Tag: Pet Chat

Nocturnal ramblings and Buddy’s Chapter 3

Buddy has a talent to sleep just about anywhere and loves the dirt in sun!buddy

It’s the wee hours of the morning, 3 a.m. at this moment, and my sleep has been smacked awake, making this the perfect time to catch up on overdue blog time.

Buddy is asleep on top of a stack of pillows on a small couch in the bedroom. Not a care in the world. Kodi is stretched out on his side on the floor. Neither stirred when I got up to come into the family room. Hopefully I will be able to slip back in without the “dog alarms” being activated.

Back to Buddy’s travels:

Buddy returned to Florida full-time in January 2016. He had been here before but even our little Jack Russell knew this time was different – this time it was his home.

Traveling cross-country which included stopping in Texas to see our eldest’s family and one more stop in Daphne, Alabama before our  home on the East Coast of Florida, the dogs tolerated each other.

Well, Buddy tolerated Kodi sitting on him in the back seat!

When we got home it dawned on Kodi that we weren’t just giving this other male dog a lift. He had joined Kodi’s “herd” except Buddy isn’t all that fond of being herded. Adjustments had to be made.

In the beginning there were scuffles and we didn’t feel comfortable leaving them out when we weren’t home so the crates were set up in the family room.

It soon became evident that when we are not at home they worked things out. The scuffles and “fights” were only when we were there. Little by little we left them out for longer and longer periods of time. Now we really don’t think about it – everyone seems to have come to terms with the new arrangement.

The only time we have to be on alert is when food is involved. Both are adept at catching treats in the air and Buddy swoops in to scoop up any ice-cube that drops from the refrigerator.

Kodi used to be our “ice shark” and had lost interest, but now that Buddy wants the ice – the interest has rekindled.

The only time we have any issues is if we mess up and a treat bounces away. Then there’s a minor “free for all” as the dogs both try to claim it.

For the most part Kodi has been pretty understanding and I think having a younger dog around keeps him active.

Buddy has blossomed. He has grown out of  just falling over on his side when we have him out walking.  No longer do people have to ask, “Did your dog just faint?”

Storms still make his bones shake and once in a while I still get this incredibly “sad” look for no reason. It makes me wonder what thoughts go through his mind.


He may be smaller but I have no doubt that when he sees his reflectionhe sees himself as a much larger dog, and hopefully he sees himself as a permanent member of this family.

The dog days of summer are here

I live in Florida where we expect the summer to be hot, but this summer is a scorcher — and not just in Florida. It’s unusally hot in sections of the country, and the world, that don’t have to deal with high temperatures.

Today I want to share my weekly column with you, because, even though I am on the East coast of Florida, it’s important advice for everyone, and every dog.


Buddy Beach


Please don’t feed your cat these 10 things

In an effort to feed your cat a diet that you find more exciting, you coud actually harm your feline friend.cat 6

It’s tough to say no, but there are foods you kitty should never be allowed to eat.  Just as you shouldn’t be eating cat food, they shouldn’t be eating human food.

You might be tempted to substitute human food, like tuna fish, when you realize you forgot to pick up more of your cat’s cuisine at the store. Instead, put a coat over your pjs and go to the store, or call a neighbor and borrow a cup of kitty kibble.

These are not the only items that are harmful to your cat. Please, before you feed, research online.

Here are 10 items that should never find their way into you cat’s dinner dish:

  1. Tuna fish- a small bite isn’t probably going to hurt your cat, but don’t replace their regular meal with the same amout of tuna fish. A steady dose of tuna can actually result in malnutrition because it doesn’t offer enough nutrition.
  2. Fruit – especially those with pits and seeds, like apricots, cherry, and apples.
  3. Avocado – Depending on who you ask, avacados are either really healthy, or toxic for you cat. Small dose might be OK, before I feed my Samantha avacado I am going to check with her veterinarian.
  4. Chocolate
  5. Coffee or tea – If your cat is prone to taking a lap or two out of your drinks, don’t leave coffee unattended
  6. Alcohol – Not funny, definitely unhealthy
  7. Cow milk / cream – Oh sure, the cute picture has always been a cat lapping up a bowl of cream, but did you know that most cats are lactose intolerant? This results in upset tummies and diaharea.
  8. Macadamia nuts
  9. Liver – Small amounts of liver probably won’t hurt your cat, but eating too much can result in a vitamin A toxicity. This is a serious condition that can affect your cat’s bones.
  10. Onion in all forms can break down a cat’s red blood cells and lead to anemia.

When should you see a vet?

If you suspect your cat ate something he shouldn’t have, try to determine how much she ate.

Call your veterinarian’s office, they know your pet, his meds, and whether there is going to be a problem that needs to be addressed.

If your veterinarian is unavailable or unequipped to handle the situation, call the nearest animal hospital or the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-213-6680. This is especially important if your cat is displaying symptoms such as muscle tremors or repeated vomiting.




Dogs don’t have thumbs

first published at palmcoastobserver.com
But… you do!!

It’s a physiological fact. They have four paws, but not a thumb among them. Why, you might ask, is this important?

Without thumbs dogs are unable to hitchhike, throw a ball, pick up a lucky penny off the ground, or —pick up their poop.

Dogs are anxious to please, if they had thumbs I am certain they could be trained to pick up after themselves. But they don’t, so they can’t.

Our dogs rely on us for many things, food, shelter, veterinary care, love and good citizenship. How many times have you heard, “that dog messed in my yard.” It isn’t his fault, after all that is one of the reasons he is outside — to do his business.

I live beachside and take advantage of being able to walk to the beach as often as possible. On a recent morning walk I had to walk around dog doo doo ON THE SIDEWALK! Really folks? Once, after offering a cleanup bag to someone on the beach, I was informed the tide would wash it out. I had no response, well not a nice one, so I just shook my head and picked it up myself.

People appreciate it when you pick up after your pup, and sadly many are amazed. During one walk with my dog he pooped one time more than the number of bags I had with me. Hmm what to do? I walked the dog home, got into the car and returned to the spot with a bag. It was on someone’s nice front lawn and as I was cleaning up the owner came out looking a bit upset until he realized what I was doing. Then he thanked me. Chalk one up for Pooch P.R.

Inconsiderate and lazy owners are everywhere. We always take Kodi with us when we travel and there are parks and rest areas that encourage dogs, some even provide cleanup bags, and still…..well I don’t have to finish that statement do I?

When we drove to Texas last year I discovered that Florida rest areas had discontinued providing cleanup bags. I guess they decided no one was using them. Thankfully we always carry a roll of bags with us.

Cleaning up is more than aesthetics. It should be done for health reasons for your pet. Parvo, a fatal virus that attacks the lining of the intestines, is spread by feces. Even if you have had your dog vaccinated, I strongly suggest you do not allow him to sniff other dog’s droppings. Oh and it’s disgusting.

Perhaps someone can explain it to me, because I am at a loss for this behavior. The people who are the problem have dogs, dogs they walk, even the same route. Don’t they want a clean area to walk their dog?

Here’s my suggestion the next time you see someone not picking up after their dog: Tamper the rage that will rise up and smile as you stretch out your hand to offer them a bag. Sweetly shame them into it. If that doesn’t work, you can quietly do their job for them and toss it in the trashcan — just to clarify where I want you to toss it — the trashcan.

Enjoy your pups and believe in Karma. These folks are going to step into it one day.

A very serious disease

What Are the General Symptoms of Parvovirus?

The general symptoms of parvovirus are lethargy, severe vomiting, loss of appetite, and bloody diarrhea that can result in life-threatening dehydration.

Normal is overrated

Just my feelings for the day, pass it along 🙂


Today is a fall day in Florida, which means high 70s – low 80s. The type of day for a nice slow walk by the beach with the dog, curling up with the cat and a good book, and just kicking back. Hope everyone else is having a restful day as well.

Check in next week for some homemade mice for your cat. I made a couple for Robby, my daughter’s cat, and they have passed inspection; and he hasn’t been able to get the tails off yet!!  So with this endorsemennt I feel they are suitable for sharing.

I will post the pattern in the next day or so. No sewing experience necessary, and so much nicer and personal for your cat than the store bought  mice.

Pumpkin update

pumpkin 2

After my last entry I texted my friend mentioned in the post. Her cat is older and has had difficulty with fur balls and digestion and kidney issues. My text was to tell her about my pumpkin research.

A short while later she texts back, she had stopped at PetSmart and what does she fine? Pumpkin enhanced cat food!

As I also stated in my last entry, my cat Samantha is not typically a fussy eater, with one exception — pumpkin. At least the kind that comes out of the can. I put a teaspoon of pumpkin in her bowl on two occassions, once mixed in her dry food and once in a bowl of it’s own — she was not interested.

However, she does like the commercial pouch style.My friend was kind enough to give her a pouch.

Pumpkin 1

Since I give her this food as a supplement and not her main diet, these pouches last me a few days. I use a small chip clip to seal them and store them in the refrigerator.

Samantha eats dry food and she doesn’t like her food “touching” so a a separate ceramic dish is used for her wet food.

Pets have their food preferences just as we do, it’s our job to discover these healthy foods to provide them a balanced diet. Now I am off to PetSmart to get a few more pouches while they are still on sale!

pumpkin 3

The great pumpkin is indeed great – for your pet

Typically we only eat pumpkin one time of year – Thanksgiving. As I researched for this blog and future columns in the palmcoastobserver.com I began coming across testimonials and studies about the benefits of the mighty pumpkin for our pets.

I know of two cat owners, a good friend and my daughter, who I will be passing this information onto immediately. My friend’s cat is having fur ball issues and my daughter’s cat has always had intestinal issues. Both have spent a lot of time and money on special cat food. Lucky for my cat Samantha, she often gets the “rejects.”

Vet check

This is where I tell you that it is always best to consult with your vet before making any major changes in your pet’s diet, especially if your vet is already treating your pet for a medical issue. I doubt you should have to make an appointment, just call and let them know you want to add a small amount of pumpkin to your pets diet.
Fiber Value

Fiber is an important part of all of our diets, including your cat and dog. Adding a teaspoon of pumpkin to your pet’s bowl at each meal can help with constipation, diarrhea and hair balls. Pumpkin seeds (not salted) have essential fatty acids and antioxidants are good for their skin and fur. Pumpkin seeds may also help urinary health and are filled with vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium and iron.

Weight maintenance

My dog will eat just about anything, except popcorn. At nine-years old, keeping my corgi’s weight in check is important to me. The breed often has joint issues and my little guy has started to limp. We have him on Krillex which has helped him immensely but reducing the weight is important in keeping the stress off these joints.

Substituting (you don’t want to feed them more) a portion of their food with natural canned pumpkin can help them take a few pounds off, help their tummies and give a taste treat to their kibble.

Pumpkin source

The type of pumpkin is important. Definitely not the pumpkin decorating your porch for Halloween. These will have started collection bacteria and cause problems.

Canned or pureed pumpkin with no added ingredients are the best to use as a dietary supplement. Your pet doesn’t need the additional sugar and spice. It might cost a bit more, but a trip to your local Whole Foods or the organic aisle in your grocery store for organic pumpkin would be healthiest. If you are making pumpkin pies from scratch you can put aside a little for your pet.

To cook or not to cook

Raw, cooked and canned pumpkin is safe for most dogs and cats, however if your pet has a medical issue such as diabetes, kidney issue, etc. please check with the vet first.


To ensure the pumpkin stays fresh and healthy for your pet you can freeze meal-size portions with ice cube trays. Depending on the size of your pet you can use regular size or mini ice cube trays.

Once frozen pop them into a covered freezer container so you can use what you need and return the rest to the freezer. The cube size portions will thaw out quickly and can be added to their dinner bowl.