Monthly Archives: July 2016


Hoping you stay “honest” in all your weekend activities. Clearly I’ve  got some ‘splaining to do to a certain pup.

Live, love, bark! ❤

Well that Stinks…

skunk-tall-tailUh-oh…you’re hiking along and the dog runs ahead and suddenly you hear barking or maybe a yip or two. You go to investigate and lo and behold, you catch up to your pup and realize he’s been sprayed by a skunk. Your eyes begin to water, you nearly puke from the smell and your pup wants comfort and relief and looks to you for it. “Mommy…what just happened?  I thought that was a kitty!” What’s a good fur-mom supposed to do?

Although skunks are generally docile, they will definitely let you know if you’ve threatened their space. Normally they will quickly waddle away, duck under a bush or use some other flight mechanism. But sometimes a dog doesn’t quite catch the hint. The result being that distinctive make-your-eyes water-smell you cannot seem to easily get rid of from a poor pup’s furs.

looney1While the lovable cartoon character Pepe Le Pew may be made into a big screen movie, as recently reported during the last week’s Comic-Con, we hope the furry critter stays on the big screen and does not cross our path any time soon. Fortunately, we haven’t had skunks in our ‘hood (although a very similar, though far less potent smell accompanies neighborhood foxes who happen by), we used to visit my daughter in the nearby foothills. With all manner of critters including deer, foxes, bears, skunks, rock squirrels, I always worried one of the dogs would end up being sprayed. And with Sam being the dimmest of the lot, I figured it would be him. So far we’ve been ‘lucky.’

But it occurred to me not every dog is so lucky (and I’m sure our day will come). Even though the first thing that will tip you off that your pup has been sprayed by a skunk will be the smell, there are other signs that suggest being sprayed including drooling, vomiting, red or swollen eyes, face rubbing, sneezing, temporary blindness, maybe even rolling trying to get that stench off it’s fur. If lethargy, weakness, a change in urine color or pale or brown gums appear hours or days later after being sprayed, you should take your pup to a vet right away. The components in skunk spray are definitely irritating and can result in damage to red blood cells and the last thing you need is anemia on top of the stink. Remember too that skunks may carry rabies so if your pup was bitten as well as sprayed, be sure to check with your vet.

Obviously you’ll want to bathe your pup. Sadly regular shampoo for dogs isn’t gonna cut it but a homemade mixture of 4 cups of 3% fresh hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 1 to 2 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid soap (Dawn is a decent choice here). Lather up the dog, and leave in for at least 5 minutes. Rinse. Rinse again, and rinse yet again. Repeat. The peroxide might lighten your pup’s fur so be aware but it’s not toxic. If your pup took a direct hit to the eyes, rinse out with gobs of tepid water for 20 minutes to relieve the discomfort. As this recipe from the ASPCA doesn’t store well, you should make it up fresh whenever there’s an encounter with Pepe Le Pew.

Naturally prevention is the best way to deal with skunks but if it does happen to your fur-kid, you’ll know how to take care of the problem. Remember to keep food or bird seed in well sealed containers without easy access by the black and white stinker. Keep your pet away from wood piles, limit access to underneath decks or any obvious areas where they might make a den. A motion-activated lighting system may help as skunks prefer dark areas. If you find a suspected den, sprinkle kitty liter to signal that location should not be used to set up house.

Has your pup ever had an encounter with a skunk? What did you use to get rid of the stink? Here’s wishing you a smell-free weekend. At the very least, one without skunks.

Live, love, bark! ❤

Animal Assisted Therapy

“Animals stimulate us not only by touch, but by some deeply buried aspect of nature within us, a connection to part of something greater, more healthy and more whole.” Peter Levine

I’ve read you can always find hope in a dog’s eyes and it’s certainly apparent when we go on pet therapy visits. Discounting the tactile nature of his soft fluffy fur, Sam’s connection with peeps is palpable. It’s hard not seeing him connect with people he encounters. This sweet goofy boy treats everyone he meets like they are the only one around.

imageHow does your pup connect with you and others? Is it nose to nose?

Live, love, bark! ❤

Wordless Wednesday


Live, love, bark! ❤

Tuesday Tips

Summer woes…otherwise known as hot spots can be a real pain in the neck…literally. Blech. We hate ’em. And, according to Sam who is surprisingly immune to the wonders of super healing dog saliva, they can lead to all sorts of health problems.

hotspot1Sometimes known as acute moist dermatitis, hot spots can be caused by any number of reasons, i.e. allergic reactions, insect bites, fleas, ticks, mites… but you can guarantee that bacteria will be front and center like a kindergartener’s pageant when it comes to this annoying condition. Any dog can suffer from hot spots, but dogs with thick coats, allergies, dirty or moist skin tend to suffer from them more often, and dogs with decreased immune systems will also suffer from hot spots. What exactly are hot spots? Glad you asked. Frequently moist, this condition is manifested as an inflamed/infected area that is painful and itchy and is aggravated by licking or chewing the area.

Treatment however can be simple but first should start with disinfecting the site. Frequent cleaning is absolutely critical and necessary before healing can take place. Trimming or shaving the surrounding fur is recommended and will keep any buildup of weeping sores from getting matted in the fur.

Around the Ranch, we use this handmade salve recipe to which we add lavender, lemon and Melaleuca essential oils to treat hot spots. This salve has become a lifesaver around our house. We started making it earlier this year and the good news is, it’s easy to make and works for both (wo)man and beast. We’ve used this healing salve on dry rough paws, abrasions, cuts, and even on burns. Given how amazing it is, it’s become our favorite go-to solution for just about any malady. We know some peeps will prefer to use any number of commercial treatments on hot spots and that’s perfectly fine, too. The bottom line for all of us is making our fur-kids feel better with this summer time condition and then finding out the underlying cause so they don’t get it again. Naturally if the hot spot doesn’t heal in a reasonable amount of time, you should consult your vet.

Have you been vexed by hot spots lately? How did you treat them?

Live, love, bark! ❤

Mercurial Monday


Sam here. Mom has been working on a couple new, regular ideas for the blog and the first one she said I could contribute on the first go-round. She wanted me to highlight what she refers to as the ‘quirky’ things I do that make her snort coffee through her nose tickle her heart. Personally, I think she’s being sarcastic but hey…if she’s gonna give me the laptop, I’m pawing out my side of the story, the way I see it!


Mom says it cracks her up whenever I face rub my eye snort face against her thigh or on the comforter. Again, I think she’s being smart-alecky but she does giggle…but oddly only after there is loud shrieking and ‘ew’s,’  especially when I rub against Dad’s side of the bed. Heh, heh.

cd3f0a554c608e0b19b7b8724a5a659eDoes your dog exhibit any quirky behavior that gives you pause ‘paws’? Be sure to share them in the comments, I need to show mom us 4-legged critters are the normal ones…’kay?

Live, love, bark! ❤

Saturday Smiles


Here’s hoping no one ‘rains’ on your weekend.

Live, love, bark! ❤