Chips Ahoy!

Chips closeupChips entered my life in the wee hours of a brisk, October night. I was happily snoozing away, when I was suddenly awakened by the frightened howls and whimpers of puppies! Someone (in their infinite irresponsibility) had dumped four puppies in my driveway. The poor babies were scared to death and totally confused by their new environment. I rushed outside in my bare feet and pajamas to collect the four. It was no easy task in the dark. They were all over the place—under the car, under the steps and generally attempting to not be caught by this human they didn’t know. I brought them into the house and once they had formed a puppy pile, they settled down and I went back to sleep.

In the morning, I realized it was going to now be my responsibility to find homes for these innocent little souls. After several days of trying, I was able to find a home for one. I took two to the Humane Association and I kept Chips. I chose Chips out of the four because she was the one that the other puppies seemed to pick on. She was the underdog and I had a soft spot for her. Continue reading

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