Friday, June 27, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 151- Deep Thoughts by Stanislaw #6

Regarding Bugs
One of my favorite past times is eating bugs.  Mosquitos, spiders, crickets, lizards... basically any bug that moves or is dead.  What confuses me is that I'm just starting to see these tasty crunchies out and about again after not seeing them for almost 6 months.  I was seriously starting to think that last summer I had eaten every bug out there.  But alas, the bugs are back and tastier than ever.  

So where did they go?  

To answer this question, let's explore what I know to be true about bugs.  They live in the grass.  They live in the air.  They live on walls and sometimes on floors.  They come in many different shapes and sizes.  Some accept their fate and go right down my throat when I eat them, while others struggle a bit.  Some are gooey and some are crunchy.  When my fur is long, I'm less likely to encounter bugs.  That must be it!

Bugs must be able to detect my long fur and send out a signal to their friends to clear the area.  Now that I've got my summer 'do, they have no idea I am coming to eat them.  

Stupid bugs.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 150- Deep Thoughts by Stanislaw #5

I want a napkin on my crate, just like the one my humans have on theirs.  It's a nice little ruffly part of their bed that extends to the floor and has just so many wonderful uses - none of which my humans use it for.  In fact, they don't use it at all!  I don't understand how people can be so wasteful of the things that they have.  

First of all, it makes an excellent hiding place.  Sure, I can only fit my head and shoulders under there, but I'm almost positive that no one can see me as long as I can't see them.  So all you really need is to squeeze your nose and eyes under.  

Secondly, that place is jam-packed with lost treasures, like socks that have gone solo and the most amazing dust bunnies I've ever hunted.  Humans should really spend some quality time crawling around under their crate and explore the exciting world of UnderTheBedLand.

Finally, and perhaps my most favorite and frequent use for this ruffly thingy takes advantage of its wonderful absorbent qualities.  It's a long, upright napkin and it's just my height for wiping my post-feast face on.  I eat like a total beast, and more often then I'd like to admit I wind up with some feast leavings on my manly beard and body that my tongue, as dextrous as it may be, is just not able to reach.  Far be it from me ever go out looking less than my handsome self, and so I must go that extra mile to keep myself as polished as possible.  It just so happens that this extra mile is from the laps I make around the humans' crate, wiping myself nose-to-tail along this incredibly long napkin.  Works like a charm.
So now I'm left to wonder why those silly people don't do the same.  I mean, it's their napkin, right?  Perhaps they set it up at the wrong height?  My dad could probably use his crate napkin about a mile higher than I'd need mine.  It's an excellent way to prevent baths, and if my humans would only get a clue it could save them from their daily scrub downs.  And when the people are having a bad day and they become Grumpalumpakises, why don't they just hide under there?  I'd be willing to bet some cheese that in no time they'll be distracted from their woes by all that this magical UnderTheBedLand has to offer. 

And yet, it goes untouched and unused by my people.  How can this be?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 149- It's Raining Cats Outside

By late yesterday afternoon, I had come to truly enjoy my masculine lake stench that had been brewing on my body since my trip to Beastville.  The sofa cover, my crate blankies, and the chair in the office had all taken on the gentlest breeze of the scent, and I was eyeing the human crate for my next stink-making move.  Mom came over to me and unbuckled my collar, which I originally thought was to expose more fur and aid me in my stinkifying of the household, but NO.  I had been terribly and cruelly duped into trusting that evil human.  She appeared with venison jerky and had me follow her into the bathroom.  I thought she was going to ask me to add my smell to her towels!  But NO!  


That brat bathed me.
And she bathed Big Pupi too.
Now I smell as fresh as a flower and I couldn't be more disgusted at myself.  And to add insult to injury, she took my fur AGAIN - only this time she took so much that I can no longer be considered a true beast.  My mud-catching leg fur had been reduced to such an extent that it leaves nothing to the imagination.  I am one skinny, lanky boy and now the world knows! 

I had originally heard that the reason for yet another fur robbery was because I've been getting too hot on walks, and this would keep me a little cooler.  I was looking forward to testing out this theory during my morning medium-speed hunt, but I woke to find it raining cats outside!  The weebles zone outside my door has transformed into luscious, spongy mud, fresh with the probable run-off from the port-a-potties that are STILL there from this weekend's city-wide Music Festival.  Mom, PLEEEEASE??  This cleanliness is sickening!  Big Pupi's paws are WHITE, and that is entirely unpleasant.  I know he prefers to keep them a soothing grey-brown color, and I find his sweetly-scented whiteness blinding.  We need to remedy this!

Since I'm trapped inside on this depressing day, and since I've been forced to miss out on my daily medium-speed hunt, I am a ball of electricity making my way through the apartment.  Mom sometimes wishes that I could be used as a power source -- perhaps invest in a hamster wheel of sorts and have me run to my heart's content.  Well, mom, my heart is not happy unless there is dirt and stink and possibly a dead bird or two to roll in and play with, and I will continue to take this pent-up fury out on you and on our apartment.

My plans for this morning are this:
1. poke mom in the arm with my nose while she attempts to work
2. bark at Squirrel until she picks him up
3. tug, thrash, growl until I get Squirrel and I win!
4. run into the living room with Squirrel, notice that no one is following me, return to the office
5. repeat
video

Kinetically yours,
Stanislaw

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 148- Welcome to Beastville State Park

Hey guys.  I've been missing for a few days because my mom was in a tizzy about losing her digital camera.  We went on a super fun hike on Saturday, and we weren't able to write a post because there were no photos of my beastly handsomeness!  But my dad, as a testament to his coolness and showing off his magical abilities, found my mom's camera hidden in a pocket of her jogging belt.  Yes!  So here I am in all my manly glory.

Helping my folks prepare for the hike by eating the book with the trail map and directions.  I am so thoughtful!

Big Pupi posing leashless and being all naughty because this is a must-leash park!  Rebel!

Strutting my manliness and zooming along the trails.  I had bugs to catch and signs to bark at!  Dad was such a slow poke.

I was one tired and hot boy.  So tired and hot, in fact, that my dad had to carry me for part of the way on the trail.  I would find a shady spot and plop my belly into it, and reject each of my humans' silly attempts to get me moving again.  I won!

This is a photo of my new park.  I lifted my leg so many times I practically dried myself out.  Big Pupi was also busy working on purchasing some trees and bushes, so I guess I have to share my park with him.  I am going to rename this state park, and call it "Beastville" from now on.  Someone please notify the state of Illinois of this change.

That day was so awesome.  Pupi and I got to jump off the dock into some really nice stinky water and splash around for a while to cool off, and then there were hours of medium-speed hunting in the woods and out on the trails.  I hardly screamed at all!  I saved my vocal cords for the ride home, which was almost 2 hours and my car sick meds were wearing off so I made my people aware of this for a solid 90 minutes by whining in the back seat.  Ha!  Plus I was nice and stinky and still wet from my last dip in the lake.  Sweetness.  I like these places of hunting and swimming and would like to visit my park again soon.  However, they make me so exhausted that I slept until Monday (I woke for feasts and weebles, of course).  But it's totally worth the sore muscles.  I recommend heading out and marking/purchasing parks of your very own.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 144- Dad Is My All-Time Fav

Unbeknownst to my super boring, rule-enforcing Mom, my super awesome, totally tubular, full of coolness Dad has been letting me on the human crate while he watches the No Smell Flashy Box Thing, and cheers for stuff called "Celtics" and "Red Sox."  It's boy bonding time, and Mom is not invited.  My brother is also not invited, mostly because he's a complete mama's boy and would rather watch chick shows and snuggle with Mom.  What a loser!  Meanwhile, I'm livin' large on the human crate, rubbing my smell all over the place and chillin' with Pa.
It's testosterone central when I'm watching the game with my Dad.  We yell, I fart and we both talk about meat.  Never mind the fact that I'm lying on a purply-blue duvet cover and certain elements of my manhood have gone missing.  It's a dude-only club!

When I heard that Mom was getting suspicious, I had no idea what was giving our Boys' Club evenings away.  Could she smell my unbathed manliness on her bed?  What there evidence from something she calls Shedding?  Was my snitch of a brother telling on me?!  Figuring it was the latter, I tried to take Big Pupi's SingingChristmasTreeMouseToy away to teach him a lesson, but all I got was a thrashing from Pupi for taking his untouchable toy.  Dang.  

It's no secret that Dad is my favorite.  He tells me that I was in his belly once, and that's why we both have so much in common.  We're lean boys, with long long legs and we can stand really tall.  He calls us the Tall Team, and my stinky brother and Mom are the Small Team.  Ha!  Dad loves fast hunts and so do I.  Dad also likes to eat a meaty dinner and that's my favorite!  Mom eats super yuckiness called Tofu.  She's such a dork!

My point is that Dad is just the awesome-est human that ever lived.  I wait by the front door when it's time for him to come home from Work, and it's his socks only that I steal from the Hamper.  Dad is a rule-breaking kind of guy just like me, and I hope... I HOPE that some day I can grow up to be just like him.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 142- Of Feasts and Fun

What's going on dog-bloggerinis?!  I am one happy boy because today was a super fun day for me.  I saw my buddy Hunter while out for my morning weebles, and he's always a chill guy to bump into.  Then I feasted on some chicken necks and crunched those bones like the master bone cruncher that I am.  A little after that, my female human put on my halti and we were off on a medium hunt.  It wasn't slow like our usual relaxing excursions, but it also wasn't fast like those days we run while hunting for rabbits and pigeons.  We chugged along at a nice bouncy pace and the movement made me concentrate and prevented a little bit of screaming.  I'm not saying that I didn't have any thrashing meltdowns, but it was far less than usual.  Plus, after trotting for more than 4 miles I found myself a little more relaxed with being outside.  I even laid down outside!  I've never been comfortable enough to do that before.

When we got home I realized I was one hot boy and I sprawled out on our lobby's marble floor (thanks mom for shaving that stripe in my belly fur!).  I looked like a misplaced frog.  When we finally got back up to the apartment I didn't feel tired or hot anymore... I felt HUNGRY and insisted that it was, in fact, time for a morning snack feast.  Mom brought our frozen yogurt/peanut butter treats out of the human meat locker and in moments I was possessed by the chilled deliciousness.
Mom tried to take the treat away at one point but I amazed her at how I, too, am able to walk tall on 2 legs if it makes me treat-feasting height.  I always amaze my people with my magical ability to perform stunts when food is around.  What they don't know is that I've been practicing my biped skills because there are lots things that I want to chew on that are not within my reach... unless I balance like a human.  Silly, simple people!  I'd like to see them try to walk on 4 legs!
Big Pupi also dug the frozen treat, but he feasts much more gingerly than I do so his treat lasted much longer than mine.  
I stared at him somewhat cockeyed hoping he'd tire of this peanut tastiness and I could get in there all sneaky-like and take it for myself.  I was not so fortunate.  What was lucky, however, was my sexy treat beard that made for some post-snack tasting.  It's an excellent way to save some deliciousness for later.
Big Pupi also sported a feasting beard, but he managed somehow not to get any deliciousness on his ears, eyebrows, and hind leg.  I'm not entirely sure how I was able to pull that off, but I happen to look good when I'm wearing my food.
After the snack, mom went to work in the office and Pupi and I passed out for... I don't know how long.  I curled up on the carpet and snoozled, dreaming of frozen feasts and medium speed hunts until there was a KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK on the door.  !!!  I sprung from the floor like an electric spark, making all the noise I could so that mom would realize that there were THINGS that were HAPPENING right on the other side of our front door!  !!!  What joy!  What excitement!  And just when I thought that it doesn't get any better than a knock at the door...
...mom pulled in 2 big boxes filled with our feasting supplies!  !!!  There was mutton, beef, turkey everywhere!  Blocks of chicken necks defrosting in the sink!  Packages of bully sticks and.  WAIT.  WHAT DID I JUST SMELL???
No way!!  TRIPE!!!  That's my all-time favorite!  As soon as mom pulled that out of the box, Big Pupi and I started fighting and we had to be put in Time Out until we calmed ourselves.  Are you kidding mom?  Why aren't you this pumped about tripe?!  Big Pupi the brown-noser kept peeking over the counter and asking mom if she needed help cleaning up any scraps.  He's such a bum-head sometimes.In a whirl mom weighed and packaged months worth of feasts and before we knew it our meat locker was jam packed and all we could smell was bleach (which is a smell I happen to like, much to my humans' disbelief).  For dinner I feasted on old ground beef heart but tomorrow I saw a package of ground duck make its way into the fridge.  Sweetness.  I'm almost positive now that when I explode out of my crate tomorrow morning, it will be the best day of my life.

Is it tomorrow yet?
-Stanislaw

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 141- Back and Better Than Ever

What's goin' on fellow doggers?  This is Stanislaw, comin' at ya!  I'm back and I'm feasting better than ever.  Whatever was making me sick has passed, and I FINALLY got a normal breakfast of chicken necks and yogurt.  Plus, since I've lost a little bit of weight from my tummy virus from last week and then this yucky bug from this weekend, my humans have been sneaking me treats like crazy!!  For the first time ever I tasted PEANUT BUTTER!!!  It was melt in my beastly mouth deliciousness and I continued to lick my bowl for 20 minutes after I had eaten all of the peanutty tastiness.  My mom took a page out of Mack and Paris's book and mixed up some plain yogurt with some peanut butter and froze it in cups yesterday for my feasting delight this afternoon.  I also got a bully stick late yesterday and have my dewclaws crossed that there's another one with my name on it today.  


Yesterday was a marvelous day.  Aside from getting my tummy back in order and meeting peanut butter for the first time, my folks placed a great big meaty order at Hare-Today that is supposed to arrive tomorrow.  We usually don't have to order meat so often, but about 20 pounds of feastingness was out of stock from our last order and that puts us almost a month short.  So now I have a fresh batch of tripe, duck, pork, beef, mutton, turkey and chicken necks coming my way!  Awww man.  Life is good.

Did I mention that my new collar came?  It's sweet and I'm totally handsome now... but in a really mature cocker way.  There's something about leather that makes me feel like James Bond.  I'm really good at stealth cheese-stealing moves now.  I'll post a picture as soon as my humans get their act in gear and renew my modeling contract.  I won't pose unless the pay is worth my precious time.

I've got a hectic day of feasting and feasting and annoying Big Pupi and feasting.  See ya!
-Stanislaw

***
Big Pupi on obedience:
Stanislaw's therapist paid us a visit on Saturday.  (Or was it that my humans paid her to visit?)  She spent about 2 hours discussing Stan's and my habits, back stories, relationship and lifestyle.  Then we got to go for a few trips around the block where I heeled like the perfect son and Stanislaw screamed like a beast.  I was totally confused that he was being naughty and getting treats for it!  I was doing Good Boy and getting nothing!!  Humans are just so inconsistent sometimes.

The therapist lady put something on Stanley called a Calming Cap, which was meant to reduce the amount of visual stimulus he was taking in from his surroundings.  However, it didn't fit quite right and with our round cocker spaniel-shaped eyes he wound up being almost blinded by the seam in the cap.  It did reduce his screaming and nervousness a little but I don't think my humans are sold on it.  They're gonna try to go through with the training while letting Stanley see all that he wants!

In Chicago there are lots of above-ground trains that run on tracks high above our heads.  They are very loud and can make really scary noises.  These sounds really trigger Stan's screaming big-time, and whenever a train would come by Stan would get lots and lots of his high-value treat which in this case was banana.  (It will NEVER be banana again!)  When he got agitated in less stressful situations he was given lower-valued treats, like dehydrated liver or venison jerky.  This is all done in hopes that his negative perception of things in the city will eventually become positive associations as he thinks of treats of deliciousness.

The goal in breaking Stan's bad habits is to prevent them from starting.  In other words, before he starts screaming outside or whining inside, he should be asked to perform a good trick like "sit," and then praised for it.  However, if he does get into a barking mode like he does when I'm getting attention and he's jealous, Trainer Lady recommended the use of untrasonic Pet Agree.  This will interrupt Stan and allow my humans to ask him to perform a positive action.  Otherwise Stan can get so focused on what he's doing it's almost impossible to get through to him.  The down side is that I can hear it too and I'm a good boy!

Just as my buddy Niamh recommended, the therapist said that Stanislaw could possibly benefit from a calming massage or Tellington Touch.  An anxiety wrap could also be handy as he really becomes very anxiety-ridden when we're out and about.  Dog Appeasing Pheromone is also something to think about, but...

...this all just sounds like a lot of stuff to buy.  I'm sure some of it works wonders but we're going to try it out with a nice big baggy of non-banana treats at first, and take it slowly.  As much as I hate to admit this, (I prefer to be the brains in the family), but he's a fast learner and I think he will eventually get the hang of things.  While we haven't yet received the full write-up of Stan's treatment plan - it takes about 4 days for Trainer Lady to get it all on paper - we are ready and rarin' to get started!  His first big training walk is tomorrow, so wish him luck!

As for me... well, I'll be here polishing my halo.
-Big Pupi


**An Important Note**
The dog flu has been spreading rapidly and cases have been reported all over the U.S.  It is extremely resistant to antibiotics and is also extremely contagious.  The initial symptoms are generally coughing or sounds of congestion/throat clearing, a runny nose and watery eyes.  If you have these or similar symptoms make your people take you to the vet immediately.  Onset of full illness is usually within 24 hours of first symptoms.  This strain of flu has already claimed many lives.  Treatment is incredibly expensive and must continue for a minimum of 30 days.  Stay away from strange dogs, dog parks, day care and kennels until this has run its course.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 140- Sad Stanley

***
Big Pupi takes over:
Hey guys. It's Big Pupi M.D. taking over Stan's blog again.
My brother Stanislaw is under the weather once again. He vomited three more times yesterday morning and could barely hold his little head up for breakfast. My humans fed him tablespoons of sugar water to make sure he got some fluids and to keep his energy levels up. He looked like someone had stretched his face all long and dangly, and between his sad, saggy ears you could see a pair of tired, droopy eyes. His gums were almost white and all he wanted to do was snuggle into his fleece blankie and snoozle.

By lunch time Stan was able to keep down a soupy breakfast of mutton, yogurt and water and since then all things have been heading in the right direction. He even mustered up the energy to give some snaggly pigeons the scare of their lives and to join me in begging our dad for some cheese. Our people figured that if he's able to make sad eyes for food, then he's making a recovery. It's a good thing that Stanley is improving, because he was about 30 seconds from being taken to the Emergency Place of Tile and Steel. That's not fun! Especially when you're feeling as yucky as he was.

So keep your paws crossed that today is a puke-free day and that Stanley continues on his road to recovery. He seemed a-okay on Saturday and his therapist paid a visit - he'll update you on all of that once he's in blogging order. In the mean time, watch out for the dog flu that's making its way around and take care of your doggy selves!

**UPDATE ON STANISLAW**
Breakfast has stayed down and he made it through the night without getting sick! He's even tried to annoy me and fight me for my ChristmasTreeSingingMouseToy. I'm just gonna tell you to give that one up right now, Stanislaw. Have I EVER allowed you to touch ChristmasTreeSingingMouseToy?? Anyways, our people think that he has a severe allergy to bananas, which were used as his high-value reward on Saturday during his training. Yipes! Well, I guess you live and learn and feast and so far he's about 95% back to the old and terribly abrasive, toy-stealing, barky-faced Stanley. This means that my humans can stop being OBSESSED over that stinky boy and pay attention to me now!

Daily doggy immune-boosters:

~Vitamin C: 250-500 mg per 10 lbs body weight, or until bowel tolerance. Not recommended if you are currently suffering from sad tummies like Stanislaw. Vitamin C can give your immune system a helping hand and a kick in the pants, and it functions as an antioxidant.

~Probiotics: Probiotic supplements can be purchased like the ones sold by b-naturals, or given in plain yogurt (that contains live cultures). Yogurt can be mixed with food daily - 1 heaping tsp per 5 lbs. Probiotics help keep the bacteria in your belly in check, and if you've been sick recently it can also help replace the good bacteria that we need to properly digest our feasts. Plain yogurt also makes a healthy snack if your humans put some in a food puzzle toy and then freeze it before giving it to you. Mmm mmm delish!

~Garlic: This tastiness can give a boost to the ol' immune system, but don't go overboard. Add enough to make your food tasty, but too much garlic can hurt more than it helps.

~An immune blend which contains lots of vitamins, minerals and probiotics: A great and easy way to make sure that your diet is giving you everything you need... especially if you're on kibble/canned food where cooking and processing can break down many of the nutrients. Again, b-naturals makes a great immune blend mix.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 138- My Uncle is Hunting Birds in Heaven

From Big Pupi:

My uncle, Sir Wrigley of Potowomut, left to go hunt some birds in heaven yesterday. Wrigley was 14 years old and my human's family dog growing up. He was the oldest member of the Forgotten Fans. I never got to meet Wrigley because he lived in Rhode Island and I've never been on a plane, but my dad used to regale me with stories about this mythical beast. Wrigley was a backyard boy and his job was to protect the property from all critters hoping to come in. He's wrestled snakes, skunks, and squirrels. He even once took care of a blue jay that had tried to feast on his kibble. Most Red Sox fans hate Yankees, but Wrigley hated Blue Jays and Orioles. Wrigley was also a big fan of meat and cheese, just like me and Stanislaw. Wrigley actually lived long enough to see the Red Sox win two championships, in 2004 and 2007. He celebrated last year by wearing goggles like the Sox. This great hunter and feaster will surely be missed.


Wrigley: 1993-2008


Friday, June 13, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 137- Fun Everlasting

Total awesomeness happened yesterday.  We got one crinkled, broken, squashed, crushed and pulverized box in the mail, and mom said it was for us DOGS!
Our humans found that they can save some serious cheese money by ordering our Frontline in the mail, and they put this extra cash to good use.  They got us some treats!  In this particular squishy box, we had some venison jerky, beef pizzles, birthday toys for Big Pupi and me (we haven't seen those yet), and the ultimate prize:
Our buddy Fenway turned us on to the Fun Ball, and we had to give it a whirl.  Despite my iron-clad cocker jaws that have chewed through all rubbery toys in the past (even those made for big dogs!) I am yet to make a dent in the Fun Ball, and it's not because I didn't try.  Mom put a jerky treat in there, and boy, did I gnaw and nibble.
I took the Fun Ball immediately to my most favorite place to chew - the sofa.  You may notice the sofa is again without its slip cover, and that's because it's also Big Pupi's most favorite place to vomit.  Our little bodies are kicking that tummy virus in the bum, and we're feeling so good today that we were back in playing (and fighting) mode.
I was busy being Good Boy and having lots of Have working on my Fun Ball.  I really dig it's kind of gooey texture and I can actually work my jaws on it.  The downside is that I haven't yet been able to break any pieces off to eat, because I'm sure it would be mighty tasty.  Another major downside of this toy is that Big Pupi, my bully of a brother, caught a sniff of the venison-infused Fun Ball cavity, and immediately stole my new play thing away from me.  I was one disgruntled boy.
Big Pupi stole my venison jerky and refused to give the now-empty Fun Ball back to my mouth, which is where it belongs.  To make matters worse, the Ball has good holes and grooves in it which make for great tooth-grips, rendering my Fun Ball a permanent fixture in Pupi's face. 
Mom gave me some jerky to try and console me after my recent meat robbery, and she also put another piece back inside the Fun Ball and that kept my awful, terrible, no-good brother out of my fur for a while as he tried to work it out.
I stole some belly rubs from my human and he didn't even know!  Usually he's a belly rub party crasher, but he was OBSESSED with the Ball-O-Feasting-Awesomeness.
The Fun Ball also has some quality bounce to it, and just as Fenway promised it hasn't left its mark anywhere on the walls or furniture.  I guess it has realized that I'm the only one allowed to mark this territory.

As for the rest of that wonderful smashed box's contents... we're not allowed to play with that stuff for now.  No more treats until our tummies are totally better, and we still have no idea what those birthday gifts can be.  Again, I found myself less than pleased at the thought that I would have to be Patient to get presents.  
I don't like to be Have, and I certainly do not enjoy being Patient.  Those are not qualities of a kingly cocker spaniel!  I also have to wait for my new collar to arrive.  Since the box of goodies had such a rough trip finding its way to my home, my collar escaped and ran away.  The nice folks at J-B Wholesale Pet Supplies said they will send another one right away.  I am so pumped for a leather collar!!  I'm obsessed with leather, and Big Pupi has a matching one that looks swell and has held up really nicely.  I have a cool nylon collar now, but I pull so hard on my leash that my humans get fearful the plastic buckle will break and I'll be a free roaming boy once again.  Plus, now that I'm a big boy my humans say that I can get a fancy big boy collar -- just as long as I don't eat it.  Right.  Me not eat something leather??

I'm willing to bet some cheese that my shiny new bling-bling gear would look even better if I had a Fun Ball in my mouth.  I'm just sure of it.


*Note: My humans found an ENTIRE LINE of Fun Ball products at Triple Crown!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 136- Everything in My Apartment is Mine

My humans don't seem to get the point.  Everything they think they own that is kept in my territory is, in fact, MINE.  That means shoes, chapstick, socks, smelly gym clothes and tupperware.
If you put it out of my reach, I'll climb and get it.  If you close it behind a door, I'll push that door open and take what is rightfully mine.  If you hide it behind a shower curtain (like your soap), I will go in and lick it.

In My Territory = Mine

The only exceptions to this rule include all of the stuffed toys, which my brother has claimed as his.  Sometimes I am told that I'm Naughty Boy after shredding a new magazine or de-soling a pair of shoes.  But I have perfected the sad puppy face.  
My humans can't stay mad, and it's belly-rub city and right back to overtly claiming all that I own in this vast kingdom.

Give it,
Stanislaw

***
Big Pupi likes to get in on the Naughty sometimes:
How can a boy resist a good stolen tupperware chew?  Only I don't hide like Stanislaw does when I'm Naughty Boy.  I put it out there for all to see and admire.  I am living proof that you can be ballsy without having any.
I am asking all of you to send some good mojo our way.  Stanislaw and I have caught a little tummy virus that has been plaguing pups in our area.  We've been temporarily turned into canine volcanoes, with hourly eruptions.  Part of the excitement is... you never know which end it's gonna come out of this time!  I felt so sickly yesterday morning, that I DIDN'T EAT BREAKFAST.  Can you believe it?!  I turned down food!  I have NEVER done that before.

After a little fasting and a bland diet (overcooked white rice and boiled meat), we've been feeling much better.  And today we get the test results back from Stanislaw's... um... SAMPLE that was dropped off yesterday to make sure we didn't catch any sort of infection.  That crazy Stanislaw - always picking things up with his mouth and then slobbering all over my water bowl.  

Our humans think that we must be feeling better since we've been looking for trouble again, and they know that two cocker spaniels without exercise are mischievous boys.  So, here's to happy bellies and a good tupperware chew!


PS - If you live in IL, stay away from the dog parks for a while!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 135- A Good Laugh

Have a laugh with Stanislaw.
What do you get when you crossbreed...

-Deerhound and a Terrier?
A Derriere.  A dog that's loyal to the very end.

-Malamute and Pointer?
A moot point.  A dog that... well, it doesn't matter anyway.

-Pointer and Setter?
A Pointsetter, appropriate for holiday gift-giving.

-Collie and Malamute?
A Commute.  An ideal working breed.

-Bulldog and Shitzu?
...I'll have to get back to you on this one.
 
***

-How many cocker spaniels does it take to change a light bulb?
Why change it?  We can still pee on the carpet in the dark.

***

This is your comedian Stanislaw, reminding you not to chase parked cars!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 134- Feasting and Food Allergies

I challenge everyone to a competition!
How tiny can you get??

***
Big Pupi should have gone to vet school:
Some people believe that cocker spaniels are prone to ear infections. I have to say that is absolutely.... true, but with a caveat. Cocker spaniels are also infamous for having a long list of food allergies and intolerances. Could the two be linked?

ABSOLUTELY.

Any animal with chronic ear infections should be looked at for reactions to their meals. Barring water in the ear from swimming, a foreign object in the canal... or any obvious cause of infection, if a pup is plagued by yeast or bacteria then their feasts may actually be the cause. I'll use myself as an example.

When I was first adopted, I was put on all sorts of new foods and I entered into a world of tummy pains and terrible digestive reactions. I became terribly ill, and on top of it I had a reoccurring yeast infection in both ears. A few months went by and the discovery was made that I cannot tolerate corn, wheat, soy, shellfish, sweet potato, some preservatives and certain colorings. Once those were eliminated, so were the ear infections. My ears never need cleaning, there is no maintenance, I've never had an ear issue since, and yes... my ears are terribly floppy! So how did I go from being prone to yeasty beasties to a picture of macrotous greatness? The answer is in the allergies...

The first time a body is exposed to an allergen, there is no reaction. However, and for reasons that are not completely understood, the immune system recognizes this new item as a danger and will create immunoglobulin E antibodies (IgE). Antibodies are used by the body to identify and neutralize those yucky things that can find their way into our bodies, like bacteria and viruses. IgE is one of many types of antibodies found in the immune system, and these particular antibodies are made to bind to the allergen and trigger the release of histamines. Histamines are those tricky little guys that give us outward symptoms of allergies, usually swelling and itching.

An allergy, or atopy, can be a constant in one's life. Allergic reactions occur quickly, and once known they can be extremely predicable. For example, once a human knows that they are allergic to peanuts, they know that every time they eat a peanut they will have a reaction. Well, allergies work the same way in us dogs.

Food intolerances are a different sort of animal. These can be much more difficult to diagnose since the time span from exposure to reaction can be hours or even days. Unlike allergies, these reactions do not use the IgE antibodies and instead are suspected to be caused by multiple issues. One of these issues is a lack of digestive enzymes. Humans call a insufficient amount of the lactase enzyme "lactose intolerance." Basically, they are unable to digest the sugars in milk and this causes pain and other digestive upsets. While this is not necessarily related to the immune system, some intolerances may be connected to the IgG antibody which would make them an immune response.

Food intolerances can cause a myriad of symptoms, ranging anywhere from fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, rashes, headaches, hair loss, gas and the list goes on and on. While most creatures will react to a bee sting with immediate swelling and pain (an IgE or allergic response), those that suffer from a gluten intolerance will each have a different symptom or combination of symptoms that appear at any length of time after exposure. Again, this makes an intolerance extremely tricky to diagnose.

So, how do we figure these things out? There is an elimination diet that your vet can prescribe. I do not recommend that you go this one alone. It will have to be a home-made diet that takes place over the span of a few weeks. As the body adjusts to the new and very bland food and symptoms begin to subside, old foods are added back in one by one and notes are made about any adverse reactions. If your human suspects an allergy or intolerance, the best thing to do is keep a food journal, as this is the most effective way to catch those sneaky intolerances and to narrow down offending foods. The only true treatment for food allergies and intolerances is avoidance, and most items will have to be removed from the diet for life. Pin-prick tests can be useful if testing for allergies, but they do not function for intolerances. So, a negative reaction in a skin test to an item, does NOT mean that the item isn't causing any problems.

There is no such thing as a pre-made, hypoallergenic diet. Allergies and intolerances are an individual thing, and any hypersensitive dog can have a reaction to any one of the ingredients in these supposed "safe" diets. If a dog is severely allergic and is found to have lots of no-no foods on the list, sometimes the only option is a home-made diet. If there is only one or two items on the "must avoid" list, then finding a high-quality food that eliminates those would work just fine. But there is never a one-size-fits-all solution to these problems.

What about those yeasty ear infections? Well, allergies and intolerances can cause inflammation. Swelling in the ear canal or sinuses can cause improper drainage, and the fluids that collect can keep the canal too moist and it becomes a perfect breeding ground for unfriendly yeasties. Food reactions can also create a general imbalance in the body, sending good and bad bacteria levels askew and making the immune system perform less than perfectly.

You might remember that Stanley had a yeasty ear infection 2 weeks ago. Our humans suspect this was caused by the re-introduction of brown rice into his diet which happened about a week before things started to go stinky. Stanislaw, as it turns out, cannot handle any grains whatsoever, and is also extremely sensitive to potato. He is thought to have a mix of allergies and intolerances, and it has taken a long time to discover them all. But... it's well-worth it! A healthy pup means a happy pup and our humans are thrilled to save some cheese money on our vet bills. And more money means more feasting!

If you or your human thinks you might have some food issues, tell them they should keep a diary. Write down what you've eaten and when, and how you reacted and when. After a few days or weeks a pattern might be revealed. And of course, if there are chronic issues your human should consult your doctor and be wary of treatments that alleviate the symptoms but don't get to the cause. Sometimes things like yeasty ear infections can be an indicator that something bigger is going on. Keep your eyes - and ears - open!

Eat some healthy chow,
Big Pupi

Monday, June 9, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 133- Deep Thoughts by Stanislaw #4

So, I was watching some Animal Planet yesterday after playing at the dog park, when my TV was interrupted by an alert from the National Weather Service.
First of all, I was just about to see a tiger eat an antelope when this annoying lady voice took over my TV and said "seek shelter" and "get out of your mobile home" and stuff.  This lady thought she was more important than hippos fighting alligators.  

Second of all, I know when the tornados are coming and this one wasn't even going to get close to us.  I mean, if a tornado was really looming, I'd tell my humans to take shelter in my crate.  Then I would go outside after it was over and see if any goats or cows blew into my neighborhood.  The point is that I am a dog and I know what the weather is going to do even before your silly human weather-sniffing gadgets know... so let me watch my Animal Planet in peace!  The thought of missing some good squirrel footage made Big Pupi quite distraught.
In the end, I wonder why humans need this Emergency Broadcast System.  And I wonder why they rely so much on silly radar devices when they are so fortunate to have us canines in their homes.  Everyone knows that us critters come with masterful weather-hunting abilities already in our brains!  Just keep an eye on us and we'll tell you what to do.  I wonder what happened to people that they lost this 6th sense.  Someone should bring it up with their breeder.

Keep a nose to the sky,
Stanislaw

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 131- My New Cousin

My new cousin, who has been officially named Sam, moved in with his human last week.  Things have been going great!  He's a very friendly boy and he loves to play with lots of dogs at the park, but according to Sam those dogs are way too laid back for his playtime style.  He's one young, rambunctious boy.  

Sam has yellow eyes which, according to his human, is a desirable color for herding and working border collies, as they use their eyes to intimidate the tasty sheep.  That's why the folks at his rescue think he's a border collie mix.  Sam also has a very interesting color combo, since his undercoat is brown and top coat is a nice shiny black.
Sam's mom says that he's a very smart boy, which I guess is to be expected when you've got some collie brains mixed in there.  He can open their screen door and then unlatch the gate from the fence that runs about their yard.  Naughty!  He has also begun to feel like he's home, and has gotten a little destructive when his human roommates aren't watching.  But hey, even the best of us have been known to chew a shoe or 14.  It gave my mom an excuse to buy new dress shoes, because I de-heeled all but one pair.  Persistence pays off!
Sam has a special part of the sofa that he loves to stretch out on, and he enjoys snoozeling up to his mom's arm and taking a nap with his chin resting on her.  He is also a serious fan of yogurt (aren't we all?) and will only do his poobles in private, hidden spots while spinning, barking and growling to let the world know that he's taking care of business.  I guess that means he arrived already housebroken which is always a bonus for humans.  I sure didn't!

Well, as some of you might be aware,  Big Pupi and I tend to enjoy the company of border collie-mix breeds (see our report card!) and my dewclaws are still crossed that I get to play with Sam one day.  If those New York City dogs aren't crazy or energetic enough for him, then I'm guessing that he and I will be a good match!  Most of these Chicago pups don't have the obsession with playing chase like I do, and I could use a good playmate.  I am a tad nervous that he will try to herd me, though, and those yellow eyes...  there just seems to be something a little too intelligent behind there.  Not that us spaniels are pea-brained or anything, but seriously.  I get the feeling that Sam can read more than just body language.
If his mom ever finds him in the morning putting a fresh pot of coffee on and reading the New York Times, I'll let you know.  In the mean time, I think the goal is to get him his CGC and then take him to agility.  I wonder if he can fit agility in with his jam-packed schedule of Mensa meetings and tutoring kids for the SATs?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 130- Inroads and Outfields

Hi folks! I've been walking around with my head held high the past 24 hours because the world has discovered my ridiculous good-lookingness.  You see, Pupi and I went to the bark park yesterday for a good romp with our buddy Hunter.  The combination of the freshly muddied dog run and our au de toilette that we got at camp inspired mom to give us a good scrub down and then attack us all over with the buzzy thing.  She was surprised at what she found under piles of my thick cocker 'do -- a day-glo shiny boy.  I have such a sheen to me I'm almost iridescent, and this gets me lots and lots of attention from strange humans that want to pet the sparkle pup.  Awesome!  It's only been a day since I've been groomed, but people are already asking who my breeder was, what I'm fed, and if I'm a show dog.  A show dog?!  I've decided that I'll make the push for rescue and shelter pups out there, and inquiring humans always drop their jaw when they hear that someone threw me away once and that I, too, was a shelter boy.  My humans always make a point to let them know that I was not this pretty when they first took me home, but some quality nutrition and a little TLC can turn a sickly dog around.  And when they ask what I'm fed... well... I eat raw meat, of course!


(I think my buddy Fenway [an actual show dog] will agree with me when I say that our delicious fish oil has a lot to do with our fancy coats.  If you're interested in adding some to your diet, which I recommend for so many reasons on top of improving coat and skin, please check out my supplements post for dosages and recommendations for EPA/DHA quantities.  Plan on 6 months or so before you see any dramatic improvements, but it's well worth the wait!)

***
Big Pupi had THE best day yesterday:
Yesterday marked the annual White Sox Dog Day at the stadium.  Dogs could apply for tickets months in advance, and the lucky pups that got one could actually go into the baseball stadium and feast on hot dogs and watch a game of baseball!  Unfortunately Stanislaw did not get a ticket, but I did and I was practically bursting waiting for the day to come.  It was extra special to me because I got to spend the evening with both of my humans all to myself.  Stanislaw can be very needy and so it was wonderful to be lavished with attention for a few hours.  We waited in line with lots and lots of other pups and paraded around the field to show off our handsomeness and scare the Royals with our beastly qualities.  I'm sure you know by now that I'm one serious Red Sox fan, and this may seem a little strange that I attended a White Sox game.  Well, I have been lobbying for a section K-9 at Fenway Park, or at the very least a dog day, and I felt it was necessary to conduct some research.  It was so awesome I can't even tell you, and now I'm practically rabid over the idea of a dog day for Fenway!
I was debating whether or not I should take off my harness and collar and streak across the field.

Watching the White Sox warm up and attempting to sniff some long-distance bums.

Frightening the Royals with my beastliness.  They hid in their dugout!

Dad shared his ballpark hot dog!  (Minus the spicy stuff.)  This particular feast was IncredibleAmazingDeliciousScrumptious, but I bet you Fenway Franks are even better!

Watching the game from the doggy bleachers.

I was one very well-behaved boy and I restrained myself from marking any territory and I even managed to avoid doing one of my excitable poobles that always seem to sneak out when I'm having too much fun.  That was just Big Pupi representing Red Sox Nation for all you Forgotten Fans out there.  To baseball dog fans and to dogs that are ball fans alike...

...Play Ball!!