Sunday, 31 March 2013

Bear and I...

....would like wish all of our Easter-celebrating friends

 a "Happy and wonderful Easter filled with marshmallows, chocolate, and jelly beans."

Keep your tails wagging
Bear's P4ws

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

My Favorite Holiday... any that allows time for friends and family to gather - eat good food - drink good (doggy) wine and share the warmth of their laughter and love for each other.

Sending out the warmest of wishes to all of our friends who are celebrating this Passover. 

Keep your tails wagging
Bear's P4ws

Friday, 22 March 2013

The Dogs of Cat Lake...

The vets and volunteers of the Cat Lake Friends of Animush Dog Rescue share some of their stories and experiences:

...and the dogs wait outside the door until they know we are safe inside for the night..."

It astounds me that they meet us when we arrive, they walk beside us during the day, they wait outside the door when we work,  guard us on our walk home and they wait once again outside the door until they know we are safe inside for the night.  They are there again the next day... our friends, the dogs of the north.  It amazes me that these dogs trust us so much and want to be our friends just as we trust in their loyalty to us.  How can we bring about that same trust and loyalty between us and the members of these northern communities?
Sandy Setley.  Veterinary Technician

"Bella would not be with us today if not for their compassion and care".  

I can honestly say my life changed when a curly haired golden retreiver named Bella came to our family.  Bella lived the first 3 years of her life underneath a trailer at Cat Lake First Nations reserve.  To prevent her from being bred, she was taken to an island and left with one small bag of dog food...which she promptly gorged herself on.  However, the boys still found her attractive and she did manage to have 2 litters of puppies before she was 3 years old.  That's tough on a very young dog.  She was an easy dog to play 'dress up' with and unfortunately some elastic bands stayed around her neck for a long period and eventually grew into her skin.  One of the veterinarians tenderly removed them under anaesthesia when she came to the spay/neuter/vaccination clinic.

Bella came to us in the summer of 2010, shortly after her surgery.  She is the most loving, affectionate and appreciative dog!  Her big dark eyes allow me to see into her warm soul.  These dogs seem to know they have been 'rescued' and ask for nothing other than to be loved.  I am forever grateful to the vets, techs and support staff that volunteer their time to run these clinics.  Bella would not be with us today if not for their compassion and care.  Many people comment on how lucky Bella is now... but it's me that won the lottery!
Leslie Flaherty - Erin, Ontario.

The Cat Lake Friends of Animush Dog Rescue was created in order to bring services to the dogs of remote Norther Canadian communities.  These are places that have no animal control or animal services.  In the north, unruly and "dangerous" dogs are culled (shot) in order to protect people who do not have a real sense of animal care and welfare.  Sick and injured dogs usually meet the same unfortunate fate. 
This is not because the people of the North are cruel to animals, it is simply because they have no resources with which to care for them. There are no "dog whispers" or trainers available to them.  No vets, no pet stores....nothing. 
The Cat Lake Friends of Animush Dog Rescue is made up of a group of die-hard dog lovers - people who go out of their way to provide free services for these wonderful dogs in need.  They are animal-right activists and educators.  They give of their services freely and don't ask for anything in return.  

I owe them thanks for helping me save my Bear, and that is something that I cannot repay.
Please, help me donate to this wonderful cause by voting for BEAR in the Toronto Pet Daily Photo contest.  We're not asking for donations, just votes.

With the help of the Cat Lake Friends of Animush, we managed to rescue and find homes for some of these wonderful, loving dogs...


Help us raise the funds to save more by casting your vote for Bear.

Keep your tails wagging
Bear's P4ws

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

How Saving a Dog Can Change the World...

Saving a dog will not change the world in it's entirety - but it will change the world for you and that dog

The unclaimed dogs of Cat Lake...of all those pictured, we managed to save three

Help support those who go out of their way to rescue the dogs of the Great Canadian North
and help raise awareness and funds for the Cat Lake Friends of Animush Dog Rescue

Keep your tails wagging
Bear's P4ws
Part of the BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Bear's P4ws Readers We Need Your Help!

Dear Readers, 

VOTE FOR ME and help us help the northern dogs of Canada
We haven’t been around for a long time, but in the months that Bear and  I have been sharing our stories and our doggy-wisdom, we’ve been lucky enough to find a connection with some of you through the wonderful world of blogging. 

Now, those of you who have been reading with us may (or may not) know that Bear is a rescue dog.  I rescued him three years ago from the harshness of life up in Northern Canada.  He came to me beaten, half frozen and very nearly dead.  It took a great deal of patience and quite of few tears before Bear was happily in the clear, but while I was struggling, there was a wonderful group of people standing by ready to help. 

These people (an assortment of vets, vet-techs and volunteers) call themselves the Friends of Animush (Animush being the oji-cree word for dog), and they spend their summers travelling from one reserve to another handing out free medical care to all the dogs they can find.  This care includes spaying and neutering any roaming dogs, providing vaccines and necessary shots against rabies, heartworm and parasites and then providing any other extra care the dogs may need. 

They are not paid for their services, and more often than not, they have to struggle with community members in order to be permitted to treat some of the dogs they find.  These wonderful, wonderful people have been responsible for the saving of so many doggy-lives on various Canadian reserves that it breaks my heart that practically no one knows that they’re there. 

Well no more.  

Bear and I have recently had an opportunity dropped into our hands.  An opportunity to help promote and donate to this glorious group of people, but we need your help to do so.
Bear has recently made the finalist roster of the TorontoPet Daily’s most recent contest.  If he wins, his winnings will go the Friends of Animush

Please, help us help the dogs of the great Canadian North.  VOTE for Bear.
(Bear is the 6th dog down on the page.  His name appears 6th in the voting box)

Keep your tails wagging
Bear’s P4ws

Monday, 18 March 2013

Beating the Monday Blues – Doggy Style!

There is something incredibly comforting about coming home after a long day at work and being greeted with wet, slobbery kisses and boundless enthusiasm and happiness at the mere fact that you have returned. For many people, interacting with a pet is the ultimate antidote to a stressful day and a spectacular way to beat those pesky Monday blues.  For those of us who love and adore our furry family members, it’s a well proven fact that it’s virtually impossible to stay in down in the dumps when a pair of loving poochie eyes meets yours.

But how much good are our dogs really doing for us? 

It’s simple really.  Our dogs make us smile, and smiling has a large number of health benefits:
1. Smiling lifts your spirits. Even if you’re not feeling it…put on a smile. The simple act of smiling, especially when you smile at someone else and they reflect that smile back at you, can cause your body and mind to feel happy.
2. Smiling relieves stress. When you smile, you are physically releasing your jaw muscles, which tend to be tightened in times of stress. The jaw muscles attach to the neck muscles and, when tightened, can lead to headaches. You also look less stressed since you minimize those frown lines on your forehead.
3. Smiling boosts your immune system. When you smile, your body naturally relaxes. When you are relaxed, your immune system is able to function optimally, helping to fight off colds and flu.
4. Smiling lowers blood pressure. When you relax your mind and your face by smiling, you actually lower your blood pressure. Try a few minutes of enjoying the view, petting your pup, or doing something that you enjoy. Just five minutes of smiling makes a noticeable difference in blood pressure.
5. Smiling is a natural pain killer. Studies show that smiling helps the body to naturally release endorphins and serotonin, which work together to help us feel better and minimize the sensation of pain

So remember, the next time you’re having a bad day, or just having trouble facing Monday head-on, just look to your pooch.  If your dog(s) are anything like Bear, you’ll be smiling in no time.

Keep your tails wagging
Bear’s P4ws

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Make Your Own Chicken Jerky Treats

With all of the uncertainty coming out of the dog food industry, and the amount of recalls circulating around chicken jerky treats, I’ve decided that the best way to avoid any risk is to try to make them myself.  

Here’s a quick and easy recipe I’ve managed to dig up.  It works well and Bear is ecstatic to be getting chicken jerky as part of his treat pantry again. 

  • Chicken Breast Fillets
  1. Preheat oven to 200° F
  2. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  3. Rinse off chicken breast and remove any fat.
  4. Slice the chicken with the grain. This will help make the jerky even chewier for your dog. The slices should be very thin, about 1/8" to 1/4" thickness.
  5. Place the strips on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for approximately 2 hours (see note below).
  7. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack until completely cool.
  8. Cut strips into bite sized pieces.
Storing: These homemade dog treats may not last long enough to be stored because they are so good. But, just in case they do, store them in the refrigerator for 3 weeks. Freeze any remainder for up to 8 months. Be sure to read our tips on storing homemade dog treats for more information.

Tips & Techniques
  • Checking - The baking times will vary due to difference in ovens, temperatures and meat size. Your jerky treats should be firm and dry, not at all soft or spongy. It is safer to go a little extra dry and firm than for the meat to be underdone.
  • Cutting - Once the treats are cool, it's easier to cut them with kitchen scissors or a pizza cutter, than a regular knife.

Thanks to the Dog Treat Kitchen for the recipe!

Keep your tails wagging
Bear’s P4ws

Saturday, 16 March 2013

My Dog Just Ate WHAT!?

You know the story, you’re out – happily walking your dog, or watching him frolic around in the dog park, when suddenly you notice that Fido has something in his mouth…and is chewing, and chewing, and chewing…
Your first instinct is to yell something along the lines of “NO!” or “DROP IT!” but 8 times out of 10, by the time you reach Fido, he’s already swallowed his tasty new treat and is rather smug about it. 
We can spend hours talking about training techniques and how to get your dog to ignore things that smell yummy and delicious, but fact of the matter is: dogs are dogs.  If they catch the scent of something they like, no amount of training will stop them.  The important thing is how you react to Fido’s impromptu snacking. 

First, you MUST remember to stay calm.  Becoming agitated will not encourage your dog to trust your reactions n any situation.  

Try to figure out what it is that your pooch just had in his mouth – there is more often than not, some sort of indication to be found – whether it is some old dog poop, garbage, random pieces of old food left on the side of the road, road-kill, or some other small dead mammal (Bear likes to try for the last one rather often).  Remember that your dog still has some wild instincts in him, and dogs are hunters and scavengers and their instinct is to eat what they find.  

One thing that you must keep in mind is that dogs have much stronger constitutions than we give them credit for.  Yes the stuff they are putting in their mouths is absolutely disgusting, but they also have systems that can handle much more than we think.  
 For the most part, I (and most vets) would suggest simply keep an eye on your pooch for a good twelve hours.  If there are no changes in behavior, no excess vomiting or diarrhea, your pup’s system has dealt with whatever it was that he decided to ingest.  If at any point you notice any of the above listed symptoms then get in touch with your vet immediately.
If, upon inspection of Fido’s impromptu snacking grounds, you see or smell any chemical residue, contact your vet immediately. 

Teaching your dog’s certain cues, such as “leave it” can be extremely useful in certain situations and comes highly recommended by any trainer or vet.  Just keep in mind that there is no such thing as the “perfect cure-all” for natural doggy behavior.  

Keep your tails wagging
Bear's P4ws

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Home-made Apple Bacon Cookies

A fruity treat your dog will adore - the bacon just adds that little bit of extra sparkle


1/4 cup Apple Sauce
3 slices Bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 cup Oat Flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.
3. Knead dough into ball and roll onto a floured surface 1/4 inch thick and take a straight edge and cut the dough horizontally and then vertically to make a grid (pizza cutters are awesome for this sort of thing).
4. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until browned at the edges.
5. Cool and break into pieces, then refrigerate.

Remember to always treat in moderation, even the healthiest of snacks can add to your dog’s waistline if eaten too often and in large quantities

Thanks to the Doggy Dessert Chef for this awesome recipe idea

Keep your tails wagging

Bear’s P4ws