Archive for the ‘From the Puppy-Mommy’ category

Plenty Warm for Winter Walks, But Protect Those Paw Pads!

February 15, 2014

Greetings Readers…I’m temped to rename this blog “Cookie of Klondike” based on the weather here this winter…and yes, it’s snowing again as I write this.  Walking our friend Cookie has been an increasingly bigger challenge lately…


The multiple, uneven layers of snow and ice on the streets of our hilly town have led to us humans walking more like penguins than people on our chilly walks.   Cookie requires a good, 45-minute walk in the early morning, and it takes being bundled up like an Eskimo plus a steaming cup of coffee to sip for me to get through these morning hikes.  But, with her double coat, and the research I’m just about to share with you, I no longer worry about her getting doggie frostbite.   

Our friend Carrol, Mama of Sunshine, Cookie’s Golden Retriever pal, shared some recent information with us that appeared in Time Magazine’s online hub.  In addition to having high amounts of freeze-resistant connective tissue and fat in the pads of their paws, dogs also have an amazingly intricate and effective network of veins and arteries that keep them warm in very cold temperatures.  An extra-fast and efficient circulatory system warms the blood of dogs rapidly, keeping their overall body temperature steady in extreme cold conditions.  Similar circulatory networks have been found in penguins’ extremities, arctic foxes and even dolphins’ fins.  Who knew?  Since reading this, I’ve left Cookie’s parka on the closet hook – no need!

But there remains another walking risk to our dogs in this extreme weather: caustic rock salt, burning the pads of our puppies feet, causing whimpers of pain.  So once again, I am spreading the word about what a great product Musher’s wax is…


Look for it online or at a speciality pet store near you…a waxy barrier that doesn’t have a strong odor, doesn’t get all over your floors, and creates a great barrier between your dog’s foot pads and all the rough stuff on the ground.  Cookie is a devotee!  

So enjoy those winter walks with your dog, but watch your step, both of you!  Warm & fuzzies, Diana  



The Night Shift

December 13, 2013

Season’s Greetings from chilly Katonah!  Meet our night watch dog, Cookie.  Here she is at her regular post – a large rock in the back yard she loves to hang out by…

night shift

It used to be that Cookie didn’t like to be alone outside – Aussies are devoted to their people and often choose to be by their side whenever possible.  And at night – forget it!  We’d need to accompany her outside into the yard for her “last call” or she just wouldn’t go out. But now that Cookie is almost 2, and it’s wintertime, her favorite season with her double-coat of fur, we’re seeing a lot more independence in our girl.  Case in point, the ongoing “night watch” in our back yard.  Now, when the sun goes down, Cookie begs to go out – and will happily stay outside for hours.  Sometimes she’s nice and quiet, and sometimes, barking at the moon…sorry neighbors!    In any case, it’s a nice development for her.  Could it be she’s keeping an eye out for Santa?  Better be good, Cookie!  And stay warm loyal readers!  Diana

Aussies on the Silver Screen

July 30, 2013

As you know from our Dear Cookie, Aussies definitely have “Star Quality.”  They love to mug in front of the camera and have those charming “grins.”  Aussies make frequent appearances on television commercials and the labels of pet products.  And way before today’s kids TV show “Dog With A Blog,” Aussies were stars of television shows, too.   Recently I treated myself to this vintage movie theater lobby card for the Disney classic “Run, Appaloosa, Run!”


This film was part of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color TV in 1967.    It told the story of Mary Blackfeather, a young Native American horse Trainer, and her beloved Appaloosa colt, Holy Smoke, who she’s forced to sell, but ultimately fights to get back.  The Aussie pictured here is Silver, and was one of the late, great Jay Sisler’s dogs.  Jay Sisler, as previously mentioned on this blog, was a rodeo star and dog trainer of the 1950’s and 1960’s.  His old home movies of his Aussies performing all sorts of amazing tricks are on YouTube and a must-see for any dog lover.

I love this picture because it really captures the essence of the Aussie spirit:  unwavering attentiveness, at-your-service, ever-capable and always clever.  Not to mention, great with other animals.  Now I’m off to see if I can find this film to watch in the digital universe….  Warm & Fuzzies, Diana 

A Canine Moment, Captured On-Camera

July 2, 2013

Diana here  – Just wanted to share a recent family-dog moment…we may want to relax now that summer is here…but Cookie has other ideas! Tossing a milk jug over and over from the hammock is not a bad way to spend an afternoon though. Warm & Fuzzies, and more soon, Diana


Come Home S’More Cat

May 19, 2013

Diana here. Apologies from myself and Cookie for our blogging hiatus.  It’s been a sad time for our family, and for awhile the words just weren’t coming.  First, after a long illness, we lost my beloved Uncle Charlie.  My Uncle was an animal lover and was especially fond of his dogs, who were his constant companions.  He doted on them, and often took them with him when he went out, whether it was for a walk on the beach or a long road trip.  His dogs Suzie, Mabel and Annie are now providing companionship and love to my Aunt Linda now during these difficult days.  Rest in Peace Uncle, and thank you for showing me how special it is to have a dog in this life.


Last Sunday, our beautiful S’More Cat did not return home, and has not been seen since.  She has vanished without a trace, and we are all worried, sad, and deeply miss her.  Each time I gaze outside at the yard, or look down by my  feet, or at her favorite spot on the couch, and don’t see her, my heart hurts.  I so want to see her beautiful little face, look into her bright yellow eyes – one just a little bigger then the other – and scratch behind her ears and feel her bunny-soft fur again.  I listen for  the tinkle of the little bell on her collar, search for her when I walk Cookie around town, and look for her face pressed against the glass doors of my house, asking to be let in.  Her food remains untouched, and the couch doesn’t have it’s usual supply of white fur on it.  Heavy, heavy, heavy sigh.  Without our kitty, I am so present to just what a presence she has been in our lives.  The truth is, we spend a lot more time with our pets then our extended family.  They are a key part of each and every day, as much so as the sun rising in the morning and the moon setting at night.  Without our cat my days just feel strange and off-kilter.  Time will tell if our kitty will come home to us.  In the meantime, we are grateful for the kindness and concern of our neighbors and friends here in Katonah.  I also learned about a great local rescue resource in my area called Community Cats, and of a website with helpful tips about what to do if your cat goes missing called  If you are ever in our situation, I recommend you take a look.

Cherish your pets, even on those days they are “high maintenance” with their shedding, clawing, and chewing.  Life is never the same when they are gone.  I have been talking to my children about how this situation with S’More is a true test of faith.  We’ve just got to have some right now.

Warm and Fuzzies, Diana

Doggy in the Window

May 2, 2013

Big news in Cookie-land: she’s calmed down enough in the house so that when we go out, we can actually leave her un-crated for a couple hours without coming home to unpleasant consequences!  This is a true puppy-milestone!


It’s taken a lot of love, patience and training to get here, so I’m enjoying this new development a lot.  Never mind that Cookie was standing on our kitchen table when I took this picture as we were leaving to run errands.  Like Rome, Cookie was not built in a day!  

When we return home to Cookie, the greeting we all get is tremendous:  happy whimpers, wiggle-hips, jumps of joy, kisses, and leaping around us in circles of joy.  At times the enthusiasm and love Cookie generates when we return to her are beyond description.  And it never gets old, either to Cookie, or to us.  That’s why this doggy in the window is definitely NOT for sale!

Warm and Fuzzies, Diana


Boston Marathon Comfort Dogs

April 19, 2013

Hello Friends…It’s been a sad and somber week, and our hearts go out to all affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy.  We at this blog will continue to stand, on two legs and four, for PEACE.     


During these difficult times, our pets can provide us with the unconditional love, comfort, and comic relief that we need to heal.  I was so glad to see in the news that a team of specially trained golden retriever therapy dogs were dispatched to Boston to visit victims in area hospitals.   The dogs are part of the K-9 Comfort Team of the Lutheran Church Charities.  Member dogs hail from several states and travel widely to see those in need across our Country.  Recently members of the K-9 team helped the children of Newtown, CT as they returned to school.  

If you’d like to learn more about these very special dogs visit – you can also read the following recent article from the New York Daily News…which is how we first heard about these canine comforters:

I am constantly amazed by how soothing Cookie’s presence is to us when we are feeling blue.  I hope when she is a little bit older and calmer, that she too can be trained as a therapy dog.  Cookie is so friendly and sweet, especially with kids, and has so much love to give.
Wishing you love, peace and courage, Diana

Happy Birthday Cookie!

March 14, 2013

Last March, we brought Cookie home with us from the breeder where she was born.  She was just eight weeks old.  That night, after a 3-hour plus drive home with our new “baby,” our dear friend Andy came over and took a picture of us all together to commemorate her first night with us at home.  Can you believe how little she was?  This is the puppy we fell in love with.


My, what a difference a year makes!  The puppy we fell in love with has grown into the dog we all adore.  We asked Andy to come take our picture again.  This is us, today!


We had to celebrate this important milestone, so we had a little party, and Sophia gave her a special treat: a delicious Pawsitively Gourmet chicken liver dog cupcake-shaped cookie – it was beautiful and Cookie LOVED it.  In addition to the treat, Atticus gave Cookie a “birthday present” of a new teddy bear wubba.  Cookie loves those things!  Here she is enjoying both the cookie and the wubba.


Cookie, every day with you is a party, and we love you!  Happy Birthday, “baby-doggy”!


(Side note: I was pleased with the Pawsitively Gourmet cookie purchase and would totally splurge and buy these again – it was really cute to see Cookie lick it all over for a few minutes before gobbling it up – she really knew it was a special treat.  Visit to find them for sale near you.  In case you’re curious about the recipe for a good dog cookie, the ingredients in this chicken liver flavored cookie were whole wheat flour, chicken livers, yogurt coating, carob coating, vegetable oil, corn syrup, eggs, and cornmeal. They also offer Peanut Butter and Wheat-free Sweet Potato cookies, too.)

Sleet, Snow & the Secret for “Paw Protection Par Excellence”

January 30, 2013

Hello from Diana!  This is never my favorite month, but Cookie certainly has been enjoying her first January…

Want me to pull you first?

Want me to pull you first?

Here in Katonah not only has it been quite cold outside, but all of us humans in the family, including myself, have caught colds or been sick this month.  All of our pets have been comforting companions throughout.  Cookie is always one to come lie down nearby when we rest and periodically “check” on us as we do.  I have been woken several times from a deep sleep by her cold nose grazing my cheek.  If laughter is the best medicine, Cookie certainly generates a lot of that on a daily basis.  Plus she doesn’t shy away when you cough or sneeze.

Whether we are sick or not, and no matter how cold it is outside, Cookie still needs her walks, and substantial ones at that. This is when as a dog owner you will yourself to leave your warm house and remind yourself of the commitment you made to your dog when you adopted them (on a much warmer day that seems so long ago.)  And so I bundle up, sometimes wearing two sets of gloves, and head out.  If the temperature is below 20 degrees, I will put Cookie’s puffer-coat on.  But I have learned this is really more for me – she is absolutely fine without it.  The snow and cold don’t phase or tire her out at all.  Being wet from cold winter rain is another story.  So the coat also goes on in that instance, too. 

Given the choice, Cookie always prefers to walk on the snow or on some land as opposed to a sidewalk or  street.  But that’s not always possible, and these days, there’s a lot of rock salt and other snow-metlers on the ground everywhere, and these can hurt the pads of a dog’s feet.  So we were happy when our friend Ray (The Papa of Cookie’s B.F.F. Maggie) told us about this wonderful stuff…


It’s a non-greasy, pleasant smelling salve you can apply to to the pads of your dog’s paws.  It creates a barrier for all the corrosive things on the ground out there that could hurt your dog’s feet.  And somehow, it doesn’t get all over your house and everything in it.  And, it c Cookie’s feet to boot.  Plus if you have horses you can use this for them too (sadly we don’t but someday!) In my area you can find it at Wipe Your Paws in Mount Kisco (the official Doggie Daycare of Cookie of Katonah.) 

When I watch Cookie eat snow, deliberately choose to walk on ice and then skid, and lie and roll around in the cold snow, just it reminds me of something a kid would do.   And just like with my own kids, after I’ve been outside for awhile, I get really cold, and then I need to cajole Cookie to come inside.  At first there is a disappointed whimper from her, but ultimately there is acceptance.  Later, as I sit at my desk working and Cookie lays at my feet, the cold has disappeared, and I feel very warm inside.  Stay warm & well, Diana 

Under the Weather

January 5, 2013

Cookie is looking forward to a great 2013…and not having to wear this cone anymore!


Why the cone you ask?  I shall tell you the story.  For awhile, Cookie has been wearing a head-collar on her walks to discourage pulling.  It was effective, but she never liked it, and often she would flop to the ground at some point in her walks and paw at her face, as if to say “Take this thing off of me!”   Early in December, we switched to a new collar for our walks…and probably just in time, because we noticed there was now a little “hot spot” on Cookie’s snout where the fur was worn off.  We figured that it would just heal on its own.  Well, as the weeks went by, she pawed it and rubbed at it (in her crate at night, when we didn’t see) and now what was just a “little thing” turned into a “thing.”  It didn’t help that during the month amid the Holiday Hupla we kenneled her twice, I’m sure adding to her anxiety and pawing more as a result.  Now, she had developed a much bigger cut, and what was just a little thing was now a “thing.”  Our little pup was looking ruff…I mean, rough. I called Roosevelt Vet in Brewster, NY – the official vet of Cookie of Katonah – and they advised me to put her in a cone, keep the cut clean, and apply some anti-bacterial topical ointment if I could ensure it would not get into her eyes.

So Brian went to the pet store and purchased a medium-sized ProCone Soft Recovery Collar, made of blue canvas with a nice reflective piping on the ends of the cone, with velcro closures and an adjustable collar for a good fit on the dog.  Here it is on our model:


This is a good quality collar – only one problem: after a few days Cookie figured out how to get her back foot around it and onto her snout – thus re-opening the cut again.  So, Brian went back to the pet store and bought size large….now “Cookie Ingalls” (as in Laura, of the “Little House on the Prairie” books) as Sophia has nicknamed her during this ordeal is FINALLY starting to heal-up this cut – and little white hairs are growing in…so hopefully in a week or so she’ll be ready for her close-ups again!   Until then, we’ll have to settle for a long lens:


Hope your New Year is off to a Warm and Fuzzy start!  Diana