In San Francisco, we live with earthquakes. The memories of past quakes, and the knowledge of future ones. That means having enough basic supplies, first aid and water for 72 hours - for everyone in the household including pets. This type of disaster preparedness is in addition to having an exit strategy from the home in case of fire, something probably more likely to happen than an earthquake.
In other parts of the country, such as New Orleans, people prepare for hurricane season and having an evacuation plan. Wherever you live, and especially if you have both children and pets, planning ahead is key.
When you fall in love with a dog, you can fall head over heels real quick or the love can grow slowly over time. When we adopted our dog, I didn't immediately fall in love. I was too busy evaluating whether she made a good match for our lifestyle, our home and our personalities. Maybe being a dog lover I already knew how I could feel about Cleo generally, but as a responsible adult who knew how important it was to ensure this adoption was forever, I could be dispassionate -- at least for awhile. That "awhile" is now so far in the past that I can't remember what it feels like not to worry and weep over my dog's eventual passing.
Will I avoid having another dog because of the emotional toll?
Keeping our pets safe during the summer months means watching out for hazards like toxic herbicides on the grass, knowing the signs of heat stroke, avoiding discarded chicken bones from barbecues and protecting lost dogs fleeing from fireworks.
With summer concerts and festivals in full swing, and Independence Day this week, please remember your four-legged family members. Celebrating July 4th with family and friends is a wonderful tradition and holiday, however in the excitement of your first sparkler, don't forget your dog.
Some say that a dog person is more likely to be extroverted and outgoing but I disagree. I've never had a cat, but in the piece that I read, they also state that those who have cats are more likely to be introverted. Again, I have to disagree because I know quite a few cat people who are very gregarious, outgoing people. They seek out people at parties and are the last to leave because they are having fun conversations. I witnessed many of these moments in person, before I quietly sidled out the door emotionally exhausted.
My appreciation for the companionship of dogs is something I developed from a young age. I felt an affinity toward my furry siblings (we had four family dogs throughout my early years) and a general love for animals. For some reason I always relax when a dog is around, even if I don't know them personally. I feel better. Calm.
You know why your veterinarian says it's important to bring your mature or senior dog in for a check up every six months? Dogs age faster than people. They show signs from aging more quickly as they advance in years. It can be easy to miss something, like a behavior change that slowly creeps up on you.
When we adopted our dog, she was already at least three years old. Her teeth were not the best and soon she had about a dozen pulled after we invested in three root canals. As she has gotten older, her tongue flops out when she is on her side in a very endearing manner. The amount of drool she produces has also multiplied in volume in the past year, and I don't think it is from a sudden increase in her desire for food. Girlfriend has been food motivated from day one.
It's interesting that her extra drool and missing teeth means more food particles drop onto her fore legs. Maybe it's her Husky nature but my dog is fastidious about her personal hygiene. She will carefully clean any food that might have fallen onto her legs. She also likes to use my pant leg or crotch as a napkin after a meal but that is why I wear sweats at home. Hey, she's earned a few perks at this stage, and her funny quirks are all the more reason to love a senior dog.
File this story under amazing! A family is reunited with their lost dog by accident. 18 months after Superstorm Sandy devasted New Jersey, Reckless the dog is reunited with his family. They found him in a no-kill shelter while searching for a new dog to adopt.
The good news is that Reckless was not only kept in good health at the no-kill shelter but he has also been microchipped. Having your dog microchipped can make all the difference if they get lost after a natural disaster, or anytime they might get lost.
If you’ve followed Grouchy Puppy for awhile, you probably know that my dog Cleo stress pants like Thomas the Tank Engine whether we drive across the Bay Bridge or around the block. Now add in a destination that isn’t a romp on the beach but a vet visit, and we have one very unhappy stressed out dog.
Cleo's "coping" car ride face and stress pant
Cleo is a diabetic dog. Did you know her level of stress from the car ride can have a negative impact on her blood glucose test once we arrive at the vet's office? It can also be a challenge to get her in to see her regular veterinarian, and since she’s a senior dog it’s more important than ever not to put off check-ups.
Here comes BarkCare, a new in-home concierge veterinary service. I had a chance to ask co-founder and COO, Carly Strife, and Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Rob Proietto, who oversees training of all local vets some questions as they expand this service into San Francisco.