20 Oct 2009, 3:06pm
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How long do you wait? RIP Fergie

Fergie-close-up

Fergie died a few weeks ago. She was almost 16 1/2 years old. By the time we  euthanized her she was deaf and blind; she had an enlarged heart and was being treated for fluid around her lungs.  She weighed only 3 lbs — down from her usual 5 1/2 lbs.  We gave her every treatment we could, but when she stopped eating, we took her down to the vet and held her as she expired.  The vet told us we did the right thing.

Still, it is hard to decide when is the right time to let a beloved pet  go.  Did we keep her alive too long?  Or did we let her live her life  until her final pleasure (eating) was gone? It was such a difficult decision.  And it wasn’t the first time I had to make this decision; it was the third.

I reminded myself that the short time at the end of a pet’s life (when they are ill and die or have to be put down) is worth the many years of  joy we give them and they give us.  Every night that Fergie slept cuddled in my arms;  every treat that she ate; every walk that she took;  every adventure that we had; all made hers a GOOD life.

Even writing this today almost 2 weeks later I’m tearing up.

We were lucky to have her in our lives.  She was there for me when my husband left, during my struggle to recover from the divorce, while I dated and when I remarried.  Fergie was a small Yorkie, but she loved being a DOG and doing dog things. She wasn’t a purse dog (like my other Yorkie, KT).

Fergie once hiked up Dog Mountain (a medium-challenging trail in the Columbia River Gorge) on a hot day.  As she scampered up the trail she passed panting big dogs who were resting on the side of the trail.   Fergie didn’t rest once, she savored every step — she was on an adventure.  That was Fergie.

We are richer for having had her in our lives. We will always miss her.

Should dogs be allowed in grocery stores?

shopping-dogSince reading  “State campaign targets dogs in grocery stores” on Monday, I’ve been contemplating a response.  I knew I’d have  one —  I’m one of the offenders.  I carry my Yorkie (enclosed in a purse) into grocery stores, restaurants, nail salons, hair salons, Nords, Macy’s…well, you get the point.  Most of the time, no one  knows she’s there.  Occasionally, she lets out a little woof, but it’s hard to hear over the many people yelling into their cell phones.

The article mentions dogs licking food in the meat section  [EEEWWW!]  and peeing on the floor [double EEEWWW!] It also polls people about whether offending people should be fined.

Point 1: I don’t want to see big, non-service dogs running around in grocery stores.

Point 2: Why can’t little dogs who are enclosed in carriers be allowed?

  • Enclosed dogs can’t do the deeds listed in the article.
  • People are safer being exposed to dogs than to other people. (Dogs don’t spread diseases to people like people spread diseases to people.)
  • Dogs don’t smoke, drink or wear too much perfume.
  • A  dog enclosed in a container can’t bite or snap.
  • Enclosed dogs don’t run up and down aisles.
  • Enclosed dogs don’t pick their noses and wipe their paws on things.
  • Enclosed dogs don’t shoplift.

Point 3: Why not fine people in grocery stores who:

  • Are sick and spreading their germs?
  • Stink of body odor, liquor, cigarette smoke, perfume or aftershave?
  • Are crabby and snap at other people?
  • Let their children run up and down the aisles screaming?
  • Have dirty feet?
  • Bring more than 10 items into the express lane?
  • “Sample” food – I’m not talking about store samples – I mean those people who grab a grape as they go by.

See what I mean?  Enclosed dogs are better behaved than many humans.  Their feet don’t touch the floor…all they do is breathe a little air.  I mentioned this story on Twitter when it was first published.  A woman from Colorado tweeted me that she’d heard of people defecating in stores.  Now, THEY should be FINED!

What do you think?  Do you think there should be allowances for enclosed dogs?


Pets’ Bill of Rights

We liked this list so much we got permission to post it from Drs. Fosters and Smith. (Darf  comments follow the list.)

dog-family

  1. We have the right to be full members of your family. We thrive on social interaction, praise, and love.
  2. We have the right to stimulation. We need new games, new toys, new experiences, and new smells to be happy.
  3. We have the right to regular exercise. Without it, we could become hyper, sluggish… or fat.
  4. We have the right to have fun. We enjoy acting like clowns now and then; don’t expect us to be predictable all the time.
  5. We have the right to quality health care. Please stay good friends with our vet.
  6. We have the right to a good diet. Like some people, we don’t know what’s best for us. We depend on you.
  7. We have the right not to be rejected because of your expectations that we be great show dogs or show cats, watchdogs, hunters, or baby-sitters.
  8. We have the right to receive proper training. Otherwise, our good relationship could be marred by confusion and strife – and we could become dangerous to ourselves and others.
  9. We have the right to guidance and correction based on understanding and compassion, rather than abuse.
  10. We have the right to live with dignity… and to die with dignity when the time comes.

Like human babies, pets are helpless and dependent on us.  They are members of our families and we should treat them as such. Items #1, #2, #3, #4, and #8 are why we invented Darf Pet games.

7 Jul 2009, 7:08am
Dog Training Dogs
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Recommended Blog about Dog Training

Don’t get lost in the pile of dog training information on the internet. Go directly to Dog Star Daily. Start with the experts’ biographies (these are the people who write for the blog) http://www.dogstardaily.com/bloggers.

Peruse the postings and discussions. http://www.dogstardaily.com/blogs Voice your experience or opinion. Others will comment on your comments. Post your training questions.  This active, alive blog is loaded with value.

I follow many of the  bloggers  on twitter.

dog_down

3 Commands That Can Save Your Dog’s Life

3 Dog Training Commands That You Should Teach Your Dog First

This post was written by Nancy Richards (see website below). We are posting it because we cannot improve on it.

Whether you are getting a new dog or beginning to work with an old dog, obedience training is a must! There are a number of dog training commands that are important to teach your dog. What dog training commands are the most important to begin with? The three most important dog training commands are: come, wait/stay, and let’s go. These dog training commands are important for both a well mannered dog and also for safety. The three most important dog training commands:

1. Come: This command is vital and could really be a case of life or death in the event of an emergency. For this reason, come is one of the most important dog training commands to teach your dog. Your dog should be trained to understand to come to you on the first command, and although no dog is ever 100% reliable, you should work to be as reliable as possible with your dog. Come should always be trained in a positive and fun manner. Never be a kill-joy! Don’t use come only to end the dog’s fun. Instead, practice it LOTS with toys and treats and reward the dog as much as possible so that coming to you is always fun. Also, never get in the habit of chasing your dog when you need it to come. This only sets up a bad habit and makes your come very unreliable.

2. Wait/Stay: Another one of the most important dog training commands is wait or stay. Wait is about asking your dog not to cross an invisible or real boundary line until you have given it permission. Generally, it is best used when you want the dog to stay back from entry ways, such as the front door, or you want the dog to remain inside a car with an open door. Stay asks the dog to hold a particular position, like sit or down, and stay in a particular location. Teaching a good, strong stay means you know you can place your dog in a position and hopefully count on it to stay there.

3. Let’s Go: Let’s Go represents the last of the most important dog training commands because it is the phrase you give your dog on the walk. It represents for the dog a style of walking and lets him know when you are moving from one place to another. Let’s Go should be a nice, looser leash walk that is controlled. A good Let’s Go means your dog can walk reasonably well on the leash. Your dog understands this command means you are moving on, so it can be used to move the dog away from something it is currently doing. For example, if your dog is visiting another dog or person, and you are ready to move on, Let’s Go tells the dog you are leaving and to follow you. These three dog training commands represent an excellent starting point in your training. These are the most important dog training commands to begin training with and to build from.

About the Author

Nancy Richards has been involved with http://www.trainpetdog.com dog training  for several years. Her website gives step-by-step instructions on housebreaking, http://www.trainpetdog.com dog obedience training http://www.trainpetdog.com/dog-training.html dog training commands, grooming, diet and care for all dog breeds.

Article source: http://keyknowhow.com

Can My Pet Contract the Swine Flu?

dog-bandaid

People visit WebMD to see if  their symptoms are serious.  You can do the same for your pet.  PetMD, the pet health authority, helps you determine the seriousness of your pet’s symptoms.

Take Your Dog to Work Day

Pet Owners are Bringing their Dogs to the Office

Read up on how businesses are allowing employees to bring their dog-kids to work on June 26.

7 May 2009, 11:11am
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Sneaking Dogs Into Places?

sneak

Do you ever sneak your dog into restaurants?  Grocery stores?  Hotels?

Well behaved small dogs who enjoy being in a “dog purse” are  easy to “sneak”  into places where dogs are not  ordinarily allowed.

Before getting a dog purse,  KT and I were asked to leave restaurants and grocery stores.  Now, with our dog purse we go every where together.

I’ve chosen a “purse” that looks like a purse.  Mesh areas provide fresh air and zipper pockets  hold my cell phone, wallet and keys.

I also carry a small slide tin containing treats for on-the-go rewards.

More on dog purses in a later post.

Happy Birthday! Chanel!

Happy 21st  Birthday to dachshund Chanel  from [nearly] 16 year old Yorkie, Fergie.

“I want to grow up to be just like Chanel,” says Fergie.

“Veterinarians say that the first year of a dog’s life is equivalent to 15 years of a human’s. The second year is equal to 10 human years. After that, every year is five human years.”

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/30596398/?gt1=43001

3 May 2009, 9:33am
Cat Training:
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Get your cat to “sit!”

cat-sit

After you have figured out what your cat likes as a reward, lure him into a sit by raising a treat above his head backwards while saying “Sit!”.  Reward him when he does it.

Some cats will automatically sit.  If your cat doesn’t sit, gently maneuver his bottom down while saying “Sit!”  Reward him after he does.

It is very important to train a cat in between naps and, if treats are used as rewards, when he his hungry.