Hot Diggity Dog!
Dog Lover's Ezine from Martia Nelson & Rincon
WELCOME!                                        August 25, 2008      Issue #5
From Rincon
Rincon reading
Hi everyone!
It's me, Rincon, starting the ezine today.  I like to have a job to do, so I told Martia I'd handle the greeting.
How was your summer?  Mine was great.  I walked, hung out at the dog park, and, as you can see in my photo, caught up on my reading.  There's nothing like a good summer novel.
But my favorite thing about summer is always the black berries.  Yee-ummmm.  We have a big berry patch in the back yard, and Martia says that when she looks outside she usually sees my hind end sticking out of it.  We have a deal - she gets the high ones, and I get the low ones.
How does a dog pick berries?
Ver-ry carefully.
Martia calls the berry patch my office ("Have a good day at work!" she says as I trot out the back door), but I think of it more as a fast food restaurant.  Boy, I love my Berry King.
Tail wags till next time,



P.S.  Forward this issue to other dog lovers!

 To see past issues, go to the Archives.
In This Issue You'll Find....
  • FUN VIDEO CLIP - Child Proof Drawer
  • CONSUMER TIP - Nat's Pet Mats  
  • DOG HEALTH ALERT - Xylitol, the Dangerous Sweetener
  • DEAR RINCON - Advice Column for Dogs 
  • CLASSES START 9/4 - Obedience & Socialization, Dog Dancing
  • FUNNY BONE - Crazy Like A Fox
Child Proof Drawer
Finally, someone has come up with child proofing that works!.  And it took a dog to do it!  Click here - you'll get a kick out of this.
Nat's Pet Mats 
Here's a fabulous product worth barking about!
I happened upon the website of one of my ezine subscribers and fellow Sebastopolian, Natalie Timm, at .  Natalie makes beautiful, hand-painted place mats to go under your pet's food and water bowls.
Natalie will personalize your mat - and will even paint your dog or cat on it.  And the mat is made of recycled materials - how cool is that?
Do you have a favorite dog-related product you think people would love to know about?  Send me your tip at
Is There Danger In Your Purse?
Dog bone clipartI recently got an email warning that a dog had died from eating a pack of gum from a visitor's open purse. This was the first I'd heard that XYLITOL, a sweetener commonly used in sugarless gum and candies, can be fatal to dogs in doses that would seem very small to us.  
I starting checking and found a respectable article saying that 6 to 8 sticks of sugarless gum sweetened with xylitol can be fatal to a 65 pound dog!
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center website says that dogs ingesting xylitol can suffer a sudden drop in blood sugar, loss of coordination, seizures, and liver failure.  It goes on to say "These signs can develop quite rapidly, at times less than 30 minutes after ingestion of the product. Therefore, it is crucial that pet owners seek veterinary treatment immediately."
A USA Today article gives the following partial list of products containing xylitol:
  • Jello sugar-free puddings.
  • Some oral care products, including Tom's All Natural and Biotene toothpastes.
  • A wide variety of sugar-free gums, including Trident, Orbit, Stride, Icebreakers and Altoids.

Altoids gum

Bottom line: Read the ingredients of all gum, mints and candies. Keep the ones containing xylitol completely out of your dog's reach. Maybe take them off your dresser, desk, and  kitchen counters, and put them in drawers. If there are xylitol goodies in your purse, keep it zipped and off the floor.
If you have kids, just toss in the towel - there's no tracking system for their gum and candy.  It's easier to completely stop buying  products with xylitol and, as your kids are old enough, teach them to read the label ingredients and only buy sweets that do not list xylitol.
See these articles for more idetails:
Veterinary Medicine,
Please share this important information with your family and friends. 
Altoids photo by By Leslie Smith Jr., USA TODAY

Questions Dogs Only Dare to Ask Each Other
Rincon, closeup  Dear Rincon,

  I'm afraid of small children.  Any advice?
  German Shepherd mix
Dear Shadow,
Don't be silly, small children are wonderful! 
Especially the ones who have been eating ice cream.  Lucky for us, they've been out in droves this summer.
The secret is to have good manners - move slowly and no pushing, shoving, or teeth.  That way they laugh when you lick them, and you get dessert!
Your pal,
The Candid Canine
Dog readers, Send your questions to Rincon at  Be sure to include your name and breed or mix (if known).
Two Classes

School Bus 2Don't miss the bus - only two spaces left in this class!

                    Six Thursdays, September 4 - October 9           
                           5:15 - 6:15 pm,  $95,  Sebastopol (in a new location)     
Training and socializing your dog might be easier than you think!  Learn proven techniques for:
  • Come, Sit, Off, Down, Stay, Stand, and Heel.
  • Not pulling on leash, calm greetings (without jumping), and less barking.
  • Helping your dog to meet dogs and people comfortably and appropriately.
  • Understanding how your dog thinks.
  • Becoming a positive leader for your dog.
This highly informative and helpful class is also an enjoyable bonding activity for you and your dog.  You'll both be wagging your tails!

  A small, semi-private class will start soon.  Phone to be included. 
Dance with your dog??!!  You betcha!
It's easy and fun. (Dogs dance on all four feet.) You'll teach your dog cool steps like:
  • Twirl with you.
  • Circle around you.
  • Weave between your legs as you walk.
  • Do the "dog trot" and "dog cha cha."
  • Bow
Hot Diggity Dog Dancing emphasizes fun and the loving bond with your dog -- and it strengthens your position as your dog's leader in a positive way. (You do not have to be a good dancer. Dogs with a wide range of obedience skills are welcome.)


To enroll or get more information about these classes, contact Martia.
See fun video clips of dog dancing & dog training at
Crazy Like A Fox
Sometimes it's best to say nothing and just go with the flow!
That Is the Question.
If you are not yet subscribed, scroll down to the contact box, and click SUBSCRIBE!  Future issues will arrive in your Inbox.  The schedule is intermittent - every two weeks to two months.
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You are welcome to reproduce this issue of Hot Diggity Dog!, in part or in its entirety, as long as you include the paragraph and copyright immediately below.  (Also please send me a copy of the reproduction or a link to the webpage.  Thanks and Enjoy!)


Martia Nelson is a dog trainer , as well as a life coach and author of "Coming Home: The Return to True Self."

Copyright (c) 2008 Martia Nelson. All Rights Reserved.

HDD logo, peach w/clearHot Diggity Dog!
Dog Dancing & Obedience Training
Martia Nelson & Rincon
PO Box 1932, Sebastopol, CA  95473      (707) 823-4403
Know someone who hasn't worked with Martia & Rincon yet?   Refer them! 
After your referral has a one-hour private session, you will receive a
25% discount on your next private session of one hour or longer.
     Refer 2 friends for 50% off  -  3 friends for 75% off  -  4 friends for a free session!
Martia Nelson       Hot Diggity Dog Dancing & Obedience Training
707/ 823-4403         Expires 9/25/08
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Martia Nelson, or (707) 823-4403