Little Fluff’s Adoption Story

Hi, my name is Little Fluff.  I was adopted in January 2017 along with my sister Holly. My name used to be Ivy.  Get it? Holly and Ivy, because we were rescued and turned into the Eagle County Animal Shelter around Christmas.  We were so frightened of people no one could pick us up or even hardly handle us.  The shelter staff were so patient and nice.  They gave us lots of time to get to know them and try to relax, but we were just too scared.  We were labeled unadoptable as pets and listed as potential “barn cats”. One day a nice couple came and got us from the shelter and put us in a big box with holes.  We didn’t know where we were going or who these people were, but off we went.  About an hour later they took us inside a cozy cabin and put us in what they kept calling “the kitten nursery”.  They gave us food and water.  We didn’t want any until the lunch meat was offered, we love lunch meat! All night we huddled in the corner of the box with holes and tried to be invisible.  The lady sat in the nursery with us for a long time, but we didn’t want to go say hi.  Too scary! When the humans went to bed, Holly and I escaped the kitten nursery and went exploring!  There were so many places to hide!  But in the morning when the man discovered we were gone, he got the lady and they eventually found us. When the couple were trying to catch us and put us back in the kitten nursery, I ran into the bathroom.  They came in after me and I was so frightened, I hide under the claw foot bathtub.  The lady was in a bathrobe and the man was dressed to go skiing.  So he bent down with his gloves and picked me up, so if I got scared and used my teeth he wouldn’t get hurt.  However, I am so fluffy he thought he had a tight enough grip, but nope, I just slide right out of his hands.  Until he tightened his grip and got me by the tail.  OUCH!  I didn’t mean to, but I ended up swinging toward the lady and grabbing her ankle with my teeth.  She yelped!  I guess I bite her pretty...
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Pests Beware!

Summer is the season of hiking, camping and all sorts of outdoor adventures.  It is also the season of fleas and ticks.  Before you apply the flea and tick repellent to furry hiking companion, consider what it is made from.  Are you using an over the counter or veterinary recommended treatment that contains harsh chemicals? We all have our pets’ best interest at heart and may think that for the best flea and tick protection, we should use the “strongest” product.  This is not necessarily true.  There are several nature based products that work just as well, if not better than chemical based products.  Not to mention, the chemical products are not guaranteed to prevent flea and tick issues. Let’s take a look at why pet parents should consider a nature based product.  According to the EPA, in 2008 there were over 44,000 reported incidents of reactions presumed to be linked to “spot-on” flea and tick products.  This is a significant increase over the 28,000 incidents reported in 2007 which resulted in 600 deaths.  Due to the overwhelming number of adverse reactions to spot on flea and tick treatments reported, in 2010 the EPA issued a report regarding the risks and concerns associated with treatment.  The report sites the primary demographics most at risk, commonly seen reactions including skin irritations and GI distress and chemicals most often involved with reactions.  For a more complete review of the 2010 EPA report, visit  http://products.mercola.com/healthypets/pest-repellents/#sales_box I, unfortunately, was one of the pet parents who had to report a reaction my cat had due to a spot-on application.  Within minutes of application my cat’s fur fell out and he suffered chemical burns on the skin at the site of application.  I vowed then I would never submit my animals to chemical flea and tick treatments again.  The risk of adverse reactions to these dangerous products is just too great to not explore other options. So what are the other options?  To better understand how the nature based products work, it is best to understand how the pests are targeting your pet (or you).  Simply put, scent!  The pests use special scent detectors to decide whether or not an individual is a good victim.  By naturalizing the scent the pests are seeking out, we are removing the temptations for the pests to choose your pet or you as a tasty meal.  This doesn’t mean...
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Bach Flowers to the Rescue

Summer is fast approaching and with summer comes vacations.  Whether it is trains, planes or automobiles, your furry family members will likely be impacted by your vacation plans.  Does your dog get car sick, get stressed out with change or have separation anxiety?  If so, you may want to consider using Bach Flower remedies to help ease your dog’s stress and discomfort. What are Bach Flower remedies you may ask?  Bach Flower remedies were discovered in the 1920s-1930s in England by Dr. Edward Bach.  Bach Flower remedies are an energetic healing therapy made from wildflowers to restore the equilibrium of mind and body by removing negative emotions from the patient.  These negative emotions may be fear, worry, hatred, grief or indecision.  And yes, animals have emotion!  Does your dog not get excited when you get home from work? When there is a thunderstorm or fireworks, is that not fear you see in their eyes?  My dog was raised by my cat since she was 4 weeks old.  When my cat passed away, my dog was visibly sad and depressed for weeks. Bach Flower remedies help to remove the interference of negative emotions to allow peace and happiness to flow throughout the patient.  The removal of negative interference makes way for the body to innately heal itself.  The body really is an amazing being when allowed to do what it was created to do! Because Bach Flower remedies are made from the energy of wildflowers with the carrier being glycerin or brandy, it is perfectly safe for use in humans and animals.  So how do you decide what remedey is best for your dog?  They can’t tell you what they need, or can they?  Watch your dog’s behavior.  Are they over active?  Do they have separation anxiety?  Getting car sick? Usually a go-to remedy for pet parents is Rescue Remedy.  Rescue Remedy is the combination of 5 individual remedies that will address common stressors for dogs and makes it ideal for dogs who don’t travel well or who don’t like when their parents leave.  Rescue Remedy is comprised of Star of Bethlehem, Rock Rose, Cherry Plum, Impatiens and Clematis.  If you are looking to address something more specific like grieving, Honeysuckle would be a good option.  For more information and specific remedies go to www.bachflowers.com.  As with all pet care, always consult your veternarian before starting a new treatment, holistic...
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Couch Potato Syndrome

Here in Colorado winter brings with it the opportunity for us humans to engage in some of our favorite activities. We ski, snowboard, ice climb, snowmobile…you pick your favorite because there are so many great winter activities. However, a lot of the activities we enjoy doing our dogs can’t do with us. Sure they can still snow shoe or go hiking with us, but for the most part our dogs are not as active in the winter. The cold snowy days and nights turn our fur balls into couch potatoes. They have their favorite bed or spot in front of the fire place that they seem intent on watching over for the long cold months. Right around April and May when the sun starts melting away our precious snow, we start wanting to trade our ski boots in for hiking boots. Our dogs also want to trade the lazy days in front of the fireplace for long sunny days on the mountain exploring. The important thing to keep in mind here is we have been playing hard all winter and our dogs have been hard at work keeping the dog bed from floating away. They are not ready to tackle the adventures of the great outdoors the same way we are. Don’t let the excitement of hiking with your favorite pooch lead to unnecessary soreness or injury. Ease your dog back into high intensity activities like you would yourself after being out of the game for a few months. So what it a good plan for preventing injury and optimizing your dog’s health? Keeping them well conditioned over the winter is the best way to prevent potential injury. Find a local canine rehab and recreation center that has a pool. Swimming is great for keeping your dog mentally and physically healthy. Canine recreation centers often offer other activities like agility training, conditioning class and massage therapy. Try to enjoy the outdoors with your dog in the winter as much as possible, but be conscientious of them. Make sure they have proper gear such booties or paw wax, a jacket and light or reflectors for short days. Also, keep in mind our dogs have to work much harder to jump through snow then we do. This can put extra stress on the back and joints, especially shoulders. Shorten the distance of the hikes until you know your dog can comfortably...
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Delicious Dangers

The holidays have arrived and so have the delicious treats that come along with the celebrations. The beautiful plants and decadent goodies that we stock our homes with during the holidays, can be a trip to the emergency room waiting to happen for our pets. During the holidays it is especially important to keep an eye on our furry friends and what they indulge in. Just because something is safe or delicious for humans, does not mean the same applies to dogs (and cats). Below is a short list of foods and plants toxic to dogs. This is by no means comprehensive and care should be taken whenever giving your dog a new treat or introducing plants/flowers into your home. Plants:                                                                                  Foods: American holly                                                                     Alcohol American yew                                                                       Avocado Baby’s breath                                                                        Macadamia Nuts Calla lily                                                                                 Grapes/raisins Caladium                                                                                Yeast dough (uncooked bread or baked goods) Carnation                                                                               Xylitol (sweetner) Christmas Rose                                                                    Onions, garlic, chives (small doses may be safe) Mistletoe “American”                                                          Milk (cats and dogs cannot breakdown lactose like a human) Painter’s pallete                                                                    Salt Peace lily                                                                                Chocolate, coffee and caffeine Pigtail plant ****Poinsettia****   If your dog or cat manages to get into one of the above plants or foods, call your veterinarian immediately. You can also call the Animal Poison...
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Oh the weather outside is frightful…

For those of you that are lucky enough to live somewhere where it snows, you know that the winter brings both joys and pains.  It is important to keep in mind our pets are effected by the cold weather the same as we are.  Just because they wear fur coats does not mean they can withstand the winter climate untouched.  Animals can become hypothermic just like we can, they can also get frostbite.   When enjoying the winter wonderland with your furry friends remember they don’t wear snow boots (well most dogs don’t, but more on that in a minute).  Check their pads often when on a hike and after they come in from outside.  Make sure there are no “ice balls” caught in the fur between the toes.  Also inspect the pads for cracks or cuts.  Ice and gravel can be hard on a dog’s pads.  Just like our skin drying out or cracking in the winter, dogs’ pads can get dry and cracked.  A great remedy for dry, cracked pads is “Paw Wax”, made locally in Colorado by Halfpint Naturals.  Made of all natural ingredients and nourishing oils, this easy to apply wax stick works great!  I have even used it on my own dry skin 🙂  If your dog is walking on surfaces that have been salted or had other ice melting chemicals applied, wipe your dog’s paws with a warm, wet towel after your walk to remove the chemicals.  Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow can be harmful for dogs’ paws and can be very uncomfortable for them.  As for the booties…some dogs will actual tolerate booties. These can be especially helpful for dogs that hike a lot or are working dogs. Jackets are usually better tolerated by dogs then the booties. They can be very helpful in keeping your dog warm and dry. Jackets come in all sorts of sizes, styles and shapes. From the fashionable to the functional, a jacket is a great option for winter (and wet) weather. If you and Fido walk in the wee hours of the morning or well past dusk, consider a jacket with reflectors for even more protection. So what if your dog loves the snow and hates to be inside?  My husky, Bear, was definitely one of these dogs!  I respected the fact Bear was a snow dog and happiest when buried in inches...
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