In the news. And in the water.

It’s the last day of July.  How did THAT happen?  

Let’s take a look at some dog news. There is an interesting story here in Canada about a dog who arrived a few weeks ago from Thailand.  Given the appetite of this girl, one would assume she is a PON.  Or a Labrador Retriever.  But she’s not – she’s a multi-breed dog.  It seems that Mercedes was a street dog who was adopted by a food vendor in Bangkok. She was named after the vehicle of the person who abandoned her. Nice. Anyway, the street vendor fed her.  A lot.  And when the vendor died, the other vendors fed her.  A lot.  So much that she literally could not move.  She should have weighed around 18kg or about 40 lbs. Mercedes weighed 54 kg or a whopping 119 lbs.  No offense, but she actually resembled a sea lion.  With little legs.
Thankfully for Mercedes, a woman who runs a rescue in Thailand took her in- and she was put on a diet.  She lost 27 kg or half her body weight.  Which sounds great – except she has a whole lot of excess skin – which causes additional problems.
So – funds were raised through an international rescue group, and Mercedes was flown to Canada – where her surgery to remove her excess skin will take place – once she loses a bit more weight, and additional funds are raised for her medical expenses.  Here is a video showing her right now:
All I can say is wow. She is one lucky, lucky dog.  It also makes me realize what could happen if I managed to eat everything I would LIKE to eat.  I’m not sure I want to look like a sea lion. No offense,again, to those guys – but I like looking like a dog. 
Meanwhile, here at home, our swimming Picard continues to amaze her highness. He consistently retrieves the fetch toy.  EVERY time.  Now mind you, he is attached to the 30 ft line- but still, he gets it and heads back even after more than one throw.  We know he has a “wandering” attention span on land – but he loves the water. Her highness didn’t end up in the water, and he had a blast! 

It’s a good way to cool him off on these hot muggy days.  Did I mention that I think we should get a heat pump? 
Well, time to have my portion controlled breakfast.  Which is obviously not a bad thing. Although… I still think I could have a LITTLE more….
Have a good one.  Peace and paws up.
Seizure free days: 15

A book

July 30.  And according to the crazy calendar, it’s Paperback Book Day.  I though that was perfect timing – as my human JUST finished a book I wanted to mention.  Only problem? The book only appears to be available in hardcover.  Oh well. Youll have to wait for the paperback.  

Here’s the book:

The book was written by the the director of the SPCA in Los Angeles. And it was VERY eye opening with regard to designer dogs – like doodles and -apoos and teacups.  This is actually an industry that goes well beyond backyard breeders.  The book also talks about dogs that are smuggled into the US – and discusses “rescues” from other countries.  Not all “rescues” are purely done to be “kind to canines.”  Much of this is big business – and there are people who profit from dog traffic.  Who knew?  

The book, of course, talks about puppy mills – which despite efforts over the past 20 years to end them – still DO exist.  Some of the descriptions of the conditions that some dogs are found in, were beyond horrible.  And parts of the book talk at length about some laws regarding animal protection.  Some of the legalese was a bit much – as it is relevant only in certain areas.  And of course, the book is written with regard to conditions and situations in the US – but other countries ARE mentioned. 
Now as expected, the author has a huge bias toward “adopt don’t shop” – BUT she does talk about what to look for in a reputable purebred breeder.  So while she didn’t extol the virtues of purebreds – she also did not trash purebreds either. 
If you’re looking for some easy, informative non-fiction summer reading, it is worth it.  And it’s actually a pretty quick read.  Now please keep in mind that I didn’t sift through ALL her references- and this is a dog’s recommendation… No matter what – it IS good for thought.
We got to see Lou and Rose again yesterday- before they head home to Buffalo today.  We wish them happy trails – and hope they’ll be back again soon!!
Time to patrol the plantation.
Have a good one. Peace and paws up.
Seizure free days: 14


On June 18, 2018 John Pilley passed away, shortly before his 90th birthday.  And on July 23, 2019 his very special friend came to greet him – and answer his call.  His special friend was Chaser – the border collie. 

Chaser was made famous a few years back for her incredible vocabulary- of over 1000 words.  No – I didn’t put in one too many zeros.  She knew over 1000 words, including verbs and adjectives.  I believe I may have talked about her before – but here’s a short video in which she and John are featured:
She and John spent countless hours – really years – learning about one another.  Their bond was unbelievable.  They even had a book – and it is said to be a great tool for dog training. I think we need it.  Here’s another video where John talks about Chaser:
When John passed away last year,  Chaser understood.  The following is a quote written by one of John’s daughters and found on Chaser’s Facebook page:
Many of you have asked if Chaser realized that my father John Pilley passed away. She was with him every day while he was in hospice, she knew he was not well. Just hours before he passed, she uncharacteristically planted herself directly in front of his bed, stared at him and gave one very sharp, loud bark, continuing to stare at him. It startled us all and we looked at each other in astonishment. It wasn’t “wake up,” it was good bye and it gave us goosebumps.
When John passed away, Chaser lived with John’s family. And for a 15 year old dog, she reportedly did well until the past few weeks.  It had been just over a year since John died, and I think she thought that was long enough.  It was time for her to play “find it” with him once again.
After reading the news about Chaser, I also found this video which is about John. It is long – it is his memorial service-,and it includes lots of stories about him – beyond his time with Chaser.  Now I truly understand why Chaser was such a remarkable dog. It’s because she shared her life with a remarkable human.  If you have the time, and you don’t mind some sections where the audio is poor – and you don’t mind shedding a possible tear or two, I think you’ll find it interesting.  And the last few minutes are perfect.
Run free Chaser.  Now you have to learn all the names of those angels.
Have a good one.  Peace and paws up.
Seizure free days: 13

Lost dog

Excitement in the wilds of Nova Scotia the past 12 days.  Exciting because the story has a happy ending.

The Cape Breton Kennel Club had their annual dog show on July 13 and 14.  That show is about 5 hours from us.  It reportedly was a great show – but a sad accident happened on the second day.  A Chow chow, from Kansas was being shown by a handler from Nova Scotia and somehow, he escaped.  I think he just wanted to be a good canine tourist and do some sightseeing while he was so far from home.
But as you may guess, the humans were greatly disturbed.  When a dog initially goes missing, one thinks that it will materialize in a few minutes.  But in this case, minutes turned into days. It was a nightmare for all the humans involved. 
After a few days of sightings, but no capture, a man trained as a Missing Animal Response technician was called in.  They also reportedly employed the help of a psychic. 
I’ve posted information about lost dogs before – and some information about what and what not do do.  Here is a link to a program that trains Missing Animal Response technicians – and it has some good info as well.
Anyway, after 12 days in the wilds of Cape Breton, the dog was finally found. Well – I’m not sure if the word “found” is correct.  Captured? Obtained?  Returned? Got tired of having to scrounge for food?  Got bored of sightseeing? I don’t know the exact details – but I do know he is safe and sound.  And people all over Nova Scotia breathed a sigh of relief.  I would love to know what he did for 12 days.  Only he knows about his adventures- and I don’t think he’s  talking about it. 
Oh.  And I forgot to mention his very appropriate name.  Lucky
How’s that for a good news story to start your day?  And a message to all my canine buddies – stay home.  Scrounging for food is no fun – it’s MUCH easier to have it delivered to your bowl.  
Have a good one.  Peace and paws up.
Seizure free days: 12

Boring stuff

So we waited half the day for the furnace guy to come. The appointment was booked for “after lunch.”  The person who booked it neglected to indicate which time zone she was referring to.  As a result, we lounged  around watching the tomatoes grow.  Speaking of which – none of us has peed on them.  Yet.  The plantation is really growing.  Good thing we like tomatoes.  And it looks like we may be able to open our own Pumpkin U-Pick this fall.  Whatever possessed her to plant pumpkins, I’ll never know.  I don’t think she thought they really would grow.  But they are.  And they are taking over her beds.  She THINKS she planted the pumpkins you can use for pie.  As if she ever bakes.  But we canines DO enjoy pumpkin – so it won’t go to waste.  What is most miraculous is that so far, the crazy bunnies haven’t touched the crops.  I think it’s because they are so busy eating the weeds in the “lawn.”

Today is not a remarkable day, holiday-wise.  OK- it IS bagpipe appreciation day.  Better known as “the sounds of stepping on a cat’s tail” day.  JUST KIDDING.  We do enjoy the bagpipes.  We have to.  We live in Nova Scotia.  It’s mandatory that all residents play an hour of bagpipe music daily.  JUST KIDDING.  Anyway, I’ve written about bagpipes before, so I didn’t want to do that again.
So instead, we just took some of our recent photos – and paired them with quotes.  I admit, it’s not too exciting- but we had fun doing them.  Hope they make you smile!!

Have a good one.  Peace and paws up.

Seizure free days: 11

Vet visit

It’s Friday!  Mind you, for retired humans and us canines, every day is Friday!

So Einstein had his vet appointment and his bloodwork done the other day.  They arrived and the waiting room was almost empty.  Bonus – my human thought.  That lasted about 4 minutes.  Then the place began to filll up.  She had situated Einstein on the bench closest to the door.  Bad move – what WAS she thinking?!  You know how zombies just open the door and let Cujo in, without even scoping out the place.  So as expected, a HUGE Black Russian Terrier came in and was literally nose to nose with Einstein.  Her highness politely said to the owners that it might be best to keep their dog out of Einstein’s face.  Einstein was initially shocked by the other dog, so didn’t make a peep.  As soon as the other dog was out of reach, Einstein started to grumble.  Her highness just looked at him and said “Knock it off.”  
As is becoming typical behavior, a cocker spaniel pooped in front of the reception desk.  At least it wasn’t projectile like the last time they were there.
Einstein behaved beautifully while the techs collected his blood.  Of course he did.
The results came back OK, but they are going to drop back one of his meds, because although all of his bloodwork was “normal”, his potassium was on the high side of normal.   But overall it was good.
And speaking of poop (don’t I do so fairly regularly-  no pun intended) we all got to relax with those butcher bones the other day.  Her highness had 30 minutes of peace while we gnawed away.  At the 30 minute mark, she promptly took away our goodies.  All of us has cleaned out the marrow so she wondered if we would have any gastro issues.  Nope- we were all good.  
Today we have excitement on the agenda.  A guy is coming to clean the furnace.  You can be sure we will be sequestered on the deck.  Oh yippee.  Einstein will have to bark out his instructions from there.
Have a good one.  Peace and paws up.
Seizure free days: 10

Look into my eyes…

It’s July 25. Five months to Christmas. And it also happens to be Health and Happiness with Hypnosis Day. But you knew that, right?

So of course I had to look into dogs and hypnosis.  And from what I read, we canines are not “hypnotized” in the same way that humans are. With humans, hypnosis depends largely on verbal instructions and focused attention.  And it can help with a number of conditions – from fear of flying to quitting smoking. 
With animals, “hypnosis” is done with a much more physical approach. A number of resources on the net say that  chickens are the best subjects. But it can be used with dogs and cats too.  To “hypnotize” your dog you begin by interacting with him in a calm, relaxing environment with no distractions (that would be difficult in this house). You basically put the dog in a comfortable spot – like on his bed or a blanket. You then pet, and massage your dog while repeating a phrase like “relax” or our favorite line- “just be calm”. You can even play relaxing music.  Then you slowly shift your dog into a “submissive posiotion” on his back and gently hold him there until he totally relaxes.  You wait to see a state of “tonic immobility” where you can move your dog’s limbs – and they are basically limp.  
Animals will exhibit tonic immobility when they sense predators – as you can see in this video:
My human wishes she could hypnotize Einstein on the grooming table.  And let’s face it – some dogs DO relax like they are hypnotized when being groomed. But not in this house.  Maybe she needs to play some of this music:
When looking for info on dogs and hypnosis, I can across these videos.  In this case, it is the dog doing the hypnotizing.  My human got a huge chuckle out of these.  I think in the second video, the dog’s abilities are kind of debunked….
What a waste.  If I could hypnotize her highness, it wouldn’t be to make her sleep.  It would be to get her to open the biscuit jar.  And share the contents freely.  Now THAT would be a good trick.  Excuse me while I go and stare at her.
Have a good one.  Peace and paws up.
Seizure free days:  9

Car Window screens

Another horror story.  Three dogs died in a hot car in Rhode Island. I can’t believe it.  I hope that owner is never allowed to be owned by a dog again.

After reading that story, I came across this product which I had never seen before.  This is not your flimsy, fabric screen.  These are designed to fit car windows by the make and model of the vehicle.  And they appear to be rather sturdy.  Now I STILL recommend that we canines stay home during hot weather.  It is safer – and we will be more comfortable.  I’m curious, though, as to what people think about a product like this.   Again – not for use in extreme heat – but what about in temps below 65F?  Or do you think it’s still too risky?   We PONs MIGHT be able to get through that screen anyway – and I doubt her highness would leave us with any kind of open window (in cool temps) for more than 5 minutes.  She would be so paranoid that someone would try and break in to steal us.  As IF someone would want to try. Einstein would throw himself at the door.  And really- who can even see in with all the olfactory art on the windows.  But just curious about a product like this:
Here’s the video about how it works: 
It’s certainly an interesting concept….
Lou and Rose  left yesterday to tour the province.  We’re bored already.  We enjoyed their company- and we DID behave.  Well – it pretty much went as expected.  PONs barked.  Picard jumped.  But no human injuries. A good time was had by all.
Today Einstein goes to the vet for bloodwork to see how his medication is affecting him.  Paws crossed it is going well. One possible side effect was loss of appetite. That definitely didn’t happen.  Poor guy – the only side effect was the grooming he had to have to get ready to go to the vet.  Mind you – he would have been groomed with or without that appointment. He was looking pretty mangy.
Time for walks. And bunny patrol.
Have a good one.  Peace and paws up.
Seizure free days: 8


July 23. And on this day in 1903, the Ford Motor company sold its first car.  Now we know that VW and Subaru have capitalized on canine popularity by featuring dogs in commercials.  I found one recent Ford commercial that briefly featured a Great Dane.  But that was it.  Except for this OLD commercial featuring a PON.  At least I’m saying it’s a PON:

Today also happens to be Hot Enough For Ya Day.  And it is.  Hot enough.  We are still voting for a heat pump because we are becoming hearing impaired due to the sounds of all the fans in this house.  Her highness says it’s not in the budget right now, unless we win a lottery.  I just ordered lotto tickets on-line.  With her credit card.
Despite the fact that we are all kind of slug-like with the heat, the FG and Einstein DO have moments of energy.  Here is a typical, peaceful morning in our house. Ignore the fact that Einstein is in desperate need of a good grooming.  Her highness said he’ll get one when our company leaves.  Einstein wants them to stay forever.
Despite Einstein’s wishes though, Lou and Rose will be heading on their driving tour today. We’ll get to see them next week again – before they fly back home.  I think we all need to go and visit them there!  Now THAT would be a road trip….
Have a good one.  Peace and paws up.
Seizure free days: 7

I’ll have bones for 100

July 22.  And today is the 78th birthday of our favorite TV game show host – Alex Trebek.  Alex announced some serious health issues a few months back.  We hope that with his positive attitude he beats the odds and lives to see many more birthdays.  He hosts the TV show Jeopardy, which basically tests a contestant’s knowledge about a whole range of subjects.  To test your knowledge about dogs, from actual Jeopardy questions, go to this site and click on the photo:

So did  you win big money?  Her highness did pretty well.  She said, though, that only way she could play the real show would be if all the questions were about dogs.  Except the category “dog obedience” .  Clearly she doesn’t know much about that topic.  Overall though, she knows more about dogs than Greek mythology, chemistry and ballet.  We have taught her a lot…
Yesterday, the humans went for a drive while we canines did guard duty.  We were understandably annoyed that we couldn’t go along. But two problems prevented us from joining them. First off, we 3 canines wouldn’t fit in Ludwig with 4 human adults. The second problem, even if we could fit – was that it was way too hot to take us along. We were quite comfortable lounging at home.
The humans went to a variety of places- but the best one, in our opinion, was a Pork Butcher. Because the butcher sold bones.  And guess what?!  We each got one!  Our time with the treats will be limited during the first chew fest – so as not to cause any “dietary issues.” We didn’t have them yet- her highness is “saving them” for a time when she can enjoy the solitude and peace that a chew fest brings.  Those bones were as much for her as they were for us.
We’re hoping the weather breaks a bit today so we can perhaps demonstrate our incredible fetching abilities for Lou and  Rose. With one incredible fetcher on a long line. They will no doubt be amazed.
Time for an early morning, reduced heat walk. 
Have a good one.  Peace and paws up.
Seizure free days: 6