April 16, 2010

Follow Friday - Plus, Introduction to Coat Blowing

Follow Fridays... Please follow us at the link below or to the side!

Friday Follow

Great news to begin with... Whiskey's Hot Spots are much better. He still has a stink to him, but he has stopped licking his belly and scratching. He has finished his treatment of Prednisone. His excessive hunger and thirst from it has made him eat a 10lb bag of food in one week and out to pee about every 2 hours. Hopefully, though he is on his way to feeling much better.

Now that summer is upon us at any moment that means it coat-blowing time. In short Husky's shed their coats twice a year. I will discuss this in a post probably tomorrow but for now I will leave you with this great video I found on Youtube. It is pretty self-explanatory. Have a wonderful weekend and follow us :D

April 11, 2010

Summer is here... and so are the Hot Spots

Poor Whiskey-boy! Our Siberian has been licking himself on his belly and his foot lately to no end. We thought maybe it was just a nervous thing or him just being bored. Don't I wish that were the case. Leave it to stupid pet owners (rather obviously pet owners) to chalk a new pet behavior up to boredom.

The the smell set in. Friends, to spare you the nasty details I won't divulge on the smell of hot spots but it is not a pleasant one. You would think then, that we would have got a light bulb over our heads about what might be wrong with Whiskey. Nope. We figured well, it's bath time.

Siberians are very clean dogs. Some have gone years without really needing a bath because they take care of their coats like a cat would. So we figured it had been a while and it was time to freshen him up. His daddy gave him a bath, but the next day he smelled worse! That is what it dawned on us (finally) that there was something wrong with our Sibe.

My mother, who use to work as a vet assistant, came to Whiskey's (and ours) rescue. She knew right away that our boy was suffering from hot spots. Siberians are prone to hot spot because they have two coats. The upper coat and the under coat, which allows for moisture to become trapped and thus create an environment for bacteria to grow.

Luckly, my mom knew a treatment and had the proper medicinal products to help Whiskey. Saving us a vet bill, and saving Whiskey from being poked and prodded. I do not recommend not taking your animals to the vet, by the way. I do trust my mother's advice and opinions on animal care, though.

She gave us some Prednisone. This steroid stops the itching allowing time for the skin to heal. She also gave us a bottle of Tea Tree Oil, which helps dry the area and allow for the sores to heal as well. Side effects of Prednisone are excessive thirst and hunger. So as you can imagine Whiskey has been out to use the bathroom a lot these past couple days. The medicine seems to be helping though and he is not itching at all.

Also, Tea Tree Oil just smells great anyways, so that alleviated our noses, too.

Lesson for the day: if your pet is acting different there is probably a reason for that. Do a little investigative work.

April 8, 2010

A Great Alternative to Letting a Husky Roam - Dog Parks!

Great News! I last night I found out that there is a project in the works right now by a former co-worker of mine to build a dog park in our town. This would be perfect for Whiskey and other dogs to go to and get their run-on.

For those who aren't sure exactly what a dog park is I'll quote dogpark.com on that for you: "A dog park is a place where people and their dogs can play together. These facilities offer dogs off-leash play areas while their people enjoy the park-like setting. Amenities, such as fencing, water, parking, and even grass, vary greatly among these places, but ‘off-leash’ and ‘park’ are the key elements that dog owners (who are also taxpayers and voters) desire.

"For some dog owners, a dog park may provide the main opportunity for dog guardians to socialize with other people and their dogs, and is a primary source of recreation. We believe that they deserve to have their taxpayer dollars used towards a safe, accessible place where they can meet other people and exercise themselves and their dogs."

I hope this project can really take off and provide a perfect setting for us to take Whiskey down there regularly and let him run and play with other dogs in a safe setting.

If you are interested in getting involved there will be a meeting in a few weeks after more interest is generated here in Macon County. Your involvement would be appreciated. Let's make this happen for our furry friends.

If you do not live in our area and are interested in starting your own dog park, check out dogpark.com. They have tons of resources for starting and promoting a dog park.

If you have any questions or comments leave them below! Thanks again.


April 6, 2010

Extreme Husky Mushing

Every once in a while I will show you all some interesting videos from Youtube that relate the current topic I've discussed. I do not claim ownership to these videos unless stated.

This video may make you a little nauseous watching it if you are prone to motion-sickness like myself but it is an awesome example of what Siberian Huskies are capable of when allowed to run. The amazing part: They can do this for hours! I'd love to mush one day, but probably wouldn't be able to handle it.

Check it out:

April 5, 2010

Lesson 1: Our Husky Taught Us To Never Let Him Roam Off A Leash

About a week after we found Whiskey we learned our first lesson of being a Siberian Husky owner. Never let a Husky roam alone, even if he has some garden gnomes around.

Ok, so that's not a husky. Pugs can be cute, too. (I suppose) In their own special sort of way.

Well, it was Thanksgiving of 2007. A beautiful day out with fall in the air. Before sitting down to our annual feast a few of us decided a hike on the nearest mountain would be fun on such a beautiful day.

We hadn't really been walking with Whiskey yet since we had kept him indoors mostly in fear he would try to run off and find his old, crappy owners. He was doing pretty good walking on his leash and new body harness.

Then we made the biggest mistake any Siberian Husky owner can make. Are you listening? This is important and is the number 1 rule for owning a Sibe. Do NOT let your sibe off his leash to roam alone. Ok? Never.

Now, let me put this out there. I am not trying to generalize the breed and saying they all run. However, let me quote a book called "The Siberian Husky" by Wayne Hunthausen, D.V.M. ed: He says, "They tend to run because they were at first bred to be a sled dog. Owners are advised to exercise caution when letting their Siberian Husky off the leash as the dog is likely to be miles away before looking around and realizing their owner is nowhere in sight."

The last thing you want to happen to your dog is to think letting him sniff around and play by himself will be good for him only to turn your back for a second and he is so far off you will never catch up to him. They can run like nothing you've seen.

Anyways, needless to say Thanksgiving we thought was ruined. However on a lucky break I was able to sneak up on him about a half mile away in a neighbors yard while he was busy sniffing something intently. He didn't even see me coming he was so engaged in whatever it was in that hole.

I'm grateful we didn't lose him that day. Since then there have been many creative solutions we've used to allow Whiskey to run (which he was born to do) without putting himself in harms way. I will discuss some of those solutions in a later post.

Until then, please follow us here on Patience and Advocacy. Also, if you have any questions you would like answered feel free to put it in the comment below and I will be pleased to get back to you as soon as I can.


April 4, 2010

In the beginning... there was Whiskey

So this is the blogging world. This post is my first of what I hope will be many blog posts I plan to send out into this world. For quite awhile now my husband and I have been discussing starting a blog. We both agreed that doing it about something we are not only knowledgeable about but something we both care about would be the best path to follow.

Today we begin Patience & Advocacy: A Siberian Husky's Haven.

I'll start by telling you a little about us and our Sib, Whiskey. We live in the mountains of North Carolina. Right now my husband and I are both self-employed after working three years for a company that wasn't taking us anywhere. We sell gems and minerals on EBay, but we also do odd jobs and such.

Whiskey came to us one day roaming in the parking lot of my husband's old work building. He ran right up to Tom just begging for attention and love. Tom decided to bring him home. My first reaction when I saw him was, "Hunny, he is big!". Little did I know that he was still a puppy. We checked newspapers and shelters to see if there had been any reported missing Siberians. Nothing. Then, in mentioning to a co-worker that we had decided to keep the husky, they then told Tom that someone in a van had dumped the dog on the side of the busy highway a few days prior. He had been abandoned by the people who were suppose to love him. We knew then and there this brown-eyed/blue-eyed boy was ours.

We've had Whiskey 2.5 years now and still love him more and more everyday. He is a part of our family. The journey hasn't always been easy, though. We knew nothing about Siberian Huskies when we adopted Whiskey. They are arguably one of the hardest breeds to take care of.

This brings me to the purpose of our new blog. Patience & Advocacy. Sometimes it will be informative, other times comical, but most importantly it will raise awareness about the breed and possibly make us all better pet owners.

Feel free to follow our blog and thanks for the support!