Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 245- Observations on Humanity


Big Pupi on "Training my Human"

On Saturday my mom attended her first "without dog" observation, which is one of the human requirements that must be met before she is able to work with her fabulous and outstanding therapy dog (me, of course). She woke early on that day. I got an early breakfeast and then she was gone until afternoon. When she returned on the sunny Saturday, the first thing she did was snap on my leash and take me for a walk. I guess it was part determination to help me ace that exam, and part of her needed that sunshine and air. We had to be out and moving and seeing and breathing and why? Because we could.


Mom met two ladies, each with 100 lbs of dog at their side at the entrance to the hospital. They made their introductions and together they swooshed through the hospital lobby into a hallway lit yellow and bright. They peered into doorways and offered a visit from their patient pups. Some said Yes and others No, and together the group weaved and bobbed between the rooms.

A woman, sitting upright in a metal chair next to her bed said Yes to the dogs and in they went. In a shaky, weakened hand the woman balanced a bowl full of feastables and bit-by-bit she fed the dogs from a fork, like one would a child. The woman concentrated hard to coordinate the tasting, and she never dropped a single niblet. Never even came close. She did it for the dog and she was talking and happy all the while. A few more days and she'd be home.

In another room, a man laid in his bed with a nurse at his side. On his face was an expression of shock and amazement. Dogs in the hospital? Big dogs? He was in his 50s and never in his life had he touched a canine. And now he was feeding one neatly with a utensil as it perched its massive hindquarters on his bed. Mom never thought a smile could get so big or eyes so wide. When snack time was through the man clasped his hands together and declared this to the highlight of his stay. He was counting the seconds until he could tell his wife all about this. "Just wait until he finds his health again," mom told me. We're certain we'll see him proudly walking his first dog around town.

Into another hospital room... it was quiet. A woman lay low in her bed, thin and weak with dark eyes. Unmoving. Tubes of all sorts were attached to liquids held high and they darted into the sheets and disappeared. The room was warm and sweets sat on a table uneaten. And then there were the dogs. And with their entry came life to a frail body and light behind her face. She struggled to speak and begged the dogs be brought closer and closer. A chair was set next to the bed and the massive canines took turns sitting nicely and accepting treats and pets. It was happy.

Until the woman began to cry.

They were sobs from a body unable to find the energy for tears. There was a sadness so deep from a young person facing something she didn't seem quite ready for. Paper-thin hands were held tight and tears gently pat away. Soft words were whispered but how can a human really understand? One that is well and walking... how do they find the words to comfort another? It was then that the rottweiler hoisted his triple-digit body onto the bed. He was careful with his feet, balancing gingerly on the bed's edge and resting his mammoth head so gently on her fragile chest. Tears melted into kisses and arms wrapped snugly around the dog's neck. They laid like that for some time - the dog still and comforting.

Breathing in


breathing out.

The big pup had patience for days. He would lie there with her and melt into her embrace. Food was no longer interesting. Life was on pause. This was his place and he was her medicine. The woman's body relaxed and she drifted lightly to sleep.

In time the dog dismounted and parting words were said, along with promises that next week they'll be back and next week she will have a furry neck to hold and a fuzzy forehead to kiss. And next week she can drift to dream feeling life and warmth lying next to her, unafraid of her, giving her more than words ever could. And we all hoped and prayed for next week.


An hour visit to a hospital may not be much out of a schedule. An hour visit from a week's-worth of hours may not be a whole lot to ask. But somewhere in that hour humans are changed deeply. And suddenly an hour just doesn't seem like enough when it means a lifetime to someone bound to their bed. One hour and suddenly the world looks different and it wouldn't be possible without the therapy dog.

So take 60 minutes and spend it with your dog today. Walk, talk, play and pet. Take it all in, every last little bit of it. There will be a day when you can no longer do this.

Today is not the day.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 244- Palates and Pills

Hey folks.  We've been naughty lately - hanging out on the human crate and such.  Sometimes naughty can be awfully comfortable.

I guess we're allowed to do this since the duvet cover is away being cleaned and the temporary blankie is cocker spaniel-friendly.  What my humans don't realize is that they'll have to spend the next 2 months teaching us that the bed is off limits again!  Ha!  The truth is that I know this but I pretend to forget when we're allowed a little wiggle room.  A whole bed's-worth of wiggle room!  You know what they say... give a spaniel an inch, and he'll thrash on your crate.  That's just what we did.  It was pretty sweet.  The bed smells like me now.

Over the weekend I got to take a one-on-one walk with mom and my buddy Hunter and his mom, and we went down to the SuperAmazingFunBeastly Squirrel Park to chase those little tree lobsters around for a while.  I guess there was a little lost baby all curled up at the base of a tree and it took me all of 0.2 seconds to locate that tasty nibble!  My Stinky McStinkFace mom yanked me back before I could really have at him and he ran away making little skretch skretch sounds and alerting all his fuzzy lobster friends that there's a beast on the loose.  I have no clue where squirrels go when they run away.  I think they zoom into some magical portal and disappear!  Big Pupi says that I need to look up once in a while to find the little niblets, but he doesn't understand that they just become invisible or something and there's no point in trying to climb trees.  He's wasting his energy!  Some day I'll figure out how they do it, but in the mean time their critter antics totally blow my mind.  

I'll sleep on this one.  When I figure out the squirrel magic I'll let you know.



Big Pupi is finally diaperless!

Hi folks.  As usual I came down with something that hit hard and fast and it left just as quickly.  Those delicious cheese-covered pills really worked their magic and now I'm back to my former territory-marking self.  The vet said that I had e. coli of the weeble which is actually quite common for boys with my um... condition... and it was probably picked up during my weeble-to-something contact as I was out "shopping" in my neighborhood.  "These things just happen sometimes," Doctor B. said.  No.  This will NEVER happen again.  I will make certain of that!

As part of my treatment I was prescribed Rimadyl, which is a common anti-inflammatory and pain medication.  As soon as mom realized what she had brought home she tossed it.  I guess she had known a pup once that had some serious complications on the stuff and after some research she found that big-time side effects are not uncommon.  Ever heard of B.A.R.K.S.?  It stands for "Be Aware of Rimadyl's Known Side-effects" and it is a consumer group that formed to educate humans on the issues surrounding the drug.  As with any medication, it is super important that you know and understand what you are ingesting - especially if you have a very sensitive system like mine or have a history of reactions or liver/kidney problems.  And since Rimadyl remains such a widely-prescribed drug, I will give a little background on it here.

Rimadyl (carprofen) was approved by the FDA in 1996.  By 1998, 39% of all Adverse Drug Experiences (ADEs) the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) received were concerning Rimadyl.  That means that almost HALF of ALL health issues claimed were concerning the drug.  About 13% of these claims resulted in death.  CVM made Pfizer, the maker of Rimadyl, change the warning label on the drug and in all of their marketing they must mention that death is a potential side effect.  After receiving these new guidelines, Pfizer pulled their advertising.  (1)  Unfortunately, when pups are prescribed the drug from their vet, they are often given a dose in a prescription bottle - not the Rimadyl packaging - so none of that important information is passed along.

The most common reason for death in dogs on the drug is due to liver damage.  Of course there are the most shocking incidences where a human will lose their young companion suddenly to organ failure, and most often these are the cases in which necropsies are performed and reports are made.  However, Rimadyl is a drug that is mostly used for arthritic and elderly patients, and when these guys cross over the bridge there generally isn't any continuing investigation as to why.  Furthermore, when it comes to an effected elderly dog, sudden liver problems are often seen as a result of aging and other geriatric diseases.  These incidences are not reported.  (2)

There are certain breeds that have been found to be more reactive than others.  Labs, for example, have one of the highest ADE rates.  When the drug was tested on animals it was done predominantly on young beagles, while it is intended mainly for elderly dogs of all breeds.  (2)  The Senior Dog Project, an online group that is very active in educating about Rimdyl, has a list on their website of the most commonly mentioned breeds in Rimadyl ADE reports.  Just keep in mind that this list is most likely skewed by the popularity of certain breeds, but it's something to keep in mind.  We know that cocker spaniels are on there!

In 2006 the FDA issued new guidelines for prescribing NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal, Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) to dogs.  These additions include blood tests before and periodically during the prescription duration in order to identify a baseline blood reading and then continued testing to detect any changes.  It also allows gastrointestinal issues, such as ulcers and perforations to be associated with the drugs, as previously they were considered to be inconclusive - because these side effects were not seen during clinical trials.  (3)

The bottom line is that many dogs seem to have benefited from Rimadyl.  That being said, there have been many dogs that have suffered from the side effects of the drug, and at a much higher rate than almost any other medication prescribed.  So what do we recommend?  Just know your stuff.  The more information you human has in their head the better the decisions will be concerning you and your health.  Sure, there are always good and bad sides to everything, and education is the key to finding a balance.  I'm a sensitive boy with a history of iffy kidney numbers, and so the bottle of Rimadyl got a one-way ticket to trashland.  

Just a bit of education,

Big Pupi


1. FDA: CVM Update, December 1, 1999

2.  Most Arthritic Dogs Do Very Well on This Pill, Except the Ones that Die, Chris Adams, staff reporter of the Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2000

3. FDA: Veterinary Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, January 3, 2008

Further reading:

The Senior Dog Project, Rimadyl: News, Views & Advisories

Pawprints & Purrs, Inc., Dog Health Care: Rimadyl Timeline

Rimadyl Label Information

Rimadyl Official Website by Pfizer

The Senior Dog Project: Deaths Suspected or Being Caused by Rimadyl Toxicity

The Senior Dog Project: Ten Steps to Take If You Suspect Your Dog Has Had a Reaction to Rimadyl  -and-  A Review of Signs of a Potentially Life-Threatening Reaction to Rimadyl

Friday, September 26, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 241- O-bla-di, O-bla-da, O-No!


Belly-banded Big Pupi whines:

To say that I am not a happy camper is putting it lightly.  I thought I was unstoppable.  I had superpowers.  I was one heck of a cocker spaniel.  I have been taken down a notch... or three.  It was only last week when I paid a visit to the Place of Tile and Steel and received the marks of a grade-A pup:

The doctor thought I looked wonderful!  I got all the highest scores for my therapy dog health forms.  There was a great big CHECK next to "Yes!  This dog is healthy and capable of performing all of the duties necessary."  And then there was this on the form:

I'm king!  The doctor said that my weight is fabulous and my fitness level is superb.  She gave me a little temperament test and I passed with flying colors!  My eyes were bright, my tummy good and I was just full of energy.  But one week later...

Okay, folks.  When it rains it pours in this place, so to speak.  Sometimes it makes mom feel like she's got Munchhausen Syndrome.  One vet visit usually begets 2 more, keeping that "Rule of 3" theory alive and well.  This time was no different, as I found myself at the horrid Place of Tile and Steel again this month.  I've survived the trifecta.  First, Stanislaw and I caught 24-hour Bordatella.  Then there was my health screening which came out a-ok.  And now there is a rather sensitive issue...

This is kind of personal - I have an angry weeble.  

It's a little bit UTI and a little bit weeble infection.  The humans believe they know where this came from, and that too is rather embarrassing.  I won't get too far into it but my man parts are rather... manly... and sometimes come in contact with items I am marking in my territory.  Seeing that downtown Chicago isn't particularly clean, I probably picked something up.  Gross!  I've got antibiotics and anti-inflammatory meds, and I also have this:


Needless to say, I am not very cooperative during my daily treatment.  It's a good thing mom isn't squeamish!  To add insult to injury, I was sent home from the doctor's office with a nice big e-collar that I was supposed to sport around town.  Yeah right!  Since I'd get it caught on things and then panic, mom strapped me into Stanislaw's old belly band from when he had separation anxiety and would do his weebles all over the apartment.  Since that's rather small on me (it was sized for Stan when he was a super skinny boy) she's also fastened dishtowel coverings complete with humongous maxi pads inside for easy changing and cleanliness.  This is just too humiliating!

In typical Big Pupi fashion, I'm acting like nothing's wrong.  The only sign that I'm a little uncomfortable sometimes is my desire to tend to my sore area which the belly bands prevent me from doing.  Otherwise I'm spending my days thrashing my meowing kitty toy and nibbling on my duck stuffy.  I'm getting better super fast and hope to join my folks on a fast hunt by Monday.

So, hopefully this is it for Stanislaw and me at LEAST for the rest of the year.  I'm just about feeling like my mighty self again!  And I'm so beyond ready to get this ridiculous diaper contraption off my bum!  Time to walk circles under mom's chair and legs for the next hour.  I have make certain she doesn't forget to give me dinner feasts!

Stay healthy,

Big Pupi

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 240- Sit Boo Boo Sit

I'm kind of a tired boy this morning because I went on a solo walk with mom. We trained all the way down to the bark park and since I was such a Good Boy I was allowed to stick around and play with my Border Collie buddies. While at the park I only went through my obsessive behaviors 2 times... plus a half of a third time but I was able to be distracted from that one.

The bark park is right next to a commuter train line, and the sound of trains going by is a definite trigger for me. Whenever a train pulls into the station I run a trail around the park's fence and then end amongst a bunch of pots screaming my head off. It's always the same thing in the same order, starting from the same spot and ending with the same screaming pattern. If for some reason I'm not able to run my loop, I'll stare off into the bushes and shriek.

Today, however, was a very good day for me. Mom says that I had my demons under control for this outing. I heeled well and Sat Like Good Boy for treats and wound up feasting on a seriously big bag of tasties and STILL got breakfast when I returned home. Delicious! My folks said I earned it after all those good games of chase with my canine companions.

So now my tummy is full, my body is stinky, and my muscles are tired. It's mentally exhausting for a wee pup to be Have on such a long walk! I even saw a squirrel and continued to heel! I should get a second breakfeast just for that act of Good Boyness alone.

Stanislaw: 1, Demons: 0 (counter starts fresh today).

Your man,



Big Pupi with the 'hawk update:

Pretty sweet, huh? This bad boy grows like a weed! And if you look closely at the photo you'll see that my stuffy goose even admires my 'do!

Well, folks - I started my therapy dog class this week and it was SO MUCH FUN. I totally dig hanging out with a group of pups and their people and earning my tasty treats. We practiced walking on a loose leash, being handled by strangers, and Down-Stay while strange people walked by and reached out to pet me. The first time I hopped up to get a proper pet and greeting from these nice humans, but I figured out pretty quickly that I was to stay put. I did my Sit Stay like a champ while mom walked away from me and learned the command "Go Visit" so I know which humans to steal belly rubs from. I'm telling you... this therapy dog thing is a pretty sweet gig.

If I dare say... I was the best dog in class! In fact, the instructor called me the "Balanced Dog" and used me to teach other pups how to be Have. I had to sit calmly and focus on mom while a big bouncy puppy thrashing about on the floor and learned to also Sit Stay even with another dog (me) nearby. I greeted shy puppies and took treats nicely from hands. I was a little too pumped at the start of class and had some trouble concentrating for the first 5 minutes or so, but even with all that excitement I didn't do a pooble inside! I amaze myself sometimes.

Class is once every 2 weeks, and the next one is all about individual tricks. Mom is getting me a hula hoop so I can put my Agility Skillz to work on a small scale. I think that the kids will like that trick, don't you? Oh... and the mohawk. They've got to like the mohawk.

I got Have, yo.

Big Pupi

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 239- Vitamin A-OK

What's up doggie dudes? Mom is back so that means that I'm back online. Boy time with dad was pretty chill - we hung out mostly and snacked on some Cheeze-Its while dad read (not shred) his big juicy law books. He took me on a fast hunt one day which was totally awesome and we got to chase rabbits and squirrels. My slow poke brother had to stay home! Ha! This morning with mom home we all headed out for a fast hunt together, which meant that I had to put up with Big Pupi's short-leggedness. The dude slows me down. Cramps my style, you know?

I've received lots of awesome entries for my Very Tiny Competition and I'm totally stoked about the whole thing. Keep them coming! Some of you folks can get seriously tiny. Good work. You make my tiny look huge!

Time for some post-hunt, post-feast (goat & milk), tired-muscle nappies.

Howl at you later,



Big Punky Pupi talks about your belly:

Hello my fellow feasters! As I'm sure you know, I'm a major momma's boy and I've been super psyched since mom's been back. I think I carried my SingingChristmasTreeMouseToy and pranced around the apartment for hours when she opened that door! Oh happy day.

While she was gone I had to busy myself and so I decided to do a little research. After all... the original purpose of this blog was to provide my munching canine buddies with information about diet and nutrition. So here's a tidbit of info for those that crunch on kibble:

Let's talk about Vitamin K.

It's not something we think about often. Fish oil, Vitamins E and B, calcium, protein... those are all things I've discussed often in this blog when typing away about supplements and our nutritional needs. But this is the first time I've mentioned K here. It's found in abundance in dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, and it has a variety of forms (K1, K2, ... ). Certain forms of vitamin K can be synthesized in the large intestine, meaning that the bacteria that live inside us can create the vitamin that we then absorb. Ensuring a healthy gut with lots of probiotics makes a big difference here. That means eat your tasty yogurt! K is fat soluble, so it is possible to overdose as the body holds onto the vitamin (versus a water soluble vitamin which is flushed from the body, like vitamin C).

Vitamin K1 is also used as a clotting agent, and is often administered if a pup has gotten himself into some trouble and feasted on rat poison. This causes internal bleeding and the K1 tries to counteract that. (If you eat rat poison go to a vet ASAP for that K1! Don't supplement at home!)

Now onto some info for the kibble feasters -

Read your bag of kibble and check for any menadione derivatives: menadione sodium bisulfate, menadione sodium bisulfite, menadione dimethylprimidinol sulfate, menadione dimethylprimidinol sulfite or menadione dimethylpyrimidinol bisulfite. These are commonly generalized as "a source of vitamin K..." or "vitamin K supplement." Menadione is K3, a synthetic form of vitamin K - or rather, it is a vitamin K "precurser." Translated, that means that K3 is really only the puzzle pieces and our bodies must put it all together in order for it to actually be considered a real vitamin. Confusing, no? Unlike it's counterparts, K3 is water soluble and has never been proven to actually be more stable or contain equal nutritional value to the naturally-occurring vitamin K.

K3 is widely used in livestock supplementation and in processed dog foods. Why? Well, because it's cheap. And there's never really been any research done to check for safety in long-term use. It has been banned by the FDA and by most international administrations due to its known serious side effects in humans, including severe birth defects, internal damage and death. Unfortunately dogs share most of these side effects when dosed with vitamin K3, or menadione. Here's a short list of known canine diseases linked to the supplement:

- Hemolytic Anemia

- Cytotoxicity in liver cells

- Hyperbilirubinemia (linked to Jaundice)

- Weakens the immune system

- Disturbs blood Calcium levels, which are super important for us dogs

...and so on. Fortunately, most of the high-quality pet foods avoid adding synthetic anything to their kibble mixes. Those are the foods that are usually grain-free or at least without corn, soy, and wheat, they contain human-grade meats and no animal byproducts. How do you know if you're feasting on a quality dry food? Well, read this article for a little 101 on how to identify the good stuff. And tell your humans to check out that ingredient label!

If you're concerned about your vitamin K intake or vitamin intake in general, consider supplementing with a whole, natural food. We recommend the Green Blend by B-Naturals, which is simply made up of dried sea greens and irish moss. Those dark green plants will be chock-full of nutrients, and they contain vitamins and minerals in their natural state.

That's all the learning for now, folks!

Big Pupi


The Dog Food Project: Menadione (Vitamin K3)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 232- Tortfeasor


Big Pupi & Mallard here:

Dudes.  Seriously stinky news.  I guess since Stanislaw and I managed to trap mom at home over Labor Day weekend, she's now cashing in on her flight credits and going to visit her parents.  I'd totally try to trick her into staying home again but since it majorly backfired last time I guess I'll just have to put up with her absence.  Ugh.  So lame.  At least dad will be home for some serious boy time over the weekend, but ever since he started school he hasn't been able to get out much with us.  You'd think that we'd have a sweet book shredding party or something but NO.  He seems to like his shreddables too much!  He's always got them with him.  And they're not tasty at all... not even the Torts one.  I just don't get it.

Mom is our full-time blog translator since dad has become Mr. Busy-Bi-Ped and so there will be no more blog posts until she returns next week.  In the mean time I'll soothe myself by nibbling on Mallard's tummy and thrashing SingingChristmasTreeMouseToy.  Mom gets home on Monday and then I have my first therapy dog class on Tuesday, so I'll be counting down the seconds!

Have a great weekend dog bloggerinis!  And don't forget to enter the Very Tiny Competition!

Big Pupi

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 231- A Very Tiny Competition

I'm finally doing it!

I'm holding A Very Tiny Competition! So send in photographs of you at your very tiniest. Big Pupi and I will decide a winner based on how small you can get compared to your normal, unfurled size. Entry deadline is October 15th so don't procrastinate. Winner will receive a blog award and an actual, non-digital, de-stuffable prize! Email your submissions to me at rawfeasting@gmail.com. I can't wait to see them!

Entry Rules:

1. Please send a JPG or GIF (under 1 Mg, please) of you all curled up nice and tight... or just being small any way you'd like to define it. If you're a big critter, be creative! Links to blog photos or images hosted online are just fine.

2. Only photos of you in your current state will be accepted. In other words... no fair sending in your puppy photos unless you're actually, on this very day, a wee puppy. If that's the case then I bet you're pretty cute.

3. Only 1 entry per dog.

4. Please include your name, email address, and blog link in your email. And of course, don't forget to attach your photo!

And please don't hesitate to nab my competition banner and the sidebar image if you'd like to up the ante and bring on the competition.

Well folks... it's time to get limber and squench my limbs nice and tight under my manly belly. I'll be checking my email to see the wee version of my beastly buds!

Being all small and stuff,


Monday, September 15, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 230- A Tribute

Big Pupi waxes poetic:

As the summer begins to fade and we take stock of all that has happened over the past few months, we have come to realize that there have been many loved ones lost by our blogging friends and their families. Now I could get all mushy here but I'm not going to. Instead, I would like to post a photo tribute to the dogs that have touched our lives even for a short while. There are happy sendoffs, there are tearful goodbyes, but in each of their stories there is love. Lots of it. And there is great peace in knowing that us animals never for a moment take your kindness for granted. So here's to you...


Wile E.

February 6, 2007 - June 2007

We miss you.

Wile E. was such a smart puppy that at 9 weeks old he could unlatch his crate from the inside and set himself free!

Wile E. was nicknamed the 'Rug Gator' because he loved to nibble on ankles.



Fostered Februay 2007 - only 30 days before she found her forever home!

Romy was my first love. (It might have had something to do with the fact that she wasn't spayed and was in heat when she first arrived.) I used to do all kinds of dances and spins to try and get her attention!


We encourage everyone to post a photo tribute to the ones we love that are no longer with us, and write a happy or funny memory. They can be pets that were taken to the Rainbow Bridge or dogs like Romy that paid a short visit before moving on to her permanent home. It's nice to see their faces sometimes... even if it's only a photograph... and it's wonderful to remember something that makes you smile.

Love the ones you're with,
Big Pupi

Friday, September 12, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 227- Mental Marathon

Hi folks!

Sorry I've been MIA (Meat In Action) for the past few days.  I haven't been able to update you on my super exciting feasting times as much as I'd like to!   Things around here have been busy, with my folks working to earn the cheese money and such.  All the hustle and bustle has made me need my snoozels.

This morning followed suit and it was action-packed.  We tried to beat the rain and ran as quickly as our little legs could take us during our AM fast hunt.  Pupi and I ran side-by-side like we were racing in the Iditarod and zoomed our way through downtown.  On our way we met Miss Pit Bull who had a black spot over her eye just like Big Pupi!  I stood on my very tip toes to give her ears a good sniff and she was super nice.  Then we bumped into 2 beagles who were also super cool.  One was this sweet red-roan type of color and I've never sniffed a beagle like that before!  

Continuing on our way, mom was afraid that we'd wind up too far away from home when the skies opened up so we only went a mile down the road to the bark park.  As suspected, we had it all to ourselves and the kiddie pool was mine... ALL mine!  Well, okay.  I did let Big Pupi in it sometimes.  We practiced some obedience and worked on our recalls at the park, then headed home with empty bellies just growling and demanding meaty feasts.  I chucked down a few chicken necks and some yogurt and thrashed my birthday goose stuffy.  Mom hopped into the Place of Cleanliness and afterwards, when she was using the hot-air-blowing-thing on her fur, she used it on mine!  I LOVE it when that blowing thing breathes its hot breath on my belly!  Big Pupi and I pushed and shoved each other to get at the toasty air.  That was just icing on the cake.  It was a good morning.

I'm super duper hoping that this stinky poo-face rain goes away for the weekend.  I heard dad mention something about not having a ton of homework this time and so we may be able to get out and about the city for an afternoon.  My toes are crossed!  In the mean time, I'm going to go stare at mom while she works and whine softly.  Maybe that'll get me a bully stick.

Feast hard,



Big Pupi on being a therapist:

I've been thinking so hard lately that it's been fertilizing my mohawk.  It's been growing like a weed on my head and my humans are curious to find out how crazy my cranium fur will actually get.  All they have to go on is my shelter photo, but I was so matted it's tough to tell.  If I keep using my brain power like I have been lately, I should be able to braid my 'hawk in no time! 

After much, much help and advice from Niamh's mom, I've decided to postpone my November 8th test date and sign up for classes to help me with my therapy dog certification.  I've been doing really well on my own, but I could use the extra stimulation and excitement that are part of classroom learning to really kick my manners into high gear.  We've been focusing on my response to verbal commands, as most of what I know now is based on hand signals.  I know "sit," but "down" and most other tricks run off of motions my mom makes.  I'm fluent in body language because that's dog-speak!  Why do I need to know this blabbering human tongue?  People need to master the art of The Silent Conversation.  Seriously.  The only real verbal commands I understand are for agility, since I can't be watching my mom while I'm flying over jumps and through tunnels!

My first class is a week from Monday and I'm crazy excited!  The only set back is my appointment this afternoon at the Place of Tile and Steel to fill out my health certificate.  Turns out that since I had Bordatella the last time I was at the vet they won't complete the form without a quick check just to make sure I'm a-okay.  I'm all for being careful, but I'm pretty sure this isn't necessary.  Please mom?  Can it not be necessary?  

So, someday in the sort-of near future I'm hoping to be either a Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy dog or Delta Society pup.  Mom isn't sure which yet but is leaning towards Rainbow.  If anyone has any experience with either group please let us know what you thought of them!

Filling my brain, growing my mohawk,

Big Pupi

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 224- The Therapist Is In


Big Pupi is in his office:

I've got big news!  While Stanislaw is training for the 2012 Olympic marathon, (which I do too, by the way.  He's not the only one up running his wee bum off early in the morning!), I've found a far bigger calling for myself.  Me... Big Pupi... I'm going to make a difference in this world.  You see, my humans decided that I'm going to be a therapy dog.

We've started training so that I can pass my big certification test, and if all goes according to plan I'll be taking the preliminary exam on November 8th.  I passed my CGC exam with 100%, and since this test is quite similar to that one my folks think that I may have a shot at this.  That being said, it's been almost 2 years since I was in CGC class and there are a few skills I need to brush up on.  Like doing my Sit Like Good Boy while on a leash and letting mom greet another human who has another dog.  Yikes!  Sometimes I just get too excited.  

There are many many parts to the exam, and in order to get certified you must pass ALL of them.  There are 3 sections that give my mom pause:

1.  Exhibiting patience with a squeaky toy distraction;

2. Dog left alone; and

3. Gently taking treat from hand.

I'm a super quick learner and #3 is already in the works.  I've made some MAJOR improvements there, since I used to get way too pumped for mini-feasts.  As for numbers 1 and 2... I totally dig squeaky toys so much that I can't control myself (jumping up is an automatic fail) and I typically freak out when mommy leaves me and I'm in an unfamiliar place.  This is the one part of the CGC exam I almost didn't pass, but in the end I was able to keep my wits about me.   But in that situation I had been training at the same place for 8 weeks.  This time around the testing place will be totally unfamiliar.  Yipes!

I totally LOVE to be the center of attention and my most favorite thing to do in the world is work - any kind of work.  Whether it's a morning run or agility or performing for treats... I just can't get enough of it.  I think that I'd totally be into doing tricks to help sick or injured folks out, as long as there's a belly rub or two in it for me.  And maybe my sweet mohawk would brighten their day!  I'm also really good at learning that certain places are for behaving certain ways, so once I've got the hang of the whole hospital situation I'll be an old pro.  For example, The Place of Tile and Steel is for shivering and acting like you're being tortured even when no one is near you, and the bark park is for acting like beast and weebling wherever you please.  

I think right now all systems are Go for my training, but there is one other concern my mom has that she's not sure how to handle... I tend to poop when I'm super excited.  And opportunities to perform make me super excited.  I told mom to stuff her pockets with bags but that didn't seem to appease her.  I told her not to fret too much about it.

You can't fight nature, you know?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 220- Boredom Becomes Me

This is what a pair of disgruntled faces looks like:

On a scale of 1 t0 10 of gruntledness, I'd rate myself a 10.  That's a very unhappy pup.  I believe that I am losing my mind.  My precious, brilliant little mind.  It's threatening to pack up and move away and leave me behind.  And why?  Because I'm Bored.  Capital 'B.'   First I was on lock-down because I was coughing.  Now it's been raining out and we haven't been getting out for our morning exercise because of that.  Humans.... Ack!  Always coming up with excuses to stay tucked into their overrated sleeping crate.  Bunch of no-good lazy snoozelers.  

How am I supposed to be a marathon athlete?  These muscles haven't been worked or tired in a week!  I've seen no friends, played no games of Chase, and this belly has remained bone-dry from a sudden lack of kiddie pool.  Withdrawal!  Pain!  Horror!  This beastly mind and body need work.  Serious work.  Hard work.  So I'll be seeking out some sort of stimulation by driving mom out of her gourd while she's trying to make the cheese money and be productive.  No way buddy!  This kid's running the casa today.

But wait!  Mom has worked her dark magic on me once again.  After breakfeast she plied me with a good bully stick chew and before I knew what had happened I was reduced to this:

And this:
Evil!  How did she do that??  I think mom knows that nothing's finer than a slip-cover-less sofa because I can wedge my body in-between the pillows.  I just can't resist a good pillow wedging.  It's just so.... yawn.... comfy and so... double-yawn... cozy that I can't keep my eyes....


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 219- My New 'Do

Hey Bloggerinis!  Like my new hairdo?

Mom actually took the clippers this time and shaved down my legs.  They used to be HUGE!  Check out this before picture.  I have to admit that while the grooming was in process I was a tad bit (just a TAD bit) uncooperative and I broke the big clipper blade when I still had 1 leg left to trim.  That part wound up getting the scissor treatment and is looking... um... special.  I'm feeling very small and nekkid now, but I'm still as beastly as ever.  (Please ignore how monstrous my head looks in all of these photos... Mom likes to shoot at crazy overhead angles and it's just not very flattering to a long-legged boy like me.  Ugh.  Mom is such a nerd!)

Dad thinks that my feet look very dainty now and he laughs when I stand all pigeon-toed and stare at him.  I don't get what's so funny, but pigeon toes sound tasty to me.

Pupi and I have very similar haircuts now, but I don't have that awesome mohawk going on.  This is us comparing our sweet styles:

Big Pupi isn't so 'big' when he's next to me!  He's just a tiny cocker spaniel, and it's upsetting for him when he's being compared to the Beastest with the Mostest (moi, of course).  He'll usually beat me up and take my toys and I believe that he's compensating for his lack of huge-ness.  He'd disagree if he knew I said this, and then he'd knock me over and steal my spikey dinosaur chew toy.  So don't tell him!

By the way, did I tell you that I've been practicing for the next auditions of American Idol?  I've got a pretty sweet voice, and when I sing my breath smells like meaty feasts.  I'm a shoo-in!  I've been practicing really hard lately, and this morning I let out one of my combo yawn/howl/woo-woo's to all the folks in the elevator.  They loved it!  They were practically applauding!

Aside for my plans to be the next big sports star and marathon athlete and American Idol champion of the world, I've been busy getting famous on my snood-maker's website, Linden Line Designs.  There's a captions contest each month, and the winning caption gets a dog or cat collar!  There are some seriously nice fabric patterns on there, so if you're up for the challenge it's worth a go.  It's my towel snood photo that's in need of a caption this month!

Image from www.LindenLineDesigns.com

If you're feeling creative, pop on over to the site and enter your photo caption.  New collars are tasty!  You can enter the contest here.  Good luck!

Alright my feasting fellows.  I'm post-ed out for today.

Play hard,


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 218- I Win!

Hooray!  The Great Feast resumes!

Today I pick up my marathon training again with a lighter run than normal to test out my newly-healed throat after my cold.  Mom told me that if the rain holds out and we are able to get outside bright and early this morning that I can have a bully stick in the afternoon.  And to top it off, my ounce of feasting meat has been restored to my bowl and therefore to my mouth - which is where it belongs.  Great success!

After a solid year of being a very hairy beast in the legs and belly fringe, mom finally convinced dad to allow her to shave me.  I am so aerodynamic!  I can't wait to show dad what a slow-poke he is on our run.  Dad may have decided it was time for a trim because mom is just so convincing... or maybe it was when someone asked dad if I was a girl dog because I had such a lady-like haircut.  Either way, I'm super cool and sleek and it makes for easier weight checks as my metabolism test was in place.  I failed!  Turns out that I need that ounce of feasting to hold my weight.  This is great news for me.  

Most pups are fed 2%-2.5% of their body weight in meat each day when they're on the raw diet.  But me... The Great Beast Stanislaw... I'm at 5%-5.5%.  Delicious!  And it just goes to show how many nutrients us canines are able to get from real meat - one single little ounce made a huge difference and I immediately began to lose weight.  Hand over those snackages!

So all is as it should be in Beastville (AKA My apartment).  I will rest easy tonight and delight in my afternoon bully stick.  I've learned an important lesson these past few days:  You don't know what you've got 'till it's gone.  That applies to feasts.  Big-time.

Don't take those feasts for granted.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 216- Weights and Measures

I put on my business attire this morning and scheduled a meeting with my folks. We needed to have a serious discussion about this recent one-ounce decrease in my daily feasting.  I miss that ounce of meet.  That's over 28 grams of deliciousness that should be in my mouth every day!  But this recent cut in my rations is not meant to make me lose any weight... I have to stay right where I am.  However, in the past my body had been no good at regulating itself.  I used to easily shed 3 pounds in a week!  That's almost 15% of my body weight and it always resulted in some major snack-age and treating.  Those were the days.

In recent months it appears that my insides have done some significant healing from my days as a starving boy, and the vet and my humans suspect that I may be able to hold on to body mass and process my food more effectively.  So far it's been 3 days and I seem to be stable.  Darn.  I want feasts!  There's a good chance that my food will be increased again once I get back onto my regular exercise schedule, but we've been laying low since Pupi and I caught this cold and we haven't been allowed to play as hard as usual.

In Bordatella news, we've been doing a-ok.  We were only really ill for 24 hours, and since then we've shown almost no symptoms, - with the exception of one or two gentle throat-clearing sounds each day.  All food has stayed down and all poobles have been normal.  In fact, we've been doing so well that mom decided to BATHE US!  Ack!  As long-eared beasts we happened to get a little vomit in those danglies and were in dire need of a scrubbing.  It was a pain in my furry bum.

Speaking of furry... Big Pupi's mohawk is looking sweet and is growing in really fast.  As it gets longer it begins to have a little part down the middle and looks like a funky cowlick.  
So those are all the updates for now.  I'm going to resume my nappy spot on the sofa and dream about ounces of meat and healthy puppies.  
I can't stand being on lock-down in this apartment much longer!  I need to get out and play with my friends ASAP, or else... or else....

...or else I'll chew up every sock in this place!

Hope you're enjoying your holiday!