Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dog Owner Injuries-What Happens to the Dogs??

This has been the most boring month ever! Jenn was in an accident, she hit her head and fractured her ribs and has spent most of the past few weeks recovering and resting. Resting??!! Bor-ing! Resting is just not in a herding dog's vocabulary. And it was kind of freaky to watch Jenn walk slow and weird. We had to be really careful not to bump her or jump up. So, Jet and I have been spending lots of time looking really bored.
Eric's been taking care of us, and no offense, but Jet, Bernie and I cannot wait for Jenn to get back to her normal self. She keeps us all very active with play and training, and fun stuff. So, we've had to adjust to new routines and less activity, at least for a while. So what happens with your dogs if you can't care for them? It's really smart to think ahead and have a plan in place for what you would need to do in the event that you can't care for your dogs.

Here are a couple of tips that can help prepare your dog if you get hurt:

Staying with Friends-Your dog may need to stay with other humans for a while. Eric had to be with Jenn at the hospital and then care for her when she came home. This didn't leave him much time to care for three dogs. So, Bernie stayed with their friend Laura for the first week after the accident. This made things much easier for Eric to manage (taking care of two dogs instead of three). You should have a plan in place for where your dogs would go if you got hurt (with trusted friends, a local kennel, etc.)

Separation from You is OK-It is really important that your dog can function independently from you. If your dog can't function without you, that leaves them completely lost if you get hurt. It becomes very important that other humans can walk us, feed us, care for us. So, it's a good idea to teach your dog to listen and respond to other humans, not just you. Even just establishing a nice relationship between your dog and your neighbors, so if they ever have to come in a let the dogs out in an emergency, the dogs won't freak out. And your dog should learn from puppyhood that being alone is OK.

Leash Manners-I cannot overemphasize the importance of teaching your dog to walk politely on leash. Since leash walking is pretty much the only exercise we are able to get while Jenn is out of commission (no dog park, no play times), it is really vital that someone other than Jenn could take us for a walk, including family members and friends. Please see my previous posts on polite leash walking for more info.
Mental Games, Toys, and Bones-Thank goodness for mental activity! If your usually high drive, high energy dog has to adjust to a new, low key routine, you really need to give them stuff to do. We have lots of mental toys to work on and Jenn had lots of raw marrow bones in the freezer for us to chew on when we needed something to do. Here are more of Jenn's suggestions for good quality mental toys: Recommended Mental Toys

So, there are a few tips for preparing you and your dog for what happens if you get hurt. You may not want to think about it, but it is such a good idea to have some plans in place ahead of time.

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