Every Pet Deserves A Loving Home #RememberMeThursday2018

The influx of homeless pets into animal shelters and rescues is a heartbreaking, never ending process.  Far too many lost, abandoned, or surrendered dogs, cats, and other pets end up in shelters every day.  The Humane Society estimates that 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters every year

Not every homeless dog or cat ends up in a shelter or rescue that will keep them until a home can be found, no matter how long it takes. The most unlucky pets end up in animal shelters where the clock never stops ticking.  They are running out of time.


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I adopted Phoebe from the county animal shelter I was volunteering at.  She had arrived with a male companion, dirty, matted and frightened to death.  Not long after she and the little boy dog arrived at the adoption center, he began having problems with his neuter surgery.  They had to send him back to the clinic which was miles away.  Now Phoebe was all alone in her kennel.

It took some time for her to respond to me when I walked by her cage.  There was something special about her, I can't explain it. She looked so sad and defeated.  She wouldn't get out of her bed or even lift up her head.

Phoebe when I first brought her home
Each time I passed by her kennel I would speak softly to her and pet her gently on the head. After several hours and rounds up and down the aisle she finally began to respond to me.  Eventually she got out of her bed, wagged her tail and approached the kennel door to greet me.  I was so relieved she was finally responding to something, to someone.

I wasn't looking to add another dog to our family, but I just couldn't leave Phoebe there.  She was so frightened and fragile.  I knew she needed to get out of the shelter right away, so I brought her home and, well the rest is history!  Read more of Phoebe's story here.

On REMEMBER ME THURSDAY we shine a light on pet adoption.  


Phoebe became an important member of our family!

People often ask Why can't we save them all?  It's a question with no clear answer.  My question isn't just Why can't we save them all, but Why do so many pets end up without homes in the first place? What is the root cause of this problem? and far more importantly, What can we do about it?  Those are the questions that plague my mind and rack my brain.  There is no one clear answer to any of them.  

Being adopted is the greatest gift any homeless pet can receive.  All pets deserve a loving home where they can be cared for, loved, and spoiled, like Phoebe!  Please help shine a light on pet adoption for #RememberMeThursday and join the Blog Hop below:

1. Grab the Remember Me Thursday badge (above) and place it anywhere in your post.
2. Publish your post on or by Thursday, September 27, 2018 and add the Remember Me Thursday blog hop at the bottom.  Get the Code below to add the hop to your blog post.
3. Then visit the blog hop hosts, Lola The Rescue Cat and Three Chatty Cat's  as well as other blogs in the hop! Just click on each blog icon below and together we'll shine a light on homeless pets.


THIS IS THE REMEMBER ME THURSDAY 2018 BLOG HOP!!


Hurricane Maria A Year Later, and the Homeless Animals In It's Wake

I can't believe it's been a year since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico.  According to Wikipedia, it was the 10th most intense Atlantic hurricane on record.  Much has been reported about the tragic loss of life and subsequent enormous recovery effort.  Natural disasters like Hurricane Maria have an enormous impact on stray dogs and cats as well as people, and the way of life they had before the disaster.

When the storm hit I worried about my good friend Scott Smith, who had moved to Puerto Rico shortly before Hurricane Maria slammed in.  Today I am sharing Scott's personal story about what he experienced in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and the devastating impacts this catastrophic storm had on both people and homeless animals.

"On September 20, 2017, an enormous hurricane pummeled Puerto Rico and devastated much of the island.
I come from New York and was living there on 9/11—and I was struck by the similarities between that tragedy and Hurricane Maria. In both situations, I went to bed in one life and woke up in another.
But Hurricane Maria also got me thinking about stray dogs and cats and what they go through every day.


Homeless dogs & cats are impacted by Hurricanes and other natural disasters. Hurricane Maria, Hurricane Florence, Disaster preparedness

Let me explain.
When Maria’s winds died down, Puerto Rico was without electricity, internet service, and in many parts of the island, running water. Communications were down. Things I’d taken for granted like food, water, and medical care became luxuries that were hard to come by. Most stores were closed and the ones that weren’t only accepted cash. But the banking system was offline and no one could get cash. It was a situation reminiscent of the Great Depression, when people with money in the bank couldn’t withdraw and spend it and the whole economy ground to a halt.
Streets that were once well lit and safe became dark and dangerous. There was looting. There were random acts of violence. Many people had to sleep with one eye open—if they got any sleep at all. The situation became so dangerous that the governor was compelled to proclaim an island-wide dusk-to-dawn curfew.
Just days after the storm, I was waiting in a long line at a grocery store, hoping that it wouldn’t run out of food and that I’d have enough cash to get what I needed for my family. And I had a revelation: this is how homeless dogs and cats live every day. They lead precarious lives. They go days without adequate food and water. They don’t get medical care. They’re in constant danger and have to be watchful to the point of paranoia.
I was living like that now. So were nearly three million Puerto Ricans. We had become an island of strays.
I’ve always had a special connection to animals. I’ve been personally involved in a number of animal rescues. I’m a human dad to four dogs, all of whom were rescued from the streets. Sad to say, there are about half a million more where mine came from—and more than 1 million stray cats. What I went through for several weeks following Hurricane Maria, they go through every day, with little hope that things will get better.
As if the tragedy of stray dogs and cats was not horrific enough before Maria hit, it became even worse afterward. Approximately 300,000 people moved away from Puerto Rico on account of the storm. Many of them were unable to take their animals with them. As Maria was bearing down on the island, a friend of mine witnesses heartbreaking scenes at the San Juan airport when families had to abandon their beloved pets. To make matters worse, the federal government banned pets who weighed more than 20 pounds from air travel. The policy was intended to free up cargo space for much-needed relief supplies, but it had the unintended effect of causing another 2,000 pets to be abandoned to the streets.
After 9/11, New Yorkers like me figured out ways around the damage and disruption. Yet there was no way around the devastation of Hurricane Maria. It dragged on and on for months—and will likely take years to completely dissipate. Right now, the extraordinary hardships that all of us on the island endured after Hurricane Maria have largely disappeared. But the pain continues for Puerto Rico’s homeless cats and dogs.
I saw a tragic example of that last winter. I got a call about a dog that had been hit by a car and badly injured. When I arrived at the scene, I found a terrified animal who was in tremendous pain and who was unable to move his hind legs. It took three hours, but we finally got him into a crate and to the Veterinaria 24/7 in Pinero.

Impacts of Hurricane Maria on stray dogs and cats in Puerto Rico.  Pets,  Homeless animals, Hurricanes, Storms, Natural disasters.
Photo Credit: Seary Figueroa

As it turned out, this poor dog’s back legs were paralyzed. He will never walk again. Fortunately, he was adopted by a loving family in Wisconsin that is giving him the best life possible. But other dogs and cats aren’t so lucky. It’s depressingly common to see the remains of dogs and cats who’ve been hit by cars in Puerto Rico. To try to combat this problem, I began a video campaign I called Drive With Compassion. It’s something—but it’s not enough.
Having lived through a catastrophic storm like Hurricane Maria has given me new insight into the lives of stray animals. I now have some firsthand knowledge of what their lives are like. And having welcomed stray dogs off the Puerto Rican streets and into my heart, I can attest to how just one person can save a life.
I encourage everyone to become the person who makes that kind of difference in a stray dog or cat’s life. There are some terrific organizations here that support those of us who become that difference. I urge you all to help and support them: All Sato Rescue, Alianza Pro Rescate Animales, Yes We Can-ine, Samas Boarding for Dogs, Rabito Kontento, The Humane Society of Puerto Rico, PrAnimals.org, Animalitos de Dios PR and Brownie Blondie Foundation by Marjorie Andino.
Remember what I learned: hurricanes like Maria are (I hope!) a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. But what the strays of Puerto Rico experience goes on day after day after day without end. Only people who are able and willing to step up can stop it."


Scott Smith, editor at Consumersadvocate




Thank You Scott for sharing your personal Hurricane Maria story, shedding light on how disasters like hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes impact animals as well as people.  Thanks also for reminding us that the impact to homeless dogs and cats can last much longer than the impact to people.  It's an ongoing struggle and they need our help on a continual basis.

Visit the Drive With Compassion web site.  Scott describes it this way: “Driving With Compassion is a movement created to help stray animals all over the world living on the street. People need to think about animals when they’re driving their cars. It’s not just about people in this life. Animals are important too."



Scottish Dogs Steal the Show at the Scottish Festival and Highland Games

The Long Island Scottish Festival and Highland Games event has been going on for decades.  Despite being born and raised on Long Island, New York I had never been to this popular festival.  I had heard a lot about it and I've wanted to go for quite some time, so when my cousin called and said Let's Go to the Scottish Festival! I was on board!

The Scottish Festival celebrates and preserves Scottish Heritage by educating people about the cultural history of Scotland. I was looking forward to all the vendors with unique Scottish merchandise, sampling some interesting Scottish food, and watching the fun demonstration of Highland games and dancing.  What I was most looking forward to though, is seeing some Scottish Dogs!  You knew there had to be a dog angle, right?


Beautiful Scottish Dogs at the Scottish Festival on Long Island NY.  Scottie dogs,  Dogs of Scotland
Guenevere "Gwenie", my cousin's adorable Scottie was none too pleased that we went to a Scottish Festival without her.  You're not taking ME along? Really!? I hope you get sick on Birdie Pie, Humpf!!

DOGS OF SCOTLAND, LET'S GET TO IT ALREADY!


The Scottish Festival wasn't a dog event, in fact it wasn't even a dog friendly event!  No dogs were permitted other than a few dog rescues, Scottish dog aficionados wanting to educate people about their dog's breed, and Scottish dog breeders that had booths set up there.  But there were plenty of adorable, sweet Scottish dogs to pet and love on! 

I was a little disappointed that there weren't more rescue dogs and dog rescue groups represented at the festival, but it was interesting to learn about the dogs of Scotland.  I was especially interested in the Scottish Deerhound, which I was only a little familiar with.  When I first saw this beautiful dog I assumed she was an Irish Wolfhound, the tallest breed of dog, but I was wrong.  Scottish Deerhounds and Irish Wolfhounds look so much alike - to me, anyway! 


Scottish Deerhound dog at the Scottish Festival in New York.  Dogs of Scotland, Scottish dogs
I mistook this sweet Scottish Deerhound for an Irish Wolfhound - My Bad!

The Scottish Deerhound is a pretty big dog, but they're considerably smaller than their Irish Wolfhound cousins.  This beautiful girl was so large I just assumed she was an Irish Wolfhound - sorry sweetie, my mistake!   You know what happens when you assume, don't you? You make an ASS of U and ME,  LOL!!   In this Modern Dog magazine article, you can read more about the differences between the Scottish Deerhound and the Irish Wolfhound .

I was thrilled to see a number of Scottish Terriers at the festival. These Scotties were so adorable, and super friendly!  


Friendly Scottish Terrier dog greeting children at a Scottish Festival.  Scotties are the quintessential dogs of Scotland!  Scottish Dogs.
This adorable Scottie loved greeting the children who came by to say Hi. Look at him smiling at his adoring fans! Kids' faces obscured for privacy purposes

I love black Scotties! In fact that's what I wanted when John and I finally decided to get a dog - actually, I had decided long before but it took some work to Convince my husband to get a dog!  We ended up with our Siberian Husky, Icy, instead!  A Scottie and a Husky couldn't be more different, but as most of you probably know, I wouldn't have it any other way.  Icy brings us so much joy.  I still hope to have a jet black Scottie one day.....


Handsome Scottish Terrier at the Scottish Festival, Long Island NY.  Scottish Dogs, Dogs of Scotland, Scottie dogs, Terriers,
How handsome is this Scottie dude?!

I was happy to see a Shetland Sheepdog rescue group with some really sweet Shelties at the festival.  Among them was this absolutely adorable Dog. This Sheltie was so popular and friendly, I could barely get near him! I loved his unique coloring and amazing temperament, especially with the children.


This beautiful, sweet tempered Shetland Sheepdog stood patiently while lots of kids came by to pet him! Kids' faces obscured for privacy purposes
He was there with the Long Island Shetland Sheepdog Rescue group.  If you want to Adopt a Sheltie or Foster a Sheltie, they might be a potential resource for you if you live in the vacinity of the Northeast.


The Long Island Shetland Sheepdog Rescue group was at the Scottish Festival on Long Island NY.
Sheltland Sheepdog Rescue Group on Long Island NY

Other great Scottish dogs we had the pleasure of meeting at the festival were West Highland White Terriers (Westies), a beautiful Sky Terrier, and a sweet little Dandie Dinmont.  


We saw so many beautiful Dogs of Scotland at the Scottish Festival! Skye Terrier, Dandie Dinmont, West Highland White (Westie) dogs and more!
Beautiful dogs! Skye Terrier (L),  Dandie Dimnont (Upper Rt), and a Westie (Lower Rt)

It was so nice to meet these dog breeds of Scotland, I loved it!  

After I got my Scottish doggie fix, I was delighted to see that there were some interesting birds of prey at the festival!  


BIRDS OF PREY MAKE AN APPEARANCE


All birds of prey are beautiful and fascinating.  One of my favorite birds in general are Owls.  I can't recall if my owl fascination increased following Harry Potter and his stunning Snowy Owl, Hedwig, or if I've always been this enthralled with Owls.  There wasn't a Snowy Owl at the festival, but there was an adorable little Barn Owl and a gorgeous amber colored Eurasian Owl.  


Beautiful birds of prey were at the Scottish Festival

In addition to Owls there were Hawks, Kestrels, and a majestic Bald Eagle, which is the national bird of the United States. The Falconer shared some interesting facts about each of the birds. 

Check out the giant talons on this Bald Eagle!  These birds can weigh up to 12 lbs and can lift and carry up to 5 lbs.  But don't panic dog moms! Although they'll eat small mammals, a Bald Eagle's primary diet is fish.  


Majestic Bald Eagle on display at the Scottish Festival.  Check out this bird of prey's talons!
Closeup of a Bald Eagle's talons
Red Tailed Hawks and Great Horned Owls, however, have been known to attack cats and dogs weighing well over 6 lbs.  Both of these predators are common on Long Island, so needless to say I keep a close eye on little Phoebe.

I wasn't that clear on the connection between these birds and Scottish culture, but I do know that Kestrels and Golden Eagles can be found in Scotland.  Oh well, it's a festival and these wild creatures were beautiful to behold!  Most of the birds they had on display were rescued birds, but not all of them.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about our day at the Scottish Festival and all the sweet dogs and beautiful birds we saw there.  Please leave us a comment and let us know if you enjoyed this post.  We always love hearing your thoughts!


Here's a fun Flashback photo of Icy when she was less than a year old.  Look how big her ears were LOL!  As she got older, she lost the beautiful markings around her eyes which looked like a mask.  I always thought they made her look a bit mean, but of course she's the sweetest girl!  I'm jumping on the Flashback Friday blog hop with this photo of Icy, who is turning 9 soon:

Join the Flashback Friday pet BLOG HOP!  Here is my Siberian Husky Icy as a puppy.
Icy as a puppy.  Look how giant her ears are LOL!

JOIN US ON THE FLASHBACK FRIDAY BLOG HOP, HOSTED BY DOROTHY WILLS-RAFTERY OF FIVE SIBES!!


Why My Cat Suddenly Started Peeing Outside The Litter Box

Cats urinating outside the litter box seems to be a common issue among cat owners.  As I was reading a fellow blogger's post on reasons why a cat may be toileting outside the litter box, I was reminded of my cat Maggie - and the one and only time her litter box skills experienced an Epic Fail.

John and I had just gotten engaged and we were elated!  It was something we'd been talking about for at least a year, and we had finally sealed the deal.  Everyone was happy for us, and excited for our upcoming wedding the following year!


LOVE ME, LOVE MY CAT/DOG/RABBIT AND ANY OTHER PETS, RIGHT?


Shortly after meeting John, I had been so happy - and a little bit relieved, to be honest - when I learned that not only did he love cats, but he quickly fell for my beautiful sweet Calico cat Maggie.    

And Maggie loved him right back!  Or did she??  On the surface, she seemed to adore John.  She loved when he pet her, she rubbed against his legs, and snuggled with him on the couch.  She sometimes even napped on top of his tummy!


When cats toilet outside the litter box, there could be a logical explanation.  Why do Cats urinate outside the litter box?
Tell me this isn't the body language of a cat who loves the owner upon whose tummy she naps peacefully?!

Maggie and I owned the home we lived in while John had been renting his, so it made perfect sense for him to move into our home.  Much of his "guy stuff" had to be moved into the basement because there wasn't enough room to accommodate our combined stuff.  OK, so part of the reason was that some of his guy stuff was just plain UGLY!  Ladies, you know what I'm talkin' about, don't you?

The move went smoothly and we happily settled into our new daily routine.  Nothing was amiss, until John went down to the basement one day to retrieve one of his ugly guy possessions ... and discovered that sweet little Maggie had apparently been peeing and pooping all over his stuff!   Anything that wasn't secured in a plastic container was ruined - YIKES!  

We could not believe our eyes, or the assault on our noses!  Maggie had never soiled outside the litter box before, how could she have done such a thing?! Was Maggie just a two faced feline pretending to love John while deep down resenting his intrusion on our previously perfect little world of two?  Or, was there a logical explanation for her pissy  hissy fit of suddenly urinating and defecating outside her litter box?  Was she trying to TELL us something?


Reasons why cats pee and poop outside the litter box.  Urinating outside the litter box.
If your cat is suddenly urinating and defecating outside the litter box, there's usually a reason!

Hmmmm.  We thought about what might have prompted this bad kitty behavior, and the reason soon became clear.  Prior to John's ugly guy stuff invading a large corner of the basement, that space had belonged to Maggie alone.  It was her own little Fiefdom, her Cat Cave.  Her litter box was down there, along with some toys and a cozy bed.  She loved to creep up inside the rafters of the basement ceiling - I never did understand how the heck she managed to get up there - hiding and observing my laundry and crafting activities from her ceiling perch.

When the ugly guy stuff arrived it must have really cramped her style and stuck in her claw!  So she protested in the only way she knew how - by urinating and pooping all over the offending items!

Fortunately, my husband has a heart of gold and a soft spot for cats.  He didn't get angry or lash out at her (or me!), he simply dealt with it and we moved on having learned a valuable lesson!  You don't mess with the Cat's Crib.


COMMON REASONS CATS PEE OUTSIDE THE LITTER BOX


MEDICAL ISSUE: A trip to the Vet can identify, or rule out, a UTI or other medical problem.

UNAPPEALING LITTER BOX: You've gotten a New litter box and she doesn't like it, her litter box isn't Clean enough, or you Moved the box to a location your cat doesn't like.

EMOTIONAL OR BEHAVIORAL ISSUE: Something is upsetting, stressing, or frightening your cat for some reason. It could be furniture being moved or changed, something outside a nearby window such as a scary animal, or as we found out the hard way, someone has moved Ugly Guy Stuff into their coveted space!

So if your cat starts to urinate and defecate outside the litter box don't get mad, do some detective work and Find Out Why it's happening!

Have you ever had to deal with the issue of cats toileting outside their litter box?  How did you handle it?  Please tell us about it in the Comments!  We always appreciate hearing your thoughts.

Have you been longing to add a feline to your family but won't because you're allergic to cats?  Here's How I got Relief From Cat Allergies and Kept My Cats!

I got Maggie as a 9 week old kitten. While I was waiting for her to be ready for adoption I "accidentally" adopted another cat!  Click this link to see how my Accidental Pet Adoption turned out to be a joy and a blessing!

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THIS IS A BLOG HOP!! 

Join Us on the Flashback Friday blog hop, hosted by Dorothy Wills-Rafftery of  FIVE SIBES.  This is one of my favorite photos of Icy when she was about a year and a half old.  She had these beautiful, dark markings around the eyes which disappeared as she got older.  She's going on 9 now.  Our favorite activities with our dogs is Hiking!

Flashback Friday Blog Hop!  Photo of my Siberian Husky Icy hiking at Phoenix North Mountain
Flashback of Icy hiking at Phoenix North Mountain. Join the Blog Hop!

Visiting Dog Friendly Wineries on Long Island, New York

If you've been reading our blog for awhile, you know that we love taking our dogs just about everywhere with us!  We're always looking for great dog friendly restaurants, dog friendly activities and other destinations that welcome dogs.  We have recently discovered some great Dog Friendly Wineries on Long Island, New York!


Long Island's Wine Country


Yes, Long Island, New York has a Wine Country and it's pretty darn good!  The sandy soil and moderate climate found on Long Island makes it ideal for growing grapes.  Although grapes have been grown and vines sold on Long Island since the late 1600's, according to the Long Island Wine Council the first Long Island Vineyard wasn't planted until 1973.  

Quite a few wineries on Long Island allow dogs! Long Island's wine country, Pet friendly, Dog friendly
Several vineyards on Long Island, NY are dog friendly!
Upon visiting Long Island in 2,000, world renowned Australian viticulturist Dr. Richard Smart said that the soils of Long Island "are among the finest soils for grape growing that I have ever seen in the world"  Wow, that's quite a testament coming from a leading global consultant on viticulture methods!

Dog Friendly Vineyards in Long Island New York's, Wine Country.  Pet Friendly Travel, Dog Friendly Travel
Sandy soil and a moderate maritime climate are ideal for growing grapes that make the delicious wines of Long Island!
As you travel East on Long Island, the Island splits into two sections, the North Fork and the South Fork of the island.  This split begins at the town of Riverhead, about two thirds of the way to the Eastern end of the island.

The North Fork of the island is where most of the wineries are located in towns like Riverhead, Mattituck, Peconic, and Southold.  There are a couple of wineries on the South Fork as well, but the South Fork is better known for the beautiful regions of The Hamptons and Montauk.


Dog Friendly Wineries, North Fork Long Island


We've visited several vineyards on Long Island over the years, but this was the first time we visited wineries on Long Island that allow dogs!  It's the first time, but it will certainly not be the last.  We had a wonderful time at two of Long Island's pet friendly wineries, and so did our dogs, Icy and Phoebe!

For our first winery visits with the dogs we chose Pindar Vineyards  in Peconic and Macari Vineyards in Mattituck.  Visiting two wineries with dogs was plenty for one day.  We wanted to take our time and enjoy the wine and the beauty of the vineyards, and didn't want to tire the dogs out too much.  We'll be heading back out to visit a couple more pet friendly wineries on Long Island in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that!

Dog Friendly Pindar Vineyards, Peconic, Long Island NY


Our first stop was Pindar Vineyards in Peconic.  I did a tasting of about 5 different wines (don't worry, the tasting size is super small!) and John had just one glass of wine since he was our driver.  We bought a couple of cheese sticks and a small package of crackers to enjoy along with our wine.

They had a covered patio with lots of shade and a beautiful view of the vineyards.  The gentle, cool breezes off the water were delightful!  I had brought chew sticks for the dogs, but of course we couldn't refuse sharing some of our cheese sticks with them too!


Dog Friendly Pindar Vineyards on Long Island New York.  Dog Friendly places on Long Island, Pet friendly places on Long Island.  Wineries on Long Island
We had to share some of our cheese sticks with the dogs.  I mean, who could say No to that face!?
I really like Pindar's green initiatives, one of which is the use of wind in their wine production.  They installed a 156 foot tall Turbine that will power at least 80% of all winery operations.  We applaud their sustainability efforts!

Dog Friendly winery Pindar Vineyards on Long Island New York uses wind in the production of their wine!  Dogs, Pet Friendly, Dog friendly wineries on Long Island
This wind turbine will power at least 80% of wine production at Pindar Vineyards 
There is a beautiful Sunflower Field on the property as well.  You can stroll through the field with a glass of wine in hand, admiring the bright, "happy" flowers.  You can even cut some sunflowers to take home for just a dollar or two per stem.  They provide the clippers, you choose & cut your flowers. 

Pindar Vinyard has a beautiful sunflower field. Sunflowers can be cut and purchased by the stem.

We left Pindar Vineyards with 2 bottles of wine in tow.  A bottle of Pythagoras red wine for my husband and a bottle of Winter White for me.  Delicious!!  


Dog Friendly Macari Vineyards, Mattituck, Long Island NY


Our next stop was Macari Vinyards in Mattituck.  I didn't do another tasting, instead I had a glass of a sparkling Cabernet that I really like and john had a glass of Merlot.

In addition to tasting flights, Macari offers a boxed cheese, cracker, and aged salami snack that you can enjoy with your glass or bottle of wine outside on the patio.  You can also buy these items a la carte.  

There was enough in the boxed "snack" to consider it lunch for two.  There was also enough cheddar cheese and salami left over for a delicious omelette du fromage the next morning!



Enjoying wine and cheese at dog friendly Macari Vineyards, Long Island NY.  Pet friendly winery.  #Dogs
Macari Vineyard offers a la carte or boxed snacks of cheeses, crackers, and aged Italian salami.  Yum!!

We enjoyed one of the boxed snacks with our wine on the covered patio overlooking the vineyard.  It was perfect, sipping wine and snacking on cheese and crackers while looking out over the beautiful vineyard.  The breezes that came off the Long Island Sound were so relaxing, even the dogs were loving the cool breezes!  

We made sure there was plenty of shade and kept the dogs well hydrated.  Of course, we had to share a little of our cheese and salami with the dogs!


Visiting Dog Friendly wineries on Long Island.  Pet friendly Macari vineyards, Long Island NY
Phoebe jumps up to catch a bit of cheese!
The Macari Vineyard started in the 1990's. The Macari farm uses an ecological and holistic approach to growing their grapes.  That includes a field devoted entirely to compost, with a composting program that utilizes a herd of Long Horn Cattle and a couple of horses.  

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Dog friendly wineries, Dogs, Dog Friendly Activities, Pet Friendly, Long Island Wine Country


If you decide to visit wineries on Long Island, New York, there are lots of Long Island Vineyard Tours available.  I like the idea of a tour because you can visit several wineries and participate in wine tastings to your heart's content without having to worry about driving afterwards!  It's probably the safest way to do a wine tasting tour, don't you think?

Have you ever visited a dog friendly Vineyard?  If not, would you like to?  Leave us a comment and let us know, we LOVE hearing from you!


A Simple Trick To Give Your Dog A Pill By Mouth

My dogs don't have to take pet medications very often, especially in pill format.  The occasional need for an antibiotic and their monthly heartworm preventative medication are the only medications my dogs need, thankfully.  However, I wanted to share a creative way to give a dog a pill with food your dog probably already eats.  My cousin's Veterinarian shared this pill giving tip with her and now I'd like to share it with you!

GIVING YOUR DOG A PILL BY MOUTH CAN BE A STRUGGLE


Even if it's infrequent, giving your dog a pill can be a struggle.  You slather it with peanut butter or cream cheese, you hide it in their food, you may even stick it in the very back of their throat or use a "pill dropper", hold their snout closed and tilt their head back trying to get your dog to swallow the pill. 

Even after those stealth pill giving attempts your pet may eat all the peanut butter or cream cheese around it and spit out the pill.  Or your dog might remain stark still while you practically wrestle him to the ground trying to get the pill to the back of his throat, but then find a way to gag or spit the pill out anyway.  Or you think you've hidden the pill in your dog's food but he smells it immediately and refuses to eat at all.

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How to give a dog a pill by making a "Pill Meatball Pocket" using canned dog food.  Pet health, Dog health, How to pill a dog or cat.
Make giving your pet medications in pill form easier!

It's difficult when there's an occasional need to give your dog a pill, but imagine how hard it must be for dogs or cats who need daily medication in pill form long term! 

What's a Dog Mom to do?  

Pill Pockets you buy in the pet store may make it easier but they can be expensive. For ongoing daily pet medication administration of pills that's a lot of extra cost and calories added to your dog's diet.

HOW TO GIVE YOUR DOG A PILL USING A DOG FOOD MEATBALL


My cousin Grace shared a tip with me that her Veterinarian recommended when her pill hating Scottish Terrier needed 10 days of medication.  He suggested making a simple Meatball Pill Pocket using canned dog food she already feeds her dog. 

🐶 Place a can of dog food in the fridge to harden and chill.  Make sure it's a canned food your dog likes to eat, and one you can scoop out and roll into a ball!  It shouldn't be too wet or have gravy in it.

🐶 Scoop out 4 tablespoons of the canned food and roll each one into a ball in your hands, just like making a meatball.  Make 4 of these dog food "meatballs".

🐶 Insert the pill you need to give your dog into the middle of one of the "meatballs".  The other 3 meatballs won't have a pill inside.

🐶 Start by giving your dog one of the meatballs that doesn't have the pill in it.  Then give him a second meatball without the pill inside as soon as he swallows the first meatball.  Make it fun like you're giving your dog a special treat, and praise him!

🐶 As soon as he swallows the second meatball, give your dog the third meatball, which should be the one with the pill inside it.  After scarfing down the first two yummy meatballs and being praised for it, your dog will be anticipating the third yummy meatball and happily gobble it up!

🐶 Finish by giving your dog the last meatball without the pill in it.  That will end your pet medication session on a fun and positive note!

Make giving your pet their pills easier by making a Pill Pocket Meatball  w/ canned dog food.  How to give a dog a pill, Pet medication.
My dog Phoebe thinks Pet Medications are no fun!

This technique can be used for cats as well as dogs.  Just adjust the size of the meatball, making it smaller for small dogs or cats.

BONE APPETIT !!

You may also enjoy some tips on how I handled my allergies living with two cats  and the Dangers of Tick Borne Illnesses to Dogs. 


Have you ever had to give your dog or cat medication in pill form?  Was it easy or did you struggle?  Tell us about it in the comments, and if you have a pill giving tip, please share it!

Having Cats When You Have Allergies

Ever since I was a kid I've loved animals, especially cats and dogs.  Sadly, I found out early on that I'm allergic to cats, but it didn't stopped me from having them!  

When I was growing up in New York, my 3 Uncle's had a deli in the city.  They often had kittens in the back of the store.  Spaying and neutering wasn't a big thing back then and the Uncles didn't mind taking in stray cats.  My Uncles would give the cats scraps of deli meat, a saucer of milk, and one of their many food delivery boxes with a blanket to sleep in.  

Needless to say, this made for excellent lodgings for a kitty that found herself Pregnant In The City!  I'm pretty sure there was a secret network for wayward cats who were in the family way that led them straight to my Uncle's store!

If you're Allergic to Cats, here are some ways to reduce allergic symptoms
Pregnant Cats In The City somehow managed to make their way to the NY City deli owned by my Uncles!


CAT ALLERGIES BE DARNED


When we visited my grandmother's house, I couldn't wait to stop by the deli, which was around the corner.  Not because I wanted the candy or chips they sold there, or because I wanted a bologna sandwich, but because I was always hopeful there would be kittens in the back! 

After hugging the Uncles the first words out of my mouth were always "Are there any kittens today?"  Many times I was not disappointed.  I would run to the back of the store to find the latest litter of kitties and plop myself down to play with them.  They were largely stray kittens but I was always able pick them up and play with them.  Invariably, I'd leave the deli with bright red, watery itchy eyes.  I didn't care, I was going to play with the kittens anyway and there was nothing anyone could do to stop me!

Back home on Long Island, stray cats often made their way into our yard.  When they did, we set out the welcome mat.  They had food, water, and blankets in a cardboard box to sleep in.  My cat allergies were always present, but again I didn't care.  I wanted to handle the cats and play with them.  I loved them all!


How to reduce Cat allergies.   Pet allergies.
Adorable stray kitten from a litter of cats that ended up at my sister's house.

When I was finally old enough to get a place of my own, one of the first things I did was look for a kitten to adopt!  I unexpectedly ended up with two cats in a one bedroom apartment, wreaking havoc on my allergies.  You can read about my Accidental Pet Adoption here.  It got so bad that I had trouble breathing and ended up with asthma.

I finally had to see a doctor, and in questioning me he realized the cause of my asthma was living in a small apartment with 2 cats.  He strongly urged me to give my cats away.  No Way!!  I told him I already loved both cats to pieces and there was no way in hell I was giving up my feline furbabies.  He shook his head and told me I could end up with asthma for the rest of my life.  "So be it!" I said.  I just had to keep my cats,  Mousey and Maggie, so I  began to research ways to help diminish my pet allergy symptoms.  


HOW I REDUCED MY CAT ALLERGY SYMPTOMS 


Here are the things I did to reduce my allergic symptoms:

🐈 The cats could no longer sleep in my bedroom, it was my "cat free zone"

🐈  I wiped the cats down with wet paper towels daily; sometimes twice a day

🐈  I vacuumed every single day and followed up with a wet mop to keep the dander down. Thankfully I had hardwood floors and not carpeting which helps a lot.

🐈  I dusted every few days using wet cleaning cloths instead of a dry cloth to keep dander and fur down.

🐈 I washed my cats' bedding frequently and kept the litter box super clean.

Following the above steps helped a lot but it wasn't quite enough.  I still suffered with frequent asthmatic symptoms due to pet allergies for several years, but I didn't care, as long as I had my cats.  When Maggie was the only cat left in the considerably larger house I lived in by then, my symptoms lessened a lot.  It was still difficult but quite manageable.  


MORE WAYS TO REDUCE PET ALLERGY SYMPTOMS: 


If I had known about it, there were other things I could have done to help reduce my allergy symptoms to cats as well:

🐈  I should have gotten a clean air machine with a HEPA filter! They weren't as common back then and I didn't know much about them.

🐈  I could have gotten a removable couch cover which can be removed and washed.  If I had drapes I would have washed them regularly. 

🐈  A few companies make pet allergy sprays that act as allergen blockers, although I'm not sure how well they work.  Have you used pet allergen blockers?  If so, did it help?

🐈  Allergy shots and prescription oral allergy medications.  I didn't want to consider allergy shots, I hate needles! But that probably could have helped a lot as well.



What to do if you're allergic to cats but you want one!  Pet allergies, Cat allergies
I was allergic to my cats Maggie and Mousey, but I didn't care!

After all that, was having cats worth going through asthma symptoms and constant daily cleaning?  YOU BET IT WAS!!  The love of a cat is not to be underestimated and I would do it all over again.  I have two dogs now but I look forward to getting another cat in the near future.  Thankfully, I'm not allergic to dogs, just cats!

NOTE:  I'm not a doctor or Veterinarian, I'm just sharing how I handled my allergy to cats. If you're allergic to cats but you really want a cat, you may want to check with your doctor first.

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY this post: Stray Cats In The Hood?  TNR 'em!

Do you have pet allergies? If so, how have you handled them?  Please leave a comment and tell us about it.  We love when you howl back at us!!