pit Bulls were beloved.   This presentation is a charming encouragement to reject dog breed discrimination and breed ban laws.

Grab a dog - a pitty if you're lucky enough to have one.  Sit.  Stay.  Relax and enjoy Remember When.  Fetch more dog songs at Talking Dogs here.   Then come back to this blog post and scroll down today's video to explore some barking good dog blogs because today is a Pet Blogger Hop.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Remembering an Old Friend: Guest Blog Post

Today we have a Talking Dogs guest post from the dog daddy at our house, known to some of you as the Chief Medical Examiner and my husband, Gary.

Remembering an old friend...

Having recently lost Tucker, my old friend of 14 years, I have been thinking a lot about him. 

A few weeks ago, while stringing lights on the Christmas tree, I was remembering one of the last walks we took together.   

We have a fenced back yard of about two acres which the dogs have access to.  However they all love to go for a walk outside of the yard with their daddy.

Nobody loved the walks more than Tucker. The last few years of his life he was suffering with arthritis and got to the point where he had trouble standing up, but once he was on his feet he was always ready to go for a walk.   

I regret terribly that we didn’t take more walks. Once we were out the front door Tucker was on the move. Slow and steady but moving ahead. Regardless of how long the walk lasted or how tired he was, he never once asked to go back to the house. When I would tire out and start back, he would always want to go for more.   

On one of those last walks together Tucker scared up a rabbit. I saw it lying in the grass long before Tucker did so I steered him toward it.

Now, to help you get the image, it helps to visualize a 98 year old man who needs a walker to get around. Although Tucker didn’t have a walker (he could have used one) he walked very slow and deliberate as he made sure each step was secure. 

When Tucker got about 6 feet from the rabbit it bolted and ran. Tucker came alive and gave chase. Well at least until he got to the end of the leash and I stopped him. He watched as the rabbit hopped off and into the high grass and was gone.   

In hindsight I wish I would have let him go. One last good chase.  It’s not as if he would have caught the rabbit or even got close but he would have loved to try, and I know he would not have gone too far in his condition.

But it’s too late now and it makes me sad that my basic instinct to keep control of him deprived him of that good chase. I should add that we were about in the middle of our 46 acres so he would have had plenty of room to safely chase the rabbit. 

You see, for years one of Tuckers jobs around here was to keep the yard clear of all invading critters, rabbits, armadillos, squirrels.  He had retired from that job and had turned it over to the young and swift.

But when Tucker saw that rabbit he was young again.  Age nor ability was not a thought.

I wish I had let him go.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Product Review: Comfy Pet Bed for Dogs

  Part 3 of my quest for a dog bed.  The final installment of this saga because we have a real winner!

Thanks to being an e-list subscriber to Tuesday Morning, I scored an amazing dog bed for a true bargain price.  As soon as it arrived, I headed straight to my computer to order two more.

Yesterday my new catalog from an upscale pet supply company arrived and I realized just what a bargain I'd found.

Tuesday Morning is know for having closeout items from "luxury" brand catalogs and stores.  They usually do not have much in the way of pet items, but that day they had some very attractive dog beds online.

Manufactured in China and distributed by IMJ Marketing, Cozy Craft Ped Beds are pretty cool.  These have a double bolster design and are filled with high-loft polyfil stuffing.  Extra fullness and the shape make it comfortable and easy to step into.  There's even a removable tufted pillow.  The bolster and pillow cover both have zippers so they're easy to remove and machine wash.

These beautiful beds have high quality microsuede fabric with some piping and are certainly attractive.  Available in four attractive colors.

My first order was for an extra-large dog bed in hazelnut.  Extra large is 46" x 36" so plenty big for Lucy to really stretch out.   The hazelnut color is extremely neutral and looks great in our bedroom.  According to the website, retail price was $169.99.  I paid $59.99.

As before, I placed the new bed in the family room to see what would happen.  All three dogs have it a real sniff over.  Then began the competition to see who could get it first.   When we placed it in our bedroom in Lucy's spot (next to my side of the bed), she knew for sure it was hers and took possession immediately.  Curled up with the bed as a nest, or stretched full out, this bed is Lucy's favorite bed of all time.

In fact, Lucy loved this bed so much that I immediately ordered two more, this time in the large size.  (40" x 30" x 15")  Also in hazelnut so that we now have a more attractive bedroom scene.  I paid $49.99 each.
No longer available on the Tuesday Morning website, I spotted a ringer at $149.99 for the large size.  If you'd like to score one of these beds, I'd recommend you check the Tuesday Morning website every week or so because they often re-stock popular items.

My quest for dog beds has ended on a high note.  Dog approved, attractive, easy to clean, dog beds for great prices!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2011 Purina Incredible Dog Challenge National Finals

Mark your calendar!  Set that DVR!  The 2011 Purina Incredible Dog Challenge National Finals will be televised on Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 4:00 ET on NBC.

Watch dogs of all breeds, ages and sizes from around the world compete in Olympic style events like hurdle racing, Frisbee catching.  Be sure to watch for Vhoebe, a Belgian Malinois from San Diego, California.  Vhoebe breaks a world record with a dock-diving leap of 31 feet, 8 inches!

Product Review: Petmate Orthopedic Bed

Petmate Orthopedic Bed 
Part 2 of my quest for a dog bed also comes from Walmart.  Since I had such an easy time shopping online there, I decided to try another dog bed.

This time I ordered their Petmade Orthopedic Foam dog bed.  According to Walmart:  with its low profile and firm support relieving pressure pints, the Petmade Orthopedic Foam dog bed is ideal for older, arthritic or recovering pets.

The filling is a thick layer of orthopedic foam.  The bed has a low profile height so an arthritic dog can easily step onto it.  The cover has a zipper fly for easy removable and it is machine washable.

I might take exception to Walmart's description of the bed's cover: Soft and elegant plush fabrics with coordinating jacquards.  Offered in Brown Damask or Picante Red Diamond with piping around the top edge.  Yes, the fabric is plush and soft, however, "elegant" might be stretching it.

My selection, again based on customer reviews, was the 30" x 40" bed priced at $58.09 with free shipping.  Once again, Walmart does not allow the customer to select color/fabric. I received the Petmate Orthopedic Bed in Brown Damask which looks just like Walmart's image.

All the dogs loved it, especially Rudy, who claimed it for his own when I moved it into our bedroom.  Interestingly enough, Lucy preferred her aged, worn out, memory foam orthopedic bed.  Jeffie preferred the floor.

Though there's no color choice available, I recommend the Petmate Orthopedic Bed from Walmart.  Their online shopping process was quick and easy.  I appreciated the numerous customer reviews.  The product was as described and I anticipate it lasting a good long while.  And, once again, the price was right. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Product Review: ASPCA Microsherpa Bolster Gusset Dog Bed

ASPCA Microsherpa Bolster Bed
  This is Part 1 of my quest for a dog bed.  Several years ago I purchased some pretty incredible orthopedic dog beds.  They are huge, filled with memory foam, and about worn out.  Thus, the reason for my dog bed quest.

Early this fall I ordered a cheap dog bed from Walmart.  My purchase was based on the good reviews of this bed and the price.  Like I said:  cheap.  Here's the description from the Walmart website:
The ASPCA Microsherpa Bolster Gusset Bed provides utmost comfort to your pet dog. This fluffy bed is large enough to ensure that your pet dog can rest its entire body on it. It is well padded and made from a fine, ultra-soft fabric that is long-lasting. The bolsters surrounding the large pet bed on one side give a sense of security to your pet dog. On the whole, the ASPCA Microsherpa Bolster Gusset Bed is designed to protect your pet dog from cold and hard surfaces.
According to the description, the ASPCA Microsherpa Bolster Gusset Bed is large enough for the dog's entire body, well padded, ultra soft, and the bolster on one side gives a sense of security.  Walmart indicates that this dog bed in "imported."  I'm guessing from China, but that is a guess.

I ordered this bed in the 27" x 36" x 5" size.  I paid $25 and received free site to store shipping and delivery.

The Walmart order process was quick and easy.  I definitely appreciated the customer product reviews.  Site to store free shipping meant that I waited for the product to arrive at my local Walmart - about a week - then went to the store to pick it up.  The process was smooth with timely email communication from Walmart.

There is no color or fabric choice available for this item.  Thanks to customer reviews, I was not surprised that mine looked nothing like the photo on Walmart's website.   At first glance I was not impressed.  The fabric looked cheap and is not particularly attractive.

Lucy with her TV Bed
I plopped the dog bed down on the floor and all four dogs gave it a real going over.  Lucy claimed it as her own right away.  She loves it.  We've left it in the family room and refer to it as Lucy's TV bed.  She caught on to the bolster right away and enjoys a nice fleece pillow for her head.

Lucy loves the built-in fleece pillow.
The cover for this bed does zip off and is washable.  I've been surprised at how well its held up.

I would definitely recommend the ASPCA Microsherpa Bolster Gusset Dog Bed from Walmart.  It's egg-crate foam interior is kind to Lucy's geriatric and arthritic joints.  The price was definitely right.

Lucy thinks it is the best $25 I've ever spent.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dog Politics: Mitt Romney, Seamus & the now infamous vacation

Seamus  Photo from Boston.com
What kind of a guy takes the family dog along on vacation by loading said dog into a dog carrier and tying it onto the vehicle's roof rack?  

Who would do such a thing for a few miles, let alone a 12 hour drive?  And when confronted by evidence that the dog is in obvious distress, what kind of guy would simply hose off the dog and car and continue on the journey?

Mitt Romney, that's who.

In 2007, Neil Swidey and Stephanie Ebbert wrote an exhaustive seven part investigative story about Mitt Romney for The Boston Globe.   In Part 4 of The Making of Mitt Romney, they tell a story of Mitt Romney and the family Irish Setter, Seamus.

In 1983 the Romney family was traveling from Boston to Ontario - a 12 hour trek - in their Chevy station wagon. As Swidey reports:   Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family's hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon's roof rack. He'd built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.
Then Romney put his boys on notice: He would be making predetermined stops for gas, and that was it.
The ride was largely what you'd expect with five brothers, ages 13 and under, packed into a wagon they called the ''white whale.''
As the oldest son, Tagg Romney commandeered the way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the rear window, where he glimpsed the first sign of trouble. ''Dad!'' he yelled. ''Gross!'' A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who'd been riding on the roof in the wind for hours.
As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway. It was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management.
Crisis management?  When I first became aware of this story, I couldn't believe it was true.  Now, knowing that it is a fact, I suggest that it provides a unique glimpse into his character and moral conscience.

In today's Boston Globe's Magazine, Swidey writes about the incident in the article What our fascination with Mitt Romney's dog Seamus says about our culture.  Among other things, Swidey reminds readers that standards were different in 1983 and notes: 
Although I think it would be nuts for voters to base their presidential selection solely on this incident, it’s always struck me as a valuable window into how Romney operates. In everything the guy does, he functions on logic, not emotion.
Standards may have been different in 1983, however such actions certainly didn't come under the heading of kindness to animals.  It calls into question this guy's basic sensitivity to other living creatures.  Especially troubling is that when questioned about the incident these days, Romney laughs.

A guy who would do such a thing to a family dog that he "loves" and laugh about it, is not a guy I want holding any elective office.  Let alone that of President of the United States.
In her article Dogs and Presidential Candidates for The Daily Beast, Leslie Bennetts notes that Ingrid Newkirk of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) describes the incident as torture.  To which Romney replied that PETA has targeted him because he once went quail hunting, approved a rodeo as part of the Salt Lake City Olympics celebration and said:
They're not happy that my dog likes fresh air.
Have a look at this current day video from Fox News Sunday and listen to Romney's explanation to Chris Wallace:

Adopt Tennessee: Young Black Lab Mix Dog

If you're thinking about adding a dog to your family or know someone who is, please consider Tennessee.  He's a beautiful black and white Labrador Retriever mixed breed dog who's looking for a forever home.  Tennessee is about a year old, already neutered, and living at the Humane Society of Missouri's St Louis animal shelter.

Tennessee knows how to sit, accepts treats gently, and gives kisses.  He also prefers to go to the bathroom outside.  As you can see from his video, Tennessee is a sweet boy and just needs a home and family to really shine.

For more information about this Lab mix dog, contact HSMO at 314-951-1562.  Tennessee's ID number is A521916.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dog Song Saturday: The Brussels Griffon by Nancy Simmonds

It's Saturday, so time for a dog song at Talking Dogs.  Today's selection is The Brussels Griffon Dog Song.  Composed and performed by Nancy Simmonds, this song is available on her Musical Tails, 9th Litter CD.   

The Brussels Griffon Dog Song accompanies video of a "Flemish street monkey" (as the song lovingly calls a Brussels Griffon) playing with a cat, running zoomies, and just generally having some fun.  Be sure to watch for the appearance of a camera hog... a beautiful black and white Pitbull dog.  The video will bring a smile to you face as you watch - what is called in our house- a real cutie patootie.

Grab a dog!  Sit.  Stay.  Relax and enjoy Nancy Simmonds' The Bussels Griffon Dog Song.  Fetch some more dog songs from Talking Dogs, then come back to scroll down below today's dog song video to explore some barking good dog blogs because today is a Pet Blogger Hop.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ireland Bans Puppy Mills

Irish Puppy Farm Photo courtesy MVFA
According to Irish Central, Ireland has banned puppy mills.  New Irish laws took effect on New Year's Day that outlaw intensive dog breeding operations.  All puppies must now be microchipped so that the dog breeder can be identified, and authorities can inspect and shut down any facility that fails to meet the standards set by the new regulations.

The new anti-puppy farming legislation makes it impossible to produce hundreds of puppies in filthy and overcrowded kennels.  Dog breeders will be allowed to keep large numbers of animals, but only under strict conditions and standards set down by the new regulations.  All dog breeders must also be registered with their local authority to comply with the new rules.  

Activists have fought for years to protect puppies from unscrupulous breeders and get rid of Ireland's reputation as the Puppy Farm of Europe.  Now the Welfare of Greyhounds Act and the Dogs Breeding Establishments Act will enable the Irish government to clean up the country's act.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Opinion: Harrisburg Re-thinking Dog Killing Order

According to Reuters, Pennsylvania's capital city Harrisburg is reconsidering their policy of having police officers shoot stray dogs.  

As you probably already know, Harrisburg lacks the money to pay an animal shelter to take in strays, so its police department issued a memo last month giving officers the option of shooting dangerous dogs and roppping their carcasses at a state Department of Agriculture loading dock.

A December 5, 2011 police memo directed Harrisburg police officers to either offer the dogs for adoption to the person who called to report a stray, adopt the animals themselves, take them to an area where it would be safe to release them, or kill them.   In spite of the fact that Pennsylvania state law requires stray dogs to be kept for 48 hours before any decision is made to euthanize them.

Though police have yet to take that extreme measure, controversy generated by dog lovers has led to the city re-thinking their policy. 

Like many cities in our country, Harrisburg is in big financial trouble.  The city attempted to declare bankruptcy, but that effort was struck down by a federal court last month.  What made their situation big national news:  their stray dog policy.

Dog lovers are outraged.  And, in my opinion, rightly so.  However, it does make me wonder about the stray dog policies and practices (they are not always the same thing) of the thousands of government entities in our country.  I wonder about the laws on the books and I wonder about cruelty that will become, if it hasn't already, institutionalized.

For example, in the very rural county I currently live in, stray dogs have been shot by law enforcement.  In fact, stray dogs have been tied to fences and then shot.  Execution style.   

The local humane society and animal shelter does receive some assistance from the city, however have never been successful at obtaining any from the county.  In fact, some county commissioners have questioned the shelter's euthanasia procedures, suggesting a bullet would be more cost effective.

Of course, their official reason for not funding the animal shelter is lack of funds.  Shrinking income and rising costs are cited.  That must be why they are currently spending tens of thousands of dollars installing a new ground source heating system in a relatively new county government complex.

Animal welfare is not a priority where I live.  Mohandas Gandhi said:  The measure of a society can be how well its people treat its animals.   If my home county were measured on such a scale, it would score about a 1.  

With the very real affects of the economic downturn, it's not going to get better anytime soon.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Our Yellow Lab Puppy Dog's First Year Video

I thought you might like to see Rudy's First Year and my first effort with Microsoft Movie Maker.   I should warn you that it is way too long and I need to better learn how to do the audio.  However, since I made this to please myself and share with friends and family...  I'm fairly well proud of it!

Hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Leon County Humane Society and Kristie Wright are the Winners!

Congratulations to Kristie Wright and the Leon County Humane Society!  

Kristie won the Social Media for Social Good cash giveaway and selected the Leon County Humane Society to receive that portion of her prize money.

The Leon County Humane Society (LCHS) is a 100% donation and membership supported, no-kill animal organization in Tallahassee, Florida.   Originally established in 1960, they have a five pronged mission:
  • To relieve animal suffering
  • To prevent animal cruelty
  • To eliminate overpopulation of animals
  • To promote humane education
  • To enhance the human/animal bond
You can learn more about them on their website at www.lchs.info  Be sure to check out the dogs they have available for adoption.

Kristie received a $112 cash prize for herself and $213 was sent directly to the Leon County Humane Society.

Happy New Year from Talking Dogs

Wishing you a barking good new year... 
filled with good health, good luck and love...
lots of love!