Friday, June 24, 2011

Dog's view of a new toy

With the proliferation of the junk that passes for dog toys, you may do better by using stuff that your dog likes to play with anyway, such as ropes, rawhide or frisbees. A junky toy purchased from a regular or pet store will get your dog's passing attention and that's about it. There went anywhere from four to ten bucks-plus out the window, and for what?

This is probably easier to understand if you put yourself in your dog's place. You're sitting or lying comfortably on the carpet or rug in the living room and suddenly you hear your master walking in. He says something before tossing an object at you. The object is round and colorful and you're not quite sure what to make of it, so you touch it tentatively with a paw. The object moves ever so slightly, then becomes very still. You try to get a whiff of a smell from it, but unfortunately get nothing  So you get up and walk toward the kitchen or bedroom or where your master is sitting. Your master notices you, smiles, says something, then looks around you for something. He or she is going through the same phase, happens every time they present you with a toy and you don't play with it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 24th is "Take Your Dog to Work Day"- an appropriate observance?

I can understand the sentiment behind this "observance." A lot of people love and own dogs and care very deeply about them. Dogs are even seen as family members as well they should and that's all good. The thing is that I'm not so sure that everyone bringing a dog to their job is such a good idea.

While bringing a dog to the office might work, But roofers, sanitation people, medical personnel, librarians, and restaurant workers would be hard-pressed to bring their dogs to work, I would think. A dog would be a distraction and even a hindrance in many cases. And what about supervisors and other bosses?

I also like dogs, but believe that there are more appropriate ways to recognize them as great pets, friends and family members.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rant against certain dog "owners"/litterbugs

Yesterday afternoon, a jeep rolled slowly in front of my house. A woman sitting in the front passenger seat threw her bag on the ground. Seconds later, her male companion got out from the back seat and wiped his baggy shorts with napkins that were probably stolen from McDonald's. The woman took out a brown and white dog, walked it to the back of the jeep as the man repeatedly wiped his shorts with white napkins, then tossed the napkins curbside in front of my house.

The woman took out what appeared to be a mat for the dog to sit on, shook it out, and passed it to the man sitting on the backseat. In another minute or two, they were all back in the jeep and left. Too bad none of them thought of taking their trash with them. My thought was that their dog peed in the car and some of the pee wound up on the man's shorts.

Okay, so accidents will happen. This morning and afternoon, the soiled napkins were blown by passing traffic back on lawns and driveways. I, for one, would not touch those napkins, knowing that they had been used to wipe off dog pee. But I did kick them off my lawn back on the street, cursing the culprits as I worked. What goes around comes around though. I hope that they all find dog crap on their lawns or grass or sidewalks wherever they live. Those are precisely the people who should never own dogs or any other pet for that matter.

An animal lies injured on the street. What can/should you do?

Just recently, there was a report about a young woman who was killed while trying to save an injured dog by a hit and run driver. That driver remains on the loose. The young woman/good samaritan is gone from this life. And the dog died anyway. It must have been so badly injured that it had to be euthanized. A tragedy if there ever was one.

At the same time, this shows that a few people do love and care about animals and want to help them. Often, in an emergency, such as trying to assist an injured animal, the rescuer has little idea of what to do and how to do it. I couldn't see myself being in that situation. My first impulse would be to try to place the dog on a jacket or coat placed flat on the ground and getting it to one side of the road, then calling for help. But what should I really be thinking and then doing during such a critical time? How much risk should I consider taking regarding my life and the life of an injured animal? That sort of thing.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

How does she get away with it?

So this neighbor who lives directly across the street from me has three large dogs that she keeps cooped up in the house all of the time. Occasionally, you can hear them barking when a stranger or other dog walks past the house, but that is about it.

What I marvel at is her or her partner not walking those dogs --- or letting the dogs in the backyard! If I was in her place, I would have been out walking those dogs every day. But that's me.

Her house isn't that large and features dark rooms and a loose gutter hanging off one side. I don't see how those dogs can sit or sleep around without going crazy. Maybe they're drugged to stay quiet or starved or just too weak to move around. Her next-door neighbor probably hears the ravket but says nothing.

I can imagine what that house smells like inside, especially if the dogs' mess is not cleaned up immediately. There's probably dog pee and poo all over the house. Can you imagine stumbling around in that house when it's dark and inadvertently stepping inadvertently into a pile of dog poo?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Next time Chloe does that, she's on her own

It's really hot today, nearly 100 degrees, and I'm thinking about my sister's huskie-mix dog, Chloe. Chloe is white with blue eyes and loves to run. She doesn't seem to let the heat bother her and I can cite proof of that, lol!

About five summers ago, on a hot, humid June (early) evening, I was at my sister's house with my father, who had lung cancer. We were about to sit down to enjoy cool treats when my sister asked me to change Chloe's leash so the dog could be brought indoors. So I went out in the heat, pet Chloe and proceeded to switch her leashes. No sooner than I released one leash and was about to click on the other when Chloe took off.

Chloe ran to the neighbor's lawn half a block away before turning around, crossing the street, and running to one of the spacious lawns there. Of course, I was afraid that Chloe would be hit by a car and chased her across that lawn, plus three lawns after that. Seeing Chloe stop and look back at me before taking off again, I realized that she was having fun. Fortunately, one of the neighbors happened to be outside and I shouted for him to hold Chloe. He knew Chloe and caught and held her until I was able to catch up. My sister also drove up in her Jeep and before long, we were all back at her house.

Needless to say, I was relieved that everything turned out ok, in spite of my sweat-soaked top, jeans and hair. My dad had walked to the corner and was looking for us. As I got out of the Jeep, I told my sister that the next time Chloe pulled that stunt, I wasn't going to chase after her, especially in hot, humid weather.

And I haven't since.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Walking (from a dog's perspective)

Watching people walk their dogs, I began to wonder if their dogs were really "into" the walk or struggling to keep up with their owners' footsteps. I kept imagining the view ahead from a dog's perspective. First, the owner's shoes, the sidewalk that seems to be coming at you and leaving just as fast, and the grass on either side just a moving blur of green.

If you're all gung-ho into the walk as a dog, you probably take this constantly-changing scenery as a matter of course. But what happens if you're not feeling up to par --- maybe you have a toothache or a bellyache or tired feet or a painful paw? How can you keep up and not hurt even more? How can you make your owner pay attention and take away the pain or ache? Right now, he or she keeps walking, stopping only briefly when you take a quick time out to pee or examine something interesting in the blades of grass. But that's a fleeting moment as your owner again becomes impatient and tugs at the leash, which in turn, tightens your collar a bit, then a lot, as the collar presses into your skin. If your owner only knew......

Saturday, June 4, 2011

More about Patrick

A few posts ago, I wrote about Patrick, the pit bull that was starved and abused and placed in a garbage bag, then left for dead in a city dumpster. Fortunately, Patrick was rescued and treated at a good reputable veterinary hospital and is recovering nicely. His abusive owner is set to stand trial for nearly killing him.

For now, Patrick is staying at the hospital on the judge's ruling that he is evidence for the trial. The dog has also become a celebrity and has meant big business. He's attracted sizeable donations from kind-hearted donors. And only recently, the Associated Humane Society wanted Patrick back, claiming that they were the ones who rescued the dog in the first place. But the judge ruled against them, and I agree.

Every time I hear or think about that poor dog, I begin to cry, not only for Patrick, but for other abused dogs in similar situations. Their owners are complete monsters and should never had had the privilege of caring for a pet. In the meantime, I am planning on increasing my donations to pet charities, hoping that more money will help to save more dogs AND cats.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Should you adopt a dog based on its looks?

Maybe. A lot of experts on dogs would argue that you have other criteria besides selecting a dog based on the way it looks. But those experts tend to overlook the fact that if you like the way a dog looks, you have a built-in motivation to love and care for it for the rest of its life.

You will love and care for that dog in spite of its tendency to shed fur, to bark, to jump on you or your visitors, to be a finicky eater, to pull on its leash, to chew on your shoes, to become ill, and a hundred other things. Somehow, a bond was quickly established between you and that dog that can't be broken.

As is sometimes suggested, go with your instincts, go with the flow. After all, nothing in this life is perfect. There will always be shortcomings, disadvantages. But the bond and love that exists between you and your dog will surpass all of those negatives and you will have a friend for life.

dogs' tolerance of heat in warm weather

I've lost much of my tolerance for hot humid weather and can't stand walking around in it and increase my misery. But dogs may be different in that some of them seem to tolerate warm weather much better than me. I'm not familiar with local breeds of dogs and can only go by what I have seen.

My sister's huskie-mix dog, Chloe, doesn't seem to be uncomfortable in warmer weather. At most, Chloe sheds huge amounts of white fur. Now that she's groomed however, that shedding problem will surely lessen, but not go completely away.Chloe seems willing to go for a walk just about any time of day. On the other hand, poor Aries, my sister's other dog, is more content settling somewhere in the house, preferably on the bed and fall asleep. The only way that Aries will go out is if he needs to pee or poo. Otherwise, he's got to be encouraged to do so. He can't always be given his own way. That's all good and well, but it's too hot for me to do it.

On the whole, I think that the majority of dogs would rather chill indoors than out.