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This past week my husband and I celebrated our puppy boy Maxx's 12th anniversary with us. We picked up our Maxx twelve years ago on snowy December 23rd and we've been loving him more and more ever since. We fell in love with him as soon as we saw him. He was a golden fluffy little ball of fur that weighed six pounds, with adorable blue eyes, a cute pink little nose and a crooked little walk.

Our baby's first reaction walking into his new home was so amazing to me, because what I thought might be a little uncomfortable for him or maybe even a little scary, was totally the opposite. Maxx walked in, took one look around and wobbled over to the first object he saw, which happened to be a red kitchen floor mat. Immediately he started wrestling with the floor mat, biting it and fiercely snapping his head from side to side. We were so touched and tickled at the same time that we started laughing. It was so funny to see such a tiny little thing wrestling with a kitchen mat that was five times bigger than he was. We were still giggling at this sight when Maxx suddenly finished, looking so beautiful, out of breath and tired. Then he gathered himself, left the mat in a bunch and began exploring the rest of the house.

We were so happy that Maxx felt so comfortable in his new home.

Maxxamillion having some fun on a cold December day. He loves to roll over and fall a sleep on his back.

What to do with all the snow! We started to pile snow on this planter and before we knew it it looked like ice cream so I got out the paints and painted the snow to look like a sundae. Maxxamillion is in the background.

Happy Holidays! Well it's been one year since Maxxamillion was sent home to die, but our boy is still here with us. Over the past year he has been on a home-made food diet with holistic medications and acupuncture treatments twice a month. Maxxamillion turned twelve in Oct 2007. We keep posting on his prognosis.


Traveling With Our Dog Maxxamillion
by Diana Romaxx.


Traveling with your dog can be a very rewarding experience, but it also means added responsibility on you. The best advice for traveling with your dog is to plan your trip in advance.

Make sure your dog is up to date on all his vaccinations, and get a copy of your dogs medical records from your vet. It is a good practice to always have the medical records when you travel in case of an emergency or an accident. Most states in the USA require this.

One of the most popular ways people travel with their dog(s) is to go by car or recreational vehicle. Before you plan on traveling with your dog it is good practice to first get them used to being in your vehicle.

Our dog Maxxamillion's wonderful car behavior resulted from us getting him accustomed at an early age. We would take him with us in the car every time we went out, especially to the park close to our home. We brought Maxxamillion home at eight weeks old in December, and by the following summer he was accustomed to riding in the car with us.

Be considerate of your dogs needs when traveling with them. A good tip for traveling with your dog is to chart ahead all the hotels in the towns you intend to stop and visit. It also would be good to look up some animal hospitals on your route. We did this on our way to Texas last summer and it gave us an added peace of mind knowing we had the addresses and phone numbers of most animal hospitals on our route. The internet makes this process very easy today.

Another good tip when traveling with your dog is safety, have your dog either in a car kennel or with a doggie seatbelt on. There are many car travel accessories for dogs on the market today.

Follow these additional safety tips to help keep your dog safe when traveling with them.

- research indigenous plant life in areas where your heading (e.g., spear grass in Texas)
- important medication,favorite food in air tight container, treats/snacks, food and water bowl
- favorite toys, some of his towels in case it rains, grooming kit, leash and i.d. tags
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- clothing in case it's cold at night where you're going
- consider including information about flying with pet even though we've never experienced it personally. If the dog is accustomed to car travel, then air travel shouldn't be a big problem
- asking for rooms on lower floors or ground level if you have an older pet, so that your dog doesn't have to deal with stairs.
- ask hotel for designated areas that you can walk your dog if they are not visibly indicated by signage.
- timing the stops at rest areas
- good etiquette - no barking especially at night, keep him leashed at all times especially near other hotel guests, always pick up after your pet.
- Not because you plan to travel, but at any time, the Avid microchip is a good investment in case dog gets separated from you

Find a pet friendly hotel, motel or lodge with online guides. Find pet friendly hotels near your favorite travel destination.

Traveling with our dog Maxxamillion on our annual family vacations has been a very rewarding experience for us.

Traveling With Our Dog Maxxamillion by Diana Romaxx. website:www.maxxamillion.com

Choosing a Pet Sitter For Your Dog
By: Diana Romaxx

Many dog owners today like the idea of hiring a pet sitter to take care of their dog while they go away, but then you'll have to decide--is pet sitting right for you? The pet gets to stay home in their natural environment, and the owner doesn’t have to travel back and forth to the kennel. However, having a stranger in your house can be a little weird—for both you and your dog. So be sure to choose your pet sitter wisely.

Pet sitting has become a booming business these days. Many people decide for one reason or another that they want to go into the pet sitting business. However, once they find out all the work it involves they become disillusioned. Bottom line—you want to find someone who has been doing this for a long time.

There are ads for pet sitters everywhere these days. In the phone book, on the internet, and posted on bulletin boards in pet stores. Ask your friends, family, co-workers and your vet for some references.

You will definitely want to interview some pet sitters (in your home and in person) before hiring anyone. It is especially important for your pet to meet any potential pet sitters in their home environment.

Ask the pet sitter why you should hire them. They will probably say, “Oh, because I just LOVE animals!!” This is fine. But my three year old nephew also loves animals. I doubt you’d trust him to take care of your dog.

You want to know what kind of experience this person has with animals. Do they know how to recognize signs of illness? Do they know what to do in case of an emergency? Loving animals is an important quality but it takes more skills than that.

Get a list of references and contact other people that have used the pet sitter you are considering. Also make sure the pet sitter is insured and bonded. This protects you and your home against any potential damage or theft while you are away. Anyone you hire needs to be a member of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.

There are many companies that have several pet sitters on staff. Make sure you and your dog meet the person who actually will be coming to your house. When you get prices make sure you know what’s included. How many visits will your dog receive a day? Does that include walks, playtime, dispensing medications, getting the mail, etc.? There are even pet sitters that stay in your house overnight while you are away.

Finding a dependable pet sitter you can trust your dog to can be very comforting. That way you know both your home and your dog are in good hands. For peace of mind, be wise and do your home work!

Link: National Association of Professional Pet Sitters
http://www.petsitters.org/

About Author:
Diana Romaxx Maxxamillion's Dog House



Organic versus non-Organic Dog Food - Important Facts to Consider  by Dan Buchman

The basis for good health in our dogs is diet and the key to good health is prevention. The more natural and fresh the diet, the more nutrients are available for your dog's body to use in building a good immune system which will in turn ward off illness and disease. Organic and natural dog food is the best way to start off your puppy's life to give him/her the healthiest chances of long and happy life through adulthood.

The remainder of this article will discuss the pros and cons of using organic versus non-organic dog food. There is a common misconception that organic dog food is more expensive than non-organic (supermarket quality) dog food. This cannot be further from the truth, read the remainder of this article before making that purchasing decision.
Commercial Pet Food -

The first known commercial pet food that came into existence was first known as wet food or canned pet food. Dry pet food, or what is known as kibbles, did not come into existence until the 1950's. We have always been told that feeding human food to our pet was not healthy. Ironically, feeding the wrong type of commercially packaged dog food to your pet can be just as unhealthy. Certain grades of commercially packaged dog food may need to have additional supplements added to the food just to maintain the nutrient level best for a dog's good health. The exception is with the use of high-quality natural and organic dog foods. Many of the better of commercial organic dog foods have added these to the dog food making them a great choice for your dog.
Ingredients -

Some of the things you will most often see listed on the label of your non-organic kibble or canned food are different types of grains. Dogs, however, do not fare well on grains because they are carnivores and their bodies were not made to digest grains. The reason grains are added to commercial dog foods is that they are cheap and your dog can survive on them for a while before health problems begin to manifest. Meat is often listed as the first ingredient in commercial dog food which seems healthy at first glance. Unfortunately this meat has been cooked for so long that the nutritional value is gone and the beneficial fats and enzymes are no longer present.

Here are some guidelines to help you make informed decisions for your dog when purchasing commercial dog food:

* Avoid commercial foods that have chemical preservatives such as BHT, BHA or ethoxyquin. Try to choose organic foods that have natural preservatives such as vitamin C, E and mixed tocopherols.

* Try to avoid canned foods altogether. Canned foods consist of the worst junk parts of dead animals, along with poor-quality grains packaged in such a way as to sound appealing. Most canned foods are mostly grains, by-products, and preservatives with flavoring added.

* Try to avoid grains as much as possible. Your dog will have a much healthier and longer life if you leave the grains out of his/her diet. Make sure that grain is one of the last ingredients listed on the package of the dog food you are purchasing rather than one of the first. Always avoid any dog food that has corn in it, dogs have a very hard time digesting corn and will get sick from it over a period of time.

* Choose a food that does not contain any by-products. A By-product is a fancy word for everything that really should be tossed on the slaughterhouse floor and is not fit for human or dog consumption.

* Add cooked meat to your dog's dry food or cooked or steamed vegetables to add flavor.

Be very selective in the foods you purchase and read the labels closely. There are many organic and natural commercial dog foods that are good for your dog so do not just settle for the supermarket varieties. Look at the ingredients and make sure the healthy ingredients are listed first and the grains are listed near the end.
Need More Convincing?

Because the lower-end, less expensive commercially packaged dog foods are usually so laden with grains and other undesirable ingredients, your dog will have more frequent and larger stools. The bigger the stools, the fewer nutrients are being assimilated into your dog's body. All the junk in commercial dog food will eventually take its toll on your dog's body, leading to a decline in health. Your pet will also have more offensive body odor and doggy-breath when fed a lower-end commercially packaged dog food.

If you are planning to use the commercially packaged food method for feeding your dog, seriously consider using a higher-quality organic or natural dry dog food. The initial higher cost for the organic dog food will pay off. In the long run, you will pay far more in veterinary costs and experience more behavioral problems with your dog by feeding him/her a lower quality food just to save a few pennies. Your dog also requires less volume of the organic and natural dog foods because of the higher concentration of nutrients. If you start out with high-quality organic and natural dog food you will save money and have a healthier and happier dog.
Making the organic dog food choice for your pet could not be an easier decision.


About the Author
Dan is an Internet Marketer as well as a dog enthusiast. Dan has researched and identified multiple product/supplier sources that offer natural and organic alternatives for your pet's nutrition to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Additional product/supplier resources will continue to be added to his site as well as important and relevant articles - www.organic-dogfood.com - please check back often.

The Ten Commandments of Proper Feeding Dogs
by: Maxx Rob

In 1985, Professor R. Wolter of the Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire in Alfort, France, formulated his "Ten Commandments" for feeding dogs. These ten rules, reproduced in part below, will help dog owners avoid the most common errors with regard to the practical aspects of feeding dogs.
1. Give the Dog Plenty of Water to Drink

Cool, potable water should be available to the dog at all times and should be replaced frequently. Average water consumption is sixty milliliters per day per kilogram of body weight, or higher in puppies, lactating bitches, working dogs, or in hot weather.

2. Change Food Gradually

Any change in a dog's diet should be gradual, over a period of one week, so the dog's taste, digestion, and metabolism can adapt, and so that its intestinal microflora, which is much more adapted to the type of food eaten than that of humans, can be reconstituted as a function of the new food.

3. Feed Regularly

A dog is happiest when it eats the same food every day, from the same dish, and at the same time and place. The number of meals depends on the dog's physiological state, which should be frequently evaluated.

4. Control the Amount of Food Eaten

The size of the portions given is calculated as a function of the dog's daily energy needs and the number of calories the food contains. Portion size should be re-evaluated often to avoid any decline into obesity, and should be changed as the dog's weight changes.

5. Give the Dog a Balanced Diet

Whether the food is homemade or commercial, it should contain all the nutrients the dog needs, in sufficient quantities and in proportions appropriate for the dog's size (small, medium or large breed), physiological condition (maintenance, breeding, sport), age (puppy, mature adult, old dog), and pathological state if need be.

6. Choose the Dog's Food Carefully

The choice of food is not insignificant. Nutritional balance should be the overriding consideration. There are three basic criteria for choosing the right food for a dog: its age (puppy, adult, mature adult, or old dog), its level of physical or physiological activity (active dog, sporting dog, breeding dog), and its size (small, medium, or large).

7. Use the Food Properly

The manner in which the food is given is just as important as what is in the food. This is why, when feeding commercial food, it is essential to follow the manufacturer's instructions. When feeding homemade food, certain words should never be heard, namely "My dog eats what I eat," "My dog eats what he wants," and "My dog only eats..." Finally, table scraps, sweets, sugar, cake, and chocolate have no place in a dog's diet. (It would be better to give the dog bits of rind from cheese.)

8. Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

Commercial foods offer the best guarantee of healthful cleanliness. Used properly, they present no risk of food poisoning. Open cans of dog food, fresh food, or defrosted food should be kept cold, and dry food should be kept in its re-closed bag in a dry place. If the dog does not finish its meal, the remaining food should be thrown away. The dog dish should be washed every day.

9. Keep Track of Individual Results

A diet's effectiveness, and the effects of any changes, should be kept track of through such simple indicators as changes in weight, the health of the dog's hair, the characteristics of its excrement, its appetite, and its day-to-day behavior.

10. Do not Hesitate to Consult the Veterinarian

By training, a veterinarian is also a dietitian for both sick and healthy dogs. Consult your veterinarian for persistent lack of appetite or bulimia, abnormal weight loss or gain, persistent diarrhea or constipation, worrisome physical or behavioral problems, or any notable changes in thirst or appetite that might be signs of a general illness requiring a thorough examination.

Maxxamillion's Dog House
Maxxamillion is still doing fine to date. After all the food recalls we have come to a conclusion that Maxxamillion got terribly ill after eating from a new bag of Science Diet RD I had just picked up from his vet the day before. He would not go near his food bowl by the second day so we rushed him to the vet only to be told that his kidney showed signs of failing, that his liver and heart were both enlarged due to old age, and that it was a matter of time before we would lose him. He was recovering from his surgery just fine before he suddenly got sick on us on the very day he ate from the new bag of dog food in December 2006. Although his vet of eight years gave up on him we did not.

We want to express our deepest sympathies to all the folks that lost their wonderful loving companions due to the bad food on the market.


How to Choose a Good Veterinary Hospital
 by: Diana Romaxx

One of the most important decisions that you can make as a pet owner is choosing where to take your pet for medical care. One of the best ways to learn about veterinary hospitals in your area is to simply ask around. Inquire where your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors go and if they can make any recommendations. We found our dog's veterinarian through recommendations from our friends at our local park.

Another way that you can search for a new veterinarian doctor or hospital is by looking on-line or through the yellow pages. There will certainly be a lot of listings that will include information about licensing, certification, a list of services, office hours, etc., and although it’s important to look for specific qualities when choosing a veterinarian, location is also a big factor. But don’t decide to go to ABC Animal Hospital just because it’s closest to your home. It's possible that by driving a few more extra miles you could find a veterinarian that could provide you with more specialty services that might even save you more money in the long run.

Many veterinary hospitals cater to working individuals by offering late office hours. This can be a godsend especially if you are dealing with a pet that has a chronic disease or a condition that requires regular check-ups and prescription refills. Some hospitals also offer 24-hour care and emergency services on-site while others will refer you somewhere else, even during regular business hours. Be sure to ask about emergency services when seeking out an animal hospital so that you can be prepared in case something unexpected happens.

Be sure to visit any hospital where you plan to take your pet. While visiting you could also ask if you can possibly take a tour of the facility. Pick up brochures to take home with you such as a price list of sevices offered, etc. You may read information about how to choose the right “doctor” for your pet and it is important to feel comfortable with your pet’s veterinarian, so don't be afraid to ask questions. Remember this could be your pet's veterinarian for many years to come.

The intimacy that a one-doctor veterinarian hospital offers can be very reassuring because when something goes wrong with your pet you will always see the same doctor. However, a one-doctor staff also means that office hours are going to be limited, especially when the doctor goes on vacation, leaves for a conference or an unexpected emergency. So it would be a good idea to discuss these scenarios with your veterinarian. He may have a veterinarian colleague that temporarily fills in for him while he is away or he may offer another alternative solution.

In any event, you might also consider making alternative plans with another veterinarian hospital so that you have other options when your regular veterinarian is not available. You would have great peace of mind knowing that someone else will be there as a back-up in case your pet became ill, someone to call if you needed advice or simply to ask a question.

Planning your pet's medical care takes time and energy, but is well worth the effort, because once you have found the care and services of a good veterinarian, you know that these were the important decisions that helped to provide the foundation of your pets good health and long life.

About The Author


by: Diana Romaxx, of Maxxamillion's Dog House. She publishes articles for her dog's website @www.maxxamillion.com.




Chicago's Paw-master Maxxamillion suites up to bark out the word about Dogs! Save A life Adopt A Pet!


How To Choose a Good Boarding Facility For Your Pet!

Sometimes the most difficult thing a pet owner has to deal with is leaving their beloved companion behind while going away on a trip or vacation. Who do you trust? Finding a place where you know your pet will be happy and comfortable can make the whole experience less stressful for everyone.

Be sure to visit any facility you are considering in person. This is an absolute MUST! Is the place clean? How do the animals look? Are they sitting in clean or soiled cages? If you are boarding a cat make sure the cats are kept in an area that is separate from the dogs.

Do not leave your pet anywhere that does not require him to be up to date on current vaccinations, including a negative fecal check.

A lot of veterinary hospitals offer boarding services. It may surprise you though that this may not be the best place to board your pet, UNLESS they have a separate staff and facility designated for boarding.

First of all, how would you feel hanging out in a human hospital for a few days? No thanks! Hospitals are just that—hospitals. Your pet is not going to have any fun staying in a veterinary hospital while you go away.

Most clinics are not setup well for boarding purposes. The hospital staff is often focused on taking care of sick patients. Chances are, if your pet is boarding at a hospital he will be taken care of only after all the sick animals have been attended to. Veterinary hospitals often are not staffed 24-hours, so your buddy may be spending a lot of quiet time alone. In addition to that, he may be hanging out with a bunch of sick pets. Not good.

However, many veterinary hospitals have a separate staff and facility designated for boarding. This could be an excellent option, just be sure to check it out in person.

When visiting a boarding facility make sure the animals are kept safe while spending time outdoors. They should never be left in any confinement area unattended for long periods of time. I’ve heard horror stories of dogs escaping from outdoor pens while boarding staff was inside cleaning kennels. Make sure all fences look secure, especially if you dog is prone to being an "escape artist

Also make sure that your pet is not given any toys or bones he could choke on. Many kennels have restrictions on the types of toys and treats you can leave with your pet which is a good sign because it means that they are aware of choking hazards.

When checking out a kennel be sure to find out what kind of schedule your dog will be on. How often will they feed him? How often will he go outside? Do they allow you to bring his own food? Can he have his special blanket?

Ask your veterinarian if they know of any good boarding facilities. Often they know the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to kennels in your area. Just be sure to visit any kennel you are considering for your pet in person. You may even want to take your pet along for the ride so he can tell you what he thinks of the place too!

by: Diana Romaxx, of Maxxamillion's Dog House
www.maxxamillion.com


Maxxamillion is doing well with his rehab and walking around a bit more each day. He had a ultra-sound done last week in Buffalo Grove which did show two spots in his stomach area. He is on two homeopathic medications one for his arthritis Traumeel anti-inflammatory and one is Mycelia for his immune system. He is still a big joker and loves to play with his toys and give us a hard time, I could almost see him laughing at us, We love it though! Thanks to the wonderful doctors and staff at Integrative Pet Care.

Maxxamillion Spends some time Saturday Morning in the snow while I shoveled the public sidewalk.

Just a quick view of Maxxamillion's limo (really our family truck). He is stretched out on his favorite seat after a visit to the Integrative Pet Center for some more therapy. It has been below zero outside for a few weeks now. But Maxxamillion loves this type of weather. We just have to time the amount of time he stays outside in the really cold weather.

This past week Maxxamillion went for his third acupuncture treatment and his second underwater treadmill treatment. His prognosis has improved dramatically since he started his therapy. He was able to walk a lot more around the house and around the back yard. He was also able to walk into the clinic and to the therapy room. The problem is he does not want to get up after his acupuncture treatment. I used one of his favorite squeaky toys but that did not help much this time. He can be quite a character when he wants to be. When he doesn't want to get up he will intentionally throw himself to the floor, and at 133lbs. he makes it very hard for me to pick him up.
I have to say that I may have had a little doubt about the acupuncture treatment in the beginning, but after seeing Maxxamillion's improvement each day, it made a believer out of me.

Dr. Julie Mayer, Stacy Nigrelli and Kellee Joost founded Integrative Pet Care. Integrative Pet Care center is a specialty veterinary center dedicated exclusively to the physical rehabilitative therapy, fitness and holistic wellness needs of our pets. The first and only center of-its-kind in the Chicago metro area. Their 6,000 square foot facility features a resistance swimming pool, underwater treadmills, land treadmills and other therapeutic equipment – all state-of-the-art and designed specifically for animal rehabilitation and exercise.




Dr. Julie Mayer and Dr. Kimberly Curtis are both certified in veterinary acupuncture and veterinary chiropractic and have significant experience in rehabilitative, complementary and traditional veterinary medicine. Treatment for medical conditions is by veterinary referral, Maxxamillion was referred to the Integrative Pet Care center by his vet at Portage Park Animal Hospital. The staff is so professional, courteous, caring and loving with all pets. We highly recommend their services. Maxxamillion gives it Four Paws!



They are located at 2520 W. Armitage Chicago, IL 60647
phone: 773-269-2964 fax: 773-269-2934 website: integrativepetcare.com

Today was Maxxamillion's second acupuncture treatment and it went very well except for the hard time I had getting him into the treatment rooms. He still thinks he is going to be left behind, and hesitates going to the vet. When we finally went inside, Maxxamillion was a lot more relaxed. He was very calm during his acupuncture treatment, which just like in humans, will help relieve his pain and build his immune system.


Afterwards, he went to his first underwater treadmill therapy. The 88 degree water was level with his chest and the therapist was also inside the tank helping support Maxxamillion with a flexible brace. He did very well walking gently on the underwater treadmill. This treatment will help strengthen Maxxamillion's muscles, increase his range of motion and endurance. After a few sessions of therapy, We're so happy to see improvements and that he's feeling better. Although Maxxamillion has only received a few treatments, we've noticed that they've really made a big difference. Maxxamillion is actually walking slightly longer distances around the house and yard without any assistance. He has also been more playful in the evenings. We're so happy that he's improving and feeling better.




We want to thank the Integrative Pet Care Center for everything they do for pets. Everyone is so professional, courteous, caring and loving with all pets. We highly recommend their services.

Yesterday Maxxamillion received his first acupuncture treatment. Although we had a hard time getting him into the building, he was very calm during the acupuncture treatment. He'll be receiving another one this Thursday. We'll keep you posted with his diagnosis on this blog.

Hello all, Maxxamillion is doing a little better. But his arthritis is getting worse and he is having a hard time walking. We have made an appointment for a consultation with a holistic medicine physical rehabilitative therapy clinic. We would like to have acupuncture treatments for him, we have read a lot of positive feedback on such treatments for dogs.

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About Me

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Chicago, IL., United States
I'm a mixed golden lab with a great smile and a golden personality, from Chicago IL. I love walks in the park and traveling with my parents. Love Maxxamillion

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