Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Happy Dog success stories

Happy Dog is by no means a rescue, but every so often a little furry friend needs some assistance and happens onto our path.  These two little Cairn Terriers came into our lives when they needed a place to live out the rest of their years, and we offered a helping hand.


A lot of you already know about Onchu.  He's a sweet older guy who came to Happy Dog months ago when his owner lost her housing.  I said I would keep him with me and help get him to a rescue so he could find a place to stay.  Next thing you know, I am having a difficult time filling out a rescue application, because I know Onchu and like him very much.  He is one of the easiest little dogs ever.  Good with every dog he meets, loves people, quiet, housebroken to a fault, decent off leash and just a happy little dude.  To simply pass him along to some unknown fate made me feel physically sick.  I eventually let this all go on a friend of mine, who (at the end of the emotional tirade) said he would take Onchu.  What started out as a merciful undertaking, has blossomed into the cutest friendship. 

The boys enjoying a draught after a long, hard day of herding pigs
Onchu now spends his days either kicking it at Happy Dog with his human and dog friends, or romping about the NH farm he lives at, helping his old man wrangle up the birds, goats and pigs.  He enjoys chewing bullysticks, howling at emergency vehicles, surfing on the center console like a boss, running in the woods, and getting to know pretty ladies.    


Tinkerbell needed a new home, and when the person who went to meet her saw what her life was, he wouldn't leave her behind.  She came to Happy Dog for a short period, and was then presented to one of our friends who has been wanting a dog for a long time.  He fell in love with her, and she is now also up in NH living the farm life.  She is a gentle little girl, but full of spunk.  Great with other dogs and children, quiet, kind and super playful.  She is now going to spend the rest of her days receiving the love and care she so deserves.

Now I don't know about you guys, but I love me some happy endings.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

To feed or not to feed, that is the question...

I get a lot of questions about diet.  What are the best foods?  Where do I get them?  When should I feed?  How much should I feed?  How do I know what is good for my pet?  What do I feed my pet?  Why did I decide on those foods in particular?

I have served a variety of different foods.  From Eukanuba (not good), to Nutro (eh), to Solid Gold (getting better), to raw (the best but not practical for my lifestyle at the time), to Orijen (top shelf), to Acana (same shelf) and Honest Kitchen (dehydrated raw!  Great and practical!  YAY!).  My last two dogs Jimmy and Tabitha both did wonderfully on the Orijen.  Tommy started out okay, but ended up not fairing so well in the end (eating an absurd 6 cups of food per day without gaining enough weight or muscle mass).  I went back to learning about dog food and I now feed 1/2 poultry based Honest Kitchen (grain free - Force or Embark) mixed with 1/2 poultry based Acana (grain free).

I have gathered quite a bit of information about the canine diet (and along the way I have learned a lot about the feline diet as well).  It's a subject I never tire of, and I feel it's also a subject you can never learn too much about.  The most important thing for me personally is to stay open minded (I'm human and carnivore's eating habits are kind of gross), and use my head when there is a question that I am having trouble finding the answer to. As much as I'm sure I could write pages and pages of my opinion and how I came to them, I have come up with a far simpler plan.   
I have a personal philosophy about food for myself, and extend that to how I feed my dog, because well, I love him and want him to be as healthy as possible.  First rule of thumb when regarding dog food is, if I can purchase it at a large chain store I know it's probably not a good food.  I don't want a cheaper/convenient food because more often than not they are rife with fillers and subpar ingredients.  Health, for me personally, isn't necessarily about price or convenience.

I truly believe a majority of the health issues we see today are a direct result of a lousy diet.  As a groomer I could smell when a dog was on a bad diet because just like us, it exits the body in many different forms.  I have seen dogs with reoccurring ear infections, appetite issues, weight issues, major skin issues, hair loss, weeping/dull eyes, lackluster coat, joint issues, muscle growth, even aggression issues, make a complete recovery just because the owner switched to a better food (and gave it enough of a chance that the toxins from the bad diet could leech out of the system).  As with us, diet promotes a healthy mind and healthy body.

My stipulations for dog food are as follows:  I want it to be as fresh as possible, GMO free, grain free, additive free, and filler free.  Okay, so, ingredients.  Can I read the word and understand it?  I'm not big on putting a mystery in my mouth and relying on it for sustenance.  If I don't know the word, and look it up, do I fully understand the breakdown?  If the answer is no, I don't often put it in my mouth.  I do the same for Tom.

So in the end, what is the best food?  That is up to you, as the owner, and it all depends on how the individual dog responds to the food.  Orijen is considered one of the best possible dry diets on the market today.  Tom does not do well on it, so I don't feed it.  It's as simple as that.  But as long as I stick to my basic rules about health and diet, I know I will make the right choice.  For myself and my pet.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

4th of July (7/4)


A friendly reminder that Thursday (7/4) is the 4th of July and Happy Dog recognizes it as a holiday.  If you have the day off and do not need Happy Dog's services, please let me know.  As always, if I do not hear from you, any regularly scheduled care will happen as usual and the holiday charge of $20 per scheduled service (on July 4th only) will apply.

Thank you and enjoy the holiday!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Angel, Luna and I need your help.

I have recently had one of the most wonderful people I have ever known pass away.  She was like a sister to me.  She owned two cats, Angel and Luna, whom she loved more than anything else on this planet.  I promised her I would make sure they would be taken care of were anything to happen to her and I aim to keep my word.

After retrieving them from the apartment where they were abandoned, I have had both girls at my home for a couple days.  As much as they are very worried and confused, they have started to explore and show themselves a little more instead of hiding all day.  They are nice cats and even after all they had gone through prior to coming here, were not aggressive or mean in any way. 

After much deliberation, I have come to the extremely painful conclusion that I cannot keep them here.  With all of the dogs coming through my home, it simply isn’t a solution that I can honestly say is best for Angel and Luna.  They are residing in my office (behind a closed baby gate and door), which leads onto a screened porch, so they are at least safe and well cared for, but I believe they need more room and somewhere they don’t have to worry about the constant coming and going of dogs (some of which want to do them harm).  I visit with them frequently throughout the day but I can see the dogs have them on edge.

Once they are a little more settled, I will be taking them for vaccinations and to be spayed.  I just want to give them a little time to adjust first. 

I will also try to get better pictures as they come out from hiding.  They both look very similar and I believe they are sisters from the same litter.  Angel is a little smaller than Luna but other than that, their markings are very alike.  They are both your typical shorthaired tiger cat.

I am putting this out to all of you pet lovers because this is a strange situation.  I am not willing to simply hand them over to someone and wish them well.  I am searching for an owner who is willing to not only keep Angel and Luna for their whole life, but I am also looking for someone who is willing to stay in touch with me for that entire period.  My promise to my friend is very important to me, and I personally believe that not knowing how the girls are, or where they are, breaches that trust she had in me.  

The only care requests I have are that the new home have some cat experience and will have Angel and Luna remain indoor cats.  My friend did not let them roam outside (unless on a harness and leash) and I know that would be very important to her.  

If there is anyone who would like to help, please contact me in any way you choose.  I will happily keep them with me until I find the correct arrangement.  I'm not going to be overly picky, but I am going to be pretty serious about how I go about this, as where these two cats end up is incredibly important to me.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Memorial Day (5/27)


A friendly reminder that Monday (5/27) is Memorial Day and Happy Dog recognizes it as a holiday.  If you have the day off and do not need Happy Dog's services, please let me know.  As always, if I do not hear from you, any regularly scheduled care will happen as usual and the holiday charge per scheduled service (on Memorial Day only) will apply.

Thank you and enjoy the holiday!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Walls might keep others out, but gates let in the puppy magic...

I trust you are all enjoying spring weather which has finally arrived!  The playgroup dogs and I certainly have been and if there is no reason to go inside, we simply stay out.  SO nice.

As of last year I have been wanting to replace the main gate to the yard.  The old one was a tad too short for my liking, and was starting to look pretty shabby.

As my driveway is exactly 8' wide, I have been waiting for "the perfect height" fence panel, because life just isn't worth it unless I am constantly on mission impossible.  And heaven forbid I simply go to a fence supply store and tell them what I want.  Then while browsing Craigslist the other day, I spotted the perfect panel.  4 1/2' x 8'.  Right?  How perfect is that?

So, with a whole bunch of help from friends, the new gate was transported, constructed and hung.  I am beside myself with how much I love it.  It's super sturdy, tongue and groove and short enough that I can easily see over.  There is a sweet double latch system going on to soothe that neurotic woman inside me  who constantly reminds me of everything that could possibly go wrong (even though nothing she tries to convince me of has ever even come close to happening).

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, The Gate.

Monday, April 8, 2013

4/15 is Marathon Monday

Just a friendly reminder that Monday, April 15th is Marathon Monday.  If you have the day off and do not need Happy Dog's services, please let me know.  As always, if I do not hear from you, any regularly scheduled care will happen as usual.