Saturday, 25 October 2014

Sleepy Kitties

What a long day!

We are so pooped!

I mean Cali couldn't even make it to her kitty bed before passing out!

And Indie just fell on the floor completely exhausted!

Yup, life is rough.

- Charlie

Monday, 20 October 2014

Chasing Ducks

These ducks love the chase!

They flock around us, quacking and begging us to come after them.

Look at this one mocking us! How can we ignore that?

But every time we get a little too close...

...they take off! What a tease!

One day ducks. One day.

- Genevieve & Murray

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Beaker Around The House

Boy, do I love to explore!

I love hanging out in the dining room.

And hopping up the staircase.

Or blending in with Mom's paintings.

Occasionally I just sit on the steps. I like the way the carpet feels between my toes.

And sometimes I just sit and ponder life.

- Beaker

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Treating Hot Spots At Home In Dogs

The majority of our last vacation at the cottage was unfortunately a wet one.  Most of the time it was humid, sticky and rainy.  Add a lake and some dogs who love to be outdoors and Genevieve came home with her first hot spot.

We didn't notice it at first because it was right under her neck.  She loves to be scratched there.  The day after we got home my husband was scratching and felt something hard.  We had a quick look but all it really looked like was a scab.  Since she's a Golden Retriever her hair is longer and hid the spot well.  We didn't investigate further at that point, thinking it was a deer fly or mosquito bite that had bled and scabbed over.

The following day Hubby checked the scab again to make sure it was healing.  That's when he pulled the fur away and we saw the oozy pus and sore looking skin.  Although we hadn't dealt with a hot spot before as dog owners we knew what they looked like and had encountered other dogs with them.  Instead of going to the vets we decided to try and treat it at home, give it a few days and if it didn't clear up, then we'd book an appointment.  She didn't seem to be in pain and it didn't bother her if we touched it.  It was also in a spot that she couldn't get to, being right under her neck (I'm assuming she got it because I forgot to take their soaking wet collars off the first night we were there so the skin didn't have oxygen to dry).  Then because of the bad weather and full access to the lake the area stayed moist for too long.

This is how we treated it:

1) Cut away all hair on the hot spot and surrounding away, cutting as close to the skin as possible.  Please be very careful not to nick your pet and have someone help you if your dog is fidgety.  You might be astonished to find when you start cutting the hair, just how large the hot spot is.

2) Gently wash the area with a gentle pet shampoo to clean and disinfect.

3) Use a green tea compress on the area to draw out the pus, cleanse and soothe.  Green tea has been shown to reduce inflammation and have healing properties.  Many people use it for sunburns.  To make the compress boil water and make a pot of tea.  I put four green tea bags in my tea pot and let it steep for about 15 minutes, making it nice and strong.  Put in a container and let it cool in the fridge.  Then soak a clean face cloth in the tea and gently apply to the hot spot.  I usually held it there for about a minute to make sure it soaked in.

4) Next spray a Benadryl spray on the area.  Benadryl spray is great because it helps to reduce itchiness and pain.  It's also something vets will recommend both orally and topically so I knew it was safe.  At this point I'd leave her alone for about 10 minutes to let everything dry out.

5) Finally we applied a topical hydro-cortisone cream we got at the drugstore.  This helped to heal the wound.  For the first few days we saw a lot of pus but that's because it needs to draw out the pus before the area can heal.  Make sure to cover all areas thoroughly.

We followed steps 3-5 two to three times a day for about 8 days.  At first we weren't sure if it was working because of all of the pus we were seeing but Genevieve stopped scratching at it within a day or so of starting the treatment, then the area turned red, scabbed over and it's been just under two weeks and her skin looks great!  Now we just need the hair to grow back!

I would like to note that as Genevieve is a Golden Retriever she's a fairly large dog so we weren't worried about the dosages hurting her.  Our vet has recommended Benadryl in the past so we knew it was safe and I had been told by someone who's dog frequently gets hot spots that their vet prescribes a hydro-cortisone cream so that was why I picked it up.  Most importantly though since it was in a place she couldn't get at, we knew she couldn't ingest the medications.  She also wasn't in any pain that we could tell.

If your dog has multiple hot spots and/or seems to be in a lot of pain it may be best to see your vet as I would not recommend anything oral that your vet hasn't prescribed.  Since Genevieve wasn't displaying any signs of stress or pain we decided it wasn't crucial to see a vet unless our method didn't work.  We saved the cost of a visit and got the same antibiotics we would have from the vet for under $10 at the drug store.  Whatever form of treatment you decide on, immediate action is crucial.  Hot spots are created by bacteria that can spread rapidly on your pet in a matter of hours.  Making sure your pet is on a flea/tick/mite program is also important.  Bugs will attack a hot spot worsening the area, preventing treatment from working and can easily cause severe infection and infestation.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Box!

Check out the sweet new box Dad came home with!

I love to lay on it.

Lounge on it.

Stretch on it.

Bathe on it.

And dig my claws in to it!

Happy Caturday!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Cat House Unboxing!

As a housewarming gift, the kitties were given a new cat house! Find out what they thought of it!

Don't forget you can follow Charlie, Indie & Cali here:
YouTube: twelvefurrypaws
Instagram: @twelvefurrypaws

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Introducing Beaker!

Please welcome our newest addition, Beaker, to the family!

Don't forget that you can follow Beaker here:
Instagram: @ellatheparrotlet

Monday, 18 August 2014

Bath Time For The Pig Wigs!

We thought Mom was getting us out for an early snuggle time. She held out a treat and cooed to each of us and we immediately thought 'This is great!'. 

 But then we were carried upstairs to the bathroom! How dare she try to hide the wonderful stench we had worked so hard for?! 

We were doused with water and shampooed, then rinsed and shampooed again! She really wanted that smell gone! We wheeked and squeaked and flailed and did our best to resist but there was no stopping Mom. 

She tried to make us love her again by wrapping us up in some snuggly towels and her oh-so-soft robe but the damage was done. 

We hate you Mom.....well at least until it's dinner time. 

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Healthy Treats To Give Your Dog!

Did you know that many fresh fruits and vegetables make great and treats to feed to your dog? This is a video showing you the treats we give our two Golden Retrievers.

Don't forget that you can also follow Genevieve & Murray here:
YouTube: thegoldenduo  
'Like' us on Facebook: Thegoldenduo 
Instagram: @thegoldenduo 
Twitter: @genandmurray 

Friday, 15 August 2014

Scarlet & The Yogurt Drop

Our adorable Syrian hamster Scarlet can't resist a tasty treat!

Don't forget you can follow Scarlet here:
YouTube: BudgetBunny
Instagram: @BudgetBunny
Facebook: BudgetBunny

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Meet Twelvefurrypaws | Channel Introduction

A brief introduction to our three rescue cats Charlie, Indie and Cali!

Don't forget you can follow Charlie, Indie & Cali here:
YouTube: twelvefurrypaws
Instagram: @twelvefurrypaws

Monday, 11 August 2014

Fly Free Sweet Ella

Sweet dreams darling Goose. Mommy and Daddy miss you terribly. 2007-2014
Unfortunately on the morning of June 22nd, 2014 our darling Pacific Parrotlet Ella left us for the Bridge. Ella was playing with her Grandma when she suddenly fell off her perch. Ella's passing was instant and what we can only assume was a heart attack. Although we were all shocked and saddened by her sudden death we are also thankful that she didn't suffer and wasn't alone when she died.

Last October Ella began suffering a series of strokes so at the advice of our vet, we began treatment for Egg Yolk Peritonitis. Unfortunately Ella continued to suffer strokes post-treatment. A series of x-rays, exams and blood work indicated that nothing was wrong and the vets told us all we could offer her was compassionate care going forward.

I refused to believe there was nothing we could do and as long as Ella was willing to fight so was I. After a lot of research I believed her strokes were due to a vitamin/nutrient deficiency, most likely a lack of calcium or vitamin D as Ella would occasionally lay eggs. We began transitioning her on to a good quality diet and providing calcium supplements if we noticed symptoms of egg laying. To help her get the vitamin D she needed we purchased a special avian bulb and set it on a daily timer.

And Ella got better.

For the final 6 months of our little Goose's life, Ella was stroke free and symptom free. The strokes she had suffered had left some permanent weakness in her one foot but it didn't slow her down one bit. We became closer then ever, sharing healthy meals together, her sitting on my arm while I checked e-mail, perching atop my sewing machine while I sewed or just spending time together. Unfortunately we think the strokes did do some permanent damage to her heart which ultimately led to the heart attack she suffered in June.

Ella was my first bird and certainly made owning one a challenge! I read every book and watched every video I could on taming but nothing seemed to work with Ella. Finally I stopped trying to force a bond and instead focused on spending loads of time together. Slowly Ella began to open up and trust me. When you've had to work for months to build a relationship with an animal, it makes those breakthroughs much more meaningful.

Although I spent our earlier years together working on building that bond with Ella, she hated fingers and loved to bite. After hearing about the success another YouTuber had with her parrotlet and clicker training I decided to give it a try. Much of our time spent together during those final months was based around training. Ella was eager to learn and grasped the concept quickly. By our second session she was gently taking the reward from my fingers. This was a huge step in strengthening our bond and she would do a happy dance when she saw me take the target out every day.

On our last day together I let Ella out to stretch her wings and have a fly around the kitchen. Instead she flew to my shoulder - something she had never done before. We stood at the kitchen window together, taking one last look at our old backyard and neighbourhood while I reminisced about the past 7 years we had both spent in our first home and the memories we had made there. It is a moment in time that I will cherish forever.

I miss our feisty green chicken terribly. She made even the most menial of daily tasks exciting. I miss her excited chirps and her frantic wake up calls when I slept in. I miss sharing breakfast with her, her coming to investigate everything I was doing and her big attitude. Our little Ella was fearless and although tiny, her presence was mighty. Our home doesn't feel the same without her.

Sweet dreams Goose. You will always be in my heart.

'There are far, far better things ahead then any we leave behind.' - C.S. Lewis

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Introducing thegoldenduo!

A brief introduction to Genevieve and Murray, stars of thegoldenduo!

Don't forget that you can also follow Genevieve & Murray here:
YouTube: thegoldenduo  
'Like' us on Facebook: Thegoldenduo 
Instagram: @thegoldenduo 
Twitter: @genandmurray 

Monday, 3 March 2014

Meet twelvefurrypaws: Charlie, Indie & Cali

Charlie, Indie and Cali are our three rescue cats.

Charlie and Indie are siblings who began their life feral. One year in late Spring, two stray cats thought my friend's backyard was a safe place to give birth. They chose the protective cedar hedges lining the back of her yard to hide. It wasn't until my friend noticed kittens scuttling around her backyard that she realized what had happened. Unable to take in any of the cats or kittens herself, she contacted a no-kill cat shelter in our area who agreed they would take them in once they were sure the mothers wouldn't feel threatened. A few weeks later some volunteers from the cat rescue showed up while my friend was at work and picked up the mothers and their babies. Two days later however, my friend heard crying from the backyard and found two kittens in the grass. Since there were two mothers and so many kittens, neither my friend or the rescue had known just how many cats needed saving. Since the rescue was overrun, my friend asked my husband if we could take them both. So on the day after we returned from our honeymoon, my new hubby disappeared for a while and came home with two darling kittens.

Charlie and Indie were given a clean bill of health by the vets but it took a few months for them to become used to their new home. They were terrified of us scary humans, terrified of being indoors and terrified of starving. Charlie would willingly give over her meals to Indie, who would scarf both down, so we began feeding them separately. We also dedicated a room in our house to them so they could get used to their new surroundings slowly. Within a month or so they were playing with us, enjoying cuddles and venturing to other areas of our home.

Now Charlie is a complete snuggle bug. She loves to cuddle and always wants to be the centre of attention. If I'm not upstairs for bedtime cuddles by 10:30pm she comes downstairs looking for me. She loves to sleep on my shoulder, purring away. Indie has warmed up a lot but still seems wary of us. He wants to be cuddled but will always sit just out of reach. He is also a big talker and could carry on an entire conversation with you if you let him! Charlie likes to venture outside with me to sit in the sunshine whereas Indie is nowhere to find when a door opens.

Cali came in to our lives unexpectedly. I found her severely dehydrated on a hot summer day near our home. I was able to revive her, let her sleep in the garage and began leaving food and water out for her. She was incredibly thin and we had seen her out at all hours of the day and in all weather so we were sure she was a stray. After speaking with some neighbours we found out that Cali had been ditched by a neighbour down the street. Cali had been at a shelter her teenage daughter volunteered at and was scheduled to be euthanized. The daughter didn't want her put to sleep so she brought her home. Neither her or her mom wanted to accept responsibility for her so they put her back on the streets, not fixed and not vaccinated.

After a few weeks of feeding Cali and letting her sleep in our garage we decided to keep her. In the short time we had known and fell in love with her, it was also becoming more and more evident that Cali was pregnant. So we helped her raise the kittens, found them safe and loving forever homes, then had her spayed, vaccinated and made her part of the family.

Cali is such a sweetheart. She is incredibly affectionate and thanks us every day for giving her a warm home, love and proper meals. She is much younger than Charlie and Indie and loves to play and run laps around the house. Occasionally she will get Charlie and Indie in on the fun too! She has become the perfect addition to our family and we feel so blessed that we found her that hot summer day.

You can follow Charlie, Indie & Cali here:
YouTube: twelvefurrypaws
Instagram: @twelvefurrypaws

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Meet thegoldenduo: Genevieve & Murray

Genevieve and Murray are our two Golden Retrievers. 
We had no idea what we were getting ourselves in to when we brought home Genevieve. We had talked about a dog and instantly fell in love when we saw that adorable face of hers! Then the behavioural problems began. Her and I fought for dominance constantly.  She would jump on the couch and yank on my hair.  She would bite my bum.  She chewed anything and everything.  She ate my favourite coffee table, my not so favourite coffee table, carpet, rugs, the wall, doormats, pillows, blankets, socks...anything she could get her little paws on.  We went through numerous leashes because she had a horrible habit of chewing them in half.  We stopped buying her the expensive toys because she'd have them ripped apart in seconds.  And she never seemed to tire herself out.  She was six months old when we started bringing her to the dog park.  We would be there for 2 hours or more, come home and she would still be into something the minute we turned our backs. Suffering from a major case of ADHD and Separation Anxiety, Genevieve was never content to just lay at the other end of the couch, she needed to be right on top of you while you pet her every second of every day and would act out when you left the room she was in. 

At this point my husband and I had already been talking about getting another dog. Genevieve was a handful but we absolutely loved her. I began thinking perhaps what she needed to keep her busy was a companion. So when Genevieve was 8 months old we introduced her to 2 month old Murray.
From the minute Murray came home, Genevieve became an entirely new dog.  They played for hours, tiring one another out.  Genevieve stopped wrecking everything because she was too preoccupied with Murray.  She wasn't all over us every second of the day for attention because she had Murray to keep her company.  When she came home from the dog park with extra energy to expel, she turned to Murray.
She was great with Murray.  They'd play tug of war for hours.  It was adorable to watch because Genevieve was 65lbs when Murray came home and he weighed 8lbs.  She could have easily snatched every toy away from him but instead would pretend that he was really strong and let him get the toy after a good tug of war fight.  If he wanted something she had, she would gladly give it up for him.  She would let him eat first, to make sure he got what he needed.  Genevieve was never jealous of Murray, she was too excited to have a friend to play with!
Murray has always been an extremely loyal and loving dog. He has always listened to us, caught on quickly and rarely misbehaved. I think a lot of that was because Genevieve kept him so busy! Unlike Genevieve, he had bursts of energy but knew his limits. When he was tired he would retreat to his crate to have a nap and refuel. I was so used to Genevieve's abnormally high level of energy that I was actually worried something was wrong with Murray for the first few weeks we had him simply because he was so calm in comparison! At the dog park Murray preferred to remain close by to us and mastered the command 'come' by the time he was 3 months old! People would look at us in disbelief as this small pup would run past them, straight to me when I'd call! On the other hand it took Genevieve a few years to calm down enough that she wanted to listen to us!
Together these two have formed an incredibly close bond. They are more than just friends, they are each other's family. They love to spend weekends swimming at the cottage, playing fetch at the dog park and a good round of tug of war. Even with other dogs around they prefer the company of one another. When one is tired and the other wants to play they will grab a toy, wave it in the other's face and growl excitedly. Then the fun begins again! They often sleep beside one another, on top of one another or with their paws touching.
Genevieve still has the same love of life, and the same love for people, but she listens now, she tires out after a normal amount of exercise and we don't have fights over who's the boss anymore.  She has grown from a beautiful puppy in to an even more beautiful dog.  Murray still bounces like a pup but has grown in to one handsome dog. Although he could easily over power Genevieve now that he's fully grown, he continues to accept that she's the dominate dog in their relationship. He is the same gentle and obedient boy that I fell in love with all of those years ago. He's not perfect though - once in a while he loves to wreck a good tennis ball!
You can follow Genevieve & Murray here: 
YouTube: thegoldenduo  
'Like' us on Facebook: Thegoldenduo 
Instagram: @thegoldenduo 
Twitter: @genandmurray 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Welcome To Animal Crackers!

Hi There & Welcome To Our Blog!

This blog will follow the daily lives of our multi-animal household! We are currently the proud owners of two Golden Retrievers Murray & Genevieve, a Pacific Parrotlet Ella, three rescue cats Indie, Charlie & Cali, two guinea pigs Sir Phinneus Fluffytocks & Sir Sampson McSqueakberbox and a Syrian hamster named Scarlet. Our four rabbits, Ollie, Willow, Rocky & Honey are the stars of BudgetBunny and will only be featured through those accounts.

We will be promoting some care information as well as keeping you up to date on our multiple YouTube channels. We will of course be sharing regular updates on the pets including some of our favourite photos!

If you are looking for all things bunny related I suggest hopping over to our blog!

You can currently follow our pets on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook! We thought having a joint blog would be an easy way for our fans to keep up with all of these separate forms of social media!

Golden Retrievers:
Instagram: @thegoldenduo
Facebook: Thegoldenduo
Twitter: @genevieveandmurray
YouTube: thegoldenduo

Pacific Parrotlet Ella:
Instagram: @ellatheparrotlet
YouTube: EllatheParrotlet

Instagram: @twelvefurrypaws
YouTube: twelvefurrypaws

Guinea Pigs & Hamster:
Instagram: @BudgetBunny
Facebook: BudgetBunny
Twitter: @BudgetBunny
YouTube: BudgetBunny

And don't forget if you are looking for more compassionate living you can also find me at:

Instagram: @krystlechantelle
Twitter: @krystlechantele
YouTube: littleveganhousewife

Thank you for following and enjoy!