5 Tips for Finding the Right Groomer for Your Dog

Consider factors such as cleanliness, experience, and first aid training when looking for the right groomer for your dog.

By Kat Merrill /  Mar 16th 2016 /  Dogster.com

I recently moved and needed to find a groomer for my German Shepherd Lola. First stop: The only grooming salon in my new town. Immediately upon opening the door, I was assaulted by the foulest odor. I don’t think the place had ever been cleaned. One down, many more to check out. While it might be tempting to choose the cheapest place or the groomer closest to home, you should find the right place for you and your pet. Here are the five most important things to look for:

  1. Make sure the place is clean
Sarah lies on a clean floor after being groomed. (Photo by Lucia Scordamaglia)

Sarah lies on a clean floor after being groomed. (Photo by Lucia Scordamaglia)

Sure, grooming is a hairy business, but that’s no reason for the place to be dirty or smell bad. Are the floors clean? What about the tools they use? And how do they clean/sterilize those tools? There is no way I would’ve taken my Shepherd inside the above-mentioned place. Animals already get tense when they encounter new situations. Can you imagine how that smell would make a dog feel? And if the groomers don’t want you to see where they actually do the work, go back out the door.

2. Make sure the groomer has experience — what kind and where she got it

shutterstock_146476091-e1457973419496

“Experience is a must, particularly if you have a difficult pet, have very high standards, or want a haircut that requires a lot of skill,” said Lucia Scordamaglia, who groomed dogs, including three of my German Shepherds, and cats for Petco for seven years before leaving to work in health care. “Since there are very few state regulations on grooming training and licensing, and no federal regulations, you will often find that individual groomers have vastly different backgrounds when it comes to where and how long they have trained.

“Ideally, look for someone who has been through either an on-the-job, mentor-based training program or a grooming-school program. You should also look for someone who has been out of school or training for at least a year. Most groomers gain the bulk of their expertise by having been on the job for a number of years.”

3. Make sure your groomer is a true animal lover

Lucia Scordamaglia with one of her former clients. (Photo courtesy Lucia Scordamaglia.)

Lucia Scordamaglia with one of her former clients. (Photo courtesy Lucia Scordamaglia.)

Most of my Shepherds have been rescued and have had some bad experiences. The last thing they or any pet needs is someone who doesn’t have patience, who isn’t kind in his touch, or who doesn’t enjoy the job. My Shepherd Lola can’t stand loud voices, so it’s important her groomer talks to her in soft, gentle tones.

“If you meet a groomer who seems to be uncomfortable around your dog or other dogs, then they likely won’t be a good fit and are probably best avoided. Most of us groomers love animals so much we will snuggle your dog when they come in and take all the kisses we can get,” Scordmaglia said. “Dogs are emotional creatures, and they can sense when someone is wary of them or angry. Having a groomer who is calm and happy around your dog can help keep their grooming experience happy and can help their behavior during the process.”

4. Make sure the groomer has medical or health training, as accidents can happen

Groomers work on your dog from nose to tail. Dog being groomed by Shutterstock

Groomers work on your dog from nose to tail. Dog being groomed by Shutterstock

“Finding a groomer who has basic training in dog health, first aid, and CPR can be critical,” Scordamaglia said. “If something happens to your dog while at the salon, it may be your groomer who saves their life. Check that they have policies and plans in place for how to handle a potentially life-threatening situation before it occurs.”

She also pointed out that groomers often notice potential medical issues first.

“Groomers usually see your dog a lot more frequently than the vet, and because the grooming process is up-close and personal, they can often notice changes (lumps in the skin, rashes, ear infections, broken teeth, behavioral changes, etc.) that may need medical attention before they become obvious,” she said. “I once noticed a small lump on the elbow of a dog I groomed regularly. The dog’s owners hadn’t noticed it but said they would check it out right away. The next time they came in, they thanked me and told me the veterinarian removed a lump. Thankfully, it was benign. They were grateful I had found it because if it had been cancerous, it might have saved their dog’s life.”

5. Make sure your groomer has knowledge about pets and is willing to share it with you

Sarah waits patiently to get towel-dried. (Photo courtesy Lucia Scordamaglia)

Sarah waits patiently to get towel-dried. (Photo courtesy Lucia Scordamaglia)

“A good groomer will want to share their knowledge and experience with you and answer questions you might have. If a groomer is seeing your pet regularly, they should be able to give you recommendations each time you come in about maintaining your dog’s overall health and well-being,” Scordamaglia said. “Your groomer may notice that your dog’s breath is getting a little stinky and that his teeth have some plaque buildup. They should recommend ways for you to help manage this at home as well as letting you know when it may be time to see the vet. A groomer who is uninterested in discussing things with you or never gives you reports on how your dog is doing may indicate that their interests are not in the right place and they may not be giving your dog the kind of attention and care she deserves.”

Now that you’ve found the right groomer, shoot for consistency.

“Once you find a groomer that you and your dog like, it can be very beneficial to stay with that groomer,” Scordamaglia said. “Groomers who regularly work on a specific dog create a special bond and relationship with that dog. This makes for a better grooming experience for both the groomer and the dog. Many injuries to dogs and groomers come from working on an unknown dog. A dog may have aches and pains we do not know about or may bite because the groomer did not know that he becomes aggressive when someone touches his belly.”

About the author: Kat Merrill is a writer who considers it a blessing and a privilege to have been owned by five German Shepherds so far. She also had two cats, a beautiful pair of rats, and many fancy goldfish over the years. Although Kat started out as a cat person, she now considers herself a dog person who is dedicated to rescue animals. A former newspaper reporter and editor, she is now writing a series of children’s books and has recently started a blog at katsuniverse.com. You can also find her on Twitter @katsuniverse and on Facebook.

March 23, 2016 at 5:32 am Leave a comment

Puerto Vallarta 2016!

My friend Susie and I usually take a trip together at least once a year. We both love going to Mexico and have both been to Puerto Vallarta on separate trips so we decided to take our annual vacation there this year.  We were so glad we did!

The Condo!

I found the wonderful condo Girasol Sur on TripAdvisor. It was so reasonable and after checking out reviews and pictures we decided this was a good place to stay!  The units are mostly studios with a couple of floors with larger apartments.  The complex came complete with a bar, restaurant, mini mart, laundry room, rec room, pool, private seating areas, I could go on and on. It was perfect!

We stayed in a studio on the 11th floor overlooking the entire bay.  What a gorgeous view!  The water was so clear we could watch the fish and stingray swimming, and Susie even saw a turtle!   It was perfect for swimming, snorkeling and kayaking.  I’ll definitely bring my snorkel gear next time!  We also saw fireworks almost every night from the veranda!

Girasol Sur from the road side

Girasol Sur from the road side

Susie and I on our veranda overlooking the beach

Susie and I on our veranda overlooking the beach

I loved watching the pelicans flying right past our veranda :-)

I loved watching the pelicans flying right past our veranda:-)

The pool!

The pool!

The Bars & Restaurants!

For a mere 8 pesos (about 40 cents) we took the 20 minute bus ride into town. I absolutely love the open air restaurants in PV.

We celebrated Susies birthday at Munchies 3rd Base Sports Bar.  Several of her friends from Wenatchee frequent the place when they come to PV.  It’s a small but really friendly bar where lots of Americans come and hang out.

We celebrated Susies birthday at Munchies 3rd Base Sports Bar. Several of her friends from Wenatchee frequent the place when they come to PV. It’s a small but really friendly bar where lots of Americans come and hang out.

Burros Bar right on the beach

Burros Bar right on the beach

Waiter preparing fresh salsa and guacamole right at the table at MargaritaGrill

Waiter preparing fresh salsa and guacamole right at the table at MargaritaGrill

 Enjoying our coconut and banana margaritas and chips with the freshly made guacamole and salsa at MargaritaGrill

Enjoying our coconut and banana margaritas and chips with the freshly made guacamole and salsa at MargaritaGrill

Sipping bloody mary’s while watching the iguanas at River Café

Sipping bloody mary’s while watching the iguanas at River Café

One of the many iguanas climbing around on the trees surrounding the River Café.

One of the many iguanas climbing around on the trees surrounding the River Café.

Waiter serving an assortment of freshly made pastries to enjoy with our breakfast at Vitea Café on the Malecon.

Waiter serving an assortment of freshly made pastries to enjoy with our breakfast at Vitea Café on the Malecon.

Our own wonderful restaurant at the condo.  Our waiter offered us tequila, we said "No Gracias!"

Our own wonderful restaurant at the condo. Our waiter offered us tequila, we said “No Gracias!”

Delicious dessert our waiters served us for Susies birthday.

Delicious dessert our waiters served us for Susies birthday.

Old Farmers Market!

Every Saturday vendors sell only locally made, baked or grown products at this market. There is an assortment of organic vegetables and coffees, delicious fresh pressed juices and baked goods (the line for the bagels wound clear down the lane.  One lady in line explained it was well worth the wait, the bagels were so delicious), homemade tamales, burritos and much more.  Local artisans sell jewelry, soaps, pottery, etc.

One booth called New Beginnings sold jewelry made by women from an extremely impoverished community near the Puerto Vallarta garbage dump. The women previously worked as recyclers at the dump and now make a much-needed better income making beautiful jewelry and learning a craft.

 Chantel, a friend of Susies who moved to Puerto Vallarta 15 years ago sells jewelry from reclaimed silverware

Chantel, a friend of Susies who moved to Puerto Vallarta 15 years ago sells jewelry from reclaimed silverware

Music at the Farmers Market

Music at the Farmers Market

I fell in love with this cute sculpture at Lazaro Carenas Park where the Farmers Market is held

I fell in love with this cute sculpture at Lazaro Carenas Park where the Farmers Market is held

Botanical Gardens! Who knew?

A 20 peso, 30 minute bus ride down the coast and up into the mountains and we arrived at the Vallarta Botanical Garden. What an absolute surprise!  We took a short, but very informative tour with our guide Rosie.  Besides the lovely flowers, shrubs and trees, the restaurant was a lovely surprise.  There were little sections all throughout the open air building to relax on a lounge or couch, have a refreshment, watch the birds, enjoy the breeze and look at the beautiful surroundings.

Several signs warned us to be sure and use insect spray with good reason. I’m very susceptible to bug bites and I got my share while I was there.  It was well worth it though!

 One of the many places to relax and enjoy the surroundings at the Botanical Gardens

One of the many places to relax and enjoy the surroundings at the Botanical Gardens

Watching the colorful birds at the Botanical Gardens

Watching the colorful birds at the Botanical Gardens

All sorts of exotic plants at the Botanical Gardens

All sorts of exotic plants at the Botanical Gardens

The Beaches!

We were so fortunate to have two beautiful beaches right at our doorstep. We went down the elevator, walked down the path and there we were!

Gemelas Beach just to the left of our condo

Gemelas Beach just to the left of our condo

The beach to the right of our condo

The beach to the right of our condo

We also took the bus 5 minutes down the coast to Mismaloya to enjoy their beach. This is where the movie The Night of the Iguana was filmed and there are some parts of the set still standing.  It’s a much busier beach with back to back cafes and lots of vendors.  You can rent a jet ski, fishing excursion, get a massage, you name it!

Small and VERY busy Mismaloya Beach

Small and VERY busy Mismaloya Beach

Fun in the sun!

Fun in the sun!

Carnival!

We happened to be in PV during Fat Tuesday, the day they celebrate Carnival. What a crazy and fun night that was!

A few of the MANY men in drag

A few of the MANY men in drag

A fun float

A fun float

The crowds!

The crowds!

Cool costumes!

Cool costumes!

What a great time we had (as usual)! We’ll definitely be returning next year!

 Cheers!

Cheers!

 

February 23, 2016 at 9:11 pm Leave a comment

One fiery night of devastation turns into seven months of anguish

A 001

My son and daughter-in-law Ben and Wendy Baker were married in 1993 and a year later went to work for Farwell Products in Wenatchee, WA, a company that had been in existence for more than 50 years. Farwell Products manufactures Doc Farwell’s Grafting Seal, Tree Paint and Seal & Heal.  These are pliable, thick coatings to apply to trees and vines for grafting, tree protection and tree surgery.  The small business is a two man operation, Ben in production and Wendy in the office.

In 2003 Ben & Wendy bought the business from Wendy’s father and began to increase sales, selling to distributors all across the United States and Canada. Life was good, and business was good.  So good in fact that in 2014 they made the decision to build a bigger, more modern facility in East Wenatchee to house their business so they would be able to increase production even more.

The construction of the new building has started!

The construction of the new building has started!

Ben & Wendy excited about the new warehouse

Ben & Wendy excited about the new warehouse

In the fall of 2014 they broke ground on the new building. After months of red tape, permit issues, inspection considerations, faulty equipment deliveries and all the other headaches associated with the erection of their new building, in the summer of 2015 it was near completion.

In the meantime, Ben & Wendy ordered the new lightnin mixer in anticipation of the completion of the new building. This mixer would enable more flexibility and precision to the mixing process. A brand new fork lift was delivered.  And after a 6 month wait, the new air mixer was delivered.  Ben had started to pack up materials and product in preparation for the move.

Flames surrounding Wenatchee

Flames surrounding Wenatchee

The summer of 2015 was a hot, dry one. There had been a drought and the hillsides surrounding Wenatchee were tinder dry.  On June 28th a wildfire erupted just north of Wenatchee coined the “Sleepy Hollow” fire.  Within hours the fire was out of control.  It was the hottest, fastest fire anyone had ever seen.

The huge, not embers blowing towards town

The huge, not embers blowing towards town

By that evening the wind was carrying the enormous, flaming hot embers everywhere, making its way to the commercial district in the northern part of town.

A 006

Flames shooting out of Farwell Products

Flames shooting out of Farwell Products

Propane and chemicals stored in the area began exploding, spreading the fire to several surrounding warehouses.

Farwell Products left in ashes

Farwell Products left in ashes

Nothing left...

Nothing left…

The next morning showed the devastation. Thousands of acres were burned, 28 homes on the outskirts of Wenatchee were destroyed and several warehouses in the commercial part of town were left in ashes.  Farwell Products was one of them.

The brand new forklift was destroyed

The brand new forklift was destroyed

Immediately Ben went to the warehouse to assess the damages. Everything was a total loss.  All of the equipment and the entire inventory he had on hand were gone.

The clay mixer pulled from the wreckage

The clay mixer pulled from the wreckage

He managed to pull out the clay mixer. Because it is made of carbon steel, it could withstand more heat.  It was warped and twisted but Ben knew it was crucial to try to salvage it since it was needed for the manufacturing of the product they produced.  He loaded it on a trailer and sent what was left of the charred mess to a fabricator to see what they could do.  The days and weeks that followed were a blur.  They dealt with insurance companies, well-wishers sent their condolences, and they waited for the final phase of the new warehouse to be complete.

Orders were coming in. Wendy was dealing with the daily phone calls explaining to everyone that the warehouse had been burned to the ground and that they were re-building as fast as they could to get operations back up and running.  Some were very understanding, others not so much.  “But can’t you just send us a couple of gallons?”, “Sorry, our entire inventory of product was destroyed and we don’t have any way to produce any more.  How can you not understand that?”  It was a very frustrating and stressful time.

The pump (the most important element to the new production process was ordered in August.

The beautiful but empty new warehouse

The beautiful but empty new warehouse

By the middle of September, all inspections were satisfied and the new building was ready to be occupied. Over the next couple of months the new raw materials were ordered and delivered.  The new mixer and tanks and machinery were ordered and slowly but surely started coming into the warehouse.  A new fork lift was delivered.  The clay mixer was salvaged and straightened and rebuilt and delivered at the end of August.  The clay was delivered in September (unfortunately the pallets had shifted during transport and the entire load had to be unloaded by hand and restacked, but it was finally here).  And the pump?  Well, it was on back order.  So they waited…

The rebuilt clay mixer

The rebuilt clay mixer

More orders came in along with more unhappy customers in need of their product.

The product is being mixed one, slow batch at a time.

The product is being mixed one, slow batch at a time.

By the middle of October all the raw materials had been delivered and all of the machinery except for the pump had been delivered. Anxiety finally overcame Ben and he decided he had to do something, so he started mixing the materials the way it was done in the very beginning, without the pump.  It was a tedious and slow process.   He tried this way and that until he finally got a product he was satisfied with.

By the 1st of December he was back in production trying to satisfy some of the orders that had been pouring in.  One slow batch at a time.  And then in the middle of December it happened!  The pump finally arrived… And it was broken! After months and months of trying to salvage the company, this was a heavy blow to Ben and Wendy.

The second pump arrives...finally!

The second pump arrives…finally!

 

On the 18th of January, four and a half months after placing the order, the second pump arrived.  It has been installed and I’m happy to say that on the 30th of January, 2016 Farwell Products is finally back in full production in their beautiful, new warehouse.

Ben & Wendy. Finally back to full production!

Ben & Wendy. Finally back to full production!

Filling orders!

Filling orders!

So many people forget the lasting effects a disaster has on the many people who lost their homes and businesses on that devastating night of June 28th, 2015.  I just wanted to tell the story of one incident…one family…one business… that took 7 months to recover, and is still recovering from that night.  I believe the key force that has gotten Ben & Wendy through this ordeal is their positive attitude, their belief in the product they produce, and their strong love and bond they have for each other.  Together they are a team.  They never lost hope.  Farwell Products, the company that was founded so many years ago, is lucky to have Ben & Wendy as the Keeper of its product.

 

February 13, 2016 at 2:20 am Leave a comment

Why You DON’T Want an Italian Greyhound

I copied this wonderfully informative post from Sandpipers blog named Impish Iggys.  I absolutely ADORE Italian Greyhounds, which is why I love pet sitting them.  But I understand that they are not for everyone.  I remember the day my daughter went to rescue one of the little guys from a man who’s daughter left the dog behind.  He didn’t want him but didn’t know what to do with him because he said “I can’t imagine anyone wanting this strange dog!”  Well Mister, no they’re not for everyone, but for the people who love and understand them, we can’t imagine life without them!  Thank you Sandpiper for sharing this wonderful information!

People sometimes tell me that Italian Greyhounds are their favorite dogs and they want to get one someday. However, some of these same people also reveal to me that my Iggy Dante is the first they’ve ever seen in real life, which makes me wonder if they really know what they’d be getting into. There are a lot of wonderful things about IGs, and they make great pets for certain people. But there are also a lot of difficulties to overcome with this breed, as with any dog, and if a person goes into buying or adopting one of these dogs without knowing the good, the bad, and the ugly, chances are it won’t end well for the dog.

Sites like Tumblr probably don’t help matters much, as you often just see enticing snapshots of people’s lives (including mine). What you don’t see are the number of times that cute puppy pooped on the floor, how he’s kept you up all night barking in his crate, or how his dental care will cost half your college tuition. So that’s the purpose of me making this post, as a grain of salt to all the cute pictures I post of my beloved Iggy.

Italian Greyhounds are great, but they are not for everyone.

image

Housetraining them is always difficult, sometimes impossible.

Do you have a problem with occasionally cleaning up small piles of poop off the floor of your house for the next fifteen years? If so, then the IG is not the dog for you. Housetraining IGs is not a matter of time like it is with many dogs. They never “grow out of” going in the house. To keep accidents at the minimum you have to be strict about your housetraining regimen from day one until that cold, distant day when Max finally passes over the Rainbow Bridge. Potty-training Italian Greyhounds is an ordeal that is never over. I cannot stress this enough. This is the number one reason IGs are surrendered to shelters and rescues, so apparently a lot of people underestimated just how difficult this can be to live with.

image

You should get at least two of them.

When I first asked my vet about getting an IG, his very first piece of advice was: “Get two.” Unfortunately, I didn’t have the money to afford two new puppies at the same time, so I threw caution to the wind and brought only one home. I can now say I totally understand why he gave me that initial advice. While it’s not impossible to have a single Iggy that lives a happy life, these dogs are extremely social and physically affectionate, and if you as their owner cannot give them the attention and cuddle time they need, they will not thrive. Though IGs particularly love forming piles of cuddles with others of their own breed (the more, the merrier), just having another dog period will help lighten the load on you to give them constant attention. They really cannot handle being ignored for very long, let alone being alone period, and if you can’t give them enough attention yourself, you need to get another IG. I myself have applied to adopt a second IG for both Dante and I to love.

image

They tend to be attention whores.

Look at the picture above. That little body wedged between me and my fiance is an example of what happens when somebody else becomes the center of affection when Dante is around. Basically, he always needs to be the center of attention. When you are home, you will be the center of your IG’s world, and they will be glued to your hip about 98% of the time (the other 2% they are sneaking off trying to take a crap under the dining room table). If you want a pet which is sometimes snuggly, sometimes aloof, get a cat. Iggies always want to be near you, and often on top of you, regardless of what you are doing. Dante also has a habit of standing on my lap, totally obstructing my view while I’m at my desk on the computer. To him, obstruction equals affection.

image

You will spend more on their clothes than yours.

This may or may not be true, depending on who you are and how much you like to shop. It’s true for me, at least, and the bottom line is Iggies cannot survive without warm clothes in cooler environments. For Dante, when the temperature drops below 70 degrees, he starts shivering and I have to throw a light jacket on him. Iggies in very cold, snowy environments like Alaska, Canada, or Scandinavian countries will require extra pricey and usually custom-made full-body suits, complete with water repellent booties. Does the idea of walking around a dressed up pooch embarrass you? Then IGs are definitely not the dog for you! (The flipside of this is that most IGs really seem to enjoy dressing up, unlike many dogs.)

image

Getting them to do their business outside in inclement weather is like pulling teeth.

Is it snowing, hailing, raining, sleeting, windy, or just plain cold? Good luck getting your Iggy to go to the bathroom outside! Iggies are famous for standing miserably shaking outside for as long as you let them, then eliminating immediately as soon as you bring them back inside. It’s basically a battle of wills, and unless you’re consistent about making your dog eliminate outside before going indoors, you will lose.

image

Speaking of pulling teeth, be prepared to brush theirs daily and spend thousands on dental cleanings or their pearly whites will completely rot away.

The image above is of Lily, an Italian Greyhound rescued from a puppy mill and the inspiration for the founding of the National Mill Dog Rescue. The reason her face looks as it does is due to years of neglect of dental hygiene, leading to her teeth and ultimately jaws rotting off. While this is an extreme case, Lily serves as an example for responsible IG owners of the importance of good dental care for the breed. If you’re not committed to taking care of your dog’s teeth both with frequent brushing and veterinary care, you really shouldn’t be getting an IG of all dogs.

image

They love jumping off high places, which often leads to broken legs, costing you thousands to fix.

This Iggy is an example of bad ownership: Rosa was found abandoned with both her front legs broken, totally unable to walk. Her owner likely abandoned her because they didn’t have the resources to pay for her legs to be fixed, which can cost thousands of dollars for a single broken leg! To make matters worse, most IGs are not aware of the relative fragility of their tiny legs, and enjoy launching from the highest perches they can find if you let them. Before adopting an IG, you must consider whether you have a financial safety net in case of a broken leg, as well as commit to responsible supervision of your pup to prevent such a scenario from occurring. Buying a dog from a reputable breeder also lessens this risk, as some bloodlines and poorly bred dogs have a greater chance of leg breaks. Investing in pet insurance is also a good idea with this breed, though you must research carefully to avoid any breed-specific coverage loopholes.

image

Every operation requiring anesthesia will be much more expensive and risky than with other dogs.

This is true of most sighthound breeds, including IGs. This can result in unexpected expenses accumulating more quickly, as well as increasing the chance of the horrible possibility of losing your dog during even a minor surgery such as a spay/neuter. Though they may not be as costly as say a bulldog or a pug, Iggies are not cheap to maintain in terms of veterinary costs. If you’re looking to save on vet fees, a mixed breed will be your best bet.

image

Most will need daily exercise or they will drive you insane.

There is a myth floating around that Iggies are generally couch potatoes. This is absolutely not true. Iggies are built to run and need to be able to exercise daily or else they can become destructive. Ideally, this exercise will include at least 20 minutes to an hour of running free in a fenced-in area. However, Iggies also enjoy walks, hikes, and running alongside their owners. Indoor playtime only is just not going to cut it with this breed. IGs can  be snuggly couch potatoes after exerting all their stored energy, but their default mode is hyper go, go, go!

image

Dominance-, fear-, or punishment-based training will not work on them.

This isn’t really a con to some people; however, for others, it really shakes up their dog behavior paradigm. Iggies are very intelligent, however, it requires a lot of patience, respect, and rewards to train them. Every IG enthusiast I’ve ever talked to has emphasized this with me: be gentle with your IG. Treat him like a friend. When my fiance and I first started hanging out, he would try to intimidate Dante into doing what he wanted. He was baffled when Dante would listen to me, who used clicker training and positive reinforcement, but not to him, even though his method seemed to work with other dogs. These dogs will really test your patience, that’s for sure!

image

They cannot be trusted off-leash in unfenced areas.

This is a rule for all sighthound breeds. Unless you are a trained professional, letting your IG off lead in an unfenced area is unsafe. A lot of sighthounds will simply pursue anything that looks like promising game, leaving you in the dust. What seems to be more common with Iggies is fear-based bolting, where something spooks the dog into running away as fast as she can. Either way, the end result is a lost dog that is very difficult to catch, much to the dismay of well-intentioned people everywhere who will try to recover your dog for you.

image

They can be very fearful if not socialized well at a young age.

Another thing emphasized to me by my vet, breeder, and other IG enthusiasts I consulted was “Socialize early, socialize a lot.” Iggies are not like some dogs which are naturally inclined to trust and like all humans. Iggies can be anxious and high-strung, including being timid of people and fearful of new situations. I can recall a time when a client brought her IG into the vet where I work, and the adult dog did not stop shaking or whimpering the whole time, even though her owner never left and the owner’s other IG was there too! You will need to work hard to expose your IG to many situations and people to avoid them becoming trembling nervous wrecks who retreat when a new person comes into their home.

image

You will constantly hear the question: “Is that a Whippet?”

No, and it’s a not a “Georgia deer,” either!

Here is the link to Impish Iggys

http://tmblr.co/ZDmnlr11PQN81

 

January 28, 2016 at 6:20 pm 3 comments

Litter Box Mess? Here’s a solution!

Kätzchen mit Toilettenrolle - cat toilet paper

If you know anything about cats, you know that they tend to be very clean and neat animals. They seem to always be  grooming themselves and when using their litter box they make sure that they cover up their waste. Occasionally you will find a fickle feline that isn’t so neat. And it can be VERY frustrating to deal with a cat that has bad toilet habits.

Some cats stand to urinate, thus missing the box altogether.

litter box 01

Others seem like they’re trying to dig to China and fling their litter all over the place.

litter box 03

Recently I was living with a roommate who had an adorable cat but she came with a frustrating problem. She couldn’t seem to hit the litter box. Her owner tried everything (we thought). She changed the size and shape of the box. She put potty pads all around the box to catch the urine that didn’t make it into the box. She even put plastic up on the walls around the box. There was still always a smelly mess to clean up.

litter box 08

I am now pet sitting for a cat who has the same problem as my roommates kitty, and her owner came up with this wonderful solution. So simple, yet so effective! She definitely was thinking outside the box, the conventional litter box that is.

She bought a large tote and cut a hole in the side for the cat to enter.  She filled the bottom with kitty litter and walah!  A clean and efficient litter box! Your cat can dig to her heart’s content and it will not fly all over the place, and if she pee’s standing up, it will still stay confined to the box. You can leave the lid on if your cat prefers privacy, or leave it off.

litter box 09

Remember, as messy as some of our furry friends are, they still like to have things nice and clean. So to help them with this, here are some other things to remember to keep your cat happy while going potty.

Scoop the litter box at least once a day

Scoop the litter box at least once a day

  • Use clumping litter – except for kittens younger than 6 – 7 weeks of age.Use unscented litter.
  • Keep the litter deep enough.
  • Use large litter boxes. The bigger they are, the less likely your cat will step on her feces.
  • The more cats you have, the more litter boxes you need. Have enough litter boxes available.
  • Have litter boxes placed in a quiet area.
One happy kitty!

One happy kitty!

November 18, 2015 at 7:38 pm Leave a comment

Luna

Sweet little Luna in 2009

Sweet little Luna in 2009

It’s time to officially say good-bye to my precious little Luna. Occasionally someone comes into your life and you know is has been a real blessing to have been a part of their life.  Luna was one of those pups.  From the minute I met her she stole my heart.

Waiting for me to carry her up the stairs, in 2009

Waiting for me to carry her up the stairs, in 2009

Luna had been struck with a crippling condition when she was quite young and thanks to her wonderful “mom & dad” she was fitted with prosthetics so she could lead a full and functional life. I will always remember her little tap, tap, tap as she walked through the room.  It was adorable.

With Luna and Reilly in 2011

With Luna and Reilly in 2011

 

Such a pretty girl, in 2012

Such a pretty girl, in 2012

Over the years of watching over her and her brother Reilly, I loved her more and more. She was a gentle soul, never getting upset about anything.  She was so patient while I put on her “shoes” as I  called them.  When it was time to have her afternoon snack, she would go to the pantry door and wait patiently for me to give her her dream bone.  Then off she would go to her bed to enjoy her snack.  Luna loved sleeping right next to me in bed.  She would snuggle up tucked under my arm and snooze away.

Reilly & Luna playing games, in 2013

Reilly & Luna playing games, in 2013

 

My favorite picture of Luna and Reilly, in 2013

My favorite picture of Luna and Reilly, in 2013

Her brother Reilly was always close by, watching over her. He loved cleaning her ears and Luna would just lay back, enjoying the bath.  They loved playing with their toys and “hide a treat” games together, or just basking in the sun.

Laying in the warm sun, in 2013

Laying in the warm sun, in 2013

Last year the family moved to a new home. They had only been there a few short months when Luna lost her sight.  But in true Luna fashion, she learned to navigate her new surroundings and got along just fine.

Snuggling up with the little ones, in 2014

Snuggling up with the little ones, in 2014

 

Reilly watching over Luna, in 2014

Reilly watching over Luna, in 2014

This last June I came to stay with Luna and Reilly and found Luna to be failing. She had lost a lot of weight, was pretty weak and wasn’t eating very well.  I knew we were going to lose her soon.  But she rallied and when I returned the first of this month, she was doing SO much better.  She was eating, exploring around the yard, and snuggling up to me just like always.  I was so happy to be able to spend those last days with that sweet girl.

My sweet Luna in June, 2015

My sweet Luna in June, 2015

Then just a week and a half later I got the call that she was gone. It breaks my heart that I will never hear that tap tap tap on the floor again.  Never see her sweet face again.  Never snuggle up to her again.  But her memory will live in my heart forever.

The last picture I took of my little girl, in October 2015

The last picture I took of my little girl, in October 2015

October 24, 2015 at 8:33 pm Leave a comment

Dog Watches Guard Over Its Trapped ‘Best Friend’ for a Week After They Got Lost, Rescuers Say

Best friend 01

Tillie the dog is being hailed as a hero for watching over his canine best friend, Phoebe, for a whole week after the two strayed from home and Phoebe fell into a cistern, according to the dogs’ rescuer and owner.

The two dogs escaped from their home in Vashon, Washington, when the front door was left ajar on Sept. 7, their owner B.J. Duft told ABC News, saying that he was hosting a company party that day and there was a lot of moving around.

“Tillie would never leave even if the gate was left open, but she’s best friends with Phoebe, and so when Phoebe follows her little Basset Hound nose, Tillie always goes with her to make sure she’s OK,” Duft said. “They’re best pals — inseparable.”

The “dynamic duo” had been lost for a week when Amy Carey of nonprofit pet rescue Vashon Island Pet Protectors got a helpful call this past Monday, she said.

Best friend 02

“A community member said he saw a dog for the past few days coming up to his property, come up near him but not all the way, and then go back down a trail to a ravine behind the house,” Carey told ABC News. “It turned out the dog was Tillie trying to get help for Phoebe, who had gotten stuck.”

Carey said she immediately went out to the area to investigate and was relieved to discover Phoebe stuck in a cistern down the ravine — and most amazing of all — Tillie standing just above the cistern watching guard over Phoebe.

“It was very clear what Tillie had done,” Carey said. “She had not left her friend’s side except for going up to the man’s house when he was there to try and get help for Phoebe.”

Carey said she quickly called Duft to tell him she found the dogs, and Duft said there were “a lot of tears and hugs” when they reunited.

Best friend 03

“I was thrilled,” he said. “I was absolutely not surprised to learn that Tillie had stood by her side the whole time. She’s a very caring, loving and nurturing dog and the two of them are best friends.”

The dogs were starving and exhausted but otherwise in good health, according to Carey and Duft.

When the gang was all together back home, they celebrated with a “hamburger dinner,” Duft said.

“Within an hour of getting home, Tillie already wanted to play with her favorite toy — the tennis ball — so we did just that,” Duft said. “The two also hung out on the couch and got some well-needed sleep.”

The owner added that he already has a “GPS dog collar ordered and on its way” and that he “never wants to lose them again.”

By AVIANNE TAN September 18, 2015 1:55 AM Good Morning America

Photos by Joe Curiel

Cistern destroyed where Basset Hound was trapped for a week

Best friend 04

Elizabeth Wiley, of KING 5 News reported that the owners of the property destroyed the cistern with a jackhammer on Thursday.  The cistern had been on the property for about 90 years and was partially filled in to keep kids from getting stuck.  “But it was obviously still too deep for a Basset Hound’s short legs,” Curiel said.

 

September 19, 2015 at 3:58 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts



Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 159 other followers