Toy Introductions Day 9: Sundays Are for SistersPosted: October 9, 2022 Filed under: Things I Like | Tags: Birdie, Birdie Blue, Blogging, City Park, Daily Blog, Daily Toy Introductions, Golden Retriever, Harper Lee, New Orleans, New Orleans City Park, October 2022 Daily Toy Introductions, Sunday Sisters, Tallulah, Tallulah Bee, Thek9harperlee, Toy Introductions 6 Comments
Tallulah’s Turn . . .
Birdie and I took a little break from our toys today to enjoy a beautiful morning stroll through New Orleans City Park. I visited City Park with my sister Harper Lee quite a few times. You can click here to see me as a very young puppy on an autumn day in 2015 and here to see me on an early spring day in 2017. I had fun today showing Birdie some the spots I visited with Harper Lee.
Birdie and I love our toys a lot, as you’ve seen, but we love each other even more. Our humans say that they added Birdie to our family so that I wouldn’t be alone when Harper Lee left us one day. To be perfectly honest with you, I wasn’t super excited about the addition for a while. I thought I would have been fine as an only dog. Birdie bonded more with Harper Lee than with me, and I was perfectly pleased to let that happen. And then, a little more than a month ago, Harper Lee left the house and never came back. Birdie and I have been inseparable ever since. We play bitey face on our dog bed and we snuggle for side-by-side naps.
The truth is, if all of our toys disappeared from our basket and the Land of Forbidden Toys was completely emptied, Birdie and I would be happy just having each other. I mean, let’s hope that doesn’t happen, but you get the idea. After we finish our month-long toy introductions, we’re going to continue with the blog. Our human mommy is so thankful to have Harper Lee’s posts to look back on now that Harper Lee has crossed the Rainbow Bridge; she also wants us to be able to create, share, and preserve all the adventures that Birdie and I have. You’ll see some blog transitions throughout October. We’ll also be making some changes to our Instagram and Twitter accounts, but the handles on both will remain @thek9harperlee, because Miss Harper Lee will always be the foundation of everything.
Moving forward is a funny thing. In some ways, it means leaving the past behind. In other ways, it means building on where you were, what you did, and who was there with you. I’m thankful that Birdie and I will be able to travel along our own blogging path together. I’m even more thankful that Harper Lee created a beautiful legacy for us to continue. Sundays are for sisters, and Birdie and I had the best in Harper Lee.
Blogging, a Beach Break . . . and I’m Back!Posted: December 5, 2017 Filed under: Places I Like | Tags: Alabama, Beach, Blogging, Dauphin Island, Dogs, Golden Retriever, Harper Lee, Hurricane Nate, October Photo Challenge, Pet Friendly, Pet Photography, Pets, Photography, Tallulah, Thek9harperlee 31 Comments
Did you miss me? I sure missed you. First let me say thank you to everyone who joined me for the October Daily Photo Challenge, and thank you for all of your sweet comments. My human mommy/blogging assistant and I got a bit behind with our replies, but we read and enjoyed each and every single message you shared. After the challenges of daily posts in October, we took a little break in November. And what better place to recharge your blogging batteries than a beautiful beach.
Tallulah and I supervised the humans as they loaded the chariot and we all set out for Dauphin Island, Alabama. It’s slightly more than a two-hour drive from New Orleans, but when we arrived we felt as if we were a world away.
By the time we unloaded the chariot and settled into our home-away-from-home, Mother Nature was welcoming us with a breathtaking sunset.
I gazed out at the Gulf of Mexico and wondered what adventures the next day would bring . . .
. . . and then Tallulah and I crashed.
We were up with the sun the next morning.
Tallulah had her eye on the water . . .
. . . and before long her toes were in the sand. It was nearly impossible to keep Tallulah on dry land. She hopped over and through the waves, proved to us that she really can swim, ran along the beach, and then did it all over again and again.
As for me, I did my best Baywatch lifeguard impersonation and warned Tallulah and my human daddy to stay near the shore. Mommy says I was slightly obnoxious. I prefer to think of myself as a concerned and loving older sister.
Our second sunrise on Dauphin Island hinted at rougher weather to come. The island is no stranger to meteorological challenges. Just weeks before our getaway, Hurricane Nate made a little visit.
The storm’s winds and tidal surge covered the main road with about six feet of sand. The sand has since been plowed to the roadside and will eventually be sifted and returned to the beach, but for now it makes the road feel a bit like a tunnel.
The slightly rougher surf of our second beach day did little to deter Tallulah’s inner mermaid . . .
. . . but the cooler temperatures and overcast skies drove our humans to the beach house’s deck, where I caught up on some much-needed sleep after a busy October and Tallulah kept an eye to the sky as she tracked every single pelican and seagull that flew overhead. The poor girl might be slightly confused about exactly what it means to be a bird dog.
We watched the sun set on our last full Dauphin Island day with a determination to return as soon as possible. The little barrier island off the coast of Alabama was the perfect place to get away from it all and recharge before a busy holiday season . . . and it was the perfect springboard to bet back to blogging.
Sunday Sisters: August 6, 2017Posted: August 6, 2017 Filed under: Dogs I Like | Tags: Blogging, Dogs, Golden Retriever, Harper Lee, Jasper the Fox Red, Pet Photography, Pets, Photography, Sisters, Sunday Sessions, Sunday Sisters, Tallulah, Thek9harperlee 33 Comments
My sister, Tallulah, and I love each other very much. More and more often, our humans find us touching . . . sometimes sitting side-by-side at the back gate, sometimes touching paws or heads as we sleep. The other night, Tallulah put her paw on my neck, placed her head on top of mine, and settled in for a little nap. That gave my human mommy/blogging assistant an idea: let’s feature a photo of Tallulah and me together each Sunday and call it “Sunday Sisters.” Hope you enjoy!
And speaking of fun Sunday series, today my friend Jasper the Fox Red featured me on his weekly Sunday Sessions. (You have to meet Jasper. He lives in Edinburgh. He has tons of energy. And he’s super handsome.) Have you ever wondered how I started blogging and why I love it so much? Click here to hop on over to Jasper’s Sunday Sessions and find out.
Isn’t She LovelyPosted: August 4, 2017 Filed under: Dogs I Like, People I Like, Things I Like | Tags: Awards, Blogging, Dogs, Golden Retriever, Harper Lee, One Lovely Blog Award, Pet Photography, Pets, Tallulah, Thek9harperlee 33 Comments
Several weeks ago, my friend Mia from It’s a Pibble’s Life! nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award. I cannot thank her enough. Mia is an amazing girl. She lives in Vancouver with her humom and her furbrother, Keiko. Click here to pay Mia a little visit. You’re likely to find her playing in the ocean or racing through the forest. I’ve decided to delegate the duties associated with this award to my little sister, Tallulah. This is a really big deal. It’s her first time to speak on my blog. She just has to do two things: 1) Tell us seven things about herself and 2) nominate 15 bloggers to receive the award. Sounds simple, right? You obviously don’t know my little sister, but here goes.
Seven Facts About Me, Tallulah Bee
1. I am a super happy girl. Ok, before I get started, let me just say Wow! I’m blogging! Sissy’s finally letting me speak! Ok, enough of that. I better get serious before she pulls the plug on this little experiment. Where was I? Oh, that’s right. I am a super happy girl. I mean just look at my smile. I’m always smiling and my tail is always wagging.
2. I have a lot of nicknames. My registered name is Rhythm’s Tallulah Bee for Harper Lee. That’s kind of a lot to say, so humans just call me Tallulah. Unless I’m in trouble. And then my human mommy calls me Tallulah Bee, which to me sounds like “Stop it now!” But when I’m being good (which, for the record, is most of the time), my humans call me Bee, Buzzy Bee, Woo Bee, Bee Girl, Bubba, Bubba Bee, and Bubz.
3. I love to watch television. Actually, I love to watch video on anything–televisions, computers, smartphones, anything. I especially like to watch animals, but I also enjoy sporting events and pharmaceutical commercials with little cartoon-like characters. Now you’re going to be looking for those, aren’t you?
4. I’m rather fond of human beds. Technically, I’m not allowed on human beds. But sometimes I just can’t help myself. And when I do take the forbidden leap? Well, I’m just so super cute that the humans give in. Unless the bed is freshly made, and then that’s another story.
5. When it comes to food, I’m a bit of a pig. I have a tendency to inhale my meals, so I have this fancy pink bowl that slows me down. Very slightly.
6. I have a drinking problem. Not that kind of drinking problem, sillies. I mean I am not a neat drinker. And I drink gallons of water, so you’d think I’d be better at it. But I’m not. I kind of forget to swallow, and then water runs out of my mouth. Everywhere. Sorry about that, Mommy.
7. I love my big sister with all of my heart. Harper Lee has been the best big sister ever. She’s been patient and kind, and she always looks out for me. I love sleeping right next to her. And sometimes on her.
And my nominees for the One Lovely Blog Award are . . .
It said up there in the rules that I’m supposed to nominate 15 bloggers for this award. Hey. I’m just a puppy. (Ok, I’m two, but Mommy says we’re using that puppy excuse until I’m three.) I have a short attention span. Fifteen is a big number. How about if I just do eight? That’s more than half, right? And how about if I tell my nominees that they aren’t obligated to follow all of those silly award rules unless they want to. I just want them to know that I’m really happy that my big sister introduced me to them and I really like what they do.
Cast Light — This blog reminds us that we can we choose to “cast shadows” (gossip, complaints, cynicism) or to “cast light” (enthusiasm, encouragement, generosity). Golden Retriever Abby and Samoyed Sasha make the occasional appearance.
Gardens for Goldens — Escape to the beauty of the Memorial Garden at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary and meet the people and dogs who make it such an enchanting place.
Golden Kali — Golden Retriever Kali lives with her little sister Kloe, also a Golden, in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California. Hey, kind of sounds like my big sister and me, except we live below sea level in South Louisiana.
Home Sweet Home Wyoming — Check out the big blue skies and meet cute pups Bear and Sammy.
Peace With My Life: Comfort and Compassion Out of Chaos — From time to time, we’re all surrounded by a bit of chaos (you should see my living room when I decide to take all the toys out of the toy basket), so it’s nice to know where you can go for a little peace, comfort, and compassion. And you’ll get to meet a cute pup named Jazz.
Piglove — Meet Bacon, the cutest, funniest little piggy ever. And follow the adventures of the whole Hotel Thompson gang. Warning: You will definitely laugh.
Saving Sammie: An Adoption Story — Follow the adventures of sisters Sammie (a German Shepherd) and Emma (a Doodleman Pinscher). And these girls have two cats. Not so sure that would work at my house. Haha!
Tails Around the Ranch — Sam and Elsa are Standard Poodles. Sam does pet therapy at a large hospital and hospice center and Elsa is his pesky sister who gets into trouble. Hmmmmm, sounds familiar.
So, if you choose, here are the One Lovely Blog Award rules:
- Thank the person (or dog) that nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
- List the rules.
- Display the award on your post.
- List seven facts about yourself.
- Nominate 15 bloggers (give or take) for this award and comment on one of their posts to let them know you have nominated them.
But feel free to ignore the rules. I do it all the time. And have a fabulous weekend!
Love, Tallulah Bee
Pawing It ForwardPosted: June 20, 2017 Filed under: Places I Like, Things I Like | Tags: #BlogPaws2017, #MyNakedDog, Animal Rescue, Animal Rescue New Orleans, Animal Shelter, ARNO, Blogging, BlogPaws, BlogPaws 2017, Dog Food, Dog Treats, Dogs, Golden Retriever, Harper Lee, Healthy Dog Treats, New Orleans, NOLA, Pet Photography, Pets, PetSmart, Tallulah, The Naked Dog, Thek9harperlee 29 Comments
Remember when I told you about all the stuff that filled our chariot on the road to BlogPaws 2017? Well, on the way home, we had to find a little additional room for these huge duffle bags overflowing with all kinds of fabulous swag. Everyone attending the BlogPaws conference received a swag bag of goodies specifically selected for dogs, cats, or both. Because both of my humans were officially registered, Tallulah and I came home with two bags . . . filled with dog items, of course.
Those two bags sat on top of the dryer in our laundry room for
way too long
Wow, the haul was somewhat overwhelming. We’ve set aside a few things that we think you might like to know about. Look for more on that in the next couple of months . . .
. . . but Mommy and I delivered most of the items to our friends at Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO). ARNO is a nonprofit, grassroots, volunteer organization founded after Hurricane Katrina. ARNO operates a no-kill triage shelter and has found homes for more than 8,300 companion animals. We can’t think of a better place to paw the BlogPaws love forward.
We also delivered a bag of super yummy and healthy food from The Naked Dog. Here’s a little background info from The Naked Dog website:
In 2014, Marco and Bere Giannini started The Naked Dog with the mission of helping pet parents access only the healthiest products for their pets. Within the next three years, The Naked Dog family grew to 11 retail locations in Southern California and built a group of pet parents dedicated to their grain-free, gluten-free in-house pet food and treat brand, Naked. In 2017, The Naked Dog Box was founded to help broaden the reach of this healthy mission, allowing pet parents across the nation to get Naked with its bi-monthly pet food subscription service. Marco, Bere, and the whole Naked Dog family are proud to have kept their Naked Promise: higher quality pet food and fair prices, available to all.
My friend Emma from My GBGV Life wrote an excellent review of The Naked Dog food and subscription service. I hope you’ll click here to read more. As you can see from the picture above, Tallulah was a little unsure about parting with The Naked Dog food, but I explained to her that the dogs at ARNO would really, really appreciate the donation. I think she understood.
BlogPaws is all about sharing the love and improving the lives of animals. I’m so happy that I could paw it forward by delivering treats, toys, and food to the dogs at Animal Rescue New Orleans. Even with my new shades, I see a bright and shiny future for my shelter friends.
Two Blondes and a BeachPosted: June 16, 2017 Filed under: Places I Like | Tags: #BlogPaws2017, Beach, Blogging, BlogPaws, BlogPaws 2017, Dogs, Golden Retriever, Harper Lee, Lakewood Golden Retrievers, Myrtle Beach, Pet Friendly, Pet Photography, Pets, South Carolina, Tallulah, Thek9harperlee 24 Comments
All work and no play can make Golden Retrievers a little stir crazy, so I cannot begin to tell you how excited Tallulah and I were the evening that we snuck away from the business of BlogPaws 2017 to feel the sand between our toes and frolic in the surf on Myrtle Beach.
It was my second time to visit the beach (you can read about my 2014 Florida beach trip and Great Golden Gathering here and here), but it was Tallulah’s first time. My little sister is definitely a beach girl. (It’s not surprising. Her Golden grandmother, Katie, is from Lakewood Golden Retrievers in Melbourne, Florida. My humans and I actually met Katie on our Florida beach visit almost three years ago. At the time, we had absolutely no idea that Tallulah would join our family one day. Life can be funny that way. But I digress.) My human mommy says that if we’d dropped Tallulah’s leash at Myrtle Beach, she would have swum to Cuba. Luckily Daddy kept a tight grip.
If you have four paws and a tail, there are a few of things that you need to know about visiting Myrtle Beach. Animals are not allowed on the beach between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. from May 1 to Labor Day. Dogs must be on a leash at all times and–I know all of my friends know this, but some people need to be reminded–please pick up after your pets. Humans go to the beach to feel the sand between their toes . . . not something else. 😉 And for the humans who will be joining their pets at Myrtle Beach, there is plenty of paid parking at little lots all along the beach. My humans learned the hard way, however, that the meters do not take American Express and they do not accept $20 bills, so Daddy had to run across the street to get change. Trust me . . . it was worth it.
Our beach visit was quick, but we’ll cherish the memory forever and ever. When I close my eyes, I can still feel the sea breeze blowing through my hair and my feet sinking into the soft sand. It was magical. Wishing you a magical weekend that creates moments and memories that last forever. Cheers!
Meeting and Making Friends at BlogPaws 2017Posted: June 13, 2017 Filed under: Dogs I Like, People I Like | Tags: #BlogPaws2017, A Girl & Her Huskey, Bear, Blogging, BlogPaws, BlogPaws 2017, DogWatch Hidden Fences, Echo, Golden Retriever, Harper Lee, Honey, Leroy, Love Always Bear, Lucy with the Underbite, My Brown Newfies, Pet Friendly, Pet Photography, Pets, Rosy, Rosy Reports, Something Wagging this Way Comes, Sugar the Golden Retriever, Thek9harperlee 18 Comments
There are a whole lot of great things about a BlogPaws conference, but the greatest in my book has to be the people and pets you meet. They’re all so super nice. Way back in March, my human mommy started counting down the days until she’d meet my dear friend Bear’s mom. We fell in love with Bear when we discovered his Love always, Bear blog, and it shattered my mommy’s heart the day Bear crossed the Rainbow Bridge. When our mommies finally met last month, it was as if they’d been friends forever. I guess Goldens just have a way of connecting people. That’s Bear’s mom on the right holding his sister Rosy.
Rosy writes a blog called Rosy Reports and, as Rosy would say, it’s fab. So fab that she was a finalist for not one but two BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose Awards. Tallulah and I were honored to pose with her before the big awards dinner, and we were beyond thrilled that Mommy finally got to hug Bear’s mom and we finally got to meet his fabulous sister Rosy.
Photo from Rosy’s Twitter @PrincessRosyRue
We were crushed when another Golden friend, Sugar, crossed the Rainbow Bridge just a couple of months before the BlogPaws conference. How fitting that our friends Sugar and Bear were side-by-side when the 2017 conference Honor Flags were displayed.
Photo from Golden Woofs: Sugar the Golden Retriever Blog
That’s Sugar’s mom holding stuffed Goldie at the conference. (Mommy and Sugar’s mom were so busy hugging every time they saw each other that silly Mommy didn’t think about getting a photo.) I’m so super happy to report that just as soon as Sugar’s mom and dad got home from BlogPaws 2017 they welcomed a new Golden Retriever into their home and into their hearts. His name is Koru Bear and you can click here to see how incredibly handsome he is.
Keeping with the Golden theme, meet Honey and her mom. Sweet doesn’t even begin to describe these two. They’re like the best cupcake ever piled high with the richest icing you’ve ever eaten and covered with sprinkles. Yep, that sweet. Honey’s mom blogs at Something Wagging This Way Comes and–get this–they live on a sailboat. It was such a thrill to meet them, and we cannot wait to follow their nautical adventures.
Now I don’t want you to think we only hung out with Golden Retrievers and their humans while we were at BlogPaws 2017. We also met Leroy from My Brown Newfies. Leroy’s mom probably thought my human mommy was a crazy stalker when she leapt from the car and dashed toward Leroy the minute we got to the conference hotel. But, I mean really, who doesn’t love a big handsome hairy guy who drools?
And mommy wasn’t the only one with a BlogPaws 2017 crush. My little sister Tallulah fell in love with Echo from A Girl & Her Husky. Yep, my little sister was that woman who goes to an out-of-town business conference and has a fling. You can’t really blame her. Echo was pretty sharp in his red carpet attire. I guess what happens at BlogPaws stays at BlogPaws . . . wink, wink.
Finally meet Lucy with the Underbite, an adorable Chihuahua-Pug mix who had the time of her life strutting her stuff on the red carpet with Rosy. Lucy and her mom work with DogWatch Hidden Fences, a conference exhibitor, and Lucy has the most adorable Instagram account. Check her out here. I could go on and on about all the amazing people and pets we met at BlogPaws 2017, but I have a better idea. Why don’t you make plans to attend BlogPaws 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri? I promise you’ll meet a whole lot of super nice people and pets.
Dinner and a MoviePosted: June 9, 2017 Filed under: Dogs I Like, People I Like, Things I Like | Tags: #MeganLeavey, Blogging, BlogPaws, BlolgPaws 2017, BONE Appetit, Dog Treats, Dogs, Golden Retriever, Healthy Dog Treats, K9s For Warriors, Megan Leavey, Merrick Pet Care, Pet Photography, Pets, Thek9harperlee 14 Comments
Woo hoo! It’s Friday! I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty thrilled to see the weekend. Do you have plans yet? Might I suggest dinner and a movie? There’s a great new film called Megan Leavey opening this weekend. I saw a preview while I was at BlogPaws 2017, and it’s fabulous.
Megan Leavey is the true story of a Marine and her dog, Rex. Here’s a little more information from the studio:
MEGAN LEAVEY is based on the true life story of a young marine corporal (Kate Mara) whose unique discipline and bond with her military combat dog saved many lives during their deployment in Iraq. When she is assigned to clean up the K9 unit after a disciplinary hearing, Leavey identifies with a particularly aggressive dog, Rex, and is given the chance to train him. Over the course of their service, Megan and Rex completed more than 100 missions until an IED explosion injures them, putting their fate in jeopardy.
You can click here to see a trailer for the film. It stars a really talented dog in the role of Rex . . . and some pretty noteworthy humans, too. Plus, it’s gotten some really great reviews.
Merrick Pet Care, a leader in natural and organic pet food, sponsored the movie and recently announced the launch of Merrick Backcountry Hero’s Banquet recipes, a new lineup of natural dog food and treats to raise awareness for K9s For Warriors’ work pairing service dogs with military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disability (PTSD). (By the way, June is PTSD Awareness Month.) So grab some “pawp corn,” settle into that nice comfortable theatre seat to watch Rex star in the Megan Leavey movie, and purchase a little Merrick Backcountry Hero’s Banquet dinner to help support the work of K9s For Warriors. Sounds like a perfect weekend plan to me. Cheers!
10 Touches That Could Save Your Dog’s LifePosted: June 6, 2017 Filed under: Things I Like | Tags: #BlogPaws2017, Blogging, BlogPaws, BlogPaws 2017, Dogs, Dr. Julie Buzby, Dr. Julie Buzby's ToeGrips, Harper Lee, Pet Health, Pet Photography, Pets, Thek9harperlee 22 Comments
My humans attended a lot of educational sessions while we were all at BlogPaws 2017. Usually my human daddy and I went to one session while my human mommy and Tallulah went to another. The humans learned about things like creating engaging content, search engine optimization, and analytics. (I know that stuff is important, but it sort of sounds like “blah, blah, and blah” to me.) While the humans took notes and attempted to fill their heads with knowledge, Tallulah and I caught up on our sleep under the conference room tables.
There was one educational session that my humans decided was so important they should attend it together: Dr. Julie Buzby’s “All Hands on Dog: Ten Touches That Could Save Your Dog’s Life.” And I think it’s so important that I’m sharing it with you today. Now I’m pretty sure most of you humans pet your dogs every day . . . several times a day . . . often not even knowing you’re doing it. Speaking for all the dogs out there, let me tell you how unbelievably happy that makes us. But what if just once a week you could pet us in a pattern that would help you to detect changes in our bodies? It just takes a few minutes, and it could lead to an early diagnosis by your veterinarian and better treatment results. So let’s get started. (By the way, I assisted Dr. Buzby as her model while my human daddy held me and my human mommy took pictures. Dr. Buzby, my daddy, and I were excellent. Mommy may need to repeat one of those photography sessions she attended, but you’ll get the picture. Haha . . . get the picture . . . get it?)
TOUCH 1: BODY CONDITION SCORING/WEIGHT
Start with opening strokes all over your dog’s body. Initially, you’re just petting your dog and bonding with him or her. Pretty easy, right? I mean, you do this all the time. Then move on to more purposeful petting. First check for rib cover. Run your hands over your dog’s rib cage. How much fat is over your dog’s ribs? Next look at your dog from the side and touch him or her along the chest and back toward the waist. Does your dog have a nice racehorse tuck? See how my body tapers up from my ribs to my waist? That’s what you’re looking for. Finally, look at and touch your dog from above. You want your dog’s waist to taper in. According to Dr. Buzby, proper weight is the number one thing you can do to extend your dog’s life, so these opening touches are pretty important.
TOUCH 2: SKIN & COAT (AND EXTERNAL PARASITES)
Now move to your dog’s back half where fleas like to congregate. Beginning at the base of the tail, flip your dog’s hair back against the grain and check the skin, working your way toward the head. You’re not only looking for fleas, you’re also looking for flea dirt . . . a nice way to say flea poo. If you’re not sure what flea dirt looks like, click here. Check under your dog’s inner back legs too. That’s another favorite spot for fleas.
TOUCH 3: LUMPS & LYMPH NODES
Run your hands all over your dog’s body checking for any lumps. Pay particular attention to the lymph nodes and check for any swelling. Lymph nodes are located in the neck, under the jowls or lower jaw bone, around the shoulders, at the back of the legs, close to the joints of the legs, and in the groin area. (A quick online check will result in quite a few drawings and photos showing where a dog’s lymph nodes are located.) You might feel something that doesn’t feel quite right to you. Make an appointment with your veterinarian. At best, it’s nothing and you now have a baseline for your weekly assessments. At worst, you’ve detected something that you might not otherwise have noticed until much later.
TOUCH 4: EARS
Here you get to use two additional human senses: sight and smell. Flip your dog’s ears back and have a look. They should be clean. Now have a little sniff. A foul odor could indicate an ear infection.
TOUCH 5: EYES
According to Dr. Buzby, eye problems can turn into emergencies very quickly. Eyes should be clear and without discharge.
TOUCH 6: MOUTH (LIPS, GUMS, AND TEETH)
A main objective behind getting to know your dog’s body through the weekly 10 touches is establishing your dog’s baselines. For instance, if your dog’s eyes look one way from week to week, you’ll notice immediately when there’s a change. Dr. Buzby says that normal gum color is the most important baseline to know in your dog. Press on your dog’s gum. When you remove your finger, the spot you pressed should be a little light but return to its original color immediately. Check your dog’s teeth for plaque buildup. (You should be brushing your dog’s teeth daily. Mommy had to admit that she doesn’t do this. Shame on her,) Also check for cracked or broken teeth, which can lead to infections and abscesses. Dr. Buzby pointed out the following rule of thumb when if comes to chew toys for dogs: “If an object is too hard for you to comfortably slap it against your leg, it’s too hard for your dog to chew.”
TOUCH 7: LEGS, PAWS & NAILS
Feel for symmetry in your dog’s legs. Check your dog’s paws for any sores on the pads or between the toes. Also check for discoloration of the hair on your dog’s feet, an indication of licking that might be caused by allergies. Make sure your dog’s nails are short. “Dog’s nails were not designed to be talons,” Dr. Buzby says. Long nails impact gait and posture, which can lead to further problems.
TOUCH 8: ABDOMEN & BELLY
Get to know the general shape of your dog’s belly so you can recognize when it’s not normal. Also be aware of the general firmness of your dog’s belly.
TOUCH 9: CHEST (HEART & LUNGS)
Get to know your dog’s normal heart rate and rhythm. Run the flat of our hand on the left side of your dog’s chest to feel the beats.
TOUCH 10: UNDER THE TAIL
Now hold on just one minute. I’ve been a pretty good sport up to this point. I’ve let you see Dr. Buzby’s hands all over by body, but a girl has her limits. I mean some things ought to be private, right? So without graphic pictures, it’s time to cover Touch 10: Under the Tail. Check for swelling and growths around the anus. If your dog is a female, check the area around her vulva for any discoloration.
Dr. Buzby says that it’s important to remember that you are your dog’s voice. Your veterinarian may see your dog just once or twice a year, but you’re with your dog every day. If you get in the habit of practicing these 10 touches once a week, a change in your dog will jump out at you immediately. Your job is to detect that change in your dog and then turn to your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. Remember: Early detection leads to the best results.
Dr. Julie Buzby graduated from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997 and began her career caring for dogs, cats, and horses. To augment her Western training, she earned certification by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association in 1998 and by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society in 2002.
As an integrative veterinarian, Dr. Buzby seeks to integrate the best of Western medicine, alternative therapies, and creative tools for maximum wellness in her patients. She has a special interest in preserving mobility and quality of life for senior dogs and proudly serves on the Advisory Board of the Grey Muzzle Organization.
In 2012, Julie founded Dr. Buzby’s Innovations, with the mission of helping people help their dogs. ToeGrips, the company’s flagship product, offer a natural alternative to dog boots and dog socks on hardwood floors. They have helped dogs regain confident mobility in over 50 countries around the world. In 2016, the company evolved into “Dr. Buzby’s”, a brand focused on educating and empowering people who care about the best care possible for their dogs.
As an accidental entrepreneur, Julie has spoken at such venues as BarkWorld Expo, the Southeast Veterinary Conference, the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) Rounds, the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association annual conference, and BlogPaws.
Check out the Buzby Bark and Dr. Buzby’s innovative dog health products at www.toegrips.com.