Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy Camera Day! Have you photographed your dog today?

Hello canine shutterbugs! Yes, today, June 29 is national "Camera Day." As a photographer with five wonderful subjects - the FiveSibes - it's always Camera Day at our homestead! Whether you use film or digital, load up the camera, grab some great doggie treats, and go have some fun capturing them in their environment! Some tips for great pet shots include getting down on their level, and, if possible, shoot in the outdoors where there is both great natural light and lots of things to capture their attention, which translates to wonderful face shots in photos. It also helps to avoid "green eye," which is very common with dogs. While some programs can eliminate "green eye," it's so much nicer to capture them naturally. If shooting indoors, try turning off your flash or using a diffuser, use a lamp to cast some light, and/or take their photos by a window or open door.Whether you are a novice or a pro, it's a day to have lots of fun photographing your pets. And if they are anything like most of our babies, they will love having their photos taken and may even flash you a smile! (Although Harley plays hard-to-get at times, as you can see from above, when she decides it's okay for us to photograph her, she is a beautiful model!) So start snapping away and enjoy!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Shopping to Help Animals in Need

Has anyone visited Theanimalrescuesite.com? It seems like a great site for purchasing some pretty cool items, many of which are pet-themed, and raising dollars through visitors and their charitable partners for a good cause - animals in need. Wolf and I visited the site today and by purchasing items I wanted anyhow, but selected through their site - an insulated cup with cute pawprints, a pair of pawprint rain boots, and a thumb ring (all for me, the Hu-Mom!) we were able to fund 112 bowls of food for animals in need! Now how cool is that? Check out the link below for more info about their site and the work they do:


This site is also working hard to get the "HAPPY Act" passed. The Happy Act is to assist pet owners worldwide with making pet care more affordable, thereby allowing folks to keep their beloved pets during tough economical times. For more info on this tax relief issues, visit here:


While we are fortunate to have our Sibes safely tucked in our nice A/C-cooled homes  (it's another scorcher here in our area), there are so many animals out there who are not so fortunate. Short of adopting them all, this seems to be a win-win way of helping in whatever little way we can.

So tonight, let's all give our beloved furbabies an extra hug and kiss and know how blessed we are to have them in our lives and we in theirs.

Until next time, stay safe, healthy, and happy!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"Go Furry" this Friday and support Take Your Dog To Work Day

Are you ready to "GO FURRY" this Friday? Our Harley girl is all ready busy working (she's on break, that's why she's checking out Facebook!) So who else is taking their furbaby to work on Friday, which is Take Your Dog To Work Day (TYDTWD)? If you have not yet heard of it, TYDTWD was established in 1999 by Pet Sitters International when 300 businesses first participated. Today, thousands participate all in the effort to promote pet adoption.

Does your office participate? If so, let’s hear how. Are you a freelancer or independent contractor whose canine companion assists in the home office with taking out the trash (your files), disposing of unused items (chewing up your supplies), and Emailing customers (sending notes to random strangers when their paws hit the keys)? If so, drop me a line and tell me how you and your dog plan on spending TYDTWD.

Be sure to visit the adorable TYDTWD video below to discover the Top Ten reasons for taking your best furry friend to work.

And for those of you who are going to be spending the day with your canine at the office, here are some great tips provided by members of the Association of Pet Trainers. (Click on image to make larger).

 What a great way to kick off a weekend!

Enjoy, and until next time, may you and your pets be happy, healthy, and safe.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Anal (as in canine glands/sacs) is indeed a four-letter word.

Not many people like to discuss the subject of anal glands. Embarrassment?  Perhaps. The “eww factor?” Maybe. But in the canine world, keeping tabs on the anal glands is just as important as brushing their teeth and clipping their nails.

Recently, in our Husky homestead, two of our Sibes have been afflicted with anal sac issues. A few months back, Harley (our Alpha queen and surrogate mom) was constantly chewing at her backside, alerting us that something was not quite right. When we did a complete exam, she was very, very touchy when we came to her rump. A trip to our vet verified that she had impacted anal sacs, which were then expressed, eliminating a thick black tar-like substance, and she was instantly fine.

Most recently, Gibson (Harley’s honey and the big brother of the pack) has had a case of “limp tail.” His crazy, frizzy, furry waterfall of a tail simply has been hanging limply at his backside. He has been way more sedentary than usual, with no desire to get up much. When checking him over, he became quite vocal about a specific area by his tail. I thought I felt a swollen spot, but as with most Sibes, they have those notable fuzzy butts, that you can’t always be sure of what you are feeling. Now my boy is truly an angel and never, ever complains, so when he cried, I knew something was definitely up and that he was hurting. 

A call to our (fabulous, amazing, wonderful) veterinarian office, and he was immediately placed on anti-inflammatory meds with a follow-up appointment for Xrays. In the few days in between, his back legs became weak, and he slipped down the stairs (one time, he voluntarily sat and slid himself down the last two steps). All cause for concern. Now while I did initially massage his anal gland areas, I didn’t really think limp tail would be related to infected anal glands as it wasn’t the typical symptom (like scooting, chewing, etc.). After his vet visit, it is looking like that is exactly what my boy has. When they tried to express his gland (that is the size of a golf ball), it did not cooperate. As a result, he has been tested to rule out a tumor (and thankfully, it is not one), and he is home being treated with antibiotics, anti-inflams, and warm compresses. Hopefully, by next week’s visit, there will be improvement so he won’t warrant surgery. He is being an extremely good patient and permits me to apply the warm compresses with no complaints, and I have been receiving lots of appreciative kisses, so I know he knows we’re trying to help him. 

The message here is we all know our dogs. When something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. While most cases of clogged anal glands are easily remedied, sometimes it is not that simple. For your dog’s good health, it goes without saying that periodically checking your canine’s personal area should not be embarrassing and most definitely not overlooked. 
Until next time, stay happy, healthy, and have a terrific Thursday!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pet Appreciation Week

Do you appreciate your dog? June 7 through 13 is celebrated as Pet Appreciation Week. Thinking about this, I sat back and asked myself, “Do my Sibes feel appreciated?” We all believe we love and appreciate our beloved furry members of our family. We give them food, shelter, kisses, hugs, and in some case, lots and lots of toys. But do they feel appreciated?

In the canine world, appreciation really means love, and it pretty much comes in very simple terms. A warm place to sleep, fresh food to eat, cool water to drink, a pat on the back, and (always) a treat. They don’t really care if their cloth coat is a designer brand, if their collars have sparkling bling, if their bed is fancy, or if they have the newest toys. They would be just as happing chewing up a paper towel roll as they would the most popular dog toy. They would be content sleeping in a bed of hay, or in their kennel/crate or at the foot of our beds. They would enjoy getting brushed by our children as much as they would by a professional groomer – actually, they’d enjoy the children doing it more!

Sadly, some dogs do not have it as good as others. Too many are just waiting in shelters for some kind human to stop by their cage and choose them to love and take home. So many Huskies are turned in, especially after the "Oh-my-gosh-its-so-cute" puppy stage – mostly because folks select a Siberian Husky from a breeder simply because they fall in the love with its beauty without really knowing what the needs of the breed are. Sibes are extremely intelligent, high energy, rough playing, fast running, destructive, small animal-chasing, loving, loyal, happy, singing, talking dogs. Sadly, many Sibes are turned into shelters as new owners become frazzled by their personalities and do not/can not provide the right environment for a Sibe. 

No matter the origin of where we meet and select our canine companion, what really speaks to a dog is quite simple and pure; it's L-O-V-E. And in the canine world, there’s one universal message: LOVE = APPRECIATION. There is no better reward for a family than the loyalty and affection of a dog. Whether you buy one from a breeder or adopt one from a shelter, remember the love you give is the love you’ll receive—tenfold.

Now don’t just take my word for it – go see for yourself! But I warn you, your results may be blurred by lots of licks, wonderful woos, and happy tail wagging. Until next time, Happy Friday and lots of Husky Hugs to all our fine-fur coated friends!