January 30, 2009

canine cross stitch

A little retro? Sure. But a whole lot cute? Definitely. You can get your hands on this cute puppy love cross stitch kit at Chez Sucre Chez right here. And be sure to check out their awesome embroidered tea towels and pillows while you're there.

January 26, 2009

sullivan update

I've had many friends and readers inquire about Sully's health these past few weeks. I thought I would just take a moment to update everyone on how he's doing. For those of you that don't know, Sully was diagnosed with terminal canine melanoma during the first part of November last year (you can read more about here). We've been treating it as aggressively as possible... cutting-edge vaccine treatments from a cancer specialist here in town and alternative therapies and treatments (acupuncture, herbs, etc.) from a holistic vet in the Upstate.

We made it through the holidays with a happy and content Sully dog... something for which I am SO grateful. But all the while, the tumors along his leg (and presumably the ones in his lungs) have continued to grow. The affected lymph node is now HUGE (as you can obviously see from the picture), but sweet Sully continues along with his sweet nature intact, eats well and seems to feel reasonably well.

The last couple of weeks have brought mysterious, sky-high fevers that my vet can't figure out. And the lymph node, which can no longer do its job as well as it should, has made his walking somewhat awkward. He also has some fluid building up behind his skin. And we make almost weekly (and sometimes more) trips to the vet.

We will continue to fight this horrible disease as long as Sully is able. And for right now we have been blessed with a little more time. As long as my gentle boy is content, without pain and his eyes still light up when he sees a tennis ball, I will consider myself lucky. I thank all of you out there who keep him in your thoughts and prayers and for all of your support.

January 22, 2009

valentine's day round-up

I already showed off my Valentine's Day collars... but I've come across some other really great gifts for our four-legged sweethearts as well.

I've featured Bella Blu Designs before, but these new Valentine cards are too cute to pass up. And Christy of Bella Blu will also customize the cards with different colors dog, different breeds, etc. Love!

These super-sweet Valentine's Day cookies are from a relatively new Etsy shop called Doggielicious Treats. They offer only hand-made, all-natural organic, preservative-free dog treats using only the best human grade ingredients available.

And Leanne Graeff hand prints towels, fabrics and other fabrics in her shop. This handprinted linen tea towel would look so cute hanging on my stove in the kitchen.

January 21, 2009

a run-in with a retractable leash

I personally DESPISE retractable leashes. You have very little control over your dog, the tension in the leash actually encourages your dog to pull, AND I have been on the receiving end of some wicked leg burns due to the combo of a retractable and a crazy dog on the end of it. All of that aside, I don't care if someone else chooses to use one as long as they can and will keep their dog in check... but I've learned that actually rarely happens.

And in order to prove my point, I will relay my recent experience... I had to take Quincy, my one-year-old Pit Bull, to the vet this past Monday. I walk in (Quincy in his Gentle Leader Easy Walk Harness so that I can actually control him) and go to the front desk to sign in. I realize that signing in seems to be going very badly because Quincy is pulling on me like a freight train. I look down to correct him and determine the problem. It turns out the issue is a small spaniel mix that has crossed the entire waiting room on a retractable and who is wrapping said retractable around my ankles.

I manage to extracate myself and Quincy and take a seat as far away from the gentleman with the spaniel and bad retractable manners. But those darn retractables! You can't get away from them. Within 30 seconds the little spaniel (who appeared to be rather old and frail) came back for more. I put Quincy into a sit and grabbed both his collar and lead in case he decided to pull his signature move where he pancakes another dog (totally in fun... but still). I was already imagining the sweet spaniel as nothing more than a greasy spot on the floor.

This is where the following conversation with "Retracta-Man" comes in:

Me: (Big smile) You might not want to let her get so close... my dog can be a little too enthusiastic with other dogs and he might hurt her by accident.

Retracta-Man: (chuckles) Nah, I think she's fine.

(Overly friendly spaniel now has her nose between Quincy's legs... well... sniffing. And Quincy, bless him, he's actually keeping himself under control.)

Me: (trying really hard to figure out a way to get this guy to reel in his dog without coming off as a complete jerk) Well, he also might have something that's contagious and I'd hate for her to catch it...

(complete lie, but who knows why Retracta-Man's dog is here either... SHE might be contagious... PLEASE get a CLUE)

Retracta-Man: Ohhhh... (pulls her back slightly and she turns her attention toward the OTHER Pit Bull on the other side of the room)

At this point, the lady across the way gets a look of panic on her face and says "I just rescued her yesterday and I have no idea if she's dog-aggressive. It's probably best if you keep your dog away."

Retracta-Man then gets this really offended look on his face like WE'VE been the ones to do something wrong. Luckily the waiting room door opens at this moment and the vet tech takes Retracta-Man and his super-friendly spaniel back to a room. The other lady and I roll our eyes, and then proceed to have a really great conversation about dog rescue.

Anyway, I try to keep this blog as upbeat as possible, but I just had to take a moment to vent. Anyone else out there have a retractable leash horror story? And please, if you use a retractable... don't take offense to my story. Just make sure you have good leash manners and we'll get along just fine :)

January 16, 2009

help happy!

HAPPY is a beautiful Labrador mix that was picked up by animal control in Darlington, SC. Happy originally showed up in someone's yard with a coated tie-out cable embedded into his neck and was dragging part of the line with him. It was embedded so deep that you could barely see the line and it was pressing on his trachea and affecting his ability to breathe. Animal Control took him to a local shelter and he was then taken to the vet where they said it was the worst embedded collar they had ever seen. They removed the collar and he was then transferred to another doctor in Greenville, SC that will do another surgery Monday. They attempt to rejoin the skin with a drain to see if they can get the skin to grow back together.

Animal control is so outraged by the inhumane treatment he has had to endure, they are taking his picture around door to door until they find the person that did this to him.
I'm asking everyone able to contribute to his care to please do so... you can contribute here to help Happy recover (warning: the link takes you to a page with very graphic photos of Happy's condition).

January 15, 2009

and then there were two... boxers that is

I posted yesterday about the sweet Boxer boy named Anderson that will be accompanying me on a road trip this Sunday as I transport him to his new foster home for Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue. Well, now I've learned I'll have the pleasure of escorting Clifford to a new home as well.

As you can see, Clifford isn't in the best shape. He's suffering from a horrible case of demodectic mange. My last litter of rescued puppies came down with this (it apparently is often a genetic condition), but when treated quickly and properly, it is usually confined to one or two itchy spots that go away. Clifford wasn't lucky enough to receive treatment early, and now the poor baby is practically eaten up with Demodex. The good news is that he has been taken in by Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue and will be receiving care and love from now on. If you'd like to contribute to Clifford's care or help other dogs like him, please click here to donate to Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue.

January 13, 2009

boxer transport

I'm pretty stoked that I get to spend some time in the car with THIS guy on Sunday... we'll be burning up the road as I transport him for Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue. I think he makes a pretty cute traveling companion. I'm such a sucker for an underbite...

mickey rourke makes his comeback... and thanks his dogs

"I'd like to thank all my dogs... the ones who are here and the ones that aren't here anymore because sometimes when a man's alone, that's all you've got is your dog. They meant the world to me..."

January 11, 2009

i heart emmylou harris

I have always been a HUGE fan of Emmylou Harris. She occupies about four or five playlists on my iPod that are on frequent rotation. She's just... awesome. And considering how much I love her music, it's rather shocking that I had no idea she has her own dog rescue.

I was flipping through my most recent issue of BARK Magazine when I came across an article about her rescue organization Bonaparte's Retreat:
Founded in 2004, the facility is named after one of Harris’s especially beloved dogs. “Bonaparte had this really friendly demeanor,” she says. “He was kind of a Poodle mix. Loved people, very sociable, loved other animals. I got this idea to take him on the road with me, and he was terrific. He loved the traveling, the bus, hotels, backstage. Of course, once you have the experience of having a dog on the road with you, you don’t realize how lonely you’ve been without one. So he went everywhere with me. He was my constant companion for 10 years.”
When Bonaparte died suddenly in 2002, Harris was devastated (for her most recent album, All I Intended to Be, she wrote “Not Enough,” a tribute to her traveling buddy). Not ready to think about replacing him, she channeled her love of animals into finding companions for others.
Click here to read the rest of the article about Emmylou's rescue efforts. Below is a video of Emmylou singing her song "Not Enough" that she wrote when she lost her dog Bonaparte.

January 9, 2009

will you be my puppy valentine?

I just listed a couple of new collars in the shop... for Valentine's Day. I feel like it was just Christmas, but I suppose it will be February before we turn around twice. As always, if you like them, you can purchase them from my store. Hope everyone likes them!

January 8, 2009

annie's sweatshop

Annie's Sweatshop is a great Etsy shop that has dog beds, coats, scarves, etc. Everything is super-cute but I'm partial to her reversible hoodies like the ones above. And she uses environmentally-friendly fleece to make most of the products... so that's a plus as well!

January 7, 2009

vicktory dogs wine collection

I featured the Vicktory Dogs a while back when National Geographic's Dogtown aired a show about the group of dogs from Michael Vick's dogfighting ring that were taken in by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Many of these dogs have made amazing progress, and thanks to Best Friends, they now have hope of living out their days in comfort... many with their own adoptive families.

In celebration of their success, The Dog Lovers Wine Club has teamed with Best Friends to create a signature wine series – a special two-case collection celebrating the 22 dogs who were rescued from Michael Vick’s dog-fighting operation and who now live at Best Friends. Ten percent of all sales from the Vicktory Dog Wine Collection will benefit Best Friends by funding community programs such as legislative campaigns to end dog fighting and combating breed-specific legislation.

January 6, 2009

trot for the cure

The 2009 Trot for the Cure benefit is scheduled for January 11, 2009 at Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina. The deadline for pre-registration has passed, but registration the day of the event is $30. If you're interested in participating is this fantastic cause, please all 843.971.5865 (call before 8pm).

The Trot for the Cure is an annual fundraiser for canine cancer research held at beautiful and historic Magnolia Gardens. The event includes a walk with your dog(s) through the gardens, entertainment by the Dixie Dancing Dogs who perform canine freestyle and tricks, a talk on canine cancer issues by veterinary oncologist Nicole Northrup, a question/answer session with a panel of veterinary specialists - oncologists, neurologist, opthalmologist, internist, general practitioner and nutritionist, a delicious barbeque by Southern Que-N-Stew, and an exciting raffle.

The first four Trots have raised over $43,000 for canine cancer research. Scientists need continual funding for their valuable work in finding better treatments and cures for cancers in dogs. Enjoying an afternoon at the Trot with your dog and dog friends is a fun way to help them further this important work. All proceeds go to the University of Georgia's Arch Foundation for GA CaRES Fund at the University of Georgia Veterinary Hospital.

To register, download the registration form and send it in.

operation blankets of love

Operation Blankets of Love is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing soft bedding to animal shelters and rescues around the country. Since their inception in January 2008, they've provided over 25,000 donated blankets, comforters, dog beds and other bedding for homeless animals.

So if you're cleaning out your linen closet and want to donate to a good cause, click here to find out how you can donate. They also accept monetary contributions.