Living with Dogs - Toys Wonderful Toys!

Dogs are a lot like children. If you don’t give them something fun to do, they will make their own fun — and often not in ways you approve of. What’s more, dogs that get plenty of mental exercise are happier, calmer, quieter, and less likely to rummage through the trash or attack the couch cushions. All terrific reasons your dog should have toys. And not just one or two — dogs have distinctly individual preferences depending on the day, time and situation. Do a little detective work and find out what truly tickles your dog. The best toys have a purpose. They deliver food, present a challenge, squeak, or make themselves interesting in some unique way. If you are new to the world of dog toys, here are some classics to begin with: rope toys, plush toys (with or without squeakers), Hide-A-Bone (squirrel, bird), tricky treat balls, soft rubber toys (vinyl and hard rubber toys like Kong and Nyla bones). Once you have a good selection, develop a toy strategy. Designate a popular toy for use only during alone time, like times when you need to confine him/her to a crate, area or room. Then, rotate the other toys daily to keep the novelty factor high. 

February Cover Model

Names: (L-R) Duncan and Arrowyn with dog mom, Christie Moore.  

Age: 6½ yrs. They will officially become seniors June 18th.  

Family: Duncan, Arrowyn and Christie live in Boring. Much of their half-acre is fenced, giving the Beagles plenty of room to run off-leash, chase each other around the pump house, and do occasional perimeter checks. 

A slice of heaven for pets, people in Sunriver

For adults the word “vacation” doesn’t have the same magical promise of carefree adventure it does for the young. In fact, since the invention of online reservations and do-it-yourself travel arrangements, the “vacations” we take these days can be even more stressful than a typical work day. The convenience of technology can become a curse if websites fail to communicate with each other or — even worse — you forget the invaluable e-ticket, e-reservation, or confirmation code, bringing your vacation to a sudden halt.   

With this kind of stress it’s not surprising to hear returning vacationers say, “I need a vacation from my vacation!”  

Bennington Properties, a family-owned property management company in Sunriver, OR, has a refreshingly old-fashioned take on the modern “vacation.” They're not your typical vacation property company.   

Get crafty with Enid

Spot’s Mutt Mixer Feb. 4 features special guest Enid Samuel Traisman, M.S.W., C.T., art therapist and grief counselor at DoveLewis in Portland.

Known and loved locally for her work in art and grief therapy, Enid is perhaps best known for her free monthly grief support groups and free monthly Memorial Art Workshops at DoveLewis.   

Enid will have her “artist hat” on at the Mixer, guiding guests through an easy heart-shaped clay pawprint craft. This is a unique opportunity to “play” with Enid and, as anyone who knows her knows, she is a gifted, brilliant, joy of a human being with a huge heart for animals and people.   

ASPCA reports in with the 10 Most Common Pet Poisons of 2009

Is your pooch mad for people food? Does your kitty like to self-medicate? Sadly, not everything we love is good for us. In fact, many common household goods that we take for granted as harmless can poison our furry friends.  

In 2009, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, IL, handled more than 140,000 cases of pets exposed to toxic household substances, many of which included everyday household products like insecticides, cleaning supplies and prescription medications. 

To help you keep your pet safe this year, the ASPCA experts have created a list of the 10 common poisons that most affected furry friends last year.  

Come Meet the Love Bugs


Pacific Northwest Pit Bull Rescue is the featured rescue at Spot’s Mutt Mixer at Hotel Monaco Feb. 4, 6-8pm. Come meet these special lovebugs, and the great folks of PNWPBR.

PNWPBR is an all-volunteer organization helping Pit Bulls in need at shelters and humane societies in the Pacific Northwest through foster care, adoption, advocacy and education. The group provides current and future guardians and the general public with information about Bully Breed dogs — from their history to the present, truth versus myth, and tips on feeding, training and health care.

The story began in July of 2006 when Ellena Thomas came upon Gerkin, a sweet American Pit Bull Terrier whose life had come down to two options: get out or get put down. Gerkin was living in Ontario, Canada which has a ban on his breed. One look at his face, says Thomas, and she had to help. Generous support from the Pit Bull community locally and across the US got Gerkin on a plane home to Ellena, and PNWPBR was born. Now, almost four years later, the group works in adoption, education, advocacy and outreach. Their motto is, “Abandoned. Adopted. Adored.”

pdxdog hosts speed-networking at Mixer


In matters of the heart, dogs — or any pet — can be relationship makers . . . or breakers. Dog lovers share a unique appreciation for what it really means to love dogs, and sharing that passion with others is a favorite pastime. So creating meetups for those who share the love of dogs makes sense. While connecting with others and developing relationships comes easy for some, others do better with a helping hand.  

When the context is romance, today’s version of the dating dance can take a dog-loving single seeking [fill in the blank] through a blur of websites, events and “help” from well-meaning friends and relatives . . . only to discover the one special person they meet . . . doesn’t like dogs.   

All great reasons to attend the Spot/Monaco Mutt Mixer Feb. 4. Pdxdog will be joining the fun with a special “must love dogs”-style activity for networking, and who knows! Maybe even romance. 

Satellites for Haiti

Now that the USAR FEMA team has worked the Hotel Montana and other locations in Haiti, pulling out numerous survivors (GREAT JOB PEOPLE and dogs) there are families scrambling to find answers for those still missing. 
 
I've received hundreds of emails and calls asking: Why I’m not over there helping; What can be done? Who do these folks turn to to find their loved ones? 

Meet Faye the pet/people psychic

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Also appearing Feb. 4 will be special guest, pet and people psychic Faye Pietrokowsky, founder of Inner Design. Faye says everything in life works better when people engage their intuition in decision-making, along with reason and logic. “I wanted to help people live richer lives by befriending and utilizing intuition. Inner Design began with private consultations to assist people in examining and solving issues.” Intuition classes were offered at community and private colleges, books stores and boutiques. 

“In the beginning,” says Faye, “people met at my office, asking about the living and deceased, existing and new employees, careers, relocating, and pets.” Her work took her to Los Angeles, Seattle, Wisconsin and Illinois, leading her to work by phone much of the time.  

Intrigued with consulting by email, Faye explored the possibility and found it effective. “The pet psychic/animal communication classes and consultations have always been a part of my work,” says Faye. “It’s natural for people to ask about their beloved animal friends as well as family, friends and co-workers.”