Article contributed by guest blogger Vee Cecil Image courtesy of Matt Deavenport under creative commons license Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic The Authors at WagsAhoy.com have not tested any of the products recommended by the author; we cannot offer a personal endorsement of these products nor claim responsibility for the reader’s use of or satisfaction with them.
August 2014 was the hottest month ever recorded. So, while summer may feel like it’s starting to wind down, we can likely expect some hot weather throughout August. And that could mean trouble for our four-legged friends.
As this article on the dangers associated with hot weather points out, heat exhaustion is a very real threat for dogs. So, it’s important to help them cool off as temperatures soar.
If you plan to enjoy some time by the pool with your dog in these last weeks of summer, that’s certainly a great way to help your dog stay cool. But it means you’ll need to be extra cautious and protect your dog from possible pool-related dangers.
Here are a few pool time safety rules to keep in mind:
Don’t assume your dog can swim. Because we’re all so familiar with the “doggy paddle,” often we assume that all dogs can swim. PriorityPetHospital.com points out that that simply isn’t true. However, the article notes, if your dog does like being in the water, it’s important to immediately train them how to find the stairs, which is their only option for getting out of the pool. It suggests using a landmark—like a patio chair—to help them learn where the stairs are as you train.
Keep your pet away from pool chemicals. If you’re a pool owner, then you know the number of chemicals required to keep a pool safe for humans. This article provides a comprehensive list of those chemicals and gives a good idea of just how toxic they are. Be sure your pool chemicals are locked away so that your pet can’t get anywhere near them and clean up any spills or leaks immediately. And though a pool’s chemical levels should be safe for dogs, it’s still a good idea to be on the look out for any signs of irritation, such as red eyes or skin reactions.
Cool them off with these treats. Taking a dip in the pool will definitely help your pet stay cool, but they’ll need some extra help cooling off when they aren’t in the water. A frozen dog treat can do the trick. These tasty options, include chicken pops and frozen banana treats. They are especially great to whip out when you’re barbecuing by the pool. They make for an effective distraction so that your four-legged family members won’t be as attracted to “human” foods, especially those that can be dangerous for them such as corn cobs and bones.
Protect their feet. Your pet’s paws are very sensitive. As this article from Banfield Pet Hospital recommends, always check a surface yourself before allowing your dog to walk on it. Before entering the pool area, place your own bare foot on the surface for 10 seconds. Banfield notes that if the surface feels too hot for you then it is definitely too hot for your dog.
These last weeks of summer can be fun and refreshing for your dog—especially when you head to the pool. But if you do decide to let them take a dip, be sure you know how to keep them safe from common pool-related dangers.
Vee Cecil is passionate about wellness. She often studies the topic and shares her findings on her recently-launched blog. She is also a Kentucky-based wellness coach, personal trainer, and bootcamp instructor.
Yes, it has been some time since our last update here on WagsAhoy.com about the adventures of our fearless sausage pup, Gilligan. That doesn’t mean nothing has been going on, though… quite the contrary!
Since we last checked in with you, Gilligan’s parents have gotten hitched! That’s right: Gilly’s Mama and Papa have “made it official” and are now back in the U.S. from a lovely honeymoon in Europe.
Our wonderful Ween is unfortunately not comfortable enough around crowds to have participated in the wedding in person (“in dog?” No, dogs are people too, ok…), but he did attend in spirit by wearing his lovely tux bandana to match Papa’s groomsmen attire.
While they were away getting married, Gilligan stayed with 3 fabulous family friends and had an absolute blast! We are excited to tell you more about all the fun.
It wouldn’t be a proper wedding of Gilligan’s folks without dachshund themed drink coozies, table cards, and more!
They even got a couple of dachshund themed gifts, including this cute little card featuring a couple of German teckel “soulmates:”
Today we’re going to show you how we made Mother’s Day count, and how you can too, with an irresistibly adorable homemade pup-themed card!
Incidentally, this guide can be used for making similar homemade cards for any occasion, so even if you read this after Mother’s Day we hope you will take the opportunity to really make a loved one’s day, showing them how much you care by taking the time to craft a unique card such as this.
What you will need:
Durable paper (we used recycled paper shopping bag material, but feel free to use colored construction paper or anything else you like)
Tissue paper (again, we used recycled tissue paper to a neat effect; you can do what we did or just use standard tissue paper/ other soft paper of your choosing)
Cutting surface (matte board recommended; we used a piece of durable ply cardboard from a shipping box in this demo ONLY because a matte board was not handy)
“Card bling” (rhinestones, pieces of nature, glittery stuff, etc. – if this is your thing, go nuts!)
Glue (for your card bling)
Step 1: Prepare the Tissue Paper
If you’re using fresh construction paper, go ahead and skip this step, BUT we would highly recommend hanging on to tissue paper in the future so you can do this. It is good for the environment and achieves a nice effect.
Get your ironing board out, plug your iron in, and turn it on to the lowest setting (this is important because of how delicate the tissue paper is).
Then, carefully lay your tissue paper piece out flat on the ironing board, making sure to avoid quick movements that may result in a tear.
Gently iron the tissue paper, making sure not to go too slowly as you want to achieve a uniform “bake” across the sheet of paper.
When you are done, you will have a relatively flat piece of tissue paper, with mild (pretty) wrinkles throughout it. The particular purple tissue paper we used also reacted to the heat by turning more pinkish, which you can see in the photo below. It is possible that the heat will also affect the color pigment of your tissue paper, in which case it is important to make sure the iron is applied uniformly across the whole sheet (to avoid color inconsistencies).
Step 2: Cut the Card Body Paper
If you happen to use the type of paper we did, you’ll want to start by undoing the seams of the paper bag and laying it out flat, as below.
*Disclaimer: You will notice we did a lot of our cutting and folding right on the ironing board. A hard flat surface is recommended, so don’t be like us in this case!
One really happy thing about using a recycled paper grocery bag is that there are already folds along the bag! It turns out that these folds make for pretty good ready-to-go card borders!
We have the luxury in this case not to measure precisely, since we will not be using an envelope for the card (which would require us to fit the envelope’s dimensions). Deciding that the first three rectangular “sections” look like a pretty good size, we proceed to fold the paper over, achieving double thickness for a sturdy card stock (and in this case also hiding the designs on the reverse side of the original grocery bag!).
Once the paper is folded in half, we cut it so that we’re left with a double-thick piece that is roughly the size we want for our card, folded open. We say “roughly” because you will want to leave about an extra 1/4″ on each side to help smooth the edges.
Our piece looks like this:
Note that one side happens to have a crease through it that we would ideally want gone. If this happens in your case, you can try to flatten it out by hand, or use the iron again at a low setting. We also chose to make this side the exterior of the card, because it will be covered with tissue paper in the end and the crease will likely be covered, whereas the inside of the card will leave the paper exposed and we want that part as flat as possible.
Then, with the “interior” side of the card facing up, cut about 1/4″ off of each of the three exposed edges (the folded edge will not be exposed; no need to cut it), on the top-most layer of paper only. This will leave the layer below it about 1/4″ longer. Then, fold the bottom layer over the top layer (including the folded edge just for a consistent look) so that you have a neat 1/4″ border resembling the below:
Next, carefully fold this sheet in half to create the card crease, starting at the edge and working your way back toward the crease, and being careful to apply plenty of pressure at the edges to ensure that your 1/4″ folds remain in place.
Congratulations! Your card body is complete!
Step 3: Prepare a Stencil
You may have any number of traceable nicknacks or ready-to-go stencils to use. For our card, we created a new dachshund stencil, by simply drawing it on a scrap piece of grocery bag paper, then using an exacto knife to cut the stencil out. If you decide to make your own like we did, make sure to measure your card ahead of time to ensure you make a stencil that is the perfect size to fit within the card how you want it to.
Step 4: Set the Tissue Paper in Place
Place your card body open-face-up in the middle of an ironed sheet of tissue paper, as below:
Then, carefully cut around the edges of onlythe right side of the card (leaving the left to add the stencil to), leaving a good inch or so around each of the top, bottom, and right edges:
Then, fold the tissue paper over these three edges, and use very small pieces of scotch tape to pin them in place at the corners and near the seam (a little vertical “snip” of the tissue paper at the top and bottom near the seam will help you fold the top and bottom flaps over):
Next, we’re going to fold the lefthand flap of tissue paper over the card body, pulling it as taut as possible.
Decide where you want your stenciled image to appear, and lightly mark the center of the spot with a pencil.
Step 5: Add Your Stenciled Image
Cutting the stencil into the tissue paper is the most delicate part of the card-making process, so take your time and go slowly when drawing on and cutting the soft paper.
First, with the left side of the tissue paper “open” as below, line up your stencil where you want it to go, making sure that it is aligned in the reverse direction of how you want it to appear on the front of the card (since you’ll be flipping it over to the right when you’re done cutting):
Then, carefully trace your stencil onto the paper, holding the stencil as steady as possible, and taking care to draw very lightly so as not to damage the paper.
Once you’ve traced your stencil image onto the tissue paper, lay it on top of your cutting board (matte board, thick cardboard, etc.), making sure the paper is as flat as possible. Then, use your exacto knife to slowly cut the image out. Take deep breaths and move slowly (image of cutting not shown here because we were too busy concentrating)!
When we were done, we were left with the below cute cut-out.
Unfortunately, the dachshund image was a little too far to the right (which could have been avoided with more careful measuring)! We fixed this by folding the tissue paper towards the seam of the card body, to shift the dachshund image about a 1/4″ to the left, and create a neat little crease design element on the front of the card in the process.
Once satisfied with the placement of the cut-out on the face of the card, the next step is to trim the edges of the tissue paper, once again leaving an edge that you will fold over the edges of the card body and secure into place with bits of scotch tape, like we did with the other side before making the stencil.
You will want to ensure that the tissue paper fits relatively tightly onto the cover of the card body, to minimize any flaps and ensure your image is as clear as possible.
Step 6: Complete Your Card!
Once your card is fastened and together, take some time to press it tightly in place along the seams and creases, adding some extra strength to fasten it and help bind the bits of tape, etc.
To help flatten the card, we found that ironing it lightly was very effective, and gave the added touch of pressing the stencil cutout more firmly on the card body, eliminating any “flap” of the tissue paper and tightening the design. Be very careful if using this method to be gentle when running the iron over the stencil, so as not to damage any of the delicate edges. Our card became a little more pink from this step, so again be mindful of whether the iron affects the color of your tissue paper.
Now the only thing left to do is to add any additional “bling” you like, and most important of all: write a message on the inside telling Mom that you love her! We won’t tell you how to do these parts because that it all you!
We hope you enjoyed this DIY card-making lesson! If you have any questions about bits of the process we did not cover in detail, please leave a paw-ment below and we’ll be happy to answer!
Gilligan has mixed feelings about his spotlight being stolen for today's post, but we just couldn't resist sharing with you these photos of a new arrival: a sweet 8-week-old baby pug! She just arrived at a dear friend's house this weekend, and doesn't even have a name yet!
She may be a great deal less sophisticated than our oblong hero, but we hope you’ll agree she’s pretty darn precious. We hope to bring you more soon once we arrange an in-person introduction between the two!
We’re back for another FitDog Friday! And that’s because it is finally getting warm enough for successful walks around the neighborhood again! Yay!
Last time, we showed you how walks with Gilligan continued to be thwarted by the cold and mounds of snow, continuing in the fashion of our prior “Wiener in the Trenches” post, showing Gilligan’s “I give up on this walk” stance in response. Today, we celebrate the triumph of being able to accomplish a complete walk in the neighborhood again, with some special photos and video to share with you!
Well, here we are in the final week of February, and we’re finally starting to see some sunny days, and some lovely thaw. Ah, yes!
We’ve been able to accomplish several walks this week. Check out a clip from yesterday’s before we share a few photos from today’s wonderfully sunny stroll. 🙂
Finally able to relax after catching up on his pee-mail, Gilligan started today’s walk just basking in the warmth of the sunshine.
Now that’s not to say that the grass is back and Spring has sprung around these parts. Oh no, we’re still a ways from that. The below photo will give you a glimpse at the mounds of ice and snow that we’ve needed to tackle. Check out the bed of ice still partially present on the driveway.
Just think, this is the nicest it’s been here for about three weeks!
There was still a decent amount of ice and snow around, which meant Gilligan periodically wanted to stop for a break from walking on the ice, and just sit in the sun again.
As if today’s walk couldn’t get any more wonderful, WE FOUND TREASURE on our way home! It had been buried under ice in the sidewalk, but was just thawed out enough to retrieve now. What was it, you ask?
Our post continues below to show you a very special Valentine’s Day Card!
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Today we’re going to bring you our official review of the Kiss Me You Fool Valentine’s Day Card that Gilligan and his Papa got for his Mama for this special day of love.
This item was purchased from What's Up Dox, a weenderful online Dachshund shoppe that sells high quality doxie gear.
We'll be continuing to bring you candid reviews throughout 2015 about the products we have received from them. What's Up Dox has provided us with a couple of extra items for free, in addition to some promotions for our site, in exchange for our honest reviews.
This being a fairly simple product, our review will likewise be simple, and take you through just a couple of our thoughts.
In looking through the catalog of cards, this one was a must-have because of how much the Dachshund in the photo looks like our cuddly little buddy… I mean, it’s a male chocolate and tan dapple mini Dachshund. That’s a lot of specific things in common with our hero! 😉
Being the creative types around here, Gilligan and his Papa were also really big on (well, Gilligan was still small as usual, but er… right, figure of speech again…) the fact that there’s one short phrase inside the card, with plenty of room for personalization.
Suffice it to say that when your Valentine’s Day card features a Dachshund on the front, there are endless possibilities for things to write that will tickle your Valentine’s funny bone. Gilly and Papa really like the tone that this short phrase sets and how well it goes with the adorable photo.
The thin plastic jacket is a great touch that helped keep the card fresh and crisp for its “big day.”
AND the back of the envelope features this really cute logo with a HOT DOG on it!
There really isn’t much more to say except that in terms of quality, this card is everything you want it to be.
Our Overall Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤
Because today’s a special day, we’re taking a break from our usual rating system and just giving this card THREE BIG HEARTS!!!
Unfortunately, the situation has really only gotten worse. Two weeks and four snow days later, the snow has piled up even higher, and despite today being calm and somewhat bright (though not warm…), Gilligan gave up on today’s walk even sooner than he did before, not even making it past the street corner!
As much as Gilligan was itching for a walk after several days confined to playing with toys indoors, he was immediately skeptical from the outset of the walk. The snow was piled up high everywhere, and despite the sun today’s temperatures were frigid.
Before the end of the block, there’s a “terminal” so at least Gilligan was able to check his pee-mail…
Then, right after the hydrant, Gilly was faced with a dark, super-scary snow-trench that came up above the corner lot fence! *gulp* 😦
And so it was after a very long and cold 4 minutes, less than a block from home, that Gilligan sat down in defeat on the snowy path, and assumed his classic “carry me home NOW!” stance.
Looks like it’s back to the great indoors and some choice toys… unfortunately we’re due for yet more snow on Sunday…. ROH NO!
And the moral of the story is: Be careful what you wish for!
This post was part of FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy, To Dog with Love and My GBGV Life. Join either Hop or just enjoy the links below bringing you to the other awesome blogs for the day – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!
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