Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stuff I Would Not Buy From A Dollar Store

Hello There, VivBounty here to share with you more of the little quirks as I continue my learning curve living in the country. Our nearest dollar store is half an hour's drive away from our home.

I love dollar stores. You can get really nifty gadgets and very useful household items for very little money, and sometimes even just one dollar! You do have to know what you're buying, though. Well I wrote about it on HubPages so feel free to check out some of the things I would not buy from a dollar store and why.

Next time I hope to bring you great news on my garden. Since I created my first flower bed back in the Spring, as gardening goes, things have expanded. Stay tuned...

Prosperous Blessings,

Friday, October 16, 2009

Do All Dogs Like To Swim?

Do All Dogs Like To Swim?

Hello There, VivBounty here to share with you my perspective about swimming dogs and those which don't like to. This is HubPage number 11 of the 30 I need to write by Halloween.
Are you following me and cheering me on in the Hub Challenge? Call me crazy, but I'm determined to do this. Follow my progress on Twitter and leave me a comment. I'd love to hear from you.

Prosperous Blessings,

Fantastic Travel

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why The Cats Who Adopted Us Arrived When They Did

Why The Cats Who Adopted Us Arrived When They Did

Hello There, VivBounty here with a story of my favourite kitty therapists. These little creatures of God really do sense energy. They are calming, entertaining, very independent little guardians of our energy. I hope you enjoy mine and the wonderful times they have come to me for the time that they do to make my world a better place.

Prosperous Blessings,

VivBounty Wonderfully Natural Living

There's Nothing Pre-Historic About Living In a Cave

There's Nothing Pre-Historic About Living In a Cave

Hello There, VivBounty here.

I'm just typing my little fingers to the bone. Having a blast sharing my travels and experiences along with great tips and products on my HubPages.

This HubPage is number 7 or 30 in the challenge and fits right in with this natural country living blog. It's all about our visit to the cave houses in southern Spain. These are eco-friendly modern improvements of literal caves dug into rocks to make homes.

Enjoy the pictures, leave me a comment, let me know how I'm doing and cheer me on in my writing.

Prosperous Blessings,

VivBounty Wonderfully Natural Living

Thursday, October 8, 2009

How We Got A Bird Out Of Our Woodstove Chimney

How We Got A Bird Out Of Our Wood Stove Chimney

Hello There, VivBounty here with my unusual tale of freeing a wild bird from our wood stove chimney. Bet you've never heard of anyone using this method.

This is hub number 4 of the 30 hubs in 30 days challenge.

I have taken this challenge on so that I can improve my writing skills, learn to share useful information and helpful advice with all my readers effectively.

The great thing about the hub challenge is that we are never alone along the way. All hubbers post their progress and questions in the challenge forum so that we can hone our skills as writers and make each hub comply with the terms of the challenge and such.

Enjoy my hubs and wish me luck as I take on this mad challenge.

I'm happy to report that my little bird has now been freed as you will read above.

Until next time, remember it is much better to live in harmony with our wild friends than to do battle with them. This is part of the fun in living in the country in the Canadian Maritimes. Never a dull adventure with the little critters who are our neighbours.

Prosperous Blessings,

VivBounty Wonderfully Natural Living

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Get Skunk Odour Off Your Dog

Hi There! VivBounty here with how you can get of skunk odour off your dog.

Last week the skunks returned to take up residence under our shed. Sure enough, Pedro saw one as he did last autumn, it was late at night, again, and he bounded happily up to it trying to make friends. Poor little skunk seeing this 85-lb “predator” approaching with vim and vigour had no option but to spray him.

Brian spotted him with his nose under the tail of something furry a bit too late and hollered for him to come back in. As they traipsed past me on their way to the biscuit cupboard, he casually mentioned Pedro was chasing something furry asking if I could smell anything. Taken by surprise, I bent over; took a good snort of the top of my dog’s head between his ears and immediately regretted my actions! Ugh!! Nose burning, eyes tearing and a nasty pungent odour attaching itself to my cilia, I yelled “Skunk”!

Eleven days ago I sprained my ankle quite badly, the day before that, Brian’s back “kinked”, so bent over and bandaged we did not relish the thought of washing Pedro at one a.m. Having taken in a sinus full of this skunk odour, I had to hobble up the stairs to flush it out so that I could think before taking this on. Fat chance! It was days before the it left my nose!

To add insult to injury, I couldn’t remember the recipe for the skunk odour removal solution we used last autumn. I had printed and filed it “in a safe place” but had no idea where. Hobbling back up the stairs to look through my files, I found a newspaper cutting, but the solution didn’t look the same. Brian, in the meantime was searching online once more. He skipped all the solutions with 2 quarts of peroxide, groaning we’d never bought that much peroxide in our lives, but soon came across one suggesting 7-Up, which we had several cans of.

With gloves, Pedro’s towels and dog shampoo, we headed up to the bathroom. From memory I made this solution, which frothed for a while then stopped:

  • 2 tablespoons of Dawn dishwashing liquid
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1 can of 7-Up
We sat on opposite ends of the tub, Pedro hopped in behind the bucket, we wet him with a warm hand shower, rubbed the formula into his fur with face cloths carefully avoiding his eyes, ears and genital area, left it on for a few minutes, rinsed the solution off thoroughly, shampooed with his own shampoo, rinsed again and blow-dried. As Brian says, “What a performance”! Needless to say we didn’t get to bed until 3 a.m. with a very sweet-smelling Pedro happy to be allowed back in the house from the back porch where he left some yucky fumes for a few days. Like last year, Brian will escort him out from now on to make sure a skunk doesn't spray him again this season.

Prosperous Blessings,

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VivBounty Wonderfully Natural Living

Monday, September 14, 2009

Can Garlic Boost Your Dog's Immune System?

Hi There, VivBounty here with my personal report of how garlic has boosted my dog's immune system.

I have first hand experience with this wonderful natural remedy. I have read various reports on the Internet about how garlic is a wonderful way to boost your immune system and have always been a garlic fan. What I have learned in the past year is that garlic can also boost your dog's immune system.

On the following Web site, you will find many testimonials about how garlic is ok to feed your dog in low doses Testimonials about garlic for dogs.

In previous posts I have written about my dog, Pedro who we adopted in Spain. He is now 5 years old and much happier outside after his second summer in North America. We found out the hard way on a cross-country trip that Pedro is allergic to flea and mosquito bites. In addition, possibly due to the stress of moving through several countries, climate changes and various parasites, Pedro had a hot spot, and sometime later, hair loss in two large patches on either side of his tail.

After doing considerable research into garlic boosting, I began to supplement his diet with 2 cloves of garlic in his meal once a day. 2 years later he is happy, healthy, no more scratching, no more eruptions and as his fur is white I see mosquitoes barely land on him and promptly fly off in disgust. I can only assume the fleas are doing the same thing. His bedding is white, as I have sewn fitted sheets for both his beds from our old Spanish ones which do not fit on Canadian queen size beds, our carpets are light and in my diligent inspections I have found no evidence of fleas, ticks, or the like. His fur soon grew back in and not a hot spot in sight in 18 months.

For more information clearly outlining the health benefits of supplementing your dogs’ diet with garlic, what dosage and form, and the ongoing dispute of its safety, please see Garlic For Dogs.

It must be said that Pedro now weighs 85 lbs and 2 raw cloves of garlic in his food does make for a smelly burp. He seems to take pleasure in going to my hubby immediately after eating his dinner and as he stands almost eye-level to him when seated on the settee, gives a huge burp. which is greeted with “Good grief, Pedro that’s just charming! You should go and thank your mum for your dinner and burp on her”. It’s all lost on me really as I love the smell of garlic and Pedro happily wags his tail before going to lay down on his mammoth doggy sofa.

Until next time, please make sure you consult with your vet about any health concerns prior to self-treating.

Prosperous Blessings,

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Did a Reiki Treatment Help My Kitten's Vaccine Soreness?

Hello There. VivBounty here with a lovely report of how giving my kitten, Scampy a reiki treatment helped to relieve his soreness after his first round of vaccines.

Scampy was 8 weeks old at his second visit to the vet. He had doubled his weight to 2 lbs by then, so we estimate him to have gained 2 ozs per day in that 2 weeks. Being concerned about vaccines in general after reading too much online about the potential side effects, I asked the vet about sarcomas. Might as well go to the worst case scenario, right? Well I was delighted with her response. She explained that at a veterinary convention she attended a study on this very dilema was presented. The sarcomas were deduced to have been caused by technique.

She further explained that the study had shown an increased incidence of vaccine-site sarcomas at a vet clinic where none had occurred prior. There had been a new staff who vaccinated between the shoulder blades, believing this to be a less painful site, but unfortunately there is also less muscle there resulting in no movement of the tissue and thus the vaccine just sat there in a pouch never moving throughout the body eventually forming a potentially deadly sarcoma.

In her twenty years of practice, she has personally never injected in this location, rather opting to use the outer shoulder muscle where there is movement of the muscle and thus dispensation of the vaccine through the tissue throughout the body, nor has she had incidence of vaccine-site sarcomas in her hospital in the two decades.

So we cautiously agreed to having Scampy immunized with his first vaccine covering a number of common kitten afflictions. She gently said, "You'll probably need to rub that shoulder" and documented his vaccine record. We put him back in the pet carrier and he remained awake for the hour it took us to pick up some supplies for him before returning home.

When he stepped out of the carrier, he limped and I panicked. Brian picked him up to help him to the litter box and he "screamed" such a loud "meow" that I was in tears. I decided if I'm going to be his mummy, I have to maintain my composer and pull myself together. So he did his business and limped over to lay on the sofa. I grabbed my laptop to post an update in my blog and he hopped up on my recliner to snuggle on my lap with slightly glazed eyes. I tried to touch his shoulder and he "cried" so sadly and loudly that I was in tears again. I then gathered him in a fleece blanket on my chest, reclining my chair as rubbing anything was obviously out of the question.

I then grounded myself, and prepared to give him a reiki treatment to see if I could ease his pain. My hands immediately became very hot, within 5 minutes he was purring, and fell into a deep sleep. I kept my hands cupped around his tiny body until the energy ceased to be drawn and then just lay there with him for the next hour and a half.

When he woke up, he bounced of my lap. Scampered, true to his name, through 2 rooms over to his feeding bowls, drank some water, ate a good portion of his food and began playing with his stuffed toy. He had his "mojo" back!! I even gently rubbed his shoulder and he didn't even flinch. Again the next morning I rubbed it again without reaction, he was normally frisky, walking, eating, drinking and eliminating as if nothing had happened. I've read online that lack of appetite and soreness from vaccines can take up to a day and a half to ease off, but my little Scampy after his reiki treatment was as good as new.

Until next time, this is VivBounty reminding you to make informed decisions about your pet's care.

Prosperous Blessings,

Monday, August 31, 2009

Is Our Kitten, "Scampy" male or female?

Hello There! VivBounty here with great news on our new kitten, Scampy.

The day we got this kitten, no one was more surprised than us, except maybe our dog, Pedro. From a barn colony where 15 more needed homes, we couldn't refuse this one. So in the car, taking shelter under the driver's seat, we brought it home to cool off on a scorching hot Summer Sunday. We let Pedro sniff the kitten briefly, put it in the bathroom on the bath mat, a bowl of water nearby while Pedro layed outside the door sniffing inquisitively as we went to buy kitten supplies. We couldn't find a litter pan, so we settled for a paint tray, some fine litter, dry and wet kitten food at our local "trading post".

The cashier was a cat lover who had bred some 20 litters of kittens. She congratulated us on our choice of kitten food and asked the gender of the kitten. We had no idea, so she said "oh it's easy to tell" and went on to describe picking up the kitten, like its mother would, gently by the "scruff" of its neck, if the tail extends straight out behind, it's male and if the tail curls under between the legs, it's female. When I next got the chance, I lifted our little one up as gently as I could as instructed by the cashier and watched its tail. First it was straight down, then straight out, then curled under. Not wanting to hurt it, wondering how long I should suspend this poor little thing, I gave up and went in search on the Internet.

I found some photos online, which didn't really help with my one kitten, unable to compare. I lifted up my kitten's tail to examine and compare with the photos describing distances between orifices using this photo below from the which was great except that my kitten's genitalia was spaced somewhere in between these two. Cats are after all, as individual as people. A sibling of the opposite gender might have helped. Our visit to the Vet cleared all things up. Scampy is male, about 8 weeks old now. He was barely 6 weeks old at the time of the visit, but as he has long legs, she estimated that he is going to be a big cat, he's a good strong little guy, too young for vaccinations just yet. We're to keep him indoors until he can be protected and feed him kitten food until he's a year old. He weighed 1.4 lbs at that visit, but he seems to have grown bigger this past week, eating well, eliminating well, playful, independent and we think he's very clever.

So we conclude that Scampy was born on or about June 29th, in very good health and very loved by his "mum" and "dad". His "bruv", Pedro is tolerating him more and more just walking across his belly, hitching a ride across his back from sofas to desks and even lying nose to nose with him on the carpet.

Until next time, this is VivBounty reminding you to hug your pets, have them spayed or neutered, and if you're thinking of getting one, visit your local animal shelter.

Prosperous Blessings,

VivBounty Wonderfully Natural Living

Saturday, August 22, 2009

How Do You Treat a Very Young Kitten for fleas?

Hello there! VivBounty here with some tips on how to get rid of fleas on a young kitten under six weeks old.

We have recently taken a young kitten into our home and wondered how to treat it for fleas without harming it.

Our little addition goes to the vet on Monday for a first medical check-up, which is a very important first step to adopting a kitten.

After doing some research, we found that until you see the vet the safest way to treat a kitten under six weeks old for fleas is to bathe him or her in warm water and dishwashing detergent. Many breeders use this method as it is safe, when done properly, very effective and kills fleas quickly.

  • Try to ensure your bathroom/kitchen is warm before beginning so that your kitten doesn't get cold
  • A sink would be easier than a tub to avoid bending and make handling the kitten easier.
  • Fill the sink with warm water, test water by dipping your elbow in it, as you would for your baby.
  • Wear rubber gloves so that you don't get scratched
  • Have 2 towels and face cloth ready by the sink
  • Immerse the kitten in the water up to its neck and make sure its good and wet
  • Use the face cloth to wet its face and head
  • Now lift the kitten out and place on the towel
  • Put a little detergent between your fingers and massage gently into the kitten
  • Massage the lather all over its body and around his/her neck, ears, face, head. and under its chin
  • Be careful to avoid getting soap in the eyes
  • If there are fleas, you will see them running for the dry parts as you lather so treating the head is important
  • Now put the kitten back in the water in the sink to rinse
  • Try to keep him/her submerged for a few minutes making sure he/she is well-rinsed
  • Now use the dry towel to wrap the kitten up and dry him/her
  • Fill a cup with very hot water
  • Use a flea comb to go over the kitten while still damp
  • Catch any live fleas between your fingers and drop into the cup as fleas are able to jump out of cold water
TIP 1: Put some petroleum jelly at the base of the teeth of the comb to catch the fleas
TIP 2: Have masking tape or similar, sticky side up to put any remaining fleas on

We now have a very happy, affectionate, active. playful kitten who eats well, uses the litter box and is not the least bit intimidated by its 85-lb canine housemate, Pedro. They have even had naps together on the bed after only 4 days of living together.

Stay tuned for the name of our newest little blessing after the vet confirms gender.

Friday, June 12, 2009

And Then We Became Three

Hi There, VivBounty here,

I would like to share with you the story of adopting our dog, Pedro, the centre of our world, who brings us no end of escapades, entertainment, and most important of all, unconditional love as only man's best friend can. It is, after all, thanks to him that we are living in the country.

We went to the shelter to meet the newly arrived Husky-cross pups. I expected little fuzzy scampering balls of fluff. What I saw were long-nosed, lanky, skinny, dogs resembling fawns. These were the last two of a litter of ten still to be homed. We took Pedro and his brother, Solo, aptly named for his different colour eyes, one blue, the other brown, for a walk to get to know them. At 5 months old, these puppies were not small and we only had space for one. Although it broke our hearts to separate them, Pedro was the less confident one. He pulled less on the lead, which suited my hubby's tricky back "down to the ground", as he puts it. As he sat on a mound of dirt for a smoke break, Pedro immediately lollopped over to him and put his head on his shoulder, as if to ask, "Will you take me home and be my daddy?"

We happily took Pedro home and Solo was soon thereafter adopted as well. Almost 5 years later we can't imagine our life without him. He only ever had one small accident in the house, that first night from nerves. Once he hopped over the 4-foot garden wall, onto a road and my hubby hopped over right after him shouting for him to come back in a panic. Never having heard his daddy raise his voice, he stopped dead in his tracks, did an about-face and came right back over the wall into the garden. They are so much alike, this dog and my hubby, that I laughingly tell our friends that they could really be father and son.

Around the time we decided that we would leave Spain, I.A.T.A. ruled that pets could no longer be transported as extra baggage, and pet carriers had to meet very specific safety criteria. This drove the cost of transporting Pedro, then 75 lbs in weight across the Atlantic up 20 times the price we had estimated. Whatever! It's not like leaving him behind would ever have been a consideration in a million years!

Pedro is wonderful with toddlers, puppies, other dogs, his disabled Aunt Julie, everybody he meets and we think he can pick up satellite signals with those ears! I recently received an e-mail concluding that "within the heart of every stray lies the singular desire to be loved", and love him, we do!

Until next time, hug your pet.

Prosperous Blessings,

VivBounty Wonderfully Natural Living

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Welcome To My Blog

Hello there, VivBounty here,

Welcome to VivBounty Wonderfully Natural Living blog. I am so excited to finally be starting my second blog.

Stay tuned for informative, somewhat amusing, hopefully inspiring stories and anecdotes of my learning to live in the country.

Funnily enough, despite being born in what is considered the "third world", and having lived on 4 continents, I have always lived in a city.

I will share my experiences with you as I search for natural ways to cope with having a dog, housekeeping and even starting a garden as the seasons come and go in a village with a population of under 500.

Follow my blog and come back often as I share my adventures of living in a rural area for the first time in my life and all the natural "fix-its" I can find.

Prosperous Blessings,

VivBounty Wonderfully Natural Living

My First Flower Bed

Hello There, VivBounty here,

So now that we live in the country to accommodate Pedro and avoid the rat race, my mum is determined to turn me into a gardener.

As a result, I have created my first flowerbed. I expected a feeling of accomplishment, but I had not anticipated how excited I would be after I finished this project.

You see, it all happened quite naturally. My mum is an avid gardener. Her down time is gardening. As you will see on my other blog, she recently visited with us for 16 days. She arrived here with bulbs and plants uprooted from her own garden 1,000 miles away to begin ours. No amount of telling her that my hubby's idea of gardening is to ride his lawn tractor once a week could deter her from digging a holes in various spots around our lawn to plant irises, hydrangeas, and lilies.

During the family visit, a knowledgeable neighbour found that our horse chestnut tree was on the verge of dying and falling over on to our wood shed. That very same day it was chopped down, sawed into pieces and left on the lawn to be further cut into firewood. He went off to do other jobs as is the custom in the village, leaving Mum very concerned about what this would do to the grass. She suggested leveling off the stump, hollowing out the center to add soil for a draping flowering plant and around the stump planting perennials which require minimal effort, etc., etc. Her imagination ran rampant. "Just to give you a bit of colour", she kept saying. My imagination was on blog posts, but then all the store flyers arrived with flowers and gardening tool sales and I started to see this colour my mum was on about.

Eventually the crew arrived to clean up the tree and I began weeding around the 3 pitiful plants left here by the previous owner of the house. They immediately perked up and seemed to be reaching for the sun. The next thing I knew I was edging a circle around the tree stump and tilling the soil. My neighbour came home and wandered over to move the last piece of the trunk away. I was crouched over contemplating my next move and seemingly out of nowhere I found myself repeating Mum’s words, asking him if he could saw the huge stump off level, instead of digging it and all its massive roots out. This was music to his ears.

A day later I borrowed a wheelbarrow, with doggy, Pedro in tow I filled it with more than enough bricks to edge my flowerbed from a old wool mill recently demolished behind our house. Not that I could move it with 55 bricks in it but it was a start. How was I to know how hard it is to push a wheelbarrow? Three bricks at a time I moved them to my garden and began to place them in a circle. Pedro was in his element helping me dig the now almost colourful flowerbed. The stump hasn’t been embellished yet, but all in good time. We sent Mum pictures, she is absolutely ecstatic and very proud of her little girl. Isn’t that the validation every daughter lives for?

Prosperous Blessings,

VivBounty Wonderfully Natural Living