Monday, August 26, 2013

Happy National Dog Day!!

So today is National Dog Day...but, in our house, everyday is a dog's day. Trust me...the Stump Kids run the house. They make sure I don't sleep in too late...that I get in my daily walks...and that I keep up on the housekeeping when LaMesa's decided she needs to drag out as many toys as possible.

How does your dog celebrate National Dog Day?

This might come as a surprise to you, but I wasn't much of a dog person at first. I grew up with dogs all my life--my parents bred, raised, and showed Golden Retrievers (amongst other breeds), even having the #1 dog in the nation for a couple of years. I never really had a dog of my own, though. I was more of the house and cat person in the family. That is, until I got to college and I met my friend Julie's Corgi, Riley (aka "The Ladies' Man"). Riley made me fall in love with Corgis, and that's when I decided I must have one for myself.

Now, I can't imagine myself without a dog. Dally and LaMesa have made my life whole (along with Matt, but c'mon now, we know it's all about the dogs...). Sure they can be pains in the butt, and some times it's hard to get much work done at home with their constant attention, but it can be the same with kids. Only these kids, I can throw them outside or lock them in a crate if they bother me too much! (haha)

So, here's the our dogs...and how they make our lives whole. It's Dog Day everyday!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Battling Age as an Agility Dog

Welcome readers from the Dog Agility Blog Action Day group! This post is related to the September theme of Aging.

Dally turned 8 years old about a month ago. It's certainly not old age, but it is middle age for a dog.

About four years ago, or so, I started taking her to a chiropractor on a regular basis--mostly for maintenance, but also when I noticed she just wasn't right. I started her on supplements at the suggestion of the chiropractor because I know supplements can help keep problems at bay before they become problems.

But it seems like lately Dally's just been off. I can't really put my finger on what's been wrong, but when she struggles to jump on the bed with me at night, and she seems to want to take a lot more breaks on our (1-2 mile everyday) walks.

So I made an appointment with Dr. Heather Forry and we realized that it had actually been since the first part of July that Dally had been worked on, so she had gone about 5 weeks (we were trying to keep to a 4-week window).

Dr. Forry found that she had quite a few places that she was out in, plus a little inflammation in her discs from being out of whack. A few pops here and there, and Dally was back in line.

We got to talking about nutrition, and the effect it can have on a dog as they age. When I mentioned Dally wasn't acting her usual perky self, we looked at the supplements she was on and the food she was eating.

At least six months ago I switched the Stump Kids from Blue Buffalo to Taste of the Wild. I hadn't seen any problems with the Blue Buffalo, but I was reading a lot about recalls for that brand, and it made me worry. I know quite a few people who feed Taste of the Wild, and it was about $2-3 cheaper than BB, so I switched. Dr. Forry commented that she's seem some older dogs respond very well to Taste of the Wild at first, but then it's like something builds up in their system and drags them down a little. So she suggested Natural Instinct. So now Dally's been switched to Natural Instinct (whew, it's more expensive!), but LaMesa's still on Taste of the Wild (after all, it has wolves on the bag and she's a baby wolf--it's meant to be!).

We also decided to change out her Canine Whole Body Support supplement from Standard Process to Canine Musculoskeletal Support, just to help out with some extra glucosamine and other good-for-the-bones-and-joints good stuff.

And now Dally is getting a special treat once a week: a raw chicken wing. Yep. every Thursday I get out a frozen chicken wing to thaw in the refrigerator, then she gets to take it out on the back patio on Saturdays to crunch away. LaMesa was going to get in on the act, but after she swallowed her first one whole, I decided she was good without it. (Yes, she swallowed it real chewing, just down the hatch.)

Why the chicken wing, you ask? Dr. Forry said that raw food is the best option for dogs. However, if you don't want the hassle, or maybe can't afford the diet (though they do say it's cheaper than feeding dog food), supplementing with something like a raw chicken wing has its benefits. Dogs can easily crunch up the raw bones (they don't splinter when they're raw like cooked bones do) and get the good-for-them marrow for supplementation. It's supposed to help provide a healthier coat, cleaner teeth, and helps with bad breath (dang, I wish LaMesa would chew hers, then!).

So, now we're trying to keep the Corg in line with getting back to a regular schedule of chiropractor appointments, better supplements, and her weekly treats. A two week check-up with Dr. Forry found her better than she was previously, but still a little sore in the shoulder area. She's maintaining a good weight (24.5 lbs) and still being kept active. I'm told 8 is still really only mid-life, but I just worry about her as she ages.

Just don't tell her I think she's aging....

If you're joining from the Dog Agility Blog Action Day group, here is an update on Dally and her injury and how it affected her at a recent trial: Dally's Weekend at Derby City

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Footsteps for Figo

On Saturday the Stump Kids, Matt, and I headed to Keeneland Race Course for a dog walk fundraiser sponsored/organized by the Bluegrass Barkery. Figo is a retired police K9 whose handler was ambushed and murdered earlier this year near Bardstown, Ky. His photo during Officer Ellis's funeral was shared nationwide:

Photo from

Figo has since been retired to live with the Ellis family. Footsteps for Figo was meant as a fun walk and fundraiser where 100% of the proceeds went to the family for Figo's lifetime care. There was a silent auction and donations were accepted (no cost or registration for the walk). The weather was gorgeous and the turn out was great.

We walked with my friend Joy, her boyfriend Rick, and her dog Sasha. Rick was like our own paparazzo (he's a professional photographer), so we had a weirdo following us taking photos the whole time. (Dally didn't worry--she knows she's fabulous.)

Of course you can't see Dally, who's bringing up the rear.

Near the end of the (muggy) walk, Dally decided she needed a break.

Smile for the camera, girls!!