Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dogs and Babies

Well I started back to work this week grooming which has been a challenge with the new baby. Thanks to Grandma for all the babysitting! Everyone always asks me what the dogs think about the new baby in the house, and their reactions vary. Of course we are very careful with any interaction between the two and never without any supervision. Most of the dogs seem to be indifferent (just another kid!), Bugs the border collie absolutely loves her and licks her all over every chance she gets and Noel is a little scared of her - she doesn't know what she is! I'm hoping with time they all grow to be comfortable with her. Kids and dogs can be a wonderful thing if introductions and time spent together is carefully monitored and both have a good experience.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dogs of the past

This is a little bit of a depressing subject but it was on my mind today. I was at my neice's birthday party, who turned one year old last week, and I was watching her drop big chunks of birthday cake onto the floor beneath her high chair. My mind immediately flashed back to my first Rottweiler Dreamer who used to sit next to my son's high chair and clean up everything he chose to share with her. I have pictures of him feeding her this way. I started thinking about the dogs that I've lost, and began missing them terribly, even though it's been several years since I've seen some of them. Dreamer was a laid back kind-hearted soul that touched a lot of lives in the short time she was here. For several years after she died I could easily remember everything about her and now I'm starting to forget, and this bothers me. Some of the memories I have of her seem more distant and I don't want to forget anything about the time I shared with her. I love the dogs I have now, but I would love to be able to see the ones that have left me. I still miss them.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dogs teaching dogs

We often get phone calls from people who are thinking of adding a second dog to their family. One of the most frequent questions is whether an older dog can teach the young dog the ropes. The answer: Yes! Definitely. Which is why the best time to add another dog is when the older one has developed a predictable routine which includes appropriate behavior. Older dogs make wonderful teachers, usually better than the humans in the family. However, be aware that they can also teach a young dog bad habits as well. Car chasing, barking, digging, excessive fear or guarding habits are all examples of behavior that a young dog can learn from an older one. We had a dog here for train and board that would chase cars through the fence when we would put him out to potty. During that time we made the mistake of letting him hang out with some of our dogs. We had a fairly new addition to the family at that time, our Pug Jack. Jack learned in a very short time how to do the same thing. It took one for Jack to learn this habit from the other dog and took us a year to fix. Our mistake was putting our new dog, who hadn't yet learned the rules around here, out with an untrained one. A mistake we won't make again. On the other hand we have several dogs that are wonderful teachers and are very helpful with train and board dogs in teaching them calm and appropriate behavior in the house as well as outside with the pack.

Health issues update

Good news on all fronts so far. Noel's biopsy results came back benign, which is a big relief. Robin the diabetic cat is doing pretty well. We've managed to come up with a system to keep him in during the night which allows us to always get in the twice daily insulin shots and started him on Evo cat food. He seems to be feeling better so I hope we're on the right path.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Upcoming Events

We have several upcoming events here at the Good Dog Center, including a fun match, canine massage workshop and competition dog clinic. Check out the details on the Events page of our website:

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Meaningful Moments

I'm sure you all have special things that you enjoy doing with your dog, an activity or even certain daily rituals. One of activities that always brings me peace and that I do every winter is to take my dogs for night walks in the snow. Last night I went on one of these walks at the city prairie. The snow is so bright that I never have any problems seeing in the dark and there is something very peaceful about walking the trails and hearing only the sound of the snow crunching as the dogs run ahead of me. I love to walk along the river and the dogs and I watch the silhouettes of the geese on the water. I never run into any other walkers at night so the dogs and I always have the place to ourselves. Doing this every year always brings fond memories to mind and it's something that makes the winter months seem much more bearable. I would love to hear about some of your favorite rituals!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Health issues

When it rains in pours, it seems. In addition to the usual routine exams and shots, we've had a few extra trips to vet lately. In December I noticed that Noah's breath was getting foul but couldn't find anything obvious in his mouth, except that the right side seemed sore. We took him in right away and found he had an abscessed tooth that needed to be pulled, it had broken while chewing on a bone. He's fully recovered now. Last month we discovered a large gash of unknown origin on Paige's side. Her hair covered it quite well and I was horrified when I saw it the first time. 15 staples later... she's healed up and back to normal. A few weeks ago I noticed a what looked like an irritated nipple on Noel's belly. I kept an eye on it and what had originally looked like a nipple turned out to be a growth that continued to grow and break open. It was removed two days ago and sent in to make sure it's not cancerous. Keep your fingers crossed! Off the topic of dogs, but since he counts as one of our "paid" dog trainers, our cat Robin is struggling with his diabetes. If any of have any experience with your dogs or cats and diabetes I would love to hear how you've managed it!