Dear Leroy On Your Birthday,

Dear Leroy on Your Birthday

Dear Leroy,

Happy 8th Birthday!

Every year it gets harder for me to write your birthday post. I mean, I can only tell you how awesome you are in so many ways!

So this year I will just say thank you for making me laugh.

I believe that God paired us up together because he knew I would need a dog like you at this time in my life. A confident, strong, humorous dog that would get me through life’s curve balls.

He knew I would need something to lean on. An outlet. A diversion. A form of meditation.

So he gave me you.

He knew you could make me laugh. Challenge me. Bring out my creativity. Yet also show me peace.

Our walks and our photography sessions always make me laugh but the mornings that you allow me to sit on the back patio next to you and just breathe are my favorite. They make me smile on the inside.

Dear Leroy On Your Birthday

When our journey together started I never would have thought that we would end up here. I didn’t even think you liked me for the first 4 years but that day in the hospital it all came together. I’ll never forget it and I don’t think you will either. If ever there was to be a sign it was that day at that moment. Thanks for not leaving me that day Roy.

I know that you’re not going to be with me through my whole journey, but you were here when I needed you the most. You gave me my footing and showed me the ropes.

So now that I’m crying on your birthday, I’m sorry, I said no tears, I will leave it at that.

Happy Birthday Leroy, I love you to the moon and back.



Weekend Failure


Do you ever head into the weekend with a list of all the things that you want to carry out?

It could be a mental list or a list that is actually written down on paper.

I prefer mental lists.

That way there’s no record of it except in my head and it can easily get erased in there.

My mental list this weekend consisted of giving both the boys a bath and weeding my garden.

Both had to be done on Saturday and not Sunday because Sunday it was going to be in 90’s.

It was supposed to be done in that order but since I got sucked into watching 2 movies and taking a nap after I woke up on Saturday I hit the garden first.

And then I was done.

I was done for the day.


Confession. Why Giant Dogs Get Stepped On

Confession. Why Giant Dogs Get Stepped On

I had a bad weekend of stepping on dogs.

I stepped on Sherman at least 7 times and Leroy once that I can remember.

I don’t know what it was. Maybe my perception was off.

Paw, tail, leg. Any extremity that was sticking out, I stepped on it.

I think I even stepped on his elbow once.

Now anyone who doesn’t have a Newf is probably thinking , ” How do you step on a dog THAT big?”

And anyone with a Newfie will tell you, it just happens.

Newfies are notorious for being “velcro’ dogs. They stick to you wherever you go and lay in the worst possible spots that they can lay in.

They block doorways.

They block several appliances at once.

They stand up when you walk over them and all of a sudden have a 150 pound dog in your crotch. It’s usually when you’re carrying something, like 8 bags of groceries and a gallon of milk.


The Difference Between IBD And IBS In Dogs

The Difference Between IBD And IBS In Dogs

When Leroy was first diagnosed with IBD, I was terrified and overwhelmed. Intestinal disorders aren’t my forte and the only thing that I knew about IBD was that it was BAD. Dogs that get it are normally very ill when diagnosed and most dogs diagnosed with the disease have a shorter life span.

Thankfully, I didn’t let fear take over and instead I took the time to learn about the condition.

Besides the diagnosis and treatment, one of the most common findings I found when researching the condition was that it was often confused or referred to as IBS.

At one point I had to refer back to Leroy’s diagnosis paperwork because people were using the terms interchangeably and I was getting confused. Does my dog have Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Irritable Bowel Disease? Are they the same?

Finally I just asked our veterinarian and he assured me that the two were completely different conditions but they are often confused in the medical world, both by professionals and nonprofessionals.

To clear up any confusion on these two conditions here’s the breakdown:

What is IBD.

IBD is short for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.  IBD is a general term for disorders that involve chronic inflammation of the stomach, colon or small intestine.  Chron’s disease  and ulcerative colitis are types of IBD.  With Inflammatory Bowel Disease,  inflammatory cells invade the walls of the stomach or intestines causing it to become irritated.  This irritation causes the lining to thicken and become inflamed. As the lining of the intestines become inflamed and ulcerated,  it loses its ability to adequately process food and waste or absorb water, resulting in loose stools and/or vomiting, bloating and rectal bleeding.  Severe IBD can lead to malabsorption and malnutrition, including deficiency of vitamins and minerals and anemia. IBD is often treated with steroids, immunosuppressive, antibiotics and a strict dietary change that can often include a novel protein or a diet low in fat. Inflammation from IBD can also affect joints, skin and eyes.  No dog with IBD is the same and symptoms and treatment can vary. Dogs that have IBD are more prone to intestinal cancer.  


Be Your Pet’s Hero By Learning Pet CPR and First Aid Training Online

Be Your Pet's Hero. Cat & Dog CPR and first aid training

A few weeks ago I was working a dog event and there was a 10 year old Golden Retriever that was hanging out near us. He was an old guy with mild mobility issues, but he was perfectly content laying close to his owner with his toy in his mouth. At one point he got up to do some exploring but he was having some issues getting traction on the laminate floor. He struggled several times to get up after he took a spill but he just couldn’t manage. Everyone around was trying to assist him but he still couldn’t gain his footing and you tell that he was getting stressed out..

I did a quick assessment and looked around. His left leg was tucked underneath him and he couldn’t get it where he needed it to be. I also looked around for anything that we could use to lift him instead of trying to just pick up his back end several times, which was what was happening without success.

Luckily there was a tablecloth sitting on the ground so I ran to grab it, gently moved his rear leg from underneath his body and slid the table cloth under his belly. One lift up and a quick adjustment of his back legs and off he went.

Yes. I’ve still got it. I was able to asses, come up with solution and act quick. It wasn’t lifesaving but it was helping a dog that needed assistance.

These are things we are taught in the veterinarian tech world and was I happy to see that I was still able to put it to use.

But then I got to thinking, how sharp are my skills? Sure they worked on this day, but I bet some of them are kind of dull.

Sure I can still do vital checks but can I still perform CPR in a stressful situation? Can I wrap a wound?


My Obsession With Dog Toys Continues On A Bigger Scale

Leroy and Giant FurBallz

I don’t know why I have this little obsession with dog toys.

It started years ago and just kind of grew from there.

I mean, I have kids. Kids that have toys. Kids that have a ton of toys and they never really floated my boat.

Well, there was this one stuffed dog that came with a medical kit that I got for Gracie when she was 5. That was pretty cool. She didn’t think so but I played it with everyday for a year.

Dog toys=dogs. Dogs make me smile. Dog poop emoji toys make me smile.


Good Reasons. Good Treats. Good Cause.


I don’t do many dog treat reviews these days. With so many treats available and so many dogs with dietary restrictions or issues it’s just not a good choice for us. We have our favorite treats that work for Leroy’s intestinal issues and we really don’t need anymore. However, when I learned about Good Reasons dog treats and their mission, I couldn’t help but share about this wonderful company.


Good Reasons takes on the philosophy; Good treats. Good cause. Good reason. They are a not for profit dog treat company on a mission. They make human-grade all natural dog treats, while providing employment opportunities to people with autism and other developmental disabilities.

good reasons team

Founder, Vicki Sylvester, Ph. D., merged her professional experience as an advocate for the disabled community with her love of animals to create a company that supports an integrated workforce. Initially called “Three Brown Dog Barkery, LLC.” the company was named for Sylvester’s beloved Springer Spaniels and underwent a name change to reflect the company’s overall mission. “Our workforce is made up of people of all abilities – we strive to help people live a more productive and integrated life.”


The 7 Best Vacuum Cleaners For Sucking Up Pet Hair

The 7 Best Vacuum Cleaners For Sucking Up Pet Hair

When you have a double coated breed or multiple dogs that shed in one household, you’re going to need a good vacuum cleaner. A vacuum cleaner that is capable of picking up massive amounts of pet hair and dander on a daily basis. A vacuum cleaner that won’t clog easily and has an extended life of amazing suction power. It has to be worthy and it has to last more than 3 months.

My vacuum cleaner recently went to vacuum cleaner heaven so I’m in search of a new one. I had an idea of what I wanted but before making such an important purchase I decided to go to go straight to the experts, the owners of the hairiest, heavy shedding  dogs around and here’s their picks for best vacuum cleaners for pet hair:

  1. Dyson Animal. The Dyson Animal Vacuum was the clear favorite among owners with heavy shedding dogs but there was also people who said that they weren’t fans of it.  The Dyson Ball Animal has the highest geometric average when carpet, hard floor and creviced hard floor pick-up results are combined. Tested against the upright market, dust-loaded. Dyson Ball Animal comes with the Tangle-free Turbine tool, so you can remove dirt and hair from confined spaces, without it tangling around a brush bar. The Dyson Stick was also mentioned as a favorite. Check it out on Amazon. Good deal!
  2. Shark. There wasn’t a specific model mentioned here but I’ve been looking at the Shark Rocket Powerhead series so here’s the scoop on that one: The Shark Powerhead weighs 9 pounds and 1 pound in your hand when vacuuming. The All Surface Brushroll goes from carpets to hard floors with ease and delivers outstanding everyday cleaning. When cleaning just hard floors, use the easily interchangeable Gentle Touch Hard Floor brushroll. It’s gentle, yet provides deep floor engagement when combined with Shark’s intense suction. Sold on Amazon.
  3. Miele. I’ve never heard of Miele so I was interested to check this one out. They have several different styles of upright vacuums but I focused my attention on the Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog. Miele’s dynamic u1 cat & dog vacuum features a unique electro brush that follows the contours of your floor, automatically adjusting for different carpet depths and surface coverings – providing even, consistent suction and gentle cleaning. The cat & dog features Miele’s AirClean sealed system, comprised of an AirClean Filter Bag and active air clean filter that captures and retains 99.9+% of dirt, dust and allergens. The active air clean filter has active charcoal layers to neutralize and absorb unwanted pet odors. In addition to the standard included accessories – a dusting brush, upholstery tool and crevice nozzle – the cat & dog features a mini turbo brush that easily removes pet hair from furnishings. Other conveniences include an led headlight. Sold on Amazon.
  4. Rainbow. Another product I’ve never heard but it looks super interesting! Rainbow products use Mother Nature’s most powerful element, water, to trap dirt and odors, returning only naturally clean, water-washed air to your home environment. This unique water filtration system captures typical household dirt, while remaining microscopic particles are caught by our HEPA Neutralizer Filtration System. This two-stage filtration combination removes nearly 100% of dirt and contaminants from your home. The Rainbow Vaccum Cleaner Pet Edition: With regular upright bag vacuums, dust particles escape through the pinpoint size holes in the bags. The water canister that sits under the Rainbow actually traps dirt, dust, etc. in the water as you vacuum. You actually see the water getting darker and darker. You can vacuum everyday with a regular bag vacuum cleaner and still not get your carpet as clean as you can with one pass of the Rainbow!  The Rainbow is certified asthma & allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. I saw a rebuilt one on Amazon. That’s a little out of my price range but it looks like a worthwhile investment if you have the spare change. I’m not sure if the are sold cheaper somewhere else. Rainbow also states on their site that only an Authorized Rainbow Distributor/Dealer can sell and support an authentic Rainbow, so buyer beware.
  5. Sebo. I checked out the Felix model. The stylish Felix offers all the flexibility of a canister vacuum in an upright configuration! It has a “flex” neck with amazing 180° steering ability, an ultra-modern filtration system, a detachable suction unit that becomes a hand-held vacuum, and an instant-use suction hose. The power head deep cleans carpets, or its spinning brush roller can be shut off to clean delicate rugs and hard floors with straight suction. The Felix also has a parquet brush, which is perfectly designed for cleaning hard floors. It also has easy brush roller removal, and an orange warning light illuminates when brush height is set too high for optimal cleaning, the bristles are worn, or automatic shut-off occurs due to a brush obstruction. Sold on Amazon.
  6.  Robot Roomba. I didn’t think it was possible that a little vacuum cleaner like this could handle the hair BUT many owners of heavy shedders said, YES IT CAN!  The Roomba 770 Vacuum Cleaning Robot provides a concentrated clean, all at the push of a button. The 3-Stage Cleaning System with Dirt Detect Series II identifies dirtier areas in your home and focuses cleaning, ensuring Roomba tackles even fine pet hair, dust and dirt. Just press ‘Clean’ or schedule Roomba to run up to 7x per week. Roomba works on all floor types, and at just 3.6 inch tall, is specifically designed to fit under most furniture, beds and kickboards. Sold on Amazon.
  7. Oreck. Pet owners weren’t specific as to what model they had so I went with a pet model. Oreck Ultimate Handheld Bagged Canister Vacuum Bundle With Handheld Pet Hair Turbo Brush features multiple accessory tools for a variety of cleaning needs. Includes 60″ Slinky hose, telescoping extension wand, dusting brush, upholstery tool, crevice tool and large floor tool for hard floor surfaces. Plus Bonus Handheld Turbo Brush – Great for pet hair, carpet on steps and more. Lightweight – weighs about 5lbs making vacuuming effortless by being so lightweight. Powerful motor delivers suction right where you need it most.Installed HEPA filter helps keep dust and dirt from escaping from the vacuum as you clean. Sold on  Amazon


When Senior Dogs Become Sensitive To Loud Sounds

When Senior Dogs Become Sensitive To Loud Sounds

As Sherman ages it’s obvious that he’s becoming sensitive to loud sounds.

Sounds that he never seemed to bother him when he was younger now make him nervous.

The most common sounds that make him nervous are sirens, thunder, fireworks, smoke alarms, loud music and most recently, the periodical cicadas. These bugs are loud. They sound like a muffled siren and the make noise until the sound goes down. (You can hear them on a video I posted to Facebook last week)

His degree of anxiety over loud sounds has been increasing slowly over the years. It’s not extreme but it’s definitely noticeable.


What Really Happens When My Pictures Or Blog Posts Are Stolen


( I swear in this post. This is your warning.)

Copyright violations happen a lot with bloggers. It comes with the territory when you put pictures or posts out on the internet for the world to see. The more that see it, the bigger risk you take. We do our best to protect our property but assholes happen.

As a veteran blogger I’m suppose to tell you that when one of your pictures get stolen and used, you should sit back, relax and report the violation to whatever parties you need to. If you follow the proper protocol, it’ll get handled. Just relax and play it cool.

I’m here to tell that for me, it usually doesn’t go down that easy.

When someone comes to my blog and steals a picture of my dogs it’s like a thief breaking into my house and stealing my most precious belongings.

The other day I had another one of my pictures stolen and used without my permission, again.

The pictures that get stolen the most from me are already out there in Google space just hanging out waiting for someone to snatch them up and call them their own. It’s not my best ones.

Sometimes these pictures get lucky and someone recognizes them and I get contacted.

I’ll admit that while any type of stealing is not right, the way I handle it depends on the picture and the circumstance. I have to choose my battles wisely.

You know what, if you’re giving me credit and tagging, linking, sharing or whatever else there is to do, i’m good with it. That’s why I share them, so people can enjoy them.

What I’m NOT good with is you taking my picture and calling it your own. Right clicking it and saving it. Cropping out my watermark, putting your own watermark on it or putting it on merchandise without my permission. That is what is going to piss me right the fuck off. If you want to use a picture of a bird, fucking ask me. I’m not emotionally connected to that bird. If you want to use a picture of my dog, ask me. I’ll think about it. If you want sole rights to that picture, no way.