Archive for January, 2013

Pet sitting and the loss of a sweet old Lab

For the last week and a half I’ve been pet sitting, first in Seattle, then in Wenatchee.  In Seattle I watched Clarence & Charlie, a couple of sweet pups that keep me on my toes and make me laugh every day (Man I LOVE my job!!!).  Clarence is wearing a cone because he has just been neutered.  But it didn’t slow him down one bit!

Clarence & Charlie

Clarence & Charlie

Then this week I came back in Wenatchee to watch two rambunctious, spirited, and absolutely amazing Chessies, Maggie Mae and Uncle Gus, along with sweet little Alex the cat.

Maggie & Gus

Maggie & Gus

The last time I watched Alex she was very sick.  Her blood pressure had shot up and damaged some of her eye sight.  She was in pretty bad shape.  But boy did she bounce back!  She has regained some of her eye sight and has a good feel for her surroundings and, I’m happy to say, gets around great again and is back to her old sweet self :-).

Little Miss Alex

Little Miss Alex

With a heavy heart I am sorry to say that lovable old Brook, a 16 year old Chocolate Lab has passed since I’ve last been here.  She had been failing for quite some time.  She was blind in one eye and had lost her hearing. The last time I watched her in September I knew that her time here would soon be over.  She was having trouble getting to her feet, but her spirit was still strong and she still got excited to play a bit in the yard and get her rubs and treats.   My eyes are filled with tears just thinking of her now.  Good-by my sweet Brook.  I will miss you for a long, long time, but I am so glad I got to be a part of your life.

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January 19, 2013 at 10:21 am 1 comment

Using the Correct Collar for your Dog

This article is written by Dr. Landorff – Oakwood Hills Animal Hospital

collars 5Daily walks for your dog sounds like a simple thing, but to some dog owners it’s not a pleasant experience.  There are many dogs that pull whenever they see other people, dogs, or the dreaded squirrels that seem to antagonize my Goldendoodle.  For this reason I should like to talk a little bit about the different types of collars, harnesses, and halters that can make this daily routine a “walk in the park”.

dog in obedience classA basic obedience course is always recommended for a new puppy or dog to the family.  It is my opinion to choose an instructor that believes in a positive training protocol using rewards rather than negative reinforcement training

collars 4I never recommend the use of a “choke collar”.  I have seen several dogs over the years that continue to pull with these collars on to the point where there is damage to the windpipe.  I also am not a fan of the prong or “pinch” collars except on rare occasions where a pet has already been trained on one and does not have to be corrected often.

Harpo in his harness

Harpo in his harness

For small dogs under about 30 pounds or cats harnesses work very well.  They are very secure, thus very unlikely for the pet to “slip” out of, if fitted properly and do not press on the throat of those smaller dogs who have a sensitive windpipe syndrome called tracheal collapse.  It is also an extra added safety measure when the stray dog suddenly shows up ready to fight.  I have lifted my little Shih Tzu by the leash in these cases preventing a big dog little dog bite wound.

collars 3For larger dogs that pull badly to the point where your arms and shoulders hurt after walking I am a big fan of halters like the Gentle Leader or Easy Walk products.  These fit around the nose and behind the ears.  The halter gives the best control without causing any discomfort.  The old adage “where the head goes the body goes” is true.  Instead of having to pull the entire dog to change direction, you simply turn the head the direction you are walking.  Some dogs will fight these at first by pawing at their face or rubbing on the ground, but the dog that fights it the most generally needs it the most.  I have seen some dogs that were very hard to control on walks respond very well to the Gentle Leader allowing mothers with small children or babies in strollers able to enjoy walking with the children and pet at the same time.

Bailey with Gentle Leader harness

Bailey with Gentle Leader harness

For short nosed dogs or those that just will not tolerate the halter circling the nose, there is a Gentle Leader harness.  The advantage of this harness is that it attaches and pulls tight in the front of the dog’s chest.  Once again you are able to turn the pet rather than having to control the entire body.  It is important that all collars, harnesses, or halters be fitted properly so seek help from an animal behaviorist, trainer, or veterinary hospital staff when deciding which of these products to use.  It is very rewarding to hear how much more enjoyable something as simple as a daily walk can be for dog and owner when it goes smoothly.

Article from Pet Sitters Associates, LLC Quarterly Newsletter 2012 Vol. 4

January 13, 2013 at 10:45 am Leave a comment

Outings in Milwaukee

Luna and Reilly enjoying a bit of sun

Luna and Reilly enjoying a bit of sun

I’ve been pet sitting two adorable Italian Greyhounds in Portland for the last couple of weeks.

Bob's Red Mill

Bob’s Red Mill

Since I’m so close to Milwaukee…Oregon that is, I decided to go to Bob’s Red Mill and check it out.  Wow, what a cool place!  I can’t believe the selection of dried goods they have.  You can buy bulk or packaged, organic or conventional, everything from grains to soup mixes to dog treats.

Huge selection at Bob's Red Mill

Huge selection at Bob’s Red Mill

They also have a sandwich counter so after picking up a few items, I decided to stay and have lunch.  I had their special and it was delish!

Dave's Killer Bread outlet

Dave’s Killer Bread outlet

I was so excited to see that across the street from Bob’s Red Mill was Dave’s Killer Bread outlet store.  I fell in love with the bread even before I heard the story of Dave.  It’s wonderful, organic bread.  It’s the only kind of bread my daughter and her son eat.  It’s a little spendy (although well worth the price) so whenever I want to treat myself, that’ the bread I get.  The loaves were about half price at the outlet store so I stocked up!  Yum yum!!!

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January 9, 2013 at 10:10 am Leave a comment

Friday tip of the day – Walk your dog

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A simple  walk can prevent many problems affecting your pets lives.  A routine daily walk can relieve boredom and satisfy a pet’s need for exercise both helping and preventing destructive behavior, helping to keep nails worn down, and helping maintain a healthy weight.

mt baker Harpo

I’m reminded every day how important walks are to my four-legged friends when I get the leash out and they get sooooo excited!  Harpo (above) practically jumps into his collar.  One of my clients referred to her dog “checking pee mail” and I thought what a great way to look at this.  I get tickled watching the pups checking out every nook and cranny where other dogs have left their mark.  I think that these outings are not only good exercise but such an important social time in a dog’s day.

So get out and walk your dog.  It’s even good for you 🙂

 

January 4, 2013 at 10:56 am 2 comments

Happy New Year!

Jan 1

Happy New Year everyone!  This is my fourth year in Portland spending the holiday with Luna and Reilly, my two special Italian Greyhounds.

Reilly & Luna

Reilly & Luna

It’s always such a joy staying with these two adorable little ones!  Their mom and dad got them an interactive game called dog it Mind Games.  What a great idea!  I didn’t even know there were games like this for pups.  They had such fun playing it!

Reilly & Luna looking for the treat under the cups

Reilly & Luna looking for the treat under the cups

Luna was the champion!  She found every treat!

Luna was the champion! She found every treat!

This year I decided to take a few hours and go out for a while on New Years Eve.  I planned to go out to dinner and then go to a “Who’s Line is it anyway” type of show at Comedy Sportz.  I had planned on going to 21st Street Bar & Grill.  I had googled places close to Comedy Sportz and this place looked really good.  BUT, I walked in and didn’t like it immediately.  For one thing it was practically empty except for a few people around the bar having drinks.  No waitress in sight.  I just didn’t get a warm and fuzzy feeling.  So I turned around and walked up the street a bit.  I’m soooo glad I did!  I looked across the street and saw a nice looking place with lots of people inside.  It just looked inviting.  I didn’t even know how good the food was going to be.

Dicks Kitchen

Dicks Kitchen

I was so pleased to find Dick’s Kitchen to have such a friendly staff, casual and comfortable atmosphere, and such a great selection of organic, grass-fed beef burgers as well as organic turkey, buffalo and veggie burgers on the menu.  They also had burgers on salads that looked to die for!  The gluten-free desserts looked wonderful too.  They have a great selection of sides like “non fries” –  baked fries just like I make at home, cooked greens, mashed sweet potatoes, etc.   I had a burger and their yam “non fries”..  Delicious and no deep-frying!

Dicks Kithen

Dicks Kitchen

Dicks also has a full bar with lots of specialty drinks.  I had to have a bloody mary…my favorite drink to celebrate the coming of a new year.

Then I walked down to Kearney Street to Comedy Sportz.

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When I first arrived, I honestly thought it was going to be a bust.  The place is pretty sparse.  You walk in from the outside directly into the room where the show is held.  To the left is a counter where a lady was selling drinks as well as checking tickets, and telling another lady what my name was so she could take me to my seat.  It was a bit of a hub-bub with people coming in, not quite sure what to do or where to go.  The audio and video people were also behind and in front of the counter a little further down.  To the right was the seating.  All stacking chairs.

Seating at Comedy Sportz

Seating at Comedy Sportz

Since I went to an early show, there were lots of kids there.  I actually chose this venue because it was kid friendly.  There are two teams with a referee.  The referee as well as the audio guy along with the audience get to vote on which team does the best job.  It’s very interactive with the audience.  The referee calls out  what subject they should use and the teams start with their improv.  You can buy red and blue fly swatters.  Then when you’re asked which team did the best job, you raise either the blue or red depending on the team you liked the best.

Comedy Sportz players

Comedy Sportz players

There will be no profanity or off-color insinuations of any kind!  If there is, whether you are one of the cast or one of the audience, you will wear a sack over your head 🙂

Oh oh!  You can't say that!

Oh oh! You can’t say that!

To my surprise I had a really fun time and ended up smiling and laughing almost the entire time I was there.  It ended up being just the perfect thing for me to do to end 2012.  After a year with so many ups and downs in our country, the best thing I could have done to say good-bye to 2012 and hello to 2013 is by having a good laugh!  Thanks Comedy Sportz for giving me that!

 

January 1, 2013 at 10:17 pm Leave a comment