Thanksgiving is over -- the turkey stupor has lifted. The sleep deprivation you felt after getting up at 3 am Friday morning to score a $40 DVD player has eased. But the busiest time of the year has arrived -- it's Christmas!

In this hectic time it may just seem easier to ignore your dog completely.

But beware of the consequences; your cheeky little devil will probably take matters into his own hands and devise his own entertainment, such as re-landscaping the back yard or decorating your bedroom in feathers.

No, it's better for all concerned, (and quicker in the long run) to spend some quality time every day with your small dog. A short walk or throwing the ball in the back yard even for a couple of minutes will make a large difference.

Please find below a couple of brand new articles not on the website.

By the way, now is the time to score your Christmas cards, if you haven't yet done so. After all your friends and relatives frown on receiving Christmas cards after Christmas.

I've also been busy last month and posted lots of new stuff, including several new breed pages and a bunch of new training pages.


ML, Sandy

Pearls From the Website -- click to read:

Dog Behavior Modification

Funny Dogs With Attitude

Invisible Fences

Laughing Through Our Tears

Senior Small Dogs

Thanksgiving Dog Coloring Pages

The Poem Beau by Jimmy Stewart

Useful Dog Tricks

Recent Breed pages were completed. Check out:

Cocker Spaniels

French Bulldogs

Miniature Schnauzers


Holiday Dangers

Each year, thousands of small dogs become seriously injured or ill during the holiday season, while their owners are busy with shopping, baking and entertaining.

Pets can become very ill from a variety of common holiday meal items, including table scraps, butter, meat and candy. These foods can result in gastrointestinal upsets and pancreatitis, a painful and sometimes fatal condition.

When these conditions occur, pets might exhibit depression, vomiting, abdominal pain or lack of appetite. Eating tinsel, ornaments and garlands, even drinking holiday tree sap water, can lead to serious stomach irritation. In addition, poisoning from xylitol (a sugar-free ingredient found in baking goods, candy, and chewing gum) can cause a severe blood sugar problem leading to weakness, depression, and seizures.

Chocolate is another common cause of small dog holiday danger. Many types of concentrated chocolate, particularly baking chocolate or dark chocolate, can cause serious health problems depending on the size of the dog. A small amount of milk chocolate may only cause a stomach ache, but the unsweetened baker’s chocolate is another matter.

Grapes and Raisins Toxity

Grapes and raisins can be another source of trouble. Laurinda Morris, DVM writes:

“This week I had the first case in history of raisin toxicity ever seen at MedVet. My patient was a 56-pound, 5 yr old male neutered lab mix that ate half a canister of raisins sometime between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM on Tuesday.

He started with vomiting, diarrhea and shaking about 1 AM on Wednesday, but the owner didn't call my emergency service until 7 AM.

I had heard somewhere about raisins and grapes causing acute renal failure but hadn't seen any formal paper on the subject. We had her bring the dog in immediately.

In the meantime, I called the ER service at MedVet, and the doctor there was like me - had heard something about it, but... Anyway, we contacted the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center PUT LINK HERE and they said to give IV fluids and watch the kidney values for the next 48-72 hours.”

Laurinda goes on to detail the progress of the dog’s condition, which ended in complete renal failure within two days. If your small dog eats raisins, be sure to consult your vet right away.

During the holidays, prevention is really the key. Place high risk items and holiday foods out of reach. Dogs also like to chew on electrical cords, gift ribbons and strings. Watch for symptoms of restlessness, tremors, seizures, vomiting and diarrhea and seek immediate veterinary treatment for them. Of course, our companion’s health and well being is a responsibility that goes beyond just the holidays.

Cotton Ball Remedy

If you think your small dog has eaten something like sharp chicken bones or glass shards, get a vet exam immediately, but before you leave, try this gem from an old country vet’s repertoire: Using a natural (not synthetic) cotton puff for every two pounds of your dog’s body weight, soak them in half and half. Feed them to your dog. Soaked in the fatty liquid the cotton balls will be soft and yummy. Once inside, they will most likely wrap themselves around the sharp shards, which will then work their way harmlessly through your dog's system. I tried this once on an adventurous Parson’s Russell who was staying with us, after she ate a hard plastic dog bowl.

Her stools looked like little mummies for a couple of days, but she was fine. Do consult with your vet but feed the cotton balls first. Time is of the essence.

Don't let innocent holiday traditions jeopardize the health of your pet. Evaluate the potential risks of your holiday decorations, plants and meals (see chart below).

And, in the hustle and bustle of the season, remember regular feeding and exercise schedules and be certain to give your small dog lots of love as you start off the New Year.

Be Aware of These Holiday Dangers:
• Raisins
• Xylitol
• Chocolate especially baking chocolate
• Candles and hot wax
• Candies, chocolate and foil wrappers
• Alcoholic beverages
• Electrical cords
• Ribbon, string and yarn
• Metal ornament hooks
• Tree tinsel and confetti
• Carving and kitchen knives/blades
• Fireworks
• Rich, fatty foods and table scraps
• Rubber bands
• Beads and buttons
• Poinsettias, holly, mistletoe and greens
• Stagnant tree stand water and chemicals
• Intricate or fragile ornaments
• Rock salt and antifreeze
• Poultry bones and meat drippings
• Small holiday lights
• Angel hair (spun glass)
• Artificial snow and snow flocking
• Small toys, especially those with small or unassembled parts

Hidden Life of Small Dogs

Think of these stories as you watch your couch potato chilling in front of the TV.

This came in from my friend Kiki.

"Yesterday there was a piece of news that made me think of you and I thought I would tell you.

In South Dakota a squirrel-chasing terrier (17 pounds) took off after a mountain lion and chased it up a tree. The owner says that the terrier chases cats up trees all the time and probably just didn't notice the difference in size.

Figured you would appreciate this one."

This made me think of a couple more similar stories. Many years I was sent the following newspaper item:

"An eight lb. Silky named Gizmo was the first dog in Australia to be given a Medal of Honor. Seems that he was hanging out one afternoon on the balcony watching his four human children play in the yard. When he noticed a highly poisonous brown snake slither towards his kids, he climbed the railing, jumped from the first floor to the yard and killed the reptile. Miraculously, he survived!"

The Yorkshire Terrier makes a wonderful city dog as he will do very well in an apartment, needing less exercise than many other breeds. But he can also make a great country dog, tapping into his inner hunter. Charlie Farra writes:

“For several years, I and my Yorkie gang lived in a country farm house.  We had a barn but didn't use it. We were constantly fighting rats as you do with most barns and I do mean rats not mice. 

Three of my girls loved to hunt rats! All I had to do was say "Let's go to the barn" and Ariel, Kate and Penny would be waiting at the back door. After I let them out, they would run across the yard and wait at the barn door which we kept locked. I'd open the door and in they would run. They  would look in every nook and cranny until they found their prey. 

Each could break a rat's neck with a quick snap of their  heads. They would trot back to me with their prizes and leave them at my feet and go back to looking for more. they never chewed on them or tried to eat them, just brought them to me for disposal.  They were better than any barn cat we ever had.”

It's so easy to think of our canine companions as small versions of ourselves. But small dogs remain DOGS, with needs and temperaments to match.

It may not be politically correct to think of them as meat eating hunters but wishing them otherwise won't make them so. Wouldn't it be better to celebrate small dogs and to enjoy them as they really are? We had a good time -- the Thursday and Friday shows were super early but sunrise over the Sunshine Skyway was amazing. Billie Pruitt as always was an excellent partner and Anna Christiansen's help made the trips smooth and easy.

Click here for a video of going over the Sunshine Skyway after the shows:

More About Christmas -- Have You Gotten Your Cards Yet?

It's 10 pm. Do you know where your Christmas card list is?

Dusty and forgotten, under a pile of papers? Parked in an obscure corner of your computer where you're sure you'd remember it this year -- only you don't?

Don't worry about it. First think of the cards themselves.

If you want to send Christmas cards this year that don't come from the Last Minute Bargain Bin at K Mart, you might want to consider ordering now some great Christmas cards from The picture of Reindeer Emma above is an example. You'll wow your friends with great cards at a surprisingly low rates.

And if I don't yet have your breed or you'd like a custom card made from your photograph, I can easily do that. A custom protrait costs just $100.00. Then cards are just 10 for $15.00. No shipping and handling! Go to to order via PayPal. Or email me directly at and tell me what you are looking for.


Here is my upcoming schedule. If I am heading for your neck of the woods, let me know! Some dates may change slightly as the trip approaches. I will update the calendar in future newsletter issues.

Australia Nov 26 - Dec. 21 currently in Brisbane, Australia

Seattle and Vancouver BC Jan. 1 - 10

Dog Shows Jan. 10 - 26

Atlanta Jan. 27 - 30

Dallas Jan 31 - Feb 2

UK Feb 3 - 17

San Jose Feb. 19 - 26

CT Mar. 3 - 7

MN Mar. 10 - 14

Houston Mar. 16 - 20

DC Mar. 24 - Apr. 4

Australia Apr. 15 - 30

In Conclusion

There you have it -- hope you enjoyed this ezine. Please visit often for new articles, contests and to add your own two cents to the discussion. Our small dogs are cheeky little devils, aren't they?

And I for one wouldn't have them any other way.

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