Happy 3 year anniversary, Starsky & Hutch

 

Starsky & Hutch are a proper foster fail story.

We already had 2 dogs, Lola and Gigi, and all the intention to find a good home for Starsky & Hutch when they were still puppies.

 

Well, 3 years on, and Starsky & Hutch have turned into handsome Africanis dogs.

 

Happy Birthday, Starsky & Hutch! ♡

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

#RattieTip: #HowTo introduce #pet #rats to #dogs – Step 1

 

I always had pet rats and always will. So when we adopted rescue puppy Lola, it was clear she needed to learn that ratties are our friends.

 

How to introduce pet rats to other pets – Step 1

I always introduce ratties in their cage first.

You never know how pet rats might react, but if they react they do it in a mega fast way, too fast to catch up.

Rats have a super sensitive nose. For them to smell the other pet is enough to see their reaction: Are they curious? Frightened? Aggressive?

If pet rats react uncomfortably to the intruder, they need to stay in their cage until their curiosity gets the better of them and they are ready to check out the other pet.

 

When puppy Lola meets rattie Louna

When the Louna rattie clan arrived for #RattieSitting in their travel cage I put them out on our terrace first, so the ratties could meet our puppy Lola.

 

It’s quite cute to see the interaction between puppy and rattie:

 

 

 

 

 

#RatsMakeGreatPets

#AdoptDontShop

 

#Beach #Walk with the dogs: Like then, like now

 

Ah, the sweet memories of the weekly beach walks with the dogs:

 

 

Finally, we ventured back to the beach!

The dogs needed a good wash and enjoyed so much a fast run and funny play in the soft sands and the refreshing spray.

At long last they were back in their element, like then, like now:

 

 

#LoveCapeTown

#AdoptDontShop

 

Happy 4 year anniversary, Lola!

 

4 years ago I offered to foster this little fluffball.

Needless to say, we fell head over heals in love with Lola and adopted her pretty much right away.

 

 

4 years on and Lola is the bestest dog we could’ve wished for.

She is so clever, she is actually of help around the house. Plus, she keeps our dog pack in check as a very strong leader.

 

To celebrate her birthday I tried to take a similar photo of Lola as an adult dog:

I had not pictured her turning into such an elegant hound.

I love the scruff of her neck, it looks like she’s wearing a fancy fur collar. Her coat has some interesting shading, typical for the Africanis, it enhances her beautiful features.

 

 

I can’t believe it’s already 4 years!

Check out the puppy and adult picture in comparison:

 

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.902556416930561&type=3

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

Happy 3 year anniversary, Gigi!

 

3 years ago I was asked to foster a little undernourished, sick and weak puppy.

She had epileptic fits, presumably from a worm infestation that had reached her brain.

From malnutrition she had developed rickets disease.

She was so tiny, the vet thought she might turn into a Chihuahua.

And she was so ill, the veterinary team were not sure she’d last the weekend.

 

Needless to say, we fell in love with this strong spirited, always happy, always loving little fighter.

A total foster fail, she became part of the family and stayed with us.

 

 

3 years on and we couldn’t be happier with our little sunshine.

Gigi has turned into a stunning elegant Africanis mixed-breed dog, full of energy, always wagging her tail.

She is smaller than our other dogs, but in no way does this show: She eats the same, runs as fast and even keeps the upper hand at playfights with our boy dogs.

She is strong and healthy. Gigi never needed the vet, even though she’s a little mischievous and puts herself under strain by eating tomato plants or getting cuts and bruises from crazy zoomies.

 

So today, as we celebrate her birthday, I took a picture just like when she was a puppy.

 

Gigi at 3 years old.
Gigi at 3 years old.

 

Just look at the photos side by side!

 

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.891723231347213&type=3

 

What a cutie!

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

#Puppy #Bliss: Our dogs are cuddle masters at spooning

 

The way they sleep: Our dogs sleep like humans.

 

Out puppies enjoy sleeping with their head on the pillow, nicely tugged in our soft and fluffy feather duvet.

Sometimes they even snore!

And mostly they end up in some funny sleeping positions.

 

Like when Lola’s cuddle spooning Gigi:

 

Total puppy bliss! I just want to snuggle in there and be showered in puppy love.

 

#Puppy #Bliss

#PuppyLove

#AdoptDontShop

 

 

#Beach #Walk with the #dogs: #Puppy Hutch goes for a swim

 

Hutch, the biggest out of our pack of dogs, looks easily clumsy, lumbering along, trying to keep up.

But he always amazes me with his love for swimming.

 

In the water, everything that makes Hutch look cloddish on land, works to his advantage.

Instead of being heavy and slow, he is buoyant and strong.

 

No surprise then that Hutch loves the beach.

 

He can’t wait to get into the water and runs straight to the ocean, checking out the waves:

 

I only let our dogs play in the swash.

But Hutch decided otherwise and went for a little swim in the calm sea:

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

#Beach #Walk with the #dogs: Shallow waves for water zoomies

Our dogs get super excited when they get into the boot and notice we’re going to the beach!

Gigi, our Miniature Pitbull-Africanis, gets the zoomies pretty much from when she hits the sand.

When the sea is calm I often take our dogs into the shallow surf for a nice wash.

So Gigi gets the water zoomies!

Gigi runs in and out of the swash:

Gigi zooms back and forth, jumping for joy:

Gigi plays with some sea bamboo kelp:

Gigi hops into the small waves:

Gigi simply loves the shallow waters:

Cutie puppy Gigi.

#AdoptDontShop

#Beach #Walk with the #dogs: Everything glistens in a haze

 

The sun in South Africa creates a wonderful light.

Especially in Cape Town, surrounded by oceans, the sky is so blue you want to fall into it.

 

At the beach the sea reflects the sun and the wet sand also sparkles up every time the waves retract.

It’s a glistening spectacle bigger than Christmas.

Twinkles dancing in the surf, running across the gleaming coat of our dogs, disappearing in the Fata Morgana around Robben Island.

 

There is a misty haze moving in and it blurs the horizon, somehow putting us in a bubble, like we’re sitting inside a snow globe where the sun always shines.

 

As I stare into the distance trying to decipher Robben Island from haze, mirage and glare, the dogs join me and Starsky sits by my side.

 

Our puppies also enjoy the beach and take a moment to appreciate the viewappreciate the view.

 

#LoveCapeTown #AdoptDontShop

 

#Puppy #Love: Our dogs sleep like humans

 

During Cape Town’s chilly winter weather, everyone seems to be hibernating.

 

Also our dogs snuggle up warm under the thick winter duvet.

 

While it’s fine for dogs to sleep under the duvet with no risk of suffocating, our pups prefer to keep their heads above the blanket.

 

Puppy Lola even puts her head on a pillow.

 

So our dogs sleep just like humans:

 

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

 

#Beach #Walk with the dogs: #Photobomb #shots

 

I love going to the beach with our 4 rescue dogs.

 

4 dogs is quite a lot and when I take photos, chances are, there’s a dog in there somewhere.

 

Sometimes I just want to capture the scene, like this picture of Stairs that Sink in the Sands.

 

The truth is: I go through a lot of puppy photobomb shots before I get to snatch the actual image:

 

View this post on Instagram

#Beach #Walk with the dogs: #Photobomb #shots. #AdoptDontShop

A post shared by TrulyJuly (@creativecommunications) on

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

#Puppy #Bliss: Lola sleeps with her head on the pillow

 

Our rescue dogs live in total bliss:

They are allowed to sleep in our bed and in this cold winter weather appreciate cuddling in our thick duvets.

 

It’s funny to watch the way they sleep.

Puppy Lola sleeps like a human: She likes to rest her head properly on a pillow.

About to nod off, she is only bothered by my attempt to film her, before she relaxes and falls asleep:

 

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

#Beach #Walk with the #dogs: Even the puppies enjoy the view

 

Every walk at the beach is pure joy.

 

I often stop to just take in all the beauty Cape Town has to offer.

 

I’m not the only one:

Even our dogs stop in their puppy play and take in the vastness of the view.

 

#LoveCapeTown

 

#Puppy #Treat: Fish Stock for your dog

 

When I buy fish, I ask for it to get filleted and keep the bones.

That makes two dishes: The fish I fry and from the bones I make bone broth.

 

The longer fish bones boil, the softer they get.

When the fish broth is done, what remains is a mushy mix of bones turned jelly and fish meat.

 

Removing all remaining big fish bones, this makes a great treat for dogs!

View this post on Instagram

#Puppy #Treat: Fish Stock

A post shared by TrulyJuly (@creativecommunications) on

 

Homemade fish stock, like any bone broth, is a super food for humans and pets alike.

 

It also tastes really good, as our dogs are enjoying this special treat: 

View this post on Instagram

#Puppy #Treat: Fish Stock

A post shared by TrulyJuly (@creativecommunications) on

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

#Puppy #Bliss: Happy 3rd anniversary, Lola

Lola the township rescue. I couldn’t have wished for a better dog.

I’m totally smitten by this gorgeous little lady.

During Cape Town’s colder winter days, Lola’s fur is so thick and soft, your hands sink into plush warmth. I just want to dive right into it and nuzzle up close.

Puppy Lola is the bestest.

#AdoptDontShop

Puppy Bliss: Happy 2nd anniversary, Gigi

 

To think back when Gigi came to us as this malnutritioned handful of a puppy, plagued by rickets disease and epilepsy.

 

What a pretty little lady she has become.

 

From ugly duckling to beautiful swan, a story true for all rescue dogs I know.

 

Adopting this little cutie pie was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

 

Puppy Gigi loves to cuddle all the time.
Puppy Gigi loves to cuddle all the time.

 

I can't stop cuddling her too.
I can’t stop cuddling her too.

 

Gigi is one of the best things that happened to me. #AdoptDontShop
Gigi is one of the best things that happened to me. #AdoptDontShop

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

#Puppy #Play: Lola loves light and shadow

 

Puppy Lola is obsessed with lights and shadows, reflections and laser beams.

 

At the beach that means she is constantly on the lookout for shadows of birds flying by.

Her eyes peeled to the ground, also my shadow is part of her game.

 

So I reach out to her with my shadow hand:

 

There’s always a new way to play with your puppy. That makes it so entertaining.

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

#Pet #Portraiture: Puppy Lola gets her portrait drawn

Enjoying pizza on the lawn at Blue Peter after a nice walk at Blouberg Beach is just a perfect way to spend Sunday afternoon in Cape Town.

Popping by with the dogs to meet up with friends surprisingly turned out to be a great idea when our table neighbour sitting next to us presented this skilled sketch of Lola:

#LoveCapeTown

Puppy Hutch cools down on the cold tiles

 

I always wonder: How can it be that dogs seem so comfortable on the floor?

 

But especially on hot days Hutch enjoys to cool down on the cold tiles inside.

 

Hutch takes a break and lies flat out on the cool tiles.
Hutch takes a break and lies flat out on the cool tiles.

 

Of course, when I approach Hutch looks up.
Of course, when I approach Hutch looks up.

 

Time for a tummy rub!
Time for a tummy rub!

 

#Puppy #Bliss         #AdoptDontShop

 

Hutch fläzt in der Sonne

 

Einfach süß: Africanis Hunde lieben die afrikanische Sonne.

 

Rüde Hutch legt sich gerne in unserem Garten in die heißen Sonnenstrahlen – gut, dass er auch weiß, wann er eine Pause einlegen sollte.

 

Ich sehe ihn oft ein Sonnenbad genießen:

 

Hutch legt sich der Länge nach hin für ein Nickerchen in der Sonne.
Hutch legt sich der Länge nach hin für ein Nickerchen in der Sonne.

 

Sobald ich näher komme, ist Gigi auch da und Hutch wacht auf.
Sobald ich näher komme, ist Gigi auch da und Hutch wacht auf.

 

Hutch reckt sich...
Hutch reckt sich…

 

...und streckt sich...
…und streckt sich…

 

...und pennt weiter.
…und pennt weiter.

 

#Hundeliebe         #AdoptDontShop

 

Puppy Hutch is lazing in the sun

 

So adorable: Africanis dogs love the African sun.

 

Puppy Hutch enjoys soaking up the hot sunrays in our garden, luckily he also knows when to take a break.

 

I often see him taking a sunbath:

 

Hutch seems flat out taking a nap in the sun.
Hutch seems flat out taking a nap in the sun.

 

But of course, as soon as I approach, Gigi is also there and Hutch wakes up.
But of course, as soon as I approach, Gigi is also there and Hutch wakes up.

 

Hutch stretches...
Hutch stretches…

 

...and flexes...
…and flexes…

 

...and chills some more.
…and chills some more.

 

#Puppy #Bliss         #AdoptDontShop

 

#HowTo make dog ear cleaning solution

Familiarise yourself with the anatomy of dog ears to best apply the cleaning solution.
Familiarise yourself with the anatomy of dog ears to best apply the cleaning solution.

 

To prevent ear infections, dog ears must stay clean at all times: How to clean your dog’s ears.

 

You can consult your vet on dog ear cleaning products or you can make your own:

 

Homemade dog ear cleaning solution recipes

 

Vinegar solution: 1 part of vinegar + equal part of water

Probably the best vinegar to use is apple cider vinegar, as that is also beneficial when digested. White vinegar is more acidy and stingy.

The water should be clean, it might be a good idea to boil it beforehand. Just make sure it has cooled down to lukewarm.

You can rev up your vinegar solution by adding a small amount of another cleaning agent, such as baking soda / boric acid / alcohol / iodine.

 

Oil blend: 1 tablespoon of base oil + 1 drop of essential oil

The base oil needs to be light, healthy and gentle such as coconut or olive oil.

The essential oil should have disinfecting qualities like lavender, geranium, frankincense.

Alternatively you can infuse the oil with garlic or add a few drops of sweet almond oil.

 

#HowTo clean dog ears

 

If your dog is active out and about outside, it’s a good idea to check their ears regularly.

 

Signs your dog’s ears need a clean

–   scratching at one or both ears

–   rubbing ears on the carpet

–   frequent shaking of head

 

How to clean your dog’s ears

 

1. Have everything ready.

Prepare a place outside or in the bath where it’s ok if things get a bit messy.

Lay out everything you need: Scissors, cotton balls or a cloth, ear cleaning solution, cotton-tipped applicator, a towel, treats.

 

2. Train your dog to sit still.

Familiarise your dog with the equipment, show there’s nothing to be afraid of and give them a treat. Make sure your dog is comfortable and relaxed.

 

3. Trim excess hair around the ear.

Your dog must sit still for this. Use small handy scissors with a dull end to not accidentally pierce your dog.

Cut all hair that obstructs dirt from coming out of your dog’s ear.

 

4. Flush the ear with cleaning solution.

Don’t insert any tool into your dog’s ear canal further than you can see or you might damage the ear drum.

Completely fill your dog’s ear canal with cleaning solution. To avoid mess, don’t overspill. Close the ear flap over the opening. Your dog must still sit still.

 

5. Massage the ear.

Your dog should enjoy this: Gently rub the base of your dog’s ear between thumb and index finger in a circular motion for about half a minute.

Make sure the cleaning solution spreads around everywhere and the ear gets a good soak. You should be able to hear a smacking sound.

 

6. Let your dog shake their ears out.

To keep mess at a minimum, hold a towel around your dog’s head.

Encourage your dog shake out all the cleaning solution.

 

7. Clean up the rest.

Be very careful not to accidentally push any dirt back into the ear canal. Don’t use cotton swabs.

Wipe the ear with cotton wool or a cloth from the inside out. Then gently clean in between the skin folds.

 

8. Repeat.

Repeat the process with the other ear. Or, should the ear still be dirty, repeat with the same ear.

 

A handy step by step infographic by Montego:

Step by step: How to clean dog ears by Montego.
Step by step: How to clean dog ears by Montego Pet Nutrition.

 

 

#PuppyLove: Rescue Dog Hutch sleeps – and snores! – like a human

 

The bliss of having puppies! Especially keeping rescue dogs is very rewarding. They all have their own interesting and curious personalities.

 

Hutch for example likes to sleep like humans. – In our bed of course, and with his head on the pillow:

Rescue Puppy Hutch sleeps like a human: With his head on the pillow.
Puppy Hutch sleeps like a human: With his head on the pillow.

 

But alas! Sleeping like a human in Hutch’s case means snoring like a human!

View this post on Instagram

#Puppy Hutch #snores like a human. 😮 #PuppyLove #AdoptDontShop

A post shared by TrulyJuly (@creativecommunications) on

 

Haha, puppy Hutch sleeps so deeply and relaxed, he actually snores!

What a cutie pops. Luckily Hutch is also a cuddle master, snuggling up to him makes up for everything. 🙂

 

#PuppyBliss

#AdoptDontShop

 

#Puppy #Care: Best time to give your dog deworming tablets

 

Deworming tablets: Generally best with breakfast.
Deworming tablets: Generally best with breakfast.

 

It is imperative to deworm your dog regularly. And not only your dog, but also yourself and your family.

 

Ideally you have a deworming schedule that you stick to.

 

When you’re deworming for the first time you might wonder:

 

What time of the day is best to administer deworming tablets?

 

The answer to this question depends on the medicine and your dog. Always consult your vet first.

 

Some factors to consider:

 

–  Deworming tablets contain some powerful medicine and are best given with food.

 

–  To make sure all worms get properly killed, you want the medicine to stay in the digestive tract long enough.

 

–  It might be advisable to not feed your dog for 8 hours after ingestion of the deworming pills.

 

So dinner could be a good time to feed the deworming tablets. After the last meal of the day there is a down time of sleep in which the medicine can do its work.

 

But some dogs can react sensitively or even allergic to deworming drugs. In this case it’s best to feed the medication at breakfast, so you can monitor your puppy throughout the day. Hence, choose a day on which you are free to be with your pet.

 

Once you have established your pooch handles the deworming medication well, you can switch to feeding it in the evening.

 

However, don’t stick to the same medication all the time: It can be useful to try different deworming products, as it gives a greater chance of treating a variety of worm infections.

 

#Puppy #Care: Deworming the family

 

Let’s face it: Your puppy has worms.

And let’s be honest about it: So could you.

 

Our rescue puppies were very sick when we got them at first. After going through dealing with live worms, you might want to deworm the whole family. :(
Our rescue puppies were very sick when we got them at first. After going through dealing with live worms, you might want to deworm the whole family. 😦

 

Worms are passed on from the mother to the puppy and there’s nothing we can do about it besides deworming your puppy on a regular basis.

 

The reinfection rate is high, as most worms are designed to survive in the ground for long enough to be picked up again. That’s why you need to have a Deworming Schedule.

 

Unfortunately, worms can be passed on from dog to human. Usually zoonotic illnesses rarely spread from dogs to humans.

 

Preventative methods to reduce the risk of infection should therefore be standard when handling puppies. Picking up and safely disposing of poo right away, sterilising soiled areas, washing hands frequently, keeping flies at bay will go a long way for staying healthy.

 

But when handling infected rescue puppies, a round of deworming tablets for your family might be a good idea. Especially children are at risk.

 

Deworming tablets for humans are cheap and easy to get over the counter.

 

It is less complicated to simply deworm than to test for worm infections.

 

So when your puppies have been treated and are clean from worms, treat yourself and your family to some deworming medicine for peace of mind.

 

In case you need further convincing, go watch this video of the worms crawling about, it is totally gross. I filmed it, yet I can’t look at it myself! So, you have been warned:

 

Beware the tomato plant – it’s poisonous for your dog

 

When your tomato plant looks like this... - ...it probably got eaten by your dogs...
When your tomato plant looks like this… – …it probably got eaten by your dogs…

 

The joys of having puppies! Yes, we love them, but they can be up to some mischief!

 

When this tomato plant fell (or got dragged?) off the window sill, it was a matter of minutes for it to be destroyed.

 

Our dogs love munching on greens, but be aware that not all plants are good for them:

 

Tomato plants are poisonous for dogs!

 

No, not the actual tomato: Tomatoes should be fine and even tomato sauce should pose no risk for your dog to ingest in moderation.

 

But if you are an avid gardener, chances are you have some tomatoes growing in a pot or in a vegetable patch.

 

Tomatoes are nightshades or Solanaceae. The stem and leaves of tomato plants contain a high dose of tomatine.

Tomatine is toxic to dogs, cats and horses. For humans a moderate amount of tomatine seems to be ok, as the popular consumption of ‘fried green tomatoes‘ shows.

 

So obviously when we found the shredded tomato plant, we got quite a fright of tomato poisoning.

But dont’ worry:

 

No dog or plant was harmed in the production of this post.

 

If you catch your pet eating the green parts of the tomato plant, the first step of aid is to induce vomiting.

So I took our puppies to the dog park where they all happily chomped away on some fresh grass.

Gigi turned out to be the culprit: She did not throw up, but pooped out the tomato leaves whole and in one go. Lucky us, as when the tomato leaves are expelled, so is the risk of poisoning.

 

However, if your pet ingested a large quantity of tomato greens and it has entered the digestive tract, consult your vet.

 

Fortunately the tomato plant too has recovered and is sprouting lots of new leaves everywhere. So no harm done.

But a big lesson learned:

 

Restrict access to tomato plants for your pets.

 

If you grow your tomato plant in a pot, make sure it is out of reach for the dogs. Especially when you leave your dog or cat alone, you might want to keep your tomato plants in a different room and keep it locked.

 

If you grow your tomato plants outside, keep them fenced off or put up a screen that your pet can’t jump over or push aside.

 

Offer alternative greens to your pets.

 

If your dogs like to snack on some fresh greens, offer them a healthy alternative and grow some safe plants, for example fresh grass, in an accessible place for them.

 

Can dogs remember each other?

 

Pippa gets kisses from Gigi. – Surely they remember each other.
Pippa gets kisses from Gigi. – Surely they remember each other.

 

Pippa – who is usually not so good with other dogs – must’ve remembered Starsky & Hutch, because as soon as they met they hit it off like old pals:

 

Right away Pippa and Starsky start to play:

 

Pippa also loves to play with Hutch:

 

Last time Pippa met Starsky & Hutch was when they were puppies about a year ago!

They have completely changed in their looks and wellbeing.

Yet meeting again after such a long time they play like the good friends they are.

 

#PuppyLove #AdoptDontShop

Follow puppy stories on Facebook: SA Rescue Puppies.

 

 

Dog TV: Watching puppies Gigi and Hutch playfight

 

We don’t have a TV and with our puppies blessing us with hilarious moments we don’t need one.

 

But even the dogs themselves seem to enjoy watching how the puppy play unfolds.

 

Here Starsky takes a break all cosy inside while following Gigi and Hutch’s playfight outside like it’s great TV.

 

Starsky is watching Gigi and Hutch playfight with great interest.
Starsky is watching Gigi and Hutch playfight with great interest.

 

#PuppyLove: Gigi takes Starsky for a walk

 

Practical: Why not let the puppies walk each other?

Starsky looks back in surprise as Gigi took hold of his leash and keeps him at bay.
Starsky looks back in surprise as Gigi took hold of his leash and keeps him at bay.

 

Gigi takes the lead

 

Taking the puppies for a beach walk, Starsky manages to slip through and run off with his leash still on.

Or so he thinks.

Because in steps Gigi, who catches the end of the lead and holds on for dear life.

A strange tug of war ensues between Gigi and Starsky as they’re connected with the leash.

 

Funny: Gigi grabs the leash and takes Starsky for a walk.

 

The puppies walking each other is a fun play, letting them interact and be active.

Just watch out that no one else gets entangled in the game.

 

The way they sleep: Starsky’s Leg on Gigi’s Neck

The way they sleep:

Starsky is having his hind legs around Gigi's neck.
Starsky is having his hind legs around Gigi’s neck.

 

Having a pack of four puppies creates the funniest moments.

Especially when they cuddle together they make the cutest pictures.

Here Starsky huddles his legs around Gigi’s neck. I wonder how this came about. As long as they’re comfortable. 🙂

 

#AdoptDontShop

#Foster #Puppies Starsky & Hutch learn to swim

 

A great place to learn how to swim: The lagoon at Lagoon Beach is shallow enough for safe play:

 

Foster puppies Starsky & Hutch brave the water of the lagoon at Lagoon Beach.
Foster puppies Starsky & Hutch brave the water of the lagoon at Lagoon Beach.

 

Even puppies manage to walk through the calm waters, getting a refreshing wash and a chance at a first try-out of swimming.

 

A lovely opportunity for dogs to enjoy the sea in a fun way:

 

 

Puppy Lola curled up on the wicker chair

 

Isn’t it amazing how small dogs can make themselves when they want to fit in?

 

Here Lola curls up into a balletjie, so she fits all cuddly in the wicker chair:

Why the fuss? Of course I fit perfectly well into this chair. I just need to put my leg somewhere...
Why the fuss? Of course I fit perfectly well into this chair. I just need to put my leg somewhere…

 

I want to make myself also super small and snuggle up with Lola balletjie!

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

#GoodDesign: Pet water bowl with wide base

Bad design versus good design
Bad design versus good design

 

When rescue puppies Starsky & Hutch popped into our lives for fostering, they came with a bunch of dog accessories: a dog bed, bowls and toys.

 

While Rogz Bubble Bowlz work perfectly, I’m disappointed about their Slurp Bowlz.

 

I’m surprised they actually make such a bad design: The Slurp Bowls are wider on the top than the bottom. That supposed non-slip silicone base is of no help when your puppies step into the bowl.
Which they do, all the time!

 

Even when you put the water bowl in the furthest corner, secured on two sides by wall or furniture, they somehow manage to step into it. Let alone that they jump into it at most play sessions.

 

Our dog’s water bowl has a wide bottom and narrow top. Even when the puppies jump right into it, it stays put. When they step onto it, their paws simply slip to the ground along the curved outer surface. It serves as the communal water source, because it works so well.

 

As a back-up especially in hot weather, the Slurp Bowlz are in the bathrooms. Because they topple over all the time, the only place where I can keep them is our open plan shower, where it’s ok if water spillage occurs.

 

If you apply the good practice industrial design principle ‘Form follows Function’, you get to a result like this super practical, multi functional travel dog bowl: Poochie Bowl.

 

So do yourself a favour and watch out for good design in pet water bowls. A good start is to opt for bowls with a wide base. It can save you a lot of mopping and sweeping! 🙂

 

Foster Puppy Hutch is double toothed

 

Foster Puppy Hutch is double toothed: His adult tooth is growing next to his puppy tooth.
Foster Puppy Hutch is double toothed: His adult tooth is growing next to his puppy tooth.

 

Especially with rescue dogs it’s a good idea to note when they lose their puppy teeth, as it gives an indication of their age:

 

Puppies start losing their teeth at about 4 months.

 

To record the first tooth falling out with a time stamp, simply take a photo of your puppy’s state of teeth.

 

Watch out for the lost puppy teeth, they make a nice memory.

 

It’s important to catch the first tooth falling out, as the process of replacing puppy teeth with adult teeth can take several months.

Usually it should be completed around 6 months, but especially if the adult teeth are growing side by side with the puppy teeth, it can take a while until the puppy teeth finally fall out.

 

In the meantime you end up with a double toothed puppy:

 

Even though Hutch's adult fang is growing, his puppy tooth is still not falling out.
Even though Hutch’s adult fang is growing, his puppy tooth is still not falling out.

 

#Foster #Puppy Hutch is super skilled at peeling an egg

 

All our dogs get an egg a day, it’s a complete dog meal and lots of fun to eat.

 

To turn it into a challenge, I sometimes give them the hardboiled egg as is: no cracks, no help.

 

It’s amazing how quickly they figure it out and crack the egg.
But more impressive even is how skilled dogs are at peeling eggs:
They use their front paws to scratch off the shell and then hold it down to munch up the egg inside.

 

Here you can see how much Hutch loves his egg, tenderly holding it in place with his left paw:

Foster puppy Hutch loves his egg! He's very skilled at peeling it with his front paws.
Foster puppy Hutch loves his egg! He’s very skilled at peeling it with his front paws.

His enjoyment can’t last long however, as Gigi is always ready to steal his treat:

 

DIY Dog Digging Defence

DIY Dog Digging Defence: Our dogs are allowed do dig anywhere in the garden, except here.
DIY Dog Digging Defence: Our dogs are allowed do dig anywhere in the garden, except here.

 

We have clay soil in our garden and it’s super difficult to work:

When it’s dry it’s rock hard and requires a pick axe to be loosened up.

When it’s wet, it’s so dense, it’s waterproof and we have puddles in our garden.

 

In addition, we have a whole house buried in our backyard and any gardening work is interrupted by digging up rubble and rubbish and excavating the odd curious piece easily dating back several decades if not 100 years.

 

So I don’t mind our dogs digging. They’re doing us a great favour with this unmanageable soil and are inspiring in their determination to keep on digging.

However, out of all the places in our garden, the dogs choose the one corner they’re not allowed to dig: Where our paving meets the clay ground. – In order for the pavers to stay in place, we need the clay ground to stay put.

 

How to explain to dogs they’re allowed to dig over there, but not over here?

 

So I put up a DIY Dog Digging Defence:

Every time the dogs started digging too close to the pavers, I’d plonk down a concrete brick.

Needless to say: Our dogs would just start digging right beside it next time they got a chance.

So I’d plonk down another concrete brick.

Now we have a row of concrete bricks forming a small divider wall between pavers and clay ground.

 

Turns out this has additional benefits:

With the ground becoming loose in times of drought and Cape Town wind, we have dust everywhere. This small barrier helps keep the sand at bay.

It also works as a little jump in the obstacle course that our garden turns into when our dogs get the zoomies. They love any reason to jump, which seems to more than make up for the lost digging opportunity. 😉

 

Naming your dog: How Lola got her name

Puppy Bliss: Lola is the cutest
Puppy Bliss: Lola is the cutest

 

I don’t really like giving pets human names. It only asks for confusion.

 

Our first puppy came to us through a friend’s post on social media. I offered to foster, I didn’t want to overcommit, although we were planning on getting a dog.

 

However, first that little munchkin went to PETS to go through the general check-up. In this one day, that she was at an animal shelter, they gave her a name: Lola.

 

My cousin’s daughter’s name is Lola. – Back to my statement on top: That’s why I don’t like giving pets human names.

 

This was odd: Lola is one of my favourite names, and I don’t have many. Not that I would necessarily give it to anyone or any animal. But since “Run Lola Run” I, like many Germans, am somewhat fond of that name.

 

So I asked my cousin if it was ok to name my dog after her child. She was. That gave the name Lola extra meaning: I can’t wait for the two to meet. 🙂

 

And the name is indeed befitting: Because one thing Lola is very good at is running really fast, and I love it every single time she gives me the opportunity to cheer her on: “Run Lola, Run!” 😉

 

#Puppy #Love: Dogs make us happy

 

Dogs are great to cuddle with, they even cuddle with each other: This is how Gigi and Hutch chill together:

View this post on Instagram

#Puppy #Love: This is how Gigi and Hutch #cuddle. #AdopDontShop

A post shared by TrulyJuly (@creativecommunications) on

 

Puppy Bliss! How smitten I am with our pooches. I could hug them all day long.

Dogs are really good for us. They make us happy and healthy.

Since my childhood I missed having a dog. I wanted to have a house so I can have a dog.

But I only ever had family dogs, which actually meant they were my mom’s dogs and tolerated me.

I didn’t know how special the bond is to your own dog. And even more so with a rescue dog.

I feel blessed for every happy moment these lovely creatures share with us.

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

Please help find a forever home for Starsky & Hutch. 🙂 

 

#Puppy #Love: Lola’s infinity and beyond pose

When Lola is happily relaxing, she lies on her back with her belly exposed and no worry in the world.

Often she stretches and yawns just like a human and raises her front paw into the air as if she’s ready to fly off like Buzz Lightyear going to infinity and beyond.

Lola loves to lie on her back. When she stretches, she raises one front leg into the air.
Lola loves to lie on her back. When she stretches, she raises one front leg into the air.

It’s the cutest thing. 🙂

Buzz Lightyear doing the To infinity and beyond!
Buzz Lightyear doing the “To infinity and beyond!”

 

#Puppy #Love: Gigi looks like Disney’s Stitch

 

Sometimes you take a funny snap that triggers some comical associations:

A snapshot from the beach: Gigi looks like she is grinning at me with her mischievous triangular eyes, tiny floppy ears, wide toothed mouth and long pink tongue.
A snapshot from the beach: Gigi looks like she is grinning at me with her mischievous triangular eyes, tiny floppy ears, wide toothed mouth and long pink tongue.

 

This pic somewhat reminds me of Disney’s Stitch:

Disney's "Lilo & Stitch": Stitch with his tongue hanging out - enamel pin
Disney’s “Lilo & Stitch”: Stitch with his tongue hanging out – enamel pin

 

Especially as Gigi has more than just her looks in common with this naughty little creature. 😉

 

Rescue Puppies Starsky & Hutch: Brothers from another father?

Starsky & Hutch are looking for a forever home. Please adopt these cuties.
Starsky & Hutch are looking for a forever home. Please adopt these cuties.

 

We don’t know much about Starsky & Hutch. They were rescued from a street hawker as puppies – undernourished, neglected, full of ticks.

 

It’s easy to assume they’re brothers, and they do look similar: Both have huge ears, a friendly round snout, a somewhat curly tail, are of similar size and have the same light tan colour.

But then of course, they’re also very different: Starsky has black mixed into his coat and is of stocky build, reminding a bit of a Rottweiler. Hutch is plain tan, but has black coming out in this tail which ends in a white tip, he is a bit lighter on his feet, looking more like an Africanis.

 

Maybe they are brothers from another father?

 

Dogs are not monogamous, and their polygamy can go as far as polyandry where a female can mate with several males during her estrus.

If you ever wondered about the size of your dog’s bollocks – it’s because they mate (with) a lot, just like rats and lions.

 

So it’s very well possible that dog litters can have more than one father. That could explain why Starsky & Hutch are brothers, but look quite differently: They’re actually half-brothers.

 

Either way, even if they weren’t blood related, these two are certainly brothers in spirit. They’ve always been together and love and watch out for each other that it melts your heart.

That’s why we hope they can stay together and find a forever home that is big-hearted enough for the two of them. ♥ Please adopt these two cuties! Kindly get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de 🙂

 

#AdoptDontShop

#Beach #Walk with foster puppies Starsky & Hutch: The dogs meet a seal!

The dogs are having a jol at Milnerton Beach when all of a sudden Gigi spots a seal swimming in the waves!
The dogs are having a jol at Milnerton Beach when all of a sudden Gigi spots a seal swimming in the waves!

 

It was Gigi who spotted the seal first:

 

She was actually so excited, she ran into the water towards it!

 

It looked like she was barking at the waves when all of a sudden the head of the seal popped up out of the ocean, looked at us for a moment there and then continued to surf the breaking waves.

 

 

This was the first time I ever watched a seal surfing the waves, having so much fun.

 

The dogs were all like: Us too! But they didn’t venture into the deep waters. The waves of the atlantic ocean are something to reckon with!

 

Well, unless you’re a seal that is.

 

Because this seal was just enjoying itself, not having a care in the world, also not about the barking dogs.

 

Seeing double: Doppelgaenger déjà vu

 

Doppelgaenger déjà vu: Starsky also has only the right ear up, just like Lola and Gigi.
Doppelgaenger déjà vu: Starsky also has only the right ear up, just like Lola and Gigi.

 

What is it with our dogs and having one ear up and one ear floppy?

And not only that, it’s also the same combination: The right ear stands up.

 

After seeing double with Lola and Gigi, the same is occurring now with Lola and Starsky:

He is ‘wearing’ his ears the same way Lola does – right ear up, left ear flopping down.

 

I don’t particularly remember dogs having different ears, as far as I can recall it was either or: either both ears stand up or both ears hang down.

 

Lola can do with her right ear both: She can let it hang loose or she can lift it up. She often sleeps with her right ear up, it’s as if she can only relax one-sided. She does make a great guard dog.

 

Gigi also went through a phase where only her right ear stood up. But she grew out of that, both her ears are floppy now, even though they’re so tiny. It’s hilarious she can’t perk them up, only raise them, but her mini cute ears are still hanging floppy down.

 

So who knows what Starsky’s ears will look like when he grows up, but this picture is just like: Doppelgaenger déjà vu!

 

Please Adopt: Rescue puppies Starsky & Hutch are looking for a forever home

 

Please help and find these two adorable rescue puppies a good home!
Please help and find these two adorable puppies a good home!

 

Please help!

Puppy brothers Starsky & Hutch are looking for a good home.

 

Starsky is the puppy with the dark hair like Ben Stiller in the movie and Hutch is the blond one like Owen Wilson.

 

Just like Starsky & Hutch they make a great team!

 

While Starsky is outgoing, adventurous and up for anything, always in the middle of the action, Hutch is a very gentle soul, a tender handsome little boy, who always wants to cuddle.

 

Together they play and explore. Watching out for each other, they always have each other’s back. With their puppy clumsiness and swagger, they make a funny pair. You don’t want to miss out on all the hilarious entertainment these adorable cuties bliss us with every day.

 

Both are housetrained and socialised with other pets. They get on well with children and are an awesome addition to the family. As young as they are, Starsky & Hutch are already very protective over us and would make great guard dogs.

 

They’ve had all their medical checks, are dewormed and vaccinated, and come with dog bed and harnesses, although they are outgrowing these quickly!

 

Because they get on so well with our dogs, we’d love to find them a home in Cape Town or even Woodstock, so we can meet up for playdates. I’m also happy to dogsit them any time.

 

Most importantly we’d like them to stay together, they’ve been through such ordeal as rescue pups, but they always had each other.

 

Could you be the one who can offer Starsky & Hutch a forever home?

 

If you know someone who has the space for two medium sized well natured and absolutely charming male dogs, please get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de 🙂

 

For updates on Starsky & Hutch, please like their Facebook page: @SAfricanis

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

#Pet #Portraiture #Fail: First time at the beach

 

First visit to the beach for Starsky & Hutch! And all I get a photo of is their backside… Which is, of course, also cute! 😉

 

“Hutch, over here!” Nope, Hutch is way too excited about what’s happening around him at the beach to look into the camera.

 

Clearly the first time at the beach is incredibly exciting, because not once did the puppies hold still just long enough to take a picture.

 

And the entire time Starsky & Hutch were watching Lola and Gigi run and enjoy the freedom of endless beach, with shadows of seagulls to chase.

 

The sand was also intensely interesting, to smell, to eat, and to dig. No time to look up at me long enough for at least one nice snap.

 

Well well, it was a lot of fun, and that’s all that matters. 🙂

 

Foster Puppies: Reshuffling the dog pack order

Gigi makes herself small to play with the puppies. Just the other day she was a puppy herself, now she's all grown-up with our foster pups.
Gigi makes herself small to play with the puppies. Just the other day she was a puppy herself, now she’s all grown-up with our foster pups.

 

Our dogs are quite relaxed about other canine visitors. As I offer dogsitting services, they got used to having their friends around.

 

Inviting some newbies into our home such as foster puppies Starsky & Hutch has however an impact on the pack hierarchy, and it’s fascinating to follow how the dynamics change:

 

Gigi, so far the youngest, behaved very much like a puppy, including the odd wee inside the house that left me puzzled to wonder if she has a mini bladder and just can’t hold it long enough.

 

In come the rescue puppies. And voilà: Gigi stops peeing inside and behaves all grown-up and mature, doing her business in our garden. No more accidents.

 

Gigi is also the one who fell in love with our foster puppies first. She adopted them right away, and although being a puppy herself, she is looking out for them, watching over them and there in a flash when one of the pups starts whining.

 

All the while Lola, who did the same for Gigi, takes it easy with the new addition to the pack and only slowly allows them to interact her. So now that Starsky & Hutch can, they kiss her mouth and snuggle up to her and generally worship her.

 

But it is Gigi who takes on the role as puppy nanny and keeps them entertained all the time. She makes herself small, lying on the ground, robbing towards the pups to play with them.

Especially Starsky is on the same energy level as her and welcomes every opportunity for some play action. Hutch is more a cuddly one and will watch the tumult of puppy play unfold, preferably in the safety of a human’s lap.

 

Incredible how quickly they grow up. You don’t want to miss a second, before you know it the puppy phase is over!

 

So please spread the news for Starsky & Hutch: They’re looking for a forever home and whoever will adopt them won’t want to miss out on all the cuteness overload they’re blessing us with every day! 🙂

 

Kindly get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

#Puppy #Tip: When they wake up, they have to go

 

Do you need to pee or not to pee? That is the question.
Do you need to pee or not to pee? That is the question.

 

Our first rescue puppy came at a semi-surprise: We thought about having a dog, but then it all happened very fast when I offered to foster and fell in love with Lola.

 

Telling my mum about our new addition to the family, she casually mentioned: “And always remember: When puppies wake up, they have to go.”

 

Best advice ever. Because all puppies do is eat, play, sleep, and yes, go to the toilet.

 

It makes things a whole lot easier if you just follow their pattern and watch out when they wake up. As soon as they do, simply take them outside to do their business.

 

Of course there’s the in-between pee and the it-surprised-us-all runny poo.

 

But anticipating when puppies have to go and putting them outside in time so they have the chance to do it right, helps to housetrain them quickly.

 

What is better than a puppy? Of course: Two puppies!

 

Hello you little schmoopies! Starsky & Hutch are recovering nicely.
Hello you little schmoopies! Starsky & Hutch are recovering nicely.

 

It is so rewarding seeing these two improving day by day.

What handsome little boys they’re turning into!

While two puppies might make twice as much mess, seeing them play makes up for it. This is double dose of cuteness overload.

And play they do! Every day they get more daring.

From sparring to barking, wrestling, jumping, from whining to grabbing, dragging, growling, howling, it is fascinating to see them playfight.

They fence with their teeth, they attack from behind and they go for the kill. That’s usually when the game comes to a halt, as both actually need a break.

But soon after it continues, and the two are outdoing each other with tumbles, thuds and bangs, one being clumsier than the other.

The more amazing it is to see them fearlessly climbing the stairs, jumping into the garden and taking on our big dogs.

Stasrky & Hutch are having so much fun, it’s a joy to watch them as they become bestest brothers.

 

 

These two rescue puppies need a forever home. Please share, like, and spread the news.

Kindly get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de

#AdoptDontShop

 

Do NOT buy puppies from street sellers

It's tempting to rescue abused puppies from street sellers, but if you want to help end this cruel practice, do NOT buy them.
It’s tempting to rescue abused puppies from street sellers, but if you want to help end this cruel practice, do NOT buy them.

 

What would you do when confronted with cute puppies who are clearly in need of rescue?

Your animal loving nature is what these cruel puppy sellers are counting on when emotionally blackmailing you into buying their pups.

Unfortunately however, rescuing these creatures in need by buying them will only contribute to this vicious cycle: For the puppy seller any sale is a success no matter the underlying motivation. So they will continue this irresponsible puppy breeding to make more money.

Instead, be vigilant, stay safe and report these illegal puppy sellers:

 

What to do if you encounter puppies being sold on the street

1) Take a photo of the perpetrator

Be careful, these puppy sellers know it’s illegal what they do. But they might not know that you know.
Keep it that way until you got a clear headshot picture of the offender and have safely put away your device with which you took the photo.

2) Call the police and the SPCA

The SPCA is very clear that you shouldn’t buy that puppy.
Instead call Law Enforcement on (021) 812 4464 and the SPCA on (021) 700 4158/9.
The puppy seller is committing a criminal offense and should be arrested. Remember you’re dealing with an animal abuser, let authorities take the appropriate actions.

3) Do not take the puppies home

You’re putting yourself and your pets in danger of contracting any illnesses these puppies might carry.
The first stop for these abused pups is the vet. Alternatively you can ask any animal shelter to take care of them.
Unless the dogs have been treated for worms, fleas, ticks and received the proper vaccinations, handle them with extreme care: wash your hands frequently and disinfect the area around them.

4) Publish the photo of the offender

Email the picture you took together with time and place to the SPCA: inspectorate@spca-ct.co.za, so they can build a case.
Utilise social media to warn others about this crook and use the opportunity to create awareness about not ever buying from puppy sellers.

5) Adopt Don’t Shop

There are so many pets in need out there, give one of them a chance! If you’re looking for a pet, rather adopt from one of the many animal welfare organisations.
Every day many rescue animals are being put down. Save a life by offering one of them a home.

#AdoptDontShop

 

#Foster #Surprise: Rescue puppies Starsky & Hutch

Our dogs look on as we accommodate the two new rescue puppies.
Our dogs look on as we accommodate the two new rescue puppies.

 

Foster Bliss! Look who popped into our lives being rescued from one of those opportunistic street sellers.

 

These two little boys were confiscated to protect them from further abuse and rushed to the vet where the prognosis was grim:

Besides the usual neglect – dirty, full of fleas and ticks and grime; abused, covered in scabs and bruises; malnutritioned, with underdeveloped and wobbly bodies – they had a severe problem:

It appears all these puppies got fed was bones.

They had to be operated to remove all those sharp pieces from their tiny bellies.

 

What a hardship! To go through such a tough operation. At such young age, about 8 weeks old. They are so small, the scar looms along their entire underside.

 

And yet, and this is where the foster bliss comes in, they are so happy and grateful!

 

Especially Starsky, the black and tan pup, such a clever little chap! He already goes to the toilet on a newspaper. Full of energy, he barks when he gets bored in his puppy corner. Already he explores every nook and cranny and even tried to climb up the stairs.

 

Hutch, who is tan with cute white markings, is taking it easy as he’s recovering. A very gentle soul, he monitors everything with a slight suspicion, but gets it when you’re doing good to him. He held very still as I washed him in the sink and enjoys being wrapped up in a blankie.

 

This is such profound inspiration: These boys went through a terrible ordeal of abuse and yet, the moment someone is kind to them, all of it seems to fade away and they are just happy happy happy.

 

I too am grateful to live in the moment with them where everything can only get better. 🙂

I just have to remind myself that these two are not for keeps! 😮

 

So watch this space, as these lovely munchkins are going to be up for adoption soon.

It’s difficult to tell what they’ll turn into, but they look like medium-sized, short coat but fluffy haired, floppy ears and upward pointing tails type of dogs.

 

Please share and spread the message:

We’re looking for a loving home for two little puppy boys, Starsky & Hutch, who will surely bring a lot of love and happiness to their new owners.

Kindly get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de

#AdoptDontShop

 

Taking photos of your puppy – the reality of it

Having a puppy is pure bliss. But taking pictures of your dog can be a tricky undertaking:

 

Beautiful Gigi is chilling in the sun. What a sweet opportunity to take a photo!

Gigi is enjoying the afternoon sun, minding her own business.
Gigi is enjoying the afternoon sun, minding her own business.

 

But as soon as I get close for that special shot, this is what happens:

Always responsive, Gigi gets up to greet me.
Always responsive, Gigi gets up to greet me.

 

Boom! Photo opportunity gone! Good thing Gigi always looks cute.

Cutie pie Gigi photobombs my shot.
Cutie pie Gigi photobombs my shot.

 

Well then, time to put the camera down and indulge in some puppy play! 🙂

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

Also read: #PortRATure: The art of taking portraits of rats

 

Happy 4 month anniversary, Puppy Gigi

Gigi, you cutie little cuddle munchkin.
Gigi, you cutie little cuddle munchkin.

 

Everything takes a bit longer with little Gigi who was stunted in her growth and had rickets disease due to severe malnutrition when she was rescued as a puppy.

 

I could hardly pick up Lola after 3 months already!

 

And Gigi still behaves and looks like a puppy after 4 months.

 

But then, we don’t know how big Gigi is supposed to get, she might just stay this size, or maybe fill out some more, or she might end up outgrowing Lola.

 

We’re just curious about the end result. Her cute and hyper manners make her such a big part of our life, her actual size doesn’t matter.

 

Here’s to 4 months in which Gigi blossomed into a mischievous dainty little lady, surprising us and mostly herself with her newly learned stunts, always tail wagging, a happy chappy.

 

#AdoptDontShop 🙂

 

Tick alert: Beware the fynbos

When ticks are crawling up your wall… You know your dog had a good run in the bushveld!
When ticks are crawling up your wall… You know your dog had a good run in the bushveld!

 

Ticks…

Rats, snakes, spiders I don’t mind, but ticks! These sneaky parasites are a true horror for me.

That is partially because I always get them!

Let it be an entire group that ventures into a tick area, be sure it is me who ends up with a tick bite.

 

Since we have dogs I’m even more prone to tick bites: Lola’s thick fur is heaven for ticks. In addition she loves roaming, especially through the fragrant fynbos grasses in the bushveld.

But that’s where the ticks are: We can go to the sand dunes, we can go to the forest, our dogs are fine. We take a walk through fynbos and our Lola comes back with ticks.

 

You can try to deter or prevent them, but if you own pets, it’s about facing the tick phobia:

Check your dog for ticks after every walk, and be prepared to find some after you went into the bushveld. Remove them right away in a safe way.

 

Tip: How to remove ticks properly and safely

How to safely remove ticks with a tick card.
How to safely remove ticks with a tick card.

 

If you have pets who roam outside, you’ll sooner or later encounter ticks.

Ticks can actually be very dangerous if you get infected with one of the many diseases ticks can carry.

However, for the tick’s disease to spread to you, it needs to stay attached to your body for a day.

So, as soon as you find a tick on your pet or yourself, remove it!

But only, if you can do so properly!

If you do this wrong then the head of the tick stays stuck in the skin and is likely to cause an infection. It is therefore very important that you consult a professional about this.

Alternatively there’s an easy and cheap, and safe and secure way to remove ticks: The tick card!

Even with struggling animals, it is easy to slide the notch under the tick. Simply lifting it pulls out the tick intact with its head.

 

#Tip: Collect puppy teeth

We managed to find two of Lola's puppy teeth.
We managed to find two of Lola’s puppy teeth.

 

Time is flying, and life nowadays is often defined by what we’re missing out on.

While having a puppy is pure bliss, it’s also over quicker than you expect. Yes, even if you wish they’d grow up already when mopping up the puppy pee.

A clear signal that every puppy grows up one day is when they grow their adult teeth.

At the dog park I got a great tip from a friend: Collect your pup’s teeth. You can find them in their toys.

Puppy teeth are like a piece of frozen time from your dog’s childhood. When they start falling out, watch out for them. It is very likely they get swallowed, but you might be lucky and find them if you check the toys your pup has chewed on.

It’s already hard to think back how small your pet was in the beginning. Having something as lasting as a tooth remain from their babyhood is a real treasure. Accordingly, you can find creative ways to preserve puppy teeth.

 

#Puppy #Worry: Is it safe for your pet to sleep under the duvet?

Our puppies sleep like humans. While Lola is an above the duvet dog, Gigi loves to crawl under the sheets. It is I who covers Lola so she's warm and digs out Gigi's nose so she has access to fresh air.
Our puppies sleep like humans. While Lola is an above the duvet dog, Gigi loves to crawl under the sheets. It is I who covers Lola so she’s warm and digs out Gigi’s nose so she has access to fresh air.

 

Fostering a tiny little rescue puppy who could be stricken by a seizure any given moment, it was clear she’d sleep with me in the bed.

But while that keeps her close to me for observation, I’m plagued by other irrational fears:

I already researched that it’s highly unlikely to ever accidentally crush your pet while you’re asleep.

The other silly worry I have is:

 

Could my pet suffocate under the duvet?

No. There are no known cases of this happening.

What makes us uncomfortable being fully covered under the blankets is hypercapnia, a condition of abnormally high carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the blood resulting from rebreathing exhaled CO2.

Hypercapnia normally triggers a reflex which increases breathing and access to oxygen (O2), such as waking up and turning the head during sleep.

Pets however seem to love digging their nose into the sheets and can sleep right through the night under heavy covers.

So you can rest assured next time your critter clambers into your bed.

 

Please note:

These fears are not unfounded: While animal babies are equipped with instincts to keep them protected even when asleep, human babies are not!

As the Lullaby Trust states: “The safest place for your baby to sleep for the first 6 months is in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you.”

 

Doppelgaenger: Do I see double?

Am I seeing double? Also Gigi pops up only one ear, the same as Lola.
Am I seeing double? Also Gigi pops up only one ear, the same as Lola.

One of Lola’s unique traits is that she’s got one ear up:
It’s her right ear, and it stands up most of the time, while her left ear is mostly floppy. I guess she’s right eared then?

Fostering Gigi we jokingly referred to her as Lola’s Mini-Me:
Although she’s very different, there are a few characteristics that are so identical with Lola, they make her look like Lola when she was a puppy.

Now that Gigi stays with us we get to see how well she develops.

And every now and then I wonder if I’m seeing double:
Also Gigi has only one ear that pops up, and it’s her right ear, too.

Little Gigi only pops up one ear, and looks ridiculously cute!
Little Gigi only pops up one ear, and looks ridiculously cute!

 

#Puppy #Love – Add this healthy treat to your dog’s diet: Sardines

Our puppy licks her mouth in anticipation of this tasty treat.
Our puppy licks her mouth in anticipation of this tasty treat.

 

Researching how I can help our foster puppy outgrow her rickety legs, I always came across one food that seems to be only good for dogs: Sardines!

 

I like adding real food to my puppies’ diet, and already feed an egg a day.

 

Looking for a dietary source of vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus, sardines kept on popping up.

 

In addition, sardines are not a risk of high heavy metal contents like mercury.

 

I was interested what others say about sardines and found that the internet is raving about the benefits:

 

Can I Give My Dog…?
“Sardines help regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation, particularly if your dog has joint issues. It’s also good for the brin and may even protect against allergies.”

 

Dogster
“Sardines are full of omega-3 fatty acids and Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10),” Kutcher says. “The fatty acids have many health benefits, like cancer prevention, reducing inflammation, and keeping the immune system strong. CoQ10 supports a healthy heart and circulation. The fatty acids also help brain development, which makes them good for puppies and kittens.”

 

It is even recommended to feed double the amount of sardines to puppies than to adult dogs.

 

This is perfect for our little sickly rescue puppy. Hopefully eating sardines will help her catch up in her development.

 

Puppy Worry: Is it possible to squash your pet in your sleep?

As a puppy Lola wanted to sleep in our bed and always found a way to squeeze in there.
As a puppy Lola wanted to sleep in our bed and always found a way to squeeze in there.

 

Our rescue puppies were both so small when we got them it wasn’t even a question if they’re allowed to sleep in the bed, it was a matter of survival.

And because of that I find myself checking up on the pup, driven by the worry that something might have happened while I was asleep:

 

Could I squash my pet in my sleep?

I also have pet rats, and while most will go back to their cage for a good night’s rest, some of them enjoy sleeping in my bed. It’s really wonderful, they cuddle up around my feet and keep me nice and snug and warm.

But they are tiny and fragile, and for a while I was worried I could somehow squash them in my sleep.

When however in the very unlikely event of an earthquake my pet rat decided to wake me, I realised that we forget how much more animals are in tune with their environment:

If my pet rat can sense an earthquake coming, early enough to clamber onto the bed and wake me, surely they can sense if I’m about to turn around in my sleep.

 

Puppies too will simply move out of the way. As they tend to squeak ahead of potential danger, they probably wake you if they’re in any discomfort.

I learned to wake up right away if there are any puppy noises, usually it means it’s time for a toilet break.

But at least when it’s about falling asleep again, I can rest assured that it is very unlikely to accidentally harm your pet while sleeping. 🙂

 

I never knew what dog I wanted, but Lola is it :)

 

Lola is turning into a beautiful dog.
Lola is turning into a beautiful dog.

 

I grew up with dogs and couldn’t wait to have my own.

 

But life does not always allow for a dog, so I have pet rats instead. 🙂

 

Moving into a house finally meant realising the dream of owning a dog.

 

But if you had asked me what dog I wanted, you’d gotten a blank stare as an answer.

 

Still now I cannot name a breed I’d prefer.

 

That’s why a rescue puppy was perfect for me: Let destiny decide.

 

Because you don’t know exactly how your rescue puppy will turn out, the relationship is formed on the dog’s character, their energy level, how you gel with them, how they get on with other family members.

 

Then of course it doesn’t matter what your dog will look like.

 

So it is more surprising when they grow into a stunning and beautiful hound.

 

I could’ve not wished for a better dog than Lola.

 

And now with the next unidentifiable rescue puppy, we can see if my “I’m open for any surprises” attitude pans out so well the second time around. 😉

 

From #Fostering to #Adoption: Welcome Gigi!

Hello Gigi, welcome to your new home.
Hello Gigi, welcome to your new home.

 

I never puppy fostered before, and when I venture to do something new, I first ask Google.

 

So when I researched “foster dog” and one of the first posts that came up was “How to Let Go of Your Foster Dog”, I knew I was moving on dangerous grounds. 😉

 

And of course, this tiny handful of puppy managed to cute herself into our hearts.

 

We had been thinking about getting a second dog, so this does not come as a complete surprise.

 

The surprise was more how well she develops and how great she gets on with Lola.

 

Big thanks to Observatory Animal Clinic for giving this cutie a chance! They could see the zest for life in her and helped her survive. 🙂

 

Welcome to your new home, Gigi!

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

#Tip: Get a second dog

A second dog, twice as much love! ♥
A second dog, twice as much love! ♥

 

Puppy fostering gave me the opportunity to experience having a second dog.

 

I thought it’d be a lot of work again:

Lola is a very vivid, energetic, clever and strong dog and as a puppy destroyed my long sleeve tops together with my arms beneath it. I just wasn’t sure if I was ready for that. 😉

 

Instead, having a second dog is half the work!

Lola is an excellent puppy sitter: She leads by example, shows how it’s done, teaches new games and has a lot of patience. Luckily she’s puppy enough herself to enjoy the puppy play.

 

So when the little one is attacking my socks and pierces my toes, it won’t be long until Lola gets involved. All I got to do then is divert the attention to a better toy, and soon the two are engaged in a new game.

 

They play so beautifully together I wish Lola could’ve had the joys of a big sister when she was a puppy. At least she’s got a Mini-Me now. 🙂

 

A second dog, twice as much fun! :)
A second dog, twice as much fun! 😀

 

Are you ready for a second dog?

A new dog, a whole new dynamic in the family!
A new dog, a whole new dynamic! 🙂

 

Is your dog up for it?

Your dog will probably be spending most of the time with the new addition to the family, so it’s really important that your dog appreciates a playmate and doesn’t see the puppy as a nuisance.

 

Is your space big enough?

It’s not just finding room for another dog bed. Can your space cope with twice the energy running around? How about twice the amount of fur and muddy dog paws?

 

Budget times two

Can you afford another dog? Maybe buying food in bulk can keep the cost down, but potentially it’s your current dog expenses times two.

 

Love times two

The more love you give the more love you have, right? And how do you do that for quality time, cuddles and grooming? Can you multitask enough to do it all for two at once?

 

But only half the work

If you trained your first dog well, this is when it really pays off: All the good – but also all the bad – behaviour gets passed on to the new dog. Is your dog a good example for the new dog?

 

Be boss

Depending on the characters of your dogs they might challenge each other or take it a step further and challenge you. Are you leader enough to keep the two at peace and at ease with each other?

 

Adopt Don’t Shop

Especially as an experienced dog owner, give a rescue dog a chance: #AdoptDontShop

 

Chances are your dog will enjoy the companionship of a second dog. Just like Lola loves her Mini-Me. :)
Chances are your dog will enjoy the companionship of a second dog. Just like Lola loves her Mini-Me. 🙂

 

#Puppy #Cuteness: Interesting markings

 

This foster puppy is almost an ugly duckling story:

I was given her as a scroungy, sickly, deformed mini puppy,

and day by day she surprises us, turning into an absolute cutie!

 

After her first bath, a shiny fresh coat emerged which revealed lovely markings:

Besides her obviously cute milk beard on her chin, and her endearing white splash on her chest, her paws look quite remarkable:

 

Her front legs have one white nail, on the second toe of the right paw, and

1 white nail on the front paws.
1 white nail on the front paws.

 

her hind legs have one black nail, on the second toe of the left paw.

1 black nail on her back paws.
1 black nail on her back paws.

 

Some interesting symmetry and dualism going on there, making this puppy only more endearing. 🙂

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

#Puppy #Love: First Bath

 

Note: Washing your rescue dog for the first time might result in change of colour, temporary shrinkage, and sudden whitening of areas previously thought to be mutt brown. 😉

 

Lola's first bath was in the bathtub, but this foster puppy is so tiny, she can get washed in the sink.
Lola’s first bath was in the bathtub, but this foster puppy is so tiny, she can get washed in the sink.

 

Et voilà! A new dog: All fresh and happy emerges a clean puppy.
Et voilà! A new dog: All fresh and happy emerges a clean puppy.

 

Before she can get to play, she's got to get rubbed dry.
Before she can get to play, she’s got to get rubbed dry.

 

#Puppy #Play: Tug of war

 

Really amazing that these two, who are so different in size and strength, play so well balanced together, that they can even pull off a tug of war. 🙂

 

Lola has a very gentle way of teaching the little puppy a new game.
Lola has a very gentle way of teaching the little puppy a new game.

 

Let’s just take a step back and remember how small this foster puppy is.
Let’s just take a step back and remember how small this foster puppy is.

 

Right in the action! Here we have some serious tug of war going on.
Right in the action! Here we have some serious tug of war going on.

 

It looks like Lola is not really putting in her weight.
It looks like Lola is not really putting in her weight.

 

Indeed: Lola is actually just taking it easy. Does the little one know?
Indeed: Lola is actually just taking it easy. Does the little one know?

 

Fostering this little rescued dog is so much fun! She’s like Lola’s personal Mini-Me whose mission is to cute herself into your heart! ♥

 

How to treat rickets disease in your puppy

This poor rescue pup has frog legs, a sign of rickets.
This poor rescue pup has frog legs, a sign of rickets.

 

Rickets is a nutritional deficiency that hinders the proper development of bones, leading to potential fractures and deformity. The predominant cause is a vitamin D deficiency, and lack of adequate calcium and phosphorus.

Symptoms include delayed growth, bow legs, weakness and pain in the spine, pelvis and legs.

Treatment consists of feeding the missing nutrition. If detected early enough, the pup can grow up healthy and strong. However, once the disease has progressed to a stage where the dog’s movements are hampered, the possibilities of a successful treatment are slight.

Many rescued dogs have had no adequate food which can lead to severe malnutrition to the point of starvation. For a chance to catch up on their development, feed them a highly nutritional diet, complete with all needed vitamins and minerals.

 

To prevent rickets disease, provide a diet sufficient in vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus.

 

Beware though that an overdose of vitamin D is just as harmful:
If there’s too much vitamin D in the diet, life-threatening levels of calcium (hypercalcemia) and phosphorus can occur. The result is hardening or calcification of body tissues.
Vitamin D Poisoning can occur when a dog takes more than 4,000 iu per kg of bodyweight.

Also note:  If you only use calcium without phosphorus / zinc and vitamin D, C and other minor minerals, the condition will get worse.

 

Dietary sources of vitamin D for your pup

– Fatty fish: salmon, mackerel, tuna, halibut, canned sardines

– Fish liver oils: cod liver oil

Egg yolk

Liver: beef, lamb, chicken, pork

 

Dietary sources of calcium for your pup

– Fish: salmon, tuna, sardines

– Yoghurt

– Low fat cheese: cottage, mozzarella

– Egg shells, cuttlefish bone

– Vegetables: spinach, broccoli, sweet potato

 

Dietary sources of phosphorus for your pup

Seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, chia, sesame

– Fish: salmon, carp, whitefish, cod, tuna, sardines, mackerel

– Meat: pork (lean sirloin), beef and veal (lean beef)

– Low fat dairy: yoghurt

– Legumes: lentils, chickpeas

 

A disabled dog: Could you do it?

This little rescue came with bobbing head, frog legs and mild seizures. She is improving remarkably well.
This little rescue came with bobbing head, frog legs and mild seizures. She is improving remarkably well.

 

This little munchkin has seizures.

 

She is a true rescued dog, handed in from the streets to Observatory Animal Clinic.

 

So we don’t know much about her, only this: She was so full of worms that they might have affected her brain.

 

About once a day she could experience a seizure, which is manageable: It’s like a cramp gets hold of her entire body, sometimes overwhelming her that her eyes go blank and her mind goes into hiding. Giving her comfort helps and can even pull her out.

 

The question is: Will it get better?

 

When I picked her up for fostering, she looked so scroungy and tiny, like a Chihuahua puppy with frog legs. Within a couple of days she’s doubled in size, stretched her legs, we’ve cleaned her up and now she’s grooming herself, she is bouncy and jumpy and hops about like a wind-up toy. A remarkable improvement, giving hope that she can outgrow her seizures.

 

But even if she keeps on having seizures for the rest of her life, it’s not like it’s seriously affecting her: All we’ve got to do, is make sure she doesn’t drive or work heavy machinery. 😉

 

Seriously though: Minutes after a seizure she’s up again and playing in the most endearing way like nothing had happened.

 

Her zest for life is so strong, she certainly deserves a chance.

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

Puppy Play: Better entertainment than TV

In times where it seems it’s all about getting home to netflix, it might be odd not to have a TV.

But who would miss watching telly when you can have the most hilarious entertainment watching your pets.

Fostering an 8 week old rescue dog, means lots of fun during puppy play:

This little foster puppy got her priorities straight: The hoof is mouthwatering.
This little foster puppy got her priorities straight: The hoof is mouthwatering.

Challenging the big dog requires extraordinary means such as attacking with all fours up in the air.
Challenging the big dog requires extraordinary means such as attacking with all fours up in the air.

Seeing eye to eye, or well, eye to hoof.
Seeing eye to eye, or well, eye to hoof.

Such a different dynamic with a little one around! How can it be that they know exactly how to cute themselves into your heart. 😉

 

Miniature Africanis

Lola and her Mini-Me
Lola and her Mini-Me

 

A miniature Africanis!

That’s what this little munchkin looks like. 😉

Coming from the Woodstock streets, she could certainly qualify.

Furthermore, she has enough attitude to challenge our Africanis, even though Lola is like 10 times her size!

She growls and barks at Lola to get her to play and goes as far as nipping her in the hind legs!

Luckily Lola is a very generous and caring dog, so these two end up in the funniest puppy play. 🙂

 

Foster Bliss: Cutest Puppy

Puppy Bliss!

#Gratitude - one of the rewards that come with puppy fostering.
#Gratitude – one of the rewards that come with puppy fostering.

This little munchkin is looking for a forever home. She’s such a cutie!

Recovering well, this adorable puppy goes straight to playtime.
Recovering well, this adorable puppy goes straight to playtime.

As with all rescued dogs, she has a story of hardship, but couldn’t be a more cheerful pup! She really is a happy chappy! 🙂

#AdoptDontShop

 

Puppy Lola is a bag dog

 

Our puppy Lola goes through phases and for a while she was into our bags: Whenever she could, she’d curl up on one of our luggage items and fall asleep.

 

First she tried the duffel bag:

Puppy Lola falls alseep on the duffel bag.
Puppy Lola falls asleep on the duffel bag.

 

Then the red suitcase:

Puppy Lola gets comfy on the red suitcase.
Puppy Lola gets comfy on the red suitcase.

 

The grey checkered suitcase:

Puppy Lola curls up on the grey checkered suitcase.
Puppy Lola curls up on the grey checkered suitcase.

 

And my late grandma’s suitcase:

Lola sleeps nicely on any suitcase.
Lola sleeps nicely on any suitcase.

 

At least it’s an improvement from the plastic bag! 🙂

 

Lola the Mouse Catcher

Hello Mr Mouse! What you doing in our house?
Hello Mr Mouse! What you doing in our house?

 

We have mice in our house. They are not scared of us and run around the kitchen every now and then.

 

Our puppy Lola is of course intrigued but as we have pet rats, she must not chase rodents or any small animal.

 

But the mice are running across right in front of her!

 

And every time we cry out: “Mouse!”

 

So the other day she caught one.

 

I heard the tumult downstairs in the kitchen and then: “She caught it!”

 

I readied myself for the bad news of this poor mouse’s life.

 

“And she held it down with her paw, so I could pick it up. It’s in my hands now.”

 

Wow! Lola the Humane Mouse Trap! 😮

 

Mouse caught in our house

This little mouse and his friends are unwanted guests in our house. But they're so cute, and almost tame!
This little mouse and his friends are unwanted guests in our house. But they’re so cute, and almost tame!

 

We have some unwanted guests living right under our nose: Mice.

 

They’re super cute, and almost tame, at least in the sense that we don’t seem to bother them at all.

 

One of them got caught in a net bag when he was stealing chestnuts.

 

Lola found him and licked him all over, so that he was sogging wet.

 

I detangled him and put him in a fruit punnet with food and water to relax.

The fruit punnet makes a perfect mouse house.
The fruit punnet makes a perfect mouse house.

 

What a cutie! Somehow not really afraid of us.

 

But alas, he had to return to the wild, we set him free at a field. 🙂

 

All his friends however are still having a party at our house, every single night! 😮

 

Affordable vet care in Woodstock

The People's Dispensary for Sick Animals provides excellent veterinary care.
The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals provides excellent veterinary care.

 

Vet Service

The PDSA mobile unit in Woodstock provides affordable vet services. Routine practices such as vaccination, deworming, microchipping are provided right there and then. For more complicated procedures, you can drop off your pet for a lift to the PDSA clinic.

 

Place

The PDSA mobile clinic is parked at the Woodstock Town Hall‘s parking area, next to the Woodstock Town Hall Park.

 

Time

On Mondays from 2pm to 3.30pm and on Wednesdays from 11am to 12:30pm.

 

Download all the places and times of the PDSA mobile units.

 

How long does it take puppy Lola to crack the egg?

At about 2 months old Lola gets her first egg:

Puppy Lola tries to pick up the egg right away.
Puppy Lola tries to pick up the egg right away.

 

Presented with a hard boiled egg, Lola immediately starts to play with it:

 

Within minutes Lola manages to pick up the egg:

 

Once the egg is cracked Lola starts to peel it:

 

As soon as Lola gets to taste egg, she devours it:

 

It took Lola 5 minutes to crack the egg, and she ate it all within 15 minutes:

Lola loves egg. :)
Lola loves egg. 🙂

 

Seeing how much Lola enjoyed it, I’ve been feeding her eggs regularly ever since. They are so nutritious, I hope an egg a day might keep the vet away?

 

#Puppy #Love: An egg a day keeps the vet away?

Puppy Lola's first hard boiled egg.
Puppy Lola’s first hard boiled egg.

In my quest to find food that is really good for our puppy, I came across a lot of positive posts about eggs.

Apparently an egg represents a complete dog meal. All parts of it are nutritious, even the shell.

Eggs have a bit of a bad rep for pets as the egg white contains avidin, an enzyme inhibitor which can interfere with their digestion and cause biotin deficiency. However, the egg yolk contains so much biotin, it makes up for it. That’s why it’s important to always feed the entire egg.

Cooking the egg kills those biotin inhibitors and any possible harmful bacteria, making it a safe meal.

While Salmonella or E. coli poisoning is unlikely in dogs and there seem to be many benefits to feeding raw eggs, young and old dogs with a weak immune system should rather be fed cooked eggs.

Avoid unhealthy cooking methods such as frying, rather boil or poach the egg. For extra fun give your dog the intact hard boiled egg and see how long it takes them to crack it. 🙂

Your dog will thank you with a contented stomach and a beautiful glossy coat.

 

How STICK MAN was born

Puppy Lola is super excited to get a branch new stick to play with.
Puppy Lola is super excited to get a branch new stick to play with.

 

They were cutting down that lovely old Magnolia Tree on the corner.

It was blocking the view, but to cut the whole tree off?

They were cutting it bit by bit, chopping it off in pieces. Somehow a sad way to go for a tree.

 

Wait!

A girl rushes in, but one glance shows that everything is too late.

You’re cutting the tree. There’s only a stump left.

Yes, ma’am.

A frown glides over her face and she presses her lips together in acceptance. She looks as if she’s going to move on, then looks up.

Well, can I have a branch?

She points at her puppy.

Yes, ma’am.

He heaves up one of the massive branches and cuts it in one zip into a handy stick.

 

Read The story of STICK MAN. 🙂

 

Somebody's happy with their new super amazing dog toy!
Somebody’s happy with their new super amazing dog toy! 🙂

 

 

The story of STICK MAN

Lola is having neverending fun with her new toy: STICK MAN!
Lola is having neverending fun with her new toy: STICK MAN!

 

I was once part of a lovely community.

I sat on the corner of a lively intersection and oversaw all the busy activities of children playing, people chatting and of course, cars passing.

I shielded the children from those: It was like I formed a barrier towards the traffic and sheltered the school ground from noise and nuisance.

Every day the children came to play soccer. I cannot recall how many times I caught the ball. One of the children would then have to get it back from me and was always celebrated as a hero when he returned successfully.

I loved their laughter and their free-spirited energy.

 

But that is all a long time ago and I lost most of those happy memories when they hacked me into pieces.

At that time I was happy to be gone.

Something had changed. The kids were not allowed to play soccer anymore.

Instead, rubbish was piling up and sad souls were gathering, full of destructive energy.

 

I shone on strong, but soon my protection was perceived as concealment and the air got clouded with the slithering whisper of demise.

 

Then everything happened very quickly. I still wonder if anyone has actually noticed that I’m gone.

 

But in all this sore madness was a strange moment of kindness:

 

One of my limbs was preserved.

 

A light-hearted soul picked me up. One very small part of me, but me.

I was taken to a new place I belong to now.

I’ve completely transformed:

I’m mobile and independent. I can travel around. I got a head screwed on and now I can stand upright again, lifting my crown high above.

And the best: I’m surrounded by loving souls who can’t wait to play with me.

 

That’s because I’ve become STICK MAN, the coolest dog toy ever made from a Magnolia Tree branch. 🙂

 

Read How STICK MAN was born. 🙂

 

Friendship

 

Ok, time to go back inside. Who wants to come with? I’m closing the door.

 

In an instant she is right by her side, so they are crossing the doorstep together.

But just when the door is about to shut, she looks up, and around, and pokes her head back out.

 

What is it? Let me close the door.

 

But she’s out already, walking forward with urgency, but also careful not to miss anything, as she’s scanning the area.

There!

She runs.

He’s lying in the sand pit!

She nudges him.

He grunts.

He fell asleep!

She urges him to get up and come back inside.

He looks a bit hangdog, but follows her. They cross the door step together.

 

Okay, well done Lola for thinking of Simba and bringing him inside.

 

Woof!

 

#Dogsitting: Do you need a dog sitter?

Our Lola is growing so big, I can hardly pick her up anymore!
Our Lola is growing so big, I can hardly pick her up anymore!

 

I’ve been looking after a friend’s Cocker Spaniel for the past two weeks and now our puppy is missing her playmate!

Dogsitting Simba worked out so well, I’m extending this service to the Woodstock community:

I’m offering a home away from home as your pooch would stay with me in our house. We have a big yard where the dogs can play and chase each other. Our bed gets turned into a dog day bed where they can snooze afterwards. I prepare home-made real food for our Lola, and could include this service for your pup too.

Lola loves Woodstock’s Queen’s Park Dog Park and we could meet there in the morning and afternoon, or you can drop off and pick up your pooch directly at our home.

I’m also offering ratsitting, and I was trained in Stable Management in the UK, so handling a handful of animals is nothing new to me. 🙂

What I don’t know I research extensively and share my findings on my bloghttps://trulyjuly.wordpress.com/tag/puppy

Kindly get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de. 🙂

 

…Because looking at puppy pictures is good for you! :)

Our puppy Lola is such a cutie.
Puppy Lola is such a cutie.

 

Thumbs up to all the procrastionators feeling guilty for looking at puppy pictures: It’s not time wasted after all. Apparently it makes you more focused!

 

So here are some photos of our pooch Lola. Because: heartmelt! 

 

Welcome Lola :)
Welcome Lola 🙂

 

Lola stays close at hand.
Lola stays close at hand.

 

The perfect head rest for our puppy Lola.
The perfect head rest.

 

Lola’s new collar.
Lola’s new collar.

 

Lola’s first egg.
Lola’s first egg.

 

Lola sleeps on a plastic bag.
Lola sleeps on a plastic bag.

 

Our puppy Lola dreams.
Lola dreams.

 

Our puppy Lola is already naughty, playing with my camera strap.
Already naughty, playing with my camera strap.

 

So Lola, do you like kiwi?
So Lola, do you like kiwi?

 

Lola and the eggshell.
Lola and the eggshell.

 

Lola is a bag dog.
Lola is a bag dog.

 

That’s the Lola look. It works every single time.
That’s the Lola look. It works every single time.

 

Lola loves to play in the sand.
Lola loves to play in the sand.

 

Lola loves a good belly rub.
Lola loves a good belly rub.

 

That cheeky look.
That cheeky look.

 

What's up, Lola?
What’s up, Lola?

 

As a puppy, Lola’s fur’s like felt.
As a puppy, Lola’s fur’s like felt.

 

Lola’s first time at the beach.
Lola’s first time at the beach.

 

 

 

Fast asleep
… and again, because it’s so incredibly cute. 🙂

 

 

Better days in the old days

Having a puppy is pure bliss. :) Lola loves a good belly rub. She looks like she is laughing!
Having a puppy is pure bliss. 🙂 But I somehow remember it easier back in the good old days… 😮

 

Life has gotten so busy and complicated. Was it always like this? I don’t remember it so.

But that’s of course totally subjective, plus ‘back then’ was when I was a child / teenager and my perception of things was obviously very different.

But now I have a real example that does lead me to think: It was easier back in the good old days:

I got a puppy.

To many, this scenario might be familiar: I grew up with puppies, but now for the first time, I got my own pooch.

This means I’m finally learning what I’ve been taking for granted thanks to my super mum: I’m googling everything I need to know and it’s a lot!

As I’m reading up about what’s best for pups I come across some rules that are striking me as something I never even heard of before:

Puppies are not allowed to go out on the streets and meet other dogs until they’re fully vaccinated.

Puppies are not allowed to go for long walks until their bones have developed fully.

Dogs are not allowed to eat bones.

Wait, what?

That’s what I asked my mum, and she confirmed: Back when she had puppies, there were no such concerns. She was just as perplexed as I about what a job it has become to bring up a puppy.

So it seems back in the day there were indeed fewer things to consider.

The question remains: Have we become cleverer or are we just more paranoid?

Living in the age of information overload, is all of this knowledge useful or are we just driving ourselves mad?

Well, let me google this… 😛

 

Open Plan is GREAT, but…

I had a shower and this is the result: Wet puppy footprints everywhere.
I had a shower and this is the result: Wet puppy footprints everywhere. 😉

No really, open plan is great.

Our bathroom is fully open plan. It’s a great design by The Workplace Architects and it works beautifully.

Of course the lavatory has a door, but other than that everything is freely accessible without any barrier in the way: The wet area is only divided from the main bedroom by a freestanding wall. Basin, bathtub and shower are enclosed in niches, and thus need no doors.

It makes the entire bedroom feel like a hotel suite, where you can just throw your clothes on the easy chair and simply walk into the shower as is. It is an invitation to let loose and enjoy the basics of life, unimpeded, surrounded by ergonomic functionality, everything is a flow.

But…

But of course, in a hotel suite there are hardly ever puppies or children.

With unhindered access in a completely open plan house, and the everlasting attention seeking impulse to follow or find you wherever you go, the only hiding place that remains is, ehem, the toilet.

But then again, who’d ever want to hide away from these cuties anyway. 😉

So yes, thanks to our open plan, me taking a shower means our puppy taking a shower. And tappeditapp her wet footprints are everywhere. 🙂

How to deal with dog wee in your garden

Dog urine can leave lawn burns from overfertilisation.
Dog urine can leave lawn burns from overfertilisation.

 

Why is dog pee harmful to vegetation?

“There are three primary reasons why dog urine burns grass: alkaline urine pH, the concentration of the urine, and its nitrogen load.” – 3 Reasons Your Dog’s Urine Kills Your Grass

“One of the primary components in dog urine that affects shrubs and other plants is urea, a type of nitrogen waste that is produced as the body metabolizes protein. Because dogs have a large protein requirement in their diets, a significant amount of urea can be produced by a healthy dog. When a dog pees on your shrubs, the urea in the urine acts as a source of nitrogen for the plant and the surrounding soil.
Nitrogen is an essential element for plant development, and in small amounts the nitrogen provided by dog urine can actually benefit your shrubs.
While shrubs need nitrogen for proper growth and development, too much nitrogen can be detrimental; it can stunt or potentially even kill the shrub.” – Will Dog Pee Kill Shrubs?

 

How to prevent dog pee from damaging your plants

–  Protect your plants

While fencing your garden off is a bit of a harsh way to keep your dog out, raised flower beds are just as effective and have other practical benefits.

–  Train your dog not to pee on the grass

“Provide an area in your yard, away from your garden, consisting of sand and soil covered in mulch or pebbles, where your dog can urinate without harming any of your plants or lawn. Plant salt-resistant greenery and grasses near this potty spot, in case it has any accidents. These plants are typically found along the coast and are more urine-resistant than other flora.” – Does Dog Pee Hurt Plants?

–  Steer away from (distressed looking) plants and trees

“Of course, a dog’s gotta go when a dog’s gotta go. But when you have the option, steer Fido to a lamppost rather than a tree and a bark covered area rather than a stressed-looking lawn. You can spot stressed trees by bark that is discolored or even peeling off around the base. And trees that are under six inches in diameter or have thin bark are at higher risk.” – Why Does Dog Pee Kill Plants?

–  Keep the pH in balance

“For the health of both your dog and your lawn, you should strive to keep your pet’s urine pH right around 6.5, and no higher than 7.
I recommend buying pH strips from your vet or at the local drug store to check your pet’s urine pH at home so you know when it’s in or outside the desired range. In the morning prior to feeding your dog is when you should collect the urine sample. You can either hold the pH tape in the stream of urine while your dog is voiding, or you can catch a urine sample in a container and dip the tape into the sample to check the pH.” – 3 Reasons Your Dog’s Urine Kills Your Grass

 

How to help your plants recover from dog pee

–  Neutralise the soil

“You will need to neutralize the acid fairly quickly or your vegetables will not survive – my father’s trick was to use a few tablespoons of baking soda in a watering can and water the area.” –  Is Dog Urine Bad for My Vegetable Garden?

“Sprinkling lime or gypsum in the affected area speeds up the recovery of existing grass, or new growth if you’ve reseeded, by neutralizing the acidity of the affected area.” – Gardening 101: How to have your dog and keep your garden, too!

–  Dilute the urine

“After your dog urinates on any plants in your yard, douse the area with water from your garden hose. A thorough rinsing of the area within eight hours of urination dilutes the urine enough to prevent damage to the plant, according to VeterinaryPartner.com. Don’t wait more than 12 hours to rinse the plants because this could actually increase the damage to the plant. Provide your dog with plenty of water to drink, which dilutes the urine even before it winds up in your garden.” – Does Dog Pee Hurt Plants?

–  Treat dog urine as fertiliser

If you fertilise your lawn, take into account the overfertilisation your dog can provide and avoid fertilising these areas on top of it.

–  Consider plants that like dog wee

“Selecting plants that can survive getting drenched in dog urine is a good idea around your property perimeter. Violas, columbine, lilac, ornamental grasses and a host of other plants are virtually urine proof. Make sure the border plants are not poisonous to dogs.” – How to Stop Dogs From Urinating on Plants

“Clover is highly resistant to pet urine and helps maintain a uniformly green lawn.” – Benefits of a Clover Lawn

–  Grow a back-up lawn

“With a little planning, you can easily grow small “turf repair” pots in your back garden. All you need is a small plastic flower pot (3 inch is fine), fill it with some soil, either compost or garden soil, then sow a few grass seeds in the top. Give it a good water and leave it outside somewhere keeping it moist over the next week or so. When your dog has burnt a section of lawn, simply dig out the circle, drop your lawn repair pot grass into the hole and hey presto … fixed! You can set up a number of these pots next to your shed and the grass will sit happily in the pot until needed.” – Dog urine patches killing your lawn?

 

#UrbanGardening

 

Our new ‘guard’ dog: Lola the township rescue

Township rescue puppy Lola
Township rescue puppy Lola

 

According to HomeTimes’ article on profiling house robbers a dog is the number one deterrent for robberies.

We built a whole house with a garden to be able to get a dog, and if it’s also good for security reasons, we should do it sooner rather than later.

So I did my research on animal shelters and dog breeds and started to look out for a puppy.

But when I responded to a call for help, everything happened quite fast all of a sudden and Lola popped into our life.

A big time thanks to PETS (Pet Empowerment in Townships) who rescued her wandering the streets all by herself, giving this cutesy pup a second chance. 🙂

So yes, maybe she’s not the guard dog you’d expect, but she’s definitely the dog I didn’t know I had wished for. 😀

 

How to protect your pet from fleas

Puppy Lola's first bath and already with anti-flea shampoo! But better safe than sorry.
Lola’s first bath and already with anti-flea shampoo! But better safe than sorry.

 

It happens to the best of us: Your pet picks up fleas from outdoors / visitors… – and I say ‘us’, because it is me who gets bitten!

Once the fleas made it onto your pet and into your home, it’s tricky to get rid of them.

So here some tips how to prevent fleas in the first place, naturally, without chemicals:

 

The best care is prevention

 

1) Repel them

If fleas repel you then here’s your chance to fight back: Make your pets repelling to fleas from the inside out by feeding them garlic / apple cider vinegar / Brewer’s Yeast.

 

2) Deter them

Keep fleas at bay and benefit from it at the same time, it couldn’t be easier: Fleas really can’t stand strong essential oils. Dab drops of diluted Lavender / Lemon / Cedar / Eucalyptus / Peppermint Essential Oil on collars, clothes, furniture, or make natural flea remedies.

 

3) Dehydrate them

Revenge can be sweet knowing those fleas are shrivelling away because you sprinkled a bit of salt around your furniture and carpets and blankets after vacuuming them.

 

4) Come clean with them

A clean environment makes it difficult for any vermin to settle. If you need motivation to clean, just think of all the creepy crawlies that are having a party behind the couch in your honour.

Spritz Lemon Spray, use a Flea Comb and do a Rosemary Wash on your pet, and the fleas will flee.

 

5) Give them a change of scenery

Turn your outside space into a naturally flea-free zone: Plant Peppermint / Lavender / Citronella /  Marigold.

Trim your lawn and shrubs, keep it airy and light, the opposite of what any type of vermin would like. Don’t leave pet food out and close off potential entry points for feral or wild animals.