Sunday, December 27, 2015

Dogs and Christmas Squeaker Toys

My Dog Valentino and Christmas Squeaker Toys
My Dog Valentino and Christmas Squeaker Toy
Dogs enjoy receiving Christmas presents too. My dog Valentino sure enjoyed the gift of a few dog toys and treats this year. One particular package to be opened for Valentino turned out to be great fun on Christmas Day.

As I sat this present down on the floor for my dog, I inadvertently squeaked the squeaker toy taped to the top of the wrapped gift. From that point on Valentino was on alert and approached the gift with canine caution.

Dog Sneaks Up On the Squeaker Toy
Dog Sneaks Up On the Squeaker Toy
Naturally, Valentino's nose got the better of him. He just had to get to that scent coming from inside the packaging!

Valentino sneaked up on the gift ever so cautiously to sniff the scent of the wrapped gift, all the while keeping an eye on the squeaky thing. But of course, for my own entertainment, I had to squeak the Christmas dog toy once again. He grabbed it and ran!

Dog Treats for Christmas


Valentino Enjoys Milk Bone Dog Treats
Valentino Enjoys Milk Bone Dog Treats
Once again, my hound dog was led right back to the package by its scent. It is then that I unwrapped the gift and opened one of two boxes of MILK BONE dog treats. Naturally, Valentino helped himself to one and begged for more.

I thought for sure Valentino would have destroyed that squeaker toy within the hour but my boy surprised me and did not. Instead, entertainment continued as my dog would lay with the toy at his front paws and bark at it! This went on for as long as I could handle the noise.

My Dog Valentino Loves Christmas Presents
Valentino Loves Christmas Presents
Each day we get Valentino's squeaker out of my desk drawer. He gives it a chew until it squeaks, then he proceeds to bark at it all over again until I put it away for another day.

I would really like to know what Valentino is saying in dog talk to that toy! Wouldn't you? For now, I am content to know my boy is enjoying the Christmas gifts bestowed upon him. Me too!


Christmas Squeaker Dog Toys


This was a gift from a church lady friend who has a soft spot for dogs, so when giving me gifts for the holiday she gave a few for Valentino too. Obviously, Christmas squeaker dog toys are great fun for dogs and their human companions alike.

Note: Read more about the gifts my dog and I received from the church ladies of Hope UMC right here at Love Lives In Hope.

Did your dog receive the gift of a squeaker toy for Christmas?

Remember, the Spirit of Christmas lives year-round so here are a few that your dogs will love anytime...

    

Disclosure: Ruth Cox is an associate of Amazon and may earn commission via purchases made through links in this article.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dog Mouth Wide Open

My hound dog Valentino rolls around in the grass while I sit in the sunshine nearby. On this romp around, his head lands at my feet and his dog mouth opens wide for me to see inside.

Caption my camera lens view for me...





Enjoy Wordless Wednesday with Blogpaws!
Enjoy Wordless Wednesday with Blogpaws!


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Hound Looking Good In His Dog Sweater

Valentino looking good in his new dog sweater.
Having moved from the warmth of the south to the cold north, I worried about keeping my hound dog warm in Ohio's winter weather. No need to worry, for he is looking good, as well as quite warm, in his first dog sweater!

Valentino's new winter wear is a gift from our friend and fellow dog lover, Nancy. We are both grateful for her Christmas spirit of giving. I know Valentino would just jump up and give her a big dog hug and kiss full of slobber if he could. Alas, our fashion show with Valentino sporting his Lookin' Good! Classic Cable Dog Sweater will have to do for now.

Valentino was happy to pose, walk, sit, and even sleep in his sweater for Nancy (and my readers) to see how comfortable he is in his new red sweater.




 Click the pictures for a larger view of Valentino in his dog sweater.




I like that this dog sweater is bright red, perfect color for the winter white weather and seasonal holidays. I like that the cable knitting is a bit stretchy but not too much so.

The fit is pretty good, especially in length and cut to allow room for my boy to go to the bathroom without getting pee on his sweater. I would like the design to have been a bit more roomy in the chest area, but it fits well enough and does not constrict my coonhound's movement.

All-in-all, me and my dog Valentino say he is good to go for the first snow of the season.


Disclosure: Ruth Cox is an associate of Amazon and may earn commission via purchases made through links in this article.

Do you dress your dogs for wintry weather?




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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sunny Window Sleeper Dog Bed

One of my dog Valentino's favorite spots in the house is the front room window which looks out on the front porch and the city street beyond. He enjoys napping there, especially when the sun is shining through the windows on the front of the house. It is also my guess that my hound dog is afraid he might miss something going by so he likes being near the action outside the window to his world.

Right now Valentino sleeps on an old comforter folded up on the floor in front of the window. This is a very special comforter, one which three of my earlier dogs had slept upon, and the first place Valentino felt comfortable sleeping when I first brought him into my home as a foster dog. It will stay in use by Valentino, adding extra padding for his dog crate, where he stays while I am at work (if my roommate is also not at home.)

Whatever the reason my dog prefers this spot to sleep, I think it time he gets an official dog bed upon which to rest his hound dog head.

Colorful Dog PAWSitive Prints Large Dog Bed
Colorful Dog PAWSitive Prints Large Dog Bed by dogpawsitivetidbits
See more Dog Pawsitive Tidbits Dog Beds at zazzle.com


Along with dog beds that are comfortable, my dog Valentino also likes a pillow while sleeping. He uses mine when sleeping in my bed and he has a small throw pillow in his crate too. Now I have designed an accent pillow with my hound dog's sleeping face upon it!

Sweet Puppy Dog Dreams Accent Pillow
Sweet Puppy Dog Dreams Accent Pillow by dogpawsitivetidbits
Find more Sweet puppy dog dreams Accent Pillows at Zazzle

With a new dog bed and pillow, surely Valentino will enjoy sleeping in style at his favorite spot in the living room, or just being comfortable as he gazes out the window at passersby.

Disclosure: Ruth Cox is an associate of Amazon and Zazzle affiliate and may earn commissions via purchases made through links in this article.

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Front Porch Dog Sitting

Picture of my dog Valentino sitting on the front porch at night.
Yes, my coonhound is a porch dog!

By day or by night there is no more blessed sight than that of my dog Valentino sitting by my side on the front porch of our home watching our world go by.

A year ago I brought Valentino home as a foster dog. (Of course that led to our adoption of one another!) I captured a photo of Valentino taking the steps up to our deck that first time. The fear in his eyes was apparent as he hesitated that day, though it would not take long for my new best friend to easily adapt to new surroundings—as long as I was nearby. He has learned to trust that I will not ask him to go anywhere that might hold a frightful experience for him.

My dog Valentino camped out at the tent door.
In our travels, Valentino became a tent dog for a couple of months when we moved from Florida to Ohio. He settled in nicely to camping out and enjoyed soaking up a bit o' sunshine on the mat at the door of our tent.

Living in a tent made for some of the best days of our lives together and will forever remain as some of my favorite memories of sharing good times with great friends.

Ruthi and Valentino sitting on the front porch.
Nowadays my dog and I have moved on up to apartment living in a rural town in central Ohio. We live right in the downtown atmosphere and together we enjoy sitting on our front porch. No matter the weather we spend a bit of our time each day watching the life of the city go by.

We have yet to sit on the porch in the snow. As we face our first northern winter together, I am thinking Valentino would appreciate a heated dog mat for that rather than the cold of a snow-covered concrete porch!

Rainy day window view of me and my dog Valentino.
Valentino is mesmerized by our reflection in the front room window as we sit on the porch steps on a rainy day.

Interestingly, this dog has always shown an intense interest when seeing his mirrored image. I guess he is as impressed with himself as I am of him!

Yes, we have come a long way from foster dog to our adopt-a-dog day and now we look forward to many more days of front porch sitting together.



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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Lost and Found Dog and Owner Reunited

A beauty of a brindle boxer breed of dog unexpectedly joined me on my front porch today. Fortunately this lost dog was a friendly fellow and was wearing his collar and a tag with his name and phone number.

I had just returned home for a break between lunch and dinner shifts at work and was collecting my mail from the mailbox before going inside the house. I sat for a moment to sift through the mail and to my surprise this dog came right up the porch steps to greet me! Pretty sure he was not aggressive, I slowly reached for the tag on his collar. The tag gave his name -- Bentley -- and, as luck would have it, there was a phone number  engraved with his name.

I gently grabbed Bentley by his collar and walked him down the porch stairs to my car parked on the street curb right in front of the house. I keep a spare leash in my car for my dog Valentino and it sure came in handy as I held this lost dog and dialed the number on his collar. No answer... Hmmm.

I opted to walk Bentley in the neighborhood and see if I could find someone looking for him. Sure enough, within minutes I heard a gal calling out, "Bentley!"

Lost and found dog and owner were reunited!

My good dog deed for the day is done. Now it is time for me to walk my dog Valentino and return to work on time.

Pet ID Tags Stainless Steel - Shop Now at Amazon
Reminder: Be sure your dog has its pet identification tag on its collar so that if your dog is lost and found the two of you can quickly and easily be reunited.

I highly recommend Stainless Steel Pet ID Tags for long-lasting wear for your dog.


Disclosure: Ruth Cox is an associate of Amazon and may earn commissions via purchases made through links in this article.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Unlikely Friendship: Dog and Cat Walk Together

Dog and cat walk together.
Unlikely friendships are often experienced among pets and animals as well as humans.

My dog Valentino is experiencing just that with the stray cats in our neighborhood. But of course, this is another learning experience for me as well.

As Valentino and I take our daily walks, we come across many stray and feral cats in the neighborhood. Each sighting of a cat is an opportunity for me to teach my dog not to react aggressively toward the stray. This has not been the easiest of dog training tasks for me and Valentino, as he is a coonhound with a strong prey instinct and sees cats as prey. To make our walks less frustrating for us both, I work diligently with my dog for him to become less reactive to approaching felines.

On recent walks, one stray cat has made this task a bit easier for my dog and me. For some odd reason, this particular cat wants to walk along with us! As you can see (click the image for a larger view) Valentino lags behind me on his lead, turning to see if his unlikely friend is still following us. My dog no longer has an aggressive reaction to this cat--no bark, no wish to chase or to bite and the cat exhibits no fright.

While I would like to think this budding friendship of cat and dog walking together is the result of our training, I must give most of the credit to the critters. It is my thought that this cat has grown accustomed to seeing this dog in its territory and the dog no longer barks at the cat or pulls me into chase mode when it crosses our path so the cat sees no reason to run and hide from the dog. I get the feeling it is now a matter of trust between the two of them.


My dog Valentino and this stray cat may become like Milo and Otis with many more neighborhood adventures to share. Who knows what the future holds in store for these newfound friends.


Our Cat Reactive Dog Training Tips



  1. Keep the dog on a leash while walking.
  2. When approaching a cat, command the dog to "Wait" at the first sign of aggressive reactivity. (This command works for me, but you can use whatever command works best for you and your dog.)
  3. Lavish praise on the dog immediately upon subdued focus on the cat.
  4. Tell the dog "It's OK" and continue walking the dog in a direction away from the stray.


While I am not an expert dog trainer, this system has worked wonders for me and Valentino. He rarely attempts to pull me into chase-the-cat mode now and even his barking at the strays is a rare reaction to their presence as we take our neighborhood walks.


Dog Pawsitive Tidbits: No matter our differences, treating others with trust and respect may help us form unlikely friendships.


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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Sunshine and Shadows

Valentino and Ruthi enjoy a bit of autumn sunshine.
I spoke with a dear friend on the telephone last evening and promised her a bit o' sunshine today. I had planned to use a specific photo of my dog Valentino, in fact I even mentioned the photo to my friend in our conversation. Instead, I opted for these images I share here today, mostly because they are pictures of me and Valentino enjoying the sunshine in our back yard ... Together, which my friend would understand, for she helped make it so.

Something I have learned is that we cannot have sunshine without shadows, much like no roses without thorns. Life itself is as simple as that fact. I am learning that to appreciate the bits of sunshine that make their way into my every day, I must also appreciate the dark shadows cast alongside the sunlight.

The Sunshine Shadow Dogs have taught me much about living life to its fullest. It is through the god-dog that I am able and driven to spread a bit o' sunshine another's way. My friend is in need of a bit o' sunshine today, so...

Nancy, this one's for you!


Valentino and Ruthi in a bit o' sunshine.

Dog Pawsitive Tidbit for today: Life lives in the shadows of sunshine!


BP_Wordless_wed_Hop_Logo_2014

We have linked our sunshine and shadows up with BlogPaws today for Wordless Wednesday!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday Morning Snooze

Images of sleeping dogs seem to capture my dream-chasing attention best. Naturally, I am most charmed by pictures of my hound dog Valentino as he lay sleeping. This Sunday morning snooze was no exception to that rule.


Instead of waking at our usual time we stayed in bed together, long past my going-to-church time. Did we snooze and lose? I think not. Losing track of time snuggled up warm and comfy together was time well spent.

Once we finally rose to take a morning walk it seemed neither of us had much energy. Valentino jumped right back into bed, chasing kitty cats in his dog dreams, perhaps. I snapped a picture or two of him doing just that and chased my own dreams in my mind while gazing at my sleeping dog. Again, time well spent.

Sometimes our moments of relaxation are the quiet contemplation needed upon which our spirits will feed. Another Sunday morning for church-goers shall come to pass. On this day, Valentino and I are content being dreamchasers.

Disclosure: Ruth Cox is an associate of Zazzle and may earn income based on purchases made through links in this article.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Gotta Go Dog Moving Home

Whether it be for a dog walk, potty time, or moving home, "Gotta go!" is generally an important announcement of some sort by dogs and humans alike.

Gotta Go! Dog and I are moving Home!
Gotta Go!
My dog Valentino lets me know he's got to go potty by ringing the bells hanging from the front door knob. On one such recent occasion out the door we went.

When we got to the corner we saw a yard sale sign I thought rather appropriate for this dog walk, as well as knowing I would use it for my own "Gotta Go" article. My neighbor was having a moving sale and I just had to get my dog Valentino to pose for a picture in front of that sign.

This, then, is also the image I use to announce that my dog and I are moving back home to Ohio, from Florida.

While Ohio was not the first plan of where to move, in the end, going home became the right thing to do for me at this point in time. But of course, my dog Valentino would travel with me wherever I gotta go!

Who Says You Can't Go Home


As one of my fellow dog lovers (Cathy of Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them) reminded me in a comment on my moving article on my poetry and prose blog -- Bon Jovi's tune is certainly appropriate for this journey to my old and new home.




Who Says You Can't Go Home, Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi CD with Who Says You Can't Go Home
To go home to Ohio where I was born and bred, and where loved ones live, is the right place for me at this time in my life. Being old-er and away from my son and his family the past few years... Well, it is just no fun being a long distance grandparent!

But of course, I look forward to introducing my dog Valentino to my family, a reunion of sorts, and to the hills of Ohio from whence I came. This hound dog is gonna love romping in the fields with my grandson!

Our journey may not be an easy one but we will make our move together an adventure. I must take a moment to add my sincere appreciation to all who have supported this moving decision and continue to do so every step of our way. Without these friends and their concern, prayers, and donations... Well, going home would not be possible and I hate to think of what might have happened to my dog and I had we not had such compassionate support in this journey home.

We Thank You Postcard
We Thank You Postcard by dogpawsitivetidbits
Shop for Gratitude Postcards online at Zazzle.com

My dog and I will travel homeward bound toward the end of July. While I plan to get back online as soon as possible, I'm not sure how long that will take or whether I will be able to afford internet access right away.

And yes, I am still accepting donations to help make this move as painless as possible via our FundRazr campaign, graciously set up by one of my dearest friends and fellow writer, Nancy.

Please know that just because we gotta go does not mean we are gone forever. We shall return with our dog pawsitive tidbits!

Disclosure: Ruth Cox is an associate of both Zazzle and Amazon and may earn income based on purchases made through links in this article.

This will be my last submission to PAWSit Hop Saturday until my return. This link-up will remain open so that you may add the links to your new dog-related articles you want to be sure I read when I get back!


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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Middle of the Road Stubborn Dog

Stubborn Hound Dog Valentino In the Middle of the Road
My Stubborn Hound Dog Valentino
My marvelous mutt of a Redtick Coonhound has a stubborn streak that occasionally shows itself during our neighborhood walks.

On one particular hot summer day, I found myself facing a battle of dog training wills with my hound dog Valentino planting himself in the middle of the road.

My dog insisted he was going to walk one way while I wanted him to head in another direction. The leash in my hand stretched tightly to the limit, my hound stood his ground. With feet planted firmly in typical independent coonhound fashion, Valentino totally ignored my "Let's go this way." tug and verbal command.

I relaxed the dog leash just a bit and my dog stuck his tongue out at me! However, his stance relaxed and moved slightly in my direction. This made for a perfect picture for Tongue Out Tuesday!

Too Hot To Trot Hound Dog Valentino
My dog Valentino says it's too hot to trot in the direction I want him to go!

I relaxed my hold on the dog leash a bit more. My dog slowly stepped slightly in my direction but looked longingly at the other side of the road, where he preferred to go.

Stubborn dog looks away in the direction he wants to go.

With it being one of our seriously hot dog days of summer, I chose a drink of water as my aversion tactic. Tapping on our H2O4K9 Dog Water Bottle got my dog's attention. My thirsty hound dog moved in my direction as he glanced from the corner of his eye at what would be his positive reward for coming my way.

My Thirsty Hound Dog Valentino
My Thirsty Hound Dog Valentino looks and moves in my direction.

I was able to redirect the path of my stubborn hound dog using positive reinforcement, enabling us to turn the corner and head home for a cooling off in an air-conditioned house.

My hound dog Valentino, nose to the ground, walks our way home.
My hound dog Valentino, nose to the ground, walks our way home.

Coonhounds are an independent breed of dog. However, with patient and positive dog training techniques we can turn these dogs around to become the best of hounds!

      

Disclosure: Ruth Cox is an Associate of Amazon and may earn income based on purchases made through links in this article.


I trust you have enjoyed this not-so-wordless dog walk with Ruthi and Valentino. For more pets and pictures to read about and view, let your fingers do the walking as you head on over to BlogPaws for Wordless Wednesday!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

From Firstborn Puppy To Dog Loss Grief

Momma Tidbit crawled upon the pillow above my head. One wee wakening yelp of warning and her first little one was born — birthed in my hair while I napped!

Ruthi and Scratch, Tidbit's Firstborn Puppy
Ruthi and Scratch, Tidbit's Firstborn Pup
I slowly scooted myself down to the foot of the water-bed and watched and waited. Momma licked her baby clean, fed her, then rolled her down the bed to me, and went back to the pillows to do it all over again.

I felt honored by being entrusted with the care of each pup while mom dog birthed the next arrival. Five puppies were born within an hour and a half. Oh, what a blessing to witness their birth and to watch Tidbit in the starring role of Mother Dog.

Puppy Paw Prints

Surely you jest!

Puppy Scratch, first Paw Prints in Snow
Puppy Scratch, First Paw Prints in Snow
Scratch’s first paw prints in the snow came very slowly. Being one month old, she had barely become used to treading on green stuff and now she had to deal with walking on wet and white fluff.

Scratch wanted nothing to do with walking around, nor with sniffing for a tinkle spot on the cold white ground. For a long time she just lay there in the snow, naught but a shivery fur-baby, and all the while whimpering her disapproval.

Mother Daughter Dog Chat

I can't get away with anything!

Tidbit and Scratch Mother Daughter Dog Chat
Tidbit and Scratch Mother Daughter Dog Chat
We’re just moving into a new place, so please excuse the mess. Anyway, Momma Tidbit immediately had a nice long chat with me about what space is mine and where I can and cannot go. I think she meant that “go” part literally, too, as this was a second-floor apartment and we had to be walked every time we had to “go” — no dog door here. And me being a puppy, well, I had to be walked up and down those stairs a lot, keeping my Mommas busy day and night.

Me and Momma Ruthi

We're ever so cute, don't you think?

Puppy Scratch and Ruthi
Puppy Scratch and Ruthi
Yes, we’re posing for animal crackers, ha-ha, but dog treats will do!

Seriously, this silly girl made me laugh every day — hence, my Silly Sunshine Scratch girl. What a pleasure it was to watch her grow up. Everything about her world seemed to excite her, taunting her into exploration. Having Scratch around was like having a toddler around — from terrible two’s into fabulous fours! I adored her every moment of growing from puppy to dog.

Puppy Finding Her Own Way

In my Momma's shadow.

Pup Scratch with Mom dog Tidbit walking nearby.
Pup Scratch with Mom dog Tidbit walking nearby.
Scratch is getting older now and loves to run and play in the sunshine. This was an empty field next door to the apartment complex we lived in for a year (before moving to the country). Every day Tidbit and I would get plenty of exercise.

Notice how Momma Tidbit still stays close by, feeling I’m not quite ready for being on my own, and she’s probably right. I’ve plenty of growing and learning yet to do as I seek my place in my wonder-filled world.

Another Mother

Lucky me, I have three!

Young dog Scratch and Aunt Helen
Young Dog Scratch with Helen
Helen came from Ohio to New Mexico to visit me! She stayed for about a week and this photo taken as she was leaving. When she said goodbye to me, I jumped into her car and they had to drag me out. I really wanted to go home with Helen. Momma Ruthi even seriously said to Helen, “Go ahead, take her. She loves you and I know she’d be happy with you. And you could use a friend now, too.”

This picture, this day, would haunt Helen later. Who could know what the future would hold for me and my Mommas? Helen feels she could have spared me the animal abuse that I would one day suffer at the hand (car) of Momma Ruthi’s EX. Ruthi assured Helen that things turned out the way the need would be — Tidbit and Scratch had each other and together they did survive! And Aunt Helen (and Uncle Bill) would be the ones to rescue the dogs, bringing them home to Ruthi who awaited their arrival at Helen’s house, where we all lived happily ever after; well, until we got a home of our own.

(For those who don't already know it, our tale of abuse to be told at another time.)

Puppy Scratch All Grown Up

I grew into a beauty of a dog!

My dog Scratch grew up from a little fur-baby puppy into one of the most beautiful dogs I have ever had the pleasure to have walk by my side. She was beauty on the outside and had the most beautiful of spirits on the inside. She was my Scratchy Sunshine Girl!

Not a day went by without Scratch spreading a bit o' love and laughter my way. Just thinking of her still adds a bit o' sunshine to my every day.

Scratch, all grown up from a pup into a beauty of a dog.
Scratch, all grown up from a pup into a beauty of a dog.
Scratch loved the camera and was always happy to pose with her eyes staring right at the photographer. My photographic skills fail to capture the full beauty of this dog but I'm sure you get the picture.

Grieving the Loss of Scratchy Sunshine Dog

One of the most difficult days of our lives...

My Dog Scratch in a bit o' Sunshine
My Dog Scratch in a bit o' Sunshine
Back in July of 2010, my canine companion, Scratch, fell deathly ill. I posted a brief comment of my distress in an online writing forum of such and within moments received an email and a telephone call from Brenda offering assistance. You see, Brenda knew I was then unemployed and could probably not afford vet care for my girl. No questions asked, Brenda’s immediate words were basically, “Get Scratch to the vet. I’ll pay for it. I have money put back for the publication of my next book, but it can wait. You can pay me back in payments.”

I will never forget the kindness I heard in Brenda’s words. Yes, I cried. And yes, I cried the following day when I had to say goodbye to my Scratchy Sunshine.

As we headed to the vet, a thunderous storm hung overhead and a downpour of rain represented the tears I would cry on this day...

Scratch — Ruthi’s Sunshine Girl

©Ruth Cox

Sky announced itself with a thunderous roar,

My swamped eyes letting loose in a lordless downpour.

Nothing I could say, not a thing I could pray,

Could undo the deed I’d have to do on this day.

The earth beneath my feet slow moved with disdain;

Found no consolation, no allay to the rain.

Lifeblood o’ my spirit pumped low and doused deep,

As I begged her pain staid, to submerge unto sleep.

When my precious baby girl locked eyes with mine

I felt my forever lose a bit o’ sunshine.

In a moment o’ time years flashed in my mind

And I wondered just how life could be so unkind.

Then the showers that be, they reminded me,

In the love that now passed into eternity:

The power o’ the storm is wrapped in a shroud,

Unleashed in a sunray peekin’ out o’ the clouds.


Untimely Demise Sympathy Card

Poetic Creation 12th of July, 2015

I am missing you today, my Scratchy Sunshine. It is a doubly reminiscing date of love and loss for me since you died on the date of my Mom’s birthday. But as I reminisce the memories of the both of you today, I created this haiku greeting card of the essence of my love in tribute to the both of you.

If still alive, Mom would have turned 80 today and you have been gone 5 years now. But of course, your dog sister NewBe and your Momma dog Tidbit have also passed on to be with you now and I am thankful you are not alone with your loved ones there with you now.

The hands of time, they do fly by…


Disclosure: Ruth Cox is a Zazzle Associate and may earn income based on purchases made through links in this article.

Have you lost a pet pal?

For me, it is just like losing a member of my family.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Au Naturel Dog Essentials

In making the choice to go au naturel, I am removing pesticide products from my dog's life, one step at a time.

I am taking a change-oriented approach to this life enhancing journey toward healthy living for my dog Valentino. I feel each step we take together on this dog walk is essential for the health and wellness of my boy.

Dog walking with fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, oh my!
Dog walking in the woods with Valentino.
While this is the route I am choosing to take for my dog, I do not recommend you do the same unless you first consult your veterinarian. Let your vet know your concerns about using chemical products for your dogs and discuss the benefits of using only natural products for your pets.

We currently live in a rural area along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in the Florida Panhandle. The region is highly wooded and bug-bearing wildlife is abundant.

Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitoes


Our first steps are geared toward disease-carrying nasty critters: fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, along with worms and parasites. We do have natural choices for the prevention and treatment of infestations and diseases passed on to my dog from these bugs!

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for natural pest control
Diatomaceious Earth (DE)

Step 1: To combat infestation in the home we now use Diatomaceous Earth throughout the home and yard. (DE is made from freshwater marine organisms.) We use only 100 percent FOOD GRADE DE for the health and safety of dogs as well as humans.


In fact, I recently began adding a teaspoon of DE to my dog's breakfast, in hopes of attacking the parasites from the inside out.

Note: My dog Valentino (recently adopted from my local animal shelter) was diagnosed with heart worms and is currently undergoing monthly preventative treatment as prescribed by his veterinarian. However, it is my greatest hope that DE may help in treating this disease so that one day soon I can eliminate the prescribed medication, as I feel it is pure poison.

Rose Geranium 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil
Rose Geranium Essential Oil

Step 2: After our daily walks in the neighborhood, never mind hikes in the forest, I was pulling several ticks per day off of my dog and myself -- until I found the natural cure for that bug!


In my research online to find a natural repellent for ticks I found that many use essential oils to repel ticks. I have been using Red Geranium tick repellent essential oils for seven months now and no longer find ticks on my dog or on me. For us, it truly has been a healthy choice in the prevention of tick-borne disease.

Step 3: Flea control is a serious issue here in our neck of the woods. However, I am no longer buying and applying chemical topical solutions for flea and tick control, which did not seem to work for the fleas or ticks anyway. never mind the possibility of ill side effects to which my dog was being exposed.


My dog Valentino wears his Only Natural Pet dog tag to repel bugs--Naturally!
My dog Valentino wears his Only Natural Pet dog tag to repel bugs—Naturally!

Only Natural Pet Flea & Tick Tag
Only Natural Pet Flea & Tick Tag
As of this week, Valentino now wears his Only Natural Pet All Natural EasyDefense Flea & Tick Dog Tag!

This tiny metal tag works off of my dog's own bio-energy to repel pesky fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.

I am convinced this holistic approach is the way for my dog to live a long and healthy life and will be taking further steps to that end. My dog is going au naturel, one step at a time!

How do you deal with bugs that attack your dogs or other pets?


Disclosure: Ruth Cox is an Associate of Amazon and may earn income based on purchases made through links in this article.