Tag Archives: dogs

Dogs and Our Animal Companions Are Better People Than Us. Books.

Dogs & Our Animal Companions Are Better People Than Us.
If you are a dog lover, you already know that dogs are better people than humans. Here are some wonderful books that help make the point.

“Dogs love and share and help and care. Dogs Are Better People Than Us. Dogs Make Us Better Humans.” Andrea Geist

A Dog Walks Into a Nursing Home: Lessons in the Good Life from an Unlikely Teacher by Sue Halpern.
Funny, moving, and profound, A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home is the story of how one faithful, charitable, loving, and sometimes prudent mutt—showing great hope, fortitude, and restraint along the way (the occasional begged or stolen treat notwithstanding)—taught a well-meaning woman the true nature and pleasures of the good life.


The Possibility Dogs: What a Handful of “Unadoptables” Taught Me About Service, Hope, and Healing by Susannah Charleson.
“Charleson journeys into the world of psychiatric service, where dogs aid humans with disabilities that may be unseen but are no less felt. This work had a profound effect on Charleson, perhaps because, for her, this journey began as a personal one: Charleson herself struggled with posttraumatic stress disorder for months after a particularly grisly search. Collaboration with her search dog partner made the surprising difference to her own healing. Inspired by that experience, Charleson learns to identify abandoned dogs with service potential, often plucking them from shelters at the last minute, and to train them for work beside hurting partners, to whom these second-chance dogs bring intelligence, comfort, and hope.

Along the way she comes to see canine potential everywhere, often where she least expects it – from Merlin the chocolate lab puppy with the broken tail once cast away in a garbage bag, who now stabilizes his partner’s panic attacks; to Ollie, the blind and deaf terrier, rescued moments before it was too late, who now soothes anxious children; to Jake Piper, the starving pit bull terrier mix with the wayward ears who is transformed into a working service dog and, who, for Charleson, goes from abandoned to irreplaceable.”


Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog by Susannah Charleson.
Charleson first book. In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, Susannah Charleson clipped a photo from the newspaper of an exhausted canine handler, face buried in the fur of his search-and-rescue dog. A dog lover and pilot with search experience herself, Susannah was so moved by the image that she decided to volunteer with a local canine team and soon discovered firsthand the long hours, nonexistent pay, and often heart-wrenching results they face.


The Silence of Dogs in Cars by Martin Usborne.
“Photographer Martin Usborne is on a mission to save as many animals as he can in 365 days. His aptly titled project—A Year to Help—began in July 2012 and will wrap up next month. The quest has sparked him to travel the world visiting rescue shelters in Spain and a dog meat restaurant and a zoo in the Philippines, as well as to launch a blog chronicling his adventures. In his just-released photo collection, The Silence of Dogs in Cars (Kehrer Verlag), he aims to capture the way in which we silence, control or distance ourselves from other animals. Mission accomplished.” quote by Abbe Wright.


The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving: How Dogs Have Captured Our Hearts for Thousands of Years by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson.
“No other animal loves us in quite the same way as dogs love us. And it is mutual. Is it possible that we developed the capacity for love, sympathy, empathy, and compassion because of our long association with dogs? In “The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving”, Masson considers the far-reaching consequences of this co-evolution of dogs and humans, drawing from recent scientific research. Over the past 40,000 years a collective domestication has occurred that brings us to where we are today – humans have formed intense bonds with dogs, and the adoration is almost always reciprocal. Masson himself has experienced a profound connection with his new dog Benjy, a failed guide-dog for the blind, who possesses an abundance of inhibited love. But Masson knows that the love he feels for Benjy – and that Benjy feels for all the people and animals around him – is not unique, but is in fact a love that only dogs and humans possess. With wisdom, insight, and a brilliant analysis of recent scientific research, the bestselling author delivers a provocative and compelling book that will change the way we think about love and canine companions.”

Be the Change. You can make a difference.


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Filed under Animal Welfare, Animals, Books, Dogs, Reviews

Sunday Morning

Yesterday was a lazier than usual day.  I had worked a craft show Saturday and was extremely tired, sore and just worn out.  The family understands.  We try to go outside each morning before it gets too hot.  Sunday I woke up later than usual, so it wasn’t dark. I thought I’d grab a few photos of the family.

MG said, “Hey, me! Here I am.” mg  025

Reply, “MG, I already have a pretty nice pic of you.”

MG, “Don’t take a picture of her, take one of ME.”023

J said, “I so glad we are outside. Are you going to pack boxes up again today or can we play.  Hey – don’t you dare take my picture. See how fast I can turn around?”

JB, “Thank you for rescuing me from the yard and bringing out a cushion. Grumble, grunt.”

C, “Guess what I found? Water and mud. Cool, huh?”  A added, “I am so above all of this.”

024   030  026

P, “Are you taking a picture of me? Does my tongue make me look fat?”

Hope enjoyed the millet and relegated Happy to the other side of the cage.  She was not in the mood to share.

And I say, I love my family and enjoyed the morning with the dogs and birds.  The fish did not get to come outside.


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Poisoning Your Pet? Be Aware

Is your pet food poisoning your cat or dog? Be Aware. Make your own treats.

In my household we try to live cruelty free thus we are all, including the doggies, vegetarians. As a vegetarian I buy specialty food and thus most treats are eliminated.  Below I’ll list some treat alternatives.

If you buy commercial treats for your pets, dogs or cats, be vigilant. Check the labels, be aware of recalls or concerns about products.  Raise your awareness: here is one of the best places to start, http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/RecallsWithdrawals/default.htm .

 Here are some of the most recent recalls.

  • Joey’s Jerky Chicken Jerky Treats Recall (9/10/2013)
  • Purina One Beyond Dog Food Recall (8/30/2013)
  • Iams and Eukanuba Dog and Cat Food Recall (8/14/2013)
  • Dogswell Recalls Dog and Cat Jerky Treats (7/27/2013)

Personally I would recommend you buy no animal foods from China. Along with the moral and ethical reasons, the majority (the not all) of animal/pet product recalls originate in China.

The care you take in feeding treats involves more than just ‘meat’ products. There is another dog treat to worry about, sweet potato treats. The VIN (Veterinary Information Network) reports health issues related to sweet potato treats.  FDA tests have shown sweet potatoes are contaminated with phorate, a highly toxic pesticide.  

Dogs are experiencing kidney problems that can lead to death. Symptoms appear within hours or days after the treat is ingested: increased thirst, increased urination, diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy.

If your pet becomes ill after eating a treat see your vet immediately. Brands of sweet potato snacks allegedly impacting pet health:

  • Canyon Creek Ranch
  • Dogswell Veggie Life
  • Beefeaters Yams


Sweet Potato Treats Buy yams or sweet potatoes and wash well.

  1. Slice thin pieces and arrange on a baking sheet.
  2. Cook for 45 minutes at 300 degrees.
  3. Allow to cool then seal in ziplock bags.

Other Treat options:

  • Cheese
  • Frozen Peas
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots

I will take natural peanut butter and put a thin coat on pieces of dry pet food for my dogs.

  • Baked Cheerios
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 Cups cheerios (or honey nut cheerios – I haven’t tried them but I don’t see why not)
  • ½ cup oat flour (buy in a store or put quick oats in a food processor)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  1. In a microwave safe bowl heat peanut butter for about 1 minute.
  2. Add all ingredients to peanut butter and mix well.
  3. Form firm, small balls with your hands.
  4. Put on a prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Flours you can use: Durum, whole wheat, potato or rye flour. You can use all-purpose flour as well. 

Cheese Treats:

  • 1 cup flour (see flours you can use)
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup grated cheddar
  • ¼ cup parmesan (you can use Asiago but it has a higher moisture content and you need to offset with additional flour).
  • 1 egg
  1. Combine ingredients.
  2. Form into small balls or roll dough and use dog bone cookie cutter.
  3. Put on a prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

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Act Now. Rescue: Adele’s Story.

Adele and Animal Allies of Texas. DONATE TODAY.

 adele 2  

On September 2, 2013 – two days ago -Adele was rescued by Animal Allies of Texas from a concrete kennel in a yard. She is an eight month old Border Collie mix with a terrible case of demodex mange. She has bloody skin infections, cracked and oozing. She was left outside in the Texas heat. On Sunday temperatures reached 104 degrees.

 AAT immediately brought her to a vet. Watching the video AAT posted on Facebook you can see the fear and pain and despair in Adele. Today the vet tech and AAT posted that this little girl wagged her tail. Remarkable.

 In a sad and ironic twist, Animal Allies of Texas 501(c)(3) animal advocacy/rescue organization had just suspended intake of animals due to overwhelming financial needs.

 And the person that rescued Adele is the treasurer. Why if they are banned by a board of directors would Adele be rescued? Because no one with a soul can walk away from an animal in need or from Adele.

 I urge you to help. Help immediately. What can you do? Animal Allies of Texas needs fosters and Adele needs a foster. AAT is in the DFW area of Texas. Open your home and heart. Adele will need love and tender care and medicated bathing along with return trips to the vet.

 Donate. Donate. Donate Today. Go online and donate. Put $5 five dollars in an envelope and mail the donation.

  • Share Adele’s rescue story.
  • Share to bring awareness.
  • Share to encourage donations.
  • Share to educate
  • Share because Adele deserves to be cared for by a Guardian.
  • Share because Adele deserves a life of love.
  • Share because humans should be humane.

 Follow Adele’s story on Facebook. Donate to Animal Allies of Texas through the line below.

P.O. Box 496385

Garland, Texas 75049-6385

Phone:  (972) 967-2266

Email  aatmail@animalalliesoftexas.org

Named Adele in memory of Adele Fogarty, AAT supporter. Hospitalized at Metro Paws Animal Hospital in Oak Cliff, TX.

 Do you need another reason to help? I’m not talking about charitable deductions. 

 adele 1

Be the Change. You Make A Difference. 



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Smiling for the Camera

I adopted Cleveland from a rescue group. I had gone to get dog food at the pet store and so many happy, excited dogs except my boy.  He was scared of the noise, shy and huddled in the back of his cage.  I visited with him and took him home that day.

I always take my time naming my family members.  If they already have a name they know and respond to I won’t change the name.  Cleveland had been a stray and the rescue group had saved him from  euthanasia (killing due to over crowding) from a city shelter.

Cleveland suffered from separation anxiety and it took almost a year for him to become confident. He had thyroid and liver problems. And he got pretty fat – more to love. 

Cleveland would always smile for the camera. He let me put visors and hats on him and would sit a pose with a smile. I wish I still had the picture of him wearing a Hawaiian shirt and visor. Sadly my computer with my treasured photos (and better photos than these) is gone and so are most of my pictures of the dogs.

If I took my boy’s collar off he would jump up and whine for me to put it back on. I believe he thought this was a token of being a member of the family.

Not all of my dogs will pose, Jax runs when he sees the camera and I haven’t a clue why. But Cleveland always posed and was the only one that smiled, always. 

Cleveland and Tansy

Do your dogs smile? Doesn’t it make your heart happy?

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