Tag Archives: dogs

The New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston

maholo1While in Boston, I had the opportunity to visit the New England Holocaust Memorial, and to say that I was touched by what I read would be an understatement.  What resonated with me most was this:

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

—Martin Niemoeller

maholo2I am a firm believer that if we do not learn from History, then we are bound to repeat it.  It is terrible to know that we, human beings, are capable of such atrocities.  And then, I take a look at my Alex, and say to myself, “Yes, but there are also amazing people along with amazing dogs.”  I don’t know, for me, a canine companion such like Alex, is essential in my life.  Alex makes me do something I have a hard time doing and that is to live in the moment.  So, with that in mind, I would say carpe the heck out of the diem, and if along the way you are able to make a difference in the life of a person or a dog, then in my book you are an angel.

Dinner – Chicken, Rice, and Mashed Potatoes

mp1After reading about what goes in the making of kibble, I decided that it’d be best to feed Alex a combination of human food and kibble with the former making up most of her diet.  In Ecuador, where I am originally from, when I was a kid our pets were fed scraps and I don’t ever remember anybody saying, “My dog has allergies,” but that is a topic for another post.

Anyway, tonight I cooked some chicken in the oven for us.  I did season my portion, 1 chicken leg with Adobo, while leaving Alex’s portion unseasoned.

mp2 I mixed 1/4 cup of kibble, white rice, mashed potatoes, and chicken with no bones.  The mashed potatoes did have a little bit of salt.  When she saw me putting this together she was in the kitchen with me as if asking, “Is that for me?”  Yes, this is for you Alex.

mp3Once all the ingredients were mixed, I served it to Alex.  She, to my delight, inhaled the food.  I love when she eats.  Once she finished, she did what she does every single night.

mp4She waited for me to finish doing dishes so I can brush her teeth, which is followed by Alex getting a dental treat.  Between you and me, I think she hangs around the kitchen just so she can get that treat.  The good thing about this routine of hers is that it reminds me that I have to brush her teeth.  Smart girl.

Belated Happy New Year 2015

2015This was the first year we were not home.  Instead we went to Boston to visit family and did a little sightseeing while there.  As you can see, Alex could care less about the ducks around her.

20152It was funny to see Alex totally uninterested in all the real ducks around her, but once she saw these “fake” ducks she couldn’t help herself and she had to go and meet them.  As you can see, she is meeting them the polite way, the doggie way.  How?  By sniffing the tush.

20153Alex even posed with them.  She was such a good girl.  By the way, because it was so cold that day, we were out for about 20-30 minutes only.  We parked very close so we went back to the car and headed to get some food.

20154We could take Alex pretty much anywhere dogs are allowed because she is used to so many things, including horses.  We saw a policeman on a horse, but I was hesitant about asking him for a picture so we kept walking.  When Alex was a puppy I took her everywhere so that as an adult dog she would be comfortable in different situations and areas.  Belated happy new year 2015!

Bundle Up Your Canine Companions

bundle1Many times, we assume that our furry kids can deal with a cold climate like the one we get here in Maryland, but that is not true.  Our furry kids, just like us, do get cold and we must make sure that they are  properly attire to withstand cold weather.  Alex, in the above picture, is wearing a jacket, but since she gets cold very easy nowadays I am adding a sweater to that jacket when we go out.

bundle2Some dogs like Alex and Dexter with short hair need to be protected from the cold even when they are home.  Depending on how cold the day is, I make Alex and Bella wear a sweater.  Puppies and senior dogs are more sensitive to extreme weather than young, healthy dogs.

bundle3With that being said, please make sure that your canine companions have a comfortable bed that includes at least one blanket, and when venturing outside a sweater and jacket would be nice.  Of course, do not forget to bundle up yourself.

Dexter’s Energy Level

Dexter, Bella, and Alex (L to R)

Dexter, Bella, and Alex (L to R)

When we first met Dexter, a handsome boxer mix, I thought that he was a high energy dog, but I was wrong.  Dexter is actually a medium-level energy dog.  Why am I talking about this?  Because your level of energy and that of your future or current dog is very important in order to make the right match.  Dexter does well, during Summer, with a 30-40 minute walk in the morning, and evening, and a small break around noon for 15 minutes.  But, when Winter comes, he needs longer walks.  The first few days, when he comes to stay with us, I walk Dexter the most because he has an abundance of energy, but as days go by I have to use Bella for longer walksn because this handsome boy starts to walk behind me rather than next to me. 

dexenergy2Also, remember that as dogs age their level of energy will decrease.  Alex, my pit mix, so far has been the dog with the highest energy level.  If she were a human being, she’d probably be classified as hyperactive in her younger years.  Well, it only took 10 years for Alex to calm down.  How would you classify your dog’s energy level?  Have a great week.  

 

Desensitization And Dogs

desen1As per Wikipedia, desensitization in psychology is defined as the diminished emotional responsiveness to a negative or aversive stimulus after repeated exposure to it.  We got Alex when she was about 3 months old, and from the beginning she got exposed to different people, environment, dogs, etc., and that is why I am able to use her to help other dogs to be balanced.

desen2Alex can easily walk in a crowded place without a second thought.  How long does it take to desensitize a dog from a particular thing/situation?  There is no time frame for that because every dog is different.  Some dogs can take a couple of hours or days while others can take months or even a year or more.  That is why the best thing to do when you get your dog is to expose him to as many things as possible.

desen3Also, please make sure that you start slowly.  I took Alex, little by little, to different places, making each place more hectic and noisy.  Do not put your dog in a situation that would cause him to shut down by overwhelming him with the amount of stimuli you are exposing him to and find the right trainer to help you do this.

desen4Bella, our foster failure, has Alex as a perfect example to follow, but not all pet parents are fortunate enough to have a furry kid like my Alex.  If you are not able to help your dog, talk to different trainers, behaviorist, vets, etc., in order to enlist their help and get your dog on a road to recovery.  Living with your dog should be a pleasant, relaxed, joyful experience, and if that is not the case then is up to you to change that.

desen5Alex was exhausted after our outing in Chinatown last year when we visited Toronto, Canada.  New places, smells, and people can get your dog pretty tired that’s why I am taking Bella, little by little, to different places.  We’ve covered a lot of areas in our neighborhood so we’ll be venturing out a little further this Summer and blogging about it.  I am starting all over again with Bella, but that’s fine because that means new adventures and more outings.  Have a great weekend and don’t forget to walk your furry kids.

 

 

Too Hot To Walk?

2hot1The weather is starting to get hot so that means that I have to be up by 6am in order to walk my furry kids.  Why?  Well, some dogs, like Walter, the handsome Aussie, can easily overheat and burn his pads/paws, and even dogs like Bella and Alex with short white hair can get hurt.

The most attention and care need to be directed to dogs that have long, dark hair, seniors, and flat-faced breeds.

2hot2Once we got back from our walk, we went to the deck to get cleaned up.  Walter did not want to pose for this picture, but my girls were game.  I always clean him up first in order to get him back inside right away.

2hot3Once inside, Walter enjoys hanging out in the kitchen where he can find cool tiles to relax on.  Is it too hot to walk?  Yes, it is if you decide to take your morning walk after 9am.  But you can still safely walk your dog as long as you make some changes to your schedule.  Enjoy your walks with your furry kids.

I am Sooo Tired – TGIF

2tired1Because the weather is so nice today here in Odenton, MD, we took a nice walk and once I cleaned them up, each furry kid took a spot to hang out and/or fall asleep.  Bella is the youngest one, 3 years old, therefore she was relaxing by the sliding doors and found herself in the arms of Morpheus within minutes.

2tired2Alex, on the other hand, decided that the dining room was a better spot to relax after our walk.  By the way, she still uses her brace during our walks, but not at home.

2tired3Roxy, a beautiful pom, kind of blends with my wood floors, don’t you think?  While they were all recuperating from our walk, I stayed in the kitchen putting away dishes, freezing food I cooked for Alex and Bella recently, and taking pictures of them while they were asleep.  What a nice way to start this weekend.

How Do I handle Walking Dogs With Different Energy Level?

energy1When Cynthia is able to help me, I walk 2 dogs and she walks the other 2.  Those with higher energy level are walked longer by yours truly.  But, when Cynthia is unable to help me this is what I do:

  • I walk Alex, my slow walker, and Bella together for about 15 to 20 mins.  Our walking speed is slow because of Alex, but that’s fine
  • I, then, drop and wipe Alex’s paws at home while Bella holds a sit/stay as a way to incorporate training to our every day life
  • I grab Bella and Roxy, the cutie pom, and we go out for a walk for about 45 mins. or longer
  • Once home, I go to the deck and clean Bella and Roxy

energy2Because Bella is the most energetic of all 3, she gets to walk the longest.  What happens once we get home and she is cleaned and fed?  She is out like a light.  I enjoy walking with them, and I know they need those walks, but I also do it because once at home they are relaxed and tired, therefore living with them is enjoyable rather than a burden.

energy3I post a lot of pictures of dogs sleeping because that is the end result of our walks/runs.  Have a great weekend:-)

Human Food For Alex And Bella

humanfood1Let me start by saying that I started to feed Alex and Bella human food, at the beginning, always in small quantities,  Also, neither one is allergic to any of the ingredients I use, and if you are planning to start feeding your dog human food and have any questions about it, please talk to your vet or better, to a holistic vet.

Tonight, for Alex and Bella’s dinner, I cooked a stir-fry using the following ingredients:

  • 1 chicken patty and 1 sausage patty
  • Cilantro
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Peas
  • Ginger – only for Alex’s arthritis

I started by cooking all the veggies together, except for cilantro and ginger, for a couple of minutes.  I then added the chicken and sausage patties to it.

humanfood2Why am I feeding them human food?  I’ve been reading a book, Pukka’s Promise by Ted Kerasote, and he provides excellent information regarding what goes in the kibble many of us, pet parents, buy and feed our dogs.  Because of it, I started to feed Alex and Bella a mix of human food and kibble.  Again, I started by adding very small quantities in order to avoid upsetting their tummies.  Right now they are both eating twice a day: 1/2 cup of kibble + 1 cup of human food.

Do you know what I’ve noticed now that they are eating more human food than kibble?

Alex – My Picky Eater

  1. Her appetite in the morning has opened up
  2. Her mobility and flexibility has increased a great deal.  So much so, that now she walks next to me rather than lagging behind
  3. She used to do #2 up to 3 times a day and it was smelly.  Now she does #2 once or twice a day and the smell is minimal.

humanfood3Bella – My I’ve-never-met-a-meal-I-had-not-liked girl

  1. She used to do #2 four (4) times a day, and the smell was horrible.  Right now she only goes twice a day and it hardly smells
  2. Her mouth does not smell

This, human food and kibble, may not be for all dogs.  I had a friend whose dog became quite ill if he ate any human food, even if it was only a bit of it.  If you have questions, please ask a holistic vet and transition your dog slowly to any new food.  Before I forget, I also rotate the kind of kibble I feed them every couple of months.  If you have any recipes, I am always on the look out for new ones, you’d like to share with us, please do so.