Bernese Mountain Dog – Dog of the Month

I’ve been wanting to add the Bernese Mountain Dog to my list of dog breeds for quite a while.  I’m always struck by how beautiful these dogs are – their coloring is rich and coat so luscious. I had the privilege, years ago, to make friends with a Bernese Mountain Dog.  He was friendly and sweet, probably the most relaxed dog I’ve ever met.

The Bernese Mountain Dog originated in the mountains of Switzerland, mainly around the city of Berne.  It was kept mostly as a farm dog – a companion animal and watchdog for the farmer and his family.  It was also used to pull carts to deliver the products of farmers who could not afford  a draft horse, or whose farms were too small to require one.   Today, Bernese Mountain Dogs are still companion animals and farm dogs, are used as therapy dogs, and they compete in draft competitions,  tracking, obedience, and even agility.

I will post a picture of my Bernese Mountain Dog design when I get it finished.  I must admit that I’ve fallen slightly behind with my dog breed art and have not yet completed last month’s artwork for the Shiba Inu, though I’m very close.  There are just so many fun things to work on in my business…it’s wonderful to have this type of problem 🙂

 

 

 

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10 Adorable Pictures of Dogs and Bunnies

Easter is on its way and that got me thinking about bunnies, and how if my German Shepherd, Dante, and the Easter Bunny ever met up in our backyard, the Easter Bunny might never come back.   But here are some dogs that get along beautifully with bunnies, as I suspect Dante would if properly introduced.

1.  Corgi and Bunny

Corgi and Bunny

Source: Nadya Kulagina Photography 500px.com

2. Pomeranian and Bunny

Pomeranian and Bunny

Souce: Instagram @chiara.nalon

3.  Golden Retriever and Bunny

Source:  Dailybunny.org

4.  Shiba Inu and Bunny Instagram

Shiba Inu and Rabbit

Source: Instagram @microcoffeesafari

5. Sheltie and Bunny

Sheltie-and-Rabbit

Source: Daan Franken, Flickr

6. German Shepherd with Bunnies

German Shepherd and Bunnies

Source: forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk

7.  Australian Shepherd and Bunny

Australian Shepherd and Rabbit

Source: Instagram @happy_aussie

8.  Boston Terrier and Bunny Litter

9.  Saint Bernard and Bunny

Saint Bernard and Bunny

Source: Warren Photographic

10. Bull Dog and Bunny

Bulldong and Bunny

Source: Instagram @francis_langlais

I hope you’ve enjoyed the cuteness.  Have a great day!

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Shiba Inu – Dog Of The Month

Shiba Inu - Dog of the Month at Shepherds Grove

I chose the Shiba Inu for my Dog of the Month because it’s just so “foxy” and adorable.  I have a friend who has a Shiba, and I am taken with just how intelligent and dignified her dog is – she’s not one to really frolic or roll over for a belly rub, but she is inquisitive and kind.    As always, when I choose a dog to work on, I get to learn a little more about the breed.

The Shiba Inu is the smallest of the Spitz dog breeds in Japan and is considered the oldest breed, according to the AKC.  They’re agile and compact and have very keen senses, which made them excellent hunting dogs that could easily navigate the steep hills in the mountainous regions of Japan from whence the originated.  The Shiba ancestors that were brought down from the mountains to more populated areas in Japan were courser looking and larger boned than today’s very elegant Shibas.  WWII brought near extinction of the breed and there were three bloodlines remaining.  It is from these bloodlines that the modern Shiba has evolved.

Well, I can’t wait to have Shiba Inu gifts among my dog lover pottery.  I’ll post my finished design when I get it done.

Warmest regards,

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Spring Cleaning Your Dog’s Belongings

German Shepherd Spring Cleaning

Dante’s Thoughts on Spring Cleaning – “Is this really necessary, Mom?”

I’m feeling that urge to clean so it must be Spring Cleaning time.  Funny how the urge only comes around once a year.  Anyhow, we’ve had such a rainy winter and spring (so far) here in Eureka, and Dante’s carried a lot of the yard inside on his paws and legs, even though I wipe him down after every outing.  Time to deep clean some things, and, as I found out by doing a little research, I should be doing some of these things more often.
  1. Dog Bowl.  I do wash Dante’s bowl, but perhaps not as often or as thoroughly as is recommended.  The NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) found dog bowls to be one of the top 10 germiest locations in a house, according to their 2011 study.  I guess I can understand why the a dog’s bowl might be so germ hotbed, but maybe it aids in our overall germ resistance and so isn’t as bad as they make it out to be?  Or maybe I’m just saying that to make myself feel better for not washing Dante’s bowl as well as I should.  Their suggestion is daily sanitizing in the dishwasher or washing by hand using soapy water.  If hand washing the bowls,  you should do a weekly soaking of the bowl in 1:50 mixture of bleach and water for 10 minutes and rinse well.  Hmmm…who knew?
  2. Bedding.  Luckily this is fairly easy, especially if you pick a sunny day.  Bedding can be vacuumed to remove excess hair, or shaken outside.  Thankfully most beds have zip off covers that can be removed and washed – just unzip and toss in your machine.  If you’re really into deep cleaning, use the disinfect cycle on your washing machine.   I put my covers in the dryer on low and remove when they feel just a little damp and then air dry them the rest of the way so there’s no shrinking.  But if it’s a nice sunny day, and you can wait, hang them up and dry them outside.  While the covers are washing and drying (and if it’s sunny) put the pad inserts outside to bathe in the fresh air.  Once everything is completely dry, reassemble and go take a nap on your dog’s bed before he messes it up again.  How often to wash?  Once a month would be ideal to keep them nice and is not too frequent as to make you crazy.
  3. Toys.  Dante’s favorite toys are the soft ones with squeakers – these last 1-3 days before they’ve been disemboweled of stuffing and squeaker so that all that remains are floppy lifeless rags that he likes even more.  There’s not much to wash here, so I eventually just discard them after a few weeks.  But for those of you whose dog’s cherish their stuffies such that they remain intact, these can be washed in your machine in cool water and dried on low heat. You can put them inside a pillow case for washing and drying if you’re worried about the fabric pilling or decorative features falling off.  However, since the toy has probably spent a lot of time in your dog’s mouth, I doubt you have this level of concern, but hey, I thought I’d mention it.  I would suggest using unscented, or at least less soap than you would for your clothing, and no fabric softener, so that your dog doesn’t grab his freshly cleaned toy in his mouth, spit it out, and then give you that “what the heck is this?” look.  As for hard toys, wash in a small amount of dish washing liquid and water, or put through the dishwasher like I always did with my kids chewy toys.  You can also use half water half vinegar and rinse well.  How often?  I suppose you could go nuts and wash weekly,  but really it’s up to you and your tolerance.  It’s just fine if you wash them only they look dirty or when you’re expecting small children in your home who may handle them.  Maybe for you (and me for sure), just every Spring!

In closing, I hope that Spring inspires you, whether or not there’s any cleaning involved!

 

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10 Great Pictures of Dogs and Daffodils

I love Daffodils – they’re such a jolly flower.  Before they all disappear, I thought I would pay tribute to them with 10 great pictures of “Dogs and Daffodils”.

1. Newfoundland and Daffodils

 

2. Corgi and Daffodils

One happy dog

 

3. Shelties and Daffodils

 

4. German Shepherd and Daffodils

 

5. Pug and Daffodils

 

6. Greyhound and Daffodils

 

7. Golden Retriever and Daffodils

Source: Reddit/pogiepika

 

8. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Daffodils

 

9. Chihuahua and Daffodils

Chihuahua and Daffodils

Source: Instagram @fotografriedje

 

10.  Australian Shepherd and Daffodils

 

Warmest Regards,

 

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10 Healthy Dog Treat Recipes For Fall

 

Dante with sweetgum leaf

Dante versus the Sweetgum leaf – http://www.shepherds-grove.com

Fall is all around us – celebrate it by making some seasonal treats for your dog. Here are some simple dog treat recipes that take advantage of the Fall bounty.  And the great news is, that because these treats are home made with real ingredients, you can snack along with your four-legged friend, should you feel so inclined.

1.  Sweet Potato Apple Dog Treats

Sweet Potato Apple Dog Treats

Sweet Potato Apple Dog Treats from wholefoodsmarket.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Apple Carrot Dog Biscuits

Apple Carrot Dog Biscuit Recipe

Apple Carrot Dog Biscuit Recipe from reluctantentertainer.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Sweet Potato Dog Chew Treats

sweet potato dog chew

Sweet Potato Dog Chew Treat Recipe from 17Apart.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Pumpkin Apple Jerky

Pumpkin Apple Jerky from mydogsbreakfast.com

Pumpkin Apple Jerky from mydogsbreakfast.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Izzy’s Apple-Ceddar Dog Biscuits

Apple Cheddar Dog Biscuits

Izzy’s Apple Cheddar Dog Biscuits from http://www.marthastewart.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. 3- Ingredient Homemade Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats.

3 ingredient pumpkin treat

3 Ingredient Pumpkin Treat from http://www.kevinandamanda.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.  Super Simple Sweet Potato Dog Treats

Simple Sweet Potato Dog Treat

Simple Sweet Potato Dog Treat Recipe from allrecipes.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.  Harvest Pumpkin Ball Dog Treats.

Harvest Pumpkin Ball Dog Treats

Harvest Pumpkin Ball Dog Treats from food.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.  Apple Crunch Pupcakes

Apple Crunch Pupcakes

Apple Crunch Pupcakes from blog.candiquick.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Venison Dog Jerky.  You may have venison from the recent deer season that you’d like to share with your pup.

Venison Dog Jerky

Venison Dog Jerky Recipe from greatvenisoncooking.com.

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Golden Retriever Rescue of Houston’s Red, White, and Golden Celebration!

https://i1.wp.com/q.b5z.net/i/u/10102270/i/events/logo.jpg

For all of those in and around Houston who love Golden Retrievers and a good time, The Golden Retriever Rescue of Houston is hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, July 7, 2010 from 4pm to 10pm at Blanco’s Bar and Grill (3406 West Alabama St., near Buffalo Speedway).

Enjoy BBQ, cool beverages, and great music by; CJ’s Gound, Still Spinning, 23rd Soul Street.  There will be silent and live auctions (including items from Shepherds Grove).

Tickets are available at the door and the price includes a BBQ dinner plus 2 drink tickets.  Adults $35 and Children $15.  You can bring your well behaved Golden for free! (though all dogs must remain outdoors)

Golden Retriever Rescue of Houston (GRRH) was founded June 20h03 and is a non-profit 501(c)(3). They are an all-volunteer group dedicated to the rescue and placement of Golden Retrievers in the greater Houston, Texas area. They do not have a physical location but rather fulfill their mission with the help of volunteer foster homes.  They work very hard to find homes for the many homeless Goldens and their work includes rehabilitating Goldens with physical or psychological needs. 

Heart felt thanks to all of those working on behalf of animal welfare – your kind deeds to not go unnoticed.

Animal Safehouse Program from Rancho Coastal Humane Society, San Diego, CA

I just wanted to spread the word about a great program started by Ranch Coastal Humane Society, Encinitas, CA.  They have now made the Animal Safehouse Program available to any agency that would like to start one in their area.
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5R5S_Abuse_IMG_1540.jpg

A San Diego Safety Net Now Spreading Across the Country

“The words ‘Safe’ and ‘House’ should be synonymous,” says Rancho Coastal Humane Society President Jim Silveira. “But abusers come as husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, children, and roommates. Rancho Coastal Humane Society created the Animal Safehouse Program in 1997. This month, we’re launching ASP on a national level. By providing a safety net for the animal victims of domestic abuse we’re giving human victims an escape route.”

Through ASP the victims of domestic violence can leave knowing that their pets will be cared for. When possible the pets are reunited with their owners. When that’s not possible, the pets are matched with new families through the pet adoption program at Rancho Coastal Humane Society.

The Animal Safehouse Program started by Rancho Coastal Humane Society is, literally, saving lives. When human victims enter shelters their dogs or cats can be cared for in the private homes of ASP volunteers. Silveira says, “For the first time since the first beating, the victims realize that they can escape without leaving their pets to pay the price.”

Do the animal victims of domestic violence recover? Silveira says they do. “When the pets arrive they’ve been beaten, abused, neglected, or starved. Once they realize they’re safe their tails wag. The happy purrs begin. Usually all it takes is someone who cares. Someone who will love them and tend to their needs without having to endure another beating.”

Silveira concludes, “When we take these animals into our homes we are making the same commitments that we make to the humans in our lives. We agree to provide for them and protect them. But when domestic violence threatens to harm this fiber of society, Animal Safehouse is here to help. And now Rancho Coastal Humane Society is spreading the ASP safety net across the country.”

For more information about the Animal Safehouse Program created by Rancho Coastal Humane Society or to learn how you can help start an ASP program anywhere in the United States log on to www.sdpets.org, call 760-753-6413, or visit RCHS at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, CA.

Read more: San Diego Pets Magazine – Animal Safehouse Program

Finally something that really helps my dogs itchy skin!!!

I have been religiously following the treatment plan that I started a couple weeks ago, washing my dog, Dante, 2-3 days per week.    This I began after reading an article about Dr. Valerie A. Fadok, who said that many chronic skin problems could be dramatically improved through frequent, sometimes daily, washings with a shampoo containing the antiseptic chlorhexidine.  I received my bottle of Duoxo, containing the antiseptic chlorhexidine, the day after my last dog-washing post (prior to that, I’d been using Episoothe).  I have been using Duoxo 2-3 times per week over the last 2.5 weeks.  I also ordered the Duoxo chlorhexidine spray to use in between washings.  I have been VERY happy with the results.  Dante is not scratching all of the time, his wounds are completely healed, his belly skin is almost all pink (instead of black), his coat is soft and shiny, and he smells great.  I had a vet appointment today for vaccinations and my vet said Dante is looking the best he’s ever seen him, except that Dante’s starting to get a little chubby 😦   My vet also said that his clinic has started carrying Duoxo and that he is very impressed with its results.  He said I would likely only need to wash Dante once a week.  I will switch to this interval after completing my 4 weeks of intensive washings, as indicated on the Duoxo bottle.

Finally something that works!  I am very happy that I came across this information by Dr. Valerie Fadok and such a simple solution – just scrub, scrub, scrub….

Dog Itch Treatment #2

German Shepherd harnessed for his bath

Dante harnessed for his bath


It’s misty and gray here in Eureka so no surprise that Dante (my German Shepherd) was soaked and coated with dirt on his undercarriage when we returned home from our walk. Time for the second bath in my experiment and, as you can see by the picture above, he was thrilled. Mind you, I am currently not using a shampoo with the ingredient recommended by Dr. Valerie A. Fadok, which is chlorhexidine. Her top picks were: Duoxo (biggest thumbs up), Zymox (over-the-counter) and Vetericyn Spray. I am using Epi-soothe, a shampoo recommended by my vet and one that is safe to use everyday. I will use it until my shipment of Duoxo arrives. He’s definitely less itchy over the last two days and his wounds on his back leg are healing and pinkness is returning to his belly skin.

I suds him up and wait 10 minutes, during which time he can ponder how he ended up in this family that keeps washing him.

German Shepherd getting a bath

Why is this happening to me?

After his 10 minute meditation, I rinse him thoroughly and towel dry…as much as I can when he keeps shaking the towel off and knocking my knees out from under me. The smell of wet dog permeates my house.

A couple things to keep in mind if you try this and have a big dog: You will get wet and you may use up all your dog towels. I will go in search of a cheap waterproof coverall and wear rubber boots so I do not end up as wet an hairy as my dog. Also, I will need to stay on top of my laundry.