Monday, November 30, 2015

Canine College

Dogs are really smart animals.  We can do lots of things.  There are Therapy Dogs that provide affection and comfort to humans and Service Dogs that are trained to help people with disabilities.  Seeing Eye dogs were the first Service Dogs but now there are many different kinds of training.  Today dogs can be trained to assist humans with conditions from Autism or Allergy Alert Assistance to Diabetic or Seizure Response and even psychiatric conditions like PTSD.

There are Military Dogs that are trained to do all sorts of important jobs.  Jobs like sentry duty, walking patrol with human troops and being messengers.  Military Dogs, and Police Dogs, are trained to sniff out bombs and drugs.  Some Police Dogs are trained to track lost peoples or to catch bad guys.

I didn’t have any special training, only puppy training, but I thought I was really smart.  I mean, it was my idea to start the Pet Division of Laurel Mountain Basket Co and I helped my Mom get it up and running.  I have my own blog where I take on serious and not so serious issues concerning pets.  I have hundreds of friends on sites like 3 Million Dogs and PetPav.  I am paw pals with dogs all around the world and I can get Mom and Dad (especially Dad) to do pretty much what I want them to do.

I thought I was really smart until DixieLee came to live with us. We don’t know what kind of training DixieLee had before she came to live with us and she's not talking.  For all we know she could have worked for the CIA.  Anyway, DixieLee is lots smarter than even me and Dad.  She might be almost as smart as Mom!

She figured out how to open the cabinet where we keep the kibble so now it has a childproof lock on it.  She knows how it works but you need an opposable thumb to make it open.   Not saying she won’t overcome that obstacle but not just yet.

I don’t mind that she learns commands faster than me.  She was first to figure out “show me where the cookies are”.  No big deal.  We both get cookies even if she learned it first.
What I don’t like is when she outsmarts me.  Everybody knows there is only one THE BEST place to sleep in the house.  In our house it’s the certain corner of the couch.  Couches have two corners but the one nearest the table is the Best one.

Sometimes, when I am sleeping in the Best Corner and DixieLee wants to sleep, she tries to get me to move.  As I said, I am smart so her running up and down the hall and being a total pain may make Mom and Dad wonder what’s going on but I’m wise to her tricks. Or maybe not.

How am I supposed to know that her sounding the alert that there is a squirrel in the yard or that the post person is coming is not for real?  She gets me every time.  She runs to the window or the door so convincingly that I am sure we are under attack.  Then, when I no sooner get to the window or door, she jumps into the Best corner and goes to sleep with that smug look on her face. 

I know many of my friends are really smart dogs.  What is the best trick you know how to do?  And if you know how I can outsmart DixieLee on the Best seat in the house thing, let me know.

Your friend,


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Saturday, November 21, 2015

When is Forever?

Mom tells us all the time that she loves us and would never leave us.  I believe her because once, a long time ago, she had a hard time finding a place to live because not lots of places let people have dogs live with them.  She searched and searched until she found a nice place that said her dog could live there too.

I still believe Mom would never abandon us but since we joined the Board of Directors at the Above the Notch Humane Society, we learned that there are times when people don’t have a choice.  Like the man who lost his job and his home or the lady who was old and very sick and had to go live in a nursing home.

Neither one of these people wanted to leave their dogs but life is not always the way we want it to be.  Luckily, there are places like Above the Notch Humane Society where people can surrender their animals and know that they will be taken good care of until a new home, with other loving people, can be found.

The reason I am telling these sad stories is because lots of times, when people can’t care for their pets any longer, like when they have to go live someplace else, they just leave their pets to fend for themselves.  The problem is that house pets don’t know how to live on their own and often times end up starving or freezing to death.

People need to know that there is help for them and their pets.   They can go to the American Humane Society website to find out what options are available in their area.  Sometimes the Humane Society can think of ways so people keep their pets or tell them where they can surrender their pets where they will be well cared for.  Not all shelters can take in surrendered animals because taking care of animals costs lots of money

We know how hard it is on a dog that is left on their own.  My sister, DixieLee was left to fend for herself.  She was young, scared and very sick with heartworms.  She would have got died but she was lucky and was found by a nice lady.  Because DixieLee wasn’t wearing a collar and didn’t have a microchip, there was no way to find out where she came from.  The nice lady took her to the vet, got her cured and fostered her until she could find a forever home with us.

One more thing.  Ask your Moms and Dads if they have made provisions for you if they should become sick or get died.  We hope it NEVER happens but we know that there are people who will take good care of us if anything happens to our Mom and Dad.

If you know someone who might have to surrender their pet, let them know that there are people who are willing to help.  Your Moms and Dads can help too by becoming foster parents, volunteering their time or just donating to your local shelter.  It’s all of our jobs to help animals any way we can.

Your friend,


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