My Yarloop visit

My Mum Helen and I had a great day at Waroona and Yarloop on Saturday. We chatted to the vet staff (They remembered me from last year and recognised me from my Fireman’s outfit). We had a chat to Robyn about her animals and the bushfire then Helen was interviewed by Michael from the ABC in Bunbury. I hope lots of people who were affected by the bushfire will contact us. We are looking forward to hearing their stories and Mum will take photos of the cute animals.

May Dogs SC 1

Me and a Mate at the Park

We talked to Robyn about her animals and the bushfire, then Helen was interviewed by Michael from the ABC in Bunbury. I hope lots of people who were affected by the bushfire will contact us. We are looking forward to hearing their stories and Mum will take photos of the cute animals.

We will head down to Yarloop again on Sunday 26th June but I might need to stay home if Mum is taking photos. I get jealous if other pets get more attention than me! Woofs from KoKo

KoKo’s Tips on better dog photography

  1. Photograph in natural light.
  2. Inside place your dog near a white wall within window light
  3. Clear the background of any distractions
  4. Use an aperture that creates a soft blurred background.
  5. Put a treat on top of the camera to get your dog’s attention.
  6. Ask a friend to help
  7. Get down to your pet’s level to achieve a  natural view.
  8. Use a squeaky toy, to get some eye contact.
  9. Walk your dog first to burn off excess energy
  10. Take your dog out for a big walk prior to the photo shoot, to work of fsome excess energy first.
  11. Use fabric to pad slippery surfaces.
  12. Outdoors – A high speed shot of your dog running can be dramatic. You will need an assistant to hold your dog until you are ready to call “come”

What to do if I eat chocolate?

Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which in larger amounts is especially dangerous because pets can’t break it down and eliminate it the same way humans can. It can build up to toxic concentrations and cause multi-organ disease and failure if not treated properly.

What symptoms will you see if your doggie mate eats chocolate this Easter?

Symptoms will occur from four to 24 hours after your pet has eaten chocolate and will vary depending on the amount of chocolate (theobromine) your dog has eaten. Dr Lui says, ” theobromine mainly affects the heart, central nervous system, and kidneys. Theobromine is a toxin that links to hyperactivity. Death can occur.”

Symptoms of eating chocolate are:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Muscle tension, incoordination
  • Increased heart rate
  • Blood in vomit
  • Tremors,
  • Seizure
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea.

KoKo’s personal tale about chocolate

If I eat chocolate, then you need to take me to the vet. The doctor will force charcoal down my throat and make me throw up (just like they did when I ate a blowfish!). They may also give intravenous fluids (a drip), medication to control heart rate, blood pressure and seizure activity.
“I WILL NOT EAT CHOCOLATE” I keep repeating this phrase if I find my Mum Helen’s stash. I do not want to sit on newspaper and be made to throw up. Sadly I know from experience that if I find a special treat I will forget all the vet’s warnings. So I keep reminding myself “I WILL NOT EAT CHOCOLATE.”
Luckily, with prompt intervention and treatment, even in dogs that have eaten large amounts of chocolate, the prognosis for a poisoned dog is usually good. If you thick that your pet has eaten chocolate, contact your nearest Vet urgently for treatment.
Edited from Greencross Vets <foryour@pethealth.greencrossvets.com.au>

It is my Birthday!

Time for a yummy sausage sandwich in my park. My Mum spoils me!

I shared some with my doggie mates, then did my tricks for the kids. They all sang Happy Birthday KoKo.

They all sang Happy Birthday KoKo.

I am eleven years old but still sprightly. Woofs to all KoKo

Dogs at Leighton Beach NY Day

There were lots and lots of doggies playing on the beach on New Year’s Day. I had a little swim and a long walk. I was so hot I tried to sneak into someone’s blue tent for some shade. Of course, I also conned some girls into giving me pats! That’s me in the last photo. It was a fun morning. Woofs from KoKo

 

Black Dog Poems by KoKo and Helen

Depression

Every year in Australia about a million adults and a hundred thousand young people live with depression.  They live in a darkness that blocks them from feeling life’s happiness and joy.

Despite my being a dog, I understand a lot more about depression than most people. My Human Mum has spent a lot of her life struggling against its pull.

Mum told me one day that it was the main reason she searched for a happy little white dog to share her life. One who could help her keep the black dog at bay. She had no idea at that time that I would become such a vital part of her living. She depends on me for love, loyalty and laughter. I make her get up in the mornings and take me for a walk. She has to give me cuddles and take me to the park. I keep her from thinking too much.

At times I can see the big black dog’s shadow swamping Mum’s feelings. I can sense she feels his weight dragging her down. Other days she walks slowly as if struggling in deep mud. I know that he has hold of her and is trying to drag her backwards. On the very bad days, the Black Dog even tries to suffocate her and she cannot get out of bed.

When I heard people referring to depression as the “Black Dog” I thought it was a strange way to describe an illness. It gave my black dog friends a bad name. Now that I am older I realise it is a good term for some people to use. To them, depression is like their feelings are being swamped by an enormous furry blanket. It blocks light and weighs them down. It even follows them around persistently, just like a dog does to its owner.

My Mum Helen wrote some of these poems. As I am only ten years old my Mum had to help me to write the poems I told her. I would like humans who might be feeling suffocated by the Black Dog to understand that they are not alone. Please don’t be afraid to share your story.

Please don’t be afraid to share your story.

Black Dog Poem 1 – by Helen Potter

Black dog, Black dog

You give me such a fright

Creeping darkly into my sleep

Disrupting my calm night

 

You yap at my ankles

And nip at my heels

You surround me always

With no care how I feel

 

When I hear your deep growl

And your too familiar yelp

I know that once again

I’m going to need someone’s help

 

 Why do you keep returning

And causing me such pain?

Do you know how sad I feel
When you flatten me again?

 

You stop me from being

The kind person I am

You stop me from living life

And leave me feeling damned

 

Other dogs are full of love

And give so much

But I tremble and shake

At your slightest touch

 

Black dog, Black dog

You’re an awful hound

I wish for you, there was

A ranger and a pound!

 

Black Dog Poem 2– by KoKo ShakesPaw

My role as my Mum’s carer

is to keep her warm

Using my happy smile and love

to help her weather the storm  

 

It’s a continual fight against depression

But we always do it together

I make her get up out of bed

To walk me in any weather

 

I am Mum’s carer

And I love her to bits

She shows she loves me too 

by feeding me treats

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Black Dog Poem 3 – by Helen Potter

I’ve learned to like dogs at last

now that I’m no longer young

But there is one I wish would leave

Because he blocks my moon and sun

 

This bad Black dog says

He plans to sit and stay

How I wish so deeply

He would just go away

 

He does not care

That I’m crying and sad

He makes me feel low

And that I’m going mad

 

He nips at my heart

And bites at my soul

When he is around

I cannot be whole

 

Oh, how I wish the Black dog

Would find another home

Or get lost in the fog

And leave me alone

 

Black Dog Poem 4 – by KoKo ShakesPaw

I am my Mum’s carer

And her funny clown

I give her love and comfort

When she is falling down

 

I don’t ask her why

She feels so bad

I just sit by her side

Until she is less sad

 

My needs are important

I have to be fed

No matter what

I’ll not let her stay in bed

 

Black Dog Poem 5 – by KoKo ShakesPaw

Depression stalks people

When they are already down

The Black dog weighs so much 

His heaviness causes a frown

 

He grabs hold of black thoughts

And chucks them round your head

Round and round in a circle

Until you wish you were dead

 

He squashes your chest

So that you cannot breathe

Oh someone please help us

It is your strength that we need

 

 Seek help and someone to talk to at:

With love and Woofs from

Helen and KoKo

It’s summer – please keep us doggies cool

Tips to Keep Your Dog Cool (courtesy of Wembley Vet Clinic)

  • Fresh water and shade are the most important things to provide relief from the heat.
  • Have 2 or more water bowls around the house in case one is knocked over.
  • Try filling small plastic paddling pools with fresh water.  Some dogs love to have a dip in the heat of the day and cool off.
  • Fill soft drink bottles with water and freeze them overnight then put it in the dog kennel.
  • Dogs will love to lay on them or lick them to keep cool
  • Hair cuts can also help to keep you long haired pets cool.  shaved to get rid of their thick coats
  • Dogs and cats cant sweat through the skin – only the pads on the feet and dogs pant to cool down
  • Fill up an ice cream container with water and add a little Vegemite to flavour it.  Pop in 1-2 dog treats.  Freeze overnight and then give it to your dog in the middle of the day – they love to lick the ice and will help keep them occupied.
Koko cool drink at the beach

Koko cool drink at the beach