Friday, August 27, 2010


After a too-wet spring destroying blossoms and reducing pollination, this has been a poor summer for growing anything. My plot of everbearing strawberries produced a couple of handfuls of blueberry-sized strawberries. This berry was one of the few normals, which I found on the front porch rail. Here's why it was not on the plant:
The thief didn't even have the courtesy to eat the whole thing.
Possibly the thief was the same squirrel who destroyed the single squash on one of my winter squash plants.
Not the work of slugs--those are teeth marks.
I'll just have to heap more compost and chicken fertilizer on the garden and hope for better luck next year.

Not for dinner.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A visit to grandma's house

We went to Grandma's house on Lake Washington. Alanis stayed home because she doesn't  like the water. First thing I did was check out the pee places.

Then I headed into the water.

What am I supposed to do out here? Maybe water ski?

I know! I'll visit the neighbors.

See the long line? Mom dragged me back from the neighbors' house before I could go run on their lawn.

Since Mom wouldn't go into the water with me on a leash in one hand and a camera in the other, a run on the beach will have to do.I went back up to the house--to say hi to Royce, Grandma's Great Dane.

I wanted to play but he just stood there. Mom says he's old and I should be careful around him. She says I should be more careful around her, too, because she has enough scratches and bruises to last for the next five years. If she had a thick, hard coat like mine, she wouldn't have to worry.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Does Miro need orthotics?

I wear orthotics in my running shoes because my feet pronate, meaning the ankles go in and the toes point a little out. The orthotics keep my feet moving at a balanced heel-to-toe line. It looks like Miro's left foot needs an orthotic, too.
Artistic types are always a little different, aren't they?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Update on canine osteosarcoma research

The American Kennel Club Health Foundation sent out an alert today about research into canine osteosarcoma (OSA), the most common malignant bone cancer in dogs. It's common enough--particularly among large breeds-- that if you haven't dealt with it on one of your dogs, you probably know someone who has.

While one purpose of the news release is to show that the AKC Health Foundation is helping to fund this research and would like to have readers contribute, its other purpose is to request blood samples for the genome mapping project in which researchers are searching for the mutations in genes that make dogs susceptible to this disease.

The next time you take your dog for a check-up and have blood drawn, you might want to send a blood sample to the genome mapping project. The more dogs that are enrolled, the better chance the researchers have of getting reliable results.

From the link above, here's what they're looking for.
"Investigators are enrolling all purebred dogs that fall into any of the following categories:

1) Have been diagnosed with OSA

2) Over eight years old and without cancer

3) Have other types of cancer/hereditary diseases (see the comprehensive list at Dog DNA)"

It's a bit of a bother--you have to get the kit, get the blood, fill out forms, send it all in--but when has something been too much bother for our dogs' well-being?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dangerous precedent in California?

Proposed legislation in California would make it a crime for anyone other than licensed veterinary technicians and veterinarians to provide services such as pet massage or water therapy. Here's the link:  CA Assembly Bill 1980. The purpose of the bill appears to be to protect consumers and their pets from fraudulent therapists but it's badly worded.

Scroll down to section 3 and see this: "(3) Existing law prohibits the practice of veterinary medicine

without a license and specifies that a person practices veterinary

medicine when he or she, among other things, represents himself or

herself as engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine or

administers a treatment of whatever nature for the cure or relief of

a bodily injury or disease of an animal.

This bill would provide that a person also practices veterinary

medicine when he or she performs physical rehabilitation or

musculoskeletal manipulation upon an animal, unless otherwise

authorized by regulation of the board." (But there doesn't appear to be a provision to cover the "otherwise.")

When we consult someone regarding the health of our animals, we want to be sure that person is well educated and trained; but this bill seems to make a narrow interpretation of what constitutes proper training. It would also raise the price of services if a person trained to offer T-touch also has to complete the two-year course to become a licensed veterinary technician. Do you really need the massage therapist to be able to draw blood and give shots? Would you even want her to? Is the bill meant to protect consumers or to raise money for the state with the purchase of licenses?

CA residents might want to contact their legislators about this.