Monday, October 31, 2011

20 Ways To Know You Are Officially A "Dog Person"

1.       I used to wipe my face after a dog “kissed” me.  Now, I only do it when others are watching.
2.       I know dog’s mouths are disgusting, but I still welcome the kisses without reserve.
3.       When I meet other dogs and their owners, I secretly beg inside for a sign their owner will be fine if I reduce myself to a toddler’s age so I can kiss and love on their dog.
4.       I’m super excited when socially conversations turn to “Dogs” so I can share my latest anecdotes.
5.       I’m super excited when I hear someone is going to adopt a new dog, so I can share my experiences.
6.       I used to put time into wondering if people were worth knowing, and now I make less effort when I learn they ‘love dogs’.
7.       I once kept a very clean bed.  Now, I just wipe the dirt from the dogs off and relish in the fact they’ll soon jump again in the bed and spread more dirt.
8.       My car used to look immaculate.  It would stress me out when it was a mess.  Now I look at the slobber stains and am thankful my new friends keep me down to earth.
9.       I used to worry about the appearance of my clothes.  Now, I know people know “she owns dogs” and my hairy pants are excused.
10.   No matter who they are, they know I am a dog owner.  They know their health is equal  to any other family member, and I will call out of work to attend to them.
11.   When the first question people ask me when catching up is, “so how are your dogs?”
12.   When learning of someone who surrendered a dog, you determine they are no longer worth knowing.
13.   I look forward to visiting the vet, just so I can talk more about my dog than I already do.
14.   If I haven’t thrown a birthday party, I’ve considered it.
15.   I’m positive I know all my dog’s “favorite things”, even though I can’t say the same for any human I know.
16.   If my dog doesn’t like you, neither will I.
17.   I somehow know every bump and imperfection on their body, but I hardly can say the same for my own.
18.   If I am single and dating, don’t worry about what my “friends” think.  Worry about how I will interpret how you interact with my dog.
19.   If my dog didn’t seem “right” this morning, it will ruin my day and I will obsess on it until I know they are okay.
20.   If you worry, no matter how many times you tell them, that your dog doesn’t understand how much you love them and cannot live without them, then you are officially a “Dog person”.

-by Shannon Murphy


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thanking An Amazing Graphic Artist

My friend, and amazing graphic artist, Steph, did our "Team Pyrfect Paws" logo for us.  We intend to apply this logo to t-shirts and other items as we gather in the spring for the long list of charitable animal events we intend to attend.  (If you want to join our Pyrfect Paws team, don't forget to join!)

If you, or anyone you know, is looking for amazing graphic design at reasonable prices combined with amazing results, consider contacting Steph for your graphic design needs.  For $50 an hour, she adds creativity and her own flare to create amazing images.  It doesn't matter where you live in the country or the world, Steph can work virtually to develop your art needs!

To learn more, visit:

A Guide To Your Dog Having A Safe Holiday Season

Halloween marks the beginning of a festive holiday season, full of great foods and decorations.  There are many year-round safety considerations for your dog, and it's important to give yourself a refresher course in how to protect your dog from any unfortunate holiday illnesses.

Our dog's digestive systems are more sensitive than ours.  While a table scrap here or there may seem harmless, keep it limited to vegetables, fruit, and scraps of meat that are not the fatty parts you've cut off. If sharing fruit, never pass them the seeds, as many seeds of fruits contain toxins. The "holiday illness" our dogs develop is Pancreatitis; their bodies cannot keep up with all the fatty foods we're passing their way, and they develop a serious inflammation of the pancreas which is painful and will require hospitalization to get their digestive enzymes regulated again.  More on Pancreatitis

Excessive amounts of food, as we allow our pets to mirror our Thanksgiving Day over consumption may lead to bloat.  While over-eating and getting bloated may not be life threatening, a distended abdomen mirrors symptoms of other very serious conditions like Gastric Dilative Volvulus.  When we see our pups with distended abdomens, we always need to treat it like an emergency. More On Bloat and Gastric Dilative Volvulus

Allium, found in onions and garlic, is toxic to dogs.  Many of our holiday feasts ask us to use onion and garlic in the ingredients.  In small amounts it is likely not going to cause a problem (if you look, many dog treats contain garlic), but consumed in large amounts causes acute hemolytic anemia.  A vet said it would take an average sized dog eating half a dozen in one sitting to cause an acute issue.  But it's not good for them.. so just don't do it.

It's always tempting to throw a dog a bone, when we've cooked our amazing turkeys and hams.  When bones are cooked, they more easily can fragment and shard, causing digestive issues and potential punctures in their GI tract.

While I feel like these items are more tempting for our feline friends, pet owners should avoid decorating their Christmas trees with tinsel.  It's easily consumable, and it's hard to pass.  Just today I assisted in a surgery where a dog ate that plastic ribbon we wrap our gifts with, and she needed surgery to remove it.  Keep your wrapped gifts out of your animals reach until they are ready to be opened!

Yep, live trees do rule over fake ones.  However, those needles, as they drop, are tempting for our dogs to lick up.  If consumed, they can put your dogs at risk of small punctures in their digestive tract.  If you have a live tree, stay on top of sweeping up those needles as they fall off.

These are all poisonous plants.  While most people have fake holly and mistletoe decorations, poinsetta plants are everywhere.  If you can't avoid them in your house, be sure they are up where your dogs and cats cannot reach them.

I think most dog owners are aware that chocolate is toxic for dogs.  I think this time of year it becomes important to be sure all your house guests know also.  Having family and friends over, be sure everyone knows not to toss chocolate snacks to your dog.  Dark chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate, but be sure to never share things with chocolate.

Most dogs go through a phase of chewing on wires when they are puppies.  If your dog went through that phase already, remember that adding new lights/wires in your house adds something "new".  Your dog may be inclined to give a chew and risk getting zapped.  Unplug your lights when you are not able to monitor your dog's chewing habits. 

Ornaments are just shiny "balls" waiting to be played with, and potentially swallowed or chewed on.  Personal experience has taught me that if ornaments are very secure on a tree and do not fall off, you tend to be safe... unless your pup is extra naughty and may pull at them.  I have used extra care to secure ornaments to trees in the past to ensure no tempting "shiny ball" falls to the floor.

When there is snow and ice on the ground, many establishments pour salt all over the sidewalk.  If you are unsure if they are using pet-safe salt or not, avoid walking your dog over it.  Friends have experienced painful irritation to their dogs paws after treading over sidewalk salt. 

It's cold again..  never forget that anti-freeze tastes sweet and it needs to be stored in a place where our animals can never reach it.  I'll never tire of warning people about the horrible risks of consuming anti-freeze.

On the whole, when we love our pets we get joy from treating them as humans.  I know some who read this now are already sure they will be buying doggie gifts this season!  Our dogs don't care if being treated as "part of the family" means they eat what we eat.  Their year-round reward is our devotion and love, and tantamount to any of that is our protection and leadership.  Resist the urge to neglect their needs as dogs, and keep unsafe items out of their reach this season!

Toxicology Guide

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Join Us in the 1st Annual Chili Cook Off!

Who's Invited??
YOU! & any/all of your Friends & Family!
Who is Allowed to Enter the Chili Cook Off?
YOU! Just call Bri @303-386-5569 to enter
1st Annual Chili Cook Off
Sunday, November 13th
3:00 PM
1801 Blake St.
Denver, CO
To support Ken & Brianna's Fundraising efforts for the Chron's and Colitis Foundation in memory of Dawn and all of those who have been diagnosed with Chron's and/or Colitis.

...and because no one can pass up good Chili and Beer!?
(not to mention Ken makes a pretty mean chili himself)

In an effort to honor Dawn, and for all who have been diagnosed with Chron's and/or Colitis, Ken and Brianna (Dawn's husband and daughter who many of you all know) will be running the Vegas 1/2 Marathon on December 4th with Team Challenge!  Team Challenge is the Chron's & Colitis Foundation of America's endurance training and fundraising program.  

Ken and Brianna are trying to raise $6000 by the end of November.  Please join us in supporting them at this event!

If you can't attend this fabulous event, but still want to make a donation, below is a link to their fundraising page:

Need/Want more info?
 Email Ken Meaney

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Insightful Words From a Veterinarian

"We who invite animals into our lives welcome the warmest happiness and the deepest sorrow.  Our relationship with these animal companions has evolved over thousands of years of increasing entanglement until they rely upon us, and we upon them.  In some ways, they are as people; in other ways they recall us to a simpler state of being.  Pets anchor us to the uncomplicated goods in life: straightforward devotion, the pleasure of placid rest in a sunny spot contrasted with rambunctious play, the tranquility too often absent from our lives.  We must lose these dear pets to death, but they have true immortality in the way which they have touched us to a depth beyond our humanity, and changed us for the better."

-Laurie A. Thornton, DVM

Monday, October 24, 2011

Are Pyrs Really That Low Energy?

Energy level is one of the most important things to consider before adopting a new dog.  This is can be the "make it or break it" of our new relationship with our beloved pet.  Often we have an image in our head of what our lives *should * look like with our new edition.  We can visualize those great memories to be made of throwing frisbees in the park, a new jogging partner, a dog to play fetch with the tennis ball...   If you think a Pyr is your buddy for any of those activities, you may need to do some more research.

While it is always important to stipulate that there are exceptions to all rules, on the whole Pyrs are lower energy.  I hesitate to label them as "low", rather "medium to low" on the whole.  I've met some Pyrs who defied their standard and were more like labs trapped in a huge, fluffy, ball of angelic white fur.  I've also heard from owners who shared stories of very rambunctious Pyrs who asked "are they going to outgrow this?"  If the dog seems super full of energy, perhaps they are just that exception to the rule.

"Full of energy" to me describes a dog who could almost never stop playing.  They need a lot of exercise and play, and without may become destructive and wound up.  While lack of proper exercise and play is bad for any dog, there are most certainly breeds who don't live in that constant state of "Oh my!  Oh my!  Where are we going?  What are we doing?  I loooove you!"  And yes, most dogs will slow down with age, but many higher energy breed dogs behave like puppies forever.  They are lucky.. the eternal pup!

There are many Pyr owners more experienced than I, but I am the proud owner of two Pyrs and have known countless other owners for years.  And of course, two years helping with Pyr rescue where I got to know Pyrs of all ages, health conditions, and temperament.  Dawn & Ken shared a story one time where someone met their dogs at an adoption event.  They rudely suggested that they sedated the dogs to make them seem more mellow, so as to ensure more adoptions.  I personally have been at a few adoption events where the dogs were all sleeping (they'd probably been there for a few hours) and people would walk by and ask, concerned, "are those dogs okay?"  I always wondered if it was just a general concern, or one born from a preconceived notion that "rescue dogs" are sick.

Let's get one thing straight:  Pyrs are in no way boring dogs!  And no, they don't sleep "all the time".  While it may vary by age and personality, Pyrs can have plenty of energy.. when they want to.  (Most things with Pyrs are when they want to!)  My experience suggests that a nice, long walk of an hour will poop most Pyrs out, and that's just walking.  A better example is my day:  wake up at 10am.  Pyrs are still sleeping.  (on me).  "Come on kids, get up!"  Okay, they say, and prance out the back door.  They do their business, and are quick to return inside to finish their napping.  I leave for, say,  hours, and I return.  They are happy to see me...  they've been sleeping more, but now it's twilight and that is their time!  Pyrs are more nocturnal than other dogs, and the energy you see may likely come later in the day.  I open the back door, and they run out.  They play for about 20 minutes, and then relax on the deck and take another nap.  During the play, they bolted full speed around the yard and frolicked like the best of them!

Afterwards, we play together.  They don't typically like games like fetch, so they just like rough-housing with me.  Perhaps I throw around some toys, and they pick them up and toss them around.  When it's time for my bed, they crawl into bed with me and snuggle.  During the night, they may wake up to bark at something outside.  Pyrs are more "guardy" at night.  I get up to see what they are so upset about, and that satisfies them and they come back to sleep.  Admittedly, this may take longer some nights!  Throw in a nice brushing sometime that night while I'm watching TV, and they're good to go.  The next day, we start it all over again.

So yes, your Pyr has energy which it must expel.  It will desire to run around and play like any other dog.  The bottom line is that they may do it for less time.  They certainly do sleep a lot, even as puppies.  Sleeping for large breed pups is important, as it allows for proper bone growth for those huge limbs.  Pyrs are great dogs for someone who doesn't desire a jogging buddy, but rather a nice hike or walk every day.  They are playful, affectionate, and want to be by your side... for you, as it turns out, have become their "flock" they must guard!  Pyrs are livestock guardians, not herding dogs, as many people are often to mistake.  Herding dogs need a lot of energy to do their job, and livestock guardians reserve their energy for the bursts where it matters.  When the sheep are grazing and there is no threat, they can rest.  They do not  have the job of keeping them confined to a location.  Their job is to jump into action when a threat arises.  You may experience a sleepy Pyr for a lot of your day, but you will really see him do his job when someone enters your yard who shouldn't be there!

Metal Lawn Edging and Your Dog

Our friend's paws are important pieces of anatomy.  Think of all they do with them..  walk, play.. and, of course, the polite hand shake they give us to remind us how awesome they know we are.  I've been seeing a fair amount of pups with bloody, horrible paw lacerations as of late, and they are being caused by stepping onto the sharp, metal lawn edgings we add to our yards to make them look so nice.

I think short of first hand experience, there are many things in our homes which can cause injury to our pets.  On the whole, most owners just don't think of it until something happens.  Lawn edging, for example, could have pre-dated your move in and it wasn't something you thought too much about.   Additionally, perhaps it seems that your dog doesn't ever seem to play where the sharp edges threaten their paws.

There are several things we need to consider when we own dogs.  If I own anti-freeze, where is it kept?  If I am unsure if the previous tenants used rat poison, shouldn't I check to make sure it's gone?  Add to that list.. If I have lawn edging, is it metal, and if so, is it where my pup may accidentally step on it one day?

While I have never personally seen a lawn edging laceration that was "life or death", they are all bloody, deep, and may likely take a lot on your part to manage it's healing.  When you show up to your doc to fix the bloody paw, you are likely looking at sedatives, pain management, anti-biotics, and stitches to close the wound.  Your friend's paw will need to be wrapped and protected while it heals, and based on the severity, this could take time.  Let us not forget about the "cone of shame" your pup will have to most likely wear in order to prevent chewing.

I don't know a ton about lawn care and accessories, but I know there are alternatives to the metal edging.  There are covers you can put over the metal, and there are also other edgings such as brick.  If you have a pup at home, consider your lawn and the threat to his precious paws.  It also doesn't hurt to consider the tender, bare feet of children at play while you're at it!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What Is Pyometra?

The term "Pyometra" is a very familiar term to those who work in the veterinary profession, either as veterinarians or as technicians.  For dog owners with female, unspayed dogs, it is likely a term they have encountered also.  If working in the profession, it's a common finding in unaltered female dogs presenting with purulent discharge from their girl parts, coupled with abdominal enlargement, dehydration, vomiting and lethargy, and drinking too much water and thusly needing to pee a ton.  Quite literally, "pyo" means puss, and "metra" means uterus.   Why the average female dog owner needs to be aware of this condition, is that preventing it may be as easy as ensuring you spay your dog.

I will try to put it best in simple terms why this happens in unspayed dogs.  During ovulation, naturally their bodies produce a lot of hormones.  This production of hormones can cause too much growth and thickening in the uterus, which can result in accumulation of fluid in the uterus.  Those same hormones can also therein reduce the natural amount of contractions in the muscle of the uterus, predisposing it to a bacterial infection... the pyometra.  Dogs who normally present with this illness tend to be middle-aged to older.

Regarding diagnosis, most vets will likely know what is wrong the minute they see your dog.  Some dogs, however, do not present with a discharge so indicative of this condition, and ultrasounds or x-rays may be needed to be sure.  There will likely also be changes in your dog's bloodwork to demonstrate the body trying to react to the infection. 

The standard treatment is to spay your dog.  You remove all the affected parts and prevent another pyometra from reoccuring.  26%-40% will have a reoccurance otherwise (Common Diseases of Companion Animals,  Aleice Summers, DVM).  There are other  treatment options for breeding females.  Only a very small percentage of dogs risk death getting spayed with a pyometra.

I personally feel very strongly about owners spaying their girls who are not intended for breeding. While the information on conditions like pyometra don't sound too horribly threatening, I've witnessed too many times what these poor girls have to go through.  Naturally they are anesthetized to remove the pyometra, but often times the uterine horns are so enlarged and inflammed that it no doubt puts a lot of undo stress on her body.  Performing the spay is a messy, bloody matter and it takes a lot to remove those huge, inflamed organs.  If we can avoid any procedures which cost us a ton of money and spare our dogs the pain of enduring a huge procedure, we should do it. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Last CGPR Adoption Event

Tomorrow we will be attending the Petco adoption event in Golden:

Saturday, October 15
Golden Petco Adoption Event!
When: Sat, October 15, 9:30am – 3:30pm
Where: 17132 West Colfax Avenue, Golden, CO

Our sweet Sam and Mya have been waiting too long to find their forever homes.  We will have them in attendance at tomorrow's adoption event.  This will be the last adoption event for CGPR.  If Sam and Mya do not find their forever homes tomorrow, the decision has been made to transfer them to Big Dogs, Huge Paws for foster placement.  They deserve to get more one-on-one attention, and the added exposure of being part of a larger adoption group.  We just know that BDHPs will help find them their forever homes, if we cannot tomorrow!  Please come by and say hi, and bring your rescued Pyr (if you have one) for Ken to say hi to!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Two Pyrs Need Help in Joshua, Texas

We got wind of some beautiful Pyrs who need a foster, a rescue organization, or forever home in Joshua, Texas.  If you know anyone in the area who may be able to help, please pass them the info!

Two Great Pyrenees were dumped 3 weeks ago just outside city limits in Joshua Tx.  Misty, who took them in, is doing so against her lease agreement.  A rescue agreed to take them but backed out, Misty is willing to sponsor the boys vetting. She has horses on her property and cannot risk loosing her property due to violation of the lease.  The dogs need to move asap.

2 males intact males in good shape
1-2 yrs old
Friendly & playful
one is more dominate
the more dominate one knows the sit command
the boys seem house trained.  They are kept in her barn and they wait until she lets them out to potty. No accidents so far.

CONTACT:Misty 817-899-7646