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.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
I have struggled over the past few years, since adopting our little Maltese dog, to get pet clothes and dog apparel that is good quality and fits correctly.
dog t-shirt with a cute fire engine and dalmatian print on jersey knit fabric. (as seen in picture)
I purchased several dog shirts from various "Big Box Stores" such as Walmart, Petco, Petsmart, Target, and a few others. We sat and took them apart and really studied how they were made. Here is what we found:
- Thin, poor quality fabrics.
- Not all seams were properly sewn together.
- The pattern wasn't cut correctly and areas in the seams had been folded over and then sewn together, adding several weak layers of fabric.
- Sizes where smaller then they type of dog they were supposed to fit.
- Fabric was not preshrunk, after washing as suggested by the manufacturer the garment decreased in size significantly.
What does all these mean to you, the pet owner who's looking for a quality dog shirt and spending $10-20 of your hard earned money?
Answer - You will get something that's not going to last and will fall apart after a few washings, or even a few times of your dog wearing the pet clothes.
I spent some time really studying how these dog clothes were manufactured. And I looked at the dog apparel and pet clothing patterns I had, as well as reviewing my own designs. The end result was a re-designed quality dog shirt, that will fit your dog better, uses quality designer fabrics, and are made to last keeping sharp attention to every detail.
Now, when you purchase dog apparel and pet clothes from Whirly Dog Supplies, you can have the confidence that you are buying a product that is of the highest quality, attention to detail makes the workmanship better then the rest, will fit your dog properly, and is designed to last!
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Please Note: Some images are graphic and may not be suitable for all viewers.
Image in the article is of a dog's rectal area abscess that has ruptured.
So many times if our pets get sick we tend to wait it out, which may lead to serious consequences. It's so important to be diligent in caring for your pets and seek medical advice right away if something is wrong.
I wanted to share my story of Whirly, the pet apparel model from Whirly Dog Supplies, who became ill and gave me quite a scare over the past couple of weeks, hoping that my experience may help others.
On Tuesday, January 14th 2014, afternoon my partner took Whirly for a walk on the way to pick up the mail. Whirly stopped to go to the bathroom and seemed to be straining to poop, which is very unlike him. Also, it was only a small amount.
The same situation occurred the next morning. This was quite concerning because Whirly never has problems going to the bathroom. Furthermore, the entire day he seemed lethargic and didn't have his normal "spark" and sweet personality. When I would pick him up to carry him, his entire body would tense and he would push his head into my chest. Upon sitting him down, where ever I put him is where he stayed (for hours). It seemed he didn't even want to walk. I researched as much as I could on the Internet and came up with all sorts of possible causes, I gave him plain white rice (cooked) with water, to the consistency of a thick soup or stew. He ate it readily. I figured I would wait through the night and see how he was the next morning.
I determined that Whirly may need to go to the Veterinarian, so I was prepared to leave immediately. When I took him down to go to the bathroom, he struggled for a few minutes to poop and then toppled over on his side. He just layed there with his legs stretched out, looking up at me helplessly. I picked him up and took him to the vet.
The doctor examined him and she had found a lump in the middle of a large swollen area on the left side of his bottom. She told me that I did the right thing by bringing him immediately to get medical attention. However, she couldn't determine the problem. The lump was soft but when she poked it with a needle, nothing came out, she said it's not abscessed otherwise blood or mucus would have been present. She tried expressing the anal glands but they were empty. The last thing she said it could be was Cancer, however cancerous tumors where usually hard, however it could be the early stages. If it was a bacterial or viral infection it may have been caused by him licking something like a blade of grass or even the floor and then licking his anal region, spreading it, and causing the infection. There was too many possibilities at this time.
She prescribed antibiotics, I took him home, and gave him tons of love. Over the coming days he began to get a little more energy and seemed much happier even though his rear end seemed painful. Monday morning I took him out for his routine "potty walk" and he seemed fine! But as we were coming in, I noticed his entire back end was covered in blood. The lump had ruptured. When I got him inside, I put him in a warm bath and washed all the blood off (carefully) wrapped him in a towel and took him back to the vet.
The doctor stated that it was an abscess and it had finally formed and broke. She wasn't going to do surgery to remove the area infected, she suggested we wait and let it heal in on itself. I am to continue the antibiotics until they are gone (about 4 more days) and twice per day wash the wound with antiseptic wash, along with giving him an anti-inflammatory. The picture below shows the abscess after it had been emptied and clean.
After only one day, you would think nothing was wrong with Whirly. He seems so happy and playful. This puts me at so much more ease. I was so scared I was going to lose him. He is an older dog, approximately 12 years old, and just like people dogs become weaker and need a little more TLC, tender loving care. It is so very important that we watch our pets and observe changes in behavior, diet, activity, and overall health.
No matter what... If your dog is experiencing any problems with their health TAKE THEM TO A DOCTOR!!!