Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Swimming Pool Install

Day #1 & #2 of the Pool install! Tomorrow should be the final day and then comes the challenge of building a deck around it!









Xena's take on the whole thing!


Monday, July 28, 2008

Puppy Mills-Serious Topic

Let's get serious this morning and read about Puppy Mills! And yes, they do exist in PEI, NB and NS. And unsuspecting or uneducated buyers need to know how to spot them.

Just what is a puppy mill?

There are many different definitions of the term “puppy mill,” but a good definition is any person who breeds dogs for commercial sale—that is, in order to make a profit. A puppy miller is a person who breeds to make money. It is that person’s main reason for having dogs. Puppy mills can be poorly maintained, filthy places, or they can be fairly clean and well-organized, but the common thread is both types breed dogs for strictly for greed.

How can you tell the difference between a puppy mill and a good breeder?

In order to make money, a puppy mill operates differently than a responsible breeder. The list below describes characteristics that indicate that a breeder is operating as a commercial enterprise instead of breeding as a hobby:

Common signs of a puppy mill:

• Puppy mills usually have several breeds of dogs for sale at the same time
• Puppy mills often offer to ship dogs to new owners
• Puppy millers usually will not allow customers to view their property or kennel (although some will allow you to see the "parents"-but not the rest of the property)
• Puppy millers do not require an application or references from people buying a puppy
• Puppy millers do not ask buyers to return or contact them if at any point in the dog’s life if the owners cannot keep the dog.
• Puppy mills keep a lot of dogs and a lot of puppies to make a profit
• Puppy mills breed females every time they come into heat, so they are pregnant or nursing at all times.
• Some puppy mills (a dachshund "mill" in NS in particular) are often licensed so they can sell puppies. A license is a red flag that breeders are in the business to make money.
• Puppy mills do supply pet stores with puppies - no matter how many times they deny it!

What’s wrong with a breeder having a lot of dogs or making money from breeding, as long as they take care of the dogs?

Even if a commercial breeder keeps dogs clean and relatively healthy, they still breed females every time they come into heat. The dogs still live in cages or kennels 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have little or no human contact or love. Their purpose in life is to sit in a cage or kennel, constantly producing new puppies to make a profit for the owner. Life for a dog in even the “best” puppy mill is one that no creature should have to endure.

Even in the “best” puppy mill, dogs will live in a cage or until they are sold to another breeder or until their bodies give out and they can no longer produce puppies anymore. I have seen dachshunds as old as 13 bred soley for the purpose of selling puppies!!!

How can people be sure they’re not getting a dog from a puppy mill?

The best way is to adopt a dog or puppy from a shelter or rescue group instead of buying one. Never buy from a pet store, in a parking lot or online. In fact with millions of animals, including purebred dogs and puppies, dying in shelters every year, there is no reason to breed or buy them at all. There are hundreds of pets available for adoption through reputable rescues and shelters in the Maritimes. Some are listed on my Blog. Every pet adopted is a life saved!

What about purchasing a dog or puppy online or in a pet store?
Never buy a dog unless you see where it was raised. Pet stores get their puppies from puppy mills or back yard breeders because of cost & convenience. They buy dogs wholesale from breeders who raise and sell them commercially. It’s all business. No registered, reputable breeder would ever sell to a pet store! Keep that in mind!


No matter what the store says, it is always safer to adopt a dog or through a reputable hobby breeder where you can see where the dogs are raised. Purchasing dogs online is even more dangerous than buying one from a pet store. "Millers" or backyard breeders need no license to sell dogs directly to the public. They are never checked out by inspectors and they often are only selling through the internet in order to avoid inspection.

Don’t be fooled by registration papers, claims that dogs are from “local breeders,” guarantees or free vet visits. If a dog is registered or “has papers,” does that mean it is high-quality or healthy?

Registration papers or a pedigree is worth is worth no more than a blank piece of paper.
Anyone can register a dog by filling out a form and paying a fee. Registration means that the dog’s name and existence has been duly recorded with the registry, but papers are no guaranteethe dog is purebred or healthy.

So, please do your homework when acquiring your new companion! Feel free to contact me if you are thinking of adding a dachshund to your family. Dachshund Rescue of North America is a wonderful organization with dedicated volunteers in Canada and the U.S. - we rehome dachshund and dachshund mixes in need of new homes! Potential adopters are fully screened and must undergo a mandatory home visit and supply no less than three references. Our website is www.drna.org

Of if you need to rehome your dachshund, for whatever reason or know of one in need, pls. contact me or leave me a message on my blog!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Swimming Pool Update!

This is going to be an eventful week! Finally, the pool is going to be installed! The dig is tomorrow with the pool set up Tuesday or Wednesday! (pictures to be posted as it all unfolds).

And my sister and grand-daughter are coming for a visit! I have an event filled week planned. We will take in the children's festival held at historic Beaconsfield, a visit to the Dream Park, an afternoon painting session at Just Kiln Time ceramic studio and a trip to the CARI indoor pool & waterslide at UPEI.

Should be an awesome but busy week-we are very excited!!

Everyone Into the Deep End!




How much fun are they having? It was a very hot and humid day, but I'm not complaining! January will be here soon enough!





Now rolling & licking to dry off was loads of fun!





Pearl, our resident squirrel dropped by for lunch! Under the watchful eye of our resident hunters!




Xena was mesmorized!!




Schatzi wanted nothing more than to catch her and "destuff" her!



We had a great day - enjoyed a delicious barbeque complete with strawberry shortcakes for dessert! Everyone got into the action!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gorgeous Dachshund Wallpaper Border



This beautiful dachshund wallpaper border is available at pugcafe.com
Check out their website for a full view in it's entirety, along with some other great dachshund items!

Awesome Kholer Poster



This poster is available - (8x10) free of charge - from Kohler! I have it matted and framed in my kitchen! (can you see the dachshund wallpaper in the background?) Sadly, the wallpaper is not available.

If you are interested in obtaining a free poster, you can contact Kohler at 1-800-456-4537.

Or they are available on E-Bay for a nominal price + shipping! I personally prefer free!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dachshund Property Laws

1. If I like it, it's mine.
2. If it's in my mouth, it's mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I'm chewing something up, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it just looks like mine, it's mine.
8. If I saw it first, it's mine.
9. If you are playing with something & drop it, it automatically becomes mine.
10. If it's broken, it's yours.

Photobucket

Wonderful Poem

I received this the other day & thought I would share; for anyone who is struggling with making the unselfish decision we pray we never have to make.

IF IT SHOULD BE

If it should be I grow frail and weak
And pain prevents my peaceful sleep
Then you must do what must be done
When this last battle can't be won.

You will be sad, I understand
Selfishness might stay your hand
But on this day, more than the rest
Your love and friendship take the test.

We've had so many happy years
That what's to come can hold no fears
You'd not want me to suffer. So,
When the time comes, please let me go.

Take me where my needs they'll tend
Only stay with me until the end
Hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.

I know, in time, you too will see
It is a kindess that you do for me
Although my tail it's last has waved
From pain and suffering, I've been saved.

Do not grieve it should be you
Who must decide this thing we do
We've been so close, we two, these years.....
Don't hear your heart hold any tears.

Anonymous

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer

Summer is drifting by so quickly, so we spent the whole day lazing about on the deck, even had our meals outside. (funny how food tastes so much better when you eat outdoors?). The pups were busy today doing a lot of "deck-sitting".



Followed by the occassional nap!




That is until this guy showed up! He certainly caused an up-roar for a few minutes!





Spent some time in the garden -it doesn't get any fresher than this! Fresh spinach and peas!




The garden is a mecca of delicious, organic vegetables!



"Purple" beans - that hubby assures me will turn green when cooked!




Picked a bouquet from the perennial garden to brighten up the patio table!




And this stake? - represents the centre of our soon to be 21 ft. round swimming pool - hopefully to be installed this week!! Puppies have their safety vests ready and waiting!



We also purchased a new barbeque or as hubby dubbed it "kitchen on wheels"! (and it didn't take 15 hours to put together!) It is awesome and I love that it has a "griddle" on the left - going to be great for pancakes and french toast on Sunday mornings!



We wrapped up the day with a fire in the outdoor firepit!





Everyone is tired from all the fresh air!

Now, why can't Sunday last all summer long?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Oskar Underwent Dental Surgery Today



Oskar spent the day at Abegweit Animal Hospital undergoing dental surgery. I'd like to report the surgery went well, however the opposite is true. Seems no matter how much we brush (and we do brush), he and Xena are prone to peridontal disease.

The tooth fairy could go broke in our house! Oskar had 13 extractions and has a mouth full of stitches. He was able to eat a supper of softened kibble & cooked ground beef & rice and is now resting comfortably.

Our vet was surprised his teeth had deteriorated in just under a year! And he reminded me again that dachshunds are not only prone to back issues, but peridontal disease, as well.

Little comfort for a sleeping spotted boy sprawled here beside me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Schatzi-Who Owns My Heart




My blog wouldn't be complete without devoting a few paragraphs about Schatzi (whose name means "darling" or "dear" - a term of endearment). And she truly is my beloved, the sole reason I love dachshunds and why my blog is devoted to them. She came to us as a mere pup of four months and I've been smitten with her ever since.

She was such a silly pup, nary a bra, sock, or glove escaped her clutches. The softer and fuzzier, the more she liked to chew it! She has a mischievious glint in her eye at all times - you can almost see the wheels turning in her head!

When Schatzi was about 8 months old, she was outside with hubby when suddenly the clasp on her harness let go! And she was off! Directly into the line of traffic on our busy road! Due to quick thinking on hubby's part (and a passing motorist who thankfully stopped when he saw this little blk and tan figure streak in front of him) he was able to catch Schatzi's attention & turn and run back to the house. Of course, thinking it was a game of chase - Schatzi quickly followed him. Upon her capture we realized we needed to teach her basic commands.

I hauled out the phone book & discovered very few, if any obedience classes taught here. And those that were available used choke chains, pinch collars, etc., to "teach", But, as it was my only option - we enrolled Schatzi (sans the choke chain) and quickly discovered Schatzi was extremely bright and learned quickly. Unfortunately, the dachshund trait of stubborness raised it's head every so often and on more than one occassion, class was disrupted by her playfullness! But she was a joy in the ring - and we received many comments from her instructor & experienced obedience participants remarked how wonderful she did in the ring. Not only had most never seen a dachshund work in the ring, but none excelled liked she did.

So, after three levels of obedience and many evenings spent practicing, we had it nailed down. Right? ha-ha! - remember she is a dachshund!! One particular day, I took her out in the back yard, off leash. (what the hell was I thinking??) Only to gain quick sight of her black and tan backside racing up the back field - she was footloose and fancy-free! As panic rose in my throat, I gave her every command I could think of!! "Schatzi, come!" "Schatzi, sit", "Schatzi, down!" Nothing was working! She had the wind in her ears and the scent of fresh mouse in her nose! I was terrified - I can't begin to tell you the thoughts that raced through my head!

Suddenly, like someone threw a switch - she stopped and froze on the spot! I couldn't believe it! She had a look on her face like, "I can't believe I just did that!". Of course, I rushed up, scooped her in my arms and through clenched teeth I kept repeating what a "good girl" she was! As much as I wanted to strangle her for scaring the bejezuz out of me - she did what I wanted her to do- she stopped! So, I rewarded & praised her & made a pact with God - I would never take her off leash again!

I envy people who can let their dogs scamper freely along beaches and unfenced off leash parks! I will have to be content to let our dogs smell the flowers another day - confined to the end of a leash!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pets Need Special Attention During Dog Days of Summer

This is an excellent write up in today's Guardian!

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/index.cfm?sid=152439&sc=98

I cannot fathom, for the life of me, why people insist on taking their pets in the car with them when they intend to visit non-friendly pet stores or places where animals are not allowed. LEAVE THEM SAFELY AT HOME!! Not in a hot vehicle! So far this year, I have lost count of the number of animals I have seen left in cars this summer. One such incident happened on a very warm day in May at the Charlottetown Mall. It was the first Sunday the stores were allowed to open - my sister and I were heading into the Mall at 1:30 p.m., when I noticed a gorgeous boxer, in a white van - with a window barely open a crack (and I mean not big enough for me to get my hand in). This poor animal was in distress - it was panting like crazy.

We go into the Mall and I start inquiring where I could locate Mall Security - and much to my shock and dismay - I was informed by an employee of one of the kiosks - Mall security didn't come in til 4:00 p.m.! What? The Mall opens at noon - and there is no security in the mall - at all? Nada. The Mall Office was closed as well - so putting an announcement on the Mall PA system was futile!

I then called Charlottetown City Police - who forwarded my call to the PEI Humane Society Answering Service. The lady on the other end stated there is Mall Security in the mall 24 hrs/day and they (security) had been informed of the boxer in distress & were out at the vehicle at that very moment. I thanked her and headed back out to the van. Imagine my displeasure to discover no mall security in sight (remember? - they don't come in til 4:00 p.m. on Sunday!!) I went back inside and located the Mall Maintenance man (who, was an avid animal lover - having a dog of his own) and he concurred there were no Mall Security on site.

I asked him to call City Police again (thinking he may have a bit more creedance and he could verify there was no security available). Thankfully, they sent a wonderful police officer, who ran the license plates on the van - called the owner at home and spoke to a woman (the owner's wife) to find out where her husband was in the Mall and informed her their dog was locked in the van and in distress! Suppposedly the guy was only going to Zellers to grab something quick (which, btw - it is now 3:00 p.m. -an hour and a half from when I first sighted the dog!!). The wife was mad as hell - and rightfully so!

The officer said he would give the owner 15 minutes to come out of the mall, otherwise he was going to call the towing company and have them break into the van and seize the dog. I told the officer I wanted a "crack at the guy" - but he said I would have to stand in line "the guy's wife wants him fist".

I left the officer to go back into the Mall and asked that he contact me regarding the outcome. No sooner had I gone back in, when the owner came out! He tried to flub that he had only been in the mall for 15 minutes - but both the officer and the Maintance Man set him straight! The officer gave him a good lecture on the dangers of leaving his dog in a hot vehicle. The dog was let out and given water to cool down.

Thankfully, the dog was okay. But I was furious and panicked as hell to find anyone to help this poor dog. I contacted the director of the Humane Society the next day -the answering service regarding Mall Security has their facts wrong! There was no 24 hour on site security!

Then I discovered even if the Animal Control officers had been called to the Mall - they don't have the authority to break into vehicles and retrieve animals in distress! They have to call City Police - who in turn call the towing company to come pop open the vehicle doors!

What a merry-go-found! So, folks - do your fur friends a favour - leave them home!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Xena-"Warrior Princess"



Xena entered our lives in late fall of 2005. We weren't looking to add another dachshund, things were going smoothingly well with our present pair. You know, that old saying, "two's company, three's a crowd?". Well, they weren't talking about dachshunds. It should be "the more, the merrier!".

Xena was surrendered in rescue (and there will be many posts about Dachshund rescue forthcoming) along with her Mother. She was 7 1/2 at the time and her Mother was 10 years old. A bit of a sad story, but thankfully it lead them to rescue. You see, Xena (and her Mother, I presume) were former breeders and show dogs. Returned to their breeder - who no longer bred dachshunds-they were surrendered into rescue. Originally, we were under the impression they were a "bonded" pair, so initially, they were kept together. However, as time progressed in foster care, it became clear they weren't behaving like a bonded pair. So, we made the decision to separate them in foster care, I chose to take Xena with me and in the event she or her Mom displayed problems being separated, we could quickly rejoin them.

The minute Xena arrived - it was like she had been here forever. Although extremely insecure and needy (and still needy to this day); she quickly found her place as the "Grande Dame" of the pack. She pays no mind to Oskar and his shannigans and she and Schatzi quickly became pack mates.

Now, the last thing we wanted was another dachshund (I think I mentioned that). After previosuly fostering five dachshunds and seeing them safely into new homes, I was unprepared when Xena wormed her way into my heart. I would be strong for a few hours, then blubbering over my computer at work - at the thought of giving her up. So, after a week of this torment - I conjured up enough bravery to email (yes, email) hubby and confess I was miserable at the thought of letting her go. So, in November 2005 Xena was truly home.

I'd like to say that it's been an easy road, but she's had rough go. Firstly, she underwent a spay and dental surgery (resulting in the loss of 11 teeth!). Nothing that a tough old dame couldn't handle, but what was to come a few months later would be a true test of her stamina and determination. In October of 2006-a mere 11 months after we adopted her, I came home at lunch time to discover her was acting strangely and walking stiffly. I quickly raced to the vet. After a thorough examination and x-rays, we were prescribed an anti-inflammatory & pain medication and strict rest.

The follwing morning, as I lifted her from her bed - she let out a horrible scream and her bladder let go. Hubby picked her up & cuddled her - seeing that she needed to go outside (her bowels let go, as well). As he brought her in, he set her down gently on the floor - and to our horror - she was unable to walk - but was doing the dreaded "drunken sailor" walk! I knew immediately she had gone down (an all to familiar term with dachshund owners). I called our veterinian's emergency number and was instructed to bring her in immediately.

Our vet's examination confirmed what we suspected, Xena had ruptured disc(s) in her back. We discussed our next line of action, which would be a Myelogram at the Atlantic Veterinary College and depending on the results, we would make our decision then. At a little after 8:00 a.m., we met with Dr. Gina Eigner and Dr. Mook, at the AVC. Upon examining Xena further, a Myelogram was ordered with instructions Xena was to go into surgery, if necessary.

The Myelogram revealed that Xena had indeed ruptured between the L3-L4 veterbrae and emergency surgery was scheduled to remove the debris that was pressing on her spinal column causing excrutiating pain and paralysis. The next few hours would slowly crawl by and at 3:00 p.m., we received the call that she had come through surgery and was resting comfortably and the next 24-48 hours would tell the extent of her injury.



This is Xena in ICU a few hours after her surgery; they were amazed she was trying to stand! We went into surgery fully expecting the worse - I was prepared for her to be discharged in a cart. I would have to learn to express her, but I was determined she would have a full life, even if it meant she would require constant care to empty her bowels and bladder & use a cart to make her mobile. Many dogs live full, happy lives in carts.

What I wasn't prepared for were the flurry of calls claiming Xena had full use of her bodily functions (I didn't care if she had control - at least she had use). And 72 hours later - she was "walking on her own" . She walked out of the AVC and after 8 weeks of strict crate rest, she has made a 99.5% full recovery!

This is Xena the day she was discharged!



She leads a very full, active life (for a Grande Dame of 10 years now!) still loves to go for walks and after undergoing another major dental (with loss of an additional 11 teeth!) and removal of a cyst from her hip - she lives up to her name - "Xena, Warrior Princess".

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lady Slipper Kennel Dog Club Show

Took a couple of hours today and attended the Lady Slipper Kennel Club Dog Show in Kensington. The show is a large event with dogs coming from the Maritimes, Ontario, Quebec and the U.S.
Of course, I managed to get a couple of pictures of my favourite breed!

Here is a standard wirehair girl, with her handler. She is owned by Debbie and Marc Glassman of Harbour Deep Standard Wirehair Dachshunds in St. John's http://www.harbourdeep.com/index.html






And this beautiful standard red is Skye, she belongs to Jen Eppell, of Brochund Dachshunds, in NS. Skey is chilling out & awaiting her turn to strut her stuff!





And these adorable puppies are owned by Carolyn Mills, Fredericton, NB.



And I couldn't resist this grogeous "Doxie by Proxy" - a beautiful Great Dane!





There were other breeds in attendance, but this is, after all, a blog about "Dachshunds".

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Story of "O"

Otherwise, affectionately known as "Oskar".




Okay, I just heard a dozen awwwwwwww's - but don't let that cute little face fool you - he is a force to be reckoned with! But, truthfully - I ask you - how could anyone turn that face down? So, here-in lies the story of "Oskar".

Oskar was surrendered into rescue at the ripe old age of 2! For reasons we will get into shortly, his previous "owners" took him to their vet & asked that he be murdered. Murdered? A healthy, barely out of puppyhood, sweet-faced, little spotted dog? How or why would anyone murder him (and yes - I call it murder - "put to sleep" or "euthanized" - sounds so gentle and forgiving - well it isn't.) To kill a perfectly healthy, exhuberant animal is murder. But on to the real story........

Rather than kill him - he was surrendered into a wonderful rescue organization - Almost Home Dachshund Rescue (and we thank dawg for that). The moment I saw that sweet, furry, cherub face - my heart cracked. His foster Mom, Sandy and I corresponded back & forth and ultimately Oskar was on his way from New Hampshire in a few weeks time! He would be a wonderful companion for our 1 yr. old blk and tan, Schatzi (who's origins shall for ever remain a secret - let's just say - she is in the "witness protection program" and leave it at that).

We welcomed Oskar into our lives very blind sighted. We knew he had "issues" in his former home - but, pfftt - how bad could they be? After all, that "sweet, cherub" spotted face showed no cause for concern? Right?

So naive were we! So un-prepared were we for the months ahead! You see, in his former home when sweet, cherub, spotted faced Oskar (who was not named Oskar at that time) began to test his boundaries and "get above his raising" - by putting his mouth and teeth on the humans in his house - they thought it was cute! After all - he's just a cute little pet store puppy! By the time this cute little, spotted, pet store puppy had bitten a child in the home - he wasn't looking so cute any more!

So, as the story goes - the former owners decided to send Oskar off to "obedience" with a "professional trainor". Oh, did I forget to mention, this "professional trainor", in his bag of tricks used a remote controlled shock collar as his proven method of training? *thud* To this day - Oskar is terrified of the cordless phone!

So, by the time this cute, little, cherub faced spotted dog got to me, he was now an angry, fearful, screwed up little boy! It took less than 24 hours home to see the real Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde! Wow! We were unprepared for what we were dealing with. Oskar (all 13 lbs of him) was to be the "man in charge" and all other beings were inferior. What? You want to sit on "his" couch? Not a chance, lady! Hubby happened to be holding Oskar when I walked into the room - and within seconds - Oskar was snarling, teeth exposed, hackles raised informing me that I had no right to do so. I was on his "turf".

So, now we have a problem! And we would come to fully understand the extent of his "issues" in the next coming weeks and I quickly learned how inadequate we were to deal with them. My first thought was, "What to do?". Being a novice dog owner - I was unprepared and inexperienced with anything like this - but I was willing to give it my all!

I quickly enrolled Oskar in obedience training - as I quickly learned how un-socialized he was with people, other dogs, noises and sounds. Oh, and the constant barking. Since it was early spring & the windows were open - he would bark his spots off if a snail farted underwater somewhere! Nothing was familiar to him - sounds, sights, or noises. He hated obedience classes and failed miserably - but we went faithfully every week.

I contacted his foster Mom in tears after one incident, (when he bit my daughter AND a guest in our home.) How on earth could I possibly deal with this dog? We had many family talks at the dinner table and sending him back was not an option. We knew we would be this dog's only hope, if he was to have one.

NILIF - Nothing in Life is Free

Sandy, Oskar's former foster Mom put us on to this method of training. And it literally saved his life and taught me much in dealing with a fear aggressive, dominant dog. For those of you who aren't familiar with this training - it isn't rocket science. Matter of fact - it is so simple - don't know why I didn't come up with it! Your dog basically has to "work" for anything he or she wants! It teaches them that YOU control the resources - whether it's food, water, toys, treats, affection, walks - whatever - it all comes from YOU. No "free range" feeding is allowed - (the bowl or floor doesn't supply the food - YOU do). Meal times are at specific times - fed by you and/or family members.

So, begins the daily routine for the rest of our lives. By "working" - I mean Oskar has to do something in order to get what he wants. Simple, really. He wants his breakfast - bum has to be sitting on the floor before the bowl goes down. He wants to go out for a pee - gotta sit to get the harness on. (or go into the down position - which is a tough pill for him to swallow - dominant dogs don't like to do "down").

In the early stages, since both daughter and I were leary of Oskar, he bonded with hubby, Ron. Which is fine, but now that created another problem. He felt he had to "guard" Ron - not allow anyone to sit with him or come near him. So, lesson #2 began. Stick with me - it gets real "touchy-feely" here. I swear to God I'm not making this stuff up - we really had to do this.

Ron had to show Oskar that he (Ron) chose me - over him!! (I thought he did that at our wedding ceremony!) And by doing that - we (Ron and I) would sit on the loveseat or sofa and touch each other (okay - no snickering - this is not X rated!) Many times Oskar would try to jump up and wiggle in between us! But each time he did, he was set on the floor. After a few days, Oskar was "invited" up to join us - but he had to remain off to the side - and yep -we're still in the "touchy-feely" stage. But - it taught Oskar that I was #1 with Ron and it's still in place today. Refresher courses are taught, as required.

Also - no sleeping in the human bed! A huge no-no for a dog with dominance issues. Now that Oskar is a bit better with this - we do allow him in for brief spurts - but only because he has "earned" the right to be there.

After 5 years of continuous training and working with him - we have him as good as he's ever going to get. Is he 100%? Nah, not even close. He can be a turd, but he 's our turd. We avoid putting him into situations where we think he will react negatively. But in our home, he and I have a mutual understanding and respect for each other. What's mine is mine and what's his - is negotiable!

Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD) in Dachshunds

What is It?

IVDD is a debilitating and costly disease that affects dachshunds (and other breeds as well, such as (but not limited to) Corgis, Papillions, Basset Hounds and Miniature Pinschers.) IVDD is particularly prevalent in Dachshunds, an estimated 1 in 5 dogs will suffer from IVDD. The increased risk in specific breeds demonstrates a very strong genetic component, which is worsened when irresponsible breeders do little in correcting this defect. The chance of a healthier dachshund is better when purchased from a responsible breeder. While it is extremely important to research any breed you may be interested in obtaining, it is equally important to reseach the breeder. For a list of responsible breeders in the Maritimes www.canuckdogs.com - under Atlantic is a great place to start. As is the Canadian Kennel Club website. www.ckc.ca

But back to IVDD. The dog's spine is made up of several small bones, called vertebrae. They extend from the base of the skull to the end of the tail. The vertebrae are connected by flexible discs made of cartilage called "intervertebral disc", which cushions between each bone and allow the neck, spine & tail to bend. Running through the vertebrae is the spinal cord - which is made up of nerves.

Restricting jumping, stairs and your dachshund's weight are all important factors in preventing an injury.

What are the symptoms of IVDD?

*Quiet, lethargic, stiff or hunched back
*Sensitive when touching the neck or back area
*Shivering or shaking
*Crying when moving
*Poor appetite
*Dragging rear legs
*Uncontrollable bladder and bowel movements

What to Do if your Dachshund Shows Signs of IVDD

-If your dachshund displays any of the above symptoms - crate him/her immediately to keep him still and quiet while seeking veterinary help immediately. (Cannot stress this strong enough!!)

-The longer the disc disease goes on without treatment, the worse the problem will become and the less chances for a recovery!

-If the problem has been diagnosed as disc disease, sometimes only crate rest is advised by the veterinarian. Strictly confine your dachshund to a crate for a peiod of at least 6 weeks or how long your veterinarian prescribes. This will allow the scar tissue to heal over the herniated outer portion of the disc. The only movement allowed should be to go to the bathroom - food, water, treats should be given in the crate.

-If your veterinarian advises putting your dachshund to sleep - you can seek alternative methods such as acupuncture or holistic veterinarian. Never give up! Too many dogs have and are still being un-necessarily euthanized.

-If permanent or partial paralysis is resulted from IVDD - dachshunds have been known to live long and healthy lives using wheelcarts.

-Join Dodgerlist - www.dodgerlist.com - a wonderful group devoted to helping those with dogs suffering from IVDD or want to learn more about the disease.

This is but a small over-view of IVDD. My personal experience with my dachshunds & this disease has taught me to be on my guard and watchful..jumping on/off furniture & stairs can cause wear and tear on the back...we use ramps in & outdoors.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

PEI's First Dachshund Meet Up























June 21, 2008 was the site of Charlottetown's First Dachshund Meetup & what a success it was! Wish I knew the exact number of dachshunds in attendance, but somewhere between 40-50! Who knew there were so many dachshunds in PEI!

I organized the event & solicited local businesses for prizes & the generosity of those who donated was truly appreciated. Among those wonderful merchants who donated were Paws on the Beach Kennel http://www.pawsonthebeachpei.com/; Charlottetown Veterinary Clinic; Co-op Country Store; Global Pet Foods, Charlottetown; Royal Canin; Wovenlight Photography & Diana's Grooming.

The meetup was held at the small dog park at the PEI Humane Society, Sherwood Road (sincere thanks to Heather and the hardworking staff & volunteers at the Shelter).


It was a fun afternoon with lots of events such as wiener races, longest dachshunds, oldest dachshund (won by Amy - a standard wire dachshund); fattest dachshund (also won by Amy - who weighed in at 36 lbs!) Prizes were awarded for the youngest dachshund in attendance, best costume - the little dachshund pictured above was definately a winner! I unfortunately didn't get a chance to get pictures of the other winners - one handsome boy arrived sporting a tux!

Feedback from the meet up was overwhelmingly positive - looks like it will be a yearly event!!