Thursday, November 21, 2019

Happy Rainy Thursday!  Here's my Zoeism for November 21st!

This was from my very first tv commercial with PetsPetSmart

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

I just wanted to visit and say good night!  Listen for angels, ok? 
Mia wanted to say goodnight, too, and added "say your prayers for our Facebook page !

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

I'm Back and So Is Mia!

Hello everyone!

I ma back after a little hiatus.  It's mommy's fault...not mine.  I have been busy with Mia at our therapy work at Phoenix Sky Harbor International AirportThe Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, Osborn Hospital,and  Thompson Peak Hospital.  We are also busy with Gabriel's Angels, Hospice of the Valley and Pets on Wheels of Scottsdale, too.

Mia and I have so many adventures that we could share with you, but first I thought you should see a few new pictures of us.
Miss Bailey took this picture of us at the rose garden in Glendale, AZ.

This is when we were in Carlsbad, CA on vacation.

Me, with one of my favorite toys!

Mia being patriotic and showing off her serious side and praying.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Sien  Zostac  Chodz 

Being a non-game person, I thought it wise to try a few games first. After 10 minutes of Cooking Madness and My Dog Simulator for Free, my heart raced as hamburgers burned and my dog dodged walls but was run over by a bus. So, DuoLingo and learning Polish seemed perfect.

90 minutes of play on Surface

I played for almost 90 minutes- reading, writing, listening and speaking while earning points, being congratulated, gaining crowns and lingots while seeing myself move up the leader board from 44 to 16 to 12.  I felt good about myself, was learning, having fun and wanted more.

New aspects
Each game/lesson is self-paced while giving players choices as they finish lessons.  A perfect score gets even more points (like extra credit). A choice to either delve deeper or learn a new aspect of the language entices the more academically minded player. Lingots and gems, the game’s virtual currency, allows players to go shopping. I was hooked!

DuoLingo’s creators have seamlessly woven social media aspects into their game. Here are a few:

New features
·       DuoLingo offers a free version as well as a monthly fee version that is ad free.
·       The concept of ‘not being alone’, giving away lingots exists.
·       Players see others’ scores compared to theirs.
·       Players can join/create a club and invite others (mobile only).
·       Taken directly from DuoLingo’s webpage – “For more Duolingo news, contests and product releases, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @duolingo.”
PS Now I know sit, stay, come in Polish! Let's test the girls!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

If a Nose Could Talk!

Every pet owner, especially one who owns or has ever owned a canine should watch this amazing 4 minute Ted Talk video, How do dogs see with their noses?  by Alexandra Horowitz.  The graphics are not only charming but also educational allowing  a non-scientifically minded person like me to comprehend the complex makeup of the dog's ability to navigate the world through his/her nose's "moist, spongy outside which  captures any scents the breeze carries" and more.
Zoe's amazing nose!
Here are some interesting facts:
  •  A dog can smell separately with each nostril.
  • By smelling in stereo, and SNIFFING,  she can determine the direction of the smell's source, what is out there and it's location.
  • When air enters a dog's nose, it is divided by a tissue in the nose into two chambers - one for breathing and one for smelling.
  • In the smelling chamber, there are "several hundred million olfactory receptor cells compared to a human's five million".
  • Humans breathe in and out through the same passage; dogs exhale through slits in the side of their nose, "creating swirls of air to draw in new molecules...allowing odor concentration to build up over multiple sniffs."
    Let me tell you, mom, there's more to this freesia than you know!
    The dog's brain also has an olfactory system that is far greater in size proportionally to its brain in comparison to the human brain's olfactory system.  Imagine this. Someone spritzes a spray of cologne in a small room.  You and I could smell and most likely distinguish it.  A dog would have no problem if the same exact spritz  were sprayed in an enclosed stadium. She could not only distinguish the smell but its components.
Here is what I found most interesting having two therapy dogs who seem to know which patient or resident needs them. The vomernasal organ (for the more medical version) located above the roof of the mouth detects hormones of animals and humans. In the animal kingdom it can determine hostile and friendly animals and  help in mating; in the human world it can read a human's emotional state and even tell when someone is pregnant or sick.

If a dog's nose could talk, oh the 'tails' it could tell as it revealed a whole world beyond our eyes.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Mommy's Back in School

You may have noticed that I have not posted a blog in a very long time.  Well, I'm back, and according to my secretary, mommy, I will be back more often!   Many things have happened in my therapy dog life, but I will get back to that in a future post becasue this blog is all about mommy!  I will let her take over now.
Some of you already know that therapy dog work is a very important part of my life, but you don't know how it all came about.

When my dad was in hospice care back in 2004, shortly before he passed, a therapy dog visited him.  It was at that time that I decided that if I ever had a dog that would have the personality to be a therapy dog, I would get the dog trained and certified.  Fortunately, I have 2 such dogs, Zoe and Mia; both visit Hospice of the Valley patients weekly. They are registered nationally with Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD) and locally with Pets on Wheels of Scottsdale.

Zoe with Artie at a SCC Destressing Day
Therapy dogs need to have a certain disposition and love people.  They also need to have manners!  If you go to the ATD site, you can read all about the testing the dogs have to undergo.  It is important to have this certification for three reasons: it gives the dog credibility and allows the dog to participate 'legally' as a therapy dog in such places as hospitals, libraries, schools and even airports; in addition, certification carries a hefty insurance plan for the handler and dog.

Canine Good Citizen (CGC) from the American Kennel Club (AKC) is also helpful.  Advanced titles, CGCA Community and the CGCU Urban can also be earned with additional testing. I am proud to say that both Zoe and Mia have earned all their titles.  It is quite an accomplishment, especially for Mia since she is under 2 years old.

Therapy dogs can also earn Therapy Titles based on letters of recommendation, documentation and the number of visits they do.
  • AKC Therapy Dog Novice (THDN). Must have completed 10 visits.
  • AKC Therapy Dog (THD). Must have completed 50 visits.
  • AKC Therapy Dog Advanced (THDA). Must have completed 100 visits.
  • AKC Therapy Dog Excellent (THDX). Must have completed 200 visits. (Mia is just shy a few.)
  • AKC Therapy Dog Distinguished (THDD). Must have completed 400 visits. (Zoe)
So, there you have it. That's the "how"...  now for the "why".

Having a therapy dog is very rewarding to all involved - the patient or resident, staff, handler and of course the dog.  My girls know they get to do something special each time I put on my organization's smock or shirt and they don the appropriate vest.
from left to right - PHX Sky Harbor, HonorHealth and POW, ATD, HOV and Gabriel's Angels      

Each time we visit, it seems as if I have just given myself official 'play time' with my dog.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Retractable Leashes - DANGER!! - Re-Post

Take my advice- do not put yourself and your Fur-family in danger!
On Facebook there was a post about a German Shepherd that attacked a Maltese, the outcome for the little pup was not good.  Then I came to learn, through my "mom", that a retractable leash was involved. That got me wondering if there were other stories and  hard facts about these leashes . A good reporter has to investigate, so that's what I did.  I put on my Sherlock Holmes identity and went sleuthing! I learn a great deal watching one of my favorite TV shows Elementary.

My mom checks Consumer Reports for everything, so I started there. I found the article enlightening and kept on my investigation.

 The Doginton Post states the following:

Before using a retractable leash, make certain you’ve got one that’s strong enough to handle your dog. Dogs that have a tendency to bolt or take off running after perceived prey should never be restrained with a retractable leash. Aside from those dangers, there are other things to keep in mind when using one of these, often convenient, popular leashes.
What You Need to Watch Out For
· Prickling leash burns. Retractable leashes, especially the thin string variety, can very easily cause leash burns. This could happen when you let your pooch race past you with the retractable line zipped up across your bare skin. Unwarranted injuries, however, can be prevented if you try the flat, tape style retractable leash.
· Entanglement or strangulation. Not only can retractable leashes burn us, they can also get twisted around a dog’s neck or legs. Worse, if your pooch panics and jerks the moment they get hog-tied; it could cause the leash to pull even tighter. Although you can loosen the cords that have wrapped around his neck, the situation could quickly become life-threatening.
· Fatal accidents. There are times when our dogs dart away all of a sudden, and with a retractable leash on him, your dog might dart even farther, faster. Nevertheless, it’s the reeling that’s a serious issue here. It is possible that Fido may spot a squirrel or anything interesting across the street, and suddenly take off after it. If you’re not alert enough, his abrupt behavior and an unsturdy retractable leash could put him smack on the road, right in front of a speeding car.
Other Things You Would Never Want to Happen
· The leash drops. Because these leashes rarely have a wrist strap and are sometimes heavy and bulky, dropping them is a regular occurrence. What’s worse, if you drop the handle, the lack of tension can send the heavy handle hurdling toward your dog. Not only could the heavy leash handle smack your dog in the head, if your dog is spooked by the leash handle zipping deafeningly toward him, he may take off running.
· The cord is grabbed. If you grab the cord/tape while it is being pulled from the handle, you might suffer from immediate injury like cuts and burns.
· The cord wraps around you. Poor handling can also cause the cord/tape to twist around you or someone else’s fingers resulting in deep wounds, or worse, amputation.
· The collar breaks or comes off your dog. The moment this occurs, the leash could retract at top speed while the other end of the line whips around at the same full momentum leading to serious injuries to face, teeth, and eyes.

If you still don't believe me, check out what My Smart Puppy. com has to say and the various testimonials (positive and negative) on their website or Pet MD.  There are countless other sources and most put the "nix-ay" on this type of leash.

My advice in a nutshell is a question:

Why choose a leash that could put you or your pet in potential danger?  You supply the answer!