Doggy Ice Cream!

A great cool treat for your dog during the summer is Doggy Ice Cream!

I found a very simple recipe, that even I can make, that my dog Nathan literally jumps for joy over!

32 oz Plain Yogurt                                                                                               1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter                                                                               3 Bananas sliced

Blend all three ingredients together until smooth. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.

That’s it!

Now how about an ice cream party for people and dogs?!

Beware of Heat Stroke in Dogs

Summer is here, so PLEASE take care of your dogs!

In several areas of the country, the temperatures are soaring to breaking record highs. Due to this Dog Parents need to be careful when taking their Fur Babies in car rides and out for walks.

Leaving your pet inside a car while you run into a store no matter how short of time, is an absolute No-No!!! Even with the windows cracked, the temperatures inside a car can sky-rocket fast! Here are the signs to watch out for. Remember, if it is too hot for you to walk barefoot outside, it is too hot for your pets!

Image Courtesy of Scottsdale Hills Animal Hospital

Dog fur is great protection against the cold but can be a problem in hot weather. This is because, unlike humans, dogs eliminate heat by panting. When panting isn’t enough, their body temperature rises. This can be fatal if not corrected quickly.

What To Watch For

Excessive panting and signs of discomfort indicate overheating. However, it is important to be aware of the ambient temperature and take appropriate preventative measures.

Primary Cause

Any hot environment can cause heatstroke, but the most common cause is careless actions such as leaving a dog in a car on a hot day or forgetting to provide shade to an animal kept outdoors.

Immediate Care

It is essential to remove the dog from the hot environment immediately and get immediate veterinary attention. Heatstroke can cause unseen problems, such as swelling of the brain, kidney failure, and abnormal clotting of blood. On the way to the veterinarian, travel with the windows open and the air conditioner on.

If veterinary care is not immediately possible, the following guidelines will help. If the dog is unconscious, make sure no water enters the nose or mouth as you follow these guidelines. Also, do not give the dog aspirin to lower its temperature; this can lead to other problems.

  1. Put your dog in the bath tub.
  2. Run a cool (not cold) shower over your pet, covering the whole body — especially the back of the head and neck.
  3. Allow the water to fill up the bathtub as you shower the dog. Keep the head elevated to prevent aspiration pneumonia.
  4. If getting the dog into the tub is impractical, use a garden hose to cool the dog or place him in a pool of cool water.
  5. Apply a cold pack to the dog’s head to help lower his body temperature — a packet of frozen vegetables works fine.
  6. Massage the legs. A vigorous rubbing helps the dog’s circulation and reduces the risks of shock.
  7. Let the dog drink as much cool or cold water as it wants. Adding a pinch of salt to the water bowl will help the dog replace the minerals it lost through panting.

The best medicine is to not allow your dog to get into this situation. As mentioned before, do not leave your dog in a car. Do not take them for walks when it is hot. Do not leave your dog outside without shade or water. Remember, your dog depends on you to give them a good life.

*Heat Stroke information provided by Petmd.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Survive the Loss of Your Dog

During my adult life, I have always been a proud Dog Mom. The heartbreaking part of being a Dog Mom is mourning their passing. Each time was very difficult for me. In the April Blog, we discussed why it is so difficult to lose a dog, but how do you get through it? Obviously everyone is going to experience grief differently. Therefore going through the process of mourning is also going to be different for everyone.

Personally what I have found to help me is to create a memory quilt. Favorite photos can be transferred onto fabric and there is a wide selection of cute dog related prints to chose from. You can notate the number of years of their life using cute buttons or beads, small flowers, rhinestones, or anything else. Their ID tag can even be used on the quilt. Pictured below are a couple of different memory quilts I made. As you can see they are both very different, due to the personalities of the dogs. The one on the left is for Angus. He was very fun and had a silly personality. The other is for Lacy. She was such a princess, and of course I had to use a lace fabric due to her name!

Sir Angus’s Memorial Quilt

 

 

Lady Lacy Marie’s Memorial Quilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can ask your Veterinarian to make a plaster-of-paris paw print of your dogs paw. A small keepsake that is sooo personal and means so very much. If the opportunity exists, it is very easy to create a stepping stone using your dogs paw prints. Just get a stepping stone kit from a craft store. There are beautiful statues that you can have your dogs name engraved on. Keeping it in a special place in your home or garden can bring you peace every time you see it. Placing it in your dogs favorite napping spot could very well bring you smiles.

A lot of people turn to their religion for comfort during the mourning period. This beautiful prayer was written for the passing of a dog by a friend of mine.

“If the last is first,                                                                                                                       and peacemakers are blessed,                                                                                             then your place is at the foot                                                                                                    of whatever angel meets us all                                                                                             when we climb the stairs to                                                                                                     where you’ll be.

Cherubims aside,                                                                                                                    there is no heaven without friends                                                                                whose four legs have walked                                                                                                the rocky roads                                                                                                                              that we have known and                                                                                              stumbled on.

Let the saints                                                                                                                                do their work as well                                                                                                                 as you have done yours.”

~ Jody Serey

Another friend of mine created a mourning wreath (very common during the Victorian Era) and placed it on the front door of the house when her dog passed.

It doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do. Whatever it is that will help you through the grieving process is the right thing to do. The most important part is to not let others dictate to you what is right or wrong. Whatever feels right to you, is the best.

Mourning The Loss Of A Dog and Why It Is So Hard

I have lost three dogs in my adult life, all of which were difficult to get through the grieving process. Even though all three dogs were very special and loved very much, there was something different about Lady Lacy Marie. I don’t know if it was because she was a girl when the others were all boys or if it was because she had been horribly abused prior to my adoption of her. Lacy’s loss weighed heavy on me and still does. This month is the two year anniversary of her passing and I thought it would be appropriate to write a blog about mourning the loss of a dog. When researching the subject, I found this wonderful article which says it all.

It can be harder to lose a dog than a relative or friend — here’s why

By Frank T. McAndrew, Cornelian H. Dudley Professor of Psychology, Knox College

The Conversation

Mar. 19, 2017, 11:10 AM

Republished by Business Insider

dog                   Matt Cardy/Getty Images

“Recently, my wife and I went through one of the more excruciating experiences of our lives – the euthanasia of our beloved dog, Murphy.

I remember making eye contact with Murphy moments before she took her last breath – she flashed me a look that was an endearing blend of confusion and the reassurance that everyone was ok because we were both by her side.

When people who have never had a dog see their dog-owning friends mourn the loss of a pet, they probably think it’s all a bit of an overreaction; after all, it’s “just a dog.”

However, those who have loved a dog know the truth: Your own pet is never “just a dog.”

Many times, I’ve had friends guiltily confide to me that they grieved more over the loss of a dog than over the loss of friends or relatives. Research has confirmed that for most people, the loss of a dog is, in almost every way, comparable to the loss of a human loved one.

Unfortunately, there’s little in our cultural playbook – no grief rituals, no obituary in the local newspaper, no religious service – to help us get through the loss of a pet, which can make us feel more than a bit embarrassed to show too much public grief over our dead dogs.

Perhaps if people realized just how strong and intense the bond is between people and their dogs, such grief would become more widely accepted. This would greatly help dog owners to integrate the death into their lives and help them move forward.

An interspecies bond like no other

What is it about dogs, exactly, that make humans bond so closely with them?

For starters, dogs have had to adapt to living with humans over the past 10,000 years. And they’ve done it very well: They’re the only animal to have evolved specifically to be our companions and friends. Anthropologist Brian Hare has developed the “Domestication Hypothesis” to explain how dogs morphed from their grey wolf ancestors into the socially skilled animals that we now interact with in very much the same way as we interact with other people.

Perhaps one reason our relationships with dogs can be even more satisfying than our human relationships is that dogs provide us with such unconditional, uncritical positive feedback. (As the old saying goes, “May I become the kind of person that my dog thinks I already am.”)

A woman and her dogMary Turner/Getty Images

This is no accident. They have been selectively bred through generations to pay attention to people, and MRI scans show that dog brains respond to praise from their owners just as strongly as they do to food (and for some dogs, praise is an even more effective incentive than food). Dogs recognize people and can learn to interpret human emotional states from facial expression alone. Scientific studies also indicate that dogs can understand human intentions, try to help their owners and even avoid people who don’t cooperate with their owners or treat them well.

Not surprisingly, humans respond positively to such unrequited affection, assistance and loyalty. Just looking at dogs can make people smile. Dog owners score higher on measures of well-being and they are happier, on average, than people who own cats or no pets at all.

Like a member of the family

Our strong attachment to dogs was subtly revealed in a recent study of “misnaming.” Misnaming happens when you call someone by the wrong name, like when parents mistakenly calls one of their kids by a sibling’s name. It turns out that the name of the family dog also gets confused with human family members, indicating that the dog’s name is being pulled from the same cognitive pool that contains other members of the family. (Curiously, the same thing rarely happens with cat names.)

It’s no wonder dog owners miss them so much when they’re gone.

Psychologist Julie Axelrod has pointed out that the loss of a dog is so painful because owners aren’t just losing the pet. It could mean the loss of a source of unconditional love, a primary companion who provides security and comfort, and maybe even a protégé that’s been mentored like a child.

The loss of a dog can also seriously disrupt an owner’s daily routine more profoundly than the loss of most friends and relatives. For owners, their daily schedules – even their vacation plans – can revolve around the needs of their pets. Changes in lifestyle and routine are some of the primary sources of stress.

According to a recent survey, many bereaved pet owners will even mistakenly interpret ambiguous sights and sounds as the movements, pants and whimpers of the deceased pet. This is most likely to happen shortly after the death of the pet, especially among owners who had very high levels of attachment to their pets.

While the death of a dog is horrible, dog owners have become so accustomed to the reassuring and nonjudgmental presence of their canine companions that, more often than not, they’ll eventually get a new one.

So yes, I miss my dog. But I’m sure that I’ll be putting myself through this ordeal again in the years to come.”

In our next blog we will offer ways to help dog parents and dog lovers through the grieving process.

 

 

Healing Gemstones

Crystal healing is an alternative medicine technique that employs gemstones and crystals. Believers of the technique claim that the crystal or gemstone has healing (metaphysical) properties that when placed on different parts of the body often corresponding to the chakras, or around the body to construct an energy grid, that will heal aliments.

Gemstone medicine has a very long history. Stated in Gemstones, Symbols of Power and Beauty by Eduard Gubelin and Franz-Xaver Erni, St. Hildegard von Bingen, born in 1098, “…always used whole gemstones. They were either placed in the mouth for a while or steeped in wine, which was then consumed -naturally without the gemstone!”

Gubelin and Erni also stated that “The Zurich polyhistorian, doctor, natural historian, and theologian Conrad Gesner (1516-1565) was of the opinion that each of the gems mentioned in The Revelations to John (chapter 21, verses 19 and 20) had a special arcanum (secret).”

Despite the popularity of crystal healing, this alternative medicine is not popular with most medical doctors and scientists. There is no evidence that crystal healing can be used to cure diseases because diseases have never been fond to be the result of a “energy flow” in the body. There have not been any scientific studies to show that crystals and gemstones can be differentiated by chemical composition or color to treat a particular ailment. Therefore crystal healing is believed to be pseudoscientific. Alleged successes of crystal healing can be attributed to the placebo effect.

In 1999, researchers French and Williams conducted a study to investigate the power of crystals compared with a placebo. Eighty volunteers were asked to meditate for five minutes while holding either a quartz crystal or a fake crystal they believed to be real. After meditating, many of the participants reported feeling a warm sensation in the hand holding the quartz crystal or the fake crystal while meditating as well as an increased feeling of overall well being. The researchers found that the effects were found by both those holding the quartz crystal and the fake crystal. The study was repeated in 2001 by French, O’Donnell, and Williams in order to add a double-blind component to the study design. Similar results were produced.

Some medical doctors will tolerate crystal healing to a very limited degree. They see it more as a therapy that can induce relaxation which is therapeutic for stress management. However crystal healing can be extremely dangerous or even fatal if it causes people with illnesses to avoid or delay seeking medical treatment.

Authors Note

This subject matter could be easily discussed in much more detail. I wanted to touch the subject without getting into the major depth of the science. I realize that there are people who believe that crystal healing does work. For myself, I look up metaphysical properties out of curiousity and fun. If it gives me another excuse to purchase a gemstone, all the better (Giggle)! In addition to Gubelin and Erni’s Gemstones, Symbols of Power and Beauty, material for this blog was found on Wikipedia and an article written by Elizabeth Palermo for “Live Science” dated January 20, 2015.

 

Treatments for Colored Gemstones

In today’s technically advanced world, all of us should be aware of exactly what we are purchasing in the gemstone world. Treatments, synthetics, and imitations can easily look like the real thing! Consumers need to know about treatments because they can easily affect the price of the gemstone and would also determine how a jewelry piece would be repaired or re-sized. I am going to discuss the different treatments so you know about them, but at the same time keep the amount of science down to a minimum (for both of our sanities)!

A treatment in colored gemstones is defined as any human-controlled process beyond cutting and polishing, that improves the appearance, durability, or value of a gem grown by Mother Nature. A treated gemstone is not a synthetic or an imitation. Those are completely ‘grown’ by man in a lab, Mother Nature had nothing to do with it. There are those that say a synthetic could be defined as “real” because it has the same chemical structure as a real gemstone, but it all goes back to the fact that they were developed by man, therefore they are synthetics. So please be aware of this whenever you are shopping for colored gemstones and yes, thanks to new technology, now even diamonds.

Any reputable and ethical dealer should disclose this information to you willingly. However I would go under the assumption that the colored gemstone you are looking at is most likely treated in some form, which may or may not be known. I have heard (but could not verify) that the amount of treated colored gemstones in the marketplace today could be as high as 80% – 95%!  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides the framework of industry ethics. If you are interested in reading the full description by the US FTC, you will find it in Section 23.22 entitled “Disclosure of Treatments to Gemstones”.

There are ten types of gemstone treatments:

1: Bleaching

A treatment that uses chemicals to lighten or remove color. Cultured pearls are commonly bleached to remove dark spots and produce a uniform color.

2: Cavity Filling

Treatment that fills and seals voids to improve appearance and add weight. This treatment is often found in rubies.

3: Colorless Impregnation

Filling of pores or other openings with melted wax, resin, polymer, or plastic to improve appearance, luster and stability. Commonly used in turquoise and jadeite. Dye could be added to the filler. This would be considered two treatments, impregnation and dyeing.

4: Dyeing

A treatment that adds color or affects color by deepening it, making it more-even, or changing it. Like bleaching, dyeing is done mostly to porous gems such as jadeite, coral, and cultured pearls.

5: Fracture (Fissure) Filling

Using a filler to conceal fractures and improve the apparent clarity of a gem. The fillers include plastic, glass, polymer resins, and oils (Canadian balsam, cedarwood, and palm oil). Emeralds almost always have fracture filling as well as rubies. Due to this type of treatment, whenever having a repair done to a piece of jewelry with an emerald or ruby, always insist on the jeweler using no heat. I would even go so far as to have “no heat” written on the repair ticket. Also if a jeweler offers to clean that piece of jewelry, again insist on no heat. Most ultrasonic cleaners that jewelers use are heated.

6: Heat Treatment

Heat treatment is one of the oldest and most common of treatments. Heat treated gems were found in the tombs of ancient Egyptian kings. Heat treatment is exposing a gem to rising temperatures for the purpose of changing it’s appearance, usually color.

7: Irradiation

Exposing a gem to radiation to change or improve the color of the gem, however it is possible for the new color to revert back to the original color. Sapphires and tourmalines are likely candidates for irradiation.

8: Lattice Diffusion

The penetration of certain elements into the atomic lattice of a gemstone during heat treatment, with the objective of changing or accentuating its color.

9: Sugar and Smoke Treatments

Used on opals to bring out the play-of-color (the multiple colors usually found inside opals), sugar treatment is soaking an opal in a hot sugar solution and then sulfuric acid to deepen the color of the opal. Smoke treatment is heating a wrapped opal until smoke or ash penetrates the surface to darken the color of the opal. Of these two processes, sugar treatment is the most common. (FYI, it is a good idea to soak your opals in distilled water every once-in-a-while so they do not lose their moisture which then leads to damage.)

10: Surface Modification

Altering a gem’s appearance by applying backings, coatings, or coloring agents. The three basic methods are backing, coating, and painting. Backings to gems include silver or gold foils, fabric, paper and even colored feathers. Backings have fallen from fashion and are not commonly seen in gemstones, but are often used in costume jewelry. One gemstone that we do commonly see today that has a backing is mystic topaz. Since heat can often melt the backing, mystic topaz should not be exposed to heat. Coatings include wax, varnish, plastic, ink, and metallic compounds. Painting gem materials is another ancient practice from the Renaissance period (1300’s – 1500’s). Painting was obviously done with paint, but also ink, and nail polish.

As I am sure you have noticed, treatments are used to improve the color, clarity, and durability of a gem. Treatments are not a bad thing. Because of treatments, lesser gems can be treated to become beautiful gems and at a more affordable price, making them available to more people. If it were not for treatments, the industry would be limited to the supply of naturally created gemstones beautiful and durable enough to use as gems. In that case, the mighty and the rich would be the only ones to own them.

Gem Lady Treasures proudly uses natural gemstones, but that is not to say that at times we would use a treated gem. For example, in my quest for locating turquoise, I am looking for a turquoise that has been treated for stabilization (but not color) because it is a notoriously unstable gemstone. Of course, we would disclose the treatment.

I hope that you found this article helpful, interesting, and maybe even eye-opening. If you are interested in even more detailed information on treatments, Click Here to access “An Introduction to Gem Treatments” from GIA. Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is a world renown institute known for its research, education, and ethics in the field of gemology.

*Information for this article was provided by “Colored Stone Essentials” by GIA (11/2008).

The Phoenix Pet Expo

This coming weekend, April 16-17, is the Phoenix Pet Expo located at WestWorld in Scottsdale. Gem Lady Treasures will be there and we are really looking forward to a fun-filled weekend!

We have been working hard to prepare for this event and have a wonderful selection of our unique Leather and Natural Gemstone Dog Collars. We also have beautiful Sterling Silver and Natural Gemstone Necklaces for Dog Lovers (that also happen to match our Dog Collars)!

Bring your Fur Baby and enjoy Fabulous Prize Giveaways for the Two-Legged AND Four-Legged! There is a Pet Talent Contest, Pet Costume Contest plus Pet & Guardian Musical Chairs! Dozens of Rescue Groups for a Mega-Adoption Event, Discounted Vaccinations, Microchipping and Heartworm & Flea Preventatives, FREE Nail Trims, Live Entertainment, Obedience Demonstrations, Learn how to Travel With Your Pet, Grooming, Pet Behavior and Training, Veterinarian FAQ and MORE!!!

Visit Gem Lady Treasures in Booth #238                                                                 (Between the Disc Dogs Course and the Agility Course)                          Bring Your Fur Babies!!!

2016 Phoenix Pet Expo
2016 Phoenix Pet Expo