Dog lovers, what do you do on a rainy, cold, February winter in the Midwest? You wander Main Street in Vermilion, Ohio admiring fantastic ice sculptures in search of the one that looks like a dog.
Canine Companions Ice Sculpture at Vermilion Ice-A-Fair
But not just any dog. The dog you’re searching for is a replica of Ben, a Canine Companions for Independence® service puppy in training.
Ben’s puppy raiser, Vermilion resident Staicey Scholtz and her husband Brad, donated the ice sculpture replica of Ben to display at the Sixth Annual Ice-A-Fair to Remember in downtown Vermilion. More than 50 ice sculptures of different styles were on display at the event, along with ice carving demonstrations, tours on Lolly the Trolly and visits from Frosty the Snowman. Standing in front of their ice mascot, puppy raisers and volunteers from Canine Companions for Independence® Northern Ohio Volunteer Group were on hand to answer questions about puppy raising for the non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing free of charge, highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. They were also there to have fun! (more…)
A dog can obey all the commands, but if it doesn’t want to be a service dog it won’t make the cut. In this YouTube video find, a golden retriever puppy proves that he was born for the job. What a helper he will be!
WelcomePup.com, the dog product and gift store, proudly announces its latest business venture:
WelcomeHorse is the bravest horse in the world. His mission is to de-spook horses all around the globe by delivering hoof printed gift boxes of carrots dropped by teams of floating plastic deer wearing blue garbage bags traveling overhead through barns by way of helium inflated mylar balloons. Results may vary.
Dogs shed. All dogs shed. Don’t let anyone fool you.
I don’t know about you, but I have three retrievers, two long hair and one short and there is hair everywhere. (Relax. On a regular basis, it is not as much as in the above photo.)
“I don’t see much hair,” you say? That’s because I’ve vacuumed like crazy just before you came. Otherwise, you wouldn’t come over because:
You are not a dog person. (So sad.)
You are allergic. (Then please, NEVER come over here.)
You are afraid it will get on your clothes. (Oh, it will!)
And secretly you ask yourself, “Will it be in my food?” Duh da daaaaaa! (Perhaps.)
Before you call the health department, I do everything I can to safeguard your visit. When I am cooking for company, I vacuum and clean all countertops. I wipe down the stove and cover every mixing bowl exposed to air with a paper towel that isn’t removed until the masterpiece goes into the oven. I also cover the masterpiece when it comes out, unless I burn it, wherein any dog hair that lands on it is blissful vengeance. (more…)
Winters in the Great Lakes region can be long and brutal.
So on the first warm day of spring, my dogs and I head for the deck.
Wood decks are high maintenance. I knew that going in. So before I put out the patio furniture and refill the bird feeders, I like to do a deck inspection to make sure the surface is safe for bare feet and paws.
There’s more to deck maintenance than an occasional power wash and stain. Deck wood needs inspection.
To remain rot free, wooden decks must drain properly. A quick hose down can detect areas of concern. Check for pooling water. Water that does not drain properly can cause wood rot and ruin your deck.
A properly sloped deck that drains easily can still be in jeopardy when wooden boards warp or when the space between the butted boards is blocked with debris. Debris can be leaves, dirt, tree litter or in my case: dog hair!
A small putty knife (not a butter knife) is the proper tool to gently dislodge debris between boards to get water draining again.
Nail pops are another danger. Extreme changes in temperature cause wood to expand and contract resulting in nails pops that can tear the flesh of hands, feet and paws. Grab a hammer and get to work.
Inspect your deck for loose or splintered boards that could injure feet and paws. Re-sand or replace deck boards as needed.
Got a teething puppy? Never leave a puppy on the deck unattended. Curious puppies may squeeze between deck rails that could result in a nasty fall.
Teething puppies love to gnaw wood. Decks are not a puppy’s chew toy. Ingested wood splinters could cause intestinal distress for puppies and older dogs.
How old is your deck? Did you know that before January 1, 2004, much pressure treated deck wood contained CCA (chromated copper arsenate), a human carcinogen? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, CCA “is a chemical wood preservative containing chromium, copper and arsenic. CCA is used in pressure treated wood to protect wood from rotting due to insects and microbial agents.” Pressure treated wood can leach arsenic that is hazardous to pets. If you suspect that your pet has ingested pressure treated wood that might contain CCA, do not induce vomiting. Call your veterinarian immediately or call the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680.
Sanding decks containing CCA release arsenic into the soil and air. If you must sand or saw your deck boards and you suspect that they contain CCA, cover your mouth with a disposable dust mask, wear gloves and keep children and pets out of the area. For more information, visit www.EPA.gov.
If deck stain is required, ask your deck professional to use deck stains that are certified by the Master Painters Institute and are stamped with the green “MPI Green Certified” seal. Check out the MPI approved products list.
Once dry, put out the patio furniture, throw some burgers on the grill and enjoy your summer. If you live in the Great Lakes region, you’ve earned it!
Bonnie Sweebe is a dog lover, dog owner, dog advocate, and rescue and service dog volunteer. She is also the owner of WelcomePup.com, an online dog gift delivery company.