Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Worst Things You Can Say to Someone Who Just Lost a Pet

Grieving the loss of a pet is different for every single person, but it's always difficult. The support of friends and family who sympathize and care can make the grieving process easier, but a thoughtless word from someone who doesn't understand why a pet owner is just so sad can be extra hurtful.

Not sure what to say to a friend who is grieving the loss of a pet? Try this: Show up with a favorite snack, say you're sorry for the loss, share a happy memory about the beloved pet and offer to listen. In the end, you don't really need to say much of anything — but there are a few things you never want to say to someone who's just lost a pet.

Read more here

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Dog stands guard for week in Washington state protecting second dog trapped in cistern

In this Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, photo provided by Amy Carey, of Vashon Island Pet Protectors, a setter mix named Tillie, left, watches over Phoebe, a basset hound who was trapped after falling into the cistern nearly a week earlier before being rescued by searchers on Vashon Island, Wash. A Washington state animal shelter says Tillie stood guard for a nearly a week to watch over Phoebe, only leaving her side to alert people of her trapped friend. The two were found unharmed Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, after they were reported missing by their owners last week. (Amy Carey/Vashon Island Pet Protectors via AP)

Read more here.

Friday, September 18, 2015

"Mom licked me! Now I lick you!" Why Does My Dog... Always Lick Me?

It’s not much of a conundrum, really. The bottom line is that most of the time, dogs will lick their people as a sign of affection. “You are the sun and the moon,” their silky tongue would have you know. “And guess what? You taste good, too!”

But much as barking can be, licking is also a multi-faceted tool that seems to play many roles in canine behavior and, consequently, tends towards many different interpretations.

Read more here.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

How Smart Is Your Dog? Now You Can Compare

All that energy people put into posting YouTube videos of their clever — or dumb — dogs can be harnessed for the good of scientific research.  A team at Duke University found that dog owners could competently test their pets at home for studies on canine intelligence.

Read more here

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I Forgot How To Dog #2

"Does this look natural?"

Why is that dog looking at me?

More than one experiment has made some things pretty clear.  Dogs look at humans much more than wolves do.  Wolves tend to put their nose to the Tupperware and keep at it.  This evidence has led to the unsurprising conclusion that dogs are more socially connected to humans and wolves more self-reliant.

Read more here.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Nonprofit takes pups from death row, trains them as veteran service dogs

EVANS, Georgia (WKRN) –  Dozens of veterans now have service dogs thanks to a Georgia organization. On Saturday, 36 veterans gathered at the Columbia County Library in Evans, GA to see their rescued dogs graduate from different levels of service training.

Read more here

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Getting a Dog

You've had a life change.  You're being talked into it.  You think you'll look good with that dog.  Or it's just too darn cute.

There are many reasons for getting a dog, but all of them need to come with an understanding that there are positive things about getting a dog, but there's also responsibility.

Pros, cons, ups, downs, chewed-up favorite shoes, poop on the good carpet, and then time for walks, play, going outside ... for some these all mean a dog isn't for them, so before plunging in and spending money for all the shots starting out, consider the following:

  • This will be a commitment on your part for years to come.
  • It will require time and attention.
  • You will have to consider your dog if/when you want to stay overnight else where.
  • You will need to utilize close friends or family at some point.
  • There will be money needed for shots, checkups, boarding, etc.
  • You will be the one in trouble if your dog does something wrong to some one else.
  • Per year, the expense of having a dog can go into the $1000s.
  • Is your home even appropriate for a dog?
  • If you rent, your lease may not allow for a dog.
  • If you have children, will they get along?
  • Do you spend a lot of time away from home?  Having a dog means being home and less social life.
  • Some people are allergic to dogs.
  • Be prepared to spend time and money on: training, play-time, the veterinarian and medication and vitamins.

If all of the above is not an issue, then perhaps you are primed and ready for one of the best friends you'll ever have.

McKenzie is definitely my best friend, and I look forward to seeing her each day as I'm driving home, as she is too.

Good luck finding and starting out a wonderful life with your best friend!

Saturday, August 15, 2015


No, not bats, but dogs.  (But if you want to brush a bat maybe this guide will help):

Regular brushing keeps your dog's coat healthy, clean and good looking.  Plus, it is a good bonding mechanism.  Brushing her lets her know you are taking care of her.  Tips:

1. Brush all: make sure to brush all over, not just her back.  Get behind the ears, the belly, legs, etc.

2. Time: I incorporate McKenzie's brushings into her going-out-to-potty time.  After removing booties, the brush is nearby and she knows the drill (she even gets excited).  Making it part of her routine helps her and me, and if I am rushing (late for work), then I'll do her back in the morning, and her belly when I get from work.  So, split the work.

3. Care: be gentle, but pay attention to her reactions: e.g., the hair behind her ears turns -- over time -- into thick hairballs that I have to eventually cut with scissors (so afraid to nick her skin), that is, unless I brush there regularly.  So I brush those spots gently, but have learned to watch her face to see if it is too much.  Other parts of the body also require careful brushing.

4.  Legs: don't forget the legs.  McKenzie has very fine, but long hair going all the way down past her 'heel' and for a long time I simply over-looked it.

5. Belly Time: I get her to lay on her back for a good belly brushing.  This, too, is a sensitive area, so go easy.

6. Matted Hair: according to how bad the mats are, you might have to use scissors.  McKenzie only needs a regular hit on the matting to eventually work it out over days, but this only happens if I get slack on regular brushing (which I have not in a long time).

Morning yard patrol complete Sir.  Please take off muh booties and brush me Sir.  Ty Sir!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

"Don't worry, he won't jump out...."

Aaaaand he jumped out....

Listen, if you put a dog not used to an open vehicle in the back of an open vehicle, there's a good chance he will jump out. The same goes for if you roll down a window too far in a car.

And this is exactly what happened a few weekends ago as I went with my son-in-law in his open jeep, with "Archy" his pet English Bulldog nicely placed in the backseat.  Luckily, Archy appeared to be ok, showing no lasting signs of any real harm.  As we just finished a tight turn on a suburb road, traveling maybe 10/15 mph, Archy jumped!  He landed on his thick, muscular back, and slid many feet.  My son-in-law stopped, ran to him, checked him out and then brought him back to the vehicle where I insisted on holding him.  I had earlier offered that service but was confidently told not to worry..

Should I?

No, too far down too fast..

"Oh come on just do it!" says Archy little devil on his right shoulder..

Sorry, no pics of the actual jump or aftermath, but I do offer Van Halen's, "Jump!"

And I always enjoy google auto-complete:

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Five Indoor Activites For You And Your Dog

With the changes in time and seasons, there just isn't enough daylight by the time I get home from work -- after a 30+ minute commute one way -- to do ball with McKenzie.  She, of course, doesn't understand this, and still goes to the door for ball time.  Instead, we have to find ways to get her that daily exercise:

1. Use the basement/garage: it isn't the same as the long tosses across the some 1 acre back yard I have, but I gentle roll or toss in either my basement or garage, still causes her to use bursts of speed to retrieve the ball.  Enough of this, and she does get a little winded.  She's going for fun, I'm going for fun + getting her that needed exercise.

2. Indoor Parks: check your city/town.  Many have indoor dog parks perfect for what I just described above.  It is usually just a small fee.

3. Go to town: find a Petco or other pet-friendly place, and take your best pal with you.  It will spark their senses into action and be fun for all.

4. Tug-of-war: Most dogs love this.  Just get a rope/towel/whathaveyou and make them fight for control!

5. Give them a bath!  This will be work, and you both might not be as excited about it as the other four choices above, but it is something that needs done anyhow, and it'll get you time together.

McKenzie finding Indoor Fun