While the debate continues over off leash areas for dogs in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, sadly someone has decided to go rogue and plant poisoned meatballs in a popular area of San Francisco. Again. These meatballs look very familiar and killed a little doxie we knew:
"Last July, a 7-year-old dachshund died and another dog was seriously sickened after eating meatballs the police believe were filled with strychnine. Police never located the person responsible for the deadly meatballs."
Even on leash, it's easy for people and dogs to get distracted when you have city streets and stairways like this one to hike or walk up.
[One of my favorite routes toward Twin Peaks is via these otherworldly steps]
Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Maggie Marton, of Oh My Dog Blog. Maggie continues where she left off last week, in "Take off your Judgey Pants: Let's Discuss Pet Adoption". Today she discusses how we all might benefit (the community, the owner, and the animal) if shelters and rescues concentrate more on helping a pet owner keep their adopted animal, rather than blaming them for surrendering the animal.
Our dog hates baths. She becomes a donkey in her resistance. Out of the blue, she'll turns her nose up to liverwurst. Gravity takes hold of her rear end with the strength of the entire San Francisco 49ers defensive line.
Exhibit A - The disappointed dog face
Imagine her response, when CA Governor Brown asked for a 20% voluntary reduction in water use today?
Whether a puppy or a senior dog, exercise has a calming effect on dogs. I'll admit that it works both ways because when I get back from outdoor exercise with my dog, I'm more calm. It's true even now with my senior dog. We may go at a slow pace together but that time outdoors breathing fresh air, sometimes pausing to briefly visit with a neighbor, has a positive influence over me.
When we love dogs, we love them all the way. The experience is all-encompassing as you enjoy the highest highs, the lowest lows, and everything in between, during your time together, however long. This much I've learned to be true.
For about two years now, I've been dealing with anticipatory grief but recently it has been particularly bad. My dog appears to be reaching a point when it will be time for us to let her go.
What's so great having a Husky Shepherd dog? When she gets in touch with her Siberian Husky genes, images from Call of the Wild come to mind. She curls into her tail for a nap, dreaming of Arctic winds or marches us down the street as if pulling a sled. Years ago our neighbors told us they heard her lonely woo woo when she was alone for a few hours. Her genetic code includes vocalization but since we rarely leave her alone anymore, she has no reason to howl.
Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos is about celebrating family and loved ones. Each November we take time to remember our dear departed. Each year the festivities fall near Halloween but this day isn't meant to be scary. We are meant to honor family members who have preceded us in death, and for me that means someday in the future my celebration will include my dog Cleo.
When your dog moves into their mature phase of life, or senior stage, it's important to be prepared. Since I started managing my dog's golden years three years ago, I've learned a lot and I want to pass those experiences on. She is my first old dog and we've had to handle a few common changes in behavior and a few not so common events.
I hope my lessons help you create a happier and fearless time with your buddy. It can be easy to fall into the trap of worrying over them and this final stage of your life together. I'm here to say that it's okay to worry as long as you try to focus on the positive as well. I know my dog can tell when I'm not letting my anticipatory grief get the best of me.
I've shared a few of my experiences with Cleo in earlier posts, but here are my five best tips for navigating life with your older dog.
My elderly and senior dog is teaching me how to age gracefully. She has slowly lost her vision but she remains the cutest, loving dog ever. She accepts her blindness, using her other senses to navigate day-to-day life. Watching her, I'm appreciative of how intuitive dogs are, and how much the human-animal bond comes into play in the quality of life we have together.
My brother's dog Kona is a little older than Cleo, and she's become deaf with age. She too, is still so very cute and happy. She's got white butt hairs that make me laugh, because she wiggles her butt in front of you until you scratch it. She grunts and snores on "her couch" most of the day now. Kona, without trying, shows us that a happy dog, in a loving family, doesn't need to hear to be content or feel loved.
Kona the deaf black Lab napping on her couch
Did you know that many rescues and shelters assume deaf dogs are unadoptable. Really? Kona gets around just fine at home. She's 15 years old and somewhat arthritic. Her family keeps her routine simple and they use simple hand gestures to guide her behavior.
This week is National Deaf Dog Awareness Week. Whether they can hear or see, or even walk, we know from experience today that dogs just want to be loved by their family. They want to feel your love, your commitment and loyalty. Having a hearing-impaired dog only means an adjustment on how you work together, not how you love each other.
Did you know that some common household items found in our medicine chest and first aid kits work well for both human and pet? On the flip-side, besides certain foods there are common medications that are actually dangerous for your pet. It's important to know the difference, especially in the event of an emergency when your emotions are running high and your home might be in disarray if you've been through a natural disaster.
What goes into a pet first aid kit?
If you have pets, having a first aid kit just for them is a great idea. You won't have to worry in the moment that you are using something inappropriate or even dangerous. Nowadays you can buy pet first aid kits but it's highly likely you'll still need to customize it to fit your particular needs. If you are like us, I think you can create your own without spending more money than you need.
Start with basics like these common household items LIFE+DOG shares on their website. In addition, you should have an eye dropper, gauze, self-adhering tape, non-stick bandages, and tweezers. You'll want to have an extra leash and collar. Include copies of your pet's vaccination history and veterinarian information in a sealed plastic bag protection from the elements. What did we miss? Check out this great resource from AVMA.org and this valuable information about emergency preparedness for pets from PetSmart Charities.
From The Magazine | L+D Health (c) LIFE+DOG Five safe household human medications for dogs We treat our dogs as members of family. We prepare their meals alongside ours, and we incorporate their exercise into our own routine. It makes sense that…