Category: Dog Blog

Demystifying the CGC

The AKC has a test that it offers that any dog, be they purebred, mixed breed or unidentifiable, can take. It’s called the CGC, or Canine Good Citizen test. Its sole purpose is to serve as proof to you and other dog owners that you have been through a training class with your dog and that your dog is well-behaved in public. A lot of dog owners seem to think this test is very hard. It’s really not! It’s not intended to be difficult. Your dog is still going to be a dog, whether you take this test or not. I highly recommend taking a class before taking this test and I also highly recommend that, even if you think your dog won’t pass, you take this test anyway. Doing the class that prepares you for the CGC in the environment where you’ll be taking the test is the best way to set your dog up for success.… [Read More]

This Has Been 2012. Thank You and Good Night.

I’m ready for another good year, like the year that happened between May 2007 and May 2008. Nothing went wrong during that year. When I think back on this year, all I’m going to remember is that this year is the year that I lost my best friend, again. This was the year that my son broke up with his first serious girlfriend and I watched him cry and all I could do was tell him that I understood, that I loved him and offer him chocolate, even though I knew it would do no good and that this kind of pain is not something a parent can mend with band-aids and a hug. This was the year that we began having serious obedience problems with Jet. This was the year that a freaking tree collapsed into my back yard, thankfully no one was injured, but a fence was destroyed. This was the year that I learned that not all contractors actually show up when you give them a job.… [Read More]

Shelter Dogs ROCK!

Today is supposed to be some shelter pet awareness type thing sponsored by the Shelter Pet Project. You’re supposed to cover Facebook with your adopted pets and let all of your friends and family know all about them. Most readers of this blog already know, but for those who are new here, I have three dogs. All of them are rescues. I am a passionate supporter of animal welfare and animal rescue. Of the seven Labradors I have owned, six were rescues. Emily, Reilly, Lucy and Mugen are gone now, but Jazzmin, Jet and Lexi are here and they bring me so much joy.

I’m here to tell you that shelter pets are not defective. Shelter pets end up in animal shelters because of human failure, not because there is something wrong with them. The most common excuses given to shelter workers when pets are surrendered are things like, “moving” or “don’t have time” or my personal favorite, “doesn’t match new furniture.” Does that sound like the pet is defective to you?… [Read More]

A Little Good News

I don’t want to get my hopes up, but I have to share a little news.

Prednisone is working for Jazzmin. Her lymph node has shrunk down to the size of a malted milk ball. I’m thrilled. I don’t know what it means. Our vet has been very supportive, but at the same time, he’s been very clear that he does not want to give me false hope. Prednisone just means that Jazzmin has more time and feels good while she’s living for as long as she can. It is not a cure. Her time is still short. We’re just making the most of what she has left with the medication.

Jazzmin’s still feeling great. She went out for a walk with my son today and played fetch this evening and as I type this, she is laying behind my chair, grumbling at me because I’m not rubbing her ears. I’m getting through another NaNoWriMo with her help.… [Read More]

Dear Dog Cancer, Screw You.

I took Jazzmin in for a routine lump check earlier this week. I do monthly body checks on my dogs. After my experiences with Lucy and her mast cell disease, I just kept the habit going, even though there was no reason to suspect that my current dogs would have cancer, it’s always smart to check, sort of like doing self checks for breast cancer make a difference. The earlier you catch any cancer, the better off you are.

Jazzmin has been diagnosed with lymphosarcoma. It is a very aggressive cancer of the lymph system. The lump I found, was an enlarged lymph node that’s now about the size of a walnut. Most folks don’t notice enlarged lymph nodes until they are three times that size, so I may have bought Jazzmin a little time with my habit of checking my dogs every month.

Jazzmin is already 12 years old and she has lived a very full life.… [Read More]