Tag Archives: Stoughton

Abby + Backpack = Good Girl

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Abby is 2 1/2 years old and what I’ve found out is that she does well when she wears a backpack because it gives her a job to do, carrying things, while she exercises, and as a result she seems to be more relaxed.  The first time I saw her with a backpack I couldn’t stop smiling.  I think she looks adorable.  Then again, I am biased since I am her mom.

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Since she is part Beagle, she gets to use her nose for a bit although I think something got her attention in the above picture.

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I’ve never had a dog like Abby.  What do I mean by that?  She is the first canine kid that needs a lot of structure in order to be a balanced dog.  But you know what?  She is certainly keeping me on my toes and teaching me a lot about dogs.  Like I said many times, dog are great teachers.  What is your dog teaching you?

Abby in Salem, MA

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Since Nina, one of Abby’s friends, believes that there are ghosts in Stoughton, MA, Abby decided to take a trip to Salem, MA and see if she could find some witches.  You know what?  She did.  The statue behind us is that of Elizabeth Montgomery who played Samantha in Bewitched.  When I was a kid in Ecuador, I used to love that show.  And by the way, that’s the reason why I have a smile from ear to ear.  I got to “see” Samantha.

salem22017The day was gorgeous, sunny and warm, and so we walked and explored.  Aside from that, Abby got to work on behavior modification.  How?  By meeting people while being calm, and also seeing a few dogs and not pulling us to meet such dogs.  She is also getting used to walking amongst crowds of people.

salem32017Another thing I got Abby to experience was walking slowly on a bench.  What’s the big deal?  Well, this bench had a lot of space between boards and Abby had to learn to position her cute paws and walk on it without much hesitation or fear.  You see?  A nice outing while working on behavior modification.  That’s what I call a win-win for our pack.

Are There Ghosts In Stoughton, MA?

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Abby, “I heard something, but I don’t see anybody around”. Nina, “I don’t like this”.

Nina, the cutie pie on the left, comes to hang out with Abby sometimes, and walks are always on Abby’s schedule.  Today we had some rain so we took a late morning walk.

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Abby, “I told you I heard something. Could that be a ghost?”

I don’t know exactly what they heard, but they both turned their heads at the same time.  Let’s remember they can hear better than us, humans.  Our walk was an hour long and we all enjoyed it.

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Nina, “I don’t know about you, but I am leaving. There may be ghosts around here.

Are there ghosts in Stoughton, MA?  I don’t know, but Nina certainly didn’t want to stick around to find out.  Smart girl.  I may need to have Abby’s ears checked by the vet since she didn’t even move.  What do you think?

My Hard Working Abby

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Were you wondering what Abby was up to this morning?  My hard working girl was walking this gorgeous pit bull, Champagne, and they were both gracious enough to pose for this picture.  Ok., more like a miracle.  I took this picture when we were into our 30 minute walk.  By the way, they are both wearing a Gentle Leader.  Great tool.

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What happened to Champagne after our walk?  She was out like a light.  And that was all Abby’s doing.  As you can see, Abby is an excellent member of the pack.  Why?  Because she showed Champagne how to walk next to me without pulling me all over the place.

Busy Dog = Happy Dog

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This morning I told Abby, “We have to go to drop off some mail at the post office.  But, this time you, meaning Abby, will be carrying all 30 envelopes”.  She looked at me with a surprised look.  Yes, like the one above.

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Since Abby “agreed” to carry all 30 envelopes, I decided that as a reward she could smell the flowers – I know there are no flowers in the picture – which she loves to do.  Let’s remember she is part Beagle.

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Abby was so good that she even posed for this picture.  I do my best to give Abby a job.  Why?  Because as a pet parent, I need and have to make sure that her needs are met.  Going to the post office took us almost an hour.  Once we got home, she drank some water and fell asleep.  Like I said, “Busy Dog = Happy Dog”.

Dog Backpack And Its Benefits

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I’ve been asked many times by pet parents, “What can I do to drain some of my dog’s energy?”  One of the things, there are a few, that I recommend to use is a dog backpack.  Here are some of my reasons:

  • A backpack will give your dog a job to do
  • It will drain your dog’s energy faster than just walking
  • It can hold treats, bags, water, etc.  (Please don’t over load it)
  • Your dog will look adorable

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Before you go out and get a backpack, please remember the following:

  1. Ask your vet if your dog should wear a backpack.  Senior, puppies, sick and dogs that are recuperating from an illness or surgery should Not wear one until your vet gives you her ok.
  2. Do not overload the backpack.  Start with nothing in it and then add light objects.
  3. Make the walk shorter until your dog gets used to walking with a loaded backpack.

Abby, in my opinion, looks adorable, but then I am her mom.  Does your dog wear a backpack?

Canine Behavior and Pit Bulls

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By the way, the reason why I picked pit bulls as part of my title is because of the bad, perhaps terrible, reputation they have.  In the above picture, there are two pit bulls: the grey one is Kingston; and my girl, Alex a pit mix, is behind Kingston.  Any dog, regardless of his breed can be a balanced dog or a horrible dog.  Many times the choice is up to the pet parent.

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Yes, for the most part, a dog’s behavior is greatly determined and affected by the pet parent.  Also, remember that there is always that exception.  Whether you have a pit bull or a lab, make sure that you find the right person to help you have a balanced dog.  Dogs are amazing teachers, and I can tell you from personal experience that they will teach you many things, patience being at the very top of my list.

Abby Went to Harvard

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Who said Harvard is only for humans?  We took Abby this past weekend to Harvard to walk, do some sightseeing, take pictures and, of course, continue working on her commands and behavior.  How did she do?  Not bad.

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The day was beautiful but because Abby is dark and part Bulldog, I had to stop for breaks so she wouldn’t overheat.  This is very important specially for those pet parents that have dogs with dark fur:-)

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We were hanging around the library, and after a break Abby got her second wind and decided to run around like a looney, of course, attracting the stares of those passing by.  As you can see, she didn’t have a care in the world.  A lesson for us, humans, to learn from our doggies.

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After all that running, it was time to hydrate and relax for a bit.  We then headed home for a late lunch and a nap.  What a hard life we have.

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:-)