Archive | April, 2013

How to Repair a Dog’s Torn ACL (Update)

28 Apr

MAJOR UPDATE:  Sheika continued having problems so we had to go with the surgery but it was a major success, you can read all about it the newest post Dog’s Torn ACL Repaired With TPLO Surgery.

Hi there!

I have been amazed by the amount of interest in the first post I wrote about what I was doing to help Sheika (our Akita) recover from her torn ACL. It has quickly become one of our most popular posts. Obviously this is a problem a lot of people have to deal with so I wanted to post an update on Sheika and also some more information about how to help our favorite four-legged friends stop walking on three legs!

First a quick update on Sheika: The restricted activity has worked very well, it has been 11 days since she first injured herself and was only walking on three legs. You probably know what I mean if you have found this page, but in case you don’t: when a dog injures their leg that bad they literally walk on their front legs and hop on their good hind leg and will not let the injured leg touch the floor here is a pic….


It is heart breaking to watch your normally playful and energetic companion struggle just to get around. But the progress has been exceptional for Sheika. She is now walking on all four legs as of about 3 days ago, although with a major gangster limp.

It is important to note that Sheika is only 3.5 years old so I think her recovery time is going to be much faster than an older dog. It is also important to note that for the first 5 days Jany and I were very concerned that she was not getting better, but in walking her I noticed very small improvements day by day. “Slowly but surely” is definitely the name of the game here. Luckily I had my innate male sports knowledge to remind me that most professional athletes take many months to recover from a torn ACL.

So to recap the rehabilitation of our star pup here is what we did…

1. We restricted her outdoor activities to a very small area on the side of our house. This area has a 4 ft. chain link fence on the side that borders our neighbor that she liked to stand up at to bark at passers by. So we put up a bamboo reed fence to keep her from doing that. Click here to see the post.

2. Instead of taking her on her usual two 45 minute walks per day I began taking her on about five 10 minute walks per day.

3. In the house she was often confined into one of the rooms with our doggie gate so that she didn’t feel totally locked in but was forced to relax instead of her usual constant roaming/patrolling of the house.

4. I limited her diet as much as possible, because the more she weighs the more weight is going to be put on her good leg. And one of the biggest concerns for a dog with a torn ACL is that the other leg will tear also because it is being forced to carry all the weight.

5. Normally as part of her regular training I always tell her to sit when I am going to feed her or when we are going to go through the gate to go for a walk. But I have stopped that because the less that she gets up and down the better.

6. I have removed all of her toys, the duck, the warthog, the cow, the pig, the rabbit and yes even the rawhide bone. I did this because whenever she sees them she runs to them and throws them up in the air to let me know she wants to play. This only happens every 5 seconds normally so I decided it was best to remove the stimulants.

This has probably been the most difficult part becuase we love to play with her and she LOVES to play. But I keep telling myself that the alternative, of months of recovery from surgery, would be much much worse.

The bottom line is NO RUNNING AND NO JUMPING. This also means she must be on leash at all times when we are outside even when we are in the backyard, because as soon as she hears someone walking by the house she wants to run like a madwoman to bark at them.

So now after 11 days of this she was finally started walking on all four legs. Of course we are still very early in the process as the normal suggested recovery time is at least 8 weeks of no activity. Once we are done with the next 7 weeks we will decide if she is good enough to ease back into normal activity.

Here is a link to a Vine that we posted of her walking now, you can see the gangster limp but you can also see that she is using all four legs… click here to see the video.

And here is a pic of her standing on all four legs like a champ!


And before I finish I want to refer you to the best site that I found for information on this problem, it is by a guy that had the same problem with his dog and decided against surgery… click here for the site.

I hope you found this information helpful and that your dog recovers soon, just remember to be patient. One of the most important things I have learned from my research is that our best friends will try to show us that they are all better even when they are not. To repeat the professional athlete analogy, think of the player who knows he is still not 100% but wants to play so much that he tells his coach and trainer that he is fine. It is our responsibility as pack leaders to wait several weeks after our dog pretends to be cured so that we ensure a successful recovery and proper rehabilitation.

If you have stories of success from this type of plan we would love to hear about it, any tips or tricks are greatly appreciated.



MAJOR UPDATE:  Sheika continued having problems so we had to go with the surgery but it was a major success, you can read all about it the newest post Dog’s Torn ACL Repaired With TPLO Surgery.


How to Cure Dry Cuticles

23 Apr

I’ve always had a problem with my cuticles being too dry.  It didn’t matter how much hand lotion I would apply or the fact that I wear gloves every time I do the dishes,  somehow my cuticles were never hydrated.  Due to my cuticles being so dry I’ve had hang nails and loose peeled skin around my nails.

I was so embarrassed of showing my nails to anyone when they looked like that so I decided to take action!  I started searching different products that might help with this,  until I came across CND Solar Oil.  The reviews were outstanding!  So I decided to purchase a bottle and give it a try.

After all what’s the worst thing that could happen?  That it didn’t work and that I would end up spending $8.00?  At that price it wasn’t going to brake the bank.

Below you will find a picture of the CND Solar Oil bottle that I purchased.  It has three different oils (Sweet Almond, Jojoba and Rice).

CND Bottle

Start with clean and dry hands.  Below is a picture before I applied the oil.

Nails w-out oil

Apply a thin coat around your cuticles and massage.

Nails w-oil

The oil is infused with a nice almond scent.  Below you will find a picture of my hydrated cuticles.

Nails after oil

After using this product for three weeks I have noticed that I no longer have dry cuticles, peeled skin around my nails and hang nails.  I absolutely love this product and I highly recommend it to anyone that has the same problems that I do.


– I use the product 2 to 3 times a day.  In the morning, after lunch and before bedtime.

– I always wear gloves when I am doing the dishes.  Dish washing soap strips away our natural oils from our hands.

– When washing your hands use a soap that has moisturizers.

– I always apply hand lotion after I apply the CND Solar Oil first, that way the bottle doesn’t get contaminated with the lotion.

If you decide to try this product and you liked it, or if you know of any other great products, stop by and leave me a comment.  I am always looking for great products to try.

You can read more about CND Solar Oil here.

Or you can purchase a bottle on Amazon here.

Thank you for stopping by,


How to Repair a Dog’s Torn ACL: Lay Sod and Put up a Privacy Screen

18 Apr

MAJOR UPDATE:  Sheika continued having problems so we had to go with the surgery but it was a major success, you can read all about it the newest post Dog’s Torn ACL Repaired With TPLO Surgery.

Hi there!

So unfortunately Sheika (our Akita) was doing her usual crazy running around the yard in defense of Home Sweet Sunshine when she stepped wrong and either severely strained or completely tore her ACL.  As a guy the most experience I have had with a torn ACL is when a running back or wide receiver has a season ending injury due to a torn ACL.  So naturally I was quite worried when our vet told us that is what happened to Miss Sheika.

Here is what Sheika looks like when she stands right now, her back left leg is always lifted:


Luckily we have a VERY good vet who is one of the few who cares more about the dog than about making himself rich.  He told us that we have two choices… 1. Have surgery to repair the ACL which would have a lengthy recovery time and has a slight chance for complications or 2. Put Sheika on a 2 month plan of strictly limited activity and reassess her condition.  As we worry a lot about “complications” and would rather avoid surgery if at all possible, we decided to opt for the limited activity plan.

The main issue with the limited activity plan is that Sheika currently has free run of the backyard which is where she does her “business” while we are out.  In addition to the yard being her office, it is also her playground and the place she was originally injured.  So we came up with a plan to isolate her outdoor activities to the side of the house.  This is also where her doggie door is located so that she can come in and out of the house so it is the perfect spot.  The only problem with that is that if we are out she needs to be able to do her “business” if she needs to and that side of the house did not have any grass…

And so began the “Lay Sod and Put up a Privacy Screen” project.  The sod is so that she can do her business (I know you must be tired of the quotation marks by now) and the privacy screen is so that she is not tempted to stand up on the fence to bark ferociously at any passers by…as this is her real job.  She will of course continue to bark when necessary but at least she will not stand up on her injured back left leg.

So we had some experience laying sod and this was an urgent matter so I decided to tackle the job alone and surprise Jany when she got home.  Here is how I did it…

Here is what the area looked like “Before”:


First I used the weed wacker and rake to clear out
the weeds, plants and ferns growing along the fence:


Then I cut down the small tree that was making it difficult to put the bamboo privacy screen up, we were planning to cut the tree down anyways because it was infested with white fly:


Then I sprinkled some Scott’s Southern Weed and Feed on top of the newly cleared area.  I swear by this stuff and use it every few months and a little more often in the summer when the South Florida rainy season hits and I have to cut the grass every week or so.  It does an amazing job at keeping weeds away and helping grass grow strong.  It is hazardous to pets and kids though so make sure you thoroughly water it into the ground before letting the little ones out to play.  On top of the Weed and Feed I poured a thin layer of Scott’s Turf Builder Starter, which will help to set the grass roots and give it a nice head start for healthy growth.


Once I finished with the dirt I installed the Bamboo Reed privacy fence that was only $24 at Home Depot.  It is 6′ x 16′ and should do a nice job of keeping Sheika grounded.  The only tip I can give you here is to have some tie wraps handy so that you can attach the privacy screen to your fence because if you try to do it with string (and you don’t listen to your beautiful fiance) it will take you forever.  Luckily I have Jany to point me in the right direction and it saved me a lot of time:


Then I rinsed all of the excess Turf Builder into the area with a hose and
thoroughly wet the dirt so that was almost muddy:


Now it was time to lay the sod, unfortunately this sod had been sitting out in the sun at Home Depot for a while but don’t worry it grows like crazy as long as you water it frequently for the first couple of weeks and take the time to put the Weed and Feed and Turf Builder underneath it:


I laid the sod in what I call an “orthodox puzzle configuration”…that means I just put them down next to each other nice and tight.  I had some grass that was overhanging onto the concrete so I just used a hand saw to cut that part off, I also had to cut parts for the tree stump that I will be removing in the future…keep posted for that post!

Here is what the “After” shot looks like…

IMG_0492   IMG_0497

Well I hope that gave you some good information, although this same procedure may not work for your particular situation at least you get the idea… if your dog tears their ACL you may have another option besides surgery if you have an area where your dog can get outside and do their business and yet not be able to run and jump.

I will keep you all posted on Sheika’s progress, hopefully it will be quick but from what our vet said and everything I have read we need to give her at least 8 weeks of strict rest to regrow the ligament tissue and then we need to reassess.  So keep in mind that does NOT mean a dog will be healed in 8 weeks but that you should see noticeable improvement and if you don’t you may need to consider surgery.

Keep shining!


MAJOR UPDATE:  Sheika continued having problems so we had to go with the surgery but it was a major success, you can read all about it the newest post Dog’s Torn ACL Repaired With TPLO Surgery.

How to Make Bruschetta

16 Apr

About two years ago I introduced Josh to Bruschetta’s.  Once he took a bite off the first one he was hooked!  To tell you the truth that night I thought I wasn’t going to get to eat my portion.  He kept eying out the last two pieces that were on my plate.  I ended up giving him my last piece, because he would look at me with his big puppy eyes.

The other night we were getting started with pasta night and he asked me to make some Bruschetta.  So I decided to snap a few pictures and write a blog post.

The first and most important tip that I am going to give you about making “great” Bruschetta is to have some really sweet campari tomatoes.  These tomatoes are not your ordinary tomatoes.  To tell you the truth you might get lucky if you find these at your regular supermarket.  I guess I can consider myself lucky because every time I go to Publix they have them.  If your regular supermarket doesn’t have them try going to Whole Foods.  If your tomatoes aren’t sweet then your Bruschetta is going to be boring.  I like to use the one in the picture below.

Type of Tomatoes


Start by dicing your tomatoes into tiny cubes.

Cubed Tomatoes

Cut and wash some basil leaves.


The easiest way to cut basil is to lay one leaf on top of the other (lay about 5-6 leafs) and then roll them into a little log.  With a knife cut the little log and now you will have small strips of basil.

Chopped Basil

Toss your cubed tomatoes, basil and add a few dashes of salt and pepper into a bowl and mix with a spoon.  Let that sit while you cut and butter the french bread.


Turn your stove to high and place the buttered french bread on to a flat pan.  I like to use our pancake pan.

French Bread

Once the french bread is nicely toasted and has a nice golden color to it, transfer the bread to a serving plate and top it off with the tomato mixture.  If you want to wow your taste buds add some shredded cheese (mozzarella, asiago or fresh Parmesan, just to name a few) on top.




– French Bread

– Sweet campari tomatoes

– Basil

– Butter

– Pepper

– Salt

– Cheese (Optional)


1- Dice your tomatoes into tiny cubes.

2- Wash and cut some basil leaves.

3- Toss your cubed tomatoes, basil and add a few dashes of salt and pepper into a bowl and mix with a spoon.  Let that sit while you slice and butter the french bread.

4- Turn your stove to high and place the buttered french bread onto a flat pan.  I like to use a flat bottom pan because the bread toasts and turns golden evenly.

5- Once the french bread is nicely toasted and has a nice golden color to it, transfer the bread to a serving platter and top it off with the tomato mixture.  At this point you can add cheese if you like.

Thank you for stopping by,


The Fair and a Birthday Boy

15 Apr

About two weeks ago it was Josh’s birthday.  The night before he told me that it would be nice to spend the day at the beach.  But when we woke up it was a bit too cold to go to the beach.  Out of nowhere he suggested that we should go to The Fair!  I have to say he caught me a bit off guard…  But it was nice to go back and see all the rides we once rode when we were younger.

Our first stop was the food stand!

Food Stand

Josh ordered a hot dog, fries and a coke.

Hot Dog

Here is the birthday boy, enjoying his lunch!


I ordered a cheese on a stick and a coke.  I have to admit it didn’t taste as good as I remembered it to be when I was younger.  Then again it could also be that back then I was running around the fair like a mad woman, riding all the rides and I had a bigger appetite by the time I ate something!

Out Cheese on a Stick

In Cheese on a Stick

As we continued walking I came across this little food stand.  I was so tempted to get a Sundae,  but I decided not to because I was so looking forward to eating some cotton candy!


Now we start getting to the fun part!  Josh offered to win me a big bear but it never happened…  Well there is always next year!


There were so many crazy rides!

Rides 1

Rides 2

Rides 4

Rides 6

But these two must have been the craziest rides I have ever seen!  By the way did you see how high those things go?!?

Rides 5

Rides 3

After all that craziness we needed something a bit more relaxing and what can be more relaxing than seeing all the animals?

Zoo 1

Zoo 2

Zoo 5

Zoo 4

Zoo 3

Zoo 6

Zoo 7

Zoo 8

Zoo 9

Zoo 10

Zoo 11

Zoo 13

Zoo 12

One last picture before we left!

The Fair

Thank you for stopping by,


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