July 27, 2006

Our Dog Bath Day Chaos

Bath day in our house of four dogs has always been a bit of an adventure, something a two-human team usually accomplishes, and I recently discovered that this is not a task that one person should try alone.
At the first sight of me gathering our favorite doggie shampoos and towels, Jay and Francis head for the bathroom in anticipation, while Mia and Lance try to become the first invisible dogs in history.
We normally start with Lance, since it seems the longer he waits for his turn the more stressed he becomes. First you have to "find' him though. He's hiding where he always is; under Jay's favorite quilt with nothing but his backside sticking out, and when you pull the quilt away he always looks amazed that you found him. Into the tub he goes, and he begins to vocally "grumble", which gets louder in volume throughout the bath. Jay and Francis sit outside the bathroom door, both whining loudly because they can hear Lance's grumbling; this is what we call "bath time music." He does stand still though, as if he realizes that this will make the "water torture" and sooner, so his bathing goes fairly quickly. He tolerates the towel-drying and then shoots out of the bathroom door at the speed of light and begins his ritual after-bath marathon. He runs from one end of the house to the other as fast as he can, bouncing off the sofas and beds, in non-stop fashion.

Jay loves a bath, but he wants you to leave the faucet running while he takes it so he can drink the water. I'm not sure why this is such a fascination, but if you don't leave it running he will sit in the back of the tub and refuse to move, thus making it impossible to wash all of him. So I leave the faucet on, and he happily laps water as he's being lathered. Unfortunately, this results in his needing to go outdoors for a potty break almost immediately after his bath. I let him out the back door, and avoid a near-miss collision in the hallway with the speeding "Super Lance" as I return to the bathroom where Francis is already waiting for her turn.

Francis is bathed without incident, but she insists that the shower curtain be closed, so we can only assume that she's shy. I dry her, open the bathroom door, and this time we both dodge Lance as he rockets past us through the hallway. Jay is barking to be let back in the house now, so I let him in and then locate Mia, who is sitting in the living room chair trying to figure out why Lance is still flying through the house at breakneck speed.

Mia is a little bit timid in the bath and likes to stand up with her front feet on the side of the tub and her face hidden in your shirt while she's being washed. It makes a bit of a mess, but it gives her comfort so we don't mind. When she's done, she likes to be wrapped in a fluffy towel and carried around for awhile, so the wet bathroom has to wait a bit before being cleaned.

Now comes the "drying rituals." Even though he has already been fully towel-dried, Jay is spoiled and wants to be further dried with the blow-dryer as well, which Francis hates. Mia at this point still wants to be cuddled. So I wind up using the blow dryer with one hand to dry Jay as I hold Mia with the other; and Francis is barking at the dryer the whole time; while Lance is STILL rocketing through the house.

About a half hour later things are much calmer, and I take a much-needed rest before starting to clean the bathroom. But then I notice that now *I* am the one who needs a bath... and I think the dogs are laughing at me!

July 23, 2006

PETCO Spay/Neuter Fundraiser

Pet overpopulation is a problem that results in thousands of unwanted animals being euthanized in shelters every year.
Today, all PETCO stores begin their annual "Round Up/Spay Today" fundraiser program, which helps to combat this problem. From July 23rd through August 13, customers are encouraged to "round up" their purchases to the nearest dollar at checkout.
Proceeds from this fundraiser will go to local spay/neuter programs in the communities where each store is located. Additional funds will be donated to Spay USA to support their spay/neuter programs and hotlines.

July 19, 2006

Politics Have Gone to the Dogs!

What started as a joke among friends has evolved into an event of international notice, as Alaska claims its first dog candidate for Governor of the state.

Ruth Sisk, who is the owner of the lovable Golden Retriever named Brinkley, began posting campaign signs featuring "Brinkley for Governor" in her area to amuse her neighbors, and the idea was immediately accepted with great enthusiasm. Sisk now campaigns up to 15 hours a day selling Brinkley T-shirts and other items to raise money for the ASPCA and other worthwhile dog-related nonprofit organizations. She has already raised over $4000 for her efforts, and the campaign is still going strong.

Brinkley's campaign has received media recognition on America's David Letterman Show, the Today Show, and in the Washington Post, as well as many other media venues worldwide.

You can visit Brinkley's website to learn more about this historic fund-raising effort, and may even wish to show your support by purchasing pins, bumper stickers, or shirts from their campaign store.

July 17, 2006

Dogs and Computers

Our littliest Mini Pinscher, Mia, always seems to get irritated when mom spends too much time on the computer. At times, she even tries to push it off of my lap, and she smacks it frequently with her paw. When I received this joke eMail from a friend today, it gave me a pretty good idea of why that may be:

Reasons dogs don't use computers:

* Can't stick their heads out of Windows XP.
* Hard to read the monitor with your head cocked to one side.
* Too difficult to "mark" every website they visit.
* Can't help attacking the screen when they hear "You've Got Mail."
* Keep bruising their noses trying to catch that MPEG frisbee.
* Not at all fooled by Chuckwagon Screen Saver.
* Still trying to come up with an "emoticon" that signifies tail-wagging.
* Saliva-coated mouse gets mighty difficult to manuever.
* All butts smell the same.

July 14, 2006

We've Added Dog Life Jackets!

While it is a popular myth that all dogs are natural swimmers, studies have shown that breeds with low body weight and older dogs with hip problems may not have the ability keep themselves from drowning. Even the most active pups can become tired or injured in the water and require a little help.
This week Puppycoat Junction has added to their product line some terrific dog life jackets from Paws Aboard! We like their unique design, which provides a mesh underbelly so that your dog is more comfortably supported. This a particularly positive feature when using the convenient handle on the back to help get the dog out of the water.
Paws Aboard's designer dog life jackets come in your choice of pink or blue with polka dots, and we carry sizes for dogs from 6 to 50 pounds. The original yellow dog life jackets are available in sizes for all dogs from 6 to over 90 pounds.

July 13, 2006

Sun Protection for Dogs

From Jay D. Dogg: When I was a very young puppy, we found out that the pink spot on top of my nose would get sunburned after only a very short time outdoors. While many dogs never have to worry about it, dogs with thin fur, bare spots or very light colored coats usually do. Even if your pet doesn't go outside, if they like to sunbathe in front of a window or doorway, they are still at risk. We canine kids can get skin cancer and other sun-related skin ailments the same as humans do, so we need our owners to help protect us. While it is not always possible to keep us out of the direct sun, there are still a couple of things you can do.
If your pet likes to be dressed, a dog T-shirt or hat can be very helpful in shading sensitive skin. Just remember to keep the material lightweight so that it isn't too hot.
Using sunblock, like I do, is another terrific way to prevent burns. Most human sunblocks can be harmful to dogs, but dog products have come a long way, and now there are some on the market made just for us! PetsMart now carries Nutri-Vet Sun Defense, which blocks both UVA and UVB rays and is comparable to SPF 15 sunscreens. It in non-scented, doesn't stain, and doesn't feel sticky on the skin. If you look online, you will find many stores selling Pet Sunscreen made by the manufacturer of Doggles, and it is also SPF 15. For dogs that need a bit more protection, you might try MVP Sports Spray insect repellant and sunscreen. It is a waterproof product made with all-natural ingredients, and is safe for both children and pets. It has a rating of SPF 30.
Another thing to consider is your pet's eyes. Long-term exposure to sunlight also increases your pet's chances of developing cataracts, and Doggles make a wonderful array of shatter-proof dog sunglasses to protect them from those harmful UV rays. Their lightweight flexible frames make them comfortable for dogs of all sizes, and the innovative strap system keeps them from falling off. These are particularly useful for dogs who spend a lot of time near water, sand, snow or light-colored concrete, where the reflected sun rays are more intense.

July 11, 2006

Dangerous Dog Flu is Spreading

According to this article from the Miami Herald, dog flu has been reported in 22 states and is on the rise. All dog owners should be aware of the symptoms, since the disease is not neccessaarily deadly if caught in time.

South Florida veterinarians are on the lookout for a deadly dog virus making its way around the country.

Dog flu -- also known as canine influenza virus -- is a highly contagious respiratory disease that has more than tripled since last year, said Cynda Crawford, an immunologist at the College of Veterinarian Medicine at the University of Florida.

In Miami-Dade County, veterinarians randomly sampled 100 dogs with respiratory distress from October to May.

Ten percent tested positive for canine influenza, said Sara Pizano, director of Miami Dade Animal Services. Eight dogs were put to sleep.

In Broward, several dogs were put to sleep earlier this year at the Broward County Animal Care and Regulation Division, said Tarnell Carroll, spokesperson for the Broward County Animal Care and Regulation Division.

Last week, more than 70 infected dogs were put to sleep in an animal shelter. And the shelter has suspended adoptions until Monday.

''If we have no dogs for the remainder of this week with the clinical signs of canine influenza, we will open on July 17,'' said Dianne Sauve of the Palm Beach Animal Control Center.

In September, seven states reported outbreaks of dog flu. As of this month, 22 states have reported outbreaks, said Crawford, a national expert on dog flu.

Please follow this link to read the full article which includes symptoms and treatments.

July 10, 2006

Your Dog Could Be a Star!

Every dog is special, and this is your chance to show America what makes *your* pet stand out from all the rest. There's a new talk show airing in America this fall, and they are calling for owners to submit video footage of their pets for a chance to appear on TV. For more information and to download their submission form, visit the Humane Society of the United States.

July 08, 2006

Free Dog Treats!

We're always looking for new things for our canine kids to try, and today we found these terrific free offers:

1. Pegetables - Vegetable treats. The "Free Sample" link at the center top of their page.

2. Benny Bullys - They have several flavors to choose from. The "Free Sample" link is in the white space under the top navigation bar.
3. Schmackos - Treats that are made with real bacon.
4. Greenies - ok, these are more of a "chew" than a "treat." Be sure to tell them the weight of your pet, and remember you should always supervise your dog with any kind of edible chew product.


July 07, 2006

Storms Affect Dogs Too

LanceHi! My name is Lance, and I'm a hurricane Charley survivor, so I know a bit about storms. Since so many areas seem to be experiencing a pretty rough start to "storm season" this year, I just wanted to remind everyone that when you are getting ready for bad weather, please don't forget us canine kids. Even during a harmless thunderstorm, some of us little guys can get pretty scared, and something as simple staying nearby and petting us a little more than usual can sure help a lot. Sometimes having an indoor crate or something else to hide in helps too. We used to make a little "box tent" with a blanket inside for my sister Mia before we bought her a puppy tent, and being able to hide calmed her quite a bit. Whatever you do, PLEASE don't leave your dogs outside during a heavy storm. Even with a doghouse, there's a lot of things that could hurt your dog (like lightning!).
Really bad weather events can cause you to have to evacuate, and you should definitely have a plan long before you need to go. Here is a pretty good article to read; Hurricane Evacuations for Dog Owners. Even though it deals with hurricane prep, it still has as very good list of items you should think about packing for your dog in ANY kind of evacuation.

July 05, 2006


Welcome to our blog! Here we will post updates to our website, fun and interesting information about dogs, dog pictures, and more. Puppycoat Junction's website specializes in dog clothes, but we also offer other supplies for them as well because... well, we just love dogs! Each of our own pups has a unique story, and you can meet our special canine crew by visiting our About Us page. They are the inspiration behind our business, and a *very* opinionated lot! We hope that you will find our blog to be both entertaining and, at times, even educational.