This cute little bundle was waiting for the priest to arrive for the ‘Blessing of the Animals’  in Gorbio recently. She’s called Praline and she’s 10 years old.

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Tick Bush

Some cool Ticks images:

Tick Bush

Image by John Tann
Tick Bush, Kunzea ambigua. Royal National Park, NSW Australia, December 2011.

Tick Removal

Image by fairfaxcounty
Embedded ticks should be removed using fine-tipped tweezers. DO NOT use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish, or other products. With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from the skin. Cleanse the area with an antiseptic. Learn more about tick removal.

Dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and tickborne diseases. Vaccines are not available for all the tickborne diseases that dogs can get, and they don’t keep the dogs from bringing ticks into your home. For these reasons, it’s important to use a tick preventive product on your dog. Learn more.

The Tick Jar

Image by Steve Longus
Robert proudly displays the tick jar carrying my first tick of the season, a dog tick that really loved my leg. Robert used a maneuver he learned from camp training: tweeze the tick and gently lift, and the tick will release on its own.

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Evolution of the Domestic Dog Redux

I’ve written about the evolution of the domestic dog before. What makes this such a great time to be a dog science geek is that in the few years since I wrote that post there’s been a lot of new research and new thought on the topic.

This is one of those subjects that is probably never going to be completely settled, at least not without time travel — and even then we would need a lot of luck. Chances are there was more than one "domestication event" and each one had likely slightly different factors contributing to its genesis.

This infographic, from The Uncommon Dog explains domestication with a bit of a hybrid view between the "adoption" theory that was very popular until relatively recently, and the self-domestication theory that I wrote about before (and still find more believable than adoption.) It’s an interesting take on the origins of the domestic dog.

What I really enjoyed about this graphic is the additional information about how dogs may have helped us survive. For more on that and on how we evolved together, start here and here.

Here’s the graphic. Enjoy! (Click for the full size version on the orginal site.)


Evolution of the Domestic Dog Redux is a post written by . You can see the actual post at Dog Training in Bergen County New Jersey


Dog Spelled Forward Website and Blog

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{Guest Article}Quiet Time – What’s That? By Elizabeth Marks

Quiet Time – What’s That? By Elizabeth Marks Genesis 18:1 KJV And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre; and he sat in the tent door in the heat of day Abraham was sitting quietly in his tent door.  Perhaps he was  meditating or praying.  We don’t know for sure.  However, we do know to sit means to be fairly still and not moving around. Notice how the Lord appeared to Abraham when he was still?  How often are we still?   Do you allow stillness into your daily routine?  It is within this stillness you can  hear the Lord speaking to you….

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Sunflower Faith

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The Epidemic of Overweight Pets: Treats and Excess Carbs Can Shorten Lives!

So many pets are overweight in the U.S.and those extra pounds are taking years off their life!

Excess pounds can prevent blood from moving where it should, keep the lungs and heart from working efficiently, and will grind down cartilage covered joints to bone on bone contact and result in painful arthritis!

The directions on pet food cans and bags often advise feeding 25-50% more than needed. Many dogs and cats need less because of LOW METABOLISM.

A 30 min walk 3-5 times a week can help dogs stay in shape, raise their calorie burning capacity, and help their muscles burn extra calories! It’s hard to get cats to exercise, so changing the type of food is the best bet.

It’s the amount of food we feed and the high amount of carbs in the diet that make our dogs and cats fat!.For dogs, dry commercial food can be made lower calorie by feeding half the amount soaked in water or mixed with canned green beans. Feeding the same commercial canned food as the dry may help because canned food has less calories per ounce than it’s dry food cousin.  Canned food may help decrease calories and encourage weight loss. For cats, changing the diet to canned from dry food may help with weight loss and avoid chronic medical problems like diabetes and arthritis.

High carb treats pack a bunch of needless calories. Feeding 2 -3 biscuits a day may make weight loss impossible. Feed a higher protein treat like a piece of chicken, cheese, fish, or piece of chicken hotdog! You can also feed baby carrots, green beans, or apples to those fruit and veggie types!

Lower calorie, nutritious treats like Lickety Stik are grain free, organic, have nutrients, and less calories for those weight challenged pets


Pet Obesity in America infographic by PetSafe
Special thanks to PetSafefor sharing this visualization with us.

Check out other feeding tips in the “Dog Dish Diet” and Home Cooking Pet Food in “Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet”


My Corgi was so overweight she didn’t want to do anything but lay around and eat. Since putting her on your diet in “Feed your Pet to avoid the Vet.” She has slimmed down nicely. She is now more energetic and chases squirrels. She’s happier, more loving, her fur is so soft. As I’m sure you know, Corgis shed a lot! With her that has even slowed down a great deal and no fleas. Her teeth are clean and she doesn’t have dog breath! Thank you Dr. Greg for writing the books and educating us on a better much healthier way to feed our fur-babies!


Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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What is the best way to treat cat ear mites?

Question by monkeyluvr: What is the best way to treat cat ear mites?
So my cat has ear mites, I read online that if you pour olive oil into her ear it can help treat the ear mites. Well today I took a cotton swab of olive oil and rubbed it around her ear. Well in the past few hours I’ve noticed that she become distant (hiding in really dark areas, which she never does) and i think it’s gotten worse, possibly they’ve moved from her right ear to left ear? Is that a good sign? I’m not sure what to do, she keeps scratching her ear and meowing a lot. Help?

Best answer:

Answer by %$ #$ #)@
Olive oil does NOTHING and you probably hurt her by shoving a cotton swab in her ear. Your cat needs a VET not useless home remedies. The vet can give your cat a single dose of Revolution which will kill the ear mites.

Add your own answer in the comments!

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THE ROCK: Chapter 13. Ridiculous Part 2

Here. Now

I was born in the year of the dog.  1970. And maybe that’s what sealed my fate.

The ridiculous thing is I didn’t even realize that until well after we were on the road.  I was in some jerkwater town at an all-you-can-eat Asian restaurant supping by myself and they had those Chinese Zodiac placemats on the table.  The thing you never read unless you’re alone.  
After my uncle Jamie passed recently, I’ve had a tough time composing the next chapter of the story.  As a writer, adventurer, philanthropist – cum chef you never know when your next word, idea, undertaking or meal is your last.  
But we dogs.  We don’t care.
What comes next isn’t up to us.  The only thing that matters is here and now.


YBD’s Notes: There may be a part 3, 4, 5 to this chapter until I figure out what I have to figure out.  My apologies.

2 Dogs 2,000 Miles

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Hip Dysplasia in Dalmatians

Do you remember when a Dalmatian dog could be seen riding on a fire truck? Or how about the Disney film “101 Dalmatians”? I doubt that as you were watching these magnificent creatures you ever thought that there could be such a thing as hip dysplasia in Dalmatians.

Dalmatians were bred to chase horse-drawn carriages and were used for this purpose long before they became associated in people’s minds with fire engines and firemen. They are tough, dependable dogs who are noted for their robust stamina. If you enjoy jogging, a Dalmatian is your perfect companion no matter how far your daily jog takes you as they are noted for their ability to keep up with the most passionate runner.

Well-trained Dalmatians are gentle and have a quiet bearing. However, they can be energetic and rowdy at times, owing to their incredible energy and stamina, and for this reason they are not necessarily the best pets to own if you have very small children. They do make excellent playmates for older children, and their strong protective instincts make them very effective guard dogs for the entire family.

Dalmatians are people-oriented dogs and should not be left alone in the house for any extended period of time. If they don’t receive enough attention and exercise they become destructive, digging up lawns and gardens, chewing on things you’ve left lying around the house, and worst of all, they’ll bark incessantly if you ignore them for too long.

Dalmatians are wanderers, and if allowed to roam, they may disappear for days, busy exploring your neighborhood or even half the town. It’s essential that you have a fenced-in yard if you plan on letting them cavort around outside when not on a leash.

Dalmatians mainly shed their coats in the spring and fall, but will keep shedding all year round. Daily brushing of their coats becomes a necessity if you don’t want to spend your days vacuuming the carpets and furniture. Dalmatians are sensitive to cold weather and shouldn’t be left outside in the wintertime.

Dalmatians date back to ancient Egypt where they were used as guard dogs and dogs of war. But Dalmatians really made their name in the 19th century as “coach dogs” due to their natural swiftness and agility. Their kinship with horses made them well suited for following their owner’s horse-drawn carriages and guarding the horses and carriages when the owners went inside.

Dalmatians are medium-sized, well-proportioned dogs with distinctive black spots on a white coat. Most children are familiar with them because they’ve admired their escapades in the Disney movies “Lady and the Tramp” and “101 Dalmatians”. Dalmatians have strong muzzles and deep-set eyes. Their strong, arched necks are supported by their deep chests and level backs. Their tails curl up slightly and they have long, well-muscled legs with rounded feet. Their coats are short, dense and sleek.

One interesting fact most people are not aware of unless they’ve owned a Dalmatian puppy, is that Dalmatians are solid white when they are born and develop their distinctive black spots as they get older.

Dalmatians are very active dogs and must be exercised every day. They make wonderful pets and excellent companions. They are very charming dogs and will follow you everywhere, wanting to be with you all the time.

A healthy Dalmatian can live as long as 12 years. Unfortunately, they are prone to developing hip dysplasia as they grow older.

Hip dysplasia in Dalmatians is a genetic disease that primarily affects large and giant breeds of dogs like the Dalmatian but can also affect medium-sized breeds and occasionally small breeds. It is primarily a disease of purebreds, although it can also occur in mixed breeds.

To understand hip dysplasia and the resulting arthritis, you need a basic understanding of how the dog’s hip joint is affected. The hip joint is comprised of a ball and socket that forms the attachment of the hind leg to the body. The ball portion is the head of the femur and the socket is located on the pelvis. In a normal hip joint the ball rotates freely within the socket. The bones are shaped to perfectly match each other with the socket surrounding the ball. To strengthen the joint, the two bones are held together by a strong ligament. The joint capsule, a strong band of connective tissue, circles the two bones to provide added stability.

This is an example of a normal hip joint:

Hip dysplasia is linked to abnormal joint structure and a laxity of the muscles, connective tissue, and ligaments that would normally support the dog’s hip joints. As the disease progresses, the articular surfaces of the two bones lose contact with each other. This separation of the two bones within the joint causes a drastic change in the size and shape of the articular surfaces.

Most dogs who eventually develop hip dysplasia are born with normal hips, but due to their genetic make-up the soft tissues surrounding the joint develop abnormally. This leads to the symptoms associated with hip dysplasia. The disease may affect both hips, or only the right or left hip.

This is an example of a hip joint showing the effects of hip dysplasia:

The symptoms of hip dysplasia cause afflicted dogs to walk or run with an altered gait, similar to a bunny-hop. They begin to resist any movement that requires full extension or flexion of the rear legs. They will experience stiffness and pain in their rear legs after exercising and on first rising in the morning. Climbing stairs becomes difficult if not impossible. Some dogs will limp and are less willing to participate in normal daily activities, including walks they formerly enjoyed.

It appears that the amount of calories a dog consumes, especially during its fast-growth period from three to ten months, has the biggest impact on whether or not a dog genetically prone to hip dysplasia will develop the disease.

Obesity can increase the severity of the disease in dogs that are genetically susceptible and the extra weight will intensify the degeneration of a dog’s joints and hips. Dogs who are genetically prone to hip dysplasia and also are overweight, are at a much higher risk of developing hip dysplasia and eventually osteoarthritis.

Exercise can be another risk factor. Dogs genetically susceptible to hip dysplasia may have an increased incidence of the disease if they are over-exercised at a young age. Moderate exercise like running and swimming is best for exercising young dogs.

Because hip dysplasia is primarily an inherited condition, there are no products that can prevent its development. Through proper diet, exercise, and a daily regimen of Winston’s Joint System, you can slow, and sometimes halt, the progression of these degenerative joint diseases while providing your dog with relief from its pain. Winston’s provides many of the raw materials essential for the synthesis of the joint-lubricating synovial fluid as well as the repair of articular cartilage and connective tissue.

You might also want to consider providing your dog with an orthopedic bed like the Canine Cooler Bed which distributes the dog’s weight evenly and reduces pressure on its joints. The Canine Cooler Bed uses revolutionary SoothSoft Technology to give your dog the very best in comfort, and the fluid-enhanced design offers a dry, cooling effect with superior cushioning and support. It’s perfect for dogs with hip dysplasia or arthritis.

If owners insisted on only purchasing an animal whose parents and grandparents were certified to have good or excellent hips, and if breeders only bred these first-rate animals, then the majority of the problems caused by hip dysplasia would be eliminated.

If you are looking to purchase a Dalmatian now or in the future, the best way to lessen the possibility of getting a dog that will develop hip dysplasia is to examine the incidence of hip dysplasia in the dog’s lineage. If at all possible, try to examine the parents and grandparents as far back as three or four generations.

There are different assumptions on how to prevent the progression of hip dysplasia in Dalmatians. Poor nutrition, inadequate or improper exercise, and increased body weight may all contribute to the severity of osteoarthritis after the hip dysplasia has developed. By watching the calories your puppy or young dog consumes and preventing obesity in your dog, allowing only non-stressful types of exercise, and a daily regimen of Winston’s Joint System, are the best things you can do for your dog.

Improve The Lives Of Your Dogs By Treating Hip Dysplasia

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Good Job, Internet: Walmart Pulls Offensive Dead Dog Halloween Prop

Yesterday, before the Internet caught wind of it, you could buy a prop of a dead dog at Walmart. A dog who was apparently hit by a car — “bloody roadkill,” according to the description. The manufacturer did a pretty honest job, including lots of blood and a “large tire track squished through its mid torso.” Oh, and it included a chain “for dragging purposes.” 

All in all, a good, completely insane and horrifying addition to the Walmart line, which was pulled down as Internet outrage grew, as it should have been. Actually, it should have been taken down before it was even put up, before it was even made, before it was even an idea. Dead dogs shouldn’t be a part of Halloween fun, especially at Walmart. Someone should have known that.  

The prop was distributed by Morris Costumes and made by Distortions Unlimited. Though it has gone from Walmart’s site, it’s still searchable on Unbeatable Sale, though you cannot purchase it. And it appears to have been sold and pulled from Amazon, Sears, and many other retailers, too, though you’d be hard-pressed to find it there anymore. However, we found it on Nightmare Factory

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Here's a screencap of the page on Unbeatable Sale:


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Ugly stuff. As if the photo isn't bad enough, here's the text that appeared on the Walmart site, according to a post on the Randy Report. It's perhaps the most insane Walmart description ever:

You have seen bloody road kill, this is bloody road kill. Foam filled latex prop of a skinned dog with a large tire track squished through its mid torso. Chain attached for dragging purposes.

After people caught wind of it on the Walmart site, outrage grew. Facebook posts went up; people left comments on Walmart, Sears, and Amazon; Leslye Brown quickly put up a petition to get the item removed.

And you know what? It worked. Yesterday, Distortions Unlimited apologized for the product and discontinued it immediately. Here's a message the company released, according to Culture Map Dallas:

"We make products for primarily for haunted houses so we have to walk that thin line between horror yet OK and over the top. This is a tricky thing to do at times and it appears like we crossed the line with the dog. We were not trying to be insensitive of offend anyone although it appears like we did. We are sorry and the product has been discontinued immediately."

Good work, Internet.

The Scoop | The Scoop

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On Gardening: Control the pests that pester pets

On Gardening: Control the pests that pester pets
Homeowners can also use topical products like Frontline Plus Advantage. There are also IGR products for topical use, such as Precor and vIGRen, sold in pet stores. Control requires 4-6 weeks. Always follow the product label. Another option are flea
Read more on Anniston Star

Natural flea preventives can be toxic
While the Environmental Protection Agency regulates synthetic topical flea control products, it has no control over plant-derived natural flea products that contain essential oils. So consumers need to research these products themselves. The Animal
Read more on Reading Eagle

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