#TruLoveIs Fresh Summer Food #Spon

This post is sponsored by Wellness. As always, we only share products that we use with our own pets. I love summer. It’s my favorite season for all the usual reasons: long days, outdoor fun,…



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DogTipper

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DR. DONNA ON HALO’S VIGOR™ PET FOOD

Halo Pets’ in-house vet, Dr. Donna Spector, introduces Halo’s brand, Vigor™. Vigor is a way that Halo is helping health conscious pet owners include their pet in a healthy whole food lifestyle.

Watch the video to learn more about Vigor and its health benefits.

Learn more about Halo Pet’s Vigor™ natural pet food.

Halo

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Nothing Much

Not much is new or different….

Lacey’s fur has almost all grown back in on her back leg.  She has a small hard lump at the top of her skin graft that I’ve been telling myself is scar tissue.  It hasn’t changed in size at all so we are just keeping an eye on it for now.

Coulee is still on a restricted exercise diet.  Everything other than a 15 minute walk makes her stiff so we just go every few days for about 30 minutes or so.  We don’t play any fetch at all anymore but will occasionally engage in a game of catch.  It isn’t quite the same, but she still enjoys it.

I’m enjoying my summer off from photographing events.  Every time I see an agility photo I just smile and am thankful that I’m not spending weeks at the computer this summer.  I am however increasing my photography rates and sent my clients a notice about that, so I’m suddenly booking lots of sessions before the rates go up.  LOL

We have not been out camping nearly as much as I’d hoped yet, but we still have lots of time. We are still trying to figure out our summer vacation…  We can’t decide what to do or where to go but we are brainstorming ideas.

Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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The tale of two box turtles and what they tell us about dogs and wolves

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I keep running into this female Eastern box turtle when I am out and about. She is usually out looking for a place to lay her eggs, and because I know that her particular subspecies could become threatened in the near future, I don’t even touch her.

At one time in my life, I would have taken her home. Most rural children in my part of the world collect box turtles during the early summer and try to make pets out of them.

The truth is that this subspecies, the Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina), actually makes a terrible pet. They become deeply attached to their home range, and taking them from their home ranges stresses them so much that they become susceptible to disease and parasites.

The Eastern box turtle is a subspecies of the common North American box turtle, which used to range up into Eastern Canada as well as most of the Midwestern and Eastern US.  We know only about its range in Canada from remains that have been dated to the sixteenth century, but now it is experiencing lots of problems in its range in the US. In the neighboring state of Ohio, it is a “Species of Concern,” but it is still pretty common here. I’ve seen little, tiny hatchling box turtles that aren’t much bigger than a quarter, but these little turtles aren’t maturing many parts of their range.

So I don’t recommend that anyone keep pet Eastern box turtles, especially those from wild populations. Many states ban the practice now.

Even if you have a box turtle as a pet, it requires a large enclosure, a high protein diet, and relatively high humidity.

But not all box turtles subspecies have the same problem with attachment to their home ranges than the Eastern subspecies has.

In the South-Central US. there is another subspecies of the common North American box turtle, which is called the three-toed box turtle (Terrapene carolina triunguis). I first saw these turtles at a pet store in Vienna, West Virginia, and I was amazed at how much they looked like the native subspecies. The main difference was they were mostly chocolate-brown in color and had three-toes on their back feet.

three-toed box turtle

I didn’t know at the time, but these three-toed box turtles were being offered as pets simply because they were found to be much better suited to captivity than the Eastern subspecies. They still require the humidity, the large enclosure, and the high protein diet.

However, they aren’t as greatly stressed from being removed from their native ranges, and as a result they are much better able to adapt to captive conditions.

When a three-toed box turtle is released into my part of the world, they often cross with Eastern box turtles. I have often suspected that the Eastern one at the top of this page might be a hybrid, simply because she lacks the extensive yellow markings on the head.

But that could simply be a variation in the Eastern subspecies.

Whatever the story of these two box turtles is I think they can tell us a lot about how to think of wolves and dogs.

Modern wolves are very difficult to domesticate, and they make terrible pets. Dogs, of course, do very well in the human environment.

Just like the box turtles, there are minor morphological differences between wolves and the less exaggerated breeds of domestic dog.

And when given the opportunity, dogs and wolves exchange genes.

I do not know how much DNA Eastern and three-toed box turtles share. My guess is they share far less than dogs and wolves do, simply because dogs and wolves are a highly mobile, relatively large species and species with those characteristics tend to have less diversity as a species. Regional box turtle populations are going to show greater distinctiveness than a wolf or dog population when compared to the entire species.

My guess is that the split between the two subspecies happened earlier than the split between dogs and wolves, too. T

But it’s not controversial that Eastern and three-toed box turtles are just separate subspecies. However, saying the same about dogs and wolves tends to launch people. That’s because there are political and sociological reasons for classifying dogs as a separate species from the wolf, which you can’t say about the two subspecies of box turtle.

But if we’re willing to say that these two box turtles are part of a single species, what level of mental gymnastics are we willing to engage in to keep wolves and dogs separate species?

I know the answer to that question, I’m afraid.


Canis lupus hominis

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‘Ours’ after two months

Some of you have kindly asked how ‘Ours’ = Bear (pronounced Orse) my newly adopted dog is coming along. Well here he is after two months here – he loves the garden, he plays BUT he is still terrified of any visitor and lives in fear of the someone coming through the front gate. But there is progress – and of course I’m in love!
RIVIERA DOGS

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Latest Dog News

Dog, cat killed in fire Mount Prospect apartment complex
A dog and a cat were killed, and three people were injured in a fire that caused $ 500,000 in damage to an apartment complex Wednesday morning in northwest suburban Mount Prospect. Firefighters responded to the Forest Cove apartment complex at …
Read more on Chicago Sun-Times

What I Learned About Parenting From My Dog Trainer
Throughout my life, both as a child and a parent, dogs were always an important part of our family and brought so much joy and love into our home. When raising my daughters, our dogs provided a great opportunity to teach the girls compassion and how to …
Read more on Huffington Post

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Dog Plus Bone: The Stylin’ Treat Collar for posh pups

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The preorder incentive campaign for All Dogs Go to Kevin is swimming along, but because you all are so awesome I really wanted to share some extra special items as thank yous for all your support. Today I want to introduce you to the Stylin’ Treat: A snap or martingale collar from the wonderful team at Dog Plus Bone!

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Dog Plus Bone is the brainchild of owners Anne and Ivan, who set out with one goal: “to create simple, honest, classic products that enable you to enjoy more unforgettable adventures with your best friends.”

These are not collars for those of you who like your dog covered in bling that falls off into their dinner bowl, or unwieldy fashion items that might look cute for an Instagram picture but fall apart after one use.

Dog Plus Bone collars are the marriage of form and function: solid construction, quality materials, elegant design, and able to withstand all the kinds of adventures that come with summer and leave you picking dirt out of your socks for the next week.

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Aren’t they beautiful? I love the two tone in the Martingales.

 

The Dog Plus Bone line currently includes Martingale collars, snap collars, and adjustable leashes. All fully washable and ready for whatever journeys you have in mind. Such as, in our case, dog beach.

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Now if you simply must have one now, and I don’t blame you, you can go right on over to Dog Plus Bone and order one yourself. On the other hand, the first 15 who jump on the Treats for Tomes Preorder Incentive Campaign will get a snap collar or martingale of their choice (That’s $ 35 in your pocket!). This one is US only for now, but if you’re in Canada and really want one, send me an email and I will see what I can arrange. :) Here’s what you have to do:

1. Preorder 2 copies of All Dogs Go to Kevin (if you want them signed, get them from Warwicks)

2. Head over to the Treats Page and select “Stylin’ Treat”

3. Follow the instructions, including proof of purchase for 2 books

4. We’ll follow up in the coming weeks to confirm the order!

treatme

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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A Canine Whodunit

I had seen the first part of this where they all turn and stare at the white dog, but not the second part where he tells on himself. I grew up with a collie who knew she wasn’t supposed to sleep on the living room couch, but got up there pretty regularly when no one […]


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Some box turtles

Lots of box turtles over the past few weeks:

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Box turtles are not tortoises, though they appear to live like them. Unlike most species of tortoise, Eastern box turtles require high humidity and relatively mild temperatures.

They are actually quite closely related to aquatic turtles, but they can’t actually swim like the true water turtles can.

The local name for a box turtle is “land terrapin,” which is actually pretty good. On the East Coast, the diamondback terrapin was once a very common turtle that was often eaten.

Box turtles used to be commonly eaten as well, and I guess the meat is similar to the diamondback terrapin.

And they sort of look a bit a like.

It’s still better than calling the tortoises. In fact, a lot of box turtles sent to Europe as pets quickly died because they were kept in high heat, low humidity environments, which would be the correct way to keep many species of true tortoise.

The species isn’t rare in the least in West Virginia, but they are a species of concern in Ohio. Their trade is now strictly regulated through CITES, so they are far less common on the pet market than they used to be.

Last year, some idiot got caught selling box turtles across state lines.

So don’t think you can collect box turtles and sell them as a get rich quick scheme!


Canis lupus hominis

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Just keep swimming

Has it already been a week since my mother died? I feel like I’ve been in a haze, dropped in the middle of the ocean and swimming only because I have to, not because I actually know where I’m going. I’ve found a new appreciation for Dory, a different nuance in Finding Nemo.

I don’t know why life insists on dumping everything on us all at once instead of pacing things one month at a time, but it seems to be a rather consistent theme. What I’d like to be doing right now is sitting in bed with the sheet over my head, but there’s just too much to do.

When a death ends, the work just begins. Closets to go through and memorials to plan and family dynamics to breathe through. In this case, all these tasks are intermingled with the other responsibilities of being a mother as well as a daughter. I pick my mother’s casket, and on the way home pick out a birthday cake for my son. That sort of thing.

My daughter graduated fifth grade this week. I was not really aware fifth grade graduation was a big deal. I thought we might hear a song, clap politely, and get on with it. I was sorely mistaken. What we were in for was a two hour event with five speeches, two processions, music, slideshows, choreography. It was longer than my high school and college graduation combined.

The line for the auditorium starts an hour and a half early. I walk into the auditorium with the grandparents behind me, mentally counting off the number of seats I needed: 2, 2, 2….oh. 2, 2, and 1. It’s the little moments like this that catch you unaware. Mom would never have missed a graduation.

When the ceremony finally ended and the kids file into the lobby, I pull out the flower bouquet my father picked up for us on his way over. I hand it to my daughter, who stands surrounded by children wearing leis made of dollar bills. Mom would have brought a lei. She always did stuff like that. My daughter smiles politely, seeming vaguely disappointed, but she always seems vaguely disappointed. I am told this is part of being a tween. I am too tired to care.

I was supposed to volunteer at the promotion picnic today, but I leave early because I have to get Brody to the groomer in advance of the family arriving this weekend for the memorial. That, and order programs, write a eulogy, bring an end of the year gift to the teacher, bring a blanket to the funeral home, clean the house, find something to wear, pick up the kids from school, celebrate something, I guess. People offer to help, but these are all tasks I need to do myself.

I am exhausted, in a bone wearying way I didn’t know could exist.

Brody comes back from the groomer, and sits next to me on the couch. He is never disappointed with his lot in life. He just is. I put my head on his back and inhale, feeling the rising waves of grief intruding on my to-do list. He smells like one of those old Strawberry Shortcake dolls. When I cry, he doesn’t say anything or search for unhelpful platitudes or edge away uncertainly. He is surprisingly absorbent.

He is here, breathing with me. It is enough. For now, he is enough.

Ha

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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