Tag Archives: foster dog

Burn Off Pent-Up Energy With A Backpack

Alex to Bella, "I know you are shy, but you'll get used to them taking pictures all the time.  I promise."

Alex to Bella, “I know you are shy, but you’ll get used to them taking pictures all the time. I promise.”

If you happen to have a high-energy dog like Alex used to be, and nowadays Bella, you certainly have to look for ways to drain their energy.  In order to keep my sanity, I had to make sure that Alex walked, 1 – 1 1/2 hour twice a day, ran, twice a week, and do some training.  Because of her injury, Alex now walks around 20 minutes once or twice a day when the weather is not too cold, but just when I thought I was about to get a break, Bella joined our family.

As you can see in the picture, Bella, like many siblings, gets her hand me downs from Alex which includes a backpack.  Why do I use a backpack?  For some dogs like Bella, a regular walk will just not do, therefore adding a backpack can give her a job to do and she will be tired by the time we get home.

Some dogs have to be eased into wearing a backpack.  You can use treats to do that.  Let her wear it for a couple of minutes while rewarding her.  With Alex and Bella, it seemed like they’ve done this all their life.  Go figure.

backpack2What do I put in her backpack?  In order to make it even, I put the same amount of weigh on each side.  Do Not make your dog wear a backpack while she is running.  Some people put a bottle of water, wipes, keys, etc., in the backpack so the dog is really working by carrying her pet parents things.

backpack3What do I get from making Bella wear a backpack?  A tired, relaxed dog, as you can see in the above picture.  If you happen to have a high-energy dog like Bella, you need to drain that energy and fulfill her needs in order to enjoy her company rather than having a dog that can easily drive you crazy and frustrate you beyond words.  What do you do with your dog to drain his/her energy?

Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth – Part II BARCS ID# A21561474

part21We took Bella to the vet yesterday, Wednesday, and I could not believe what the vet told us.  Bella had a small thin stick running from one side of her mouth to the other one that measured about 3 to 4 inches long.  The only part we were able to see were the black holes on her gums, but once she was sedated they found that a stick was pushing her teeth out-of-place.  After we picked Bella up from the vet, we passed by BARCS to pick up her meds and then we headed back home.  You’d think she’d be a little mellow, but boy she was still full of energy, but for that evening she was fed and kept apart from Alex and Walter as recommended by the vet tech.

part22I can’t stress enough how important brushing and checking your dog’s teeth and gums happen to be so please pet parents be diligent about your furry kid’s oral health.  I am not a dental hygienist like Cynthia, but a stinky mouth in a dog is never a good thing.  If you have questions, please ask your vet for advice and take your canine companion for a check up to make sure everything is fine.

Why Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth Is Extremely Important – BARCS ID# A21561474

brush2By the third night, our foster girl, Bella was at home with us, I started to brush her teeth.  At the beginning, all I did was put a bit of doggie toothpaste on a toothbrush so she could get used to it.  As days went by, I was able to start brushing her teeth followed by a snack, which she loved.  Between you and me, I think she just let me brush her teeth for the treat.  Smart girl!

A couple of days ago, I was finally able to brush her molars and I could not believe what I saw.  There was a black hole not on the tooth, but rather on the gums.  I had never seen anything like that before so I contacted BARCS right away and I took Bella to their vet so he can check her out.

brush1I told the vet that she had a black hole on both sides/gums, and that although her breath was not as stinky as before we could still smell something funky.  He would have had to sedate her to see this, so I suggested to him that Cynthia and I hold Bella and show him what we were talking about.  We did so and he gave Bella antibiotics and a referral to another vet with experience in this sort of problem.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, we’ll be dropping Bella off at the vet we were referred to so he/she can take care of Bella’s teeth.

And, the above picture is why it is extremely important that you brush your furry kid’s teeth.  I brush Alex’s teeth almost every night, I am not a perfect pet parent, and there are nights when I am too lazy or I just forget, but 9 out of 10 times she gets her teeth brushed and I ask Cynthia, at least once a month, to check her mouth since she is a dental hygienist.  The first time I asked her to do that, she just laughed and looked a little puzzled.  Right now checking Alex’s teeth and gums is just something she does at least once a month for our girl.

brush3Alex will be turning 12 years old in May, and so far, she’s only had a dental cleaning once.  That, I think, is pretty good.  If you do not brush your furry kid’s teeth, bacteria will grow and because of it organs such as her heart, kidney, and liver can be affected.  Please, take a couple of minutes every night and brush her teeth.  Cynthia knows a lot about it since she is a dental hygienist and she uses a lot of terminology that honestly speaking sounds like another language to me, but so far what I gathered from what she tells me is that plaque grows faster at night-time when we produce less saliva and that is why she is really adamant about having everybody brush their teeth before going to bed.

A New Year And New Beginnings – 2014

2014Every year, just like many other people, I make a list of my new year’s resolution to tackle, but this year, surprisingly even to me, I failed to do so.  Instead, I decided to do things I’ve been meaning to do for a while and unlike past years, 2014, although today is only January 4th, is proving to be quite fulfilling.  The first thing I addressed was continuing with Alex’s training and small walks.  How’s she doing?  Better every day.

20142The second thing I’ve been meaning to do is to take care of a plant and not kill it like I’ve done in the past.  With that in mind, Cynthia gave me a beautiful white Orchid for my birthday that I named Snowflake.  Yes, I name them because in my mind it makes me more responsible, and between you and me, I think its working.  A week later, we went and got another Orchid, the one featured in the above picture, that I named Lilly.  A month has gone by and they are both doing great and thriving.

20143And the last thing I’ve been meaning to do for a while was to foster a dog.  Cynthia and I finally went to the shelter in Baltimore, BARCS, yesterday, Friday, and picked a dog to foster.  This picture I took yesterday, a couple of minutes after we got home, but I stopped right away because she seemed afraid of a lot of things and I did not want to frighten her.  To our surprise she slept soundly, actually she snored, and ate all her dinner last night, followed by a breakfast I could have sworn she inhaled this morning.

I’d venture to say that this is a nice way to start 2014, don’t you think?  Have a great weekend.

Alex On Sabbatical Leave

add1I’ve had Alex since she was about 3 months old, and I still can’t believe that she is on her way to be 12 years old next year.  Thanks to Alex I have been able to help other dogs be more balanced and manageable, and as a result their pet parents were able to enjoy their canine companions and not find the need to rehome them.

Please, understand this, although Alex is perfect for me, she is not perfect, but then again, why would I want her that way?  It’d be boring, don’t you think?  Anyway, since she will be on bed rest for a while I was thinking about fostering a dog.  I’ve been thinking about it for a while, about 2 years, and I think that this is the right time to do it.  With that in mind, I put an application and it was approved so we’ll be going to pick up our foster dog within the next couple of days.  I am really excited about it.

add2By the way, I’ll continue to keep Alex engaged by introducing and reenforcing commands so my girl is not bored half to death.  Right now I am working on teaching her how to walk towards me slowly using voice and signal commands.  Why?  Because now that she is feeling better she wants to run towards me at full speed.  I don’t ask her to sit anymore for I fear it may hurt or cause her pain, but she is able to do a lot of other things without discomfort.

Have a great weekend, and thanks to the many bloggers that foster and served as an example for me to follow, and I hope that others would follow suit.