Chipper’s External Brain

When Chipper was a young puppy he developed double pneumonia. My mom nursed him back to health, but he always seemed mentally slow, probably because his body fought off the sickness instead of developing. He needs his little sister, Buffy, to tell him what to do.  Although Cocker Spaniels are not known to be smart dogs, Chipper seems especially dumb, even for a Cocker. But he makes me laugh – a lot! Continue reading

Thunder Dog – The True Story of a Blind Man, his Guide Dog & the Triumph of Trust – A Book Review

Few of us know what it’s like to be blind or even know a blind person. Just imagine being blind in today’s world, the challenges, but also the advantages provided by technology, and more acceptance of guide dogs by the public.

Blind people today can do almost anything if they are willing to try, and Michael Hingson tried everything. Continue reading

The Dog Year—A Book Review

I met Ann Garvin when she gave an enthusiastic and funny keynote address at the UW Madison Writer’s Institute in 2015. As an exercise physiology nurse turned novelist, her stories intrigued me with her sense of humor. Her book, The Dog Year, grabbed my heart and eyes with a photo of a dog on the cover. I met Ann again a year later at the Chicago Writer’s Conference, where she gave me pointers on how to pitch an agent for the book I am currently writing.

The Dog Year is not directly about dogs but uses them as ancillary characters to help Dr. Lucy Peterman and her friends heal from various emotional traumas. Dogs are great therapists, which Lucy discovered after she decided to keep an abandoned d Continue reading

Thunderstorm Anxiety in Dogs

The storm season began early this year! We had thunderstorms last night and Chipper kept me awake. I put him on Solliquin pills a week ago and apparently the effects can take up to 30 days to show an effect. Last year I had used Harmonease, which is no longer produced, so my vet gave me Solliquin.

Do you have a fraidy dog?

Chipper & Harmonease

Chipper and Harmonease

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Help Your Puppy Sleep through the Night

When Cassie arrived at our house at just under 8 weeks of age, she woke me up every night, whining and scratching at her cage. I thought she had to pee, so I’d carry her out into the frozen backyard. Cassie refused paper training, having been house broken before I adopted her.

To warm her up, I’d put her under the covers in my bed with me for a few minutes before placing her back in her cage­­—a big mistake I know. But she was a tiny puppy and needed comforting. Every night, like clockwork, she’d wake me up. I expected this for the first week or two, but when it dragged on for a month, I wondered what was going on. Continue reading

Sudden and Persistent Drooling—What’s going on?

Chipper had his teeth cleaned by the vet for the first time at the end of June.  He’s an eleven year old cocker spaniel who never drooled much unless you held a piece of bacon in front of his nose. The vet had removed a few small front teeth, but nothing major so I was baffled as to why there were puddles of drool next to the table when my husband and I ate dinner—not just for a few days after surgery, but for months.  Chipper even drooled in his sleep, waking up with slobber all over the side of his face—a mess! Continue reading