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Archive for November, 2012

Dog Weight Gain and the Holidays

Nov 29, 2012

Dog care this holiday season to avoid overweight

Feasting and food are everywhere during the holidays. Snacks for the on-the-go, the kitchen abuzz with commotion and delicious smells, and even family and friends who may not be aware of house rules (or simply ignore them) can leave your dog licking their lips and eager for that tidbit of food to drop.

The bad thing is that, with all the food and excitement, your dog can end up putting on a few extra pounds too. And while they might beg and whine for a taste of what you (or one of your guests) are eating, it’s important to be careful of what your dog eats during the holiday season.

Three (3) Effective Ways to Keep Your Dog from Gaining Weight During the Holidays

 1. Keep the food rules enforced

Now consider the fact that the holiday season brings friends and family together. Who is allowed to feed them? Be sure that your guests are aware of your dog’s food rules and inform them of the dangers that come with not following the said rules. For example, not everyone is familiar with dogs. They are not aware that there are certain human foods that dogs should never eat. Grapes, chocolate, and onions are a few of them.

There are numerous stories about people treating their neighbor’s dog to a chocolate chip cookie, so the best precaution to take is to simply prohibit anyone else from treating your dog to anything. Be especially careful with young children, since they tend to be easily persuaded by “puppy-dog eyes.”

Most other human food is consumable to a certain degree. The question is: Are they good for your dog? Fried and fatty foods in general should be avoided as treats. Fatty foods are extremely hard on their livers and store very quickly as excess weight. If you must or feel obligated to treat your pup to some holiday specials, fresh vegetables such as carrots or some fruit slices would be a healthy treat to indulge them. Only give your dog something that you have prepared, especially if your dog has allergies.

2. Don’t oversize your dog’s portions and go easy on treats

One of the other issues with the holiday season is that some owners may become a little “generous” with their dog’s food portions. Perhaps they believe that an extra scoop will help keep their dog’s belly satisfied and keep them from wanting to vacuum the carpet under the dining room table. But the truth is that most dogs will always want what you’re eating. It’s best to keep their food portions the same, and rely on a healthy treat as a substitute for an overfilled bowl.

But you should still be careful with your treat delivery. Dog treats are just what their name implies – treats. In excess, they aren’t good for your pup, and are only meant to help train or used as a reward for a special situation. You don’t have to indulge your dogs with treats to help them have a good time.

3. Keep them active

Because the holiday season is a busy one, an unforeseen issue with weight gain is that dogs aren’t getting the exercise they need to keep them fit. Their food portions may have stayed the same, but now they’re not getting the chance to use up what they put in.

So, what are a few ways to keep your dog active during the holidays? You could start by taking them on walks of all types. If you have to go to the mail, take your dog with you. Does your puppy have a playmate you could arrange regular play-dates with? When it comes down to it, it is the responsibility of every pet owner to make sure their dog has the opportunity to get the exercise they need. Take a walk in the evening or even while your turkey is roasting in the oven. Time is there, as long as you’re willing to look for it.

This holiday season brings about much festivity, and your pup is definitely going to want to hang around to catch a few crumbs that fall off the dinner table. As your dog’s owner and protector, you’re responsible for keeping your dog happy and healthy. Dogs don’t have to put on a couple of pounds to prove they had fun during the holiday festivities. As long as you take a few precautions and keep them active, your dog will have fun this 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 – Shiny Balls and a Tree

Nov 27, 2012

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

It’s another one of those days. Yep. I’ve got a whole house full of empty. It’s been like this lately. The old man takes off early in the morning. The hat and coat go on, the keys jingle, then he pats me on the head and tells me to be a good boy.

This might be totally frustrating were it not for the fact that he always comes home with something new. The other day it was a sweater that smelled like fifteen different people. I knew at once that it wasn’t a toy because it came out of the bag and dropped right into a box and was sealed up with paper. Then just yesterday, he brought home a toy. But this one wasn’t for me I was told. It too went into a box and was wrapped up in paper.

As of today, there’s a whole lot of new things around, but none of them are for me. It gets a little depressing, especially since I get the feeling that I’m being forgotten. And the more I dwell on it, the more depressed I get. All alone in this big house with new toys that I can’t play with. Sure, I stop to sniff them through the slightly open hallway closet, but it’s just not the same as the attention that I’m missing out on.

Up and out to take care of potty business, the only thing I can be sure of is that my now warm couch pillow will be cold when I get back to it. Maybe after I get done, I’ll catch a snooze in the dining room window where the afternoon sun keeps the carpet warm.

The air has definitely gotten colder out here, and even though the old man got rid of most of the leaves, many continue to drop from the trees. Some pile up, while others twist and ride the cold wind, accumulating on the fence, which is where I spot Buck, peeking his snout through.

“Hey, Rocky.” Buck barked. “What you doing?”

“Just taking care of the business.” I woofed back and told him I couldn’t go with him watching. He politely took interest in the sky for the few necessary moments.

“Past few days have been boring. Christy brought home some really cool things, but I couldn’t play with them. One was this awesome smelling pair of boots that definitely could use some chewing.” Buck told the sky. “Lots of cool stuff, but none for me.”

“Same here. You think they’re planning something?” I asked, now suspicious of our companions plotting some strange plan. “Maybe they’re going to get some new dogs?”

“No way!” Buck howled. “One of me is enough.”

“True.” I stated, though still suspicious of our companions’ behavior.

“Maybe they’re just saving up a whole lot of treats to give us at the same time.” Buck said with an inspired look in his eyes. Then the expression evaded his grasp when he discovered that his tail was wagging. He seems like such a confused dog sometimes.

“Well it’s too cold for me out here, so I’m gonna head back inside.” I told Buck. “Be careful with the tail this time.”

“Oh, I’m…gonna get…that rascally thing…don’t…you worry.” Buck said between his “challenge” cries.

Back inside, the house seemed much warmer than when I had left it. Of course, being outside in the cold air will make anything inside seem like a better comfort solution. And the spot where the afternoon sun had been shining through the window was so nice and warm. I laid down and turned belly-up.

That’s when the door swung open and the old man peeked around it. He stared. I stared. My tail wagged.

Then came the tree. One of our neighbors, whose name I can never seem to remember, brought the tree…inside. It wasn’t our usual one. This one smelled real. And guess where it went. Right in my sunny spot. This upset me at first, but after the neighbor had left, the decorating started. Bulbs and lights came out of boxes and went on the tree. I played with one of the shiny balls, but the old man took it and put it back in the box. Then he gave me a different one. Still shiny, it smelled completely different than the last. This one was apparently “okay” for me to chase and play around with in the room.

While I was busy trying to get the ball, the old man continued to hang different things on the tree. I was getting frustrated with mine. Due to the old man’s apparent “thumbs” on his paws, he was able to grab onto these balls without using his mouth. Of course, he doesn’t get to really dig into his food and enjoy it the way I get to. He always has to use his paws to put food in his mouth. He’s so silly sometimes.

But, this does seem to present a problem in this particular situation. I chased the ball into the corner, and that’s when I was able to get a good grip on it. I brought it back to the old man and showed him.

“Good boy!” he said, which was always good to hear. I nodded proudly.

Then he picked me up and told me to put it in the tree. Seriously? After all that work? Oh well, like companion, like dog. I reached out and released the ball into the tree. It dropped down a branch, but was caught by another and stayed. Then the old man indulged me as he rubbed my neck and we stepped back to enjoy the new scenery.

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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Protecting Your Dog’s Paws from Snow

Nov 21, 2012

Proper dog care when playing out in the snow

Cold snow stings. Anyone that’s ever been hit by a snowball will testify to that. And while we humans bundle up and put on a tough pair of boots to go out and enjoy building a snowman in the front yard, our dogs do not always have something to protect their paws and keep their body warm.

There are a few things to consider when it comes to dogs and snowy environment. One of them is that snow is not as soft as you think it is. Snow is basically crystallized water. So, taking your dog out for a potty (or to enjoy the snowy atmosphere) on a snowy day is tantamount to rubbing a piece of icy cold crystal against your dog’s paws.

Despite their tough appearance, dog paws are actually quite sensitive. Snow can irritate a dog’s paws, or cause laceration on paws over time. Small amounts of exposure aren’t enough to really hurt them or rub a paw raw. However, long periods of time spent walking or running on snow can cause your dog’s paws to chafe, freeze, and/or unnecessary pain.

How to Protect Your Dog’s Paws from the Snow This Winter  

1. You should start with the basics. Keep your dog’s nails trimmed. Nails are more fragile in a cold-wet environment and can crack or break during playtime. Also, keep the fur trimmed between your dog’s paws. This particular spot tends to accumulate snow and debris, which can become uncomfortable or irritating for your dog’s paws.

2. For more extreme conditions, it is wise to keep their feet covered. Booties are nice; if your dog doesn’t mind wearing them. Just be sure that they’re waterproof, or they won’t provide any benefit. In heavy snow situations, dog boots are probably your best solution. These cover your dog’s paws, as well as, keep them warm and protected. Dog boots can be quite expensive.

3. Perhaps one of the most interesting methods for paw protection is applying a layer of petroleum jelly or balm on your dog’s paw pads just before you go out. The layer will help protect against chafing. Don’t put too much, though, for it can make the paws less hard-wearing and more susceptible to cuts from debris. One thin layer is sufficient.

There are paw-waxes specifically designed for this application (though their contents are similar to petroleum jelly), and can be found at most popular pet stores. This method helps protect their feet and soothe their paws.

4. After a walk or an outdoor snow activity, take the time to wash your dog’s paws with warm (not hot) water to remove all debris and help improve circulation to their toes. This will also help clean away any protecting balms that you don’t want your dog licking on (or tracking through the house).

Remember that there is more than just snow out there. Unfortunately, common snow-treatments can become irritants for your dog’s paws. Rock salt is used to keep sidewalks from icing up or to prevent thick layers of snow from accumulating. Rock salt is very abrasive, and can quickly chafe your dog’s paws, even if you don’t notice it.

Most dogs will not have sores or lacerations, but may still suffer from irritated paws that will be bright pink or red. Your canine pal will limp or avoid walking due to the discomfort that he is feeling.  He may begin licking his paws excessively to soothe the pain. But, keep in mind that excessive licking will actually make the irritation worse, so you’ll want to divert him from doing so or apply some moisturizers to the affected paws. If there are cuts or sores, be sure to treat them immediately. Wash them thoroughly and apply antiseptic or antibiotic ointments. It is then best that they stay out of the snow for at least a couple of days.

With the winter season nearing, we’re bound to see a few snow flurries that will turn the front yard into a playground for us and our dogs. As long as you take a few precautions and help protect your pup’s paws, enjoying the seasonal snowfall will be a fun experience your dog will never forget.

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 – Sweats and Treats! It’s Turkey Time

Nov 19, 2012

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

For the past week, the old man has been paying an awful lot of attention to getting things sparkling clean. First, the yard – which was offset by our leaf extravaganza – was cleared, and further focus was paid to the inside. Dusty hair balls, which were fun to paw at, were removed from under the sofa and the bed. The higher places were attended to by our more agile neighbor Christy.

In the meantime, Buck and I were able to play a few games of catch-me-if-you-can in the back yard. Therefore, we pretty much just stayed out of our owners’ mad-cleaning festival. Even Izzy and Debbie had stopped by to help by putting up some new decorations, adding to the fun and making me a little more curious about the situation.

Then it occurred to me – I do believe there is something fishy going on. But this has nothing to do with fish. No, it is something familiar…something to do with a lot of food if I remember correctly. While my belly is always kept in top shape and filled to capacity, there was always that one time of the year in which everyone seemed to really lay on the gravy.

Of course, to add to the suspicion, our new neighbors showed up as well. Marty rushed through the doggy door and almost rolled down the steps. Still a young pup, he was un-dexterously entertaining. Time and a little training will set him on all four paws perfectly. But in the meantime, he does show a strangely attractive perspective of what it was like to be a puppy.

However, what astounded me was Sampson’s arrival. While Marty’s appearance was somewhat expected after a few play-dates, Sampson has always remained rather distant and spends most of his time sleeping. But not today apparently.

“I brought Sampson!” Marty chirped and bounded around with his little nubby-tail wiggling happily. “I’ve been telling him about all our adventures and he wanted to come see for himself!”

I turned, and turned, and then turned some more, trying to keep the excited pup in view while he spoke. Every three words, he had to stop and take a breath, providing us with the chance to adjust ourselves to a better listening position.

Sampson, who was moving rather slowly out the back door (he was far too big to squeeze through my doggy door) was studying us carefully. So, we figured we’d all take a moment to formally introduce ourselves. Each sniffed, though there was no need to shake (that seems to be reserved for the two-legged companions). Then we started talking.

“What is all this?” Sampson bellowed. “Why is everyone in the same den? It’s just not right. We need privacy regularly. It’s good for the health.”

Izzy looked at me oddly, “Is this old dog for real?”

“Of course I am real,” Sampson affirmed, “how else could I be talking to you?”

“Well,” I interrupted, “Izzy is a little cuckoo, and he hears strange barking sometimes.”

“Rocky!” Izzy pawed my ear, “You promised you’d never tell.”

“Quit joking around guys and check it out!” Buck howled. “Debbie put some pies out on the ledge, and I bet one’s for me!”

“Now that’s just plain ridiculous!” Izzy bounded over Buck and rushed for the open window, the very source of that delicious scent. “All of Debbie’s pies are for me and me only.”

But, that didn’t stop everyone from perching outside of the window to get a better scent of what was going on inside. And despite Izzy’s long body and legs, even he couldn’t seem to get an equal view of what Sampson could spot standing on all four.

“That is a delicious smell.” Sampson said calmly, but with a selective hint of excitement. “What is it?”

“Pup-kin pie!” Marty chirped.

“Blueberries!” Izzy howled.

“Pecans!” I added to the list.

“Bacon!” Buck cried out.

“Bacon?” We all stared in strange wonder.

“Hey, sounds good to me.” Buck shrugged, to which we all nodded in agreement.

“Do you want one?” Sampson said with a sly look in his eyes. But he didn’t have to wait for any of us to say a thing. He knew that we couldn’t resist such sweets and treats. Despite his previous slow entrance, he hopped up and nudged the edge of a pie pan with his nose, slipping it off the edge. It crashed down, splatting on the patio.

The sound of the pie pan hitting the floor gave us away. Debbie peeked over and accused us with her eyes when she spotted her pie. It was a mess, but we would clean it up, leaving nothing to waste. I think she knew that because all she did was shrug and roll her eyes.

Then everyone jumped in for a taste…even Sampson, for which our bellies are at this moment very thankful for.

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.

Bookmark and Share

Should You Fly with Your Dog?

Nov 16, 2012

Tips for dog owners traveling during the holidays

The holiday season is here, and for many people, travelling is more of their holiday tradition. Going to see family and friends? Good, but will you be taking the dog along for the ride? While there are many ways to travel, flying presents a unique situation for dogs, especially with the tightened security and regulations around airports.

So, if you’re planning to do travel by plane, there are a few things to consider before your dog sets paw near the airport. Most importantly, many airlines require recent documentation that your dog is in good health before they will allow them on the flight, so you’ll need to take them to the vet prior to including them in any air travel plans.

What are the requirements?

Some dogs are permitted while others aren’t. Limitations are sometimes based on the size of the dog. Other airlines allow you to bring your dog into the cabin as long as their crate can be kept under the seat in front of you.. But, while some pets can be kept in the cabin, most dogs will have to reside in the cargo area.

There are also breed discrimination restrictions as well e.g. pit bull dogs aren’t allowed on board, as are Dobermans, or any other naturally aggressive type. Additionally, airlines may hold at their discretion whether your dog can board, even if they meet all the requirements. Be sure that all your destinations (even temporary) are pet friendly. And keep in mind that the airline can designate your dog as unacceptable at any time, especially if they show signs of aggression.

If you’re hopping flights or have long layovers, your dog is going to be moving around as well. They will be transferred over from one cargo hold to the next, which can present a problem. After a long flight, they may be scared or intimidated, which can cause issues with the airport personnel. Some airports may have different regulations regarding dog travelers, so be sure to examine each facility and airline prior to making any arrangements.

Coping with the flying experience

The flying experience is different for every dog. Some may be fine as long as they’re secure in their crate, while others may feel uneasy, anxious, or even scared. Will your pet be able to handle the experience? Many dogs get anxious, especially if they’re going to spend time away from you in a new place with strangers handling them.

With increased security translating to more time spent waiting in lines, a long flight can be a tough affair for your pet. They’re going to be cramped in a small crate or isolated in the cargo bay, where the common amenities, such as food, water, and available potty location are not easily available.

As a dog owner, your primary task is to keep them comfortable – especially when it comes to sustenance. Don’t over-feed them though, since pets can get airsick, and puppy vomit might not be comfortable to travel in. Then there are a dog’s potty needs. Potty train them beforehand if you have to, or have a container for them in the crate to do their business.

There is always the option of using sedatives to keep your dog at ease during the flight, especially if they have aggressive tendencies when intimidated or scared. But, not every owner is willing to sedate their dog with drugs, so do this only if you are comfortable with the results.

Have a fun trip

Travel by air can be a great way to save time, especially if you are only travelling a short distance. Long, enduring flights that involve airport-hopping are not going to be in your dog’s best interests, and can become more of a hassle than anything else.

Of course, the costs for traveling with your pet may not be as expensive as leaving them in a kennel or doggy hotel for long periods of time. One of the best benefits of bringing your dog along for the ride is that you’ll still be with each other when you get there. And that will make the both of you happy.

If you’re planning to travel by air, be sure that you weigh the benefits of bringing the pup along. Before departure, prepare your pooch for the journey ahead and make sure they have a safe trip to your holiday destination.

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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Walking Your Dog in the Rain

Nov 14, 2012

Dog care when taking your pup for a walk in the rain

It’s that time of day, and your faithful pup is nudging the newspaper out of your hand and handing you its leash. It is a rather clichéd situation, but every dog owner understands the importance of getting out and giving their dog plenty of opportunity to stretch all four of their legs.

But, what happens when weather isn’t too kind? You open up the door, and everything is getting wet. The rain can seem like a downer for your outdoor plans – still, there’s the need to potty that requires someone to get their paws wet.

Does your dog like to get wet? Some dogs do enjoy drizzle while others dread the fact that something keeps falling on them. Regardless of how they feel about the rain, the outcome always seems to be a stinky dog. Even the smallest amount of rain seems to bring out a rather pungent odor, and it’s even worse when they come back in and rub themselves on the carpet to dry off (or shake it off!).

So, in preparation for what is and what might be, always be sure to check what the weather is going to be like. What’s the temperature outside? Is there going to be a cold drizzle today? Dogs are like people. A cold drizzle could land them with an illness or make them feel a little under the weather. In order to keep your pup safe and happy, there are a few things to consider when it comes to walking your dog when it’s raining.

Picking a good location

The environment itself will play a part in the experience. While it might be raining, there will be places that provide a more secure area for walking than others. Avoid muddy locations. Some dogs actually like to get wet, but there are some that also enjoy rolling around in the mud. Avoid grassy areas. Grass has more surface area and that type of environment will actually get your dog wetter than a pathway or sidewalk.

Stick to pathways that aren’t immediately adjacent to roads. Passing cars can splash road-water on you and your dog, and in bad weather, visibility is decreased significantly. Accidents do happen, and it’s always best to take precautions and avoid any unnecessary situations altogether.

One thing to remember always – don’t walk your dog at night when it’s raining. It poses too many unnecessary dangers. If you do have to go out on a rainy night, (midnight potty time) carry a reliable flashlight and keep it on.

Wearing the right stuff

It is, therefore, important that you dress your pup to handle the outdoor experience. The main objective is to keep your pet covered. Pet rain coats are available through many companies; just make sure that the material and fitting is comfortable for your dog. Select one that covers their head but does not restrict their vision so that they aren’t wrestling with the attire.

There are rain boots available, but most dogs wouldn’t enjoy these (they’ll just try to take them off). Be sure that all clothes are bright and flashy so that others can spot your dog in the falling rain. If your choice outfit doesn’t seem bright enough, reflective tape can help vehicles and pedestrians to spot your dog more easily (especially if they’re a tiny breed).

Keep a few things on hand

There are a few things that you need for yourself, as well. While a rain coat and hat might suffice for you normally, an umbrella will help deal with the majority of the precipitation.  Plus, an umbrella will help improve your visibility, and says clearly: “Hey, I’m right here.”

Additionally, it’s good practice to carry a towel with you, especially for that moment right before you go back inside. With rain attire or not, your pup is bound to have some moisture on them. Dry them off before you set them loose in the home. This will help keep that pungent smell down and probably be more comfortable for your pup than air drying.

Going for a walk in the rain can be an adventure, and as long as you prepare for it properly, you can ensure the safety of both you and your pup. With the correct attire and a little cover, you can keep the falling precipitation from hindering your daily exercise activities.

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 – Around the Corner

Nov 12, 2012

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

When I woke up this morning, everything was just fine. The old man was in his place, making his cup of hot tea and toasting some bread for us to munch on. Sure I have my own food, but this is our morning moment of sharing. And I always look forward to it- down to every last crumb.

Of course, I’ve got to put on a performance in order to get my share of the goods. Nothing much; basically, all I have to do is dance around and show him how cute I am. Of course with anyone else, it all comes down to my extraordinary talent of being cute.

After our breakfast fun, it was time for our morning walk, which went quite splendidly. The morning air is so much cooler this time of year, and it’s a great chance for me to chat with all my friends. Occasionally, Debbie and Izzy join us, but we are alone today.

And that’s probably why we wandered off the beaten path. When the old man took a left instead of going right, I immediately noticed the change. I tugged to get him back on track, but he insisted on going left. Sometimes, he can be such a stubborn companion.

After a brief argument, we ended up going left, down a rather shady street. With all the new scents around, my nose is kept busy enough to overwhelm my curiosity. New messages are left here and there, some about a cat stuck up in a tree and others about how silly their companion looked today. I felt odd, smelling other dog’s mail, but a little gossip never hurt a curious nose.

We walked for some time, I paying more attention to the scents and smells rather than where we were going. I tugged to stop the old man at one house, where I noticed a strange message. Unlike many of the others that warned about intrusion, this one was an invite. A rarity indeed, especially since it was posted on the edge of one’s territory. I responded with a hello, and left it at that. That’s when the tiniest dog I’d ever seen came bounding through the grass. Most dogs would have towered high above a short lawn (even me), but this little rascal was practically dragging his belly.

“Hey! Hey, what you doing?” the little puppy yipped. “You want to play?”

“Sure…” I responded, a little unsure about the situation. Such a tiny dog, I don’t think he could really outrun me during a game of chase, let alone win the rope in a game of tug. But, if he teamed up with some friends, there’s no telling what could happen.

“I’m Hemi. What’s your name?” the little tike asked. He leapt up on the fence and poked his tiny snout through to give me a good sniff. I let him check my ear (which by the way has been presenting an itch which never seems satisfied unless the old man gives it a whirl), and let him inspect me.

Then, I started introducing myself, “I’m…” but our conversation was interrupted by the pup’s companion. A woman came rushing out of her den, calling to her companion to return. She seemed frantic and worried, as though there was danger all around. I searched for some, ready to take on anything that came my way (my plan was simple: bark furiously from behind the old man’s legs). But, there was nothing intimidating around.

“Awe shucks. She doesn’t want me to play with you because she thinks I’ll get hurt again,” Hemi said sadly. It appeared as though I was the danger. And I assure you, that is a first. Then the small pup turned around and skulked away, posing a rather sad scene.

“Hey,” I called out to him, “my name is Rocky. And I’ll see you tomorrow.” At that, his ears perked up and his stubby little tail gave a happy wiggle.

“Good.” the miniature pup woofed back.

Then he turned and went inside while the old man and I continued down the new path. I guess you never know who you’ll meet when you turn a different corner. Sometimes, there’s new people, new pups, and even a few new adventures. And sometimes, all it takes is a simple change in habit to make our day a little brighter – or someone else’s.

And tomorrow, I’m sure we’ll be turning left 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.

Bookmark and Share

Disaster Preparedness: Have Adequate Rations for Your Dog

Nov 9, 2012

Dog owners should always prepare for disasters

Power outages, water shortage, and food inadequacy. These are some of the known effects of most disasters, which as we all know occur, sometimes without warning. Everyone has 20/20 hindsight, but it wouldn’t solve the aforementioned problems when they occur. Things happen that are out of our control, some natural and others man-made. And while we can’t stop them from occurring, we can always be prepared for the worst so we can mitigate the consequences.

When it comes to the family household, keeping a few articles at hand can make an unexpected disaster experience a lot less uncomfortable. And even as we go out of our way to be prepared we shouldn’t forget the four-legged members as well.

Be prepared for your dog’s sake

Perhaps one of the most common situations people face is that of having no power. This effectively means no lighting. While the feline breed can handle this quite well, we and our canine friends don’t cope nearly as well. Sure your pup could use their nose, but it’s more important that you are able to see them in order to keep them safe.

Avoid candles, since these can quickly become a fire hazard for pets. LED flashlights are small and very powerful, and are cheap (a couple of dollars at the thrift store). This will allow you to see and avoid any dangers, such as falling objects or even the annoying coffee-table corner that always gets you on the knee.

Staying warm is something else with the power out though. Wool blankets are perhaps the best and most cost effective means to keep both you and the pup warm (without the use of a fire). In extreme conditions, it is better that you stay together under the same blanket (a dog’s body temp is around 100 F) which will help keep both of you warm and safe.

Then there’s the importance of keeping your dog close to you. Keep a leash next to the door and one in a prepared bag, just in case you have to evacuate. A prepared bag should contain necessities for both you and the dog, but there are harnesses designed to help the dog carry its own supplies. Additionally, if there is more than one person in the home, designate one individual as responsible for your canine companion in order to avoid any unnecessary confusion.

Don’t forget the water

Perhaps the most important element for survival is water. When there’s no electricity, especially on a large scale, water is likely to stop flowing. No water? What are you going to drink? Both dogs and humans can go without water for up to three days, but that is when it’s cooler. In the heat, it will be necessary for a dog to drink more to cool their body (they’re most efficient at this through their tongues, which is the reason they pant).

Distilled water by the gallon is one of the best preparation methods. This water can be used to drink or wash with as well. You should also use pots and bowls to collect water from the tap as long as it’s flowing.

The importance of water brings up the subject of keeping the body clean and healthy. Medical supplies for you and the dog should be at hand at all times. Bandages and antiseptics (Hydrogen peroxide is favorable for dogs) should be kept nearby.

But, what if water is the issue, such as flooding? If you are in an area that is susceptible to flooding, it is good practice to keep a life-preserver on hand that is suited for your dog.

Food for the belly

Then there’s the need to eat. Keeping perishables when the fridge is out isn’t going to be effective, so how do you keep your belly, and the dog’s, full? Small bags of food kept in reserve are important. Avoid letting yourself run out of sustenance for the pup, make sure to have something for them kept away. Besides, it may not be possible to run down to the store and pick up fresh supplies.

On a related note, in anticipation for emergency situations the FDA has designated certain approved dog food brands to be human consumable. While it may seem a little strange, it is more important that everyone survive, even if it means sharing.

Share what you know

One of the most important things that you can do to prepare in case of a disaster is to interact with the neighbors you know and trust (fellow pet owners). Build a community that works and plans together for that just-in-case situation. Share what you know; you’d be surprised at what they could educate you on to help you be better prepared.

It’s important that every pet owner keep their dog safe, especially when there’s trouble at hand. While there’s not much you can do until the storm blows over, you can be prepared to keep both you and the dog safe.

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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Planning for New Year’s – Fireworks and Your Dog

Nov 7, 2012

Dog owners’ guide to preparing your pup for New Year’s

Not all dogs are as fearless as the next and quite frankly, every dog has something they just don’t like the sound, smell, or the look of. Sometimes it’s a noisy vacuum cleaner cleaning the rug or even a loud motorcycle going down the road. In the case of sight and smell, walls and windows tend to block them out, but sound is renowned for its uncanny ability to travel through everything.

During the New Year’s celebration, one of the most notorious fears is the sound of fireworks. While the visuals may be attractive, the sound is not always so very appealing to our dogs and their sensitive hearing. This raises the question of how an owner should accommodate their pet’s fear. Do you let your dog remain afraid and work to make them comfortable or do you try to help them get over that fear? Not all dogs respond the same to their fears; some bark warnings or chase, while others flee under the bed to seek comfort.

Get your dog used to the sounds

The most effective approach is to desensitize your dog to certain noises. In most cases, this will help with other sound related issues as well. Just like a thunderstorm, the sound of fireworks is the most unappealing part of fireworks for your dog. Basically, it is noise that they cannot place a paw on, so to say. What they can’t see tends to frighten them the most, primarily because they can’t associate it with any reasonable source.

So, as your dog’s owner and protector, you are responsible for giving them a reason not to fear the noise. Counter-conditioning or desensitizing programs are the best way to help them adjust to the noise. There are pre-made soundtracks available, but all you really need is a sound recording of fear-inducing noise. Start by playing it at low intervals while relaxing or interacting positively with your dog. Then, slowly increase the volume over time. Keep in mind that this is not an overnight procedure, so don’t expect your dog to turn over a new leaf immediately. Don’t leave your dog alone with the sound recording on. Remain with them and help them associate the sound with good things.

A secure environment

In other cases, you may find it necessary to simply allow your dog to find a place where they feel secure and ride out the experience. Not every dog responds the same to desensitizing methods, so it’s best to provide them with an accommodating atmosphere. A crate that your dog associates as their den is often the best solution to this predicament. Make sure that they have all of their effects, such as water and toys to play with.

Background and white noise to block out the sound is a great tool to help keep their minds occupied on other things. This can be derived from a turned up radio or television set that will drown out the sound of fireworks.

Interacting with fireworks

When it comes to interaction, refrain from punishing your dog for fleeing or hiding. Avoid dragging them out and forcing them to face the fear. It’s best to let them be frightened and provide an area where they can retreat to, such as a crate or den, where they can feel safe. However, it is important that you don’t cuddle them either. This would only teach them that it’s good to be scared and that it will get a rewarding response from you. Just let them respond as they naturally would and help them figure out that it’s safe on their own.

Protecting your dog from the possible dangers

Additionally, it is important to keep them away from the physical dangers of fireworks. This applies to sound especially. Fireworks can hurt a dog’s hearing, such as fire-crackers or bottle rockets which create a “boom” effect. I’m sure that even people cover their ears when some types of fireworks go off, so keep in mind that a dog’s hearing is at least ten times as sensitive.

Unbeknownst to many, the powder in fireworks contains nitrates, which are known to generate headaches when consumed or handled. Don’t allow your dog to have access to any fireworks, even if they’re just inspecting them with a few sniffs.

As a loving dog owner, it is your task to begin preparing your pup for the upcoming celebrations. Be sure they have a safe place where they can feel secure during the celebration as well. After all, you never know how they’ll react to the experience.

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 – The Trouble with Litter-Bugs

Nov 5, 2012

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

Last night was awesome. Our people ran around the house, dressed up in silly costumes while we dogs made sure everything went as planned. It did, up until Buck decided to help himself to a few leftovers on the kitchen table. I’ll admit, we are usually good at self-control, but every now and then our bellies tend to get the better of us. For Buck, a few morsels of pie can be enticing to the point of uncontrollability.

Even after Christy caught him, he was still trying to gobble down every last bit. And after all, once you’re caught doing something naughty, you might as well make it worth it. Lucky for him, the night’s events were far too uplifting for anyone to remain mad at anyone else, so things returned to fun and games rather quickly.

The people-pups came and went, their bags getting plump with treats that our people gave them. It was made clear to us that those treats weren’t for us though. We would have our own to keep us satisfied. It’s been that way for years now, but I’ve always been intrigued by the smell. It is quite wonderful, and it would seem okay for the people-pups to eat them, which makes me wonder why we can’t.

So, this morning I arose at my normal waking hour and tended to my usual habits. Stretch, yawn, check on the old man (I didn’t find him at his table enjoying his morning coffee), and finally exit out into the back yard to inspect the grounds and relieve myself. That’s when I found a mess to behold: The tree had paper hanging down from it, like vines.

The old man was currently using a long stick to remove whatever he could reach, which wasn’t very much at all. What he did manage to get was being tossed into a pile. While he was focused on the tree, I went ahead and continued inspection on the rest of the yard and found even more violations to my territory. Aside from strange scents (at least three of them), there were some wrappers and discarded trash strewn about. They smelled wonderfully sweet, and I realized that they were the very treats that our people had been handing out last night. Curiosity currently had the better of me …

I looked up to see if anyone was watching me. I spotted Christy entering the yard with Buck wiggling through the doorway at the same time (Sheesh! Didn’t anyone ever teach that pup ‘ladies first?’). She was carrying a ladder, but still had occasion to spot me and wave. Buck wasted no time and trotted over as quickly as his stubby legs could carry him.

“Hey, what you got there?” Buck hollered (the lack of an inside voice does make him hard to deal with occasionally).

“Take a sniff.”

“Tricky-feet treats!” Buck said quietly and rather mischievously. “You gonna try it?”

“I don’t know…they might not be good for us. I might get sick like the last time I ate something I wasn’t supposed to…” And that’s all I had to say before Buck ate what was left of the treat and the wrapper it was in.

“Mama!” Thieves-the raccoon-sounded off like a tattle-tale alarm. He sat up on the fence right behind us, watching us and repeating the single-worded extent of his vocabulary. Of course, he didn’t have to say much for Christy to know we were doing something we weren’t supposed to. The impending trouble we were about to face did not detour Buck at the very least. He munched down the seemingly inedible wrapper while Christy tried to get it away from him.

The old man looked at me when he spotted what was going on. Paws over my eyes, I surrendered, “I know nothing! It wasn’t me!”

And though the wrapper was successfully removed, its remaining contents had found their way down into Buck’s belly. It took a while for him to feel the effects, which weren’t too bad. Aside from the belly ache and dizziness, along with the need to potty at an abnormal rate, you would never have guessed he had eaten those man-pup treats.

Too bad it’s a lesson learned the hard way, but I hope that in the future, people won’t consider my yard a disposal site for their trash or treats. Quite frankly, it’s just plain irresponsible and rude.

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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