Monday, June 28, 2010

Pacino and Pooches

So another Dog Day Afternoon has graced its presence in northern New Jersey today. That got me to wondering why do we refer to a hot summer day with this idiom? The dog days are not to be confused with the movie starring Al Pacino, or our lovable furry companions. The saying refers to the "dog star" known as Sirius. Its name is derived from the Greek word '"seirios", which means "scorching". The star is located in the constellation of Canis Major (Big Dog), imagine that! Sirius is the brightest star in our hemisphere during the summer months. Aha! That's why Sirius Radio has a little white dog as it's logo! So while a hot summer day will make your dog pant and run inside for the AC, the phrase was coined for a star at night that shines the brightest in the canine heavens!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Back on Blog and Ozzie Visits the Vet

Sorry I have been absent from my blogging duties. Seems gmail decided to disable my account for ( unknown to me ) violation of terms of service?! It was several days of wringing my hands and trying different online options before I was enabled again. Apparently there is no live tech support for gmail/blogger. Any ways onto more important issues! Ozzie went in for his annual check up this week. It was time for a distemper shot, blood work, stool sample (pew!) the works! He was not into going to say the least. It took a piece of cheese and several pieces of leftover steak from last nights dinner to lure him into the car. ( and we have a weight issue because?) Once there he went into shut down mode! Poor Ozzie, not only did he have to endure the regular assaults of the veterinarian but also treatment of conjunctivitis in his right eye and a ear infection in his left ear! His vet Dr. Tracey is very nice. She adores Ozzie and so do all the vet technicians! They all fawn over him in the waiting room. He has quite the following there! We also got some different diet dog food to try out in hopes that this will produce better results than the last! Oh he did lose some weight however. He is now down to 79 pounds from 81! That is some progress. We have to go back next week for a recheck on his eye. I guess I better make sure I have some more steak on hand.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Excuse Moi !

I guess most of us have been accosted by our dogs if not some one's dog at one time or another. You know the placement of the snout down under. Yes it is their way of getting to know you, getting to know all about you. Of course this behavior is only acceptable in canines. I would suspect that any human guilty of this kind of greeting would get at least 5 years in the state penitentiary and end up in the sex offenders data base file. I have read recently that beyond the crotch sniffing rudeness that dogs can actually detect the presence of prostate cancer in urine. Dr Alicia M. Prater PHD recently wrote an article about this. In it she described the test by some French researchers. "At the June 2010 meeting of the American Urological Association in San Francisco, two French researchers presented the results from the year they spent training a Belgian Malinois shepherd, a dog breed already used to sniff out drugs and bombs, to sniff out the presence of prostate cancer. At the end of the training, the dog successfully classified 63 out of 66 urine samples. Other researchers are wary of the results – the dog may have picked up on subconscious cues from the investigators." She went on to say that "Many feel that the dogs simply smell what humans cannot. Once that molecule is identified, testing will be simple and won’t require a well-trained dog or unnecessary biopsies." All that being said clearly a dog's sense of smell is far beyond that of their human masters. My question is why can't they pick up on how bad they smell after rolling in their own poo?!

Friday, June 11, 2010

All Paws on Deck?

I discovered the other day a very interesting fact if you happen to have a deck made of lumber. That lumber for decking, play sets etc was treated at one time with toxic chemicals to preserve it, mainly arsenic. I have also found out as of December 31 2003 that arsenic treated wood was to be phased out for residential use. The problem being that most of us probably have decks that were made prior to that date. Ozzie has been drinking dirty deck water every time it rains for almost a year now. I had always discouraged it in the past just because it seemed downright nasty but now it seems like we will have to put and end to this dirty habit of his. Also no more throwing an occasional hot-dog that has escaped the grill onto to the deck for feasting. Hm I wonder if we can test the deck for arsenic content. ( I will follow up on that ) Who's bright idea was that to use arsenic any way?! Ozzie just spent 2 hours chewing on his bully stick out there! Other than tearing down your current deck and replacing it with Trex here are some things you can do to minimize exposure.
  1. Seal the wood at least every six months with standard penetrating deck treatments.
  2. Replace sections of potential high exposure like handrails, steps, or deck boards with non-arsenic alternatives.
  3. Wash your hands and your children’s hands & dogs paws after every exposure to arsenic-treated wood, especially before eating.
  4. Keep children and pets away from the soil beneath and immediately surrounding arsenic-treated wood structures.
  5. Cover arsenic-treated picnic tables with a tablecloth before using.
  6. Do not pressure wash to clean the surface of arsenic-treated wood. Instead use a soap and water solution, with disposable cleaning supplies. Pressurized water will blast off the upper surface of the wood and spray arsenic-contaminated particles over your yard.
  7. Do not allow children to play on rough wood surfaces. Arsenic-treated wood splinters can be dangerous.
  8. Never sand arsenic-treated lumber. If wood is smooth enough that splinters are not a risk, avoid sanding a deck to prepare the surface for sealing—use a simple soap and water wash instead. Wood dust formed by sanding contains arsenic that is easily ingested by a child, or can wash off the surface to contaminate the soil below.
  9. Do not store toys or tools under the deck. Arsenic leaches from the wood when it rains and may coat things left there.
  10. Do not use commercial “deck washing” solutions. These solutions can convert chemicals on the wood to a more toxic form.
I know we have enough toxins in the environment to worry about as it is. Hate to dump one more on everyone but better safe than blah blah!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Making of a Mascot

The fate of the famed mascot for the University of Georgia, Uga has yet to play out. With the untimely passing of Uga Vll, Russ the bulldog has been standing in on the sidelines. The descendant Uga has yet to be born! They have a litter in the works that won't be due for several weeks. (yes they had sperm stored just in case! ) The owner and breeder of Uga dogs, Sonny Seiler , said that it takes a few months to select the dog that will ultimately be the replacement. "The bulldog must have the exact bone structure and stature." In the meanwhile Russ will do the best he can until some time in October when the heir to the mascot throne will be ready for the job!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mr Clean!

Well Ozzie had his bath yesterday. As usual he was not to pleased with the whole process but the end result is worth the mild torture he had to endure. Oz got the works this time, ears cleaned, teeth cleaned, special shampoo and conditioner plus the furminator treatment. Yes that's the item you may have seen on infomercials late at night. Well believe me it works! Natasha the groomer showed me the pile of hair that came off of Ozzie. You could of stuffed a mattress with it! ( not that one would want to, yuck!) I might add that the Oz man is looking very handsome these days. Also he smells less like a back end of a horse or how Will would describe it "He smelled like malt vinegar"prior to his bath. Now he is a joy to the olfactory senses. Sorry my camera's battery died just as I tried to take pictures at his grooming session, so I don't have pics to share. I will make sure I am charged up and ready to go next time. Remember a clean dog makes for a better smelling couch!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lazy Sunday

Ozzie is just chilling today. Everyone is home and he is enjoying the extra attention! Maybe just a little time spent chewing on his toy keys and a couple of power naps before dinner. He needs to rest up since tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM he is going to the groomers! He doesn't know it yet and no sense in mentioning it! Hope everyone enjoys their day before its back to work and back to the groomers ( for Ozzie! ) Shhh...don't let him in on it or he will start looking for a place to hide. Honestly though where can an 80 pound bulldog hide anyways!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Night of the Crazy Cat

Last night my son Will came by for dinner which is always a delight for this mother. ( I never thought I be saying "Why don't you call your mother and let her know everything you've been up to, daily ! " ) I was walking him out to the car when we spotted a small orange and white cat on our front lawn. She was young, not quite a kitten anymore and was meowing with such a distressful tone. We noticed she had a collar with a bell on it. So she was someones cat! I decided to approach her and see if she would come to me. She seemed interested and scared at the same time. She cautiously walked over to me and then lashed out with her claws. "I'll pick her up Mom!" volunteered Will. I recommended him to go get work gloves from the garage and the old cat carrier. In the meanwhile I tried to get closer to her to see if I could calm her. "Here little kitty. Don't be afraid" With that she lunged at me and left a 3 inch scratch on my leg! Crazy cat! Then she took off to my neighbors lawn across the street to the house on the corner. She ran up the steps of the old Victorian house and lied down calmly on the wrap around porch. So I with the carrier and Will with his farmer gloves crept up the steps. "She looks pretty comfortable here." said Will. 'Maybe I better knock on the door to make sure it's not their cat." Yeah, and here we were on their property looking a little crazy to boot. A young man answered the door. "Is this your cat, we were trying to catch her and she ran up to your porch." "Yeah that's our cat." he replied uninterested in our rescue efforts. "Ah...Okay thanks." Yeah thanks for the 3 inch gash your cat left on my leg! Why do people let their cats roam the neighborhood any way! Don't they know their pet will live a longer life if it's not crossing the streets and encountering who knows what. Hey at least put a name tag on the collar so we know where to return the remains when it ends up flattened like a pancake by some one's SUV! I know that sounds harsh but that's the reality. I have had cats before and all of them were strictly indoor cats. They all lived long and very happy lives indoors! Oh well I will just mind my business and nurse my wound. Ozzie doesn't know why I got all worked up in the first place. "It's only a dumb cat!" I heard him mutter as he went back to work on nap number five!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Don't Get Choked up Over This!

There was some discussion at our Memorial Day BBQ about our beloved doggies of course! My friend Terri was upset by an incident that occurred with her Pom-Chi Harley the other day. He was choking and gagging on something that turned out to be a wad of grass ( we think!?) Anyways that got me to thinking what would one do if you feared that your dog was choking on some object?! My first instinct is trying to grab the whatever out of his throat but that seems inherently dangerous for your fingers! Being that Ozzie snorts his food down and half the time is yakking some of it up, it would be helpful to be hip to some emergency maneuvers! I found on YouTube Dog Safety Expert Melanie Monteiro who goes through some methods to help your choking pooch. So next time Fido decides to eat one of Uncle Fred's tube socks you will know what to do!