Hero Spotlight Tuesday – Erika

It’s been a while since we’ve had a hero spotlight on the blog, but there are no shortage of heroes!  There is a very special hero in the spotlight today, but not the furry kind.

Two days ago, on Sunday, March 2nd, 28-year-old Erika Owen was out on her usual Sunday morning walk with her dog, Kairos, in Wichita, Kansas, when something went wrong.

Another dog was loose and Kairos got away from Erika.  The dog and Kairos got into a scuffle, running to the middle of the icy pond near them.  Witnesses, who were on the other side of the pond, say that Erika was yelling at Kairos to come back but he wouldn’t.  This is when they say that saw her start to cross the pond’s ice to get to her dog.

The witness, Aaron Frazier, realized he didn’t have his phone with him and ran back to his apartment a few hundred yards away to call the police.  When he got back, with his girlfriend in tow, Erika had fallen in the water along with Kairos.   He and his girlfriend wanted to help but the 911 Operator said help was on the way and insisted they not put themselves in danger.

Tragically, though first responders got there only five minutes later, it was too late.  Erika and her dog, Karios, did not survive.

It is incredibly touching, and tragic, that Erika had such a devotion and bond to her dog.  Her selflessness is truly heroic, and she greatly deserves this spotlight.  May she and Kairos rest in peace, and leave a legacy of a true, loving bond.

erika-owen-and-dog

How Your Dog is Helping You

Clearly, all of us dog owners know that dog owners are the best!  I love every animal, don’t get me wrong, but there is something special about a dog owner.  Not only is it our determination, our compassion, and commitment to our dogs, but it’s… our dogs themselves!

Owning a dog can actually make you a happier, healthier person.  Here are some ways that your dog helps you:

  • Exercise – When you have a dog, you are more likely to get more exercise!  Even taking your dog outside to go to the bathroom is exercise in itself.  And most dogs need more outside time than that, like walks and runs.  Having a dog encourages you to go on that morning jog!
  • Boosting your mood – Everyone knows playing with puppies is ridiculously fun.  Actually a bunch of fee-good chemicals (erotonin, prolactin and oxytocin) are all released into your system after only a few minutes of puppy playtime!
  • Keeping your blood pressure down – Even though owning dogs and taking care of them can sometimes be stressful, there have been studies conducted that have found a correlation between owning a dog and lower blood pressure!
  • Building up your immune system – If you have dog hair everywhere, you’ll automatically vacuum more!  This will keep your house and your lungs, nice and clean!
  • They can sense drops in blood pressure  – Dogs have such a keen sense of smell that they can detect when your blood sugar drops.  This is especially helpful to those with diabetes – your dog could save your life!
  • They can sniff out cancer – That’s right, not only does their nose detect changes in blood pressure but dogs who are trained to can sniff our cancer chemicals.
  • Finally – they keep you social – Because dogs need more socialization and outside needs than cats do, dog owners are automatically forced to be more social!

So we all know your dog makes you incredibly happy, but next time people ask why you’re a dog person, you’ll have some real evidence to show them!

Happy World Spay Day!

Today is World Spay Day, so here’s some education on why you should spay or neuter your pet.

Sure, nobody wants their animal to undergo any unnecessary surgery or pain, but spaying and neutering your dog is something that is really a benefit to them in the long run.

  1. Spaying and neutering reduces the chance of overpopulation of animals. If your unfixed dog gets out, that could mean a lot more stray dogs that you didn’t even know about.
  2. Spayed and neutered animals actually live longer and healthier lives. It reduces their risk of getting mammary and peri anal gland tumors, cancer, prostrate cancer, and uterine, ovarian, and testicular cancers.
  3. Dogs who get fixed will be much less anxious and have less of an urge to run away/roam.
  4. Though the initial procedure will incur a cost, after that, there will be less vet bills to pay because you’ll have a healthier animal!

All signs point to… get your dog fixed!  It really is the best thing for them and you.  Happy World Spay Day!

Doggy Bath Tips

Dogs need bathtime just like humans.  And unfortunately, sometimes it’s pretty hard to get them excited about it, just like it’s hard to get kids excited about baths.  But in order to keep your dog clean and happy, you’ll have to take on the challenege once in a while.  Here are a few tips:

  • Wear clothes you can get wet/dirty/furry because it’s a hands-on process.
  • Empty the bathtub/shower so your dog doesn’t have anything to trip on.
  • Use animal shampoo/conditioner like Mane & Tail or take a vet’s suggestion. Herbal Essence is a doggy-safe human brand.
  • Have this other gear ready: brush, cotton bolls, two big towels, and a non-skid mat to keep your dog from sliding around.
  • Make sure your dog’s nails are trimmed so they can get better footing in the tub.
  • Close the bathroom door! You don’t want a wet, soapy dog running around the house.
  • Putting cotton balls in your dog’s ears (gently) will help keep the water from getting inside.
  • Make sure the water is an in-between of hot and cold.
  • Let your dog feel and hear the water before making them get in.
  • Use your fingers to massage in shampoo and conditioner, starting from the shoulders. Use caution around their face.
  • Once the bath is over, towel-dry your dog as much as possible.
  • Prepare for them to run around the house crazily! Baths can make dogs to strange things.

If you live in a warm climate or it’s summer, it’s often much easier to tie your dog outside and use the hose to give them your bath if you have yard space to do so.

Just for fun, here’s a compilation of funny doggy baths.

 

Healthiest Dog Breeds

I’m a fan of mixed breeds, not only because they’re quirky and adorable, but they tend to live longer, healthier lives. Many purebreds are riddled with health problems and are more prone to canine diseases.  Some breeds, however, have lower instances of genetic disease and other conditions relating to their skin and coat.  Here are a list of ten dogs who are thought to be the healthiest breeds.

  • Austrailian Cattle Dog
  • Foxhound
  • German Shorthaired Pointer
  • Border Collie
  • Chihuahua
  • Havanese
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Siberian Husky

And the non-purebreeds on the list:

  • Labradoodle
  • And of course, Mixed Breed – Mutts are less likely for diseases!

So, open your heart up to a mutt!  In the end, any breed is a great breed as long as you love the dog, but if you really want a healthy dog, go off this list.

Strange Pet Toys

In honor of Fresh Patch’s recent appearance on Shark Tank, we’re gonna feature a few… obscure doggy items out there (that weren’t on Shark Tank, but were made into fruition nonetheless:

  1. Bowser Beer – Yes, it is what it sounds like: a six-pack for dogs. It’s a non-alcoholic beer for dogs with beef and chicken flavoring.  You probably shouldn’t try it.
  2. Sexy Beast Perfume – Perfume for dogs… it’s supposed to make them smell better without messing with their sense of smell.
  3. Humanga Lips Dog Toy – A dog toy that has a giant set of lips at the other end of the ball. Your dog is guaranteed to look hilarious.
  4. Songs to Make Dogs Happy – A CD for dogs, apparently compiled with the assistance of “over 200 canine participants.”
  5. Treat Launcher – Instead of just giving your dog a treat, you can launch the treat at them and turn it into a little game.
  6. Dog Tweeting – Your dog can wear this new type of tag that sends a tweet to your dog’s Twitter account every time they bark or move. So you can know what your dog is doing… all the time…
  7. Rear Gear Butt Cover – Because if you’re too ashamed of your dog having natural body parts, you can cover them up!
  8. Poop Tent – A little dog tent that your dog can go into to have privacy while they do their business. It’s waterproof so that they can go out when it’s raining, too!

So maybe these ideas aren’t as practical as the Fresh Patch, but you might use for some of these wacky products.

An “Alternative” Dog Show

We all are pretty familiar with the typical “dog show.”  Perfectly groomed dogs of only pure breeds… and only pure breeds that are deemed good enough!  These dogs are trained to walk a certain way and hold themselves a certain way.  Kind of like modeling, successful dogs are the ones who look the best.

But the RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has decided to change up the game a bit.  They launched a dog show they call “Ruffs”, possibly a little play off of the classic English dog show, Crufts…

They call it an “alternative” dog show, and launched it online last year in March.  It’s an online dog show, and unlike other dog shows that are based on the dog’s appearance, Ruffs awards dogs for their welfare and happiness.

The categories are:

Happiest Hound – Pictures of dogs at their happiest.

Perfectly Imperfect– “Wonky” dogs who will never be perfect according to a set of arbitrary standards, but are perfect anyway.

Best Transformation– “Before and after” pictures of rescued dogs.

Best Rescued Ex-Breeder -The many dogs discarded when they’re no longer “useful”.

 Best in Show

RSPCA takes online submissions.  So if you know a rescue that dog that’s had a miraculous recovery from an awful life, they’re the perfect candidate.  Any shelter or rescue dog is eligible!

The deadline to submit a dog you know is February 20th, 2015.  To enter, email pictures with a short paragraph about your dog and why they should be in Ruffs to [email protected].  Happy nominating!

Dog Allergy? Just Find the Right Dog!

Yes, we know you care about your dogs.  But you also probably care about your health!  And for anyone who’s allergic to dogs but who is also a dog lover, this is a conflicting struggle.  Do you constantly battle itchy eyes and runny noses or do you suffer not having a canine best friend?  Well, you can have the best of both worlds!  Here is a list of adorable and hypoallergenic dogs.  Psst – “hypoallergenic” also means these dogs shed very, very lightly or not at all!  So you’ll save your furniture, too.

Small Dogs:

  • Bichon Frise
  • Bolognese
  • Border Terrier
  • Cesky Terrier
  • Chinese Crested
  • Maltese
  • Manchester Terrier
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Puggle
  • Shih Tzu
  • Silky Terriers

Big Dogs:

  • Xoloitzcuintli
  • Komondor
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Chinese Shar-Pei
  • Coton de Tulear
  • Ibizan Hound
  • Airedale Terrier
  • Tibetan Terrier
  • Poodle
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Welsh Terrier
  • Affenpinscher
  • Puli

 

If you have someone in your family who’s allergic to dogs but you simply can’t live without “man’s best friend,” check out the breeds on this list!

Fresh Patch “Shark Tank” Recap!

Did you catch Fresh Patch on Shark Tank last night?  If not, here’s a recap of what went down!  And if you didn’t watch it, you can find it online on ABC or Hulu.

As you now know, Fresh Patch was lucky enough to be featured on ABC’s Shark Tank!  You got to meet the creators of Fresh Patch, Andrew and Karina, at their home in Davenport, Florida and got to see their adorable daughter, Claudia and adorable dog, Chloe!

shark tank 1

It can be scary going into the “Shark Tank”, but Andrew and his doggy sidekick braved up and confidently told the Sharks why Fresh Patch is sure to be an even bigger success than it already is!

It was scary there for a bit, but the Sharks saw the potential in delivering fresh grass to homes everywhere and making dogs super happy.  Sharks Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban, in the end, teamed up to offer Fresh Patch $150k for a 20% stake, contingent on getting into retail.  Andrew accepted the offer, and got two Sharks on board when all we were crossing our fingers for was one!

shark tank 2

Needless to say, Shark Tank was an exciting experience for Fresh Patch, and you might want to keep your eyes open because you might even be seeing our famous little grass patch in pet stores.

Get Pup-ed for Super Bowl Sunday!

Super Bowl Sunday isn’t just for humans.  There are a host of dog-themed traditions to get pumped about!  (And it isn’t just the snacks that fall on the floor and serve as a buffet for your dog.)

The first thing to get excited about… The Puppy Bowl!  Animal Planet is a blessing to cable television in so many ways, and one of them is for their invention of the Puppy Bowl.  This year… the Seadogs versus the Pawtriots. I love football… when my team is playing.  This year, they are (go Patriots!), but in years when I don’t like any of the teams… I totally admit to tuning into the Puppy Bowl.  And it’s adorable!  If you don’t like sports, you can still participate in the Super Bowl by just watching the Puppy Bowl instead!  You can still have Superbowl-themed snacks and even get a betting pool going.  But you get to watch puppies bump around and just be cute.  And what’s awesome… you can watch the Puppy Bowl livestream of the “locker room”, which is just again… puppies being adorable.

Another thing to look forward to, of course, are the commercials.  So here’s a heads up on the cute dog—themed commercials you can expect:

  • A cute Pedigree commercial that encourages you to get a dog instead of other… exotic animals.
  • Rumor has it that Audi has a dog show-themed spot this year.
  • Mountain Dew puts two things together that normally wouldn’t go together: A dog and twerking.  Specifically, a sheepdog twerking. It might horrifying or it might be hilarious…
  • And of course, the moment everyone is looking forward to: Budweiser’s adorable sequel to last year’s ad, called “Lost Dog”

bud-lost-dog-hed-2015