ROCKY ADVENTURE – One Chance to Potty, What’s it Going to be?

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventures

“I’ve got your ball!” Tim’s muffled cries challenged me to pursue. I did, and quickly overtook the small pup. We wrestled for a minute before the slippery pup managed to get free of my grasp. I may be bigger and faster, but he has a knack for getting out of a tight spot.

I already know the day is probably going to be a long one. Our companions left earlier, dressed up in their best (the old man had quite the hat on, making him look a lot taller than usual). There was plenty of discussion going on, involving a visiting group that brought over all the fancy clothing. This goes there. That goes where? Everyone was rushing around the apartment, just like they did down on the streets. Then they left in a flash, the old man barely spending a moment to tell me to be good while they were at the wedding. I wasn’t worried about going with them. After all, if they were going to be rushing around while having to wear all that hot clothing in the summer heat, I didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

So that leaves just Tim and me all alone with a whole lot of rascally business to get into. Despite Tim’s regularly timid composure, he’s surprised me with his eagerness to check all the nooks and crannies for adventure. But since we’re limited to the relatively small apartment today, there’s really not much to do but play a few games.

Right now, an old torn up soccer ball is the toy to have, and with only one available, we’re going to have a competition to decide who gets it. Most of the patches have been pulled off, leaving little ruffles that are ideal for getting a good grip. Despite the rough condition, it is my very favorite of Tim’s wide selection of goodies. (He’s hidden a few, but I found them when he wasn’t looking). The best part is that when you tackle it, you end up rolling right over with it, almost as if it were wrestling back.

I lunge at the ball, taking a tumble as I roll over with it in my grasp. Tim lets go of his side, allowing me to take my prize and run.

That’s when I realize that in this morning’s rush and commotion, our companions had neglected to take Tim and I for “walkies” before they left. And when you’ve got to go, well there’s no time like right now. Wasting no time at all and completely forgetting the ball-competition, I rush to the door and look for the doggy door.

I’ve been so accustomed to my regular lifestyle, that when something you take for granted is completely unavailable, you’re more surprised than upset. Right now, I’m both. We’ve been having so much fun that I didn’t even realize the urge was sneaking up on me. That’s when I remember Tim’s potty spot. Strange as it may sound, he goes potty inside sometimes, just like the old man does.
“Stop!” Tim shouts as he jumped between me and the grass box. He eyed me suspiciously as though he were contemplating my plans. “What is it that you think you’re doing?”I rush back to the bathing room, where Tim keeps his grass. I nudge the door open with mynose and spot his facilities. It calls to me, and despite the fact that I’m not accustomed to going indoors, I’m pretty sure that if Tim can do it, then it’ll be alright if I do too. After all, I’m sure it’s better than a door mat to welcome the old man home.

“I’ve got to go.” I shrug innocently. “I’m just going to borrow it for a moment.”

“No!” Tim yelped. His expression had gone from suspicious to victorious as though he knew I needed something from him. “First, you must tell me that I’m the best ball-chaser in the world.” He nodded and added, “My box, my rules.”

I stared at him, confounded that he obviously didn’t understand the intensity of the situation. He just sat there between the grass box and me with a proud look on his face. Upwards his nose was turned and he was trying his best to look down at me by straightening up and arching his head high. Okay then. Two can play at that. I pattered directly over to the side of the bathtub and hiked my leg.

“Whoa! No!” Tim’s eyes went wide with surprise. He rushed over and started nudging me toward the grass box. “I was just messing with you. It was just a joke…don’t scare me like that again.”

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 Swimming Lessons

Tips for dog owners who want to take their dogs swimming

Not all dogs naturally know how to swim, and it is up to you to teach them for safety’s sake. Expecting them to be able to handle themselves in an aquatic situation can be dangerous, especially if you have a pool or visit lakes or rivers during camping trips with your canine companion.

So, how exactly do you teach your dog to swim? While they quickly learn how to stay afloat, it is crucial that you target a few specific points and techniques to ensure their safety and make the experience fun for them. After all, fun is the best teaching tool of all.

For most owners, getting them adjusted to the water is a good start. You don’t want them to panic when they enter a water environment (river, lake, pool, or even canoeing) because they can easily get confused. So, how old should a puppy be before they begin any kind of swimming lessons? Generally, it’s good to start early, around seven months, to get them accustomed to a water environment. It’s good for safety purposes, just in case they fall into a swimming pool or get excited and jump in (dogs are renowned for their desire to save their friends and will often jump in to try to save you if you’re in the pool).

Teaching your dog to doggy-paddle

You may want to start with a doggy pool. They’re inexpensive and are great for cooling them off during the hot summer months. In a shallow environment, they’ll be able to move around in the water without being afraid.

Once accustomed to getting wet, it’s time for swimming lessons. Don’t just put them in the pool. There are some handy tools, such as pool ramps, that give your dog a boost out of the water. This is mainly because dogs cannot climb out of a pool like we can. Just keep in mind that swimming can be disorienting for them, and knowing their exit point is important. Dogs can panic, so be careful that they don’t pull you down or scratch you.

Place them in the pool at their exit point and allow them to get a feel for the water environment. Then you should guide them around the pool and have them follow you. At the end of the lesson, guide them back to the exit and let them get out on their own.

Precautions when swimming

Protecting yourself is just as important. Wear a shirt and shorts that will cover your torso and legs. Dogs can easily scratch you with their nails, especially when they’re paddling or even panicking. It is likely that first time swimmers will want to grab on to you for safety, so this can save you from unnecessary nicks and scratches.

This brings up the importance of hygiene. Something to consider before introducing your dog into a pool is your dog’s nails. Many people know how much it hurts when they stub their toe or hand when swimming or just getting out of the pool. Dogs are just as susceptible, and can easily crack or shatter a nail, which could easily become infected. This is where additional tools like the doggy ramp can help out.

You must also be cautious about a pool environment, since chlorine can be hard on their eyes or dangerous to ingest. Sometimes it’s not good for them even to just inhale it. Consider the use of a salt-purified pool. Salt actually makes the water denser and things in it more buoyant (so your dog will find it easier to float) and is softer on their skin and eyes. Keep in mind that their fur can be hard on your pool filters, so don’t be surprised if you have to clean your filters more often.

Swimming lessons for your dog

There are of course a range of doggy swimming training facilities available to help train your dog. Because this is all about safety, there are a few questions to ask before you enlist in any classes. How will they train your dog? Do they teach through positive reinforcement or through discipline? How you train your dog will affect their outlook and attitude towards water. What safety precautions do they take? Is their pool a safe environment and dog-friendly? Consider that it is also important that trainers be aware of the risks of an aquatic environment and are able to take measures to ensure your dog’s complete safety (such as resuscitation). Then consider what type of environment they will be in. Remember that chlorine pools can quickly irritate their eyes.

As your dog’s owner and protector, it is up to you to ensure their safety at all times. Though we do not always think about how dangerous a pool can be to our dog, it is important to understand that without proper training, your companion could injure themselves or even someone else if they don’t know how to swim safely.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

Dog owners watch your pet’s weight

Dogs can easily become overweight, especially since we are sometimes too busy to really spend time ensuring they have an active lifestyle. While we’re at work, they hang out around the home because they don’t have much else to do. Combined with once-a-day feeding habits, it is very easy for our dogs to become a little chubby.

Of course, a dog’s health is essential to their happiness, and although they love it when you feed them a little extra, that doesn’t mean that it’s good for them. So, it is up to dog owners to help their dogs lose a little weight so that they can get back to being healthy and happy.

Realizing your dog’s present condition

Are they obese? Maybe they’re just a little pudgy on the sides. But identifying your dog’s condition will give you a good idea of where you need to start. The most convenient test is to run your hands along your dog’s rib-cage. If you can’t easily feel their ribs, then they’re obese (take into consideration fur thickness). Next you must consider what a healthy weight is for your dog. Their body type, size, and breed must all be included as factors. You don’t want to set a goal that your dog can’t healthily achieve. If you are going by weight, you should check your dog’s weight against a respectable source. The Association of Pet Obesity Prevention provides a good reference in their site: http://www.petobesityprevention.com/ideal-weight-ranges/

To get your dog’s weight, it is easiest to simply use a bathroom scale. If you know your weight, all you have to do is pick up your dog and subtract the difference. Then compare it to a chart and start planning your dog’s fitness goals.

Plenty of exercise

Regardless of your rush to get your dog healthy, you need to start slow. Despite your good intentions, rushing an overweight or unhealthy dog into a rigorous exercise plan could do more harm than good. Realize that overweight dogs who are not accustomed to frequent activity normally have higher blood pressure and are susceptible to injury if they become radically active too fast.

The best place to start is to take them for regular walks. Regular activity is important to a dog’s health for many reasons besides simply working off the extra weight. It also helps their digestive tract function properly. Walking helps move their bowels and eliminate waste properly so that it doesn’t accumulate in their body. As their body begins to function properly again, they’ll begin to lose weight and become healthier.

Healthy Diet

While exercise is important, what and how you feed your dog will make a world of a difference to their weight. Choose a dog food that is formulated for weight control and avoid puppy formulated foods for less active dogs. These have an abundance of additional carbs and proteins that growing dogs need.

Part of a healthy diet includes feeding them on a regular schedule. Several small meals throughout the day will help regulate their body functions better. It will also provide energy when they need it most, such as in the mornings before exercise or playtime in the afternoon.

As far as proper feeding time is concerned, don’t feed your dog right before bedtime. In addition to being a potty risk, it also means that the food they’ve just eaten will simply be stored as extra fat later on. Also refrain from feeding them just one big meal a day. This often results in a low metabolism and lower insulin secretion, resulting in a higher body weight and a higher risk for diabetes. When feeding, use a measuring cup to keep serving amounts at a steady and reliable quantity. Making guesswork of your dog’s servings can end up countering your entire health plan goal.

A treat?

Treats are often a pet owner’s biggest weakness. Dogs love a treat, and we love to see that tail wag. But treats are not always good for them or their weight. What types of treats are you giving them? How many and how frequently? You don’t have to cut out all treats, you just have to make sure they get them at the right times. Make them earn their treats. It also helps to choose healthy or all-natural treats. Also keep in mind that the best treat of all is your attention. Table scraps are not treats.

Monitor your dog’s weight and physical changes each week. They may not drop their extra bulk quickly, but the idea is to do it safely and in a healthy manner. Regular exercise and proper diet are crucial to a dog’s health. As your dog’s owner, you are responsible for their well-being, and with the proper technique, you can provide your faithful companion with a happy, healthier lifestyle that both of you can enjoy.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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