Graham ~ Adopted!

15628960_10210397541670300_374076528_o12/18/16 Update: Graham has been very patient, and it paid off! Today he found his home with Bill and Pam Kiefer of Port Orange, Florida!

10/14/2016 Update:  Handsome Graham is back with us. Unfortunately, his owner is moving and is unable to take him along. Graham is a very sweet and happy guy who does well with people and other dogs. He does like to chase the little critters, though, so a home without cats that has a fenced yard would be best.



Graham's Boo Boo is all better!

Graham’s Boo Boo is all better!

Meet Golden Graham! He was named for his gorgeous coloring and the fact that he was our first rescue that was initiated on Instagram. I’ve been calling him Graham and it seems to suit him well.
Graham was rescued from Miami-Dade Animal Services where he was picked up as a stray.  A big thanks to Jeanette and Patty Duenas for helping us to rescue this doll. He is about 7 months old. Right now he weighs 35 pounds but we expect him to fill out and grow to probably around 50 pounds or so. He’s a little on the thin side right now but I’m working on fattening him up a bit!

He is super sweet and affectionate. Graham loves to be pet and will beg for more and is also very gentle when taking treats from my hand. He gets along great with my dog and hasn’t bothered with our cats too much. He let me know when he had to go potty last night and hasn’t had any accidents in the house since we’ve had him. He has typical puppy energy and really enjoys running around the yard and playing with our dog.

He was found with a flea color embedded in his skin. The shelter had it removed and he has a sore around his neck that is healing. It doesn’t bother him one bit though! It’s starting to scab up and he’s on antibiotics for a week.

Great in the car!

Great in the car!

Click the link to see more photos of Graham on Facebook.

July 29, 2014

Graham has been with us for a week now and is a real sweet boy.  He loves to run and play with our dog and then will sleep somewhere near wherever his human is.  He seems to be very happy and is always wagging his tail.  He loves playing with all of the dog toys and I’ve even caught him with two in his mouth at once so proud of himself.   He hasn’t had any accidents in the house.  I haven’t had him out for a walk yet so I’m not sure how he does on a leash.  I gave him a bath last week and he wasn’t too thrilled but could tell he felt much better afterwards.  His neck that was scabbed over from an imbedded flea collar is almost completely healed.  Graham will be a wonderful addition to his new family.

Collie, Graham, Gets Much needed spa day with James at Newman Vet Deltona

Collie, Graham, Gets Much needed spa day with James at Newman Vet Deltona

September 1, 2014

Graham was transported to me in Deltona so Michelle could attend a Disney event!  Woo Hoo!  He is amazing.  His boo boo on his neck is healing nicely.  I thought he would enjoy a spa day at Newman’s via James!  Graham is all puppy and loves to play.  He is incredibly affectionate and great with dogs, kids and cats!  What more could you for?

Graham the Collie moves to Barefoot Bay!

Graham the Collie moves to Barefoot Bay!

09/09/14 Update:  Scott  adopted Graham today! Scott lives in Barefoot Bay, FL and his collie mix died several months ago. Scott told me, “I’m ready!” Scott’s Mom came to meet Graham as well, and she gave him her stamp of approval – but not until the sand hill cranes in my front yard put on a show and danced for about 10 minutes! Can’t wait for Graham updates!





Honey, You’re Just Great

My family once owned a dog with a fierce allergy problem. His name was Sam and he suffered from horrible skin conditions for most of his life. Nothing the veterinarian gave him provided a decent means to an end for his problems – most provided no relief and those that did were detrimental to his long-term health or transformed him into a thirteen pound Cujo. Wits exhausted, we sought new remedies. We decided to give local, raw honey a

It was a godsend.

After a few days, Sam’s scratching, biting, and overall involvement in irritating his skin was lessening. Weeks later, zero irritation and his raw spots were healed. Months gone, he was as white as he’d ever been and he had great energy to him. This was seven years ago and he still gets a tablespoon of honey at every supper. He’s fifteen now and still is pretty excited about life, he’s just not as quick to demonstrate these days.

It’s long been circulated that honey may help reduce the effects brought on by pollen-related allergies. The honey must be local (within a 40mi. radius) and raw. Local honey ensures that the bees have collected pollen from plants from your area – the same pollen that may actually aggravate your dog’s allergies. Raw honey is critical for it hasn’t been heated too high, which means there is actually pollen still in it. It should look quite dissimilar to the golden, translucent, ultra-pasteurized option contained in that plastic bear at Publix. You shouldn’t be able to see through it. Farmer’s markets are a gem when it comes down to finding the local, raw stuff.

Honey also has antibiotic properties which can help those canines out there suffering from any gastrointestinal issues and, of course, for cuts or burns. (If you aren’t necessarily seeking allergy relief, but are most interested in the antibiotic properties, Manuka honey contains the highest levels of antibacterial and anesthetic components. You want it to read “UMF Manuka” or “Active Manuka” on the label.)

With all that awesome stuck in your head, it’s now disclaimer time. Whether or not local, raw honey helps with allergies, or even contains pollen, lacks major scientific backing. Truth is, no one has really done enough research to provide a conclusive answer. However, I’m a firm believer that honey can benefit your dog, if not for reducing allergy symptoms then just for the fact it’s an antibiotic powerhouse. Holistic veterinarians swear by it and beekeepers are learned enough in the ways of the bee to provide us with the local, raw tip. Bottom line is, most worker bees collect pollen and it’s all over them and the hive when they’re storing the honey in the comb. Pollen will mix with the honey, the same way dust and dirt in the air can settle and mix with the water of a pond.

So what are you waiting for? Your hound wants some honey.

By Adam Sweeney

Luna Belle ~ Adopted!


Shelter Photo


Luna Belle is about 6 years old and is an Aussie mix out of Alabama. She joined TDL in April but has been recovering with TDL Volunteer Rachel until she was ready for adoption.

Luna comes to us from a hoarding situation. She lived with many other animals, was underweight, and had lost fur due to a flea allergy. Luckily with a little TLC her fur is back and she has put on a few pounds. She was also heartworm positive but has already undergone treatment and from here she has a few antibiotics and her regular preventatives (no other special measures). She will continue to test light positive for heartworm for a while longer, but that should fade soon.


Luna practicing her “sit!” at her Petco classes


Luna is an awesome girl. She is house broken, crate trained, good on a leash, very polite (no jumping up from this girl) and is not an “over-barker”. She may give a woof if she sees something very strange but the average things of life (cars, mailman etc) don’t really phase her. She has 2 more classes at Petco and then she will get her first obedience certificate (Yey Luna!!!).



Luna when she first arrived at TDL (she looks so much better now)

Luna would do best as an only dog, not because she has any issue with other dogs, but because she came from a home where she had to share her life with lots of other dogs and she would really like to retire and be someone’s best girl. She would be a great first-dog for someone new to dog ownership or maybe an older family because she is generally calm, quiet and easy (just add water and stir) but really she could be great in any home.  She is not really the kind of dog who wants to go to the dog park but would love to be someone’s walking buddy (again, good on a leash!).

Luna isn’t clingy. She is happy to be with you, but if you need to run some errands she isn’t one to freak out about it. This sweet girl seems to understand that you’ll be back and is content to wait until you come back for her. She just seems to understand, and waits for you to come home and pat her on the head.

 5/17/15 Update: We are so proud of Luna! Yesterday she graduated from her obedience classes! Here she is in her mortarboard, standing proud. We couldn’t be more pleased!

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 5/30/15 Update! Luna was adopted by Zach and Julie of Orlando today! They already seem to have hit it off and we are so happy for them. Congratulations to all!




More updates to come! In the meantime check out her photos on Facebook.







From Table to Tree: Toxic Tidbits to Avoid this Holiday Season


As you know, the seasons are changing and the holidays are approaching fast. During this time we clean and decorate the house, spend hours in the kitchen cooking special meals, and let’s not forget spending as much time with our loved ones including our pets!

But in a blink of an eye, accidents happen. Your pet can get a hold of food or plants that they shouldn’t and that can lead you down a road of a very pricey vet bill, or even worse, the loss of your best friend.

In order to avoid this from happening, you should take precautions this holiday season. Knowledge is power right?

Here is a list of poisonous household plants, yard plants, and common foods to avoid giving your pets and will help you have a safer and happier holiday! Remember this list contains many, but not all of the toxic plants/foods, so check the links at the bottom of the article for more information.


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Aloe Vera entire plant Shrub
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American Holly Whole plant Tree/shrub
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American Yew Whole plant Tree
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Apple Seeds cultivated tree
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Apricot pit Cultivated tree
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Avocado entire plant Fruit
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Azaleas entire plant cultivated & wild shrub
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Bird-of-Paradise Pods garden flower
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Buckeye sprouts, nuts, seeds Tree
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Buttercup entire plant esp. leaves wildflower, garden herb
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Castor bean entire plant esp. bean house plant
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Chocolate Whole plant (including the mulch derived from it) and chocolate food products Tree
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Coffee Beans, grounds and drinks made from them Garden Shrub
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Daffodil Bulbs garden flower
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Daphne bark, berries, leaves ornamental shrub
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Day lily entire plant is toxic to cats garden & wildflower
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Dough (raw/uncooked)
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Elderberry leaves, bark, roots, buds Tree
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Elephant’s ear entire plant house plant
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English Ivy entire plant esp. leaves, berries ornamental vine
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Foxglove Leaves wild & garden flower
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Garlic entire plant garden plant
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Hops Entire plant Garden plant
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Jimsonweed entire plant esp. seeds field plant
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Macadamia Nuts Nut Tree
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Manchineel Tree sap, fruit Tree
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Milk vetch entire plant Wildflower
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Mistletoe Berries house plant
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Mushroom entire plant Fungi
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Mustards Seeds Wildflower
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Nicotiana (tobacco) Leaves garden flower
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Oleander Leaves ornamental shrub
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Onion Entire plant Garden plant
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Peach Pit Tree
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Persimmon Seeds Tree
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Plum Pit Tree
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Poinsettia leaves, stem, flowers house plant
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Poison hemlock leaves, stem, fruit field plant
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Potato shoots, sprouts garden plant
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Raisins (grapes) Currants (whole fruit) Fruit
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Rhubarb Leaves garden plant
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Sago palm entire plant esp seeds ornamental plant
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Skunk cabbage entire plant esp roots, leaves marsh plant
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Tea Leaves (possibly plant as well) and anything made from it (tea drink) Even Decaf tea can cause problems. Garden plant
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Tomatoes Plant and fruit (less toxic as it ripens) Garden plant
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Xylitol (Gum)  A sweetener used in may candies, pastries, toothpastes and mouthwashes. Check ingredients to ensure there is no Xylitol!
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Wild black cherry leaves, pits Tree
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Wild radish Seeds Wildflower
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Wisteria pods, seeds ornamental plant
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Yellow oleander entire plant esp. leaves garden plant
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Yellow pine flax entire plant esp. seedpods Wildflower
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Walnuts The hull of the nut
(technically the mold that grows on it)
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pizap.com14151465492451Often people will say “My dog ate ______ lots of times and didn’t die, so ______ doesn’t kill dogs.” But that logic is no better than “My dog runs in the street all the time and has never been hit by a car, so dogs never get hit by cars.

Just because they survived the last time they ate something does not mean it will be the same every time, so the best plan is to avoid letting your pet have these things in any form.

Also beware that less reputable treat companies still use garlic and onion in treats. While it normally takes a significant amount to harm your pet, it is best to avoid such “treats” and instead go for a safer option.

We hope your holidays will be safe and full of love & memories!
Special thanks to Sally Jefferson for this amazing article and resource!


If you would like read more about poisonous foods and plants to your pets here are some links that will give you further information!

ASPCA: A Large list of toxic plants (longer than this one)

The Humane Society: Foods that can be poisonous to pets

ASPCA: Foods that are Hazardous to Dogs

Pet Education: Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Dog

SPCAFC: Poisonous Plants

Earth Clinic: Poisonous Plants

Pet Poison Hotline: List of Poisons

Cesar’s Way: Garden dangers for dogs: Common plants that can kill


The TDL 10 Ways to Have a Safe and Happy Halloween


Poppy in her Seasonal Costume

As we prepare for all of the festivities of Halloween, there are a few things you can do to ensure that every member of the family is safe and happy, and has a great holiday. Here are our top tips for how to ensure your pet’s Halloween is a treat!

1. Identification

We can’t say “collar, tags and microchip” enough. If you have not gotten your pets chipped, please do so. A collar and tags are a great step to take, but collars can slip off and tags can snap off. I microchip, on the other hand, is just under the skin, and won’t be brushed off. The best option is to have the collar tags, and chip and to make sure all the information on them is up to date.

2. Keep Pets Inside

Not only are there lots of potentially frightening things out on Halloween, but unfortunately some people’s tricks get downright cruel. Pets are often let out, teased, stolen, or harmed on Halloween which is simply inexcusable. Keeping your pet inside is the safest thing for them (cats too!). Unfortunately cats seem to be in particular peril during this time of year (especially black cats) and we suggest keeping them inside several days before and after Halloween.

3. Candy is for Kids (and Adults) Only

Chocolate is highly toxic and many candies contain artificial sweeteners like Xylitol which is also toxic. For best results, keep the candy for the kids and instead offer you pet a nice, dog-safe treat like a slice of apple, a carrot, or a special dog cookie. Keep your candy far out of reach from your pets and if you have a pooch who is a counter cruiser, consider some sort of closed container. Also remember that kids drop candy, so on your walks, or when you let your dog out in the yard, check for any candy children may have dropped. Also, have the numbers of your vet, and a 24 hour emergency vet on your fridge just in case. If you know your pet has consumed chocolate or candies with xylitol, especially in large quantities, seek medical attention right away.


Torree: Winner of our 2013 Costume Contest

4. Protect the Pumpkin

We all love those glowing flickering lanterns, and sometimes our pets do too… a little too much. While some lanterns use fake candles, others still have real flames which can really burn. Make sure lanterns are out of the reach of pets (remember cats may walk right past one, even on the shelf). For best results, get a fake candle, but if you are going real flame, keep a close eye on it.

5. Glow Stick Woe

Most glow sticks are non-toxic but contain a bitter substance which can cause excessive drooling and fear based reactions like running around the house. Try to keep these glow-sticks out of the reach of pets as they can often look like a toy to your pup. If they do get ahold of one, a little milk or a teat can help cleanse the palate and stop the terrible taste. You can also dim the lights and check their mouth for glowing material and wipe it from their mouth.

6. Cable Keeper

With all of those awesome talking skeletons and fancy lights, there may be several new cords, cool twinkle lights, and electronics around. Remember that your new toy may become your pet’s new toy and chewing electronics can result in shocks and burns. Keep cables organized and out of reach if possible. If you can’t keep the cords and decorations away from the dog, keep the dog away from them. It may mean no romps in the front yard until the decorations are gone, but it is better than a shocking accident.

7. Fear Factor

Halloween is a holiday of tricks, treats, and frights. Unsurprisingly, all the costumes, masks, and unexpected visitors can scare you pup. Consider letting your pet stay home from trick-or-treating and if you are going to be handing out candy, consider crating your pup to reduce the chance of escape, or keeping them behind a baby gate or pen to prevent them from running to the door. Even the most well behaved dog can become frightened and possibly nip or run when scared. If you know your dog gets frightened on Halloween, come up with a keep-calm plan. Whether it is keeping them in a quiet room, in their crate, or maybe giving them a calming treat or sedative, it is good to have a plan of how you can soothe a frightened pet. Check out our article Helping Your Dog Relax.


Jake was a big fan of his costume, but if he didn’t like the hat that cute Bandana would be just fine!

8. Careful with Costumes

Not all pets love playing dress-up. Your pet may be much more comfortable in a seasonal collar or bandana. If you do go for a costume, make sure it is not restrictive, and won’t choke or strangle your pet. Make sure your dog’s senses are not impaired. As cute as a mask may seem, impaired vision and hearing can be frightening and dangerous to your pet. Additionally consider adding some reflective tape to your pet’s costume. As much as they may stand out in their costume, when it gets dark it can be hard to see them. For best results, let your pup wear their costume a few times before the big day so they can get use to them.

9. Choking Hazards

Beware of small parts. Just like little children, dogs often put things in their mouths and can choke on them or ingest them and then have a blockage. Whether it is the little ball on their antenna, or a cute little heart pendant on the front of their costume, pay close attention to them. Remove any small parts which are not well secured or which could be chewed off. Always monitor your dog when they are in costume.

10. Disrobe when Distressed

If you notice your dog panting, cowering, shaking, or just not looking like their normal happy self, take the costume off. Thick costumes can cause dogs to overheat. Make sure you carry water for your pet if you are going out and if you notice any sign that your pet isn’t feeling their best, remove the costume.


We hope you will have a safe and happy Halloween with your pups (and kitties!). If your dog is the costume-loving type, consider entering our Costume Contest for a chance to win a Mega Pack Pack!


The Weghorst’s Pack is ready for a safe and Happy Halloween!

Everything you need to know about Ticks and Dogs

Removing Ticks on DogsFor dog owners ticks are a common hazard that comes with the territory. But, for those new to the world of ticks, they are evil little creatures related to spiders, that carry several types of diseases that can be harmful to both you and your pet (for example Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever). Here’s some information on tick removal and prevention.


Tick Removal

On the odd chance you’re reading this because there is a tick already attached to your dog, here is a good video on tick removal. You can buy the tool that they are using, or use tweezers. However, when using tweezers make sure you are grabbing the head of the tick, otherwise you can accidentally leave it in which can increase the chance for disease and infection for your dog.

Also, NEVER use dish soap, alcohol, fire, peanut butter, nail polish or other liquids to remove a tick from your dog. This can cause the tick to vomit into your pet, increasing the chance for transmission of disease to your dog.

Note:  While examining your dog for ticks, don’t forget to check inside your dog’s ears and in-between the toes, that’s where ticks love to hide!

Tick Prevention 

Tick prevention is extremely important for keeping you and your dog safe from the diseases ticks carry, and for preventing tick infestations in your home. Always make sure to check your dog for ticks when you come back from being outdoors, even if it’s just the dog park.

Note: if you are only worried about your yard, you can have a pest control come out and spray for you, most companies have natural tick killers that won’t hurt your pet, but make sure you check before they spray.

Frontline and K9 Advantix

Topical agents are normally very effective for preventing tick bites. But in some areas ticks have become resistant to certain forms of these topical preventions. For example, in Florida most ticks are resistant to Frontline. Topical agents, like Advantix are great, because they will kill ticks when they bite your dog. However, this doesn’t prevent them from hitching a ride sometimes (we had a tick infestation in our home from this occurring once).

Oral agents

When looking into oral tick prevention it is best to check with your vet to see whether this will be the best option for your dog. They will have the best knowledge on what ticks in your area are resistant to, and which oral agents will be best for your dog. When ticks are found on
our rescued dogs, our Vet immediately uses NexGard.

Note: Oral agents, like topical agents, will only kill the tick when they have already bitten your dog. They don’t necessarily help prevent them from taking a ride.

Flea and Tick Collars

Flea and tick collars are a great way to prevent fleas and ticks from even coming near your dog, though they won’t kill the tick if they manage to get past the barricade and bite. Here, remember that you get what you pay for, so the cheaper options are not always the better ones. Our Vet only recommends the Preventic Collars.

Note: If we are going into the woods, sometimes we will use a flea and tick collar as well as topical tick repellant – since sometimes the collar is just not enough.

Rose Geranium Oil

This is a natural remedy for tick prevention. It is an essential oil and ticks naturally dislike the smell of. We used it with K9 Advantix when we took our dog Serge hiking for 3 months, and we only saw one tick the entire trip (and we were doing full body checks on him every night) It worked so well that we even started using it on ourselves.

How to use:

First make sure that Fido isn’t allergic to it by only dabbing a bit on them and leaving it for a few days – if the dog is constantly scratching the spot, clean it off them.

If the test run goes well, two drops at the shoulders and two at the rear should be enough (essential oils are very potent smelling – so using just a little will save your and fido’s senses – in fact it still works if you dilute it in water).

There are many tick prevention sprays available online, like this one:

Knee Dislocation & Hip Dysplasia

Leia Loves SticksWhen we brought Leia home from the shelter there were a few things we didn’t know. We didn’t know she loves chasing a stick, we didn’t know she would gain 20 lbs in the first 2 months home, and we didn’t know she had patellar luxation. In fact, we didn’t find out for a while, until one day Leia went to stand up from a nap and whined. Then we started noticing it more: limping after hard play, being slow to get up and down, not wanting to walk as far as she use to… it broke our hearts. So we went to the vet for a check and to see what could be done. Leia was diagnosed with patellar luxation (dislocating knees) and had had this for a while. Both patellar luxation and hip dysplasia are somewhat common in large breed dogs. Symptoms can include limping, a skip in their step, bunny hopping with their back legs, swaying gait, refusal to stand on one leg, decreased activity, reduced interest in walking, trouble or reluctance to go up or down stairs, pain and tenderness, and slow or painful transitions form laying or sitting to standing (and vice versa).

There are generally 4 things you can do about these issues to help treat/manage it.

Knee and Hip Surgery

scalpelOne option is surgery. We learned that patellar luxation surgery can cost $1,500 to $3,000 dollars per knee, and our vet stated we would probably need to do one at a time with recovery time between (not all vets recommend separate surgeries). There is more than one type of surgery for hip dysplasia depending on the cause and severity of the issue, but in general the various surgeries can range from $1,500 to $3,000 and if you are considering replacing both hips it is from $7,000 to $12,000. Ouch!

Another route (and the one we chose) was managed care though supplements, pain management, and therapy.

DasuquinSupplements for Joint Health

Supplements can make a huge difference in how your dog feels on a daily basis. We put Leia on Dasuquin with MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) soft chews.  She loves the flavor and eats them like they are treats! We noticed the change after just a week of use. She moved easier, she moved faster, less whining when she got up and down. Dasuquin does not fix the problem, but it does make it much easier to live with. She is comfortable, happy, and demands her chew with breakfast.

Dasuquin contains Glucosamin and chondroitin  which helps with inflammation and joint health and may help reduce your pets need for pain medication. Also consider supplements with Omega3s such as Fish Oil soft gels. Our vet allowed us to give them twice daily in addition to the Dasuquin and Leia enjoys having them.

Pain Management

Our vet prescribed Previcox which is for pain and inflammation, is fast acting, and has worked well when Leia has occasional bad days (I think we have taken 3 in the past year). You do have options though! Some vets recommend Metacam  for pain and inflammation. It has the additional benefit of a good flavor, but it is not cheap. If you need a more cost effective option, talk to your vet about Meloxicam, it is affordable and with the help of some peanut butter, hotdog, or a pill pocket it can be easy to give.

PrevicoxAnother option is to get cortisone injections which can provide some pain relief, reduce inflammation, and generally lasts between 8 and 12 weeks. Cortisone is an injectable steroid medication and can lead to increased thirst, appetite, and can have additional negative side effects. Your vet should always be consulted before giving a cortisone injection.

Remember, some of these medications are used in humans as well, which can mean big savings for you! If your veterinarian is going to prescribe some medications for your pet, you might want to read this! Most medications are made for human consumption, some are not – so ASK! Find out exactly how many milligrams you are being prescribed and how many pills you are getting. Then, ask them how much the medications are going to cost.

Pull out your cell phone and check out the GoodRX  website or the GoodRX Mobile app. GoodRX allows you to enter your medication and zip code and compare prices nearby. Also consider getting a prescription and seeing if you can get it filled at Target, Publix, Walmart, or Sam’s Club. Most carry some medications that are prescribed for pets (and if you ever need antibiotics, they are free at Publix).  If you have a Walgreens or CVS card, you might find that these medications are cheaper at your local pharmacy. If it is not a medication you can get at a local pharmacy, check the price online at sites like 1800PetMeds. Many medications can be purchased for less online with a prescription. Also, ask your vet if they price-match, some vets have started doing this and it could save you a bit of money!

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy This option is often overlooked, and  I am really not sure why. There are several options when it comes to physical therapy and my very first suggestion is to talk to your vet before you implement any sort of in-home physical therapy. Some exercises include sit-stands (where you have your dog sit for a period of time, then stand, then sit again), short walks (if your dog appears sore or is limping at the end of the walk it is too much), hydrotherapy (including swimming and walking on a submerged aquatic treadmill), walking in figure 8’s and other exercises. It is important to use muscles or they will not improve, but not over use them to the point of damage. Here is a brief video about exercising dogs with hip dysplasia. Some exercises suggested for patellar luxation are contraindicated for hip dysplasia and vice versa, so it is very important to consult your vet &/or an orthopedic specialist.

A gentle massage and a warm (not hot) heating pad can provide additional relief.  Here is a brief video about  massage to address pain and there is are several videos about massage in general, as well as acupressure which can help with mobility, comfort and even anxiety and stress!   It is also important for your dog to maintain a healthy weight, as additional weight puts additional stress on joints. Talk to your vet about what your dog’s target weight should be to best protect joints and maintain overall health.

In Closing

Whether you choose surgery, supplements, pain management,  physical therapy, or a combination of any of the above, we hope you and your dog will benefit from the information presented.  Always consult with your veterinarian before taking a new course of action in order to ensure it is best for your pup, and consider consulting a canine orthopedic specialist, canine physical therapist, or canine massage therapist.  You are your dog’s advocate, if your veterinarian does not bring up these options, feel free to ask them how your dog might be able to benefit from them. Hopefully with some of these options your pup will find more pain-free days and reasons to keep that tail wagging!



Go Potty – Helping Your Abused Dog To Go Outside

Our Borgi Puppies, Adopted 2010

Our Borgi Puppies, Adopted 2010

There are tons of “how to housebreak your puppy” books and videos out there.  And I’m sure there are millions of products that claim will help, but these things are for the normal average dog.  Rescued dogs sometimes come with a little bit of baggage!  Usually, it’s the dog’s former owner who confused the dog, and now the dog is stuck.

This is the case with Buttons Sparkles, Boo BooShy Sharon, Baileys, and dozens of dogs I have rescued.

Many Dogs that Have Lived On Their Own Don’t Want to Go Outside

Recently, Marlo’s new Mom asked for advice – Marlo does not want to go outside.  I find this ironic, since Marlo has been “living off the land” for most of her life, and now she doesn’t want to go outside?  The same thing happened with Brittney’s Mystery.  Once Mystery felt the security of being indoors, she didn’t want to go out!

Dogs that Have Been Mistreated are Afraid to go Potty Outside

In most cases, dogs do not want to go outside because while they were being housebroken by the owners, they were simply abused.  Their owners caught them making a mess too late, they were scolded, grabbed, maybe  hit, and thrown outside.  Now, the dog is afraid of going through doorways, and I can’t blame them.

In the case of Shy Sharon, and Goldie Hawn, the crate sores on the top of their paws showed that they were pulled out of their crates, and because they put on the breaks, their feet got stuck.  Now you have a dog that’s terrified of leaving the crate because each time they did, they hurt themselves.  I put a Kuranda bed in their crates so the step down would ensure them it would never happen again.

Timing is Everything when Training Your Dog

There are many people who believe they should give their dog either a reward or a treat when the dog does its potty and comes back inside… but what that does is teaches the dog to hurry back in!  Those people will quickly learn that they dog will not do their business.  The run outside, and head right back for the door – they want their treat!

Boo Boo Afraid to Go Outside!

Boo Boo Afraid to Go Outside!

What I suggested for Marlo is that her new Mom rattles the treat bag, and let Marlo watch her put treats in her pocket.  Take Marlo to the door, and give her a treat (or praise), then open the door, and as soon as she goes through the doorway, give her another treat.  Enter the yard, and treat again.  Give Marlo constant praise as she spends time in the yard, but do NOT treat her for coming back into the house!  That will send the wrong message.  We want to praise Marlo for going outside, not coming inside!

Treat or No Treat, I’m not Going Outside!

I have rescued some dogs that will put on the breaks and act like they are walking to their death bed!  No treat in the world will convince them that it’s safe outside.  In those cases, I just tug at the leash, and go – ignoring their protest!  Each time it gets easier and easier.

More Tips for Getting Your Dog to Go Outside

If your dog loves toys, take some with you!

Crates Sores on her paws, she was forced out of her crate

Crates Sores on her paws, proves she was forced out of her crate

Always remain calm and relaxed.  If you are tense your dog will be tense.  Sing a song to yourself to get your mind off of it.

Each time you go outside with your dog, make the outing last a little bit longer.

Give a lot of verbal praise after you see your dog is finished doing its business!

If your dog loves the company of other dogs, borrow another dog!  Invite a family member, neighbor or co-worker’s dog for a few days to help ease your dog’s fears.

If your dog did its business outside, give your dog some cuddle time when you come back inside, if your dog didn’t do its business, try again in ten minutes!

Did you Just Adopt Your Dog?

If your yard is not fenced, and you just adopted a rescued dog, know that some dogs DO NOT like to “go” while on leash. This will take time.  Some dogs will not “go” while on a walk!  Be patient!

Make Your Home a Drama-Free Zone for Your Dog!

And Remember to Never EVER feel sorry for your dog!  Your dog wants to be a super star, not be part of a pity party.  Please read Let it Go.


Share your Tips with us!

If you’ve had an experience that worked, leave a comment  here and share it with our readers!

Help your Dog have a Safe Holiday!

As we come up on another holiday, we have a few tips to help you and your dog stay safe and happy.

Monitor the Grill – The food you are cooking is very attractive to your pup. They can burn themselves on the hot grill. Also be careful where you dispose of any coals you may have used. They smell like meat juice and can be a tempting snack.

No Cooked Bones – They are choking hazards and can result in dental and mouth injuries, and intestinal blockages and perforations. Ouch!

Watch the Trash – Whether it is the tinfoil you wrapped the steak in, a corn cob, a bamboo skewer, or plastic, your pup might make them a snack and that could land you at the vet.

A Warm Day Warning – Warm temperatures can cause your pet to overheat. Have water available to your pet, provide shaded areas if you are going to be outside, or let them stay inside instead.

Watch What They Eat – Table scraps may seem like a nice treat for your pet but be careful what you share. Fatty foods can upset their stomach and sometimes lead to pancreatitis. Additionally some BBQ foods are toxic to pets including onions, garlic, alcohol and the artificial sweetener Xylitol. Here is a link of Foods Hazardous to Dogs. Instead, consider a special dog treat, or sharing a more pet safe and healthy food, like a carrot!

Monitor Chemicals – Lighter fluid, bug spray, alcohol, sunscreen, you never know what a dog will eat, lick or chew on. Make sure you store them safely out of reach.

Additionally, holiday fun can also lead to lost dogs. Some locations celebrate with fireworks which can be frightening to many dogs.  For tips to help deal with thunder, fireworks, and other situations your pup might find scarey, check out the following articles: Helping Your Dog Relax, More Great Ideas for Calming Dogs, and consider using a product we love,  The Thundershirt. We strongly suggest making sure your dog’s tags and microchip information is correct, legible, and ready in case they happen to decide to go on an unplanned adventure.

Also remember that a backyard party may result in a gate being left open or a pup slipping out the door.  Make sure your guests know the dog is lose in the yard and/house. It is better to be prepared for the chance of your dog running away, and implement preventative measures where you can, so please check out the following articles: How to Prepare for the 4th of July, Lost and Found – The Stray Dog, and Dog Catching Tips. Additionally our 4th of July post may be helpful.

Have a safe and Happy Labor day!

Save Money on Prescription Medications for Your Dog

Save Money on Prescription Drugs for your DogYou know that feeling when you’re standing at the counter at the vet?  You’ve waited forever, your dog has been examined, you’ve been given a diagnosis and part of you is relieved, and part of you feels overwhelmed knowing you’re about ready to get the bill!  I know that what you really want to do is get out of there, but slow down!

If your veterinarian is going to prescribe some medications for your pet, you might want to read this!  Most medications are made for human consumption, some are not – so ASK!

Find out exactly how many milligrams you are being prescribed and how many pills you are getting.  Then, ask them how much the medications are going to cost.  Pull out your cell phone and look it up!  Download this app on your phone, plug in your zip code and poof!  If you have a Walgreens or CVS card, you might find that these medications are cheaper at your local pharmacy.

If you find that you can save a substantial amount, and you don’t need the medication immediately, ask for a written prescription!

Did You Know?  

Did you know that if your dog has hip dysplasia your vet might recommend using Metacam.  Metacam is awesome, my Reckless was on it for years.  The honey-flavored liquid was easy to dispense, and she loved the taste, but it was costing me about $25 a week.  I later learned that Metacam is really Meloxicam!  If anyone in your family has ever suffered from joint pain, a shoulder or knee injury they were probably given Meloxicam.  I talked to my vet about the difference – one is a liquid and the other is a pull.  For 30 tables, 15 MG the Meloxicam in pill form is $4 a month at Walmart, Target and many other pharmacies!


Also Read Over-the-Counter-Medication

Our Favorite Things

We have been rescuing, rehabilitating, training and treating dogs for over five years. In those five years, we’ve found products that were awesome, and many that were not! If you need a solution to a problem, click on our new Amazon Store and select from products we’ve already tried and love!

Our Favorite Things!

Click Here to Read our Reviews of More of our Favorite Things!

Dealing with High Energy Dogs for the Low Energy Individual

Anna's Libby (was Pickle)

Anna’s Libby (was Pickle)

Dogs, especially herding breeds, are almost impossible to keep up with. Even the fittest person will have their pets run circles around them (sometimes literally). So when choosing a dog for adoption, make sure that the dog you are looking for is one at your energy level. Meaning, that if you’re a couch potato, don’t get a high energy dog like a Border Collie or a Greyhound. If you’re a runner looking for a companion, a Yorkie or a St. Bernard probably isn’t for you. Do your research, and don’t be afraid of the mutt!

But, for those of you who got that puppy, who grew up into a dog that tears around the house at lightning speeds, or adopted that dog because it was cute, but not so much after it chewed half your shoes – here are some tips to bring your dog down to a manageable level.


Tobuscus now Serge

Tobuscus now Serge

Go on a Walk

Or Run. Bike. Roller Blade. Skateboard. Exercise is the absolute best thing you can do for your dog to wear them down. Find the time every day when your dog is at their worst (my dog has his about 7 pm after dinner) and take them out to burn some of that excess energy. Make sure you go regularly to get optimal results.


When you can’t Walk

The treadmill (if you have one) is a fantastic tool for channeling a dog’s excited energy. Though it will never replace the walk, it is good for rainy days, or times when you just can’t take them out. Just remember to never tie a dog to a treadmill, or leave them alone on it, because they may injure themselves. Make sure to keep it at a steady walking pace as well, don’t make your dog run.

Here are a few treadmills that we think are perfect for your dog, and some are real space savers!

Another option is if you have a pool, and Fido likes to swim, toss a stick for them for a bit. It’ll be twice as fun for them as a game of fetch, and twice as exhausting!  Don’t have a pool?  Sometimes, just chasing the sprinkler can wear your dog out, and you can water your lawn at the same time – now that’s multi-tasking!

Or teach your dog the names of his toys, and play a game of “find it!”


Take them on Adventures

Nothing wears out a dog like a trip to the dog park (or the vet). So to help with a dog’s insatiable energy, every so often take your dog somewhere. Dogs like nothing more than to hop in the car and go for a ride. If you’re going to pick up take out, bring Fido along, or if you’re going to the kid’s soccer games, bring the pup to help cheer them on. Your dog will be ecstatic to go anywhere with you!


Organize a play date

If there are dogs that your pup gets along with, have them come over for an afternoon. You can even take turns trading off dogs to give the other owner a break too! Your dog will be thrilled to have a friend over, and will have a buddy to play with to his heart’s content, or until he collapses happily on the floor.


Treat toys 

Most people know of the Kong, but online, and at the pet store, there are plenty of other treat balls that are a bit more difficult, and can be filled with less expensive (and less sticky) treats. If your dog needs constant entertainment, try putting their dinner into one of said treat toys and let them work for it. Not only is it hours of entertainment, but it’s mental stimulation for them as well.

Border Collies especially, are real brainiacs!


Extra tip: If the treat toy is emptied faster than you’d like, try filling a Kong with treats in different layered combinations, add a bit of water and put it in the freezer overnight before giving it to your pup. It’ll take them twice as long to clean it out.

Here are some extra sites for filling up that Kong to keep your dog entertained



If you have a herding breed who is about to drive you insane, you might want to consider taking them to a herding class. These training facilities can help you teach your dog to herd sheep (usually) or other “herd” animals. This will challenge your dog both physically and mentally, and help them to fulfill their basic herding instinct. Dog owner beware: if you choose this option, it is important to make sure you go often for the sake of your dog, because if they take to it – herding is all they are going to want to do.

Note: It might be difficult to find herding trainers in your area, so if google doesn’t work for you – try to find an event where herding might be on exhibition, and talk to the trainers there.



“Agility” is a type of dog training where the handler leads a dog through various obstacles in a charted course in a certain amount of time. This is a great mental and physical exercise for your pet since not only do they have to run obstacles (a feat in itself) but they have to do them in the order in which you tell them. Of course that doesn’t happen overnight – so it’s best to take some classes first. Taking your dog to an agility class can be a blast for both you and your pet. The best part is, any dog can do it big or small (and relatively fearless).

Here is a video of a dog agility competition (though you only need to watch the first minute to get the drift)

The Walk: Tools and Tips

The Walk: Tools and Tips

Written by Jessica Purvis, adopter of Tobuscus

Jessica and Tobuscus, now Serge, Adopted 2013

Jessica and Tobuscus, now Serge, Adopted 2013

If walking your dog leaves you frustrated, stressed – and your dog still bouncing off the walls, you probably want to read this article.

Being in control of your dog doesn’t mean that you need to keep your dog on a rigid tight leash yanking them every two seconds with military precision. In an ideal walk your dog should be walking next to you with a loose leash, and be obviously aware of you. This means if you stop, your dog should be stopping or slowing with you, if you offer a physical or verbal correction your pet should show some response. Below are some tools that should help you improve your walk, take back control, and let you walk together without major incidents.


Tools: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly 

The creation of complex tools and their use is what makes us human, and these tools can either help make, or break your walk. Each dog is different, so make sure you find that tool that works best for your dog (you may have to try all of them before you get to the best choice).

Retractable Leashes 

Though an appealing idea for a walk, retractable leashes should only be used when your dog needs room to run (such as an open field) and are under 30 lbs. Because they lead to a lack of control over your pet, your pet is less likely to listen to you, more likely to pull, and is in danger of getting hit by a car, bike or other vehicle if you can’t retract fast enough or they break the leash (my 20 lb Westie can break the most durable of them).


Harnesses through out history have been put on dogs to pull small carts, wagons or sleds. A Harness allows a dog to efficiently use their full strength to do these jobs, and used with a leash, will let your dog easily drag you up and down the road.  Harnesses are best used for small teacup dogs who’s necks you might strain with the smallest jerk, or dogs who walk like perfect angels and their owners are just reading this for pure entertainment.

Choke Chains 

Now Choke Chains get a bad rap, mostly from their name. However, the use of a choke chain can cause an immediate difference in the walk. Two or three sharp well timed tugs can cause your dog to instantly stop chasing that squirrel. However, If your dog continues to pull regardless of the amount of strain on their neck, and is unresponsive to corrections, try something else.

Note: When purchasing a choke collar, be sure that the collar you select is not too long.

The Prong Collar

The Prong Collar is the more aggressive version of the choke chain. This tool is best used on a dog that outweighs you, is grossly stronger, has a thick neck, and is unresponsive to the choke chain. This tool works similar to the choke, but this should be your final option since it is the most painful for your dog.

Tools that Work Magic

These are personal favorites that I use with my own dogs. When used together, they can wear out and keep control of even the most high energy dogs.

The Gentle Leader / Haltie

There are no words to describe how awesome the gentle leader is. It keeps most determined cat chasers under control, and dogs that would normally be pulling you down the street are manageable. I would strongly recommend this for any dog owner. (Note: this will be less effective on dogs with short muzzles due to it’s design, e.g. pugs, shi tzus).

The Backpack

This is absolutely key for a dog that has more energy than you or is not tired for long (or at all) when you return from a walk. No matter if the dog is big or small (I use it on both my Westie and 90 lb Border Collie mix and they both love it), the backpack is a lifesaver on the walk. It not only wears the dog down, but the pups obviously get enjoyment out of having a “job” to do.

When weighting the backpack make sure that it is strapped securely but you can fit two fingers in each strap. If you put weight in the backpack, put no more than 10% of the dog’s body weight, any more and you can injure the dog. Finally, make sure to never to put a backpack on a dog younger than a year, or on one that has any muscular, bone, or intestinal issues.

How to Use the Tools

This is a great video that explains the proper use of the Choke Chain, the Prong Collar and the Gentle Leader.

Here is a link for the best of the two dog backpacks that I use. The way the front chest strap is set up makes it very comfortable for the dog and helps keep the weight more evenly distributed.


So now that you have the tools, grab some doggie bags, your canine, and get outside!


Added Note:

The Easy Walk Harness

The easy walk harness is another tool that you can use with your dog, below is a video on how to fit it and it’s intended purpose. This will probably be best used for a dog that only pulls a little or is on the smaller side, because it will give you little control over a dog that really drags you around. Remember that if your dog doesn’t respond, try something else!

We would like to thank Jessica for researching helpful topics for dog-lovers like us!  Understand that any product, especially collars, when used improperly, can cause harm.  It is very important that you research products like these, and take the time to learn how to use them properly.  ~ Gisele


GiGi ~ Adopted!

I love that Tooth!

I love that Tooth!

GiGi is about 7 years old, heartworm negative and has been very well cared for by her former owner, who passed away recently.  Lost and confused, GiGi was afraid of strangers, and we felt she didn’t stand a chance at a shelter/pound.

GiGiGiGi is very affectionate, and eager to please.  Her vision is not that great, but she gets around just fine!  GiGi would be perfect for a senior who is wanting a real lap dog!

You can see more photos of her on Facebook.


11/13/14 Update: Gigi was adopted by Vikki of The Villages. Congratulations to them both!

gigi gigi2

Dangers of Xylitol in Dogs

XylitolThank you Terri for sharing this with us!  Please review this article and get familiar with products that contain xylitol, even ketchup, jam, honey, mints, sugar free Jell-O, cupcakes, etc.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. Voluntarily Recalls 62 Bags of “Science Diet


June 2, 2014 – Hill’s Pet Nutrition of Topeka, KS has announced it is voluntarily recalling 62 bags of Science Diet Adult Small and Toy Breed dry dog food as they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
Hill's Science Diet Adult Small and Toy Breed
The suspect product was part of a single production run.

It was distributed to 17 veterinary clinic and pet store customers between April 24 and May 13, 2014 in the following states:

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Nevada

This product was accidentally released, as revealed during a routine inventory reconciliation.


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