Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Outing That Was Never To Be

For the last couple of months I’ve been planning a trip up north with my dogs.  I even had the cities I wanted to go to in a chronological order, could you believe that?  By the way, I love to plan things, and if they don’t work out, that is just another opportunity for me to plan again.  Anyway, for reasons beyond my control, my plans were put on hold and I was feeling bad about it even though I kept saying that it was fine.  Anyway, I took Alex and Kingston for a walk in the morning, as usual, and I saw that they were happy to be heading out for a walk.  Their bodies would wiggle and their tails looked more like fans than actual tails.  In other words, they were happy even though we did not go on our trip.

This made me think.  How easy it is for them to appreciate what they have rather than dwelling on what might have been.  With that in mind, I made another plan, yes people I love to plan things, and borrowed some Maryland and DC travel guide books to help us explore and go sightseeing the many areas we have not been able to see so far.  Now I am looking forward to our outings, but in case we are not able to go, let’s cross our fingers that we do especially with this hot weather, no problem because I’ll be ready with?  Yes, another plan.

My Canine Entourage: Alex, Kingston, and Roxy.

My Canine Entourage

I always thought that an entourage, as defined by Webster’s New World College Dictionary as a group of accompanying attendants or associates, was only for movie stars, athletes, singers, etc., but I was recently proven wrong by my canine companions.

Roxy, a beautiful Pomeranian, stayed with us this weekend and out of all the dogs I have had the opportunity to share my home with she is my most faithful follower.  She even wants to go and make me company while I go to the bathroom.  No, she does not stay with me in the bathroom.  I don’t see the point of torturing such a wonderful creature.  When is time for her to go home, she is usually tired because of our walks, but also because if I am doing chores at home she is right next to me going up and down the stairs.

Anyway, this weekend was hectic, but enjoyable and as I was going around the house doing chores, my entourage, Alex, Kingston and Roxy, was quite a sight to see.  As soon as I moved to go anywhere, Roxy was the first one to move and get close to me, followed by Kingston, and then Alex.  They are all so beautiful, different, and amazing in their own particular way.  Watching them go up the stairs was amusing and entertaining to say the least.  Roxy, maybe weighing 10lbs., is very agile and fast.  Kingston, about 70lbs., is massive and no way as fast as Roxy.  Alex, about 45lbs., is slow when she chooses to be slow and this weekend she decided to be pretty slow.  I thought to myself, “Wow!  What an amazing entourage I have.  Talk about being lucky”.


Should I Walk My Dog Every Day?

Yes, you should walk your dog every day.  I know, I know, many times we are not in the mood, we don’t have enough time, or we are too tired.  These are all good excuses, but you and your dog can greatly benefit from a walk.  For your canine companion and you the benefits of walking are:

  1. Bonding time for you and your dog
  2. A great way to keep those pounds off, yes for you and your dog
  3. A chance to socialize with other pet parents and their canine kids
  4. To drain excess energy that can lead to unwanted behavior
  5. Explore new neighborhoods

These are just some of the benefits a walk offers.  Now, if the weather is bad, raining or snowing, I’d say forgo the walk because it could be dangerous, but for those pet parents that still do it, rain or shine, I’d say keep it up, but be careful.

Now, let me come clean and say that today, brace yourself, I did not walk in the evening  because I was feeling terrible, but whenever that happens, I make up for it by walking the next time, in this case tomorrow morning, longer than usual.  There!  I am just as flawed as any other pet parent:)









Alex, My Pit Bull Mix Girl, Is Afraid Of Her Own Farts

My canine daughter, Alex, has a little ritual that she follows most nights, and that is to sit down right next to me while I do dishes.  The reason she does this is because, and this is just my theory and wishful thinking, she wants to remind me that I need to brush her teeth once I am done with the dishes.  Anyway, one night I am brushing her teeth when all of a sudden she farts, and to my surprise and amusement, she got scared and moved away.  I called her back and finished brushing her teeth followed by the customary treat for being good.

I found the reaction to her own farts really amusing and funny, her little face is one of total surprise and a little fear at the same time, but I thought it was a one-time incident, but this happened every time she farted.  The good thing about it is that flatulence is not something she encounters very often.  Imagine if she did?  She’ll be in constant fear of her little rear end.

My Dogs Are Teaching Me About Forgiveness and New Beginnings

My Teachers: Alex and Bailey

Many times when asked who do you admire the most and who can you learn from, many answer, Mother Teresa, Churchill, Charlize Theron, etc., but for me the best teachers I’ve ever had, after my aunt, mi mami Elvirita, who raised me, happen to be the dogs that enter my life.  When I was a child living in Ecuador something very traumatic happened to me and the only person that I told was my mother.  She had the ability to protect me once I told her about it, but she chose to do nothing.  Perhaps it was ignorance, carelessness, well, who knows.  Time went by, and I was living in the US with my very first dog, Casey, an American Staffordshire Terrier.   He was a handful, to say the least, and because of his breed before he turned a year old, I enrolled him in Obedience I.  I wanted him on his best behavior because I knew he had a lot of potential, but also because of his breed.  I loved going to the training classes with him, and Casey seemed to enjoy it a lot as well.  One of the things the trainer, Janet Bennett, told us was that it is normal to get mad at your dog sometimes.  We are human after all, right?  But, and this is a big but, you were not to hold a grudge because this would confuse your dog.  Dogs live in the moment, unlike us, humans, that allow things from our past continue to bother us.  Anyway, Casey truly pushed all my buttons.  He was a very difficult and challenging dog with an aggression problem to complicate things even more.

I enjoyed the classes so much that I ended up taking a total of 3 classes, Obedience I, Obedience II and Canine Good Citizen, with the same trainer, and one morning while in the kitchen I had an epiphany: I did not resent my mother anymore.  I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.  I picked up the phone and called her.  We talked for about an hour.  The exercise I had to do with Casey, over and over and over again, which consisted of once I got angry at him I would correct him and then I had to let go of my anger worked better than I thought.  Forget therapy.  Casey was the best therapy I could have ever hoped for and what a wonderful beginning this was for me.  This happened many years ago.

A couple of months ago, my mother, sister, and only niece, betrayed my confidence in a way that I had never thought possible.  To say that I am hurt would be an understatement.  I thought about what happened years ago, and I told myself that I am going to allow time and my dogs heal this wound and, the optimist that I am, perhaps get the same outcome I had years ago.  I raise my wine glass, just kidding, to a new beginning.

I saw a post that I enjoyed a lot that said something like this, “I feed my dogs.  They feed my soul.”  This is so true.


Please, Put Your Dog on a Leash

Today, as usual, I went out walking with Alex and Kingston, but we stayed close to home, meaning within a good 20 minute walk from home, because it looked as if it was about to rain.  Both of them were eager to go for a walk, yes, even my Alex, so we got our gear on: brushes, bags, extra leash, etc., and headed out the door.  We were walking for about 15 minutes when out of nowhere this beautiful long-haired dachshund comes running towards us at full speed barking as if there was a fire nearby and he needed to alert everybody.  I immediately stopped and both, Alex and Kingston, stopped as well.  Neither one of them pulled or tried to lunge at this little dog.  Instead while the little dachshund was still in a barking frenzy, they both looked at each other and then at the dog that was making all this noise as if saying, “What is wrong with you?  Why are you barking so much and so loud?”  They were both quite curious and I think even amused about this little guy.  At that moment, I hear a guy saying, “Sorry, that’s my dog.  Don’t worry, he does not bite”.  When the guy finally picked him up he said, “His name is JZ, sorry”.  I told him, “It’s a good thing that both my dogs are laid-back and not aggressive, but if your dog were to approach another dog in the way that he did, barking and running at full speed towards them, he’d have been bitten because that crazy energy in their world is not balanced nor accepted.  Please, be careful with your dog and put a leash on him”.  He then explained to me that his dog is never without a leash, but that this time he, an escape artist, got out of the car so fast that he was not able to do anything except run after him.  We said good bye and I kept walking with Alex and Kingston.

Please, pet parents, put a leash on your dog.  It’s not only for your dog’s safety, but for other’s as well.  Your dog can get run over by a car, bite another dog, or a person, and may be even cause a traffic accident.  Unless you know you have total control over your dog, like some people do, please protect your dog and put him on a leash.  Take the time to train your dog so when you open the door he does not bolt out like a crazy canine, but rather waits for your signal that it’s ok to come out.

When I put Alex and Kingston on the back of my CRV, the one that is a little crazy is my daughter Alex, but Kingston just patiently waits for me to tell him, “Out”.  Because of that, I have to wait until Alex comes down otherwise she’ll run out the door and get hurt.  I make both of them sit down so I can put their leash on and once I’ve accomplished that, then, and only then they are allowed out of the car.  They both already know the drill, but Alex sometimes takes a little longer to settle down.  My daughter suffers of selective hearing so is up to me to make sure that when she steps out the door is when I allow her to do so.

Protect your canine companions.  It’s up to you to make sure that they don’t get hurt and that they do not harm others.  Let’s be responsible about our dogs regardless of the breed and size.

Why Is My Dog Scooting So Much?

Many pet parents at one time or another had to deal with a scooting dog, and usually it is overlooked when this is done only in rare occasions, but if your dog is constantly scooting and he leaves some brown or yellow secretion on your carpet, bed, etc., you need to take him to the vet as soon as you get a chance because there is a good chance that his anal glands are impacted, infected, or abscessed, but the best way to find out if that is the case and rule out any possible underlying problems is by talking to your vet.

Kingston, the beautiful pit bull staying with us, had this problem so I took him to the vet and she told me that his anal glands were impacted and that if this was left untreated he could have developed an abscess which would have been very painful for him.

The vet told me that some dogs get their anal glands impacted because there is not enough fiber in their diet while there are others that never have this problem.  Kingston had his anal glands expressed at the vet’s office and she told me to do the following in order to avoid or diminish the possibility of a recurring episode:

  1. Feed him premium food
  2. Maintain proper weight.  Overweight dogs are prone to scooting
  3. Exercise your dog every day.  A sedentary life can aggravate this problem
  4. Add fiber to his food such as: apple, oats, brown rice, beans, etc.
  5. Decrease and/or replace treats, not all of them of course, with a little piece of apple

Every dog is different, so the best thing is for you to talk to your vet and she can guide you and tailor something specific for your dog.  After we came back from the vet, Kingston went to take a nap.  I think he was tired not only because of the procedure, but also because he had a few women petting him and giving him compliments.  Oh, what a hard life this gorgeous pit bull must endure:)



Alex, The Girl That Finally Tamed Me

I got my first dog in 2001 and up until that time having a good time meant going out and dancing until the club closed and not a minute before that.  I really did not want to get a dog, but my girlfriend insisted and pleaded so much that I gave in and we got Casey while on a vacation in Ecuador.

A year later we got our second dog, Alex, believe it or not at my insistence, and I started to notice that as time went by going out on a Friday or Saturday night was not as important as before and that  instead I looked forward to dinner at home, followed by movies we rented while Casey and Alex slept either next to us on the couch or their bed.  Yes, I was happy staying at home.  Unbelievable, but true.

Time went by, and now days my dancing nights have greatly declined.  I can count on one hand the times I go out dancing in a year.  Talk about decline:)Don’t take me wrong, I still love to go out dancing and that probably will never change, but spending my evenings with Alex at home tops what I used to enjoy the most.

I am a firm believer that people, animals, events, etc., can greatly change a person’s life and in my case my dogs helped me settle down.  I truly believe that no other being would have been able to accomplish what my dogs did without a good fight from my part.  I did not fight this change in my life.  To my surprise, I embraced it.

Casey, my first dog is gone, but Alex is still with me and about to turn 10 in a couple of days.  Alex, my beautiful pit mix girl, finally tamed me.  For that and so much more, I love you Alex.

Kingston: Snoring at Its Best:)

I believe I am blessed and cursed all at the same time.  I have very sensitive ears, I could be asleep and many times I can still hear everything that is going on around me, and sleeping with dogs that snore is quite a challenge, but I’d hate to be without them.

To be quite honest I never knew that a dog can snore, dream and even bark while asleep until this beautiful pit bull, Kingston, walked into our lives.  Alex is very quite.  She does not snore, all right, all right, I’ll come clean, she does, but that is only when she eats a big meal, and only on certain occasions I’ve heard her growl at God only knows what.  Anyway, one night I was reading in bed and I hear “someone” snoring, then barking so my first reaction was to look at Alex, but she was sound asleep.  Then, I looked at Kingston, and he was the “someone” snoring.  Not only was he snoring, but he was having a very vivid dream because he snored, and barked loud enough to wake up Alex.  I just laughed because Alex looked at me as if saying, “Mom, you’ve got to be kidding me.  He not only snores loud, but barks as well while asleep.  How come he does not bark when he is awake?”.  Now, that I found very interesting.  He does not bark during the day time.  He only does it when he is playing with Alex, he is trying to get her to play with him, and when he wants the nylabone she has at that moment.  I have nylabones all over the house, but the one he wants, yes, you guessed right, is the one Alex is chewing on.  They are quite an interesting pair.

I am blessed because I have them in my life and for that I’ll always be grateful, and I am cursed because now I have sensitive ears and this beautiful pit bull snores.  Oh well, I think is a small price to pay for having him in my life.  Where are my ear plugs?