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Archive for October, 2012

Halloween Costume Safety for Your Pooch

Oct 31, 2012

Dog care for your pooch this Halloween

Halloween is a time for dressing up to be pretty or scary, taking a moment to play into our imagination and even get into a favorite character’s costume. It’s a fun chance to change things up, stray away from the ordinary world and envelop ourselves in fantasy.

What’s great is that even our dogs can join in the fun. Perhaps you want to go as Little Bo Peep, while your dog gets to play the part of the sheep. It’s a clever thought, and the combinations are only limited by imagination. However, there are a few things to consider when dressing up your pup this Halloween to ensure that everyone stays safe and has fun.

Material

When it comes to safety, material is one of the most important things to consider regarding a costume. Can they eat it? Is it toxic? Many dogs, especially younger pups, tend to have a bit of a chewing problem. Avoid thin plastics that they can choke on, and in most cases, cotton materials breathe the best and won’t tear as easily.

The next question to ask: Is it flammable? When picture-taking time arrives, your dog might end up next to a Jack ‘O Lantern, posing a very real danger to them. Avoid flammable materials such as nylon, and always keep your dog away from any flames in the first place.

Safety

You must then consider what your dog naturally does – run and play. Will the costume and decorations hinder their activities? Are there stray tags or strings that drag that they could get tangled in or trip on? Will they get trapped if they go through a tight space such as a doggy door? Some costumes can become a little bulky, such as Little Bo Peep’s sheep, and can make it easy for your dog to get caught on things, especially since they aren’t accustomed to the extra attire.

What about the evening’s environment? Can your dog be seen at night? This aspect is not often considered, but it is incredibly important on such an active night when the doorbell is constantly ringing and the front door is opening and closing just as much. Reflective tape can be used to help spot your dog at night and can be applied to just about any costume material (except your dog’s fur).

Is the costume too tight? Some costumes rely on elastic bands, while others may utilize strings or Velcro. Be sure that the costume doesn’t restrict any areas of their body, such as their neck or belly. Your pup isn’t always able to tell you that they can’t breathe very well (unless they’re Lassie and you’re Timmy!).

Most importantly, can your dog still potty comfortably? While most costumes are limited to the neck and chest area, you don’t want to cover the entire body, or you may end up with a surprise package later on. If the costume does limit their ability to potty, you can always trim it to accommodate their needs, after all comfort will affect how much fun they are having.

Your dog’s cooperation is essential

Of course, not every dog is going to appreciate dressing up as much as you might want them to. Dogs are incredibly loyal animals, but in the case of putting on some extra attire, not every pup is going to cooperate. If they do, they may end up a little frustrated and grumpy afterwards. Are they going to tear it up and drag it around when you aren’t looking? Most likely yes. They will signal discomfort, and often some scratching and investigating is to be expected. But if they continue to wrestle with it, you may want to try something else.

In the case of comfort and willingness to wear, the concept of “too hot to handle” may prove to be useful. Some of the furrier breeds aren’t going to be as appreciative of a bulky costume as other’s might. However, there are some that do appreciate the extra warmth of their new attire, such as the cold-sensitive breeds like Chihuahuas. With the fall near, they may want to have a little extra to keep them warm while you’re handing out treats.

It is fun to include your pup for the holidays, but it’s more important to make sure that they stay safe. This Halloween, be sure that your dog stays comfortable and safe so that you both can enjoy the holiday season.

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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ROCKY ADVENTURE – Tricky Feet!

Oct 29, 2012

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

The old man dressed up strangely today, perhaps just to make sure he fits in with the rest of us. Debbie brought us some pup-kin pies to fill our bellies later (I insisted on right now, but you can’t argue with her).

Izzy and I are dressed up, as well. My attire was easy enough to put on – a bumble bee outfit that Christy put together for me out of last year’s outfit. The antennae have little bulbs that bounce around above my head, and I have a simple striped vest on that has the benefit of keeping me warm this time of year. I may not even want to take it off later. Though, the antennae are driving me crazy whenever they bounce around. They always manage to stay just out of reach when I lunge at them.

While everyone else got dressed quickly and with little struggle, Izzy decided not to cooperate at the last minute. First, he ran away and then hid in the bedroom. When Debbie and I cornered him, he decided that it was all just a new game we had randomly come up with. He grabbed the vest he was supposed to wear (supposedly, he is what our peoples call a “pirate”). When Izzy is in one of his moods, he can’t be stopped with mere words.

He raced around the house – teasing both Debbie and the old man by letting them get close, then, staying just out of reach as he fled to the adjacent room. Oh, he’s gonna be in trouble when this is over.

Eventually, Izzy was put in a spot where he had no choice but to give up. Oh yes, it was either give up or no pup-kin pie tonight. He gave up.

Izzy cooperated with everything but the hat he was supposed to wear. Now, I’ve seen many people wear those things, but their ears are a good deal smaller than ours. Hats are just plain uncomfortable for us dogs. But, on occasion, they do make excellent chew-toys. Which is what happened to Izzy’s.

And now, the old man, dressed up in his mad-hatter style attire is busy greeting and treating the people-pups at the door. They’re wearing costumes. I remember this fact from last year. Though, it seems that Izzy does not. He barks at every one of them and runs away. One bark and he’s off to the bedroom where he peeks around the corner and asks them what they want. Of course, all they want are some treats from the bowl (I can’t blame them with a smell so sweet).

Debbie’s attire is quite interesting. She is a cat. A strange choice, but I guess today is all about being a little strange and having fun in the process. The funny thing is, every time she “meows,” Izzy goes crazy and starts searching the area for a real cat. I could tell him who is responsible, but that would end the silly charade, so I won’t.

Later on, our party is joined by Christy and Buck, whom are also dressed up for the occasion. Buck was completely dumbfounded by the whole idea. He was wearing nothing more than a bandana around his neck and is quite confused about Debbie’s cat outfit.

Christy was the complete opposite, wearing a very fluffy dress and tall, pointy hat. She even had a little stick she waved around and told us she would grant us any wish we desired. I told her a treat was in order, but she just rubbed my back instead. Oh well, I guess that is a treat too. But I was thinking a little more along the lines of some pup-kin pie, which we did eventually get. A slice for each of us to enjoy as the people-pups came to the door and chanted their call.

And the funny thing is… they always said the same thing. It didn’t matter whether Debbie, Christy, or the old man answered the door (although when I was there, there was always a “cute puppy!” added in at the end), I’m sure they were always saying, “Tricky feet.” People can be so strange sometimes.

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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Pet Safety Around Electronics

Oct 26, 2012

Dog owners manage your wires and electronics properly

Electricity flows through our homes, powering appliances and machinery that help improve the quality of life. Radios, televisions, X-boxes, and even the trimmer or hair straighteners we plug into the wall make life simpler and more entertaining, but they can also be a danger to your dog.

What is it that makes electronics such a safety hazard for our four-legged companions? At the most basic level, dogs love to chew. Power cords are soft and malleable, and are perhaps the most dangerous of all. As such, there are a host of other situations to consider and prepare for. After all, you don’t want to learn when it’s too late.

Wires all around

Dangling wires can be very attractive to a dog (and especially for cats), and are potentially the most dangerous. The television, speakers, and even the cord to the vacuum cleaner all make for attractive chew toys. And whether or not they are plugged in, they can still be dangerous. The copper wires can become needles in your dog’s mouth and throat, so keep cords unavailable at all times.

Cover exposed cords. Run them under furniture whenever possible. In cases where open cords cross the floor, covering them with a rug can be a handy trick. What if they’re traveling along the wall? Try staples or tape to cover them and keep them securely out of reach.

Cords that remain exposed- such as those for power tools or equipment- can be wrapped in duct tape to make them tougher to chew on (plus it tastes bad too).

Something else to consider

The buzzing of electronics can also be attractive to a dog. Game consoles and wireless routers can be warm and stimulating for a dog, and in some cases they may not even chew on them but rather snuggle up with them. While this might not seem dangerous at first, it is always possible that they might block the cooling system or burn themselves through exposure.

There is always the possibility of a dog urinating on an electrical device as well. This makes a short circuit possible that may result in a fire or even electrocution. Keep these devices up high or out of your dog’s reach.

What about the television (or something similar) falling down? When considering the dangers of electronics, we seldom include the more obvious circumstance of a falling object. Unsecured devices can be knocked over or fall from high locations, especially if the power cord is dangling quite attractively. Take precautions in securing heavy electronics so they won’t become falling objects.

Then there is the classic situation of the missing remote control. We may lose it in the couch, put it in the freezer, or even forget it’s in your left pocket.  Sometimes, however, the culprit is your faithful companion.  You handle a controller regularly, and thus it smells like you and makes for a very attractive chew toy for any dog. Be sure that you have a home for your controller, such as a box or up on the entertainment center- just so long as it’s out of your dog’s sight and snout.

If you’re having trouble with your dog targeting electronics out of sheer fascination (smell and familiarity often associated with anxiety), you may have to begin limiting their space when unattended. Crates or door-gates can help keep a dog in safe areas when you’re gone. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t pursue old habits when you let them back out.

It can be difficult to train your dog to avoid electronic dangers, especially chewing habits. In these cases, certain deterrent or bittering sprays can make the item unattractive to them. But, the most effective method is proper training, since it will ensure that your dog responds to your commands- for their safety.

Additionally, when you’re done with a plug-in device, be sure to put it away. Trimmers, curling irons, and hair straighteners can all be dangerous since they are often left on the counter to cool or dry out. A tug on the cord could bring them down on top of your pup, injuring them. Unplug your items and put them in a safe out-of-reach spot (wrap up the cord) and allow them to cool.

It’s up to you as your dog’s owner and protector to ensure they are always safe. The average household is full of electronic devices, and in most cases dogs will leave them alone (unless they have their own Facebook page to update). Be sure your dog’s home is a safe place to be and you can be sure that everyone will be happy.

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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October is Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month

Oct 24, 2012

Dog lovers adopt a dog at your local shelter this October

The fall is here and the cool air makes it wonderful to take walks around the neighborhood, or hang around in the park and watch the leaves fall in the wind. It’s also quite possibly one of the best months to have a man’s best friend to enjoy these times with.

A brief history of shelter dogs

Over a hundred and eighty years ago, the first animal shelter was founded in Great Britain. It wasn’t until 1866 that Henry Burgh initiated the ASPCA here in America. The first shelters were founded in 1894 and since then, shelters have housed homeless pets that were given up on by their owners. Thus, October has been designated as Adopt-a-Shelter Dog month to help families and dogs come together and promote the need to find homes for our four-legged friends.

There are a lot of dogs without homes and are living in your hometown shelter, instead of enjoying the free air of the great outdoors and a companion to share their life with. Many of these dogs are given up on by their owners because of incompatibility, lifestyle changes, and sometimes for reasons (more like excuses) like ‘the dog did not live up to the owner’s expectations’. However, the fact remains that there are no bad dogs, just bad owners who do not understand what it takes to build a solid relationship with their companion. And truth be told, not everyone is a dog person (even those that sometimes think they are).

Find a compatible friend

While it may seem unlikely that you would find a quality companion at a shelter, the reality is that your options are almost limitless. Dogs of all breeds and sizes come in every day, so it is very unlikely that any future dog owner would be unable to find a compatible friend here.

You’ll be able to pick a dog that matches your personality. Do you have a lot of energy? Perhaps you enjoy relaxing. Outdoor activities more like your style? Could you be searching for a playmate for your other pup? Having a dog companion to do all this and more is more reason to visit the shelter and pick out one.

When you visit the shelter, ask whether you can spend some time with the dog before you settle on a final decision. You want to be certain that you make the best decision for the both of you, and that they’ll be comfortable in your home setting and lifestyle. For some, it can be difficult to say no to the so many puppy-dog eyes that just want someone to be their friend. However, it’s always best to keep both you and the dog’s best interests in mind.

Upon adoption, all dogs are vaccinated and treated, so you don’t have to worry about these expenses during your first trip to the vet. In other words, it is possibly the most economical route for adding a dog to your family. Aside from the cost of the shots, adoption fees amounts are normally a matter of a few dollars. Just be sure that your home and heart are ready for the new family member (don’t forget food, water, time, and a lot of love).

Share with your friends

You don’t necessarily have to adopt a dog; you can always play a part by sharing information with others you know. Social networks help information travel fast, so why not post a few hints and recommendations for your friends and associates to see and take note. Every time someone reads and shares, it becomes more likely that a shelter dog will find a new home.

You can also locate a shelter close to you and inquire how you can help promote adoptions this month. Flyers, posters, and volunteers can help spread the word about shelter adoption and motivate pet lovers to open their home to a new companion. Playing a part, no matter how small it may seem, will help a shelter dog find a happy home. Don’t hesitate to help in any way you can.

Bailee, of Midland Texas, is the proud owner of Dragster, a Welsh corgi, and annually adopts a shelter dog who is on the verge of being euthanized. She pays for all the shots and vet bills, and then she searches for an owner, making sure it is just not anyone who gets to keep the dog. She finds prospective owners that can provide a good home and gives the dog away to make someone’s life that much better.

This October, do your part as a fellow pet lover or owner and help spread the word about your local shelter. Whether you’re planning on taking a new friend home or just helping a friend find a companion to share their life with, it is possible to make someone’s life better.

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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ROCKY ADVENTURE – Pup-kin Surprise

Oct 22, 2012

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

The decorations went up today. The old man was roaming around the house, scrounging through the closet and pulling out the strangest things. It starts about this time every year, ending sometime after winter, and changing in between.

Since this is the beginning of the “phase,” my guess is that we’re in for some spooky times. First were the big hairy spider things, one on the front door and the other on the front of the car. They’re not really scary or anything, but if they were alive, that might be a completely different story. I’m sure even the old man wouldn’t dare brave handling such a creature let alone keeping it stored in the closet.

Basically, these decorations are just big balls of fluff with some extensions sticking out in every direction so they can latch onto things. And, I’m not saying I was scared or anything, but the old man did surprise me with one earlier today.

It started rather innocently, the old man’s voice beckoning me into the next room. Still a little groggy from my recent nap, I pattered into the kitchen only to have the spider’s huge hairy legs grab onto me. I tried to run away, but the legs had quite a grip, so I ended up racing around the room trying to get loose from my unexpected predicament.

I wasn’t scared. Okay, so maybe I peed a little, but technically it was out of sheer surprise. I know what these things are, but when you can’t see them, there’s no telling what has you by the tail. And needless to say, that particular decoration did not make it into the window. I spun around and faced my adversary, completely unaware that it was just a toy at first. I grabbed it by one of the long furry legs and dragged it through the house.

The only thing that stopped me was the doggy door. The fur-ball caught on the edges and got stuck. It took the old man a few minutes of wrestling to break it loose. So in the meantime, I went ahead and finished emptying out my daily business. And I talked to Buck.

“Got in trouble again,” Buck said gloomily through the fence.

“What for?” I asked. “You didn’t try to tear out the carpet again, did you?”

“Naw, it was this weird food that Christy brought home today.” Buck paused and a puzzled look appeared on his face. “She put them in the back room with me and then left. I figured they were treats.”

“You ate the pup-kin.” I said, familiar with a story of my own from years ago. The old man had brought home two pumpkins, a big one and a tiny one. One for him and one for me. Of course, he didn’t specify what they were for, so I ate mine. Well, more like I gnawed on it. They’re pretty tuff until you get to the middle.

Pup-kin?” Buck’s expression became even more estranged. “That’s why I thought it was for me.”

“It is for you, just not for today,” I informed my friend. “We still have a week to go before things really get strange. It’s just that time of year for a little change to keep us on our paws. It might get boring otherwise.”

“Will there be more pup-kins?”

“There are all kinds of strange and cool treats to come. And if we’re good, I’m sure there will be plenty of treats for everyone to enjoy,” I said confidently. “I’m sure there’s plenty of pup-kins to go around in the meantime.”

“That sounds awesome! I can’t wait!” Buck’s spirits were definitely up and his tail was back to wagging. I guess everyone just needs a little pup-talk to get them feeling like them old selves again.

The old man called me, possibly to try to surprise me again, or it might be time for walkies. Either way, I’m definitely on alert for any suspicious activities regarding my companion. He can be just as crafty as me, and I’ve learned never to underestimate his cleverness.

But, just wait and see what happens next week. There’s going to be a lot of people wandering the neighborhood, searching for treats. And, it’s going to be our job to frighten them off so we can keep the treats for ourselves. Though, the old man is mostly responsible for luring them close while I lie in wait to distribute the ultimate surprise pounce. Together, we seem to balance right out, which is what a team is all about.

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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The Best Dog Stories

Oct 17, 2012

Best dog stories from dog owners

The relationship between a dog and its owner is a magnificent thing. It is full of wild experiences and heart-touching tales. And while we might picture those experiences to be among the exciting moments of life, like trips to new lands or wild outdoor experiences while camping, there are also situations inside the home that matter.

For some owners, it is those times when they need a little help to keep their home clean and their dog happy. This is why the Porch Potty has become a widely appreciated asset for dog owners throughout the world. While its general purpose is to keep your dog comfortable (and your home interior clean), owners often have their own particular use and appreciation for this tool.

Attraction at first sight

Perhaps one of the most intriguing characteristics of the Porch Potty is that it has an insatiable attraction for dogs. The familiarity and natural incentive can accommodate to even the most extraordinary situations.

Mayzie and Dominoe were two dogs living in an upstairs condo with their loving owner. As with all dogs, the passage of time had affected these two dogs, and they had succumbed to the loss of some of their most valued senses.

The older dog was partially blind and could barely smell, but it was attracted to the Porch Potty unit and almost immediately began using it like it had always been there. Doggy see- doggy do; its fellow four-legged friend quickly followed up and began using the unit, too. The quick and easy access proved to be perfect for their condo lifestyle, which would otherwise have required them to navigate stairs and endure the oft-inclement weather outside.

High up and nowhere to potty

Bentley was a young puppy that had recently arrived to add a whole lot of happiness to its owner’s life. Because of their high-rise lifestyle, the owner decided to help ease the new puppy’s life by getting a Porch Potty unit. Though the owner had decided to allow Bentley to settle in before beginning the task of potty training, the young puppy started to use the unit even before being introduced to it. Basically, Bentley had decided that it was time to take care of business right now! There’s not always time to wait for the elevator, plus it can be difficult trying to navigate the weather. So for Bentley and his owner, the Porch Potty has made life a whole lot easier so they can focus on enjoying the great things in life.

Recovery a little easier

Charlotte, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy, had a rough time when diagnosed with luxated patellas in both rear knees (common in smaller or miniature breeds between the ages of 4-6 months). This meant that the young pup had to endure surgery in both knees, leaving her in casts for weeks. Fortunately, her loving owner had already fitted their home with a Porch Potty to help potty train her. Rather than navigating stairs, the pup had the opportunity to take care of its necessities inside and focus on healing up as quickly as possible.

Can’t always be there

Of course, the dog isn’t always the one to benefit. Tiana is the proud owner of a mastiff puppy. Unfortunately, she has to deal with the problem of dizziness early in the mornings. Navigation can be difficult, especially with the requirement of traveling up and down long flights of stairs to take care of her pup’s regular needs. But, that doesn’t mean that her pup had to wait each morning until the condition passed and Tiana was ready to go outside. With the addition of the Porch Potty, her pup could take care of business while Tiana got back to feeling well enough to play with her faithful pooch.

The Porch Potty has the ability to ease not only the life of your pup but can also make life more convenient for you. With a wide range of sizes and applications, it is simple enough for dog owners to equip their home in order to meet their companion’s needs.

And thus the real question is: How much does your dog appreciate their Porch Potty? How has it affected your life? Having an indoor potty for your dog brings ease to life so that you can focus on enjoying the things that make your relationship with your faithful companion so enjoyable. Do you have more time to play? Was training made easier? How has it simplified the life of you and your beloved pup? Share your stories with us too!

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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ROCKY ADVENTURE – Something for the Dark

Oct 15, 2012

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

Can you see me now?

I stared outside into the dwindling twilight. It seems that yesterday, at this exact same time- evening walkies, the sky was a little brighter.  The old man loves to go out about this time for the cooler weather, which has definitely caught a chill in the air.

As for me, the night light isn’t as good as that bright bulb in the sky. The moon crosses over and brightens the eve, but not near as much as it should. But, we still manage our walkies for the eve. The old man has his night-light and I’ve got some business to address.

These evening walks aren’t really as long as the morning ones though. Mostly, they’re just to say hello to the neighbors, deliver a few messages of mine, and pick up some paper ones for the old man as well. For the most part, it’s all about taking care of business. And it needs to be done daily.

Oddly, this eve has met with an odd turn of events. While I’ve never quite worried about seeing in the dark, which makes no difference to my nose, I never quite thought about how others see in the dark. The old man uses the night light to spot dangers, and I use my nose to make sure we get where we’re going. It has never occurred to me that there are others out in the night too.

And so we introduce the blinding lights. They’re bright and definitely heading straight for us. A car swerves away from the pair of us, pulling the wind with it. It honks and I bark a warning while retreating back to the old man who quickly scoops me up and moves faster than he usually would. His heart races with mine while he staggers out of the street. Normally, I wouldn’t want the old man to burden himself by carrying me, but in this case, he moved faster than either one of us normally could.

Later I came to understand that it wasn’t necessarily that the car was trying to get us, because it probably could have easily done so if it wanted to. It was more likely that it didn’t know we were there. At least, that’s how the old man explained it. Which brings us here- to the store. Usually, I would get a fine toy to chew up or cuddle with. But today, I get a new set of night-wear.

The store is crowded, and my primary focus is to talk to that pup down the aisle, but the old man insists that we try on everything in the store. First this, then that. Too big? Way to small. It may never end. The old man finally settles on a style that seems to “bring the brightness out in my fur.” At least, that’s what Christy says before she rubs that wonderful spot behind my left ear. I have to admit, I’ve always had an irresistible attraction about me.

In fact, my new wear seems to be so stylish that Buck gets one as well. Though, he doesn’t like the feeling quite as much as I do. I watch as he wrestles with it, scratching a spot then nipping at the edge.

“Get it off!” Buck cried. “It’s got me for sure now!” I watched as Buck ran circles around himself trying to get away from his own outfit. It took him a while to accept the idea that it wasn’t there to hurt him, but it still offered an itching sensation which even I didn’t appreciate much. There’s a spot on the back which just seems to get on my nerves every once in a while.

Now we’re here to put my outfit to the test on this dark and dimly lit part of the street. The old man opens his present box (which never seems to run out of stuff because he always gets something out of it) and the street. A few cars pass by, much slower than normal, possibly to admire my fine new attire. And sure enough, we get out in the street and everything stops for us. No near misses and no honking horns. All I can hear is the silent applause of a crowd that appreciates a pup they can see.

And sure, everyone else could see us now, but it’s not something I would enjoy wearing every day. It’s hot and itchy, and far too bright for my fur. But, when it comes to evening outings, I have to say that it sure makes for a grand entrance for a night time stage.

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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That’s How I Roll

Oct 12, 2012

Proper dog care when going on trips with your dog

Dogs are indeed some of the best companions, which is why we tend to take them with us everywhere we go. Whether we’re driving to the store or heading across the country, having our friend there to keep us company is always a great comfort.

But despite the characteristics, little trips or long journeys, there is always the concern of keeping you and your pup safe during these adventures. The road can often be unpredictable, especially with the winter weather approaching. So, it’s up to us as loving dog owners to keep our pets safe from all dangers.

Keeping it fastened

Consider the endurance trip. You’re out for a long ride, which can be stressful on your dog who is constantly crated up. You might think they’ll be okay sitting in the back cargo area or lying in the back seat, but the truth is, free-roam can be dangerous. In the case of an accident or abrupt stop, they can become a projectile in an accident, injuring themselves or others.

And though we humans are accommodated with seatbelts, those are not always enough to keep a dog safe and secure. Safety harnesses are growing in popularity and versatility. Some target comfort, while others focus on a technical approach. It’s important to be sure your dog is comfortable in them, but you also need to be sure that they are going to be safe as well. Not all dog safety harnesses are designed equally and there are no rules or guidelines to regulate their safety or security.

In some cases, it may be necessary to locate a harness composed of a stronger material- like leather or chain. Dogs can quickly chew through cloth or nylon, especially if they don’t want to be held down. Utilizing a sturdier safety device is the best solution, though using a chew-deterrent could also help for puppies who enjoy nibbling on everything.

The ultimate goal is to keep them safely secured in their seats. This means that you don’t want them falling into the foot-well and getting injured. Be sure that your harness holds your dog to the seat and doesn’t just attach them to a location. Vehicle safety devices are designed to work together, so be sure that both areas are incorporated into the harnesses design (some will attach to opposite sides of the vehicle and may not be as effective). Though they may be harnessed in, that doesn’t mean they can’t slip or slide around the area. In some cases, such as leather seats, things can get slippery or even destroyed. A towel or cushion would provide additional traction during turns and regular driving.

Crates

Then there is the crate, which will definitely keep your dog in place during the trip. Secured in the crate does have its setback for active dogs though. Some may whine and want out, which can be a distraction while driving. Additionally, you will regularly need to let your dog out during long trips so they can stretch their legs and relieve themselves. Don’t neglect the necessities!

Dangers in the vehicle

Perhaps one of the most underestimated dangers of having a dog in the car is the vehicle’s safety devices- primarily the airbags. These are designed for adult humans, not dogs or any other creatures.

This is why it’s especially important that you don’t carry dogs in your lap, even the smaller ones (force multiplies their weight during a sudden stop; a 5 pound dog becomes a thirty pound dog at more than 30 mph impact). Additionally, it’s very dangerous for both you and your dog because if the airbag is deployed, it can crush your dog into your body.

Additionally, there is always the importance of keeping your dog from being a distraction to you while driving. If they’re harnessed or crated in, they won’t pace between seats. This is a big issue with more active dogs who rarely stay still longer than a second. The open scenery can be enjoyable for the dog, but the distraction they present when trying to spot a critter moving around in the bushes or a bird flying in the sky can distract you very easily. Be sure that you keep them safe and secure before you decide to travel.

Whether you’re taking a short trip to the market or a long trip to a new destination, it’s important that you keep everyone in your vehicle safe. Dogs enjoy going with you wherever you are, but they can only truly enjoy it if everyone makes it there 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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Off to College

Oct 10, 2012

Dog owner tips on how to make your dogs happy

There comes a time in every person’s life when they journey out into the world to find their own destiny. Education is the pursuit of many of today’s youth, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean they can take all their friends with them, specifically their pets.

Over the centuries, dogs have proven themselves to be our most valuable companions, going where we go and tagging along on many adventures. And unfortunately, we can’t always take them with us on this particular trip.

What happens when your dog’s friends leave for college? It isn’t like they’re going to be gone for just a few days at a time. It may take months before a pet can be reunited with their playmate, which could result in doggy-depression.

Will they be back?

Signs of depression are normal at first. A dog might become lethargic and eat less than normal. You might find them waiting by the door for their friend to return home. Be ready because all dogs will experience some or all of these symptoms.

In the majority of cases, vocalizing- such as howling occurs very often, though some dogs may become quieter. This can be annoying, but it’s simply because they are searching for their companions. They aren’t trying to be annoying, so don’t discipline them, or you might make the situation worse.

They may also become very clingy to other family members that are still around. Like a person, they may feel fear that others will leave them as well and will want to go wherever you go. This is one of the most difficult symptoms of depression to overcome, because it is basically just like separation anxiety.

Often, you may find them searching for their friends. They’ll probably be pacing around familiar places or sleep in spots where their playmates used to sleep. Just like a person, they feel the emotion of loss and strive to do things that remind them of their missed family.

What to do with your dog

First of all, don’t reward depression with treats. You might think you’re making them feel better, but you’re actually just teaching them that being sad and inactive will get them treats. It would only enforce their behavior and won’t actually make them feel better in the long run.

The key is to get them adjusted to the new lifestyle. The best method is to keep them active. Even if they “don’t feel like it,” get them out with you for regular walks and exercise. The most important thing you can do is pay attention to them. When playmates leave, it tends to leave a hole in their daily activities, even if it was just a 7 o’clock belly rub. As a loving dog owner, you can’t allow your friend to sit through depression alone.

Find new playmates to keep them entertained. In these cases, introducing a new friend could be a blessing for your dog. Take them to environments where they can socialize with other people and pets to help reduce their loneliness.

Small reminders never hurt. Some dog owners, though distance separates them, still contact their pups so they can hear their voice. Though it may sound strange, the majority of dogs respond very well to the experience, even if it is just over the phone or on a computer screen. Be sure you put technology to some good use and visit your pets on occasion. They can recognize your voice and seeing a video probably would do some good as well.

Other reminders can be as simple as clothing or items with their companion’s scent on it. A stuffed animal might become a new “best friend” in their companion’s absence. Just be sure they aren’t destructive with these items. The best act is to present it to them so they know it’s theirs now. Don’t just let them take it or hide it away.

What happens when you reintroduce a companion and then break them apart again? Holiday visits can be good for your dog, but they will also have to face the “leaving” part again. This can often reset the depression situation, but often softens the situation as well. Be prepared to endure a bout of depression after a short holiday visit and be sure that your dog is ready for the changes.

Care for your pup and make the most of your experience together. After all, you will always have each other, and today is only for the moment. Value the time you have together because that’s exactly what your dog wants you to do.

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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ROCKY ADVENTURE – Muddy Me

Oct 8, 2012

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

There’s water everywhere. Everything is very wet. Of course, this doesn’t surprise me at all since water has been falling from the sky since yesterday. While the sun slept behind the clouds, the thirsty ground was turned soft.

The only problem with the rain is that it makes potty time and any outdoor activity very uncomfortable. I was never much for walking through the wet grass to relieve myself, especially since I always get itchy afterwards.

But, that doesn’t mean that the after-party isn’t fun. In fact, it’s an occasion I always look forward to. Normally the ground fights back against my paws and claws, but never after a rain. And the most amazing thing is that you always find new surprises hiding underneath. And now that it’s stopped raining, the sun has come out to play which means it’s time to see what’s going on outside.

The old man is still enjoying his afternoon nap, so I’ll just have to let myself out. I poke my head through the door. Sniff. See. Sniff again. There’s definitely a new selection of smells out here to investigate. Out I go to check the grass. Moist grass feels good, but if it’s too wet, I’ll end up with itches that aren’t easy to scratch. Luckily, the sun has done a good job of drying things up, so I start looking for treasure.

A bug crawls through the grass in front of me. Another flies by my ear, tickling the hairs inside. I hop and chase it for a moment before it leaves my yard. There’s far too many interesting critters wandering around the yard to worry about that one, so I get back to snooping for curiosities.

The tree in the yard is one of the best spots, mostly because the ground below the leaves stays drier than the rest of the yard. I find a good spot that smells right and dig. I run into a sweet root that I nibble on for a tasty treat. The old man doesn’t like it when I do this, but that’s really only if he catches me. Besides, it’s more like a “you know better than that,” kind of disagreement. Then he fills up my holes so I can dig them up again. It’s a fun game…for me at least. There are a few rocks in the yard to stop me from digging up spots where I know I shouldn’t dig, so I stay away from them. But this tree has got to be the best spot by far.

I dig deeper. A beetle pops out to say hello. He digs too. But I want to play, so I paw him out and nudge him with my nose. His legs scramble at the air, trying desperately to flip himself back over. I bat him around for a moment before pushing him into the grass and out of my digging spot. I watch as the bug scampers off to play with bugs his own size. Then it’s back to digging.

A worm. These things are weird. No paws. No nose. No ears. Just a wiggly thing. And they don’t taste good either. I scoop it out along with some more dirt. I dig a little deeper, but the treasure hole has run dry. So, I move on to the other side of the tree.

Here, the ground is really soft and easy to dig. Unfortunately, there isn’t much treasure except for a few rocks. The bad thing is, the ground was a little too soft I think. My fur feels sticky along my underbelly. The dirt is sticking to me.

“Rocky!” the old man calls me from the patio door. He shakes his head in that “you know better” manner and beckons me to come. “You know what time it is now, don’t you,” he raises his glasses with his empty hand, making his eyes appear oddly mischievous. He must be trying to trick me into something I don’t enjoy…Noooo!

The old man scrubs my belly and back, washing off all the dirt that got stuck in my fur and between my paws (that part always tickles). I don’t usually get dirty, but it’s fun to experience all the things a dog’s life has to offer. After all, how else are you ever discover if you’re missing out on an experience you’ll never forget- even if you do get a little mud in your fur occasionally.

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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