Warning – Your New Partner And Your Pet

We’re out and about, perhaps doing a little shopping, and what do you know- you’ve met someone special. Things go well, both of you get along well, and you’ve found yourself a great companion. But, with your four-legged friend in the picture, things might get a little complicated. How does your pup handle a new face in the home? Most might seem okay with it, but remember that your home is their home, too. So be aware of what to look for to make sure that both of your companions get along well.

Dogs are naturally defensive of their territory. Your home is their den. Therefore, they feel obligated to protect it from intruders. Don’t be disappointed if your pup doesn’t fall madly in love (even if you do) with your partner immediately. Sometimes all it takes is a little finesse and a little bit of love.

My pup likes ‘em, my pup likes ‘em not

If your pup has met anyone before, you’ve seen the signs of disapproval. Not every pup loves everyone they meet, so you need to be prepared for anything. This all comes down to the first impression. We’re told not to rely on first impressions, but pups don’t rely on that tidbit of helpful human social behavior.

Introductions come first; pup meets partner, partner meets pup. But how you go about it can affect how your pup will act around that person in the future. It’s best not to surprise your pup with the situation.  Don’t just show up with your partner and expect everything to be cool. Try this scenario: Everyone in a room, perhaps the living room, where things are well lit so that everything can be clearly seen by your pup. No music, no television, no distractions to draw their attention away from the meeting. And remember that a handful of dog food can make a difference in how your pup perceives your partner. Allow them to “treat” your pup in order to start their own relationship.

Puppy attitude

Your pup’s reaction to your partner may not always start out great, and they may need a few minutes to warm up. After the first meeting, if your dog continues to show signs of disapproval such as growling when they first see them, things may not be working out. A few other signs of disapproval may include whining, avoiding them altogether, hiding between your legs when your partner is there, and the simple sign of tail always remaining tucked (this can be hard for corgis and other pups with nubs).

Dancing and prancing are a definite thumbs up. If your pup takes to them quickly, then you have nothing to fear. Often, it does take a little getting used to for a pup to give you the OKAY signal. After some sniffing and investigating, your pup may begin to wag their tail (or wiggle their behind) and decide they’ve found a new playmate, too.

The feeling is mutual

Since every relationship has two sides to it, you also have to be concerned about how your partner feels about your pup. Things aren’t always as easily detected, since words may not match actions. Pay attention to how your partner acts around your pup. Do they lose their temper quickly and resort to raising their voice, especially if your pup isn’t even at fault?

The worst one is when a partner requests that your faithful companion has to hit the road. “It’s me or him,” is a definite no-no when it comes to partners. While you and your new partner may get along great, these requests may lead to a controlling relationship. If they aren’t willing to make things work or strive to improve the relationship between your pup and them, they likely aren’t going to do so in the future. Be suspicious of someone who wants you to get rid of your best friend.

When you have a pup, you have to remember that a there are going to be three individuals in your new relationship. It’s nice if everyone can get along, but if things don’t seem like they’re going to work out, you need to address the situation before it becomes a problem. No relationship is fun if everyone can’t enjoy it.

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How To End Extended Stay Blues

We do enjoy the companionship of our four-legged friends, which is why they’re in our lives. But, we can’t always stay with them. Travels, whether for work or pleasure, can leave us with the question: Should Fluffy come with, or stay here? This question is not so easily answered, since there are so many variables to calculate. Indeed, it is a matter of what is the most logical choice for your pup- not just what you want.

And having said that, it is definitely hard for us to separate ourselves from our pups. And likewise, it can be hard for our pup to be separated from us for long periods of time. The bond we share is developed through our journey through life together. We eat, sleep, and share the same home and friends.

Size may matter

But unfortunately, our faithful friend can’t always join us. Throughout the world, “No dogs allowed” signs are posted up. Hotels and other housing accommodations are no exception to the rule. And even when they do allow pups, size may matter. There is a vast difference between your Scottish Terrier and a St. Bernard. When it comes down to it, the size of your pup may affect your ability to bring them with you wherever you go.

There is also the point of activity ranges. Some pups are relatively docile and don’t mind lazing about. On the other end of the spectrum are the hyperactive rascals such as Border Collies and Australian Shepherds who need enough room and a lot of excitement to keep them entertained. While we’ll miss our buddies, taking them with us on extended stays may not be best for a pup that won’t find the confines of an apartment or short-term housing very comfortable.

So when searching for a place to stay for your extended stay, make sure you ask plenty of questions and do some research.

  1. Are dogs allowed, and are all dogs allowed?
  2. What provisions are provided for dogs, and is there a pet deposit?
  3. Is there enough room for my pup to play and remain entertained?

Moving around can get uncomfortable

On the comfort note, keep in mind that pups are creatures of habit. They like things to happen on schedule and for everything to be in its place. The road, the new places, and even the new people can make a pup very uncomfortable. All these changes can give them anxiety, often resulting in territorial marking, diarrhea, chewing, and even depression. For pups, the solidity of the day is important. So if you’re thinking about disrupting your pup’s day, be aware of how your pup handles change. Sometimes, even we don’t like it.

On top of your pup’s ability to adjust, there is the also the purpose of your stay to take into consideration. Most folks travel for business, and are often preoccupied with work. This leaves little to no time to really hang out with your four-legged friend. So you have to consider the fact that bringing them may just put them in a new place where they will be alone most of the time. You have to take into consideration your pup’s feelings, too. They may feel abandoned, even though you know that you will come back, they may not understand it.

Now consider the comfort your dog seeks.

  1. Is my pup an active dog, or will they be fine in a small area?
  2. How well does my pup adjust to change?
  3. Will I be able to be there to take care of my pup?

If you’re not going to be able to ensure that your pup is happy during your extended stay, it may be best to leave them at home or with suitable accommodations.

Puppy sitter

This leads us to the second hardest part (the hardest is having to say goodbye for now)- weighing the logic of taking your pup with you to a new place for a short time, or leaving them in a place where they will be separated from you, and may be in an unfamiliar place anyway. There are services that offer puppy-daycare, but it is important to research and get recommendations before you trust your best friend to just anyone.
If you’re lucky enough to have a good friend that you can trust (and your pup trusts) or a family that is willing to take care of your best bud while you take care of business, then that may be the best option for you pup if the journey may not be something that they’re going to enjoy.

Remember that even though you may want your pup to join you in your travels, it isn’t always what’s best for them. Consider how your pup will feel and how they will handle the journey so that you don’t put them in a situation in which they’re only going to be uncomfortable. Take care of your pup, and make the best decision for them.

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ROCKY ADVENTURE – Out For A Drive

Aha! No time for walkies today, we’re going for a ride. From my spot in the window, I watched the old man scraping last night’s fluffy snow off the windshield. Things have been extra cold this week. It’s always neat when it’s cold like this, because instead of water from the sky, we get this fluffy stuff called snow. And luckily for me, snow tastes way better than water. I guess maybe I just like the way it tingles on my tongue, but it’s irresistible nonetheless.

I run around in the fresh blanket of cold wetness as I try to seek a good place to do my daily. A pile of leaves offers something better than the wetness, and I take care of business. Then the old man calls me to load up. I don’t know what we’re doing, but we always have fun doing it. He loves to sing while we drive, and I like to listen. We’re quite the pair, if I do say so myself.

I hop up into my seat, but something’s a little different here. Instead of my regular freedom, I get a leash that holds me fast to the seat. It’s like the one that the old man puts on, but I don’t like it. It feels strange, and I let the old man know. I struggle against it for a moment while the old man changes something. Then everything is cool, and I’m back to sitting right in my spot again.

Then the fun starts. We’re moving, (the feeling is felt rather than seen) and the old man starts up his jolly singing. I stare out my window at the moving world around us. With this fascinating white blanket over it, the world looks rather bland. Usually, you could spot different houses, yards, and people, but today everything looks the same.

We stop for a moment, and I get a new view. Some people pups and their mama and papa are building balls of snow and piling them up on each other. They run and play in the fluffy whiteness, and I see that the snow does change the world in its own special way.

We pull into a place where the people put their cars, and the old man puts ours in a spot next to another. Its cold out, so the window is opened just enough for me to talk to the other pup in the next car. I get a firm pat on my head and am told to be good. “I’m always good,” says I. Then I offer my most innocent puppy eyes to confirm. The old man chuckles and leaves me alone for now. I watch as he enters the large building where he gets our food stuffs.

When he’s out of sight, I turn back to the window and try to jump up to talk to my neighbor. Unfortunately, I forgot that this leash thing was still on. After some maneuvering, I manage to wiggle enough to get out and start telling my neighbor that this is my car. He says he knows, and tells me that he’s in his car. Then he says that he likes his bone. I tell him that I might like his bone, too. That was a mistake, because he got real mad. I apologized and told him that I didn’t want his bone. It was just that I thought it was probably so good that any pup might like it. He calmed down, and we started talking about toys and food stuffs.

After a while, I spot the old man approaching. He’s pushing a buggy full of bags (I like to play with them, but I’m not supposed to). He opens one of the doors in the rear and piles in some of our new goodies. I try to sniff them to see which ones I want, but the old man pushes me back into my seat and wonders how I escaped my leash. I shrug as innocently as possible.

He leashes me back in and takes care of himself as well. Then we’re off, likely back towards home. I recognize some of the same houses. I spot the people pups still piling snowy balls up and putting sticks in them now. We slowed and stopped so I could get a better look.

That’s when the craziest thing happened. The whole car shook, and the old man let out a yelp of his own. Our leashes held us fast to the seats so we didn’t fall down. I looked around to see what was wrong. The old man did the same. Then he said a few words that I didn’t understand and picked up his talking box toy and started pushing on it with his shaking paws. He told me to stay as he got out and went to talk to another man.

After he’d talked to some other peoples and a protector man, he got back in and shook his head. It was all a little scary, I guess. He gave me a good pat on the head and checked my leashing thingy again. He secured his own leash and let out a sigh. Then he smiled and started singing again as we headed for home.

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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