Sunday, October 3, 2010

Signature Dog Blog: October is my most Favourite Month

Happy October!


Here is a quick and very easy recipe to make for your dog using pumpkin as the main ingredient. 

Ingredients:  One 15oz can mashed pure pumpkin (not spiced pie filling); 3/4 cup of cream of wheat (or use rice cereal if your pooch is wheat sensitive).  You mix this dry - no need to cook it first; 1/2 cup of dry powered milk.

Directions:  Preheat oven 300 F.; Mix up all ingredients; Use a pastry bag to squeeze out rosettes about the size of a dime and place on cookie sheet and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes.

This recipe originally appeared in the September 2010 edition of the Dobe Drumbeat newsletter.

According to Cesar Millan the pumpkin is a miracle food for both diarrhea and constipation, remember canned pumpkin (not raw or the spicy pie-ready kind).  Pumpkin is loaded with fiber and beta-carotene, which the dog's body converts to vitamin A.  Don't give your dog or pup too much, as too much vitamin A can be toxic for them.  A couple of teaspoons a day for the small dogs and the big dogs can have a couple of tablespoons. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Signature Dog Blog: In Loving Memory of a Dog named Jake

Chrissy, Lee and Jake (on the right)

I recently lost a great dog named Jake who I have had the honour of knowing for about five years. He was both a friend and a client. I say that I lost him even though he was not my dog because he’d become part of my life. And Jake’s owners have lost their beloved dog, constant companion, member of their family, and truly a goodwill ambassador for the Doberman Pinscher breed or any breed for that matter. I cannot begin to imagine the loss they must feel and will forever feel. Jake was an amazing dog and I have truly never met any dog like him. Physically he was a stunning dog and equally powerful and kind…kind to people and to dogs. Jake was one smart dog. He was an inspiration for many, including myself! Madeline and me had just spent the entire day with Jake two days before he suddenly passed away and I have been in a state of emotional shock since and cannot believe he is gone. I dedicate this poem to Jake, who I deeply miss and who has touched my heart and the hearts of all the people and all the dogs he has known.

In one of the stars I shall be living

In one of them I shall be laughing

And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing

When you look at the sky at night

…and there is sweetness in the laughter of all the stars…

And in the memories of those you love

(The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

Godspeed Jakie I love you and I miss you.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Signature Dog Blog: Madeline makes her first acting debut in the FOX Network hit series Human Target

Madeline makes her very first television debut in the Fox network's hit series Human Target

Madeline taking a much deserved break between scenes, what a good girl!

This is one hard working industry!

Very good food - yummy!

Madeline recently auditioned for a part on the Fox Network’s television series Human Target. She did very well during the audition and proved just how smart she is – even I did not know she was this smart.

The actual filming of the scene took place this week and it was a very interesting and fun experience. So much so, that I hope Madeline will participate in another production. Her part was basically ‘window dressing’ for a particular scene and her job was to stay in a long-down for a really long time. Hours actually! She did her job well and she had a few moments when the scene got physical and she made a few mistakes – but she very quickly learned from her mistakes and got right back on track. But I am happy to report that she caused no delays in the production and I think she had fun…no… I know she had fun. When she did have a tough time in the scene one of the show’s stars whose character’s name is Christopher Chance took the time to meet her and she let him give her belly rubs and then she was good to go and ready to do her job. The cast and the crew were so friendly to her (and to me) and they all made us both feel like we were part of the crew. They especially made Madeline feel welcome and she glowed in all their love and attention. I had no idea how much work goes into a scene and I have to say this is one hard working industry and the cast and crew of Human Target has certainly earned my respect. I also wanted to mention Ian and Grace of Animal Department. They are the company who hired Madeline – now here are two of the nicest and hardest working people you will ever meet. Ian was kind to Madeline in the way he handled her on set (I was on set watching everything going on with her at all times) and seemed to get right inside her head. Grace took the time to educate me on what was going on ‘on set’ and explained everything. Madeline liked them both and especially bonded with Ian, as he was her handler. She adored him!

At the end of the day both Madeline and me were exhausted but we both had a fantastic experience thanks to the cast and crew of Human Target and especially to Ian and Grace of Animal Department.

Human Target makes its second season premiere on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 on Fox. Madeline and her other non-human co-star ‘Jake’ should appear in an episode in later November or early December. I already have my PVR set to record her debut.

I am truly blessed to have such a great dog!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Signature Dog Blog: Signature Pet Services - Black & Tan Coonhound - A Wonderful and Unusual Dog

Maggie May (pictured here on her favourite spot in my yard) who is a really cool Black and  Tan Coonhound!
For more information on the Black and Tan Coonhound - I've provided a description below. I hope you enjoy reading about this very fascinating breed of dog.

The Coonhound stands 27 inches tall at the shoulder. He has a short, sleek black coat with tan markings. There are six types of Coonhound but only the Black and Tan Coonhound is recognized in Canada and the United States. The Coonhound is affectionate, good with children, and intelligent. A friendly and lovable dog, the Coonhound is also powerful, rugged, and tireless when on the hunt. Because he typically works at night, the Coonhound uses his voice to attract a hunter's attention once he's treed a raccoon. He has a loud bark - a quality that may not be appreciated by neighbours! A hunter at heart, he is not the dog to live with cats. He should also be socialized and trained early on to discourage a tendency to dig! Not a breed for couch potatoes, the Coonhound needs lots of exercise and attention. He enjoys playing with his people and is unhappy if left alone for long periods. He makes a great jogging partner and needs an active owner. The Coonhound is a scent hound and should be kept in a fenced-in yard to combat a tendency to roam. He is best living on a farm, or in a country environment. 

For information about Coonhound rescue groups - here is a good website to start with:


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Signature Dog Blog: Banks and the Fun Blanket

I awoke this morning feeling extremely grateful for my chosen career and that any given day I have had and continue to have the privilege to work with dogs (and cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, cattle, sheep, chickens, ducks and toads...yes toads) and the people who love and care for them. With that in mind, I'd like to tell you a cute story about a little dog named Banks who recently stayed in my home for a week. Initially Banks did not think it was too fantastic being surrounded by three Doberman Pinschers but as each day went by he warmed up to them. He seemed to like them, he sniffed them, treated them with respect but generally stayed out of their path. Then one day I took one of his little blankets outside to air in the sunshine and when I brought it in, he grabbed it with his teeth (very out of character for this polite little dog) and tossed it into the air several times and then proceeded to jump on and off it several times. I guess it was his fun blanket. All the while this was happening, Madeline (my own Doberman) was watching with a cautious and curious eye - then all of a sudden she bowed her head and threw her front legs down to signal PLAYTIME and away she and Banks went. I gotta tell you I nearly peed my pants laughing - as they played with the fun blanket and chased each other around the kitchen like a couple of nutty puppies. Madeline, by nature gets along with any dog but in terms of playing she is quite picky and chooses to play with only certain dogs and there is no rhyme or reason. But she certainly chose Banks and they played until I had to break it up as the two of them were going to either hurt themselves or wreck the house....not sure which, perhaps both. When I broke up their fun, the two of them were most indignant...with Madeline trotting off to her bed in a full sulk and Banks plopping down on the fun blanket which soon became the nap blanket as the fun was over and Banks was pooped. 

Again....I am so lucky to work with animals everyday, including fun little dogs like Banks!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Signature Dog Blog: A Most Charming Chihuahua

This is Bella - a recent Signature Pet boarder who very quickly found two things....her place in the sun (on our deck) and a place in my heart. She has been my most surprising guest yet! She is extremely smart, friendly, loves to go for walks, cuddle and just hang out in the sun. She has PERFECT house manners, is very polite, does what she is asked and is very easy to care for. Bella is very bright, observant and makes a great watchdog! Her family obviously loves her dearly and has done a terrific job with her socialization and training. In terms of the breed, the Chihuahua's charms include her small size, very large personality, and variety in coat types and colors. The Chihuahua is all dog, fully capable of competing in dog sports such as agility and obedience, and is among the top 10 watchdogs recommended by experts. (Bella is proof of that). And the Chihuahua loves nothing more than being with people and requires a minimum of exercise and grooming.

If you are interested in this fascinating breed of little dog and would like to adopt one in need of a good and loving home then go to this group provides assistance to Chihuahuas in need. They have a great website with tons of valuable information about Chihuahuas and how you can help them or even adopt one.

Enjoy your day!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Signature Dog Blog: Signature Pet Services - It's a Dog Day Afternoon .... at Dogwood Park in South Surrey, BC

An adorable puppy enjoying some cool shade

Madeline and mini me

Just being dogs

Walking the cool trails on a hot day

This one's name is Archie

Do you need something to do with your dog this weekend ... then head to Dogwood Off-leash Dog Park located in beautiful and sunny South Surrey, BC. Even on a really hot day, the trails stay cool. There are plenty of water bowls and access to fresh water abounds. After an hour or so at Dogwood - head to Fieldstones Artisan Bakery on Crescent Road at the intersection of Crescent Road and 128th Street. Oh, the baked goods are amazing you may need to stand in a wee line up but it is worth it, I promise. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Lee, Roman and Madeline

Friday, July 9, 2010

Signature Dog Blog: Madeline wins her First Obedience Trial!

This is Madeline when she was just a pup!

I just wanted to make a quick brag about my wonderful and amazing dog Madeline who just won her very first Obedience Trial this past week. Her score was 174/200 and I am not sure where that sits in terms of low score or high score...and quite frankly I don't really care as I am just happy and excited that Madeline won. 

This is only our second Obedience Trial.

What a good girl!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Signature Dog Blog: A Quiet Plea for The Greyhounds

Is it tongue out Tuesday already?

A dear friend asked me to put this plea for Greyhounds on my blog. 

Here you go kid!

Just because a Greyhound's racing carer is over does not mean they are finished. 

They actually need your help. They need homes.  These sweet and calm beauties make wonderful pets.  

Even for the first time dog owner, they are great starter dogs.  No pun intended.  

ADOPT A GREYHOUND. click here to find out all about it

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Signature Dog Blog: Puppy Puppy Puppy

This past week I had the privilege of taking care of a beautiful three-month old Scottish Terrier. She was adorable, fun, friendly, loved to chase around and play. This afternoon I will return her to her home and I know we will all miss her. I captured her playing by herself in my back yard - no staging just her in her puppy world. 

Puppies are a great deal of work (more than most people will admit) and I recommend anyone who is considering getting a puppy or who has a puppy to go to Dr. Ian Dunbar's website where you can read and download free VERY HELPFUL pdf's that are excellent and easy to understand. When I was raising my own puppy - I followed Dr. Dunbar's house training schedule and Madeline had a very successful potty training.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Signature Dog Blog: Dog Friendly Mini-Getaway Weekend Ideas

Hotel Monaco, Portland, Oregon

The first weekend getaway was a trip to Victoria on Vancouver Island. My husband and I took Roman and Madeline to Victoria and we stayed at the Magnolia Hotel. This is a great little boutique hotel … with an awesome restaurant and bar in the lobby. The restaurant is called Prime Steakhouse and was very good. The service was good too. In fact, we ate there both nights….which says a lot! This is a meat lover’s mecca, however, I am a vegetarian and I found plenty to choose from on the menu, including a great bottle of red from the Burrowing Owl Vineyard. The staff was friendly (on the younger side) and great to our dogs. There was no extra service charge for our two dogs – but double check when you reserve – in case that has changed. And no size restriction, which was great news because Roman weighs 85 lbs and Madeline, weighs 58. Most of the guests were in awe of our dogs – one couple (who incidentally had a screaming child) turned their noses up at us but that can happen anywhere. The hotel is centrally located near the busy downtown/inner harbor/Empress and you are less than 2 minutes walking distance to the water.

While we were there we took the dogs to Butchart Gardens, Beacon Hill Park and walking everywhere downtown. There were even several tourists who wanted to pose with Roman…kinda weird but we agreed of course. All in all it was a great trip and we are looking forward to returning again.

For any information on the Magnolia Hotel in Victoria here is the website:

The second mini-getaway weekend (also with both dogs) was to the Hotel Monaco in Portland, Oregon. We have actually stayed there twice now – both times with our dogs. I must say I love Portland. This is a great city to visit for shopping and restaurants. The people of Portland are the friendliest people I have ever met on any vacation. Portland is a very green city (which appeals to me) is super pedestrian friendly and the drivers actually respect the crosswalks and such. Portland honestly puts Vancouver’s drivers and hospitality to shame! The Hotel Monaco is an eclectic vintage-style luxury hotel that is also dog friendly. And there is also no restriction on size/weight of dog and no service charge for dogs either. Just make sure that you tell them you are bringing your dog/s when you reserve. When you arrive they actually will have your dog’s name up on a chalkboard welcoming them. So after a long drive it is fun to see a sign that reads “Welcome Roman and Madeline” it also gives you a chance to see how many other dogs are in the hotel (just in case you need to avoid other dogs). The shopping in Portland is fantastic including all the big US department stores of course but also lots of unusual boutiques and shops. And no sales tax. In terms of dining and going out – we stuck to the hotel’s bar and restaurant the Red Star Tavern & Roast House. The food is good and the drinks are AMAZING. If you are thinking of a getting away to the US to take advantage of our strong dollar – I highly recommend you check out the Hotel Monaco in Portland, Oregon.

Here is their web site:

Happy Travels!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Signature Dog Blog: An Excellent Read for Dog Lovers

Merle's Door is a most fantastic read for animal lovers...especially dog lovers. I am not going to give anything away in the book but I will say that I think we underestimate the intelligence in dogs way too much. Anyways, Merle's Door was given to me by a very good 'doggy' friend (thanks Carol) with the instructions that I would love the book and to have lots of kleenex handy. Well I did love the book and the kleenex was handy and needed. I finished the book in one day.

I typically do not read animal stories because they usually end badly but this is an amazing story that truly touched my heart. Merle's Door has been out for a little while so you should be able to pick it up almost anywhere in paperback. Sit back enjoy Merle's journey and those around him who he touched.

What a dog!

This is a great read for the long weekend!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Signature Dog Blog: Welcome to Dogwood Off-leash Dog Park, South Surrey, BC

Beautiful and friendly Madeline

Cozy clubhouse for meeting up with friends

This is now my third visit to the Dogwood off-leash dog park in South Surrey. While I am not an advocate of off-leash parks, this one has lots to offer and I find myself being drawn there again and again. And yes, I soon may be changing my tune about off-leash dog parks...mmmmmm.

The parking is plenty and the park can get quite busy (although it seems to come in waves) but there is lots of room and lots to do. Of course, in my opinion, the best thing to do at Dogwood is walk the trails with your dog. I had the best experience walking with Eva of Healthy Dog Services (one of several off-leash dog walkers that bring their dog clients to the park). Madeline, my Doberman (pictured above on one of the beautiful trails) and I joined Eva's pack for about an hour. It was great fun to watch all the dogs interact and the posturing and communicating they all do to let the other dog know where they stand (or don't stand for that matter). All the dogs got along really well! Eva had a great pack from a toy-sized dog to a pair of full-sized Huskies. The dogs chased, played and all greeted other dogs on the trails in a healthy way and it was so much fun to watch. If your dog loves mud - watch out there are some nice muddy/swampy areas throughout the trails.

In addition to walking the trails, there is a pond to play in (yuck) and lots of grassy areas for dogs to run around in. There is a covered clubhouse/shelter area (pictured above) and a bulletin board of dog information and related services. There is a corral-type area for dogs as well - but watch out if you have a little breed because they can escape. There are washrooms, water for dogs and benches to sit, relax and watch your dog socialize. So far, all the people I met were super friendly and did not get at all bothered by the site of my Doberman - which is nice because sometimes people can be really unkind to her for no reason as she is a well socialized friendly dog who would not hurt anyone - unless of course you are a burglar.

I would easily give Dogwood off-leash dog park a 9/10 rating and I plan to head back there on Friday if I can. Maybe I will become an off-leash dog park advocate yet...only time will tell.

Have a great day everyone!

Lee, Madeline and Roman