Giving Your Dog a Pawdicure

pawdicure I’m convinced that there are few things dogs hate more than bath time, ear cleanings, and the dreaded nail grooming. Fortunately, my bulldog shows her contempt with evil looks and “why are you doing this to me eyes” rather than nips or full on freak outs. For the most part, she sits there and takes it until it’s over, then she throws her fit after mean ‘ol mom and dad are finished with their handiwork. Still, there are a few things I like to do to minimize the apprehension and make Pawdicure Day as calm and spa-like as possible.

***I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own***

1. Using My Dremel 7300-PT 4.8-Volt Pet Grooming Kit
Clipping my dog’s nails with a traditional clipper sure would make the process go a lot faster, but those darn things scare me more than they scare Rosie. I’m terrified that I will cut her nails too close to the quick, and I would never forgive myself if I caused my dog any undue pain. That’s why I’m in love with my Dremel Groomer. It’s basically a motorized nail file. It’s super powerful and, if Rosie sits still, I can usually get the job done in 15 minutes. I tried the Pedi-Paws tool (you’ve probably seen those TV commercials) but it wasn’t nearly strong enough for my dog’s nails. Dremel’s rechargeable battery is convenient, but it also means you have to plan ahead to make sure the tool is charged up before you want to use it.

2. Treats, Lots of Treats
Everyone loves a reward and it’s amazing what my dog will endure to get one. Treats give my dog a reason to power through the pain and ignore my audacity to disturb her nap times for a no-good nail trim. My best tip: I give my dog one nibble after I’m done trimming each nail followed by lots of kisses and reassuring “Good Girl” coos.

3. Have A Towel Handy
The Dremel trimmer is great, but it can get messy with all the shavings flying around. I make sure to wear and old shirt and lay a towel down under Rosie to help catch the shavings as I’m working. It makes cleanup time a lot easier. To help keep Rosie as relaxed as possible, I usually choose a trimming place where she’s most comfortable like her bed or the couch.

dremel pawdicure
It’s important to remember that every dog is different and what works for me may not work for you and your best bud. I’d love to know how you approach pawdicures with your pooch! Go ahead, leave me a comment!


The Doggie Diaper Diaries

Doggie Diapers

I thought the decision to be a dog parent would save me from daily diaper duty. Turns out, my bulldog, Rosie, is giving me a crash course in how to put (and keep) a diaper on, not to mention checking for leaks, regularly cleaning soiled beds, and discovering the nuances of various doggy diaper brands (yep, there is such a thing). It’s been a heartbreaking – and at times, frustrating – road, so I decided to write a blog post about the situation to commiserate with other dog owners and hopefully constructively exchange thoughts and experiences.

You’re probably wondering why my dog needs diapers. I’ll preface the answer by saying she’s 8-years-old, which is on the verge of the golden years as bulldog ages go. As she’s gotten older, Rosie has become prone to UTI’s culminating in the discovery of stones in her bladder, which needed to be surgically removed. The situation improved slightly after the surgery, but over the last two years, she’s still been getting infections roughly every 2-6 months.

Dog Diapers
Pink Top Paw Washable Cover-ups


The symptoms have run the gamut from demanding to go out…NOW, to having accidents or not making it outside. Recently, the norm has become multiple leaks a day, which is uncomfortable for her and unpleasant for us. We’ve all gotten to know – and loathe – the vet’s office all too well, certainly Rosie more than us.

We’ve been instructed to put her on the medicated dog food U/D to help prevent the stones from coming back. So far, it’s been working – to our knowledge. Unfortunately, the UTI’s have come back and we are resigned to the fact that she might be UTI-prone for the rest of her life. This has meant semi-regular trips to the vet followed by prescriptions of antibiotics to knock out the infections when they resurface.

That brings us to our recent trials and tribulations with doggie diapers. As I mentioned, her most recent UTI led to daily leaks, usually multiple times a day. Diapers seemed to be the first step down a road of which we dare not speak. As much as we wanted to pretend she didn’t need them, we knew it was time to invest in pooch-pampers until we could get her to the vet for treatment.

We tried two different diaper styles. The first was the Top Paw Disposable Diapers. They look like traditional baby diapers (except they have an adorable hole in the rear for the tail! Heart melts). They’re applied the same way as baby diapers, too.
Pros: *Full protection against accidents.
Cons: *Our dog has a slim rear and no tail, so with Rosie’s sheer determination and sleeping fits – they slipped off pretty easily.
*The diapers are not reusable, and therefore not entirely durable. Rosie discovered this within 2 days and after wriggling out of one, she proceeded to turn it into a chew toy and tore it to shreds! See picture of mass destruction:

Doggie Diapers: Destroyed
Doggie Diapers: Destroyed

*We didn’t necessarily need full protection since Rosie was not having full accidents, just leakage.

The second style we tried was Top Paw Washable Cover-ups. These cloth diapers are washable, they have a hole for doggie’s tail, and they’re also easy to strap on (similar to baby diapers). You might actually consider these “doggie underwear” because you also have to apply a pad – similar to a feminine pad – to catch the leakage. We used Top Paw Disposable Diaper Liners.
Pros: *They’re reusable.
*The cloth fabric seemed to help them stay secured to our doggie’s oddly shaped behind during the day, however she still wriggled out of them at night.
*They come in cute colors like pink and purple, which in my opinion makes wearing diapers endearing instead of sad.
*The pads were perfect for our dog’s leakage problem.
*Harder for dogs to tear them apart if they get the diapers off.

Cons: *They require an extra purchase of pads.
*If your dog has a serious accident problem, these diapers might not catch it all and the urine could soak through.

Fortunately, Rosie only had to be in the diapers about a week until we could get her on meds again. The antibiotics work pretty fast and our pup seems to be resting comfortably again. With her history though, we’ll be hanging on to our diapers. More than likely she’ll need them again in the future.

Have you used doggie diapers? What did/did’t work for you?

Seattle Animal Shelter Giving Tree

SAS Giving Tree 1The more ornaments, the merrier. That’s true for most Christmas trees, but there’s one Christmas tree in particular that would be beyond beautiful with no decorations at all.
SAS Giving TreeThe Giving Tree at the Seattle Animal Shelter has been trimmed with ornaments featuring pictures of shelter dogs, cats, and critters that need a little help this holiday season. Each ornament has a donation amount on the back along with the corresponding treatment or care plan that your money will pay for, like blood tests or medication. The animals will thank you, and you be able to keep that warm feeling all season long by taking your ornament home as a keepsake. It’s a wonderful way to give back and support Seattle’s shelter animals this holiday season, especially if you’re not in the position to adopt.
Giving TreeIf you ARE thinking about expanding the family and bringing a shelter animal home for the holidays, good news, SAS is extending its $15 “Home For The Holidays” adoption promotion through December 31. (Excludes two-year license fees) With regular adoption prices of up to $145 (plus applicable license fees), this promotion offers up to $130 in savings! Learn more about what the adoption fee covers here.

Furry Friday 10: Tyrion

Tyrion. Picture courtesy SAS/Petfinder
Tyrion. Picture courtesy SAS/Petfinder

Hi friends! Happy Furry Friday! Last week, I introduced you to sweet Yoshi — you’re welcome Mario Cart fans. This week, I’d like you to meet another perfectly named, adoptable pup that Game of Thrones junkies will instantly recognize, Tyrion, as in Tyrion Lannister.

I don’t watch the show, but the more I read about Tyrion Lannister, the more I’m certain that the choice of name for Tyrion (the pup) was no coincidence. Tyron is described as, um, a vertically challenged man who “uses his wit and intellect to overcome the prejudice he faces.”

Picture courtesy: SAS/Petfinder

My pal Tyrion (the Chihuahua) is also on the small side, but his big heart will win over the mightiest of adversaries. On his Petfinder page, Tyrion is described as “sweet and friendly and energetic and lively. I’m quite well adjusted too. I’m the total package!!”

You can learn more about Tyrion, and all of the other adoptable dogs, at the Seattle Animal Shelter website. Remember, the adoption status of the animals could change at any time.

Furry Friday 9: Yoshi

Picture Courtesy SAS/Petfinder

Yoshi is my favorite, favorite Mario Cart character. I’ll fight anyone who wants to steal him from me. I just love that dinosaur. Dinosaur? Dragon? Eh, doesn’t really matter, he’s cute either way. So when I first heard that we had a dog named Yoshi at the Seattle Animal Shelter last year, my heart melted when I snuck a peek in her kennel. It’s also why my heart broke a little when she returned to the shelter a couple weeks ago. She’s once again in need of a permanent home, and I’m hoping one of my readers will fall in love just like I did.

Yoshi, SAS
Picture Courtesy SAS/Petfinder

Yoshi is a sweet, slightly pudgy Pit Bull Terrier Mix, and she’s all heart. Yoshi is gentle, calm and well-behaved with huge soulful eyes. She’s not an exuberant or athletic dog by any means, but it would be great if her new family could encourage her to take leisurely walks and shed a few lb’s. We ladies all crave that girlish figure!

To learn more about Yoshi, visit her Petfinder Page, or find more adoptable animals at the Seattle Animal Shelter Page. And remember, the adoption status of the dogs could change at any time.


A Bulldog’s Sleep Cycle

sleepy bulldog

I’ve never understood why schools think bulldogs make good mascots. What are they trying to say to the competition? “Our underbites and top-heavy bodies make us look menacing, but when push comes to shove, we get tired quickly, we’re incredibly lazy, we absolutely CAN NOT – under any circumstances – play in the heat, and our claim to athletic fame is our ability to balance on a skateboard.”

Schools with bulldog mascots clearly don’t know know my bulldog Rosie’s sleep cycle. My husband and I get such a kick out of our couch potato, so I thought I’d give you a look at a typical Day In The Life of Rosie!

Wake up, wake up, wake up and take me out, mom!
Wake up, wake up, wake up and take me out, mom!

9:15 am (on the dot): The day gets off to a semi-active start. Rosie scratches on my bedroom door then bounces around until I take her out for a potty break.

9:30 am: More bounding around the house until I feed her breakfast.

bulldog nap
Post-breakfast nap

10:00 am: Post-breakfast nap on the couch or on the floor while I read work e-mails, check Twitter, and watch Wendy Williams.

10:00 am to 2:00 pm: The post-breakfast nap usually bleeds into an early afternoon power nap (unless I break up the two by taking her on a quick trip to Starbucks with me).

2:00 pm: Potty break and a walk

bulldog sleeps
Early Afternoon Nap

2:15 – 6:00 pm: Post-potty break nap #1, which can also bleed into a mid-day power nap (with occasional trips to the water bowl or to see what I’m up to on my days off)

6:00 pm: Potty break/treat break

napping bulldog
Post-potty nap

6:15 pm – 7:30 pm: Post-potty break nap #2. Dad comes home at 7:30 and rouses her from her peaceful slumber.

bulldog plays8:00 pm – 10:00 pm: A mix of chewing her toys, romping around the couch looking for rubs and scratches and, yes, a blissful pre-dinner nap

10:00 pm: Dinner & more scratches

Post-dinner nap

10:15 pm – 11:45: Post-dinner/scratching nap

11:45 pm: Final potty break

12:30 am: Bed Time

Furry Friday 8: Annabelle

Annabelle Seattle Animal Shelter
Photo Courtesy: SAS/Petfinder

Who says seniors don’t have spunk and sass? Meet Annabelle! She’s a gorgeous female German Wirehaired Pointer available for adoption at the Seattle Animal Shelter.

Photo Courtesy: SAS/Petfinder

She may be ten years old, but she has the energy of a dog half her age. I had the pleasure of walking Annabelle on Wednesday, and I felt like we were old friends. She was very attentive and we shared a chuckle or two when we sat down in the shade so she could roll around in the cool grass.

According to her Petfinder profile, “I’m good with some other dogs, kids age ten and older, but I do need a cat-free home (it’s that chasing thing!). Let’s get together and see if we’re a match!”
Remember, SAS gets many adoption requests. The adoption status of any dog could change at any time.

I’ve been doing these “Furry Friday” posts for several months, and I love to hear when one of the dogs I profile gets adopted. However, for many of the SAS dogs, the wait can be a long one. Some wait months – stretching into years to get adopted. Here are some of the dogs I’ve profiled that are still waiting for their forever homes.

Eddie, Photo Courtesy: SAS/Petfinder
Davy Bones
Davy Bones, Photo Courtesy: SAS/Petfinder
Groovy, Photo Courtesy: SAS/Petfinder

Furry 5K & Maple

Furry 5K In Seattle, it seems like there is a 5K or marathon race every weekend, but – as you might guess – my favorite 5k of them all is the Furry 5K Fun Run and Walk benefitting the Seattle Animal Shelter.
Furry 5k 2013See pictures from 2013 Furry 5K
It’s a dog lover’s paradise. Man and man’s best friend sharing a bond; walking and running in perfect harmony as far as the eye can see. Every time you turn around, you see a different breed and a different adorable, slobbery face (sometimes in costume!). There’s one thing that binds everyone together: a love and passion for taking care of our animal population.

This year’s race is this Sunday, June 8, 2014 in Seattle’s Seward Park. If you haven’t registered yet, don’t worry, you can register in-person the day of the race from 8:15-9:45 a.m.; timed runners must be registered by 9:30 a.m.

Picture courtesy: SAS/Petfinder

The Furry 5K directly helps dogs like my girl Maple. She’s at the shelter right now waiting to  be adopted. The shelter, and all the volunteers, are taking such good care of Maple while she waits for her perfect companion.

I got a chance to walk with this Husky Mix last week. Boy, is she sweet, beautiful and what a charmer! She knows “sit,” “down,” and “shake” (and got lots of treats for her magnificent performances!) According to her Petfinder profile, “Maple is a beautiful, exuberant, statuesque girl who thinks she’s both a lap dog and a runway model! Maple is looking for experienced dog owners to welcome her into an active, stimulating home.”

As always, SAS gets many adoption requests. The adoption status of any dog could change at any time.

Maple SAS
Picture courtesy SAS/Petfinder

Furry Friday #7: Eddie

Eddie SAS
Picture courtesy: SAS/Petfinder

Active, smart and cuddly, I think it’s safe to say Eddie is the complete package. Look at that gigantic grin on his face! The only thing he’s missing is a home and a family to share all of his talents with… and there are many!

Eddie Dog
Picture courtesy: SAS/Petfinder

Eddie is a true athlete’s athlete. According to his Petfinder profile, he loves fetch so much that he’ll “drop the ball at your feet so he can sprint after the ball again!” He’s also quite a swimmer. When play time is over, Eddie’s favorite spot is laying on your lap or stretching out for a belly rub! His Petfinder profile also says Eddie is “gentle and tolerant and responds well to positive cues.”

Eddie is currently in foster care with the Seattle Animal Shelter. You can learn more about this adorable American Bulldog/American Staffordshire Terrier mix by Clicking Here.

Remember, SAS gets many adoption requests. The adoption status of any dog could change at any time.

Furry Friday #6: Davy Bones

Davy Bones 1
May is National Pet Month. That makes this week’s Furry Friday even more special! What better time to adopt a new family member from your local animal shelter! Here in Seattle, we’ve just been named the second most pampered pet city in the U.S. by The star of today’s Furry Friday deserves to be pampered, spoiled and then some.
Davy Bones
Meet Davy Bones! (What a rock star name, right?) I’ve had the extreme pleasure of loving on this American Staffordshire Terrier mix for months at the Seattle Animal Shelter. I selfishly want to continue to see his sweet face each week, but I know he really needs a home to call his own.

I can attest to statements from his Petfinder profile that Davy Bones is smart as a whip and he learns new tricks extremely quickly. Check out this guy in action, he blows me away:

Davy would do best in a dog-experienced home with adults and teens, and it’s best if he’s in a home without cats or small dogs. To learn how to adopt Davy, CLICK HERE.

Celebrate National Pet Month by heading down to SAS and giving this handsome dude a look. I know he’ll steal your heart!