Saturday, April 28, 2012

Dog TV: Does it work? Lulu the beagle gives it a try

Whew! Moving is over. Lulu and I have spent the last week transferring all my stuff to a smaller apartment.

Lulu did not enjoy it. But she's feeling more at home now.

Right before Lulu and I moved though, we decided to check something out. It's called DogTV, and it's being billed as the first cable channel exclusively for dogs. It says it's specially-designed to appeal to them. They show short videos of things like dogs playing together, running through corn fields, that sort of thing.

Right now it's only available in California, but it's also online. Check out one of the videos here:

I do have pictures of Lulu watching the videos -- but I haven't found the cable to my other camera yet.  As soon as I find it I'll add pictures.

I played several videos for her on the laptop, putting the laptop down at her level. She watched for maybe a minute, and then went off to do something else.

Now, I knew Lulu wasn't big on TV. She certainly doesn't watch Animal Planet. And my friends left Telemundo on for her once ("don't you want your dog to be bilingual?" they said.). But DogTV says these videos are specially designed so that dogs can enjoy them better.

Coincidentally, the New York Times did an article this week on DogTV. It had some good information on how this can be used to help dogs with anxiety issues -- if the dogs are interested in paying attention. Not every dog will.

Some of the videos on DogTV have things like muted door bells going off and muted vacuum cleaners doing their thing. Experts in the NY Times article say that could help dogs ease their fear and anxiety from those items and the noises they make. Wonder if DogTV will consider muted lawn mowers, because Lulu really doesn't like those.

Check out the NY Times article here. The first ten articles are free each month.

Don't forget we are on Twitter and Facebook now. Follow us on Twitter @lifewithbeagle. And like Lulu the Beagle on Facebook.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Want to get a beagle? Animal Planet has all you need to know

Beagles are one of the most popular dog breeds in America, but not everyone has really seen the beagle at work. So I thought I would post this great video from Animal Planet's Dogs: 101 series, courtesy of YouTube. If you are thinking about getting a beagle, you need to see this video first.

Beagles are stubborn, obnoxious and messy. They are also smart, funny, sweet, loyal dogs. If you're willing to put in the work, they offer a lifetime of friendship.

My Lulu.

Oh, and don't forget that you can follow along with me and Lulu on Twitter @lifewithbeagle, or join us on Facebook by "liking" the Lulu the Beagle page.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lulu the Beagle stays high and dry at the Spring Splash and Shout in Orlando

From what people tell me, beagles don't like water.

As has been demonstrated, Lulu is not fond of her baths, though she does like to dip her toes in the plastic pool at Dr. Phillips Dog Park.

But I am curious about whether Lulu would like to swim, if given the chance. So, Lulu and I took a trip out to east Orange County Saturday, to Happy Paws Pet Resort, where dozens of dogs were taking part in the Spring Splash n Shout.

Apparently there is a national circuit for competitive doggy dock-jumping. Splash Dogs travels all over the country, and dog owners bring their four-legged friends out to the specially-made traveling dock to see which dog can jump off it the farthest and into a pool of water -- normally while retrieving a toy. Dogs of all sizes can do this, and they also had practice time for new dogs.

Some of those dogs jumped pretty far -- like 15, 20 feet from the dock. Pretty amazing. But not everyone liked it. At least one dog, instead of jumping off the dog, ran the other way, down the stairs and away from the owner. Fortunately they were quickly corralled.

When I saw that a this beagle/bassett hound we met did not want to try evens the small practice ramp, I know Lulu wouldn't be interested. I did, however, get Lulu to try one thing new -- an A frame, which is one of the obstacles used in agility courses. Once she got the hang of it she was pretty awesome.

(Yes, that's me.)

I also checked out Happy Paws, and I think I will take Lulu back at some point. They are a grooming, day camp and pet resort that also has training classes. They also have a bone shaped pool with shallow and deep ends, and you don't have to pay for day camp if you just want your dog to use the pool, which is good, because I do want Lulu to at least know what to do if she ends up in water. The facility was beautiful, and the dogs seemed very happy.

Happy Paws Pet Resort is on east State Road 50 at the intersection of 50 and State 408, on the east end of Orange County. They are open seven days a week.

And while you're out there, check out 5 & Diner, which just opened a pet-friendly patio. This place is one of those east Orange county mainstays, serving up traditional diner fare late into the night. My chocolate chip pancakes were great, and the service was fantastic. UPDATE: This restaurant burned down a few months later and opened in a new location.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What do you think? Dog Vibes, dog senses and so on

Ever think your dog knows that there's something off about another person/animal?

For the most part, Lulu is friendly with everyone and every doggy. But sometimes her guard goes up against certain dogs.

There are two dogs in particular that gets Lulu's hackles raised. One of them is a big black dog, the other is a small, tan dog that looks like a westie. She starts barking loudly and running around.

So today I finally asked the lady with the small dog if Lulu could sniff her dog. I got the idea from the trips to the dog parks. Lulu always has to sniff every new dog that comes in.

But this was a completely different experience. For one thing, even with the ability to sniff the other dog, Lulu never got very close. She didn't try to walk around the dog, or did a lot of sniffing. For another, the other dog snapped at her.

The lady said it wasn't my dog she was worried about, but hers.

I tried to look up the concept online, but there wasn't really anything. Or maybe I'm searching for the wrong thing.

I know people read my blog, but I don't know if I have any regular followers outside of friends and family. But what do you think? Do dogs have doggy vibes? Do they sense danger, or at least potentially dangerous dogs?

Doggy Events:

Meanwhile, we have some events in Orlando this weekend if you're looking for something to do with your doggy:

April 14: The Spring Splash and Shout at Happy Paws Pet Resort Orlando off East Colonial Drive. The event starts at 10 a.m.

April 15: The Doggy Art Festival in Winter Park on Park Avenue. The event starts at 10 a.m.


I've added a new Facebook page for Lulu. If you're on Facebook, just look up Lulu the Beagle, then "like" the page.

I've also opened a Twitter account. If you're on Twitter, follow us at "lifewithbeagle" for all things doggy.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Rabies shot update -- more side effects for Lulu the beagle

It's been almost a week since Lulu got her rabies shot and had that reaction right after.

Since then I've been watching her pretty closely, and she's been slightly off. She's been a little clingier (is that a word?), a little more timid.

For instance, I took Lulu to Dr. Phillips Dog Park again Tuesday. Normally she has no problems mixing it up with the dogs, but this time she was more than a little shy. Even with ther little dogs, she would not get in and run around with the other dogs. She stayed close, unless she needed to run from other dogs. She also did not bark at or follow dogs on the other side of the fences.

So I started to look up side effects of rabies shots, other than negative reactions.

I found out that behavioral changes are common after a dog get a rabies shot, via the website Dogs 4 Dogs, which campaigns against unnecessary vaccinations for dogs. The website's owner, Jan, responded to a message I left on the site with my questions. Here's her response:

Personality change is a relatively common reaction, although vets seldom admit it. Will the change wear off? Who knows? If it were my dog, I’m find a vet who understands homeopathy. There are links at and in the article I suggested you read. Your dog probably doesn’t feel that well. If it doesn’t change soon, please see a homeopathic vet. A “regular” vet will likely be a waste of money, although you need to make sure the reaction is listed in your dog’s file and also contact the manufacturer of the drug to report it.
She also sent me to this part of her website, which explains everything dog parents should do if their dog has a reaction.
That includes documenting everything and contacting the rabies shot manufacturer, not just allowing the vaccination place to do the documentation, and also report to the USDA.

Jan also said something I had never thought about -- she said it's rare for beagles to get reactions because the testing is done on beagles.

As for Lulu -- she seems to be getting back to her old self. She decided to visit one of her doggy friends in the neighborhood, which means she was back to being sociable.

But I'm still going to wait until next week to take her back to the dog park.

On another note -- April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. ASPCA has ways you can help fight animal cruelty in your area and, if you helped save your pet, ASPCA is holding a photo contest.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lulu the beagle and rabies shots don't mix

I had my first real scare with Lulu Saturday.

I took her to PetCo Saturday to get her rabies shots. Luv My Pet is a mobile vet group that provides vaccinations and other vet services in 20 states across the country, and they were doing a vaccination event at PetCo. 

Their services are very low-cost. The three-year rabies shot I got Lulu, for instance, was $22 after fees. 

But I can't go back to them again because of what happened.

Lulu got her shot and I was on line to pay. A lady commented that Lulu was calm for a beagle.She was right, Lulu was oddly calm -- she was walking slowly, not tugging on the leash, not sniffing around too much. Nothing she'd normally be doing, which is what she was doing before the shot.

Then she did something really weird -- she sat down. I thought, well, maybe the shot made her a little lethargic. 

Then she laid down. That's when I knew something was wrong.

 I told the cashier that Lulu was suddenly very lethargic. The woman tried to call Lulu to her and she didn't move. And her tail was down between her legs.

So they called the vet's assistant over, and he picked her up and carried her back to the area where they were giving shots. They checked her out, then gave her benadryl and steroids.

Within a few minutes, she perked back up a bit.

Apparently, reactions to rabies shots are rare -- the vet said 1 in 100 dogs have a reaction to rabies shots. But the reaction gets worse with age. 

Luv My Pet said because she had the reaction, she can't get ANY shots from them ever again. I assume it's a legal issue. They also gave me paperwork to give to a vet. The vet may actually decide to fill out a waiver, and Lulu will never need the shot again. Dogs in Orange County, FL are normally required to have their rabies shot.

Fortunately, Lulu's new shots will last the next three years. I checked out a few websites, and a site called Rabies Vaccines for Dogs says Lulu should have immunity for up to six years.

Lulu's reaction to the shot was mild. But it could have been worse, and can appear up to 45 days after getting the shot -- everything from vomiting to death. But, again, as the vet said to me, ANY reaction only happens in 1 in 100 dogs. 

This website,, has some great information on rabies shot reaction symptoms, and how you can try to prevent your dog from having a reaction. 

She's doing much better now, by the way. She's jumping, tail's wagging, she's pulling on the leash, she's noisy, the whole nine yards.