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Did You Know

It is National Pet ID Week

April 15-21, 2018

IMG_9609 2We embrace the microchip concept for our OwyheeStar puppies. Every pup leaves with the AKC Reunite Microchip implanted. All our puppy family must do is to register their chip (pay a small lifetime fee) with AKC Reunite. Honestly, if you don’t register the microchip is probably not going to do much good.

Let’s not forget the 4th of July and the hoopla associated with it fills shelters to the brim. These hardworking folks do their best to get every pup back to their family; however, it is an arduous process. This one step does more than anything to get your pup back to and along with the ID collar increases your odds of return astronomically.

Did you register the microchip? We sincerely hope you did. Here is more information from AKC Reunite. Our experience has been positive–they are accommodating.


If a neighbor finds your dog, a pet ID tag is the fastest and most efficient way to be reunited with your pet. However, ID tags can fade or fall off, or your pet’s collar can be removed. This is when an enrolled microchip with up-to-date contact information links you and your pet to help ensure you are reunited with your lost or stolen pet.

Save $2 on replacement collar tags and dog collars with coupon code Tag2 through April 21, 2018.

Extending Our Time

Delicate Discussions

   ~ Part One

Roxy's FamilyThe last two blogs (Roxy’s story) and (Olli who lost his fur brother) have dealt with the loss of the Weimaraner. There are simply no words to cover such a loss. We can agree on this one thing—what we want to do is to push off the inevitable as long as possible.

This heartfelt desire begs the question of what we can do to make a big difference. We have some thoughts. Our suggestions cover the unexpected accidental loss as well as avoiding potential health issues. Our hope is for every OwyheeStar puppy to arrive at the Rainbow Bridge’s door late in life.

Accident Related Loss

Every few months we get a note about a Weimaraner who has lost their life due to an accident. These events vary–by nature each is unique; however, the underlying cause is similar. Some of the standout scenarios are listed here along with suggestions on how to avoid this type of thing. Eating or ingesting various non-edibles is a common theme. There are other dangers too, but we often forget the Weimaraner will eat anything. 

1. Toys — Even rubber toys lose their integrity. Depending upon your Weim’s chewing strength, you may need to (always) supervise their chewing. Other toys have squeakers that can become an issue and the rope bones, which are a good choice, don’t work for every Weimaraner. Bits of ingested string can build up in and along the intestinal wall leading to a blockage or irritation. A blockage can happen fast and be hard to discover in time to save your pet. Vomiting and not passing a stool are indicators–but these two symptoms are not a sure sign. The same signs for other ailments and sometimes are just mean it is an upset tummy. It is best to get your Weimaraner checked if this is a prolonged event. Taking their temperature (rectally) might not seem all that pleasant, but it can help you determine the seriousness of the event. (The normal dog temperature is 101.5°F (38.6°C). A rising temperature is alarming –-you need to know the standard temperature for your pet because it is much higher than for humans.

2. Medications and things sink side — One of the most heartrending stories involved a Weimaraner that ate someone’s medication–kept at the kitchen sink for convenience. The counter-surfing Weimaraner nabbed the bottle and ate it, and the contents. By the time they got him to the Vet office, it was too late. The Weimaraner might eat anything it seems–we have had others report sponges, dishrag, food, food-scented trash, etc. Sponges and the dish rag could lead to a blockage. Food has all kind of potential risk–bones can puncture the intestine wall, and some food (even the most innocuous kind like the avocado) are potentially toxic.

3. Around the House –There are many things to mouth and ingest. Some are shocking to us. One such item happens more than you might guess. Certain Weims are so obsessed with you and your scent that they may raid your laundry basket. Undergarments have the strongest scent, and some Weims will ingest these–another potential intestinal blockage issue. More often than not, they will pass, but you might discover something hanging out the back end. A hankie, undies, or the sock that made for a quick snack. (oops)

4. In the Fenced Yard –These are multifaceted. The Weimaraners are known for ingesting rocks; sometimes they pack them around in the mouth, and this is hard on their teeth. Pica (ingesting items such as rocks) seems odd to us, but it happens a lot. Marble-sized rocks to those the size of a large plum (such as river rock) are ideal. Rocks sometimes will travel through without a hitch; other times (all too often) they cause an intestinal blockage. Sharp edged rocks can irritate or puncture the intestinal wall. Rocks are not the only culprit in your yard. There are a plethora of toxic plants commonplace. Ones we would never suspect. Anything in the yard (including your house siding) could be chewed. We have known of a Weimaraner left in the yard that dug up a sidewalk, and she ingested bits of concrete. While we are discussing the backyard, some Weims can open gate latches. Others dig and can tunnel out of the yard. Then there are those that if they want to get out to explore, they can easily bound over a 5′ fence. Another danger is a collar that would catch them and strangle them. One extreme dog lover tied his and his brother’s dog to a tree. They didn’t have a fence, and they were only going to the corner store for a moment. Both dogs climbed the tree they were tied to–the young men came back to find the Weimaraner’s collar had caught on a branch she slipped, and you can guess what happened. This haunting experience will never be forgotten (the young man is a practicing Veterinarian). May this serve as a warning to others who think to tie their Weim for a few moments would be the safest solution. It didn’t work out in this situation.

5. Road Dangers

A six-acre yard and a well-trained Weimaraner should not be a problem; however, the devastating loss of their family member proved them wrong. A deer or something spurred the Weimaraner to give chase. Later they found him on a road even though they lived in a remote Northern Idaho location. The inherent desire to give chase (also known as the prey drive) is always lurching in the background–even when you have achieved the seemingly unfailing recall. Traveling with the Weimaraner is not without risk either. Some folks believe it is OK to have them ride in the back of their pickup–some tie them in, so they won’t fall out. Others let them roam free. More than one Weimaraner has seen something that sparked their sudden urge to give chase, and over the side, they went. Not everyone lost their life, but some did. One Christmas Eve in warm Arizona a woman was traveling with her Weimaraner. She had the windows down–the breeze blowing in their faces. She was on the way to a family dinner when her Weimaraner jumped out the window. He rolled down a bank breaking several bones. He lived, but they spent the night at the Emergency Vet Office instead of having a family dinner. He had traveled with the window frequently open; she had no reason for concern until this happened.

Others types of accidents happen but are less commonplace. Day two–we will discuss the other random things that may well shorten your time with your beloved friend and family member. The Weimaraner’s human must look out for their well-being on every level. A watchful eye for the seemingly puppy-like nature and the dangers to this breed are required. We thank you for your vigilance.


~ Shela and Cliff


PS: We bemoan the lack of photos; however, we were at a loss for which one to put here. We also didn’t cover things like Holiday Mishaps–and the dangers posed by the 4th of July and such. It was a lengthy post, and we have written on these topics many times.



Keeping your Weimaraner from being lost or stolen!

Dear Weimlovers!

Dangers lurk everywhere for our beloved Weimaraner. We don’t want to be paranoid parents, but realistically, we have to be on the watch. Risks are many! They come from various directions; sometimes they come because we let our guard down for a moment.

Things that can go a long way toward keeping them safe are:

1. A fenced yard

The fence is important; however, if there is a gate to the outside (and there is foot traffic going and coming), this can be a problem). We know of a meter reader that didn’t close the gate, and Weim ended up at the city dog pound. It ended up costing a lot, because the Weim developed kennel cough and came back with a few other health issues.

This is my happy face :O)

This is my happy face :O)

The fence is important, but it doesn’t mean you can toss the Weimaraner out in the yard and expect them to be good. Doing so, may lead to behavior issues such as digging, barking, chewing on everything. Freedom, and unsupervised yard time needs to be earned.

The Weimaraner can learn to open gates, and some scale the fence. They can dig under the fence. If they want out, there is going to be very little to stop them. If they feel abandoned and they are out in the yard, one of two things is likely going to happen: 1. They are going to act in destructive ways out of fear and frustration. 2. They are going to find a way to find you.

Crate Training

Using the crate might save your pet’s life. For the Weimaraner that embraces their crate it can be a refuge. When you must be gone, it is their safe place. During housebreaking, it can help you train your puppy more quickly, and successfully. We are a proponent of having them crate trained because it can be a important in so many ways. Counter-surfing, chewing on the sofa, Sheetrock-snarfing, trash can emptying, etc. often happens when you are gone. It might be because they are suffering from separation-anxiety, or that they are opportunistic.


Get your pet a microchip, and register it. This is the best proof of ownership.

Collar with your contact information

Collar and Tags Included!

Collar and Tags Included!

A dog collar with the proper ID may well be the best way to get your dog home quick. Their rabies tag should be attached, or the number engraved on the collar. If your pet is licensed that should also be included. Nothing is more important than your name, your phone number, and possible the location. For example: Cliff Nielsen, the cell phone or anytime phone number, Ontario, OR. This gives the finder information on how to contact you, and it gives them where you are from. That instantly tells them if you are traveling with your pet and you have lost them, or if you are local. Getting your beloved pet back, might be as simple as a phone call.

Read Steve Snell and what information needs to be on the dog collar (Click Here).

If you fear losing them when you are away from home (camping, hunting, etc.) you might consider investing in a GPS locator they wear. Once the collar is removed, this would not be helpful. If you act quickly, you should be able to locate them. Read more click here and here

If you have to be away, take extra precaution

We cannot unwind the clock, or turn back time. It is better to be extra cautious, with specific instructions for friends watching your Weimaraner. There is a very good chance they don’t understand the breed, even if they know (and love your dog). Some people had a home away from home–a person or family that regularly provides care. This is a place that feels much like home, and has folks that understand and know them.

Using a crate during times of extra stress, when you cannot keep an eye on them is a good idea. Some people use doggie day care. There are pet care professionals who can provide assistance. Ultimately, we have to remember in our absence; the Weimaraner feels stressed.

It is important to remember that these things can happen to the best of pet owners. It takes only a second for an accident to happen. Read on for tips on finding a lost pet.

If the unthinkable happens…

Our friend, and Willow’s Mom (Jan) is an Animal Ordinance Officer. She suggests the following steps be taken to find a lost dog (or pet).

Willow works the Open House_cropJan Magnuson says the best hope of finding the lost fur-family member, is to act immediately. Here is a list of things to do if you discover your dog or cat is missing:

1. Contact any local organization associated with animal control:

  • Police Departments
  • Humane Societies
  • Other Shelters — ask your Vet Office if there is any place someone might take a found pet.

2. Put your missing pet on Craig’s List (click here to read how to do that!)

3. Notify the local media (get your story out there)!

  • Newspapers (and local publication large or small)
  • Radio Stations
  • TV Stations — they might even do a special story on lost pets, and be willing to feature you and your beloved missing pet.

4. Put up posters everywhere (and include really good photos)

5. Get your information and flyer (with good photos) to any area animal-related business.

  • Groomers
  • Trainers
  • Veterinary Hospitals/clinics
  • Pet Stores
  • The local farm store

6. Blast friends, associates, and animal lovers via email to enlist help with the search. Getting the word out is the best hope of getting her returned. Go door-to-door asking each neighbor to help you, and find out if they have seen her. Take the flyer to each person, and ask them to ask their friends, family, and work associates. Don’t be shy about asking for extreme measures. Time is of the essence.

7. Notify the microchip company, and be sure they have you on file as the current pet owner, and all your contact information correct.

The Importance of good photos cannot be overstated

Getting her story out is important, but the PHOTO ( because many folks don’t know what a Weimaraner looks like) is equally important. If they read the information, but are thinking of a different dog breed, or color, they might not recognize the dog if they see them.

Don’t forget to post a reward.

The reward is important; people tend to look a lot harder when they think they may get a reward. Additionally, if someone actually stole her, that could likely motivate them to contact you.

You might consider engaging a Pet Detective

Some areas also have “pet detective” businesses that may be able to help.