Grey Muzzle Sanctuary on TalkItUp TV

Recently, I watched a video about the Grey Muzzle Rescue & Sanctuary on TalkItUp TV.

Thayne Hamilton

Now the Grey Muzzle Rescue & Sanctuary is not affiliated with the Grey Muzzle Organization, and their missions are different.

  • The Grey Muzzle Organization is based in Raleigh, NC, and is not a rescue, and does not have a shelter, or a foster care network. Instead, the Grey Muzzle Organization fund raises, and donates the money to 501c3 organizations to help them help senior dogs.
  • The Grey Muzzle Rescue & Sanctuary is based in Eastsound, WA, and is a 501c3 organization, and specializes in rescuing, and adopting unadoptable and/or severely abused, old, blind, deaf, and starved dogs. They also provides a warm, loving home with five acres where these dogs can run free, and teach them to be dogs again, and to forget all about the hurt from their past.
From TalkItUp TV

Grey Muzzle Rescue was owned and operated for the last 10 years by Thayne and Chris Hamilton, until tragedy struck in February of this year when Chris Hamilton passed away. The rescue was different from other rescues in that they adopted 20 un-adoptable and/or severely abused Dogs over 10 years of age that didn’t have much of a chance of living much less finding love and comfort in their twilight years. They took in the worst of the worst abuse cases from all over the Nation and cared for these animals as if they were family. Grey Muzzle Rescue gives them their “Forever Home”.”

Grey Muzzle Rescue & Sanctuary

Over the past twelve years, the Grey Muzzle Rescue & Sanctuary has cared for over 40 dogs – abused, old, blind, deaf, starved, the worst of the worst abuse cases from all over the nation.

Please watch this heart warming video.

Boating with your dog

Helming the boatBoating season will soon begin in northern regions, and many boat owners will be bringing their dogs with them when they go aboard.

Divinity was fascinated with boats, and at one place we lived, she enjoyed watching the restoration of a wooden powerboat. On her walks, she’d work her way to the boat, to check out the latest updates.

Divinity also skippered her own boat in a virtual round-the-world race where she became the Fastest Ocean-Racing Cairn Terrier on the Planet. Unfortunately, I was not able to find someone to take her for an actual boat ride before she died of cancer. Going for a boat ride had been an item on Divinity’s “Bucket List.” Sadly, Divinity was not able to go boating before she died.

Keeping your dog safe while aboard

The information provided below is a general “overview” to safely bring your dog on your boat. For additional information, please click the following links.

* Dogs on Boats 101

* How to Keep Pets Safely Afloat

* The Canine Crew

* Boating With Your Pets: 9-Safety Tips

* Passagemaker Magazine: Readers stories about boating with their pets

Life Jackets

Dog life jackets are a necessity. Life jackets provide buoyancy, and their high visibility helps keep your pet safe.

A dog life jacket is a must-have safety item for the dog owner who takes their pet with them on aquatic excursions. Many pets enjoy boating. However, not all dogs are strong swimmers, and some may not be able to swim at all!

Dog life jackets make it easy to get an overboard dog back to safety by placing a sturdy handle on the harness. They also act as flotation devices to keep less capable swimmers above water.

Get a brightly colored life jacket with a handle on top, this will them much easier to see and retrieve. Get your dog used to wearing their PFD before setting out on a boat.

How much do you need to spend on a lifejacket for your dog? The answer to that question is easy, how much is your dog’s life worth to you?



Long hours in the sun without adequate eye protection increase the chances of developing eye disease. Absorbent sunglasses and sun-goggles can help protect your eyes and the eyes of your pet from sun damage.

Doggles, or other pet sunglasses, are actually goggles for dogs, and provide protection from foreign objects, wind, and UV light.


Safe on the Leash?

If you must keep a leash on your dog while on your boat, either handhold the leash, or put the leash under your foot. If your dog strains at the leash constantly, the answer is more training, not a bigger leash.

Question: Should I tie my dog’s leash to the boat?
Answer: In an emergency (fire/sinking), you might need to abandon the boat in a hurry. In such a situation, or if your boat should capsize, you will want your dog to be able to swim free of the boat. The leash is to help you maintain control of your dog while for getting in, and getting out of the boat.

Safe on the Leash

Sun and Heat Protection

Excessive sun exposure can cause heat problems for animals. Just as with humans, they include sun stroke, heat cramps, and heat exhaustion. Providing a shaded are for your pet is a good idea. Again, give them plenty of water. Let them take a dip in the water to cool them down if necessary.

Boat surfaces, such as fiberglass, can get extremely hot in the sun. Dogs absorb heat through the pads on their feet, so be sure to provide protection for their paws from the heat.

Sun protection can be as simple as a towel draped above your dog like a canopy, a hat, or even a portable doggy tent.

Dog CanopyHat

Dining Area

You need to provide a place for your dog to eat & drink, and if possible, give them a non-slip rug, or mat to stand on!

Note: Always have lots of water for your dog. Whether sailing, at anchor, or in a marina, always make sure to have water available for your dog to drink.

Dining Area
Nautical Potty-Pad

“Almost every boat with a dog has a piece of carpet or Astroturf somewhere on deck as the designated “spot.”

“A piece of AstroTurf, or a box of sod can work as a substitute when landfall is not possible. Some people just train their dogs to go on the boat deck, though this is difficult and often dangerous while underway (not to mention, yuck). The problem isn’t where to go, it is getting your dog to understand it is OK to go. This can be really tricky to do with an older dog. Start training on the boat as soon as possible.”

The Boat Galley posted a good article on how to potty train a dog on a boat. To read this article, click HERE.

Dog Potty Area

 Be safe, and enjoy the water with your dog!

Enjoying the water

The Ultimate Dog Crew

The Grey Muzzle Organization – The Movie

The Grey Muzzel OrganizationThe Grey Muzzle Organization improves the lives of at-risk senior dogs by providing funding and resources to animal shelters, rescue organizations, sanctuaries, and other non-profit groups nationwide.

The Grey Muzzle funds programs such as hospice care, senior dog adoption, medical screening, and other special programs to help old dogs at animal welfare organizations across the country.

Please watch this video about Divinity’s friends, and find out how you can help this wonderful organization.

Is Your Pet Safe From These Potential Household Poisons?

The Blind Dog Rescue Alliance posted a good article by Dr. Patrick Mahaney on “Is your Pet Safe from these Potential Household Poisons” that can harm, or even kill your pet.

National Poison Prevention Week 2015 is March 15-21, but your dog or cat is at risk for potentially fatal toxicity on a year-round basis. As a result, it’s critically important that all pet owners are aware of household and environmental toxins, clinical signs of toxicity, treatment options, and toxin avoidance.

Dr. Patrick Mahaney’s article includes information on the following subjects:

Toxin Awareness

* Cleaning products used on floors, carpet, and upholstery – Phenols (which are typically found in cleaners with the word “sol” in the name), Phthalates, Formaldehyde (found in general household cleaners), Bleach, Isopropyl alcohol, Perchloroethylene (found in rug and carpet shampoos)

* Spray and powdered air fresheners and potpourri – Spray air fresheners are especially toxic to birds while liquid potpourri can cause corrosive burns and severe organ system damage to cats.

* Mothballs – Cats are more severely affected than dogs, but contact with or ingestion of mothballs by either species can lead to toxicity.

* Potted house-plants or seasonal plants – Amaryllis, Autumn Crocus, Lily, Mistletoe, Pine, Tulip, and many other plants and their flowers can be mild to severely toxic if consumed.

* Human prescription, over-the-counter, and recreational drugs – According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, of the nearly 180,000 cases of pets exposed to possibly poisonous substances in 2013 the most commonly reported toxicity resulted from ingestion of prescription human medications.

* Human supplements- “Hangover Pills”, Iron, Kava, multivitamins, and others all potentially have toxic effects.

* Veterinary drugs and supplements – non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), narcotic pain medications, psychopharmaceuticals (SSRIs, etc.), flea and tick preventatives, and others that are made to be used for our pets can have mild to severe toxicity if inappropriately used or ingested.

Yard – We all want our pets to experience the joys of playing outdoors in our yards, but there are actually many toxins that can cause sickness or death on a single-ingestion basis or as a result of chronic exposure.

* Herbicides and fungicides – Besides having a directly toxic effects, contact with herbicides has also been linked to the development of cancer (Transitional Cell Carcinoma or TCC) in dogs.

* Pesticides – Organophosphates and carbamates are especially dangerous to our canine and feline companions.

* Fertilizer – mulch (coffee-ground, parasite laden manure, etc.), chemical (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, i.e. 30-10-10), heavy metals, and others many promote plant growth but they all can make a pet very sick if ingested.

* Flowers, plants, and trees – Besides the flowers and plants that are brought into our homes, Avocado, Azalea, Sago Palm, and other plants’ stems, leaves, seeds, and more can sicken animals even if small quantities are ingested.

* Mushrooms – Fortunately, many mushroom varieties are non-toxic to pets. Yet, it’s hard tell toxic from non-toxic mushrooms, so ingestion of any mushrooms from the outdoors should be avoided.

* Stinging and biting insects – Bites and stings from insects (ants, bees, hornets, etc.) can cause life-threatening anaphylaxis (“allergic reaction”).

Driveway/Parking Lots

* Antifreeze (Ethylene Glycol) – Known to cause severe kidney toxicity if even a few teaspoons are consumed, Ethylene Glycol can form a toxic puddle under any vehicle.

* Rock salt – Both the skin and digestive tract can be mildly or severely irritated by rock salt.

* Motor oil and gasoline – Besides the toxic effects of motor oil and unleaded gasoline or diesel, the toxic effects of such products can be compounded if they are mixed with Ethylene Glycol.


* Human foods known to be toxic for pets – Alcohol, artificial sweeteners (Xylitol), bread dough, caffeine, chocolate, currants, grapes, macadamia nuts, raisins, onion family members, spices (cloves, nutmeg, etc.), and others all harbor toxic potential for our pets.

* Chemical preservatives – BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanilose), BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), Propylene Glycol, etc.) added to pet foods and treats as preservatives have no place entering our pets’ mouths and have been linked to health problems like cancer (BHA and BHT) and anemia (Propylene Glycol).

* Chemical contaminants (Melamine, etc.) – Who can forget the Melamine pet-food crisis of 2007? Certainly not we veterinarians. Melamine is a plastic compound that can elevate nitrogen levels and therefore the calibrated percentage of protein in food. Dogs and cats suffered kidney failure and death when they consumed kibble and canned pet foods having Melamine-contaminated wheat gluten.

* Mold-produced toxins – Mycotoxins (aflatoxin, vomitoxin) produced by mold can accumulate in pet foods and treats, especially those made with feed-grade grains which have higher allowable levels of mycotoxins.

* Pathogenic bacteria – Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, and other pathogenic bacteria can contaminate pet foods and treats and can even spread to and sicken humans.

Shampoo and topical products

* Diethlanolamine (DEA) – This plant-derived fatty acid was included in California’s list of Chemicals Known to the State to Cause Cancer or Reproductive Toxicity and has now been excluded from many pet shampoos.

* Essential oils – Although they don’t sound dangerous, “essential oils”, including Tea Tree Oil, are toxic for dogs and even more so for cats.

Clinical Signs of Toxicity

There are many clinical signs our pets may exhibit upon being exposed to a toxic agent. Some of the most common include (but are not limited to):

* Salivation
* Coughing
* Sneezing
* Eye discharge
* Lethargy
* Anorexia
* Vomit
* Diarrhea
* Seizure
* Panting
* Pacing
* Vocalizing
* Unusual behaviors
* Collapse
* Coma
* Death

Treatment of Toxic Exposures

Should you have a suspicion or confirmation that your pet has incurred a toxic exposure, take immediate action by:

* Calling your veterinarian or your local emergency veterinary hospital

* Starting a consultation with ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center or Pet Poison Helpline, as both resources are staffed with board certified veterinary toxicologists who can best guide your veterinarian on the most appropriate treatment

* Avoiding D.I.Y. (Do it Yourself) treatments like using hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting or providing foods that have adsorbent properties unless a veterinarian guides you throughout the process

Toxin Avoidance

As the guardian of your pet’s health and welfare, it’s crucial that you think ahead in a manner similar to childproofing your home, car, and other spaces to avoid illness or death secondary to toxic exposure. My top tips include:

* Keep your pet under your observation at all time (i.e. no wandering free unobserved in your backyard, at a park, etc.).

* Walk your dog on short, flat (non-extendable) leash instead of extendable lead.

* Carefully evaluate all new spaces for potential toxins before permitting your pet to enter.

* Use pet-safe products in your home, yard (non-toxic pest control), and car (antifreeze).

* Read labels carefully and don’t permit your pet to eat any foods or treats you’d not eat yourself (i.e. feed human-grade foods instead of feed-grade foods).

* Educate yourself about pet poisons through on-line resources (Animal Poison Control Center or Pet Poison Helpline)

* Seek pet-product recommendations from your veterinarian instead of purchasing over the counter options.

Some favorite pictures of our first year together

It has now been six months since my little lady was euthanized. This month I celebrate Divinity’s love of life, with some of my favorite pictures taken during our first year together.

Note: Click on any image to view a larger version.

Dad's favorite photo's

Divinity with her Mallard duck that honked


Enjoying a walk with her dad

Enjoying a walk with her dad


Exhausted after long walk

Exhausted after long walk


Divinity & her pals at Puppy Playtime. Divinity was seven years older than the next oldest dog in this group

Divinity & her pals at Puppy Playtime. Divinity was seven years older than the next oldest dog in this group


A very happy Divinity smiling at her dad during Puppy Playtime

A very happy Divinity smiling at her dad during Puppy Playtime


Divinity in her Agility Tunnel

Divinity in her Agility Tunnel


Divinity surveying the park before a walk

Divinity surveying the park before a walk


Divinity didn't like cold weather, but she learned to keep warm

Divinity didn’t like cold weather, but she learned to keep warm


Tiny Todd the Blind Therapy Dog

Tiny ToddTodd is a blind therapy dog for Therapy Dogs of Vermont. Todd is a Blind Dog Rescue Alliance (BDRA) alumni, and was rescued, and fostered by that wonderful organization.

Todd was fostered in Vermont, and his foster mom decided that Todd needed to stay with her, forever.

Todd shares his love with others and showing the world what “disabled” animals have to offer!

From Todd’s Facebook page:

“My name is Todd and I am a blind therapy dog for Therapy Dogs of Vermont! A loving person and the Blind Dog Rescue Alliance saved me from a kill shelter in the summer of 2012. My foster mom fell in love with me the second she met me and decided to make me a permanent member of the family! I have no eyes, but my spirit, big heart, and love for life make me invincible! My goal in life is to make people happy and to show the world that disabled animals are perfectly imperfect! ”

To read more about Todd, click the following link to go to Todd’s Facebook page.

Tiny Todd

Tiny Todd, the blind Therapy Dog


Tiny Todd is ready for Winter

Tiny Todd is ready for Winter

Tiny Todd enjoying farm life

Tiny Todd enjoying farm life


Swimming - No Sight; No Problem

Swimming – No Sight; No Problem

Blind dog rescued after being lost for 2-weeks in the cold

MaderaEleven-year-old Madera, a Labrador retriever, had the odds against her when she wandered away from her Ester home in the midst of a cold snap earlier this month.

Madera is completely blind because of an autoimmune disease, and the temperature was 40 below, said her owner, Ed Davis. Usually when it’s really cold out, she wants to come inside immediately after relieving herself. But for some reason, Madera ventured farther away when his wife let her out on Feb. 6.

Davis expects he never would have found Madera if Constantine Khrulev hadn’t been out on the trails last week, riding a fat bike and accompanied by his own dog, which was wearing a bell.

The bell-wearing dog made the difference, Davis said. Madera, responding to the bell, let out a whine as the dog ran by. Khrulev went into the woods and found her under a tree, more than 100 yards from the trail and about half a mile from Davis’ house.

“She was not going to be found accidentally,” Davis said.

Khrulev took Madera to one of Davis’ neighbors. The dog had lost about 14 pounds but was otherwise in good health, Davis said. Her rescuer asked for the $100 reward money to go the the Fairbanks Animal Shelter Fund, a gesture that so impressed Davis that he decided to increase the donation to $250.

The recovery wasn’t the only Fairbanks rescue of a blind dog in recent years. In December 2012, a blind 8-year-old dog named Abby walked more than 10 miles from her Two River area home before she was recovered.


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