Category Archives: Good Friends

Hot Dog!

There's a reason they call it the Dog Days of Summer. If your little place in the world is as hot as it has been in Iowa, you know all too well what they meant. So how do you make sure your pal gets the outside time they need safely? And how do you keep them entertained when they're inside?
Group of happy children playing on green grass in spring park
Even if they love the outdoors, and don't notice how hot it is, be aware of the impact high heat and humidity might be having on them. Like little kids, they don't know what's best for them - you do. Letting them out in the cooler parts of the day is best, of course, but if they need to be out in the hottest times, stay with them so you know when they're able to go back inside. Regardless of how long they're out, make sure they have both shade and fresh water.
­Some signs of heatstroke to watch for:
  • Panting more than usual
  • Heart beating very quickly
  • More slobbery than usual
  • Tongue bright red
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
Once your dog is overheated, it can be hard to cool him off. Gentle wiping him down with a cold cloth can help. Putting him near a fan or air conditioning is ideal.. Being overheated can cause seizures and even cardiac arrest. If you have any concerns, get your pal to the Dog Doc ASAP.
What can you do to keep your pal entertained? 
  • Hide treats around the house and do some nose work.
  • Work on your obedience skills. Errr, your dog's obedience skills.
  • Stuff a Kong with peanut butter or banana and freeze, then let them go to town getting to the tasty treat. That is a favorite around here!
  • Don't have all your dog's toys available at once. Rotating them out makes them feel new and interesting.
  • Put some tennis balls or balled up socks in a muffin tin with treats hiding underneath. Instant puzzle game!
  • If you have enough room to play 'chase' safely, that's a workout for you both!
  • One game that's popular around here is to restuff a stuffed toy that the dog has 'murdered.'
If you have ideas for how to keep them busy, share! We'd love to hear!



Have a happy - and safe - 4th!

The Fourth of July is right around the corner!  While this is an exciting and fun time for people, we want to make sure our pets are safe and can enjoy the holiday, too!  Did you know that the loud noises and flashing lights typically involved in the Fourth of July could frighten pets and cause abnormal behavior, resulting in broken leashes, jumping fences, running away, and even biting?
Here are some pet safety tips to help you and your pet get the most out of the Fourth.
  1. Keep your pet away from the noise in someplace quiet, sheltered, and escape-proof during fireworks or other loud noises.
  2. Make sure your pet has a collar and ID tag to ensure they can return home if they get separated from you.
  3. Never use fireworks around your pets.
  4. Keep lighter fluid and matches away from pets.
  5. Do not put glow jewelry on pets or allow them to play with this.
  6. Do not leave alcoholic beverages unattended where pets can get them.
  7. Above all, do not take your pets to any festivities, including fireworks, concerts, etc.!
Use these tips in addition to your best judgment to ensure a fun and safe Fourth of July for humans and pets alike!

Clarke County Animal Shelter - one of our rural Buddies

"We are like most shelters and overrun with cats, our average cat stay before adoption is 6 months to a year. We run on donations for food and supplies, any money goes to paying for our bills, lights, heat, water.... " says Joy, the director of Clarke County Animal Shelter in Osceola, Iowa. "We house 11 cats in our adoption area! We house 12 dogs for adoption at one time! We work with rescues and shelters around us." 
Read the story of Ripley, as told by a volunteer:
Ripley came to us as a city stray and was found around the 400 block of N. Main St. in Osceola, Iowa. Sadly when he came to us he was in a very horrible condition that would make even the most strong of stomachs become squeamish. With fur so matted you couldn’t even tell for sure if he was a boy or a girl at first. The fur was covered in what we thought might be car oil grease as well as mud that made his smell very unpleasant. If you saw his feet they were covered with fecal download-2matter and the toe nails were starting to press into the pads of his feet, where they weren’t wrapped in hair that is.
By this point we were searching and searching for his owner, in hopes there could be some light shed on why this poor dog was in such a state. For all we know he had been missing quite some time and was never able to be caught before now. We really tried to find the owner, but this was with no avail. And the owner for Ripley never came forward to claim him, which in time meant he became a shelter dog. Once that happened Ripley was immediately set up to get a shave down to see how severe his problems really were under all the matted and mud covered fur.
Little did we know at that time what we had gotten ourselves into and what we would find under ever little patch of fur we shaved away from his body. After the first few passes we already could tell he had been this way for even longer then we had thought at first. His skin had red patches of irritation that came from lack of air being able to reach it as well as the fleas chewing away in the same area. When we got the body almost done we tried to work on his face some to help him be able to see a bit better. That is when we noticed that his ear had been split open by a tooth of another dog.
Soon after that we finished his shave down completely and we were able to find out he was an intact male Shih-tzu. It was hard to believe under all that matted mess that there was a cute little dog that always seemed to have a smile on his face. The fur that came off the dog filled up about half of a 10 gallon garage bag, that is a lot of fur from one little Shih-tzu.
Through all of this, Ripley never did lose the smile on his face. And because of this he was quickly adopted by a great and loving family that understood he had a rough life before them and came with a few quirks of his own.