Tag Archives: Pet

Exercising Alex, My Senior Dog

exercisesenior1The above body language from Alex signals to me that she is ready to go around me making a circle while on a retractable leash a couple of times.  Oh boy, every time she does that I am dizzy, but I know she loves it.

Alex is 11 1/2 years old, and even at that age she is a very active senior dog.  After she got over her sprain, I started to walk her a little more each time and lately we have been taking walks 45 – 60 minutes long.  And you know what?  When we come home she runs around the house like the walk did nothing to her.  This past weekend she ran around me at full speed and fell down hard.  Yes, you guessed it.  She sprained her leg again, therefore she’ll be out of commission for a couple of weeks, yes, again.

Alex

Alex

Alex, to me, is the epitome of what an active dog is all about, but I know that she should not run like she used to so  I’ll do my best to stop her from running at full speed, and I’ll start looking for places that offer canine hydrotherapy.

I am a huge advocate for keeping dogs active, but make sure that your canine companion is not overdoing it, like in Alex’s case.  Even dogs that are very active will slow down as they age.  The goal is to fulfill your dog by tailoring exercise, diet, naps, etc., according to his age and needs.

IMG_4981My girl’s favorite pastime now is taking long naps, and my job now is making sure that she is comfortable, relaxed, and healthy.  Enjoy your senior dogs and have a great week.

Keep Your Senior Dog Active

During our last visit to Alex’s vet, one thing that resonated with me was the vet’s advice to keep my senior canine companion active.  I told the vet that since she put Alex on supplements for joints, Alex does not limp at all and walks without a problem.  There are times when she has so much energy, yes at 11 1/2 years old, that she runs back and forth inside the house.  This is my cue to increase the walks.

activesenior1But, I am also very vigilant regarding signs/cues that on occasions she displays that tells me that I need to make the walks shorter and perhaps more frequent.  Alex was only walking a maximum of  about 30 minutes right after she was put on supplements, but now she can easily walk as much and as long as she used to do before, but I don’t let her over do it.

activesenior2Today, Saturday, Alex and I went to a pet store in Annapolis, MD and after that we went to PetSmart to get her food and some treats which kept us out for a couple of hours.  She had her morning walk, but not her evening walk because she looked tired.  I had her pose for this picture with one condition.

activesenior3The condition was that she would have some time to “explore” the area without having me rush her.

Keep your senior dog active, but don’t over do it.  The key is, like in almost everything in life, moderation.  If ever in doubt, ask your dog’s vet.

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.”

report card casey n alex front page

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.

Busy Week at Alex’s Place

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This week has been pretty busy and we’ve had 2 new furry companions: Bear and Bingo.  Our first one is this handsome 2 1/2-year-old boy, Bear.  I think he might be the biggest dog we’ve taken care of so far.  Because of his size, he is quite impressive, but he is very affectionate and playful.

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To give you an idea of how big Bear really is, I asked Cynthia to take a picture of his paw next to my hand.  Could you believe the size of his paw?

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Our second new comer is a cute 14 year old lab named Bingo.  He is not playful, but he is an amazing dog.  He reminds me of my Alex a lot, therefore I’d have to say that my opinion is one that is not truly fair but rather biased.

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Bear with a frequent visitor, Roxy.  She usually likes small male dogs, but for some odd reason she warmed up to Bear pretty fast.  Cute couple.

Even though this was a pretty busy week, I enjoyed it because I got to see how much dogs differ from one another, and I got to spend time with them.  I’d like to call them my peeps, but that is for humans.  What word could I use to call them my peeps?  What would you suggest?

July 4th Weekend With My Furry Companions

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I took this picture while Dieter and Alex were asleep, but the flash woke up Dieter.  Alex is so used to it that she can sleep right through it.  This 4th of July was uneventful and enjoyable.  Uneventful because nothing out of the ordinary happened, and enjoyable because even though we were able to hear the fireworks from Ft. Meade, Alex and Dieter only barked once and after that they went to their beds to sleep.

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Bella and Milo, from left to right, were not as cooperative for this photo shoot as Dieter and Alex were, therefore I had to put a collar and leash on Milo.  Because the temperature will be pretty high this weekend, we’ll take Bella and Milo for some mini-walks rather than 2 long walks.  Make sure that you adjust your walks based on your dog’s age, activity level, weight, and of course, weather.  Happy 4th of July weekend to all pet parents and their canine companions.

Introducing Dieter, A Cute Vizsla

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This is Dieter, a 2 1/2 year old Vizsla.  When he is in his bed, he looks smaller than Alex.  He was asleep, but woke up when he saw the flash.  I know, I know, I should have let him sleep, but he is too cute not to photograph.

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Alex is so used to us taking pictures that not even the flash of the camera faces her anymore.  This is what they look like after our morning walk, relaxed and a little tired.

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I guess Dieter lost interest in the flash from the camera so he is about to fall asleep.  In a couple of minutes, breakfast time.

Dogs Exchanging Beds

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Can you see Dexter on his big, comfortable bed?  When I started pet sitting, a couple of years ago, I was obsessed with making the dogs that stayed with us use only their bed, but as time went by, I realized that they many times exchanged beds.

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Now, can you see Dexter on this little bed?  That bed was for Roxy to use, but I guess Dexter decided that this would be a better fit for him.  I think Roxy is just in shock.

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Now, Sarris is, for the most part, in her bed, the one she is occupying in the picture or Dexter’s big bed.  She does not care for that little bed.  Smart girl.  If you have multiple dogs, do they exchange beds too?