Tuesday, April 15, 2014
My partner adopted an adorable little senior Maltese dog named Whirly from the Oregon Humane Society in March 2011, after I became disabled. I had developed many physical problems due to health issues, causing me to be home-bound most of the time. Whirly was to soon become my best friend and keep me company while at home. This sweet little dog would not only provide me with companionship, but he brought joy and love into my life, that in turn inspired me to design and create dog apparel and pet clothes. I now have a dog clothing business online selling dog clothing as well as other dog toys and supplies at Whirly Dog Supplies - www.whirlydogsupplies.com .
[caption id="attachment_253" align="alignleft" width="300"] Oregon Humane Society's Adoption photo of Whirly
Whirly was rescued from a person on the Oregon Coast along with dozens of other dogs, Maltese and King Charles Spaniels. The dogs where originally used as breeding dogs in a puppy-mill and then became pets, sadly the owner couldn't care properly for them. After Whirly's rescue, the shelter had to shave his matted and stained hair, they had to remove all but three teeth that were abscessed, and care for other skin infections, and health issues. We were told that someone had adopted him but brought him back to the shelter after only 3 months. Unfortunately, they couldn't care for him due to his health issues and all of the work needed for the type of breed. Whirly was so docile and shy, his spirit had been broken. He had never knew true love from a human, he had been neglected and mistreated, and then after being adopted and taken to his potential "forever home" he was returned to the Humane Society just to be locked in a cage again. I believe he had lost all hope of finding someone to love him. One day we saw him online and quickly went down to the shelter to take a look at him. When we saw him in his cage he was shivering and scared, he looked at us as if to say, "please help me". There was another couple there looking at him at the same time, I told my partner to hurry and go tell the front desk that we want to adopt him before the other couple get him. I knew the moment Whirly and I looked at each other, he was the dog for me! It didn't take him long after being in our home to blossom into a wonderful little man. After about a year his little personality started shining through and now 3 years later, he is a loving, playful, and happy little part of our family.
[caption id="attachment_254" align="alignleft" width="262"] 3 Years Later - Whirly Healthy and Happy
Because the shelter had to shave off his hair, Whirly was cold most of the time. Maltese don't have an under-coat, so they get cold very easily and are prone to sunburn. Every time I would take whirly outside for a walk or to go to the bathroom and the temperature was below 50 degrees, he would shiver almost uncontrollably and want to cuddle into me for warmth. I went to various pet stores and purchased a variety of dog clothes; shirts, jackets, wraps, etc. but none of them fit him properly. Whirly was small but the sizes listed for small dogs didn't quite fit and the mediums were way too big, he was between sizes. I also noticed that the dog clothing was made of very low quality fabrics and were difficult to put on and take off. They didn't fit my needs. Whirly was trained to go potty outside, often upon returning from taking him for a short walk I needed to bring him in and take off his clothes quickly. With my disability I needed clothes that were fast and easy to put on and (most importantly) take off. I thought to myself, manufacturers should make pet clothes and dog apparel easy to use as many dogs are companions to people with disabilities and many elderly people own small breed dogs. To solve these issues, I decided to buy a sewing machine and I watched countless hours of YouTube videos, I spent days and months reading and learning to sew, and I became friends with a couple of seamstresses and a sewing teacher at our local fabric store that helped teach me. Being able to make dog clothing, not only helped Whirly out by keeping him warm and happy in comfy but it also gave me something to do while I am at home with a lot of time on my hands.
I studied the design of the pet clothes that I purchased and adjusted them for a better fit. Furthermore, they needed to be easy to use, I chose stretch knit fabrics for easy pull-over dog shirts and dresses and Velcro neck and chest closures for coats and jackets making the dog apparel super easy to put on and take off. Finally, I wanted quality and stylish or fun prints, so I chose great fabrics that everyone loves to create the garments. Furthermore, the great thing about making the dog clothes, was that I was using much better quality fabrics and notions then the clothes in big box stores are made of, as discussed in Dog Shirts, Made the Correct Way.
One day I was taking Whirly out for a short walk and a neighbor noticed the dog hoodie I had made and thought he looked so cute. She suggested I make more of the dog jackets and sell them as a hobby, she said "it is so cute, I am sure they would sell". She sells jewelry on Etsy, TwistedNW, I took her advice and I opened an Etsy Shop as well as an eBay Store. Later, after I started making a few sales, I created Whirly Dog Supplies and opened my own online store at www.whirlydogsupplies.com
I am so grateful to my loving partner for adopting this sweet little dog and to the Oregon Humane Society for rescuing him from a horrible life. He has inspired me and brought so much love to my life. I am truly blessed.
Sunday, March 30, 2014
We recently had to change our dog food because it was no longer available. The manufacturer stopped making it. Our dog, Whirly, is a 12 year old Maltese and we are concerned with his dietary requirements. I wanted to give you a few tips on how to change food with as few as possible problems.
Things to consider is; type of food you are currently feeding your pet, ingredients, and your pet's needs.
Finally, when you do find the food you want to transition your pet to, do it gradually. To prevent stomach upset or an adverse reaction, gradually add the new food to the old food so your dog can become acclimated easily over several days.
What type of food do you feed your dog?
I highly recommend researching brands, quality, and what ingredients your dog food has and then consider the food you are transitioning to. If you currently feed your dog an inexpensive grocery store brand, think about changing to a more expensive specialty food. You will use less, your dog will feel and look better, and you will have peace of mind that your pet will be getting quality ingredients without fillers or by-products.
What is the age of your dog? Activity level? Any allergies or special diet needs?
Many inexpensive dog foods are filled with by-products, fillers, or poor quality ingredients that can cause health problems for your dog. Even if your dog doesn't have any special requirements, it is still a good idea to go with dog food that has holistic, all natural ingredients. For example: deboned chicken (rather then chicken byproduct), rice or potato flour, wild salmon or fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, etc.
Does your dog have special needs?
Understand that puppies have different dietary needs then adults or seniors. Read the Nutrition Fact Box on the label and choose the proper amount of proteins, fat, and other nutrients needed for your dog.
Your dog is part of the family. Feed them like you would any member of the family you love. Their health and happiness is so important and choosing the right food is vitally important.