June 28, 2013

God Made A Dog

June 21, 2013

Hamster Love!

We've had Fluffernutter for about 2 months now. She is the sweetest little hamster and has never bitten any of us. Riley absolutely adores her and guards her as if she were a baby puppy. We have to be careful when Fluffer is running around in her ball because Riley will "guard" her from Cooper and Lisa the cat. Riley loves to give her kisses, although I'm not sure Fluffer appreciates them! :)

June 20, 2013

Referer Spam - WARNING

WARNING for all my fellow bloggers!

 If you check your traffic sources (as I often do) you may notice the following URLs/Sites come up in your lists:




PLEASE do not click on any of these links. It's a new method of advertising called "referer spam". Here is a good explanation from Matt Cutts at WebProNews.com:

“A referer is just a simple HTTP header that is passed along when a browser goes from one page to another page, and it normally is used to indicate where the user’s coming from. Now, people can use that, and change the referer to be anything that they want. They can make it empty, or there are some people who will set the referer to a page they want to promote, and then they will just visit tons of pages around the web. All the people that look at the referers see that, and say, ‘Oh, maybe I should go and check that out.’ And the link – whenever there’s a referer – it doesn’t mean that there was necessarily a link, because you can make that referer anything you want, so there are some people who try to drive traffic by visiting a ton of websites, even with an automated script, and setting the referer to be the URL that they want to promote."

 There is nothing you can do (unless you are a computer whiz) to get rid of it, so please just ignore it and don't follow the links. :)

June 19, 2013

Top 10 Favorite Vizsla Blogs

Riley & friends!

I love reading about other Vizslas online and I'm always on the lookout for other Vizsla blogs, so I thought it was about time to compile a list of my top 10 favorite Vizsla blogs that I frequent. I hope this saves you some time searching for some good ones yourself!

1. It's A Vizsla Thing - My go-to blog for fun stories, gorgeous pictures, and a constant source of humorous Vizsla antics!

2. Life with Louie - Cutest. Vizsla pup. EVER. His owners love taking him on off-leash adventures and they've visited some great spots in the Bay Area.

3. Life with Riley & Stella - How could I NOT love a blog with a pup who has the same name as my girl? :) This blog is about the adventures of a Vizsla named Stella and her Labrador pal, Riley. It has lots of beautiful pictures and great articles about dog training.

4. Red Bird Dog - Great posts on topics ranging from Bay Area parks (search "hidden treasure" to find lots of good spots) to hunting with your Vizsla. Blog author has two of the sweetest pups I've ever met and regularly goes on long walks/hikes with his redheads. He's always open to having well-behaved Vizslas to join him on walks!

5. Aussie Vizsla Diaries - Vizslas and their GSP sister living in the "land down under"! I love all the posts about training and hunting with your Vizsla the natural way. Blog author does not use any harsh training methods, only time, patience, and consistency!

6. The Good Dog Blog - Life with Bodi, Oliver, and the human they own. "...is there anything more beautiful then a Vizsla full of excitement, let off leash to just run and romp.  These are the moments where all four paws rarely are on the grass at the same time – spinning and jumping."

7. Vizsla Inspiration - Photos, photos, and more photos! Blog author does not write much, but if a picture truly is "worth a thousand words" you won't miss the text. :)

8. Denis's Diary of Destruction - Hilarious and adorable! Lots of pictures with funny captions.

9. Varazs Vizslas - A breeder/blogger who regularly updates with show results and pictures of her lovely pups and their offspring.

10. Fusion Vizslas - Blog with a myriad of different topics and beautifully laid out for easy perusing.

June 14, 2013

TPLO Surgery Recovery - Week 3

My pretty Riley girl! <3
Today officially marks the 3 week point since Riley's TPLO knee surgery. We were very worried last week because she formed a pocket of fluid (called a "seroma") under her sutures. The vet was very hesitant to drain it due to the danger of introducing bacteria through a needle. We made the decision to wait and see if it would resolve itself. I've been taking pictures of the knee each day so I can track the progress of the seroma and it has already decreased in size by at least 1/2. I think it's safe to say we don't need to have it drained. :)

Seroma last week...

... & seroma this week - much smaller! :)
She is completely off the pain meds now, so she has been hesitating a bit to put her weight on the leg when she is standing still. When she walks around the yard, however, she forgets about the pain and uses the leg 100%. Riley is a tough little cookie!

Here is a video of her walking this week:

An editor from CountryLiving.com contacted me yesterday about writing a small section for a story she's doing on the best places in the country to visit with your dog. I was thrilled to tell her about my favorite park, Sunol Regional Wilderness. I can't wait to see the story! :)

June 8, 2013

Vizsla Puppies - Örökké Vizslas

Sébastien Bouchard, the owner of  Örökké Vizslas located in beautiful Quebec, Canada graciously has given me permission to use pictures on my blog from his latest litter: Vesper x Hudson. I've been enjoying all the pictures posted on facebook, so I wanted to share a few with all of you!

Mr. red who is "always moving!"
Mama is already teaching pups important lessons...
... such as the proper use of pillows!

Nothing like a good stretch after a day of napping!
Vizsla cuddles <3
Mama Vesper hard at work feeding her babies!
Perfectly adorable
"Enough with the pictures!"

If you enjoyed these pictures, please check out the Örökké Vizslas facebook page! 

June 7, 2013

TPLO Surgery Recovery - Day 14

Happy girl waiting to get her stitches removed!
I can't believe it's already been 2 weeks since her surgery! This morning she had her stitches removed at Adobe Animal Hospital. She did so well and was very patient as the vet tech took them out. The incisions have all healed up beautifully. There is a large scar on her leg from where they opened it up to install the plate and screws. She's still my beautiful girl, no matter what! <3

Here is a video of her walking at 12 days... it's amazing how much she's using that leg now! :D

The vet noticed the fluid buildup under her TPLO sutures (called a "seroma"). We discussed the pros/cons of draining it and decided to wait and see if it would resolve on its own. Due to Riley's past history of major knee infection from the attack we're all very hesitant to introduce any kind of bacteria into her knee and this is always a possibility when you stick a needle into the surgery site. My husband has the fun task of keeping a hot pack on her today along with some gentle massage to see if we can coax the fluid out of her knee. We put a hot pack on it last night with some massage and this morning it was already looking better. I'm hopeful if we continue it will resolve itself!

Stitches are gone! Nice-sized scar & seroma
 Also, Riley FINALLY gets to have a bath today! Vizlsas are not supposed to have a bad odor, but with the mix of surgery smells + sweat + dirt + not being able to lick herself clean due to the ProCollar we have a very stinky dog on our hands! :) I think we'll give her a nice soak in an oatmeal bath with some epsom salts. The oatmeal soothes itchy skin, the milk is a nice moisturizer, and the epsom salts will help to further heal her knee and hopefully draw out some of the fluids in her seroma.

Here is my recipe:

1 cup oatmeal finely ground in a food processor
4 cups whole milk
1 cup epsom salts

Most people like to put the oatmeal in a sock or some other type of bag and run the water through the ground oats. I simply pour them in the water and let them soak for a bit before I put Riley in the bath. After about 30 minutes of soaking, I wash her lightly with a mild puppy shampoo. Yes, my pup is a little bit spoiled. ;)

June 6, 2013

ProCollar Review

Riley in her ProCollar, aka: "donut of shame"
It's been almost two weeks since Riley's surgery and her stitches come out tomorrow, so I though it was time to write a quick review of her ProCollar. The vet wanted to send her home in a hard, plastic cone. I decided to give this nifty collar a try to see if it worked. We purchased her ProCollar at Petco, but it is also available at Amazon.

First the pros:

1. Great fit! There are inner loops that you just run your dog's collar through and then you tighten up the collar as you normally would. Riley has not been able to slip it off even once.
2. Very comfortable for a healing pup. Riley loved to (begrudgingly) use it as a pillow during her initial recovery from surgery.
3. Allows the dog to retain better vision of their surroundings (doesn't block off as much as a traditional cone).
4. Durable fabric sleeve. Riley brushed the collar up against my mom's rose bushes several times and the thorns never broke through the inner tube.

Okay, now for the cons:

1. Not 100% effective like the cone if you happen to have a very athletic/flexible dog. Riley was able to twist and contort her body several times so she could reach back and lick her knee. We had her under close supervision, so it wasn't an issue for us. If your dog is going to spend long periods of time alone, this may not be your best option.
2. Flimsy construction of inner loops. Riley has been confined to her crate 95% of the time and somehow one of the inner loops broke. Probably not a good idea for dogs who are not going to be confined to their crate for their recovery period.
3. Heavy... very heavy. I understand the need to use very tough, tear-resistant fabric, but that has also unfortunately made the collar very heavy. It didn't seem to bother Riley unless she was feeling very tired.

Overall? I give it a 3 & 1/2 out of 5 paws. :)

June 5, 2013

TPLO Surgery Recovery - Day 11

Relaxing with grandma <3
After a long phone conversation with Riley's doctor, she determined we didn't need to bring her in to get the leg examined. I told her all of the following:

1. Rectal temperature - normal 101 degrees F
2. Leg was not painful when I massaged or did range of motion exercises
3. Riley was eating well, drinking plenty of water, and having good urine production and bowl movements
4. She was using the leg and putting her weight on it
5. We put ice packs on the leg several times daily and saw the swelling decrease

The doctor told me I sounded like a veterinary nurse, which is funny because that was originally my career choice until I changed my mind and decided to become an accountant. My dream school was UC Davis! I still wonder what might have happened if I'd stuck with my original plan...

All that aside, the doctor said it sounded like she either was too bouncy and agitated the leg or she may have been bit by a bug (she had a small red patch on the back of her thigh). We gave her a Benadryl for good measure and have been continuing to monitor her. The stitches come out this Friday, which is going to be really nice because she desperately needs a bath! I tried wiping her down with a warm, wet cloth but it didn't do much good. 2 weeks of post-surgery stink is not pleasant. :)

I'll try to get some better pictures of her leg tonight when I get home. The knee is the only part of her leg that is still swollen. If the swelling isn't gone by Saturday, I think I may take her in for some x-rays just to make sure the plate/screws are okay and there are no fractures in the bone.

Thanks for all the encouragement I've received lately! I love seeing all the feedback on my blog posts and knowing that people care about Riley and are wishing her well! :)

June 3, 2013

Dog Park Adventures with Cooper

Sitting at the window, looking for sister <3
 Poor Cooper hasn't had any fun since Riley's surgery. We've been keeping him crated at my house while we care for Riley at my parents' house. Cooper gets Riley way too excited and worked up when she sees him, so it is better for her recovery process that we keep them separated for now. My brother-in-law lets him out and plays with him mid-day and my husband takes him on 4+ mile runs at night, but he's still been pretty antsy and upset.

Well, the other day I decided to take him to a dog park near our house. As a general rule, I hate dog parks because the dogs that go are typically ill-mannered and not properly socialized. They're also usually cooped up all day with no stimulation so when they reach the dog park they are crazy maniacs. This plus the fact that the dogs could have a wide assortment of illnesses/parasites/etc has kept me away. We've always done group Vizsla walks on the weekend, but I was too exhausted from caring for Riley to hike. So, we went to the dog park.

The experience was exactly like I expected it would be. A very heavyset man had 4 (yes, 4) border collies all running around terrorizing people while he sat and watched. I watched one bite a lady on the knee as she was walking through the center of the dog park. According to the lady who was bit, he is at the dog park every day with his 4 horrid dogs who have nipped people on multiple occasions. Why animal control hasn't banned him is beyond me. Then of course there was the large rottweiler who followed Cooper everywhere trying to hump him. I was hopeful when some other large dogs showed up, but they wanted nothing to do with Cooper and gave him the stink eye every time he wandered toward them. There was also a little dog who was brought into the large dog side because he attacks the little dogs. He also attacks the large dogs, he just doesn't do it with as much gusto.

Cooper spent the majority of the time getting humped by the rottweiler, avoiding eye contact with the old grouchy dogs, trying not to get bit by the little bratty dog, and generally feeling miserable. He was thrilled when I grabbed his leash and said "Are you ready to go home?"

I reached out to the Vizsla group on facebook (super nice people!) and asked if anyone was in the Bay Area for a playdate with Cooper. A lady in Morgan Hill sent me a PM and we arranged a playdate at the Morgan Hill dog park yesterday afternoon. Sweet Pepper and Cooper had a blast! They ran together, played keep-away with a tug rope, wrestled, and hunted ground squirrels.

We're going to set up some more playdates with Pepper. Her human is even interested in checking out a nearby wildlife area that has wild quail. I think the two pups would have a blast hunting together! I'm really happy we found a buddy for him to play with while Riley is recovering. :)

June 2, 2013

TPLO Recovery - Day 9... Setback :(

Riley's been extra bouncy lately as we've stopped the Tramadol. Yesterday she was pretty energetic, but her leg seemed fine. This morning we woke up & her ankle was very swollen. :( We put cold packs on the ankle several times today in hopes it would help. I see yet another trip to the vet in my future...

June 1, 2013

Trainer Review

Riley & Cooper are very vocal about their excitement for hunt training with Bryce!

I just wanted to take the time to review our excellent hunt trainer, Bryce Mann. After extensive research, I chose him to work with my two pups and he has really brought out the best in both of them. Hunt training is currently on hold, due to Riley's leg injury and I may or may not continue pending the outcome of the surgery. So far, it looks like we're on track for a full recovery. *fingers crossed*

Bryce is about a 3 hour drive from us and let me tell you, it is worth it to make that trip! He loves both of my pups and truly understands that each dog has their own hunting style. Riley is more showy and has much more obvious points, but he also appreciates that Cooper is more steadfast in his points and doesn't break as easily.

Here's a blurb from Bryce's website that explains a bit about his background and experience:

"BRYCE MANN'S GUN DOGS is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Central California in the small town of Tollhouse. Bryce began training dogs 31 years ago. He started with Weimaraners and now currently owns and raises German Shorthaired Pointers and English Pointers.  Doug started his hunting adventures as a young boy growing up in the Alaskan frontier.  Large game, water fowl and Labradors was the initial introduction to hunting.  By moving to the lower 48 States large game has taken a back seat to an intense focus on upland hunting with English Pointers.
Bryce currently trains pointing, flushing and retrieving dogs of all varieties for upland game and waterfowl hunting. Over the years his dogs have held many local and state titles. He is currently competing at the national level with his dogs in upland tournament hunting and serves on the national board of directors for North American Gun Dog Association “NAGDA”.

Doug has been involved with The North American Gun Dog Association “NAGDA” for many years both serving as a national board member and executive treasurer and for the past 5 years. Competing at the National level has produced multiple Top 10 placements along with local and state titles with other upland organizations.

Bryce and Doug have been gun dog handlers for various hunt clubs and provided handling and trained dogs for the California Department of Fish and Game’s Heritage Game Bird Programs Family, Ladies, Junior and wheelchair pheasant hunts. Bryce and Doug also conduct seminars for Bass Pro Shops and groups such as Ducks Unlimited, Quail Unlimited and the California Department of Fish and Game's Advanced Hunter Education programs and the Western States Gun Dog Expo. Both are featured seminar trainer and representative for Tri-Tronics., Remington Sporting Dog and Hi-Viz shooting systems. Bryce and Doug are patron life member of the National Rifle Association.  Bryce proudly serves as a member of the NRA Members Council. He also is a Ca.DFG certified hunter safety instructor.
Bryce provides specialized training for dog owners who are mobility impaired. He is an advisory member of the California Department of Fish and Game dealing with handicapped access. He is also the current president of California Wheelin’ Sportsmen.  Not only is Doug involved with hunting but also volunteers his free time as the President of the Fresno Junior Hockey Association and coaches youth water polo.
Bryce has written articles for Gun Dog Magazine, Pointing Dog Journal and Gundogs Unlimited online magazine.  He has also has done interviews and articles for Western Outdoor News, Outdoor California Magazine and for TV( Bird Dogs Forever, Turkey Country TV and Comcast Sports along with radio, pod casts, news papers and personal appearances. See the blogs: “A Gun Dogs Life” and www.OutdoorMann.com  Doug has contributed articles for JHO and Western Outdoor News Magazine.  Bryce and Doug are voting member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA).
In addition to dog training Bryce and Doug run a California-based guide service for all types of Fish and game. They will be expanding their guide service to Alaska for true Northwestern big game hunting and fishing experience. Both Doug and Bryce are experienced, licensed and bonded game guides. For bookings and information contact Bryce by e-mail: info@BryceMann.com
Doug Richesin & Bryce Mann both serve on the board of directors of the North American Gun Dog Association where their passion for upland tournament hunting is brought to the national level. These fast paced real time hunting events combine both their skills as hunters and shot gunners with their dog training and handling skills. Their many ribbons, titles and achievements have been noted in both NAGDA and BDC events at the state, regional and national competitions for many years. http://www.nagdog.com 
Our current list of sponsors includes many prestigious names in the hunting and shooting industry; Tri-Tronics, Canidae, Happy Jack, Danner Boots, Remington Sporting Dog, Poly Wad ammunition, DLR Insurance Solutions, Richesin Ranch, Hi -Viz shooting systems, Pella Products, Natural Gear 5.11 Tactical and Atlas Trap."

Bryce is highly esteemed in his field. He trains mainly GSPs, but he has a very soft hand and treats all the dogs with respect. Riley and Cooper get so excited when we pull up to his house for training (as you can see in the video)! I'm looking forward to Riley's full recovery so we can *hopefully* get back to hunting. Only time will tell.