I found out earlier this week that one of my very first pet sitting clients, Maggie, had crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Even though Maggie was an older dog, it still hit me pretty hard. Maggie was one of those dogs who just seemed like she would live forever. She had a zest for life like no other dog I have ever met. She lived life with gusto.
Jasper loved her. Daisy loved her. And, I loved her. So did her family. It was hard not to love Maggie. She made me smile whenever she stayed with me. I used to laugh when her mom would say Maggie was starting to slow down. That was never the case when Maggie stayed at Casa del Mel. She saw her stay as a vacation and she made sure she made the most of it too. I smile now just thinking of how much fun she had here. She was a bright light in every day.
So instead of being sad that she is gone, I thought I would celebrate Maggie’s life, and her love of life, by sharing a few pictures of her during her stay here.
We will miss you Maggie. More than you know.
Unlike the videos I share most weeks, this video doesn’t have cute little dogs running through snow or playing with a cat. But it does have some beautiful pictures and the most wonderful words. I strongly suspect you will be sharing this with all your dog-loving friends after you watch it.
Clearly God must love a dog. And really, who can blame him?
Happy Friday everyone!
As defined by the Humane Society of the United States, “Puppy mills are breeding facilities that produce purebred puppies in large numbers. The puppies are sold either directly to the public via the Internet, newspaper ads, at the mill itself, or are sold to brokers and pet shops across the country.
The documented problems of puppy mills include over breeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, poor quality of food and shelter, lack of socialization with humans, overcrowded cages, and the killing of unwanted animals. To the unwitting consumer, this situation frequently means buying a puppy facing an array of immediate veterinary problems or harboring genetically borne diseases that do not appear until years later.
Sadly, some dogs are forced to live in puppy mills their entire lives. They are kept there for one reason only: to produce more puppies. Repeatedly bred, many of these “brood bitches” are killed once their reproductive capacity wanes. Thousands of these breeding operations currently exist in the United States.”
Don’t Shop, Adopt.
Spread the word about puppy mills to all you meet.
Today is a day for happy dances.
The work week is over (Whew! That was a long one wasn’t it?).
A little lost Sheltie named Colten (who is all of 9 lbs.and almost blind) is now home safe with his mom after being hit by a car Thursday night. He came away from it with nary a scratch (Can you say “Miracle?”).
And, the Breeder Bill continues to make its way through the various governing committees in the Minnesota House of Representatives. (Progress!)
But, in order to do a happy dance properly, one really must have a Sheltie.
And, not just any Sheltie, but one who knows how to do the happy dance with a cat… like the adorable Sheltie in this video, Haley. You just can’t help but fall in love with Haley when you see her dance for her buddy, Reese, the cat.
Make sure you watch the whole thing to catch some of her amazing dance moves. She is adorable and funny.
Kudos to Reese for standing his ground!
Happy Friday everyone!
This past weekend my friend Emily posted a picture of her and her dog, Lilly, on a special outing together. It was their girls day out.
It brought back a lot of happy memories of my outings with Daisy. Back when I was a pet sitter, she used to ride with me on some of my pet visits. I would also take her on special outings to get some ice cream (that’s probably how she got to be 75 lbs back then!). I would buy one ice cream cone for me and one for her. Then, we would go sit in a park and watch the world go by as we enjoyed our cones and each others company.
Seeing Emily’s picture reminded me how long it has been since we’ve done something like that. Now that I have three dogs, it can be hard to get that one-on-one time with any one of them. But last night I had the opportunity to enjoy some one-on-one time with each of my dogs and it felt really good, especially with Daisy.
Since it was so cold out, I decided to switch things up a bit and bring out our doggie puzzle from Trixie and let each of the dogs have their own chance to play with it. The game is called Chess and it comes with 4 yellow cups and a board with sliding squares. Under the squares are little holes in which you can place treats. The squares also have holes in them so you can place treats in them and cover them with the cups. It requires a dog to really use their brain to figure out how to get to the treats.
I decided Daisy would be first. I set up a baby gate so Jasper and Cupcake were on one side and Daisy and I on the other. Then, I placed the game (loaded with tiny pieces of pork) on the floor. Daisy was very nervous at first, not having really played with the puzzle much before, but she was also very intrigued by the smells coming from it. Since she was nervous about what to do, I sat down on the floor near her. I placed the game in front of her, but she still seemed unsure, so I showed her some of the hidden pieces of pork and then covered them up again.
She tentatively reached out with her nose to smell one yellow cup. Then she nudged it a little. The cup started to topple over. She jumped. She went back again and nudged the cup aside and grabbed the piece of meat. It took time, but eventually, with my encouragement and revealing the treats to her from time to time, she eventually started to figure it out. And with each successive find, she became more confident.
It was so rewarding to sit next to her and work the puzzle together. We worked as a team and had so much fun in doing so.
After each round, we would just sit there and hang out, I would give her belly rubs and kisses, and she would give me nose bumps and pleading looks for more of the same. It was a very special evening. I can’t remember how many times we did this, but I think it was at least five. I think she loved our time together as much as she loved getting the treats
Afterwards, Jasper and Cupcake got their special time alone with me and we did the same thing. They seemed to enjoy it just as much as Daisy.
Having this special time together with each of my dogs makes me think that I need to do this kind of thing more often. Maybe each dog should have their special day.
What do you think? Do you have special days with your dog? If you have more than one dog, do you take time out to spend it with just one dog at a time? I would love to hear what you have to say.
We have all heard the news stories touting the health benefits of dogs and cats – how they enrich our lives, lower out heart rates and make us get outside and get exercise (even in the frigid cold temperatures in Minnesota!).
But, do they open our worlds for us? Do they make us see things we may not have seen before? Or, help us to realize the vast possibilities before us?
I know that my dogs have taught me to be more balanced and calmer. I’m not sure that has necessarily opened new worlds for me, but it has made me a better person for my dogs to be around.
I think I have explored more, tried more things, and sought new places to walk because of my dogs. I love seeing them explore a new place (noses to the ground, running through the woods, enjoying the water, etc.) and try new things. I guess if you think about it, I am trying new things too!
Perhaps the area in which my dogs have opened a new world for me is through blogging. I started blogging to catalog Daisy’s progress as a puppy mill dog, nothing more, nothing less. I never imagined becoming a part of a blogging community that loves dogs and cats, or having such fantastic readers like you (or readers at all!) who challenge me and comfort me, or learning so much more about dogs and the business that surrounds them. I never imagined running my own business and caring for other people’s pets either. My dogs gave me that too.
The more I think about it, maybe dogs do open a new world for us. What do you think? Has your dog opened a new world for you? How?
For anyone who has read my blog for any period of time, you now know that my Sheltie, Jasper, has an obsession with two things: sticks and balls. If we are at the dog park he will demand I throw a stick for him over and over and over again. At home, it’s his tennis ball he wants thrown or kicked or tossed – many, many, many times.
But there is also something else Jasper has an obsession with – things that move. This includes people, dogs, bikes, skateboarders, bunnies, ducks, etc. He can be in the middle of bringing his ball back to me when he spots someone walking by the house and has to run to the fence to bark at them. He can also be barking at someone walking by and I can say “I’m gonna get your ball!” and he will run to get his ball. I like to call it the “shiny penny” syndrome or ADD.
Sometimes I laugh at how easily he can be distracted but most of the time I wonder how I can get him to be more focused. We have worked together on a wide variety of training areas, but this is one area we have yet to master. I wonder if any of you have or have had a dog that is easily distracted and what you do about it in your own home.
Do you have a dog easily distracted or who suffers from the “shiny penny” syndrome? How do you work through it? Or, how have you mastered it with your dog? I would love any ideas you have to help me with this issue.