Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

The Daisy Runway

Daisy is a nut. A lovable, adorable, sweet little nut. We call her our little peanut.

But sometimes her nuttiness is dangerous to her, like when she charges at full speed across the kitchen floor and only puts the brakes on an inch away from the door frame or refrigerator, causing her entire body to crash into it with a bang.

Her nuttiness was also the cause of her severe ACL/meniscus tear, when she jumped off a chair with such crazy excitement that she landed wrong and ended up in a world of pain…and in surgery.

Ack! Keep those cold germs to yourself, please!!

Ack! I don’t ever want to go through that again!

So now we don’t let her jump off the furniture, we carry her off with us. She seems to like that. And we watch out for other ways she can hurt herself, like her flying slide across the kitchen floor.

The solution – we put a long runner down across the kitchen floor, connecting the carpeted living room and family room. It may look odd, but now there’s no more slipping and sliding and Daisy seems to love it. 🙂 And hopefully we’ve avoided yet another emergency surgery.

Long runway, little Daisy. :)

Long runway, little Daisy. 🙂

I love my soft runway!

I love my soft runway!

It may not be orthodox in placement – I can’t say I’ve ever seen a home with a carpet runner across the kitchen – but it’s a whole lot safer for our little speed demon, so it’s staying. 🙂

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes bog hop!


Life Can Change In One Second…..

After our lengthy, unwanted hiatus due to moving my 90-year-old aunt into an assisted living home (more about that “adventure” another time), selling her dilapidated home (a miracle in itself), and getting all her stuff organized including bills and decades of accumulation, DD and I had a wonderful four-day weekend away last weekend so I could de-stress after the most stressful month-plus I’ve ever experienced.

But I can’t tell you about that now, because today everything changed in the flash of a second.

Little Daisy is in the hospital.

This afternoon, DD and I were working on some stuff in the family room while DH was fixing something outside. He hammered, which drove Daisy into her typical Havachon frenzy, which she truly enjoys.

She ran from window to window jumping up and down on chairs to find the source of the noise, barking up a storm in her usual “I’ll get ’em! I’ll get ’em!” adorableness, when suddenly, from the other end of the house, we heard the most horrible shriek-yipe followed by horrible nonstop cries of pain.

It was Daisy. We ran down the hallway and found her trying to hobble toward us with her hind right leg lifted in the air. DD picked her up and carried her to the sofa, where she laid her down so we could take a better look.

DD is excellent in an emergency – focused, serious, get-to-the source intense.

I fall to pieces. The cry of an injured innocent little thing sends me into a tailspin.

Daisy’s back leg looked generally okay, but she couldn’t put any weight on it. Then I noticed that the bottom half past the knee looked out of whack.

Daisy actually looked sad. Sad, scared, and confused. This is not a look we’ve ever seen on our happy little girl.

I called the emergency vet while DD comforted her (of course these things always happen on holidays or Sundays). As I’m trying to fight off something that’s giving me a sore throat, DH and DD took Daisy to the vet without me, DH driving while DD cuddled Daisy in her arms.

Twenty minutes later I got the call – Daisy tore her ACL. Those ligaments hold the bones in alignment, so that’s why her leg looked so funky.

Of course I turned to the internet to do some emergency research. Turns out that small dogs are particularly prone to this (though it happens to large dogs too), and when a dog gets one ACL tear, chances are it’ll happen to another leg too, because apparently it shows that that particular dog’s body has a tendency toward it. Great. Just great.

We had to leave Daisy there and she won’t be home until Tuesday. It’s even more uncomfortable because she’s not with our usual vet.

I can’t tell you what a hole we feel in our little family. I keep thinking I hear those happy little paws tick-tick-ticking across the floor toward me.

Tomorrow (Monday, 11/11), two board certified surgeons will be doing surgery on Daisy’s leg. They have to drill holes in her bone in order to anchor the fishing line-like thing that they use to realign everything and get those ligaments sewn back together. Then she has to stay overnight again because she’ll be heavily sedated and they want to keep an eye on her.

Daisy’s young age is to her benefit and will help her heal, but it’ll take many, many weeks. We have to somehow keep her calm and quiet during that time, and she won’t be allowed to jump on sofas either. That alone will take all our effort once she starts feeling “springy” again.

Even though this is considered “routine” and common surgery, it’s our baby and we’re upset. And we miss her terribly. We can’t stand to think of her all alone in that hospital – is she wondering why we left her while she was in pain? Does she feel hurt or confused that we’re not there?

There’s a huge void in our home tonight, and I’ll certainly miss my little buddy when everyone goes off to work tomorrow. I’ll miss looking down and seeing her trotting next to me wherever I go. I’ll miss our special morning cuddle and all-day lovies. And the constant cuteness. Oh, the cuteness!

We’ll be saying some prayers for our little one, that the surgery goes smoothly, that she doesn’t suffer, and that there are no complications or infections afterward. We just want our silly, adorable, loving, happy little baby back.


Dog Food Recall Notification Service

I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten pretty concerned about all the dog food recalls lately. What’s up with all this salmonella getting into every kind of dog food, from dry to frozen?

A friend of mine made me aware of a great free dog food recall notification service. It’s on the website Dog Food Advisor, and they not only keep an up-to-date  listing of dog food recalls, but if you sign up, they’ll email you every time a dog food has been recalled. It’s a free service and SO helpful!

For each recall, they tell you where the recalled products are being sold, why they’re being recalled, and exactly which of the company’s products are affected.

Check out the site if you get the chance, it’s got lots of other good information too.

Before you give me that kibble, did you make sure it's safe? Hmmmmm???

Before you give me that kibble, did you make sure it’s safe? Hmmmmm???



Removing the Threat

Well it’s done. The dreaded deed of removing four beautiful old trees from our property that were threatening our house during storms is over.

Not really something you want to see in your backyard....

Not really something you want to see in your backyard….

I loved those trees. I’m more of a cabin-in-the-woods kind of gal than a toes-in-the-sand beach person, so these huge trees were things of beauty to me.

They brought wonderful songbirds right up to my back windows.

They gave us a lot of shade to cool the house and sit under during the summer.

They dropped vibrant yellow leaves in the fall that floated to the ground like lightweight snowflakes.

They formed a gorgeous white canopy during snowfalls.

But over the past few years, I noticed peeling bark and more bare branches appearing. The arborist said their type only lives for a certain number of decades, then they start dying and pose a real threat to anything around them. So it was time.

But it still wasn’t easy. Although there was a certain amount of entertainment in the process….

Look at this crazy guy! He stretched himself out into an inverted cross shape while being pulled to the top of the tree!

Look at this crazy guy! He stretched himself out into a full inverted cross shape while being pulled to the top of the tree!

Daisy, however, had a field day with all the activity out there. Though I must say, she wasn’t half as noisy as she used to be just a year ago! She was actually a very good girl.

Oh, she was curious….

What's going on out there? Who are all those men? And what are all those noisy metal monsters doing in my backyard??

What’s going on out there? Who are all those men? And what are all those noisy metal monsters doing in my backyard??

But she got used to the noise pretty quickly and only barked, bfff’d, and growled occasionally. I think keeping the back blinds closed helped because she couldn’t see all the constant movement.

So now the front half of our yard is wide open. No more birdies chirping by the house, but the trade-off is that during a harsh rain/wind storm yesterday, I had no reason to fear anymore. 🙂 But it did come at a dear cost. At least the back half still has some nice trees, and I’m hanging on to them as long as possible.



FDA Warning: Toxic Treats From China = Russian Roulette With Your Pet’s Life

We’re interrupting our usual Crazy Daisy silliness because of a new FDA warning about the dangers of pet treats imported from China. We don’t want any fellow pets or pet lovers to suffer the devastating effects of these potentially toxic “treats”.

It’s more important than ever to check the small print on that bag of treats or pet food you’re buying to make sure it wasn’t made in China. Apparently, giving your pet treats made in China is like playing Russian roulette with your pet’s life.

It doesn’t get any scarier than that, my fellow animal-lovers.

The 12/03/2011 Natural News article (you can read it in its entirety by clicking on that link) said there’s been an “uptick in adverse event reports” regarding pet treats made in China. “MSNBC reports that at least 70 dogs so far this year have been sickened or killed by chicken jerky products imported from China“. 

And those 70 are only the ones vets reported – how many more illnesses and deaths went unreported or unattributed to poisonous imported edibles?

Seriously, we have to stop this madness. Imported glass roasting pans have exploded when taken out of the oven (it happened to a friend of my mother’s), toxic toothpastes and makeup items sicken and kill people, cheap ceramic  glazes (or lack thereof) leak toxins into our drinks, and so, so much more. And now our pets are becoming victims too. But as long as we keep feeding these manufacturers’ wallets, they’ll keep mass producing toxic waste for our ingestion. Or should I say indigestion? 😉

My friend’s dog was horribly sick for a month because one of these slipped past her in a sample packet. She was just lucky her little cutie survived, but he suffered horribly with constant vomiting and diarrhea. And, of course, his human family suffered right along with him.

I’m usually a pretty easy-going sort of person who believes in the “live and let live” motto, but when manufacturers have a total disregard for the health and safety of others, it makes my blood boil and I have to take a stand. So here it is.

Don’t – buy – cheap – Chinese – imports. Your life and your pet’s life may be at risk.

I’m certainly not saying that China is the only country producing dangerous things, but they’re the ones producing an overwhelming majority of it. We have to start discouraging this wanton disregard for life and safety somewhere.

Since we can’t be sure which Chinese manufacturers use dangerous toxins in their products, we can’t take chances with any of them. Sure, there are recalls from even the most trusted manufacturers, but they’re usually unintentional and few and far between. What I’m talking about is a constant stream of deliberately cheap and dangerous goods.

Personally, I’d rather buy one item that’s more expensive if it comes from a manufacturer I have good reason to believe is safe than buy ten questionable items from any country we know exports toxins. How many more warnings do we need before we take action and protect ourselves?

And while we’re on the subject, the Natural News article also advised that we avoid any pet foods/treats with the irradiation symbol, which looks frighteningly innocent and has an earth-friendly appearance:

Radura Symbol

Natural News reports that radiation is used to blast “pathogens and viruses” out of pet foods (how and why did they get in there in the first place?!), but instead it can render pet food toxic. Several pets in Australia died from ingesting irradiated pet food; there’s a link in the article where you can read about such cases. Unfortunately, some US manufacturers use this process too, so look for the Radura Symbol and steer clear of any pet products that have it. Better safe than sorry.

My goal in writing this is NOT to point the finger of blame, but rather to help keep our beloved pets safe. If we know there’s a risk with anything, we need to pass that information along to help others so we can all make informed buying decisions. And that’s all I’m hoping to do.


All Harnessed Up And Ready To Go!

Daisy loves going to new places, and we wanted her to be as safe as possible in this world of crazy drivers. So I did some research and decided that a car harness is the safest way to protect our little travelin’ pup.

I read that you should use the harness several times on short trips to get the dog used to it, because they generally don’t take to it right away. Well, we tried the harness out for the first time this weekend – I think Daisy rather liked the open-air experience, what do you think? 😉

This is much better than my puppy travel crate! I feel like a person!

“Thrilled” is the word that came to mind! She was SO happy and tried out all kinds of sitting, standing, and lying positions, always with that same happy puppy-pant.

I'm so happyyyyyyyy!

I was shocked to read in a Blog Paws article that there are still a lot of people who drive with their dogs on their laps – while they’re driving! Just take a look in the article at what the AAA (American Automobile Association) says happens to dogs of different weights who are unrestrained by a car harness – it’s terrifying. You’d think that would be enough to convince pet owners to keep their pet as safe as they keep their children.

Anyway, since our first 10-minute drive with Daisy was such a success, we’re going to increase that travel time. We also have a seat protector which we’ll use on our next trip because we know this time we’ll be taking Daisy out to explore. (Isn’t it funny how Daisy’s coloring just happens to match my car interior? LOL!) 🙂

Where are we going next??


Chihuahua Attacked By Owl — And Survives!

There’s an amazing video on The Weather Channel about a poor little chihuahua who was attacked by an OWL, of all things!

OH NO! My poor fellow doggy! I'm so glad he's okay!

His owner was walking him at 1 AM (yes, that’s not a typo, it was the middle of the night) on a leash when an owl suddenly swooped down, sank its claws into this poor pup, and tried to carry him off!

Fortunately, the owner was able to save him, but the interesting thing is what saved the dog’s life – his winter coat! Apparently it prevented the owl’s claws from sinking too deeply into the dog! (Good thing it wasn’t spring or summer!) It seems that only one claw actually pierced the dog’s flesh, and that wound is healing nicely now.

However, it left the dog with a fear of the dark – he won’t go out once the sun sets! Funny thing is – he’s not afraid of owls, just the dark!

Moral of the story: Don’t walk dogs late at night, and don’t skimp on protective clothing! LOL!


How Safe Are Dog Repellents?

After writing my blog post about Christmas decorating hazards for dogs, I started thinking that maybe we should do something a little more proactive to keep Daisy away from the Christmas tree. I’d read that creating a boundary with Bitter Apple spray could help to deter her from nibbling at those toxic Fraser Fir needles.

Daisy in her new Christmas jingle collar!

So last night, while stocking up on necessities (and fun stuff!) at the pet store, we looked at some boundary sprays. They didn’t have Bitter Apple, which is supposed to be pure and not harmful to pets or humans, so we checked out some other repellents.

Forget it.

Anything that says a product should not touch an animal’s or human’s skin or eyes without severe toxic consequences is NOT for us. How can anyone guarantee that a curious puppy won’t step on that border or lie on that area before realizing they don’t like the smell? And how can we guarantee that we won’t forget exactly what places on the carpet we sprayed when we all sit around the Christmas tree to open our presents?

I read online that some dogs aren’t deterred by these dangerous chemical sprays and have licked them or laid on them – with negative consequences.

So today I looked for something more natural, since I can’t find the Bitter Apple spray around here. This article discusses several natural repellents you can make at home that will deter dogs and cats, but won’t harm them. Personally, I wouldn’t use any of these inside my home, but some may work outdoors to protect plants and gardens – as long as you keep applying them every day.

A better article at The Daily Puppy explains the risks and benefits of various dog repellents and how some can harm your carpet and furniture if used indoors. It also explains that even those commercial sprays marked “natural” might have toxic ingredients in addition to natural ones. It’s a good article and worth reading if you’re considering using one of these sprays, whether commercial or home made.

Nothing beats good training, so until our puppy is completely reliable around the Christmas tree, we’ll just have to keep a close eye on her and use the baby gate when necessary. We’ll be bringing in the tree and decorating it this weekend – let the games begin! LOL


Home Renovation Projects and Pet Safety

Who's that?! What's going on?! I've got my eyes on you!

A few months ago our electric range started superheating. It was pretty scary – you turned on a burner or the oven, and the entire stovetop surface superheated to an untouchable degree.

The unit was a 20 year old all-in-one stove, oven, and microwave unit. I believe in using appliances until they wear out, I’m not one to buy new things just because their styles change.

Consequently, by the time that happens, lots of other things are due for updating, so from one necessity come many related projects.

We’re do-it-yourselfers, so during upgrade periods, we become Lowe’s or Home Depot’s favorite people! LOL

Anyway, a few weeks ago we got a brand new stainless steel range with a matching microwave. The “fun” was in keeping Daisy occupied and away from the electrician when he spent a couple hours updating our old wiring; keeping her away from the range delivery and installation men, who were here for over an hour; and keeping her away from the microwave installer who was also here for a couple of hours. So while DH worked from home and stayed with the workmen, I stripped the bed and treated Daisy to afternoons on our bed, where she’s never allowed to go.

From that vantage point, she could look out two windows and see the road as well as the driveway, where the workmen went back and forth. It was like opening up a whole new world to her – very exciting!

But now come the rest of the upgrades – a new granite countertop, tiled backsplash around the entire work area, and possibly new wall decor – the hands-on part of the project. DH loves putting in tile and he’s great at painting and wallpapering, all of which will take a lot of time to complete.

So I got to thinking about Daisy’s safety with all these potentially dangerous chemicals and sharp objects around – since the projects will take more than a weekend to complete, what should we be aware of, aside from the obvious things like not leaving open paint cans sitting around?

There’s a very helpful article about keeping pets safe during home renovations which gives lots of suggestions and information on things to be mindful of that might not occur to homeowners during that busy, stressful time.  Keeping loose, dangling wires away from pets, keeping dogs away from workmen, making sure pets are nowhere near doors and/or windows that may be opening – all of these things and more are causes for concern.

We do so much research and prep work in getting our homes ready for upgrades – if we’re just as mindful in preparing to protect our pets for upcoming renovations, everything will go smoothly. It’s worth the time and effort!

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Thanksgiving’s Over – On Toward Christmas!

Well Thanksgiving was wonderful as always. Daisy loved meeting her new relatives and they certainly enjoyed playing with her!

Point me to the Christmas tree!

With Daisy’s sensitive tummy, we have a strict “no table food” rule, and I’m happy to say that everyone honored it. Daisy only tried once to tempt an aunt into sharing her dinner by jumping up so her front paws were on my aunt’s lap, but as soon as we told her “down”, she resigned herself to the fact that today was no different from any other, and went about playing.

Now comes the big challenge – decorating for Christmas and keeping Daisy from eating the decorations. We usually put tinsel on our tree – we like the icy look it gives the tree, as well as the Christmas-of-yore feel of it. But I don’t think we’ll be using it this year – according to an article at  Pet Education.comï»żï»ż, tinsel is one of those sparkling, moving things dogs are attracted to and will eat, causing blockages that require surgery. Even tree needles can be toxic, so we’ll be vacuuming a lot and keeping a very close eye on Daisy, only allowing her near the tree when we’re there with her.  And we certainly won’t be bringing toxic poinsettia plants in. As a young puppy, she’s curious about everything!

Pedigree Pups has a wonderful article about the dangers of Christmas trees for dogs and how to make them more pet-friendly. One big thing to be cautious of is glass ornaments, which dogs like to play with and can result in serious mouth cuts (we won’t even discuss what could happen if they swallow some pieces). I think we’ll put the glass ornaments higher on the tree this year and put non-breakables at the bottom.

The site also recommends securing the tree so it’s not wobbly, spraying the lower part of the tree with bitter apple or other citrus sprays to make it unappealing to your dog, keeping a cover over the tree’s water supply so you dog won’t drink it, keeping light cords out of the dog’s reach (or at least putting something over them that the dog can’t chew through), keeping ornament hooks off the floor so they won’t cut your dog’s paw or wreak havoc on his insides if he swallows one, and much more. The article is definitely an important dog-owner’s holiday safety guide.

Taking safety precautions will give you and your dog happier holidays!


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