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

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.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Dog Walking Mirror Reflections

While it is common for dogs to show an interest in reflections in mirrors in the home, it is a bit strange to experience this while walking a dog in a rural area. It does happen!

Yes, while walking my dog Valentino along a stretch of overgrown vegetation it was wild to see a large mirror propped up against the trunk of a tree. My dog's reaction was immediate ...  Where is that doggie in the mirror?

My dog Valentino looks for the dog in the mirror.
My dog Valentino looks for the dog in the mirror.

First, Valentino looked alongside and behind the mirror for the "other" dog. Not there!

Valentino sniffs the air for intruder scents.

Next, my dog Valentino raised his head. Ears, nostrils, and jawline quivered as he sniffed the air for the scent of the "other" dog. Still no intruder!

Valentino sniffs the ground in front of the mirror for unseen dog tracks.

Then, Valentino sniffed the ground all around the mirror in search of a scent trail of that dog he thought he had seen in the mirror. Who knows where that doggie went?

Sight, sound, and scent not found, Valentino was satisfied no other dog was in his walk territory and lost interest in the reflections in the mirror. My dog and I were able to continue our walk.

Shadow reflections of Valentino and Ruthi.

As we walked, I had two thoughts in mind. One, Valentino may not have passed the dog mirror test but his nose made sense of the lack of intruder scents. And two, I chuckled at the memory of Aesop's Fable, A Dog and His Reflections, while being delighted by the shadow reflection on the asphalt of me and my dog.

We had lost nothing but a few minutes of our time by the mirror placed in our path. Its unexpected appearance added to our dog walking reflections of this day.

Note: If you look inside Aesop's Fables and Other Ancient Animal Tales at Amazon, you are able to read the dog tale!

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

We enjoy Wordless Wednesday so much that we are linking up with both BlogPaws and Noner Says this week. Visit their posts for many more links to articles of wonderful pictures of pets and animals as well as people, places, and things!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Suncatcher Dogs

It is no secret that I thrive on catching rays of sunshine. I have come to enjoy it even more when my dog Valentino catches a bit of sunshine for me.

Sun Catcher Dog Valentino

On this day as we took a dog walk under the setting of the evening sun, my dog Valentino stopped in stride to gaze into the rays of the sun.

Sun Dog Valentino Smiles

Then he turned to me with a smile as if to say, "Did you catch that, Mom?" You bet I did!

Now, if I could just find an American English (Redtick) Coonhound on dog suncatchers! There seem to be ornamental dog sun catchers available on Amazon in a variety of breeds but I have yet to find my breed of hound dog pictured on one.


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

Click any of the links above to see if you find your breed pictured on the dog house suncatchers. And please let me know if you find my coonhound on a sun catcher!

We know many of you are busy with Happy 4th of July sun-catching celebrations today, but that's okay. You can add your dog-related articles to this PAWSit Hop Saturday list anytime throughout the week. Hop along with us!

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