Archive for April, 2010

My Golden Retriever Gets Her Flea Control Application

Sharon Hill | April 26th, 2010

The mornings that Sabrina Renee goes to doggie day care can be a little hectic. Although she loves going, she likes to run around and hide and be slow to behave.

The first thing we do in the morning is clean the sleep out of her eyes and wipe her face with a clean damp cloth. She likes having a clean face.

Today I also had to put flea control on her. With twenty or so dogs playing at day care, it’s important that she get the protection she needs. I like to space out her flea control and heartworm medication. Her vet suggests they be given at least one week apart so she doesn’t have all of the medications at the same time.

While I was putting the flea control on her, she decided to lie down and rub her face on the ground. As a result, the medicine was not in one spot, as the instructions said, but hopefully it will be fine.

Above is a photo me cleaning her face with her favorite Easter egg washcloth. I call cleaning her face the “sushi face wash” because it reminds me of the washcloths you get to clean your hands at a sushi restaurant.

My Golden Retriever and Her Favorite Dog Toy

Sharon Hill | April 18th, 2010

Golden retrievers like to retrieve, I guess that is why Sabrina Renee’s favorite toy is a pink and green floppy disc. She is really, really good at catching it, I’m truly amazed. I think she likes the running part the best. She isn’t always keen on giving up the disc so I can throw it back to her. She likes to scrape it along the ground or drop it at my feet. I guess I should have taught her to hand it back to me but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet. It’s not really something they teach in dog training.

In the photo above, she had just gotten the disc and lay down for a rest. I couldn’t get her to let go of it!

Someone Found a Golden Retriever. . .

Sharon Hill | April 14th, 2010

The oddest thing happened yesterday. Someone found a golden retriever wandering in the court and left her on my doorstep.

This is what I think happened. I have a neighbor who leaves his garage door open all day as he works in his house and garage. His dog often wanders around outside while he works. Apparently she wandered off when he went into his house and he didn’t even notice.

From what I could tell, someone found the dog in the court, thought she was Sabrina Renee, got her into my front patio, rang my doorbell and left.

I opened the door and the dog ran into my house. What a shock! The golden retriever doesn’t even look like Sabrina Renee, she is darker, larger and older, she looks like the dog in the photo above, but a non-dog person wouldn’t probably even notice.

Luckily Sabrina Renee was at day care because she doesn’t really like this dog.

I grabbed a leash and took the dog right back to her dad.

It was nice of someone to return a dog they thought was mine but it is a little scary that they didn’t stick around to find out if she really was. Had I not been home she could have been alone in a strange place for a long time which can be very stressful for an animal.

More importantly, my neighbor needs to stop leaving his doors open, it puts his dog into a very unsafe situation.

Raincoats for Dogs

Sharon Hill | April 11th, 2010

Another day, another dog coat. Today Sabrina Renee wore a raincoat because it rained off and on. People often laugh when they see her in a raincoat because, being a water dog, she actually loves the rain. But it is so hard to dry her off after she gets wet that I have her wear a coat. Sabrina Renee actually has several raincoats, she likes to walk through ivy so in the rain, in addition to to getting soaking wet, the coats also get muddy. They usually only last one wearing before being washed.

It’s not that easy to find raincoats, or any coats, for large breed dogs. Seems most dog clothes manufacturers think that only small dogs need to be protected from the weather. Hopefully things are changing. I would like to see all sorts of clothes for large breed dogs, especially at Halloween.

Above is a photo of Sabrina Renee in her purple raincoat. Behind her you will see the fence I had custom made a year ago to save the plants and the beautiful, mature, night blooming jasmine from Sabrina Renee’s teeth.

Sabrina Renee Goes to the Vet

Sharon Hill | April 10th, 2010

The weather was surprisingly cool today so I put Sabrina Renee’s coat on her before we went out. I know large, furry dogs don’t really need dog clothes but she is so cute in this coat that I had to put her in it. She is pretty tolerant of coats and her Christmas sweater that has a Christmas tree with lights, but she doesn’t like sweaters. I think she finds them constricting. Some dogs like snug sweaters and t-shirts, one owner told me her dog, a wire-fox terrier felt more secure when she was wearing a t-shirt.

Sabrina Renee and I went out today to visit her veterinarian for her Bordetella vaccine. I’m not real big on a lot of vaccines but since she goes to day care, I make sure she gets this one (also, her day care demands it). She was actually due to get the vaccine a couple of months ago but her vet does not vaccinate when an animal’s immune system may be down and Sabrina Renee was licking excessively when she was due and could have, at that time, had some deficiency according to Eastern medicine.

Grooming for My Golden Retriever

Sharon Hill | April 6th, 2010

Sabrina Renee went to the dog groomer today. I confess that until November of last year, I bathed her myself.  I had been hesitant because my previous golden hated the groomer’s. We had had a bad experience, I had taken her to a groomer whom, I later discovered, had kept her all day in a kennel that was too small for her. Then, when I went to pick her up, the groomer had about five golden retrievers walking around and asked me, “Which golden is yours?” I was shocked to see that they had trimmed her way beyond what I had requested and my dog was very stressed. I took her home as soon as I could.

So, I had been bathing Sabrina Renee myself but bath time got too crazy. She loves the water and loves being in the tub with the shower running. However, as soon as I bring out the shampoo and start the suds, she jumps out of the tub. In fact, one time I forgot to close the bathroom door, she got out of the tub, ran past me into the hall and started to run all around the house – all wet and soapy. It was quite wild.

I got a referral to a groomer who lets me pick up my dog as soon as she is done. Sabrina Renee gets a little stressed there but she is getting better each time she goes (every 5 weeks).

If you decide to take your golden retriever to a groomer, ask other golden owners and get some referrals.

Above is a photo of Sabrina Renee right after she returned home from the groomer.

My Golden Retriever Has Easter Dinner with Friends

Sharon Hill | April 4th, 2010

Happy Easter and Happy Spring!

Sabrina Renee and I were invited over to a friend’s for Easter dinner. Sabrina Renee got dressed in her Easter egg decorated dog collar and Easter egg dog bandanna for the occasion. She had a chance to play with her old friend, Glory, an all-American mutt who is almost seven years old. They had a great time playing together and with a 14-week old Australian Shepherd, Ollie.

Glory has two human brothers, one is 3 days older than Sabrina Renee and the other is just over a year old. I’m always pleased at how well Sabrina Renee plays with young children. When she was very young, she had a sitter who would stay at our house with her baby when I was out-of-town. She taught Sabrina Renee to be gentle with babies, no pushing, nipping or chasing. So while she does all of those things while playing with dogs, she has been trained to be gentle with children. Everyone commented about how sweet she is.

Easter Favors for Our Dog Neighbors

Sharon Hill | April 3rd, 2010

Sabrina Renee and I made and delivered Easter treat bags for our our neighborhood dogs today.  I bought Easter favor bags from Target and filled them with organic dog cookies, that are wheat, corn and soy free, from Costco. I printed tags that said, “Happy Spring! xoxo, Sabrina Renee”, punched a hole in it, put a ribbon through it and tied it to the bag. The bags came with twist ties but the ties are not safe to have around dogs, they might swallow them.

We had a fun time delivering the bags because some of the dogs were home, Colt, a chocolate lab, Ruby, Timmy and Mona, the pugs, and Robbie, a chihuahua mix who Sabrina Renee also got to chase and play with in the meadow.

Below is a photo of Robbie taken last year at Sabrina Renee’s third birthday party.

How My Golden Retriever Celebrates Spring with Dog Friends

Sharon Hill | April 2nd, 2010

I mentioned in a previous post that I take Sabrina Renee to doggie day care. Since this is Passover and Easter, I decided to bake a cake for the dogs so she could celebrate Spring with her friends. One of her boyfriends is at day care with her on Thursdays, Riley, a black German Shepard. I understand they run, body slam and act crazy there together. So since yesterday was Thursday, it was the perfect day for her to have a cake.

There are some great dog cake recipes available. I use the Applesauce Spice Cake one from the book Doggy Desserts, Homemade Treats for Happy Healthy Dogs by Cheryl Gianfrancesco. I substitute organic oat flour for the whole wheat flour mentioned in the recipe. I never bake with whole wheat flour when I’m making something for dogs. Sabrina Renee sees a holistic veterinarian who once told me the worse things for dogs are wheat, corn, soy and dairy products. The cake does have a cream cheese frosting but there is so little on it that I don’t worry if the dogs get a little.

The cake is pictured above. Not the best decorating job, for sure, but the 20 dogs that were there didn’t seem to mind. (The sugar frosting is removed before the cake is served to the dogs. Sugar is not good for them either.)

Below is a photo of Riley.

Disclosure – link is to the book on If you purchase it I will receive a commission. You may also be able to find the book at your local bookstore.