Friday, June 29, 2012

The Thundershirt

I'll be honest, when we first decided to get the
for Showlow I was a bit skeptical.

I was thinking how could a shirt help with her separation anxiety?
But we bought it anyways and hoped for the best.

John had seen an advertisement for it
I think in a dog magazine, I don't remember which one though.
It's supposed to help by being a constant
pressure on the dog. So it's tight but not too tight.
The pressure is supposed to creat a calming affect in
anxious/stressful situations.

At first I didn't notice much of a difference.
When we left the house without her and baby, she chewed on things.
Including our mattress and sometimes even the blankets/sheets/their dog bed.
So we tried to a.) not leave the house together as much so someone could be home with Show
& b.) take her with us every chance we get.
Oh and c.) pick up ALL the pillows/blankets/dog beds/sheets before we left
which as you can imagine is a pain and very time consuming when you
need to run out of the door to work, school or an appointment.

So anyways, after Shows accident where she somehow
broke and jumped through a window
in our bedroom a few weeks ago
she COULD NOT be left 
alone at all since her paws
were healing from being
very badly cut up.
(P.S. she wasn't wearing the thundershirt when this happened)

We were very strict with someone
being home
with her/
John taking her to work with him/
her going with us everywhere we went.
Not once did we leave her unattended..

We did consider a crate, but we have
tried that before and it just does not work
well for her.
She broke the last crate we put her in
and I was afraid she would hurt
herself trying to get out of it again.

but now that she is mostly healed and acting
like nothing ever happened we decided to try
to leave her alone with Baby again.

[[Baby has NEVER had an issue with
being left alone and sometimes I think she prefers it that way ;)
but we'll save that story for another post.]]

This time we picked up anything and everything
we thought she might get into
except her toys and dog pillows.
Then we strapped her in her Thundershirt
and left. I won't even go
into the amount of anxiety we were
feeling at first.

We went to Ikea, Whole Foods and then got
dinner, but we go it to go since we
were nervous about what we were going to come home to.
(half eaten sofa, broken table, broken windows, toys all eaten,
shoes all eaten, Showlow hurt again???)

I was imagining the worst.

However, we walked in the house
and Baby was laying on the sofa
 (yes our dogs are allowed on the furniture)
and Showlow was laying on her dog pillow
with her toys.

Show's little 'nook' and the toys we left out for her.

John walked all around the house in disbelief
(which caused Showlow to
get a little nervous cause she wasn't sure what
we were looking for and what our reaction
was going to be when we found it).

But we didn't find it.

She had clearly played with every single toy
we left out for her, but she did not tear up anything.
Not even her toys.

I think it took some time, but since then when
she has the shirt on I deifnitely notice a difference in her
anxiety. It's definitely not as bad as it once was.

We stayed gone for 2 hours that day and we'll
gradually increase it little by little, but I don't expect
the couch to be torn apart anymore :)

She is pooped.

 So all in all I do recommend the Thundershirt
and even though we know that
it's not going to work
for every dog and every situation,
but I think it did help us & Showlow.

They are $39.95 and usually you can catch them
during a no shipping cost deal. Hope it helps
you as much if not more than us! :) 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Trust the Best. Its Unanimous...BSL Sucks!

        The focus of this blog post relates to subjects that affect our furry friends and who to listen to for advice? Most of this blog will be related to Breed Specific Legislation but other topics of animal welfare will also be discussed. If you ever have any questions first and foremost ask your veterinarian. The veterinarian is first stop shop for information. Saying that, they are still humans and thus have their own prejudices and biases. You may think it preposterous for a Veterinarian to be in favor of BSL, to have negative biases against certain breeds, or to even go so far as to be in favor of breeding when we have such an insurmountable problem of pet overpopulation in this country. As a veterinary technician I see all of this and more. Granted most of the ignorance I come across is from the pet owners themselves, but that is to be expected. When you have questions pertaining to animal welfare see what the American Veterinary Medical Association says about it, cant always trust your local "experts"

        Lets quickly see the stance of the AVMA on the issue of Salmonella infection. Many people (especially those in the pro-organic/natural dog food group) believe that the dog food recalls because of Salmonella infection only affect humans. This is FALSE. Salmonella infection is not common in our faithful companions but it is possible, just like in humans it is much more likely to cause clinical symptoms when the dog is already immuno compromised, has a concurrent infection, and young/geriatric. Even if they don't fit in that grouping they can still come down with Salmonella "poisoning". Check out what the AVMA says on this topic especially this tidbit taken from

Q:How would I know if my pet had a Salmonella infection?

A:Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have a decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. However, not all pets carrying Salmonella will appear sick. Apparently well but infected animals can be carriers and may infect other animals or humans, particularly through exposure to their feces. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these signs, please contact your veterinarian.

Q:Are certain types of pet foods more likely to be contaminated with Salmonella?
A:No pet food is immune from the possibility of Salmonella contamination. There is evidence, however, that feeding raw foods, such as raw meat and eggs, increases the risk of Salmonella infection and shedding of the bacteria (leading to possible infection of other animals and of people).2-9 Regardless of the type of food you choose to feed your pet, proper precautions should be taken to protect your family's health.

Please for the welfare of your animals ensure that your dog gets the best available, many know my stance on which pet food to feed, not all agree, and I'm not here to sound like a tool for one company or another but if interested I will tell you what I feed my dogs, a food that has had no Salmonella recalls or has faced the problems that foods such as Wellness, Blue Buffalo, Canidae, Taste of the Wild, Diamond, have faced.  Check out the list of the latest dog Food recalls and make sure your pet is safe.

Tail Docking and Ear Cropping
           Before getting into the whole BSL debate lets quickly talk about cropping ears, or any other mutiliation of our canine companions for aesthetic purposes only. I have made it clear time and time again that I am 100% against Ear cropping and Tail Docking when done for cosmetic purposes which incidently makes up 99% of the times they are done. (Also against Declawing cats when done just for the owner to have less hassel with scratching. There are many options available instead of declawing)  In the Pedigree dog circuit Tail Docking and Ear Cropping are done for Breed standards. I don't know about you but my dogs are my family, they are not showpieces, they aren't meant to be pranced around in front of a bunch of rich snobs and win ribbons for looking the most unnatural. This topic is set for a different blog post but suffice it say that I will never crop my dogs ears or dock their tails when it ISNT medically necessary. This is not to say that I wouldn't adopt a dog with these features but that I am very much against having it done. It pains to me to know that where I work allows these procedures, yet I am at least semi glad that our Ear Cropping is over 900$. Too bad my opinion doesnt matter....

Ear cropping is mutiliation, It is not accepting your dog the way they are but instead turning them into something that makes you feel better about yourself. Making your dog look meaner makes you a complete idiot.

The AVMAs stance on Ear Cropping and Tail Docking.

Ear Cropping and Tail Docking of Dogs
(Oversight: AWC; HOD 07/1999, EB revised 11/2008)
The AVMA opposes ear cropping and tail docking of dogs when done solely for cosmetic purposes. The AVMA encourages the elimination of ear cropping and tail docking from breed standards.

The Canadian and UK Veterinary Associations also oppose ear cropping and tail docking.

For this and more check out the AVMAs policies

AVMA Issues

Breed Specific Legislation

Now in the attempt to keep this blog from getting longer and longer I will just post the AVMAs view on BSL. It has been shown time and time again that BSL does not work, it is based on ignorance, and fear.

Heres a quick read from the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Responsible Ownership the alternative to BSL

Also the ASPCAs view on BSL


National Canine Research Council on BSL

Dog Breed Specific Legislation


AVMA policy
Dangerous Animal Legislation
(Oversight: CHAB; EB 03/88; Revised 11/01; Reaffirmed 11/05, 04/2010)
The AVMA supports dangerous animal legislation by state, county, or municipal governments provided that legislation does not refer to specific breeds or classes of animals. This legislation should be directed at fostering safety and protection of the general public from animals classified as dangerous.

Community Approach to Dog Bite Prevention

Heres some State to State Laws regarding BSL

Breed Ordinances

CDC and AVMA Agree, No Scientific support for BSL

No Support for BSL

Centers for Disease Control statement
“ [The study] does not identify specific breeds that are most likely to bite or kill, and thus is not appropriate for policy-making decisions related to the topic…There is currently no accurate way to identify the number of dogs of a particular breed, and consequently no measure to determine which breeds are more likely to bite or kill.”

Some pics of our pibbles!

 Baby and her BooooyFriend Jackson

 Baby and Jackson
 Its how pibbles sleep

 Shes in LOVE!
 Give me that treat!
 Showlow as a little puppy!
 My Best Friends
 Look how cute they are!
 Showlow didnt exaclty love her Birthday Bath
 Have never met a better dog
When Show was a tiny thing.

Shows 1st B-day

Our baby girl turned 1 on April 14th.
You're probably going to notice thorughout the blog
that we've started to call her Show.
(even though her full name is Showlow)
It fits her well because not only does she put on a show
(for everyone)
But she steals the show too. (& our hearts)
Anyways, we celebrated her first birthday
with a bath at Wag N' Wash
and got a cute dog bone shaped cake from there too!
We're pretty sure her and her sister
had a great time, and they definitely enjoyed the cake!
Afterwards, we took two pieces to Show
and Baby's cousins
Tucson and Tolleson
(AKA Val's dads Pitty's)
so they could enjoy as well.

Here are some pics from our fun day.

Show after her bday bath

Happy Birthday Show!

Baby had fun too ;)

Show's fabulous cake!


So good she licked it off the floor

Tucson enjoying his piece


Our lil family p.s. this is the best we could get, two of us couldn't sit still!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Let's try this again.

Okay, where to begin. I just went through all of our posts
over the pasts couple years and I have to say
 I am very happy with them
& even more happier with how many views we've gotten(!)
however, there is always room for improvement.
Our goal in life is to END BSL entirely, and in order to do that or at least get us in the right direction we really have to make a better effort in posting our experiences and adventures.
 We spend 99% (or at least it feels like it) of our days with our dogs,
 and I know we have tons to blog about... but we just don't.
I probably spend most of my time reading other peoples fabulous blogs
and getting inspiration, but now it's time to buckle down with our own.
So here is a new promise to go with our new look.
We are going to do our very best to post more often, gain more readers
& work harder towards our overall goal of ending BSL 
by letting the world know just how amazing
 our four legged family members are!