Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Hallowe'en!

(designed & carved by TJ)

Sawyer enjoyed a full Hallowe'en day beginning with an early 6 a.m. rise, followed by a romp at Lowville Park, with intermittent naps, a walk through Seneca Ave (famous for it's Hallowe'en decor) , and later savoured delicious pumpkin guts that brother TJ  kindly threw at him while carving the pumpkin.

Sawyer didn't understand the 'trick or treat' concept.   "Why couldn't I play with every goblin, dinosaur and princesses at my doorstep?" thought Sawyer.   Alas, he gave up his futile attempts at a little fun and fell asleep on the floor, by the door, near the brimming candy dish.   There was my opportunity  to mischievously dress him in his pirate costume, courtesy of MJ.  Poor puppy.... just too tired to fight me off.  Happy Hallowe'en... and many sweet dreams...

Friday, October 29, 2010

RMB diet for dogs... and cats too!

Thought we would share some RMB (raw meaty bones) guidelines for dogs & cats, as recommended by Dr. Tom  Lonsdale, Veterinary Surgeon in Australia.  

 Natural foods suitable for pet carnivores 
Raw meaty bones 
• Chicken and turkey carcasses, after the meat has been removed for human consumption, are suitable for dogs and cats. 
• Poultry by-products include: heads, feet, necks and wings. 
• Whole fish and fish heads. 
• Goat, sheep, calf, deer and kangaroo carcasses can be sawn into large pieces of meat and bone. 
• Other by-products include: pigs’ trotters, pigs’ heads, sheep heads, brisket, tail bones, rib bones. 

Whole carcasses 
• Rats, mice, rabbits, fish, chickens, quail, hens. 

• Liver, lungs, trachea, hearts, omasums (stomach of ruminants), tripe. 

(photo courtesy of

Things to avoid 
•Excessive meat off the bone — not balanced. 
•Excessive vegetables — not balanced. 
•Small pieces of bone — can be swallowed whole and get stuck. 
•Cooked bones — get stuck. 
•Mineral and vitamin additives — create imbalance. 
•Processed food — leads to dental and other diseases. 
•Excessive starchy food — associated with bloat. 
•Onions, garlic and chocolate — toxic to pets. 
•Grapes, raisins, sultanas, currants — toxic to pets.  
•Fruit stones (pits) and corn cobs — get stuck. 
•Milk — associated with diarrhoea. Animals drink it whether thirsty or not and consequently get fat. Milk sludge sticks to teeth and gums. 

DID YOU KNOW?:  Raw food for cats should always be fresh. Dogs can consume ‘ripe’ food and will sometimes bury bones for later consumption. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Guarding the property

After an arduous walk & training session this morning, Mr. Sawyer chose to sit on the front lawn, to admire the neighbourhood activity....

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Decided to post more pics of Sawyer, gnawing away at yet another raw food product called Bag-o-Bones from Northern Naturals .  We were advised by our pet store to carefully watch him while he was feasting, to discourage him from dragging a raw bone all over the house, or worse stashing it somewhere "safe" (dog have a natural tendency to want to bury bones)!  We chose to feed him outside in our backyard, with supervision of course **!

This beef knuckle is part of a raw food product line provided by Northern Naturals  and available at our favorite pet food store, Bones Pet Boutique  (sorry, don't mean to sound like an infomercial but am a huge fan of raw for dogs). Raw bones help in maintaining dogs' teeth, by removing plaque, thus eliminating the need for brushing.   A half-hour session with the bone is plenty for the first few times, approximately once or twice a week.  The bone can be repackaged and refrozen for later.

This is a super treat for dogs and tires them out easily!
**(Warning:  Please watch your pet when giving raw bones - like anything, there is always a risk of choking.)

Half hour tired dog!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lowville Park

Wednesday was a splendid day for a fall walk.  TJ and I took Sawyer for a drive to Lowville Park, with its scenic creek, trails and unofficial leash-free park.  Unbeknownst to many folks in the area, there's an annual salmon spawn.  We missed the peak but did manage to see three large salmon attempting to make their way upstream.  Unfortunately, not all fish are successful in their journey.  We saw numerous deceased salmon along the banks but mostly in the water.   Sawyer and I waded through the shallow water, trying to keep a firm footing on the slippery rocks.  Sawyer being a clever pup, spotted a dead salmon camouflaged amongst the leaves.  Eeww!   I was not about to touch this decomposing fish with my bare hands.  So I try the "drop it" command, to no avail.  It only works when I bribe him with food which he happily had.  After much proding, begging, yelling, tugging, he finally let go.  He was very upset with me for not allowing him an early salmon sushi feast!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sawyer's #1 fan

Sawyer has an uncanny ability to attract unsolicited attention during out daily walks.  Some days, we can barely walk 5 minutes before admirers of all sizes flock to him.  What would normally take 15 minutes, now stretches to 30-45 minutes.  At times, we hear the "oohs" and "aawws" from a distance, then a friendly approach, followed by "may we pat your dog?".  Before you know it, Sawyer has an entourage of fans petting, cuddling, and offering to adopt him.

Sawyer has also touched the heart of a special friend, 'D'.  On a recent visit, 'D' had the opportunity to take Sawyer for a walk with his family and myself in tow.    Walking through a lovely forested area, meeting two friendly dogs (3 out of the 5 dog owners we met would not allow ANY social contact with Sawyer for some reason or other - dare I call them snobs or had they failed to properly socialize THEIR dogs??!)

Not sure who had more exercise that day, as Sawyer's strength can be overbearing at times (Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for carting large loads up to 1000 lbs!).  Wonder if 'D' can feel his arms today?!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Kissing the asphalt

Today, Sawyer enjoyed a pleasant walk with a friend and her 3 sons, through a little forested gem smack-dab in suburbia. Although we didn't walk far, Sawyer was exhausted and fell asleep in the trunk of my car.

Upon our return home, I promptly opened the hatch to take him in the house to continue his nap. During a moment of inattention (on my part), Sawyer made an attempt to jump out but instead, proceeded to fall head over heels onto the asphalt! It was actually comical to see his lengthy puppy body twist & turn as he's heading for the asphalt. It all happened so quickly and I just couldn't respond to this plight in a timely manner. 

I was in shock for a moment then snapped back to it. What is Sawyer's reaction?? Playing dead on the driveway! Yes, he proceeds to lie on the driveway without moving! Ok, I was starting to panic at this point. Had he broken a limb? or worse, his neck? was he paralyzed? I shook his paw and it was limp....*OMG*, my heart was thoughts were racing worrying about vet fees ($$). Since coaxing him to move (with treats) was unsuccessful, I decided to lift this 46+ pound dog and carry him up the porch stairs (he wasn't helping me one bit). Made it up the stairs wondering if my back would hold up. I gently placed him down on the porch to open the front door and what does the little monkey do?? Casually gets up and saunters in the front door and promptly plops himself on the kitchen floor. Flipping little bugger!! (Honestly, I do still love him but he sure gave me a scare!) Moral of that story....take shorter walks lady!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Footprints in the sand

Sawyer's latest favorite haunt is the local beach, along the shores of Lake Ontario.  Although the city has posted numerous signs disallowing dogs on the beach and in the water, as it is a popular beach destination during the summer months, we chose to turn a blind eye (signs? I didn't see any signs!).   It was a gloriously sunny morning.

Sawyer sniffed his way from the boardwalk, to the sandy beach and finally to the water's edge.  The first few times at the beach, he was in his glory eating the sand, cigarette butts, lake weeds and even fish carcasses.  Finally at 4-1/2 months old, he's developed a more discerning palate and now prefers to wait for his gourmet raw meat!

After our walk, trying to keep up to passersby on the boardwalk and dilly-dallying from one bush to another for almost one hour,  Sawyer had had enough.  He stubbornly planted himself smack-dab on the walkway for a little snooze.  However, after much coaxing (and treats), I finally convinced him to walk a mere few meters to the car.  Puppy is now sound asleep on the living room floor, no doubt dreaming about his next walk on the beach!

Friday, October 8, 2010

What's for lunch?

Our family tends to lean towards a healthy diet, consuming antibiotic & hormone-free meats, as well as organic fruit & veggies.  By no means was I going to make any compromises on Sawyer's food.  I did initially but his digestive track was NOT happy.  After much deliberation with our vet, other dog-owners and experts in the field of dog nutrition, a decision was made to switch Sawyer to a balanced diet comprising of raw meats & veggies.  A local BMD (Bernese Mountain Dog) breeder apparently feeds her dogs a raw meat diet and her dogs have lived up to 15 years of age - unheard of as most have a short life span ranging from 7-10 yrs.  Could the diet make a difference?  Time will tell.

Healthy Paws raw meat packages

Sawyer's been enjoying this diet for over two weeks and is thriving.  No more digestive issues, or smelly toots!  Based on his puppy weight, his breed and his parents' weight, he currently consumes 2 lbs of ground chicken, beef or turkey (with veggies, kelp & fish oil) per day!  Lunch time is a little delicacy referred to as fresh chicken spines which are comprised of cartilage, meat & fat.  Dogs have a much higher hydrochloric stomach acid allowing them to easily digest meat, bones & cartilage.

Sawyer is one happy little feller these days...

Raw chicken spines

Chomping away. 

What!  Is that it?!

Gee, thanks for that delicious lunch, mom! *smiling*

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bones are for the dogs

Sawyer was treated to his first raw beef bone (available from Healthy Paws) as a mid-day meal.   I opted to feed him in the backyard, as the thought of having raw meat gracing my floors was more than my stomach could handle!  Sawyer was deliriously happy when presented with this delicacy. At first he tentatively licked the bone.  After a few minutes, he proceeded to yank it away from me and park himself on his favorite piece of turf, savoring every morsel.  An hour later (I kid you not), he was still gnawing away.  Realizing that we had to rush off to puppy school, I managed to wrestle the bone away from him! WHEW!  No damage done to his ego, I think he's already forgotten about this experience!