Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Christmas Blizzard

It was a great Christmas! We got real bones! turned into a white Christmas later in the day! We love snow, and we got lots of it! About 16 inches! They called it a blizzard. We zoomed around the golf course behind our house after it was over and we were tired but happy Labbies. Next to water, we love snow the best!!
From Iris: Snow is water, Blondie.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Iris does snow

It was the first off leash outing in snow since Iris came to live with us. She loved running free on the snow covered golf course behind our house, as did I.  The goofball is a snow dog! And....she behaved!
From Iris: Of course I behaved! Mom had cheese in her pocket! And who is calling who a goofball? I think the white background really shows off my fox red coloring, don't you agree?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's our birthday!!!

And we are nine years old!!!! But, we act like cute labbie puppies! The humans got us some bully sticks. I am kinda picky about what I like to gnaw on, and bullies are my favs! Not much of a fan of rawhide or nylabones.....I'll chew a bully any day of the week! And, they picked up a new toy! His name is Chance and 10% of what they paid for him goes to PetsMart Charities!
From Iris: I will chew ANYTHING! ANY DAY OF THE WEEK!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

VBSPCA Christmas video

A short video from the VBSPCA where my folks volunteer.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Keeping Pets Safe during the Howl-a-daze

The Howl-a-daze are upon us! Here are a few ways to keep the furry members of your family safe, happy, and healthy through the New Year.
- Anchor the Christmas tree to the wall or ceiling.Kitty likes to climb trees and I like to explore.
- Do not put aspirin, sugar or any chemicals in the Christmas tree water.  It can make us sick.
- Keep all extra cords and plugs hidden or out of our reach. Pretty self-explanatory (remember that curiosity killed the cat).
- Please put your ornaments and other decorations higher up on the tree. I just love balls and kitty loves shiny stuff like tinsel.
- Do not put food gifts under the tree. We love summer sausage and cheese. Chocolate can be toxic to dogs. And fruitcake possibly has raisins or certain nuts…..also poisonous to us. Baked goods, candy, and gum can be sweetened by xylitol, which can lead to liver failure (just in case: ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center - 888. 426.4435).
- Keep pretty Holiday plants out of reach. Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and lilies can cause health problems if we eat them.
- Burn candles out of reach and keep fireplace screens closed.
- Please, please maintain our daily feeding and exercise schedule!
- Holiday guests and activities can be stressful to us. Be sure to reserve a place in our house so we can have some quiet time, away from the hustle and bustle and the jingling of bells.
- And, please make sure we are wearing a current id tag, just in case we become separated from you somehow. We love you!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Game Day at our house

Today is game day. Mom and Dad put on these very bright shirts and yell at the tv all day.  A LOT! We knew something was going on because we had our long walk very early, just after breakfast. Now they are eating doritos and drinking beer. I hope I can find a quiet place and find some peace. It's going to be a very long day.
From Iris: Ivy should check out my crate. Mom just put a clean doggie blanket in there....very cozy. I kind of like game day. They let me on the sofa if I get whiney or needy. GO HOKIES!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Virginia Beach SPCA Walk fo the Animals

I, or rather we did it! We finished and got the t shirts!
It was a picture purrfect day at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront for the 32nd annual Walk for the Animals. Our team, Ivy's Pet Project raised over $1000.00 for the shelter. We ROCK!! There were loads of people and a ton of dogs (and even a few cats and a rabbit). I smelled lotsa butts and mine was sniffed in return, but it was all good! A super fun time for me. Iris had to stay home listening to classical music, cuz she is still the wild child at times.

From Iris: Yeah, you guys were very SNEAKY...leaving me with a bone and Beethoven or was it Bach? Great job on the fund raising though!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's almost here....the SPCA Walk for the Animals!

I have been waiting such a long time but FINALLY! The Virginia Beach SPCA Walk for the Animals is tomorrow. I am super EXCITED!
Truthfully, I am one lucky dog to even be walking the Walk! Because in 2008 I had not one, but TWO knee surgeries called TPLO's. Pretty much the equivalent of a ACL tear in humans, my injury required expensive, orthopedic surgery to fix. Now, just about two years later, I am a bionic dog and healthy as a horse! Well, I could lose a little weight, but the Walk may help with that, as I have been training for months.
The parental units have been busy fundraising for what seems like months and it has paid off. They have raised over a thousand bucks! And, by special arrangement, all that dough goes to the  VBSPCA C.A.R.E. Medical Fund. This fund was established to help shelter animals like my friend Rembrandt, who came into the SPCA earlier this year with some of the same injuries that I had. Sadly, Remmie was not able to survive his injuries, and he waits at the Rainbow Bridge. Our family is walking in his memory. RIP,  buddy.
Want to contribute? You still can. Please just click on this link.  Or scroll down the right side of the page to the First Giving widget. It's fast, easy, and secure.
Can't contribute? It's ok. But, please pray for shelter animals everywhere and remember.....saving one animal won't change the world, but surely the world will change for that one animal.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Iris learns the doggie door

Iris visited our Florida house for the first time. I was worried that the doggie door might be challenging for her. But, she is smarter than I first believed. Even though the door kept smacking her in the nose (I HAVE to go through first), she got the hang of it pretty durn quick.
She also was curious about the pool and the little ducky that floats around (it's actually a thermometer).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Life's a beach!

The fam has arrived at Alligator Point! This piece of Paradise in on the Florida Panhandle, slam on the still beautiful and not oily, Gulf of Mexico.
I have been here many times, but it is a first for Iris, my crazy sistah.  While she has not yet mastered the art of swimming, she is one hell of a splasher.  And, she is one hell of a runner! She has been running back and forth on the beach like Road Runner! Remember Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote? If you do you, are old as dirt! (Meep, meep!)

From Iris: Life's a beach!! I love the new smells and the water is so different from Sandbridge, in waves, plus a sand bar appears and I can walk out a long ways!! I may try the dog paddle soon. Ivy makes it look so easy!
Now, I am pooped out...literally. Let sleeping dogs lay.

Saturday Blog Hop - Join in!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Iris......unleased yet again!

We have a bad, and I mean BAD case of cabin fever!! It has been raining for days now and we have been cooped up like a pair of chickens!!
FINALLY, the mom took pity on us and set us free on the golf course! It was a little messy for me, but Iris put on the butt tuck move and took off!! Thankfully, she has been to reform school and her recall was perfect....that means she comes when called. But, she quite obviously loved her moment of freedom!

From Iris: Butt tuck....does that mean hauled ass?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Splish, splash!!

While Iris was busy at reform school, I got to go on a short road excursion to the beach!! The surf was kind of rough, so I stayed close to shore, but it shore was fun!!
 From Iris: REFORM SCHOOL? I have been busy with a very cool trainer all week having FUN with a pack of dogs who will at least PLAY with me!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The woods are lovely, dark and deep....

......and I have miles to go before I sleep.
We had an awesome walk in a new place this morning. The folks drove us to West Neck Creek Natural Area in Virginia Beach. I had been there once before but not off the paved trail and it was the first time there for Iris. It seems there are a few miles of hiking trails back behind the paved area. We passed an old abandoned house (very spooky) and walked about a mile and a half in the woods. They are nice, kind of deep woods, so you don't want to leave the trail or you might get lost! There were all kinds of smells around.....I recognized the smell of horses! Iris was very interested in their dung.....she is such a goofball! Good thing we did not see any horses or other critters cuz Iris goes kinda nuts when we do. She REALLY needs to get a grip!
From Iris: Of course I know horses! I played tag with the wild ones in Corova Beach, NC, a few years back! You call ME a goofball?! I just wanted to smell their dung, YOU wanted to ROLL in it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Write a post, feed a dog.........this is a blog hop!

For every blog post (written between today and September 19th) about their Adoption Drive, Pedigree will donate a 20 pound bag of their new Healthy Longevity Food for Dogs to shelters nationwide. This is a special program being done for Blogpaws West.
Each year, more than 4 million dogs end up in shelters and breed rescue organizations. Pedigree created The PEDIGREE Adoption Drive to help shine a spotlight on the plight of these homeless dogs.
This year the PEDIGREE Adoption Drive is raising awareness for homeless dogs by donating a bowl of food to shelter dogs for everyone who becomes a “Fan” or “Likes” the PEDIGREE Adoption Drive on Facebook. So far more than 1 million bowls have been donated.
So, please, take a few minutes and write about this drive on your Blog and become a fan of Pedigree on Facebook. Please lend a paw to homeless dogs.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

House check for Lab Rescue

Thank goodness for every sad story there is usually a good story! Mom and Dad went on a house check for Lab Rescue. We didn't go cuz Iris is still in training and her dog manners still need a little work. But, Mom says that the rescued dog, Zoe, has got some really cool new digs. She has a very cool new lady owner who already had an older dog (like us!!!). Well, the older dog just loves having Zoe as his new, baby sister. He even shares his toys with her!! They have a huge, fenced backyard AND......GET THIS......they live on the beach!!! Zoe is in obedience school (like Iris) and is doing really well so the lady wants to keep going to class. Zoe gets to swim and play everyday...she is one lucky dog!!! Thanks to Lab Rescue of LRCP for matching Zoe up with the best dog mom ever...well almost!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The humans are very sad tonight

My human Mom told me this sad story: Rembrandt was a French Mastiff, who was turned into the SPCA a few weeks ago. He was just 4 years old and one big dude, weighing over 100 pounds! Remmy was brought to the shelter by his owners, who told the staff they were moving and could not take him with them. Right. Remmy had a bad ear infection, an eye infection, and skin problems. The vets at the SPCA had gotten those concerns under control. Remmy also had an old cruciate injury. It was pretty obvious   that Remmy was simply discarded by these heartless people because of these health issues. Cruciate injury is repairable though pretty expensive (I know this...I have had two TPLO's). Many hours were spent trying to find a surgeon to comp the surgery, or a rescue to help him. But, weeks in a shelter takes its toll on the animals, and after consultation between vet specialists and SPCA staff, Rembrandt was euthanized this morning, surrounded by the loving staff at the shelter.
Godspeed, Rembrandt. Until we meet again at the Rainbow Bridge.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"Grow old with me, the best is yet to come"

Ten great reasons to adopt a senior dog

1.  House-trained - Senior dogs are usually house-trained. You won't have to go through teaching a puppy house manners and cleaning up after accidents.
2.  Won't chew inappropriate items - Senior dogs are not teething puppies, and won't chew your shoes and furniture.
3.  Focus to learn - Senior dogs can focus well because they've mellowed. Therefore, they learn quickly.
4. Know what "no" means - Senior dogs have learned what "no" means. If they hadn't learned it, they wouldn't have gotten to be "senior" dogs.
5.  Settle in with the "pack" - Senior dogs settle in easily, because they've learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack.
6.  Good at giving love - Senior dogs are good at giving love, once they get into their new, loving home. They are ever so grateful for the second chance they've been given.
7.  What You See Is What You Get - Senior dogs have grown into their shape and personality. Puppies can grow up to be quite different from what they seemed at first.
8.  Instant companions - Senior dogs are instant companions, ready for walking, car trips, and other things you like to do.
9.  Time for yourself - Senior dogs leave you time for yourself, because they don't make the kinds of demands on your time and attention that puppies and young dogs do.
10.  A good night's sleep - Senior dogs let you get a good night's sleep because they're accustomed to human schedules and don't generally need nighttime feedings, comforting, or bathroom breaks.
      ~Adapted from Labrador Retriever Rescue

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ivy's "Pet" Project is working!

We picked up a Labload of supplies from our Village Hall that the kind folks in our neighborhood of West Neck donated to  Ivy's Pet Project to benefit the Virginia Beach SPCA. Check me out checking out all the cool stuff in our truck before it headed down to the shelter!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The parental units are back!!!!!

And they brought bully sticks!!! I went through the suitcases cuz I KNEW there was something in there for me and YEEESSSSS!!! I must try to do better sharing with Iris, but this I KNOW.......I love presents!!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Life ain't bad when the humans are away....

It's been a week since the humans left for California and Iris and I are living a dog's life here at Camp Pepter. We pretty much get fed on time and it's been a bit warm outside, so I have been catching up on my napping during the day. When the kids get home, things can be a little hectic but it's all good as they get snacks and we are the beneficiaries of the droppings. Or, I can put on my cute Labby look....that ALWAYS works with kids and adult humans. I have been working on my barking when the doorbell rings but, I just can't help myself! WOOF WOOF!!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Our bags are packed.......

....and we are off to hang with Pete, Madonna, and the grands while the parental units get on an airplane and fly to a place called California. The Mom says it is way too far for me and Iris to travel with them and besides they will be gone most of the time tasting wine and touring around different places of interest. She says they will see the Pacific Ocean, and of course I LOVE the ocean but maybe they will feel guilty enough on their return to take me and Iris to see our very own Atlantic Ocean.What is Iris LOOKING FOR?!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Iris discovers the joys of.......KONG!!

It took my sister a while, but she finally got it! KONGS ARE AWESOME!! She is not nearly as adept as moi, but I have had many, many years of practice. I can dissect one in about 2 minutes, but Iris was occupied for about thirty minutes with a Kong stuffed with string cheese, carrots, a broken milkbone, and peanut butter. KONGS RULE!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Sorry, sportsfans, no pics for this post because it was under the cover of darkness that this event happened! The Mom and the Dad let us out for the last pee of the day yesterday. And.....tada!! They opened our back gate out to the golf course beyond and let both us Labs out! Usually, it is only moi because Iris is well........not very obedient at times. But, Mom slipped off the leash, and Iris took off! She dashed across the golf course like a banshee! And stopped suddenly and started rolling in the grass. Now, when I do a roll, it is usually in excrement of some description. So, I knew Mom was a bit worried. But, her worries were unfounded for Iris was rolling in the grass with sheer joy at just being UNLEASHED!! And then, wonder of wonders, Iris came back when called! Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My humans volunteered at the SPCA today!

and they came back smelling like this spotted dog!! His name is Beepo and he is about the same age as Iris and me (8 years old). He is at the SPCA because his humans had health problems of their own and could no longer take care of him. Beepo has some ear issues, but other than that, Mom says he seems ok. He was excited to go outside and peed a lot.....remember he is in a kennel all day long! He loved being petted and walked.  I sure hope he finds a furever home soon!!! See his awesome smile!!
Sad update: Beepo waits at the Rainbow Bridge....Godspeed, Beepo.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Walk, walk, walk

FINALLY,  a decent walk! I guess because it has been so doggone HOT we have been cooped up like a pair of doggone chickens! But, the parental units got off their hairless butts and walked us for about 1.5 miles!! I am loving life today!!! And, so is Iris......PLUS we got to go for a RIDE!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ivy's "Pet" Project - Lending a "paw" to homeless animals

My "pet" project is underway! This is a food and supply drive to benefit the Virginia Beach SPCA. We are starting very slowly. Our test market is a collection box inside our community "Village Hall." The residents in our community can just drop by and drop off their donation. It's that simple! Please cross your paws for the success of this project. Our homeless friends need our help!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

It's that time again

............ for fireworks.  I don't understand why humans would take a dog to fireworks and then be surprised when the dog gets so afraid, slips the collar,  and runs away. That is just stupid. Leave Fido at home. I hate fireworks. They hurt my ears and remind me too much of thunder and lightening. My humans are smart, very smart. They never take me to fireworks shows. They leave me at home with all the lights on and switch off the classical music and put on the country music.  Loud.  So I won't hear anything. Of course, I wait up for them.....or at least they think I do. And I have a very cool American flag themed collar. Check it out!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wild things

Mom and Dad went out for a bit today. And when they came home they smelled strange. Now I have a very sensitive nose but I could not put my paw on the scent at first. It was all over them! A kind of wild smell and very fresh. I smelled their hands, feet, slowly and delicately. What was it? Had they been in the woods without me? I decided that I had come across that scent before, but where?  Then, it hit me: RACCOON!!!! On the boat dock and in the garbage can!! Those sneaky critters who wear a mask so you don't know what or who they are! I know RACCOON! But why were Mom and Dad around them and so close?
Then Mom told me the story: These raccoons were living in an attic in someone's house.  The people didn't want them there and trapped their mother.  But, the babies were left behind!!! Orphans!  So, the raccoon babies went to Evelyn's Wildlife Refuge, in Virginia Beach.  Evelyn and her volunteers feed and care for the babies until they are old enough and healthy enough to go back to the wild. Then, they are released! They are free. Evelyn is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.  This means that she can handle and rehab all species of wildlife and birds native to Virginia.  She sounds like a really cool lady. Mom and Dad had read about her work and wanted to go meet her and volunteer to help her.  I am sure they will because they really love animals too! Here is a picture Mom took of a baby raccoon....cute little thing, isn't he?

Note from the Mom: Evelyn's Wildlife Refuge is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. If you would like to make a donation, please mail a check or money order to the refuge at 2366 Highland Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, or you may donate online at the website.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Gulf of Mexico memories

The Gulf of Mexico at Alligator Point, this beautiful place just a memory?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

to kill a Mockingbird

These are nasty, NASTY little birds. As soon as I hit the yard they are after my tail. My TAIL!! Iris and I are just nosing around, looking for just the right place to do our business, when out of the blue......they are strafing us!! This is MY YARD! We have not done anything at all to annoy these annoying feathered creatures. "A sin to kill a Mockingbird"........we will just have to see about that!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Summertime Safety

 Summertime, and the living is easy! Here are some ways to keep me safe.
Make sure I have dog tags with my name, address, and phone number. I also have a microchip, so if I do get lost, the animal control officer can scan me and get me reunited with Mom and Dad ASAP!
Never leave me in the car, even if it is “just for a minute.”  Cars heat up very fast, even if it is only 70 degrees outside. Remember that you might be comfortable, but I am wearing a fur coat and my body temperature does not adjust to temperature changes as quickly as yours does.
Signs of heat stress: heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, unsteady walk, deep red or purple tongue, vomiting, diarrhea. You must lower the body temperature immediately by:  1) moving the pet to the shade and gradually pour cool (not cold) water over its body to gradually lower the body temperature. 2) Apply icepacks or cold towels to the pet’s head, neck, and chest area only. 3) Let the pet lick ice cubes or ice cream but limit access to cold water. 4) Take the pet immediately to a veterinarian. This could save its life. If you see an animal in a car exhibiting signs of heat stress, call your local animal control or police department immediately!
Walk me in the early morning or in the evening, when it is cooler. If I am a partner in your walking or jogging exercise routine, please bring along some water and a soft bowl (available at pet stores) for me.
If I am outside a lot during the day, please make sure I have a shady place to rest and access to fresh water.  Do not tie me up or chain me. That would be cruel.
If you want to take me boating or to the beach, please consider buying me a life jacket. Believe it or not, some dogs cannot swim at all! Please don’t throw them in. Even though I am a Lab and live for the water, I can get tired or injured and that life jacket might save my life.  And again, bring me my own water and bowl.  You will want to hose me off with fresh water when you leave. Please towel-dry my coat and wipe out and dry my ears.
Summer is often a time when people fertilize their lawns and work in their gardens.  Keep me away from plant food, fertilizer, and insecticides. These can be fatal if I ingest them. Also, over 700 plants are potentially poisonous to me including azaleas, daffodils, lantana, and oleander.
Antifreeze may leak from a car in the summer or anytime during the year. Antifreeze tastes sweet to me, but can be toxic in small amounts. Please be aware of leaking antifreeze and keep containers of it out of reach.
If you are traveling with me, it is a good idea to have the name and address of a Vet where you are visiting, in case I need medical attention.
Fireworks. I don’t like thunder and lightening, so why would you think I would enjoy fireworks? Please leave me at home with a good bone and some country music.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Iris Returns!!

Well, I thought it was just a visit, but my sister Iris has been here two weeks now, and it looks permanent. We get along ok, as long as she doesn't chew my stuffed toys. They are for squeaking only! And, wonder of I like rawhide bones again! Especially if Iris has partially chewed one already! I LOVE to go for walks on the leash with Mom and Dad, but I have to say that Iris needs to learn some self control. I mean, she wants to charge across the street and sniff and play with all these little yip yip dogs that are out walking with their owners. Mom must not care for it either, because she has hired a "dog whisperer" for Iris. The first day Iris went, she came home with a shiny, new metal collar and she was dog tired. Now Mom takes her for at least one solo walk and later we all walk together. Now, I prefer to take the lead, but Iris does not like to be in back and she sure lets you know that. What a WHINER! But, I allow her a little Alpha time, just to be fair. Yup, I am a good dog!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Buckle Up For Safety

I have talked about this before, but since the travel months are rapidly approaching, I thought I would address it once again. If you have ever thought about buying a seatbelt for your dog, the answer is of course you should. There are only advantages to buying and using a canine auto restraint system. Your dog deserves the same kind of protection that you afford yourself and your family.  There are several reasons to use a canine auto restraint system.
Prevent driver distraction.
This is the most important reason. You don’t want your dog roaming your car. Your attention needs to be focused on driving. Small dogs can be caught under the pedals and all dogs can leap at the driver. And please, don’t ever drive with your dog in your lap. If the airbag deploys in a crash….your dog would be killed instantly. It’s simply not worth the risk of having your dog unrestrained in the car.
Protect your dog.
Your dog deserves the same protection as you and your family.  In a 30-mph collision, occupants of the vehicle can exert a force 20 times that of their body weight! Canine restraint systems protect by absorbing some of this force and distributing the load evenly across the stronger areas of the body, protecting the head, neck, and body from injury. A canine restraint system that reduces this potential impact force can make the difference between life and death, and help prevent serious injury.
Protect yourself, your family, and other passengers in your vehicle.
In an accident, a dog can be thrown with hundreds or even thousands of pounds of force into other occupants of the vehicle, easily causing life-threatening injuries. A good canine restraint system can help minimize this danger.
Prevent your dog from jumping out of the car.
Even well behaved dogs can become distracted. The worst place to lose your dog would be far from home on vacation. Dogs can be seriously injured or killed jumping from even a slow moving vehicle.
Protects rescue workers from being attacked.
If an accident does happen, a dog can be disorientated and confused. The dog may even attack rescue personal attempting to help you. This can be avoided by using a canine auto restraint system.

Many local pet stores carry some type of canine auto restraint system and many more are available on the Internet. So, please do the right thing and buckle up your furry friend for safety!

Monday, April 5, 2010

I am visiting my very best friend Sasha in South Carolina. It is so very cool to have a change of scenery. Sasha lives on a lake so there are bunches of new smells around. My nose is constantly on the ground. Sasha's mom is one of my fav humans. She likes to give me treats, and not carrots either. REAL DOG TREATS! I am in heaven here. Hope we get to hang here for a while!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter bunnies, ducks, and chicks......oh MY!!!

Easter is coming!!! Here comes Peter Cottontail!
I am not going to tell you that domestic bunnies don't make good pets. They do. They're intelligent, cute, and fun. But, lots of times folks who buy baby bunnies for their kids don't know what they are getting into. So,  they eventually decide that they don't want them. So, they either take them to shelters, or release them into the wild. Shelters are already under a strain, and domestic bunnies have zero chance of survival in the wild.....I don't even want to speculate what could happen to them, but it would be very ugly indeed.
Please think long and hard before you get your child any pet; a bunny, dog, cat, whatever. And don't even think of getting them a cute baby chick or baby duckling. That is just WRONG! But, if you do go for a bunny, read up on their feeding and care, and find one at your local shelter, NOT a pet store.
Make Mine Chocolate is a great website for info on pet bunnies. Check it out!!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Heartworm Prevention....Protect your best friend all year round!

Heartworm Overview
Heartworm infections are very serious, and potentially fatal for dogs. Heartworms are a type of roundworm known as filarids. They live in the arteries, lungs, and heart of an infected animal. Many mammals such as dogs, cats, foxes, and even people can contract heartworms.
Heartworm infestation is spread by infected mosquitoes. When an infected mosquito bites a dog it deposits heartworm larvae under the skin. The larvae eat through the skin and connective tissue for up to two months before reaching the blood stream. Once in the blood, heartworms are transported to the arteries and lungs where they mature into adults. At six months of age, heartworms will begin producing offspring. Heartworms may live for up to seven years, with males reaching eight inches and female worms growing to twelve inches.
In reaction to the infestation, the organs heartworms inhabit become inflamed. Because this inflammation interferes with blood flow, the most common causes of death from a heartworm infestation are blood clots in the lungs or congestive heart failure.
Because heartworms are spread by mosquito bites, dogs with short hair are more susceptible to infection than those with longer hair. While heartworm infection is found throughout the United States, infection rates are highest (approximately 50%) in areas within 150 miles of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.
The only way for your dog to become infected with heartworms is through a mosquito bite. Dogs cannot be infected by eating or coming into contact with dog waste that contains the eggs of heartworms. An infected dog cannot spread heartworms to another dog.
Heartworms are a dangerous parasite and can permanently damage a dog’s health. Even once treated, the damage the worms cause may be permanent. Please—if you have not done so already—put your dog on a preventative medication!
Diagnosing Heartworm Infection
Your veterinarian may use both blood tests and physical tests to determine the severity of a heartworm infection.
Blood Tests
The following two blood tests are used to diagnose heartworm disease:
~Microfilaria Test
~Heartworm Antigen Test
The Microfilaria test detects pre-larval heartworms in the blood. When female heartworms produce microfilaria, they produce antigens that the heartworm antigen test detects. It may take up to seven months after the infection has occurred before either of these tests provides consistently accurate results.
Physical Tests
Diagnosing heartworm infection using a physical examination alone can be difficult to perform accurately. Mildly infected dogs may show no signs of infection. Therefore, your veterinarian will likely perform a blood test in addition to a physical examination.
Severely infected dogs may show signs of heart failure, fatigue, coughing, rapid heartbeat, enlarged liver, loss of appetite, fainting, or jaundice. Occasionally, heartworms may also be present in the eyes, abdominal cavity, and even the spinal cord.
Physical tests used to identify the extent of heartworm disease and to develop a prognosis include x-rays and ultrasounds performed on the heart and lungs.
Heartworm Treatment
Unless the infection is severe, heartworm disease can be successfully treated in dogs. Treatment involves injecting a drug called adulticide into the muscle tissue of the dog to kill the heartworms. Adulticide is the only FDA drug approved for the treatment of heartworms. Treatment presents some risk: the blood vessels may become filled with dead worms, which may block blood flow, causing death.
Severe cases of heartworm disease may be extremely difficult to treat, and one dose of adulticide may be insufficient to kill all adult heartworms. Six months after the adulticide treatment has been completed, your dog will need an antigen test to ensure that all heartworms have been killed. If the test is positive for the antigen, your dog will likely need another treatment.
It is very important that your dog not be allowed to exercise during treatment, as your dog’s entire pulmonary system will be under significant strain. So let your pooch take it easy with a gentle recovery period.
Heartworm Prevention
Heartworm disease is preventable. Dog owners need to take steps now and consult their veterinarian about how to best protect their pets from this dangerous disease. Heartworm prevention is safe, easy and inexpensive.
There are a variety of options for preventing heartworm infection in dogs,including daily and monthly tablets and chewables, monthly topicals and a six-month injectable product. All of these methods are extremely effective, and when administered properly on a timely schedule, heartworm infection can be completely prevented. These medications interrupt heartworm development before adult worms reach the lungs and cause disease.
It is your responsibility to faithfully maintain the prevention program you have selected in consultation with your veterinarian.
So please, give your best friend heartworm preventative all year round. It's the right thing to do!

(Information from the American Heartworm Society)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Waiting patiently for Dad

It's been a long week but Dad is coming home today!!! I sure hope he brings me something from favorite bones from Publix would be nice. But, I'll be happy just to see him and get my beautiful yellow fur all over his business suit. I am waiting patiently by the front door....where are you Dad?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Just me and my mom

Dad is off on business, so it is just me and my mom for a few days. The sun finally came out today and I have been very busy doing what I really enjoy and that is sleeping. I am following the sun around my backyard deck and generally having a great day today, thus far. Mom has promised a nice, long walk this afternoon, and I am waiting patiently for that to occur. Every now and then I get up and walk to to the front door to see if Dad is back, but alas, he is not. I leave a bit of dog snot on the side windows, so he will know that I have eagerly been awaiting his return. Mom is not so bad....she feeds me on time and has been pretty good about remembering to load up my Kong when she has her cocktail at 5 o'clock. Is it 5 o'clock yet?

Friday, March 12, 2010

My new friend, Lulu

Mom and Dad went to some friends house for dinner and actually took me! But WHOA!! A little white tornado of a dog lives there: Lulu. Lulu is a Maltese. She was quite the yipper but that doesn't bother me as much as she moves so very, very fast. She was sniffing my face then she was sniffing my, er, butt...back and forth, back and forth. So, when the going gets tough, this tough old girl just lays down and pretends to sleep. Of course, I got a couple of snarls in when the parents weren't looking and Lulu got just a little too close. But after a while, it was all good. The snacks came out and the missus got me my own water bowl. I'm not hard to please at all. Hope to see little Lulu again soon.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Spaying/'s the right thing to do!!!

Myths and Facts About Spaying and Neutering

Think you know all the facts on pet overpopulation?
~from The Humane Society of the United States

The most important thing to know about spaying and neutering is that it saves lives. In every community in every U.S. state, there are animals sitting in animal shelters waiting for homes. Only about half of those dogs and cats will ever get one. The other half will be euthanized.
Making the decision to spay or neuter your pet means fewer pets—pets as sweet, loving, healthy, and deserving of companionship as your own—will be euthanized for lack of a home.
But just in case you need more information before making this important decision, here is the truth behind some commonly spread myths about spaying and neutering.
MYTH: It's better to have one litter before spaying a female pet.
FACT: Every litter counts.
Medical evidence indicates just the opposite. In fact, the evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier. Many veterinarians now sterilize dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age. Check with your veterinarian about the appropriate time for these procedures.
MYTH: I want my children to experience the miracle of birth.
FACT: The miracle of birth is quickly overshadowed by the thousands of animals euthanized in animal shelters in communities all across the country. Teach children that all life is precious by spaying and neutering your pets. 
MYTH: But my pet is a purebred.
FACT: So is at least one out of every four pets brought to animal shelters around the country. There are just too many dogs and cats—mixed breed and purebred. About half of all animals entering shelters are euthanized.
MYTH: I want my dog to be protective.
FACT:  It is a dog's natural instinct to protect home and family. A dog's personality is formed more by genetics and environment than by sex hormones.
MYTH: I don't want my male dog or cat to feel like less of a male.
FACT: Pets don't have any concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering will not change a pet's basic personality. He doesn't suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.
MYTH: My pet will get fat and lazy.
FACT: The truth is that most pets get fat and lazy because their owners feed them too much and don't give them enough exercise.
MYTH: But my dog (or cat) is so special, I want a puppy (or kitten) just like her.
FACT: Your pet's puppies or kittens have an unlikely chance of being a carbon copy of your pet. Even professional breeders cannot make this guarantee. There are shelter pets waiting for homes who are just as cute, smart, sweet, and loving as your own.
MYTH: It's expensive to have my pet spayed or neutered.
FACT: Many low-cost options exist for spay/neuter services. Most regions of the U.S. have at least one spay/neuter clinic within driving distance that charge $100 or less for the procedure, and many veterinary clinics provide discounts through subsidized voucher programs. Low-cost spay/neuter is more and more widely available all the time.
MYTH: I'll find good homes for all the puppies and kittens.
FACT: You may find homes for your pet's puppies and kittens. But you can only control what decisions you make with your own pet, not the decisions other people make with theirs. Your pet’s puppies and kittens, or their puppies or kittens, could end up in an animal shelter, as one of the many homeless pets in every community competing for a home. Will they be one of the lucky ones?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Cold Snap

The weather is Virginia continues to be soooo cooold!! But, it makes me very frisky. Either Mom or Dad (mostly Dad) takes me on my walks, but I have noticed that they have become very short walks. As soon as I "do my business" the pace quickens and we are back in the house! Then I want to play, but they just want to curl up with a bloomin' book! What's a good dog to do?
Yesterday, we did go on an outing to the beach. I love the beach because I get to go off leash! But, that was a very short outing too because they were cold. They need to toughen up. I was just getting involved in all the fishy, beachy smells too. Grrrrrr.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

SNOW!!! Again

We got snow in Virginia Beach! WOOF! Mom let me out on the golf course to check it out. It was just getting a little deep, so I was able to do some running and smelling. I think the deer have been out already. I know the birds have been at our feeders non stop. I hope I can go out again tomorrow when it finally stops snowing and sleeting. It makes me frisky! And, works up my appetite, of course!