Tag Archives: Stoughton

Abby Paying Her Bills In Person

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Abby, “Mom, do I really have to pay my bills on time?”

Abby was pretty surprised when I told her that she needed to go in person and pay her water/sewage/garbage bill.  As you can see, she was so bothered by it that she was giving me the cold shoulder.  What a brat!  I wanted to be mad at her, but she looked so cute wearing that sweater that all I did was smile.

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Abby, “Ok mom, let’s go home. I dropped off the check.”

And so Abby paid her utility bill, posed for this picture, and we headed back home.  Abby goes every where I am able to take her.  That’s the only way your canine companion can get used to different noises, people, cars, etc.  What places are you able to take your dog to?

Dog Behavior And Walking Your Dog

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This picture was taken in DC. From L to R: My Alex, yours truly, Sarris, and Dozer.

When I do a consultation, the first thing I want is for the pet parent to tell me what issues his dog is exhibiting and what is it that they want to accomplish.  Once they do that, usually my first question is: how many times a day do you walk your dog and for how long?  Some pet parents look at me a little funny, but what they don’t know is that providing a dog with physical and mental stimulation makes a difference between having a balanced dog or a nightmare of a dog.

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A beautiful day in DC.

A walk, as I tell all my clients, is to be a structured walk.  What do I mean by that?  Your dog needs to be on your right or left side, not ahead of you and not smelling every single thing on his/her path.  In the above picture, I am walking 3 dogs, from left to right: Dozer, a Doberman Pinscher mix; Sarris, a Weimaraner; and my Alex, a pit bull mix.  All of them are walking beside me not ahead of me.  Walking is draining them physically, and walking while paying attention to what I am doing and I want is draining them mentally.  When we got home, they were all out like a light.  Well, to be quite honest, I took a nap too.

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Alex, “Mom, I think someone is taking our picture.”

I’ve written a few times about the importance of walking your dog, and do you know why?  Because some, if not a lot, of the behavioral problems exhibited by dogs are the result of a lack of physical and mental exercise.  In the above picture, they are all alert but calm.  That you’ll get from your dog if you take the time to walk him/her.  Before I forget; walking is an excellent exercise for us pet parents.  So go out and walk your dog:-)

My Love Affair With All My Canine Companions

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Alex, Sarris, and Dexter (Left to Right)

When I was a child living in Ecuador, dogs, as well as a menagerie of animals that belonged to my grandmother, were part of my every day life.  What I didn’t know then was how important dogs would be in my life and how much they would teach me about love, patience, determination, and so much more.

My love affair with dogs started with a funny looking dog that belonged to my mom.  His name was Bambino and although my sister said that he was ugly, to me he was a handsome dog.  I’d take him for walks; pick him up and cuddle him like a baby; and take him to the beach.  One day a dog attacked him and severed his spine so my mom had to put him down.  My whole family cried.  But, and this did surprised me, although he was not my dog I was heartbroken.  So much so that I made a promise to myself, “I will never get another dog because I don’t want to have my heart broken, period.”

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Alex, Sarris and Dexter, “Are we eating any time soon?”

10 long years went by and I kept my promise, but this changed on a trip to Ecuador.  Cynthia felt in love with a puppy that we named Casey, and although I tried to dissuade her from taking this tiny ball of fur with us she would not budge, and so my love affair with dogs resumed.  I am not going to lie, I’ve had my heart broken multiple times since then, and I’ve felt the loss of all those canine companions I met along the way, both the ones that were mine and those that belonged to my clients, but you know what?  The only thing I regret is waiting 10 years to get a dog.  Funny, or ironic, depending on how you look at it.  I’d rather go through the pain that I know I will face every time I lose a dog rather than not having one in my life.

Shopping At Home Depot With Abby

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Abby, “Excuse me. Could someone help us find some tools?”

Moving is always hectic and time consuming and we’ve been busy unpacking, cleaning, buying things for our new place and much more.  Home Depot is one of the places we’ve been going to lately a lot so we take Abby with us to expose her to new people, environment, sounds, etc.

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Abby, “Moms, someone is coming to help us in a minute.”

Abby got to work that day by trying to get someone to come and help us find a few items we needed to buy.  It was Saturday, so everybody was busy trying to help customers.  We had a secret weapon, Abby.  They all wanted to pet her.

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Abby, “Ok moms, tell me what you need so I can grab it for you.”

Abby is a pretty young pup, but I always tell pet parents that regardless of their dogs’ age, make sure that they expose them to as many things as possible.  She loved getting attention from employees and customers alike.

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Abby, “Moms, I found it.”

Taking Abby to Home Depot involved physical exercise as well as mental exercise.  How’s that?  We practiced behavior and training, along with being exposed to new smells.  If you pay attention to your dog, you’ll see that anytime you take him to a new place he comes home exhausted.  That’s because a new place for a dog is tiring even if he was only there for 10 to 15 minutes.

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Abby, “Mom, that’s the one. I told you I’d find it for you.”

Cynthia loves to go to Home Depot and I think Abby, her assistant, does too.  Once we got home, she slept for a couple of hours.  I love to take Abby everywhere, and right now I am trying to figure out where else I can take her.  Any suggestions?

Raising Abby To Be A Balanced Dog

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Abby, “Mom, why are they making so much noise?”

To say that I do my best to take Abby every place I can would be an understatement.  Here are some of the things I do with her:

  1. Since I hate with a passion going to the supermarket, while Cynthia goes shopping for groceries, Abby and I go to explore the neighborhood.
  2. Abby accompanies me to walk my clients’ dogs.  Hmm!  Let me rephrase that, Abby accompanies me to walk our clients’ dogs.
  3. I take her to different areas so she can see, hear, and smell a different environment other than the one around our apartment.
  4. Abby, in the near future, will be going with me on consultations, training and behavior modification sessions.
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Abby, “Mom, I can’t find any treats in this area. How come?”

Abby has a long way to go when it comes to behavior modification for let’s remember that she is only a puppy, but I don’t want to wait until she is bigger, stronger, and a total pain in the neck.  She makes a lot of mistakes.  Way more than my Alex ever did, but as I tell pet parents over and over again, “Every dog is an individual and as such they learn at their own pace.”  I do like the improvement I see in her, but that took a lot of work and patience and we have a long road ahead of us, but that’s fine.

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Abby, “Got to get my beauty sleep.”

After we get back home, Abby walks around the apartment for a couple of minutes, and since she doesn’t know how to stop – she hasn’t found her off button – I tell her to go to bed and within minutes, not seconds, she is out like a light.  What a hard working puppy I have.  Enjoy your week.