Climate Change and Your Canine – What Can You Do?

Climate change is already causing the weather patterns we thought we knew to change. What can you do as a responsible dog owner? Thankfully, quite a bit!

Most of us know that carbon is a major contributor to climate change. Jerry Melillo, an ecologist and a member of NOAA’s Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment, told Energy News Network, “It’s pretty clear that climate change is not going to stop and it will be accelerating if we don’t move to a reduced carbon economy.”

Photo Credit: Sheryl Davis

Many people enjoy reducing their carbon use through Meatless Mondays. Dogs can safely join in a family-wide Meatless Monday with Halo Holistic Garden of Vegan™ Dog Food kibbles or cans! Halo, GreaterGood.org, and Freekibble.com are even working with shelters to reduce their carbon paw print through Meatless Mondays for the shelter dogs! They’re supplying both Halo Vegan and Halo Whole Meat food for the dogs in the care of Second Chance Animal Shelter in Massachusetts, Humane Society of Tampa Bay in Florida, and Dutchess County SPCA in New York. It’s not good for animals to have one day with a completely different diet, so the dogs are achieving their Meatless Mondays by having 1/7thof their food each day be Halo Garden of Vegan™.

All three shelters have reported that the process is simple and making the dogs very happy. Sheryl Blancato, executive director for Second Chance Animal Shelter said, “We are excited about being part of Meatless Monday and the Halo food donation has helped save the lives of many animals. Since foregoing meat even one day per week has an impact on the environment, imagine the difference we can make with all of the dogs at an animal shelter going meatless on Monday!”

Dr. Jason Nicholas, the Chief Medical Officer at Preventive Vet, took the time to talk with us about how climate change might affect our pets. Dr. J, as he’s generally known, is passionate about pet health and helping pet parents better understand their furry friends. He had some great advice for dog owners.

With warmer winters “the parasite seasons many people are used to or think exist are likely to change,” Dr. J explained. “So, ‘flea season’ is likely to start earlier and end later, and there may also be ‘unseasonal flares’ due to changing weather patterns. The same is likely for ‘tick season’ and even ‘intestinal worm season.’”

Climate change could also lead to more infectious diseases and mosquito-borne parasites. Mosquitos can easily spread diseases to dogs. “From a mosquito standpoint, changing weather patterns isn’t just likely to mean longer and more erratic mosquito seasons, but it’ll also mean that places that haven’t historically had problems with disease-spreading mosquito populations are more likely to start having them,” Dr J. told us, adding, “So everybody really should get and keep their guard up, as none of these infestations/infections are fun.”

Thankfully, there are safe and effective steps you can take. You can help fight exposure by taking care of your yard. Dr. J. suggested preventing and removing standing water sources on your property, as well as looking into “using cedar chips or beneficial nematodes” in your yard to keep flea populations in check.

However, Dr. J. says talking with your veterinarian is the “biggest step” any pet parent should take in the face of these changing weather and parasite patterns. He suggests you ask about “the safest, most effective, and most comprehensive parasite prevention and treatment plan for all of the pets in [your] home.” He advises that you regularly check your dogs for any signs of parasites – or even the parasites themselves. Look for fleas and flea dirt on your dog’s skin and coat and definitely check for ticks. Dr. J. stressed that checking for this is especially important “after coming in from hikes or walks in the woods, camping trips,” and other similar outdoor activities. You definitely want to keep your vet looped in, too, by having your veterinarian regularly check your dog’s stool samples for worms.

Hotter weather can make heat stroke more likely. Dr. J recommends that you “know your dog and their risk factors for heat stroke.” He explained that puppies, seniors, overweight dogs, brachycephalic dogs like pugs, and dogs who already have an existing respiratory condition are at increased risk of heat stroke. He suggested being cautious and avoiding “any walks or outdoor exercise in the heat of the day,” suggesting that you “try for early morning and later evening when it’s likely to be cooler.” Not only will it be safer for your dogs, but likely more pleasant for you, too! In addition to the dangers of heat stroke from being outside, Dr. J. stressed to never leave your dog in a parked car “even if you leave them with water, leave the windows cracked, or will only be gone for five minutes.” When in doubt, let your dog enjoy air conditioning in the safety of your home!

With an increased risk of severe or more frequent storms, pets and their pet parents also face more risks for floods, fires, or other natural disasters. Dr. J. told us, “people should definitely prepare an emergency/disaster kit for their pets.” Dr. J explains on his site how to put together an emergency kit. You can also download Preventive Vet’s Emergency and Disaster Prep eBook for free.  If you need additional ideas, Halo had a blog post about 7 Ways to Protect Your Pets in an Emergency only a few months ago.

We’re a mission-driven brand, so we strive to do what’s best for pets, people, and the planet. We’re no stranger to praise for our eco-consciousness. In 2016 our Spot’s Stew won in the Best Pet Products, Food category of the Natural Child World Eco Excellence Awards. We were also finalists in the supplements and treats categories

We don’t do it for praise or awards though, we do it because it’s right. Dave Carter, our Director of Sourcing, says in a Facebook video, “Nature’s kind of messy. Nature creates things that…are unique and individual and the more we learn to work within that system, those animals are helping to restore the soil. They’re helping to build a grassland that captures carbon and makes for a healthy ecosystem.” He added, “We just think that when you go back to that natural, that OrigiNative™ source, you’re getting a whole protein that’s healthier for us and healthier for our companion animals.”

Building a grassland that captures the carbon we’ve already released into the atmosphere is important for slowing climate change. So when you buy Halo pet food you’re not only giving healthy food to your pet, you’re also helping shelter animals as well as the earth. That’s pretty awesome for buying a bag of dog food!

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New life

birth

The hours passed on nice summer day. All day the mother dog has panted and stared. Her maiden litter was on its way, and I was there to watch them come.

A sweet little golden retriever, she was too sensitive to push unless she knew her people where there to stroke her ears and tell her what a good girl she is.

As the night drew near, she climbed on the bed between us and then began her long night of pushing and pushing. A wave of contractions would rise from within her, and she would rise in discomfort and turn around. Then she would go prone again against the bed, but the next wave would have her rise, pushing and turning in her primal mammalian dance of parturition.

At one point, her vulva was just inches from my face, and in her pushing, I could see the coming amniotic sack, and then I saw the head of a golden retriever puppy emerge from her body cavity. It was perfection just wrapped in a sheet of biological plastic wrap.

Another push or two, and the bitch screamed as the puppy passed from the prenatal state into the breathing and screaming existence that we call life.

Then the membrane that held him so securely then split away from his face,  and as the oxygen filled his little lungs, he inched over to the milk-filled mammaries and helped himself to a good helping of colostrum.

But he was still connected to his placenta and for what seemed an eternity to me, he was both nursing off his mother and tapping into her blood supply. He was trapped between both states, but one was about to let him go and sink into the other.

He suckled ravenously, and the mother dog expelled the placenta. And thus the first of a litter of seven little puppies entered the world. Through the dark hours of the night, two little girl puppies and four more little boys lurched forward into the great bursting of existence.

And the mother dog shared it with me. She, a beast perfected over the eons to serve mankind, needed us to hold her as she began to force her progeny into the world.

I have never before been privy to such a spectacle. I have no interest in producing a child of my own, and all of my experiences with dogs whelping have been fleeting memories from childhood, where the bitch whelped black crossbreeds in the back of the garage and I hoped that the daddy was a Labrador and not the fierce boxer from up the road. And obvious flattened muzzles exhausted those hopes very quickly.

But to know a dog like this one, one that trusts me enough to share this intimate aspect of her life, is a moving experience. I am better for having been privy to the entire spectacle.

And I am happy. I am content. And I am free.

 

 

Natural History

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Barli’s Embark Vet DNA Results!

We received an Embark® Dog DNA Test for review; all statements and opinions are entirely our own. As you know, we adopted Barli four months ago. Picked up alone as a stray, Barli’s background…



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DogTipper

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My Favorite Summertime Snack On the Go

Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. This post is in partnership with California Almonds, but all opinions are my own.

Shocker, Melissa is posting about snacks! It’s no secret I have an affinity for snacks. Most of the recipes I post here are snack related, and I’m also constantly gushing about how I’m grazing on snacks throughout the day.

But there happens to be a snack I love so much, a snack that is so simple and so perfect for summer no matter where you are and what you’re doing, that I’m devoting an entire post to it. And yes, this post is sponsored. But it’s not an ad. It’s a love letter. Anyone who knows me in real life can attest to the fact that I never, ever leave my house without almonds. And anyone who reads here knows that I include almonds in recipes I share all the time. So it only makes sense that I share with you guys why almonds are my favorite summertime snack, at home and on-the-go.

First let’s talk about the why. In short, almonds taste freaking delicious, they’re really healthy, and they’re super convenient. I incorporate almonds into my smoothies, oatmeal, salads, and baked goods, and I make nut butter and nut milk from them. But I also take them with me everywhere, especially in the summertime when I’m outdoors a lot chasing my kids and need to maintain my energy. They’re full of protein and fiber which sustains me. They allow me to consume something quick and without thought that isn’t full of empty calories. (In fact, a recent study shows that a handful of almonds provides up to 25% fewer calories than previously thought!*) And they’re packed full of nutrition. One ounce of almonds is a great source of vitamin E and magnesium, contains 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, and is a source of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron. Did I mention all of the good, healthy unsaturated fats? I mean really, there’s no arguing that almonds are the perfect snack.

*Novotny JA, Gebauer SK, Baer DJ. Discrepancy between the Atwater factor predicted and empirically measured energy values of almonds in human diets. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2012; 96(2):296-301.

Now let’s talk about the how – specifically how I keep almonds on me at all times. In terms of convenience, it’s pretty obvious. Almonds are small and fit anywhere, they’re not messy, and you can eat just one or a handful depending on how hungry you are. I usually keep a whole bag of them in my car, but I also have several reusable containers of them in various bags depending on activities.

I throw a container of almonds in our beach bag when we go to the pool or the beach. I’ve yet to find a more practical snack for pool days! I almost always have a container of them in my purse. Whether I’m running errands or attending work meetings, it’s really nice to be able to munch on a handful of almonds when I’m hungry. I take almonds with us when we go hiking or are out exploring nature. I pack almonds in our carry on luggage when we fly (we leave the day after tomorrow for a long trip to Colorado and yes, I already have my almonds ready to go), and in our bags when we go on summertime road trips. I even throw a little bag of almonds in my pocket when we walk up to the local park.

I also always put a container of almonds into Essley’s lunch/snack bags for activities and camps. My kids love them as much as I do! And that makes me happy, because almonds keep them full between meals, and are packed with protein, fiber and healthy fat, but are low in sugar. You can’t ask for a better snack for your little ones.

There you have it friends: my ode to the ultimate summertime snack on the go. If you’re a California almonds fan like I am, I would love to hear the ways you enjoy them while you’re out and about in the summer!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Saying Goodbye to a Best Friend (+ Feelings On Being An ‘Influencer’ In Difficult Times)

Saying Goodbye to a Best Friend (+ Feelings On Being An 'Influencer' In Sad Times)

When I posted back on July 2nd about taking a break while we were in the mountains of Colorado, I fully intended on the blog being nice and full this week. I did share a really fun post about my favorite summer snack food, but shortly after hitting publish on it, I got a call that my best friend of 23 years, who had been battling ALS since early last year, had just passed away. I knew that call was coming any day now. But it didn’t make it any easier. It hurt really, really bad. I’m crying as I type this, to be honest. I feel very depressed. It sucks. So I just couldn’t post about anything else today (or yesterday) other than what is happening – yet I struggled with whether or not to post this too. And I want to explain why.

I get more emails and messages asking how I became an “influencer” (so not a fan of that term but “blogger” sounds outdated these days) than any other topic. And honestly, I don’t have an answer. It’s not something I planned by any means. I worked in the fashion industry for 14 years as an eco-friendly designer, and then I started this blog as a side project to promote a new Etsy shop I’d opened back in 2010. Much to my surprise, the blog took off more than I ever imagined, and eventually evolved into a full on lifestyle site (which was completely different than how it started). A few years later I had Essley (my first babe), and shortly after that I decided to close the clothing line and work full time on my blog and social media accounts. In the past year and a half, they have become a solid way to support my family. I work a lot, and I work hard, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a really great gig. I get to stay home with my kids and still support them monetarily through creative work. I get to partner with some really great brands. I get some seriously fantastic opportunities for projects and campaigns. There is a lot of work and a lot of reward. I am very grateful.

In times of loss or tragedy, however, I feel torn about how to go about things around here. The weird thing about being an “influencer” (again, not a fan of that term) for a living is that even when you keep the vast majority of your life private (which I do), you want to remain authentic. (Or at least I do, and I know most of my friends in the industry do as well.) Yes, I partner with brands when I tell my stories, but I am always genuine, and I always incorporate my true self. And that makes it really difficult when something really shitty happens in your personal life. Blogs are not journals like they were 10 years ago. But they also aren’t (or at least shouldn’t be, in my opinion) commercials that lack soul or substance. When something like this happens, do I just keep posting and treating this like a job in an effort to be professional, even though my friends and I are heavily grieving? Do I not post at all and just allow myself a break, even if that means risking income my family depends on? Or do I find a place in between, where I am sharing with my followers (who over the years have become friends!) what is going on, and pay tribute to one of the greatest people I ever knew, without getting too personal or crossing a line?

Really, I can’t pinpoint the “right” thing to do when it comes to my weird job in times like these. So I’m just going with my gut. I posted about Goki on my Instagram and Facebook accounts, and I’m also posting here – both because I want to pay tribute to him, and because I felt it would be almost disrespectful to him to pretend things are okay right now. I pushed back some sponsored posts, because even though this is a job, the most important thing in my life right now is focusing on this great loss, and sending all of my love to the beautiful inside and out wife Marissa, absolutely amazing 2 year old daughter Mika (seen in the photo above), and wonderful parents that Goki left behind when his battle came to an end on Wednesday. Because this isn’t about me or my completely insignificant ramblings about what I should share here. It’s about them. His close friends are really hurting right now, but his daughter, wife, and parents are the ones who were really left behind. (I can also confidentially say that Goki would be shaking his head and laughing at me reading this. He always made fun of me for overthinking everything. He was/is a true free spirit. I’m just a wannabe.)

I want to share with you guys something my 4 year old daughter said to me yesterday morning when I woke up: “Mommy, don’t be sad. Goki is fine! When he died yesterday, the universe sent a bubble, and it took him up to the stars, to heaven, and he feels much better. I promise he is so happy! Mika knows this too.” Those were her exact words. And I believe her. He suffered for a long time, and now he is free. If any of your happen to be grieving a loss, I hope her words help you as well.

I’ve been thinking about addressing this subject here for a while, and my mind is so overwhelmed right now that I needed to address it, but I don’t want it to overshadow the main reason I’m posting – and that’s that the world has lost one of the most incredible people I’ve ever known. Goki, thank you for years of adventures together (all over the U.S., Costa Rica, Mexico, the Bahamas, etc. etc. etc.), phone calls that lasted for hours (and always with wine), endless laughs (usually late at night), and for always being so protective of me. I love you forever.

And to all of you, thank you for letting me ramble on with my thoughts, and share pieces of my life and heart here, in between the posts about pretty things and family projects and food and fashion and the things that make life fun but ultimately aren’t nearly as important as relationships and love. In the end, those are the ONLY things that matter.

ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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“Miracle Millie” has been cloned 49 times

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Gene flow between tazi and wolf in Kazakhstan

tazi mating with wolf

This image appeared on a Kazakh instagram account. 

The wolf appears to be a steppe wolf (Canis lupus campestris). In Kazakhstan, people keep wolves as pets and “guard dogs” fairly often, and according to Stephen Bodio, they are obsessed with wolves.

The dog is a tazi, a sighthound of the general saluki breed complex, that has quite a few wolf-like characteristics. The breed is usually monestrus, like a wolf, coyote, or a basenji, and females engage in social suppression of estrus and sometimes kill puppies that are born to lower ranking bitches.

I wonder if the wolf-like traits of this breed are somehow reinforced by occasionally crossings with captive and wandering wolves like this. As far as I know, no one has really looked into the genetics of the Kazakh tazi, but it is an unusual dog that lives in a society with a very strong tradition of keeping captive wolves.

We know that gene flows between Eurasian wolves and dogs is much higher than we initially imagined, but I don’t know if anyone is looking at breeds like these for signs of hybridization. The only study I’ve seen looked at livestock guardian dogs from the Caucasus, and it found quite a bit of gene flow-– and it was mostly unintentional.

It would be interesting to know exactly how much wolf is in Kazakh tazis. I would be shocked to learn that they had no wolf ancestry.

I seriously doubt that this is the only time a captive steppe wolf and a tazi were found in this position.

Natural History

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Happy Birthday America!

A few memes to remind you not everyone enjoys fireworks. So, enjoy your cookout, celebrate with family and friends, but leave your dog at home when you go out to the fireworks display. Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Craig’s List Shepherd

I’ve changed states. I now live in Ohio, and I have a new dog, an “Alsatian” named Anka.

anka retrieving

My partner and I have been doing some fostering of dogs over the past month, and a few weeks ago we managed to come across a German shepherd bitch that was for sale on Craig’s List. The original owner really didn’t connect with her, but she was firmly attached to him, escaping from the open windows of the house whenever he left for work.

Truth be known, I’ve never been much of a German shepherd person. I never much cared for the show dogs of the breed, and I always thought the working version could be too nasty to make a decent companion animal. But I thought it was a good idea to foster this dog for a while and then find her a good home. We have contacts in the German shepherd community, so I didn’t think she would be here long.

Her initial owners had called her “Precious,” a name that really doesn’t fit this breed at all. So I thought we should give her the German/Czech name of “Anka,” which is a fairly common name for working dogs of that breed.

I never wanted to touch her, and when she came in the house, she was nervous and shy. Her sable coloring made her look wild, even a bit vicious.  I just sat on the sofa and gave her no attention, which worked for about two hours. She then trotted over to me and started to nuzzle my lap. I stroked her ears, and I knew I didn’t have to be afraid of her.

My partner worked her for the first two weeks. She knows shepherds far better than I do, but it became apparent that her temperament was just so solid that she could not have been any random backyard bred German shepherd. She was obviously of some sort of working line dog. and as she became more fit, I was asked to work her out using the flirt pole and throw the ball for her.

For whatever reason, doing these activities with Anka made her much more attached me than to my partner. Dogs do things like that. They will chose people on the oddest of things. Her former owner was a man, and even though he wasn’t particularly well-versed in dog behavior, maybe she thought that she was to bond with men more than women. It wasn’t that we were doing fundamentally different things with the dog. She just preferred me.

As we started to bond with each other, I began doing things with her that I’ve never done with another dog. I’ve had her eat steak off my fork, and I make sure I hand her some fries when we go through the McDonald’s drive-thru.

She is a gentle soul, but she likes to tug and leap and fetch. She has big teeth, but she used them almost exclusively for play. She never growls at the other dogs, and she tries to avoid conflict with them at all costs.

She just does lots of impressive leaping and tugging on the flirt pole.  I am sure that people might think she is some sort of super attack -trained dog, but the truth of the matter is she’s about as dangerous as a spaniel, and she loves to retrieve and swim.

anka swimming

anka dock dog

I wish I had her papers. This is a dream dog. Driven and sweet, and so loyal and affectionate. If I had known there were German shepherds like this one, I would have paid more attention to them. She has certainly changed my mind about what one of these dogs can be.

leapng anka

anka leaping.jpg

So she won’t be going anywhere. She is mine. I have a real working dog now.

anka splash

anka jolly ball

jolly ball anka

anka charge

anka on the trail

anka the dog.jpg

Natural History

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Excited for New Pups on the Way!

Rush Fontana

I am currently about 10-14 days out from the first golden retriever litter I have ever bred. The dam is Fontana (Windridge Love is All You Need!) and the sire is Rush (Joyful’s Fast-Trak Thrill of a Lifetime).

Fontana is a nice, calm dog. She has fairly strong retrieving desire and is quite biddable. She is a hair soft, but she is stable and nice. She can play fetch or she can sleep on the bed without much concern. She is good with children.  She is smaller, weighing 43 pounds in working weight.

Rush is from top obedience and agility lines  He is darker than Fontana, and he has full-blown ball drive. Like her, he is smaller and lighter boned, weighing about 50-55 pounds.

Most of the puppies in this litter will be on the smaller side for the breed, though we cannot guarantee that all of them will be that small. We should get a mixture higher drive pups that are like the sire, and we should also get some that are calm like the mother. We should also get a wide range of golden shades in this litter, for the dam’s parent’s have also produced a few dogs that approach the cream color. The sire comes from lines that produce very dark colored dogs.

This litter will have a very low COI by pedigree. Over 10 generations, it has been calculated at 0.01 percent, which is well below the breed average.

Sire has all the GRCA required health clearances, and his hips are OFA “Good” and elbows “Normal.” Dam has OFA prelims of Good hips and Normal Elbows as well.

Dam has been DNA tested by Embark and was found to be clear of all eye diseases that the company tests for, including various forms of PRA.  She is also clear for the peculiar golden retriever form of Ichthyosis.

I used to write a lot about golden retrievers on this blog, and the pups that will be produced from this breeding will match a lot of what I think golden retrievers should be. These pups should be great for working homes and as wonderful family companions.

We still have some slots available for this litter, so if you’re interested please send an email to dogsofwindridge@gmail.com or use the contact form at the Retrieverlady blog/Windridge website. I can also field inquiries through this site.

Pups will be sold with full registration at $ 1,500.  Deals can be made for a breeding guardian home, but those inquiries should fielded through the aforementioned contact links.

I am really excited to be around golden retriever puppies again. It’s been so long since I had a chance to see some grow up, and I certainly will be keeping everyone posted on this site about their progress.

 

Natural History

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