Donkey fauxhawk! A new trend perhaps? Until next time, Good day, and good dog!
The hours passed on nice summer day. All day the mother dog has panted and stared. Her maiden litter was on its way, and I was there to watch them come.
A sweet little golden retriever, she was too sensitive to push unless she knew her people where there to stroke her ears and tell her what a good girl she is.
As the night drew near, she climbed on the bed between us and then began her long night of pushing and pushing. A wave of contractions would rise from within her, and she would rise in discomfort and turn around. Then she would go prone again against the bed, but the next wave would have her rise, pushing and turning in her primal mammalian dance of parturition.
At one point, her vulva was just inches from my face, and in her pushing, I could see the coming amniotic sack, and then I saw the head of a golden retriever puppy emerge from her body cavity. It was perfection just wrapped in a sheet of biological plastic wrap.
Another push or two, and the bitch screamed as the puppy passed from the prenatal state into the breathing and screaming existence that we call life.
Then the membrane that held him so securely then split away from his face, and as the oxygen filled his little lungs, he inched over to the milk-filled mammaries and helped himself to a good helping of colostrum.
But he was still connected to his placenta and for what seemed an eternity to me, he was both nursing off his mother and tapping into her blood supply. He was trapped between both states, but one was about to let him go and sink into the other.
He suckled ravenously, and the mother dog expelled the placenta. And thus the first of a litter of seven little puppies entered the world. Through the dark hours of the night, two little girl puppies and four more little boys lurched forward into the great bursting of existence.
And the mother dog shared it with me. She, a beast perfected over the eons to serve mankind, needed us to hold her as she began to force her progeny into the world.
I have never before been privy to such a spectacle. I have no interest in producing a child of my own, and all of my experiences with dogs whelping have been fleeting memories from childhood, where the bitch whelped black crossbreeds in the back of the garage and I hoped that the daddy was a Labrador and not the fierce boxer from up the road. And obvious flattened muzzles exhausted those hopes very quickly.
But to know a dog like this one, one that trusts me enough to share this intimate aspect of her life, is a moving experience. I am better for having been privy to the entire spectacle.
And I am happy. I am content. And I am free.
My two-year-old Golden Doodle is reluctant to go in the backyard to do her business. I coax her to do so but she seems afraid to venture out unless I stay with her. Also even though she gets taken…
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A few memes to remind you not everyone enjoys fireworks. So, enjoy your cookout, celebrate with family and friends, but leave your dog at home when you go out to the fireworks display. Until next time, Good day, and good dog!
We were so touched to read sweet Georgina Lily’s story about becoming a #halodog! As her mom tells it, when they brought her home from the shelter they gradually transitioned her to a high-end organic, grain free dog food, but poor Georgi broke out in hives and had other bad reactions. They tried many other top-ranked brands with no luck—until they tried Halo! Now, nine months later, Georgina is healthy and happy.
Georgina’s story warmed our hearts, partly because that’s why Halo came to be in the first place. It started with Spot, whose digestive, skin, shedding, and odor problems prompted his mom to look at the ingredients in his food, which she noticed were so different from the food in her own kitchen. Working with a nutritionist she used real, whole foods to create the very first bowl of Halo. Spot recovered beautifully, just like Georgina.
More than 30 years later we are still using the best ingredients to create holistic natural cat food and dog food of uncompromising quality.
- Halo uses real WHOLE meat, poultry, or fish, and no “meat meal” of ANY kind. When animal protein is rendered into a “meal,” it loses as much as 30% of its digestibility. The more digestible the protein, the more bioavailable it is, which means the more nutrients your pet can utilize.
- OrigiNative® sourcing means we reject the factory farm model of close confinement, growth hormones, animals raised with antibiotics, and artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
- We are committed to non-GMO ingredients. All the fruits and vegetables in halo products are sourced from farmland that prohibits the use of genetically modified seeds.
We are thrilled to know that #georginalilyrescuesuperdog is now a happy #halodog and we love all the work she does to help other shelter pets find forever homes.
Happy July friends! July is my favorite month of the year. To me, it defines summer. And as you read this post, I am relishing in summer at 9,000+ feet in the air in the mountains of Colorado. We’ll be here until the middle of next week, and while it’s not just a vacation (Robbie is working at Red Rocks for 4 days and I have some work obligations as well), it’s really nice to be able to get away and be with family and friends during the most wonderful time of the year.
During this time, I will be doing something I never do – taking a break from the blog for the next week. If you’d like to follow along with our trip (because if you’re a blogger and you don’t overshare your vacation, did it really happen?), you can join me over on Instagram (both in my IG Stories and on my feed). And I’ll be back with a whole round of new posts next week.
In the meantime, here are a few fun summertime themed posts you might enjoy:
Summertime Family Story Night
Summertime Inspired Cakes
A Summer Day at the Zoo
Summertime Watermelon and Feta Guacamole Dip
Summertime Lemon Lime Vodka Spritzers
7 Ways to Make Summer Last
Deep Thoughts on Summertime
See you next week! And if you’re here in the states, happy Fourth of July!
Wildfires can rage across regions and change directions quickly, giving families little time to evacuate or return for their pets if they’re not home when the evacuation order comes. Thankfully, two cats not only managed to survive the California Tubbs Fire, but then both attracted the attention of firefighters so they could receive necessary medical treatment and thrive.
One cat in Sonoma County was found by the CAL FIRE Deputy State Fire Marshal, Jose Duenas. Jose had been conducting damage assessment inspections in areas hit by the fire when he saw a badly injured cat. According to the CAL FIRE Facebook page, Jose “tended to the cat until animal care could arrive to rescue” the injured animal. They reported that animal control cared for him, the cat was “in good spirits” and that they hoped to reunite the cat with his family.
Commenters on the post showing Jose with the rescued cat carefully wrapped in Jose’s jacket expressed gratitude for the hardworking firefighters who not only saved people, but beloved pets. One, Wendy Conteras, wrote, “…it makes my heart happy that this firefighter saved him [the cat]. I hope the little kitty recovers and is reunited with his family.” Another commenter, Joyce Baer Schiller was particularly touched by Jose’s actions, writing “Giving the cat your jacket and tending to it is such a humane act….Stay safe, and thank you for going above and beyond!”
Another cat took refuge under a car in Santa Rosa. According to The Tribune, Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputies noticed the cat while doing a sweep of a completely destroyed neighborhood. They realized the poor feline needed help. Their body cam footage, seen below, shows the officers on their hands and knees gently reassuring the cat and letting her sniff their fingers. The officers even offered food to the cat, though she was too stressed to eat.
Once the cat was out, they carefully put a slip lead on her to reduce the risk that she might run away from fear and hurt herself more. They noticed that her paws were bleeding and badly burned. One officer can be heard commenting sympathetically, “Oh, poor girl.” The deputies grabbed water for the cat, but wisely decided to leave treatment to animal control to avoid accidentally causing more damage. The officer assures the cat, “you’re safe now” before they carry the cat to their vehicle.
The department shared the video on their YouTube channel which turned out to be a great idea. KTVU News reported that Ed Ratliff lived in the neighborhood shown in the video. Ed had lost everything in the fire. When flames appeared, his cherished Siberian cat, Milo, ran away and Ed was unable to find her before he needed to evacuate.
What my own dogs eat has raised my consciousness and influenced my decisions about how to choose ingredients for my own diet. Thanks, Maisie and Wanda Weimaraner!
My realization came about ever since Halo coined the phrase OrigiNative® and changed the entire way they source their ingredients to focus on humanely-raised animals and non-GMO plants in their kibble (which Maisie and Wanda Hotchner eat every day as part of their diets). I realized I could be making those same choices for myself with just a bit of effort. It’s funny how that happens – the pets leading the way!
For years when I was live every week on the air with CAT CHAT on Sirius satellite radio, when people called in with deep concerns about what they were feeding their dogs and cats, I recognized their own “lightbulb moment” when they realized that they could make healthier food choices for themselves and their human family members, too.
Concern for our (extended!)-family’s health is important, but don’t we need to consider the entire food chain and how those ingredients make their way to us? What struck me recently is that even though I’ve personally been avoiding processed foods and concentrating on fresh ingredients for decades, I wasn’t aware of how the soil was being treated. Because of the work of the American Humane Association and the Humane Society of the United States on behalf of food-chain animals, I was theoretically “woke” about the horrible conditions in which chickens (for eggs and meat), pigs, beef cattle and dairy cows lived and died. I’ve been choosing cage-free, vegetarian-fed eggs for years (my girls get scrambled eggs at least twice a week, too) but what I hadn’t put together was that I could make choices about all my ingredients that followed these three simple rules:
- No to close confinement on feedlots (which means cage-free egg hens and gestation-crate-free pigs).
- No to antibiotics used during growth.
- No to GMO plants for ourselves or animal feed.
In pockets of “moral high ground” across the country, people have been talking about the importance of feeding ourselves and our children (two-legged and four-legged) with healthier choices. Our focus on what ingredients are good for us has enabled food stores like Whole Foods to flourish, and more wholesome areas in traditional supermarkets to grow as well. However, I now see we have to take it a step further and use our pocketbooks to make a statement: choose providers that do not keep farm animals in close confinement, farmers who refuse to abuse antibiotics for faster growth, and those who do not use genetically-modified animal feed, which helps promote environmental balance and a healthy ecosystem .
In a world where things often seem to be going to “hell in a handbasket,” each of us making the best possible choices for our human and pet family members’ meals is a way to feel you’re treading a little more lightly on the planet and setting a good example.
Halo achieves these goals by embracing an agricultural and ranching system that is more original and native—what they call OrigiNative®. Read more on Halo’s embrace of the humane raising of farm animals.
Tracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.
Tracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.
Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.