Tag Archives: canine companions

Safe Dog Walking Temperatures During Summer Time

wp june 12 2018

Abby, “Are you taking a picture of me again?!!

Summer time here in Massachusetts is great because there is low humidity, and we don’t get many hot days like in Maryland.  But just so you know, I still miss Maryland.  Anyway, Abby and I get up early in the morning for our first walk, around 6am, in order to make sure that my girl does not get overheated or burn her cute paws.  The next walk is late in the evening and this is usually a short walk because there are some days when the ground is still hot.

wp june 12 20182

Champagne, “I am posing and smiling.  Treats and water please!

The time you choose to walk your dog is very important, but for those dogs that have dark coats like Champagne, pit bull in above picture, and Abby it could mean life or death.  I love to walk with my dog, but I am always very mindful of the weather and temperature.  Well, lace up your walking shoes and enjoy your walk with your canine companion.

Teaching Abby To Behave

behavior1

Abby, “Moms, it’s snowing!”

Abby, at the beginning, didn’t know or understand that once we were home she was not allowed to run like crazy, nip people, grab things off of the floor as toys, etc.  Well, time went by, 9 weeks, and she is starting to understand that certain things are expected of her if she wants to help Cynthia cook.

behavior2

Abby, “Mom, I am not presentable and you are distracting me from helping mom Cynthia finish cooking our meal.”

I like to have Abby in the kitchen when Cynthia is cooking because this is the perfect time to work on behavior.  How?  Well, for one, she is not allowed to jump while Cynthia cooks; for two, she is to keep those beautiful teeth away from nipping or biting; and lastly, she is not to frantically pace back and forth.  This is not basic training but rather behavior modification.

behavior3

Marcela, “This is Abby letting me know in no uncertain terms that she is not happy that I am not saying that she is perfect.”

I also like Abby to be in the kitchen because I want her to get used to the different sounds and smells that are typical in a kitchen.  Abby, so far, has been the hardest puppy I’ve ever had to train and work on behavior modification with, but also the most adorable.  Why am I sharing this with you?  Because I want you to understand and know that dogs are individuals and as such they learn at their own pace.

behavior4

Abby, “Mom Cynthia, how much longer before we eat?”

Alex, our pit bull mix, was very easy to train.  She got all her obedience cues and behavior, behavior always being the most difficult to achieve, pretty fast and because of that I joined the legions, yes legions, of pet parents that told me that female dogs are smarter than male dogs.  By the way, I no longer thing so.  Why?  Abby proved all those pet parents wrong.  If you got a puppy or dog recently, please work with a trainer and/or behaviorist in order to start your canine companion on the right path.  Many of the dogs I see in shelters are there because of behavioral problems.  Don’t give up on your dog, and find the help of a professional to guide you and teach you how to properly communicate with your dog.

Short-Haired Dogs And Coats/Sweaters

hispring1The above picture is of Dexter, a very handsome boxer mix, that used to stay with us often.  Since Spring is taking its time to arrive, make sure that your canine companion is properly attired when you go out with him.  Dogs that have short hair like Dexter need to wear a coat or sweater or both to keep them warm.

hispring2Dogs that are very lean, like my Alex, also need to wear a coat when the weather is cold.  In Alex’s case, I make her wear both a sweater and a coat.  She is not too crazy about it, but I need to make sure that she is warm.

Dogs look adorable in sweaters, that’s for sure, but remember that for many dogs like short-haired dogs, and lean dogs, wearing a coat or sweater is a necessity.

Freaking Winter Wonderland – 2/21/15

ww1I don’t know how to start this post, so here it goes.  I am going to make a list of the things I like and dislike about Winter so this way maybe someone out there will say, “Me too.”  Misery does love company.

Things I like about Winter:

  1. Shoveling snow, but only if I do it within 5 hours after it has stopped snowing.  I actually enjoy it.
  2. Clothing – I like to wear a coat, scarf, gloves, etc.

Things I dislike about Winter:

  1. I cannot go for a walk with Alex for too long specially when the roads/sidewalks are icy
  2. I have to wear layer after layer of clothing to keep myself warm.  Alex doesn’t like to wear sweaters except for one, so I think is safe to say that Alex shares this dislike with me
  3. My hands hurt the colder the weather gets and I hate it
  4. I cannot take a shower and then go out.  Why?  Every time I do that I get a cold.  No, really. I really do get a cold
  5. In cold weather, there are more accidents due to icy roads

ww2Do you know what is the best part about having a canine companion?  In my case, Alex makes me see things in a different way.  Look at her.  Asleep, close to the vent of course, with no care in the world.  Alex makes the best out of any situation and time of the year.  What a great teacher she is, don’t you think?  Well, I will stop my complaining and follow Alex’s lead and enjoy the day even though as I look out my window I see nothing but more snow.  I know, I know.  I was still able to complain one more time.  What can I say?  I am human after all.

The New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston

maholo1While in Boston, I had the opportunity to visit the New England Holocaust Memorial, and to say that I was touched by what I read would be an understatement.  What resonated with me most was this:

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

—Martin Niemoeller

maholo2I am a firm believer that if we do not learn from History, then we are bound to repeat it.  It is terrible to know that we, human beings, are capable of such atrocities.  And then, I take a look at my Alex, and say to myself, “Yes, but there are also amazing people along with amazing dogs.”  I don’t know, for me, a canine companion such like Alex, is essential in my life.  Alex makes me do something I have a hard time doing and that is to live in the moment.  So, with that in mind, I would say carpe the heck out of the diem, and if along the way you are able to make a difference in the life of a person or a dog, then in my book you are an angel.

Boston Bound Family/Pack

We are what?  I am afraid.  Hold me mom!

We are what? I am afraid. Hold me mom!

Cynthia received a nice offer for a new job in Boston, MA so we’ll be moving within the next couple of weeks.  Bella, our almost 4 year old pit mix, has never moved with us, therefore her reaction on the above picture is understandable, right?

We are moving?  Yeah!!

We are moving? Yeah!!

Alex, on the other hand, has moved with us several times when Cynthia was in the military so she is used to it.  I am hoping that Bella eventually feels the same way.

I may, or may not, be able to blog on a regular basis.  I will try though.  Why?  Misery loves company.  But seriously, it is a way to show, I hope, other pet parents how crazy a move to a new city can be specially if you have two furry kids: Alex the laid back pittie; and Bella the superenergetic one.

I am going to miss all the dogs that vacationed with us, and their amazing pet parents, therefore to all of you who trusted us with your furry kids I’d like to say on behalf of Cynthia, Alex, and Bella, thanks a million for everything and we wish you much love, health, prosperity and peace.

Kayaking With Dogs – What An Odyssey

ky1

Cynthia and I recently became kayaks enthusiasts, and of course, we had to bring our canine companions along with us in this fun ride.  Well, it depends on what you consider fun.  The first time we took them with us, it was chaotic and crazy, but we managed to keep our sanity throughout this ordeal. 

ky2

We learned very fast that in order to enjoy our outing, food was a must, so we made 4 sandwiches, one for each one of us, chips, and a lot of water,  We inhaled it all on our first stop.  To our surprise, Bella, although she is a pit mix, loved the water so much that there were times when we had to tell her to get on the kayak.  She probably thinks she is a funny looking fish.  Anyway, Alex, on the other hand, needed a bit of encouragement, but by the second time we went kayaking she was swimming without any encouragement at all.

ky3By the way, in order to accommodate Alex and Bella in our kayaks, they weigh 50lbs each, we bought a Wilderness Pungo 120, along with flotation devices for all of us.  Please, if you decide to take your dog kayaking, buy a flotation device for her. 

kyk1This is right before we got to the water.  They were both so excited that they started to whine in stereo, but once they were out of the car they were fine.  We all had a great time, but our bodies were killing us since we had to paddle with a dog weighing 50lbs.  Ouch!  If you decide to embark in this odyssey, please go at it slowly and don’t scare your dog.  The point is for them and you to have fun.  Do you kayak with your dog?