How Do You Move On From A House Fire

I have been watching the fires in Seaside Park, NJ and am in tears.  These poor people barely made it back from the huricane less than a year ago and now this:?

I know what its like to loose your home/everything to a fire.  I was only 9 years old when our house was hit by a meteor/fireball that exploded on impact.

Thankfully my family was away at a horse show with all our dogs or any living thing in the house would have been killed when 700 million volts of electricity went thru the house on impact.

I did loose my beloved pet mice, my sister her parakeets, but our dogs survived, as well as us.

How do you deal with such a loss?  It was incomprehensible at the time.

I remember being told to get on my horse while at the horse show and go find my father (the local police had word of the fire and were trying to contact us).  Mind you, I was only 9 years old and not told why I had to do this.  So I jumped on my horse bareback and road all over the fair grounds looking for my dad (This was the Saratoga, NY race track grounds).  I finally had to go to the announcer stand and ask him to have Mr. Snow return to his barn over the loud speaker.

I then returned to our barn to find everyone in tears and had no idea why……….

My father explained it to me and my first question was “where are we going to live”.  This is the first thought of a child in a tragedy like this (although I did not know that at the time).

I don’t know why I was so stoic.  I refused to cry in front of anyone and just held it together.

However, 2 weeks later when I and my siblings were brought back home to see the house and walk thru it……..   My bedroom (and my sisters) on the second floor were completely gone.  This is where the meteor hit.  I broke down and crumbled and my dad had to carry me out of the house in tears.

The only solace I got later in life was reading about loosing a house to flooding.  In a fire things can be salvaged.  In a flood, once water hits and stays there, forget it…..

I pray for anyone going thru this type of tragedy and loss.

It has been said that children are much more effected than adults with the loss of a home.  I am hear to tell you this is true.

I am now 50 years old and I can still cry remembering our loss.

Unfortunately the insurance company claimed “act of God” and would not pay.  However, in those days my father was doing well in business and we were lucky enough to have builders there throughout the winter working and our family was able to move back in within 6 months.

However, this was in 1971 and we had to rent a home in the mean time to the tune of $1000.00 a month.  That price was a kings ransom in those days.

I could not fathom how my dad did all this but he did.  He took care of his family and got us back in our home.  We also had 38 head of horses on the property that needed caring for…….

God rest my dad’s sole (he died of cancer at 88 on  4/19/12) he was the best father and provider any family could ask for.

There are pictures below of what we endured.

I pray for anyone going thru this ordeal.


CNM or Centronuclear Myopathy

This disease can be prevented.  We have a genetic marker and all breeders of breeds prone to CNM should be testing their breeding stock.

I have seen video of a Lab pup with CNM and it is just heart breaking.  Here is one if you want to view:  Be forwarned it may bring you to tears.

More info here:

Clinical Symptoms and Histological Signs

At birth, affected puppies are indistinguishable from their control littermates but as from two weeks of age, a progressive significant weight loss is observed. At one month of age, the absence of tendon reflexes is noticed and used as an early and reliable diagnosis. The age of onset of the disabling phenotype varies between 2 to 5 months, with an awkward gait and a decreased exercise tolerance, associated with a generalized muscle weakness. The pup will never recover from this disabling disease.”

Here is more info and on testing your breeding prospects:

Never breed a carrier to a carrier:

Vetgen does the testing for the hereditary gene:


Titer Testing Your Dog Prior To Vaccinations

I vaccinate my new pups at 8, 12 and 16 weeks.  1 year rabies at 20 weeks.

A year from last vaccination (16 week) I do a one year booster.

4 weeks later I do a 3 year rabies.

From here on out I do rabies every 3 years (as required by law in most states.  Check with your state).

I also titer test for distemper and parvo 3 years after the 1 year booster.

If my dogs show an immunity to the diseases I do not vaccinate them.

So far my dogs have shown the immunity and have not had a vaccination for distemper or parvo since their 1 year booster.

Titers are a it more expensive than the vaccine but better to spend the extra money than put more poison into your dog.

Remember this:  If you do not titer and your dog is covered from previous vaccines (has a full immunity) than giving another vaccination will not boost that immunity any higher.  So, the vaccine was a waste of money.

Any vet that tells you to vaccinate every year is doing this for the money.  Find a new vet.

If you are unsure of this 3 year protocol do a google search for Jean Dodds DVM on vaccinations.

Most vets are (and all should be) following her protocol.


What To Expect When Your Puppy Is Teething

Your pup could be lethargic; laying around more than normal, not wanting to play as much.

You may notice your pup choking at times like they have something stuck in their throat.  Don’t panic but keep an eye on them.  They often loose a tooth and swallow it while chewing on a toy.

You may notice a white or pale yellow discharge from the eyes that comes back very soon after wiping the eyes.

The pup may not eat well; slowly or picking up kibble and dropping on the floor next to the bowl.  If this happens often you can soak the food to soften it prior to feeding.

Most pups start teething around 5 months of age.

Once the adult teeth start coming in and the baby teeth are gone these symptoms should slow down a bit.

Chew toys can help speed up the process in loosening the baby teeth.



This will not only effect puppy mills and pet stores (which is a good thing) but also the hobby breeders out there breeding properly and helping to better the breed of dog they raise/breed/show.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Today, the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS) released a finalized version of new federal regulations that narrow the definition of a retail pet store with the purpose of bringing internet-based pet breeders and sellers under the regulation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The rule, originally proposed in May 2012 and essentially unchanged, effectively expands USDA oversight of pet breeders to include people who maintain more than four ?breeding females? of any species and sell even one pet “sight unseen”.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) shares the USDA’s concern about unscrupulous and potentially substandard puppy sellers; and encourages responsible puppy buyers to meet the breeders of their new puppy and to work with responsible breeders to understand the commitment, challenges and requirements that a puppy of their chosen breed requires.

The AKC, however, is extremely disappointed that USDA/APHIS, by adopting the rule in the same form it was originally proposed, did not heed the comments of hundreds of thousands of responsible dog breeders and owners concerned with the complexity and ambiguity of this potentially onerous new rule. Specifically, the rule will:·
Increase the retail pet store exemption to include those maintaining 4 or fewer breeding females. Those with four or fewer “breeding females” will not be subject to USDA licensure and inspection. The AKC appreciates the intent of a continued exemption for small hobby breeders.

· Deems any “sight-unseen” sale a covered activity, making the seller subject to USDA licensure and regulation. The AKC remains steadfast in believing that the rule will unreasonably require regulatory compliance of many more individuals than originally intended by treating those who sell a dog “sight unseen”perhaps due to repeat buyers or other known purchasers in the same manner as commercial internet-based sellers. The AKC believes that reasonable regulation of true commercial breeding enterprises or Internet sellers, where regulation is based on the actual numbers of dogs sold, is a better alternative to regulation based on the number of dogs a person owns. If the goal is to regulate internet sales, then such sales should be defined to include only internet sales. If the goal is to regulate all commercial breeder/retailers, a better definition would be those who produce and sell more than 50 puppies in a year.

· Vague definition of “breeding female” as one having the capability of breeding. Currently, the USDA defines “breeding female” as “capacity to breed” and bases this assessment on a visual inspection on the ground of the animals involved, determining whether they are “of breeding age” and whether there are health or other factors that would limit that. The AKC believes that this is not a practical, efficient, or clear way to establish a threshold for licensing and regulation, as it does not allow either APHIS or a breeder to assess whether a seller would be subject to licensing, regulation, and inspection without first being inspected by APHIS. The AKC remains extremely concerned that the rule will make it difficult for individuals to self-report, as they would not be able to know, without an APHIS inspection and examination of their animals before applying for a license, whether they would be required to obtain a license.

· Operational standards originally designed for commercial-type facilities fail to account for circumstances appropriate for how hobby/fancy breeders who will be subject to the regulations will keep their dogs. As a result of AKC’s long history and breadth of experience in advancing the care and conditions of dogs and conducting kennel inspections, we know that there are a wide variety of circumstances and kinds of facilities in which dogs may be suitably raised and maintained. AKC’s Care and Conditions policy is based on performance standards, rather than strict engineering requirements. This is because many breeds would fail to thrive in the required commercial kennel setting and, therefore, are better raised in residential settings. It is not reasonable to expect small breeders, who keep a handful of dogs and make a choice to raise dogs in their homes, to be able to meet exacting USDA kennel engineering standards that are designed for large commercial wholesale or research kennels. Likewise, many could be prevented from adapting their facilities because of local ordinances, zoning limitations, restrictions on their ability to obtain business licenses or necessary insurance. We believe performance-based standards are a better option for small home-based operations. The AKC believes that the continued effort to subject small home-based breeding operations to the same exacting standards required of purely commercial facilities is unreasonable and unnecessary.

To learn more about our specific concerns with the rule, please visit AKC’s USDA/APHIS Regulations Resources Page.

USDA/APHIS expects the final rule to be published in the Federal Register later this week. The rule will become effective 60 days after publication.

The AKC is dedicated to supporting the wellbeing of all dogs and responsible dog owners and breeders. We are extremely disappointed with the content of the final rule and we will continue to study this rule and assess all options for addressing our ongoing concerns.

The AKC will continue to provide additional information and analysis regarding specific impacts and what this rule may mean to responsible dog owners, breeders and the dog-loving public in general. Please remember that as a matter of company policy, the American Kennel Club does not release the registration information or history of any customer without a court order. The AKC, however, does expect individuals to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding the ownership and maintenance of dogs.

For more information and updates, visit AKC GR?s online USDA/APHIS Regulations Resource Page; or contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at

Buying A Puppy For Your Children At Christmas

Please think twice about this.

There is so much going on in the average household during Christmas.  The tree with ornaments and tinsel that can be very dangerous to an inquisitive puppy.   New toys your children leave laying around.

Most reputable breeders will not allow pups to go to their new home at Christmas.  I know I won’t.  I will hang onto the pup for an extra week or two for the safety of the pup.

I also try not to have pups ready around Christmas.  But mother nature often does not work in that favor when it comes time for breeding.

The best solution is to buy all your puppy needs (bowl, collar, leash, toys, etc.) and wrap them up for your kids to open on Christmas day.

Than you can explain that there will be a new pup coming to your home in a couple of weeks and the reason why you are waiting.

Please think long and hard on this for the sake of your new pup.  If the pup ingests something it could warrant surgery or even result in death.

Avoiding this and the heart ache to your family is best.


Praline Cheese Cake

This is one of the best cheese cakes I have ever eaten.

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 tbs sugar

3 tbs butter, melted

3  8oz packs of cream cheese

1  1/4 cups packed brown sugar

2 tbs flour

3 eggs

1   1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup pecan halves

Maple syrup (NY or Vermont brand)

Mix graham cracker crumbs with sugar and melted butter and line a spring form cheese cake pan.  Bake this for 10 min. at 350 degrees and set aside.

In an electric mixer add remaining ingredients until well blended.

Pour into crust in spring form pan and  bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.

When cooled and ready to serve place pecan halves around top of cheese cake.

Pour good quality maple syrup over the top, slice and serve.


Why Does My Dog Scoot His But Accross The Lawn Or Carpet?

Most likely because your dog is trying to clean out their anal glands.

This is normally done naturally when your dog has a bowel movement.  Provided the dog has a good “firm” stool.

The anal glands are located (on a clock) at 4 and 8 and when they have a bowel movement the stool pushes against the glands and releases them.

You may notice a slight amount of liquid as your dog has a bowel movement.  This is the glands releasing.  However, you will not always see this and it does not mean the glands are “not” cleaning out.

Some dogs do have issues and need their anal glands cleaned out periodically.  This can be for other reasons than a constant loose stool.

Your  vet can show you how to do this at home.

The gland at 4 and 8 (on a clock) will feel like the size of a  B.B.  You need to gently grasp them from either side with your fingers and gently squeeze to empty them.  The odor can be quite sever so you may prefer to go to the vet for this.

The best way is to insert one finger in the rectum to properly release the gland.

You may also find yourself in a situation where your dog is so scared (by another dog, or other situation) where you suddenly small an awful odor.  This is usually the dogs fear that automatically releases the anal glands.

If your dog is scooting in the yard or on your carpet you need to address this anal gland issue with your  vet.

Impacted anal glands left uncleaned can result in surgery.


How Do I Get Started Showing My Pup/Dog In Conformation

First off you need your breeder to give their opinion (or another breeder) as to whether your pup/dog is worthy of the breed to go in the show conformation ring.

You also need your dog registered with the AKC under “Open Registration”.  You can not show in conformation with “limited reg.”.  However, you can do rally, obedience, etc. on limited reg.

Start by finding a show handling class near you. can help you in your search.   Also look for “match”  shows thru this site.  These are practice shows which are still following the rules of the AKC but no points are given.

At home you can start by working with your pup with treats (bait) by not allowing her to sit for a treat.  Dogs are not allowed to sit in the show ring while being judged and bait is used in the ring.

For instance, if your pup sits when you take out a treat, walk away slightly and ask the pup to stand so pup is on all 4 feet when you give the treat.  Do this consistantly.

This is a good start prior to starting “handling classes”.

Go to dog shows near you to see what it is all about.  Acclimate your pup to these events so they are comfortable around a lot of dogs.

But remember to talk to your breeder first as to the quality of your pup for the conformation ring.


Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes – BLT In One Bite

2 contianers of vine ripened cherry tomatoes

1 lb bacon (cooked till crisp and drained and set aside) (than chop or crush finely)

2 tbs fresh parsley

1/4 cup minced scallion

2 tbs. parmesan cheese

2 cups mayonnaise

Slice off the stem side of the tomato and set aside.

Scoop seeds and membrane out of tomatoes.  Discard.

Place scooped out tomatoes open side down on paper towels to drain.

Combine remaining ingredients other than the bacon (which you have crushed or chopped very fine after cooking crisply)

Put all other ingredients in a zip lock bag.

When you are ready to serve, add the chopped bacon and mix well, than cut the bottom corner of the zip lock and pipe into the tomatoes.

Top each one with the lid you cut off earlier and serve.

Just pop one on your mouth and it is a BLT in one bite.