Friday, April 29, 2011

Rose's Second Hike

I love the environment where we reside!! Frequent rainstorms which contribute to fresh, lovely greenery. Towering Douglas Fir trees that reach for our broad heavens. Several diverse mountains-- some volcanic--which appear beauteous when blanketed in freezing white snow. I am blessed here as a nature fanatic. Blessed beyond measure!! In this environment where we live there are seemingly countless park and recreation locations, many which allow canines. Plus numerous dog-friendly trails to trek!! Last week, we took Rose on her second "hike" in ten days!! Truth be told, it was really merely a nice walk around the State Park, but fantastic nonetheless!! Our weather was deep blue skies and sunshine.... Spring seemed to have arrived at last!! Rose loves riding within the old Chevy minivan which we drive!! For anywhere is an adventure awaiting her!! She rides within our vehicle with excitable anticipation. Such an innocent trust that the destination will be positive!! "You're going with us, Rose!! We're going on a hike!!" I exclaimed. That last word--hike--my bright girl must have recognized!! For suddenly she lost all self control!! Like this child anticipating Disneyland, Rose went completely berserk!! She whined joyously, leapt in the air toward the leash, bayed loudly, balanced upon her hind legs, pawed our front door.... I stepped outside with my hyperactive, temporarily out-of-control mongrel. And she literally made a beeline toward our minivan!! Once inside the vehicle, Rose positions her front paws upon its windows. She gazes out at a passing world. And repeatedly reveals her rare, "magic Italian Greyhound" smile. She seldom sits or lies down. Too many sites to see for that!! Once arrived at the State Park, she immediately began sniffing a nearby tree!! We walked around picnic tables, some occupied, others vacant. This place has posts stationed throughout where you can read factual information about two men in our state's history. As always, we read them. Then, I swiftly lead Rose along a dirt path where our "hike" began!! She blazed that trail, smelling anything her nostrils could detect!! Rose smiled the entire way, tongue hanging low. Of course, being a canine, she urinated on countless occasions, marking the territory!! It appeared quite obvious that Rose was enjoying herself to immense capacities!! Amazingly enough, there were zero other dogs--or people--hiking this dirt path. Unfortunately however, somebody had previously walked it.... My eyes spied broken glass everywhere!! From a beer bottle!! We cautiously navigated around this hazardous litter, careful as to evade getting any glass stuck within Rose's paws!! Eventually, she had a bowel movement. I reached through my jean's pocket. Pulled out a newspaper bag. I stooped over to pick it up.... But before I could, like a bull preparing to charge, she wildly kicked her hind legs, flying in the air Earth's debris and, as resulted, her pooh was buried!! Great.... I somehow cleaned it anyway!! Immediately following her feces burying act, we ventured down toward sandy waters. A canine frolicked and played off-leash, which caught Rose's interest.... And produced my fears of aggressive dog bite!! But she is submissive. My good girl redirects well!! I simply walked her a short distance away until "he" was finished running!! Next we stepped--or leapt in Rose's case!!--over logs, brambles, sticks, plus water. During the car ride home Rose peered through its windows every now and then. Mostly she collapsed--tired--on the carpeted floor.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Crunchy Easter Treats

On Good Friday, I baked these bone-shaped biscuits for Rose with Uncle Mike's help!! She loves them!! Her reaction is to swiftly snatch one out of my hand, run through our house and "play" with it!! (Pouncing on the snack like a hunting lioness, rolling in that treat....) I'm confident that Rose would rate this recipe: Four 'paws' way, way, up!!

Easter B'egg
1 1/4 cups white flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup water
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon peanut butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour and oatmeal. In a separate dish, mix water, egg, vanilla and peanut butter. Stir into flour and oatmeal. Knead until a dough is formed. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutter. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 1 dozen.
Bake bones on the middle oven rack. If your dough is sticky, apply a light layer of flour to your hands, the rolling surface and rolling pin.
(Our dough seemed dry, so I threw in several "pinches" of water!!) Because of variations in oven temperatures, monitor the cooking time for your batch of "Doggy Bones". Bake bones until the bottoms of the biscuits become medium brown, and adjust remaining baking times accordingly. If bones do not become "bone hard", bake bones for an additional five minutes or leave them in the oven as it cools. (With 20 unbaked biscuits spread out upon our cooking sheet, we did add another five minutes!!) Store "Doggy Bones" in an airtight container. For extended supply, double your batch and freeze them!

I was very brave!! We did double this recipe, because I had planned on giving 6 to my Aunt Chris' Golden Retriever/Basset Hound mix, Lucy, plus half a dozen to our cousin Desiree's Chihuahua, Bella!! Turns out, I baked 26!! (Two bonus treats for Rose!!) Be creative and use bunny, cross, or egg cookie cutters, if you will!! I found this recipe in a book and baked them with the bright red bone which was attached to it!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He Is Risen!!

Egg Hunt

She's on an egg hunt;
Directing to Jesus Christ;
Each egg found reveals His sacrifice;
Besmeared a crimson red;
Symbolizing blood He shed;
One unveils;
Four discolored nails;
Two, a whip that caused His suffering;
Three, the thorns which waxed bleeding;
Four, an empty tomb;
Five, one Cross stained;
Six, deliverance obtained!

Fascinating Fact!!

I meant to include this information in Thursday's post, but forgot!! Here is a veterinarian's perspective on what may--or may not--have actually been part of Rose's adjustment process....

(Taken from "What's Wrong with My Dog?"; Found in the section "My Dog Is Pooping Everywhere")

Have there been any recent chances in your dog's environment? From the most dramatic home renovations to something as simple as changing the away message on your telephone answering machine, changes in what your dog hears, sees, and smells throughout the day can affect his bowel habits. If the inappropriate eliminations have come on suddenly without any medical reason, look hard at your dog's surroundings for an explanation.

Interesting!! (Although I still wonder if Rose's issues were resulted in little or zero love and attention.) Jake Tedaldi has a valid point here. Think about it: Rose resided with potentially negligent owners, escaped, was wrangled by respectable dog catchers, placed in this kennel, lived at their shelter, then I adopted her.... All during such a short span of time!! Poor girl.... She is well adjusted now!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

History Mystery

Everybody has a past. Whether it be life choices which we now regret, or situations beyond our own control that leave us victims. The past weaves a story. A tapestry which has created who we are as individuals. Our personal history. Sometimes it is negative, sometimes positive. With Rose, her past has, and forevermore will be, a mystery. Was she abandoned once? No.... her behavioral patterns do not match such a sorrowful story!! I wonder.... And this is the only tool I have to work with--mental curiosity--if Rose's former owners were seldom ever home. Perhaps school, work, church, or physical activities kept them plenty occupied. Maybe they were the type of people who enjoy frequent excursions and drove to parties nearly each night. Perhaps Rose was given little or zero attention!! Maybe they never took the time to teach Rose basic commands, as she seemingly knew nothing!! Perhaps Rose's ex-owners oft let my mongrel outside and rarely opened their door to bring her back in!! I wonder if she escaped the backyard....? Is that how respectable dog catchers wrangled her? Maybe during each outing those masters traveled to, Rose felt abandoned.... Perhaps my extremely sociable canine grew frantic and paced the house madly in anticipation of their arrival. Maybe she destroyed many throw rugs or tile floors due to urine/pooh as resulted. I am not criticizing anyone. Some people simply shouldn't own canines!! Perhaps Rose had to become accustomed to our lifestyle, and learn that we were returning!! However, before trust came those "accidents". Several of them. Throughout her first month. Each time we left the house. Plus tears, emotion, and mental frustration. Maybe Rose was truly sent to me. Because I am the perfect match for her!! "There's no place like home...." is my belief. Plus I provide Rose with endless attention!! What's not to love?

Monday, April 18, 2011


Pet experts advise that whenever a canine's toy is worn or tattered to throw it away and purchase something new. This way, owners evade choking hazards. (On thread, rubber plastic, cotton....) Plus unnecessary and expensive trips to the veterinarian!! Recently, Kermit, Rose's plush green frog squeak/pull plaything had a hole on one of his limbs. It was minuscule in size, this puncture. I could easily navigate the tip of my pinky finger through Kermit's "wound". Plus, Rose has never proven herself destructive toward any toy!! So, truly, there were zero choking hazards here!! Nonetheless, last week we drove to Wal-Mart. And among the items scribbled upon my list was: "Squeak Toy--Rose". Kermit's replacement. It was uncertain whether or not this large-franchise store would meet my mental expectations.... Or even sell something similar to the Booda brand frog plaything which I bought elsewhere. So I searched their pet isle. Studied each and every toy. Nothing. Then.... I saw "her"!! This adorable floppy-eared, droopy-limbed bunny!! "She" is plush, with a squeaker in the pit of her belly!! This plaything is different, not hairy like most plush dog toys. Whoever sewed her used a darling fabric pattern, as she has orange, baby blue, pink, and "fuchsia" hearts all over its white background!! Too cute!! Needless to mention, I was quite smitten!! Wal-Mart did not disappoint that time!! I returned home to a usually hyperactive, excitable, baying Beagle mix and presented Rose her bunny. Turns out, I was not the only one smitten by this toy!! My mongrel loved her at first "squeak"!! While Rose was standing in our kitchen, Uncle Mike pressed the belly. Squeak, squeak, squeak squeak!! She bounded toward him with gusto and snatched the rabbit away as though thinking: "Mine!!" Then came time to steal Kermit. I took him, found a large kitchen storage baggie and dropped the frog inside. My plan is to hide Kermit away for memories sake. I should never have done this in front of Rose!! She watched me with intent, her forehead furrowed, ears perked, eyes fixated on his every move.... Oh, my heart broke into a million pieces!! I felt so terrible taking away this treasured frog of hers!! "Say farewell to Kermit...." I announced. She was resilient!! Now Rose chews on the bunny's lengthy ears, and "hugs" this new plaything between her front legs!! How darling.... I named this bunny "Valentine", after her heart print, of course!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Special-Needs Squirrels

With every creature--feathered or hairy--that transits the backyard, I have, on more than one occasion, witnessed a unique-looking squirrel. We always name these bushy-tailed rodents and treat them with utmost respect. Whatever tragic circumstance or malady which impacted them, they deserve our pity!! For these creatures are different.... Several years ago, there was "Igor". He suffered from this visible lump upon his body. Nobody knew why. Was he geriatric? Did an injury cause infection? Was his lump cancerous? All we know is that eventually Igor disappeared. Was his slow-moving body killed by a car? Did he pass on in his sleep? Recently, we've encountered "Patch". Or "Pirate". "He" only has one eye, on the right side of "his" head. I feel especially sorry for this bushy-tailed rodent!! Other than missing an eye, "he" is seemingly healthy.... Plump, spry, deceptive toward canines!! This squirrel sees the world with a cocked head.... As though "his" physical disability has long been present!! What happened to Patch's left eye? This question often surfaces my mind. Was "he" born this way? Did some animal attack "him"? Was "he" ill once? Whatever "his" experience, this little rodent is quite an example to everyone who observes "him"!! All except for Rose, that is!! To my mongrel, Patch is just another squirrel. One afternoon, "he" was scampering about outside. Rose spied "him". She did her little dance, which is spinning a few circles. Uh, oh. My girl desired to chase "him" away!! I coaxed her lovingly, gently tugged on the dog's collar, and declared: "No, Rose. You can't chase Patch. He's special.". Like that helped!! She cannot understand what is going on, much less my words!! After all, Rose saw a bushy-tailed rodent. Her hunting instincts had commanded her. She wanted that squirrel!! I redirected my girl with baby carrots, said: "Come....". I coaxed her lovingly, gently tugged on the dog's collar, and declared: "No Rose. You can't chase Patch. He's special.". I redirected my girl with baby carrots, said: Come....". Repeat. Repeat. Repeat!! I felt so sorry for Rose.... She just wanted a chase!! Finally, my dog gave up, stretched herself out upon our great room carpet, and fell asleep!! Patch finished "his" snacking.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Some canines, for reasons far beyond their owner's comprehension, enjoy ingesting poop. Whether it be cat, rabbit, chicken, or another dog's feces, this revolting "treat" seems appealing to these four-legged beasts!! Various theories have claimed that canines eat their own poop because of a nutritional need, genetic trait, or learned behavior. Based on information from my "Training Your Beagle" book, hounds may even ingest feces due to an instinctive scavenging issue!! Whatever the reasons this behavior is revolting!! Agreed? Although there's no physical harm in his "indulging" of her own poop, obvious health risks are involved when he eats another canine's feces!! One afternoon, while exploring our backyard, Rose was caught "red pawed"!! I had stepped outside to check on her. Near a small tree she stood, neck bent downward. I looked closer. She was ingesting something!! But what? "Rose no!!" I yelled. My furtive mongrel turned around, looked at me, and swiftly went back to her "treasure". She gulped it down greedily. By then, to my disgust, I already solved the "mystery" of what Rose had been eating. Poop!! "Ew!! Rose, ew!!" I shrieked. In a nanosecond, it was gone!! Great.... "You're not kissing me, today!!" I exclaimed. Our backyard always stays fairly clean. I pick up her droppings twice a week, which seems enough. This event of stool eating has, best to my observation, only happened twice. And rest assured, Rose shows zero interest in the tasting of any other dog's feces!! But I refuse to allow her!! If there is a pile somewhere, I do not let my hound near enough for sniffing!! Better safe than sorry.... I've even picked up other canine's droppings along with Rose's!! This way, our "neighborhood" keeps clean.... Plus I have no problems to fret about!! Still, the question remains: Sans excuses, why do dogs enjoy ingesting poop?

Educational Dog Book!!

Alright. It is high time that I recommend this particular pet health resource book which has been mentioned in several of my previous posts!! "Earl Mindell's Nutrition & Health for Dogs: Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy with Natural Preventive Care and Remedies" by Earl Mindell and Elizabeth Renaghan. What I love about this reference book adds up to countless reasons!! For starters, throughout its final chapter, Mindell mentions the most common illnesses which plague purebreds. This way, when you are considering adoption, his listings come in handy!! It mentions ailments, such as arthritis or constipation and how best to apply treatments. This book also explains symptoms of more serious diseases like cancer or kidney failure. It is quite informational regarding vitamins, minerals, nutrition.... plus much, much, more!! Now I do not follow every word of advice in "Nutrition & Health for Dogs". Rose's meals aren't home-made, her water isn't from store-bought bottles, I don't bake my mongrel's treats. But I flip through--and read!!--this book probably more frequently than any other pet reference material I own!! The downside of "Earl Mindell's Nutrition & Health for Dogs" would be that its author is not in veterinary practice!! However, he's a doctor--for humans--who has completed his research prior to this book's publishing!! What a helpful, educational read!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Quality Time

In this environment where I live, our weather is oft rainy. Glum, dismal clouds frequent the skies all throughout Winter. And sometimes they carry over to Spring or Summer. On a positive note, one can never take for granted an evening welkin filled with twinkling stars!! And warm, sunshine-bathed afternoons are also something to be appreciated!! One of Rose's favorite "quality time" moments with me is lying in our front yard, her leash wrapped around my wrist, as she watches the world pass by. Whatever occurs--boys return from school, felines cross streets, neighbors tend their gardens--Rose's neck turns, from side to side, ears perked, forehead furrowed!! Every movement, every sound, every change of scenery, she observes!! All while my hands gently stroke her sunshine-baked velvet-soft fur. Earlier today, we were partaking in this "quality time" moment, followed by our afternoon walk. As usual, old neighbor Gary was tending to his front yard, and boys returned from school. There were no street-crossing cats, like last time. However, today we suddenly heard this call of a bird!! Rose's head glanced upward, as did mine. Twain hawks, with their lengthy, stained-glass wings extended, soared above tall trees!! They were chasing each other, gracefully gliding across blue skies, periodically crying!! Rose kept her fixated stare, while I slapped both hands upon my lips. Wow.... These incredible birds of prey never cease to astonish me!! Rose's idea of "a dog's day" involves rolling across cool, damp grass, running circles around our fenced backyard, stalking squirrels, bathing in the warm sunshine, lounging around on my bed.... Plus lying near me as neighbors, felines, boys and hawks pass us by!! I couldn't disagree....

Monday, April 4, 2011

Four-legged Neighbors

Residing along our cul-de-sac are seven canines, excluding Rose. Zeke, Venus, Puffy, Sammy, Nero, Ariel, and Brandy. Behind our house lives Sophie, who I affectionately count as canine number eight. Among all of these four-legged neighbors, Rose has become acquainted with literally half!! Sammy, Zeke, Puffy, and Sophie!! We have yet to meet the happy-go-lucky, tail-wagging barking Nero, or his massive-sized "sister", Ariel. Perhaps someday.... Our encounter with the tiny ebony-colored yapping Brandy was proven unsuccessful!! Her owners were walking. It was around 10PM, from the opposite end of our cul-de-sac. We were walking as well. Our paths crossed. Rose, eager as ever to meet this creature, bellowed her high-pitched bay. Unfortunately for us, the mini black Brandy is a "scaredy-cat", so she swiftly scurried away from my howling hound!! Oops. Her masters seem amicable, at least!! Then you have Venus. She acts aggressive toward all canines, minus Zeke!! One of Rose's many little buddies is Sammy. According to Sammy's owner she's a Miniature Schnauzer. But there seems something different about this girl.... Sammy's fur is curly, and Schnauzers possess wiry coats. Plus Sammy's ears stand erect, far from a Schnauzer's typical floppy hearing organ!! Rose's first meet with this unique-looking "Schnauzer" began with an escape on Sammy's behalf. While we were walking, her owner had opened the front door and.... Out ran Sammy!! This surprised me, but he was aware of her fleeing!! Rose and Sammy exchanged some sniffs.... Quickly they became buddies!! Sammy wore no collar, so he had to pick his canine up. But she seldom ever wanders far!! Rose has visited with Sammy twice during the "Schnauzer's" walk, although mostly they greet each other when Sammy escapes!! (On more than one occasion, Rose and I have needed to "herd" Sammy home!!) Either way, each chance she gets, Rose loves seeing her!! Sammy seemingly adores my mongrel.... The other afternoon, I was walking Rose, when suddenly, there was a loud, frantic "No!!" We were just past Sammy's house. I turned around, as did my girl, to witness Sammy!! Immediately, I was on "herding" alert again. "Come on, Sammy, let's take you home." I coaxed, calmly. All she wanted was Rose.... The "Schnauzer" caught whiff of my dog's scent and darted toward her!! How I love the fact that Rose is friends with half of our "neighborhood" canines!!