Paws for celebration!


This blog launched five years ago today! Pictured here are all the paws that have been instrumental along the way, as I share tips, tools, and tales for senior dog life. Tiny Mason, Uncle Walter, and my inspiration, always, Daley—in my hand is a cast of his paw print. High-5s all around!

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Today is “Check the Chip” Day!

Found Animals Foundation reports on its blog that August 15 is Check the Chip Day, “a designation co-created by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) to remind pet parents to microchip, register, and keep their pet’s chip info up to date.”

Mason's new online profile pic that's tied to his microchip registration.

Mason’s new online profile pic that’s linked to his microchip registration.

Thanks for the reminder Found Animals! We recently moved and I had not yet updated our address with Mason’ microchip registry. So I just did so and I also updated Mason’s photo on file to a very recent image.

We pay around $18 per year for our membership with the microchip company. Along with maintaining Mason’s microchip’s registration (which shelters or vets’ offices can look up to trace Mason back to us), the membership entitles us to an online profile and photo that would be used to generate flyers, along with email alerts within 25 miles of the area if Mason were to ever become lost, and other support.

From reading Found Animals’ blog post, “Check the Chip Day!”  I learned that Found Animals offers a free microchip registry and that your dog’s registration remains free for his lifetime! You can learn more about the Found Animals Microchip Registry here.

Also, if your dog is not yet microchipped and you’re considering doing so, the blog post provides details: “Since there is so much confusion surrounding microchips, and microchip registration, we’re going to break it down for you in six easy to follow steps.” Read the post here.

Mason is the first dog I’ve ever had microchipped. Honestly, at first I was a little creeped out by the concept of it. If you’d like to reading about my decision-making experience, check out these past DDY posts:

Posted in Events, FOG* Files, Keep it on the QL (Quality of Life), Lifestyle, Newshound, Senior Status, Tips, Tools | Leave a comment

Check Your Senior Dog’s Lumps Today

Chase Away K9 Cancer, a division of the National Canine Cancer Foundation that has raised $1,004,074 for canine cancer studies, offers a monthly reminder about the importance of checking your dog for potentially cancerous lumps, bumps and swelling.

According to Chase Away, 1 in 3 dogs will develop cancer. Early detection can make a difference in treatment and prognosis.

Print out the “Be Your Dog’s Hero” flyer below and put it on the fridge to remind yourself to take “10 on the 14th” of every month (at least) to look closely at and feel your senior dog’s body from head to toe.

If you’re new to this lumps and bumps business and unclear on why you should keep your eye on them—even though they’re very common for older dogs—I suggest watching the video, “Is it Cancer? Pet Lumps and Bumps” from the VetVid series featuring oncologist Dr. Mona Rosenberg. Find that episode, and others in the series, here.

Chase Away was established by Cera Reusser in memory of Chase, her Labrador Retriever, who passed away from cancer in 2006 at the age of six. The 14th of each month was picked as the monthly check date to honor Chase’s birth date.

Read more about Reusser and Chase and the Chase Away campaign, plus find cancer resources, here.

Posted in At-Home Care, Events, Keep it on the QL (Quality of Life), Lifestyle, Newshound, Senior Status, Tips, Wellness | Leave a comment

On The Road With DDY: San Diego Botanic Garden’s “5K Paw Walk”


My mom decorated Walter and Mason’s leashes with felt flowers!

Every year, the San Diego Botanic Garden hosts a 5K event that welcomes dogs and their people to walk a beautiful course that winds through the Garden’s 37-acre property. While visiting my Mom and Uncle Walter, Mason and I signed up the four of us to attend this year’s walk and we all had a bloomin’ good time!

The event benefits both the Garden and Rancho Coastal Humane Society and this year’s course took us through parts of the property that represented California Native Plants, Australia, the Canary Islands, and Hawaii as well as areas of bamboo, sub-tropical fruit and palm canyons.

I enjoy visiting botanic gardens when I travel (my favorite so far is the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne) so it was a treat to visit the gardens in my hometown and take the dogs along. Because, really, every outing is more fun when it’s dog friendly!


Mason sniffs along the 5K Paw Walk course.

In addition to the beautiful sights, and the plethora of sniffs, the event was awesome because the course allowed us to walk at our own pace. Walks with Mason the Meanderer are often closer to doing the Box Step — we’ve attended many Mutt Strutts and Doggie Dashes and just past the starting line is usually where we finish!

People and dogs of all ages took part in the 5K Paw Walk and did so at their own pace. There were plenty of areas to stop for a rest or cut the walk shorter if needed.

I’m happy to say that in our own sweet time we completed the course. Although, the 5K in the 5K Paw Walk actually meant making two laps around the course. Hey, a 2.5K is a start, right?

Mark your calendars for the “5K Paw Walk in the Garden 2016”

IMG_5797Saturday, February 20
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
4th Annual 5K Paw Walk in the Garden

“The San Diego Botanic Garden is teaming up with the Rancho Coastal Humane Society for the 3rd annual 5K Paw Walk in the Garden. Both organizations benefit from this event, so bring your furry friends and follow a 5K walk through our 37-acre garden.

Pet products, food (for people), treats (for dogs), lots of great information for dog lovers and (of course) lots of dogs and puppies are all a part of this great event at the Garden. Don’t miss it!”


A succulent topiary, known as “Dorothea” greeted us along the 5K Paw Walk course through San Diego Botanic Garden.

Cost: Adult $32, Adult Member/RCHS Volunteer $21
Youth $21, Youth Member/RCHS Volunteer $14
Family/Team (first 4 on team) $92/ additional team members each $23
Member Family/Team (first 4 on team) $60/ additional team members each $15″

As the event nears, you’ll be able to register here.

Travel Tip: The San Diego Botanic Garden is located in Encinitas. If you and your dog still have pep in your step following the Paw Walk, we recommended making a short drive to our favorite local spot, Cardiff State Beach, where on-leash dogs are welcome south of Lifeguard Tower 16.

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