Wordless Wednesday with dogs.

Happy Humbug Day: Wordless Wednesday Style

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Happy National Humbug Day! Wordless Wednesday Style

Wordless Wednesday with dogs.
Wordless Wednesday: Scrooge Style


Do you get grumpy over the holidays? Tell me in the comments.

 

 

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Learn how to home cook for your dogs.

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Healthy dog treat recipes

Happy National Monkey Day: Wordless Wednesday Style

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Happy National Monkey Day: Wordless Wednesday Style

Happy National Monkey Day from Dexter The Dog. Dexter is a silly Cavalier that loves to act like a goof.
Silly Dog

Silly Monkey.   That is what I say to Dexter The Dog almost daily.  Monkey is just one of his pet names.  I never knew there was a holiday celebrating his silliness.  Happy National Monkey Day!


Does  your pet have any silly pet names? Tell me in the comments.

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Bananas for Pets, Dogs, Cats

Dexter The Dog Enjoying Life: Wordless Wednesday

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Dexter The Dog Enjoying Life: Wordless Wednesday

Nothing fancy, just reviewing Dexter The Dog’s many adventures. Our dog bucket list is every day.  What about you?

Bananas for Pets, Dogs, Cats
Dexter The Dog’s Daily Banana Treat
Dog Friendly Ohio Beaches
I’m Ready!
Dog-Friendly Pass-A-Grille
Dog-Friendly Pass-A-Grille
Enjoying Life
Enjoying Life

 

Activities with dogs
Activities with dogs

Dexter's Dog Pumpkin

Dexter The Dog’s Halloween Costumes; Wordless Wednesday Style

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Raising Your Pets, Dogs and Cats Naturally

Today’s Wordless Wednesday showcases Dexter The Dog‘s Halloween costumes. But before we dive into the crazy poses Dexter does or doesn’t do, I wanted to say a little something about choosing a Halloween costume for your dog.

First, it’s always important to remember what our dog wants. If your dog is not used to being dressed up, slapping on a dog Halloween costume may not be a good idea. If you do decide your dog is costume-friendly, please ensure the dog costume is dog-friendly. In other words, make sure your dog can move around freely, has full range of motion, can see all around himself, and is comfortable. The costume shouldn’t be too heavy and should not obstruct his vision. Remember, dogs communicate with their entire body; by modifying a dog’s look or ability to move properly, you may be putting him in an awkward position with other dogs. Please make sure you pay close attention to his dog-to-dog interactions when he’s in costume. 🙂

Dexter's First Halloween
Dexter’s First Halloween
Dexter's Dog Pumpkin
Dexter’s Dog Pumpkin
Dexter The Frog
Dexter The Frog
Dexter Cool in His Doggles
Dexter Cool in His Doggles
Dexter The Performer
Dexter The Performer
Dexter The Dog Chef
Dexter The Dog Chef
I'm Batty About Dexter The Dog
I’m Batty About Dexter The Dog

 

2015 I just love him to pieces.

Dexter’s 7th Birthday: Wordless Wednesday Style

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Tomorrow is Dexter The Dog’s 7th birthday!  I can’t believe my little monkey is turning seven. I thought I would celebrate his full life by sharing some dog photos over the years.  Enjoy.

Baby Dexter The Dog
Baby Dexter The Dog
Dexter The Dog
Dexter The Dog
Baby Dexter The Dog
5 weeks, picking Dexter. But, not coming home yet!
12 weeks, he's home!
12 weeks, he’s home!
7 months
7 months
2011 He's growing up
2011 He’s growing up
2012 Loving Life
2012 Loving Life
2013 He looks so innocent...not!
2013 He looks so innocent…not!
2014 My little man is growing up.
2014 My little man is growing up.
2015 I just love him to pieces.
2015 I just love him to pieces.

2016 Happy Birthday Dexter!
2016 Happy Birthday Dexter!

As a pet professional focusing on raising my pets naturally, my goal is to use as many natural and holistic treatments as possible with my own pets. Using pharmaceuticals on my pets is something I do my best to avoid. I always turn to natural therapies first, but unfortunately, that is not always possible.

What Do You Do When Your Pet Needs Medications? | When You Can’t Be 100% Natural

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Raising Your Pets Naturally

What Do You Do When Your Pet Needs Medications?

As a pet professional focusing on raising my pets naturally, my goal is to use as many natural and holistic treatments as possible with my own pets. Using pharmaceuticals on my pets is something I do my best to avoid. I always turn to natural therapies first, but unfortunately, that is not always possible.

As a pet professional focusing on raising my pets naturally, my goal is to use as many natural and holistic treatments as possible with my own pets. Using pharmaceuticals on my pets is something I do my best to avoid. I always turn to natural therapies first, but unfortunately, that is not always possible.

I always have to consider my pet’s health, behavior, and quality of life. Let’s take a look at my best friend, Dexter The Dog. Just before Dexter’s third birthday, he was diagnosed with chiari malformation (CM) and syringomyelia (SM). CM is basically when the skull is too small to hold the brain, causing pressure on the cerebellum and medulla and obstructing normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid. You can compare this to holding your finger over half of the opening of a hose; that pressure then causes fluid-filled cavities within the spinal cord, SM. This is a very painful, progressive and incurable disease in both dogs and humans.

This was before Dexter’s diagnosis.

There are, of course, natural ways I help manage Dexter’s pain. One is by monitoring and limiting his exercise and excitement. Being too active, physical, or rowdy can increase the pressure build up in his spinal cord, enhancing pain, or creating what I call “episodes,” when he’s a little more fidgety and uncomfortable.

Food therapy has been our saving grace. Looking at food from a Traditional Chinese Medicine standpoint, diet can help decrease the fluid build-up, which will, in turn, decrease pain. Foods that are draining such as sardines, shiitake mushrooms, celery, turnips and radishes are great for draining fluid. Herbs such as marjoram and parsley are also draining. These are items I rotate in Dexter’s home cooked meals.

Treating a dog with acupuncture

During Dexter’s first year after diagnosis, he received weekly acupuncture, eventually weaning off. Dexter’s acupuncture treatments were targeted to unblock stagnation in Dexter’s Qi (energy) and resolve phlegm. Dexter also receives cold laser therapy to stimulate cell healing if he has multiple bad days in a row. This works wonders to help him feel better.

Because his disease causes inflammation in the skull and spinal area, I work hard at controlling inflammation with not only the right food and herbs, but additional supplements. Currently, Dexter is on omega-3s, CoQ1030 and MicroLactin to help reduce inflammation.

Living with a dog with a terminal disease

Unfortunately, even with all these natural remedies in place, they alone are not enough to provide Dexter with a good quality of life. In addition, Dexter does have to be on a pharmaceutical cocktail to be as pain-free and playful as he possibly can. Because of this, Dexter is also on probiotics and has quarterly physicals, blood work, urinalysis and a thyroid test to monitor his body for any signs of failure.

My goal is to help Dexter be as pain-free and free-spirited as he possibly can. His quality of life is extremely important to me, and I do not take any of his medical choices lightly. Every day, I make an effort to spend quality time with him and tell him I love and appreciate him. I know our days are limited, so I always try to make each one count. Learn how to save money on medications in this article.


Do you have a pet with ongoing medical issues? Tell me in the comments.

As a pet professional focusing on raising my pets naturally, my goal is to use as many natural and holistic treatments as possible with my own pets. Using pharmaceuticals on my pets is something I do my best to avoid. I always turn to natural therapies first, but unfortunately, that is not always possible.
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What's For Dinner, Dexter? The Back Story Learning how to home cook a healthy and balanced meal for your dog.

What’s For Dinner, Dexter? Home Cooking For Dogs

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What’s For Dinner, Dexter? The Back Story

Learning how to home cook a healthy and balanced meal for your dog.

What's For Dinner, Dexter? The Back Story Learning how to home cook a healthy and balanced meal for your dog.
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Today I was remembering how What’s For Dinner, Dexter? all began. Since I became an adult with dogs, I’ve wanted to home cook for them. I knew it would be the healthiest option, but I was so afraid I would do something wrong, and not provide them with the nutrients they needed, or not balance their diet properly. A very valid concern, as you shouldn’t home cook for your pets until you learn how. But learning how isn’t impossible!

As a puppy, Dexter always had “toppers” on his premium dog food (sorry, that’s a terrible word because all processed, dry food is pretty crappy). I added things like cooked turkey, beef, chicken, and salmon. Yum. Perfect for high-value dog training treats too!

September 2012, my life changed. Dexter was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation and Syringomyelia. Chiari Malformation is a skull malformation. Syringomyelia is a neurological disease that progresses and varies in severity caused by this skull malformation. There is no cure, only various treatments to aid in comfort and less painful episodes. Symptoms vary and include head scratching, face rubbing, general pain, weakness in limbs, lip licking, seeking cool places, excessive body rubbing, nerve damage, stiffness in limbs, and the body forming into a C shape. This condition is widespread in toy breed dogs like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Griffon Bruxellois, Chihuahuas and other breeds with a “doll-like” head shape. 

Videotaped for the neurologist before diagnosis.

That first year was really tough.  I had to figure out what medications would help Dexter, what he could and couldn’t do, and how best to treat him, and help him lead a happy, and pain-free life. It was very painful to see my playful (he was 2) pup, full of life, being in pain, and having “bad days” needing extra pain pills. Luckily, I had Deb, and a great support group for dogs with SM that helped me through the learning curve, stress, and pain.

Cooking for health
Dexter waiting for his MRI

We managed our first year, but Dexter certainly wasn’t thriving. Then I met her. The woman who would totally change my life and give me my spunky Dexter back! Dr. Judy Morgan was (and is) a member of a great group of Cavalier folks on Facebook. She selflessly provides the group with helpful tips on holistic pet health and answers questions members have. A truly giving woman. I had a sneaking suspicion she would be able to help me figure out the best care for Dexter, so I set up a phone consultation with her. Sure enough, she modified his medications and added supplements. Within a few weeks, he was doing much better. However, he still was having “bad days” about 3 times a week, give or take.

Then Dr. Morgan started her dog food webinars on how to home cook for your dog. But the dog food webinars were more than learning how to make a healthy, balanced diet for your dog. Dr. Morgan explained how the right foods can help treat disease, and the wrong foods can contribute to disease and discomfort. In July 2013, I made Dexter’s first slow cooker dog food! I was super excited and started to post Dexter’s home cooked dog food recipes to Dexter’s Facebook page. You can read one here.

Healthy home cooking for dogs
Real Food For Dogs

 

Over the next few months, Dexter started to feel better! I didn’t realize what was going on, until my family and I were talking about how good he was doing, and how I hadn’t been giving him as many “extra” pain pills. And he was starting to get back to his silly self, being more playful, athletic, and goofy. Wow. I continued to post recipes on his Facebook page, and on his dog blog. It wasn’t long before our friends were asking us to make a dog cookbook, and the idea was planted. Within a few weeks, I started writing what would become What’s For Dinner, Dexter? Luckily I photographed all of Dexter’s meals along the way and kept a database of his recipes. In a couple of weeks, Dr. Morgan agreed to join me to co-author the dog food cookbook.

Dr. Morgan added a much-needed layer to the dog cookbook, not to mention the kick-butt title! She was able to go into great depth and detail about home cooking for dogs, food therapy, and treating disease with food. She truly is a food guru! The cookbook is now an in-depth manual for how to cook for your dog safely, and how to use the principals of Chinese Medicine Theory in your dog’s recipes. It’s pretty amazing stuff! Over the next year, she became quite an influence on me and has been a great mentor ever since. Without her and her expertise, What’s For Dinner, Dexter? would not be as fabulous as it is today. The book and the process of writing a cookbook was a truly amazing experience.

What’s For Dinner, Dexter? has been quite a success. One of my favorite parts is seeing readers posting their photos of the recipes they create, and their modifications to meet their dog’s needs. After all, it is a cookbook, and geared toward teaching the reader how to customize the recipes to meet their dog’s personal needs.

Thank you, to everyone in my life who has helped me with Dexter, and supported our journey. xo
Tonya and Dexter The Dog

Cooking for pets
Dexter Is Doing Great

Do you cook for your dogs?  Tell me in the comments.

What's For Dinner, Dexter? The Back Story Learning how to home cook a healthy and balanced meal for your dog.
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Shopping with your dog

My Day In The Windy City-Chicago

Gucci anyone?

My dog adventure in Chicago kept going past the weekend!  I got to visit my brother Lambeau & had a huge Cavalier play date! On Monday, Lisa, Penny, Mom and I spent the entire day in Chicago!  Oh we did so many dog friendly things & adventures, this post will have lots of dog photos and dog videos.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did doing them.  🙂

First up on our doggie trip to Chicago was a visit to Tails In The City!  Yes, isn’t that just a cute name?  My friend Penny got some really cute dog swag and a sweet heart dog blanket.  Oh it was soft, let me tell you.  For me, Mom bought me some organic dog treats!  Bacon flavored dog treats, yum.  She also bought some dog poop pick up bags and some Cavalier King Charles Spaniel note cards.

Check me out!

We continued to shop, walk & eat.  Eating by far is my favorite thing to do of course.  Chicago also had dog friendly stores and shopping!  We even took a step inside of Gucci.  Nope, didn’t get any Gucci dog items.  Although the salesman did try to say that Mom could fit me in a bag!  LOL  I will stick to my dog stroller.

We were going to go on a horse carriage ride, but we just had too much fun shopping & walking around Chicago & our boat ride on Shoreline Sightseeing was at 5:15pm.  Yup, we all went on a boat ride & it as so much fun.  The cruise was much bigger than the Jon Boat I’m usually on.

Mom had her GoPro Camera & shot some dog video of me on the boat.  Who doesn’t love watching a dog ride in a cruise ship?  Ok, maybe it wasn’t a cruise, but it was sure nice.  And a dog friendly boat ride too!

Check me out!

By the time our day in The Windy City was over, I was beat!  Exhausted!  Whew.  Mom sure does like to show me a dog gone good time!
zzzzzzzz

 

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Chicago Cavalier Play Date

After our first day in Chicago, Mom and I had another fun filled time!  First we went shopping at Geneva

Smells Good

Commons in Geneva Illinois.  They are very dog friendly!  You have to love dog friendly stores.  We checked out Bath & Body Works, Aveda Salon, Yankee Candle, White House Black Market and of course Wet Nose!  Everyone was so nice & accommodating.  Penny & I got lots of treats too from the store owners.  Bonus.

Lots of goodies!
No more puparazzi please.
After our shopping, we headed out to our Cavalier Meetup in Chicago!  Our Facebook friends set up a play date just for us.  I really do feel special & loved by everyone.  Oh, the fun, the fun!  There were so many Cavaliers, and Mom got to meet so many of her Facebook friends in person.  Too many to list.  Check out our group photo.

Can  you find Mom & me?  

Go Pro Is Here! Dexter The Dog and his GoPro Dog Videos

Dexter The Dog and his GoPro Dog Videos

Hello. friends. Sorry it has been awhile since my last dog blog. I have had some fidgets these past 3 days because of my Syringomyelia. Nothing terrible, just a little down and out. Mom has been keeping me quiet. We are leaving for our Chicago trip tomorrow morning, so I have to get my rest and get rid of my yuck.

I will surprise you and tell you all about my big dog adventure in Chicago when I return. Well, it’s official! Mom bought the GoPro HERO3: Silver Edition! She said she has lots to learn about it, but today she did a quick test with the GoPro camera. Mom and I ran to Strawberry Acres Park in Holland Ohio for this quick recording. You can see in the video I’m just not up to snuff. So Mom called it quits early.

As you can see, lots of learning to do yet on the GoPro! I will chat with you all soon.
Love, Dexter The Dog

Do  you and your pet GoPro? Tell me in the comments.

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