The Denver Pet Expo is coming up and Healed by the Hound will be there!! I’ll be bringing a TON of inventory including new patterns and even new products! I’m so excited! The expo is August 19 from 10am to 5pm and August 20 from 11am to 4pm. I will have a corner booth but I’m not sure of my booth assignment just yet! I’ll definitely post about it once I have a space! If you are in the Denver area during this time please stop and see me! There will be an opportunity to win a free dog collar so be sure to come by! Visit the expo site to see my exhibitor information along with the many other exhibitors! Click Here to visit my shop and see my shop inventory!!
Training Tip: Never underestimate the power of tasty treats!
Since graduating from my apprenticeship program, I’ve been able to do a lot of dog training at my job at the doggie daycare. I have been loving every second of it and appreciate that I have a place where I can do what I love. I’ve recently worked with a dog doing a board and train program. His name is Dexter, he is a shepherd mix and I’ve fallen completely in love with him! He is full of energy, is always happy to see you and tries hard when he is able to focus. The thing about Dexter is he is very easily distracted! You know the dog in the movie UP!? Ya… he is that dog times ten. SQUIRREL (love that movie)! I mean, we do train in the doggie daycare yard which is covered in the scent of many many dogs so you can’t really blame the guy! He wants to smell every corner of the yard, and fence, and yard equipment, and walls and doors… should I continue? For two days I struggled to get him to even glance in my direction, let alone perform a basic sit which left me very discouraged. Finally, I tried a new type of dog treat to see if it was something he didn’t like about the other two kinds I had offered him. These treats are 100% dehydrated meat. As a vegetarian I was a little grossed out at the concept but he LOVED them! Just the simple act of
switching his treats gained me all of his attention. He excelled in the rest of the training program and was eager to do anything I asked of him. I sent his mom home with a bag of the treats so I could be sure he would continue working with her!
Never underestimate the power of a tasty treat! Owners often label their dogs as stubborn and unwilling to learn. They get frustrated and yank on the leash in an attempt to gain their dog’s attention. My instructor put the treat concept into perspective for me one day. We work for money. We go to work every day and ask for a paycheck in return. Why should dogs be any different? They work for some sort of reward and if that reward is not enough they may be less likely to work for it! This isn’t true of all breeds (cough cough Golden Retrievers) but I’d say it’s very common for a dog to give up working if there is nothing in it for them!
So if you are working with your dog and are struggling to grab their attention. Try a tastier treat!
This is my first real holiday with my Etsy business and I’m excited to be able to offer holiday themed collars! Not only was this another opportunity to shop for fabric (insert husband groan here), but it was a chance to try a new marketing approach and offer a Holiday specific product.
I love holidays! I appreciate any opportunity to dress up, decorate the house, and find fun holiday activities to partake in! We are coming upon summer where we celebrate nice weather, vacations and true American holidays. As a dog owner, I’ve always enjoyed finding ways for my dog to participate in as many summer activities with me as possible and it’s been crucial for him to look the part. I’ve used fourth of July napkins and bandanas to spruce up Soter’s summer look. I’ve even had the poor guy wear flashing red and blue glasses. But this year, I have something better! I have Memorial day and Fourth of July dog collars for my happening hounds and yours! As I ask in my shop, why should we be the only ones able to have the accessorizing fun?! Shouldn’t our pups look as festive and fabulous as we do? Now they can! Check out the current Memorial Day collar options in my Etsy shop! I can still get them to you by Memorial day if you order in the next day or two! I will have additional fabric options up for Fourth of July, so if you miss my Memorial Day sale, don’t fret! Your pup will still have patriotic collar options available until July!
Use coupon code Memorialday2017 to receive 15% off your purchase!
Happy shopping you happening hounds!
Healed by the Hound is branching out!! In addition to being a blog and dog training business, I now have an Etsy shop! I started making collars for my own dogs and realized I loved the process. It took a lot of time to get to a point where I felt these collars were of high enough quality to try to sell but I’m so glad that I’m here. I’m so lucky that I have found the things in my life that make me so happy. I love dogs, which is no secret, but having the opportunity to work with them daily is such a blessing. And now I am creating something for dogs and dog owners that is fun and different and I enjoy every minute of the process. How great is that?! My shop went live this past weekend, I apologize for not posting about it then but I’ve been so busy trying to figure out how the heck to operate an Etsy business! It’s a completely new skill set that I must navigate so please bear with me on the listings for a while! Please check out the shop and see what I have available. I will be putting up new collars weekly so stay tuned for those! Thank you all for the support and love I’ve received lately with the launch of my shop and my training business! I’m so thankful for all of you!
I am officially a dog trainer! FINALLY! It was a long year but so worth it. I learned so much about dog behavior that I wouldn’t have known before. It feels like I just learned a completely different language, which is essentially what happened. Dogs communicate in ways that are completely foreign to us, yet their communication style is, in my opinion, more advanced and clear than ours.
I will be changing up this blog quite a bit in the next few weeks. I will still blog, hopefully much more than I have been, but I will also have a lot of training info and tips. This will also serve as my website for potential clients and contacts for the time being. In addition to expanding Healed by the Hound into a dog training business, I have another surprise for Healed by the Hound coming up today! So stay tuned for that announcement!
I’m thrilled for all of these changes. I’ve been waiting and dreaming of this for over a year now. It just seems like the perfect career for me and in a way feels like a true calling. More info and blogging coming soon!
Thanks again for all of your support throughout the past year and a half with Healed by the Hound! I love you all.
Part three of Lily girl’s ordeal:
After a weekend of worrying about Lily, I called the vet to see if her needle biopsy had come back. The technician said the vet would call me back. Even that half hour wait was incredibly stressful! Finally, the vet called me and told me that the test came back without any cancer cells. I felt a huge rush of relief! The vet said he was more comfortable diagnosing bone cancer with an x-ray so he felt we needed to have that done as the next step. I guess bone cancer shows up more clearly in the two dimensional picture than the 3D one. We scheduled it that same week. During the few day wait, Patrick and I found ourselves feeling hopeful. We watched Lily carefully and she didn’t seem to be getting any worse. She was incredibly happy and literally very bouncy! She still chased her brothers and ran around the yard. She didn’t appear to be in any pain which seemed strange to me with her cancer
diagnosis. From what I read, bone cancer is incredibly painful. Finally, she received her x-ray and I got the call. NO CANCER!! I cried with relief and joy. Lily has osteoarthritis in her hip that has formed a lot of calcium around that joint. The calcium reacted with the contrast in the MRI and made it appear like she had cancer. When she got home from the vet we all celebrated! The feeling of relief was amazing, even though it took days to feel truly back to normal.
Now we have to figure out how to deal with the arthritis and the degenerating spinal issues. She will have follow up appointments and will be on medication the rest of her life to reduce spinal swelling. We took her to see my long time family vet for yet another opinion and received the same news. No cancer, just a common problem in older dogs. We will take this over cancer any day!
I learned a few valuable things during this process that I want to share in the form of recommendations. The first is to make sure you get a number of opinions and don’t give up after one test. Sure, tests are expensive and there are financial limitations to what we can all do for our pets. However, if Patrick and I had not gotten the biopsy and the x-ray we would still be living in a state of sadness waiting for our dog to die. Eventually we would learn the truth but we would lose weeks or months worrying about a problem that never existed. The second thing I learned is don’t wait to spoil your pets until you’re put in this type of position. Patrick and I found ourselves shelling out many more treats, giving longer doggy massage sessions and taking more time to play with the dogs. after Lily’s cancer scare. We decided any remaining time with them needed to be special and I instantly felt bad we hadn’t been living in that mindset forever!
I am so thankful to the veterinarians who spent hours looking at scans and performing exams to get us the information we really needed. I also can’t thank my family and friends enough for the support we received during all of this. Our situation has changed and we no longer need that same support but sometimes it takes times like this to really understand who you have in your corner!
Hug your fur babies and enjoy your tie with them to the fullest!
Part two of Lily girl’s ordeal:
Lily went to the appointment with her neurologist. He performed a few tests including watching her walk and turning her feet over to see how long it took her to correct them. He did decide to do an MRI on her back. They had to heavily sedate her for the MRI so we knew the whole process would take most of the day. I sat around with a pit in my stomach waiting to get some news. I had to work that day, so Patrick took Lily to the vet. I must have called or texted ten times that day begging for some type of information. Waiting for that kind of news in emotionally draining. Finally, I received a devastating call from my husband. It was not a bulging disk, and it was not degenerative myelopathy… it was cancer. The vet found a large dark spot on the head of her femur while reading her MRI. He also found that her spinal tissue was degenerating a bit and she has hip dysplasia but these are nonissues with this form of cancer. Bone cancer, or osteosarcoma, in dogs is almost always fatal. The only decision is what measures to take to try to extend the time we have with her. We were given several options for Lily’s care. The first was to do nothing and make her as comfortable as possible which would come with a life expectancy of two months. Associated with this, we could get a chest x-ray to see if her cancer had metastasized. If it had her life expectancy would be cut in half. The next option was amputation which gave her more of a six month expectancy. Finally, we could amputate and do chemotherapy to extend her life another year or so. We decided to get a needle biopsy of the tumor to get a better idea of what we were working with and make a treatment decision based on those results. At the time, neither of us knew how to act. Lily was given very strong pain killers that left her loopy and whiney which made us even more sad for her. Patrick slept on the couch with her the first few nights. We moved a mattress upstairs to the living room so we could all lay on the floor with her while she slept. Gunner loved the new addition and thought it was a giant dog bed meant just for him, he clearly didn’t understand the real purpose of it. Then we tried to go about “normal” life. Let me tell you, normal life doesn’t exist when you know you only have a month or two with one of your best friends. You feel every minute. You watch tv for a bit and feel guilty that you aren’t sitting and petting her. You leave her alone to go to work and each hour hurts because you know it’s one of a very limited number of hours you have left. I’m sure many people don’t understand how I could feel this way about a dog. People receive devastating cancer diagnoses every day and family members have to feel the way I described I felt. But my pets are my family and struggling with the thought of losing time with one is incredibly painful. So, at this point in our crazy few weeks, we decided to wait for the biopsy and enjoy our last few months with our girl.
Don’t worry… this story is FAR from over.
To say our past few weeks with Lily have been a roller caster is an understatement. The whirlwind of emotions have been very difficult to process and I am just now coming down from the intense emotional state I’ve been in for three weeks. I’m putting this blog entry into three parts because that’s how our past three weeks have felt… like three completely different parts.
Part one of Lily’s girl’s most recent ordeal:
We noticed Lily was limping a bit on one of her legs and was knuckling her back feet. For those who don’t know what that means, basically she was flipping her back feet over and taking a long time to correct them. When you take a dog’s paw and turn it under and place it on the ground, most dogs flip it back up into its normal position instantly. Lily was taking a few seconds which indicated a nerve or back issue. She went to her regular vet and we were told she likely had a bulging disk or a disease called degenerative myelopathy. A bulging disk could mean few thousand dollar investment and degenerative myelopathy meant a death sentence. Most dogs only survive six months to a year after that diagnosis. We were told to seek out a specialty vet clinic that had an MRI machine so we could have a look at Lily’s back. We found a specialty vet and emergency center who could do the MRI and set us up with an appointment with a neurologist. We knew the appointment would be very pricey but who can put a price on that information? Whether your dog would live or die in six months. Needless to say, we were incredibly worried for that appointment.
Merry Christmas from the hounds! Wow it’s been a very long time since I’ve been on here. I lost motivation to keep this going unfortunately. Instead of beating myself up about it I decided to take a break and pursue some of the other things I have going on! Dog training classes have been going great and I’m learning so much. The special thing about the class I’m in is the focus on dog behavior, not just focusing on teaching a dog new tricks. We spend time figuring out why a dog acts a certain way and use what we know about dog behavior to tailor a plan for the owner and the dog. It’s exactly what I want to be doing!
Our hounds are all doing well. Kitty and Gunner are starting to come around to each other, Gunner a bit more than Kitty. We had a scare with Lily a week or so ago. We are assuming she fell outside and hurt her back which caused her to have some nerve issues in her back legs. She seems to have gotten much better!
We did buy a new house this summer and having a yard has been incredible! No more neighbors irritated with poor Gunner’s loud walking! He can stomp around as much as he want to now! Our fence is surrounded by houses with other dogs, and all of the dogs enjoy barking at each other. It’s been a bit of a challenge but I’m able to put my new training skills to the test with these goof balls!
We hope you are all having a great holiday season! Take some time and snuggle your fur babies because nothing is better than spending a little one on one time with your furry friends, especially in the winter!
Our last few weeks have been a bit insane. Full of some good and some sad changes to our lives. I’ve definitely been in need of some hound healing and times like these remind me why I started this blog in the first place. I have struggled recently with things to write about. Life has been hectic and I’ve lost some of my motivation to sit down and let all of you know what has been going on. But a few weeks ago the hounds really came to my aid and I do want to share everything because it’s the type of story I want to share on this blog. I named the blog Healed by the Hound because I’m amazed at how my pets have changed me and truly healed me at the times I’ve felt broken. My grandma passed away at the end of August. We saw it coming to an extent but her death still seemed to come much more quickly than I thought it would. My dad kept me informed on her condition for a couple of days and during that time I really struggled with each update. Each time I got off the phone I felt more and more sad and aware of her imminent passing. After one of the calls, I crawled in my bed and cried. My husband came in and tried to comfort me but I couldn’t stop my tears. Kitty heard my cries from across the house and he came running (literally) to see why I was so upset. He jumped on the bed, put himself between Patrick and I, laid down, and put his paw on my arm. When I didn’t stop he got up and sat down next to my head and sniffed my face. When I still didn’t stop crying he got up and positioned himself over my face and laid down across my face in what I can only imagine was an attempt to stop the awful noises coming from my mouth. I instantly started laughing which left me in a weird half laugh, half cry, don’t really know what to do now kind of mood! Eventually I just continued laughing and my tears dried up, and/or were absorbed into Kitty’s fur. It was exactly what I needed. I hadn’t laughed in days, I had only felt sadness and worry. The laughter put hope and a little bit of happiness back in my heart and I will always remember that Kitty did that for me. People always say that dogs know when you are sad. I agree and have experienced this first hand, but I do believe Kitty wanted to help comfort me even if he did finally just try to shut me up!
Since she died I’ve found myself leaning on the hounds more than usual. I’m so thankful they are in my life and that I am lucky enough to be able to be their “mom.” I don’t know how I’d get through the tough times without their warm hugs and sloppy kisses!