Monthly Archives: November 2011

How My Dog Taylor Got Painted

By Diane Matsuura, CANIDAE Customer Service

This is the true story on how my Labrador Retriever, Taylor, got her portrait painted, but first I need give you a little bit of background information.  My very good girlfriend of 20 plus years, Trudy Soneson, is an artist.  She creates lovely paintings in oils.  I am a photographer.  I can photograph anything but I can’t paint, even walls with a roller, without making a mess.  I have always been in awe of those who can create art by drawing and painting. I digress, so let’s get back to the story. Taylor always loved to curl up in our patio chairs like a person to take a nap, and one evening she was curled up in her favorite chair in her favorite position watching us while we were eating dinner. Trudy and Eric (her husband) were our dinner guests that evening. 

Trudy, the artist she is, was inspired and said, “Take her picture and I’ll paint her.”  Jumping at the chance to have a portrait painted of my dog, I quickly snapped the photo through the patio door.  The photo didn’t turn out so well, seeing that the screen was also in the way, the glass was dirty with paw prints and it was getting dark.  However, Trudy’s finished painting of Taylor was so perfect and did justice to my beloved dog in a way that my photo never could.  Several years later Taylor passed away, and to have this perfect memory of her on that evening, preserved forever on canvas, means more to me than words can ever express.

I decided to write an article about Trudy – how and why she paints pet portraits – and share her thoughts with our readers here at the Responsible Pet Ownership blog. So here it is – her interview with me conducted at the CANIDAE office.

Question: How do you start a portrait, and do you need anything special?
Trudy: I want a clear photo of the pet with a good natural light source that emphasizes the bone structure and fur, especially around the face and eyes.  It’s very important to see the eyes because the eyes show the character of the pet more than anything else.  Multiple angles and positions are very helpful.

Q: How long does it take you to paint a portrait?
T: As a client you will need to be patient. Painting the portrait takes time. I like to have the client view the unfinished portrait during different stages. You want the client to be happy. They know their pet the best. For example, how they hold their ears, tail, etc., and it’s easier to make changes in the painting in the early stages.

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From the Shelter to the Championship Circle

By Langley Cornwell

When I read about a shelter dog that finds a loving forever home, it warms my heart. When I read about a shelter dog that finds a loving forever home and goes on to make it in the big leagues, I stand up and cheer, warm heart and all. The story of Wallace will make you feel the same way.

Nobody is sure about the first part of Wallace’s life. He was a wandering stray when some good Samaritans found him and took him to the Humane Society. Being an overly energetic, high-drive dog, Wallace had a real struggle; he couldn’t acclimate to the boredom of kennel life. The animal shelter staff was losing faith in this ‘impossible’ pup. The longer Wallace lived at the shelter, the worse his behavior became. His future didn’t look bright.

That’s when Roo Yori and his wife Clara learned about Wallace. With the help of other animal lovers and advocates, the Yori’s pulled this athletic dog out of the shelter environment on August 1, 2005.

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Six Ways to Keep Your Dog Smelling Fresh

By Linda Cole

Dogs don’t care what they smell like. If they can find something stinky to roll in outside, in their mind, it’s an interesting and rewarding experience. Hmm…it’s not so rewarding for us, however. Since I work from home and am with my dogs all the time, doggy odor is not a smell I notice, but I know it is noticeable to other people. There are some tricks you can do in between baths to help keep your dog smelling fresh and less offensive to people who might not appreciate your dog’s smell. You can have company over, and still enjoy your dog!

Feed a quality dog food like CANIDAE to help tackle doggie smell from the inside out. CANIDAE has Yucca Schidigera Extract in it, which helps reduce bad breath and foul smelling stools. To help keep your dog’s breath smelling fresh, CANIDAE Snap-Bits® and Snap-Biscuit® dog treats contain peppermint. Diet plays such an important role in our dog’s good health, and lesser quality foods can contribute to how a dog’s skin and coat feels and smells. A high quality pet food is more cost effective in the long run, because your dog doesn’t have to eat as much to get all the nutrients he needs, and he eats less.

Dog or baby wipes are quick and easy to use. Both are gentle on your dog’s skin and will help to deodorizer him. Avoid using the wipes around the eyes, however. I prefer using the wipes made for dogs, but in a pinch, the baby cleansers are a good alternative if you need to freshen up your pup’s smell. Both are also handy to keep in the car to clean up muddy feet before they can track up your backseat. Vinegar and water is another good deodorizer for dogs. Fill a spray bottle with about a third vinegar and the rest water. Shake it up and then mist on your dog. The vinegar won’t harm him and it will get rid of those doggie smells. Make sure you don’t spray the mixture in his eyes or ears. You can also spray the solution on his bedding in between washings to help keep it smelling fresh.

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Why I’m Thankful for My Cats

By Julia Williams

Thanksgiving is a day when many people take a few minutes to think about what they are thankful for. Some families like to do this at the dinner table before the feast. I’m all for this Thanksgiving tradition, but for the last few years I’ve been trying to have an “attitude of gratitude” every day rather than just one day in November. Taking a few minutes each day to give thanks for the good things, large and small, helps me to see that even though things may not be perfect, I am truly blessed.

My “thanks giving” ritual is comprised of many different things, but always includes my cats. I like to give thanks that they are healthy, happy, safe and well fed. I also like to express gratitude for their loving presence in my life. These delightful, silly and sometimes sassy kitties make my life worth living, and I am eternally thankful for their friendship.

I’m thankful for the healing power of Purr Therapy, and how the simple act of having a happy cat on my lap or in my arms can make everything all right. I’m thankful there is always someone here who is willing to listen to whatever I want to talk about, even when I babble.

I’m thankful for cold, wet little noses that give me kitty Eskimo kisses. I’m thankful for the big bear hugs of my big fluffy boy, Rocky. I’m thankful for the funny way that Mickey gently touches my hand with his paw when I’m eating something he wants to sample. I’m thankful for the smile that always comes when Annabelle softly mews in the middle of the night, her way of asking me to lift up the bedcovers so she can crawl underneath.

I’m thankful for the joy I feel whenever I see my fur babies sleeping so contentedly by the warm fire, or curled up snug as a bug in their little bed. I’m thankful for the way their presence makes this house feel like a home. I’m thankful there is always someone here so that I never feel lonely or alone.

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Will You Be Watching the National Dog Show Tomorrow?

Eli, National Dog Show Ambassador

By Linda Cole

This year, the National Dog Show will celebrate its 10th anniversary. The televised dog show has become a Thanksgiving Day tradition along with the Macy’s parade. What better way to spend the holiday than surrounded by family and friends as you enjoy a fun filled afternoon of marching bands and floats, good food and lots of great dogs.

I was invited to attend a phone press conference last week that included David Frei and Mary Carillo. David is the Communications Director for the Westminster Dog Show, and Mary is a retired tennis pro turned sports broadcaster. David is hosting the National Dog Show this year, and Mary is the featured reporter and commentator.

The National Dog Show is one of only six dog shows where the public is invited to go behind the scenes to meet the dogs and talk with their handlers and groomers. The show draws the top ranked dogs and this year’s entries will be close to 2,000 dogs. Dog lovers can see firsthand how show dogs are prepped for the big stage. Around 20 million dog loving viewers tuned in to watch last year’s show.

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Diabetic Alert Dogs Help People Reclaim Their Independence

By Langley Cornwell

What do trained service dogs do when they’re a bit too fun loving to be a guide dog for the blind? Some go back to school to become diabetic alert dogs.

Hypoglycemic unawareness is common among type 1 diabetics; many people with diabetes don’t realize they are experiencing a rapid drop in blood sugar until it’s too late. Unchecked, this severe drop in blood sugar can result in confusion, dizziness, sharp stomach pains or even blackouts and seizures. These unfortunate responses can make a diabetic feel confined, restricted and unable to enjoy a ‘regular’ lifestyle. A specially trained service dog empowers insulin-dependent diabetics to reclaim their independence and triumph over the disease.

Dogs for Diabetics

Dogs4Diabetics (D4D) is a non-profit organization committed to offering medical alert dogs to diabetics. These dogs are trained to identify the subtle scent shifts in body chemistry that accompany the onset of low blood glucose in their insulin-dependent human companions.

Former scientist and part-time guide-dog trainer Mark Ruefenacht started D4D in October 2004, reports Healthline.com. A diabetic himself, Ruefenacht forgot to check his blood sugar one evening and fell asleep. During the night—as he was experiencing a low blood sugar induced seizure—he was awakened by one of the puppies he was training. Sick and confused, it took Ruefenacht a few minutes to get his bearings. The dog instinctively knew something was wrong and insistently badgered Ruefenacht until he got up and ate some sugary food.

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