Steampunk Puppy: “They call me CAPTAIN Mindy!”

This entry is part 10 of 25 in the series Service Dog Training
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Laura & Captain Mindy, reporting for duty.

Fun puppy socialization outing this weekend! And some socialization opportunities are too good to pass up.

In one of my other lives, I’m a costumer, and we were presenting some costume panels this weekend at a steampunk event. Saturday my husband was going to be very busy and couldn’t keep the puppy at home, so she had to go with me in the morning. And of course that meant she had to go in costume, right? Continue reading

A Trip to the Clinic with a Reactive Human

Did you ever wonder exactly what the heck could be going on inside your dog’s head at the vet? Maybe why your toddler is freaking out, or why your cat tries to make your insides into your outsides when it’s time for a medical exam or treatment?

We don’t have mind-reading equipment yet, but we’ve got the next best thing — a human who can explain from inside a clinic where she’s uncomfortable. Continue reading

Waylaid by a Rimadyl Overdose

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series Cancer & the Fight

Normally, the Rimadyl wouldn’t even have been in the house.

A 100 mg Rimadyl pill bought in the United Sta...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I personally don’t like carprofen for my dogs, due to the potential liver damage (which, I’ve read, Dobermans may be more susceptible to than some other breeds), and we tend to use other anti-inflamnatories when necessary. But Shakespeare was given as little as 3 weeks to live, and living long enough to develop liver problems would be a win anyway, so I brought home Rimadyl to keep him as comfortable as possible.

It didn’t even occur to me to ask if it came in a non-flavored version. My dogs are , and a regular capsule would have been much safer than bringing a liver-flavored drug into a house with Laev on prednisone, giving her chronic munchies and motivating her to new heights of counter-surfing. Continue reading

Our Cancer Fights

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series Cancer & the Fight

So I’m making this a series, so we can connect all the cancer-related posts for anyone interested and in case it helps anyone later on. I really, really wanted to call this series “Kicking Cancer in the Teeth,” but I thought that might be tempting fate a little too viciously. But it’s the attitude I’m bringing, just the same.

First, thank you for all the prayers, good wishes, and support. I really appreciate it! Continue reading

Sad news: my sick dogs

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Cancer & the Fight
Cytology from a needle aspiration biopsy of a ...

Cytology from a needle aspiration biopsy of a lymph node of a dog with lymphoma.

Not quite sure how to start this one, so I guess I’ll just jump in…. Laevatein has terminal cancer. Lymphoma.

She was just diagnosed, when a vet found somewhat-enlarged lymph nodes during a routine exam. “I have to mention the c-word,” she said, “but she really doesn’t present like a cancer dog.” Indeed not; Laev is 8, but she’s quite active (she spent about 4 hours Sunday night circling and jumping, trying to work out how to reach a critter in a tree) and looks sleek and shiny. We figured some sort of tick-borne disease was more likely and ordered panels to test.

But the biopsies came back as lymphoma. Two weeks later, her lymph nodes are already large enough to visibly distort her silhouette in front and rear. Monday we met with the oncologist, discussed options, got further tests (cancer has likely spread to spleen and lungs, but not liver), and started chemotherapy. Continue reading

Book Release: Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out!

Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out: Training Crazy Dogs from Over-the-Top to Under ControlToday’s the day: Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out: Training Crazy Dogs from Over-the-Top to Under Control has hit the shelves. Well, virtual shelves, as it’s online for now… but it’s out! Continue reading

Help Me Title the New Book!

stressed Malinois

stressed Malinois, image from [insert new title here!]

Book titles are important things, you know. They’re supposed to resonate with the readers, and all that.

That’s why I’m asking you to help me find one that resonates. Continue reading

It’s That Time of Year, When the World Falls In Love…. Holiday & Seasonal Care for Pets

English: Rottweiler Head Deutsch: Rottweiler Kopf

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It may be the time of year when the world falls in love, but the holidays stretching from Halloween to New Year’s can be a particularly tough time on household pets, especially with parties, house guests, and distracted owners. This stress can manifest in a variety of unpleasant ways, from house-training accidents to chewing to even fearfulness or fear-aggression.

Fortunately there are a number of things we can do to mitigate the stresses and dangers to our pets. Read on, and with a little preparation, you and your pets can be full of good cheer. Continue reading