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Archive for November, 2011

Dogs Are Not Gifts

Nov 30, 2011

photoWith the holidays here, folks are shopping around for that very special gift for their loved ones and friends. And what better gift than the companionship a puppy can offer…but unfortunately, the timing just isn’t right. With all the activity on the agenda, we don’t always have time for a new roommate. Amongst the usual activities such as work and school, we are all occupied by festivities, shopping, and the family trips.

A life changer

A young puppy isn’t a gift- it’s a life changing partner that needs special attention and care. Consider what changes have to take place in a new home.
First, a person must reorganize their living style to accommodate a curious pup. That means that furniture may have to be moved. Dangerous items such as cleaners and electrical wires must be up and out of puppy reach, and they’ll also have to ensure the puppy has a good place to rest their paws.

The second step is going to be the most time consuming. Feeding and potty training aren’t included (just like batteries). So a puppy addition to the home now requires the proper training in order to keep the carpet clean for new guests that arrive for the celebration. Alongside that, a puppy also needs the proper training to ensure good behavior or they’ll stay mischievous for the rest of their lives.

Finally, the fun, but most important part is puppy attention. A puppy isn’t the kind of gift you get where you can say “Oh, thanks,” and hide it in the closet with a few other odd gifts. A puppy is a living, breathing, lovable creature that needs attention to help them develop and bond with their owner. Playtime, walkies, and exercise are just the basics of ensuring that the puppy has a good, loving home where they can grow and mature alongside their companion.

A time of stress

Not only are we stressed about the holidays, a puppy is stressed, too. Not just about the holidays (they don’t do much shopping of their own), but when you introduce a pup into a new home, everything is new and strange. It takes a lot of attention and nurturing to help a pup settle safely in their new home.

Also, with parties going on we don’t have time to keep an eye on everything. You may end up with that clever little rascal running about in the kitchen or dining room as they try to sneak a piece of what you have cooking. A puppy is far more sensitive to human food than an adult dog, and you don’t want them getting sick and ending up at the vet with an expensive emergency bill.

Puppies are not gifts

It is a sad thought, but most pups that are given as a holiday present don’t get to stay in their first home. Most are given away or are sent to animal shelters where they await a future home with another family who will hopefully have time to spend with them.

Needless to say, if you’re considering the option of a puppy as a gift- Don’t do it. A puppy is not a gift- their friendship is the gift. So take the time to consider how a puppy will change you or your friend’s life, and make sure that you are doing what is right for both your friend and the puppy.

If you really want to give somebody the companionship of a puppy, do it later when things have calmed down quite significantly. Take the time to plan things out. And after some thought, you might actually find out that they don’t have time to take proper care of a puppy. But, if it turns out they would like a puppy, when the time is right, a four-legged friend might just make your friend’s day. Your friend will be able to give that rascal the attention they deserve, and I’m sure the puppy will thank you for it, too.

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Pet Friendly Housing

Nov 28, 2011

photoPups are great companions, both lovable and loving. Unfortunately, housing situations for even the most lovable of pups and their owners can be fairly limited. While some home owners have the ability to have multiple pets in their house, the rest of us are limited by our landlord’s rules. Apartments, condos, and some homeowners associations enforce pet rules as well. While there is some housing that has that big “No dogs allowed” sign in the front, there are a few that allow pets- as long as you abide by the rules.

No means no

Just to start things off- If there is a “No dogs allowed” sign up front, don’t try to sneak little Fluffy in with you. You’ll just end up stressing yourself out or getting mad at Fluffy for doing what they do (bark at that cat in the window), and if (when is more likely) your landlord does find out, the best thing you can hope for is that they’ll make you pay a fine. If you aren’t that lucky, you’re gonna be looking for a new home soon- and it’ll be harder to get into a pet friendly location since you’ll have violated your lease terms by having a pet where you weren’t supposed to.

There are rules…

So why are there rules concerning pets? Most dog owners realize the responsibilities of dog ownership, but there are still those that don’t- hence a landlords concern- from cleaning up properly (picking up the puppy poop) to obnoxious barking and chewing, and even jumping up on children or neighbors. In truth, these concerns are valid, since no one wants to be kept up all night by the howling of a lonely pup. Of course, these concerns aren’t a “no” answer, they’re just a “depends on the pup.”

Pet deposits and authorization are usually in order for your pet-allowing housing. While deposits may be hard to avoid (especially in an apartment in case of destruction to carpet and furniture) getting the okay is all up to how you present your puppy situation to your landlord. Like a job, a resume can only help your approach. Even letters of recommendation can make that fella with the pen behind the counter do the old “okay” head nod.

The resume that says: My pup is a good, well-behaved pup and I’m a good owner

Veterinarian records are a definite for any pup owner. Landlords love to see that you’re in the habit of taking care of your pup properly. Shot records and checkups give you a good chance at proving that you know how to ensure you’re pup’s health.

If you’re in the business of flaunting your pup’s stuff, you may have had the honor of getting a few awards (not just show dogs, but training as well) that can definitely boost your standing with a landlord (even a cranky one). They get the message across that says: I’m serious about caring for my pup.

We don’t all send our pups to a professional trainer (school and education records!) but there are other places that your pup might likely frequent where people interact with your pup. The groomer isn’t a bad place to start looking for a letter of recommendation. They have to handle that rascal when you’re not around which proves that your pup can handle themselves in your absence. Your former landlord (hopefully you left on good terms) would be one of the best letters of recommendation you can get your hands on. You might even get lucky and they waive the pet deposit.

Finding pet friendly housing is all up to how you approach the situation. With the right words that help authenticate that you are a good and caring pup owner, you can be rest assured that your landlord will be a little more gracious about letting little Fluffy join you in your new humble abode.

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Keep Fall Fun

Nov 25, 2011

photoFall is an exciting time of year- for everyone. From the upcoming school plays to eves with the family, things are really beginning to happen. Fall is a fun time for everyone, but what about your faithful pup? All that activity actually changes things for them. School takes kids away for the day, and while you’re at work, what’s your pup going to do with all that free time?

Everyone’s busy but me…

Naps increase now that the kids are back in school, which means only one thing- that your pup is going to be a little less active. Luckily, the evenings offer such a fine atmosphere for walkies. So grab your pup’s leash and head out for some exercise to get those paws moving again. You’ll find that exercise is a lot more enjoyable now that the temperatures are cooler and the atmosphere is full of beauty. Sidewalks and roads are cooler, so your pup doesn’t scorch their paws even during the mid-day hours. Even though fall is going to be a busy time of year, it is important that we still spend time with our pups and help them enjoy the fall.

Of course, the flip side to cooler days is that the nights are going to get cold, too. And depending on where you are, things can get down-right chilly. Keep in mind that you don’t want your pup sitting outside, especially if it’s freezing. This might actually be a good time to grab a grass litter box for your house so your pup doesn’t mess the carpet during the frigid nights. You may also consider a dog sweater to help keep some warmth in if your pup is used to being outside most of the time. If it’s too cold, or your pup doesn’t like dressing up, be kind and give them some shelter for the night. Insulate their dog house and make sure it’s good and warm in there during the cold days.

Fall holidays

What about the fall holidays? There are going to be lots of treats and eats on the table soon, but remember that people treats aren’t puppy treats. The holiday parties are probably going to bring in family and friends, so make sure you keep an eye on sneaky hands. Kids love to sneak some of those veggies off their plates and into your pups mouth, so make sure that everyone knows your pup’s feeding rules and regulations.

Ornaments like Christmas trees and lights are also going to be going up soon, so make sure your pup doesn’t get any chewing ideas. Hide power cords underneath rugs or carpeting to keep them from getting seriously injured. Duct tape is a magical thing and can help keep cords out of sight and out of your pup’s mouth. Mistletoe is something to be extra careful with. While it’s nostalgic and does give a sense of the season, it can be deadly to both humans and pups if they chomp on it. You should stick with a fake sprig or avoid it if you’ve got pups around.

Since the fall is a little cooler, the old fireplace is likely going to get some use. Most fireplaces have netting or protective screens and covers to keep any wandering hands or items from getting singed, but make sure that you put them to use. Pups are curious, and you don’t want a toasted nose or a burned tail ruining a fine fall evening.

While fall brings a busy time of year for us all with school, work, shopping, and partying, it doesn’t mean that we don’t still have time for our faithful friends. The leaves falling, the smells wafting from the kitchen, and the cooler days actually prove to be exciting, even for our pups. So don’t forget to spend some of the fall fun with them, too.

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ROCKY ADVENTURE – Thanksgiving, But No Dogs Allowed?

Nov 23, 2011

There has been a lot of commotion for the past couple of days. The house has received a thorough cleaning, and the furniture has been moved around. Everything is a little unfamiliar- and I’m not sure I like it. Though I love getting a little messy from time to time, I enjoy having everything in its specific place. It makes me a little nervous when things change. It’s a feeling that doesn’t quite scare me, but does make me uncomfortable.

But today makes it all better. Christy and Izzy’s companion, Debbie, have been bringing food over to my home (and you know I love that). The air is full of tasty smells that make my mouth water, and even Izzy is drooling a bit. We’ve been trying to keep our minds off the irresistible smells by playing, but it’s proving quite difficult.

So here we two pups are, sitting in the back yard and trying not to think of what’s going on. Luckily, a very familiar car rolls up into the driveway and out pops Tim and his companion. The two of them enter the front door. And three, two, one…out exits Tim back into the yard with us. Tim turns right back around and bolts for the door- and fails entry as the door slams shut. The ill-mannered rascal hops up on the screen and starts whimpering.

“Ha! You didn’t think they were going to let you stay in there, did ya?” Izzy laughs and moved to inspect the newcomer. “Don’t ya know? No dogs allowed!”

“But, it smells so good…” Tim returns his attention to whining and scratching at the door.

“No worries, bubba. The time to enjoy will come when it comes.” Izzy inspects Tim, and then tries to start a game of “ears.” Izzy loves to grab your ears and tug on them until you give. It’s a fun game for him, but it’s hard for me to get ahold of his ears, since he stands well over my nose.
Tim resists at first, but starts wrestling back. Taking advantage of the situation, I pounce in and grab for one of Izzy’s low hanging ears. Since Tim isn’t much bigger than me, we team up against our far larger rival, and the match begins.

We wrestle around until we’ve all worn ourselves out. Eventually, Izzy gives a yelp as we tug him to the ground. “Rematch…in a few.” he wheezed. I plop down on the grass to catch my breath. The others do the same.

“You know what’s special about today?” I ask the other two after I have some breath back in my little lungs. They look at me, and the curious looks answer my question. “Our companions make plenty of food for everyone on this day. They make so much food and give it to everyone so that we remember to be thankful for what we get every day. At least, that’s what I think.”

Izzy and Tim just look at me like I’m a little crazy. “Well, what are you guys thankful for?” I ask when they don’t say anything.

“My blanket.” Tim says after a moment’s consideration. “And I like my ball, so I’m guess I’m thankful for that, too.”

“I like the glowing box with the animals in it! That means I’m thankful for it.” Izzy chimes in.

“Mama!” Thieves shouts down from the fence. He gives us a wink and hugs himself.

“Yes,” I agree with the clever rascal, “everyone should be thankful for their mamas- and papas, too.”

“Food!” Tim shouts excitedly and hops to his paws. I start to nod with a very serious look in my eyes. Food is indeed very good. Then the smell grabs my attention. The visitor, Christy, Debbie, and the old man are all standing on the porch, smiles on their faces and our food in their hands. Oh yeah, we will always be thankful for our lovable companions, too.

Author:

Jason Duron is a short story writer and author of several fiction stories.  Curious and lovable as dogs can be, the Adventures of Rocky give you a chance to see daily life from a “dog’s eye view” and share in their thoughts.  Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll feel free to comment and give us insight into your dog’s very own Rocky Adventures.

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ROCKY ADVENTURE – Rocky and the Visitor

Nov 21, 2011

Today started out odd. The old man was quick to start the day. Unfortunately, it didn’t begin with me. An old room got all the attention. Though I tried to help, I was informed that I wasn’t needed for the job. The scent of freshness, perhaps to clean the room, filled the air, and even the old beast was summoned from the closet to roar across the carpet. I hate that noisy thing, but it offers a fun game when the old man lets the beast’s snout grab a powerful scent of my fur. It pulls at my skin, and I bark my fearsome roar to let the beast know who the master is of this house.

Soon enough, the room is restored to a rather comfortable style. New pillows call to me, so I jump up on the bed to grab a few afternoon Z’s. Unfortunately, that seems to be a no-no, and the old man quickly rids the bed of me. I grunt disappointingly, but consider that the couch is probably more comfortable, anyway.

My snooze is interrupted by new voices and scents. Another human is in the house. I drop down to the floor and charge the invader. The old man quiets me with a bit of hushing, and introduces me to the newcomer- and his pup. The stranger carries a crate, and within it, two beady eyes stare back at me.

“Hey!” I call to the other pup, “Who are you?”

“There are those who call me…Tim.”

The visitor speaks a bit of nonsense as he sets the crate down and releases Tim into my domain. Still unsure of what to make of this situation, I follow the curious rascal as he wanders around my home. He goes through the motions innocently enough, but then my fears have come to light when he reaches my couch. Up goes the leg, marking my territory as his own. It’s on, now!

After a bit of wrestling (all a big misunderstanding, so says Tim), both visitors are secured in the freshly cleaned room. The old man is left to decontaminate the area, using some of his cleaners to get rid of Tim’s message. They said it was just because they had a long drive and the rascal hadn’t had time to pee, but I know better. There is a big difference between taking care of business and leaving your mark. Ask any dog, they’ll tell you.

I head outside to take care of my own business…properly. I notice Thieves moving around in Christy’s yard. It’s only been a week, but the rascal has grown on me- and is quite clever, hence the name. His little hands pull the critter up so that he can see what I’m doing.

I ask him how things are going in his world, to which he replies his favorite word: mama. I’ve been teaching him how to talk, and a few words stick, but that one seems to enter every conversation. He hugs himself and waves at me. I tell him to get on back to his mama, before he gets into anymore mischief. I should have guessed that Christy would make room in her home for Thieves, since she loves animals with sincere passion.
After Thieves disappears back over the fence, I get back inside to make sure that everything is secure. The visitors have returned to the kitchen, the old man sharing a meal with his friend. Tim sat at his companion’s feet, begging. I tell him that’s not polite, but he continues. The visitor doesn’t seem to mind, and in fact instigates it by giving the boorish rascal a few strips of meat. I too want a piece, but my manners hold me fast. I’m a good pup, and I’ve been taught better than that.

After dinner, the old man sits and chats with his friend as I tail Tim through the house. He won’t be so quick as to mark again. I can tell he’s nervous, but that’s the way it needs to stay when he’s in my house.

The next morning is terrible. Messages everywhere! I sniff around the markings, trying so hard not to do the same. The old man would have to clean up even more of a mess. Then Tim emerges, a smirk on his face as though he had done a good deed. I corner the rascal, holding the culprit until the law arrives. After a few moments, the old man is there with me, trying to calm me down.

After some discussion, the visitor feels that they have worn out their welcome. At least, Tim has worn it out. They pack up and move out without complaint. Even Tim does little more than whimper from his cage. I’m a nice pup, so I give him a few hints for future use. Don’t mark in the house!

“Well, that was a bit of a mess, wasn’t it?” the old man says to me. I agree, and bark a goodbye to the visitors, hoping they aren’t coming back anytime soon.

Author:

Jason Duron is a short story writer and author of several fiction stories.  Curious and lovable as dogs can be, the Adventures of Rocky give you a chance to see daily life from a “dog’s eye view” and share in their thoughts.  Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll feel free to comment and give us insight into your dog’s very own Rocky Adventures.

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Your Dog, Your Life

Nov 18, 2011

photoWhy do you have your dog in your life? Is it to keep you company? Be there whenever you want them to be there? Well, consider this- are you there for your pup when they need you? Dogs are social, loving animals, and do a great job of keeping us company. Pups aren’t separate from your life, they are a part of it. A part of your family that often doesn’t care what’s going on, as long as they’re with you. So, consider a few ways you can involve your dog in your life.

Travel companion

Holidays, vacation, work! Getting away from the house doesn’t mean that you have to leave your faithful companion on the front porch as they wave goodbye. Dogs love to explore the world they live in, and when it’s with you, it’s even better.

Holidays aren’t the time to forget your faithful companion, their tail wagging with the joy of the season. A pup tagging along on your trip isn’t going to be a matter of luggage, but of friendship. Just don’t forget to stop on occasion to let that rascal take care of business- and always keep them on a leash when in unfamiliar territory.

Work can be a little grueling, but on occasion, we take a trip to new lands. While leaving your pup at home sounds like a good idea, a friend in a new place might be a better idea. There is the concern of whether or not your hotel or housing will be pet friendly, but it is possible to find a location online. Bring some of their favorite toys and something to keep them busy while meetings keep you busy.

Exercise for the both of you

People often complain that they don’t have enough time to walk their pup, but instead of separating your exercise time, combine walkies with your exercise plans for a healthy experience for the both of you. Pups won’t complain about a daily walk, and in fact, will love the time together. During a walk, a special bond is actually formed between the pup and the person on the other end of the leash. It may sound strange, but dogs actually become closer to their owner when you take them for a walk.

Dogs are habitual creatures who love routine, so getting out there for your daily walk isn’t going to be a problem of motivation. Your pal shows up, leash in mouth, waiting for that “together” time of day. You won’t find yourself putting your daily exercise off with the best exercise companion around.

Exercise isn’t limited to just the classic walk, play time gets our hearts pumping as well. A good game of Frisbee in the park or just fetch in the yard makes that rascal happy and gets them moving as well.

Social time

Pups aren’t there to stop you from going out and socializing. If anything, this is exactly the talent that pups excel at. They are themselves very social, even if they don’t do much talking. People are actually more likely to socialize and interact when they’re with their pup. Perhaps it has to do with a sense of security that they feel when their companion is around to help build self-esteem and start conversations.

When we truly understand what it is to be a dog owner, we find that perhaps it isn’t a matter of owning your dog- it’s about living together in companionship. While they are in charge of keeping you safe and happy, you are just as responsible for their safety and happiness as well.

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Little Dog, Big City

Nov 16, 2011

photoDogs aren’t just for the folks with cozy neighborhood houses and big back yards.  City folk too enjoy the friendly companionship that our four-legged friends have to offer. But, you may be concerned with the small space an urban apartment or condo has to offer an active critter such as your pup. Well, there are some ways you can help your pup get along just as well when you’re in the big city.

A cozy home

Not all pups are born in the big city, and some have moved there from quiet homes with big yards, so the difference may be a little confusing at first. Sounds will be different, and so will the lighting. These differences will take some getting used to, so be sure that you pay attention to how your pup acts and feels about their new home, too.

Making sure your pup gets exercise

Now that you’re in the big city, a good romp through the yard isn’t like it used to be. So, now you have to make sure that old Blue gets out and stretches his legs on a regular basis. Apartments and condos don’t have enough room to really get a pup their much needed exercise to keep them in shape, so a regular walk is necessary. If you’re new to the area, you’ll want to find a good area that is safe for the both of you and well lit. Parks are a good location, usually full of activity and people that add to the fun. Do try to avoid nighttime and mid-day walks, though. The late afternoon or early morning would be the best times so that you can avoid scorching your pup’s paws on hot cement. For those that are strapped for time, there are professional pet service companies that will help you with this important task.

What about potty time?

This is probably going to be the biggest concern of most big city pup owners. Unlike the folks with a yard, we can’t leave the doggy door open for old Blue to run out and do his business when the time is right. There are grass litter boxes available to help with the big city situation. Instead of having to worry about whether or not you’re going to have a present on the floor when you get home, it might be a good idea to set up a grass litter box for easy access throughout the day so you and your dog can be worry free.

Finding time to play

The most fun part of the city life is of course- play time. We humans enjoy running around and playing with our companions. Since a yard is out of the question, a nearby park can make our outdoor activities just as fun (especially if there are other friends around).

When your pup stays at home, it is important to keep them occupied so they don’t get bored and decide your pillow makes a great chew toy. Plenty of activities should be available, such as the fun Kong toys that keep a pup occupied and some rawhide bones to keep their teeth clean. Not only is this fun time, but it’s exercise time, too.

The most important part of having fun in the big city is to play with your pup. Pups are there for companionship, and even though you’re in the big city and it doesn’t seem like there is much you and your faithful friend can do together, you always have each other to play with.

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ROCKY ADVENTURE – A Thief in the Night

Nov 14, 2011

My ears alert me to something awry. My sweet dreams of grassy fields and tasty treats have been interrupted by unknown sounds. I’m used to the occasional rumble of a car out on the road, but this was very different. This sound came from inside my home.

I drop down to the floor, the jingling of my tags and the patter of my paws the only noises for now. Whatever it was has stopped, but still my curiosity has gotten the better of me. After a sniff of the air, I exit the room and proceed to investigate.

My eyes take a while to adjust to the darkness as I navigate from room to room, searching for the source. Then I catch the scent of something new. An awkward smell, then it’s joined by food- an assortment of food at that. Like there’s a festival going on and no one bothered to tell us about it.

I enter the kitchen, the smell now filling my senses, only to discover a catastrophe has taken place. Food and garbage are everywhere! A shadow moves and dives for an open window. I bark furiously at the invader, angry that the trespasser has destroyed my lovely home.

I’m still barking furiously when the lights flicker on. The old man stands there, his own eyes squinting in the blinding light. I proceed to tell him about the invader, but his expression is grim as he observes the scene for himself. Please, you gotta believe me…

The old man wasn’t too happy with the situation. He blamed me for destroying the kitchen. But I guess I can’t blame him. The culprit got away clean as a whistle, leaving me holding the consequences. That just won’t fly- not in my home.

So here I am, waiting for trouble to arrive. The day flew by, and the old man had softened up by afternoon. He brought some new foods earlier, but I could tell he was still a little upset with me. My usual treats were forgotten, and even the affection was neglected.

The sound of leaves rustling pulls my attention to the open window. It stays open to let the fall’s cool air in. While it might be good for the atmosphere, I am sure that it is an irresistible entrance for any thief- a guilty thief that not only took our food, but took my pride as well.

I’m up in a flash, and move to hide in the shadows near the window. I want to catch the vermin once he’s done the deed, so that I can clear the good name of Rocky. Then I see them, the little paws…or are they hands? The critter pulls itself up and through the open window. After the thief approves of the area, it slumps to the floor and waddles to the cooler. I manage to wedge my nose behind the edge of the window and swing it closed, blocking any escape.

“I have you now!” I pounce without mercy. Well, maybe just a little bit of mercy. After all, I’m a nice pup. The thief screeches in alarm and pins itself against the wall and stands up on its hind legs just like a man. Then I realize that the culprit isn’t much bigger than me. I can handle this situation with ease. “I have you now, thief!” I bark furiously, calling for the old man to see.

The lights flash on, just like I had planned. A raccoon stands, very afraid, in the corner. “It’s just a baby raccoon!” the old man says drowsily.
I tilt my head in wonder. I study the critter and agree. It’s too tiny to be grown up. “Where’s your mama?” I ask the thief. “You’re in trouble now.”

“Mama!” the raccoon squeaks, its eyes lighting up.

“I’ll call Christy, she’ll know what to do with you,” the old man said timidly as he picked up his noise box. He always speaks at it, but I still can’t figure out why. It doesn’t do any tricks like I can.

I’ve still got the critter pinned to the wall when our neighbor, Christy, arrives. She has her own crate, ready to capture the villain. It takes a bit of skill and a little luck, not to mention a handful of sweets, but she gets the baby raccoon in the cage. She talks to the old man for a few minutes while I sniff the area to make sure everything is secure. I give one last bark at thief as they leave.

“See, it wasn’t me!” I tell the old man. A relieved expression proves his agreement. Then he offers a few words of approval- and a long neck rub as he carries me back to bed. That feels so good!

Author:

Jason Duron is a short story writer and author of several fiction stories.  Curious and lovable as dogs can be, the Adventures of Rocky give you a chance to see daily life from a “dog’s eye view” and share in their thoughts.  Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll feel free to comment and give us insight into your dog’s very own Rocky Adventures.

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Adopt a Senior Pet Month

Nov 11, 2011

photoThis November is Adopt a Senior Pet month for our four-legged friends. And while picking up a cute canine companion can bring happiness to your home, there are also the elder pups to consider. Sadly, senior pups are often the most avoided when it comes to adopting, but they still need a home, too. For some folks, a young puppy with a furiously wagging tail and an excited attitude are important to an owner. But consider an older pup for a moment- quiet and calm, waiting only to be with you. Perhaps those are the best qualities that make a faithful companion.

Adopting the senior pup

Most pups reach their seniority at around seven years, depending on their breed and size. Here, most pups have begun to travel down that “old-age” hill, their physically prime years have passed them by. But that does not mean that they aren’t just as happy as a pup. In fact, they’ve learned a great many things and had many experiences.

If you’re interested in adopting an older pup, they actually have their own category on adoption lists. Your local animal shelter will likely have them posted on their website, so all you have to do is click on “Senior.” You can even go by and check things out for yourself to see if any of those faces and tails match your heart.

Taking care of your senior pup

A senior pup handles quite a bit differently than a puppy. Their age has brought them wisdom and years of learning- possibly both good and bad habits. Training should always start with covering the basics. This will help you get accustomed to what your pup knows and what they like to do. They may prefer certain foods, places they like to hang out, and even a certain spot to potty. Start by housetraining them. Show them where to potty, and what is acceptable. Don’t forget that positive reinforcement is the right way to enforce good and bad.

Older pups will usually have some aging conditions, such as arthritis, so make sure you take them to the vet within the first few days of their arrival to ensure their health. Though they may be older, their health still should be a top priority.

Since arthritis is very common amongst older dogs, it’s important to know how to handle them. They’ll likely show stiff signs or placing weight on one leg. Puppy massage can be a fun and relaxing time for your older pup. You can rub their joints, usually their hind legs, while they’re laying down. To help with circulation, a good chest rub is always in order. Their paws are usually a little worn out, just like ours will get, so rubbing between their little digits can prove most enjoyable.

The nice thing about senior pups is that you actually pass by all those wild years of untapped activity. While some may want a dog that is extremely active, not everyone actually has the time to handle all a young pup can dish out. If you’re looking for a pup that is there to be with you, even if just to sit by the fire with you as you read the latest novel, a senior pup may just be the right friend for you.

To most people, an aged puppy may seem a little worn out, as though they were merely a device or toy. But consider this: wine is aged for years- and the older it gets, the better it tastes. So why not pups as well? A pup aged to perfection just for you.

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National Animal Shelter Week

Nov 9, 2011

photoAnimal shelters do more than just hold on to furry critters until they can find a home- they play a big part in your community’s efforts. Along with sheltering our four-legged friends, they also protect against cruelty, animal neglect, locating and reuniting lost friends, and even provide efforts to reduce animal overpopulating through spay and neuter services. All these services take a lot of effort to maintain, and it can be hard with the very little funding they receive.

National Animal Shelter week is dedicated to acknowledging and promoting the role shelters play in their communities. What we can do is carry that torch onward and help support the animal shelters in our community by doing our part to help our four-legged friends find some happy homes and families.

Spread the word

Word of mouth is a well-known marketing skill- and it works. Tell your friends about what’s going on, and bring it up in conversations. Nowadays, there is wide spread use of the internet which is connecting everyone to everyone else. Consider linking your local animal shelter’s information to your Facebook page or Twittering a link to help get the word out. Awareness is often the biggest part of any event.

You can also try promoting your local shelter with the classic flyers and banners. Simple as it may sound, a simple letter or flyer letting folks know what’s going on can really get the word out there. Post them on telephone poles or on bulletin boards so that others can see and know.
Children will someday be adults, so involving them with supporting pet adoption can help them become aware of the world they will one day grow into. Let them know what animal shelters do and their role in their community.

Promote adoption

If you’ve been thinking about adding a friend to your own homestead, November is definitely the time to do it. Tell your friends about adoption as well. Many people don’t know that you can easily adopt a pup from the animal shelter and give a homeless pup a happy home. You can even take a moment to support adoption efforts by clicking the “like” button on the Shelter Pet Project page on Facebook.

Donations to keep those tails wagging

Some of us want to help directly by donating to the cause. Financially, many organizations have made contributions, both big and small, that help their local shelters continue their efforts and reach out to help others as well. A few coins here and there can really add up, so don’t think that you shouldn’t drop that extra change in your pocket into their funds just because it isn’t enough. When you’re helping, anything you can do is better than doing nothing at all.

Supplies!

Donations aren’t limited to monetary amounts. Items such as blankets, towels, and toys can help as well. Often, your local animal shelter will have a “wish list” posted on their website. You’d be surprised at how much a few items can really help, especially with the cold winter approaching.

Throw in a helping paw

Many shelters will welcome volunteer workers. If you have a few hours or some extra time, consider helping your four-legged friends this November. There may be a variety of types of shelters around, so find one that is right for you.

Take a few moments to thank your local animal shelter for the love and care they give our animal friends. And remember, supporting your local animal shelter doesn’t have to be extravagant, any and all help is appreciated. So do what you can to keep those tails wagging towards a happy home.

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