Friday, September 11, 2015

Honoring one of the heroes from 9/11

It's been 14 years since the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  Only one of the search and rescue dogs from that day is still with us.  Her name is Bretagne, and she is a 16 year old golden retriever, and a hero.  Watch while she is honored for her service, with an Epic celebration.  Her mom is seen wiping away tears throughout the video, and I couldn't watch without getting teary-eyed myself....

Some 9/11 heroes walked on four paws...

Photo courtesy of

And here is a tribute to all the search and rescue dogs of 9/11

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


No matter how careful you try to be when choosing your words, someone, somewhere will take offense.  We try to keep our posts interesting, and we try to only comment on other bloggers' posts with either humor or kindness.  But sometimes people just don't like you, or don't like what you have to say.  You can't please everyone.

So here is a cute picture, there can't be anything offensive in this?

But seriously, as Bloggers, do you censor your posts/ideas so that you can keep your readers happy?

Friday, September 4, 2015

Drug Sensitivity in Collies and other Herding Breeds

We are resharing a previous post we wrote back in September of 2012, because there have been some recent illnesses in dogs due to drug sensitivities.  Please read our post below, and then click on this Link and print out the info from the American Working Collie Association.  Keep a copy and give a copy to your veterinarian.  Not all veterinary practices are aware of the MDR-1 drug sensitivity in certain herding breeds.

Drug Sensitivity in Collies

Many herding breeds have adverse reactions to a particular list of drugs, and collies are known to be one of these breeds.  This adverse reaction is the result of a mutation in the multidrug resistance gene, or MDR1 gene.  Not all collies have this mutation, but many of them do, so most collie owners will avoid these drugs or have their dogs tested for the gene.  This drug sensitivity can result in blindness, coma and death, so it is very important that collie owners, and the owners of other herding breeds like Aussies or Border Collies, become familiar with the names of these drugs.  There are veterinarians who seem to be unaware of this issue, and prescribe drugs or anesthesia that can be potentially fatal to your dog, so you need to make sure your veterinarian is aware of the risk.  You need to make sure that your dog is not given any of the following drugs if he/she has not been tested or if they have tested positive for the MDR1 gene:

Ivermectin – The dose of Ivermectin used to prevent heartworm infection in products like Heartguard is considered SAFE in dogs with the mutation. (6 micrograms per kilogram) However, because of reports of collies becoming ill on even this lose dose of Ivermectin, most collie owners are not willing to take the risk with their dog’s health.  As a result, most collie breeders and rescue groups advise new collie owners to use another heartworm preventative, such as Interceptor.  Ivermectin causes neurologic toxicity in some, but not all Collies, at doses that are 1/200th of the dose required to cause toxicity in other dogs.

Loperamide – (Imodium.) At doses used to treat diarrhea this drug will cause neurologic toxicity
in dogs with the MDR1 mutation. This drug should be avoided in all dogs with the MDR1

Selamectin, milbemycin, and moxidectin (antiparasitic agents.) Silmlar to ivermectin, these
drugs are safe in dogs with the mutation if used for heartworm prevention at the manufacturer’s
recommended dose. Higher doses (generally 10-20 times higher than the heartworm prevention dose) have been documented to cause neurologic toxicity in dogs with the MDR1 mutation.  Because Interceptor contains such a small amount of milbemycin, it is considered to be of low risk to collies and herding breeds.  But you will need to be sure to keep Interceptor, along with other drugs, safely out of reach of your dogs.  Because ingestion of multiple doses at one time can be fatal to your dog.

The reason the dosage of these drugs has to be carefully monitored, is because MDR1 causes a buildup of these drugs in the brain of the affected dog.  This buildup can cause neurotoxicosis, which can be fatal if left untreated.  If you notice your dog reacting oddly after exposure to any of these drugs, usually 4 to 12 hours after ingestion, dog owners are advised to seek veterinary care immediately, do not wait.  Some of the signs of an adverse reaction are:

Dilated pupils (the center of the eye will be abnormally large)
Digestive problems (loss of appetite and/or vomiting)
Heavy drooling
Depression or motor instability (the dog may have difficulty standing or walking, may have tremors, or weakness)
Seizures (blankness, disorientation, stupor, involuntary muscle movements and unconsciousness)

While this drug sensitivity may frighten many people, dogs still need to be kept on a monthly heartworm preventative.  (A heartworm infection is fatal if left untreated, and can be easily prevented.)  Herding breeds are loving, devoted companions, and this genetic mutation does not affect their temperaments.  Choosing a dog from one of the many wonderful herding breeds, to add to your family, will be a rewarding experience.  But it requires that you educate yourself on which drugs your dog can be given, and seek safe alternatives to keep your dog healthy and happy.  Afterall, they are worth it! 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Books and movies for dog lovers...

Do you have favorite dog books or movies?  We have many, and thought it might be fun to share a few with you each month.  Since we love collies, our first post features books and movies about collies, which shouldn't be a surprise.

The first book we want to mention is Gray Dawn, written by Albert Payson Terhune.  If you read our recent post about Sunnybank then you know Terhune's collies really existed, and lived at Sunnybank.  (If you haven't read about Sunnybank, click on this Link.) This book was written in 1927, and like many of Terhune's books, the writing and opinions are a product of that time period.  But even though some of the notions are not politically correct, I love the characters in this book.  The most lovable of all his collies, Dawn is a young puppy who is sweet and clumsy, facing his fears to "save" the people he loves from danger.  Gray Dawn is not without faults, but those faults endear him to the reader and made me fall in love with his courage.

Lad: A Dog, is a movie based on one of Terhune's most popular books of the same title.  Lad is a hero, and his story is told in such a way that you can tell he was a beloved and treasured companion.  (And why we named our first collie, Lad). The movie was recently released on DVD, and can be purchased on Amazon.  It's a great movie for a rainy afternoon, curled up on the couch with your best four-legged friend.

 The next movie is a well known classic.  This movie made collies famous, and is the reason most rough collies are greeted with "Hi Lassie!" From strangers where ever they go!  It tells the story of Lassie's love and loyalty for her family, and how nothing can keep her from returning to her boy's side.  I don't know how many times I have watched this movie, but it always brings tears to my eyes.

And last, but not least, Wolf.  This book is about Lad's son, Wolf.  I love this book, I love this collie.  Most of the stories written by Terhune are works of fiction, with elements of truth throughout the stories.  The ending of this book will make you cry, possibly even sob if you are anything like me, because it is a true story about a courageous collie.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ryder wonders....

 It's September 1st already!  Can someone tell me where Summer went?

 It might be September, but it sure feels like Summer is still here!