Thought for the Day

Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty, they merely move it from their faces into their hearts! Martin Bauxbaum

but the heart of dogs always shines on their faces.

Lynda McCall

From Puggles
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Aromatherapy for Dogs

I am a big fan of Aromatherapy.  Lavender is my friend.  If I am tense or can’t unwind, a whiff of lavender releases some of the tension and I start to relax.  The other night I sprinkled 5 drops of essential lavender oil on my pillow before I laid down for the night.

My pug, Opie, usually waits till I get comfortable and then she joins us on the bed.  True to her routine, she jumped on the bed facing my pillow and you would have thought someone shot her.  She fell like a dead weight next to me.  I tried to move her and she acted like she was paralyzed.  I rolled her on her back and she just stayed in that position.

The only thing different.. the lavender.  I moved her to the bottom of the bed.  She barely moved all night and never snored which is a bit different for a pug.

Reading up on Aromatherapy for Dogs, I learned that lavender calms dogs. Imagine that!    There are lots of “recipes” the use of essential oils for dogs.    For example, here is a recipe for a massage oil to use on arthritic dogs or dogs with sore muscles.

Sounds good enough to try on myself

1 ounce of a light carrier oil (sweet almond or sunflower oil)
5 drops Chamomile
4 drops Lavender
3 drops Black Pepper

To use: massage directly into inflamed joints and stiff muscles. Store in a cool dark place or in the refrigerator.

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Sam, my Guardian Angel

Sam was an English Shepherd.  We had the honor of living with Sam for about 12 years.  We watched Sam take his first breathe and we shared his last days.

Sam was afraid of thunder but he was not afraid of snakes or coyotes.  He loved to tree squirrels and could out tree the best squirrel dog in Arkansas by using his intelligence and his keen sight.  He watched the squirrels run up the trees and tracked them through the canopy by sight.  If Sam said there was a squirrel up the tree, you could bet money on it.

Because Sam was sensitive to storms, he was our weatherman.  If Sam said a storm was going to hit the ranch, you had better be ready.  If the weatherman issued tornado warnings for our area and Sam said “Nope, wasn’t going to happen”.  Bet on Sam.  He was never wrong.

When Sam went into his “storm shelter”, it was going to storm.  Simply as that!

One day my husband and I were working on a building project under a huge red oak tree.   About 30 yards to the side of us was another really old cedar tree which stood at the end of the main horse barn.

We knew that a storm was off in the distance, the thunder was barely audible and we were hurrying to finish “ripping” a piece of lumber with a chainsaw.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Sam walk by  and head towards his storm shelter.

A minute or two later, Sam appeared at my side with another English Shepherd girl.  Sam began jumping up on me , pushing me.  I yelled to get my voice heard above the chain saw.  “SAM, STOP! DOWN!

He totally ignored me and jumped and jumped at me.  I turned my attention to my husband, yelling at him over the sound of the chain saw.  “JIM, SOMETHING IS WRONG. SAM IS GOING NUTS!

Jim never heard me, never looked up , till the shock wave of the lightening bolt blew over us.  Lightening struck that ancient cedar tree 30 yards away instantly killing a cow and 3 calves.

Sam never left our side.  We threw down the tools and raced for shelter with Sam and the other English Shepherd at our side.

In the years that followed, Sam never failed to come and find me if a storm was coming.  I might be out in the woods on a horse or anywhere on our 275 acres.  If Sam came to me, I always went to the house.  And there was always a thunder and lightening storm.

Sam’s wisdom wasn’t  limited to just storms.  If he came to you with that look in his eyes, he was telling you something important.

One day, he came running up the driveway, barking and bumping into me.   Dumb me,  I thought he was playing.  After giving him a moment of attention, I continued on my journey.  He barked and barked at me.  I turned and he ran down the driveway.  “Hmm, I thought!  Wonder what game Sam has come up with now.”   Again I continued on my journey in the opposite direction.   Sam raced back in front of me, barking and running down the driveway.

Now I might be dog dumb, but I am not dog stupid.  I turned around and followed Sam down the driveway and down the road to where one of my young English Shepherds lay on the side of the road.  He had been hit by a car.

Sam taught me a valuable lesson.   Dogs are our partners as we walk through life.  They have much to give, much to tell and much to share, if we will only listen.

Sam was my guardian angel.  I was blessed to have shared his life. I miss Sam and I always will!

Posted in McCalls English Shepherds, Relationship between humans and dogs | Leave a comment

Spiderman arrives Boise

Whew, getting Tom aka Spiderman to his new home in Boise was a feat!  The little guy had to leave Shreveport, fly to Memphis, on to Minneapolis and then into Boise.  Our first attempt was cancelled due to temps over 85 in Boise.  The second attempt required an early morning departure from Shreveport.  We loaded Spiderman up and headed for Shreveport the night before.  What a wonderful pup!  He was perfect!  Never made a sound in the Holiday Inn and was perfect in his crate for the trip  on Northwest Airlines

Of course, the 6:30 a.m. flight was a hour late and he missed his connection from  Memphis to Minneapolis.  Then the temperature was too hot to fly him later in the afternoon.  He waited in the Pet Facility and finally flew off to  Boise at 9:00p.m. that night.  He arrived at midnight.  Calm and cool and ready for his new life.   God love beagles. They can be so cool!

From Pocket Beagle Puppies born May 20th
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Pocket Beagle of the Month Winner

Meet Mugs:  Pocket Beagle for the Month of June

Owners: Dottie and Rob Wotherspoon
Orlando, Florida
Mugs was born October 29, 2007 and she is a fun loving female.
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A life long love with Dogs

My uncle is 89.  He is a WW II vet and  had a long history in corporate america.  The one thing most folks don’t know about my uncle is that he is a poet.   His first poem which he wrote as a boy is about his first dog; Sandy, a black cocker spaniel.  I would like to share it with you.

June the 15th on a Sunday morn
our little puppy he was born.
Born to the mother, there were 9
and everyone just looked fine.
Of the 9 one was dandy
andwe called him little Sandy.
He was black with ears so long,
and he was always getting in wrong.
He’d grab a sock and away he’d run,
but in his mind it was only fun.
Robert Robertson
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Poochie Meat Cakes

As you know if you follow my blog,  I am not comfortable with feeding my dogs most of the commercial dog feeds that are available.  I am consistently on the lookout for  interesting alternatives .  Here is a  really good basic dog food recipe that I found at

The comments from dog owners said that their dogs loved it and even dogs with decreased appetites due to cancer therapy would eat the muffins.

This recipe is also easy to add or change ingredients.  Things like sweet potates, broccoli, liver, spinach, blueberries, salmon, chicken, turkey, etc. could be used to modify this recipe.

Each muffin has about 327 calories which is equal to the energy found in a cup of dry kibble.  The average grown dog weighing 10 lbs needs about 350 calories a day.  A growing puppies may need almost twice the amount that they will need as adult dogs.

This recipe makes 36 muffins and they can be frozen for future use.


  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 large potatoes, grated
  • 4 large carrots, grated
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 6 pounds ground beef
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Grease 36 cups of 3 large muffin tins.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the rice with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, uncovered, and cook 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool several minutes, then fluff with a fork and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, carrots, celery, ground beef, and eggs. Mix ingredients together using your hands or a sturdy spoon. Add salt, olive oil, rolled oats, and rice; mix well.
  4. Fill each muffin cup with some of the meat mixture, and pat down the to make it firm. Bake 45 minutes, or until surface feels set. Cool on a rack 10 minutes or longer.
  5. Remove the meat cakes by turning the muffin tin upside down over a sheet of aluminum foil. Tap each muffin cup to release the cake. Refrigerate or freeze in sealed plastic bags. NOTE: Do not feed to dogs while still hot.
Posted in Dog Nutrition | 1 Comment

Ringo and Gabby Puppies are having a Coming Out Party

Gab decided that she knew better than me and had her puppies under the farm lab building.  Patiently we have waited to see their faces to announce the birth.

A couple of days ago they started to peak out from under the building. Within a day or two, Gab had moved all nine to the time tested “puppy place” under the steps to the front porch.

I think that there are 9 puppies: 6 girls and 3 boys.

Click on the picture of the Puppy to see the Photo Album of the puppies.   All of the puppies are now with their new families.  We will have another litter of English Shepherds in November.  We are accepting deposits for this litter at this time.

English Shepherd Puppies 2009
Posted in McCalls English Shepherds, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dog is God Spelled Backwards

I just had to share this email.  I wanted to write this letter so many times myself.

There is a God in the Post Office
This is one of the kindest things I’ve ever experienced. I have no way to know who sent it, but there is a beautiful soul working in the dead letter office of the US postal service.

Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about ho  much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could, so she  dictated  these words:

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.

I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith.

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, ‘To Meredith , in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, ‘When a Pet Dies.’  Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven.  Having the picture was a big help. I r ecogni zed Abbey right away.

Abbey isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you.

I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.

By the way, I’m easy to find; I am wherever there is love.


Posted in Relationship between humans and dogs | 9 Comments

More Problems with Dog Food

I am getting to sound like a broken record.  Now there are multiple complaints from owners of dogs feeding Nutro.  I can tell you that dog owners have had their pets die after eating Nutro dog foods (cats also are involved)  but let me refer you to the source of the information.

These complaints were  reported at the  Consumer Complaints website.  Just like the dogs in China,  these dogs died a very unpleasant death.   Long term users of Nutro Dog Food report health issues with their dogs.

As a rule of  thumb, if your dog doesn’t want to eat a dog food, please don’t force him to eat it  with the philosophy of “if you get hungry enough, you will eat it”.     Listen to your dog.  If he doesn’t like it, maybe it is tainted.

Case in Point: My daughter feeds her 9 year old English Shepherd mostly homemade food but needed a back up kibble during a busy period.  She fed her one feeding of Pedigree.  Within about 6 hours, the dog was letharic and developed diarrhea.  She was crampy and obviously very uncomfortable.  After the symptoms subsided, the dog still absolutely refused to eat the Pedigree.  My daughter purchased another brand of food and her dog ate. 

Listen to your dog.   It may save their lifes.     And, please, don’t feed just one kind of dog dog.  Find a variety  of types of feeds by different manufacters that  appear to work for your dog. Either rotate between them or mix them together and provide the mixture to your dog.  Supplement with  raw hamburger and dog friendly fruits and  veggies.

The trust between dog food manufacters and consumers has been broken.  We can no longer assume all dog food manufacters are interested in the health and well-being of our dogs.   They are interested in money.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments