Tag Archives: health

Twitter Becomes Tangible

If you read my previous post 6 Months In and Twitter Rocks, you know about the #cavpack and the two members who brought everyone together to help create memorials for a fellow dog mom.

For those who haven’t – a short recap of the relevant parts. There is a large contingent of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel owners on Twitter who now go by the “#cavpack.” This group of people – and “dogs” – is fantastic, extremely interactive, and has the feel of a group of close friends.

The two members of the #cavpack who started the memorial project for Harry go by @Holly46671665 and @BellaMCavalier. When Harry, a very special Cavalier, passed earlier this year, his mom was having a particularly hard time, and so Holly and Bella decided to collect donations for a memorial paw print, to sponsor a kennel for a year in his name, and to donate to a rescue. They also began collecting photographs of the #cavpack for a book.

Harry’s mom received everything a few weeks ago and was overwhelmed by all the love. I am sure it is still hard for her to come on to Twitter but, since receiving everything, she has been on a little bit more, able to talk to her friends and see their dogs in action on occasion.

The #cavpack also all got their chance to order a copy of the photo book, too. Callie’s arrived yesterday.

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First piece of mail and it’s international!
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“Mom, are there treats in that?”
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No treats, just the coolest book EVER!
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Dedicated to the sweetest handsome boy, Harry.
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It’s my pals! Ellie-Mae, Bailey, Lady, and Holly 😍
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Hey, that’s me!
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My friend Bella is on the same page💖. And there’s Mr. C!

Here’s the thing, I knew I would love and appreciate the #cavpack book, but I had no idea how much. As I sat on the sofa turning the pages and explaining to my wife about each dog, their personalities, my connection to them and their owner, I realized that this book meant the world to me too. And I really mean the world. Many of the Cavaliers are in the UK, at least one lives in Germany, some throughout Asia and plenty are spread across the US.

When I look through the book, I feel tangibly connected to these online friends whom I otherwise do not know. I couldn’t stop smiling after we finished the first time. I was transported to a place where we were all together. It was as though my Twitter pack came alive in my hands for a moment and for that, I am beyond grateful.

 

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Callie, me, and our magic traveling book ❤️ ❤️ ❤️  (Please excuse my lounge look!)

 

This is also the same group of people who responded with 30+ answers for me in under 10 minutes when I asked an important question about Callie. And they helped me figure out the solution.

I know, Holly, that you initially collected the photos for Harry’s mom, but you need to know just how much your work means to me and, quite likely, the rest of the #cavpack.

And just for good measure, a #TongueOutTuesday for Harry. Always remembered.

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#TongueOutTuesday demand Mandatory Health Testing and rid Bad Breeders!!! #RememberingHarry🌈  ❤️’ing the #cavpack

Cavalier hearts: the difference between what breeders say and what they do

Although this research is about UK breeders, the same problem exists in the US. Between poor breeding practices by “good” breeders and puppy mills, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are going to be, if they aren’t already, a dying breed.

Losing our Cavaliers would be devastating, but it would also be stupid when there are ways to mitigate the potential health issues. This research makes me so sad.

Cavaliers Are Special

Crufts, the dog world’s annual extravaganza, took place in March. On the Friday of the show health campaigners Margaret Carter and Charlotte Mackaness, along with television vet and author Emma Milne, presented the comments from the then 30,000 signature-strong Cavalier health petition to the Kennel Club asking for compulsory testing for Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) and Syringomyelia (SM). The KC repeated its refusal to make testing mandatory.

petition hand over The Cavaliers Are Special team handing the petition to the KC’s Bill Lambert at Crufts

Under the bright lights a few hours later the Cavalier best of breed was crowned. For the dog’s owners it was a time of great celebration. For health campaigners, it was a sober reminder of just how badly enforcement of breeding guidelines and is needed.

The winning dog turned 2.5 years old just before Crufts. To help reduce the incidence and age of onset of heart disease, cardiologists…

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Enter the Stairs

Callie got lucky the other day!

animal-planet-pet-stepsI was at a thrift store the other day and found what looked to be a brand new set of dog stairs. Decent ones too. Folding, wooden, with fabric on the steps.

I have been holding out on buying her a set, trying to figure out what is the least expensive, but still solid, option out there but the choices are overwhelming.

I’ve mentioned before that Callie really doesn’t like being picked up but can’t, or rather won’t (I’ve seen her do it before, sneaky girl), get on the couch by herself. She also can’t get on the bed or go down stairs. So pet steps provide two excellent solutions, first regarding the picking up problem, and then training opportunities, both going up and then coming down the stairs.

Turns out the steps aren’t brand new, but I’m not super surprised. The only real problem was that the dowels that held the last support were broken. My wife and I held the steps steady instead until we could get new pieces, and got the cheese ready.

Side-note, nobody in this house can eat dairy, cheese stays because it is the ultimate training tool for Callie. NEVER overuse your dog’s favorite reward, be it food or toy, or it will lose its magic. Save it for the big training steps.

It took a little while, and a whole lot of treat bribes, but she eventually climbed up the steps to the couch. Unfortunately, we didn’t get pictures of her on the way up because of how we were positioned holding the steps, but my wife got several of Callie’s hesitant attempts to go back down.

It started like this:

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“Human, there is not enough cheese in the world to make me go down those stairs!”

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“I MEANT WHAT I SAID, HUMAN!”

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“Mmmm, I do like cheese, though….”

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“K, maybe just ONE paw. ONE.”

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“Huh? What? I was paying attention to the cheese.”

This was, of course, over approximately 30 minutes or so, but I loved the end pics! However, right after they were taken, she realized how far down the stairs she was and immediately backpedaled. That was the end of it for the night.

Overall thoughts on the stairs – I want to buy nicer ones eventually, but as an avid thrifter, I can be happy with my thrift store score for a while. It seems like the stairs get Callie’s vote too, at least for getting ON the couch.

P.S. Promise to return with pictures of going UP, too.

 

The dangers of certain brands of peanut butter.

A reblog with great info about what Xylitol does to dogs and how certain brands of peanut butter are switching to using Xylitol instead of other sweeteners. Here’s my experience with the nasty product:

A few years ago, a friend offered to help us out and make the cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday celebration at preschool. My ex-husband had ended up with our Labrador in the divorce, a wonderful, sweet, and incredibly well-trained dog.

Well, my ex had the cupcakes, neither of us knew that the friend of ours had made the cupcakes with Xylitol (because WHAT?! they are for preschoolers!) and Cyrus, the lab, did something he hadn’t done since he was a puppy. He jumped on the counter, got the cupcakes and ate the whole pan.

When Cyrus started acting funny, my ex rushed him to the vet. He spent two weeks in dog ICU, with constant fluids, and had a prognosis of “no way is he going to make it, but sure, we will try.”He survived. Even our vet has never seen anything like it; she was certain he was gone. I don’t know how he made it, but most dogs don’t so be aware of Xylitol always!

Learning from Dogs

Please read this and share.

(This was first posted on December 8th, 2016. It is being republished because of the mention of peanut butter in the article presented in my post that came out an hour ago.)

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Keep peanut butter away from your dogs!

Because it could kill your beloved companion.

Fellow author Judi Holdeman sent me an email that contained a warning that had been in a recent health newsletter from Jeff Reagan. Here’s the essence of that warning (and my emphasis in parts):

If your dog is anything like my dog, they probably love a good scoop of peanut butter.

As I’m writing this, my pup Ellie is actually snuggled up next to my leg and going to town on her peanut butter filled Kong. She’s in heaven…

But I want to warn you about a NEW problem with dogs and peanut butter.

There’s been…

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