Meko the Miracle Dog

The Hot Dig-Kitty-Dog Blog

Our Own Doggone'd Thoughts

Musings by the Cofounders of Help Shelter Pets.

allwpresentsAfter I wrote my last blog, I started thinking about the types of gifts that would be best for our pets. Of course, crunchy cookies with healthy ingredients are better for us as well as for our pets. I haven't met a cat that doesn't enjoy a little catnip from time to time. And the best kinds of toys are stuffed ones without eyes or other glued on features that could easily be chewed off and swallowed. That is the most important thing to remember, any kind of toy you give your pet, especially dogs, will end up with body parts missing and chewed off.

Jacqs, Jim's dog, is notorious for chewing parts off the toys. She will take a toy she wants to work on and run off into another room with it and secretly (sneakily is more like it) start working on an ear or a tail of the selected toy. When she disappears like that, I always know what she is up to and go looking for the innocent toy, which is usually one of Meko's favorite toys. In that case, I recommend most kinds of bones.

Now, about bones, my girls, toy breeds, have had problems with a variety of bones over the years. Our Sammy, a little bigger Pomeranian, got a piece of bone stuck in her esophagus and had to be rushed to emergency in Boston when everything she was eating kept coming up. She survived fine but the vet recommended we not give her anything smaller than our thigh bone. In other words, when it starts getting too small, throw it out. They have had trouble with a long piece of flip chew getting stuck and not being able to swallow it. Fortunately we were able to pull it out of their throats and save them from choking. But that eliminated flip chews. And then there are the Greenies, seemingly harmless chews but our little Pom that we lost last year, Binka, had problems with this chew and threw up a couple of times. We eliminated those bones, also. They have been fine with the white Dingo Dentatreats but I always stay with them while my two girls are eating them and when they get quite small, I take them away. They are made of a wheat gluten, granted, not the most nutritious thing for your dog to eat but I give them sparingly (made one every other month) and they enjoy having something to do. I still prefer crunchy bones with good ingredients and Mother Hubbard are my favorites - fortunately my girls like them, too.

My friend has a Ragdoll cat that loves the Cat's Meow toy. Something that resembles a mouse moves back and forth, erratically, under a cloth on the floor and the cat attacks it. Hours of fun for your cat.

I think the best advice I can give when purchasing presents for your pets is to think about their health and what could possibly harm them in a worst case scenario. Although I don't like to think about the worst that could happen, when it comes to your pets, since they can be so unpredictable, it is best to be prepared.


Meko eating her foodAlthough I'm pretty sure I have blogged about this in the past, I believe an occasional reminder is ok, especially if I'm putting out information that is useful for our readers.

I know how difficult it is to find the right quality food to feed your pet, especially when you have a new puppy. The store brands, although convenient, aren't always the best choice (we do buy our dogs Newman's Own canned food from the supermarket and give them a small amount occasionally.) As I have learned more about the care and feeding of our dogs, I have found that The Dog Advisor website ( is one of the best sites for finding not only every imaginable dog food brand that is out there, but he also discusses what is in the foods and why you should or should not feed this food to your dog.

I looked for a comparable cat food advisor and found to be a pretty good site for that. You, the consumer, gets to rate the foods and then others use your ratings to determine if this is a product they would buy. The Goodguide also rates household items and other types of goods.

And of course, your vet may have a selection of foods to offer, but I would do some research myself, first, to find a brand that works for my pet. Some brands may include food products that your pet is allergic to, such as corn. With all the information on the internet, it can be overwhelming but also, when you wade through the sites that are based on more than just one person's opinion, the cream will rise to the surface and those sites that are actually helpful will be the ones you can rely on.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Meko and Jacks protecting houseFrom the teacup Chihuahua to the mighty Great Dane, our loyal pets, specifically dogs, are there to protect us, or so they imagine. Our three girls, all just slightly over ten pounds each, could do a job on an intruder's ankles should they decide to come into our home uninvited. I've often thought about getting a bigger dog just for protection, as a guard dog when we are not home, or when Jim is away and I'm alone with the little dogs. But big or small, I've heard that the barking of any dog is often enough to scare away a potential intruder. People even buy a barking dog tape that barks periodically or perhaps when it detects someone around the outside of the house. Either way, anyone trying to break in knows that there is a dog in the house and it will do what it must to protect its master and home. 

Of course, this is another good reason to have a dog, even if you have to leave to go to work everyday. A dog is just happy when you return home each night - and then you can make up for it on the weekends by giving your loyal friend extra attention in the form of walks and snuggles.





Meko and Jacks protecting us from our friend who is about to enter



As a self-proclaimed bibliophile (means 'lover of books' and 'book-collector' of which I am both), I am always looking for a good animal story. Unfortunately, a lot of the ones I find out about or that others suggest to me end up as sad stories with some kind of abuse against the animals. But I have read some that are worth noting here and are really good stories. I have also included a few that were recommended to me but that I have not yet read. One of my goals this year is to read two books a month (I have read 12 books as of the end of June so I am right on schedule) therefore I am quite sure that at least a couple of the books on my 'books not read yet' list will end up on my 'books I read' list later this year.


Books I Read

All the James Herriot "All Creatures...." series books

Wesley the Owl

A Dog's Life

An Eagle Named Freedom

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Betty and Friends - My Life at the Zoo

Zoe's Cats


Books Not Read Yet

Summers with Bears

Never Cry Wolf

Zamba: True Story of Greatest Lion That Ever Lived

100 Heartbeats: The Race to Save Earth's Most Endangered Species

The Dog That Wouldn't Be




I just watched the 137th Westminster Dog show and the tiny, black, spunky Affenpinscher won! He was my choice to win - my husband, Jim, picked the Smooth-Haired Fox Terrier.

I'm sure the winners come from the best breeders around. But I'll also bet more than a few winners have come from your local shelters. Whether it is Best in Show, or Best in Your House, or Best Next to You on the Couch, all dogs are winners! I can't imagine my life without them. 

Shelter dog
Looks like a winner to me!