Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Signature Dog Blog: Please Take a Moment to Think About "Giving Tuesday"


In the spirit of Giving Tuesday and seeing as December is a time for kindness and for giving, I thought I would list four very deserving adoption/rescue groups that could sure use your help this holiday season.  If you have an extra $10 or $25, every bit helps.  

Here are the four groups, in no particular order but all very important to me and close to my heart.

Head to Doberman Rescue Ontario to learn about sweet Finn and how you can help!


https://www.facebook.com/DobermanRescueOntario/
Meet Finn on Facebook

The Doberman Rescue Ontario group helps unwanted, neglected or abandoned Dobermans have a real second chance at the life that they deserve. Like Finn pictured above. This amazing Doberman rescue group in Ontario, Canada takes in about 100 Dobermans a year.  Wow!  Check out their beautiful Dobermans available for adoption and their fun on-line facebook auction.  





Team Inch rescues Sight hounds from the South Korean meat markets and city pound and gets them to North America for their forever homes. Check out their happy ending stories, they will warm your heart.


Team Inch Sighthound Rescue





This is the very painfully skinny Angie from Alabama who became my very own lovely Sabrina πŸ’— from Vancouver Island, BC. Pictured here at Greyhound Pets Inc. (known as GPI) in Washington, on her first day, during her first stuffie encounter, ever. Sabrina turned out to be a most amazing creature, lovely, funny, sweet.  And, she has put on a good 10lbs already.  

Sabrina at GPI (Adoption Group where Sabrina came from)


Sabrina now




Minnesota Doberman Rescue (MDR) who saves and supports unwanted Dobermans and their pups. These two little ones named Drogon and Theon are survivors of Parvo. Good luck little ones. And these two lucky puppies have grown into stunning Dobermans.

MDR Facebook

I hope you can find it in your heart to help out one or two or all of these very noble groups.  

Spread the word, share their story, help if you can.

Volunteer, foster, adopt or just keep them in your heart. It all helps.  

Every little bit of kindness helps.

Thank you everyone for your kindness and support!

Merry Christmas!





Lee and Sabrina πŸ’




Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving the very beautiful Saanich Peninsula in British Columbia. 


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Signature Dog Blog: Chase the Doberman RIP One Year Later


This week marks the one year anniversary of the passing of our beautiful yet deeply troubled 2.5 year-old Doberman boy.  His name was Chase.  And, we loved him truly, deeply and dearly, in spite of the danger we lived with in trying to save this beautiful boy from himself.

Chase was not a rescue, he came to our home as a one-year-old 'return' from a highly regarded Doberman breeder out of the Portland area of Oregon.  Referred to us by a Doberman Breeder in the Vancouver, BC area.  We paid a considerable amount of money for him and then spent much of our savings trying to save and help him.  

I should mention, that Chase was sold to us as a service dog. This was the first of the many painful lies uncovered during our short time with Chase. There are just too many lies to mention. Turned out he had no leash manners and chased cars with such rage that he put himself and me in danger every time we were out.  We even wondered if he had ever had any training or been on a leash. Chase was the least likely dog on the planet to be a service dog. He was so light sensitive you could not even have a flashlight on around him and he seemed to be only comfortable in the dark and every noise made him very upset and crazy-like.

We had him for about one and a half years.  And during that time he brought so much joy and love into our home. Sadly, he also brought fear, terror and violent behaviours.  

Chase made three steps forward and ten steps back.  We would have a month of improvement.  We began to hope. Then the next day he would lash out, bite, attack, growl and dangerously mutilate himself. No trainer, no animal behaviour specialist, no veterinarian, no veterinarian behaviourist could save him.  Trust me when I say, no expense was spared.

For the record, Chase was our third Doberman, so we were experienced with Dobermans.  In addition to seeking help from the professionals, we also sought help from both the woman who referred us and the woman who was Chase's breeder.

Neither one of these people were interested in helping Chase or us.  They both knew that they had gotten us to purchase a Doberman with very serious physical and mental health issues.  And, they probably knew nothing would help him.  Most of all they showed us they did not care about Chase or the very special Doberman breed.  

I remember speaking to Chase's breeder after he had attacked his pet sitter and we wanted him returned to her. Her response was, "Oh, I don't know anything about training".  She started hysterically crying and put her boyfriend on the phone and basically forced us into keeping him, which we did.  Our mistake we did not stand up for ourselves.  We felt so guilty wanting to return him.

We also now know that they targeted us knowing we were still grieving the loss of our two beloved Dobermans. They got together to 'off load' a dangerous dog on two unsuspecting grieving people. Our barriers were down and we openly trusted them both.  We were being preyed upon and did not even know it. Not yet anyways.

Over a short period of time, Chase had become increasingly dangerous to himself, to others and to us.  Our veterinarian was scared for our safety. Can you imagine that?

After exhausting all professionals and ourselves, it was decided the best thing to do for Chase and for public safety was to do an in-home euthanization. It was a terrible day, one I will never forget.  Even with massive does of oral sedation, my husband and I had to muzzle and forcefully restrain Chase.  He was so full of rage that day, we were so worried he was going to seriously harm Dr Lesley who had come for the in-home visit.  We were also worried she would not be able to get close enough to do her job. She would administer an injection and then had to quickly get behind the door to protect herself.  When things calmed down, she would administer another injection. Time seemed to go by so slow. It was like what was happening was not even real. Here we were holding our beloved Chase while he was raging on and being prepared to die at the same time. After many injections, Dr Lesley was able to administer the lethal injection.  Chase was finally free from himself and the world he was unable to accept or live in.  I went to the bathroom and vomited.

Dr Lesley could very well be the calmest and most courageous veterinarian ever.

In the end, after Chase's passing, his breeder never called us back, never wrote us back, never responded back to us.  Never said a SINGLE word. Never sent a card, note, text or email. Never inquired how we were, especially after Chase's most recent display of rage against one of us in particular. 

It was as if we never existed, that Chase never existed.  But all three of us existed and suffered and one of us died. Two of us remained in shock and devastated. And, angry.

Have you even been treated as though you don't exist?  Let me tell you it hurts and sticks with you.

We will always love Chase, and while these two individuals have moved on from the destruction they caused our family - we will never forget them and what they did to us.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  And, be very careful when dealing with any breeder, of any dog, of any breed, any town, province or state.  Even, if you know them, you have a history with them, and they have a "so called" good reputation.  

Be very careful, as your life, your health and your finances may be placed at great risk.


Our first Selfie - Chase was my world!



Always, 

Lee 


Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving the very beautiful Saanich Peninsula in British Columbia. 



Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Signature Dog Blog: Honouring Dogs of War

War Dogs by Roger J. Robicheau

I am an American War dog
I obey orders from my brave handler

My job is to find, save, help and comfort
I try to do the best I can

Being faithful is everything to me
Staying alert, I must always be

When my name is called out
proudly I stand to serve with love

I so try to do what is asked of me
If I die on duty, please remember 

I am an American War Dog
and my brave handler is my best friend

God gave me a life to love and give
and to be there when there is need

The time may come for my duty to end
and I will proudly be a K9 Corps Veteran

It will be hard for me to stop serving
I'll want to continue but know I cannot

Remember those like me who don't go to war
Many have duties that are so very important

I am an American War Dog
and I have the Best Friend in the World



Butch stands guard as Private First Class Rez P. Hester sleeps. 
Butch is with the 7th War Dog Platoon, 25th Regiment, Iwo Jima. 




Lee and Sabrina πŸ’”

ps:  This amazing photo courtesy of  The Warfare History Network

Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving the very beautiful Saanich Peninsula in British Columbia. 


Friday, October 25, 2019

Signature Dog Blog: Signature Pet Services wishes you a Happy Halloween





Watch out for the grim reaper (AKA Roman) on Halloween Night...he may kiss you to death.  Although, one reader sent me an email that Roman looks more like he is dressed up as Ghandi ... and another said a ghost.  I think they are both right!


Halloween is a fun change in the daily routine for all family members except pets. Pets don’t care for change and can become nervous and/or aggressive with the increased number of people and vehicles in their territories. Add the potentially hazardous mix of decorations and Halloween candy within the pet’s reach, and it could prove to be a fatal mix unless precautions are taken to keep pets safe on Halloween.




Pets allowed to remain loose on Halloween can be injured or cause injury. An unconfined pet may run out outside and into the path of oncoming traffic when the home’s door is opened to give trick or treaters candy. 

On the other hand, an unconfined pet (dogs specifically) may feel that children wearing Halloween costumes are territorial risks and bite a child. 




Black cats and Halloween go together, which makes black cats at high risk for being stolen from their owners on Halloween.

Happy Halloween everyone and keep those pets inside!

Boo!


Lee and Sabrina πŸ‘»

ps:  This post is for you Romie, I sure miss you and wish now that I had appreciated your gentle manner more.  


Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving the very beautiful Saanich Peninsula in British Columbia. 



Sunday, October 13, 2019

Signature Dog Blog: Three Dog Bakery




Pupcakes from Three Dog Bakery



Are you heading to the lower mainland this week perhaps for a family gathering?  In particular, either Vancouver or Port Moody?


Are you looking for a really cool little shop for your dog, that we simply don't have here on the Saanich Peninsula?


Are you taking your beloved pup with you, if so he will love it.


Or, are you having to leave him or her at home simply because he or she does not travel well or this is a business trip?


And, you are feeling guilty.  Are you feeling guilty?  Well don't be.  Just make sure you have a few minutes put aside to hit one of the two Three Dog Bakery locations.  The stuff is so yummy looking that you will want to be a dog.  OK not really.


But you will want to look at getting getting a Blueberry Pot Pie, Dog Taco or one or many of the special Pupcakes.  


They even have S'mores.  For dog.  Not human.  


One of my favourite things to do for my dog is to purchase a custom cake with his or her name on it.  So fun.


Just think you can go to a bakery and not have to worry about counting calories. And, your dog will love you for it!


Just click on the link for everything you need to know.

The Three Dog Bakery Location Info


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Lee and Sabrina πŸ’—



Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving the very beautiful Saanich Peninsula in British Columbia. 




Thursday, September 19, 2019

Signature Dog Blog: Senior Doberman Project




Image result for old doberman dog


Did you know there are special needs senior Dobermans in need?

There is nothing to compare to the dignity of a senior male Doberman.  And, those who through very unfortunate circumstances, have ended up in rescue, retain that dignity as they await adoption into a final loving home.  

Their final loving home.

A chance for kisses and cuddles, soft bed and stuffed toys.  Maybe a dog brother or sister to walk with.  

To go to sleep with kindness and wake up with kindness.


Just a place to rest their head and to be loved just once. 

Just once.

Their last chance, last time, last hope.  

Before the crossing of the Rainbow Bridge.

At the Senior Doberman Project, from Alabama to Texas they currently have too many Senior Dobermans in rescue for me to count (I kept crying when I was counting) 30 of those are senior male Dobermans. THIRTY!

The goal of this blog is to bring some awareness to these senior Doberman gentleman who are in the direst need of homes.  

Dire need.  

If you can sponsor, donate or foster that would be great!

If not, could you spread the word about these senior gentlemen to anyone you know who may be able to help?

If you can, and this is really important, just hold one of these senior gentlemen in your heart? 

For just for a minute and wish them good luck, love and kindness. 

Perhaps say a little prayer for one more chance.

If you can help or just want to read about the Senior Doberman Project, here is their contact information:

Senior Doberman Project 



Sabrina and I will say a special little prayer for you tonite.  

Sleep well Sweet Dobies!




Lee and Sabrina πŸ’”



Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving the very beautiful Saanich Peninsula in British Columbia. 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Signature Dog Blog: Dog Day Afternoon Chesterman Beach, Tofino














I recently spent the long weekend with family at the beautiful Wickaninnish Inn located on the very special and mesmerizing Chesterman Beach in Tofino, British Columbia.

While I am not really an advocate of off-leash dogs and these dogs were not supposed to be off-leash. I have to say I have never met a more diverse, friendly and polite group of dogs.  

Ever.
  
The people were pretty nice too!

I highly recommend a stay at the "Wick" for a special occasion.  To relax, recuperate, recover, rediscover and re-fuel.  This was one holiday that I will never forget. 

And, they are very dog friendly.  





Lee and Sabrina πŸ’—


Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving the very beautiful Saanich Peninsula in British Columbia. 




Thursday, August 22, 2019

Signature Dog Blog: Unique Wedding Gift Idea for New Pup Parent's Wedding



Pretty Puppy Wedding Basket



Have you been invited to the wedding of a couple this fall who has everything, including a puppy?

Have they been registered, but you just don't want to be a wedding gift sheep?πŸ‘πŸ

Do you know that anyone with a dog, still needs stuff, especially if it is a puppy?

The basket pictured above is perfect for new puppy parents getting married.  I actually made this one for a little girlie puppy.

Here is what you can put into a basket for a super fun wedding gift, that most likely, no promises, no one else will think of.

1.  Bottle of wine with dog motif  (very important) 

1. (alt) Excellent organic coffee and two dog themed mugs

2.  Dog collar and matching 6 foot leash

3.  Bottle of puppy shampoo (preferably cruelty free or vegan)

4.  Puppy Kong or Puppy Cuz

5.  Training Treats

6.  $20 gift card (or more) for pet supply shop

7.  Puppy sitting or training gift certificate

8.  Biodegradable poo bags

9.  Puppy book for training help

10.  Brush or comb


Make this a fun thing for you to do.  

Be sure to put in a business card of an experienced pet sitter. 

I hope you enjoy making this fun basket!



Have a wonderful weekend everyone and take care!



Lee and Sabrina πŸ’—


Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving the very beautiful Saanich Peninsula in British Columbia. 


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Signature Dog Blog: Grief is really just LOVE!

Here is a little bit about the three dogs that changed my life. 

Brought so much into my life - took so much when they left.

I loved all three. They were all very special in their own way. 


Madeline. My heart dog, raised from a pup, went to the bridge just before her 10th birthday.  We had been preparing for a fun family road trip holiday with her and Roman, when she tripped and somersaulted and injured her spinal cord. Put to sleep in our home by the very kind Dr. Kaler.  Devastated. An amazing human to canine connection.  Devoted to each other. "Joined at the hip". We were inseparable.  Love you always and forever M!


Madeline and her Dobie-Popsicle



Roman.  Sweet, slow, big and very kind. One of the funniest dogs I have ever met. Loved by all the kids in our neighbourhood.  He too went to the bridge just before his 10th birthday.  Roman had not been well and we were taking him to the vet as he seemed to be retaining water.  He passed in the yard before the appointment.  Congestive heart failure. Sudden cardiac event. We knew this was coming so it allowed for some level of preparation but it does not change how painful losing him was. Roman's passing was a case of don't know what you have until it's gone.  Miss you tons Romie!


Romie suntanning



Chase.  Gorgeous.  Stunning.  One of the most beautiful Dobermans I have ever seen and probably will ever see.  Came from a highly recommended breeder out of Beaverton, Oregon. Personally referred. Chase was aggressive, very sick with autoimmune disease and full of rage. Afraid of light and allergic to everything. I spent a year and a half trying to save him, with many professionals local and out of town. Trying to save him from himself.  He became dangerous. Dangerous to me, to himself, to the world.  Really dangerous.  Chase went to the bridge at 2.5 years old. I never told anyone this, but I was sick to my stomach for  days after he passed.  Sick with guilt - because I felt I failed him.  I loved him so much.  We had an incredible bond that I could not explain. We bonded on the first day we met. He needed me and I needed him.  During all this time, his Breeder ignored us and the deeply and very troubled Chase. In the end, to this day, not a word from her.  This is still very raw. Trying not to think about this does not work as memories wait and wait. Like wolves at the door. 


Chase


This is a little poem someone sent me when Chase passed - it helps to read it.  


Grief is really just LOVE!

It is all the love you want to give but you cannot.

All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes,

the lump in your throat,

and that hollow part in your chest.

Grief is just love with no place to go.




If you happen to be grieving the loss of a pet, I hope this poem can in some small way help you with your loss as it does for me. Even today as I write this blog. 



Lee and Sabrina πŸ’”πŸ’”πŸ’”



Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving the very beautiful Saanich Peninsula in British Columbia. 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Signature Dog Blog: Move over Marie Kondo - Dog Closets for Real Life

Long before Marie Kondo/KonMari method and organizing and tidying became such a trendy topic that it became a best selling book subject and a hit show on Netflix, many of us were already tidy, neat and very organized.  


I don't know if, I learned that from parents or I just understood being tidy and organized was what everyone was.  As it turns out, not everyone is tidy, or organized.  That's OK for them.  For me, I will always remain highly organized, even when it comes to my dogs.





I can certainly appreciate that not everyone has an extra closet to turn into a dog closet, but if you do or you just have a cabinet it is a fun and helpful way to manage all your dog stuff.

On the right-hand side:

1.  Toys and treats on top shelf (and dog beer)

2.  Books and extras, like photos, decor and fun items

3.  House collars for tags and safety/night collars

4.  Canisters for food

5.  Baskets for towels, poo bags and first aid items 

On the left-hand side:

1.  Back-packs, blankets, training equipment

2.  Jackets, thunder jammies, leashes and harnesses

3.  Food, bowls, supplements

4.  Bin for medication and extra food and miscellaneous items  (for naughty or curious dogs, I recommend medication always to be contained in Mason jars for safety).


Before this closet was established, while still organized, there were dog items in the hallway, in the mudroom, at the foyer.  

Having everything in one place makes having a very busy life and a very busy pack a whole lot easier.

Marie Kondo, if you want to do a segment on organizing for dogs, call me.  lol



Lee and Sabrina πŸ’—

ps:  Today's blog is dedicated to one of my most favourite clients - Jackson.  Miss you big guy! 

Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving the very beautiful Saanich Peninsula in British Columbia. 


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Signature Dog Blog: Five (5) Fast Facts about Greyhounds





Greyhounds are known as 45 MPH couch potatoes and the fastest dog in the world



Greyhounds are chill, they love to run a bit, but they love to sleep. Alot!



Greyhounds have a hard time sitting and can look a bit awkward when sitting



Greyhounds make fast friends, are sweet, clean and shed very little


They love to 'roach' when they feel at home and safe πŸ’™


If you think you would like one of these cute and very well made Greyhound Sock Dogs you can purchase one for charity through the American Lurcher Rescue Project Inc., (ALP). 

They are the perfect little gift for yourself or that special someone who has either a Lurcher or a Greyhound.  

ALP has an amazing summer auction on right now.  The items are beautiful, are making money to help Lurchers in desperate need, which is for a good cause.  

Please help ALP out if you can, pick up a cool item, spread the word, or just look.  

Even that is fun and helps the greater good.

You may even end up with Greyhound Sock Dog or a real live Lurcher.  





Lee and SabrinaπŸ’—


Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving the very beautiful Saanich Peninsula in British Columbia. 




Thursday, July 4, 2019

Signature Dog Blog: My Top 3 Dog Shampoos




Is your dog itchy, shedding and just plan old smelly? 

Does he have some bumps or hives?  

Driving himself and your family crazy? 

Keeping you up at night?

If so, I have three of my favourite shampoos that I have used on dogs with both very sensitive skin and environmental allergies.


1.  Earthbath Line:  I have used several formulas of this dog shampoo line over the past 15 years and my very favourite is the 2-in-1 Mango Tango Conditioning Shampoo.  It is gentle on the skin and smells really yummy.  I have not experienced any dry or itchy skin on any of the dogs that were bathed with this.  They carry many formulas, even a puppy and unscented version. This company claims its products are cruelty free and made in the USA. ⭐⭐⭐⭐



2.  Vet's Best Shampoo:  Hot Spot Formula claims to sooth irritated skin with this no sting formula.  Fast acting. My experience was that it calms the skin and stops the itching quickly. Very limited ingredients, just five. Very little drying of the skin.  Not for nursing or pregnant mommy dogs.  This company also claims its products are made in the USA.  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



3.  Vet's Best Shampoo: Allergy Itch Relief Formula claims to wash away allergens and soothes skin.  My experience was that it calms the skin and the dog irritation level very fast. Contains oats though, which can be an allergen to dogs. This shampoo was a life saver last summer when my hive covered dog was suffering from flea and grass allergy. While he was not a scratcher, this shampoo kept his hives from becoming infected and helped to clear them up. I was able to safely use this shampoo twice a week to help relieve the intense suffering.  This company also claims its products are made in the USA.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



These shampoos may be purchased at your local pet supply shop or on Amazon.ca or Amazon.com.  I like to have all three of these on hand.  

It is important to note, that I did seek vet assistance and spent a great deal of money on shampoos and sprays that only worsened the skin issue by drying it out and causing more hair loss. They smelled bad and the ingredients were scary and hard to pronounce.  One recommended shampoo had been banned in the state of California for poisoning the ground water.  Yikes!

I like to use the Earthbath Mango Tango Conditioning Shampoo in the winter months.  Smells terrific.

For the late spring to early fall I rely on both the Hot Spot Formula and Allergy Itch Formula for dust, pollen, grass and flea irritation issues.  If your dog has a flea allergy, both these formulas should help. Strong odor, but does the trick.

It is nice just for an outside doggy foot bath too!

Always remember to spot check on sensitive dogs, just in case.




Lee and Sabrina πŸ’—

Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving the very beautiful Saanich Peninsula in British Columbia.