Mom Nom Nom!
This little guy was from the July 2016 Encore x Zen “Firesongs” litter. Seems like he’s got a case of the munchies and was too cute to pass on by.
I should clean out my phone more often.
I should clean out my phone more often.
Happy Howl-O-Ween! Tonight is a lot of fun for people, but filled with some unique hazards for our beloved pets. This post will have a handy checklist of some of the scariest things to worry about for your dog (or cat) on Halloween and what to do about it if it comes up.
Not every dog loves Halloween. It’s sad, but true. For some, it’s nothing but a great time with snacks, excitement and friendly strangers, but for others? A nightmare of anxiety, potential hazards, opportunities to escape, and scary people wearing frightening costumes that make them look even scarier.
KNOW YOUR DOG. And take the appropriate precautions to give them the kind of safe, comfortable evening they need. If this means kennel time away from the action, that’s what it means… if that means a Thundershirt and some anti-anxiety meds, that’s ok too. Remember there are going to be lots of doors and gates left open, lots of strangers around – some of whom are guaranteed to NOT be dog savvy- and lots of chances for things to go wrong. When in doubt, error on the side of caution.
Not every dog needs this kind of care. Some just get over-excited, but are happy with the whole thing. This can be a great once-in-a-year” kind of training opportunity, if you use it as such. Here’s a list of good things you can work on:
Whatever you do, do NOT leave your dog outside in the yard! Some dogs can find this highly agitating, and the opportunity for human mischief-makers to cause trouble is very high. Whether or not they mean harm, it’s safer to keep your pet out of harms way – then you don’t have to worry about accidental poisoning, theft, teasing, or other unfortunate things. Also, please remember that there’s one thing every pet should wear on Halloween night – something more crucial than any costume – their ID! Make sure every pet has current ID… and is wearing it!
Oh, there are SO many delicious things out there for pets to get a hold of! Some are perfectly fine, many are fine – in moderation – (key word here : MODERATION. Dogs aren’t good with moderation!). Many things are flat out poisonous and dangerous for pets to ingest. Here’s a rundown on the main offenders:
In addition to candy, pets have lots of other things they can ingest over the holiday that are NOT good for them. Beads, pumpkins, corn, foil, glow sticks, candles, fake grass, “Hawaiian” leis and skirts… you name it, it’s out there and available to play with or eat. Some of these things are dangerous on a case-by-case basis. If you have questions, don’t be afraid to call your vet, or a poison control hotline. Halloween is a busy night for the hotlines. They’ll be staffed, but you may have to wait.
Pet Poison Helpline 1-800-213-6680. In order to provide this critical service, please be advised that they charge a $59 per incident fee, payable by credit card. This fee covers the initial consultation as well as all follow-up calls associated with the management of the case. http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com
Remember: It’s always, Always, ALWAYS better to have prepared and prevented the problem than to try to do damage control later. Be safe, have fun, and help your pets have the best night that they can!
-C.T. (Chelle) Griffith, hound hugger, pizza guy terrorizer and very bad dancer.
Happy Howl-O-Ween 2017! To quote Vincent Price… “The midnight hour is close at hand…”
Well, your markers and crayons better be, too! Because here’s a Halloween themed coloring page, featuring Barnabas (the undisputed Aria King of Halloween) and his batch of “bitty bitches.” These are the girls from Aria’s latest Van Morrison litter, whelped back in August.
You’re welcome to share, print, color and have fun with this coloring page, as long as you share artist credit when you do (me! -Chelle Griffith) If you feel like showing off how you colored them, I’d love to see them and will share my favorites on Facebook. So, not a contest exactly, but you do get braggin’ rights… Email these puppies to me by sending them to email@example.com
In case you’re curious about our models, Barnabas (Bronze GCH Aria Zorya Dark Shadows “Barnabus”) JUST celebrated his 9th birthday last weekend, (Don’t tell him – he thinks he’s 2!) and celebrated by living it up with his adoring puppy minions. This is definitely a case of art imitating life! 😀 “Big B” is the chief borzoi babysitter at Aria, and has been the big snuggly role model for a couple generations of Aria pups.
Up next… Stay tuned for a list of the scariest things your dog could eat on Halloween, and what to do about it if they do – complete with poison control hotlines.
Happy Howl-O-Ween! We’re going to have a little fun here, to kick off the Halloween festivities. Believe it or not, Aria Hounds start prepping for their favorite holiday when they’re still in the whelping box. Aria Hounds “Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts.” How do we do that? Well, be patient… there’s more to come on that later! If you hang in there to the end of this post, it’s story time. I will thrill and chill you with a terrifying tale called: “Pizza, Puppies, and The Zombie Apocalypse.” (Otherwise known as “The Day Chelle was Sorta Weird and Scared The Pizza Delivery Guy.”)
Hey, you work with what you got. 😀
At the stroke of midnight tonight, we’ll have a “Happy Howl-O-Ween” Coloring page to share, featuring Freckles, Bandit, Two-Spot, Oreo and Minnie – some of our current batch of puppy cuties as coloring-page models, along with their Uncle Barnabas, the undisputed Aria King of Halloween. (He JUST celebrated his 9th birthday, and celebrated by living it up with his adoring puppy minions! Free to print out that coloring page, have fun with it, share it to any borzoi lovers you like and color the heck out of it and share it around (as long as you give artist credit (-me! 😉 -Chelle). We’d love to see how people decide to color these in, so send us your pictures and we’ll share our favorites on Facebook! Show off your coloring by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org
And finally, tomorrow on the big day, we’ll be talking about the tricky part of the Trick or Treats – The Treats that are dangerous for our pets, and the Tricks you can use to keep them safe while you have a HOWLIN’ good time! Stay tuned for a list and a handy list of hotlines and a countdown of the scariest things your dog can eat on Halloween.
And now, for our story…
“Pizza, Puppies, and The Zombie Apocalypse”
It was a hot day in late July when the pizza guy got the call. Somewhere, hidden by a tangle of trees, wild bamboo, and a maze of dusty roads that seemed to wind in to themselves for an eternity, someone had issued a cry for help.
They needed… a PIZZA! (Dun… dun… DUNNNN!)
It was a terrifying, harrowing journey, as his trusty Honda Civic coughed along the twisty road. Neither his GPS or Google Maps seemed adequate to the task of finding the place, but eventually his car carried him up the hill to where the lonely house – surrounded by a formidable, spiky iron fence – stood all alone. A grey, stone, beast-like statue grimaced at him, as he rumbled up to park his car in the abandoned driveway.
As his driver’s side door creaked open, several lanky, gaunt and savage looking monsters appeared on the hill to leer down at him. They eyed him, licking their chops in anticipation.
Was it the pizza they hungered for, or his very SOUL?
Gathering his courage, he reached in to retrieve the pouch that held his precious cargo. Who knew what horrors he must face to deliver it to it’s rightful owner? Would he be safe? What would become of him? Searching for answers, he turned to the gate, and discovered a note.
“Come on in. Shut the gate behind you. The dog is friendly. Knock LOUD.” Frowning at the cryptic message, he did as the note commanded, scratching his head as he approached the house, noticing the door was slightly ajar. Of course, he thought, It’d be good to have a dog, with all those scary monsters up on the hill. It was then, that he heard the first groan.
At first, he was certain it was the wind. Of course, it was the wind! he told himself. There are no real zombies in Texas, in July, in the real world. That’d just be ridic-
That was when he heard the chainsaw, and the answering scream.
He froze in his tracks, his hand an inch away from the door. It sounded like HELL had come to live in that stylish Weatherford acreage! The Zombie Apocalypse had begun, in Texas, in July, in the real world. And just when he could take no more, two things happened at once…
The door was nosed open by the biggest, hairiest black BEAST of a dog he’d ever seen… AND… The opening bars of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” began to play, just as a chubby lady, dressed in shorts and a tank top with the “Poop” emoji, danced out from the hallway, then froze in place, to stare at him in shock.
She grinned, cheeks flushing with embarrassment. “I thought the door was latched. Sorry about that,” she yelled, turning down the music and gesturing him in as the huge dog tried to snuffle his pizza carrier. Oddly enough, the music quit, but the Zombie Apocalypse sound effects continued. She turned those down, too. “Sorry about the noise, too. The puppies are the right age to desensitize to scary noises, so… Zombie Apocalypse it is. Barnabas, don’t be a dork. He’s not gonna give you any pizza. Leave the guy alone.”
His eyes followed the woman’s gesture, and across the room, in a wire pen, a litter of adorable puppies bumbled around, biting, tumbling and falling all over each other. Feeling a nudge to his ribs, he looked down, and the enormous monster dog was tilting his head to the side, grinning, and trying to be cute… as if he were just some regular old lapdog, and not a fearsome beast that could reach a man’s armpit with his nose, without having to raise his front feet off the floor.
Soon after, the pizza guy fled – with dog drool on his pants, and a decent tip in his pocket. All in a day’s work when you’re saving the world… one pizza at a time!
On July 5, 2016, Encore x Zen had a litter of borzoi puppies here at Aria Borzoi, with Rita L.Rice. “Zen,” the dam of the “Firesongs” litter is pictured below, heavily pregnant and just hours from delivery. As part of our “Photo Flashback Fridays” we’ll be showing photos of the Firesongs litter at about the same age as the 2017 “Van Morrison” litter (Seamus x Melody) we’re featuring, just for fun and the sake of comparison. Every litter is a little different and there can be a quite a range of “normal” for strong, healthy pups. Over the next few weeks, we will be doing a series of posts about early puppy development here at Aria, using photos and examples from the current 2017 “Van Morrison” litter (Seamus x Melody), the 2016 “Fire Songs litter (Encore x Zen) and the 2015 “Irish Airs” litter (Lancelot x Bridget).
I kept thinking “Catch that nap while you can, Zen. You’re on the hook for at least 8 more weeks….”
Well, their first day of solid food on Monday was a good start… Light Blue, Orange, and Blue were my big champion eaters! Which is great, since they are some of the smaller pups in the litter.
Zen jumped in the box and started nursing them immediately after I set the food down – what timing, huh?
So it was a nice low pressure introduction to something new, and every puppy investigated a little. Some did more than investigate a little. Red, Purple and Orange all ate a surprising amount, considering they’d also just nursed. Light Blue and Blue REALLY chowed down, by the time it was all said and done. Light Blue immediately dozed off into a carbohydrate coma, sleeping on his back like a little Buddha. Poor Blue’s over indulgence led to him urping up a little and having an upset tummy.
Then, everybody needed to sleep it off.
On Tuesday, when I offered solid food again, Light Blue was once again at the front of the line. As I write this now, he’s gaining weight faster than he ever has before. Almost at twice the rate he was before. I think this is going to really agree with him!
The collective of pups ate everything I put out for them, and then most everything I refilled their bowls with (I’d made extra to set aside for a second feeding later).
Today is Wednesday, and they’re still nursing a regular schedule, though Zen is less and less interested in spending time with them when she’s not feeding them.
All right, I’ve been promising to get into this solid food thing for a while now, so it’s time I put up or shut up. So, hold on… here we go!
Remember our new partners from last week? Those sad sacks that still had something valuable to offer those pups? Well, those guys get to go to work NOW!
When DuMor powdered goat milk and BilJac Large Breed Puppy Food work together, they make absolute MAGIC! Palatable, digestible mushy food that even very young pups can ingest and keep down. It even smells nice. Kind of like a creamy vanilla milkshake. NOTHING like Zen’s nasty Green Tripe!
First, figure out what you’re going to serve it to the pups in, and about how much you’ll need. Little serving dishes are good. I shamelessly looted around in Rita’s kitchen, looking for likely candidates…
These 4 inch ones are just about right. There are 9 pups, and their noggins are still pretty little right now, so they can eat 3 to a bowl. I was thinking. “This should work for my crew.” Your mileage may vary, depending on the size and number of your pups.
I only put a couple handfuls of BilJak food in each bowl… and my hands are kind of small. I knew this was probably going to be overkill for the first time feeding any kind of solid, but I come from a long line of Ladies Who Cook. It’s in my genes to try to stuff small helpless creatures full of food. I can’t fight it.
Next, I whipped up the DuMor goat’s milk. And I do, literally, mean “whipped.” That nifty little gadget is a milk frother… also purloined from Rita’s kitchen. One of my friends told me once that if I ever did a cooking show, I’d be half Martha Stewart, and half Dexter’s Lab. Now, I kinda see what she meant by that…
Well, it may be weird, but it sure gets the job done. The goat’s milk reconstitutes nice and smooth and has a sweet, appealing smell. Puppies should like this a lot! Go ahead and pour it over the BilJak food, covering it up good.
As it soaks, it will expand. Remember, we’re not just trying to soften it up, we’re really trying to dissolve it. These pups have NO teeth at all. They’re just gumming it, at this stage. So we’re looking for something that will go down easy.
Enlarged, to show texture! Ha! Look at how it’s starting to break up. A little mashing around with a fork, a minute and a half in the microwave, and it’s warm and ready for their first taste-testing…
Tune in next time to see how it went. Muahaha! Mine is an evil laugh! You are my captive audience! You read this far hoping to see a puppy picture… you addict. Ok, well, here you go! Consider this a preview:
All right. I set them out. Do you think the puppies noticed, with mom in the box providing drinks at the nipple bar? Find out next time!
cereal, er, serial story installment was brought to you by guest blogger C.T. (“Chel the Chef”) Griffith.
Well, today’s the happy day! It’s the day the pups turn three weeks old. Everybody’s eyes and ears are working and in fine order, everyone can scamper around and get into trouble, and life is starting to get VERY interesting here!
Please consider this video an attempt at a “Group Family Portrait.” I actually shot individual photos of each of the pups to commemorate the special day. To tell the truth, I was a little intimidated and dreading it because I know what little hell raisers they can be, but they completely surprised me… and I have a surprise for you, too. I’ll be starting a new more on that when I start the new special feature called “Cast of Characters.” Tell you all about it tomorrow.
My goodness they are HUNGRY!
This Three Week Birthday Celebration was brought to you by guest blogger, house sitter and fantasy author C.T. (“Chelle”) Griffith. Nothing silly to say here today… just honored to be part of the experience. There are very few things in life better than a borzoi.