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Feed on

My Big Dog Bakery was honored to provide a gift basket to the Irish Wolfhound Club of Canada (IWCC) to help their fantastic effort in Wolfhound rescue. Thank you to Donita Osborne and to IWCC for this opportunity to be part of such a great cause!

Baking schedule expanded

Fall orders rushing in

We have started Saturday baking with the Fall orders rushing in… in an effort to keep all doggies happy! Never fear… Big Dog Bakery is here for you.


Even though Gwendolyn is getting HUGE… she’s still a playful spirited puppy that believes that anything round, or anything that falls from the sky, or anything that flutters is HERS!  I can see that she tries very hard to live by her own 20 second rule before she stakes claim to anything that falls on the floor. Sometimes her internal timer is completely off and I think she counts to five and then moves in for the snag.

She has a special interest in all things round. I realized that while this passion of hers is hilarious to watch it can also be dangerous because she is so curious sometimes. I was wondering who the nut lover was when the round hard-shelled nuts (especially the walnuts) started disappearing from a basket that I had sitting on an antique Chinese table in the entryway.  The table seemed to be much higher a few months ago.  Now it’s at eye level for Gwennie and I guess it looks to her like a basket of little round toys.

Macadamia nutsI’m sure nutshells are the wrong kind of fiber and just horrible for her teeth and gums. Even though the nuts in our basket are just normal run of the mill hard-shelled nuts, I was prompted to do some research.  I think it’s worth sharing that I’ve discovered that macadamia nuts can cause muscle and nervous-system problems in dogs. Possible signs of macadamia nut poisoning are vomiting, lethargy, weakness, increased body temperature, and tremors. We’ve moved the nuts now and our human and dog training continues.

I believe this is worth sharing. I was amazed when I saw this and I couldn’t help but think they have hit on a good idea. Even though this isn’t the kind of vehicle I drive it sure is nice to see their design consideration to pets. The ramp is really a nifty idea and I just love the “pet friendly” logo!  The kennel in the back wouldn’t help me much with the size of Aonghus and Gwennie, but I give crazy “mad props” to Honda for this one!


Jesse wrote on his company’s website last week: “We’ve had a few leads, but all dead ends so far, but the search is still definitely on. She’s a great little dog, and we want to find her as soon as possible.

“Please keep your eyes out for our little gal, she’s a light brown and white pit bull, nine months old, cropped ears, full tail, hazel eyes. Last seen wearing a large pink collar near West Coast Choppers and Cisco Burger on Anaheim St./710 Freeway in Long Beach.”

More info can be found at www.findtoto.com which is a pet detective service. There’s also a story at: http://newsblaze.com/story/2010020105251400001.ba/topstory.html

Sandra and Jesse's dog Cinnabun

To pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on our front door:
To All Non-Pet Owners Who Visit & Like to Complain About Our Pets:
1. They live here. You don’t.
2. If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. (That’s why they call it “fur”niture. )
3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
4. To you, it’s an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn’t speak clearly.

While Aonghus and Gwendolyn don’t get on furniture, they do shed like crazy! They both love to snuggle up close when someone is wearing black as it displays their wheaten colored Irish Wolfhound hair dramatically.

We’ve had a a couple blasts of cold weather here and it has really brought out the romp in our hounds. They both look like polar bears when they’re sleeping these days because their noses are so big and black and their coats are thick and full… but when they romp they still resemble Falkor the flying love dragon from The Neverending Story.

We keep an old Chinese calligraphy plaque in the entryway that roughly translated says, “Enter with a calm heart.”   I purchased this years ago from the Dong Tai Road Antique Market in Shanghai when we lived there with our beloved Great Dane.  I didn’t know at the time that it could serve as the lifelong mantra for those entering my home which will always be inhabited by really huge lovable beasts.


“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.”
―Ben Williams

I always keep a copy of this info nearby for visiting friends and family that may cave to the “big eyes, poor me, doggie faces”  that Aonghus or Gwendolyn can give them. The “Oh I’m so hungry and really, really need a bite of your candybar look.”

This list is a compilation from Dr. Weil, Workingdogs.com, and info from Petsburgh Zoo.  Please see note at the bottom too!

Stay away from:
1. Chocolate –There is a chemical in chocolate, theobromine, that can cause epileptic seizures in dogs. It can also cause increased heart rate, over stimulation of the central nervous system and constriction of arteries. Symptoms range from vomiting, diarrhea and hyper behavior to cardiac failure, seizures and death. Baking chocolate is the most lethal because it has the highest amount
of theobromine. If you suspect your dog has eaten some chocolate and is very agitated, put Rescue Remedy (available at most health food stores) in her water and feed her a lot of water to flush the system. If the dog does not vomit up the chocolate, or if he shows signs of illness such as repeated vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, excessive panting or seizures, get to the veterinarian or emergency animal hospital immediately.
2. Moldy or spoiled foods — –If you don’t want to eat it, don’t give it to your dog. Food gone bad can cause symptoms from diarrhea to mycotoxin poisoning.

3. Avocados contain a toxic component called persin. This can damage heart, lung and other tissue in animals. Avocados are also high in fat and can cause stomach upset and vomiting. Additionally, the pit is toxic, and if it gets stuck in the intestinal tract, it can cause a severe blockage requiring surgery.

4. Avoid Salt —  It cause electrolyte —imbalances in the natural potassium, sodium, chloride, calcium, and phosphorous make up of the body.
5. Fatty foods– like Chicken Fat and other meat fat– Fatty foods can lead to gastrointestinal upset, digestive disorders and pancreas inflammation. Symptoms of inflammation include abdomen pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and depression, and this condition can even result in death.

6. Onions– Onions and onion powder can damage pets’ red blood cells causing anemia and breathing difficulties. Be aware if you feed baby food to your dog that many of them are high in salt content and onion flavor. Skip it. If you must use baby food to feed your dog, go organic.
7. Some Nuts– walnuts and macadamia are two.
8. Bread Dough– —It can rise in their stomachs causing abdominal pain, bloat, and vomiting. Surgery might be required to remove it if they’ve eaten a lot. If you’re baking bread, keep the dough well out of the reach of curious pets.
9. Grapes and/or Raisins — –According to the Animal Poison Control Center these have been linked with kidney failure if eaten in large doses. What’s a large dose? Depends on the size of your dog. Best to skip them. Try baby carrots instead.
10. Caffeine and Alcohol– —They may be part of our lives, but they shouldn’t be part of our pets. Keep them away from pets. An ounce of alcohol can put a pet into a coma. Caffeine can affect the central nervous system and heart.

Note:  I do admit that we give Aonghus a cup of coffee at least three times, sometimes four times a week. He is an exception to the above rules.  Coffee helps Aonghus with his wobbler problems, and keep in mind that he is HUGE.  I’ve known of several other Wolfhounds that enjoy a morning cup of coffee. It really must be something about the breed!  I have discussed this strange part of our “big” guy’s diet with our vet and it’s all good.  Please, just be careful if you find yourself in the company of one of the special ones that thrive on some of the bad part of our human diets. We  don’t let Aonghus near the Irish Whiskey and have a plot in his name at Laphroaig.

Halloween greetings

Aonghus and Gwendolyn send Howl-O-Ween greetings. I know… that’s goofy. There was a time when I thought it was odd for people to dress-up their dogs. Ha! Not now!  These guys love it!  Especially Gwen. She’s a glamour dog.

DSC01134 DSC01122

I’m always on the lookout for a good dog book. It can be fiction, non-fiction, or a great book of photos or sketches. I’ve recently found three that I think are worth spending some time with.

The first is The Modern Dog by Stanley Coren. Coren is the author of How To Speak Dog as well.  I’m really enjoying this book. There’s so much interesting stuff about the history of dogs and great stories to support some of the theories. I especially like the last chapter that’s called  ”Are There Dogs in Heaven?”. Coren mentions Martin Luther, the historic German priest that is said to be responsible for Protestant Reformation.  Martin Luther had a dog named Tolpel and a daughter named Mary Catherine.  According to the story, Mary Catherine asks if  Tolpel will go to heaven when he dies.  Answering his daughter’s question Martin Luther got up from his desk,  bent down near Tolpel, and said “Be comforted, little dog, ” Come the resurrection, even thee shall wear a golden tail.”

The second book worth taking a look at is Inside Of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz. I’ve already learned a great deal more than I thought I knew about dog vision and a dog’s perspective and perception to many things. Horowitz makes a pretty good case in dispelling the myth that dogs are color blind. She says that dogs experience color most strongly when it is in the range of blue or green.  Horowitz had me engaged in her book even at the prelude where she begins with a story of a Chihuahua and of course… an Irish Wolfhound.

A completely different book you may enjoy is Dog On It by Spencer Quinn. The book is narrated by a dog named Chet who is the companion of a private investigator named Bernie. Universal is making a movie based on the Chet and Bernie mystery series.  For some more fun go to Chet The Dog, the official blog of Chet The Dog at www.chetthedog.com Aonghus and Gwen will probably  like this movie as well. Gwen likes to bark when she hears dogs bark in movies. It’s twice the entertainment!

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