Dogs Get Skin Cancer Too

Dogs Get Skin Cancer Too

Although I’ve been a dog owner my whole life, it’s never occurred to me that my dogs needed protection from the sun.  If it’s never occurred to you either – dogs get skin cancer too.  I recently learned this first-hand, and now I want other dog owners to be aware.


My Vizsla Lucy loves to sunbathe, and a few weeks ago I noticed some odd spots on her abdomen.  At first they looked like tiny bruises, but over time transformed to look  more like moles (but bloody in color).  My vet recommended that we remove them, so we scheduled surgery and had the spots sent off for testing.  When they called with the lab results, I was told that Lucy’s tumors tested positive for skin hemangiosarcoma.  I was glad to know that removing the spots was action enough to remove the cancerous cells, but now I have to protect her from the sun to prevent more spots… and now my little redhead is wearing doggy sunscreen (welcome to the club, Lucy).  Yes, you read that correctly, Dog Sunscreen is a thing.

If your dog “sunbathes” belly-up like my Lucy, you might consider getting some, as the tummy is particularly sensitive to excessive UV light.  The skin that’s most important to protect is anything light-colored – like a nose, ears, or the soft underbelly/inner thigh area.

Please note:  If you’re going to protect your dog with sunscreen, it’s important to know that you CANNOT use sunscreen made for humans.  Most of them contain zinc oxide, which is toxic to dogs.

dog sunscreenBarque is proud to now stock the only FDA compliant dog sunscreen formula.  It’s easy to apply, non-greasy and dries quickly, so even if your pet licks the applied area, it won’t harm them.  This sunscreen is also water and sweat resistant, which makes it great for beach or lake dogs.  Maufacturer’s instructions recommend that you apply the sunscreen every 2-4 hours if the pet is outside or is in the water for more than 80 minutes.  This sunblock is ideal for Boxers, Bull Dogs, Pit Bull Terriers, Bichons, Poodles, Schnauzers, Dobermans, Retrievers and any pups who like to sun belly-up.  Get yours today in-store or on our website.

{You can see this product featured on the TODAY show here.}



How to Make a Dog Tuxedo

How to Make a Dog Tuxedo

To get your pup red carpet ready, you will need:

– a white button-up shirt (I got mine in the Men’s section at Goodwill for $3 – just make sure the neck opening is clsoe to your dog’s neck size)

– scissors

– stapler

– black permanent marker

– bow tie with elastic (from a party store for just a few bucks)


Use the scissors to cut the collar and cuffs off the sleeves.


Then use the cuff to test the size of your dog’s “wrist”(make sure it’s still large enough to slide over their paw), folding it over and then removing it from your dog. Staple the cuffs in place, being sure to staple from the INSIDE so the sharp part of the staple will point away from your dog.


Take a permanent marker and color in the buttons.


Wrap the bow tie around the neck of the collar with the elastic on the inner crease, so the collar flap folds over it. Gently place the collar on your dog’s neck. DO NOT button the collar – you want it to fit loosely around their neck (and the elastic should hold it in place anyway).


Linus didn’t mind trying his on one bit. Ha!


Once you’re ready, slide the cuffs over the front paws. Then take a picture (or 83, if you so choose) of your dapper pup.


Happy New Year’s Card

Happy New Year’s Card

This year I had grand ideas for doing a “frozen” themed holiday card – pretty powder blue envelopes with silver glitter liners… a pic of the pups in the frosty snow…  Well, nature had other things in mind – like a 70 degree Christmas day and a record-setting blizzard the next!  So while I was waiting to get my “snow shot”, I had to improvise with a New Year’s card instead of a Christmas card.

A few props from the party store and a photo shoot later with the pups, I was actually glad it worked out this way – it was fun – despite the fact that Linus was scared of the balloons.

Can you spot the cans of soup?  Those were my secret for keeping the mylar balloons in place – I photoshopped them out of the card later.

… Aaannndd the aftermath looked like an actual party happened.

Happy St.Patrick’s Day

Happy St.Patrick’s Day

Happy St.Patrick’s Day from me and my little redheads!

(I can’t even tell you how many tries it took to get a shot where Linus wasn’t trying to eat the hat off of Lucy’s head!  I guess I got lucky!)

linus and lucy st pats sm

May there always be work for your hands to do.

May your purse always hold a coin or two.

May the sun always shine on your windowpane.

May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.

May the hand of a friend always be near you.

May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

– Irish Blessing

Wishing you all the best of luck (and blessings)… and for your dogs, an extra treat or two!

Home (and Heart) Expansion

Home (and Heart) Expansion

As life would have it, we are once again a home with three redheads.  It all happened quickly, but already it’s been a blessing.  To be honest, I wasn’t sure that I was ready for another pupalup, but I’ve known for awhile now that Lucy has been needing that kind of companionship.

I already knew that I wanted a golden retriever (because I didn’t have the heart for another lab, and goldens are the next best thing), so over Christmas I looked into Golden Retriever Rescues.  There were lots of great-looking dogs, but none of them  “spoke” to me.  I just couldn’t get excited about the adoption process.

Then I saw my next furbaby in a photo on Facebook, and I knew he was the one.  I think it was Divine Intervention that he was in the shelter, and that I saw him online, AND that I was able to adopt him so quickly.  (In shelter on Friday, adopted on Monday, home on Tuesday.)

We were happy to have him join our little home, but for him it was a pretty traumatic week.  From the shelter to being adopted, to getting neutered, adjusting to Lucy and I, me leaving for Market and dad dog-sitting for the weekend… By the end of the week (of course while I was gone), he had stopped eating and dad had to take him to the vet twice.  When I got home, one barium treatment and one stomach exploratory surgery later, we discovered that his GI tract had stopped working completely.  They said it could have been inflamed from stress.  So he had two major surgeries within a week, the poor fella!

I’m happy to report that now he is healthy, happy and playful puppy!  He’s still adjusting (we all are), but it’s been (mostly) fun!

The vet thinks he is about a year old and what appears to be full {red} golden retriever.  He is beautiful and a sweetheart, there’s no doubt about it.  He is also a chewer and thief, but we’re working on that.   My favorite thing is that he smiles – all the time – it warms my heart.

Speaking of the heart, I’ll admit that I was caught off-guard by how little capacity I thought I had to love this “new dog”… and surprised by how much my heart has expanded to include him.  (Just like the Grinch’s heart!)  I didn’t think I was ready, but now that he’s mine, he has a piece of my heart too.  And that’s a good thing (for both Lucy and I).

All that to say… our home (and hearts) have expanded by four feet!

Friends, meet Linus!  Of course this occasion calls for an adoption announcement…

linus announcement sm


{BTW, the name Linus was my brother’s idea – he’s clever like that!}

We’re looking forward to lots of fun with Linus in the future!  Just search for #ohlinus and #redlucyandlinus on Instagram




Happy Wednesday, friends!