Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Getting ready for Halloween!


 Little Witchy Phoebe is Mixin' up a Brew,  
 Bat Tails and Cat Tails make a  delicious Halloween Stew!!
 




 

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100 Places To See With Your Dog: The Hamptons, Long Island, New York

The Hamptons.  The ultimate Summer playground conjures up images of celebrities and mega millionaires for many people.  But for most New Yorkers it's a weekend getaway where you can sunbathe on the most pristine beaches, dine on freshly caught seafood, shop 'til you drop (or run out of money, whichever comes first!), party all night long, and pick up fresh local produce at farm stands on the way home!

But there's another side to The Hamptons, a quieter time when you can bring your dog along and have some fun.  I could have written a post about the Foo-Foo and Fifi side of The Hamptons, spotlighting chic doggy boutiques and people carting their tiny dogs around as they shop for hours and attend polo games.  Instead, I opted to focus on the part of The Hamptons that may not seem as glamorous to most "Summer people", but would be an absolute blast for you and your dog! 

Isis enjoying an empty beach and plenty of sunshine at Road D beach in Southampton
Fall can be one of the best times to head to The Hamptons.  The crowds are thin and you don't have to worry as much about heatstroke, sunburn, hot walking surfaces or dehydration.   More importantly, restrictions to beach access for both humans and dogs are greatly relaxed after September 15th.  During the Summer, access restrictions to the fabulous Atlantic ocean beaches can be a bit insane. 

I love the sound of waves crashing on the beach, but Isis prefers to swim in the calmer waters of beaches on the Bay side.
In Summer, beaches have both access and parking costs and restrictions for people, and access restrictions for dogs.  You need to study the rules for the beach you want to go to, each one is a bit different.  If you violate the rules, you'll end up with stiff fines and your car will likely be towed.  You practically need a PhD to figure out which beach you can go to and when, whether or not you can park, and whether or not and when you can bring your dog!  The good news is that many beaches on the Bay side of The Hamptons are dog friendly all year long.  They are not nearly as pristine as the Atlantic ocean beaches but the waves are gentle and there's always something interesting to see along the shoreline.  Your dog will have fun romping along the shores of Bay side beaches, sniffing all the interesting stuff that has washed up along the beach!

Beaches on the Bay side of The Hamptons may not be as pristine as the ocean beaches, but they are pretty and interesting in their own way.

It looks more like a haunted house, but historic Cedar Island lighthouse, is onCedar Point beach, on the Bay side in E. Hampton.  The light is currently being restored and has been temporarily removed from the top.
We always look forward to heading out to The Hamptons between September 16th and late October.  The weather is still beautiful and quite warm in September.  In October the weather is cool & brisk and farm stands are loaded with pumpkins and apples!  The traffic and crowds have calmed down, everything goes on sale in the stores, you rarely have to wait for a table at restaurants, and best of all you can bring your dog to just about any beach.  It's divine!

We stop for breakfast at one of the many dog friendly cafes before we hit the beaches and shops.
Beach Bakery Grand Café in West Hampton.  Dog friendly & Delish!
There are lots of shops where you can find the latest (human & doggie) fashions, unique home décor, and antiques throughout The Hamptons.  Shopping out there is Expensive, but you can score big with end of season sales in the Fall!
Shopping in The Hamptons is fantastic, but pricey so bring your credit card!
 
The Tuscan House in Southampton, a fantastic Italian restaurant that is also dog friendly
At the end of a beautiful September day in The Hamptons, we had dinner at the very dog friendly Tuscan House for a heavenly meal and great service.  Of course, we just had to stop at a several farm stands on the way home!
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Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Dog The Therapist: Helping College Students Cope With Stress

As many of you know, Isis and I are a Pet Partners Therapy Dog team.  We participate in children's reading programs, where kids practice and improve their reading skills by reading out loud to dogs.  We also visit seniors in nursing homes and kids in daycare centers.  One of the other fun assignments we've had is visiting college students as part of Stress Buster events.

Whether you're a Freshmen or Senior, college can be tough.  Although there have been many advancements over the years that make learning faster and easier, it can also make school more stressful.  With each generation, the bar seems to be raised and things get harder for students.  The pressure can be overwhelming.

Isis is just loving all this attention and petting!
When mid-terms and finals roll around, students are under maximum pressure.  Many colleges have started Stress Buster events where students on campus can visit with Therapy Dogs in order to help relieve stress and take a time out.

I'm amazed at the number of students who sign up for these events!  At one event, we had 5 Therapy Dogs in a large common room.  Students waited outside the room for their turn to visit with the dogs.  Over a 2 day period, several hundred students came through to visit with the dogs!  Students were invited into the room 25 or 30 at a time to meet the dogs.  You could feel their tension as they first entered the room but within moments, as they caught sight of the dogs, they would break into smiles which ultimately turned into laughter.  As they petted, hugged, and kissed her, the students asked lots of questions about Isis; is she a Husky, how old is she, does she shed a lot, does she love the snow, and other questions.  They talked about their own dogs waiting back home for them while they were away at school, and how much they missed them.  They pulled out their cell phones to take selfies with her and texted photos to friends telling them they had to come down to see "this gorgeous Husky with blue eyes!". 

It's a known fact that petting a dog, cat or other animal can reduce blood pressure and relieve stress.
The students loved Isis and had a lot of fun visiting with her.  As you can see from these photos, Isis basked in all the attention and affection.  When I asked the students if they felt their visit with Isis helped relieve some of the stress they were feeling, the answer was a resounding Yes, it did help relieve the stress and they were glad to have the break.  It was rewarding to see them walk away after their visit with Isis, laughing and smiling, reluctant to leave her.  The Stress Buster events are definitely one of the most fun Therapy Dog programs we have participated in

I'm not sure who enjoyed these Therapy Dog visits more, the students or Isis!
What do you think about the concept of Stress Buster events at colleges?  Leave us a comment and weigh in on the idea of Therapy Dogs helping to relieve stress for college students.
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Show Us Your Pink!

In addition to being Adopt A Shelter Dog Month, October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Phoebe is dressed in her furry best PINK to show her support!


Did you know that according to the American Cancer Society breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. About 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.  The American Cancer Society's estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2014 are:

  • About 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
  • About 62,570 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • About 40,000 women will die from breast cancer
There are many RISK FACTORS associated w/ breast cancer, here are just a few of the Lifestyle related risk factors that have been linked to breast cancer:

Alcohol consumption
Long term heavy smoking
Being overweight or obese
Lack of physical activity
Hormone therapy after menopause
Taking Birth control pills and DMPA birth control injections

For a more complete list and explanation of risk factors, see the AmericanCancer Society's breast cancer risk factors.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WORDLESS WEDNESSDAY: HAPPY FALL!

PLAY IN THE LEAVES, BEFORE THEY'RE ALL GONE!




Have your dogs been enjoying the beautiful Fall foliage as much as Isis and Phoebe have?  Leave us a comment and tell us how your dogs enjoy Fall!

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Monday, October 13, 2014

OCTOBER IS ADOPT A SHELTER DOG MONTH! Part Two

ADOPT A SHELTER DOG THIS MONTH!! 

October is a very special month because it's dedicated to helping dogs in shelters everywhere find Furever homes!  In the spirit of Adopt A Shelter Dog Month, I'm dedicating weekly posts to helping some Pawsome dogs who are very much in need of loving homes.

Meet GATOR and CLAUS.  Can you, or someone you know give these two sweeties a loving home?

Gator, just chillin' in the shade wearing his favorite hat!
Meet Gator, one of the coolest, laid back dogs you will ever meet!  This handsome, 6-year-old Pittie mix arrived at the shelter as a stray 7 months ago!  Both staff and volunteers are puzzled as to why he hasn't made a love connection yet and been adopted!  During Day Foster outings with volunteers, he has enjoyed hiking, visiting Home Depot (where he was a BIG hit) and chilling out with volunteers.  This boy loves to go for rides in the car!   Gator was recently featured on Fox10 to promote the shelter's Wag & Walk Adoption Hike program at Usery Mountain Park in Mesa, AZ.  We are asking that Gator go to a home without small dogs or cats, but if you have larger dogs, bring them with you to the shelter and they’ll do an introduction to ensure a smooth transition from shelter to home!  Gator’s adoption fee has been paid by a kind donor who is eager to see him adopted.  Gator is neutered, rabies vaccinated, and will go home with his dog license.  His ID number is A3430255.

Claus, enjoying the fresh air during one of his special Day Foster outings!
Two-year-old Claus arrived at the shelter as a stray in July.  This handsome Boxer mix is playful, friendly, and will do anything for a toy or ball!  While on a recent Day Foster outing, Claus rode in the back of the SUV and methodically pulled all the toys out of a small crate.  Our volunteer thinks that perhaps he had a toy box in a previous home L.  He is the type of dog who is happiest when he is carrying a toy or ball in his mouth. Although he’s only 2, Claus is not hyper and is very well behaved.  He walks well on a leash and enjoys going for hikes.  He readily greets human hikers along the way!  Claus loves water, even baths!  He is super friendly and loves attention.  Claus has a very expressive face and the most beautiful chocolate/caramel eyes!   One look from him and your heart will melt.   Claus has been neutered and rabies vaccinated, and his adoption fee is only $20, which will also include his dog license.  Claus' ID number is A3487187.

Both of these beautiful dogs are available for adoption at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) in Mesa, Arizona.

Last week's highlighted dogs, long term shelter residents Khalua and Charon, are still in need of Furever homes!

PLEASE SHARE THEIR STORIES, AND HELP GET THESE SWEET, LOVING DOGS OUT OF THE SHELTER AND INTO FUREVER HOMES!

NOTE: If you are interested in adopting these dogs, please contact MCACC (602) 506-7387 and provide the dog's Identification number above. It's possible that these adoptable dogs may have already been adopted by the time you get to the shelter, but there are hundreds of other wonderful animals in search of loving homes!
 
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014