Bye for now


Greetings from Happy Dog Phoenix! I sincerely hope that you and your two-legged and four-legged families are hanging in there during this tough time. (Aren’t dogs nice to have around?)

I have been thinking about you a lot but not posting too much. Like all of us, my life got thrown a little upside down and many plans went by the wayside.

What’s up with Happy Dog Phoenix?

Like, for example, getting dog training for Lizzy and Giggy. I was going to do it after I got my tax refund And then coronavirus hit and I wasn’t so sure I wanted to meet with a trainer, no matter how many masks we wore. So, I put dog training on hold. And now it’s too hot, so the training is going to have to wait for fall. Sorry, neighbors – the barking at random objects continues!

What’s up with Facebook postings?

Another big reason I haven’t posted is because of Facebook. Facebook is the main way I drive traffic to this site. And to do that, I have to pay Facebook to advertise my posts. It’s not much but it’s money. And for many, many months now, I haven’t been too pleased with Facebook. First, I didn’t like how they were profiting from people’s privacy.

Whether you are a liberal or a conservative, I bet you want to be told the truth. And I think Facebook doesn’t do a good enough job at that.

We all know Facebook friends who seem to have perfect lives: “Hey, we’re summering at the beach! Here’s my daughter, the valedictorian. My husband made me breakfast in bed. If we know these people well enough, we know the beach stay means close quarters with pain-in-the-ass relatives; the daughter suffers from anxiety and the husband totes around a justifiably guilty conscience.

It’s up to us to see through these fibs/aggrandizements. But I think it is Facebook’s responsibility to monitor its paid content. I was a reporter and I was responsible for what I wrote; my newspapers were legally responsible for what they printed. Facebook, which made $70 billion last year, can certainly keep better tabs on what appears on its pages.

I have long believed that technology is transforming society faster than our minds and morals can adapt. And I think Facebook is a case in point. It has grown so rapidly and so pervasively, that individuals can’t critically analyze the reams and reams of content it produces daily. Until Facebook steps up to be a responsible corporate citizen, commensurate with its scope in the world, I will struggle to pay for it.

The girls are doing great!

It’s not like I am going to be bored. I’ve got two dogs, for goodness’ sake! Whenever people tell you that by having two dogs, you’ve got built-in dog sitters; they aren’t being exactly accurate. Sometimes, one dog will keep the other dog company and sometimes, you just have two dogs to take care of.

Frequently, I feel like I have an eight-legged, two-headed dog that is determined to do two different things at once, like running down the street and sitting down on the sidewalk. But so much love when you come home!

Despite any awkwardness on my part, the girls are doing great. Lizzy has lost more than 12 pounds and can run after other dogs at the dog park. (Thanks Fromm dog foods!) Giggy has bulked up a little and that’s good. They’ve made friends (dog and human), hiked, visited, gone to dog parks, walked, gotten their check-ups — all the good things I that I endorsed in Happy Dog Phoenix.

I’ve met so many great people and dogs through HDP that I really can’t say I am quitting but I am trying to figure how to do things sans Facebook. So until later, my friends, be safe, be well and keep the dogs happy,

Love, Jodie

Meet the new Happy Dog Phoenix mascots

Wait, aren’t they the same as the former Happy Dog Phoenix mascots? Beagles? No, not really. And as I am learning, no dog completely replaces the previous dogs in your life. Maybe you just keep on grieving for a dog while you begin to accept and adjust to the loss.

Artie, my beloved Beagle goofball, passed away in July and I couldn’t bring myself to write about it publically until now. She had been sick and I had poured out my heart in this post. And I just couldn’t write about it again, after all, the name of the blog is Happy Dog Phoenix. Not Incredibly Sad Person Phoenix. And in thinking about Artie, I tried to be grateful for the time we had together but I couldn’t; all I had was a very deep hole in my heart.

To Phoenix from Arkansas with love

Arizona Beagle Rescue reached out to me to offer their condolences at Artie’s death. And I reached back to them to cautiously say I would be looking for a new beagle. Just not sure when.

“How about fostering? We have two dogs in Arkansas whose owner just died. There’s no beagle rescue there. And they will end up in a pound and will probably be separated. They’re sisters.’’

Well, a photo is worth a thousand words. In this case it sure was. Here’s the photo they texted:

before new happy dog phoenix mascots

My only reaction: THEY”RE SO FAT!!

Of course, I will help them.

It was a true kindness relay that got these dogs from a small town in Arkansas to Phoenix. Good-hearted people who were making the drive to Texas and others parts agreed to take the girls as far as they were driving and then another team picked them up. If you ever doubt that people can be genuinely wonderful, just volunteer for one of these road trips. It restores your faith in humans.

Enter Giggy and Lizzy

So I met the girls. Turns out Giggy isn’t fat at all. In fact, I’m not so sure how much of a Beagle she really is. I see a lot of Brittney in there. But Lizzy, true to being a Beagle, was definitely was overweight. Turns out she weighed about 40 pounds, at least. Your typical Beagle is about 25 pounds. The vet sternly told both of us that we needed to be aggressive about her weight loss.

They arrived in the summer. And since then, they’ve been in a couple different houses because I had a couple of vacations planned before their arrival. There was also an emergency sleepover at a friend’s house when my home’s AC went out. The most progress for girls comes when we are consistent in our schedules; for these two, the more stability the better.

Hey, they are my dogs!

Arizona Beagle Rescue realizes fosters may fall in love with the dogs they are helping. As part of their contract, AZBR give fosters three weeks to decide about the dog before posting the dog’s photos and telling the world they are available for adoption. A bonded pair like Giggy and Lizzy who are sisters (at heart, if not in shared DNA), are usually more difficult to adopt out.

But after two weeks, AZBR contacted me asking for photos because they were had a family interested in a pair of Beagles. I thought to myself “Hell no, those are my dogs!’’ and that pretty much settled it. I became a foster failure.

How it is going

Not going to lie – two dogs all at once is a lot. Walking them together is basically You Tube material since Giggy is a speedster and Lizzy, well, Lizzy is no speedster. When it comes to being in motion, she’s more Basset Hound than Beagle! We entertain our neighbors with my attempts to pilot them through the ‘hood.

lizzy and giggy We three are a work in progress. But so far, Lizzy’s down eight pounds and she just finished a hike at Fraesfield – one of our recommended dog-friendly hikes. More to come on that later.

At the same time, while I am determined to make things work for these two, I still find myself thinking about Artie with such sadness. I’m not sure psychologists would think getting two dogs so soon after Artie is a good coping strategy. Right now, I’m allowing myself to tear up for the loss of Artie and at the same time, feel so much joy at the small signs that these two very different Beagles are making themselves at home: mastering steps, being polite at mealtime, coming when called.

I’ve had four Beagles now: HoneyBun, Artie, Giggy and Lizzy. Same breeds but so different.

I’m learning what makes each of the new Beagles tick. Giggy loves warmth, snuggling under covers, sitting in the sun and eating cheese. Lizzy, despite her pudginess, loves to play and commanders every toy in the house.

There’s a lot of barking, mostly at dogs and cats, and we need to work on that and I think a trainer is on the way for all three of us. So, between the weight loss, living with two new dogs and taking them on adventures, there’s going to be lot to blog about.

Stay tuned!


Springtime allergies can hurt your dog

artie with springtime blooms and springtime allergies
The good news – spring, with blessedly moderate temperatures, seems to lingering in and around the good ol’ Phoenix area. The bad news – springtime allergies are still going to be causing problems for your pal, the dog.

This winter, we had record-breaking rains and we’ve enjoyed a bumper crop of wildflowers. And the weather continues to be wonderful. Everyone’s lawn looks better and the desert is terrifically colorful with Palo verdes and cacti thrilling us with their canary-yellow blossoms and deep magenta flowers.

It’s all Technicolor beautiful except for us allergy sufferers. And possibly your dog is a victim of springtime allergies as well. Artie the Beagle had an attack of reverse sneezing and now we are giving her allergy medicine for the first time ever.

What to know about canine allergy sufferers

It’s not just Artie. Dr. Mitchell Song, DVM, DACVD, says VETMED in Phoenix near Cave Creek has been seeing a lot of pooches with problems. “We have been very, very busy with many itchy dogs,’’ says Song, who specializes in animal dermatology.

Dermatologists like Song are uniquely qualified to help dogs with springtime allergies. Usually dogs’ allergic reactions show up as itchiness in their skin or coat. So, canine allergy sufferers do a lot of chewing, licking, biting and scratching. Sometimes, they also have ear infections, says Song.

Usually only about 10 percent of dogs with allergies with have any upper respiratory symptoms, he adds.

To get a better read on what a dog is allergic to, veterinarians will perform a scratch test on them, which is similar to what humans undergo to see what is giving us a major case of the Itchies.

Once diagnosed, veterinarians can figure out the right medicine for each four-legged patient, Song says.

How you can help your dog with her springtime allergies

In addition to medication, people with pets can give their sufferin’ dog over-the-counter fish oil capsules. Essential fatty acids like fish oil can ease inflammation due to allergies, and reduce itchy skin and dandruff. Song also recommends extra bathing and grooming for your pooch to help decrease their allergies. Also: change your air-furnace filters and wash the dogs’ bedding more frequently.

Left untreated your dog’s allergies can become more difficult to treat, Song says. “It is not a life-threatening disease but it can really cause misery.’’

Song also treats frequent flyers: dogs who have spring and fall allergies. And a very small population of dogs that have winter-only allergies, he says.

Remember the old saying – misery loves company? Well, for many of us allergy sufferers, our dogs are right there with us in sharing the awfulness of being allergic. Stay well, everyone!




How a sick dog changed my outlook

Artie got sick and needed an IV
Why haven’t I been posting? Well, the dog got sick. She’s better now, thank goodness but her out-of-nowhere illness shattered my heart into a thousand little pieces. It is taking some time for me to return to the high-functioning writing machine that I aspire to be.

When I started Happy Dog Phoenix so many years ago, I wanted to provide accurate, reliable info for my community. Phoenix and Arizona can be weird places and I wanted to help people in a positive, upbeat kind of way. I like finding out things and I like passing them along.

I’m not sure there is any of that news you can use to this blog post. Just a personal story — as I try to make sense out of a couple things in my life – perhaps you are also trying to do that?

Being sick started in San Diego

The dog and I went to San Diego and we had a blast. So much so that I kinda downplayed her lethargy and lack of appetite as we got ready for the car ride back. She slept the entire trip but when we stopped in Buckeye for an In-and-Out burger, she showed no interest in my sandwich. Getting more worried, I floored it back home. The vet’s office was closed. I tried one 24/7 veterinary urgent care but I didn’t feel like they had any urgency about them. Blue Pearl Pet Hospital at 32nd Street and Indian School Road, however, triaged her immediately. Her temperature was skyrocketing.

They diagnosed possible pancreatitis and provided some meds. The next morning she was still wobbly and unresponsive.

I zipped her back to the regular vet at North Kenilworth who saw her immediately. When humans in the house get sick, it’s bad but we usually know what we are dealing with. When the cheerful, energetic, always-up-for-a-snack dog is sick, it’s terrifying.

Or at least to me. My father died in January after a long illness. As I watched the dog for signs and symptoms of her health, I was taken back to my father’s bedside; watching him, wondering if he was taking his last breath.

I always knew that everyday occurrences would trigger memories of his life and death. I was bracing myself for Father’s Day, his birthday, my parents’ wedding anniversary. But I just didn’t expect to be reminded of his passing so quickly and to be reminded by the dog, who was my staunchest companion in my father’s final months.

Control what you can – but it may not be much

Perhaps there is news you can use in this blog: you can’t control everything; you can prepare — like I am preparing for Father’s Day. You can think about how to deal with a situation and when something like that situation occurs, you take a deep breath and follow the mental script that you have written.

But apparently you can’t prepare for every wayward circumstance like your dog eating something bad at the beach, getting sick, making you think of your Dad and then sobbing uncontrollably in the vet’s office.

Gratitude doesn’t protect you

And perhaps another news-you-can-use tidbit: gratitude may not be all it is cracked up to be. I try every night, as everyone from psychologists to gurus suggest, to list five things I am grateful for. The dog always makes the list and usually pretty close to the top.

But being grateful for her didn’t protect her. Being grateful doesn’t keep the thing that you love exactly the way it is for all time. It just acknowledges the power that thing or person has in your life. Right now, it seems to me that gratitude only amplifies your pain over your loss.

In time, I may come around to the idea that while being grateful does increase the pain; it also deepens the richness of the experience. And, while it is so much easier to have shallow, painless, disposable relationships, I don’t think that is what life should be about.

I know that you need the nourishment of hearty and sometimes heart-breaking relationships. Even though they are so painful. So very painful. I hope to figure out the right balance in all of this but for the meantime, gratitude kinda sucks.

Time vs. unresolved issues

And maybe the last lesson is that grief takes time. We know that but we do we really practice it?

For me, I want to get away from unpleasant circumstances as far and as fast as possible. I want to be productive at work and smiling to family and loved ones. Keep busy and outrace any possible depression. The world wants me to move on; I want to move on but as the dog’s life-threatening pancreatitis showed me, you can want to move on all you want but Life will pull you back to deal with unresolved issues. Like grief over your Dad’s death.

After lots of money for vets’ bills (which I gladly paid for a healthy dog); lots of hand-fed meals, bowls of boiled chicken breast, white rice, splashed with chicken bouillon (the new cuisine and its presentation is Pinterestworthy); sleepless nights and rejiggered work days to accommodate lots of vet visits; the dog is fine.

I’m not sure who was more ecstatic to go on our nightly neighborhood walks, her or me.

I guess a non-dog person could read this post and point out that the biggest takeaway from all of this is: don’t have a dog. Too much heartbreak. But as I look in my dog’s gentle, trusting eyes and smile at her still-bouncy walk, I realize that is a lesson that I will never learn.

Pottio Boxes for dogs on the go

Daisy checks out Pottio Box as a place to pee
Everywhere in metro Phoenix these days developers are building apartments or condos. And many, many dogs are living in these high rises.  So the big question becomes what to do when Poochie needs a patch of grass to use as her bathroom and you are eight stories up? Where does the dog pee?

Enter the Pottio Box – please don’t confuse it with a Bark Box!

What’s a Pottio Box?

Stephen Brandt got the idea of providing grass potty boxes and delivering fresh grass to replenish them after seeing a definite need for relief among people and their dogs.

The former forest-fire fighter hotshot moved to Ahwatukee more than a year ago. He quickly noticed how people in metro Phoenix love their dogs. He also noticed how stressed these folks were as they raced home to take their dogs out for a good walk and a pee.

Why does my dog want to pee on the grass?

And for many dogs, peeing on rocks just isn’t the way they want to ummm, go.

Dogs’ upbringing plays a large role in whether they select grass, gravel, concrete or your pajamas as their place to pee. Doggos start figuring out a preference as early as eight weeks old, says, Daily Dog Discoveries.

Brandt believes his grass boxes are better for dogs than synthetic grass because they eliminate the need for chemicals. The grass boxes also pose less risk for the environment as well, he says.

Pottio boxes come in three sizes, the largest being 27 inches by 42 inches.

And Brandt delivers throughout the Valley, with Tempe being one of his largest service areas.

pottio box for when your dog has to pee

Pottio boxes’ grass doesn’t really have to be watered. Some dogs don’t want to get near mud, Brandt says. And most people don’t want mud tracked through the house.

Under normal use, the grass will eventually get saturated and will need to be thrown away after one to two weeks  (that will vary by frequency of use and size and number of dogs). Just heave-ho the grass pad into the garbage

The Pottio Box can help with the urine side of the equation. But you still need to pick up the dog poop – there’s no magic box for that!

Editors note: We don’t own stock in Pottio Box; nor are we using their products or being paid by them o write this. We just thought they were an interesting local business with a unique service!

Baking holiday treats for the dog

baking for dogs means delicious treats
Once again, it is one of my favorite dog time of the year — baking holiday treats for dogs!

I love baking for dogs for so, so many reasons

Why do baking for dogs?

First, it’s for the dogs. And for the most part, they like food, so they aren’t too terribly picky, unlike Aunt Shirley, who is a real fusspot when it comes to the type of cheese used for the mac and cheese and the vinegar used in the salad dressing and the origins of the apples used in the pie.

Nope, chances are the dog is going to enjoy as is. The amount of baking powder doesn’t have to be exact; the cookie shapes not precise. The dog will just love them –and we love them just a little bit more for their non-judgey ways.

Second, you know what’s in your treats. How many times this year have you read about dog treats or dog food being recalled? When you bake for your dog, you choose what goes in the grocery cart. Organic honey? Sure.  Applesauce with no extra sugar? Check.

This year, I decided to experiment in baking with carob – which is like a cousin to chocolate. Chocolate is super dangerous to dogs but carob is free of theobromine and caffeine so it won’t harm your canine pal. Carob is also low in fat and high in fiber making it a healthy alternative to chocolate, according to our friends at the ASPCA (which runs a great poison hotline for canines).

baking for dogs means delicious treats
Baking for humans, too

Homemade dog treats also can be a great way to show appreciation to the humans around you. Most of my peeps have enough stuff. They don’t want more stuff. So that leaves experiences and consumables as gift-giving choices. But so many people are now on specific eating plans (paleo, keto, low-carb, high-fat, high-sugar (just kidding — the last one is my diet this time of year as I flit from dessert to dessert!). But your family/friends/colleagues/neighbors have a dog, chances are the dog isn’t on a diet so much – at least someone in the house can enjoy a little baked goodie.

baked goods for dog

And for personal reasons

And lastly, it’s for sentimental reasons. Once your get past the tricky math of tripling and quadrupling the recipe, baking can be pretty mindless. The repetition of kneading the dough and cutting out cookies allows me time to think about the dogs who I am baking for and the dogs who left us in 2018.

This was a difficult year for many of us who had to say good-bye to our cherished friends. Amid the flour measuring and cookie cooling,  I reminisced about those dogs and thought about the new dogs who have entered our lives in 2018 — remembering the beloved and gratitude for new  – isn’t that a big part of the holidays?

And without further Hallmark-like thoughts, here are the recipes I used for this season’s doggie treats:

Enjoy! And happy, happy baking and gift-giving!

How to add some pumpkin for your pooch

dog with pumpkin
Is it time to make something pumpkin for your little pumpkin – now that a terrific Phoenix fall is happening?

I try to regularly sneak a heaping tablespoon of canned pumpkin into Artie the Beagle’s kibble just to help her little digestive system keep churning out the poop. I buy the canned version – not the pie-filling kind which can have a lot of sugar in it.

Why pumpkin is good for the dog

Cooked, canned, unsweetened pumpkin and its seeds can help dogs with everything from weight loss to improved digestion. It’s chockfull of vitamins and can be helpful when your dog is suffering from diarrhea as well as constipation. Ask your veterinarian first about any plans to make this a regular addition to your dog’s diet.

If you feel like whipping up a batch of treats for poochie but you don’t want to be rushed into the holiday baking scene – try these healthy, no-bake nutritional dog treats that we snagged from Peanut Butter and (You can def. lick the spoon on this one):

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Balls


  • ½ cup peanut butter, natural organic
  • 1 cup pumpkin, organic (not pie filling)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 2½ cups oats (can use gluten free)


  1. Add parchment paper to a baking sheet; set aside.
  2. In a bowl, add peanut butter, pumpkin, cinnamon and honey; mix until incorporated. Add the oats; mix well. If the consistency seems to wet, add a pinch more oats.
  3. Grab a chunk of the batter and roll into balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Do the same until no more batter remains. Perhaps use the size of a golf ball, maybe a little bigger.
  4. Place the baking sheet in the fridge to let the balls harder a bit, then store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three weeks or place in the freezer for up to three months.


Calories: 59, Fat: 2.6, Cholesterol: 0, Sodium: 1.1, Carbs: 7, Fiber: 1, Sugar: 2, Protein: 2

But if you really feel like baking… And want to use the dog as your guinea pig for firing up the oven for holiday snacks, there’s always the baked version of Peanut Butter and Pumpkin dog treats; frozen treats and roasted seeds.

Bone appetit, my friends!



Roof rats and your dog

artie and the faux roof rat
The cooler weather in Phoenix apparently brings out more than lovely dinners on the patio and great daytime hikes with the dog – it also means the Return of Roof Rats!

My recycling can lives on the west side of my house and I usually get to it by going out the front door. A lot of the times, the dog comes with. She moseys to the neighbors, going as far as two or three house. I yell for her, show her a treat and she willingly comes back into our house. One morning, earlier this week, I took out the recycling, she went moseying and I went into the house to get her lure-back treat. I opened the front door and she was already on the porch.

And in her mouth was a dead rodent-looking thing. I screamed and slammed the door in her face. I’m sure she was thinking “Lady, what the hell, I brought you a gift.’’

I collected myself, opened the door and apologized to the dog. I then gave her perfectly hygienic dental treat. Using about three layers of poop bags, I grabbed the rodent by its long, dead tail and disposed of him in the garbage in the alley.

All day, I told myself that she brought a mouse onto the porch. A ridiculously large mouse but a mouse nonetheless. But then I remembered the long, hard tail and did enough Googling to realize it was a roof rat. They were living in our neighborhood two years ago and now it looks like they are returning. (Roof rats, fertilizer smell, coyotes – contrary to what my blogs say, I do live in a great neighborhood!)

Not alone –Roof Rat City

Turns out our little central Phoenix neighborhood isn’t the only one facing down roof rats. In 2017, Phoenix was named 12th Roof-rattiest city in the country in a study done by Terminix.

Roof rats aren’t native to metro Phoenix; they were first discovered in the Valley in the Arcadia area in 2002. Most likely, they were inadvertently brought here from a neighboring state. Apparently, they like to hitch a ride and have been known to travel cross country on commercial trucks. Yech.

They also like to climb. They’ll move along power lines and can climb up brick and stucco. When they reach their destination, they can enter homes through any nickel-sized opening. And true to their name, they like hanging out in  attics.

Roof rats can move 200-300 feet at night and are most active in the cooler months of the year, according to the City of Tempe.

Roof rats and your dog

What does the Return of the Roof Rat mean for your dog?

Chances are the rats will try to avoid your pooch as much as possible. (which is a good thing since rats carry around a lot of diseases, some that can be harmful to your dog). In fact, the dog may figure out the rats have re-located to your house before you do. Your dog’s sense of smell and hearing are far keener than yours. If she starts fixating on a spot or making a lot of trips into a room she never spends much time in, something could be up.

And it’s ironic that while rats will try to avoid your dog, the rats do think of your dog as a food source – anything from dog food that is left out to the dog poop that hasn’t been picked up in the yard. Yech, yeech.

And now, if you will pardon me, I’m calling an exterminator!


Fertilizer blues and the dog

artie trying to sample fertilizer on winter grass
Ah, fall in Phoenix. Can you smell the Pumpkin Spice Latte? Actually, in our neighborhood (and possibly yours) the smell of fall comes more from the fertilizer on people’s new winter lawns and less from brewing coffee. And that winter grass means all kinds of problems for my dog when we go on our daily walks.

In our neighborhood, many people over-seed their Bermuda grass with perennial ryegrass which grows lush and deep during the winter. Yes, those lawns do take a lot of water to maintain but geez, they look so nice!

But for my dog (and possibly yours), over-seeding time seems like an early Halloween, especially if your dog likes to eat poop. (No judgment here: dogs eat poop because well, they just do.) Think about it: Like Halloween, over-seeding time comes in the fall; one of the best parts is going house to house for “treats’’ and there can be a stomachache at the end. Sounds like over-seeding in my hood!

Protecting your dog from poop and pigeons

So this time of year, my neighbors mow their grass really low and clear out dead and unhealthy Bermuda grass with de-thatchers. The optimum time to over-seed in Arizona is right now, the first two weeks of October, or when the evening temperatures consistently stay below 65.

After the scalping, my hard-working neighbors throw grass seed over their now-naked yards.

Then problems begin. Pigeons flock into the yards to eat the grass seed; some OD on the stuff, and become sluggish and easier for dogs to bring down. (The previous beagle could bring down a pigeon and basically eat it in one gulp; the Current Beagle is a little more finicky.) But still the dog is now fixated on those plump, slow-moving pigeons. She tries to chase down every single one of them.

Compounding the problem is that after the pigeon-stuffing grass seed goes down, fertilizer is piled up high on the lawns. Most gardeners use a starter fertilizer that is a 6-20-20 (6-percent nitrogen, 20-percent phosphorus, 20-percent potassium) or 15-15-15 (15 percent each of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) mix.

Whatever the chemical composition is, it spells deliciousness for the Beagle, who is always willing to sample some new delicacy that could involve poop of any kind, regardless of which animal it came from. So, invariably, we bound into the neighbor’s newly fertilized yard. The string-and-tinfoil concoctions that neighbors put up to scare away pigeons are no match my determined beagle. Poop, pigeons, here we come!

Fertilizer: gross but is it dangerous?

Turns out the Beagle isn’t alone. Dogs eating fertilizer is pretty common, reports the Animal Poison Control Center run by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In fact, calls about pets eating lawn and garden products were among its top 10 toxin calls in 2007.

Some dogs will tear open fertilizer bags to eat every last morsel. Most fertilizer ingestions cause mild GI upset and are not a huge concern, according to ASPCA. But the dogs who chow down on the whole bag can get bloated or experience some muscle stiffness or soreness after ingestion.

So, bottom line: the fertilizer may be dangerous and it is definitely kinda gross.

Happy Fall everyone; watch out for the poop and pigeons!



Keeping the new car clean

how to keep car clean with dog
Well, I never thought it would happen – I got a new-to-me car! And now the big question: How do I keep it clean and still have my best friend (aka the dog) ride shotgun with me?

First, a confession:

Pigpen in the car

When it comes to the car, I am a slob of the highest order. There’s hiking gear, a tennis bag and swimming stuff in the trunk. I believe in recycling, so there are plastic bags that need to go back to the grocery store. There’s aluminum cans for the lady in the neighborhood who collects them. And I eat in the car – and the dog has loved that because there is always a crumb or chunk of something left behind for her to graze on. And there’s coffee stains and God-knows-what stains. It’s disgusting.

And there’s dog hair. So much dog hair. Literally a forest of little, spiky white short dog hairs are stuck in the fabric car seats and won’t let go.

It was permanently filthy but what the heck, it ran. Until one day it didn’t.

But no more

And enter the new car.

And by the power of Armor-all, I will keep this one clean.

Tomorrow is a test day, I’m taking Artie to the vet for some routine maintenance (for her, not the car). I haven’t had time to get all the seat covers and floor mats that I have been fantasizing about. So I am going to rig a bed- sheet-and bungee-cord contraption to fit over the seat and floor until I can get the slipcovers of my dreams.

(The dog riding shotgun is not the best possible thing – instead she should be crated in the back or strapped in on the backseat. But her in the passenger seat next to me makes me a more focused driver — that’s my rationalization and I’m sticking to it)

Tips on keeping car clean with a dog

In writing the latest version of Happy Dog Phoenix, I interviewed a Sedona auto detailer about how to get dog hair out of the car. He suggested some great tips (the book is available in late October).

But I am looking for ways to prevent the dog hair from even coming in and taking hold – and the new car even shows the hair I bring in by the seat of my pants. Who knew a human being could be a dog-hair carrier!

There are some tips I could find about preventing dog hair in the car:

  • Brush the dog before the trip
  • Brush yourself off — I now carry around a lint roller so much it feels like my second hand!
  • Choose easy-to-wipe leather seats
  • Contain the dog to one spot in the vehicle.

If you know of any others, please let me know.

Oh, no eating in the new car!