Friday, October 10, 2008

Max's Vegas Pawty was Pawsome!

Max's 3rd Birthday was a great success! All of his bestest puppy buddies in the Bay came to visit and play. This year, as most of you know, it was Vegas-inspired and fabulous!

Cuddling the Birthday Boy!

Max was lucky enough to have a floral dog created and donated by Geraldine's Event Planning in San Jose, California. As you can see, the floral dog was a dealer at the poker game. It was perfectly adorable!

Maxy and his Flower Doggie

We also had a Vegas buffet and everyone's favorite, pupcakes! Pupcakes are a spice cake base with carrots and a yummy cream cheese icing! Who can say no to those!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Max Visits Sausalito, California

Hi everyone! I know it has been a while, but we are back to blogging :)

A couple weeks ago we took Max to Sausalito, California for a day trip. Sausalito, which means "little willow" is situated on the northeast end of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County. It is a beautiful little town that combines hillside with shoreline, and best of all, Sausalito is very dog-friendly!

Max, enjoying the view

We had lunch on the shore and Max enjoyed watching the birds. It is a great weekend getaway for anyone who is visiting the Bay Area.

After a fun-filled day in Sausalito, Max had a date with Lilo, the maltese.

Maxy and Lilo

They played and wrestled for hours!

Sausalito was a nice getaway and I am sure we will be heading back soon. Have you been to California? What is your favorite California spot?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Party Planning for a Vegas-Themed Birthday Pawty

It's almost that time again... MAX'S BIRTHDAY! Which means, let the party planning begin. Max loves to throw fun birthday parties which include playtime and great treats and gift bags for the puppies, and food and fun for the humans as well.

In the past, we have had luau and cowboys & indians pawties. This year, we're going Vegas, baby! Casino Royale!

This year Max is turning 3 in doggie years, which means 21 in human years. So we have decided to go with a Vegas theme for our little high roller!

Does anyone have ideas as to what goes into a Vegas-themed paw-ty? We are planning a Vegas-inspired buffet dinner and Paw-tinis for the humans.

We will definitely make pupcakes for the puppies. Can you think of any decorations, food, or other goodies that are a must???

Max, getting ready for his 2nd Buckaroo Birthday Bash!

What should he wear to his Casino Royale night out on the town???

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Which Celebrity Is Your Pet?

Just found this fun little quiz on

Wow, Maxy is Mick Jagger!

A Rock Star

A super-trooper who gathers no moss, Max is rock and roll legend Sir Mick Jagger!

What celebrity would your pet be? I'm Mick Jagger! Find out at

The ePETome of someone who knows how to have a good time, Max is a mover and a shaker, onstage and off. His luck with his lady friends is legendary and Max has obliged many of them by giving them a little shelter. Known for his unique bark, Max relishes his time in the spotlight and loves to let loose and give his audience what they expect. Unable to get satisfaction, he and his pals still paw away at the prize, clinging to the memories of the past as he continues to churn out the hits that made him a leader of the pack.

This is pretty funny and a bit coincidental due to the fact that Max was a rocker for his 1st Halloween!

The pink mohawk finally washed out by this picture!

Which celebrity is your dog?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Summer Safety Tips for Your Pet

As summer quickly approaches, there are a few tips to keep in mind to keep your pet healthy and happy.

Never leave your pet in the car. Though you may only be running a quick errand, it only takes a few minutes for your pet to overheat. Even if it feels cool outside and your windows are down, the sun can raise the temperature inside your car to over 120 F in a matter of minutes. I know it is difficult for those of you who, like me, like to take your baby everywhere with you. However, your pet will be much happier and safer at home in a temperature controlled environment.

Maxy says, "Are you leaving me in here?!?" No way, Maxy!

Provide ample water. Water should always be accessible to your pet. Even if you only put out food once or twice a day, be sure to always have water available. We always have at least two water bowls available for Max just in case. And if you plan to go on a car trip or other outdoor activity, don't depend on alternative water sources. Be sure to take your own water and bowl. Pets are often more comfortable drinking out of their own dish and will be more likely to stay hydrated.

Be careful when cutting. Before you get your dog that "high and tight" summer haircut, talk to your vet or groomer to determine if your pet is likely to get a sunburn. Some pets, particularly those with light skin and hair, are prone to sunburns. Sunburns effect pets in the same way they do humans: pain, peeling, itching and even the increased likelihood of skin cancer. If you decide to go with the short cut, as we do with Max, you may want to layer him in a light-weight shirt when going out in the sun.

To avoid sunburn, Maxy opted for a tee while sightseeing

Don't let your pet overdo it. Though exercise is important to all pets, make sure your pet doesn't overexert himself. This could lead to your pet being overheated, and thus a heatstroke. So long as your pet is a healthy weight, this shouldn't be much of a problem. But if your pet begins to pant uncontrollably, then it is time to rest. If your pet does have a heatstroke, place cool, wet towels on hairless parts of the body, such as the belly, and call your vet immediately.

Max is taking a break... he doesn't want to overdo it!

Does anyone else have a summer safety tip? If so, please add it to our list!

Happy summer, everyone!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tornado Takes Life: Tragedy Befalls Sweet Daisy

This past weekend Max and I jet-set to Missouri to surprise my mom for Mother’s Day. She was fabulously surprised and we had a wonderful time spending time with our family, pet and humans alike. That is, until tragedy struck.

As some of you may know, Spring is also tornado season in the Midwest. On Saturday afternoon, an F4 to F5 tornado blew threw Missouri and Oklahoma killing 23 people and injuring hundreds. In fact, it wiped one entire town off the map!

Our dear friend, Kendra, (who you may remember from our January Pet Puff recipe post) was out of town and had boarded her two dogs, Daisy and Diesel, at a local boarding facility. Kendra and her family rushed back home to check on their dogs, sadly to find that the boarding facility was destroyed by the tornado!

Daisy and Diesel cozied up together

Kendra found Daisy and Diesel and rushed them to the emergency room. Diesel, the miniature poodle, was only a little bumped and bruised. However, sweet Daisy wasn’t that lucky. Daisy had swelling around the heart from the trauma of the twister.

Sweet Daisy

The next morning Kendra woke up to find Daisy in an even worse condition. She phoned her mom and the two headed to the emergency room. But before they could make it, sweet Daisy died in Kendra’s arms.

Daisy was deeply loved and will always be remembered

In an effort to send our caring thoughts to Kendra, I am organizing a card drive. I am hoping all of our fellow bloggers can help by sending a card to Kendra from you and your pet.

If you are interested in helping out, just send an email to apolston [at] with the subject “Card Drive” and I will email you back with her address.

Kendra and Daisy

Monday, May 5, 2008

Paw-tography: How to Snap the Best Pictures of Your Pooch

Go Digital - Digital cameras are the best! You may have to take 30 pictures before you find that one that grabs your eye. Keep snapping! Go for quantity... there is bound to be a good one!

This photo took several shots!

Lighting - Use natural lighting when possible, be it indoor or outdoors. The flash generally causes most animals to have red eye, which is nearly impossible to correct (even in Photoshop). Avoid the entire problem by using natural light. This will also capture the truest color of your pet's fur, while not frightening with the flash.

This karate kid's tone always looks best in natural light

Shutter Speed - Set your shutter speed to a fast enough setting to capture a moving animal, as we all know movement is inevitable when taking pictures. Check your camera manual to determine if you have a setting called "AI Servo AF." This setting will continuously re-focus on the subject as it moves. After setting your camera to AI Servo AF you then focus on your moving dog by pressing the shutter button half way down. Keep the AF point on the dog and the focus will remain continuous. Sometime the candid photos are the best, and you certainly don't want to miss out on that jump, spin, or roll!

Caught in a cute roll!

Location, Location, Location - Choose a location where your pet is comfortable. If your pet is use to spending most of his day inside your home, then try for an indoor photoshoot. If your dog loves the backyard, shoot outside. Sometimes the best photos are when your pet is the most comfortable and relaxed. Don't force it... it just won't work!

Max feels the most comfortable on his pillows

Go to Them - Since you can't expect your pet to know what is going on when you start pointing a shiny metal device at them, you certainly can't expect them to know what to do. Go to your pet. So many times we only think to snap the shots from the easiest position for us, standing up. If he is sitting on a chair, try getting down to eye level with him for a good close up. Even try to shoot from down up. Work with different angles to get the dog's eye view instead of just the bird's eye view.

Getting some face time with Max

Use Basic Commands - If your pet knows basic commands like sit and stay be sure to use these commands. If there is a trigger word that your pet knows, feel free to use it too... just don't over do it or your pet will ignore you in the future. As for Max, when we say "Do you wanna..." or "Outside?" his ears perk up and he tilts his head to the side, which we think is pretty cute. However, this only works for a few shots. Otherwise, he realizes "these people aren't taking me out, they are tricking me!" At which time, he totally tunes us out.

Eye contact and perky ears... Max is definitely ready to go outside!

Treats - When your pet starts to tune you out, you can always use the treat technique. Request a command, with treat in hand. If you are trying to get eye contact, simply hold the treat near the lens and the photo will appear as if he is looking straight into the camera. This is especially helpful when using a prop or posing your pet. Just don't overdo this one either, or your little guy will end up with the tummy ache!

As a puppy, treats were the initial allure for Max's interest in photography

Plan it Out - Try to pick a time when your dog is relaxed. After Max's baths he is wild and crazy. This would be the worst time for us to try to snap a shot because he just doesn't stand still. Rather we pick a time after a walk or play group when Max is relaxed and maybe even a little sleepy.

Maybe a little too sleepy for this photo shoot!

Be Patient
- Not only do you have to be patient, but you have to be prepared. Some days I wish I could just have my camera in hand all day because I want to catch a shot of him jumping or yawning. You can't exactly force your pet into posing, but you can be ready for his next cute move.

Finally, the wind blew in his hair as Max gazed into the distance

Friday, March 28, 2008

Pancreatitis: More Than Just a Tummy Ache

On Wednesday night, little Max had a tummy ache. At first, we just thought he had eaten a little grass or something that caused him to have diarrhea, but when it continued every few hours until morning, we knew it was something more severe.

We rushed Max to the hospital and he endured a series of tests to determine the cause. The doctor's findings... Pancreatitis. Alarmed and worried, I had to fully research pancreatitis as we nearly dismissed the ailment as a tummy ache. I thought I would pass my research on to you, as it can affect all dogs and is quite severe.

What does the Pancreas do?
The pancreas is a glandular organ that is located under the stomach and duodenum (first part of the small intestine) in the dog and cat. The functions of the pancreas are 1) exocrine, which produces the enzymes needed to digest food, and 2) endocrine, which produces hormones, including the hormone insulin, which facilitates the uptake and storage of glucose (sugar) and amino acids (proteins).

What is Pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, causing leakage of the digestive enzymes whereby the pancreas literally starts to "digest itself."

What Causes Pancreatitis?
The cause of pancreatitis in dogs is not well understood at this point. There are a few things that predispose dogs to the development of pancreatitis, including: high fat content in blood (hyperlipidemia), high fat diet, obesity, certain medicines, underlying diseases, bacterial or viral infection, and trauma; however, there is also some research that indicates there are genetic factors at play as well.

What are the signs of Pancreatitis?
The problem with Pancreatitis is that it often just shows itself by diarrhea or vomiting, which taken by itself may not initially cause worry. Additionally, dogs with pancreatitis may be depressed, lose their appetite, and may also exhibit pain in the abdomen (restlessness, panting or unwillingness to lie down).

Maxy's arm, all wrapped up for another day of IV treatment

How do you Treat Pancreatitis?
Treatment generally involves the withdrawal of food and water for at least 48 hours. This allows the gastrointestinal system to rest, which makes the swelling of the pancreas go down. Depending on the severity of each case, and the dog may have to be on intravenous fluids and other support to heal the pancreas while off of oral food and water.

Maxy, sad that he is immobilized, which kept him from chasing squirrels

Max's Prognosis:
Max's pancreatitis apparently came from a protozoa he had, likely due to eating something he found outside that was infected. He spent all day Thursday in the hospital on an IV with fluids and antibiotics. He got to spend the night at home on Thursday night, but had to leave his catheter in tact for his subsequent IV treatments.

A little rest and relaxation for Max

He is back in the hospital today with another full day of IV fluids and antibiotics. The doctor says he should be fine and is glad we came in when we did. Left untreated even for a few days, this could have caused Max's organs to stop functioning.

Max is now on a low fat diet and will start eating Royal Canin upon his return from the hospital. Absolutely no more "people food" for Max and even his doggie treats must be carefully monitored.

Max's buddies came to visit him

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spring Showers Bring May Flowers: Forbidden Flora

As spring is quickly approaching, as too are the beautiful flowers and plants! However, as beautiful as they may seem to us, they may be potentially harmful to your dog. Here is a list of potentially poisonous plants, and the effects they may cause to your pet that I found on the ASPCA website that I though would be helpful.

Plants and Flowers to Avoid:

Lilies: Members of the Lilium spp. are considered to be highly toxic to cats, but to be safe, monitor your pup around these too. While the poisonous component has not yet been identified, it is clear that with even ingestions of very small amounts of the plant, severe kidney damage could result.

Max says... don't chew on these calla lilies!

Sago Palm: All parts of Cycas Revoluta are poisonous, but the seeds or “nuts” contain the largest amount of toxin. The ingestion of just one or two seeds can result in very serious effects, which include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures and liver failure.

Tulip/Narcissus bulbs: The bulb portions of Tulipa/Narcissus spp. contain toxins that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.


Azalea/Rhododendron: Members of the Rhododenron spp. contain substances known as grayantoxins, which can produce vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness and depression of the central nervous system in animals. Severe azalea poisoning could ultimately lead to coma and death from cardiovascular collapse.


Oleander: All parts of Nerium oleander are considered to be toxic, as they contain cardiac glycosides that have the potential to cause serious effects—including gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia and even death.

Castor Bean: The poisonous principle in Ricinus communis is ricin, a highly toxic protein that can produce severe abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, weakness and loss of appetite. Severe cases of poisoning can result in dehydration, muscle twitching, tremors, seizures, coma and death.

Cyclamen: Cylamen species contain cyclamine, but the highest concentration of this toxic component is typically located in the root portion of the plant. If consumed, Cylamen can produce significant gastrointestinal irritation, including intense vomiting. Fatalities have also been reported in some cases.


Kalanchoe: This plant contains components that can produce gastrointestinal irritation, as well as those that are toxic to the heart, and can seriously affect cardiac rhythm and rate.

Yew: Taxus spp. contains a toxic component known as taxine, which causes central nervous system effects such as trembling, incoordination, and difficulty breathing. It can also cause significant gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac failure, which can result in death.

Amaryllis: Common garden plants popular around Easter, Amaryllis species contain toxins that can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, anorexia and tremors.


Autumn Crocus: Ingestion of Colchicum autumnale by pets can result in oral irritation, bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, multi-organ damage and bone marrow suppression.

Chrysanthemum: These popular blooms are part of the Compositae family, which contain pyrethrins that may produce gastrointestinal upset, including drooling, vomiting and diarrhea, if eaten. In certain cases depression and loss of coordination may also develop if enough of any part of the plant is consumed.


English Ivy: Also called branching ivy, glacier ivy, needlepoint ivy, sweetheart ivy and California ivy, Hedera helix contains triterpenoid saponins that, should pets ingest, can result in vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation and diarrhea.

Pothos: Pothos (both Scindapsus and Epipremnum) belongs to the Araceae family. If chewed or ingested, this popular household plant can cause significant mechanical irritation and swelling of the oral tissues and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract.

Schefflera: Schefflera and Brassaia actinophylla contain calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue in pets who ingest.

Max says... Have a fun and safe Spring!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Max's Birthday Article on MSNBC

Spoil the dog, not the cake; some pets get treated to their own birthday parties

updated 11:04 a.m. PT, Tues., March. 4, 2008

Max at his 1st birthday paw-ty luau

Ashley Polston, 27, and Amit Bakshi, 29, of San Jose, Calif., credit their dog, Max, with helping them settle into their community. The couple befriended other dog owners during trips to the park and started a dog play group.

"Max is a great addition to our family," Polston said. "He is energetic and always happy, traits which I aspire to have as well."

When Max turned 1, she and Bakshi invited friends over for a luau-themed birthday party. All the four-legged guests received Hawaiian-print bandanas with their names embroidered on them.

***To read to full article, visit:***

More pictures from Max's 1st birthday paw-ty:

Melissa and Chloe

Olivia and Leo

Mary and Halle


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

February: Dental Health Month

February is pet dental health month, and I was appalled to learn that 70% of dogs have an onset of dental disease by the age of three. With little Max coming on age three in just a few months, this was a real eye-opener for me.

Here are some facts that can help you prevent oral diseases:
  • It is important to brush your pet's teeth at least once a week.
  • You can use either a brush or your finger in a circular motion, about 30 seconds on each side.
  • If you pet hates the toothbrush, try placing a little dab of toothpaste on their nose or paw and let them lick it off to allow them to get use to the flavor.
  • Do not use human toothpaste, as it has detergents that can cause pets to become ill.
If your pet does not want to eat, or does not want to clean himself, it may be because of mouth pain associated with an oral disease. Non-customary drooling is also a sign of oral disease. If your pet has these symptoms, make sure your vet checks this out.

Max loves to brush!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Max would just like to wish everyone... especially the ladies, a Happy Valentine's Day!

Did anyone get a Valentine's Day pressie? Max did and we will be posting pictures soon!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Raffle Winners!!!

They are finally here!!!

The calendars have finally made it here and though I might be a bit bias, they are extremely cute! Max is Mr. September and I think he will carry the torch well!

Mr. September

The winners of the Calendar Raffle are...

Thank you for everyone who entered the drawing. We hope to have more fun drawings like this in the future :)

Maxy giving his pawtograph!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Maxy Won -- Drawing for FREE Calendar!!!

The results for the Hot Dog Calendar Contest were just announced today... and Max made it! We would like to thank everyone to voted for him!

We will be doing a drawing for a FREE CALENDAR so please comment to this post if you would like to be in the drawing!

Maxy says, Thanks for voting!

The calendars cost $10 each and 100% of the proceeds go to the Humane Society. Sale of the calendars start soon, so if you are interested in purchasing a calendar, keep checking my blog because I will be posting that information soon.

Thanks for again for all of your votes and support! If we get over 15 comments, we will be raffling 2 calendars! So, don't forget to comment :)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Pet Puff Treat Recipe

Max would first like to thank Kendra and her lovable puppies, Daisy and Diesel, for sharing this delightful recipe with him over the holidays. Max and his sisters, Jules and Seancey, had such a fun time opening their pressies in the mail, and loved munching on the snacks!

Max and Jules opening their pressies from Kendra

Kendra has shared her extra yummy treat recipe with us, and we would like to share it with all of our fellow bloggers!

Pet Puffs

1 package Dry yeast
1/4 cup Warm water(110-115F.)
1 1/2 cups Whole wheat flour
1 cup All-Purpose flour
1 package Unflavored gelatin

1 cup Non-fat dry milk powder
1/4 cup Corn oil
1 Egg
1 Can pet food -- (6 to 8 oz)
1/4 cup Water

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Mix dry ingredients. Add all ingredients together. (Dough will be very stiff; it may be necessary to mix with your hands.) Drop dough by level half-teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 300F. oven 25 minutes.

Not only does Maxy love these, but they are healthy too! So do your pup a favor and make him a treat soon!

Thanks so much Kendra!

Kendra and Daisy