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Moline to Chicago--A Dog's Tail by Winston

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March 2nd - The Last Hoorah Pawty!

January 18th 2014 1:01 am
[ Leave A Comment | 3 people already have ]

Hey, fellow Dogsters!
Remember how many times we almost crashed the servers while throwing pawties on Dogster?
Let's do it one more time... on Sunday, March 2nd!
I'll bring the can of Poot-b-Gone,
if you'll bring the Pawgarita Fountain...


My pups first joined Dogster in January 2005. Shortly after, I read that Dogster had been nominated for a Webby Award--an award for excellence on the Internet presented annually by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Dogster WON the 2005 Webby category for best Community site. Best Community site. Not best magazine, not best newsletter, not best blog... the best COMMUNITY site.

The Chicago Crew, aka WINston XXLP, Remo the Red, HoneyBunny & LuckyLucy, went on to become the Chicago Crew of Angels. The support received from this Community during their various illnesses/passings, the Power of the Paw, the positive Karma, the love... priceless.

The loss of this Community is Say Media's loss. The Community will live on. Already groups are cropping up on Facebook, some taking the name of the forum or group from this Community. Come find us. Do a search for the tag "Dog" or "Dogster". Come and play. Our Community will never die...


Today I Share My Birthday

February 21st 2013 1:35 pm
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with Burt, my Chicago Crew
"replacement" on Earth.
I was born on Feb. 21, 1997.
Burt was born on Feb. 21, 2006.
How about THAT for a co-inky-dink???
Today Burt is 7 years old,
and I'm celebrating 16 years.
Please have a carob PupCake
on both of us! And a side helping of
drooooooooooooooooooooooooooool! BOL


Celebrating Your Gotcha Day

March 29th 2012 1:57 pm
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A wise man once said "When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight". We choose to remember the day you came into our lives, not the terrible day when you left us...

My mind drifts back to when we got you. Dad and I had driven across the state of Illinois to Moline to pick up your roommate, Gipper, and bring him back to Chicago. He was going into an As Good as Gold--Golden Retriever Rescue of Northern Illinois foster home. While we were filling out the paperwork and Dad was walking Gipper around the driveway, the lady said "do you know anyone who would want a Bulldog"?

To say we were stunned would be an understatement. Your Dad had wanted a Bulldog for years--since 1973--but we could never find one up for adoption when we had a "vacancy". We followed the lady to her friend's house, where you had been kept in a crate in the basement for three months. I remember sitting on the steps leading down to the drive-way of the split-level house. The garage door opened, and there you were.

You waddled your special waddle with all your swagger and attitude over to a large landscaping rock--and watered it! Then, as if an afterthought, you glanced over and saw us. You casually shuffled over on those massive paws. You leaned in, sniffed us both, snorted, and then walked away as if to tell us we were of no consequence to you.

Fast forward. The strangest thing has happened. You have become my baby. My puppy. My Winstie. Your Dad, who wanted the bulldog, has had to settle for whatever attention you bestow on him when I'm not around. When I am here, you are my shadow. You don't have to be right next to me--but you have to be able to see me. Then you are content. And so am I.

When we adopted you, you were seven years old, already a senior citizen by Bulldog standards. I think the lady thought she was sending you off with us to die. But we were blessed. We had four and a half years together, though the last year and a half was rough, courtesy of Nutro and Menu Foods. But you beat them. You survived.

Oh, how I would give anything to cuddle with you again on "your" couch. Feel your big tongue wash my face--you never did anything as simple as a "lick". To stroke your so very soft and unbulldog-like fur. To plant a kiss on the brown spot on the top of your head--the spot where the angel kissed you before you were born. To scritch your ears and scratch your fuzzy butt. To hear you lay down in the doorway and start to snore.

I hope somewhere, somehow, you know how much you were loved, and are loved. I miss you so, sweet bully boy. And I thank you for all the wonderful memories that I'll cherish forever.


from "The Journey", for Rocky

March 28th 2010 9:46 pm
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...this journey is not without pain. Like all paths of true love, the pain is part of loving. For as surely as the sun sets, one day your dear animal companion will follow a trail you cannot yet go down. And you will have to find the strength and love to let them go. A pet's time on earth is far too short - especially for those that love them. We borrow them, really, just for awhile, and during these brief years they are generous enough to give us all their love, every inch of their spirit and heart, until one day there is nothing left.

The cat that only yesterday was a kitten is all too soon old and frail and sleeping in the sun. The young pup of boundless energy wakes up stiff and lame, the muzzle now gray. Deep down we somehow always knew that this journey would end. We knew that if we gave our hearts they would be broken. But give them we must for it is all they ask in return.

When the time comes, and the road curves ahead to a place we cannot see, we give one final gift and let them run on ahead - young and whole once more.

"Godspeed, good friend," we say, until our journey comes full circle and our paths cross again.

~ Crystal Ward Kent


Nutro Wants Us To Tell Them What We Think...

March 23rd 2010 4:20 pm
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This was my Mum's "restrained response" to Nutro's request for comments:

"Want to thank you and Menu Foods again for putting my 10 yr old Bulldog into hospital for a week (3 days on 24 hour IV fluids to flush his kidneys). And, not to mention the cost of quarterly* bloodwork to monitor his kidney values and special prescription dog food for the remaining 1 1/2 years of his life. Ours was one of how many vet documented cases forwarded to the FDA from around the country? Oh, that's right--the FDA never released that info..."

*Edit: Dad reminded Mum that for the first NINE months after the poisoning, WIN had MONTHLY bloodwork to check his kidney function. After that, he went to quarterly.


Mum worked as a manager at PetCare, PetSmart and Petco for many years. She regrets the many times she recommend Nutro wet. One dog in particular haunts her to this day--the Friday before the Menu Foods scandal hit, she recommended the canned Nutro Ultra to a couple with an ailing dog as a way to possibly stimulate the appetite. She wonders what happened to that dog.

I think Nutro will be surprised that our memories are still so vivid and visceral. But then again, they shouldn't be, really. Our furs are more than "property".

#### Edit ####

Since this was posted, we've heard from several Nutro demo reps offering their assistance if we were to seek restitution. The offers, and the kind comments, are appreciated.

The saddest thing was the reporting to the FDA was in the tens of thousands, but the FDA/Nutro held that "confirmed" deaths were only in the teens. OK, "confirmed" IMMEDIATE deaths, but what is the REAL number of deaths from the recall? The number of cats and dogs put into renal failure that didn't pass immediately, but lived a much more shortened life with compromised kidneys and died in renal failure? Nutro might have killed 17 outright, but also tens of thousands over the course of the next couple of years.

Yes, we have documentation of the vet diagnosis and medical bills, and at the time of the recall we had our Nutro receipts and actual trays from the cans to provide lot numbers. That's why our vet felt it was a reportable case directly attributable to Nutro. At the time there was a process to submit claims to Menu Foods/Nutro. But with the FDA backing them on such a limited number of "confirmed" cases, we decided it wasn't worth the heartbreak to submit everything and to be told no.

Thank you all for your continued support. It means a lot to our family.


I Share My Birthday

February 19th 2010 8:47 pm
[ Leave A Comment | 6 people already have ]

with Burt, my Chicago Crew
"replacement" on Earth.
I was born on Feb. 21, 1997.
Burt was born on Feb. 21, 2006.
How about THAT for a co-inky-dink???
This Sunday Burt will be 4 years old,
and I'll celebrate 13 years.
Please have a carob CupCake
on both of us! And a side helping of
drooooooooooooooooooooooooooool! BOL


Arthur, my BBB...

February 18th 2010 6:01 pm
[ Leave A Comment | 3 people already have ]

i.e. Bestest Bully Buddy, for those of you NOT in the know ;)

Arthur, Furever Wiggling. It's been two years since you left your Mom and Dad so suddenly. But, to the very end, you were a survivor. Eye of the Tiger. An inspiration to all.

You live on in our hearts. Always.


Michael "Sick" to Receive Sportsmanship Award!!!!!

January 28th 2010 4:43 pm
[ Leave A Comment | 5 people already have ]

Saw this posted over in the Catster Blog, and knew it had to be shared ASAP with the Dogster community:

Michael Vick, convicted dog torturer/killer, will be receiving the Ed Block Courage Award, given to one member of each NFL team AS VOTED BY HIS TEAMMATES, who exemplifies commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.

Subsequently, AKC President Dennis Sprung sent a letter to the Ed Block Foundation and Jeffrey Lurie, owner of the Philadelphia Eagles expressing AKC’s concern that a player who has been convicted in connection with his dog fighting activities which included abuse, torture and killing is being honored with an award named after someone who abhorred child abuse. Research suggests there is a direct link between animal abuse and child abuse and domestic violence.

Pat Laurans of the German Wirehaired Pointer Club of America has started a grassroots campaign asking that animal lovers send respectful letters of protest regarding the inappropriate choice of Michael Vicks for a Sportsmanship award. She provides the following sample letter which you can modify as you wish. Names and addresses follow.

Sample Letter:


I was shocked and horrified to learn that Michael Vick will be receiving the 2009 Ed Block Courage Award. This award “honors those National Football League players who exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.” I fail to see how Michael Vick who was convicted of committed such heinous acts of abuse against animals can be held up as a role model of sportsmanship and courage as well as an inspiration to others. Especially in light of the fact that Ed Block, the Award’s namesake, dedicated his life to ending the vicious cycle of pain and despair suffered by children at the hands of their abusers, not unlike the actions of Michael Vick against equally living beings.

And while Michael Vick has been voted by his teammates for this award, I strongly disagree with them on their selection. I believe he should NOT be honored in light of the documented connection between abuse to animals and child abuse and domestic violence. Researchers have also found that having a history of animal abuse is considered to be one of the key predictors of violent criminal behavior against people.


Letters, e-mails and calls of protest should be directed to:

Ed Block Courage Award Foundation
8808 Orchard Tree Lane
Towson MD 21286
Phone: 410.821.6252
Fax: 410.821.6240

Sam Lamantia – Chairman

Dave Copenhaver – Manager

Philadelphia Eagles
Jeffrey Lurie – owner
NovaCare Complex
1 NovaCare Way
Philadelphia, PA 19145

Philadelphia Eagles
Director of Public Relations
Derek Boyko
NovaCare Complex
One NovaCare Way
Philadelphia, PA 19145
Fax (215)667-6114


I Miss the Snow

December 26th 2009 6:33 pm
[ Leave A Comment | 2 people already have ]

One of the things I miss most is the snow. I loved the snow. I loved to plow through it--using my broad chest as a plow. I loved to eat it. Nom, nom, nom, nom... big mouthfuls of snow. The droooooooooooool would freeze into icicles hanging from my jowls.

Mum has loaded some of my snow videos onto my Dogster page. Enjoy viewing them. And make sure you click "pause" on my music player (lower right side of page) so you can hear the sound from the videos. I snort quite a bit on them, which is quite endearing. ;D

Happy holidays and Enjoy!



November 7th 2009 5:29 pm
[ Leave A Comment | 2 people already have ]

Another example of the FDA protecting big business instead of the consumer. Back in September 2009 the FDA conducted routine testing of pig ears made by Pet Carousel. The test results detected a positive reading for Salmonella. But NO warning was issued to consumers and NO Product Recall was mandated. For two months pet owners have been purchasing pig ears that could cause diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting and, in some cases, "ONLY" a decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain in their beloved dogs. "ONLY" fever and abdominal pain. ONLY????

And it's not just dogs that could have been affected by the FDA's lack of immediate action. Infected dogs can infect other animals or humans. People infected with Salmonella may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Salmonella infection in humans can also cause arterial infections, inflammation of the heart, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract problems.

So, even though the FDA SHOULD HAVE issued an IMMEDIATE warning and mandatory Product Recall for the pig ears, they didn't. They protected big business instead of the consumer. They ran further tests.

Further tests of the manufacturing facility in Sanger, California found Salmonella in beef hooves, pig ears and in the manufacturing environment itself. FINALLY on November 5th the FDA issues a health alert to warn consumers not to use Pig Ears and Beef Hooves pet treats manufactured by Pet Carousel because the products may be contaminated with Salmonella, and is now advising consumers in possession of these products to not handle or feed them to their pets. But still no Product Recall???????

As we wrote in response to Horst's posting in Dogster's For the Love of Dog Blog (we'll really miss you, buddy), while we appreciate the warning now, two months later, we would have rather had two warnings–one back in September on the contaminated product first tested (along with a Product Recall) and then another in November on the additional products that the FDA found contaminated, again with a Product Recall. People have been purchasing contaminated product for two months. No Product Recall has been issued. Just an Advisory Warning. This is UNACCEPTABLE!

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