Tuesday, May 31, 2011

dogs love to have fun

Late yesterday afternoon, my neighbor's little white dog sauntered out of the house and skipped to the corner outside. My neighbor stepped out of the house and stopped to call the dog, but the dog walked a few steps away. So the neighbor stepped on the sidewalk, called the dog, but the dog didn't listen. Apparently tired of that, my neighbor began to walk over to get her dog, but the dog ran around the corner with my neighbor in tow.

A few minutes later, the neighbor returned carrying her dog in her arms. The dog didn't try to get away from her, but let her carry him (or her) up the stairs and back in the house.

I think that the dog was looking to exercise and was only playing. If that were not the case, it would have kept running away. This incident reminded me of the way in which my sister's dog, Chloe, got away from me as I was changing her leash. Only Chloe covered way more ground, running across the street on five big front lawns with me in tow. And I didn't catch her, but saw one of the neighbors and yelled for him to catch her, which he did and held for me and my sister. It was a hot and humid June afternoon too.

Monday, May 30, 2011

get to know your dog for this important reason

I think that much dog-training that works has to do with having rapport with your dog. Look at it this way. A new dog doesn't know you when you first meet. Obviously, getting acquainted in depth takes time. Give a little, get a little. Over time, a rapport with the dog can be established for the most part.

There's probably a small minority of dogs that will NOT obey oral commands, no matter how hard you try. That's just the way they are. It could be, though, that such dogs are wired to respond to other ways. Of course, some experimentation is in order Just have to remember that individual dogs have their own personalities and respond accordingly, or don't even respond at all.

The upshot is that time and patience are necessary as you get to know your dog better. And you will establish a good relationship with your dog before long!

Friday, May 27, 2011

You don't have to pay a lot of money to get helpful tips for your dog's care

I just finished reading the book, You Had Me at Woof. It was an account of a dog owner and dogs she had owned, loved and lost. I was looking for some practical tips for taking care of a dog as I read. Usually, in books like these, authors generally share their experiences as what to do and what to avoid in caring for your dog. These tips are especially valuable, since they are based on the owner's experience as a dog owner.

In the aforementioned book, I think I found something like three tips. At least, it was something though.

I admit that not all tips are "silver bullets," since the types of situations and dogs differ. But maybe it's possible to tailor a given tip to your own situation and dog. You get some idea of what to try or mistake to avoid. The price is the time you spend searching, but that price is likely to be far less than expensive books or veterinarian consultations.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chloe goes to the groomer

On Saturday, my sister had to take her dog, Chloe, for some grooming. Chloe's thick white fur really grew out and when you pet her, you wind up with a handful of white fur. Not only that, but there was fur everywhere --- on the couch, on the floor and on clothes. So a good grooming was absolutely necessary.

Chloe enjoys going for a ride and sitting in the back seat. Her collar and leash are on, but not attached to anything in the car, so the dog is free to sit or nap ---- or even be a pain in the you-know-what. We were pretty close to the groomer's place when Chloe began to get a little antsy. She'd sit up, lean forward until she was touching our necks, heads or hands. This was so distracting! I would have considered having Chloe sit in a crate for my peace of mind as I drove.

But Chloe was calm and probably wanted some attention. Fortunately, the trip to the groomer wasn't that long or bad, considering the traffic volume. And at the groomer's office, two or three staff members greeted Chloe and us and made a big fuss over the dog ---- this made a big hit with Chloe, as she loves to be fussed over, with everyone telling this huskie-mix how beautiful she is, lol!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Captain Marvel's been adopted, but there's this other dog needing a home

My sister didn't get to adopt Captain Marvel, the dog whose nose and ears turned pink as he's being pet. A lovely couple adopted the dog instead and seem to be great owners. Captain Marvel has indeed lucked out and will have a fine home.

But yesterday, we've seen another American bulldog that reminded me of Captain Marvel. The dog was rescued from the tornados down South. She was clean, but looked like she could gain some weight. And according to her foster owner, the dog gets along with cats and is extremely affectionate. The dog would be perfectly content to sit on a lap and give kisses all day if she could.

My sister liked the dog very much and is seriously thinking of adopting her. This time, I hope that no one else beats her to it, although I have my doubts. My sister is going away for the Memorial holiday and wouldn't be available to provide the dog with a lot of attention. So we'll see.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My wish for the woman who nearly killed her dog, Patrick

Sometimes people show how uncivilized they are when they create or play games involving cruelty to dogs. To make matters worse, such people expose innocent children to random mistreatment and reinforce it in electronic games especially.

When kids are exposed like this, they tend to think that such cruel behavior is the norm and treat real dogs in a similar way to get their kicks or amuse themselves. I don't find anything amusing about mistreating or abusing any animal. It's wrong on so many levels!  It's also sickening, such as the time that a woman nearly beat her dog, Patrick, to death, starved him, assumed he was dead, threw his body in a garbage back and threw everything in a dumpster.

Fortunately, someone found Patrick, who was taken to the hospital, treated, and miraculously survived his ordeal! The woman is not going to be punished harshly for animal abuse. I thought that officers considered making her do community service by working/volunteering in an animal shelter. They can't be serious! Letting such a person serve like this is like allowing a fox to guard the henhouse.

What I'd love to see is have the sh-- beat out of her, and her being stuffed in a bag and tossed in a dumpster, just so that she could experience what poor Patrick endured. That's what she truly deserves and who knows, she just might learn from her experience.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A dog that thought he was a person

One of my sister's former dogs, Cooper, was the dog who thought he was a person. Seriously! He'd raise his paw in response to my command, "Give me five!" And I gave him five!

Another way that Cooper thought he was a person was the way that he loved being dressed up in a costume for Halloween. My sister even entered him in an animal Halloween contest, and no, he didn't win, but he had fun.

Cooper also loved to dance. He'd stand on his hind legs and let you hold his paws. He was a great partner for walking or running down the street.

But at the same time, he wasn't exactly a young dog. In the summer of 2006, Cooper began to slow down, preferring to walk slowly or lie down instead of being more active. He had frequent diarrheas and had to be taken to the vet's office, where he was diagnosed with some sort of blood cancer. Later on that year, poor Cooper passed. But today, he lives on in our memories and hearts. One dog in a million.

Monday, May 9, 2011

People who kill police dogs should receive harsher sentences

A recent bill in the NJ assembly addresses the issue of extending punishment to anyone who deliberately kills a police dog. The fine would be larger as well, up to 15,000 dollars.

This was in response to a police dog who caught up with a criminal who shot the dog and threw its body on the highway. The killer got off too easily and is probably back out on the street like scum.

I say lock such criminals up indefinitely, fine them way more money and even consider administering a harsher punishment, something that will give them something to think about and experience serious pain. No one who harms an animal should be allowed to get off easily.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Only the thought of adopting a puppy is appealing

I love puppies!  They are so cute, as babies are.

That's as far as it goes. Those puppies need constant attention and training. They may be inclined to play rough or pee or poo wherever without some kind of training. And even during training, mistakes are bound to be made. There are also special foods and other needs, like shots. A lot of time, money and patience is needed. I always felt that it takes a special person to be able to do all of those things and wind up with the best dog ever.

For my money, I'll take an adult dog. That dog's personality is already established, along with his or her habits and training. As a matter of fact, an adult dog may be even in more need of a forever home because it is grown and maybe not so appealing in the way of looks. But it doesn't need that much time to become a  loving pet for a loving owner.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

the day that you adopted or bought a dog

Many dog owners remember exactly how they wound up with their present dog or dogs. My sister, for example, drove on an exit when she noticed a dog that seemed to be chasing her car. She stopped in a safer location and checked the dog out. The dog turned out to be very friendly and not worse for the wear. My sister assumed that the dog was lost or had run away from home, so she took it to a shelter and waited. Days later, the shelter confirmed that no one inquired about the dog and my sister adopted it, eventually naming it Cooper. That is one incident that my sister will never forget.

But how about you? What circumstances led you to find a dog that is now your companion and best friend? When did you adopt him or her? Where? Why? How? What appealed to you the most about that dog? Do you remember?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Providing different, healthier treats for your dog

Dogs, like other animals, including humans, get tired of eating the same old thing, dog food, all of the time. One way of varying your dog's diet is by cooking for him or her. You'll most likely find recipes online or at the library or even at a place like Pet Smart. To use those recipes without all of the hassle, find two or three recipes that may appeal to your dog, check their ingredients, then buy the ingredients you need. Once you get home and begin to follow the recipe of your choice, you'll have all of the necessary ingredients on hand.

Besides treats, consider cooking vegetables for your dog in meat juices. Dollars to donuts, your dog will absolutely, positvely love the meal and eat it with gusto. My sister, for example, makes a sort of vegetable stew for her dogs and feeds it to them every so often. One of her dogs, Chloe, just loves to be fed raw stringbeans, one by one. And she's healthier for it. My dad used to think that Chloe was nuts, but he gradually became used to feeding Chloe raw stringbeans by hand --- and he wound up with a friend for life!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hiring a professional trainer for your dog worthwhile???

While you may have a good idea about how to train your dog, you may actually save time and money too by hiring a good trainer initially. The trainer will check your dog out, explain what is going on with him or her, and most important of all, identify issues that will likely affect the dog's behavior, plus tips on how to reinforce recent training.

You'll find out what collars and leashes are the most likely to be appropriate for your dog as well.

Depending on the given trainer's competence and fees, you may wish to consider hiring him or her to work with your dog for a few weeks or a few months. You'll probably wind up paying the trainer at least 20 dollars an hour. As in every other job, there are various levels of competency among trainers and if you want the best, you should expect paying more. Remember that you don't have to hire a trainer, but that hiring one once may save you a lot of time and effort in training your dog from scratch. Something worth thinking about.