Tag Archives: Pets

Alex Sunbathing

Alex loves to sunbathe regardless of what time of the year it is.  You look at her and she seems to be in heaven.

wed1Dogs with short hair like Alex tend to get cold very easy and maybe because of that they crave the sun.  I was reading not too long ago about senior dogs, now one of my many favorite subjects since Alex is a senior doggie, that discussed things that senior dogs should do such as: exercise, proper diet, message, and sunbathing, to name a few.  I remember the article about sunbathing because Alex enjoys doing that, and according to what I read sunbathing is good for them because it gives them a, “healthy boost of sunshine into their systems.”  If you want to read more about it, check out this website,  http://www.pekinews.com/why-do-dogs-like-to-sunbathe-the-reason-behind-your-pekingeses-sunbathing/

wed2Now that the days are pretty cold, Alex prefers to sunbathe inside by the sliding doors.  What a life!  Enjoy the rest of your week.

Luca Passed His Canine Good Citizen Exam

I met Luca, a tall and handsome GSD mix, a little over a year ago, and he was a very challenging dog because he seemed to be afraid of so many things.  His pet parents worked with him under the guidance of a trainer, and the “new” Luca is so different from the dog I met a year ago.

20131004_113437Isn’t he handsome?  I took this picture during one of our many walks in Crofton.  Luca’s pet parents put a lot of work with him, along with patience, consistency, and money, of course, but I do believe it paid off.

20131103_124753Today, Sunday, Luca and his mom Holly took and passed the Canine Good Citizen exam, and I was able to see them in action and provide moral support, although between you and me I don’t think they needed it, but I went anyway.  I was so proud of him, of his mom too, let me not forget that, that I think I squeezed her arm a little too tight.  Sorry about that Holly, but I was just so happy to see them work together so well.

20131103_133606After I congratulated both Holly and Luca for passing the CGC exam, I went home and took out my girl, Alex, to stretch her legs for a while.  By the way, I think, I might be wrong, but I doubt it, that the sweater that she is wearing is the first one that she actually likes.

Whatever you decide to do with your dog regarding, training, exercise, behavior, etc., make sure that you set up your dog for success.  Work with reputable trainers, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Have a great Sunday.

Roxy, Treats, And Her Bed

Roxy comes very often to stay with us and for some reason she used to shake uncontrollably when it was time to go to bed.  She loves treats so I decided to use that and see how she responded.

IMG_5474We started by doing the following:

  • Lured her to bed by showing her a treat
  • Once in bed, she got a treat
  • While Cynthia put a leash and collar I continued to give her treats.  We had to do that otherwise she’d walk our bedroom the entire night and this only adds to more anxiety
  • I then said to her, “good night,” and gave her one last treat

IMG_4436We did this every time she stayed with us and you know what?  It worked.  About 2 days ago, I went to brush my teeth and as I was exiting the bathroom I saw something small and dark curled up in her bed, the bedroom is right next to the bathroom, and to my surprise it was Roxy.  Wow!  She went to bed all by herself.

If your dog has “issues” like cute Roxy, remember the following:

  1. First, figure out what she loves/likes best and use that to train her
  2.  Do not train her when you are angry or anxious, and make the experience pleasant and short.
  3. She was tethered to a 6 ft leash allowing her to move comfortably.  Do not leave a dog unattended.  We do this because she is in the same room with us just a few feet away from our bed

My next goal is to teach her to use a crate.  Just like with the bed, if Roxy is put in a crate she shakes like crazy.  I wanted to teach her to use a bed before using a crate.  Train your dog little by little.  There is no point nor need to stress your dog out.  Every dog is different, therefore please remember that when training or teaching your dog a new trick or behavior.  Go slowly, and take my word for it, it’ll pay off.  Have fun training your canine companion.

Cold Weather Is On Its Way

I used to love tropical weather for many years, on my defense I’d like to say that I grew up about 10 minutes from the beach so hot weather and fun went hand in hand, but now I prefer any season except for Summer.  Could you believe that?

justalex2This is what Alex wears when the weather starts to get chilly, but once it starts to get cold she wears 2 sweaters because she gets cold very easy.  When she was a puppy I took her out so she can see snow for the first time and play with our other dog, Casey.  She played for about 2 minutes or less, and then she started to shiver uncontrollably while looking at me as if trying to tell me, “Mom, I am freezing.”  I took her inside and she placed herself right next to a heating vent.

coldI love this time of the year when the days are sunny and a bit chilly.  Take your furry kids for walks, cold weather should not be a reason not to go out for a walk, but make sure that you and your canine companion are properly clothed.

Attack of The Kissing Dog – Alex

Years ago, I used to take Alex to a dog park in Annapolis, MD, but I realized very fast that it was a waste of time so I stopped doing it.

kiss1Why?  Because as soon as we got to the dog park she’d go to where all the pet parents were gathered rather than going to play with the other dogs.  Alex gets along with dogs, but since she was a puppy she seemed to prefer humans.

kiss2She enjoys getting attention from people and in return she gives them a lot of kisses, as you can see in this picture.

kiss3The only fear I have when Alex meets new people is that she will give them what I call a saliva bath.  My girl is more social than I am, but then again Alex is better in so many other things than I am and as such she is a great teacher.  Have a great week.

Going Back Home

Dexter, sitting pretty

Dexter, sitting pretty

Dexter was picked up by his mom this morning, and I finally remembered to ask her why does he like to sit pretty?  She said that he likes to sit pretty so he can get his belly rubbed.  The mystery was finally solved.

bckhome2Sarris will be picked up this evening.  She is one of the many dogs that I call, My Shadow, because she follows me everywhere.  But on her defense, I’d like to point out that Weimaraners are called Velcro Dogs because they love to be close to their human so I don’t hold it against her.  Actually, I find it funny because whenever I am doing chores she and my other shadow, Dexter, go up and down the stairs with me.  That is why when is time to go to sleep they are pretty tired.  Well, that and the walks/runs that they take with us during the day.

Sarris, Alex, and Dexter (L-R)

Sarris, Alex, and Dexter (L-R)

By the end of today, Alex, again, will be an only child, but she does not seem to mind at all.  Alex is the type of dog that can have other dogs living with her in peace, but can do just as well being the only canine kid.  That’s why I always say that she is perfect for me.  Enjoy your weekend.

Should I Run Or Walk My Dog?

Well, that is a question that can only be answered once all factors are considered about the dog in question, therefore I’ll use Alex and her canine buddies as examples.

runorwalk1

Until early last year, I used to get Alex to run once or twice a week, but I stopped because the walks we take every day seem to be enough for her, and because a couple of months ago she started to limp while we were walking.  I took her to the vet and she was given medication she has to take every day plus a lot of rest for a couple of weeks.  Now she is back to her usual self, but she’ll go for a follow-up with the vet next week.  What I do, since a lot of dogs have never run next to a bike, is get Alex to jog next to the bike I am riding for 1 minute or less.  Why?  I want the other dogs to see what she is doing and mimic that behavior.  Now, should Alex run or walk?  She should walk because she is a senior dog and she was already limping while walking with me.  By the way, this is how Alex and Dexter looked on Saturday, after a good run early in the morning.

runorwalk2

Sarris, unlike Alex, can run without a problem, but Sarris is also a younger dog.  I got her to run/jog for about 10 minutes, and after that we walked home.  She did not have a problem with the bike.  Actually, she seemed to enjoy running alongside me.  Should you run or walk Sarris?  Well, I think she should run 2 to 3 times a week and walk the rest of the week because she is an active young dog.

runorwalk3

Of course, they need a comfortable bed to rest after exercising so here they are, L – R, Dexter, Alex, and Sarris.  They were all ready for a nap.

runorwalk4

Dexter, the handsome boy all the way to the right, is about 2 1/2 years old and he is full of energy, therefore he can easily run every other day without a problem.  His mom told me that he did not like bikes, so I was really surprised when after walking with him for 5 minutes he had no problem at all running alongside my bike.  I was so happy and after a couple of minutes he tried to run fast, but I had to slow down because he is very strong and I did not want him to over do it.  We kept up a pretty nice pace, but we did not go fast.  Yes, Dexter should definitely run a few times a week.

Every dog is different and if you decide to try going for a run with your dog, please make sure to consider the following:

  • Age, weight, breed, and health of the dog – If unsure, talk to the vet
  • Weather – I go for a run early in the morning, 6am during the Summer
  • Distance – Do not make your dog run for more than 5 – 10 minutes at the beginning and increase the time little by little
  • At the beginning, try walking your dog next to the bike – Some dogs hate bikes
  • Always, after every run, check his pads to make sure they are not damaged

These are just a few suggestions to consider before taking your dog for a run.  Remember that going for a run with your dog is supposed to be enjoyable and good for both, you and your dog.  What do you do with your dog to help him burn some energy?

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.

intro2

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?

Saturday Morning After Our Walk

satmorning1Right after we got back from our walk this morning, Alex, Gir, and Ellie, not featured in the above picture, decided to relax while Cynthia cooked us breakfast.  Alex and Gir love to sunbathe as you can see here.  Ellie, on the other hand, preferred to be away from the sun since she is a black Labrador.

Ellie

Ellie

Right after breakfast, I took all of them out on the deck to relax for a bit.  Ellie, being that this is her first time with us, was very curious about our deck and explored, sniffed, and looked at everything she found on it.  After that, she decided to act as a guard dog, although I told her that there was no need for this is a very quiet place, but she insisted and now I know why.

satmorning3Alex and Gir were about to take a nap and someone had to be on guard, right?  Let me rephrase that, Alex was asleep and Gir was on its way to dream land as well.

satmorning4

Alex decided to move to the shaded area to continue her nap while Ellie, being the only responsible one of the bunch, continued to guard our home.

satmorning5Where is Gir?  Falling asleep again.  No wonder Ellie had to be awake.  The weather was beautiful this Saturday morning so spending some time on the deck was quite enjoyable.  Once we came in, they got some water and each one found their place or bed and took a nap.

A Lazy Sunday Afternoon

IMG_4981

Alex, enjoying a well deserved nap.  I envy her.  I have very sensitive ears and even though I am asleep I can hear almost everything that is going on around me.  But look at Alex.  She is out like a light.

IMG_4982

Oliver, a Lhasa Apso, is our guard dog.  He is the first one to bark when he hears something going on around the house.

IMG_4984

Walter, an Aussie, was the only one awake, but within 5 minutes he was also out like a light.  Enjoy this beautiful Sunday afternoon with your loved ones.