Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I double dog dare you.....

Smash's buddies have been getting him in trouble lately. for weeks he has carefully watched the guineas grow. While I have wondered if he was being guard dog or just thinking of a tasty treat, he has recently taken to breaking down the pen.

We have lost two birds so far. It seems he does not bother the birds unless his other dog friends are around. I guess he is succumbing to peer pressure. I imagine the other dogs are saying things like: I would not let those birds eat all my food if I were you. Or Hey why don't you run and bark at those birds. Your people will be so proud that you herded them all up!

Either way he is having to be tied up again. This is his worst punishment. He loves to run and hates being tied up. But he will have to stay that way now until the birds are big enough to fend for themselves.

He just needs to realize that the birds are there for him. I got them to eat ticks.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Keeping Your Dog Healthy During Summer

Summertime and Dogs

Summer time is the time when many get outdoors and have wonderful adventures with their dogs. It's a great time to have lots of fun and you want to take special care of your dog during the hot days of summer.

Since you and your dog are outdoors more I am sure you are making sure your dog is being kept tick and flea free by giving him a bath. If you have a dog that is especially sensitive to shampoos and you don't want to dry his skin out then you need a products to help protect your dog.

I have been reading up on many different products and have found very few that do not contain chemicals. However I have found one company that sells products that are environmentally safe for your pet.

One product is the Pad and Paw balm that can be used to help prevent your dogs pads from drying out and cracking. Another product is the hypoallergenic shampoos that can help to condition and moisturize your dogs skin.

One other product I recommend is the OPC 3 vitamins for dogs. I have my dog Smash on this and he has had no problems with allergies since the pollen season began.

Check out these products for your dog at You can find these products under the featured brand PetHealth.

Have a fun summer with your dog and go on many adventures!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Smash and the birthday cupcake

On Monday, July 14th my youngest son, Hunter turned 3. Since he had been at his dads the week before, his step mom took cupcakes to daycare for his class.

When I picked him up that afternoon, there was one cupcake left. Hunter wanted to take it home to eat later.

We ended up going to Smash's house to have pizza and celebrate Hunter's birthday.

I decided to go ahead and let Hunter have his cupcake since it was his birthday. After a few bites, Hunter didn't want anymore. So I started to finish it.

Hunter wanted a sucker so we gave him one which he quickly decided he didn't want anymore. With the cupcake in one hand and the sucker in another I just sat there and didn't know what to do.

Smash did.

His tongue quickly snatched the birthday cupcake, paper and all out of my hand.

My jaw hit the ground while his owner began laughing hysterically.

Smash walked away with frosting on his nose and fur while I had an empty hand.

Later on it looked like Smash was having a tummy ache although earlier he was enjoying the cupcake.

Because I didn't get to finish the cupcake, I ended up getting an ice cream cone later.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Amazing Dogs

Yesterday I talked about Smash and how special he is to me and my family. Today I read an article that really touched me and I hope it will touch you.

Dogs are amazing creatures.

Tails and Company

Tails and Company has just launched a new line of pet supplies and accessories for dogs.

There are lots of choices in custom leashes, collars and other pet health and safety supplies.

They have bowls and other feeders, carriers, toys beds and even some home decor products for dog lovers.

Check out Tails and Company by clicking here.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The "Nanny Dog"

It's been awhile since I have become attached to a dog. I met Smash two years ago. Six months later he was hit by a car. I remember Mike calling me asking if I would pray for Smash. I could tell he was really upset about his dog and I not only prayed for Smash but I prayed for Mike as well.

I know what it is like to lose a dog. Dogs are like family, in my opinion. We care for them just as we do the rest of our family. Sometimes we even let them live in the house with us.

But Smash is more than just a dog. He has come to be a part of my family too. My three kids love Smash very much. Shiloh, my oldest, loves dogs. She loves Smash as if he was her own dog. Before the end of the school year, her school had pet day. Mike was gracious enough to share Smash so Shiloh could have a pet to bring. Smash enjoyed going to the school with all the children petting him.

My son Caleb for one reason or another went through a period of fear of dogs. With the help of Smash though, Caleb has befriended him. Caleb was very frightened and Smash knew it and in his own little way gradually nudged his way into Caleb's life. Now Caleb and Smash are buddies.

And with my youngest son Hunter who also loves dogs, Smash has become the official "Nanny Dog." Anytime we are out at his home, Smash stays near Hunter or any of my children for that matter. If any of the kids are crying Smash investigates and does his best to cheer them up. We love walking down to the creek so Smash happily comes along and watches over the kids.

One of the neighbor dogs we have nick named Shep dog (Since he is a German Shephard) is just a puppy. So sometimes Shep dog gets carried away. Smash will come between the kids and Shep dog as if he is protecting them. Earlier this year, I was house sitting and taking care of Smash. I took Hunter to the creek along with Smash and Shep dog trailing along. As we were heading back to the house with Hunter following me, Shep dog pounced him. As upset as I was, Smash showed how much more upset he was than me. He tore into Shep dog pushing him on a hill pinning him to the ground and growling at him.

Smash is a very special dog to myself and my kids. We enjoy taking him for rides and to the park for walks which he does quite well. One of the things the Nanny Dog also likes to do is "inspect" the kids when they get into the vehicle. My kids giggle and laugh about it since Smash is tickling them while sniffing.

Kids tend to be rough with dogs. One of the things I keep an eye out for is temperament. I have had an aggressive dog in the past so I am very cautious. With Smash, he has a great temperament with kids. I have seen his ears pulled, eye poked, nose poked or pinched and his tail pulled. Not one time did he ever snap at the kids.

That is not to say I completely trust him because dogs are not to be completely trusted. But when people are looking for a dog, they should not necessarily look for a specific breed unless they have done thorough research into their temepraments with children. It doesn't matter how cute they are you have to do research. Many breeds now have forums for owners so you can ask others how they do around children.

Since Smash is a mut or heinz 57 dog it is really hard to tell temperatment. When muts are puppies, they have to be trained and introduced to all family members. Teach children to treat the puppy with kindness. Any signs of aggression should raise a flag. Do not take chances.

From personal experience, dog bites affect everyone emotionally and financially. Everyone must learn while training a dog including the dog.

In Smash's case he has been shown unconditional love since he was a puppy. His owners have taken care of him on a daily basis or had someone fill in for them. I am not talking just about feeding and watering him but showing attention. He is taken for daily walks a few times a day. He is petted throughout the day as well.

Dogs are truly like family so treat them as you would your family.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Hiking with Smash

Yesterday, we took Smash hiking in the woods. He loves to go hiking.

We took a trail that follows the Canasauga River along the Tennessee Georgia line.

I used a long leash that allowed him a bit of freedom to run and sniff things along the trail.

In on nice still pool of water in the river, Smash took an opportunity to cool off by taking a swim. He really seemed to enjoy paddling around in the nice cool water be fore resuming his hike.

I am glad I took time to teach him how to walk on a leash when he was younger so we can enjoy times like this. Other dogs I have had have run from their leashes but when Smash sees me get the leash he knows there is a treat in store and he runs to me and is ready to jump in the Jeep.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Update on Smash and The Guineas

In my last post I was wondering how Smash felt about the birds. Did he think they look tasty or was he protecting them?

Well this morning we found the remains of a raccoon that had apparently attempted to open the bird cage. Smash a friends took care of business and made sure that raccoon will not be bothering anyone else.

I guess he really was being a good guard dog.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Smash and the Guineas

In order to combat the ticks this season, I decided to buy some Guinea chicks to let them feast on the overwhelming crop of ticks we have this year.

Smash has taken a keen interest in the guineas. I am pretty sure from the look on his face, he thinks they look pretty tasty.

He likes to lay beside the bird cage and act like a guard dog. But somehow, I think he is really just waiting for one to escape and he can find out how they taste.

Yesterday, he was sleeping as I sat in my porch swing. Suddenly the guineas made a noise like they had been frightened. Smash was up in a flash. He had to see what was disturbing the birds!

Maybe was being guard dog after all.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Choosing a Family Dog -Guest article

If you are considering getting a dog, I highly recommend you do research. Search the internet, check out books in your local library and even purchase a few magazines such as Dog Fancy. Check out forums, speak to local veterinarians too.
I did my own research years ago when my former husband wanted to get a Boxer dog. I learned so much just from other owners of the breed. If you have children whether small or teenagers, Boxers are great dogs. They have a wonderful temperament around children. In fact, many owners will tell you that Boxers seem to be naturally drawn to children and are protective of them.
After witnessing a horrible attack on a friend of mines two year old son 10 years ago, I did not want anything to do with dogs. My former husband had been given a dachshund as a gift. 17 stitches in the little boy and medical bills for us to pay was the final straw for me.
I love dogs as do my children. But after that attack I wasn't even sure I wanted anything to do with dogs anymore. But two years later, my former husband nudged me into looking at Boxers. I was very hesitant at first. I knew nothing about them although I assumed that since they looked like bull dogs they had a tendency to be mean.
That was far from the case. He sent me to to read through the forums and articles they had posted from all over the world.
After a few months of research online and books I bought, I got excited about having a dog again.
In December 2000, we bought our first Boxer dog. Our daughter was two years old at the time so her and Dixie Belle would grow up together.
It didn't take long before Dixie became very close in our family. Most everyone loved her. She was the perfect colors of brown and white. We didn't crop her ears since I thought it was cute to have round ears.
Dixie went a lot of places with us. Everywhere we went people wanted to pet her and she loved it.
Eventually Dixie became known as the "Nanny Dog." She was very protective of children including our daughter. She was a laid back dog with very little if anything that would bother her.
Our daughter could pull her tail, ears or just some skin and Dixie would not even flinch. She preferred to be around children who would come over to visit. It didn't matter what they did to Dixie she Never growled, barked or nipped. My daughter once put her fist in Dixie's mouth (her dad would wrestle and play with Dixie). She didn't do a thing except slobber on her hand.
You could pet her while she ate her food or drank water too.
Dixie did hate to have her nails clipped but she never bit me.
Boxers are characters. They will sit in an automobile like a human being. I cannot count how many times people beside us in traffic would look over and just laugh.
In the mornings we would wake up with a Boxer hanging over us with her cold, wet nose to ours. Sometimes she would give wet kisses. It didn't matter though because she loved us all.
There was one time Dixie was excited my mom came over to visit. So much so, that when mom went to leave Dixie attempted to leave with her. We had to pretend as if she was going for a ride by opening the passenger door to moms car. She got in but then we couldn't get her out.
Boxers in general love people. They are very gentle in nature and very little bothers them.
The only thing about Boxers is that you have to be an active person. They love to exercise. If you have a backyard (which I recommend you have) that is great place for boxers to exercise. Just make sure you interact with them as they are like children. If they want attention and it is not there then they can rebel in ways your children also do and you won't like.
When it gets cold or very hot, they do not do too well outside so it is best to keep them indoors. They have a very short coat of fur so it gets hard for them to maintain their temperature. Our Boxers stayed inside most of the time. They did have access to going outdoors which they did often on their own.
Boxers are not high maintenance dogs. All you have to do is make sure their claws are trimmed.
The draw back for us was when we got a second Boxer. This time we got a male boxer named Scout. Scout was also a great dog, he was just twice Dixie's size. When Dixie had her first litter of pups four of them were solid white. Everywhere we read was not good about the solid white ones. They have a tendency to be blind, deaf and a higher chance of diseases and death. Within a week two of them died. The other two were adopted. Some how Dixie also passed on parvo despite the fact she had been vaccinated. We believe this is why most of them died.
As far as other animals go, Dixie got along with most of them. At least until she got attacked by a cat. Cats were on her bad list but other than that she loved playing with other dogs big and large. When we had to move into the city she didn't mind the company of our neighbors dogs. In fact, my daughter let the others in to "play."
Of all the dogs I have ever had the Boxer has been the best dog. Just the Boxer breed changed my attitude about dogs in general since I believed dogs were bad to have with children. Research was the greatest thing I could do for myself and my family. I would have never taken that initial step and let go of my fears. I do still stick by what vets and animal shelters will tell you: Dogs can never be completely trusted.
No dog is perfect. It is just that some breeds have a better temperament than others when it comes to children. Boxers are one of them.
Jennifer Bryan

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Stess relief

Due to a lot of life changes lately I have been finding myself dealing with a lot of stress. As a personal performance coach, I give myself a lot of advice on how to deal with stress, but it seems I don't always listen to my own advice.

I have found one stress relief technique that does seem to work for me every time. Petting Smash.

While I was working vigorously to get a new roof on my house, Smash would just find a shady spot to lay down and sleep. Occasionally I would disturb him by dropping something nearby or running a noisy saw, but mostly he would just sleep.

However every time I would take a brake to sit in the shade and drink some water, he would always come over and lay beside me.

I was amazed at how quickly I could relax while stroking his fur. His calmness about the whole situation would flow into me. I picked up on his relaxed vibration.

I have also noticed that sometimes when I am feeling anxious and I pet him, he will get up and shake. It is like he is shaking off all the vibrational toxins that I put on him. But he never minds. He comes right back for more pet-the-puppy.

So if the calcium and B12 cocktails don't relieve your stress, try petting a dog. Or at least just watch one relaxing in the shade and try to look at life from a dog's perspective for a while.