Thursday Thirteen – 13 Weird Things On Our Google Analytics Page

Don’t you just love Google Analytics? It’s a rockin’ piece of technology, and ever so useful in helping you to find out how people found your website.

I’m not an obsessive about checking stats, but every so often I like to take a look and find out what search terms (the phrase people typed into Google or another search engine – wait, are there still other search engines?) have been used to find my site, along with such interesting tidbits as who’s linking to me and who’s visiting me.

So, here’s this week’s Thursday Thirteen – 13 weird things I noticed when I checked our Google site stats this week.

Weird Site Search Terms

I expect people to find us using normal terms, like ‘French Bulldog’ or ‘Bullmarket’, but how do I explain these?

Cooking Dogs (please let this actually mean ‘cooking FOR dogs’)

my dog cant pee (site owners suggests taking him to VET)

site looks good but to small (I spent 20 minutes trying to find my own site via this search term, to no avail)

french dog mall (ooh, a mall just for French Dogs – sign me up!)

Weird Links

I know most of the sites I’ve personally listed – Canada’s Guide to Dogs, for example, and Dogs in Canada. But how did we end up on these pages? It’s a mystery to me… (we really, really don’t have a yellow pages ad!) (from checking the weather to.. Frenchies?)

Unusual Country Visits

I can understand Canada. I can understand the USA. I can even understand Australia and Europe, I suppose. But some of the countries in my top one hundred list sort of leave me puzzled… and hey! If you’re the single person who’s on here from Lebanon, leave a comment and say ‘hi’, will you?

# 88 on the list – Peru, 2 visitors

#91 on the list – Uruguay, 1 visitor

#101 on the list – Lebanon, 1 visitor
Browser Usage Stats (interesting to geeks only)

I expected to see the usual – Explorer, Firefox, Safari, a few Mozilla hold outs. But these ones – two of them I had to look up!

Camino – 15 users

Blazer – 9 users

HTC-8900 – 6 users

Konqueror – 3 users

Thursday Thirteen – 13 useful tools for grooming a French Bulldog

I’ve limited this to the things I use over and over again – if not on a daily basis, at least with some regularity. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

Zoom Groom
1. Rubber Curry

This thing is just about the best item I’ve ever used for getting rid of loose hair and pet dander. I use it in between furminator-ing the dogs, when their coats just need a regular brushing. I also use it in the tub, while I’m bathing them, to spread shampoo and conditioner through their coats. I personally like the Zoom Groom, but almost any basic rubber curry will do.


2. Furminator

Yes, I’m a convert to the holy church of Furminator, amen. This is the best thing since sliced bread for removing dead hair from the sleek coat of a Frenchie (and if you didn’t know Frenchies shed, you obviously don’t own one yet). A caveat – use it gently, because over vigorous use can scrape skin and break coat.

Blunt tipped scissors

3. Blunt tipped scissors

This is all I use for trimming ear hairs, whiskers and stray hairs on the tail. It can’t cut them, and it doesn’t freak them out like the sound and vibration of clippers.

Nail Trimmers

4. Guillotine Nail Trimmers

The basic old stand by – for when I’m too lazy to pull out the dremel. No matter how many fancy shmancy new nail trimmers come on the market, this is the one I come back to.

Dremel Nail Grinder
5. Dremel Nail Grinder

For show ring short nails, you really need a Dremel. Nothing else can get a French Bulldog’s nails short enough, without bleeding. I suggest that novices get either a groomer or their breeder to show them how to use this, and that you introduce your dog to it as young as possible. Peronsally, I use the corded model – as much as the cord free design is convenient, the dead battery part is a pain in the neck, and a distinct possibility when doing nails on multiple dogs. However, a single dog household would likely prefer to get the cordless model.

Bio Groom Sure Clot
6. Styptic Powder

Unfortunately, there will almost always be nail trimming incidents from time to time, and that means bleeding. I like the Sure Clot powder from Bio Groom, but in a pinch good old ‘Kwik Stop’ will also do the trick. I’ve never had much luck with the pens, gels or liquids.

Baby Wipes

7. Baby Wipes

I use unscented, thick baby wipes for loads of things – wiping down faces, getting loose hair and dander off of coats, wiping down muddy paws, shining up coat just before entering the ring, the dreaded butt danglies wipe off, and general ‘eww, what the heck did you get into?’ maintenance. You can get fancy ones made just for pets, but anything gentle enough for a baby’s bum is probably fine for your Frenchie’s skin and coat.

8. Zinc Ointment

Another product made for human babies, but useful on Frenchies. I use zinc ointment on those Frenchies who are prone to skin fold irritations. Skin fold irritations, just like diaper rash, are usually caused by moisture being trapped in creases in the skin. Zinc ointment protects skin and hair from moisture. I clean the folds with witch hazel, then slather on zinc ointment in the folds, resulting in a dog that seems to be wearing camo face paint. Added bonus – the other dogs get to try to lick it off. I prefer Desitin’s formula, which has as pleasant scent.
Witch hazel

9. Witch Hazel

This gentle liquid is what I dab on cotton balls and use to clean skin folds on faces. I use the Organic formula made by Humphrey’s Organic. Whichever brand you use, make SURE it’s rubbing alcohol free.

Diamond Eye Tear Stain Remover

10. Diamond Eyes

The big guns for getting rid of tear stains. For severe cases, I clip and then apply twice daily. It’s the only thing I’ve ever found that actually works. I use it in conjunction with daily wipe downs, and in between using zinc ointment. Oh, and yes – I’ve used Angel Eye powdered food additive, and no – it didn’t work for me.

B&B ShampooB&B Conditioner

11 & 12. Bumble & Bumble Shampoo and Conditioner

OK, maybe it seems excessive to use anything this luxurious on your pet, but hello? These are French Bulldogs we’re talking about here, so don’t they deserve a little luxe in their lives? Besides, Bumble and Bumble’s Gentle shampoo is baby safe, smells great, and leaves coats shining like silk. Their super rich conditioner leaves coats smooth, soft and dander free, and is great for winter. I also have used half strength body wash – any gentle brand, although I prefer Lush. For showing, I use the John Frieda line for colored hair – their Blonde Shampoo and color glaze leave creams positively glistening. I don’t think it’s gentle enough for regular use, however.

grooming table

13. Pet grooming table

This might seem excessive, but even single pet owners will find that once they’ve groomed on a proper table, there’s no going back to flimsy substitutes. The surface is non slip, the height on a good table is adjustable, and you can reach your dog from all angles. Prices on folding models tend to be reasonable, and a decent quality table will last for a lifetime, so it’s a good investment.

Thursday Thirteen – 13 Books, more or less

I’m a voracious and somewhat undisciplined reader. First off, I tend to have two or three books on the go at any one time. I’ll read bits and pieces of one, skim through another that I’ve read before, start another and decide it’s not my cup of tea. I’m a firm believer in the ‘one chapter and you’re out’ rule of reading – if the author doesn’t catch my interest within the first chapter, I move on to something else. I don’t see the point of forcing myself to read a book I’m bored by, and since I’m no longer reading for course credits, I just don’t do it.

I’m also a genre crosser – I don’t read exclusively of any one sort of literature. Science fiction, fantasy, current fiction, alternative press, old dog stories – it’s all grist for the mill. So, if you’re expecting any sort of coherence from this list, you’re going to leave disappointed.

This list is of books I’ve either just finished, am in the middle of, or am planning to read. If you have a book suggestion for me, please let me know in the comments section.



1. Dumb-Bell of Brookfield and Other Great Dog Stories, John Taintor Foote

I first encountered a dusty, mildewed copy of this book in my uncle’s extensive library, and I’ve loved it ever since. While some of the human characters might seem like caricatures to modern day readers (The Harvard sport, the African American handyman, the Claudette Colbert-esque leading lady), the dogs all ring true. I first fell in love with ‘Bulldogs’ because of Allegheny, a story of a ‘Bull Terrier pup’ out of two fighting parents. I re read this one every few years, in this case to take the after taste of “The Dogs of Bedlam Farm” out of my mouth.



2. The Dogs of Bedlam Farm, Jon Katz

I finished this book, the first by Jon Katz I’d ever read, before Luisa’s wonderful summation of his stupidity appeared on her blog. Even for a non herding person such as myself, this book disturbed me. Mr Katz is one of those inept ‘do as I say, not as I do’ trainers who seems to take pride in detailing his own ineptitude, and at times seems to expect praise for the myriad ways he let down the dogs in his care. In particular, I was baffled by his insistence that he had to clear out half his flock because ‘real farmers’ wouldn’t like him keeping more stock than he ‘needed’ (real farmers, in my experience, have more important things to worry about than what the wanna be farmer up the road is doing with his play flock – things like trying to stave off bankruptcy).



3. Coldheart Canyon, Clive Barker

Well, this was a disappointment. I love Clive Barker, and rate a few of his books (Abarat, Imajica, Weaveworld) among some of the best horror -slash- fantasy writing I’ve ever read. This book, however, felt like a mishmash of plot stories, with orgiastic ghosts, demonic tile mosaics (don’t ask) and vengeful Theda Bara esque ageless vamps. Oh, and angels, too. Maybe. Just too much going on, in too many different ways. Not his best work, by a long shot, but I’ll send this book to anyone who wants to take a crack at it, and who will post their own review in their blog. Fuzzy? You game?



4. The French Bulldog, Muriel Lee

The French Bulldog, Muriel LeeI got my copy of this book months ago, but didn’t sit down to read it until just recently – and I am so pleased that I did! Muriel has drawn on a pool of amazing talent to write (dare I say it?) the best over all guide to the breed I’ve ever read.

Her collaborators include James Grebe, Michael Rosser, Penny Rankin-Parsons, and numerous other breed specialists, all of who have helped to make this work a thorough and exhausting source of knowledge for both novice and experienced French Bulldog enthusiasts. After years of recommending Steve Eltinge’s “The French Bulldog”, it’s a relief to have an alternative to his (now out of print and ridiculously over priced on the secondary market) book. Well done, Muriel and company!



5. The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007, edited by David Eggers

One of the literary highlights for me every year is picking up a copy of David Eggers wonderful Anthology, Best American Nonrequired Reading. This year’s copy just arrived last week, and I’m already through it. I’ll let this review sum up BANR –

“The premise is simple – San Francisco high school students scour through literary magazines, independent publications, and on-line journals for articles, stories, vignettes, and memoirs that they consider the best. They share their findings with each other and with their editor, Dave Eggers, until they’ve parsed it down to a few pieces to publish in this NonRequired Reading volume.”

A gem, as always.



6. Pushcart Prize XXXII: Best of the Small Presses, 2008 Edition

Another anthology, this one of short stories published by small presses (as opposed to the O’Henry prizes, which tend to draw from the same pool of periodicals). There is always a moment of amazement hidden within this great anthology – the feeling of discovering a new writer, on the brink of becoming great. There are also stories by established writers, waiting to give us fresh insights into what keeps them topical. My personal favorite was ‘Unassigned Territory’, by Stephanie Powell Watts. I still have half of this book to go, and am reading it in small chunks, the better and longer to savour it.



7. A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini

Like everyone else who reads, I thoroughly enjoyed Khaled Hosseini’s wonderful book ‘The Kite Runner’. I’m only a few pages into his new book, but already I’m as enraptured as I was by Kite Runner. He captures his characters and their environments with incredible deftness and a sparsity of prose that’s simply beautiful.



8. The Principles of Uncertainty, By Maira Kalman

This is an odd but lovely little book, composed of paintings that don’t illustrate the text, but in fact are the text. It’s a beautiful take on the traditional mange style of graphic novels. I’ve gotten through half of it, some of which left me simply baffled, but all of which I found lovely.



9. The House of Meetings, by Martin Amis

The premise of this book – gruff, amoral Red Army veteran looks back on the time he spent in a Russian gulag and the damage it did to his life and that of his gentler, more delicate brother Lev – is simple enough, but the prose is dense and chewy, and my brain has been too jammed full of stuff to do this book justice. I started it last fall, enjoyed it, then tossed it aside when I got caught up in other things. I’m starting it again now, and liking it even more than I did then.



10. The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, Michael Chabon

Oh, how do I love this book. I loved it the first time I read it, and I’ve just picked it up for a second go. I often do this, because I’m a greedy first reader – I gulp down the words, rushing through to the conclusion. A second reading lets me savour the words, as I am with this book. The premise – a temporary Jewish settlement is established on the Alaska panhandle for two million displaced Jews of World War 2. Fantasy? Yes, but only if you ignore the fact that Franklin Roosevelt proposed just such a solution. From there, the book segues into a Yiddish come Alaskan murder mystery. It might indeed be flawed in places, but over all this is just a great book.



11. The World Without Us, Alan Weisman

I haven’t started this one yet, but it’s on my to read list, and the premise is intriguing – if we all of us disappeared from the planet tomorrow, how long would it take for all traces of humanity to disappear? According to Weisman, the answer is ‘not long at all’. National Geographic took this concept and has turned it into a TV series, ‘Population Zero ‘. I can’t get it yet in Canada, but it looks interesting.



12. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Ishmael Beah

Another book waiting its turn on the bedside table, this story of a child soldier stolen from his Sierra Leone village at age twelve is on just about every top ten list of 2007. I have been waiting for a stretch of time when I have no other books on the go, so that I can do it justice.



13. The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman

I’m looking forward to this book the way that some people look forward to Christmas. Based on Gaiman’s short story, the release of this book is an event for any fan of his fiction, and I’ve already pre ordered my copy (plus a few to give as gifts!). Too bad it won’t be here until some time in September… in the meantime, rabid fans can read about the books progress, and see galleys of the cover art by Dave Mckean, over on Neil Gaiman’s blog.





13 Cutest French Bulldog Pieces on Etsy right now

I love Etsy – I love everything about it, from the website design to the concept to the idea of supporting independent artists.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Etsy, it’s

a website which focuses primarily on providing the general public with a way to buy and sell handmade items. The site follows in the tradition of open craft fairs, giving sellers personal storefronts where they list their goods for a fee. It has been compared to “a crafty cross between Amazon and eBay” and “your grandma’s basement”.

As the description says, it’s a venue for artists to sell small numbers of hand crafted pieces – everything from fine art to low brow kitsch. I’ve found – and purchased – quite a few lovely French Bulldog pieces there, and many of the artists can make custom items, or items in a number of breeds.

Here are the thirteen cutest French Bulldog pieces I’ve recently found on Etsy (all images are linked directly from the seller’s page). Please note that since many pieces are either one of a kind or made in small numbers, something that’s available today might not still be there next week.



Kayann Works Spoiled French Bulldog Pendant

Kayann Works customs crafts these big, beautiful pendants onto Dominos. I own one, and wear it all the time, and plan to order a custom made pendant with Tessa on it. Side note: the leather she uses for a cord ‘sheds’ little bits of black guck, so request it on a satin ribbon, instead.



French Bulldog Cigar Label

There’s something about the face of the Frenchie on this faux Cigar box label from Rubenacker that just makes me happy – perhaps because I have a weakness for single hooded pieds, and their resemblance to Petey from Our Gang. Either way, this is one sweet art print.



Must Love Frenchies Pendant

Barrel of Monkeys does quite a few cute, funky, inexpensive Frenchie themed items. Their shrink plastic “Must Love Frenchies” pendants are fun, colorful and almost downright cheap, and would be great as a necklace or even as gift tags.



Iridescent Glass French Bulldog pendant

I love these gorgeous, iridescent glass pendants from Frums Glass Menagerie. They glisten in gorgeous shades of color, and people never fail to comment when I wear one of them. They do them in tons of colors and tons of breeds – and, again, this is an exquisite piece of hand made jewelery for a really great price.



BellaBella does mix n’ match Greeting Cards and envelopes that come in a lovely gift box with ribbon. Their cute pop art French Bulldog cards are great for an all purpose card, or for “New Puppy” announcements. People do still send things snail mail, right? I also think they’d look lovely framed as a cute little print – buy a pack of 8 cards, pop them into some frames from Ikea, and give them to Frenchie crazed friends as Christmas gifts or for fund raisers!



Vinatge French Bulldog Gig Poster

Again from BellaBella come these custom made, faux vintage gig posters, made with your dog’s image and tag line, and similar in feel to old indie band posters. Note that the dog on the poster is a Frenchie, and that their store is named after her. Is it any coincidence that so many artists also have Frenchies?



I am going to forgive the talented artists over at Penguin And Fish for creating a French Bulldog print that much more closely resembles a Boston Terrier, simply because I adore their work so much. I love the colors, the brush work, the funky retro feel and the illustration-esque look of their work. We’ll work on getting them to use a more Frenchie looking Frenchie in their future pieces.



This is a cute, colorful print from Lady Artista. She can work from your dog’s image, or has several Frenchie prints available. I love seeing animal portraits available in so many new, fresh styles. There’s something out there now for just about anyone’s taste.



French Bulldog Family in Cafe

I don’t know what it is, but something about this painting of French Bulldogs in a Parisian Cafe appeals to me. I love how the woman in the couple seems to be nursing a hangover. Looking after three Frenchies will do that to you, trust me. Stylistically, this is worlds away from most of the custom animal portraits out there – remember when just about all you could get were pen and ink sketches, or paint by number-esque acrylics? This is a print from a custom painting by Lou Marek.



Another piece from Rubenacker – the same artist who created the ‘vintage’ cigar box label above. This guy sure has a way with Frenchies, and his coloring is soft and beautiful. He paints many different breeds, all of which are lovely and true to breed type, even when he’s doing funky prints like his Boston Terrier Aviators and Astronauts.



Oh, this is one of my favorites. The flying, surrealistic Frenchie is a lovely memorial. Welcome to the Doghouse does great custom work, or their prints are wonderful for framing. Like Rubenacker, many of their prints have subjects which are great fun – check out their flying Bostons, and their Cheetos Sloth.



Dog Art Studio does some incredible Frenchie pieces in soft watercolors. He offers prints, or custom pieces. I’m not a huge fan of watercolors, but these are quite nice.



Here’s another beautiful glass pendant, this one using a French Bulldog cigarette card. Squidglass does pieces with soft, antique colors, and uses fused glass. Lovely worksmanship, for really reasonable prices.



Felted French Bulldog and Bichon

Bonus item! Amelia Makes Art doesn’t have a French Bulldog listed on Etsy right now, but she has one in her album of completed commissions, and she specifies she can make one from your own dog’s photos. Her works are tiny, beautiful pieces of art, hand felted out of wool and bits of other things. They’re lovely. Oh, and she donates $10 from every commission to the Family Dogs New Life Shelter in Portland.







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Thursday Thirteen – 13 Groups that help owners who can't afford Veterinary care

Responsible pet owners are aware of the costs involved in caring for their pets, and do their best to provide the best Veterinary care possible. But what about those people who have suffered financial set backs – the people who’ve been laid off, or have lost their jobs, or who simply are on limited incomes? Their budgets might force them to choose between emergency care for a beloved cat or dog, or paying the rent. The following groups help the poor, the lower income, the elderly, women in shelter situations and those with limited incomes to cover health care costs on their pets. Some also provide low or no cost spay and neuters.

Almost all of them make worthy choices for those looking for charities to support.

Please feel free to add links to other groups in the comments section.



Thursday Thirteen



1. The Farley Foundation

The Foundation offers financial assistance to veterinary clinics in Ontario to help cover the cost of providing necessary veterinary care for pets belonging to seniors receiving the Federal Guaranteed Income Supplement or people with disabilities who receive the Ontario Disability Support Payment, and who cannot otherwise afford treatment for their pets.



2. American Animal Hospital Association

Through the AAHA Helping Pets Fund, veterinary care is possible for sick or injured pets even if they have been abandoned or if their owner is experiencing financial hardship.



3. Angels 4 Animals

Angels 4 Animals, a non-profit organization and a program of Inner Voice Community Services, has a mission to serve as the guardian
angel of animals whose caretakers find themselves in difficult financial situations. Our services range from financial aid to complete treatment to those pets and pet owners in need.



4. Care Credit

A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care. Care Credit, the leader in patient/client financing, has helped more than 3 million patients/clients get the treatment or procedures they needed and wanted. With a comprehensive range of plan options, for treatment or procedure fees from $1 to over $25,000, we offer a plan and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into almost every budget.



5. Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance (FVEAP)

The Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program provides financial assistance to cat and kitten guardians who are unable to afford veterinary services to save their companions when life-threatening illness or injury strikes.



6. Help-A-Pet

Our efforts focus on serving the elderly, the disabled, and the working poor. For lonely seniors, physically/mentally challenged individuals and children of working parents, pets represent much more than a diversion.




Dedicated to insuring that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker is financially challenged.



8. The Pet Fund

A registered 501(c)3 nonprofit association that provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need urgent veterinary care. Companion animal owners must often make the difficult decision to put an animal down or neglect urgent medical needs because of the costs involved. The purpose of the Pet Fund is to work towards a future where decisions about companion animal medical care need never be made on the basis of cost.



9. United Animal Nations

The mission of LifeLine is to help homeless or recently rescued animals suffering from life-threatening conditions that require specific and immediate emergency veterinary care. We strive to serve Good Samaritans and rescue groups who take in sick or injured animals. In certain cases, LifeLine can also assist senior citizens and low-income families pay for immediate emergency veterinary care.




PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity, caring for more than 300,000 pet patients belonging to people in need. We provide free veterinary treatment to sick and injured animals and we promote responsible pet ownership.



11. RSPCA UK (Local Branches Only)

Many RSPCA animal welfare establishments also offer subsidised veterinary treatment (help with vet bills), neutering and microchipping in addition to pet care information and rehoming facilities.



12. UK Assistance with Veterinary Bills

A listing of charities in the UK that can help with emergency veterinary expenses.




From time to time, recognizes a caretaker of handicapped pets that need some special attention, and a little extra help. There are those who are so selflessly dedicated to their animal families that they give up a little more than they can afford.








Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!