As I sit here in my home I wait for the arrival of the hurricane Irene. Right now the winds are picking up. Where we live, I don’t think we will see winds over fifty miles per hour. A little earlier I was thinking, ‘at least there is no thunder with hurricanes’. Thunder really upset Murphy, so much so I want to get him some meds next time we are at the vets to keep him calm during thunderstorms and fire work use. Fire works seem to go on forever after the fourth of July and then they start again in the new year. Of course then he started to bark at the blowing bushes!

So many people are affected by this disaster, those who do not usually see this type of thing. Make sure you make arrangements for all the members of your family, including the four legged one!

God bless and take care.

Dave

Got the chance to work from home today. I LOVE to work from home. I have a nice comfortable office and with my laptop from work it makes almost no difference whether I am here or there. But one of the best things is that on days when no one else is home, I can be home with Murphy. Of course it’s good to be home with Maggie and Ben too but then Murphy seems to try and divide his time between us. Plus Maggie and Ben are usually busy with their own activities during the day so I work pretty quietly regardless of who is home.

Murphy is crate trained and can do pretty well on his own but he really doesn’t like to be alone. So I am happy to work from home when I am allowed.

Now when I am home with Murphy alone, he may or may not stay in the office with me, it can get a little warm in there sometimes. But not today he was in their almost all day. Particularly after lunch because I had chicken. Now for better or worse I tend to share most things with Murphy when I eat, which is probably we both suffer a bit with middle aged spread.

Well the chicken wasn’t that great. Walmart leftovers. But funny thing, Murphy didn’t seem to mind at all. So he got a little more than he usually would. He doesn’t know but I picked what was left and plan to use that in some training with him 🙂

Take care and God bless,

Dave

Have you been here? You are sleeping quietly on a warm summer night, cool air from the nearby fan keeps you comfortable. You are unaware of all that is around you and then faintly in your sleep you hear a noise. “Goo loop goo loop goo loop”. You sit up in your bed and realize what the noise is. Your dog is going to barf!

That describes the activity in mine home in the early hours of the morning. Then of course my wife’s sinuses were bother her and with the noises she made you could add a guitar and you might have a small band.

So the dog is barfing and I am trying to get him off the carpeting to the tile floor to reduce the upcoming cleanup effort. I didn’t quite make it but it was a small delivery. Just as I got this cleaned up, the noise started again. Uh oh, round two. So we replay the previous scene of me getting him to the tile. This time we made it! And I was rewarded with a small barf spot to clean. Okay so this is done now. I had already examined the first barf to try to determine the contents and thus deduce the cause for the attack. I turn around and there on the tile floor off to the side is the major barf that must’ve started the whole series. So I clean this up too.

In case you haven’t guessed yet, night time barf cleaning is my job, especially where the dog is concerned. This package, like the first bit, has something odd in it and I don’t know what it is and I am not going to find out. I am just figuring this is something that shouldn’t have been eaten in the first place. Of course now its 5am and I can’t get back to sleep.

How concerned should I be?

Well dogs have a pretty tough digestive system for the most part. Let’s face it, if you can swallow and barf up stones or eat a glove and poop it out, you have to, these acts were not done by my dog by the way. And dogs seem quite good at expelling anything they can’t process. So that said a barf once in a while is probably not a major deal, especially if you can see something that looks like it shouldn’t be there. I start to get concerned when this becomes a daily thing or even an every other day thing or any regularity at all. I get immediately concerned if he barfs up bile, a yellowish foul smelling liquid.

When I see bile I think his stomach is upset for no good reason and he may be sick. If I get a second bile barf it definitely gets a call to the vets. Just like people, vomiting can be a sign of a lot of things. So you need to use your best judgement as to when you should call the vet, I always lean to the call side rather than the don’t call side.

Take care and God bless,
Dave

We just returned from a week away at the beach, Ocean City, New Jersey, if you are interested. We had hoped to take Murphy with us but that opportunity closed so we had to go without him. We left Sunday night and returned the following Saturday, early afternoon. That is the longest we have ever been away from him. I was not happy to have to leave him behind for so long.

Last year we put him in a nice kennel at least it seemed to be. I only say that because I don’t think you can ever know for certain what any boarding facility is like if your not there all of the time. He had a couple walks while there. Fortunately my daughter was able to pick him up a bit early, which is apparently an act of kindness he will ever be grateful for.

This year we were helped out by my 75 year old mom who came and spent the week at our house with him. She loves him so much and he knows it too! He also knows she is a soft touch for an extra treat or two. When we got back he seemed to be quite happy and didn’t appear to have missed us at all. Then a bit later he let us know he was not happy with us. It’s amazing what you can tell from his body language.

Anyhow he got happy again and life goes on. But the real point of the story is about arranging for care for your dog when you are going to be away. If you can take him with you consider that option carefully because it might be more stressful than being home. If your dog is crate trained he will probably find comfort in being in his crate regardless where he is. If you are on vacation, there may not be many volunteers to stay behind with the pooch while everyone else heads to the beach. It is probably best for most to have a house sitter and if it is not someone you dog already knows then have him or her spend a little time with the dog while you are around. Let the sitter spoil him a little with a special treat or a fun activity; this way good associations will be made with that person. Make sure this is someone you can trust. A dog lover by reputation, an excellent referral, etc.

If you must use a kennel research well. Get a referral or two. Pop in for an unannounced visit. Make sure they don’t mind phone calls (I called every day last year when we used the kennel). Make sure he can have a blanket and toy from home and perhaps bring his own food dish and water dish. Ask what their policy is on vaccinations is. Take the time to find a good place for your faithful friend, he would certainly do the same for you if he was going away!

Take care and God bless,

Doggy Dave

Murphy, my sheltie, went to the groomers today.  Once  a summer we have him get a puppy cut.  A puppy cut is where the fur is trimmed down to about the length of a puppy.  Some sheltie owners would cringe at this because shelties like some other breeds have an undercoat that is supposed to protect from heat as well as cold.  This might be so but he was looking pretty hot.  But more importantly, I think it does his skin good to let it breath a bit.

Although he is never keen on going in to the groomers he seems very happy and light when he gets home.  I guess I would feel light too if you took 5 to 10 pounds of fur off of me (which is a lot if you weigh 25 – 30 pounds!).   Of course all breeds have their particular grooming needs.  Carin terriers for example don’t shed but need to have the old hair stripped out.  I don’t recall the breed but have you ever seem one of those dogs that have dread locks?

Be sensitive to your dog’s grooming needs.  A good brushing can do wonders.  Its good for their coat and good for their skin.

 

Take care and God bless

Dave

Wow I can’t believe some of the temperatures we are seeing in the USA.  Some parts of the world see these high 3 digits on a regular basis but not so much here, especially in the North.  But it has been very hot and I often get concerned about my dog even though he is inside.  He is panting away.  We keep fans around for him to lie in front of and we have AC too but we keep it close to 80F because of the cost.  That keeps the humidity down and its generally pretty comfortable in here for humans.  There are many signs a dog is in trouble from the heat and you should be familiar with them, check out this page http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/heat_illnesses.html for a comprehensive list of symptoms.

 

I hope you find it useful.

 

Take care and God bless.

Dave

Well you may know that the Dog Days of Summer relate to the appearance of the dog star, Sirius.  Which I thought was quite clever when they made Sirius Black in Harry Potter change into a dog.  But I always thought the Dog Days of Summer referred to the heat, which it also does.  Apparently, historically, according to Wikipedia, the star Sirius was blamed for the heat.

Well here in the US we certainly have had some hot days over the past week or so.  My dog doesn’t even want to go out because he knows how hot it is and if he does he quickly finds himself some shade.  He is not one to stay outside anyhow but he usually likes the opportunity to go out and snoop around a bit.

If your dog is outside, make sure he always has access to fresh water as well as shade.  Make sure to check on them frequently to make sure all is well.

 

Take Care and God Bless,

 

Dave

 

Yesterday was church for us.  Of course, Murphy, our dog doesn’t go.  Its amazing to me how he knows we are going out somewhere.  I mean its not rocket science, he sees us getting ready, my wife dressing nicely, etc.  But then he pouts.  He knows he isn’t coming and he puts his paw under his chin, while laying down and stares off into space.  You can see he is annoyed.  He knows when my wife is going to work too when she puts on the uniform she wears and on the other hand he seems to know when we are going to stay home because we have home clothes on.  Dogs are so smart.  I am sure science has totally underestimated them.

God bless and take care,

Dave

 

Some people think going to the dogs as a bad thing but in my mind it has good connotations.  There are very few places on this earth that you will find the unconditional love and loyalty that you will find from a dog.  I think dogs are one of the most awesome creations on this earth!  I love dogs.  I love my dog.  I want to help dog owners from all over with their dogs, whether it be a tip, trick, health item or whatever.

I am not a dog trainer or a veterinarian.  Really I see myself as a teacher.  What does a teacher do?  They learn things and then pass it on in an easy way for others to understand the material and that’s where my gifts lie, in teaching.  Sure I do other things but next to dogs I love teaching so this blog is to combines my love of dogs with my love to teach and in turn help others enjoy their dogs for as long as possible!

Take care and God bless,

Dave