Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pamper Your Paws

Mom believes that “a home is not complete without the pitter patter of doggy feet”.  She loves to hear the click click of our nails on the floor but she also knows that when she can hear the click click of our nails on the floor, it’s time to get them trimmed.

I am good at keeping my nails trimmed but DixieLee, not so much.  She lets her nails get too long.  She says long nails help her dig holes better.  Her hole d
igging is something else that gets in trouble but that’s a story for another time.

She doesn’t like to have her nails trimmed so rather than fight with her, Mom has her get her pedicure from the professional groomer at doggy day care.  I manage to keep my nails short by walking on pavement but sometimes I have a hard time walking across the kitchen floor because the hair between my pads gets long and make me be slippery.  I don’t like it much but I let Mom give me a trim with her littlest scissors. It is a traumatic experience so I make sure I get lots of treats for sitting still.

Keeping our paws healthy is important.   After all, we don’t wear shoes like humans so our paws walk on hot pavement in the summer and freezing snow and ice in the winter.  Our feet get coated with chemicals from lawn care and salt from deicers.  We love to go hikes with our family but we don’t go where it is super rocky or where there can be broken glass because rocks and glass can cut our pads.

As I said, one of the ways I keep my nails trimmed is by walking on pavement.  We love to go for walks with our humans but during the summer we make sure we walk early in the day before the sun makes the pavement too hot or we only walk on grass or dirt paths.

In the winter we get our feet washed after our walks. Warm water washes away any salt we may have picked up from the sidewalk.  Mom checks our feet when we come inside from our pen too.  We don’t use salt in our pen but sometimes we get clumps of ice and snow stuck between our toes.  I’m not thrilled about having my feet checked and washed but it’s better than having cracked and bleeding paws.

I’ve never had cracked and bleeding paws but I know that Dr. Nancy has moisturizer just for dogs because people moisturizer would make our pads too soft.  We need our pads to be tough to keep our feet protected.

I know some dogs who even get their nails painted pretty colors when they get groomed.  I guess that’s okay if you are a city dog but if you live in the North Country, you want to look tough.  You never know when a bear will cross your yard.

Keep your feet dry and nails clipped because going for walks with your human can be the funest part of your day.



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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Not So Great Outdoors

Hi Everyone,

Fo the cat here.  I had such a big scare recently. It was so scary that I think it cost me one of my nine lives.

The door to the outside of our house was accidently left open.  I was walking by and the sounds and smells coming in from the garden were so interesting, I followed my nose out the door and into big trouble.

It started out as a wonderful experience.  I loved feeling the grass under my feet and the sun on my back but remember I’m blind.  I wasn’t outside long when I realized I didn’t know where I was and I could hear other animals all around me. I panicked and ran and ran.  I don’t know how long or how far but it was suddenly night time.

Meanwhile my girl was at home crying because I was gone.  It was too late to come looking for me but early the next morning her Dad did come looking.  He looked and looked and then a nice lady told him she heard a noise coming from a grate in the street.

He looked in the grate and saw that was where I was hiding.  I was so happy when he brought me home again.

As much as I liked being outside at first, it is too scary and I will never, ever go outside again.  There are lots of dangers for cats outside but there is a way for humans to let us experience the outside while keeping us perfectly safe.

All they have to do is get a catio.  In case you hadn’t heard, a catio is an enclosed space that lets cats enjoy fresh air, exercise and simply sit in the sun and watch (or listen to) the birds and other animals.  It’s just an escape proof screened in box but with a little imagination, it can be a really wonderful place.

A catio can be small, fitting in a window, or a big, set in the yard or on a deck.  There are lots of ideas for catios on the internet.   If they are handy with tools a human can build one with a little bit of lumber and some chicken wire.  They can find plans on line or can buy kits that have all the material so they only need to be assembled.

For those who aren’t very good with a hammer, catios can be bought fully assembled.

Add a scratch post, soft pillow and water bowl and your catio can be a vacation paradise for your cat.

I have had enough of the outdoors for the time being so I think I’ll just sit in the window and soak up the sun.



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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Take A Hike

It’s summer time in Northern New Hampshire. Majestic is the word Mom likes when she describes New Hampshire’s mountains.  I know, the Rocky Mountains are nice, but, being New Englanders we think we live in the most beautiful part of the world.

Every summer people from all over the place come to hike our mountains.  And every Monday morning our newspapers are filled with reports of people who have gotten themselves lost.
I usually don’t pay much attention to such reports but this weekend a lady was rescued after she got herself lost when her dog bolted off the trail and she went looking for her.  The lady used her cell phone to get help and her dog found some other hikers who took her to safety.  Luckily it was a happy ending for all but when you realize that New Hampshire has something like 4.8 million acres of forest land, getting lost is very serious.

We do a little hiking, mostly at a place called Cherry Pond Reserve because it is close to home.  It’s only about 125 acres and has really well marked trails but Mom and Dad are very careful when we go there.  I can go off leash for most of the walk but DixieLee is NEVER off leash.  She’s a hound and if she gets on a scent, she could end up in Canada.  I worry because she doesn’t have a passport so she won’t be able to get back into the USA!

We follow trail regulations and practice good etiquette.  Well, most of us do.  DixieLee thinks everyone is her best friend and, even though she is on leash, tries to run at people and other dogs.

We always give non-dog hikers the right of way.  We step off of the trail and wait for them to pass by.

Even though we are in the woods, Mom still brings poop bags and cleans up after us.
Our hikes are only a couple of hours long but we still bring bottled water and a small bowl to drink from.  And we are not allowed to drink from the pond or any of the water we find along the way.

Cuz our hikes are short we don’t need a lot of equipment but I know some dogs who have their own backpacks and have to carry food and water and even a first aid kit with them.
We don’t hike on very hot days either.  Dogs need to be in top physical condition to go on hikes so older or sickly dogs might enjoy a day at a dog park more than a hike up a steep mountain trail.

I hope you get to spend some time out of doors with your humans this summer and if you are vacationing in Northern New Hampshire, we know you will have a great time!

Happy Trails
Your friend,


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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Five Second Rule Challenged

My sister DixieLee and I love to watch Mom and Dad eat.  Although it hasn't happened yet, there is always the chance that some of their yummy food will fall on the floor and we will get to eat it.
We all know that there are human foods that are very, very bad for dogs.  Foods like chocolate, grapes and raisins, onion, garlic and leeks, candy and baked goods with sugar and the sugar free ones with artificial sweeteners and cooked bones.  Some of these foods are so bad that they can make a dog be died!
What we don't hear about so often are the human foods that are good for dogs.
I was talking with my friend Beauregard and he said his Mom feeds him a raw diet made up of totally human foods.  Boy is he a lucky dog!
Our Mom is a horrible cook but there are some human foods we get that are super good for us.   Here are some of our favorites:
1.  Peanut butter.  Mom hides pills in peanut butter.  We know she is doing it but the peanut butter is so good, we don't care.  You have to be careful which peanut butter you buy.   It should be unsalted and have no xylitol in it cuz salt and artificial sweeteners are bad for dogs.
2,  Carrots.  Carrots are our favorite snack.   We like carrots even better than cookies.  Mom likes us to have them cuz they have vitamins and the crunchiness is good for our teeth.  We like them because they are sweet.
3.  Broccoli.  Dad doesn't like many veggies but he loves broccoli which is alright with us cuz he give us a taste some times.  Not too often though cuz it can make our tummies irritated.
4.  Yogurt.  Yogurt is another food that Mom can hide pills in.  Dogs that are 'lergic to dairy shouldn't eat yogurt and no dogs should eat yogurt that has sugar or any artificial sweeteners.
5.  Sweet Potatoes.  This is Mom's very favorite food.  Some people consider it a “super food” which means they have lots good stuff in them.  We like them because, like carrots, they satisfy our sweet tooths.
I could tell you about others but just writing about all these good foods is making me hungry.  I think I'll wander in the kitchen to see if anything is in danger of falling on the floor.
Bone appetite,
Your friend,

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