Tag Archives: Pack Walk

Abby, A Cute Working Dog

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Abby, “Mom, did you put some cookies in my back pack?”

Abby is a working dog, and if you ask her she’ll probably tell you that she needs a raise in the form of more cookies and human food.  One of Abby’s task is to carry her own gear.  Yes, people, there were a few cookies in that backpack.

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Walking with my pack. Prince, yours truly, Champagne, and Abby. (L to R)

Abby also helps me walk dogs.  The funny thing about it is that she gets a little confused when the weekend comes around because that’s when we are off.  Yes, she is a hard working girl!  In order to fulfill your dog’s needs give her a job, she’ll thank you for it.

Introducing Bella To Alex – BARCS ID# A21561474

introbellalex1Well, it was time to introduce Bella to Alex today and this is how I introduce new dogs to my pack.

Cynthia, Alex, Bella, and I went for a walk together.  At the beginning of the walk, Alex was on my left side while Bella was on Cynthia’s right side.  We stopped for a couple of minutes so they can do their business, but they were not allowed to interact with each other yet.  Because Alex cannot walk a lot we had to stop after we walked for a little while to give them an opportunity to sniff each other.  Bella’s body language was relaxed and curious.  So far so good.

introbellalex2Once we got home, we went straight to the deck where Bella, still on leash and collar, was able to interact with Alex.  What did I realize?  Bella has no doggie manners.  She almost stepped on Alex a few times.  What did Alex do?  Nothing.  And that is why Alex is perfect for me and for what I do which is board, train, and work on behavioral issues many dogs have.  After a couple of minutes, we brushed their hair and wiped their paws and proceeded to go inside.

Bella’s body language indoors changed.  She became tensed and zeroed in on Alex.  I redirected that behavior by getting her attention and she was fine.

introbellalex3This is what I realized about Bella:

  • Bella’s interaction with Alex outside was great.  She did a play bow inviting Alex to play
  • Once inside, her body language became tense and on guard.  She lowered her head, body was tense, stared at Alex and looked ready to go for her
  • Even though I was not crazy about her body language indoors, Bella responded well or I should say amazingly well to voice corrections and commands
  • Although she did great while playing with other dogs at the shelter, now she has to learn to live in peace with other dogs in a home environment
  • She has to learn doggie manners.  She cannot step over other dogs
  • On the deck, Bella showed signs of stress, pacing back and forth, but she relaxed after a few minutes when she saw Alex sunbathing

This is just the beginning for Bella.  She has a long way to go and this is why a shelter dog, in my opinion, has a better chance to find her forever home when she has been fostered for a while.  Why?  Living in a home environment teaches her how to be a member of a pack and that is something that she cannot learn in a shelter.  I have great admiration for the people who work in shelters.  They do an amazing job, and they can always use our help whether this comes in the form of donations, volunteer time, fostering dogs, etc.  Have a great week.

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.

All Things In Moderation

I am a firm believer that we can all do things in moderation rather than abstaining from them, and as such we find balance in life.

Sarris, Alex, and Dexter (L - R)

Sarris, Alex, and Dexter (L – R)

Let me start by giving you an idea about our morning routine, and it goes something like this:

  1. Morning walk/run
  2. Morning ablution: brush hair and wipe and inspect paws
  3. Breakfast for humans followed by breakfast for canine children
  4. Treats – I look at it as dessert.  That is why Dexter is licking his lips
  5. Sunbathing – 5 minutes,  by my watch, during the Summer.  Longer during the rest of the year
  6. Nap time

Alex could sunbathe the entire day if I let her, and some pet parents have told me the same about their dogs, but letting dogs stay out in the sun for too long is dangerous, therefore I limit the time we are out on the deck to no more than 5 minutes in the morning during the Summer.

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Alex is always the first one to fall asleep.  Sarris looks like she is about to follow Alex to dreamland, but Dexter, between you and me he thinks he is a guard dog, is still awake.

Alex and Dexter love to sunbathe while Sarris only prefers to do it for a couple of minutes.  By the way, never leave your dog/s unattended anywhere and that includes your deck regardless of the time of day or season of the year.

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Right after we come in, Sarris relaxes in the kitchen on top of these cool tiles while Alex and Dexter go to their bed.  There are times when all 3 of them end up in the kitchen and those are the times when I am so glad that my kitchen is not small.  Because our morning routine takes a while, I always tell pet parents that if they call me or text me I will return their inquiries after I am finished with our morning routine.

Let your canine companions enjoy being out sunbathing, but make sure that you are there to supervise and do it in moderation.

Introducing A New Member To Our Pack

As a pet sitter, I am always introducing a new dog to my pack, and I was recently asked by a pet parent how do I go about doing such introduction, so I decided to share this information and experience with other pet parents and perhaps get some feedback as well.

This evening, after dinner, Cynthia and I took Alex, our dog, Walter and Dexter, furry boarders, for a nice walk.  Walter stays with us very often so he is used to Alex, but Dexter, a Boxer mix, is the new kid on the block, therefore we needed to do a proper introduction.

Dexter

Dexter

I started by taking Dexter for a long walk as soon as his mom dropped him off.  I walked him for about 10 minutes, and I then asked Cynthia to bring out Walter to join our walk.  After about 25 minutes, during this time they were not allowed to interact with each other for all I wanted was to walk as one pack, we went to a grassy area so they can sniff each other and observe their body language while they are both on a leash.  They were both relaxed and curious about each other which is what you want to see.  I asked Cynthia to now bring Alex out while I walked Walter and Dexter.  Once Alex and Cynthia joined us, we walked for another 20 minutes.  Before heading home, we let them go to a grassy area to do their “business” and sniff each other again, and then proceeded to go straight home.

Alex, Dexter and Walter (from left to right)

Alex, Dexter and Walter (from left to right)

The walk we do as a pack is extremely important when I am introducing a new dog to my pack and this is what I do every time a new dog joins us.  I also like to observe their body language during our walk and while they are interacting with each other for any signs of aggression.

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They were all tired after our walk and decided to take a well-deserved nap.  What a hard live my canine companions have, don’t you think?

Pack Walk 2012 in DC With Cynthia, Alex, Dozer, Sarris, and Marcela

Alex, Dozer, and Sarris Not Cooperating with Cynthia, our Photographer

We, Cynthia, Alex, Dozer, Sarris and I, Marcela, did get a chance to go to the Pack Walk that took place in DC, today, Saturday, September 29, 2012, but because parking in DC is such a nightmare we were not able to walk with Cesar Millan, but we did have a great time.

We Had a Great Time

Doesn’t it show we had a great time?  We did.

Lady and her dog taking a break

 

Two of the many Pit Bulls in attendance

 

Walking with my canine companions in DC

 

Tired, after all that walking

 

Cesar Millan