Friday, October 31, 2014

Things you don't want to know: Your dogs anal glands

Disclaimer: The following discussion my be offensive to some humans

Many of you asked about what happened to me at the veterinary clinic and why I yes being so secretive. Well, I just didn't want to offend my readers. And I didn't think people would be so interested. But they are.

Truth is, I am a lady. There are just some things we just don't talk about. But maybe I should. Maybe there is a reason for sharing my experience. There are dogs out there who needs this information. Dear dogs, this is for you.

Stinky? - What's it All About?
OK, so here goes. I was stinky I was embarrssed. I tried to hide this but I couldn't. Sometimes I smelled especially bad in the morning and sometimes I had a rank odor when I rode in the car. It wasn't BO and it wasn't gas. It was something worse.

So, under the guise of visiting the vet for a nail clip, my owner slipped in the fact that I might just need my anal glands looked at. You see, she heard about the problem on the Urban Coonhound website. And she also heard that there was some things that could be done to resolve the issue. If that was the source of my "stink," I needed help.

What the Vet Did
So, as usual, the vet checked me out, pretty much all over. He is very thorough. I don't like that but I know it is for my own good. Then came the "stink" issue. He took one whiff of me and said, "Yep, she's got anal glad problems."

So he took me in back with his assistant. They put on latex gloves (I didn't like that!) and lifted my tail. OH NO! And pretty quickly they squeezed the tissue on the lower part of my anus and that horrible smelly stuff came out. YUCK! Everyone there said, "YUCK!" And then it was over. They gave my hiney a little bath with some nice smelling soap to make sure I was clean.

Then they clipped my nails and brought me back to my owner. YAY! It was all done. They call this "expressing the anal glands"

It really doesn't hurt but it sure is embarrassing.
Here is where the anal glads are found.

What to Do to Prevent Anal Gland Problems
Well, it was decided that having more fiber in my diet would help. So now I am getting plain canned pumpkin on my food every night. I LOVE PUMPKIN! And, this certainly is the season for it!

I am hoping that will prevent problems in the future.

Love, Sweet Smelling Cinnamon

More Information
How to Express Your Dog's Anal Glands

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Expoloring Vancouver Washington: Waterfront Renaissance Trail

Here's the Water Resources Education Center. We parked there but I didn't go inside.
I've been out exploring my home town of Vancouver, Washington. My favorite place is along the mighty Columbia River. Usually I hit the Waterfront Renaissance Trail near the I-5 Bridge and walk east. But today I wanted to do something different. So we started at the Water Resources Education Center which is much farther east than I have ever gone on the trail. And I was glad I did!
Here's the fountain and the big solar panel.
You access the Center by driving east on Columbia Way. It's a great place for learning and just walking around sniffing and exploring. The first thing I noticed was a fountain and a huge solar panel next to it. I found out that with an hour of full sun, it can light 10 100-watt light bulbs. It was sunny so I thought it might be working away. The Center was closed so we walked around the grounds.
Here's the Kaleidoscope. It was too high for me so I sniffed it!
This is what my owner could see. She spent too much time looking at things here!
We saw something really unusual. Was it a telescope? Nope, it was a kaleidoscope focusing on a little dish garden of succulent plants. It was my owner's favorite thing to see but it was too high for me to reach. So I sniffed around the base while she had all the fun.
Here I am looking out toward the wetlands. I thought I might scare a frog or two there.
After that, it was time to head out on the trail. We stopped at the wetlands and looked out over the Columbia River. Sailboats were out. It had been stormy and the boats had to stay home for a couple of days. But today, the sailboats were out in all their glory. I love the colorful spinnakers!
Oh no! This was really scary!
When we were looking for birds in the wetlands, I spied a measuring stick. It went from way down on the shoreline up to where we were standing. I found out that was the height of the 1996 flood! I am glad I wasn't there during that flood. It must have been really scary!
Oh No!
Finally, we trotted down the trail. But we didn't get very far at all. You see, the Mighty Columbia River had done some damage to the trail. Part of it ahead was eroded. So we had to take a detour. Crumb! Repairs are now underway on one of two sections of Vancouver’s popular Waterfront Renaissance Trail in the Tidewater Cove area, which were closed to the public after high water undermined the trail’s foundation in 2011. 

This is the view from Tidewater Cove!

It could have been worse. The trail could have been closed. But instead we took the sidewalk along the road to get to Tidewater Cove. I didn't like that part of the trail but the cove was really neat. There was a dock with a boat moored and a walkway out to the point. I went all the way out on the point and saw a bench to sit on. It was donated by Kelly Puteney, a real trails and parks advocate. Thank you Kelly!
Here I am on Kelly's Bench
I basked in the sun and watched the sailboats on the Columbia and the planes taking off from the Portland International Airport across the river. 
Soon it was time to move on. We walked by some beautiful new condos. From the third floor, two black labs barked at me. I think they were jealous that I was out exploring the riverside. I was excited to see what was next.
Here's the condos where the dogs barked at me!
It wasn't a very long walk until we came to Wintler Park and A BEACH! I think that would be a great place to run and play. The Columbia River was lapping at the shore and I decided not to go wading. 

It started clouding up so we turned around and headed back down the trail, retracing out steps. We quickened our pace for sure. By the time we got to the car it was just starting to rain. Good thing we headed back when we did!

I think I want to go back, especially to Tidewater Cover. I love sitting on Kelly's Bench at the end of the walkway watching the river and the air traffic. What a great place to visit!

Someday I might take the whole 5 mile walk along the Waterfront Renaissance Trail. (or maybe not)
But if I do that, we have to have a ride back because 10 miles is definitely too much for this Coonhound! 

Love, Cinnamon the Vancouver Coonhound

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Should Dogs Eat Asparagus?

I just ate some asparagus. It was on a leftover plate my owner let me have. I usually don't get leftover plates but since we had such a great walk today, she thought I could have a little extra for a snack.

Yeah, I had some asparagus, but not this much!
But wait a minute! Can dogs eat asparagus? Well, I did. But is it safe? I checked out many articles on the Internet and found out that, yes, DOGS CAN HAVE ASPARAGUS. Well, let's not over-do it. It has vitamins and fiber and a little is just fine.

But I also learned that ASPARAGUS FERNS, the houseplant type, are not NOT OK FOR DOGS! According to this helpful article from  "The asparagus fern (also called emerald feather, emerald fern, sprengeri fern, plumosa fern or lace fern) is toxic to dogs and cats. The toxic agent in the plant is sapogenin — a steroid found in a variety of plants. If a dog or cat ingests the berries of this plant, vomiting, diarrhea and/or abdominal pain can occur. Allergic dermatitis (skin inflammation) can occur if an animal is repeatedly exposed." Read their article for the 10 houseplants animals should NOT try.

So I'm safe. Phew!

Hiking Safety for Dogs: Why Are Dogs in Danger in the Columbia Gorge?

It seems like there are quite a few dogs who go hiking with their owners in the Columbia River Gorge that end up falling, some as much as 100 feet or more! That is really scary. Here's the latest report - two in one week! So what do we do about hiking safety for dogs? Aren't we more sure-footed than humans? Apparently not.

So I've been hiking and haven't fallen. I think it's because I usually hike on fairly flat terrain and I always have my leash and harness on. Many dogs don't. I see them on the trails. Their owners think it is fun for them to run along the trail as free as a coyote. BUT IT IS DANGEROUS!
Here's some humans hiking with their dog who only has 3 legs. This is a tough hike.
I wouldn't go!

I've been reading about hiking safety for dogs like me. Here are some tips for hiking with your owner:

1. You must be well-trained and come when called. If you can't do that, wear a harness and leash.
2. If you are in a hilly area, are going to do climbing or are hiking a narrow trail, WEAR THAT HARNESS AND LEASH! You can fall. Dogs do it all the time in the Columbia River Gorge where I live.
3. Always have water. If you are not used to carrying water in your own backpack, have your owner carry it. A hike is not the best time to practice with a dog pack.
4. Always have identification on you. If you are microchipped, that is great but a collar with license and name and phone number is even better.
5. Have a first aid kit. Sites such as have a information about dogs, including articles about first aid. Petco and the Red Cross offer first-aid classes. You never know when we might run into something WILD on the trail!
6. Don't hike unless you are able to. Some dogs can't tolerate the cold. Some dogs can't tolerate the heat (ME!), so make sure your owner knows what is possible for you. (Humans don't like to carry dogs down a trail!).
7. Last but not least, make sure your owner cleans up after you. Have good trail manners.
Here's those same humans realizing they can't climb rocks with their dog.
And, someone has to help him down!

I think what is so dangerous in the Columbia River Gorge is that there are narrow trails and drop offs. Humans think ahead and see these things. But we dogs, follow our noses, follow squirrels and birds. We just don't think of our own safety!

Here's my simple, flat woodsy trail. No danger here. Besides, I have my leash and harness on!
I'm an urban coonhound. I just prefer simple, safe trails. In fact, my owner prefers that type of hiking too!

Love, Safety Cinnamon

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Preparing your Dog for Moving: A Dog's Perspective

I've been house hunting for a couple months now. Sometimes I see a house that would be perfect for me but we don't even make an offer on it. No one explains it to the dog!
She'd better not leave without ME! I don't know what's going on!

Sometimes we make an offer on a house that seems perfect. And then my owner says there is something wrong with it? No one explains it to the dog!

So now something is going on and I don't know what it is. We are packing but no one shows me the new house or the backyard. There seems to be a big waiting game. No one explains it to the dog!

We go to Home Depot to look at carpeting. I have fun playing with the guy wearing a pink watch. But we haven't ordered the carpet yet. No one explains it to the dog!

I'm sleeping in strange places nowadays
I am confused. We have packed some breakables. Pictures have been taken off the wall. The curio cabinet is empty. The plants in the backyard have been moved. It's unsettling. I'm showing the stress. I sleep in strange places. Sometimes it is at the top of the stairs where I can watch her. Sometimes it is by the door so she can't leave without me. Today she found me sleeping in her closet. I've never ever slept there before. In fact, I'm not allowed in her bedroom!

I'm scared. Will I be left behind? These are the tough times for Cinnamon. I just want to be settled SOMEWHERE!

It is important, that during a move, the dog is informed. It is important that schedules are not changed and the dog's bed is still there in the right place. It is important that play time with toys and trips to the dog park continue. 

And in the new house, it is important that your dog's things are put in place first!

My crate is important to me. If we move, it had better be there!

So what can I do? I just want to be settled. I have started feeling sorry for myself.

So I went on the Internet and looked at what was going on with my peers. I read about a German Shepherd pining away for his owner who didn't come home. His owner was the soldier that was killed in Ottawa, Canada .... So unfair.

I read about a black an tan coonhound that lost one eye yet was watching squirrels with the other one right after his surgery. Could there be dogs who have it worse than I do? Yes, I believe there are.

But I am Cinnamon and I still feel unsettled!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Cinnamon by the Sea

I love the ocean and the beach. Here I am in Yachats, Oregon
However, it's stormy today so I'm not there!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dog Park Closed! But Cinnamon Doesn't Mind

Here's the bridge leading to the trails
Yesterday we headed out to the Lucky Dog Park in Brush Prairie. I've been neglected lately so it's about time we got back into a routine. AND ABOUT TIME I GOT TO HAVE FUN! As we headed down the country road, I got really excited.

And then I saw the sign, "Dog Park Closed for Renovation!" Oh no! I remembered that this would happen eventually. But I guess eventually had arrived. Lucky Dog Park was closed. We went down to the park and it was filled with construction vehicles. No dogs in sight. I was so disappointed.

But just then my owner had an idea. Maybe we could visit the little garden down the road for a quick walk. Well, that was OK for a consolation prize, I guess.

So we went into the parking lot by the public school offices and parked (no one was there on Saturday) and started walking toward the Wildlife Botanical Gardens. But then we spied a little bridge toward the back of the parking lot (to the left of the building) and decided to explore.
I found an educational tree

A trail headed into a beautiful woods with large trees, ferns, budding mushrooms and lots of smells to sniff. Some of the trees had labels on them. This was an educational woods. We explored the trail and noticed greenhouses, sheds and an amphitheater. Just think, if it hadn't been for the closure of my dog park, I would have never found this great little place.

We kept going and came upon a pond. I looked more closely at the reeds and the water and SCARED SOME DUCKS AND FROGS. I swear, there were over a dozen frogs that jumped into the water when they saw me coming along to sniff them. Scaring frogs is fun!

After that excitement, we continued on the trail back into the woods. The trails went for a long distance. They were in back of the farms we usually see on the road to the dog park. We even smelled the cows at the dairy farm. Phew!

Here's where I scared the frogs!
So as the rains started to head our way, we turned around and headed back. I enjoyed exploring the woods, sniffing some strange smells and learning more about trees and the habitat there. I think I'll go back again!

The educational site includes 80 acres of trails, gardens, orchard, berry garden, creek, ponds, meadows, greenhouses, arboretum, amphitheater, NatureScaping Wildlife Botanical Gardens, and Compost Demonstration site. Trails may be used after school during daylight hours.  (and, I found, on weekends) They ask you leave no trace of your visit and they provide doggie cleanup bags at the entrance.  They ask that you keep all pets on a leash and pick up after them. 
Here's the back of the farms. This is where I smelled the cows. Yuck!
Love, Cinnamon the Explorer

Friday, October 17, 2014

Long Beach Peninsula, Washington: Why Dogs Love It There

Vegas will tell you everything you need
to know about vacationing
on the Long Beach Peninsula
I'm biting my tongue as I write this. While I was at the Doggie Country Club (getting bitten in the cheek) my owner was having a fabulous time AT THE BEACH. And she had the nerve to show me the pictures

I've been to the beach several times and love it, love it, love it! First I stayed at the dog-friendly Adrift Hotel right by the Boardwalk and Discovery Trail. And then I got to luxuriate at the Lighthouse Oceanside Resort where I had my own room and quick access to the beach where I could scare the seagulls.

I had a great time. But now I am itching (don't worry... I am flea-free) to go back. Here's what I found out about The Long Beach Peninsula.

The first thing you'll notice is that they are VERY DOG FRIENDLY. When you arrive at the Visitor's Center you will most likely be greeted by Vegas, the boxer. He is one of the volunteers there. In fact they call him their "Barketing Director!" Vegas greets everyone and makes sure they leave with plenty of brochures and good tips on visiting the Long Beach Peninsula. Once he was nominated for Volunteer of the Month. But he didn't win because there are some marvelous and knowledgeable volunteers competing with him.

The next thing you'll notice is that the Long Beach Peninsula has a golf course... a very special golf course. The Peninsula Golf Course allows dogs! Dogs area allowed to walk on the course and even to ride in the golf carts. In nice weather dogs can relax on the patio of the Cove Restaurant with their owners and enjoy a sandwich or a beer. Their special dog is named Hunter. He is rather elderly, but still enjoys a ride on a golf cart. He sent me his autographed photo. Thank you, Hunter! The Peninsula Golf Course is open year  'round.

Hunter likes to ride in golf carts!
My owner also found out that there are CRANBERRY DOGS at the beach. At Starvation Alley Farms, an organic cranberry farm, there are a couple of really active dogs who run and play while their owners work to raise cranberries for their famous juice. Starvation Alley “Cranberry for Concoctions” cranberry juice contains no additives or sweeteners and is fresh pressed every month. 

Here's the Cranberry Dog Pack socializing by the cranberry bog.
There are two Starvation Alley bogs that are farmed. When the dogs got together with the dogs from the Adrift Hotel's family, things were great fun. There was a cranberry harvest going on and all the dogs were watching, playing and having a wonderful time. Cranberry harvest is fun for dogs (and people too!). 

The head Cranberry Dog supervises the harvest.
And then there are ORGANIC FARM DOGS. Out at Biocharm Farms, where they believe that "soil is everything," there is a little soil colored dog who loves to visit with people in the garden. He's a dusty coal color so I think he got into the BioChar they have there! It's an interesting place to visit and to learn about organic farming and soil enrichment techniques. Maybe you'll  get to visit the hen house. Hey have some HUGE chickens there.

Here's the BioChar dog. He owns the organic farm!
So the Long Beach Peninsula isn't just about running on the beach. There are lots of things to do and see and dogs can go too! When you go, stop in at the Visitors Center and say hi to Vegas for me!

More Information
Long Beach Visitors Center

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: A Driftwood Dog House

Driftwood Doghouse
This is from my beach walk at Point No Point on the Kitsap Penninsula. I could say more but it IS Wordless Wednesday. (I think I'll go back to bed now!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Country Club Drama: Cinnamon Gets it in the Face

Here's the entrance to my Country Club
You would think that my Country Club stays would be all about fun and pampering. But in reality, there are some major challenges... challenges in affable facades. Let me tell all! (grab a cup of tea for this one.)

I had been at my Country Club for three days when the tide turned. I'd been playing with the puppies and the elder dogs, and resting too. Life was good. I got two squares and all the water I could drink. People played with me. Life was good.

Enter Goldie, the Golden Retriever. Goldie was one of those two faced Beverly Hills type dogs. Innocent on the outside.. only. She was a blue blood and probably had papers (I only have a rabies certificate!). She acted nice so she had the people fooled.

On Sunday, I was sitting next to Goldie minding my own business watching the younger dogs play. She was sitting there in all her blonde glory basking in the sunlight. The people thought she was so sweet. They petted her and brushed her golden hair. She was the darling of the play yard. Well, that's because they couldn't understand what she said. She was a two faced gossip. People don't understand dog language, that's for sure.

Goldie? Innocent? NOT!

Here's a gang of Mexican street dogs.
Goldie insisted that I was once part of this gang.
All of a sudden she started talking to me. And it wasn't pretty. She said she heard that I was nothing but a street dog from Mexico. What? I was from NEW MEXICO! She was really mean.

She taunted me and went on to suggest that I must be part of a Mexican dog treat cartel... Dealing in illegal dog treats. A Mexican dog treat cartel! Imagine!

Yo soy una buena perra! I am a good dog! I follow most all laws... really!

Then she started to tell me my nails were too long. I gave her "the look."

I think she was just trying to start something. She kept taunting me, insulting my heritage and my homeland. I had enough and told her to shut up! Cállate, I said.

See... New Mexico is in the US!
And that's when she growled and lunged for me. Of course she made sure no one was watching first. She took a nip out of the side of my face! Ouch! That me me mad! So I nipped her ear. :) She didn't like that and whined to the people in charge.

They ran over and looked at both of us. There was blood on both of us. I required first aid. They put hydrogen peroxide on my wound and it stung.  And they told me it was MY fault.. It certainly wasn't. She started it!

We were separated. No big loss, I thought. I think she was jealous because I am a celebrity. I am a well known blogger.  She was also jealous because word got around that I was getting a spa treatment before I went home.
Here's what Goldie did to me. Click on the photo to enlarge it. You can see the scar on my cheek. :(

By yesterday I felt just fine. The swelling had gone down and, luckily, Goldie's owners picked her up. (I saw their Mercedes drive up the long drive to the Club.) My spa appointment time came. The people came and took me to the spa room. They had a fancy tub with sweet smelling shampoo. I told them I might need a facial after what happened to me. BUT ALL THEY WERE GOING TO DO IS GIVE ME A BATH! I put up with it and they washed all the dust out of my coat. I came out shiny and smelling gorgeous. I am sure Goldie didn't have it so good!

So when my owner arrived yesterday afternoon I was really glad to see her. I was shiny and smelled great. The lady in the office showed her my wound and told her version of the Goldie vs. Cinnamon story. But I am sure my owner BELIEVES ME!

I got home and was so worn out from all that drama, I just went straight to bed.

Love, Cinnamon, the good dog.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What I Think of My New Healthy Dog Food #PawNatural

Looks good to me!
I've been trying a new kibble, Canine PowerFood, a new holistic dog food developed by Only Natural Pet.

It's the Poultry Feast. Since I have experienced some food allergies in the past, I've learned that poultry is a pretty safe choice. I think it's beef that I am allergic to. Sometimes I get pink on the tummy and sometimes I get really itchy ears. That's how I know I am allergic to a certain food.

I am pleased to announce that I AM NOT ALLERGIC TO Canine PowerFood™ . In fact, the company makes the food from all natural ingredients and is careful to avoid those that can cause allergic reactions. I like that!

So, you'll all want to know.... what does it taste like? Well, first of all it smells good. It isn't stinky like some dog foods. And secondly, it is fresh-tasting right out of the bag. I prefer a little water with my kibble and so I've been having my new food slightly dampened. And it does taste good. I look forward to my two meals a day.

I've read the fine print and know what's in the food, and it's all good! Here are the ingredients for these new foods made by Only Natural Pet:

  • Natural meat, poultry, and fish supply high-quality protein dogs crave and need for optimal health.
  • Herring oil provides the Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which have been extensively studied for anti-inflammatory benefits. Ground flaxseed is the source of the third major Omega-3, alpha linolenic acid, as well as lignans, which have antioxidant properties.
  • Apples, cranberries, carrots, and tomatoes have natural antioxidant content, which includes beta-carotene, lutein, anthocyanins, phenols, and bioflavonoids. Berries are well known for having the highest antioxidant content among all fruits and vegetables-cranberries being at the top of the list-and apples are right behind them.
  • Four ingredients that the body uses to maintain joint cartilage in good repair and keep joints healthy and flexible: glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, green-lipped mussels, and sea cucumbers.
  • Chicory root is a source of fructo-oligosaccharides, which nourish the gut bacteria. These bacteria play a huge role in immune system function and overall health of the body.
  • Pumpkin powder provides an array of antioxidants as well as fiber.
  • Three varieties keep your dog interested and prevent finicky behavior and immune system over-reactivity that can result from feeding the same food day in and day out for years

Here is what is in the PowerBoost
I knew you'd be impressed. I certainly was! I am very pleased that Only Natural Pet sent me the new food to try. You can order samples or a bag of food online. Since the product has just launched there are some great prices and discounts.

Gotta run... time for breakfast!

Love, Cinnamon