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Canine Sense - Did You Know

Check out these articles by Dr. Stanley Coren (BC, Canada) Canine Corner

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dog's Don't Stay Around Long Enough, Do They?

This was just sent to me, and I thought it fitting for those of you we've been close to recently that have lost their older soles.

A Dog's Purpose? (from a 6-year-old).

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker 's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ''I know why.''

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me.. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?"
The Six-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently..



148th Carp Fair, Ottawa, Ontario

I've lived in this area since 1961, even closer since 1996, and never, ever, do I remember going to the Carp Fair; one always thought of going to our main Exhibition @ Lansdowne Park in Aug. Well, yesterday I met up with friends to watch the heavy horse hitch competition and go for dinner.

Here's a few pics of the 6 horse hitch. What an awesome sight, and the feeling as their hooves thundered past you was an experience in itself ... if I can learn how to properly downsize one of the videos I took so loading isn't an issue, I'll post it.

some 18 horses teams, all standing patiently
liked this team
the winners ~ no idea how they judge them
walking through the other barns ~ ever see chickens with feathered feet?
the grass is always greener on the other side :)

I didn't take pics, but in another area there was a sow with 5 young pigs and at the time we were there, I swear to god, all the times I've been on farms, I've never seen a group of young ones do FRAPS, just like a bunch of puppies @ 8wks of age! They were tearing around, going in no specific direction, altho using the sow as a round about, and one you could tell was more dominant than the rest as it would tend to mount the others & the sow. Ear licks, nuzzling, play bowing ... all the same as puppies. A real good chuckle for sure!

PS ... these grounds were the same as where our CSSA National 2006 was held. This main ring held both our herding & agility competitions. Our 2012 National will be in Ancaster, near London, Ont.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Expecting Fall Litter

We can confirm that our girl "Tyme" is expecting. She's been bred to our Ch Shelamo Sugar Rush, who has produced two Champions in one litter. They are sisters, with one being "Breeze" MBPIS BPISS Ch Shelamo Flash Forward that we've had so much fun showing this yr.

"Breeze" in the Junior Handler competition @ the Ste Foy Dog Show with Justin


Monday, September 12, 2011

A Whole Lot of Accomplishments

Wooowww ... did we all have a busy weekend here .. and the most gorgeous sunny, warm weekend for everything on our plate to go just so ....
Dogs got a new 26' long x 10' wide shade tent in their back pen ... thanks to two young strapping male friends of Mary Anne's they were able to assembly it.
There was also a 'crew' that we sold our above ground pool too - this was the last of it, the deck, being loaded late on Saturday.

Saturday & Sunday I was involved as the rep for Purina Proplan in the PetsMart Adoption day program that they sponsored.

these two were so proud of their new kitten and the Proplan goodies they received

I left this event @ 3:30 and flew across town to make it just in time for a 4pm wedding .. the bride was just headed down the isle. Rachel & Matt Davidson tied the knot in a lovely outdoor setting. Matt is the son of my friend Mary-lou; they are ones that adopted one of the sheltie rescues that I was involved with last October. I anxiously await the professional pics done of Timbit with the Groom's Men in his own bow tie.
right on ... it's done!
the gathering @ the Davidson's for the morning get together

Sunday, before I headed back to PetsMart I had time to drop in to the Davidson's for a morning after breakfast. Mary-lou had done a wonder job with a great selection of eats, including Tim Hortons coffee!

I heard many didn't hit the sack till 4am ... and I hear they learned a lot of new dance moves.

And, well, bless his sole, Mike spent the better part of Sunday shopping.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Keeping our Fur-Kids Safe

I've already posted some things that seem way out, and not even considered, that would be toxic to your canine friend ... like the sweetener xylitol (chewing gums), and blue alga (small backyard feature ponds) ... here are a few more you might not have considered.

Did you know that the composter you have in your backyard that you are so diligent in keeping up to help our landfills out ... well as it does its 'work' it is also making deadly toxins that if your dog gets into it, it can be deadly for them. Specifically, it contains mycotoxins that can result in seizuring, tremoring, and secondary hyperthermia. Signs usually occur within 2 hours of ingesting the material, starting with vomiting and tremors (shaking). Whether you know your dog got into the composter or not, these signs mean it's time to get your dog to the vets.
Cocoa mulch shells, that one might put in their garden can also cause lethal effects. These products contain theobromine, which is what is in chocolate, that can make our canine friends so sick. So beware of what you put in your gardens, and also what your non-fur friend neighbours use.

I posted before about xylitol and its harmful effects on dogs. This chemical is not only found in many of the chewing gums, but I've also learned it's in a lot more these days - toothpaste, mouthwash, anti aging face creams, face masks, face cleanser (a whole raft of skin care products in general), and can even be in sun screens.

What does xylitol cause in a dog? In the canine body, the pancreas confuses xylitol with real sugar and releases insulin to store the “sugar.” The problem is that xylitol does not offer the extra calories of sugar and the rush of insulin only serves to remove the real sugar from the circulation. Blood sugar levels plummet resulting in weakness, disorientation, tremors, and potentially seizures. The other problem is with the liver. It is not yet known why, but it starts to destroy the liver tissue.

The hypoglycemic dose of xylitol for dogs is considered to be approximately 0.1 grams per kilogram of body weight (about 0.045 grams per pound). A typical stick of gum contains 0.3 to 0.4 grams of xylitol, which means that a 10 lb dog could be poisoned by as little as a stick and a half of gum.

How much is too much for liver damage?

The dose to cause hepatic necrosis is 1 gram per kilogram of body weight, about ten times more than the above dose. In the example above, the 10 lb dog would have to find an unopened package of gum and eat it for liver destruction to occur.

I can't tell you how much of this product might be in say, face cream, or toothpaste, but it's enough you need to look at labels and consider your storage options.

Signs can be seen within 30 minutes of ingestion - vomiting, weakness, uncoordinated movement.

If you're interested, here's a site that lists items in different categories using xylitol in them.


Lastly, where does your dog travel in your vehicle? Are they safe? Loose? Riding beside you? On your lap; hanging out the window?

There are about only 1 in 10 dogs travelling by car that are properly secured. The danger is not only to them, but also to you. At just 20 kph (35 mph) a 60 lb dog would become a projectile with a force of 2,700 lbs in a collision.

2 years ago I was 1st on the scene of a car that had swerved to miss a deer and then bounced off a hydro poll, into and out of a small ditch. There was a gentleman and his small dog in the car. I was trying to get to the gentleman, but was faced with this barking, teeth barring terrier. Luckily, the gentleman wasn't injured and was able to control his dog. I was able to leash the dog, with one of my own, and remove him, then able to check both of them. No one was hurt, thankfully.

This just goes to show you that a loose dog in a vehicle accident can impede 1st responders. The dog can get startled by an accident, run off on, causing potentially other accidents as vehicles swerved to miss them, and/or if injured make it even harder for someone to administer 1st aid. However, if they are crated (my preference all the way around), or seat belted, this minimizes the risk to not only the driver, but to the dog and anyone trying to help.

And please don't think it's great to travel with your dog hanging its head out the window ... just think of the # of bugs that hit your windshield or your side mirrors. They can also hit your dog in the eye, or even go down their ears. If your dog loves the smell of the country air, then put the window down just enough that they can smell, or use these window grates.

There are many ways to secure your dog in a vehicle. Crating to me is the best, as I've said. It is an all-in-one safety feature - dog is safe from flying objects, and any one responding to the scene of an accident can easily just remove the dog in its crate. You can seat belt them in; there are booster seats for small dogs; there are gates for the back of vehicles like vans. What ever your choice, please use it, no matter how short of a trip you are taking. Remember, most car accidents happen within 3- 8 km (2-5 miles) from your home.

Keep your fur friends safe during these Dog Days of Summer.
Travel safe.



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