Taking Better Photographs of your Dog

By Deandra Walker

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I love it when my dog is acting cute or silly and I am able to capture a photograph of it. I like to use my camera phone, and I am sure you do as well. Unlike my digital camera, I always have my phone with me making it easier to snap photos of those special moments. However, I have noticed that the photos from my camera phone do not turn out quite as well as I hope or my subject decides to move and chase the squirrel running across my yard. So how can we improve the way we take pictures of our dogs using our cell phones?

Camera phones are continually evolving, becoming of higher quality all of the time. And, they are so easy to use! Here are some tips for getting those photos to show off your dog and his or her unique personality.

  1. Turn the flash off to avoid creating red eye. The flash can also startle your dog. Always try to use natural light instead.
  2. Make sure that you focus on you dog’s head. These days, smart phones have the capability for you to select the subjects in your picture you want to focus on.
  3. Get down to eye level to take the photograph; it is more flattering for your dog.
  4. Offer treats to your dog get you’re his attention.
  5. Use the rapid-fire option if you catch your pet doing something cute. That way your phone takes pictures continuously and you have a better chance of capturing a good shot.
  6. Try to take photo early in the morning or just before sunset. These are the times during the day when natural light is perfect for photography.
  7. Turn your pet’s face toward the sun when outdoors so their expression is bright and visible.

Follow these suggestions and you will have better luck snapping an adorable photo of your pet. If you take a good shot, email it to us at info@rmsaam.com and we will put it up on our Facebook page. Whoever gets the most comments/likes between today,  September 9th and 5pm MST on September 16th, will win a prize!

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Thunderstorms Oh My!

By Deandra Walker

We have been having an unusual amount of rain in Colorado this summer. With rain comes thunder and lightning, and the reminder of how much anxiety it can cause our dogs (and ourselves as well). And everyone has his or her favorite thunderstorm story. In many instances, dogs that are fearful of thunderstorms also experience stress with other loud noises like fireworks, gunshots, garbage trucks, and airplanes. The good news, however, is that dogs can benefit from calming therapies in these instances. For example, soft music, flower essences, and acupressure and massage can all be helpful in alleviating your dog’s stress in these situations.

Both acupressure and massage are effective tools in soothing and relaxing muscles and they work well in conjunction with soft music in a quite, peaceful, and safe area of the home. A good place to begin is by gently stroking your pet from head to tail in long, slow, strokes to relax them until they feel comfortable enough to lie down. To massage, create small, circular movements from head to tail along the sides the spine making sure to massage either side of the body equally as well as the base of the skull for energy balance. Acupressure is also a great choice to help calm a distressed and frightened pet. After massaging, apply light pressure to the area in the center of the skull between the ears.

It is essential that you remain cautious when working with animals that are scared as even the sweetest pets can act on impulse in situations that cause them anxiety and stress. Approach your pet gently and slowly and always pay close attention to their body language.

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Tumeric for Pets

By Deandra Walker

If you cook, you probably have heard about turmeric; a staple in Thai, Indian, and Persian dishes. Tumeric is an herb largely known for its deep orange/yellow color. However, you may not realize that turmeric has been such a remarkable natural remedy for people for thousands of years that it is certain pet owners will be compelled to try it for their pets as well. But is turmeric an effective treatment for pets? And most importantly, is it safe?

Curcumin, which has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, is the most active ingredient in turmeric. Researchers have speculated that the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin show promise in the prevention and treatment of a variety of diseases and conditions. And yes, it is found to be safe for pets!

The recommended dosage is 1/8 to 1/4 tsp/day, for every 10 lbs weight.

Tumeric is a simple and easy, yet effective everyday home treatment to compliment regular massage sessions for animals. Regular consumption of turmeric in the diet can ease stiffness and reduce pain and joint swelling in pets!

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The Unfurling

by Sandi Martinez

 

A bud nudges its leafy neighbor as if to say, I’m ready... (Image: Sandi Martinez
A bud nudges its leafy neighbor
as if to say, I’m ready… (Image: Sandi Martinez

by Sandi Martinez

A bud nudges its leafy neighbor
as if to say, I’m ready
the leaf asks
for what?

And the bud says
to open up
And the leaf asks
to what?

And the bud says, I don’t know

and the leaf says,
that’s all you should know

And the bud says,
why?
isn’t there more?

And the leaf says
once you open up,
everything is a possibility

and the bud says
isn’t it now, in my closed state?

And the leaf says,
only if you think that way, rather limited if you ask me

So the bud says,
how will I know that something is a possibility?

and the leaf says,
BECAUSE IT ALWAYS STARES IN YOU IN THE FACE

Can your furry friend experience soreness after a massage?

When your pet experiences their first massage, soreness can occur. So how will you know if your pet is sore? (Image: Sandi Martinez)
When your pet experiences their first massage, soreness can occur. So how will you know if your pet is sore? (Image: Sandi Martinez)

 

by Sandi Martinez

[Contributors: Lisa Speaker and Jenny Rukavina-Marchese]

For humans, the benefits of massage outweigh the inevitable soreness that can sometimes occur post-massage. The advantage the massage therapist has over helping us humans to minimize the impact of soreness, is that they can recommend that we drink plenty of water, and do some gentle stretches. Hydration is key in order to assist our bodies to rid ourselves of the toxins that are naturally released during massage.

All Animal Massage practitioners provide a form in which the owner specifies all pertinent details about your furry friend. Questions about your dog’s health and wellness are included. If your dog falls within the eligibility parameters of massage, the practitioner then has the honor of building a relationship with your dog on a therapist/client basis.

When your pet experiences their first massage, soreness can occur. So how will you know if your pet is sore? You know your furry friend’s (this includes your horses!) habits well by now – the first thing you will notice is that your pet is less active, or when in a lying position, will rise more gingerly or slowly than usual. If you have stairs, your pet may climb them more slowly.  The therapist’s goal is to minimize this possibility of soreness; it is not unusual if your furry friend does experience this, due to the unaccustomed feeling of knotted muscles being relieved and newly positioned.

Asking in advance of the first massage what to expect post-massage is highly recommended, as all animals experience the benefits of massage differently. Sometimes the changes in movement are more subtle. In cases like these, touching base with the practitioner post-massage might be a good idea. After the initial massage, if soreness continues, the practitioner can ascertain with as much detail provided by the owner, how best to adjust and customize the massage to fit your animal companion’s special needs during future sessions.

Here are a few ways to help your dog with the soreness they may be feeling:

  • Take your dog for a slow, short walk, post-massage
  • Make another appointment within the same week for another session; this will maintain, and prep your dog’s muscles for continued muscle relaxation and dexterity
  • Make water easily and readily available for them to drink after their session
  • Cold laser therapy will help in the more tense and reactive areas, in which soreness can occur

The ultimate goal for the animal practitioner when massaging your pet for the first time is to use less pressure in combination with intuition, to guide their best and positive intentions that lead to an awesome experience – for their first time on the table!

A Stint

Time... And the self-betrayal caused when we waste  it. (Outside of an art gallery in Santa Fe, NM: Image: Sandi Martinez)
Time…
And the self-betrayal caused when we waste
it. (Outside of an art gallery in Santa Fe, NM: Image: Sandi Martinez)

by Sandi Martinez

A stint in time isn’t what

it seems

a tear and a crack in the air rip’s at the seams

So many days in yearning

for the things inside that are burning

And yet, time is a thief;

a glance toward those whom might see

which is sacred, is taken

A stint in time is only what it is…

the breakage that occurs

when we take what is most stolen…

Time

And the self-betrayal caused when we waste

it

Geez, don’t Rune your week!

Algiz reversed encourages us to take our time, even if we may be late, in order to set the pace for a positive day, resulting in more positive outcomes.
Algiz reversed encourages us to take our time, even if we may be late, in order to set the pace for a positive day, resulting in more positive outcomes.

 

Contributed by Sandi Martinez

Who would have thought that you could use a letter from an old Scandinavian alphabet, to guide you in your daily living habits?

Algiz (pronounced: algeez) represents the letter Z in the Elder Futhark origin of runes (Runes are letters of the Germanic alphabet thought to originate in Scandinavia) dated from the 3-7 centuries. The Elder Futhark consists of 24 runes, broken into three groups of eight known as Aett (a division of the runic alphabet). Today, runes are used as a diving tool similar to the tarot for example.

Algiz upright, (the rune was drawn reversed) symbolizes protection. Reversed, this rune reminds us that exercising awareness and reading the red-light signs; not just the literal red lights we obey on the road… is essential to preventing not only accidents on the road, but also the mistakes we might make by not paying more attention!

So the times when we’re driving to work in a hurry, our foot may get heavy on the gas pedal, and too light on the brakes! This is when accidents occur. When we brake just on time, we are saved and protected from harm. But when we are not aware and stubborn in getting there, well… we are unprotected and therefore cause harm to ourselves and others.

Algiz reversed encourages us to take our time, even if we may be late, in order to set the pace for a positive day, resulting in more positive outcomes. We may even run into others’, who have negative intentions toward us, and we may miss the signs – do you have paper trail to cover your tail? Did you lock your door and set your alarm before you left the house? Did you leave your purse in obvious view of those who don’t have the decency to return it to you, knowing it belongs to you?

The key to protecting yourself and those you love is awareness. Take care to be careful, lest you get clipped by the un-reputable! So this week folks, stay safe by being self-aware, and please… drive with care… fireworks will be flying soon, and so will our determination to have fun!

RMSAAM wishes you a wonderful and successful week!