Pet Massage

I should have done a video for this but while my Roco loves a massage he is also very hyper making him hard to photograph. I will try to give as much detail as possible.

Depending on the temperament of your dog, you should be able to massage from snout to tail. You can do it with the dog sitting or standing.

Starting with the snout, take your second finger and middle finger on each hand on each side of his nose and rub in a circular motion not pressing hard but just enough you feel the skin move slightly and you can feel the muscles throughout the body. Move down slowly toward the eyes. They love massage around the ears. Continue with the two fingers around the front of the ears while adding your thumb to massage the back of the ears.

Continuing with your entire hand open and fingers apart you are going to move each finger in a circular motion around the back of the neck and down the back working from the spine and down the sides.

Just a gentle rubbing of the tail is usually sufficient. Massage of chest and belly are optional.

These methods can also be adapted for your felines. For the same reasons humans enjoy massage it has health benefits to both you and your pet.

While Roco does have a Vet that he sees when necessary, I have found there are a lot of things I can manage myself and more naturally.

Too often I hear people say “they are just dogs”….careful that “just a dog” might just save your life one day so give him a little respect.

Dogs As Spirit Animals

Rocoe with his favorite toy.

I am a firm believer that God created all things with a purpose in mind and that certainly applies to dogs.

In the photo above my dog Rocoe is laying beside me and has cuddled himself with his duck in a bundle of blankets and a quilt. I don’t recall a day when I have thought of him as “just a dog”. He has always had a personality much bigger than his small body.

Dogs can be very sensitive to disease so after my husband was diagnosed a few years ago with mini strokes we set out to find a dog that was sensitive enough to warn us of such events. When we found Rocoe in a local animal shelter we knew he was special.

There are reasons why native americans reference animals to people. Certainly because of physical difference you would not think there would be a connection….clearly there is. If you look at the native american spirit chart you will find that the dog spirit represents protection and loyalty. Rocoe certainly proves that on a daily basis. While my spirit animal is actually the bear…Rocoe certainly acts like my spirit animal. He saved us from a fire just a few months after we got him and is very protective and loyal to a fault.

The Native americans valued all things and wasted nothing. We could learn a lot from them. Check out the spirit animal chart and see what animal you have a connection to!

Have a wonderful day!

Pet Crafting 2

I always wanted to see what my little guy “Rocoe” would look like in a bow-tie. Here’s my version.

While Rocoe doesn’t like to have his picture taken, today he proved to be a great model.

If you love to crochet this is very easy. You first need to know your dog’s neck size. Then with a G hook half double crochet the band with 4 stitches across. You can do the band in one length or do two half lengths and add velcro. For the bow make two short lengths (I did the bow in a contrasting color to make it “pop”.) one at least 4″ and stitch end to end. The other a longer piece to make the actual bow part 6″ or longer or to desired length. Stitch the longer piece toghether first then place the 4″ band around the longer piece and the neckband. Walla! You now have a neckband bow-tie!

Hope you enjoyed this crafting tip!

Pet Crafting

Granny Sweater

While my little man Roco was not very cooperative and sat down on the job, he is very cold natured so I made this simple sweater for him. The back and sides are made of granny squares and half squares sew together and then added a rib neck and trim.

Don’t forget about your pets this winter. Roco is an indoor dog but if you have a dog that stays outside make sure you check on them often and bring indoors when the temperature gets too cold.

Thinking Naturally

About fifteen years ago I received my certification as a Doula (a professional advocate in natural childbirth). While I helped a number of families navigate through the natural delivery process, I didn’t realize how much I was helping myself.

While I still find it difficult to maintain a healthy diet, I slowly started changing the way I looked at things in my lifestyle. I was in a stressful job, my father was dying of cancer and the day-to-day struggles of life were overwhelming. I started applying some of the relaxation techniques and other natural theories to myself.

I trashed all over-the-counter medications and started researching natural alternatives. Even in the grocery stores, I began reading labels and opted for non GMO food products. You do not realize how many contaminates you eat daily. I don’t take any medications that are not prescribed and my physician understands my desire for natural substitutions when possible.

Am I healthier than I was before? Yes to some degree. That doesn’t mean I don’t have issues but I have healthier choices in how to handle them.

Start with the basics, the way you breathe. Sit in a comfortable chair, not a lounge chair guys, breathe in slowly for 7 seconds and exhale the same way and relax. Breathing with this method will not only relax you but benefits the lungs. Try this at least twice a day.

Meditation – I was never really a believer prior to my research but now I can say it is beneficial. Sit on the floor in a Lotus position (reference yoga position crossed legs) relax every muscle from your head to your toes. Next clear your mind of all negative thoughts. This is a great opportunity for prayer or music, whatever benefits you the most. I personally do both.

I even apply some of these techniques to my dog. He enjoys a good massage and I try to supplement healthier foods and snacks when possible.

These are just a few of many changes you can start for a healthier lifestyle. Have a great day.

Rescue Roco, the $5 dog.

I apologize for my lack of blogging lately and I promise to do better. Here is today’s story.

About two years ago while driving around we decided to drop in on the Craven County Animal Shelter. Our last dog had passed away some years earlier. My husband insisted we stop even though I was somewhat resistent. Since we love to go camping and have a moderate size RV, we decided we could handle a small dog.

We looked and look through the many large cages that housed a lot of large barking dogs. At the very end of the long hallway was this little forlorn guy with long ears and a very sad face. He was dark as the winter’s night with on the white’s of his eyes smiling at me.

We walked back out to the desk and asked the attendant if we could see the little guy at the end. A few moments later she came out with him cradled in her arms. She handed him to my husband. He looked at me with those sad eyes and I was hooked. I reached for him and he immediately came to me and cuddled up close. He was obviously glad to be out of his cage. I suddenly felt this bond with him.

My husband jokingly asked the clerk how much was he $3? She said no but add two more with it. We were in shock because we knew how high their fees were. I said you’re kidding, she said no that he was house broke, already chipped and had all his shots so he didn’t need anything. My husband could not get the money out of his wallet fast enough. We finalized the paperwork and walked out with our new furbaby. At five years old, he was hardly a puppy but craved attention.

The first three months were met with a lot of challenges as we quickly found he had a lot of medical challenges we were not made aware of. By the fourth month he was reasonably healthy. He soon proved his worth though when in October he woke us up at 3 AM and our house was on fire. He was frantic. He woke my husband up and then me. While my husband tried to put out the fire I called 911 while trying to throw on some clothes. After getting off the phone, I grabbed Roco and ran outside to wait for the fire trucks. Thanks to Roco we had minimal damage and we are alive to talk about it.

While Roco clings to me like I am his MaMa, somehow I don’t mind so much anymore. We value him like he is a true member of our family. Here is Roco!

Roco

I believe God sent Roco to us as he continues to protect us daily.