The dog blog: An unauthorized autobidography by Michleen Collins

Michleen Collins Dog Blog:

Spunky & Jasmine

Spunky & Jasmine

Jasmine – the one on the right – was the first addition to my sister’s household. (I may or may not be responsible for this.) Her sidekick, Spunky, would tag along later.  Continue reading “The dog blog: An unauthorized autobidography by Michleen Collins”


Good Dogs! Farewell to the Dynamic Duo

PearlyGates500k_aquabluejay_deviantartShetland Sheepdog (Sheltie, Miniature Collie)
Origin: Scotland
Size: Medium
Group: Herding
Life Span: 12-13 years
Active, playful, affectionate, gentle, intelligent, alert, lively, loyal, reserved, trainable, responsive, strong, a very good shepherd, hardy, in good shape, a wide field of vision, loyal, intelligent, reliable.

Spunky left the pack in November of 2014. Like Jasmine, he had all the Sheltie-typical traits listed above, plus a few Spunky-specific tendencies, such as:Continue reading “Good Dogs! Farewell to the Dynamic Duo”

Good-for-Pups Pumpkin Dog Biscuits

Why not reward your pups for their (mostly) good behavior and characteristic loyalty? Most will be happy to show off their favorite tricks in exchange for these dog-friendly pumpkin treats.

Pumpkin snacks are on Cesar Millan’s list of dog-safe people foods. Ask your veterinarian first about safe snacks for your pet. Then, introduce small amounts first. Every dog is unique and some may have allergies or other reactions.

This recipe from Rachel Ray is simple, sweet and rich in beta-carotene. Just don’t tell the pups it’s good for them!

Continue reading “Good-for-Pups Pumpkin Dog Biscuits”

Squirrel 1, Hawk 0

This furry little crunch-time strategist has quite the story to tell, worthy of sharing with generations of grand-squirrels for years to come.

Hi, I’m Spunky and I’m the guest dog-blogger and film reviewer today.

Even I, a card-carrying squirrel-hater, have to grudgingly salute this literally over-the-top film, its producer and, above all, its leading-critter. He is a remarkably clever, gutsy, quick and agile little squirrel.Continue reading “Squirrel 1, Hawk 0”

Smoky the 4-Pound, 4-Legged War Legend

by Spunky

A tribute to veterans and the loyal war dogs who encouraged them … especially through times of turmoil.

Smoky knew over 100 tricks. Unfortunately, talking wasn’t one of them.

In earlier posts, I may or may not have referred to that little red-headed Pom in my pack as my nemesis.

But we’re learning to get along. Especially now that my best-buddy Jasmine has gone to that big sunflower field in the sky. (I’m pretty sure there are no squirrels, cats or mail-carriers there.)

Actually, for a small and overly inquisitive breed, Yorkies aren’t all that bad. Case in point is a famous little World War II era Yorky named Smoky.Continue reading “Smoky the 4-Pound, 4-Legged War Legend”

“I Hate Squirrels,” by Spunky

“Squirrels lack humility.” – Spunky

Hi. My name is Spunky, and I’m the guest dog-blogger today.

You may have heard that January 21st is National Squirrel Appreciation Day. On this day, I want to express my solidarity with card-carrying squirrel-haters everywhere who think that whoever came up with the idea for this national event is, well, nuts.

I don’t know why anyone would want to tolerate – much less appreciate – squirrels. (With one raptor-dodging exception.)

Unless, perhaps, for the sheer fun of chasing them. Continue reading ““I Hate Squirrels,” by Spunky”

“Jasmine” – the Just-Right Name

Jasmine symbolizes life, love, happiness, nobility, grace and elegance.

Over 14 years ago, a small Sheltie charmed her way into a new pack. Names were discussed in a collaborative effort to find a suitable moniker for this personable and peppy new pup.

En route to Jasmine’s new home, her pack tried on many perfectly good names for size. Everyone liked the name “Jasmine.” Even then, before anyone really knew her, it seemed to fit.

After all these years, it’s nice to know that – in addition to her Disney princess namesake – the name Jasmine is derived from the Persian yasmin, which means “gift from God.”Continue reading ““Jasmine” – the Just-Right Name”

How to Calm Panicky Pets (and their Owners)

Spunky and Jasmine never met their adopted cousin Whiskey. He was a handsome, friendly, whiskey-colored mixed-breed dog who resembled an Irish Setter. My brother encountered him along the highway, still clinging to his “catch of the day” – a rabbit. (R.I.P.)

Upon command, Whiskey abandoned the rabbit, rightly sensing that his new human friend had better things in store. When no owner could be found, my sister volunteered to adopt the lost, hungry dog with a bad and understandable case of separation anxiety.

Whiskey soon came to love his new home and attentive pack. His Irish Setter appearance and likely lineage may explain why he received a card one in the mail one day for St. Patrick’s Day. It featured a photo of an Irish Setter. The red-headed dog on the care proundly sported a green button that read: “Pet me, I’m Irish.” Whiskey’s clever owner, wrote back on his behalf.

Continue reading “How to Calm Panicky Pets (and their Owners)”

Safety Tips for Fireworks and Pets. (Spunky Says Ditto-Arf!)

AdoptaPet.com Fireworks Safety Reminder

If you’re a pet-fan, you know that fireworks can scare some furry friends into a full-fledged anxiety attack. A few easy precautions can keep the festivities going with minimal trauma.

Just ask Spunky. One Fourth of July while vacationing with his pack, a loud burst of fireworks spooked Spunky and sent the panicked pet bolting into unfamiliar territory. Thankfully, he was eventually found hiding in someone’s garage, to the great relief of Spunky and his pack.

Bright flashing lights and thunder-like noises can cause even the bravest pets to panic. They may even run away from their home. Adopt-a-Pet.com reports that July is the busiest season for shelters trying to rescue lost pets. During fireworks season, simple precautions can help everyone enjoy the celebrations while preventing scared or lost pets.

The site offers a few simple steps for an unfrazzled Fourth. Continue reading “Safety Tips for Fireworks and Pets. (Spunky Says Ditto-Arf!)”

Happy 14th and Last Birthday, Jasmine

Goodbye, Jasmine. For a dog who was – most of the time – sugar, spice and everything nice, this post is for you. It’s a special, Thanksgiving cinnamon, nutmeg, ice-cream and who’s counting calories? pumpkin-pie-shake salute to Jazz.

Your pack is grateful for your life, loyalty and companionship. You were indeed a good dog!

Jasmine turned 14 on the 14th of Nov., 2011. (That’s about 98 in dog years.) Her pack of people and pups helped mark the occasion. Unlike her humans, she was mercifully unaware that this would be her 14th – and last – of many dog-gone good, dog-year birthdays.

Like most dogs, she accepted whatever life threw her way. That was true whether it was the fast-ball exuberance of youth, the slow-ball frailty of old age, or the hard-ball reality of death.

Dogged Determination Despite Fading Faculties

Over time, Jasmine became less agile in her important daily activities, such as guarding the pool, running just for the thrill of it, or chasing intrusive geese, squirrels or deliverymen.

Gradually, other health issues emerged. She lost some of her formerly boundless energy and agility, but never her spirit, heart and will.Continue reading “Happy 14th and Last Birthday, Jasmine”

Are you SURE your dog is home alone?

If someone were to accuse a pet of being a hacker, one might assume they were talking about:

  1. a cat with a hairball,
  2. a dog with a tendency to swallow first and think later, or
  3. a parrot owned by someone with hay fever.

However, there’s another type of hacker that’s far more serious. That is a pet who is smart enough to know where the credit cards are buried. This undercover “Dog Goes Shopping” video catches a particularly clever pup/hacker in the act.

Paying for contraband dog toys, snacks and more is easy enough for pets with unsuspecting owners. Some pets shop at home. Others go to trendy, pet-friendly coffeeshops. Still others go straight to the store to fetch some treats.Continue reading “Are you SURE your dog is home alone?”