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Archive for April, 2012

ROCKY ADVENTURE – Spring Rain

Apr 30, 2012

Not much has been going on lately. I chased my tail earlier. But that got old really quickly. I tried to get the old man to play, but he just wasn’t in the mood. I wrestled with his one loose sock, (the left one always seems to wander down and dangle when he’s been relaxing on the couch) but he wasn’t going for that. He quickly nudged me away and grunted as he pulled the sock back up his leg. It quickly slid back down, but it wouldn’t do much good to try again. He just wasn’t in the mood to play, but I was, and quite frankly, I’m bored out of my paws.

Normally, I would have proceeded to enjoy a frolic out in the yard. I’d enjoy some playtime with Thieves and then even some sunbathing might be nice, to finish an entertaining afternoon. But, that was all very difficult with the rain coming down from the sky. It’s been falling for several days, keeping both the old man and me cooped up inside. I’m sure even he would like to get out there and play in his garden or at least throw the ball for a bit. I know I would.

Not with all this rain though. Even when I have to take care of my regular business, the wet ground makes it hard to do much of anything. This has made me somewhat negligent of my duties, and I’ve been holding it for a little longer than I really should.

And now I’m sitting here at the window, looking out at the dark sky and rather dreary downfall. This leaves me struggling to decide if I really have to go, or if I can hold it for just a little longer. I study my regular trail, the grass a little lower where I would normally run through, and decide it’s far too muddy to make that attempt. The bushes close to the house have proven to be useful these past few days, even though it has proactively gotten wetter beneath their shelter. But, it’s better than getting soaked by the falling rain.

I get situated at the doggy door, studying my path to the bushes. It’s almost impossible not to get wet from here to the bushes, but if I stay close enough to the sides of the house and fence, I won’t be utterly soaked afterward.

I ease out into the rainy day, staying as close to the wall as possible. Here, the pavement puddles with cold water, which actually doesn’t feel too uncomfortable. It’s when I get into the grass that the mud and cold water start soaking my belly fur. I’m not the tallest dog, but I’ve always been afraid of heights, so being short is exactly where I belong. Unfortunately, when there’s rain amongst other obstacles, I tend to feel the blunt of an inconvenient situation. Like this moment for instance, I have to stop to scratch an itch that has suddenly formed where the water has soaked deep into my fur. I only give it a few swipes, since time spent out here will only result in a soggier situation.

Finally beneath the bushes, I sniff for a decent spot to do what I must, and the relief is refreshing, regardless of the muddy earth beneath my paws. When all is done, I peek out to plan my return journey: close to the fence and close to the wall to prevent soaking myself even more.

Then I spot the old man standing in the doorway, staring out into the dreary atmosphere. He doesn’t look happy about it either. Of course, he’s standing in the shelter where it’s still dry, so it shouldn’t bother him as much as it does me.

When I get up to him, I notice a towel in his hand. A game of tug o’ war, perhaps? Nope. Instead, I get something a little better- a rub down. The old man dries me off, scrubbing and scratching. He even rubs my paws down, getting the debris and mud out from between my toes.

When he’s done, the towel whips away to clear my view, and I notice the sun has decided to make an appearance today. Even the rain has subsided to a light mist. I can feel the warmth of the day revitalize the air, reminding me of all the fun we can still have if we hurry!

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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Fun Picture Blogs if You Love Dogs

Apr 27, 2012

Something that never seems to get old to any dog lover is seeing their fellow dog owners enjoy the company of such a valuable companion. However, dog blogs never seem to be complete without an exotic picture that says: this dog is indeed unique. These simple pictures let us know that dogs around the world, whether they’re sleeping or running through the snow, are enjoying the time of their life. And that gives every owner the priceless feeling that we too can enjoy the time of our lives with our best friend.

Ready, Set, Action!

Amongst the variety of blogs, an all-time favorite is to have a blog that portrays your dog in action. Pictures have the awesome ability of catching our four-legged friends in motion, whether they’re playing or even eating a bowl of pasta, such as the unique http://dogseatingpasta.tumblr.com/ , that focuses on odd pictures of the cutest dogs enjoying a variety of this human dish. This of course is a favorite for anyone that has ever seen Lady and the Tramp. But, action doesn’t stop there, especially when your dog has seemingly taken on a few characteristics of their owners. Such sites as http://fuckyeahdogsoncomputers.com/ (the name is legit, even if it is a little vulgar) and the awesomely titled http://dogs-looking-like-people.tumblr.com/ really appeal to dog lovers, making you realize that having a dog that’s just like you are can be both silly and attractive.

The site http://cooldogs.tumblr.com/ is a favorite for putting our lovable friends in a “Too Cool” situation. Dogs with sunglasses- check. Dogs chilling in the car window- check. This site has exactly what any dog owner loves when they picture their own dog just being cool.

What they’re doing when they don’t think you’re looking

Of course, candid cameras often take the best picture. Remember that any faithful dog believes in the honorable law of: I’ll wait for you forever. So, to really display the depth of a dog’s mindset, the site http://dwfth.tumblr.com/ is dedicated to displaying exactly this particularly adorable quality that strengthens the bond between humans and their dogs, even if we aren’t always there to see it.

Seeing is breathtaking

Perhaps a favorite amongst dog owners is witnessing a dog with a view. Perhaps one of the most breathtaking sites that displays these beautiful shots that say more than a thousand words with each picture is http://dogsandgreatviews.tumblr.com/ . If you adore seeing dogs, and you love seeing them enjoy some exotic and beautiful scenery that enunciates their breed and origins, you’re guaranteed a great view on this blog.

Dogs and their expressions

There is also the natural expression that we love to see on a dogs face- more commonly the squishy face. One of these popular sites, http://squishfacedogs.com/ , is completely designated to flaunting the cuteness of the natural expression of many dog breeds. While not all dogs are naturally squishy faced, you may find yourself playing with your own dog’s face, giving them a massage and changing their expression, even if it turns out a little squishy.

The names we give dogs, and the names they give themselves

Naming your dog isn’t always as simple as it sounds. Some like to be exotic (Jayne Cobb, the regulator) while others love Deogee (DOG). With so many creative names that owners can come up with, sites like http://namesfordogs.tumblr.com/ have completely dedicated their blog to finding new and exotic names that you can vote on or get ideas from for your dogs. This blog really gives a dog owner the opportunity to be creative with their dog’s name, providing an extra bit of character to their companion’s title. But, just remember that while you call your dog one thing, they may be calling themselves another (Dante the Infernal House Runner).

Dogs and their companions

Of course, we can’t forget the pictures we love to take WITH our dogs. Many sites, such as http://cooldogs.tumblr.com/ and http://menandtheirdogs.tumblr.com/ love to display pictures of owners and sometimes other people posing with their four-legged friends. And what could be better than seeing dogs interacting with their companions. You get to see anything from a simple hide and seek game to a set of smiling faces (yes, dogs do smile, even if some don’t believe it).

Any owner knows that most dogs don’t like getting their picture taken. They turn away at the last second, or decide they want to play, rather than sit still. Perhaps this is what makes dog pictures a great and unique addition to our blogs. If you like dogs, and you love to see them in any situation from action to resting, be sure to check out some great pictures that will please any dog lover.

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Great Dog Sites

Apr 25, 2012

While the rest of the world has sped into the digital era, we’ve seen a growing demand for publicity on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook erupting with new faces and personalities. And, like their human counterparts, our dogs want a place in the public eye as well.

While blogs have been a great outlet for publicizing our favored friends and associates, social media has become a great source for really defining the personality of a dog and even providing a little insight into what they are thinking.

Dogs as entertainers

We’ve all seen dogs rise in fame, often maintaining their actual names in the movies they’re acting in. https://twitter.com/#!/cookiedabooboo is a well renowned dog actor, making appearances on such television shows such as Desperate Housewives. But to really give the dog a voice, this Twitter site is dedicated to providing a voice for Cookie and effectively creating a character that enjoys telling its owner what to do (which many of our spoiled dogs enjoy doing).

Oprah is the rather foul-mouthed advocate of rapper 50 cent, often holding nothing back when it comes to offering an opinion. But, this just goes to show that even dogs have a few rights that we humans take for granted when it comes to speaking our minds. You can find this furry and funny minded dog on Twitter as  http://twitter.com/oprahthedog. It’s definitely a site for anyone that enjoys a few laughs and entertainment.

Dogs in politics

One rare and rather surprising area to see a dog in is politics. While it’s a rather unique situation, dogs such as Sutter Brown have found their way into the top ranking official statuses of the world, and exhibit their profound desire to really press their views on life. Found at http://facebook.com/sutterbrown on Facebook, this four-legged politician really dishes out the facts and views regarding how a dog interprets the world, and provides plenty of insight concerning bone taxes and other doggy political processes. Combined with both humor and fact, this is a definite like for any dog owner.

Dogs represent: tumbler, schools, even blogs

Dogs are found in every aspect of life, even business and education. So, to provide a little doggy insight into these worlds, Tumbler has actually put a doggy advocate as a spokesdog for their business. http://tommypom.com/ is a site dedicated to the furry Pomeranian Tommy. Though small, this dog has a big voice, helping to endorse one of the fastest growing social media sites on the internet. Filled with pictures and blogs, you get a dog’s-eye-view of what it’s like working as an intern for Tumblr.

http://twitter.com/sullyburger is a site dedicated to the cutest of cute puppy mascots for the site Cuteness.com. This furry representative flaunts his cuteness to really provide the character that is needed to endorse a site that focuses on being cute. And what dog isn’t?

http://twitter.com/butlerblue2 is a Twitter site dedicated to the Butler University of Indiana, promoting the importance of education and its value to society. Full of school spirit, this bull dog is an excellent representative of determination and effort that is needed to accomplish any goal you set your mind on- for both dogs and people. He’s definitely something to like and admire, even if you don’t attend their school.

Dog’s life

We can never forget those that represent the everyday dog-life, which is where such sites have dedicated time and effort to supporting their four-legged friends like Rocky the Chihuahua. These tales tell of Rocky’s adventures with his companion, and while fictional, are actually based on the everyday events that this clever pup enjoys taking advantage of. And you’d be surprised at what dogs can really get away with when you spoil them. The blogs http://blog.porchpotty.com/category/the-adventures-of-rocky/ really give an exotic outlook on the world through a dog’s eyes as they interact with companions and friends alike. Rocky is definitely mischievous in real life, and definitely shines as a bit of entertainment for the everyday dog lover.

Another site that definitely says: I think like a dog, is http://twitter.com/mikeythebrat , who does indeed live by his name. Full of sassy quotes and some great humor, this Twitter site is a favorite if you want to put a few words in your dog’s mouth.

Throughout the internet, you can find dogs representing anything from products to politics, giving dog owners something to really enjoy through a slight bit of dog humor and some interesting facts. These sites really give an effort in creating a dog’s character and personality, allowing us humans to associate ourselves with some of our best friends in the world: our dogs.

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ROCKY ADVENTURE – This is No Lazy Day Sunday

Apr 23, 2012

I’ve been chasing this “noisy beast” all morning. And though it may seem indestructible, I’m bound to win the battle. Back and forth, this thing sweeps across the carpet, whining and whistling as it pulls everything in its path up into a monstrous belly. Perhaps it’s even hungrier than I!

Regardless of the current situation, everything started out in a fairly normal fashion this morning. We both woke up (my wet nose tickling the old man’s face until he succumbed to the time), and enjoyed an excellent breakfast. Of course, any meal is excellent—at least to me it is. I went outside to take care of my morning business, and to say hello to Thieves, who has grown rather large the past few months. I can remember when he was just the tiny invader of my home. He even knows a few new words, like “good” and “ball” and “Rocky,” all of which we practice each morning since he can throw, and I can fetch. Then we go back inside and enjoy being lazy for a while. It’s a great schedule to keep if you’re a dog like me.

But when I got back inside, everything went awry. First, the old man started scooting furniture. The table went to the corner, the sofa was scooted out into the open and even my favorite tree (a fake decoration, but it still looks real) was placed outside, which upset me since it was a favored hiding place for a great many treasures. But I’ll be honest, for a fellow in his senior years, the old man can be pretty spry when he’s motivated.

After all the shifting and moving, and even a little dancing around when I found one of my old toys that had been long forgotten beneath the couch, the beast emerged. And that’s when the battle ensued. At first the old man kept trying to keep me away. I guess he thought I might hurt it, and he may be right. But, it turns out that the beast was made of metal, which is much too difficult to bite or chew, so I succumbed to intimidation. It was noisy, so my task was to be even louder and more obnoxious. In time, it would discover I was no pup to be messed with.

Eventually, the beast quit, or had at least filled its belly, and found sanctuary from me in the hallway closet. The old man had moved on to other tasks, but I remained at attention, occasionally yapping a fresh challenge through the door. It must have learned its lesson, at least for now.

The different pieces of furniture slowly found their way back into their homes. A few things were a little different, but the old man must be getting forgetful in his years. Items and decorations were wiped down with towels, which I picked up and took to the laundry room when they were tossed aside. If we’re gonna clean, we need to do it right. Only toys are allowed to be on my carpet. And maybe shoes. And food, but that goes without saying.

I was very excited when my tree was returned to its place, even though my treasures had been discovered and thrown away. I can’t help it if I like to keep treats hidden. The smell never bothered me. In fact, sometimes it makes them taste better. It’s okay though, because he hasn’t found my other hiding spot. As a dog, one must consider these things in order to protect one’s valuable investments.

After a great day of activity, only one thing remained that needed to be cleaned- the piano. It was a favorite pastime indeed. The pictures and plants were all returned to their home upon the piano top, giving it the comforting and kind look it always displayed. Out of all the noise making devices I had ever encountered, only this one appealed to my nature. The carefully crafted tunes and sound reminded me of great memories of us as we sat together for a few special moments in just each other’s company. But, maybe it wasn’t even the piano that played the trick, it was the simple fact that the old man was creating the sound that came from within…and the fact that I get to occasionally lend a helping paw.

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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Steps to Control Dog Aggression

Apr 20, 2012

Something that we don’t often consider about dogs is that we don’t necessarily know what they’re thinking. One minute, they’ll be running, jumping, and licking your hand. But in a split second, they can decide that they want to fight a fellow playmate, or even worse, a person.

For instance, my border collie often fights with my friend’s basset hound (separating them is a challenge of its own). At first, I couldn’t figure out why, but then it struck me. The two dogs played wonderfully together when no one was around (I was watching through the window). They often sleep next to each other, and even chase one another through the yard while they play. But, when my friend or I approach to pet one or the other, they get mad at each other: A hint of jealousy perhaps, but it is difficult to understand exactly what they were thinking. Regardless, it has made interaction between the two decline to a very limited basis.

This raises the question of dogs and their aggression. Whether you’re visiting the local dog park or just over at a friend’s house to enjoy some company, dogs can sporadically become aggressive, and the worst part is that you may not even know when it will happen.

Protecting you

One of the most common stimuli of aggression is when a dog senses danger. Now, keep in mind that many owners have their dogs for that exact reason- to protect. They have the instinctive nature to love you and the unbreakable desire to protect you from harm. When out and about, another dog may want to simply explore or even meet you. But, to your dog, they may appear to be trying to do harm to you. They don’t always know the difference.

This is why socialization is imperative to a dog’s development. When you meet new dogs, familiarize yourself with both dogs at the same time. Pet them both, while restraining them both, along with your fellow dog owner. This definitely needs to be a group effort.

Mine! Mine! Mine!

Now, that brings about another important topic for dog aggression. Who’s in my space? Bedding, food, and even toys are all “mine” to a dog. The den, as a dog would know, is a private sanctuary where they have the desire and need to feel safe at all times. When another dog intrudes, even if they are harmless, it can raise aggression to dangerous levels.

Keep in mind that your dogs need to meet on neutral grounds. Territorial invasion is amongst your dog’s dislikes. So, it is in your dog’s best interests to always be introduced to another away from their own territory, such as in a park.

Unfortunately, aggression can be difficult to spot until it’s too late, which brings about the subject of spreading the aggressors apart. NEVER get between them. That is a definite “don’t do” interaction. You can be bitten or injured in the attempt. One of the safest and possibly best ways to stop a fight is to utilize water. It’s harmless to anybody, and definitely cools down a situation. How you dispense it is up to your intuitive thoughts.

Dog aggression and people

An uncommon, but dangerous issue is when a dog shows aggression to others. This can be dangerous, but it’s also important for any dog owner to be able to tell the difference between wanting to play (such as chasing a jogger or playing child) and attempts to intimidate or attack another person.

Do keep in mind that dogs are very protective of you, their loving owner, but it is also your job to protect those around you from your dog’s protective instincts. Perhaps the best way to introduce a new person is to positively interact with them. You may find your dog barking at first, attempting to scare an intruder away (especially when they ring the doorbell), but if you simply shake hands and act in a friendly manner, your dog can pick up on your attitude in the situation. A friendly handshake is always good. You may avoid hugging, though, since it may be taken as an attack. Instead, restrain your dog and allow them to watch while you interact with another person. Keep in mind that sniffing and inspecting are important before acceptance.

With small children, this can be difficult. Many times, youngsters may pull hair, ears, or even tails, causing pain to a dog. They may correct the child as they would their own pup, by nipping or biting. Because of the extreme danger that can present, if you have young children in the presence of your dog, avoid unsupervised situations where this can happen. Dogs are very curious creatures (even more so than cats), but children are much more, so take preventative measures to ensure that curiosity doesn’t get the better of either.

Dogs are very protective creatures. Some are aggressive, while others are passive, but we must always remember that they are our friends. So, it is up to us dog lovers and owners to help teach and prevent situations in which a dog might feel obligated to become aggressive. When you do this, you construct a happy, perfect home for your beloved pet.

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Help Your Dog Learn not to Bite

Apr 18, 2012

One of the many problems that dog owners face is the biting issue. Sure, a puppy nibbling on your finger may be cute and just tickle a little, but as a dog gets older, biting can really become a serious problem. Many dog owners realize the danger that a dog bite can present- both to people and the dog. A dog bite raises more than just an issue with harm or danger. There is also the concern that if a dog bites someone else, you and your dog may be in trouble- legally.

Needless to say, biting isn’t only harmful, but dangerous. But why is it that dogs bite? Mostly, it’s often derived because your puppy and other puppies and dogs will play by biting and nipping at each other. When one becomes too rough, the others are quick to correct the other. This helps them learn the appropriate levels of biting. Unfortunately, when a puppy leaves their mother and fellow “playmates” to live with you, they don’t necessarily have that instinctive advantage of learning not to bite.

An opportunity to learn

Because your dog commonly only experiences mainly you and what you teach them, it’s up to you to correct this biting tendency in your puppy. Keep in mind that regardless of some old fashioned techniques like biting their ears or having to resort to other physical discipline, this may not be at all necessary. Rather it has to do with the way you treat them and the example you set early in their life.

The first step for any young dog is proper socialization. The most opportune time to begin socialization is around or before three months of age. During this time period, dogs develop the primary habits that will ultimately carry over into the rest of their lives.

Socialization includes a wide range of interactions. You will want them to encounter and experience other adults, children, and even dogs. During this process, many young puppies will be either very shy, or else aggressive. They may play, they might even retreat, but eventually, they will get used to the idea that there is more than just you and them in the world. This understanding helps to eliminate their fear of an unfamiliar face.

During the interaction, it is imperative your dog doesn’t become accustomed to biting. This applies to biting both humans and other dogs as well. Many young puppies are teething, and will chew on just about anything to relieve the irritation that goes along with this. While young puppy bites aren’t usually harmful because they aren’t fully grown, they can be regarded as “cute” or “it’s okay” by others, even children. But, it’s not okay at all. If your dog is chewing or nibbling on hands, feet, or even clothing, stop them, and instead take a step in a different direction.

This means that you should be providing appropriate toys to curb their biting desires. Chew toys, ropes, tennis balls, and even treats all help teach a dog when and what they should be biting on. Even as they get older, the need to chew and bite is often a reflex to the need to help scrub their teeth, so be sure that you provide them with that opportunity so they won’t be nibbling on your favorite pair of shoes.

Dogs will be dogs

Consider that dogs will always be dogs. They play, tackle, and even nip and bite each other. But fighting shouldn’t be allowed. During socialization, dogs learn a lot from you and their peers, including when biting is appropriate, and when it is too much. That’s why socializing with other dogs at an early stage is crucial to developing non-biting habits. During their interaction, other dogs will quickly alert their playmate that they are being too rough. Not to worry, because often times it is simply a yelp to alert them that they’ve been injured or sensed pain.

You can even practice the alert sounds, because if your dog bites you, even just a nip, yelp like you’ve been injured and play the part. You’d be surprised at how often your friend will instantly stop because they don’t want to hurt you. They may just be trying to play.

The experience with you

You need to be ready to stop your dog from biting. Don’t let young puppies chew on fingers, hands, or even your clothing. Even if you think it’s okay for them to bite you, it can definitely confuse them during their experience with others. By starting your dog off with some socialization skills and by giving them something that’s okay to bite, you can prevent them from biting anybody or anything they shouldn’t put their mouths on. After all, you don’t know where they’ve been.

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ROCKY ADVENTURE: On the Hunt…for Eggs!

Apr 16, 2012

I munched on my lunch while the activity around me moved at a radical pace. The old man wasn’t the only one in the house. Debbie was in the kitchen, working her magic on some delicious smelling delights that I hope to get a taste of later. Meanwhile, some of the old man’s relatives have made an appearance to entertain me. Two of his children decided to drop by- and they even brought their own youngsters to play with me.

At first, I wasn’t too excited about the intruders, but the children turned out to be a world of fun. They ran, I chased. They threw my favorite ball. I rushed to get it and let them chase me to try to get it. Needless to say, it’s been a very fun morning, which has made me very hungry.

So, I’ve already gobbled down my own lunch and have made my way under the table, hoping that the youngsters will drop a few crumbs to add some extra flavor to my meal. And I do get lucky. When the others aren’t looking, the little girl Samantha sneaks me a few delicious mouthfuls of Debbie’s cooking.
I was so seduced by the flavor of the treat that I didn’t even realize the old man had been giving me “the look” until he spoke up. Oh, busted. I looked at him, offering my best “guilty but innocent” look. My paws go to my snout, intensifying the cuteness of my eyes. It works wonders when I know I’ve been caught. The old man just shakes his head and goes back to enjoying his own meal.

After lunch, the real fun begins. The adults revealed their bags of toys and other goodies that covered the table. “Eggs” they called the objects. There were different sized ones, each smelling a little different than the next. From my spot in the old man’s chair, I could sort through the eggs that were close enough to examine. Debbie and the old man were opening some of them and putting treats in. Then they’d close them back up and drop them into a different basket.

It wasn’t until I tried to take one for myself that I was quickly diverted out of the kitchen. Guess it’s not time for me to play…yet.

A short while later, all the adults started putting the eggs in the yard. I watched from my spot in the window while the kids were tucked away in a separate room so they couldn’t peek. But, peeking isn’t something that a curious pup like me can resist. They hid eggs in the back yard for a while, but then moved onto the side yard, where they would clearly lose sight of the back.

Slowly, I move out into the yard, sniffing for the eggs. I find the first one, which will now find its new home in my favorite corner of the yard. Here, a bush grows thick, making it an excellent spot for hiding my treasures (there are even a few old toys that had been forgotten with time). I do the same with the others until no more can be found. By the end, I have about twenty eggs all to myself. I’m happy.

That’s when the back door opened and the children came rushing out with baskets in hand. They raced through the yard, searching for the eggs. When they didn’t find any, their smiles began to disappear. They looked sad. It kind of made me sad. I looked back at my treasure cove, considering if it felt better to have them all to myself, or if I’d feel better sharing these treasures with my friends.

“Hey!” I called out to them. “Over here!” I grabbed an egg from my treasure pile and took it to Samantha’s basket, dropping it in to fill the emptiness. She looked at me as though a magic trick had been performed. She smiled in appreciation, so I went to get another. Then they finally figured out what had happened to the eggs. The smiles became laughter as the adults appeared to see what was going on.

Samantha rolled me over, rubbing my belly and telling me how mischievous I was. It really does feel better to give treasure to someone else than to keep it for yourself. I’m happy. They’re happy. It’s a good day for everybody, and my tail says so.

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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How to Over Come Bad Dog Breath

Apr 13, 2012

Though we love our dogs, we often pull away in disgust after we get a whiff of some bad breath. There are several reasons a dog has breath issues, ranging from diet to disease. All of these issues can be addressed properly as long as you know what to look for. Because dogs look to their owners to ensure a healthy and happy life, it is imperative that precautions be taken to ensure that bad breath and it’s causes are dealt with properly.

Causes of bad breath

The leading cause of bad breath is when bacteria begin to build up in your dog’s mouth, lungs, or even digestive tract (including throat and stomach), many of which give off a foul or sulfur based odor that so many dog owners are familiar with. If left untreated, these bacteria can progressively get worse, causing tooth decay and gum disease as they begin to cause infection or break down tissues.

Dogs are commonly prone to plaque and tarter, which are renowned for causing bad breath in the oral cavity. This can be caused by certain diets (low quality dog food or even consumption of human foods) and also a lack of oral care. Because dogs can’t readily use a toothbrush, plaque buildup can quickly become a problem if left unaddressed.

Taking care of your dog

This makes it important for every dog owner to know how to manage their dog’s oral health. There are many methods to maintaining your dog’s oral hygiene, a combination of which is necessary to maintain a healthy and happy smile.

Doggy dental bones are great for oral health and nutritional value. There’s a large variety of dental treats on the market, making it hard to decide on one particular brand or type. Some rely on all-natural substances, which is a definite plus when chemicals are a common practice in dog related foods. There are even some that utilize multiple methods for keeping teeth clean, including an outer coating that surrounds a rawhide bone. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, be sure you’re aware of what their dental treats contain. They aren’t always what they appear to be at first glance.

Rawhide bones are the classic way to help brush a dog’s teeth by taking advantage of their natural chewing motions. When you do give your dog a treat of any kind, make sure you maintain consistent observation, and be careful not to let them swallow large pieces whole, since that can cause digestive issues.

Regular brushing should be done at least every two weeks. Keep in mind that a dog’s body is very different from ours, so be sure to use dog tooth paste to keep your dog healthy. Luckily, there are a large variety of tooth brush styles readily available to make the process easier for both of you. Consider utilizing finger-brushes, which are easier to control than a traditional toothbrush.

The dog care market has also seen a new rise in other bad breath treatments. Some of them are spray chemicals, while others may come in a powder form that needs to be applied orally. While some rely on completely natural ingredients, others can contain miscellaneous chemicals or additives that can have negative effects on your dog’s health. Be cautious when choosing any additions to your dog’s oral care, and consider asking your vet about recommending certain types of oral hygienic care.

Severe cases of plaque may require professional cleaning in order to remove the problem. The scraping process can be uncomfortable for dogs, and challenging for the practitioner. It’s best to leave this technique to the professionals.

Know when to see the vet

Persistent bad breath can often indicate underlying medical problems that need to be addressed quickly. Keep a nose out for fruity or sweet breath which can be an early sign of diabetes. Urine-like smelling breath can be a sign of kidney disease. Foul breath, accompanied by vomiting and yellowing gums and eye corneas are signs of liver disease. While most bad breath is oral or dental related, these specific types of bad breath are signs that can help every dog owner quickly identify serious problems, ensuring a timely response for a hazardous situation.

Dog lovers around the world enjoy giving their faithful friend a great big hug, but it can often be a little unpleasant to endure some bad doggy breath. With plenty of attention and the right oral hygiene, your dog can enjoy a healthy smile and breath that says, “Give me a big kiss!”

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Anxiety Attacks and Goodbye

Apr 11, 2012

One of the hardest things that many dogs have to endure is “goodbye.” While we owners know that walking out the door and going to work doesn’t mean we’re gone forever, dogs aren’t always capable of grasping the concept. To many of them, when you walk out the door, you may be gone forever. This is what is known as “separation anxiety.”

There are many levels of this condition. Some result in destructive behavior, while others reflect a dog’s feelings through pacifistic or self-neglecting characteristics. As a dog owner, it is important that you pay attention to not only what your dog does when you’re around, but also to what they’re doing when you’re not around.

A little restless

The most common symptom of separation anxiety is a dog’s destructive behavior. This can target many areas of your home and life. From chewed clothing to damaged doorways, a dog finds ways to cope with their anxiety. Consider yourself when you’re anxious. The mind is worried, but the body is energized. You want to get up and do something. Dogs seldom have ways of coping with these feelings of anxiety in a positive manner. So, they often turn to targeting items in the household that remind them of you. They aren’t just being recklessly destructive—they’re usually looking for things that smell like you. Chewing on the remote control or a favorite pair of shoes is a favorite of anxious dogs. They aren’t purposely destroying the item, just favoring it because it reminds them of you.

Another characteristic of anxiety is the scratched doorway. Some dogs will scratch to be let out when they want to go out, but an anxious dog may wait at the door throughout the day, clawing at it because they believe they can get back to you if they can only get through that door. Remember that a dog doesn’t always realize where you are when they can’t see you. Doors are simply obstacles, blocking their view of a loved one.

Sad to say goodbye

When suffering from separation anxiety, dogs may also exhibit signs of depression, often waiting by the door and neglecting eating, drinking, or even potty cycles. This can be difficult to detect, especially since the side effects, such as depreciating health, can be slow to come. Health may deteriorate over time, especially since they’ll return to their regular habits once you’ve returned home.

Any form of anxiety has detrimental effects on a dog’s health. Whether it’s depression or elevated activities, the stress from the situation wears on the heart and body, which can result in an unhealthy and ultimately unhappy lifestyle.

Say goodbye to anxiety

Separation anxiety isn’t an easy condition to deal with. It is more psychological than physical, making it difficult to diagnose and treat medically. But, as a dog owner and lover, it is up to you to make your dog realize that goodbye is just temporary.

There are many remedies that help anxious dogs. Calming biscuits and even prescription medication can help with less severe cases. These remedies are designed to help a dog relax during the day while you’re gone, so that they aren’t as destructive to your home and their health. The problem with these remedies, however, is that they don’t actually cure the problem. What is necessary is to teach your beloved dog that you are only gone for now, but you’ll always return to them.

The best place to start is a little confusion. Dogs love and rely on a schedule. They wake up, eat, potty, and sleep at a regular time every day. So, you don’t want their anxiety to be included in that schedule. That means you must let them know that when you’re gone, the day goes on. Start with the characteristics that are associated with you leaving. The jingle of your keys, putting your coat on, or even making your morning smoothie can tell your dog: I’m getting ready to leave. Rather than actually leaving when you do these things, practice them intermittently throughout the day. Once your dog has become accustomed to these practices, move on to leaving periods. At first, leave for only a few minutes. Prepare yourself as if you’re going out, but return a few minutes later so your dog can associate you leaving with you returning. It will help make them feel secure about your absence and let them know that you are always coming back. You can progressively prolong your absence to help teach your dog that no matter how long you’re gone, you are always coming home.

While saying goodbye can be hard for any owner, it is often far more difficult for our beloved dogs. They love and miss us when we’re gone, often making them anxious about when they’ll get to see us next. It’s up to us to make sure they’re comfortable at home, even when we’re away for a while.

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ROCKY ADVENTURE – New Place, New Pups?

Apr 9, 2012

I started the day rather mischievously. While the old man was fixing himself some goodies on the stove, I managed to find my way into the open pantry. He’d been traversing between the small space and the very delicious smelling delights that simmered far out of my reach, so I decided to find something a little closer to the floor.

Unfortunately, while I did find some trouble to get into, it’s left me alone for a good while. About an hour ago, the door closed shut behind me while I snacked on the few crumbs and loose sugar that decorated the floor. I scratched and yelped, but I was forgotten, perhaps to the taste of the meal that the old man was enjoying without me.

When the door did open, I was all wound up with excitement. I immediately bounded to the old man, circling between his legs and telling him how happy I was to see him! A few minutes later, I had calmed down enough to notice that the old man was holding my leash and wearing his favorite hat. It was time for an adventure.
Outside, we met Debbie and Izzy. Apparently, we weren’t going for any “regular” walk. I realized this when we all loaded up in the same car and headed down the road. We passed my favorite park, the grocery store, and even the place with all the little “people pups.” Both Izzy and I called out to them, asking what they were doing and if they knew where we were going. They didn’t say anything, but did wave on occasion.

After seeing a few bike riders (one of them sounded mean and loud, like the bike’s belly was rumbling with hunger), we found our destination. Through the window, I could see so many peoples and their dogs running around together. Balls and Frisbees flew through the air while pups chased them down through the grassy field. I couldn’t wait to get out of the car.

Both Izzy and I were leashed and then unleashed out into the new environment. Scents covered the walkways, letters to claim territory marked the trees and bushes. I stopped to sniff a few and leave my own regards as we made our way to the gate.

Once inside, our leashes were removed and the two of us rushed to meet potential friends. I’d never seen so many dogs in the same place. Some chased others, barking their racing challenges. Izzy and I decided to join a group partaking in keep-away. One dog raced around with the desired ball while everyone else chased them until they dropped it or gave it up. Though there were plenty of other balls lying around, this particular one was special. Mostly because it was the one someone else wanted.

Despite our individual desires, Izzy and I always worked together. Perhaps it’s because we’re such good friends, but it’s likely our teamwork is just awesome. “Go left!” I bark to Izzy while I fall back and begin moving left as well. My short legs prevent me from being as speedy as the others, but it’s a spot where Izzy never falls short. I can see what direction the lead-dog will likely make. Her body moves right, but her head is leaning left, a definite sign that she’s going to change direction quickly.

Sure enough, Izzy is ready to intercept the lead-dog, forcing her to drop the ball. Despite my slower pace, I’ve managed to reach the tussle over the ball before it becomes too radical. One dog dives for it, his fluffy tail wagging like a flag to announce victory. But it isn’t so. The ball escapes his grip as another dog tries for the same dive. I leap over the dog pile and give chase to the ball. It rolls perfectly into my jaw, and I race forward with Izzy tailing behind me to cheer me on.

We play for what seems like hours. Each time the ball changes possession, it takes us on a different kind of chase. Apart from technique, each dog displays their own unique speed and endurance, making the game an endless combination of fun and entertainment.

But, even the most active of dogs will eventually wear out, and now both Izzy and I have wound down and found a shady spot beneath a tree. Here we watch newcomers begin their own games while we talk about how much fun it is to be a dog.

At the Dog park?

Rocky meets a girl?

Rocky falls into a hole?

Gets trapped somehow? In the pantry?

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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