Tag Archives: Oregon

Diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer in dogs

Veterinary researchers at Oregon State University have identified a unique group of proteins that indicate the presence of transitional cell carcinoma – the most common cause of bladder cancer – and may lead to a new assay which could better diagnose this disease in both dogs and humans.

Photo by Shay Bracha, Oregon State University

Photo by Shay Bracha, Oregon State University

Sheepdogs, collies, and terriers seem particularly susceptible to this type of cancer.  By the time the cancer is diagnosed, it is usually too late to save the dog’s life.

An improved assay to detect this serious disease much earlier in both animals and humans should be possible, scientists said, and may even become affordable enough that it could be used as an over-the-counter product to test urine, much like a human pregnancy test. Some of the work may also contribute to new therapies, they said.

“Research of this type should first help us develop a reliable assay for this cancer in dogs, and improve the chance the disease can be caught early enough that treatments are effective,” said Shay Bracha, an assistant professor in the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine.

Source:  Oregon State University media statement


Beer for dogs?

I seem to be developing a theme of late…it started with my posts about dogs in the world of wine.  Closer to home, those who have joined Canine Catering on Facebook know that we are having a bit of a argument in the local media about  dogs being allowed in outdoor cafes and bars.  Yes – believe it or not – that’s the state of play here when it comes to dog-friendly establishments – so many just haven’t tapped the market for the dog owner.

And now…this post is about beer for dogs.  Dawg Grog.  It’s made in Bend Oregon by a beer lover named Daniel Keeton who is also passionate about his pooch, Lola Jane.  Since Daniel works in a brew house named the Boneyard Brewery, he wanted Lola Jane to be able to share in his work.

Dawg Grog is a brew using the Boneyard Brewery’s malted barley water, glucosamine and organic vegetable broth.  It can be served as a treat or over food.  It’s available in all 50 US states.  A six-pack is $36.
I’m really impressed by the ingredients used in this product and it’s encouraging to see dog owners continuing to find ways of caring for their dogs and involving them in their everyday work.

Here’s a good YouTube video about Daniel’s invention:

The story behind Blind Dog Wines

Since my last blog post, I’ve received a lovely email from Kelly at Écluse Wines.  She thought my readers should know the story behind the wine and wanted to make sure everyone could see a picture of their wine label.

Blind dog, Toby, with a bottle of Blind Dog Wine

Blind dog, Toby, with a bottle of Blind Dog Wine

The Saga began in 1996 when our 30 acre vineyard on the Westside of the Paso Robles appellation was planted.  Our property caretaker, Duane Robinson, lived on the property with Bingo, his longtime, faithful companion who, due to glaucoma, was blind.  They were simpatico companions as Bingo would bark to alert Duane, who was very hard of hearing and Duane would be Bingo’s eyes.  In 1998 Bingo had aged.  We searched for a true assist dog for Duane and found Dogs for the Deaf in Oregon.

They are a terrific organization that rescues dogs and trains them as assist dogs.  After passing the application process, Duane was matched with Toby.  She was a great help to Duane as his hearing assist dog and a wonderful addition to the vineyard.  As Toby aged we discovered she was a diabetic.  In the summer of 2008 Toby lost her sight – a true irony to have two blind dogs on the property and especially for Toby, since she was an assist dog.  But as with Bingo, nothing deters Toby from enjoying life amongst the vines!

We were inspired by these two special vineyard dogs and our Blind Dog Midnight Run Cuvee is a tribute to them.  Their happy wagging tails exuded their love of life and a determined spirit showing everyone that they would not be deterred by their handicap.

In their honor, a percentage of our proceeds will be donated to Dogs for the Deaf in Central Point, Oregon.

Vino Fido – the world of wine and dogs

Dogs feature in a range of wines and vineyards across the world.  As we are starting off a new year, I’m toasting the innovative ways wine makers have chosen to feature dogs.

I’ve been interested in wine labels portraying dogs since 2007, when I launched Canine Catering.  The launch was combined with a birthday party for Daisy and I bought some red wine from the local supermarket called ‘Dog Box Red.’  It had a cute picture of a dog on the label and was very appropriate to the occasion.  It was also a good bottle of wine.  Sadly,  I’ve never seen this wine again in the shops.  It was probably one of those short runs of wine we get here that are remainders from export shipments.  In fact, I can’t even find the wine on the internet – so it was probably a one-off.

Anyway, at the party we had a friend who asked for bottle of the wine to add to her ‘dog wine’ collection.  Since then, I’ve managed to buy her several other brands of wine to add to it.  I still get looks when I walk into wine shops and ask ‘Do you have any wines with dogs on the label?’ 

Since New Zealand is known for its wine exports, I’ll start here and then look abroad for wines with dogs.

First, there’s Huntaway Reserve.  This wine launched in 1996 and features varieties from the Marlborough, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay regions.

Huntaway is produced by the Lion Nathan Group

Huntaway is produced by the Lion Nathan Group

Hunters Wines from Marlborough feature a crest that has the image of a dog on the label.  According to the company website, the crest is that of the Hunter clan of Scotland, however some visitors to the vineyard associated the logo with Commodore, a St Bernard and then a Clumber Spaniel named Paddy who were owned by the Hunter family.  Here’s a photo of the Hunter crest:

Hunters logo

Then, there is the Dog Point Vineyard in Marlborough.  There’s no dog on the label but the website tells the story behind the name – that Dog Point is an area named by the pioneer shepherds in the area because of the dogs who became lost or wandered off there:

The name Dog Point dates back to the earliest European settlement of Marlborough and the introduction of sheep to the district.  These were the days where, due to a lack of fences, boundary riders used boundary keeping dogs to protect the local flocks of sheep.

Shepherds’ dogs sometimes became lost or wandered off, eventually breeding to form a marauding pack that attacked the same flocks they were meant to be protecting.

Eventually settlers were forced to cull the dogs and the area was named Dog Point.

These dogs lived on the tussock and scrub covered southern hills of Dog Point Vineyards.  This landscape was, and still is, characterised by the iconic New Zealand native plant the  Ti Kouka ‘cabbage’ tree which is also an established feature of the Dog Point property.

In Central Otago, there is the wine produced by Roger Donaldson called Sleeping Dogs.  Mr Donaldson directed a movie with this title and named his wine after it.  He produces Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris  and  Sauvignon Blanc under this brand.

The Sleeping Dogs label

The Sleeping Dogs label


Okay, leaving New Zealand, there’s Longue-Dog produced in Languedoc in the South of France.  This is a wine I’ve been able to buy here and add to my friend’s collection.  It features a Dachshund on the label.

A bottle of Longue-Dog Syrah

A bottle of Longue-Dog Syrah

Let’s head to Healdsburg, California to the Mutt Lynch Winery next.  I’d really like to go there because the tasting room is dog-friendly!

Dogs are welcome at the Mutt Lynch Winery

Dogs are welcome at the Mutt Lynch Winery

The vineyard donates a portion of proceeds from every bottle of wine they sell to local animal shelters and rescue groups.  This vineyard produces a wide range of wines all with a unique doggy label.  Here’s just a few:

Mutt Lynch wines

I can understand why Mutt Lynch’s website says Welcome to a wonderful world where wine and “all things dog” collide into something truly special.

Okay, next on my list is Cru Vin Dogs. This company is based in Colorado and is another socially-responsible business.  It also produces wines with a unique dog on every label.   Each label features an original, limited -edition illustration by artist Jay P. Snellgrove, who is one of the partners in the business  According to the company,  each label honors a real dog that has a special story-a reminder of how empty this world would be without the unconditional love and devotion of “man’s best friend.”

Here’s an example of some of Cru Vin’s wines:

Cru Vin wines

Our next stop is Washington State, the home of Sleeping Dog Wines.  Because the owner always had a dog companion on his life’s journey, he decided to pay tribute to them by featuring a sleeping dog on the label (unfortunately, I couldn’t source a photo of it to show you).

In Paso Robles California is Écluse, a small family owned vineyard.  One part of their range is Blind Dog Wines, where proceeds are donated to Dogs for the Deaf. This vineyard is home to two blind dogs and they have produced this range of wines to commemorate their role in establishing and maintaining the vineyard.  I would have loved to share a photo of their wines, but one wasn’t available.

In the Willamette Valley of Salem, Oregon, Dog Gone Wine is also selling wine that benefits a dog organisation in their area.  (I wish their website would tell us which ones they support!)  But I like the names of their wines.  There’s Poodle Pinot, Basset Hound Blackberry Wine, Pug Bear Wine, and Pomeranian Pomegranate Wine.   All have really adorable labels:

This is Basset Hound Blackberry Wine by Dog Gone Wine.

This is Basset Hound Blackberry Wine by Dog Gone Wine.

We’re going to the East Coast of the USA next to Floyd, Virginia which is home of Chateau Morrisette. Their wines also feature dogs on the label but I wish their website would tell us the connection!

Chateau Morrisette wines

Chateau Morrisette wines

So when you are next in your local wine shop, look for dog labelled wine and let me know if there are others out there to try.  And remember:  wine is for humans not for dogs!

Fences for Fido

The animal welfare sector is comprised of many volunteer organisations.  One special one working in the Oregon and Washington area is Fences for Fido.

This volunteer effort has been working since 2009 to build fences for dogs so they can be released from their chains.  Chained dogs rarely have the quality of life of other pets and are vulnerable to aggression from other dogs who are able to roam into their territory and take advantage of the dog’s restrictions.  Studies show that dogs who are chained can respond in one of two ways:  they become aggressive or they become withdrawn and unresponsive.

More importantly, dogs who are chained are unlikely to have the same bonds and stable relationship with their owners/family.  Many are isolated and live a lonely existence and suffer from neglect.

Without prejudice, Fences for Fido assists these dog owners by building fenced sections on weekends.  Materials and time are all donated and there is also support for neutering/spaying and veterinary care when needed.   The group works to educate families about dog care during the extreme seasons of summer and winter.

This group also follows up with families that have received its assistance twice each year to ensure that the dogs remain unchained and in good condition.

Almost 300 dogs have been helped by Fences for Fido so far.

That’s a special group!

Here’s a video of their first-ever fence building project – for Chopper – in 2009: