Monthly Archives: September 2013

Cold Weather Is On Its Way

I used to love tropical weather for many years, on my defense I’d like to say that I grew up about 10 minutes from the beach so hot weather and fun went hand in hand, but now I prefer any season except for Summer.  Could you believe that?

justalex2This is what Alex wears when the weather starts to get chilly, but once it starts to get cold she wears 2 sweaters because she gets cold very easy.  When she was a puppy I took her out so she can see snow for the first time and play with our other dog, Casey.  She played for about 2 minutes or less, and then she started to shiver uncontrollably while looking at me as if trying to tell me, “Mom, I am freezing.”  I took her inside and she placed herself right next to a heating vent.

coldI love this time of the year when the days are sunny and a bit chilly.  Take your furry kids for walks, cold weather should not be a reason not to go out for a walk, but make sure that you and your canine companion are properly clothed.

Attack of The Kissing Dog – Alex

Years ago, I used to take Alex to a dog park in Annapolis, MD, but I realized very fast that it was a waste of time so I stopped doing it.

kiss1Why?  Because as soon as we got to the dog park she’d go to where all the pet parents were gathered rather than going to play with the other dogs.  Alex gets along with dogs, but since she was a puppy she seemed to prefer humans.

kiss2She enjoys getting attention from people and in return she gives them a lot of kisses, as you can see in this picture.

kiss3The only fear I have when Alex meets new people is that she will give them what I call a saliva bath.  My girl is more social than I am, but then again Alex is better in so many other things than I am and as such she is a great teacher.  Have a great week.

Monday Morning – Alex And Dexter

Dexter, a handsome boxer mix, will be staying with us for a couple of days and we started with our usual morning walk, followed by grooming, brush and wipe, and a nice breakfast.

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After that, they were both ready to take a nap and sunbathe, but Cynthia wanted to take a picture of them before they fell asleep.  Alex is almost in dreamland.

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Well, Cynthia’s “models” quit and went ahead to take their naps.  Take a look at the proximity between each other.  Just like humans, dogs also have to have manners.  Some dogs sleep in the same bed, while others prefer to have a little bit of room like in this case with Alex and Dexter.  Every dog is different, therefore don’t force your dog to share her bed with another dog if that is not what she likes or is used to doing at home.  Have a great week.

Alex’s Diet And Nutrition: Chicken And Rice

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Let me start by saying that the above photo that features, arroz moro, plantains, and chicken wings, is not what Alex eats.  Once in a while I do mix a very small amount of rice and beans with her food to add taste and fiber, but not this particular rice, arroz moro, because it has a lot of seasoning and it throws off her stomach, but what I do give her is a mix of white rice, not featured in the picture, and chicken wings.

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Alex’s chicken wings are not seasoned at all and they are cooked in the oven.  I removed all the bones from the chicken wings, added the rice and chicken mix to her kibble, and she devoured her food.  Because I’ve done this for a while, she gets about ¼ to ½ cup of human food and the rest, ¾ to ½, is her kibble.  Anytime I want to introduce a new food to Alex, I always add a very small amount of it until she gets used to it.  Please, do not feed your dog something new in large quantities because it’ll cause her to have an upset stomach and you may have to take her to the vet.

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My picky daughter likes variety therefore I have to come up with new things to add to her kibble.  Alex is 11 years old so I have to be careful and pay close attention to her diet.  If you are unsure about what to feed your dog, the best person to answer your questions is your vet.  Have a great weekend.

Why Bother With Dog Obedience Training?

You’ll be surprised how many times I’ve heard people ask me the above question, and I’ll start with an example using my dogs and myself to best illustrate my answer, which is always, “Yes, take your dog for Obedience Training, and you’ll see the difference between living with an unruly dog and one that has training.”

report card casey n alex front page

Our first dog, Casey, was challenging, to put it mildly, and just like many pet parents we knew nothing about dogs so I went to the library and read as much as I could on dog training.  I, then, realized that I needed to get Casey enrolled in an Obedience Class and find the right trainer for him.  The first trainer did not work out because she had a very high pitch voice and Casey would get scared, so we tried a second trainer, Janet Bennett, and she was perfect for us.  Casey got his first report card for completing Basic Obedience I on April, 27, 2002 and I was so happy that, only pet parents will be able to understand this, it trumped getting my MBA.  Don’t take me wrong, I was extremely happy when I got my MBA, but that first report card made me ecstatic.  I worked so hard and so long with Casey and I enjoyed the classes so much that I took with Casey: Obedience I, Obedience II, and Canine Good Citizen with the same trainer, Janet Bennett.

report card casey n alex back page

In late 2002, we added a new member to our family, Alex, and she got her Obedience I on September 4, 2003 with the same trainer.  As you can see based on the report cards, Alex did better than Casey.  And you know what’s funny?  I worked longer with Casey than Alex.

After taking a total of four (4) classes with my dogs, were they perfect?  No, but they were certainly more manageable and we enjoyed having them.  The point of training is, at least for me, to be able to enjoy, manage, and provide structure for your dog.  Once you have taken your dog for some training, make sure that you incorporate that training into her everyday life/routine so there’s no excuse like, “I don’t have time to train my dog.”

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By the way, the only time I tell a pet parent to hold on training is when behavior needs to be address first, or there are medical issues the dog is going through and need to be resolved.

Janet Bennett passed away a couple of years ago, but I admired how she commanded a room and trained dogs so much that after thinking about it for the last couple of years, I decided to work on getting my Dog Trainer Certificate.  I am very excited about embarking in this new endeavor so wish me luck and have a great weekend.

Before I forget, Precious Pet Cottage does not offer training anymore and I don’t get paid to mention them.

Chinatown – Toronto, Canada

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After taking pictures in Downtown Toronto, we headed for Chinatown.  Can you see the bike lane?  I wish that more places here in the US would follow suit.

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I was amazed at how well Alex did while sightseeing in Toronto, but we took breaks for I wanted to make sure that she did not over do it.  When I am not sure about whether or not a person is comfortable with dogs, I prefer to put Alex on one side so she can still see that person, but she is not so close that he’d be uncomfortable like in this case.

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We did a bit of shopping while in Chinatown and my 2 girls posed for this picture.  To be able to shop, Cynthia went to the stores and gave me a “report” on what was good or not while Alex and I waited for her outside, but even like that I had a great time with them.

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Our girl, Alex, was pretty tired so we stopped and let her relax for a while.  As soon as she put her head on my lap she fell asleep.

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What did Alex do once we got back to the hotel?  She fell asleep, of course.  The next day, after we all had breakfast we were back on the road heading for Niagara Falls.  By the way, crossing the border from Canada to the US was interesting, to say the least.  We had the misfortune of dealing with a very tired, according to his co-worker, and quite unprofessional border patrol man.  He made us stopped in order to inspect our car, but because of that we met a very funny, polite, and nice man from the agriculture department, so something positive came out of it.

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Cynthia and I took a tour in Niagara Falls and we had a great time while Alex stayed at the hotel sleeping.  After a day of fun, we packed our things and headed back home.  I was surprised, why?  Because Cynthia wanted to go home a couple of days before our trip was over while Alex, our picky daughter, was eating no kibble and chicken soup only.  My 2 companion travelers were wonderful, and I’d take a trip with them anytime, but for our next trip Cynthia and I decided to pick one place to visit rather than going from one place to another for it made us pretty tired.  All in all, I am glad we took this trip.  I think we all needed it.  Once we got home, late in the evening, Alex finally ate 1 cup of kibble and her appetite came back.  We were all happy to be in our own beds back in Maryland.