Saturday, March 21, 2015

10 Doggy rules for a dog park

Welcome to the Dog Park.

There are lots of rules humans should know about: no violent dogs, no food, all dogs need to be up-to-date on vaccinations, clean up after your dog, etc.

But the dogs have rules too. Our dogs have come up with some rules you should make sure your dogs follow.

1. To say hello, sniff a butt. This is totally normal, don't be scared.

2. Go potty first and foremost. That way you don't have to stop in the middle of a run.

3. Some parks have dirt spots. These are especially good when it's hot out. You can dig a hole and sit in it and be nice and cool. Just be sure to fill it back up.

4. There are big metal things that water comes out of. Sometimes the humans fill up buckets for us. Those buckets are for drinking water -- NOT TO STAND IN.

5. Sometimes you'll see something on the ground that you'll want to eat. It might smell good, but don't eat anything your human doesn't give you. Some people do bad things, and you don't want a tummy ache or a visit to the vet.

6. But there is lots of smelly stuff. Take it all in.

7. And sometimes, there's stuff smelly enough to roll in! But whether there is or there isn't, be sure to get a good roll in.

8. You'll meet other doggies to play with. But be nice and don't play too hard.

9. And if you see dogs playing rough, it's best to stay outside the fight... and let your human know!

10. And when your human says it's time to go home, be sure to catch up with them.

Have fun!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Grass-rolling beagle

Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day. But this is about as green as it gets around here:

Spring has definitely sprung!

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Beagle Freedom Project's new campaign lets you be the advocate

Thousands of animals are in research labs across the country, many of which are in public facilities funded with taxpayer dollars.

Beagle Freedom Project has launched a new campaign where you become the advocate for a dog or cat in one of these labs, in the hopes of getting more out.
BFP's Identity Campaign  identified hundreds of dogs and cats through public records requests.

When you pay a $50 adoption fee, you get an adoption certificate, an engraved tag and everything you need to know about where the pet is and what has been done to them.

The hope is that people who adopt these dogs will become advocates and work to get them out of the lab.

Courtesy Beagle Freedom Project.
The dogs and cats are in over a dozen universities, from University of Florida in Gainesville to Colorado State University. That means the chances are good there's a dog in need close to you. I was amazed at how many dogs were at the University of Florida.

Want to help a dog or a cat near you? Head to BFPs Identity Campaign site

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Global Pet Expo: Photos and observations

Last week I posted pictures from the first day of Global Pet Expo in Orlando.

Then things happened, and I ran out of time.

So here's a wrap-up of the expo.

But first, some observations:
  • There's an emphasis among some of the biggest food companies for more exotic meat. But with that is another issue -- the meat is not sourced in the U.S. But the good news is none of it is in China.
  • The tech trend continues. This year we're seeing more activity trackers -- FitBits for dogs. One in particular even checks the dog's vitals. 
  • Beds are getting fancier. How about a bed with a washable insert, or a bed with folders for those who love to dig? Or a bed that is self-warming!
  • More and more companies are also looking at pet safety. From lights to glow in the dark leashes, there's loads of products coming out to make sure you can see pets in the dark.
 And now, pictures!

Thursday, Lulu's visit!
New formulas from Merrick Pet Food: BackCountry and Limited Ingredient Diets.
A highlight of Lulu's day: The treat bins.
Just one of the new treats from Zuke's.
Insect Shield has released a line of products coated to protect pets from bugs, including blankets, shirts and even beds.
Lulu and one of her favorite toy companies, Quaker Pet Group.
Lulu meets Cat Daddy Jackson Galaxy!
Popware Snack Duos for your pet!
Lulu poolside at the Purina reception.
BlogPaws chief Chloe DeVita with Lulu.
Cool doggy toys from Haute Diggity Dog.
Because dogs should have a bed as comfortable as yours!
Geeky products for your dog, including Star Trek and Adventure Time!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Cone of Shame: Her cone, my shame

It seemed like a great start to the weekend.
We went to Doctors Dog Park in Apopka. The dogs had a great time running around and making friends.

We came home, I fed them, I made myself some pizza. I had the pizza in my hand. Lulu was lurking in the kitchen doorway. I called to bring her in the living room. That's when Jasmine lunged at Lulu. The two fought. 

I separated Jasmine from Lulu and put her in the crate. I thought Lulu went into the bedroom. Turns out she was in the kitchen. There was blood in one of her ears. I soon realized both ears were bleeding. Later I discovered the blood on the kitchen floor.

I should have been getting ready to go to work. Instead I was looking for an emergency vet to take Lulu in. I could find the wound on the one ear -- it appeared to be superficial enough. I put Vetericyn on it.  I couldn't find the wound in the first ear though, and the bleeding was worse.


 The vet found the wound, deep in the ear. Probably too deep for a bite mark, but that wasn't the point. They cleaned the ears, gave me drugs, and put on the cone.

Her cone, my shame.

I had planned to wrap up Global Pet Expo. I had a couple of other posts to share too. But I wanted to tell this story.

Sometimes I get so frustrated with Jasmine. Her fear that she won't get something or will miss out on something. It's the only thing I can think. She's resource guarding, even though she's never had to fight for a resource as long as she's lived with me or with my parents.
She seems to recognize that Lulu was hurt and that she should be careful with Lulu, not that it has stopped her from wanting to play. She barked initially, but she seems to have figured it out. I skipped Jasmine's training class Sunday because I feared she might do the same thing to another dog. My trainer and I will have to look at this seriously. I just don't know what else to do. Other than never have food in front of Jasmine ever again.

And Lulu will survive. And she's getting lots of treats and sliced turkey with her meds.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Global Pet Expo: Day 1 in photos

Hey gang!

I'm at Global Pet Expo this week in Orlando. One of the largest pet product expos in the country!

Here's some of the products I saw today. Let me know if there's anything you'd like me to check out! Global Pet Expo ends Friday.

Huge expo! And this isn't even two thirds of it.

GoDog from Quaker Pet Group! New dragon color, and these new ripz that sound like the doll is ripping but don't.
Brandon McMillan from Lucky Dog in between demonstrations at the Petmate booth.
Glow in the Dark collars from PetMate.
Self-warming beds from Petmate.
Spot Farms makes all-natural, made in the USA treats with meat made from local farms.
The new Motorola collar camera.
Aquariums with smart phone ports!
Tea for Spot! The green tin is a calming blend.
Great signs from Dog Speak! I actually own one of them.
Snoozer's new bed is called Forgiveness -- the insert is washable.
That's all for now. Check back for more pics Thursday.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Want a show beagle like Miss P? 5 things to know

ZOMG Miss P, Miss P!

Courtesy Westminster Dog Show
Westminster's 2015 Best in Show is gorgeous and she knows she is the best!

Are you in love? Are you ready to run out and get a Miss P of your very own to show in the ring.

Well guess what?

You probably won't find a Miss P in a puppy store. And she probably won't be online either.

Here are the five things you need to know about getting a beagle like Miss P.

1) Not every beagle is a show beagle.

Miss P photo courtesy Westminster Dog Show
Look at Miss P and look at my Lulu. They are both adorable. But only one is a show dog. And that's ok. Most beagles aren't.

There are show beagles -- they conform to a rigid standard and are bred for show. And then there are field beagles -- beagles bred for hunting and tracking. They have their own standard, but they won't look like show beagles.

Check out the standards information from the National Beagle Club.

There are lots of beagles that don't conform to either standard.

Lokavi Beagle show beagle puppies.
2) A beagle like Miss P takes research.
I have personal experience with pet store puppies. My parents bought a Lhasa Apso when I was a kid. He cost at hundreds of dollars, had papers and everything. Mom thought she would breed him. She didn't, know why? He was a miserable, spiteful son of a bitch who had every allergy known the man. At least a year after we had him he started losing his fur. A Lhasa without fur is not cute. He didn't have the health nor the temperament to be anything.

We learned after that the pet store got puppy mill dogs.

Photo courtesy of Our Beagle World
Puppy mills are notorious for churning out hundreds, if not thousands of dogs. The dogs who do the breeding live their lives in cages, are poorly cared for, poorly fed, are not necessarily bred with good genetic stock and in-breeding can also be a problem. And you may hundreds of dollars, if not more for that dog.

Getting a dog from a breeder may not protect you from these problems either. Not every breeder is reputable. And if you are buying a dog, sight unseen, online, you don't know what you will get? Would you buy a car that way? Think of a dog as you would a car. They may cost as much in upkeep.

Lori Norman is an AKC reputable breeder. She owns Lokavi Beagles in South Florida. She doesn't breed out her female dogs. They have maybe two litters and are then spayed. Norman once told me that when you adopt a beagle from a reputable breeder, you adopt the breeder as well. A good breeder will be part of you life.
"Reputable breeders will use their normal screening processes to be sure their pups end up in a good, prepared, and responsible home," Norman said.

And outside of that, beagles aren't always the easiest dogs to live with. If you've never had a beagle before, watch this:

3) A beagle like Miss P costs money.
If someone tells you that they have AKC show quality beagles with papers for next to nothing -- question. Question the bloodlines, question the dog's care, see everything.

Lori Norman's beagles are from grand champion stock. Her beagles are not going to cost less than a thousand dollars.

Beagles at an AKC dog show.
Likewise, Miss P, being from the same genetic stock as Uno, the first beagle to win Westminster in 2008, was not cheap for her owners to buy. And when she has puppies, you can bet those puppies won't sell for less than a few thousand dollars.

The only reason to buy a show beagle puppy is really to raise it to show, unless you have tons of money lying around to blow on a beagle.

4) Showing a beagle is not cheap.
If you look at the info for Miss P, you'll see she has three owners. None of them are the man who actually handled the beagle in the ring.

Many show beagles are owned by a group of people. That's because it is so expensive to show a beagle. You have to travel all over to events to show the beagle so they can collect enough points to get to these bigger shows. They need to be groomed (even beagles!), they need show training. There's room and board too. And food. And show fees.

5) There are lots of beagles out there who are inexpensive, feisty and loveable.
The good news is if you think, after seeing points 2, 3 and 4 that buying a beagle is not for you, you can still get a beagle.

Rescue one!

There are beautiful beagles who need rescuing all over the country. They fill up shelters and dog rescues. Some are discarded hunters. Some are discarded bred-out dogs from backyard breeders or puppy mills. Some are former research lab beagles. And some are just beagles who were unlucky in finding their forever home.

Here's some great beagle rescues in the US where you can start to find the right beagle for you.
And don't forget and Adopt A to find beagles in shelters and rescues all over the country.