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    Now That's Interesting! | A Blog by Coco + Pistachio

    An Interview With Founder of Joey's P.A.W. | Tanya Diable

    An Interview With Founder of Joey's P.A.W. | Tanya Diable

    Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Tanya Diable, a kind soul who helps severely abused dogs. Her organization Joey's P.A.W. was founded after adopting a 6 week pup rescued from the side of the road with both rear legs cut off. Unfortunately this type of abuse is common due to the light laws against animal abuse. Joey's P.A.W. helps to get these dogs their life back by providing partial/full funds for a prosthetic or a wheelchair.  Their website also includes an adoptable section for special needs dogs that are in need of a FURever home. 

    Here are Tanya's insights on these special dogs: 

    C+P: What are some of your biggest challenges with caring for some of these dogs? 
    Tanya:  Having a special need dog is really no different than having a regular dog.  You allow in your schedule more time to put on the prosthetic or wheelchair.  You allow time to help them go the bathroom if necessary, it just becomes a new normal routine.  For us having experienced all of the above it really is just about time management.  We don’t look at special needs dogs as a challenge, we see the dog as the fun, playful dog that they are…they just need some help.    When we first got our first special needs dog we were nervous but upon doing research  there is a lot of resources that help you make owning a special needs dog doable.  
    C+P: What are some of the goals of the organization for the next year? 
    Tanya: We are hoping to help out as many dogs as we can get up and moving and enjoying life again. That is truly our mission at Joeys P.A.W.
    C+P: Can you share one story that brings you joy to be doing this?  
    Tanya:  I cannot narrow down one story that brings me joy because it honestly is every single one of them.  When you read or talk to the rescue, shelter or individual and they are so happy, grateful or in tears that the dog that they are trying to help out will finally be able to get up and moving and enjoying  life again. A wheelchair can literally change a dog's life.  It can give back their spirit and personality.  It is amazing to see them shine again. That is pure JOY!!!  
    C+P: What is the best ways to help your organization help others?
    Tanya: The best way to help us help others is honestly donations.  We do not produce the wheelchairs we just order them and money is the only way to make that happen.  
    C+P: How much does it cost to provide wheels or prosthetics to a dog that may need it? 
    Tanya:  Custom Wheelchair can cost up to $1,200 and prosthetics can cost up to $1500 (per prosthetic).
    C+P: I know you launched Joey's P.A.W. late last year. How many dogs have you helped within that time?
    Tanya: We have helped 27 dogs get wheelchairs. Most recently, we purchased our first  prosthetic for Charlie. He was found at 2 weeks old in a ditch with a missing foot (birth defect ) and TLC Pet Rescue In Stockbridge Georgia  stepped up and took him in. His Mom Tonia has been taking care of him since they rescued him. 
    C+P: What do you want others to know about disabled dogs?
    Tanya: They are regular dogs with the same needs as a normal dog except add a prosthetic or a wheelchair to the mix. A disabled dog gives kisses, plays fetch, tugs and chews toys just like a normal dog. They have the same wants and needs as a normal dog…LOVE.  They want attention, love and treats. Trust me when I tell you the amount of love they give in return is just overwhelming!!  
    Thank you for reading our article on Joey's P.A.W. To learn more about Joey's PAWS and see how you can help please go to
    A lot has to be done with the laws that protect animals. Here are a couple of organizations working towards changing laws to protect animals.
    Interview Conducted: by Anabell Ciuffardi and Rebecca Ferreira

    “PUPPY LOVE” TREATS by Devan Bechtol

    “PUPPY LOVE” TREATS by Devan Bechtol

    These “Puppy Love” Treats are for that furry, special someone in your life, because we can’t forget our pets on Valentine’s Day! Can you believe these adorable little dog treats are only THREE ingredients?

    The hardest part is cutting the darn banana slices into hearts. Surprisingly, though, this really isn’t that bad! Just cut a small triangle in the top of the banana slice with a sharp knife, then cut the bottom into a point. You can also round the corners with a knife a little if you want. You can probably tell I didn’t have too much patience to try to make them all uniform, but your fur baby won’t be able to tell the difference and they will still look cute! After they’re sliced, throw them in the freezer to firm up.
    healthy dog treats - by devan bechtol blog coco + pistachio
    In a food processor, combine some fresh strawberries and plain Greek yogurt until you have a beautiful pink coating for the banana hearts. It must be a texture thing, though, because she gobbled this puréed strawberry yogurt up! Dip the frozen bananas into the yogurt, and then put them back in the freezer.
    healthy dog treats - by devan bechtol blog coco + pistachio

    I love Emmy’s tongue in this pic! She went so crazy for these!!

    Embarrassingly enough, I didn’t even think about how these are also human-friendly snacks until the day after making them, but I can confirm that I also think these are delicious!

    These adorable and nutritious dog treats are made with just three ingredients!

    You'll Need...

    • about 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
    • 3-4 strawberries, sliced
    • 2 bananas, sliced


    1. Cut the banana slices into hearts by cutting a small triangle out of the top, and then cutting the bottom so it comes to a point. You can round the edges slightly with the knife if you would like.
    2. Place the banana hearts on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
    3. Add the strawberries and Greek yogurt to a food processor. Blend until well combined. You can add a tiny splash of water if it seems too thick.
    4. Dip the frozen banana hearts into the strawberry yogurt with a fork to coat. Tap off the excess yogurt and place onto the baking sheet again. Freeze for at least 30 minutes.
    5. Store the treats in the freezer for when your fur baby needs a special snack!


    Devan Bechtol

    Make sure to check out featured Blogger Devan's Bechtol and more of her healthy tasty recipes on her site at Eating With Emmy Lou. Happy Valentines Furbabies!

    Photography by: Devan Bechtol


    What You Need To Know About Your Pet's Joint Health and Arthritis

    What You Need To Know About Your Pet's Joint Health and Arthritis

    Joints are the connection between two or more bones. The end of bones are covered with cartilage. Because the cartilage does not have any blood supply of its own, it receives nourishment from small blood vessels in the underlying bone and from the joint fluid surrounding the cartilage. There are two major categories of joint problems: developmental and degenerative. With developmental issues, such as hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia, the joint does not develop properly. With degenerative issues, the articular cartilage may gradually deteriorate and degenerate over time as our pet ages, which is referred to as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD). 

    Common signs of arthritis
    Dogs can exhibit many different signs when they have DJD, and they do not necessarily demonstrate the same signs all the time. The most common signs dog owners may notice include:
  • Difficulty getting up and down
  • Walking stiffly
  • Lameness in one or more legs
  • Reluctance to go up or down stairs
  • Reluctance to jump up or down
  • Stiff, swollen, or sore joints
  • Reluctance to be touched on some parts of the body
  • Loss of stamina
  • Unexpected aggression towards other dogs or towards humans
  • Should I start my dog on a joint supplement for arthritis and inflammation, even if I don't see any signs?
    You may be thinking inflammation is only a problem for dogs with joint disease … but chronic, hidden inflammation is everywhere in the body.  It’s the root of most diseases. Cancer, arthritis, allergies, kidney disease, dental disease, gastrointestinal disease … can all be caused by inflammation. Not all inflammation in the body is a bad thing. If your dog is exposed to viruses or bacteria, acute inflammation will release white blood cells to the body tissues and start the healing process. But chronic inflammation – the kind of low-grade inflammation that stays for weeks, months and even years – is the real culprit behind most degenerative and inflammatory health issues in your dog. And they’re finding that chronic low-grade inflammation is a major driver of joint disease. 
    What should I look for in a joint supplement?
    The three major ingredients you should look for are Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM. Some effective natural anti-inflammatory ingredients include turmeric, green lipped mussel and yucca root.
    Glucosamine, derived from shellfish, is a natural compound made of an amino acid (glutamine) and a sugar (glucose), and is an essential building block of joint cartilage. Ordinarily, the body produces its own glucosamine, but during periods of extensive or prolonged cartilage repair, results in a decreased production of glucosamine. Pets with lameness can show significant improvement when treated with glucosamine. Other potential indications for glucosamine include the treatment of intervertebral disk disease, recurrent cystitis, and severe inflammatory bowel disease. 
    What is CHONDROITIN? 
    Chondroitin sulfate is the major glycosaminoglycan (GAG) found in cartilage. It promotes water retention and elasticity in the cartilage, helping to ensure adequate shock absorption and adequate nourishment of the tissues that line the joint. Chondroitin decreases inflammation that can be destructive to joints. Animal cartilage is the only dietary source of chondroitin, although it can be synthesized from its glucosamine precursor. Commercially available forms of chondroitin sulphate include bovine cartilage and shark cartilage. Shark cartilage supplements are not recommended because they possess no distinct advantage over bovine cartilage, and pose a significant threat to the integrity of the world's oceans.
    MSM, (methylsulfonylmethane,) is a natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain killing) product. It is also used in humans to treat pain, inflammation, allergies, arthritis, and the maintenance of normal keratin levels in hair, skin and nails.
    Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin – its active ingredient. Curcumin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, wound healing and anticancer activities. It can help fight diseases like arthritis, diabetes, cancer, liver disease, and gastrointestinal issues. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that slows down aging, degeneration and even increase lifespan. Adding turmeric to your dog's diet is incredibly beneficial and can revolutionize his body from head to paw.
    Perna canaliculus, or green-lipped mussel, is an edible shellfish found off the shores of New Zealand. Perna mussel contains glucosamine, a GAG precursor and one of the building blocks of cartilage. It contains natural anti-inflammatory agents and many essential building blocks needed to rebuild the necessary components in joints.
    Yucca is an all-natural steroidal supplement. It reduces pain with minimal digestive side effects and is used for arthritis, joint problems, soft tissue swelling, and digestive problems. Yucca also is said to promote circulation through damaged tissue, reducing waste build-up while also helping in the removal of waste from the liver and kidneys. The increased circulation also provides more tissue-repairing nutrients.  
    Fish oil supplementation may be helpful for pets with inflammatory diseases including allergies, arthritis, kidney disease, heart disease, and many types of cancer. It also benefits your dog's skin and coat to alleviate itchiness and shedding.
    Author: Michelle Dulake, DVM
    Co-Founder of

    5 Dog Safety Tips for Summer

    5 Dog Safety Tips for Summer

    Summer’s almost here! Here are some tips to help your dog enjoy this beautiful weather too.

    1. Paws Off The Hot Pavement: Do you remember as a barefoot kid, jumping to walk on the white lines since they were cooler than the pavement? Our dogs are not the fierce predators of old. The foot pads, especially on puppies and apartment dogs, are prone to very uncomfortable burns. Always reach down and keep your hand firmly pressed to the pavement for a while to be sure it’s not too hot. If you can’t comfortably keep your hand there, your dog may need to take a different path, or to wear protective boots.

    2. Don't Leave Me In The Car: Speaking of hot places, please don’t ever leave your dog in the car alone in warm weather. Dogs can’t sweat like people do, and their fur coats don’t unzip. Even with windows cracked, the inside of a car can reach deadly temperatures in less than 15 minutes. While you could leave the air conditioning running, more than one family has returned to find an empty car with a window unwittingly rolled completely down by a paw.

    3. Keep Me In The Shade: When you tie your best friend’s leash while you play some ball with the kids, be sure he can reach some shade and has plenty of water available. If he’s digging, chances are he’s removing the top warm layer of dirt to get to the cooler layer below. Pay attention to this plea that he needs some relief from the heat.

    4. Water + Dog = Happy Cool Dog: Speaking of water, dogs LOVE to have their own kiddy pools to cool off in! When looking for a pool, consider how often you will want to be changing out the water. Dog’s tend to get the water muddy faster than kids, and some pools are too flimsy to easily dump. Your dog doesn’t need a huge pool. Better to get a smaller one that’s easy to dump. If you have a dog that absolutely loves to get into deeper water, consider a plastic stock tank, These tanks, usually used to water horses and other livestock, are easier to dump than kiddy pools and have the option to attach drainage hoses. When introducing your dog to the pool, never force entry. Instead, play around the pool and throw toys and floating treats into the water. Always use an appropriately safe water level for each dog

    5. Cooling Treats: You can create amazing ice treats for your dogs! Choose some favorite treats: pieces of carrots, kibble, spoonfuls of peanut butter, etc. Fill a plastic container with water. (Depending on the types of treats and how large you make the ice, you may want to freeze in layers.) Add treats into the water, freeze solid, dip into warm water to release, let your dog enjoy the “pupsicle” outside!

    And don’t forget to stay current on heartworm preventative. This preventable deadly disease is much cheaper to avoid by using pills than to treat an infection. The heart worm parasite is transmitted by mosquitoes. Warm weather brings mosquitoes, as well as forgotten pools of water breeding more of the bloodsucking bugs. Let your vet guide you in getting your dog started on the very easy, one pill a month, protective pills.

    Be safe, have fun, and give your dog a scratch for me!

    About The Author: Lesa Scheifele is a behavioral consultant who specializes in exotic animal training