Sun 12.26.10

"Dogs love company. They place it first in their short list of needs." (J. R. Ackerley) Give your pets the best holiday gift ever and spend lots and lots and lots of time with them during your time off this holiday season! Opal and Dixie haven’t left my side in days, and I have no intention of leaving theirs. Throughout these rainy, stormy and chilly San Francisco days we’ve being staying warm 'n cozy indoors and watching our favorite movie, “A Charlie Brown... Read more

Fri 12.24.10

Well, the "little" glucosamine overdose wasn’t so little after all. By mid-morning on Sunday, while Opal was doing fine, Dixie was still unusually lethargic, so I decided to do what I should have done the night before. I called ASPCA Poison Control. I regret saying that I wasn’t all that surprised when they told me to rush both girls to the emergency room. Lo-and-behold, Dixie had suffered glucosamine toxicity, and her liver had taken quite a hit.

None of the... Read more

Sun 12.19.10

I buy Opal and Dixie’s Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM supplements in bulk – 240 Joint Max or Synovi G3 chews in a tub. I make sure they get a chew a day because they’re short-legged, long-backed doggies and I want to ensure that their joints and connective tissues get the support they need. I always take out a small portion of chews and fill a jar that I leave in the pantry; I stash the bulk in a closet. WELL… last night I must have forgotten to fully close the closet... Read more

Mon 12.13.10

If you’re looking for a great gift to give someone this holiday season, a good one may be a copy of Allen and Linda Anderson’s book, Dogs & the Women Who Love Them: Extraordinary True Stories of Loyalty, Healing & Inspiration.  This book contains personal tales about remarkable canines like Kate who was rescued from a rooftop in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, and Beau, a service dog with a public relations background.  Although they choke me up, I... Read more

Sat 12.11.10

Now that I’ve covered itchy, flaky skin, I thought I’d touch on the subject of ear infections. Ear problems seem to run rampant with dogs in my dog park. Surefire indicators of an ear infection are constant shaking of the head, incessant scratching of the ears, a stinky smell emanating from the ears, and worse, a nasty, slimy discharge. If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, chances are he or she has an ear infection – and chances are it’s a yeast infection... Read more

Mon 12.06.10

This seems to be the season when everyone complains to me about their pet's itchy skin, often accompanied by dandruff. I'm told that their dogs obsessively chew on their feet and the base of their tails, and that their vets prescribe steroids and antihistamines to combat the problem. Clearly, if these "solutions" aren't working, why continue on the same, useless path?

My first recommendation for allergies is to try switching to a new diet. As a starting point... Read more

Sat 11.27.10

What a beautiful day here in sunny San Diego! I've been down here for the Thanksgiving holiday visiting with my parents. My mother is a tiny, 83-year-old Chinese powerhouse -- up at the crack of dawn, she's been doing her tai chi and calisthenics since she was in her 40's. She's still an avid golfer and gardner, and she could probably lift 100 lbs. if she wanted to. After 56 years of marriage, she's still the same patient and caring wife to my father that she's... Read more

Thu 11.25.10

If you have pets, every day is Thanksgiving. I am thankful every day for Opal, Dixie, Kitten and every pet I've ever been lucky enough to call my own. I'm thankful for all the rescue and animal advocacy groups in America and around the world, particularly the ones without whom I would never have met or adopted my pets. Mostly, I'm thankful for all animals, and for all the people who do good by them. John Muir once said, "Any glimpse into the life of an animal... Read more

Sat 11.20.10

Most dogs don’t really care whether it’s rainy, windy, cold or warm. Opal and Dixie happen to love crisp, cold weather with only a hint of a breeze. They’re not fans of the heat; probably due to their heavy black coats. I, on the other hand, love sunny, scorching, sweltering heat. I am not-not-NOT a fan of San Francisco weather, which is typically cold, misty, foggy and windy.

When we first adopted Opal she hated the rain, and when it’d be stormy or rainy... Read more

Sun 09.12.10

The truth is, there IS no dealing with cat pee. This is why I haven’t blogged in so long. I’ve been physically and emotionally drained by my attempts to deal with it.

The story:  I rescued Mia, otherwise known as Kitten (spoken in a very specific manner, as will be described a bit later), and brought her into our humble home after my dearest kitty, Nini, had to drift over the rainbow bridge last year. I happened to be in one of... Read more