Saturday, March 28, 2015

Dogs Take Time To Smell The Thistle Flowers

Yes, Spring is in the air and this means there is also the sweet scent of fragrant flowers popping up everywhere. I find this brings both me and my dog great joy on our daily walks together.

On one of our walks this week, my dog Valentino and I discovered Milk Thistle abloom. Off the road and down into the field we trekked to get a closer look at these pinkish-purple thistle blossoms.

Normally when I am taking pictures as we walk, my dog will just sit not-so-patiently awaiting the dog treats he knows he will receive at the end of my picture-taking task. Not this time!

It was amazing that Valentino not only gave each thistle flower a good sniff but that he even licked a few of the thistle blooms too. He even bit off a few of the seeds to chew!

But of course, Valentino's little adventure became one of our Dog Pawsitive Tidbits and is now available for purchase in our Zazzle store!

Naturally, when we returned home, I decided to do a bit of research to reassure myself that the Milk Thistle flower would not be dangerous for my dog to eat. It appears as though the milk thistle is considered an herbal remedy for many ailments for dogs and humans. I couldn't help but wonder if my Valentino instinctively knew this and ate a bit of the thistle's sweetness for medicinal purposes!

NOTE: I highly recommend a consultation with your veterinarian before supplementing your dog's diet with Milk Thistle.

Sources of Information: Read Milk Thistle For Your Dog and Milk Thistle Benefits and Side Effects.

A fellow writer mentioned that a family member is allergic to Milk Thistle, so back to my research I went. Indeed, it is not uncommon and seems it could very well be an overall allergy to flora of the Aster family!

So humans beware and enlist your physician's advice as to whether you should be concerned about Milk Thistle. Read more here: Allergic Reaction to Milk Thistle.

Do you and your dog take time to smell the flowers?

Share your Spring dog story (or any dog story for that matter) on a blog post of your own and link up with us this week for PAWSIT Hop Saturday! You can submit your blog links any time throughout the week.

Get the InLinkz code for your PAWSit post here.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Helping Hands and Paws of Gratitude

Occasionally, both a human and its canine companion are in need of a helping hand. When friends rally round to the rescue, a gift of gratitude is proper etiquette. Yes, that's a dog pawsitive tidbit!

Many of my readers and friends already know that my dog and I are in need of a helping hand at the moment. For those of you just now hearing this news, you can read full details of our needs in the FundRazr to help us move across the country to a safe and secure place.

Friends, dog lovers, and strangers have come to our aid in many ways, providing moral support as well as temporary housing and financial help. It has done my heart good to know that I worry not alone, that goodness prevails in the kindness shown.

As of this writing, we have almost reached half (48%) of our fundraising goal. (Made possible by your generosity!) I am confident that through faith and friends we will meet our needs.

We Thank You!

I find myself overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude for being on the receiving end of the giving spirit of others. Today, I created a few gifts of gratitude in my Dog Pawsitive Tidbits Zazzle store to go along with the FundRazr, a way of saying, "Thank you" to those who have made, or will make, donations for our cause.

I am asking each person who contributes to our FundRazr cause to please email me (webmistress at abitosunshine dot net) with a mailing address to where I can ship your gift. Yes, this is retroactive to those of you who have already given!

Gratitude gifts will be mailed or shipped once my dog Valentino and I have reached our destination in the state of Washington and settled in a bit. I appreciate your support as well as your patience.

Please accept my gift as appreciation for your giving spirit ... a small token of my gratitude.

Contributors receive a gift as per the following donations:

  • $99 or Under -- Postcard
  • $100 to $299 -- Fridge Magnet
  • $300 to $499 -- Photo Plaque
  • $500 or More -- Keepsake Box

Gifts of Gratitude

As you can see, these gifts to you from my heart truly come from me and my dog — the foot in the image design is mine and the paws are my dog Valentino's!

Visit our FundRazr to learn more, to contribute, and/or to share — We thank you!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring Floral Scented Dog Walk

While my dog followed the scent of kitty cats, I was led by the fragrance of flowers growing wild in the neighborhood. What a fabulous Spring walk in the Florida sunshine!

My dog Valentino amid a pink floral shower of sunshine.

Valentino awaits a dog treat while I enjoy the fragrant wild white roses.

Valentino was not thrilled with all the bees buzzing in these wildly growing lilacs.

Pink, white, and purple scented beauties were bountiful and made for a perfect display as a floral coat rack.

We are linking the sweetness of this scent walk up with our pets and animal lovers over at BlogPaws for Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

My Dog and I Are Inseparable

My rescue dog and I have become the best of friends for each other. We are "The Inseparables" my dog Valentino and I, our bond unbreakable.

This little pillow with picture poem I created has become the words we live by.

Paw print companions
Together by night and day

From the moment I realized I was ready, willing, and able to love and to be loved by Valentino, I brought him home. Together we have walked miles within our neighborhood and walked miles along our little stretch of the coastline on the Gulf of Mexico.

Together we have trained one another. Valentino has done well in his dog training and he has trained me well too! I have learned so much about dogs from him, especially hound dogs. I fantasize becoming a hound dog whisperer one day, ha!

My dog Valentino and I eat together, play together, sleep together, and these days we pray together. When snuggling upon our bed pillows at bedtime, I whisper my prayer to the heavens above to keep my love dog and I together, come what may in the darkness and in the light of day.

Oh, life with my redtick coonhound rescue mutt this past few months has been pure pleasure. I do not want to lose this life treasure and I know without a doubt that Valentino feels the same.

Unfortunately, I find myself in a major life challenge that threatens to separate me and my dog. I am unemployed and unable to pay my share of household expenses. Thus, my roommate of seven years has asked me to make other living arrangements for me and my dog, as soon as possible.

I do not want to feel forced to return my rescue dog to the shelter from whence he came if I must move in haste. Worse, I do not care to see me and my Valentino living in my car, or worse yet, homeless and hungry for love as we try to survive. He deserves better! Frankly, so do I.

You can help keep us together!

Evidently, my dog Valentino and I have friends in high places. These friends have been working overtime to keep us together!

My friend Karen has made temporary living arrangements for us in the Pacific Northwest -- We're going to Washington! And, my friend Nancy has set up a FundRazr for financial assistance. Our needs are on the way to being met! But... Best of all has been the overwhelming emotional support from friends and strangers all over the world.

This, then, is my plea to the dog lovers of the world. My dog and I need your help to keep us together!

Visit our FundRazr page to learn more. If you cannot make a donation, I do understand. But... I ask you (I am begging like a dog here!) to please share the link with others who may be able to come to our aid.

Time is of the essence...
You can help keep us together...

Valentino and Ruthi - The Inseparables - Thank You!

PAWSit Hop Saturday

This plea for my dog and me is brought to you through the PAWSit Hop Saturday blog hop here on Dog Pawsitive Tidbits. Publish your own dog-related blog post and add it to the link list for others to read and enjoy.

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Slicker Brush Grooming Long Haired Dogs

Through trial and error I found the grooming tool that would best serve to show off the beautifully brushed coats of my long-haired mixed breed dogs.

My dog Tidbit and her daughter dogs, Scratch and NewBe, were of Chow, Australian Shepherd, and Border Collie blood lines. These dog breeds typically have a double coat. Hence, a dense undercoat that sheds immense amounts of dog hair a couple of times a year, never mind the year around shedding that seems to come along with these long-haired breeds of dogs.

After using several different brushes, rakes, combs, and other grooming tools recommended by dog owner friends as well as veterinarians, including the famed FURminator deShedding Tool, I felt doomed to have dogs that just did not look properly (nor easily) groomed!

Bring On the Evolution Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Long-Haired Dogs

Once I purchased an Evolution slicker brush, I immediately tossed out all the rest, keeping only the best — the Evolution Self Cleaning Slicker Brush for Medium-Large Dogs. My dogs and I enjoyed nearly fourteen years of dog grooming with this slicker brush and it is still going strong!

Frequent Dog Grooming

Frequent grooming and brushing is a must to keep up the health of a dog’s fur coat, as well as its beauty. Besides which, most dogs absolutely love the attention they receive in a daily brushing by their human companions!

Why I Like Grooming My Dogs Using Evolution Slicker Brush

  • The self-cleaning factor! Push the pin and the bristles disappear and with one swipe of the hand the fur is gone, ready to brush again.
  • Aids in prevention of matting in the undercoat of dogs.
  • Brushes through thick, dense outer coat with no trouble at all.
  • Perfect for tangled mats of hair, before and after bathing.
  • It brushes – it doesn’t pull! No tugging at the hair to irritate the dog’s skin.
  • The more I slicker brush the dogs outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air the less dog hair inside!
  • When finished brushing I have a well-groomed happy dog!

Grooming Comb Follow Up

Should you desire to fluff up that dog's fur after brushing it smooth with the Evolution Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush, I recommend the Andis Steel Grooming Comb.

Follow up a good brushing with a good combing to fluff up the fur and stimulate the skin of your dog.

Well-Groomed Marvelous Mutts

The Evolution Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush kept all three of my mutts marvelously well-groomed.

My dog Tidbit had smooth fur, almost silky in appearance, while Scratch had the rough fluffy look of an Aussie or Border Collie about her. And NewBe, actually my Aunt Helen and Uncle Bill’s dog, well let’s just say she was a giant black and white fur ball!

All three of the dogs were beautiful, inside and out. No, I’m not the least bit prejudiced in my opinion of my marvelous mutts — just ask anyone fortunate enough to have known the Sunshine Girls!

 Click images for a larger view.

PAWSit Hop Saturday

My dogs and their dog grooming tools are brought to you through PAWSit Hop Saturday blog hop here on Dog Pawsitive Tidbits. Publish your own dog-related blog post and add it to the link list for others to read and enjoy.

This is a Blog Hop--get the InLinkz code for your blog post!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Happy Hound Dog On Gulf Shore

Sunset Sea of Serenity Dry Erase Whiteboard
Sunset Sea of Serenity Dry Erase Whiteboard
For nearly one happy hour my dog and I strolled along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, taking in the sights and sounds of our sea of serenity.

When life seems a bit woebegone there is no better way to spend a better part of my day than that of strolling along the seashore with my dog. My dog Valentino's happy face chases all of my woes away.

My Happy Face Dog Valentino On The Gulf Seashore

Valentino Sits While Listening To The Sounds Of The Sea With Me

Smiling We Say Goodbye To The Piers And Old Pilings

If you are as wild about blogging about time well spent with your dog or other pets, then join us each week for Wordless Wednesday over at the BlogPaws community!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Dog Scent Walks and Games

Fun Nosework for Dogs
While my dog and I both enjoy scent games, it is our daily scent walks in the neighborhood that are the greatest fun for both of us.

My Redtick Coonhound loves walking with his nose to the ground. We live in a rural beach community where wildlife abounds, so there are plenty of scents for him to follow.

Scent Walks

At least one of our neighborhood dog walks each day is dedicated to allowing the dog the lead and I follow, paying close attention to his actions and body language. These scent walks are fun nose work for my dog and have proven to be great bonding experiences for the two of us.

On this particular day and scent walk, Valentino would sniff the ground, run ahead or across the street. Yes, dragging me behind at a quickened pace as though we were running a race.

My dog would make frequent stops to sniff the air, then race ahead to sniff his pathway once again. Eventually he came to a full stop. I followed his gaze, directed by his on-point stance. Sure enough, he had found what his nose had been searching for on ground and in the air!

About fifty feet in the distance I spied what my fog Valentino eyed — a Turkey Vulture!

Together, my dog and I watched the vulture fly from behind an evergreen tree to land right before our eyes, right in front of the STOP sign at the corner of the street.

Scent Games

While scent walks and games are fun for my dog and I, these activities are also a way of working my hound dog's natural instincts, both physically and mentally. For me, it is important that I keep Valentino's innate scent ability well-honed.

I spend a lot of time reading and researching ways to keep my dog fit and that includes nose work as a body and brain activity. Yes, I am in training as well as my dog!

The book "The Canine Kingdom of Scent" has proven invaluable in lessons for me as a dog owner. And, the book is filled with activities in which to sharpen my dog's scent skills.

In my research, I recently ran across the web site of Suzanne Clothier and her Relationship Centered Training™ methods for dogs and their owners. I am making good use of "Scent Games-Educating Your Dog's Nose" which is free to download from her site.

My dog and I have much to learn about ourselves and each other as we walk this part of our life journey together. We plan to keep it fun as well as educational.

PAWSit Hop Saturday

For those of you who are blogging about dogs, we extend our Dog Pawsitive Tidbits invitation to you to join us for PAWSit Hop Saturday. Publish your dog-related blog post and add it to the link list for others to read and enjoy.

Add the InLinkz code to your blog post.