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Archive for January, 2013

Acclimating Your Rescue Dog

Jan 31, 2013

Dog lover tips for your newly rescued dog

Dog lover tips for your newly rescued dog

Opening your home to a rescue dog is one of the greatest gifts you can give to a dog. Whether it’s a puppy or a senior dog, providing a home for them is not only great for them, but it has an awesome effect on the owners.

However, now that they’re in their new home, how are they going to act? The one characteristic about rescue dogs is that you seldom know their history. While kennels and shelters do their best to investigate your pup’s history (medical, housing, previous lifestyle), they aren’t always accurate. In fact, dogs that live in shelters or kennels for long periods of time will often develop different habits that you might not be familiar with. They may have been potty trained, but probably haven’t had the opportunity to practice it.

Old habits die hard

One of the most serious issues with a rescue dog is that they may be hyperactive when you interact with them and they won’t quite be able to settle back down like most dogs would. It could be because they’re just happy to be free and have a home, but the condition often resonates long after they’ve moved in with you.

Additionally, their new environment may cause them stress. Many shelter dogs have accommodated themselves to living within a small area. Consider making them comfortable by surrounding them with something familiar and then gradually introducing them into a larger home. One of the most effective methods is the crate, and while it might seem contradictory to getting them out of the shelter, it does provide them with a place that is familiar while they are adjusting to their new home.

Another situation is the potty issue. Keep in mind that dog shelters aren’t focused on training and working with a dog, especially in this department. Many dogs will potty in their own housings (contrary to their own instincts), which can quickly and unexpectedly become a difficult habit to break. Be cautious about letting your recently rescued dog navigate your home unattended. If you aren’t with them, it’s best to keep them isolated in a certain location, such as a crate or their own room (make sure they can’t jump over doggy gates).

Comfort

Comfort is a big thing for a dog. [tweet this]

While we laugh because they can sleep just about anywhere (and in the strangest positions), dogs are often just looking for what makes them comfortable. The question is: where are they going to eat and sleep? Many shelter dogs are going to be accustomed to eating in the same spot where they sleep, and change can confuse them quickly. It may be necessary to start feeding them close to their crate or sleeping area, then gradually moving their food back to a designated location (kitchen). This should allow your pup to ease into their new lifestyle, rather than just surprising them with a whole lot of change.

One thing to consider is that shelter dogs are often going to be surprised by new objects, sounds, and even people. In order to provide the ideal comfort zone while they adapt, it’s generally good to check your home for anything that would “surprise” your new dog. This might include loud noises, such as vacuum cleaners, clocks, and other strange noises, that could stress out your dog.

Stress on your dog and how to address it

Keep in mind that stress has a physical effect on a dog as well. The introduction to a new environment combined with a change in diet often results in an upset stomach and even diarrhea. This is simply a fact, so don’t be surprised or upset with your pup if he is having stress-related issues, since you’ll only make it worse.

The best way to address this is as soon as your dog is introduced to the home, it’s time to begin potty training. Take them to a pre-designated location (indoor or outdoor) and allow them to take care of their business there. Be sure that this area is obscured from any outside stimuli, such as the neighbor’s barking dog or even elemental factors. The more comfortable and secure they feel in their potty location, the more quickly they’ll begin to accommodate themselves to your house rules.

Providing a home, even a temporary one, for a rescue dog is a wonderful thing. You’re making their life better by simply giving them a chance to make yours just as good. It might be a puppy, a big pooch, a tiny rascal, or even a senior dog, but what matters the most is that they now have a home and a place in your heart.

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 – Warm Winter Party

Jan 29, 2013

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

I popped out this afternoon to see what was going on. My friends came over earlier, so we’ve been busy playing a game of tag inside. But the situation for our companions has been a little different. In and out they’ve been moving. I once even caught a whiff of something yummy, but it went out the back door as well. And that’s what had my attention.

The weather has been much nicer this last week, not completely warm, but not too cold for my paws either. For the most part, it’s been quite enjoyable, which is probably why all our people are out enjoying the outdoors today.

The old man and Debbie are organizing a table with bottles and plates, while Christie and Marty’s companions (whom we have dubbed “the joggers” since they’re always out jogging in the mornings, rain or shine) have been preparing something around the outside cooker. And I might be just a dog, but as far as I’m aware, that device is only used during the summer. But when there’s food concerned, who am I to ask?

So we dogs are now quietly observing from a set distance. Containers move from one table to the cooker, which is opened to reveal the smell of something wonderful. What’s in the container goes into the cooker and it’s closed again. But that part doesn’t interest me as much as what happens next. One, two, three and four drops hit the ground, the splat echoing clearly in our ears. We all see it. Marty, though young, has excellent restraint, which waivers for only a brief second as his eyes twitch and his nub wiggles a little. But, none of us move, for we all know that to get involved would only get us banished from the area. We have to be clever about it.

“I want to see what it is,” Marty whispered. “It smells so good.”

“No!” Izzy warned. “Wait until they’re not looking.”

Buck simply nodded, his previous encounter having made him all the wiser. We would have to wait, then go in for a taste and sniff. So we waited. Christy returned inside with her container, so Buck followed to investigate further while we three sat and waited. The joggers had joined the old man and Debbie, paying strict attention to whatever was on that table.

“Go,” Izzy nudged Marty. The pup waddled over to the spots, detecting a few elements of something tasty indeed which he proceeded to engage feverishly with his tongue. But I could tell that Debbie was losing interest in the table, and possibly getting ready to turn about.

“Come back, hurry!” I yipped as quietly as possible. But Marty wasn’t listening. I’d have to take action quickly or we’d all lose access to the event. I trotted nonchalantly over to him and wacked him with my tail to initiate a chase, which worked. Marty nipped at me and followed me just far enough away as not to raise any unnecessary attention.

Success. No one was any the wiser. We would just have to be patient and wait for the next window of opportunity. And as luck would have it, that wouldn’t be too long. Debbie and the old man each carried something back inside. Once the door closed behind them, we knew that was our chance. I watched the joggers carefully to see if they were watching me. But they were focused on that table for some strange reason.

The spots were still saturated with enough flavor to offer a sample of what might be to come. My tongue told me it was quite tasty, while my ears were deaf to the warnings of my friends.

“Rocky, they’re coming!” Izzy announced, but I didn’t hear. At least not until the old man was standing over me, arms crossed and displaying that look in his eye told me I wasn’t supposed to be doing exactly what I was doing. The old man swept some dirt over the spots, eliminating their flavor forever. Saddened, I returned to my friends as Buck and Christie emerged from the house with more containers.

“Oh well,” Izzy said in a disheartened tone. “It was good while it lasted. Just wish I had gotten a taste.”

“Don’t you worry about that,” I said confidently. “Every time we eat outside, our people are always messy eaters. Just wait and see.”

And sure enough, it took little time for Christie to drop her plate, much of which tumbled here and there and everywhere. Being the helpful pups that we are, we decided to assist her in the act of cleaning up such a mess. After all, what are good friends 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.

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Reunited – How to Ease Back into Routine

Jan 24, 2013

Shy dog

Tips for dog owners that are reunited with their pets

Many dog owners feel comfortable leaving the pup at home while away at work. And while you’re away, your pup might find occasion to romp around the house or play with their toys (squeaking that squeaker while you’re away). Some might simply laze around, simply eager to get you back home so you can play with them.

But have you ever been separated from your pup for a long time? Perhaps you’ve promised your hometown a long visit to ensure its safety and to reunite with family, or maybe you’ve been in the hospital for a long period of time. There are even those whose dog was lost but found, and a reunion is set to happen. Regardless of the reason, seeing your pup again is a great experience for the both of you.

And while you both may be excited to see each other, things at home might be a little different now. Consider the fact that you’ve been separated for a long period. During this time, it’s easy to develop new habits and behaviors, even for a dog.

Different behaviors and habits

Initially, a dog may want to do things differently. They have likely been accustomed to a different schedule and perhaps a different number of people in their home. Don’t be startled if your dog is occasionally surprised by your presence. They may even mistake you for a stranger at times (standing in the shadows or dim area) and let out barks.

The best thing to do is spend time with your pup. Take turns feeding them, walking them, and playing with them. Upon your return home, it’s likely your dog is going to want to do all of these things anyway, but may still want to engage with those that took care of them while you were away. It’s important to understand that just because you’ve returned, it doesn’t mean your dog is going to go right back to feeling comfortable with you all the time.

This normally means that their habits won’t be the same as when you left. They may want to play at certain times or even need to do their daily business differently or in a new place. They may have even learned a few new tricks while you were away (ringing a bell to alert that they need to go out). Spend time with your dog and their caretakers together, so that you can catch up on any changes in your dog. This will help you adjust to caring for your dog so that your arrival won’t surprise him, but rather make him more comfortable in your presence.

Post-return and a little anxiety

Then there are situations where the dog knows what happened the last time you left. They know that you didn’t come back for a long time and this time might not be any different. Unfortunately, this can quickly develop into separation anxiety. They’ll want to follow you around everywhere and be with you. This can result in either destructive issues such as chewing on the rug or scratching on the door. But many times, it results in howling, depression, and just being downright sad or even scared because you might not be coming back for a long time again.

Dealing with post-return separation anxiety can be tough, but not impossible. While you may want to spend a lot of time with your dog now that you’re back, it’s going to be important that they be able to let go of you when you need to leave, without endangering their health or your home. Remember that this is likely a new habit developed, so you don’t want to let it endure or develop into something that is harder to break.

Desensitizing

In most cases, desensitizing them to your leaving is the simplest practice. Start by walking out the door and waiting a few minutes. Then return- but try a different door (garage door to front door). The idea is that you’re changing position and breaking your dog’s habit of waiting by the door for you to return because they don’t know where or when you’ll be arriving. Do this in longer increments until your dog begins to comprehend that you might leave right now, but you’ll be back soon enough.

There are times when owner and dog will be separated for long periods of time. But as long as you understand how your dog needs to cope with the situation, you can ensure that the experience is the best thing that has happened since you invited them into your home.

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 – Lost My Ball

Jan 22, 2013

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

You know what makes me mad? Losing my ball. It’s one of my favorite toys, but it always seems to disappear. Most of the time, I’ll put it back in my basket where I keep my other toys, but on occasion it seems to find its way under the couch. But today, it’s neither here nor there, and that has left me with no other choice but to investigate the entire house until I find it.

I begin by asking the old man where he put it. Last time we played, it was he who threw it, so I’m pretty sure he should know where it is. But he doesn’t. Or he isn’t telling. So I continue on by searching under the bed. Now here’s something interesting. While I didn’t find my ball, I did remember that I had hidden one of my chew bones under here. I give it a few chews and put it back for later.

Then it’s into the kitchen, where the old man is presently preparing an afternoon snack for himself. A few crumbs fall, distracting me for mere moments (alright, he might have had my entire attention for the duration of his meal, but I got right back to work after). I checked under the table, finding a few goodies along the way, and even sniffed under the stove, where I found mostly dust.

I pull off some of the couch cushions next, double checking to see the ball wiggled its way between them while I wasn’t looking. After all, you never know where those balls are going to bounce next. But it wasn’t in there. I even dug down into my favorite hiding spot to see if it was hiding under there too.

There wasn’t anything in the old man’s chair or under the table either. Although, I did find an old napkin that smelled like it had once housed a flavorful sandwich. I gave it a few licks then decided it had no flavor at all.

I decided to check outside next. While it may have been icy cold the past week, today was much warmer and the sun was refreshingly inviting. I poked my head out and scanned the yard. Outside, the sun warmed my body while the breeze cooled it back down. Out and about, I took care of some necessities and proceeded with the search. That’s when I noticed Buck next door. He was playing with something, could it be my ball?

“Hey, Buck. Have you seen my ball?” I shouted to him through the fence. While I could poke my head through, not much of Buck other than his nose would squeeze through.

“Nope. This is my fluffy toy Christy got me.” Buck spat out a few tufts of fluff as he bellowed out. “Haven’t seen your ball since we played with it last.”

“When was that?”

“Yesterday. No wait … today? Or maybe it was tomorrow. All these days get me confused,” Buck said, then returned to playing with his fluffy toy.

The trail was still cold, but not as cold as it is out here. I returned inside to warm my paws back up. While the sun might be warm, the shadows always seem to be a little colder. And with the outdoors clear of any suspicion, that ball has got to be somewhere in here.

I was sitting and thinking in the hallway, trying to decide where to search next, when the old man scooted me out of the way. Are we going out? Why does he need to get in the closet? I looked inside, but all that was in there were a few pairs of paw-covers, his walking stick thingy and a bunch of jackets (our people like to put on different covering styles on their bodies because they obviously weren’t gifted with such awesome ones like we pups have). But aside from the old man’s articles, there wasn’t anything in there for me.

The old man picked out his favorite paw-covers (they smell so awesome and I’d love to chew on them) and his walking stick. Maybe we’re going for a walk today. It would be nice to get out and enjoy some fresh air after being inside for so long.

The old man sat down to put his paw-covers on while I got my leash ready. I brought my leash back, but the old man still hadn’t put his covers on. Instead, he was digging in one, his face seemingly confused. When his hand emerged from within the cover, I found at last where my ball had been hiding.

“Good job,” I congratulated the old man. “Now let’s go play outside with it. And don’t lose it this time!”

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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Items That You Need to Keep Away

Jan 17, 2013

Safe home tips for dog owners

Safe home tips for dog owners

Dogs are astoundingly curious, just like small children. When they see something new, then it’s time to investigate. When you bring groceries home, they have to inspect them (probably just looking for a new toy you brought home for them). But for the most part, dogs love to get into things- even when they know they’re not supposed to (think trash can).

Needless to say, it’s important that any dog owner understand that there are certain things (besides the couch cushions) that they need to make sure are off-limits to their pooch. Some can be dangerous and others can be deadly. Just be sure that these items aren’t just out of puppy reach, but that neither you nor any guests can give them to your dog either.

Medicine

Human medicine is specifically designed for the human body. We weigh differently, our body temperatures are different, and even the way our bodies operate are different. Certain medications, such as ibuprofen, Tylenol, and even allergy medications that are over the counter should be off-limits to your pup. There are specific medicines for your dog to address swelling, allergies, and even pain, and should be the only things that your pup ingests. But even these should be kept out of reach, especially since dogs don’t realize what they’re ingesting.

Snacks

Grapes, raisins, and especially wine are amongst the most toxic for dogs. These summertime favorites are great for countertop snacks and can even roll around when dropped (getting into those hard to reach or out of sight places), leaving them available for your dog to snack on later. While they’re good for humans, take precautions to ensure that any grape-based food product is kept away from your pup’s belly.

Another tabletop item is the sugar substitutes that include xylitol. While not everyone will have these readily available, a few loose packets can land on the floor and every pup owner knows how quickly a dog becomes a vacuum cleaner in these situations.

Chocolate has always had a bad rap when it comes to our four-legged friends (both feline and canine), and it’s justly so. There are chemicals within chocolate (the ones that make us feel good) that a dog’s body can’t process effectively like the human body can. Even in small amounts, chocolate can induce toxicity and leave your pup with the need to potty more than often. In large enough doses (or certain chocolates like semi-sweet or baker’s), chocolate can be a deadly mix for your dog.

Party time- but not for your dog

While it may seem okay to some for their dogs to drink, there are serious side effects to remember before you slip a little eggnog in your pup’s bowl. A dog’s kidneys do not have the capacity that a human’s does, and the result is that alcohol can quickly cause them to shut down. Do your dog a favor and don’t let them drink, even if you think they’re “of age.”

Charged and dangerous

Leaving batteries around is a big no-no. Not only does the packaging inform you that they’re toxic, but also that they shouldn’t be opened, crushed, or destroyed in any way. Now consider what your dog’s going to do when they find something new laying around- they’re going to chew on it. Dispose of your old batteries properly and store your good ones up and far away from your dog’s reach. This goes for flashlights as well.

Decorating

Decorating your home is something everyone does in some way. For some, its paintings, while others enjoy a little greenery. Before you start planting a few greens around the home or even in the yard, consider that lilies are actually poisonous to dogs. Dogs naturally enjoy eating grass or even a few leaves off bushes, and when there’s a plant around (lilies are naturally sweet), a dog might find it an irresistible snack. If you like lilies, it’s going to be safer for your pooch if you invest in a synthetic solution (plus you won’t have to water it).

As a dog owner, be aware of the common dangers that are lying around your home. While we might know better than to do things that are dangerous, your pup doesn’t always have the same reasoning or experience that you do. Keep your dog safe so that you both can enjoy 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 – Doggy in A Blanket

Jan 15, 2013

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

I’m the kind of pup that likes the outdoors. A romp through the grass, perhaps a few bird chases, or maybe even an attempt to get a hold of my tail (it suddenly dawned on me that it had been following me all day) make going out so much fun. But, when the yard is sticky and wet and soggy and cold, things aren’t that fun.

So basically, I’ve only been going out to take care of a few necessities. A quick tinkle at the edge of the patio and I’m good to head back in. While there hasn’t been a sign of ice or fluffy snow for a while now, the ground is still soaked. The grass stays sticky and even gets tangled in some of my paw fur on occasion (those stickers give me a flat every now and then, making it worse). Rain falls from the dimly lit sky, making things even worse when I’m out, especially when it catches me by surprise.

But I’ll tell you, the good thing about going out is coming back in. The warm air of the house feels great on my cold fur and there’s a special game I get to play. Because my paws are all wet and muddy, and it’s likely that my belly has attracted a few leaves and other debris, I’m in need of a little cleanup. Most times, I might be left to address this situation myself, but the old man seems to think it is way more fun if we play a game.

Normally, the old man reserves those mini-blanket things we dry up with for bath time or after washing his paws, but we play a game with them today. After my time outside has soaked my best fur coat (my only coat, but it’s a great one), the old man surprises me at the door.

I pop back inside and give a good shake to shed off the extra water that’s clinging to me. That’s when the old man hits me with it. The little blanket drops down on me, smelling quite fresh and clean. It’s supposed to smell like the forest, but I can smell all kinds of weird things that one might never find on a camping trip.

But, getting back to the fact that I now have a blanket covering me, I’m pretty much confused. I can’t see anything, so I’ll have to rely on my hearing to find the best way to get out of here. I move to the left, but the blanket stays with me, tangling and confusing me even further.

That’s when I feel the old man’s hands grab a hold of me and start rubbing me all over while he’s chanting something about warming up. I get the feeling it’s a game. So when I get a break of light, I wiggle my way out and propose a challenge. Catch me if you can!

The old man tosses the towel at me again, but I’m quick, hopping just out of its reach. The old man tries again, tossing the towel at me, this time catching my tail. It’s stuck on me again, and chases me around the room until I get caught on the edge of the couch as I jump up. The old man won’t be able to get me so easily once I disappear under these cushions. I bury myself in my spot, digging deep under it.

But it wasn’t enough. The old man tossed off my cover and tossed on another. I wiggled in the towel, wrestling as the old man tickled my belly and under my arms.

Then the rolling began. Normally, this would be a trick I’d do on my own, but this time the old man must’ve felt obligated to make sure it wouldn’t be easy to get out of this situation. I wiggled around, trying to get out of my bindings. Finally, after enough wrestling, I was able to pop my head out of the rolled up towel, trying to figure out my next move.

The old man moved for me. He picked me up, wrappings and all, and rubbed my nose and neck, tickling my whiskers just the way I like it. We sat down by the fire while my fur dried, kept warm by my little blanket and the old man’s arms. What a great ending to such a fun game. I might even have to go again in a little while.

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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You Got that Puppy in the Window

Jan 10, 2013

Preparation tips for new dog owners

Preparation tips for new dog owners

Your friend just showed up at your door with a furry friend. You pet them and note how cute they are. In fact, this pup seems to look just like the one you spotted in the window last week. And what do you know, you’ve just been surprised with a new member to your household. This can be a little exciting at first, but it can also be a little unsettling, especially if you haven’t made any preparations to accommodate your new friend.

While you may adore your new friend, you aren’t exactly prepared for what you need to do now that you’ve become a new dog owner. It’s important to understand that owning a dog is a responsibility that needs to be taken seriously. They will change your life in many ways, many of which will be a blessing if you understand the responsibilities of what it means to be a dog owner.

Puppy proofing your home

First things first, your pup is a surprise to both you and everyone else in your home. So, you’re going to need to puppy-proof their new environment. It’s best to start in a particular location. Dogs that have been freshly introduced into a new environment will not only need to be confined to smaller areas, but will actually feel more comfortable in them. This is because there are new sounds, scents, and activity that they won’t necessarily understand. Additionally, it’s about their safety as well. This means that you’re going to be cleaning up the house and getting ready for a small and curious companion who will undoubtedly find interest in just about everything.

Power cords are a big issue, especially around the holidays. Not only can they be chewed on, but they can also be a tripping hazard for young puppies who haven’t quite gotten a hold of their balance yet.

Chewable items can be just about anything, and the smaller they are, the more dangerous. Controllers, devices (electronics like your Xbox), cell phones, and even loose change can all be attractive items to nibble on or swallow.

Then there are the downright dangerous items that include chemicals and even food products. As a new pet owner, it’s important to understand what can hurt a dog that we humans often take for granted. Harsh cleaners should find their way into top cabinets. But, food is a hazard that many new owners don’t think about at first. Chocolate is well known as a dangerous poison to dogs, but the list also includes onions, avocados, alcohol, caffeine, and grapes, to name a few. As a new pet owner, it is wise to only feed your dog healthy dog food and refrain from any table scraps.

Addressing their needs

Preparing the home is one thing, but you’re also going to need to figure out what it is that your puppy needs from you. Feeding- what should you feed them? What’s in a healthy diet? Pay attention to what your choice dog food is designed for, such as puppy mix, adult, senior, or weight. The contents, texture, and size will all affect your dog’s ability to eat and their general health (puppies require more fatty acids and growth-stimulating nutrients).

And if they eat, they’re going to have to go potty. Choose a location for your dog to potty and take them back to it right after they’ve finished eating. Proposing a command will help associate your dog with the purpose of their particular visit to the potty location. Just be sure that your designated potty area and command remain the same throughout the training process.

The right toys for your pup

Toys are something else entirely. Young puppies aren’t picky about what they play with, so you could give them anything and they’ll jump right on it. Just be cautious about hard-plastic toys, stuffed animals, and objects that could be swallowed. Plush toys that lack stuffing are available and tend to be the softest for a young puppy’s choice entertainment.

While toys are good for entertainment, a young puppy is going to seek out your attention. You are after all, their new best friend. They trust you, look to you to teach them all the good habits, and to keep them happy. While the season can be full of hustle and busy schedules, this is the most important responsibility for any dog owner.

Being surprised with a new friend does happen, especially during the holiday season. Not everyone who gets a dog is expecting a dog. And while many people consider a dog a wonderful gift, it’s important to remember that it is the happiness that comes from the experience that is the true gift.

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 – Rocky Hits the Ice

Jan 8, 2013

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

While the piles of fluffy snow might have shrunk to mere mounds that litter the yard and walkway, it doesn’t mean things aren’t still cold. The few moments I’ve spent outside taking care of my necessaries is more than enough for me to lose feeling in my toes. So, I spend as much time as I can right here in my fluffy couch pillow, keeping my paws toasty and comfortable.

Which was exactly where I was when the old man woke me up. I’ll admit that I was a little grumpy at first, but that soon subsided when I realized that he had invited my friends over to play. After all, we have been snuggled up at home for a while now with barely a glimpse of what’s been going on outside. So when I smelled Izzy and Debbie, I was rather excited to have playmates to keep me company.

“Where have you been?” I asked Izzy.

“Been at home,” he replied with a wag of his tail. “Did you see all the snow?”

“Oh yeah, it was terrible.”

Izzy cocked his head at me awkwardly. “I thought it was cool. It’s fun to run around in. The only bad thing was losing all those balls in it. Every time too. Deb would throw me a ball, and I’d even catch it, but then it was gone. It’s quite the mystery.”

“You…like to be in that cold snow?”

“It’s awesome. Don’t you?”

“It was way too cold for my paws. Plus, we couldn’t even go outside the first day because it was too high. I would have been up to my ears in it if I was out there.” I stated, trying to help Izzy understand the difference in our sizes.

“Well, it’s not that deep now. Mostly, it’s just a bunch of piles that we can dig in and see what’s under. Did you know that you can even eat it? And no one gets mad either!”

“It doesn’t matter. It’s too cold for my paws out there, so I’m not going.”

Izzy gave me a sly look. “It won’t be cold if you’re all warmed up!” Then he pounced.

Things got crazy then. We’d been confined for so long that all that energy had to eventually go somewhere. And it did. I wiggled out from under Izzy’s bulky fur coat and started a race that took us everywhere in the house. We dashed through the hall and into the bedroom. Then it was back down the hall and into the kitchen, where I gained an advantage. I was ready for the loss of traction and leapt over to the little carpet close to where the old man keeps my food bowl and water. Izzy had apparently forgotten about the floor’s slippery characteristics, and when sliding right under the table. I hopped right back into the hall and back into the living room before Izzy managed to get any traction. His nails were still clicking and searching for grip by the time I had hidden under the couch pillows.

But even that head-start didn’t help me evade Izzy’s nose. He sniffed me out and pawed all the pillows away, revealing one of my best hiding places (guess I’m just used to hiding from the old man). Back down and out, I raced…for the doggy door.

I didn’t even stop to check how it was outside. Guess I was just excited. The door popped open and I tumbled out and into a small pile of snow. However, Izzy didn’t have quite the sleek figure that I have, so he had to stop and work to get through the door. That bought me enough time to hide somewhere clever. I nudged the snow to the side and started towards the bushes at the far side of the yard. But, I wasn’t moving.

My paw went forward, but didn’t grab onto anything. It just slid, kind of like the kitchen floor. I tried to step again, but ended up on my tail, sliding in a circle. I couldn’t go where I wanted to. Then Izzy joined me, sliding on all four, like he’d done it a hundred times before.

“Cool, huh?” Izzy exclaimed.

“Why can’t I walk?” I asked, a little confused about the new environment.

“It’s magic. You just have to know what you’re doing. Start by crawling, or you’ll just fall on your tail again.”

Down on my belly (which was getting cold and wet now) I inched my way out to the grass. Once I had firm footing again, I checked out the tufts of snow leftover from the past week. They weren’t as soft as they first appeared, almost like that stuff the old man sometimes knocks out of his cold food-box in the kitchen. So I tasted it. It was about the same, except it tingled on my tongue. And that’s when Izzy messed up my flavor-test by pouncing on the pile and scattering snow over everything- including me. If I wasn’t cold before, I was surely freezing now.

Author:

Jason Duron is a short story writer and author of several fiction stories.  Curious and lovable as dogs can be, the Adventures of Rocky give you a chance to see daily life from a “dog’s eye view” and share in their thoughts.  Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll feel free to comment and give us insight into your dog’s very own “rocky” adventures.

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How to Handle a Dog with Too Much Energy

Jan 3, 2013

running dog

Dog owners and how to handle energetic dogs

Pawing, pacing, and sighs are all signs that your dog wants you to play. You’re taking care of some work on the computer, and the ball plops down on your lap. Your dog looks up at you and sighs a “play with me” while his eyes say “please”. You toss the ball away, but your pup brings it right back and you’re back to square one. Ball in lap becomes ball on shelf. So, your dog goes and gets a fluffy toy and puts that in your lap. Notice the pattern?

The unfortunate thing is that you really don’t have time to play right now. This leaves your pooch a little upset, and quite frankly, they’re a bottled up fountain of energy now. Before long, they’re tearing through the house, jumping on the couch and doing what they can to get your attention.

This can be frustrating for any owner. However, consider the fact that it’s even more frustrating for your dog than for you. They want to play. They want to be entertained. And the truth is that they aren’t going to be happy until they’re satisfied. So, what can you do to satisfy their urge to get out all that energy – in a positive way? Sure, a few laps around the couch might help subdue them for now, but it isn’t the real solution.

Getting the energy out

Regular exercise is the best way to help get the energy out. For many breeds, such as the Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd, frequent activity is a necessity for both mind and body. Schedule daily walks and some time outdoors where they can stretch their legs and keep their minds stimulated.

Parks are ideal for dog activity and provide your dog plenty of social exposure. If your dog is exhibiting a lot of energy and becoming frustrated with being stuck inside (looking out the window and wishing they could play outside), consider finding them a puppy pal.

Do you have any fellow dog-owner friends your companion could spend time with? Fellow canine bonding is important for every dog and helps them adjust and build confidence when around other dogs. Many owners seem to neglect this important aspect of dog-nature, and prefer limited exposure with other dogs. But, it’s important for every dog to understand that there are other dogs out there so they can find friends that can keep up with them during a race.

One thing to consider when it comes to active dogs is that they adore education. Dogs love to listen and interact with you and others. The more time you spend teaching them tricks, the less hyper and chaotic they will be.

Spend a few minutes each day practicing tricks (sit, lay, return), to help keep their minds active and strong. Teaching them to navigate obstacles is also a great idea. Going through a tunnel, jumping through hoops, or even picking up a Frisbee turned upside down (this is inexpensive and isn’t easy to accomplish without opposable thumbs). Tricks and obstacles exercise your dog’s mind and not only help focus that excess energy, but channel it to make your dog smarter and a little wiser.

Of course, the aspect of the mind also reaches out to entertainment. Dog puzzles are actually very fun for a dog. The challenge keeps them busy and helps focus their energy into something rewarding and productive. Wooden and plastic puzzles are relatively cheap and give your dog hours of fun trying to figure out how to get to the hidden treat.

Other toys that keep them entertained would include the ball-in-a-ball. Normally costing about ten to fifteen dollars, depending on size and durability, they are quite simply one ball in a larger ball with holes. Nothing is more entertaining than trying to get the ball that always evades their reach. Kong is renowned for their durable toys, many of which have pockets that can be filled with treats or wet foods (wet food is harder to get all the way out and would keep them busy longer).

An extremely active dog can be a nuisance in your home when they decide to unleash a load of bottled up energy. Though they may get a little destructive, it’s not their fault. They’re just doing what comes naturally. As your dog’s owner and protector, you’re responsible for keeping them healthy and happy. Take the time to let them release that energy in a productive and safe way, whether it’s with you, some fellow four-legged friends, or even some practical toys that will keep them busy when you can’t play.

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 – Snowed In

Jan 1, 2013

rocky

Porch Potty: Rocky Road

Last night was spent wonderfully with all my friends, but now the day has returned with blinding resolution. While we were safe and warm inside by the fire, a plethora of that white fluffy snow has blanketed the entire world. Unfortunately, this leaves me faced with quite the predicament since the amount of fluff has also prevented me from getting outside. My door is stuck and even the old man can’t open his. Basically, we’re trapped.

You might be wondering that since I don’t really like navigating the snowy tundra of my own yard, why I would want out in the first place. The answer is simple. I have to piddle. The old man has his very fancy indoor potty all to himself, so this particular issue isn’t really something he’s familiar with. When he has to go, he just takes care of it in the warmth and comfort of his tiny room.

So with my need to go in mind, I will definitely need the assistance of my companion to figure out a solution to this predicament. Right now, he’s staring at the picture box, watching shapes drift around with no particular pattern (such a strange habit). First, I’ll just have to get his attention. This is accomplished by pawing at his leg and simply telling him what we need to do. The paw he notices, but he seems oblivious to my words. So I speak a little more clearly. Still no reaction. Guess I’ll have to slow it down so he can understand.

So the old man and I play a game of charades instead, and the conversation went something like this:

“Hungry?”

“Of course, but that’s not the right answer.”

“Water?”

“No, I need to empty myself first.”

“Potty?”

“Good job!”

I rush to the back door and nudge the bell. I taught the old man to come open the door whenever I ring this simple object (companions are so smart like that). Usually, I only use the bell trick when my little door is closed off because of the rain or late at night, but today seems to be a little stranger than most. So I’m sure I’m going to need the old man’s help even after we get outside.

Early this morning, I had surmounted the window ledge to see what all the brightness was about. And behold, the entire world had been covered in a blinding light. And it wasn’t just covered, it was up to the window, as if something had buried our home with the strange texture. I’ve never seen anything like it in all my puppy years. The tree was full of fluff instead of leaves, making it a bright sight to keep my eyes on. Nothing moved out there either. It was as if the entire world had fallen asleep and had yet to wake up from its cozy nap. Birds should be fluttering around somewhere or I should have at least spotted a scene consisting of Mr. Good Cat strolling along the fence line in search of a good conversation (or a shiny object). But there was nothing.

This quiet world leaves me with the challenge of not only getting out there and taking care of business, but making sure that everyone else is awake too. And I hereby assign the old man to assist me with the situation. Now open the door.

But the door didn’t budge. The old man peaked through the window to see what I already knew. He looked at me (I was doing my “I gotta go” dance) and realized the urgency of the situation. He tried the window, which opened after several grunts of effort. The snow trickled in, splatting right on my head. The cold surprise almost made me lose control, but I managed to maintain composure and told the old man to let me out. But he didn’t. He reached out and his hand simply disappeared. All he had to do was shake his head and I knew that we weren’t going out that way.

The window closed and we headed towards the old man’s little room. It’s such a cozy place, filled with scents of paper, shaving cream, and that strange thing he rubs under his arms amongst other things. His bowl (which is not for drinking) is a strange object, consisting of a lid and a seat for the old man. Me, I get to stand on the seat. He picks me up and lets my paws achieve stability. And while my aim isn’t perfect, my needs are relieved.

After I’m done, the old man puts me back on solid ground and his potty-station makes that sucking noise that always fascinates me. I look up at the old man and propose a good idea- maybe you’d better get me one of my own so we don’t have to do this again next time.

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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