Category Archives: Uncategorized

Flicker of light

This is a lovely thought for a Sunday morning…

Love your dog

I know that I can bring a smile to someone’s face just being me. Problem is when people are alone with their thoughts it is hard to find the light in the darkness. We live in a small community. I hear people say hello to Momwithoutpaws even if she does not know them. When she went down state to take care of Riley while my Niecewithoutpaws was being born, Momwithoutpaws said it was harder to find that flicker of light in the darkness. There were 100 times more people. Everyone busy with their own thoughts and tasks of the day.

Be sure you are that flicker of light in the darkness. Someone out there is looking for the flicker.

Fred be the light

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Favorite Video Friday – Seek peace, walk your dog

I really liked the thought and sentiment behind this blog post and the peaceful dog video attached. I hope you do too.

No Dog About It Blog

The last couple of days have been filled with sadness and anger and fear. I am saddened by the loss of life. I am angry that so much harm has been done and that we seem to be beyond communicating with one another. I am heartbroken that so many families are grieving today.

On days like today, I need to get away and walk with my dogs. I need to think, process what has happened. I need to be in nature. That’s why I chose this video for today. I am hoping it brings you the zen I seek as I head out today.

Be thoughtful. Be safe. Be kind.

Daybreak – HD from Steven Dempsey on Vimeo.

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I don’t understand…

I often chat with my human clients (the ones who pay the bills) when working on their dog. This week, one my clients and I were chatting about her dog’s nutrition plan.  She mentioned that her neighbor was feeding a cheap food that wasn’t balanced.  And more importantly, he didn’t seem to care.

She said “I don’t understand why people get dogs, say they love them, and then don’t bother to feed a quality food.”

I, of course, agreed.

And then I got to thinking about the other things I don’t understand:

  • I don’t understand why some people get a dog and then never let it live inside the house with them and their family.
  • I don’t understand why dog owners think ‘cheap’ anything is appropriate for their dog’s health and well-being.
  • I don’t understand why people adopt puppies and then don’t take them to puppy training classes.
  • I don’t understand why people adopt older dogs and don’t invest the time to train them.
  • I don’t understand why anyone things it’s okay to hit a dog, or neglect it.
  • I don’t understand why some dog owners don’t take their dog out for daily exercise and enrichment.
  • I don’t understand why some people don’t accept their lifetime responsibility to their animal.
  • I don’t understand why people don’t spay or neuter their dog (and then some put it up for adoption and expect the new owner to do it).
  • I don’t understand why some people have children and then say they have to re-home their dog because they are too busy – the dog was there first.
  • I don’t understand why, when their dog is in pain or injured, the owner goes onto Facebook for advice rather than taking their dog to the vet (with urgency).

Daisy in sunshine 2014IMG_0577

I have been lucky enough to have some incredible dogs in my life (above are Daisy (now deceased) and Izzy (my retired racing greyhound).  I proudly say that they have always come first.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Doggy quote of the month for May

“What do dogs do on their day off?  Can’t lie around – that’s their job!”

-George Carlin, comedian

Sid on sofa

Sid the Greyhound, photo by John Visser

The Golden Retriever obedience fail

This video is a couple of years old; but to me it shows the best in owners who compete in events like obedience and agility.

In this obedience test, the dogs run a gauntlet of diversions including treats and toys.  Their goal is to focus on their handler and reach the end – quickly.

You will see that the first two dogs manage this test fairly successfully.  And then it is the Golden Retriever’s turn…

What I like is that the owner doesn’t yell or visually get upset or angry. She encourages her dog to reach the end of the competition.

And then everyone celebrates!

It breaks my heart to attend competitive events when the owners/handlers are angry or upset with their dogs when they don’t perform.  Dogs, like us, have bad days.  I have even met owners who say they know their dog doesn’t like competitions, but he/she does it because that’s what the owner wants.

My recommendation is that you and your dog take part in things that give you joy – and in this Golden Retriever’s case – he clearly shows he’s enjoying life and having fun.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand




Greyhounds, it seems, like to sleep with their mouths open.   And their owners like to take photos of their hounds showing off their ‘teefs’ – photos that are shared on Facebook groups involving greyhounds (I follow several)…

Greyhound front teeth by Elizabeth Anne Dodd

A sleeping greyhound shows off their front teefs (Photo by Elizabeth Anne Dodd)

So I’ve used these photos as an inspiration.  How much do you know about your dog’s teeth?

greyhound front teeth upside down by Gill Vernon

An upside down sleeping Greyhound, again showing off the front teefs (Photo by Gill Vernon)

Let’s look at a diagram of an adult dog’s teeth:


Adult dog teeth diagram

An adult dog’s teeth (diagram courtesy of the Merck Vet Manual)

The dog has 6 incisors on the upper and lower jaws that are used for grasping.

Of the famous “canine teeth” there are only 2 each on the upper and lower jaws.  Their main function is tearing.

There are 8 premolars on the upper and lower jaw and their main function is grinding.  There are 4 molars in the upper jaw and 6 on the lower jaw.  These teeth also have a grinding function.

The best way to keep your dog’s teeth healthy is to feed a nutritious diet.

I am a big support of regular teeth brushing, too. (see my blog post on Brushing your dog’s teeth)

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand


Obituary: Fidele of Bruges


Fidele of Bruges

Fidele, the Golden Labrador who lived at the Bed and Breakfast Coté Canal and made a small appearance in the film In Bruges, passed away in early February at the age of 12.

His owner, Caroline Van Langeraert, has said that Fidele became an icon, with tourist boats along the canals stopping so tourists could take photos of him in his regular resting space at the window of the bed and breakfast.  He is irreplaceable.

Many tourists will have photos and videos of Fidele in his spot at the window, as seen here in YouTube.

It is always sad to see our dog friends leave; particularly so when they share our businesses and our customers know them well.  (Apparently, one US tourist asked to book into the bed and breakfast specifically because she had heard about Fidele.)


Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand