Safety Tips for Fireworks and Pets. (Spunky Says Ditto-Arf!) 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. 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. Read the rest of this entry »

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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 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. 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 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. Read the rest of this entry »

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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.

Although security experts advise against it, many people still use a pet’s name as all or part of their passwords.  So it’s not rocket science for a smarter-than-average pet to crack a PIN, master a keyboard and learn to type, for example, “beef jerky.” Others just nab the credit card, hit the doggie-door, scale the fence (or tunnel out) and return before their humans can say, “Who ordered 3 chew toys, 2 boxes of rawhide, 4 cat videos and 8 packages of bacon?”

Jasmine and Spunky have not (to anyone’s knowledge) gone on a shopping spree with their owners’ credit cards. However, pet owners everywhere may want to check the security camera at their local pet store. They might recognize some especially familiar patrons.

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A Dog-Gone Tough Vocabulary Test

use_your_brain500hcrWhew! Obedience School is getting tougher.

Rumor has it that the really smart dogs attending a really smart school with a really tough instructor may have to take (or have their masters take) a vocabulary test.

Some dogs, by practicing’s Vocabulary Flash Cards, have allegedly learned to see, say and s-p-e-l-l, some pretty impressive new words.

Spunky and Jasmine are smart dogs who occasionally have to “stay” after Obedience School. They have become quite the little bloggers … and linguistic experts. After years of studying’s “Remarkable Verbs” flashcards online (yes, these dogs can surf, too), they have learned to “speak” and “s-p-e-l-l” them.

Here’s what transpired: Read the rest of this entry »

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The Daily Puppy – by Spunky

Maverick – J. Lauren, Bringing home the biscuits at

Meet Maverick. I saw his picture in my favorite newspaper – The Daily Puppy – just before I chewed up the Sports section. This newspaper has puppy news, videos and shopping for everything from puppy feed to doggie doors, plus other kinds of canine content, such as how to train your puppy.

You can vote for your favorite “daily puppy” by giving him or her a virtual dog biscuit, which counts as one vote.

Not surprisingly, Maverick had racked up 3,337 biscuit-votes at last check. Pretty much off-the-charts cute. It’ll probably go to his head. But the competition’s fierce. Other biscuit-vote hoarders include Buster the Beagle, Pickles the Dachshund, Barkley the Mixed Breed, and Casper, an exotic Alaskan Klee Kai with one eye that’s ice-blue and the other that’s chestnut brown.

Enough reading and blogging, though. Like many dogs, I prefer the print edition of The Daily Puppy, because printed newspapers are easier to eat than their online counterparts! Plus, my humans don’t like it if I drool on the keyboard. (Ssssometimesss it makes the “S”ss key ssstick.)

The biscuit-vote competition will continue among pups of all varieties. Those dogs are earning more biscuits than I can count on two paws. Even so, I still think that – pound for pound – Shelties almost always win paws-down for the title of “Cutest of Them All.”

Maverick’s humans say that his name suits his personality. I guess I’d give him a few biscuits, too, for looks and personality. But I think Jasmine and I are even cuter … and more personable. Plus we have our own dog blog. Take that to the biscuit-bank, Maverick!

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Jazz & Spunky’s Birthday Party Plans

A-List Guests Enjoy the Buffet

While the humans were away, Spunky and Jazz dreamed up their own birthday party. Neither knows the actual dates of their birthdays, so they agreed to share a day and invite their favorite four-legged friends.

So far, this party only exists in the minds of the dogs. But one day, when they’re home alone, they’re really going to throw the ultimate canine cabal.

This is how they imagine it will be. But they’re still working (like dogs) on it.

Here’s what they have so far:

Shopping List

Candles (for chewing, not lighting)
Cake (at dog’s-eye level, not too high, e.g. countertop = too high)
Frosty Paws frozen treats (no need to worry about melting – we’ll consume them all before that’s even a remote possibility)
Doggie biscuits
Gravy (jars will do – real dogs don’t cook and frankly we’re not all that discriminating) Read the rest of this entry »

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Mornings at Jazz & Spunky’s House

Spunky o-u-t-s-i-d-e

“Good morning!” – Spunky

It happens every day.

“Dad” wakes up first. Very early. When it’s still dark. The dogs know that he’s typically the first one up. They’re usually waiting for him. At the top of the stairs. Because they know that – before he wakes up Mr. Coffee who then helps wake him up – he’ll walk to the top of the stairway that leads to the lower level, which leads to the rec room, which leads to the sliding glass door, which leads to The Great Outdoors. Read the rest of this entry »

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