Friday, December 19, 2008

Going on a Safe and Happy Holiday!

We're going to see Eric's parents on a holiday trip! I've only been to their house once and I was three months old at the time. This time I'm an adult with Big Sandy and Bernie going with us too. Jenn is going to help me be a good guest so they will invite me back again. I guess that means that I shouldn't lift my leg and leave my mark all over their house like I did at Jenn's parents. I have a feeling that people will be watching me the whole time and not letting me get away with anything. Hmph! No fun.

Traveling with your pet takes extra thought and planning as Jenn and Eric have been doing. You need to think about feeding us, taking crates, taking chew toys and mental toys, and planning to keep us well exercised.

DIET It's a good idea to keep your pets on their normal diet while traveling and being a guest to avoid stomach upset. It's also not a good idea to give us too many holiday goodies. I'm sure that last thing anyone wants to deal with is doggie diarhhea at your in-laws. Jenn definitely doesn't want to experience that.

CONTAINMENT/SUPERVISION Be sure to take sturdy crates with you so your dog can travel in safety in your vehicle and so that you will have a way to contain them wherever you are visiting. Crates also serve as a quiet place for your pet to retreat to if they want some alone time and keeps your pet out of harms way when you can't supervise them. That will help me not get into things like the tree and the tinsel and the presents, etc. There are lots of holiday hazards that puppies can get into so be careful and supervise, supervise, supervise.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL EXERCISE Tired dogs make the best house guests. Jenn knows there are nice walking trails nearby where we can go everyday on our holiday and that we will be walking many miles. Try to keep up with your dog's exercise routines while you are traveling so that your dog will be a calmer, less anxious guest. Additional exercise will keep down stress levels. Take mental activity toys with you so you can give your dog something to do when they need it.
And lastly and most importantly, don't forget to have your pet's ID tags on wherever you go. So, lets see if Jenn follows her own advice on our holiday. I'm looking forward to all the excitement of traveling! For more holiday pet safety tips, click here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I have fleas!

So I've been feeling great this week, back to normal after my neuter surgery. But I started scratching the other day, not thinking much about it other than the itches kept itching. Jenn didn't seem to think much of it either saying maybe my skin might be a little dry. But Big Sandy scratched so much she lost some hair on her back and Jenn found out she has flea allergy dermatitis, a condition that occurs from a flea bite. Some dogs are allergic to the flea's saliva and even one flea can have a dog miserable with scratching in no time flat. The skin becomes very sore and can get crusty and oozy. Yuck!

Jenn got pretty upset at that point, saying that fleas have never been a problem before since she and Eric keep things pretty clean with vacuuming, they wash our beds regularly, and we dogs get dietary supplements like garlic and brewer's yeast that keep fleas away. But sometimes, especially someplace warm and humid like North Carolina, you can get fleas anytime, anywhere. And we've had lots of warm, wet weather, there you go.

So, Jenn decided to refresh her memory on fleas in general, their life cycles, using natural products, cleaning routines, and dietary supplements to make our house a
"no vacancy" zone for fleas. If you want to learn more about controlling fleas in your house naturally, click here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm feeling better all the time...

It's been two days since my surgery and I'm feeling so much better. I'm not as tired or sore, but I've been sleeping a lot. Jenn took me for a walk this morning and it was nice to get out and stretch my legs. Jenn's also been giving me lots of TTouches to support and help my body heal. Jenn's teaching a TTouch workshop on Sunday afternoon so you can learn some of these techniques too. Check out her website for more info. TTouch is useful all sorts of health and behavioral issues and there is a great video clip on YouTube on using TTouch to help animals recover from injuries or surgeries. Click here

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My First Full Day as a Neutered Dog

I'm feeling sore today and a little tired and confused. Jenn says this is normal for a dog post-neuter. I didn't feel much like eating until this morning. Recovering from any surgery can be disorienting and while my body heals, I have to take it easy. I don't have any external stitches since the incision was small and sealed with a special medical adhesive. But there are internal stitches and it is very important that I don't pop a stitch being too active. That could be trouble. I shouldn't run or jump and every time I go outside, I have to be on a leash. I can't run or play for about a week. Luckily, I don't have to wear that cone unless I'm left alone. That thing is horrible.

My girlfriend Ayla sent me a "get well" card today. That was very nice of her. It made me feel a lot better.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm neutered and a conehead...

This morning I had my neuter surgery. OK, so this wasn't my best day. I'm feeling sore and sleepy and I have to wear this plastic cone on my head to keep me from licking. Jenn says that I have to take it easy for a week. A week? Without dog park and playtime? You can't be serious. Well, I going to rest up so I will feel better.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My First Parade!

Yesterday, I marched with the Drill Team in the Hillsborough Holiday Parade. This was my very first parade experience and it was most exciting. Bernie was in the parade too with Laura and so were my girlfriends Niamh and Ayla. We all got to wear special bandannas that Barbara, our Drill Team captain and Niamh's person, gave us. We waited forever for things to get started and I wanted to earn that chicken in Jenn's treat pouch. There were all sorts of cars, trucks, horses and groups of people all around us.
All the Drill Team got in line and marched down Churton Street and I could not believe all the people and noises. There was a loud red truck just behind with lights and a siren blaring. It was very loud with crackling sounds which scared all the dogs, me included. Jenn kept feeding me chicken and that made everything OK and off we marched.We did all our Drill Team moves as we marched, showing off our skills. I gave Jenn great attention but decided that laying down was just too boring. So, I didn't quite get that part to Jenn's liking. The rest of the Drill Team looked great and no one seemed to mind my silliness.
Jenn said she was so proud of me. Check out the Drill Team parade video and see me strut my stuff!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Jenn's on TV!

Jenn was on TV helping a Sheltie named Mali and her family. Mali likes to chase cars and reflections and some other not-so-good behaviors that were getting her into trouble. I totally understand being a herding dog and wanting to chase interesting things, but chasing cars is dangerous. Jenn showed the family how to give Mali other jobs to do and how to change her behavior with the help of the clicker.

Check out Jenn's video on the WRAL Bad Dog Challenge here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Playtime with Niamh

I got to play with my girlfriend Niamh in the park yesterday. She is so fun to chase.We both got a good workout running around this way and that way.Jenn says Niamh does such a good job telling me off when I try to sniff her in private places. I guess I can be a pretty rude boy sometimes. Jenn says my neuter surgery will help with that and that other dogs will like me even more after my hormones calm down. Niamh and my other girlfriend Ayla are going to come over to my house for a playdate tomorrow. We all need a good workout before we march in the Hillsborough Holiday Parade. This will be my first parade and it should be so exciting.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

You're going to do what??? Neuter!!

Neuter! Jenn says that neutering will be a good thing, particularly after my randy, rowdy behavior over the food holiday. Oh really!! She says that dogs that are neutered:
  1. Have reduced desire to roam and mark-I won't want to spread my scent as much (especially around Jenn's mom and dad) or track down females in heat
  2. Have reduced desire to mount-so I won't bother Big Sandy and the other girls as much
  3. Increases concentration-some dogs find it easier to work and learn after neutering
  4. Can have decreases in dog/dog aggression-though this varies with the individual
  5. Have fewer prostate problems, fewer hernias, and no testicular tumors
What neutering won't do:
  1. It won't change my friendly, happy personality-I'll still be me
  2. It won't make me a wimp-if anything, being neutered will help me avoid situations where other male dogs find me threatening (because of my hormones)
  3. It won't make me fat-my metabolism will still be high as long as I'm kept active
It certainly would be nice to have a clear head and concentrate on other things, like learning new things, making new friends, and earning more clicks and treats. I guess it won't be so bad.

To learn more about the benefits of spaying/neutering, click here.