Monthly Archives: July 2012

Alex, My Beautiful Dog And Amazing Teacher

The other day, I went out for a walk as usual and my girl, Alex, was dragging her feet.  Being the patient person that I am I told her, “You’ve got to be kidding me.  How can you be tired?  We just started our walk”.  She looked at me with those dark brown eyes and I felt as if she were telling me, “Mom, why are you so impatient?  What’s bothering you?  Don’t be like that with me”.  I apologized to her.  Yes, I do talk to my dog and I do apologize, many times, when I know I’ve done something wrong.   I slowed down my pace and told myself that she does that once every blue moon so live with it.

I don’t know if this happens to other pet parents, so feel free to give me some feedback, but I can see so much in my girl’s eyes, so much wisdom and kindness.  This week I was very nervous because I had to go to court and I was afraid of the outcome so I skipped lunch.  Now, skipping lunch for most people is not a big deal, but for me this happens to be a huge deal.  Ok., I’ll come clean.  To me skipping lunch is more like the end of the world because I love to eat.  Anyway, as I was about to leave from home, I saw Alex looking at me as if telling me, “Mom, relax.  You’ve got this.  It’s going to be ok”.  I looked at her and told her, “I am so glad I have you in my life”.  Alex was right.  The outcome was positive for me and I was very pleased and relieved.

I know that a lot of people think of dogs as objects, but for me, Alex, is part of my family.  She is the one that; calms me down when I am starting to see red: sooths me when I feel like my life is chaotic and in upheaval; and gives me kisses when I cry.  As I told more than a few people, and some of them laughed at me, but that’s ok., my daughter, Alex, is perfect.  She is perfect for me.  Why?  Because she teaches me every day to be kind, to try hard to be patient, to try and overlook the annoying things my loved ones do, because let’s remember that I probably do many things that also annoy those that love me, and well, so much more.  That’s my Alex.  My daughter, my companion, and my teacher.

 

Be Careful And Gentle When You Are Hugging A Dog

A lot of us, pet parents, as the picture clearly shows, love to hug our dogs, but please make sure that you are doing this properly or your dog, yes your own dog, can bite you.  A hug to us, humans, just means a physical expression of our feelings and we enjoy doing it, but to a dog a hug means invasion of personal space and dominance.  If you enjoy hugging your dog, like most of us do, please be aware of the following:

  • A dog sees a hug as a sign of dominance
  • Hug your dog after your daily walk.  Both of you will be tired and he’ll be less likely to fight back your hug because he is too tired to do it
  • Do not surprise your dog.  Allow him to see where you are coming from so he does not get fearful of your movements
  • Praise him after you hug him.  You could even offer him a treat so he can associate a hug with a treat and as such this would become a pleasant experience

Aside from being careful, and this is very important, please be gentle when hugging your dog.  If you have a pit bull like Kingston, the beautiful boy in the picture, that is very affectionate and craves attention and hugs and weighs around 70lbs. then I’d venture to say, yes hug him.  Do not hug any dog that you know for sure does not like such attention regardless of the breed.  Now, if on the other hand, your dog is a little dog barely weighing 10 lbs., I beg you to please hug him gently.  A 70 lbs. dog and a 10 lbs. dog need to be handled differently.  Yes, dogs are adorable and I do understand your desire to show him affection, but do it carefully and gently.  Cynthia is famous for hugging our dog, Alex, hard.  A few times when she hugged her too hard, Alex whimpered in pain, and let’s not forget that she weighs 45 lbs. therefore she is not a little dog, but she never has attempted to bite her.  Instead she walks away from Cynthia and comes straight to me with a face that I’d venture to say is telling me, “Ouch!  Could you please tell her that it is ok to hug me, but to be a little gentle because I am a skinny girl and her hugs hurt me?”

If you pay attention to the picture, I think Alex is actually relieved that the object of Cynthia’s affection happens to be Kingston and not her.

By the way, I am not advising pet parents not to hug their dogs.  Au contraire, show your dog how much you love him, but please do it nicely, that’s all.

Please, Put Your Dog On A Leash – Part II

I did not think I was going to write about this again, but I was proven wrong today.  So, here it goes.  I went out walking with Luca and we must have walked barely 5 minutes when another dog came at us full speed, yes you guessed right, without a leash.  Luca barked at the dog twice and pulled me a little bit, but listened to me for the most part, and boy was I grateful about it.  Luca is a big dog, maybe a mix of German Shepard and Rottie, not sure.

Anyway, this dog kept barking at Luca and me, and his mom seemed not concerned at all while she was rummaging through her purse.  I guess she was too busy to come and get her dog so I decided to utter these magic words, “If your dog bites my dog or me, you are legally liable”.  Wow!  She got her dog in a matter of seconds.

Yes, our society is a very litigious one, in my opinion, but I had to get her attention one way or another.  Pet parents, please, put a leash on your dog.  He can either hurt others or hurt himself.  Cherish the time you have with your dog, and don’t put him in harm’s way.

Make Walking Your Dog During The Summer A Pleasant Experience For Both Of You

Alex, My Walking PartnerJust because Summer is here and the weather lately has been really hot, to put it mildly, it does not mean that you should not walk your dog.  Walk your dog, but adjust or change the length of your walk, time, and make sure to bring water for you, the pet parent, and your dog.  Here are a couple of things I do when I walk Alex:

  1. Walk early in the morning.  I get up at 6am to walk with Alex.
  2. Bring water and make sure to stop to hydrate yourself and your dog.
  3. Carry poop bags, wipes, and hand sanitizer.
  4. Wear a hat and sunglasses.
  5. Walk late in the evening.  The pavement can get pretty hot and damage your dog’s pads.
  6. Do not wear headphones.  You need to pay attention to your surroundings.

You see?  Walking in this crazy hot weather can still be enjoyable as long as you take the necessary precautions.  Take your dog out for a walk and enjoy it.