Tag Archives: animals

Spa weekends

In my opinion, part of owning an older dog means ensuring you devote time to them for bonding, love, attention and care.

Daisy and I are just finishing a Spa Weekend.

Daisy’s spa weekend started on Friday with a regular acupuncture session.  Daisy gets acupuncture every 5 weeks:

Daisy is happy to lay still while Dr Susanne Anderson places her acupuncture needles

Daisy is happy to lay still while Dr Susanne Anderson places her acupuncture needles

On Saturday, it was then time for Daisy’s hydrotherapy session.  Daisy swims every fortnight (2 weeks) to keep her muscles strong and to keep range of motion in her hind legs:

Swim time

And today (Sunday), it was time for Daisy to enjoy a massage and laser treatment – lovingly delivered by me – her personal massage therapist and DoggyMom:

Massage time

The only thing that was missing from Daisy’s spa weekend was a bath.  But that’s because she had a bath last weekend!

How do you spend quality time with your elderly dog?

Dog and pony show?

Today, in conversation, I used the term ‘dog and pony show’ as in ‘David and Larry are going to do a dog and pony show on xxx.’  And then I got a question I didn’t expect – ‘what does that mean?’

The term dates back to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when there were many traveling circuses to entertain.    It was often the dog and pony show that was promoted as a headline act.

dog and pony show
Quite literally, this was when dogs and ponies/horses would perform together – often wearing costumes and decorations.

As time has gone on, ‘to do a dog and pony show’ means to publicize a presentation that is designed to impress or sell a product.  It’s debatable about whether the saying is one of scorn – some dog and pony shows could be well-researched and professional as well as glitzy, others not.

Going postal

Postal worker with dog

A mailman meets a boy and a huge dog. ‘Does your dog bite?’ asks the mailman. ‘No,’ replies the boy. And the dog bites the mailman’s leg. ‘You said he doesn’t bite!’ yells the mailman. ‘That’s not my dog,’ replies the boy.

Letter carriers and other delivery personnel regularly face a hazard when delivering to properties with untrained or unrestrained dogs.  Although there are many cartoons and jokes about dogs and postal workers, the issue is no laughing matter.

In the United States last year, nearly 5,900 letter carriers were bitten by dogs.  Letter carriers are encouraged to report homes with dogs that appear menacing and they may choose not to deliver to a property or even a neighbourhood if dogs are running loose.

Ken Snavely, Acting Postmaster of Los Angeles, says, Working with animal behavior experts, the Postal Service has developed tips to avoid dog attacks, and for dog owners, tips for practicing responsible pet ownership.’

These tips include:

How to be a Responsible Dog Owner

  • Obedience training can teach dogs proper behavior and help owners control their dogs in any situation.
  • Dogs can be protective of their territory and may interpret the actions of a letter carrier as a threat. Please take precautions when accepting mail in the presence of your pet.
  • When a letter carrier comes to your home, keep your dog inside, away from the door, in another room or on a leash.
  • Dogs that haven’t been properly socialized, receive little attention or handling, or are left tied up for long periods of time frequently turn into biters.

The US Postal Service also keeps statistics on dog bites, with the City of Los Angeles topping the list of incidents.

Fiscal Year 2012 U.S. Postal Service Dog Attack City Ranking

Ranking City, State Attacks
1 Los Angeles, CA 69
2 San Antonio, TX and Seattle, WA 42
3 Chicago, IL 41
4 San Francisco, CA 38
5 Philadelphia, PA 34
6 Detroit, MI 33
7 St. Louis, MO 32
8 Baltimore, MD and Sacramento, CA 29
9 Houston, TX and Minneapolis, MN 27
10 Cleveland and Dayton, OH 26
11 Buffalo and Brooklyn, NY 24
12 Denver, CO 23
13 Dallas, TX and Tacoma, WA 21
14 Wichita, KS 20

Source:  US Postal Service media statement

Bag balm

bag balm

Bag Balm® is a tried and true product that has been around since 1899.  Originally designed as a salve for irritated cow udders, it is also a great product for your dog.

Bag Balm® contains lanolin and is ideal for irritated and dry noses, healing/softening of paw pads and minor scratches.  For dog walkers with chapped hands in the winter – it’s also great!

In my canine massage practice, I deal with a lot of elderly dogs and when they are not ambulatory, the skin on their paw pads can build up and become rough and cracked.  Bag Balm® works wonders.

I have no concerns in endorsing this product for your dog.   In a pet market that is flooded with products, isn’t it nice to know that something pure and effective has been around for over 100 years?

***This is not a paid endorsement.  I purchased this product for use in my canine massage practice***

And baby makes four…

Today, new photos of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with baby Prince George were released.  The family dog, Lupo, also featured.

Royal Family photo with dogsI’d like to salute the royals for proving that the addition of a new baby isn’t a reason for ditching the family dog.  Every day, here in New Zealand, there are ads in Trade Me which read ‘Free to a good home – we have a baby now and don’t have the time…’

Bringing  a dog into the family should be a life commitment, as is bringing a child into the world.    Please be a good example to your children and do not treat the family dog as disposable.  And remember – the dog was there first!

Dog fighting: the voiceless victims

Dog fighting is a crime and one where the victims (the dogs) have no voice.  Luckily, animal welfare agencies such as the ASPCA are involved in investigating and prosecuting cases.

Successful prosecution is not easy – it takes a lot of effort to investigate and raid dog fighting rings.   Increasingly, dogs who are rescued are assessed for behaviour and may be directed to welfare agencies for rehabilitation rather than immediate euthanasia.

These photos were taken at the dog fighting temporary exhibit sponsored by the ASPCA at the Crime Museum in Washington DC.  They give a small glimpse into the plight of dogs used for fighting…

The Victims

Scales such as these are used to weigh fighting dogs before they enter the ring

Scales such as these are used to weigh fighting dogs before they enter the ring

Poster

The investigation into Michael Vick's kennels was a turning point in many ways; for the first time there was an offender who had the finances to pay reparation that would support rehabilitation of fighting dogs.

The investigation into Michael Vick’s kennels was a turning point in many ways; for the first time there was an offender who had the finances to pay reparation that would support rehabilitation of fighting dogs.

American Dog Breeders Assoc

WinnerChainingWounds

Image

Senior pets month

Blog paws seniors

Another study about dogs (yawn)

It’s official (again) – dogs yawn more often in response to their owners than to other people.

dog yawning

Last year, researchers in Sweden published research on contagious yawning in dogs.  This year, researchers at the University of Tokyo have published additional research in the open journal PLoS One.

Their research focuses on a ‘familiarity bias’ in contagious yawning by dogs.

Pet dogs in the study watched their owner or a stranger yawn.  They responded more in response to their owners than to the strangers.

The researchers conclude that the dogs have an emotional connection to their owners, which is exhibited through empathy with the yawning movements.

Chandi

Chandi book cover

I have just finished reading Chandi:  The Rescue Dog Who Stole a Nation’s Heart by Tina Humphrey.  Chandi is the story of Humphrey’s rescue dog who she trained for Heelwork to Music.  Published in 2012, the book opens when Humphrey meets her first dog, Pepper, in 1994.  Chandi is adopted from a shelter in 1998 and, for a time, Humphrey trains and competes with both dogs in Heelwork to Music and Freestyle competitions.

Tina, who teaches piano and violin, has a natural ear for music and is able to choreograph routines for her dogs that emphasize the stories behind the music.

Chandi is a love story.  It is about the bond that Tina shares with both of her dogs and the devotion she has for both of them.  She is an advocate for a raw diet and natural health care (no wonder I was attracted to the book),  in part inspired by her mother who fought cancer for many years using natural therapies.  (Part of the book tells the story of how Tina suffers the loss of both of her parents, at separate times, with her dogs there as emotional support).

We also share in Tina’s heartache when, in 2007, she and Chandi suffer the loss of Pepper.  Anyone who has had to say goodbye to their beloved dog understands Tina’s pain when it is time for Pepper to be put to sleep.

Chandi and Tina win many competitions in their years together including several trophies at Crufts.  In 2010, after almost 12 years of competing and sharing their lives, they audition for Britain’s Got Talent and go all the way to the finals, ultimately finishing in fourth place.  By then, they are celebrities and enjoy a nationwide tour of the show’s finalists plus other interviews and promotions.  And that’s where the book finishes…on a high note.

On 26 April 2013, Chandi died at the age of 14 years 10 months.  She developed a condition that was thought to be pyometra.  However, during surgery to remove her uterus and spleen, it was discovered that Chandi’s body had many other tumours that could not be removed.   Tina made the heart-breaking decision that it was time for Chandi to go and was there when she was put to sleep on the surgical table.

Today, Tina is training a new puppy named Grace and is blogging about her experiences with her new canine companion.    You can follow them on Facebook.

 And through the wonders of YouTube, here are Tina and Chandi’s performances on Britain’s Got Talent:

Auditions

Semi-Finals

Finals

Daisy’s birthday adventures

Today we woke up and went to the largest dog park in Christchurch, The Groynes.  Although the sun was coming up, it was also showering and we saw a lovely rainbow settle over the park:

Rainbow over dog park

Daisy loves being off-lead and able to exhibit her natural dog instincts.  She looks up to keep tabs on me often, but enjoys foraging around:

Foraging

And tonight Daisy enjoyed a slice of her birthday cake for dessert.  This cake is salmon and rice, with a lowfat cream cheese frosting, doggy choc drops and homemade chicken & parsley doggy treats:

Birthday cake

Happy Birthday, Daisy.  I love you!