Friday, May 30, 2008

Up to Twenty Inches!

Last night was agility training and I was really excited to get going. It seems like a long time from Sunday to Thursday and thankfully not so long between Thursday and Sunday. I knew Trooper was excited to get going too. Besides the fact that he was starving!

My mother in law thinks it’s doggy abuse. I feed the other two pups but Trooper is denied his dinner on Agility evenings. And his breakfast on Agility mornings.

It’s for his own good. A hungry dog is a motivated dog. Even with a meal in his belly Trooper is highly food motivated and always will take a treat from our hands. However when trying to get him to learn new things and focus on working, if he’s not hungry he is much less likely to obey.

Trust me when I tell you that he gets a LOT of goodies during agility training classes. I used to take one chicken breast (boiled) with kibble but discovered that he LOVES hot dogs. SO now I bring three hot dogs cut up, one boiled chicken breast (also cut up) and kibble.

So yesterday he was a highly motivated (aka hungry) dog and on his very first run he did it flawlessly!!! And it wasn’t a straight run either. It was 5 jumps set up in a square. I was so proud of him, but even more proud on our third run when the instructor announced that she was going to raise the jump height to 20 inches!!! I looked at her, my eyes wide and my mouth opened. He’s never done 20 inches before I stuttered.

She smiled. They know what a wimp I am in class. :)

And what do you know? He sailed over them, hardly even blinking!!! I started jumping up and down like a crazy person. I was so happy and proud of him. It’s such a simple and small thing but you could tell that he was proud of himself too. And he got a big piece of chicken as a reward. Woohoo! *happy dance*

I’m really looking forward to Sunday’s class.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

How Much do you Spend?

Gather Little by Little is one of my daily stops on the blog-o-sphere and today’s article addresses the budget pitfalls of owning a pet (or pets!). Apparently those of us with pets have spent a record amount this year on our pooches and kitties and are predicted to spend even more in 2008…5.6% more. We’re talking over $40 BILLION dollars…B…Billion.

I think if I told my grandfather this news he would shake his head in disgust. He was raised in a different time. Animals were never allowed inside. He never took an animal to the vet -even neutering was done on the farm (they used a boot apparently to neuter the male cats…*shudder*). Some of the stories I won’t even share here because they are slightly disturbing…but it was a different time.

Today he’s much more inclined to treat a pet like a member of the family. Mostly because he’s lonely. But I still doubt he’d spend the amount of money on a pet that we do on ours. We buy expensive food, organic treats, lots of toys, and special beds.

Not my dogs - but so cute!

Then again, we don’t have kids. Our dogs are our babies. But when does the spending become excessive and are there things we can do to lower our pet bills?

If I had to estimate the total we spend on our dogs in a year I’m sure I would feel sick.

Grooming and Brushing for three dogs = $150-$175 Every 6-8 weeks
Yes, we could do it ourselves but Huskies and Malamutes have thick undercoats that require a lot of drying and brushing. It just isn’t worth it to me in terms of time to do it myself. Trooper requires brushing at least once a week and it’s super convenient to have the groomer at Daycare do it when he’s already there.

High Quality Dog Food = $175-$250 Every 4-5 Weeks
I know…it’s ridiculous right? However I’ve done a lot of reading and experimenting. Trooper has the world’s most sensitive stomach. Quinn is very low activity and too fat. Kodiak is injured and while he’d love to run a sled race he can’t even take walks on a regular basis. The more weight he gains the worse it is for his back legs. So I buy human grade quality food from The Honest Kitchen (Rachel Lucas has had a discount code for a month or so…it helps cover shipping which is expensive). It smells kind of funny but all three dogs LOVE it. I don’t rely on it alone because it is incredibly expensive. I also buy high quality kibble - Solid Gold. Quinn and Kodiak get the special “Holistique” kind for lower activity dogs and Trooper gets his own kind for active dogs.

I know that it is a lot of money. There are some families who don’t spend this much on their own food. But we are very blessed to be able to afford high quality food for our dogs. I think they eat better than we do! And it is worth it to me when it comes to the long term benefits to the dogs health. If we were to hit rocky times I know that we would have to cut this down from our budget. I would still try to get the best food we could afford, but of course quality will always cost more.

Treats and Toys - $50-$100 Every 2 Months
We actually haven’t been buying as many treats or toys as we used to. Trooper doesn’t need them as much since he’s getting so much more exercise with Agility and Daycare. Quinn isn’t interested in most toys - though there is a ball she loves to chew on. And Kodiak is only once in awhile interested in a light game of tug of war. Which consists of him sitting on the floor and me dangling the toy in front of him until he grabs it. Then he lets go and we start again. Poor guy.

Treats aren’t too expensive. We can get a huge bag of chicken strips at Costco for $10. They last quite awhile. The higher end treats we still get but not as often. I’ve had to put my foot down on the treat giving since Kodiak and Quinn’s weight has swelled. Unfortunately they have daddy wrapped around their little paws…he’s a softy. I’m the mean one!

Agility Training - $100 Every 3 Weeks
This is a new expensive but it is SO worth it! It gives me and Trooper exercise, bonding, and education. We both have to use our brains in totally different and new ways that we’ve never done before. Someday I hope we’ll be good enough to compete. I will do anything I can to keep this expense available to us. Plus we have permission to bring Kodiak and Quinn along to play in the next door field for free. Believe me, just letting them run around an empty field is more exercise than they normally get.

Daycare - $300 Every 6 Months or so
This one varies depending on how often the doggies go to daycare. Trooper goes at least once a week and sometimes twice. I buy the largest package available to get a 10% discount for him. Kodiak and Quinn can only go once in awhile. When Kodiak gets to go he comes home so sore and tired that he can barely walk. Last time he didn’t even stand up to eat!!! So we limit their daycare time.

Northwind Kennels

It’s hugely worth it to me to pay for daycare. Trooper gets special socialization with other dogs and gets a lot of excess energy out of his system. When hubby works during the day on a weekday it means that Trooper has one less day to spend at home in the kennel. Since I work away from home 4 days a week, home on Thursdays, and hubby will always have at least one weekday off, we can limit kennel time to two days or less. I hate leaving them alone for more than 10 hours a day so for us this expense is worth it.

We could feasibly cut this expense if needed. It would be a shame to lose the interaction and exercise but I’d rather cut daycare than agility.

Pet Insurance - $43 a Month for three dogs
We decided that this expense was worth it at the time we set it up but I’m beginning to rethink this. It’s over $500 a year and if I put that same amount in an ING Direct savings account I could earn interest and build an emergency fund just for the dogs. If we were to cut our expenses anywhere it would be here first.

Now, that’s not to say that having the insurance didn’t come in handy for Kodiak’s second surgery. They covered over $700 of the $1600 bill. We covered the rest using Care Credit and paid it off in pieces (interest free). Care Credit is a wonderful service and I think we’d use it again if we needed to spread an emergency payment out over 12 months with no interest. I see insurance as a hedge against a MAJOR event like a car accident or cancer. We haven’t canceled yet but it’s on our radar.

Veterinary Expenses
- Varies
I disagree with GLbL when he suggests using local low cost clinics. I’ve had some bad experiences and have heard some scary stories from some of these low cost places - including out of date vaccines being used. Our vet is not cheap. Just walking in the door usually results in an office visit fee of $35. We rarely walk out for less than $100 for yearly exams and vaccines.

But that is okay. We LOVE our Vet. He knows all of our dogs and has been invaluable when treating some of the odd issues with our dogs. I would not trade the value of paying for good service just to save a few dollars. Especially when it comes to peace of mind and my babies’ health.

So how much is too much? I didn’t really think about just how much we spent until I wrote it all out. It is a big number, no doubt. I think there are a few things we could cut down on but for the most part this is set unless something life changing altered our financial outlook.

What are your biggest (indoor/family) pet expenses (I’m not including expenses for horses, etc. because I know how expensive they can be too)? If you had to cut back on your budget would you cut from the pet budget? Or your own?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Paying Attention - Agility Creates a Bond

I can’t explain the feeling I get when Trooper and I run through exercises at Agility class and do it correctly. I get so excited and I can tell that he is happy - besides just getting a lump of yummy food. He gets lots of love and ‘good boy’ and “yay”. =D

When he doesn’t do it right it’s rarely his fault as I keep learning. Learning my body language and how it affects his behavior is fascinating. I am forced to really get in tune with exactly how I move and what I do with every part of my body, from feet to hands to head. When I step even one foot in the wrong direction it can give him the wrong message and cause him to go off course.

At our last class we worked very hard - mostly me trying to control my habits. I tend to talk a lot and I’m supposed to be quiet - for each jump I tend to say “jump” or make kissy noises. Bad human! I am only supposed to show him, guide him, with my hand movement and body language.

We went through jumps over and over and over again. Three jumps in a 180 degree turn. And the instructor kept moving out the middle jump so he had to move further and further away from me. Boy was it hard. I love that Trooper was so focused and didn’t get bored. Of course the hot dogs help. :)

And even as we were working so hard he wanted to go on the baby teeter again and again!

Of course he’s not supposed to be looking at me, he’s supposed to have his head down and looking ahead. But again, it’s my fault. I’m supposed to say get it and put the food on the get it plate. Trooper focuses on my hands because he knows I’m going for a treat. Again, my fault.

But we got to graduate to the big boy teeter!!! It’s much different than the baby teeter and makes a louder noise. We started off slowly - a table is placed under the teeter so it doesn’t go down all the way and Trooper can get used to the noise. He did really good!

Looking at the photos my mother in law took is so much fun. I get to see how he’s moving and where he’s looking. I love seeing him looking at me for direction. Malamutes are so independent and stubborn that it thrills me to pieces that my boy looks to me and wants to work. I can’t thank That Mutt enough for mentioning agility training on her blog one day. It’s given me an entirely new relationship with my dog and that is beyond valuable.

Not to mention the fact that he is plum wore out when we get home!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Remember Those Who Served

This Memorial Day we pause to remember those who served and died fighting to protect our freedoms and liberties. Often overlooked are the military dogs who served alongside their humans…and often died in their efforts.

In World War II, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the American Kennel Club encouraged dog owners to donate dogs to the war effort. The “War Dog Program” became known as K-9 Corps during the 40s and 50s. While nearly 30 breeds were initially accepted into the program, eventually German Shepherds and four other suitable breeds made up the program.


Dogs trained for 8 to 12 weeks on everything from basic commands like sit and stay to intense training to become accustom to gun fire and riding in military vehicles. After basic training dogs were entered into one of four programs…

Sentry Dogs - Most dogs were trained for sentry duty working with a guard and warning them if any stranger approached. They were especially valuable in the dark.
Scout/Patrol Dogs -These special dogs were trained to perform their duties in extreme quiet in order to detect snipers and enemy forces.
Messenger Dogs - Only 151 messenger dogs were trained during WWII and they were extremely special dogs. Their loyalty was paramount as they were required to work with two trainers.
Mine Dogs - I think the name says it all. These dogs were trained to detect mines and trip wires.

They saved lives and helped defeat our enemy through several wars. The incredible work that these dogs did cannot be forgotten.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Avoid Those Sharp Canines

Apparently last week was Dog Bite Awareness week. I didn’t even know such a thing existed. I wish they did more to publicize this awareness though because I think many a dogs’ lives would be saved if more people knew how to appropriate interact with dogs. I believe that many bites are no fault of the dog but rather the lack of knowledge of the people getting bit.

My dogs are incredibly friendly and have never bitten anyone (well, Trooper did draw blood on Thursday but it’s my fault for having a hot dog in my hand!), even those who approach them incorrectly. My husband is paranoid though, and rightly so, that they could get startled or scared by a young child (or even an older child) and snap at them causing accidental injury.

Anytime a child approaches us and asks if they can pet the dogs I always say yes. But I also watch the kids closely and carefully to see if they are using the proper techniques.

Never approach a strange dog. A dog might look cute and fluffy but if you don’t know him, he doesn’t know you. If you do need to get close to a dog, I’ve had to do this with dogs lost in our neighborhood, do so slowly with your hand out, palm up, and don’t make direct eye contact.

If the dogs owner is there always ask permission to pet their dog. I have had owners tell me no. Some dogs just aren’t friendly with strangers and if an owner says no, just smile and wave at the pretty doggy from a distance.

Always let a dog sniff you first - palm up and hand forward allow the dog to smell you first. Never try to go over their head first. This is one of the most common mistakes kids use. They want to pet the doggies and so go right for the head. Well, the dogs want to know who this strange person is and raise their noses up to sniff. Many kids get freaked out by this because it seems like the dog is ‘going after’ their hands. This even freaks my uncle out (he’s not a dog person). In reality they are just trying to say hi and smell you.

Never tease a dog. Especially a dog you don’t know. I think more dog bites are caused by people “playing” with dogs. Hubby has sustained a few scratches himself, all in fun while playing with our babies. It’s never their fault. They play with their teeth! But I’ve heard many sad stories of kids thinking it was fun to pick on a dog they don’t know and that dog defending himself. And often the dog suffers the ultimate consequence.

Never run away. If a dog is threatening you do not turn and run. I think they say this about bears too. The prey drive is to chase and if you run you’ll be seen as that prey. I notice this with the cats and my dogs. When the cats just stand there the dogs don’t do much harm but if the cats take off quickly the dogs give chase.

Instead of running, stand your ground quietly with your arms at your sides. Again, do not make eye contact. Hopefully the dog will lose interest and leave you alone.

Education is the key. If more children knew how to properly interact with dogs there would be so many fewer traumatic accidents.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Photo Hunt Saturday - Shoes

I love shoes but in the last few years have really slowed down my buying. I couldn’t resist this pair though. I didn’t even get them on sale! (*gasp* the shame!)


Doesn’t Trooper look like he’s rolling his eyes? “Mom, you don’t need ANY more shoes. Can I chew on these?”


Check out my non-doggy shot at my other blog and visit other Photo Hunters at the headquarters.

Friday, May 23, 2008

How much is too much when caring for sick and injured pets?

Bible Money Matters asks the question. In our house there is no limit. And I am not kidding. When we first got Kodiak he was a tiny little bundle of fluff - as cute as can be. We fell in love with him so fast our heads spun.

One day around the age of 9 months he was outside playing. All of a sudden we heard a high pitched yelp and Kodiak ran into the living room hopping on three legs with his 4th held up. He would not put any weight on it and did not want us to touch it.

Turns out he’d torn a ligament. We started at our local vet, where we spent several hundred on X-Rays and anesthesia (to take the x-rays) and pain medication. Not to mention the leg wrap and supplies to keep him bound up.

Next we met with the surgeon who lived 50 miles away. The surgery would cost over $4,000. We were only dating at the time but were planning to get married eventually. He rented a small duplex and I had an apartment. I also was going to school full time while working full time. Money was tight. My mom joked that it would be cheaper to amputate his leg but hubby would have none of that.

We charged it. And didn’t think twice. It cost more than $5,000 when all was said and done.

Nearly 4 years later when Kodiak was around 5 years old we noticed that he was limping again and fairly severely in the same leg. So we head back to our local vet who again shaved his leg and took more x-rays.

Yup, you guessed it. He’d injured himself again. It wasn’t the same injury - it was a new one. He’d torn his meniscus.

Off to another surgeon. This time the price tag was slightly less expensive. Only $1,700 and we could apply for assistance to pay it off interest free over 12 months with Care Credit (a program I highly recommend - it is for people and pets). Since we had him insured after his first injury, insurance covered a portion of the surgery (it was the same leg but a totally different injury so it was covered). But we still had to pay over $1,000 out of pocket.

Kodiak Recovering

The recovery was much more painful this time and I sobbed his first night home. I slept on the couch so he could have extra room in the living room. He had to be corralled to keep the other dogs off of him. I got no sleep that night.

Kodiak Recovering

Less than one year later I noticed him limping again…this time on his other leg. Hubby didn’t believe me and said it was just his original limp (which is constant now). Sure enough, back to the vet - another torn meniscus - and another surgery.

Thankfully the surgeon gave us a reduced rate…sort of the buy one get one half off deal. Not that we cared. If he hadn’t we’d still have paid for the surgery. Even if we needed to use the credit card again.

Kodiak is our “first born” and there’s no way that I could NOT get him treatment. I realize that there are people with money issues who would never be able to provide this level of care. Though there are a programs like Care Credit out there to help finance emergency procedures for animals (and people).

When an animal is part of the family what do you do with a horrible and expensive injury? Do you go for the lowest price even though it may mean not fixing the problem entirely? If it is not a life threatening injury do you get it fixed?

I don’t know what I would do if any of my dogs were so badly injured or sick that the vet could not guarantee recovery. Would we be able to put any of them down? Even the thought of this makes me sick to my stomach and brings tears to my eyes.

Kodiak is now 7 years old and has had three surgeries on his back legs. We know he will (already does) have severe arthritis as he grows older and we are working to do everything we can to make him comfortable, healthy, and happy. And we don’t regret a dime we’ve spent on his injuries.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Animal Intelligence - Good or Bad

I found this interesting article via Instapundit.

My dogs are of course the smartest dogs in the universe *grin* but apparently being smart isn’t necessarily a good thing for animals in terms of evolution and life span. Of course the scientists used fruit flies in their experiment (what is it about fruit flies?). I honestly don’t know how their results truly translate to larger mammal populations.

“…the very act of learning takes a toll. The scientists trained some fast-learning flies to associate an odor with powerful vibrations. “These flies died about 20 percent faster than flies with the same genes, but which were not forced to learn…”

I know I feel pretty drained after learning anything new. Ha! I just hope I’m not shortening Trooper’s life span by teaching him new things in Agility Training. =)

Trooper Agility Training

I wonder how this study would apply with cats. If Fade can learn how to play dead (*grin*) he has to have some smarts! I know that my kitties are so smart that they even clean their own litter boxes (that’s another story for another day).

Monday, May 19, 2008

Play With Your Dog

So often I hear owners complain about their hyper active dog destroying their home or property. Chewing on furniture, mauling shoes, digging holes, and worse. Some owners act as if their dog is the problem.

Newsflash – It’s not the dog’s fault!!!

Think about this. How would you feel if you were left at home for 8-12 hours per day by yourself? When your family came home they said hello and then went about their evening, pausing to feed you dinner, but otherwise ignoring you. I’d say most of us would get pretty anxious, upset, and bored.

Dogs are pack animals and very social creatures. They need interaction with others, whether they be people or other animals.

It’s also critical to give dogs a challenge – something that makes their brain work and think. Solving problems, performing tasks, and experiencing a variety of events are key to a dog’s mental and physical health.

I admit, hubby and I are at times lazy and not always the best doggy parents. They always let us know when we’ve been neglecting our duties for walks and entertainment - often in the form of a torn up living room. My favorite scissors are no more. Several times we’ve come home to garbage strewn everywhere. We never blame the dogs. We know that it’s our fault and promptly take them for a walk.

Lately, Trooper and I have been very active. He goes to daycare once a week. Twice a week, he and I go to Agility Training. This has been the most incredible bonding experience and physical challenge that I’ve ever done with my dogs. I truly wish I’d known more about agility when we got Kodiak seven years ago.

It’s not necessary to join an Agility class with your dog in order to get that important physical and mental stimulation (though I highly recommend it!). There are other ways to ensure your dog’s health and happiness.


One of my favorite gift blogs, Rare Bird Finds, found this incredible board game that you actually PLAY WITH YOUR DOGS!!! I think it would be hilarious and so much fun! Could you get your dog to do sit-ups? Crawl? Stick out their tongue? I don’t know if I could, but it would be fun to try.

What fun and creative things do you do with your dog? That Mutt is currently doing a 30 day challenge - taking her dog to a new place every day. She also did one awhile ago that was 30 days of taking a walk every day. What about teaching your dog a new trick or command every day for 30 days? Or even for one week.

It will do you and your dog a lot of good.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Camera Critters - Bipolar Bird



This bird is at a shop in Maui and I had so much fun feeding him. The shop keeper told us he was a “bipolar” bird and to be careful when handling him. I thought a bipolar bird was hilarious…being that I’m bipolar myself. We were told to carefully wiggle our first finger until the birdie put his head down and then we could scratch him.

Another lady came over and tried to pet him directly and he bit her! *giggle* Okay, it’s not funny but she didn’t follow directions and she was warned. There’s even a sign!


We had a great time at this shop and bought a lot of plants…two of which have already died. We just don’t have very good luck with tropical plants. But we still have two Plumerias that are hanging on to life. I hope they live!!!

Visit the other Camera Critters participants and see fun critters!

Friday, May 16, 2008

My Dog Turned Green

I mean that literally. We had Agility training tonight and I decided that Kodiak and Quinn deserved to come along. There are several fields fenced off and they usually move the sheep so the dogs can get some energy out before and after class. Since Quinn and Kodiak are so often (always) stuck at home they’re starting to get a little too chubby. It’s hard because Kodiak can’t endure too much physical activity. And we thought that Quinn was getting too old.

I was very wrong about Quinn. I almost started crying (with happiness) watching her run up and down the field chasing another dog and a ball. She looked SO happy and so beautiful. She didn’t run as fast as she used to, but moved faster than I’ve seen her in ages. She chased the other dog, while the other dog chased a ball. She growled and barked and had so much fun. When the dogs went to work in class in the next door field she walked up and down the fence wanting to join us.

It was so hot. Too hot for Kodiak but Quinn loves the heat, which is so weird. She will lay out on the deck even when it’s 100 degrees. We have to force her to come inside and cool off.

As I watched Quinn run around in ecstasy I look over and see Kodiak rolling around with a look of pure joy on his mug. Then I hear the trainer say, “There’s fresh sheep poop in there.” … Yeah, thanks for the warning!!! But it was so cute to see his face that I didn’t even care.

He rolled and rolled and got up and then rolled some more. My sweet crippled boy was SO happy.



It was too warm for me and for Trooper. I started getting a headache about halfway through and Trooper was not concentrating at all. I had a very hard time keeping his attention and getting him to go over jumps.

With 15 minutes left in class Trooper really lost it and jumped OVER the freaking fence separating the two fields. Good grief. At least we know how high he can jump. By that time I was done anyway and I needed to take Kodiak in the barn and wash him off.

Dried sheep poop does not come off easily. I got as much water on me as I did on him. His fur literally turned green as I rinsed him off.


The photos here are obviously representation of how he looked. =) It was pretty gross but I was just so happy to see him out and playing in an open field that I didn’t care. I’m hoping we’ll be able to take them again soon. Though he will need at least a week to recover. He wouldn’t even jump into the truck when we packed up to go home. Poor guy.


I hope he isn’t too sore in the morning but I am glad that they both got to get out of the house. It’s so hard to balance their need for exercise with their limitations (age and injuries).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

National Peace Officers Memorial Day - May 15

Today is National Peace Officers Memorial Day. First signed into law by President John F. Kennedy, National Police Week is every May and yet we rarely year about this special acknowledgment of our hard working men and women in law enforcement.

Nor do we often hear about their K-9 comrades. Do we ever stop and consider the important work that these incredible canines do? Police dogs are a huge part of law enforcements efforts to keep law abiding citizens safe. They do amazing things and perform great acts of heroism and yet are often overlooked in their valor.

Police Dog Training

Every time I see a K9 police car I smile. I know how special these dogs are. Not any dog can become a successful police dog. I know mine wouldn’t pass the test.

When I volunteered at the local shelter we’d have people come in to test the dogs to see if they had the characteristics necessary for police work. It wasn’t a difficult test. I remember so clearly one time a man coming in with a yellow tennis ball. He held the ball in front of each kennel and see what the dogs reaction was. If the dog focused on the ball intently it would be taken out to the play area for some more interaction. What a great way to save these dogs from an uncertain future! There are so many unwanted dogs and training some for police work is a much better result than the alternative.

While we celebrate the protection that officers provide us every day, let’s take a few moments to also honor their K-9 partners. They work, sacrifice, and give their lives in the line of duty.

“The Working Dog”

My eyes are your eyes,
To watch and protect yours.

My ears are your ears ,
To hear and detect evil minds in the dark.

My nose is your nose,
To scent the invader of your domain.

And so you may live, my life is also yours.

Author Unknown

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Did You Know That Malamutes Drool?

At least mine does. We didn’t realize how lucky we were with our Siberian Huskies. They howled, talked, and yipped but when begging for food at least we didn’t get all slimy!

Trooper drools when he senses food. And as sweet as it is when he lays his head on our lap, it’s gross. Not only that but when he drinks water half of it ends up on the floor! Kodiak and Quinn are paragons of manners compared to Trooper.

Trooper Drooling Again

Can you see the drool bubbles?

Well, Rare Bird Finds has found the answer to my wet dreams (hahahahaha…that’s so wrong but funny).

Drool Towels! And the sayings on these towels are hilarious…

“I do it Slobber Style”
“I drool therefore I am”

And my personal favorite since it applies so much to Trooper…”Will Drool for Food.”

I must get some but can’t decide which ones to get. Which one is your favorite?

Do you have a dog drool problem? We seriously did not think that getting a Malamute would result in pools of drool around the house. I thought dogs like St. Bernards and Bernese Mt Dogs had the drool market covered.

What is the point of drool? Does it serve a purpose? I know that I drool when I’m really relaxed and sleeping. I only know this because when I wake up … yes, my pillow is wet and I know I had a good night’s sleep. =D

If you dog isn’t a normal drooler and suddenly starts drooling it can indicate problems including an allergic reaction to something they ate or even a tooth issue. So take note if your normally non-drooling dog starts to gush the slobber.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Originally posted on, which is no longer being supported.


Home Zookeeper has a new author…and it’s me. :) I hope everyone who enjoyed Lynn’s posts will stick around and give me a chance as I learn my way around this new blog home. I’ve never used Word Press before (but have always wanted to try). I’m super excited to have a single location to talk (and talk and talk) about my love for animals.

A little about moi…

I have three dogs who are the light of our lives.

Kodiak is our red and white pure bred Siberian Husky. He turned 7 years old in March. He’s had three leg surgeries and is our delicate boy. As much as he wants to run, run, run, we have to restrict his activity because he so easily injures his back legs. The older he gets the more concerned I am about arthritis and pain management.

Kodiak in Snow

Quinn is our rescue Siberian Husky. We’re not sure if she’s a purebred because she has some funny quirks that don’t seem exactly like the Husky breed. She was rescued from a kill shelter where they kept her twice as long as normal because she was just too sweet to put to sleep. Her owners refused to pick her up after her third time escaping (she’s an escape artist!). She finally found a spot at the Husky Rescue and we found her on Pet Findier.

We also don’t know exactly how old she is but she’s getting up there. She’s our “old lady” and Queen. We try to treat her right and make her comfy. It’s getting harder and harder for her to get up on the couch. We’re trying to prepare ourselves for the inevitable but it’s very difficult to think about.

Sleepy Quinn
Snuggling with Daddy

Last but not least is our “puppy” Trooper Bear who is coming up on his second birthday in June (or July I can never remember which). He is a full blood Malamute and the love of my life. *grin* He is energetic, fun, happy, cuddly, and a treat to have in our lives. We just started Agility Training together and I’ll have a lot of photos and posts about that experience. He thinks that he is a lap dog and has no sense of other people’s space…it all belongs to him! Oh, and he’s a woolly malamute so he looks much bigger looking than he actually is. He’s around 85 pounds, though down to around 82 because of all the wonderful activities we’ve been doing.

All Trooper's Glory

So these are my doggy children. I don’t have any human kids though we’ve started talking about it. We also have two kitty children who are more like Flowers in the Attic. *sigh* Trooper is a little too fond so they either live in the garage or they get killed. They will soon be moving to a happy new home with my mother in law. I’ll post more about them here too.

My original blog started off as a way to advertise and share my jewelry with others and sort of morphed into an animal blog at least 75% of the time. Ha! I’m just obsessed with my animals and animal welfare. I will be maintaining my other blog as well as this one but the focus there will turn more to Indie businesses, arts, and crafts. Which is sort of where I wanted it to focus in the first place.

If you’ve followed me from that blog please take a moment to look around. There are some great, cute, funny, and informative posts here already. And I hope to add more great content in the future.

This is kind of a long introduction. I’ll stop babbling now and start thinking about my next posts. And keep trying to figure out how to use WP. =)

Happy Wednesday!