Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Walkin' On The Wild Side

I was hanging out with my Mom the other day while she read a post by our friend Eric, The Amazing Dog Training Man.  It was about choke collars and how he doesn't like them. 
I never heard of choke collars so I did some research and OMG!  They don't look very comfortable at all.  Even the ones that come in pretty colors look like they would hurt and the ones with the spike things, no way! They are supposed to help train dogs but if they aren't used correctly, they can seriously hurt a dog.  I also read they are NEVER be left on when the dog is alone cuz they can, well make the dog choke to death.
When I was a puppy, I didn't like to walk on a leash. I used to pull Mom along.  I'm a border collie/lab mix.  It's my job to make sure humans are safe by chasing away the birds and herding people down the path and I couldn't do that on a short leash.
Mom was very patient with me.  It took forever to go for a walk cuz we had to stop all the time and do "training".   Training was sort of fun cuz I got treats when I did things right.  Training got really good after Mom bought me a pretty purple halter to go with my bright pink collar and leash. I started doing walking without pulling all the time.  After all, looking good IS everything and the purple and pink combo is for strutting, not pulling, although I still do lapse when I'm super excited.
There are lots of different types of collars for dogs.  There are martingale collars that are kind of like a choke collar but they don't close all the way and breakaway collars that come apart if they get caught on something. There are head collars which are sort of like a halter and dogs can sometimes get themselves out of them.  And of course there are regular collars with a buckle or snap which come is all kinds of colors and styles.  Some even have real diamonds or other expensive stuff.  I don't think I'll ever get one with diamonds but some sort of bling would be nice.  I do wear my pink buckle collar all the time cuz it's where I keep my identification tags.
For Mom it's all about making sure I'm safe, for me it's about looking good.
The best person to help you and your humans decide what collar is best for you is your trainer. So if you and your humans don't walk well together, ask your trainer if a different collar would help or if you just need more treats.
Here's to happy walks,
Your friend Zeva
P.S. Shameless self promotion - Our To The Rescue Gift Basket includes a nylon lease along with many other "welcome to your furever home" items.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Hazardous Waste Material

I love going for walks on the Manhan Rail Trail with my Mom. The Rail Trail is a beautiful paved trail near our house where people ride their bikes, roller blade or just walk with their dogs. Walking the trail is so much fun. You get to meet lots of people and dogs and there are so many interesting smells. Like I said, dogs get to walk on the trail and some days there are lots of marking to explore.
Mom doesn't mind too much when I sniff a post or tree but when I get too close to a pile of poop she reminds me with a gentle tug on my lease to keep walking. I guess in the human world dog poop is something bad.
Mom read that, according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) dog poop is a dangerous pollutant like toxic chemicals. If it gets into drinking water or even if humans get some on their feet when walking barefoot, it can make them sick. Really sick. They could get tummy hurts like cramps or diarrhea or really bad things like blindness, kidney disorders, intestinal illnesses. Lung, brain, liver or heart disease could happen because of some of the things that are in dog poop.
Dog poop can have worms like ringworms, whipworms and tapeworms and evil viruses like Salmonella or E Coli.
Dogs can get sick too. They can get Parvovirus, Distemper or Giardia.
So, it's very important for humans to make sure to clean up after their dogs. Mom keeps a rake and shovel handy so my pen at home is always clear of poop and when we go anywhere her pockets are filled with little poop bags. We even keep an extra box in the glove compartment of our car.
Our company promotes responsible dog ownership so we include a big box of poop bags in many of our dog gift baskets like our Dog Gone It! gift baskets .
So humans, please pick up after your dog so we can all be safe.
Your friend,

Friday, June 8, 2012

Salute to the Working Dog

I'm a working dog.  I am the product tester and chief designer for Laurel Mountain Basket Co, my family's gift basket company.  I have a very tough job and have to make lots of important decisions every day.
But today I want to talk about some other working dogs that I really admire.  Dogs like Police Dogs often called K-9's.  These highly trained dogs have lots of jobs, all of which are dangerous.  They protect and help their police officer partners.  Because they can run faster than people, they can chase down and hold a bad guy until the human police officer can catch up.
Some police dogs have special training. Because they have such a great sense of smell they can be trained to sniff out drugs or explosives or even help with arson investigations. Their sense of smell makes them good at searching and rescuing lost people too.
Police dogs are so special they can have their own badge numbers and even have their own bullet proof vests.  In some places hurting a police dog is considered a felony which means big, big trouble for the bad guys.
Other really important working dogs are serving in our military.  Like the police dog, a military dog protects and helps.  War dogs, as they are sometimes called, sniff out mines and are great scouts and guards. Within the past few years, War Dogs started being used more and more on the front lines.
Cairo is probably the most famous War Dog I know about.  He was with the Navy SEALs team that captured Osama bin Laden.  He got lowered out of a helicopter and he has his own body armor to help keep him from getting hurt.
I want to thank Cairo and all of the other dogs who work to help keep me and my family safe.
Now I will get back to my work.  Where do I want to take my afternoon nap, family room couch, office couch or the bed.... decisions, decisions, decisions
Love from your friend,