Tag: Emily Ridgewell

Four-legged gardening.

Another great guest post from Emily Ridgewell.

Last October 4th, just three weeks ago tomorrow, I introduced Emily Ridgewell to you. She had written a guest post for us Return to the Movies. It was well-received.

For many, the next few weeks are an important time of the year to do a spot of gardening. A time when dog-owners allow their loved ones to ‘help’, especially in the digging department. But are our gardens as safe for dogs as many of us might like to believe? Emily’s second guest post addresses that question.

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How to Create a Dog-Friendly Garden

by Emily Ridgewell, October 18th, 2017

Being a pet owner is not only a great pleasure but also a huge responsibility. While most of the people think that taking care of dog only included feeding and walking it three times a day, the truth is that being a good dog owner means much more than that. There are plenty of unobvious things that might pose potential threats to the health and wellbeing of dogs, and plants from home garden is a telling example of such threats.

Turns out, not all home plants are equal and your favorite flowers might be a poison for your dog if ingested. The consequences might be serious, which is why it’s important for you as a responsible dog owner to ensure your home garden is dog-friendly and learn what to do if your dog ingested a poisonous plant. The goal of this article is to help you on this matter.

Basic Rules to Follow

Before listing all home plants and flowers that might pose threat to your dog, it makes sense to say a bit about general rules of creating a dog-friendly garden. After all, it is not about the right or wrong plants only.

  • If possible, choose robust plants

Young plants or plants with especially delicate stems might not survive if your dog will run through them every now and then. That’s why you are strongly advised to plant large and robust plants like astilbe, hardy geranium, or lavender.

  • Remember to protect your garden

If you don’t want your home garden to be ruined by a happy running dog, make sure your garden has clearly defined boundaries and borders. Low-growing box hedge serves perfectly for this matter.

  • Be careful using chemicals

The importance of this point is paramount. Plenty of gardeners use non-organic slug pellets and other chemicals when taking care of a garden. If you own a dog, the only option for you is to learn how to deal with snails and slugs organically and avoid any chemicals altogether.

  • Choose gentle materials

If you want garden decorations, avoid sharp stones and kinds of materials that might become extremely hot under the sun or too slippery when wet.

Which home plants and flowers are not dog-friendly?

By now you know the most common rules you should follow when creating a dog-friendly garden. Now it is time to learn which particular plants and flowers might be dangerous for dogs and should be avoided at all cost.

All poisonous plants range from slightly toxic (those that might cause vomiting, but nothing more serious) to extremely toxic (those that might cause serious health problems, including death). The list of plants that are dangerous to dogs is long, so it makes sense to divide all plants into subcategories.

In the case with perennial flowers, you should avoid Foxglove, Mums, Lenten Rose, Bleeding Hearts, Hosta, Lily-of-the-valley, Monkshood, Yarrow, and Iris. Speaking of vines, your home garden should not have Morning Glory, English Ivy, Clematis, Bittersweets, Boston Ivy, and Wisteria. As for annuals, you’d better stay away from Lantana and Begonia. The list of poisonous shrubs includes Rose of Sharon, Hydrangea, Yew Bushes, Burning Bush, Azalea Genus, Boxwood, Daphne, and Andromeda. You should also be careful with certain trees, including American Holly, Golden Chain, Oak Trees, Yellow Bird of Paradise, and Oleander.

Armed with this information, you should not have any problems creating a beautiful and dog-friendly home garden. Just make sure to double-check all plants that you decide to plant and refer to common sense when choosing home garden decorations.

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 I thought this was valuable information and a very helpful article from Emily.

Then wanted to close this post by sharing with you an example of how our dogs help with the gardening around here.

But all I could find was this photograph of Cleo ‘thinking’ of doing the front lawn.

Win some: Lose some!

Return to the movies!

Another movie, another dog! Correction: another world-famous dog!

Monday’s post Hail the Hero was about Max.

Max, a feature film by the producers of the doggie classic Marley and Me, intends to explore a soldier dog’s journey that doesn’t end with this heartbreaking image of a pup chasing down his fallen brother, but rather begins with it.

So it’s rather nice to welcome a guest post from Emily Ridgewell that features a dog that became known far and wide thanks to television and the cinema.

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An Incredible Rescue: An Often Forgotten “Tail” From The Golden Age Of Hollywood

By Emily Ridgewell

In the shadow of recent world tragedies, and long before cute puppies and kittens graced the internet, there were former movie legends in the form of incredible canines that found their way onto the big screen in the golden age of Hollywood. Think of adorable dogs like Toto from The Wizard of Oz or Lassie from many different types of these movies and television shows.

But there’s another “tail” (pardon the pun) about a German Shepherd named Rin Tin Tin who stole America’s heart and eventually had millions of fans all around the world long before the advent of the internet. Few of us today know the real-life story of this precious little puppy who was rescued from a war zone long before Toto or Lassie gained their fame and fortune as canine celebrities.

According to a historically-related biography published long-after this rag-tag dog shot to fame in the late twenties and early thirties, there was a young American soldier stationed in Europe shortly before the end of World War I. Corporal Lee Duncan was traipsing through the aftermath of formerly German-occupied farming village in France when he came across a single building, actually it was a kennel, that remained somewhat intact after a devastating bombing had leveled the entire town.

After cautiously entering the building, the young trooper painfully walked over more than a dozen dead German Shepherd dogs. These canine soldiers were trained for combat and left behind by the Third Reich. Corporal Duncan heard whimpering coming from deeper inside this solitary structure and continued on with his mission. To his amazement, Lee discovered some unlikely survivors of this terrible tragedy.

AFTER THE UNTHINKABLE – LIVING & LOVABLE

Lying in the rubble, there Lee saw a female shepard with five young puppies who were just a few days old. Corporal Duncan was no stranger to abandonment since his own father had left him and his mother to fend for themselves back in 1898. Just a year later, his Mom took him and a younger sibling to an orphanage. Perhaps this tugged on his heartstrings and he couldn’t leave behind this young family so he took them all underneath his wing.

He took the entire brood back to his barracks in a living and loving rescue effort. The young Corporal quickly realized he couldn’t care for all of them and found loving homes for all but two of the pups. He kept a little boy and girl, named them Nanette and Rin Tin Tin, both titles given to good luck charms found in France.

THE CANINES AFTER CHAOS

Lee continued to care for his beloved best buddies as the chaos of the war continued. After the conflict had concluded, Corporal Duncan was bound and determined to take his little war refugees home with him. Imagine the red-tape he was faced with and, long story short, he lost Nanette to pneumonia after bringing them both home to the states.

The WWI veteran got a job in his home state of California and began training Rin Tin Tin to perform some tricks in their spare time. After some filming occurred, the former Corporal wrote a screenplay and the rest (as they say) is history.

There’s an old saying (later turned into a Beatles song – also from many days gone by) that rings true in this case, you “Can’t Buy Me Love.” And that’s the whole point.

You can’t purchase the love and affection of an animal, but if you rescue one, you’ll find unconditional love that lasts forever. You might not become rich and famous after rescuing an animal, but you’ll never find a deeper love and connection with your four-legged best friend.

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Emily Ridgewell is an arts professional and a pet enthusiast from sunny LA. Emily has a creative energy and an aesthetic sense of living, where everything beautiful is worth sharing. She loves her yorkie Olivia and writes original and fun articles on ways to learn and improve your pet-best friend’s life. She finds exciting new things to explore and experience! Don’t forget to connect with her on Twitter: @ridgewell_j

Picking up on that ‘old saying’ with regard to The Beatles makes it easy to close today’s post. (And sorry if this makes some of you feel old!)

Here’s a little bit of music history:

Written by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 29 January; 25 February; 10 March 1964
Producer: George Martin
Engineers: Norman Smith, Geoff Emerick

Released: 20 March 1964 (UK), 16 March 1964 (US)

Can’t Buy Me Love was The Beatles’ sixth British single, released with the b-side You Can’t Do That. It was written while the group were in Paris for a 19-date residency at the city’s Olympia Theatre.

Ah! Nostalgia!