Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Haunted Butt

I think with two older dogs we could probably offer "Poltergeist tours" of our living room after they have had their evening kibbles and yogurt treat.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Updates from the Johnson Household

Curled up by the Central A.C. vent - my favorite spot in the living room.

Abby Lab here.  Sorry Mom's not been posting much.  She was on antibiotics for 5 weeks due to a bad STAFF infection (do you get that at work?) in her left foot.  That made her throw up a lot.  Dad, because he loves her so much - got her a big orange bucket from Home Depot that says "You Can Do It" on the side.  He's also been cooking dinner every night which means we're having baked chicken, steamed rice, and canned vegetables a lot because everything seems to make Mom spew like a fire hose (trust me folks - it's not pretty).

Lorelei and I have been getting walks from Dad and our dogwalker and in the afternoons Mom will sit at the base of the back steps and throw the ball, but we HAVE to return it to her.

For today, just some funnies.  Thanks to all of you who also follow us on Facebook that were praying for Mom's recovery.
 For Dad.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Clickbait Dog

You're all seen the ads off on the sidebar of a popular news site, with a eye-catching picture or headline. I'll admit the ones with the rescued puppies have always drawn me in, until I realized I had to scroll through incredibly S-L-O-W loading pages, one at a time, filled with more ads and usually give up before reaching the end of the story.  Many have pictures that aren't even in the stream (celebrities you didn't know had died - well because they hadn't).  Arghhhhh.

 Click Bait

Clickbait is a pejorative term describing web content that is aimed at generating online advertising revenue, especially at the expense of quality or accuracy, relying on sensationalist headlines or eye-catching thumbnail pictures to attract click-throughs and to encourage forwarding of the material over online social media.

But since I'm starting work really soon, I'm going to offer Abby Lab Clickbait - (no actual links just for grins on my lunch break). Cheers!
Abby Lab Can't Hide from the Rumors
Final Photos Taken Seconds Before Disaster Struck
Left at the Shelter Because She was Old- Her Revenge Makeover Will Astonish You.
Why Did this Dog Order a Huge Box of Treats From Chewy? The Reason will Shock You!
What this Dog Did in the Backyard Will Make You Question Everything.
Top 10 Reasons a Dog Barks.  #7 Will Blow Your Mind.
She is 12.  Looks 7.  Learn the Truth Now!
Dog Spots the Treat.  Can you Believe What She Does?
5 Insane Plans for Getting Extra Food You Won't Believe Are Real.
Avoid Baths With this One Weird Trick.

Saturday, July 4, 2020



Abby is terrified of both thunder and fireworks.  Most storms she just goes in the closet in the bedroom or the one behind my office where the winter coats are kept.  We will put a soft pet bed in there and she'll lay on it the her head peering into the room. But when there are fireworks - she immediately goes into the  bedroom closet and as narrow as it is, folds herself up like an accordion so she can get horizontal in the very back of it.  It just looks painful

Unfortunately, fireworks in the city aren't limited to July 4th.  No, all the locals will be shooting their personal ones off every evening as soon as they are  off work starting a good three days prior.  Last year, we went to the crash pad in Indianapolis which was in a more rural area and a strict "no fireworks" in the condo complex so it was quiet. Now that I no longer commute I had the option this year to go to my best friends (MC from the Book of Barkley with all the rescue cats).  She and her partner Mr. B. have a large country home but I was sadly informed that her Dad passed away today after a long stint in nursing care and she needs her family now, not company.

So Plan B (as in bow wow).
Yes, I should have ordered a Thundershirt.  My Vet says about 80% of dogs have great success with them and they h ave a money back guarantee. But it's too late now to get one, things already starting to pop around the neighborhood.

So DIY Thundershirt.  Acting on the same principals that the gentle pressure on certain points on your pet will calm and sooth, I made one out of an ace bandage (that was about 5 feet long).  You could also use a long scarf on a smaller dog.

Since the bandage wasn't quite big enough to hit all the pressure points, I used supplemented the back section with a long narrow scarf.
Take the section of bandage and wrap the middle of it across the dog's chest.   She's not looking too sure about this, and has already heard some "Pops" which are making her nervous.
Bring the back of the bandage up over the withers, cross and then bring down below the chest. If long enough bring it back up to the spine and tie it off or fasten with Velcro at the base of the spine like this diagram.

Since my bandage roll wasn't long enough to bring it on up again over the her lower back, I just fastened the ends on the belly with the piece of Velcro that came with the bandage and used separate section of scarf to cradle and pressure the back part of the belly, tying it up above the base of her spine.

It should be snug, but not so snug your dog can't easily sit or lay down.  I also added a drop of PURE frankincense essential oil to the bandage on the chest and put a drop, warmed in my hand, rubbed into the fur on the top of her head and around the outside of her ears. Frankincense is pet safe and is VERY calming for dogs.. Lavender would also work but remember, dogs are quite scent sensitive, before you apply it, put a drop on your hand and see if they have a "no thanks" reaction to it and don't force it if they don't like it.  Abby loves the scents. JUST a drop is plenty and check with your vet if you consider any other oils as some can cause liver and kidney toxicity.  Also don't use the cheap synthetic oils that are just a fragrance of frankincense, not the actual essential oil.

Sit!  Stay!
 Sure I can sit Mom - but this floor under the table is SERIOUSLY lacking foodable crumbs.
 Somebody is MUCH happier even with the boomies starting to go off!   BOOM!
 I'm not afraid of no fireworks!
Thanks Mom - but seriously the next time, don't use the animal print scarf - I don't want Frankie Furter to think I'm a cougar!

Next time there is noise - I'll get the real Thundershirt -  but this really worked and was made with things we had on hand.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Out in the yard it's Robin. Inside it's. . . .

Abby Lab here. All sorts of things come out of Mom's  Secret Squirrel kitchen, shop or laboratory. Sometimes it's the smell of something burning that's not supposed to, sometimes it's a completely new Chemical Formula. (which those of you who grew up in the 60's will likely understand). I hope there's room on the Periodic Table for this one. - Abby Lab

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Yogurt for Your Pet's Gut Health

Abby - the senior rescue Lab mix has some Siberian husky friends in Blogville who love yogurt - so I decided to give her some when we first adopted her.  Although there are a number of "people" foods that are toxic to dogs, plain yogurt with a lot of additives or artificial sweeteners is not one of them.  You do want to avoid the ones without fruit or a lot of sugar or cheap additives - read the label, watch closely for Xylitol used in some low cal yogurts - it is toxic to dogs.  We loved the Oberweis yogurt - they no longer make their own but partner with a company that makes the same great quality sugar free Greek yogurt that we can get through their home delivery.

You’ll also need to avoid things that are yogurt “coated” or “flavored” as they aren’t real yogurt and don’t carry the benefits of yogurt. There are some yogurt infused treats out there which are likely just fine but I prefer to give her the actual food.

Yogurt is easy enough to introduce into your dog’s diet. If you have a super picky eater just add some plain yogurt in with his or her dog food each day.  Pretty soon they will view it as a treat and just gobble it up. Abby and Lorelei love it and if we don't give them a couple of Tablespoons of yogurt in a dish each night after we finish our supper they go into the kitchen and if we don't follow to get it we will hear a big WOOF! (No, NOT spoiled or anything)
Hey - where's my yogurt treat?

I remember these photos - that night due to severe storms in Chicagoland, Abby got her yogurt treat a couple of hours early so I could get her walked before we ate, as that was when the severe weather was due.
What's this Mom? 

It's not the right time but that looks familiar.
It's my Oberweis yogurt!  (yes, dogs can smile).

Why yogurt?

It’s not expensive and readily available in stores and from dairy companies.

It's a great source of protein that will help keep your pet feeling "full longer" -  important if you have a senior or inactive dog who is prone to put on weight.
It is a great source of calcium and zinc and probiotics. Probiotics help with digestion. They get rid of unhealthy bacteria in your pet’s digestive tract, replacing it with good bacteria. This is especially helpful if you have a dog that is fond of eating rabbit poop and other yard delicacies. (in the house we are careful with anything toxic for dogs such as garlic or onion -  we put that out in a special trash bin on the back porch that the dogs don't have access to and NOT in the kitchen trash.)
It can help alleviate such problems as gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, infections, inflamed bowels, bacterial overgrowth, or other absorption issues. Talk to your vet about adding some yogurt to your dog's diet when it is on medication or recovering from surgery.  

Whatever your reason for adding this tasty nutritious food to your pet's diet they will thank you for it.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

No One Can Sulk Like a Lab

I'll just lay on Yoda Matt until my walker is here.

I telework pretty much full time unless I have a trial and have to go into the city.  Still, it's usually a busy day, and lunch is usually spent getting dinner in the crockpot or prepped for the oven.  So I have a dog walker come over and give Abby a walk.  Lorelei is not big on walks, she prefers to play fetch in the yard which is someone I can do on short breaks.

My husband takes Abby for a long walk (or a run) before he showers and goes to work and a short walk for both dogs when he gets home from work while I get the dinner dishes done (with the size of our kitchen, I opted for space during the remodel, not a  dishwasher).
Rolling in someone else's yard is more fun than rolling in my own!

We use a professional service, run by a local man and woman.  Abby has one main walker and two for backup in case of emergency or illness.  Abby just LOVES her main walker J.  She reacts fondly to all of them, and they are so careful and diligent abut giving her a safe walk, but when J's car pulls into the driveway she goes bonkers.
No, that's a truck, I want the green car shaped like a toaster!

J. is a retired mail carrier, and in addition to loving a brisk walk, she talks to Abby the whole time in this always chippy and cheery voice and Abby just loves that, responding to the voice with great joy. I've been laughing as J. walks to supplement her retirement to have money for world travel (which she loves) and is currently learning Spanish.  So as they leave I hear her talking to Abby in Spanish.

With the COVID thing, my husband was home most of the week for the last few months so it was "not today Abby, no J. today" and she'd sigh and go back to her bed.

Since I knew how much she had missed her walker -  on Friday morning, a day my husband went into the plant  I said, "J's coming!" (she knows what that means)  I repeated it over the course of the morning, and she got more excited and happy, looking out the window from the couch any time she heard a car,, then going back to her favorite spot in the sun on the dining room rug to wait for the sound of a key in the lock.

Then I hear someone opening the back door. Abby's tail is doing warp 10 and she about lifts off the rug like a helicopter!
 Ack!  It's not J!

Oh uh, apparently J. took the day off to do some community volunteer work. It was one of the backup walkers. a lovely young woman.  Abby went promptly out but you could tell she wasn't too cranked about the turn of events and didn't bark at all like she normally does as they head through the sunroom and out the back door to the yard.

Stone silence today as they made their way down the back steps.

Thirty minutes later, when she got home, E. gave her a treat and some pats and left and Abby returned to her favorite spot on the rug - and the sulking began.
 You LIED to me, you said J. would be here today!
 Maybe she's still coming  I'll stare at the back door for a while
 She's NOT coming.  Let the stink eye begin.
 Mom's a meanie!  She promised J. and she never came.
 Sigh - I'll just sulk here all day and not even get up for a treat.
I haven't seen J. for 87 years, Mom is SOOO mean.

When my husband got home from work, Abby didn't even greet him at the back door with a wagging tail but just lay on the couch where she retreated when her sunspot was gone. He looked at her moping and said

"What happened?"

I said, "I told her J. would be here and it was E.!"

He looks at Abby laughing and said, "So Mom LIED to you."  (thanks, hon, for supporting my case :-)

Finally, after some Dad pats, dog food, a walk with Dad and a treat, afterward, she perked up, but I have to say, NO ONE can sulk like a Labrador Retriever.