Friday, October 26, 2012


Mom keeps watching the Weather Channel.  I don't know why. It is beautiful outside. The sun is shining and it's warm for late October in New England.  She says she's watching the progress of Hurricane Sandy.

Hurricanes are not good things to have but there are certain things that can make a regular hurricane even scarier. It has to do with weather patterns. (yawn)  Anyway, last year.... I don't know how it happened but we had a big snow storm in October which is way too early for snow. The storm made the electric lines fall down and we didn't have lights or heat for 5 days!

The news people are saying that Hurricane Sandy could be like that storm we had last year.

I don't know why Mom is worried.  We are prepared.  We bought me a big bag of dog food last week and we have lots of bottled water and two boxes of cookies.  We also went to the human food store and got canned food like tuna fish (I love tuna fish juice!!) and other stuff that doesn't need to be cooked.  She also made sure we had a hand held can opener. I love the sound of a can opener, don't you?

Mom says that in the 20 years she has lived in our house they have had some bad storms where there was no heat or lights.  One time, she couldn't even leave the house for three days cuz of all the snow and the trees were down across the roads.   It was in the middle of winter and it was very cold and very dark.  Those times were bad but not so bad that she had to leave our house and go somewhere else.

I'm not worried cuz Mom is smart and knows where we can go if it gets really, really bad.  There are places like schools and halls where people can go if they have no heat or lights and Mom knows about the one where people can bring their pets.

We always have emergency kits ready in case we need to leave our house.  There is one for Mom and Dad that has their important stuff and one for me.  We keep my emergency kit on the kitchen counter.  It's a pretty box where we keep all of my medical records, license and micro chip information.  I keep any meds I'm taking, like my heartworm pills in there too.  We can just grab that and my food, put it in my crate and take everything to the car.

Since I always wear my collar and tags, we don't need to think about making sure I have them on and Mom and Dad both have lots of photos of me on their cell phones so they have recent pictures if I get lost.

Today I am going to continue to lay in the sun and enjoy a beautiful Fall day in New England.  A man named Mark Twain said  "If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes" so if we do get a hurricane or blizzard next week, I'll just wait a minute and it will change.

In the mean time, it's best to be prepared.

Your prepared friend,


P.S.  Blatant self-promotion.  Winter makes me think of the Holidays and Yappy Holidays!  is one of my very favorite gift baskets!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Better than Cookies!

I never thought I would think there was anything better than cookies but I would give up half of my cookies (maybe not exactly half) but some of my cookies if I could go to the dog park every day and have as much fun as I had today.

There are so many good things about the dog park that I go to.  First of all, it's seven acres which is really, really big.  We live in a place that my Mom calls "rural".  That means that there are more trees than people so our dog park has room to be really big.  It is so big that there can be lots and lots of dogs at the park but there are so many different trails that you only see one or two dogs at a time.

Another best thing about my dog park is that we get to be off leash.  I only wear my leash when I am going in or out of my car because there are lots of cars near ours.   Some times if Mom sees a dog that is shy, she will put my leash on so the other dog is not scared.  I don't know why anyone would be scared of me, but it happens.

When I do meet a dog that wants to play, most of the time our humans let us play together. Then Mom and I go on our way again until we meet another dog and I get to play with them. Not all dogs get to play but most of them do say hello before they have to run after their humans.

There is a river (not very deep) that runs along the side of the park and there are lots of places where the paths lead to beaches.  We always meet dogs who have been swimming.  May be next summer I'll try swimming but for now, I just like to run in the big fields and along the trails.

Today I met a lot of dogs and got to play with some of them.  Just before we left the park I met a Pitbull mix named Dakin.  He is only one years old and loves to run.  Mom and Dakin's dad talked for a long time so we got to play forever!  Dakin is a rescue dog too.  He got his name because he was born at the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society shelter.  I know where that is because Mom and I collect food and supplies to bring to the shelter all the time.

Mom says as long as the weather is nice, we can go back to the park. I hope we find more time to go again soon.  Any of you who go to the Northampton (Massachusetts) Dog Park at the old State Hospital grounds, let me know and maybe we can have a play date.

Your friend,


P.S.  Blatant self-promotion.  After a nice day at the dog park, a bubbly bath and nice brushing are in order.  Our Spot's SPA Gift Basket  (shown) is perfect for such an occasion.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Zeva The Dog An Autobiography

October is adopt a shelter dog month. I know lots of my friends are adopted, some as babies, some when they were older.  The one thing we all have in common is that we were lucky enough to choose the right humans to share our lives with.

Today I want to tell you my story.  My six litter mates and I were born in a shelter in South Carolina.  We were lucky.  Some nice person found my dog mom and took her to a no kill shelter where we were born.  When we were just 11 weeks old, we were put in a van and rode all the way to New England.

I don't remember much of the ride cuz I slept most of the way.  The ride was long and we got to ride with different people along the way.  Before we left South Carolina had our shots, were spay and neutered and had micro chips. When we got to New England, the two ladies who ran the rescue site took us to a vet and we got examined again.

Then the ladies took our pictures so we could go on That's where my Mom saw me.  She said the minute she saw my picture, she knew I had to come and live with her.  My name back then was Puff cuz I looked like a little ball of cotton and I didn't bark but made a little puffing sound. I bark now but sometimes I still like to puff.

My Mom and Dad lived far from where I was so they asked the nice lady who was taking care of me if she would please, please, please not adopt me to anyone else until they could come and get me.  It was good she made the lady promise because it took a couple of days for them to get to me and by then five of my litter mates were adopted.  It was just me and one brother left.

As soon as my Dad saw me, he said I had to come home with them,  he said it was love at first sight for him too. I think he was right.

When I saw the lady who was going to be my Mom, she looked so sad.  The two dog who lived in my house before me had just gone to Rainbow Bridge and she was very lonely.  I knew right then that I had to rescue her.  I am soooo glad I did.

Mom, Dad and me make a good team. Now all of us try to help other humans adopt shelter dogs so they won't be sad or lonely either.

If you were adopted, I'd love to hear how you found your humans.

Your rescued friend,

P.S.  Blatant self promotion.  One of my favorite Laurel Mountain Basket Co gift baskets, Dogs In Toyland cuz a dog can never have too many toys.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Harvard, Yale or Podunk State?

So, you’re thinking of getting a dog?  Great… I think every dog should have a good home but that doesn’t mean I think every home should have a dog.

I don’t want to see any dog have to live in a puppy mill or shelter but being adopted by the wrong humans could mean that they get abandoned and end up back in a shelter or worse.

For those thinking of getting a dog, I hope you will think about a few things first.  For starters, what kind of dog do you want?  The most popular dogs in the US today are Labrador Retrievers (I’m part Lab), German Sheppards, Beagles and Golden Retrievers.    All of these are great breeds and have certain characteristics that make them special.

Let’s say you want to get a Lab because we are good with young children.  Do you know we Labs are high energy dogs so we need lots of exercise and we’re also high strung so we need good consistent training?  We’re also very smart so we need lots of mental as well as physical stimulation.  We also tend to like to eat so without a lot of exercise, we get obese.  Like humans, obese dogs tend to have many more health problems like diabetes and hip, knee and joint problems.

When choosing a dog please remember that a dog is not a status symbol, fashion statement or a lawn ornament.  A dog is a living being that needs love and attention.  If you want to buy a pure bred German Sheppard for example, you could pay anywhere from $3,000 to $24,000.  A Pharaoh Hound $2,500 to $6,500 and a Bearded Collie is a steal at $1,000 to $5,000.  The average shelter charges from around $300 to $575.  And shelter dogs often come with all of their shots, spayed/neutered and with a micro chip! 

Having a dog is expensive.  I’m not only talking about how much it costs to buy a dog, I’m talking about how much it costs to keep a dog.  The first year, the cost to have a dog in your household averages between $1,300 for a small dog and $1,800 for a big dog.  After the first year it averages between $580 and $875 a year.  If your dog gets extra special treats like I do, the cost will be more.

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.  If you are considering getting a dog, please check your local shelters or rescue service and choose a dog that fits your life style.  Consider adopting an older dog if you don’t have lots of time for training.  Many dogs in shelters already know the basics, like knowing to go outside to pee. 

 You don’t have to go to a big name college to get a great education and you don’t need to pay a ton of money to get a great dog.  I didn’t come from a high cost breeder but from a really small rescue organization and I am the perfect dog for my family.

Your Adopted Friend,


P.S. Shameless self promotion.  Your dog doesn't need lots of blue ribbons to deserve one of our Best In Show gift baskets. (shown above)

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Story of Cassandra Sally

My Mom is old, well, not real old like my grandma, but old enough to have had dogs before I came to live with her. All of the dogs who have ever lived with Mom were rescued.  Most of us found her when we were babies.  I was only 11 weeks old and the two dogs who lived here before me were 12 weeks old and her first dog was also really young when Mom took her home.

The only dog Mom adopted who wasn't a baby was Cassandra Sally, better known as Cassie.  Mom found Cassie in a newspaper ad (I told you Mom was old.  They didn't even have the internet yet).  Anyway, Mom adopted Cassie when she was about seven months old.  They weren't sure exactly how old she was but Mom found out she was rescued wondering around, half starved.  The rescue people who found her  think she was also physically abused because she was very afraid of everything.

Mom and Dad loved Cassie and took her home.  They loved her even after she tore the curtains off of the kitchen windows and chewed them to ribbons.  They loved her even after she scratched all of the paint off of the kitchen door and even after she ate the collection of pewter bowls Mom got for her wedding and  ate a HUGE chunk out of the kitchen floor. Mom thought of giving Cassie back to the shelter but couldn't abandon her like the other humans did.

They tried everything they knew to make Cassie feel loved and safe even when she was destructive and wouldn't listen to commands.  When a neighbor lady FINALLY told Mom that Cassie cried from the time Mom left the house in the morning until she got back from work,  it was time to take action. Mom felt horrible that Cassie was so unhappy.  It was time to call in an expert.  Back in the olden days, there weren't as many people who were trained in animal psychology and stuff as there are today.  Luckily, there was a really good woman who lived in the next town.

She taught Mom and Dad how to work with Cassie to help her become a great dog.  One of the biggest things Mom and Dad learned was that not all dogs are the same.  You see, Cassie was part Border Collie.  Yup, just like me.  Border Collies have a lot of traits that make them great dogs as long as you understand them and work with them.  Border Collies are super hyper. They need lots of exercise and socialization and don't do well being left alone for 10 hours a day. After working with the trainer, every one got along just fine.  Cassie lived with Mom and Dad for 12 years and after that first year or so, they got along great.

October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month.  Adopting a Shelter or Rescue Dog is wonderful but humans have to realize what they are getting into.  Living with a pet is a HUGE responsibilty.  We are not fashion accessories or lawn fixtures.  We are living beings.  I want every dog living in a shelter today to have a loving home like I have so please adopt. But before you take home your new best friend, make sure he or she is the right fit for your household.

Over the next month I will be posting some of the things you should be aware of before you adopt a shelter dog  (or bring any pet into your life).

Your friend,

P.S. Shameless self promotion  Good Dog Spot Gift Basket because every dog is a good dog.