Monday, December 30, 2019

Sasha's 10th Birthday!

Dec 29th is a very special day in our house. Not only is it my birthday (whoop, whoop!) it is also Sasha's birthday. This year was an important milestone as it's her 10th birthday!

sasha rottweiler

Sasha has had a pretty good year. She ran a few miles:

sasha rottweiler gopro outward hound

sasha rottweiler

Had a few picnics:

sasha rottweiler gopro outward hound

Showed her patriotism:

sasha rottweiler

Had some minor surgery:

Dressed up as a floppy white dog for Halloween:

sasha rottweiler

And opened some flying gifts:

sasha rottweiler pajamas

sasha rottweiler pajamas

Through it all she's kept her sense of humour and playfulness. Sasha will forever be a puppy at heart.

sasha rottweiler gopro outward hound

sasha rottweiler

Happy Birthday, sweet girl - we love you so much! Here's to many more years of silliness.

sasha rottweiler

sasha rottweiler

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you from the team at I Have Plans With My Dog!

So when you're feeling totally over this togetherness thing----

Or looking for an escape route----

Remember that there's probably someone nearby with a treat they'll share with you.

And we'll be back to share more adventures in 2020!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers for the Dog Lover

By now you have all of your gifts purchased and wrapped, right? Right? Me, neither.

If you're still looking for a few last minute stocking stuffers for the dog lover on your list, maybe one of the following will fit the bill.

dog socks

Funky dog socks to give your feet a thrill and make others take notice. Isn't it cute the way the ears stick up above the sock edge?

you are my sunshine dog keychain

How about a sweet puppy-faced keychain that sends a message to the owner and to their puppy?

my dog thinks i'm cool t shirt

When the world thinks you're just a little strange, this t shirt reminds you that at least your dog thinks you're cool. And really, that's all that matters.

a dog's guide to humans paperback

Every dog will thank you if you buy this book for their owner, "A Dog's Guide to Humans", by Karen Davison. The dog in the book shares tips on how to get the best out of your human, as well as explanations for some of humans' strange behaviour.

Life is better with a dog cushion

This cushion cover (break down and buy them a cushion too) is a fun addition to any house's decor. Especially one already adorned with dog hair.


And if you're still looking for presents for the furry members of your family, check out these toys from PetSmart that are on my shopping list.

dinosaur 2 in 1 squeaker toy

This OMG! Surprise dinosaur toy is meant to be destroyed because on the inside...is another squeaky toy! Our Scarlett would love this. She'll sneak off with a toy (you'll never catch her playing with one in front of you) and all you'll find is a carcass and a pile of fluff. This guy is 19 inches tall - much bigger than I expected.

dinosaur treat dispenser toy

Another dinosaur (not intentional), but this one  - the Petstages Occupi Dino - dispenses treats from his belly. Keep your dog occupied while you take a break from the hustle and bustle. It also comes with a bag of sweet potato treats to get you started.

squeaker rope toy ring

This seems like a simple Top Paw Holiday Rope Ring, but it also has squeakers inside. I like how the material is woven instead of only twisted like some rope toys, and there is no end - so they have to work a little harder on it. It also comes in the standard straight rope, or rope with 3 knots. Update: I bought this and it's much bigger than it looks! Hopefully it'll last a good long time. (And it's on sale right now!)

dog union suit pajamas pjs

Everyone wants new jammies for Christmas morning. These Beaver Canoe red union suit-style pjs are super adorable, and come in 7 sizes!

Hopefully you'll have your shopping done soon and you can sit back and relax with your loved ones (furry and otherwise). I know I can't wait to watch Sasha open all the gifts. That's right, she gets to open them all and it's the best part of Christmas for me.

Monday, December 16, 2019

K9 Training School Open House

For the last few months we've been taking Zac to rally obedience classes at the nearby dog training school - Good as Gold K9 Training School. I need to get some pictures and video together to show what he's learned - it's so much fun and he's so smart.

This past weekend they held a Christmas open house for all of the students. We took Scarlett along with us as she needs more experience being around crowds and noise.

The training room was cleared of equipment and decorated like a winter wonderland. A buffet was set up along one side. And there were dogs everywhere. Everywhere. It was the best thing ever.

I wish I could gotten more pictures but the lighting was low and the dogs were in constant motion. Here are a few that I managed to capture.


The stars of the day. Everyone wanted to take their picture. And they were more than happy to oblige.
Their owner said she's used to it - especially when they're dressed up.

This is Byron (white dog). He's in our obedience class and is a star. He's so good at everything!

This weimaraner puppy was just the cutest thing, but I couldn't get a photo of his face that was in focus - he was constantly on the move.

This is Hushpuppy - owned by our trainer. She's deaf, but her eyes and nose still work perfectly. She was interested in everyone's lunch.

This area was set up for photos. I wish we could have gotten a picture of Scarlett here but there wasn't a chance she would have sat still long enough. She hates getting her picture taken. This guy was great though - he stayed like this until his owners had the perfect shot.

Our little mouse Scarlett - not so sure of all the commotion. But she did great when other dogs came over to say hello.

This guy is a bernedoodle - a Bernese mountain dog/poodle cross. What a big pile of fluff. And he had the most human-like eyes I've ever seen.

It was a really fun time. We met a lot of nice people and a lot of nice dogs. We're so glad that we've become part of this community.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Christmas Gift Ideas - Subscription Boxes for Dogs

Subscription boxes for humans have been popular for years - there are clothing boxes, makeup boxes, car freshener boxes (really!), candy boxes, even magic trick boxes. There is a subscription box for just about every interest out there.

In case you're out of the loop, a subscription box is a recurring delivery (usually monthly) of curated items specifically targeted to your interests. In most cases what is in the box is a surprise, so you never know what you might receive each month.

Not to be left out, the dog (and cat) supply industry has jumped on the bandwagon and there are now several dozen different dog-related subscription boxes out there for you to choose from. Subscription boxes make a fantastic gift for the hard-to-buy for person that also happens to be a crazy dog person.

Below are a few of my favourites. (Note that I haven't tried them all so my opinion is solely based on what I've read.)

Barkbox is the most well-known of the canine subscription boxes. It ships monthly and each box contains 2 toys, 2 bags of treats, and a chew. Subscription prices start at $22/month USD (plus shipping to Canada). Note that they are currently having problems shipping to Canada - hopefully it will be resolved soon.

BarkBox subscription box

I subscribed to Barkbox for about six months. I ended up cancelling my subscription because my dogs were too rough with the toys and they didn't last past the first day. With a Rottweiler and a Mastiff you have to have tough toys!

This brings me to the Super Chewer subscription box - made by the same people who produce Barkbox. The Super Chewer box contains 2 tough, fluff-free toys, 2 bags of treats, and 2 hearty chews. If a toy doesn't stand up to your dog's chewing they will replace it free of charge. That sounds like a pretty great deal.

Super Chewer Box by BarkBox subscription box

WoofPack is the newest Canadian subscription box for your dog. This is also a monthly box, and comes with 2 toys - 1 plush + 1 durable - 2 bags of treats, and 1 chew or accessory. Monthly subscription prices start at $33 CAD. You can also purchase an additional super tough toy for $9 monthly. This box might seem more expensive, but when you factor in the exchange rate, plus the fact that shipping is free for Canada and the US, it's a reasonable price. The website is also currently running a promotion where your first box is 50% off.

WoofPack subscription box

Another subscription box for aggressive chewers is the Bullymake box. This box contains 5-6 tough toys and treats that are heavy-duty and long-lasting. You can also choose to receive only toys if your dog isn't interested in treats or has allergies. Prices start at $31/month USD (plus shipping to Canada). Bullymake has a 14 day guarantee to replace any toy that is destroyed. They also have a shop where you can purchase individual items that have appeared in previous boxes. Bullymake currently has a $10 off promotion on their website.

Bullymake subscription box

Surprise My Pet is a subscription box that gives back. A portion of their proceeds goes to support pet charities in subscribers' communities. Subscribers submit their choice for a charity and one is drawn from a hat each month. Each box contains 5-7 items tailored to the size of your dog. Boxes start at $27/month USD (plus shipping to Canada). Because this is a small, family-owned company, they aren't able to offer a guarantee or substitutions on their items, and their shipping is high, but it feels good to do something for needy animals when getting a treat for your own pupper.

Surprise My Pet subscription box

The Pet Treater subscription box contains toys and treats that are less expensive than those found in other boxes. The creators work hard to find affordable goodies for everyone. Each box contains 3-4 toys, treats, and extras. Pricing starts at $15/month USD. Currently, they only ship in the US. You can also order a toys-only box ($15/month) or the deluxe box with 5-8 toys/treats for $25/month. Your first box will be different than everyone else's - it's made up of items that were favourites in past boxes. Pet Treater is a partner of the Pet Finder Foundation and supports shelters all over the United States. In addition, for every shipment sent out, a toy, bag of treats, or blanket, etc. is donated to a shelter in need.

Pet Treater subscription box

And one subscription box for the dog moms out there - the Dog Mom Box. This box comes with 3-4 items for you, plus 3-4 toys and treats for your dog. Items include t-shirts, scrunchies, water bottles, cosmetic bags, and ornaments. There are also boxes for houses with 2 or 3 dogs that contain double or triple the dog goodies. Monthly pricing starts at $37.99 USD plus $5 shipping. Unfortunately they only ship to the US at this time. I am pretty excited about this one, so hopefully they'll start shipping to Canada soon.

Dog Mom Box subscription box

I could go on and on about the dog subscription boxes available - there are so many! - but I think this gives you a good idea of what you can find. I hope I've helped you  - you might just have been able to check a couple more gifts off your list!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Chloe Update

Hey, All.

I've taken the last week or so off from blogging (and pretty much everything else) as Chloe's health has taken a bit of a downturn.

Back around Labour Day she started to have accidents in the house nearly every day and was drinking water non-stop. We headed to the vet for some tests and they determined it was a UTI. A round of antibiotics and she seemed to improve. But she was still thirsty all of the time. And she was constantly looking for food, to the point where she would snap it out of your hand when it was offered. This was completely unlike her - she's never been particularly food-motivated, even when she was a puppy.

We continued with tests at the vet. The incontinence came back - not as bad as before, but still a problem, so we ordered some doggy diapers. (They're totally adorable, by the way.) The blood tests led to a possible diagnosis of Cushing's Disease.

Cushing’s Disease in dogs develops when their body overproduces cortisol. Problems can be because of a tumor on the pituitary gland OR on the adrenal gland. Usually an ultrasound is used to determine where the tumor is. This is necessary to decide treatment - different types of Cushing's Disease respond to different medications. Regardless of the result, we weren't going to pursue surgery due to her age. Untreated, Cushing's isn't going to shorten her life - the correct medication would just make her life more comfortable.

But then last week she started to wobble and lose her balance, and she kept laying down outside when we took her out to pee. So it was back to the vet for an ultrasound on her belly, where they found a mass on her spleen. Masses have a tendency to bleed, and when it bleeds her stomach swells, and then the loss of blood makes her weak. The vet said that there was nothing to be done as she knew how we felt about Chloe having to undergo surgery.

So we prepared to say goodbye. We cancelled her Cushing's ultrasound and made an appointment to have her put down. We want to bury her here on our property, so we picked a pretty spot in a grove of trees and built a casket.

And then you know what happened? The old girl rebounded! She got her strength back. She started walking down the stairs by herself and wandering all over our property. We were letting her eat laying down in the living room, and after a couple of days she got up and pushed Zac out of the way so that she could eat standing in her usual spot. What the heck! Who is this dog?

So we cancelled the vet appointment. It's been over a week and she is doing great. She's still thirsty and hungry, but she has barely had an accident, and she goes outside on her own. And her stomach doesn't feel hard and swollen anymore.

It's been such an emotional rollercoaster. But after feeling like crawling into bed and not coming out, we're looking forward to a little more time with her (and all the dogs together). At least until spring, okay, old girl?

I just asked Chloe how I should finish this post and she farted. Classy to the end.