Saturday, November 29, 2014

Dog Nose Where It Does Not Belong

Leave it to the Redtick Coonhound to stick his nose where it does not belong!

Yes, my dog Valentino has had his first injury while in my care. It happened on one of our daily walks on the dog friendly beach here in Lanark Village, Florida.

While walking and running the shoreline I allow Valentino the lead on his fourteen foot leash. He loves to follow his nose and one never knows where, or to what, it might lead us.

On this particular day I was cell phone camera ready to capture the dog's nose "bitten" when he stuck it too close to that which attracted him with its scent. Valentino yelped and dashed away for a moment, just long enough for me to snap a shot of the sea creature belly up in the mucky sand of low tide—a horseshoe crab!

Noticing the crab was missing its tail, I gently turned it over, all the while wondering if it would survive its life in the ocean without a tail. The tail is harmless and mostly used by the horseshoe crab to right itself and when swimming it acts as a guide for the crab, perhaps leading its way much like my dog's nose!

Naturally, my dog Valentino had to return to check out the creature that bit him. Click the picture for a larger view and you can see a red spot of blood on his nose.

Even though my dog's bite seemed minor, I cut our beach walk short that day, heading home to clean the piercing. I then dabbed a bit of peroxide and topical antibiotic ointment on it. I'm sure all the doctoring stung more than the horseshoe crab injury did! But of course, Valentino received a KONG dog toy stuffed with a special treat to ease his hound dog nose!

For your reading pleasure and to increase your knowledge here are a couple of great books about the horseshoe crabs.

Has your dog ever been bitten by sticking his nose where it doesn't belong?

Pause for a few moments to tell your dog story tale in a blog post and link up with PAWSit Hop Saturday here at Dog Pawsitive Tidbits this week. Please grab our graphic for your post and link it to this page so other dog lovers may join with their own dog paw prints.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

My Hound Dog's First Day on the Seashore

My hound dog Valentino's first day on the seashore here in Lanark Village, Florida, along the Gulf of Mexico, proved a pretty playful adventure for him as well as for me and my roommate Scott. As luck would have it, we live a block from this secluded beach, in a rural area of the Florida Panhandle, and best of all—the area is super dog friendly.

Valentino spent nearly an hour with nose either in the sand or sniffing the air and with tail wagging or on point when the seabirds fed his nostrils with their scent. I got the feeling that for just a little while Valentino was able to romp and play just as seriously as the born and bred hunter his coonhound breeding begged of him.

Scott and Valentino
I think maybe the great expanse of the sea intimidated Valentino, as he was rather fearful of entering the water. Neither Scott nor I pressured him to wade the water after realizing his reaction to it. As the dog sniffed every inch of the sandy shore he would occasionally sniff the water's edge, then back away as a rippling wave rolled up over his paws.

No doubt Valentino will come to terms with our sea of enchantment in his own time. But of course, we've a few ways of our own to entice him to water play, saving such for another day, for there will be many dog days at the beach for our boy.

View KONG Aqua on Amazon
In fact, we already know which KONG toy we plan to buy next for Valentino ... KONG Aqua, a retriever dog toy that floats, complete with a throw rope.

This fetching dog toy is sure to get Valentino geared up for jumping right into the water, as he loves to play fetch and he loves his KONG toys!

This first day at the beach with my coonhound was quite an emotional experience for me. While it was something I'd eagerly looked forward to for two weeks, it was also something I'd somewhat dreaded, as I'd spent a year and a half walking this same beach with my dog Tidbit nearly every day. In fact, my beach walk with Valentino was my first visit to the sea since Tidbit's passing five months earlier.

I know in my heart that Tidbit is leading my way and is proud of me for sharing our beach with this new dog. She was with me every step of the way, through the laughter and the tears. As I watched Valentino place his paw prints upon the seashore, my spirit cried for the love of the old one and I swear I heard her whisper, "The future belongs to the new. Walk now with Valentino."

Me and My Dog Valentino

We invite you to pause for a bit, sit down and blog about a walk with a dog (or anything dog-related) and then add your blog link to this week's PAWSit Hop Saturday

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Dogs Day Out and About Running Errands

Yesterday was a dog's day out and about for running errands, mostly all dog-related. The most important of the errands was clearance for my foster dog, Valentino, to go to the beach with me. We have been eagerly awaiting his neuter wound to heal for our first romp together in the Gulf of Mexico.

Our day began with another black bear sighting at the start of our morning walk. We had seen this same bear the night before so Valentino had his his redtick coonhound nose honed for the scent, spotting the bear immediately and alerting me with an on-point stance. Obviously, I steered the dog in the opposite direction so we could take care of his potty business.

Karen, Valentino, and Warren
Finally, off we went to the Franklin County Humane Society. Karen (assisted by Warren) gave Valentino and his private parts a good going over, including suture removal. Warren removed a tick from the top of the dog's head. But of course, the examination ended with Karen's hearty, "He's ready to go to the beach!"

Bri and Valentino
Karen felt our harness for Valentino was a bit small and would eventually cut into his tender armpit skin, so we traded it for one of hers which appears to be a much more comfortable fit and heavier duty for our big boy. And best of all--Bri took Valentino for a walk while we visited. She has missed him so. (Remember, he was at the shelter for eight months and the staff really became quite attached to him.)

View on Amazon
Scott had remembered to bring the dog food container so the animal shelter could replenish our stash, for while fostering they provide Valentino's dog food. We now have food enough to feed this hound for a few more weeks. I love this Behren's galvanized steel can with a locking lid to keep critters out and freshness in. (I don't do plastic for food, mine or dogs.)

Next we needed to go to the vet's office to get flea and tick prevention. Apalachicola Bay Animal Clinic personnel were delighted to see me with Valentino. They recognized me as this was my dog Tidbit's vet. The vet tech who'd assisted in Tidbit's euthanization was there too and quite happy to see I was now providing a loving home for Valentino. They recognized Valentino because that is where he'd had his neutering surgery.

Valentino weighed in at fifty-three pounds and four ounces, gaining three and a half pounds in his two weeks with me. I guess he's being fed well. And believe me, he's getting plenty of exercise. And now, with Valentino, so am I!

View at Amazon
Oh! While at the vet's office, Scott noticed they had KONG brand toys for sale so he bought Valentino a KONG dental chew toy with rope. Now Valentino has two KONGs--the best chew toys around for our serious chewer! (And by comparison, would have been much cheaper to buy at Amazon, oh my!)

On the way home, we stopped at the local grocery to inquire about femur bones for dogs. Unfortunately--no good butcher bones at all in the store. (Roommate Scott assured me he'll take on the job of locating good raw meat bones for Valentino. Wish him luck with that!)

So, yesterday wore Valentino out and he slept like a baby last night! I can well imagine that after our first walk on the beach together this evening he will be dog tired again. (Be sure to subscribe to Dog Pawsitive Tidbits for our beachcombing tales and other future dog stories.)

We're off now to walk the block to the beach to watch a sunset! Woof!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My Dog is Learning to Sit and Stay

Valentino Sits by My Desk
I met my foster dog Valentino three months ago. He has been living in my home for two weeks today, hooray!

Not once during my visits to the shelter did I ever see Valentino sit. He would stand, jump up and around, and if tired he might lay. So when he came to live with me we began serious "sit" training. And just so you know—we do not use treats for training him to sit, nor do I verbally command the dog to "Sit!"

Now, when Valentino sits, whether upon my hand commands or on his own, he receives dog pawsitive tidbits of soft petting of his head paired with a jolly "Good boy!" Then, I instruct him to "Stay."

In two weeks we've come a long way baby, for on the twelfth day with me ... Valentino performed a sit and stay that I was able to capture on camera!

My Dog Valentino in a Sit and Stay Pose

Like that palm tree Valentino is pictured with? Read a bit about palm trees fruit on my poetry and prose blog!

My dog and I linked this not-so-wordless sit and stay article up with BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

Come blog and share your pet pictures with us!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Neighborhood Dog Walk Saturday

It is such a beautiful cool but sunny Saturday here in the Florida Panhandle, so my dog Valentino and I decided we would soak up the sunshine while taking a neighborhood walk or two.

Valentino Chasing Butterflies
We started our day off with our usual potty routine, then we began chasing butterflies in our and the neighbor's back yard. She has Lantana bushes in full bloom now, enticing the butterflies.

Sure enough, Valentino chased most of the butterflies out of cell phone camera reach but I did manage to catch a Gulf Fritillary Butterfly upon a flower up high while my dog had his nose sniffing the base of the Lantana.

Nice catch, but it's the elusive Zebra Longwing Butterfly that I'm always hoping to catch in the chase.

We went back inside to rest up for the next walk, which was to a neighborhood yard sale. We sniffed the neighbor's wares and chatted with others looking for bargains on the tables.

Ruthi & Valentino at Neighborhood Yard Sale
What fun that we met Vicki, whose other half manages the Lanark Village By The Sea Facebook page, and we'll make sure she sees our blog posts of our neighborhood wanderings from now on. Her friend, such a nice lady, even took our picture for us!

Now we're back home, Valentino resting and me blogging. But, we're not done with gallivanting. This afternoon we are headed to the fall festival in Carrabelle at the Senior Center. More about that trip later--I'm goin' bye-bye!

Valentino Goes Bye-Bye - A Car Ride

In the meantime, we invite you to pause for a bit, sit down and blog about a walk with your dog, and then add your blog link to this week's PAWSit Hop Saturday!

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Lame Duck Dog Squeaker Toys

Roommate Scott presented Valentino with a plush duck. Our new dog attacked his new toy with a vengeance, halting his chewing and pawing only momentarily on the first of its quacks, but of course continuing in hopes of more squeaking.

This entertainment continued for a good half hour, during which time Valentino managed to kill the squeaker inside the quacker. Now bored with the duck, Valentino decided to nap. When he woke, we tried playing toss with him with his duck toy but he showed little interest, other than an occasional nudge or chew throughout the day.

After breakfast and a walk the next day, followed by a short morning nap, Valentino suddenly pounced on his duck squeaker toy. I just happened to have camera in hand so I was able to snap a photo or two of Valentino's vicious attack on the toy. 

It's a good thing, too, that I was right there to witness, capture on camera, and remove the lame duck from Valentino's grip. Otherwise, my dog might have swallowed a piece or two of the toy and that would certainly not have been a good experience for any of us.

It took Valentino about 18 hours (less than an hour of play time) to turn his plush toy into a lame duck of destruction!

Lame Duck Dog Squeaker Toy

Squeaker Toy Recommendation

While some dogs may do just fine with these Plush Duck Squeaker Toys, from this first experience with our dog Valentino we have decided to stick with sturdier play toys for him. I also learned, thus highly recommend, that dogs need supervision when playing with their toys—much like children.

Next up on our dog toy list? I will soon be publishing my rave review of the KONG Extreme Dog Toy.

Naturally, I am open to suggestions from my readers on safe toys for my hound dog, Valentino.

What toys work best with your dogs?

You can leave your answer to my dog toy question here in the comment section. But of course, publishing a dog toy review on your blog (new as of this week) and linking it up right here with our PAWSit Hop Saturday blog hop would be great too! (You can add your link to this list anytime throughout the week.)

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dog Looking and Licking At You Kid

There will be no such thing as excessive looking or licking ... I bring my foster dog Valentino home today!

That said, I'd better publish this, then get myself to bed so the sun can come out tomorrow and then it can be today and Valentino and I shall be delighted to say...

Here's Lickin' At You, Kid
Here's Lickin' At You, Kid by dogpawsitivetidbits
Browse more Dogs Postcards

We're linking up with BlogPaws for Wordless Wednesday!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Room On The Broom In Heart And Home

Room on the Broom at Amazon
It is a bit funny how what I wanted to share with you today reminded me of a great book for kids—Room on the Broom. Yet, it's right for the season and the reason—making room in my heart and home for a new dog.

While most of my family, friends, and neighbors were preparing for trick or treaters yesterday, I was busy being a good witch preparing for the arrival of my foster dog.

With Valentino to arrive on Wednesday, I used my broom to sweep the floors clean, vacuumed carpets, and washed my bedding, as well as that which would be his. You see, even though these things were basically already clean, I wanted there to be as little trace of the scent of my dog Tidbit as possible upon the new dog's arrival. I guess I was thinking he might be intimidated by her presence.

Some of this was also done with mixed emotion. I'd purposely left Tidbit's things around for me, still mourning her death of four months ago.

I still smiled at the ramekin tucked in the corner between my desk and bookshelf from which she would gobble up her part of my dinner treats when I dined at my desk while working. Tidbit's favorite? Roommate Scott would make cheeseburgers every now and again and he would make her one of her own, crumbling it into bite-sized pieces in her little dish.

There was still comfort found in that clump of her hair tucked in the corner by my bath tub where she used to lay while I took my shower. Until now, I hadn't been able to make myself pick it up or sweep it away.

Actually, I still didn't toss Tidbit's hair sheddings nor put her treat dish away. Instead, I cleaned the ramekin and filled it with bits of her dog hair I had left lay for a while. Now it's on a special shelf that holds numerous items of value to no one but to me and maybe to the furry friends from which they came.

As for the bedding, Valentino will lay upon the same comforter that my dogs Tidbit, Scratch, and NewBe spent many an hour curled up on. In fact, it is the comforter Tidbit gave birth to NewBe upon.

Of course, this comforter will not be Valentino's sleeping bed. He will be sleeping in my bed right along with me, as have all my dogs. I've missed having a dog friend in bed with me!

Hound Dog Food Bowl by Dog Pawsitive Tidbits
Naturally, Valentino will have a basket of toys of his own as well as a collar, harness, and leash of his own for our daily walks. I will, however, use Tidbit's twenty-foot-long leash for beach walking with Valentino. It gives a dog room to roam a bit while allowing me to have a good grip on the dog. And ... Valentino already has his own dog food bowl, designed by me and customized with his name.

Pet Towel at Amazon
I'll have to get Valentino his own drying towel too, as I am making Tidbit's Aquis Microfiber Pet Towel, Red with Black Paw Prints, into a small body pillow for me for my bed. I just can't give up the need to cuddle up with my best friend.

Tidbit may be gone but I will snuggle up with her ... forevermore. And yes, when I get my pillow made I will share it with you!

Dog lovers: Share your own tail-wagging tale with us by blogging a dog-related story and linking it up right here below on this post with the PAWSit Hop Saturday blog hop throughout the week.

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