Category: Business

Winter arrives

Keeping our dogs safe and secure through the winter times.

To my mind, it’s always a fine balance when I am sent a guest post from a person who represents a commercial organisation. Do I say ‘No’ because I don’t wish to promote a business that I have no personal experience of. Do I say ‘Yes’ if the guest post carries useful information for lovers of dogs.

Thus I didn’t immediately come to a decision when back in September I received the following email:

Learning From Dogs,

I hope this message finds you well.

I just would like to say thank you for the incredible amount of value you contribute to your website.

I’m reaching out because I’d love to submit a highly valuable piece of ‘pet’ content for your website that would be valuable for your readers.

If you’re still accepting posts, please let me know and I can put together a draft for your review. I hope you have an excellent day.

Warmest Regards,

Lannie N.
Digital Marketing Specialist
Allivet

I replied saying:

 Dear Lannie,

In principle I am always happy to receive guest posts.

That would apply equally to your goodself. All I would ask is that your post is written from a personal perspective and not one that is directly or indirectly promoting what Alivet does.

Simply because my readers assume that I am not for or against any product or service mentioned on my pages.

Lannie sent me the guest article and I judged it had valuable advice especially for this time of the year. Here it is.

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Tips to Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy in the Winter

by Lannie, 18th September, 2017

Dogs love the warm, summer months when they can frolic and play outside. But our furry friends can have a hard time in the winter, when the days are shorter and the weather is too cold to go outside. Luckily, if you have a pet dog, there are some things you can do to help him stay healthy and thriving throughout the entire cold season. Here are some of the best.

Take Walks When the Sun Is Out

If you take your dog for walks for exercise, then be sure to walk him during the sunniest parts of the day. By walking in the sun, you can take advantage of the day’s warmest hours. You can also be sure that both you and your pooch get some much-needed vitamin D.

Use a Shorter Leash

When you walk your dog during the winter, make sure you use a shorter leash for him than you would during the warmer months. A dog that has a long lead may pull and run, which can cause both you and the dog to slip and fall. To keep your pooch injury-free this winter, try sticking to a 4-foot lead, which allows you more control over where he moves.

Make Sure Bedding Is Warm and Cozy

Just like you, your dog needs to cuddle up and keep warm at night. Don’t make your dog sleep alone on the floor. Instead, choose a bed that is the right size, and add accessories that can help create more warmth, like blankets, toys and pillows. Consider getting your dog’s bed up off the cold ground by choosing a raised one, and make sure he doesn’t have to sleep somewhere unheated or drafty.

Cut Down on Shampooing

You want to take care of your dog’s skin in the winter. Like yours, it can become chapped and dry. Try cutting back on how often you shampoo your dog. When you do bathe your pet, be sure to check him for ticks and fleas, which can still be around during the winter months. To prevent him from getting ticks and fleas in the first place, try using NexGard.

Protect Your Dog’s Feet

If it’s too cold for you to walk outside barefoot, then it’s too cold for your furry friend. Invest in booties that protect your dog’s feet, and make sure you put them on his feet when you walk in the snow or ice. Booties also prevent snow on sidewalks and streets from getting between your dog’s paw pads, which can cause burning and irritation. Something else to keep in mind during the winter is preventing fleas & ticks from spreading on your dog. Fleas and ticks are capable of surviving in outdoor temperatures as low as the upper 30s. Something to consider is finding a flea and tick product for your dog that will help prevent this from happening. If you would like to learn more, go here for information on Nexgard, which is a chewable preventative that can keep the fleas and ticks at bay.

Consider Feeding Your Dog More

Dogs tend to get cold in the winter, and their bodies have to work harder to keep them warm. For that reason, they can burn more calories during this season. To make up for the extra burned calories, consider boosting the amount you feed your dog by a little bit. Consult with your vet first to figure out the perfect amount to feed your pet.

Be Careful With Ice-Melting Materials

Ice-melting materials like salt and antifreeze can be extremely harmful, or lethal, to pets. Make sure you keep them far out of reach of your dog. If you have to use an ice melter on your sidewalk during the winter, be sure you monitor your dog so he does not eat it.

Your dog might not love winter, but with some help from you, he can spend the entire season healthy and happy. By taking a few simple steps, you can ensure that your pup feels good and is strong enough to take the arriving spring and summer by storm.

Lannie, writer for Allivet. Allivet provides affordable pet supplies and pet medications, all of which can be purchased online.

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The Allivet Pet Pharmacy website is here. As I inferred earlier on I have no experience, good or bad, with Allivet.

Thanks Lannie.

Life with Luna

Time and time again we see what dogs mean to us.

Not that long ago I received an email out-of-the-blue from Linley Achtenhagen. Linley wanted to tell me, and all of you, what having a dog had meant to her.

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How It All Started

by Linley Achtenhagen

Before I start talking about all of the things I have learned from having a dog, I should probably tell the story of how this crazy journey started.

My sophomore year of college was probably one of the most difficult years I’ve had. I was struggling with anxiety issues and I had just quit basketball, which was the hardest decision I’ve ever made. Why? Well, I had been playing basketball from the time I could walk and the day that I decided I was done was a very difficult, yet relieving day.

Me playing basketball had become unhealthy for me and caused me so much stress and anxiety that it was hurting me more than it was helping me, but that’s a different story.

Anyways, once I was done playing college basketball I felt relieved, but also empty. All I had really ever known was basketball, so now I felt like I wasn’t doing anything with my life other than going to school and studying things that I didn’t care about. I knew that something was missing!

I have always been an animal lover. Growing up we had everything from cats, to dogs, to horses and even a pet bird. Dogs were my favorite though (sorry cat lovers) and I thought, “why not see if there’s a dog that needs a home”.

So I went online and of course, I found, literally, thousands of dogs that needed homes. After months of searching and convincing my parents that I could do this, I adopted Luna.

Luna came from a high-kill shelter in Missouri, meaning that if she wasn’t adopted in a certain time frame she was going to be put to sleep. Lucky for me, Tiny Paws Small Dog Rescue in Milwaukee, Wi transported her and about 10 other dogs from the shelter up to Wisconsin.

Luna was about 15 pounds underweight and for a 40-pound dog that’s dangerously skinny. When I would pet her I could feel every single bone on her body. She was skinny, shy, and had patches of fur missing, yet the trust this animal gave me right from the start was amazing. This animal had gone through only God knows what, and trusted me immediately. It was an eye-opening thing to watch.

Now, I’m not going to lie and say that it was all butterflies and rainbows when I adopted Luna. The first few days I was panicked and thought, “what on earth did I get myself into”. But I knew that I had made a commitment to this dog and I couldn’t give her away. I have always hated change, in fact, it is one of the things that gives me pretty bad anxiety, and I knew that giving Luna back would be the easy way out. Sure enough, in about a week, this dog became my best friend and it’s like we had a mutual understanding that we were in this together.

Since getting Luna I went from not knowing what I wanted to do with my life to declaring my major as entrepreneurship and knowing that one day I want to open my own pet supply store.

I want to share all of the knowledge that I have gained about dogs from having Luna with other pet and dog lovers. I have found that big, franchise pet stores just don’t have the same knowledge that small, local pet stores do. I am also not saying that I know everything there is to know about dogs because I still learn new things every single day. But I want to share everything I have learned with dog owners and help them give their pet the best life possible. I also hope to learn new things from all the people that (hopefully) come in and out of my store every day.

In the posts to come, I will share everything I have learned about life, love, animals, and everything in between from my life with Luna.

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If only all decisions in life were as easy as me wanting to publish Linley’s account of her meeting Luna!

All we now need is a photograph of the happy couple!

Luna being loved by Linley.

May everything go well for you, Linley!

Saturday Smile

Yet another wonderful video to make your day!

(Seen on Mother Nature Network.)

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This border collie is so excited to be working at the farm


Noel Kirkpatrick August 19, 2017

The day on a farm starts so early that it’s easy to imagine that you’d get worn out pretty quickly. Unless you happen to be a border collie.

This border collie either paced itself all day, consumed an energy drink (kidding … please do not let your dog consume an energy drink) or just started its day, but the dog is so very pumped to spread some hay. The dog’s farmer companion can’t even keep up with the pup! The hay is barely on the pitchfork before the border collie has yanked it off the truck and shaken it around the ground.

This seems like an efficient way to spread hay, too. The border collie gets to expend some energy, the human just has to stand on the bed of a truck and the hay goes exactly where it needs to. After this, maybe they go and sit on the porch and admire their hard work. Or they go and herd sheep. Seeing the energy level of this dog, it’s probably sheep herding.

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Have a brilliant weekend!

Best ‘unlaid’ plans

All change on the flooring front – again!

If you detect a tone of exasperation in the following then you are very sensitive to the mood in the Handover household!

For until around 10:30 yesterday morning we had every expectation that the flooring installers would be hard at work through to Wednesday. That fact displayed on this blog by the continuing Flooring Diversion posts.

However, when we were told yesterday that a) Home Depot couldn’t advise us of the total cost of laying the board laminate on our floors, and b) that the installers were now unable to return to our house until the 23rd., it was decided that a face-to-face with the person in charge at our local HD store was called for.

That resulted in us going to the store and meeting Ben the store manager. And in fairness to Ben he listened to our grumbles, acknowledged that we had reason to grumble and got it all sorted. That translating into the installers being with us this coming weekend.

I had planned to publish a fabulous guest post on Thursday assuming that the flooring work had been completed by then.

It is now being published in ten minutes time. You will love it!

Visiting the Vet – Updates

How this theme is taking shape!

But first, let me offer an update and a correction.

In my first report, published on June 28th, the very first patient for Dr. Jim was Ginger.Here’s an extract from that report:

It was immediately clear to Jim when he listened to Ginger’s heart that it was racing; Jim thought at something like 200 beats per minute. Jim continued to check Ginger over although, as he told me later, he had an idea that Ginger’s medical problem was a cardiac issue. Jim arranged for Ginger to be given an X-ray as well as blood work.

A number of you wanted me to check on Ginger’s status. Jim said that in a follow-up call made by the clinic they were told that Ginger was doing well.

The second item is a correction. In the report that described Lynn bringing in a stray kitten that had terrible puss oozing from one eye, I wrote: “Moments later Jim has not only cleaned out all the puss but found and removed the cause of the infection that was behind the kitten’s eyeball.”

When I queried with Jim what was the cause of the infection, he said that there was nothing physical behind the eye but that the kitten had contracted a severe eye infection probably a viral infection. The kitten was also doing well.

So last Thursday, the 13th July, I returned to Lincoln Road, arriving at 09:45. My plan was to spend the morning with Jim and then the afternoon with Dr. Russel  Codd the owner of the clinic.

It was another wonderfully interesting day and I have sufficient material for the next two to three weeks.

This is Cooper, a male Jack Russell, being checked out by Dr. Russ.

Dr. Russ started the afternoon at 14:30 so there was a bit of a wait after Jim had finished his morning at 12:05. That prompted me to see if future sessions watching Dr. Russ at work could be morning ones.

In other words, I would go across to Lincoln Road on two mornings a month; one to spend with Dr. Jim and one with Dr. Russ. I have yet to speak to Russ about that but can’t envisage an issue.

What Russel Codd did say to me that afternoon was that he really supported this theme and that he might arrange for me to ‘shadow’ one or two specialists who work locally in Grants Pass.  Plus, I did venture the idea that maybe there was book potential and Russ was very happy with that possible development as well.

So Sue, there’s the answer to you writing last week: “Lots of information here perhaps for a second book?” Great suggestion! (Indeed, good people, I am giving the idea of turning this series into a book very careful thought and will ask for feedback from you in a subsequent post once I am clearer about the purpose and objectives of such a book.)

So the first of my reports from my visit on the 13th will be published either later this week or early next week.

Thank you, everyone, for your interest, suggestions and support. You really are a great group of readers!

Visiting the Vet – Transformations.

This is why some choose to become veterinary doctors.

Today I write about the last animal that Dr. Jim attended to from my morning at Lincoln Road on June 22nd. I have been blown away by the interest in this theme from so many of you. Thank you!

Indeed, today I am back at the clinic spending both the morning and some of the afternoon watching and recording.

My plan from now on, subject to Dr. Codd supporting the idea, is to spend time at the clinic roughly one day a month. For in just the five or six hours of a day’s visit there is such a variety of events that it will provide more than enough material for me to present Visiting the Vet posts regularly each week during the following month.

OK! Now to the last patient that morning.

12:20

A woman carries in a stray kitten that had been found on the premises of a local scrap metal dealer.

The woman, Lynn, didn’t hesitate to bring the kitten to Lincoln Road because it had an infected right eye.

Jim takes some blood, in itself a bit of a challenge with such a young kitten, and looks more closely at the male kitten. He observes that the eye is most terribly infected with puss pouring out and Jim is of no doubt that the kitten had this eye infection since birth just a few weeks ago.

I come closer to take a photograph (the one above) and am in awe of the delicate way that Jim uses a tiny swab, Lynn holding the kitten for Jim, to clear the puss away from the eye. Moments later Jim has not only cleaned out all the puss but found and removed the cause of the infection that was behind the kitten’s eyeball.

12:40 The kitten sees with both eyes. What a transformation in just twenty minutes.

Jim looks up at Lynn: “Lynn, you do know you have saved his life!”

Lynn replies: “I didn’t really want another cat!”

Jim then gets some food for the kitten and gives it time to settle down.

Lynn and I chat and I am flattered to learn that Lynn has previously purchased a copy of my book. It can be such a small world at times!

12:30 All done. Lynn wraps the kitten back into the same towel that was used to bring it in to the clinic such a short time ago.

Thus ended my first experience of being behind the scenes of a busy vet practice.

The experience has profoundly affected me.

For as well as the astounding level of medical skill that I have observed it was also clear, as Jim put it, that he has to play counselor, psychotherapist, and even bartender. Why bartender? Because Jim quietly offers the observation that quite a few persons come in with their pets when they are the worse for drink! The owner that is not the animal!

Seriously though, let me offer what I concluded after just this one visit to Lincoln Road. That Jim and, I’m sure, Dr. Russ and many thousands of DVMs across the world, have many more demands on them than just being a good doctor.

They must display attention to detail and have an inquiring mind. They must be genuinely empathetic for the animal owner’s circumstances. But also good record keepers! Also they will have to endure a great deal of kneeling. Then, again, those knees have to be topped with a head that is jam-packed full of knowledge and experience to avoid jumping to incorrect conclusions. More subjectively, their emotions have to be kept under control for they frequently will see animals that have not been best cared for and, again all too frequently, they will have to end the life of a dear pet as gently and painlessly as is possible.

To be continued!

Visiting the Vet – Buffy & Chloe

Still it comes, one pet after another!

It’s 11:05

This is Buffy, a nine-year-old Dachshund crossed with a Terrier, who is drinking and peeing too much according to the lady who brought Buffy in to the clinic this morning. Adding that Buffy seems to be always hungry and quieter than normal.

Jim runs a blood test and not long after says that nothing has jumped out at him as a potential issue from Part One of the test results. (Apparently, the blood test comprised two parts – I will learn more in a subsequent visit to Lincoln Road.)

Buffy’s heart sounds good. Buffy has not lost weight.

Then Part Two of the blood test results reveal, thankfully, that Buffy is not diabetic, is not indicating Cushing’s Syndrome, and that Buffy’s kidneys are fine.

In other words, Buffy has the look of a healthy dog.

Has this all been a waste of time and money? Not at all, says Dr. Jim. This is the first time the clinic has seen Buffy and all the test results can now be logged providing a baseline of data for future reference purposes.

11:50 In comes Chloe.

Chloe has been vomiting up her food and, consequently, has stopped eating. Jim is concerned that Chloe is overweight and that in the very hot weather of recent days (high 90s F./mid 30s C.) he has been seeing a number of dogs with excessive heat problems.

One thing that could be done to Chloe was to clip her excessively long toe nails.

Jim does that.

12:15 All done.

To be continued:

(Please note: These observations are mine alone and because of the busy environment it must be assumed that my interpretation of what was taking place might not be totally accurate. Nothing in this blog post should be used by a reader to make any medical judgment about an animal. If you have any concern about an animal do make an appointment to see a properly qualified veterinarian doctor.)

Visiting the Vet – Kenya’s itch.

Practical ways of treating Kenya’s itchy skin.

10:45 Next along was Kenya and his ‘Mum’.

The story was that after a raw patch had appeared on Kenya’s back it had then become very itchy for the brave dog.

Jim shaved the area clear of fur and cleaned the skin to aid a closer examination.

Jim then explained that the challenge in these sorts of cases is that it is very easy to throw a lot of money at the problem without any guarantee of success.  Not only were there cost considerations but also the question of whether to go down the route of injections or administer pills.

As an observer I was struck, but not surprised knowing Jim as a friend, to see how an open and honest assessment of the problem came way before any commercial implications.

Jim’s view was to leave it for the time being but he did recommend using a hypoallergenic shampoo. There were a number to choose from but Jim supported the shampoo manufactured by Bayer and sold under the brand name of Hylyt Shampoo.

There are a number of online sources for this shampoo. I chose, more or less at random, the one at Allvet Supply.

That website describes the shampoo, thus:

HyLyt Shampoo is a hypoallergenic dog shampoo and is perfect for routine use in bathing dogs and cats. The shampoo is safe for normal, dry or sensitive skin types and may be used in conjunction with topical therapeutics.

HyLyt shampoo contains a light fragrance that will leave your pets smelling clean and fresh. The gentle shampoo formula is ideal for bathing both dogs and cats. The soap-free formula is pH balanced and will not dry out delicate skin or fur.

In addition to the gentle formula, HyLyt shampoo also contains special emollients for moisturizing and proteins for conditioning. The hypoallergenic dog shampoo also contains fatty acids to reduce scaling and flaking of the skin. If your pet suffers from seasonal or acute dryness, HyLyt shampoo will help restore their skin and coat to optimal health and beauty.

Then it was time for a quick checkup underneath Kenya, so to speak, and that was it!

11:00 All done!

I am having trouble getting my head around the fact that I have only been watching proceedings for two-and-a-half hours! So much knowledge on show. So much experience. So much compassion for our beloved pets!

To be continued:

(Please note: These observations are mine alone and because of the busy environment it must be assumed that my interpretation of what was taking place might not be totally accurate. Nothing in this blog post should be used by a reader to make any medical judgment about an animal. If you have any concern about an animal do make an appointment to see a properly qualified veterinarian doctor.)

Visiting the Vet – Hunt the Foxtail

Yet another interesting case for Dr. Jim.

As soon as it was time to say ‘goodbye’ to Ace the cat then in came an entirely different case.

1020 – Back to dogs!

This was Millie, a pit mix, who had been dropped off at the Clinic earlier on. Millie’s owner said that there appeared to be something troubling Millie’s ears. Millie was, indeed, shaking her head a great deal.

Jim established that it was Millie’s left ear that was the source of the irritation. This was immediately obvious since Millie cried as soon as Jim touched that left ear.

The first examination didn’t identify anything that might be the cause. But apparently the endoscope had such a narrow field of view that it was easy to miss an irritant. Time for another, more extensive examination using that same endoscope.

This time the problem was identified. A foxtail that had penetrated Millie’s ear so deeply that the seed-head had pierced Millie’s eardrum.

Carefully, oh so carefully, Jim pulled the foxtail out from Millie’s ear. I couldn’t believe just how large it was.

About an inch (2.5 cm) long.

I was unable to grab a photograph of Millie’s face once the foxtail had been removed. Trust me it was a face full of doggie smiles.

But I can’t move on to the next patient without remarking how Millie was so beautifully behaved. How maligned the Pitbull and Pitbull Mixes are!

10:45 All done with Millie!

To be continued:

(Please note: These observations are mine alone and because of the busy environment it must be assumed that my interpretation of what was taking place might not be totally accurate. Nothing in this blog post should be used by a reader to make any medical judgment about an animal. If you have any concern about an animal do make an appointment to see a properly qualified veterinarian doctor.)

Visiting The Vet – Cats

The morning at Lincoln Road progresses.

(This is a continuation from here.)

It’s 09:00 and the next animals to be brought in to see Dr. Jim are a couple of cats requiring vaccination.

The kittens are named Grace and Frankie and both were adopted from the Nevada Humane Society although I wasn’t familiar with the circumstances surrounding that adoption.

But great to see them being cared for by the two women and the degree of professional service that I saw in Jim’s briefing of these new cat owners.

That care included giving one of the kittens the necessary pills by mouth.

It is now 09:25 and the next case for Jim is another cat. In this case a cat, named Ace, that the owner thinks is having trouble seeing out of it’s right eye.

Jim applies a fluorescent stain to the Ace’s eye that then enables Jim to use a special UV lamp to determine the degree of damage to the eye.

It is determined that the pressure in Ace’s eyeball is normal and Jim is pretty certain that Ace has no sight at all in that right eye. He recommends giving the cat some antibiotics and explains to the owner that cat’s can function perfectly adequately with just one eye. Indeed, if necessary the eyeball could be removed, something that would not be a disadvantage for Ace.

The lady owner of Ace takes note of Jim’s advice and is clearly grateful for what has been explained to her.

It is 10:10.

To be continued:

(Please note: These observations are mine alone and because of the busy environment it must be assumed that my interpretation of what was taking place might not be totally accurate. Nothing in this blog post should be used by a reader to make any medical judgment about an animal. If you have any concern about an animal do make an appointment to see a properly qualified veterinarian doctor.)