Help feed shelter dogs!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Christmas to all

It's been a busy month so I have been lax about writing on the blog. We experienced two snowstorms in a row here over the weekend and Waldo is having the time of his life, running around in the big snow drifts.

We are looking forward to a quiet Christmas at our house. Waldo will have a new bully stick to chew on, Peanut the cat will have new catnip, and we will count our blessings that a full year has gone by without any major illnesses - for man nor for beast.

Speaking of blessings and thanks, now is the time of year when we are all feeling a bit more charitable. Please remember the smallest of creatures, who may not have the nice home they once did.

I wish you all a very happy and safe Christmas holiday!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Studies show dogs have sense of fairness

I was smiling today when I came upon this story about a recent study that showed dogs do know when a situation is unfair. Per the article:

Dogs, like people and monkeys, seem to have a sense of fairness.

"Animals react to inequity," said Friederike Range of the University of Vienna, Austria, who lead a team of researchers testing animals at the school's Clever Dog Lab. "To avoid stress, we should try to avoid treating them differently."

When Waldo first joined our home, he was quite an obnoxious pup. He was always muscling in on Watson's space, stealing his toys, eating his treats, etc. I always tried to make sure Watson still knew he was my baby, especially after he got sick. Well, I wasn't always successful. The photo below is one of my absolute favorites. You can see the look on Watson's face (right):

Most certainly there were thoughts of unfairness running through his head.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mmmm, turkey....

Just a quick note to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! Waldo can't wait until Friday for all the leftovers!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More news about canine cancer treatment

I am so pleased to see movement in the areas of canine cancer diagnosis and treatment. I read this announcement from PharmaCom BioVet that they will use PetScreen, LTD's Lymphoma Blood Testing at their companion animal treatment centers.

As with any chronic, life-threatening conditions, early detection is just as important as the right course of treatment. I hope to see an acceleration of collaborations such as this one - and soon!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Meet Jenna

Jenna's mom, Cheryl, recently found this blog through her search for canine lymphoma sources. Jenna was diagnosed with lymphoma a few months ago and is on Week 9 of her chemo. Please visit Jenna's blog and show your support for her fight.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Did you know...?

November marks the fourth annual Pet Cancer Awareness Month sponsored by VPI Pet Insurance. I just got their e-newsletter and it is loaded with canine cancer information, including the article called "Pets Fighting Cancer - An In-Depth Look with Dr. Ingrid Pyka" As many of you know, we decided to insure Waldo with VPI after the ordeal we had with Watson.

I am so glad to see more and more information out in the public about canine cancer, and especially about canine lymphoma. This truly gives me hope for more awareness and more research dollars to help heal future canine cancer patients.

And now, a cute look from Waldo:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More developments in the canine cancer field

I am pleased to see the rush of news lately about new treatments and new treatment centers for canine cancer, and particularly for canine lymphoma. This news release just came across my desk announcing two company's plans to explore "direct injection of liquid brachytherapy radioisotopes into tumors".

As Lesley said in a comment on a previous post, it's too late to save our little loved ones like Watson and Prince, but the recent flurry of news means that there is hope for future canine lymphoma patients.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Waldo gets a new bed

It may be scary times out there, but life in Waldo World is pretty darn good.

Friday, October 10, 2008

News: new canine bone marrow transplant center

PharmaCom BioVet, Inc. has announced they are actively formalizing an academic/industry collaboration with the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University to form the world's first dedicated veterinary canine bone marrow transplant center. Read the press release here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


With my impending birthday next month, I noticed that I feel the hands of time beating on my body more and more. Waldo, on the other hand, is still young and flexible enough to twist his body around like a pretzel.

His new sleeping position (below) is rather impressive. His spine is in an "S" shape with his bum and his snout facing in two different directions! I don't know about you, but I am not sure if I was ever young and flexible enough to do this!!

This other pose (below) is what we tend to call "chicken legs" since he looks like one of those flayed chickens at the butcher shop.

Oh, to be young and flexible!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On empathetic dogs

I found this interesting article about a new study that suggest that domestic dogs have the capacity for a fundamental form of empathy. How did the researchers come to this conclusion? Because they found taht dogs can "catch" a human's yawn. According to the article: "The phenomenon, called contagious yawning, has been found only in humans and other primates such as chimpanzees and is thought to relate to our ability to empathize with others."

Anyone who has spent time with a dog knows they have empathy. I, for one, don't need a contagious yawn to tell me that.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A photo rediscovered

I don't often lose things - material objects like wallets, keys, etc. - but when I do, I've been known to send a little prayer to Saint Anthony, the patron saint of lost or stolen articles. The best occurrence, though, is when you find something that you never knew you lost - like this photo below:

I found this photo on our new-ish digital camera totally by accident. The camera has built-in memory in addition to whatever size memory card you stick into it. I had the removable memory card stuck into my computer to download some photos from the weekend, when I turned on the camera and saw this photo. Apparently the camera reads from the memory stick by default, so I had forgotten about the photos still left in the camera itself.

I know this photo isn't much, but it's nice to see my boy again. This photo was taken in my office. Watson is on his green bed with a heating pad laid over the top of it. We started giving him a heating pad in the winter since his bones were getting more creaky and the New England winters weren't helping.

Oh, how I still miss him.....

Sunday, August 31, 2008

No pets left behind in New Orleans

It is good to know that we do learn from our mistakes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

News: Pet-food recall leads to 6,000 claims and counting

There is an article in today's USA Today newspaper about the class action lawsuit over the melamine-tainted pet food last year.

The article states: "Almost 6,000 claims have been filed in a class-action settlement stemming from last year's massive pet-food recall.

Menu Foods, other pet-food makers and retailers in May agreed to set up a $24 million cash fund to compensate pet owners whose cats and dogs became sick or died after eating food that had a contaminated ingredient from China.

The filing period for claims began May 30 and will run until Nov. 24.

"I expect that number (of claims) will go up a lot. There's quite a bit of time to go," says attorney Sherrie Savett of plaintiffs' law firm Berger & Montague.

The Food and Drug Administration never identified how many pets were affected, but it received more than 17,000 complaints."

For more info, read the article here.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


One year ago today, I held your head in my hands and watched you slip away. The look on your face said you were worried to leave me, but I was relieved that your suffering was over.
People tell me that I am crazy for missing you. Maybe I am, but I miss you anyway.

Thinking of you, Bubbe.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I know... You all probably think that Waldo and I have fallen off the face of the earth. I am happy to report that there is nothing to report!! Besides destroying a new throw rug, Waldo's life is free from drama. Everyone's health is good (myself, hubby, and cat included) so there is nothing to complain about.

Oy, I hope I didn't just jinx us!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Help feed hungry dogs

Last week, I added a link to at the top of the blog. The site was founded by a girl in Bend, Oregon, who wanted to help feed the dogs in her local animal shelter. For every daily trivia question that is answered, 20 pieces of kibble are donated to hungry dogs.

Yes, you can only answer the trivia question once per day so please keep visiting the site. Even 20 pieces of kibble can make all the difference!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Petscreen, I am not impressed.

I got a call from my vet's office this morning. They were confused as to why Petscreen used my name and then insisted on their mailing address so that they could be sent more information. I had posted back in December that I had signed up for the Petscreen newsletter but have only heard from them twice in the past 6 months.

I must have given them my vet's information when I signed up, but I have since changed to a new vet. The vet tech and I surmised that they must have called my former vet and discovered we had gone to a different animal hospital. Anyway, the call totally confused my new vet since they never knew Watson or his story. The person calling from Petscreen didn't clear up matters and only kept saying that I wanted the vet to get this information.

Hmmm.... that seems fishy and odd to me. Or perhaps just really disorganized. Either way, I am not impressed so far with their communication or their outreach efforts in the U.S.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

New toy

We just picked up a new toy for Waldo yesterday called the Chilly Bone. We've had such hot weather here lately that I've tried several methods to keep him cool and occupied - frozen Kongs, frozen Busy Squirrel, ice cubes, etc.

The Chilly Bone is essentially canvas sewn around a non-toxic sponge that can be soaked in water and then frozen. The jury is still out on this toy. Within 10 minutes, Waldo had chewed off the small tag on its side and was well on his way to manipulating that small hole into a much bigger one. I'll have to wring it out, sew the hole shut, and try it again.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

"Catch it!"

We've been trying to teach Waldo how to catch food in mid-air, with our command phrase being "catch it". Here are some shots of us practicing the other night.

As you can see, some are hits, some are misses but the action shots are pretty funny!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Please help BONES, if you can

I just found out about a great program that benefits the Beagles of New England States (BONES). If you save your Shaw's or Star Market receipts and send them to BONES, they can turn the receipts in and get a cash donation for their charity.

We adopted Watson from BONES in 2005. I can personally attest to the great job they do of rescuing and fostering beagles. Please help them if you can.

More information on the program, including where to send your receipts, can be found here:

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sometimes I am glad I write things down...

I am not good at keeping a diary. I never have and probably never will. Blogging is the closest I have ever come to keeping a diary of some sort. But sometimes I am glad I write things down (as in, paper and pen). I am cleaning my office today and came across my old day planner pages from 2007. I had taken them out of the binder and tucked them away on a bookshelf.

I was just leafing through the pages to make sure there wasn't anything important tucked into the pile when I opened it to July 2007, the height of Watson's sickness. I don't remember much from that time except faint impressions of panic and sadness, of hope and praying for a miracle. But looking at those pages reminded me that I somehow went on living despite the horror that was happening to his body.

I saw a movie (Bourne Identity), I went to the farmer's market, I made phone calls to people... yet I must have been sleepwalking because I can't remember any of it. Those pages remind me that I still put on my normal face and interacted with people, that most had no idea how sad or mad or distraught I was over Watson's cancer.

I am not sure what is the point of this post. Maybe you do. Maybe I am sleepwalking again.... but the well of emotion is open again. Just by looking at some calendar pages that had been forgotten.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

How to find a lost dog

With the summer here and the upcoming July 4th holiday, everyone - pets included - will be spending more time outside. I thought it would be good to post this link: "How to find a lost dog". While basic, it is a good review on what to do.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A week at "camp"

Waldo spent the past week at "camp", also known as boarding and daycare, while we were away on a business trip. He came home exhausted (great since we were too!) and I think he's still trying to recover. There has been an awful lots of napping around here...

Besides the trip away from home, life has been quiet. Waldo spends time outside in the yard each day while I tend to the gardens. Life is good.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summertime and the living is easy

Day 4 of a heat wave and the pets are hot! We are camped out under the A/C and 2 fans trying to keep cool. Waldo is getting a steady stream of ice cubes, while Peanut has figured out that if she sits on the arm of the couch, she can feel a nice breeze coming out of the window A/C. Smart girl....

We are celebrating two, yes TWO, birthdays today. My niece Lauren turns 8 and Waldo turns 2 today. Before I knew we were getting the hot weather, I had planned to bake him a cake today. Considering it will reach 94 degrees F, I will run to the market to get him some Frosty Paws instead!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bump watch

We found a new bump on Waldo's ear. It's small like the one on his back (about the size of a pencil eraser). Glad that we know what we're dealing with; otherwise, I'd be hauling him off to the vet again. It's made me wonder about how to spot a bad bump versus a benign cyst. I've been reading up on this topic and will post if I find anything interesting.

Other than the bumps, nothing new to report. I've been spending every free moment out in the garden with Waldo by my side sleeping in the sunshine and the grass.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It's a cyst!

Went to the vet today to have a look at Waldo's bump. She's 95% sure that it's a sebaceous cyst. Whew. I've never had a lumpy dog, but apparently these cysts are common in bassets. Dr. Karen says it will probably be the first of many bumps on him.

We could opt to have it surgically removed, but that would mean he'd be anesthetized just for one cyst. Anesthesia is very low risk, but why risk it at all for something benign. We decided to just keep an eye on it and see if it gets any bigger or starts to bother him more. In the meantime, she recommended that we put a warm washcloth on it to see if we can get it to go away.

Now I feel silly for being so alarmed over a bump... but I would rather err on the side of caution than to wait for something obviously bad to happen!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Uh, oh..... a bump.

Sorry to have been away from the blog. Spring is turning into summer here, and the garden chores have taken precedence over blogging when I have spare time from work.

As I had posted a few weeks ago, Waldo got a clean bill of health from his new vet. Since then, we've noticed a small bump on his lower back (above his haunches) grow bigger. It's clearly bothering him as we recently noticed he often tries to chew on it. I first noticed it a few days ago since it is now big enough now to make his fur stick up.

The bump is about the size of a pencil eraser and is firm. We're calling on Monday to bring him back to the vet. I don't want to seem overly-neurotic.... but I can't helping thinking of the "C" word.

Fingers crossed....

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mr. Crooked Leg

I realized yesterday while on my walk with Waldo that I never answered Fiona's question on why his leg is crooked. I thought I should post about it since it is a question we get all the time.

Basset hounds, as you can see from this stock photo on the left, tend to have "crooked" legs. In fact, they are bred to look this way even though the end result is that they have ankle and other leg joint problems as they age. It doesn't help that they also like to eat and tend to get fat, also putting more stress on their joints.

Waldo's left leg is more crooked than most, and his right leg is straighter than most. When side-by-side, it makes the left leg look even worse. People often ask us if he has broken his leg or sustained some kind of injury. No, as far as we know, he hasn't.

I asked our new vet this question and she said that maybe there was some damage to his left leg growth plate when he was young, or maybe he was born that way. It's hard to tell by a visual examination.

Judging by how quickly he runs and how high he can jump, the leg doesn't seem to bother him. We have noticed that when he sits for long periods (more than a minute), his leg will shake and he will shift weight to/from it. He doesn't seem to be in pain when he does this, more so that he feels unstable.

Dr. Karen says that what we are doing - keeping him slim and giving him joint supplements - is the right thing for now. He may have issues with the leg as he ages, but only time will tell.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Clean bill of health (again)

Waldo went to his new vet this morning and received a clean bill of health. He had his annual checkup in January, but needed his kennel cough vaccine for daycare. He saw his new vet, Dr. Karen, so he got another once-over (without blood tests this time - much to his relief).

Besides his overly crooked left leg (as illustrated in this photo to the left), he doesn't have any major issues. She did warn me that keeping him slim and continuing him on joint supplements will help him in his old age. Arthritis in the leg will be a given; it's just a matter of when and how severe. What we do now will help him in the future.

Otherwise, things at home are fairly quiet.

Summer is here and Waldo grabs some sun every morning in the kitchen as we eat breakfast. He is such a cutie....

We've gotten him a few new treats: cow ears and a 24-inch bully stick. Yes, the stick is 2 feet long! It was like everlast candy since it took him days to consume. He was so happy to get it that he carried it around the house for a while.

Below, he enjoys a cow ear in my office.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I somehow missed Weds...

I was getting ready to post my Wordless Wednesday post when I realized.... it's THURSDAY. Hello? How did that happen? I was fully present yesterday yet somehow never realized it was Wednesday. Again I ask, is this what happens when you work too much?

Anyway, I am still posting my WW photo despite the fact it is a day late.....

Here it is:

Friday, April 18, 2008

What a RANDOM holiday

As I had written before, one of the things we learned in the aftermath of Watson's cancer is that pet insurance is a necessity. Watson was not insured and the cost of his care was startling. We insured Waldo with Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) soon after Watson was diagnosed.

I got an email from VPI this morning with the subject line "Happy Pet Parents Day". Huh? It turns out that VPI is pulling a Hallmark-esque marketing move and designated the last Sunday in April as Pet Parent’s Day. Their site says: "Our first Pawsitively Purrfect day for celebrating pet caregivers falls on April 27, 2008." You can even send an e-card to commemorate the day.

For the record, I am not a huge fan of "Hallmark holidays" like Valentine's Day (basically any holiday that was created to further useless consumption). Frankly, I am not sure of the point of Pet Parents Day other than a marketing tool for VPI and a way to collect personal information from people who send and receive their e-cards.

If the day were being used to help a pet charity or to raise awareness about animal abuse or animal adoption, then I would be on board. I don't think the world needs another meaningless "holiday". What do you think??

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Report: High chemical levels found in dogs and cats

There is a new report out today from the Environmental Working Group that found high levels of toxins in a small sampling of dogs and cats. To quote the report: They "found levels of brominated flame retardants (used in furniture, fabrics and electronics) in cats 23 times higher than in humans, and mercury levels (likely from fish in pet foods) five times higher. In dogs, levels of perfluorinated chemicals (from stain- and grease-proof coatings) were 2.4 times higher than in people. Overall, 35 chemicals in dogs and 46 in cats were found."

Why? They are still unsure but it is speculated that "Pets' high levels of exposure come about because they spend their days in direct contact with floors and the ground, where dust, dirt, chemicals and pesticides concentrate."

I've written about this concern before about greening our cleaners so that less toxins will be present in our house. I am so glad spring is here and have been opening the windows every afternoon to get some fresh air inside. Again I encourage anyone with pets to really think about what you use to clean your house. Anything that sprays becomes airborne and then settles on the floor where your dog or cat gets it on its paws and then ingests it. Also, please look at what you use to mop your floors since that has the same impact. Please be careful for you and your pet's health!

PS. On another note, you may have noticed that I now moderate the comments. I've been getting spam lately and will moderate comments until it stops.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Chasing the sun

Friday, April 11, 2008


The theme for this post is changes.... First, a sad goodbye to Cole, another dog who was battling lymphoma. Cole was obviously very loved by her mom, Teresa, who posted so many great photos of her. My heart goes out to Teresa, her husband, and to Cole's sister Bridget.

In the blogosphere, Graham has decided to take a break from his blog. I found his blog shortly after Watson was diagnosed with lymphoma and I was frantically scouring the Net for resources. I feel like Graham and I have been on parallel tracks since we first met. He lost Prince and then I lost Watson; he gained Tilly and I had Waldo. I hope that he reconsiders and will keep us posted on how Tilly is doing.

On the weather front, Spring struck here yesterday but only for one day. It was almost 72 degrees F and I was finally able to clean up the vegetable garden and plant some seeds. I checked on the asparagus, but it's too early. Just some wishful thinking! And now back to the cold spring rains...

And finally, we have switched to a new vet. Our long-time vet has sold off her practice and taken a break. While we are waiting for her to land, we've started with a new vet down the street upon recommendation of some friends. Dr. Jill is quite pragmatic and level-headed, qualities that I like in a vet. Peanut went for a check-up and Waldo will meet her in a few weeks. Otherwise, all is quiet on the health front.

Best wishes to you all for a good weekend!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

What would you do??

This headline caught my eye: "Woman bites dog who attacked her dog". If that happened to you, what would you have done?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wordless Wednesday in the sun

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Who? Me?

Waldo is quickly mastering the art of the "Who? Me?" face. He is a well-behaved dog most of the time, but when he gets obsessive about an object, he just can't stop himself.

This week, he's taken a fancy to Peanut's round, plushy bed. It's beige terry cloth with a black nylon bottom (the style most commonly found in pet stores). Peanut doesn't find it irresistible but Waldo certainly does. The bed has sat in my office for months without a glance from either of them, until yesterday.

Since we are about 65% into a bathroom renovation, there have been many strangers coming in and out of the house. Waldo gets very nervous around strangers; we've kept him separated from them, but yesterday he decided he must put that nervous energy to work somehow.

Whenever one of us would turn our backs, he would march into my office and abscond into a dark corner to chew on the cat bed. "No!" "Damn it, Waldo!" "What are you doing?!?!" "No, no, no!!" were some common phrases heard throughout the house last night.

This morning, he finally got the best of the bed. He breached its defenses and came away with strings of nylon stuck to his face and hanging from his jaw (see photo). When we caught him, he did his best to sit and look at us like"Who? Me? No, I wasn't doing anything wrong." Indeed.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wordless (but silly) Wednesday

Monday, March 17, 2008

32 bagels and a loaf of rye

I finally had 2 days off in a row and what do I do? I bake! It was a busy weekend, starting with three dozen bagels (plain, onion and cinnamon raisin) and loaf of rye.

Here are some photos of my rye and my onion bagels. I'm still trying to perfect the art of the perfectly formed bagel. In the meantime, Waldo is having a good time eating the deformed ones (notice the subject of my post was 32 bagels and not 36!)

Meanwhile, he is perfecting the art of looking cute and begging. This is picture of him in the kitchen, trying his best to look hungry.

Afterwards, we took some time for sleepy belly rubs on the couch.

And there is always, always time to taunt the cat.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

We won an award!

Fiona at Yogi's Journey has given us the "You Make Me Smile" Award.

Yay! This is our first award!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Waldo's one year anniversary!

365 short days ago, Waldo joined our household. He was adopted at the age of 8 months from my vet, who had taken him into her home from a pet store who could no longer sell him (due to suspected health issues and his advancing age).

Turns out he was just fine; but with 2 dogs already in her pack, my vet asked if we'd be interested in adopting him as a little brother for Watson. I only promised to drive over to her house to meet him, but once I met him... there was no turning back. In less than an hour, he was stuffed into a small crate in the back of my car and we were headed home. The first photo was taken on March 10, 2007, a day after joining our brood.

I will always be thankful that Waldo and Watson had a few months together to bond before Watson got sick. I am sure that Waldo was nothing less of a nuisance to him, but the Old Man taught him manners in a way that we could not.

Here is a photo of Waldo overstepping his boundaries and trying to sleep in the Old Man's bed.

Finally, here is Waldo doing his best "angel face" as he is caught stealing an apple from the bin. Little did we know that we would see this face often over the next year!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Please give Fiona a (virtual) hug

Yogi's mom, Fiona, is having a hard time with his passing. Please visit her blog and send her some comfort. We've all lost someone in our lives - be it a pet, a relative, a friend.... please reach out and let Fiona know that the dark time doesn't last forever (even though it may feel like it does).

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Waldo is close to turning 2 years old, and I was hoping that his need to chew would lessen somewhat as he's gotten older. No such luck. In the past week, he has mangled several items around the house - including the cord to the new space heater I got for my home office. Inside of 30 seconds, he managed to chew through the cord with such surgical precision that it looked like it was cut with scissors. Amazing.

Give him a Kong! (He has one.) How about a rope toy? (Yep.) Rawhide?? (Yes.)

In my quest to keep his jaws happy, I think I have found the answer. Meet the Busy Squirrel: Kong-like in its durability, but the insertion hole at the bottom has tiny little rubber fingers that keeps the contents inside the toy.

I have found some success by stuffing in some Purina Carvers treats (they look like flattened road kill, and smell like it too), which has resulted in hours of frustration and gnawing on Waldo's part.

Let's hope this continues to work!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wordless Wedneday

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Goodbye, Yogi.

I am sad to tell you all that Yogi-bear of Yogi's Journey has succumbed to his lymphoma. Yogi and his mom Fiona fought a very brave, very difficult fight.

As someone who knows that it's like to say goodbye to a good friend, there are no words.

Rest in peace, little guy.

Monday, February 25, 2008

He does not get tired

Of course, the "he" in the subject line is Waldo. We received about 9 inches of snow on Friday and have been making the most of it. I've taken him out for several off-lead jaunts in the woods and he is loving life. I am bone tired, yet he naps for an hour and is ready to go again. It must be great to be young!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Overworked Tuesday?

The worse thing about calling out a specific day of the week in a post (e.g., Wordless Wednesday) is the marker of time. I usually have no idea what day it is since I work almost 7 days a week. Today I realized it's been an entire week since I last posted! Oy. And you know what has happened around here? Nothing exciting. =(

I quietly marked the 6-month anniversary of Watson's passing on Saturday with a brief visit with this ashes. I try not to be too morbid or dramatic about it since the rest of the world has moved on. I do miss him still. He was always by my side; no matter what I was doing or what room I was in, he would do his best to be near me.

These days, Peanut the cat could care less (I swear she's one of those cats who are waiting for one of us to die so she can eat our eyeballs - evil, she is) and Waldo cuddles only when he is tired. Otherwise, he is on a mission to chew on something.... anything.....

So here we are, another week ahead. Best to all for a good week!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

To sign up for Wordless Wednesday, go to

Monday, February 11, 2008

Petscreen newsletter

As you may remember from this previous post, I had signed onto the email list for Petscreen, a company based in the U.K. that is working on a canine lymphoma blood test. I just received my first newsletter with some interesting info (in bold). Here it is below (note: I did not edit the newsletter except to embed URLs):

Some time ago you registered on the PetScreen website and asked to be kept up to date with our progress. This e-mail message is therefore the first of periodic updates that we will be sending to you.

It has already been a very busy year for us. We have recently returned from the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC) where we met up with many friends and collaborators in addition to meeting new potential partners to help us develop our range of tests and to supply them around the world.

Notably, we had a very enjoyable meeting with Dr Patty Olsen, President of the Morris Animal Foundation – an exceptional person who is making great strides in the fight against cancer in dogs. If you have not already seen the MAF Canine Cancer Campaign website, take a look here.

We discussed the progress on the research projects into osteosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma to which our Chairman, Graeme Radcliffe has provided donations. We have attached the Morris Animal Foundation’s press release to give you more information.

Straight after NAVC, Dr Kevin Slater (our Chief Executive) travelled to The Veterinary School at Columbia Missouri for meetings to discuss the collaborative work we are doing with Dr Carolyn Henry. Some exciting new ideas emerged which should help in the application of our DCA test to the treatment of lymphoma in dogs.

Later in February Kevin will be going to Copenhagen where he will give a paper describing the latest results from our lymphoma blood test to leading canine oncologists at the First World Veterinary Cancer Meeting. Dr Henry will also be giving a key note address on the subject of cancer screening in veterinary medicine. You can find out more about this meeting here.

Straight after the Copenhagen meeting it will be Crufts. We have a stand in Hall 5 number 132. If you are planning to attend Crufts this year, please come to see us. It would be good to meet you and to tell you in person more about our work.

Recruiting blood samples to enable us to develop new screening tests for cancer in dogs and cats continues to be a major focus for us. If your dog or cat has been diagnosed with cancer and you would be willing to donate a small sample of their blood, it would go a long way to helping us fight this disease. You could either let us know directly by replying to this e-mail or by going to the donation section of our website.

Finally, we thought you might be interested in the attached article from the Australian Shepherd Club of America which talks about fighting cancer in their breed and also makes specific reference to our lymphoma blood test in this capacity.

We hope to see you at Crufts, but if you cannot make it, we will be sending you another e-mail update in the coming months.

Kind regards
Renu Tuli

Operations Manager

Petscreen Ltd

I had no idea that they were asking for blood samples!! I'm not sure what I would do, even if I had known of this when Watson was sick. What do you think? Would you ever donate some of your dog's blood? Why or why not?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Green cleaning, revisited

I was in the car yesterday and happened to catch an NPR segment about Clorox entering the green cleaning market (listen to the segment here at Even though the green cleaner market is very small, it is a fast-growing segment of the overall market. As you all know, I have been doing my best to green up our household for a while now.

According to the Clorox web site, Green Works cleaners are not tested on animals and use recyclable packaging. The packaging looks eco-friendly with green liquid and a giant yellow daisy on the label. However, there are a few things that strike me as being a bit off about these products.

1) They do not disclose the ingredients. According to the NPR story, Clorox will not disclose the ingredients for several reasons. A look on their web site also comes up empty. As I said in this post, I don't use cleaning products without an ingredients list.

2) It is not made from post-consumer recycled plastic. You would think that a large, wealthy, multinational company like Clorox would have the resources to use recycled plastic in their packaging! Perhaps that can be a next step for them.

3) As a selling point, lists "Powerful natural cleaners that work as well as conventional cleaners." This perpetuates the myth that natural cleaners do not work very well. I disagree totally; in fact, some of the best cleaners (like ammonia and water, or baking soda) are considered natural cleaners.

I am a fan of seventh generation, method and Mrs. Meyers cleaners. If you want to clean up your house without creating a toxic environment for you and your pets, please check them out*!!!

*Note: I do not benefit in any way by referring people to these companies.

Monday, January 28, 2008

All's quiet

All is quiet in our corner of the world. I have a new dog recipe I want to try, but I ended up working this weekend and couldn't do it. Waldo's leg seems to be back to normal, which is a huge relief.

In a physical sense, he is well but we may have to get him into counseling for his emotional state. Peanut the cat is on a special diet for a bladder condition, and seems to have taken issue with the fact that Waldo has better food and treats than she does.

Whenever he eats, she will sit close-by and try to eat from his bowl. In this photo to the left, take note how he is looking at her with one eye while trying to eat.

She will sit patiently and wait until he's not looking to inch a little closer.

Waldo seems quite distressed about this and will do nothing to defend himself since it's just not in his nature. He hasn't quite realized that he is much bigger than her!

I have also tried feeding him in his pen, but she will camp outside of it (like in this photo) and reach through the bars to try and get to the food. Poor guy is being bullied by a cat. Do you think there is a support group for dogs in this situation?!?! =)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A working leg

Update: Waldo's leg seems to have recovered.  We're not sure if it's the meds or the rest, but as of last night he was walking on all four legs again.  Hoorah!  

Monday, January 21, 2008

another gratuitous photo

Because we are so cute....

Limpy dog

Waldo seems to have developed a limp late last week. We noticed he was a bit droopy and he was favoring his right rear leg so I took him to the vet on Thursday. Last year around this time, the same thing happened. His energy was low, he began to limp, and he was sleeping on his back with all four feet in the air.

After that trip to the vet, it was confirmed that he was Lyme positive, despite having the vaccine. We are also faithful users of FrontLine every month. It can get cold here in the winter, but I still keep up his FrontLine applications when it is not officially tick season. So, least year he was put on a treatment course of docycycline antibiotics and Previcox for pain.

Since he was showing 2 of the 3 symptoms from last year, our vet ran a C6 blood test for Lyme and put him on the same course of treatment. The next day (Friday), the results came back negative (meaning no active Lyme in his system). Given the result, we have the following choices as to what may be wrong:
1) an autoimmune reaction to leftover Lyme in his system
2) early arthritis
3) a ruptured ACL (although my vet did a physical exam and felt nothing wrong)

He will continue with the doxy and Previcox for a few more days. He has shown marginal improvement on the meds, as in he is now touching his right toes on the ground rather than lifting up the entire foot. If he is not better by Thursday, we may need x-rays.

In the meantime, I need to rest him completely - no running, jumping, stairs, etc. Someone needs to tell him that though...!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pet insurance as a corporate benefit

As I had written in this post a few months back, we had decided to insure Waldo after our experiences with Watson's vet bills. Today, I saw this interesting article about companies that offer pet insurance as an employee benefit.

Even more interesting was this statistic from the article: "Pet insurance is still relatively rare, with only about 2 percent of pets in the United States insured." I am such an advocate of pet insurance knowing how expensive cancer treatments can be. If you don't have your pet insured, please check into it!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Easy dog cookie recipe

Okay, so I baked my first batch of dog cookies this weekend. I started with an easy recipe for Cheesy Garlic Chunks that I found here. The recipe is simple with few ingredients, all of which I had in the cupboard already. Instead of margarine, I substituted a half stick of butter and also added turmeric in addition to the garlic.

Blending the ingredients by hand was very simple, much like an easy bread recipe. Per the recipe, I added enough milk to form the dough and let it sit for a bit in the refrigerator.

Speaking of forming, I did not bother to cut out shapes. I figured that Waldo would not mind that it was round instead of bone-shaped. Hand-rolling them seemed much faster and easier than rolling them out and then cutting them with a cookie cutter. I had to adjust the temperature and the cooking time to ensure that the thicker pieces were baked through.

I put the piece on two different baking surfaces - a Silpat covered cookie tray and a baking stone. The baking stone wins hands-down. The pieces on the Silpat tray burned quickly on the bottom and took longer to bake. The baking stone pieces were a uniform brown color even though I did not turn them during baking and the pieces were nice and dry within 25 minutes.

Overall, I would make these cookies again. Waldo seems to like them, the recipe makes several dozen, and it was easy!

Thanks for Herbie's mom for the recipe links. I will have to work my way to up Liver Cake...!