December 19, 2007

A Holiday Wish

Tis the season of Christmas and it's our heartfelt wish,
That every dog has a food-laden dish.
And someone to cuddle them and rub their ears,
And give them a home for the rest of their years.
Someone who will praise them and have time to play,
And give them a warm bed on which to lay.
That all dogs have safe yards and a favorite toy,
So neighborhoods will ring with barks of joy.
That no dog will feel lonely or sad with mistrust,
And the rescue shelters will house nothing but dust.
So if you have room, and some love to spare,
Please rescue a dog and give them your care.

December 18, 2007

Cute Christmas Dog

This was sent to us by eMail this morning, and it's just about one of the cutest holiday dog photos we've ever seen!

December 16, 2007

The Dog Days of Christmas!

Hope everyone is having a pleasant holiday season so far! We've been busy as usual, putting up the tree and lights and all that goes with it.
Shopping for doggie gifts has been a real challenge this year though, particularly for our Boxer, Jay. He's almost 11 years old now, and has lived a terrifically pampered life, so finding anything new for him for Christmas is almost impossible. He's too old to want to have any interest at all in toys now, so those are out. He already has the best orthopedic dog bed indoors, and a comfortbale lounger for when he wants to sunbathe outside. He has a huge array of warm dog coats, and a plenty of padded collars and harnesses. We have just about every pet travel item that you could use, and his bowls are new. All of our pups get an amply supply of bones and treats in their stockings, but finding that one "special" item just for Jay is the trick.
So it raises a fairly humorous question... "What do you buy for the dog who has everything?"

November 14, 2007

Dogs Killed in Puerto Rico

We were all outraged last year when we heard the news about China killing thousands of dogs, but now it appears we have an equally appalling story coming from Puerto Rico, a United States territory.
The Associated Press reported that thousands of unwanted animals have been buried alive, thrown off of bridges, and otherwise cruelly killed. Adoptable strays were to supposed to be sent to shelters so that they could find homes, and the others were to be humanely euthanized. However, it appears that the leading private animal control program has opted to massacre them all instead.
The full story can be found here: Puerto Rico Pet Massacres

Several organizations are struggling to help the homeless animals in Puerto Rico receive the loving care that all dogs deserve. One is Save A Sato (, and they are not only working to save these animals, but they are also working to motivate people to tell the government officials what they think in order to make permanent changes in how the animals are treated. Click on the link "How to Help" (left menu of their site) and you will find many ways to get involved with their efforts.
Even if you have no money or supplies to donate, if you have a minute of time and feel like speaking your mind, this website gives the addresses of several government officials you can write to, or they have a program where you can simply submit your mailing address to send a post card to the Governor.
Their website has a banner that also says they desperately need supplies to keep their efforts going. They need everything from bath towels and veterinary supplies to Frequent Flyer miles. The list is quite extensive, so it's easy to find some way to help.
If you are currently involved with a U.S. animal shelter or rescue organization, Save A Sato needs stateside shelters to help them find homes for these pets. They emphasize their ability to provide high-demand small breed dogs that are often not available in local shelters here, as well as large breeds. The list of organizations currently helping them find homes for these dogs includes New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and Texas, but they need more.

Another organization who is working to stop the animal suffering is Island Dog Inc. (
One of the unique things we noticed on their site was their "Escort A Pet" program. If you are vacationing in San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, or St. Croix, and have a direct flight into your city, you can help them by escorting a pet. It will not cost you a cent! They transport the pet to the airport and check them in on your plane. Once you land, a person from a stateside shelter will meet you at the airport to take the pet. It's that simple, and what better way to end a memorable vacation than to have the knowledge that you saved a life?

And on that note, I'm off to write a few letters and start gathering supplies!

September 01, 2007

Millionaire Dog

I read an article a couple of days ago regarding the death of a hotel owner who apparently left her little Maltese dog 12 million dollars in her will! While I can fully understand wanting to set aside some money to be sure your dog is cared for after you are gone, this is ridiculous.
Imagine how much good could have been done if she'd willed even half of that amount to the ASPCA or some other animal welfare organization. Her dog would have still had more than enough set aside for it's care, and countless other animals could have been saved.
What in the world was she thinking?

August 22, 2007

Real Estate and the Dogs

Along with many people in Florida now, we are busy house hunting. To be blunt, we are being taxed out of our own home, so it's necessary to find another that's more affordable tax-wise. What has me amused is that our arguments for/against each new home we look at has very little to do with our needs, and everything to do with what our dogs need! We were looking at the first round of home's listing sheets last night when I realized this. The one with the gorgeous retro kitchen was vetoed because it didn't have enough yard for the dogs to play in. The one with the prettiest view was tossed because there wasn't enough open floor space in the kitchen to put all of the dog bowls, and it had stairs that might be difficult for our littlest dogs. We decided against the one with the best location because it didn't have an extra bedroom for the dogs (and our pups are used to having their own play room).
So I guess at this point it would be more accurate to say that we are house hunting... for our dogs!
Maybe we are totally crazy, but for us there is very little difference between planning for children and planning for the dogs. How about you? If you were looking for a home, how much weight would your dogs' needs carry when you made your decision?

August 05, 2007

Dog or Squirrel... Which is Nuttier?

Ok, ever since we got her, Francis has had a real issue with chasing squirrels, which we have been trying to teach her NOT to do. We have taught her a "LEAVE IT" command, which is generally successful in making her leave all sorts of things alone and go find something else to do.
However, our brilliant dog has obviously found a loophole in the command. This weekend she decided to show mommy that in dog logic "Leave It" does not mean that you can't get as close as possible to an object and STARE at it.
Notice the squirrel to the left side of the photo? Both dog and critter were frozen in that same position for over 10 minutes... just staring. I was doing some yard work and had noticed that she was staring at something (and had been for a long time), but my eyes didn't pick out the squirrel in the scene until hubby came out on the porch with his camera.
I can't decide if this new situation is better than having a dog that chases squirrels or not? (lol).

July 31, 2007

Free Dog House Plan for Summer

Everyone knows that dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors need to have some kind of shelter, and we found a website that gives terrific free instructions for building a dog shelter that would be perfect for the summer months. It has a unique A-frame design that is open and airy enough for warm weather, yet it would provide good protection from the sun and rain.
If you're handy with a hammer and saw and are interested in making your dog an attractive summer shelter, check it out: Harry & Sal's Dog House

July 22, 2007

Respect Pet Friendly Hotels

Like many dog owners, we never take any vacation trips to destinations where our dogs are not welcome, and during a recent trip, we had the honor of staying at a VERY pet-friendly hotel (even their beach was pet friendly!). The owner complimented us on our dogs' good behavior, which then led to a discussion about how challenging it can be for hotels/motels to let pets stay.
He told us about two area hotels that had recently stopped allowing pets, and this got me thinking that maybe some owners weren't aware of what it takes to keep our pet-friendly hotels "friendly".
After passing what we had learned along to a friend, he wrote an informative article for our website which you can find here: Tips for Staying in a Hotel with Your Dog.

June 22, 2007

Free Dog Printables

With the introduction of our new website, we opened up a dog-related "printables" section. We are still working on more ideas for it, but currently you can find dog recipe cards, a pet sitter's information sheet, and a handy printable card that you can use to keep a record of your dog's measurements (for when you are shopping for dog clothes).
If there is something in particular that you are looking for or if you have something that you would like to share on the printables page, just let us know.

June 18, 2007

Meet Marty!

This is Marty, the newest addition to the Puppycoat Junction family. She's a rescue pup (of course!) and has a great little personality.

For some reason, she likes to walk around on her hind legs a lot, and it's hilarious. She also like to stand on the window sills, so it looks like we have some sort of strange cat in the window!

June 14, 2007

A Nursing Home for Dogs

Recently, Japan has announced that they are opening the first dog nursing home complete with round-the-clock veterinary care and puppies to play with the elderly dogs. Owners will pay around $800 a month to keep their pets there.

While we can only assume that dog nursing homes will become a trend that will eventually reach the U.S., I have to wonder how many of us will actually use them?

On one hand, I can see how owners whose pets have advanced illnesses may want or actually need the nursing home option for their dogs.
But on the other hand I personally can't imagine ever trusting the care of my own elderly dogs to strangers, and it seems that monthly fee would be beyond the reach of the average dog owner anyway.

What about you? Would you put your elderly dog in a nursing home?

June 11, 2007

World's Biggest Dog

I got this email yesterday with this photo of a massive dog and all I could think of was WOW! It's a beautiful animal, and the accompanying text said that his name was "Hercules" and that he was in the Guinness Book as being the world's largest dog.
Ok, so I fell for it, "hook, line and sinker" as they say (lol). According to this article though, the photograph is a hoax, but they do go on to tell about the pets who have the honor of being the *real* world's tallest and heaviest dogs.

So I'm gullible. But you do have to admit that the person who created this was *very* good with their photo editing software!

March 19, 2007

A Sad Announcement

To all our readers, please know that we are trying hard to get back into "the swing of things" and keep up the blog and such, but you have no idea how very hard it is at this time.

For those of you who didn't know, our beloved Mini Pinscher, Lance, died last week from kidney failure. We had spent the weekend vacationing on the beach and noticed that he just wanted to cuddle the whole time instead of exploring like he usually does. So we packed up early and took him home to our vet. We were shocked to hear that his kidneys were shutting down then. There had been so many health scares with our two elderly dogs, Jay and Mia, that we never even considered losing Lance. His condition deterioriated rapidly, and two days later he was gone. He was such a good little dog, and we miss him terribly. I'm going to go have (another) cry now, but I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who have eMailed us with your love and condolences. It means a lot to us.

March 05, 2007

Free Dog T-Shirt from Pedigree

Pedigree dog foods are well-known for donating a portion of every sale to help homeless dogs,
and now they're offering a nifty "Dogs Rule" T-shirt to pet owners!

It's a mail-in offer, and it does require some UPC codes for proof-of-purchase, but shipping and the shirt itself are free. The UPC requirements apply to their dog treats as well, for those who do not use their foods.

February 19, 2007

Your Trash Can Help Save a Dog's Life

Save your old empty ink jet and laser printer cartriages and they can be recycled to earn cash that can save an animal's life. Noah's Wish is an animal welfare organization that goes to great lengths to keep animals alive during major disasters, but they do need our help to ensure their ongoing efforts.

While cash donations are always appreciated, this recycling program is one of the ways that everyone can help, no matter what the family budget looks like.
Donaters don't even have to pay for postage, as a free UPS shipping label for the cartriages and phones will be provided.
To learn more about the program, visit the Ink Cartriage Program page.

While you're on the site you may want to look around and read about some of the amazing things that Noah's Wish has done to aid animals involved in some of our country's worst disasters, including Hurricane Katrina and the more recent Merced California flood.

February 14, 2007

How did you name your dog?

I ran across a 'Net post the other day about someone who had bet $20 on the Kentucky Derby one year and, after winning the bet (on a long shot), they used the money to buy a dog... Thus they named it "Derby".
Then, a couple of days later I met a woman in PetsMart who had an Peekapoo puppy, which she called "Pikachu." She said her kids were crazy about the cartoon and she liked the way the names rhymed.
In our business we run across a huge variety of dog names, but these two really tweaked my curiosity about how other owners name their pups.

For us, Jay, Lance, and Princess Francis were all named by their previous owners and/or rescue center (though we do refer to Princess as "Hurricane Francis" from time to time!), and we didn't want to confuse them by changing their names. Mia didn't respond to any name when we got her from her abused situation, and we literally spent 2 days calling out female dog and human names to her until we found one that made her wag... she chose her own name.

So how did your dog get his or her name?

February 11, 2007

A Kid & Dog-Related Rant

Ok, none of us here are generally prone to rants, but this was just too much. Yesterday we had a strange young man come to our backyard fence and begin smacking it with a stick, teasing and barking at our youngest Boxer, Francis. When she went towards the fence, he starting poking the stick through it, trying to hit her. The weirdest part (besides the fact that he was bold enough to come into the yard like that), was that we were sitting right there on the patio! I told him to knock it off and go home, and his reply was basically something you can't repeat on family-oriented websites. He did leave though (after telling us he'll mess with our dogs any time he pleases), so I just chalked it up to poor parenting and kid stupidity.
Then he came back today.
I put Francis in the house as soon as he started his routine, so he then chose to ride his bike back and forth on the road yelling cuss words and "where's your dog, lady?"
I don't know what the kid's malfunction is, but this is a really quiet neighborhood where anything unusual attracts a lot of attention, so the next door neighbor called the sheriff out. He took the kid (who turned out to be 14 years old!) home in handcuffs, and told us that if he came back they would arrest him for tresspassing, harrassment, and a few other things if we would press charges. You bet your britches I will!
I'm truly boggled at why a kid of that age would think such a thing was amusing, and even further boggled by what sort of parents raised a kid to act so rotten!
And folks say that *Dogs* should be on leashes? Hmmm..

A Quick Thank You...

Kyle, thanks a bunch for all your help in restoring the blog! {{{hugs}}}

February 08, 2007

Dog Blog Mess

Ok, if you come to the blog and it looks crazy (weird colors, fonts, etc.) then it's not your computer or anything. We just changed blog software versions and we're having some problems getting the old template to work correctly. We're also trying a few new things. Do any of our readers happen to be a blog template guru?

February 07, 2007

Winter Care Tips for Outdoor Dogs

Here are some tips to help you keep your outdoor dog safe:

1. Provide them with a good dog house, one that is as watertight and wind-proof as possible. Hang a heavy rug or piece of carpet over the doorway to help block wind, and try to place the dog house where it can get sun during the day. Ideally, their house should have a raised floor, but if not then try to provide some sort of a buffer between them and the cold ground. A thick bed of straw is a good idea in any dog house--- it is very inexpensive, and quite easy to sweep out and throw away as needed.

2. If you keep your dog in a garage or shed, be aware that though such buildings give them good protection from the elements, they will not neccessarily keep your dog as warm as they need to be. Large spaces won't heat up with the dog's body temperature like a well-fitted dog house does, so be sure to provide them with a "cubby" space in the shelter so they can climb in and get warm.

3. Check their water bowl often. If it ices over, run hot water in it to break the ice free and then refill it with *cold* water (cold water freezes slower than hot water). Don't believe that eating snow or licking the ice chunk in their bowl will save them from dehydration.

4. Feed them a couple of times a day (if you normally feed only once, just split the portions in two), and consider adding some warm water to it. Eating raises body temperature slightly, and a warm meal can go a long way in keeping your dog comfortable.

5. Check your dog's paws frequently for signs of frost bite.

6. Keep your dog as dry as possible. Big dogs especially seem to like to play in the snow, but do try to towel them off and keep them as dry as possible before bedding down at night.

7. If you know the temperatures are going to drop below freezing, do try to find a way to bring them indoors.

February 04, 2007

National Pet Dental Month

Though it can be difficult to clean your dog's teeth, it is a highly important part of dog ownership that many people tend to ignore. February is National Pet Dental Month, a time for all of us to educate ourselves and begin an oral care regimen that will benefit your dog's health for many years to come. To help get you started, the makers of Greenies dog treats is offering a free care package that includes a $20 rebate for a teeth cleaning at your vet's office. Their site also offers some very useful information about pet oral care. You can visit them here: Chews to Care. also has some very useful information, as well as a kid's section to get them involved too.

Last but certainly not least, the folks at the Dog Breed Info center have a step-by-step guide, complete with pictures, to show you how to clean your dog's teeth.

January 28, 2007

Little Dogs and Garden Ponds

We had an interesting experience last week that could have turned out badly, and I thought it may be a good idea to share with other dog owners (especially those with very small dogs). We've always wanted a small fountain at the end of our patio so, finally getting a spell of really nice weather, we went ahead and installed one. We used one of those black pre-made plastic pond forms that you bury in the ground and then fill (like you see in the garden centers of most hardware stores), and the one we selected is only a couple of feet wide and maybe a foot deep. It seemed harmless enough, but the morning after we had it filled, our littlest Mini Pinscher fell into it.

We're not even sure why she went near it, since she has no great fondness for water, but nevertheless she did. I scooped her out immediately, and there was no harm done, but it occurred to me then how dangerous even the smallest ponds could be. Though the water isn't even high enough to reach my knees, it's well over her little head. Even worse, most pond forms are very smooth inside (which doesn't allow for traction) and the sides are almost vertical. There would have been no way she would have been ok if she had been outside without supervision. We immediately put a very stout decorative fence around said pond, even though the dogs don't go out alone!

Now I'm sure a some of you are out there reading this and saying "duh!", but when you have a dog that dislikes water and a pond that's just about as shallow as they get, it's easy to feel safe. I post this as a warning to others who have tiny dogs or puppies though... be careful of with your water decorations. Even some of the kiddie swimming pools that are on the market today are deeper that a little dog could handle, and they can apparently pick the oddest times to get curious!

January 17, 2007

Pegetable Dog Treats Review

Awhile back we sent away for some free samples of dog treats from the Pegetable company, and ours arrived here yesterday. If you are not familiar with them, Pegetables are edible chews, similar to Greenies. With so many dogs, we are always trying new treats, and these impressed me right away. I noticed that they were a tad bit softer than other edible chews that we had gotten before and, with a quick zap in the microwave, we were able to soften one of the chews in order to cut it in half for our Mini Pinschers.
The company had sent the celery flavored treats, which I had my doubts as to whether our dogs would go for or not, but all four pups took to them immediately. We never give our dogs chew bones without supervision, and as we watched them with the Pegetables it was amazing how the treats were tough enough for the large dogs not to gobble down, yet soft enough that the tiny dogs weren't having any trouble at all with them. What few pieces broke off during the chewing were quite small and somewhat flaky, and when I picked one up I noticed that it was fairly soft compared to other brands--- thus eliminating any worries about them choking on a piece. Best of all, these treats were really clean. No stains, no greasy mess, NOTHING on the carpeting when the feasting was done!
Our dogs really loved these, and I am definitely going let them try the other flavors that are available.

January 05, 2007

10 Naughty Dog New Year's Resolutions

Well, we've interviewed the naughtiest of naughty dogs this year to bring you the top ten bad dog New Year's resolutions:

#10. Learn to open the biscuit box
#9. Practice my howling more
#8. Keep the mail guy out of the yard
#7. Find more hiding places for my toys
#6. Teach that bad soccer ball not to run away
#5. Help mom lose weight by snitching her food
#4. Finish digging the hole under the fence
#3. Catch the Evil Squirrel
#2. Rescue the squeeky thing that's stuck in my toy
#1. Poo in the neighbor's yard so ours stays clean

January 04, 2007

We're Back

Hello fellow dog bloggers. It's been quite awhile since there's been a post here, but a lot has happened in that time. Puppycoat Junction has undergone a complete re-structuring, and we have added and dropped many brands in the proccess. As a matter of fact, we are still adding some of the new things, so the website is changing almost daily.

More importantly though, two of our dogs have had some serious medical problems in the past few months, and we are spending every spare moment with them. One morning in late October we noticed that Jay (the eldest Boxer) was extremely lethargic, and we couldn't get him to eat anything. Since we have dealt with spinal problems with him (which makes him lethargic) and bladder stones (which makes him lethargic AND not eat), we just assumed that he was having a flare-up of one of those problems and calmly scheduled a veterinary appointment. But the following morning he had a high fever and was noticibly dehydrated... and we all panicked! It took two veterinarians and a whole slew of tests to pinpoint the problem, which turned out to be a severe prostrate infection. I'm still boggled as to how it could have gotten that bad without him showing any signs earlier, and at how quickly he went down. He didn't respond well to the first few antibiotics, and it was late November/early December before he started acting like himself again. Now he's severely underweight. If any of you have any suggestions for anything that might put weight on this guy (low sodium and no dairy), PLEASE let us know. We've tried all the top brands of store-bought dog foods, a prescription-only dog food, and now I'm cooking human foods for him and nothing's working. It makes you want to cry to look at him, because every rib and bone in his body sticks out, but we can't think of anything else to try. The vet says he's fine, but that he's just "old" (as if we didn't know that!!).

A couple of weeks after the ordeal began with Jay, Mia (the eldest Min Pin) stopped responding to her heart medications and her lungs began to fill with fluid. Luckily, we caught this *very* early, and the vet was able to adjust her meds accordingly. We have to watch her activities and her diet very closely now, and we have been warned that her age is working against her too.

Both dogs are on quite a few meds daily, and we have learned an interesting thing about doggie meds that may be useful for some of you. Many of these drugs are the same medications that humans take, and the prescriptions for most can be filled at your local Walgreens or Walmart for a fraction of the cost of getting them from the veterinarian's office (we pay less than half price for Mia's & Jay's at the drug store). This may not hold true for everyone everywhere, but it's sure helped us with our pup's needs!