Category Archives: Dog Equipment

Lessons From Our Dogs: Let’s Relax

Blast from the past. Dexter and our Alex, and on the background Walter.

It’s a beautiful sunny day here in Annapolis, MD and on Sundays we try, operative word try, to take this day to relax, and just enjoy being home. Living with dogs-if you pay attention-could teach you many things, one of them is learning to relax which for most people is hard to do.

I look at them when they are taking a nap, and it’s beautiful to see how they don’t seem to have a care in the world. We, humans, need to learn to do that. Anyway, enjoy your day, and take a moment, or a day for that matter, to relax. Stay safe.

Back To Our Old Routine

Abby and Charlie, “Mom, we saw a fish. Could we get it?” Mom, “No!”

Since Abby and Charlie were driving us up the wall-totally my fault of course-this is what their day looks like:

  1. Walking – extremely important therefore I listed it first. If possible, twice a day
  2. Behavior and Training – make your pup wait for you while you take laundry out of the dryer; eye contact to you right before you feed him; sit while you put on his Halti and much more
  3. Structure – your dog should have time for walks, behavior and training, crate time, and naps
  4. Job – find out what your dog loves to do and hire him/her for that job

The above are just a few of the things you need to do in order for your dog to be balanced, and for you to keep your sanity and minimize at all cost your hair turning gray. There are studies that state that stress causes our hair to turn gray so for the sake of vanity if nothing else, follow the above list. Stay safe!

A New Bed For Abby And Charlie

Abby to Charlie, “Could you move over a bit? You’re appropriating Our bed!”

We got a new bed for Abby and Charlie a few weeks ago-at this point you’re probably saying to yourself, “That’s so nice of you”-because we got tired of moving their two beds from the kitchen to the living room. By now you’ve realized that such action was self-serving. Anyway, Abby and Charlie are still working out the logistics of sharing one bed, but they both seem to like it. How many beds does your canine companion have at home?

Charlie’s Progress – Part VI

The left doggie dish is Abby’s and the right one is Charlie’s

All dogs, just like us people, have quirks and issues, and our Charlie is not the exception. Early on, we figured out that Charlie disliked having his paws handled so we try to handle his paws, gently, every single day. Some pet parents would say to let it be, but if the time comes when I have to get something out of his paw; trim his nails, clean his feet, etc., he would lose it because he is not used to it therefore we’re working on desensitizing him and this is where we are so far:

  • Wiping his paws every time he goes out for a walk and to do his business. Keep in mind that he goes out at least 6 times a day. When we are about to pick up his paw, we touch it so he knows that we are about to pick it up and he could switch his weight. He is about 71lbs. so he is a big boy. By his body language, he is getting more comfortable when we handle his paws.
  • Trimming his nails is a huge endeavor that takes two (2) people, yes you read it right, to accomplish. One of us does the trimming while the other one is brushing and massaging him, and making sure that he is not able to see this horrible nail cutter. On this one, we still got a long way to go.
  • Food is what we are using to help us desensitize Charlie to handling his paw therefore right before we put his dish down we ask him to give us his paw. This way he connects food, something he enjoys and loves, with having his paw handled.

Dogs hate having their paws handled as many of you pet parents know so if you have a Charlie of your own, I would suggest for you to work with an experienced trainer to avoid hurting your dog or yourself. Keep working with your dog and stay safe!

Enjoy Your Labor Day 2021

Abby, “So tired. I am planning to eat a lot, relax, and enjoy this holiday weekend.”

My pack is planning to do what we’ve been doing for a while, enjoy our staycation, so there! Abby got a shot for allergies yesterday, yes my girl has allergies, so that’s just another reason or excuse, however you want to look at it, to stay at home.

Anyway, whether you are traveling to visit family and friends or staying at home, enjoy your Labor day weekend and stay safe!

Roxie A Cute Yorkie

Roxie, “Please let me take a nap. Walks, mingling with other dogs and people is exhausting!”

The above cutie pie is Roxie, a Yorkshire Terrier often shortened as Yorkie, who is vacationing with us so I decided to highlight a few of her breed’s traits:

  • A Yorkie’s coat is said to be hypoallergenic
  • Very protective, active, and loving attention makes a Yorkie a great companion for an adult person
  • This breed is better suited for families with children over 10 years old
  • Excellent as a guard dog, yes you read it correctly, because they bark a lot
  • Separation anxiety is common because they were bred to be companion dogs

As days go by, we’ll see about the traits I mentioned in Roxie. Enjoy your weekend!

Abby And Hot Weather Safety Tips

Abby, yours truly and Charlie taking a walk in downtown Annapolis, MD.

Hot weather seems to affect Abby more than Charlie:

  • Abby is able to walk without any problem as long as we walk very early in the morning
  • She seems to get tired faster during Summer than Winter
  • Because Abby is a Beagle Bulldog mix, BeaBull, she makes a funny noise with her nose when she is getting hot so I know that it is time to stop
  • Also, because of the Bulldog in her, Abby snores sometimes. Yes, she does!
  • Abby’s dark color, and dogs that are black, can easily get overheated

I love living in Maryland, but I am always mindful that Summers here are very hot and humid so I need to be careful when we venture out with my kids. Enjoy your Summer and stay safe!

Limit Exercise For Your Dog On Hot Days

Abby to Charlie, “Do you need a bigger bed? Well, do you?”

Although I love to walk, and I recommend it to all pet parents, when the weather is hot and humid-you will not believe what I am about to recommend-do not walk outdoors. There I said it! Yes, it goes against all that I believe in, but I want to make sure that you and your canine companion stay safe.

We walk early in the morning and in the evening. You could still exercise your doggie during Summer, but the time of day, length of time, humidity, terrain, etc. are a few things you need to remember in order to keep your dog, and yourself safe. What do you do to safely exercise your dog during hot, humid weather?

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 him 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!