Thursday, July 26, 2012
I'm glad my mom knows what to do if we have an emergency. I have my own emergency kit. All of my important papers like medical records and stuff are in a box. I'm not on any medication right now but if I were, the medication is kept in that box. My box could hold a recent photo so my humans will have a picture to post if I get lost. Mom has lots of photos of me in her phone so we don't need any others. If we have to leave the house we can grab my kit very quickly and put it into my crate which goes in the car in a flash.
Other things that are in my doggy emergency kit are:
Extra leashes and collar
Food in pop top cans or powdered food made for camping
If we have to leave our town, we have friends who live far enough away that we can stay with. If you don't have friends like that, make sure your humans know about pet friendly shelters in your area or pet friendly hotels that are far enough away.
If we don't have to leave the house, we have a nice room that is partly under ground where we can go. It is where Mom has her gift basket supplies so the humans will have lots of cookies and candy to eat if we need to stay in that room long. They also have healthy human food and lots of water to drink.
Make sure you don't get left behind because you will be soooo scared that you might break out and run away and not be able to find your way home again.
It can be scary but trust your humans and you will be fine.
P.S. The photo shows what happened when a micro burst hit our town a few years before I was born. See that black line on the right? That is where the wires burned the road. Sacry....
Saturday, July 21, 2012
July 23, 2012 is Bloggers Unite for Dog Rescue day. I am a rescued dog. I was born in a shelter in South Carolina. Some very special people gave a pregnant homeless dog a safe place to have her puppies. When my brothers and sisters and I were old enough, they helped us get to another rescue service in Connecticut where we would have a better chance at getting adopted.
It was a very long ride in a car but it was well worth it. Before we even got to the rescue service our pictures were posted on www.petfinders.com. That's where my mom saw me. She said she knew as soon as she saw me, that I was very special and she would be taking me home.
I am a very lucky dog. I have a very loving home. Millions of dogs are killed each year because instead of choosing a perfectly excellent dog like me from a shelter or rescue service, people buy dogs from pet stores. Dogs that are sold in pet stores have sad stories to tell also because lots of them come from horrible places called Puppy Mills.
Many dogs end up in shelters because people don't realize how much responsibility there is to having a dog as a pet. They get tired and frustrated and dump perfectly good dogs at the shelter adding to the over crowding. Because their humans didn't understand them, many of these animals developed "bad habits" which make it even harder to find good homes for them.
Not everyone who loves dogs can adopt. If you can't adopt a dog cuz you already have one or two, you travel too much, or live where you can't have a dog. There are still lots of ways you can help.
- Volunteer at a local shelter or rescue organization. A few minutes a week walking a dog or simply spending time with him in a shelter will mean the world to that dog.
- Foster a dog. Shelters only have so much room. By taking a dog into your home, you may be saving that dog's life.
- Drop a bag of food into the collection box at your local pet food store or organize a fund raiser to help raise much needed money and supplies for a local shelter.
- Spread the word that we need your help.
Monday, July 16, 2012
We share our adventures, share information about lost pets and keep up to date on legislation to help animals.
Some of the messages are sad. Like the one this morning from Gretchen's Dad. When you have lots and lots of friends like I do, some times bad things happen. Some times we find out a friend had to go to Rainbow Bridge.
When my Mom reads me about someone who has gone to be with St Francis she is very sad. She even cries because she knows how much it hurts when a dog or cat leaves their family especially when the humans have to do what is best for the pet.
Mom knows that pets are so much a part of the family that the humans and other pets feel the pain of the loss. Even though it was before my time, I know that when Mom and Dad had to help one of the dogs who lived here before me go to Rainbow Bridge they were very, very sad. His name was Fox. His litter mate was so sad that she followed him to Rainbow Bridge a couple of week later. Even with all the extra love and attention, Mom said Dana was so sad that her heart got broken and even though Mom and our vet tried, they couldn't fix it.
Most people don't think it's a good idea to get another pet right away but since Mom was already looking for a new friend for Dana, she kept right on looking. Lucky her! She found me right away. My six litter mates and I had just been rescued from a South Carolina shelter and were on our way Up North. It took a whole week to make arrangements for Mom and Dad to pick me up but I got to go home with them right away.
I love my life and love having so many friends for real and on line. If you want to be my friend, follow me on Twitter @zevathedog. You can find me on DogBook under the name Zeva too.
I would like to be your friend and learn all about your life and your humans even if sometimes we are sad together.
P.S. Shameless self promotion. Because pet people understand how the loss of a pet hurts, we have designed gift baskets especially for such an occasion. We call them Paw Prints on the Heart Gift Basket and we have a Paw Prints for dogs and a Paw Prints for cats. In addition to lots of comfort foods we include a copy of the poem Rainbow Bridge in each.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
One of the discussions that seems to happen quite regularly among us dogs at the dog park is how to choose a personal trainer. Lots of us go to the park with our humans and part of the time there is spent on training exercises. I noticed there appears to be several different methods being used.
I thought I would ask my friend Eric The Amazing Dog Training Man what advice he would be able to share about how to make sure your human chooses the best trainer for you.
Zeva: So, Eric. What should a dog look for when choosing a personal trainer?
Eric: First, I'd like to thank you for interviewing me. I feel very honored. Choosing the right trainer is important. I think a good trainer is experienced, patient, positive and most importantly fun. A good trainer will help the owner train their dog using positive methods. I would also recommend going and watching the trainer do a class. This will give you the best indication of what the trainer is like.
Zeva: Do all trainers use the same methods?
Eric: Nooooooooooooo!!! Let me share a very popular quote among dog trainers: "The only thing two dog trainers can agree on is what the third one is doing wrong." Being in a room of dog trainers can be worse than being in a room full of Democrats and Republicans.
Zeva: BOL. How do I know which training method is best for me? After all, I'm very special.
Eric: Well Zeva, I've been in this game for a long time. I have trained dogs for security and police work, dogs for deaf people, worked with and helped thousands (millions if you count my YouTube videos) and I can tell you that ALL dogs should be trained using positive methods. When you train using negative methods you always have side effects that will harm the dog. You can't go wrong using positive training methods.
Zeva: Interesting. How old should a dog before starting training and when is a dog too old to be trained?
Eric: I start training as young as eight weeks old. Puppies can learn how to do the basics at that age. Sessions should be very short and fun but they can learn a lot. More importantly puppies should get a LOT of socialization. Puppies need to play with other puppies, go places, be exposed to a lot of different sights, sounds, smells and people. You can't over socialize a puppy. As far as age goes you can teach an old dog new tricks. I have had dogs in my classes as old as 12.
Zeva: 12, that's pretty old! How long should each session be and how many sessions should a dog take?
Eric: I always advise keeping sessions short - 10 to 15 minutes. You can do as many sessions as you want in a day but each individual session short be short and fun. I think training is an ongoing process and the owner should do as many classes as they like. If you get bored with obedience you can do agility, flyball, scent work, search and rescue, dock diving and much more.
Zeva: Anything else you would like to add?
Eric: Just wanted to thank you and share the best advice I ever got about dogs. Here it is: "If you want a good dog, learn how to be a good dog owner. If you want a great dog, learn how to be a great dog owner."
Thanks Eric for sharing all this great information with us. If any of you have specific questions, go to The Amazing Dog Training Man's website or contact Eric directly. He has lots more good tips he can share.
Let me know of any fun training exercises you would like to share with us. I'm always looking for new things to learn.
See you at the park,
P.S. in our house positive method means cookies so I also highly recommend this method of training.
Shameless self promotion: Follow me on Twitter @zevathedog and check out my website at www.laurelmtbasket.com Pay special attention to the Pet gift baskets. You'll want every one of them!
Monday, July 2, 2012
What do you think of when I say Fourth of July celebration? Parades? Fireworks? Picnics? I love a good party but not all pets do. Parades, with large crowds of cheering people, marching bands playing music and people throwing things from floats make some pets very anxious. Fireworks, although pretty, are very, very loud to our sensive ears. And picnics. Fourth of July picnics are actually dangerous places for pets.
Lots of things that you see at a picnic may seem harmless but they are not. Hot dogs, hamburgers, potatoe salad, chips, they're just food. So what's wrong with food. We dogs should only eat dog food even though we love human food. You might think a little human food would be okay. Well, dogs you see, we're never full. If we can beg or steal human food we will keep going until we are really sick.
That can of beer or glass of wine you leave by the side of your chair, can be mightly tempting to a pet. But pets should NEVER be allowed to drink any kind of alcohol. Alcohol is so toxic to pets
And the other stuff we might find lying around like sunscreen, insect repellant, citronella candles or oils can cause serious harm if we eat them. You see, we can't read and some of these things look like they would be fun to play with. We won't know it's not good to eat until it's too late.
Fireworks and glow sticks also look like toys but are poisonous so please make sure they are well out of reach. Like I said before, the noise from fireworks is scarey to many pets. So many pets get scared by fireworks that the Fourth of July is the day/night when the most pets get lost. The loud continuous noise is so scary a dog or cat might keep running. They are so scared that they could run so far trying to get away from the noise that they can't find their way home. They could even run into traffic and get hit.
Please help us stay safe this Fourth of July. I have a nice crate in an air conditioned room that is a perfect place for me to spend the Fourth. I can have my own good food and cool water with ice in it and nap the day away. If you don't have AC, find a nice cool room and turn on a fan. If your pet is really scared, you can call your vet today and have them give you something to help. There are also some good holistic treatments you can get at most pet stores.
Wishing you (and your pets) a happy and safe Fourth of July.
Your friend Zeva
P.S. Follow me on Twitter @zevathedog or see the pet gift baskets I designed at Laurel Mountain Basket Co