Monday, November 30, 2009

Handmade Holiday Lip Balm Recipe

Originally posted on Handmade Holiday Blog

This is for a human lip balm recipe but this can be reinvented to be a great spot treatment for dog hot spots. The changes from dog to human will be in red. Apply as needed to hot spots, dry skin or minor cuts.

See our live spot on Virginia This Morning on December 12.08.09 between 9-10 am. Where you can see how to make a Lip Balm step by step and hear more about our wonderful vendors!

Lip Balm Recipe by Jackson Sage
Use this simple and fun recipe as gifts, to promote and event or company, or party invites.
This recipe fills 24- .15 oz lip balm tubes.

Step 1: Create Lip Balms


4 fl oz Sweet Almond Oil (for doggies add Olive Oil)
4 TBS Beeswax
1- 1.5 tsp of flavoring (Essential oils such as Peppermint, Lime, Lemon, Sweet Orange, Eucalyptus) (for doggies leave out the flavoring, since we don't want to encourage licking. Add Essential Oils of Lavender and/or Tea Tree)

Add Beeswax and Sweet Almond Oil into a glass measuring cup.

Microwave approximately one minute till beeswax is melted.

Add Flavoring and stir.
Pour into lip balm tubes.

Let cool. If you spill some down the side, let cool and then wipe away.

Where to purchase supplies:
From Nature with Love
SKS Bottles

Step 2: Create Labels


White Full Sheet of Labels (such as Avery 8255
X-acto knife (can use scissors)
Cutting Mat
Label template download. Click here to download.

Once lip balms are cool, about an hour, you can add the labels.
Import Label template to word processing program.
Create labels.
Print on highest Quality.
Cute with X-acto knife. Apply to Lip Balm Tubes.

Hints and tips:
Want a firmer lip balm, add more beeswax. Too hard, add more oil.
To test how hard or soft your lip balm will be, after heating oil and beeswax and before poring, place a small amount on a spoon and place in freezer for a few minutes. When it cools you can test the consistency of the mixture.
If oils harden in your mixing jar while pouring into containers, just place back into the microwave for a few more seconds to re-melt.
Mint Essential oils will tingle the lips, less may be more.
Citrus Oils are lighter in scent.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Safety Tip: Pet Poison Assistance

Princess Buttercup got herself into quite a mess today, and unfortunately not the usual "I stole my Human's shoes" or "how muddy can I get before the Human stops me?"

I had set a bottle of my medication on a table. I knew better. I knew to not leave it there but I was going to come back and take it and then put it away. But of course I forgot about it, phone rang, soap was ready, neighbor knocked on the door. Somehow, Buttercup found the bottle and decided to chew on it... of all the other things on the same table she could have picked, that was the thing she picked to chew.

My Husband found the bottle. And then we found Buttercup looking very sad and sick. She then began to vomit.

I called my vet and they said to call Animal Poison Helpline. I then called another vet that we have used. They also gave me a number for Animal Poison Assistance. Both said to call that number and then, if need be, take her to an emergency clinic.

All vets will forward you to a poison control assistance before they see you. Here are the numbers and their fees so you can have those handy if you ever need them, which I hope is never.

Here are the numbers:
* Pet Poison Helpline: 1.800.213.6680
They are 24 hours. The fee is $35.
* ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: 1.800.548.2423
They are 24 hours. The fee is $60.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Health Tip: Lyme Disease

Last year around this time my dog Oliver was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. It seemed very unlikely that he would get sick or even die from it, since most dogs do not become terminal. Unfortunately, he had been misdiagnosed 5 months earlier and treated not for Lyme's but for general infection. So by the time October rolled around, he didn't just have Lyme Disease but liver and kidney failure. He was such a strong dog that it was not apparent how sick he was till he was too ill to eat. Oliver is a rare case for something that can be completely prevented. Then the second blow came when my dog Eva, in the Spring, was diagnosed through a yearly test with Lyme's. She was treated early and had no liver or kidney damage. This shows the importance of early and regular testing.

Signs of Lyme Disease:
Lots of dogs show no signs. The most common sign is stiff legs.

You can easily protect your dog from Lyme Disease:
Transmitted through ticks, Lyme Disease can lead to kidney and liver failure, which may lead to death. The good news is that it is preventable and treatable with regular care.

Tips for prevention:
1.) Use flea, tick and heartworm medication ALL year. It is way too easy in the winter months to think the cold will kill off the ticks, and to try to find a way to save a little money by cutting out a few months a year of medication. Ticks can be found on dogs in mild winters.
2.) Find a tick preventative that kills ticks under 48 hours. It takes over 48 hours for the disease to transfer. If it says repels but not kills, do not use, it will not help protect your dog from ticks.
3.) Ticks don't just like country living, they can be found in the city too! You can find them in your backyard and parks.
4.) Have your vet do a yearly check for Lyme's. Ask your vet for a yearly test that combines Heartworm and Lyme's. If your vet offers these separately for an additional cost, ask them to consider using a test such as the Snap 4DX, which tests for heartworm, ehrichiosis, Lyme, and anaplasmosis. This test should not cost more than the Heartworm test. Testing yearly for Lyme Disease can save your dogs life. By detecting it early there is less likely to a be liver or kidney damage, the causes of death from Lyme Disease.

Please discuss the best option for your dog with your vet.

In loving memory of Oliver

A little about Oliver:
Born January 27, 2004 in Richmond, Va, his background was a humble beginning. His Mother a Pointer Mix was found pregnant on the streets. She was taking in by the wonderful people at AARF. He was adopted by a young women named Erika with no knowledge of dogs on March 15, 2004.

This young women did not come to about Oliver but his brother. Yet, Oliver had other plans. He decided to curl up in this young lady's lap and fall asleep. It was to be the beginning of a partnership that was a struggle and a learning experience for both involved.

Oliver is best know for stealing food off of the kitchen counter, eating cat food when no one was looking, barking at people that walk by his fence, pulling like hell on the leash, distrusting strangers, snuggling on the bed, being aloof, W-A-L-K-S and best of all running like hell when he was allowed off lead to run free. He nicknames included " Damn it, Oliver" "Bad Dog," and "O." He loved to eat and his favorite food was cat food, peanut butter, cheese, and popcorn. He never would dream that a dogs place was on the floor, he preferred the bed, and if he to he would sleep on the sofa.

His education background included Basic Obedience, Agility 1 and 2, Tricks, and Dog Aggression Class at the SPCA. He was smarter than anything but refused to use it to please anyone. He loved to learn with food but would look at you like you have lost your mind if you asked him to "Super Fly" (a trick Erika created where he spins and then jumps up to give ten) without treats. His biggest trick though was waiting till we left the room to tip toe to the kitchen to steal food and then freeze like a statue when caught as if being still meant he could no longer be seen.

Although his education background showed merit, his aggression never allowed him to pass the Canine Good Citizen Test. Erika dreamed that together they would pass the test before he passed away. She figured the only way to have a dog with that kind of head strong personality was to going to pass was to try again when he was 12, hopefully by then he would be to old to care. It was something that would have meant a lot to Erika (Oliver would have not cared either way).

According to his handler his greatest accomplishment, outside of being a model for the Pet Premier Harness, was that he helped teacher her love, patience and got her on the right track in a time when she was lost. She early on gave him the name "guardian of the secret" somewhat after a Jackson Pollack but also because that is what he was to her.

Although he was aloof, he was a excellent big brother to Eva. He was especially wonderful when she was a puppy, he would hold toys in his mouth and gently play keep away with her. He also was a very good friend to the many foster dogs we had including a wonderful dog named LuLu that he helped become comfortable in the house.

When speaking about Oliver, Erika says " He was the bain of my existence, and I mean this in the most positive way. By most accounts he was just a dog, and a bad dog at that. A dog that most would have given up on due to his early aggressive behavior and his perpetual head strong determination, but the behavior made him all the more charming and loving. It was a gift to be given the time to work with him. It is times like these that I think of the book The Little Prince and how it is the time you spend with your rose that makes it so important and unique. He was unique in a way that only spending time with him could create. He gave me a greater understanding of myself, and through him, I became a strong more confident person. Some might say he is just a dog but he was so much more. It will be quite around here without him."

His passing was few minutes passed midnight on December 10, 2008. May he ever run free.

Love you O!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yummy Treats: Apple and Pumpkin Dog Biscuits

One of my dogs favorite treats are apples. Which lead me to decide to combine seasonal items, Pumpkins and Apples, to make this yummy dog treat that even our cat loved (she stole them from the counter as I was taking pictures).

Apples are good for dogs and they love to eat them. Apples contain Malic Acid which is good for the liver and digestion. Be careful with Apple seeds since they can be toxic.

Pumpkins benefits are high fiber, and low calorie. Because of the high fiber of pumpkins, a little goes a long way.

Apple and Pumpkin Biscuits Recipe for Dogs

2 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup of water with Beef Bouillon dissolved
1/8 cup Pumpkin Solid Pack (no sugar or anything added)
1 small apple diced

Mix ingredients together. Put in refrigerator for 15 minutes to make it easier to make biscuits.

Make small dime to quarter size biscuits.
Bake at 450 for 8-10 minutes, till golden brown.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fun Finds: The Taffy Box

The Taffy Box makes wonderful personlized jewlery and dog collars. She made one special just for me.

You can see me along the river in North Carolina sporting my Taffy Box dog tag.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fun Finds: Lucky Fiona

My Human purchased the best collars made by Lucky Fiona, from For Love of Pete. What is great about Lucky Fiona collars is that they are made from fun fabrics, super soft, and of course stylish.

My Human likes them when she has to train Eva. Because the leads are soft they are easier to hold. You can see my Human and Eva at a Rally-O Competition, where they came in first place, sporting Lucky Fiona collar and leads.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Training Tips: 30 minute Down-Stay

The 30 minute down-stay is one of the most valuable things I have ever taught a dog, the most boring, but the most helpful. To me, this is the foundation for a good family pet.

The 30 minute down-stay does a couple of things. First, it establish you as pack leader. Second, it calms your dog down. Third, it comes in very handy when you go places with your dog.

The way to teach this is not rocket science. Have your dog on lead. Put your dog in a down and say "Stay." You may have to, depending on the age of your dog, use the lead to hold him down by putting your hand or foot on the lead-- this is to limit the dogs movement and should NOT be used as correction.

If your dog gets up, you don't say anything, you just place him back into the down-stay. There is NO correction. Yes, when you start, they will pop up and pop up and pop up. Just calmly, without words, place the dog back into place. Slowly the dog will take longer between pop ups. The dog may not wiggle from side to side but may fall asleep. If they fall asleep, that is a good thing!

When the 30 minutes is up, gently praise your dog with words. If you want to pet them make sure they stay in the down-stay, and do not roll over onto their side or back. Why I am not using food? This is not a food reward exercise, the reward is praise. Release the dog after you praise them using your release word (my word is "Break").

When you first start doing this you will need to be on the floor with your dog. You will find very soon, even with a puppy, that you will soon be able to get further and further away. You must do it for the whole 30 minutes. Once you have some distance, and have a solid down-stay for 30 minutes, come back closer in and begin to add distractions like a ball rolling by.

Practice your 30 minute down-stay every single day.

Some trainers and dog handlers do not like the 30 minute down-stay. You need to pick the method that works best for you and your dog. Some think 30 minutes is too long and that you will never use this. Some even have told me 30 minutes is cruel. That is for your to decide. I have never yelled, harmed, or injured my dog while doing this. I have seen Buttercup look at me, like "are we done yet because I REALLY want to play," and I guess you can call that cruel, especially when I was rolling a ball past her.

You will use this more than you realize. You will use this when you have guests over that are not fans of dogs, or while you are eating dinner. You will use this when you take your dog to the mall while you drink your coffee. You will use this when you open your front door so your dog does not bolt out in to traffic. Not all of those are 30 minutes but it creates a good strong foundation, that is not based on food rewards but based on your relationship with your dog.

If you prefer to teach the down-stay with food, I will present you a short version of how to train a down-stay with the food method. You lure your dog into a dog, if they do not know down already. Stand in front of them and treat. Release dog. Repeat. Begin adding a small amount of time as you see the dog begin to easily stay in position. You do NOT want the dog to get up, so your rate of reinforcement with food needs to be constant and fast as you start to teach this. Once you have repeated several times with increased time begin to add distance, say a foot or two. Take a step back, step back in and feed. When working on distance, don't work on time. When working on time, don't work on distance. Eventually distance and time will meet. Once you have time, add distractions. You will not work up to 30 minutes using this method. Using this method, you will work up to 5 minutes.

Next on "Training Tips" we we discuss training your dog to heel using the clicker method and back chaining-- no real chains are involved, it is a method where you start where you are and work backwards to get the behavior you desire.

(Please always discuss with a licensed Dog trainer and use common sense.)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fun Finds: Pop Dog Press

After being taken for a short walk by the sweet little girl next door (the one that drew me a picture), I decided to surf the web looking for fun dog related items. I stumbled across this wonderful work at Pop Dog Press on etsy.
Here you can find breed specific gear with a fun and modern twist.
She also has a wonderful blog, Pop Dog Blog, where you discover more of her artwork, key chains, cards and portraits.

Children are the best!

The other day the little girl next door gave me a stick. She has seen me a few days earlier chewing on a stick. She asked my human about why I was doing this. My human told her that I liked sticks and that dogs chew on them like humans chew on gum.

Then the other day the little girl found a stick and gave it to me. I thought it was so thoughtful, I sent her a thank you letter with dog stickers. The letter went something like this:
"Bark Bark Bark. Ruff, growl bark. Bark Bark, ruff."
(In case you can't read dog:
Thank you for the stick. I had fun chewing on it. That was very thoughtful of you.")

The little girl then brought over this wonderful picture for me:

Children are the best!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In the beginning, there was dog training....

When you decided to bring a dog into your home, we usually think about the obvious-- things like food, shelter, and affection. Most of us tend to over look one of the most important things you can do to have a wonderful dog-- training.

I can not tell you how many people when they see Buttercup, they go on and on about how their dog could never behave like that. And maybe they are right, my first dog, Oliver, was no walk on the beach (we will get into him later). But I do think that you can have a wonderful dog with a few simple steps.

In the following entries I will share some of the lessons I have learned over the course of the past 5 years since I first laid eyes on Oliver. I will go over my journey to create a dog I wanted to live with, including both how I train and how I have been trained. Some stories have a happy ending, some are about perseverance and what it means to really love. It will include various training methods and concepts.

I will start here with three concepts that are the foundation of my training philosophy:

1. Create a Plan: Dream the about the Dog you will Create-- revisit this idea often.
Yes, that is right, the dog you will create (within reason of course). Most dogs, can and want to be "good dogs." You as the human have the responsibility to train them to be able to live and share the human world. We expect a lot from our dogs -- and reading our mind seems to be the number one thing we think they should instinctively do. While dogs seems to have a natural ability for figuring out our words, body language, and seem to have an amazing ability to forgive us repeatedly for having no clue what they are trying to communicate to us. But despite what we seem to think, they do not get the rules of the human world though osmosis.

To achieve the dog you dream, write down a few sentences on why you want a dog, and what you want your dog to be able to do. This is important for many reasons. This will let you know what you need to train for and it will let you know what type of dog you will want to have in your home.
If you already have a dog, it will give a good place to restart your relationship. I would add habits your dog currently has that you want to replace with other habits.
I revisit this list often.

By jotting down your desires for your dog will help you match up your training style and desires with the various methods.

2. You are the source of Food
When the food bowl hits the floor, it does not mean time to eat, it means "Look at me." Yes, that is right, your dog will not go for the food bowl till you give a release word. I use the word "Break" because it is not commonly used in everyday conversation like the word "OK" is. I will describe later how to train for this, but it is pretty simple concept that will translate to other training areas.

3. 30 minute down stay
I was in a training class a while back and the trainer wanted me to use food for her stays. I told her that we don't use food for stays. She was not happy with me. There are two morals to this story. One, use the training method that you feel comfortable with and where you feel you see results. Your dog will sense if you are uncomfortable and react. Two, with that said, I recommend not using food for training the long down stays, short stays are fine. The reason I don't use food is that you want your dog to listen and respond to your praise. Some people feel uncomfortable with this, and like I stated, pick the method that works for you. The 30 minute down-stay does a couple of things. First, it establish you as pack leader. Second, it calms your dog down. Third, it comes in very handy when you go places with your dog. I will discuss how to train for this in a future entry.

(Please always discuss with a licensed Dog trainer and use common sense.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Featured Dog: Brice-- aka Bubby

Brice is a 10 year old Australian Shepherd from Aussie Rescue out of North Carolina. He is most often referred to as Bubby. Brice is usually reserved for when we are politely speaking "Brice, stop (fill in what he is not suppose to be doing)."

Brice is the definition of a Velcro dog-- I don't even have peace in the bathroom. In other words, where you go he goes. Brice is full of quirks. One of which is the kitchen floor. I am not sure why he is afraid of the floor, he just is. He will walk half way into the kitchen forwards, and finishes the rest of the way by walking backwards. He apparently has not gotten the memo that walking backwards is harder. Brice loves to be brushed and petted. If he even sees you with a brush he comes running to be groomed. Which is wonderful since his hair can require quite a bit of brushing.

Brice was the inspiration for the Doggie Sage line because he has such sensitive skin as well as having had two knee surgeries that required extra care.

Want your dog featured?

We are looking for fellow dogs to feature on our blog.
It is very simple to make it happen.

Send us a picture(s) of your dog with a few sentences about your canine companion. We would love to hear what make your dog special or any talents your dog has. Make it even better by including what Doggie Sage product your dog uses. Send to info [at] doggiesage [dot] com

We look forward to featuring all of you wonderful canines out there!

Double Duty for Human and Canine....

In these economic times it seems we are all looking for products that can do double duty. Well sometimes those things come in unexpected places, like our Doggie Sage line. Since all of our dog products use therapeutic and food grade ingredients, just like our human products, they can work with your skin to heal, clean and repair. We do however want to state that you don't not want to use human products on dogs. While some products are safe, some essential oils are not healthy for dogs.

So here is the low down on the products
The Hot Dog Balm:
The combination of shea butter and neem oil, make it perfect for dry itch spots. Calendula Oil will soothe and repair skin. Use it on your feet, elbows, and any other itchy or dry spot. The essential oils pack in extra cleansing and healing action. Here is what a secret shopper for wrote "The balm is the perfect all natural remedy for skin irritations, infections, hot spots and other minor skin inflictions. But one smell, and you, like me will want it for yourself. My dog had no minor skin problems, but I tried it on my rough elbows and nicks from gardening over the weekend. In one day, those little scrapes were gone and my dry bits smooth."

Doggie Sage Therapeutic Herbal Mist:
Combines powerful extracts with Icelandic Thermal Brine to help soothe skin and rid itches. Spray on bug bites. Even mist legs after shaving to help relieve razor burn. (You can purchase this product at select Whole Foods or online in October.)

Doggie Sage Shampoo Bar
The Shampoo Bar is great for traveling or camping when you don't want to bring all those extra bottles. You can use it for your hair, hands, and body. A facebook fan wrote "My pups love the bar shampoo! (I've even used it myself!) Great stuff!"

Doggie Sage Conditioning Mist:

Add a few spritzes to hair to soften and shine hair. Here is what a customer had to say about our Mist, "I use it everyday on my hair. It helps to keep my hair shinny without over doing it. I can use between washes to help style my hair."

Have you tried our dog products on your dog or on yourself? Leave a comment with your experience.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Firworks and Dogs

A Doggie Service Message from Princess Buttercup.

While you and your family are celebrating the 4th of July, your dog may be feeling like having a nervous breakdown. Some dogs have a sensitivity, fear and possibly terror to the sounds of fireworks and it is wise to take precautions for (wo)Man's best friend.
1. Keep all animals securely indoors. Do NOT leave dogs unattended in the backyard during the fireworks. Dogs can become frightened and try to escape yard.
2. Make sure that all animals are properly identified just in case, while scared, they manage to get out of the house.
3. Do NOT take a dog to see the Fireworks display with you and your family.
4. Do NOT have dog outside while family lights fireworks. Some dogs are not scared of the sound but may think the lights flying everywhere would be fun to chase.
5. If your dog has a fear of fireworks, try giving them Rescue Remedy. This blend of flower essences helps to calm your dog.
6. If you know that your dog has extreme anxiety about fireworks, consult your vet before the 4th of July. She may prescribe medication that will help calm your dog.
7. Dogs do like Hot Dogs, they are very very yummy. Please give us some, it will make us happy. But do be careful some food will make out tummies ache and some things like raisins are deadly for dogs. Please keep food out of our reach because we don't know what is good for us and what is not. But Hot Dogs are very good for us so please share!

I hope you and your family have a wonderful 4th of July.
God Bless America.
~Princess Buttercup

Don't forget to become my fan on Facebook

Friday, March 20, 2009

Improved Doggie Sage Products

We are excited to announce our improved Doggie Sage Products. The Soap Bar, Herbal Shampoo, and Hot Dog Balm now contain Neem Oil.

Neem Oil's anti-inflammatory, wound healing, and insect repellent properties make it perfect for dogs with dry, itchy and sensitive skin.

Choose between Doggie Sage Herbal Dog Shampoo or Shampoo Bar. The Shampoo Bar can last 30+ baths making it a great value. Both leave fur and skin clean without drying chemicals and preservatives.

Doggie Sage Condition Mist adds shine to dull coats. Soothing Aloe, Jojoba and Witch hazel combine to soothe skin. A little goes a long way.

Hot Dog Balm made with Shea Butter, Neem Oil and Calendula combine to soothe minor skin infections, hot spots, and other skin irritations that your pet may have. Calendula is an herb known for its healing, antiseptic, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Naturally pamper you best friend!