Monday, December 31, 2012

Bud's A Dancing Star!

Click this link and look at this adorable video card my assistant Jewel sent me.  It's Bud, Jewel, her dog Batty and me dancing.  Absolutely hilarious! 

Bud Can Dance!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bud's New Year Resolution

Bud’s New Year Resolution

I will try to come to Mom even when I’m busy and don’t want to loose the scent I’m following.

When I swim at my bay I will try to not hog all the balls and sticks even when Chad and his Lab and even cousin Holly is there.

I will try not to get Mom and her helpers wet when we do towel game after swimming at my bay. Even though that game is the best fun ever.   

I will try to not get excited on the beach when Mom trips and says, “Stand.” It makes tickles me want to flop around on the sand like a fish out of water. She doesn’t like that. 

I will try to not take advantage of Mom when my bad prong collar is off. She hates when I pull her, she says that I’m as strong as a horse.

I will try not to freak out and bark at weird old ladies with big hats on their heads.

I will try to not jump on those silly puppies when they are rude and run up behind to sniff with no introduction. They have no manners.  

Mom I will be your good Buddy boy and make you laugh all day long.

I’m the dog in our house and I will take care of you.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Bud's Bay

The highlight of Bud's day (aside from meals) is getting his daily swim at the Morro Bay Harbor.  He usually begins vocalizing shortly after pulling off the freeway- over a mile before we reach his sacred swimming grounds.

When we arrive, his exciting whines become louder and more frequent.  He does a little dance in the car with his front feet, barely able to restrain from trying to jump through the closed car door.  As he is lead to the beach on leash he shakes with anticipation as he excitedly hurries too far forward on the leash and has to back up and follow his "easy walking" command.

Here's a video of Bud's routine the moment he is given the "release" command.  One of my assistant jokes and calls him a "labrador seal".  He's an incredible athlete and throughout his entire 30-45 minute swims shows no signs of fatigue, even when the waters are rough and he is swimming against the current.

My boy is king of the bay!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

I'm Too Tired To Move

Bud swims and digs and swims and digs that he sleeps at home. He is on his favorite love seat over looking the front yard. Right now in this picture he does not care whats going on outside.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Visit From Elvis

My brother came up to visit with his young Bloodhound, Elvis. Elvis grabbed a toy and Bud joined in the tug-a-war. Elvis won  and ran outside to hide the toy. Both dogs are good friends now. My brother lives in Montana and I look forward to going back with Bud to play in the forest.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Bud Meditating

Dog are by nature usually happy and content  Shown here is a wet,dirty and tired dog. Happy dogs are tired dogs. I wonder if this is Bud's beach meditation.  I achieve them same peace and contentment after hours of walking on my beach or swimming as fast a can for 30 minutes. That centers me and makes me me again. We can learn from our dogs by watching them rest.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bud Meets Nash The Herding Boy

Labs love to swim and Bearded Collies love to herd sheep. Or anything they think needs herding. Jewel's Mom is a nut over her Breaded Collies. Nash tried to herd Bud while Bud was swimming. Bud couldn't be bothered by Nash's attentions. Bud good naturally gave Nash a bark no dog your bothering me. I'm too busy retrieving. Nash is a good boy he get overwhelmed with much going on. Nash is a Therapy Dog when he's not herding. He would rather herd than work as therapy dog. Bud shares that passion just want  to be a dog. Nash is very sweet. Gosh I'm glad Bud is easy to clean up. What a job to get Nash cleaned!! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Photo Shoot Gone Wild

I have sent Christmas cards of my dogs for years. It's a tradition that the dogs are the stars of the photos. Bud would rather play that poses for picture for Xmas.  He was wild, he wanted the treats so he got the phone did as many tricks as he remembered. . the way I never trained Bud to play dead.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Why Can't You Boys Get Along?

Bud's first meeting with Michelle's dog, Gin, was disastrous. We first had them meet on Michelle's property. Gosh the dogs hated each other!

The next meeting was in my driveway, which again yielded horrible results. Gin is a high energy mostly white with black ticking Border Collie/Shepherd(?) mix rescue dog who gets nervous around bigger dogs.  He's about 47 pounds, versus Bud's ~76 pounds. Bud still remember a time when a young white dog scared him and ever since hasn't liked white dogs.  So, we expected some difficulty between the two knowing that they each fit the other's trigger!

Bud is very easy going with some dogs. Dogs have stolen toys from the house and laid on his bed, taken his food etc.  Gin often goes into a submissive role and has been used to help socialize other rescue dogs.  He's great with smaller dogs, but is fearful of dogs larger than him and especially larger dogs with darker fur/hair.

Last week we finally got it right. We had them meet at the beach just by my house. Bud was busy digging and Gin was busy chasing balls. How wonderful to have these sweet dogs enjoy spending time together! I know better than to introduce these two sensitive boys without thinking it out.  The first couple meetings on each dog's respective territory reminded me of such!  We followed up the neutral territory beach meeting with a harbor trip; this helped expose the dogs to each other further.  Gin was hesitant to go in the water past his elbows, yet was fascinated by seeing bud jump in and vigorously swim for the ball.  They mostly played side by side with their own balls.  At one point they both went for the same ball in the shallow surf.  Gin came out with the ball, and Bud was okay with that.  There was no growling or posturing at all by either dog.

We are grateful to have our boys get along. Thanksgiving was spent with Michelle, her boyfriend Ryan and our dogs playing and being lazy together.  Their relationship still needs work, but they're clearly warming up to each other and feeling less threatened and more safe.  Getting them to truly get along will still be a process.  Our next hurdle will be having them side by side together peacefully in the car!  Until then, enjoy these pictures from Thanksgiving of our boy's relationship progression:

The Boys at the Harbor:

Me giving and getting loving kisses from Gin:

Gin sneaking into Bud's crate (he's crate trained and feels safest in crates):

And finally...the boys parallel playing:

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's Part Of The Job

Jewel, one of my staff, is shown in this picture with Bud after swimming him in the rain. She is a slave driver! Bud hates the after bath ritual-especially when it includes walking on wet grass to get hosed down. Batman, Jewel's dog, is cheering  her up.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dogs Need Downtime

Dogs like people get tired; their bodies need rest too.  Bud is five now, so I watch his activity levels to ensure he doesn't overdo it.  When he swims, I time him so he stays in the 30-40 minute range.

Some days, he gets sore- just like I do.  When I see him favoring his back knee, we stop.  That's when I say "okay, we're taking a down dog day!"  It's okay to have down days sometimes.  It gives us time to stay home, regroup and treasure our time together. Here's a picture of Bud and Batman having a down day:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Feel Good Dog Hero Story

Recently I read a wonderful article about the hero dog above, Kabang, who is a native of the Philippines. This amazing dog risked his life to protect two young girls from getting hit by a motorcycle.  In the process, he had his snout sheared off by the motorcycle.  He has made a miraculous recovery thanks to the wonderful people at the William R. Pritchart Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at UC Davis.  Beyond my love of dogs and joy of hearing of Kabang's recovery, I share an appreciation for the wonderful staff at the UC Davis Vet Hospital because they took such good care of my Bud when he had his elbow surgery.  Dogs give their life for their packs including humans!

It's a wonderful story which you should read about here:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Drooling Bud

Bud drooling for brussel sprouts!

Bud has been smelling and  watching me make brussel sprouts the past half hour.  I roast them in olive oil, garlic, and spike which is one of my favorite seasonings. I pour on a little Bragg liquid amino acids which is also a house favorite. Bud has excellent digestion!

Bud devouring a brussel sprout off the fork!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Surprise Birthday Trip

Yesterday was my birthday; yay I'm an old lady!  I started my day with my usual beach walk with Bud for two hours.  It was yet another beautiful Cayucos morning with the birds out and Bud playing in the sand.  Perfect for my birthday!

 I received a wonderful call from my son wishing me a happy birthday from him and his beautiful family.  I then went to an AA meeting to see my friends I love and headed to the Cal Poly pool.  As I was getting ready to climb into the pool, my back seized up on me to the point that I couldn't sit or stand upright.

So guess where I went next?  On a birthday Emergency Room trip to French Hospital! 

Here's the young and handsome Dr. Mcleod who took great care of me.  He's a dog owner and lover. He has a lab and a doberman.  Just like everyone else, he fell in love with Bud!

For fun, since I know how to make fun of myself, here's a photo of me making a silly face in between debilitating muscle spasms.  My hair is still all oiled up with coconut oil which I use to seal it before swimming.  This picture would be perfect for my dating profile, don't you think???:

Doctor's orders are that I lay low the next few weeks to let my body heal.  Let's see if I can sit still for more than 10 minutes!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bud's and My Exciting Exercise Schedule

Bud has special needs just like I do.  Bud lives with elbow displasia and arthritis as a result of his ruptured knee ligament that he had surgery on.  The best way to deal with our daily pains is daily exercise and weight control.  Some mornings Bud doesn't want to go trotting and walking on the beach, but we both do it.  Just like Bud, some morning I want to be lazy pazy too but I can't.  I gotta get up and get moving.  I fast walk then trot Bud a few blocks down to the beach to warm him up.  Once we get to the beach, he walks with me on his leash.

After his surgery, I can't let him play too hard.  We walk for 1.5-2 hours.  He walks next to me really well.  If he's good, I let him dig in the sand at the end of the walk.  He loves to dig huge holes on the beach.  It's a good aerobic workout for him.

Then later in the morning he gets to swim in the bay for about half an hour.  After he gets his swim, we head off to my swim where I swim laps and do aqua aerobics for about an hour.  Swimming is a family affair!  What can we do better than take care of our bodies?

Here's Bud waiting while I swim:

Me waiting while Bud swims:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Poor Cousin Holly's Ear Trouble

Cousin Holly is my good friend Marilyn's lab/retriever mix.  She's so in love with Bud. She kisses him all the time. She is 8 years old and still can hold her own when she swims with Bud.

Holly has had many ears trouble in the past. Last week after Bud and Holly's weekly swim date we noticed her ears were red inside, so we gave her some of Bud's post-swim ear drops.  I make them with equal parts of white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water.  They help dry out any water that gets in the ears from swimming.  As soon as we gave them to Holly, she started shaking her head and wriggling through the ice plant on the bluffs above the harbor.  So, her mom took her to see our local vet  Dr John Trauax.  He told her to put Patonol in her ears for 6 days.  Lucky for Holly, the medication took care of the infection.

Dogs with floppy ears are more prone to getting ear infections after swimming.  So, it's important to dry their ears out after water exposure, which is why I highly suggest using these home-made drops.  It's inexpensive and can help prevent costly and uncomfortable ear infections for our loved pets.  By using this method, Bud has only suffered from two ear infections in his life- even though he's a daily swimmer.  Give it a try!

Here's a quick clip of Bud and Holly swimming together:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Educating Others About Service Dogs - Cal Poly Pool Edition!

Bud and I are both fish!  After a good swim at the harbor, Bud takes a break while I get my turn in the water.  He knows the routine and patiently waits as I get my exercise in too.  When I first started taking him to the Cal Poly pool when he was a puppy, he was unable to restrain himself and jumped into the pool.  Silly Bud!  Now, he's a good boy and stays on his blanket out of the way of the other swimmers. 

The pool at Cal Poly has a lot of students utilizing it.  Many of the young college students are drawn to Bud.  How could you deny that precious face?  Unfortunately, many of the swimmers do not understand that when he's wearing his "Service Dog" scarf that he is working.  I take the times where people unknowingly approach him to pet him as an educational experience.  I'm very nice about explaining that service dogs should never be approached or pet without permission.  I let them know that when he is wearing his scarf he is working and should not be interrupted, even if he's just laying down.  They are always understanding.  Sometimes I will take his scarf off so he's "off duty" and they can get some love from Bud.  They love that!  A lot of the kids have dogs back at home with their families, so Bud gives them their dog fix.  They share their stories about their dogs at home while having a Bud lovefest!

Below are some pictures of Bud in his usual corner of the pool.

Here's a picture of him yawning at what a bore waiting is.  Doesn't it look like he's laughing?!

And one last shot of "Zen Bud" meditating poolside:  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Aunt Sharon Visits Bud

Sharon Burge is one of my best high school friends whom I've maintained a lifetime friendship with.  She lives in Laguna Beach.  Dan, her older brother, has provided me generous financial assistance, including buying Bud for me when he was a puppy to help Jetta move into retirement while training Bud to pick up the slack and eventually become my full time service dog.  Sharon loved Jetta and her book, Jetta's Journey.  I see Sharon as often we are able to get together.  When we get those rare moments to see each other, we have so much fun.  Sharon absolutely loves Bud and wants to get a yellow lab just like Bud when she retires.  However, in the meantime she enjoys being Bud's Aunt.

This last visit, Sharon got to meet Batman, my assistant Jewel's adorable little dog.  We had such a blast and I can't wait to see her again.

Bud, Batman and Aunt Sharon

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Last Chance: Please Come See Bud and Me Speak!

Tonight is the last night that I will be sharing my story at the eighth annual San Luis Obispo County Suicide Prevention Forums in the play Stories of Stress, Suicide & Survival by Dave Mayfield.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
6:00-9:00 pm
Atascadero Junior High School Gym
6501 Lewis Avenue
Atascadero, CA
Special appearance by BUD and free kisses.
I hope to see you there!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Boundry Training

Before every meal, Bud has to wait on his kitchen dog bed or on the living room carpet.  I don't allow dogs to be underfoot in the kitchen because it's too dangerous for me. This is one of the places I apply Boundary Training to our relationship. 

In my mind Boundary Training is very important for your dog's safety and your family harmony. This training is done in your home and yards small or large. The series of pictures displayed below are of various areas and environments that I have trained Bud to respect boundaries in.  I also train visiting dogs.  The dogs learn right away: my house, my rules.  

The way I approach Boundary Training with a new dog is by starting on a curb or in a doorway.  I have them stop at the curb/in front of the doorway and then use my hand and arm to create a visual boundary as I repeatedly say "boundary".  If they step over the boundary, it is very important to make them go back until they learn the command.  You must remain vigilant and consistent to make the training stick.  This includes everyone who handles the dog..Once this is accomplished with a curb or doorway (or other location of your choice), you can begin Boundary Training in new areas.

Good luck dog trainers!  Let me know of your success!

Bud waiting to leave the house!

Bud waiting to cross the boundary from the living room to the kitchen!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sharing My Life and Recovery Story - TONIGHT!!!

I'm so excited about tonight!

I love trying to help people, especially talking about the life long battle of recovering from anorexia.  That is why I'm honored to be taking part in the eighth annual San Luis Obispo Suicide Prevention Forums.

I will be one of the speakers sharing in the presentation of Stories of Stress, Suicide & Survival by Dave Mayfield. PS OCT 5 th  Last night was great. I meet some wonderful people. I AM BLESSED TO HAVE MY VILLAGE PEOPLE.


This engagement is only happening two nights:

Thursday, October 4, 2012
6:00 - 9:00 pm
Unity of San Luis Obispo
1490 Southwood Drive
San Luis Obispo, CA

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
6:00-9:00 pm
Atascadero Junior High School Gym
6501 Lewis Avenue
Atascadero, CA

Special appearance by BUD and free kisses.
I hope to see you there!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bud's Arthritis and Daily Health Routine

Oh dear, Bud has arthritis!  I live with arthritis on a daily basis.  I’ve known since Bud was a younger dog with the elbow displasia, that one of these days he would have arthritis, and earlier than Jetta did. 

When Bud had his elbow surgery at 9 months old, the most important thing was for him to lose 14 lbs.  Dogs are like people- the heavier you are, the more weight you’re going to carry.  So, I weigh Bud twice a month now as maintenance.  He needs to weigh between 73-76 lbs. 

To keep his weight healthy I measure his food.  Bud gets 1.5 cups of California Natural Chicken and Rice twice a day.  So that bud stays slim while still feeling satiated, I also give him 2 cups of steamed broccoli.  In addition, he gets a couple carrots as a treat, but not too much because there’s a lot of sugar in carrots. 

I’m such a freak- on top of his dog food and veggies, I buy a slab of beef ribs and have the butcher cut them individually.  Bud gets one raw beef rib bone a day after swimming which he can have after his bath, but he must eat it outside.  He also gets a little lick of Kefir when I drink my Kefir twice a day.  Aren’t I a nut?! 

Because of his injuries, I limit Bud’s swimming to 35-40 minutes.  During that time he also does a lot of digging.  For years I was giving him 2,000mg of an Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acid combo twice daily, which kept him comfortable.  However, now what’s happening is that because he’s an active dog, on occasion I’ve noticed he’ll walk about 6 steps gingerly after exercising and then be fine.  Because of this, the Nervous Nelly in me took him to the vet to check it out.   Because of his recent knee surgery in December I’m trying to be diligent about watching the timing of his exercise program.  I time his play so he doesn’t over do it.  I wish somebody would do that for me! 

Here are a couple videos showing Bud swimming and digging:

The vet, Dr. Aaron Schector of Atascadero Pet Hospital, who we love, gave him a good thorough examination on that leg of his and said that it’s just early onset arthritis as a result of his injury.  He explained that even though it was such a severe injury, Bud recovered like an athlete.  All he said I could do is increase Bud’s fatty acids to 3,000mg twice a day.  I take them too!

Dr. Schecter also advised me that when Bud displays discomfort with walking after laying down and resting, I can give him one dose of Metacam a day.  It’s an anti-inflammatory agent.  In a month’s time, I’ve only had to give him two doses. 

In addition to daily swims, I run Bud early in the morning along side my scooter at a slow trot for about 15 minutes.  This ensures Bud stays content all day.  This cross trains him, which means it uses the other muscles he doesn’t use when swimming.  Bud has a choice for lounging: a memory foam bed, a fiber fill dog bed, a loveseat, a couch, and his kennel in the house.  My dog trainer said she would like to comeback in her next life as one of my dogs!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Meet Jamie,and Michelle and Jewel

I have a new staff.. Its hard to find great helpers. I  recently hired two new women. Now I have three assistants. What a blessing, we all work well as a team. Jewel has put up with me for almost one year. All my girls are very fabulous to have around. Their are my "Village."Shown here is before shift and after shift. As you can see they leave house brainless zombies. Am I too hard on these poor girls? Can't be me. It's Bud!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Maintaning Bud's Strong Legs

I know how I can help my Bud to get his body strong and fit. This is more important since Bud's knee. In December he blew his right rear knee out. Bud had a long rehab. He got through that horrible well. How I keep him fit is swimming every day and each early morning we go, "Scooter Running." I have him trot next to my scooter for about half an hour. I walk him, then run him a little and then walk him. This cross- training keeps the muscle that he doesn't use swimming and digging strong.THE THINGS I DO FOR LOVE!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Labs At Play

Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dogs in the United States.There are several types of labs. There are American and English Labs. There are many any other Retrievers, but I won't go into that now. They were most ideal for hunters with retrieving birds from the field because they like to retrieve things. That is their job. Their history is a little obscure. They are believed to be from Newfoundland and Labrador in the 18th century. They were bred to be smaller than Newfoundlands, they were bred to be hearty dogs to help with the fisherman. They jump into the icy waters and break the ice with their chest and retrieve the fisherman's nets with the fish in it.

This handsome dog is TJ, and his owner is George. TJ is an English Lab and Bud is an American Lab. American Labs are longer and taller and leaner than English Labs. But look at TJ with his toy in his mouth. He is too funny. We get a kick out of him. He is too cute for his own good,.
As you see evidence of Bud's digging ability, dogs are extremely helpful in search and rescue. Dogs are more helpful than men in search and rescue because of their heightened ability to smell is 1,000 times more than we have. They are most valuable in search in rescue because they dig faster than men. One dog can clear a searching area because one dog is faster than 6 men covering a place or digging in the snow.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bud Meets Bam

Whitneys' Rat Terrier Bam lives on a ranch; his job is herding cattle. Bam and Bud became friends right away. Bam is another kissing fool like Bud. Rat Terriers are very busy and love to work. Rat Terriers are a new breed and they are now recognized as a breed. These dogs think that they are big brave dogs.Bam's job is helping to herd cattle Isn't that amazing.When I was petting him I felt and saw on his tough small scars. What a tough breed.  I love Bam's personalty.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bud Loves Whitney

Bud loves Whitney. This young woman is really in love with Bud. Bud has a good eye for the ladies! .

Montana dog Peggy

Peggy is my sisters' dog. She love running wild in the forest. She doesn't know that she will never catch up to a dear. She just loves Being a terrier.My sister Theresa is nuts in love with Peggy. Her name sake was my late Aunt Peggy.

Monday, September 10, 2012

More Montana

Elvis loved training. But in heat of the day he got sleepy. Shown some pictures of him. Their large floppy ears catch the scents better to their nose. Bloodhoods are smelling machines!This Breed is unlike most dog because they are unbelievable flexable. Bloodhounds an ancient breed. One morning when Elvis woke un before me got under the bed!! They are the best search and recue because they get in places that other dogs can't fit. The folds in their face traps the scent. A Bloodhonds can smell one drop of bllod in a bucket of water. I really like the breed now. I will miss working and play with him.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Montana Trip

I loved my daily walk though the forest on my brothers' acreage. The cute pup who keep me company was Elvis, the 4 month old Bloodhound. I couldn't have my Bud with me so Elvis hung out with me. I have never spend time with a Bloodhound we got along great. I spent time training. I brought with me a book that my dog trainer recommended. I learned about the breed and they have one million times stronger than the one thousand times more than we do. The book, Fun With Nose Work For Dogs by Roy Hunter tells how to help your dog learn to discriminate. Bloodhounds are great at search and rescue. They can follow a trail for many miles. 
every day.