scA53zu1Ntv0EqaIpAYF2d6HnI8 My dog - inspired life: 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Big ears...listen well!?

O.K., I just have to write one more post about the big hound ears. You would think, that with such big ears, hounds are able to listen well to commands and such. Mh, Copper is a hero in his obedience class, sit, down, stay, heal no problem. But off leash, the command "HERE" becomes a possibility, which gets all to often ignored. So I'm attaching a long leash to him every time we go out, and walk him with a 16ft. flexi leash, when we leave the property. I feel bad taking away his freedom to roam, but I can only secure his safety by keeping him close. So more walks for me. With an east wind blowing and minus 20 Celsius it means bundling up for me and out we go...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Not ready for winter!

Copper loves to be outside in any weather at any time! Lacy...not so much. She wants to be, wherever I am, and the cold wind that's blowing today, I rather sit in my cosy office, then being outdoors. Lacy likes to cuddle up on the couch - yes I know I admit she is allowed on the couch-, never enough snuggle time for her! Looking at her gets me over any winter crankiness in a heartbeat!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Big dog ears...big problems?

All you hound owners (and not only you), are you fighting with yeast infections in your dogs ears? Copper had terrible trouble last winter, really painful, hot red ears. The treatment was painful and he was hiding as soon as he saw me approaching with the ear cleaner and antibiotic drops. I want to be pro-active this winter and was looking into a natural way to balance the yeast in his body. I found the website, which carries natural health remedies for animals. Always consider a food allergy, if the symptoms persist. Make sure you get a vet diagnosis first and then decide the proper treatment. Sometimes antibiotics are necessary, but if it turns into a chronic problem, other treatments should be considered. I will try the Phytostan Therapy from Also I started feeding Copper joghurt and will look into some Schuessler mineral tissue salts to support Copper's ear health. More about this soon.
Stay in tune with yourself and your dog companions!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Copper continues dog school

Yesterday Copper started his new four week training in basic household obedience. We were late because I couldn't find the dog training facility so when we walk into the room, seven excited dogs began barking. What did Copper do? He stayed true to himself, looked around and wondered why everybody is making such a fuss. Students of all breeds (a funny Labradoodle, a noisy Jack Russell, a well behaved Cockerspaniel, a Springer Spaniel, a shy wippet, a timid Labrador and a Shepard Mix) learned sit, down, watch me. Nothing new for Mr. Copper, but refreshing the already known never hurts. We hope to pass this class and be able to move forward into a Beginner Rally Obedience class next. Might be a stretch for a Bloodhound, but if he has fun, I will give it a try. To make the class a success, homework is a must. Always remember not to jump to fast from one exercise to another. Make sure "A" is fully understood before you attempt "B". If the basics are not there, you have to pay later when you try to teach your dogs advanced tricks, obedience and such!
Be patience, have a positive attitude and SMILE. Have FUN and your dog will have fun.
Look at Coppers "Grad" pic (passed Youngster obedience class spring 2011), I couldn't have been any more proud of him that day!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Encounter wildlife

Yes, its autumn and encountering wildlife with your canine companion is a good possibility. Around here, rural Alberta, we have lots of moose in the fall, coyotes and deer starting to graze close to the house. This morning I spotted a bull moose and leashed Lacy up as well (not trusting my "stay here" command with her seeing the moose). Shortly after, my dogs saw the moose and Copper starting baying. Not sure about this big animal in front of him, he pulled a little on the leash but kept looking for my support. The moose was more curious then frighten and kept starring at us. He was four meters beside our drive-way, 20 m way from us, so to close to pass him so I started backing up. After a few steps, the moose walked slowly away, "gracefully" jumping over two fences and gone!
In the fall, I always keep my eyes open, trying to spot wildlife before my dogs do. So I can avoid a close encounter or distract the canines, so that the wild animals can leave before getting spotted.
Keep your eyes open on your dog-walks!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A look down memory puppies grow

Well, it is a year know since we picked up Copper from his mom and litter mates being 12 weeks old and adorable. Looking back at the pictures, I can't believe how much he has grown since then. See for yourself...
When you get a puppy, take as many pictures as you can..they won't stay small for long.
A puppy arrives full of promise for years of fun, friendship and joy. A puppy grows at a remarkable rate-from a helpless baby to a strong, mature athlete in just 18 months or so. As far as myself, I always believe, my puppy will become a Superdog, very smart, the best search, obedience, agility hound ever and so on. It is during the first year that I, although reluctantly begin to conclude that he's a good dog, alas he's no Superdog after all. It's funny, but at about the same time I realize it doesn't matter. We're in this together. And I'm in it for the long haul. So I believe for the remainder of our years together, I learn to accept my dog's minor faults as willingly as he accepts mine. It's something a dog teaches you in exchange for a warm bed and some attention.

Puppies also change a household, and more than by merely eating cushions and stealing socks. They also invigorate and raise the alertness level of all other inhabitants. And while a baby dog brings pooping and peeing, puppy breath and shoe chewing, he also brings something from a higher place. That something is hope. And for that reason alone, a puppy is a treasure beyond price!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Top 5 herbs for CATS

Since two cats are part of our family as well, I found this article about natural remedies for our feline friends (source:

1. Saw palmetto for urinary blockage
Cats with a history of urinary blockage can safely use this herb long term. This herb has anti-inflammatory effects on the bladder.
2. Hawthorne for the heart
Hawthorne can be helpful in improving heart muscle function.
3. Ginko for cognition
Ginko has been used for human dementia patients and can be useful for old kitties that don't seem "with it" anymore.
4. Dandelion for tummy problems
For constipated cats Dandelion acts as a laxative while adressing the underlying problem of poor digestion.
5. Marshmallow the all around herb
Marshmallow can soothe and restore mucus membranes and helps those tissues to heal.
This herb has many potential uses for our feline friends. Respiratory problems, gastrointestinal disorders, stomatitis (painful swelling of the gums) can be eased with marshmallow.

Administering many herbs to cats can be difficult because of their strong odor, but marshmallow is very mild and is easily mixed in can food.

ATTENTION: While rare, some herbs interfere or react negatively with medications and other treatments. Please consult with your veterinarian first.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Superfruits for Canines

You probably have heard and read your fair share about superfruits for humans to boost our health and immun system. Well, guess what, here are 6 superfruits you can share with your canine companion (source:

1. Acai Berries - they are a good source of vegetarian protein and fats, which dogs require in a balanced diet
2. Blackberries - they can boost your dog's defences against diseases and stress symptoms. Try mixing blackberries with broccoli and a whole egg for a doggie "smoothie" (haven't tried that one yet myself)
3. Cranberries - those berries are known for their ability to improve urinary health in both humans and animals. It's a perfect tonic for an aging or arthritic dog, but some dislike its tartness. Try mixing it with other foods or giving it as you would a pill.
4. Wolfberries (goji berry)- helps reduce inflammation, improve heart health, prevent eye disease and it can also help modulate a dog's immun system so he respond to infections in a healthy manner.
5. Pomegranates - in whole, there are an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants. Studies also shown that they can help with heart disease and its natural juices also coat a dog's teeth with bacteria fighting compounds.
6. Blueberries - it is the strongest antioxidant fruit grown in North America. The antioxidant inhibits the growth of cancer cells and reduce inflammation. Several studies have found they improve mood and mental function in animals. Most dogs enjoy their sweet flavor, but others find them too strong. If your companion declines them, he is more likely to enjoy them in a "stew" made with meat.

Superfruits can be fed as treats or sprinkle into your dog's food.
I must admit, I haven't tried them all yet, but my "kids" sure enjoy the extra treats and come running :)

Fruits to avoid: grapes, raisins and also limit your dog's intake of pits and seeds in fruit. They contain cyanide which can poison your dog if ingested in large quantities!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

making new dog "friends"

Lacy tried to make a new friend the other day. I was suspicious because we were ate the edge of a wheat field and she was jumping around in it trying to find the "moving thing". My calling was ignored. As I walked closer I saw her with a black and white animal, who wasn't happy about the intruder. Copper, on the leash, was testing my arm strength while I was trying to convince Lacy to come back "quickly. Yep too late it was, when she trotted back and smelled "bad". Even Copper made a disgusted sound towards her and kept his distance.
Here a wash, that does work:
Mix of hydroxin peroxide, baking soda and dishdetergent.

The joys off fall include meeting lots of wildlife!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

First aid tips for pet owners

First aid tips for pet owners

It is a link to the the American Veterinary Medical Association!

First Aid for dogs and stay calm

Dear Copper,
do you know how scared I was? Do you know how my voice cracked calling your name again and again but you didn't come? Please Copper, be a good dog companion and don't run away again!"

Well I told him those words time and time again after Mr. Copper decided to come home again. I must admit he was only gone for one hour. His longest disappearance was three (do I dare to say "so far"). His bloodhound nose just takes over sometimes and I'm worried sick.With his leash in my hand, Lacy at my side, I start walking and looking for him. And I always remember "try humming to block the negative thoughts out of your head; it will be a good distraction for you and it will calm you". It is good to know First Aid for animals, see my post. Also, I always have Arnica montana on hand. It is a great homeopathic remedy for any kind of shock, injury or trauma. Works very well for humans too!
Copper never came back injured, so I'm really thankful for that.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Received this clip from a friend and had to laugh so hard that I want to share it now! And the clip shows, what I always believed in: there are special "jobs" for special "dogs and not all dogs enjoy the same! So if you are thinking about bringing a dog into your life, do some brainstorming. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? What activities do you want to share with your canine companion? Long walks, hunting, fly ball, swimming, lots of lazy couch time? You don't mind brushing off dog hair? You have time and space for a BIG pooch? All those questions you should ask yourself before buying a dog. And always remembers, there are a lot of lonely hearts waiting for a friend to play, learn, train and LOVE in the SPCA's across the country!!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Why we LOVE dogs...
I stumbled over a quote, which I really liked                                                                                                "I think we are drawn to dogs, because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be, if we weren't certain we knew better. Being such wonderful uncomplicated beings they need us to do their worrying." George Bird Evans    
I snapped the water pic this summer. I'm lucky to have the creek bordering our pastures. Best place for dog games, swimming lessons, and simply doggy fun in the sun.                                   

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A day with doggy companions...

Needed to do some shopping in Calgary (YES some shopping is necessary!) and the dogs spent the day in Innisfail at the Boarding Kennel. Copper loves these outings, meet new friends and play all day (now he is snoring happily back home). Lacy had a beauty day with haircut, pedicure and pampering (time to roll in some horse poo tomorrow again). It is nice to see that other people like having my dogs around and thinking they are well behaved canine companions. As a dog owner you easily think you have the best dogs in the world but it is nice to get outsiders opinions. So get your dogs out there, let them meet friends and let them make new friends. It will make them happy and balanced and that will give you the calm, inner confidence your paw companion loves you for!
Ending on a funny note...I found this on the web and just had to enter Copper with the dog chow movie poster challenge!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Oh boy!

My day started with a FAST walk this morning. Yes, I tried to check out my dad's trick with keeping the dogs closer. I was dragging my feet, my shoulders were hunched, I even limped a little but my dogs, at least this morning, couldn't care less. Off they went, Coppers nose on the ground, and I abandoned by slow walk for a high speed trot. Maybe my dogs ignoring me had something to do with the group of deer, that crossed our path? HUH! Well I guess I have to try it again some other time.
With all that excitement in the morning, I relaxed on the drive to town with the funniest audiobooks I know of Janet Evanovitch "Stefanie Plum series", just finished Smokin' Seventeen.
If you enjoy a good laugh, you HAVE TO listen in. The narrator Lorelei King gives all the characters an individual funny. Love for getting all my audiobooks.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lazy Sunday

O.K. I must admit of being pretty lazy this Sunday. Enjoyed the fall colors while walking the dogs this morning and now watching the dancing leaves in the breathe. I phoned my parents this morning and my dad and I were talking "dog" as usual. He told me about a trick to keep your dogs closer to you while walking them off leash. Normally the dogs will go a ways ahead of me, then they stop look back and continuing on quickly. Now my dad said, I should try and walk different, slower, with hanging shoulders and maybe a limp. He tried this with his dogs and when they stopped to look at him, they saw him walking differently and came closer to him checking if everything is allright. He tried this several times and it always worked. So I will give it a go tomorrow, see if I can get Copper to come closer to me again, if he notice my different somewhat "weak" walk. Usually I walk in a fast pace, head up and such...
I will let you know how it goes!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

So proud...

September 24,2011
I'm so proud of Lacy today. She passed her evaluation to become a Therapy Dog with an A+.
Now we are part of the Therapy program of St.John Ambulance and will visit patients and elderly in senior homes soon. I'm sure there will be inspiring moments to talk about in Lacys future as a Therapy Dog :)

Friday, September 23, 2011


First I have to introduce the two dogs running my life right now. Lacy is a 3 year old Golden Retriever and (Mr.)Copper a 1 year old Bloodhound. I grew up in Germany where my parents always had Boxers for breeding and competitions. Often I went with my dad to dog trainings on the weekends and admired the partnerships between dog and handler. I always dreamed about having my own "paw"kids but my studies and living conditions just weren't dog friendly in the past. I immigrated to Canada in 2005 and after having a Boxer for two years (sweetheart Amy died of cancer way to soon), I now share my life with Lacy and Copper, two cats, some horses and oh yes a husband.

Talking about Inspirations, besides dogs I LOVE books so ending my first post with two autumn pleasure reads:
"The darkest evening of the year" by Dean Koontz (2007)
"Until Tuesday" by Capt. Luis Montalvan (2011)