April 29, 2013

7 Quick Tips for Travel with a Pampered Pet

7 Quick Tips for Travel with a Pampered Pet

I almost slept with a strange lady in Las Vegas. Well not exactly, but she offered! (more…)

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June 6, 2011

Golfing in Chamonix France

Golfing in Chamonix France

Spring 2011 came early to the French mountain resorts, mostly due to a lack of snow during the ski season.  Ginger and Nutmeg needed to change the tires on the car to the “summer wheels”, as we had been rolling along on dry roads for several months in the South.  The “stars aligned” and Ginger found a few consecutive days with no commitments, a good weather forecast and a chance to visit Saffron and Truffle while they were on holidays in Chamonix.  The three of us piled in the car with almost no luggage and headed NE.  The drive was easy and Nutmeg’s only disappointment was that the walnut trees near Grenoble were not in bloom. We arrived in Chamonix and I headed straight for the river, Ginger went directly to the car garage and Nutmeg settled in for a massage – anybody wondering who is the smartest in the crew?  The next morning dawned and it promised to be a beautiful day.  The team was headed to the golf course and I was destined for a very big nap, or so I thought, until Saffron said that she was sure I could join them on the 18-hole walk. (more…)

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April 11, 2011

What is there to like about Aix en Provence a Dog’s View

What is there to like about Aix en Provence a Dog’s View

Ginger and Nutmeg are a bit distracted by our move from Aix en Provence to Eygalieres, so it is once again my turn for a bit of “air-time”.  Here is my rebuttal to Nutmeg’s last post “Our Favorite things about Aix en Provence“. I have never lived in a place quite like Aix en Provence.  When I was a young puppy I lived in the woods in Vermont, and putting on a collar was a dress-up occasion.  Then I moved to Calgary. Ginger came to pick me up in Montreal and took me on a long trip to that strange place (Calgary).  We arrived and there was another dog who looked like me but she was not very interested in me.  My roaming space much reduced, in fact it was a bit like a sardine can after Vermont.  The good news is Ginger and Nutmeg made lots of trips to Canmore, where we could swim and run around like black Labradors do. Aix en Provence is a place where I go for lots of walks but never go off leash.  Nutmeg says it is because there are no parks.  I think it is because of all the tempting scraps on the ground.  We walk every morning up the famous Cours Mirabeau, it is lovely and often there are a few morsels of food on the ground from the restaurants along our way. It is possible Nutmeg might be right, the single park that is close to our house is locked on weekends. (more…)

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April 4, 2011

Our Favorite Things about Aix en Provence

Our Favorite Things about Aix en Provence

Aix en Provence is often referred to as “Cezanne’s city”.  It is hard to miss the “Steps of Cezanne” emblems on the sidewalks of Aix, these symbols lead tourists to some of the more famous sites for Cezanne.  The problem with looking at your feet to follow the little emblems, is you might miss some of the sights along the way.  Nutmeg could fill a book and several photo albums to really describe this city.  Aix en Provence has a long history (founded in 123 BC) as a centre built over hot springs or “thermes”.  Aix is a student town, tourist town, the official centre of the 13th department of France. (more…)

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January 1, 2011

Jade a Dog’s view of France

Jade a Dog’s view of France

Ginger and Nutmeg are out celebrating the New Year, so it is finally my opportunity to write a blog post.  For those of you who do not know, I am Jade a 9 + something year old black Labrador.  I love food, people and smelling stuff – in that order. So way back in September we head out for a little car trip in Calgary, I love the car.  We go to “big-box dog heaven” sometimes known as Pet Smart. I am really excited there are lots of my favourite things, see above.  Ginger is busy moving big plastic boxes off the shelves and I oblige when asked to run in and out, it’s kind of fun.  So we all head home including the plastic box.  The box is OK and I get to sleep in it for a few days. However, there is something clearly greater going on, I know as I have seen this kind of action before. There are travel bags, piles of clothes and technical gear on the basement floor, counters and living room floor. Nutmeg is not very happy as the house is not very organized and Ginger is still clearly still deciding.  So what is a bit of healthy tension? – I am still getting fed, so no need to get involved.  Looks and smells like a trip to me. (more…)

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May 29, 2010

Dogs and Vitamins

Dogs and Vitamins

Nutmeg and Ginger have two black Labradors.  These ladies have a very good life; they get a few walks a day, lots of food and water, they have a nice backyard to laze around in and they get to swim in the nearby rivers.  In addition to that, they have two great doggie caregivers who pitch in for walks and when Nutmeg runs away from Calgary’s weather.  Nutmeg is away (did I mention the weather?) and she got an email this morning… Jade ate a vitamin is that OK?  Well if you own a Labrador you know the answer – ask Oregano to tell you the story of his dog and the socks one day.  Of course a vitamin is certainly not going to hurt and is 1000 fold better than half the stuff she finds in the park. That was not enough for Nutmeg though she was curious – would human vitamins actually have any effect on dogs?  Well first of all on a Google search that question surfaces over 4 million results, so the jury is obviously out. Veterinarians are undecided, some think there could be some benefits while others feel there actually could be harmful side effects.  Commercially processed dog food is said to have a complete, balanced nutritional level (unless it comes from a suspect Chinese factory 🙁 ). The vitamin manufacturers must love this statistic!  It is estimates that nearly one third of pets in the United States receive nutritional supplements.  The largest focus is relief of joint pain and arthritis that is common in older animals.  Other common supplements are fatty acids to improve coat shine and probiotics to reduce digestion issues.  You can read the full article on Wikipedia and surf a few credible sources for review including Vet Info. So the answer to the question about dogs and vitamins? Jade will be just fine. What Nutmeg found more interesting, is the full list of foods that dogs should not eat.  The condensed list is below, with Nutmeg’s comments: 1. Onions (contain the toxic ingredient Thiosulphate also found in garlic) – apparently in can be toxic in one large dose… Note to self: better stop feeding the girls leftovers! 2. Chocolate (contains Theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic) – Nutmeg had heard that chocolate could be fatal for dogs, although over the years Skoki has eaten (in one sitting) 3 pounds of chocolate almond bark and another family dog ate ALL of the Christmas tree chocolates.  In both cases, they were a bit sluggish (wouldn’t you be) but certainly no terrible side effects 3. Grapes and Raisins (can affect canine’s kidneys)  – I will have to tell the girls as they eye my cheese and grapes every night! 4. Macadamia Nuts (contain an unknown substance that is toxic to dogs)  –  these nuts are really expensive so don’t feed them to your dog 5. Bones (in particular chicken or anything that might splinter)  – I wonder about all the sticks they chew instead 🙁 6. Potato Peelings and Green Potatoes (Contain Oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems) – our dogs are much too picky to eat these anyway they just want the good stuff 7. Yeast Dough (can produce gas and swell in your pet’s stomach) 8. Coffee, Coffee Grounds, Tea, Soft Drinks (are dangerous due to the caffeine) 9. Beer/Wine/Alcohol of any kind (could lead to coma or even death) – or a few quiet hours 🙂 10. Moldy or Spoiled Food (I think this goes without saying.)  – interesting considering the quality of stuff they have found over the years in the park 11. Persimmons (Persimmons can cause intestinal blockage)  – not sure why anyone eats these 12. Raw Eggs and Raw Fish (can cause Salmonella poisoning) 13. Salt, Baking Soda, Baking Powder (In large amounts these can cause an electrolyte imbalance which can lead to muscle spasm or even congestive heart failure) 14. Mushrooms (may contain toxins which could cause liver and kidney damage)  – our dogs love the spring and fall for the array of new wild mushrooms… 15. Avocado (All parts of the avocado and avocado tree are toxic to dogs)  – again way too expensive to feed to your dogs anyway 16. Diary Products (do not usually pose a great danger; although many pets are lactose intolerant) – not ours – just ask Chili he loves feeding the girls pieces of expensive cheddar! So there you have it the secret to happy, healthy pets?  Everything in moderation and the odd vitamin will not hurt either. [tfb username=’GingerandNutmeg’ count=’true’ lang=’en’ theme=’light’]

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