January, 2016

  • 26 January

    The Cat’s Meow: A Call for Help

    It’s been about 6 weeks now since cats Billy and Raven, dog Max and I left our home in Minnesota and moved to Illinois.

    The invitation to come to Illinois came about quickly and unexpectedly. In less than four weeks almost 3 decades of Minnesota belongings were either packed, stored, sold or donated. Essentials were loaded in the car, good-byes were said and the 4 of us hit the road.

    There were SO many things to think of in preparing for the move: the logistics of the move itself, utility notifications, notifying the post office, updating professional places such as dentist, insurance, banks etc. Not to mention the logistics with the animals, making sure both Raven or Billy were nowhere near the boxes to be packed and that Max still got his playtime and walks. (Click here for a checklist for moving with pets.) I did all in my power to make this move as easy as possible on all of us.

    Not All is Well

    We arrived safely in Illinois and settled into our new lifestyle. I am in my home state among friends, Max has a new dog friend to play and romp with, Raven loves being the chief mouser and lurking on the top platform of the gigantic cat tree in the living room. My energy and attention became focused on getting my horse Shiloh to Illinois.

    But Billy? I assumed all was well, but Billy did not adjust as harmoniously as the rest of us appeared to. He is my sensitive one, the one who puts up a tough yet needy front when he is scared and feeling insecure. I know this about him, yet no matter how much I communicated with him, how much I tried to calm him, no matter what stones, essences or pheromones I used, nothing worked. At my wits’ end, I was loosing patience with Billy and he started spending time in the bedroom, away from all of us.

    It came to a head one day when Billy was in the kitchen and aggressively hissed at one of my friend’s sweet, gentle 6 pound cat. It started a dominoes effect: the dogs came running, cornered the sweet little girl and the entire episode basically scared the beejezus out of us humans. Luckily, no one was injured.

    Cat Billy Communicates His Needs

    It’s always been hardest for me to connect objectively with my own animals when I’m worried and stressed. Luckily I know that about myself, so I have a list of  communicators I will ask to connect with my crew when I am unable to do so. I contacted good friend and colleague Kris Scanlon of Talk Pawsitive. She immediately checked in with Billy to see what was going on from his perspective.

    He’s feeling alienated and not told what’s going on. Like he’s the one always left out of decisions, talks and stuff.

    He’s having a hard time with the move because everyone else adjusted so quickly and he just doesn’t know how to do it that fast. He takes more time than the others. He knows he should just get over it, but he doesn’t know how to do it that fast. He takes more time than the others. He’s unsure of his place in the family right now, like he isn’t even part of it. He feels he doesn’t matter and nobody cares anyway. Then he gets into trouble and that’s the only time he’s noticed.

    Everyone is walking by, happy and going about their day. I see it in the kitchen more than anywhere else (place associated for family gatherings?) and no one sees him. The loud noises from the shoes make him press up against the wall even more to hide from the PTSD he’s experiencing. While part of him doesn’t want to be seen and blend in, the other part needs the comfort and reassurance from the panic attack.

    [The other cat] made some comment to him about getting over it and he reacted. She didn’t mean harm, but he reacted to her. The dogs’ reaction was to try and pull him back to the present, but it didn’t work. [The other dog] is worried about him, as is Max, but Max knows he’s not the one to help. Raven is just being Raven.

    Ask (his angel dog) Emmie to come help him, bring him comfort.

    Approach this from a different perspective, acknowledge his difficulty in the transition to the new place. Think of it as PTSD and how you would approach someone from that space vs him cornering an innocent bystander.

    Horrible Mom Syndrome

    After hearing this, I immediately experienced horrible mom syndrome. I not only called in his angel dog Emmie to help, but his best friend ever and role model angel cat Scheisters. Both of them came willingly, showering Billy with much love, help and understanding. I asked Kris what Billy needed from me, and she replied:

    Lots of compassion, snuggles (or being available for snuggles) and reassurance he is seen, loved, wanted and not forgotten. To acknowledge this was a traumatic move for him, and all involved, really, and that you acknowledge that it sucks for him. It doesn’t change things, but the acknowledgement will help him breathe.

    He asks you understand we all deal with things differently and will move at his pace. He can move as slowly or as quickly as he needs. It doesn’t mean he can take it out on others, but that love and compassion is there for him.

    Animal Communication Makes a Difference

    I immediately did what Billy asked for. I let the other humans in the house know of Billy’s requests, and being animal lovers too, they immediately understood and were most willing in helping Billy with this transition and his specific needs.

    Once I became aware of Billy’s specific requests and changed my way of being, the difference in Billy was magical. Within a couple of hours, Billy was acting more like his loving, adorable self than he had since we left Minnesota. Harmony was restored.

    Have you experienced something like this? Something is going on with one of your animal pals and you are at your wits end on how to help. You’ve tried everything you know to do and nothing is working. As a matter of fact, the situation is at a stalemate or getting worse.

    Obviously, I’ve been there, I know exactly how helpless it can feel.

    It’s important to remember you don’t have to go through this by yourself. It’s OK to reach out for help and have that helpless feeling transformed into relief. If there’s any way I can help you and your animal pal regain peace and harmony in your relationship and in your household, just let me know.



  • 26 January

    Aerobics with Jesse the Jack Russell Terrier

  • 26 January

    Lug Bag Review

    I seem to be on the constant search for the ultimate unique weekend bag.  To say that I have tried out over a hundred bags would be a gross understatement. There is always something that I have issues with on every bag I have tried to carry, but I still search on.  That is what led me to Lug Bags. I found Lug and knew I had to try out a few of their bags for two reasons.  They have a lot of built in organizational pockets and they are colorful.  Two things I really appreciate in a great bag! 

    When I opened my Lug package I was so impressed with the bright colors of the bags and how lightweight they are.  I tend to over pack my bags, especially on weekend trips, so having a bag made of lightweight material is important to me so that it does not get too heavy. 

    I was lucky enough to review the Paddle Boat Overnight / Gym Duffel and the Scout Travel Wallet. The Paddle Boat has TONS of room to pack all of the necessities and then some. I love the many pockets on this bag and the unique ventilated compartment for soiled clothing or an extra change of clothes.   Best features of this bag for me are the padded comfortable shoulder strap, the lined compartment for my cell phone and separate zipped compartment for my keys. The built in organization on the outside of this bag is really amazing.  I do find that I need a few smaller bags to organize the main compartment of the bag so a few more pouches and pockets inside would be helpful, but overall I am very pleased with this bag.  

    Their Scount Travel wallet is perfect for keeping flight tickets, ID, debit cards, and more. I really like how they designed this wallet. This wallet is part of their new collect, Orange label. They include bags/wallets designed for men.
    Mesh Pockets for boarding pass and paper itineriesMesh Zippered coin pocketSlim pocket for passportsPen HolderWrist Strap and full zipped closure to kepp your valuables safeMaterial Specially treated with water-repellent finsih
    Follow:  You  can follow Lug can follow on Facebook and Twitter to kepp up to date on specials and new releases.Buy: You can shop for Lug Bags on their website or at your local speciality shop.I received the products mentioned above from Lug or their PR to help facilitate the writing of an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received. 

  • 26 January

    Dog Agility Training Tips – The Bang Game

  • 26 January

    Dogs Stung By Bees: Go Ahead & Laugh (But, You’re Going to Hell!)

    dachshund stung by bee

    Mmm… bees! (DOH!)

    Did you ever laugh at something that made you feel like you’re going to hell? That’s how I feel right now. These poor dogs snapped at bees and got stung. (And now look like sock monkeys)

    As far as I know, they all seemed to recover well after a trip to the vet, and their owners were calm enough to snap priceless photos.

    dog stung by bee chihuahua

    What to do if your dog gets stung by a bee

    If it’s possible to get the stinger out, that will help your dog a lot. Use a tweezers to grab it, or a credit card to scrape it out, but try not to break the stinger, and make things worse.

    For a mild sting, you can make a paste out of baking soda and water, and apply it to the area that was stung. Applying ice can also help sooth your dog’s pain.

    puppy stung by bee

    Your dog may need to visit the vet!

    Most of the time, your best bet is to get to the vet ASAP, as you may not be able to just pluck the stinger out, and it’s probably an operation better handled by the professionals.

    Dog reactions to bee stings can differ

    Also, if there is excessive swelling, your veterinarian will want to prescribe an over the counter antihistamine, which can help with allergic reactions.

    Some dogs may have more severe reactions, including vomiting, pale gums, diarrhea, or behavioral changes. If any of these occur, get to your vet asap! (But remain calm in front of your dog)

    dog stung by bee husky

    In the meantime, I’m going to take a deep breath, and try not to smile at the pain of these poor dogs! :(

    Photo credits:
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    The post Dogs Stung By Bees: Go Ahead & Laugh (But, You’re Going to Hell!) appeared first on Celebrity Dog Watcher - Digging up Celebrity Dog News - Arf!.

  • 26 January

    Clicker Training a Bird Dog Retrieve Part 1 Shaping and Chaining The Basic Retrieve (Fetch)

  • 26 January

    World’s Smartest Dog Jesse performs Amazing Dog Tricks “Walking Hand Stand Dog”

  • 26 January

    Service Dog Provides Comfort To Marathon Bombing Victims

    Funny Dog Blog

    Services dogs are known for lending assistance with everyday tasks to those who are disabled but they do so much more.  The emotional support they provide is priceless. Here is the story of two of the Boston Marathon victims and how their dog has helped get them through some really tough times.

    At Monday’s Boston Marathon, many runners will be on the course to honor the 16 people who lost limbs in last year’s bombing. One married couple was among them: Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes.

    Among many dark stories of that day, theirs is among the darkest. They were newlyweds of just seven months when each had their left leg blown off. Their injuries were so severe that they were some of the last victims to leave the hospital.

    But we want to tell you an encouraging part of their story. It involves an 80-pound black Labrador retriever named Rescue who is specially trained as an assistance dog.

     Newlyweds Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes each lost a leg in the Boston Marathon bombing. Rescue the assistance dog helps fetch keys and push buttons, bringing warmth and joy as the couple recovers.

    Courtesy of Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes

    To understand why Rescue came into their lives, you have to know how badly Kensky in particular was hurt. Her remaining leg, the one that wasn’t amputated, was so mutilated in the bombing that one doctor thought it should be surgically removed, too.

    “My whole Achilles tendon was blown off, a good part of my heel pad was blown off,” Kensky says. “But when I woke up, my left leg was already gone, and I couldn’t imagine losing my right. And I just — it’s such a permanent decision. So I thought: You can always amputate it down the road, but once it’s gone it’s gone.”

    So surgeons reconstructed Kensky’s right leg as well as they were able to. So far, her “good” leg really isn’t so good.

    Every Step Is Painful

    Kensky wears a high-tech brace on her right leg, which greatly improves her mobility. When she removes the brace, she exposes her misshapen foot and ankle, and a heel no longer as round and padded. She sometimes needs a wheelchair, because walking on her remaining leg is difficult.

    “I don’t think I really appreciated what chronic pain means and how it just — it rules everything,” she says. “When you have that level of pain with every single step, you don’t want to take it.”

    Every day, that pain has her asking herself an excruciating question.

    “I didn’t know what it was going to be like to try to walk on something and live with a leg like that,” Kensky says. “Now that I know, I’m always in the back of my mind wondering if I would be better off with an amputation.”

    That gets us back to Rescue.

    Kensky got Rescue from a Massachusetts nonprofit called NEADS, which trains assistance dogs for people with disabilities. NEADS is offering a free service dog to any marathon bombing victim with a permanent physical disability.

    Kensky, because of her continuing mobility problems, is the first to accept that offer. Rescue steadies her when she walks on crutches or with her prosthetic. But that’s not all he does.

    “Come on — nudge!” she prompts him, and Rescue uses his paws to press an elevator button in Downes and Kensky’s new handicapped-accessible apartment building. “Good boy!” she says.

    When Kensky drops her keys — “Rescue, fetch!” — the dog picks them up with his mouth and brings them to her.

    Rescue can also open doors and retrieve a phone with his teeth — even if he drops it a few times and presses a few numbers in the process.

    Having a dog also keeps Kensky and Downes physically active — a challenge for amputees.

     ”Here’s this big animal who needs to be taken out, he needs exercise, he needs to go to the bathroom, he needs to be fed,” Kensky says. “On the day you just don’t want to get off the couch, you don’t want to get in your wheelchair, you don’t want to put your prosthetic on, he looks at you with those eyes and you’ve got to take him out.”

    A Value Beyond Assistance  …read the rest here.


  • 26 January

    Clicker Training Basics – Dog Training

  • 26 January

    Amazing Double Dog Tricks