Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Please click here for a special Christmas message.

Merry Christmas! ~Zoe

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fridays Favorite Foto

I'm feeling a little playful...

Now that's what I'm talking about!

Take time to play today!  ~Zoe

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursdays Tip: Keeping Your Pet Safe from Holiday Hazards

I love the Christmas Season -- all the lights, ornaments, bright red flowers, and the smell of pine!  Those ornaments look fun...round and sparkly.  I want my hu-mom or hu-man to throw them so I could go fetch it, but for some reason they keep them up high and away from me... ~Zoe

Zoe's hu-mom here.  The holiday season is filled with trees, lights, decorations and flowers that bring us joy, but they may be dangerous to your pets.  Today I thought I would share a few tips from the Dumb Friends League to be aware of, in order to allow you AND your pet(s) enjoy the holidays.

Christmas Tree Safety:
  • If you have a live Christmas tree, there are a couple of things you want to be aware of: 1) keep the water stand covered -- Pine sap mixed with water makes a poisonous drink for your pet.  2) The smell of a live tree may cause your dog to "mark" the tree -- you may want to consider keeping your tree in an isolated room, or on a table top.
  • If your tree is on the floor, decorate the bottom third of the tree with non-breakable ornaments.
  • Secure your Christmas tree to a wall or ceiling hook with sturdy fishing line.  This will help prevent the tree from toppling over should your pet jump on it or accidently knock it over.
  • If you see that an ornament, ornament hook, tinsel, ribbon, etc. has fallen on the floor, please pick it up immediately.  These things can cause serious internal injuries if your pet ingests them.
  • Make sure your tree lights don't hang so low that your pet could get entangled in them, and ALWAYS unplug the lights when you are not home and your pet is.
Holiday Treats
  • Holiday treats are tempting to our pets too, so please keep holiday treats and candies out of your pet's reach.  Also please be aware that chocolate, onions, raisins and alcohol can be fatal to dogs!
Holiday Plants
  • Some holiday plants are poisonious, so please place your poinsettias, mistletoe and other popular holiday plants out of the reach of your pets.  
Enjoy a safe Christmas and holiday season!  ~Deborah (Zoe's hu-mom)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday's Weave: The Great American Melodrama

Last night my hu-mom and her BFF Saundra went to the Great American Melodrama in Oceano, CA.  They saw "The Holiday Extravaganza: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens -- A Brand-New Fractured Fairy-tale Opera by Marian Partee & Jordan Richardson.  The Melodrama does a great job, has wonderfully talented performers, and is VERY creative...well at least according to my hu-mom!  


Little Red Riding Hood (a VERY modern version!)

Reindeer Rap (Yes, Rudolph finally gets to join in the Reindeer games!)

The 12 Days of Christmas (VERY creative!)

At this point you are probably wondering why I'm talking about the Melodrama, but please bear with me...

At the Melodrama, if you are lucky enough to get a seat on the main floor of the theatre, they seat you at a table for four...well, being that there were just two in my hu-mom's party, they were seated with two ladies -- Rosie from Riverside and Rosie's sister, from Wyoming.  Anyway, before the performance started...and during the intermissions, my hu-mom and Saundra talked with Rosie and Rosie's sister.  They quickly learned that they all had something in common...their dog-sons and dog-ters.  As they chatted, my hu-mom was impressed with the bond that humans have with their canines and the incredible love that helps to heal the wounded heart.  You see, Rosie and her sister shared about some very difficult times in their lives that their dog-sons and dog-ters helped them through.  Yes, that is one of the traits we canines have...that of unconditional love.  Whether you are happy, sad, stressed, angry, etc. we can sense it and will respond. 

Our lives are interwoven for a reason.  Today, I encourage you to look around at those you come in contact with and offer a smile...and if that someone you come in contact with is a canine, then a scratch behind the ears...but if it is a dog that is unknown to you, please ask the owners permission first.

Have a woof-derful day!  ~Zoe

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday's Telling: Update on Cooper's Dog

It never ceases to amaze me, just how giving the heart can be. 

As you know, we have been following Cooper, the four year old with severe allergies and asthma, who needs an an allergen alert dog.  We have seen his fund raising efforts go from a couple of thousand dollars to just over $5,000.00, half the amount needed, and enough for him to order his dog.

Well the dog is on order and is currently going through the testing and training necessary to detect Cooper's specific allergens.

Today, I am happy to report that Cooper's family has now exceeded the $10,000 mark! 

Yes, the children of Bishops Peak Elementary in San Luis Obispo, worked really hard to recycle goods this past year and through "Jack's Helping Hand", presented Coopers family with a $5,000 check to help Cooper get his dog...and the training that goes along with that process.  Evidently, once the dog is trained, the family has a 2 week mandatory trip to Colorado to train with the dog.  The donation from Jack's Helping Hand will help with travel expenses (car rental, gas, hotel, etc).

Thank you to everyone who has touched the life of this little boy...and thank you Cooper family for sharing your story, your need, and for touching our lives! ~Zoe

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chapter 9: Puppy Kindergarten (continued)

Well, here we are with more on Puppy Kindergarten.  So far we have covered the things our humans need to keep in mind:
1. The importance of trust
2. Our learning capabilities
3. The importance of hard work
4. How to put on and use our collars properly
5. The three voices (correction, neutral, and command)
6. The importance of timing

Basic commands:
1. Sit
2. Come
3. Down
4. Stay

And best of all... Puppy Massage!

This week we put all of the above into practice...

Then Lisa broke it up by introducing us to the outdoor exercise equipment on campus.  She wanted our humans to expose us to multiple surfaces and heights, so we wouldn't be fearful when approaching changes in the surface of our walking paths -- also, she told our humans that this exercise would help build trust.  Lisa had us climb up and down a small incline, walk on bumpy surfaces, asphalt, dirt, grass, cement and across a wobbly plank of wood. 

This week was pretty intense and ended with my favorite...a Puppy Massage.  Ahhhhh.

Until tomorrow, have a Grrrrreat day!  ~Zoe

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday's Favorite Foto

Living near the ocean, you learn to appreciate sea life.  Today's favorite photo has nothing to do with dogs...but lions.  Sea Lions to be exact.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, my hu-mom and hu-man took a walk down the Avila Beach pier and took the following photos...

Note the sign...

All I can say, is where there is a will, there is a way!  ~Zoe

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday's Tip: Homemade Dog Biscuits

If you are one who loves to give Gifts from the heart, you may want to consider this for a homemade Christmas or Holiday gift for your favorite dog friends..

Homemade Dog Biscuits

This recipe is straight from Martha Stewart (the original can be found on her website at  But if you don't want to click the link, here goes...

Ingredients (Makes about 5 dozen)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup brewer's yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup low-sodium canned chicken stock, plus more for brushing

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, wheat germ, yeast, and salt; set aside
2. In a large bowl, combine oil and garlic. Add stock and flour mixture in three alternating batches, beginning and ending with stock. Mix well.
3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to about 3/8-inch thick. Shape biscuits using a dog-bone-shaped cookie cutter or by cutting around a store-bought dog bone with a butter knife.(Make biscuits that are appropriate for your dog's size.)

4. If desired, you can spell out your dog's name or a holiday message in the dough with a toothpick (wet the toothpick first so it won't stick).

5. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.
6. Bake biscuits 10 minutes. Brush with stock; rotate baking sheets, and bake 10 minutes more. Turn off oven, leaving door closed. Let dog biscuits stand in oven to dry completely, about 1 1/2 hours. Wrap as a gift, or store in an airtight container at room temperature.
(From The Martha Stewart Show)

They're GRRRRRRRReat!  ~Zoe

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday's Telling: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

And all over the world, there are children making Christmas lists.  Many of those lists will include "a puppy" or "a kitten".  Puppies and kittens are big responsibilities, but if you are ready to take the plunge, I would like you to consider opening your home to a rescue dog or cat. 

A number of rescue organizations exist, but the one I would like to share with you today is the Southern California Labrador Retriever Rescue, Inc.  They have grown from "7 members to over a hundred people who work  throughout southern California to assist Labrador Retrievers in need. They are nonprofit, and recognized under the Internal Revenue Code 501(c)3 as a charitable, tax exempt organization. All the money that they earn goes toward our mission of rehabilitating and rehoming Labrador Retrievers, and educating the public about these wonderful dogs."

The SCLRR works to place rescue and foster dogs with families.  A number of dogs are currently available and if you have the time and resources to rescue or foster a Labrador in need, please contact the SCLRR (if you are in Southern California), or the Labrador Retriever Club's National Coordinator, Luanne Lindsay .

Thank you!  ~Zoe

Monday, December 7, 2009


Hello.  Thanks for checking in today.  Due to the fact that I don't have opposable thumbs, I need my hu-mom to help me post to my blog.  She was gone this weekend so she wasn't able to help me with today's post. 

We'll be back tomorrow, though, with our Tuesday's Telling.

Have a PAWSitively wonderful day!  ~Zoe

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday's Favorite Foto

I see a camera -- that must mean S-M-I-L-E...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday's Tip

Rubber gloves seem to be a staple at the veterinarians office...and according to my hu-mom, they are also used regularly at her doctor's office, dentist, hospital, place of business, etc.

So today's tip is to take something that is readily available and use them to help solve a common hair.  I don't know about you, but I'm a shedder.  I leave my hair EVERYWHERE and my hu-mom is always sweeping, vacuuming, and lint-removing, trying to get rid of it all.  Well, did you know that a rubber glove is HIGHLY effective as a dog hair picker upper?  Yes, all you have to do is put on the glove and run it over your sofa, pant leg, etc. and it gathers up all of those stray hairs!

Have a shed free day!  ~Zoe

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday's Weave: Kip & Zoe

I love Kip.  He made the way for me to come live with my human family, and he takes such good care of me.  He has a gentle heart and takes his job of taking care of me seriously.  As you know, I was recently sick, and Kip kept me reassured that all would be better soon, by giving me kisses -- lots of them!

Well, I'm feeling better now and we're back to playing together.  I say the ball is mine...and Kip says it's his...

Hey, I've got to go...he's strong and I want my ball!  ~Zoe

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday's Telling: An Update on Cooper's Allergen Alert Dog

We have been following Cooper, a 4-year old boy with severe allergies, who is in need of an allergen alert dog.  The family posted the following update, and I thought you might like to read it straight from Cooper's Mom...
About a month ago we raised a total of $5,000. Everyone who’s following Coopers Journey knows what a big deal this was for us. This was the big day, which we have all been waiting for… Cooper’s dog can now begin training! Many of you expressed your happiness and excitement for Cooper with our family and it was so special. I am thankful for all of you! As for me I cried, I shouted with joy, I thanked God for all the wonderful people who helped us get here, and I hugged my son with all my might.

We know many of you are anxiously waiting for an update on Cooper’s dog, and so are we! The process is not simple. Dogs are like humans, some are able to do things that others are not. There is very little that we know about Cooper’s dog, except that he will be an Australian Labradoddle. Angel Service Dogs has to follow certain regulation when training a dog to become a service dog. First is obedience. The dog has to act on command: Sit, down, stay, walk easily, no signs of aggression, recall, sit in public places and so on. Once he passes that and earns his certificate, he must be able to detect a peanut from a building, vehicle, or luggage in five minutes or less to become "peanut" certified. From there he needs to be able to “stack” which means, he needs to pick up the scent of cashews, get certified, pecans, get certified, walnuts get certified, and so on until he meets Coopers needs, and with the same regulations as a peanut. Some dogs will be able to do this, and some will not. This is why we won’t know which dog will be Coopers until we get “the phone call”. Trust me, it is hard. I want to post pictures, I want to tell you his name, and how he is progressing but I can’t. All I know, is we are hoping to get Cooper’s dog in about six months. This will allow Cooper and the dog to become familiar with each other before Cooper starts kindergarten. (Which by the way, these dogs have been detecting peanuts from “peanut free tables”. Just as an FYI to parents of peanut/nut allergic children.)
Our family is rooting for Ranger. He is a beautiful, brown Australian Labradoodle that is simply adorable. He’s about a year old, and is in training to become peanut certified. He aired on the today show and is working hard, to meet the needs of a child, we are just hoping that child is Cooper! I promise to keep you updated as often as I can, and again thank all of you for your support!
Thank you again, to everyone who has contributed to help Cooper get his dog.  Additional funds are still needed to pay for the dog, so if you would like to help out, you can do so by purchasing my PawPrintArt cards, or by donating at Cooper's blog (  ~Zoe

Monday, November 30, 2009

Chapter 8: Puppy Kindergarten Continues...

Things went well after the first two weeks of Puppy Kindergarten and my hu-mom and I practiced the "Sit" and "Come" commands until we had it down.  In fact, this wasn't part of the training that Lisa gave us, but my hu-mom heard about using hand signals, so in addition to voice commands, she also would give me hand commands, for "sit" and "come". 

Here is the hand command my hu-mom used for "Sit"...

She started with her hand down at her side, palm forward, and as she said "Sit", she would bend her elbow and raise her palm up so it was parallel with the ground. 

The "come" command was a bit more dramatic...

but she said it was necessary so that if I was off at a distance or there was too much noise and I couldn't hear her, she could put her arms out to the side (a big movement), and I would come running into her open arms.

So, as I said before, we had fun practicing the "Sit" and Come" commands, but now it was time to learn the "Down" and "Stay" commands, and follow it up with Puppy Massage....aaaahhhh....

The "Down" command was taught by having us sit -- then a treat was placed in front of our noses, and our humans pulled the treat down and away from us, so that we would follow with our nose...  As soon as our elbows hit the ground, we were given our treats.  My hu-mom learned quickly that she had to move the treat away from me a couple of feet, otherwise all I did was look like the hunchback of Notre Dame, but didn't accomplish the "down" command.

Instead of saying "No" to me all of the time, my hu-mom would say "Augh!" whenever she wanted me to NOT do something.  I must confess, the "Stay" command was filled with lots of "aughs!"...

My hu-mom was instructed to have me sit, then she would place her palm in front of my nose and say, "Stay".  She would then take a step back, wait a couple of seconds, then call me with a "come" command.  At first it was a little confusing, because she had a treat in her hand and I wanted that treat, so when she started moving away from me without giving me the treat, the foodie in me took over and I would follow her to get that treat!  She would "augh!" me, and take me back to the starting point, have me sit again...give me the "stay" command...again...then take a step or two away from me, wait a couple of seconds, then call me to "come."  I finally got the hang of it and she could more and more steps away from me and I would wait until she called me.

I must confess that after hearing so many "Aughs!" in one session, I was ready for the puppy massage.  Lisa showed our humans how to give us a deep, but gentle massage using small circular motions from our head to our tail, down our legs, in the little indentation just above our paws, and how to rub our muzzles, ears, face.  She told our humans that as they touched us, they built trust, and got us used to touch.  Lisa said that it would help us to not be afraid when other people tried to touch us, including the Veterinarian.  All I can say is THANK YOU LISA...I LOVE MY MASSAGES!!!!!  (If you want to learn more about puppy massage, click here)

In fact, it's time for one now, so I'll be in touch again tomorrow.  BUT, before I go, there is just one thing.  A reminder to Vote for Liberty!  Today is the last day of the contest, and I would really like to see Liberty ride on a Rose Parade float, so if you haven't voted, please click here and do so today.

Thank you and have a WOOF-derful day!  ~Zoe

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday's Weave: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Wednesday's have been about weaving together two different stories into one. Today, as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, I wanted to thank you, for becoming a part of the fibers of my life. 

Through this blog, I have gotten to meet so many wonderful people and animals, and I am so thankful that you are a part of my life.  I love getting your comments and emails, and learning more about you...and enjoying the fact that we are all connected in a way.

So today's post is short, but sweet.  Thank you, for sharing your life with me.  May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy celebrating and appreciating the blessings of your life.  ~Zoe

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday's Telling: Hot Temperatures Can Be Fatal to Your Dog

Good Day! Today I want to share something with you that will hopefully save lives everywhere.  My hu-mom came home from the grocery store yesterday incensed because in the car next to ours, was a dog, all alone, in the sun, with the windows up.  The dog was barking and my hu-mom was concerned for the dog's health, because of the heat. 

She carries around the following flyers, and wanted me to share them with you. 

I've never been left in the car under those conditions, so I don't know what it's like, but I imagine it could be very uncomfortable. 

Anyway, if you would like the flyer that she carries, it is available at the My Dog is Cool website (  The flyer is two-sided and can be downloaded and printed from your home printer.

On behalf of my fellow canines, thank you!  ~Zoe

Monday, November 23, 2009

Chapter 7: Puppy Kindergarten

I didn’t know what to expect from “school,” but when we arrived at the outdoor classroom, there were other puppies and humans to sniff and play with, I knew I was going to love it!

My teacher, Lisa, didn’t hold back and shared as much as she could with our humans.  Based on the type of collar that our humans had purchased for us (pinch or slip), she showed them how to properly put them on and use them, so we wouldn’t be hurt.

My hu-mom preferred the use of the pinch collar (based on the training she had received from Nick), but she did learn the proper way to use a slip collar (if she ever had need).

Lisa also shared about the “three voices” our humans should use when working with us: 

  1. First there was the low-pitched “correction” voice. She said this voice is used with authoritative and domineering (but not threatening) body language, with eye contact and no smile.
  2. Next, there is the pleased or neutral voice.  It is more high-pitched and enthusiastic.  It is accompanied with a smile and the body can be lower to the ground.  This is the “Good dog!” voice.
  3. The third voice is the “command” voice.  The voice is calm, confident and firm, and the body language is upright, not domineering, with eye contact.  This voice is one that makes statements and not a question voice.  For example, it is NOT “ssssiiiiiiitttt?????  it is a simple “sit”.  Period.

The last thing that Lisa shared before we got started with our “education”, was the importance of timing.  She explained to our humans that treating and praise must be immediate, following a positive response to a command.  She said that waiting any longer than a few seconds wouldn’t allow us to connect the treat/praise to the command. 

Now that our humans were armed with how to properly put on our collars and leashes, how to use their voice, and how to reward us in a timely manner, we were ready to start working together.

First on the list was the ‘sit” command.  Our humans were armed with treats and they were instructed to hold a treat near our nose, then move it up towards the top of our head, so that we naturally raised our heads and lowered our bottoms.  As soon as our bottoms hit the ground, our humans said, “sit” and rewarded us with the treat.  We did this over and over again until we “got it.”  If we “failed” to respond, Lisa showed our humans how to gently pull up and back on the leash to get us to respond.

Once we had the “sit” command we moved on to the “come” command.  Our humans would ask us to “sit” then take a step away from us, hold out a treat and say, “come.”  We were given the treat, and our humans were encouraged to greet us with much praise.

We did this over and over, with our humans taking more and more steps away from us as we became consistent with our response. 

Lisa said that the “come” command is very important and could save our lives, one day, so she encouraged our humans to practice this command often, and be sure they kept their voice happy (never frustrated or angry), and gave us lots of praise when we responded.

Lisa had us switch humans, so we could practice responding to other people…and so our humans could also learn how to work with puppies of other breeds.  She also would try to distract us with a toy, puppy, talking, etc., when our humans called us to “come”—she wanted to make sure that no matter what, we responded to our humans.

My hu-mom and I had great fun learning together, and as we learned “commands” together, it was wonderful knowing exactly what my hu-mom and hu-man meant when they talked to me.  I loved the treats and praise that I received whenever I responded appropriately to the “sit” and “come” commands.

Next week, the “stay” and “down” commands, along with puppy massage.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday's Favorite Foto (and update about Zoe)

Today's favorite photo if posted by my hu-mom....

She says this is a favorite photo because I am "on the mend."  It has been a long and hard week.  I have been having trouble with my intestines and my humans were very concerned.  All I was doing was laying around -- I had absolutely no appetite, and whenever I would try to eat I would lose it at one or both ends.  I had no energy for anything at all, not even looking out the front window, which is one of my favorite things to do when in the house. 

My hu-mom is thankful for Dr. Stephens and the staff at Coast Veterinary Clinic, for taking such good care of me.  I'm thankful too -- thank you!

So my hu-mom says this is a new "favorite" photo because I've made it through the worst and here I am with my shaved stomach and pink bandage (hiding a catheter port used to give me fluids), looking out the window.  I must confess, I did sleep some, while in this position, but my hu-mom was happy that my body is responding to the treatment, my appetite is back (as of this morning), and I'm starting to do those things that are more normal for me.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!  ~Zoe

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Zoe Update


I think this photo says it all….

Zoe’s hu-mom here…poor little Zoe had a rough night and will be going in to see the vet again this morning. 

Your continued thoughts and prayers are appreciated!  ~Deborah

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday's Telling

Hi Everyone...This is Zoe's hu-mom signing in for Zoe. She is sick today, but she asked me to check in and give you all an update on Cooper. She said we don't have an update yet, for last weekend's Ride for a Reason, but she will update you on that just as soon as she has some info.

In regards to Cooper, thank you, thank you, thank you! So far $6,150 has been donated towards Cooper's allergen-alert dog. From what we understand, Cooper has been tested to determine all known allergens, and the dog is on order and will be trained specifically to detect Cooper's allergens.

And now, as a concerned Mom, please keep Zoe in your thoughts and prayers. She has an intestinal infection and hasn't eaten anything since Saturday night. She saw her veterinarian yesterday and they examined and x-rayed her and sent her home with some antibiotics and strict orders to not feed her for the rest of the day, and begin a bland diet today. She's not her usual self, so again, your thoughts and prayers are appreciated. ~Deborah

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chapter 6: Puppy Kindergarten - Orientation

Yes, that first spring arrived and my hu-mom told me it was time for me to go to school -- Puppy Kindergarten to be specific. My hu-mom signed us up and we attended at the local community college.

My teacher's name was Lisa...and she was so nice!

She met my hu-mom and the other humans before meeting us puppies, and she gave them a welcome packet -- complete with resources needed to help us puppies build a successful and rewarding relationship with our humans!

Lisa shared about the importance of trust, leadership, and leadership! Yes, according to Lisa, if we canines sense that our humans are not going to lead us, we fill in the void ourselves...and that will NOT turn out well!

She also shared that every puppy is unique and learns at it's own capability, speed and need -- just like humans! I think she shared that with our humans just so they wouldn't get so frustrated when one puppy in the class picked something up faster than another...

Lisa also shared that, "When people don't make time to train or establish structure, dogs become unruly, at times impossible to control." Sadly, this type of situation accounts for a number of the dogs taken to animal shelters by their owners.

And with that, Lisa told our humans that "behavior CAN be changed" and asked, "How much are you willing to work at it?"

And best of all, she encouraged our humans to let the classes and training sessions be a special time for us to bond and have fun.

Our class schedule:
Week 1 - Orientation (humans only)
Week 2 - Come command
Week 3 - Sit command / come command with distractions
Week 4 - Stay command / toy gauntlet / puppy massage (my favorite!)
Week 5 - Down command / combination exercises
Week 6 - Graduation

Equipment list:
collars / leashes
food / water bowls
premium puppy food (i.e. some food that is really good & motivates your puppy!)
Grooming items (including Dental)
Books / videos

Well, that's it for orientation. Now it was time for our humans to go home, read through the packet of information that Lisa provided, and arrive next week with puppies in tow, ready to work!

And for today...Something to make you smile...

"What a dog hears"

Next Week -- Puppy Kindergarten -- from a puppie's perspective...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday's Favorite Foto

I've been pretty quiet on Fridays, but decided to start posting some "favorite photos". Friday's postings will be short, but I hope you enjoy them nonetheless...

This photo is a favorite because it is part of my morning "ritual." My hu-man sleeps with a t-shirt on (sorry dad, I hope I'm not sharing anything too personal!). Anyway, in the morning before he takes his shower, I jump up on the bed and he lays his t-shirt over me. It is like getting a warm hug from my hu-man. I usually fall asleep and enjoy the hug. ~Zoe

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday's Tip: Lab Puppy Training Course

Hello! Thank you for checking in for today's tip. Actually, today tip is that there is a wonderful 10 day puppy training course to help you "Have a Happy, content Lab Puppy in 10 Days (or Less) -- starting your new life with your Puppy as stress free as possible.".

Susanne at Lab Puppy Training ( offers a 10 day course for training not just your Lab puppy, but all puppies. The course is FREE and includes positive training methods for:

  • Puppy proofing your home
  • Things you need to buy for your puppy
  • Puppy car safety
  • Puppy toilet training
  • First night with your puppy
  • Puppy crate/cage training
  • Stop your puppy from biting
  • Puppy leash training
  • Puppy bonding
  • Puppy recall training
  • Puppy Aggression

and a host of other subjects.

My hu-mom and hu-man received a lot of good information from my dog mom and dad's humans, but my hu-mom says Susanne's information is great for anyone just starting out with a new puppy, because "we can always learn."

I would also like to add that you can tell Susanne loves her dogs, because her training methods are humane and make learning fun. So, please check out Susanne's Lab Puppy Training course at and you will be on the way to enjoying your early days with your puppy. ~Zoe

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday's Weave: Liberty

So far, Wednesday's have been devoted to weaving together the story of Kip and me, but today I am going to deviate a bit.

Today I'd like to share with you about Liberty, "the scholarly dog."

My hu-mom's friend Maggie, from high school, is Liberty's hu-mom. Maggie works for the U.S. Government, so it's not surprising that she would name her dog Liberty. Liberty comes from a line of patriot dogs -- there was Justice (his grandfather), Freedom (his father), and of course his girlfriend's name is Betsy Ross.

My hu-mom and Maggie were in the marching band in high school. Their high school band was invited to participate in the world famous Rose Parade, but due to circumstances beyond their control, their band didn't participate.

So now, Maggie's dog Liberty has a chance to participate in that famous parade. Liberty, "the scholarly dog" has been entered in the Natural Balance pet food contest, to win a spot on a Rose Parade float, but he needs your vote!

So today I ask for your vote for Liberty...the scholarly dog. To vote, please click here to go to the official contest page, then all you have to do is click the "VOTE" button above Liberty's photo. The contest ends November 30, 2009, so please vote soon.

Thank you, and may we always know Liberty! ~Zoe

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday's Telling: Rescue Ride at the Ranch

First, an update on Cooper's allergen-alert Dog -- it has been ordered! Thank you to everyone who purchased PawPrintArt cards during the month of October -- together we contributed $20 to help Cooper get his dog! To learn more about Cooper and his need for an allergen-alert dog...and to help support the cause, please click here.

For the remainder of the month of November, we will be supporting Equine Rescue -- specifically, Miller's no-kill sanctuary for rescued and unwanted horses.

Miller's takes in unwanted horses, evaluates, retrains or nurses them back to health, and then gives them a purpose. Miller's sanctuary horses are available for sale, adoption, fostering, using as a companion, or sponsored to work in Miller's programs.

"Miller's is a rescue facility. They work with Animal Services and other non-profits to provide a home for all types of horses that would otherwise be sent to slaughter or put down due to circumstances other than terminal illness."

So how can you help? Well if you are looking for a reason to visit California's Central Coast this weekend, Miller's is sponsoring a "Ride For a Reason" on November 14th at Santa Margarita Ranch. Details about the ride can be found at the Miller's Sanctuary Website (

For the month of November, 30% of the profits from my PawPrintArt cards will be going to help support Miller's Sanctuary, so if you need any Thanksgiving (or animal related) cards, please consider PawPrintArt cards.

Thank you for caring for animals everywhere! ~Zoe

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chapter 5: Clicker Training

I've explained that my hu-mom and hu-man were not what you call "dog" people, so when I came along, they had no experience with children, or puppies, so they read books, watched The Dog Whisperer, sought out advice wherever they could, and trained me as best they could.

My hu-mom learned about clicker training, and this turned out to be something that really "clicked" with me = ) She did two things: 1) she watched my natural tendencies, and when I did something that she wanted me to "repeat", she would click the clicker and put a name to it; and 2) she used treats and the clicker to form a response from me.

For example... when she wanted me to sit, she would take a treat and place it near my nose, then move it back towards the top of my head. In order for my eyes to follow, I had to sit down. As soon as I sat, she clicked, said "sit" and gave me a treat -- followed by a lot of praise.

My next command to learn was "down," for lay down. Again my hu-mom took a treat and while I sat, she put the treat in front of my nose, then pulled it down towards the ground...and away from me a bit. This made my nose follow the treat and as soon as my front elbows hit the floor, she clicked, said "down" and gave me the treat. We practiced this for quite some time, then she put the two together in what she called "puppy push-ups."

What are Puppy Push-ups you ask? Well, they are calisthenics for dogs, silly! My hu-mom would say "sit"...then "down"...then "sit"...then "down" Puppy push-ups were fun, still are, tiring, but you should see my biceps!

My hu-mom and I spent hours clicker training and as a result I can do many tricks on voice command...and hand motion command, but that's another story and I'll share more about that later.

Until next time, have fun with and challenge your puppy, then give him/her lots of loving! ~Zoe

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thursday's Tip: Traveling with Your Puppy/Dog

Ah, there's nothing like the feel of a puppy or a small dog -- so cute, soft and cuddly.  Yes we are cute and cuddly, but the car is NOT the place to hold and cuddle us.  Just as there are baby seats to protect small babies when traveling in the car, there are ways to keep us safe from airbags, flying objects, or from becoming a flying object.

Today we turn to an article posted by Susanne at to share the proper way to travel with your puppy.  To read the article, please click here, or watch the following video for the Cliff Notes....

Until next time, have fun traveling and living life with your pets!  ~Zoe

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday's Weave

Kip was living the good life with my hu-mom and hu-man, along with Goldie the cat and the chickens. Kip and Goldie roamed in the yard constantly, and the chickens dug and scratched around the yard during the day, but were put away into their chicken coop at night to protect them from the possums and racoons.

All were fine until the neighbor decided to replace the fence that separated our yards (unfortunately they neglected to tell my hu-mom and hu-man about it...) Anyway, they hired a work crew who came and tore out the fence and set about to replace it. Well the fence line is long and they didn't finish in a day, so they leaned something up against the railing. Well, at that time we had a neighbor who let their dog do pretty much whatever it wanted, and it decided that what it wanted was our chickens. So it pushed through the temporary barrier that was the fence, entered our back yard, jumped over the picket fence that surrounded the chicken coop, broke through the wire that enclosed the chicken coop and killed the chickens.

By the time my hu-mom and hu-man got out to the chicken coop, the dog was nowhere in sight and all that was left were chicken carcasses and the dog's collar and ID tags. My hu-man went to the owner to tell them what had happened and return the collar, and the human offered no apology and absolutely no remorse. I shared earlier how the chickens came to be a part of the family, so you know how much they meant to my humans, so I'll just take the opportunity to remind you that if you are a pet owner, you are the human and it is up to you to be responsible and watch, protect and train those who are in your care.

Sorry, I didn't mean to jump on my soapbox...okay, back to the story....

With the chickens gone, it was just Kip and Goldie to roam around in the yard and keep each other company. That is until my hu-man learned that his friends had "lost" their cat. They raved about how much that cat meant to them and how much they missed it. Well, the man ended up going away to heaven, leaving his wife all alone. My hu-man felt sad for the lady and offered our loving Goldie to her, to help her with her grief.

So after the chicken's demise and Goldie's change of address, Kip was all alone. Oh, my hu-mom and hu-man would invite Cadence (a yellow lab who lives down the street) over for play dates, but they knew it was not enough. Kip needed a companion, and that is what opened the door for me to come live with my hu-mom, hu-man and Kip.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday's Telling: Cooper's Dog Update

For those of you checking in for the first time, we have been following Cooper, a four-year old little boy with severe asthma and allergys. To help Cooper live a more normal life, we are doing what we can to help Cooper get an allergen alert dog, to help detect and protect Cooper from his particular allergens.

The price of this specially trained dog is $10,000.00, and Cooper's family is more than half way to their target. At $5,000.00 they had enough to order the dog, but now, they still need $4,700.00 to pay for Cooper's dog in full.

We are so thankful for everyone who has contributed directly to Cooper, Angel Service Dogs, or through the purchase of my Paw Print Art Cards.

Cooper's allergen-alert dog will be trained by Angel Service Dogs -- if you would like to know more about them, they will be on the Today Show this Friday (November 6th).

Today's posting is short, but sweet -- there is hope for Cooper thanks to Angel Service Dogs and you!

Have a terrific tuesday! ~Zoe

Monday, November 2, 2009

Chapter 4: Let the Training Begin

I had a lot of energy when I was a young pup, and my hu-mom, with no dog experience, didn't know how to walk me. Oh she tried, she hooked on a leash to my collar and I pulled her down the street. Next she tried a halti collar, and I absolutely refused to move with that thing on!

Since the walk wasn't happening, my hu-mom knew I needed exercise, so instead of the frustration of trying to walk me, she started putting me through a one-hour workout in the backyard every day. She would throw the ball, play tug, and anything else she could think of to get me to run around and get rid of some of my energy. Our play time eventually became a trick training time and I learned how to respond to a clicker. I knew that if I did what she wanted me to, I would get a treat -- and I loooooovvvvveeee treats!

Although my hu-mom and I had a great time playing in the backyard, she heard about "The Dog Whisperer" show on the National Geographic channel, and she learned the importance of "the walk." So, she strapped on the leash and tried again....and again.... I continued to pull -- afterall, I was just a young pup with lots of energy, and I wanted to explore the world! After much frustration on my hu-mom's part, she finally called "Nick" to teach her how to walk me.

Nick came to our home and the first thing he did was tell my hu-mom that I was using the wrong collar. He pulled out a pinch-collar and when my mom saw it, she broke down in tears. She thought it looked like a torture device and she DID NOT want that thing around my poor little puppy neck!

Nick explained how the "device" worked and placed it on my hu-moms forearm. He showed her how if I walked "nicely", the collar just sat on my neck, however if I started to pull, all she had to do was give a quick "correction" (that he demonstrated on her forearm), and how that would get me back on track to walking without pulling. He also showed her how it would feel if she used the collar and allowed me to continue to pull -- it was not pleasant!

My hu-mom saw that the collar could be "good" or "bad" depending on how SHE used it. Thankfully I have a hu-mom who loves me, so she agreed to use the collar in the "good" way.

Nick showed her how to walk and correct me, and after one session, we were a much improved team and able to walk -- and walk we did!

...what mom? time for a walk? Well I guess that is it for today folks. Check in again tomorrow for more from the Zoe-Chronicles. ~Zoe

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday's Tips: Puppy Training

I've heard from some humans that they loved the "idea" of getting a puppy, but once they brought their puppy home, they weren't quite sure what to do with "it." Well, I've shared about the great advice that my dog-mom and dad's humans gave my hu-mom & hu-man, but I also want to share a new website that offers puppy training -- specifically "lab" puppy training, but I think it will help ALL puppy owners. The website is called "Lab Puppy Training" and can be found at You will find things like what to do "your first night with your puppy" ( ; "Puppy Night Training" ( etc.

Check it out, I think it will help both you and your humans get off to a good start!

Well, I hear my bowl being filled, so it's off to breakfast. Have a WOOFderful day! ~ Zoe

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday's Weave

If you are new to my blog, this is just to let you know that woven into my story is the story of Kip. So here we go with the 2nd installement of Kip's story...

When Kip came to live with my hu-mom and hu-man, he was overweight and in need of a good grooming. Poor Kip, he came back from the groomer with his glorious locks shaved!

Before I came along, Kip wasn't alone. He had Goldie (a cat that had also belonged to my hu-man's Mom and Dad),

and the chickens...

but the chickens are another story entirely. If you are really curious, you can read about them here.

My hu-mom and hu-man worried how Kip would respond to the chickens, and when they saw him laying on the ground with his paw wrapped around one of them, they were quite concerned! BUT, no worries. Kip wasn't trying to hurt the chicken, he was just "cleaning" it. My hu-mom says she wishes she had a photo to share with you of the chicken's soaking wet head, following Kip's "cleaning", but unfortunately no photos were taken.

Yes, Kip proved that he is a fine mix of steel and velvet. He is a great watch dog, but he is also a lover of his humans, cats, chickens, and now me!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday's Telling: Cooper's Dog

We've been following Cooper, a 4-year old little boy with severe allergies and ashthma, and his need for an allergen-alert dog.

Cooper's family has raised $5,000 in 8 weeks, with another $5,000 to go. The good news is that with half the money raised, Cooper's dog can be ordered.

So what is the next step? Well, Cooper had to go to his Allergest for testing, to make sure he doesn't have any additional food allergies. Once they know for certain all of his allergens, they can notify Angel Service Dogs, and the dog will be trained specifically for Cooper.

If you would like to help Cooper get his dog, you can contribute directly through his website, or if would like to purchase my PawPrintArt cards, please know that 30% of the profits will go to help Cooper get his dog.

Thank you again and have a PAWfectly wonderful day! ~Zoe

Monday, October 26, 2009

Chapter 3: New Puppy Advice

My dog-mom and dad's humans, Michael and Karen sent my hu-mom and hu-man home with a file folder filled with my "history", my schedule, advice, and me....

My history included information about my dog-mom and dad's pedigree, and my operation, shot and medical information to date.

My schedule...
And advice...

Since my hu-mom and hu-man had never had a puppy before, Michael and Karen wanted to make sure that we would "adjust" well to one another, so they gave my hu-mom and hu-man the following advice....

  1. They said that if I ever chewed up something that I wasn't supposed to, peed inside the house, or did something that I wasn't supposed to, my hu-mom and hu-man should roll up a newspaper and....(oh I know what you are thinking, but wait...) they should whack themselves on the side of the head with it, because they are the humans and it is up to them to provide a "puppy-proof" environment, let me out when I should be let out, and provide a nurturing environment for me.

  2. They also encouraged my hu-mom and hu-man to touch and massage my paws, so I would be used to the touch and wouldn't go ballistic when it was times to get my nails clipped.

  3. They also had the same advice for touching and massaging my ears, so ear-cleaning wouldn't be traumatic.

  4. They also showed my hu-mom and hu-man to touch my muzzle, clean my eyes, and open my mouth and dig things out, that shouldn't be there -- (I gave them plenty of opportunity to practice this one in those early days!) All of this was designed to get my hu-mom and hu-man used to touching me...and me getting used to them touching me, so that when I was a "big" dog, I wouldn't growl at or bite them when I saw them coming near my face.

  5. Michael and Karen told my hu-mom and hu-man that I was smart, so they should challenge me, give me plenty of time and attention, and most of all love.

And it is with the above information and advice that we started our new live together....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Portraits of Life

Okay, so I'm not the only artist in the family -- my hu-mom is an artist too. While my art is pretty much thematic and focuses on my paw print, she paints what she calls "Portraits of life -- of people, pets, places and favorite things." If you'd like to see more of her art, please check out her blog at, or her website at
Have a terrific Thursday! ~Zoe

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday's Weave

Woven into my story, is the story of Kip – my brother from another mother…and father. Kip was my hu-man’s Daddy’s guard dog. Not much is known about Kip’s life, before he came to live with my hu-mom and hu-man, but I’ll share what I know.

Kip is a german shepherd mix – we know that because he has some German Shepherd features, black and tan coloring, curved tail, barrel chest, narrow hips, dark rimmed eyes, a long nose, and he’s huge! The other part of the mix is an unknown – people have guessed Corgi, due to his rounded ears and kind face, but that is something we will never know.


 German Shepherd




I mentioned before that Kip was a guard dog. His job was to bark – and he did (and still does) his job well!

Kip spent his days and nights at his Daddy’s business. When my hu-mom and hu-man would go visit, they kept their distance from Kip – they were afraid of him! When my hu-man’s Daddy retired, Kip came to live with him and his wife at their home as an “outdoor” dog. When my hu-man’s Daddy went away to heaven, my hu-man swallowed his fear and went and let Kip off his chain….

My hu-mom says that right after my hu-man let Kip off his chain, he ran an errand and left her and Kip alone at the house -- my hu-mom inside and Kip outside – they still hadn’t met face to face. While my hu-man was gone, some “seedy looking character” came to the gate, and Kip went into action. He went to the front door, stood in front of it, faced the person at the gate and started barking. My hu-mom came to the door and her heart was changed. She knew in that instant that Kip meant to protect her and not hurt her.

My hu-mom and hu-man returned from that trip with Kip in tow. My hu-mom and hu-man were not what you call “dog” people, so Kip was an outdoor dog and wasn’t allowed in the house – afterall, dogs are dirty, smelly, sheddy and slobbery…or at least that was the perception.

Kip has become an important member of the family and I’ll share more about him in next Wednesday’s Weave.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday's Telling: Give a Boy a Dog Update

I am absolutely pAWEd by the way humans have rallied together to help support Cooper Giron and his need for an allergen-alert dog. The Giron family has now raised $5,000.00 -- that means they can now order Cooper's dog!  Cooper's dog will come from Angel Service Dogs, and although there is still an additional $5,000.00 to be raised, ASD can start training a dog specifically for Cooper.

We dogs have a great sense of smell, so according to Angel Service Dogs, "Scent detection is a perfect job for a correctly trained dog" and "once trained by a master trainer, a dog will be able to detect trace elements of an allergen in any form; raw, cooked, oil, butter, dust, etc."  I'm so happy that one of my canine buddies will have such an important job!

I want to PAWsonally thank you too, for purchasing my PawPrintArt cards.  We have sold 11 to date and 30% of the profits will go to help Cooper get his dog.  If you are in need of Thanksigving cards, you may want to consider our Turkey PawPrintArt card -- it will provide you with a whimsical card that you can send your loved ones AND help support animal and human rescue.

Well, time for a belly rub, so I'll talk with you again soon...  Zoe

Monday, October 19, 2009

Chapter 2: The Gift

According to my hu-mom, the greatest gift was me...

and the 2nd greatest gift that my dog-mom and dad’s humans gave was the gift of house-training!

My dog-mom and dad’s humans, Karen & Michael), spent their early days watching over us puppies, making sure we well cared for, socialized, and….house-trained. They would herd us all outside every two hours, after every feeding, and after every nap. My hu-mom says Karen & Michael were sleep-deprived during those first weeks, but that they did a great job, and she is happy to report that I have never had an accident in the house.

In my early days, I was trained to sleep in a crate at night, and when I needed to go outside to “do my business,” I would give a little bark – just one, and my hu-mom or hu-man would let me out. We have since moved away from the crate and I have a bed next to my hu-mom and hu-man’s bed -- but if I just can’t wait to go outside in the middle of the night, I still give what my hu-mom calls my “puppy bark,” and one of them lets me out.

My hu-mom calls my house-training the 2nd greatest gift, because she has heard horror stories, (and she watches, “It’s Me or the Dog”), so she knows what a truly selfless gift Michael and Karen gave. 

For help with house-training, Leah at Attaboy Dog Obedience & Training recommends:

And now I open the floor to you and your experience – How did you overcome the adjustment period to a new dog or cat? We’d love to hear your story....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday's Telling: Give a Boy a Dog

Tuesday's will feature a short story about an animal, person or situation that could use a little support and encouragement. 

Today's story is about Cooper Giron, a 4-year old boy who has severe asthma and a unique medical condition that leaves him highly allergic to a number of things.

Cooper's parents are trying to make Cooper's life as "normal" as possible, however as most kids can just run outside and live life without a care, Cooper can't leave home without his "best friend," an emergency pack containing epinephrine (to counter shock) and his asthmatic inhalers.  You see, any contact with the allergens could send him into potentially fatal anaphylactic shock. 

Cooper's family has learned that there is an allergen-alert service dog that could help Cooper, and they are trying to raise $10,000.00 to get one for Cooper.  Just like drug-sniffing dogs used by law encorcement, an allergen-alert service dog would never leave Cooper's side -- it would warn him of the presence of any allergens, and if he is exposed, the dog would alert a supervising adult -- it would also carry Cooper's emergency medical pack.

The family has raised $3,600.00 to date, so any assistance you can give would be greatly appreciated.

As you know, my hu-mom and I are making Paw Print Art from my paw prints and my hu-mom's imagination.  We sold our first two cards today and we are honored to be able to donate 30% of the profits to help Cooper buy his dog. 

I can't tell you how excited I am that I could help get Cooper his dog.  If you would like to donate to this cause, you can purchase my Paw Print Art (30% of the profits will be donated to the cause), or donations can be made through Cooper's blog

If you have a story that you would like for us to feature on our "Tuesday's Telling", please email me at, for consideration.  Thank you again and have a woof-derful day!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chapter 1: Hello World!

According to my hu-mom, everyone has a story.
My story began December 16, 2005, when I was 1 of a litter of 9, born to Aspen, (an AKC Registered Yellow Lab), and Ruckus, (an AKC Registered Golden Retriever).


My dog mom and dad’s humans (Karen & Michael), planned on keeping 2 of us puppies, and adopting out the rest to friends.


Karen & Michael gave us names that described our character. There was BT (bent tail), Chubbs (self explanatory), Chaos, etc., and me, Rudy, short for Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.

Karen & Michael had a constant flow of people to see, play with, love on, and hold us puppies – to make sure that we were well socialized.


My hu-mom (Deborah) and hu-man (David) would come visit – David liked to get down on our level and be surrounded by puppies. He was convinced that they “needed” a puppy.


Deborah was a little more subdued. Oh she loved and doted on us, but she wasn’t convinced that she/they were ready for the responsibility of a puppy.


You see, just six months earlier, David’s Father had gone away to heaven and his guard-dog Kip was left without a home.


David and Deborah adopted him, but with past experience with cats and chickens only, they were still just learning what it meant to be “dog” people.

So, what changed their mind? Well, initially their mind was made up for them. Deborah had waited so long to decide, that all of the puppies were spoken for.
Then one of those “life events” occured– you know the kind, one of those experiences that is painful and doesn’t make sense, but it is important for growth --

David’s sister Carole died on February 14th, 2006. When Carole was a young girl, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She was operated on and told she would not live very long, and she would never have children. God had other plans, though, and Carole had one son and lived until lung cancer claimed her life at the age of 62. Carole lived her life with a huge scar on her neck, a constant reminder of the incredible miracle that was her life.

After Carole’s death, Deborah had a change of heart and felt that she was ready for the responsibility of a puppy, but not just any puppy – me!


You see, when I was just a “young girl”, I was diagnosed with a physical problem that without surgery, would have certainly cost me my life. I forgot the medical name for what I had, but there was an artery that wrapped around my esophagus and it prevented me from eating solid food. I had to have surgery to correct the situation and at 7 weeks of age, I was left with a huge scar on my chest and side that I too would carry as a constant reminder of the miracle of my life.


Fortunately, Karen and Michael loved David and Deborah so much that they gave me up so that I could go live with them. David and Deborah changed my name from Rudy to Zoe, meaning “life” in Greek.
And now you know how I got my name and how I came to live with David, Deborah and Kip.


So be encouraged, difficult and seemingly hopeless situations can result in GREAT blessing!