Write a valentine to your dog? Why wouldn’t you? C’mon, join in. Don’t take more than five minutes, just write a quick bit of doggerel for your favorite dog. Mine are for Otto, of course!
I’ll bet that in the past 10 years, every Super Bowl broadcast has been spiked with television ads with dogs in them. Why dogs are such reliable pitchmen for beer, cars, and snack foods, I’ll never know.
I came home on Sunday evening and played the messages on my answering machine. I instantly recognized my sister’s voice. She was sobbing. Though I could barely understand her words, I knew what had caused her such pain.
The sun finally came out in my part of California, on the northeast edge of the great Sacramento Valley. I had a number of invitations from friends hit the trails and I accepted almost all of them. As a result, I’m stiff and muscle-sore and my dog, Otto, is sleeping like a log.
This has been a rough month or so for my dog-loving friends. Dempsey the Boxer lost his fight with cancer just before Christmas. His owner summoned a veterinarian to put him out of his pain, but said that there was barely a flicker of life left in him by the time the vet arrived.
Whole Dog Journal Training Editor Pat Miller wrote an article for the January issue about why and how to teach your dog his or her name (“Say My Name”). She mentioned in the article how important it was to pick a good name for your dog, and shared the story of how she and her husband named a few of their dogs.
I don’t know anyone who is a perfect dog owner. I know people who do an amazing job with their dogs from a training and behavior perspective – and who feed their dogs really crummy dog food. And conversely, I have friends who spend a fortune on top-quality food for their dogs – that is, their terribly under-socialized, untrained dogs. It seems like we all have an Achilles heel when it comes to managing our dogs’ emotional, intellectual, and physical health (or our own, for that matter! But that’s another story.).
When I brought my dog Otto home from the shelter, I knew he was a killer. He had at least one murder on his rap sheet. His cage card said, “Kills chicken.” (It was a typo…I assume he either killed one chicken, or will kill chickens.)
“Outside of a dog,” said Groucho Marx, “a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” If you’re looking for best friends of the book variety, here are five that belong on your gift list and on your own bookshelf.
‘Twas a few weeks before Christmas, and all through the house, The Miller family was heading for bed, including the spouse. I carried Scooter upstairs with care, Because his tiny Pom legs can’t carry him there. I returned downstairs for the rest of the crew, Knowing they wanted to go to bed too.
Back in 1998, we were a happy one dog family, made complete by the light of my life dog, Axel, a grand Bouvier des Flandres. So why did I have to mention in passing to his groomer, a woman active in Bouvier rescue, that maybe we’d like to add another?
I worry about using the topical flea and tick treatments. I hate the idea of applying a deadly pesticide to a dog's skin a substance so toxic that it can kill fleas for a month. And yet, the bites of fleas and ticks are awful. The itching caused by a flea bite can cause a dog to literally tear her skin open and infections can set in.