Where does your dog go when you have to leave him/her during the day?

24 December 2010

I'm going to be cliche and title this post "Santa Paws".

Just a quick post to say Merry Christmas from Hot Diggity, and also from Izzie, a 3.75 year old Cairn Terrier owned by Trevor Gibson! These pictures of Izzie, taken by Trevor, were too cute and festive not to share on the blog!

A little more about Izzie...

Where did you get her? At a small breeder in Arlington, WA.

What made you choose her? She was small and cute, with a lovable and bubbily personality.

How did you pick the name Izzie? Not really sure. Her full name is Isabella, and we originally called her "Bella". After her full personality bloomed, we decided that "Izzie" was a more fitting name.

Describe Izzie in three words: Peppy, confident, loving.

She sounds like everything a Cairn Terrier should be :)

Trevor is a professional photographer from Seattle, WA. Check out more of his work here at www.prosightmedia.com (Yes, he works with pets, and yes, you will find more adorable pictures of Izzie on his website!)

(click to see larger!)

Thank you Trevor for letting us show off Izzie! (And your photography skills).

16 December 2010

Meet Gallagher

Great Danes are eye-catching dogs. Their giant size alone makes them an impressive breed; even before getting to know their delightfully gentle spirit! So, when I saw this picture of a friend's Great Dane with the loveliest black spots and red bow decked out for Christmas, I knew it needed to be shared on the blog. Thank you to Kevin Claussen for sharing Gallagher with us, and to his sister-in-law Jada for taking the photo!

Name: Gallagher
Breed: Great Dane
Age: 1 year 2 months
Where did you get him?: Got him from Moffit Colorado. Took about 10 months to find "the perfect Dane."
How did you pick him?: I picked him because of his unique markings of black and white and knew it was a decision I would not regret.
How did you name him?: Picked the name Gallagher because it fits perfectly for gentle giant.
Use three words to describe him: Unique, friendly and playfull.

Gallagher was an adorable puppy - so easy to see why he was picked by Kevin!

Thanks again for sharing Gallagher with us - he is the perfect dog to feature this month!

10 December 2010

Dog Sports - Agility

My favorite dog sport is, by far, the sport of agility. Created in the 1970s as a 'half-time' performance at the Crufts dog show, it has now rapidly gained popularity world-wide in just a few short decades. Although some athletic breeds (many herding breeds like Border Collies and Australian Shepherds) are most prone to excelling at agility because of their speed and intelligence, it is enjoyed by people and dogs of all shapes, ages, and sizes. And, as the owner of a mixed-breed dog, I have always appreciated agility because it presents many opportunities for dogs of all kinds, not just registered purebreds (depending on the trial and the organization.) And, Gabe LOVES agility!

The main objectives of dog agility are speed (each team is timed) and accuracy on the obstacles, which are set up in various patterns to form a course. Faults in agility can include things like knocking bars off of jumps, missing contact zones (to be discussed below), missing an obstacle altogether, or running a course out of order. Dogs take both verbal cues and body cues from the handler (but no touching is allowed), so it is definitely a team effort between handler and dog.

Courses are set up by a judge or teacher, so each handler has a chance to walk the course and memorize it before running it with the dog. Trials can take place indoors or outdoors. This is an example of a course map, each handler-dog team starting at 1 and following the numbers in order:

Possible obstacles that can be seen on any agility course include the following:

1. Jumps or hurdles (can be a panel jump, broad jump, bar jump, double or triple jump, or tire jump.)

Gabe with a regular jump.

Gabe with the tire jump.

2. Tunnels (regular, or chute)

Gabe running a regular tunnel.

3. Pause table (dog must be in a 'down' position for five seconds)

Gabe on the table.

4. Weave poles (five to twelve poles the dog must weave through, always entering with the first pole on the dog's left shoulder.)

The poles, minus Gabe.

5. A-Frame (a contact obstacle in which the dog must make contact with the brightly-painted areas while both ascending and descending.)

Gabe on top of the A-Frame.

Approaching the contact zone.

Coming down the A-Frame.

6. The Dogwalk (another contact obstacle)

Making his way across the Dogwalk.

Approaching the contact zone.

7. The Seesaw or Teeter-Totter (the most difficult of the contact obstacles)

A slowed-down look at the Teeter and making the contact zone.

Whether it be for fun, or for competition, dog agility can be a great way to build confidence in your dog and provide much-needed mental and physical stimulation! For more detailed information on how to get involved in this sport, check out:

NADAC (North American Dog Agility Council)
AKC (American Kennel Club)

09 October 2010

I wanna thank my mom and dad...

Well, we don't know why or how, but apparently we won a "PetsDirect.co.uk blogger award". To be honest I didn't even know that kind of thing existed, but...I'll take it! I guess we will be receiving a personalized "award" graphic soon. Until then, here is what we got...

Award From PetsDirect.co.uk

Puppy Supplies


PetsDirect.co.uk Ribbon Award

Puppy Toys


Awarded For..
A Unique Blog From A Whole New And Interesting Perspective.
A Useful And Unique Blogger Resource
Great Literature And/Or Informational Quality
Helping The Preservation And General Well Being Of A Specific Breed Type.
Showing A True Love For A Specific Breed Or Pet Type.

We are also now added on the PetsDirect.co.uk links page!

Thank you to John at PetsDirect, the nice guy who contacted us and "approved" our blog :) I am not really even sure what that means, but it sounds cool and we appreciate it!

07 October 2010

Uncommonly Colored

Bentley, our current dog of the month, inspired me to do a post on some of the lesser known colors in various dog breeds. Of course, it's important to remember that just because a particular color is advertised as "rare" does not make it anymore valuable. Many backyard breeders use this tactic to gain interest in their puppies and raise the prices on them too. But truthfully, the term "rare color" starts and ends there. It simply states that a certain color is less common. And beware; some breeders will even use the word "rare" when it is really not rare at all.

Some colors of dogs may be in higher demand than others. Take the English cream Dachshund for instance. Right now, English creams go for anywhere from $800 - $2000. The color English cream is unique to the longhair Dachshund. A true English cream can only be a longhair. But many Dachshund breeders will coin their dilute reds (lighter than normal red) as creams in hopes of getting more money from them, even if they are smooth or wirehair varieties. These people are either being deceptive or they are naive to the facts about their chosen breed, which is another reason why it's important to do your research before buying a dog. Many people get ripped off big time by the false marketing of an irresponsible breeder.
There may not be anything wrong with pricing a particular color higher if that's the going price. Still, be wary. The bottom line is, you are really only paying a higher price for looks. If you are comfortable paying more for a look you love, that is your preference. But don't buy a certain colored puppy just because you're talked into believing it's a gem.

Color trends in dogs come and go. Another thing to keep in mind is an ethical breeder will not breed their dogs for profit. Their priorities should be health, temperament, conformation (the way the dog is built and moves), and then color.

All that said, it is still interesting to me that some breeds will occasionally produce colors that you aren't used to seeing. So, here are a few of those!

Albino Doberman Pinscher

The first recorded albino Doberman was born in 1976. All albino Dobermans registered since then are descendants from this single dog. As most people know, albino is not the same as white. Dobermans that are born albino lack any pigment, whereas white Boxers for instance usually have pigment on the face as well as spots somewhere on the body. The genes that control white and albino are separate. Albinism is always associated with eye problems and skin problems. Albino Dobermans are susceptible to sun burns and may be sensitive to bright light. There are many in depth articles to be read on the albino Doberman Pinscher, so if you are interested in acquiring one of your own, I suggest doing as much reading as possible!

Silver Labrador Retriever

Some rare colors of breeds have a lot of controversy surrounding them, and silver Labs are one of them. Occasionally, a color will start popping up in excess when history shows no sign of that color being present. This gets people wondering if there is something fishy going on. Are they really purebreds? Some Lab fanciers believe that silver Labs are a product of introducing a Weimeraner (known for their light gray coats) to the gene pool. After extensive DNA testing performed by investigators from the AKC, they concluded that "there was no reason to doubt that the dogs were purebred Labrador Retrievers". Even so, this is still a highly debated topic among Lab people. There is no telling when or if anyone will come to a solid agreement, as there seems to be evidence supporting both sides. Regardless, silver labs, whether they are truly purebred or not, are gaining in popularity.

White German Shepherd Dog or American White Shepherd

Most people know that German Shepherds come in white. But white is a disqualifying fault in the sport of AKC conformation. That is, they cannot be shown. This hasn't stopped fans of the color from breeding them however, and they are beginning to be known as a separate breed. The American White Shepherd is a purebred white German Shepherd, but by making them into a distinct breed, they could eventually be accepted into the AKC. Yes, politics definitely exist in the dog world as well! See the American White Shepherd Association website for more information.

White Pug

The existence of white pugs dates back to the 1800's. White pugs are not the same as albino pugs, which lack pigment. And a true white pug will only show fawn coloring where black is shown on fawn colored dogs. Also, the only two colors recognized by AKC are fawn and black. Any other color is a disqualification. Still, pugs are also seen in brindle, blue, silver fawn and silver gray.

Red & White Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Greater Swiss Mountain dogs are only accepted in one color pattern, as demonstrated in the dog on the right. But occasionally, red & white puppies pop up in purebred litters. GSM's are not all that common to begin with, so the number of red & white Swissies is scarce, making them all the more unique.

Blue Beagle

The color "blue" in the Beagle is nothing more than a recessive dilute gene, causing the normal black markings you see on a hound to come out looking paler. Although beautiful, unfortunately dilute coats are prone to skin problems such as alopecia, a skin disorder that causes bald patches, dry skin and thinning hair. If you buy a dilute color of any breed (isabella or blue are most common), it's important to know the health of the puppy's parents or of other dilute relatives.

Red Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers come in a color called "seal" which is defined as "black with some brown hairs visible in sunlight." To be a true seal, the dog must have black pigment on the eyes, lips, nose, paw pads, and ears. The dog shown above is a more clear chocolate/red color and also has blue eyes, which is a disqualification in the AKC's breed standard. Still, these incorrect colors can and do show up in purebred Boston Terrier litters...and are undeniably cute!

Black & White Bulldog

The AKC recognizes many colors in the Bulldog, with a specific order to preference. Black isn't exactly on the list of preferred colors. The standard states: "Solid black is very undesirable, but not so objectionable if occurring to a moderate degree in piebald patches." Surprisingly, black & white was one of the original colors seen in Bulldogs. It wasn't until the AKC standard stated that the color was undesirable that they started to diminish in popularity. Some say black & white seems to be healthier than other more common colors of Bulldog as they have less skin and immune system disorders. Black & white bulldogs are no exception to what I said in the introduction of this post about rare colors sometimes being sought after. This color typically goes at a much higher price than their already expensive "normal" colored relatives. Right now, it is nearly impossible to buy a Bulldog puppy for less than $1,000, with some going as high as $3500!

Merle Chihuahua

Like the Silver Lab, the merle Chihuahua has stirred up quite the controversy within the breed. Not only did this pattern experience sort of a "boom" in popularity some 10 ten years ago, a good majority of merle Chi's are slightly larger and bigger boned than Chihuahuas are supposed to be. This has caused breeders of the more traditional coat colors question if they were recently mixed with Miniature Australian Shepherd or some other commonly merle breed to achieve this color. On the contrary, merle Chihuahua breeders argue that this color has been present in the genes for the last 50 years or so and even if another breed was introduced into the gene pool at one time, by now they are breeding true. Even more interesting, the AKC breed standard states that Chihuahuas can be "any color - solid, marked or splashed". So, merle Chi's can be shown. The reason you don't see them in the show ring very often is mostly due to their poor conformation. However, the size of them is also improving. I've noticed they are getting smaller and more refined than they were 10 years ago. Even so, I don't see the general contention over this subject ending anytime soon!

Blond Schipperke and Brown Schipperke

In the US, the Schipperke is recognized best by its prick ears, docked tail and of course, its solid black coat. But the original Schipperke came in brown and blond (sometimes called cream or white). Still, today's standard only accepts black dogs. The American Kennel Club states "The outercoat must be black. Any color other than a natural black is a disqualification." In England however, they aren't quite as strict regarding color. The Kennel Club's (UK) standard says, "Usually black but other whole colours permissible".
The brown Schipperke pictured above also has a "natural" tail, meaning it was not docked. To be shown in the AKC, Schipperkes must be "tailless" but in the UK, tail docking and ear cropping are banned for cosmetic purposes and only allowed on some working dogs.

Biewer Yorkie

Everyone recognizes a Yorkie by it's long blue & tan hair, the ony color accepted by the AKC. Well, the "Biewer Yorkie" or "Biewer Terrier" is actually a separate breed from the Yorkshire Terrier. The white, black and tan color is said to be a piebald recessive gene that showed up in a litter of purebred Yorkies only 26 years ago. From there, a selective breeding program was started to create a new breed. Still, as far as I know, no new breeds have been introduced to the Biewer gene pool. So color is still what truly separates them from a purebred Yorkie. That being said, a test was done on over 30 different lineages and Biewer fanciers claim that "we have been able to show that the Biewer Terrier is a distinct breed of its own."
Some say that calling these little dogs "Biewer Yorkie" is incorrect, because it suggests they were bred back to a Yorkshire Terrier and breeders of this new breed only want them bred to other Biewers. (Wow, that's a lot of B's in one sentence!) Whatever the case, I have a feeling they will grow quickly in popularity. I am already seeing plenty of them advertised in the local newspaper!

Some people prefer the classic colors, others may enjoy looking at something a little more unique. Either way, a dog doesn't know or care about the color or pattern of his coat. He'll spend his entire life never recognizing himself in a mirror, and never knowing what he missed. Aren't we dog owners thankful for that, in a world where the superficial is often emphasized over character?

(Hot Diggity does not own the rights to any of the photos used in this post)

02 October 2010

Black dogs are sort of like black cats...

October's dog of the month is "Bentley", owned by Thomas and Kayla Bloom! We picked Bentley because of his strikingly handsome looks (seriously one of the cutest dogs I've ever seen!) and of course, his color couldn't be more appropriate for the month of Halloween.
I imagine most people mistake Bentley for a black lab or lab mix, but he is actually a purebred German Shorthaired Pointer. Shorthairs are usually only seen in solid liver, or a combination of liver & white (ticked, patched or roan). Black shorthairs are disqualified from the AKC conformation ring, but can be registered and compete in other sports. Although rare in the US, in Germany black shorthairs are slowly growing in popularity. Up to 20% of GSP puppies born in Germany are black or black & white, compared to only 5% a decade ago. I wish they were more common around here. I absolutely love their floppy, shiny, happy look!

Photographer: Thomas Bloom

Breed: German Shorthaired Pointer

Age: (pictured: 4 1/2 months) Currently 5 1/2 months

Where did you get Bentley? A breeder in arlington whose name I can't remember.

What made you pick him? We love the breed's energy and intelligence and the short hair was a plus as well. There were only two left in his litter (both black) but he seemed so eager to please and be with people.

How did you pick his name? Actually Kayla suggested it as a possibility, because she knew a dog named Bentley before, and I was excited about having a dog named after an amazing car (even though technically he's not named after the car).

Describe Bentley in 3 words: He is cuddly, loving, and energetic

Bentley living life...

Thank you Thomas and Kayla! I can honestly say I will be a bit sad when October is over and we have to switch dogs. I love looking at his smiling face!

01 September 2010

Beautiful Miracle

Well, here she is, the winner of September's dog of the month contest! Mira Bella the Dachshund! Obviously I'm not the only one who was touched by this little dog's story. And I would never complain about getting to look at another Dachshund at the top of our blog for the next month...

Here is an interview with Mira Bella's owner, Terri VonderHeide. Terri, be watching for your $25 gift card to PetSmart in the mail!

Photographer's Name: Terri VonderHeide

Where did you get your dog? Rescue, I flew to New Orleans to save her from being euthanized.

What made you choose her? I could not let a dachshund die just because it was paralyzed. She deserved a chance at life.

Describe her in 3 words: miraculous, determined, amazing

Terri wrote a little extra about her special dog:

"I have to add that Mira is special needs, she was paralyzed when I rescued her, because she had suffered a traumatic injury to her spine which crushed it. Not only was she paralyzed, she is completely deaf and partially blind as is the case with the majority of double dapples. We have overcome her paralysis in spite of her veterinarian in Louisiana saying it would take a Miracle for her to walk again, and after examination by my vet being told that the damage was so extreme that most likely she would never walk again but to go ahead and try because you just never really know for certain. So we spent 8 hours a day 5 days a week on different physical therapy techniques, and now she walks and runs with all her dachshund brothers and sisters that live here. Because the damage was so extreme she is still incontinent and while I have learned her potty schedule well enough that during the day I let her go what we call ‘nakeybutt” she does have to wear diapers if she has to be crated for any length of time or not allowed access to outside for any length of time. She doesn’t like to wear her diapers so I put baby onesies over the top of them so she can’t tear them off. Since she has joined our family, Mira has been a constant inspiration and has been a wonderful spokesdog for rescue and for disabled dogs. Her example has saved 5 dogs in the past year from being put to sleep because of back issues. She has gone to two elementary schools as an advocate both for rescue and for acceptance of someone being different.

I am also attaching one picture of Mira in her wheelchair that she got shortly after she got here with me. Now she no longer needs her wheels but she does still need her doggles sun glasses because part of the genetic issues of being a double dapple her pupils do not expand and contract in the varying light and bright light hurts her eyes.

Thank you Terri! And thank you to everyone who entered and voted!
Once again, you can read all about Mira in her blog at www.mirasmiracle.blogspot.com

20 August 2010

Pick your favorite!

Just four dogs are in the running for September's dog of the month. But once again I am glad choosing the winner isn't up to me, because I think they are all deserving of the title and the prize! ($25 to PetSmart).

Review each of them below, and make your vote! Voting closes on September 1st!



Olive is a 10 month old Cane Corso owned by Auston and Molly Sligh! The Cane Corso is still relatively unknown, being one of the three newest breeds to be recognized by the AKC. Being rare also makes them hard to find. Olive was shipped to Washington from a breeder in Kentucky! Auston and Molly write about what made them choose a Cane Corso: "We both wanted a big, girl dog. Auston wanted something that looked scary, and I wanted a dog that looked like a pitbull, but without the stigma. Cane Corsos were the middle ground. She is lazy, loyal and snuggly. I can’t think of having anything else now, she’s perfect for us."


Lloyd is a Vizsla/Lab mix puppy owned by Kyle Crommett! Kyle rescued Lloyd from PAWS and writes that as soon as he saw him, he knew there was no way he was leaving without him! It sounds like a perfect match. "LLoyd is such an awesome dog. He is ridiculously smart. He was basically housebroken the first night I brought him home at just under 9 weeks, and he has picked up basic commands (Sit, Stay, Down) after literally just a few minutes on each command. He is very loyal, and pretty much spends the whole day attached to my leg. He'll wake up from a dead sleep just to follow me into the kitchen and pass back out on the floor at my feet while I cook."

Mira Bella

Mira Bella is a 5 year old Miniature Dachshund owned by Terri VonderHeide! Mira Bella is completely deaf, partially blind and was even paralyzed when Terri flew to New Orleans to rescue her from a neglected situation. Her name is truly fitting, Terri writes: "Her name was Honey when I rescued her but she is such a Miracle dog in so many ways and she is so beautiful both physically and in her spirit that Miracle got shortened to Mira and Bella for beautiful because she is my Beautiful Miracle."

I'm positive that if Mira Bella could talk, she would call Terri her miracle as well. Thanks to her determination and faith, Mira Bella is able to walk again despite the fact that vets told Terri there was no way she would. Mira Bella's example has saved 5 rescue dogs in the past year alone from being euthanized because of having back problems.

You can read all about Mira Bella's inspiring story by visiting her blog:



Tully is a 3 year old Cairn Terrier owned by Jeff and Rachel Bundy! This was an impulse buy that really worked out. Rachel says "It was a compulsive purchase but I am so glad I got her. She is affectionate, devoted, and cute". She is also named after Julianne Moore's character in "The Forgotten", but she goes by a variety of awesome nicknames including Dinger, Trikemaster Tom, Smerf and Danger, pronounced Dang - Er.

The upside to having fewer contestants is it will make your decision easier. Then again...maybe not?

10 August 2010

You are the best thing that's ever been mine

A few years ago I started collecting dog related quotes that I liked. Here are some of those quotes, along with some of my favorite dog photos I have saved overtime...(and do not own the rights to :)

"Only my dogs will not betray me."
~Maria Callas

"His ears were often the first thing to catch my tears."
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning, referring to her cocker spaniel, Flush

"… none are as fiercely loyal as dog people.
In return, no doubt, for the never-ending loyalty of dogs."
~Linda Shrieves

"If you get to thinking you're a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else's dog around."
~Will Rogers

"To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace."
~Milan Kundera

"We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment"
~George Eliot

"We never really own a dog as much as he owns us."
~Gene Hill

"Old age means realizing you will never own all the dogs you wanted to."
~Joe Gores

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
~Anatole France

"A person who has never owned a dog has missed a wonderful part of life"
~Bob Barker

"Old men miss many dogs."
~Steve Allen

"Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault, really."
~Agnes Sligh Turnbull

For the soul of every living thing is in the hand of God.
Job 12:10