Monday, August 17, 2009

Best New Product-The Thundershirt

Do I look cool or what? This is my Thundershirt and besides that fact that I look very handsome, the Thundershirt helps me chill out during thunderstorms.
Yikes!! A few months ago, I got a little clingy during storms. Big Sandy has been acting more nervous during storms as she gets older and Jenn thinks that I may have learned worried behavior from her. Over the winter, I had forgotten that they are no big deal and it felt safer to try to get into Jenn's lap. I would start to pant, my eyes would dilate and I would do all kinds of stress signs like yawning, shaking off, and salivating a lot during the storm. I just got totally stressed out!

Jenn didn't want to coddle me during storms. She wanted me to learn confidence so that I could handle them on my own and handle them when she is not around. Like a big boy. Here's what Jenn did for me to help me chill out during storms:

1. Before the storm arrives, Jenn gives me a special project. She'll stuff a Kong or get me working on one of my puzzle toys. This helps me keep my stress level manageable and changes my association to storms from bad to good.

2. She puts on a body wrap, a.k.a. the Thundershirt. The Thundershirt calms me by creating gentle pressure on my body. I can focus on myself instead of what is going on around me.

Check out this video on a recent experience during a thunderstorm
video
If your dog has anxiety about noises and storms, you may want to start some easy association exercises and give the Thundershirt a try. It even has a money back guarantee. Sometimes, is also helps to work with a certified pet dog trainer that can help you develop a plan to help your dog get over his/her fears.

You can read more about the Thundershirt and why it works here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Acupuncture for what ails you (and your dog)

Once a month, Big Sandy gets her acupuncture treatment from Dr. Tina Becker. Now why would a dog get needles stuck in them? Well, acupuncture can be a very effective way to manage pain, boost the immune system, and help older dogs feel better. Jenn's been doing acupuncture with Big Sandy so she doesn't have to go on pain medicines that have lots of side effects.

During an acupuncture session, Dr. Becker places small needles in particular places and then warms the needles up with moxa (which is the thing that looks like a big fat cigar in the above photo). The process takes about an hour and Big Sandy gets all sleepy eyed. Sometimes Dr. Becker will concentrate on particular areas on Big Sandy to influence the kidneys or to alleviate pain in her achy legs. All I know is our old girl sure feels better after her treatments.

You can learn more about acupuncture for your animals here and find a veterinarian near you that practices acupuncture here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Ode to Older Dogs

Jenn wrote a special article about Big Sandy and the special experience of appreciating older dogs. The BS has been having some good weeks. She is moving well, and feeling good. I'm happy that she is feeling OK.
You can check out Jenn's article, which was published online by the Independent in the Pet Issue. Click here.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Warning! Royal Tripping Hazard!

Well, there I was, standing in the kitchen minding my own business. And here comes Jenn carrying her breakfast and apparently she didn't see me. Although I'm not quite sure how that is possible. Anyway, she proceeds to fall over me, head over heels and breakfast goes flying. She lands on her butt and I just stood there wondering how she managed that. Frankly, I was just an innocent bystander in the melee. You can use your imagination with the above picture.

Monday, August 3, 2009

4-H Paws 'N Pals

Jenn's been very busy lately training everyone but me! Unbelievable. She's been in Maryland teaching classes and workshops for the 4-H Paws 'N Pals club. This club promotes reward based training and fun dog related activities for 4-Hers. Jenn taught a beginner Rally class and a Tellington TTouch demo using Bernie as her demo dog. As if! Surely, I could be so much more dramatic and exciting than Bernie. Look at him! Boring! Doing everything in a calm, thoughtful way and being so cooperative. Here's Jenn getting the Rally class to practice footwork without their dogs. Then the kids learned some basic Rally signs and got to practice a Rally course.
Jenn was happy that so many people came out to the 4-H meeting and her TTouch demo.She talked the kids and their parents through some slides, lifts and touches.Check out the 4-H Paws 'N Pals website here.