Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

more gifts from the garden

more flowers from the garden. the only thing missing here is the gorgeous scents that accompany these beauties. Hang on guys, I am sure it won't be long before we have the ability to have "cyber-smells" on the internet too.

hope you are having a tremendous week!

Monday, March 28, 2011

what's new this week?

main page~            nature's paintbrush
pictures~                lone cypress
healthy living~     gotta cold? here's a tea or toddy for you
on being green~    link to world's pictures for Earth Hour
meal ideas~               grilled lamb chop, homemade mint jelly
pet info~                  canine covers for you car
books & movies~  skellig: the owl man -dvd

.... when spring brings you new opportunities, notice and embrace them ....
news flash ~steve's blog has a new postToo Many Words  

nature's paintbrush

Nature has painted the most beautiful flowers in my garden; flowers that were forgotten, hiding beneath the soil, waiting patiently for the end of the winter's nourishing rains. The celebration of the spring equinox last week ensures us that there is more to come over the next couple of months. I am dedicating this week to the beauty of spring. I spent time outside in my garden with my camera on Sunday; moments of soft rains only enhanced the colors. So many beautiful flowers, it was hard to choose which to share.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Two month birthday for cubs

Report from North American Bear Center- research updates – 3-21-11
(a click on the pictures will make it larger.)

So much has happened since we watched Faith and Jason being born just 2 months ago.  Today, we saw them walking better than ever outside the den. The whole family spent the entire afternoon outside of the den! 

Going out this early is unusual in this area.  Three guesses why it’s happening:
The unusual mixed age litter stimulates increased activity.

Temperatures have been 10-15 F above normal, in the 40’s, which is warmer than the frosty den that is still at the frozen ground temperature.

Snow fleas, one of the first foods of spring, may be swarming on the snow surface in this unusually warm weather. 

Seeing them all outside today let us see how Lily is doing double duty for offspring with very different needs.  Hope wants to explore, eat a few alder catkins, and play—often with Lily.  Lily wants to dig a bed or two or three in the snow.  The cubs scream for close attention.  Lily can only do so much.  If the cubs are screaming but okay, she goes about her business.  But we think she’d be there in a flash if the cubs screamed in pain.

 The screaming we saw and heard outside today could be what was going on the other night when temperatures were warm. Lily and Hope were out, Lily was digging the bed in the snow and the cubs kept screaming.  They may want to play, too, in addition to nursing and just being by mom. But all seems fine.  

The cubs are doing well, and everyone’s getting along.

 Hope's feet and one of the cubs, soooo cute. Lily's hind foot as probably twice as big as Hope's.

Monday, March 21, 2011

what's new march 21st

main page~            Earth what?
pictures~                 if i can't see can't see me, ha!
healthy living~      Homemade Lip Balm- it's the bomb
on being green~    Earth Hour site for kids
meal ideas~            Parmesan Swai 
pet info~                  Gardening Pet Toxins
books & movies~  Moody Cow Meditates- helps kids with emotions and anger

.... a good time for new beginnings this week of the Spring Equinox ....
later this week, updated photos of Lily, Hope, Jason, & Faith... the bears are out and about.

Earth what?

Saturday, at 8.30pm, thousands of people across the Untied States and maybe a billion across the world will take part in Earth Hour. Even Las Vegas has pledged this year. 

It'll look impressive, no doubt. The big switch-off will make the news. But so what? We know that just one hour, even on this global scale, won't in itself save energy or reduce emissions in any significant way. This is a giant photo opportunity – eye-catching and symbolic, yes – but how can it really make a difference? More importantly, why would a science-based organization like WWF believe this is worth the effort?

I think there are many reasons.

Climate change is a threat truly global in its nature. It demands global attention, commitment and action. Nations like the Maldives, Bangladesh and Tanzania are seeing the effects of climate change now. It is, for countries in their position, no theory for debate or distant possibility.

More than 125 countries have confirmed their participation in Earth Hour, more than in 2010, including national capitals and highly populated metropolitan areas throughout the planet. "Earth Hour" has appeared more than 30m times online in the past 24 hours and is currently one of the top 10 trending topics on Twitter.

 Earth Hour is for me a brilliant analogy for how we can get to a solution. Climate change will demand big, global ambition from world leaders – the "landmarks" of our political landscape. Just as lights go off at Christ the Redeemer, the Empire State Building and the Forbidden City, we need Presidents Lula da Silva, Obama and Hu Jintao and many others to work together in order to get a binding commitment to reduce emissions.

A low-carbon future will demand small changes from all of us at home, like the families taking part in Earth Hour, perhaps eating their dinner by candlelight. Better insulation, more efficient heating, using public transport and the products we choose to consume can all have impact on the energy we use and reduce our personal impact on our environment.

Earth Hour is not about a world without light, power, and the great human achievements that keep us warm and safe. It is absolutely a celebration of their positive role; we want a bright future in which the lights stay on, drawing on forms of energy and innovative technologies that have a lesser impact on people and nature around the world.

I  know that a single hour, once a year is not enough. As well, I know that there is no greater, global call to action available at the flick of a switch. I firmly believe Earth Hour is worth it.

Join me- Saturday March 26th – 8:30 pm your time.

And as you stand in you darken, or candlelit, room feel yourself in the wave that is going around the world for it will be 8:30 pm somewhere for 24 hours. Kiribati will be the first country to see 8:30 pm March 26thand American Somian, will be the last as this travels around the globe on the earth’s timetable. 

p.s. here is a really cool site for world clocks, time zones, sun & moon, weather, calculators.

Monday, March 14, 2011

what's new this week?

main page~            what this about Spring Fever?
pictures~                 feline head butts equine : true devotion
healthy living~      16 foods high in vitamin C
on being green~    fun things to do during Earth Hour- blackout
meal ideas~            St. Patrick's Day Corned Beef & Cabbage
pet info~                  blankets for buddies
books & movies~  “Who moved my cheese”

What is "Spring Fever" all about?

It comes with telling signs: restlessness, intense nervous excitement, high-energy spurts, loss of appetite, insomnia, a yearning to break away or a desire, as one friend puts it,” to run away with mad love.” Spring fever has appeared in love poems, stories and medical literature.

Statistically, at least half of the people who live in the northern latitudes of USA and Canada experience more intensely the symptoms of Spring fever. Longer sunny days seem to have a direct impact on people’s psychological and physiological responses to the passage of the seasons.

 Spring fever is not just in the head. I always have been curious about the physiological and psychological changes that occur during the springtime and think an article I found might be of interest to you, my faithful blog readers, as well.

Why the spring makes us feverish 
                                                       by Elena Conis- march 31, 2008 Los Angeles Times

     Ah, sunshine. Longer days. Shifting hormones may underlie the giddiness that bubbles up as winter fades.
     Spring fever, that reputed and seemingly infectious malady that strikes when the days lengthen and temperatures begin to climb, has been blamed for feverish bouts of house-cleaning, restless behavior in the classroom, distraction in meetings and love struck dazes.
     Some scientists think spring fever is more than just a colloquialism -- they think it's a constellation of symptoms brought about by hormonal changes in the body.
     In winter, the body secretes high levels of melatonin, a hormone that governs sleep-wake cycles. Come spring, the increasing amount of daylight is registered by light-sensitive tissue in the eye, which signals the brain to stop secreting so much melatonin. As the hormone's levels drop off, greater wakefulness results.
     On the other hand, levels of another chemical, serotonin, rise in spring. This mood-elevating neurotransmitter may be at the root of the giddiness, energy boost and enthusiasm that characterize spring fever.
     Anthropologists have suggested that spring fever may have developed over the course of human evolution. They point out that early humans often spent winter in a state of near-hibernation. Then, when spring arrived, they would enter an active period of intense hunting, gathering and procreating.
     Attractive though that theory may be, it doesn't quite explain the state of the early American colonists come spring. Historians think the colonists coined the term spring fever to refer to the weakness, fatigue and irritability many felt after a long winter without fresh fruits or vegetables. (Technically, the colonists' symptoms were that of scurvy.) Such etymology suggests that the term spring fever is a remnant of times past that's been co-opted to mean something different today.
     But there's no doubt that the body's internal chemistry and susceptibility to illness changes with the seasons. Just as scurvy outbreaks once peaked in spring, so did measles and rubella before wide-scale vaccinations became available. Attacks of the painful joint inflammation known as gout peak in April.
     Dermatologists notice more cases of dermatitis and rosacea, and allergists, not surprisingly, field surges of complaints about hay fever in spring. Also, obstetricians have reported spring to be a season of exceptionally high rates of unplanned pregnancies. (Scientists are uncertain as to what's behind this last effect, though unusually high springtime sperm counts in men offer some clue.)
     Spring also is marked by higher rates of suicide, a trend psychologists have struggled to explain.
     On the plus side, spring is also the season in which people bid a temporary farewell to flu, seasonal affective disorder and heart attacks, all of which peak in winter. People also experience a springtime drop-off in catching sexually transmitted diseases, which goes hand in hand with the rather paradoxical fact that people tend to have less sex in spring.
     In fact, many of spring's effects on the human mind and body are seemingly contradictory. Hormones do a partial job of explaining the seasonal epidemic of impulsive, giddy and amorous behaviors observed as the memory of winter fades, but much about the season's influences remains mysterious.

Monday, March 7, 2011

what’s new this week—

·        main page~           Gerascophobia- the fear of aging
·        pictures~               sunrise in Deer Creek Canyon
·        healthy living~      4 ways to to Keep Bones Healthy
·        on being green~    all about Earth Hour 2011
·        meal ideas~           sandwich filling ideas
·        pet info~               the Rosetta Bone-
·        books & movies~  the Reckoning 

...sending wishes for an outstanding week ahead...

next week: what's this about... yawn... Spring Fever?

Gerascophobia- the fear of aging …

...impacts all of us at some degree in our lives because ultimately it is what aging symbolizes that we are frightened of. We all acknowledge logically that we will perish or at least no longer be physically here; however, for most of us this fact is difficult to come to terms. Aging represents the predictable changes that will occur to the body and mind over the natural course of ones life. Most folks have a pessimistic perception of aging, and many to the degree it produces intense anxiety in their lives and undervalues the quality of their life. The specific changes that we fear from aging may include the passing of beauty, the loss of memory, the loss of limb function or the loss of bodily organs however they all really represent vitality and independence.

Our society centers heavily on our physical existence, and this is the one aspect that everyone agrees, we will inevitably look old. Indeed, society helps to feed this anxiety toward aging. As we age society seems to value and respect us less and less and this understandably contributes to the fear of aging. We are no longer of value in the labor pool. We are no longer able to protect ourselves and become vulnerable. We are no longer physically appealing. We are burdens on our loved ones. We lose our mental sharpness. We lose our ability to remain independent. We are hidden away by being put into homes so the rest of society does not have to be reminded that one day we will be in this very position and in fact, it is inescapable.
Accordingly, we feel powerless in this undesirable process. The cosmetic, fashion, skin care, hair care, and plastic surgery industries are cashing in on our anxiousness and dread of aging. They prey on our fears because after all it is in their economic interest to keep us in a state of fear or denial and buying their products and services in this vain belief that we will somehow ward off our impending death. There is nothing wrong with wanting to preserve our physical appearance as long as we can also accept the changes when they do occur.
There is an additional look at aging.  The word has many dis-confirming connotations that come along with it. According to Buddha, in order to stave off suffering and pain we must detach from our physical reality and perceive it only as a temporary illusion. By doing so we liberate ourselves from fear and suffering. We choose to experience the present moment and are thankful for the good and the bad of any situation, including the deterioration of the body.
Additionally, our engrossment with the passing of our youthfulness prevents us from receiving the changes and mystery the journey before us represents. Nonetheless, one can make radical shifts in thinking or mindset toward embracing the gifts of aging. There are many events in our lives that we cannot control or change; however, we do have the choice of how we are going to deal with each event. We can choose to live our lives or let our lives live us. Aging is just another stage of our journey with its own mysteries and learning possibilities, we choose what to do with these opportunities.
Become mindful of your spirit and develop your spirituality (spirituality is not the same as religion) whether through prayer, meditation, or Yoga. We all need to feel the inner sense of our innate divinity. It is never too late to find out who you really are, look inwards to find the answers and do not allow society to dictate your value. Another option, volunteer, it is never too late to have an impact on someone else’s life. It makes no difference whether your passion is to help people, animals or the planet, help is needed everywhere.
 Focus on living not aging… it can be a rewarding experience.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

PET INFO posts 5-2010/4-2011

Dia Kitty, bunny hunter
10 things about your cat

After spending years with your cat, you may think you know everything there is to know about her. But here are 10 things that your favorite feline may not have gotten around to sharing with you.

1. A domestic cat can run about 31 mph. Running fast is something usually attributed to wild cats, gazelles and greyhounds, but your house kitty is pretty speedy.

2. It is possible for every kitten in a litter to have a different father. Hopefully, she is spayed so there's no risk of an unexpected pregnancy.

3. Cats walk on their toes, which probably accounts for their graceful movements. In ballet there is a step called pas de chat -- the cat step. It's a little jump to the side, but in truth nearly every move your cat makes is lovely.

4. A cat's collarbone isn't connected to his other bones; it's buried in the muscles, which is how kitty can fit through small places. He's not boneless -- even though it looks that way sometimes -- but he is adaptable. A cat actually has more bones than a human.

5. Your cat will respond only to catnip (an herb in the mint family) if she has the catnip gene. Not every cat is born with this gene, and it doesn't show up right away, so don't expect a young kitty to respond to catnip the way an older one will.

6. Thirty-two muscles control a cat's outer ear, and he can rotate it 10 times faster than a dog. In fact, kitty can rotate each ear 180 degrees.

7. Cats have scent glands in their cheeks, so if your cat rubs against you she is "marking" you as hers. She really does love you. She'll also mark furniture and clothing this way. Everything she likes is hers. It's also her way of leaving her "mark" to say that she was there.

8. Cats can move their jaws only up and down; they can't move them side to side like a dog or human.

9. Cats whiskers are extremely sensitive. They not only help the cat locate where she is in the dark, but how the cat moves them is an indicator of the cat's feelings at any given time. The top two rows of whiskers can move independently of the bottom two rows.

10. Cats are obligate carnivores. This means they must eat meat. So even if you're a vegetarian, you need to come to grips with the fact that your cat can't be. He will get very sick and die without meat in his diet.

As you probably already know, spending time learning more about your cat is time well spent. In fact, these cat facts are just the tip of the iceberg. Your cat has much more to tell you if you pay attention, watch and learn. As the late Ernest Hemingway said, "A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not."

Say N0!- to bunnies, chicks, & duck for Easter presents
      Though the tiny baby bunnies, chicks, and ducks filling the pet stores at Eastertime are very appealing, they are part of a vicious cycle that repeats itself year after year. Rabbits and other pets are raised in much less than ideal conditions in "bunny mills," then sold to pet stores at an early age, almost always as "dwarfs," no matter the breed.   The pet stores then sell the animals to anyone with the money to buy. Vet care is rarely provided, at the breeder or the store, and education and animal welfare are secondary to the sale. Babies who grow "too big" to be sold as pets are often sold as snake food.
      The result is that many people buy these animals on impulse or as gifts, and the pets are discarded when they become a nuisance, develop behavioral problems, grow "too large", or the newness just wears off. They may be put in a hutch or the backyard and ignored, given away, abandoned, or killed outright. The lucky ones end up in shelters.
       In fact, the House Rabbit Society estimates that 90% of rabbits never live to see their first year! Ducks and Chicks are even less fortunate.Of those that do make it that far, even fewer can expect to live the long, full lives that they should.
       There is no reason to buy a bunny when so many rabbits end up in shelters. Thousands are euthanized each year because they do not have homes. If your local shelter doesn't have any rabbits, that's probably because either they don't handle rabbits, they don't offer rabbits for adoption to the public when they get them, or something else is happening to the unwanted rabbits in your area. Many millions more rabbits are killed, neglected, or abandoned because people misunderstand their needs. The rabbits, chickens, and ducks sold at Easter are NOT wild animals! They are completely dependent on their human caretakers.
      Before you buy that Easter bunny, duck, or chick think about those who have to deal with the effects of Easter year-round: the shelters, rescues, and especially the animals. Of course, these points are not limited to Easter, and they are the same for other species.
      If you think you can commit to a pet for it's natural lifespan, don't buy from a pet store. Adopt a rescued pet, or, if none are available, find a responsible local breeder. 

Or better yet.... buy a stuffed toy that is easy to care for and will live as long as your child

A couple of years after I purchased my Subaru, I got Jesse, our 110 pound bernese mountain dog. I wanted to protect the cargo area of my car, but also wanted something that looked professional and like it was made specifically for my car. Well, Canine Covers had just the ticket. That was over 6 years ago and this cover is still perfect. I highly recommend you check this vendor out, you will NOT be sorry~~~ ! They have every thing you would want, every style you want it in, and lots of colors to choose from. 

Welcome to Canine Covers 
When it comes to your dog and vehicle travel, Canine Covers provide the most comfortable way for your dog to ride in style while protecting vehicle seating surfaces, floor, seatback and cargo areas from pet hair, scuffing and “accidents”. Dog experts agree that that your dog's comfort is the key to a successful trip. 
Canine Covers are the ultimate dog seat and interior area protectors for people who travel with dogs and want to maintain the interior appearance of their car, pickup or SUV. 
The first Canine Cover Dog Seat Protector was developed in 1998 and the product line now includes your choice of custom, semi-custom and universal-type seat protectors, custom cargo area covers, door shields and pet travel restraints. We also offer plush easy-to-clean dog beds for home use or travel. 
All of our Canine Covers products provide excellent vehicle interior protection and are easy to use...but most importantly they will provide comfort for your traveling pet. 
Quality products, designed and built by the quality team at Canine Covers!
  • Cargo area dog pad, custom tailored for a perfect fit (some patterns are also designed for split seats)
  • Fabrics “breathe” to assure travel comfort
  • Provides a textured positive footing surface
  • Quilted padded finish on the floor section assures canine comfort
  • Waterproof nylon liner for added protection of vehicle floor area
  • Precision tailored, secures to seat backs at front
  • Security straps and “pods” (if applicable) anchor bed liner in place
  • Easy care - machine washable (commercial machine)
  • 17 different colors/patterns
protect your Pet from Garden Poisons
With spring advancing rapidly and the desire to get out in our gardens, we need to be aware of those things that will harm our pets. Last year, the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center fielded tens of thousands of calls related to pets who accidentally ingested or came in contact with garden-related products, including insecticides, weed killers and pet-toxic plants. Don’t let your furry beloved become a victim of your green thumb—read the ASPCA’s expert tips below.
  •  When designing and planting your green space, keep in mind that many popular outdoor plants—including sago palm, rhododendron and azalea—are toxic to cats and dogs, and may cause liver failure or heart problems.
  •  When walking your dog, take care to keep Fido off the grass and away from toxic lawn and garden products. Cocoa mulch—a byproduct of chocolate—is especially problematic because it attracts dogs with its sweet smell and can cause them gastrointestinal distress or more serious neurological problems if consumed in large quantities.
  •  Always store pesticides in inaccessible areas. The most dangerous forms of pesticides include snail bait with metaldehyde, fly bait with methomyl, insecticides with the ingredients disyston or disulfoton, mole or gopher bait with zinc phosphide, and most forms of rat poisons.
  •  Unattended garden tools may seem like no big deal, but rakes, tillers, hoes and trowels can be hazardous to pets and cause trauma to paws, noses or other parts of a curious pet's body. Please leave all unused tools in a safe area, not haphazardly scattered on the ground.


Local humane societies, shelters, and rescues go through hundreds of blankets and towels each week in order to provide care and comfort to stray dogs and cats, especially during the wet and cold times of year.

Blankets for Buddies is dedicated to helping these animals by collecting new or used blankets and towels from the community and delivering them personally to nearby animal shelters and rescues.

Drop-off any of these items at a Blankets for Buddies basket location:
Pet Beds
Throw rugs
Bed sheets
Washable dog or cat toys
Leashes or collars

*All of these items can be new or used.

The blankets are primarily used to give shelter animals a soft place to lie down and curl up inside their kennels while waiting for their owners to find them or someone to give them a new loving and permanent home.

The towels are often used for the cat crates as bedding and to wipe up messes, dry off animals after a much needed bath upon arrival, and in the field trucks that pick-up stray or lost animals.

Blankets for Buddies has set-up several drop-off locations in Southern California for you to donate your new or used blankets and towels. We hope with your help we are able to expand to more cities throughout the state and eventually the country with your monetary contributions to our grassroots organization. Thank you for your kindness and support!

Live outside Southern California? Check with your local pet shelters and see if they already have a program, or… get one started in your area. You can also contact Blankets for Buddies for more information. 

Blankets for Buddies
P.O. Box 515
San Dimas, CA 91773
(909) 753-3930

There is a book that I have in my bookcase titled "The Rosetta Bone" - The Key to communication Between Humans and Canines, by Cheryl S. Smith. The Rosetta Bone is the best dog training, dog communication, human/pet love stories book I have ever read (and I have a shelf full to which I often refer). Learning to read my dogs' body language and gaining an awareness of how they read mine, has opened a new dimension of fun and sharing in our relationship. Jesse and I are more responsive to each other and take more joy in the time we spend together each day. This book is a must read for the person acquiring their first dog, experiencing behavior problems with a current animal, or wanting to communicate with their dog on a deeper level.
From the Back Cover
Far too often, we humans expect our dogs to understand what we say to them. Though we may spend a lot of time talking to them, we’re really not communicating. And without proper communication, it’s impossible to train a dog properly–– let alone make your human/canine relationship a rewarding one.
Packed with unique insights and gentle training advice, The Rosetta Bone provides average dog owners with the know-how they need to decipher canine meanings, communicate effectively, increase training success, and share a deeper bond. Focusing on the behavioral basis–– the "silent" symbols–– for learning, understanding, and communicating, expert dog trainer and competitor Cheryl S. Smith reveals how you can use your own body language to send a message and even teach a dog what specific words mean. She reveals how a dog’s breed can affect his personality and explains how to decode–– and correct–– common behavior problems. With the knowledge and solutions this book provides, you will train more effectively, enjoy your dog more, and ease your own stress. What’s more, you’ll apply what you’ve learned immediately, with solid, practical advice on:
Learning the As, Bs, Cs, and Ds of human-canine communication
Teaching English to your dog–– and, in turn, understanding "Doglish"
Using body language to assist in communication and help your dog learn
Incorporating various kinds of touch to tighten your bond
Making rewards and reprimands real, relevant, and reliable
Understanding the relationship between kids and dogs

Supplemented with enlightening, easy-to-do exercises with your dog, as well as quotes from trainers, behaviorists, veterinarians, and humane society workers, The Rosetta Bone is a revealing guide to making life better in your human/canine household.


A Gift Basket for your Dog (and Cat) 
or Pet Lover for every occasion. 
We have pet gifts, dog gifts, cat gifts, dog and cat collars & leads, pet accessories, dog jewelry & bling, dog themed people jewelry, pet feeders, bowls and treat jars, pet beds, pet gift baskets, dog lover gifts, cat lover gifts, pet loss sympathy gifts, dog bath & spa gifts, pet holiday gifts, personalized photo gifts, doggie diet bones & treats, pet furniture, pet steps, pet photo contests, newsletters, and much, much more.

If you are searching for a meaningful gift basket for a family or friend who cherishes their dog or cat, you've come to the right place!  Our pet and doggie boutique offers only the finest designer products available. Our pet gifts and gift baskets are unique, personalized and of the highest quality. The enormous variety of pet gift baskets, pet accessories, and cat and dog goodies and treats that Dog Lover Gift Baskets offers will have your four-legged friends thinking every day is Christmas.  

Homemade 100% all-natural treats 
Our dog & cat treats, dog biscuits, and cat goodies are homemade with 100% all-natural ingredients, and contain no additives or preservatives. We guarantee your satisfaction, and that of your pet!

Fun,Fun,Fun place to find that special gift for that special pet~

this is rather long but worth reading
--Top 10 Pet Toxins of 2010  

Both known and unknown toxins can be found hiding in our houses and yards. In 2010, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, IL, fielded more than 167,000 phone calls about pets exposed to possibly poisonous substances. 

Human Medications
Human medications are once again at the top of the list of pet toxins for 2010. Almost 25 percent of our calls concerned human medications accidentally ingested by pets. The most common culprits include over-the-counter medications (ibuprofen, acetaminophen), antidepressants and ADHD medications.

About 20% of the calls to the APCC are about insecticides. Insecticides are commonly used on our pets for flea control and around our houses to control crawling and flying bugs. The most serious poisonings occurred when products not labeled for use in cats were applied to them. Always follow label directions.

Baits used to kill mice and rats are mostly grain based. Not only does this attract rodents, but it attracts dogs and cats. There are several different types of rodenticides that can cause seizures, internal bleeding or kidney failure. Always make sure these items are placed in areas that pets cannot access.

People Food
Xylitol, grapes, raisins, onions and garlic are commonly ingested by our pets. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, while onions and garlic can cause anemia if enough is ingested. Xylitol, a sugar alcohol used to sweeten sugar free gums and mints, can cause low blood sugar and liver failure in dogs.

Veterinary Medications
Many medications made for our pets are flavored for ease of giving. Unfortunately, that means that animals may ingest the entire bottle of medication if they find it tasty. Common chewable medications include arthritis and incontinence medications. Contact your veterinarian if your pet ingests more than his proper dose of medication.

Chocolate contains methylxanthines, which act as stimulants to our pets. The darker the chocolate, the more methylxanthines it contains. Methylxanthines can cause agitation, vomiting, diarrhea, high heart rate, muscle tremors, seizures and death.

Household Toxins
Cleaning supplies, such as bleach, acids, alkalis and other detergents, can cause corrosive injury to the mouth and stomach. Other household items such as batteries and liquid potpourri can cause similar problems. Always keep these toxins behind securely locked doors.

Both house plants and outdoor plants can be ingested by our pets. Lilies can cause life-threatening kidney failure in cats, while sago palms can cause liver failure in dogs and cats. Keep house plants and bouquets away from your pets.

Many herbicides have a salty taste, and our pets will commonly ingest them. Always follow label directions and keep pets off treated areas until they are dry.

Outdoor Toxins
Antifreeze, fertilizers and ice melts are all substances that animals can find outdoors. Keep these items in securely locked sheds or on high shelves where pets cannot get to them.

If you have any reason to suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at 888. 426 . 4435

Pet obesity
It is estimated that nearly half of the dogs and many of the cats in the United States are overweight, or obese, which indicates a serious weight problem. Pets generally love to eat, and, just like in people, this love of food can pack on the pounds. 

An easy way to estimate the proper weight for your dog is to feel the ribs and points on top of the backbone. These should be easily felt, with just a small amount of underlying fat. You should slightly feel the ribs, but not see them. If not, your pet likely has a weight problem. Overweight dogs and cats are at greater risk of a wide variety of conditions, including arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, back problems, and skin problems. Obesity also makes it difficult for your pet to get around, and many obese pets pant or gasp after only mild exercise or routine day-to-day activity.

Weight gain is caused by exactly the same thing as for humans. Less calories, more exercise leads to healthy weight. Your veterinarian may recommend starting a weight loss program by switching your pet's diet to a commercial reducing diet that is high in nutrition but low in calories. New diets should always be introduced gradually because sudden changes can lead to digestive upsets.

Breaking up the daily amount of food into several small feedings can help distract your pet from the fact that it is eating fewer calories. Avoid feeding snacks between meals. Keep in mind that dog biscuits and other pet treats contain calories as well, sometimes many more than you would think!  Most importantly, don't feed table scraps, which are nearly always high in calories and low in nutrients.

The new diet should be coupled with an exercise program to get your pet's metabolism going. It's best to begin gradually, starting with short walks and then increasing their length. The daily exercise may also improve your health!

It is important to remember that pets don't rummage through the fridge or buy fast food. We control what they eat. Dramatic weight loss and health improvement can be achieved if you remain committed and put your pet's health first.

Did you know that your cat or dog would and could live twice as long, it is our human life styles that shorten their lives?...think about that one.

Dog New Year's Resolutions
  • I will not chew my human's toothbrush and not tell them.
  • I will not chew crayons or pens, especially not the red ones, or my people will think I am hemorrhaging.
  • When in the car, I will not insist on having the window rolled down when it's raining outside.
  • We do not have a doorbell. I will not bark each time I hear one on TV.
  • I will not walk under the big dog when he is peeing.
  • The computer's mouse is, unlike a real mouse, inedible.
  • I will not steal my Mom's underwear and dance all over the back yard with it.
  • The sofa is not a face towel. Neither are Mom & Dad's laps.
  • My head does not belong in the refrigerator.
  • I will not bite the officer's hand when he reaches in for Mom's driver's license and car registration.
  • I must shake the rainwater out of my fur BEFORE entering the house. 
Cat New Year's Resolutions 
  • I will not use the owner's plant as my litter box or dental floss.
  • I will not sleep on my owner's head.
  • I will not try to run out the door every time it opens.
  • I will not hide from my owner for hours at a time.
  • I will not use the couch to give my claws a manicure. Instead, I will use the weird looking rope tree.
  • I will not use the curtains as a slide.
  • I will not overdose on catnip and then fly around the house bouncing off the wall.
  • I will not sneak up on and pounce on my owner's head while they are watching TV.
  • I will not climb trees and then refuse to climb down despite how much fun it is to see my owner attempt to climb up after me.
  • I will remember that when my human is typing at the computer, her forearms are not a hammock.
  • I will remember that computer and TV screens do not exist to backlight my lovely tail.
Q – Should I buy health insurance for my pet?
- If a pet is seriously injured or ill, it isn’t unusual for the bill to be $5000 to $10,000 and sometimes higher; pet owners should ask themselves, if they faced such a situation, would they be able to afford to have their pet treated. If your answer is no, pet health insurance is a good idea next to euthanasia.
It is best to buy it while your pet is young and healthy as an accident or illness can happen at any age. But, more importantly, insuring Fido or Fluffy before health problems develop prevents rejected claims due to pre-existing conditions. (yep-its in the pet world too) When shopping for a policy, verify that hereditary and chronic conditions are covered, and make sure to read the entire policy, as some information in it might not be on the company’s website or in their brochures.  In the last couple of years there has been a growth in the number of carriers. I have always use VPI (veterinary pet insurance) and been very happy with them.  But, shop around for they differ greatly in coverage.
Vetericyn-- something to look into for pet wound care

When your dog has an open wound or infection, Vetericyn should be the product of choice because it is easy to apply into the affected area to treat infection while accelerating healing. Vetericyn works quickly to treat the infections or open wounds. In addition, it is safe as water so it will not harm your dog or the environment. Dogs typically lick their injury so any treatments applied should be non-toxic. Vetericyn is non-toxic so it will not cause injury if it happens to be ingested or licked after application. This is possible because Vetericyn works in the same way as your dog’s immune system. As such, the body recognizes it as a friendly infection-treating ally. Vetericyn also creates an optimal environment for healing.

Wounds treated with Vetericyn have demonstrated a reduction in healing time by up to 60%. Vetericyn significantly increases the oxygen content at the wound site within 30 seconds and maintains that oxygen level for up to 36 hours. This increase in oxygen along with the reduction of infection is responsible for these accelerated healing times. As a one-step cleanser and dressing, it eliminates the need for multiple products while reducing the application time and requirements.

Since it is “no-rinse”, it leaves no film or residue to clean off. And unlike traditional antiseptics and topical antibiotics it does not damage healthy tissue. Finally, it is compatible with most gauzes and acrylics and can be used prior to application of other treatments.

for more information check with your veterinarian or visit:
need a great  place to
purchase natural pet products
I highly recommend
Does my pet need a probiotic supplement?
Although your daily probiotic supplement helps maintain a supply of good gut bacteria, healthy dogs and cats don’t need one. Daily supplements could prevent diarrhea and constipation in your pet, but because those tummy troubles can signal more serious health issues, masking them could be dangerous. However, if your dog or cat is prescribed the common antibiotic Clavamox, a probotic supplement can help prevent diarrhea, a common side effect.  
OUICK TIP: Leftover canned pumpkin in the pantry? Mixing teaspoon or two of the puree with a can of your cat’s wet food can help treat mild diarrhea and constipation in a couple of days.
 Now HEAR this!   Ear infections were the most common reason for dog doctor visits in 2010, according to the Veterinary Pet Insurance Company. Here is how to keep you pup’s ears healthy.

Do a “sniff test”  Smell you dog’s ears weekly and become familiar with the normal odor so you’ll know if something is amiss.
Wax Off   Check you dog’s ears regularly for wax buildup, redness or foreign objects lodged inside. Cleanings aren’t necessary if nothing appears to be wrong. But if your dog often has debris, odor or wax buildup in his ears, clean them weekly with a natural cleaning solution of equal parts white vinegar and water or an alcohol-free commercial ear cleaning solution. Fill the ear canal with cleansing solution then massage the base of the ear. Let your dog shake his head.
Manage moisture   After a bath or swim, dry your pup’s ears. Be extra thorough if your dog has floppy ears, as they can restrict airflow and create a damp place where bacteria thrive. Similarly, thick ear canal hairs can also trap moisture.
Winter is here and our Kitty gets COLD-- 
Cats like warm places and will sleep in areas where they can get warm and comfy, such as near fireplaces, sunny windows and even on top of your head when you're in bed. If you keep missing your cat around the house, chances are he or she is out someplace sleeping in a warmer corner of your house or garden. If you want to keep your cat in one place, it's probably time to get her a heated cat bed. These are great gifts for your feline friend and will be greatly appreciated especially during the winter months. Heated cat beds are also recommended for ailing or older cats or those with hip or joint problems.
Tips for buying heated cat beds
Look for a reliable heater unit. Some units are battery-powered, so there's not a lot of concern there, but there are some which are powered by electricity. If this happens to be your choice for a heated cat bed, check if it is UL and CUL listed to ensure maximum safety. Temp max should not exceed 102˚.
Choose soft materials or fabrics that your cat will like. Plush materials like wool or fleece will do nicely and keep your cat coming back to her bed again and again.
Look for designs that are smooth with orthopedic bottoms or those that have indented centers to provide a cozier feel.
Cup-shaped heated cat beds are a hit with cats too, because even the walls can radiate warmth, ensuring your cat an all-around source of heat as long as it stays in bed.
Easy cleaning
Look for a heated cat bed that allows you to wash and dry conveniently. This is important for cat hygiene, since sometimes, vacuuming the bed may not be enough. Also, the bed will need to dry immediately, to prevent fungus and mold growth. Look for beds where the heater can be removed or the fabric can be peeled off and thrown into the washer.
Most products come with one-year warranties. Be sure to ask what parts or service are included in the warranties before making your purchase.
Simple does it
Cats don’t appreciate too much frou-frou. We do, but what we think could be cute and stylish may mean a choking hazard to your cat. Worse, he might ingest it and cause a blockage in his intestines.
the product I like and which I use in Tiera's bed is the 
K&H Pet Bed Warmer                                            (pet bed products for cats & dogs)
**WARNING**  If you have a dog ... PLEASE read this and pass it on.  If you don't have a dog, please pass along to friends who do.  

Written by:
Laurinda Morris, DVM--Danville Veterinary Clinic--Danville , OH

This week I had the first case in history of raisin toxicity ever seen at MedVet. My patient was a 56-pound, 5 yr old male neutered lab mix that ate half a canister of raisins sometime between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM on Tuesday.  He started with vomiting, diarrhea and shaking about 1 AM on Wednesday but the owner didn't call my emergency service until 7 AM. I had heard somewhere about raisins AND grapes causing acute Renal failure but hadn't seen any formal paper on the subject.

We had her bring the dog in immediately. In the meantime, I called the ER service at MedVet, and the doctor there was like me - had heard something about it, but... Anyway, we contacted the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center and they said  to give IV fluids at 1 & 1/2 times maintenance and watch the kidney values for the next 48-72 hours.  The dog's BUN (blood urea nitrogen level) was already at 32 (normal less than 27) and creatinine over 5 (1.9 is the high end of normal). Both are monitors of kidney function in the bloodstream. We placed an IV catheter and started the fluids. Rechecked the renal values at 5 PM and the BUN was over 40 and creatinine over 7 with no urine production after a liter of fluids.  At that point I felt the dog was in acute renal failure and sent him on to MedVet for a urinary catheter to monitor urine output overnight  as well as overnight care.

He started vomiting again overnight at MedVet  and his renal values continued to increasedaily. He produced urine when given lasix as a diuretic. He was on 3 different anti-vomiting medications and they still couldn't control his vomiting. Today his urine output decreased again, his BUN was over 120, his creatinine was at 10, his phosphorus was very elevated and his blood pressure, which had been staying around 150, skyrocketed to 220 ... He continued to vomit and the owners elected to Euthanize. This is a very sad case - great dog, great owners who had no idea raisins could be a toxin. Please alert everyone you know who has a dog of this very serious risk.  Poison control said as few as 7 raisins or grapes could be toxic.

Many people I know give their dogs grapes or raisins as treats including our ex-handler's. Any exposure should give rise to immediate concern. Onions, chocolate, cocoa, avocadoes and macadamia nuts can be fatal, too.

Even if you don't have a dog, you might have friends who do. This is worth passing on to them.
                                            Anti-Bloat Bowl
     Do you know what the number two killer of dogs is in this country? Number one is cancer, and number two is something called ''bloat'' (the technical name is ''Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus'' or ''GDV''). Bloating of the stomach is often related to swallowed air. As the stomach swells, it may rotate, twisting and trapping air, food, and water in the stomach. Some of the symptoms are panting, trying to vomit, distended or hard stomach, and a hunched-up appearance. The bloated stomach obstructs veins in the abdomen, leading to low blood pressure, shock, damage to internal organs, and death.
     One of the main causes of bloat is dogs gulping down their food. When you put your dog's food down in front of him, is it gone in seconds? If so, this bowl is for you and your dog! The three pillars inside the plastic bowl force the dog to eat around them, thus slowing down the food intake. After your dog eats, you should not exercise him for at least 20 minutes. Big, deep-chested dogs and older dogs are at highest risk of bloat, but any dog (or cat!) can get it.
     This simple, inexpensive solution is a great way to cut your dog's risk of dying a very horrible and painful death. If one of your dogs is a food wolfer, taking seconds to finish their dinner, this bowl in a necessity for you; be more relaxed knowing he is safer — especially when you have to feed them and leave the house.
Finding a pet charity
Kodiak of Cripple Creek 1985

Not sure which charity is right for you? Try going online. Websites like  can help you evaluate charities and make an informed decision.
Don’t know where to find local pet charities? Ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. Also, consult your local chamber of commerce. They should be able to provide you with a list of local pet shelters or other pet-related volunteer opportunities.
 Donate supplies
Call your area pet shelter or organization to find out what items they need most. Basic items such as dog and cat food, cat litter, blankets or pet beds and toys are usually in high demand. Also consider non-obvious items such as laundry detergent, brooms and garbage bags that kennel staff can use daily. Many PetCo stores accept old blankets, towels, and pillows for your local rescue organizations. “Blankets for Buddies,”  is my favorite.
Donate time
Sometimes, what many local pet shelters and organizations need most are volunteers. Consider donating your time to help bathe dogs or clean their kennels, change cat litter boxes, wash blankets or simply play with the animals.
Do your research
It’s important to thoroughly research any organization you donate your time or money to, and examine how they use your funds to support their cause. There are lots of great organizations out there, so kudos to you for wanting to do more!
Got a CAT?? the best Litter Scoop around.
For those of you who have  the pleasure of owning a cat(s) this is by far the best litter scoop I have ever encountered in my life; and I have scooped litter for a better part of that time. I praise its sturdiness, ease of use, speed, work-reduction, and cleaning ability.
The Litter-Lifter scoop with its peaked blades makes the difference in catching even the smallest waste with the first pass without scooping up the clean unused litter.
The Litter-Lifter's sleek design and 7 inch functional wedge-shaped tines facilitate fewer passes through the litter box. The scooper blades let litter slide back into the box. The ease of use without releasing unnecessary dust into the home permits more frequent cleaning. The Litter-Lifter is an exceptional advance in maintaining cleaner air, a clean scoop, and a clean litter box for a hygienic environment.
The Litter-Lifter was created with no flat surface to enhance the separation of waste from clean litter without accumulating kitty litter in the scoop. Its lifting action eliminates shaking and reduces dust clouds. Its strong leading edge allows easy scraping. The Litter-Lifter is stylish, ergonomic, resilient, and easy to clean. I praise its sturdiness, ease of use, speed, work-reduction, and cleaning ability.
I purchased my first one at PetSmart, but since then have ordered it online at my natural pet product store: Only Natural Pet Store
here are some links to investigate this litter wonder further… it is worth every moment and penny.


Pet Agree Ultrasonic Trainer

I use this as a training plus rather than the way it is described. When I am out walking and Jesse starts to chase or wander off, I give the "come" or "here" command-- no reaction? I give the Agree a beep, when he looks up I give the command again, he responds and gets a treat. I never use it as a "bad thing"; he always gets a reward if he has performed what I had requested after being beeped.

Be sure it is this brand and style, many others out there just don't work.

Product Description
The PET-AGREE is perfect for any person who loves their dog or cat, but wants help in breaking a bad habit, or teaching them a new command. Pet owners, groomers, kennel operators, veterinarians and animal control officers agree that the PET-AGREE is a safe, silent, effective and humane way to help train your pets. The PET-AGREE is a humane alternative to shock collars, choker chains, and electric mats, rolled up newspapers or physical force to emphasize commands to your pet. Made of durable, high impact ABS molded plastic; the sky blue PET-AGREE comes with a belt clip for convenience. Ultrasonic Sound Makes Pet Training Faster and Easier At the click of the PET-AGREE, a silent, humane, high frequency sound is emitted that will help emphasize verbal commands of pet owners and trainers. Clearly audible to dogs and cats, the sound cannot be heard by people. Use of the PET-AGREE can reduce training time of dogs and cats from months to just weeks and in some cases even minutes. The PET-AGREE gets the attention of your pet in much the same way your voice does. The distinct ultrasonic sound of the PET-AGREE helps keep the attention of your pet, assuring you they understand the command. For example, point the PET-AGREE toward your dog or cat as you give a verbal command, press the PET-AGREE button for one or two seconds, and the pet should respond to your command expected. Repeated use of the PET-AGREE in this manner will help reinforce training efforts.

I am not very good at brushing my pet’s teeth, or even attending to their dental care. Moreover, good dental care will elevate a multitude of pet health problems. I do give Jesse bones and chew toys that are suppose to help with keeping his teeth in top shape, but are they enough; I don’t think so.

There is a product out there that I found and use that really works: it is called Pet-z-Life. It is an Oral care spray & gel. I prefer the spray; it is easier to just shoot a couple of squirts into Jesse’s mouth at bedtime and off comes the tarter and plaque. Treatment needs to be done 30 minutes before or after food and water, so bedtime is perfect for us.

It works fast and naturally to help control plaque and tarter on dogs and cats. It also helps control bacteria and bad breath. The secret? A proprietary blend of Grapefruit Seed Extract and other all natural herbs and ingredients that produce a safe and effective oral care maintenance program, especially for senior pets.

I have seen it sold at PetsMart, PetCo, and other pet product stores.

check it out at:

before and after over a 30 day period -- effects are enhanced if used with a brushing routine.Canine Covers