​Because I’ve shared my life with so many dogs over the years, people often ask me how to know when it’s time to put a dog down. For a long time, my answer was the same: if a dog is still eating and still wagging his tail, leave him be. That’s terribly simplified, though. I wish there were a simple answer, but each case is different. One thing it will never be, is easy.

Just last month, I made the decision to have Wolfie euthanized. He was five days short of fifteen and still loved to eat, and for the fourteen months I fostered him, he had never wagged his tail — unless he was trying to work up a poop. But he couldn’t stand up or walk on his own, not even to potty, and that meant that he was getting washed up several times a day because he’d peed on himself, or pooped and then rolled in it.

He wasn’t a good candidate for a cart; his vet was sure he’d had a stroke, and he wasn’t showing any signs of recovery.  I had to look at his life with an objective eye. I had no objection to taking care of him forever in that condition — but that was no way for him to live. It was poor quality of life. Ultimately, his vet agreed with me, and I let him go.

Even though I know it was the right decision, it didn’t spare me the anguish of making that decision, and it didn’t spare me the heartache or the tears. It didn’t help that it came on the heels of putting Waldo down fourteen months earlier, in an entirely different situation. Waldo was 10-1/2 years old, young by our standards, when we discovered that he had metastatic hemangiosarcoma. It’s a sneaky cancer that produces no symptoms until it’s too late to do anything about it. Our big boy started eating less and not wanting to go for walks any more. We took him to his vet with these symptoms and they discovered the mass on his spleen. 

His films showed that it had spread to his chest. His bloodwork showed that he had pancreatitis. Our first decision was to relieve the pancreatitis symptoms, and then, we could give him chemo treatments, but the very next day he collapsed from a tumor bleed. Although chemo could have bought him six more months, it certainly wouldn’t have been any fun for him: not to mention the fact that he could have another tumor bleed at any time and could even bleed out from that. No decision had ever been clearer: save him every possible moment of suffering, because we loved him so very much. My heart, I think, will never be the same. A week hasn’t passed since that day that I haven’t ugly cried bitter tears of loss and heartbreak.

There is so much to take into account when you are faced with having to make the decision, but at the very root of it, the answer lies in the dog’s quality of life. We’d do anything for our pets, wouldn’t we? We’d get them the medicine, get them the surgery, whatever is necessary to save them–but we must be sure that our decisions are primarily concerned with their comfort, and not ours.

I once heard the best advice ever about knowing when it’s time, and I’m happy to be able to pass it along to you here: make a list of all the things your dog loves to do, whatever it is. Your list should be unique to your dog, so really think about it. No one knows your pet as well as you do. Car rides? Dog park? Daycare? Walks? Runs? Chewing up your slippers? Playing fetch? Cuddling? Eating? Tearing up the trash? Chasing squirrels? Sleeping? Going for ice cream? Keep a list. As your dog stops enjoying doing the things on the list, cross them off. Believe me, you’ll know when it’s time.

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2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Dogs & Their People

BY Guest Blogger, Cindy Aldridge.

Cindy is a dog lover and she loves sharing her advice and insights on pet ownership. 

Santa Paws is Coming to Town: Gift Ideas for Dog Lovers

The season of giving is right around the corner. And while it’s a fun and festive time of year, it can also be a bit stressful, especially when it comes to figuring out what to get for your friends and family. The good news is that if they are a dog lover, you have a plethora of unique yet useful options for presents. Whether you are making a gift list for the dog lovers in your life, or are curating your own wish list, read on for some great gift ideas all dog lovers can enjoy.

A Vacation

Let’s start with the big one: a vacation. Pet owners often feel forced into leaving their furry friends behind or, worse, skip out on a vacation altogether because they feel guilty leaving their pal behind. However, there are actually plenty of hotels and bed and breakfasts that cater to canine clientele. If you’re looking to give an extra generous gift, consider booking them a stay at a pet-friendly hotel for a vacation they’ll both enjoy.

A GPS Tracker

Another great gift for dog owners on-the-go is a GPS tracker. These are especially beneficial to people with young dogs that haven’t quite mastered the sit/stay command or those with a mischievous disposition. GPS trackers aren’t pricey, but most do require a monthly subscription, which you can pay in advance. Check online reviews before making a commitment.

A Customized Portrait

For the pet owner that appreciates fine art, a personalized portrait will make them giggle with delight. The internet makes it easy to find and commission an artist to create the canvas of your pet-loving recipient’s dreams—whether they like pop-style art, watercolor, or a whimsical reimagining of their dog as a war hero. Browse long enough and you’ll even stumble upon a custom cross-stitch pattern. The Etsy Marketplace has you covered and currently lists more than 40,000 pet art projects available for order.

A Book About Dogs

There are few gifts better for a dog lover than a sentimental book about a canine and his human companion. Books such as Marley & Me, Call of the Wild, and A Dog’s Purpose (as well as the books in the right margin of this blog), are sure to strike hard at their emotions. Each of these books has been turned into a motion picture that could also make a great gift. Don’t forget to package their books with a box of tissues.

A Paw-Print Set in Stone

Well, not really stone, but plaster of Paris, which is an inexpensive and easy-to-use casting clay that you can find it most craft supply stores. Be warned, however, that it can get messy and takes a few days to dry.

A Leash and Collar

Active pet people know the value of a leash and collar — and there are never enough of them around when needed. The majority of dog owners are happy to have multiple sets for different purposes. Someone with a new puppy might, for example, enjoy a slip collar, while someone with a large breed, such as a greyhound, might appreciate the added control that goes along with a harness..

A Gift That Keeps on Giving

If you haven’t hopped on the monthly subscription train, now’s the perfect time to do so. Whether you’re giving or making your own list, check it twice to ensure you’ve added a pet subscription box. Companies like BarkBox and Loot Pets constantly offer innovative pup products for a small recurring fee. You can choose a single month, three months, six months, or one year subscription, which is guaranteed to be appreciated.

A Matching Outfit

We get it, pets weren’t meant to wear clothes, but they just look so cute when they do. Small breeds, including Chihuahuas, actually do better outdoors when they have something to keep their small bodies insulated. This Christmas, make all the stylish members of your family happy with a matching outfit or, better yet, pajamas.

A Donation in Their Pet’s Memory

A memorial gift is a thoughtful way to let your loved ones know that you acknowledge how painful it is to lose a pet. It doesn’t matter if their pet passed away recently or if it’s been 10 years or more, pets leave a mark on the heart that lasts forever. The ASPCA makes it easy to acknowledge a life lost too soon and gladly accepts online payments for memorial gifts.

There you have it—more than half a dozen ideas for the picky pet person on your list. And don’t worry, we won’t judge you if you order duplicates for yourself.


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Recent Doggie Developments Up on the Woof

There has been a lot happening Up on the Woof over the past couple of months which has been restricting my writing time. When I get a few minutes, I’ve been squeezing in work on my first novel, Jackrabbit. Blogging has been the last thing on my mind, but I thought I’d better check in with you, dear readers, so you are not left wondering what’s going on.

Wolfie had a little accident while visiting his Mommy at the IMG_20181010_173308nursing home. It involved multiple vet visits, some tooth extractions, medication, and bed rest. Then, I came home from my own dental visit to find that Zoey had injured her spine, and could no longer move her rear legs. It wasn’t exactly out of the blue — Zoey has been having trouble with her rear legs for over a year. They’ve been kind of wild, with a mind of their own. She was able to walk, but didn’t seem totally aware of where her legs were. She hasn’t had the easiest life, so our best guess is that she had some disc degeneration happening. She may have tried to jump up on something and fallen backwards, or twisted funny, and slipped the disc. That was another vet visit, and more medication, and more worry.


She has sensation in the back legs, and is not incontinent, so that has provided a whisper of hope. She’s not really a good candidate for surgery, so there’s no reason to raise thousands of dollars for an MRI. She is fifteen, and has a bad heart. We are treating her medically with anti-inflammatories and pain meds to keep her comfortable, and we applied a couple of places for a donated cart to help her get around. Our application was approved, and she will be getting wheels from an organization called Joey’s P.A.W. She is a very active little dog, and likes nothing more than to follow me around all day long as I go about my day. I also joined a support group for Wheelie Dogs on Facebook.

Wolfie had recovered from his ordeal, and Zoey has made a little improvement over the past week with the meds. When I take her outside, I use a sling under her belly to help her, and yesterday she started using her right rear leg a little, kind of paddling it, though not very effectively. She also pushed herself up onto all fours to drink water. Both of these small things are encouraging.

img_20181011_182707.jpgNot everyone will support my decisions about Zoey’s care. I posted a video of her scooting on my FB page, and it received mixed reactions. You know what? That’s OK. Nobody knows my dogs as well as I do. Some people suggested she is suffering, but I assure you that she is not. Zoey is not angry or depressed or in pain. She is too busy trying not to miss anything, and scooting from point A to point B, so she won’t.

Other people might choose to euthanize a pet when they have mobility issues, and that’s something to consider when making decisions about your pet’s care. Every pet guardian struggles with that decision, so I’ll make that the topic of my next post.

For now, wish us luck while we embark on Zoey’s new wheelie life.

thanksdogIf you would like to offer us a helping hand here Up on the Woof, we have vet bills up the yin yang. We are always looking for coupons for certain items we purchase for our dogs on a regular basis. If you have Rachael Ray Nutrish coupons (we use DISH or Small Bites),  Cesar coupons, Bil Jac Frozen coupons, Nulo coupons (Wet & Dry), or milkbone coupons that you will not be using, please save them for us. Contact me if you have some to send. Donations can also be sent via Paypal to yelodoggie@yahoo.com

We also have a wishlist of items that we either can’t afford, or that we use often. It has recently been updated. Click the link below to view.

Things we need Up on the Woof


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Sorry, Not Sorry – I’m a DOG Person

PICT1391I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again : I have a hard time trusting people who don’t like dogs. I’m not talking about people who are afraid of dogs because of some trauma, I’m talking about people who for some arbitrary reason decide they don’t like dogs. For those of you who don’t understand my sentiment, let me explain . . .

Dogs are true. They are honest. They never seek to deceive. They don’t hold grudges. They are not manipulative or duplicitous. They are not cruel. They are full of love and joy. They are loyal. They are comforting. They are trustworthy. What’s not to like?

They smell? You’re not exactly a rose.
They’re dirty? How much trash do you generate in a day?
They carry diseases? There are about 10 of them transmissible to humans. There are more than 225 you can catch from your neighbor.

There is nothing wrong with me because I like dogs. There is something wrong with you because you don’t. Hey, you don’t have to share your life or your home with a dog – I get that. But that doesn’t mean you get to condemn me because I do.


I need an entire wardrobe of these tshirts.

This has all been roiling around in my brain lately, because I just came away from a weekend when someone I’ve known all my life tried to make me feel bad about my love for dogs. I didn’t take the bait and argue back, and as always, I went out of my way to accommodate the human. I knew she’d be riding in my car, and since she said she is sensitive to dog smells, I paid to have my vehicle professionally cleaned. I bathed the dogs, even though I’ve never let any of my dogs even get within four feet of her. I showered. I put on clean clothes. I laundered a sheet to put over the car seat in case there was an errant dog hair. I put an air freshener in my van.

Rocket Boy

She began berating me the moment she saw me, because my partner had come along, and she has a companion dog. A dog that sat on my partner’s lap, or my lap, the entire time. A dog who was blocked from getting near my passenger in the back of the van by my partner’s wheelchair. Our guest reminded me that she would be having surgery in 3 days and couldn’t take Benadryl nor aspirin. She has never, to my knowledge, been allergic to dogs.

She said I was being hostile to her by bringing a dog along. I held my tongue. It’s no secret I have dogs, I wanted to say. Don’t I send you a Christmas card every year with drawings of them on it? You know that I have devoted my life to dogs. I’ve written five books about dogs, FFS. If I had children, and you didn’t like kids, would you expect me to leave my kids at home? It’s no different to me. Then she said my van “smelled like shit, by the way.” And that the sheet covering the seat was ” filthy”.

Now, I admit that I am somewhat nose blind to dog smells — but I had washed and bleached that sheet myself, and put it in the van just as I’d set out for the airport. And there was nothing in the van to make it smell like shit ; except maybe the excrement coming out of her mouth.

someone not somethingHer comments didn’t hurt my feelings so much as they unnerved me. This wasn’t just “not liking” dogs, this was actively anti dog. Rattled, I made 2 wrong turns on the way home. When I finally dropped my partner off at our cabin, I asked my passenger if she would like a bottle of water. She declined on account that “it probably smelled like dog”. I wanted to say, I don’t keep any dogs in the refrigerator, but I kept quiet in the interest of peace. I opened all the car doors.went inside and changed my shirt, since I’d had a dog on my lap. I suggested she come up front, but she said that would be worse because that’s where the dog had been. So I chauffeured her to lunch. At lunch, she suggested that I give some thought as to my disregard for her, and figure out what was underlying it. I noticed that after lunch, she climbed right into the front seat and did not exhibit any ill effects.

I was relieved to drop her off where she’d be spending the night.

When I got home, my partner was having a colitis attack because one of our dogs can’t stand me being out of her sight, and her continual whining had caused my partner anxiety. I spent the remaining hours of my day cleaning up human feces. I only mention this, because it informed my decision to take that dog with me to the picnic I was attending the following day. A picnic that the out-of-towner would also be attending.

We did not ride together, but the instant she saw the dog, she began to snipe me. We barely spoke all day. There were 2 other dogs in attendance who weren’t mine. None of them caused an iota of trouble. When we sat down to eat, although there were a dozen tables to choose from, She came to the table where I was seated, then expressed her disgust at the dog being there. I got up and changed tables to be accommodating.

I haven’t heard from her since, although I messaged her my best wishes for her surgery.

Will the experience drive a wedge between us? Assuredly.
Will I pick her up at the airport next year? Yeah, I don’t think so, Tim.
Should I blame myself- cuz sorry, not sorry.
What do you think?

thanksIf you would like to offer us a helping hand here Up on the Woof, we have vet bills up the yin yang. We are always looking for coupons for certain items we purchase for our dogs on a regular basis. If you have Rachael Ray Nutrish coupons (we use DISH or Small Bites),  Cesar coupons, Bil Jac Frozen coupons, Nulo coupons (Wet & Dry), or milkbone coupons that you will not be using, please save them for us. Contact me if you have some to send. Donations can also be sent via Paypal to yelodoggie@yahoo.com

We also have a wishlist of items that we either can’t afford, or that we use often. It has recently been updated. Click the link below to view.

Things we need Up on the Woof

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A Predicament & Pack Update

Today I make my debut as a children’s book illustrator. It’s kind of a big deal for me, since it’s what I went to school for some thirty-seven years ago. Although I’ve written five books about rescuing companion animals and advocating for them (see those titles in the sidebar), this is my first foray into children’s book illustration.

smidgeycover18lo-dropSmidgey Pidgey’s Predicament is being released today from Who Chains You Publishing. Without being preachy, the book shines a spotlight on the inhumane practice of Pigeon Shoots by telling the story of sibling pigeons Smidgey and Ridge, who find themselves captured for just such a shoot. Smidgey, the hero of the story, must find a way to free her brother and the other pigeons who are in danger.

Some of the proceeds from sales of Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament will be donated to SHARK ( Showing Animals Respect and Kindness ) a humane group that is working to put an end to Pigeon Shoots in Pennsylvania. Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament is available in both print  and kindle.

Wait. . . what’s that you say? Pigeons?? Why have I illustrated a book about pigeons? And why am I telling you about it Up on the Woof — when this is a blog about dog things? Good question! Well, even though the book isn’t about dogs, it does have a dog connection. The book’s author is Tamira Ci Thayne, the founder and former CEO of the humane organization Dogs Deserve Better.  Tami is one of my Sheroes, and I’m honored that she asked me to illustrate her story. When she left DDB, Tami founded Who Chains You Publishing in order to publish books for and about animal lovers, activists and rescuers—in all genres from children’s to fiction to autobiographies. The mission of Who Chains You is to amplify the voices of the animals through the empowerment of animal lovers, activists, and rescuers who write books elevating the status of animals in society. Seems like a pretty good fit.

Who Chains You Publishing brings you books that educate, entertain, and share the gripping plights of the animals we serve, as well as those who rescue and take a stand on their behalf. At the deepest level, WCY books explore which chains humans must break within ourselves in order to free the animals.

why am i cover_thumbI also have two more books in the works: Jackrabbit (a novel!), which I am nearly finished writing, and Why Am I? a children’s picture book featuring my Yelodoggie character, Floyd. It’s complete and I am searching for a publisher.

Meanwhile, life goes on Up on the Woof. I’ve been extremely busy taking care of the pack. I’ve finally given in to diapering the two eldest girls here (not us, the dogs) because at this point it’s a matter of management.


taco shame


Taco had her senior health exam and all of her tests came back perfect. She is 18. She seems very feeble to me, and she is very thin, but her bloodwork says she is a younger dog. Trying to pack some pounds on her, but her appetite is not the greatest. I’m feeding her two or three times a day. If you have any tips for putting weight on old dogs, please comment. She’s been sleeping in my arms at night, and we hold hands. If I don’t hold one of her paws in my hand, she will put her paw on top of my hand.



Zoey at the vet

Zoey, who had begun to pee whenever and wherever she liked, is managing to keep her diaper dry. I think that’s an interesting development. As long as something is strapped to her ass, she is able to hold herself in check until she goes out. She’s pretty jealous of Wolfie, because he takes up so much of my time, and I am hers.

Rocket Boy

Frequent ER visitor

Rocket Boy is a lazy lump. He would rather not walk anywhere if he doesn’t have to, and has taken to riding around on Dalene’s lap when she is in her wheelchair. I’m wondering if he is depressed, like D and I are, from losing Waldo.




Maria has been trying to fill the giant hole left by Waldo. She has moved into Alpha position. She has taken over Waldo’s spot on D’s bed, and she tells the other dogs what’s what. She recently had her first senior health exam — she will be 9 this year. Everything looks good, although she’ll need a dental soon.


wolfieWolfie is doing well. I’m getting a handle on his barking marathons, and he’s seeing his mom, Anne, frequently. He’s a pretty good boy. He also incurs some major expenses as he needs a special food and two medications. I’ve got a GoFundMe running for him to try to offset the costs for the year. If you want to help us, but don’t want to donate via GoFundMe, here are other ways you can help:

  • Send us some Denamarin: DrsFoster&Smith.com
        ship to: Up on the Woof, 2225 Columbia Rd., Brecksville, OH 44141
  • Make a donation to the vet for Wolfie’s care:
    Bartels Pet Hospital, 7051 Mill Rd., Brecksville, OH 44141 440-526-4818
    Please include a note that the money should be credited to Wolfie Wulff’s account.
  • Donate via Paypal: send to: yelodoggie@yahoo.com
    Be sure to send me an email that your donation is for Wolfie’s ongoing care (food,     eye meds, grooming)

thanksdogIf you would like to offer us a helping hand here Up on the Woof, we have vet bills up the yin yang. We are always looking for coupons for certain items we purchase for our dogs on a regular basis. If you have Rachael Ray Nutrish coupons (we use DISH or Small Bites),  Cesar coupons, Bil Jac Frozen coupons, Nulo coupons (Wet & Dry), or milkbone coupons that you will not be using, please save them for us. Contact me if you have some to send. Donations can also be sent via Paypal to yelodoggie@yahoo.com

We also have a wishlist of items that we either can’t afford, or that we use often. It has recently been updated. Click the link below to view.

Things we need Up on the Woof

Posted in Animal Advocacy, Random Woofs, The Woof on Dog Products & Dog Books | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

No good deed goes unpunished.

That was something my mom used to say, and when I was a kid, I never really got it. But, since working in animal rescue, I’ve come to a clear and intimate understanding of what it means. I’m living it again right now.

wolfieA couple of months ago, I told you about a little Maltese named Wolfie. He’s the dog that I arranged to foster for a woman we befriended at the nursing home where Dalene was getting her post-stroke therapy. He is a doll baby. His mama, Anne, hadn’t seen him in 2 years, and now that he lives with me, I’m able to take him to visit 2 or 3 times a week. I did this for Anne, because I can’t imagine being stuck in some facility and not being able to see my dogs.

Fostering Wolfie has not been without issues, and we’ve been working through them the best we can. There was the not- answering-to-his-name issue, and the won’t-sleep-through-the-night issue, and there is the ongoing barking-&-whining-because-apparently-he-likes-the-sound-of-his-own-voice issue. They are all behaviors that we are working to correct. But things took a turn this week, and now we’re faced with something we can’t correct. Wolfie is one of five dogs in our home. Besides the extra costs, now there is also the realization that he will probably not be with us all that long.

Wolfie received a senior wellness exam in late October. Everything looked good except his eyes — which were not producing tears — and his liver enzymes, which were elevated. I had the vet run more tests to get a better idea of what we were dealing with. She prescribed an ointment for his eyes, and suggested that I supplement his food with milk thistle to support his liver. So, I did both of those things, and took him back in to follow up this week. The vet ran the same tests again, and while his eyes are very much improved, his liver is tanking. His ALT enzyme is 769, up from 479 in October. The normal range tops out at 121. His ALP enzyme is 970, same as it was in October. The normal range tops out at 160.

wulff & wolfI had a long talk with the vet about what this might mean and whether or not there’s a way to figure out if he’s got a cancerous tumor or chronic hepatitis, or even the very rare Addison’s disease. There are some very expensive tests that might tell us (MRI, Ultra-sound), but the treatment is the same no matter what it is: Denamarin. (that’s not exactly true — if it’s chronic hepatitis, he might also be helped with a steroid — but after a lot of discussion, we’re not going there.) The little guy just turned fourteen, so this liver business will probably eventually be the end of him. For Anne’s sake, I’d like to make that as distant an eventuality as possible.

Denamarin  is a supplement that contains milk thistle, but also SAMe. A thirty-day supply from the vet is $53.00. (It’s cheaper online, only $26 from 1-800 PETMEDS or Drs Foster & Smith). Wolfie’s eye ointment is $83 for 3 tubes, and has to be compounded. In addition to the meds, I’m going to have to put him on a special food as soon as I find one suitable. It has to be high in easily digestible protein (like fish, egg, turkey, or chicken), low in fat, high in antioxidants, and low in potassium and copper. If you have any recommendations, please comment below. He’ll have to go in a couple of times a year to check his enzyme levels. That runs roughly $140. He’ll also have to be groomed a couple of times a year at a cost of about $40 a pop.

Wolfie’s mama, Anne, is a ward of the state. She receives Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid, and the majority of her money goes toward paying for the facility where she is living. She gets about fifty dollars in spending money a month for everything else she needs. Though her guardian had a little money on hand for Wolfie’s recheck and his eye meds, that fund is finite. I’ll work it all out somehow, but I just wanted to put this out there, in case any of my readers would like to sponsor him, or donate to his care.

If you are so inclined, here’s how you can help out:

  • Send us some Denamarin: DrsFoster&Smith.com
        ship to: Up on the Woof, 2225 Columbia Rd., Brecksville, OH 44141
  • Make a donation to the vet for Wolfie’s care:
    Bartels Pet Hospital, 7051 Mill Rd., Brecksville, OH 44141 440-526-4818
    Please include a note that the money should be credited to Wolfie Wulff’s account.
  • Donate via Paypal: send to: yelodoggie@yahoo.com
    Be sure to send me an email that your donation is for Wolfie’s ongoing care (food,     eye meds, grooming)

———–FEB 1 UPDATE——————————————————

Just wanted to update  everyone on developments in the Wolfie-sphere. I was able to get into contact with his former vets, and one of them was a specialist who saw him for the liver issue. He was diagnosed in 2014 with Cushings and put on a medication. I did not receive any info about this when he was handed over to me, nor did I receive medication for it from his former foster mom. I sent these records over to his current vet, who called me to discuss them after she reviewed them. She now suggests a STEM test to find out if he still has Cushings, or if he was over-medicated and it rebounded into Addisons. He is scheduled to have that test on Feb 14. The cost will be a little more than $200., so donations are welcome and appreciated. I may also start a gofundme for this.

Yesterday, I spent a good deal of time researching foods for one that will be beneficial to him. Today I went to PetValu and talked the people there, and we looked at various brands. I came home with a bag of NULO Freestyle Adult Trim. The base is fish, so it is high in protein but low in fat. It is also loaded with lots of anti-oxidants.

I also stumbled across a website called doglivershunt.com which is a site for people whose dogs have liver issues. They recommend spring water and a home-cooked diet plus supplements, so I may go that route in the near future. The supplements are not expensive, but the plan calls for a combination of 4 of them, and that *is* expensive.

And the beat goes on . . .

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Year End Update – Up on the Woof


I cannot wait to kick 2017 to the curb. It’s been a truly terrible year in my neck of the woods. We’ve had to deal with lots of sickness and loss this year, and then there’s all the stuff the new administration has been doing to break our spirits. I am hoping that 2018 will be better. To close out the year, I wanted to update you on some of the things I wrote about in 2017.

wolfie pupIn November, I wrote about our new foster dog, Wolfie.  He has settled in here, and he’s about a million ways of cute. At first, he wouldn’t sleep through the night, now he is at least doing that . . . BUT, now we kind of know why his last foster home kept him doped up on Diazapam. He barks All. The. Time. I guess it’s not unusual for the Maltese breed to be so vocal, but if you have any tried and true ways to get a dog to stop barking (that doesn’t involve a shock collar) shoot me an email, or tell me about it below,  in the comments.

Speed Star 1.1431374  00In October, I wrote about losing our boy, Waldo. To be completely honest, our hearts are still broken. I am having a very hard time with the loss – but I think I finally figured out why. We have lost a lot of pets over the years, but each time, the animal was old or sick, and we had given him/her palliative care for months before he or she had died. Not so with Waldo. Outwardly, he seemed pretty much OK, right up until the time we put him down. But once we knew how he’d been silently suffering, and what the prognosis was, our path was clear to us. So there was no extended palliative care, no diminishing of mental faculties. One day he was here, and the next he was gone, and the suddenness of that is what has made it all so hard. Everything we look at reminds us of him. We weren’t feeling festive this year, and chose not to celebrate Christmas because: the presents, the snow, the tree, the snacks, the annual card — it was all Waldo Waldo Waldo Waldo Waldo. One day the loss will soften, but I think that’s still a ways off. I know some people will bristle at me comparing it to this, but I think this is what it must feel like to lose a child.

Img06_08-04-2017In August, I wrote about Jeb, a hound dog we knew who had been neglected.  I pondered the question of how can a person say they “love” their dog, when they are not willing to take care of even the dog’s basic needs? Jeb’s owner put him down a few weeks after we took him to get his nails clipped.

In March, I asked my readers to advocate.  I told you about Alyssa Duvall, a young woman in Calhoun Georgia, who got mad at her dog and beat the cowering animal with a frying pan. Duvall was arrested (http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/police-woman-arrested-for-hitting-dog-with-frying-pan) and charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty. I was not able to locate any court records or sentencing for a follow up. If you know how this case turned out, please let us know in the comments.

evangersIn February, I wrote about Evangers Pet Food that was recalled because it contained Pentobarbital, the drug used to euthanize pets.  The FDA reviewed a bill of lading from Evanger’s supplier of “Inedible Hand Deboned Beef – For Pet Food Use Only. Not Fit For Human Consumption” and determined that the supplier’s facility does not have a grant of inspection from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Testing by USDA-FSIS of Evanger’s Hunk of Beef confirmed that the meat used in the product was bovine (beef). The investigation by the FDA is ongoing and includes examination of the suppliers of beef to Evanger’s and Against the Grain to determine a possible cause for the presence of Pentobarbital.

In April, Evangers filed a $20 million lawsuit against their meat supplier, Wisconsin based Bailey Farms. (https://www.petfoodindustry.com/articles/6434-evangers-files-us20-million-lawsuit-against-meat-supplier )

In May, Party Animal Pet Food filed a lawsuit (http://truthaboutpetfood.com/party-animal-sues-evangers/) against Evangers for $20 million, citing breach of contract, breach of warranty, and fraud.

In June, a $5 million consumer class action lawsuit was filed against Evangers.(https://www.classactionsreporter.com/consumer/evangers-and-against-grain-pet-foods-pentobarbital-class-action)

Whether or not Evangers will recover from this remains to be seen.

why am i cover_thumbOn the personal front, we still have not found a childrens book publisher to take on my first children’s book, Why Am I?

Here’s hoping 2018 is much, much better.



Would you like to offer us a helping hand here Up on the Woof? We have vet bills up the yin yang. We could also use some help setting up a fund for Wolfie’s needs while he is with us (vetting & grooming). We are always looking for coupons for certain items we purchase for our dogs on a regular basis. If you have Cesar coupons, Bil Jac Frozen coupons, or milkbone coupons that you will not be using, please save them for us. Contact me if you have some to send. Donations for Wolfie’s fund can also be sent via Paypal to yelodoggie@yahoo.com


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