The holidays are almost upon us. There will be lots of cooking, baking, and parties. You may have family and friends over to celebrate with you. Be aware that some people have no idea that there are foods and herbs that are very poisonous for your dog. They may think they’re doing good by treating your dog with table scraps because it’s a special day. Keep a watchful eye not only during your get togethers but when anyone is cooking or baking because food may be dropped or left on the counter unattended. For example, chocolate is very toxic for your furry family member. Here’s a list of items to watch for.
No/chocolate. It is toxic to dogs and cats and can kill them.
No/alcohol. It’s toxic to animals. Careful on foods that may contain alcohol like fruit bread
No/grapes or raisins. They are toxic and can cause kidney failure
No/onions, garlic, leeks, scallions. Can lead to toxic anemia.
Here are a few holiday foods that are okay to give your furry friend. A piece of advice, never feed them while your sitting at the dinner table. Put the special meal or treat in their own food bowl.
Yes/turkey and chicken. Make sure to remove skin, fat and bones. White meat is best.
Yes/potatoes. Careful with what may be in mashed potatoes. No butter, onions, garlic, gravy, sour cream
Yes/cranberry sauce. Keep it to small amount because of the sugar content.
Yes/popcorn. Air popped corn without butter or salt makes a great treat in moderation.
Yes/plain green beans
Yes/apples but NO apple core or seeds. Apple seeds contain a small amount of arsenic – the same thing found in rat poison
I brought Simba home 9 years ago. I must say it has been a learning experience every step of the way. I have had many breeds in my lifetime but none like the GSP. The first lesson was that GSPs is a very high energy breed. They aren’t kidding when you read that if they don’t get enough exercise they can be very destructive. Another detail I learned is why they are called “Velcro dogs”. Simba lives up to that label perfectly. She is glued to my hip at all times. It doesn’t matter if I’m outside, inside, upstairs, downstairs, in bed or in the bathroom; she is there watching over me. Simba has hundreds of FB friends and one thing I noticed in pictures posted was that there was always more than one GSP. There were usually two if not more and always huddled together. Even when sleeping, they seem to all sleep on top of each other. For years, I contemplated with the idea of getting her a sister GSP to keep her company during my work day but I was worried that she would change. Not that I wouldn’t mind some privacy when in the bathroom or getting dressed but I love how she cuddles up to me. I love how she likes to sleep right up against me, I love that she can read my moods and acts accordingly. I didn’t want any of that to change. As you may already know, we adopted Gypsy one year ago because she needed a home. This has been my observation having two dogs. I would suggest that if you’re going to get two,
make them closer in age. The nice thing is that I don’t have to worry about fitting in at least three hours of ball play with Simba. Gypsy makes sure to keep Simba on her toes and running quite a bit. Sometimes, it can be a little too much. There is a great difference at this point in energy levels. Gypsy has become very attached to Simba. She wants to sleep on top of her. She wants the same toy Simba is playing with. She follows her around and wants to be next to her. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still her mum. When the loud red monster trucks are screaming their sirens, it’s me she looks for to comfort her as she howls them away. Simba is still behaving as the only child. They say that the first-born of two children who are more than 5 years apart will grow up with characteristics of an only child. I believe this holds true for dogs as well. Simba still wants to cuddle with me, sleep with me, lay on me, play with me, sit with me and everything else she can do with me. However, she does not let Gypsy lay on her or too close for that matter. If Gypsy lays near her she will wait a few minutes and then move away. Granted, Gypsy being a puppy has pushed all of Simba’s buttons and has exhausted her patience. Simba will play with Gypsy for a little while but then brings the toy to me to play with her. If I had to do it over, I would probably have kept them within two years of each other. At least they would be similar in energy and play with each other a lot more.
Remember Gypsy? The puppy I adopted last November. Next month she will be celebrating her first year birthday. She has come a long way from being that scared and skittish puppy I drove home across three states. As most GSPs she is very active but also enjoys her downtime more than Simba ever did. My biggest issue is that she tends to get bored. While I’m home, she enjoys playing with her toys. They have a large toy box and she will pull out each one and play with it a while or get Simba to play tug-a-war with her and then she goes for the next one. They also have a basket with about 50 chew bones which she tends to do the same with. She also likes to annoy Simba when she tires of entertaining herself. Simba likes to play when she feels like it and it’s not always when Gypsy feels like it. The both get along beautifully. They do play quite a bit, however, Simba is now nine years old and gets tired more. When I am away from the house, it’s a whole other Continue reading →
After a couple of months of Gypsy being home I noticed that she was beginning to scratch and nibble on herself more and more. GSP’s are known for having more allergies than other breeds. When Simba was younger, she too suffered from different skin allergies. The next couple of weeks, I noticed Gypsy was beginning to show bare spots around her face and some spots on her back legs. Gypsy was diagnosed as having Puppy Mange by her vet after performing skin graphs from a couple of areas. Puppy Mange (Demodectic Mange” also known as Canine Scabies. It is caused by Continue reading →
Gypsy was rescued and was suffering from malnutrition. With time and much love her health improved and now is a very happy puppy. I hope her siblings were able to all find a loving home. Gypsy will donate $1.00 from each sale to the local humane society to help take care of others like her.
Simba and Gypsy are two very active GSPs. As all GSP owners know, this breed must get all the exercise they need daily or your home will be a war-zone. It will also look like one as told by Simba. I recently had a full hip replacement. There was quite a bit of planning for this big occurrence in my life. First of all, I had to finish fencing off the backyard for Gypsy. Simba is well behaved and also more mature than Gypsy. Gypsy is still only 7 months old and I can’t take the chance of her puppy brain taking over and deciding to explore more ground (especially the busy street in the front of the house). As painful as it was, I finished the fencing. The next item was installing a doggie door so that they could now go out without needing me to get up every 30 minutes to open the door (every 5 minutes for Gypsy who likes to be controlling/annoying at times).
Installing the doggie door should have only taken ten minutes. However, once I opened up the wall this is what I found. Electric wiring in my way, augh.
The project took a couple of hours of rewiring resulting with happiness and satisfaction.
It only took Gypsy a couple of days to get comfortable with going in and out of the doggie door by herself without coaxing. Simba on the other hand is more apprehensive and always has been. It took her about a week of going through the door with me holding it open, on my hands and knees on the opposite side of the door with my head through the door as I pleaded with her. An entertaining moment for my neighbors who don’t miss anything.
I am glad they have each other to play with. They usually do a pretty good job wearing themselves out chasing each other around and wrestling like world champions. However, since I have returned from the hospital Simba won’t leave my side. Gypsy still comes and goes and actually enjoys spending lots of time outdoors trying to find different escape routes. Simba has always been very intuitive and knows something’s wrong; so there’s no playing or chasing each other around going on. My son sent us the BazooK-9 that he purchased through Amazon. What a fantastic and fun contraption, not only for the dogs but me too. This shoots tennis balls across two rooms with the pull of the trigger and the best part is that you don’t have to bend down to pick the balls up. All you do is push the barrel over the ball and it scoops it up. When the ball disappears into the barrel Simba just goes insane trying to figure out where it disappeared to all the while making a funny and dramatic whimper cry. Gypsy has never gotten the jist of fetching. She likes chasing the ball and then prancing around with it in her mouth chasing Simba back and forth who does fetch and return the ball. They both love it and are getting quite the exercise. They love it so much that they don’t want to stop playing making Simba whimper for a while when it’s put away.
This Christmas I had to teach Gypsy many things. This must be this puppy’s first Christmas. She was really good about not playing with the ornaments on the tree. However, about a week before Christmas she came home from the woof doctor with a funny looking cone thing on her head. In her defense, she would forget about the cone when running past the tree and the cone would knock off the bottom ornaments. She did pull my human sister’s gift out from under the tree. I explained that was not hers; her gifts are in the stockings hanging from the fireplace. She is still too short to feel the stockings for presents but she watched me as I poked each one and pointed out which ones were ours. On Christmas Eve we got to open our presents one by
one. Mum would give Gypsy her present to unwrap and then she would give me mine. As soon as Gypsy saw mum hand me my present, she would drop her wrapped present and run over to take my wrapped present away. Mum chased her around trying to get it back but that made Gypsy run faster. I would open my present and then go over to show Gypsy how to unwrap hers. Gypsy was more interested in playing with all the great toys that I had already unwrapped than unwrapping her presents. I love unwrapping presents so I unwrapped them for her. We spent the next hour playing tug-o-war with all our Christmas presents. Having a little sister isn’t so bad sometimes.
The puppy saw her reflection on the fireplace glass door today. She must have stood there observing it for at least an hour. She would back up and sit next to her sister for a while and go back to show Simba this strange dog. What I found strange is that she has seen her reflection in my full length mirror. She stops for a couple of seconds and then realizes she can see me in the mirror too. She’ll turn back and forth a couple of times and leave it that. But the image on the glass had her really perplexed. Maybe it was because this image was translucent. It was fun to watch.
Mum is training Gypsy how to poo and pee outside. I don’t think Gypsy gets the idea yet. Mum got home from work yesterday and quickly let Gypsy out of her crate. Then ran to the back door which is about ten feet away from the crate. Before mum got the door open, Gypsy had found a nice spot to pee on the brand new rug. Mum was not happy but had an understanding look on her face. Today when she got home, she opened the crate and carried Gypsy out the door. It was an exciting moment when Gypsy peed outside. Mum clapped and celebrated like it was such a big deal. She gave her a little tiny treat. I don’t understand why she never celebrates like that when I pee outside. We were outside for a while. Being such a good girl, I peed and pood out in the yard. Mum and I played catch for a while. Gypsy doesn’t like to play catch. I think she’s lazy because she stands by mum and waits until I get close enough to chase me, As she’s chasing me she’s jumping at me trying to get the ball out of my mouth. What a cheater! Mum said she is just a confused pup! We all went in excited to get our treat. Mum locked the back door and turned around and started gasping! Gypsy was pooing on the brand new rug. Kind of funny if you ask me. definitely a confused pup.
Mummy brought me home a new puppy. She says it’s a little sister but I still think it looks like a puppy. Mum drove 16 hours to bring Gypsy home. Gypsy’s human dad could not afford to feed her and her brothers and sisters. Gypsy is half German Shorthair Pointer and half Tree Walker Coonhound. She is 10 weeks old and had not visited the puppy doctor yet. Mum took her in first thing to for her check up and vaccines. Mum says we need to start training her. Gypsy and I still are not sure of each other. She seems a little shy or scared and runs away from me when I want to play.