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]

Letter to Miss Lucy After Bark for Life 2012

Dear Miss Lucy,

Took Jet to Bark for Life today. I didn’t think of you as much this year as I did last year, but last year, you’d just left me for Rainbow Bridge. I still missed you like crazy, particularly your beautiful leash walking skills, but Jet is starting to get to a place where his leash walking skills are almost as good as yours. Jet walked through crowds of strange dogs and kept his eyes on me. I was impressed with him, to say the least. We might just pass the CGC after the first try. Make sure you’re watching over us when we take the test. I’m sure that will bring us luck!

I wish I had a lot more to add, but I don’t. Just know that I still love you, always will, and that I miss you and that I will keep fighting every way that I can so that someday, we can kick cancer where it hurts.… [Read More]

You Get the Dog You Need (Or; Happy First Gotcha Day Jetpuppy!)

When I first met Jet, his shelter card said that his name was “McBarken.” I have to tell you, that even though I didn’t keep the name, boy did it suit! He barked constantly for three months after we adopted him. We actually never thought he would shut up. In the last year, things have made a 100% turnaround from where they were when we brought him home and the progress we’ve made still amazes me.

When I saw him, I knew he was the dog I was looking for. If I’d been smart, I would have waited a while longer and looked around for a much more laid back dog, but I saw this little black blur run in circles in the play yard at the shelter and from the minute he got outside and played with me, I was hooked. He was 9 months old then. He stole my heart from the moment I looked into his eyes.… [Read More]

My Letter to President Obama

I could have written to him about World Peace. I could have talked to him about the things he’s said that I agreed or disagreed with, but really, and maybe you will think I’m silly but the issue that concerns me is the FDA’s lack of authority to do anything about toxins found in pet foods and treats. I’ve requested a reply. I also doubt I will get one, but here it is:

Dear Mr. President,

I wonder if you’ve seen the recent news about Chicken Jerky dog treats that are poisoning dogs across the country. I’ve seen reports that as many as 2000 dogs have died after being fed these products, which are manufactured in China. The FDA has no power to force a recall here, what I want to know is, why? Is there a federal agency that CAN force a recall on these products? And if not, why?… [Read More]

What I’ve Learned From My Dogs

Sometimes, Facebook memes can get out of hand when they are given to a writer and the meme in question asks you to write something about something that you’re very passionate about. This meme was entitled, “What I’ve learned from my dogs.” My response got long enough that I felt it warranted a blog post, but also, the things I’ve learned from my dogs are important because they aren’t just about being a dog owner, they are also about life. I have been honored to have been loved by six dogs in my adult life and the three that are gone, I will miss every day for the rest of my life, but I will never forget the things that they taught me.

 

Reilly: I learned to love the Labrador Retriever because of his amazing temperament and very forgiving nature, including being forgiving when I would make stupid mistakes. He is the reason that I read The Monks of New Skete (their training methods are out-dated, but their insight on the pack structure of dogs and how they communicate with each other, and in particular their observations on puppy development are invaluable to a first time dog owner!), Brian Kilcommons (Good Owners, Great Dogs, is still my training bible) and Barbara Woodhouse… and many more.… [Read More]