Muffin’s Halo Product Review

Living in the Midwest, allergies are quite common.  We were not at all surprised when our long-haired Chihuahua, Theo, was diagnosed with an allergy issue.  I had noticed that his left eye had become red and watery.  A lovely yellow discharge was also emanating from the corner of his eye.

Our vet prescribed eye drops and an oral medication.  Thankfully, his symptoms decreased.  His eye was back to normal in about a week.

The following year around the beginning of March, Theo’s eye began to bother him again.  I quickly made an appointment with his vet expecting more eye drops and pills.  What happened next would change Theo’s life forever.

When our vet looked at Theo’s eye, she was less than pleased.  She grabbed what looked like a tiny suitcase and pulled forth a device reminiscent of a thermometer.  Immediately, she touched the device directly on Theo’s eyeball.  I had to turn away.

The device actually measures the pressure in an animal’s eyes.  She shook her head and began talking about how dangerously high the pressure was.  Her diagnosis?  Theo had glaucoma.

According to http://www.webmd.com, “Glaucoma is the name for a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. This nerve carries information from the eye to the brain. When the nerve is damaged, you can lose your vision.”  Theo was now blind in his left eye.

I soon learned from my vet that there is only a 24 hour window from the onset of glaucoma in which the vision on the affected eye can be saved.  Since we thought Theo’s allergies were kicking up again, we missed the window by an additional 24 hours.  Our vet’s next concern was Theo’s right eye.  She stated that if the pressure in the left eye continued to rise, it could affect his right eye as well.  Her recommendation was to remove Theo’s left eye.

I felt as if my whole world was crashing down around me.  I had no problem with owning a one-eyed dog.  We already own a one-eyed cat, three-legged dog and a dog born without eyes who is also completely deaf.  What concerned me most is the fact that Theo is 13 years old.  I know that anesthesia can be hard on an animal at any age, but I know that it can be especially deadly to elderly animals.

When I questioned my vet about Theo’s age and the possible surgery, she became cold and indifferent.  I was basically told that death is always a possible outcome.  (Don’t worry, we have since changed veterinarians.)  Luckily, I knew of an animal ophthalmologist in St. Louis, Missouri.  Adriel, has the option of having a free eye exam every year since she is a part of the Therapy Dog program through Therapy Dogs International (T.D.I.).  I had taken her several times and absolutely love the doctor and office staff.  I immediately requested a referral.

I made sure to bring all of the medications that Theo was currently taking to his appointment.  The doctor was phenomenal.  He listened to everything that I had to say.  I stated that my vet was adamant about having Theo’s left eye removed.  He examined Theo’s eye thoroughly and then looked at the assorted medications I had brought.

The doctor soon explained that Theo only needed one of the four eye drops that we had been giving him daily.  In fact, one of the drops could actually make his condition worse!  He then said that there was no need to remove Theo’s eye unless he was in pain.  I assured him that Theo was not acting like a dog in pain.  He was eating and playing like normal.  Feeling relieved, I snuggled Theo the entire ride home.

Over the course of two weeks, we noticed a definite change in Theo’s attitude.  He had become more grumpy towards his furry siblings.  If they happened to brush against him on his blind side, he would immediately snap at them.  His fierce growl served as enough of a deterrent…to everyone but Hope.

Hope is our double dapple Dachshund that was born without eyes and is completely deaf.  Theo took out most of his fearful aggression on her.  There were several near fights and one instance in which Hope actually pinned Theo down when he instigated a tussle.  We were forced to leave him in our bedroom with the door closed to prevent any future fights.

Theo had also begun to get underfoot, tripping me and my husband daily.  We started stomping our feet in hopes that he would hear us coming.  Most of the time, Theo just stood as still as a statue and waited for us to step over him.

My heart was breaking as I watched his spirit deteriorate.  I had wanted him to live a happy, vibrant life.  Not the life of an unhappy hermit like the Lorax.  That is when I remembered reading about Muffin’s Halo for Blind Dogs.

Silvie Bordeaux created Muffin’s Halo when her 13 1/2 year old toy poodle, Muffin, went blind due to cataracts.  The halo consists of a harness that is secured around the dog’s neck and stomach.  The wings are then attached to the harness directly behind the dog’s head.  Finally, the halo is secured with Velcro onto the wings.

There are numerous styles and colors to choose from.  I chose the grey wings that say “BLIND DOG” to alert others to Theo’s condition.  The halo extends outward away from the dog’s face, thus creating a “bumper bar.”  This prevents the dog from bumping directly into walls, furniture and other obstacles that he/she may encounter on a daily basis.

I was very surprised at how easy the halo was to put together.  Theo was wearing his halo in five minutes.  At first, he seemed a bit apprehensive.  He did not want to walk at all.  But once I began to slowly walk around the room, he soon followed suit.

Easy to follow directions make assembly a breeze!

After wearing the halo for just one day, we saw an immediate difference in his behavior.  Theo appeared to be more confident when he walked.  He actually wanted to get out of his pet bed and walk around the house.  He was no longer grumpy and did not growl at his furry siblings.

Theo takes his first steps while wearing his Muffin’s Halo!

We are so thankful for Muffin’s Halo for Blind Dogs!  Theo’s spirit seems to be re-energized.  He is no longer fearful and depressed.  The spring in his step has returned along
with the smile on his face.  I highly recommend Muffin’s Halo for Blind Dogs to anyone who has a dog suffering from sight issues.  Be on the lookout for Muffin’s Halo for Blind Cats as well as Blind Farm Animals coming soon!

Theo is all smiles while wearing his new Muffin’s Halo.

To learn more about Muffin’s Halo for Blind Dogs, please visit:  muffinshalo.com.

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Muffin’s Halo Product Review

Living in the Midwest, allergies are quite common.  We were not at all surprised when our long-haired Chihuahua, Theo, was diagnosed with an allergy issue.  I had noticed that his left eye had become red and watery.  A lovely yellow discharge was also emanating from the corner of his eye.

Our vet prescribed eye drops and an oral medication.  Thankfully, his symptoms decreased.  His eye was back to normal in about a week.

The following year around the beginning of March, Theo’s eye began to bother him again.  I quickly made an appointment with his vet expecting more eye drops and pills.  What happened next would change Theo’s life forever.

When our vet looked at Theo’s eye, she was less than pleased.  She grabbed what looked like a tiny suitcase and pulled forth a device reminiscent of a thermometer.  Immediately, she touched the device directly on Theo’s eyeball.  I had to turn away.

The device actually measures the pressure in an animal’s eyes.  She shook her head and began talking about how dangerously high the pressure was.  Her diagnosis?  Theo had glaucoma.

According to http://www.webmd.com, “Glaucoma is the name for a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. This nerve carries information from the eye to the brain. When the nerve is damaged, you can lose your vision.”  Theo was now blind in his left eye.

I soon learned from my vet that there is only a 24 hour window from the onset of glaucoma in which the vision on the affected eye can be saved.  Since we thought Theo’s allergies were kicking up again, we missed the window by an additional 24 hours.  Our vet’s next concern was Theo’s right eye.  She stated that if the pressure in the left eye continued to rise, it could affect his right eye as well.  Her recommendation was to remove Theo’s left eye.

I felt as if my whole world was crashing down around me.  I had no problem with owning a one-eyed dog.  We already own a one-eyed cat, three-legged dog and a dog born without eyes who is also completely deaf.  What concerned me most is the fact that Theo is 13 years old.  I know that anesthesia can be hard on an animal at any age, but I know that it can be especially deadly to elderly animals.

When I questioned my vet about Theo’s age and the possible surgery, she became cold and indifferent.  I was basically told that death is always a possible outcome.  (Don’t worry, we have since changed veterinarians.)  Luckily, I knew of an animal ophthalmologist in St. Louis, Missouri.  Adriel, has the option of having a free eye exam every year since she is a part of the Therapy Dog program through Therapy Dogs International (T.D.I.).  I had taken her several times and absolutely love the doctor and office staff.  I immediately requested a referral.

I made sure to bring all of the medications that Theo was currently taking to his appointment.  The doctor was phenomenal.  He listened to everything that I had to say.  I stated that my vet was adamant about having Theo’s left eye removed.  He examined Theo’s eye thoroughly and then looked at the assorted medications I had brought.

The doctor soon explained that Theo only needed one of the four eye drops that we had been giving him daily.  In fact, one of the drops could actually make his condition worse!  He then said that there was no need to remove Theo’s eye unless he was in pain.  I assured him that Theo was not acting like a dog in pain.  He was eating and playing like normal.  Feeling relieved, I snuggled Theo the entire ride home.

Over the course of two weeks, we noticed a definite change in Theo’s attitude.  He had become more grumpy towards his furry siblings.  If they happened to brush against him on his blind side, he would immediately snap at them.  His fierce growl served as enough of a deterrent…to everyone but Hope.

Hope is our double dapple Dachshund that was born without eyes and is completely deaf.  Theo took out most of his fearful aggression on her.  There were several near fights and one instance in which Hope actually pinned Theo down when he instigated a tussle.  We were forced to leave him in our bedroom with the door closed to prevent any future fights.

Theo had also begun to get underfoot, tripping me and my husband daily.  We started stomping our feet in hopes that he would hear us coming.  Most of the time, Theo just stood as still as a statue and waited for us to step over him.

My heart was breaking as I watched his spirit deteriorate.  I had wanted him to live a happy, vibrant life.  Not the life of an unhappy hermit like the Lorax.  That is when I remembered reading about Muffin’s Halo for Blind Dogs.

Silvie Bordeaux created Muffin’s Halo when her 13 1/2 year old toy poodle, Muffin, went blind due to cataracts.  The halo consists of a harness that is secured around the dog’s neck and stomach.  The wings are then attached to the harness directly behind the dog’s head.  Finally, the halo is secured with Velcro onto the wings.

There are numerous styles and colors to choose from.  I chose the grey wings that say “BLIND DOG” to alert others to Theo’s condition.  The halo extends outward away from the dog’s face, thus creating a “bumper bar.”  This prevents the dog from bumping directly into walls, furniture and other obstacles that he/she may encounter on a daily basis.

I was very surprised at how easy the halo was to put together.  Theo was wearing his halo in five minutes.  At first, he seemed a bit apprehensive.  He did not want to walk at all.  But once I began to slowly walk around the room, he soon followed suit.

Easy to follow directions make assembly a breeze!

After wearing the halo for just one day, we saw an immediate difference in his behavior.  Theo appeared to be more confident when he walked.  He actually wanted to get out of his pet bed and walk around the house.  He was no longer grumpy and did not growl at his furry siblings.

We are so thankful for Muffin’s Halo for Blind Dogs!  Theo’s spirit seems to be re-energized.  He is no longer fearful and depressed.  The spring in his step has returned along with the smile on his face.  I highly recommend Muffin’s Halo for Blind Dogs to anyone who has a dog suffering from sight issues.  Be on the lookout for Muffin’s Halo for Blind Cats as well as Blind Farm Animals coming soon!

Theo is all smiles while wearing his new Muffin’s Halo.

To learn more about Muffin’s Halo for Blind Dogs, please visit:  muffinshalo.com.

Who Would Adopt a Dog Like That? – Priceless Penny by Lauren Kramer-Theuerkauf. Illustrated by James Sell. Book Review.

I am so touched and honored by Bonnie’s review of my children’s book, Priceless Penny!

Bonnie Ferrante - Books for Children

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Click here to buy Priceless Penny

The cover of this book catches your eye right away. It features a bright picture of a large eye dog, ears up, tongue hanging out, grin on her goofy little face. Then you notice that her left paw is deformed. When you open the book you see a beautiful illustration of a dog in a cage sleeping on her back.

It begins:

“Today is the day,” thought Penny excitedly.

It was adoption day at the shelter and she just knew that she was going to find her forever home.

From this point on, the reader is hooked. Every time a prospective owner views Penny, the response is negative. An elderly woman calls her a poor little thing. Two little girls say, “Ew. We don’t want her!” Two teenage boys call her ugly, weird, and a loser as they make fun of…

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Lucy Pet Products Product Review

Slowly, I took a deep breath.  The smell of coconut and sun tan lotion filed my nostrils.  I was instantly transported to a tropical beach.  What scent could have elicited such a response?  My dog’s shampoo!

While attending the BarkWorld 2016 expo in Atlanta, GA, we met two wonderful representatives from Lucy Pet Products.  This company was founded by Joey Herrick after he met his inspiration, Lucy.  She showed up on his doorstep one day and refused to take no for an answer.  Herrick graciously allowed Lucy into his home.  Days later, she gifted him with five puppies!

This got Herrick thinking about the problem of pet overpopulation.  According to the Lucy Pet Products website, “Over 80,000 dogs and cats are euthanized weekly in the U.S. due to overpopulation.”  He decided that he wanted to do something to change this horrible statistic, so he created Lucy Pet Products and the Lucy Pet Foundation.

Aside from creating amazing products, such as shampoos, conditioners and cat litter, Herrick took it a step further.  “*Net profits from the sales of Lucy Pet Products go to help fund the Lucy Pet Foundation, whose mission is to reduce pet overpopulation through mobile Spay and Neuter clinics as well as funding other animal related welfare organizations.” (http://ift.tt/1kLaHVx)

We were very excited to try the Surfin’ Jack Moisturizing Coconut shampoo on our differently-abled pooches, Penny and Hope.  I loved how the shampoo easily lathered in my hands.  A little truly goes a long way.  Other products we have tried simply create massive amounts of bubbles, but hardly any lather to work with.  Not true with Surfin’ Jack!

The texture of the shampoo is as smooth as silk.  There are no rough granules or beads.  Hope and Penny loved having the shampoo rubbed into their fur.  The shampoo contains no harsh chemicals, parabens, sulfates or phosphates.  My husband loved how easily the shampoo rinsed off.  Unlike other shampoos, there was no filmy residue left on Hope and Penny’s skin.
I also love the wide assortment of scents!  My favorite is the Surfin’ Jack Moisturizing Coconut Shampoo.  You will literally feel like you are at the beach.  Other scents include:
  • The Big Apple Skin Soothing Apple Oatmeal Shampoo
  • Purple Rain Calm and Clean Lavender Shampoo
  • Blue Lightening Blueberry Brightening Shampoo
  • Berry Berry Smellicious Tropical Freshening Shampoo
  • Pup a Dub Dub Gentle Formula Shampoo

All of the above scents are also available as a leave in conditioner spray.  We absolutely love how easy the conditioner is to use.  Just a few sprays and our dog’s fur feels as soft as cashmere.

Not only does Lucy Pet Products make fantastic shampoo and conditioner, they make amazing cat litter.  Our two kitties, Miracle and Olaf, make quite a mess of their two litter boxes.  I am embarrassed to admit that my parents have commented on the smell.  While my husband and I scoop the boxes often, the smell always seemed to linger.

Then we discovered Cats Incredible Superkittykattakalizmik Lavender kitty litter.  Not only does the litter clump better than any other kitty litter we have used, it actually has Smell Squasher technology.  This patented formula prevents ammonia from forming in the litter box.  What does this mean?  No more smell!

At BarkWorld, we met Litter Box Bob who let us smell a litter box that had been full for five years.  FIVE YEARS!  Guess what?  We could not smell a thing!  We raced to our local Petco and managed to buy the last bag.

Cats Incredible kitty litter comes in an easy to pour bag.  Gone are the days of lifting heavy pails and spilling most of the contents on the basement floor.  But the true test was yet to come.  We asked my parents to house sit one weekend.  When we returned, they could not stop talking about how wonderful the basement smelled.

My mom wanted to know what wall plug-ins I was using.  Dad thought we might be using jars filled with scented beads.  I loved seeing the looks on their faces when I told them that we had changed the kitty litter we were using.

Miracle and Olaf love their new litter!

Ammonia not only makes the litter box smelly, it can be toxic to your cat.  We noticed that Miracle and Olaf started getting runny noses.  Olaf then became stuffy and congested.  Our vet had attributed it to a seasonal cold.  Thanks to the wonderful Lucy Pet Products representatives, we learned that the ammonia in our cat litter was causing our kitty’s nasal problems!  Since making the switch to Cats Incredible, Miracle and Olaf have been sniffle and congestion free.

Lucy Pet Products is an outstanding company with wonderful products.  Their passion for animals and their well-being is evident in all that they do. I proudly support the Lucy Pet Foundation and highly recommend their products to pet parents everywhere.

To learn more about Lucy Pet Products and the Lucy Pet Foundation, please visit their official website at:  http://ift.tt/1kLaHVx.

*Net profits are profits after operating expenses, interest and taxes.

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Lucy Pet Products Product Review

Slowly, I took a deep breath.  The smell of coconut and sun tan lotion filed my nostrils.  I was instantly transported to a tropical beach.  What scent could have elicited such a response?  My dog’s shampoo!

While attending the BarkWorld 2016 expo in Atlanta, GA, we met two wonderful representatives from Lucy Pet Products.  This company was founded by Joey Herrick after he met his inspiration, Lucy.  She showed up on his doorstep one day and refused to take no for an answer.  Herrick graciously allowed Lucy into his home.  Days later, she gifted him with five puppies!

This got Herrick thinking about the problem of pet overpopulation.  According to the Lucy Pet Products website, “Over 80,000 dogs and cats are euthanized weekly in the U.S. due to overpopulation.”  He decided that he wanted to do something to change this horrible statistic, so he created Lucy Pet Products and the Lucy Pet Foundation.

Aside from creating amazing products, such as shampoos, conditioners and cat litter, Herrick took it a step further.  “*Net profits from the sales of Lucy Pet Products go to help fund the Lucy Pet Foundation, whose mission is to reduce pet overpopulation through mobile Spay and Neuter clinics as well as funding other animal related welfare organizations.” (www.lucypetproducts.com)

We were very excited to try the Surfin’ Jack Moisturizing Coconut shampoo on our differently-abled pooches, Penny and Hope.  I loved how the shampoo easily lathered in my hands.  A little truly goes a long way.  Other products we have tried simply create massive amounts of bubbles, but hardly any lather to work with.  Not true with Surfin’ Jack!

The texture of the shampoo is as smooth as silk.  There are no rough granules or beads.  Hope and Penny loved having the shampoo rubbed into their fur.  The shampoo contains no harsh chemicals, parabens, sulfates or phosphates.  My husband loved how easily the shampoo rinsed off.  Unlike other shampoos, there was no filmy residue left on Hope and Penny’s skin.

I also love the wide assortment of scents!  My favorite is the Surfin’ Jack Moisturizing Coconut Shampoo.  You will literally feel like you are at the beach.  Other scents include:

  • The Big Apple Skin Soothing Apple Oatmeal Shampoo
  • Purple Rain Calm and Clean Lavender Shampoo
  • Blue Lightening Blueberry Brightening Shampoo
  • Berry Berry Smellicious Tropical Freshening Shampoo
  • Pup a Dub Dub Gentle Formula Shampoo

All of the above scents are also available as a leave in conditioner spray.  We absolutely love how easy the conditioner is to use.  Just a few sprays and our dog’s fur feels as soft as cashmere.

Not only does Lucy Pet Products make fantastic shampoo and conditioner, they make amazing cat litter.  Our two kitties, Miracle and Olaf, make quite a mess of their two litter boxes.  I am embarrassed to admit that my parents have commented on the smell.  While my husband and I scoop the boxes often, the smell always seemed to linger.

Then we discovered Cats Incredible Superkittykattakalizmik Lavender kitty litter.  Not only does the litter clump better than any other kitty litter we have used, it actually has Smell Squasher technology.  This patented formula prevents ammonia from forming in the litter box.  What does this mean?  No more smell!

At BarkWorld, we met Litter Box Bob who let us smell a litter box that had been full for five years.  FIVE YEARS!  Guess what?  We could not smell a thing!  We raced to our local Petco and managed to buy the last bag.

Cats Incredible kitty litter comes in an easy to pour bag.  Gone are the days of lifting heavy pails and spilling most of the contents on the basement floor.  But the true test was yet to come.  We asked my parents to house sit one weekend.  When we returned, they could not stop talking about how wonderful the basement smelled.

My mom wanted to know what wall plug-ins I was using.  Dad thought we might be using jars filled with scented beads.  I loved seeing the looks on their faces when I told them that we had changed the kitty litter we were using.

Miracle and Olaf love their new litter!

Ammonia not only makes the litter box smelly, it can be toxic to your cat.  We noticed that Miracle and Olaf started getting runny noses.  Olaf then became stuffy and congested.  Our vet had attributed it to a seasonal cold.  Thanks to the wonderful Lucy Pet Products representatives, we learned that the ammonia in our cat litter was causing our kitty’s nasal problems!  Since making the switch to Cats Incredible, Miracle and Olaf have been sniffle and congestion free.

Lucy Pet Products is an outstanding company with wonderful products.  Their passion for animals and their well-being is evident in all that they do. I proudly support the Lucy Pet Foundation and highly recommend their products to pet parents everywhere.

To learn more about Lucy Pet Products and the Lucy Pet Foundation, please visit their official website at:  http://www.lucypetproducts.com.

*Net profits are profits after operating expenses, interest and taxes.

Tips for Parents of Differently-abled Pets

I never thought that we would be the owners of four differently-abled animals.  In fact, we did not even know that one of our fur babies was differently-abled until the day that we adopted her.  Adriel, a short-haired Chihuahua, always had her tongue sticking out in every single photo on her Petfinder.com profile page.  I thought it was a bit odd that the photographer managed to capture her in mid-lick each time.

Eagerly, I raced into Petco to officially make Adriel a part of our family.  I completely melted when the adoption coordinator from St. Louis Senior Dog Rescue placed her into my arms.  She was absolutely adorable!  As I proudly walked up and down the aisles of supplies, a woman approached.  She was actually a vet who had volunteered to come out to the adoption event to help answer any questions that new pet parents may have. 

“Oh, looks like this little one doesn’t have any teeth,” she commented.

Adriel remained frozen in my arms as the vet opened her mouth.

“Well, she actually has all of her teeth, but her tongue is longer than her head,” the vet stated.

This explained why her tongue was always sticking out in the photos!  Little did I know that Adriel was to be the gateway pet for our other differently-abled fur babies…

Adriel strikes a pose in her pet bed.

In September of 2011, we adopted our amazing Chiweenie, Penny.  She was born with a severe overbite and a differently-formed front left leg.  The leg looks very similar to a lobster claw and has two “toes.”  Penny loves to wave “the stump” when she gets excited.  We even nicknamed her Peace Sign Penny because she looks like she is flashing the peace sign.

 Penny is one fun-loving tripod!

We then adopted Hope in February of 2014.  She is a mini double dapple Dachshund.  The product of a backyard breeder, Hope was born without eyes and is completely deaf.  She uses her snout to navigate her way through life and has truly earned the nickname of Queen Ween.

Hope loves to play in the sun.

Our final differently-abled animal is our cat, Olaf.  He was found on the streets of St. Louis as a week old kitten.  Apparently, he got scratched across his left eye.  He still has sight in the left eye, but cannot see through the permanent scratch scar.  This doesn’t stop him from racing his kitty sister, Miracle, to the top of the cat tower!

Olaf channels his inner Grumpy Cat.

We have developed quite a passion for rescuing differently-abled animals.  While attending the BarkWorld 2016 expo in Atlanta, GA, I had the extreme pleasure of meeting (and becoming friends with) Alyona DelaCoeur.  She is the owner of the amazing website Why Does My Dog? (www.whydoesmydog.com).

Aly was intrigued by our furry crew and wondered if I had any tips for pet parents in regards to differently-abled animals.  Here are my top 10 tips to enjoying an amazing life with your special needs fur baby:

1. Since Hope is blind, we had a terrible time of her snatching treats from our hand.  We certainly do not want anyone getting bit!  Now, whenever we are about to give Hope a treat, we lightly tap her nose.  This makes her aware of our presence as opposed to simply thrusting a treat in front of her snout where she would be more likely to nip and grab.  Once we have tapped her nose, we have her full attention.  She then eagerly waits for the treat to be given.  Hope now always associates a tap on the snout with being given a treat.  #nomorenip

2. Be very mindful of stairs.  We have stairs that lead from our kitchen down to our basement.  We ALWAYS leave the door closed.  This prevents Hope from accidentally falling down the stairs or worse, getting knocked down the stairs by her overly-active fur siblings.  If you do not have a door by your steps, you might want to consider purchasing a pet or baby gate.  The gates come in all shapes, styles and sizes.  We actually have two, one is wooden and the other is plastic.

Be sure to read all of the instructions that come with each gate to avoid potential injury to your pet.  I also strongly advise placing the gate flush with the floor.  Hope likes to wiggle underneath the gate if given the opportunity.

3.  Avoid placing sharp or pointy items on the floor. This is especially true for any decorations that may be made of wood or metal.  Hope typically navigates the house like a Queen Ween, but she does have bad days where she runs into everything.  And this is even truer if she is excited.  We take great care in making sure that our home decor is pet friendly.  While Hope cannot poke an eye out, she can injure her eye sockets, nose, face, etc.  Any items that could be viewed as hazardous to your pet’s safety should be placed on an elevated surface where your pet cannot reach.

4. If you have multiple dogs like we do, make sure to monitor meal time.  Domino, another cheeky Chihuahua, likes to steal food from Hope if she doesn’t eat fast enough.  This has the potential to create fights.  For this reason, we feed each dog in a separate room of the house.  This way, each dog can take his/her time when eating and will not feel the need to guard his/her dish.

5.  Consider starting your tripod pet on a joint supplement.  Since Penny has a differently-formed paw, she is perpetually off balance.  She places all of her weight on her front right leg (a.k.a. The Super Paw).  This paw is much larger than her back paws because she has to rely on it for stability.  We began giving her a joint supplement because we found out from our vet that tripod animals are more likely to develop arthritis in their hips and other joints.  The supplements come in a variety of forms:  liquid, capsules, chewables, etc.  Penny loves the beef flavor and happily gobbles up her tablet every day.

6. If you have a blind dog, consider purchasing a Muffin’s Halo.  The halo is attached to a harness that the dog wears like a vest.  The halo then acts as a barrier preventing your blind pooch from running into potentially dangerous items.  Wearing the halo can actually re-build the dog’s confidence and help him/her live a happier life.  To learn more about Muffin’s Halo, visit http://www.muffinshalo.com.

7. Purchase a set of pet stairs.  We actually bought a set for our oldest dog, Theo.  He has lost sight in one eye, making jumping onto the couch nearly impossible.  Oddly enough, the first dog to use the pet stairs was Hope!  The stairs are also helpful for Penny.  While she can easily jump onto and off of the furniture, using the pet stairs is easier on her joints.

8.  Consider purchasing custom collars and leashes that easily denote your dog’s condition.  We purchased a leash for Hope that says BLIND DOG.  This alerts others who may want to approach your pet that they should do so with caution.  The leashes come in a variety of colors that also denote if your dog is approachable, shy, etc.  Our leash has proved very useful at the numerous pet events that we attend.  Children usually run up and try to pet our dogs without asking.  When their parents see the leash, they take notice.  We are then able to have the children calmly approach Hope and give her the attention that she craves.

9.  Invest in a Cuddle Cave.  My husband and I discovered the Cuddle Cave at a local pet expo.  The vendor made items specifically for Dachshunds.  She claimed that all doxies love the Cuddle Cave.  I was skeptical, but thought it would be worth a try if it made Hope more comfortable.  She absolutely LOVES her Cuddle Cave!  In fact, she begs to be placed inside.  The Cuddle Cave actually looks like a bag.  The dog enters the cave and then hunkers down, surrounded by the soft, comfy interior.  We have found that the cave provides security for Hope.  She feels safe and protected from our other dogs.  This could be the reason why she always falls asleep in the cave.  Larger versions are available at your local Petsmart, Petco, etc.  You can also search Etsy for more customizable options.

10.  My final tip is to treat your differntly-abled pet like a “normal” pet!  We thought that each of our special fur babies would need extra care and accommodations.  We were wrong!  Penny does not need to be picked up and placed onto the furniture.  She can jump on and off by herself.  Hope does not need to be carried in her special weenie pouch every day.  She wants to explore the world through her own four paws (with a little help from her snout).  Remember, differently-abled does not mean disabled.

I hope that you have found these tips to be helpful.  If you have any additional questions about differently-abled animals, please don’t hesitate to ask.  Send your questions to: theuerkaufstails@gmail.com or simply comment on this post.  Different is Beautiful!

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