Anya’s Prospective-Catching Up

Yowza! It’s been a long time since I posted anything to this blog. I blame my Mom, and that’s all I have to say on the subject.

Anyway, a quick update on what’s been happening in my life.

This winter I went on a REALLY long trip that involved going all the way to North Carolina to spend some time with my mom’s youngest sister and my old buddy Cat. IMAG5971
After that, there was another long car ride that didn’t end until we reached what my mom calls the patriarchal farm which in the Upper Peninsula, AKA the end of the world. Once the car riding was over, I had fun there. Not only did I get to play with some new dogs, I met some interesting little kids, chased cows, and played in the snow.

FYI, there’s A LOT of snow in the Upper Peninsula.

Once we got home, life pretty much returned to normal. I played lots, slept lots, and whenever possible I helped my mom with barn chores.

We didn’t get much snow this year, but we made up for it by getting lots of rain. Do you know what happens on a farm when there’s lots of rain. You get mud. A ridiculous amount of mud. For the record, I hate the way mud feels when it squishes between my toes.

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Now that it’s spring time, there’s more wildlife on the farm. A few weeks ago, my mom managed to get a picture of some deer that usually graze in the hayfields.IMAG6764_1
And, we have a new litter of baby foxes. I think they’re cute and would be lots of fun to play with but my mom, the partypooper, says absolutely no way.

That’s all for now!
Anya, The Farm Chiweenie

Chiweenies and Flea Allergies

Flea bites don’t just hurt your chiweenie. Each time your little dog gets bitten by a flea, it runs the risk of being hit with approximately the 15 different types of antigens which studies confirm flea saliva contains. Some dogs don’t seem to be affected by the antigens, while others react strongly to it.

Signs That You Chiweenie is Allergic to Fleas

Some chiweenies don’t seem to be bothered by the antigens in flea saliva while others experience a strong allergic reaction. It’s no different than how one person can have an intense reaction to a tree pollen while the person standing right beside them remains unaffected. Just because your dog is scratching at a flea bite, it doesn’t mean they’re allergic to the pests. Even dogs who aren’t allergic find the bites itchy. The best way to determine if your chiweenie is allergic to flea bites by parting their hair. Lesions indicate an allergy. It’s important to remember that even a dog that isn’t actually allergic to fleas will scratch at a bite.

Be ready, the lesions are generally the very first sign of a flea allergy and if you’re unable to quickly rid your pet and their living environment of the biting bloodsucking insects your dog’s allergies will grow steadily worse.

The more your dog gets bit, the more they’re scratch and bite at the spot which quickly cases large, round, raw sores which are referred to as hot spots. While a spot can form on any part of your Chiweenie’s body, the most likely place for one to develop is on their back between their hips and the base of their tail.

Additional symptoms that will develop as your dog continues to deal with their flea allergy includes:

  • Hair loss
  • Bumps that look like pimples
  • Skin that grows progressively thicker and darker until it bears a strong resemblance to elephant hide
  • Some dogs will engage in such severe self-mutilation in an attempt to get some relief from their flea allergy that they’ll great bloody wounds in the areas where the fleas gather and bite.

If the hot spots created by the flea allergy aren’t treated quickly and the dog continues to get bit by fleas, the odds of your pet developing a bacterial or yeast infection grow. Once this happens you need to take your chiweenie directly to the vet so they can advice you on the best way to treat the infection.

In severe cases, you will want to take your chiweenie to the veterinarian for their allergies. It’s possible they’ll prescribe

Treating Flea Allergies

The sooner you can rid your dog of the fleas the better. One of the first things you should do is give them a bath. Believe it or not, you don’t have to invest in a bottle of expensive flea pet shampoo, the best product is most likely sitting behind your kitchen sink right now. It’s Blue Dawn.

Put your dog in a bucket, sink, or bathtub and get them thoroughly wet. Once they’re soaked, you’ll want to scrub them with soap. It doesn’t take a lot of soap; you should be able to clean your chiweenie with less than ¼ of a cup. When scrubbing your dog, you don’t want to grind the soap into their skin, but you do want to make sure you massage the soap into the roots of the hair where the fleas are hiding.

The important thing to remember is that the only thing the Dawn dish soap does is rid your chiweenie of the fleas that are on them at the time. There will still be fleas  on your dog’s bed, your carpet, and possibly your yard. Ask a friend to keep your dog at their house for a few hours while you washing everything your pet came into contact with and steam clean your carpet. It doesn’t hurt to flea bomb your house as well.

Now your will need to make sure no fleas make their way back onto your chiweenie. I use a topical treatment on Anya which has worked well for her. A friend of mine has a long lasting flea collar that she purchased from her veterinarian. Other’s I’ve spoken to prefer an oral treatment. There are pros and cons to each choice. Don’t be afraid to ask your veterinarian, as well as family and friends, for their recommendations.

If your chiweenie has severe flea allergies you will need to plan on giving them a flea bath as soon as you get home from each and every veterinarian appointment. If you’re going out of town and need to leave your pet behind, see about leaving them with a pet sitter rather than at a kennel where there’s an increased risk of them being exposed to fleas.

Once your dog has developed an allergic reaction to flea bites, you should expect to have to deal with the problem for the rest of their life

My Surprising Discovery About Dog Collars and Chiweenies

When I first met Anya, one of the first things the employee at Noah’s warned me about was leading the Anya by a collar. She said I needed to make sure I used a harness.

I was startled. I’d always used a collar when leading dogs and never had a problem. I managed to swallow my instinctive sarcasm and not point out that at that very moment, the only thing Anya was wearing was a bright green collar.

Luckily, The Noah Project is run by wonderful people who not only want to find homes for the dog and cats they take in, but who are also interested in making sure all adopters are properly educated. She said that toy breeds, such as chiweenies, are prone to a medical condition called collapsing trachea, and that when a small dog yanks against a collar as some are prone to doing, it can cause the trachea to collapse, leading to problems.

Since I’m not the type of person who takes anyone’s word for anything, I went home, booted up the computer, and did some research. It turns out that pulling on the collar isn’t the only thing that can cause a chiweenie’s trachea to collapse. Coughing and over-exertion is also a problem. The condition is most common in toy breeds who have passed their 5th birthday.

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“No collar on me!”-Anya, the Farm Chiweenie

The good news is that most dogs who have a collapsing trachea are able to live long and full lives, provided their monitored and otherwise remain in good health. However, it’s also important to acknowledge that not all dogs are so lucky. Some struggle to enjoy a high quality of life after their trachea has collapsed and require a great deal of medical care and attention. In some extreme cases, surgery is required to correct the problem.

Rather than deal with a serious and potentially life threatening problem, I suggest you fit your chiweenie for a really nice harness. If you have a little one who likes to pull, look for an anti-pulling harness. There are some really nice front leading ones that are a great choice for a Chiweenie who is just learning how to walk on a leash.

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“Okay,  full disclosure. Mom does make me wear a collar sometimes when we go on walks, but the leash is attached to my harness, not the collar.”-Anya, The Farm Chiweenie

Oh yeah, before I forget. The friend who was with me at the time asked about using a dog head halter on Anya, which was also discouraged because they have a tendency to slide into the little dog’s eyes. Chiweenie noses just aren’t long enough to manage the halter.

Good luck and don’t forget to give your chiweenie an extra cuddle from me.

Written by Jess Schira

Recovering Lost Chiweenies (and Other Types of Dogs)

Being on social media sites last weekend was a painful experience. So many chiweenies (and other types of dogs) were parted from the humans they love. While this is a frightening experience for everyone, there’s hope. Every single day, there are stories about formerly lost pooches who located their humans.

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“Lost chiweenies? Did their humans give them a bath, take them to the vet, or threaten to never feed another hot dog ’cause those are the only reason’s I’d run away.” -Anya, The Farm Chiweenie

If you’ve lost your chiweenie, you can’t assume they’ll simply show up at home if you wait long enough. These are house dogs who don’t necessarily know how to track themselves back to your doorstep. You need to be pro-active.

  • Quickly search your yard and home and make sure they haven’t crawled under or into something to hide. You should also contact all of your neighbors and ask them to do the same.
  • Contact all local animal shelters, police stations, and veterinary clinics. Even if they haven’t found your pet, they’ll know to be on the lookout and will call you if they learn anything about your lost chiweenie’s location. Request that they post the information on their social media sites.
  • While you’re making those phone calls, you should also design and print out several fliers. Make sure they include your name, your dog’s name, and your contact information. A large, clear, recent photo of your chiweenie should be printed on the flier as well. Post these everywhere! If you are posting a landline phone number rather than a cell phone, make sure there is always at least one person at home who can answer calls.
  • Take to Facebook and other social media sites and alert members that you’re looking for your lost pet. Most areas now have community Facebook groups where members are free to post information about things they’ve either lost or found, including pets. Not only are these sites a great way to reunite with your pet, but arrangements can be made for you to meet in a secure, safe area, such as a busy parking.
  • Keep fresh water and food near the door your pet routinely uses when they enter and exit you home. If they find their way home, they’ll be hungry, tired, and thirsty. The food and water they see will encourage them to stick around.
  • If your pet is microchipped, contact the company that registered the microchip. It’s likely that they have methods and resources for helping lost pets reunite with their owners that you don’t. Every little thing helps.

When you get word that your lost chiweenie has been found, make sure you act quickly. Shelters in particular don’t hold onto found dogs for long. The shelters near me have a stray hold that lasts from 4-7 days. In addition to quickly going to recover your lost chiweenie, make sure you have both proof of ownership and your current dog license. If you can’t find your current license, contact your county treasurer and see if they would be willing to fax or email a copy of the document to the animal shelter.

Reuniting with your lost pet will be thrilling, but for your sake and theirs, you need to stay calm. Your pet is already scared and most likely feels guilty. If you get overly emotional, it’s likely they will too, which increase the odds of the them bolting once again.

Good luck and don’t forget to give your chiweenie an extra cuddle from me.

Written by Jess Schira

Straight From Anya: What the Bloody $@$%@#%@#^% was That All About

I know Mom blogged about fireworks the other day, I was there, sitting right behind her while she wrote and posted the thing, but I really didn’t understand what the big deal was. I was more interested in snoozing. IMAG3795_1

Friday night came and went, no big deal.I played with Toby and Cougar. Showed my stuff blue dog who was boss. Got bored. Practiced running really fast. Just a typical night in this chiweenie’s life.

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Saturday night was a little different. I got my heartworm medicine. Mom thinks it’s ridiculous I have to spit it out each time my teeth crack the pill, stare at it for a few seconds, pick it up, break it in half and repeat the process four or five times before swallowing the pill. I think the fact she uses silverware is stupid so I guess we’re even.

 

Anyway, getting back to Saturday night. I went through my monthly ritual with my heartworm medicine, ate the hot dog Mom got me as a reward, and settled in for some cuddle time. Things were going great until there was some strange pop-pop-pop noises to the north of us.

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I listened.

I looked at Mom. She told said the noise was fireworks.

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Happy to have an explanation, I relaxed. I even opted to go with Mom into the barn so I could play with Toby while she checked on the horses. It wasn’t a big deal.

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Okay, maybe I got a little bit nervous towards the end, but I thought I handled it like a trooper. I was a fireworks master!

Than Sunday night happened. That’s the night everyone in the entire town decided to set off their own fireworks. It was really loud. I didn’t think it was ever going to stop.

I considered my options and decided the best place to hide was under mom’s desk chair. It’s a pretty good setup for a little dog. It’s covered, it’s familiar, and mom is really close by. Since mom always uses a lap blanket while she writes, the spot feels a little cave like.

Just as I was getting secure, the unthinkable happened.

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My mom got up and left me.

What the …!

She said she had to check on the horses and make sure they hadn’t run through the fence, but I’m not sure I believe her. I mean she didn’t smell like horse sweat or hay. She smelled a little smoky. I’m seriously wondering what she was really up to. When the next set of boomers went off a few minutes after 11, she also said a few bad words, the ones she said I couldn’t use when we discussed the Articles Under Which we Sail, before running out of the apartment.

When she came back to the apartment, she gave me a couple of Beggin’ Strips for being such a good, brave girl, so I decided to forgive her. After that, all was well with the world. Well, mostly.

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Ta for now,

Anya, The Farm Chiweenie

The Fireworks are Coming! Three Tips to Keep Your Chiweenie Safe this Fourth of July

The Fourth of July.

As an American with a deep love of history, I adore the Fourth of July, and feel it’s important to honor those who risked all so we can enjoy honest to goodness freedom.  As 14661393760_ac9f7b03c2_bsomeone with critters, I’m less thrilled with the holiday, particularly since Michigan legalized the use of the huge fireworks a few years back.

Oddly enough, the dogs in my life don’t seem to mind fireworks, but my internship at a stable puts me into contact with a few horses who do. The barn dogs, Toby and Cougar also don’t seem to mind the thunder, especially if they’re in the stable office. I don’t know how Anya will react. This is our first Fourth together and I really don’t know 12108709_1074562232554426_6525124316903981695_nhow she’s going to react. I’m hoping, that since she’s hasn’t exhibited any thunder anxiety or noise phobia, that she’ll be good about fireworks. Of course, I’ll also be thrilled if the neighbors decide to skip the firework party they’ve thrown the past few years.

Meanwhile, here are a few tips you can use to keep your Chiweenie, and other types of dogs, safe and comfortable during the upcoming fireworks displays.

Keep Your Dog Inside

Even if your dog is normally outdoors, when there’s a threat of fireworks, it’s best to bring them in. The fireworks can trigger a strong enough fear reaction that a dog who never Anyashows any inclination to leave home will jump a fence. Besides, they’ll be more relaxed when surrounded by the humans they love. Some dogs are most comfortable when they’re crated during the fireworks shows., especially if three sides of the crate are covered. Turning on the television or radio will help disguise the sound of the exploding fireworks.

Get a Thunder shirt

I meant to get a thunder shirt for Anya before now, but it hasn’t happened. I’m hoping I don’t regret my dawdling. The thunder shirt to a chiweenie is what a swaddle is to a baby, it fits snuggly and eases their stress. You should put your dog into the shirt prior to the 10806045045_41c294f8e7_nstart of the fireworks show.

Get your Walk in Early

Don’t wait until it’s almost dark before walking your chiweenie. You’ll want to take them out as soon as the ground is cool enough for them to walk without burning their feet. The early walk decreases the odds of you not returning home before the first firework is set off. Before going on your walk, take a magic marker and clearly print your phone number of your dog’s harness and collar. This increases the odds of your chiweenie being returned to you if they’re startled and get away while on the walk.

When walking on Fourth of July weekend, don’t get casual with you chiweenie. You never know when someone is going to set off a cannon (it happens in a few towns near me), or pop cherry bombs as your walking past, spooking your pet. When this happens, you’ll be walking Anyaglad you had a tight grip on your leash.

The most important thing to remember is that if your chiweenie is upset about the fireworks, it’s your responsibility to talk quietly to them and remind them that they’re loved and in a safe place.

Anya and I wish everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Photo Credits: Blog title photo: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/49195807@N00/14661393760″>Fireworks on Brisbanes Story Bridge. Riverfire 2012</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Interior Photo of Anya the Farm Chiweenie: Personal collection of Jess Schira

Interior Photo of Dalmation in Thunder shirt: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/47439717@N05/10806045045″>Thundershirt 2/3</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Interior Photo of Anya the Farm Chiweenie: Personal collection of Jess Schira

What is a Chiweenie?

What! You’ve never heard of a Chiweenie!

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“Hello. I’m a chiweenie.”-Anya, The Farm Chiweenie

Full disclosure, I hadn’t either, at least not until after I learned my adoption application had been approved and I decided I’d better learn a little more about the type of dog I was bringing into my home.

It turns out that a Chiweenie is the result of a dachshund and Chihuahua cross. I’m not why someone originally thought to cross the two breeds, but I’m the first to admit that I’m glad they did. This is a fun little breed that has a lot going for it.

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“I really like playing in the snow, something I’ve heard is unusual for chiweenies.”-Anya, the Farm Chiweenie

The Chiweenie’s size can vary, with the size of its parents being a crucial point. If the parents were miniature or toy, the chiweenie pups will be small. If both parents were the standard size of their breed, the resulting pups will be larger. I’ve heard of some that are as little as 5 pounds and some that are over 20 pounds. At this moment, Anya is a little over a year old and weighs approximately 13 pounds.

Chiweenies can come in a variety of colors and hair coat types. Some have cute little floppy ears like Anya, while others have ears that stand straight up. Although there are some exceptions, most seem to inherit the cute, sharp face of their Chihuahua parent.

It’s my understanding the chiweenies have been growing steadily more popular since the 1990’s. At this moment, the AKC doesn’t recognize chiweenies as a breed (and whenever I mention the name to someone tend to get some pretty funny reactions. Most people have never heard the them. The vet has Anya listed as a Chihuahua cross.) The breed is recognized by several other dog registries, including:

If you’re interested in learning more about this fun little breed of dog, there are some Facebook groups you should check out.

Do you have a chiweenie? What are they like? Feel free to share your stories or dog photos in the comment section.