Monday, November 28, 2011

If You Rescue One Dog....

I found this quote on somebody's blog. I have no clue who said these words, but they instantaneously spoke to my heart:

"If you rescue one dog, you won't change the world, but surely the world will change for that dog."

Mmmm, so true, so true!! Before we adopted Rose from a local shelter on September 21st, 2010, she had been caught wandering some busy street. Sort of like that scruffy-looking mongrel, Tramp from Walt Disney's "Lady and the Tramp". Then, respectable dog-catchers somehow grabbed her. Drove Rose to our shelter. She wore no collar. Was never microchipped. Had no name.... Rose seemingly knew zero basic commands. Either nobody taught them to her, or they were not very consistent!! So Rose learned everything from me!! She had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Temporarily. Only until she settled into our family, that is!! Rose must have been an outside-only pet. Because our backyard was where my Beagle/German Shepherd cross always wanted to be!! Strange.... The sliding glass door would open, and Rose ran swiftly in that direction, as if she was going to miss out on some great adventure!! My independent girl.... I worked hard on encouraging her in this area. I have a comfortable bed.... She is welcome to lie on it.... I will provide her with nonstop petting and affection!! She suffered from Separation Anxiety. A mild case, anyway!! She would leave behind poop "accidents" every time we left home, and "abandoned" her. Then I discovered that pumpkin is a natural canine laxative!! I began feeding it to her. Problem solved!! Rose refused to interactively play with us. She would just snatch her toys and roll on them. How sad was that? This left me to wonder if Rose's previous owners were the go-go-go type and paid her no attention. Now she interacts with friends' children, as well as us!! Rose will frequently find me--toy in mouth--and "ask" to play!! It is adorable!! There.... A deeply personal, proven example of the truth in this quote!! And Rose is, indeed, my greatest life accomplishment!! Seriously!! But I think that the reverse is also true: Rescuing one dog changes your world!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Toxic "Human" Foods

Readers: Thanksgiving is over.... Relatives entered and exited people's homes.... Traditional food--turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes--have been eaten. Devoured, really. Plus, in our family, are some non-traditional dishes: Green bean casserole, and corn pudding!! Yum!! Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, bring on the Christmas parties!! Yeah!! And if you are like me, who owns Rose, a Beagle mix with an incredible love affair for food, read this post. Because, seriously. You will be educated. And surprised!! In fact, read it even if you do not own a food-loving canine!!

(Taken from one of my HealthyPets e-mails!!)

There are various foods that are toxic to dogs. Some we
know about, however, there are many others we are not
aware of that are just as dangerous and poisonous to your
pet. Below is a list of common foods that are harmful to dogs.

Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound
that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic.
their pet has eaten a large quantity of
chocolate, many pet owners assume their pet is unaffected. However, the signs of sickness may not be seen for several hours, with death following within twenty-four hours. Symptoms include staggering, labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, tremors, fever, heart rate increase, arrhythmia, seizures, coma, death.
Cocoa powder
and cooking chocolate are the most toxic forms. A 10-kilogram dog can be seriously affected if it eats a quarter of a 250gm packet of cocoa powder or half of a 250gm block of cooking chocolate. These forms of chocolate contain ten times more theobromine than milk chocolate. Thus, a chocolate mud cake could be a real health risk for a small dog. Even licking a substantial part of the chocolate icing from a cake can make a dog unwell.
chocolate and dark chocolate are the next most dangerous forms, with milk chocolate being the least dangerous. A dog needs to eat more than a 250gm block of milk chocolate to be affected. Obviously, the smaller the dog, the less it needs to eat.

Mushroom toxicity does occur in dogs and it can be fatal if certain species of mushrooms are eaten. Amanita phalloides is the most commonly reported severely toxic species of mushroom in the US but other Amanita species are toxic. Symptoms include abdominal pain, drooling, liver damage, kidney damage, vomiting diarrhea, convulsions, coma, death.

As few as a handful of raisins or grapes can make a dog ill; however, of the 10 cases reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), each dog ingested between 9 ounces and 2 pounds of grapes or raisins. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lethargy.

Macadamia nuts are another concern, along with most other kinds of nuts. Their high phosphorus content is said to possibly lead to bladder stones. Dogs develop a tremor of the skeletal muscles, and weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters. Affected dogs are often unable to rise and are distressed, usually panting. Some affected dogs have swollen limbs and show pain when the limbs are manipulated.

Baby foods can contain onion powder, which can be toxic to dogs. Can also result in nutritional deficiencies, if fed in large amounts.

Bones from fish can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system. (The same goes for turkey and chicken, as well!!)

Cat food is generally too high in protein and fats.

Fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis.

Milk & dairy food: Some adult dogs do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. (However, Rose has zero issues with dairy products!!) This can result in diarrhea. Lactose-free milk products are available for pets.

Raw Eggs contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.

Raw Fish can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly. (Raw, or undercooked salmon, steelhead and trout from the Northwest carries flukes that can cause Salmon Poisoning. According to one of my books: "It is not the fish itself that causes canine salmon poisoning but the presence of a bacteria--Neorickettsia helminthoeca--that lives in one of the salmon's internal parasites. This parasite, a fluke, travels throughout the fish's circulatory system, invading its muscles as well. When a dog eats uncooked fish, he ingests these flukes--and the pathogenic bacteria they contain. The flukes pass through the dog's intestinal tract, but the lethal bacteria remains behind, causing disease and often death." Eating small amounts of raw or undercooked salmon, steelhead and trout can kill your dog. Symptoms are slight fever, followed by a loss of appetite. Then higher fever, often reaching dangerous levels. Above 107 is considered a lethal temperature for canines. Even if they survive the 107 degree fever, worst, oft deadly symptoms include: Severe diarrhea and dehydration. Few dogs survive untreated.)
So keep this information in mind as you celebrate the Christmas season!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

My "Comfort Dog"

We are friends with this dear family. They have three children, one of which is a five-year old daughter. Quite the character this little girl is.... And I appreciate everything about her!! She's fun, thoughtful, childish, plus grown-up all in one!! This little girl's favorite playtime activity is doctor. Interesting. That was always one of my favorite playtime activities, as well. But only because I loved Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and admired our Pediatrician!! Seriously!! So whenever these dear friends visit, this little girl asks to play doctor. We each trade off being physician or patient. When I play the ill one, she has me lean against my bed frame in her "hospital room".... With Rose by my side!! Sweet....Then this little girl calls Rose my "Comfort Dog"--which really means Therapy Dog--and acts as though the mongrel is visiting me!! Cute.... Lately, Rose's fictional "character" has become reality, as I continue to heal from my leg/foot injuries!! There will be absolutely no more walks until I am well enough. Sigh.... I miss them already!! But my "Lazy Bones" Rose is not complaining!! We have lived the life of Reilly, as they say!! Who can complain about that? Every morning, we sit/lie upon "our" unmade bed. I rest and ice my foot, which is less swollen than it was three days ago. Yes!! I stroke her velvet-soft fur, while she, of course sleeps!! I read books--aloud--to an uninterested Rose. Well, I whisper the words, at least!! But she literally dreams through my story time!! And I listen to Christmas music. Why not? Twain local radio stations have been playing Christmas music.... All month long!! Come evening, we repeat!! While Rose just contentedly lies at my side!! Except for yesterday morning. There was a rare near-Winter sunshine. Its beams were pouring through our living room window. Ahhhh, Solar heat.... Rose stood up and left "our" bed. She headed toward the living room!! I hobbled behind her. She then collapsed happily in the sunshine!! I followed suit. My bedroom was cold, anyway, because I had not turned on our heater!! Wow, what a difference the sunbeams made!! Within seconds, I was no longer cold!! Rose knew exactly where the best place was!! Perfect!! Together we soaked up the sunshine's warm, welcoming beams, while I read aloud. What a wonderful "Comfort Dog" I own!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Special Blog Post

Good day, Readers!!

As you may already know, commenting on this blog has recently grown difficult to partake in!! It was not always that way. I have been writing on Endless Possibilities for about a year now. To begin with, anyone could comment!! Then, somehow, that changed. Nobody could comment. I became frustrated and annoyed about this concept. At first. Then I asked myself why is it that I am writing Endless Possibilities? I can just shut this blog down, if all I care about are people's inputs!! Right? But obviously, I have not done that!! So why? Twain reasons:

1. I love to write. Endless Possibilities is an incredible outlet for expressing myself via words.


2. This is a journal of the sorts. About Rose. My beautifully unique Beagle/German Shepherd mix, who I very well know will outlive me. Someday, I'll have this blog to reflect upon as I grieve her inevitable passing!! Our good times, plus our bad times. Is that such a negative thing? I do not think so!! Memories can be healing!!

Now, we have changed the way comments get sent!! It will no longer be difficult!! So feel free and share your comments with me....

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Perfect Walker

I must be growing clumsier with age. Seriously. I have always been somewhat of a klutzy person, with more falls and injuries than anyone can even count. I've dislocated my knee. Sprained both ankles. Stabbed my thumb while carving a jack 'o lantern. At age fourteen. And I have the scar to prove it!! Still!! I have knocked my two front teeth out as a toddler. The list is lengthy.... And it's only by some miracle that I have never broken any bones!! Yet. Yesterday, while breaking an injury "world record", even for me, a leg fracture was my darkest fret. I fell twice in three days' time. That is the "world record" part. Twice in one week. I have never experienced that before.... I was running through our muddy backyard when my second fall happened. Daft, I know. I slipped and twisted the bottom half of my right leg. Felt something pop. Then I panicked. Something popped!! I thought. Something popped!! Then, I mentally told myself: Just stand up. I did.... I could bare my weight.... Hardly. I am someone who tolerates pain, but the leg throbbed!! "Walk it off, walk it off, walk it off", I coached myself. However, with each step I took, the pain intensified. Time for an adrenaline rush!! I walked inside, found some frozen broccoli, plopped myself upon a chair, and "iced" my ankle. Then, as soon as my fear melted away, I inspected the injury. Minimum swelling!! Zero bones poking out!! Yes!! But, alas, my injury was still present. The foot/leg does hurt. Now I have my ankle wrapped, am taking potent pain-killers and walk like an elderly man with a cane. Sigh.... But no broken bones, thankfully!! Meanwhile, Rose has instantaneously figured out that her Mama is not one hundred percent. Canines have an incredible way of sensing such things!! When we go on our walks, I hobbling behind, she does not run up our front yard toward home like usual. No. She just walks slowly. My sweet girl!! Rose has always been a wonderful walker. She doesn't pull, lunge, or run as my right arm is connected to our red leash. Not even after cats and squirrels!! My mongrel walks at a leisurely pace, stopping to smell bushes or fence posts along the way. Typical. She is a hound, after all.... Plus, Rose sniffs the air. Yes, the air!! She leans her head back and takes in aromas my own nose cannot detect. I walk Rose down our cul-de-sac, which takes about ten, to fifteen minutes. But it really depends on how many distractions we encounter!! I walk at her pace. Unless we are in a hurry, that is!! Then, she is not even allowed to sniff out bushes!! Lately, she has patiently walked at my pace!! Halfway, because it is shorter. We must look like quite a sight to witness, Rose in front, and myself lagging closely behind!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sporadic Accidents

Sometimes, these things just happen. Quite unexpectedly. One second life is good, and the next, I find myself cleaning up a yellow urine spot!! On "our" mattress!! Whenever these accidents--which are sporadic--occur, I attempt to figure out why. Was Rose spooked by something? Did she need outside, but "asked" nobody to take her? Is there a medical issue behind this? Then I use my head and flip through veterinary books, or search the internet. And I find zero reasons to visit our doctor!! Every time. One night, Rose was being strange. This is never a good thing!! Rose was not playful. She refused attention. "What's wrong, Rose?" I continuously asked her. "What's the matter with you?" Our skies were dark, as night had befallen. But she did not want outside, either!! "Go to bed, Rose." I encouraged cheerfully. "Go to bed." I gestured toward "our" unmade mattress, with sheet coverings and blankets thrown about. Rose would not even enter the bedroom. Oh no!! I understood now. Rose had an accident.... On my bed!! I inspected it. Sure enough. Upon the foot of "our" bed, was this small damp spot. Great.... My heart raced. I always feel an adrenaline rush whenever Rose is bad!! I looked at the sorry expression upon her face. I scowled at my naughty girl. What else was there to do? Immediately, I stripped my bed of its sheet and mattress cover. Threw them in the laundry "room". We will wash my bedding tomorrow. Next, I found some lavender/vanilla scented air freshener spray. I love the sweet smells of lavender and vanilla!! I sprayed my bare mattress. Inhaled. Exhaled. Ahhhh.... Now my bedroom smelled good!! I looked at the mattress. Zero visible stains!! Yes!! Her urine did not even touch my mattress!! Next came forgiveness. While my mattress dried, I knelt down next to Rose. Stroked her velvet-soft fur. And suddenly, I could feel my heart break. "Why, Rose?" I wished to ask. "Why?" And she glanced up at me with loving brown eyes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Learned Something New!!

Four days ago, on a whim, I Googled "Mixed Breed Dog Blogs". I was hoping to find some places with people like me, who own and love mongrels. I discovered one suitable blog, written by this Dog Behavior Psychologist. She resides in England. This blog author owns twain dogs, one of which is a mixed breed!! I was thrilled!! And, although I am not sure exactly how a Dog Behavior Psychologist works, her blog is highly educational!! I read this today:

"What lies beneath ~ DNA breed testing for mixed breed dogs"

If you own a ‘Heinz’ or a ‘Bitsa’ of unknown ancestry, I expect that like me you’ve spent many hours wondering what breeds your dog is made of. (Rose!! Does this sound familiar? I thumbed through breed identification books. Asked around: "What do you think she is?". Guessed wrongly.... Twice. And it all came down to what nearly everyone said: "Beagle. And I see some German Shepherd.") Tilly was described as a Labrador-cross by LRRSE who rescued her from Ireland. As she’s entirely black, this was an obvious assumption. Certain aspects of her behaviour are good indicators that the ‘cross’ part of her make-up is largely terrier, but for some time now, the Labrador part I have had my doubts about. I did a communication for a client dog earlier this year. He looks exactly like a black Labrador, however, the first thing that he said to me in a rather insistent tone was, “Everybody thinks that I’m a Labrador, but I’m not.” This is precisely the kind of information that requires me to put aside any preconceptions that I may hold about an animal, trust that what the animal is telling me is true, and faithfully relay the information to the animal’s owner no matter how inaccurate it may seem at face-value and regardless of how rubbish an Animal Communicator the owner might think I am. On learning that her dog had told me that he wasn’t a Labrador, she got him DNA breed tested. The result was that he has zero Labrador in his make-up. (Sort of like Rose having zero traces of Blue Heeler or Italian Greyhound within her?) What a result for Animal Communication too! For a couple of months, I considered whether or not to get Tilly DNA breed tested. The test from Wisdom Panel isn’t cheap at £59.99, but eventually, curiosity got the better of me. I bought the cheek swab kit, and following the instructions to the letter collected the required cheek cell samples from a rather bemused Tilly before her breakfast one morning, and then sent the swabs off to the lab to be tested. That was three weeks ago, and today, I got the results! Tilly is ½ Jack Russell Terrier, ¼ Collie, and ¼ - who knows - but definitely not Labrador. For the 'mix' part, Wisdom Panel identified the 5 next best breed matches that appeared in the analysis of Tilly's DNA, with one or more of these breeds being possible contributors to the genetic make-up of her mixed breed ancestors. Listed by the relative strength of each result those breeds are Border terrier, Lakeland terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten terrier, Dogue de Bordeaux and Dandy Dinmont terrier.

Interesting, huh? I thought so!! And, chances are, I cannot afford any DNA breed testing on Rose!! Provided that America even practices such a thing!! Not that I am complaining. Seriously. I'm not. I love my Beagle/German Shepherd mix!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Daylight Saving Time

Why must time change every Autumn and Spring? Honestly.... This only messes with our heads and moods. Makes us tired. Produces cranky attitudes. Why cannot time remain consistent all year around? Wouldn't that be simpler? Yet, each year we "Spring Forward", only to "Fall Back" again!! This can become so confusing!! Even to canines. We own an Audubon Society singing bird clock. It hangs on our great room wall. Every hour there is a different bird sound. I feed Rose at 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM daily. An Eastern Bluebird sings for her morning meal. A Purple Martin chirps at 2:00. And my bright girl recognizes both of those birds!! Seriously!! When Rose's floppy ears hear the Eastern Bluebird, they perk, her head sometimes cocks from side to side, and she performs an adorable "dance"!! 2:00.... Same ritual. Occasionally at night she will hear the Eastern Bluebird tweet. Then Rose stands up, and does her "dance".... Ready for food!! But it is dark outside!! I cannot feed her now!! As if she knows that!! Or even cares!! The Eastern Bluebird sung.... It must be time to eat!! So I allow Rose a baby carrot, instead!! That is the best I can do. It's always well received, of course!! She is, after all, a Beagle mix!! Anything will suffice. As long as food is concerned!! I never encourage Rose's late-night snack. She ingests countless baby carrots a day!! Most times, at 8:00 PM, Rose is sound asleep on "our" bed, dreaming. My mongrel never hears the Eastern Bluebird then!! So.... No baby carrots!! The other night, on Saturday, we were running through our house turning back time.... I wish!! There is a clock in nearly every room of this house--plus our electronics--more than I can count!! Anyway. When our bird clock needs changed, we have to play every single call, one by one, until its time is right. I sat on my bed, stroking Rose's velvet-soft fur. We listened to each bird. Rose's head cocked with every single one, a curiosity strong in her eyes. Then the Purple Martin chirped!! At 11:00 PM!! She cocked her head, jumped off my bed, and performed that little "dance"!! "Do you want a treat?" I asked. (More "dancing" from Rose!!) "Alright." I smiled. "OK. Let's go...."

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Some houses try to hide the fact that children shelter there,
Ours boasts of it quite openly, the signs are everywhere,
For smears are on the windows, little smudges on the door,
I should apologize I guess for toys strewn on the floor,
But I sat down with the children and we played and laughed and read,
And if the windows do not shine, their eyes will shine instead,
And when at times I'm forced to choose the one job or the other,
I want to be a housewife, but first I'll be a Mother.

I found this poem on the page of our dear friend's blog. What beautiful words!! It is uncertain whether she wrote it or not, but I instantaneously appreciated the poetess's strong message of motherhood. So powerful. So moving.... And I feel the exact same way. With Rose!! Not to take away any meaning behind this poem's words. Our sweet friend is in a much different season than I am. She's married. I am single. She has borne six wonderful children. I have zero offspring. Nonetheless, Rose is the closest thing that I will ever get to having a daughter right now. Strange as this may sound. Even though she is an animal, not a human being!! But I have to seek contentment somewhere.... Enter my bedroom and you will immediately take notice: It's obvious that I own a canine!! The evidence is all around!! I do not hide it. But, rather, proudly display the proof. Upon my shelf are diverse dog books. Fifteen, thus far. Three breed specific books. One local hiking guide. Three training/activity manuals. Two books about mutts. Four guides which contain medical issues. A manual about living with older canines. Plus one dog biscuit cookbook. And this "library" is ever-expanding itself!! That's right. Hung on the left side of my dresser is an adorable Disney Store plastic Mickey Mouse bag. Its background has fun comics all over. Inside is where I keep recycled plastic newspaper bags for cleaning up after Rose. Several of them. For they arrive daily, after all!! Hung on the right side of my dresser is a floral-print backpack. I purchased it during those "dreaded" Back-To-School sales. Rose and I use this backpack while hiking together. Inside is a vacant canteen for my girl's drinking water and recycled newspaper bags. Yep. Just the basics!! Although my backpack could also use some hand sanitizer!! Plus a First-Aid kit. In front of my bookshelf is Rose's reversible dog pillow. Alongside that, lies her red "emergency" leash. It is lengthy and easily links to Rose's collar while in a hurry.... Perfect!! This leash has come handy on several occasions, none of which were for any emergencies!! Then there are the toys. Usually Rose's plush Garfield, long-bodied "Mutt" and home-made "sock" are kept in our great room. That is where they live. But occasionally Rose's toys wind up in my bedroom!! Or wrapped up in "our" blankets. Ah, evidence. Sweet proof that Rose shares my existence. I wouldn't have it any other way....