Sep 15, 2016

How to use the Calmz Anxiety Relief System

Howdy, Furiends!
I's letting Mom post today 'cause it's 'bout someting very impawtant and I's don't wants to mess it up.

Thank You, Amber!

A while back we were invited to try out the new
Calmz Anxiety Vest
in exchange for an honest review.

Our chosen candidate to participate in the trial was Annie.

Annie came to us as a rescue about 4 years ago.  She turned 8 years old earlier this year.  Her previous owners gave us some information on her but only mentioned she was afraid of water.  She isn't afraid of water by any means....she loves to take a bath.  But she is terrified beyond words whenever the atmospheric pressure drops.  We don't even need a storm to set her fear in motion.  She can predict rain hours before it arrives.

Annie's fear goes far beyond what most animals display when a storm approaches.  She has all the normal signs of distress but then takes it one step further.  She will literally grab me or her Dad with her claws and try to hang on.  In fact, Dad has lost a lot of blood from her efforts to claw her way down his shirt.

We have taken Annie to two vets in an effort to find some relief for her.  Both vets have agreed that she is a special case and there isn't much short of a strong tranquilizer to ease her distress.  We did try her on a couple of different medications (including over-the counter stress relief tablets) but even the prescription tranquilizers didn't help.  All they did was make her completely disoriented which increased the stress symptoms as well.  So the vets concluded that nothing could be done to safely relieve Annie's anxiety.

Following are a view pictures of Annie long before the rain actually started.  You can see the tail tucked, eyes bulging out, panting, and the ears pinned back.....classic symptoms of stress (and in Annie's case....utter fear and panic).


The only place that Annie felt safe was in a crate that we keep in a dark closet with the door open so she could hide as she felt the need to escape.

I have to admit I was skeptical that the Calmz Anxiety Relief System would really help Annie.  We had a Thundershirt from years ago that didn't help Annie at all.  But at this point I was willing to try anything that could help.

The Calmz unit consists of a tight-fitting vest with a battery-operated control that fits in a pocket at the top of the vest between the shoulder blades.  It has a number of settings that control the vibration as well as a soothing music effect.

We ordered Annie a Medium vest that came the closest to her measurements.  It fit perfectly around her chest but I had to make some adjustments to the strap going around her body as it was way too large.  

We've been working with Annie and the Calmz unit for about two months.  She accepted the vest immediately but continued showing signs of distress during the first few weeks of the trial.

Slowly we began to notice a slight improvement in her behavior whenever something triggered a fear response.

When she has the vest on with the vibration and the music on at the highest setting, she no longer runs for her crate.  

Instead she lays down in one of her favorite spots and sometimes even falls asleep.

A few days ago a storm approached and she didn't even wait for me to put the vest on her.  She just laid down without it and took a nap through the storm.

I delayed doing this review until I could see some positive changes in Annie's behavior whenever her anxiety level was raised.  By no means is she cured at this point.  The vet feels she may never really be completely relaxed no matter what we try.  But I do feel that it's a start because I do see a change for the better.
I will continue working with Annie and post another review as time goes on and as we get closer to our goal.

I want to thank those who made this possible and for giving Annie a chance at a normal fear-free life.

Please watch the video below for more information on the

Aug 28, 2016

Remembering All The Wonderful Dogs in Our Lives

Thank you, Amber, for letting me take over your blog on this very special day.

Over the years we have shared our home with so many very special dogs.  Each one of them takes a big part of our hearts when they are called to the Rainbow Bridge.  But each one fills that hole with so many wonderful memories......memories we will always cherish.

We recently got settled in our new home after watching it being built for nearly a year.  One of the first things we did was re-locate our "Memory Shelf".

Beginning in 2009 I designed a Keepsake Box for each pup who began their journey to the Bridge.

Each box contains their collar and some of their fur.


In 2001 we started a Memorial Garden in the yard at the old house.  When we had the new house built, we knew we couldn't leave the Garden behind.  So we re-located our Memorial Garden as well.  We completed the move just a week ago.  All the headstones were moved but I still have seven more to design and order to complete the Garden .


I know all my furbabies who have been in my life over the last 67 years are waiting for me at Rainbow Bridge.


We also remember all our friends who have left during 2015 and 2016.


A special thank you to Deb Barnes of
for organizing this event.

Aug 4, 2016

OMD....Where Has Me Been???

Me's been spendin' lots of time swingin on da swing in my screen room with da fan blowin on me.   HeHeHe

I's tryin' to get back to Blogville but it ain't been easy.  I hates sad stories so just fur dis one time, I's gonna let da Mommy have control of my blog and tells ya all 'bout it.

Hit it Mom.....

Thank you Amber, Sweetie...

Well, I'll start out by saying that all the pups have settled in very nicely in our new home.  I'm especially impressed by Amber who is now almost entirely blind.  She is able to locate the doggie door by herself when she needs to go out to the "sand box" at the end of the lanai that we set up especially for the dogs to take care of business.  Most of our pack consists of dogs that are small enough to be carried off by hawks and owls that seem to make their homes in this area.  So this way the dogs stay in the screened-in area unless I'm in the backyard with them and can keep an eye on the sky.

One thing I have learned since moving down to Southwest Florida.  The "No-See-Um's" can be so much worse than mosquitoes.  Our home sits between two canals to the Gulf of Mexico and is also home to these tiny, almost-invisible demons.  The first week that I was living here I spent lots of time in the backyard planting grass, flowers, etc.  And boy did I ever get attacked by these little monsters.  You don't see them or even feel them when they're gulping down your blood, but a day or two later.....HOLY COW!   My arms and legs were just covered with bites and welts, a lot of which became very infected.  It actually gave me a chance to meet my new doctor before I planned to in order to get some antibiotics for the infection.  The bites are very itchy and painful and can last from 4-6 weeks.   OUCH!  Things like "OFF" spray doesn't phase them one bit.  The only thing that seems to help (after visiting lots of websites) is a mixture of Witch Hazel, Listerine, and Tea Tree Oil.  Oh, and I also pin a few dryer sheets to my clothes when I go outside.  Why these little monsters seem to zero in on me is hard to figure out because John spends almost all weekend out in the yard and they don't bother him one bit.  If you have never heard of "No-See-Ums", please take a minute and Google them.  You'll be amazed!

Speaking of John, we still haven't got a buyer for the house in Winter Haven so he's still living and working up there.  He comes down here just to spend the weekends (and cut the grass).  Please keep your paws crossed that the house sells soon so Daddy can retire and join us down here.

OK....the real reason behind Amber's lack of posts.....
It goes out at least once every day!  And speed is NOT one of its attributes!  I sure do miss our cable company that we had in Winter Haven.  Here there is no underground cable system and we have to rely on a "Dish" system hanging on the roof for both Internet and television service.  If there are clouds in the sky....forget it!  I've asked the company what the problem is and the excuse they give is that the area we're in is so unpopulated with so many empty lots separating the few houses that are here, that it just isn't in their interests financially to offer a better system at this time.  Maybe as the area becomes more populated, we'll have a better system.  In the meantime, we find ourselves becoming very good at HBO words!!!

We also find ourselves in the middle of the lightning capital of the world.  On July 18 we took a direct lightning hit.  It was strong enough to kill 5 of our 6 television sets along with 6 electrical outlets, one of the garage door openers, and the landline telephone.  We're still waiting for the insurance company to settle on all the losses.  Of course the television cable box was also hit and we were without television service (on the only television that wasn't lost) for a week.  The Internet router was hit and it took 2 weeks for them to replace that.  What's strange is that everything was plugged into a surge protector (that obviously didn't protect anything).  Once they put in the new router, it only lasted 2 days and was out again for almost a week.  That was just repaired yesterday.  Turns out a frog got into the dish and fried all the wires....not to mention the poor frog.  Anyway, thought I better try and finish this post before we lose the Internet again.

On a happy note......our daughter Shelly is now living in her own apartment in the Orlando area.  It's hard to even think that a year ago we didn't know if she would survive all that was happening to her and that her twins would have to grow up without their mother.  Her ex-husband decided to move on with his life while Shelly was in the hospital and now has a new girlfriend.  OK...No more about that.......The important thing is that she's happy to be alive even though she's missing a few body parts.  In fact, she's up in Michigan right now on a much-needed vacation spent with a few of her high school friends she hasn't seen for over 20 years.

OK....Amber says she DID NOT give me her permission to write a novel.  We just miss everyone so much.  We still read all your posts on my phone every day but we hope ya'll still remember DaWeenies!

A very nice lady named Jillian who works for the company that makes the CALMZ  vest for dogs with anxiety problems has sent us one of their vests to try out on Annie, who is terrified of rain and thunder.  We are working with Annie and the CALMZ vest and will have a review ready soon.

In the meantime, Amber wants you all to see a couple of pictures of her in her new home!   We'll be back soon (assuming our Internet doesn't change the plan)    :)

PEE-S.....We have just heard that Cookie's Mom needs some help quickly.  The link to their GoFundMe page is at the top of my blog if you're able to help them in any way.  Thank You


OK, Mom.....You took up my entire blog today.  See if I let you post on my blog again.....   BWHahahahhaha

Miss all of you very much!