Tag Archives: pet parents

South End, Boston, MA (Woofstock)

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I thought I died and went to heaven when I saw so many dogs and their pet parents this past weekend in a fair appropriately named Woofstock.  To say that Abby and I loved it would be an understatement.

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A few dogs were ready for Halloween, and so they were socializing with others while showing off their costumes like this cutie pie.

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Whoever thought about putting this event together did a great job.  By the way, there was very little barking although there were lots of dogs so I’d venture to say that we all had a good time.

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I had to take this picture.  When I was a kid, I used to see women carry their children like the above picture, but never a puppy.  So adorable.  Have a great week.

Seminar in Plymouth, MA

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Beautiful day for sightseeing.

Yesterday, I conducted a seminar in Plymouth, MA and we were able to do some sightseeing prior to it.  This was my first time in this area and it was beautiful to say the least.

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Abby, “Mom, that looks like a giant kibble”

Before starting my seminar, I took Abby for a walk so she can socialize with people, and see new things.  Yes, she was very interested in the giant kibble.

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Abby, “Hello everybody.” Abby greeted everybody with lots of enthusiasm.

I conduct seminars mostly from home, but I also choose outdoor places depending on: subject matter, weather, amount of people, etc.  The day was gorgeous.

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Abby, “This is how a dog should meet people, with all paws on terra firma.”

The four people in my seminar had specific questions, therefore I tailored our time together to answer questions that pertained to barking, walking, meeting a dog properly and avoiding a bite from such dog, senior dogs, etc.  Abby, of course, was my assistant.  After I finished my session with them, we walked back to our car, we were getting hungry, to head home and rewarded ourselves by having a delicious dinner.  How was your weekend?

Malibu Beach, Abby, & New Memories

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Abby, “Yay.  I could go and explore, right?”

We enjoy going to Malibu beach because we see lots of pet parents with their furry kids walking around, people with kids, and so much more.  I want us to make new memories with Abby so I thought this was a good place to start.  Abby certainly seemed to enjoy it.

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Abby, “Hello. Is anybody there?”

Being that she is part Beagle, it was funny to see her use her nose although on the above picture I am sure she was using mostly her eyes.

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Abby, “Moms, I think Alex was right when she said that she saw a sea monster. I think I found one of my own.”

Abby was curious and wanted to explore everything including what she saw in the water.  But as curious as she was Abby didn’t leave our sight.

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Abby, “Moms, I think I caught a fish for dinner tonight.”

We still miss Alex and there are times when Cynthia and I remember something funny she did and we start laughing and end up crying, but then we remember that we did have Alex for 13 amazing years and that little by little we’ll have to start making memories with our new furry kid.  Abby is a year old and there is so much for her to learn and enjoy so we’ll continue our journey with this feisty Beabull girl and make new memories.

Dexter’s Energy Level

Dexter, Bella, and Alex (L to R)

Dexter, Bella, and Alex (L to R)

When we first met Dexter, a handsome boxer mix, I thought that he was a high energy dog, but I was wrong.  Dexter is actually a medium-level energy dog.  Why am I talking about this?  Because your level of energy and that of your future or current dog is very important in order to make the right match.  Dexter does well, during Summer, with a 30-40 minute walk in the morning, and evening, and a small break around noon for 15 minutes.  But, when Winter comes, he needs longer walks.  The first few days, when he comes to stay with us, I walk Dexter the most because he has an abundance of energy, but as days go by I have to use Bella for longer walksn because this handsome boy starts to walk behind me rather than next to me. 

dexenergy2Also, remember that as dogs age their level of energy will decrease.  Alex, my pit mix, so far has been the dog with the highest energy level.  If she were a human being, she’d probably be classified as hyperactive in her younger years.  Well, it only took 10 years for Alex to calm down.  How would you classify your dog’s energy level?  Have a great week.  

 

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.

In Home Dog Boarding vs. Dog Kennels

boarding1Soon, it’ll be two weeks since Alex started wearing a brace for her ACL injury and so far she is doing fine.  She is putting pressure on both legs, although still favoring her right leg, and she is resting a lot.  This is her favorite spot when the sun is out, by the sliding doors.

boarding2In order to get her to look at me I had to bribe her with a treat, and it worked.  While looking at her, I remembered the last time, years ago, when I had to travel out of the US and leave her in a kennel facility, and how I told myself and Alex that that was the last time I’d do that.  Please, do not misunderstand me, there are kennel facilities that are run by experienced, competent, dog loving individuals that do their very best to take care of the dogs they are entrusted with, but a kennel environment for many dogs can put a great amount of stress on them.  Years ago, I was the manager of a PetsHotel and I can honestly say that the staff that worked alongside me truly loved dogs and did a great job caring for them, but I also realized that the majority of the dogs were stressed out so with that in mind I decided to quit that job and I started offering In Home Dog Boarding.

boarding3Years went by and I still love what I am able to offer to pet parents and their dogs and that is a stress free environment, similar to the one they have at home.  I’ve had dogs that had a variety of issues such as: separation anxiety, fear of being crated, incessant chewing, etc., and they all have done well staying with us.  At the end of their stay I talk to the pet parents for a couple of minutes to let them know how their furry kid did and to mention anything unusual that I noticed about their doggie.

boarding4 Dexter, the handsome boxer mix in the above picture, is one of my regulars and although he may look a little intimidating he is really a sweetheart.  For the most part, I don’t crate dogs unless necessary, but, and this is something I do want to stress to all pet parents, a crate should be used as a tool for training your dog and never as punishment nor the answer to solve all your dog’s problems or issues.

boarding5Recently, I read a post in dogsmakeeverythingbetter.com/‎ about a shelter for dogs run differently than the ones here in the US.  This shelter outside of Tehran allows dogs to live freely with each other and they are even able to eat next to each other.  She posted some amazing pictures and it really made me think about what she said about dogs being social animals.  I am a firm believer that we all can learn from one another, and perhaps this shelter in such a far away place can teach us all a thing or two.

boarding6Because the dogs that stay with me literally hang out with me, I always ask pet parents to text me an hour prior to picking up their furry kid in order to have their doggie ready and to make sure that all the other dogs will not disturb us when they get to my place.

Whatever your choice for your dog may be, when it comes to boarding, my advice would be to ask a lot of questions, ask to see where your dog will be staying, do a search and see what comments are posted about this facility or pet sitter, and weigh all your options before making your decision.  Always remember that you are your dog’s advocate and that if you are not comfortable with a particular place or person, follow your gut and keep looking.

Why Bother With Dog Obedience Training?

You’ll be surprised how many times I’ve heard people ask me the above question, and I’ll start with an example using my dogs and myself to best illustrate my answer, which is always, “Yes, take your dog for Obedience Training, and you’ll see the difference between living with an unruly dog and one that has training.”

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Our first dog, Casey, was challenging, to put it mildly, and just like many pet parents we knew nothing about dogs so I went to the library and read as much as I could on dog training.  I, then, realized that I needed to get Casey enrolled in an Obedience Class and find the right trainer for him.  The first trainer did not work out because she had a very high pitch voice and Casey would get scared, so we tried a second trainer, Janet Bennett, and she was perfect for us.  Casey got his first report card for completing Basic Obedience I on April, 27, 2002 and I was so happy that, only pet parents will be able to understand this, it trumped getting my MBA.  Don’t take me wrong, I was extremely happy when I got my MBA, but that first report card made me ecstatic.  I worked so hard and so long with Casey and I enjoyed the classes so much that I took with Casey: Obedience I, Obedience II, and Canine Good Citizen with the same trainer, Janet Bennett.

report card casey n alex back page

In late 2002, we added a new member to our family, Alex, and she got her Obedience I on September 4, 2003 with the same trainer.  As you can see based on the report cards, Alex did better than Casey.  And you know what’s funny?  I worked longer with Casey than Alex.

After taking a total of four (4) classes with my dogs, were they perfect?  No, but they were certainly more manageable and we enjoyed having them.  The point of training is, at least for me, to be able to enjoy, manage, and provide structure for your dog.  Once you have taken your dog for some training, make sure that you incorporate that training into her everyday life/routine so there’s no excuse like, “I don’t have time to train my dog.”

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By the way, the only time I tell a pet parent to hold on training is when behavior needs to be address first, or there are medical issues the dog is going through and need to be resolved.

Janet Bennett passed away a couple of years ago, but I admired how she commanded a room and trained dogs so much that after thinking about it for the last couple of years, I decided to work on getting my Dog Trainer Certificate.  I am very excited about embarking in this new endeavor so wish me luck and have a great weekend.

Before I forget, Precious Pet Cottage does not offer training anymore and I don’t get paid to mention them.