Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Beware of Cocoa Mulch

I came across a very interesting and alarming article from Drs. Fosters & Smith about cocoa mulch that I thought I'd share. Now that it is spring time and many folks are planning their gardens and sprucing up their lawns, here is something to be aware of using around our beloved pets. And I had never even heard of cocoa mulch before!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Very Cool Urban Dogsledding Video!

Just watched this pretty cool clip featured on The Dog Files on "urban" dogsledding with a kick bike! How cool and fun is that???!

Monday, April 12, 2010

April is Stress Awareness Month

April is Stress Awareness Month. In the previous blog, we’ve talked about how our wonderful Sibes help us to de-stress (I love The Thundering Herd’s description of a "Sibe blanket!"), but now let’s turn the tables and discuss how we can help them. 

Right at this exact moment while looking at my FiveSibes sleeping peacefully, with a couple basking in the sun (yes, I have two who just love sunbathing, go figure-I think they missed the “Siberian” memo), while the other three are stretched out in their shady happy place, one would think “no stress here.” While true, there are many who do experience stress or wind up in stressful situations. Even my wooly boy did two years ago, when there he was totally enjoying life as a Sibe pup, getting spoiled, growing up, and falling in love with our alpha girl. It was a year of bliss for him. Then suddenly, three crazy, frisky, jumping, crying, talking Sibe pups dropped in…and not for a visit, they came to stay. My poor boy just sat on the grass in the backyard and stared off into space and drooled. I seriously thought I did some type of damage. I even had a dog whisperer come to be sure we were blending the Sibes well and not doing them any emotional harm. We got the trainer's  "thumbs-up" and thank goodness, with lots of TLC and time alone with his Husky love and us (and lots of private car rides that included stops to MickyD’s for vanilla ice cream), my beautiful boy came around. He even decided the three pests were not so bad. It did all take time and patience and lots of hugs and reassuring. Introducing one new member to the pack family is stressful enough, but we had that times three! Although the optimal way would be a slow and easy introduction, it was not an option here at that time. What I did was make sure our first two had their special times, their special walks and car rides, and their own down time away from the pups. My daughter tended to the pups, so they were well taken care of while the older two had their special time with me. Now they are a very close-knit Sibe family that is frequently seen in (as in the above photo) what we call the “Husky Huddle!”

Stress can come in various forms, even for the happiest of Sibes for just like with the Hu-family, situations arise. Separation anxiety is one that a lot of pets experience. For example, when our three pups first came home from the breeder, they slept together in one crate before we began the separation process into individual crates as they started to grow. To help ease their anxiety, along with us camping out on the floor with them 24/7 for a few days, their constant companion was the TV (my baby boy loved rock videos – he was weaned on the radio listening to AC/DC, Def Leppard, etc., while his two sisters loved cartoons as my daughter had them hooked on those!) Sometimes, we had to search for Disney movies as a happy medium as they had the marriage of both cartoons and music! Rescue Remedy and Comfort Zone were two more constant companions at the time. Occasionally, we will still use a little Comfort Zone spray when needed. (Not to product endorse, but that stuff is GREAT!) These days, the only times our Sibes get stressed is when one of us in the Hu-family is stressed or if one of the their Sibe family splits from the group for a solo walk or visit to the vet. When that happens, one of us steps in and keeps them calm and occupied until the other Sibe member returns. (And we still keep the music and cartoons on standby!)

Until next time, stay well and stress-free! Now let's go get some Sibe kisses!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Rx for Stress: Belly Rubs and Love

I just recently read an article on about how pets help their owners deal with stress. There is much documented proof of how pets help reduce blood pressure, cheer up the elderly, help the ill, etc., of which I wholeheartedly concur. Recently, I have had to deal with some things that have sent my stress levels soaring. You know, when one of life's wake-up calls come screaming, "Hey, you, it’s time to think about you." Now, it’s my ingrained personality to always think of and help others first. This "me" thing is not my thing. So, naturally, it begs the question, "How do I learn to reduce stress and learn to live with it in a healthier manner?" Well, thanks to both my Hu-family and my Sibe-family (and the cat that adopted us!), I’m learning some answers that work best for me. First, I’m blessed to have a great immediate family. And then there are our Sibes and our cat. The Sibes automatically hone right in on when one of us is stressed as though they have radar. They are immediately there offering up a warm, wet nuzzle or saliva-soaked toy, or woo-wooing, kissing, and snuggling, all in their canine-keen way of trying to get us to give a belly rub (or ten), seemingly knowing the mere act can lower our stress levels by leaps. The cat also does that wonderful feline thing of rolling around until she, too, gets a belly rub (even though she thinks its for her, it really is medicine for humans). Our fur babies allow us to absorb their total unconditional love via a mere look or touch. I know for me, they sure have helped to keep me grounded and have made me laugh with their silliness, and I know no matter what, they are there to simply offer their love. And that is an awesome gift.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sibe siblings share a laugh on April Fools' Day

And just what do you think these two Sibe siblings were talking about???

Possibly something like this...

"Bandit, it was so funny. Wooo-woooo!"

"What was so funny,Gib?"

"The prank. The April Fools' Day prank."

"What did woo do, big brother??? Tell me, tell me!"

"I told your sister I ate the last salmon treat....oh, woo-woo...her expression was priceless!"

"Did woo, did woo???"

"Did I what?"

"Did woo eat the last salmon treat?"

"No, little girl. It was a joke."

"Ohhh. But, that wasn't funny...."

"Guess woo had to be there."
Thought for the day: 
"He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever."--Chinese Proverb
Happy April Fools' Day from the FiveSibes!