Thursday, 7 January 2010

The Patron Saint of Dogs and Other Curiosities ~ A Medley of Doggy Trivia!

Well Xmas, New Year and Twelth Night have come and gone. Epiphany was yesterday. Its the bleak midwinter and the snow is lying round about, deep, and crisp and even. (Sorry, couldn't resist that!)
I like snow and taking the dogs for walks in it. Especially when I come back to an open fire.

That brings me to my first dog curiosity. My old greyhound (13+ years) has arthritis and a heart murmur. Yet she loves the snow. We've taken her for two long walks in the snow (she wears 2 fleece-lined coats to keep her warm). Both times she was energetic and bright-eyed.
When she goes out into the garden she stays out for ages - even at 2 o'clock in the morning! She enjoys it and that's what matters.

Patron of Dogs and Those Who Love Them

Did you know that there is a Patron Saint for Dogs?
It is St. Roch , whose Feast Day is August 16
While on pilgrimage Roch came across an area afflicted with plague. He stayed to minister to the sick, and affected several miraculous cures, usually by making the sign of the cross over them, but contracted the plague himself. He walked into a forest to die, but was befriended by a dog. The dog fed him with food stolen from his master’s table, and Roch eventually recovered.

Did you know that Hazel is a protector of animals (and therefore dogs). I read this on an info board while on a woodland walk. (Haven't found any reference to this on the internet.)

Some Well-Known Quotations about Dogs
  "The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead
of his tongue."
  - Anonymous
"If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise."
  - Unknown
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where
they went."
  - Will Rogers
  "A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three
times before lying down.
  -Robert Benchley
  "Outside of a dog, a book is probably man's best friend; inside of a
dog, it's too dark to read."
  - Groucho Marx
  "If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I
have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons."
  - James Thurber
More Doggy Trivia 
  • Bloodhounds have been used since the 1600's for tracking criminals.
  • The Basenji dog is the only dog that is not able to bark.
  • Dogs can't see colors. They're color blind.
  • Dogs sweat only through their tongues.
  • The greyhound is the world's fastest dog reaching speeds of nearly 42 miles per hour.
  • If you were to remove the scent receptors from a dog's nose and lay them out flat, they would cover an area greater than the dog itself.
  • Dalmatian puppies do not have any spots on them when they are born. They actually develop them as they get older.
  • The largest dog in the world is the Irish Wolfhound.
  • Two dogs survived the sinking of the Titanic.  (The small dogs were with their owners and no one seems to have objected to their presence.  They escaped early in lifeboats that were nearly empty.  Miss Margaret Hays of New York brought her little Pomeranian with her.  Henry Sleeper Harper of the Harper publishing house brought his Pekinese Sun Yat Sen.)
  • Poodles originally had their extravagant haircuts to improve their swimming ability and keep their joints warm.
  • Newfoundlands have webbed feet which make them great swimmers.
  • The Greek writer Homer is considered the first person to write about dogs.  Dogs are mentioned frequently in the Odyssey.
  • The Chow Chow has a blue-black tongue.  Other dogs have pink tongues.
  • In the heavens the constellation Canis Major (the great dog) follows Orion the Hunter, his master, through the night sky. 
  • Sirius, the “dog star” is the brightest star in our sky.  It is located on the “shoulder” of Canis Major and shows the way for the nightly hunt.

A quiz to end with
The answers to the clues are in alpabetical order. Re-arrange the first letters of the first word of each answer to find an important message.
  1. A long-haired sighthound  
  2. The Arctic dog
  3. The coach dog
  4. Does this dog do field trials?
  5. The fastest dog on earth
  6. The biggest dog in the world
  7. Well known and popular terrier
  8. Terrier from large northern city (UK)
  9. It's got webbed feet
  10. Dulux dog
  11. A hound which was used for hunting in water
  12. The lion fighter
  13. A Russian dog which loves the snow
  14. Wrinkle face
  15. Sighthound from Morocco
  16. Lives high in the mountains in the east
  17. Japanese guard dog
  18. 'No a gaunt' dog (anagram)
  19. Hybrid
No cheating!

Afghan Hound
Alaskan Malamute
Field Spaniel
Irish wolfhound
Jack Russell
Manchester terrier
Old English Sheepdog
Rhodesian Ridgeback
Tibetan Terrier

A dog isn't just for Xmas

Friday, 1 January 2010

Wishing You A Happy New Year ~ Dog Training Myths ~ A New Year Gift for You

 Wishing You All A Very Happy New Year!

A New Year Gift for You (and Your Dog!)

5 Dog Training Myths Your Dog Needs You to Shred - Without Using Tooth or Claw

Get an excellent free e-book, 5 Dog Training Myths, written  By Daniel Stevens (Kingdom Of Pets)

Just  CLICK HERE or visit 

It is safe, free, and without any obligation.

I hope that you enjoy it and find it helpful.

This afternoon we went for a walk in the country. The sky was full of snow and it was bitterly cold. The dogs and ourselves were warmly dressed in fleecy clothing. Water sits on the outside of fleece so it keeps you warm and dry, but the wind goes straight through!
As soon as we set out it started to sleet, but it soon turned into huge snowflakes. Beautiful.
In the fields sheep were huddled together against the stone walls. Pheasants were wandering about looking very bright in their winter plumage. In another field longhorn cattle were looking for grazing. There was nobody else about. It was a grand winter walk, finishing with a warm fire and hot mulled wine!

A Prosperous New Year To You All!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Hazards and Dangers to Dogs at Christmas ~ Hazards to Dogs in Winter, Snow and Ice

Nearly Christmas and a very happy one to you and your dog.

In all the excitement it is easy to overlook potential hazards and dangers to your dog:
  • Christmas decorations - can be chewed and swallowed. They can break up into sharp fragments.Tinsel can act like a liguture - externally and internally.
  • Drinks. Alcohol is bad for dogs!
  • Smoking. Cigar and cigarette ends are poisonous to dogs
  • Wrappings. Can be chewed and swallowed, may cause digestive problems
  • Turkey bones are lethal. Cooked bones are brittle and will act like knives on the intestines.
  • Too many treats - a big sloppy output!
  • Tree position. If it is at the window where your dog normally looks out - you can imagine the chaos!
  • Crackers. The little gifts can be swallowed.
  • Children. Leave things everywhere that your dog can chew and swallow!
The solution to hazards - a bit of forethought! Put things out of reach. Don't let family and guests give too many treats.

That's just in the home. What about outside?

In the Winter we get cold, damp, snow and ice. All can be hazards to your dog.
Snow can hide all sorts of dangers.

A frozen lake, you can see tree debris on the ice. Is it safe for your dog to walk on? In this case, very unlikely. It is a carp fishing lake and is quite deep. A real danger to your dog.

A list of potential hazards and dangers to your dog are below.
  • Hidden dangers, e.g. holes, broken glass, etc.
  • Slipping and Falling
  • Frozen ponds, lakes, rivers
  • Hypothermia (exposure to cold)
  • Health problems exacerbated by cold
  • Exhaustion
  • Chemicals
  • Frozen ponds, etc. may not bear the weight of your dog.
  • Falling & slipping can cause soft-tissue damage or a broken bone.
  • Older and vulnerable dogs may suffer exposure and exhaustion. A coat is a good idea.
  • Arthritis can be more noticeable. Breathing problems can worsen with cold air.
  • The heart has to work harder. Exhaustion can set in.
  • Salt used to treat icy roads can irritate paws.
  • Anti-freeze and de-icers are toxic. 
And don't forget short-legged dogs (like daschunds) who will find deep snow hard work. They can also get cold stomachs!

Keeping a towel in your vehicle is a good idea, so your dog can have a rub-down after the walk.

Washing paws if you've walked on treated roads is a good idea.

Paw wax applied before the walk can help prevent slipping and also protect the pads.

And don't forget to keep chemicals well out of doggie reach!

Our old greyhound wrapped up nice and warm in TWO fleece-lined coats. There wasn't a lot of snow about, but it was below freezing and bitterly cold.
So that's a few ideas on dogs and cold weather and some problems for dogs in snow.

It's all common sense really - you will probably think of other things to add to the list!

Despite all the potential dangers, enjoy Christmas and Winter with your dog! Have a good one.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

A Dog's Fairy Tale of Christmas

We stopped at a park that was covered in snow. This was somewhere new! My owner removed my collar and then threw a ball. I chased after it. We hadn't played this game for a long time! But when I turned back he had gone. Puzzled, I sniffed around, but there were no familiar smells. I was lost and alone. So I wandered.

Elsewhere in the park I saw a big crowd of happy, smiling people. Santa was there with his sleigh and reindeer. He was handing out presents. I rushed over, but there were angry shouts, and I was chased away.

Then I came across a woman sitting on a bench. She had a dog with her. I approached, tail wagging, but she shook a stick at me. Feeling sad and unwanted, I wandered on.

I didn't understand it at all. I tried to be a good dog. I was clean in the house and didn't cause trouble. So why had I been left all alone in a world I didn't understand?

It began to snow. The wind cut right through me. I was lost, cold, hungry, and frightened.

I passed a shop doorway. There was a sad old man sitting there. He softly called to me. Cautiously I went to him. He rubbed my ears and spoke gently. I lay down beside him, and he put his coat over me.

Presently we got up and I walked by his side. We went to a big hall. It was warm inside. Lots of people came over and made a fuss of  me. I was welcome!
They gave me a big bowl of turkey and carrots, covered with gravy. Afterwards there was music and everyone sang carols.
Much later I was given a blanket to sleep on. It was on the floor next to my new friend. I climbed onto his bed. He put his arm around me. There we lay, man and dog, a pair of unwanted and unloved strays. But that day I had enjoyed good food, warmth, kindness, and companionship. I was content.
The church bells rang in Christmas Day.

Copyright  Trevor Williams
You may use this story in its entirety on your blog or website, but please keep the links back to my blog, or give an appropiate credit linking back. Thanks.

Whether you have two or four legs, Winter is a cruel time to be sleeping rough on the streets. Christmas in particular is a lonely time. January is even harder, it is colder and the Xmas shelters are shut. So, this year please remember stray and unwanted dogs. Don't forget people either - a dog is often a homeless person's only companion.
A charity that I support, St. Mungo's in London, takes in homeless people and their dogs! (For more info please click on the link)

Saturday, 19 December 2009



It’s Christmas Eve folks
In the stray pound
An old dog said to me
Won't see another one
And then he lay down
Cried in his misery
I turned my face away
And dreamed about home

I hope I’m the lucky one
Somebody has just come in
I've got a feeling
This year will be for me
So Happy Christmas
I love you everyone
I can see a better time
When all my hopes come true

They've got big houses to live in
They've got mountains of food
But the cold wind goes right through you
It's no place for an old dog
When you first took me home
On a cold Christmas Eve
You promised me that
Happiness was waiting for me

I could have been a good dog
A friend for life
You took my dreams from me
When I first met you
I did my best to please you
But you left me all alone
Can’t make it on my own
I built my dreams around you

They should never be like that  - they should be like this! Safe, secure, and loved.

So please remember our doggy friends this Christmas. Do something to relieve their misery.
Make a New Year resolution that you will keep!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Merry Christmas to You All ~ Christmas is for the WholeWorld ... and for Every Living Being (especially Dogs!)

 Christmas is for the WholeWorld ... and for Every Living Being (especially Dogs!)

Christmas is not a time or a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas in your heart.
John Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

So Merry Christmas to You All (please forgive omissions and mistakes!)


C Pождеством Xристовом (S rojdestvom Kristovom) *  Срећан Божић (srecan bozic)
圣诞快乐 (shèng dàn kuài lè) *  merii kurisumasu  * miilaad majiid
สุขสันต์วันคริสตร์มาส (souksaan wan Christmas)  *  Z Rizdvom Hrystovym
весела коледа (vesela koleda)  * vrolijk Kerstfeest   *  glædelig jul  *  sretan Božić
kala xristougenna  *   Krismas ki subhkamna  *  boldog karácsonyt  *  gleðileg jól
Nollaig shona *  buon Natale  *  seun-tan chu-ka-hae-yo *  felix dies Nativitatis
meri Kirihimete  *  god jul  *  Wesołych Świąt  * feliz Natal  * un Crăciun fericit
Nollaig chridheil *  krisimas yakanaka   *  vesele vianoce  *  feliz Navidad
Noeliniz kutlu olsun  *  Mừng Chúa Giáng Sinh   *  Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo  *  Naya Saal Mubarak Ho  *  Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo!

 Woof-Woof !!!

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple : loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?
Bob Hope (1902-2003)

I extend the thoughts in the quotes to dogs and all other living creatures.

Read the dog prayer's in the previous post!

And a Special Christmas Wish from My Greyhounds Boris and Olive

Don't forget to get those free dog treat recipes - just click on the banner below. It is safe and without obligation. Cook some up as a healthy Christmas treat for youur dogs. Or make a load to give to your local rescue!


The Victorian greetings cards etc come from my personal collection

A Dog's Christmas Prayers ~ Don't forget our canine friends this Christmas

 Here are a couple of dog's prayers for you to consider this Christmas. Our canine friends need our help all year, but Christmas is special, and times are hard for unwanted dogs...

A Stray Dog's Prayer

Dear God, please send me somebody who'll care!
I'm tired of running, I'm sick with despair.
My body is aching, it's so racked with pain,
and dear God I pray, as I run in the rain.
That someone will love me and give me a home,
a warm cozy bed and a big juicy bone.

My last owner tied me all day in the yard
Sometimes with no water, and god that was hard.
So I chewed my leash, and God I ran away.
To rummage in garbage and live as a stray.
But now God, I'm tired and hungry and cold,
and I'm so afraid that I'll never grow old.

They've chased me with sticks and hit me with stones,
while I run the streets just looking for bones!
I'm not really bad, God, please help if you can,
or I have become just a "Victim of Man!"
I'm wormy dear God and I'm ridden with fleas,
and all that I want is an Owner to please!

If you find one for me God, I'll try to be good,
and I won't chew their shoes, and I'll do as I should.
I'll love them, protect them and try to obey....
when they tell me to sit, to lie down or to stay!
I don't think I'll make it too long on my own,
cause I'm getting so weak and I'm so all alone.

Each night as I sleep in the bushes I cry,
cause I'm so afraid God, that I'm gonna die.
And I've got so much love and devotion to give,
that I should be given a new chance to Live!
So dear God, please answer my prayer,
and send me someone who will REALLY care..

That is, dear God, if YOU'RE REALLY there!

author unknown

Thanks to for this:
 A Christmas Shelter Dog’s Poem

 As you gather this holiday season to spend time with friends and family and your own beloved furry family members, take just a moment to think of those dogs and cats who sit alone and unwanted,…

The poem is reproduced below:

A Christmas Shelter Dog’s Poem

’Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town,
every shelter is full—we are lost, but not found.
Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare,
we hope every minute that someone will care.
They’ll come to adopt us and give us the call,
“Come here, Max and Sparkie — come fetch your new ball!”
But now we sit here and think of the days
we were treated so fondly — we had cute, baby ways.
Once we were little, then we grew and we grew.
Now we’re no longer young and we’re no longer new.
So out the back door we were thrown like the trash.
They reacted so quickly — why were they so rash?
We “jump on the children,” “don’t come when they call,”
we “bark when they leave us,” “climb over the wall.”
We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed,
now we suffer the consequence of the errors THEY made.
If only they’d trained us, if only we knew,
we’d have done what they asked us and worshiped them, too.
We were left in the backyard, or worse, let to roam.
Now we’re tired and lonely and out of a home.
They dropped us off here and they kissed us goodbye…
“Maybe someone else will give you a try.”
So now here we are, all confused and alone
in a shelter with others who long for a home.
The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat,
with so many to care for, they can’t stay to chat.
They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer…
we know that they wonder how long we’ll be here.
We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads
of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.
Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears –
our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear.
If you can’t adopt us and there’s no room at the inn –
could you help with the bills and fill our food bin?
We count on your kindness each day of the year –
can you give more than hope to everyone here?
Please make a donation to pay for the heat…
and help get us something special to eat.
The shelter that cares for us wants us to live,
and more of us will, if more people will give.
Author Unknown

Answer a dog's prayer and do something good for dogs this Christmas!

It doesn't matter what as long as it is positive and life-enhancing.

  • Give your time
  • Give some money
  • Donate some goods for resale
  • Donate clean blankets or quilts
  • Donate some decent dog food, beds, toys
  • Volunteer at your local rescue
  • Start a campaign
  • Contact the media (local radio or paper - or why not go national) about your concerns or to make an appeal
  • Write to your MP
  • Make some dog coats
  • Make some healthy dog treats (click on the banner below to get a free download of dog treat recipes)

    Please just do something for our canine friends, who give us so much and ask for so little in return!

    Friday, 4 December 2009

    Give a dog a gift of love this Christmas

    Please consider making a donation to a dog rescue (shelter) this Christmas.
    It doesn't have to be a lot - even your spare change could make a difference.

    You can donate goods as well. Things that a dog rescue can put to use or sell to raise cash.
    Most rescues will have a list of things that they most need - just ask.

    Food, dog coats, dog toys, bedding will always be welcome.

    You can usually buy gifts or xmas cards for family and friends.
    Many charities also have donation schemes like sponsor a dog, buy a vaccination, etc. The recipient will receive a certificate which describes the gift that you have bought. I quite often do this, especially if I am sending gifts overseas.

    The larger charities such as RSPCA, Dogs Trust, PDSA , Blue Cross will have established gift schemes.
    But don't forget your small local rescue - they can really struggle to survive, and if they have to close many of the dogs will have nowhere to go (and may have to be put down!).

    There are specialist dog charities as well, such as Greyhounds In Need and the Retired Greyhounds Trust.
    Greyhounds particularly need help - they finish racing at 4 years old , or sooner, and face a very uncertain future. Thousands of healthy greyhounds are destroyed every year.

    If you want to support people as well as dogs, you can make your gift to Guide Dogs for the Blind, Hearing Dogs,etc.
    One of my favourites is St. Mungo's. They are a charity for the homeless and will allow homeless people to bring their dogs with them. A dog is often a homeless person's only friend and companion. Winter on the streets is hard on both dogs and people.

    That's just a few ideas to get you going. Go on - give a dog a gift of love this Christmas!

    Just a final plea. Make a New Year Resolution to get involved. Contact a dog charity and ask what YOU can do to help. Get out there and make a difference to our doggy friends!