Category Archives: Dog Equipment

Charlie’s Weekend Outing

Charlie, “Wow! What is that?”

Let me start this post by saying that there is no such thing as a perfect dog.  I could see pet parents red with anger, but allow me to explain.  Just like humans, dogs are a work in progress, and that’s ok.  But I believe that there is such a thing as the perfect dog for you, the pet parent, and that is a completely other post for the future.   

I decided to post about Charlie’s progress, but it dawned on me that I should also post about Charlie’s antics.  Why?  I want pet parents to know that they are not the only ones feeling lost, frustrated, overwhelmed, etc. 

This past weekend we took Abby and Charlie to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD for a nice long walk, and well this is where our odyssey started.

Abby, Charlie, and Cynthia (L to R) showing how to properly walk 2 dogs.

During our walk, we introduced Charlie to water, and being the Sheprador that he is he seemed to enjoy it.  We continued our walk, and brace yourself, he saw a squirrel, and although he is doing better when seeing squirrels, he lost it. He barked, pulled, whined, etc.  In other words, he put a whole Broadway production for us.  I had to hold on to that leash for dear life.  Then, after a short period of walking nicely, he saw a bird and wanted to go after it, but with less intensity than with the squirrel.  We finished our walk, almost an hour long, gave them water, and put them in the car.

Charlie is a little over 2 years old, and there are times when he walks beautifully even if a bird-he ignores birds for the most part-or squirrel show up, and there are other times like our outing this past weekend when he just goes bananas.  What I am trying to say is that your dog will drive you nuts and he will certainly keep your life interesting and unpredictable, but take my word for it when I tell you that this too shall pass.  One day, your crazy dog will be a well-behaved dog, and you would say to many people, “My Charlie is the perfect dog for me.”  Yes, you will!  When?  It depends on the dog.  Our Abby calmed down around 4-5 years old.  I’d say Charlie has another 1-2 more years of craziness in him. 

Dogs are not perfect, but who would want a perfect dog?  It would be boring.  Until your dog matures, he will-many times-misbehave and surprise you.  You are just going to have to have patience, be consistent, and remember that life is full of surprises, and so is your dog! 

Revisiting Dogs And Separation Anxiety

Abby and Charlie, “We have to defend our garbage from all critters, humans and intruders!”

As you can see in the above picture, Abby and Charlie take their job seriously. Our routine is to drop off the garbage, sometimes we have to do 2 trips, and pick up our mail.

Charlie’s separation anxiety is slowly starting to disappear. He no longer screams murder when left in a room alone. We’ve been able to go shopping without a problem. Also, Charlie no longer goes bananas when we put Abby in the car first. He gets excited, which is normal, but even that is manageable.

I realized very early on that Charlie needed to get exposed to everything and that’s exactly what we’re doing with him. It helps that Abby is there to lend a paw to her younger brother. To those pet parents out there dealing with a variety of issues, we all have issues by the way, don’t give up and work hard. Our dogs are worth it. Enjoy your weekend!

Dogs And Kayaking

Alex, “Mom, I am falling asleep. Could we get on the kayak already?”

It’s funny what you miss as time goes by. Kayaking with Alex is something I truly miss although our first time was certainly an odyssey, but it got better and better the more we did it. Alex has been gone a little over 5 years, and my heart still aches for her, but I am also thankful for the time we had with her.

With that being said, let’s cross our fingers, we hope that next year we are able to go kayaking with Abby and some of her canine friends. Have a great weekend and stay safe.

Memorial Day And Moving 2020

wp may 25 2020

Abby, “Mom, are we moving again?”

Let me start by saying thanks to our military personnel-that includes the canine units- and their family for all the sacrifices they make for us every day.

I love living in Crofton, MD but we finally found a house suited to our wants and needs in Annapolis so we’ll be busy this holiday moving our pack to our new house.

Abby will keep you up to date on our move, and I am sure she will delight you with tales of how hard she will be working; how little sleep she’ll get; and how few treats will be dispensed.  That’s our Abby! 🙂

Finding Happiness In Simplicity

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Abby, “I love taking car rides with my moms!”

Lately watching the news is scary and depressing-to say the least-but then I take a look at Abby finding happiness in simple things such as: walking, taking a ride in the car, eating, etc., and all I feel is a great sense of gratitude.

wp april 25 2020

Abby, “I smell food.  Mom, do you smell it too?”

Dogs are great teachers, and for me they are an integral part of my life.  They make me take a look at what really matters and not worry about things that are out of my control.  What does your dog bring to your life?

How to Move With Dogs Without Stressing Them Out

wp march 26 2020

Abby, “Mom, I think that’s your glove!”

In January we moved from MA to Maryland, and to say that Abby was excited about our move would be an understatement.  She loved “inspecting” the boxes we were putting together to pack our things; she dashed between Cynthia and yours truly as if to “help” us pack; she watched Cynthia like a hawk while she taped the boxes; and when she was tired she’d take a nap near one of us or go to bed.

wp march 26 20202

Abby, “Aha!  I told you this was your glove mom.”

Abby seems to enjoy moving, but she is the exception rather than the rule.  Because dogs enjoy having a routine, moving could be stressful for them so I’d recommend the following:

  • Walk/run your dog at least once a day.  Exercise is paramount at this time
  • On moving day, make sure that your dog is in her crate while things are being loaded to a truck/car
  • Once you get to your new place – assuming you took her for a long walk/run in the morning – put on her collar and leash and walk with her through the entire house
  • Afterwards, put her in her crate while your things are being unloaded
  • Take her out of the crate once unloading is done, but limit where she could go and explore for the first week or so

Dogs love routine, but if you plan ahead of time perhaps moving doesn’t have to be very stressful for your canine companion and you.  How did your dog(s) do on your last move?

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

wp march 17 2020

Abby, “Mom, did you see that squirrel?”

To say that the coronavirus pandemic has affected our lives would be an understatement, but I choose to be optimistic and find a silver lining in every cloud.  With that being said, living in semi-isolation has afforded me the time to take Abby for more walks; catch up on some of my reading; write a post more often; and prepare to start working on my taxes – I know, you must be giddy with excitement and anticipation to tackle this task!

I don’t know how long we’ll live like this, so my question to you is: what are you doing with your canine companions during this time?

Getting Settled in Maryland With My Pack

wp march 12 2020

Abby, “Mom, please turn off the lights.  Moving is exhausting!”

Yes, that’s how tired Abby looked after helping us unpack.  By the way, she is lucky since we are not unpacking everything.  Remember to provide your canine companion a bed and some blankets.

wp march 12 20202

Abby, “Mom, wait!  I am not ready.  Please wait!

Sorry Abby, but I had to capture that facial expression.  We are taking nice walks except when the days don’t permit us to do so.  All in all, I could say that although it was stressful to move and super tiring, to say the least, we are really glad to be back in Maryland and we are looking forward to all the adventures we’ll have in Crofton!

Back Home – Maryland

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Abby, “Mom, I like the new smells I am picking up from here!”

Yes, we’re finally back home.  Home is really where your heart is, and a long time ago I realized that that place was Maryland.  For the last 5 years, we lived in Stoughton, MA and although it was a nice place, and we met amazing people and dogs, I always hoped that we had the opportunity to come back to Maryland and it finally came true.

MD2 wp jan 30 2020

Abby, “Mom, I picked up an amazing new smell.  It smells like chicken!”

We were really busy moving for the last couple of weeks, but finally things are less hectic, and I have been able to take Abby for nice walks around the neighborhood lately.  Thanks to all the pet parents in Massachusetts that trusted us with their canine kids, we’ll miss you all, and looking forward to meeting amazing dogs and their pet parents in Crofton, MD.  It feels great to be back home!

Abby’s Trip To Canada – Part 2 of 2 (Quebec)

wp dec 1019

Abby, “Mom, I am 100% sure that we’re lost. Could we please ask for direction? Please!!!

Yes, we were totally lost when we visited Quebec, but it didn’t matter to us.  How come?  We had a good time exploring this beautiful city, and eating along the way.

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Abby, “Moms, do you need help packing? One suitcase = 2 cookies. What do you think?”

We were all ready to go back to Massachusetts after visiting Canada, but I think Abby a bit more because she watched us carefully while we packed our things.

wp dec 10193

Abby, “Moms, did you remember to pack my food and treats?”

I had to take the above picture.  Abby looked so adorable that it was hard to resist.  Anyway, we were ready to leave Quebec after a nice vacation, and yes, Abby did get treats and food along the way.