Let’s honor dog heroes too

Let’s honor dog heroes too

As we give thanks to all those who have served to protect our freedom, we pause to honor our canine war heroes too. Dogs play a vital role in every aspect of our lives, from hunting to scaring off intruders and herding our livestock. But did you ever think a YORKSHIRE TERRIER would become a true war hero? AND the first therapy dog? Meet Smoky! It’s true: Meet Smoky!


Dogs have played a big role in history, war, literature, art, and culture – even little Yorkies and Maltese.

the Famous WWII Yorkshire Terrier Smoky!

Owned by Corporal William A. Wynne of Cleveland, Ohio, Smoky became one of the most famous Yorkies ever.

Corporal Wynne picked up Smoky, who was a stray in the New Guinea Jungles, (southwest Pacific, just north of Australia) during World War II. He actually won her in a poker game.

The dog was such a fighter, she became a famous symbol of the times – even parachuting with Wynne’s platoon.

Smoky used her small size and cleverness to her advantage and helped to “run” communication wire through a culvert that was under an airplane runway.

Without Smoky’s assistance, laying cable would mean digging up the entire runway. The soldiers working on it would be exposed to enemy fire. The runway would have been inoperable for several days, critical during the war, but Smoky saved the day.


In total, Smoky went on over 100 missions with her troop.

Here’s Smoky, actually parachuting!

Smoky parachuted from 30 feet (9.1 m) in the air, out of a tree, using a parachute made just for her.

Smoky at work

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Magazine ran this photo of Smoky at work, with the following caption:

Where in the world is New Guinea?

Located north of Australia, New Guinea is the world’s second-largest island, after Greenland.

New Guinea was invaded in 1942 by the Japanese. The highlands, northern and eastern parts of the island became key battlefields in the South West Pacific Theatre of World War II.

It was a fierce battleground; approximately 216,000 Japanese, Australian and U.S. soldiers, sailors and airmen died during the New Guinea Campaign in WWII.

It’s hard to imagine a 4 pound Yorkie abandoned and lost in this kind of landscape.

New Guinea landscape

smoky and col wynn

Here is Smoky with Col. Wynn. Strangely, Smoky was found wandering in the New Guinea jungle! How did she get there? Where was her human?  Wynn didn’t actually find Smoky – another American serviceman found her abandoned in a foxhole. He took her to the nearby prisoner of war camp, to discover she didn’t understand Japanese commands. Nor did she understand English commands.

Before too long, this serviceman sold Smoky to Wynn for two Australian dollars (equivalent to about $6.00) – he needed the money to get back into a poker game! 

smoky war dog

Smoky weighed four pounds and stood 7″ tall.

Wynn shares the details about her service:

“Smoky Served in the South Pacific with the 5th Air Force, 26th Photo Recon Squadron [and] flew 12 air/sea rescue and photo reconnaissance missions.”

On those flights, Smoky spent long hours dangling in a soldier’s pack near machine guns used to ward off enemy fighters. Smoky was credited with twelve combat missions and awarded eight battle stars. She survived 150 air raids on New Guinea and made it through a typhoon at Okinawa.

Smoky even saved  Wynn’s life:

Wynne credited Smoky with saving his life by warning him of incoming shells on an LST (transport ship), calling her an “angel from a foxhole.” As the ship deck was booming and vibrating from anti-aircraft gunnery, Smoky guided Wynne to duck the fire that hit eight men standing next to them.

No wonder he called her an “angel from a foxhole.”

Smoky and Wynn after the warAfter the war, Smoky returned home to Ohio with Corporal Wynne where she continued her “entertainment” career, visiting VA hospitals to cheer up Vets, and entertaining children in hospitals.

She also appeared on a number of TV commercials and made personal appearances across the country.

Owned by Corporal William A. Wynne of Cleveland, Ohio, Smoky became one of the most famous Yorkies ever.

In fact, Smoky was so popular she was credited with reigniting interest in Yorkshire Terriers, who had almost dropped out of sight as a registered breed during the War.

Smoky the Yorkie was the first true service dog

After Wynn returned from the War, he recognized that many people would love to see Smoky’s amazing tricks. First stop, the veteran’s ward at Wynn’s local hospital. You’ll recognize the name – this was the Mayo Clinic!
Soon Col. Wynne and Smoky were also visiting children in hospital, bringing cheer to everyone who saw the little dog perform.
When they arrived home from the war, Wynne and Smoky were featured in a page-one story with photographs in the Cleveland Press on December 7, 1945. Smoky soon became a national sensation.

Over the next 10 years, Smoky and Wynne traveled to Hollywood and all over the world to perform demonstrations of her remarkable skills, which included walking a tightrope while blindfolded.

She appeared with Wynne on some of the earliest TV shows in the Cleveland area, including a show of their own on Cleveland’s WKYC Channel 3 called Castles in the Air, featuring some of Smoky’s unbelievable tricks.

Smoky performed in 42 live-television shows without ever repeating a trick. Smoky and Wynne were also very popular entertainers at the veterans’ hospitals. According to Wynne, “after the War, Smoky entertained millions during the late 1940s and early 1950s.”


On February 21, 1957, “Corporal” Smoky died unexpectedly at the approximate age of 14. Wynne and his family buried Smoky in a World War II .30 caliber ammo box in the  Rocky River Reservation in  Cleveland Metroparks, Rocky River Reservation in Lakewood, Ohio.

Nearly 50 years later, on Veterans Day, November 11, 2005, a bronze life-size sculpture, by Susan Bahary, of Smoky sitting in a GI helmet, atop a two-ton blue granite base, was unveiled there. It is placed above the very spot that Smoky was laid at her final resting place. This monument is dedicated to “Smoky, the Yorkie Doodle Dandy, and the Dogs of All Wars”.



Smoky’s Memorial, in Lakewood Ohio.

By Aphillcsa – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

smoky's memorial

The BOOK about Smoky

You can get this paperback story of Smoky, written by Col. Wynn himself, on Amazon.


Yorkie Doodle Dandy is Corporal William A. Wynne’s story about Smoky, a tiny Yorkshire Terrier found in a New Guinea foxhole during World War II.

Smoky helped save the lives of servicemen who were faced with imminent airfield attack.

Wynne’s own life was spared while under a shipboard kamikaze attack–led by Smoky–Smoky is credited internationally for her therapy work in hospitals and care facilities.

Post-war, Smoky continued therapy work and performed on live television with Bill as trainer.

Smoky ultimately proved to the world the therapeutic value of dogs to people during war, conflict, and recovery, as well as in friendship, entertainment, and hope.

The WORST vaccination for your Morkie!

The WORST vaccination for your Morkie!

You might have heard there’s a disease on the rise in dogtown called Leptospirosis. Three questions pop into your mind —

  • what is lepto-whatever?
  • how common is it?
  • should I get my Morkie vaccinated?

Let’s take a look at those answers.

What is Leptospirosis?

This funny squiggly thing is a Leptospirosis bacterium (that’s a SINGLE bacteria) … it looks a little like a piece of lint, but it’s actually a harmful germ.

The Lepto virus is spread by the urine of infected animals.

Typically, that’s a rodent.

BUT, raccoons, dogs, and even pigs, cattle and horses can carry Lepto. The infected urine goes into the soil, and into the water system where the Lepto bacteria can survive for weeks.

Your Morkie drinks from a stream that’s been infected with rodent urine… BOOM!

Wait!! What??! That’s SOOO unlikely. 

dogs swimming in creek


Dogs swimming in a creek could be at some risk of being exposed to Lepto bacteria. Does that mean they’ll get sick? Not necesssarily.



You may have read some disturbing news about Leptospirosis being in the rise, killing animlas, being spread to humans, etc. But who is spreading this news?  The media, looking for sometning, anyhting, new to print or broadcast.  Vets, who’d love for you to drop by and spend some money, and VACCINE MANUFACTURERS, like Duramune.

Duramune recently published a study showing that 8% of dogs tested positive for Leptospirosis. As DogsNaturallyMagazine.com points out, “most Lepto infections are subclinical” meaning the dog isn’t sick, he just has antibodies showing he’s been exposed to Lepto. And he’s fine.  NO SYMPTOMS, NO ILLNESS.

Many Vets recommend these non-core vaccines as a matter of course. But are they really necessary?

Probably not.

The Lepto vaccination isn’t necessary, and it is downright dangerous for small dogs.


When any non-core shot is recommended, be sure to ask your Vet about your small dog’s specific chances of getting the disease, the severity of that disease, the success rate of the vaccine and the risks that come with vaccination.

Since you might not get all the answers you deserve, or you might suffer from ‘white coat syndrome’ (feeling intimidated by doctors), or you’re simply confused, please, continue your research into non-core vaccinations.

Non-core vaccines for dogs

The list is long, and includes:

  • parainfluenza virus (CPiV)
  • influenza virus H3N8
  • influenza virus H3N2
  • distemper-measles combination vaccine
  • Bordetella (kennel cough)
  • Borrelia (Lyme disease)
  • canine Corona virus
  • Rattlesnake vaccine
  • LEPTOSPIRA vaccine

The Leptospirosis vaccine is called a KILLER for a reason


They don’t work very well.

thumbs down symbol

Any vaccine can have dangerous side effects; doubly so for SMALL DOGS.

thumbs down symbolthumbs down symbol

They don’t last very long.

thumbs down symbol

How effective is the Leptospirosis vaccine?

Leptospirosis appears in many different strains (over a hundred) including a common one that attacks humans. Vaccinations work against JUST FOUR STRAINS of the disease, but other strains may still hurt your dog.

This vaccine is usually given with several others — it’s the L in combo shots.

Like all vaccines, some of the ‘extras’ or additives can be more dangerous than the product itself. Vaccines are made with toxic ingredients like Aluminium and Thimerosal. 

The vaccine (sort of) protects against FOUR strains of Lepto.

There are OVER 320 strains of Lepto!

Symptoms of Lepto infection

Symptoms of a Lepto infection include fever, muscle pain, vomiting and diarrhea, poor appetite, lethargy, depression, and blood in the urine. In more serious cases, the dog may be jaundiced – Lepto attacks the liver and kidneys. And – this is hard to see in a dog – but look for a yellowing of his gums.

Medical treatment will definitely help a dog with Lepto – milder cases can be treated at home with help from your Vet; very serious cases require hospitalization where your dog will get antibiotics and other medications to control vomiting and diarrhea.

Now look at what the vaccine can do to your Morkie

Adverse reactions to Leptospirosis vaccination

Leptospirosis is a “killed” vaccine. It’s also been called the “killer” vaccine because it is the #1 cause of adverse reactions in small dogs. They can have a severe allergic reaction to the Lepto vaccine, particularly younger dogs and small breed puppies.
In fact, this vaccine has a reputation for being the most likely
to cause reactions, also known as anaphylactic shock reactions (“anaphylactic” = allergic). These include:

  • vomiting
  • severe diarrhea
  • panting and wheezing
  • disorientation, dizziness
  • collapse

The #1 WORST vaccine for small dogs

And the award goes to …. the Leptospirosis vaccine.

It is often called the “killer” vaccine because it is the #1 cause of adverse reactions in small dogs.

Keep your Morkie safe without endangering his health

When does a Lepto vaccination make sense?




Does your small dog go wilderness camping or backwoods hiking with you? Roam on rural property, or drink deeply from creeks and streams? Not likely!

If this isn’t your dog’s lifestyle, this is one you can probably skip. Keep in mind though that at least one Vet supply website (www.veterinaryteambrief.com) is warning Vets that they should continue to advise it for their clients’ pets – and to remind clients that even small dogs can come into contact with infected wild animal urine outside. Is this a scare tactic? I think so.


Given the risks, I personally would never get the shot for my small dog and I live in the country. Instead, stay alert to symptoms of the actual infection, and you can reduce the vaccination count by one at least.


A final note about Lepto

Today, the tests for actual Leptospirosis infection are much more accurate than ever and incidents of the illness are reported more frequently and accurately — compared to other illness which is registered probably between 1 and 10% of the time.

That and the new interest in this disease can make you think it’s an epidemic. It’s NOT.


FOR MORE INFORMATION, check out this excellent article by Dana Scott. 

Want to take better care of your Morkie?

Check out this COMPLETE HANDBOOK for raising a happy, healthy Morkie. From puppy to senior. Includes potty training, feeding, common health concerns, obedience, vaccinations and much more.  Charts, photos, illustrations and easy-to-read text.

Read it on your smartphone, computer, laptop, iPad or reader.

ORDER this invaluable e-book today 

Or read more about the MORKIE MEGA GUIDE e-book.


Order today and take better care of your Morkie

From getting a Morkie, to common health concerns, what to feed your Yorkie-Maltese mix, which deadly vaccinations to avoid — and much more! 

Over 300 pages of vital information.

THE Comprehensive Guide to Morkies

Low budget, last minute dog costumes

Low budget, last minute dog costumes


It’s almost Halloween and if you’re like 29 million other Americans, you’re planning to dress up your pet. According to the National Retail Federation, those pet costumes will cost consumers $490 million. That’s about double what people spent on costumes for their pets in 2010, just 9 years ago.

If you want to be part of the excitement but don’t have a costume yet, here are some low budget, last-minute ideas to make a Halloween costume for your Morkie.

Low budget, last minute costume ideas for your Morkie

Meet the “Purebred” Morkie!

There are two ways to do this. The first is super easy but it won’t last long.

Cut out the middle, soft part of a piece of bread, just big enough for your Morkie’s face to come through. Ta-da! That’s it.



Turn your Morkie into a “Purebred Wonder Morkie” with this easy-to-make costume.

You’ll need:

  • an empty Wonder bread wrapper
  • a sheet of lightweight, white Bristol board
  • a bit of string or ribbon

This costume is beautifully made with fabric, but you can repurpose a plain old Wonderbread wrapper to make a quick version.

Get an empty Wonder Bread wrapper and cut it lengthwise along the bottom. Lay it out flat on a table, and cut some white Bristol board (lightweight) to fit, leaving about 3” of bread wrapper at end, with no Bristol board. 

how to make a wonder dog

The beautiful  Wonder Bread costume picture abo0ve features square off ends like a real loaf of bread, but we’re just going to leave some extra bag and tie it off. 

Now fold the wrapper/board so that the loaf is squared up on your Morkie. If your dog is really small, cut the Bristol board smaller, leaving more bag at each end.


To finish your costume, just use the string or ribbon to tie off each end.  This version doesn’t use the white Bristol board liner, but I think it looks better white. 


More quick ideas

The ever-pupular Ghost Dog

Simply cut a piece of white fabric to fit around your Morkie (don’t leave anything trailing), and cut out eye holes. You’ll probably need to keep it in place with white ribbon, one piece tied around the body and one tied around the neck.

hersheys kisses costume

The Hershey’s Kisses Doggy

You just need lots of aluminum foil and a name strip for “Hershey’s”

Be sure to leave your Morkie’s legs and feet outside the foil so he can walk.


Need a quick template for the paper strip that says KISSES?  Here’s one to print yourself.


template for kisses

Giant Loofah Puppy

I LOVE this one and it’s so simple.  All you need is lots of Tulle (netting fabric) in blue or any other color that strikes you, and a piece of white rope.  

Run a heavy thread along the long end of the Tulle fabric, then pull it tight to gather the fabric and make it curly. Fasten the thread off then wrap the fabric around your Morkie. Anchor a piece of white rope in the middle with a safety pin.

giant loofah costume

Watchdog Morkie!

Draw a watch face yourself on the back of a paper plate, add a big wide watchband and then attach an elastic and put it around your Morkie. Or download a cool-looking watch face from the web and print it out. Mount on light card and attach it to your Morkie with a band.

No time? Print this Morkie Time watch face.

Minnie Morkie

You’ll need some felt, in red, black and white to make the ears and the beautiful bow.  Add some netting, gathered into a skirt for the final touch.


Here are some specific recommendations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLJYxP4HdRI 

minnie mouse costume

angel or devil

Good or Bad Dog?

Gold pipe cleaners are perfect for making a halo; use red felt to cut out devil’s horns. 

Attach with elastic.

Lion King… or Queen 

Make a collar out of a strip of brown felt, measured to your Morkie’s neck plus 4″.

Then glue loops of felt in different browns, to the collar with a hot glue gun.

Glue on some velcro to close the collar once it’s on your little king or queen.

lion puppys.

harry potter

Harry Paw-ter

Pipe cleaners make good geeky glasses here (don’t forget the lightning bolt) and a necktie or orange and brown scarf add up to the perfect little Harry Potter.


Here’s another version:

another harry potter costume

And my fave - the Beany Baby Morkie

How about you? Got your Morkie’s costume ready yet? Please share!

Want to take better care of your Morkie?

Check out this COMPLETE HANDBOOK for raising a happy, healthy Morkie. From puppy to senior. Includes potty training, feeding, common health concerns, obedience, vaccinations and much more.  Charts, photos, illustrations and easy-to-read text.

Read it on your smartphone, computer, laptop, iPad or reader.

ORDER this invaluable e-book today 

Or read more about the MORKIE MEGA GUIDE e-book.

Order today and take better care of your Morkie

From getting a Morkie, to common health concerns, what to feed your Yorkie-Maltese mix, which deadly vaccinations to avoid — and much more! 

Over 300 pages of vital information.

THE Comprehensive Guide to Morkies

How to Tell if Your Morkie is Too Fat

How to Tell if Your Morkie is Too Fat

“Does this make me look fat?” Is there a worse question from a partner or friend? It’s just so awkward because no matter what you say it’s still uncomfortable.But what about a friend who asks you, “do you think Max is overweight?” Max is my friend’s four-yer-old Morkie and yes, he is overweight. In fact, he’s FAT, FAT, FAT. I don’t want to hurt my friend’s feelings because clearly she thinks he is absolutely perfect. But what about the all too real dangers of obesity in our pets?

7 Things Excess Weight Makes Worse in Pets

Almost 60% of dogs in America are dangerously overweight. A pet that’s just 10% to 20% over his ideal weight can suffer from:

  • Canine diabetes.
  • Digestive problems including constipation, flatulence and diarrhea. Phew, who needs it!
  • Serious damage to joints, bones, and ligaments are a direct result of too much weight.
  • Heart disease and high blood pressure.
  • Difficulty breathing – fat pushes on the abdomen wall and there is less room in the for the lungs to fill properly. Overweight dogs often wheeze, unable to take a full, deep breath.
  • Increased chance of cancer could be another risk to your Morkie who’s overweight. The exact link between obesity and cancer isn’t known yet, but why take chances?
  • A shorter life – just like people, dogs with all the burdens overweight causes, simply don’t live as long.

Keep your Morkie fit and trim and she’ll be a happy, lively companion for many years.

How can you tell your Morkie is overweight?

Many of us don’t want to see what’s right there. But there are obvious signs of overweight in dogs. First, from the side, you should be able to see a definite ‘tuck’ at his stomach.


From overhead, what shape is your Morkie?

  • He should have a clear waist, not just go straight down.
is my dog fat
Uploaded by: Wikivisual

Here’s what to look for from a top view of your Morkie

overhead view of your dog  

Three ways you can help your Morkie slim down

1. Cut out dog treats and people food

If your Morkie needs a reward, try a baby carrot or a good ear scratching. Otherwise, cut out all snacks. Today’s commercial dog treats are so high in salt, fat and sugar that they’re addictive. Dr. Ernie Ward, who heads up a not-for- profit organization dedicated to healthier pets, calls them “kibble crack.” If you cut out treats and snacks, your Morkie will also miss also a number of questionable products, including rawhide chew sticks, dental sticks, “greenies” and begging strips.

say goodbye to junk food for dogs

2. Gradually reduce your Morkie’s dog food

Does your Morkie have a health problem that’s making her overweight? Check with your Veterinarian before you start any weight reduction program. Go for a gradual and steady loss of weigh over a number of weeks or even months. Reduce your pup’s calorie intake over several weeks, by carefully measuring your Morkie’s usual meal. Then reduce it by 5% to 10% every two or three weeks. Tip: feed your dog at the same times every day, dividing the food into 3 or 4 portions to help him cope.

slowly reduce your morkie's food

3. Walkies!

Now the hard part: daily exercise.

If you’re not on a regular walking program with your dog, why not start one today.

Start out small and build up over time. For the first week, a 10-minute walk every day will be enough to get the ball rolling. Every week, increase this by 5 minutes until you’re up to half an hour.
Then add a second, short walk per day – starting at 10 minutes. Soon you’ll be up to two 30 minute walks per day and both you and your dog will see excellent results.

Weigh your dog regularly and chart your progress – check pet stores for scales sized to Morkies, or use a baby scale (often on sale online, or available in thrift stores).


Monitor your Morkie’s weight

monitor your dogs weight


Keep an eye on your Morkie’s weight with regular monitoring. Invest in a baby scale and track his weight once a month in a notebook. A pound or two, either way, doesn’t seem like a lot of weight, but it could represent 20% of your Morkie’s weight. That’s like the average 140-pound woman gaining (or losing) about 30 pounds.

baby scale


Baby scales are available online and in stores, or check your local thrift shop.

We're so used to overweight dogs, we don't see it any more.

At least 65% of all dogs in America are overweight.

No wonder our dogs are getting dangerously heavy.

An estimated 160 million Americans are either obese or overweight. Nearly three-quarters of American men and more than 60% of women are obese or overweight. These are also major challenges for America’s children – nearly 30% of boys and girls under age 20 are either obese or overweight, up from 19% in 1980.

– source: The CDC

Read more


Want to take better care of your Morkie?

Check out this COMPLETE HANDBOOK for raising a happy, healthy Morkie. From puppy to senior. Includes potty training, feeding, common health concerns, obedience, vaccinations and much more.  Charts, photos, illustrations and easy-to-read text.
Read it on your smartphone, computer, laptop, iPad or reader.

ORDER this invaluable e-book today 

Or read more about the MORKIE MEGA GUIDE e-book.

Order today and take better care of your Morkie

From getting a Morkie, to common health concerns, what to feed your Yorkie-Maltese mix, which deadly vaccinations to avoid — and much more! 

Over 300 pages of vital information.

THE Comprehensive Guide to Morkies

Dog Halloween Costumes for your Morkie

Dog Halloween Costumes for your Morkie

Halloween isn’t far off so it’s time to think about dog Halloween costumes for your Morkie. Did you know that 29 million pet lovers will dress their fur-babies up this Halloween according to the National Retail Federation?

From Ewoks to the latest DC comic characters, dogs costumes run the full range.

The top three dog Halloween costumes for 2019 are:










After these, popular costumes include the Bumble Bee, Lion, Devil, and Shark.

Dogs dressed as cats, and cats dressed as dogs are also popular in multi-pet households.

CNN recently picked the ‘best’ dog costumes for 2019 and they included a BACON COSTUME for dogs, matching dog and cat TACO COSTUMES, the PUPPY LATTE costume and the UPS DELIVERY DOG.

The dog-as-a-hot-dog costume is always a fave for dog lovers


hot dog costumes for dogs

Top Dog Halloween Costumes for 2019

And no, Candy Corn isn't good for dogs.

It’s not nearly as bad as chocolate or candies with nuts, but candy corn is just too much sugar for your little Morkie.

One of Halloween's favorite candies is almost 100% sugar.

Over 35 million pounds of Candy Corn is made every year for Halloween int he United States but it’s no longer the #1 favorite candy.

That honor goes to M&Ms, overwhelming favorite Halloween candy in 2019. M&Ms get out last year’s #1, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, KitKat (#3) and Snickers #4.

Candy corn has plummeted to #5 in popularity.

Candy corn is made from sugar, corn syrup, confectioner’s glazes, salt, dextrose, gelatine, sesame oil, artificial flavor, honey, yellow 6, yellow 5 and red 3. It also contains gelatin.


More tips to keep your Morkie safe on Halloween


Dog stress is real on Halloween. If your Morkie doesn’t want to wear a costume, then let him off the hook. Some dogs don’t mind at all but others are anxious and annoyed.

Keep your Morkie safe from dashing out the door when it rings… and rings… and rings. Like July 4th fireworks, Halloween activities can scare dogs and make them run away. The constant door opening is a temptation that’s just too much for some dogs, so keep them safely away from the front door on Halloween.

Chocolate is always a big no-no for dogs. Small dogs are at higher danger because of their size. Chocolate is made with caffeine, bad for dogs and their hearts, but theobromine in chocolate is the real culprit. We can metabolize it quickly but dogs can’t so it can quickly build to toxic levels in a dog’s system. Just half an ounce of dark chocolate can be enough to KILL YOUR MORKIE!

If your Morkie gets over-excited at Halloween, the result can be vomiting, diarrhea, submissive urination or even aggression. Keep your Morkie calm – and safe.

Thanksgiving treats for dogs

Thanksgiving treats for dogs

You probably know that you can give your Morkie a little turkey meat as a treat now and then, but what about other typical Thanksgiving treats that we enjoy? Can you share them with your dog?

little morkie eating the family turkey

Can dogs eat turkey?

Not really, but….

White meat (without skin) is OK for dogs on a limited basis.

Turkey can be fatty and so can cause digestive upsets for your Morkie, including vomiting and diarrhea. But a little bit of white meat as a treat now and then is alright.

And of course, NEVER your dog have cooked bones of any type. Once cooked, bones shatter and splinter and can cause serious stomach and intestine damage. If your dog is used to a RAW diet,  he can have bones with meat on them which is a great way to clean your Morkie’s teeth.

Otherwise, keep all bones, dark meat, skin, gravy, tendons, and tough pieces of turkey away from your Morkie.

Use ground turkey meat to make these treats instead

Ground turkey is plentiful at this time of year and it’s often on sale. Use it to make these healthy, bite-size dog treats for your Morkie.

1 pound ground turkey meat
1 teaspoon of coconut oil
2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
about 1/2 cup cornmeal


Brown the ground turkey in coconut oil, breaking it up as you cook it. Once it’s done, remove from heat and drain.

In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups of quick-cooking oatmeal, flour, and baking powder and mix well. Add the cooked ground turkey. Use an electric mixer to blend in the low-sodium turkey or chicken broth, adding just enough to moisten the mixture so you can make it into small balls.

Scoop small balls (about 1 teaspoon size) and roll in cornmeal.

Put on a lightly greased baking pan and press them down with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees until they’re browned and firm to the touch (about 20 minutes).


dog treats you can make

More Thanksgiving treats your Morkie can enjoy

Besides a piece or two of white turkey meat, your Morkie might like to try veggies like cooked carrot, a couple of peas or steamed green beans.

Don’t expect him to be overly enthusiastic though; like most small dogs, Morkies can be picky when it comes to food, especially if you’ve already been sharing your own food with your dog. He could be reluctant to try one of these healthier choices.

cheese cubes

Mild, low-fat cheese makes a good snack for special occasions for your Morkie.

mashed potatoes

Plain mashed potatoes (no garlic) can be a novel treat for your Morkie.

baby carrots

Most dogs enjoy baby carrots, raw or lightly steamed.


Did you know that regular, canned pumpkin (ideally organic) – not pumpkin pie filling – is one of the best foods you can give your Morkie for digestive upsets?

Plain canned pumpkin can be added to his food to help resolve diarrhea and ironically, constipation too. Just a teaspoon a day, mixed in with his food, will help your sick Morkie feel better.

And pumpkin is nutrient-rich, filled with beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, along with potassium and fiber.

Check the label to make sure the can contains only pumpkin.

You can freeze the leftover pumpkin in ice cube trays to use later.


freeze  leftover pumpkin to use later


pumpkin is good for dogsPure pumpkin – not pumpkin pie filling – is good for dogs with both diarrhea AND constipation.

Generally speaking, it’s just not worth it to give your Morkie scraps and treats from your own plate. Chances are, he will end up with an upset stomach, diarrhea or vomiting. And fatty foods contribute to the painful condition called pancreatitis, something you definitely want to avoid.

Order today and take better care of your Morkie

From getting a Morkie, to common health concerns, what to feed your Yorkie-Maltese mix, which deadly vaccinations to avoid — and much more! 

Over 300 pages of easy-to-read text, charts, illustrations and photos.

Read it on your smartphone, computer, laptop, iPad or reader.


Or read more about the MORKIE MEGA GUIDE e-book here.

Think twice before you use WAG or Rover.com!

Think twice before you use WAG or Rover.com!

Just how safe are services like WAG and Rover.com?

NOT VERY, according to a recent story by CBS. They report that MORE THAN 14 dog deaths have occured recently while dogs were in the care of these ‘uber for dog walking‘ apps. This is FRIGHTENING!

WAG in NYC: 8 dog deaths and counting

You wouldn’t think twice about hiring a professional dog walker – one who is bonded, insured and trained, right? Well guess what, you should!

Another dog was killed under the care of Wag, a pet app, in July. Dogs have also been killed when walkers were hired from Rover, and other “uber for dogs” apps like Barkly Pets.

Dogs stolen and worse – thanks to apps like Wag!

A Manhattan couple’s dog, Benny (a Shih Tzu-Yorkie mix) shown at right with his owner, was allegedly stolen by a Wag walker in June of this year.


But thanks to the efforts of the NYPD, a special hotline, a private detective and celebrity Olivia Munn, Benny was returned to his grateful parents.

Other dog parents haven't been as lucky.

Wag, Rover and other apps insist that they carefully vet walkers with robust screening.

However, that clearly wasn’t the case for one couple in Danville, California recently.

A home video showed that the man hired from Wag! to walk their dog was kicking and whipping the pet. The perpetrator had a variety of criminal charges against him; at that point, it became clear that Wag! background checks were woefully inadequate. They typically do a background check on its walkers just once, when they were hired on.

Experts say a single background check is not enough; these checks should be done annually at the very least.

This loser, by the way, was charged with animal cruelty.

dog walker kicking dog

Wag says on its site that it guarantees up to $1,000,000 “if anything goes wrong” during a walk.

But the fine print then clarifies that a claim will be paid a measly $500 or less!

Three recent horror stories reported by ABC News

dog walking services


Wag and Rover are two popular apps used by dog owners everywhere to find someone to walk to board their furry friend. But a small number of owners have come home to their worst nightmare: finding their pet had died or their homes in disarray.

Last summer in Colorado, Wally, a dachshund, was mauled to death by another dog, while someone from Rover was supposed to be watching him.

Wally’s owner found out through a message sent on the app that read, “A mastiff completely mauled your dog and killed him instantly.”


In New York, a dog walker brought a woman to a customer’s house. The homeowner caught it on camera and called a friend to interrupt them.


Another incident reported an overnight dog sitter, who according to the homeowner, trashed her Denver house and left it smelling like weed. The house sitter even went as far to post a photograph of himself on Instagram, showing him taking a bubble bath in the homeowner’s bathtub.

Rover and Wag didn’t want to talk about this homeowner’s specific case. While such cases aren’t the norm, they are reminders of what can happen.

What owners saywhat owners say about dog walking services

dog walking services - heartbreak


Over 11 dogs and counting are dead and abused by Wag’s walkers, according to one report in the New York Post.

Wag, Rover and Reputable Dog Walkers: what's the difference?

One dog care business, surfsitterpetcare.com, puts it plainly:

It’s about money and managed risk. It’s not about animals or even client satisfaction. The creators of these digital marketplaces (that’s what they are) are not in the business of taking care of animals. They are in the business of making money. Period.

Signing up to work for an app like Wag or Rover is easy money for many people.

That said, most who work for these organizations are dedicated to your dog. But for that minority, it’s too easy to sign up for some quick cash between other jobs. Too often, these people are fly by night, not professional caregivers for animals.

Wag, Rover and similar companies like Barkly Pets, are “staffed” by independent contractors, not employees. People come and go according to their immediate financial need and don’t make much of a commitment to the company.

These contractors are:

  • untrained
  • non-professional
  • unlicensed

They set their own rates, typically around $15 per 30-minute walk.

With Wag! you can’t always pick the walker and must sign up with your credit card before viewing potential walkers in your area.

The growing number of dogs being abused or even dying in the care of apps like Wag! and Rover is extremely alarming.

CBS News spoke to 14 families who say their dogs died while in the care of Rover (12) or Wag! (2 dogs)

Victims claim that the services try to buy their silicon with small payouts that come with a non-disclosure kicker.


How to find a reliable dog walker

Look for someone local with a professional website, good reviews on multiple platforms including Facebook, Google and Yelp; workers compensation for employees, Pet CRP/First aid training and employees not contractors.

You’ll have to dig through the fine print in many cases, but it is worth it.

  • Be sure to look for pet care provider with professional licenses.
  • Does your walker have dog walking insurance and bonding?

For anyone who gets paid to walk a dog, dog walking insurance is vital. It covers the walker, the client dog, other dogs and more.

An example of coverage is: your walker is at the park with your dog and another dog starts a fight. Both are injured. Or, the walker might forget to lock your door and your home is burglarized.


Bonding is a little different; it is a type of insurance that protects against any losses caused by the dog walker. To be voided, a dog walker usually must be registered as a business.

Most dog walking apps have both insurance and bonding for their clients. However, a local company may not.

Diseases from dogs

Diseases from dogs

Owning a dog is proven to be really good for you… lowering your blood pressure, encouraging exercise and even reducing depression. But there’s a downside too. There are some diseases that we can catch from our pets, and some of them are serious.

Diseases you can get from your Morkie

The Center for Disease Control says that the most common diseases you can get from your Morkie are:

  • Campylobacteriosis
  • Dog Tapeworm
  • Hookworm
  • Rabies
  • Roundworm
  • Brucellosis

These diseases aren’t that common, and you can’t always blame the dog.  You can get Campylobacteriosis for example, by eating contaminated food, drinking contaminated water, or having contact with infected animals.


This one is fairly common, but can be caused by bad food, bad water or an infected pet or another animal.  Cross-contamination of foods, eating raw chicken or not washing your hands well are other causes of Campylobacteriosis – which is a leading cause of diarrhea. 


Read more at the CDC

Campy – what???

Break this word into three parts for easier pronunciation – Campy-lo-bacteriosis

Here’s how from YouTube:

Dog Tapeworm

Again stay away from the raw meats if you don’t want to end up with tapeworms. (We’re looking at you, steak tartare). To get tapeworm from your dog or cat, you’d have to swallow an infected flea.


Read more at the CDC


Keep your shoes on and you’ll be safer from hookworm.

These intestinal parasites are more common in dogs and cats, especially puppies. They’re spread from poop and infected soil, so walking barefoot is a no-no. A child might accidentally eat the worm eggs (we don’t even want to know how!)  Hookworm can cause itchy, painful skin or a queasy stomach.

By the way, puppies not treated properly for tapeworm can die.


Read more at the CDC

More worms you COULD get from your Morkie


This one is more serious: roundworm can cause a disease known as toxocariasis, which takes two forms:

  1. Ocular toxocariasis – which can result in vision loss, eye inflammation or damage to the retina when the creature invades the infected person’s eye. Typically, only one eye is affected.
  2. Visceral toxocariasis: this results when Toxocara larvae migrate to various body organs, such as the liver or central nervous system.

Roundworm larvae are fairly common in puppies. This is another reason to ensure your puppy is wormed at the Vet’s and for doubling up on handwashing.

Read more at the CDC


OK, we have to admit: Ringworm is not a worm, it is a contagious fungal infection.

Ringworm shows up as a ring-shaped rash on the skin or a bald patch on the scalp. It passes easily from pets to people, and from people to people, who can get it from direct contact with an infected animal.

Read more at WebMD

Read more at the CDC


Rabies has been all but eradicated in the western world, but it is still found in wild animals like bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes. In other countries, however, dogs still carry rabies.

A virus, rabies is spread by saliva from the infected animal so is spread by a bite. The rabies virus attacks the central nervous system, heads to the brain and eventually causes death. By the time the symptoms have appeared it is often too late to treat the victim.

Vaccinations for rabies keeps the disease in check. Unfortunately, we tend to over-vaccinate our pets and this includes annual or bi-annual rabies shots when one vaccination at the beginning of your dog’s life is usually sufficient to prevent rabies.


And two more – Lyme Disease and Leptospirosis

According to the CDC, it is highly unlikely you’d get either of these diseases from your pet.

Although dogs and cats can get Lyme disease, there is no evidence that they spread the disease directly to their owners.

However, pets can bring infected ticks into your home or yard. Consider protecting your pet, and possibly yourself, through the use of natural tick control products for animals. You can read more about this in my book Ticks on Dogs: Small Dog Nightmare.


Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that your pet COULD get from drinking water contaminated by infected wild animals, mostly rodents. In humans, it may produce no symptoms, or it may come with many, including high fever, headache, chills, aches, vomiting, jaundice, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rash.

To catch Lepto directly from your dog, he would have to be infected, then you would have to have direct contact with urine through broken skin. You CANNOT get the Lepto virus through saliva.

Because there are so many strains of Leptospirosis, and vaccines have proven ineffective, most dog owners are not vaccinating their dogs – and especially not small dogs.

Three sensible ways to control diseases you can get from your dog




1. Hygiene

  • good hand washing goes a long way in deterring these zoonoses
  • keep your dog clean as well – regular bathing and combing helps and it also lets you check on the condition of his skin and coat, often leading indicators of illness in dogs
  • clean up dog poop and urine right away
  • wash your dog’s bedding regularly
  • keep water and food dishes clean, and separate for each pet


2. Common sense

  • get your pets wormed regularly and consider heartworm medication
  • make sure they have veterinarian check-ups at least annually
  • feed your dog a quality diet
  • infants, the elderly or anyone with a compromised immune system, should be extra vigilant about exposing themselves to dangers


3. Watch your dog

  • keep an eye on your dog:  don’t allow him to eat garbage, dead animals or birds or hang out at bird feeders (birds can a number of zoonoses)
  • beware of pet food recalls – especially pet snacks like jerky treats. They are often recalled because of salmonella dangers (visit DogFoodAdvisor.com for regular updates)
  • don’t let your dog eat poop or drink out of the toilet (which would be quite a feat for a Morkie!)


Read more

You can read about all 14 possible diseases and infections you can get from your pets (zoonoses) here at MotherNatureNetwork.com  for more details.

How often should you walk your dog?

How often should you walk your dog?

How often should you walk your dog?

Lots of people get a small dog because they don’t think they need long walks. But small dogs need walks just as much as big ones – so how often should you walk your dog?

There are plenty of benefits for both you and your Morkie, and fall is a perfect time to start a healthy habit like daily walks.

7 Reasons to walk your Morkie every day

  1. Exercise is great for everybody: canine and human. This is a no-brainer reason to walk.
  2. Weight control is easier with regular walking, again, for both you and your Morkie. Small dogs tend to put on weight more easily, since it doesn’t take much and because owners often don’t exercise them enough.
  3. Walking can help relieve constipation.
  4. Gentle, regular walking is a good way to ease arthritis pains.

5. A well-exercised dog is less likely to be destructive at home because he’s had a chance to burn off that excess energy.

6. Walking on a leash is a great way for your Morkie to learn discipline, and to understand that you are the leader of the pack.

7. A walk is a good way to give your dog some mental stimulation too. Dogs love walks because they get to sniff out all sorts of new scents, and maybe socialize with other people and dogs. While you want to keep your Morkie moving, don’t be so extreme that he never gets to “stop and smell the roses.” Those scent trails are VERY important to dogs – they are like their twitter or facebook.

The best leash and collar to use to walk your Morkie

The best collar to use when you walk your Morkie isn’t a collar at all, it’s a harness.

Because both Yorkshire Terriers and Maltese can be prone to collapsing trachea (windpipe), it’s important that your dog doesn’t pull on a collar.

A collar is fine for keeping your dog safe via up-to-date i.d. tags, but for walking, look at a harness to minimize the risk of throat and neck injury.

Pulling on your Morkie’s neck can make tracheal collapse – or collapsing windpipe – worse. Morkies are prone to this disease, because both parents are too.

collapsing trachea illustration

say no to retractable leashes

Just say NO! to retractable leashes

Retractable leashes get the thumbs down from most animal experts. Even Consumers Report has warned how dangerous they can be.

Although they will give your Morkie extra freedom to sniff and poke around, they break more easily; they can wrap around your legs easily, and they teach your Morkie to pull because that’s what releases more leash.

A retractable leash lets your dog get too far away from you, too quickly.

Does your Morkie go crazy when you pick up the leash or mention the word “walk”?

My own dogs can make going out very stressful.

The Yorkie, Tinkerbell, SCREAMS she’s so excited. I’ve finally learned how to manage this. When she starts with over-the-top yelping and screaming because she thinks we’re going for a walk, I say (calmly) No, no. Then stop all actions that will lead to a walk. I put down the leash and go into another room and sit calmly.

Then I try it again. Still going crazy? Then I repeat the actions: say No, drop the leash and go into the other room quietly.

It only took two times and now, she’s just fine when we start out on our walk.

How often should you walk your dog?


Finally, to get back to the question of this post: How often should you walk your dog?

Daily is important. Shorter more frequent walks are often better, but longer walks work too, provided your Morkie has built up to them. Like us, dogs need to ramp up to exercise, not jump in all at once.

Experts say that a brisk walk that is 15 to 20 minutes once a day will mean real benefits for your dog… and for you.

Start slowly, keeping your Morkie’s age and health level in mind. Then build to one or two 20-minute walks a day.

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