Does Your Dog Suffer From Anxiety?

Several of my dogs have some kind of anxiety. Jack is scared of loud noises. Gypsy doesn’t like it when the oven is on. My Corgi, Simon, was frightened of umbrellas. Penny seems to be scared of everything. Fears, phobias and anxieties in dogs are quite common. According to PETMD, “Fear is the instinctual feeling of apprehension resulting from a situation, person, or object presenting an external threat — whether real or perceived.” Some fears are … [Read more...]

How To Choose The Right Veterinarian

Choosing the right veterinarian may be the single most important thing you do to ensure the long-term health of your pet. All vets are not created equal. Be careful about choosing one based purely on convenience or because of clever advertising.  Do your research. When I moved to Pennsylvania from New Jersey 22 years ago I went in search of a new vet.  I adored my previous one and used to tell people I liked my vet better then my own doctor.  He was … [Read more...]

Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth Is Important

I would like to say that I brush my dogs teeth everyday and they have perfect pearly whites. But I don’t and they don’t. I do give them dry food and I do give them plain rawhide and greenies to chew. This helps a little but it does not replace getting in there and brushing. Those of you who have toy dogs know it is almost imossible to get into those tiny mouths. I can get the front teeth but those back ones are hard to get at not to mention they hate … [Read more...]

Does Your Dog Get Jealous?

The first thing you learn when introducing a new dog to your household is that they all expect to be treated the same. I have had multiple dogs in my house most of my adult life and can attest that dogs do get jealous if you don’t treat them all in the same way. According to Brandon Griggs in a recent CNN report, “New research suggests that dogs can exhibit jealousy, a human emotion usually ascribed to squabbling siblings or the jilted third of a love … [Read more...]

Has Your Dog Ever Been Stung by a Bee? Be Prepared in Case of Emergencies

Several years ago while I was taking my two chihuahuas for a walk on a lovely autumn day, one of them was stung by a bee. I was a fair distance from my house and enjoying the beautiful day when I heard Carl, my four pound dog scream. It was literally a scream like I had never heard before. I had no idea what happened. I picked him up and checked him over. I saw a large yellow jacket on his paw. I brushed it off and then Carl went completely limp. I was … [Read more...]

Tips For Selecting a Pet Sitter

Roger Caras, the long-time host of the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show as well as an accomplished writer and photographer, once said "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." Yet, any time I am about to go on vacation or even go out for a quick excursion, ALL I can think about are my dogs. In preparation for a two-day weekend getaway, I spend maybe 3 times that making sure my dogs will be well taken care of. These are my babies … [Read more...]

Why Do Dogs Howl?

Almost every morning I wake up to howling. It begins with Bill, our smooth coat chihuahua who sleeps downstairs with his brother Ted, who does not howl. Bill will start softly and build volume until Yoshi and Jack answer from the upstairs bedroom. Finally Carl will chime in. Yoshi, the Japanese chin is the most musical, Jack is tone deaf and Carl, the older chihuahua, is a baritone. What I find interesting is that the other dogs in the house never … [Read more...]

Does Your Dog Make You Smile? The Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

Yesterday morning I rolled out of bed in a nasty mood. I was feeling stressed out about some upcoming events I needed to deal with. As usual, Carl (my oldest chihuahua) had awakened me with kisses, but I was still feeling blue. That was, until I saw Leeloo (second oldest chihuahua who generally stays in bed all day) running after Jack who is twice her size and happily teasing him with a toy in her mouth. She was so goofy and funny, I laughed out loud and … [Read more...]

Epilepsy: A Cause of Seizures in Dogs

When Jack (our long coat chihuahua) was about two he had his first seizure. It was a warm spring day and he had just come in from outside. I heard a commotion in the kitchen as the other dogs crowded around him. He was on his side in a twisted heap convulsing. I was horrified. At first I thought he had been stung by a bee. I picked him up and he was stiff and drooling. I immediately called the vet. By the time I got off the phone he was completely fine. I … [Read more...]

The Bryn Mawr Kennel Club Shows

The Bryn Mawr Kennel Club Shows were held Saturday June 14th and Sunday June 15th at Ludwigs Corner, Pennsylvania. These shows kick off the summer season for me. I have gone to these shows every year since I got my first show puppy. This July will mark seven years that I have been showing dogs. Most of the people I have met over the years have been involved in dog shows for much longer than I have. Several people I know started as children in juniors. … [Read more...]

Adopting A Senior Dog

If you are reading this, hopefully you are a dog lover. If you have time, consider volunteering at your local animal shelter. Or at least consider donating needed items. But for some real satisfaction, I highly recommend adopting a senior dog! A friend of mine volunteers by walking dogs at a local shelter. Recently she rescued a very old blind toy poodle that she claims is; "the love of her life.” She has three dogs. While chatting with her I said; “I … [Read more...]

Safer Vaccination Guidelines for Dogs

“Over vaccination is not only a waste of money for animal guardians, but may jeopardize the long term health of our animal companions.” This, according to Dr. Michael Dym VMD, in an article entitled "Safer Vaccine Guidelines For Dogs" from Dogs Naturally, The Magazine for Dogs Without Boundaries. He goes on to say; “Vaccine reactions are quite common and may occur not only immediately after the shot but over days or weeks later...” Dr. Dym also notes … [Read more...]

Consider Adopting a Senior Dog

While researching tips on adopting a senior dog, I came across an article in The Huffington Post called "This Old Dog Needs A New Home -- And So Do 74 Of His Friends!" by Arin Greenwood. According to the article, "Seniors are even more grateful for the love and comfort an adopter provides and are calm and take things in stride.” Additionally, Sara Cross, founder of Badass Brooklyn Animal rescue, goes on to say that “Adopting a senior dog and giving that … [Read more...]

The Raw Food Diet for Pets; Good or Bad? (What Do You Feed Your Dog?)

“For years food enthusiasts have touted the health benefits of uncooked food for humans. Now, some veterinarians and pet owners believe that a raw meat diet is best for pets” this according to a New York Times article by Anahad O’Connor. I came across this article when I found myself searching for more information on dog food after making a visit to Petco. The store was filled with so many dog food brands with labels trumpeting qualities like 'all … [Read more...]

AKC Pilot Program of Two Shows Per Day Supported by Owner-Handlers; Opposed by Professionals

The AKC pilot program for 2 show days is underway. Apparently this was met with gratitude from owner-handlers and stiff opposition from professional handlers. Why? Because it gives the owner-handlers an advantage over the professionals. Isn’t that refreshing! I was not aware that this proposal existed. It makes sense to have two shows in one day. You often stay most of the day anyway. The United Kennel Club has been doing this successfully since 1991. I … [Read more...]

The Bronx County Kennel Club Show

I was looking forward to getting back in the show ring, Rocky and I had not been to a show since Westminster week. Today we were off to the Bronx County Kennel Club Show in Edison, NJ.  However when I got the ring time for this show I wasn’t so sure: 8:15AM, really? With a traveling time of an hour and a half, I would have to get up before 5AM to make it there. I did not mind getting up and leaving in the dark all that much but I know Rocky is not an early … [Read more...]

Rescued Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Undergoes Amazing Transformation

It was hard to look at the photo of the little dog in the article I just read.  From ruff to regal, staggering transformation of rescued Cavalier King Charles Spaniel after passers-by thought he was a pile of trash. [source: DailyMail] It seems a small dog abandoned in an alley in Montreal, covered in matted fur and filth, hardly able to walk, was rescued recently. The photos show him as a matted mess and then after a lot of bathing and shaving, as a very … [Read more...]

“Dog Shaming” is Hilarious, But Do Dogs Really Feel Shame?

I came across dogshaming.com because my daughter shared it with me on Facebook. It was quite funny, I laughed out loud. I even bought the book; Dog Shaming, by Pascale Lemire. But do dogs feel shame or guilt? I personally think not. I read an article recently that stated; The guilty look (on a dog) has been perfected to clam down the owner. According to a new study, dogs are only reacting to the body language of their human. “They may use puppy dog eyes … [Read more...]

Should You Treat Your Dog Like a Child?

A recent study concluded that the bond between dogs and their owners is similar to a parent and baby. [source: DailyMail]   The headline read “You CAN really love your pet like a child.” My initial thought was that I don’t think a study is needed to prove we love our pets like children.  Most of my readers and any animal lover will tell you that. But the real issue is SHOULD we love our dogs like children? There is a difference between caring for our … [Read more...]

Westminster Diaries, 2014 : Best in Show

It is always thrilling to watch Best in Show at Madison Square Garden. The crowd was even larger than the night before and it was a bit rowdy as well. I think there may have been alcohol involved. There was some yelling and even a wave going on. The dogs all looked beautiful. The handlers showed up with bait in hand and brushes in their pockets. The last three groups were Sporting, Working and Terrier. The Terriers have done quite well at Westminster in … [Read more...]

Westminster Diaries, 2014 : The 138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Begins

I did not sleep very well and woke up at 5AM. I was concerned about getting to the piers because last year the traffic was terrible and it took an hour to get there. It was also a little disorganized and no one seemed to know where to go. So I wanted to leave plenty of time, we rallied and off we went at 6:30AM. This year it was a breeze and we were inside and at our bench at 7AM. Traffic was light and we went in the correct entrance, it was easy and … [Read more...]

Westminster Diaries, 2014 : The Chihuahua Club of Greater New York Show (Day 2)

One more show before Westminster. Rocky and I were both tired and I think Rocky would have preferred to stay in bed. Margaret and I went to the show together. Jim got to stay in bed. It was very crowded at the specialty show. I was hardly paying attention by this time. Rocky showed beautifully as always but we did not do anything. It was nice to see some friends but as soon as we finished up and we went to lunch at the hotel. The rest of the day was spent … [Read more...]

Westminster Diaries, 2014 : The Chihuahua Club of Greater New York Show (Day 1)

On Saturday and Sunday, The Chihuahua Club of Greater New York held its shows. The entries were big, over forty dogs. Same people, same winners.One of the top winning Chihuahuas of all time was entered as a veteran; GCH Arywen’s Star Kissed Delight. I guess she’s still got it because she managed to win breed. Rocky did make the first cut on Saturday which was exciting. There were some dogs there I have never seen before. The mezzanine floor was very … [Read more...]

Westminster Diaries, 2014 : The Progressive Dog Show

The Penn Plaza Pavilion at New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania is where the specialty shows are held prior to Westminster. We arrived around 9:30AM for the show. The lobby was already loaded with dogs and bellmen pushing carts overflowing with suitcases and dog supplies. Most people choose to stay at this hotel because the rooms are large and cheap. The hotel is a dump but it is convenient if you are going to the shows there. The Progressive Dog Club is for … [Read more...]

Westminster Diaries, 2014 : Pre-Westminster Activities

Packing for the dog shows is a nightmare. I can really understand why professional handlers get paid so well. I usually only go to one show at a time. On Westminster weekend, I do four shows in a row. I packed five suits, four pairs of shoes, three pairs of boots, all the other clothes I needed for six nights in the city, dog food, crate, show leads, grooming aids, etc. It goes on and on, and I only have one tiny dog. Most of the high end handlers are … [Read more...]

Pre-Westminster doggie fashion show among big weekend events

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has always been the second Monday and Tuesday in February. But the fun starts the Friday before. If you are in town you must check out the Pre-Westminster fashion show (for dogs), I guarantee you will have a memorable experience! Dogs and people come dressed to impress and this year the theme is “Royalty”. … [Read more...]

Where to Eat in New York for Westminster Weekend

The other day I read a post on the Westminster website about the “best restaurants” to eat at if you are staying in NYC for the dog show. This bothered me a little because I had never even heard of any of them. We have been going to Westminster and dining out in NYC for the past fifteen years. So I decided to tell you about my favorite places to eat! The area around Madison Square Garden has quite a few excellent restaurants to choose from. … [Read more...]

Westminster is in Two Weeks, And What Am I Going to Wear?

When I first started handling show dogs about seven years ago I was taught to always dress well, wear a suit, and never clash with, or “out do” your dog. In other words; the dog is the star, not you! I have always tried to maintain that standard. Recently I saw a post on David Frei’s Facebook page about a media person looking to do a story about the best dressed handlers at Westminster. I thought about all of the show dog handlers I know, most of them … [Read more...]

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, 2014

It's that time of year again! The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is around the corner! Grand Champion El Grande Rock of Love Bobchi, AKA Rocky is entered and ready to go. This will mark Rocky's third appearance at this famous show, in 2010 Rocky won an Award of Merit. I am proud to say; 2013 was a good year for Rocky and me. He was ranked the #2 Smooth Coat Chihuahua in Pennsylvania and ranked #2 Owner-Handler as well. … [Read more...]

Rocky wins again at Lehigh Valley shows; Finishes year as second ranked Smooth Coat Chihuahua in Pennsylvania

The Lehigh Valley Kennel Club and The Delaware Water Gap Kennel Club always have their shows around Christmas time. The atmosphere is festive and fun. Unfortunately the entries were very low this year. There were only four Smooth Coat Chihuahuas entered. Rocky won breed both days which was nice. It was very pleasant not to have to travel very far, the shows were ten minutes from my house. The weather was also quite snowy. … [Read more...]

The Valley Forge Kennel Club and a very bad snowstorm

It was four days before my birthday and I was feeling pretty good about the upcoming Valley Forge Kennel Club Shows.  Saturday December 6th was a lovely day, sunny and not too cold. Rocky and I were ready to go. The competition that day looked to me like an easy win for the "Rock Star", but it was not meant to be. The judge who was a very sweet gentleman, commented on how nice Rocky was and then choose the least likely winner, the class bitch over two … [Read more...]

Rocky Wins Again at Back Mountain and Penn Treaty Kennel Clubs

We were off to Bloomsburg for the Back Mountain Kennel Club shows November 2nd and 3rd, could Rocky keep up his winning streak? Yes indeed, Rocky took breed both days, each was a three point major win. It was a good weekend. It was also great to see some old friends. I am so pleased that Rocky is doing so well. I entered two of the four shows in Oaks, at the expo center, maybe I should have entered the whole weekend. On November 14th at the Penn … [Read more...]

The Harvest Cluster

The leaves are turning to bright red and gold. The air is crisp and it is time for the shows in Sussex County, N.J. On Saturday, October 12th, I traveled to the beautiful hills of northwest Jersey with my handsome boy Rocky to the Palisades Kennel Club show. It was a glorious fall day! But again the numbers were down. Entries were low for most breeds especially Chihuahuas. Rocky won breed which was good for another grand championship point, that was … [Read more...]

The Blue Mountain Cluster of Dog Shows: Pocono Mountain, Lehigh Valley & Berks County

The first annual "Blue Mountain Cluster" of dog shows was held Sept. 12th through the 15th. The entries were low again, sign of the times perhaps? Maybe it is just getting too expensive. But there were still enough dogs for the "Rock Star" to gain some points in the ring. The first and second shows were held by the Pocono Mountain Kennel Club. Rocky strutted his stuff quite nicely and took the win on Thursday. Friday he lost to another seasoned veteran. … [Read more...]

Rocky Wins Again The Sussex Hills Kennel Club Dog Show

Grand Champion El Grande Rock of Love Bob Chi still has it! Rocky took the breed win at The Sussex Hills Kennel Club Dog Show, Sunday, September 1st. I am so happy Rocky is doing well, he really loves to show. There was not a large entry but he still won over the professional handler in the ring, she was not too happy! So proud of the "Rock Star" Next four shows this weekend in Macungie, Pa. Hoping for good things! … [Read more...]

Rocky wins Breed at the Bryn Mawr Kennel Club show

It was so great to get Rocky back in the ring again. I have not shown him in a year since I was putting all my effort into getting Bill's Grand Championship. Now that Bill is done I am happy to work with my "Rock Star" again. I am so proud of this special dog who is always top notch in the show ring, he always shows so beautifully! I am looking forward to many more shows and wins! Look out everyone, Rocky is back! … [Read more...]

Bill is a new Grand Champion

Well it took a year but Bill is now GCH Stellar's Master of the Renaissance! On May 5th Bill took the breed win for the final point he needed for his grand championship. Hooray! The shows in May are always fun. Its time to go outside again. The grass is green, the flowers are blooming. The dogs are happy to be in the warm sun. The Trenton Kennel Club show in N.J. is a huge event, with great food and venders and a lot of dogs. It was great to be there. … [Read more...]

Eight Chihuahuas and a Chin

I live with eight chihuahuas, a Japanese chin and a mutt. As much as the chihuahuas would like to think they run the show, it's simply not true. Yoshi, the chin is boss. I call her; The Benevolent Dictator. Whenever there is a conflict, Yoshi comes to the rescue! Everyone must get along. She does not allow discord. Penny Lane, the mutt loves Yoshi, because she will play with her when the others won't. Chihuahuas are clannish, but not the chin! … [Read more...]

Bill goes to Harrisburg

The shows in Harrisburg are always fun. Lots of friends show up. This was still true on Sunday April 14th, as we went off to the Mason and Dixon Kennel Club show. Bill was happy to go and happy to play with the other dogs, especially the little bitches! But he was supremely awful for the judge, he did not want to walk or look at the judge. It was, shall we say embarrassing! I was ready to call it quits! However Bill managed to get Best of Opposite, good … [Read more...]

Puppies at the Berks Kennel Club match show

There is nothing that makes a day brighter than a whole lot of puppies! I went to the Berks Kennel Club match show yesterday. Matches are for puppies. This is where all the pups get to practice in a show ring, it is a competition but no points are awarded. I wish every dog show was this much fun. I got to play with a tiny pomeranian, a little great dane, two akitas that looked like bears, a corgi, japanese chin, and more, Oh it was heaven! I … [Read more...]

A good day for chihuahuas and other dogs

It was a glorious spring day, a very good day to be a chihuahua. Today all the dogs went outside to lay in the warm sun and sniff the air. Penny wanted to chase a squirrel but she is not allowed since she does not play well with them. We call Penny a "chihuahua mix". The truth is we don't know what she is, but there is some terrier in her for sure. The "real" chihuahuas would never dream of chasing a squirrel, they only chase each other on occasion. … [Read more...]

Bill gets a point in Edison, N.J.

We went to the New Brunswick Kennel Club show Saturday March 23. Bill was happy to be there because there was a pretty little bitch in heat! He was smitten! He paid little attention to the pleasant male judge and he was chosen as Select Dog for one point. That's fine except a class puppy got Best of Opposite over Mr. Bill. Bill was bored. I'm hoping we can get a much needed win at the next show. I'm getting discouraged! Bill only needs five more points … [Read more...]

Dog Breeding interview on The Dog Show with Julie Forbes

I had an interesting interview yesterday with Julie Forbes on The Dog Show,. One of the topics we discussed at length was dog breeding in the dog show community. I have met many a breeder in my travels to numerous dog shows. But I am not a breeder and I don't intend to be. This is my choice because I would never be able to part with a puppy, I'm sure! However I must say I respect the breeders I have met who do their best to breed healthy, stable, … [Read more...]

The Dog Show Blues

I have not been to a show since Westminster, and I'm not missing the scene so much. Perhaps I'm a little burned out. I have realized I just can't compete with the "big dogs" so to speak. I want to get Bill's grand championship, but after that, I don't know. I've come to realize the politics of judging are a little too much sometimes. I'm not part of the in crowd, the ones who cozy up to the right people and go to every show weekend after weekend. I … [Read more...]

‘The Morning Call’ reviews book on insider look at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

South Whitehall woman's book gives insider view of Westminster dog show On Monday morning, Connie Newcomb will be having the time of her life at one of the most prestigious sporting events in the nation — the 137th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City. At 9:15 a.m., Connie and Bill, one of her champion Chihuahuas, will prance around a show ring at Pier 92, hoping to convince judges that Bill is the best little guy of his … [Read more...]

Westminster 2013

We are back home from NYC resting after Westminster. Bill and I made it to all the specialty shows and many parties. We had a blast in NYC. Rocky also joined in the festivities although he was not entered in any shows this year. We enjoyed excellent drinks and meals with family and friends. Our hotel (The Event) was fabulous and very dog friendly. We had a wonderful time. But we didn't win a thing! In fact I felt ignored. I guess I just can't compete … [Read more...]

Seattle Times pets columnist Ranny Green reviews “Dog Show Confidential” for Seattle Kennel Club

We are so pleased that readers are enjoying our book! The Seattle Kennel Club recently included it in their 'Picks of the Litter.' Ranny Green, a Seattle Times pets columnist and feature writer for three decades, was kind enough to post this review on the Seattle Kennel Club website. Congratulations as well to Mr. Green on his induction into the Dog Writers Association of America's (DWAA) Hall of Fame. The road to Westminster is paved with more potholes … [Read more...]

Two Weeks until Westminster

Two weeks from today the Toy dogs will be shown at Westminster. There are 33 Chihuahuas entered. Unbelievable! There have never been so many. I am wondering who is going to show up. So many of my friends are not going because of all the changes. No one wants to travel 25 blocks from the hotels across the West end Highway to the piers. I don't either but I only have one little dog. I am really not happy about any of it. Since the show is no longer … [Read more...]

Westminster is almost here!

The 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is a month away. Bill and I are looking forward to it. But before Westminster, We will be going to one show in Cape May, New Jersey, Sunday February 3rd. I'm hoping for a major win for Bill. He is so close to his grand championship. We shall see. I will share more news about Westminster soon when I get my final entry information. Things will be different this year! I'll keep you posted! … [Read more...]

Happy Holidays 2012

It is a rare quiet moment here at the Newcomb compound. All of the dogs are chewing on some new bones. The humans are still sleeping. Christmas was lovely. My kitchen is a disaster, but I don't care. It snowed a little bit on Christmas eve. Bill and Ted had never seen snow before since it did not snow at all last year. Bill loved it and happily chased Yoshi around the deck. Ted dipped one tiny paw in the frozen stuff and wanted no part of it. On to … [Read more...]