Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vick gets Big Bucks Contract

A story of one of Vick's Dogs that was rescued.

"Michael Vick sucks!" says Ozzie.

It was announced in the news this morning that Eagles quarterback, Michael Vick has been offered a six year, 100 million dollar contract. Now maybe most folks would say good for him he is a great player and deserves the mega deal he got. There are those who argue that he was punished sufficiently for his involvement in dog fighting and served 25 months in jail for his misdeeds to the dogs he owned. He has made a point to do public service speeches about animal cruelty and the evils of dog fighting. A changed man.... perhaps?

But those who love dogs may have a different opinion about the deal. One who can carry out dog executions and watch dogs duel to their deaths has some deep rooted evil in them that 2 years in jail just doesn't erase. At least in my book. Who wouldn't comply and do the time and present the image of an animal activist when they know he was in 19 million dollars in debt to his former team the Falcons and there was possibility of coming back to big pay days once again! Sorry, I will never feel forgiving toward Vick or think that he has redeemed himself to the public. My disappointment also lies in the NFL that welcomed him back for the only reason they saw a money making machine for the organization and disregarded his lack of humanity and ignored the bad example he had set for young people.

We seem to be living in a society that rewards bad behavior. Celebrities can steal, drive drunk and smash their cars up and beat their spouses and still come out of it smelling like a rose. Simply because the public wants to forgive the celebrity and the media still wants to continue to ride their gravy train.

This is one Jane Q Public that is not so forgiving, especially where Vick is concerned. Perhaps if he gave a percentage of his hefty paycheck to the ASPCA, maybe then I would start to turn around on the subject, but until then the mention of his name still makes me nauseous.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Good Bye Irene!

Irene exiting with much wind about her!

Ozzie told me he wants a "I Survived Hurricane Irene" t-shirt. Actually other than some water in the basement and being stuck in the house for a couple of days, we got off easy. Here in the North East there are folks still battling flooding as a result of Irene dumping anywhere from 5 to 10 inches of rain.
Ozzie has been hesitant to go outside with all the wind and rain. This morning he spent a little more time doing his morning constitutional than usual. Maybe making up for lost time this weekend! Now its the chore of cleaning up debris left behind from Irene while looking at the last week of the official summer season. Why does the summer go so darn quick unlike the endlessly long months during the cold, dark winter?! Actually Ozzie enjoys the cooler temps and might go for a walk or two!
Hoping you all fared well this weekend and enjoy the sun last!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ozzie and the Hurricane

Leaves and small
branches cover our deck.

Hurricane Irene has come for an extended visit in our area. It's still raining like cats and dogs (pardon the pun) and water is seeping up through the floor in the one corner of our basement since 3:00 AM. We are fortunate to still have power unlike thousands who are doing without. Though Irene may be heading north, we are still feeling the affects and have several hours ahead of her wrath. Ozzie seems to be weathering the storm pretty well from the couch, which is now command central in our house. We will keep you posted from this location and for folks in the NY/NJ area stay inside and off the roads today. A good day for baking cookies and watching movies I would say!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

NJ Emergency Shelters Welcome Pets

Maryellen Small of Beachwood, a volunteer for the Ocean County Animal Response Team, carries supplies past a stack of pet carriers at the Red Cross shelter at the Poland Spring Arena in Toms River, where they are preparing for residents of Seaside, along with their pets, who have nowhere to go after evacuating ahead of hurricane Irene.

This is a special Hurricane Irene edition of RTOABD. I just wanted to make folks in New Jersey aware that local shelters set up for the pending hurricane allow you to bring pets. Yesterday Governor Christie announced just that. "No one should be staying in their homes in an endangered area because they feel like they can't bring their pets with them," Christie said.
All shelters welcome our fur companions, though you must bring their supplies, litter, food etc. with you. Ozzie is all prepared for Irene. He has all his supplies of food and treats and will honker down with some of his favorite canine films such as Turner and Hooch. Ozzie will continue to keep us all posted as the storm progresses so take this afternoon to get ready for Irene.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Finally Friday and Waiting for Irene

The entire East coast is bracing itself for Hurricane Irene. With its sustained winds of 112 miles per hour, Irene is packing quite a punch! Today is the calm before the storm for us here in the NY/NJ area. A chance to run out and get supplies like batteries, water and of course doggie treats! We could have 6 to 12 inches of rain here and for us that means water in our basement. Everything down there will have to be moved out of the way of the deluge! The only one that seems to be unaffected by all the hurricane news is Ozzie. He is already in hunker down mode on the couch. Though I can see a problem when he has to go outside to poddy. He is not going to be happy about the driving rain in his face! If only Ozzie knew how to use the toilet, but then he never would go outside if he did!
By the way, I made the Paw-mesan treats yesterday and they were good! At least that's Ozzie opinion. I tasted them and they are pretty good but need a little something else to boost the taste for human consumption! (like garlic & salt!)

I will leave you with some tips for hurricane preparation from the Red Cross.
  • Get a three-day supply of water ready for each person on hand, along with food that doesn’t require refrigeration, flashlights, a battery-operated radio and a first aid kit.
  • Plan routes to emergency shelters and register family members with special needs.
  • Make plans for pets.
  • Bring items inside that can be picked up by the wind.
  • Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings and keep them closed as much as possible so food will last longer if the power goes out.
  • Turn off any propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
  • Fill their vehicle’s gas tank.
  • Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If hurricane shutters aren’t an option, close and board up windows and doors with plywood.
Ozzie and I wish you all to stay safe this weekend and weather the storm at home with your family and fur kids!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Good Vibrations!

"What?! Did I miss something?"

Yesterday in the New York City metropolitan area there was a little rocking and rolling going on, and not the musical kind. An earthquake that centered in Virginia resulted in a little bit of rattling for local residents. Though it was strong enough in the DC area to crack the Washington monument here in our area it was quite mild resulting in no damages.

Now dogs and animals in general are suppose to sense earthquakes before humans do. If we had to use Ozzie as our quake barometer we would be out of luck. I believe at the time it hit he was fast asleep on the couch. Now after that event we have a hurricane to contend with. Hurricane Irene is baring down along the East coast for this weekend and there are warnings on TV to be prepared. For Ozzie that means plenty of doggie jerky treats and a supply of bullie sticks.

"Wait what is that rumbling aftershock perhaps?! No sorry it was just Ozzie getting off the couch!"

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dog-Nappings on the Rise

Good Monday morning to you! Phew that weekend went by fast. We had the A/C fixed on Saturday, thank goodness! It turned out to be a glitch in some bypass switch. It was a quick and cheap fix, thank goodness! Though our compressor unit is almost 20 years old and its just a matter of time. We may still get some life out of it at least until the end of this season. I didn't get around to making the Paw-mesan Tail Twisters. We were busy with gatherings, birthday celebrations etc. I will get to them during the week for sure and let you know how they turn out.

Now a cautionary "tale" of dog-napping. A man in Mesa Arizona had his proud brood of 6 English Bulldog puppies that he left unattended in his fenced in backyard. When he returned to check on them he discovered them all missing! They had been dog-napped! He reported the theft of his missing bullie pups to the police. He then went on line to a local site perhaps a Craig List and actually recovered two of the puppies the perpetrator had advertised for sale!

There has been a 49% increase of dog theft across the nation. Perhaps due to economic hard times people are stealing desirable dogs to keep as their own or to profit from selling. Bulldogs are on the top of the list since they are expensive dogs. A puppy can go upwards to 3000 dollars!
You have to be vigilant and never leave your dog unattended. Don't be tempted to tie them outside and run in for a latte. Even leaving them alone in your yard makes them a target. Make sure he has ID tags and even micro chip them so you have a better chance of recovering them if they are stolen or lost!I

Also to consider if your pet winds up missing the AKC's Lost Pet Alert. The service works like an Amber Alert for pets and sends out an e-mail notification to veterinarians, shelters and animal control agencies within a 50-mile radius asking them to be on the lookout.

I have to think that Ozzie would be difficult to dog-nap! He won't come when called even with a piece of cheese in hand. Besides that he weighs 80 lbs. Who is going to pick him up and steal off into the night with him? A Sumo wrestler perhaps?

In the meantime have a great day and watch your doggies like you would your children. Because after all they are your fur children and are just as priceless!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Finally Friday and Ladies Man

Made it through another grueling week. What has made this one so tough was that the air conditioner has been on the fritz and we have to wait until Saturday for the repair man. Guess he is kept pretty busy this time of year! Luckily we have had some intervals of rain this week which had kept the temps down but made it uncomfortably humid.

Last night, Ozzie was entertaining some of his neighborhood friends from our front porch. First Katie the Terrier came by with her fur parents Tom and Patty. We were chatting when Bailey the Boxer came walking by with her fur mom Heather. It seems Katie gets very upset when Bailey comes around. Could it be she is jealous? Katie goes into full defense mode, growling and literally shaking. Maybe she is telling Bailey to" back off he's mine!". Bailey appears to pay no mind to the situation and approaches with her usual exuberance. I wonder what Ozzie is thinking at that moment? Probably knowing Oz he is saying "Girls, girls don't fight over me, as you can see there is plenty of me to go around!"

On to the weekend. Once our AC is fixed I plan on making a tasty baked treat for Ozzie. They are Paw-mesan tail twisters. I found it in this great little cook book for dogs called Throw Me A Bone. In matter of fact they seem so tasty you may want to sneak one or two for yourself.
Have a wonderful weekend all!

Paw-mesan Tail Twisters
2 cups of wholewheat flour (could substitute rice flour for wheat free)
1/4 yellow cornmeal
1 large egg

3/4 skim milk or water
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 325. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place flour, cornmeal, egg and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Mix well. Knead with your hands Place the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on a plate. Using your hands tear off tablespoon-size pieces of dough and form into small logs. Roll logs into Parmesan cheese, then twist. Place the twists on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool. Place in an airtight container and store up to two weeks.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Can't Sleep a Wink Wednesday!

"Yawn" Excuse me, I am a bit sleep deprived this morning. Last night for some reason Ozzie could not settle down and get to sleep. I stayed up with him until midnight all the while watching him toss and turn on the couch then the floor. I could not stay awake another minute so I went upstairs to bed. Soon after Ozzie followed me and preceded to toss and turn on his blankets on the floor next to my side of the bed. Around 2:00 AM I could hear Ozzie's nails clicking on the wood floor as he wandered around the room. ""Okay Oz, let's try going downstairs to the couch." He followed me down and we both settled on the couch where Ozzie finally fell asleep. I woke up around 5:00 AM from a stiff neck and went back to my bed for a couple more zzzz's.

I wonder, does Ozzie have dog insomnia? Its possible! It is usually more common in older dogs who may be awaken by their aches and pains of old age. Ozzie's problem more likely stems from his inactivity. I am sure if he did more during his day in terms of exercise he probably be more tired at night. Call me crazy but an occasional walk may help him settle down at night. Hey, Ozzie just called me crazy!

The link below explains the causes of canine insomnia. If your dog is suffering from this you may want to discuss the cause and remedy with your vet.

What causes insomnia in dogs.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Heart Worm Medicine All Year Around

We have a massive amount of mosquitoes in our neighborhood. I should know I have been bitten a zillion times this summer. Mosquitoes are the little demons that transfer the parasite that cause heart worm disease in your pet. The larvae make their way through your dogs bloodstream and grow and multiply in their heart and lungs. Coughing would be the first symptom of heart worm. This disease can be avoidable with medication that is given once a month. I give Ozzie his HW medication( Interceptor) year round to be sure that he is fully protected and have him tested every 12 months. Believe me you rather spend the money on medication than the costly veterinarian treatment that would be necessary if your pup or kitty had heart worm. Mostly you wouldn't want them to suffer when this is totally preventable. Take a moment to watch the PSA video at the American Heat Worm site and pass it along to your friends and family that have pets. It could save a pet's life! Right Oz? Arf!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Finally Friday and Chew Baby Chew!

Ah nothing like a good chew to start off your morning! That is what Ozzie is thinking here as he munches away on his nyla-bone. Bulldogs are chewers alright. They exercise their jaw and clean their teeth when they are engaged in a good chew. Not to mention relieving some stress! But what is the best chew bone out there on the market?

Rawhides come in all shapes and sizes and have the advantage of being tasty and relatively inexpensive. The bad thing about rawhide is that it can be quickly chewed up into small chunks and dogs have been known to swallow pieces too large that end up as an intestinal blockage. Bad bone! There are also a lot of cheaply made rawhides on the market with unwanted chemicals in them. I recommend to stay away from rawhide bones completely!

You may have seen those long white bones in pet-stores. They are beef leg bones and are very hard. They may be too hard for dogs to splinter and swallow but they present a danger of fracturing teeth. My vet said she has seen too many cracked canine teeth from these kind of bones.

Of course never be tempted to give your dog a t-bone after finishing your steak. Though it may seem tasty and the yearning of many a bulldog, any cooked bone be it beef, chicken etc. can splinter very easily. Not good for the tummy of your canine friend! Avoid this scenario all together.

Cow hooves are a little easier on the teeth but again the chance of breaking of a piece and swallowing might cause problems.

So what is the safest choices for your pup? I recommend nyla-bones. They are made of safe soft plastic and if pieces are broken off and swallowed it will pass safely through a dog's system. They give plenty of hours of chewing time and to clean them off I stick them in the top drawer of the dishwasher to sanitize them. When they get too torn up and a little on the jagged side get rid of it and replace it with a new one.

Not to be left out, there is the bully stick. That piece of cow anatomy which its identity will go unmentioned! They are very safe, easily digestible and tasty to your dog. The only qualm I have about these is that they can be pricey and they are consumed quickly (at least by the Oz). He has the tendency to swallow the whole thing with such gusto that he vomits it back up. That is why I get the (dare I say ) the foot long ones. They tend to last longer and you will get more bang for the buck.

Hope this gives you a little chewing guidance and as Ozzie chomps happily away I can only say that a little piece of nyla-bone tween your cheek and gum will do ya! Happy weekend all!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday at Last!

The Beast of the East 2011 team

Hello Monday and another week ahead. The weekend was busy and for us and probably quite boring for Ozzie. Saturday was the 100 mile bicycle ride appropriately named Beast of the East that my husband and 13 of his friends do every year for the past 8 years. Its a bike ride from Flanders NJ to Seaside Park NJ. It is composed of 100 sweaty miles of grueling New Jersey road ways filled of drivers with road rage and distractions like texting and ordering pizzas! Definitely not a ride for sissies. The end of the ride is topped off with a barbecue hosted by Steve and Karen at their summer home in Seaside. It was a lovely evening as we dined al fresco and when we left it had just started to rain so good timing by Mother Nature. Ozzie was so happy to see us when we got in around at 11:20 PM that he practically jumped into my husbands lap. Not that he was alone all day he was with Grandpa but it's not the same as having Mom and Pop home. We felt guilty so we stayed up a while and played tug o war with him and I kept him company on the couch watching TV until he fell asleep!

We were out Sunday too at another barbecue and even though we could of brought Ozzie with us, it was muggy and humid with temperatures hovering around 90 degrees. I thought it was better he stay home in the air conditioning where he would be more comfortable. I guess Ozzie is the only one who is glad that its Monday since his schedule is not disrupted during the week days.

In the mean while I will leave you with the mantra "Life is Good" or at least that's what it says on this mug that my brother-in-law and his wife got us with Ozzie's mug on it. Though I guess its true when you think of it. Maybe it should really read "Life is not Perfect, but Life is Good!"

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tillman the Bulldog ..Ozzie's Cousin?

Just had to feature this latest video of Tillman the famous skateboarding bulldog. He looks so much like Ozzie I think they must be cousins! Though that is where the similarities end. Tillman's love for skateboarding is comparative to Ozzie's love of the art of napping!
Well this what Ozzie could do if he felt so inclined...not!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Finally Friday and Beast of the East

I thought I was the Beast of the East!?

This weekend is filled up with agenda already. Saturday is the famous "Beast of the East" bicycle ride. It's a 100 mile trek from Flanders NJ to Seaside Park NJ. The team of bikers are mostly composed of middle age men. We consider it a triumph when they all make it down there without EMS assistance! Well all kidding aside they do train and build up to it and its rather impressive that they do the ride in under 8 hours! I will ride down (in a car of course) and greet the weary road warriors at the end of ride barbecue. Ozzie will stay up north in the AC with Grandpa and do 100 winks on the couch!

Whatever you do this weekend have fun and stay safe and try to slip in a nap or two!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Words for Wednesday!

I was awakened this morning by the sounds of grunting. No I was not in the middle of a pig farm or in the Sumo wrestling tryouts for the Olympics. It was the sound of Ozzie trudging up the stairs in search of his morning breakfast. On mornings when I over sleep Ozzie will let me know that it is time to get up. He has to be hungry to make that journey all the way to the second floor! When he arrives in my bedroom he does not bark but does what I refer to as Bulldog speak. It is apparently common among Bulldogs and it is almost a language all to their own. I can only describe it as an attempt to talk. It is like someone trying to get words out of their mouth that don't quite make it! I find it amusing but I think Ozzie gets annoyed when I laugh. He is trying to tell me something important and he doesn't think its funny at all! I guess if there were subtitles under him it would say "Woman, get up and feed me!"
I haven't been able to catch Ozzie on film doing this but I found a great example on You Tube. I can only hope that Rosetta Stone comes out with their CD's for learning Bulldog Speak soon!
Yes, yes Ozzie I am coming ...I know now you gotta do your business. ARRRRgh!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Birthday Bully Boy

Wow that is quite the alliteration! Yes he was the birthday bully boy this Sunday. Recipient of presents and treats. He really likes tug toys it seems. We bought him one that promoted itself as practically indestructible. It seemed pretty tough but within an hour he had chewed a tear into the material. Oh well, unless its made out of Kevlar I assume Ozzie will destroy it! His dinner was a birthday beef burger and he had yogurt pupsicles for dessert. Life is good!

My husband and I have been kicking around the idea of opening up an Holistic pet food store for dogs and cats. We have looked at a couple of storefronts for rent and have worked up some numbers not really knowing how realistic they are. The places we have looked at lets say need some work and for the most part are a little high for a start up business. When we looked at our income numbers for the month it came out to only 500.00. Not really much of an income for all that investment and work. Hm, we may have to do a little more research on the subject. We have thought out the name of the store however, it will be called Ozzie's Holistic Pet Food Emporium. Though that may be a little long for a storefront sign. Cost may drive the name down to just Ozzie's'!

It's now the start of August and I feel the weeks of summer are dwindling. With no vacations on the horizon at least we have a few day trips planned ahead. August 1st is also tax day. I refer to the dreaded real estate taxes. If you live in New Jersey or New York you know what I mean when I say dreaded! They are so crazy high in this area. What we have to pay quarterly is the tax bill for a whole year in some other parts of the country. Ozzie's Emporium better make a boat load of cash for us or we may have to just count on winning the lottery! The latter being the more probable of the two!

Happy Monday gang!