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Current blog look inspired by and dedicated to Chance, Blaze, Fiona and Zappa who all kicked ass against cancer and liver disease.

Brut Quote

Brut Quote

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Every night Daddy prays...

Thank you for the blessing of the animals
Please protect them when they go outdoors
Please protect them from anything that can harm them
Please protect them from each other
Please keep them in the yard


Monday, January 28, 2013

Come take a sled dog ride!

As promised we have video and we thought you might like to join us for a sled ride, so my wonderful husband mounted our camcorder on the sled to experience sledding from the musher's perspective.  The video is 10 minutes long and completes a training run.  We have Silver and Zappa who are both still learning, but are doing great.  It's a process for all of us.  They were both enthusiastic to go, but I found on the ride that I was doing more running than usual, hence the heavy breathing.  Today was more of a relaxed ride, than a driven one.  As I mentioned in my last post I wanted to work on Silver doing U-turns while in motion.  Each time I tried, the dogs stopped and got completely tangled.  But she did great for a first time and I know she will get it eventually.

We never did make it to the dog sled races.  After the frigid week we had and finally a chance to actually be outside hubby and I decided if we were going to freeze our butts off, we were going to spend it sledding our dogs.  And we did just that!  

So hop on the sled and let's go for a dog sled ride!

(also on YouTube)

Cool, isn't it??  :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dog sledding Weekend!!

I'm so excited I can barely sleep!  The roads are snow packed, the temps should be in the 20'sF and it is the weekend.  That can only mean one thing, dog sledding time again.  Not only am I going to try to run Silver and Zappa again, but now with Silver taking the lead dog position, I want to start working with her on that.  The first thing I want to try is turning around while moving.  It will mean me hopping off the sled and running along side her to make a smooth U-turn at the end of the road.  This is crucial where we sled, because I have no loop that I can take like they do in races.  And I think I've got it all figured out in my mind, now it's just a matter of doing it!!

And speaking of races, the dog sled races are here in town and we are hoping to catch some of the action.  If you ever get the chance to see a dog sled race, take it, you won't be let down.  These dogs are amazing athletes and people come from all over the country to race.  It is a great way to really learn and observe about this great sport.

So stay tuned. Monday I will have the sledding results with Silver and Zappa and hopefully some great video to show you.  And I will catch you up what we saw at the dog sled races, and hey, maybe I'll even remember to bring the camera to show you all the racing doggies!

Have a great weekend, wherever you are!

Thursday, January 24, 2013


We've been hit with bitter Arctic air and frigid temperatures and snow for three days and nights.  While I don't mind the snow and cold, this is pushing it for our little dog family.  While I can bundle up for protection the dog's paws have been freezing up being out only a few minutes.  Chance seems to be the most sensitive of the bunch, he wants to go out but ends up on three paws to come in.  I've been keeping a close watch and don't let both sides out at the same time, that way I can keep an eye when they start to get cold.  We've been hovering around 0 (-17.7C) degrees or so with about a foot (30.48cm) of snow.  Which may not seem cold to some, but it is considered quite frigid for us.

We haven't been able to walk the dogs for almost a week due to the cold and while everyone is handling it just fine, I'm pretty sure they are heading for a slight case of cabin fever.  So we go out in short spurts and wait for a "warm up" that is coming this weekend.

I've had a hard time appreciating the beauty and I was going to go on a rant about the cold, until the wild birds came by my empty feeders looking for a chance of food that hasn't been there in months.  So I ran in the garage and dug through my husband's mess to find the birdseed I'd bought months ago but never put out.  The birds haven't come back by yet, but I hope the food will be found.  Then I began to rattle off a gratitude list:  6 healthy dogs, 2 feisty cats, one hardy duck.  A roof over our head, wood to warm our little home, and a husband who's in love with me as much I'm in love with him.  Really, can't ask for better than that.

So we'll play some indoor games and snuggle tight until we get through to the next season of our lives.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Canidae TidNips Review

When we were asked back in OCT????? to do a review for Canidae TidNips Dog Treats, we were thrilled.  Never one to turn down treat tasting the 24 Paws were excited for any opportunity that meant food!

Well we are long overdue with our review and the people at Canidae Treats and Chewy.com were so patient and forgiving when we lost our two puppies that same month, that in our grief coupled with the holidays I had forgotten about the review and have finally gotten to it.

From the moment I opened the bag, the dogs went nuts and just about forgot all of there manners.  Brut and Blaze had a hard time just sitting, they were that crazy for these treats.

There are three flavors to choose from:  Lamb & Rice, Chicken & Rice and the one we picked, Chicken, Turkey, Lamb and Salmon flavor which as one might suspect would drive any dog bananas.

I would show you the nutrition list but Brut chewed up the bag.

They were such high quality treats, that I saved them for special occasions, like ear cleanings or certain training exercises when I wanted all of their attention.

The treats were like little meat patties, they were soft and moist enough to break into smaller pieces, yet firm enough not to fall apart.

Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, Salmon ingredients:
Ingredients:  Chicken, Turkey, Potato, Lamb, Brown Rice, Vegetable Glycerine, Oats, Salmon, Carrots, Peas, Molasses, Potato Starch, Cranberries, Salt, Natural Smoke Flavor, Garlic Powder, Sodium Bisulfate, Flax Seed, Sorbic Acid , Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary.  

Key Benefits
  • Contains Vitamin E and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Soft, tasty, real meat treats with wholesome Rice, Cranberries and Veggies
  • Fun to feed and perfect as a reward
  • Vitamin E and Omega-3 Fatty Acids for healthy coat and skin
  • Healthy, natural and holistic
  • No Corn, Wheat, or Soy
  • Guaranteed your dog will love them

I was given one bag in return for our honest review and I would buy these treats based on my dog's taste buds and the fact they went crazy over them, plus they were made with wholesome ingredients.  

If you are interested in trying these for your dogs, just click on any of the links in red on this post and it will take you to the Canidae products through Chewy.com  

Now Brut is pretty good about getting his ears cleaned, but having a bag of these Canidae TidNips really helped in keeping his attention, better than the plain boring ones I usually have for him.  BOL!

*This review was 100% my own opinion of Canidae TidNips Treats.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Silver's Youngblood

Dog sledding is an interesting sport.  Probably more so for us because we do it as recreation and don't have pressure to compete and the serious training that is involved.  We just do it for fun down our road.

I've been learning for some time bit by bit and I've made some changes this season.  We are taking shorter routes and finding the dogs have more energy to make it home.  It is less stress on me and them physically and mentally and is making a world of different when we do sled.  It also saves on the possibilities of injuries, which nobody wants.

Now Silver has sledded over the last five years before with Fiona and a few times with Chance.  She was unsure whether she liked it and wouldn't pull for all the milkbones you could give her.  But pairing her with Zappa she somehow made a complete turnaround.  She was excited, she was pulling and she was enjoying herself.  She suddenly had more energy than she knew what to do with and wanted more.  So when I took her and Zappa out for a second time I noticed something different.  She was taking the lead.  With her maturity and listening to commands and I think her experience from sledding before, she took over the lead dog position (mentally) and let Zappa be the strength of their little two dog team.

Watch here or on YouTube

This was first time using new sled (instead of homemade chair and skis) and it rode great!
And there are brakes!! (that freaked Zappa out a bit) something our homemade version desperately needed.  

Silver and Zappa are pretty tight as mother and son and they are close to the same height, which makes a big difference running side by side.  Chance's leg were so much taller than Silver's she had a hard time keep up.  I keep learning!  :)  So the beauty of Silver and Zappa together is pretty amazing.  The first point I noticed that Silver was taking the lead was when we got close to the stop sign and Zappa started to shift to the left side of the road (like I taught him to) and Silver kept him going straight.  Light bulbs were going off.  When we came to a stop and needed to turn around, for a second I didn't know what to do, then, ding! ding! ding!  I asked Silver to turn around and she did.  I could feel the shift from when Zappa runs by himself to Silver stepping up to plate, it balanced the two dogs out and their running style.  Zappa who has always needed someone to run with but didn't have, had more than his brain could handle.  He just needed to be the muscle dog and have someone else take directions and that's where Silver comes in.  And she handled in beautifully.  She just took it upon herself to take the lead and it made all of the difference.  I didn't have to do a thing, they worked it out for themselves.  

I haven't seen Silver so happy in general with a youthful quality since she had her puppies.  Sledding has given her a place since she doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the gang sometimes. (except to be their mom)  She is more a regular dog, while the rest of the packs have a little more "bite" in them.  And I am so proud of her.  Zappa and her are much closer in personality and temperament as well and I think that also plays a big part that she gets to run with her buddy.  

I was just hoping for Zappa to have a running companion, I didn't realize Silver was going to give me so much more!

Friday, January 18, 2013

How I know when my world is alright.

I don't know about anyone else, but the winter blues having been getting me down.  When my world feels off  each dog shares something with me that makes it feel alright again.  With Silver it playing tag or fetch with her, just watching her play is a joy.  Special kisses from Zappa because Daddy's dog.  With Fiona it is her laying on my feet at night for that sense of security.  Blaze will plop down in front of me waiting for kisses on the forehead and Chance makes everything better by letting me snuggle and hold him when I'm feeling down.  And while everyone played their part today it was my walk with Brut that settled my soul and brought peace to my little world.  

We went around my favorite time, just before dusk.  I hooked Brut up to pull a small log (maybe 10 pounds) because in the winter this snow dog has too much energy for me to handle.  :)  And we headed off.  And I felt the weight of my sorrows and troubles begin to just melt away as we jogged along.  I let him decide most of the path and I just followed.  It will always blow my mind how deeply in sync we can be.  There have been more than enough walks that we push and pull against each other, even if it is in fun, it can be exhausting.  With Brut pulling he had to think about what he was doing, plus he was using different muscles and pulling weight was wearing himself out.  I felt like we were in our own little world.  It was so perfect.  And as my depression worked itself out with each footprint and the cold put a freeze on all of the bad and worthless thoughts, I felt the rippling between us of two being one.

And it was just that simple.  Just Brut and I and the perfect walk.  The need to be alone in our solitude together.  Understanding each other's need and the equality that this was our walk.  For both of us, hidden in our fortress of the waning sky where we can just be.  

What does your dog give you for that peace of mind when your world feels astray?    

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Our 2 webbed feet

Did you know we have a duck?  His name is Luigi and he's going to be 12 years old this spring.  If ducks are kept as pets, they can live up to 20+ years.  Why a duck?  My husband had one as a kid and was telling me how great it was, so we picked up a couple ducklings.  One of these days I'll get him to write down his adventures to share.

They were so darling as little ones and grew faster than weeds!  You could almost watch them grow it was so fast.  I fell in love right away.  The ducklings bonded to each other than to us and that was a blow to my husband because his duck used to follow him like a dog.

 Before long their yellow downing was replaced by white feathers.  Mojo died after a couple of years, as a predator got her.  It was the saddest thing I ever saw as Luigi just kept walking in circles around her body in the corner of the yard.  They were such a team it was almost like he lost a part of his physical self.  He was lost for those few months without her.

If you don't know, ducks are quite violent during courtship.  The male chases and grabs the female's neck always trying to push her to the ground.  It was painful to watch.  Had I known some of what I know now I would have separated them, but then they were just doing what came naturally.  Mojo's feathers on her neck were gone, it was pretty gruesome.  It was with peace that she died when she did.

So then we were left with just Luigi.  It took me a while to forgive him, not for Mojo's death, but what looked like an abusive relationship between the two of them.

It hasn't been until the last couple of years that I began working with Luigi to eat out of my hand.  The only time he ever came close to me was usually in the winter when I would come out with the food and he was hungry.  Since he ran from me most of the time and we never really bonded.   I had to take it real slow with him, throwing food in front of him to get him to trust me to eventually take it out of my hand.  Now it is part of ritual.  Now I'm working on getting him to let me touch him without jumping away.


My favorite part of my relationship with Luigi is when I clean his kiddie pool in the summer.  He gets such a kick out having a clean pool and is a real comic with the water hose.  This is when a duck is really a duck.  He dives and flips in the air, flapping his wings, swimming in circles and does it again.  He is a good respite from the dogs and I always sit and watch him when the pool is filling up.  It one of those signs that all is alright with the world when Luigi is going crazy in his pool.  In the winter I have a smaller tub, it is actually a grout tub that I bucket water to on the milder days so he can have his bath.  Sometimes I think he likes the tub as much or more than his pool.


Someday I'd love to have a little pond for him where he can really swim and enjoy himself.  He has two pens, one that is fully enclosed for winter and nighttime and one for spring, summer and fall where he can get out and frolic in the grasses during the day.

If I thought I didn't understand dog or cat language, it's been nothing trying to understand waterfowl!!  But having Luigi has been such a cool experience and I never thought I could fall in love with a duck.  And I did just that!      

Monday, January 14, 2013

Would you do it?

Have a question for you:  if you had to put your pet down, would you (or have you) cut off some of their fur before doing so?

I read a blogger who's dog suddenly became very ill and had to be put to sleep and she cut off the fur at the tip of his tail to save.  I've never really heard of anyone doing that before and I don't know that I could. I have saved puppy teeth and a tooth that Brut lost that I know I will treasure forever, but for some reason I think it would freak me out to have an actual "piece" of my dead dog.  But I don't know.  I don't think there is anything wrong with what this blogger did, but I don't think I could do it.  I just think I wouldn't feel right taking a piece of them when it is their time.

How do you feel?  Could you do it? Or  have you done it?  I'm curious to hear other people's responses.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Free Glasses For All Readers from Firmoo!!

I had just woke up, grabbed my glasses and SNAP!  The hinge broke off.  It was irreparable and my favorite frames were irreplaceable.  They didn't make them any more.  I'd been needing a new pair of glasses for a good year or so and now I had no choice.  I had a pair of old frames I could wear, but money was tight and it wasn't quite in our budget.

Then one day in my inbox I find an email from Firmoo ( http://www.firmoo.com/)for a free pair of non-prescription, prescription or sunglasses for free.  FREE!!  All I had to do was give a review of my experience and spread the word that EVERYONE gets a their first pair of glasses FREE (you only pay shipping and handling) when you order from Firmoo.  This couldn't have come at a better time, as my old glasses I was wearing were starting to wear on my eyes.  An answered prayer that is available to ANYONE that wants it.  Just go here:  (http://www.firmoo.com/free-glasses.html)

OK, so I'll never make it in commercials!  BOL!

I don't remember exactly how long the delivery took, but it was less than a week.  I also received, a hard cover case, a soft case bag, two eyeglass screws with screwdriver and a lens cleaning rag.  I can't remember ever being this satisfied with a pair of glasses that I have owned.  I was a bit skeptical and unsure about buying glasses online, but once I figured out my frame measurements and was able to actually see the glasses on my face made, it made all the difference.

I encourage anyone who needs glasses of any sort, for any reason to give Firmoo glasses a shot.  For Free, what have you got to lose?

Click to find your FREE GLASSES HERE! (just pay shipping and handling)

Have Questions?  Go HERE for Firmoo FAQ.

Want to know how to order FREE glasses? Go to YouTube to show you how.

I was very impressed with our entire process from selecting frames to watching the precise tracking as my glasses were practically delivered to my door.  As well as answers to my emails from questions about my glasses to this writing this review.  Everything was precise and simple and I couldn't be happier dealing with such a fine product and company.  Thank you Antonio!!  

24 Paws of Love gave Firmoo 24 Paws up!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sledding dreams do come true

I must share about our weekend.  It was too good to be true.  You know when you have those doubts and you think you need to give up your dream?  That's what happened to me when I thought I might get Chance into a harness to go sledding.  I have been having great luck with working with him and getting familiar with his pulling harness, but I pushed the limit putting it all the way on him.  He wasn't quite ready for that.  Even though I knew more than likely he wouldn't go, I was crushed.  And that's when I asked my husband, "should I just give this up?"  He looked at me as only an optimist can only look at such a pessimist and said," like forever?"  I nodded.  In exasperation he said, "No.  Chance is deeply scar from his past.  He's not like Zappa or Fiona."  I hung my head for a few minutes, so afraid I was going to have to give up on everything I'd been working so hard to achieve.   Then I threw out the old tapes and said, "Lets take Zappa and Silver."

It was mess trying to get them hooked up, they kept getting tangled with each other, but once we finally got going, it went great!  Zappa was in heaven not having to be by himself and being able to run with somebody and Silver was right up there with him enjoying the challenge.  She was even pulling!!  When we got to the top of the hill near the end of the road, we stopped for some reason and they both dove into the snow sniffing like cray, like this was what they were after in the first place.  More tangling mess.  I tried something different with the lines and now know not to do that again. bol!  Once they were done and situated, they were ready to go again.  Both with all the pep and vigor they had in them.

We didn't go too far before I turned them around to go home.  They did just over a half mile (about 1km).  I didn't want to overdo either of them and wanted to keep it as fun as possible.  It was my first time out sledding.  Dad was there for help and we both forgot the camera and video.  I was thoroughly impressed with Silver, because normally she won't pull and is just a good running companion.  And Zappa, you could see him just light up running with mommy and sharing in the moment.  It helps that Zappa and Silver are so close.They kept a steady pace, stayed on track and listened pretty good even though they don't know any commands.  It was a great first ride and I'm excited to do it again.  Now if all the snow doesn't melt in the next week, we might get another shot at it!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Canine Twister

Waiting for turn...

My turn?  Finally! What's it say?

Back left paw to nose....

Got it!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Pet Bloggers Exchange-We 'met' Roxy the Traveling Dog.

Roxy                                                                       Torrey

Pamela from Something Wagging This Way  Comes created and held a Pet Blogger Exchange that paired two bloggers together to share, encourage and get to know each other.  I had the honor of meeting and getting to know Mary of Roxy the Traveling Dog.  Mary, her husband and their two dogs Roxy and Torrey are traveling while they create and sell their artwork on the road.  They sold it all and moved into their RV to live the life they had always dreamed.

I loved getting to know about Mary and her dogs and their hiking adventures out in the mountains and deserts, but it was her artwork at Desert Raven Art that stole my breath away.  She does exquisite bead work on based on the Sioux and Northern Plain Native American tribes.  Her work is beautiful and intricate.  She makes and sells, dresses, moccasins, dolls, hand bags and carry pouches.

Here are some of Mary's works:


                                                                   LOVE THIS DRESS!!

Her husband Al has a passion for sculpting.  He too has a beautiful eye and attention to detail as you can plainly see.  Al's work can be see at Al Hone Sculptures 

“Searching for days gone by” is a sculpture of a Native American who is longing for, and looking for the way of life he knew. The days when hunting the bison was a sacred right, and they were plentiful on the plains. Days when life was simpler, and everyone had respect for Mother Earth. He is prepared for the hunt with his bow and quiver full of arrows. To bring him extra guidance on his journey, he is wearing his own personal medicine bundle.     

And these are just photos of their gifted craft!  Can you imagine being able to see them up close and personal?  I am mesmerized by the Native American and I can almost see the breeze gently blow through his questions stirring in his solemn eyes.  And I can almost feel that buckskin dress smooth as velvet against my skin.  Such beautiful replicas made with time, love and dedication.  And they are all available at Desert Raven Arts.  

And I've left out what I think is the best part, Mary their own wedding clothes, from white buckskin that she beaded herself.  Go HERE to see what I think is one of her most beautiful creations.

One of the highlight's I enjoyed from Roxy the Traveling Dog if you the artsy type, is Artsy Fartsy Tuesday where Mary highlights other artist and their unique creations.  Showing a wide range of authentic crafted pieces that are for sale as well.

I was so touched by Mary and Al's work.  Their designs touched a longing in my soul that doesn't get met enough.  I am so grateful to be paired with Mary and get to know a little bit more behind the creators of Roxy the Traveling Dog.  And aren't Roxy and Torrey just adorable?  Who wouldn't want to take them everywhere they go?


Friday, January 4, 2013

Is Silver Really Getting Up There?

Do you use Senior dog food or have you in the past for your older dogs?

Silver turned nine years old last year and about 4 months ago she quit diving into her food.  Now she can be a picky eater, but I'm wondering if her hesitation is trying to tell me something more.  She does eat all her food, but I've been wondering if I might supplement or dare I say change to senior dog food.  (no, no, she can't be that old!)

It's made me wonder if there is something lacking in regular food that has caused her to pause before eating, even after a food change.  She just not that thrilled about eating her kibble unless something else is in it.  I want to stay on kibble and have thought about adding a cook diet to supplement or adding veggies (which she likes), but this doesn't solve the problem of the dog food itself.

How do you know if your dog is just being fussy or is having a problem with their food?  All of the other dogs are fine with the same food.  They can't get enough of it.  How much have her nutritional needs change in the last year or so?  Have any of you notice a difference in your older dogs diet preferences or behaviors?Did you notice a difference using a senior diet for your dog or not?

Any insight would be great.  Oh, and by the way she doesn't have any problems eating anything else and is finishing her food.  So what should I do?   

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday with live birth video!!

Happy Birthday to the Power of Ten!  The name we gave Silver and Brut's litter.  They are turning FIVE years old today and we have a special treat for all of our readers, a video of two of the births of those 10 puppies.  

It starts with the first three newborns who landed in our hands as new mom Silver gave birth standing up.  We had to open them out of their sacs, dry them off until they cried and cut and tie the chord.

The first birth on the video is when Silver finally laid down to have Chance, the fourth puppy.  Chance broke through his sac and placenta on the way out of the canal.  So Silver only needed to dry him off then let him feed.

The second birth is a little more gory as this little guy we called T-bone was born still in sac with the placenta in tact.  This was one birth that Silver did the the whole job herself, with a little help from me opening up the sac around the head and shifting things so it would be easier for her.  Time is everything in those first few moments of life.  Enjoy here or on YouTube   

We knew our lives were going to change with these 10 little miracles,
but we never knew how much.

(in their birth order)



                Jan.2, 2008-Oct. 9, 2012



      Jan. 2, 2008-2012




and Fiona

Happy 5th Birthday to our little ones who are all grown up now. 
We love you.
Grandma and Grandpa