I’ve told you before that I have a sister that I just LOVE to death, right? I know she loves me too, but sometimes she needs to have some alone time to work on her crafts, play with her dolls…you know, little-kid kind of stuff. Because I’m still working on learning my boundaries (it’s tough!) she usually sneaks downstairs to play or create undisturbed.
See, the people who owned the house before us had cats and they put a cat door in the interior door that leads to the basement. You’d think that a cat door would be pretty tiny and that a dog couldn’t squeeze through it, wouldn’t you? Well, I proved everyone wrong! Although my sister thought that going downstairs and closing the door behind her would prevent me from joining her, she was mistaken! I think she was just daring me to figure out a way to get downstairs to join her.
Has your dog (or cat) ever had to have surgery and then came home with that ugly and uncomfortable plastic cone around its head? Yep, it’s happened to me and I hated every single minute of it. My mom recently wondered if there were alternatives out there just in case I ever needed surgery again, and she found this Trupanion blog that talked about alternatives to the The Cone of Shame. I’m pretty excited about it because all of these alternatives look much better than that horrible plastic cone I had to wear for years! Ok, maybe it just felt like years, but either way it was just awful! I was too embarassed to even allow her to take a picture of me and for those who know me know I’m a photo hound!
So – my advice to you is to take a look around before your pet comes home from surgery to see if there are other options to the Cone of Shame. As a proud pet, I thank you!
Distract. Make a loud noise to distract your puppy from whatever they are doing. A loud yell, a slap on the table or shake a jar with a few pennies in it. This should startle him and focus his attention on you.
Scruff-Shake. Grab the fur under his ear on his neck and shake – a “brief but brisk shake”. This works best if you catch them in the act and the scruff-shake is a surprise.
Put-Down. Push the puppy over (quickly but gently) either on to his side or onto his back and lean over him. This reinforces that you are dominant.
Isolation. Say no and then ignore your puppy. Puppies are very social and they won’t like it that you aren’t paying attention to them.
Time-Out. Put the puppy outside for a few minutes and then try the same situation again. Or you can stop playing or interacting with the puppy for a few minutes, if you were part of the situation.
Squirt Bottles. Say “off” or “no” and squirt your dog at the same time. Water guns make this fun for you. Unfortunately many dogs (and cats) find this a fun game as well. Rutherford and Neil suggest using vinegar then, one part vinegar to six parts water.
Sit Command. Right after saying no, say sit. This gives your dog something else to do other than the bad thing. I’ve also found it effective to just say sit. Usually when they sit they can no longer do whatever it is you didn’t like.
My mom has used quite a few of these techniques with me in the past. She likes the idea of adding vinegar to the squirt bottle solution because I love water! It becomes a game when she squirts me to distract me from whatever I’m doing. My Nana uses a rolled-up magazine and slaps it against something to make a loud noise to distract her dog Ginger. Nana says that works wonders for her.
My mom came across this really cool article Tweeted by @MyOodle that was in a recent version of the Chicago Tribune. In this article on 4-legged healers it talks about dogs that are brought into the hospital to help soothe stressed out hospital staff. Although there is a lot of circumstantial evidence showing the benefits of pet therapy, this article outlines the actual evidence that proves the health benefits such as drops in blood pressure.
My mom alluded to the benefits of pet therapy in an earlier blog “A Buddy when Feeling Unwell”. She was thrilled to see that not only patients but staff can reap benefits of friendly visits from furry friends.
You know what else was really cool in this article? Some of the visiting therapy dogs came from local shelters and rescue organizations, and some of those lucky dogs found forever homes with the staff! Talk about a win-win!
My mom said that when she retires, her and I are going to get involved in a pet therapy program. I love to snuggle. I can’t wait to spread my love!
I just came racing in from outside, ran past all the towels and floor mats and jumped right into my sister’s lap with four soaking-wet paws and a face full of wet snow. I figured she’d be so happy to see me seeing as I was outside for about 5 minutes, but apparently her shrieks weren’t the “happy to see you” kind.
I can’t help it – I just love her so much! In the morning I just can’t wait to go running into her room to wake her with slobbery kisses. I know she loves being woke up that way, especially when I accidentally jump on her head because she’s hidden under the blankets. The more she screams, “BUDDY!!” the more I kiss her because I know she’s excited to see me too.
My mom says that love is an intense feeling of affection for someone. It’s wanting to be with that person no matter what and to want them to be happy. If that’s true, then I truly do love my sister! When she comes home from school I show her how happy I am to see her by jumping all over her, even when she tells me to stop. I shower her with loving kisses until she pushes me away – but I know she loves it.
Do you love someone so much you just can’t help but kiss them? Do you get excited to see them when they walk in the door? Do you want to make them happy every day? Isn’t it great being a dog!
My mom got a bit curious about food safety after she caught me sneaking some of my sister’s Easter candy a few weekends ago. As everyone knows chocolate is toxic for dogs, but thankfully I didn’t eat enough of it to make me sick. Since I can’t eat chocolate, my mom wondered what human food I could eat that would be good for me too. So, because my mom likes to learn new stuff she did a bit of research and looked into human food that is safe for dogs to eat. She found a great list of 10 People Foods You Could Share with your Dog and thought it might be fun to share here. I was excited because it meant that I could eat some of my family’s leftovers and it would be considered a healthy treat!
There are even more great people foods that can be shared with your favourite canine! Here are a few more:
Yogurt (with live active bacteria)
Pumpkin (helps the GI tract)
There are some great suggestions on how to serve these yummy foods as great dog treats here like to freeze green beans or slice and dehydrate sweet potatoes. I’m just sooo excited to continue to try new healthy people food so that I don’t get bored with my daily bowl of grain-free kibble. What do you feed your loyal dog?
I’m pretty pleased with myself, I have to tell you. I’ve been working on some new tricks and I’m excited to show you them!
The first trick I’ve been working on is “catch” and have mastered catching popcorn without dropping it! At first the food used to just bounce off my head and I’d look around to find it, but I quickly learned that if I caught it with my mouth, I’d get more. Seemed like a pretty good deal to me!
The other trick I’ve learned is how to go up the stairs on the playground equipment and then take the slide down. Now that is a ton of fun, and I even managed to beat my sister down the slide! I’m hoping that when the better weather comes we’ll make more trips to the park to play.
I’m already pretty good at “sit”, “stay”, “drop it” and “come”, although I will admit that I get a bit distracted sometimes so my mom needs to yell “come” a few times when we’re out at the dog park. I’m working on it. 🙂
What tricks do your dogs do? Do you have any tips to offer my mom? She’s always looking for great suggestions. Who knows, if we get some time this summer we might look at agility training. That looks like fun!
Have you ever tried using a hula hoop? It’s pretty difficult if you are a dog. I tried my best, but I just couldn’t seem to get the hip action required to keep it spinning. As you can see from my pictures below, I had a fun – although difficult – time with it. I think I’ll just my sister’s old hula hoop as a chew toy for now.
My mom looked it up on Wikipedia because she was curious about the origin of the hula hoop. “The hula hoop gained international popularity in the late 1950s, when a plastic version created by Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin was successfully marketed by California’s Wham-O toy company. During the 1950s, when the hula hoop craze swept the country, there were more than 50,000 hula hoops produced per day.” Wikipedia Reference
My Nana said that people in the late ’50s were in great shape thanks to the exercise they received while using their hula hoops. My sister has gotten pretty good at it since she got her new hula hoop. Maybe I should continue to practice to keep myself looking trim and fit! In the meantime I’ll have to ask my mom for a new one.
My mom is a big fan of adopting pets from animal rescue organizations and she told me that many of our family’s pets over the years have come from animal shelters. Apparently I’m the exception. 🙂 My mom said she’d love to get a cat, but right now our family is a bit too busy for another pet. That’s too bad, because I’d love to terrorize – I mean play with – a cat!
Check out this very funny video on Youtube that shows how excited a dog gets when he finds out he’s getting his very own cat!
If this video convinces you to get a shelter pet of your own, consider checking out your local SPCA. There are many wonderful animals just waiting for their forever home! If you can’t adopt right now, you can always make a financial contribution, donate some food, blankets or towels, or donate your time and talent as a shelter volunteer! What a wonderful way to share the love.
You probably already know that dogs are often used in therapeutic situations, bringing comfort and love to people in nursing homes and hospitals, for example. But did you also know that dogs are perfect companions when someone is home sick? My sister Brooklyn was home sick yesterday and this morning, so I was on my best behaviour and snuggled with her to keep her warm and comforted.
My mom strongly believes in the power of pets to help people heal, deal with stressful situations and support mental health. In this article on The Health Benefits of Pets, they talk about the health benefits of caring for animals in a variety of different situations and point to humans’ basic need for touch as the reason. Isn’t that amazing? I think everyone should have a pet, and my mom believes that people in nursing homes, universities, offices, hospitals and detention centres would benefit from having a pet around. I spent two days snuggling with my sister and she was good as new – now that says something! Brooklyn says that I’m awesome. That’s a pretty good reference, I’d say.
Wouldn’t you love to snuggle a friendly pet to help boost your mood?