4th of July and Your Dog–Are You Ready?

barbeque

4th of July!  Visions of flags, parades, hot dogs, fried chicken, potato salad, watermelon, homemade ice cream, loved ones and fireworks come to mind!  As much fun as all of these things are for us, for dogs, there are some real dangers!

While some dogs are not affected by the excitement and noise, many have “doggie panic attacks”.  They may lose bladder control, try to find a place to hide, jump through sliding glass doors, go under, over or through the fence and generally be miserable.  Years ago I had a beautiful 80 pound mixed breed dog named Oreo.  She was really afraid of loud noises.  When a  loud noise occurred (thunder, fireworks, something being unexpectedly dropped) she would crawl under the bed.  Fear must have somehow been able to make her shrink, because she always managed to get under the bed.  For some reason, getting her out seemed to always require lifting the bed–box springs and all–high enough for her to escape.

Hide under the bed

What brings about such an illogical (according to us) reaction?  Well, for starters, a dog’s sense of hearing is about 10 times more acute than that of a human! Therefore, your dog experiences the loud noise at a level 10 times louder than you do.  If the noise you heard was that loud, you probably would be looking for a place to hide or a way to get away from it, too! Continue reading

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We Did It!

Today was our last day of obedience class.  Kassie has graduated from beginning obedience!  Now, for a lot of dogs, that wouldn’t be a big deal…but for Kassie, it is!  You have to have a little background to understand.  When Kassie was about 16 weeks old I took her to the National Bernese Mountain Dog Specialty in Louisville, Kentucky.  Unbeknownst to me (at the time)  that time period is a very crucial imprinting time.  I thought it would be a wonderful experience for her to get to see all those dogs and people.  WRONG!  There was simply too much noise, too many people who wanted to touch the puppy and way too much sensory overload.  Unfortunately, it really scarred her.  She developed a real fear of new people and new places.   Now before you think I’m a bad mom and “why in the world didn’t you get her help before now”?????  I did try.  Unfortunately, we were living in a small community that offered no opportunities for her to get out and try to work through some of those fears.  The nearest dog training was 45 minutes away–and the lady that was teaching it, was more into agility and rally than she was into  trying to help Kassie. Continue reading

A Little About Me…

I am by nature, an animal lover.  As a young child I had numerous pets including a calf, a pig, a horse, a rabbit, a turtle, a chicken, multiple dogs and cats, birds, and hamsters.   As an adult, I became a primary teacher and true to my nature and that of small children, there were always animals in my classroom.  Probably the most unique was a tarantula (or maybe it was the

Child of the Earth

Child of the Earth

Child of the Earth–there was one of those, too) but the menagerie also included fish, mice and birds.  I neglected to mention the bat (in a milk bottle!), the salamander, the ants, the snails, the frogs, the butterflies and the snake. The tarantula, the child of the earth, the salamander, the snake and the bat were all brought in by children.  Needless to say, we didn’t keep them for very long! Continue reading