Samantha -Super Boxer

I am devoting this post to one of my favorite breeds and to one of my favorite dogs – Samantha.

How Sammi came into our lives was definitely different.  No breeders, pet stores or friends were involved.  In fact we had no intention of getting another dog when we set off to the dog park on a Sunday with Trixie and Wrigley for our dogs’ favorite activity.Wrigley and TrixieThe park was busy, as usual, and as we strolled along we were thoroughly enjoying watching our dogs run and play with the other dogs.

I felt a touch on my lower back and turned to see a very small girl clutching a Boxer pup.  “Will you buy this puppy?” she asked earnestly.  “We need the money for food.” The child had a strong accent.

My husband had walked on, but I called him back and together, with our dogs in tow, we followed the small girl to find her family.  I had no intention of buying the Boxer pup she was holding, but I thought I should check out what was going on with the child and why she was trying to sell her puppy.  Did her parents know what she was doing? Was she this hungry that she would sell her puppy for food?

We walked quite a way, following the little girl until she ran up to a couple with a bunch of pups and an adult Boxer.  There were other children there, also.  The little girl rattled off a bunch of words to her father, which I couldn’t understand.  The man looked at us and smiled.  “You buy puppy?” he asked.

I shook my head.  I didn’t need another dog, but the child had said they needed food.  Who could walk away from that?  Then I saw her, sitting on the grass, looking up at me, and fell in love.untitled (18)What a perfectly sweet puppy.  I asked permission to pick her up.  The woman smiled at me.  “My favorite,” she said.

“I must have $200 today.  It is very important.  Please you buy puppy. $200,” the man said.  There was a note of desperation in his voice.

My husband, Pete, was sitting on the grass with all the puppies on his lap, Trixie and Wrigley were wagging their tales, and the pup I had picked up seemed to be glued to my arms.  I couldn’t put her down.

I asked Pete how much money he had in his wallet and pulled mine out to check how much I had.  Pooling our resources, we handed over the money and left the park with the adorable puppy still in my arms.  The children were jumping up and down with excitement. The woman said “Thank you,” many times.  She had tears in her eyes. We couldn’t have a conversation as their English was limited and I had no idea what their language was. What they didn’t realize in their gratitude that it was me that was the winner.  I brought home the sweetest Boxer pup in the world.

The next morning, I took the pup to see our vet.  The man had shaken his head when I had asked if the puppy had had her shots. The vet confirmed the pup was a healthy Boxer and welcomed her into his practice.

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Samantha’s first rawhide treat

The Gift that kept on Giving

A really good friend of ours, Loraine, had lost her dog, a golden retriever who had passed away. It was her birthday. We decided that since we had two dogs, we would make her birthday the best one ever.  Her instant adoration of the pup made it all worth while .  However, Loraine worked, so would need puppy day care.  We were happy to include this in the gift.

Loraine named the pup Samantha.  We had Sammi by day and Loraine took her home at night and also had her for the weekends.  Sammi was a healthy dog who is very intelligent.  She learned all the usual commands quickly and I have to admit, she was the best dog in behavior we had ever had.

Cover Girl

Of course, I chose Sammi to be the cover girl for my book AstroPups, which matches personalities to dog breeds (available at Amazon Books in paperback and Kindle).

SamanthaShe always has a noble look, a kindly look too, showing her sweet personality.  She has no interest in other dogs, though, except for her best friends with whom she spends so much time.  Also strangers are tolerated, but not appreciated.

As she aged, we noticed she had trouble getting up, and jumping into the car.  We took her to the vet who diagnosed arthritis and put her on a joint health supplement which has been amazing.  They have really helped her senior years.

Cosequin DS is great for older dogs or dogs needing a supplement from an injury or illness.  Our dosage for Sammi was two pills a day and although it took a little while, it was not long before we noticed the change in her ability to enjoy life again.  Cosequin DS put the spring back into her step.  There is a cheaper version of Cosequin DS ($24).  Click on above to find this.

WP_20160410_19_54_05_ProSammi has a lot of grey and white hairs nowadays, but she is still an amazing dog.  It was one of our luckiest days that we found her in a dog park and helped a family in need.  We did not have to wait for Karma.  It was instant.  We had Sammi in our lives.

Boxers were suggested for Libra in AstroPups (available on Amazon Books in paperback and Kindle.  I am a Libra so that magnetism was definitely apparent on that day.

Thanks for coming back to my blog.  If you have a comment, please leave one (scroll down), or you can email me at my email in About Us, upper right of page. Click on About Us and scroll down.  The banner of dogs remains for the post, About Us and Reviews.

Until next post 🙂



Labrador Retrievers

When I was in Seattle recently, I met Cedar, a female lab pup of about eight months old.  She was totally delightful.  Cedar reminded me of the labs in my life I had loved and lost.WP_20160619_17_54_30_ProHer owner was giving her a good run in the park, just what this happy, energetic pup needs and I met them a couple of times as we strolled through the paths, enjoying the scenery.  WP_20160619_17_54_53_ProI decided right there and then that this pup had been adopted by a great owner, someone who enjoyed jogging, and someone who obviously loved her new dog.

One of the things I liked was that Cedar was wearing a harness.  It is the best way to walk a pup.  Young dogs tend to pull and if on a collar and leash, can hurt their necks.

A harness is inexpensive.  If you are looking for one, check this one out.

Seattle beach parks are full of dogs.  I met so many from toy breeds to giants.  The owners were friendly and grinned when I asked permission to pet their bffs.  I would have loved to do a photo shoot that day, but all we had time to do was to pet the happy pooches as we passed them.

I couldn’t resist taking a photo of Cedar.  She was so like my black Labrador Retriever, Hector, as a pup and Tikki-Ti, my daughter’s chocolate lab. She wriggled her whole body in greeting. I fell for labs when my sister married a man who owned one. The dog’s name was Pal.  I was in college when my sister got Lucy, a black lab mix.

People who adopt labs into their families rarely regret it. It is no wonder that they are one of the most popular breeds in the U.S. and in England.

Labrador Retrievers originated in Newfoundland, were refined in Labrador and enthusiastically adopted by the British.  They are very popular as hunting dogs as they are tireless, good in the field and in water.

This dog wants to learn.  It is not hard to train a lab as the dog is eager to please.  As a pup, it may get too enthusiastic in its need to do the training correctly, but a few repeats and you will find your pup will quickly grasp what you want it to do. Always use the dog’s name, one or two word commands, give praise and a treat and it works. Labs are really good at hand signals also. Initially, use the word commands with the hand signals, and soon you’ll only need the hand signals.

The pup has a strong need to attach and will scamper after you wherever you go.  When you go out, it will miss you and bring you a gift when you return.  For hundreds of years the dogs were praised for bringing game back to their owners and the trait is bred into them.  Your dog will grab the nearest sneaker, glove or whatever it can reach in its enthusiastic welcome.  It would confuse the dog if you tried to stop its natural instinct. The dog will not harm the item and only wants to give you a present. Hey, you could be gone for only ten minutes, but the dog missed you and aims to please.

Black labs are more mellow than Yellow labs. They have a calmer temperament.  Yellow labs require an owner with a firmer hand.  And then there’s Chocolate labs.  A Chocolate lab needs an owner who is willing to be fairly understanding about how exciting life is to this dog.  Everything is an adventure greeted with enormous enthusiasm.  All of the labs are fully trainable and are loyal, obedient dogs – well most of the time!

Labradors are protective of their own.  They may not get along with all breeds.  As a pup, it’s a good idea to socialize them as much as possible with other people and dogs.  They are good with children and most people unless they take a dislike to a person for some reason of their own.  When one of my labs decided to growl at somebody, I got my own hackles up.  I mean, did my dog know something I didn’t know about this person?

Which dogs they decide to dislike is another factor. Hector didn’t like the neighboring poodle who persistently barked at him.  He didn’t bark back at him, or growl, but what he did do really upset the owner.  I didn’t blame her either.  She took her poodle for grooming regularly and was proud of her pristine white, beautiful dog, decked out with blue ribbons. Well, he was pristine until there was a bright yellow streak across his back.  When the poodle ran to the fence and barked at Hector, he lifted his back leg and peed right through the chain-link fence.

I had a talk with Hector about it. He hung his head. I think it’s possible that my neighbors moved on account of Hector.

We suggested Labrador Retrievers for more than one sign in AstroPups (available in paperback or Kindle at Amazon books).  It’s such a special breed.

A shout out to Cedar – it was great meeting you!

Thanks for coming back to read my blog.  If you have any questions or comments, please leave one (scroll down) and I will respond. You can also reach me by email, located in About Us, upper right of page. Click on About Us and scroll down.  The banner of dogs remains for the post, About Us and Reviews.

Until next post 🙂








Shar-Pei – Sand-Skin Dog

Shar-Pei (Google Images)

This ancient breed dates back to the Han Dynasty – circa 220 A.D., but this is the breed that The Guinness Book of  World Records named the rarest breed in the world.  There are several reasons for the Shar-Pei’s near extinction and several reasons for its come-back.

Originally, the Chinese used the dog for mongoose hunting. The Shar-Pei was also a farm dog, protective of its owner and property. The Chinese tried it in the ring as a fighting dog, but Shar-Pei are not vicious fighters and, fortunately for the dogs, they were not used for long in this capacity.

When the Communists came to power in China, they put a tax on pet dogs. They considered this was a way to stop people from wanting to own dogs and wasting valuable food by feeding them. The tax on dogs increased yearly.  By 1940, if you were looking for a dog in China, you would have a problem as dogs were a rare sight. In l960, the Shar-Pei faced extinction.

Matgo Law

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Google Images

Matgo Law went to bat for the breed.  He was browsing through a copy of DOGS, an American magazine, when he decided to write to the editor Margaret Fansworth  He brought her attention to the near extinction of the Shar-Pei.  In April of 1973, an article in DOGS let the world know about it as the article was picked up by other media.

In the meantime, Matgo Law worked hard on reviving the breed, breeding his own dogs and seeking available Shar-Pei to breed.  He now had the support he needed from Americans and American breeders.

When Neiman Marcus featured Shar-Pei pups in their Christmas catalogue in l983, they became a desired breed.

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Shar Pei puppies(Google Images)

What kind of dog is the Shar-Pei?

It’s an adorable pup.  You would think the pup was wearing its mother’s skin.  Loose fur hangs everywhere! The dog does grow into its skin somewhat, but definitely not all the way. If you get a Shar-Pei pup, plan on having an adult dog with loads of wrinkles.

The Shar-Pei is not for you if you love to stroke a dog with silky hair. Shar-Pei means sand skin.  Its fur has a bristle texture.  It’s a very clean dog, often cleaning itself, much like a cat, and never sheds.

You should be aware that the dog can be aloof, calmly standing like an aristocrat, surveying the world with its almond-shaped eyes.  As the dog’s owner, it would be up to you how aloof the dog will be.  A Shar-Pei can be loyal, and affectionate, but that depends on how much interaction the dog has with its owner as a pup.  As to other people, it’s important not to let the puppy time slip by without socialization. The dog should be taken out to meet friendly people and other dogs as much as possible.  People are sure to make a fuss over this one – it’s adorable.

Don’t look for submission from a Shar-Pei.  It is intelligent, but will feign deafness when asked to do something it deems unnecessary.  Owning a Shar-Pei should make you feel special, though.  The dog is a dignified companion.  It will be protective of you and your family and there’s no doubt the dog will put a grin on your face most of the time.  It is such an interesting dog!

Some authorities claim the dog descends from the animal that was part bear/part dog which roamed the earth centuries ago. They made this determination because the Shar-Pei has a purple/black tongue and inner mouth.

For those interested, we suggested the Shar-Pei for Aquarius in AstroPups – available on Amazon Books in paperback and Kindle.

We almost lost this breed and give thanks to all those who helped to save the Shar-Pei from extinction.  In particular, we thank Matgo Law.  One person can make a difference and for saving this wonderful dog, that person is Matgo Law.

Thanks for coming back to my blog.  If you have a comment, or a question, please leave one, or you can contact me through email.  You will find my email in About Us.  Click on About Us and scroll down.  The banner of dogs remains for the post, About Us and Reviews.

Acknowledgement of authors who contributed to AstroPups, which I use to write my blog, can also be found in About Us, top right of page

See you in about a week or so.  It’s vacay time! 🙂



Pekingese – The Lion Dog of China

The Dog of Legends

I love the legends attached to this 2,000 year-old breed, the Pekingese.  One of my favorites is that a lion fell in love with a beautiful marmoset (monkey family). Day and night he dreamed of being with her forever, but he was a lion and the marmoset was very small in comparison.  In despair, he  went to see the patron saint of all animals, Ah Chu.  He explained his problem and begged Ah Chu for help.  Ah Chu respected the lion for both his spirit and his courage.  He granted the lion’s wish and reduced his size to that of a pigmy lion. It pleased Ah Chu that the lion was willing to lose his size and strength just to be with the love of his life and allowed him to keep his spirit and his courage.

Another legend is much the same as the one above with one difference.  In this legend, the lion went to Buddha for help and because it was Buddha that helped the lovesick lion, all descendants became sacred.

Both legends led to the Pekingese being called The Lion Dog of China.

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Pekingese – artist Peter Solomon

Because these dogs were sacred, they lived in the Imperial Palace of Peking.  Commoners were not permitted to own a Pekingese.  The dogs were never allowed outside the gates of the palace grounds. If someone stole this royal dog, the penalty was death.


History has it that there was an altercation between the western powers and the Chinese in 1890, and when British soldiers stormed the palace, it was empty except for five little dogs.  The soldiers took the dogs back to England and presented one of them to Queen Victoria.  Queen Victoria named the unusual Chinese dog Looty.  British breeders developed the breed and it was recognized in 1906.

History continues with this breed, famous in many ways. I find the history of dogs fascinating.  For those of you who share my interest, I will add some more.

It was Dr. Heuston who brought the Pekingese to Ireland. In appreciation for Dr. Heuston’s work in setting up clinics in China for smallpox vaccinations, the minister Li Hung Chang gave the doctor a pair of Pekingese dogs.

Pekingese ran on American soil when the Dowager Empress Tsu Hsi gave them to influential Americans as favored gifts.

Are there any famous Pekingese?

Absolutely.  Sun Yat survived the sinking of the Titanic. Munchu was Theodore Roosevelt’s daughter‘s adored pet. Penelope was cherished by Joseph Hallman, the Philadelphia composer and let’s not forget Fifi, Pluto’s girlfriend. In addition, the Pekingese has taken Best in Show, competing with the finest of breeds.

This little dog is full of spirit and courage.  It has not forgotten that it was once the royal dog of China and demands to be treated with respect at all times.  Failure to do so would produce a pup that grows up to be a snappy, stubborn dog.  The dog can be loyal and you will find it is intelligent.  It just has a mind of its own and being pushed into anything is rejected.  With constant demands, the pup stops listening and you will find cooperation at a standstill. A live-and-let-live attitude is the way to go with a Pekingese.

We suggested them for Cancer in AstroPups, available on Amazon Books in paperback or Kindle.

Small children do not do well with this dog.  They tend to treat it as a stuffed toy, and if they do, they will get bitten.


A Pekingese is not in need of pampering, but grooming is a must.  It has a beautiful profuse coat which has a tendency to tangle and matt.  Tangles and a matted coat are painful for this little dog. If you have a Pekingese, and do not have the right tool to groom the dog, this one should take care of it.

The little dog loves to romp and play in the garden. You might have to wash its face so particles do not get into the dog’s eyes. If your Peke’s eyes are watery from dust and particles irritating them, you could wash them by using an eyewash.  If you don’t have an eyewash, it’s a good idea to have one on hand.

A quick rinse of your dog’s eyes could prevent an infection. If you didn’t realize there were particles in your Peke’s eyes, and an infection occurs, with eye mucous, I suggest you take your dog to the vet.

True to its heritage, this canine absolutely adores felines!  Chasing and playing with each other is a favored game of the Pekingese and his bff, the cat.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the royal dog of China. If you have any questions, or want to contribute to my post in any way, you can contact me in Comment or by email.  My email is located in About Us top right of page. Click on About Us and scroll down.  The banner of dogs remains for the post, About Us and Reviews.

Acknowledgements of authors who contributed to AstroPups, which I use to write my blog, can also be found in About Us, top right of page

See you soon 🙂










The Gentle Giant Dog

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Capone – Mastiff

This wonderful dog lives in Lake Tahoe, California.  His name is Capone.  He only looks scary.  In fact, he is a gentle giant.  He walks with dignity and grandeur.  Not only is he good natured generally, he is even good with children – except his size could knock them down if he walks by them.  Loyal to his own and courageous, he is definitely an amazing dog.

Mastiffs have a very, very long history.  Some authorities claim they were roaming about in Asia around 2500 BC.  Britain developed the breed, the Romans took them home when they invaded Britain, and they came to North America in the late l9th century.

Their jobs were many and varied.  They fought in arenas, they acted as guard dogs and in the First World War, they pulled munitions carts.

Unfortunately, rations were very short in England post World War I.  Nobody could afford to feed the enormous dogs, averaging 200lbs.  Sad to say, entire kennels of Mastiffs  were euthanized.  (The Illustrated Directory of Dogs, Juliette Cunliffe).

Mastiffs were almost extinct in England in 1920.  Nothing was done about this until post World War II. It was at this time that the breed’s supporters went to great lengths to bring the dogs back to England.  They imported some mastiffs from America and Canada. The U.S. leads in numbers of the breed.

Only kind training without excessive demands or aggression will work with this one.  The dog needs to be close to owners it loves and does not do well if left alone too long.

Capone does not demand long walks, but I’m sure he takes short ones with his owners.  Mastiffs tend to be lazy so might need encouragement to get the mild exercise vital to their health.

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Capone, taking a nap

Capone is friendly and affectionate to his family whom he adores.  Loyalty is one of his strong suits.

Recent visitors included a Chihuahua, feisty as most of those little dogs are.  Capone behaved with his usual dignity and backed away from the toy’s attack.  Dogs have no concept of size. Of course, he could have stepped forward and crushed the little dog with one paw.

I hope you enjoyed meeting Capone.  Thanks for coming back to my blog.  I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.  Please leave a Comment or email me. You will find my email in About Us. Click on About Us and scroll downThe banner of dogs remains for the post, About Us and Reviews.

Acknowledgements of authors who contributed to AstroPups, which I use to write my blog, can also be found in About Us, top right of page


AstroPups: Your Sign-Your Dogs

My book, AstroPups, was written to help people choose a pup from breeds compatible with their personalities and lifestyles.

What kind of dog owner would you be if you were an Aries, a Virgo or a Capricorn? Would some breeds irritate you, bore you or become adored by you?

Available on Amazon Books

Choosing a Pup

How would you go about choosing a pup? You may like a pup’s cute looks, but what kind of dog will that pup grow up to be?

Let’s say you were born under the sign of Cancer or Pisces. It would really upset you if the pup didn’t work out as an adult dog for you or your lifestyle. You would probably blame yourself for the choice and have a problem making the dog a Rescue. This is not going to happen if you read all about the breed before you get the pup, though. AstroPups will help you to make an informed decision.

Look at all those tears you don’t need to shed by getting the right breed pup to begin with. Now you will have a definite strut in your step. It’s so cool to make the right choice so that you, your family, and the dog are happy.

How Does the Book Work?

The book works this way. There are twelve chapters, one for each zodiac sign from Aries to Pisces. You find your sun sign chapter from the Table of Contents page. Don’t worry if you are not sure what sign you are. Each sun sign has the dates in the Table of Contents also. First, you read about yourself as a dog owner according to your sun sign personality. Then you read about the dogs suggested for you. Each breed is described in full. This is factual information from several authorities (listed in the book) and from years of research with trainers, breeders and owners. You can be sure the breed is totally explained, plus the reasons your sun sign personality might be interested in the dog. 

An award winning artist, Peter Solomon drew all of the dogs suggested for each and every chapter.  You will find them at the end of your sun sign chapter. 

Is your lifestyle and the lifestyle your dog needs compatible? AstroPups goes into this thoroughly, also.

How about other influences in my astrological makeup?

It’s true sun signs are not your sole astrological personality. Certainly they say a lot about you, but there are other influences. This is what is so great about Astropups. If you feel that your Ascendant personality is stronger than your sun sign, then you have an additional chapter to explore and can learn about a lot more breeds. Say you are a Libra, for instance, but your Ascendant is in Virgo. You might decide that you are much more of a Virgo than a Libran. Check out both the chapter on Libra and on Virgo. You can read about all the breeds and make your decision after exploring both. You know who you are and instinctively will make the right decision.

For most of us, sun sign information will suffice and probably amuse us as we browse through our chapters. You will probably check out your family’s sun signs as well if they are to have a vote on THE dog.


In order for you to access AstroPups easily, I have published a Kindle version for you to download. It is much cheaper than the paperback on sale at Amazon or ordered through Barnes and Noble. For only $5.95 you can have the fun of exploring yourself as a dog owner and learn about the breeds of dogs recommended for your sun sign.

Have fun picking the perfect pup!

For Reviews of AstroPups, please click on Reviews, top right of page and scroll down.  The banner of dogs remains for the post, About Us and Reviews. Any questions? I’ll be happy to answer them for you either in Comment or by email. You will find my email in About Us.

Thanks for coming back to my Dog Blog –til next post 🙂




Security Dog

When I think of a security dog, I think of a German Shepherd or a Rottweiler or perhaps a Doberman.  An American Bulldog does not spring to mind.

Meet Dozer, Security Dog 

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Dozer, Security Dog

Dozer has a fulltime job in an interesting retail shop, where security may be needed. When a customer comes through the door of the shop, Dozer gets up and greets him or her. Then he returns to his mat to await the next customer.

Dozer is 10 years old.  His owner works for the shop.  Dozer was bored at home alone, so his owner suggested to the owner of the shop that Dozer come to work with him every day. Dozer would be protection for those who worked there and the merchandise.

You might be wondering why Dozer would be needed.  Is it a check-cashing shop or a jewelry store?  Actually, Dozer, his owner and the shop are all located in a state where pot is legal and for sale.  Security sounds like a good idea in such a shop. Certainly there have been no problems since Dozer started to work there.

American Bulldogs 

Bulldogs only look intimidating, but they are, in fact, sweethearts. Way, way back when, they were aggressive. They are called Bulldogs because they once baited bulls in England.  This cruel use of the dogs became illegal in l835. Nowadays the breed is known to be calm.  Still, if I walked into a shop and came face to face with this dog, I would hesitate, wouldn’t you? 

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Dozer, Security Dog on duty

However, customers will not be harmed by Dozer. Bulldogs are not guard dogs or even watchdogs. They are recommended as therapy dogs. They are also good natured with children. Bulldogs do have a courageous nature, though, so harm coming to Dozer’s owner would not be tolerated by Dozer.

Bulldogs walk with a steady plodding gait. Dozer would enjoy a walk, but never a run. His facial structure limits easy breathing.  He probably snorts and snuffles when on duty, but that helps his intimidation tactics.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about Dozer, Security Dog.  I was amused when a friend sent me his story and had to share it with you.

Thanks for visiting my blog.  If you have any questions, you can email me.  My email is available in About Us, top right of page Click on About Us and scroll downThe banner of dogs remains for the post, About Us and Reviews. I would also welcome a comment.

Acknowledgements of authors who contributed to AstroPups, which I use to write my blog, can also be found in About Us. 

Until next post 🙂  .

Dog’s Dilemma

All of our dogs worry us at some time or another. They will not eat. They seem depressed. They start to eat the furniture. We call our friends, call our vets, search the internet and worry. Sometimes we get more solutions than we know what to do with and while we are seeking answers, the dogs stop doing whatever they were doing that worried us in the first place. Sometimes, though, problems are emergencies, like the day we were at the dog park.

Dog Park Encounter

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Chihuahua (Google Images)

As we were leaving the dog park, we walked past a guy, standing beside his pickup in the parking lot. He cradled a Chihuahua in his arms. I smiled at him and thought that his dog looked adorable cuddled in his arms. We walked on, but he called us back. “Excuse me,” he said loudly.

My friend and I walked back to him with our dogs. I was wondering if one of my dogs had played too roughly with his little dog and he was cross about it. If so, I had to hear it and, of course, apologize.

“Can you help me? I’m desperate here and I don’t know what to do,” the man said. This big guy had a quiver in his voice.

“What’s up?” I asked him. “Is your dog sick?” I have to admit I was glad he wasn’t complaining about my dog.

“She’s gonna be,” he replied. “I moved into my new place last night and she won’t use the back yard. I stayed out with her in the yard, but she just sits and shivers. I tried walking her, but she just won’t go. She’s gotta go!” He planted several kisses on his little dog’s head and hugged her.

A dog called Fenway

As I stood there, feeling sorry for the man who was so upset, I remembered my daughter, Nicole, having a similar problem with her dog, Fenway.

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Fenway was a black Lab/ Newfoundland/Boxer mix. When I was sitting on the couch, she used to put her big paws on my shoulders and gaze into my face. It was the sweetest thing and I used to hug her back. I know that was the Boxer part in Fen. Boxers do that. They love face-to-face communications.

Fenway had a problem, causing everyone with her to have a problem. She refused to use any turf but her own to relieve herself. When they took Fen for a walk or went to the doggie beach, she sniffed normally, played in the water, watched her best friend, Tikka, go on the grass, but would not use the grass herself until she got home to her own yard.

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Fenway’s best dog friend, Tikka

Of course, she ruined everyone’s trip because we all check that our dogs go, waste bag in hand to clean up. Cleaning up was not needed with Fenway until Nicole had a brain storm and solved the problem, creating another, of course.

Problem Solved

Nicole cut a piece of sod from the backyard of their home and took it along with her on a walk with Fenway. When Fen sniffed, Nicole put the piece of sod down. Fenway watered that piece of sod. People out and about were puzzled by the woman yelling “Yay!” and doing a dance while her dog was busy.

It became a habit for all of the family. If Fenway was going, so was a large piece of sod from the backyard.

Google Images

If it was a long trip, it had to be more than one piece. Needless to say, the backyard turned into strips of mud, causing a problem to solve a problem, but Fenway used her own backyard wherever she went.

All of the above things flashed into my mind as I listened to the guy by the pickup with his little dog. It was getting dark and people and dogs were all heading for their cars. He told us about the things he had tried. Finally he had decided to come to the park to ask dog people if they had any ideas. The dog park was closing. I guess we were among the last dog owners he could ask. Apparently, he had asked others, and they were sympathetic to his dog’s problem, but didn’t have an answer for him.


I asked him if he could go back to the house and yard he had so recently vacated. He said it was not far and he could do that. I told him to go back with a bag, gather grass and mud from his dog’s favorite spot in the yard and scatter it in his new yard. I said that I thought the familiar smells might convince his dog she was home.

The man grinned broadly. He said he was sure he could do exactly what I had suggested, thanked me, and jumped into his pickup. He peeled out of the parking lot.

I didn’t see him again, although I looked for him at the park to ask him if it had worked. I hope so.

I think it is important to tell my readers this story.  Some of you may be moving out of state and have a dog. You might consider taking along a small sample of your backyard to scatter on your new backyard.  Scent is all important to dogs. This precaution could make your dog accept the new backyard right away, and use it.

Severe health issues can and will occur if for some reason or another, a dog does not relieve itself regularly.  The guy in the parking lot of the dog park was so right to be concerned about his dog that he obviously adored.

I believe breed traits are the way to define a dog, but all dogs have their own peculiarities, which make them special and individual. These peculiarities are what we remember with fondness, and a tear or two, when the dog is no longer with us.

Thanks for coming back to my blog. If you have a comment, please leave one. If you want to email me, you will find my email in About Us top right of the page. Click on About Us and scroll down.  The banner of dogs remains for the post, About Us and Reviews.

Until next post 🙂






Firemen’s Dog

Do you know the breed that was once known as the firemen’s dog?

There were few firehouses which did not have one on site, sometimes several.  Back in the day, as firemen hurried to put out fires, this dog could be seen riding along with them.  In fact, the moment the bell sounded, and firemen grabbed their gear, this dog was ready and waiting with a big grin on its face.  If not on the truck, the dog would follow the trucks to their destination on foot.  The breed is very agile and fast, racing after the galloping horses.

The dog knew it had a job to do. As the firemen battled the blaze, the dog became what is now known as a rescue dog.  It helped to save people’s lives.  In fact, I could have called this post Hero Dogs.

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Horse-drawn carriage-on-the-way by Everett,


Unfortunately for the dogs, horsepower replaced horses. Things changed.  What remained, though, was that this breed loves horses.  For those of you who ride, this dog would love to follow along. If you are not riding, but are walking the dog where other riders gallop or trot by, hold on to the leash.  This dog will want to follow that horse.

You all probably know the breed I am discussing.


Authorities differ as to the origin of this breed.  Some claim it is from Dalmatia. Others claim it is a descendant from the Hound of Bengal and originated in the East.

Paintings of similar dogs have been found in Egyptian tombs, running behind chariots. Frescoes from the 15th century also depict them.  In England, Dals ran behind horse-drawn carriages to protect the travelers.

The dogs became firemen’s dogs when they came to the U.S.

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Dice, Rescue Dalmatian (Charlene Grotefeld)
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Dice, Rescue Dalmatian (Charlene Grotefeld)

A Dal is a wonderful dog: full of spirit, bright and always ready for action.  If, however, you do not understand the dog, and what it needs to thrive, it will go off its food and/or become destructive. When this dog becomes anxious, it will chew anything at hand. The dog needs to run and play more than most breeds.

Pen this dog up and it will feel rejected and become very sad.

The country or the suburbs, with a fenced yard, are good environments to raise this pup.  The dog is bright and eager to please, but as a pup tends to become over excited and loses its focus easily.  With a little perseverance, and keeping the training sessions short, a Dalmatian can be all you want it to be.

If you are choosing a Dalmatian puppy, you will have to do your homework.  The Hundred and One Dalmatians book and movies gave breeders a heyday.  Combined with Budweiser Clydesdale horses ads showing Dals, the dog became super popular.  Indiscriminate breeding resulted.  To get a real Dal, check out the breeder.

All Dal pups are born white, without spots.  If you don’t intend to show the dog, where the spots come in are not that important.  What is important is that some pups are born deaf, so you would want to check this out.

If you live by the ocean, your Dal may well want to go for a dip.  It’s important to rinse off the salt water or your dog might get dermatitis.

Dice, seen above, lost his home.

The couple who originally owned him were engaged and busy with plans to marry. They lived in an apartment and bought Dice from a breeder, but things went awry with their relationship and with their dog.

Dice is not an apartment dog and became destructive when left alone.  When the couple split up, neither of them wanted to keep Dice. He became a casualty.

His foster parent sent me the photos and his story. He is a beautiful dog, but he continued his destructive behavior in her home. Even so, she was sorry to see him go when Dalmatian Rescue picked him up.  In a matter of days she had become fond of Dice and thought he just needed some more training and a place to run off his obvious energy.

We hope he now has a forever home.  He certainly deserves one.

We suggested Dalmatians for Sagittarius in AstroPups , available in paperback or Kindle at Amazon books).

Thanks for coming back to my blog.  If I can help you in any way, or you have a comment, please leave one and I will answer it.  You can also email me. You will find my email in  About Us, top right of page. Click on About Us and scroll down.  The banner of dogs remains for the post, About Us and Reviews.

Acknowledgements of authors who contributed to AstroPups, which I use to write my blog, can also be found in About Us. 

See you soon 🙂




Personality Dog

I would like to introduce you to two very important members of my family: my daughter, Nicole and her dog Nilla. Nilla is a Hungarian Viszla.

Nicole & Nilla
Nicole and Nilla

Some of you who read my post Grand Dog will have met Nilla’s sister, Madison, the Basset Hound.

Madison, Nilla’s best dog friend

As in a lot of families, these sisters are absolutely nothing alike!  Well, it could have something to do with breed traits – lol.

The two dogs get along very well and depend upon each other for company when their family is not with them.

Madison & Nilla
Madison and Nilla

Madison is laid back and Nilla is highly strung.  You have to talk Madison into activities, and have time to get ready while Madison considers them.   Nilla is eager to participate in the action, but has her own ideas on travelling arrangements.

When everyone is going to the doggie beach, Madison jumps into the back seat, is harnessed, and ready to travel. Nilla does not care for back seat travel.  This lanky, agile Viszla prefers passenger seat travel.  Within seconds she has seated herself in the front seat and gives Nicole the enquiring look as why she is not yet harnessed and on her way to the promised adventure.

Madison can be stubborn, but Nilla is the persistent one.  Arguments on who should be sitting where are ongoing.  Explaining safety issues fall on deaf ears, and we are talking about Nilla here, not Madison who is the expert on feigning deafness.

It could be sibling rivalry – the favored seat by mom.  It could be that Nilla likes to follow the roads to the beach and can see much better from the passenger seat.  She can also see more of what’s going on all around her. Travelling to somewhere exciting, like the doggie beach, is a very important activity for a Viszla.  Hungarian Viszlas love action, and quiver with anticipation the moment an adventure is proposed.

Madison ignores the argument and takes a nap.  She will enjoy the beach when she gets to it, but there’s always time for a nap.

When they get back home, they curl up together. Nilla is finally tired, and Madison considers napping an excellent indoor activity.Madison and NillaHungarian Viszlas have been around for centuries.  Drawings of them have been found from the 10th century.  The breed was developed in Hungary and was favored by barons of the Magyar.

Kindness and patience are an owner’s keys to training a Viszla.  Once attached, the dog wants to please you, but can be over-anxious, try too hard, and takes its failures seriously. With love and attention, the pup will develop well and is an all-purpose dog.

Viszlas must be close to loved ones.  This dog becomes anxious if left alone too long. With Madison as Nilla’s constant companion, they do okay home alone, together.

On lifestyle requirements, the city is not the best environment, unless you are an owner who hikes on weekends.  Exercise is a breed requirement for this one.  The dog can handle any terrain, but not in any weather.  Viszlas have no undercoat, which is great in the summer, but a problem when temperatures drop below freezing.

Nilla has a great personality.  She lets you know how she feels about things in general daily and constantly shows her love for her family and friends.

I’m glad to have had the chance to introduce Nilla to you, although I have heard she made a complaint about my dog blog.  Somebody told her I did a post on Madison before I wrote about her.  I’ll send her some chicken jerky to make up for that error in judgment.

For those of you who are interested, we suggested Hungarian Viszlas for Libra in AstroPups, available in paperback or Kindle at Amazon books). There are two Libras in Nicole’s family, so that works well.

Thanks for sharing with me.  If you want to contact me, you can do so through comment or email.  You will find my email in About Us, top right of page. Click on About Us and scroll down.  The banner of dogs remains for the post, About Us and Reviews.

Acknowledgements of authors who contributed to AstroPups, which I use to write my blog, can also be found in About Us.

See you soon. 🙂