Saturday, January 30, 2016

Talkin' Trash

I hate to be a snitch but DixieLee is in trouble again.  We understand.  Before she came to live with us, she lived on the streets and didn’t have anyone to give her food so she had to find her own.  She said the best place to find yummy food was in people’s trash bins and sometimes she didn’t eat for days because she couldn’t find any bins and was hungry for days.

When she came to live with us, she didn’t realize we get good food and treats all day long and she would go into the trash because there was food there.  She was sneaky about it and only did it when she thought Mom and Dad wouldn’t see her so it was hard to teach her not to go in the trash and of course she wouldn’t listen to me.

I can see how frustrating it was for Mom and Dad to come into the kitchen and see trash spread all over the place.  DixieLee especially likes to eat paper towels so she would hide paper towels in her crate.

Mom bought trash bins with tops, but DixieLee figured out how to get into all of them, until, Mom found a bin with a top that could only be opened by stepping on a thingy on the bottom.  As smart as she is, DixieLee couldn’t manage the stepping on the thingy part.  She tried just knocking the whole thing over but the top still stayed shut.

We thought she was cured of her dumpster diving but recently she started trying to get into the little bin in the bathroom.  A dog has a sense of smell that is a gazillion times better than a people’s sense of smell so I can see why she would want to get into the kitchen trash where food goes.  I sometimes get tempted when I smell chicken bones but I know how bad going in the trash is.  So I asked DixieLee what was so interesting in the bathroom.  She said not much but she gets bored easily and getting into the trash is just something to do.

If your house has a trash can bandit there are a few things you can do to keep the peace.

1.  You can buy trash bins with tops.  There are several different kinds and you may not need the super metal ones with the step on thingy like we have.  They work best for us and they come in lots of sizes so we use them in the kitchen, bathrooms and Mom’s workshop.

2.  Keep your trash in a cabinet or closet.  That didn’t work for us since DixieLee learned how to open all the cabinets.  We even have a child proof lock on the cabinet that holds our dog food.   It’s not too bad when you only have to open it a couple of times a day but having to unlock it several hundred times a day gets old fast.

3.  Place the can out of reach.  This is sort of like using a cabinet or closet.  Mom keeps one bin in our studio on top of her work station.  It’s convenient for tossing ribbon ends and other trash but too high for DixieLee to reach.  Your garage is a great place for your bin if you have a door right in your kitchen.

4.  If your dog is getting into the trash because she’s bored like DixieLee, the best way to stop her is to find ways to make her not bored.  More walks or toys like a Kong with peanut butter inside are good ways to keep any dog from getting bored.

Let me know if you are a recovering dumpster diver and what your humans did to help you break your habit.

Your friend,


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Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Country Dog Goes To The City

We live in the country where we are surrounded by forests and open spaces.  When we want to go outside to play or to pee, we just go to the door and our humans let us go outside by ourselves.  Of course we have to stay inside our fence but it’s a big area where we are safe.

I’ve talked with friends who live in cities where they live in high houses and they have to get their humans to put on leases and take them out to get exercise or, you know….  It’s a delicate subject and even though we are friends I haven’t asked but I do wonder how they can pee on a sidewalk and not get splashed on their feet and butts.  Even when we walk in town we have lots of grass nearby so I don’t worry about getting splash back and as long as Mom has a pocket full of poop bags, we’re good to go.

Recently I’ve read about a couple of ideas people have had to make living in the city easier for dogs.  In a place called Instanbul in a country called Turkey, one company has set up feeding bins around the city to help homeless dogs and cats.  I think these feeding bins are a wonderful idea.

We know that humans have finally realized that drinking water is very healthy and they carry bottles around with them.  Instead of throwing the empty bottles in the trash where they will hurt the environment, the company in Instanbul made boxes that pour fresh water and some food into dishes to feed homeless dogs and cats when a human put their empty bottle into the box.

All they have to do is put an empty bottle in the top and clean food and water comes out the bottom.  How cool is that?

What a super idea!  Everybody wins!  The humans drink more water, the bottles get recycled instead of getting thrown in the trash and a dog or cat gets a nourishing meal.  What’s not to like?

Another interesting idea I read about lately was the Dog Parker.  It is not only dangerous to leave a dog in a car when the temperature is too hot or too cold, in many places it is illegal.  A dog could easily get died!  We all like to go for rides with our humans and sometimes they need to run errands while they are out. It is very difficult for a human to take their dog for a ride and stop to shop when it is not safe to leave them in the car.

When we go for drives or walks in the city and Mom wants to go to a store, Dad waits with us in the car or on the sidewalk.  That’s fine but what about dogs who are  driving or walking with only one human.  Sometimes they get tied up to a post outside the store which could make them easy to be stolen or to eat something bad.

A human in New York, invented a little house type thing called a Dog Parker.  It’s a very secure dog house where the human can pay money to have their dog stay safe in the Dog Parker while they shop or have some food.  There are some rules like you have to join the Dog Parker club and have to show you have had your shots but it seems like a good idea.  It’s still dangerous for pets to be in an enclosed place when it is too hot or too cold so when it gets really cold or really hot, the Dog Parkers are put away.  It may not be perfect but it’s a start.

Dogs can now fly safely inside planes with their humans on some airlines and lots of hotels allow dogs to stay in the rooms.  We have a couple of big food stores that have staffed play areas so Moms and Dads can leave their children in a safe place while they shop.  Maybe someday stores will have dog parks where dogs can play while their humans shop.

It's not easy being a dog in a human world but we are making progress.  Whether you live in the city or in the country I hope you get to share lots of rides and walks with your humans. 

Your friend,


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