Monday, June 30, 2014

Dogs Against Fireworks

July 4th (Independence Day) is a big holiday for humans in the United States.  They get together and they have picnics, which means the Dads cook on the grill and everyone eats outside.  Then, when it gets dark, they like to have fireworks.

 Fireworks are an important part of the Independence Day celebration.  Even the old guys who signed the Declaration of Independence said the day should be celebrated with bells and bonfires and the Congress of Philadelphia said there should be 13 fireworks to represent the 13 colonies/states.

 Fireworks are big explosions of color in the sky which I might like if it weren’t for the noise. Fireworks are very, very loud.  Human have little ears that are close to their heads.  Dogs have big ears so we hear things ten times louder than you do.  That would make fireworks very, very loud times ten.

 I read a lot and so I know all about 4th of July and fireworks but most dogs don’t so imagine, hanging out at home, catching a little nap after a nice day of begging for treats at the picnic and all of a sudden, the world explodes!  Whoa!  Next thing you know, Spot and Fluffy are 20 miles from home and still running.

 Here are some things humans can do to help pet not be scared when there are fireworks.

 1.  First thing is to know when there are going to be fireworks.  Lots of towns have big fireworks shows where everyone goes to the park and watches.  LEAVE YOUR DOG AT HOME!  Check for fireworks in all towns near you because, remember, dogs can hear things happening much farther away than you can.

 2.  Make sure your pet has their tags on and that their microchips are up to date.  That way, if they do run away, it will be easier for them to find someone to help them get back home.

 3.  Being in the house will make your pet feel safer.

 You can make it even better by keeping the lights on (not only humans are afraid of the dark).  Closing curtains helps with the sound and with the flashing lights.  When I’m scared I go in my crate and close my eyes.  DixieLee’s crate is a wire one so Mom puts a blanket over the top and two sides.  She keeps the front open so DixieLee can get air.

 If your pet doesn’t have a crate, keep them in one room.  If they get really scared, they will want to run and could hurt themselves running and jumping from room to room trying to get away from the noise.

 Make sure they have water.  Drinking water can help keep calm.

 Turn on some soothing music or the tv.  Having a little noise will make the house more “normal”.

 4.  If you are home with your pet, don’t get crazy yourself.  If we want to cuddle, hey, cuddling is good, but if we don’t, please don’t force.  Remember we are scared and scared pets will scratch and bite even if we don’t mean to.

 If you set up a nice room for us but we prefer being under the bed, let us stay under the bed.  We know what makes us feel safe even if we can’t tell you.

 5. If you know your pet is really scared of fireworks, talk to his/her vet.  They may be able to give them something to help keep them calm.  I prefer something herbal but that’s up to you.  My friends tell me Thunder Shirts work too.

 6.  If you had fireworks at your house, check the yard the next day.  The firework’s casing and sparkler sticks don’t make the best toys.   

 Knowing your pet is safe will make celebrating Independence Day much more fun for you.

 Your friend,
 P.S. Please check out my new Facebook page at Laurel Mountain Basket Company Pet Division where you’ll find lots of fun and interest pet posts.  Like us while you’re there.  Don’t make me beg!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The American Dream - Dog Version

Hi!  DixieLee here, filling in for Zeva while she works on our new Facebook page.  I joined the family business when I was rescued and adopted last summer.  I can’t believe it’s been a whole year! It’s been a struggle, but it has been worth it.

 I know lots of you dogs out there are rescues and I’m sure many of you share my story. We’re the lucky ones.  I lived on the streets in rural South Carolina for a long time.  One day while I was begging for food, a nice lady rescued me and fostered me until I got adopted.  My life before being rescued was so bad I don’t like to think about it, never mind talk about it.  Let’s just say the scars you can see aren’t the only ones I have.

 I was full of bugs when I was rescued.  There were all kinds of bugs but the worst bugs were the heartworm kind.  The nice lady and the vet helped me to get rid of them all.  It was hard because I had to get shots with these HUGE needles that made me not feel good and I couldn’t play with the other dogs.

 I thought living with the nice foster lady was going great until she said I had to go live at another place.  I thought I had been a good dog and didn’t understand why the other two dogs got to stay and I had to leave.  Maybe it was because I was full of bugs.  I was very sad.

 We went in the car and drove for days, all the way up to Massachusetts where I got left with another nice lady who only had one dog.  Maybe there’s a rule about only having two dogs in the house that I didn’t know about.  I tried to be good but then I had to go to another vet and get more shots and get my tummy cut.  Again, I had to stay in a crate and not play for a long, long time.  I began to think that the life of a dog wasn’t such a good one.  I wished I had been born a human.

 I was only at the adopted house a short time and I got moved again.  This time the two humans and the dog came with me.  I was so sad I didn’t want to do what I was told.   I was sure if I started acting nice, like it did with the foster lady, I would be sent away and I wanted to stay. 
I had lots of yummy food and all sorts of toys.  I got to sleep in a warm bed at night and I had another dog to play with.  Zeva kept telling me it was okay but I didn’t believe her because the man who I now call Dad said if I wasn’t good I was going to go to the pound.  I didn't know what a pound was but it didn't sound good.  Zeva said he didn’t mean it but he sure sounded like it when I chewed his glasses up or dug that big hole that made the outside stairs fall down.

 Like I said, it’s been a struggle but now I have a good job, I’m the Assistant Product Tester, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to get to stay with this Mom and Dad and Zeva.  I still have the pretty collar and soft blanket the nice rescue lady gave me but now I have a bowl, leash and crate all of my very own.  I’m beginning to think that life as a dog is kind of good after all.
I would like to hear your rescue story.  You can write to me here.
Your new friend and Zeva's little sister,

P.S.  I forgot to say we would like you to stop by our new Facebook page Laurel Mountain Basket Company Pet Division.  Thanks.