December 31, 2007 Resolutions

December 31, 2007


Who doesn’t resolve to start off the New Year fresh with a new attitude and goals to improve our life? Which made me start thinking what if our dogs made resolutions?

Resolution #1 Get the fat guy out of his recliner to walk me so I can get in shape.
Resolution #2 Chase the cat more to shape up.
Resolution #3 Leave my mark on the world, and the couch, and the table and all the trees in the neighborhood.

The wonderful thing about dogs is they change easily with new rules. They adapt to resolutions every day with ease. If today the rule is no more table scraps and you mean it, your dog make still give you those doggie eyes and beg, but if you IGNORE him, and in the end after all the whining and carrying on he gets nothing, no attention, no food, no acknowledgement for the bad behavior, the next day is much easier! They are so much like kids it’s not funny. You just have to be tough and resolve NOT to give in!

I’ll be the first to tell you I’m a fair weather walker. Therefore, my dogs don’t get enough exercise. Exercise is the key to fixing bad behavior, sort of like a kid with ADHD; you have to allow time to burn off the excess energy before you are asking the dog to do something. Throw the ball for your dog, play chase! Go on a long walk. Putting the dog outside in a fenced yard is NO substitute for interaction with you. You can’t just toss the dog out and expect him to exercise himself. It doesn’t work that way. You have to go out there with him and keep him busy chasing toys, or you.
If the weather is crummy, you can do most of this stuff inside the house. If you have a treadmill, teach your dog to walk on it. (Lord knows my treadmill makes a great place to hang clothes and collect dust!)
Okay, so maybe exercise isn’t MY thing! However, I am going to resolve to be more involved with my dogs in 2008. Maybe it will be trick training, working on a homemade agility course, and when the weather permits you may even find me walking the dogs this year. I expect to have a little more time. Who am I kidding? Okay, so I won’t have more time, but I WILL make more time.

I won’t bother making resolutions to lose weight and all the usual stuff, why disappoint myself? If it happens, great but I will not expect it. That’s the wonderful things about dogs; they have no expectations, therefore no regrets. They live in the moment! Life to a dog is all about what is going on at this very second. Which is why when you go out to get your mail and come back in your dog is so excited to see you! “You’re here! Hi Mom, long time no see!” I say live each day to its fullest. Enjoy every second. Eat dessert first! If it itches, scratch it! Lie in the sunshine and smile! Enjoy the wildlife around you, like your dog does, well maybe not quite as much as your dog does!

The point of all this is life is short. Dog’s lives are even shorter! They would never waste time brooding over something in the past, or not taking advantage of the fun in the present. Life is serious enough without worrying over silly things. So when the blues start to get you down, think like your dog. Live in the here and now, let go of the past. That’s one of our flaws as a human with such a complex brain, we think too much! Let it go, make time for today and enjoy it. I think that is going to be my next resolution for 2008, think like a dog and enjoy life. I hope you do too.

December 17, 2007 On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me....

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, an 8 week old puppy.
On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 2 kinds of bowls for my 8 week old puppy.
On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 3 squeaky toys for my 8 week old puppy.
On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 4 kinds of treats for my 8 week old puppy.
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 5 cute outfits for my 8 week old puppy.
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 6 paper towels to clean up after my 8 week old puppy
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 7 pick up bags for my now 9 week old puppy.
On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 8 pair of shoes to replace mine from my 9 week old puppy.
On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 9 rug doctor rentals for my 9 week old puppy.
On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 10 computer cords to replace mine from the 9 week old puppy.
On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 11 obedience lessons for my 9 week old puppy.
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 12 apologies for getting me an 8 week old puppy.

Christmas is a wonderful time for giving, but think before you give someone a living creature to take care of for the rest of its life. Not everyone appreciates a baby animal that requires lots of attention, training, and care. You can give lots of things if you are a pet lover, you can give money or donations to your local animal shelter for the animals there at Christmas. You can give your time to volunteer at a shelter or rescue. You can give a donation to a shelter in your friends name as a gift.
You can adopt an older dog that is already past the puppy stage that may not get a new home. Everyone wants puppies. Who can resist them? But they grow up, and like children they go through stages of disobedience, and bad behavior and housetraining can be a real issue. Sadly, many of those same adorable puppies end up at the animal shelter due to their owner’s inability to deal with their issues.
If you can’t adopt a pet, donate some treats, or toys or food. Donate your time and take a dog for a walk and get him out of that kennel for a while. Make a shelter dogs Christmas merry and bright, even if just for one day.
You can give all year long and not just at Christmas. Rescues are always searching for foster homes to house homeless dogs until they can find an adoptive home. Call your local animal shelter or rescue, or look some up on the internet. Do what you can to help out the homeless animals in your area.
Give gifts of your time to your neighbors by walking their dog for them, checking on them to make sure they have food for themselves and their pets when the weather doesn’t permit them to get out.
Time costs nothing and is easy to give.
On that note, I just found a poem I’d like to share, author unknown.

My dear canine friends, I've a story for you.
I beg you to listen: what I say is all true.
Your Humans are human and can't help their behavior,
They get all confused 'bout the birth of their Savior.
See, it's that time of the year, when the humans are hopping.
"No time for our walk today, gotta go shopping.
And tomorrow we have to put up all the lights.
You understand, don't you? You'll be all right?
"No time for your Frisbee, no time to throw balls.
Got to wrap all the boxes and deck all the halls.
"I'm sorry," they say as you're back in your crate,
"Office party tonight, we won't get home til late.
"So you sit in your crate for a very long time.
You're warm and you're safe and they know you'll be fine.
But you're bored and you're worried and you don't understand
Why this time of the year things get all out of hand.
As if rushing around like a nut's not enough,
They keep filling the house up with all kinds of stuff.
There's holly and candles for all to see,
Then to prove they've gone starker's THEY BRING IN A TREE!!!
Yep, fellow dogs, they bring a pine tree right in
They put glass things on the branches and plug the lights in.
You think "Hey! Indoor plumbing!" But they say, "Get away!!"
"This is Our Special Tree for Our Special Day."
And don't think for a moment those tree balls are for you.
Though they bounce on the branches and call you, they do!
You haven't been chasing your own ball for weeks,
Or played tug o' war with your toy that goes "squeak."
As their Big Day approaches, their tempers grow short.
They're tired and stressed out and all out of sorts.
They've spent way too much money, whatever that is.
On gifts, decorations, and on something called "status."
See, they're only humans, and they always forget
It's not about presents or getting in debt.
The Birthday they're celebrating is all about Love
About gifts of the Spirit, sent from up above.
And that same great Father who sent them his Son
To teach all the humans to love every one,
Sends us to remind them, my good fellow hounds:
We exemplify love with positively no bounds.
So when their Big Day is ending, their presents unwrapped,
And they've eaten their feast and settled down for a nap,
That's the time when we dogs can show by example
That it's just about love, and can give them a sample.
They will feel something’s lacking, will see something's missing.
This is the time you can teach with your kissing.
They've ignored you for weeks with their rushing around,
Still you shower them with Love - the True Love of a Hound.
Whisper quiet, Dear Dogs, "It is not about Things!"
"It's not about buying new cars or rings."
The True Gift of Christmas is Love, sweet and pure.
And at Love, none can out do a dog, that’s for sure.

December 3, 2007 Baby, it's COLD outside!

December 3, 2007

Baby, it’s COLD outside!

This time of year always bothers me, not just because I’m not a “winter” person, (if I had my druthers I’d be a snowbird heading to Florida or Hawaii for the winter), but because so many pets are kept outside all winter long without adequate shelter.
I know there are those who believe animals should live outside. But dogs with short coats really don’t have enough to keep them warm.
For example, I hate to admit this…but once upon a time, I was one of those people who left all the animals outside. Not because I wanted to, but because my parents didn’t believe in animals in the house, and gee, lucky me, I married a guy just like them! We used to have Dalmatians. One cold day, I’ll never forget, Dottie came up to the back door, looking in at us shivering. I told my husband, “Oh, let her in, she’s freezing!” He wouldn’t let her in. Gave me excuses of she has straw in her dog house, or she has a heat lamp in the barn, if you bring her in now she’ll get sick when she has to go back out., no dogs in the house! Like a fool, I actually listened to him and let him get by with that. It was so hard to watch my dog shiver, while I sat in my warm comfortable house. I felt like the world’s biggest heel. Today I am truly ashamed of myself that I allowed that to happen.
Well, growing up does wonderful things to a person, it made me a whole lot more confident, and I stopped “asking” permission to do stuff. I just did it. Soon our pets became house pets. Every complaint he had I learned to ignore. My backbone grew finally and I was able to stand up to him and do the right thing. Never again would I allow animals to suffer due to ignorance. Today we have 3 dogs, a cat, guinea pig, turtle, and fish as pets in the house, all cozy and warm, as it should be. The turtle even has a tank heater.
I know that some pets prefer to be outside, some have ultra thick coats that were made to endure harsh winter weather, but use common sense. If you are cold, your dog is bound to be cold too! If your dog is inside, you won’t have to worry about his water freezing either. If your husband is still bound and determined to complain and make life difficult, maybe you should put your hubby outside in the doghouse, and bring Fido in. Your dog won’t complain because you are everything to your dog. He loves you like no other. Don’t you wish your husband was as quiet and attentive? Meanwhile, your hubby can get used to breathing the crisp outdoor air and sleeping in an itchy, straw filled doghouse with frozen water to drink. Be sure and put a chain around his neck too, just to keep him out of trouble.
Now I can say I’ve “reformed” my husband. He’s learned that pets in the house are not a bad thing, and if he thinks they are, tough noogies. I’ve tried to compromise with him. I don’t let them in our bedroom at night to sleep with us, so my cold feet have to get warmed up on my husband instead of the dog. Of course, after he goes to work in the morning my dogs know the bed is fair game, and they are happy to snuggle in with me and keep me warm.
What’s not to love about pets in the house? They clean the floors; trust me there is not ONE crumb on my floor. They don’t complain about anything. They don’t leave their shoes where they don’t belong, and they don’t hog the remote!
He’s learned that when I bring a new pet into the house, all the complaining about “you don’t need another dog” is simply a waste of breath. I finally had to tell him this a few years ago, I said “You’d think after seventeen years you’d realize that I always get my way.” Well that must’ve had an impact on him, because he hasn’t said a word about any new critters since then. It’s good to grow older and speak your mind! Now I realize why the red hat society exists! Save me a hat girls, I’m coming to join you in a few years!