Archives for July, 2011

Transportation in Japan Part III


Palette’s summer treats diary; July 26th,2011

 These days, I find that many days
are at over 90F in the day, and often times, we get thunderstorms,which makes Palette feel she prefers to be curled up under my desk,placing her head on my foot using as pillow, and she dozes off.

 When she falls asleep, I feel her warm breath on my foot and sometimes, feel her twitching and,it makes me wonder what dreams she is having. When I feel her twitching,I like to see how she is twitching and sometimes, she seems to be running in the dream with ears moving to different directions and, sometimes,she is moving mouth as if she is eating something.

 If I ever could talk with her, I definitely like to ask her what sorts of dreams she was having. It must be a fun chat to have with her

 Since it has been so hot,walkie time is changed, but we do go for walkie at cooler time and often times,she tends to have a short nap after that.

 Palette loves walkie and, after 5 years of walkie routine, she
seemed to picked up the daily routine pretty good. When she sees me
walking towards the poop bag box, she gets so jumpy and excited and she turns around to go to get the leash for walkie
time. Sometimes, she brings it all the way to entrance since she knows that I would come down there later to go for walkie.

 So, I do not need to ask her much that we need the leash for walkie now. If she could learn to gather everything we need for walkie such as poop bag,my shoes,her leash? That would be fun to teach,but I have a feeling that she would give me a poop bag with a hole

“Palette’s treats dairy” series, I thought it would be
interesting for you to tour around our kitchen to see what kinds of cool
down treats she is getting, and share her cool down
treats’ recipes.

give the cool down treats after walkie, after she being bathed etc
and,it is one thing she really will be looking forward to back home from
walkie. She runs to the kitchen and be in the imaginary line for the
cool down treats in front of the freezer and enjoy every bite of it.

am having fun making it with whatever I found and taste it feeling
Palette’s eyes of envy beside me. Believe it or not, some of the random
mix I make for her actually tastes good. Some of the mix are not my
liking though.

you do have interactive chew toys such as “Kong”, you could fill it
with these, although you may want to give your dogs designated area to
chew on

 I know there is a cool down treats/ cool down treats powder sold on the market but, making the cool down treats with real fruits,vegetables etc are much more nutritious than buying the commercial made ones for convenience.

 So,make your own with real fresh food!

 Now, I will pass a pen to Palette
to write her diary here.

 July 26th,

 Dear diary,

 It has been very hot in the day and, big boom in the evening. I can tell the evil big boom is coming over to us before it comes here and,I go to mom’s and curled up under her desk and use her foot as pillow to doze off.

 This is my secret plan for big boom day. If I fell asleep with mom’s foot pillow, by the time I wake up, evil big boom is gone and, I got nothing to worry about.

 The other day, dad was watching weather map to see where/when the big boom is to be, to plan his mowing time. I did not tell him but, I have a skilled nose and I could sniff out where the evil big boom is hiding. My Mom trained me very well with “Find it” game.

 After a while, he pulled out a loud monster that makes my salad bar in the yard much shorter than they were. What was he doing with my salad bar??

 I hoped that he will leave my particular salad bar area but, it seems he brought the loud monster closer to my salad bar! I gotta do something! Save my salad bar!

 I whined loud and ..I got a good idea. I could summon mom to take me out to yard.

 So, I hit the potty bell, and here she comes and took me out to the yard and,I went straight to the special salad bar and started munching them before the loud monster pays a visit to my salad bar.

 I showed my back to the loud monster, never moved an inch and I kept going “nom,nom,nom,nom..” and loud monster decided to visit other area then. Did I saved my salad bar??

 Sadly, later that day, all of my salad bar was gone… BUT, I have one more thing I could do with my salad bar. Last time when mom took me for potty, I have decided that I would need to claim my salad bar by rolling on the grass so others cannot have them. Rubbing my scent onto my salad bar and, big loud monster would not come anymore.. We will see how it works.

 When we go for walkie, my mom tries to make me look good by spraying lemon water over my fur. Is that beauty spray for us?

 I would not complain because I like to be look good especially for the miniature Schnauzer that seems to like me a lot. He whines from window, as we walk passes by and, once we greet each other and when we move on,he whines… He loves to sing a lullaby for me.How nice is that

 Mom says the lemon spray was to repel the evil bug that could get me sick. Whatever it was, I feel beautiful,but I just feel like I need to get my scent back.

 I tried rolling on the bird poop I found on the road,but mom said “leave it” and we kept going.That was the perfect smell I wanted to put on me.. Maybe next time.

 Our house is getting closer and,all I think about now is cool down treats! Yum!

 This time, I have been getting “Frozen apple Asparagus yogurt treats with hint of garlic”.

 Sounds fancy enough?

Frozen apple Asparagus yogurt treats with hint of garlic

 Here is how you make them.

1. To the mixer, add peeled,cooled down 1 clove of small garlic, peeled,cored, chopped Organic Fuji Apple 2.7 oz, steamed,cooled down and chopped Asparagus 4.2 oz, and 6.2 oz of Stoneyfield organic plain yogurt and puree

**.Do not let them munch on Apple core.

** Don’t put too much garlic in the mix just because your dogs love them. Too much garlic can thin the blood and could cause anemia in dogs.

 As I understand it, bellow is the amount of fresh garlic you can give to your dogs.

**Small dogs; 1/4 of garlic clove

** Medium dogs; 1/2 of garlic clove

** Large dogs; 1 garlic clove

** When you cook Asparagus, just hold both ends and bend it. It will snap where you  should cut at. To steam them, pour a little water in the pan,drop the vegetable steamer in, and  place trimmed Asparagus over. Then, set the heat to medium high and start kitchen timer 20 minutes.

 5 minutes before the finishing time for steaming, drop 1 peeled garlic clove over to the Asparagus and cover the lid on.

 Steamed Asparagus with garlic clove..

2. Pour those onto ice cube tray and freeze

** This will be about 10 blocks of treats in ice cube tray with my mom’s. So, with hers, I am getting 1/10 clove of garlic via cool down treats. I get only one cube a day normally. I wish she could give me more though.

** Frozen Apple Asparagus yogurt treats whole amount is roughly about 197 kcal (you can see more detail at website here ).So, each ice cube given is about 19.70 kcal.

Mom wanted rough kcal to be as close to real one, and she used
Nutrition fact food label on the back of yogurt she used. She typed in
the information provided in the nutrition label on the yogurt.

Mom could not find the information on Fuji Apple nutrition,so she used
regular apple nutrition information provided in the nutrition data.

Nom,nom,nom..This is really pawsome!

*Narrowing my eyes to taste the U- ma- mi (deliciousness) *

See? My nose are very wet! It just so.. good!

I got drooly too! Hmm.. Heaven!

Aww.. It all gone!! Staring at my mom with sad eyes..

*You want to give Palette one more cool down treats.You want to give Palette one more cool down treats..*

Would it work for another one? We will see..


Jul 26, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Subway’s:Chipotle southwest sauce (Yassy’s version; Roast beef sandwich with Asian chipotle sauce)

 Now and then, when we go to restaurants, me and my husband find interesting sauce,dips, or dishes and we love to taste them and guess what are in the sauce/dip etc.

 Sometimes, it is easy to guess,but other times, it is quite complex flavor, and cannot put my fingers on,but it is fun to guess what are in the sauce.

 When we have interesting dishes at restaurants, I get inspired by those dishes/soup/sauce/dip etc.. and I like to re-create the flavor with twist. 

 Recently, my husband has found an interesting sauce for the sandwich (Chipotle Southwest sauce) at Subway’s, and I had a sandwich with it and, I liked it.

 After each bite, I  started thinking about what are in the sauce, and how I can make it with my own twists. I think it came pretty close to their sauce, but mine has got more flavor, and it is a little bit more spicier than their chipotle southwest sauce.

 Here is the sandwich I came up with; Roast beef sandwich with Asian chipotle sauce. In the sauce, I have used Thai’s hot chili sauce called “Sriracha”. That makes the sauce more bold,big characteristic flavor.

 The Sriracha definitely gives the sauce a bit zing and has a kick to it. That “zing” is what makes this sandwich tasty. Since we both liked the sauce, I thought I will share the recipe with you.

 Since I had some roast beef I could use for sandwich, I made Roast beef sandwich, but you could make the sandwich with chicken breast cutlet, beef strips etc with same sauce.

Roast beef sandwich with Asian chipotle sauce..

Asian chipotle sauce..

 When I make sandwich, I usually get Italian bread, Semolina bread, Chiabata bread you can find at bakery store. I usually cut the one whole bread into 4, so it can yield 4 servings.  The bread I used for the picture above is Semolina bread with sesame seed on it.

 Semolina bread is made from semolina flour,which often used to make pasta out of it. The bread goes well for the sandwich.

<Asian chipotle sauce>

1. In the small ball, add 1/4C Mayo, 1/8C Whole grain Dijon mustard, fresh lime juice from 1/2lime, dash of garlic powder and mix well

** My favorite brand of Whole grain dijon mustard is by Maille “Old style” with black lid with French flag sticker on. You can find them at local grocery store.

2. Add 1-2 chipotle chiles in adbobo sauce, chopped fine, into the sauce

** Chipotle chile in adobo sauce can be found at International aisle where you find all Mexican food ingredients are.

What is chipotle chile in adobo sauce?

 Chipotle chile is basically a smoked jarapano, and they are canned in adobo sauce made from tomato,garlic,vinegar,onion,sugar,salt, and paprika.

 My favorite brand for chipotle chile in adobo sauce is via La Costena. You can find small cans at grocer store.

** When you did not use the chipotle chile in adobo sauce in the can, you can pour everything into a zip bag,and freeze them until next time.

3. Add handful of cilantro chopped, into the sauce and mix well

4. Add sriracha to the sauce till your preferred spiciness

What is Sriracha sauce?

 Sriracha is a Thai version of hot chili sauce. It is a little thicker
consistency than regular American hot sauce and it has much different
flavor to it. With consistency wise,it is more like a consistency of
tomato paste if you will.

 You can get the Sriracha chili sauce at
International food aisle at the local grocery store or at Target. If you live near
Asian stores, they should carry the condiment as well.

favorite brand for Sriracha chili sauce is by Huy Fong Foods and you can
look for green top squeeze bottle with white letters on. Bellow is a
picture of Sriracha.

Sriracha Chili sauce..
5. Keep the sauce in the fridge until sandwich assembling time.


 Toppings I used are.. thinly sliced red onion, sliced raw red/green peppers, a bit of baby spinach, Angus beef roast beef from Deli counter and Pepper jack cheese.

** Secret tip for the raw onion **

 Sometimes,when you get sandwich from sandwich place, it has so strong zing to it enough to make your eyes watery or nose runny.

 You can reduce the incident by following the steps bellow.This is something I learned from my mother in the past.

1. Slice onion as thin as you can

2. Put them in the Tupperware, and pour water in,stir and pour water out. Then,add water in, lid on and keep them in the fridge.

Thinly sliced onion rinsed in water and kept in chilled water makes less likely to have strong zing to it.

<Assembling sandwich>

1. Cut the bread length wise, cut side up in the toaster and toast it lightly

2. Set the oven “broiler high”

3. In the small sheep pan, line it with foil and place the bottom of the sandwich

4. Smear the Asian chipotle sauce on the bottom, place roast beef, and cover it with  pepper jack cheese (or Montrey jack cheese),put it under broiler and wait till it gets melted

5. When cheese is melted nicely, place number of baby spinach and put sliced raw red onion,raw green/red peppers and put the top on and serve

** If you were not fan of spicy sauce, you can omit the Sriracha chili sauce and reduce the amount of chipotle chile in adobo sauce.

 This sauce would be good for salad, and could use as unique dips for fried food such as deep fried fish,deep fried ravioli, deep fried french fries etc. I can see that sauce could be good with burger too.



Jul 24, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Mental exercise for your dogs

 In the previous entry titled “what dogs can learn from playing“, I wrote that playing is very important for dogs to learn many things.

 Very first play
dogs would experience is when they are still puppies. They play with
siblings and dog parents and learn how to greet other dogs, how to read
body language, how not to bite others hard, and other social etiquette
in the doggy world.

 These things are something we, human parents, cannot
teach them enough, and also it is something playing alone cannot teach
them. So, playing with siblings and dog parents at early puppy hood
becomes first important things in their life.

 Puppies who did not play
much with siblings or dog parents at early puppy hood might have hard
time playing with other dogs because of lack of knowledge in social
etiquette in the doggy world.

Interactive play..

 When they play with us, human parents,it helps build strong bond between us,and they learn the social etiquette in our human world. Needless to say, playing is also a good physical, mental exercise.

 I think that through interactive plays such as fetch ball/Frisbee, tug of war,they can learn impulse control (being calm down when they are very excited and wanted to bark out loud), they can learn cue such as “give”/”Drop”.

 Also, canine sports such as flyball,Agility etc.. are also good mental exercise for dogs,and give them opportunity to let the pent up energy out, have fun with you while building the bond stronger, and it gets them tire out physically,and mentally.


I love bringing the squeaky egg toy back to mom!


This is so much fun!

Can I play fetch squeaky egg game more,mom?

 When we play fetch ball/Frisbee, there is a rule for Palette.

 ** Sit & quiet
before the game – I would not toss the ball or Frisbee if she were
jumping around or barking continuously. Only when she is calm and quiet,
game begins. Also, she needs to release the object in the mouth to
continue playing the game.

 You can read how to teach your dog to bring the ball back to you and see Palette in action with fetch ball/Frisbee game via videos in the previous entry titled “Playing game of fetch ball/Frisbee“.

 With Tug of war games,when I play Tug of war with my
stumpy little dog “Palette”, I pick the tug of war toy,and usually,just
having it in my hands and move around gets her attention. She gets
excited,following around me, and maybe some barks at me. I just ignore
her and walk up to the place where I like to play,and she follows me and
shows her excitement with pawing at me or barks occasionally.

 My rule number one for playing with our dog is that I never start any kinds of play unless she sits nicely
and stop barking. She already knows how to get me in the favorite play
quicker so,she tends to sit and quiet right away to play the fun game with me.

 Once Palette gets sit and gives me
attention and quiet,I say “Take it” and play tug of war but now and then
during the tug game, I say “Give” or “Down” or “Bang!(Play dead) or
“Spin” etc and I give her little treats every time she did her tricks.

 It is, in a sense, like playing “Musical chair” if you will. It is just
my version of tug of war play. If I say ” Give” and if she released
the tug toy,I give treats and then,I pause one second and make sure she
sits and quiet before continuing the tug play.

  When playing games with your dogs or when your dogs got into something they shouldn’t and you would like them to give the stuff back to you, and when your dog did not release the
object in the mouth, don’t take the object away with force, just simply
be patient,say nothing,just gently holding the object and as soon as
your dog release the object,you click the clicker and give treats.

 If someone tries to take objects away with force from dogs, it is in a way reinforcing the bad behavior and possibly the dogs would feel the need to guard the objects from you more. So, don’t take objects away with force. 

Normally, dogs would release
the object if they were offered higher valued item than whatever he is
having in his mouth..

 Practicing “give” with low valued item and up the value as they do better is good way to go. When you take the low item away from them, right away, click the clicker and give treats, and give the stuff back to them and repeat over and over. This will teach them that everything you would take away would not go away completely but will back to them.

 I sometime feed big meal (big meat with bone) to Palette and sometimes,I need to pick up the meal when she ate enough of it. Sometimes I need to take bone away because some type of bones are not edible.

 When that happen, I use the “trade” cue and I trade the meal she was munching on or naked bones I need to pick it up with high valued stuff like chicken feet or duck feet,which she really really loves.

 She spit out the bones or move away from whatever she was working on,and she sits down on the feeding mat,staring at me and I take the bone/meat away as I give her favorite snack. She does not go back to bones or meat to guard them,she is just being busy enjoying her favorite snacks.

 “Find it” game is also good interactive play.It teaches them to use the eyes (sight),use their nose (smell) and, it is a good game for mental exercise.

 There are also interactive toys on the market. I love interactive toys because those type of toys let them think and figure out what to do to get the treats, for example by experimenting the toys with all kinds of methods they could think of.

Palette playing “Hide a squirrels animal puzzle“..

I can see you,Mr.Squirrels…

 Palette has buster cube for example.This interactive toy is a treat dispensing toy,and it is like a plastic square dice. You
can put dry treats/food into the dice and adjust the difficulty of how
much treats/food would come out with adjuster inside the cube.


toy is also good to teach the impulse control; dogs sit,you will place
the toy on the floor, and if your dogs tries to stand up to nose at it,
don’t put the Buster food cube on the floor yet and tell them “wait”.

will try again to put the Buster food cube on the floor and if they
kept “wait” cue, put the toy on the floor and give about a few seconds
or so of waiting time,and give them a release cue from “wait”.

 With your release cue, they can start working on the Buster food cube to have fun.

5 years, her meal started with sit and wait and starts eating with my
release cue from “wait”. She was looking at food I was placing onto the
food mat,and decided to position herself in front of the food mat,and
good “watch me” behavior (eye contact) and kept staring at me and waited
until I finally broke the silence and said “okay” to eat. I am very
pleased with her.

 “Wait” cue is also good one to teach when you take your dogs for a
walk/potty and not dashing out from the house etc.. For you, the item
you will practice with has changed from “food bowl”/”Food buster cube”
to the “door”.

 When I was using Buster cubes with kibble when she was puppy, she had a blast playing with the toy,mentally/physically exercising and using their brain to get it work for her.

 There are many toys available on the market, but interactive toys like this are more than just being toys. Your dogs can experience mental/physical exercise,and depending on how you let them play with it, they can learn other things such as “wait ” cue through playing with the toys.

 You can read more on buster food cube treat dispensing toy in the taste testing entry titled “Palette’s note;Buster food cube treat dispensing toy” here.

 Puppies learn many things not just from the play with siblings,doggy parents, or human parents but also through everything you do with them in your daily life.

Teaching good behavior for grooming..

 Are they comfortable being handled by a vet or you or groomer? Nail trimming,teeth brushing,grooming, bathing…

 It is not something they can learn through the play or just running around the house or resting and, we are responsible to teach them what they need to do when paws,muzzles etc were handled by not just us but also by vet or groomers. You need to teach them how to respond when they are being handed by the vets,groomers or us from early time.

Mom,time for doggy school

 Dogs, just like
human, have sensitive spots. For human, spots will be arm pits, back of
foot. For certain period of times, you probably can endure
touching,poking and all that but if it lasts long, you would become
uncomfortable and would tell people to stop tickling you.

 Same thing for
dogs. If dogs were touched,pulled,hold, poked around their sensitive
areas, they too become uncomfortable and as a result, most likely growl
with low tone to warn you, then snap at you to tell you to stop touching
the area.

 Dogs have sensitive
areas just like us, but they cannot get away with being untouched.
Certain spots such as muzzle area (for teeth cleaning) , paws (for nail
trimming) etc need to be handled by you, by groomer, by vet etc for
various reasons.

 As a puppy, I touched Palette’s paws, muzzle, zillions of times.

Paw handling practice..

 Whenever you are
petting them, keep treats near you, and even if you had no reasons to
exam / touch those sensitive areas, touch them short period of time
(start with very very short second,not holding the paw,just touch.), praise them big, give them treats.
Start with one touch one small lentil sized treats.

 Then,if she were
okay,meaning if she did not pull her paw away from my approaching hand
touch, I then started holding one paw one second and kept doing that
over and over with lots of praise and lots of yummy treats.Then, one
second hold were comfortable enough for Palette, I held her paw for a
little longer and praised her and repeated over and over again.

 And when she was
okay with longer paw hold, I started touching her nail with clipper.
Just touch the nail, click the clicker (Palette is clicker trained),
give treats. When she started to not making any flinch when I touch her
nail with clipper,I started clipping her nails on my own.

 When dogs are not
getting used to paws being touched,chances are, they would probably
wiggles or try to nip your hands to release themselves from
uncomfortable situation. When that happens,I would imagine that many
people would try hard to hold dogs to keep them stay still for nail
clipping whether the dogs are comfortable during the situation or not,
and maybe you might be shouting “no,no,no”.

 And, often times,
they would try to clip all nails at once, right on the spot. I think
that the specific way actually make dogs feel more frightened, stressed,
and not comfortable and see it as negative events, and I can imagine
that next time you go pick up the nail clipper, as soon as your dogs see
you moving towards the grooming box or see the nail clipper in your
hands, they might go hide under the bed to avoid the unhappy events.
That would not working for anybody’s favor; for you or your dogs.

 Clipping nail does
not have to be all nail done in one time. First couple of times,I just
clipped one nail, praised her very big  following yummy treats and nice
lovable massage,and called it done for the day.

 I heard that some people use muscle relaxer when nail clipping, but is it necessary? While you are working on paw handling, you can bring them to groomer and let them do the nail and you will keep giving positive experience with nail trimming training with their pace,not yours.

 I also have seen in one dog training TV show long time ago that dog was alpha rolled,covered with towel so that he cannot see what is going on and,one holding the dog,the other tried working on his nail.

 Now, imagine you are in the situation where you and others cannot communicate each other via language, and you do not know what is going on,but suddenly,you are pushed down to the floor and blindfolded and somebody tried to straight your arm up so that they can do something on your hand.

 Aren’t you scary,stressful, and you would be fighting with all your power so you can be let go?

 Since dogs are being force hold plus blindfolded, for him,it must be very scary,stressful and I would imagine he would try fight back with all of his power.

 Negative experience like this is just reinforcing the not appropriate behavior,and we should find the way for positive experience when nail trimming and remember to be patient,be consistent, be calm, go slow,with their pace not yours. If you think you have reached the threshold line while training,just back up and go from there.

 I find that Palette does better with dremel rather than clipper.

Muzzle handling practice..

 When I am petting
her, I just pretend to look her teeth a second or two by lifting up one side of lip very very shortly,and praised her
big and gave her treats. 

 Your dog curls his lip up when you try to touch the muzzle? In that case, you could just touch the body,click,treats,body touch,click,treats and then gradually closer to your goal and you could touch lip,click the clicker,give treats,touch the lip,click the clicker,give treats.

 You can always back up a little so you do not reach the threshold,and go from there.

 After 5 years living with me, she stays lie
down on her side when I look her teeth, and she yawn, and careless
about what I do.

 I did not start
actual teeth brushing until she feels comfortable being handled muzzle.
All I did while I was working on getting her used to have her muzzle
handled relaxed was just one things.

** putting doggy tooth paste onto my finger, let her lick it off

 Then, when she got excited enough for the tooth paste, I put tooth
paste onto cloth and massage the teeth with the tooth paste cloth. When
she could handled cloth massaging well, I bought a soft baby tooth
brush, and started using it to brush her teeth.

 Grooming is not physical exercise for your dogs but, when you think about it, since we are teaching them how to respond to what you do for grooming routines, it is in a way,mental exercise.

 Mental exercise is the exercise that let them think about it, and let them figure out what to do. Training is one way to give opportunity to them for mental exercise.

Don’t be scared of unfamiliar ..

 Are they happy and enjoy seeing other dogs? Are they happy to see all kinds of people?

 As I have written in the previous entry titled “Wag the tail to the world;Dog socialization“,we
were told by puppy training class trainer that it is important to take dogs to
many places, let them meet all kinds of people, dogs, and try expose
to as many things as possible from young puppyhood, and make them
positive experiences and fun.

 She also said that those experiences will influence on the
puppy’s social life,and it is important to keep them introduced to many people,places,objects throughout their life even after puppyhood throughout their life.

 I learned that at 4 months, most important foundation
period to learn good/scary (socialization period) ends, and those
positive experiences would help dogs build their confidence.

 Therefore,everything you do with them will have huge influences on them and also effects how they will behave on certain things.

 They will test you to see what behavior would work for them,and what not, and we are shaping the behavior habits through how we respond to them also.

 Palette and I go for walk everyday if not raining/snowing.

 On our walk, she can meet all kinds of dogs,people,and unfamiliar objects, sound and smell while she is physically exercising;walking. At the same time, she is learning how to walk nicely or many things through games we play on the walk.

 For example, we play green light,red light with car; I taught Palette to go side/ditch when we see/hear cars coming and stay still and start moving when cars passed us. Therefore,when she sees cars, she would be staying still at one spot and I think it is good manner for her with safety reason,and easy for driver to passes by us because she would not jump out to front of their cars or zigzagging the road in front of them.

 I also do walk speed game. I walk with slow steps,brisk walk, slow steps and stop etc and she learns to pays attention to my pace and when I stop,she stops too and sit down right next to my legs. She enjoy playing this games with me and tries to keep up the pace with me and, it is good mental exercise also.

 Even if we play those games on our walk, she has time to be a dog by sniffing around the grass patch, and she enjoys all kinds of things on walk. Walking is not just for physical exercise.

 When I see dogs left outside in fenced yard,jumping,running against the fence wall with loud bark, I wish their human parents could take them to walk everyday and let them enjoy walk and they could experience physical/mental exercise to their heart content.

Training your dogs positive way..

 I write a lot about positive training method;clicker training, throughout on the blog. Palette is clicker trained and, I think that clicker training is easy for anybody to try even kids, and clicker is clear communication tool between us human and dogs,and they are quick to learn things with positive attitude.

 As I wear the training pouch, Palette comes out from nowhere trotting with her tongue hanging out and gives me big grin and sit down in front of me and always be ready to learn new things through training time.

 She has fun during the training and, she is eager to learn things and, she tries thinking about what gave her a click when I am teaching her a new trick and, you will see that it is good activity for mental exercise.

 Some people use force/aversive tools to teach thing, teaching dogs what NOT TO DO often with aversive,stressful way.

 Alpha roll? When dogs get up after a few seconds of being alpha roll, his tail is often times tacked in between the legs with ears positioned like helicopter. The dogs are eager to learn manner with that scary,stressful way? I don’t think so.

 Some people say they spray water when dogs bark to stop barking. Some people may make dogs wear shock collar and use that to make them stop barking or to recall. Dogs could associate certain behaviors bring them unpleasant event but,what are they teaching with those things? Barking is natural communication in their world.

 Alpha rolls or other aversive training tools teach nothing.They do not teach them how to respond. It just teach them what not to do. Teaching how to respond is more meaningful and in the process of teaching them how to respond, set the dogs up for success and give them a big praise. They will be eager to learn what you like them to do that way.

 So, next time when you have barking problem,listen what
they say. Barking has its meaning behind it. Could be delivery
guy,trash truck,tress passing people in your yards,potty
call,fear,boredom,unfamiliar noise,attention seeking..

 I prefer to allow my dog a couple of
barks.I usually go to her and look what she is barking at,then I say
“Enough” and get her attention by blocking her view and she usually sit
nicely,no barking. So,when she stopped barking,I click the clicker,give
her small tiny treats saying”Thank you”.

 So, “thank you” means her alerting job is completed and no non stop barking will be going on in the house.

 You can also teach your dog to bark on cue (speak)and teach your dog to be “quiet” on cue. Sometimes, it is easy to teach what they are doing with cue and then teach the opposite cue later.

 Many people would say exercising your dogs are important and yes, taking your dogs for walk every day or many times if not possible is important for health, but at the same time, mental exercise is equally important.

 There are so many opportunity in your daily life where your dogs can learn things. You can become an unpredictable person or the one with full of surprise for your dogs, and you can click the clicker when your dogs are least expecting to be clicked and give them tiny morsel of treats or nice petting as reward for good behavior and they will be happy to give you more good behaviors.

 Sit before door open;click. Wait to dig in for the meal;click. Sit before play;click.Come when called;click. Give eye contact/attention when you call your dogs;click. Many,many more opportunity..

 With clicker training, it is kind of like a game for your dogs because they would need to think about what they need to do to make you click for the yummy treats. Not just dogs that you can clicker training. Many animals such as horse can be trained with positive clicker training method,too.

 I came across a great youtube video of horse and dog are clicker trained.You can see that horse,dog both thinking deep how to get their trainer give them a click. It is in a way, problem solving game.

Shadow the horse, Toby the dog (Clicker training)

If you are a blog subscriber or reading from facebook,please click here to watch video.

And, you can teach your dogs many fun tricks. I taught her to close door after me.I taught her to go hide on cue,come out on cue.

 I am teaching Palette to go into the crate,pull the bandanna tied to her crate door to shut her own crate…

 Sometimes,people say that small dogs are hard to train, but I do not think it true. You just need to be consistent,be calm,be patient and, teach them with their pace,not yours. And possibly be creative in training such as using the sofas for them to stand on  during the training session so they can see the hand signal better.

 Training does not have to be doggy boot camp either. Just take about 3-5 min a day and use that short time for quick training time and have fun with your dog. Short,fun training time ending the session with your dog’s success is the best way to keep their interests in the doggy school time.

 Have you heard of Canine free style?

 According to Canine freestyle federation website (click here
to read more on canine freestyle at Canine freestyle federation
website), it is a choreographed performance organized with music,
illustrating the training and relationship between dog and handler team.

 I have seen many big dogs like Golden retriever, Border collie showing off their dancing skill, but tiny dog like chihuahua can learn the same routine as big dogs.

 Bellow is a double canine free style youtube video where tiny chihuahua,border collie,and their mom dancing to the music. They are clicker trained and certainly, they are very good performers.

Double Canine Free style

 If you are a blog subscriber or reading from facebook,please click here to watch video.

Dogs exercised physically,mentally are less likely to find their own business to do,and get into trouble.

 Do you give plenty of mental exercise to your dogs?

 What kind of things you do with your dogs for mental exercise?

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Jul 21, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

People food for thought Part XVI; Organic food

 In the previous entry titled “Cooking with fresh ingredient Part II“, I wrote that since Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution campaign;bring
fresh food to school lunch menu, I have started noticing many more
celebrity chefs are working on their own project to encourage people to
eat fresh food not processed food.

 Also, as I have written in the previous entry titled “Raw feeding 911 Part VII“, first
lady Michelle Obama has started organic garden at the White house, and
hope to encourage people to eat fresh food more. According to cbs news
article (For the full article, please click here), the organic garden has 55 kinds of vegetable,berries,and herbs.

this big fresh food movement, I think more and more people seems to take a
moment and review what they really are eating and what they really are
providing to their families and make an effort to provide fresh,
healthy,delicious food to their family and furriends.

 When we go to grocery stores, I see wide variety of fresh produce,fresh herbs etc with choice of organic vegetables,organic herb,organic eggs,organic milk etc..

 Many people would assume that anything organic is better than conventionally harvested vegetables,herbs,eggs etc.. 

 Recently, I came across quite interesting article about food you do not have to buy organic. Can you name a few that might be in the list of “Food you do not have to buy organic”?

 Before revealing the list of food, let’s take a look at the definition of “Organic”.

What is organic food?

 USDA define term “Organic” as following.

 Organic meat,poultry,eggs,diary products come from animals that are given no antibiotic or growth hormone. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticide;fertilizer made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge;bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. 

 According to USDA website, before organic products are shipped to stores, certified inspectors would visit the farmers to make sure they are following all the rules and regulation to be able to offer as “organic food”, also, farmers must be certified to produce organic food for the public.

 You can read more on organic food at USDA website here.

Pesticides and fresh produce..

 According to article written by Alex Formuzis and Sara Sciammacco, analysts at environmental working group synthesized data collected from USDA and FDA between 2001-2009,and produce was ranked based on the score given and weighing six factors that reflects how many pesticides were present in the sample produce that was tested, and what level.

 Samples were washed,peeled before testing. Therefore, numbers of the pesticide in the test reflect the amount of chemicals at present when you actually eat those produce.

 This sample testing list can help us make a smart shopping choice because you have rough ideas as to what food you should buy organic when/if you can,and what organic food you do not have to buy.

 Alex and Sara write that if you consume 5 servings of fruits and vegetables 5 days in a week from their “Clean list”, it will reduce the amount of pesticide consumed by 92%. Also they write that if you consume 5 servings of fruits and vegetables 5 days in a week from their “most contaminated list”, you will be consuming 14 different kinds of pesticide a day.

 To read full article written by Alex Formuzis and Sara Sciammacco,please click here.

Clean 15 list..

 Clean 15 list is the list of fruits and vegetables that testing has found lowest amount of pesticide at present after being washed/peeled.

 Dr weil website shows the list of “Clean 15”.  Top 5 in the “Clean 15” list goes..

** Onion

** Sweet corns

** Pineapple

** Avocado

** Asparagus

 For the full list of Clean 15, please click here.

Dirty dozen list..

 Dirty dozen list is the list of fruits and vegetables that testing has found high amount of pesticide at present after being washed/peeled.

 Dr weil website shows the list of “Dirty dozen”.  Top 5 in the “Dirty dozen” list goes..

** Apple

** Celery

** Strawberry

** Peach

** Spinach

 For the full list of “Dirty dozen” list,please click here.

Pesticide and human health..

 Now you know that which food are most likely to have high number of pesticide at present when they were washed and peeled.

 Many people know that pesticide is the chemical to kill insect and,we know that ingesting chemicals is not good for our health. Even a small amount a day, it can add up in the long run.

 Therefore, many people would try to eat organic food as much as possible but what the health risk of  ingestion of pesticide will be?

 According to Environmental Pesticide Agency (a.k.a. EPA) states laboratory study has shown that pesticide can cause health problem in human such as birth defects,nerve damage,cancer and other effects that would occur over long period of time.

 Therefore, there is a regulation of the use of pesticide to manage and limit the exposure to pesticide.

 To visit the Environmental Pesticide Agency website,please click here.

 When we go to grocery stores, some of the fruits and vegetables we buy are organic, but I was surprised to see that many of the staple or frequent purchase fruits and vegetable for our house was in the “Dirty dozen list”.

 Now we know what food we should always buy organic if we could, smart shopping choice seems much easier to make.

 However, I would think that best way to minimize the potential exposure to pesticide is to start growing fruits and vegetable on your own. That way, you can control the amount of pesticide,and fresh picked vegetables have more vitamins than store bought vegetable and overall, it is much healthier choice for your family. And, fresh picked vegetables/fruits are much tastier.


 Not only that, kids can get involved in the vegetable garden chore such as watering,harvesting,and possibly help you cook. Kids can learn where the vegetables are coming from,and they would be most likely interested in trying out the new kinds of vegetables they grew in your garden.

 Our family grew many vegetables and,as a kid, I remember helping them watering,harvesting,cooking with my mother and, it was great experience.

 Do you have vegetable,herb,fruits garden?

 If you have one, what do you grow in your garden?


Jul 19, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Palette’s note:Grass-fed Angus beef bully sticks ends

you pick up treats for your dogs, what would you look at?

Fancy looking pictures?Description of the products?

 Have you ever
wondered if you could actually see how other dogs are enjoying them? Not
pictures,but in video so that you can actually HEAR and feel the
treats’ textures?

 Some of you may have already
recognized I have been putting up treats’ video on youtube so that
people can hear the sound,see Palette in action and get more detail on
each product.

 With “Palette’s Note” series,I like to put taste test videos. This time, “Grass-fed Angus Beef bully sticks ends 4 oz  “.

Grass-fed Angus Beef bully sticks ends 4 oz…

 Grass-fed Angus beef bully stick ends are made in Argentina.

 These are made from grass-fed Angus beef in Argentina
that received No antibiotic,No growth hormone in their life.Also, No
liquid smoke is used.

Grass-fed Angus beef Bully sticks ends 4 oz contains
1″-4″ of end pieces of Angus beef bully sticks, and great as quick small

 Palette loves these bully sticks ends. Many dogs
adore bully sticks. Palette is one of them, but don’t underestimate
her. She actually is a tough judge. She gave me nosed up,paws down on
some of bully sticks I got to try out.

 Paws down bully sticks did not
make it to the store to offer others. After all, she is k9 executive
chef who control the quality of menu to be served to others, along side
with me. And only Palette’s approved menu is served to others.

 What I like about these bully sticks ends is that, since they are small pieces, I can give as small quick jackpot treats when we play “Find a toy” game or as quick small snack before bed without giving too much.

 Some of the bully sticks sold at pet supply stores emit quite stinky odor when dogs start chewing on bully sticks, but this grass-fed Angus beef bully sticks product line does not emit much of stinky odor compare to other brands.

 I would say that it emits slight odor compared to Free Range Moo! product line,but it is not as bad as you have to arrange your dog’s chew area to outside the house when they chew on Grass-fed Angus beef bully sticks line products.

 I can still sit right next to
our dog while she is working on her bully sticks.

 Personally, I do not give bully sticks daily,
I give her this bully sticks as occasional jackpot treat when we play
“Find it” game – when I give really good jack pot treat like this one,
she usually have to find her toy I hid in our house rather than
sniffing out the treat itself.

 More challenging for her to find the toy,
thus I give her highly valued treats like this to her. She is moderate chewer,but she sure loves chewing on her bully sticks.

 If you were looking for long lasting chew, I would recommend Deer Antlers.
With our Corgi “Palette”- moderate chewer, with L size Deer Antler, it
is with her for more than one year with the same Antler.

 She religiously
spend about 15-20 min 2 sessions per day but still gnawing the same
one. Antlers are more economical overall and one Antler lasts much
longer. Since she now got 5 kinds of Antlers:Regular Antlers, Antler with some velvet left on, and Antler bottom,
Moose Antlers, Caribou Antler, the time she spend on regular one is much less than before (she seems to
gnaw one by one alternating among the three Antlers) , but she enjoys
her gnawing time.

 No matter how long/thick the bully stick is, one bully
stick will be gone much faster than Deer Antlers would.   

 Ingredients: Angus Beef

 Let’s watch Palette in action with Grass-fed Angus beef bully sticks ends taste test. If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch video Part I, click here for the video Part II..

Palette and Grass-fed Angus beef bully sticks ends

Palette and Grass-fed Angus beef bully sticks end Part II

  As you can see, Palette loves these bully sticks and, she gets very very excited for this jackpot treats and enjoy playing “Find toy” game with me. She first sniffed my legs, the room behind us, and went downstairs to check,and come back up and going around checking other rooms,making sure she did not miss anything.

 You could hear her whining first second of the video.It was just because,she knew that I have her favorite jackpot treats and she was anticipated to play the game,and claim her rewards

Palette enjoys Grass-fed Angus beef bully sticks 7″ (Day 2) …

 Please note that due to natural products sold by weight,
Grass-fed Angus beef bully stick ends 4 oz would come with varied  thickness,length of the bully sticks end.

To visit our store,please click here or paste and copy the link
below into your browser.

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Jul 17, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Transportation in Japan Part II

 In another previous entry titled “Transportation in Japan“, I wrote about train station and vending machines you can find in Japanese station.

 In this entry, I would like to write about how to get around Japan using trains or bus.

 In Japan, you can buy train tickets via vending machine at the station. The longer distance you go,fare goes up . If you travel short distance with seat reservation such as for Tokkyu train (limited express train) or if you travel long distance with Shin kan sen (Japanese bullet train), you would need to buy the ticket at the major Japan Railway (a.k.a. JR) station.

 Here is how to buy a train tickets and ride the train in Japan.

1. Check the fare by looking up the train station maps which you can usually find above the ticket vending machine

** Find the destination station and the number right next to the station name is the fare you would pay for.

2. Insert the money, and pick the fare, and press number of people travel with you. Also, if children was with you,you would need to pick adult or children when you purchase the train tickets

3. Vending machine would give you the change, and spits out number of the tickets you have selected.

 You can see how to buy a train ticket via youtube video bellow.

How to buy Tokyo metro tickets


Jul 12, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Flea/Tick control for dogs

  In the previous entry titled “People food for thought part XV; Herb and spices“, I wrote that our stumpy Corgi “Palette” is on fresh food diet, a.k.a. raw
food diet, and since the diet switch from processed food diet, I started
paying more attention to overall health issues such as
over-vaccination, monthly flea/tick treatment etc.

 In the previous entry titled “People food for thought Part IX; Citrus fruits“, I introduced the recipe of non toxic flea/insect repellent spray that I use for Palette.

 To recap, the recipe goes..

Lemon water solution for flea/tick repellent..

1.Slice half a lemon, and put them in the bowl

2.Pour boiling water 1C over the lemon slices, cover it with saran and let it sit overnight

3. To the other bowl,set the kitchen sieve over and pour the lemon/water mixture and discard the rind,seed etc.

4. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray the solution to dogs as needed.

 Of course, base of the good health of your dogs depends on good diet so, providing the healthy diet is important too.
 I also keep cloud nine herbal dip that was diluted with water in the other spray bottle and spray it over the crate bottom panel every time I wash her bed.

** Some essential oil sold for flea/tick repellant contains rosemary oil,which might trigger seizure with EPI dogs.

If you have cats in the house, tee tree oil and other essential oil are
toxic to cats and, avoid using essential oil in your household.

** Some companies are offering essential oils spray for cats and dogs, and it makes me wonder whether some companies have no ideas that cats are toxic to essential oils …

 Lemon water solution spray along with the use of cloud nine herbal dip spray for bedding area for Palette seems to be working so far.

Garlic for flea/tick repellant..

 Some people give garlic powder that claim to work on repelling flea/ticks. When I started out the raw diet for Palette, I have tried garlic trick;just grating fresh 1/2 small garlic clove over her meal. Palette loved the flavor of garlic and, I had no tick/flea problems when I was giving garlic now and then along with the meal.

 However, after a while, I stopped doing this garlic trick because I have learned that too much garlic can thin the blood and could cause anemia in dogs. I am not sure how concentrated the garlic powder sold for flea/tick repellant for pets will be, but real problem with the garlic powder is that,you never know how much clove of garlic worth you are giving to your dogs.

 As I understand it, bellow is the amount of fresh garlic you can give to your dogs.

**Small dogs; 1/4 of garlic clove

** Medium dogs; 1/2 of garlic clove

** Large dogs; 1 garlic clove
Food grade Diatomaceous Earth for flea/tick repellant..

 I know that some people use food grade Diatomaceous Earth (not the kind to use for pool),which
you can get at the garden center, to combat with flea/tick. The idea is
that the DE (short for diatomaceous earth) can dehydrate those
flea/tick and protect your pets from them.

 They sprinkle food grade Diatomaceous Earth on carpet and let it sit over night,and vacuum it up next day. Those who use  food grade Diatomaceous Earth to combat with flea/ticks also sprinkle the food grade Diatomaceous Earth over dog’s body and work into the fur.

 However, some people say direct application to dog’s body seems drying the skin of the dog.

people use food grade DE in their yard as well, but I have heard that
some people think that treating the yard with DE might actually
dehydrate the good bugs such as earthworms and might not be good idea. I
think it might be true.

 Others treat yard with beneficial namatode to combat with garden bugs,flea,ticks etc..

Preventative collar..

 Some people may choose to use the preventative collar for your dogs. However, what if you have two dogs in the house and if one of them grabbed other dog’s collar during their play? Are they safe? I would imagine they could ingest some of the ingredient

Preventative tag..

 Recently, I noticed that some companies are now offering tick/flea repellant tag,which you would attach to your dog’s collar.

 Supposedly, one brand’s tag is treated with bio energetic process and set to work via using your dogs’ energy and send out frequency that repel flea/tick.

 The other is similar idea and it is a tag that attach to your dog’s collar and it is supposedly work with the idea of the tag is imprinted with electromagnetic charge,then, this energetic charge adapt to your dog’s unique bio-energy frequency, and send out the vibrational field around the dogs.

 I am not certain that if these items would work as long as it is said to work for 2-3 years. They are the tags that use each dog’s energy, there are really no solid yes/no answer to the question whether they really would work on your dogs.

 They are costly,and priced around $70-$80 per tag.

 Would you spend $70-$80 per tag to find out whether those tags would be for your dogs to combat with flea/ticks? 

 If it really guaranteed to work for our dogs, it might be good one to try out, but with the price they are at right now, I do not think I would like to spend that much of money just to find out whether they would work for Palette or not.

 For me, one lemon which cost me about less than a dollar (67 cents), to make a lemon-water solution is the preferred way to use for flea/ticks etc.

 All that being said, base of the health is the diet. If you or your dogs were on poor diet filled with processed foods, no matter what you would do for flea/tick prevention, they would back to you or your dogs.

 Therefore, if you have problems with flea/ticks, start with changing the diet to better fresh food diet. Not just for your dogs, but also you can start cooking with fresh food for your family. Providing fresh food is much much healthier than heating up/scooping up the processed food for your dogs or for your family.

 You can read my
experience of raw feeding for Palette with “raw feeding 911 series”. You
can read the previous entry titled “Raw feeding 911 Part I” here.

 Before I turned to natural repellant, I used to use monthly flea/tick control spot on, and it was working,but then, after the diet switch, I started paying more attention on what it really was, and wondered why the instruction paper says to apply between shoulder blade to tail and warn people not to let it contact with our skin.

 If the spot on was that dangerous for human skin, what would happen if dogs lick their fur and ingest some of the spot on.. I wonder if it is not the problem because topical will be put on their back where they cannot reach with their mouth.

 Even then, one thing that bugs me is that active ingredient in Palette’s monthly treatment was Permethrin,and when I look it up what it is, it is the chemical commonly used for insecticide,acaricide,and insect repellant. This chemical belongs to pyrethroid,and works as neurotoxin.

 This main ingredient “Permethrin” is toxic to cats, and therefore,you would see the warning sign that says not to apply monthly flea/tick treatment on your cats.

 Another tick/flea monthly treatment drug has Amitraz as one of active ingredients and it is also one of active ingredients in preventive collar.

 In 2011 March, North Carolina University has released the publication on the study of monthly flea/tick preventative that contains Amitraz. They have studied 22 dogs, and all of them developed pemphigus foliaceus;autoimmune disorder of the skin.

 The study says that 8 dogs out of 22 dogs developed lesions restricted to only on the application site, and the other 14 dogs have developed lesions on the application site plus non contagious areas.

 To read more on the study in the article written by North Carolina University team, please click here.

 It seems one of the products that contains Amitraz as one of the ingredients would be discontinued. If you apply monthly topical application to your dogs, check the ingredients and if you see Amitraz in the list, talk to your vet about other options for the flea/tick treatment.

 Would you still use the monthly flea/tick treatment?

Early detection of flea/ticks..

 No matter what method you would choose to combat with flea/ticks, you would see a tick or a flea which your dogs might have picked up outside.

 One thing you can do to detect flea/tick early is to use the flea comb daily. That way, if there were any flea were present,you can get rid of them right away.

 Also, make time for bonding with your dogs and, use some of the time for rubbing/petting. While you are rubbing/petting your dogs, sometimes, you could find the tick/flea that just laded on your dogs and, if you caught it early, less painful for your dogs down the road and, it is good for early detection of the flea/tick.

 Vacuuming the house often,and mowing regularly also helps.

 If you find a tick on your dogs, remove the ticks right away. The longer they stay on your dogs, the more they can feed on your dogs. The longer they stay, their body also get engorged,and body size is one way you can see whether the ticks you found were on your dogs long time or just picked it up when they went for potty.

<How to remove tick>

1. When you find the tick on your dogs, use the forceps or tweezers or tick removal tool and hold the tick as close to the skin as possible and pulls straight out without twisting or plying.

** Some people might try using the nail polish etc.. to make the tick retreat by themselves and off from your dogs, but don’t. By doing so, ticks could get irritated and inject the saliva into your dogs’ skin when they exit and, it is one dangerous way to remove the ticks.

2. When you removed the tick, drop them into a container that has 100% rubbed alcohol to kill them.

** Make sure to check if you pulled all the parts including head,legs and did not crush the tick in the process of removing the ticks from your dogs. If you think you have crushed the tick or tick’s head is still under your dog’s skin, it would be better for you to take your dogs to the vet

** Save the container with the tick for tick identification. You can bring them to the vet and they could see the tick to identify what kind of ticks they are.

** If they know what kind of ticks they are, it is easier for them to know what tick disease they should test your dogs for if necessary.

3. Wipe the area where tick was with rubbed alcohol,and keep an eye on your dogs

What to do after the tick removal

 Last year, I have found a tick. It was not engorged,and I thought that it was a tick that got on Palette very recent. 

 I waited for 3 weeks or so from the date I removed the tick from Palette, and kept an eye for her to see if any visible change in her such as lethargic, fever,vomiting, lack of appetite etc.. something that makes me feel unusual. If she looked abnormal, then I would have took her to the vet right then.

<Snap 4DX test>

 She was acting as usual and,weeks passed by,and I took her to the vet for tick test called Snap4DX that will test your dogs for major tick disease.

 Snap 4DX test is in-house test and you can get the result after 15 minutes or so. Result would come as yes/no.

 Since Palette was negative on the test, I had not had to move on to the next detailed test, but if your dogs’ test came out as positive, there are 2 detailed tests for ticks.

<IFA test>

 One test is called IFA test and it is a titer test and check the anti body in your dogs just like titers for vaccination. As I understand it, IFA test covers larger variety of tick disease to check for.

 If you were not familiar with titers in generals, bellow explains what titer is for vaccination. For ticks, idea is the same.

What is “Titer”?

 “Titer” is the name of the test, and this test measure the amount of antibody to disease.

 According to the book titled “Stop the shot” by John Clifton, he
explains that vet draw one ounce of blood, and the original sample is
expressed with ratio 1:1, then discard one half of the blood, and
replace it with a dilutant, and this first diluted solution is expressed
with the ratio 1:2.

 So, with the first step,the original blood sample was diluted by half.

 Then, he explains, vet will test the solution to see if there were any
antibody in the diluted sample. If there were, vet will dilute the
diluted sample by half again and check the anti body in the sample.This
second solution is expressed with ratio 1:4.

 So, vet will keep diluting the sample and keep checking the antibody in
the sample and when he saw no antibody is present, he would stop the
dilution and he will look the ration of last solution. That number will
be called “Titer number”.

 With common sense, higher the number is, the more anti body present in the blood.

 John writes, even if titer score were lower, it does not mean that the
dog in question has no immunity to the virus/disease.

<Quant C6 test>

 As I understand it, Quant C6 test result will come with number of C6 antibodies; how many antibodies are at present in the blood sample. Therefore, you can compare the number to check the progress you have made if your dogs were going through the tick disease treatment and also,since you can get the result with number you can see if your dogs’ antibody level require the treatment for the disease they were tested for.

 If I understand it correctly, number above 30 in the test result should get treated and retest your dog in 6 months, but you would want to check with your vet to be sure about that.

 If your vet runs tick panel test, there is one laboratory known for accuracy and fast turn around. You can ask your vet to send the blood to the laboratory for accurate reading of the blood sample.

 The laboratory is called “Protatek Reference Laboratory” in AZ,USA. To visit their website,please click here.

 Feeding your dogs healthy diet for overall better health is the most important thing, but there are much more to pay attention to…


Jul 10, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Italian cooking: Italian chicken pizza

 Every Christmas, I make a few kinds of
pizza from scratch for family. It takes a few hours from start to
finish, and it is never be a quick cooking category but, I always enjoy
planning creative flavors on homemade pizza for the big night.

 Best part of being part of holiday
tradition is that not only I get to have fun being creative with “flavor
of the year”, but also I get to see smiles on their face eating my

 Our family, including our stumpy little Corgi, loves my home-made pizza, and we tend to have pizza night now and then.When I make pizza from scratch, it makes our house smell like bakery shop. I really like that. Freshly baked bread/pizza right out from the oven is really tasty.

 Considering our furry friends have strong sense of smell, hours of yummy smell of bread poofing/pizza baking would be torturing their nose. On pizza night, our dog “Palette” gets tiny bit of taste of our pizza,and she goes banana for the tiny morsel. She is such a big fan of my cooking

 I think that pizza is probably the most versatile and popular food in the states, and many of you would enjoy my pizzas too. Therefore, I thought I would share the recipe with you one flavor at a time every time I make a new one.

 This time, it is Italian chicken pizza. It got sun dried tomato, shredded chicken,red onion, mozzarella cheese,Parmesan cheese and fresh basil on top.

 I was inspired by the stuffed chicken Marsala I get from one of the restaurants that I go to.

 The restaurant stuff the chicken breast with mixture of cheese and chopped sun dried tomato and, I thought it was great combination. Then, I thought  “why not for pizza”. It came out tasty and,you may like them too.

 So, how do you make Italian chicken pizza? Here is how.

Italian chicken pizza

 ** To make pizza, if you were pressed with time, you can buy fresh pizza dough or use flat bread instead.

 <Pizza dough>

0. Preheat the oven at 200F and when it reached to 200F,turn the oven off

1. To a microwave safe bowl, pour 1-1/4 C water, microwave about 30-45 seconds or so

2. Take a temperature of the water and if the temperature was at
110F-115F, add 2 1/4tsp of dry yeast (one package of dry yeast if you
use packaged dry yeast), 1.5tsp sugar, and mix well and let it sit a
while (about 5-10 minutes)

** If you use jar of dry yeast, make sure the yeast is at room temperature. Cold yeast would not make your dough rise properly.

** Water temperature to rise the dough (proof the dough) should be at 110F-115F.
Lower temperature water would not proof the dough properly, and higher
temperature water would kill the yeast and would not proof the dough

You should see the frothy stuff on top like this..

3. To a big bowl, add 1- 1/2C Unbleached All purpose flour, 1- 1/2C Unbleached bread flour, 1.5tsp salt, 1-1/2 tbs Extra virgin olive oil and mix well

** For EVOO, first-cold press extra virgin olive oil is the best and tasty. My favorite brand is “Colavita brand”. It is product of Italy,and you can get them at local grocery store.

I have tried some other extra virgin olive oil too, but Colavita brand
was the most flavorful,fruity and tasty olive oil of the bunch,and I use
this oil for everyday cooking as well.

4. Pour the frothy yeast-sugar- lukewarm water mix to flour-salt mixture
a little at a time and stir and when dough became to form a ball, toss
them onto lightly floured surface, and start kneading the dough

** Using silpat mat is easy to work with

5. Knead the dough until it is not sticky, but smooth surface and elastic. I usually knead for about 8 minutes.

You can test your dough to see if you knead it more. Do the Windowpane test.

What is windowpane test??

Windowpane test is the test the gluten development in the dough.

you do is to cut off small piece of dough,and gently stretch
out/pulling to see if it will hold a paper-thin membrane.If it tore
apart,you would knead a bit more and do the test again.

6. When dough became smooth surface and elastic and not sticky, drizzle
Extra Virgin Olive Oil onto empty bowl and smear it around side and
inside bottom to make easy for you to take the dough out later to roll

7. Place the dough into the bowl,drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the dough and smear the oil all around the dough

8. Cover the bowl with saran, and place the dough in the oven,set the timer for 90 minutes

** Using the preheated/turned off oven to rise the dough (proof the dough) is perfect weather proof method.

9. 90 minutes later, dough should be double in volume

Dough should be double in volume..

10. Once the dough gets double, punch down the dough to let the gas out
from the dough and make the inner/outer dough temperature equal

11. Toss the dough onto lightly floured surface, and roll out the dough to the shape you like, and preheat the oven at 425F to 450F

** There are many kinds of rolling pin but I like the French rolling pin

** If you were to make a crispy pizza, roll out thin and bake at higher temperature 

12. If you have pizza stone, use the pizza stone to bake it,but if you do not have one,use the cookie sheet or half sheet pan

13. To the half sheet pan/cookie sheet,place non stick foil,sprinkle yellow corn meal

** Sprinkling yellow corn meal before placing the dough onto the foiled half sheet pan is my little secret to make a nice crusty bottom

14. Place the dough onto foiled half sheet pan/cookie sheet, make a little wedge around at about 1″ away from the edge using side of your hand

15. Blush the dough with extra virgin olive oil

16. Place the toppings/sauce and let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes or so on the counter, covering the pizza with saran loosely for the dough to rest and poof a little

17. Bake the pizza at 425F-450F till the edge become brown.

** Usually for my oven, it is about 15-18 minutes.

<Italian chicken pizza topping preparation>

1. Pour enough cold water into a sauce pan to cover boneless,skinless chicken breast, add splash of sherry,and some McCormick’s steak seasoning and bring it to boil

2. When chicken is cooked through, let it come to room temperature in the water in the sauce pan,and shred them and keep them in a Tupperware


Buy a whole roasted chicken,shred them and keep them in the tupperware

You would want 4 oz of shredded chicken per pizza

3. To a new sauce pan, add 28 oz
crushed tomato, about 3 tbs table sugar, and
sprinkle dry oregano and mix well and taste it and,adjust the taste if needed and set the heat to simmer for about 30 minutes with occasional stir and turn it off.

** You would use some of this marinara sauce for pizza and, for rest of the sauce, you can use it for meatball sub, spaghetti or anything else you would want to use the marinara sauce for. You can also freeze them for later use.

** If you prefer the spicy marinara sauce, add pinch of crushed red pepper to the sauce

4. Chop 4 small sun dried tomato and set it aside

5. Slice 1/4 red onion thin,and set it aside in the fridge.

** Put the sliced red onion in a Tupperware,and fill it with water, stir and drain, and pour some water in and lid on,and keep them in the fridge. If you keep the onion this way, chilled water and, by slicing the onion thin get the very bold big zing out from the onion.

** If you did not use all onion you have sliced for pizza, you can use them in salad, sandwich and so forth.

6. Cut the fresh Mozzarella. You would want 9 of 1/2″ dice 

** You cannot use
fresh mozzarella cheese 100%  because it hold lots of moisture and it
makes puddle of water pool on top of pizza,so it is best to mix with low
moisture shredded cheese with low ratio for fresh mozzarella cheese

<Italian chicken pizza assembling the topping>

1. Once the dough gets double, punch down the dough to let the gas out
from the dough and make the inner/outer dough temperature equal

2. Toss the dough onto lightly floured surface, and roll out the dough
to the shape you like, and preheat the oven at 425F to 450F

** There are many kinds of rolling pin but I like the French rolling pin

** If you were to make a crispy pizza, roll out thin and bake at higher temperature 

3. If you have pizza stone, use the pizza stone to bake it,but if you do not have one,use the cookie sheet or half sheet pan

4. To the half sheet pan/cookie sheet,place non stick foil,sprinkle yellow corn meal

** Sprinkling yellow corn meal before placing the dough onto the foiled
half sheet pan is my little secret to make a nice crusty bottom

5. Place the dough onto foiled half sheet pan/cookie sheet, make a
little wedge around at about 1″ away from the edge using side of your

6. Blush the dough with extra virgin olive oil

7. Pour some of the marinara sauce on the dough

8. Put chopped sun dried tomato over the sauce,

9. Put shredded chicken over the pizza

10, Put thinly sliced red onion over the pizza

11. Pour 1/8C of grated Parmesan cheese

12. Place 9 of 1/2″ dice of fresh mozzarella cheese

13. Sprinkle generous amount of low moisture shredded mozzarella cheese over the pizza

14. Let the pizza rest for 5 – 10 minutes or so on
the counter, covering the pizza with saran loosely for the dough to
rest and poof a little

15. Bake the pizza at 425F-450F till the edge become brown.

** Usually for my oven, it is about 15-18 minutes.

16. When edge turn brown, and pizza is baked perfectly, take it out from the oven and sprinkle ciffonade fresh basil over

** To make chiffonade herb, you would wash the fresh herb,roll it up,and chop very thin.

17. Enjoy!

A slice of Italian chicken pizza..

This pizza dough recipe makes 17″x11″ rectangle pizza.

Depending on how you cut it, you can serve crust-free pizza.

If you had leftover pizza, you can wrap them with foil and bag them up in the freezer bag for later quick lunch/dinner.

To reheat the pizza, if you use oven, you want to preheat the oven at about 425F and heat the pizza up wrapped in foil for about 20 minutes or so.

If you use microwave to reheat the pizza, take the foil off,place the pizza in microwave safe plate,wrap the pizza with paper towel,microwave about 40 seconds or so.


Jul 07, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Amazing barking cat

 Sometimes, animals show their own personality in funny ways and, some of their talent is unexpected and,jaw-dropping.

 Here is my question to you.

 Have you ever heard of cats barking, “Woof,woof,woof”? Well, I came across the youtube video that shows a cat barking at something outside.

 Best part is, once his/her dad comes home, she/he notice the presence behind him/her and slowly resuming to cat meowing. She/he is such a character.

 I do not have a cat in the house, but cat “woofing” is common among the cats’ community?

Cat barking like a dog..

 If you are a blog subscriber or reading from facebook,please click here to watch the  video.

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Jul 05, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized