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Archive for December, 2011

Warning – Your New Partner And Your Pet

Dec 30, 2011

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

Dec 28, 2011

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

Dec 26, 2011

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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Puppy Training Party

Dec 23, 2011

When your four-legged friend first enters your life, we know how important it is to train them properly. Aside from potty training, we need to influence their behaviors to help them become as likeable to others as they are to us. Of course, few couldn’t help but adore your pup’s wagging tail, but your pup isn’t always up for talking to strangers (and you didn’t even have to tell him). During a pup’s early months, the relationship they build with other people will affect how they will behave when out in public.

This leads us to the puppy training party. This is a positive situation that will help your pup adjust to people. Not all dogs are naturally friendly with everyone, which is why it is important to introduce them to others at an early age.

What this party is begins with a few friends of yours. Family members can join in, but make sure that you have a few new faces and hands that your pup can familiarize with. Since you want to express individuality, have your friends dress very differently, such as hats and purses of various kinds. This helps your pup associate with the style and looks of many different people.

A place to party

Choose a place that is neutral to your pup. You don’t want them in defense mode as they try to protect their den and family from intruders. Best place to start may be a unoccupied park (not a dog park with distractions) or out in your yard where things are familiar, but not necessarily territorial. Another thing to remember is that everything should be well lit. You don’t want anybody in the shadows where they may appear intimidating to your pup. This should allow your pup to meet his new friends without wanting to play the instinctive guard dog (plus it gives everyone some room to play and interact).

Party manners

Now keep in mind that some basic training skills will help the situation strongly. Pawing or jumping up on people shouldn’t be allowed at the party. The purpose here is to socialize and teach your pup proper manners around groups of other people. Even if they are happy to meet these people, they shouldn’t be allowed to jump upon them out of eagerness for a treat. You may confirm this by ignoring them, rather than punishing them or pushing them down, especially since you want your pup to develop a positive relationship with people.

Time to party

When your guests do arrive, it’s important to avoid a mass of hands seeking a hold of that furry rascal. Introductions should be one at time. Go about this by putting your pup’s instincts to work. Have each person hand-feed some regular dog food to your pup when introduced. It teaches your pup that hands are friends and shouldn’t be attacked or bitten. As your pup becomes more familiar with each person, they can gently touch and pet, starting with the collar area. Try to avoid places where your pup can’t see what their hands are doing. Make sure you avoid anybody using intimidating actions towards your pup. Most pups don’t like it if you cover their eyes (if you’re trying to pet their head from an elevated position) or touch their hindquarters when they aren’t looking. Keep every action clearly visible to your pup to avoid startling them. The last thing you want to do is scare your pup during his party.

One thing to keep in mind is not to force your pup to allow someone he does not seem to like, for instance- if he is growling and cowering profusely, since it will only leave them despising the person or persons. Wait until your pup is ready to get comfortable with them, not the other way around. Take things slow until everyone is ready to have fun. After all, it is their party.

It is important for your pup to socialize at an early age, or they may end up with behavioral problems later down the road. Throw a puppy training party for your faithful friend to ensure that they get along with others as well as they do with you. With the help of some good friends, your pup can learn to appreciate more than just you and your family.

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Good Dog

Dec 21, 2011

Have you ever asked yourself if your pup is a good dog? Silly, everyone believes their pup is a good dog. But perhaps considering that your pup is well behaved and listens well is often something else. I’ve seen many a pup pretty much do whatever they want to. This is why training at an early age is so important, not just for your sake, but your pup’s as well.

Canine Good Citizen

To help entice owners to train spend the time to properly train their pups, the AKC began offering an award called the Canine Good Citizen award. It’s a test designed to test your pup’s ability to handle themselves in this world we live in.

Basically, the test covers the basics of their interaction with strangers, you, and other dogs. These are important for your pup to know, even if you aren’t pressed to achieve an award for good behavior. The behavior is the reward itself.

Covering the basics

How your pup reacts with you is of course the most basic of skills. “Sit”, “down” (lay), and “stay” are all important. These are necessary to show that you have the ability to control your pup. The recall and release are also important to ensure that your pup listens to you and provides a good sense of obedience. These basic skills are learned through time spent with your pup, and as with any teaching, must be learned early on.

How they act with others

The ability to be separated is another point of interest. Many dogs don’t seem to do well with becoming separated from their owners, and will seldom listen to others. This situation is important since we aren’t always around our pup. Groomers, the vet, and even a puppy-sitter all may handle your pup at some point when you’re not around. This helps ensure that your pup doesn’t develop or suffer from separation anxiety which can prove very hard on a pup.

The next set of tests will involve the interaction between your pup and a friendly stranger. Since meeting new people is inevitable, it is important for your pup to form a friendly relationship with others. At an early stage in puppy life, you might consider throwing them a puppy socialization party where they can be surrounded with strangers (your personal friends preferably) and learn how to act around other people. Here, it will be important that your pup still obeys you, but will not act aggressively and also has the ability to answer to simple commands such as “sit” and allow themselves to be petted. It is also important for you pup to be able to walk through a crowd of pedestrians without becoming agitated or anxious. The last thing you want is to have to chase a wild Rover through a crowd of people.

Since people are not the only part of society, how your pup acts around other dogs is also important. They should be able to handle themselves with proper introductions (sniffing not snapping). Introducing your pup to other pups at an early age is important to ensure good behavior. Of course, you should never leave your pup unattended with strange pups. You need to be present in order to correct inappropriate behaviors and enforce the good ones. (As a hint, food can prove precious to a dog, so when introducing your pup to others, avoid involving food and treats.)

A little noise and a well-poised pup

Distractions do happen. Loud noises, other dogs, cars, and even cats can all be easy distractions for your pup. In order to affirm that you have the utmost obedience from your pup, they must be able to avoid and ignore these distractions while listening to you. This is possibly the best test, since it not only solidifies your bond, but can save a pup from being lost or having an accident if they chase a moving vehicle.

A well-behaved pup is a good pup. Although I’m sure we all believe our canine friend to be the best dog in the world, it is important that they behave that way around us, strangers, and other dogs. With proper training, time well-spent on developing social skills, and some training techniques to help things along, any dog is capable of being a good canine citizen.

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ROCKY ADVENTURE – A Mutt?

Dec 19, 2011

Can’t….quite…Oh, I got it. That’s better now. Things have been a little itchy since I got back from the vet. Nothing major, it’s just in an odd spot that’s hard to scratch. Everything’s cool though. Things are almost back to the way they used to be. The old man is still a little cautious about letting me go out by myself. But, it seems like he’s a little more comfortable with letting me have access to the good old outdoors again.

Really, I don’t feel the need to go out just for fun, anymore. The days are definitely colder. My luscious days of sunbathing are now spent in front of the bay window, where the cold stays outside and the sun can comfort me. But, for the moment, I’ve got to take care of business. I hop up and go tell the old man that I’m going outside. I find him in the kitchen, probably getting himself some snackies. I do want, so I give him my best puppy dog eyes I can manage (I’m great at this and it’s never failed me). He drops a few crumbs as he crunches on a tasty morsel. I help him by quickly picking them up. He spots me and “accidentally” drops a piece. I thank him and gobble it up. Just some toast, but it’s still delicious.

Then I tell him about my business elsewhere and head for the door. I look back to see if he wants to go, too. But he doesn’t follow. I pop out into the cool air and search the yard for intruders. To tell you the truth, I’m still a little cautious myself. When the coast is clear, I proceed to look for a nice spot to go. I circle and sniff, and when the time is right I take care of business.

That’s when I smelled it. Another pup? I scan the fence line. Thieves is on his usual perch, but he isn’t looking at me. I look for what he sees and discover an intruder. I rush over to the fence to investigate. My small head easily squeezes through the boards so that I can get a better look at the fellow. He’s a well-groomed pup, his coat cut and brushed with great care. He is even attached to his also very well-groomed companion by a fancy leash. I realize they’re just out for a walkies, but I warn them that this is my yard, just so there’s no misunderstanding.

“Hey, watch it, mutt.” the well-groomed dog calmly replies. He plays it cool, but I can tell this fella was doing nothing more than insulting me.

“A mutt? Did you call me a mutt?”

“Yes sir. I call them like I see them.”

“How rude!”

“What do you mean?”

“Calling me a dirty word like that. I’m not a mutt.”

“Yes you are. You’re not purebred like me, so you’re a mutt. There’s nothing wrong with it. In fact, sometimes you guys have it easy. Me, I have to get dressed up all the time so I can look good when we go out.” He motions to his companion and rolls his eyes.

“Ya, but I’m not a mutt. That’s rude to say.”

“It’s not rude. It just designates that you’re a special type of dog. There’s Collies, Scotties, and Poodles like me, but when you’re a mixture, you’re a mutt. You’re unique. There’s not another combination in the world that makes another pup just like you. Oh well, time for us to go. We have to get home in time for dinner. Take it easy, mutt.”

I watch the pup and his companion continue further down the walk and around the corner. I’m still a little confused. I always thought mutt was a bad word. If I’m a mutt, I guess it can’t be that bad. After all, the old man did pick me. I guess being a mutt makes me special…at least to him, and that’s all that matters.

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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When Your Sweet Dog Turns

Dec 16, 2011

photoDogs make great companions. Ask any dog owner. But there are times when things may seem a little strange. It’s almost like you aren’t really in control. If you’ve ever had a young pup, the attitude may be familiar. Growling is common, but barking might even emerge. A young pup or adopted dog may show these signs in their new environment. But, even a pup that has been a friend to your home for years can show these signs of aggression.

A little intimidated?

What happens when someone pushes you? Do you get mad? Perhaps a little yelling and arguing takes place? Well, pups do the same thing, only their words are growls and barks. In a dog pack, there is a hierarchy of power, the alpha being the dominant pup. The alpha has the respect of the other pups in the group. If you find your pup growling at you, it might be because you’re doing something they don’t like and you don’t have their respect.

Growling and barking aren’t your pup’s only warnings that they might be intimidated or frightened. If you push them, eventually they might snap at you or put their teeth on you. This isn’t always a solid bite. It’s supposed to be a warning that you’re doing something that intimidates them. This can be fairly common when a pup is “grouchy” if you’ve awoken them or disturbed their eating time.

But, a happy home isn’t a home with peoples and pups arguing all the time. So you’ll need to remedy the situation. While punishment or arguing back might be the most likely route, it doesn’t necessarily solve the problem. If your pup is growling a warning, the last thing you want to do is punish them for warning. All you’ll teach them is that they aren’t supposed to growl, not that they’re not supposed to get mad at you.

BT, good for you, good for me

The best thing to do is train your pup with a few basic skills. If you haven’t spent the time to teach that rascal a few tricks, this process definitely helps them bond with you and understand that there is a give and receive relationship here. When your pup does something good or right, appreciate them, even if it is just being calm as they chill on their favorite rug. Now here’s the other part that I like, have used, and definitely works: When they’re doing something wrong, ignore them (pawing, whining, or begging). This is basic training for pups and gets them into shape and adjusts them to accepting you as the alpha.

Now it’s time to address the reason your pup is growling at you. When does it happen? What are you doing? What is your pup doing? This combination allows for a wide variety of scenarios. Fortunately, it’s likely that growling problems arise when they are either eating, sleeping (sofa, bed, a favorite blanket), or you may have something they want (toy, bone, piece of paper). Here is where the attitude has to stop. It’s important that your pup perceives you as the alpha, so the idea that they have to earn the right to do things, such as get on the bed or sofa or even play with toys, needs to be earned. This may require the use of a leash or restraining them from accessing these areas without your permission.

The first step is to prohibit access to areas where they have growled at you (an eating area may be difficult to do this with if your pup has a tendency to fight over food). Then, a command should be taught here. A simple word with hand motion, such as patting on a seat or bed, tells them that it is now alright for them to get up. For practice, prevent them from getting up on the bed by use of either leash or holding them back. They’ll likely fight, so if that rascal is strong, be prepared. Then, go through a few basic tricks they’ve learned. When they’ve accomplished what you want them to, treat them with access. With a bit of practice, your pup will acknowledge your authority. So when it’s time to get off, use another command to signify your desire. Now that they understand that that area or object is yours, and that you’re in charge, you won’t have to argue with them…at least not as much.

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Consider a Mutt

Dec 14, 2011

photoThis month holds a special day for pups- namely the mutt breed of our faithful companions. National Mutt Day isn’t there just to offer appreciation for the mutts in our lives; it’s there to bring our attention to giving a mutt a home through adoption. Mutts are often overlooked and underestimated amongst the puppy population. But mutts prove their worth every day in the homes of families that gave a mutt a chance. They have all the love and loyalty of a dog, along with a few bonuses of their own that make for a unique companion.

A mutt matched for you

A special benefit of a mixed breed is that mutts offer a more unique combination of abilities. While purebreds are primarily raised with a single purpose in mind, mutts have inherited traits and characteristics from a variety of breeds. These mixtures actually present their own little adventure. You may end up with the lovability of a golden retriever and the instincts of a border collie. Whatever mixture presents itself, it allows for a pup to have their own individual characteristics to offer your home. Another bonus is that because of trait mixtures, mutts are commonly more flexible and easily adaptable to a variety of home situations. You may want a mid-sized pup, but your apartment makes it difficult to house an active rascal such as an Australian Sheppard. A mutt would likely be more docile in their environment, allowing for a good pup that feels at home in your home.

Since mutts carry traits from multiple pup breeds, it gives them a wide range of abilities, too. Don’t be dissuaded by the term “mutt,” as even mutts are allowed to compete in some dog competitions or can be qualified to work as a service dog. Mutts have definitely gained a lot of respect in recent years for their abilities and characteristics.

From the shelter

One of the big bonuses to adopting a mutt is the fact that they are usually already housetrained. Most pups that make it to a shelter were given up because of expenses, no room, or couldn’t take care of them anymore. That usually leaves a potentially well-trained mutt in a cage who is just waiting for you to give them a home. Since shelters provide their inhabitants with medical supervision, they also have their shots up to date and their health is taken care of.

If you’re looking for a pup, but want skip the puppy stage, adopting a mutt is a definite plus. A mutt from the shelter is cheaper to start up, usually only about 50 to 100 dollars with shots included. That’s a big difference from a purebred pup that may cost upwards of around four to five hundred dollars. If you’re looking for a pup, I’m sure that a mutt is looking to make your home a happy one.

The funny thing about mutts is their naturally potential health benefits. Purebreds are more likely to get specific genetic ailments, such as Cryptorchidism, which are passed on when pups are bred with their own breed. Mutts are less likely to contract a genetic disease that passes along in a purebred situation, often allowing them to live longer lives with you.

You’re saving a life

Not every pup can find a home. Shelters become overwhelmed and unable to take care of every single pup. By adopting a mutt, you inevitably save one pup, and make room for another so that someone can take them home as well. As more people adopt mutts for their happy home, they give a happy mutt a chance to fill their lives with a variety of loveable characteristics.

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ROCKY ADVENTURE – Take It From Me

Dec 12, 2011

Things have been a little different since I escaped from the puppy-nappers. The old man always seems a little worried about me going outside. My doggy door is blocked during the night or when it’s nap time. Now, instead of me having my usual complete freedom, I seem to have an escort wherever I go. The old man comes with me when I’ve got to do my business (he looks away when I go, which is most courteous of him to do so). But other than that, when I’m in the house, everything is cool.

Earlier this afternoon, we both loaded up in the old man’s car and went for a drive. He kept talking about taking care of my safety. I don’t know what it has to do with a “chip,” but I’m pretty sure that I’m not supposed to have any of those. Las time I had my head in the pantry, the old man got mad at me. Oh well. I guess it’s a treat for being a good pup.

Now we’re here, in this place. And I don’t like it one bit. A couple of strange pups are barking at me, a cat just hissed some most unkindly words at me, and that huge dog across the way keeps staring at me…a little too hungrily.

I don’t do much but sit beneath the old man’s feet. The nurse at the counter gave me a treat, but it wasn’t a chip, so I just set it down. I’m too worried to eat right now. Last time I was here, the doc stuck me with stickers even though I told him not to.

That’s when he walked in. His head held high, and his tail standing straight up at attention like a flag told me that this pup wasn’t worried at all. Which was all good, but then his companion plopped down in the seat next to the old man, and he decided to inspect me. That’s when I lost it. I growled and snarled at the dog and told him and his companion to beat it.

“Whoa there, pup. You need to calm down. What’s with all the hostility?”

I growled a few not so very kind words to him. He simply gave me a funny look.

“Well, that’s not nice. Let’s try this again. I’m Skipper, and you are…”

I didn’t answer him. I’m usually pretty courteous, but I’m just a little too stressed to be that nice.

Look, I can see you’re just a young ’n, so take it from me, there’s no reason to get all upset here. There’s not much we can do ‘bout it. I’ve been coming here since I was a wee lad, and the doc has always done me right.”

Realizing he didn’t want a piece of me, I settled down a bit. The fur on the back of my neck smoothed back out as the old man gave me a back rub to calm my nerves.

“I don’t even know what I’m doing here. I’m not sick, and I haven’t done anything wrong.” I let out a sigh and continued, “I’m supposed to get a chip, but the only thing they gave me was this nasty treat.” I pawed the untouched tasteless item over to the old dog. His ears twitched a bit, and his moustache definitely made him look like he’d been around for a good long time. He had that, “I’ve done it all, and I’d do it again” kind of attitude.

“A chip? Oh, you’re gonna like it. It’s not for eating, it’s so they can find you no matter where you get off to. I had one put in me a long time ago. It’s itchy at first, but you don’t even know it’s there after a while. Take it from me, you’re getting it cos your poppy loves you.”

That’s when the doc called my name. The old man stood up and told me to follow. So I did. Before we entered the doctor’s room, I looked back at the old dog for a moment. His tail was still standing at attention like nothing could ever make it go down. He’s right. There’s not much I can do about it, so why stress myself out worrying. I just have to move forward, deal with it, and keep going. And as long as I’ve got my companion, everything is going to be alright.

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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Taking Your Dog Shopping

Dec 9, 2011

photoThe holidays are swiftly approaching, and what better way to enjoy the season than with your pup? Not everyone enjoys having ole Blue in the backseat while you and the kids are singing some holiday music, but there are those of us who do. So what are some shopping tips for your pup? There are good places to take them, and places you don’t take them during the holiday season.

Pup in the puppy aisle

Fortunately for us pet lovers, there are stores completely dedicated to our four-legged friends. And what better place than to take your dog shopping than their very own shopping area? I’ve seen pups and their people wandering around checking out toys and beds. If you’re thinking about getting them a present this year, let them explore and see if a particular pillow or bed is just right for them.

But, before you do take your pup out for their own shopping time, make sure that they’re in good health and that they’re up to date on their vaccinations. Get them a flea collar or powder them up before you take them out, just in case someone else has a few bugs they want to share with your pup.

For smaller pups, remember that they aren’t always seen. They can get trampled by dog and human alike. If you need to, there are puppy strollers and small pup carriers that will allow Tiny Tim join you as you shop.

At the store

Not all shopping allows your pup to come inside, and for them that means they’ve got to stay in the car. While it might be alright to let your pup chill in the car with the windows down a bit, keep in mind that theft is higher this time of year. The last thing you want is someone breaking your window or trying to squeeze little Frisky out of the car. With the cold weather and the long lines in the market stores, it’s really best not to take your pup shopping with you if they can’t come in.

Careful in the car

Since everybody is going to be out doing a little shopping, that means that there’s bound to be a bit of traffic. Since you never know what to expect, it’s important to make sure your pup stays safe while you’re out on the road, hunting for some last minute presents. First rule: Pups don’t go in the front seat. Air bags are a safety device designed for a seated human, not a canine. Since most new vehicles come with airbags, keep Frisky in the back seat area and away from danger.

Now, focus on keeping your pup stationary in the vehicle. You’ve seen the old movies where the kids are running rampant in the backseat while their mother and father are yelling, trying to get them under control. Same effect with pets, only a mischievous pup might find their way under your pedals or in your lap to distract you during a very dangerous time. The crate is possibly one of the most puppy safe vehicle tools you can find out there. Most have a lock so that they fasten into a vehicles seatbelt to ensure the crate stays in place and the pup stays safe. Another option, particularly for a bigger dog, whose crate might not fit in a car seat, is the puppy safety belts out on the market. They do a fairly good job of keeping your pup in the seat and aren’t uncomfortable as long as you get the right size. If all else fails, and that rascal doesn’t like to stay still or stay in their crate, it would be best to leave them at home where it’s warm and toasty.

As a reminder- the bed of your truck is not a seat. A pup riding in the back can be seriously injured by flying debris, dust and dirt in the air, or during a vehicle accident. If you’re pup is going to be riding with you, keep them seated inside the vehicle until the captain turns off the seatbelt sign.

The holidays are indeed a fun time of the year, and it’s nice to share it with our faithful companions. But, keep in mind that their safety always comes first. Remember that the holidays aren’t just about the shopping, it’s about the people and pups we spend the time with every day of the year.

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